Small building wing / TUE 6-21-22 / Muscle worked by kettlebell swing informally / Ninja turtle hangout / Self-description for many an expert hobbyist / German bacteriologist who lent his name to a kind of dish

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Constructor: Alex Eaton-Salners

Relative difficulty: Very Easy except for one completely ridiculous outlier of an answer ... so, still Easy


THEME: SPLIT SECOND (58A: Instant ... hinted at four times in this puzzle's circled squares) — things that are "second" in a series are "split" across two consecutive Across answers:

Theme answers:
  • "NOW WE'RE EVEN" / USE (second planet from sun)
  • AHEAD / AMSTERDAM (second U.S. president)
  • STATUES / DAYTONA (second day of the work week) (also, today)
  • SNOWGLOBE / TARRY (second letter of Greek alphabet)
Word of the Day: ALETTE (9D: Small building wing) —
1Roman & neoclassic archit the pilasterlike abutment of an arch that is seen on either side of the large engaged column and that carries the entablature
2a wing of a building (wikipedia)
• • •

This is one of those themes that has no real theme answers. No thematic content. Only an architectural feature that you're supposed to ooh and/or aah at when it's all over. And I will say that today's architectural feature is very clever. So I had one moment of "that's clever" at the very end. And, well, as Tuesdays go, that's maybe enough. Tuesdays can certainly let you down. And between its somewhat-livelier-than-usual fill and its interesting theme execution, I guess I come out on this puzzle's side in the end. But I never really fully enjoy these themeless themed puzzles. I think of them as compromised themelesses—"themeless" because none of the individual answers in the grid have anything to do, meaningwise, with the theme, and "compromised" because the theme concept requires fixed seed answers and thus places limitations on what answers can go where, limitations that true themelesses don't have. I'm now realizing that one of the reasons this Tuesday grid is livelier than most is probably because the constructor had a LOT of different options for dividing up these "second" things. I mean, Tuesday was probably always going to force you into something to do with STATUES or, I don't know, VIRTUES, but with the rest of the theme-involved answers, there would've been a lot of leeway, so the grid ends up more colorful than a normal themed Tuesday might otherwise be. And that's good. I liked that. I liked BOWLER HAT and despite finding poker about as interesting as golf (i.e. not), I did like POKER ROOM as answer. IDEA MAN is pretty snazzy, if gender-exclusive, and "NOW WE'RE EVEN" is gonna be a winning answer wherever it shows up. I can even tolerate the "EAT A SANDWICH"-esque BLEW A KISS, since unlike other "___ A ___" phrases I've seen in crosswords, BLEW A KISS feels very coherent and stand-alone-worthy. So I do think this puzzle is better made, in general, than your average Tuesday. I really do. And yet I missed having genuine theme content. Also, there was one answer, one terrible, out-of-place, "what the hell?" answer that I encountered early on and that kinda ruined everything. It was so bad, so out of place, that I spent the rest of the solve semi-resenting it. That answer ... well, it hardly needs a drumroll introduction since you probably know very well for yourself what it is. Still, allow me to pause for suspense.

[LOL this game show looks terrible]

