One-named singer with 2019 hit Without Me / TUE 5-11-21 / Twitter thumbs-up informally / Vehicles in some tabloid photos / Dew Drop historic New Orleans nightclub / 2012 Grammy winner for Channel Orange

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Constructor: Kevin Patterson

Relative difficulty: Medium (or harder, depending on how good your knowledge of contemporary pop music is)

THEME: LOW-KEY (66A: Casual ... or a hint to the answers to the five starred clues) — five long two-words Downs have a keyboard "key" as their second (or, spatially, "low") word:

Theme answers:
  • FIRE ESCAPE (3D: *Steps taken in an emergency?)
  • BIRTH CONTROL (21D: *The pill, e.g.)
  • OPEN TAB (25D: *Running bill at a bar)
  • STORAGE SPACE (10D: *What closets and attics provide)
  • FIRST SHIFT (30D: *Nine to five, at a factory)
Word of the Day: HALSEY (47D: One-named singer with the 2019 #1 hit "Without Me") —

Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (/ˌfrænɪˈpɑːni/; born September 29, 1994), known professionally as Halsey (IPA/ˈhɔːlzi//ˈhɑːlzi/), is an American singer and songwriter. Gaining attention from self-released music on social media platforms, she was signed by Astralwerks in 2014 and released her debut EPRoom 93, later that year.

Halsey's debut studio album Badlands (2015) reached no. 2 on the US Billboard 200. Her second album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (2017) topped the chart, and her third album Manic (2020) peaked at number two. She has had two no. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, "Closer", a collaboration with The Chainsmokers, and "Without Me". The single "Bad at Love" reached the top-five. 

Halsey has sold over one million albums. She is noted for her distinctive singing voice. Her awards and nominations include four Billboard Music Awards, one American Music Award, one GLAAD Media Award, an MTV Video Music Award, and two Grammy Award nominations. She was included on Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020. (wikipedia)

• • •

My path to the revealer here was so weird and unexpected, and I think it really added to my overall solving pleasure today. I almost always start in the NW and then solve in a wave, working crosses from answers I already have (instead of jumping around the grid). This is especially true with early-week puzzles, which tend to be easy, which means I don't get stuck, which means I don't *have* to go jumping around the grid to regain traction. Usually this work-the-crosses habit keeps me pretty tightly contained in one section of the grid at a time, but today, because the themers are vertical, I went zooming to the bottom of the grid very early on, and what do you think I found there? That's right, the "key" to the whole thing. Just sitting there at the bottom of the grid. 

Not sure why I decided to check the "L" cross on BIRTH CONTROL instead of heading back to the NW, but I'm really glad I did. Stumbling into the revealer like this absolutely maximized my delight. First of all, I just like LOW-KEY, all on its own, having nothing to do with the theme. It is a common enough adjective, but it feels fresh because the term has had something of a colloquial surge lately, both as an adjective and (more novelly) as an adverb (e.g. "I LOW-KEY hate him!"). "LOW-KEY" is featured in this incredibly stupidly-titled article, "24 phrases millennials use all the time but no one else gets." So I regular-key liked it. But then to look over, see ESCAPE and CONTROL, and not only grasp the theme immediately, but notice that LOW-KEY was crossing one of the very "keys" it was talking about—that the CONTROL "key" was in fact the key to my seeing LOW-KEY in the first place—all of this meant that the revealer landed in a way that very few revealers land: with a genuine, multi-layered aha moment: "oh ... Oh! ... OK, wow, cool." Thankfully, the rest of the puzzle was strong enough that I never lost the very good vibe created by my early LOW-KEY discovery.

The only let-down for me was FIRST SHIFT, which obviously, screamingly, should've been NIGHT SHIFT. The ghost of NIGHT SHIFT haunts this puzzle. It is the much much better, more vivid, more familiar phrase, and it is very angry that it got killed off. But if you try to swap FIRST for NIGHT, you will discover very quickly *why* it got killed off. If you tear everything out, back to STORAGE SPACE (which is a themer and thus can't be torn out), and then try to refill the grid with NIGHT SHIFT in place ... you can't. Well, you'd have to keep tearing, past BLACK SEA and all the way to god knows where. Because PESCI would become P-H-- and only PSHAW fits that pattern. And aside from being bad fill, PSHAW leaves you with -S-K where PERK now stands, and you can see how limited you are there, and so on and so on. Basically, FIRST SHIFT is disappointing relative to NIGHT SHIFT, but not half as disappointing as the grid itself would be had you tried to force NIGHT SHIFT to work. So you just make your peace with FIRST SHIFT and hope that NIGHT SHIFT doesn't seek revenge somehow.

The one problem I can see here, from an ordinary older-solver perspective, is the proper-noun crossing of HART and HALSEY. It's HALSEY who's gonna flummox a lot of people today. The majority of older solvers (a huge segment of the solving population) will not have heard of her. I don't know what I mean by "older" exactly, but let's just say I'm Gen X and barely know her. Or, rather, I know her name well enough, but only as a name. No context. No specifics. She's a popular singer. That's all I got. I can guarantee you that the majority of solvers older than I are going to have far less of a clue. Which is not a big deal, she's clearly famous enough to be in the puzzle, it's just that you've got to watch all of the crosses on her name. Now Kevin HART is much more famous (I think?) than HALSEY, so he's probably a fair cross for HALSEY's not-guessable "H"—but of the HALSEY crosses, HART is definitely the diciest, especially with a pretty bare-bones clue (47A: Stand-up comic Kevin). Crossing proper names is just dangerous. And when you cross two pop-culture names at a largely unguessable letter, you're definitely ruining someone's day somewhere. 

Again, both HALSEY and HART are plenty famous, and "H" is probably the best guess there if you are totally in the dark. Still, even though I knew both performers, that cross set off an alarm. You have to be careful when crossing names, especially when those names come from the same general ecosystem (here, contemporary popular entertainment). You don't want to leave *any* solvers hanging on a Tuesday. I haven't even mentioned FRANK OCEAN, who, like HALSEY, will be new to a sizable section of older-than-millennial solvers. His crosses all look fine, but if you've never heard of him before, you have my sympathy, especially since, if you don't know him, you almost certainly don't know HALSEY, which leaves you struggling for names twice. And on a Tuesday. Oh well. There have been tons of puzzles aimed at older solvers. Most of them, one might argue. A little correction is probably overdue.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:23 AM  

I'm older than Gen X and somehow managed to pull HALSEY out of my memory bank. I knew Kevin HART because of his uber-annoying commercials. No problem with that cross.

Where I ran into trouble was Western lIt instead of CIV at 19D. That made 26A FAt, which I thought was fine as a Twitter thumbs-up because I mistook it for "phat". And FRANK Olean looked okay, thinking maybe he named himself after the Upstate town. I needed Sergey and Larry to get me out of that one.

Other than that (which is on me), Tuesday normal.

