Surname of Harry Potter's adoptive family / SUN 6-6-21 / Top low-cal ice cream brand / Onetime hair removal brand / Traveled like Charon / Portrayer of Marvel's Hawkeye / One of the holy trinity ingredients in Cajun cuisine / Particles composed of two up quarks and one down quark / Longtime Ohio State basketball coach Matta

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Constructor: Robyn Weintraub

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Olio" — it's just a themeless

Word of the Day: Jeremy RENNER (52A: Portrayer of Marvel's Hawkeye) —

Jeremy Lee Renner (born January 7, 1971) is an American actor and singer. He began his career by appearing in independent films such as Dahmer (2002) and Neo Ned (2005). Renner earned supporting roles in bigger films, such as S.W.A.T. (2003) and 28 Weeks Later (2007). Renner was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Hurt Locker (2008) and for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Town (2010).

Renner played Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), with further appearances scheduled in the upcoming Disney+ show Hawkeye, to be released in 2021. He also appeared in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), The Bourne Legacy(2012), Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Hustle (2013), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), and Arrival (2016). (wikipedia)

• • •

This is very good for what it is, but unfortunately (for me), what it is is a Sunday themeless, and these are just never going to be interesting to me. As I've said before, it's a giant (literally, giant! 21x21!) shrug. A Sunday-sized "we give up, here's some stuff." It's too easy to be that interesting, and since the grid is so big, the construction doesn't feel particularly special. That is, yeah, you can get a lot of longish answers into a 21x21. There's lots of room. I just don't care as much as I ought to care. And today's grid shape was really vanilla. No, wait, I like vanilla. A vanilla malt is the best thing in the world. Let's call it "boilerplate" instead. It looks like a template of some kind. It's a very clean grid, and many of the entries here are interesting, but the overall effect of said entries in a Sunday themeless is ho-hum. There's a reason the NYTXW didn't do Sunday themelesses until, what, like two or three years ago? It's because they're a cop-out. I hear that some people enjoy them. I'm happy for them. For me, they're a non-event. There's no real low, no real high, just ... middle middle middle. Time passes, and then the puzzle is done. Solving one of these unthemed Sundays, even a very competent one like this, isn't necessarily better than solving a disastrous themed Sunday, to be honest. Certainly, from a blogging perspective, this is much much worse, as there's really hardly anything to say.

Had trouble with a few entries. Didn't understand that the "foundation" in 3D: Foundation options (TONES) was make-up until after I got every single letter from crosses. Wanted TILES at one point. Had "COMING!" before "COME IN" (13D: Reply to a ring), which probably resulted in the biggest snag of the solve (not that big). The toughest overall section, for me, was roughly SAILED OFF down to HERS, an answer I still don't think I get. Or else I do get it, and what I don't get is why anyone thought it was clever? Like, it's HERS because the lace belongs ... to Queen Anne? I am smiling with my mouth only. Anyway, between SAILED OFF and HERS, I tripped over ONAUTO, HALO, DOULA (nice clue) (67A: Birth day presence?), and DOTS (thought they were called "tittles," those DOTS). Oh, and I had WEASLEY before DURSLEY (33D: Surname of Harry Potter's adoptive family). I *did* think, "wait, the Weasley's never actually adopted him, did they?" And no. No they did not. 

Not seeing much of anything else worth commenting on. I do like RETAIL THERAPY and NOT EVEN CLOSE, though, again, I would like them a hell of a lot more in the more constrained confines of a 15x15 grid, with tougher clues and symmetrical answers that also danced and sparkled. There's just not a lot of zing to be had in the themeless Sunday experience.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 12:03 AM  

I literally gasped aloud when I saw the byline.
Robyn Weintraub on the Sundee?? Sweet, fancy Moses!

Okay. All fangirlin' aside, is this really a themeless?
Because did anyone else have some indication (highlight, greying, circles, or whatever) that 74D BEATSME (*shrug*) is special somehow? (For me on the NYT website the squares were tinted with a seafoam or mint green color and they were the only ones.) What could that possibly mean? So, I wondered if it had something to do with this being a themeless...or not?
Cripes. For the amount of time I spend in utter befuddlement, you'd think I'd be comfortable with it by now. Nope. I'm just a dope. Guess you could say I'm a victim of the "nope a dope" syndrome. Yeah. I know. πŸ™„
Eh. I'm sure somebody will have an answer.

But never mind that - this was so much fun! I think I smiled throughout the entire solve. Some of it dropped in without half a thought, some sneakiness required a bit of mental gymnastics (I'm lookin' at you, POWERNAP, you little SCAMP...ERer), but all of it was done with pure glee.

Particularly loved the clueing for HERS, DOULA, EYEROLLS and some of the entries were impressive just by themselves: RETAILTHERAPY, FORGETABOUTIT (sans wiseguy inflection), ASIWASSAYING, COINEDAPHRASE, and so much more.

I could go on forever, but I'll spare all y'all. Thank you, Ms. Weintraub for making the Sundee bright again!


jae 12:04 AM  

Medium. Delightful themeless, liked it a bunch.

If you’re interested in the gritty backstory of TV’s Perry Mason, the HBO series staring Matthew RHYS is worth a look. It also stars Tatiana Maslany from one of my favorite shows Orphan Black.

Joaquin 12:06 AM  

I'm stunned that Rex didn't love this RW puzzle. I assumed that anything with her name on it would be a winner with Rex. Gotta give him credit for his consistent curmudgeoness.

I often find Sunday's a boring slog but I thought today's was great; however, I do have to admit I missed having a theme.

Ken Freeland 12:15 AM  

Easy? Yeah, I guess...but for those few of us who always have to work around the PPP clues, the (non)theme answers pretty much had to be gimmes, or this puzzle would probably have been a real pistol. Was able to finish cleanly, which felt pretty refreshing after last week's natick-fest, so I'll take what I can get...LOL

okanaganer 12:23 AM  

Well I found this a refreshing change from a typical Sunday. A nice looking grid, instead of a dog's breakfast of clumps of black squares. Many longer answers. And nice ones!

I often find Sunday a bit of a grind, but not tonight. As I was saying: forget about it, not even close.

MommaJ 1:09 AM  

Easy, pedestrian, boring. Worst Sunday crossword in memory.

albatross shell 1:09 AM  

To those who have been having trouble getting to this site lately:
I have an android phone. I have been having the same problem. I found a solution that worked for me. I had been getting here the same way for a long time. It stopped working. Instead of searching rex parker does the nyt crossword I searched blogspot or blogger rex parker does the nyt crossword. I forget which. I got the wrong date again. I scrolled down to the bottom and clicked on view web version. Then scrolled to the archives, clicked on 2021 and the current one appeared at the top. Scrolled down to view mobile version and clicked on that. That gave me what I normally see and I clicked on the 3 dots at the top right, and clicked on add to home page. Now when I click on that icon on my homepage I get what I always was getting to before the trouble started and the new day's puzzle shows up automatically just like it use to. If this helps anyone, you are most welcome. If not, I hope you find a variation that works for you.

Le Perniflard 1:16 AM  

I initially put MIDORI
PERNOD is actually a milky yellow when mixed with water. The bottle is green.
That’s like saying that Heineken Beer is green.
Il sont fadas !

Cross@words 1:20 AM  

Back for the puzzle later, but, first a question —
@ttrimble, are you a student of Myles tierney, who was a student of s eilenberg, who was a student of k kuratowski, who was a student of s mazurkiewicz?
If so, we are second cousins, once removed.
Mazurkiewicz had another student, Anton zygmund, who had a student, vic shapiro, who was my advisor (I am j c fay).

JD 1:31 AM  

Oh wow. Genius. Easy but not mindless. Engaging and rewarding.

Clever AND sound. Running around, and up and down the steps, I fell into so many traps before correcting with crosses. Winning Bid, Scurries, At Best, Dice.

And loved Line Item Veto, As I Was Saying, Not Even Close. Forget About It, Rate - A Ten. This will be hard to top.

@Frantic, I had one answer of seafoam green too but it disappeared when I moved on.

chefwen 2:58 AM  

I love Robyn Weintroub puzzles and this one was very engaging, really liked all the long crosses. I was going to cite a few, but i see that @JD has beat me to the punch.

However, like Rex I really look forward to a fun theme on Sunday, so that was a disappointment. Still love ya Robyn.

Robin 2:59 AM  

This has a couple semi-Naticks.

The intersection of 39A/42D... Two possible spellings of 39A and if you've never heard of 42D, well, tough for you.

Also, 76A/62D... the cross is reasonable, but some might instead enter an I.

Unknown 3:40 AM  

Rex is right about a vanilla malted. An ordinary chocolate shake is better than an ordinary vanilla shake, but if I find a place that makes actual malted milkshakes, I'll always go for a vanilla malted.

Anonymous 3:46 AM  

@robin 2:59 Is anyone going to bother looking up these clue numbers? Seriously, would it kill you to mention the actual words that cross?

matey 4:37 AM  

charming but a tad too easy.

Conrad 5:42 AM  

This took me longer than usual for Sunday, but that was because I was solving while watching the Belmont Stakes (my horse came in second).

My big hang-up was in the SW, where I dropped in BIGOTRY for 68A ("All in the Family" subject) with no crosses, then took it out when I decided that the film faux pas at 70D had to be outtakeS, which has the same letter count as GAGREELS. Minor hang-up with SAILEDOut instead of SAILEDOFF at 53A, but that resolved quickly.

@Frantic: I didn't notice the seafoam/mint green coloration on 74D, but that's because I solved using the app on the iPad. It isn't there. I got the odd tint when I looked at the puzzle on the Web site. What gives? Beats me.

BarbieBarbie 6:27 AM  

Nobody’s mentioning my favorite mid-length answer: RAT-EATEN.

Lewis 6:40 AM  

Hah! That crossword stalwart OLIO as the title! Robyn specializes in coaxing out smiles FROM EAR TO EAR in down-to-earth phrases that we all recognize, and especially in her witty cluing, today no exception: [Bits of hijinks?] for DOTS, [Like Queen Anne’s lace?] for HERS, [Advice to one in a lather] for RINSE, and [Some diners … and donors] for PATRONS.

But underneath the humor lies extraordinary constructing skill. Here, in a huge Sunday puzzle is hardly any junk; it’s as SPOTLESS as a cleanroom. This, despite a low word count – most Sundays are 140 words, while today’s is 10 less than that. That shows talent, absolutely, but also persistence – 22 versions of fill-in (according to her notes) until she was satisfied! And freshness – 14 NYT debut answers!

I found this solve so pleasurable, like one of those days when you’re swimming laps and get into a groove where the work is energizing and you don’t want it to end. Robyn, I can’t wait for your next one. Your puzzles are a gift. Thank you for that, and for this one!

Son Volt 6:44 AM  

This puzzle should be retitled “how much 6 letter fill can you shove into a grid”. It looks nice - but halfway thru I wanted it over. The entire center bordered by the diagonal blacks is brutal. Liked some of the longs - FROM EAR TO EAR and NOT EVEN CLOSE sparkled.

Alabama slammers were popular in the late 70s - never tried one. I have had PERNOD though and it is not green.

A coworker has a Camaro convertible that could be argued is not a COUPE.

Not an enjoyable Sunday.

Barbara S. 6:49 AM  

AARGH! I’m so aggravated to have had a one-letter DNF on Robyn Weintraub’s debut Sunday puzzle. And a rare Sunday themeless at that. I could not parse the clue for 18D “Be considered perfect.” I kept thinking that I’d understand “is considered perfect” or “was considered perfect,” but “BE considered perfect”?? Anyway I finally filled in RATEsTEN, didn’t get the happy music, tried RATEdTEN, still didn’t get the happy music, adjusted my toga, and fell on my sword. Which is to say that I clicked on REVEAL PUZZLE. And, of course, when I saw RATEATEN, the scales fell from my eyes. Except that I said out loud, much to my husband’s consternation, “RAT EATEN??” And then “RATE-ATEN” (pronounced RAH-TAY-AH-TEN), a newly discovered ancient Egyptian god? I was delirious by this point.

Apart from that debacle, I liked the puzzle, although I didn’t think it was Robyn at her absolute sparkly best. I think the problem may have been those two parallel diagonal swaths through the middle of the grid, resulting in a large number of six-letter answers. She did what she could to give them lively clues (e.g. SANDER – “it helps take the edge off”), still I thought they detracted from the overall effect. But I loved FROM EAR TO EAR, NOT EVEN CLOSE, RETAIL THERAPY and COINED A PHRASE, among others.

Two passages today from AKWAEKE EMEZI, born June 6, 1987.

“I'm not what anyone thinks I am. I never was. I didn't have the mouth to put it into words, to say what was wrong, to change the things I felt I needed to change. And every day it was difficult, walking around and knowing that people saw me one way, knowing that they were wrong, so completely wrong, that the real me was invisible to them. It didn't even exist to them. So: If nobody sees you, are you still there?”
“I kept the book for the title, for how it was spelled. Beautyful. I had no idea why that spelling was chosen, but I liked it because it kept the beauty intact. It wasn’t swallowed, killed off with an i to make a whole new word. It was solid; it was still there, so much of it that it couldn’t fit into a new word, so much fullness. You got a better sense of exactly what was causing that fullness. Beauty. I wanted to be as whole as that word.”
(Both from The Death of Vivek Oji)

Marc 6:55 AM  

I agree with MommaJ. An impressive grid, but the result is total boredom. Where's the sparkle? Not here!

Colin 7:10 AM  

So many long answers, which I now know to be quite difficult to construct. Kudos. I don't get HERS either for "Like Queen Anne's lace?" but enjoyed many of the other clues. For "Task for a sous-chef," I had CHOP before PREP, and FETA before PITA for "Taverna staple."

On this beastly-hot day in the NYC area, I think we'll just stay in and stay cool, and do a boatload of other puzzles.

OffTheGrid 7:12 AM  

Thank you @Rex for being happy for me. I loves the Sunday themeless and it's so rare that it is a very special treat. My day begins on a high.

amyyanni 7:31 AM  

Good time. Don't mind it being themeless because it flowed. And because Robin. D-Day Anniversary. My uncle was there.

Z 7:33 AM  

A Sunday puzzle is roughly twice as large as a regular 15x15 puzzle (441 squares as opposed to 225), but a Sunday themeless doesn’t feel like getting twice the themeless experience. So I get what Rex is saying. But still, this was a pleasant solve. The WaPo Sunday has themeless puzzles on a semi regular basis and they always fall in this competent but not thrilling middle ground, too. I guess part of it is that I expect themeless cluing to be punched up a little, and Sundays tend to be mid-week levels of difficulty. But, again, this all sounds like I didn’t like the puzzle when I did.

@Frantic Sloth and @JD - Maybe it’s time to adjust the Vibranium dosage?

@Albatross Shell - Obviously the issue is you’re not using the official smartphone of the NYTX.

@Le Perniflard - I wonder why it’s called la fΓ©e verte and not la fΓ©e jaune then.

@Robin - THAD Matta is a reach (my go to THAD is Stevens) but SPATIAL doesn’t strike me as unfair. As for LOG ON v LOG iN, that’s always a “wait for the cross.” ECONO strikes me as fair, but it also seems to me that ECONO is not something we see much anymore, so maybe that will trip up the less ancient solvers.

Anon 7:59 AM  

CHAD/THAD . Spacial and Spatial pretty much mean the same thing.

pmdm 8:01 AM  

If a person does not like a certain musical genre, movie genre, or ethnic cuisine, I suspect one could justly expect a review written by such a person to be off base for those who don't have such a pre-condition. So I am not sure that Sharp is truly qualified to review this puzzle. At any rate, as I wrote yesterday, I liked the puzzle. At one time I thought I disliked Robyn's work. I think she has converted me.

Not much more to say about the puzzle since one can't offer any thoughts about an absent theme.

Robyn intends to construct a Sunday Themeless since she includes that with the concept of the puzzle "cycle" (one puzzle per day of the week published) and I will eagerly await that puzzle.

Z 8:01 AM  


If all that Wikipedia is too much, here’s the short version - Absinthe is green, PERNOD fils was absinthe, France banned absinthe (the equivalent of Ireland banning whisky), PERNOD now makes something like the original absinthe but not nearly as strong. Yes, a nickname for absinthe really was “the green fairy.” And, of course, the clue is fine.

bocamp 8:18 AM  

Thx Robyn; another terrific Sun. puz! :)

Med+ solve.

Steady, pleasant journey; appreciate how fair crosses iron out the rough spots.

Had 'spacial' before SPATIAL, so a dnf; no biggie. Did find it after scouting around for a few minutes.

Push It ~ Salt-N-PEPA

yd pg -2

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

kitshef 8:19 AM  

DOOKed mightily by 18D. Alternative clue: Like cheese with holes? RAT EATEN

Great clue for DOVES.

But most of the others were just too straightforward. Except for HALO top, which was a ???? for me, and that clue for HERS, which either I don’t get, or I get and it is poor.

Just hard to get excited about longs like AS I WAS SAYING, FORGET ABOUT IT or NOT EVEN CLOSE.

MsCarrera 8:25 AM  

@Frantic Sloth

Thank you for your response yesterday re PPP.

mmorgan 8:26 AM  

Kinda sorta what Rex said, but not entirely, cuz, y'know, Robyn Weintraub. If I'm gonna get a big old "bland" themeless, I sure want it to be by her!

TJS 8:49 AM  

Dots=hijinks ?? any help?

CPG 8:57 AM  

Bookmark the site in Google Chrome.

Blue Stater 9:02 AM  

Yikes. I can't remember the last time I differed so completely with OFL. I thought this was murderously difficult, particularly since it contained (as far as I could tell) no factual or linguistic mistakes, a rarity for puzzles of this level of gnarliness. But just about every clue-answer pair of any consequence was right on the edge. No fun at all. A wasted Sunday morning.

Qpwoei 9:02 AM  


Anonymous 9:02 AM  

Can someone please explain how "Queen Anne's lace?" is HERS?

C. Chase 9:04 AM  

96D - where the "L" in SNL mean "LIVE."

SNL staged at Rockefeller Center?

SNL broadcast from Rockefeller Center?

SNL taped at Rockefeller Center (for the west coast and streaming)?

But NEVER SNL filmed at Rockefeller Center..

FrankFDNY 9:09 AM  


Carl Grubenierre 9:12 AM  

Had annoying for the siren clue at first. Why would anyone intentionally put noted homophobe Joy Reid in a puzzle, during Pride Month no less ?

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

Agree with Rex 100%, except I wasn't interested enough to solve this puzzle. I look forward all week to my Sunday morning with the crossword puzzle and a mocha, and themeless puzzles, no matter how cleverly they are clued, just hold zero interest for me. Mr. Shortz, I wish there was a way for you to warn us that a themeless was coming up on a particular date, so I could go ahead and secure my Sunday puzzle from another source. Disappointing.

Richard Stanford 9:24 AM  

I had LOGiN as well but ECONi didn’t fit, so that one was easy. I did have SPAcIAL/cHAD and that one was much harder to suss out when the happy music failed to play.

JD 9:33 AM  

@Z, Thanks for absinthe. Stared at that green clue trying to think what it was that drove 19th French artists crazy. Someone bought a bottle for my son about 10 years ago and I thought, "This stuff is back?!" Good to know it was Absinthe Lite.

Teedmn 9:33 AM  

This was SPAcIAL (and yes, that's how I left 39A, THAD, cHAD, whoever the dang coach was, basketball got me again.)

A themeless Sunday. And for me, a hard Robyn Weintraub puzzle. Wow. The east-central was especially hard for me - BASS, BRIT, BIEB, NAS, PERNOD, RENNER, ebay emails, and RETAIL THERAPY all lent themselves to my challenge along with a long-time error of ARsOn in place of ARDOR. Har.

Thanks, Robyn, it was a nice change-up to get a themeless Sunday.

TTrimble 9:36 AM  

I've not been around much (family visitations, work), but since I was asked by @Cross@words -- yes, indeed, hi cuz! We descend from a distinguished line of Polish topologists/set theorists. Antoni Zygmund I understand to be a classical analyst, so I'll guess you're more in that line; my tastes are decidedly more logico-algebraic. I also notice you received your PhD from UC Riverside; a good friend and collaborator of mine is just on the verge of retiring from the faculty there (Baez).

Liked the puzzle a bunch. Nice grid flow, and some really delightful cluing (e.g., "Go out to get some juice?" for POWER NAP, "Pork-cutting option" for LINE ITEM VETO, and "Birth day presence?" for DOULA). Also some esoteric cluing, e.g., the one for PROTONS, and the one for A FLAT. Close to average solving time.

Good to see y'all again!

Nancy 9:37 AM  

If I hadn't seen the byline, I never would have guessed this is a Robyn Weintraub puzzle. She's arguably my favorite constructor and she always gifts me with a lively, crunchy challenge that makes me use every last one of my little gray cells. In this one, the answers just rolled right in and I barely had to think at all.

It's sort of like Michael Jordan only scoring 14 points.

Certainly, it's the work of a pro -- smooth, junk-free and very fair. But I didn't find it especially exciting in either its fill or its cluing. The high point for me was LINE ITEM VETO -- not all that high a point, to tell the truth.

Hoping for a bigger challenge next time.

Unknown 9:39 AM  

I agree with Rex. Boring for a Sunday.

Jim in Canada 9:49 AM  

This was the best Sunday puzzle in ages. All those things that Rex usually complains about - Scrabble f*cking, crosswordese, green paint, tons of short fill, tired old overused words - were completely absent in a huge grid.
Proper names were workable from the crosses if you didn't know them (and I didn't, which is normal for me, especially hip-hop stars and current actors).
It was chock full of first-time-ever-for-the-NYTXW fill and Rex still has found a reason to complain.
Whatever, dude. *EYEROLLs*
LINE ITEM VETO, FORGET ABOUT IT, AS I WAS SAYING, NOT EVEN CLOSE, POWER NAP, COINED A PHRASE were all nice. Had a few missteps (SAILED Out, BALD head, etc) and even some correct stuff that I took out then put back in because reasons.

I will take a solid, dreck-less, medium-easy Sunday themeless over a Sunday themed puzzle full of crap fill any and every day, thanks.

SouthsideJohnny 10:01 AM  

I very rarely get stumped by the sports trivia, but the Ohio State basketball coach escaped me - so if the non sports-inclined solvers have to deal with that, I guess it’s only fair that I have to live with Harry Potter surnames and the like (or wait - maybe it is fair, but not “desirable” - maybe just significantly reducing or eliminating the trivial entries would be much more optimal).

When I saw the clue about wearing your underwear outside of your pants, my initial thought was Superman - a superhero and American icon no less.

I thought I missed something regarding the chipmunks clue - I guess they do scamper, but really what/who doesn’t at some time (maybe elephants ?). Quite possibly I am overthinking that one, lol.

Diane Joan 10:04 AM  

I felt very relieved when I got the "Beats Me" and realized that there was no theme! When I saw the title of "Olio" I knew it was a mixed bag of clues but often I solve the puzzle but don't figure out the theme right away. Thank you Robyn! And Rex and fellow bloggers!

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

For some reason, I was always able to pull up your blog by typing Rex Parker into google...until quite recently - like maybe the past week or so. Today, I had to cut and paste the url root into my browser to find you. Is sumthin' goin' on? (No, I did not clear my cache).

Unknown 10:11 AM  

Confidently dropped in “auction winner” for the Ebay clue. And then “winning bidder” after that. So that tripped things up a bit!

Birchbark 10:17 AM  

At about midnight last night, I settled in for an extended POWER NAP on the screen porch sofa. I thus learned that on June 6, every bird in the woods and on the river starts their cacophony at exactly 4:51 a.m. Why do roosters get all the credit?

The green BEATS ME (74D) works as a revealer (cf. @Frantic (12:03) et seq.). It was roughly at that point in the solve that I was asking myself what could the theme possibly be? "BEATS ME," replied the constructor.

Also glad I didn't read the "Olio" title first, as I would have struggled to find margarine-related solutions (note DOTted "I" hijinx). This was a very smooth, enjoyable solve, like fine Parkay.

Birchbark 10:23 AM  

@Diane Joan (10:04) -- I echo your thoughts.

JD 10:27 AM  

@Z, I meant 19th century.

@Queen Anne's Lace people, Could it refer to the possessive Hers (her lace?), which (for me) started out as a potential misdirect between the flower and the actual Queen Anne.

RooMonster 10:34 AM  

Hey All !
Add me to the "not a fan of Sunday Themelesses" group. Also, the puz was tough group. Dang, Rex says easy. I was struggling all over the place.

Re: Getting here. I used to just type in "nyt puzzle" in Google, and Rex's site was one of the listed ones. I have an Android that updated, now that way doesn't work. So I type in Rex Parker does the NYT crossword, and when the choices pop up, look for the blogspot one. When I click on it, a random puz pops up. But, once that random puz pops up, if you click on the very top brown colored header that says "Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword", it'll take you to the current lineup. Give that a try.

Me too for the One Sea-foam green answer. What the what? Is that a Revealer? BEATS ME. πŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺ Or it was my Revealer as the puz did BEAT ME. Googled some stuff, and still a DNF.

This was one of my higher time SunPuzs. Themes (for me) help move the puz along. SunThemlesses just seem sloggy to me. No offense, Robyn!

Wise guy after being interrupted? AS I WAS SAYING, FORGET ABOUT IT! (Well, maybe a proper Brit wise guy) πŸ˜† (EYE ROLL)

Five F's

Carola 10:35 AM  

Like @Lewis, I smiled at the contrast of the title, classic crossword auto-FILL-IN, with the content of the grid itself. I did have an early "HOLD ON, there's no theme?" moment of disappointment, but I think the lack of theme constraints paid off in the wealth of entertaining entries. I found it a pleasure to solve, mostly easy but with some tripwires of clues that kept things interesting (e.g., HERS.). Speaking of HERS, I liked the birth day, wireless, and foundations clues, wondering if the last would be make-up or lingerie.

Hardest area for me was the NE, where I struggled with the chipmunk - despite the fact that we have a chipmunk living in our flagstone wall who even has a name (Chippie) and whom we enjoy watching leading his chipmunk life (chatters? stammers?!?). It didn't help that just below I had the incorrect "take a NAP." Saved by the SPARROW.

Came here to learn that I DNF (cHAD x SPAcIAL). Do-over: saWED before HEWED. Help from previous puzzles: BARNEY, LAYLA, BIEB, NAS. No idea: REID, BIGOTRY, HALO.

Hungry Mother 10:45 AM  

Four errors that had me laughing at myself. Two due to singular/plural or present/past, one a misspelling, and one just really dumb. I enjoyed it anyway.

Pete 10:46 AM  

My experience with puzzles is that the (benefit/interest) of a theme outweighs the downside of the theme constraints happens no more than 5% of the time, so give me a good theme-less 95% of the time, please. And this one was quite good, a phrase my wife took umbrage at the other day, as her brother said something she sent him was "quite good" and apparently that was insufficiently fulsome praise. [Quick question - 'fulsome praise'
does that mean great praise, as opposed to just fulsome, which means excessive praise, to negate the excessive part and get the great part? Asking for a friend who finds the English language confusing].

Anyway chipmunks don't SCAMPER, they run flat out whenever they're moving. They're cute, so they may look like they're SCAMPERing, but they're making a mad dash. LINEITEWMVETO is not good fill, as it has never been used except to cut spending which actually helps people. No mayor ever vetoed the line item "Armored personnel carrier for Podunk PA police department", the vetoed "mold remediation for the senior center". 100% of the time. Or they zeroed out funding for "housing for the housing of service men and women serving overseas" to build a wall.

THAD Jones is the only worthwhile THAD.

My quick research into POWERNAPs contradicts my assertion that any nap less than 1.5 hours is worthless, but I'm going to stick to my previous opinion. I love my naps.

Frantic Sloth 10:55 AM  

@JD 131am and @Conrad 542am Thanks for responding. @JD Yes, that's exactly what happens. Do we need to adjust the Vibranium dosage? (@Z 733am and and and You always have the answers, dontcha.)

@TTrimble 936am There you are! Don't keep being a stranger!

@Birchbark 1017am That's kinda the only explanation up with I can come, too.

@JD 1027am and all the Queen Anne's Lace peeps That's exactly how I interpreted it. Maybe not a knee-slapper, but a modicum of amusement was had.

@Roo 1034m Yeah, I think the "revealer" thing is the way to go. Not a real revealer for not a real themeless. Another misdirect! πŸ˜„

Rex's blog is on my "favorites" page on my iPad and other devices because why work so hard to get here? Might not be worth it some days. πŸ˜‰

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

@Birchbark. Margarine is olEo.

Amy 11:26 AM  

Loved it!! So much fun.

Anonymous 11:28 AM  

So it was themeless? I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the theme ... as certain there had to be one. Finally gave up, disappointed. I just kept trying to connect the “dots” that weren’t there, I guess.

Birchbark 11:33 AM  

@Anon (11:02) re OLEO/OLIO imbroglio -- Noted -- yet in the addled margarine of my mind, I can never remember which is which. And so a great quest for spread-related answers would still have sprung from the error, a familiar sort of journey for me that I've learned to appreciate.

Even then, we do sometimes stumble upon the occasional argenite ORE and try to refine it into hijinx.

Cross@words 11:35 AM  

@ttrimble — wow, john is retiring; I still think of him as the young guy who came to UCR shortly after I finished my degree!

GILL I. 11:40 AM  

I kinda stopped doing Sunday puzzles even though I cut my teeth on these behemoths. Sitting in Central Park; folded newspaper in hand - toss everything away except the puzzle - eat my deli sandwich, sip my root beer float and shoo the flies away. They've been boooooring lately. So I look at today's's my favorite Robyn. I'ma gonna do this even if you HOGGED tied me to a BRIT who wears his underwear in his pants.
Did I like this you ask? You bet your sweet bippy. What did you like the most you ask? Well...all of it.
Give me a big Friday puzzle on eggs Benedict Sunday and I'm all smiles.
I had a few "Ooops, what's dat" moments....We'll start with PEPA. If it's not a pig then Sandra Denton can change her name. Then we get to the popular HERS for Queen Anne's lace. Does that stand for "Her Eminent Royal Snob"?
I did kinda do the fandango tango in places - forgot about DOULA; didn't know some of the names but my EAR TO EAR smile gave me an instant face lift. Finished in time for an AMARETTO PERNOD laced cafe con leche.

Wine Diver 11:51 AM  

And I was sure you would be the explainer for Layla and Majnun, but you made me look it up on my own.

egsforbreakfast 12:07 PM  

I’m a huge Robyn Weintraub fan, but a Sunday themeless, no matter how well constructed, is not my cup of tea. A bunch of great clues, but I’m left wishing that I had a glass of the green faerie, since absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

Ellen S 12:15 PM  

Can someone ‘splain me 38D, “Mythical nymph”? As in, there are real ones? Is the convoluted misdirect about infantile cicadas and other such bug developments stages? I really loved the puzzle otherwise, though I kind of agree with Rex about Queen Anne’s Lace. But mostly the clues were clever and the answers juicy.

beam aims north 12:24 PM  

I hate puzzle themes. Haven't done a Sunday in about 10 years. But I did this one (since I had read on Twitter that it was themeless) and it did not disappoint. Thank you, NYT.

Anonymous 12:26 PM  

What you heard is called the dawn chorus. It’s a well-known phenomenon.
In fact, it’s widely celebrated across the globe, at least by birders, lots of nature lovers and even citizen scientists.
Sorry you found it cacophonous; many find it among nature’s most joyous sounds.

PhysGraf 12:29 PM  

I've been doing a lot of older puzzles from the early-mid 2010s and I can sometimes get lucky by googling, say, "Rexword December 4 2014" but usually Google will still insist that I want to see the post from, say, April 12, 2014 so I have made it a habit of going the "view web version" route as you described. It's a lot of steps and a lot of scrolling sometimes. It would be nice if blogspot put that option on the top of the page (or maybe Rex can fix it himself?).

Newboy 12:36 PM  

Hand up for membership in the Robyn Olios the Sunday Grid Stupor fan club. Missed her byline until wife noted the absence of sports clues in the grid, and was then able to let Marconi go for 31D & get the 35A as well. As a reward, I pointed out 42D and gave her THAD as bonus. Thought “Reliquary” the best clue since it brought echoes of trips to well-remembered European sites.

@Birchbark I hear your pain & share that early angst of avian serenade. The windows open for air or closed to block light and sound is a dilemma shared by many this time of year. Perhaps that’s why POWER NAPing has become a favorite recreational activity with my passing years. Or it might be a post European affection like drinking AMARETTO among Buds wiser than I.

bocamp 12:45 PM  

I really liked the look of this grid with the three staircases. Figured from the start it was going to be somewhat of a challenge. Just the way I like it.

As for themes vs non-themes, I generally don't pay much heed when solving unless needs be. In today's case, the thot never crossed my mind that it was a non-themer.

I didn't get any indication on my iPad app (later checked iPhone app, NYT web page and Across Lite) that this clue/answer had anything to do with a theme or lack thereof. Maybe the asterisks around *shrug*, rather than brackets, was a tip-off that the answer needed to be considered more deeply.

My POWER NAPs (usually only when arising an hour or two early) consist of two or three 5 min in-place dozes during the day.

Learned that 'spacial' is an alt sp of SPATIAL, so don't feel too bad about the dnf, esp not knowing THAD.

@Barbara S. (6:49 AM)

I empathize with your 'debacle'; been there, done that. And, the CAL crossing may not seem so obvious when one's mind is fixed on other than the 'a'.

EMEZI's quote is both deep and beautyful! Thx for that! :)

@TTrimble (9:36 AM)

Always good to see you! And, fun to trace your math connection to @Cross@words . :)

@Birchbark (10:17 AM) and others who grokked the non-theme connotation of BEATS ME.

Your explanations makes perfect sense; thx for the clarification. :) And, very cool idea, Robyn!

@JD (10:27 AM)

That's how I interpreted the 'Queen Anne's lace' clue, as well (hi @Frantic). Just a simple mis-direct hidden in another mis-direct. Robyn-esque. LOL

@Birchbark (11:33 AM)

Another of my silly mnemonics: I see the 'E" in OLEO sitting solidly in my fridge. The 'I' is so skinny it would tip over or slip thru the shelving.

td 0

PEACE ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Birchbark 12:58 PM  

@Anon (12:26), @Newboy (12:36) re nature's dawn chorus/alarm clock -- I'm deeply thankful for it, even if on a given day I'd settle for a few more WINKs before it begins.

"I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, if only to wake my neighbors up."

-- Henry Thoreau ("Walden"), a "Bud wiser than I."

Jesse Witt 1:13 PM  

Me too. I had to lookup THAD, since I haven’t memorized Ohio State basketball coaches, nor do I plan to.

JD 1:13 PM  

@Frantic and @Z, Just looked it up and found this.

"Do not take Vibranium with Pernod. Can cause hallucinations of seafoam green. Do not take if already experience hallucinations of burnt umber.

Joe Dipinto 1:14 PM  

As SNL's Church Lady might have said about this puzzle:
"Well, isn't that spatial."

Verbs In The Past Tense is a pretty flimsy theme for a Sunday puzzle if you ask me. This was as much fun as playing hedgehog croquet in a field of Queen Anne's lace. I kept remembering the Harry Potter surname as DURST, apparently confusing it with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, and of course it didn't fit. OUZO at the taverna would have complemented the Amaretto and Pernod nicely (this sounds good if you want to o.d. on anise flavor).

"Honey, don't forget the moola for the doula."

The acrostic was interesting this week, a little gritty to get through (waves to TTrimble), but I liked it a lot better than this snorefest.

I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail. (Haha, fooled ya!)

JD 1:17 PM  

@Birchbark, It's called the morning chorus. I've read that some ornithologists believe it's the male birds warning other male birds to stay away from their territory and their women. The Bird Way is a great book by Jennifer Ackerman.

ow a paper cut 1:44 PM  

Am I the only person doing these puzzles who hasn’t read Harry Potter? I was stumped by the foundation clue.

Z 2:10 PM  

I don’t think anyone ever responded to @TJS. The “bits” in the clue for 67D are the DOTS above the i, j, and i in hijinks. I’d say that clue is on par with the “lace” in the “Queen Anne’s lace” being the actual lace belong to Queen Anne.

Regarding googling the website. Rex had some major problem with it a few weeks back and I remember part of the fix was deleting any comments with links. I have no idea why that would matter, but let me suggest that if the problem persists you should email him (his email is on the web version). If I’m remembering correctly his site stopped showing up in web searches.

Joe in Newfoundland 2:13 PM  

HERS for Queen Anne's Lace is entirely unworthy. "has 4 legs" DOG! "University personnel" PLUMBER!
This would fit well, mutatis mutandis, on a Monday.
ps people actually thought SPACIAL?

What? 2:32 PM  

I’m in love with Robyn and Rex is crazy. Nuff said.

thefogman 2:49 PM  

Solving a Robyn Weintraub crossword puzzle is always delightfful experience. Rex can go stick it.

Newport Carl 2:50 PM  

Sheesh… just has many cats does this constructor own ?

Gerry Kelly 3:00 PM  

Found it enjoyable! I like a good themeless instead of a stupid forced theme! Which rex usually makes fun of!! Weren't too many gimmes on 1st run thru!

Anonymous 3:07 PM  

@ow a paper cut:
Am I the only person doing these puzzles who hasn’t read Harry Potter?


Anonymous 3:09 PM  

ps people actually thought SPACIAL?

isn't that just like spackle?

Adam S 3:16 PM  

As someone who buys quite a bit on eBay, I didn't love HIGHESTBIDDER - you can be the high bidder in an eBay auction in progress without getting any email, congratulatory or otherwise. I had wInningBIDDER originally, which seems a more accurate answer for the clue. And count me with the people that hated HERS. To the extent that I had __RS, asked myself whether it could possibly be HERS, and gave Robyn credit for being better than that (eventually concluded from the crosses that it had to be right). Just goes to show how subjective it all is, given the love/hate split on the clue...

Otherwise, am inclined to agree with OFL that this puzzle had some great stuff in it but that themeless Sundays are somewhat inherently unsatisfying. In fact, would extend that to say that any Sunday needs to have some characteristic that couldn't work in a 15x15 (which could simply be great 16-21 character answers or a plethora of awesome theme answers) in order to justify the real estate.

SFR 3:17 PM  

Me too

Anonymous 3:35 PM  

(Anon 12:26 here)
Sorry. Even birders have groused about the dawn chorus now and again.
I think I was feeling a little blue that the chorus is in fact beginning to quiet, because migration is really over and all we have are nesters. That matters because nesting birds don’t tend to sing much, Someone else posted the prevailing theory that all those songs are for f***ing or fighting. And, frankly, this birder of 50 plus years finds that pretty convincing. That is to say, by June 6th everyone is paired up, and challengers are scarce.
But, the dawn chorus is an important part of my life. I bird with my dad. Have for all those 50 plus years. He taught me all those songs and calls, chips and chirps. It’s amazing how many species can be identified by sound. Especially in Spring migration when songs are sung in full throat and for a long (too long for those abed) time. Maybe you know, but those beautiful little gems called warblers have very high-pitched songs. And song is how you get on a warbler in migration. It’s even how most are identified. But the elderly lose the ability to hear those high frequencies. And the elderly who worked hard jobs with heavy machinery before OSHA have lost more heating than most.
So the dawn chorus is simultaneously the most valuable thing and most haunting thing to this troll.

sixtyni yogini 3:41 PM  

Yawn πŸ₯±πŸ₯±πŸ₯±πŸ₯±πŸ₯±
Sorry, just very long and tedious.

Jay 3:44 PM  

I had at 18D RAT EATEN from the acrosses. It took forever to realize the answer was RATE A TEN. And then I laughed.
Liked the puzzle

Tim Carey 3:47 PM  

Barbara S. My solving partner and I also died there between POWERSup and RuTEATEN.

Normally when one of us gets sick of slogging through the Sunday puzzle we can just hand it off to the other with a "Your Turn". That corner killed us.

Tim Carey 3:54 PM  

Google search on an Android phone used to bring you to today's blog. Now the top result is some other day. BUT, if you touch the Rex Parker banner at the top of the page it brings you to today... the mysteries of the algorithm!

TTrimble 4:09 PM  

@Frantic Sloth, @bocamp, @Joe Dipinto
Waving back at you!

I never met my academic grandfather Samuel ("Sammy") Eilenberg, but by all accounts he was an indefatigable bad-ass. If someone called out to him "Professor!", then it was someone who knew him from the art world (he was a renowned expert in South Asian art, and many pieces from his collection are now housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Whereas if someone called out "Sammy!", then it was a mathematician. A man who could size you up in an instant, and make or break your fortune. My academic father Myles Tierney stood at least a foot taller than SE, but looked up to him anyway.

td 0 (first time in maybe a week)

@Joe-D 1:14PM, yes, gritty is a word for it, as it is for some of the referents of the quote. Took me a while to get through, but the challenge was enjoyable. I don't think it's giving anything away if I note that here in my town, we have street names like "Gallows Hill" and "Poverty Hollow". (And "Thankful Bradley". Why does this inevitably conjure up visions of men in pilgrim hats, a la the Mayflower?)

Anonymous 4:30 PM  

LINEITEMVETO was tough for me coupled with the Foundation clue so NW was last to fall for me. Also had cHAD so techincally DNF. I liked the puzzle but Sunday’s a like a theme. PS why does that lady continue to say “Sundee, Mondee...” too cutesie for the rest of us

KnittyContessa 4:55 PM  

There were some clever clues in this one but I look forward to Sundays because of the theme. No matter how clever the clues I will always be disappointed in a themeless Sunday. Now, add to that a DNF because of that horrible, horrible 39A/42D cross that caused me to break my solving streak. GRRRRR

albatross shell 5:12 PM  

I'm more in the hard enough for me and then some ROO camp here. At least when the fight ended and I had cheated here and there and remembered some I didn't know and I at least had no unsolved mysteries. That is assuming BRITs call underwear pants. My question is what do they call pants? Trousers slacks pantaloons anklecovers leggers outerwear overwear trashholders?

Tinlid pietin piecan PIEPAN. Wow that was a struggle. In spring of 67 when the frisbee went missing we played with a cookie tin can top that worked very well in the dorm hallways. It did make a horrible screeching noise when it walls and a bit of a mark. But it was 67 and we were young and foolish and it was 67. In the late 80's I found a disc of some kind in a junk-antique place that was in it's original packaging with something like super flying a saucer on the outside. It was in a square brown cardboard box. Looked earlier than late 60s. I gave it to the local Ultimate hero Harvey Edwards for his collection. Harvey was somewhat well-known in the Ultimate world in the 70's. His won some masters or grandmasters tournaments when he was playing in the Ultimate older folks competitions. At least I think that was the correct name for them. He's a legend in my mind. Don't know about @Z.

@Anon1158pm last night. I answered you there.

Sharonak 5:31 PM  

Noticed a number of comments asking about Queen Anne's Lace.

If it is Queen Anne's bed, it is hers, if it is Queen Anne's bed it is hers. so Queen Anne's lace is hers.

bocamp 5:33 PM  

@Joe Dipinto (1:14 PM) / @TTrimble (4:09 PM)

Toughest acrostic yet pour moi. Problem is knowing far fewer clues/answers off-hand than usual. Determined to get it, tho! 🀞

@ow a paper cut (1:44 PM)

Haven't read the books, but watched all the movies. Have forgotten most of the names and other details, but then the same would be true even if I had read them. LOL

@Joe in Newfoundland (2:13 PM)

Looks like quite a few of us fell for SPACIAL. At the time I didn't realize it was an alt sp of SPATIAL. 'Spac(e)' does look better than 'spat(e)' for 'three-dimensional'. I didn't give it a second thot until having to go back to find my error. I'm thinking I won't be missing that one again soon. :)

@TTrimble (4:09 PM) πŸ‘ for 0

@Anonymous (4:30 PM)

Agreed re: LINEITEMVETO / TONES. Same dnf as you had at cHAD. Themes or no themes on Sun.s, no matter to me. Only disagreement with you is: I like the "lady's" cutesie-ness. πŸ˜‰

PEACE ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Birchbark 5:46 PM  

@Anon (3:35) -- I sense a kindred spirit. You express well the complex mix of feelings when we open ourselves to nature. Simple and direct as it is in any moment, it can be overwhelming in every sense. Like you, so many who talk about their experiences in the outdoors are also talking about their family history and what it means to them.

My dad said of his parents that they while didn't talk much about birds, "They knew their warblers" better than anyone he knew. My 81-year-old mom is a classically trained musician and birder who often hears before she sees and talks more of a bird's song than plumage. She's modest as a rule but very proud of a day when she held her own among a group of experts to identify a Maryland warbler by its song. (And she'd be the first to laugh at how funny that is when you think about it.)

I pay a lot of attention to the birds around us but lack the precise expertise to say I'm a birder. I am happy when the warblers pass through in Spring, and I like looking them up in Peterson's guide, following the details to find the name. I like watching hummingbirds sit in trees. Vultures on the thermals, eagles, bluebirds, bard owls -- we're blessed with a wide variety of fauna great and small here. And like you, I pay attention to the changing seasons as reflected in the plants and animals.

And I do like the cacophony better known as the dawn chorus, even when it interrupts my extended POWER NAP. Like when the Grinch hears the celebratory blaring from Whoville below, and reclusive grouch though he is, is a better Grinch in spite of himself.

@JD (1:17) -- I've ordered "The Bird Way" at your suggestion and will report back. Thanks --

Anonymous 6:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 6:16 PM  

@albatross - I am anon11:58 from last night. I am not the anon who irrationally posted at 9:51. I wrote my post before seeing your 11:41 post. It was serendipitous that we were both making the same point. I posted as anon hoping that the original anon would think they had contradicted themselves.

Son Volt 7:35 PM  

@anon 3:35p - thank you for your post - I had a similar situation with my late father. My wife and I were at the beach today following a group of plovers and felt that he was there with us.

Z 7:43 PM  

@Albatross Shell - My first guess was PIE tin. I don’t know Harvey by name, but if he’s still playing, or has played this past decade, I have almost certainly played against him. There’s max 20 teams nationwide in the division (Great Grand Masters, 50 and older for men-matching players) and the first year we had a GGM nationals (2016 I think) we had 11 teams attend.

noni 7:49 PM  

So at least 3 mathematicians read this blog. I've noticed that there is excitement when a puzzle contains mathese.

Joe Dipinto 8:19 PM  

@bocamp – I feel like a few of the Acrostic clues were harder than they needed to be. There's one *very* obscure answer, imo, and another word I was not familiar with, though other people here might be. I never got totally stuck – my main problem was that for awhile all the words I was getting in the quotation were isolated from each other, so it was hard to guess the grammatic context of anything. But it ultimately came together. I think you'll figure it out .

Anonymous 8:40 PM  

Yes,yes.yes. I think I’d’ve liked your mother. I know I like you.
You’re out of date. Like me. I think Maryland warbler is not one, but two, Peterson field guides ago.
Where to begin?
First, these days they call that bird a yellowthroat.
When I was a kid it was a Maryland Yellowthroat. And here’s why I’m spouting off...
I have a plate, framed in my downstairs bathroom of a .., Maryland warbler. Yeah. I’m hopelessly old.
It’s song is absolutely a must for birders to know: witchety, witchety, witchety)
But the bird is reasonably, maybe best,identified by what you learned it as. And that matters too.
At hawk watches when there’s a an intense flight I’ve been know to hello out sparrow hawk or marsh hawk. Those are old fashioned terms for kestrel and marsh hawk. I’ve been enjoying these birds for more than five decades. It can be al little irritating to see glares from 20 somethings. Almost worse than Albatross shells criticisms. z’s too🀣🀣🀣

Anonymous 8:58 PM  

** Harrier πŸ™„

JC66 8:58 PM  

@Joe D & @Bo C

I did the Acrostic online and had to resort to using "Check" to get unstuck.

Anonymous 10:30 PM  

I am late so understand if no one responds but I don’t get Pacific birds?.. being doves??? Can someone explain???

JC66 11:01 PM  

@Anon 10:30

Pacific = peaceful , and a DOVE is symbol of peace.

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

The lace belongs to Queen Anne. It is hers.

Unknown 12:12 PM  


Ken Freeland 2:30 PM  

not at all!

Robin 11:42 PM  

Anonymous @3:46. I'm used to posting on #NYTXW Twitter where spelling out explicit WORDS will get you hollered at.

Thank you, Z, for understanding what I was getting at.

pete 10:50 AM  

Dots for bits of high jinx? Can anyone explain this?

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

Don't always agree with Rex, but today he's absolutely right about at least one thing -- vanilla malteds are Absolutely The Best !!

spacecraft 1:00 PM  

@Pete: the phrase "high jinks" contains three "dotted" letters. I know, I know, it's a groaner.

I'm sure glad it's not my job to make OFC happy. On Friday or Saturday, it's a sin, apparently, to have a theme. Come Sunday? Daresn't have a themeless! Why? because of the extra room? BALDerdash. It either has snappy, interesting long entries (this does) or not. It's either loaded with junk fill (this isn't) or not. It's a good puzzle; stop with the theme vs. themeless bit!

Ironically, the word FInish (55 down, complete, as a crossword) very nearly kept me from doing just that. It took a while to dislodge that in favor of FILL IN. So I'd say more easy-medium than plain easy. PEPA is DOD, with honorable mention to Faye Dunaway as BONNIE, and Olivia Newton-John as her lovely self. Oh, and to our author today, Robyn Weintraub. Birdie.

Burma Shave 1:15 PM  


your PATRONS BONDED with such ARDOR."
but I WORKED the HIGHESTBIDDERs harder."


Anonymous 11:56 AM  

Here for "Neo Ned"!!

Anonymous 5:05 PM  

Easy for some, but not me. Finished after much struggling, erasing, overwrites etc. Rewarding in a way but still have much to learn about terms that I am unfamiliar with. Like Doula which my spell check needs also to learn. And like Rex the southeast for me was the most difficult. I would say medium-challenging overall.

Anonymous 4:16 AM  

I don't understand RATE A TEN. Am I parsing that wrong? How is that equivalent to "Be considered perfect?" It's not just the wrong tense, it's flat out incorrect. "Consider perfect," maybe "To consider perfect." Why are people not more upset? I'm so confused.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Oh my gosh. I finally got it. If anyone else is struggling... The subject is the one being rated, not doing the rating. e.g. if she is considered perfect, she rates a ten. I feel stoopid that took me so long.

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