OK, the answer is ALETTE, which is sixteen kinds of gruesome, and particularly gruesome on a Tuesday. No one says ALETTE since we have a term for ALETTE now and it's "wing." If you say a building has a "wing" people are like "awesome, I know what that is." If you say it has an ALETTE, you are going to get, at best, confused stares. "An ... ALETTE? Oooh, is that like a bidet!? Fancy!" ALETTE is so bad, constructors have had the good sense to lay off it for over 10 years. ALETTE is so bad, this is what I had to say about ALETTE the last time it appeared (Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011) (that puzzle also contained the word OCOTILLO, for context): 
I think the only reason ALETTE follows directly on the heels of OCOTILLO is to make OCOTILLO look reasonable by comparison. "Yeah, we know you're already mad about OCOTILLO, so we're just gonna give you ALETTE now and hope you get over it quickly." ALETTE ... man, that is up there among the stupidest things I've ever seen in the grid. I'd like to buy a vowel, please. Two, actually: O and U. Then I can make "ALOUETTE" and sing a nice French song to distract myself from the #&!@iness that is ALETTE
If you're gonna give me ALETTE, then at least give it to me on a Sunday, where I expect some difficulty and where the word can lose some of its bitterness by being more highly diluted by the higher word-count. On a Tuesday, this word is absurd, bordering on inexcusable. And it's not even holding good stuff together. Yes, it crosses two themers, and anything crossing multiple themers is in a tough position, but That's the kind of answer you're supposed to work out Early—you can't really settle your themers in place until the Downs holding them together are sorted. BLEW A KISS and ODOR EATER go through three themers, and I guarantee you they were the first things into the grid (along with the themers). So ALETTE ... were there really no better answers in the universe that could go there? It's not like the answer helps us get good fill up there. FBILAB isn't particularly good. OLDELI definitely isn't good. Why you make the decision to bring ALETTE to your otherwise Monday-level easy puzzle, I'll never know. Can you not see / hear / feel how bad an outlier it is? Anyway, ALETTE absolutely ruined the mood. The puzzle is above average in terms of its basic concept and fill quality, but ALETTE stinks so bad that I did not enjoy my visit. In short, GALETTE, yum, ALETTE, barf.


I could've done without AGASP, which exists only in crosswords and the minds of people who make them (23D: Audibly astonished). OLD ELI also reeks of old crosswordese (and the fawning fondness for all things Yale that has plagued the puzzle lo these many years) (15A: Yale, to alums). Though the puzzle was very easy, I very nearly left a mistake in the grid when I assumed that 42A: "Ripped" meant STOLE (not SWOLE). Because "Ripped" does mean STOLE, in some contexts. Or it's at least adjacent (as in the phrase "ripped off"). But I had a feeling that the "cookie" in 43D: Place to get a cookie, maybe was gonna be web browser-related, and TEBSITE seemed highly implausible. (Somewhere in the shadowy realm of theoretical words, a lonely TEBSITE is crying "ALETTE!?! How'd he get in!? Why, he's no more real than I am!!!" [sobs enviously]).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

75 comments:

Robin 6:30 AM  

TBH, never noticed 9D ALETTE having filled all the letters in via crosses.

Also, paid pretty much zero attention to the theme. Just filled stuff in, and finished faster than yesterday's Monday puzz.

I can easily understand why all the griping about the split 37A/39A theme, although that would have been useless in terms of the overall solve. OTOH, there are some countries that start the weekday count at Monday rather than Sunday. Not that that's an actual excuse. The NYTXW puzzle editor, whoever he is, should have been all over that one, but alas, it seems he was asleep.

BunnyR 6:55 AM  

Hooray! Entirely justified rant. Never even heard that word. Tried so hard to squeeze in ALCOVE, but no, it wasn't happening.

Sadly, I wasn't clever enough to grok the theme. Epic fail on my part. Not my favorite Tuesday puzzle.

Actually had a DNF, too. So, ninja turtles live in sewers, huh? PPP got me. I'm off to look up Fright WIG, so at least I will have learned something today. Besides the turtles, that is.

John 6:57 AM  

I had to come here to find out what the theme was about because I had no clue

JD 7:00 AM  

Fbielab says Oldeli, “Now We’re Even.” Wait, no. That didn’t happen.

Speaking of Rhino and its homophone/homonym* acronym, how ‘bout that nut in Missouri and his ad encouraging people to go out and shoot people who aren’t Republican enough. His campaign manager said that anyone who doesn’t “get the metaphor is either lying or dumb.” Or maybe just crazy and owns a gun. Is there a floor in the race to the bottom? Nope.

Oh yeah, the puzzle. After filling in the top third I though maybe Venus Adams was someone and the theme was a name thing. At Tuesday Beta I thought they might be 12-year-old YouTube influences with 1.5 billion fans that I should know about but don’t. Then I thought it might be something to do with the Meta-ness of a Tuesday puzzle with Tuesday right there. Wrong!

But I’m an Alex Eaton-Salners fan and I’ll take Seconds πŸ‘.

*Pick one. I can’t.

Conrad 7:12 AM  


Hand up for @Rex StOLE before SWOLE and not knowing (or remembering from a decade ago) ALETTE. At least both were fairly easy to get from crosses.

Lewis 7:17 AM  

Did you hear the little pat on the back I gave myself? Finally, I figured out a theme before uncovering the reveal. Maybe I’m getting better at uncorking these things!

So naturally, I liked the theme. And much more. I flashed on CITIZEN KANE when I saw SNOW GLOBE. “Kettlebell swing” made me smile, because it’s an exercise I regularly do, and if you want something that wakes up your whole system, it’s worth a try. I also liked the cross of BOWLER HAT and A HEAD, and it made me wonder: Does the name of the hat have something to do with the sport of bowling? (No, actually, I have found out. The hat was created in 1849 by London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler.)

I liked GEN /REN / LEN, as well as the O-train of RHINO / TORERO / ONO / ALLPRO / SLO and wannabes TOE and EAU. And even more, I liked the A-train, nonet edition: FETA / SKA / DAYTONA / ANA / ERA / LISA / EVA / ALA / PASTA.

Thus, much to like on top of that pat on the back, a true daily double which translates to a Tuesday treat. Thank you, Alex!

Whatsername 7:34 AM  

A little different way for Tuezday to tueze I guess. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Circles had zero impact on the solve for me. I really had no issue with ALETTE, just a word I didn’t know before but I do now. Not a fan of Tuesday as the SECOND day of the week though. It’s really not fair. If a week has seven days, then where does Monday fit in? Its exclusionary and reeks of numberism if you ask me.

It would’ve been really cool to surprisingly find a SPLIT infinitive in the grid somewhere.

I loved seeing LEN Dawson, the ALL PRO hero of my youth, on the day after his 87th birthday.

Son Volt 7:49 AM  

Thought the theme was pretty neat - VENUS and ADAMS are cool seconds. SNOW GLOBE is always nice to see. ALETTE was filled with crosses - never saw it.

ODOR EATER is rough and don’t like FBI LAB. Interesting learn with PETRI. Overall this was well filled.

I BLEW A KISS through your keyhole just to let you know I’m breathing

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

bocamp 7:49 AM  

Thx, Alex, for this excellent Tues. workout! :)

Med+

Not sure why this seemed somewhat on the tough side for a Tues. Had a Wednes. time.

Had StOLE before SWOLE.

Learned ALETTE.

Fun adventure! :)

@jae

Echoed your experience exactly! See you next Mon. :)
___
Sat. 0 (final word) yd 0 / 33

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

pabloinnh 7:57 AM  

For I once I heartily approve of a Rexrant. I can see how ALETTE has a very handy series of letters but someone (looking at you, WS) has to say no. Just no. I also shared OFL's take on AGASP, which I don't think would be allowed in SB. It's one of those A- words that shows up occasionally, like "atilt", that makes me just want to say "go away".

However. I did sing a song last night at the Monday hootenanny which contained the word OCOTILLO, so I have no problem with that one.

Easy as cake, a real piece of pie, but I didn't see where the theme was going so I made the revealer be the last thing I filled in to heighten the surprise factor, and surprised I was, so well done there.


Another nice one, AES. Admirably Entertaining Solve. Thanks for the fun but watch out for letter strings posing as words.

albatross shell 8:01 AM  

From grade school:
How do you pronounce to?
How do you pronounce too?
How do you pronounce two?
How do you pronounce the second day of the week?
Almost every one gives the wrong answer.

But heck it's the second day of the work week. So it sneaks in.

I had a harder time with ADAM, not noticing at first the S was circled also.

Shirley find me an an actor named Al Ette! ASAP.

In fact this was tough for a Toozday here. Quite enjoyed it.

Whatsername 8:07 AM  

@JD (7:00) That guy you referenced with the RHINO ad - he’s a former governor who was forced out of office in disgrace due to multiple scandals. But of course that doesn’t stop a good republican like him from proving how low he can go and here he is back again running for the United States Senate. As a resident of Missouri, a state filled with good, decent, law-abiding citizens - many of them law-abiding gun owners - I am embarrassed and appalled by the image this is portraying to the rest of the country.

Yes he did make that despicable travesty of an ad. I am so sorry.

Zed 8:25 AM  

Will: I like your puzzle but it doesn’t tuezz enough.
Alex: What if I add ALETTE?
Will & Alex: Bingo!

What Alex Eaton-Salners finds interesting about puzzles and what I find interesting in puzzles do not intersect. But the last few of his I’ve done I haven’t hated. I didn’t hate this one, either.

@JD &. @Whatsername - I think I’ve mentioned it before, but Jesus and John Wayne does a nice job of explaining where these people come from and why they have support.

SouthsideJohnny 8:28 AM  

Not a fan of this one. Don't see how TUESDAY fits in with the theme unless the NYT team got tired of making up their own words and has now moved on to just making up their own "weeks" for a stronger fix - I suspected the whole word thing would be a gateway drug and now here we are. Like most addictions, these types of things are insidious and take their own twists and turns.

I've been doing the puzzle for years now and just haven't been able to get comfortable with the rampant inclusion of vulgar, misogynistic, glock-worshipping rappers (with never so much a peep from OFL, who fancies himself quite the feminist btw). In this day and age, I just think we could do with less from those who advocate violence toward women and killing people in their own neighborhood. Oh well, . . . times have changed I guess.

Gary Jugert 8:29 AM  

Theme doesn't do much for me, and it's irrelevant to the solve, but I'll take it over a themeless. It was a fun puzzle even though it felt kinda name-y on the top.

Also, in case there's a limit to how many times you're allowed to misspell a word, TRAWL got four write overs. Knowing what something is, and having the power to string its letters together are obviously not the same thing.

Phew, ALETTE seems pretty obscure. Got it from crosses, and then asked Uncle G if I was right, and he said, "Yes, but are you sure you wouldn't rather look up more about jellyfish?"

Yay:

NOW WE'RE EVEN: This phrase always feels like retribution has conquered and isn't that all we want as humans?

ZIP IT: Ginny Weasley says "shut it" to the same terse effect. Nobody ever actually zips it.

SWOLE: I didn't know this was a term for body building. Such a funny sounding word.

SNOW GLOBE: How many of these have you thrown away?

GRETEL: A few days ago I wrote an arrangement of a song called Hansel and Gretel lullaby. It's a delightful tune from a show I've never seen. So I guess cooking children or witches is back in vogue.

BLEW A KISS: I am of the age when somebody is more likely to throw an axe at me as a sign of affection.

Boo:

BOWLER HAT: It's just bowler.

IDEA MAN: Ug. So clonky and dumb.

Uniclues:
1 Proposed Twitter handle for the Netherlands' economic development committee.
2 Wasting time fiddling with an office mate's ball.
3 Brain, and its container.
4 Just spell it out, and you'll feel better.
5 Einstein's blog.
6 Send those poorly dressed surgeons to the spa, for short.

1 AHEAD AMSTERDAM!
2 SNOW GLOBE TARRY
3 BOWLER HAT ORGAN
4 END RUING SGT
5 IDEA MAN WEBSITE
6 STEAM TACKY DRS

pabloinnh 8:49 AM  

Forgot to mention that 41A should have been PEACHTREE dish.

Gary Jugert 8:55 AM  

The further into the 21st century we stumble, the more every day feels like Monday, so Tuesday might be optimistically INclusive. Tuesday's numberism is 3 since that's how many tacos they bring you, but it only takes two next to each other to form a sideways 3. That's the magical power of Tuesday. And tacos.

EdFromHackensack 8:57 AM  

I thought it was more medium-hard than easy. Could not see SNOWGLOBE for the life of me. ALETTE was easy enough from the crosses. Had StOLE before SWOLE. And for VENUS being part of the theme, I was not thinking planet, I was thinking the goddess of love.

Carola 8:57 AM  

I thought it was a fine Tuesday, with its clever repurposing of SECONDS and a fine variety of examples. My only lapse was a momentary wondering:"Is VENUS really SECOND to Serena?"

Help from previous puzzles: ANA, SWOLE. No idea: ENOS, ALETTE.

@Whatsername 8:07 - That ad!

RooMonster 9:16 AM  

Hey All !
Pretty neat theme idea. I'll take TUESDAY as the second day of the "normal" work-week as acceptable. Potatoe-potahto.

Also didn't know ALETTE, but not going to spend 9000 words decrying it. Dang, some words you may not know. All the crossers we're fair. I suppose if that was the only nit, it was a good puz.

Got a chuckle out of EAZYE, with it being @M&A's Easy MonPuz clue thing.

Thought the long Downs were neat. Tough puz to fill cleanly, as said Downs pass through many Themers. Another reason ALETTE doesn't bother me so much.

Why is FRUIT spelt thusly? It's pronounced FROOT. Like BOOT, SCOOT, ROOT. English...

Snuck in a ROO in POKER ROOM.

If Betsy Ross wound up in the gutter...SEWER SEWER

yd -5 (on a short list! Dang), should'ves 3

Three F's
RooMonster
DarrinV

JD 9:27 AM  

@Whatsername, I get it. @Z, I downloaded the Kindle sample, thx.

Beezer 9:45 AM  

Count me in as someone who worked this as a themeless and didn’t really see ALETTE until I read @Rex. Enjoyable enough puzzle BUT am I the only one who thought @Rex would say the puzzle/theme failed due to TUESDAY?? As @Roo said, um, okay maybe what is considered a”normal” WORK week, but I stared at it and thought WOE, is this because TUESDAY has the “two sound” in it. To me, TUESDAY was the real outlier but since it didn’t affect my solve, well, okay then.

Unknown 9:45 AM  

I think we can all agree that ALETTE is a bit obscure for a Tuesday . . . .

That being said, I'm not sure it merits a whole paragraph of complaining.

Rachel's take on the puz is much more reasonable.

I thought that this puz was pretty accessible.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  
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Joseph Michael 10:15 AM  

Yeah, no. On every calendar I’ve ever seen, TUES DAY is the third day of the week. So there’s that. A split third. Otherwise I enjoyed the puzzle and the challenge of figuring out the theme.

You must have a pretty big house if you can have a POKER ROOM. Yes, it’s at the far end of the ALETTE on the left just past the Monopoly Room and across from the Chess Chamber.

Liked the image of Laurel or Hardy in a BOWLER HAT. Did they also have ODOR EATERS in their shoes? And were they ever referred to as Hardy and Laurel, which would be more alphabetically correct?

Daq 10:16 AM  

Any puzzle with ninja turtle hangout as a clue is a win for me

Nancy 10:39 AM  

Blink and you'll miss the theme entirely, as I mostly did.

But my bigger eyesight problem today was wondering why on earth an expert hobbyist would refer to himself as a SNOWGLOBE. This answer seemed so off-the-charts weird that it took me forever to fill it in. Still, I loved the question/answer for being the only really challenging thing in the puzzle.

Then I got to the real 48A: GEEK. I'd really been looking at the clue for 49, "Desk item that's shaken"...

As Gilda Radner would have said: "Never mind."

Now I know why they make large-print books for older people. It gets harder and harder to read these damn numbers, even though I got stronger glasses last year.

SNOWGLOBE, though, was the high point of this puzzle for me. I may find a way to work it into future conversations about expert hobbyists.

jae 10:41 AM  

Easy. ZIPped through this and then needed some time to grok the theme. Smooth and clever, liked it a bunch!

ALETTE was WOE and thanks to @Rex I now know why.

beverly c 10:48 AM  

I'm glad Rex left OCOTILLO alone today. I think it's a great word. And striking garden specimen.


Masked and Anonymous 10:54 AM  

I reached a point where I had the circled VENUS & ADAMS splitters all filled in, and enough of TUESDAY to know what it would eventually turn out to be. Then I naturally started wonderin what the theme revealer would say, so I hopped on down to the last longball answer's clue, and saw {Instant ... + etc.}. Oh, ok … SPLITSECOND, M&A immediately conjectured. Right for once, M&A breath.

staff weeject pick: DRS. Hard to beat a solid hunk of abbreve meat, splatzed in as the grand finale entry.
Primo NE & SW weeject stacks, btw.

ALETTE is a solid no-know, at our house. It ain't even in the Official M&A Help Desk Dictionary. Do French tennis players play ALETTE? Anyhoo, got ALETTE from the crossers, for no more than the customary precious nanoseconds fee.

Stuff I liked more than ALETTE-le: RHINO. TRAWL [Neat clue]. BLEWAKISS. ODOREATER. WEBSITE. ZIPIT/EAZY-E.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. E-S dude. Cool theme idea.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


biter:
**gruntz**

burtonkd 10:56 AM  

@Anon 10:02, cast a wide net much? Book is about Evangelicals, and a specific set of them, both subsets of Protestants.

ALETTE filled in from crosses, barely registered a "huh?" I'm glad it led to me looking up the lovely flowering OCOTILLO.

Ditto Rex etal: AGASP & OLDELI. We did need some kind of TuezzISMS to feel balanced in the world.

burtonkd 11:01 AM  

At 48A, I was listening for the cross town thud on Nancy's wall. Didn't hear one, so the dweeb kealoa was GEEK not nErd. Thanks to Nightmare Alley, the carnival sideshow meaning of geek is engraved.

oldactor 11:14 AM  

@Joseph Michael: I agree about the Poker Room, but recently I read about a famous TV producer (forget his name) has a mansion that contains two rooms for wrapping presents and another for trimming flowers. Surely he has a Poker Room.

Newboy 11:33 AM  

Meh! Saw that it got POW ,so I gave it a shot. Stock slough to wade through. I seldom accuse OFL of being too kind in his critique, but today……

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

i imagine the initial 15A clue as being “where one in a rut gets pastrami”: OL’ DELI

GILL I. 11:49 AM  

So VENUS, ADAMS, TUESDAY and BETA were all sitting at my bar. They were singing AL E TTE, gentle AL E TTE...GOBI, the bartender, shouted "I'm only giving you a SPLIT SECOND to ZIP IT." VENUS BLEW A KISS goodby, ADAMS was the TARRY GEEK, so he stayed. TUESDAY was playing the ORGAN with that OLD ELI. He frequents the joint but nobody likes him because he always leaves his ODOR EATERs in the ASH tray.
BETA, as usual, got up from his bar seat, tucked in his TACKY BOWLER HAT, and headed to the POKER ROOM. GRETEL, the back ROOM cook was AGASP at how her FRUIT FETA PASTA smelled like a SEWER. SHE served it anyway to TUESDAY because TUESDAY eats anything. Besides, she wears a GAUCHE TOE ring and her WIG looks like it was GLUED ONA GEEK tete.
I SWEAR, None of this mattered because no-one knew what was going on.
The HOUR was up and we all decided to dance the Foufonette with AL E TTE.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

my pill box (and every one I've ever seen), a string from left to right, starts with Sunday. which makes Tuesday the Third Day of the Week. doesn't break the 'theme' I guess.

sixtyni yogini 12:00 PM  

Nothing to add to πŸ¦–’s meticulous and thoughtful review.🎯
Except maybe
Amen-
to the good, the bad, and the ugly— ALETTE which to restate πŸ¦–with a (fun) word was indeed GAUCHE.
πŸ˜‚
πŸ€—πŸ¦–πŸ¦–πŸ¦–πŸ¦–πŸ€—

A 12:09 PM  

Thanks to @mathgent for the notice of former blog commenter Fred Romagnolo’s death, and to @Joe D and @JC66 for the information about his obituary. Even though the news is sad, it’s good to be able to pay our respects.

I read the obituary and highly recommend it (@JC66 posted a link last night.) Then I went to the internet hoping to find a program or playbill, or better yet a photo or video, of some of his work but no luck yet.

I did find something just as good if not better: a tribute puzzle by none other than George Barany.
http://www1.chem.umn.edu/groups/baranygp/puzzles/buster/index.html Even if you don’t want to solve the puzzle, it’s worth checking out the link George provides for more information.

Sharon AK 12:13 PM  

A rare Rex rant that I agree with.
ALLETTE? Even after looking it up I didn't believe it.

