Floral archway / SUN 5-2-21 / Classical poem form / Fast-food chain with Famous Star burgers / Aesthetically pretentious informally / Actor whose breakout role came as a shirtless cowboy in Thelma & Louise

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Easy (8:30, under the influence of a reasonably strong mint julep)


THEME: "Initial Impressions" — All clues are [some letter] + [hyphen] + [some word]; all answers are punny two-word representations of the clue, where the first ("Initial") word of the answer begins with the first letter of the clue and the second word of the answer is a synonym of, or otherwise represents a quality of, the post-hyphen part of the clue.

Theme answers:
  • COVERED BRIDGE (23A: C-Span?) ("C" is for COVERED, and a BRIDGE is ... a? ... span? Or it spans ... a river or whatever?)
  • POTTY MOUTH (40A: P-trap?) ("P" is for POTTY, and "trap" can mean MOUTH)
  • GERMAN ARMY (44A: G-force?) ("G" is for GERMAN, and an ARMY is a kind of "force")
  • GARDEN APARTMENT (65A: G-flat?) ("G" is for GARDEN, an APARTMENT is a "flat")
  • DIRTY TRICK (91A: D-Con?) ("D" is for DIRTY, a "con" is a TRICK)
  • ELMER'S GLUE (94A: E-bond?) ("E" is for ELMER'S, and GLUE is a "bond" ... -ing agent? Forms a bond?)
  • COMPASS NEEDLE (113A: C-sharp?) ("C" is for COMPASS, a NEEDLE is "sharp")
Word of the Day: PERGOLA (5D: Floral archway) —
2a structure usually consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters (merriam-webster.com)
• • •

Pretty tepid on this one. The theme ... you can see in the description that it just isn't as consistent as it thinks it is. Most of the post-hyphen clue words are fitting clue words for the second word in the theme answer (e.g. "trap" = MOUTH, "flat" = APARTMENT), but with COVERED BRIDGE, "span" ... yeah, I guess in some attenuated way, a BRIDGE is *a* span ... like, you could force me to believe there's some noun-for-noun equivalency going on. but I * think* the clue / answer just wants you to be satisfied with the fact that a bridge is something that "spans" ... something. But let's say you think, no, BRIDGE and "span" are absolutely synonyms, "span" can be a noun, this is totally consistent ... well, then, OK, what are you doing with COMPASS NEEDLE as [C-sharp?]? Because there's no way that NEEDLE = "sharp." Noun cannot clue adjective. Needles *are* sharp, yes, but you can't clue NEEDLE as "Sharp." That is a massive violation of crossword rules, where clue and answer have to be the same parts of speech. And *that* means that part of speech *never* mattered for this theme. That second word only has to be vaguely associated with its clue word. And *that* means that the theme is just ... really loose. Too loose to be very impressive. Also, totally arbitrary. You can do this forever, with a bunch of letter-hyphen-word things. I mean, [C-section?] could be, uh, CANTALOUPE SLICE? CENTERPIECE? CODPIECE? CONCERT PIECE? CHESS PIECE? [J-pop?] could be JOLT COLA ... [T-top?] could be TIN ROOF *or* TUXEDO SHIRT *or* god knows what else. A-team B-movie C-clamp D-list E-card F-Troop G-string etc. I'm sure brighter minds than mine can come up with plausible answers for all these. So why not make the letters *mean* something ... *spell* something or just *do* something? Why go to the "G" well twice? (G-flat, G-force). Why go to the music well twice? (G-flat, C-sharp). Feels slapdash and just not ... ambitious enough. 


It was easy, though, and the grid was reasonably clean, so I didn't have a terrible time solving it. It was just disappointing to realize, at the end, how poorly the whole theme held together, conceptually. The grid drifts into old-school crosswordese on occasion (EPODE, ERAT, ROLEO), but not so much that it gets annoying. I forgot what a PERGOLA was, so that was one of the tougher parts. I also don't really know what a GARDEN APARTMENT is. Appears to have a couple meanings:

noun

an apartment on the ground floor of an apartment building having direct access to a backyard or garden.
a low-level apartment building or building complex surrounded by lawns and trees, shrubbery, or gardens. (dictionary.com)
PERFIDY is a great word but I don't think I knew it specifically meant betrayal. I thought it was just "a really bad deed" (although if I follow Dante, and I always do, then the worst "really bad deed" is, in fact, betrayal). Thought the clue for PERIL was pretty tenuous. Specific-for-general is often dicey, and in this case, yikes (70D: Climate change, e.g.). I thought the brawlers at 25A: Start brawling were going to GET AT IT instead of GET IT ON, which is weird, as I've had "GET IT ON (Bang a Gong)" in my head for much of the day. 


My last and most emphatic point is that it's "artsy-fartsy," not ARTY-FARTY. Just checked, and when I google ["ARTY-FARTY"] in quotation marks like that, what comes up immediately is a definition for ... [drum roll] ... "artsy-fartsy." Once again, the prosecution rests. Sad when you botch the most creative element of your grid. Ah well. Enjoy your Sunday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. apparently a "sharp" is a sewing needle, and in medical terminology a "sharp" is any instrument that is sharp, including syringe needles. My dad was a doctor and my mom, stepmom, sister, all nurses, I've never heard "sharp" used to mean simply "needle," so I still say it's weak, and I know "span" is not a noun meaning simply BRIDGE, so the theme remains wobbly for all the many reasons stated above.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

165 comments:

Frantic Sloth 12:00 AM  

Saw the title of the puzzle and thought "ho-hum. More initial crap."
But I liked this one because it made me think through the themers instead of getting the drift early and just auto-filling them all. Still, it flew by for the Sundee.

The fill was also top drawer (said nasally through tight teeth, like "Deareeann") with just some minor NITs. And how thoughtful of Mr. Shoenholz to include everybody's favorite word at 13D. 😉

Other thoughts 'n' NITs:

I like the word PERFIDY. No explanation. I just do. It's "onesie's" evil twin.

DADBODS are the physical representations of Dad jokes, and neither are flattering. Poor Dads! 😘

I'm probably the only person on the planet who has had nothing to do with "Fifty Shades of Grey" - books or movies (just yuck!), so STEELE came from all crosses.

Isn't it ARTsY FARTsY?? ARTY FARTY sounds more like a playground taunt.

Not falling for the letter-as-word-as-letter DIRTYTRICK anymore, so TEE (first of ten?) was a gimme.

I'm sorry, but I can't be the only one here who thought the whole OAR as homonym for ORE thing wasn't just phoned in, it wasn't even express, but Pony-LOCALed. I thought I was lazy. We have a new champion!

What's with all the ride-sharing lately? Didn't we just have GIVESARIDE or similar? I mean, I realize climate change is a PERIL and all, but I'm starting to think some of these things are following me.

Don't know how, but I pulled PERGOLA right out of my floral archway. Love when that happens!

Hey, look! There's @JD at 80D. Well, the clue for 80D. I remember. 😊

Overall, a fun solve and thoroughly enjoyable Sundee for a rare treat!


🧠🧠
🎉🎉🎉🎉








Anonymous 12:06 AM  

I haven't sewed for years (and I was so bad that I mostly ripped seams), but I distinctly remember packages of needles with the label "sharps." That was their name; they were sharps, so presumably one would be a sharp.
A quick search shows me you can buy them at JoAnn fabrics: https://www.joann.com/sharps-hand-needles-16-pkg/1044965.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=Cj0KCQjw-LOEBhDCARIsABrC0Tn30q06B4xZlsBqlbE9dBXwdq5KcK_vW8gGmnpz7lUudugtQnE_M4MaAl8kEALw_wcB

glindog 12:11 AM  

Dentist here, we consider anything that can cut you as “sharps” e.g. scalpels, instruments, and yes, needles. So it kind of sort of works as a noun.

Z 12:12 AM  
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Z 12:15 AM  

Yah. Tepid is about right.

It seems like a NEEDLE is a “sharp” in medical parlance. I guess a “sharp” can be other things besides NEEDLEs, but NEEDLEs are most definitely “sharps.” So I think Rex is off on that complaint.

ARTY FARTY seems more smelly than pretentious to me.

CARLS JR, OREO PIE, and LSD TABS. That’s quite the party starter kit.

Frantic Sloth 12:25 AM  

Oh, come on , Rex. How many times has the SPAN/BRIDGE relationship been so-clued in crosswords??

And I've seen medical waste receptacles that are for "Sharps", a.k.a. NEEDLES. Noun/NOUN. So your argument might have some merit, but it is not absolute. Other commenters back this up, too! 👍

travis 12:35 AM  

I thought GERMAN ARMY was either green paint or nazis. Either way isn't great.

Joe 12:51 AM  

OAR and ORE aren’t homonyms. They are homophones...

Joe Dipinto 12:55 AM  

"You must choose between Russian president Vladimir and crossword constructor Kevin G."
(alternate clue for 75d)

I pretty much agree with M-Sharp on this. The correct term is definitely ARTSY-FARTSY; I've used it for decades. NEEDLE is laughable . DIRTY TRICK and GERMAN ARMY have a randomness I don't like—What's so special about the German army? Why not Greek army or Guatemalan army? And "dirty trick" is just too generic. The other themers all represent much more unique, specific things.