Lewis 6:29 AM  

Merrily gamboled through this except for dashing in Western LIT instead of CIV and wondering if FAT was the new PHAT. Ended up thinking it was a very clever theme and so low-hanging that I wondered why no one had ever thought of it before, and praising Kevin for seeing it and running with it so well.

I enjoyed the mini-theme of double E’s (6), the lovely semordnilap PLUG, and CANTO / ECHO / ALLEGRO / LENO, with wannabe EUROS. That backward EEL tripped off my new favorite verb from a recent puzzle SNIGGLE.

These bright bits enhanced my merry gambol, making for a buoyant springboard for the day. Thank you, Kevin!

Anonymous 6:33 AM  

Until recently HALSEY would have been clued with the US Navy Fleet Admiral from WWII.

Anonymous 6:36 AM  

Found this easier than an average Monday. It’s all about the Proper Nouns. A bit too many for my tastes but still fun to solve.

J. E. Sirkis 6:38 AM  

Super easy except for the cross of Frank Ocean and (Western) CiIV which I thought for sure was (western) LIT until it dawned on me. Never heard anyone say “CIV.” Otherwise, quick fun to start the morning.

bocamp 6:54 AM  

Thx @Kevin for the crunchy Tues. puz! :)

Avg solve time, but another early week dnf.

Had LIT instead of CIV; didn't know FRANK OCEAN, and FAT for FAV went unnoticed. Also had an educated guess at the HART/HALSEY cross, but what else could it be but an 'H'.

Another case of filling in the last cell without looking over the puz first. Nevertheless, a fun adventure and some new things learned (maybe). LOL

Had a swim in the BLACK SEA on the trip thru Turkey ('70)

Learned yesterday from @Anonymous (11:06 AM) that SPORCLE is a portmanteau of sports and ORACLE.

HOPI Eagle Dance

yd 0

Peace ~ and Good Health to all 🕊

SouthsideJohnny 6:58 AM  

Ugh, I cruised through the entire puzzle, which seemed to me to be Tuesday-level difficult, until I had two squares left: MU_CAT crossing E_A, and _ALSEY crossing _ART, neither of which are the least bit discernible to me, so basically I had 52 guesses. Thus, done in by a foreign city crossing a foreign word, and a singer crossing what apparently is a stand-up comic. A great example of, and precisely the reason why I absolutely abhor foreign words, phrases and places, and PPP in all of its manifestations. And the truly sad thing . . . Is that it would be so avoidable if the solving experience were of paramount importance to the constructor.

amyyanni 7:07 AM  

Really enjoyed this; daresay relished the solve. And am old enough to retire soon and know of Halsey and Frank Ocean. Happy Tuesday.

SpyGuy 7:19 AM  

It was a fun puzzle to solve, I just have a nit to pick with one clue. I've worked in manufacturing my entire career (>25 years). I have NEVER seen a first shift that runs 9-5 in a factory. 6-2? 7-3? Absolutely. But never 9-5.

Son Volt 7:30 AM  

I liked this one - didn’t think it trended young at all - KEENE x LENO, OLGA and others. The vertical themers were nice and the overall grid layout was attractive. We see our friends SPRIG and mushy PEAS again so soon. Disney clues are like Harry Potter clues to me - it’s either a guess or back into.

Highly enjoyable Tuesday solve.

Mary Sofia 7:30 AM  

I found the clue for Kevin HART misleading. I know he's a stand-up comic, but I think of him primarily as a movie star, so I had to get, like, 3 crosses before going "oh, it's just Kevin Hart?" But, otherwise, I had a pretty good time (except for the minute-plus I had to spend looking for a typo at the end 😠)

kitshef 7:30 AM  

Pretty sure FRANK OCEAN doesn’t belong on a Tuesday. That, plus never having used Twitter in my life, left me with FRANK OLEAN/Western LIT/FAT (along with half the commentariat so far).

On the other hand, HALSEY was a gimme. Would have preferred an Uncle Albert-based clue though.

MarthaCatherine 7:41 AM  

Hey! I'm pushing 70 and Halsey was a gimme. And how could you live in today's world and not at least have heard of Kevin Hart. Between his movies, obnoxious commercials, near fatal traffic accidents, and general ubiquity, he's nearly impossible to miss. Like him or no.

PESCI. heard of him. know of him. Thought it was PESCe. Which gave me _OGE, which meant it could only be dOGE, which seemed plausible given the clue with asanas and pranayams, I guess, and I thought, yeah, well, maybe the movie Soul has a character named Tina FEd. But then I figured it out. Duh.

Lots o' fun.

Anonymous 7:46 AM  

“... and ne’er the twain shall meet.” RE: 23A, GREW INTO, and 12D, mushed PEAS.

On why Brits and Yanks have some difficulty understanding one another, and how there are some things you grow into, and others that you grow out of. In England, when someone presents you with a plate of mushed peas, the normal response is that this is indeed a dish that can be found in the United States, but one that boys outgrow at about the age of 10.

This is a just, patriotic response to the British observation when first confronting the American game of baseball. “Oh yes, I now recognize the game. English girls play it all the time, but they outgrow it at the age of 11, or 12 at the latest.” (The reference is to the English game “rounders.”)

Anon. i.e. Poggius
p.s. good puzzle, particularly for Tuesday, although I had to guess on the first letter of 47A and D, -art and -alsey.

pabloinnh 7:48 AM  

Hey, did anyone else want LIT instead of CIV? Oh, everybody?

Never mind.

My HALSEY clue would have been Uncle Albert/Admiral _____, but maybe that's not much better.

Went though this one so fast that I forgot to go back and see what all the themers had in common and instead came here and found out, which is the easy way, but less satisfying. Something in my brain is saying "show your work" to me.

The week is off to a flying start with two very nice puzzles. Thanks for the fun, KP. You keep making these and I'll Keep Playing.

Nancy 7:51 AM  

Two or three clues into this beauty of a Tuesday puzzle and I had already done more thinking than I had during the entirety of yesterday's snooze-fest. My favorite clue was the inspired one for FIRE ESCAPE (3D), definitely worthy of a late-week puzzle. But even clues that weren't necessarily difficult or tricky were made interesting: GPS (11A); PERK (40D); UFOS (64A); CLASH (37A) and DRAW (56D).

I enjoyed the theme and thought the theme answers were well-chosen, lively, and well-clued. And for some reason -- one I can't really explain -- a puzzle always seems a bit more sophisticated and colorful to me when the long answers are in the Downs. I doubt that's a universal reaction, but it's one I have fairly often.

A real pleasure after yesterday. My brain finally had something to do.

Frantic Sloth 8:15 AM  

@A from yesterday YES(lets) "wee ayelets" is the way to go! 🤣

I guess SPRIG has sprug. Third time within the past week?

