Confection popular in South Asia and the Mideast / TUE 11-2-21 / Cackling Australian bird / Nickname for the Mandalorian's charge / Central theme of a Star is Born / Islamic leaders claiming succession from Muhammad

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Constructor: Vaibhav Srikaran and Matthew Stock

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (easy through the rainbow, more normal Tuesday down below)

THEME: DOUBLE RAINBOW (52A: Rare sighting after a storm ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters) — ROYGBIV (the letters representing the colors of the rainbow) is spelled out in double letters, in circled squares, arranged in an arc-like shape across the grid

Word of the Day: YELENA Belova, a.k.a. Marvel's Black Widow (47D) —

Black Widow (Yelena BelovaRussianЕлена БеловаUkrainianОлена БєловаromanizedOlena Bielova) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is depicted as a spy and was the second modern-era character to use the Black Widow name. She first appeared in Inhumans #5 (March 1999) and was created by Devin Graysonand J.G. Jones. She was trained as a spy and assassin in the Red Room. Originally, Yelena was a foe of Natasha Romanova and was sent to kill her, but the two later became allies. She was also a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.Vanguard, and HYDRA; the latter organization changed her into a version of Super-Adaptoid. As Super-Adaptoid, she was one of the members of the High Council of A.I.M. She reverted to her original codename Black Widow in 2017.

Florence Pugh portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Widow and will reprise her role in the upcoming miniseries Hawkeye (both 2021). (wikipedia)

• • •

The idea here is great but the execution here is off in at least one important way. I'll give you the creative color arrangement—that is, of course rainbows aren't banded, with color stripes running vertically alongside one another, as this theme's ROYGBIV arrangement suggests (red on the left, violet on the right). The color placement doesn't match, but the concept is strong enough that you can just go with it. What matters is that you see a DOUBLE RAINBOW shape across the grid. That's the gimmick, that's the hook, that's all that matters. Only... two things. The first (less important) thing is that DOUBLE RAINBOWs have space between them. I saw one earlier this year. You see rainbow then open sky, then More Rainbow (it's pretty cool). The two arcs are not pasted to one another. You need the gap. But OK, let's say you're continuing to feel permissive about the execution—let's just say the theme relies heavily on wordplay here (with a double letter conveying the doubleness of the rainbow), and we don't really need the thing to look exactly (color arrangement-wise, arc arrangement-wise) like the thing in purports to represent. Just give us the letters and the arc! The arc's the thing! Only... this brings me to my second thing (more important), which is: that's not an arc. That's a tent, or a pitched roof, or an arrow pointing to heaven, but there's absolutely no arc to that thing. No rainbow I ever saw, double or not, ever turned at a right angle at the top of its "arc." It seems theoretically possible to do this exact theme with the double-letters arranged in a more arc-like fashion. I don't know what happened, but this visual image is once, twice, three times not a rainbow.

The fill was mostly smooth and entertaining. Genuinely (if quietly) cheered the KOOKABURRA, a bird I doubt I would know if I wasn't married to a New Zealander (2D: Cackling Australian bird). And yes I know the two countries are very very different, let's not start a whole thing, but there's definitely an antipodean ecosystem down there, where each country is far more familiar with each other than we are with either of them. Anyway, my wife lived in Australia for a time, a couple of times, and I guess there's a song about the KOOKABURRA, sitting in a gum tree? Maybe? It has a distinctive call. I think it's named (very roughly) after its call. Yes, here we go:
Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28 and 47 cm (11 and 19 in) in length and weigh around 300 g (11 oz). The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarraonomatopoeic of its call. The loud, distinctive call of the laughing kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve an Australian bush setting or tropical jungle, especially in older movies. (wikipedia)

Despite teaching comics, I didn't know YELENA Belova (I gave up completely on the MCU a few years ago), and despite teaching Shakespeare, I struggled with BEITSO—probably more than any answer in the puzzle (48D: Words of agreement in Shakespeare). Ah well, expertise is overrated, I'm sure. BIGDO took some doing, and BOWSAW was a word I made up by inference; had BOW, thought "must be SAW, sure, why not?" And I was right. Big Wordlist Energy, that one (27A: Tension-based cutting tool). The grid shape is innovative and the fill overall was not at all unpleasant. But again, that image in the grid—that's an alp, not a rainbow, I'm telling you.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 5:54 AM  

This was fun. I did see a sort of pointy rainbow the other day. I read that it had something to do with the moon and increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

Conrad 6:24 AM  

I for one found this puzzle delightful -- fun to solve and a great job of construction. Just finding those double letters and arranging them in an arc (sorry, @Rex, it's close enough to an arc) while maintaining symmetry is an accomplishment.

Lewis 6:34 AM  

Some random observations:

• 78 theme squares – more than a third of the puzzle – with a clean grid. Serious constructing chops went into this. High kudos for that!
• CALIPH over SEE reminds me of Sunday’s [See captain?] (which was the clue for POPE).
• Can you imagine a more disparate cross than DIVA and YODA?
• EDGE is appropriately placed on one.
• I’m awaiting the “CAROB is not and will never be a cocoa alternative” comment
• Lovely cross of SUE/ME at the SE corner.
• Double letter report: A high (18) but not unusually high number (over 20).

Yes, there have been rainbow puzzles before, but never like this. Worth doing, I believe. Better than having this theme sitting in the ether with a FOMO. Congratulations, Vaibhav, on your debut, bravo to you, Matthew for your mentoring on this and the skill you brought into it, and thank you both for a sweet solve.

Lewis 6:53 AM  

Wow. Just saw that this puzzle has six NYT debut answers, all of them excellent additions to the canon and worth repeating: ALL BEEF, BABY YODA, BIG DO, BOW SAW, DOUBLE RAINBOW, and MEDIA SAVVY.

Leon 6:53 AM  

Baby Yoda's real name is Grogu.

AKA "The Child."

"Be it so" is used 15 times in Shakespeare's works.

Son Volt 7:08 AM  

Nice early week puzzle. The left-right symmetry is elegant and most of the fill is clean. Liked ERECTOR SET and MEDIA SAVVY and BEERS atop ARGON looks cool.

Although not part of the spectrum colors - a little side eye to some of the other vertical doubles here - OO, PP, HH etc. Didn’t like the COO x BOO HOO cross.

Any self respecting fan knows that BABY YODA is Grogu.

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

amyyanni 7:21 AM  

6 NYT debuts in a Tuesday is pretty neat. Thanks, @Lewis. And Rex, I can sing that little Kookaburra song. Of course, spelling the word is more of a challenge. (Had a E where the U belongs.)
Colorful, cheery offering to start a long day. Between Game 6 tonight and election results, will be up late. Good Tuesdays, all.

kitshef 7:26 AM  

Odd to me that the colors are in reverse order from the traditional VIBGYOR .

Also, that the colors run vertically, rather than parallel to the arc as in an actual rainbow.

But it’s Tuesday, and we get KOOKABURRA, ERECTOR SET, ADAMS APPLE and MEDIA SAVVY, so all is right with the world.

