Common golf course grass / TUE 6-8-21 / Doo-wop group with six songs on the "Grease" soundtrack / Precision crafted performance sloganeer / Checkout devices at Dublin supermarkets

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Constructor: Christopher Adams

Relative difficulty: Challenging (for a Tuesday)


THEME: Plush — familiar phrases have an -IS word turned into an -ISH word, resulting in wacky phrases, which are clued wackily:

Theme answers:
  • IRISH SCANNERS (20A: Checkout devices at Dublin supermarkets?) (from "iris scanners")
  • PARISH METRO (34A: Urban area around a church district?) (from "Paris Metro")
  • ELVISH LIVES (40A: Claim that a language in "The Lord of the Rings" is not extinct?) (from "Elvis lives!") 
  • TENNIS, ANYONE? (52A: Suggestion to friends on when to meet for lunch?) (from "Tennis, anyone?)
Word of the Day: ZOYSIA (48D: Common golf course grass) —
Zoysia /ˈzɔɪziə/ is a genus of creeping grasses widespread across much of Asia and Australia, as well as various islands in the Pacific. These species, commonly called zoysia or zoysiagrass, are found in coastal areas or grasslands. It is a popular choice for fairways and teeing areas at golf courses. The genus is named after the Slovenian botanist Karl von Zois (1756–1799).
• • •

This is a very decent theme, and a good example of how you can get a lot out of slight changes. At its core, this is really just an add-a-letter theme, one of the oldest theme types in the book. Been around for AGES. People are going to experience primarily as a sound-change theme, though, where the -ISes at the ends of the first words turn to ISHes. The changed words give you a kind of two-layered wackiness—the wackiness provided by the "?" clue (where the -ISH word is taken literally), and the added wackiness of a phrase that sounds like someone slurring their speech, like a drunk person in an old movie. I guess if you take the idea of speech-slurring too seriously, the theme could seem slightly cruel, as if it were mocking someone who has a speech impediment or a drinking problem. But let's assume there's no such unfortunate context for the slurring. The word- and soundplay are amusing here, and I just happened to solve in a way where the "aha" ended up having a really big impact, so much so that nearly all the themers fell at the same time for me. Or, rather, when I got one, I was able to immediately see what was going on with all the ones I had already blown past but not completed. I solved down the west coast, never really able to follow the front end of a themer eastward across the grid. I just got the first word of the first themer (IRISH), had no idea what followed, and then kept going down, down, past ELVISH (still no idea), until I practically hit bottom. Then I started following TENNIS- across the bottom of the grid, and after some hacking at crosses, it finally sunk in: TENNISH, ANYONE? ... which was a play on "Tennis, anyone?" ... and boom, five seconds later the grid looked like this:


The "aha" from TENNIS, ANYONE? reverberated across the grid, essentially felling three themers at once. Timber! Speaking of foliage: ZOYSIA! What on god's apparently very green earth is this doing in my puzzle on a Tuesday. I'm almost certain I've seen it before, but probably only once or twice, and not in such a way that it ever stuck, that's for sure. Really really doesn't seem like Tuesday fill. I needed every single cross, and even then had to double-check them all because it just looks like six random letters. No cognates. Nothing to compare it to. Sounds like something you'd name your kid if you were trying to give them an "original" name. This answer contributed a ton to the puzzle's (relative) difficulty level. The theme type was another factor—I really had to hack at my first theme answer to get it to open up. But then there were little things like SAKI (the clue was no help) (1D: "The Open Window" story writer) and OVER (familiarish, but cricket terms ... not exactly front-burner stuff in this country) (2D: Set of six bowls, in cricket); these slowed me down in a way that I'm not usually slowed on Tuesday (I probably would've swapped out SAKI for YETI, but that's just me). 


Couldn't believe a T-BEAM was a real thing, so balked at that (I-BEAM and H-BEAM I've seen; I've also seen a T-BAR, lots of times ... this really feels like my first T-BEAM. I would put T-BEAM on the B-TEAM of letter beams, that's for sure. Don't think I've seen IV BAG before, either. I balked at BAG as it seemed ... too informal? Dunno. I just thought "Oh, what do they call those bags...?" And the answer was "bags." Then, because I couldn't remember if it was NIECI or NIECY, well, that teeny tiny NE corner ended up being way more trouble than most teeny tiny corners ever are. And honestly I struggled to remember who NIECY / NASH was in the first place (16A: With 22-Down, star of TV's "Claws"). First of all, never heard of "Claws." Second of all, when I got NASH, I could instantly picture the actress (she was in "Reno 911!," a show I enjoyed occasionally many years ago). But her first name just didn't come quickly. So this was somewhat more of a struggle than most Tuesdays are, but the theme was delightful enough, and the fill clean enough, that the extra struggle didn't dampen my enjoyment much. DITHERED is a great word. Hard to be mad at a grid that's sporting DITHERED. Have a nice day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

131 comments:

Name that tune 6:16 AM  

Should have been "brunch" not "lunch."

Harry Crane 6:33 AM  

I had DERIVATION for DERIVATIVE, and thought that ELOI may have been a LOTR things, because I’ve seen it a good deal in crosswords, know that it deals with some made-up race of people in literature, and I’m just not into LOTR. That was my only minor hiccup. The rest of the puzzle was *meh* fir me.

If I had picked up the theme at TENNISHANYONE, like Rex, maybe it would have seemed more clever to me. I got it at PARISHMETRO, and thought “that’s not very exciting.”

Chaspark 6:35 AM  

No one eats lunch at 10

Lewis 6:36 AM  

[Rim shot?]
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
SWISH MISS

Joaquin 6:45 AM  

After entering the 1D gimme SAKE it was clear (to me) that 1A was also a gimme. In went “Surf” as part of a combo meal. As the ancient philosopher said, “Oy!”

Lewis 6:52 AM  

Not the usual Tuesday stroll! Far more places than usual that I had to come back to. That was an unexpected treat for me, but this might be frustrating for a new or newer solver – who Tuesday is for. Or it might not and my brain is just klunky today.

Props for a very junk-free grid. And a very tight theme – tough (for me, anyway) to come up with more theme answers that work as well. Sweet to see VETO atop I CAN’T NOW, and that backward SEGA near the Nintendo answer. And a lovely PuzzPair© of SIREN (from The Odyssey) and EPIC.

Christopher, very nice to see you after a year’s absence. Thank you for this rare TFM (tough for me) Tuesday offering. You make high quality puzzles – please come back soon!

Anonymous 7:00 AM  

What's a swis miss, then?

TTrimble 7:05 AM  

Not bad, @Lewis 6:36AM!

This puzzle took me twice as long as a usual Tuesday. Rex points out ZOYSIA, and honestly I don't think I've seen this word before. I also got stuck at the NIECY/GYM cross, having put in NIECe/GeM. Sorry, I don't know STEVE YOUNG either. Not anything to be proud of.