Found th puzzle a little hard for Tuesday. but some of the answer quite fun

Joe Dipinto 12:14 PM  

Yep, gonna mosey on down to the ol' deli now and get myself one-a them there fruit pasta sandwiches.

I didn't notice ALETTE until hours later, when I happened to glance at the grid and thought "What the hell was that?"

Joseph Michael 12:16 PM  

@oldactor, one can only wonder what other rooms he has.

sixtyni yogini 12:16 PM  

Haha, @Nancy.
I do that too.
GEEK eye affliction!

Nancy 12:26 PM  

You're so perceptive, @burtonkd (11:01)! Yes, there would have been quite a loud wall thump if the word had been NERD, so you were completely safe in writing in GEEK. (Never thought of NERD/GEEK as a kealoa before, but I guess it is.)

Thanks for the shoutout, @sixtyni.

Doctor Work 12:38 PM  

The reference for alette comes from Merriam-Webster, not Wikipedia.

I agree that "Old Eli" is a stupid thing to use in the grid. I went to Yale, as did my father, and I have never heard anyone call Yale that. And while I'm on the subject, only crossword puzzles call Yalies "Elis"! Eli(hu) Yale was its founder, and that's all that "Eli" should ever refer to.

Peacemaker 12:42 PM  

It looks like an unknown someone, writing, at 10:02 is still fighting the Thirty Years War.

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

I work in a field where architectural terms are used regularly and 'alette' was completely unknown.

Chris 1:08 PM  

IMO, Ripped does not mean stole; the pharase is "ripped off" and if it had gone in the other direction Rex would rant about that.

egsforbreakfast 1:21 PM  

I, DEA MAN, was cross with the FBILAB. So I headed for the OL DELI and went INFER some FETA PASTA. “Give me a GOB I am famished” I said. “Do you prefer OILER butter on that?” shot back the NUT job at the counter. “EAU ZIPIT” I screamed with A GASP “I’ll just go to KFC for some COLESLAW.”

I did not know the word ALETTE until I did this puzzle. It did not ruin my solve. I’m glad to know a new word. I thought the puzzle was fun and well done. Thanks, Alex Eaton-Salners.

Pete 1:33 PM  

@Anon 10:02 Please take your bigotry elsewhere.

Anonymous 1:44 PM  
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Anonymous 1:44 PM  

Another vote for Monday as the first day of the week. Saturday Sunday is the weekEND.

Thomas Acquinas 2:49 PM  

@Anon 1:44 My brother, where is your charity? For obviously "Peacemaker" is a woman, and we both know women are by their very nature deficient and misbegotten, that poor "Peacemaker", while by birth is naturally subordinate to men, has become lost in these Godless times, and while lacking reason due to her sex, thinks she has something useful to offer other than regeneration of the species. Was your smug putdown of a worthless woman worth the unkindness towards one who could do not better?

Peacemaker 3:09 PM  

Lol, Tom.

Anonymous 3:55 PM  
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Beezer 4:30 PM  

@Nancy, I got a kick out of your SNOWGLOBE related comment! Well. I KNOW you won’t want to hear this BUT, for me, I find working the NYT app to solve MY old age vision deficiencies because it views “larger.” I don’t know if you are like me (I’m far-sighted) but I didn’t even use readers until I was near 50 but whoa Nelly, once presbyopia set in I was doomed with respect to “close up” reading. Oddly, my “far” vision is only (as my ophthalmologist says) “a tick” off but looking at the crossword in print…a real challenge! Food for thought.

@Zed, I guess NOW I’ll look at your hyperlink but Lordy you sure started something.

Beezer 4:44 PM  

@Zed, yeah…I read it. Not something I’d think would warrant the remark made by 10:02. IF that person was even serious.

The Swedish Chef 4:47 PM  

@Beezer:

@Zed, I guess NOW I’ll look at your hyperlink but Lordy you sure started something.

If only the rest of us were allowed to. all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Anoa Bob 4:51 PM  

Several things conspired to make the theme opaque for me. TUESDAY is the third day of the week. Even the calendar for the New York Times crossword puzzle archive starts the week off with Sunday. And I didn't know for sure that ADAMS referred to a U.S. President.
Since there were two Presidents named ADAMS, they couldn't both be SECOND could they?

