Derby cocktail / TUES 9-28-21 / Like many bridal veils / Actress Sohn of "The Wire" / Romeo and Juiliet had one

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Hey, everyone, it’s Clare for the last Tuesday of September! Weirdly enough, for whatever reason, this month absolutely seemed to fly by for me. Maybe it’s because I don’t have law school classes every day, or maybe because my milestones these days seem to be sports-related (go, Giants!). Speaking of sports, my sister and I decided to start learning to play tennis after watching the U.S. Open. It may be too soon to call us the next Williams sisters or the next Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, but maybe we’ll get there eventually. 

On to the puzzle... 

Constructor: Meghan Morris

Relative difficulty: Difficult for a Tuesday
THEME: ANGLE (31D: Relationship of the circled letters to the apt words they connect to in this puzzle) — the three theme answers intersect the letters A-N-G-L-E and form an angle

Theme answers: 
  • BEING OBTUSE (17A: Refusing to understand) 
  • DO THE RIGHT THING (40A: 1989 Spike Lee title offering good, if vague, advice) 
  • ACUTE ACCENT (63A: One of a rΓ©sumΓ© pair)
Word of the Day: NAURU (8D: Island nation that’s the world’s smallest republic) —
Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country and microstate in Oceania, in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 km (190 mi) to the east. Nauru is the third-smallest country in the world behind Vatican City and Monaco, making it the smallest republic. Its population of about 10,000 is the world’s second smallest, after Vatican City. (Wiki)
• • •

Overall, I thought this puzzle was very impressive architecturally. There were circled letters, a theme revealer, angles formed, and even a pangram! This whole puzzle felt quite ambitious, especially for a first-time NYT Crossword constructor like Meghan Morris. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen LIFE-GIVING (11D: Animating) or SETS ABLAZE (29D: Fires up?) used in a NYTimes crossword, so it’s fun that they were worked into the puzzle. I also liked having W.E.B. DU BOIS (6D: Cofounder of the N.A.A.C.P. and author of "The Souls of Black Folk") as another long down, as he’s an oft-overlooked historical figure whose achievements deserve a lot more attention than they get. TRYST (70A: Romeo and Juliet had one) is always a fun word to see in a puzzle, and I also liked the way it was clued. The way the ANGLEs intersected the themers was also clever; I especially liked that the word formed four right ANGLEs by intersecting with the “g” smack in the middle of DO THE RIGHT THING (40A)

Overall, though, I just didn’t find the puzzle that much fun to solve. The fill somehow felt quite clunky. There were so many clues with “abbr.” in them — 66A: To wit, abbr.; 26A: Abbr. on a wrapper; 58D: Much mail: Abbr.; 61D: Periods in the N.B.A.: Abbr.; 65: Forensic abbr. And then the answers for 58D and 61D were almost identical — LTRS and QTRS, respectively. 

I really noticed the clunkiness in the southwest corner. I didn’t like the use of JAVA (55D) and UNIX (56D), let alone the cross-referencing. JAVA is designed to not be dependent on the operating system, so linking it to a specific one doesn’t make much sense: 55D: Language that may be used in [UNIX]. It just felt like this was an attempt to use these words together and trick the solver into thinking the clue was about a spoken language. For another, VIZ (66A: To wit, abbr.) seems obscure for a Tuesday (and it’s another abbreviation), and VIZ, VIA (39A), and the clue for 22A: Like Prince William vis-Γ -vis Prince Harry are all very similar. 

Still, I like the idea of trying to go big and bold with a puzzle, and I think this one was quite well-constructed, especially for a first-timer. I hope to see more from her! 

Apparently I have more miscellaneous thoughts than cohesive ones about the puzzle, so bear with me and buckle in!

  • I feel like I should channel my inner Rex and complain about a GRN (an abbreviation for ya) — gratuitous roman numeral — at 23D: Year in the reign of Nero)
  • I particularly disliked seeing BRAGG (51A: Fort __, N.C.) in the puzzle. BRAGG was a Confederate general — and a horrible one, at that. Like, really bad. I went down a hole on his Wikipedia page and found a goldmine — for one, his own men apparently tried to assassinate him twice, once with a 12-pound explosive under his cot. Having him, a slave owner, in the puzzle alongside W.E.B. DU BOIS is even worse. Look, BRAGG Apple Cider Vinegar is right there (and it’s my secret to great pie crusts.) 
  • This puzzle took me back to my geometry class in 8th grade, which was absolutely my least favorite math class (well, at least until I got to calculus in high school). Doing proofs for things was the absolute worst — who cares about why A = B? I know it does, so why should I have to explain it? 
  • Seeing ELI (48: One of football's Mannings) in the puzzle made me chuckle, because I’m solving this puzzle while watching Monday Night Football with the new ManningCast on ESPN2. Peyton and ELI’s chemistry and commentary and guests are just superb, and it’s delightful to watch. (More Pat McAfee, please!) I’m a little bummed they’re not going to be doing a broadcast for the next three weeks, but I’m simultaneously overjoyed that I won’t have to watch them destroy my Steelers, who are definitely NOT at their best right now. 
  • I love a good trip to IKEA (49A). Gotta say the best part is the $1 ice cream that you can buy after check-out. 
  • I tried to find a tie-in to the puzzle to talk about my latest obsession — the Korean show “Squid Game” —, but, alas, I could not. I recently binged it on Netflix after seeing a ton of people talking about... and whoa! It’s so, so dark but so, so well done. It certainly gave me some weird dreams after I watched six or seven episodes back to back. If you’re looking for The Hunger Games on steroids, this is right up your alley! Here’s the trailer (be warned: it’s quite creepy).
Signed, Clare Carroll, J.D. (to use my favorite abbr.) 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Robert 1:19 AM  

Made a funny mistake today: I initially wrote in SETS AFLAME instead of SETS ABLAZE, giving me VIM instead of VIZ, and chuckled when I saw that VIM crossed UNIX (Vim is the name of a popular Unix text editor). Alas, it was not to be!

jae 1:48 AM  

Medium. Am I sensing a HS math trend? Clever with some fine long downs, but @Clare is right about the fill problems. Liked it. Nice debut!

okanaganer 2:19 AM  

Claire: everything you said. But you also said "JAVA is designed to not be dependent on the operating system, so linking it to a specific one doesn’t make much sense"... yes!! I am a programmer but didn't notice that, so well said.

The autoincestuous cross of DON with LEMON irked me. I don't watch CNN so, unknown name. It could easily be DAN LEMAN. If you don't know the first one, you don't know the other one. Which makes it not a real cross.

I quite liked the ANGLE theme. I entered BEING OBTUSE and right away noticed the circled squares leading off... at an obtuse angle!... and thought "hey, obtuse angle?" So then when I got to "One of a resume pair" (sorry no accent encodings can't be bothered), beginning AC---etc and with a bunch of circled letters leading in-- at an acute angle!!-- I immediately entered ACCENT AIGU, and when that didn't fit, tried ACCENT GRAVE which fit, so great. But unfortunately it turns out it is wrong: we want the accent sloping in the other direction. I guess ACUTE ACCENT is the translation of ACCENT AIGU?

DO THE RIGHT THING is not "vague advice". To me it says: decide what the right thing is and then do it. I remember my brother in law telling the story of when his son had banged into a parked car in a parking lot. With no witnesses, his son left a note with his name and phone number on the windshield of said car, explaining what happened. So later he had to go in and attend to the insurance claim. Someone else hearing this story said he should have just walked away and done nothing. To which my brother in law said: "You don't do the right thing because you will be rewarded for it, you do it because it is the right thing." I will never forget the wisdom of that.