One of these keys is not like the others. Not sure you can find a key more un-low than the ESCAPE key, but whatevs. It's a cute theme and good fill - especially for the Tuesdee - so I am pleasantly surprised and delighted.

Why does the APE ORACLE UFOS run remind me of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Nice job on your #2, Mr. Patterson. Keep 'em coming!


Not A Smurf 8:19 AM  

Hand up for Western Lit. Ten minutes!!! of microscrubbing to uncover that puppy. Frankolean was stuck as one word and Fat phelt phine to me - had already stored it away to impress the kids. Alas.

albatross shell 8:21 AM  

Rex nails it today. The highs, the whoas, the movie poster.
I briefly confused Night Shift with Mother, Jugs, and Speed. One was morgues, one was ambulances, one had Raquel.

All fell together faster than yesterday's for me. Handup for the FAt-FAV lIt-CIV confusion with a touch of FRAN KOrEAN madness. But finally got OCEAN and saw CIV as written, not said.

Most unimproved clue goes to SPRIG today. Worst yesterday's echo too.
Six single POCs, one crossing pair, but zero doubles.

Tight theme, tightly packed with minimal bad effects. A bit heavy on PPP?

ORACLE best bonus computer reference.

Pray for our POWER GRIDS, no SPAYing allowed.

feinstee 8:22 AM  

My only mini-gripe. It's not a space's a space bar.

Z 8:25 AM  

Anybody go with bALSEY bART? How about fART fALSEY? wART wALSEY? I generally agree with Rex’s point, but it really does seem to me that most people won’t waste too many precious nanoseconds on that crossing.

Just realizing Channel Orange is 9 years old already. FRANK OCEAN is excellent and actually pretty accessible for the Rap/R&B adverse.

Sub 6:00 here, which is Monday territory for me. I thought this was extremely PPP heavy, but it isn’t actually as bad as my first impression suggested, 25 of 78 for 32%. What is odd is the distribution of the PPP, with 19 of the 25 coming in the across answers. While it buts up against the 33% excessive line, it doesn’t quite cross it, and having it be so heavily in the acrosses means there are fewer worrisome potential naticks. And, as @Son Volt pointed out, there’s a fair balance in the PPP with FRANK OCEAN getting balanced out by the OLGA Korbuts and Carolyn KEENEs. It will be interesting to see if the PPP actually gives people problems today. I’m also pleased because the fast solve wasn’t purely a result of all the pop culture being in my wheelhouse, although it certainly didn’t hurt.

I’m also with Rex on this puzzle. Tuesday has earned a reputation for being the worst puzzle day in the NYTX canon, so this enjoyable and clean solve was a pleasant surprise.

Barbara S. 8:32 AM  

This was fun. I like the look of vertical themers, especially when highlighted pale yellow in the app. They always look to me like festive banners hanging from the rafters.

I initially fell into the “But-not-all-these-keys-are-low-on the-keyboard” trap, but I realize it’s their lowness in their answer that counts, always the second (lower) word of two. I loved the clue for FIRE ESCAPE (“Steps taken in an emergency?”) and EUROS (“French bread”). Our new friend LEN was hiding again in LENO. I like the OWE, OWEN, OWNER trio and the duos, EUROS and UFOS, HOP and HOPI. I played a “Name the countries of the world” quiz on SPORCLE yesterday, which helped cement BLACK SEA as the answer for “Separator of Ukraine and Turkey”. (Too bad SPORCLE and ORACLE hadn’t been in the same grid, although maybe that would have been illegal since the one is derived from the other.) I had no trouble with FRANK OCEAN, HART or HALSEY. None of these names is top-of-mind, but with a few crosses they all went in. I'm a real outlier on Western lIt, though -- that never occurred to me as I merrily popped in CIV. (I may have been thinking of a "Classical Civ" course I took way back in first-year university! None of the students or the prof ever said "civilization" in full when referring to it.)

Poor benighted May 11. I couldn’t find any quotable authors born on this date. No, not one single solitary scribbler. Sigh. I guess it was bound to happen. But wait! Salvation arrived in the form of an email from a Syndicated Solver, one of those folks who get the puzzle in their local newspapers some 5 weeks after the original publication date. This person introduced me to an author whose birthdate is not findable, but whose subject matter is very engaging indeed. So, thanks very much to guest-quoter @ML for this passage by GINGER GAFFNEY.

“Horses look for life in a body. Our outer shell is rigid, but on the inside we are like water, continually fluid. Animals feel the absence of that flow: the stagnation, the crippling death of no motion. Everything is movement to a horse. Everything has a current; the smallest ripple has so much to say.”
(From Half Broke)

QUOTER’S NOTE: If you’re intrigued, this is a fascinating article (also courtesy of @ML) "Of Horses and Healing: A Conversation with Ginger Gaffney".

pmdm 8:49 AM  

A newer constructor byline suggests to me the puzzle will contain much PPP and skew towards the interests of the construction. I don't think I was disappointed. (With what I expected, not with the puzzle.) Probably a bit too specific (if that's the word) for a Tuesday puzzle.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 8:57 AM  

Do people work 12-hour shifts in Rex's part of the world? Around here in factories and other workplaces that go round-the-clock there's the FIRST SHIFT and then there's second shift maybe 4 to midnight, and third shift, midnight to 8 AM. The one's the Day shift, but the other two? Way different life rhythms.

albatross shell 9:05 AM  

Thanks to @bo camp I must add best echo from yesterday: ORACLE

rjkennedy98 9:09 AM  

As a millennial, I find it pretty jarring to hear complaints about two obviously famous people from contemporary Hollywood. Kevin Hart was supposed to host the Oscars before being cancelled for some homophobic tweets. Halsey has multiple #1 hits. To regularly solve NY Times puzzles, I have to memorize the names of dogs in 1950s kids TV shows and plenty of other completely irrelevant 70-year-old arcana.

mathgent 9:13 AM  

One of the major reasons I do the puzzle is to keep up with current language. So learning the new meaning of "low-key" made today's worthwhile. Something done under-statedly or secretly. Nothing else of note.

Newboy 9:15 AM  


Rex is aware of this WWII baby’s cultural angst and explains today’s gridlock areas from downtown Natick. Like MUSCAT, this puzzle left a bad taste in my mouth...sweet of Kevin to give it a try, but I prefer my puzzles like humor & wine on the dry side. I’m leaving today’s fun for any young whipper-snappers among the commentariat, taking my ball and heading home to pout!

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

I’m 62, HART and HALSEY were easy. lIt/CIV problem though as FRANKOlEAN seemed reasonable.

MarthaCatherine 9:16 AM  

Barbara S: Love you comments and quotes. They always send me off on a search for more.

Tea Man 9:17 AM  

At age 73, you gotta have “Hart.” I knew neither Hart nor Halsey but somehow guessed right. “Hart” sounded familiar and, of course, for my generation, there was always “Admiral Halsey” from the Beatles song. Good puzzle.

