Sweet Italian wine / TUE 8-17-21 / Ruined as a martini per 007 / Inits in 1955 union merger / Japanese speaker brand

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Constructor: Ruth Bloomfield Margolin

Relative difficulty: Medium (normal Tuesday, w/ a SW corner that was maybe a *little* tougher than normal)

THEME: Dip it! Dip it good! — Down answers fittingly "dipped" in (i.e. crossing) Across answers:

Theme answers:
  • Dip a NIB (15-Down) in INDIA INK (17A: You might dip a 15-Down in this before writing something) (not sure this clue needs "something")
  • Dip a TOE (25-Down) in the SWIMMING POOL (26A: You might dip a 25-Down in this to test the water)
  • Dip BREAD (37-Down) in the CHEESE FONDUE (44A: You might dip 37-Down in this at a dinner party)
  • And dip a WICK (55-Down) in PARAFFIN (59A: You might dip a 55-Down in this to make a candle)
Word of the Day: MARSALA (46A: Sweet Italian wine) —

Marsala is a fortified wine, dry or sweet, produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. Marsala first received Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status in 1969. The European Union grants Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status to Marsala, and most other countries limit the use of the term Marsala to products from the Marsala area.

While unfortified wine is also produced in the Marsala region, it does not qualify for the Marsala DOC. // Marsala fortified wine was probably first popularized outside Sicily by the English trader John Woodhouse. In 1773, he landed at the port of Marsala and discovered the local wine produced in the region, which was aged in wooden casks and tasted similar to Spanish and Portuguese fortified wines then popular in England. Fortified Marsala was, and is, made using a process called in perpetuum, which is similar to the solera system used to produce Sherry in Jerez, Spain.

Woodhouse recognized that the in perpetuum process raised the alcohol level and alcoholic taste of this wine while also preserving these characteristics during long-distance sea travel. Woodhouse further believed that fortified Marsala would be popular in England. Marsala indeed proved so successful that Woodhouse returned to Sicily and, in 1796, began its mass production and commercialization. In 1806, it was Benjamin Ingham (1784–1861), arriving in Sicily from Leeds, who opened new markets for Marsala in Europe and the Americas. Founded by Benjamin Ingham and later run by Joseph Whitaker and William Ingham Whitaker. Joseph and his brother William Ingham Whitaker inherited vast vineyards and his great grandfather Ingham's banking empire. // In 1833, the entrepreneur Vincenzo Florio, a Calabrese by birth and Palermitano by adoption, bought up great swathes of land between the two largest established Marsala producers and set to making his own vintage with even more exclusive range of grape.

Florio purchased Woodhouse's firm, among others, in the late nineteenth century and consolidated the Marsala wine industry. Florio and Pellegrino remain the leading producers of Marsala today.

• • •

Well first off this is a very good theme. Simple, clever, clear, elegant—just what a Tuesday theme should be but rarely is. There's not much to it, but it makes perfect visual sense, and every set of crosses today is apt, not strained. The only dipping instrument I had some trouble coming up with was BREAD (haven't had cheese fondue that much since that dinner party my mom took us to in 1979 where we drove home in the thickest, most terrifying fog I've ever been in, so I was looking for the implement (the PRONG? the SPEAR? the ... SKEWR?) and forgot entirely about the food that was impaled on the implement. But yes, you dip BREAD in the cheese, you dip a TOE in the pool, you dip a NIB in ink (still hate the word "NIB," just creeps me out, but it's appropriate here), and you dip a WICK in PARAFFIN. Having crosses be built into the theme can really put a strain on surrounding fill (the more fixed answers there are, the tougher it usually is to build the grid around them), and you can feel the strain at times (especially in the SW, which should probably be torn out entirely and redone, as everything east of and including ASA is pretty weak), but basically it holds up. The core concept is so well thought out and executed, that the fill just has to stay on its feet for the puzzle to work. And it does.

That SW corner was something of a bear. Anomalous in its difficulty today, particularly in its inclusion of not one not two but three answers that seem to fall on the less-generally-known end of the answer spectrum, for a Tuesday. For me, the issue was MOVADO (never heard of it ... or, heard of it, but never cared to differentiate it from all the other random "luxury watches" that magazines seem so full of ads for) and MARSALA (which I know as a chicken, not a wine). I am intrigued by MARSALA now, as I like sherry (just bought an oloroso yesterday up in Ithaca), and apparently MARSALA shares many of the same characteristics. I'll ask my friend (and wine aficionado, and former barback) Lena about this. Anyway, I wanted something like MASSALA (???) here, which, in its one-S form, is a spice blend common in South Asian cooking. What I really wanted here was MOSELLE, which is a wine with many of the same letters as MARSALA that also fit in the allotted space. But MOSELLE is French / German / Luxembourguelese (is that the adj. for them?) and also not sweet, thus wrong for this clue. So those two technically specific M-words made the SW corner tough for me. And if it was tough for me, I can't imagine how tough it was for someone who didn't know PHAEDRA, which crosses both M-words and also seems pretty recherchΓ© for a Tuesday. My sincere condolences to anyone who foundered in the MARSALA-MOVADO-PHAEDRA Triangle today.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:07 AM  

I had no trouble with the MARSALA-MOVADO-PHAEDRA triangle (happened to know all three right away), but had never heard of "NIB" and could not figure out "IND_WINK" (Had "BOW" instead of "BOA"). Agree it was a nice clean puzzle though.

Conrad 6:19 AM  

Many years ago when I had just become old enough to drink (18 at the time in New York), my parents asked me to pick up a bottle of Florio MARSALA for them. I did, but I got the dry instead of the sweet. We exchanged it for the product they wanted, I tasted it and didn't like it. I haven't tried it since, but the name stuck with me.

More recently, a friend who collects watches did me a big favor and after some Internet searching I repaid him with a MOVADO watch.

So the SW was a near-gimme for me, but only by happenstance.

Lewis 6:58 AM  

This grid showcases RBM’s skill at constructing a puzzle. Theme answers crossing makes it extra hard to fill a grid cleanly, and this one is smooth as silk. And somehow, she accommodated those vertical theme crosses of different lengths in a symmetrical grid. What a pro.

I like that TROU is appropriately dropping, and we have a most impressive A-train with BARA / SOSA / KARA / AIWA / NADA / ASA / BOA / EDDA / MARSALA / ALOHA.

As much as I adore wordplay, I find it refreshing when wordplay themes – and most crossword themes involve wordplay – are broken up by themes of a different type, like today’s or Joe Pietro’s emotionless face theme last Thursday.

Do I like this puzzle? I dippity do! Thank you for this, Ruth!

Anonymous 7:02 AM  

Movado has been around for years - its past ads often in the pages of the NYTimes - and you can't have Chicken Marsala without Marsala wine.

Makes me wonder what Rex actually reads.

Richard Stanford 7:03 AM  

I didn’t know PHAEDRA but guessed correctly, having vaguely known MOVADO.

What got me was INTERLAgEN, not knowing that Supergirl’s name was Kara Zoe-El rather than Gara.

Loren Muse Smith 7:05 AM  

Nothing to complain about here – I liked sitting post solve and remembering childhood birthday parties in Chattanooga when, if the infraction of “double dipping” had been invented, I sure wasn’t aware of it. I’d dip a big ole Charles chip into the onion dip three, four times. This before I sat down to enjoy the chocolate cake paired with a tart grape Kool-Aid. Good times. (@Lewis – your post reminded me of the Dippity-do Mom rolled our hair with on cherub choir concert eves.)

I will always order the Patty Melt on the menu unless. . . there’s a French Dip option. Not much better in life than dipping a huge roast beef hoagie into hot au jus.

“Basic pizza serving” – ONE SLICE. I wish. This is what I always tell myself, but I usually end up eating at least three pieces before surreptitiously dispatching the uneaten crust off someone’s plate that I offered to take to the kitchen.

I’ve owned this here before. . . the clue for 32A? “Performs, as a historical event”? I talk way too fast to pronounce the H in historical, and as a result that whole initial syllable almost disappears. So I always say an historical. Sue me.

Ruth – a fine Tuesday right across the plate.

JJK 7:07 AM  

I’m surprised that Rex didn’t know that Chicken Marsala is called that because it’s chicken cooked in MARSALA wine. Pretty basic cooking/eating knowledge. However, I didn’t know that MARSALA is a fortified wine, or what that meant, which I guess is pretty basic wine knowledge!

chance2travel 7:17 AM  

Wanted Moscato before MARSALA but already had ALOHA and RAVEN. (I start with all the downs on Mon and Tue).

Had tie before BOA, but that didn't work with INDIA INK. Also, I guess I need to add BARA to my crosswordese - that still looks unusual to me as an answer.

I had a T for PHAEtRA crossing MOVAtO and it seemed reasonable. But no happy finish screen. So I'm with Rex - rip out that corner and do it over :)

amyyanni 7:36 AM  

Always liked the plain Movado watchface design. Got one after passing the bar. Interlaken always throws me because Interlochen, in Michigan, my birth state.
Excellent theme. Not sure about Marsala; isn't the driest version still fairly sweet?

Son Volt 7:38 AM  

Really liked the simple elegance of the theme - with the downs dipped into the acrosses all at vowels. FONDUE had experienced a little resurgence - although I’m sure Covid squashed most of that. Thought the overall fill was solid - some late week stuff that made it interesting. I’m assuming Rex doesn’t do many weddings or conferences where chafing dishes full of chicken MARSALA are common - I don’t the like the stuff. Little side eye to the MAW x MME cross. Got CANARY in a coal mine from the Police.

Drove thru INTERLAKEN en route to Lucerne and Zurich in the mid 90s - gorgeous area. Liked how the Oberland crosses the OBERON.

Highly enjoyable Tuesday solve.

Megafrim 7:42 AM  

Tangerine Dream's best album is their fifth studio effort, PHAEDRA. Assuming the vast majority of NYT puzzle fans are also into early 70s German electronica, there is no excuse for being unfamiliar with the name.

SouthsideJohnny 7:43 AM  

Bizarre one today. The crossword part of it was actually pretty cool. But the trivial stuff - wow, talk about out in left field ! In addition to the MARSALA/MOVADO/PHAEDRA dead end (is it Friday today ?) - I also didn’t even bother to try to parse together stuff like BARA, KARA and OBERON. I’ll concede that Shak. is acceptable (cuz, hey - it’s Billy), however silent films and supergirl were, and still are, solidly outside of my wheelhouse. So this one was enjoyable for me - would have been great absent the pretty esoteric PPP.

Spatenau 7:48 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith, I also put "an" in front of historical, but I'd never considered it might be because I talk fast. From now on I'll defend myself that way so people won't think I'm an insufferable pedant. BTW, I'm so glad you're back on this blog.

RK from Switzerland 7:55 AM  

Since I have lived in Switzerland for the past 10 years, bread/fondue and Interlaken were gimmes. However, a Swiss would never consider Movado as a “luxury” watch. Rolex, Patek-Philippe, Jaegar le Coultre or even Tag Heuer, but not Movado.

Z 7:58 AM  

Hey! Wait a minute. Tuesday puzzles are supposed to tuezz, something is amiss.

What Rex said about the theme. Although I do have to wonder why Ursa Major and Minor weren’t included.*

PHAEDRA is far less known to me than PHAEDRus, at least in part because Pirsig uses PHAEDRus as a character in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Still, PHAEDRA was filed away somewhere so I avoided the MOVAtO trap (@anon7:02 - apparently not the watch ads). I looked up PHAEDRA, the whole myth screams “reality television” to me, or maybe “Jerry Springer!”

Once I made chicken MARSALA I learned that MARSALA is a wine. But I don’t expect to find any Caesar in my Caesar Salad or any Texas in my Texas Stew, so I’m hardly surprised that Rex didn’t know what the MARSALA is in chicken MARSALA. Is chicken parmigiana named that because it uses mozzarella? Or because it’s a dish that originated in Parma?

In Michigan we spell it INTERLOchEN, so I wasted at least two precious nanoseconds thinking it could be cARA Zor-El.

@Muse - The entire aspirated H versus unaspirated H thing always makes me wonder why the Hell is an H breathing.

*Not really

jberg 7:59 AM  

As I was solving, I admired the way the first two themers both had 3-letter things dipped into them, and was disappointed that the other two did not follow that pattern. But just now I realized that would be impossible, since the symmetrical 3-letter entries at the bottom hung down from the themer rather than dipping into it. But couldn't you dip an EEL into your fondue?

MARSALA took me a few nanos, as I don't think of it (or sherry) as a sweet wine, though either can be; but O'HENRY was a gimme, and I got PHAEDRA from a few crosses -- I didn't know she was married to Theseus, but Racine's eponymous play is a standard of 2d-year French (or at least it was in 1962).

@JJK, fortified wines have brandy added to them. Doing so raises the alcohol level, which kills the yeast before the latter can consume all the sugar. Hence the wines are both sweeter and more intoxicating. They can still be dry, but a dry marsala is sweeter than a dry sauvignon blanc.

I think INDIA INK is more for drawing than writing (unless you are writing your kid's name on clothing before sending them to camp), but no big deal.