Frantic Sloth 2:33 AM  

@Clare, Juvenile Delinquent? Really enjoyed your write-up and agree with much of it, but it looks like the real treasure might be Squid Game! πŸ˜‰

This puzzle and all its abbr. pairings reminded me of this ad from the 70s/80s:

If u cn rd ths msg, u cn bcm a secy & gt a gd jb.

Another debut making crossword sausage out of a good amount of PPP, but it was mostly known to me, so I won't complain. 😊

Well, except for...

"Runner's midsection" and its ILK are clues that just annoy me. They're not clever and they're not even good "gotchas" anymore. Watch out, lookie-loos - there's a new nit in town!

Did Romeo and Juliet really just have a TRYST? Seems they might have considered their relationship a tad more serious, what with all the ***Spoiler Alert*** suicides and stuff. A true TRYST seems like more of a superficial fling thing.

I was impressed with the placement of the ANGLE(s) in relation to each type, but more so because they formed the actual angles themselves. Neat trick!

Overall, it was a pleasant enough solve - especially for the Tuesdee.

Nice job and congrats, Ms. Morris!


chefwen 2:36 AM  

Tricky Tuesday’s are beginning to be a favorite around here. Almost as much fun as Thursday’s puzzles.
6D was one of the answers on Jeopardy tonight, that was fun.
Someday, maybe, I will remember the drink is a JULEP, not a julip , never had one. Maybe next Derby Day.

Joaquin 2:40 AM  

Sorry, Clare, but Ft. Bragg is one of our most crucial (and one of our largest) military installations.

General Bragg was a putz. On that we can all agree. But Fort Bragg is a real place, a vital place, and is legitimate crossword fill.

albatross shell 2:42 AM  

The angles formed by the ANGLEs and their connected description are examples of that kind of angle. Peachy keen. With diagonal and visual amusement.

It was a somewhat difficult solve. Fun on a Tuesday-level order. Lots to puzzle out, but constant progress by jumping around. Never any irritation about the clues or the answers.
Last fill was the N in UNIX. I was "thinking" it was JAVA UbIX (a language some tribe in JAVA spoke) crossing ABA (the actress) when !boom! computer language, aha. I'm still trying to visualize what an URDU UNRIG is.

I know ENS are in the center of ruNNer. I don't understand A CUTE ACCENT is a pair in resume. Unless it is the punctuation in the pronouciation. I suppose I could call them cute marks. I suppose acute marks is more likely. IDK. Seem more obtuse to me. But more than likely acute is right.

albatross shell 2:45 AM  

And its too bad there are no cosecants involved.

Trey 5:04 AM  

Sometimes “do the right thing” is vague advice if you are not sure what the right action is. I have seen it used too often as the advice given when the askee does not want to do the work of going through the plusses and minuses of all the options

Trey 5:09 AM  

Agree with most of your review - tough for a Tuesday and too many abbreviations. Good theme though. I am OK with politically-incorrect answers in the form of names from the past. Idi Amin was a terrible person, but we cannot ignore him completely. Maybe Fort BRAGG should he renamed to avoid honoring such a person or his ideals, but leaving the name out of the crossword does very little one way or another towards his legacy. In truth, blogs like this reinforce the badness of his life

Conrad 5:24 AM  

Easy fix to avoid BRAGG: 51A BRAGs; 52D sAUcY; 67A RAceS; 58D LTeS ("abbrs. on some cell phone screens"). It doesn't even eliminate the pangram, due to 66A VIZ.

GILL I. 6:14 AM  

Despite a caca boatload of names and really hating any year of anyones reign, I rather enjoyed My Taco Tuesday.
BEING OBTUSE is my favorite....and so I shall:
HOES and AXE walk into a JAVA bar. They order a JULEP in URDU. The NINJA bartender, who is quite ANAL, served them some LIX in a TEA URN. SONJA is sitting in a corner drinking her usual TOXINS . In her ACUTE ACCENT, she'll BRAGG..."Hey look...I have THE LATEST SKID ARTE on my RIGHT ATEAT . Anyone care to look?
Oh, Clare.....thanks for that "Squid Game" clip. Remind me not to watch it......

OffTheGrid 6:28 AM  

I had fun solving this. It was crunchy for Tuesday and had several interesting entries. The theme was clever and well executed. I think the editor could have helped polish it, though. As Clare notes, the SW was a cluster****(my word). Surely that could have been cleaned up. A line from @Frantic Sloth bears repeating,

"Runner's midsection" and its ILK are clues that just annoy me. They're not clever and they're not even good "gotchas" anymore. Watch out, lookie-loos - there's a new nit in town!"

I can tolerate one of these in a puzzle but two? No, thank you.

Very nice work, Meghan.

OffTheGrid 6:31 AM  

I forgot my nit. Sailboats don't have ropes. They have lines.

Anonymous 6:43 AM  

What’s a pan gram and where is it? Jim

Anonymous 6:48 AM  

How does anyone know if an angle is acute or obtuse without knowing it’s vertex? Jim

bocamp 6:54 AM  

Thx Meghan, for this crunchy Tues. puz! :)

Med-hard. Felt like a Wednes.

Hi Clare, good to see you again; thx for your write-up! :)

Did a lot of floundering on this one.

Always get ASANA and ASADA mixed up.

I see my friends OBTUSE and 'samovar' (URN) again. :)

As always, enjoyed the challenge.

Despite my shortcomings, liked it a lot! :)

@TTrimble πŸ‘ for 0 yd

yd pg -1 (tabbed)

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

Trey 6:57 AM  

As for Squid Game - starting 8th episode now and enjoying it. Definitely dark. The fifth game was the most suspenseful so far - almost had to take a break in watching. My only complaint so far (no real spoilers here) is that the VIPs are very stereotyped - from walking to accent to conversations to physical appearance. I would have appreciated some more depth here like there seems to be with most of the main characters. The tone of the show is very much like Alice in Borderland which came out of Japan, and which I have enjoyed more so far.

Lewis 7:11 AM  

Oh, this was good. This Scrabbly sparkly offering with interesting longs (LIFEGIVING! DEEP ROOTS! BEING OBTUSE!) and lovely theme had me wowing and cheering at the end, and just feeling so good after brushing with such beauty that I had no desire to dig for nits afterward.

This debut shows ability and promise, and I hope Meghan persists. Her notes, telling of the help she got from a pair of fine mentors—something we’ve heard from many first-time-NYT-published puzzle-makers this year – shows how helpful and encouraging much of the constructor community is. I have a very well-known go-to, a constructor who always, within a day, offers me input on my puzzles when I need it, and has for a number of years. This person just did last night, at midnight!

But back to this puzzle, with its pangram that added to rather than subtracted from the grid’s quality, that is, a pangram without pandering. I liked the similar pairs of ALBA / ELBA and QTRS / LTRS. And I smiled when I looked at NTWT and my brain shouted “Nitwit!”

A big thank you MM for taking the dive. You made my day!

Lewis 7:12 AM  

@okanaganer -- Thank you for sharing that wonderful story.

JJK 7:14 AM  

Great write-up, Clare! I agree it was a well-constructed puzzle, with the angles theme very well done. Too many acronyms and abbreviations, however. And one nit - AKAS is not a noun. Alias is the noun, AKA an acronym (another!) for ‘also known as’. As I’m sure we all know, so why are crossword constructors allowed to get away with messing up the English language like this?