Gerry Kelly 7:45 AM  

Isn't the answer for peruse wrong? I believe it actually means to read thoroughly even though most people incorrectly think to scan????

Dr.A 7:59 AM  

Just commenting to say you always make me laugh. Great blog.

Doris 8:02 AM  

Song from Girl Scout camp:
🎶 Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
Merry merry king of the Bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra
Gay your life must be!🎶

SouthsideJohnny 8:03 AM  

I enjoyed the theme and forgive whatever license they took with the shape of the rainbow that Rex is carping about. Some really unusual things going on today - KOOKABURRA sounds cool, I wonder how those creatures got their names, lol. BABYYODA has got to be a Star Wars reference, but I never would have got it without crosses. HALVA and BOLEYN stacked on top of each other is a dual WOE.

Rex teaches comic books and he didn’t know who the YELENA character is/was so I had no chance, and I actually enjoyed MIO - one of those “I have a random 3-letter string that sounds like it has got to be a word in some language, somewhere - Oh, yes there it is!” entries that the Times is so enamored with. Overall, a very nice Tuesday (maybe a little tougher than usual ?).

albatross shell 8:05 AM  

Mio DIOS! ERECTORSET KOOKABURRA cackles COOs MEWLs and BOOHOOs with BABYYODA under the DOUBLE RAINBOW BOWSAW breathing down BOLEYN'S neck for failure to produce a BOBbing and EBBING ADAMSAPPLLE heir.

BEERS IPAS ONTAP at the HALVA LUAU EVENT, MEDIASAVVY DIVAS and ASTRO FAMEd CALIPHS and NO(b)EL GRETA EGG each other on, rubbing elbows, shaking hand kissing cheeks. FOMO FLU spreads and groans.

TIBIA TOES, WARM DOUR, SUE FLU, SCAN SEE a double roy b giv in grid art with some spilled orange in the NW.

Who cares? It was a good themeless even ignoring the theme. Amazing. Pointy rainbow Rex? On a square puzzle use your. Imagination. Tis a pity those with no imagination.

Space between the rainbows? Yes but then you lose the double letter pun. An either-or choice. Neither is wrong.

I'll leave it to @GILL I. and others to explain what muchachos can be called NINOS under what conditions and locations without hurt feelings or need to head for the hills.

smalltowndoc 8:06 AM  

@Gerry Kelly: apparently, according to M-W, "peruse" is a contronym; it has definitions that are antonyms (reminds me of "sanction").

I enjoyed this puzzle very much. I don’t have any problem with the double letters being oriented vertically. I think the idea is that there are two parallel ROYGBIV arcs.

kitshef 8:07 AM  

@Gerry Kelly. Peruse is a Janus word - a word that can be its own opposite.

From Merriam-Webster:

1: to look at or read (something) in an informal or relaxed way

2: to examine or read (something) in a very careful way

Dictionary Peruser 8:08 AM  


MW has this to say on the matter.

What to Know

Peruse can mean "to read something in a relaxed way, or skim" and can also mean "to read something carefully or in detail." Peruse is thus a contronym because it has multiple definitions that seem contradict each other.

MAF 8:12 AM  

Peruse is a conyronym... It can have either meaning

pabloinnh 8:14 AM  

Hey @amyyanni-I can sing the KOOABURRA song too. Doesn't help with the spelling though, does it?

I went straight down the west coast on this one, saw the double letters, knew DOUBLERAINBOW from the clue right away, and ROYGBIV became apparent, so a lot of this was filling in the circles.

I own and use a BOWSAW so no guessing there. I wish PVC pipe had been invented earlier as I have had to do plumbing repairs involving threading pipe, great big pipe wrenches, and other fun stuff. Now that I'm not doing that any more it's much easier. Of course

I think FOMO and YOLO must be cousins, if not siblings.

Impressive feat of construction, VS and MS. Very Smart with Many Smiles. Looked enough like a rainbow for me. Thanks for all the fun.

Z 8:18 AM  

@Gerry Kelly - Peruse is a contronym.*

My first thought was that our alphadoppeltotter was going to love this puzzle. My second thought was that it would be more elegant with no other doubles letters in the puzzle. My third thought was that the north was much much much easier than the south.

Now that Rex has pointed it out, making all the doubled letters equally spaced both N-S and E-W does result in something more roof-like than BOW-like. But I didn’t see that while solving so I can’t say how important that really is. Still, it could have been a tad more elegant. 🌈🌈

Clean-Up on aisle last night
@Stephanie - I love hockey, too. And now my Red Wings look to be at least competitive again (Boy Howdy was that game against the Panthers intense this weekend) (and How Did Canada let a Florida team be so much better than any Canadian team?)

*Words that are their own opposites. “Cleave” is a fine example.

Jim Stevens 8:19 AM  

Oh, please, Rex. Banding? Separation? Sheesh- give us a break.

Jack 8:20 AM  

Roy G. Biv is the traditional color order. Even has its own Wikipedia page.

Trey 8:20 AM  

To think that @Rex could think a New Zealander is close enough to an Australian, and then loose his Skittles over the shape of the rainbow in this puzzle. I didn't even notice the shape until he mentioned it. I would have to say “close enough to make the theme work”. Yes, it could have been better, but was fine as is

Dope-slap of the puzzle for me - in the SE corner saw OR__ and read the clue as “what’s black and white and a TREAT all over?”, already knowing that the answer had to be OReo. That led to a mess in that corner.

Only other big misstep was OKay for 1A which kelt me from seeing ERECTOR SET for awhile even though it was my first thought.

Tough puzzle for me today - DOUBLE (without the RAINBOW) my recent Tuesday times. The theme also helped me spell SAVVY (had SAaVY first)

rjkennedy98 8:21 AM  

Wow, this column is peak Rex absurdity right here. Imagine creating this good of a puzzle with 6 fantastic NY Times debuts, KOOKABURRA, ERECTOR SET, and plenty of other great fill, and some guy on the internet tells you that in a real DOUBLE RAINBOW there is space between the rainbows, and your rainbow is too pointy.

Trey 8:23 AM  

I knew a surgeon named SUE ME (but cannot remember how her last name was spelled)

Anonymous 8:27 AM  

Hidden diagonal word clue for today: Cry whose time has just passed? (Answer below)

Fun puzzle. NOEL was so obvious once I finally had it in place, but somehow the crosses of CAROB and YELENA (I'm not a Marvel follower) made that the slowest part of the solve and the last blocks filled in.

The PP in ADAM'S APPLE bothered me, because it was directly in line with the double rainbow arc (between II and VV). But I didn't notice the HH that was also in line with the arc (hi, Son Volt)!

Answer to "Cry whose time has just passed?" BOO! (Begins in the 23D block and ascends to the NW).
Also noticed a diagonal LOON (see the 61D block) hanging out down below the KOOKABURRA. Made me as happy as a little blue bird flying over the DOUBLE RAINBOW.

albatross shell 8:29 AM  

The colors are not running vertically. It is 2 pointy arched parallel rainbows.