Nancy 9:17 AM  

@Z nails it on why a PPP-hating person like me didn't gripe about the HART/HALSEY cross. I didn't know either of them, natch, but what other letter could it have been? Also, if I'd been wrong, I simply would have pronounced the puzzle "Solved!" regardless -- as I always do in the case of PPP-crossing Naticks.

And another hand up for Western LIT. Only I didn't write it in, because FAT bothered me much too much. Eventually I figured out I wanted FAV -- even though I always think of it as FAVE.

Frantic Sloth 9:19 AM  

Wondering if Rex could find an older picture of HALSEY. Why not just use Mom's first sonogram while you're at it?

I must be the only one here who didn't fall into that lIt/CIV trap. Mainly because (1) I've never heard of a course called "Western Lit", and (2) The Decline of Western CIVilization shouldered its way through the cobwebs of my brain. Sometimes it pays to be an idiot.

@Barbara S 832am Nice lawyering on the LOWKEY interpretation. It's the verticality of the themers that further supports that take, so I guess ESC can stay. 😉 Who will join us on the CIV-first bench, I wonder? I forgot to count the LENs!! ARGH.

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

Z 10:54 last night

Z 9:33 AM  

I’m with @Frantic Sloth with never hearing of a course called “Western lIt.” Is this mistake just a “college” —> “lIt” thing or did people really have a western lit course at their colleges?

xraydoc 9:34 AM  

Same here. Had lit crossing Frank Olean for a long time. Fat looked ok.

The Joker 9:36 AM  

I met my 'wife to be' in the Omani capital some years back. We've always referred to our romantic times there as MUSCAT love.

RooMonster 9:37 AM  

Hey All !
Um, hello? The ESC key is on top of a keyboard. As TAB is also nearer the top than bottom. What's that? You say the KEYs in question are LOW in the grid, ergo that makes them LOW KEYs? Ok, sure. Iffy, but feasible. Would've liked to see something with the WINDOWS button. Har.

Semi-nit of LOW KEYs not quite 100% accurate aside, did enjoy this puz. Fell into the DNF spot of lIt for CIV. Dang. Isn't FRANK OCEAN the guy from Oceans Eleven?* And thought FAb was a new coinage for a Twitter thing. Not up on all the new phrasing those crazy kids are coming up with.

@bocamo, @TT, @Barbara Re:SB
Two days in a row of -1 (5/9, 5/10), closest in a long time. Disappointed I got that close without QB, especially the 5/9 one. And it was an easy word I miss Every. Time.

*Har, I know it's not, I may be stupid on lots of stuff, bit I did know he was someone else!

Five F's (FUN!)

JD 9:37 AM  

Nice, low drek TuzPuz© (Masked & Anon.) fun for kids of all ages. Lit, etc. It's Space Bar, as mentioned above.

Good to see Birth Control. Too bad it wasn't used before Sunday. But then we wouldn't have had Placebo from yesterday. Constructor said he originally had Motor Control, so pregnancy and Sprigs of herbs must be someone's new obsession at the NYT?

@rjkennedy98, I guess if you're hoping that people older than you will complain about what you assume they don't know, you'll find complaints. But I just went back and saw almost all neutral or positive comments. Look again. No need to be jarred today.

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

@Frantic. CIV all the way, a gimme.

GHarris 9:41 AM  

This old person knew none of the pop singers but worked them all out . But like most others already commenting I got hung up on Western lit for too long and briefly had low row for low key. Don’t share Rex’s aversion to the first shift which immediately came to mind and is a perfectly good laboring term.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Re: Western Lit course
Princeton, in effect, has one. But who trusts a tiger?

bocamp 9:43 AM  

@Barbara S. (8:32 AM)

Thx for the explanation of the LOWKEY; once again, I've failed to take the time to suss out the theme. One of these days … LOL. And, my apologies if anyone else mentioned this (hi @Frantic). I do read all the posts (cos I have the time), but may not absorb all I read. :(

'Name the countries' is my fave on SPORCLE. :)

Thx to @ML and you for the Gaffney 'Half Broke' passage and for the link to that wonderful article/interview with Ginger. Unfortunately, my library doesn't yet have the book, but there's another one there that looks like it would be a good read: 'Half Broke Horses' by Jeanette Walls. The Internet Archive Open Library also has it for immediate check out.

@albatross shell (9:05 AM) 👍

@Frantic Sloth (9:19 AM)

I'm a 'CIV-first-bench' wannabe; when I plopped FAT in there, spidey-sense was trying to tell me I really wanted PHAT, and since that wouldn't fit, I'd better look for something better. LOL

td pg -2

Peace ~ and Good Health to all 🕊

albatross shell 9:46 AM  

@Barb S
Issac D'Israeli
Richard Feynman
Frederick Russell Burnham
Gaza Rohrig
Mark Vonnegut
Henry Wallace
Stanley Elkin
Mari Sandoz
Michael Palmer
Linda Evans
Mikhail Sholokov 1965 Nobel prize literature
Eva Schloss concentration camp survivor

Charlie Mitchell 9:46 AM  

Easier than yesterday for me. I'm a slow solver but I nearly beat my monday record as the long answers seemed a little too easy.

Hungry Mother 9:55 AM  

Please find another place for trivia contests. All I can remember about this one is a shitfest of names.

JD 10:07 AM  

@Frantic, Sometimes it pays to be an idiot😂. Agree (we're on the same page, yay!)

I've never heard of Western Lit but I've also never heard of Western Civ. Then again, when I was in college we had hand-cranked computers and a complete breakfast consisted of sugary cereal and bacon.

GILL I. 10:09 AM  

Isn't there a song by the Captain &Tennile called MUSCAT Love?
I liked this just fine but I thought it was a little too heavy on the names. I've heard of all of them except @Z's bALSEY bART. I haven't listened to music on the radio in eons. I like NPR and my favorite music was from the 80's. Your day is now complete.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

I'm 59 years old. I dropped in FRANK OCEAN with no problem but am pretty sure I'd never heard of HALSEY and couldn't remember Kevin HART. I guessed at the H, but it didn't seem a very hard guess. (the only other candidate was a P).

Mill City Architect 10:15 AM  

Rex, For future reference, -S-K = ASOK. The Dilbert character. UR welcome.

JD 10:16 AM  

Wait! Let me clarify. We had History of Western Civilization but called it History of Western Civilization.

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

I don't know. On my keyboard ESCAPE is in the tippy top row, not even in the QWERTY section. And TAB is in the second from the top of the QWERTY space. Not, by any stretch LOW-KEY.

Unknown 10:25 AM  

Certainly didn’t seem any more difficult than a usual Tuesday to me. If anything, is on the easy side. Quite smooth. I did raise an eyebrow at SPACE being a KEY. Yes it’s on a keyboard but it’s generally referred to it as a bar. Funny seeing mushy PEAS and SPRIG again so soon.