RESUME has two acute accents, one over each E.

kitshef 7:21 AM  

Very disappointed that REFLEX angle didn’t make the cut. Always underrated, as angles go.

Similar feeling to this as I had to Sunday’s puzzle. An unusual number of complete unknowns, but still felt like an average solve, so the rest of it must have been very easy. But seriously: DON and LEMON – crossing, no less – SONJA, EGAN, ANA. That’s five complete unknowns on a Tuesday, two crossing and two right on top of each other.

Hand up for @okananager’s “accent aigu … oops”, but my “fix” was to make it aigue which looked wrong but fit.

Lewis 7:21 AM  

Just to let you know I'm heading off on a trip for a family celebration. I'll be back in a bit over a week. I'll try to sneak in my clue list on Monday.

Glen Laker 7:25 AM  

And most sailors I know DErig their sails, they don’t UNrig them.

amyyanni 7:28 AM  

Hi Clare, glad you're here. Good luck with tennis. Running is important. The faster you get to the ball, the more time you have to set up for your swing.
Perky Tuesday; liked it, even though at a HS Reunion, my geometry teacher told me he was glad to hear I was in the law (and not anything involving angels & geometry.)
Ditto, good vignette @okanaganer.
Hmm...made veggie tacos last night, so whatever will be supper tonight?

Son Volt 7:30 AM  

Liked this one. Neat theme - RIGHT ANGLE is a little awkward but fine overall. Agree with @Lewis that the pangrammatic fill was smooth and not forced. SETS ABLAZE and LIFE GIVING are nice longs. Didn’t like UNRIG - especially with the U crossing NAURU. No issue with the JAVA - UNIX play.

Fort BRAGG is all about the US Army. Shelby Foote claims that two or three of the battles that Braxton BRAGG lost miserably led directly to the eventual Union win. Could have went with a Billy clue just as easily.

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

Tom T 7:40 AM  

Tough for a Tuesday. I came down to the end with 4 letters to guess in three different areas of the puzzle and nailed all of them. Unprecedented.

Anders 7:42 AM  

I think the writeup may have missed (or at least failed to highlight) a crucial detail: at their intersections, OBTUSE + ANGLE form an obtuse angle, RIGHT + ANGLE form right angles, and ACUTE + ANGLE form an acute angle. That really makes the theme.

Trey 7:56 AM  

Pangram is using all the letters of the alphabet in a single puzzle

Schuly 8:03 AM  

Don / Lemon - I'm triggered. Somewhere Rex is swooning.

TTrimble 8:10 AM  

This took me rather longer than most Tuesdays. Throwing down a red flag on the unpleasant Natick where LTRS meets RAZRS: never heard the latter, and both are just gross. I also think NTWT is quite awful; I'll let someone else verify that this occurs in the literature of food labels, but NT is an absurd way to abbreviate the already brief "net". AKAS is also quite bad, as has been pointed out.

Ixnay on LIX. This sort of constructor crutch should be avoided, IMHO.

I think this should have baked longer.

yd 0
td pg -2

Joe R. 8:13 AM  

As someone who has made a career writing JAVA apps mostly running on UNIX (well, Linux, really) platforms for the last 20 years, I object even more strenuously to the clue. To say that Java is used in Unix is just nonsense. “In” does not mean running on that platform. If one ever said “in Unix” at all (which is very unlikely), it would mean used in the code that makes Unix run, and Java is most definitely not used there. I get that the constructor was trying to be tricksy, but that falls apart if it makes the clue wrong. She could have said “on”, which would have been slightly strange for a spoken language, but would still hint at an island nation, and would have been correct for the real answers.

rjkennedy98 8:16 AM  

I suppose it was a nicely constructed puzzle, but the actual experience was awful. So much PPP. So many fake abbreviations: LTRS, NTWT, QTRS. Also, I found many of the clues were just lazy: Year in the reign of Nero (LIX), bit of firefighting equipment (AXE), Romeo and Juliet Had One (TRYST), Part of a wedding ceremony (RING).

But the worst part of this puzzle, (as Clare noted) is "Language that may used in 56-Down". JAVA and UNIX have basically nothing to do with each other. JAVA is famous for its write-once run-any virtual machine. UNIX is not even an operating system, but a class of operating systems of which there are hundreds, including MacOS and the many Linux distros. The cluing is about as lazy as saying, "this team may play in Madison Square Garden".

Anonymous 8:18 AM  

What @okanager said about DAN LEMAN.

Ando 8:23 AM  

Programmer here, and it was a little annoying to have a JAVA/UNIX clue that is not the way anyone would describe their relationship. I'm guessing a lot of people stumbled in that corner.

The angle layouts were very clever.

Chimpo 8:31 AM  

I love the meatballs at IKEA, but I hate having to assemble them myself.

Roundabout 8:32 AM  

Days like today make me miss Rex.

mmorgan 8:33 AM  

It was okay. Actually, it was a pleasant solve, but I never like circles — still, I’ll tip my hat here for clever construction.

I could easily have gone with DaN LEMaN, but somehow a little voice in the back of my head said it was DON LEMON, who I don’t think I’ve ever heard of.

Zed 8:40 AM  

@bocamp has me pondering the ASADA ASAnA. Right arm raised, bent at the elbow so the hand is near the head, with the head tilted away. Do the same with the left arm. Best done with a taco in the hand.

@Albatross Shell - A CUTE ACCENT.

It’s not a GRN, It’s a RRN. Although I’d be fine with a gratuitously random roman numeral or a randomly gratuitous roman numeral, so GRRN or RGRN both work for me. GRN looks too much like “grin” to sufficiently convey the disdain RRNs evoke.

Regarding BRAGG, WTF were we thinking naming army bases after traitors? I understand why Grant didn’t hunt them down and hang the lot of them, but that was what they deserved.

I solved using the iPad app this morning. God, it sucks. Give me back PuzzAzz. Otherwise a fine Tuesday with all the flaws already mentioned. Agree that cross referencing DON LEMON at a crossing vowel is a middle finger to anyone not obsessed with cable news, while cross referencing JAVA and UNIX really highlights that there is some serious scrabblef*cking going on in that corner. The irony is that J, V, X, and Z are elsewhere in the puzzle so there’s no pangramatic reason to stuff them all in that tiny section. I imagine the cluer fell in love with the JAVA UNIX cross reference opportunity and didn’t stop to ponder if it was worth it. Personally, the corner is the most irksome thing in a puzzle with a RRN, so definitely not worth it.

@Frantic Sloth - Hmmmm - One way of looking at that story is as a story of a couple of horny hormonal teenagers rebelling against their families inane feud who mistake a one night stand for love. The feud between their families prevents them from being open about having gotten laid, leading to some dark machinations that result in their needless deaths. If it weren’t for the feud Romeo would have moved on from the TRYST in a nonce and found his next Rosaline. That’s just the sort of guy Romeo is.

@Anon Jim - A Pangram is when all the letters of the alphabet are used in a puzzle. Some see this as an achievement. Others, not so much.

Joaquin 8:49 AM  

The DON LEMON comments here really surprise me; I thought he was very well-known. Not only does he have a popular CNN news show, but he has, in the past few years, often been the news himself. He was attacked many times by Trump and by news outlets on the right, particularly Fox.

Tim D 8:56 AM  

Had COLONS for "targets of cleanses" thinking it finally passed the breakfast such luck.

Amy 9:02 AM  

Good write up! I learned what a pangram is, and the Netflix rec. looks intriguing…..

bocamp 9:14 AM  

Being tricky is what xwords often are. It's part of the fun of solving, i.e., no prob w/ JAVA being associated with UNIX.