R. Brown 8:04 AM  

NW corner was most difficult. India Ink, Boa, Bara? Just so old and bad. Theme was great though.

Tom T 8:05 AM  

Maybe I "should" have heard of the famous MOVADO watch brand, but since I've stuck to $15 Casio watches for the last, say, 40 years, my luxury watch vocab starta and ends at Rolex (unless Omega also counts).

LMS, I too am a sneaker of other people's uneaten pizza crust!

kitshef 8:09 AM  

A ton of non-Tuesday material today: INTERLAKEN, MARSALA, but most of all MOVADO. A word that the next time I see it, that will be the 2nd time.

I’ve mentioned before the O HENRY created the Cisco Kid. I recently actually read the story where the character was introduced, The Caballero’s Way. Let’s just say they changed the Cisco Kid a LOT for TV.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Loved the puzzle. The review of the puzzle was terrible.

Dan Tuller 8:14 AM  

First Tuesday I couldn’t solve in over two years 😒

Never came close on MOVADO-PHAEDRA-MARSALA. Also misspelled SANDAL as SANDEL for good measure. And OYL-OHENRY as OIL-OHENRI. Whoops.

Either didn’t know or blanked on INDIA INK and EDDA. My brain refused to parse IN_IAINK. Figured something must have gone wrong somewhere.

Never heard of PARAFFIN either, weirdly. Although the crosses were solvable. Also put ASIC instead of AIWA first. Somehow I knew enough to know ASICS is from Kobe but still thought maybe I’d just imagined the ‘S’ all these years.

TROU is not slang for pants, at least among anyone under the age of 50. INTERLAKEN-KARA was a guess for me, but a correct one.

All in all, got my butt kicked. Only the SW felt unfair, the rest mostly felt like ‘me’ problems. Weird how all these knowledge gaps hit on the same day.

Ah well, there goes my Tuesday streak.

thfenn 8:23 AM  

I don't know what's going on with me this week. Yesterday it was Vincent Van Vogh, today it was a DoPE getting suckered while I tried to understand what was wrong with oPON. Just not opon my game. PHAEDRA definitely required the crosses for me, but no issues with MARSALA or MOVADO, they both seem like easy Tuesday fare. I thought the theme and construction was fun, though I tend to dip my toes in the ocean, or lakes, or ponds before swimming pools, and with IRIS and RENT going straight in I thought for sure you'd have to dip a NIB in INkwells (though that having to be plural didn't really make sense). Love a good CHEESEFONDUE, but was definitely thinking of some soup or au jus first there as well.

rjkennedy98 8:27 AM  

This puzzle was 90% easy, 10% Friday-level Naticks. INTERLOKEN crossing Kara. I spelled it with a C. BOA crossing BARA and INDIA INK. I also put BOW first. Never heard of INDIA INK or BARA. Luckily I was familiar with the names in the SW corner (my friend loves MOVADO watches). Still, I imagine many people struggled with the trifecta of PHAEDRA, MARSALA, MOVADO. I guess it was a good puzzle, but I always get frustrated when my not knowing some obscure name prevents my solving of a puzzle (especially a Mon, Tues, Wed puzzle.

Carola 8:28 AM  

I agree with @Rex - a top-of-the-line Tuesday. No problem here filling in the SW: chicken MARSALA is something I make, MOVADO I remember from ads touting its inclusion in NY's MoMA collections, and PHAEDRA filled itself in from crosses. My only ? was KARA.

@jberg - Me, too, for knowing PHAEDRA from French class and Racine. I had no idea that she was married to Theseus or was Ariadne's sister. Quite a family Minos had.

Joe Black 8:29 AM  

INDIA INK is racist. LOL.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

Nice solid Tuesday, a pleasure.

Nancy 8:41 AM  

I can imagine the constructors being quite excited when they came up with this idea. And, yes, I too might have been excited to come up with such an idea. Clever, imaginative and different -- with every dipping pair being completely different from every other.

But the constructors failed to put themselves in our solving SANDALs as they sent us back and forth, helter-skelter all over the grid. (If I enjoyed cross-referencing, I'd do the Acrostic). So that this, despite the clever idea, ended up being one of the most thoroughly annoying puzzles I've ever done. And for those of you who time yourselves, this must be your longest Tuesday on record.

The whole time I was grumbling, though, I did find one saving grace. "At least it's not a 21 x 21," I thought.

Nancy 8:46 AM  

Oops. Correction. One constructor. I glanced at the long name through blurry eyes and thought there were two.

I'm picking up my new reading glasses and my new computer glasses tomorrow. Hope that will help.

bocamp 8:51 AM  

Thx Ruth; very crunchy, challenging Tues. puz! :)

Med/tough unsolve.

Got a good start in the top 1/3 and things went literally downhill thereafter. :(

Didn't know KARA or INTERLAKEN (educated guess on the 'K').

Didn't know MARSALA, PHAEDRA or MOVADO (guessed the first 'A' and the 'D' in PHAEDRA, but once again misspelled SANDAL with an 'E' for the dnf. :(

Nevertheless, a worthwhile struggle and an enjoyable adventure.

Also, an opportunity to apply some sort of mnemonic to SANDAL, and look up the other three on uncle G. :)

yd 0

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

Gio 8:51 AM  

I was at the MARSALA Winery in 1984 when I was backpacking around Italy. I went there with 8 young Mormon missionaries. My close family childhood friend was in Trapani doing his Mormon mission when I also planned to be in Trapani to visit a friend. I looked him up and he said they have only one day a week off, and they wanted to visit the Marsala Winery.

As you know, Mormons don't drink. We toured the winery and it became time for the tasting. I was the only one who was tasting. These young people were very, very concerned for me that I was going to get very drunk. Back then time, I drank all the time, and a lot, so a few samples was nothing for me. They were so concerned, I thought it was funny. The tour guide kept trying to get them to taste it. He kept saying "But it is just a little sin" - which was so funny with his accent- eet es just a leeetle seen"

I loved that MARSALA was in the puzzle, I go it right away and then remembered this fun day.

Z 9:22 AM  

The Caballero’s Way
He had a voice like a coyote with bronchitis - Yep, O. Henry could write.
@kitshef - The story makes me wonder if there was a different source for the tv show.

@amyyanni - πŸ‘‹πŸ½

Birchbark 9:30 AM  

MARSALA is the main flavoring in zabaglione, a whipped egg-white dessert. Delicioso.

And nothing is quite so alarming as a CANARY. Well clued.

pabloinnh 9:31 AM  

I guess this was wheel-housey, or maybe I've just done a ton of crosswords, or maybe I'm just old, but the only hiccups in this one for me were KARA and PHAEDRA. Everything else wnet in pretty much after I read the clue. Well, MOVADO, a nano second or two until I remembered their ads. I've never worn a wristwatch and the fascination with expensive watches is something I fail to understand.

Had the same thought as @jberg about dipping an EEL into your FONDUE. Also, while the other items--a NIB, a TOE, and a WICK, are partially submerged, when it comes to BREAD in FONDUE, I'm a DUNKER, not a DIPPER. Really like CHEESEFONDUE and what else do you do with those FODUE sets you got as wedding presents? Sadly, my wife can't stand it so it rarely makes an appearance at our house.

Very nice concept and execution on a Tuesday, RBM, with some Really Bright Moments. Thanks for all the fun.

RooMonster 9:33 AM  

Hey All !
Very neat Construction, as @Lewis said, the Long Acrosses are symmetrical,but the things that are "dipped" aren't. And still clean fill. Some might point out ACA and TKT, but if that's the worst, it's fine.

Didn't have the SW troubles Rex did. YAY ME! Had a bit of an issue in NW, with EDnA and NeB in, because I Always think NEB first for NIB. Why? Who knows? Certainly not me. That left me with INne_INK, and a brow furrowing "Huh?" Did Neil Innes have a special type of INK? Har. Erased the n, replaced the e with an I, and saw INDIA. Ah, nice. BARA a toughie too. Had lei in originally for BOA, which wasn't helping.

Didn't catch the plural in the clue for Candy ___ at first, so wrote in STRIPper. Har, that's a different animal there. What a DUPE.

A semi-rare Rex-Like puz. No BOO today. Refreshing to read.

LOL at @LMS's ONE SLICE tale. Who eats ONE SLICE? No one I know. 😁 That's like asking me to eat one Oreo. Quite impossible. Or one bowl of ice cream. (Bowl, bah! I eat it straight from the carton!)

Later, AMIGOS! (Amigas, too.)

Four F's

Nancy 9:36 AM  

Apropos of absolutely nothing, here's a sad, sweet, lovely tribute in the NYT today...to a bird and, in a way, to a city too.

Mikey from El Prado 9:41 AM  

Sorry James Bond (and Ian Fleming), but let’s get one thing straight… a ruined martini is one that is both Vodka and shaken.

A real martini is made with gin and is stirred. One does not shake cocktails that contain only alcohol-based ingredients. Only mixed drinks, containing non-alcohol ingredients, especially fruit or juice, are shaken.

Glad I got that off my chest. As to the puzzle… somehow managed to get an average time despite the proper nouns all over.

egsforbreakfast 9:57 AM  

She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
She said "I'm gonna make it up right here in the sink"
It smelled like turpentine, it looked like INDIA INK
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

From Love Potion Number 9, written in 1959 that became a 1964 hit for The Searchers

All of the dip switches were set correctly in my brain for this one. It seemed easy and fairly fast. Liked it a bunch for a Tuesday, so thanks to Ruth Bloomfield Margolin.

johnk 10:01 AM  

Here here!
A martini is a cocktail made with gin, dry white vermouth and bitters, stirred with ice and garnished with a green, unstuffed olive.
A bartender named Gibson invented an eponymous cocktail substituting a pickled onion for the olive. Did he call it an onion martini?
The beauty of a martini (or a gibson, for that matter) is its clarity, which is lost if it's shaken to produce air bubbles.
Sorry, Ian Fleming. Great stories, but stay away from my bar.

johnk 10:05 AM  

This puzzle was a quick dip for me.

oldactor 10:14 AM  

I was always intrigued with Movado adds. The first watches I ever saw with no numbers on their faces...so simple, so elegant. I can't imagine how anyone missed them.

I've made Chicken Marsala many times, think I've still got a bottle somewhere. Don't forget the mushrooms!

I used to do calligraphy and always used India ink and had a lot of nibs (What's wrong with that word BTW?)

This was sooo in my wheel house. Loved it!

James Bond, 007 10:17 AM  

@Mikey, @Johnk - Let's just make a pact - You don't lecture me as to how I prefer my drinks be made, and I don't shoot your respective left nuts off, ok? Same deal as to whether or not I say "an historical" or "a 'istorical". You keep your mouths shut about my business, you keep your left nuts. That simple.

Whatsername 10:22 AM  

The MOVADO/PHAEDRA crossing didn’t get me but INTERLAKAN/KARA did AS I took a STAB there with a C which seemed perfectly fine until it wasn’t. So no happy MUSIC today. [*Sigh*] Took the NIB right outta my INK pen. Except for that though, really enjoyed it. Something fun and different and yet the perfect balance for a Tuesday. Nicely done Ruth, and I liked the story behind your creation.

Like many of you (I would imagine), I possessed one of those magical fondue pots that were all the rage back in the day. Mine was avocado green and had that disgusting black Teflon coating that began to flake off after so long a time. It wasn’t until recently that I learned the massive and long-lasting repercussions of that product when I watched the film Dark Waters, inspired by the true story of an environmental suit against DuPont Chemical exposing a decades-long history of chemical pollution in drinking water in a West Virginia community. Informative and horrifying in equal parts, especially in the realization that basically all of us have been exposed to it at some point in our lives. To view the trailer.

mathgent 10:24 AM  

Delightful theme, flawlessly done. And it had some sparkle, too. Excellent puzzle!

Theda BARA used to be part of the puzzle often, like Uta Hagen.

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice
She was fair, she was sweet seventeen.
He was old, he was vile, and no stranger to vice
He was base, he was bad, he was mean.
He had slyly inveigled her up to his flat
To view his collection of stamps,
And he said as he hastened to put out the cat,
The wine, his cigar and the lamps:

Have some madeira, m'dear. You really have nothing to fear.
I'm not trying to tempt you, that wouldn't be right,
You shouldn't drink spirits at this time of night.
Have some madeira, m'dear. It's really much nicer than beer.
I don't care for sherry, one cannot drink stout,
And port is a wine I can well do without...
It's simply a case of chacun a son gout
Have some madeira, m'dear.

Unaware of the wiles of the snake-in-the-grass
And the fate of the maiden who topes,
She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
Her courage, her eyes and his hopes.
She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did!
He promptly refilled it again,
And he said as he secretly carved one more notch
On the butt of his gold-headed cane:

Have some madeira, m'dear,
I've got a small cask of it here.
And once it's been opened, you know it won't keep.
Do finish it up. It will help you to sleep.
Have some madeira, m'dear.
It's really an excellent year.
Now if it were gin, you'd be wrong to say yes
The evil gin does would be hard to assess..
Besides it's inclined to affect me prowess,
Have some madeira, m'dear.

Then there flashed through her mind what her mother had said
With her antepenultimate breath,
"Oh my child, should you look on the wine that is red
Be prepared for a fate worse than death!"
She let go her glass with a shrill little cry,
Crash! Tinkle! it fell to the floor;
When he asked, "What in Heaven?" She made no reply,
Up her mind, and a dash for the door.

Have some madeira, m'dear.
Rang out down the hall loud and clear
With a tremulous cry that was filled with despair,
As she fought to take breath in the cool midnight air,
Have some madeira, m'dear.
The words seemed to ring in her ear.
Until the next morning, she woke in her bed
With a smile on her lips and an ache in her head...
And a beard in her lug 'ole that tickled and said:
Have some madeira, m'dear!

-- Flanders and Swann (recorded by others)

TTrimble 10:26 AM  

Chicken MARSALA is one of my wife's favorites, and she usually asks me to make it for her birthday, which I gladly do. Very tasty. I'll generously assume that Rex meant he knew that it is a chicken dish and not, say, a breed of chicken, although "which I know as a chicken" could sure leave one in doubt.

If you're like me, PHAEDRA is just one of those names you've heard of somewhere but not remembering anything too specific. In other words, known just enough to do a crossword. I'll happily give that Tangerine Dream album a listen (I like them, but I don't know them well). Aside from that, the Downs in the SW seem pretty straightforward, including the spelling of the latter name (wife? lady friend? don't recall exactly).

Clever cluing for MUSIC STAND (Score keeper?).

KARA is definitely something I didn't know. (This constant fascination for comic books and comic book movies.) But very gettable from crosses. I'm surprised to hear @Dan Tuller confidently assert "TROU is not slang for pants, at least among anyone under the age of 50", since I've definitely heard "drop TROU" coming from people in that age range. Mainly in the context of, "I really did not need to see that". Very much like one really doesn't need to see half of what goes on in Bachelor in Paradise (did you watch that with your mom, @Loren?). Lots of dropping TROU to be found there. Or already dropped and tossed aside TROU. With suitably snarky color commentary OFFERED by David Spade.

MOVADO along... this was a well-executed puzzle, as Rex said. Liked it a bunch, and thought it was roughly Tuesday level, or maybe slightly harder. Thank you, "notorious" RBM!

yd 0, td pg -4. Sam doesn't accept PINEAL.

jae 10:30 AM  

Easy-medium. I’m slightly irritated by “ looky-loo” puzzles (hi @Frantic) but this one was fine except for the MOVADO/PHAEDRA @Rex and INTERLAKEN/KARA crosses, which are a bit harsh for a Tuesday. Cute theme, liked it.

Nancy 10:30 AM  

Re: MARSALA. I don't like sweet wines, so I doubt I'd like it as a drink. But as the base for a sauce? Quite wonderful.

There's an Italian restaurant near me that has something called Chicken Caprese on the menu. It's chicken with a fresh slice of tomato and a gooey piece of mozzarella in a white wine sauce. I like it better than their Chicken Marsala -- but I like the Marsala sauce better than the white wine sauce. So I always order the Chicken Caprese with Marsala Sauce. I bet I may be the only person out there who does that, but they always make it for me at no extra charge.

I see @oldactor cooks with MARSALA. You can cook for me any time, @oldactor! Good move! Any other MARSALA-wielding chefs on the blog?

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

Got naticked twice on Phaed_a/Ohen_y and Interla_en/_ara - sorry to disappoint my old Comics professor on the second one.

Whatsername 10:50 AM  

@Nancy (9:36) Beautiful story! Made me smile and also shed a tear. I hope you got to see her in action. What a magnificent creature! Thanks for sharing.

@egs (9:57) Enjoyed your reminder of that 1964 memory. If I still had my fondue pot I’d mix up a little potion, see if it still works. πŸ˜„

JC66 10:52 AM  

@James Bond 007

Make your martini as you prefer. Just be aware that shaking it causes chips of ice to break off that end up diluting the final result.

I'll have mine stirred.

oldactor 10:54 AM  

Never heard of bitters in a Martini and Lord knows I've had my share.

Were you thinking of Manhattans? Bitters are required.

Newboy 10:55 AM  

Rex is right. Watch was a wtf, but then retired Idaho teacher doesn’t overlap in a Venn diagram with luxury and watch. Only my iPad, my Fitbit and Herself tell me what time even is anymore. Fine for a Tuesday, so thanks Ruth.

So far this week I’ve been able to download the NYT grid from the LATimes link in the AcrossLite format—go figure? Did spend a half hour on chat line with NYT help agent to no benefit; it may be time to cancel the automatic renewal in March. Truly frustrating to have the grid appear on my iPad screen without any option to print….deep breaths ….. grateful that a problem like that is my most pressing problem. & we’re getting cool rain today πŸ˜‰

Nancy 10:59 AM  

Let me see a show of hands. How many other people here thought that Noel Coward had written "Have some Madeira, M'dear"?

Poor Flanders and Swann, whoever they are/were. And thanks for posting the witty lyrics, @Anon 10:25, whoever you are.

Joseph Michael 11:03 AM  

Easy puzzle. Cute theme. Pleasant solve. Was waiting for a revealer at the end to add a little zing to these dips, but what I got instead was a candle in progress. Please be sure not to dip your BREAD into the PARAFFIN or your TOE into the INDIA iNK.

Favorite answer: RED NOSES.

Least favorite answer: MOVADO. (Huh?)

Favorite clue: “Score keeper?”

Least favorite clue: “Inits. in a 1955 union merger.” Didn’t we just have AFL clued this way recently?

Masked and Anonymous 11:20 AM  

Feisty and fun TuesPuz. Best double-dipper: GRASS [in the SWIMMINGPOOL & the CHEESEFONDUE].

Had a bit of nanosecond flailin while tryin to dip KARA in the INTERLAKEN. Knew of MOVADO & MARSALA, so less trouble with the PHAEDRA of mystery than some folks.
Also, knew OBERON off just the second O. Luv that classic Midsummer Night's Dream flick. [yo, @Victor Jory] Victor Jory played Oberon -- plus also The Shadow, in the classic old cliffhanger serial. But I classically digress …

Re: ONESLICE of pizza. Well, yeah … eat one slice at a time, I reckon. The total M&A pizza carnage will depend on whether U get salad or milkshake or somesuch with it. @Muse darlin and M&A would pair up well at the pizza soiree, tho … M&A don't eat most pizza crusts. Overall M&A average: 3-4 slices of a medium-sized.

staff weeject picks: NIB & TOE. [Hey @Z … another name to dip into the pub chain pool!] Theme dipper respect for the lil pups.

74-worder. 34 black squares. Kind impressive puzgrid production, what with the four cross-theme sets and all. No JQXZ-dippin, btw.

@eggsforbreakfast: yep. Cop broke his little bottle at 34th and Vine, as I recall. Sad sorta song endin.

Thanx for the dip switches, Ms. Margolin darlin. Sometimes M&A dips his cinnamon roll in the coffee, if no one is lookin.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

Pace 11:24 AM  

My last holes were IN_uAINK (I thought NuB instead of NIB) and PARA_FIN. Then (I thought) I solved the pattern and all the themers had double letters in them (CH*EE*SEFONDUE and SWI*MM*INGPOOL). Got thrown for a misdirect here.

JD 11:25 AM  

Great Tuesday.

Unknown 11:26 AM  

I don't mind honoring baseball players, but Sammy SOSA gets the stink-eye from me - - - an avowed cheater.
Otherwise a clever puzzle with an artfully constructed theme. Unlike Nancy, I didn't think you had to scramble across the puzzle to fill in the answers.

GILL I. 11:29 AM  

My baloney has a fist theme it's a dip in N-I_B
My baloney has a second theme it's a dip in T-O-E
Oh I love to write it every day and if you ask me why I'll say:
Cuz RBM has such a way with clues that make me go and say OLE.

Fun Tuesday. Fun comments. I thought at first I would give this the stink eye Tuesday because I don't like hoping I won't be hopping all around the place looking for answers. Speaking of......What's the difference between STRIPERS and strippers. Those double P's always get me. I'm sure there are spelling rules that help you figure out the two P conundrum.
Speaking of conundrum. I see we are having a martini and a marsala discussion. My dad shook his martini's and my mom stirred hers. They were divorced (happily so and remained good friends) in 1962. I would much rather have a Talisker with @JC66. MARSALA is good for one thing only: Sauce. I also use it when I make the most delicious chicken liver mousse pate.
Did the poor CANARY die after alerting everyone in the coal mine to get out?

EricStratton 11:32 AM  

So, when making Chicken, Veal or Turkey Marsala, you want to use the sweet Marsala, about half and half with chicken stock as you are making the reduction sauce. The stock makes the sauce less sweet but if you use the dry Marsala it is way too dry. I think veal Marsala is the best, but turkey and chicken work fine, too. You absolutely have to pound out whatever meat you use, though. Use the a skillet to pound the meat if you don't have one of those meat pounders sitting around. Anything that's heavy works.

A 11:38 AM  

Thanks, Ms. Margolin, for this right-on-my wavelength OFFERing. Once I worked out INDIA INK it was a swift ride to the finish. Saw the PH- and PHAEDRA came to mind, though I hod no idea who was married to whom. Decided to take a STAB. The -DO gave me MOVADO, maybe from ads during tennis matches? So that corner filled in as easily as the rest.

Looks like the across themers are symmetrical - cool. I saw mention of dipping EEL in the FONDUE, and started looking for other downs one could dip. A BOA in INDIA INK sounds like a technique for Jackson Pollock, and surely MME would be ELATEd to take a dip in a SWIMMING POOL. Just keep those TROUs out of the FONDUE.

Mini double letter theme:

SWIMMING POOL was crossed by MANSIONS and the upside down SPAS.

Awesome comments yesterday, glad y’all had fun! looking forward to exploring today’s.

Henri Tomasi, French composer of Corsican descent, was born August 17, 1901. Tomasi said: "Although I haven't shirked from using the most modern forms of expression, I've always been a melodist at heart. I can't stand systems and sectarianism. I write for the public at large. Music that doesn't come from the heart isn't music." A good example of that is this movement of his horn concerto, I. Pastoral.

bocamp 11:38 AM  

Rudolph the RED-NOSEd Reindeer ~ Gene Autry

@Dan Tuller (8:14 AM)

Looks like you and I were the only ones with SANDeL.

Now that I think about it, I recall the time my pAL AL went for a walk on the beach in his SAND ALs; got SAND between his toes, did my pAL AL. πŸ™ƒ

@Nancy (9:36 AM)

Thx for Barry's story; very touching! πŸ¦‰

@TTrimble (10:26 AM) πŸ‘ for yd's 0

Ditto: pineal

g -11

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

albatross shell 11:54 AM  

I hope we are having chicken or lamb tonight!

I was E-LATE for my zoom meeting.

One should keep ONE'S LICE off my pizza.

I failed the breakfast test again. Alas.

I was somewhat sure it was INTERLAKEN and it is. (@whatshernanme note the E if that wasn't a typo). So that helped. Also there are a lot of Ks in Kryptonian names.

Getting all but the B in OBERON was enough to nudge my memory to get the B. PHAE_RA similarly nudged out the D and gave me the last letter of the watch. The SW was a mass of unknown or not quite knowns. Had to work in from all directions to shot it down.

BOO gave me the O in SFO.

I'm a movie guy so BARA was a gimmie. But the crosses were easy.

But the theme. The containers are symmetrically place but the things being dipped are not. This results in the things dipped not being equally dipped. Ruins the whole theme. If your theme isn't perfect just don't use it.

One part of this post is sarcasm. Maybe 2.

JD 12:12 PM  

@Gill, Hot Dog, that was funny! Think of double P this way. Mattel Toys might've come out with Candy Striper Barbie back in the day but not Candy Stripper Barbie.

mathgent 12:27 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

RK from Switzerland (7:55).
jberg (7:59)
Gio (8:51)
oldactor (10:14)
Nancy (10:30)

Ellen S 12:35 PM  

Hi commenters, I did about four puzzles between last night and this morning, catching up. It’s quite interesting going from Sunday to Monday to Friday to Tuesday. I think I liked them all. Only when I read Rex’s writeup from ... Friday? ... did I remember about the NYT no longer providing .puz format. But here it is Tuesday and Puzzazz is still working. Does that mean I can exhale?