Stupidly entered "PEn name" before PERSONA, but RENE set me straight soon enough.

Funnily enough, DERIVATIVE took me a while. Last semester I taught my students how trigonometric functions come in pairs related by complementary angles; each in the pair is a "cofunction" of the other, and so that would have been a legit answer, except maybe for repetition of "co" in the clue. I also like to mention to my calculus students the fact that the DERIVATIVE of the cofunction x |--> f(pi/2 - x) is minus the cofunction of the DERIVATIVE of f, by a simple application of the chain rule, and this can cut one's work in half. So as soon as you know that the DERIVATIVE of the sine is the cosine, then you know the DERIVATIVE of cosine is minus sine. Similarly, as soon as you know the integral of the secant, then you know the integral of the cosecant. Why don't more (any?) texts point this out?

I'm having trouble with NYT online, so nothing to report on today's SB.

king_yeti 7:05 AM  

100% agree with@Chaspark. Lunch at 10 is not a thing. Killed the theme for me and shocked that that didn’t bother Rex

Hungry Mother 7:10 AM  

More of a workout than expected, but a fun puzzle to solve. Nice theme, with some great punning.

kitshef 7:13 AM  

217th time in a row I have mis-guessed on AVER/AVOW.

@Joaquin my "gimme" for 1A off of SAKI was SiDe.

Also SEE red before SEETHE, Scat before SHOO, and stihl before ACURA (okay, you guys need to work on your advertising).

NIECY and NICE, SHAH and SHANANA were nifty … overall felt like a Monday, though.

Joe 7:15 AM  

I knew that cosine and sine weren’t reciprocal functions. It’s been 16 years since I had retired from teaching high school math, and I wanted to put co-functions. Then it hit me…calculus. The derivative of the sin = cos. The derivative of the cos = -sin.

amyyanni 7:17 AM  

Agree brunch, not lunch. Saki is a favorite and The Open Window a classic. Give it a read if you've the time. Like this a lot. KART and EL BARTO was a Natick that needed a lucky guess.

TonySaratoga 7:25 AM  

Exactly my thought. Nobody says 10-ish for lunch. Ever.

thfenn 7:25 AM  

Fun start to the day. Kept thinking there must be a reveal somewhere, but worked fine without one. This one felt different to me than the lisping Sylvester we had recently, so no swipes at making fun of slurring from me. Latched on to the theme at PARISHMETRO, but still labored over the last one, thinking nobody ever suggests lunch at 10. Sell before HAWK held me up a bit. My one shrug came at PANDA, as "Bear" had me thinking about professional athletes. Why the quotes? Pandas are bears, at least the giant panda is, you know, the one with black eye patches.

ncmathsadist 7:26 AM  

Proper name cross in NW. PU.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

1D-17A was something of a Natick for me. Otherwise it was a Tuesday.

mathgent 7:31 AM  

For those of you not familiar with calculus, here's an example of a DERIVATIVE. The graph of the function y = x ^ 2 is a parabola. Every point on the parabola has a tangent line running through it. Its DERIVATIVE is the slope of that tangent line, the angle it makes with the the parabola. The DERIVATIVE of y = x ^ 2 is the function y = 2 x. So the slope of the tangent line running through (3, 9), a point in the parabola, is 6 = 2 x 3.

The cosine function gives the slope of a tangent line running through a point on the graph of the sine function.

The theme works but it isn't smooth. ELVISH? IRISSCANNERS? Is PARISHMETRO really a term?

Very NICE fill with only seven Terrible Threes.


Son Volt 7:32 AM  

Liked this one - played a little slower for me but mainly due to trying to figure out the theme. ELVISH LIVES is pretty funny. There is some trivia here that was unknown but the crosses were fair.

I always knew that all the calculus and physics would help me one day. SELTZERS and PERSONA were nice - you can keep STEVE YOUNG. Just watched Bowser and SHA NA NA on the Festival Express movie last weekend. I wonder how the term IVIES originated…

Highly enjoyable Tuesday.

Joe Welling 7:43 AM  

I think 56D is a sort of collateral themer/revealer.

Mike G 7:51 AM  

Ugh. Did not like. Instantly forgettable.

ajd 7:51 AM  

I had REFLECTION before DERIVATIVE, which is what a cofunction is, I guess.

H.H. Munro 7:58 AM  

"The Open Window" is in practically every high school literature anthology text book. The clue is about as gomme as gimme gets.

Barbara S. 8:01 AM  

This was a good theme, which I completely misunderstood initially. The first themer I got was ELVISH LIVES, which I thought featured two anagrams ELVIS and LIVES separated (for some reason) by an H. That was a head-scratcher. But as I kept going, I realized the anagrammation was an accident and that the theme was entirely other. So I had more Aha moments in this one than were actually built into the puzzle. Another oddity of my solve was misreading 14A “Claim confidently” as “Claim confidentiality.” There’s a word for “claim confidentiality”?? I thought. I blame extreme heat for addling my brains.

Additional observations:
• 7 Vs
• 2 Pig Latin clues (Ixnay and Amscray)
• 2 great DOOKS (SIT SAT and SEE THE)
• RE: the hard answers, never in my life have I heard of ZOYSIA, but I have encountered NIECY NASH in a previous puzzle. Didn't know the quarterback, but then never know quarterbacks.

I’ve decided to forego a birthday author today in favor of an excerpt from “The Open Window” by SAKI (1D).

"Out through that window, three years ago to a day, her husband and her two young brothers went off for their day's shooting. They never came back. In crossing the moor to their favourite snipe-shooting ground they were all three engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog. It had been that dreadful wet summer, you know, and places that were safe in other years gave way suddenly without warning. Their bodies were never recovered. That was the dreadful part of it." Here the child's voice lost its self-possessed note and became falteringly human. "Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back someday, they and the little brown spaniel that was lost with them, and walk in at that window just as they used to do. That is why the window is kept open every evening till it is quite dusk. Poor dear aunt, she has often told me how they went out, her husband with his white waterproof coat over his arm, and Ronnie, her youngest brother, singing 'Bertie, why do you bound?' as he always did to tease her, because she said it got on her nerves. Do you know, sometimes on still, quiet evenings like this, I almost get a creepy feeling that they will all walk in through that window - "

crackblind 8:01 AM  

This theme should be referred to as "The Sean Connery."

Jess 8:05 AM  

Loved: ELVISH LIVES.
Meh: IRISH SCANNERS (iris scanners are fine, but not that interesting). Ugh: PARISH METRO (the "metro" part didn't change meaning for me here). Noooo: The clue for TENNISHANYONE. This is not a suggestion, but rather an invitation, "tennis, anyone?" is a weird phrase to me, and, of course, no one eats lunch at 10 AM.