Kevin HART is not only a comedian, he’s also a talented actor. He was excellent in The Upside with Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman. A couple of heavy hitters there, but he held his own with them and was definitely the star of that film.

Anonymous 10:28 AM  


in my factory travels, there were *4* shifts with 3 being 8s out of 24 (start and end times vary) and the DAY shift which ran, again exact times vary, more or less 9 to 5, always the 'office staff' and many of the shop floor Upper Management (they were Special).

jberg 10:35 AM  

I hadn't heard of HALSEY, but somehow Kevin HART's name rang a bell -- though if you asked me I'd have guessed he was in the NBA. And I've certainly heard of FRANK OCEAN -- didn't he do something at the Democratic National Convention last summer? Unfortunately, though, I had misread the clue as an Oscar, not Grammy winner, so I was stuck until I had most of the crosses.

But I, too, have never heard of Western Lit as a course. Some anon referred to Princeton, but they have a) European Literature, and b) Classical Roots of Western Literature-- i.e., a course in classics. I'm not even sure what the course would be: the literature of Europe and the Americas? Or the literature of the American West (Willa Cather, Bret Hart, Thomas McGuane,Annie Proulx, Zane Grey)? Western CIV, otoh, used to be taught everywhere, though I think now some institutions have replaced it with World Civ.

I knew of MUSCAT, of course-- I always thought it was where muscat grapes originated, but apparently that's only one of many possibilities. But on the maps of my youth the country was labeled "Muscat and Oman," so until today's puzzle I had assumed it was a sheikdom, rather than a city. Crosswords are so educational.

Since I managed to guess the H, I found it a fun puzzle.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

I was stunned to learn a few years ago that America didn't write Muskrat Love.
It was actually written by Willis Ramsey. I kinda like his version best of all, though the Captain and Tennille's cover was of course the biggest hit.
In the ya never know department, one day at a noisy lunch table someone was mocking the captain and Tennille. Eventually Muskrat Love became a punchline, and this very accomplished musician pipes up without a hint of irony or scorn, and says yeah "Muskrat Susie and Muskrat Sam" ( they're the rodents in love).
He clearly appreciated the song. Can't say it changed my opinion of it, but I certainly gave it another listen.
I know, cool story Bro, right? ( I know its not)

Aelurus 10:38 AM  

Might be my fastest Tuesday, just zipped along filling in acrosses and downs starting NW, zigzagging east mid-grid, then finally down to the bottom and the revealer. Fun puzzlet.

MUSHY PEAS encore as Brit version. And this time around, YIN. More SPRIGS too, but it is spring after all -- ah, I see @Frantic 8:15 am had the same notion with a nicely turned phrase I wish I'd thought of :) And @Frantic 9:19 am -- Am in the Western Civ camp, also not having heard of Western Lit.

Had DUEL before DRAW for 56D. Got 47D HALSEY only from all crosses because with _AR_ somehow remembered HART.

Favorite cluing 64A for UFOS.

@Barbara S. 8:32 -- Am copying the quote to send to a friend who trains horses. A.Word.A.Day from sends weekday emails and always includes a quote from someone born that day, not exclusively authors but always interesting.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

Unknown, The star of the Upside is that Ferrari Hart and Cranston tool around in, followed by the Black Bass Inn. That's the restaurant near the end where Nicole Kidman's character returns.
It's a wonderful place along the Delaware river. The teensy pedestrian bridge right next to is one of the Delaware Valley's most reliable spots to see cliff swallows. (they nest under the bridge).

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

if you go to your favourite search thingee, and enter:

syllabus for history of western literature

you get a lot of rows. I got "About 7,930,000 results (0.64 seconds) " using the Goog.

Missy 10:53 AM  

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy move on! What did Zhouqin Burnikel ever do to you? Not want to co-construct with you perhaps!🤔

Barbara S. 10:53 AM  

@MarthaCatherine (9:16)
Thanks. And happy hunting!

@Frantic (9:19)
I'm sure there are still many LENs in your future.

@RooMonster (9:37)
I finished yesterday at -1. Couldn't get over the finish line. I felt the word I missed described me to a T.

@bocamp (9:43)
What an inspired idea to get the incarcerated to work with horses. That seems like such an effective way to separate people from all the bad stuff inside themselves, and to force them (in a good way) to think and feel differently.

@albatross shell (9:46)
Showoff. And second -- can I hire you?

Ernonymous 10:53 AM  

I got stuck on the Hart, Halsey cross. Of course I know Kevin Hart but it didn't come to me. I decided it couldn't be "H" because what singer would call themselves Halsey, which is a short version of Halitosis?

KnittyContessa 11:02 AM  

@RooMonster I completely agree. ESC and TAB just irk me. Despite that, I did enjoy the puzzle.

Fell into the lit/CIV trap as well. Flew through this and could not figure out why no happy music. Took me longer to find the mistake than to solve the entire puzzle.

jae 11:07 AM  

Easy. No idea who HALSEY is but the rest was cake. I did know FRANK OCEAN. Smooth Tues., liked it.

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

@Jberg. Oh dear.
That Princeton has a class exploring the roots of a subject, necessarily means the subject exists. That is, any class about the roots of Western Lit means Western lit is a thing.
More, why on earth are you confused about what Western Lit is? You seem to have no such problem understanding what Western Civ is?

Here's a link to a syllabus for a western lit class. I hope it helps.

Carola 11:35 AM  

A fun one. After ESCAPE and STORAGE, I saw that we were dealing with a KEYboard and tried to anticipate the reveal....and came up empty. Then, when LOWKEY went in, my first thought was (like some others here), wait, they're not all LOW keys....but then the tumblers readjusted and fell into place: ah, LOW in the answers. Nice!
Add me to those who went with FRANK least until Western "lit" x "fat" seemed too suspect: I erased the l and t and did an alphabet run...all the way to C :) I liked OCEAN's complementary BLACK SEA.

Re: Carolyn KEENE - as a 4th and 5th grader I PLOWed my way through every Nancy Drew and Dana Girls mystery I could get my hands on - borrowed from friends whose parents bought books, an unknown concept in our strapped household, On my bookshelf now, from a daughter who buys books, first editions of By the Light of the Study Lamp and The Secret at Lone Tree Cottage.

Help from previous puzzles: HART; should have been help from previous puzzles: FRANK OCEAN; no idea: HALSEY.

Joe Dipinto 11:47 AM  

FIRST SHIFT is fine as an answer, but a better clue would reference surveillance or standing watch. Such as:
A detective might take it on a stakeout
Nine-to-five is too commonly thought of as the DAY SHIFT. Imo.

BIRTH CONTROL and SPAY in the same puzzle? I guess too many people wrote in to say ICK after that unbearably creepy gross-out of Mother's Day puzzle.

From the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical ALLEGRO.