I was glad to hear that Rex’s relative only had one day of feeling sick when they got infected with Covid, and that nobody else got infected. But not all breakthrough infections are as easy. My daughter and I are both vaccinated, and even so I don’t think we’d agree to share a house with a dozen other people we don’t normally live with. We always mask when we go into stores, and don’t go into stores more than necessary. I had started in-store shopping for small runs, and my daughter went to an upscale market (masked, as I said) for a few upscale things we can’t get at the local supermarket. And 19 days ago she developed a fever and shortness of breath and generally feeling lousy. She went for a test, which was negative, but it was a Rite Aid drive-through where they made her administer it herself, so we remained skeptical as she remained ill. She went into the clinic and got a professionally administered test which came back positive. By this time it was more than a week from initial symptoms but they approved her for the monoclonal antibody treatment that is effective when given early (but used to be given only in hospital, by which time it’s not “early”). She started to improve at that point, very slowly. Here at day 19 she still has a recurring fever, spikes about 2 degrees above normal a couple of times a day but Tylenol alternated with Ibuprofen keeps her comfortable. And her blood oxygen drops to 92% or even lower if she moves around much, like emptying the dishwasher or standing up. The doctor says the low pulse-oxy reading and fever are not from the infection, that the virus has damaged her lungs and moved on and these are symptoms of something called atelectasis. Collapsed lungs. But she will recover eventually, and faster probably when she gets the nebulizer and incentive spirometer that she should have been able to get last week. Waiting for the doctors to come in yesterday and get the memo and send the referral and now waiting for the insurance company to approve. It’s wonderful when your life depends on an entity whose only concern is their profits. I tried to just buy the things, but they can’t be sold without a prescription! And so we wait. Bottom line, folks, don’t let your guard down just because you have been vaccinated! There seem to be more breakthroughs with the Pfizer vaccine, but Moderna isn’t bulletproof; and while there are definitely way more infections, hospitalizations and deaths among the unvaxxed, even the vaccinated can still die of it. (I’m glad things seem to have settled enough that I can focus on the puzzles!)

Rick Walker 12:35 PM  

Yep. All I see is all there is.

relicofthe60s 12:36 PM  

Didn’t know MOVADO or PHAEDRA, but still got my best Tuesday time ever. Kind of funny that Rex knows chicken Marsala, but doesn’t know it’s made with Marsala wine. I guess he doesn’t cook.

old timer 12:48 PM  

I have worn Seikos since they first came out, but before that, I owned other watches, including a MOVADO, which was not considered a luxury brand. Luxury brands came from Geneva. More popular brands like MOVADO were (and still are) made in a Swiss town you never heard of, or of course in Britain or America. I figured a MOVADO was a step up from Timex.

I have been to INTERLAKEN. As you might imagine, it is between two lakes, in this case Brienz and Thun. It is a tourist spot, convenient for those who love water sports, and sailing, and a good deal cheaper than most places in the Bernese Oberland. It is about as exciting as, say, West Yellowstone, Montana, but serves a purpose. My advice is to find a place to stay on one of the lakes -- in my case, the Hotel Bellevue au Lac, which I stayed at with my family a few years ago, on Lake Thun. And if you prefer staying in a real town, Thun itself, at the end of its lake, is quite charming and picturesque.

Interlochen, BTW, ought to be in Scotland, but isn't. Though inverness, downriver from Loch Ness, kind of feels like it is in between two lakes, as it is the uppermost point on Moray Firth.

Joaquin 12:54 PM  

@egsforbreakfast - Thanks for the memory-jogger with your posting of the lyrics from "Love Potion Number 9". For an eye-opening "my how things have changed", here's a video of that song by The Searchers:

FWIW - Where I grew up (central LA), the bigger hit was from the Black group, The Clovers.

A 1:07 PM  

@LMS, your avatar is one of my favorite dishes!

@Whatsername, you're right, Teflon is a health risk, and it will kill your CANARY, too. I know people who have birds who have to check for it, not just in pans, but appliances like toasters.

@Nancy, what a touching and tragic story about Barry. Between that "collision" and the canary's coal mine, not a good day for our feathered friends.

albatross shell 1:28 PM  

@Ellen S
Best wishes for you and your family and especially your daughter. What a terrible series of events. After 19 days you must have learned to cope to some degree. I spent a week in a similar pre-covid situation with my son. Helpless and the whole world moving in slow motion. I hope the crosswords help. I know everybody in this group will be thinking of you and your daughter.
You did inadvertently give me my biggest laugh of the day when I misread you post as saying "I had started in-store shopping for small nuns..."

Anonymous 1:38 PM  

Dip your WICK indeed!

GILL I. 1:43 PM  

@Ellen...Holy guacamole....You've had quite a roller coaster ride with your daughter. I'm so sorry and wish you the best. I've already had three friends (fully vaccinated) come down with Covid. They were mild cases but, nevertheless, they ended up in the hospital and it was a HORRIBLE experience. Shuffled around, left in waiting rooms....just plain awful. Don't even get me started on our disgusting health care system.
@Nancy...Damn...then I go and learn that Barry has come to a demise. Hopefully, he will joint all the beautiful CANARY(s) in pet heaven.
I'm now going to go light my PARAFFIN WICK and say a little prayer.....Maybe even dip my TOE in the SWIMMING POOL or go stir a martini.

Anonymous 1:48 PM  


Agreed. The only places I've seen it (what the 55-Down clue says, not what the clue means) done are Old Sturbridge Village in MA, and Colonial Williamsburg in VA. What's more, my favorite Answer Man Search indicates that candles are not 100% paraffin, anyway.

Ben 1:50 PM  

Chicken MARSALA is so called because it is cooked in a sauce made from MARSALA wine.

And the adjective for Luxembourg is Luxembourgish

bertoray 1:57 PM  

Good eye Rex for shout out to Phaedra via Some Velvet Morning.

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

If anyone wants more info, or at least more pictures of Barry, check out Manhattan Bird Alert on Twitter. It's terrific. Lost of wonderful pics of lots of wonderful birds. Especially Barry. As you might imagine he was quite the celebrity and he had an immense presence on that site. Surely many hundreds of pictures and videos.
It may seem hard to believe but Central park is quite birdy.
Oh, and don't believe everything you read about bird watchers; they're not always the good guys. And dog owners, even so called Karens--aren't always the villain, no matter what you've read, seen or heard.

Unknown 2:51 PM  

Ellen S., Thank you for sharing that. The false negative is a cautionary tales in itself.

Whatsername 4:23 PM  

@Ellen S: Don’t let your guard down is good advice. My sister’s fully vaccinated next-door neighbor died of covid yesterday.

Joe Dipinto 4:31 PM  

Thanks for linking "Some Velveeta Morning", @Rex. Very apropos for the fondue.

Joe Dipinto 4:44 PM  

Btw, this is what Lee Hazlewood had to say about Phaedra:

Phaedra...She had a sad middle, a sad end, and by the time she was 17 she was gone. She was a sad-assed broad, the saddest of all Greek goddesses. So bless her heart, she deserves some notoriety, so I’ll put her in a song."

And we're all glad you did, Lee.

Stickler 5:09 PM  

@Nancy 10:59. Flanders and Swan were the English equivalent of Tom Lehrer. Very funny and worth looking up!Per Wikipedia:"Lyricist, actor and singer Michael Flanders and composer and pianist Donald Swann collaborated in writing and performing comic songs. They first worked together in a school revue in 1939 and eventually wrote more than 100 comic songs together"Wikipedia

Nancy 6:01 PM  

No one's ever accused me of being a Pollyanna or even an optimist, but I really was feeling pretty bullet-proof beginning about two weeks after my 2nd Pfizer. That doesn't mean that I was attending large, dangerous indoor events, but (after having absolutely EVERYTHING delivered for a year-and-a-half) I had started once again to go into grocery stores -- masked of course, but still. Because I now felt quite safe.

What an absolutely awful turn of events, @Ellen S. The best of luck to your daughter. You and she don't deserve this. And then there's another terrible and heartbreaking story from @Whatsername. Being on this blog is not only life-enhancing; it may turn out to be life-saving too. I'm starting to think: I lived very happily without venturing into stores for 18 months -- maybe it would be a good thing to start doing that again.

I'm planning to take these warnings to heart -- you'd better believe it!

To the many of you who enjoyed the Barry the Owl tribute. I'm really glad you non-New Yorkers got to "know" him. He was truly one of a kind and a credit to his species.

bigsteve46 6:44 PM  

To add, re Flanders & Swan: they did a terrific Broadway show, entitled, or subtitled, anyway (if I remember correctly), "The Two and Only." Another great song of theirs is "I'm a Gnu." Try to find it on line, if you can. When my children were young, we were often visitors to the Bronx Zoo, (just around the corner from us) where at some point in time during the trek, I would break out into the opening lines of that song:

A year ago last Thursday, I was walking through the zoo; where I met a chap who thought he knew the lot.

He was laying down the law about the habits of the baboon - and the number of quills a porcupine has got.

So I asked him, "What's that animal over there?" And he replied 'Why, that's am elk,' and I might have gone on thinking that was true ...

If the animal in questions hadn't put that chap to shame, saying "I ain't no elk,I'm a gnu!'

I'm a gnu
How do you do
I'm the gnicest beast of gnature in the zoo ..

(there's more but I think you get the drift...)

My kids would groan - but they loved it and by the time I finished I usually had attracted a small audience. Unfortunately one of the small audience would usually be a zookeeper with a big net ... but that's another story!

(Above lyrics are from memory - might be a slight error or two in there - but the essence is basically correct.)

Anoa Bob 6:53 PM  

As noted by M&A @11:20 this grid has 34 black squares, You can see what a difference that makes by comparing it with Monday's grid which has 38 black squares. With 34 we don't get pinched-off sections or corners. The grid flows and has lots of room for longer fill.

If the lone black squares in the top and bottom rows were removed, it would be a 32 black square grid but the fill would be much more challenging. Some unsightly stuff might be needed to get the job done. The 34 might end up having a better overall quality than the 32.

This 34 is more evidence for a 34-36 black square sweet spot for a weekday themed puzzle. Any deviations above or below typically introduce less desirable elements such as pinced-off areas or poor fill or both. Between the 34 and 36, I'm thinking the 34 is more difficult for the constructor but more rewarding for the solver.

I thought I knew PHAEDRA because it's a model of Rolls Royce. A quick check says no, that would be Phantom. Wrong again buffalo breath.

Did you know that there is a dog breed named Gran Canario that is native to the CANARY Islands? I always thought that the Islands were named for the bird or vice versa. But the symbol for Gran Canaria Island shows two dogs as you can see here. So maybe CANARY is closer to a canine (L. canis)than to an avian.

Never had a MOVADO watch before. I've owned a Timex or two. I always pronounced it in my best francophone voice "tee may".

Anonymous 7:05 PM  

Everyone should listen at least once to Flanders and Swan do The Hippopotamus Song. See Youtube.


Anonymous 7:35 PM  

@Anoa Bob

What a coincidence. 34 to 36 is my sweet spot for a woman's age and "chest" measurement.

Nancy 9:17 PM  

Many, many thanks to all who introduced me to Flanders and Swann today. I went to You Tube and listened to a number of their songs and they're great. So glad to belatedly discover them. Don't know how I managed to completely miss ever seeing them-- though certain refrains like "Mud, mud, glorious mud" are familiar, and I don't know from where.

Anonymous 10:14 PM  


Everybody knows that more than a mouthful is wasted. :)

Burma Shave 10:47 AM  


ASISAID, I would BARA NIB if she ASKS TO dip my WICK.


thefogman 11:01 AM  

Why do I think 55D is a Burma poem element? Because my mind is in the gutter.

thefogman 11:04 AM  

Yes! Now I see BS did not disappoint.

spacecraft 11:09 AM  

@Gill: Yeah, sorry, but the CANARY did die. That WAS the alarm. Poor guy took one for the team.

Okay: *Dad joke warning!*

Frankie Avalon came to the movie set one day only to find out that his co-star had called in sick. The director told him, "Today you'll be working without AnNETte."

I know, I know. "BOO!" Now I have to make her DOD.

Nice little puzzle, this. A revealerless theme with crossing elements, which usually leads to stick-any-old-thing-in-there fill--but not here. You can tell care has been taken. It's a refreshing respite from the "dip" in recent NYTXW quality. More RBM, please. Birdie.

rondo 11:18 AM  

Well, I dipped into this one and couldn't get out until 8 minutes or so later, probably less than three Rexes, so good for me, if I cared that much.

I played 46 years under the auspices of the ASA (American Softball Association). Might still be had it not been for covid, etc. Might get back into an old-timers league. Who knows?

And look at what SITS in the corners.

Let's go back a hundred years for Theda BARA (anagram for ARAB DEATH, on purpose), yeah baby.

Pretty good Tues-puz.

Diana, LIW 12:16 PM  

How could a puzzle - or anything - be bad with CHEESEFONDUE. Ahhh...melted cheese. Best part of this yippy dippy puzzle.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoaster 2:06 PM  

Clever and fun set of dips and their crossings. First-rate work by RBM.

In the SW, paused over MOVADA and PHAEDRA, but MARSALA popped right in.

Oops, a silly mistake: didn’t correctly parse REENACTS, having settled on the crossing GlASS instead of GRASS.

(Left wondering about the etiquette of BREAD-dipping in CHEESEFONDUE at a dinner party.)

Anonymous 4:43 PM  

@Nancy,I'm relatively close to you in age, and I found this puzzle to be one of the easiest NYT Tuesdays ever. For the most part, it was read/write. Only write over I had, was swimming pool. First I had hole, then pond, because of Aspen, finally pool, because pond was stupid. Hardest answer was Phaedra, since it has been more than 50 years since I studied Greek mythology, but all the crosses were 100% gettable. I am onlysurprised at your response, since I consider you very very smart.

Anonymous 5:15 PM  

Absolut Lee Hillary us!!!

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