TheMadDruid 8:08 AM  

Why “Greek H’s”? It’s not to be read as a possessive, is it?

Karl Grouch 8:09 AM  

Time to publicly disclose satisfaction?

Z 8:24 AM  

I’m sort of torn here. ELVISH LIVES! (or maybe “Edhelen na- cuin”)* seems like the kind of graffiti I want to see on the PARISH METRO, but NIECY NASH, KERI Russell, CHER, STEVE YOUNG, and one of Marshall Mather’s PERSONAs as a clue seemed a bit much. I didn’t count the PPP, and it seems fairly (i.e. not unfair because it comes from different types of pop culture) diverse, but I just can’t work up to caring about any of these people. That’s a lot of grid real estate devoted to fame and I just don’t care. So the theme made me smile, the PPP made me growl. Actually, more of a resigned shrug rather than a growl.

@kitshef - 217 times? Impressive. I always AV and wait.

ZOYSIA really looks like Adams giving Tuesday solvers the middle finger. I briefly pondered if SELTsER might be an alternative spelling because sOYsia at least has something recognizably plant in it.

@Son Volt - Well, you see, originally there were just four of them…**

Once again, yesterday, I was left pondering why certain anons have such difficulty with what is, to me at least, simple English. One positive is that I was reminded that SCA exists. I wonder what kind of camera they use.










*Yes, there is a website that translates English into ELVISH. Ain’t life grand.
** If we make this dumb joke often enough will it be believed?

Anonymous 8:26 AM  

Why put (for a Tuesday) after relative difficulty ? Seems redundant.

albatross shell 8:27 AM  

ETAS has to be a pointer if not an unclued revealer. Or at least maybe intended that way in some time during the construction process. Last down in the puzzle is the perfect location.

Hs or Hes or H's. The last is the clearest for the plural of a letter if you're not writing out the name of the letter. How it is justified grammatically I do not know.

I believe that not all letters have names. At least I think my Dad told me that 60 some years ago.

bocamp 8:28 AM  

Thx Christopher for this very challengingISH Tues. puz; enjoyed the battle! :)

Tough solve.

No foothold in the NW. Got started in the Dakotas and used PERSONA to branch out from there.

Was definitely out to lunch for most of this one. Not on the right wavelength at all.

As always, love a good, crunchy puz; toughest Tues. in a long time.

SHOO Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy ~ Dinah Shore

@jae

617 was comparatively easy; go figure LOL. See you next time; always look forward our shared interest in Croce's creations. :)

@TTrimble 👍 👍 for back-to-back 0s

And thx, I'll take all the character builders I can get.

@JC66 👍 for your 0 yd

@pabloinnh

👍 for the acrostic and thx for sharing your excellent SB result. :)
___



yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Brit solves NYT 8:37 AM  

No idea on ZOYSIA or NIECY so that was tricky - as a Brit had no idea on 12 Down or what it stands for (ACA). Liked it overall, though - amusing if simple theme.

Clue for cricket should be "Set of six balls", not "six bowls" - there are six balls in an over (the ball is bowled six times). Clues that reference Britain in some way, and there are several per week, are often wrong - clearly not ever checked with a Brit.

Peter P 8:37 AM  

@TheMadDruid (8:08 AM): One of the customary ways to make plurals out of numbers and single letters is to use the apostrophe-s construction. For example, the Oakland A's and not Oakland As. You can see in that example why it can be confusing. Consult your stylebook -- this is a matter of style, as they may vary slightly about when it is advised to do so. The Chicago Manual of Style, for example, only says to use apostrophe-s for the plurals of single lowercase letters; Associated Press Stylebook simply says plurals of single letters for that type of pluralization. Google's stylebook says italicize the letter, add an apostrophe, and an s in unitalicized type. And so on. It's just a convention. Some style guides -- though I can't remember which -- extend this to numbers, as well, and even longer initialisms. (Though this may be in older editions -- you'll see in older books plurals like "the 1920's.")

In this case, though, I do agree that I would prefer "Hs" to "H's" as there is no real source for confusion (other than with the chemical symbol for Hassium.)

This was a rough one for me, finishing in roughly about average Wednesday time. I agree with the other posters that the lunch at tennish clue left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, especially as it could have been solved by swapping out some letters and substituting "brunch" for "lunch." Lunch at its earliest starts at eleven for me, and the fast food joints even drew the line at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays back when all-day-breakfast menus weren't common. I backed my way into that answer with the ONE at the end filled in, so I was racking my brain trying to figure out a phrase that ended with ONE, since that actually is a lunch-time hour to most Americans.




Nancy 8:45 AM  

I loved the crunch of this most un-TuesdayISH Tuesday puzzle -- the challenging-to-get theme and the tricky offbeat cluing. And, had it had many less opportunities for proper name Naticks, I would have loved it a lot more. But there were plenty of such opportunities and I fell into one. SplISH.

I knew it would either be KARI/EL BARRIO or KART/EL BARTO and I had absolutely no idea which. I picked the former (since EL BARRIO has a certain familiar ring) and therefore wound up with a Tuesday DNF. Do I care? I care not so much that I had one, mind you, but that the unfair cross made one so likely.

Still, I forgive you, Christopher, because of TENNISH ANYONE -- which I loved and which I got, btw, off just the TENN. By then, though, I had the other themers and it was therefore pretty clear.

How have I gotten through an entire lifetime without ever having heard of ZOYSIA grass? I must remember to ask my brother the golfer if he's ever heard of it. I wanted Bermuda grass, which I thought was the best kind. But I'm a tennis player, and I also live in NYC. Is there ZOYSIA grass in Central Park? Beats me.

A very enjoyable, playful and challenging Tuesday -- but with too damn much PPP.

Blue Stater 8:46 AM  

Well, the usual: factual errors, linguistic errors, vanishingly obscure pop-cult names, a term (ZOYSIA) that *no* *one* has yet admitted to having encountered before. And all this on a Tuesday. Who edits this stuff? Oh wait....

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

Paris Metro, Elvis Lives, and Tennis Anyone are all familiar two word phrases. Iris Scanners not so much.

Unknown 8:53 AM  

@ MathGent "Paris Metro" is a thing . . . .

NIECY NASH on a Tuesday? I'd barely heard of the show, let alone the star.
Finished a couple of minutes above my normal Tuesday time, although it didn't feel especially tough. I started off with SIDE at 1A, as I'm not a SODA drinker

The weirdest thing in rex's blog was how he projects that someone (the puzzle constructor?) might be cruelly making fun of someone with slurred speech. Like, where did that thought remotely come from? Out of curiosity, did that thought occur to *any* of you loyal readers, until you read the review? I suppose one can find a microaggression pretty much anywhere, if you're willing to look hard enough (and distort the real world).

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

Gotta pile on with griping about lunch at 10. Shame on Shortz for not catching this. Who on earth eats lunch at 10? Maybe monks who eat breakfast at 3:30 in the morning. It's even on the early side for a brunch. A meal at 10 am is a late breakfast.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

Yeah, instinct said i-BEAM, but cross required T-BEAM. But, even on paper as I do, just needed to add the top-cross to fix.

As to accuracy: I-BEAM is (nearly?) always of steel, and is commonly seen as longitudinal span on elevated steel roadways. OTOH, the T-BEAM is also used in that construction, but is a hollow concrete item. Also common in parking decks.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

@Blue Stater:

I guess you don't watch much of that country club sport (if it is?) on the teeVee: golf. The interminable chatter from the chatterers always includes how the particular grasses used (fairway, rough, green) affect the nature of play. ZOYSIA is one of the handful.

Anonymous 9:11 AM  

what time does sean connery get to wimbledon? tennish. zoysia was some bs

Not a math pedant 9:18 AM  

I do not know calculus but really, what else could 3D have been with DER in place.

Piano Phil 9:19 AM  

Bravo for a Tuesday puzzle that doesn’t belong in the TV guide. Not a speed solve by any means, it took me a good 50% longer than average. I enjoy occasionally using my brain early in the week.

The PPP crosses were unforgivable though. The one in the NE I guessed correctly even though I never heard of that show, but the one in the NW took me four guesses. If you’re going to teach me something I don’t know, please make it something I might want to know.

Rusty on my high school trig and calculus, I hurriedly entered RECIPROCAL, which fit, but soon saw the error of my ways. There were several words like that for me today. But I enjoyed the challenge.

It’s good to see nobody trashing the puzzle this time for daring to use incorrect pronunciation.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

JD 9:19 AM  

What Rex said up to the point of Zoysia.

Surprised my optometrist never said, "This thing is a called an Iris Scanner."

Passed through Oxford many years ago and visited Tolkien's grave. Fans had left little trinkets all over it, including a note that said Frodo Lives. Didn't know Elvis did also. Big coincidence there.

Enjoyed Saki Soda Pots and IV Bags. Niecy Nash again so soon?

I'm sure there's someplace in the world where people eat lunch at 10 a.m. Unless at the NYT you go to lunch and then wait two hours before you order.

Here's something interesting from Webster. I imagine the two forms of the word are used interchangeably in calculus. Who would quibble? Potato Patahto.

Derivation: something that originates from something else : something derived : Derivative

(@mathgent, I tried to resist but all efforts were futile. Please forgive)

pmdm 9:20 AM  

The puzzle seemed filled with PPP and trivia that I am not familiar with. This caused me to hate the puzzle and neglect to complete it, which rarely happens on a Tuesday. I understand that I am one of the few that is unfamiliar with the Simpson universe, and how unusual that is. But for me, the sheer quantity of entries (especially on a Tuesday) that were like this turned me off. I do like challenging Tuesday puzzles, but not if the challenge is knowing so much PPP and trivia. Yes, Lewis, the constructor is quite good. But please do not keep this type of puzzle coming on a Tuesday.

Mathgent: You take me back to my college days, which I found enjoyable. I always thought the concepts were clearer than their explanations, and you've reminded me of that. Still, a nice explanation for those who care.

Nancy 9:20 AM  

@Joaquim (6:45) -- I was also ready to put in SURF (or TURF) at 1A, but didn't. The S worked for what I thought would probably be SAKI and the R worked for what at that point I thought might turn put to be RECIPROCAL. But there was no 4-letter word beginning with U that so far as I knew had anything to do with the game of cricket and there was no word beginning with F that meant "gotten up". So I waited -- and my patience paid off when SODA came in a few minutes later.

I never thought of SODA btw since it's never -- not even once -- been part of any combo meal for me. I just about never drink SODA at all (one of the few ways in which I'm reliably virtuous, dietarily speaking) and for a restaurant to offer me such a combo is about as much of a "come-on" as if they offered me a Sandwich and Paper Clip combo.

@TTrimble (7:05) and @mathgent (7:31) -- I intend to spend the rest of the morning patting myself on the back for having had the great good sense not to become a Math major :)

Birchbark 9:22 AM  

TENNISH ANYONE is a clue for lunch because they want to stand outside the restaurant for an hour before it opens. Then they'll have the place to themselves for 30-45 minutes. The waiter will be polite but mildly embarrassed. They'll find themselves whispering for no real reason. About the time they're paying the check, other diners will start to filter in.

And the noonish of it all, ending at the traditional beginning, will be a story to tell their grandchildren.

Early Riser 9:23 AM  

When your workday starts at 6:00AM, lunch is around 10:00AM. Dinner at 4, bed at 9.

RooMonster 9:24 AM  

Hey All !
I see Rex is back in the regular Search places. Good job, Rex. Don't let the bastards get you down!

Weird how no one is offended by this slurred/lisping puz but we're offended by the other one. Just sayin'.

Anyway, had first two themers, and still couldn't figure out what in tarhooties the theme was. Then got TENNISH ANYONE, and said "Ah. An extra H." (Side note: If you work third shift, TENNISH might actually be dinner time 🙂). Seemed a fair amount of PPP, but I knew most of them. PERSONA weirdly clued. Isn't Eminem a PERSONA already?

NW corner was wackadoshes. OVER as clued, huh? SAKI who?

Liked Rex's alternative of YETI for 1D. It is a TuesPuz, after all. Ease up the obscurities, please.

Side trivia: Can you get POTS to anagram five times?

ZOYSIA, geshundheit.

No F's (*SEETHE*) 😁
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

I agree with Rex that this was not your average Tuesday puzzle, difficulty-wise. ZOYSIA, OVER (as clued) and even NIECY/NASH may all be fine answers, but really don't belong in a Tuesday puzzle.

Aside from the inappropriate difficulty, however, I have to admit that I found the sheer number of NAMES annoying to the point of being wearisome:

NIECY/NASH
KERI
RENE
TARA
DEMI
CHER
SAKI
TINA
STEVE YOUNG
SHA-N-ANA

Is this the NYT or People Magazine?

Unknown 9:27 AM  

@Blue Stater 8:46 - Zoysia is a common lawn grass here in North Carolina and parts south. Does well in heat and humidity. Probably not grown in any of the blue states, except maybe California.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

Z
You got a set on you. Yesterday at 3:53 Unknown posted what had been clear for some hours and that everybody on this board knew: You were wrong about camera roll.
Now you have the gall to be glib about your mistake? Man you got a pair. Unlike you, I did not misunderstand teh meaning of camera roll or anachronistic. I used it perfectly and with a beautiful example. You? You think a link somehow refutes my argument and bolsters yours? Your arrogance is exceed only by your ignorance. And that is topped by your snugness.
even your quip is dim. The camera is not the crucial part of camera roll. And in my opinion it's a bad look for a guy who plays frisbee to be condescending about anything.

