Nutty candy offering / MON 5-30-22 / Sansa's father on Game of Thrones / Web company with an exclamation mark in its name / Wizard's weapon / Avenger played by Paul Rudd / Suni Team USA gymnastics medalist

Monday, May 30, 2022

Constructor: Alexander Liebeskind

Relative difficulty: Harder than the usual Monday, for sure

THEME: NEW BEGINNINGS (37A: Fresh starts .. or, when said aloud, what 18-, 23-, 53- and 58-Across all have?) — each themer begins with the sound "new" (or Greek letter "Nu," if that's more helpful):

Theme answers:
  • NOUGAT BAR (18A: Nutty candy offering)
  • NEUTRON STAR (23A: Ultradense galactic body)
  • NOODLE BOWLS (53A: Soba servings, for instance)
  • NUMERO UNO (58A: Top dog)
Word of the Day: ANT-MAN (47D: Avenger played by Paul Rudd) —
Ant-Man is the name of several superheroes appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan LeeLarry Lieber and Jack Kirby, Ant-Man's first appearance was in Tales to Astonish #35 (September 1962). The persona was originally the brilliant scientist Hank Pym's superhero alias after inventing a substance that can change size, but reformed thieves Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady also took on the mantle after the original changed his superhero identity to various other aliases, such as Giant-ManGoliath, and Yellowjacket. Pym's Ant-Man is also a founding member of the super hero team known as the Avengers. The character has appeared in several films based on the Marvel character, such as Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019) and upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. (wikipedia)
• • •

I think this is a great theme idea. The execution, however ... I dunno. And by "I dunno," I mean I've never heard of half the themers. Let's just say that my never having heard of the term NEUTRON STAR is on me, that I'm a dummy, etc. It's Monday, the answer seems very un-Monday, but again, let's stipulate "dummy" and move on ... move on to NOUGAT BAR, what the hell? I can conceive of such a thing, kind of, but as someone who has consumed a number of nougat-containing bars in my lifetime, I can tell you in all sincerity that I have no recollection of ever having encountered the phrase NOUGAT BAR before in my life. The only reason I know that nougat even exists is because Snickers told me that it exists. It's some kind of nutty concoction, right? Peanuty, maybe? Anyway, wikipedia tells me that nougat "is used in a variety of candy bars," but not that it is, itself, the bar. 
The nougat that appears in many candy bars in the United States and United Kingdom differs from traditional recipes and consists of sucrose and corn syrup aerated with a whipping agent (such as egg whitehydrolyzed soya protein or gelatine); it may also include vegetable fats and milk powder. Typically, it is combined with nuts, caramel, or chocolate. Some American confections feature this type of nougat as the primary component, rather than combined with other elements. Varieties of nougat are found in Milky WayReese's Fast BreakSnickers, Double DeckerZERO bars, and Baby Ruth bars. "Fluffy nougat" is the featured ingredient in the 3 Musketeers bar. (wikipedia)
So I am familiar with all of the above-mentioned nougat-containing candy bars, but I wouldn't call any of them NOUGAT BARs. There are apparently "traditional recipes" of nougat that I guess come in bar form? All I can say is that it's Monday and NOUGAT BAR feels X-tremely made-up. NOODLE BOWLS and NUMERO UNO are right on the Monday money, good job there. I guess getting that fourth "Nu-" sound was probably pretty difficult. But I don't know if NOUGAT BAR was worth it. I had NOUG- and thought "well, it's NOUGAT ... something? Is there an alt-spelling? NOUGATTE? Nope, still too short. NOUGATELE?" The answer just hits my ears wrong.

Other things felt not quite Monday. The clue on STAFF, for instance (1A: Wizard's weapon). SPELL seemed more likely, and anyway how deep into the D&D rules am I supposed to get for a Monday 1-Across anyway? SPY had a "?" clue (1D: Intel employee?) which kept that NW corner briefly mysterious, and then TEA ... people I know who drink TEA drink it all the time. Doesn't scream "breakfast" to me, so yeah, slow going to start this one. Also had PAPAYA before BANANA (6D: Yellow fruit)—the "A"s are all in the same place!! And then I couldn't figure out what the hell the "!" was doing on the SPOILED clue (26D: This is not good!). I thought it was one of those clues like "Step on it!" and the answer would be, say, STAIR. But the "This" in [This is not good!] wasn't a thing—it was the meaning of "not good." Pretty screwy cluing (again, esp. for a Monday). In the end, because the puzzle was otherwise pretty Monday, these weirdnesses were easily overcomeable. But still, this felt more Too-Teu-Tu-Tew-Tuesday to me. Last thing about the theme: there is no need for the "when said aloud" part of the revealer clue. You've got a "?" on the clue, you're covered. It's clear. The "when said aloud" is just redundant. Or else the "?" is. 

  • 50D: Suni ___, Team U.S.A. gymnastics medalist (LEE) — this also seems pretty un-Monday (just ... "medalist?"), but there's nothing wrong with giving a common name a new / current twist like this. Crosses make it easy to sort. 
  • 31A: Spot for a mic clip (LAPEL) — the puzzle is weirdly fixated on LAPEL mics this past week (LAPEL MIC was an answer ... I don't know, very recently).
  • 57A: Pollen gatherers (BEES) — this puzzle contains three plural letters ("when said aloud"): BEES, GEES, and SEAS. It's also got two more letters ("when said aloud") in ESSO. And then another ("when said aloud") with TEA. So all in all, that's B G C S O T, and if you anagram those, you get ... well, basically nonsense. Really wanted there to be a secret code.
  • 8D: Australian bird that's a vowel change from 7-Down (EMU) — everything after "bird" here is gratuitous. Not that I don't like the idea of an EMO EMU, but the latter part of this clue adds no important information. It's not like I was unsure which "Australian bird" it might be. "Huh, do you think they want KOOKABURRA here?," I did not wonder.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:01 AM  

Waiter: “Our special today, Mr. Sinatra, is wildebeest patΓ© on toast.”
Frank: “♫♫ Start spreading the gnus ♪♪♪ “

Loren Muse Smith 12:16 AM  

I saw early on how this would be a play on the various ways to pronounce NEW and then was delighted to see the reveal. Since we had for the themers all N+ 2 vowels, I would have preferred something like NUISANCE TAX instead of NUMERO UNO, but I don’t think symmetrical pairs would have been possible.

I rather liked the 7D, 8D clues. 15A coulda been a contender, too.

Nice to have ODE next to the Grecian URN.

I had no idea that SCANTY was a word - briefly looked into the difference between SCANT and SCANTY but just didn’t have the patience to pay attention.

@Joaquin - good one!

NASAL SPRAYs, when used carefully, are a medicinal miracle. No, really.

I kept going back and considering the clue for MOBILE. Saying Mo-beel mo-bile to myself. If your bald head is smeared with it, you could have a pate pate. Or the dove dove toward the worm. A dump could refuse refuse. Hah.

Ahem. There are other buttons in an elevator that don’t indicate floors. How many times have I nastily jabbed at the Close Door button when I see a buncha slow-looking people headed my way. Of course if my actions are discernable, I magnanimously hit the Open Door button and act all friendly and stuff.

Have to agree on the head-scratcher “nutty candy” deal. Three Musketeers, anyone? That’s a crap-ton of nougat sans nuts.

Happy Memorial Day!

jae 12:20 AM  

Medium but it felt tougher. Top half was slower than the bottom. It had the same issues in the NW as @Rex. Interesting Mon., liked it.

@bocamp - Croce’s Freestyle #713 was a medium Croce or way tougher than. Sat. NYT. That said, I missed it by a square in the NW. A slangy expression I didn’t know crossed a ? clue I didn’t get until I checked my answers. Good luck!

Joaquin 12:29 AM  

My Yiddish-speaking grandpa's standard greeting/response/exclamation was, "So nu?" Apparently "nu" was the "dude" of his day.

Otter 12:44 AM  

Say what you will about it being harder than a usual Monday, but this was my fastest Monday ever. Maybe I was just extra focused today

okanaganer 12:58 AM  

It would have been nice if 58 across was actually English words... like NUDE PHOTO or NUTRITION or something.

Could also have something like KNEW BETTER. Or Loren's NUISANCES.

[Spelling Bee: Sun pg in 15 min but stalled at -4; just not into it today.]

Joe Dipinto 1:39 AM  

Torrone is Italian nougat candy, usually made with almonds. It's sold cut into rectangles or bars. We used to go to Ferrara on Grand Street to stock up for the holidays.

If WS thinks that clue for MOBILE is a cryptic clue he's sadly mistaken.

Gary Jugert 1:46 AM  

Where are the gnus, and the knews?

A homophonic romp as the diagonal word from 17 exclaims, YEA. Super easy and fun.

No one will ask where's the BEEF on another fun Monday. We do have four people-names we can debate if they're cross-worthy, and only one band from the distant past, but sad to say it's not a Renaissance Lute Reenactor ensemble. Nice touch or mistake that BEES and GEES are hanging out together?

Love EMO EMU and getting more partial to those Liberty Mutual commercials.

FRONT LAWNS and GENEROSITY were kinda blah, and except for NEUTRON STAR the other theme words aren't gonna cause you to leave a life of crime, but, hey, this is the second GATO in two days, and maybe the Anonym-oti can accuse the media of being anti-English cat. My cat's English name is Henry, but in Mexico he'd be Enrique, and in Alabama he'd be unvaccinated because honestly he's not that smart.

Brian A in SLC 4:47 AM  

Why do we even continue with the easy, medium, yada yada yada. Otter says it's his fastest Monday. I ripped it, 66 percent of Monday average. Every single answer just dropped in, except Spell instead of STAFF.

Start spreading the gnus . . . brilliant.

jcal 4:49 AM  

To the gentleman with the "Nu" speaking grandmother - the word in Yiddish doesn't refer to a "Dude" but rather means something like "what's gong on" or "what's new/happenng" something to that effect. And yes a very common phrase.

Rex - you certainly don't have to be a D and D person to know that a Wizard uses a "staff" - a very easy cue since "wand" is only 4 letters. Just watch any LOTR film - much is made of the various wizards' staffs. D and D would never have occurred to me.

OffTheGrid 5:36 AM  

Very well done theme and right on the money for Monday difficulty. Using knew or gnu would not fit the theme because they're complete words. 15A made me clutch my 14A. Har. I am going to finish my coffee, wait for daybreak and go for an early hike with my little buddy, Andy. It's going to be near 90 today here in northern Michigan. I hope y'all enjoy a memorable day.

Anonymous 5:44 AM  

I could never have predicted a NOUGAT rant.

Anonymous 6:25 AM  

FLOOR was obvious but technically not correct. There are non floor buttons in an elevator.

SouthsideJohnny 6:52 AM  

Enjoyed the REPS has part of a gym set crossing the very catchy TRAP - good cluing there. Now, ANT MAN ? Aren’t the Avengers superheroes - your superhero is an . . . ANT ! What, can he lift like ten times his weight or something ? Seems to defeat the whole point. Bring back DONATELLO ! (are the TMNT even superheroes? - this is getting too complicated for a Monday).

Didn’t we just have BOW TIES recently, and today we dished up some ELBOWS - I wonder if a nice helping of MANICOTTI is on the menu for tomorrow.

Son Volt 6:57 AM  

Cute theme - for me typical Monday fill-in time. Liked NUMERO UNO and TERN - ALAN mini stack.

FRONT LAWN is cool - keep the unnecessary plural - same with YEN and SERTA. Never a candy bar - except for the short lived Reggie bar - so I know what NOUGAT is but I really don’t. Thankfully the goofy EMO/EMU pair crossed. Hand up for not knowing SCANTY is a thing.

Given the recent discourse on crossword worthy material I would like to add the team that shall remained unnamed to the no-fly list. There’s no cheating in baseball.

The STEEL Wheels

Enjoyable Monday solve.

Anonymous 7:09 AM  

Must be tons of generationally sensitive material. Rex found it hard for a Monday; for me or worked out to be the easiest puzzle in recent memory.

Lewis 7:12 AM  

A lovely offering, just right, IMO, for new and newer solvers – easy to solve, compared to later in the week, without being insulting to the intelligence. A technically excellent and junk-lite construction, and all the theme answers have pop. There’s even [Parts of a gym set] for REPS, [Intel employee?] for SPY, and [Kind of phone on the coast of Alabama?] for MOBILE to give a taste of wordplay fun.

Alexander put in six answers that have never before been in the NYT puzzle, all of them fine additions to the oeuvre – FRONT LAWNS, GENEROSITY, NEUTRON STAR, NEW BEGINNINGS, NOODLE BOWLS, and NOUGAT BAR. And, by the way, nor have the singulars to those three plurals appeared.

Two things caught my eye as I looked over the completed puzzle:
• NEO, which has often been clued [New beginning], echoes the theme.
• It’s a Rhyme Time extravaganza: SPY/LIE, PEARL/EARL, TERN/EARN/URN, GEES/BEES/SEAS, SAP/TRAP, LEE/TEA, LORE/FLOOR/NOR. And maybe more.

May this beauty be an augur for the puzzle week ahead. Thank you, Alexander!

JD 7:39 AM  

Ode to a Monday. A Neutron Star, a Nougat Bar, the Astro Seas and Gees. Oh Monday with its Yens and Ends. Monday New Beginnings.

Watched an awful Paul Rudd movie the other day on Netflix, made tolerable only by his adorableness. Looked at a bio and learned that he's Jewish and has played Ant Man. Timely.

Which brings me to @Joaquin, 12:01 LOL! Also, re. Nu, I don't think it means dude. I was either reading, listening, or watching something years ago wherein a character kept saying Nu. Looked it up then. I think it means something more like "OK then..." but I'm still not sure. Nu, what do I know.

GAC 7:51 AM  

This might be the easiest NYT Monday that I have ever done - and I've been doing them since the last century. Had 'tread' for 'stair' at 68A, but that was only mistake. Very pleased to see that Rex found it difficutish.

bocamp 7:55 AM  

Thx, Alexander; a fine offering to start the week off with! :)


Pretty much flew thru this one (except for the fat finger typos). lol

Thot of Gandalf, and dropped STAFF right in.

Would have been fun to see our friend 'noob' appear somewhere in the puz.

Most enjoyable solve! :)


Thx, on it!
yd pg -2 / Duo: 34

Peace πŸ™ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

pabloinnh 8:17 AM  

Well for me "Wizard" = Gandalf and if you let Gandalf keep his STAFF, you'll be sorry, so no confusion there.

Agree with OFL on NOUGATBAR, although I do know what NOUGAT is.

I have heard SCANTY, although I'm more familiar with "scanties", which I think appears in the song "Shuffle off to Buffalo".

My only quibble with this one is the location of the revealer. I was solving top to bottom and as soon as I read the clue for 37A I skipped down to finish the bottom and came back. Note to constructors-I shouldn't have to do this.

If I'm accepting a LOTR reference I shouldn't complain about a GOT answer, but NED is NED Flanders. That's it, that's the list.

Nice Monday, AL. Actually Liked the theme and thought it was well executed. Thanks for all the fun.

mmorgan 8:18 AM  

Pretty much agree with Rex. I had SCArce for SCANTY (45D) and that really messed me up in the corner. Australian birds can be very mean and scary, as I found out when I was there two years ago. I was sitting in the outdoor cafe in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney having a sandwich and a bird came and scooped it out of my hand as I was about to put it in my mouth. And those kookaburras are loud!

The Joker 8:35 AM  

It's time to defend the much maligned plural. Plural words have (or at least should have) the same rights as singular words. Don't judge a word by it's added "S", "ES", (or other form of plural). That's flat out Essism and it needs to stop. You know who you are!

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

@mmorgan. Even when they're just sittin' in the old gum tree?

Laura 8:40 AM  

Rex is right about the theme. Others right that scanty isn't as obvious as most Monday words. Perhaps this was an apology for such an easy week last week. A bit of interest on a Monday. I loved neutron star, but only knew it from childhood novel reading. What a smile.

pabloinnh 9:05 AM  



Tom T 9:09 AM  

In addition to the NEO in 23D, there's a diagonal NEO in the south central 3 by 4 block. That block also contains all the ingredients (letters) needed for NOU, NEU, NEW, NOO, NU, NEWS, and NUDE.

Zed 9:26 AM  

Each ≠ Every. They are close, very close, but “every” includes the sense of “without exception,” while “each” does not. Hence the phrase “each and every.” I do think “each” is more and more often understood to be the equivalent of “every,” but the sense used in the clue fits the dictionary definition: being one of two or more distinct individuals having a similar relation and often constituting an aggregate {Merriam-Webster}

RooMonster 9:40 AM  

Hey All !
Wowwee! That was awesome!

Didn't anyone noticed Bee in a clue, with BEES as an answer? Coulda changed 32A clue to "Wowed expressions" or somesuch. Or echoed the SEAS clue, "Seven" things for a pirate, with "Seven" things for an alphabeticalizer, maybe (if alphabeticalizer is even a word!)

I did like this puz, despite my nits. Write over at SealyS to SERTAS. Ever noticed approximately 70% (my wildly random guess) of mattress companies start with S? Weird.

NUMER OUNO? Har, that's what it looks like. Sounds like a Thai food order.

Happy Memorial Day to all. Remember your fallen war heroes.

yd -17 (!), should'ves - lots
Duo 35 (was well on my way to a 33, but...), Missed 1-19(a could be either double-letter word, and chose the wrong one)-31(an ARGH!, as there were only so many letters left)

Three F's (right out of the gate!)

Nancy 9:44 AM  

How can a STAFF be a weapon? "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me", right? Of course I don't read or watch any wizard-based fiction. (I have the same feeling about wizards that I have about the Mafia: "If wizards leave me alone, I'll leave wizards alone.") But I did think that wizard weapons would have been either wands or laser beams.

Speaking of laser beams, how about that NEUTRON STAR! I didn't know if there was one or more in our own solar system, so I went to ask Google. The question came up so fast that I was sure that absolutely everyone in our own solar system had already asked it. But where was the answer? A plethora of details about what a NEUTRON STAR is and how it's formed...but I still don't know if there's one right nearby. Can't you just say "yes", Google? Can't you just say "no"?

Also: Is a NEUTRON STAR related to a Black Hole in any way?

This puzzle did have its moments of interest. But not nearly enough of them to make me puzzle-happy.

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

Nougat bars are not a thing and in my 70 years I have never heard anyone say nougat bars or read it. I may have heard someone say, once, “that’s a really nougaty bar” but never nougat bar.

Nancy 10:02 AM  

Phrazle 83: 2/6
⬜⬜⬜⬜πŸŸͺ⬜ πŸŸͺ⬜⬜🟨 ⬜⬜🟨🟨 πŸŸͺ🟩πŸŸͺ🟨⬜

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Dennis V. 10:06 AM  

Will Shortz is quoted in today's NYT saying that today's puzzle is "a textbook example of a Monday New York Times crossword."

Brian A in SLC 10:21 AM  

From the Venn diagrams I'd like to see department:

Group A: The pack of anal-retentives propagating this daily funfest we call "rexwordpuzzle."

Group B: The pack of Jackals propagating that weekly funfest that Seth Meyers calls "Corrections."

Aelurus 10:29 AM  

Was a longer but nice start to Monday. Did know the four themers. My family went on rambling road trips in a Rambler from NY to the West when I was a kid and we’d make stops at Stuckey’s where I’d often get those gooey-sweet Stuckey’s pecan rolls, aka nougat bars. Yes, hope it predicts a good crossword week - NEW BEGINNINGS (hi, @Lewis).

@Nancy, @bocamp, @Joe Dipinto yd – Thank you!!! (one ! for each) Armed with a trove of detailed information I will enter Phrazleworld again later today and report back, hopefully with puzzle numbers. Nancy, the instructions you posted mid-May were invaluable to my first solve because I knew I didn’t need to come up with a phrase but only valid words, even if the result was more an "auto-corrupt" (@Zed’s coinage) version of a sentence. The Phrazle I completed yesterday had 20 letters, 4 words. PS: Nancy, love your comment just above on NEUTRON STAR and Google.

[Oops. Think I posted this to the end of last night’s comments so hope I’m right in reposting it here. If so, good to know I can still self-correct, LOL]

Aelurus 10:33 AM  

I just checked and I had posted to the end of yesterday's comments AND see, @Joe, that you added a postscript there - thanks for that further thought on Phrazling.

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Parts of a gym set are Reps? What are reps? I know I'm out of shape, but....

Carola 10:49 AM  

After a slow start, with no idea about STAFF, going wrong with "mANgos," and unfamiliarity with NEUTRON STARS, things began to hum along at more of a usual Monday pace. My favorite moment was starting to fill in the final theme answer with NU..., with "NUMber one" in mind, and thinking, "That doesn't rhyme!" So NUMERO UNO was a treat, getting my "inspired entry of the day" award and really nailing the theme.

Do-over: For "This is not good!" SPOILEr went right in. I react like a BEAST to perpetrators.

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

I'm no speed demon, but this was easier than usual for me. Based on 7 years+ of stats, Monday's puzzles take about 5 minutes of my time on average. This one was done in 3:30.

I do agree some of the answers didn't ring true.

Note that not all houses have driveways in the front. In Dallas and its suburbs, most neighborhoods built in the last 50 to 60 years have driveways in the rear, reached by paved alleys. I don't know how this trend started, but its very prevalent here. Growing up in S. Oklahoma about 1.5 hours away from downtown Dallas, we called these homes "Dallas homes"

jcal 10:59 AM  

Reps are gym slang for repetitions. Something like - do 3 sets of pushups - 10 reps each. Hope the helps.

johnk 11:02 AM  

AAH, a very easy NUDE SOLVE for me. Definitely a Monday. Now, get off my ELBOWS and either get dressed and mow the FRONT LAWN or fall back on my SERTA.
Just wish 12D had been clued as "--- pekoe 2D".

Nancy 11:16 AM  

@Aelurus (10:29)-- You're welcome.

Yesterday's 2nd Phrazle (it's a day too late to spoil it, Mods) can show you how my mind works when approaching these. (If Joe D has a different technique, you should use his, because he has a decidedly better record than I do). Unless I have a strong, strong hunch about what the actual answer is, I choose "phrases" that make no damn sense at all -- but they're never random. I'm usually checking one thing or another in the different words.

Yesterday the pattern was 8,4,3,5.

I was going to try "THE" for the 3-letter word.

What 4-letter word might go before it? How about "OVER THE"?

With an 8-letter word, I often like to check the gerund. Wanted to get in an S and an A. I already had an R and a T. Didn't need them. Maybe SPEAKING.

What to put in for the 5-letter word? Often the last word of these phrases is a plural, so I wanted S for the last letter. Now, what don't I have that might be important? Don't have a U. Don't have an L. If the 4-letter word is FROM instead of OVER, it would be helpful to know about an F. And, therefore, this was my first entry:


It makes no sense at all. But it helped me get BRINGING HOME THE BACON on the 2nd guess.

Hope that's helpful to you and everyone else who wants to go Phrazling.

egsforbreakfast 11:18 AM  

Newton was a nude numismatist. Who knew?

TMI from a grumpy old man: Get off of my FRONTLAWNS!!!

Remembering back to GOT, I was sure that King Joffrey was responsible for Ned Shark’s downfall. But in today’s puzzle, I see that the column starting at 7D says EMO SPOILED NED.

6D BANANA could be a revealer for themers where “A” is dropped to whacky effect.

I have to agree with @Roo on BEES appearing as an answer (57A) and in a clue (32A). Other than that, a fine Monday offering. Thank you, Alexander Liebeskind.

mathgent 11:20 AM  

I count the threes in the puzzle every day. Sadly, Will too often allows more than twenty of the little pests to clog a grid. At one time, he wouldn't accept a puzzle with that many. Today, for the first time I can remember, there are twenty threes in the downs alone!

Anonymous 11:45 AM  

what??? @OFL hasn't seen the interminable Limu Emu adverts??? and Bah Humbug to Milky Way; Forever Yours (if it still exists, of course) is so much better. the difference: dark chocolate exterior.

Euclid 11:51 AM  


if there were one near by, we wouldn't be.

Anonymous 11:52 AM  


Trinch 11:53 AM  

Was thinking of Mickey for 1 across and put Broom (Kidding)

In Memoriam 12:08 PM  

2LT Antanas Arvidas Prizgintas, USMC
Birth 1 Nov 1945
Death 30 Dec 1968 (aged 23)
Tam Kα»³, QuαΊ£ng Nam, Vietnam

He died in service to the country he loved, the one that took in his family of WWII refugees and offered them sanctuary, hope, and a life.

jberg 12:36 PM  

It's good to be back! We spent 4 days in Aurora, CO watching my stepdaughter get her PhD, with a side trip Saturday to the Garden of the Gods (wow!). I suppose I could have found a NYT there, but there was no time to look.

I had figured out the theme after NOUGAT and NEUTRON, so the early revealer didn't bother me. My only real problem was SpArse before SCANTY. Pretty easy overall.

@Nancy, yes, a NEUTRON STAR is just a little less dense than a black hole. None in the solar system; since they are stars, they have systems of their own. Now you know!

I think the clue on EMO was there to help you admire (or to apologize for) having the two words side by side.

Favorite clue: "It's catchy" for TRAP. I almost put in Tune from the T.

@Joaquin, great pun, but now I'm wondering about pronunciation. I've always pronounced it with a hard G, G'NU. When I was in South Africa, where there were a lot of them, I think I heard people say it that way. The people in question were English-speaking Afrikaners, so others may say it differently.

Joe Dipinto 12:37 PM  

@Aelurus – re Phrazle, I always try to come up with a legit phrase for my first guess, something that *could* be the answer. Yesterday I thought of STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART so I used that, and I was able to get BRINGING HOME THE BACON on the next guess.

I'm wary of guessing something with a lot of repeated letters, especially for the shorter phrases. But a few repeats is often helpful.

If it's taking too long to think of something, I do what @Nancy described, more or less. This morning, however, I was lucky!

Phrazle 83: 1/6
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Grouch 12:40 PM  

@Nancy. Your interest in the last few puzzles equals my interest in your daily phrazle results.

Anoa Bob 12:51 PM  

I was just outside and saw a silhouette of the Anoa projected onto some overhead clouds so I rushed inside to check out today's grid. Wow! I don't think I've ever seen a heavier use of the plural of convenience (POC) to get a grid filled than happens with this one. They are all over the place including one of the themers when NOODLE BOWL needed some assistance to fill its slot.

There are also five of the two for one POCs, where a Down and an Across share a letter count boosting final S. For those working on their POC merit badge, the first two for one POC is at the end of 13D SERTA and 32A GEE. Can you spot the other four? Hint: Always check the lower, rightmost square in the grid.

All five of those two for one Ss are the equivalent of helper/cheater squares. They take up additional space and make it easier to fill the grid without adding anything of value to the puzzle. They could be changed to black squares, the clues slightly tweaked and nothing of substance would be lost. Now the black square count would go from 40---already high---to 45! The committee is unanimous in rating this grid as POC marked.

The only themer that actually has a NEW BEGINING to my ear is 37A NEUTRON STAR. Both NEW and NEU have a diphthong, compound vowel sound---two vowels blended into one sound---while NOUGAT, NOODLE and NUMERO all begin with single vowel sound.

The S fest and the compound vs single BEGINING vowel sounds kind of SPOILED my overall appreciation for this puzzle.

Masked and Anonymous 12:58 PM  

NOU NEU NEW NOO NU. Nice selection. Ya just KNEW they wouldn't use GNU, tho.

staff weeject picks: Side-by-side EMO & EMU, complete with cross-refs. Nice weeject stacks, in the NW & SE. As @mathgent sorta pointed out, all 22 of the weejects are Downs, today.
Seems like a looong spell since we've had a debut weeject; Let's get desperater, constructioneers!
honrable weeject mentions to the ODE & URN sidekicks, btw.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {The Bee ___ (music group)} = GEES. Acceptable to also have BEES as an answer elsewhere -- in this case, IM&AO.
fave sparkler fruits: BANANA & ORANGE.

no-knews: Sansa's father. About it, tho. M&A-friendly puzfill.

Thanx for the all the breakin news, Mr. Liebeskind dude. Good, smoooth job.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

more ODEs & URNs:

Lewis 2:10 PM  

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

1. Where to find 55 and over? (5)(4)
2. Prepared to end an engagement (3)(1)(4)
3. Port authority? (4)(6)
4. It's often found on bow ties (5)(5)
5. One-eyed giant? (9)


Joe Dipinto 2:15 PM  

I just noticed that the Wikipedia entry for NOUGAT that @Rex quotes from in his rant shows a picture of a nougat bar. The picture is captioned "Nougat bar".

{shakes head sadly}

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

BEES do not gather pollen. Just the opposite. They spread and scatter the pollen across the plants they visit. They gather nectar.

Larry 2:36 PM  

@Joe Di - Perhaps you missed this in @Rex's rant: 'There are apparently "traditional recipes" of nougat that I guess come in bar form? All I can say is that it's Monday and NOUGAT BAR feels X-tremely made-up' So yes, Wikipedia found something that was a bar of nothing but NOUGAT and and labelled it a NOUGAT BAR. The item wasn't named NOUGAT BAR, someone working for nothing labelled it a NOUGAT BAR. That doesn't make NOUGAT BAR a "thing" worthy of a Monday theme entry. So, @Rex never said it didn't exist, only that it wasn't on the level of NEUTRON STAR of familiarity.

@Anon 2:22 BEES do in fact gather and store pollen. It's vital for their survival, as it's the only source of protein available to them. Nurse BEES gather pollen then eat it, which produces secretions that are fed to larva. Without it, the larva would not mature properly.

Anonymous 3:08 PM  

A NEUTRON STAR with a NOUGAT center??? That would be the center of the Milky Way?

bocamp 3:10 PM  

"Nougat (US: /ˈnuːɑət/ NOO-gΙ™t, UK: /ˈnuːɑɑː/ NOO-gah;[1][2][3][4] French: [nuΙ‘a]; Azerbaijani: nuqa; Persian: Ω†ΩˆΩ‚Ψ§) is a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are common), whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat is chewy, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates. The word nougat comes from Occitan pan nogat (pronounced [ˈpaⁿ nuˈɣat]), seemingly from Latin panis nucatus 'nut bread' (the late colloquial Latin adjective nucatum means 'nutted' or 'nutty')." (Wikipedia)

@Aelurus 😊


All good, notwithstanding a few patchy spots in the greater NE area. (nearing the 2 hr mark) 🀞
td pg -2 / yd pg -1 (looking for 6ers in both cases) 🀞

Peace πŸ™ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

JD 3:39 PM  

Thank you for posting @In Memoriam.

Anonymous 7:26 PM  

Had a monkey do that to me in Thailand. Snatched my water bottle as I was taking a drink!

Anonymous 8:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LateSolver 8:42 PM  

Figures. On Saturday when everyone thought it was easy and I struggled, today Rex rates it harder and I flew through it, even for a Monday. Aside from the themers, I almost could have finished on just the across.

Unknown 8:55 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bocamp 9:27 PM  

@Anonymous (8:00 PM)

Stopped eating sweets a couple of years ago, but various NOUGAT BARs were among my faves. :)

And, the excerpt wasn't intended to make a point or be part of any discussion. It was simply a few interesting facts about something that was in today's puz.
td pg -1 / W: 3* / WH: 4 / Duo: 34

Peace πŸ™ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

kitshef 10:51 PM  

Unlike almost all pronunciation-related puzzles, this one actually works the way I pronounce the words.

albatross shell 10:57 PM  

@Sun Volt
Thanks for the music. I do not think I have heard Richard and Linda since Garrison Keillor left NPR. I sure miss the Lake Woebegone gang.

When is a thing a thing?
The clue is Nutty candy offering. Many candy offerings have noughat as a primary ingredient. Many are sold in bar shapes. Same for the homemade recipes. Because none of these are commercially sold with the label NOUGAT BAR does that mean it is not a thing? Apparently many here use that standard. I think it is an absurd standard. My mom made delicious nougat bars. You know what I mean. I know what I mean. Many commercial nougat candies are what one might call candy bars. It is a valid answer to the clue. Clue-answer is what the puzzle is about.

Moe-bile phone non-American.
Moe-ble phone American.
Mo-beel city or that which hangs from a ceiling.
Mo-bill automobile.

My question is which did Dylan get stuck inside of. The lyrics tilt to the city, the music tilts to the hanging thing, I say artistic ambiguity.

Anonymous 11:00 PM  

The nearest neutron stars are about 400 light-years away, so very far from our solar system in one sense, but on the intergalactic scale, still pretty close! Also, I interpret "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me" as "I am comforted by the presence of your staff, because it symbolizes your ability and desire to protect me."

The Cleaver 11:30 PM  


Now that you mention it. There's that shot in "Ten Commandments"(?) where Charlton Heston/Moses raises his staff and yells something or other. Heston later did the same thing with a rifle at a NRA soiree and yelled (appr.) "you can take this gun from my cold dead hands." Moses must have felt proud of him.

Ben 12:29 PM  

Personally, I find ATMMACHINE much more viscerally horrifying than PHLEGM. Get that garbage out of my puzzle!

Anonymous 4:28 PM  

Not dude but what’s new

thefogman 10:25 AM  

An OK Monday. My only BEEF is that there are three NEW sounds composed of three letters (NOU, NEU and NOO) and only one with two letters (NU). But let’s face it. There aren’t too many options left. Maybe consider another gimmick instead of going ahead with something that has a built-in outlier? The thrills and LOLs are a little bit SCANTY. Still, it URNs POINTs for being a decent beginner-level puzzle.

The 9Dman

Diana, LIW 11:43 AM  

Whoa, @Foggy. That takes parsing to a whole NEW level. Who knew?

Well I certainly enjoyed it - especially on a rainy (they predict - possibly) Fourth.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Burma Shave 1:08 PM  


To URN top BANANA, one SEAS,
the POINT is like the BEE GEES,


rondo 1:20 PM  

Who knew?!? Isaac NEWton and his brother Fig, that's who knew. Decent puz for today.
Wordle birdie today. Birdies still outnumber pars.

thefogman 1:23 PM  

Something else was bugging me. But Anoa Bob up above said it first, and much better than I ever could:

The only themer that actually has a NEW BEGINING to my ear is 37A NEUTRON STAR. Both NEW and NEU have a diphthong, compound vowel sound---two vowels blended into one sound---while NOUGAT, NOODLE and NUMERO all begin with single vowel sound.

It’s a nit-picky thing, but three of the BEGINNING themer sounds are not identical to the original NEW.


rondo 2:05 PM  

I had a dipthong once. They told me to cover up.

thefogman 5:06 PM  

To Rondo: Didn't Borat wear a Diphthong in one of his crazy movies? Or was it a Man-kini?

strayling 6:31 PM  

Do I detect a transatlantic flavour to Rex's puzzlement? Nougat bars are common in England: pink and white striped bars of hard nougat wrapped in clear plastic, designed to extract fillings and baby teeth. There's also English Breakfast Tea, nice and strong to wake you up in the morning.

thefogman 6:45 PM  

To Strayling: Fun fact. Turkish Taffy is actually nougat.

strayling 10:04 PM  

@thefogman: Yes, that looks like the same stuff. Cheers, I learned something new today!

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