Trey 8:32 AM  

@pabloinnh 8:14 - I have a scar on my hand from a BOWSAW - running through the woods with one as a young Scout when I tripped and landed on the unguarded blade. Those teeth are sharp! Never made that mistake again

Z 8:40 AM  

So glad I was the first to offer an explanation. 🤣😂🤣 I blame the mods for being slow. 😂🤣😂
I also love that we are already coming up with the various names for the “single word with opposing meanings” phenomenon. I found this list of terms: janus words, contronyms, contranyms, autantonyms, auto-antonyms, and contradictanyms.
You gotta love going five syllables with “contradictanym.”
I also see lists of various lengths, from 10 to 75, and Wikipedia even has a contranyms appendix page (which has the benefit of being added to as one realizes another contronym exists - Come on K, X, Y, and Z, we are all rooting for you to get your own Janus Words). I even found articles about Spanish contronyms for the bilingual amongst us. Have fun going down the autantonym rabbit hole people.

albatross shell 8:40 AM  

Unless you want to try to make a puzzle with 15 Rs 15 Os 15 Bs 15 etc. running across the grid. Good luck with constructing that. Oh, and now double it. Tis a pity the literal-minded.

Hartley70 8:46 AM  

There wasn’t anything that slowed me down here. I was a Girl Scout too, so KOOKABURRA was a gimme retrieval from the camp song. The star today was the theme. I really appreciate a Tuesday puzzle with a visual and I’m not one to nitpick over geometric accuracy. The “canvas” is a whole lot of little squares so allowances need to be made”. BABYYODA was a favorite as is “The Mandalorian”, but I can see why that could be tough since you need a subscription to view it. This puzzle goes in the winner column for me.

Nancy 8:59 AM  

Aw, shucks. I just went to YouTube to cut and paste the Kookaburra song -- so I'd be all set to put it up on the blog for y'all. But I see Rex beat me to it.

We used to sing the Kookaburra song at Camp Pinecliffe. It was bouncy and catchy and infectious. I thought it was cute. I wonder if anyone sings it anymore. I'm probably going to have an earworm for the rest of the day.

But being able to sing the song after all these years didn't mean knowing how to spell KOOKABeRRA. I kept wondering what EeRO vision and EeRO zone were. Finally the "U" dawned on me.

Moving right along to the rest of the puzzle: I found this harder than most Tuesdays, what with not knowing YELENA or BABY YODA or DMS, for that matter. The double letters actually helped me in some instances. And to think: my first instinct was to ignore the annoying tiny little circles entirely. (Does anyone else fail to see them when there are "O"s contained within? I actually didn't see them in COO and thought that Orange had gone missing.)

bocamp 8:59 AM  

Thx Vaibhav & Matthew, for a very crunchy, challenging Tues. puz! :)


Despite an excellent start in the NW, the rest was somewhat of a TENUOUS trip.

Spent a great deal of time DOUBLE checking my answers, and did find one 'fat finger' typo.

So, all's well that ends well. :)


Very entertaining Croce. Medium+ (equiv of a tough NYT Sat.) Dnfed at the 'sleep aid' / 'very' cross. No excuse for that, as a simple run of the vowels would have done the trick. Besides, one of them is a SB word. Oh, well, as always, a welcome and fun challenge. See you next Mon. :)

@okanaganer (2:33 PM yd)

Yup; same two for me.

Missed this one once; haven't seen it since.

@Eniale (7:34 PM yd) 👍 for -1 yd (outstanding!)

yd pg -6 (missed four words from the List; need to get back to studying it)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Nancy 9:17 AM  

Just to let you know that Will Nediger and I have a puzzle appearing in this Thursday's (Nov 4) LA Times. Who knows if people will be able to access it? Sure hope you can. Sure hope I can too. But Californians will be able to buy the paper if they like.

I'll put this notice up again tomorrow and Thursday knowing that not everyone comes to the blog on Tuesday.

Spartonium 9:20 AM  

Did not care for AHH and APPLE to show up "inside" the rainbow yet not be included, but otherwise it was fun

Chicago Chica 9:34 AM  

Here in the Midwest we all know KOOKABURRA from the kindergartner’s song Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree…

Tom P 9:36 AM  

I found this puzzle delightful and easier than the average Tuesday. Rex, I have to agree with others that your complaints about the double rainbow were way too nitpicky.

JD 9:37 AM  

Yesterday the Umiak song, today the Kookaburra song. Good stuff. Patchy with a chance of Bow Saw, Yelena shows up near the Manor and Be It So, there's a Double Rainbow. This is as good as an early week puzzle can possibly be.

RooMonster 9:37 AM  

Hey All !
I respectfully disagree with your themer-square count. To me, you can't count the whole Down words that contain the Doubles, as technically they don't have anything to do with a rainbow. There are just there for their Doubles. So, my count is 27, the 13 Revealer, and the 14 Double ROY G BIV. Or am I being too too?

Did enjoy the puz. Tis a bit A-Framey as Rex points out (har, points!), but you have to suspend beliefs to get a DOUBLE RAINBOW in a grid. Plus, you get the colors together ending up with a non-existent RAINBOW. Bit hey, it's all for entertainment either way. So stop being so technical! 😁

U fest in SW corner. Nice. Not bad fill considering the RAINBOW was set in place. Seems lots of other DOUBLES around, but @Lewis says not too many.

If Captain Picard was Shakespearean, would he have said "BE IT SO"?

Two F's

Beezer 9:46 AM  

I thought this puzzle counted as perfection for a Tuesday offering!

@Kishef, odd that you would think that ROY. G. BIV would be odd in the puzzle unless you are being tongue in cheek, and I THINK you often are.

@Doris, Nancy et al, thank you for reminding me that the Kookaburra song was from Girl Scout camp! I knew I learned it as a child but thought maybe it was in elementary school choir…

pmdm 9:49 AM  

I thought that this puzzle could play out with difficulty for new solvers, but that did not stop me from liking what was a struggle for me. Until I realized the theme and the theme answers, it was a bit rough going for me. Very enjoyable grumbling about a puzzle, then grasping it and liking it.

The theme brought me back to my introductory optics (Physics III) course I took many, many years ago. Just after taking the course, I was looking up at the full moon one foggy night at observed a triple rainbow (the last was quite faint). The crafty professor included triple rainbow calculation on a final question which was neat but very difficult. Difficult because the textbook only explained the computations for the second iteration, and the student had to derive the formula for the correct solution. While being difficult, I found it kinda fun, like some of the crossword puzzles.

Frantic Sloth 9:52 AM  

Rough night and morning, so I'm late and unarmed with any original thoughts.

Agree with Rex about the alp vs. rainbow visual, but didn't care a whit. I thought this was clever, imaginative, and one of those feats of constructioneering that didn't abscond with my solving enjoyment - a rare and wonderful thing. Side-effect: any fill nits are rendered invisible. Plus, I had some chewing to do!
Just a lovely un-tuezzy Tuesdee.

Oh, here's something original:

It was back again today, before I refreshed the page, but the freeze-frame from that Sponge Bob video (posted by August yesterday) had me seeing all kinds of things other than the eyes it is supposed to represent. Anyone else see it? Or is it just me, as usual? It reminds me of a certain previous discussion as well as that "spanking" from the other day. Try as I might, just cannot unsee it. Call me whatever you want, but there it is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (🤷‍♀️)


G. Weissman 9:55 AM  

This is the best puzzle I’ve seen in a long while. As far as I know, the letters ROYGBIV are not suspended in the sky when there’s a rainbow, but I forgive that as well as the other non-double rainbow 🌈 qualities that Rex discusses. This puzzle snaps together so nicely.

kitshef 9:55 AM  

@Z 8:40 - also "antagonym".

Joaquin 10:01 AM  

@Rex - C'mon, man. This is a crossword puzzle, not an article submitted to the American Astronomical Society for peer review.

And, FWIW, I thought this was a superb Tuesday offering. Lots of fun, learned a couple of things, and a nice "aha".

Tom T 10:02 AM  

The Anonymous at 8:27 was I, Tom T. I clicked on "Name/URL" but it did not give me the chance to enter a name. I don't plan to go Anonymous.

burtonkd 10:03 AM  

Rex always complains about physical representations in a grid as if there weren't serious constraints working with large squares, particularly in making curves(esses, sorry). Didn't he play with legos as a kid? Definitely don't take him to the lego museum. Or give him an ERECTORSET now that I think of it...
I can see him playing Asteroids -"That isn't a spaceship, it's a triangle". Mario Brothers - "Nobody has a head that flat". Donkey Kong - "Those I beams don't make a true diagonal, they terrace up". Pong - "that isn't a ball, it's a square."

Totally with him on the joy of the Kookaburra. You almost need earplugs in the bird room at the Bronx Zoo.

Lots of solid downs in those double-letter answers. Were we just discussing Baby Yoda here, or was that some other group?

IRL warning: I just had a choir rehearsal with about 35 members last night for the first time in 20 months. It is great to go back to basics and hear people in a physical space sing the same note on a hum, not to mention the first time you hear a live chord! Masks and vaccine cards mandatory, of course.

I've been on a bit of an exercise kick, so wanted some kind of abs for the six pack, not that a beer isn't a well-earned post-workout treat. OTOH, I only associate ONTAP with beer, not being ready to go next.

I would go with a beehive, or 'fro for a BIGDO.

What kind of kahunas do you need to claim succession from Muhammed? Or, that is some amazing societal record-keeping over the centuries.

Anyone else seeing the return of FOMO now that covid restrictions are easing and people are posting all the fabulous stuff they are doing again?

I liked the cry me a river clue for BOOHOO.

Alan 10:06 AM  

I thought "peruse" means to read carefully. Not "scan."

tea73 10:09 AM  

Rex has infected me! I was offended by the extra double letters. And I noticed the rainbow was a little pointy. OTOH no the rainbows do not need space between them. Did you know that the reflected rainbow has the colors in reverse order? VIBGYOR Take that Rex!

Sang Kookaburra in Girl Scouts too, but spelled it wrong.

Have watched almost all the Marvel movies, but YELENA who? And what kind of a clue is that for NINO?

Loved the puzzle anyway.

mathgent 10:11 AM  

What a pity that more of us are commenting on Rex's nonsense than about the excellence of the puzzle.

As Hartley (8:46) says, the theme is the star of the show. A DOUBLERAINBOW at 52A and also pictured in the grid. Magnificent!

I learned about Roy G. Biv from puzzles. In school, I learned VIBGYOR.

More praise. Not a hint of junk in the fill.

If true, great fact about what CALIPH means.

SFR 10:17 AM  

Also 'cleave'

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Great puzzle, and I think Rex is being too persnickety (that's a word that needs to be in crosswords more often, by the way) today. The theme is clever enough and the puzzle good enough to overlook the lack of a literal double rainbow in the puzzle. Well done!

Dr. Ants 10:22 AM  

Very interesting to see how many folks knew KOOKABURRA from Girl Scouts - I did Boy Scouts for a couple years but have no memory of this song! I wonder if it was really common among Girl Scouts but absent from Boy Scouts? So... this was a problem for me at the crossing with AKC, which I feel is a very obscure acronym for a Tuesday. I definitely had K as an option among several, but I ended up going with KOOpABURRA in the hopes that it was ApC with the "p" standing for "pet" haha. I'm going to claim a natick and/or playing too much Mario as a kid. :D

Z 10:24 AM  

@kitshef 9:50 - Ooh. That’s a good one. I feel what’s really missing is a synonym for “contronym” that is itself a contronym.

jberg 10:29 AM  

Whether double rainbows are rare depends on where you are; I used to spend summers in the Montana mountains, in a house overlooking the Yellowstone valley, and we'd see one at least half the times it rained; triples occasionally. Here in the East, you usually have too small a field of vision.

I have to admit I didn't notice the grid art until I came here and read Rex. I was trying to make sense of the order from top to bottom. Doh!

I was never in the Girl Scouts, nor kindergarten, but I knew that song -- I think it was part of our grade school curriculum. But if I remember right (and this was 65+ years ago), the bird we sang about was in an oak tree. Maybe they altered it because we weren't allowed gum in class.

I wasn't sure if a petulant cry would be a hoWL or a yoWL, so I left the first letter blank. I needed most of the crosses to see BEITSO and correct it to MEWL.

Is there a word for clues like 58, "Campaign headquarters watch party, e.g." for EVENT? I.e., something ridiculously specific to clue something extremely general? At first I hated it, but now I think I love it. I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

@Nancy, if you could post a link to your puzzle, we'd all appreciate it. I realize there may be technical difficulties with that.

Barbara S. 10:35 AM  

This puzzle was therapy for me after I’d just spent an hour stomping around the living-room and bedroom searching for my passport and cursing the day we had to relocate to this house (to escape the flood in the other house) where my stuff doesn’t have logical stashing places, leading to the misplacement of important documents like my passport, which I need as ID in order to renew my health card. I was really het up and talking way too much and way too fast at my husband, who was calmly and quietly helping me look, while I painted nightmare scenarios of the passport office refusing to replace passports that were lost in one’s own house through one’s own stupidity, never mind that one was displaced from one’s own actual house due to 100-year-old plumbing that was bound to give way sooner or later and did, but why now after I’d lived there for 35 years?...I found the passport. I’d put it in a safe but extremely odd place. And then it was 10 p.m. And I thought I’ll just sit here decompressing while I solve the puzzle.

Which I found delightful. I loved the double rainbow and I don’t subscribe to the criticisms raised by Rex. I burst into song when I got to KOOKABURRA – something I’d be likely to do at any time but the slightly screechy note in my voice last night was probably due to lingering hysteria. Hooray for “peruse.” I think contronyms are fine. They’re a mean form of expression and I sanction them wholeheartedly. Mention of GRETA is timely given this week’s BIG DO/EVENT. Can one still buy ERECTOR SETs? And are they still called that? I thought the grid looked like a big goofy face, something else to like about it.

[dbyd pg-3 (learned a new 7-letter word, which I’m glad to discover)
yd g-5 (4 known, 1 unknown, and the 11-letter I entered as a joke and was amazed that they liked it!)]