Jeff Chen didn't know what a GARDEN APARTMENT is either. What planet do these people live on?

I'd link to Marvin Gaye but the publisher might sue me. Let's Get It On with this one instead.

Also: legendary alto saxophonist C Sharpe.

Anonymous 1:02 AM  

A span is an engineering term for a bridge: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Span_(engineering)

And as others have mentioned, in the medical world, syringes can be known colloquially as "needles" or "sharps": https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharps_waste

Ben 1:18 AM  

Referring to a needle as a "sharp" is absolutely a thing, at least in the plural. I've seen "sharps containers" in many a medical facility.

chefwen 3:24 AM  

Well, I for one SURE DID enjoy this puzzle. After I got COVERED BRIDGE early in the game I went ahead and filled in all the initials and had fun trying to figure out the second part of the long ones making the first part almost obvious. A different approach to puzzle solving, which was great fun for me.

Two thumbs up Mr Schoenholz.

jae 3:32 AM  

Easy. Pretty smooth for a Sun. and any puzzle that almost put in ARTsY FARTsY gets my vote. Liked it.

Anonymous 3:33 AM  

Nurse here. We use sharp as a noun routinely, consistent with earlier comments. A syringe on its own is NOT a sharp. And that should be enough jargon and esoterica... Yes, my horse just died.

Loren Muse Smith 4:11 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 4:17 AM  

Everyone - thanks for weighing in on NEEDLE’s being a synonym for sharp. I’m with @chefwen; I enjoyed this one, enjoyed teasing out all the themers. But when COMPASS NEEDLE fell, I had the same reaction as Rex: huh? This doesn’t really follow the pattern.

Two early mistakes mucked up my progress: “glo” for SPA and “give a lift” for GIVE A RIDE. I don’t really know exactly what dayglo is, but the phrase came to mind yesterday when I caught the Summer House reunion and marveled at everyone’s SPRAY tans. Made plans to buy me some forthwith. What is it about a tan that makes someone look rested and healthy?

Speaking of SPRAY and segueing into deodorant – back in the late ‘70s (?) when aerosols were banned, Mom got pump Arrid and pump Rave hairspray, and the bottles were similar. I stood there one morning and watched my sister spray a liberal amount of Arrid all over her coiffed hair, but my other sister was too scared of her nasty temper to intervene.

Loved the clues for SOW and DAD BODS.

Poll – whose DOUR rhymes with tour and whose DOUR rhymes with sour?

ARISEN feels weird as how you’d describe someone who’s out of bed. Someone who’s out of bed is up . Someone who’s ARISEN has come back from the dead. Maybe it’s just me and my Methodist upbringing. Connotations can be so powerful. A bakery has an aroma; a sour washcloth has a REEK. Tell someone Enjoy your day, they don’t really think about it, but tell them Enjoy your next 24 hours, and that’s all they think about.

I went “perjury” before PERFIDY. I agree it’s a great word, and I’m reminded of Benjamin Dryer’s inspired examples for how to show possession on the Jr. after a name (italics mine):

If you are a younger or more forward-thinking person, you may already render the names of photocopied offspring commalessly, thus:

Donald Trump Jr. In which case you’ve got it easy:

Donald Trump Jr. is a perfidious wretch.

and thus:

Donald Trump Jr.’s perfidy

Old-school construction, though, sets off a “Jr.” with commas, as in:

Donald Trump, Jr., is a perfidious wretch.

ZenMonkey 4:43 AM  

The randomness was my biggest concern. Why is the GERMAN ARMY of all armies invading my puzzle?

Also it’s too easy when I can get half the theme answers just from the clues.

I enjoyed “A load off one’s mine”.

Conrad 5:32 AM  


@LMS: I've never head DOUR pronounced to rhyme with tour. Wouldn't that make it more difficult to understand in conversation? I'm a "rhymes with sour," although I prefer to think of myself as a "rhymes with flower."

Anonymous 6:12 AM  

Rex is all wet. A needle is a sharp, as nurses know. A bridge is a span, used that way all the time. It's the very consistency in themers that I liked about the puzzle.

Liz1508 6:27 AM  

I didn’t like or dislike it. Lots of short words for a Sunday. I like a little more challenge.
I think he did the nouns just fine. And why not German army? It fit.
Love the song “Perfidious”! Learned the word from it.

Greg 6:43 AM  

Not to belabor the point, since others have already made it, but SHARP and SPAN are both commonly used as nouns. Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it unviable.

Colin 7:13 AM  

This one was OK. I thought the theme was a bit loosey-goosey. Most of the phrases are real phrases - the two words go together to conjure up a real thing - but GERMANARMY is just a stock military group from a stock country. I also didn't like NTWT for cereal box abbreviation - I just checked our cereal boxes and sure enough, "net wt" is written on them. Has anyone actually seen "NTWT"?

You want ARTYFARTY? Try this for art:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTtuUvEdxE8
Or even better, here's a hand-farting version of Bohemian Rhapsody:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOyEw9bT8yQ
(My brother and I used to be able to hand-fart pretty well as kids, but not like this!)

I know it's natural to criticize something unless it's really good. Despite a few shortcomings, thanks to Dan for an entertaining early Sunday morning!

Son Volt 7:13 AM  

Overall a decent puzzle. Theme is a little loose but fill was solid and smooth. GARDEN APARTMENT is a pretty common term here in NY - maybe dated slightly. Hand up for wondering why the GERMAN ARMY and another one to join @Frantic in knowing nothing about the 50 Shades books/films. I’m sure John X can riff on the GET IT ON atop SOW corner.

Civil engineer here who’s designed numerous bridges over the last 40 years or so - and although he doesn’t understand what he says Rex’s questioning is valid. Used as a noun - a span is technically a subset of a BRIDGE - it’s a loaded section between two supports and along with other components make up the BRIDGE as a whole. However - in the vernacular they are used interchangeably especially as verbs.

This was an enjoyable Sunday solve.

amyyanni 7:21 AM  

Perfidy makes me want to listen to Mel Torme. https://youtu.be/ZW4ADdZgNZ0

OffTheGrid 7:29 AM  

Best Sunday in a while. I really liked that it was straight forward and did not try to be over cutesy, as so often happens on Sunday (and Thursday). Understanding the theme fairly early helped with the solve. And some of the fill was crunchy enough to make it interesting. I always like to whine a little bit-don't care for DADBOD.

E. Rommel 7:39 AM  

German Army? You mean ze Wehrmacht!

Ahh, zose vere ze days, meine Freund.

Here iz lovely foto of meine self

Twangster 7:44 AM  

Ray Davies sings arty farty in the song Art School Babe so maybe it's a British thing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN1iH1-uENY

JD 7:49 AM  

What @Frantic, @Z, @Loren, and all the Sharp and Span people said. I have not much else to offer. Except this. If ever there was a word whose sound (phonaesthesia*) was so perfectly ill-suited to convey its meaning, it's Perfidy. See yourself, clenched fist raised to the sky croaking, "Oh the perfidy!" and it just seems hilarious.

Not a big Sunday fan, but for Perfidy's sake alone I'm thankful I did today's. I only wish Rex had gone on one of his repetitious rants about it so I could see it in print over and over again, typed in apparent fury.

* Perfidy made me wonder if there was a term describing the connection between a word's sound and its meaning and, shazam Gomer, this might be it. https://www.wordnik.com/words/phonaesthesia

@Frantic, The Rex-heckler L lives. I miss her.

Adam K 7:50 AM  

The missions S’s in “Artsy-Fartsy” just blew my day... back to bed for me.

bocamp 7:57 AM  

Thx @Dan, for a perfect Sun. puz; very much enjoyed the trip! :)

Easy+ solve. Pretty much in tune with this one.

Nothing in the NW, but ABBA and AWARD gave me a foothold, and it was fairly smooth sailing from there.

Designed many treasure hunts for my classes, requiring the used of COMPASSes.

One of my fave groups and songs: I Have a Dream ~ ABBA

PERFIDia - Glenn Miller

Grew up loving Glenn Miller music. Still listen to it softly playing in the background.

@albatross shell (12:03 AM) late yd

So, the premise is that a called 'infield fly', which falls untouched, could possibly result in an UNASSISTED tp, i.e., two additional putouts being credited to the same fielder before the ball is touched? I may have to get out my Jim Evans' 'Official Baseball Rules Annotated' tome. LOL [I apologize if I've misunderstood your poser]
___



yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

TTrimble 7:59 AM  

C'mon, Michael Sharp! I can't believe that you don't know that. You can bet your sweet bippy that if Trimble were a word, I'd know every conceivable part of speech it could be. :-)

(Uh, it's not a word, is it? Besides being a name?)

OTOH, I agree with him on ARTY FARTY. Say, maybe FARTY is a last name and the owner of that name, perhaps Art or ARTY as he is known to his friends, knows every conceivable part of speech for it and could tell me I'm wrong. Party hearty, ARTY FARTY.

How many of you REMEMBER the time that FART was one of the seven words banned from television use by the FCC? George Carlin noted that the word was so bad, not only couldn't you say it, but unlike "fucking", where you could say instead "making whoopee", you couldn't even refer to FARTing! (I have to admit, I'm still slightly taken aback how common FART is nowadays, to the point where a kindergarten teacher will use it in front of her charges and never bat an eye -- there's still something a little DIRTY about it to me. Not quite POTTY MOUTH, but something akin to it.)

I imagine that objectively this puzzle was easy, but having been burning the candle at both ends, my mind moved somewhat sluggishly through it. Still not a bad Sunday time for me, but I bet if I were, ahem, sharper, I could have halved that time.

TRISECT. You may have heard that it's impossible to trisect angles using ruler and compass (roughly, for the same reason that 3 cannot divide a power of 2). There's an amusing book by Underwood Dudley, A Budget of Trisections, where the author, a mathematician, goes into the phenomenon and sociology of cranks who spend their lives trying to upstage the mathematicians and show that what they think is impossible is in fact possible -- similar to how others try to show how Einstein is wrong. A lot of them are newly retired engineers who were good at math in school (but had no real formal training) and who now have a lot of time on their hands. Who may think they're smarter than most everyone else. Know anyone like that?

(Which reminds me -- I can't remember who it was in the commentariat who brought to attention the podcast series My Year in Mensa, but I wanted to thank him or her. Pretty fascinating, but also DISMAYing.)

Schuly 8:02 AM  

"De Communist Party cho dem too Arty Farty" - Linton Kwesi Johnson, Fight Dem Back.

D Peck 8:03 AM  

This puzzle was boring AF, but junkies and medical professionals both routinely refer to needles as sharps.

pmdm 8:11 AM  

So I liked this puzzle. Not 100%, but better than most. And I like that the stipend for the construction wound to in the College of Natural Resources (read the constructors comments posted at XWordInfo).

I am used to over the top rants from Mike Sharp, but I am not used to his including two very egregious errors in his write-up. As a former OSHA inspector, I (and many others commenting here) know that a synonym for a needle is a sharp. And if you search the internet definition sites you will easily learn that arty-farty is a valid (if oddly looking) term. So, MS, slow down and do more thorough research before you post errors worthy of ridicule. On the rare occasion you apologize for an error that creeps in to your write-up. Today should be such a day say I with no malice intended.

MarthaCatherine 8:15 AM  

Michael Sharp was NEEDLEd by a few too many clues for the wrong reasons.

H. Guderian 8:18 AM  

@ E. Rommel 7:39AM

Die Wehrmacht war sehr wunderbar. Ich vermisse meine Panzer.

Mein Selbstfoto ist besser

SouthsideJohnny 8:28 AM  

@Joe 12:51 AM Re your point that “ OAR and ORE aren’t homonyms.”

hom·o·nym
/ˈhäməˌnim,ˈhōməˌnim/
noun
each of two or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins.

It sure sounds like they have the same pronunciation but different meanings to me. Perhaps you would care to elaborate on the difference between a homonym and a homophone - if the difference is that subtle, it would be interesting to understand in greater detail.

Barbara S. 8:29 AM  

I enjoyed this and found it entertaining. The only problem I had was in the far SW. It all boiled down to not knowing CARL’S JR, a chain that’s not in my part of Canada. Also problematic were my insistence on “Day GLO”, my ignorance of the term BARS, and a lack of imagination as to what could follow OREO as a black and white dessert. This last was a groaner.

Lovely answers: PERGOLA, PERFIDY, MISRULE, SIREN SONG, DOGNAPPER, REMEMBERED.

Answer that made me sigh and shake my head: ARTYFARTY. I’d have the same reaction with or without the Ss. But, yeah, I know, there are lots of pretentious twits out there. I met some in my art history days. What ARTYFARTY actually reminds me of are the stories my husband tells of the misadventures he and his best friend ARTY (nickname: ARTYFARTY) used to have when they were about 5. One of the more vivid incidents took place in a year when there was a plague of caterpillars. The two boys collected a bunch of them in their little pails and then dumped the critters through the open window of the basement apartment of the building in which they lived. You might wonder if they hated the person who lived in that apartment, but no, they liked her a lot. And she liked them and sometimes babysat. In their 5-year-old minds they thought this was a hilarious joke and they were sure that the nice lady would find it hilarious, too. She didn’t. And they had to go in, round up all the caterpillars and promise never, ever to do it again.

Today’s passage is from JEROME K. JEROME, born May 2, 1859.

“He thought he would light the fire when he got inside, and make himself some breakfast, just to pass away the time; but he did not seem able to handle anything from a scuttleful of coals to a teaspoon without dropping it or falling over it, and making such a noise that he was in mortal fear that it would wake Mrs. G. up, and that she would think it was burglars and open the window and call “Police!” and then these two detectives would rush in and handcuff him, and march him off to the police-court. He was in a morbidly nervous state by this time, and he pictured the trial, and his trying to explain the circumstances to the jury, and nobody believing him, and his being sentenced to twenty years’ penal servitude, and his mother dying of a broken heart. So he gave up trying to get breakfast, and wrapped himself up in his overcoat and sat in the easy-chair till Mrs. G. came down at half-past seven.”
(From Three Men in a Boat)

Son Volt 8:33 AM  

@albatross shell (from yesterday) - you are technically correct that the UNASSISTED triple play could occur on an infield fly - but I just don’t see it happening in the MLB at least. If we start with a runner on 1B and 2B - the pop up would have to be pretty high to allow the trailing runner to pass the lead runner - and then hit the lead runner off the base. Players are taught to return to the base when you hear the infield fly call - so even if they’re running on the pitch they’ll at least stop when they hear the call. From a scoring standpoint - you are right the nearest fielder typically gets credit for the put out.

Ted 8:37 AM  

@Rex,

A span is a bridge. It is a very common noun to describe a bridge.

To glue is to bond things. It is a very common verb to describe bonding things.

You seem to focus on the other definition of a word, and ignore the one the author is clearly using in the clue.

David Eisner 8:42 AM  

I have friends and a close relative who are nurses, and I'm pretty sure they use "sharps" (though in the plural only) as a noun, too.

albatross shell 8:45 AM  

Rex getting NEEDLEd today. M-Sharp indeed. I thought he was wrong on span and right on NEEDLE. Now I think he was wrong NEEDLE too.

And that makes a trifecta because he was wrong on PERFIDY, which very much inplies betrayal and untrustworthiness. It is used that way in the Declaration of Independence.

The fill in the grid was not flashy, but not loaded with PPP or just obscure or weird stuff. A pleasant quick solve. Perhaps that
was because of the randomness of the first half of the theme answers. If so, let's have more random words in the answers. It was worth it.

And maybe wrong on ARTY FARTY too?

Arty farty had a party,
and all the farts were there,
tooty fruity did a beauty
and they all ran out for air

On the whole I always liked hoity toity.

Linda Mason 8:52 AM  

Reminded me of a poem from my youth: Arty Farty Had A Party
All The Kids Were There
Tootie Fruity Laid A Beauty
The Kids Went Out For Air

Tim Scott For President 2024 8:54 AM  

Loved this thanks Dan !

Z 9:09 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 9:11 AM  

@Southside - My guess is that @Joe was thinking homonyms are only homographs, rather than being the broader term for both homographs and homophones.

Are we done with sharp spans, yet? I’m guessing, “no.”

@albatross shell - I think Rex implied that he hadn’t known PERFIDY meant “betrayal” before now, but I don't think I knew it specifically meant betrayal. That’s different from his sharp span errors.

@TTrimble - Thanks for the Carlin. I was a little confused because “fart” isn’t one of the canonical “7-Words,” but I see he riffed on the original routine.

JackyMacky 9:17 AM  

@SouthsideJohnny
Key words in the definition you quote are “same spelling.”

John H 9:20 AM  

I really don't understand how Rex achieves these time unless he is a really good touch typist, which I am not. I have to look at the keyboard. I guess you take up a lot of time going back and forth between the keys and the puzzle. It would be nice to use dictation. Maybe Siri could enter a letter at a time for me.

But I agree, this was easy. Once I caught the gimmick it wasn't hard to guess some of the answers without crosses.

Rex got two things wrong: Bridge and span are absolutely interchangeable, both as nouns and verbs, as are sharp and needle, but only as nouns.

Barbara S. 9:24 AM  

@Bruce Fieggen (from yesterday)
Well, yes, my quotations do range far and wide. But I never post one without first commenting on the puzzle. (Thanks, @A, for noticing!) My assumption is that the quoted passages are easy to skip, and they normally stimulate modest discussion – maybe an additional comment or three.

I think it’s fair to say that we all post what interests us and hope it strikes a chord with others. Early on, I decided to keep track of reactions to the daily quotation in case the whole thing became controversial. To date, 52 individuals have commented favorably (on the blog and on email), either liking one or more individual passages or liking the phenomenon in general. The number of people who have cast doubt on whether it is appropriate is two, of which you’re the second. There may, of course, be people who don’t like the excerpts but have chosen not to communicate: this is something that’s impossible to know.

The quotations and the crossword share one explicit thing: the author's birthday and the puzzle's date of publication are the same. Pretty tenuous. But I see another shared attribute: the love of words. Puzzle constructors and writers must all share this passion, as do we, as solvers and readers. Words are not inert entities for us but creative building blocks, and much of our daily blog discussion centers around not just words themselves, but the delightfully various paths along which they lead us. The passages I quote are all part of the rich legacy of words.

All that being said, my quoting days may be numbered. I’ve been asked to do a contract and if I decide to do it, I’ll have to suspend all quoting activity. But that wouldn’t happen until mid-June, so for now, my inclination is to keep ‘em coming.

Thanks for speaking up. All opinions are welcome.

Bruce Fieggen 9:36 AM  

Nice easy puzzle for me. No complaints about SPAN or SHARPS as everyone above pointed out.
@Colin 7:13AM Thanks for the hand fart video. Funniest thing I’ve seen all year.
@Joe from yesterday. I’m not sure which to word I add the k for an anagram to an Australian rock star.

GHarris 9:39 AM  

Never met CARL SR and sure as hell don’t know his kid. Couple that with day glo and some putrefaction called an Oreo pie and I was done in the SW. Which was disappointing after successfully struggling out of my commitment to energy as the G force and recognizing reluctantly the German army, a body that hardly warrants the sad attempts at humor even after all these years.

Azzurro 9:42 AM  

I had CHEDDAR CHEESE for C-Sharp and think that’s a better answer.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

When I first moved to Brooklyn, I considered renting a GARDEN APARTMENT. I had never heard the term or seen one before. To me, this is one of those New York-centric clues which is fine—it is the NYT after all—but it strikes me as a tad bit unfair to the larger audience, particularly those who do not think NYC is the center of the universe. As for perfidy, from the OED:

1. Deceitfulness, untrustworthiness; breach of faith or of a promise; betrayal of trust; treachery.

Perfide is what Dido calls Aeneas a few times in Vergil.

RooMonster 9:48 AM  

Hey All !
FARTs and PERFIDY and DIRTY TRICKs, oh my!

Had a kick-myself one-letter DNF today. Messed up Ralph NADiR's name as such. Just as well, as he was a low point. STEELi sounded fine to me.

Speaking of sounding fine, @LMS, DOUR rhymes with sour. Never has it ever rhymed with tour. Or dough-er. 😁

Hopefully this doesn't start the famous kerfuffle we have here on this type clue, but... Surprised no one has yelled out 60A clue is wrong year. Before y'all start bitchin, it is correct. Award was won in 2013 For Films from 2012, ergo making it correct. (Again, hopefully didn't start something, trying to nip it in the bud.)

Anyway, thought the puz was nice. Simple premise, with all the themers working just fine for me. Some writeovers I can REMEMBER, myTHS-GOTHS, BEGet-BEGAt-BEGAN, Ole-ORO, DOwn-DOUR, TINct-TINGE, PREenED-PREPPED, _OdEO-ROLEO. May have been others.

Sort of a low block count, 70. And that's with 6 cheater squares. So an oppo-nit on that. (Dibs on coining "oppo-nit" as opposite a nit, which means something is good. 😁)

Anyone REMEMBER the social app ICQ? A victim of too-earliness. Out before all the "socials" became popular. It was a play on "I Seek You" - ICQ. Ah, the 90's. (Or was it the early Aughts?)

Three F's
RooMonster
DarrinV

Nancy 10:04 AM  

I always know when I've enjoyed a Sunday puzzle. I get the NYT Magazine on Saturday and occasionally I'll take a look at the Sunday puzzle on Saturday night with the idea of filling in a little bit of it and leaving the rest of it to be enjoyed on Sunday morning.

But when I can't stop until I've finished the entire puzzle ("I can't believe I ate the whole thing!!!", as they used to say in the Alka Seltzer ads) -- well that's a very enjoyable and compelling puzzle. This was great fun. Is it a great theme? Not especially, but it leaves plenty of room for creative thinking on the part of the solver. Which is what makes it fun.

Glad I put a circle around the 29D clue because I would have forgotten it by this morning. But I almost fell out of my chair when I saw it last night. The Gray Lady has really gone blue, hasn't she? I never thought I'd live to see the day. I bet just about all of you have mentioned it, and I'll go back and read you all now.

Teedmn 10:04 AM  

There are a lot of whys, I mean Y's, in this grid. ABILITY, POTTY, PERFIDY, EDIFY, DIRTY, OLAY, ARMY, ARTYFARTY, DISMAYS. Why did I notice this? Missing @Lewis, I guess.

The closest I've been to having anything to do with "Fifty Shades of Gray" is I once bought a friend a birthday card with a picture of a horse in bed blushing and fanning itself, reading "Fifty Shades of Hay". Somehow the idea of hay making someone hot and bothered tickles my fancy.

Some of today's theme answers were spot-on, like POTTY MOUTH, ELMER'S GLUE, and DIRTY TRICK whereas with COVERED BRIDGE, GARDEN APARTMENT and COMPASS NEEDLE, the first words of the phrase weren't needed except to provide the "initial". (Maybe POTTY MOUTH belongs in the latter group but it's funny so I give it a pass). Do I care a lot? Not really. I thought the solve was interesting and I got taken in by a couple of clever clues. I went the completely wrong direction for 3D's "Drives home". REMiniscED before REMEMBERED. "It's true" before SURE DID. But I wasn't misled by 101A's clue for EDITORS, so there!

I disagree with Rex's dismissal of SHARP as a noun and I found this using Google as "proof": "General sewing needles, often times called “sharps” are the go-to needle for basic mending tasks."

Does a PERGOLA need to have flowers? I thought it was a certain type of structure, not necessarily garlanded. Google bears me out (or else the word has been repurposed, like so many others these days.)

Thanks, Dan Schoenholz.

Anonymous 10:06 AM  

@Other cities don’t have garden apartments? Who knew ?

Michelle Turner 10:22 AM  

Love the daily quotes Barbara S. More please!

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

Beans, beans,
The musical fruit
The more you eat
The more you toot

The more you toot
The better you feel
So let's have beans
For every meal

Ian W 10:31 AM  

My only way of defending “needle” as a “sharp” is by pointing out that hospitals have to dispose of needles in sharps containers. So you could say that a needle is a “sharp,” and both are nouns. But my girlfriend doesn’t buy it.

Teedmn 10:39 AM  

Har, I guess I should have read a few of the comments before lending my wisdom on "sharps".

@Barbara S, I look forward to the daily quote. My vote is that you continue as long as you can/want to.

Nancy 10:43 AM  

When you're a Scotsman on the moor
And you feel sad, your face is DOUR.
But when your mood is sad and sour
And you're a Yank -- your face is DOUR.

Unknown 10:44 AM  

OK, what are you doing with COMPASS NEEDLE as [C-sharp?]? Because there's no way that NEEDLE = "sharp." Noun cannot clue adjective. Needles *are* sharp, yes, but you can't clue NEEDLE as "Sharp." That is a massive violation of crossword rules, where clue and answer have to be the same parts of speech. And *that* means that part of speech *never* mattered for this theme. That second word only has to be vaguely associated with its clue word. And *that* means that the theme is just ... really loose. Too loose to be very impressive. Also, totally arbitrary. You can do this forever, with a bunch of letter-hyphen-word things. I mean, [C-section?] could be, uh, CANTALOUPE SLICE? CENTERPIECE? CODPIECE? CONCERT PIECE? CHESS PIECE? [J-pop?] could be JOLT COLA ... [T-top?] could be TIN ROOF *or* TUXEDO SHIRT *or* god knows what else. A-team B-movie C-clamp D-list E-card F-Troop G-string etc.

Joe Dipinto 10:49 AM  

@Bruce Fieggen re yesterday: Vaccine. Not really a mainstream rock person, but has been around quite awhile.

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

If Hungry mother chimes in she’ll no doubt confirm the very common usage of span for bridge.
The quickest way to her Delaware beaches for the 35 million people in the megalopolis directly above her is to use the Delaware Memorial Bridge nicknamed the twin spans.
As for the needle business I could pile on, but what’s the point.

Albatross shell ,
No. The infield fly rule could not produce a triple play w/out a fielder touching the ball.
Where on Earth did you get such an idea?

Carola 10:52 AM  

An engaging theme + many an additional GEMSTONE of an entry, from PERGOLA to PERFIDY, with two parallel examples of the latter (sort of) in a DOGNAPPER and SIREN SONG. I also liked FEED LOT x CARLS JR, OREO PIE, and LSD TABS.

Do-overs: CRee x tOe ("Miss piggy"), SIREN call. Almost do-over for Cruella de Vil: from the DO, I counted spaces (disbelievingly) for DOminatrix.

Unknown 10:58 AM  

this was better than most sundays, and i found it to be an enjoyable solve overall. MY initial impression: rex, you're trying to hard to defend not liking this puzzle. and you're a little exhausting...

"You can do this forever, with a bunch of letter-hyphen-word things. I mean, [C-section?] could be, uh, CANTALOUPE SLICE? CENTERPIECE? CODPIECE? CONCERT PIECE? CHESS PIECE? [J-pop?] could be JOLT COLA ... [T-top?] could be TIN ROOF *or* TUXEDO SHIRT *or* god knows what else. A-team B-movie C-clamp D-list E-card F-Troop G-string etc."

enough already. we're not curing cancer here.

bocamp 11:00 AM  

As I look out over my balcony, many of the ground floor suites have flowering (now in bloom) PERGOLAs, altho more alongthese lines; not so much arches. The condo itself could loosely be described as a GARDEN-style APARTMENT as it is bordered by lawns, shrubs and trees.

@Barbara S. 8:29 AM

Thx for the Jerome quote; read the book years ago. May be due for a reread. [I see that the audiobook is available at my library]
____



Yesterday's UNASSISTED triple play Alert

@Son Volt 8:33 AM 👍

I think your scenario could work: crediting outs.

"When an out is recorded without a fielder's direct involvement, such as where a runner is hit by a batted ball, the fielder nearest to the action is usually credited with the putout." (Wikipedia)

Another possibility might be that, rather than being hit by the ball, the lead runner could – after being passed by the trailing runner – interfere with the fielder attempting to make the catch. The ball would definitely need to be SKYed (and then some) to make this work, LOL. There is definitely a lot of confusion around the 'infield fly' rule, so you never know what the runners might do, especially at lower levels of ball. I do, however, agree with you and @albatross shell that this is a highly unlikely event. It's a fun poser tho. 🤔
___



td npg -4

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Frantic Sloth 11:06 AM  

@Loren 417am I was a sour dour until a teacher pointed out the "error" of my ways. Tried tour dour, didn't like the sound of it, and now I avoid it altogether. With you on ARISEN vs. up because me talk pretty. One day, everyone else will, too. 😉

@JD 749am I thought the same thing about PERFIDY, but couldn't imagine how to express its "cuteness". Now I can't stop seeing/hearing that feeble screech. 🤣

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you
@albie 845am and @Linda Mason 852am, separated at birth! 😉

@Z 911am No, we are not. Do you need a sharp kick in the spans to calm your crank? Don't make me come down there.

@Barbara S 924am You are such a class act. Well said - brava! Count me among the quote enthusiasts. I'll be sad if you are unable to continue. 😕

@Roo 948am A friend of mine got me into ICQ at the time so we could chatter like jay birds. Thanks for the memory! Question: has "nipping something in the bud" ever worked in here? 🤣

SweetCaroline 11:11 AM  

German army uniform are greenish.

johnk 11:12 AM  

My final fill was REEK. The puzzle didn't exactly REEK, but OTOH it SURE DID have a SCENT.

SweetCaroline 11:12 AM  

German army uniforms are greenish.

Tim Carey 11:22 AM  

Sharps is a medical term for devices with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut skin.

See: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/consumer-products/safely-using-sharps-needles-and-syringes-home-work-and-travel

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

I enjoyed this one ... but miss the days when a Sunday themer was filled with answers that made you laugh instead of just saying “OK, that fits the theme.”

Newboy 11:29 AM  

@Barbara S yes please for more quotes😊

As to puzzle? Too three to me.

Nancy 11:38 AM  

@Barbara S -- Keep 'em coming. The quotes add richness to the blog. It'll be a shame if you have to stop. But, if there's to be a "contract" in your near future, for heaven's sake let us know what it is. You're writing a book? A screenplay?

Re GARDEN APARTMENT: Don't let it fool you. It's not always as posh as it sounds. The smallest apartment I ever saw in my life, bar none, was the GARDEN APARTMENT of a tennis friend who lived only a block and a half from me. Her garden was lovely; the apartment was the size of a postage stamp. If she and I had been living in SoCal or Florida or St. Thomas, her apartment would have been enviable. In NYC -- how many months a year can you sit outside in your garden? You couldn't have given that apartment away to me.

KRMunson 11:41 AM  

Onomatopoeia

Master Melvin 11:53 AM  

We had a kid in school named Arthur, whom everybody referred to as FARTY ARTY.

egsforbreakfast 11:58 AM  

@ Nancy . If you just about fell out of your chair at the thought of The Old Gray Lady allowing ARTYFARTY, imagine my reaction on having only A __ __ when I first saw the clue “Escort’s offering” for 82 A. I’ll let you figure out my first thought ......

Julie 12:14 PM  

Mein Freund, not meine freund

Z 12:15 PM  

@Barbara S and others - I’ll preface this by reminding people that I’m still upset that somebody complained to Rex about the original PPP, @Lewis’ Post Puzzle Puzzlers and @Lewis stopped sharing them, so this whole topic makes me a little testy. The issue comes up periodically and the solution to somebody posting something you don’t like is to skip that person’s posts. Nothing here is required reading. If Rex and his moderators say it’s okay, it’s okay. It’s pretty clear to me that as long as it doesn’t turn nasty and is at least tangentially puzzle or blog related the Mods are okay with it. If the mods are okay with something and I’m not I just live with it. I also think the regulars here are sensitive to alerting people. So, rather than bitch here about what somebody posts that you don’t like or you don’t find interesting, learn to go to the next comment. It isn’t hard to do.

Julie 12:17 PM  

Meinen Panzer, not meine Panzer

Z 12:21 PM  

I just realized that my post looks like I’m testy with @Barbara S. Quite the opposite is true. I enjoy the quotes and it is a little puzzling to me that people who like word puzzles wouldn’t appreciate the quotes, but de gustibus and all that.

Irishmaineiac 12:22 PM  

Tripped up by arisen and bed. Not a fan of this one.

Michael Page 12:28 PM  

The definition cited by SouthsideJohnny is incorrect, or at least incomplete:

Homonym = same spelling but different pronunciation or origin: lead/lead (pronunciation) or mood/mood (mood for feeling is from Dutch, but mood as a characteristic of a verb is from Latin).

Homophone = sounds the same, but different spelling (rain/reign/rein, pair/pare/pear)

Homograph = spelled the same, but different meaning, whether pronounced the same or not (fair (same pronunciation) or lead (different pronunciation).

So lead is both a homonym and a homograph. Yes, oar and ore are homophones, not homonyms.

Credit to Bryan Garner’s Modern English Usage, an absolutely essential reference work for anyone who writes (or speaks, for that matter).

fiddleneck 12:30 PM  

@ Barbara S. Do your quotations so long as you like. I think you are a well read woman. My question is what does “do a contract” mean?

EdFromHackensack 12:39 PM  

Very surprised the NYTs allowed ARTYFARTY. I hesitated a long time before entering that.

RooMonster 12:40 PM  

@Anon 10:51
Just wanted to point out that @Hungry Mother is neither a Mother, nor (at least I hope) hungry. In fact, @HM is not a female at all. (Apologies @HM, if I stepped over/on decorum toward you, or if you wanted to correct Anon yourself, or [nowadays] you actually identify as a woman!)

Anyway, maybe I should just shut-up.

RooMonster Big Mouth Guy

Nancy 12:50 PM  

If you want a real chllng, do the vwllss puzzle in today's mag. And afterwards, you can read my comment about it on the Wordplay Blog -- they have a separate link devoted to that Variety puzzle.

Julie 12:51 PM  

@Barbara- thank you for the quote! Three men in a boat is one of my faves, and always reminds me of our multiple, always rainy, canoe trips with our three sons. Thanks for the memory!

Bruce Fieggen 12:52 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stayhat 12:55 PM  

I am a nurse. In my mind the words sharp and needle are interchangeable. If a co-worker says, “I have the sharps.” This means “I picked up all of the needles we used and you are not at risk of sticking yourself.” We then throw them in the sharps container.

Teedmn 12:55 PM  

So per @Nancy's clever poem:

A sad Scottish go-getter is a dour doer

A harsh spousal inheritance is a dour dower.

Bruce Fieggen 12:56 PM  

@Joe 10:49. Although I lived in the same Australian state as Nick Cave for 19 years, I’ve never heard of him. But my music tastes didn’t venture as far as his. I was listening to Split Enz and Bryan Ferry in those days.

Barbara S. 12:57 PM  

@fiddleneck (12:30 PM)
Oh my glory, words are so important. Isn't that what I've just been saying? And here I've gone and outed myself on no less a forum than Rex Parker's Blog as an...ASSASSIN! No, erm, I take it all back -- not a contract, a ... um ... project! That's it: a nice, safe, benign project! (Hmm, now why has my potential employer stopped taking my calls?)

Masked and Anonymous 1:01 PM  

Didn't blink a masked eye at the {C-Span?} = COVEREDBRIDGE themer. Did wonder about the {C-sharp?} = COMPASSNEEDLE one, but hey -- learned somethin, there. Sure enjoyed all of @RP's "M-Sharp" rantin, tho.

Also not real familiar with that there ARTY-FARTY variant, but always value learnin new fart-words.

Not a real humorous SunPuz theme -- which M&A personally prefers -- but a cool mcguffin idea, none-the-less. Shoot, it would even make a solid runtpuz theme mcguffin, in reverse. [ {Xanadu illumination?} = XRAY, etc.]

some of the other positive pluses: GETITON. SUREDID. FEEDLOT. SCISSOR. CARLSJR. GIVESARIDE. OREOPIE. BRADPITT [ {B-Mine??} ? -- yeah, didn't think so.]

staff weeject pick: ARR. Better clue: {Pirate form of "ahh!"??}.

Thanx for all yer hard, puzzy-fuzzy work, Mr. Schoenholz dude. OREOPIE … yuuum.

Masked & Anonymo9Us


**gruntz**

JC66 1:04 PM  

@Barbara S

Keep the quotes coming. Great endings to terrific posts.

Carola 1:05 PM  

Barbara S. 8:29 - I appreciate the quotes you choose for us. Today's struck a particular chord, as I've gotten myself all worked up over a potential unpleasant procedure looming ahead of me, so "mortal fear" and "a morbidly nervous state" perfectly capture my envisioning of a cascade of ever more dire turns for the worse. In short, the quote made me laugh at myself. (BTW, going back to the Jane Austin discussion a few days ago, that's one of the things I like best about reading her, i.e., being able to see and laugh at myself in the characters she gently skewers.)

Francis 1:08 PM  

Sharp and span were immediately clear to me as nouns. This was a nice easy puzzle for me (I set a record and got no help, very rare for a Sunday).

Rex I read you almost every day. I normally enjoy your columns and agree with many of your points, and I oh so love it when you like something, but I think this time you have gone too far. Your postscript was not satisfying or fully accurate.

I know (and appreciate) that you have done this nearly every day for many years, and maybe it's really tiring. For this column, I respectfully wish you had done a little more research when writing, or at least properly acknowledged your errors.

The Bard 1:15 PM  

The Tempest, Act I, scene II

PROSPERO: My brother and thy uncle, call'd Antonio--
I pray thee, mark me--that a brother should
Be so perfidious!--he whom next thyself
Of all the world I loved and to him put
The manage of my state; as at that time
Through all the signories it was the first
And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed
In dignity, and for the liberal arts
Without a parallel; those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother
And to my state grew stranger, being transported
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle--
Dost thou attend me?

The Tempest, Act II, scene II

TRINCULO: By this light, a most perfidious and drunken
monster! when 's god's asleep, he'll rob his bottle.

TTrimble 1:16 PM  

@Southside
There's homophone, homograph, and homonym. Let's break this down. A little knowledge of this sort of thing (Greek and Latin stems) can be very useful, and just a little goes a long way.

The Greek prefix homo- means "same". Homogeneous, homosexual. (Careful, though: "homo" in Latin means "man", as in "homo sapiens". Cf. French "homme", Spanish "hombre", in English there is "human".)

The Greek stem -phone means "sound" or "voice". Phonics, telephone, megaphone, and you can think of more.

So "homophone", homo+phone, means "same sound": two words pronounced the same way. OAR and ORE are homophones.

The Greek stem -graph often refers to writing (and there's the related -gram which is the thing written). Graphite (as in a pencil), orthography (correct writing as in spelling and punctuation), calligraphy (literally, beautiful writing; cf. "calisthenics" which suggests beautiful or artful strength(-building)), and telegraph. And pornography, literally, "writing of prostitutes".

So "homograph", homo+graph, refers to two words which are written the same way, but they need not be pronounced the same way (and don't have the same meaning). "Bow" as in "take a bow" and "bow" as in "archer's bow" or "bow ribbon" are homographs. Another

The Greek stem -nym means "name" or "word". There's "anonymous" (unnamed), "pseudonymous" (falsely named), "mononym" (one name, like Cher or Halston). There's also "eponymous", and you can think of more.

So "homonym" may be translated as "same name". The intended meaning is "same spelling and same pronunciation" (but with different meanings). Thus "bark" as the outer layer of a tree is a homonym of "bark" as in the sound a dog makes. Or "bear" the animal versus "bear" the verb meaning "endure".

The meanings of "homograph" and "homophone" are distinct, more or less along the lines of sight versus sound. "Homonym" could be considered the Venn diagram intersection of the two.

Bruce Fieggen 1:16 PM  

@Barbara 9:24AM. Thanks for explaining the connection Barbara.
Now how do I get rid of my errant comment at 12:52? I’ve others delete their own comments.

A Moderator 1:24 PM  

@Bruce F

I did it for you.

SouthsideJohnny 1:27 PM  

@Michael 12:28 PM - thanks for the clarification. According to the definitions you provided it’s more straightforward, since you seem to require that Homonyms have the same spelling, while my definition would seem to welcome either same spelling or pronunciation to the party.

I like your definition better, since it’s more straightforward (and if there are going to be separate terms for them - it seems like the different words should have different meanings - which has the added benefit of obviating the necessity of having a separate discussion around synonyms and the like, lol).

GILL I. 1:28 PM  

Well, I rather enjoyed this little SIREN SONG. It felt like the ELMERS GLUE of DAD BODS galore. Hey lookie...there's REEK sitting on top of SCENT. My ARTY FARTY runneth over.
Please, someone, tell me how a BABOON is a troop? 20A? Hey look at that baboon in the GERMAN ARMY?
@Barbara S....PLEASE...keep up your wonderful quoted passages. @Bruce is just a grumpy so and so.
The POOF is in the pudding.

Anonymous 1:34 PM  

Rex,
You are arrogance is exceeded only by your petulance. That PS of yours is jaw-droppingingly dumbfounding.

Sticky’s Little Brother 1:35 PM  

Rex is correct vis a vis Arty Farty /Artsy Fartsy. I’m aware of the scatalogical poem but the clue is “Aesthetically Pretentious, Informally.” There is no indication that Arty Farty is a fop.

Michael Page 1:37 PM  

TTrimble: great explanation, the Venn diagram image really makes it clearer.

JC66 1:42 PM  

@Bruce Fieggen

You can delete a comment you've made by clicking on the Trash Can icon located next to the time directly under the comment.

Jon in St Paul 1:44 PM  

Huh. Rex is wrong about both sharps and spans, which are absolutely noun equivalents of needles and bridges. I otherwise agree about the meh-ness of the puzzle. I kept filling in answers without much trouble until the puzzle was solved. That's about it.

Joe Dipinto 1:45 PM  

@Bruce F 12:56 – well I'm mostly just aware of Nick Cave by name. I'm not really up on his oeuvre either.

Jon in St Paul 1:46 PM  

Agree.

pabloinnh 1:47 PM  

The advantage of doing stuff all morning and then the puzzle and then reading the comments is the reinforcement of learning, through repetition, that can occur. Today's example par excellence is NEEDLE=sharp. There's one I won't forget soon.

I liked this puzzle fine, as it played easy and smooth and had some fun stuff. Also it started right out with COVEREDBRIDGE, and I'm about ten miles north of the longest wooden covered bridge in the US, which is also the longest two-SPAN COVEREDBRIDGE in the world. It is still in use but like several of the local covered bridges, sustains damage from truck drivers who are unable to read the warnings about height restrictions.

Other than that, ARTYFARTY has lost its S's, and there's nary a CARLSJR or GARDENAPARTMENT anywhere near here, as far as I know.

Hand up for DOUR=sour and continued quotes from Barbara S.

Thanks for a nice Sundecito, DS. Don't Stop making puzzles any time soon.

A 1:57 PM  

Ok, I definitely should’ve solved this with a mint julep, or while listening to horn quartets. So little sparkle. I did make a NOTE of some pluses, like LEG UP, after hearing it when the jockeys were called to “Mount up” yesterday. There’s a GEMSTONE for MOTHERS Day. SB pals EDIFY and PERFIDY. GARDEN APARTMENT and NARNIA make me think of Mr. Tumnus.

Rex’s criticism of NEEDLE seemed picky. While I agree that using “sharp” as a noun is not readily known to us non-medical types, the clue was close enough for a crossword puzzle, especially an unambitious one.

Yep, I SURE DID say that.

**Alert! Grousing Zone Ahead**

I thought Rex was far too easy on the fill and the cluing. One AMA ARI ICU OWE ORO OAR ORE ERA ARR TERR ELEC NTWT after another (really, ROLEO?), with only the occasional EPICURE under a PERGOLA to spice things up. Other than the themers, there were only 4 longish entries (10 letters each). Two were boring phrases dully clued (and GIVES A RIDE piggybacked on yesterday’s NEED A RIDE). I REMEMBERED when singers didn’t use AUTOTUNERS. Vile things. Now there’s a breach of trust.

Thankfully, I’ve never heard anyone say ARTY-FARTY. Sadly, I have heard artsy-fartsy, too often from someone revealing their own ignorance, or worse, trying to make ignorance a virtue.

**End of Grouse Zone**

What TEMPO should I PLAY my NOTES in those BARS on the STAVEs?

Hey, reversing DOWN PAT makes PAT DOWN, which is neither here nor there. Just trying to make my own fun here.

Happy Birthday Alessandro Scarlatti! This short and sweet example is possibly artsy, but not fartsy.

Nice idea, Mr. Schoenholz (love that name); wish Mr. Shortz had spiced up the cluing.

SouthsideJohnny 1:59 PM  

Agree, @TT nailed it - one is same spelling, one is same pronunciation, and Homonym is basically both, thus the intersection in the referenced Venn diagram. Thanks to you both.

albatross shell 2:28 PM  

Yes unlikely and near impossible if everyone is competent and aware. But it's baseball where crazy stuff happens.
@Volt had the basics. Runners on first and second. No outs. Runner on first misreads the signs. He believes there is a take sign on with a double steal. As unlikely as this play is one could make up some reasonable reasons for it. The runner on first takes off for second. He hears the unexpected crack of the bat, but doesn't pick up a view of the ball and keeps running. Looks ahead and sees the runner ahead of him has never attempted a steal and is walking back to the bag. Just then he realizes the ump has called infield fly. Too late to slide now he trips on the bag and somersaults by his teammate. He is called out for passing a runner. The original runner on second has lost sight of the ball in the confusion, he looks at the seconbaseman who is having problems for the same reasons. The ball lands on the edge of the base causing it to bounce sideways and hits the runner's foot just as it is about to reach the bag. The second baseman is closest to the ball, the passing baserunner, and the hit-by-a-batted-ball baserunner. Tripleplay, unassisted and without touching a ball or baserunner.
Also note that the ball is dead after it hits a baserunner and after interference by a runner. That means neither of these types of outs could be used for the first or second out and only one could be used at all.

Ellen S 2:43 PM  

@Barbara S., these days I usually don’t finish the puzzle until the next one or the one after has been posted, and in that case I skip @Rex and Xwordinfo, as well as the comments. So maybe I only get a partial vote, but FWIW please keep up the quotes. I liked today’s. I once tried to read Three Men in a Boat and by about 20 pages in I began wishing they would all drown, don’t make me read another page just so I could say I read it. That is to say, a tiny quote at a time is quite amusing, but put altogether into a book, and, how can I put it? kind of reminds me of “Seinfeld.”

Everyone else: I’ve heard “dour” pronounced both ways, but not sure I’ve ever heard it at all in ordinary conversation, so I I just avoid saying it. My father once told me Joseph Wood Krutch didn’t pronounce his last name like those things people use to keep weight off a foot or feet after surgery. But he didn’t say what was correct, and I can’t find any online help for this question; now he’s dead, so I just avoid having anything to say about JWK.

albatross shell 2:58 PM  

ICQ. Something a lot of people have been trying to do for a couple of years. Perhaps this was Q's premier appearance on the internet. Who was in charge of ICQ? Maybe no longer anon.

@Z
His correction of himself was correct. Can't ask more than that of a blogger. He loved the word just did know what it meant. Happens to me all the time. You know, meanings.

Also, Arty Farty could easily be adapted to mean what artsy fartsy means, and I would bet that it has, but its more a play on a name in school yards. I just know my shit don't smell. Or I smell like my shit. One or the other. But then don't we all.

Anonymous 2:59 PM  

Did anyone (OFL included) bother to look in the dictionary before arguing? I know it's not the end-all be-all of language, but if something's there, you can be pretty sure that it's in comparatively broad use:

Sharp, definitions c and e under "nouns"

Span, definition 2b under "nouns"

On the other hand:
Artsy-fartsy vs. Arty-farty

Still, I've never been to NYC, maybe that's just how people say it there ;]

Sharply 3:00 PM  

I must be the only person who still sews buttons on clothing, or mends small tears! I have two packs of sewing needles (fine and sturdier) and guess what? The packs say...SHARPS. They do NOT Say “sewing needles.” Granted I tend to buy my “notions” at fabric stores but I do not just associate the term “sharps” with medical products.
Count me in with @Frantic with the “c’mon Rex” comments with respect to bridge/span also. Yes, I found this puzzle ver easy and enjoyable. My hang ups were plopping in “Hardee’s” before CARLSJR (we don’t have them in my portion of flyover country) and UNload before UNPACK.

LorrieJJ 3:05 PM  

For Loren Muse Smith ... most non-American English speakers rhyme dour with tour. I'm Canadian and have never heard it rhymed with sour. There are a lot of words you pronounce uniquely. Every time I hear zee instead of zed for the last letter of the alphabet, I know it's an American talking.

jae 3:06 PM  

@Barbara - I too vote for the quotes.

@bocamp - I just finished Croce’s Freestyle # 607 which I found mostly doable. The Eastern seaboard is the toughest section and is where I missed it by one square. Hope you have better luck!

Barry 3:13 PM  

And NTWT you let slide?

Joe Dipinto 3:17 PM  

Remember the "Sharp In A Haystack" puzzle of two Sundays ago? Or did it not stick in your memory?

I also wanted to point out Will Shortz's blatant spoiler in his little note about the constructor: "The idea for this puzzle occurred to him one day when he was running on a trail that crossed a creek, and he thought of the clue and answer at 23-Across."

Well the clue is merely C-Span?, which, if you haven't read WS's note and are starting in that area and have no crosses in place, doesn't reveal much if anything about the theme. But I had some letters toward the end in place, and quickly realized, thanks to WS's note, that it was going to end with BRIDGE, and then immediately thought, oh I bet it's going to be COVERED BRIDGE. And bingo, it was. Theme unearthed roughly two seconds into the solve. Why? Why are you putting spoilers in your damn note, WS?

I wish I could do last week's Acrostic again. That was the Best.Solve.Ever.

JC66 3:34 PM  

@Joe D

Simple solution: don't read the note before solving.

Also, I think you'll enjoy today's Vowelless.

bocamp 3:49 PM  

@TTrimble (1:16 PM)

Excellent synopsis of 'homophone, homograph, and homonym.' Thx! :)

@albatross shell (2:28 PM)

Well crafted UNASSISTED triple play scenario. Congrats to you, your bro and @Son Volt (8:33 AM). And, thx for the prompt to do some baseball sitch/rules thinking. These are like puzzles to me. ⚾️

@jae (3:06 PM)

Thx! Got some time today to tackle it. :)

@Joe Dipinto (3:17 PM)

Agreed re: last week's acrostic, altho it was probably the toughest one yet for me. Love the concept. Thinking about reading the book.

@JC66 (3:34 PM)

Ok, now you've got me curious about this 'vowelless' puz. 🤔
___


0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Frantic Sloth 4:07 PM  

LOL! Rex doubling down in his postscript. Apparently his familial sphere of influence has it over, oh I don't know, everyone else on the planet regarding SHARPS as needles. And I don't know how anyone can do so many crosswords and not notice the bridge/span clueing pair, be they the nouns or the verbs. That's his hill, I guess. 🤣

Joe Dipinto 4:08 PM  

@JC66 – I don't care one way or the other about the note; the point is, I can't fathom WHY he does it. WHY are you sabotaging your own puzzles? You already gave the puzzle a title that theoretically contains a hint, now just shut up and let people solve it.

I started the Vowelless, but I got kind of bored. I'll probably finish it later. I don't really see the point of them, actually. So you end up with a grid full of consonants...okay. I guess they're difficult to construct.

CDilly52 4:16 PM  

Well, poor @Rex needs to get out more. Anyone who has sewn would recognize that sewing needles are frequently labeled as “sharps” to distinguish them from others that are not as sharp and are used for other purposes such as lacing. The snarky PS simply demonstrates his occasional penchant for criticizing without merit based upon his lack of knowledge.

Loved seeing PERFIDY. Such a good word! My usual NIT picking with initial clues was calmed by the heightened cleverness of the word following the hyphen - gave a deeper clue as well as something to figure out.

I found the puzzle overall fairly easy for Sunday except for the NE corner. Had the whole thing done hours ago but could not get RANSACK or GET IT ON, which made me doubt some of my down guesses in that little section.

So, as is my custom when stuck on Su day, I go about my Sunday chores, cogitating on the clues that were causing the difficulty and eventually I reach the Eureka! moment. Which just happened about an hour ago while I was folding laundry.

Sheesh! Overall enjoyed the solve and the puzzle, though.

Anonymous 4:16 PM  

As I write there are 126 comments. There would only be 32 if we removed the redundancies regarding SPAN, NEEDLES, DOUR, the triple play, and Homo nyms, phones, & graphs. OTOH, the ARTYFARTY/ARTsYFARTsY back and forth is a classic in the making.

albatross shell 4:18 PM  

Here is an exert from the Phrase Dictioary or Finder.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Arty-farty'?
This UK term refers to the sort of artistic work or interest that the Bonzo Dog Band's Vivian Stanshall called "Art with a capital F". It began to be used in the 1960s, whilst the variant preferred in the USA, 'artsy-fartsy', is recorded from the early 1970s.

The use of the vulgar 'farty' as the reduplicated variant of 'arty' works well in puncturing the pomposity of the affectedly artistic types who are mocked by this term.

Also came across one dictionary (Collins?) that just listed s-less one as a variant.
BONZODOG clued as B-bitch.

ARTSY is American and improved.?.
ARTY is British and original.
I knew ARTYFARTY had to be the star of the day.
Then everyone was snitching.
BONZO connected and ofiginal.

Z 4:25 PM  

Homonym, homophone, or homographs? Here you go:

Definition of homonym
1a grammar : HOMOPHONE
the homonyms there and their
b grammar : HOMOGRAPH
The words lead, as in the metal, and lead, as in the verb, are homonyms.
c grammar : one of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning (such as the noun quail and the verb quail
-Merriam Webster

hom·o·nym (hŏmə-nĭm′, hōmə-) n.
1. One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning, such as bank (embankment) and bank (place where money is kept).
-American Heritage (emphasis added)

homonym
in American English
(ˈhɑməˌnɪm )
NOUN
1. a word with the same pronunciation as another but with a different meaning, origin, and, usually, spelling (Ex.: bore and boar); homophone
2. Loosely
a homograph
-Collins

homonym
Pronunciation /ˈhäməˌnim/ /ˈhɑməˌnɪm/ /ˈhōməˌnim/ /ˈhoʊməˌnɪm/

NOUN

1Each of two or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins.
For example, pole and pole
Compare with homograph, homophone
-Lexicos (powered by Oxford)

homonym (n.)
"word pronounced and perhaps spelled the same as another but different in meaning," 1807, from French homonyme and directly from Latin homonymum (Quintilian), from Greek homonymon, neuter of homonymos, from homos "same" (see homo- (1)) + onyma, dialectal form of onoma "name" (from PIE root *no-men- "name"). Related: Homonymic.
-Online Etymology Dictionary (emphasis added)

Homonym
A homonym is one of a pair of words that are spelled the same way but have different meanings and origins. A homonym may also be one of a pair of words that are pronounced the same way but have different meanings and origins.
-Grammarist

And, of course, Wikipedia:

In linguistics, homonyms, broadly defined, are words which are homographs (words that share the same spelling, regardless of pronunciation) or homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of spelling), or both. For example, according to this definition, the words row (propel with oars), row (argument) and row (a linear arrangement) are homonyms, as are the words see (vision) and sea (body of water).

A more restrictive or technical definition sees homonyms as words that are simultaneously homographs and homophones – that is to say they have identical spelling and pronunciation, whilst maintaining different meanings.

Anonymous 4:26 PM  

Albatross,
Nope. In your fantasy you’ve obvIated a Necessary condition for the umps to call an infield fly. It has to be a routine play. That’s black letter, it’s written in the rule. You concede your bizarre scenario is confusing. Hence the fundamental principal 7nder
Inning the rule has not been met.
Your scenario is imaginative. But it is impossible. I

JC66 4:27 PM  

@bocamp

You can access the Vowelless puzzle here. Just scroll down; it's the first of the Variety puzzles.

@Joe D

I get your point. I was just trying to save you some aggravation.

re: the Vowelless, I find the word recognition fun.

burtonkd 4:32 PM  

The word REEK is now triggering thanks to GOT. Old Testament lesson about a Eunoch this morning making an unfortunate personal mini-theme.

Traffic reports love to say "backup on the SPAN".

Unsurprisingly, the Italian perfido shows up 7 times in Don Giovanni.

Side-eye to AUTOTUNERS being referred to as devices since they are usually software. How about "former Disney Channel actresses who decided to launch singing careers"?

Anonymous 4:33 PM  

Way TMI

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

Actually, the phrase baseball uses is “ordinary effort”. But setting aside that hair splitting, the reason d’traire for the infield fly rule is to prevent a bogus triple play.
THe albatross has this so effed up he’s missed the entire point of the rule. Not just the mechanics, but it’s spirit. And provenance.
—-B Froemming

Barbara S. 5:26 PM  

Thanks to everyone who expressed support for the quotations today.

@Bruce Fieggen (1:16 PM)
Glad you responded.

@Z (12:21 PM)
Testiness never entered my mind!

@Nancy (10:43)
Loved the poem. My "dour" rhymes with tour. Must be the Scots roots. And by the by, it annoys me no end that the Spelling Bee won't accept DOUR (pronounced either way).

@Nancy (11:38)
Nothing as creative as a novel or screenplay, just dry academic stuff.

bocamp 5:33 PM  

@JC66 (4:27 PM)

Got it teed up; looks rather daunting. Loving a new adventure. May be calling on you for advice/tips, etc. :)
___



UNASSISTED t.p. Alert

@Anonymous (4:26 PM)

I respectfully disagree; the infield fly rule basically states that the ball must be judged to be such that an infielder can handle it with ordinary effort. The umps are watching the ball, not the runners (unless a runner obviously interferes with the fielder who will be making the play). The fact that R1 may be attempting to steal 2nd has no bearing on the call of I.F.. The umps would have no way of predicting such a scenario as described by @albatross shell or @Son Volt. So, the 'infield fly' rule is invoked and then the chaos begins. (the I.F. rule is in 'Definition of Terms' pp 149-150)

As for umpire mechanics and responsibilities, an I.F. is pointed out (with arm extended upward at the ball) by all the base umps, then it's the plate ump's responsibility to verbally call it at its apex.
___



Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Joe in Newfoundland 5:50 PM  

every mall and airport washroom I've ever been in has a yellow box for 'sharps'.

JC66 6:08 PM  

@bocamp

The best advise I can give you is to pay close attention to the number of letters in each word of the answer.

Geoff H 6:29 PM  

I have no idea how one gets LESSONS from the clue "Class acts?", I feel like I'm missing something obvious.

KnittyContessa 6:37 PM  

@egsforbreakfast That's the most I've laughed in days!

thefogman 6:47 PM  

Rex is right. This one is flawed. Bad. Bad. (not good).

bocamp 7:10 PM  

@JC66 6:08 PM 👍

@Geoff H 6:29 PM

Yeah, that didn't quite ring right in my ears either. I just put in LESSON (probably had one or more crossing letters) and forgot to come back to it post-solve to reason it out. Thinking about it now, I still can't quite make it right. Maybe just think of it as the 'act' of a teacher presenting a lesson in class. I do know that some teachers actually do 'act' out lessons on occasion, even including period dressing and props. Bottom line: your guess is as good as mine. Maybe some of the teachers/profs, etc. could weigh in.
___



Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

TTrimble 7:15 PM  

@Geoff H
The actions that a teacher undertakes in class consist primarily in giving LESSONS.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

here I sit broken hearted, paid a dime and only farted. if you're of a certain age.

JC66 7:40 PM  

@Anon 7:22

I must be older than you. I only paid a nickel. 😂

Christopher Jones 7:42 PM  

“Arty Farty”?! WTF is that?
This puzzle was a grind for me and not even a fun one.
Maybe one day the Sunday puzzle will get back to where it was actually fun to solve and not just a bunch pun based themes.
One day....

TJ Biwman 7:53 PM  

Span is a noun used for bridge. https://www.britannica.com/technology/span

Ken Freeland 8:18 PM  

hom•o•nym hŏm′ə-nĭm″, hō′mə-►
n. One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning

Ken Freeland 8:21 PM  

yep! with the exception of "arty-farty," a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday puzzle. My kudos as well!

Michael Page 8:28 PM  

Virtually every unassisted triple play goes as follows: runners on first and second going. Line drive to shortstop, who is moving toward second to cover. Catches the ball, tags lead runner who is right in front of him, and continues running toward first and runs down and tags trail runner. Shortstop has the speed advantage because runner has to stay in base path while shortstop can take shorter line.

There is a brilliant article from the Penn Law Review in the sixties called The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule, which traces the late 1800s history: fielders started deliberately dropping popups in order to turn double plays, and a couple of umpires started calling the batter out and the play dead. Only rule in baseball that was invented by umpires on the fly (ugh) rather than passed as a law. Baseball later codified it.

Son Volt 8:29 PM  

@ TJ Biwman 7:53 and others - I generally agree in common speak - but remember that an iconic structure like the Brooklyn BRIDGE consists of three unique spans. Most major bridges have multiple spans.

Maybe . . . 9:05 PM  

ROLEO?? ROLEO?!! Seriously, how does the word "Roleo" possibly pass as acceptable in a NYT X-word? Has a single person playing today ever seen or heard of that word before? I'd be fascinated to hear, if so.

Bruce Fieggen 9:58 PM  

@GILL 1:28PM
My comment from yesterday was: ‘Barbara throws in random book passages and I’ve yet to figure out how they relate to today’s post.’
Today she nicely explained the connection and I thanked her for the answer.
How does that make me a grumpy so-and-so? And hopefully you weren’t also calling me a POOF!

GILL I. 10:27 PM  

@Bruce, my dearest friend.... I only call a POOF when it's in my pudding. I'll lend you a spoon. :-)

Wayne G 11:35 PM  

A 6 mile causeway - a pair of trestle bridges- that is a segment of I-10 just outside of New Orleans is called by the locals the "twin span". Google "I-10 twin span bridge" although nobody says it with "bridge"

Mark 12:35 AM  

Didn't like this theme at all but c'mon, span can definitely be a noun meaning bridge. Here in the Bay Area there was a major project to replace the eastern span of the Bay Bridge with a more seismically sound (and generally lovelier) construction. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_span_replacement_of_the_San_Francisco%E2%80%93Oakland_Bay_Bridge

Monty Boy 1:07 AM  

@anon 10:30 Re: Beans, Beans

A student in the comic Frazz, when corrected on beans not being a fruit;
Beans, beans the charmed legume
eat a bunch and clear the room.

May 24, 2006

Anonymous 7:48 PM  

'brawling' is not the verb I associate with GET IT ON.

Unknown 1:21 AM  

Bridge and span ARE synonyms, but not as nouns. As verbs.

Lt. Kije 2:09 AM  

Just adding to the mob that yes, sharps and spans are perfectly valid nouns. Heck Merriam Webster gives the noun definition before the verb definition for span. “the spread or extent between abutments or supports (as of a bridge)”

The Well Rounded Philistine 6:19 AM  

C-Cup = Christ’s chalice

kitshef 8:15 PM  

Finally caught up from vacation! Finished this thinking there must be some meta in the theme that I was missing ... but apparently not.

@Loren Muse Smith - "dour" to rhyme with "tour".

Now if only I knew what a 'sharp' was.

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