Ft. Bragg officials to discuss required name change — and they want your input.

"The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by Congress last year, requires that U.S. military installations named after Confederate soldiers be renamed. Fort Bragg is one of those installations."

"There are 10 military installations that will be required to change names:

Camp Beauregard, Louisiana
Fort Benning, Georgia
Fort Gordon, Georgia
Fort Hood, Texas
Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
Fort Lee, Virginia
Fort Pickett, Virginia
Fort Polk, Louisiana
Fort Rucker, Alabama
Fort Bragg, North Carolina"

"One suggestion is to 'rename' the base as Fort Bragg – named after Braxton Bragg’s cousin, Union General Edward Bragg." (by Patrick Zarcone - WECT News, Sep. 8, 2021)

Don LEMON, a voice of reason!

@Anders (7:42 AM)

Good catch!

@TTrimble (8:10 AM) πŸ‘ for 0 yd

@Ξ© (8:40 AM) πŸ˜‚

td pg -3

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

Anonymous 9:22 AM  


Don't start that!!

Zed 9:22 AM  

@Joaquin - Hand up for it being a gimme, but I wasn’t surprised. Remember that all the news networks combined only attract ~1% of Americans to watch them during prime time. So I am not surprised that plenty of people have never heard of DON LEMON, or if they have it didn’t stick. Proper names shouldn’t cross if they are from the same general area, let alone if they are the same person. Rap musicians are far more widely known than talking news heads*, but we wouldn’t want two rappers to cross at a vowel. It’s funny, but I bet Steve Kornacki is more widely recognizable because his election map schtick is on when people who normally wouldn’t are watching the news.

*Generally that is, not so much amongst the cohort of NYTX solvers.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  


'standard' display is the Origin in the bottom left corner of the display with X drawn to the right and Y to the top. with such a rule, the 'angles' circled are correct.

mathgent 9:26 AM  

To the JAVA/UNIX commenters. You're forgetting Joaquin's Dictum.

The acute angle and obtuse angle work nicely, not the right angle.

I hadn't seen VIZ for some time. I looked it up and it reminded me of my high-school Latin. Videre licet, "It is permitted to see."

Clare: If you enjoy batting the ball around with your sister and decide that you would like to play regularly, take some lessons. Learn the correct footwork for hitting groundstrokes. Then hit a million of them.

That reminds me of a story. When I learned that I was to be the father of a girl after three sons, I asked my brother for advice on raising her. He had two daughters. "You do everything the same," he said, "except you teach her the two-handed backhand."

CaryR 9:31 AM  

Anyone else put "gaudy" for 52D "Like many bridal veils"?

Raven Starkly 9:36 AM  

emacs 4eva lol

TJS 9:37 AM  

So you people liked this piece of crap ? Of course @Lewis did, but the rest of you ? FBI SBA AKAS FAQ VIZ QTRS CSI NTWT LTRS...unrig,ontwo,ens,teaurn,lix,gauzy,arced,ure...Alba Don Lemon, Web Dubois, Nauru,Elba, Urdu, Java, Unix, Sagan, Sonja, Egan, Bragg.
Total garbage. Jeezus.

Nancy 9:41 AM  

Oh, boy. That JAVA/UNIX thing threw me for a loop -- but not for the same reason that it seems to have thrown so many other people. You see, I don't know from computer languages and to me, JAVA was a real place and UNIX (???!!!) was the real language that was spoken there. Meaning that the clues were reversed: 56D should have been the place and 55D should have been the language. The respective clues seemed bass-ackwards. Only they weren't, of course.

And, coming here, I'm also relieved that all those Java-ites aren't speaking UNIX. It sounds so completely unromantic and non-island-y.

Moving right along to the ANGLES thing: I loved it! It's clever, and the unknown revealer helped make the puzzle crunchier -- when it was already pretty crunchy for a Tuesday.

My biggest hang-up was the cleanse (32A). I had a friend who used to do colonic cleanses, so that when I had ?O??NS, I wanted COLONS there. But I had this inconvenient "I" from LIFE GIVING and had no idea how to accommodate it. It took me forever to think of TOXINS.

This gave me more of a run for my money than I usually get on Tuesdays and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Whatsername 9:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 9:48 AM  


that had to be decades ago. about the only one-handers I see on the teeVee are some European men, and only a few women.

and I've always wondered why a one-hander anyway. from what I can see, the player can only hit the stroke (with the intended velocity, of course) with the ball just off the hip. while the two-hander, there's much more vertical and horizontal control of the racket, and thus many more useful contact points.

tea73 9:49 AM  

I know the names of a bunch of news anchors and commentators, but I don't watch TV news except if something truly momentous has happened that you need the visuals for. Dan Leman seemed perfectly plausible to me.

Agree that there were an awful lot of abbrvs and other names I didn't know. (And some I did know.) Laughed at the football hike being "ON TWO".

Sad that Clare did not like geometry, it was my favorite high school course. Proofs were like solving puzzles.

Ξ¨ 9:49 AM  

I've had numerous discussions about DOTHERIGHTTHING, and not the movie. Key takeaways from these

#1 The "right" thing is always hard, otherwise it wouldn't be "a thing". You wouldn't instinctively try to avoid it, you'd just have done it.

#2 There usually isn't a THE right thing, there are many potential right things. If you're looking for THE right thing you're just procrastinating. Do A right thing, then another, then another until your wrong is righted.

#1 + #2 = #3: The less you want to do a specific right thing, the more likely it is an important right thing to do. Don't go looking for a less onerous right thing to do, just do the one you though of.

#4 Unless you're a psychopath, it's always easier (in the long run) doing the right things than not.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  


emacs is code for carpal tunnel in days! gimme vim anytime.

JD 9:52 AM  

Had a Carne Asada street taco at the airport yesterday. Airport tacos, there's some fine dining for ya.

Dan Lemen and OldF were a tough start. Wait, I'm looking up OldF.

Am I Being Obtuse? Even Google can't tell me. If it's an Old-Fashioned is it to much to say adhioned? Who are Alero and Aurora ? Can we collab on this? We'll have a whiskey and so.

Sonje, Egan, Naure, that's some stuff for a Tuesday, really fun. Animating/Life Giving was wonderful.

RooMonster 9:56 AM  

Hey All !
Glad to see I wasn't the only one who thought the was a tough TuesPuz. Had me worried the ole brain was getting worse.(well, probably still is...)

DON LEMON. Ugh. Had DaN LEMaN, 1) because I don't watch news of any sort (too depressing/maddening), and 2) because DAN LeMAN sounds like a much cooler name! TuesPuz DNF. Jeepers. AXEs the ole ego.

GAUZY as clued was odd. Lacey seems an apter answer. (Is apter a word?)

Didn't grok the theme. Wondered why the ANGLES were hanging out, with a not-to-me-clear Revealer clue. Thinking you had to incorporate the answers where ANGLE began and ended into one thing, as in, SBANGLELI. What the heck is that? Did see it when I went back and saw my wrong A crossed out. Then saw OBTUSE, RIGHT, and ACUTE. Ah, says I, the ANGLEs are connect to their names at their ANGLE. Nice.

Unforced pangram. Rex would've probably still complained. Har.

Nice debut. Dang, everyone must've been bored to tears during the World Covid Shutdown, as late 2021 has been the Debutsplosion Era. Expect for this NiTWiT here. No puz NINJA here!

Two F's (mini had more!)

