Barker fashion photographer and reality TV judge / MON 1-3-22 / Embedded spy awaiting a mission / Intuition without logical explanation / Animal that dances ballet in Fantasia

Monday, January 3, 2022

Constructor: Beth Rubin and Trent H. Evans

Relative difficulty: Medium (i.e. normal Monday)


THEME: GUT FEELING (61A: Intuition without logical explanation, or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters) — different FEELINGs are embedded (in the GUTs) of four theme answers:

Theme answers:
  • MIND READER (17A: Telepathic sort)
  • SLEEPER AGENT (27A: Embedded spy awaiting a mission)
  • ALL OVER THE PLACE (37A: Scattered here, there and everywhere)
  • "STOP IT, YOU TWO" (45A: "Quit arguing, kids!")
Word of the Day: NIGEL Barker (54D: ___ Barker, fashion photographer and reality TV judge) —
Nigel Barker (born 27 April 1972) is an English reality TV show personality, fashion photographer, author, spokesperson, filmmaker, and former model. He is best known for his participation as a judge and photographer on the reality show America's Next Top Model, and was the host of reality show The Face for the American series. [...]  In 2017 Barker became New Zealand winery Invivo's official "glambassador". [ed.: baaaaaaaaaaaaaarf ... barf] (wikipedia)
• • •

2022: Apparently The Year I Got Much Slower. Actually I was only about 20 seconds off my normal Monday pace for today, but 20 seconds is huge when the total time is only 3:17. Sometimes when I speed solve the wheels just come off in certain places even though in retrospect those places don't seem particularly difficult. Today, I lost all 20 of those seconds (I assume) in the NOMSG GARTER STAMP BAGEL AGENT section of the grid. Had NOFAT before NOMSG (vague clue) (5A: Claim on some food packaging). I was stuck on "hose" as a green snaky thing that shoots out water at 9D: Hose holder, or a kind of snake, so the only "hose holder" I could think of was a reel, which didn't fit, and somehow the second part of the clue ("or a kind of snake") only made the "hose" image stronger. I just bought a ton of "Forever" STAMPs from the actual honest-to-god stand-in-line-in-physical-space-behind-inexplicably-slow-people post office, and yet 22D: "Forever" purchase got no response from my brain. Wait, no true; it did get a response, and that response was, "Diamond." Because diamonds ... are forever? Sigh. Stupid Bond. Stupid brain. Even now I can't really picture an EGG BAGEL (10D: Breakfast roll with another breakfast staple added in). When you say "added in," do you mean, like, to the dough, or ... between the two cut halves of the bagel? I honestly don't know if an EGG BAGEL is a type of bagel or two halves of a bagel with an egg stuck in between. OK, it looks like the former, or maybe both, but definitely the former. I appreciate this website (gothambagels dot com), which tells me, reassuringly, "Egg bagels might mystify you; many are deeply confused by what they actually are." Literally wrote in EGG BREAD for this answer at some point. And for the "Embedded spy" the only SLEEPER phrase my brain could come up with at first was SLEEPER CELL, which, again, like the hose REEL, didn't fit. Also, "STOP IT, YOU TWO!" was hard to parse, what with there being zero clue material relating specifically to the TWO part of the answer. Everywhere else felt very Monday, but the STAMP BAGEL area really (even if relatively briefly) messed me up.


As for the theme, it works just fine. Lots of different feeling types, all of them embedded in the "guts" of the themers. Doesn't seem like a particularly demanding theme, and the choice of feelings is really arbitrary, but the theme answers themselves are strong, so conceptual looseness doesn't really matter that much. With these embedded-word-type themes, I always think back to a rejection letter I got from Patrick Berry a long time ago (when he edited the Chronicle of Higher Ed. xword), in which he explained that these themes are always more elegant when the embedded word touches every word in the themer; that is, to use today's puzzle as an example, you want the feeling to touch every word in the themer it's in. MIND READER and SLEEPER AGENT do this. ALL OVER THE PLACE and "STOP IT, YOU TWO" do not ("THE PLACE" and "TWO" are just floating there, completely out of touch with their feelings). But Patrick Berry is The Greatest, and most solvers aren't going to notice or care about that level of elegance. I  notice and care, and you, now, have to endure that noticing and caring. But again, this is wisdom that came from on (very) high, so I'm just passing it on as a courtesy. Do with it what you will. Thankfully, the conceptually less-than-elegant theme answers are also the most entertaining answers in the puzzle, so I'm not mad at all. 


The fill is pretty average, with only the SE corner making me think "errrrr you could probably tear it all out and do better." TÉA / LEONI  and ARIE are crosswordese royalty, MOIRE is the official fabric of crosswordese, and a single WILE never made any corner better. Also, please give me a better NIGEL, one that isn't a, and I quote, "reality TV judge." Or, and I even more ruefully quote, an "official glambassador" for a New Zealand winery. Better NIGELs include Hawthorne, Kennedy, Tufnel (of "Spinal Tap"), and whoever the NIGEL is in XTC's song "Making Plans for NIGEL." See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

89 comments:

Unknown 9:29 PM  

Long time listener, first time caller. In a pool, one lap is one length, not up and back as logic implies. Slipped through the editing process.

Joaquin 12:03 AM  

Crosswordwise, I’m easy. As long as I learn a new fact or new word, or have a few minutes of enjoyable diversion, I like the puzzle. Bottom line: I like 99% of them.

But yesterday and today both pegged my meh-meter. Yesterday I did something I can’t recall ever doing before - I quit about 2/3 of the way through from boredom. Today, at what should be an “aha” was instead a “Really?”

As usual, YMMV. And I hope it does!

bocamp 12:13 AM  

Thx Beth & Trent; a crunchy puz to get the week started! :)

Med.

Having fun tabbing thru the Mondays. Been doing the acrosses first, then the downs. Think next week, I'll do the downs first.

None of the themers were slam dunks. Also, can't quite understand how these are GUT FEELINGS, as OPPOSed to emotional reactions. I guess DREAD might come closest, tho.

Loved Téa Leoni in 'The Family Man'.

Fun solve. :)

@TTrimble 👍 for 0 dbyd
___
yd pg -1* (missing an 8) / dbyd pg -1* (missing a 7)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

jae 12:14 AM  

Medium. Nice Monday debut for Beth with some fun theme answers. Solid and smooth, liked it.

Frantic Sloth 12:25 AM  

Found this easier than Rex. Strange.

Almost as strange as his not knowing that the EGG BAGEL is indeed a thing. It is not an EGG on a BAGEL - the EGG is in the BAGEL dough.

I found the theme kind of ho-hum, but good enough for the Mondee, I guess.

Yeah. Not gonna spend a whole lotta effort on this.


🧠
🎉🎉

jclaireb 12:25 AM  

Another better Nigel option - the animated Nigel Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys - voiced by Tim Curry! You can usually determine how old someone is by the role they most associate TCurry with - chuckle.

Brian A in SLC 12:42 AM  

Hmmm... that's what I always thought (one length), but googling the definition, it appears there is no consensus to the meaning.

okanaganer 12:42 AM  

I did this by only looking at the down clues, which wasn't terribly challenging except for the last down: the dreaded completely unknown name. Looking at N-G--, there were so many possibilities I eventually selected NEGAN. But I got everything else!

[Spelling Bee: Sun. 0; my week Mon to Sun: -1, 0, -1, 0, 0, -3, 0.]

ArleneWKW 12:54 AM  

No, Unknown. A lap is back and forth. A length refers to going from one side to another.

Anonymous 1:17 AM  

More elegant: The embedded word touches every word in the themer. That is seriously serious reviewermanperson.
-Nigel Tufnel

chefwen 1:48 AM  

One of these days, soon I hope, I’ll remember that it’s ACAI and not ACIA, make that damn mistake every time,
. One other mark over was WILE over WILy. Other than those two, little hiccups it was easy sailing. The theme actually helped in a couple of places.
A nice, easy start to the week.

Go Pack!

egsforbreakfast 2:27 AM  

Thank gof that there is actually someone out there FIghting FOO! And that it is an entire Rock Band consisting, by my count, of OCHO members. I PITY the FOO!

Say this one as if you’ve had three Old FASIONEDS after losing a case: I hope the GRAM JERI SETSBAIL.

Perfectly enjoyable Monday, with little dreck or crosswordese. Thank you, Beth Rubin and Trent H.
Evans.



NB 3:57 AM  

Agreed - one lap is definitely not "up and back"!

Loren Muse Smith 4:35 AM  

I loved this theme. The reveal is perfect.

STOP IT, YOU TWO is a magnificent debut. Man oh man did my sisters and I hear That a bajillion times on our 8-hour drive from Chattanooga to Myrtle Beach. Mom would put the Salem in her right hand and reach back to issue anemic swats at our legs. The company cars that Dad drove working for Chevrolet always came with a demo eight-track tape, and we sisters immediately claimed one of the songs as My Song. I could always STIR up trouble by whispering to Shum, the middle sister, that the song playing on the eight-track was My Song, when we all knew it was Her Song. She would go deliciously ballistic, making it well worth the leg swats. (Even at this young age, I noticed that Mom could take any phrase and verbify it: I’M GONNA MYSONG BOTH OF YOU IF YOU DON’T STOP IT.)

Long part of a giraffe – my avatar is my daughter who will this spring graduate from Colorado State and begin her life as a veterinarian in Boston.

Fun to imagine other possible themers: CROOK’S CORNER (in Carrboro, NC – their fried catfish is to die for). ORANGE RIND (or maybe ORANGE REIGN?), GOOGLE EARTH.

I have to weigh in on the LAP flap: I’ve swum on swim teams my whole life – both as a kid and as an adult in Masters programs. A lap is one length. Period:

In swimming, there is a lot of different terminologies- flip turn and tumble turn, lane rope and lane line, swimming stroke and swimming style, butterfly kick and dolphin kick, a mile and a swimmer’s mile, the list goes on… But if there is one thing swimmers from all around the world can agree on it is this-

In swimming a lap is the same as a length. By definition, a lap means a complete trip around a racetrack, in swimming, the pool is the racetrack. Therefore if you swim from one end to the other, you’ve completed the track and thus you’ve completed one lap or one length.

So to put it even more simply- if you swim from one side of the pool to the other it counts as one lap (and a length is the same as a lap)

This is by default a universal acceptance among swimmers. You can ask any competitive swimmer, whether they are a 23-time Olympic gold medalist or a 7-year-old just starting to swim competitively, and they’ll tell you the same thing- a lap is the same as a length.

You see when we are racing (assuming you are in a 50m long course pool), we don’t say a 50m sprint is half a lap sprint. No, a 50 sprint is one lap, and so 100m is 2 laps, and a 200m is 4 laps, and so on.


Breakfast test warning. . . The reveal is also quite timely – I’ve recently developed some as-yet-unidentified food issue that results in a bothersome GUT FEELING, the kind that makes it seem like there’s a tiny little asshole in my stomach slowly, loudly, fart-releasing the air out of a balloon. It’s as awful as it is it unpredictable, unstoppable, and unmuffle-able.)

Conrad 5:24 AM  


It's always a good puzzle when @LMS posts!

Two writeovers: NOGMO before NO MSG. I encounter the latter is on restaurant menus more often than on packaging; I guess I buy the right foods or go to the wrong restaurants. Also -- before reading the clue -- SETS sAIL before SETS BAIL. Enjoyable Monday!

Blackhat 6:21 AM  

Am I the only one who thought the SE was a Trainwreck?
Holy PPP ladened corners Batman!
You enter with the name of a movie, then get the fun of a "Quad-Natick" - four names crossing each other, one of which ties into another name, which crosses a foreign word.
Then the sprinkles on top of this PPP ice cream cone is a word referring to an obscure fabric pattern (OK - obscure to me, I suppose I should up my fabric game).

How is a section like this allowed?

Southsidejohnny, help me here!!

Nickyboy 6:42 AM  

Things must be different from when I was a kid, because swimming the length of a pool and back was considered TWO laps, not one.

Lewis 6:47 AM  

Terrific reveal! I tried to guess it after filling in the theme answers, without success, then when I uncovered it, I spontaneously oohed and thought, “Perfect!” That moment of enchantment was a GUT FEELING itself.

With almost 60 squares devoted to the theme, you’d expect some grid junk, but no, this is very clean, which I’m guessing took a lot of trial and error. Thank you for that, and don’t STOP IT, YOU TWO. That answer plus BAD SEEDS, EGG BAGEL, and SLEEPER AGENT made for four lovely NYT answer debuts. Plus, we have a mini-theme of double E’s (8!), an EASE up, and an EDGE right where it should be.

A quick solve for me, yes, but I was involved throughout. Beth, congratulations on your NYT debut, and Trent, congratulations on another puzzle, and thank you both for this piece of beauty!

The Joker 6:54 AM  

This was a nice, solid and enjoyable Monday puzz. I had a one letter DNF at MOIRE/ARIE.

You are all wrong about LAP. It is the answer to this question: What do you lose as soon as you stand up?

SouthsideJohnny 7:04 AM  

Like others, I think this one got bumpier once you got south of the equator. Most of the Trivia is still Monday-acceptable (LEONI, ARIE, RAINMAN, ANNIE) - reality TV stars - not so much. The south also has a high concentration of foreign stuff (again, most of which we’ve seen before - ADIOS, ESTA, OCHO, with THE GAP being another outlier). Add in YO DUDE (which people do actually say on occasion, so no complaints) and that section may end up being unusually tough for some, especially newcomers on a Monday.

It’s nice to have @LMS back posting, at least for today. I like the way she added an actual source/reference in support of her position (a la @Z) regarding the definition of a “lap” as it is understood in competitive swimming circles - much more informative than the generic “There is no such thing as X” or “Such an such is ALWAYS pronounced yada yada yada” blanket statements of opinions as fact which are all too commonly posted here.

Son Volt 7:22 AM  

Neat little theme - solid revealer. Liked the EDGE of the themers - RAGE, DREAD etc. Minimal 3 letter glue made for a nice early week flow. A quick glance gave me the recent NOm MSG.

My wife has eaten an egg onion with cream cheese nearly every Sunday morning for the last 35 years. Rex’s whiff on that is questionable.

Enjoyable Monday solve.

kitshef 7:32 AM  

1) Way too hard for a Monday (which I approve of). Probably should have run on a Wednesday.
2) Lots of crosswordese hall of famers today: Rita ORA, India ARIE (neither ever seen outside of crosswords), OREO, ACAI, ESTA/EST/ETAS, ALPO, SARI.
3) Rain Man won best picture?? Had a quick look and it was a strange year. Working Girl was nominated for best picture that year. Kevin Kline won an Oscar over fellow nominees Alec Guinness, Martin Landau, River Phoenix and Dean Stockwell.

Trey 7:33 AM  

@LMS - the catfish at Crook's Corner "was" to die for - the restaurant closed last year, unfortunately. My favorite was the shrimp and grits. Interesting factoid I heard somewhere about the place - it was opened when the husband and wife team from La Residence (down the street) split - the husband (and head chef) left to start Crook's. When he died many years later, he was replaced at Crook's by the chef that had replaced him at La Residence.

I liked the puzzle but the theme was "meh", as noted by others, in the sense that these are more emotions than gut feelings. To me, a gut feeling is an instinct or intuition. It is the "I know it but cannot tell you why" feeling when faced with a choice.

Ellen 7:40 AM  

Disagree. 1 lap = 2 lengthsm

Lewis 8:08 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week
(in order of appearance):

1. Couple in the back of a car (4)(5)
2. Assembly at a camporee, perhaps (5)
3. Jordan is found on one, notably (4)
4. Line just before a comma (7)
5. 3/4 and 7/8, e.g. (5)


REAR TIRES
SMORE
LOGO
ZXCVBNM
DATES

mmorgan 8:11 AM  

A fine Monday despite my persistent displeasure with circles in my puzzles.

Tom T 8:16 AM  

I've been a regular crossworder for getting on two years now, but can't remember encountering MOIRE. My wife provided the R to finish the grid.

Loved laughing through the LMS post (I didn't laugh, LMS, at the final part)

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

My aunt from Sierra Leone really messed up my time on this one! (Had TIA LEONE and had to track down two wrong letters)

Jack 8:37 AM  

I don’t comment much mainly because my remarks bore even me. But I have been worried about the wonderful @LMS and I am grateful to see her again. LMS, I’m very sorry about your stomach issues, and I hope you get all that fixed up soon. I really enjoy your comments.

jberg 9:02 AM  

I put in GUT rEaction from the G, but @Lewis is right, the actual revealer is better.

@Southside, you missed the best part -- ADIOS was clued in Italian.

I've seen TEA LEONI in other puzzles, but didn't remember her surname, and the crossing with NIGEL was tough. Nothing to go on there but plausibility, which favored the I.

@Loren - wait, your Mom would say STOP IT YOU TWO .. to three of you? Or did you just limit your arguments to pairs? Anyway, congratulations to your daughter! Don't be a stranger, now.

amyyanni 9:21 AM  

Say @jclaireb, was thinking Thornberry (and Tim Curry) too while reading Rex's Nigel comment. And yes,@mmorgan, a fine Mondaya, indeed. Congrats to your daughter, @LMS.

Z 9:23 AM  

Violent Femmes and XTC!!! Let’s smoke a bowl while our senses work overtime and maybe play some Dead Kennedys next because nothing starts a day better than an EGG BAGEL and Jello Biafra.

GUT FEELING because they are FEELINGs found in the GUT of the theme answers. Rex explained this but it seems like several people have missed this.

The Great LAP Controversy of 2022 has me down. I truly didn’t expect to discover that @LOREN MUSE SMITH is in thrall to Big Swim. Sure Sure, swimmers use LAP wrong but that doesn’t make it right. Everywhere else in the universe a LAP is finished when you get back to where you started. But Big Swim is controlled by the laziest of the lazy so they started demanding that half a LAP (aka a “length”) be called a LAP instead of by its proper name. Big Swim is ruining the language! Fortunately, a small but courageous group is fighting to keep the language pure.

@Tom T - MOIRE has been relatively scarce the last two years, making just one other appearance in a Sunday puzzle two months ago. Before that MOIRE had been missing since 2016 (when it made 5 appearances in a single calendar year). The Shortz era has seen it 20 times in nearly 30 years, so once every year and a half on average. Pre-Shortz saw 76 MOIRE usages in 50 years, so once every nine months or so on average.

@Frantic Sloth Yesterday - Yes, I often pause to consider that someone might take something meant humorously seriously. But whatchagonnadew?

Z 9:34 AM  

I forgot Tim Curry voiced NIGEL Thornberry. We spent many a long car ride listening to him read A Series of Unfortunate Events audiobooks. Just an absolutely perfect choice for those books. I think it had to be about the third or fourth time I watched The Hunt for Red October that I realized he played the Russian doctor. That’s quite the range, going from Dr. Frank-N-Furter to Dr. Petrov. And we also spent some time listening to his albums in college between XTC, Violent Femmes, and The Dead Kennedys.

TJS 9:35 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
RooMonster 9:36 AM  

Hey All !
OREO! Awesome. Where's the Mountain: Comb. form clue?

EGG BAGEL as clued refers to an actual BAGEL with EGG added into the dough before baking. Observe: Breakfast roll with another breakfast staple added in. Had it said added to , then you'd have a fried EGG added to the BAGEL.

YESLETS still sound like mini-YESes. (Not my original thought, someone else had said it, and (amazingly) it stuck.)

Does the Government have MIND READing SLEEPER AGENTs ALL OVER THE PLACE? Have a GUT FEELING they might. STOP IT, me, with the conspiracy theories.

Puz was good, although kind of a downer, if you group the circles together. DREAD RAGE PITY LOVE. It's like four stages of something unlikeable but then you accept it and welcome it.

I nominate HOUR as the Easy-E clue for today. Let's see what @M&A comes up with.

4D, meta answer? Doesn't Tesla also have a MODEL S?

As much as Rita ORA is in puzs, I still don't know who she is. Not my genre of music, apparently.

GARTER belt, GARTER snake, how about a GARTER snake belt? Har.

Nice to see DANG. Haven't uttered one myself in some time. Dang. 😁

YO DUDE, got to mind THE GAP and say ADIOS. SEER you later.

yd -7, should'ves All (whah whah)

One F (FOO!) Har. (Excellent PITY the FOO @egs!)
RooMonster
DarrinV

pabloinnh 9:38 AM  

On the tough side for a Monday and that's OK.

Today I discover that we have a long lost family member named NIGEL in the reality tv business. Oh, the horror. For me NIGEL will always be NIGEL BRUCE.

I guess an EGGBAGEL is not really comparable to an EggMcMuffin. OK by me.

Was happy to see LOVE and PITY show up after DREAD and RAGE made me think this year was getting off to a dark start indeed.

Nice enough Monday, BR and THE. Not Bad, Really. Maybe not The Happiest Example of a Monday ever, but perfectly serviceable, for which thanks.

Welcome back LMS!

tea73 9:44 AM  

I currently have a client last named LEONe, so of course that's what I typed in. I also typed in ARIa for Ms. Grande. Slowed my normal Monday time considerably as I'd never heard of the reality star. I don't think there are any Nigel's that are famous enough for me to have guessed.

Phillyrad1999 9:46 AM  

Don’t necessarily thnk of rage, pity etc as “gut feelings” but it was Mpnday enough for me. Not a fan of cramming, Leoni, Annie, Arie and Nigel into 1 corner. BTW I had a sesame bagel for breakfast. Have never referred to it as a roll. It’s a bagel.

GILL I. 10:04 AM  

I'm not sure I understood his one...So we have DREAD, RAGE, LOVE, & PITY to tell us these are GUT FEELINGS? My feelings in the gut are usually hungry pangs. Perhaps I DREAD not finding the right EGG BAGEL (needs some bacon and cheese) and just maybe I will RAGE when you give me seeds on those yummilishious things) but I LOVE when the EGG drizzles out and I PITY the poor person that has to clean up after me.
Well...lets see. I see that @Unknown 9:29 has started a LAP discussion. Well, why not...I know I can't out-do our smart, funny, fancy Miss prissy pot, LMS, but I will add my two centavos. I've been swimming for a very long time. I've taken lesson in Havana and Miami; they were grueling. When we did our warm-ups, we had to do ONE LAP, which ALWAYS meant swimming from one end of the pool and back. When I watched the Olympics, ONE LAP referred to one length of the Olympic sized pool. So I guess it's up for discourse. Kinda like an ORO/KALE discussion.
So...what else did you like? you ask....Seeing TEA LEONI. Loved her in "Bad Boys" - especially one scene where she falls off a balcony and flies about a thousand miles into a pool and survives. Now that is a GUT FEELING of DREAD.
My parents never said STOP IT YOU TWO. Nosireebobandbill. It was always got the stink eye. Yes...one look and you just knew you were in for it....Damnation...Mom's going to go get her handy dandy hanger and bend it so it looked like a saber....Worked every time.
Well, but did you like anything else? you ask. Well...I like OCHO and ADIOS because I'm that kinda gal.
My GARTER belt truly runneth over.

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

LAP equals one length.
For a swimming pool: one LAP is end to end,
For a racetrack: one LAP is the circumference (end to end).

There is no conflict here!

Aunt Hattie 10:12 AM  

Happy to see LMS again--I was afraid her pupils had done her in. Sorry about her gut feeling, tho--hope it abates (ebbs, wanes)

Nancy 10:14 AM  

This puzzle served as a SLEEPER AGENT for me since the slam-dunk cluing put me to sleep. Things like "locale for clouds" = SKY; "Long part of a giraffe" = NECK; and "60 minutes" = HOUR really set my teeth on edge. Do you take us for complete idiots?

There was one curveball -- and it was odder than odd. "What's up, my man?" sounds like something an English don would say. Maybe even Henry Higgins himself. "YO DUDE" sounds like something that would be shouted at a neighborhood playground by someone in baggy jeans. They are not at all the same thing.

As you know, I also hate embedded words embedded in tiny little circles. They leave the solver with nothing interesting to do -- meaning there's no compelling reason for them to be there at all. Other than STOP IT YOU TWO -- which was not that easy to figure out and therefore somewhat interesting -- this puzzle mainly made me yawn.

Mikey from El Prado 10:25 AM  

I think my time was slightly faster than my Monday average vs Rex’s a bit slower than his was due to immediately entering NOMSG, despite thinking that was probably a wrong guess. BTW my Monday average is about twice Rex’s (I don’t think nor type that fast).

Two lengths of a pool (up and back) are two laps, not ONELAP.

I was thinking an EGGBAGEL was a bagel sandwich with an egg in the middle, but Frantic Sloth corrected my thinking. I have had those, it prefer the regular type (sesame, with lox, cream cheese and capers).

Happy New Year to all.

Oh, HELL no! 10:29 AM  

@Nancy - Can't have "someone in baggy jeans" represented in a puzzle?

burtonkd 10:30 AM  

@unknown 9:29 regarding LAPS - we've gone back and forth on this one before;)
I'll see myself out...

@Roo - a garter snake belt would make an excellent chastity belt until you remember they aren't poisonous.

I went through this pretty quickly and easily, but time wasn't stellar, so Medium to Challenging is certainly a good assessment.

Sgreennyc 10:43 AM  

There are egg bagels and water bagels. Wouldn’t expect a WASP like Rex to know that,

jae 10:45 AM  

@bocamp - Croce’s Freestyle #674 was medium + for a Croce or around 2X last Saturday’s NYT. Good luck!

JD 10:45 AM  

No GMO (as I self-righteously screamed internally, "That needs an S!") Never mind.

Learned Egg Bagel in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh in the '70s. That shop distinguished it from the Water Bagel, although I never heard Water Bagel again outside of that city.

The guy at the Y who taught swimming in the '60s said that swimming from one end of the pool to the other was called a Length not a lap and I proudly believed that until today, (more self-righteousness punctured).

Fun puzzle, based on my Gut Feeling (enjoyment), mostly because it reminded me of the time the kids were rolling around on the floor arguing and wresting when I whapped them with a baguette to break it up. I was cooking and it was sitting right there.

@jclaireb, @Z, thank you for being Wild Thornberrys fans. @Anon 1:17am, your comment went to 11.

Whatsername 10:56 AM  

My FEELING was this seemed ALL OVER THE PLACE. From the almost insultingly simple clue for SKY to grouping five proper names in the SE corner. On a Monday? I liked the revealer but the themers not so much. Just my GUT reaction of course, but DREAD is the only one which really meets the definition of “intuition without logical explanation.” I suppose for some people LOVE would fit but there is nearly always a clearly defined basis for RAGE or PITY.

I did like EGG BAGEL which I have never tried. I’ve had breakfast within breakfast on toast, a biscuit, a croissant and an English muffin but bagels are strictly for cream cheese.

Masked and Anonymous 11:06 AM  

The Circles make their debut in the puztheme mix, for 2022. Kinda cute gut check use of em, too boot.

Any MonPuz with a cute theme and a YODUDE gets M&A's vote for best MonPuz of the year [so far].

Only 8 weejects in a MonPuz, so that's different. Actually, this puz seemed very well-constructed … only nit nick was that concentration of name answers in the SE corner.
staff weeject pick: AAA. Interestin mainly becuz it was chosen from what musta been a lotta different possibilities, to fill the 32-A boxes. [BSA, GSA, NSA, BFA, BAA, ASA, RSA, etc.]

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: Hard choice today, as a lot of the clues seemed like gimmes, at our house. In the longer answer field, {"Gesundheit!" elicitor} about had to be either SNEEZE or AHCHOO. And U do have that timely {60 minutes} = HOUR one, that @Roo likes. Several of the fill-in-the-blanks clues also left all yer nanoseconds intact. Think I'll go with {Long part of a giraffe} = NECK, for sentimental reasons: luv giraffes.

fave themer: STOPITYOUTWO. A debut entry, btw. Kinda cool, that it appears in a puz by two constructioneers.
fave fillins: YODUDE. SNEEZE [dash of scrabbliness quality]. ONELAP [nice desperation quality].

Welcome back, @Muse darlin! Made M&A's year, early on. Good luck with that gas deal.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Beth darlin & Trent dude. And congratz to Beth Rubin on her half-debut.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


**gruntz**

Joseph Michael 11:06 AM  

This puzzle was an emotional experience. Too bad we had to endure DREAD, RAGE. and PITY to get a little LOVE. But it is, after all, a pandemic. Congrats on the debut.

As a former backstroker on my high school swim team, I’d like to think of a LAP as one length of the pool, so that if I go back and forth 30 times, I can say I did 60 laps.

Not sure what my GUT FEELING is about seeing both OREO and AÇAÍ in the same grid, but I know I want to say STOP IT YOU TWO.

@Roo, had the same thought about YESLETS being small affirmations.

Don’t call me NIGEL. In Australian English, it’s a colloquial term for a social misfit., as in a No Friends Nigel.

mathgent 11:13 AM  

Nice touch. The emotions are in the GUT of the long entry. I don't pay much attention to themes --I rely on Jeff Chen to point out the cute ones.

Pleased that there were only eight threes in the grid.

31D, TREY. Trey Lance, the rookie Niner QB who had a good game yesterday, replacing the injured Garappolo. A lot of us hope he'll start again Sunday, the under-talented Garappolo healed or not.



OISK 11:17 AM  

At one time I am sure I knew whether it was one way, (in the pool) or back and forth, but suffering from laps of memory...

Enjoyed this puzzle, even though I got lucky on Moire and Arie. (I'm not wild about Arie...) Glad I did, 2 DNF in 3 days would have been a bad start to the year. ( Had IGO and ILSA instead of EGO and ELSA yesterday, because I couldn't believe that a common word like EGO would be clued as the first name of an obscure (to me) actor...)

Back to solving daily, after a few weeks of beginning on Wednesday. No doubt that solving the early, easier puzzles, helps later in the week...

Carola 11:17 AM  

Medium for me, too, and fun to solve, with the four lively theme answers and on-the-nose reveal, along with the pleasures of BAD SEEDS, SNEEZE, GARTER, EGG BAGEL, and the always welcome WILE. E. Coyote. I see the point that DREAD, RAGE, LOVE, and PITY aren't themselves GUT FEELINGS in the sense of intuition, but, for me, that was what made the reveal so good - it referred just to FEELINGS, the GUT part referring only to their location in the phrases. Very clever word play, I thought.

Help from previous puzzles: ORA, ARIE, GERI. Hardest for me to see: NOMSG. Do-over: LEONe. No idea: NIGEL.

Anoa Bob 11:20 AM  

I've heard of "gut feeling" many times over many years and it has always rung true to my ear because most, if not all feelings and emotions have a visceral, bodily component. The gut (there's a peer-reviewed publication of the British Medical Journal called "Gut") has a complex, extensive neural network that both receives and sends messages from and back to the central nervous system, including the brain. I used to emphasize to students in Biopsychology that the nervous system is everywhere interconnected and that changes in any one part will have effects on every other part.

So for me the feelings were simply embedded in the theme phrases and the gut part referred to how they are felt, not to their positions in the grid. Saying the feelings are in the gut of the themers did not occur as a possibility to me. Still sounds weird.

I put on my "Hey, it's a Monday puzzle" hat and soldiered on until I got to the SE corner. When I saw 66A "Singer India.___", 52D "Wavy-patterned fabric", 53D "Photographer Leibovitz" and 54D "___ Baker, fashion photographer and reality TV judge", I got a sinking feeling in my gut and just threw in the towel. Two photogs in one corner? On a Monday? DANG!

I was surprised when the answer to 65A "'Ciao' in Chihuahua" was ADIOS. I'm at the OPPOSITE end of the spectrum from being a polyglot but I thought "Ciao" was informal and that "Adieu" would be the French equivalent of ADIOS. I guess there would be too many letter duplications between ADIOS and "Adieu" to clue it that way. Here in Tex-Mex Land "Ciao" would be something closer to "Bueno bye".

Nancy 11:31 AM  

The point I was making, @Hell no, is that the two phrases have nothing whatever in common and one should never be clued by the other. If you want to make some ridiculous political point over it, be my guest. I have a busy morning and better things to do than discuss it with you.

Whatsername 11:43 AM  

Okay just read the comments and I’m now enlightened on the definition of an EGG BAGEL. Like @Mikey at 10:25, I thought it was a sandwich. Well it sounds like a sandwich. Anyway, where I live you’re much more likely to find eggs on a plate next to a couple biscuits smothered in gravy than you are a bagel made out of anything.

@OhHELL: ???? Nancy did not say baggy jeans couldn’t be referenced in the puzzle. She said the clue didn’t fit the answer. I agree FWIW.

@Sgreennyc: I fit the definition of WASP but probably closer to a redneck if you’re stereotyping. We don’t know from bagels either.

@JD: The baguette story. 🤣

bocamp 11:43 AM  

@okanaganer (12:42 AM) 👍 for 0 yd

@LMS (4:35 AM)

Good to see you! Thx for the 'lap' lesson. :) 🙏 for your GUT FEELING.

@Z (9:23 AM)

Thx for the GUT FEELING clarification; you're right, it flew right over my head. And as for 'laps', now I'm totally confus-ed. lol

@jae

Thx; on it! :)
___
td pg -4 (t.o.)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Tim Carey 11:52 AM  

Yep. I died in that corner. Left the MOI_E/A_IE crossing just blank. Serves me right for being so ignorant. DNF on a Monday.

Tim Carey 12:03 PM  

Yes! Jello Biafra!

https://youtu.be/-KTsXHXMkJA

Michael Page 12:07 PM  

Big props for the XTC inclusion; No Thugs In Our House is one of the all time greats! The whole English Settlement album is a forgotten work of genius. Melt The Guns!

Z 12:12 PM  

@Ellen has nailed it on the head, all this one length = one LAP is nothing more than Lengthism and shall not be tolerated!

{yes, I had a different "lengthism" joke that may or may not have involved Dr. Frank-N-Furter, but you'll just have to come up with your own}

@anon 10:11 - By that logic someone finishing a 100 meter dash has run a LAP.

Former Commentariat Member @EVAN boasted on Twitter that he set a PR on this puzzle, but was somewhat chastened that he finished in 2:01. Apparently not medium for everyone.

@JD - Wild Thornberrys, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, - The golden age of Nickelodeon was right as the boys were the perfect age for the shows. I think the only non-Nickelodeon show to get significant airtime was Arthur. Hey Arnold! would have been a great source for a "Helga" clue.

Tom P 12:35 PM  

Like @Tom T, I've been doing crosswords regularly for the past two years or so, and this was the first time I've come across MOIRE. Since I had no idea who "Singer India." might be, I finishded with a Natick where MOIRE crossed ARIE, which was especially annoying on a Monday. I had to keep plugging in letters until I finally hit the R.

old timer 12:36 PM  

Slow for a Monday, perhaps because the print in the paper was exceptionally hard to read this morning. As always, the circled squares were meaningless -- that's the defect of solving with pen and paper. And the clues struck me as opaque, for a Monday or Tuesday puzzle.

I am delighted to see our Muse today. We missed you! And yes, you are right, at a swim meet, a length = a lap. But if you are officiating at a meet, as I did for years (stroke and turn judge or timer, and assistant ref at the HS meets) you think of a lap as being two lengths, because the timers and finish judges are all at the start/finish end of the pool, and need to count laps in the longer events. For instance, in a 400 swim in a 50 yard pool, a timer will want to count the laps, and will count one, two, three (and someone will ring a bell then) and then the bell lap is out and back, from the timer's point of view. Yet that bell lap equals two lengths!

All the same, from a swimmer's point of view, a 400 consists of 8 laps, and 7 turns. And Lord help the swimmer who thinks he can get away with coming in at an angle at the far end in the breast stroke. There's a stroke and turn judge at the far end whose job is to disqualify those who do. Or, as one parent told me, "It's your job to make little kids cry, isn't it?"

mathgent 12:45 PM  

My favorite comments this morning.

Lewis (8:08)
Nancy (10:14)
Sgreennyc (10:45)

Maybe . . . 1:01 PM  

I had my first bagel at that Pittsburgh Squirrel Hill bakery, too - in 1975! So fun, because you could see every step of the process, both boiling and baking, in the big open shop. And then order some of the "still warm" ones to go.

Beezer 1:04 PM  

@LMS. You may want to get some type of probiotic juice, kombucha, or Activia yogurt. Kinda sounds like the holidays may have set your personal good stomach “bugs” askew.

I thought this was a perfectly serviceable Monday but for some reason I flew through it. Since I work on the NYT iPad app, sometimes I think my time is affected by how quickly, on any given day, my brain can process the Across/Down intersection to dub check questionable decisions.

Z 1:09 PM  

Regarding ARIE - India.ARIE has been the clue approximately 27 of the ARIE 78 appearances (variations make me say approximately). Indy Car racer ARIE Luyendyk has roughly the same number of appearances but has mostly been replaced by India.ARIE. ARIE Luyendyk Jr was on The Bachelor and that's been used to clue ARIE a couple of times. ARIE is also German for "aria" apparently, so a German opera in the clue might yield ARIE for an answer, but it has been six years (as of yesterday) since that ploy has been used. Maleska clued ARIE 15 times, thirteen of those with ARIE Eliav. Shortz has never used the author.

In short, learn India.ARIE and Arie Luyendyk. They will be coming to a puzzle near you soon.

Anonymous 1:18 PM  

Listen to this and India.Arie will never be an issue again. For those thinking 'Why would I ever listen to a rap singer!!' feel safe, it has Yo-Yo Ma in it, along with those rap and rock and roll hoodlums shouting Yo, Dude!

JD 1:19 PM  

@Maybe, It WAS 1975. They had a little pile of halva sitting next to the cash register.

@Z, Same at our house! The Saturday clue for Helga could be Big Bob's second favorite daughter.

OffTheGrid 1:25 PM  

Me too. The DNF-natick at ARIE/MOIRE club seems to be growing.

Oh, HELL no! 1:28 PM  

Sorry folks, but "Yo, dude" is as exact a translation of "What's up, my man" as "chick pea" is of "garbanzo", which is to say exact. That you may not know that is fine, that you many not know that and proceed to categorize those who may use it with a very specific trope is not fine.

Joe Dipinto 1:29 PM  

The most important thing about LAP is that it's an anagram of PAL and also of ALP. A hike to the top of the Matterhorn is considered one lap on an Alp, pal.

Dan 1:31 PM  

Lap is there and back. Length is one half of a lap.

Wanderlust 1:31 PM  

I solved it as if it were a themeless, then looked at the GUT FEELING revealer and thought, "Oh cool, the circled squares will spell types of guts!" As in intestines, pancreases -- OK, those are unlikely, but maybe liver and tummy. I was a little disappointed to see they were just feelings. Oh well.

Always interesting to see what will spark the great debate here each day. Today's commenters majored in LAP and minored in EGG BAGEL. The prize goes to @oldtimer for a great explanation of how LAP could be either "there" or "there and back." Makes perfect sense. So, you're all right! (Whenever a friend of mine hears two people in disagreement, he says, "STOP IT, YOU TWO, you're both pretty.")

I expect to see the clue for ACID ("You'll trip on it if you drop it") in @Lewis' list next week.





Maybe . . . 1:37 PM  

@JD,10:45 & 1:19. The shop was Bageland on Murray Avenue in Pgh. Sadly gone since the later 1990s.

egsforbreakfast 2:32 PM  

@Joe DiPinto 1:29 pm. Thanks. You’ve gone to great lengths to clarify this question for me and my ALPO-loving Fido. I think I’ll just swim a loop of the pool before playing polo.

Anonymous 2:48 PM  

@oh hell no -- Can't wait to see you say "What's up, my man" to the YO DUDE crowd and watch what happens next.

Unknown 3:41 PM  

Anon @1:18. Thanks!

brian 3:57 PM  

I got Naticked so hard on that southeast quadrant. I managed to guess "NIGEL," but I didn't know MoIrE, I have never heard of either "AnNiE Lebovitz" or "India.Arie," and only know "TEA LEonI" from that old show -The Naked Truth- and the (underrated) movie -Spanglish.- I am disappointed because I couldn't deduce any of this fill, as there are five nouns crossing each other and you need SOME prior knowledge to get any of it.

OffTheGrid 3:59 PM  

Remember the old Certs ad where the twin girls are arguing? "Certs is a breath mint" "Certs is a candy mint". Then a voice says, "STOP, you're both right!" That seems like a good answer to the LAP kerfuffle.

manitou 4:28 PM  


The E in ETAS (29D) stands for "estimated" and yet we have EST (63D) representing the same word. Tsk tsk.

Unknown 4:28 PM  

Thanks, @Z. I feel a little better for not knowing it, and you have provided MOiRE knowledge.

Z 5:34 PM  

@Anon1:18 - Thanks! I missed that version, although I wonder why you didn't go with the the official video. Prince still has the definitive guitar solo performance but that Carlos guy is pretty good. When I saw this version live it was without Todd Rundgren. Ethel, the quartet, was fantastic and it remains the best version I've ever heard live. The last time I saw Santana live he spent too much time being mystical for my taste, but the music was great. If I knew he was going to include this in the set I'd endure some more of his mysticism.

Unknown 6:02 PM  

Super easy & somewhat boring for me as a result, but I felt it was a perfect puzzle for a newbie.
But then in the SE corner you had that MOIRE / ARIE cross, like what????? was that doing there? Given the overall simplicity of today's puzzle, that was a pretty jarring curveball.

Lewis 6:55 PM  

@wanderlust -- I'm sorry to say, almost exactly that clue has been used a couple of times before, and I only put new clues in my list. It is one terrific clue, though!

Anonymous 7:42 PM  

I was on a record Monday pace (for me, at least) until I encountered the SE. Had LEONE, and didn't know NIGEL or ARIE (and guessed the R in MOIRE). Eventually reasoned it out but not before my PR went by. Also would not have known ORA or EMIL except for the crosses being pretty easy.

Anon 1:18 9:42 PM  

@Z - Thanks for posting the official video. Youtube is so dedicated to making me use their app by making the browser interface impossible on the phone, that once I found what I thought was the official video I didn't bother to verify it. As to the others, I know this is sacrilege, but I don't care for the Prince et al version. Prince is just shredding; extremely well, but just shredding, and I don't have much use for that. Joe Jackson, with or without Todd Rundgren is just a no.

Anyway, my point was India.Arie is a legit singer, and all the "how would I know...[that type]..." is just rot. And Santana is Santana.

Joe Dipinto 10:54 PM  

@OISK 11:17am – I see what you did there. Cute.

(And here's a more contemporary take.)

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