JMo 9:32 AM  

No idea who Niecy Nash is, so had gam rather than gym for place for reps. How else did I get these nice gams but by doing a few reps?

albatross shell 9:32 AM  

ZOYSIA grass was advertised in places like Parade magazine for decades. It was sold in plugs and not as seeds. It needs less mowing and watering and chokes out weeds. It also turns brown in winter. It is well-known as grass option. Not Kentucky bluegrass known. And less well known because of the plug situation and high initial cost. Wednesday thru Saturday well-known.

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

I am surprised Rex, the inventor of the term 'Natick', didn't comment at 'SAKI/KERI'. That was a bad one, to me.


It's 6:30am here, too late for breakfast if we're having lunch at 10.

pabloinnh 9:47 AM  

OK, I put in ZOYSIA immediately, and I knew how to spell it too. I can remember ads, usually in the inserts for our Sunday newspaper, for this miracle grass that you could replace your lawn with and "never have to mow again". This seemed so unlikely in far Upstate NY where I grew up that it has stuck with me. Maybe I was thinking--someday I'll be able to brag about this is a crossword blog. Probably not.

I had IRISHSCANNERS right away, but since iris scanners are virtually unfamiliar to me, the theme didn't kick in until TENNISHANYONE, which made for a nice delayed aha!, which I like.

Nice to see SHAHAHA, an inspiration to all us practicing doo-woppers.

Nice crunchy Tuesday, CA. Completely Acceptable, and thanks for the fun.

Carola 9:52 AM  

Fun and, well, pleasingly puzzling (figuring out the theme). From SAKI x SODA, I dropped down the left side, past IRISH...(what?), until I hit the jackpot at the inspired ELVISH LIVES. Loved it! Then went back and picked up the SCANNERS and PARISH METRO, and by then could make short work of the TENNISH invitation (with the same thoughts about brunch; the only TENNISH lunchers I know of are kids in school needing to have staggered, socially distanced lunch hours).

Help from previous puzzles: KART, DEMI, SHA NA NA. Help from being old: remembering TV commercials touting the wonders of ZOYSIA grass. No idea: EL BARTO, NIECY NASH.

Whatsername 9:56 AM  

A very tough Tuesday. To make matters worse, the theme is based on some Lord of the Rings thing that might as well be a foreign language. It was easy enough to figure out adding an H but that revealer! I get it and the punisHness of the answer is great but the clue was a total dud. Even way out here in the middle of the sticks, no one eats lunch at TENNISH.

I’ve said it before but if the word “wacky” can be used to describe it - be it a a book, a movie, or a crossword puzzle - it’s probably not going to be my favorite. No exception today.

Joaquin 9:57 AM  

One man's meat is another's Natick.

In my younger days, I owned a business that opened at 4:30 a.m. There was a group of similar businesses, all serving the same industry. Lunch at 10 was quite common for me and scores of my colleagues for many years.

ZOYSIA was a gimme, but TBEAM was new to me.

Joe Dipinto 10:07 AM  

Well, the final themer has multiple issues. First, I'll see and raise those who say 10:00 is too early for lunch: it's too early for breakfast as far as I'm concerned. Second, if you're trying to get a consensus from a group, wouldn't you be asking everyone, not just anyone? And third, I think the correct spelling would be TENISH or TEN-ISH. The double "n" looks weird.

But otherwise the puzzle seemed very off-the-beaten-path, which I liked. Weird, interesting answers, and on a Tuesday yet.

Today's musical selection is for those who are wondering if anything rhymes with ZOYSIA...

EdFromHackensack 10:12 AM  

NIECY NASH??? Never heard of her. I was jonesing for staCY dASH. agree with everyone else - no one lunches at 10. DNF at NIECe/GeM . This was very tough for a Tuesday . Thank God I knew Steve Young, but I never heard ZOYSIA grass . We just re-watched Moonstruck last week, I had not seen it since 1987. Great movie. I actually met Cher once in the 80s at a downtown club called Heartbreak on Varick Street. She was with her boyfriend, the bagel maker, I forget his name. Anyhow I was there with my GF who was from Dublin and we had a booth just the two of us. The place got REAL crowded and Cher asked if they could sit at the booth with us for awhile to get away from the mob. She was very nice to us and bought us drinks. This was pre-cellphones so no selfies...

Tim Carey 10:14 AM  

Yes. Ruined the puzzle for me.

Joaquin 10:15 AM  

@Anon (9:28) - Talk about a "bad look". Piling on @Z for yesterday's post and calling him arrogant, ignorant, and smug is really a "bad look" for you.

Tim Carey 10:19 AM  

Never heard of the story or the author. Haven't been to high school in fifty years but I guess this was before my time... in 1911.

howard a. brenner 10:20 AM  

I thought the theme was “get H out” not plusH

Frantic Sloth 10:24 AM  

This one is right where it belongs - on the Tuesdee, the day of misfit puzzles.

So are there really that many people who have lunch at TENNISH?? Save for those who work unusual shifts, I'm calling BS.

Tortured theme (it wasn't the only one), weird fill like POTS and SODA and ZOYSIA(???), and just an overall feeling of huh? What?

Best entry was SIT SAT, as in "this just didn't SIT right with me as I SAT there, staring in disbelief, dumbfounded by the total lack of 'wheee!'"

Not a fan.

🧠🧠.5
0🎉

Canon Chasuble 10:29 AM  

Wow... what a puzzle for a Tuesday. Challenging AND tough (a lot of trivia to be sure). Two limericks appropriate for today:

"The Scholarly Ibid"

A wonderful bird is the ibid
In appearance it's pale and insibid
It stands as a sage
At the foot of the page
To tell where the passage was cribbed

(Christopher Crittenden, 1958)


And one just to prove that statistics in cricket can be as meaningless as
those in any American sport

There once was a Darlington Rover
Who scored twenty runs in one over
Which had never been done
By an Archbishop's son
On Tuesday, in August, in Dover

Joaquin 10:29 AM  

@Joe Dipinto (10:07) - Congratulations! You have won the "Lifetime Achievement In Weird Links" trophy. This award will now be retired as it cannot be topped.

Tom R 10:31 AM  

Pretty good write-up by Rex today (except for missing lunch around 10). Zoysia in particular flummoxed me. Never heard of it. If you google grasses on golf courses it does not even show up, so I really wonder about the clue on a common golf course grass. But the big one for me is that this played closer to a normalISH Thursday than a Tuesday.

OffTheGrid 10:32 AM  

@Roo. Yes, POTS is my favorite multi-anagram.

jae 10:34 AM  

Tough, more like a Wed. plus. There’s some pretty obscure trivia...NIECY NASH, ZOYSIA, EL BARTO (maybe), PERSONA, STEVE YOUNG...which is likely to devour precious nanoseconds for the Tuesday level solver. Liked it, but not on a Tues.


@Anoa from yesterday - the hotel in Todos Santos was not the inspiration for Hotel California, it just claimed it was. The Eagles sued the hotel in 2018 over the false claim.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

Joaquin,
What?!!! Z stated back up. He's the one who reopened the camera roll crud. And he took a swipe at me gratuitously saying I didn't understand a simple word in English. This is through the looking glass bizarre.
I actually had dropped the matter at Unknown's request of 3:53 yesterday afternoon. Am I supposed to let an insult go unremarked upon? I can't defend myself against spurious claims? Please advise.

Charles Young 10:35 AM  

Negative sine. Not minus sine.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

@Unknown:

Ah, dreadful partisanship there! Stop picking on the Blue States. Demographers, and political wonks, have known for decades that there's really no such thing as a Blue/Red State Divide. The divide is city slickers and shitkickers. The shitkickers want to party like it's 1829 and the city slickers want to invent the next Better Mousetrap. Look up the precinct level vote for 2020: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/17/politics/donald-trump-joe-biden-2020-election/index.html Every Red State is grounded in Blue Cities.

Case in point in today's news: https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/08/politics/red-states-blue-cities-counties/index.html The hidebound Rural White Wingnuts are so scardy cat of the future, they're trying to pull their Blue Cities back with them. Because state senates are just as anti-democratic as the one in DC, they're trying to impose the Tyranny of the Minority. Isn't that the American Way?

Gotta love the Z 10:37 AM  

So sick of @Z's Anonemesis and his rude rants. I move on as soon as I realize the post is his.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

Uh, @Joe, the base word, and hence the pun, is TENNIS. capice?

TJS 10:47 AM  

@Joe, I had to quit at "I wish I was a keg of beer".

Loved the limericks, @Canon.

Nice Tuesday, a little grittier than usual, which I like.

And the math geeks have their say. Whew, thanks guys...

Don't feed the trolls.

Crimson Devil 10:50 AM  

Very tough for Tues. Hand up re lunch/brunch. 10:30 is earliest ever heard of restaurant serving lunch.
Lotsa unknowns, e.g. NIECY NASH, KARI, KERI, TBEAM, but all ultimately obtainable.
Had not intended to spend this much time on Tues puz.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Affordable Care Act. ACA

Whatsername 11:05 AM  

@albatross shell (8:12 last night) I support your objection to the suggestion that hillbillies [and rappers] degrade the language. I don’t know any rappers but do know a lot of people who some might consider hillbillies. Their coinages and manner of speaking reflect their day-to-day lives and culture, in spite of how they might be judged by others. They are no more inappropriate than those originating with other local dialects throughout the country. different does not make ANYONE wrong.

@Barbara (8:01) Good call on the quote today. I love the imagery it evokes.

@Blue Stater (8:46) I will admit to having encountered ZOYSIA grass both on and off the golf course but I’m not sure I could identify it in a lineup.

@Joaquin (10:15) Bravo!


@Canon (10:29) I always appreciate a good limerick. Those are great!

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

There aren't enough spaces for Elbarrio

GILL I. 11:06 AM  

Dare I say Shucky darns...or as they say in my neck of the woods: AY CARAMBA.???
I'll start with 1D.....The only "Open Window" I've tasted is a painting by Matisse. And because I had no laundry to do, I just plopped in SATI. I thought is SATI an author's name? It turns out that SATI is the act of a woman throwing herself on her husband's funeral pyre. Now, who does that? You'd think after years of being a slave to washing dishes and making his bed, you'd really want to dance the fandango tango. Sigh.
I got the ISH thingie at PARISH METRO. Did I do a whoopdeedoo, you ask? No. SIT SAT SHAT me good.
Did anyone else want NOONISH ANY ONE? No? Was I the only one thinking a little Tuesday romp?
How do you pronounce BUOY? How do you spell ZOYSIA?
My one and only smile was EL BARTO because everything else felt El Stinko....

JD 11:10 AM  

@Frantic, Sit Sat (I thought it). Why is it so much fun to say. And isn't the Island of Misfit Puzzles where Santa takes them?

Someone help me out here. Isn't this the third time in about two months that Niecy Nash has been in the puzzle or have I been hallucinating again? Once it once her first name and then twice, first and last?

bocamp 11:16 AM  

Once again I fail to grok the full import of the theme. Easily got the ISH and the wackiness of the themers, but failed to detect the rational part of the phrases (except for TENNIS (h) ANYONE). IRIS, PARIS & ELVIS flew right over my head. Seeing the TENNIS ANYONE sparked the tiniest bit of spidey-sense, but I didn't act on it to scrutinize the other three. :(

NIECY NASH

@Early Riser (9:23 AM) / (Joaquin 9:57 AM)

Hands up for TEN(N)ISH lunch time. 🌞
___



td pg -10

PEACE ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Ya gotta tolerate Z 11:26 AM  

Anonymous camera roll guy. You need to join Z-anon. It is an organization for people who get terribly riled by @Z’s inability to admit he might be even somewhat wrong. I joined a while back and now I calmly read his posts with the philosophy that he just can’t help himself.
As for the puzzle, it was one of the most enjoyable Tuesday offerings I can remember. I agree that ZOYSIA is probably a non-Tuesday word but I don’t think that (as someone said above) that a middle finger was given by the constructor.

jberg 11:45 AM  

These comments are sad evidence of the decline of the once-great Parade magazine. According to their website, it is still "America's most popular magazine," but seldom actually read anymore. Like @Albatross and @Pablo, I remember learning about ZOYSIA grass there. Then decades later we started spending most of March in Captiva, a barrier island off the west coast of Florida, and I realized that was what the lawn around our cottage consisted of. It's pretty ugly, but very low maintenance. I didn't know it was grown on golf courses, though -- I assume for fairways, it wouldn't work for greens (they're mostly creeping bent, I think). Anyway, that was a big help.

I needed that elp, what with ll the weird proper names. Eminem's PERSONA? I thought "Eminem" WAs a persona, so we're getting a bit meta here. And I never heard of either NIECY NASH or "Claws," which I figured must be a pet show. A seemed the best guess for the TARO/NASH crossing, but I had to get NIECY entirely from crosses, which required giving up i-BEAM first.

I do think it's a bit much to expect us to be able to link advertising slogan with products. I had URA, so it had to be the car, but sheesh! (I was thinking at first that "combo meal" was a slogan as well, but realized that I was thinking of Happy Meal, most common exemplar of that genre. @Nancy, you probably don't spend a lot of time at McDonald's, or you'd have guessed SODA right off.)

So remembering Parade magazine made me feel old, but not as old as the realization that no one else here seems to know that the SAVE icon is not a floppy disk, but a rigid diskette, which is long obsolete but not as long as the 5-1/4" floppy disk, which actually was floppy, that it replaced. Ah, the good old days!

Conrad 11:46 AM  


@Anon 7:00: The Alps, mostly.

DF 12:00 PM  

What an awful, brutally hard Tuesday. Almost twice my usual Tuesday time. ZOSIA has no place in an early-week puzzle. No one has ever in history suggested getting lunch at 10 or anywhere around 10. That's insane. Iris Scanners are a thing I guess but it's really not a common phrase or even much of a phrase at all. Who is SAKI and what is The Open Window? If you open your downs on a Tuesday with a literary reference, it probably shouldn't be an extremely obscure proper noun clued with an equally obscure reference. What is Claws and who is NIECY NASH? Again, an obscure, impossible to infer set of answers. SELTZERS plural is bad. No one says "I CAN'T NOW" to mean I'm too busy at the moment--it would almost certainly be "I can't right now." The list of bad clues and worse answers goes on and on. Truly one of the least pleasant solves in some time.

tea73 12:00 PM  

I was surprised so many people did not know about zoysia grass. I remember it being very common when I was growing up. You always knew who had it because they'd have a very dense no weed brown expanse in the winter. It doesn't do well too far north or too far south.

Did not remember ever seeing the Saki story - the one we read was "The Gift of the Magi", but how many four letter authors beginning with the letter S are there? Shaw?

I must once have known that sines and cosines were derivatives, but it was easy enough to figure out.

Liked the theme, especially since I needed it to finally decipher that last themer. Agree it could easily and more accurately have been clued brunch.

jb129 12:06 PM  

I was happy to see a challenging Tuesday - however, I didn't expect to have to cheat - oh well.

What's this obsession with "The Simpsons"?

And I liked it better when Rosemary Woodhouse (in "Rosemary's Baby" said, holding up the locket -

Tannis anyyone?

But that's just me.

MarthaCatherine 12:09 PM  

Maybe I'm the only one herein who had never read The Open Window by SAKI. But especially after reading the excerpt provided by Barbara S., I went immediately to find it and read it. I was expecting a sad, heart-tugging tale with a disconsolate ending--maybe even ghost-story-ish (I just made up that word), based on the quote.

It is really very funny. Smarty-pants 15-year-old.

Frantic Sloth 12:10 PM  

@Birchbark 922am 🤣 Oh, the noonishity! (Yes, I see it.)

@Z Oooh! I see a fun typo for you. Can you guess what it is? (There might be more than one, but I have a fave.)

@JD 1110am I turn around and there you are! Of course Santa populated that magical, hidden island, which remained unknown until discovered by Yukon Cornelius.

burtonkd 12:19 PM  

Niecy Nash was also in the fantastic HBO cringe-comedy Getting On. Hands up for being an unapologetic Reno 911! fan.

Naticked at SA_I/_ERI. Was pretty sure there was a Teri other than Garr.

old timer 12:28 PM  

Bah! And furthermore, pah! The puzzle was way to obscure for a Tuesday, and I had a DNF, having settled for "gem" instead of the clever GYM as a place for reps. I really think it is time for the Times to have a new xword editor. TENNISH is just wrong for lunch. Even people who start work at 4:30 a.m. don't lunch at TEN. They have coffee and maybe a sweet ROLL around 7 a.m. and eat a nice lunch when they get off work. And the clue could so easily have referred to brunch. Restaurants with a big brunch trade often do open at TEN or TEN-Thirty, and can turn their tables twice before closing for a few hours in mid-afternoon.

I did have something to say about the Hotel California. It's in Oakland, and is clearly visible from the freeway. The Eagles folks would have seen it all the time, and according to Wiki, it was famous for clubs catering to African-Americans, back in the 50's and 60's. Therefore also well-known to White musicians, who cut their musical teeth listening to blues, soul, and funk. Pigpen, of the Grateful Dead, would have been a regular at places like that.

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

Ya gottta tolerate...
You're right. I know you're right. I'll look for a meeting. Thanks.

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry

kitshef 1:11 PM  

@tea73 12:00 PM. The Gift of the Magi is by O. Henry, who had his own talents, but nothing like the dark humor of Saki. Pick up a Best of Saki collection from your local library and enjoy.

Anonymous 1:15 PM  

Sadly, I am all too familiar with Zoysia after my neighbor over seeded his lawn with it. It’s incredible dense, slow growing, and quite invasive. For the last several years, it’s been working it’s way through my yard about 5-10 feet per year. I had to buy a more powerful lawnmower to mow it, and worse of all... in our temperature zone, it turns brown for the winter. On the bright side, no weeds.

Teedmn 1:22 PM  

Har, I was so happy with the play on "Tennis, anyone", that it never occurred to me that maybe ten was too early for lunch. I was also very happy to exchange my DERIVATIon with DERIVATIVE because I was another one wondering about the cross-culture of Lord of the Rings and the ELoI (Eloise?)

It took me a few AGES to get rid of Aeon in the SE because STEVE YOUNG who? (All right, I've seen the name but it isn't at the top of my brain.)

I first took this theme to be concerned with dupes because I had RENE at 17A, mixing my Russells with Russo, oops. KERI made the NW corner so much easier to fill in.

Christopher Adams, thanks for the fun Tuesday. You always provide a bit of challenge.

TTrimble 1:32 PM  

@Charles Young
Re "Negative sine": that would be considered by no less than the esteemed mathematician Paul Halmos to be a vulgarization; he would go with "minus sine". (Citation: page 271 of his I Want to Be a Mathematician".) The only point where it could be confusing is where students hear "minus sign" instead of "minus sine", but when teaching I routinely take particular care not to be misunderstood here.

Are you in mathematics yourself? The sine function (as a function of a real variable) takes on both positive and negative values. If you were to say "negative sine of 7 pi over 6", your students might well be confused and think you meant a negative number.

I won't claim that "negative sine" is "wrong", but you should be aware that many, many mathematicians are more inclined toward my usage. I plan on sticking with it, thank you very much.

Joe Dipinto 1:42 PM  

@Anon 10:39 –

TENNISH doesn't work as well as the others because the word meaning "around 10:00" is not spelled with a double N. Google TENNISH, then google TEN-ISH or TENISH. Comprende now?

Anoa Bob 1:44 PM  

This one had a couple of nice little trips down memory lane for me. Helped put myself through grad school by having a lawn care business, so I slammed dunked ZOYSIA, boom! After I got my degree and landed a job in Japan, one of my coworkers, who by this time had his Ph.D. in Government, was an original member of SHANANA. I was able to confirm this years later by watching a YouTube video of SHANANA's performance at Woodstock. Yeah, that's him!

Well, there goes one of my few remaining claims to fame. I was crushed, crushed I tell you, by jae's @10:34 comment that the Todos Santos, Mexico Hotel California is not the one in the Eagles' song. Now I see why I was able to both check out and leave! I wonder if it's too late to get a refund on my bogus tee shirt.

I always notice and think it takes major points off a puzzle's overall score when one of the themers is too short for its slot and needs a letter count boost from the oh-so-convenient plural of convenience POC. Today it's IRISH SCANNER that isn't up to the job. That tacked-on S shared by 11D BEE also makes a two-for-one POC. That along with two more two-for-one POCs (TOIL/SELTZER, ETA/AGE) gives this grid a POC assisted feel to me.

Maybe a "brunch" clue would have met with less scorn for TENNISH. But that still would not address the "It's actually TEN-ISH" issue.

EdFromHackensack 1:45 PM  

Whatever happened to Evil Doug? anyone know? I got a kick out of him

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

It says 'brunch' in my online version. I wonder if it got updated. I did this at 12:30pm central.

PhotoAde 2:21 PM  

I believe the brunch/lunch has been "fixed". Definitely should have been caught in editing.

albatross shell 2:40 PM  

Yes it does say brunch on the puzzle you get when you click on the link at the end of the Wordplay column. Still says lunch in the nyt app which I use.

@Whatsername 1105am
I appreciate your comment and even more your bracketed rephrasing. I was dithering about that and somehow did not even put it quotes like I intended. Thank you.

Nancy 2:49 PM  

It also now says "brunch" on xword.info. Since (supposedly) Will Shortz never reads our blog, I went to see if there had also been TENNISH lunch complaints on Wordplay and there are. It's an easy enough fix, so I imagine WS saw the complaints and decided to fix it.

I blush to admit that the whole time of lunch inaccuracy flew right under my radar. I was so delighted to get TENNISH ANYONE off just the TENN -- both delighted with myself and delighted with the cute answer -- that I never noticed what time of day we were eating. But I love @Joe D.s comment that 10 a.m. is too early even for breakfast. It is when other people are involved. My brother and SIL have on more than one occasion invited me to have breakfast with them at 10 a.m. in NYC before they drive back to CT in the early afternoon. I get up early enough to have my own pre-breakfast, including coffee, so that by the time I meet them, I'm actually alert and functioning. "Breakfast meetings", whether business or pleasure, have always seemed barbaric to me.

Tom T 3:06 PM  

Got off to a tough start when I decided the obvious answer for "part of a combo meal" was SiDe. Oof!

As for the use of an apostrophe for pluralizing a letter (H's)--I have found it my standard practice because, if you don't insert the apostrophe, 4 of the five vowels (A's, E's, I's, & U's) become potentially confusing words (As, Es, Is, & Us).

Anonymous 3:19 PM  

'part of a combo meal'?

well, has to either SURF or TURF. right?

Unknown 4:10 PM  

“Getting On” was a star vehicle for Niecy Nash; watch a couple of (cringe-inducing, as noted above) episodes and you’ll never forget that name.

Unknown 4:12 PM  

It also says “brunch” on the NYT Crossword app (ipad).

Z 4:35 PM  

Brunch is obviously better than lunch for TENNISH, but I spent four years as a HS assistant principal where I got in by 6:00 every morning so I didn’t even blink an eyelash.

@EdFromHackensack - I think he left the NYTX for the WSJX.

@TTrimble - I won't claim that "negative sine" is "wrong", - 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

@Frantic Sloth - Was the typo mine or somebody else’s?

@jberg - For whatever reason, those rigid disks were also called floppy disks.

@TJS - Sometimes it is just impossible.

@Joaquin 10:15 - TBF arrogant and smug are fair, so 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

iamjess 4:39 PM  

... the NYTXW app clearly says "brunch" so I am confused about the comments here. Maybe since I don't do the crossword until noon Alaska time the editors changed the clue before I got to it.

Crimson Devil 5:06 PM  

52 across clue in hard copy/paper this AM says “lunch”.

Anonymoose 5:23 PM  

The clue got changed on the NYT e-edition version, too. But I don't really understand why all these changes were made. It seems pretty silly. It's only a nit, not some grievous error. And why isn't it called Leakfast?

Anoa Bob 5:52 PM  

I see that the Eagles are starting their "Hotel California Tour" on Aug. 22 at NYC's Madison Square Garden. Coincidence or yet another NYTXW product placement?

JD 6:10 PM  

@Anonymoose, Because that's what you do before you go to breakfast.

Anonymous 7:45 PM  

@Z:
@jberg - For whatever reason, those rigid disks were also called floppy disks.

the reason is obvious: the 'disc' per se is the same rust covered mylar as the 8" and 5 1/2" of even older yore.
one of the few things that IBM actually invented, for the purpose of distributing operating system updates.

BarbieBarbie 7:51 PM  

The Open Window is a great great story, right up there with the one about the talking cat. Read More Saki.

Nice puzzle, I liked the Conneryness of it.

BarbieBarbie 7:54 PM  

Tobermory! Knew the talking cat one would come to me as soon as I hit Send.

CaribbeanCarrie 7:58 PM  

I did not read all 118 comments, so I apologize if someone has already mentioned this. My comment is not about the crossword puzzle, but a grammatical error in your write-up. You wrote, "it finally sunk in." I'm sure you know that it should have been "it finally sank in." and it was just a typo. Thank you for your daily write-up. I always check my answers and read the comments on your site.

pabloinnh 8:05 PM  

Too hot here to do anything but stare at my laptop, but that led to the first QB in a very long time, which I have to say feels pretty good.

Still hot though.

JC66 8:26 PM  

@pablo

Mazel Tov!

Joe Dipinto 8:48 PM  

So I just read all two pages of "The Open Window". He-hee.

sasses 9:56 PM  

I am finding Barbara's reviews and readings more enjoyable than Rex's reviews.

albatross shell 10:24 PM  

@CarribeanCarrie
There seems to be strong support that sank and sunk are equally correct as a past tense for sink. Probably true for shrank and shrunk too. I never thunk so.

Bloo 11:14 PM  

If lunch is at 10 I’d hate to think when breakfast starts.

Z 11:42 PM  

@Anon7:45 - This makes me wonder if Apple not including a floppy drive in the original iMac was at least a little bit of a middle finger at IBM disguised as “progress.”

RooMonster 12:10 AM  

Wake up at 3AM to go to work at 4AM, take that hour to shower, eat breakfast, drive/commute to work, then lunch at 10AM, dinner at 4PM, go to bed at 8PM. Repeat.
😁👍🤯

Larry Rosenthal 1:23 AM  

That’s a blunder, that one.
Shows us what “editor” means (& don’t).

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