Whatsername 9:57 AM  

Have to agree with Clare today. This may be a perfectly well constructed Crossword but it wasn’t a lot of fun. The theme was particularly well done but the level of PPP seemed way too difficult for early week. And count me among those who ATE it in the SW corner debacle. A lookee-there clue referencing an unspecified “language” crossed with a moderately known actress and an uncommonly used abbreviation? I mean if you’re going for the pangram with the J, V, X and Z, there was no need since they’re otherwise in the grid. Not RIGHT for a Tuesday IMHO.

@Tim D (8:56) Same here: COLONS for TOXINS. As far as the breakfast test though, it wouldn’t bother me nearly as much as 60D.

MarthaCatherine 10:01 AM  

Please: what is Joaquin's Dictum? I've seen it referred to several times lately, and everyone but me seems to know what it is.

I'm thinking it is something mighty clever...

kitshef 10:10 AM  

The (small number of) complaints about TRYST make me wonder if people think it means something different. A TRYST is an agreement to meet- often a secret one. That is exactly what R&J had, agreeing to meet in the tomb.

Nancy 10:15 AM  

For Clare: It's wonderful that you're taking up tennis -- the greatest of sports. "The sport of a lifetime," it's often said. Because, alas, I cannot find it online to cut-and-paste, I am laboriously typing out by hand this wonderful passage in Richard Schickel's great book from 1975, "The World of Tennis". It was an era in which tennis had become wildly popular and court time was hard to get. This bothered Schickel no end, as it bothered so many of us players. And these are the words of his -- words that I remember all these decades later:

"In one's more optimistic moods, one does remember that tennis is more than a faddish fancy, that its sheer difficulty will drive away those who think of it only as a game, a pleasant diversion that permits one to buy handsome clothes and to consume expensive gadgetry while encouraging a handsome tan. Tennis is, finally, an obsession or it is nothing." [Italics supplied]

Hartley70 10:15 AM  

I thought this was a smashing Tuesday! It’s hard to remember if I’ve ever felt that way before. Of course I’m a sucker for visuals and the long themers didn’t sink to cutesy. They did their jobs in a mature way. Abbreviations don’t distress me. I wanted colon too but the vertical X set me on the right path. JAVA and UNIX worked easily because I have just the right amount of ignorance to believe they are related without the vaguest idea of how. This was a pretty sweet debut!

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

Two mistakes. GAUDY/RADRS and DAN/LEMAN. Oh well.

Joe Dipinto 10:33 AM  

I don't like that the ANGLE of the right angle is a discrete down answer that's both part of the theme *and* its revealer. For consistency that ANGLE should have been hidden within a longer answer, and a revealer should have been placed elsewhere.

Nancy 10:44 AM  

I posted my 2nd comment before reading @mathgent's. Interesting that the two tennis nuts on the blog (are there any others?) chose to address Clare's taking up of tennis. Please note, Clare, that @mathgent's comment is far more useful and practical than mine and should be heeded.

@Mathgent -- your comment on the two-handed backhand is absolutely hilarious. I, of course, having learned tennis in the pre-Evert era (at age 10), was a girl with a one-handed backhand. That's what was taught back then and I never changed it. But I remember years later asking a teaching pro I was friendly with whether, if he were teaching me today, he'd teach me a one-handed or two-handed backhand. Without missing a beat, He said: "With a two-handed backhand, your footwork has to be impeccable." (This because the player has much less reach.) He didn't have to say anything else. I knew exactly which stroke he would have taught me:)

Euclid 10:50 AM  

OK. Here's how the JAVA/UNIX pair can be forced to make sense. Requires a few sentences.

First there was Multics, a large time-sharing supporting operating system devised by Bell Labs, back when that made sense. It sort of worked, but was hobbled by the GE mainframe of the day.

Second there was UNIX, a son-of-Multics operating system, also from Bell Labs. It was designed to do one thing: support word processing on character terminals. Yes, the name was a stab at Multics.

Third was C, the programming language developed to allow UNIX to be built from a compiled language, rather than the assembler it was first built from.

Many years go by, and the DARPA Internet becomes the World Wide Web, supported by browsers and html (which is barely a 'language'). A cabal at Sun Microsystems want a language to put executing code into those html pages in order to do neat things.

Fourth comes java from Sun. It's built to look syntactically like C, but without the two Achilles heels of C: pointers and multiple inheritance. Trust me on this part: those two are nasty. As it happens, circa 1990, about the only place using Windoze to make new languages is MicroSoft; everybody else runs on some for of *nix (what any of the many descendants of Bell Labs UNIX are called as a group). Sun is no exception; their version is Solaris (get it!).

So, java initially grows up in a *nix world, and is targeted at the browsers (most running, oddly, on Windoze) which would run little java programs called applets. No not apples. For various reasons that part doesn't work out. But the (assumed) safety of java over C leads to a redirection of the java effort, led in no small part by IBM, which would love to stick it to MicroSoft; not a happy history betwixt them. Webservers are built in java, rather than C, and thus allow java to be used to create dynamic pages on browsers, looking much like the applet attempt that failed.

In the ensuing time, more languages have been created and more webservers as well, to support fancy web pages.

Thus endeth the epistle.

Joaquin 10:51 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carola 10:56 AM  

I found it a pleasingly challenging Tuesday and a wow of a constructing job: the neat and tidy geometry and especially the parallel diagonal ANGLEs knock me out. And then we also got those excellent 9- and 10-letter Downs. An impressive debut.

Anonymous 10:59 AM  

This because the player has much less reach.

Not with power. The top spin one-hand (the only one that matters) requires a very explicit arc to generate any oomph. Yes, if the player can twist like Chubby Checker, a block shot farther from the torso is possible, but the power area of the two-hand is much larger than for the one-hand. And getting the top spin one-hand right without tearing up the elbow takes a lot of practice; it's not a natural movement. OTOH, the two-hand is more like a baseball swing, obviously, and natural. There have been a few, mostly women IIRC (but not names), who go two-hand both sides. Biswingual?

Joaquin 11:01 AM  

@MarthaCatherine (10:01) - Another poster (@Mathgent, I believe) declared a position I took a while back to be "Joaquin's dictum". It is this: Clues are just hints; they're not definitions and they're not synonyms. So they need not be precise and don't need to apply in all situations. They're just "clues" to assist one in figuring out the answers.

rjkennedy98 11:06 AM  

@MarthaCatherine Joaquin's Dictum is that it's a clue not a definition.

Still, the result should be an aha moment, not "that is totally wrong", and I can assure you most if not all programmers would feel that it was totally wrong (as you can see from the comments.

@Joaquin I agree with you about Ft. Bragg. I can't help but think of TS Eliot (whom I assume they also loathe) who said that in the modern world there is this need not just to beat someone but totally annihilate and destroy them. It not good enough that the North beat the South. All of the southerners should be punished for all eternity, and their historical heroes should never again be mentioned in polite society (except with total and complete disdain).

JC66 11:06 AM  


In case you weren't joking, Alero & Aurora are OLDSmobile models; and Mom & Pops are supported by the Small Business Administration.

Frantic Sloth 11:11 AM  

@Ω 840am Well, that's just the sort of reptilian interpretation one would expect from a pretentious philhellene. Also, you have a point. 😘
922am During the Olympics, NBC did a tweezer-drop of Steve Kornacki into the studio for all things "medals analysis". Boy needs to calm down. πŸ˜‚ But I love watching him.

@JD 952am Still using your phone, are ya? Alero and Aurora walk into a bar and whaddaya know? They order OLDSmobile Fashioneds!

John 11:13 AM  

I’m a tenth U.S. generation Huguenot and member of the DuBois Family Association. The organization has documented a connection to WEBDUBOIS, although obviously not a biological one.

Newboy 11:13 AM  

BEING OBTUSE I wasn’t able to DO THE RIGHT THING because of that Da/ON LEMa/ON Natick. Still nice to see a new name/face as constructor and a familiar and welcome @CLAIR DOing A RIGHT THING write up for OFL —- I bet he would have SET ABLAZE the nits noted above.

Joe Dipinto 11:14 AM  

I too am surprised at the lack of familiarity with Don Lemon. He seems high on the visibility level of newspersons, to me, and I don't make it a point to watch the news.

Adam S 11:18 AM  

@Son Volt 7:30

I too wondered about cluing as Billy BRAGG, but then thought he might not be Tuesday-worthy in the US. A quick glance at xwordinfo shows BRAGG has never been clued that way. I'm British so am not the best judge of whether Billy is Tuesday famous, but IMO in a just world he should be. And its certainly fair game later in the week.

For those that don't know him, here is his song A New England, in a version sung my the equally deserves to be better known Kirsty MacColl with him singing the backing.

And my favorite of his songs - welcome to the New Brunette -

"How can you lie there and think of england
When you don't even know who's in the team"

Anonymous 11:25 AM  


yeah, well, the Red states continue to fight the War of Northern Aggression as we speak. Reconstruction would have made a huge difference, but that Confederate traitor Johnson let the defeated slavers re-enslave Black folk; just with a different name and tactic.

"It not good enough that the North beat the South."

no, it's that the South never has played by the rules of having been defeated. we see it plainly in the aftermath of 2020 election loss. very, very sore losers, as usual.

I'd just as soon put a big beautiful wall around the Confederates. let them stew in poverty, ill health, and uneducated just like they have been since 1800, voting for autocrats who grind them under bootheels. there's no cure for stupid.

changeovermark 11:32 AM  

Sorry, I agree with Clare on this. We have WEB DuBois, which is wonderful to see, and then we are reminded of Bragg; efforts are being made to change the name of the fort as we speak. A shout out to the mother of all apple cider vinegars is there for the taking, especially since it’s autumn.

OBVI 11:32 AM  

@OMEGA 9:22 (I can't make the symbol). Your proposed punishment for CSA traitors would also apply to the traitors who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, and everyone else who attempted to subvert the 2020 election. When I heard about the one seditionist who was shot I thought there should have been a lot more of that.

Joseph Michael 11:38 AM  

More math. Wish I could appreciate the subject more but I’d rather be in English class reading about Romeo and Juliet’s TRYST.

Don’t know the difference between an ACUTE ANGLE and an OBTUSE one, so I’ll take your word for it that they are somehow depicted in the grid. However, I do know who DON LEMON is.

Liked the pairing of AT ONE and ON TWO. Could be the beginning of a dance lesson for ALBA and ELBA.

Also liked DO THE RIGHT THING — both as a movie and as a crossword answer.

Not exactly a LIFE-GIVING puzzle that SETS the morning ABLAZE, but not something to TEAR APART either. An impressive debut from a constructor with a lot of promise.

Nancy 11:43 AM  

Ah, yes, Anon 10:59, but my backhand is a slice backhand, not a topspin backhand. And I hit it with (as was also taught back then) with a Continental grip -- thus putting much less pressure and torque on the elbow and the shoulder than an Eastern or even worse a Western grip would. Is it a "power shot"? Not exactly -- to which you might say "Poor thing!" But, hey, if it was good enough for Ken Rosewall and John McEnroe and Roger Federer...

Plus the grip combined with the natural slice gave me a terrific backhand drop shot, if I do say so myself. And I could hit a quite effective topspin lob as well -- not by brushing against the plane of the ball as the topspin players do, but by lifting the ball straight up along the plane of the ball and then flicking it forward with my wrist as he ball leaves my racket. You can do that quite readily with a continental grip.

BTW -- Why not give yourself a nom de blog and therefore an identity, Anon 10:59? All tennis players are welcome here to my mind -- the more, the merrier.

albatross shell 11:49 AM  

I thought the Dictum was if the clue can be used in of its meanings to to mean the same as the answer in one of its meanings all is legit. So "yeah, yeah" can mean can mean "not really"? Hmmm. Any limits on that? But mostly definition 5c of one corresponds with definition 2b of the other.

Being a clue instead of a definition is a lemma of a different order.

Guess I'll find out if I am mistaken.

JC66 11:56 AM  


See @Joaquin (11:01).

Crimson Devil 12:03 PM  

Footfault on JAVA UNIX. Re Claire’s love of calculus: at one point I thought I’s gonna major in Calculus I.

Bill the Bard 12:06 PM  


Romeo and Juliet's tryst was actually in Friar Lawrence's cell to get secretly married. What should have been a successful tryst in the tomb got botched when the Friar's messenger couldn't get to the banished Romeo to tell him that Juliet was only faking death and was really alive.

old timer 12:09 PM  

I put in DaN LEMaN. Why not? If I ever watch CNN it is not for sports coverage. So to me DON LEMON is a complete unknown. Anyhow, my wife prefers CBS or NBC for network news. I kind of prefer ABC, but really that's because I like our local ABC station's local news, and right after that on the same station, Jeopardy! When I was growing up, CBS was the only national news worth watching, because it had Cronkite (NBC had Huntley and Brinkley, though, and they were quite good.)

The proposed workaround for Fort Bragg is to pretend it was named after a cousin no one ever heard of. Old Braxton though was quite a character. Grant knew him when he served in California, and I'm pretty sure Ft Bragg, CA on the Mendocino coast was named after him. California being a free state, Bragg had no slaves with him at the time. OTOH, Ft Lee was named after the traitor general, but the workaround there is quite simple. Decide it was named after R E Lee's dad, "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, a hero of the Revolutionary War. Indeed there is another Ft Lee in the North that probably was named after old Harry.

Yeah, everyone assumed, in Shakespeare's time that Romeo and Juliet were not actually getting it on. Simply Not Done in those days if you were scions of a noble family. The TRYST was simply a way for the doomed lovers to declare their passion for each other.

Anonymous 12:13 PM  


it's a simple trick. the Greek letters, Russian one's too, and math symbols and a raft of other stuff can be stuffed into html, which is all this blog is.

so, here's the trick for Omega (and the other Greek letters) start with a capital if you want the capital glyph

when you type in this cute Comment Box, type & then the name of the letter Omega then ; no spaces between
so & Omega ; looks like this without the spaces Ξ©

Tim Carey 12:14 PM  

(Lemme hear you say)
Fight the power (lemme hear you say)
Fight the power (lemme hear you say)
Fight the power (lemme hear you)
Fight the power (lemme hear you say)
Fight the power (lemme hear you)
Fight the power (lemme hear you say)
Fight the power (lemme hear you)
We've got to fight the powers that be

mathgent 12:14 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

Nancy (10:50)
Euclid (10:50)
Joaquin (11:01)

Tim Carey 12:15 PM  

The are accent marks in the clue word resume

bocamp 12:19 PM  

@OBVI (11:32 AM)

Re: Ξ©, copy & paste worked for me.

pg -1

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

Frantic Sloth 12:38 PM  

@Anonymous 1213pm LOL! Well, that's a helluva lot easier than the method I used! Thank you!
@Ξ© thwarted again! πŸ‘

Masked and Anonymous 12:38 PM  

A cute angle for a TuesPuz theme.

Scrabbly lil dickens, too boot. Multiple J's, X's, and Z's.

M&A once visited Ft. BRAGG. Cool museum there. OK by m&e to name that Ft. whatever people think is the right thing … Altho Ft. LEMON might get misunderstood, I'd grant. Maybe could just name Fts. somethin peaceful-soundin, sorta like Ft. Bliss. Or maybe inspirational, like Ft. Courage [a la "F Troop"].

staff weeject picks: FAQ, LIX, and VIZ. Part of the pangram-enablin machine.

Thanx for the fun, Ms. Morris darlin. And congratz on a great debut.
And thanx for the excellent blog sub job, JD Clare darln.

Masked & Anonym007Us


albatross shell 12:42 PM  

I always feel a kinship with purveyors of backhand backspins, drop shots and slices. Most of my tennis was in the era of smaller-headed wooden racquets. The metal larger-headed racquets made the power game easier, I guess.

Between 0 degrees and 90 degrees is an acute angle.
More sharp or pointed.

Between 90 and 180 is obtuse.
That is less pointed, more hazy.

Over 180 is a reflex angle.
Bent backwards say.

90 degrees is a right angle.
Like a right turn.

180 degrees is a straight line.

Yeah yeah. You don't care, but I bet your good at pointed remarks. And tennis is a game of angles. Not so much of angels. Maybe a couple.

jberg 12:51 PM  

As has been pointed out, the Army agrees with Clare. The South is not another country that should honor its defeated heroes; it's part of the USA, the country Bragg et al. were trying to destroy. I was going to go out on a limb and suggest that one wouldn't find things named for Cromwell in the UK, but I decided to be safe and look it up. I did find one, a village of ca. 200 in Nottinghamshire; but its church dates from the 13th Century, so I'm guessing it wasn't named for Oliver.

It took me a bit to figure out the theme, but I liked it once I had it.

@Nancy, what a tactful and considerate coach you had!

albatross shell 12:52 PM  

Straight from the horses mouth. I didn't realize it included both. Yeah, yeah.

oldactor 12:58 PM  

Speaking of Romeo and Juliet: I heard that John Barrymore was speaking at a Ladies Club when one of them asked if he thought the couple had actually consummated their relationship. He replied,"They certainly did in the Chicago company.

CDilly52 1:16 PM  

Whoa! Talk about being obtuse. I blazed through this and broke both arms patting myself on the back evidently. I fell so hard into the pit Ms. Morris so cleverly designed down on the extreme SW corner with JAVA and UNIX next to each other. All because I failed to read the clue for JAVA!

I already had the JULEP, VIZ and AXE, so I just plopped and A into the last square. And assumed. We all know the adage about not assuming, right? Makes and ass out of u and me? Well a big Hee Haw in Dillyland. My brain saw JAVA and remembered we already had a small island nation NAURU, so JAVA must be another place.

Add my well known charter membership in the Ludites of the World Club, and a tech-related answer never occurred to me. Ever. And I thought Ms. de Armas is an AdA rather than an ANA, and there’s a proverbial dog’s breakfast - or worse.

I say kudos to Ms. Morris for a fun, and appropriate Tuesday with a cracker theme and thankfully answers that could be gleaned by running the alphabet. Fun, fun, fun. Gotta go get an ice pack for the knot from my hefty head smack!

Zed 1:31 PM  

@Adam S - I know it’s old, but I’d go with Milkman of Human Kindness as my favorite Billy BRAGG song. He is a wee bit greyer these days.

@old timer - Your teachers lied to you. Horny hormonal teenagers were having sex in the 1600’s regardless of their status in the world. The thing is everybody reads R&J in the 9th grade and no English teacher who wants to keep their job is going to discuss all the sexual innuendo in the text, so most people never catch all the sex. They get married. Romeo kills Tybalt, then they spend the night together. What do you think they were doing?

@albatross shell 11:49 - I think you’re saying the same thing in a different way. My addendum would be that clues intentionally use misdirection for our entertainment.
As to today’s contretemps- @programmers are misunderstanding the meaning of “in” in the clue. As somebody pointed out, my Mac runs on a UNIX OS. JAVA can run “in” it. No problem whatsoever. They are never going to admit, though, that their programming expertise caused them to be fooled by the clue’s (perhaps unintentional) misdirection.

@OBVI - The confederates deserved to be hanged. That doesn’t mean I was proposing it. Like I said, I understand why Grant (at least in part at Lincoln’s direction) did what he did. There can be little question, though, that Johnson and Hayes did a lot to prevent former slaves from experiencing full citizenship and that if former confederates had been dealt with more forcefully the period between reconstruction and the Civil Rights Act would have been more peaceful.

Unknown 1:40 PM  

@JC66, 11:26 See @Frantic @11:00.Omg, Didn't even notice that I didn't get the happy song. I had OldF/FBI, somehow re-projecting the RICO laws into that space. Wow.

Another Time Zone change/insomnia/solving on phone/airport tacos and excitement because I covered the RICO stuff as a reporter in the 80s (my parents were quaking in their boots over the names that were in the article under my byline in our mafia branch office town).

I might lay low here until Thursday. I'll see myself out now.

JC66 2:01 PM  


You can't hide as an Anon. I know it's you. πŸ˜‚

Barbara S. 2:09 PM  

Did everyone just know ASADA right off the bat? Although lots of people seem unfamiliar with DON LEMON, they seemed to know enough to start his first name with a D, I assume because they knew ASADA. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a Mexican restaurant, although, yes, we do have them up here in the frozen north. I would have said I didn’t know DON LEMON either, but when I was down to D_N/LEM_N I was confident about sticking in an O. (We also have CNN in the frozen north.) His name is one of those things that I half-assedly know (and these are legion) – things that when given enough information I can fill in, but could never have come up with the whole thing on my own. (And that’s what crossword puzzles are for.)

I had a semi-malapop with ARC, filling it in in answer to 9D’s “Certain curve” only to find that it was correct as part of 54D’s “Like paths of missiles” – ARCED. I was one of those cOloNS people at the cleanses clue. I actually went to the cupboard to see if I could find any labels/packaging that said NT.WT. Nada. Mostly the weight is just given without further explanation. I could swear, though, that NT.WT. *used to appear* on packages, but I can’t find any documented proof. (I did look at a bunch of pictures of vintage cereal boxes, though, and that was fun. Who remembers Clover Crunchies, Bat Bites or Sir Grapefellow?) I liked W.E.B. DUBOIS and all the long downs; on the one hand you have SET ABLAZE and TEAR APART, and on the other DEEP ROOTS and LIFE GIVING, all painting vivid pictures. There are a couple of words that seem not to have enough vowels, RAZRS and TRYST, and then another answer that seems to have too many: I keep looking at TEAURN, and thinking it’s a mistake.

Have we finally seen the end of Mary URE in crossword puzzles? I feel a little sad. I know, I know, she died 46 years ago, and no one has any sense of history. I liked her in “Look Back in Anger”, “Sons and Lovers” and “Where Eagles Dare”. And she had a tragic life, dying young due to a combination of mental health issues and substance abuse. Here’s to you, Mary. You’re not forgotten.

Anonymous 2:36 PM  

if former confederates had been dealt with more forcefully the period between reconstruction and the Civil Rights Act would have been more peaceful.

well... there are some who assert that there wouldn't have been a 'period', since the 14th, 15th and Reconstruction were designed and intended to level the North and South playing fields vis-a-vis the people. enforcement of the 14th and 15th in the Confederate states never happened, thus the 'period'.

Gio 2:44 PM  

This took me longer than most Friday and Saturday puzzles Talk about a brain not working. Everything stumped me. I hated it. I put RITE for the wedding item, then RICE lol. I stared at these clues forever. I was sure Rex would rip it to shreds for being no fun and dull. I don't know why I found this so hard. I guess that's what they mean by "I wasn't on the wavelength of this constructor". This was the worst puzzle of the year so far for me. Did I say I hated it?

DavidP 2:44 PM  

Problem with the theme is that, while the asnwers with us a different meaning of OBTUSE and RIGHT, the ACCUTE in angle and accent basically means the same thing.

MarthaCatherine 2:50 PM  

Thank you, Joaquin and rjkennedy for the definition of Joaquin's Dictum. I'm wiser and more conversant now. And I gotta say, I agree with the dictum. They are hints, not treatises.

Therefore I filled in the JAVA/UNIX answers with barely a pause, cuz they are clues, not OED entries. And I was pickin' up what Meghan was puttin' down cuz I'm of the ILK who doesn't even know the difference between Roku and Hulu (hardware? software? how many remote devices does it take to change the channel?).

Nancy 2:59 PM  

Gosh, @Barbara S (2:09) -- What the right music, the most tragic and lugubrious-sounding music can do. I went to your Mary URE tribute link and I must say that I wouldn't have recognized Mary if I fell over her. Can't remember now if I saw some of her films or none at all, but her face simply didn't ring a bell. I found it sort of an Everywoman face -- very pretty but not distinctive in any way. But the music played and suddenly I felt like weeping -- as if I'd lost a best friend or even a sister. Poor Mary. Poor, poor Mary. Such an incalculable loss! My loss! Our collective loss!

Such is the power of music -- the most visceral of the arts.

Beezer 5:21 PM  

@Clare, I didn’t take up tennis (with lessons) until I was 39 and became a better than average club level player. The key unfortunately (is getting lessons and what some folks call “clinics”). Private lessons are expensive. With clinics you can get one or two “pros” and with multiple people the lessons are less expensive PLUS there is a social aspect to it. Next thing you know, you can join a USTA team at your level and have barrels of fun. I’m old enough now that my movement isn’t as sharp and even though I was taught the two-handed backhand my lack of previous quickness has me “lazily” reach out with a one handed backhand. Lol. Dejected, I’m now learning pickleball. @Nancy, my use of “lazily” doesn’t mean you were lazy…my problem is I was not taught one-handed, therefore - cruddy backhand.

@Omega (nΓ©e Z). I kind of missed why you switched to the symbol (yeah, I get A-Z and alpha-omega) but I really wish you’d go back to Z. Blogger is difficult enough without putting in the stuff for a symbol. Perhaps when I retire I won’t find the extra effort so annoying. Anyway, wish I could have seen the puzzles on Puzzazz because I use the NYT app and find it superior to AcrossLite (which I downloaded recently).

Lol. Probably no one will see this as I had a busy day at work today, but I DID enjoy the puzzle and since I am an adherent of Joaquin’s (damn, I forget what it’s called) I still was able to figure out JAVA/UNIX. Sometimes knowing a just a little gets you a lot.

Barbara S. 5:25 PM  

@Nancy (2:59 PM)
Your reaction is fascinating -- and all from music, maybe the most visceral but also the most mathematical of the arts and yet capable of drawing forth the strongest emotions. Maybe the mathematicians can tell us why. If only we could do an experiment. I'd like to be able to go back in time and tell you that Mary Ure led a charmed and happy life, full of personal joy and professional triumph, and then have you watch the tribute clip. I wonder if the effect would be different.

pabloinnh 5:52 PM  

Very late to the party as it's been a fully day, as my older granddaughter said once. Lots of interesting commentary, which I have to say I enjoyed more than the puzzle by quite a lot, but no one else has said it, so I will--my favorite angle was missing

Make me an angle, who flies from Montgomery.

Sorry, it's been a long day.

Steve 6:04 PM  

A julep is a beautiful beverage. Here in the East, it is made with rye, not bourbon. Served is a silver or pewter cup, never a glass. The cup frosts and makes a delightful ornament on a hot humid day. It can never be made properly in an air conditioned space.

Peter P 7:49 PM  

Finished this in under average time according to the app but, man, this was a slog. I'm a little surprised by the positive comments here because -- for my tastes -- this puzzle just did not vibe with me. Way too much letter salad, PPP that does not belong in a Tuesday (IMHO), and LIX? Just an annoying clue-answer combination. I have a particular dislike for Roman numeral types of clues, especially ones involving (to me) arcane historical dates and where you can only get them by having a couple of the crosses.

And, yes, I was one of those who had no idea who DON LEMON was, and I worked as a journalist for several years (though as a photographer for a wire service and newspaper, so the print side of journalism which is --or at least was -- quite separate from TV.) That said, Amanpour, Blitzer, King, Shaw, Cooper -- those names I know. That said, I don't watch CNN regularly, or at least not for about a decade or so.

TTrimble 7:54 PM  

@Barbara S. 5:25 PM
"Your reaction is fascinating -- and all from music, maybe the most visceral but also the most mathematical of the arts and yet capable of drawing forth the strongest emotions. Maybe the mathematicians can tell us why."

Not this one, not a chance. It's a deep mystery. Abstract patterns of sound that somehow pierce the human heart.

The ancient Greeks considered music an aspect of mathematics (music, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, so goes the quadrivium), and without question, musical art has its formal aspect and formal laws: a fugue line is completed one way and not another. And yet: what a strange mathematics!

It would be nice if Noam Elkies were still part of the commentariat. He might have more profound things to say here. Me: I'm struck dumb.

Anonymous 8:56 PM  


be careful there. turns out there's rye and then there's rye. only 'real American rye' isn't just bourbon with a different label.

Joe Dipinto 10:04 PM  

Good choice of song, @Pablo. Just call me angle of the morning. I forgot to post this.

Unknown 8:51 AM  

If Clare bristles at the logic that is required by geometry, I shudder to think what sort of a lawyer she will be . . . .

Unknown 9:45 AM  

I liked it except for the Secret revealer...It did not make sense to me..

thefogman 10:17 AM  

I thought this puzzle covered all the ANGLEs.

spacecraft 11:53 AM  

Any time you have a word meandering through the grid at an ANGLE, you affect every line it touches. Thus today's theme must ALTER all but the top TWO and bottom TWO lines--with telling results. LTRS & QTRS, and so close? The RRN (or GRN if you prefer) plus several other awkward fillings ATEAT me. Did our constructor bend over at an ACUTE ANGLE just to create a pangram? It felt that way.

"Have I made myself clear? Or am I being OBTUSE?" Bogey.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

A workable trivia quiz until the pisser infestation in the bottom middle.

Burma Shave 4:00 PM  




leftcoaster 4:59 PM  

A Tuesday of odds and ends, mixes and matches ....

.... several of them being three-letter words like VIZ and VIA, ILK and LIX; and four-letter words including ALBA and ELBA, LTRS and QTRS.

OBTUSE and ACUTE ANGLE themers are fine but sparse.

Sort of like the resulting jumble.

Diana, LIW 5:08 PM  

I guess this was A CUTE ANGLE for a puzzle - on a Tuesday.

Lady Di

rondo 5:42 PM  

ACUTE answer at 1d with yeah baby Jessica ALBA. It's Tuesday.

thomas 7:22 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP