Promise that Aladdin sings to Jasmine / TUE 8-24-21 / Gossip that gets spilled / Vehicle with Vatican City registration plates / A grand slam nets four of these for short / Computer program that blurs out military installations

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Constructor: Jessie Bullock and Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: somewhat harder than the typical Tuesday, but this will vary widely based on your familiarity / non-familiarity with '90s animated movie song lyrics

THEME: "I CAN SHOW / YOU / THE WORLD" (32A: With 39- and 44-Across, promise that Aladdin sings to Jasmine (and a hint to the answers to the starred clues)) — theme answers are things that "show you the world":

Theme answers:
  • POCKET ATLAS (17A: *Miniaturized reference)
  • GOOGLE EARTH (11D: *Computer program that blurs out military installations)
  • PLANETARIUM (23D: *Facility where things are always looking up?)
  • "PALE BLUE DOT" (60A: *Iconic photograph taken by Voyager 1 at the request of Carl Sagan)

Word of the Day:

Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU), as part of that day's Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System.

In the photograph, Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight reflected by the camera.

Voyager 1, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and take one last photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of astronomer and author Carl Sagan. The phrase "Pale Blue Dot" was coined by Sagan in his reflections on the photograph's significance, documented in his 1994 book of the same name. (wikipedia)

• • •

Is this what Millennial Nostalgia feels like? I think it's fine, but no more complaints about boomer nostalgia, or puzzles built entirely around Beatles lyrics, OK? "Aladdin" was probably the last animated Disney film I saw in the theater. I remember seeing it with friends early in grad school, just as I remember seeing "Beauty and the Beast" the year earlier and "The Little Mermaid" with my girlfriend in college a few years before that. By the time "Lion King" hit, I was done. The wall-to-wall Elton John-ness of it all just did me in. Animated movie fare is kind of a haze after that. We're so used to ubiquitous animated movies / series now that people forget what a still-unusual thing animated fare that appealed to adults as well as children was in the late '80s / early '90s. "The Little Mermaid" appeared at roughly the same time as "The Simpsons" did on TV, and though they're wildly different, they both exploded into a culture that was not used to seeing animation that wasn't solely for kiddies. "Wait, they make cartoons for grown-ups now?" It was a somewhat joyous time. And now (and for years now), it's adult animation saturation. So yes, "Aladdin" was a huge deal, as that whole first wave of Disney films was, and all of those movies have of course had second lives on Broadway, or in remakes, or what have you. I do think asking for the lyrics (rather than the song title) is a bit specific for a Tuesday puzzle. But otherwise yeah, this theme works. All those themers do, in fact, show you the world. I had no idea what "PALE BLUE DOT" was—that is, I'd heard the term, but had never seen the photograph. It's something else. The point of the picture is we barely exist. You wouldn't know we were there if you didn't have someone out where we are.

[the titular dot is roughly half way up the rightmost color bar]

This is a good puzzle for demonstrating how theme density affects fill quality, in that the very worst (in the sense of most preposterous) answer, TWO TO, occurs *precisely* where the theme is densest. It is the nail in the stack of answers that form the revealer, in the dead center of the puzzle. Faced with -WOT-, yeah, there is not a lot a constructor can do with that letter combination. In fact, I'm not sure there's *anything* a constructor (or two constructors) can do besides put TWO TO in there. It's an absurd answer, in that no one is ever likely to actually say it (TEN TO, sure, TWO TO, come on, just round up). But if the only answer you'd chuck is the one holding the whole theme together, I guess you can look the other way. Besides, the answer does give us the "2" trifecta, so that's fun—the answer reads like an echo of the Across answer just above it ("I DO TOO ... TWO ... TO ...").

The themers were the most challenging part of the grid by far (made slightly more challenging by the fact that one of them, PLANETARIUM, had a "?" clue) I had RED OAK before RED ELM (?) (24A: Tree with durable wood), and AHA before AHH (61D: "I see now"). Gotta go. First day of Fall teaching today, and I am, uh, less prepared than I'd like to be. Also, haven't taught in person since Mar. 2020, so this should be ... interesting. Fun, I hope. Enjoy your day!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 5:43 AM  

I fell into the TWOTO trap too. I had TWOof, figuring that nobody would ever say "two to". The mistake was intensified by my arrogant insistence that I not read the theme clues until I'd finished. That left only ILOST to get me out, and that could have been anything: @LMS I can't, I give, uncle, etc.

Loren Muse Smith 5:55 AM  

Hah! I bet lots of us will have this earworm now for hours. When my son was little, we watched that movie eleventy thousand times.

Rex - I was utterly unfamiliar with PALE BLUE DOT. Fun to learn about it, and that picture of it is humbling.

This wasn’t a Thing where I taught in WV, but here at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, I’m thinking that what used to be called ESL is now ELL for English language learners. I have too many new initializations coming at me to look into this. We have BMTs, DCLs, LREs, RTIs, BIPs, SELs. . . Tomorrow I face my new students, and my head is swimming. (BMT is not Bone Marrow Transplant but rather Behavior Management Technician, fancyspeak for enforcer, I’m thinking.)

SCAREDY-cat. Fraidy-cat. Cool. I’m more of a worriedy-cat.

I laughed as I wrongly entered “I can’t” for I LOST. Sheesh.

Loved the clue for WIG. Pick your wigs wisely, people. It seems that if you’re willing to pay the money, it can look astonishingly natural. If you pinch your pennies, though, it can’t look any faker if it had a chinstrap. (Hi, Mom, oh miser extraordinaire and occasional wig wearer.) Speaking of which, yeah – we have a drawer full of forgotten SOY and sweet-and-sour sauce packets.

“Surveilled” – back formation from surveillance. I love these things. Love it when intrepid English users snip off affixes (some true affixes, some not (pease/pea)) and soldier on.

I adored the brazen TWO TO entry. Go big or go home. I sat staring out the window imagining a ridiculous sentence like She already has her leotard on and will be ready to leave for the Rwandan ballet recital on time; since she also has on her {work with me here} Hutu tutu, too, two to two should give her ample time.

Anyhoo, I was totally gruntled with TWO TO is what I’m saying.

bocamp 6:10 AM  

Thx Jessie & Ross for a fine Tues. puz! ;)

Med+ solve.

Semi-tough; slow and steady with no major holdups.

Needed all the crosses for POCKET ATLAS.

Liked EARTH crossing WORLD.

Enjoyed the challenge! :)

@Anoa Bob (7:19 PM yd)

Had the same thots earlier yd re: Gleason's pool-shooting abilities. Great movie, 'The Hustler'. Got the granddaughters a bumper pool table a few yrs ago.


Echoed your experience on Croce's Freestyle #637. The NW was a bear, but finally hit the spot for the win. See you next Mon. :)

yd 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Richard 6:20 AM  

Never heard AFT used in this way. I have a hard time believing anyone ever says AFT as slang for afternoon. Just clue it as a boat term!

chance2travel 6:28 AM  

Wow - I filled in lots of wrong answers today. My marquee wrong answer was "observatory" instead of PLANETARIUM (smh)

I do Mon and Tue as a sort of speed solve starting with the downs. Did not go well.

AHa before AHH
eaRtH before TORAH
Erin before EIRE
TWOof before TWOTO
erS before UHS

and finally, fro instead of WIG (smhx2)

Northeast corner gave me the most trouble. I had POPEMOBILE and a guess at the unsoundly AFTS, but ripped it out when it gave me -PA at 11A.

Does anyone use a POCKETATLAS anymore? Or is that just a fancy name for GOOGLEEARTH on a smartphone?

Megafrim 6:44 AM  

The awkwardness of TWO TO could have been fixed by cluing "_____ TANGO" if not the more obvious "It Takes _____ Tango".

Mae 6:53 AM  

Is that an ATLAS in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Anonymous 7:02 AM  

@Lewis. My cat is much like yours. Sometimes, when a doorbell rings on the TV she takes off down the hallway to her sanctuary.

Lewis 7:06 AM  

Speaking of SCAREDY CAT, our cat Wiley fits the description. Oh, he’s very comfortable with us, and is ever working on ruling us, but when a stranger comes into the house, BOOM he’s under the bed.

But to this cleverly-themed puzzle, which brought unexpected pleasure because it fought me harder than a typical Tuesday. And yet it felt less than Wednesday-difficult, so, to me, it was placed on the right day, just on the harder end.

This had to be a bear to make, with 63 theme squares, very high. Yet somehow Jessie and Ross managed to slip in some lovely answers: POPEMOBILE, LET LIE, NO NAME, SCAREDY CAT. OOF, that's a very high degree of constructing skill (maybe it takes TWO TO do it.) Also, I couldn’t help but notice all the answers that started and/or ended with vowels, actually three quarters of all the answers! I don’t track this, but man, that seems high.

Anyway, I loved the fight and theme, and thank you, you two, for this Tuesday gift!

Runs on Dunkin 7:06 AM  

@LMS I would really enjoy reading a blog titled “Loren’s NEW Adventures in Teaching”. I’m sure I’m not alone on this. How about it?

kitshef 7:15 AM  

Should have run on a Wednesday.

Did you know that observatory and PLANETARIUM have the same number of letters? Well, I do now (as I see does @chance2travel).

Some really nice stuff here: GOOGLE EARTH, POPEMOBILE, PLANETARIUM, SCAREDYCAT, POCKET ATLAS, PALE BLUE DOT. Basically, all the long answers other than the revealer.

And some awful stuff. Mostly in the cluing. TEA as clued, clue for ATM, clue for AHH, clue for WIG, “AFTS”, and most of all, worst clue for TSA ever.

TTrimble 7:15 AM  

TWO TO one (as in a ratio), TWO TO the power three -- it's not hard coming up with plausible constructions. For that matter, TWO TO the hour is not preposterous at all, especially if you're due to speak at 2:00 and ask the seminar organizer for the time (it's TWO TO TWO). TWO TO each roller coaster car. See how easy it is?

And another thing. Let me quote: "The Little Mermaid" appeared at roughly the same time as "The Simpsons" did on TV, and though they're wildly different, they both exploded into a culture that was not used to seeing animation that wasn't solely for kiddies."

Oh, is that so? Half of what went on during The Rocky and Bullwinkle SHOW would fly right over the heads of the kiddies and straight to the heads of the grown-ups. I would argue the same for much of Looney Toons and Bugs Bunny (for example, What's Up, Doc?, which has adult references GALORE). Not to mention The Flintstones. Clever allusions for the grown-ups has been cartoon stock-in-trade for quite a few decades.

(I would say, though, that The Simpsons ramped it up to a whole other level. Some allusions there I would estimate to be recognizable to maybe one in ten thousand people. One notable case is The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace, which among other things glancingly refers to Fermat's Last Theorem -- you might check out this article by Simon Singh. One of Noam Elkies's papers (some of you will remember him; he used to comment here) references this very episode. In another episode one finds the equation P = NP, and I wonder how many would pick up on that allusion.)

I found this quite tough for a Tuesday (although I'm sure the drinks I had beforehand slowed me down significantly). I am not an aficionado of Disney movies of this ilk; in fact I run away as fast as possible. I did like the quaternity POCKET ATLAS, GOOGLE EARTH, PLANETARIUM, and PALE BLUE DOT. But does this puzzle really belong on a Tuesday? RED ELM? DE NOVO? Never heard of POPEMOBILE (the thought amuses me -- it reminds me of the Batmobile, speaking of series with cross-generational appeal). I had Mertz before ETHEL. Either didn't know or forgot that Alan ALDA was in The Aviator.

I'll gladly let someone else run the PPP numbers.

dbyd pg -1 (missed a 9-letter beginning with A)
yd 0
td pg -1 so far

bocamp 7:21 AM  

How many minutes from TWO TO TWO TO TWO TWO? Fun riddle when posed verbally, especially if repeated quickly. πŸ€”

pg -10

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

amyyanni 7:26 AM  

What @Megafrim wrote. It takes two to tango, two to really get the feeling of the tango, do the dance of love. There's a lovely Tuesday idea.
My plans include hanging some pictures, now that I have lived in the new condo for a while and have a sense of where things might fit best.

Blackhat 7:27 AM  

I am seriously considering going to the store to buy the NYT just so I can find the puzzle, rip it to shreds, and throw it in the trash properly....

Joe Dipinto 7:41 AM  

"It takes _____ tango" is a pretty common expression. Cluing it thusly might have made TWO TO a little more palatable.

Nice set of theme answers, but I'd have preferred this as the marquee entry.

Anonymous 7:42 AM  

In the UK we say ten to or five to for 50 or 55 minutes past the hour, but I have never heard anyone say two to.

Started in person (university) teaching last week for the first time since March 2020. Made me realize just how bad teaching on Zoom was.

Zwhatever 7:43 AM  

Beauty and the Beast was the movie we watched eleventy thousand times.

… they both exploded into a culture that was not used to seeing animation that wasn't solely for kiddies. Uh, did OFL ever watch Bugs Bunny? Danger Mouse? Star Blazer? Heavy Metal? I suppose Rex is right in that the “mainstream” culture wasn’t used to adult themes. Heck, most people still don’t realize The Lion King is largely Hamlet with a happy ending. But even Fantasia is as much for big people as the youth. At any rate, that observation clanged when I read it.

PPP adjacent theme with a PPP revealer, but at least we get GOOGLE EARTH, PPP from the 21st century. It holds together fine and a little existential angst (PALE BLUE DOT) adds some depth to the cloying Disney sweetness, so πŸ‘πŸ½.

Son Volt 7:44 AM  

Although it contains the great USURP - a puzzle based on a 20 year old animated Disney movie is brutal. The overall fill was so straightforward - easy to back into the movie song but I had no idea on first look. Not a lot of enjoyment although liked DENOVO, THRESH and PYRES. POPE MOBILE adjacent to GOOGLE EARTH is too much real estate for bad fill.

RED ELM must have been GOOGLEd - I’ve always called it Slippery Elm. Also a side eye to durable in the clue as that normally refers to elemental and decay resistance in wood.

Animated Disney is in my Harry Potter category.

Twangster 7:49 AM  

Maybe someone will now to do a TUTU, TOO-TOO, TWOTO puzzle.

Twangster 7:52 AM  

Darn, we can't edit our comments anymore? Throw in two-two as well, (Soccer stalemate).

albatross shell 7:59 AM  

Stuck inside a POPEMOBILE with the Vatican Blues Again. Was that Tom Lehrer making fun of folk singers or Dylan in his little known Catholic phase?

Red Elm? Well that is what the lumber folks call it (red heart wood) and is part of the scientific name (rubra, red in Latin), but we common folk call it slippery elm (from chewing the bark?). Whatever, just don't try splitting it for firewood without a machine.

What a lotta ways to see the world. Theme density. Crossings and butting up against each other. Wowza.

I really enjoyed TOTWO. And the GPA clue. The only junk that POPpEd me in the eye was AFTS and AHEMS. Two plurals. A HEMS, i paused to admire its singular plurality suggestiveness, like many A-words. Dressmaking or house-building. Wait. Is gest a word? Plus give? Plus seness? Doesn't work. Cut that out.

All this and SCAREDYCAT too.
Mondays Tuesdays have been very good lately and 10 to 20 % less easy and 30% more interesting.

Wait EDY + ARC + SCAT.

ExProf 8:02 AM  

Good luck today, Rex! I'm retired now and can’t say I miss the sinking feeling mid-August that it’s all cranking up again.

Fellow Earthling 8:06 AM  

I did this one in half my usual Tuesday time. I was 9 when Aladdin came out and can pretty much still quote most of those old Disney movies word for word. So this one was fun for me! Somewhat surprised by how many people haven’t heard Pale Blue Dot but I had to read Sagan in college for astronomy class.

How did POPEMOBILE not get a mention? Hahaha it just seemed like such a ridiculous thing to see in the puzzle today.

Peter P 8:08 AM  

I had no issue with the PPP, but this puzzle absolutely murdered me. My time was somewhere around Wednesday hard. Ugh. Started out with dumbly putting "sALts" for "Bath Powders" instead of TALCS and just went downhill from here. Had Ltd for LLC; had SWiss for SWEDE for awhile; you'd think COKIE Roberts is a gimme but given my wrong answers ended up with tOnya. Never heard of a POCKETATLAS. And that's just the NW corner.

What a mess for me. At least I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD were gimmes.

rjkennedy98 8:19 AM  

Two days in a row going way way above my normal solve time. Unlike yesterday, I thoroughly enjoyed this "millennial nostalgia" puzzle. I guess we have to celebrate our small victories when we can.

I was familiar with famous PALE BLUE DOT (which really puts the world into perspective). My favorite answer in the grid was POPE MOBILE, which is now driven by 100% renewable energy, so is saving our planet. Also, the clue for SCAREDY CAT (literally the cowardly lion) is great with its dad joke vibes. Overall, I just loved this puzzle - among the top early week puzzles for me.

mmorgan 8:26 AM  

Strongly agree with @Ttrimble! Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies, Rocky & Bulwinkle, Flintstones… and what about Fritz the Cat?!? I generally avoid Wikipedia, but it has a loonnngg list of adult animated films. And I have a hard time thinking of those Disney films as being made “for grown-ups” — they were made for merchandising.

Nice puzzle, by the way!

albatross shell 8:27 AM  

POPEMOBILE is a thing. I think its the little one he can stand up in a be seen and wave at or bless the masses.

How come @Anon 702am answers @Lewis 706 am and no @Lewis message deleted by author above it. Holy timewarp, Batman. I see I had my tutu on backwards. Connected events?

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

Time warp?

I am wondering how my response to @Lewis's 7:06 post is posted at 7:02.


Anonymous 8:42 AM  

In the Wordplay column, Ross notes that he and his co-constructor/girlfriend are going to be "asking one another a very important and special question" that night. He wrote in the comment section that "we said yes." He also posted an "I'm about to get engaged" crossword on his website.

Congrats on getting engaged, but it seems a little odd to me to be pre-announcing that you are going to ask each other to get married. Because didn't you kind of ask each other already when the two of you decided that this was the day you were going to ask each other?

Alexander 8:45 AM  

I highly recommend listening to Sagan’s reading of Pale Blue Dot for anyone unfamiliar with it

Brainpan 8:59 AM  

No One: Tell me you weren't very active in your kids' lives without saying so.

Rex: The last animated kids' movie I saw was in college.

No One: Well do---

Rex: Did I mention I didn't know what the pale blue dot is either?

No one: What? Uh...ok...

Nancy 8:59 AM  

I can think of dozens of ways to make a puzzle based on a Disney song as dull as dishwater. Jessie and Ross have found a way to make it imaginative and clever -- sparkling, even.

I just love the four different ways the world gets shown -- all so completely different from one another. And to find nice long themers that match in length -- if you think that's so easy, you try it.

The rest of the puzzle was quite nice too. Entertaining clues for MAGIC (6A); GPA (11A); SCAREDY CAT (27D); GALORE (8D) and ATM (68A).

Smooth and professional -- and with a bit more resistance than you usually find on a Tuesday. That's two early week puzzles in a row that I've enjoyed. Thanks, NYT.

GILL I. 9:00 AM  

AHH, definitely takes TWO TO Do the fandango tango. Someone named these flushable wipes as KAN DOO. 58 minutes past the hour and I need a KAN DOO for my TWO TO.
Aladdin...MAGIC... all because Robin Williams was the Genie.
But did you like this? ask. Why yes....a Tuesday that didn't have a red-headed orphan child hiding in the bushes. This was fun because it reminded me of a favorite movie in our family. I also loved taking a moment and thinking of 38A. I love me a good run on sentence. Who doesn't? How can you possibly say what you mean without running on and on and forgetting commas and periods and parentheses and diphthongs and semi colons and little slash marks?
I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD is just so romantic. Nobody ever said that to me but I certainly did to my children. I took them everywhere. Both were seasoned travelers at a very tender age. We'd get on a flight and they knew how to fall asleep quietly until the plane arrived in Spain or France or wherever we were headed. Children are wonderful and now I have grandkids to teach......
It's a Whole New World.......

pabloinnh 9:09 AM  

Yeah, SALTS messed things up right off the bat (hi @ Peter P). RUNS before RBIS too, speaking of bats. And of course we just had the ILOST vs. ICANT discussion, although ICANT was never a possibility this time. I wonder if that was just a SHEER coincidence.

The ELMS around here are American ELMS. REDELM is new to me, and I erased REDOAK but am planning to file a protest.

Put me in the Rocky and Bullwinkle crowd for thinking of it as cartoons for grownups. Great stuff.

Having a singing granddaughter has embedded several Disney tunes, A Whole New World among them. It has also introduced me to The Disney Channel on Sirius radio during car trips, which has many covers by pop stars of lots of Disney songs I've never heard. It's most annoying feature, however, is having people describe their first "Disney Moment", which leads to accounts that resemble answers to "When did you come to Jesus". I mean, really.

An ASTER was the first flower I picked and gave to my date, then my girlfriend, now my wife, on an October day 55 years ago. Yeah, I'm a sucker for sentiment.

Fun Tuesdecito, JB and RT. Just Because it made me Remember Things.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

the Popemobile in Vatican city is a Renault 4 that the Holy father tools around in.
Doubtless the Popemobile you're thinking of is used everywhere BUT Vatican City.

I think the Rumba is traditionally called the dance of love. But of course Eydie Gorme says different.

Sagan was wrong about Earth and man's place in the cosmos. In fact, man is the pinnacle of creation, a far cry from the unimportant speck he erroneously believed we are.

JD 9:33 AM  

Great two-to-Tuesday collaboration. Guess there was a 2019 live action Aladdin that fans loved and critics hated, so we're not as far back in nostalgia as it seems.

Show You The World gliding down the grid was lovely, especially with Magic top center. Wish they could've worked in Carpet somewhere but no matter. I Do Too, Pale Blue Dot, Aglow, and an Aster made for pleasant solving.

@Gill and @Pablo, Good stories.

Zwhatever 9:38 AM  

@TTrimble - Great minds and all that. But, C’mon man, You can’t leave us hanging like that. (I think I get it, but now I need more than Wikipedia to be sure)

@anon 8:37 - My guess is that @Lewis had a typo, deleted his original post, and reposted sans typo. Something I would (almost) never do. Too much work.

@Twangster - Blogger has never allowed us to edit our posts. At best those of us in Blue have the ability to delete and repost with edits.

@Anon9:12 - πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ - I think it was Stephen Jay Gould (but I’m not certain) who observed that the history of science is a history of discoveries knocking “man” out of the center of the universe.

Harry 9:39 AM  

Yep, second day in a row where my solving time was appreciably above my average (I'm at 300+ solves recorded, so I'm still typically "under", as my skills improve).

Haven't viewed "Alladin", so having filled PLANETARIUM early on, the theme filled initially as ICANSHOW/YOU/THEstars ;). POPEMOBILE shed light on the correct phrase.

Today's puzzle was a refreshing solve start to finish; a little more challenging then the typical Tuesday spree.

Mikey from El Prado 9:41 AM  

Rex’s comments regarding adult cartoons reminds me that when I was a child In the 60’s our cartoons, Bugs Bunny, Looney Tunes, Merry Melodies, Hanna-Barbera, The Flintstones, Jetsons, all appealed to adults as well as us kids. Hell, even Scooby Doo and Wacky Racers had some adult humor., Sadly, today, they’ve dumbed them down, not giving kids enough credit to appreciate…. Well, let’s face it… Humor!

Andrew H 9:44 AM  

We need more Carl Sagans in this world

Andrew H 9:47 AM  

@LMS it never dawned on me to use “gruntled”. Learned something today! When’s homework due?

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

Are you laughing at the assertion that man is the pinnacle of creation?
I don't get it. What's so funny? You think Steven Jay Gould is smarter than say, Alisdair MacIntyre?

Andrew H 9:48 AM  

I hear it used all the time and I bet you will, too, now that it’s in your subconscious

mathgent 9:56 AM  

Wow! An ultra-cool lady like Loren says anyhoo. And an ultra-cool lady like Nancy liked the puzzle. I feel like I just stepped into a parallel universe.

No crunch, no sparkle, feeble theme, 25 Terrible Threes. Utter garbage.

Andrew H 9:59 AM  

When I was a teenager, I needed to drive my late grandfather’s Lincoln deep into Chicago. This was 2002, so I just had printed MapQuest directions. It was a beautiful time of Internet awakening, but map routing was still a bit bleary eyed.

Of course I (got) LOST.

My grandfather was a navigator in WW2. He taught me the beauty of maps and route planning. I knew there’d be an ATLAS somewhere tucked away. And there was! A beautifully detailed account of every tiny side street in Chicago.

I pulled over in some neighborhood, my suburban upbringing unaware if it was a good or bad one, and went to work. Eschewing my 21st century directions, I got myself back on track and to my destination.

I just ordered a Wisconsin ATLAS to stick in my van. I never know!

Andrew H 10:01 AM  

I’m a Millennial and I know all those toons. Looney Tunes defined my sense of humor. Some things permeate our culture regardless of age. I don’t cry over old fashioned PPPs because it’s a chance to learn and maybe even discover a new favorite show

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Loren is the main reason I come to the comments everyday.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

I give this puzzle a failing grade based on AFTS alone. Just use a nautical clue like any normal person would.

TJS 10:10 AM  

Afts,uhs,ahh,oof,tsa,dea,gpa,atm,esl,llc. OOF, indeed.

jberg 10:11 AM  

@Harry, me too. Despite the songs Ravel wrote about her, Schehererazade doesn't have Aladdin sing. Fortunately, I knew there was a Disney movie, but had no idea about the song -- and at one point I had POCKET _ _ _ _ _ (and was thinking 'guide') and PLANETARIUM, so it sure looked like the stars were being shown. Fortunately I didn't write it in.

Me too for putting in TWOof and getting all excited about a new DOOK. 'Twas not to be, sadly.

@Loren, I was about to complain about the obscurity of your avatar when I suddenly got it. Probably would have been faster if it wasn't my home-town paper.

See ya this AFT, as we (but apparently nobody else) used to say.

RooMonster 10:16 AM  

Hey All !
Someone: "Hey, Roo, what time is it?"
Me: "It's TWO TO 12."
Someone: "Say what?"

Odd clue, agree that "___ to tango" would've been a much better clue, especially for a TuesPuz. Just my TWO TO cents.

Nice Theme-Dense puz. Fill doesn't suffer all that much, sure, some dreck, but it happens. I like lots of theme, in case you didn't know by now, from me telling you 192 times. 😁

@M&A gets one-blocker-misding-jaws today. Or something like that! Speaking of @M&A, I had a brilliant idea (well, brilliant for me πŸ€ͺ) to call the small Worducken words (like my MIATA) Runtducken. Har!

Continued discussion from above:
Me: "Well, now it's one to 12."
Someone: "Just say Noon, you Twit!"

DENOVO sounds like a band, or a friend of RuPaul. IDOTOO wanted to be ASDOI first. Too short. ILOST, har. Almost threw in saltS at 1A, but amazingly the ole brain thought that salts aren't powders. Fun clue for SCAREDYCAT.

One F (OOF πŸ˜†)

jae 10:18 AM  

On the tough side for me, but all my knowledge of Aladdin comes from xwords. Clever and fun, liked it.

TJS 10:19 AM  

Hi, what are you doing tonite? I was thinking about taking in a movie.

Field of Dreams? When Harry met Sally? Do the Right Thing? Say Anything?

Well, I was really thinking about The Little Mermaid.

Whatsername 10:27 AM  

Well this was dazzling. I usually do crosswords to expand my vocabulary but today I also broadened my horizons. Very very clever and beautifully done. I especially liked POPEMOBILE and PALE BLUE DOT and that the themers went both directions. No sharp EDGES here, a very smooth and enjoyable Tuesday.

I love summer with its lightening bugs all AGLOW but must admit I’m looking forward to that first pot of CHILI simmering on the stove.

UH, the devil wears PRADA? Well HUSH my mouth. I might DO that TOO if my ATM wasn’t such a SCAREDY CAT. OOF!

Carola 10:30 AM  

Thanks to reading @Rex, I discovered that today is Tuesday: I'd thought I was solving a Wednesday puzzle (hi, @kitshef). So yes, a tougher than usual Tuesday, and fun to figure out. Loved the theme answers, especially the PALE BLUE DOT, along with the SCAREDY CAT and POPEMOBILE. No idea about the reveal, but it was easy enough to guess.

@Richard 6:20 - I've been heard to remark that I plan on doing something or other "this aft."

@Loren, for tomorrow - Hals- und Beinbruch! In bocca al lupo!

Joseph Michael 10:44 AM  

Imaginative theme with a POPEMOBiLE tossed in for good measure. Loved the answer and the pic (thanks, Rex): the PALE BLUE DOT. WOWZA. That certainly puts things into perspective.

ODD clues for SHEER and EDGES. ODD plurals: AHEMS, AFTS and UHS.

Nice to see Desmond TWOTO in the puzzle again.

albatross shell 10:49 AM  

Man might be the pinnacle of "creation" because he has discovered he is not the center of the universe. Of course we do not have intimate knowledge of much of the universe. We seem to be a speck in a dusty corner of it. Of course many ancients expressed the same idea long before modern science. Religion may exalt the importance of humanity, but in otherways makes us very small. Strangely, science can work both ways too.
Albie, philosophizer for a day.

How come no comment deleted in this no time warp theory?


albatross shell 10:54 AM  

I thought you'd be dancing the tutu totwo today.

Z. Ward 11:08 AM  

THIS Puzzle...

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

Beadola 11:10 AM  

@lorenmusesmith OMG 143

Richard in NM 11:14 AM  

My two teen-aged grandsons are totally digital when it comes to telling time. An analog clock face, to them, might as well be a sundial. If you told them it was TWOTO, you'd get a blank look. It's nine-fifty-eight. My car has an analog speedometer, but a digital readout right in the middle. The former gives me more of a graphic, intuitive sense of my speed, but the latter gives me a more precise sense of how much over the speed limit I can go without getting a ticket. (BTW, it's about 4 mph here in NM).

thfenn 11:16 AM  

Lots of fun ways to see the world twoday, and thought TWOTO worked just fine this Twosday. @Gill, did much the same with my kids, waiting to do the same with grandchildren. One of the great joys of my life was on one particular safari I lifted my daughter onto my shoulders to better see a gorgeous vista and got an "oh daddy, I can see the whole world from here." Just what I thought a father should do, so enjoyed the theme and reveal for lots of reasons.

Anonymous 11:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
egsforbreakfast 11:36 AM  


Two very adult cartoons that I watched with our young children, much to the dismay of their mother, were Ren & Stimpy and Beavis & Butthead.

Good puzzle. Tough for a Tuesday mor, probably easier in the AFT.

Crimson Devil 11:40 AM  

Looking forward to chronicles from our new BMT in Residence.

Another Anon 11:40 AM  

@Anonymous 8:42. Yeah, I don't get that either. If you announce you're going to announce, YOU ARE ANNOUNCING! And what the F*** is it with "save the date"? Invite me or don't invite me. JEESH!

albatross shell 11:41 AM  

Ok I gotta stop this posting l know I'm gone. But if E-MOB is a thing...


MIATA Love it. Or A + IT + MA. Did you sell one? M&A didn't say much about my wee bare minimums yesterday. But your runt is CLASSIC.

Or was it a new one?

Miriam 11:46 AM  

Clue 38 says went to long, as a sentence and the answer is ran on? Sorry but in no way is this a correct answer. I’m a retired English teacher and I taught RUN ON sentences every semester. It is never ran on, so the very premise ofbthe clue was absurd. It made a rather unpleasant solving experience even worse.

A 11:49 AM  

I’m in camp TWOof, and in camp having PLANETARIUM and filling in I CAN SHOW YOU THE stars. (Reinforced by ASTER. Wonderful sentimental story, @pabloinnh!)

@TTrimble, great points re TWOTO and the toons!

@Joe D, you have a mean streak! Glad I had the sound off.

@albatross, @Z, it wasn’t just @Lewis/Anon. @Conrad’s 5:43 post referenced @Loren’s 5:55. @albatross, also S(CA(RED)Y)CAT

@Roo, I love Runtducken! And MIATA. And DENOVO is an Italian band from the 80’s.

@Loren’s Hutu tutu had me gruntled, too.

gruntle (v.)
1938, in gruntled "pleased, satisfied," a back-formation from disgruntled. The original verb (early 15c.) meant "to utter a little or low grunt," hence "to murmur, complain" (1560s), but was rare or dialectal by 18c.

disgruntle (v.)
"disappoint, offend, throw into a state of sulky dissatisfaction," 1680s, from dis-, here probably meaning "entirely, very," + obsolete gruntle "to grumble, utter a low grunt" (Middle English gruntelen, early 15c.), frequentative of grunt (v.); hence "to complain" (by 1560s). All citations in OED are in the form of the past-participle adjective.

Musical offering for today: Cavatina for bass flute and piano by French composer ThΓ©odore Dubois was born August 24, 1837. I love that this is an informal performance in someone’s living room. Way to music.

TTrimble 11:56 AM  

@Z 9:38 AM
Yep, that's the one. The P vs. NP problem is something like a Holy Grail in theoretical computer science, perhaps comparable to the sense in which the Riemann Hypothesis is a Holy Grail in mathematics. (Whoever solves either will be covered in glory for all time, and will undoubtedly spark a huge revolution.) Simon Singh (again) tries to give a sense of it here in the context of The Simpsons and Futurama.

What was amusing in that episode of The Simpsons (Treehouse of Horrors VI) is that they went with the position P = NP (that the class of P problems is identified with the class of NP problems; I won't stop to explain here what this means), which is contrary to the prediction of the vast majority of experts. Similarly -- you can see this in the frame if you freeze the linked video at 2:25 -- they have an equation 1782^12 + 1841^12 = 1922^12 which if true would be contrary to Fermat's Last Theorem, which by the time of airing had either been completely established or was on the cusp of being so. Of course those highly knowledgeable writers knew the latter equation wasn't true -- for example, it would imply that an even number plus an odd number could be even -- still it might be one of those "near misses" that the writer David X. Cohen somehow knows something about. Those writers are astonishingly knowledgeable.

I'm not sure why, but Singh seems to say that the writer of P = NP is actually asserting he believes (or hopes) that. I wouldn't have thought so, especially when it is placed next to an obviously false equation in the same frame. But it's possible that Singh (who writes popular books on mathematical topics) knows something I don't, through interviewing people or something.

(If P = NP actually is true, then duck: the RSA encryption algorithm on which e-commerce depends could be hacked. If memory serves, this is a big plot point of the movie Sneakers.)

td 0

TTrimble 11:59 AM  

@Miriam 11:46 AM
You couldn't say a sentence RAN ON?

Whatsername 12:03 PM  

@Anonymous (8:42) That’s interesting. I didn’t read the constructor notes today but I did take a quick glance and just had the immediate fleeting thought that the two of them looked like they’d make a great couple. So Jessie and Ross . . . glad to know you took my advice. Mazel tov!

Masked and Anonymous 12:07 PM  

Cool, different theme. Liked it.
Slightly feisty TuesPuz [which is just fine by m&e thanx U], due to:

* Lotsa lotsa themer entries, goin in both directions, thru each other.
* Quite a few other long-balls, such as: POPEMOBILE. SCAREDYCAT [worducken meat*]. ERENOW. AMOEBA. DAMAGE. THRESH. GALORE, etc.
* All leadin to marvelous pockets of weejects [3-stacks in all 4 corners, etc.] ...
* … And also some great Ow de Speration spritzes. [TWOTO. UHS. ICI. MCAT. DENOVO. AFTS.] Also fond of havin IDOTOO splatzed in there, to complete the to/too/two triumvirate.
* Better TWOTOTUES clue: {It takes ___ tango], btw.

staff weeject pick: MAW. Better clue: {Paw's main squeeze??}.
fave clue of temporary mystery: 11-A's {Mean marks, for short?} = GPA. Primo.

Thanx for gangin up on us, JB & RT, U to/too/TuesPuz/two-some. Raised-by-wolves great stuff.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

* "Turducken" = tur(du(chicken)ck)key. "Worducken" is same sorta thing, except the word at each level don't need to be a fowl, and the entire thing has to be a word, too boot. Basic examples: PE(N(TAG)O)N. S(CA(RED)Y)CAT.


mathgent 12:26 PM  

My favorite post this morning.

Blackhat (7:27)

maestrojon 12:29 PM  

Just to be clear, for all you constructors: REEDS is not a real section of the orchestra. I'm a professional orchestra conductor, and no one ever says that. People who play on instruments that use REEDS play in the WIND section, or the WINDS. Maybe in theater orchestras, but definitely not in a classical orchestra.

bocamp 12:33 PM  

@TTrimble πŸ‘ for 0


Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all

Ben E Goodman 12:58 PM  

@Masstrojon = Well, I'm not a professional orchestra conductor myself, but REEDS are very much a section of the orchestra. You see the clarinetists, the oboists, and the bassoonists all sitting there, cheek by jowl? That's the REED section. They all hate the flutists by the way. And that fife player that mysteriously disappeared some years ago? Don't ask.

Brian 1:07 PM  

There are three ???s In English — two, too and to.

SteveHikes 1:12 PM  

Awesome suggestion! Why didn’t Rex think of that?

TTrimble 1:15 PM  

I second the message of @AA 12:21 PM.

Greta Thunberg has shown a lot of courage in sounding the alarm of what is the most pressing and urgent issue of our time and of time to come.

SFR 1:16 PM  

Strangely, my time was 22:22. True, too!

Mr. Alarm 1:54 PM  

I’m not going to beat around the bush: I hated this puzzle! Not much fun here at all, and I didn’t know the lyric, so that didn’t help. But there was a LOT I didn’t know or get in this puzzle. WAY too hard for Tuesday, in my book. Just very hard with stupid clues and stupid answers. Yuck!

@dstern54 1:55 PM  

Following up on maestrojon 67A whould have been clued:

US Army MD and Brady Bunch Dad actor

Mr. Alarm 1:57 PM  

Thank you. I suspected as much. Why couldn’t they just clue it, “things shawm and oboe players often take care of themselves?“

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

Greta Thunberg will save the world.

Right! AS if! You wish! In your dreams!

Anonymous 2:10 PM  

Philosopher Albie,
I don't know what religion you speak of that makes man small. But Christianity believes the very opposite: that the creator so loved the world he gave it his only begotten son for the sake of their everlasting salvation.
You can argue that Christianity has it wrong, but it is impossible to defend the proposition that Christianity believes man to be small, or insignificant or a speck.

Thane of 13th 2:13 PM  

Yes, even dead, Steven Jay Gould and Carl Sagan are smarter than any religionist.
Your “assertion “ is risible.
Sigh. Why isn’t science a required course in every year of high school and college?

Thane of 13th 2:22 PM  

Me three!!

Masked and Anonymous 2:28 PM  

Looks like some folks had already mentioned "Takes TWO TO tango" and SCAREDYCAT = worducken, before my comment arrived. Scooped again, M&A breath.

Really like @Roo's "runtducken" definition. Sooo …
Now we have:
* runtducken = 5-letter-long worducken. Primo example: @Roo's M(I(A)T)A.
* turdworducken = worducken where the entire entry is a questionable word. Example: @M&A's questionable R(E(SIGN)AT)ED.
* pentaworducken = The middle two tiers combine to also form a valid word. Example: @Muse darlin's EN(C(OUR)AGE)D, which has the bonus C(OUR)AGE 7-letter word at its combined chicken and duck levels. So, U get five different participatin words, in total. These are mighty hard to come by.
* magicwordducken = a pentaworducken, where each of the innards-like words are perfectly centered within their surroundin words. Example: Barbara S. darlin's epic SOFT(HE(ART)ED)NESS. Pure magic, to unearth one of these puppies.

So far, thanx mainly to all U smart Comment Gallery folks, M&A has amassed 25 possible themer entries for a 15x15 worducken-themed xwordpuz. I'm impressed. (Still hopin maybe Mr. Ross will be, too -- and make his own TuesPuz outta em.)

From now on, I'll probably just sit back and let yer worducken suggestions flow, recordin em, but without commentin much further on the whole concept. [Other than maybe just a one-word acknowledgement of one in the current day's NYTPuz, at most.] The worduckens don't wish, at all, to horn in much further with the daily NYTPuz's well-deserved spotlight.

Many thanx, y'all.

M&A Wo(r(duck)e)n Desk

All good wishes, for @Muse darlin and @RP dude's upcomin premier classes.

old timer 2:30 PM  

I was charmed by the puzzle. It went slow, so slow I gave up on timing it, because I did not know the movie, and I did not immediately remember Sagan's PALE BLUE DOT. I did get POPEMOBILE right away, and SCAREDYCAT pretty early, and smiled. It hurt, TOO, that although TAU went in right away, the U looked like an S, and I was wondering what "planetarism" could be. Plus, I wrote in "runs" instead of RBIS.

I also made a point of taking my three daughters to Europe, three times. And my youngest was my companion for a more recent week in Rome, where, yes, we saw the POPEMOBILE go by.

Once, when my middle daughter was in high school, she asked, 'Dad-dee, why don't we have a nice new house with a view, just like so many of my friends?" It was easy to explain that her friends hadn't been to Europe twice, and weren't likely to go a third time in a couple of years, for a long planned trip to see the Running of the Bulls, on my oldest daughter's birthday. Plus, the folks who lived in fancy new houses probably couldn't afford it, while we saved tons of money by living their entire lives in the same old (but comfortable and convenient) house. Glad to see one of our commentators agrees with my POV.

I don't think I have ever owned a POCKET ATLAS, nor would I want to, though I have a collection of city maps for most places I ever spent any time in.

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

I second anonymous 11:28's post. Hear, hear!
I especially enjoyed learning what Maleska's stinker threshold.

Thane of 13th 2:33 PM  

@Anonymous, do you believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, too? Exact same conceptions.
Your prior “assertion” is indeed risible.
And, yes, even dead, Steven Jay Gould and Carl Sagan are smarter than any religionist.

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

Hmm. Thane, you do know that it was a "religionist"--Georges Lemaitre-- who is responsible for the big bang theory. You know he was a Catholic priest, right?

If it weren't for him, Sagan wouldn't have had a pots to piss in.
But yeah, "religionists" aren't smart. Nope, Gregor Mendel (Catholic monk) William Of Ockham ( Franciscan monk and razor lover). Want someone newer? How about reading Stanley Jaki ( Benedictine priest) a pretty fair physicist and persuasive arguer. Get back to me after you've read his book Science Was Born of Christianity. It's great. Also, true.
Oh, and some one above mentioned Copernicus. Yeah, not only did he make the heliocentric solar system popular, he was catholic priest. But man, those relionists sure are dumb. Not like you.

Anonymous 2:45 PM  

Your argument is not more persuasive with repetition.

Ben 2:53 PM  

PLANETARIUM is the odd one out here -- all the others show you *the* world, i.e., Earth, but a PLANETARIUM primarily shows you stars and, maybe, *other* worlds. It doesn't show you Earth.

Surprised Rex missed that one, he's usually so... let's say *particular* about theme cohesion

Also, I loved TWOTO precisely *because* it's something no one ever says. Delightfully absurd.

TTrimble 3:00 PM  

Miss Thunberg will not save the world. No one person could possibly do that. But she's right to feel alarmed.

It's science, and making a massive effort to act according to the best evidence and conclusions we can draw from science, that might, just might, save the future of humanity.

Joe Dipinto 3:03 PM  

@Mods – Greta Thunberg is in my apartment right now crying her eyes out because someone on this board called her a name. She's inconsolable. She says she's going to go sit in the reed section of the local swamp until further notice. I tried to tell her there's no reed section there but she said "well in that case I'll sit with the violas." She's adamant.

Can you please fix this by deleting the offensive post? And all other posts that are even vaguely derogatory toward any public figures? Also, posts that are even vaguely laudatory toward any public figures. Greta would be ever so grateful.

mathgent 3:33 PM  

Joe DiPinto (3:03). Brilliant!

Unknown 4:05 PM  

Agree with Anonymous 7:42. Six O-Clock News was always an adventure in identifying minutes before the top of the hour.
'Two to' set off a yen for those pips . . . . ......

Nancy 5:05 PM  

Joe D (3:03) -- Too funny! You've cracked me up two AFTS in a row.

Donna 6:44 PM  

The "two to" discussion brings to mind a limerick I read many years ago:
A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor
Is it tougher to toot or
To tutor two tooters to toot.

JD 6:49 PM  

@Ben, This forum debated not long ago over whether "world" and "universe" meant the same thing.

CDilly52 7:14 PM  

So many LOLs today gang! LMS, From the TWO TO moment in my solve, my brain has been conjuring up various similar “to, too, two” tongue twisters, but yours that added the Hutu tuto caused a bit of a “wine spurt” - loved it!

The best my brain dug up was stimulated by the combination of the TWO TO plus the REEDS. Although a flute is reed-less, it is orchestrated (and here I mean scored) with the REEDS, those instruments being a subset of woodwinds, the flute’s actual family.

Anyway, with apology for that little diversion Ingive you:

Two tutors who tooted the flute, tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutors, “Is it harder to toot, or to tutor two tooters to toot?”

And I loved this puzzle. Also adored “Aladdin” because my lovely daughter was born in 1979 and is of the “new Disney” generation. Being innately an entertainer (I swear she began dancing in utero) she sang every lyric from every one of the new genre. She could even do a very decent Robin Williams genie imitation. Her absolute favorite though was and still is Ursula from “Little Mermaid.” Being able to share those with kids certainly amplifies the fun.

Joe D-you are on a roll, my friend! Funny again today.

You all cheer me up every day. Thanks!

BarbieBarbie 7:35 PM  

Well, shoot. I looked up Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, thinking that here was some rarified new educational system I could learn about, maybe like Montessori, but with an emphasis on evolving English usage… only to find that Charlotte-Mecklenburg is the name of the unified school district that serves both Charlotte and Mecklenburg.

JC66 8:49 PM  

@Joe D

It seems you're getting better with age. πŸ˜‚

Barbara S. 9:13 PM  

I'm so late posting that probably no one will see this, but I feel like nattering anyway.

- I never saw Aladdin and I don't know the music, but I didn't need to for a successful solve. I loved the worldly/out-of-this-world theme and the interlace of the themers.

- TWO TO -- A little Canadian content: The "Jacob Two-Two" books by Mordecai Richler. Wikipedia: "Jacob is the youngest child of five and has to say things twice because people do not hear him the first time, which leads to his distinctive nickname."

- AFT -- When I was a kid, my friends and I said "this AFT" all the time. I don't think the word "afternoon" ever passed our lips.

- My memory is that an enclosed POPEMOBILE with bulletproof glass came into frequent use after the assassination attempt on John Paul II in the early '80s.

- I was taught that the section of the orchestra with OBOES and their friends is the "woodwinds". So much more romantic than REEDS.

- One of my long-standing blog wishes came true today when @M&A called me "Barbara S darlin". Thanks, @M&A! (See 2:28 PM.)

- "The Flintstones" was originally broadcast in 1960 in a prime-time slot and had lots of similarities with the sitcoms of that time. The personality of Fred was based on characters played by Jackie Gleason, including Ralph Kramden. I got all that from Wiki, but I do remember my father tuning in avidly every week!

Zwhatever 9:52 PM  

You know what this comments section is missing? A good long debate about religion.
@Anon9:47 - I can’t help but ponder the implications of the 7 deadly sins.

@Barbara S - I read your post. Anyone who checks off the “email follow-up” box will read your post. And all the syndicated commentariat will read your post. Not to mention a lot of regulars catch up on late comments.

@TTrimble - Whooosh. It sort of makes sense to me, but I know I am missing quite a lot.

Anonymous 10:29 PM  

It was nice here when out beloved Anon Troll was on vacation. This place was actually tolerable to read.
Back to his boring tirades about religion and the superiority of the Western White man.

Anonymous 10:42 PM  

Aside from the movie I never saw, many of the clues were far stretches from what I would suspect for a Tuesday. Lots of crosswordese, too. Overall, a BOO.

JC66 10:50 PM  

I lost the .puz URL link. Can anyone help?

Anonymous 10:57 PM  

As a Tuesday puzzle i found this a bit ... 'sucky'? I finished it unhelped, but didn't enjoy it at all.

REX, I work at a tech co. that has many adjuncts, and one said you can't teach effectively when you can't see the blank expressions when you try to explain a new concept to the students. So, in person may be a step up for you. Best of luck!

stephanie 11:00 PM  

i liked it! enjoyed all the long fills especially. satisfying and gave me that little grin in my mind that tuesdays often do. pleasant. i did see aladdin but couldn't remember a damn thing about it until the crosses started filling in and then the song came right back into my brain. i personally don't think of any disney movie esp from back then as "also for adults" and i would rather stay home alone than go on a date to see the little mermaid but...ymmv. i know lots of adults love all things disney, but not in the way that certain things (peabody & sherman, adventure time, the muppet show, etc) have crossover appeal. sure maybe there's a one liner here or there that's a wink to any parents in the audience, but overall disney stuff is pretty predictable and one note, imo. it just is what it is.

anyhow, will add to the chorus that @Megafrim has the much better TWO TO clue. regarding telling time, if anything we would say TWO TIL.

remembered THRESH from a recent puzzle. smiled as i typed in I LOST hoping it made it up to all the I CANT haters. had ACACIA before RED ELM, a word lodged in my brain due to all the hours spent on various spelling bees no doubt. HOT sauce before SOY. i don't even eat taco bell, but somehow those hot sauce packets popped into my mind first. and just when am i going to be able to memorize the greek alphabet? or even a single letter beyond omega? survey says...probably never, apparently! thankfully the crosses saved me this time. are ATMs in delis some kind of sure thing? /shrug. liked the store of bread bit though. it was actually GPA/OOF/AFTS that almost did me in - thought GPA would be something plural by the clue, and then thought they might be going for the dreadful OOW again because of the cluing. never heard of AFTS used in this way but ultimately i guessed correctly. the end.

Zwhatever 11:07 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zwhatever 11:08 PM

@JC66 - Crossword Fiend has a link on their download page. πŸ‘†πŸ½

JC66 11:09 PM  



okanaganer 12:19 AM  

@JC66.. the format for the .puz link is:

... where of course you replace '2021-08-25' with the date of whatever puzzle you want.

Whatsername 12:21 AM  

@Barbara S: Just wanted you to know I also read your post. I’m on much later than usual after having spent half the evening helping a friend who was locked out of his house when his garage door opener wouldn’t work. Despite the fact we both had a key to the interior front door, we couldn’t get past the storm door which had been locked from the inside, In desperation, I went digging through my car and found an ancient mini sized Swiss Army knife and went after the storm door with it. Turns out I’m a pretty fair lock picker. If times gets tough, I may have a second career as a house burgler.. πŸ˜„

spacecraft 10:42 AM  

AHH. now you're in MY house! I am doubly surprised that TWO people of note on this page--@LMS along with Our Fearless Curmudgeon--and both professing to be educated educators--did not know of the truly iconic PALEBLUEDOT. Dr. Sagan had the photo taken to remind us that the universe doesn't really care who we are. It goes about its business and wouldn't miss us for a second if some stray asteroid took us out.

A little surprised, TOO, that so much of OFC's blog was devoted to a discussion of animated film. Yeah, so the revealer came from one. Incidental. Why all the fuss? As for me, the minute Beavis and Butthead showed up, I was pretty much done with "adult" animation. The best of it by far is for the kids; the Ice Age series is a notable example.

Good, enjoyable puzzle with a great, IMO, theme, and not much other than that thing in the middle (clue should be "It takes ______tango") to wince about, and COKIE Roberts as DOD. Birdie.

thefogman 10:43 AM  

Not bad. I guess it helps if you saw the movie (I didn’t). Way too many three-letter scraps including ICI, LLC, OOF, IRA, ETA, TAU, ATM, TSA, DEA, AHH, UHS, SNO etc. etc. For that reason alone I’m surprised Rex didn’t rip it to shreds.

Burma Shave 11:22 AM  




rondo 11:35 AM  

I think Aladdin came out about the time I stopped watching the Disney animated stuff and I just dropped my daughter and her friend at the theater and I RANON to do something, anything else. So the lyrics are LOST on me. OOF.

All due respect to COKIE Roberts, but I'll go to the clues for late ALTO Amy Winehouse. Yeah baby.

OK puz but 'THEWORLD is not Enough' is more up my alley.

Diana, LIW 7:16 PM  

Today and yesterday were very enjoyable - and just a tad over the usual Mon/Tues difficulty.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting

leftcoaster 7:22 PM  

I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD, based on a POCKET ATLAS, GOOGLE EARTH, a PLANETARIUM, and Carl Sagan’s inspired and unforgettable PALE BLUE DOT.

Al the basics to a great theme.

strayling 8:25 PM  

Fun puzzle, just about right for a Tuesday. The PALE BLUE DOT, rather than making me feel insignificant, always makes me marvel at how much there is yet to explore out there.

TWO TO gave me a smile remembering how we used to call 9:50 "cowboy time". (Ten to ten, ten to ten, ten to ten ten ten ...)

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