Dr. Ants 10:41 AM  

Update to my last comment: Well, I see that AKC is pretty common as both an answer and in clues for NYT crosswords, so I guess it doesn't really qualify as a natick. Alas! Not sure how I've managed to avoid getting that one lodged into my Crossword Brain by now.

jberg 10:41 AM  

@BarbieBarbie from yesterday: Yes! Pinkeye -- we've got a theme, now we need a constructor -- you're all welcome to it.

Whatsername 10:49 AM  

This was nice, pleasant Tuesday. Is there anything more beautiful than a RAINBOW? Especially a DOUBLE one. The individual colors forming the grid art and ALL the debut answers made for a very impressive debut puzzle. Thanks to both constructors, I enjoyed this one.

If you liked the sound of the KOOKABURRA, you might enjoy trying to guess the identity of these other creepy sounding birds. Scroll down past the recordings to see the answers.

Mikey from El Prado 11:01 AM  

Northern New Mexico is the land of double rainbows… see several every year.

As for the puzzle, you also have the OO in KOOKABERRA, HH Iin AHH, LL and EE in ALLBEEF and PP in ADAMSAPPLE. I like to think there’s some secret meaning to that. A double OHLEP!

Liveprof 11:03 AM  

LA Times puzzles are free online. You just need to sit thru a short ad. They also appear in the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

I'm having trouble seeing how the circles could have been placed to make 7 double-circle sets look more like an arc in a 15x15 grid. I think the current placement is fine.

Nancy 11:05 AM  

@jberg -- On Thursday, I'll try to access it on my own. If I can't, I'll send an S.O.S. to Will Nediger and to the LAT puzzle editor. But I don't know whether the LAT has a firewall or not. It seems that just about everyone does these days.

Of course there are probably 100 people here who are more tech savvy then I am* and who would have better luck, assuming better luck is even possible.

*It's a very low bar.

dramawritcomp 11:08 AM  

Excellent puzzle, pointy RAINBOWS and all. Maybe there are a couple of pointy pots of gold at the ends.

Also enjoyed the KOOKABURRA video. Wish I knew what those birds are saying. Perhaps they’re talking about Rex’s review of this puzzle.

Classic cross of EDEN and ADAM’S APPLE. Also love the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out). An angst for the modern-day person who doesn’t have enough to feel anxious about.

Must have been a BEAR to come up with those double Y’s, double I’s. and double V’s and then have them all fit together in a certain pattern.
That plus some great fill makes for an impressive debut. Who said Tuesday had to be boring?

Carola 11:10 AM  

Cool. Besides the double pleasure of the DOUBLE RAINBOW in the grid art and the reveal, I enjoyed the varied group that showed up for this BIG DO: NORM, ADAM, GRETA, NOEL, SUE, BOB, BABY YODA, Anne BOLEYN, YELENA, and some NINOS, DRS., SNOBBISH DIVAS, and CALIPHS. Quite a party, and fun to join in for the solve.

@Doris 8:02 - I, too, sang about the KOOKABURRA at G.S. camp, but my Midwestern kid self understood "Merry merry king of the bushes he," obviously having no concept of the Australian bush. So I appreciate your posting the lyrics and enlightening me at this late date!

bocamp 11:12 AM  

Learned KOOKABURRA in grade school.

KOOKABURRA – Nursery Rhyme with Karaoke (APPUSERIES on YouTube)

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gumdrops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra
Leave some there for me.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra,
That's no monkey, that's me.

Laughing KOOKABURRA Song - Wild Clips (Sesame Studios on YouTube)

td pg -1 (missing a 5er; will do some ot's later)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Z 11:15 AM  

@burtonkd - Yes, there are constraints, but the RAINBOWs could have been represented more like BOWs. From the bottom G of the GG pinnacle the theme letters are over two and down one, over two down one, over two down one and over two down one.
If the top Y and B were in the same row as the bottom G, then the O and I one row below Y and B, and then the R and V two rows below the O and I, as well as each pair becoming increasingly spaced along the X axis, then we’d have the letters arranged more like an arc. Still not perfect, but better. Well, maybe better, because those changes change all the fill, so the total puzzle might have been much worse than what we got.

@Anon10:22 - persnickety - Now I’m in the mood for some Lemony Snicket. A Series of Unfortunate Events audio books, read by Tim Curry, accompanied us on many a long trip when the offspring were young.

@jberg - Ah, yes, the old RSCSEG (pronounced “risk seg”).

Beezer 11:25 AM  

@jberg YES I remember it as oak tree also! I also like your reasoning on the gum…

Whatsername 11:28 AM  

@Nancy (9:17) Thanks for the heads up! Looking forward to it.

Legume 11:30 AM  

33A - first attempt was WIVES Hang my head in shame. My only defense: I watch a lot of TCM, which means olde movies, which means femmes fatale and outright bitches. Still...

egsforbreakfast 11:31 AM  

Perhaps the revealer should have been “Chalet with two layers of rainbow colored paint”. Which could have been clued as “European mountain sight never seen before.” Then this would have been a really great puzzle and Rex would have loved it. It reminds me of the time Rex criticized the incredible puzzle that was based on the game of Clue because it didn’t develop the characters deeply enough. You know, in your heart of hearts, that Rex understands what a crossword is. So I guess he just throws out shit like today to stir the pot a bit.

Anyway, I thought it was a wonderful puzzle.

If Fiona and ADAM got married, moved to Alaska and joined the CIA, would they be Northern Spy Apples?

Thanks for a nice debut Vaibhav Srikaran and a nice collaboration Matthew Stock.

JC66 11:38 AM  

@jberg, et al

Here's the link to the LA Times Puzzle site.. Just refresh the page on Thursday to access @Nancy & @Will's puzzle.

Newboy 11:40 AM  

Having ERECTOR SET in place should have helped? But no to BE IT SO forsooth it became double double toil and trouble as that R tempted moRe/NORM into an insoluble dilemma. I flailed like Ms. BOLEYN totally losing my head over that singular glitch. Still, a cute grid that brought me delightful echoes of singing along with young grandsons and They Might Be Giants 😌

Very appropriate that this puzzle features a double byline; thanks Vaibhav & Matthew for playing well together.

thfenn 11:49 AM  

Lots of fun today. Had to untangle a mess in the middle with fAct before TAPE and VyE before VIE, and not really seeing what was wrong with the resultant fIBIA, CALycHS, and SEt, but all sorted out in the end. Also went straight with event before BIGDO, so it was nice to get EVENT back at the bottom, and I suppose each could be either, as I'd imagine tonite's campaign watches for the VA gov race will be BIGDOs.

Like @jberg, no Girl Scouts, or kindergarten, or Boy Scouts, for that matter, or any summer camps, and still burst right out with the Kookaburra song.

@Trey, great misread and funny OREO entry. @Barbara S, loved the passport saga - been there. LOL, or rather, been your husband there. @Nancy congrats on the puzzle, will try to get it. Following @Z, @kitshef, and others down the contadictanym rabbit hole.

Great Tuesday puzzle.

Nancy 12:08 PM  

How thoughtful of you to do that, @JC66 (11:38)! Thanks so much!!! It would be wonderful if you can put it up again on Thursday for those of us (my own hand is way up) who aren't exactly sure how to "refresh" a link. And I'm delighted to learn that there's no LAT firewall and that people will be actually be able to access the puzzle.

GILL I. 12:09 PM  

All of you can sing your KOOKABURRA song sitting beside your campfire....I am singing : ADIOS MUCHACHOS COMPANEROS DE MI VIDA....So there. And yes, @albatross, NINOS is a child....Muchachos is a young man. The NYT gets it wrong often. Nobody cares. Maybe GRETA does or the mothers of MADD of people who have that FOMO malady, but nobody else does.
This gets my cool frijoles Tuesday award. And get this......nobody walked into a bar. Well...maybe BOLEYN did but she lost her ADAMS APPLE. Do women have one?
Did anybody else have NICK for that child born on Dec. 25th? No? I did. The first NOEL, the angels did say. I think I'm going to join my friend @pablito and sing along with him.....
a DOUBLE RAINBOW is a treat. As good as a double fudge ice cream cone. And That's the Truth.

jae 12:15 PM  

Tough although I did have a cocktail before dinner and it’s been a long day so maybe it’s just me? Clever and reasonably smooth given the theme constraints, with some fine long downs, liked it. A nice debut for Vaibhav.

Anonymous 12:25 PM  

For LAT puzzle access:

It's free

mathgent 12:26 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

Hartley70 (8:46)
Barbara S. (10:35)

Joe Dipinto 12:27 PM  

There was a major infringement suit in Australia involving that Men At Work song and the "Kookaburra Song". Technically the insertion of "Kookaburra" into the arrangement was an ad-lib by the flute player at the recording session, and it can be left out completely when performing the song. The funniest thing is that "Kookaburra"'s publisher was totally oblivious to it even though the song had been a huge hit, until a question on a TV quiz show asked what song was quoted in "Down Under", 28 years later. Then they woke up and demanded 60% of the royalties. They came away with 5%.

Didn't we have another rainbow puzzle not too long ago where the spacing of the rainbow colors looked off-kilter in the grid? I believe it was a Sunday entry. I think this one works very well, by contrast, with a lot of snappy fill. YELENA is a character in Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya"— I saw a production at Lincoln Center back in the day where she was played by Julie Christie.

Two jazzy Election Selections for you:

Doc John 12:31 PM  

Everyone keeps referencing KOOKABURRA from the Girl Scout song but nobody has mentioned that they also had a cookie by that name. And that's how I knew it!

I thought the double rainbow was just fine. And very clever.

Nancy 1:00 PM  

@Barbara S -- I'm sure I enjoyed reading your entertaining depiction of your Great Passport Crisis a lot more than you enjoyed living through it. But maybe you can weave the tale into a truly awful Bulwer-Lytton opening sentence. In which case it won't all have been for naught.

@Anon 12:25 -- That's great to know. We can all use it on Thursday. I know I certainly will. I just copied it and sent it to myself in an email. Thank you for taking the time and trouble.

Masked and Anonymous 1:09 PM  

Good and different theme idea, with The Circles, the E/W puzsymmetry, and the puzgrid art. Like.

Some real impressive longball extra fillins, such as: ALLBEEF. ERECTORSET. ADAMSAPPLE.
Also luved The Mandalorian schlock-flick reference and the MEDIASAVVY themer. Primo stuff.

staff weeject pick: DMS. DeutschMarks.

Precious nanosecond-eatin entries of mystery: FOMO. YELENA. HALVA. BOWSAW. Them there mysteries were nice and spread out, tho … so no big do.

Thanx for gangin up on us, VS & MS. Double the constructioneers, double the rainbows, double the fun. And congratz to Mr. Srikaran dude, on his half-debut.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Teedmn 1:30 PM  

My mis-read today was the clue for BOW SAW. I missed the "based" part of the clue and thought it was a "Tension cutting tool." Hmm, thinks I, you usually would "cut the tension with a knife" but "blade" is too short, off the B. The crosses eventually filled in BOWSAW but did not enlighten me as to my error until later. AHH.

The theme itself was easy enough. By the time I had RR, OO, YY, I ran over to the VV and filled in the circles backwards because, like @kitshef, I always say VIBGYOR.

Congrats, Vaibhav Srikaran, on your debut, and thanks to you and Matthew Stock for a nice Tuesday treat.

Joe Dipinto 1:33 PM  

The other puzzle I was thinking of was a co-construct by Ross Trudeau on 6/27 called "Gravity's Rainbow", with the color names spelled out in the downs. The rainbow looks kind of pointy in that one too.

Aunt Hattie 1:46 PM  

@bocamp--I learned that Kookaburra song in Girl Scouts also, but only the second verse--"eating all the gumdrops he can see,etc" Interesting how many ex-Girl Scouts there are in Xwordland
What are "valuable" and "Invaluable" called???

burtonkd 1:54 PM  

@egsforbreakfast: Between today's puzzle and the one based on Clue, I do wonder if your "stir the pot" theory is correct and I've taken the bait:)

EdFromHackensack 1:55 PM  

C’mon - this is a Tuesday! what a treat, best Tuesday I’ve seen in a long time. Rex is complaining that the spacing is off?? Really? I didn't really see the theme at all until the revealer. Then I realized how awesome a construction this was. Congrats to Vaibhav Srikaran and Matthew Stock!

CDilly52 2:15 PM  

To me, a puzzle theme is a concept that need not be precisely accurate in terms if graphic possibility as long as the salient facts supporting the theme remain consistent and accurate. My opinion knky. Accordingly, this theme works nicely.

Next, I grew up singing the KOOKABURRA song, so was thrilled to see him included today. Reminded me of fun times and learning a bit about the “Land Down Under.” I would live to be able to ask my mom why she knew this song, but it was one of the regulars in our road trip sing-alongs.

I learned another of the (to me extremely annoying) text-language abbreviation clusters: FOMO (which to my ear evokes the socially unacceptable reversal of those syllables) and cannot imagine ever having use for it other than crosswords. Check the “learned something” box. Gran always said that learning anything was valuable.

Most of all, the fill impressed me with its dearth of junk and crosswordese. I think DRS a d IPAS covers the “arguably weak fill” category, but it is so far above the EKE, ERR, etc category that it hardly bears mentioning.

I am always impressed when a constructor uses a tough word with difficult double letters for which to create the crosses such as SAVVY. Nicely done.

And the breadth of the fill jn terms of time period, subject matter and current usage (whether vernacular or not) is downright impressive to this old solver.

Well done constructors. The puzzle is enjoyable and so well put together to reflect both constructors’
frames of reference yet is very cohesive. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

bocamp 2:51 PM  

@Aunt Hattie (1:46 PM)

I was a Boy Scout; don't recall much singing in our get-togethers. Did learn KOOKABURRA in grade school, tho the only part I could recall is: KOOKABURRA sits 'in' the old gum tree … laugh, KOOKABURRA, laugh, KOOKABURRA … I also initially misspelled (and mispronounced it): KOOKABeRRA. Maybe I was thinking of Yogi (who could be KOOKy at times). lol

Your 'valuable' / 'invaluable' poser prompted me to look it up.

Valuable vs. Invaluable

We think of valuable as meaning "having a great deal of value," as in "valuable jewelry" or "learned a valuable lesson."

Invaluable, on the other hand, means "valuable beyond estimation." Much like priceless, it describes something that is of such a great value that it cannot fairly be quantified … (M-W)

td 0 (in first ot)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Nancy 3:48 PM  

There do seem to be a lot of Girl Scouts here, but I'm not one of them. Camp Pinecliffe, where I, too, learned the KOOKABURRA song, was a regular camp, not a Girl Scout camp. It's in Harrison, Me, and it's still going strong after all these years. You can find it on Google. What's even more amazing is that I was a Pinecliffe "grandchild" as it was called -- meaning that my mother had gone to Pinecliffe too. Three generations (are they up to four now?) of the same family have run it all this time.

Irish Miss 3:57 PM  

Nancy, if you want to see your puzzle explicated and commented on, go to This is the LA Times blog site hosted by CC (Zhouqin) Burnikel. I look forward to solving your and Will’s creation.

okanaganer 3:58 PM  

Here in British Columbia we get a lot of double rainbows; in fact I would say most of them are double. Usually we can't see the complete arc of both at the same time, because the typical weather that produces them is isolated showers a distance away.

Fun fact: the gap between the two rainbows is called Alexander's Dark Band (seriously). The "Dark" is because if you look closely, the sky in between the rainbows is noticeably darker than the sky outside them! I'm a physics nerd so this is delightful trivia for me.

For the LA Times crossword, note that the Scraper works there.

[Spelling Bee: yd pg -1, missed this word. I think it must have set a record for most pangrams!]

Eniale 4:04 PM  

@ bocamp: YAY for YOU td. I'm -3, a 5 and two 4's I guess, but I'm stuck.

Thanks to all those who posted about contronyms, antagonyms, etc. Never knew the word, though had the concept all along - and me and English teacher form way way back. Here's one more - sanction.

I found today's puz had hard bits, could never have done without the crosses - DRS all of a sardine instead of ads? Who'd have thought it!

kitshef 4:22 PM  

@Aunt Hattie 1:46: antiautonyms (not to be confused with autoantonyms).

JD 4:27 PM  

Just got back from the threat of jury duty. They took the first group of potential jurors to a courtroom and the rest us were put on ice in a separate room with a Zoom feed to watch them be questioned.

Someone had pleaded not guilty to a DUI. Must've been a lot On Tap. Various Beers? Among many questions, jurors were asked if they or any family member has been or is a member of MADD. I wanted to shout, "19 DOWN!"

Blood alcohol level was .08%. From what I could glean the guy was behind the wheel, but was parked.

They managed to empanel from that first group and the judge OKed the rest of us to go. On the way out, someone told me that sitting parked is still a DUI if the keys are in the ignition. Boo Hoo.

I've fretted about this day for weeks and it turned out to be a performance of the Tuesday puzzle.

@Barbara, Great post today. I read it twice before the herded us in. I feel your pain.

Charles Emerson Winchester III 4:45 PM  

And - no lie - I once came across a doctor by the name of Ivan Ho.

Smith 5:34 PM  


Totally looking forward to your puzzle on Thursday!


Oh, can I relate to your passport story... years ago I put the keys to the car we weren't taking on vacation in a "safe place" only to have *no idea* where they were when we came back - the level of panic, wow, I did this to myself! Whew. And for reasons still unclear I had put them in a drawer in a chest in a closet...where I kept my sewing stuff. In my defense I had smallish kids then!

ERECTORSETS really? My brothers had them. Didn't know they still exist. My own sons were Lego every waking moment for what felt like 20 years.

Puzz went by so fast I didn't even see half the stuff you all commented on. Once I got RR and OO I just filled in the others, not sure why.

It has been a loooong run of easy puzzles. Thinking we're due for a coupla toughies.

puzzlehoarder 6:36 PM  

I missed that same word. It's on my list and it's the 4th time I've missed it

I also failed to get that 11 letter pangram.

thfenn 6:38 PM  

Question for the SB crowd here. Today I gave up 2 words shy (OK, td pg -2). I gave up, checked the answers, and am accepting of what I missed. But how are "beachball" and "hackle" excluded as being obscure or offensive?

puzzlehoarder 6:42 PM  

Kudos to you for knowing that word. It was a complete unknown to me.

thfenn 6:45 PM  

@smith, can relate to that story as well. Years ago, when I was a young teenager, my mom was looking for "lost" car keys, and I found them where she'd put them - in the refrigerator. We never let her live it down - for years every "where are my XXX?" was met with "have you looked in the fridge?". LOL, 63 now, and still miss my mom.

puzzlehoarder 6:47 PM  

A very late post for me. I spent the day working as I am still doing handyman jobs.

I'm not at all familiar with this KOOKABURRA kindergarten song a number of commenters have mentioned. Still familiar with the name.

YELENA came from the crosses.

yd -2

JC66 6:52 PM  


Agree on "hackle" (I reported it to Buzzwords), but I think "beach Ball" is two words.

Joe Dipinto 7:26 PM  

@thfenn – I put my eyeglasses in the refrigerator once, and didn't find them for several weeks. I had gone to the store to get groceries, and I was sure I had them when I got back home because there's no way I'd have lost them out in the street —I wouldn't have been able to see. If I'd dropped them outside I certainly would have realized it.

But they were nowhere in my apartment. I frequently put them down somewhere and then forget where they are, but eventually I find them. Not this time. It was driving me crazy. I finally had to get an old pair out of a drawer to wear – the prescription still worked well enough to use them temporarily.

Then one day I'm checking in the fridge for vegetables and on the bottom shelf was a bunch of carrots that I had bought and then sort of forgot about. So I take the bag out and remove the carrots to see if they still look okay, and along with the carrots what comes out of the bag? My glasses! Wtf! But then I pieced it together: that night when I got home from the store, I cut some of the greens off the ends of the carrots before putting them away, and my glasses must have been nearby on the table, and when I put the carrots back in the bag the glasses went into the bag with them, and they all went into the refrigerator! Yeesh!

I may have even looked in the refrigerator that first night out of desperation, but figured if they were there they'd be sitting out on a shelf. It never would have occurred to me to look inside a bag of vegetables for them! From then on, I try to always pay attention to where I out my glasses. I *still* sometimes misplace them anyway.

wrollinson 7:27 PM  

Rex missed his chance to share the Double Rainbow video… all the way!

pabloinnh 7:35 PM  

jc66, thfenn- Yeah, one raised my HACKLEs too. No problem with BEACH BALL as one or two words, as it/they eluded me entirely.


Uke Xensen 7:53 PM  

Exactly. Sheesh.

stephanie 8:05 PM  

as soon as i discovered the theme, i loved it! i love rainbows. there was a huge one here on sunday, just absolutely gorgeous. one of the brightest and biggest i've seen, and it was gone quickly but not before i could call my partner to the window so we could both admire it and take a few pictures. i've seen a double rainbow as well, which are also pretty phenomenal. rex tried to ruin it, and in fact all his points are valid - and i definitely could have gone for a better arch shape - but he shall not succeed, i still loved it.

a handful of writeovers today - SPARSE before PATCHY, APPLE before BIG DO, TYPE A before DIVAS, MOCHI before HALVA, MUGS before URNS, but nothing that wasn't easily fixed. forgot how to spell BOLEYN, so thanks to the crosses there. my last square that i really had to think about was the N in NINOS - i didn't know YELENA and "muchachos" to me says a group of young guys, not babies, but it was easy enough to fill in once i thought about it for a moment. really no other nits and even the short fill was nice today, imo.

KOOKABURRA sits in the old gum tree-ee, eating all the gum-drops he can see-ee
STOP! kookaburra stop! kookaburra save some gum for me...

stephanie 8:07 PM  

@Lewis this reminds me that i had CACAO before CAROB. carob is only a suitable chocolate replacement if you are a dog, or are baking for one :)

stephanie 8:10 PM  

@Leon that it is, however it's probably the worst chosen name for such a character. when it was revealed i was dumbfounded. there is already another alien, who is a baby version of the adult alien, on american dad (watched by 18 million people) called ROGU. now whenever i hear GROGU this is all i think of:

stephanie 8:15 PM  

@Z i agree, florida simply must be stopped! good luck to your team - as a bruins fan i definitely have been through the highs AND lows. nice to get back in it.

egsforbreakfast 8:52 PM  

@ Joe DiPinto. My mother used to tell me to eat my carrots for the sake of my eyesight. “ Did you ever see a rabbit wearing glasses?” she would always ask. To which we would gleefully scream, “Yes, Bunny Rabbit on Captain Kangaroo!” All of this is tied up in my mind with you losing your glasses in the carrots. Hope you can see my point and focus on it. I can’t.

pabloinnh 9:15 PM  

@JoeD-Makes sense to me that you would put them in the eyes box.


Joe Dipinto 9:17 PM  

@egs – I always heard carrots are good for your eyesight too. Maybe these carrots were trying to help my eyesight improve by forcing me to not wear my glasses.

Anonymous 9:21 PM  

I wouldn't put this as 'easy' for a Tuesday.
Words that crosses saved: HALVA, MEWL, CALIPH, MIO, YELENA
And noone knows any WNBA players - SUE could have been clued a million other ways, just need to stay PC ...

stephanie 9:31 PM  

@JD .08 (the legal limit in the US) in a parked car? they must have had it out for him and/or needed to meet their ticket quota for the month. what a waste of a courtroom.

JC66 9:43 PM  

@pabloinnh 9:15


Joe Dipinto 10:28 PM  

Nice one, @pablo ;-)

TTrimble 11:10 PM  

I grew up with that KOOKABURRA song (merry, merry king of the bush is he-ee), but was absolutely enchanted hearing the real thing on my first night in Australia*. Wasn't in the bush, either -- right there in the northern suburbs of Sydney, where the streets were alive, busy in the balmy Australian summer. It's like landing on a different planet. During Christmas season it's boiling hot, but they still decorate with fake snow and heavily dressed Santa in the malls. For Santa they leave not cookies and milk on the mantle, but a banana and a beer.

By the way, if you're ever in Australia, it's pronounced like cook-uh-buh-ruh -- take care not to pronounce it like "KOOK", and take pains over the short "u" sounds. The "BURR" is not as in Raymond Burr. The Australians are not shy about laughing at American pronunciations, or taking a piss at Americans generally, in my experience. (Time of my life, though.)

The SB's feel a little harder as of late. I'm getting within 1 or 2 these last few days, but QB is elusive. Congrats to @bocamp on recent success.

An easy, pleasant Tuesday. I don't give a fig about Rex's fussiness over the shape of the rainbow. Rather than grousing about such things, he should be happy to be back in the classroom, even with all those IVORY TOWER SEAT FILLERS, and even with masks on. Teaching in a college classroom is part performance art, and one should have fun with it while imparting knowledge and insight. Profess away!

*Not only do I do Marvin the Martian, but I enjoy imitating the almighty KOOKABURRA. At the very outset of their song there's a kind of glottal trill -- for that, the throat should be well lubricated.

JD 11:58 PM  

@stephanie I think that's what he was thinking too.

New2Xword 1:45 PM  

Scan is absolutely wrong. Clue should have said “opposite of peruse.” Just because a lot of people have misused the word in the past ten years doesn’t mean this wasn’t an error by NYT editors.

thefogman 10:33 AM  

Rex is being super picky. I thought this one was pretty good.

thefogman 11:34 AM  

On the debate about SCAN / Peruse, this is what the OED has to say:

Note that peruse means ‘read’, typically with an implication of thoroughness and care. It does not mean ‘read through quickly; glance over’, as in documents will be perused rather than analysed thoroughly

spacecraft 11:58 AM  

Yeah, c'mon, you're working with squares here. How "arcy" can it be? Take the double meaning of DOUBLE and let it go. I got onto the whole shebang right away with KOOKABURRA--an entry worth the price of admission all by itself. So it played super-easy for me: not much choice for a VV or a YY, heh heh. Still it was fun to do, with no really painful fill. Many artists' renderings of YELENA would qualify for DOD--but so would real-life Florence Pugh. Solid birdie.

Burma Shave 1:18 PM  


Those DOUR hipsters SEE overlap,
but BOOHOO, they MEWL SNOBBISH tears,
when told it's TENUOUS what's ONTAP,
it's true - IPAS are not BEERS.

--- ROY G. BIV

Diana, LIW 1:26 PM  

Did you ever have a word show up in two crosswords you're working on in the same day? And wonder if the constructors/editors got together and planned that? Well, today's such word was SNOBBISH. And SNOotISH would, of course, have fit just as well if not better. IMO Just sayin'

I wouldn't say today brought a DOUBLERAINBOW into my life, but it was a fine Tuesday offering. Hey - I'm not snobby or snooty.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 1:58 PM  

Filled in 4/7 of the DOUBLERAINBOW plus the revealer then did the remaining 2/3 of the puz. Yessiree BOB.

Apparently there is more than one Black Widow because yeah BABY Scarlett Johansson has played her numerous times, as Natasha Romanov and not as YELENA Belova. [Just now read OFL re: YELENA]

Close enough to an arc for me.

MC 2:25 PM  

If you have kids of the right age to have watched Barney, or I guess if you're of the right age to have watched Barney (don't want to be ageist here and assume no one young works the NYT puzzle), then you know the Kookaburra song.

leftcoaster 4:31 PM  

AHH ..., ROYGBIV creates a DOUBLERAINBOW, cleverly, thematically and symmetrically.
Other notables shaping the theme and the fill --



A GEM of a puzzle, Vaibhav S. and Matthew S.

leftcoaster 4:42 PM  

ROYGBIV’s RAINBOW theme faded quickly in my previous post. Did finish the puzzle though.

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