Z 11:48 AM  

@Anon10:48 - Did you happen to glance at any of your search results? Because I didn’t see much of anything close to a whisper of a suggestion of a “Western lIt” course. In fact, the first hit was an inspiring resource for teaching western American literature. Then a theatre course, a humanities course, a Western CIV course… It isn’t until page two that I found an actual course with “Western Literature” in the title that’s actually about western literature (unlike the Princeton course mentioned by someone else, which is a comparative literature course about, it looks like, ancient Greek literature). Even simplifying the search to “western literature” in quotes doesn’t generate any courses. The closest is a Norton Anthology of Western Literature, which seems especially designed for a course that would be called “Western lIt.”

I’m not saying there’s no such thing, just that Western CIV is a much more common freshman course name. Obviously there’s something in the zeitgeist that got so many to plunk in the wrong answer there, I just have my doubts that many actually ever took such a college course. Linking a college course to “literature” seems like an unintended misdirection to me.

@9:30 - Ah. Not quite sure on the mathematical underpinnings of a 3 point gap between Baseball Reference’s WAR and Baseball Prospectus WARP, especially since they agree on Yaz. But sure, accepting the WAR number does make McLain winning the MVP look like a major mistake. Interesting to me that 1968 was Yaz’ and McLain’s career year by WARP. Anyway - I’m sure everyone else is beyond done with our baseball argument.

chance2travel 11:59 AM  

Regarding Rex's comment that "if you don't know , you almost certainly don't know HALSEY", I can't tell if I contradict that statement, or I'm the exception that proves it true.

I definitely know Halsey way better than Frank Ocean. "Gasoline" is still one of my favorite songs to rage sing :) Note - I'm 49 and I've been doing the NYT puzzles daily for the last 3 years.

As I normally do on Tuesday, I ran through all the downs with a speed solve approach, and admittedly I tried Adele for 47D. When she didn't fit I skipped it. Switching to the acrosses I found myself staring at oRoNK-CaAN for 18A because I had IMokay, ESo and eLan for 5D, 7D and 11D. I'm just glad FRANK and OCEAN are reasonably common names on their own.

HART for Kevin was no problem at all, but admittedly I'm a stand-up comedy fan.

Puzzle finished, happy sound, read Rex's blog. That's when I realized I had never gone back to 47D. Filled it completely off the crosses. So I missed out on the joy of entering HALSEY's name in the grid. Oh well, hope to see her again in a future puzzle.

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

I too am mystified by Your Baseball Prospectus number AND my Bill James Online number. I have no idea why I didn't go to the proper source which is Baseball reference. Here are the 1968 WAR numbers from what I think everyone agrees is THE definitive stat source.

1. Bob Gibson 11.9
2. Yaz 10.5
3. Brooks Robinson 8.4
4. Roberto Clemente 8.2
5. Luis Tiant 7.9
6. D. McClain 7.4

The difference between Yaz and McLain is simply enormous. And of course the NLer Bob Gibson is so far ahead of him it's embarrassing.

One last point. You frequently claim the Miguel Cabrera's triple crown made his MVP case beyond question. The fact that Mike Trout had a vastly superior WAR that year cut no ice with you. Using your logic then, Yaz's career year was not in fact 1968, but rather 1967 when he won the triple crown.

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

Muscrat Love

Dan 12:02 PM  

Me too. Messed up my puzz.

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

Fastest Tuesday I've ever finished. Its nice to see a grid skewed towards younger solvers every once in a while. Didnt even blink at Halsey/Kevin Hart because they are both so incredibly famous. The CIV/LIT issue is fair, but I've never heard of Western Lit as a class while Western Civ is a common gen ed.

Anonymous 12:25 PM  

@Z, you ignorant pup.

I just re-ran, and got this from the second link
"From Homer to Chekhov to Scandinavian writing, we will learn about the importance of these texts."

the first link was cowboy stuff

the third is Ron Paul (!! yes, with is smiling VISAGE)
"This is a course in the history of Western literature from the Hebrews to the Renaissance. "

the fourth is one already referenced that neosho thingee

the fifth
"Heroes and villains. Gods and mortals. Riddling sphinxes and unavoidable prophecies. War, colonization, and human peril. This Western Literature course is a pretty mixed bag."

and so on and on.

Masked and Anonymous 12:26 PM  

Man, did I ever mess this rodeo up. For the "Channel Orange" dude, I ended up with FRON KOLEAN.

staff weeject picks: The well-covered CIV/FAV pairin. Western CIV? OK, sure … Western 104: "Advanced Oater Flicks -- The lesser-known westerns". I'd take that course.
M&A don't come near Twitter, unless U count pet budgies, so FA? coulda been about anything at all.
Considered FAB, which led to Western ?IB which mighta been Western BIB(le) or BIB(liographies) but that just didn't ring any church bells, at our house. Western LIB(ations) would be a cool course, tho …

Puztheme was kinda neat. Revealer tied things together quite cleverly. A key find.

Clearly didn't come close to knowin FRANK OCEAN. Primo name, tho … sorta a mix of Frank Sinatra & Danny Ocean. [I think maybe someone else already noticed that western (Vegas) flick tie-in.]

Thanx for the oceans of fun, Mr. Patterson. Congratz on yer second NYTPuz; U are now an encore player.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Michiganman 12:50 PM  

I regret instigating the McLain, et. al. kerfuffle yesterday. It was not my intent. I was just having happy memories of the '68 Tigers. I shouldn't have gotten snarky about modern pitchers. They do the best they can, given the manager imposed restraints placed on them.

mbr 12:57 PM  

@Unknown 10:25 and Anonymous 10:40: "The Upside" is a remake of a wonderful French film called "Intouchables" ( marketed in the States as "The Intouchables"). It's based on a true story (with a different ending than Kevin Hart's version) and co-stars Omar Sy (the star of the Netflix series "Lupin"), and, IMHO, is far better than "The Upside". It's worth watching, as is "Lupin".

Anonymous 1:09 PM  


I, for one, like the snarky repostes; the only reason to inhabit this space. As to the managers being the reason that CG count has plummeted, I still wonder what Tommy John surgery has to do with it. I don't keep count, but I'd guess in the neighborhood of a dozen a year. Any manager would take note, and take steps to avoid. As to the canard that "with so many teams, talent has been diluted from the Good Olde Days", I once did some data spelunking and (from memory), just counting Real Americans (thus excluding Caribbean and Asian and ... players), the per capita number of MLB players is *lower* today than 1900. Which is to say, population growth has exceeded league expansions by enough. And add back the foreign players, and the 'talent' pool is much bigger now, and by the virtue of Natural Selection, those that make The Show are better specimens now than then. But, apparently, pitchers are fragile.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

I got the theme early. I knew FRANK OCEAN. So this was a faster than average Tuesday that I enjoyed. Except for trying Joe PEcCI first, there was hardly a hitch.

@Z, I don't agree with you on the possible crossover appeal of Frank Ocean's music. "Channel Orange" was hype-hype-hyped back in the day so I checked out a couple of songs on YouTube - ho-hum except for all of the orange in the videos. But I'm getting picky in my old age. I was listening to a folk music Spotify channel the other day and only two songs out of dozens inspired me to "heart" them. So it's probably just me.

I had to smile at the mushy PEAS clue and answer since they appeared in the puzzle so recently.

Kevin Patterson, nice sophomore effort, thanks!

Anonymous 1:17 PM  

Frank Ocean? Really? What has he done for me lately? Unacceptable.

JD 1:21 PM  

@Anon 12:25, Hebrews would be western lit?

okanaganer 1:48 PM  

I was very embarrassed to finish a Tuesday with 2 mistakes (LIT / OLEAN / FAT) but I see I have lots of company.

albatross shell 1:55 PM  

@Barbara S.
Search [day of year] birthdays writers world

Should have something with www.bornglorious in it.

Now you know more than me.
I'm retired, no wanna be hired.
Thanks anyhoo.

Just to inform others:
I was the one who wrote Barbara that I considered her hobby somewhat questionable as far as the blog goes. It would be better as a link in any case. As you might have guessed, and as I expected, she had already considered some aspects of my opinions and wrote a polite and thoughtful reply. I would not say we agree, but I think we both understand each other.

old timer 2:05 PM  

As OFL predicted, my downfall was the HALSWY HART cross, where I guessed D instead of H. Should have remembered Kevin HART but didn't. Bull HALSEY would have been a giveaway there -- he ran the Navy when I was a baby, and my uncle (who lucked into a Coast Guard job in the War, and could actually drive home on leave) admired him greatly.

When I went to Stanford, my (required) biology class was taught by Donald Kennedy, who was later to become Stanford's President and live in Lou Henry Hoover House. Our President was a Sterling fellow. I think one of my classmates ended up marrying his daughter. Another required course was History of Western Civilization, or Western CIV, so that was an easy answer for me. As I recall, the class started with the Egyptians, and was heavy on Plato and Aristotle, light on Rome, but heavy again on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

I hated science, so much so that the summer after my sophomore year, I took Astronomy and Intensive French at UCLA. The Astronomy, plus a Logic course taken at Stanford, satisfied the remainder of the science/math requirement, along with that 3-quarter Biology course. I found the French course so useful I ended up being reasonably fluent, and own a ton of books in French I still read with pleasure. (The other required course was English, which I aced, and surely the best course I ever took at Stanford was Chaucer.)

Anonymous 2:12 PM  


considering that 'Western Civilization' is consistently identified with the 'Judeo-Christian' ethic and developed in what we now call the 'Middle East', and that half of the Bible is of and by the Hebrews, then it follows that 'Western Lit' came from the same places. in the 19th and 20th centuries, much of the avant garde in fiction came from 'Hebrew' writers. I mean, some of my friends are Hebrews.

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

anon 109,
The number of Tommy John surgeries a year is more than 100 times the number you suggest. I'll check on how many are performed on players with MLB service time, but the majority of the surgeries are on pitchers not yet in the show. And, though the trend is now past oits peak, there was a fad to have preemptive Tommy John surgery. Yeah, you read that right, surgery on health tissue. Many MLB clubs publicly disavowed yet, but there's little doubt that some tacitly approved it for top prospects. As I say, this was a fad a decade ago. But I'm told it still happens.

Gene 2:20 PM  

If Rex worked in a business, as opposed to academia, FIRSTSHIFT would be quite familiar.

Z 2:30 PM  

@JD1:21 - 😂😂😂😂

BTW - Western Literature. Britannica does mention that Hebrew is included by some. I’m sure somebody somewhere wrote a scintillating dissertation on the debate.

JD 2:38 PM  

Thanks Anon 2:14, I was thinking of Paul's (assumed) letter (frequently referred to as Hebrews) but it was written from Rome in Greek so western and what was I thinking?

Barbara S. 2:52 PM  

@Aelurus (10:38) and @albatross shell (1:55 PM)
Thanks for the tips on sussing out daily authors.

And, @albatross shell, I've appreciated your forebearance ever since we had our exchange of emails. Here's to agreeing to disagree and being friendly about it. I continue to think this is not a lost art despite all evidence to the contrary.

Frantic Sloth 3:04 PM  

Nice to have several people joining us on the CIV-first bench!

@JD 1007am We've all heard of A.I. (artificial intelligence), but now I give you I.A. (Idiots Anonymous). We can be officers.
You had computers?
And @JD 238pm "...what was I thinking?" As Mrs. Sloth is fond of saying, "there's no tellin'." 😉

@Aelurus 1038am Thanks for noticing. I came 🤏 this close to using "sprung" until the light dawned. 🤣

@M&A 1225pm Budgies!! ❤️

@Barbara S 1053am Haha! Thanks - I'm on top of the LENs for tomorrow...maybe add a line to the brains and party favors...
The things that entertain and amuse me...🤣🙄

@J-Dip 1147am Agreed! What an easy fix that would have been - and much more appropriate.

Oh Please 3:40 PM  

AT 68, I knew Halsey because she's been on SNL. I knew Frank Ocean because there was massive publicity when he came out. From the little bit I've listened to them, I'd say he's a great musician, she's...beautiful.

Don't be agists, Whippersnapers!

tea73 3:49 PM  

I didn't know HALSEY or HART, but it didn't matter since the H seemed like the most likely letter. Remember Gary HART? I never noticed FRANK OCEAN was in the puzzle, but I do know him, more for the big deal that was made about him coming out than for his music. My son who is now in the Navy made me read endless books about the Navy in World War II before he learned to read, so that's probably why HALSEY seemed okay too. I can't remember the last time I watched a TV ad, and I hate standup comedy. BTW that kid works watches not SHIFTs.

Count me as someone who put in lIt before CIV. Back in the day the great books curriculum at various colleges was mostly Western LIT, but these days they've expanded the canon.

I look on the crossword puzzle as an opportunity to listen to some new music. Rex didn't provide me a link to HALSEY so, I guess I'll have to go looking...

I thought having the KEYs LOW in each answer was just dandy.

Great puzzle.

bocamp 4:00 PM  

@albatross shell (1:55 PM) 👍 / @Barbara S. (2:52 PM) 👍

pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Scott 4:21 PM  

I never, ever want to HOP on a call.

Frantic Sloth 5:12 PM  

@Oh Please 340pm Reminded me - Here is HALSEY's opening monologue on SNL. She's adorable.

pabloinnh 5:18 PM  

Lots comments on the is it and H? space, but my inner teenager is disappointed that no one has suggested a variation involving FART and FALSIE.

Some days I think we're just not trying.

Anoa Bob 5:50 PM  

This one didn't stick the landing for me. The KEYs aren't all LOW on my keyboard or even in the puzzle's grid. They all are at the ends of the starred clues but LOW? Just doesn't sound quite right.

I already had enough crosses to see that 30D was going to be FIRST SHIFT but the "9 to 5 in a factory" part of the clue was problematic for me. I worked in a factory, Rohr Corp. in Chula Vista CA, from '68 to "72 (I think it's still there) and 9 to 5 sounds more like office job hours than factory hours. I worked the day SHIFT, 7:30 to 4:00. There was a night SHIFT and a midnight SHIFT but no FIRST SHIFT. Looks like a legit term just maybe could have used a different type clue, maybe one like Joe D. @11:47 AM suggested.

Now I know how long ago it was when I had one of the EERIEST experiences (in a good way) in my life. It was 17 years ago. I was stopped for the night at a state park in Tennessee when this tremendous, near-deafening sound began to build. It was so loud and so completely all around me that it put me in a trance-like state, no thoughts, just in the moment experiencing this incredible otherworldly sound. It was cicadas! I was right in the middle of them. And the EERIEST part was when this white-noise, static like cacophony suddenly became synchronized and they all sang at the same time for a few seconds before it re-merged into the constant deafening roar. This random-pattern sound to synchronized singing repeated itself periodically.

I hope some of yous out there get to hear the cicadas this year. They should be making appearances any day now. It'll be another 17 years before the opportunity comes again. I had heard cicadas at a distance before but it was nothing like being in the middle of a swarm. If you are fortunate to be in the middle of them I think you'll see why I think it's one of the natural wonders of the world.

I just saw there's a cicada video/audio on YouTube titled "The Loudest Bug in the World". Think I'll go check it out.

TTrimble 6:21 PM  

@pabloinnh 5:18 PM
Did you skip over the post of 8:25 AM?

A 6:47 PM  

Vive la différence! I knew HALSEY and HART, KEENE and Korbut. Fran Docean not so much, although FRANK OCEAN, whatever else he does, sure can sing. Serious CANTO CONTROL. Never considered anything but Western CIV (Hi @Frantic!), but I misread the “tease” tense on 9D and had MAdE FUN. oopsie

In Rexblogs past, there was someone who always noticed the corner squares - today we had the unusual SSYY. Kind of miss that, as well as the analytical posts from, I think, Sanfranman, that I always read but didn’t comment on.

Hand up for briefly wondering if 9-5 is the first shift. What would I know - I’ve never played the entire Ring cycle. I vote for @Joe D’s clue. Also his link to the kick-ass song from Rogers and Hammerstein’s “flop” ALLEGRO. Also seeing Rex’s -S-K and wanting ASOK (Hi @Mill City Architect!)

@Anoa Bob, thanks for both the calm, considered analysis of the puzzle and the exciting story about cicadas.

No worries about a musician birthday - both William Grant Still and Judith Weir were born on May 11.

William Grant Still, Sorrow

Jusith Weir, Vertue (George Herbert)

Thanks for the LOW KEY fun, Mr. Patterson!

albatross shell 8:13 PM  

@Anoa Bob
Yeah, but the themers are all vertical, so the key is always at the bottom or low end of the answer. That is why they were all crowded in columns. So it would work.

First or day shift. Second, afternoon, swing shift. (Swing can also mean you work rotating shifts). Third, night or graveyard shift. Second usually starts at 3 to 4 pm. But there is still no way 9 to 5 is anything but a first shift. So an hour or or 2 off in most cases.

I agree about cicadas. This should be there biggest year here. I think. One friend calls it living with chainsaws. They haven't emerged yet.

Joe Dipinto 9:57 PM  

Anyone do the Cryptogram today? I just did it now. It looked daunting at first glance but it turned out to be quite easily deducible.

Joe Dipinto 10:30 PM  

@A - I will be looking for recordings of both those pieces you linked, they are lovely.

Sailor 12:13 AM  

Re the matter of FIRSTSHIFT: In my youth - those days of distant memory when Michigan factories churned out automobiles around the clock - "nine-to-five" was what management worked, but nobody on the factory floor thought of that as a "shift." On the floor you worked day shift, swing shift or night shift. I never heard the term "first shift" in my life. But that was very long ago, and things may have changed. :)

Emil 10:53 AM  

Olean (Olestra) is fat substitute.


I was married for 16 years to a loving mother and wife. We had 2 children together who are now 11 & 13. I reconnected with an old girlfriend from college on Facebook and we began an affair and I left my wife. The woman I had an affair with is a wonderful woman and I love her too and our kids had begun accepting the situation and my wife has kind of moved on, but not in love with the man she is seeing. I thought I fell out of love with my wife and I felt terrible about what I did to her - she is a good woman and I don't know what came over me. I decided to try and get her back and I was recommended to Lord Zakuza for help to get reunited with my wife and within 48 hours after I made contact with Lord Zakuza my wife decided to work things out with me and now we are back together with our children living as one happy family. I really don't know the words to use in appreciation of what Lord Zakuza did for me but I will say thank you sir for reuniting I and my family back. For those in trying times with their marriages or relationship can browse through his website via: or WhatsApp Lord Zakuza for help or text with this number +1 (740) 573 9483 or you can send him an email to

thefogman 11:00 AM  

I liked this one. 30D (FIRSTSHIFT) was a “let-down” for Rex. As an alternative, it could have been clued: Park to Drive?

spacecraft 11:37 AM  

DNF on account of that FRANK fella, and the "Western" course. Three letters, middle I, I wrote down LIT [erature]. CIV never occurred. The slang? What the hey, FAt sounded just as good as FAV. Somewhere there's a guy named Frank Olean. Sorry, dude, I tried to make you famous...

leftcoaster 2:49 PM  

The five keyboard keys work well. They’re not all *low* in the grid though--not as low as LOWKEY. It may help that they are *under* (below) the first words in their theme answers. But the revealer, LOWKEY (“Casual”), could work fine on its own.

HALSEY, HART, and FRANK OCEAN may be a bit obscure, but they seem naturally apt as names in the grid work.

Make sense?

Diana, LIW 3:29 PM  

Two correct one-letter guesses got me through the couple of Naticks I encountered. These names should not appear in "Natick" fashion in a Tuesday puzzle. IMHO

Diana, LIW for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 3:32 PM  

Glancing at his review, it seems as if @Rex had the same issued I had.

And don't tell me we're getting those weird "relationship" trolls again. Oh well.

Lady Di

Burma Shave 4:07 PM  


It's LOWKEY GLEE when she's outed,
don't MAKEFUN, you CAN_TO,
she loses CONTROL when SHOUTED:


rondo 4:21 PM  

Once again, having been an intermittent subscriber to Rolling Stone pays off. So I knew of FRANKOCEAN and lIt became CIV. Could easily have left it incorrect since I was doing the puz while on a Zoom webinar on my iPhone while sitting in a dentist's waiting room. HALSEY has been played on 89.3 The Current, you can stream it. Pretty easy puz.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP