Stay outdoors overnight with some of the comforts of home / TUE 7-20-21 / Bygone holder of Apple pics / Kind of headlight on older cars / Old-time comic Caesar / Actress Hedy of old Hollywood / Jerry's partner in cartoondom / Observation deck feature not for the squeamish

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Constructor: Sam Buchbinder

Relative difficulty: Medium (with an oversized grid, 15x16)

THEME: WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS (6D: Olympic sport whose all-around competition is composed of the last parts of 19-, 26-, 44- and 52-Across) — last words of themers are all WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS events:

Theme answers:
  • SEALED BEAM (19A: Kind of headlight on older cars)
  • GLASS FLOOR (26A: Observation deck feature not for the squeamish)
  • IN THE VAULT (44A: Stored deeply and securely)
  • KIT KAT BARS (52A: Chocolaty treats that you might "break me off a piece of")
Word of the Day: NELLA Larsen, Harlem Renaissance novelist (4D) —

Nellallitea "NellaLarsen (born Nellie Walker; April 13, 1891 – March 30, 1964) was an American novelist. Working as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels, Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929), and a few short stories. Though her literary output was scant, she earned recognition by her contemporaries.

A revival of interest in her writing has occurred since the late 20th century, when issues of racial and sexual identity have been studied. Her works have been the subjects of numerous academic studies, and she is now widely lauded as "not only the premier novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, but also an important figure in American modernism." (wikipedia) 

Passing is a novel by American author Nella Larsen, first published in 1929. Set primarily in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in the 1920s, the story centers on the reunion of two childhood friends—Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield—and their increasing fascination with each other's lives. The title refers to the practice of "racial passing", and is a key element of the novel; Clare Kendry's attempt to pass as white for her husband, John (Jack) Bellew, is its most significant depiction in the novel, and a catalyst for the tragic events.

Larsen's exploration of race was informed by her own mixed racial heritage and the increasingly common practice of racial passing in the 1920s. Praised upon publication, the novel has since been celebrated in modern scholarship for its complex depiction of race, gender and sexuality, and is the subject of considerable scholarly criticism. As one of only two novels that Larsen wrote, Passing has been significant in placing its author at the forefront of several literary canons. (wikipedia)

• • •

Well, the Olympics have started, so this is timely. Looks like WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS competition gets started in earnest next week. I like the idea of this theme. The really noteworthy aspect of the grid is architectural—namely, that the revealer drives right down through every single one of the themers. A very tricky thing to get all those crosses worked out while maintaining theme-answer symmetry. Maybe that's why some of the theme answers feel a little wobbly. SEALED BEAM, yeesh, no idea. I don't know how "old" these alleged "older cars" have to be to have these headlights, but I've never heard of them. Got SEALED B- and wrote in SEALED BULB. There are many other ___ BEAM phrases, but because this set of themers has to not only fit symmetrically in the grid, but also have the crossing letters for WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS in the right place, the constructor clearly had to get, let's say, inventive. "Inventive" is the charitable word for it. Again, BANK VAULT is definitely something. IN THE VAULT ... hrrrmm, yes, that is a prepositional phrase, but it's vague and not particularly vivid and you might say someone won the gold medal IN THE VAULT, and so it's not really far enough away from gymnastics to make a good themer phrase today (it's important that the themers do not evoke gymnastics in any way; see, for instance, especially, KIT KAT BARS). Again with FLOOR, we can imagine lots of floors, but the one we get is GLASS ... and GLASS FLOOR is indeed a feature of some observation decks (so I hear), but I know the phrase "glass-bottom boat" and so I was looking for something complete and snappy like that. This is all to say that the theme idea is sound, and making the revealer a center Down that runs through all the other themers is kind of impressive, but it definitely and discernibly affects the quality of said themers. It's just very hard to build a theme this way. That the puzzle pulls it off without too much awkwardness is remarkable.

It played harder than usual both because it was just bigger than usual, and so took longer than usual, but also because 1-Across was an annoying dumb trap. At least I think it was. Five letters, [Part of a sandal], I went for STRAP. I want to believe there are millions like me who did same. (I frequently want to believe millions are like me, only to end up badly mistaken, but this has not stopped me hoping ... someday.) The STRAP-for-THONG thing doesn't end up making a huge difference, as crosses prove you wrong pretty quickly, which is why I say it's annoying. I just found myself thinking "Why did you do that? No one uses THONG that way. Come on..." The fill is OK—GLAMP at least lets you know that the puzzle is alive and breathing, that the constructor was trying (31A: Stay outdoors overnight with some of the comforts of home). Still, it seems like it could've been somewhat more polished. Everything from GET A TIP (hard oof) down into the SW corner could really use a do-over. I do not understand how you opt for IPHOTO down there instead of IPHONE. Why would you choose the "Bygone" over the ongoing. It narrows cluing possibilities so much and makes the answer feel much more niche-y. You can change it really easily, but honestly, there's not much down there worth saving. GETATIP SHO APBIO ACTAS IPHOTO ATV SOP ... why would we be desperate to save any of this? NBAMVP is nice, granted, but it's not worth the clunkiness that completely envelops it. I wish constructors gave these seemingly inconsequential corners more attention than they often do. It's true, no one's gonna hang a medal on you for really nailing a (roughly) 3x6 corner, but craft is craft and the outskirts of a puzzle are still part of the puzzle. You don't want to phone in *any* part of your routine. Yes, stick the landing, but it should *all* look good. Thank you for enduring my gymnastics metaphor. Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:26 AM  

Not a bad puzzle but not very tidy. The four events in the theme do indeed make up the women's all-around but 3 of them are also in the men's all-around. As some say, I suppose this could be lawyered. Another nit-a deck does not have a floor. The flat, horizontal portion of a deck is, well, a deck. I thought the fill was fine, always nice to see EWERS but I miss ETUI and ADIT.

Irene 6:46 AM  

If we're talking corners...
How about the NE, where SLR crosses ROOMS?
If you don't know Clue--and obviously I don't--rooms isn't intuitive at all.
I loved MBAMVP, however

oceanjeremy 6:55 AM  

I count just over 29% PPP. And a LOT of it crossing unfairly.

None of it tripped me up, personally, but it still just feels unsatisfying to finish a puzzle and realize that more than a quarter of it is just random crap I just happen to know, rather than wordplay and vocabulary.

Nice construction feat, as pointed out, but really awkward in so many ways. Not my favorite Tuesday by a long shot.

Lewis 7:05 AM  

This is an impressive feat of puzzle construction, getting those symmetrical theme answers to cross the spanning revealer. I’m still marveling over what it took to pull this off.

Often, a feat like this comes at the price of lessening the experience for the solver, with a surfeit of crosswordese, perhaps some arcane answers or areas that are like islands, unconnected with the rest of the grid.

But not today. This felt just as a Tuesday should, where there may be one or two out-of-wheelhouse answers, but they’re fairly crossed, and a fairly-easy-but-harder-than-a-Monday difficulty level.

Thus, it was a pleasure to solve, not to mention that it evoked an Olympic event that, IMO, that marvelously blends beauty and athletics. One that I love watching and eagerly anticipate. I couldn’t help notice the Boggle-style SIMON in the middle of the grid, wishing that it connected with a final E, but still prompting someone who fills me with awe.

Sam B, you pushed a lot of happy buttons in me with this one. Much gratitude to you for making this!

kitshef 7:11 AM  

NELLA crossing SEALED BEAM is very, very, hard for a Tuesday. Or for a Friday.

Mostly enjoyed this one. A neat and timely theme.

Only nit, and it’s a small one, is that all the apparatus words are repurposed to a very different meaning except FLOOR, which is basically the same. If that could have been something like “third floor” or “House floor” (as in House of Representatives), it would have been more elegant.

Interesting that a THONG can be a part of a sandal, or the sandal itself.

JJK 7:12 AM  

This was a fine Tuesday except for the NW corner, which was just awful because of the clue for THONG. My husband has pointed out to me that back in the day we called flip flops thongs, but nowadays I do not think of “sandal part” as having anything to do with thongs, so I of course put in “strap” and it was a mess. Plus, HOSER, I may have heard of but couldn’t remember, NELLA Larson is obscure (and I don’t know her work at all). So that corner colored my rather cranky reaction to the rest of the puzzle.

Son Volt 7:35 AM  

Liked this one. Agree on the technical chops needed to make the themer pattern work. SEALED BEAMs were the standard on cars probably into the 80s - but it is a little flat as a themer. I like IN THE VAULT - know it from Seinfeld.

Lots of trivia here but overall the fill is fine. Liked the long extras GREEK GOD and THATS A LIE. Any puzzle with THONG adjacent to TOMEI HITs IT BIG for me.

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

TTrimble 7:40 AM  

IN THE VAULT is a well-known expression from Seinfeld. "Don't worry; I'm putting it IN THE VAULT" means "your secret is safe with me". I disagree with Rex that it's vague and not vivid. Also disagree that no one uses THONG that way. They do.

GLAMP is one of my least favorite words in the English language. I find it truly ugly. For me, it almost nullifies its intended meaning by being so hideous in sound. Portmanteaus don't get much worse than that.

I'll leave it to experienced constructors to weigh in on the quality. I've got to shove off in a few minutes for another long road trip/college visitation. I'll be pleased to read more when I get back tonight.

Georgia 7:49 AM  

Clever, fun and a nod to women's sports!

amyyanni 7:53 AM  

Liked it, even though had the same experience as Rex with SEALED BEAM and THONG (strap). Really looking forward to the Olympics. Volunteered for the Marathon Trials in Atlanta 2/29/20, my last plane trip before the Pandemic. We have great men and women runners on our team. USA!

Dr.A 7:56 AM  

Definitely had STRAP before THONG on 1 across. You are not alone!

SouthsideJohnny 8:07 AM  

A lot of little things like the Nella lady that are unusually difficult for a Tuesday. No clue on LIEV crossing LYON - a combo that would be welcome on a Friday. There’s no abbreviation in the clue for ATMS. And I know that GLAMP has unfortunately drifted into somewhat common usage, but it is an ugly enough concoction that we will still allow it to qualify as made-up-word for today (yes, that is one ugly word . . . ).

bocamp 8:15 AM  

Enjoyed your Tues. offering, Sam. :)

Med solve.

Stumbled around a bit in the NW, but finally put it together.

The theme came early with WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS, and it was a pleasant trip the rest of the way.

Got the SB word GOOGOL right off.

KIT KAT BARS used to be a fave. No more candy for this kid, tho.!

@jae; 2nd session (right side) went quickly after a lunch break. Overall, as you indicated one of the easier of Croce's Freestyles, but nowhere near as tough as last Sat.'s NYT (for me anyway). A most enjoyable hour and a half, or so. See you next Mon. :)

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Nancy 8:15 AM  

Nice clues for such simple words as STEREO, SPLITS, SODS and GENIE. Clues for SHE and ROOMS that are a bit strange. I commend this puzzle on its timeliness, but this particular genre of puzzle has never done much for me. And would you refer to floor exercises as just plain FLOOR? I suppose of you're the gymnast you might, but I doubt anyone else would. "You should really see Simone Biles doing FLOOR!"? Nah.

Speaking of floors, thank you for recognizing, Sam, that GLASS FLOORS are to be avoided like the plague by certain types of people like me. I wouldn't use the word "squeamish", though; "acrophobic" is closer and "people with a lifelong fear of falling" is even more accurate. As I've explained before, I can happily stand in a spot 9,000 feet above the ground, and if you provide me with a solid floor, surrounding walls up to my chin, and nothing whatsoever that I have to climb to get there, I'll be absolutely fine. Put me on a balance BEAM 6 inches off the ground -- and I'll tumble off it and die. But don't worry -- I'll never climb on it in the first place.

Lewis (who constructs grids himself) noticed the degree of skill it took to construct this. That aspect of the puzzle sailed right over my head.

David Grenier 8:18 AM  

I can't be the only person who wanted to put FANCY FEAST for 52 across.

Nailed it.

JD 8:21 AM  

Thong, Hoser, Sealed Beam? Uncle! Almost.

Started with Strap, which had to give DiCaprio a Razzie…what? No way. Big number Google? Googol? Errr? Finally got to Thong via Thus. Pulled out Hoser, which I learned some time in the '90s. Sealed Beam yielded on the crosses. The rest Ended up being fairly easy with a couple of passes and dabbing.

Walked on a glass floor a few years ago. Might've been in Hawaii. What sadist came up with that? Glamped pre Covid in a tent cabin with a concrete floor, beds, and electric blankets. Repeatedly made jokes about the Glamping life because it was just so much fun and ridiculous to say. Pure hilarious awfulness. Good thing @TTrimble wasn't there.

Kit Kat Bars have four breakable pieces, as we all know by now. Will we see Kit Kat again next week? Is it the new Owlet? Things change so quickly these days.

TheMadDruid 8:38 AM  

Pretty tough for a Tuesday but fun. Hoser could be in puzzles every day of the week and I’d be happy.

Barbara S. 8:41 AM  

I’m not a dedicated Olympics watcher but I do enjoy gymnastics, women’s and men’s. As a HOSER, though, I’ll be cheering for TEAM Canada. So I liked the theme, admired the construction and found I could live with the compromises it necessitated.

I wasn’t error-free. I tumbled straight into the strap/THONG pitfall, and once out of that, went on to another set of mistakes in the “Oregon” region. For “Golden ____” I filled in “Arch” and for “Zero” right beside it I put in “Nada.” I was alerted immediately by the crossing “Brought to a close” starting with CD. Close by was “Be rewarded, as for waitressing” for which I put “GET tips” rather than GET A TIP. Sigh. It’s funny that “waitressing” is a commonly used verb while “waitering” isn’t. The funniest goof I made was 43D: “Penne ____ vodka.” I merrily popped in “Ante,” not reading the clue properly and thinking that “Penny-ante vodka” was probably some cheap rotgut that was well-known to students and people with limited means.

I liked both I’M MAD! and THAT’S A LIE! Somehow the implied melodrama was appealing. New clue for AI RACE: Competition for the fastest development of “thinking” computers.

Unknown 8:43 AM  


Barbara S. 8:46 AM  

Today’s quotation is from the work of CORMAC McCARTHY, born July 20, 1933.

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
(From The Road)

Keith D 8:47 AM  

Rex read yesterday’s comments, and decided to be constructive today. Good. Still whiny, but good. Let’s hope it lasts.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

I often feel bad for Rex after reading his reviews. Today is one of those days. I know it's not a big deal, but I find it terribly sad that he doesn't know what a sealed beam headlight is. They were the standard headlights on Us Cars for many decades, including his youth. Bulbs burn out all the time on cars. They always have. So I'd be terribly surprised if the Sharps didn't buy more than a few headlights in his childhood. And they were, necessarily Sealed beam. They were, almost universally, a cinch to install. Did the Sharp family have to take their car to a garage to replace headlight? That's awful. I'm not suggesting he should know how to rebuild a transmission, but a basic competency in everyday mechanical things is, o me, part of adulthood. Does' he call Triple A when he needs a jump? I hope not. But I fear so, I've been reading Rex for a long time, and the mechanical world seems as foreign to him as I've ever seen. Like I said, it makes me sad that he cant make his way on his own even with very minor and easy things.
Anyway, a big thumbs up for sealed beam headlights. Both in the puzzle and the world. ( One of their advantages of course is that every time you got a new bulb, you by definition got a new lens. Beats today's lenses which get foggy and hazy and otherwise dismal in the way only plastic can)

Richard Stanford 8:54 AM  

I knew SEALED BEAM at least - thing the headlights where you replace the whole unit, glass and all, as opposed to unscrewing the bulb. Still used in the 90s so not ancient history.

For me I got stuck at LYON/LIEV and ran them. I should have known LYON - did know it but didn’t see it and didn’t know what river it was on. LIEV I’d never heard of.

And yes, strap before THONG.

Anonymous 9:01 AM  

Like Rex, I confidently threw down STRAP at 1A only to realize moments later that that couldn't be right because I knew it had to be NELLA Larsen. That corner remained incomplete until almost the end, when I worked out THONG and the other answers fell easily into place.

I lost several precious minutes trying to figure out where I had made a mistake after I got the annoying "almost there, but something's amiss" message. Turns out I don't know how to spell TOMEI, a name I apparently hear far more often then I see written, since I had a Y for the I, which seemed to work perfectly well with SYD, which of course turned out to be SID.

I liked ILIAD ("It's a long story") and SODS ("Lays the groundwork?"). A bit heavy on the PPP but otherwise enjoyable.


BarbieBarbie 9:17 AM  

Speaking up as one of the millions who are not like @Rex. I saw the clue for 1A, thought it could be either THONG or strap, and left it blank.

Good construction and fill, but this easy-ish puzzle took me extra-long because the clueing was very humdrum. So what should have been a fun puzzle was an attention-wandering experience. I love looking at the grid though- the way it x’s in both directions, making it possible to cascade in either direction.

pabloinnh 9:39 AM  

OK, so STRAP, doesn't work, checks crosses, writes in THONG. Another chance at a world speed solving record destroyed. Totally unfair.

I got the theme here with SEALEDBEAM crossing WOMENSGYMNASTICS, and it was fun to go looking for the other elements of the competition. Never having seen a single Seinfeld, INTHEVAULT struck me as total green paint. No offense to Seinfeld fans, many people whose opinions I respect assure me that it's terrific, and I'm sure it is.

Also I have changed a sealed beam headlight on an old pickup and when I finally tried driving it at night I discovered it was useful for spotting birds and the upper branches of roadside trees but not great for seeing the road in front of me. Adjustments were made.

HOSER always makes me smile. Just the right amount of insult.

Thanks for a nice solid Tuesday, SB. You must feel fortunate to share initials with the otherworldly Simone Biles.

Michiganman 9:39 AM  

@Barbara S. I didn't think about the waitressing (spellcheck reject) until I read your post. I guess waiters and waitresses, if both terms are "correct", are simply waiting on tables. A lovely clue would have been "Be rewarded for waiting". Maybe too oblique for a Tues. though. Speaking of Canada, I am so happy that I can visit again. Beginning in 1973and for 40 years, I went with a few friends to a cabin owned by 2 brothers in our group. This was on a small lake not far from Chapleau(also rejected by spellcheck. Ha!)Ont. I usually took a trip to the cabin later in the summer or fall with just my family. Those were wonderful times.

GILL I. 9:41 AM  

Well all of you had that little strap thing going at 1A but I looked at 5D and thought Uranus was an A-hole. doesn't fit.
Did you like this, you ask? Why I did. I actually loved it. And on a Tuesday, no less.
I will always enjoy WOMENS GYMNASTICS. I will, indeed. Our daughter is this little itty bit of an agile beauty. Her Mom (me) is the opposite. I'm 5'7 and Danielle is all of 5'1. She had the perfect body and the wherewithal to become a gymnasts. And she did/was. But life took over and now she's also a Mom expecting her second little baby.
But I digress.....
Had to take a moment off since I just watched Blue Origin complete its space flight. When I'm 82, I want to fly into the never lands.
Back to the puzzle... GOOGOL GLAMP is my favorite UNCLE. He is a bit of a SIMP. A CHAP with a HI HAT who WETS his whistle with the best of them. His nickname is TOM BALOO.

pmdm 9:44 AM  

Seems to me a bit more difficult than the usual Tuesday puzzle. I wonder how new solvers rate the puzzle. Certainly the layout (four themed entries crossing a grid spanner that is also a themed entry) is a bit impressive. Thumbs up from me.

A response to some of the recent comments. First, one does not have the right to say anything just because it is one's blog. I don't believe one ever has the right to bully, even when aiming remarks at someone who is also bully. Perhaps the willingness to approve of such behavior creates the type of political world we find ourselves in.

Second, Mr. Sharp seems to me to be quite intelligent. Many of his observations [those that apply directly to the puzzles, not to the editor(s)]seem to me quite insightful and useful to ponder. Refusal to read those observations seem to me to be akin to cutting your nose off to spite your face. And failure to complain about a characteristic that deserves a pan seems to me a bit off.

If a person presents a subjective judgment as a proven fact, I tend to take exception (sometimes an exception aimed at myself). If a person screams that something I find funny is not funny at all, I would probably take exception. But I can filter out the bad to read the good, although if there's a bit too much rambling and self-justification I may grow tired and decide not to read a tirade. But that doesn't provoke me to throw out the baby with the bath water.

And I sincerely apologize if I present some of my reactions as infallible. Sometimes the speed of composing comments and judgments results if what you wrote not expressing your feelings very well. Time is precious and there never seems to be enough of it.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

Great to see Nella Larsen and Rex’s tribute

She is a great writer. I took a course on the Harlem Renaissance and it woke me from my dogmatic slumber. Another fine example of the passing genre is the Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson. The protagonist makes what he sees as the rational decision to be a white man, yet rues the emotional consequences. Johnson wrote the lyrics to “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson composed the music.

Another work by Larsen is Quicksand, which is draws upon her own heritage of having a Danish mother and Black father. The protagonist visits her Danish family. She is treated regally, but comes to realize it’s as an exotic hot house flower.

And in one of life’s curious coincidences, there is the movie version of the Young Adult novel, The Hate U Give [THUG]. This is a prescient BLM book from 2017 in which a young Black man is shot by cops at a traffic stop. The curious coincidence is that the female star of the movie, Amandla Sternberg, has a Danish father and a Black mother. So, it would be type casting for Sternberg to play Helga Crane if they make a movie of Quicksand

Larsen gave up writing and her books went out of print. She returned to her original profession of nursing and she died in obscurity until recent scholarship restored her to the canon.

RooMonster 9:46 AM  

Hey All !
Sort of noticed the grid looked longer than normal, but did a quick scan-count thing and came up with 15. Glossed over the double-blocker pair, is my guess.

Interesting conundrum for @Anoa Bob, one Themer and the Revealer are NPOCs, Necessary Plurals. The Compitition BARS is just that, not BAR, so not a per se POC.

Agree it's tough to cross your Revealer through all 4 Themers. Great job on that, Sam.

GOOGOL and Googolplex. A Googolplex is a GOOGOL to the 10th power, or something like that. A GOOGOL is a 1 followed by 100 zeros. A Googolplex is a 1 followed by a GOOGOL zeros. 10 to the 100th power(GOOGOL), and 10 to the tenth-hundreth power (Googolplex). Maybe a math person can describe it better than a SIMP like me. 😁

Knew GLAMP from an episode of Supernatural. Great show.

Nice puz, Sam. Timely, easy, good Tuesday.

If I had a Master's of Science Degree, I could be ROO, MS. πŸ€ͺ

One F

Another Anon 9:49 AM  

@Anon 8:51. Sealed beams were great, for the reasons you mention. Later, for a while one could still replace the new-fangled bulb, being careful not to touch certain parts of it. Then it happened. I had a 2008 Fusion (which I loved) but there was no easy access to change the bulb. I had to go to Ford service. It took 2 people to change it. One under the hood and another from below. And they had to detach part of the inner fender to get to the bulb. At least modern bulbs seem to last a long time.

Zygotic 9:56 AM  


Why IPHOTO instead of IPHOne? Obviously the stock market hit yesterday means that Apple failed to pay their product placement fee so the NYTX went retro.

This took me 140% of my normal Tuesday time, but it was 1:00 am after the airport/flight/drive home ordeal and I think I fell asleep for a minute, too, so I have no opinion on the difficulty. I also didn’t notice the PPP, but now that somebody has mentioned it, LIEV/LYON seems pretty naticky, especially for a Tuesday.

@kitshef - Metonymy Lives! Also interesting that it is the metonymic term for two very distinct beachwear items.

@TTrimble - The ugliness of the term GLAMP is intentional, I think, especially when used by people who like camping as a way to get closer to nature. There’s a judgmental and vaguely condescending edge to the term when used by some. That GLAMPers miss that judgmental tone is typical. Although I must admit that GLAMPing in a yurt on the shores of Lake Superior has been tempting me for a couple of years, now.

SEALED BEAM headlights was wandering around in the cobwebby recesses of the gray matter attic. I don’t think I ever really knew the name, but having had to replace several I must have run across the term enough for it to stick in a cobweb. Which, despite @Anon8:54 Paean to the damn things, is exactly the reason the new headlights are such an improvement - they don’t burn out as quickly. I tend to own cars a long time, but have replaced exactly one headlight lamp in this century. Yeah, a little more complicated than the old SEALED BEAM headlights when I had to do it, but not replacing one at all is even easier.
@Richard Stanford - 22 years maybe isn’t “ancient” history, but there are college seniors who were not alive in 1999.

@Keith D - πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ - I don’t actually know Rex, but I’ve known many people like Rex. If you pay close attention, he never criticizes the person, always the work. Even with Shortz, it’s the editorial decisions, not the person (although clearly some personal animosity has developed there), that he drags. That so many have a hard time separating themselves from their work is a whole different issue. I think if someone were to point out that what he wrote was a mean thing about the person, he would change. But the solution to having your work criticized is to produce better work, not pout about having your feelings hurt.

rjkennedy98 10:07 AM  

Give me a break. Give a break.

Break me off a piece of that...

Another Office favorite

JD 10:08 AM  

@pabloinnh, Hoser, just the right amount of insult. That explained perfectly why I love the word. It also made me ponder why I think Glamp(ing) is so hilariously horrifying. Maybe it's because in only five letters it manages to com-plete-ly insult the very spirits of glamour and camping by shoving them into that tiny tragic marriage.

@Nancy, Nice to know I'm in good company as agoraphobic hater of glass floors.

Joseph Michael 10:20 AM  

Got WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS immediately off the W and felt pretty smart but became more and more of a SIMP as I wandered through the rest of the grid meeting NELLA, BALOO, LIEV, and PERCY along the way. Kept having to ask myself what day it is since it didn’t seem like Tuesday from a NYT crossword point of view.

Favorite word in the grid is GOOGOL, though I had trouble remembering how to spell it, and GLAMP ain’t bad either. The theme for me left much to be desired but I guess it’s at least timely and well executed. I’ve never gotten an OSCAR NOD or been an NBA MVP, but I related more to the fill than the themers which seemed pretty lifeless for such an energetic sport.

Speaking of timely, it looks like Jeff Bezos HIT IT BIG today with his super expensive romp in space. For 11 minutes, he was wearing a HI HAT indeed.

Carola 10:21 AM  

Fun to solve, requiring some agility to get out of the NW but otherwise an error-free progression through the four events, any of which would be GOOGOL-distance beyond my capacities. Nice to be able to nail them in the grid. I liked how the BEAM, FLOOR, VAULT and BARS were cantilevered off the central column, also the positioning of SPLITS on the BARS. WOMEN'S x BEAM disclosed the theme: I needed it to get VAULT and it sped up my way to the BARS.

Help from previous puzzles: HOSER. No idea: SEALED BEAM. I felt that the right side belonged to TEAM from the Crossword VAULT: SLR, EMO, EWERS, HIHAT AIRACE ROAN.

Nancy 10:24 AM  

@Anon 8:51 -- I have faulted Rex for many things over the years, but the inability of him and his family to install their own SEALED BEAM headlights is not one of them.

Anonymous 10:29 AM  

A very strong case could be made that the glass lens alone makes sealed beam headlights superior. But, despite your claim, I didn't write a paean to them, but rather a lament for Rex's profound ignorance of the mechanical world.

jberg 10:32 AM  

No virtue in this, but I put in THONG right off the bat, and immediately confirmed it THUS. Strap seems too generic, while a thong is pretty much either a sandal, an undergarment, or an under-garment-like swimsuit. But really, it was just chance I thought of it first.

I know HOSER from an old Bob and Doug LP one of my ex-in-laws had. Worth listening to for the general comedy; and that saved me from misreading the clue for 15A as being for 12A and thinking a Confucian principle might be HOnoR.

I changed a SEALED BEAM headlight once; it took me an hour. Next time I had my mechanic do it, in about 5 minutes. I mentioned my time to him; he said it took him that long the first time he did it, too. He was a kind man. Since you asked (or would, if you knew to do so) here's a fascinating article about their history. They were legally required until 1984, used as late as 1997 (the Mazda Miata). The real reason I remembered though is that back in 1970, while I was spending a little time at the expense of Middlesex County for anti-war demonstrations, there was a tall skinny guy with heavy-framed glasses, and the bikers all called him "Sealed Beam."

I never took as course in the Harlem Renaissance, but it came up in several other courses. I learned about Claude McKay, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, several others, but not NELLA Larsen; but she was discussed in the New York Review of Books sometime during the past year. That wasn't enough to give me her name, but enough to keep me from putting in a Y after the NELL_.

I did enjoy the puzzle, though I was a little slow on the uptake regarding the theme; fortunately, WOMEN'S decathlon didn't fit.

@Barbara S., I loved Penne Ante Vodka!

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

“In the vault” was a much-used and -discussed phrase on Seinfeld.

Laura 10:43 AM  

"IN THE VAULT" is definitely a thing people say. As in: "Don't tell anyone, it's top secret! "Don't worry! It in the vault."

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

Anon 9:49,

Yep. And the nightmare you describe to change a simple bulb is not unique to Ford. It's the same with several manufacturers.
And while it's true modern bulbs last longer, they don't last forever. And despite Z's implication, the old sealed beam units didn't need constant replacement. Fact is, the change from sealed beam to today's headlight assemblies is simply a design choice. It's more a matter of aesthetics than optics. It also lets manufactures have a single design for the entire world. Europe had switched to headlight assemblies before we did.
It's worth noting that sealed beam headlights are a cheaper way to go. Several lower priced cars used them, even in the US, until about three or for years ago, Car prices have gotten quite high. And, like much else in the US economy, many are left behind. Manufacturers simply don't make the range of very low priced cars they once did, because so much of their market can afford a very pricey car. The profit margins are pricier cars are simply to good to pass up. Shareholder value, you know.
Anyway, I have not one but two vehicles with sealed beam headlights. Cant remember the last time I changed them. ( One is from 1976, the other 1975)

jae 10:50 AM  

Medium. Like millions of others I had strap before THONG for longer than I should have. Mostly smooth and timely, liked it.

egsforbreakfast 10:55 AM  

If you Google Gogol you get a GOOGOL of hits, mostly in Russian.

I seem to remember SEALED BEAM headlights being mentioned in TV ads as a feature of a car, perhaps the Corvair? It’s not all that obscure.

Why are Oscar nominations called OSCAR NODS? Did Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, et al vie for the Democratic Party Nod?

Good Tuesday puzzle. Thank you Sam Buchbinder.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

Sorry about your wretched wrenching experience. I'd say your mechanic was indeed kind to tell you it took him along tome too the first time. in any event, I think you should've scrolled down the article you cadged your info from. You'll see that the Chevy express van was using sealed breams for another two decades after the Miatas. ( By the way the reason the 1998 Miata didn't use sealed beam headlights was strictly for aesthetics. 1997 was the end of what is now referred to as the Miata NA generation. They had the flip up headlights. Starting in `98--generation NB--Miatas had integrated headlights. They do to this day.
Why yes, glad you asked, I have replaced bulbs in the NB-(plenty of times in my 16 years of ownership Z) but never, ever replaced a headlight in my brother NA. Anecdotal? you bet. True? Absolutely.

Masked and Anonymous 11:03 AM  

I thought about puttin in STRAP at 1-A, but it looked like 1-D was gonna be TRUE crossin UNCLE, so I then figured on THONG instead. So … right, but sorta wrong again, anyway, M&A breath.

Knew SEALEDBEAM right away no prob in the vault.
GLASSFLOOR sounds like the dreamed-of goal of ultimate failure, or some such. Kinda like the opposite of the GLASSCEILING. Maybe GLASSFLOOR is the ultimate fulfillment target, for wine cellar stockers?

Definitely admired that the theme revealer swam straight down thru all the other themers. The constructioneer clearly suffered, tryin to get that all to fit together. Plus then no doubt he was forever stuck with that grid layout, which he then had to fill, no matter what. (yo, UPKEY)

some fave fillins: HITITBIG. OSCARNODS. THATSALIE (woulda gone real good with a 1-D TRUE).
staff weeject pick: TEM. Better clue: {Met on the way back??}.

Thanx for the mental gymnastics, Mr. Buchbinder. And for the extra-big grid -- more for our moneybucks.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


JennyO 11:04 AM  

I misread 1A as "part of a SCANDAL" somehow (?) and put in shame. Did see the mistake pretty quickly. Yikes.

mathgent 11:07 AM  

A fine piece of work. Timely theme, flawlessly executed. Pleasant to solve.

Thanks @Richard Stanford (8:54) for explaining SEALEDBEAM. I had seen the term in commercials but didn't know what it was.

Yesterday I criticized Shortz for allowing an incorrect clue for GFLAT. It wasn't incorrect, I had misread the clue. Will, please forgive me. Thanks to @A for a very clear explanation late yesterday.

A common comment here is noting an incorrect entry. I suppose these comments come speed solvers who put in the first reasonable entry that fits and hope for the best. That's a good strategy if you're trying for a good time. I solve on paper and don't time myself. I don't make an entry unless it seems consistent with its crosses.

Gill. A college buddy of mine lived on Uranus street here in San Francisco. We would often greet him saying, "Hey, Jim! How are things going up Uranus?"

Frantic Sloth 11:10 AM  

The Olympics are looming. This puzzle is apparently an example of genius constructioneering according to those who know (I didn't).
I liked it - especially because it falls on the cursed Tuesdee with grace and style.

But I'm only here to comment because of @JD's 1008am "...why I think Glamp(ing) is so hilariously horrifying. Maybe it's because in only five letters it manages to com-plete-ly insult the very spirits of glamour and camping by shoving them into that tiny tragic marriage."
Perfect. πŸ€ŒπŸ’‹πŸ– *MWAH*


RyanSem 11:20 AM  

NW was a huge struggle, and so was the middle for me. I spelled TOMEI about 3 different ways before it worked. Doesn't help that you can spell SID as "syd" too. Some of those crosses up there were brutal.

The bottom fill was full of names that I actually knew. That felt good.

Like the theme. Good overall, but tricky.

Whatsername 11:58 AM  

Very nice! Timely and fresh. WOMENS GYMNASTICS will go on my list of favorite all-time crossword answers. I suspect it took some real finesse to construct this grid and while I’ll leave the technical analysis to the experts, as a solver I very much appreciate the end result. Thank you kindly Mr. B, and I sure hope you have more like this IN THE VAULT for the future.

Re Hedy LAMARR … that’s Hedley!

George 12:24 PM  

"OSCAR NODS" is a fine entry; it is unfortunate, however, that some people reasonably call them "OSCAR NOMS" instead. Easy to fix from the crosses, but hadn't seen it mentioned here yet. Everyone seems to have mistaken their thong for a strap, and to be quite preoccupied with that problem instead!! :)

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

Why is it obvious that you don't know Clue?

old timer 12:30 PM  

Hands up for considering strap before THONG. A quick glance at the Downs solved that pronto. It was a very Easy puzzle, all in all, and very well put together. The revealer was of no real help, since I could not have told you the four events in WOMENS GYMNASTICS. Next week I will have them by heart, of course.

I have seen actor LIEV many times, but never focused on his name. If you are in that situation, you will enjoy his Wiki entry. I did.

I found LYON hard, because I am so old it is, and always will be, LYONs. In one of those mad rushes to modernize the French language, LYON and Marseille lost their terminal S's. I suppose that made sense, since the S was not only not pronounced, but not used in compound words. Your potatoes may be LYONaise, but never were LYONsaise. I guess I can be grateful they didn't rob Chartres of its last S.

I was, back when it first ran on some obscure channel, a huge fan of SCTV, the best comedy show ever. I believe every single one of its stars went on to fame and fortune (and yes, the occasional early death). And to this day, if Eugene Levy is in the cast, I'll likely buy a ticket to whatever he is in.

bocamp 12:35 PM  

Thx to @Lewis & @Nancy (and any others who mentioned it) re: the skill it takes to create these xwords; in this case, the revealer intersecting all four themers.

Strap before THONG. Wore THONGs before they became known as flip-flops (hi @JJK (7:12 AM))

Changed a SEALED BEAM headlight or two back in the day.

The Complete Works of NELLA Larsen (including: 'Passing')

pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

people50 12:54 PM  

TOMEI crossing SID at the I is definitely a Natick.

Mary Sofia 12:54 PM  

Can we not refer to "GETting A TIP" as "being rewarded" for serving? It implies that tips are extra. In the most/much of the US (the intended audience of this puzzle, particularly today's), tips are the majority of a server's income (often the vast majority), and our base wage is below minimum wage.

Douglas 12:57 PM  

I tried to put “football cream“ but it didn’t fit.

Douglas 12:59 PM  

I tried to put “football cream“ but it didn’t fit.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

I join the strap millions today but it was no biggie to replace it with THONG.

I found the theme answers to be fine and I noticed some nice fill cluing, a la @Nancy. I even circled, as a good one, the 10D clue for STEREO. I also liked 28D's "Cheery sort?" for FAN.

Sam Buchbinder, thanks for a timely, fun Tuesday puzzle.

@Pete, from yesterday, thanks for the TIP on my quip puzzle quest, in re Miles Davis, not Wynton Marsalis. But although I got hits on Miles' name using the search feature, none of them led to a quip puzzle. It must have been a non-NYT puzz.

A 1:10 PM  

That was ok, I guess. Got the impression it was constructed by a robot. What GENIE ever said “You wish!” Who describes a landscape as ASHEN? I've heard ash-covered but never ashen.

Liked seeing the GENIi SID Caesar and Hedy LAMARR, and GOOGOL, which invariably reminds me of GΓΆdel, Escher, Bach. I see there’s a new biography of GΓΆdel, “Journey to the Edge of Reason”

The term SEALED BEAM is odd. How do you seal a beam? Seems metaphorical. You could write a song about it. How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you KEEP a wave upon the sand? How do you hold a moonBEAM in your hand? This’ll get the KIT KAT jingle out of your head. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Here’s the real thing.

Didn’t realize IPHOTO is bygone. I did think we had given up waitress/waitressing, though. Also, your average TIP isn’t a reward, it’s the customer’s contribution to the server’s wages. A reward might be a large TIP.

Wasn’t Seinfeld the show about nothing? I expect most Seinfeldisms aren’t likely to outlast the reruns, because their real humor is so reliant on the context of the moment.

Looks like KIT KAT is vying to upstage OWLET. AIR ACE, MACE and GLENS are waiting in the wings.

Happy Birthday, Carlos Santana! This is genius

CreamyT 1:11 PM  

Fun puzzle!

Tough NW corner. Didn't know of SEALEDBEAM, NELLA, only vaguely of HOSER. THUS wasn't easy either since I couldn't get the acrosses ... and "So" is a rather vague clue for a Tuesday. My wife and I finished in about 15 minutes, which is almost double our normal time. Everything outside of that felt pretty Tuesday-ish for us (it helped knowing most of the PPP).

Anonymous 1:28 PM  

A brief history of sealed beam headlights, and car headlights in the US in general:

PhysGraf 1:43 PM  

Is 4 of 5 overused crosswordese crosses in a row a record (SLR, TAO, EMO and EWERS)? I thought I was being played when I was in that corner.

bookmark 1:49 PM  

I discovered Nella Larsen last month while doing research on our book club's selection of Brit Bennett's new book The Vanishing Half. It's about light-skinned twin sisters,
one of whom decides to pass as white. A fascinating historical novel of racism, family, and identity. I highly recommend it.

woolf 2:07 PM  

Okay, $%^@ this cluing at 30 down.

"GET A TIP" is not being _rewarded_ for waitressing (or, you know, "waiting tables," if you want to avoid the pointless gendering). Getting a tip is part of a restaurant server's base income (which is unfortunate because most people are monsters).

Some crossword editor has never waited tables and it shows.

JD 2:11 PM  

@Frantic, I'm humble and honored πŸ˜€

Whatsername 2:32 PM  

I’d be totally ASHEN at the sight of one of those “observation” points with a GLASS FLOOR. Nope, nada, nyet, not in a million years. Not even for a GREEK GOD with all the KIT KAT BARS in the world.

@TTrimble (7:40) I agree with you about GLAMP; it’s right up there with bromance. Why must we always take two perfectly good words and combine them to make one which sounds as silly as those do ?

@GILL (9:41) Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family!

Pete 2:39 PM  

@Teedmn - No problem. I too remember that puzzle, & I mostly only do the NYTimes. But it was a couple of years ago, so I've no clue. I don't know if you were looking for the quote, but here it is anyway: If you hit a wrong note, it's the next note that you play that determines if it's good or bad. Much as I like the sentiment, all of life isn't a Jazz improv where you can change key at your own whim, so it has limited utility.

sasses 4:32 PM  

Interesting that the womens beach sports event was cancelled today because they prefer to wear shorts instead of bikinis. The puzzle today honoring women's gymnastics includes thongs in the 1 Across position.

kitshef 4:35 PM  

@old timer 12:30 - THANK YOU. I wanted to enter LYONs, but when it didn't fit I just figured my memory was faulty -- which would not have been a surprise at all. Turns out I'm just behind the times (also not a surprise).

@ Tip folks. I would argue a tip and a salary are both rewards. Both are given in exchange for services rendered. One is given by patrons, the other by the employer, but they are both rewards.

Smith 5:43 PM  

Great comments. My minor note is that 52D is one of the best examples of the dual root system in English. The clue comes from the "high-falutin" French of the overlords, and the answer is from the common Anglo of the peasants. My ESL students used to get such a kick out of pairs like these. Then we would work out register, or, when each is more appropriate and why (another easy, fun one is weak / feeble, which also mean *almost* the same thing... but have you ever felt feeble in the knees?). Fun times.

Nancy 6:04 PM  

Good to know there are other people here (hi, @JD; hi, @Whatsername) who are scared of GLASS FLOORS. Normally, I have no fear of heights as long as I'm completely safe, don't have to climb anything, and know I can't actually fall -- no matter how high up I am.

But sometimes the effect of feeling you can fall, even when you can't, is overwhelming. Don't ask me you I once ended up in this...thing at the Marriot, but I did. As you can see, this is much scarier than a glass floor! Start the video at 2:00 minutes in -- going down was much scarier than going up.

I did it once. Needless to say, I will not do it again.

Scott White 6:13 PM  

Sorry, Tom is not Jerry's "partner". He is his nemesis!

GILL I. 6:16 PM  

@Whatsernme 2:32. Gracias. Yes...One of the great pleasures in life is having children that then give you children so that you can act like a 12 year old again and play with the grandkids. ......Drives YOUR children nuts.

Pdxrains 6:28 PM  

I'm a car guy so guess I was lucky on that. Grabbed SEALEDBEAM right away. Those are the old glass headlights that are basically a bulb. Halogens followed that and now all cars have horribly harsh, overly bright and blinding white LEd headlights. And I hate them

Tim Carey 6:40 PM  

DNF. ENmED/OSCARNOmS. Tuesday [sigh]. Couldn't see anything better, even after running the alphabet. Maybe I should give up on crosswords.

Anoa Bob 6:48 PM  

I let out an audible "wow" when I saw the reveal dropping down all four themers. That ain't easy! Even getting much shorter entries to drop down smoothly through two crossing entries can be tough. Nicely done!

I wondered "Why the somewhat windy and awkward clue for the reveal (6D: Olympic sport whose all-around competition is composed of the lasts parts of 19-, 26-, 44- and 52-Across)"? Aha! Only parts of the individual Olympic sports are used in the themers. The sports (with all their parts) are vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise (I just double checked).

I don't share the disdain I see expressed here today about GLAMP. As a word, it's not that much different from "clamp", which is in every respect a fine word. As a practice, it is what you read into it. There are different levels of camping out form very primitive to quite comfortable. GLAMPing I think of as going the more comfortable route. Why not? Do we need to suffer in order to commune with nature? If I can still go on the same hiking trail or kayaking trip, for instance, I'll choose sleeping on a cot before sleeping on the ground any day.

Hi roo @9:46AM, no POC conundrum today. If the base or preferred form of a word or phrase is in the plural, as it is today with the reveal and one of the themers, then the Ss are there for a legitimate reason, not just for the convenience of making the word or phrase longer and, therefore, making it easier to fill the grid (and essentially watering down the product).

There were a few POCs today, where the pluralizing (and grid filling) Ss are there just for convenience. A couple of run-of-the-mill POCs are at 6A WETS and 34A ATMS. The committee is still deliberating about 49A SPLITS. Some think that since its usually part of a FLOOR exercise, the S is legit. Others think that if SPLITS went into the grid before 35D THATS A LIE then it's a POC.

Of greater concern for this puzzle's "all-around" score is 3D OSCAR NOD. It's a seven letter phrase trying to fill an eight letter slot. That final S is convenience personified. Even more of a threat are the two double POCs where a single S boosts the letter count of two entries---a.k.a., a two for one POC---such as occurs at the ends of 12D ROOM / 23A EWER and 55D SOD / 64A GLEN. Those two-for-one POCs are in corners with fewer crossing constraints so maybe they could have been reworked to give the solver a hardier meal, as it were, by using more full-bodied, nourishing fill, so to speak. Hard to say for sure.

My '93 Ford Probe GT has SEALED BEAM headlights.

oriordan 7:11 PM  

I agree. The NW corner really had me stumped with the cross you list and having STRAP rather than THONG.

Nancy 7:51 PM  

I'll go GLAMPing with you anytime, @Anoa Bob. We share the same love of Nature, paired with the same preference for creature comforts (see my blog profile which delves into the subject) and, like you, I don't dislike either the word or the practice. As a word, it's a portmanteau that's seems both cute and descriptive. Also, I think people who would say that about themselves would need to have a self-deprecating sense of humor and a willingness to laugh at their own ridiculousness. And as a practice, it makes perfect sense to me: just because I love Nature, should I have to...suffer? My only worry is that my GLAMP would end up being too heavy on camp and too light on glamor.

I direct those who haven't yet seen it to the funniest video on the subject ever made. Go to YouTube and type in "Jews Don't Camp Song." (It's the version with a photo of wild berries.) You'll howl. It does help to be Jewish, but you don't have to be.

albatross shell 8:01 PM  

Continuing am-I-the-only-one-interested-discussion-about-parenthesis in crossword clues. The answer today is again a bit ambiguous.
Soak (up) produces SOP because
A. SOP is Soak up.
B. SOP up is soak.
C. SOP up soak up.
My theory (which through months of observation has been correct) is the answer should be B. Today I like both A and C better. In terms of transitivity there may be problems beyond my understanding.

Googolpex÷googol= ?.


Smith 8:20 PM  

Turns out the USPS has a stamp series called "Harlem Renaissance" and there's NELLA Larsen on the example page. Randomly found it, looking for something else.

Smith 8:25 PM  

@Nancy re Jews Don't Camp

Laughed out loud, good thing the wine was not in my hand (or mouth)

Rick Walker 8:25 PM  

sealed beam was a common term for head lights. They dominated the market for about 20 years. One used to just replace a bulb but when these came out one replace a large unit that included the whole lens and light system. Rex evidently isn't a care do-it yourselfer. He's old enough to remember these. And they were a very common term in wide usage.

Rick Walker 8:26 PM  

Also, i and others thought that google was the number not googol.

Whatsername 9:12 PM  

@Nancy (6:04) I rode one of those glass elevators many years ago. But it didn’t go up 45 floors thank goodness. Not as bad as a glass viewing deck over the Grand Canyon but still not an experience I want to repeat either.

TTrimble 11:19 PM  

Loved the comments today. Even those that pretend not to perceive the inherent awfulness of GLAMP. ;-) Thanks so much; helps after a long day.

td 0

TTrimble 11:39 PM  

Oh yeah, before I pack it in. Perhaps I missed someone else saying this, but a THONG is of course a completely different thing from a strap. It goes between the big toe and second toe. Anyway, g'night! See you all tomorrow.

Joe Dipinto 12:10 AM  

The anti-GLAMPers are not taking issue with the activity, we are taking issue with the word itself. It sounds like a combination of GLOM and CLAMP, with a little CRAMP thrown in, suggesting that some alien horror-movie creature has attached itself to you and tightened its grip and won't let go and you are in pain and terrified. It doesn't evoke either glamour or camping.

king_yeti 3:38 AM  

Each of LeBron and Curry was MVP more than once. Makes clue awkward

thefogman 10:13 AM  

I remember SEALEDBEAM headlights. And the other themers were fine. Maybe not tens, but at least 8.9’s. Overall, I give it a silver medal.

spacecraft 10:13 AM  

NBAMVP is not "nice," it is a big part of the "clunkiness" down there. You kidding me? Two acronyms back-to-back with nary a vowel? And this is supposed to be a crossWORD??

Sorry, but this baby is one big clunk. Fill crap everywhere. Double-bogey.

Congrats to Tony Finau, who finally came into his own yesterday. You go, dude!

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

Very enjoyable puzzle. Challenging, but workable. Good one!

Burma Shave 1:24 PM  


THE TEAM PHOTO's fantastic:


rondo 2:09 PM  

@Rex - I'll bet your first car(s) had SEALEDBEAM headlights; they're not *that* old.
There are Safe Routes To School - SRTS - in the corners.

Hedy LAMARR, Marisa TOMEI, EMMA Watson, each a yeah baby in her era.

You want to GETATIP? Stay out of BARS.

leftcoaster 3:17 PM  

Clever, with some well-HONEd and elusive clues/answers, particularly in the NW, which was last to go. And the revealer was perfectly HONEd for the theme.

Fun fill: Q. Who says “You wish!”? A. A GENIE, of course. Among a couple of others, PERCY and BALOO needed some help with crosses

Liked this puzzle a lot.

Diana, LIW 4:21 PM  

Kind of Mondayish for me. Actually, GENIEs say "your wish" - as in "is my command. Methinks.

But fun!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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