But the biggest issue was a swing-and-a-miss attempt to see how a SPLIT SECOND, literally how SEC and OND, fit into the theme. D'oh!

I played in a home poker game for a number of years and the host had a small POKER ROOM in his basement. You don't have to own a mansion in order to have a POKER ROOM. (COVID killed that game and it has not restarted. Sigh.)

Ukulele Ike 5:27 PM  

The NYTCW has that weird “affection for all things Yale” because both “Yale” and “Eli” are remarkably handy fill words.

Whatsername 5:44 PM  


@Zed (8:25) Thanks for the book recommendation. Just got on the waiting list for it at the library. I live smack dab in the middle of evangelical country with no less than 4 Bible colleges within a 50 mile radius of my home. Based on the reviews and summaries I read, sounds like the author has figured it out pretty accurately.

David from CA 5:59 PM  

2nd day of the biblical week: Tuesday
2nd day of the NYT crossword week: Tuesday
2nd day of the work week: Tuesday

Just because some calendar maker decided for some ungodly reason to split up the weekends and that got standardized doesn't negate all those. Seems fine answer to me.

CDilly52 6:16 PM  

So much easier than yesterday- ALETTE notwithstanding. Like many others, I didn’t need to worry about the addition to the building since thing pretty much filled themselves in. Alex Eaton-Salners’s puzzles usually have more zip. Today was exceedingly straight forward.

I have to confess this is the type of “non-theme” that I ignore simply because nothing compels me to care about the theme in order to solve. So I solve as a themeless and wait to see anything lures me to care. Today, not so much. And that’s absolutely alI have to say. I came ; I saw; I solved.

Pete 7:23 PM  

Elihu Yale was not in any way the founder of Yale. He was the first major financial benefactor, but beyond that one initial donation he had virtually nothing to do with Yale. Its was started by the Connecticut River Colony, initiated by what were know as "The Founders", a group of Harvard educated ministers who wanted to create a school for future ministers in Connecticut. The founders where upset with the too liberal tack that Harvard had taken by 1700, and wanted to maintain more Puritan orthodoxy, something lost by Harvard. One of these was Thomas Noyes II, nephew of Nathan Noyes my (umpteenth) great grandfather. Nathan's claim to fame was that he was the religious overseer of the Salem Witch Trials, and was quoted as gloating "there are 8 more sinners burning in hell now" as he hanged 8 witches. There's your true Puritan Orthodoxy for you, something those Harvard wooses wouldn't tolerate.

Lest this information bias any of you against me, what with my genetic predisposition to hanging witches, be comforted by this counterbalancing fact: Another of my ancestors, my (umpteenth) great grandfather on my mother's side, was in jail awaiting trial for being a witch, spared hanging by my (umpteenth) great grandfather on my father's side only when the then Governor's wife was also jailed for being a witch, at which point the Governor declared that there was no such thing as a witch and stopped all that nonsense. The Governor was probably a Harvard Man.

Zed 7:44 PM  

@Whatsername - It’s a fine history. I lived through almost the entirety of what Du Mez covers and was only vaguely aware of most of it.

@Beezer - I don’t think I started anything. But that ad makes a lot more sense if you’ve read the book. I look at RWNJ and always wonder who they are marketing to. The book answers that question. And the troll has been deleted.

@Chris - Rex didn’t rant about SWILE/StOLE, he only observed that he almost left the error in.

erap 7:47 PM  

For what it's worth, I am a Yale alum and have never once heard the term "Old Eli"!

Also, "having misgivings" and "ruing" are not the same -- misgivings indicates apprehension about something in the future, whereas ruing implies regret (referring to something in the past).

Alette was the cherry on top, though.

ER 7:49 PM  

For what it's worth, I am a Yale alum and have never (once!) heard anyone use the term "Old Eli."

Was anyone else frustrated by "ruing"? Misgivings are apprehensions about the future, whereas ruing is regretting -- implies the past.

Alette was the cherry on top!

Anonymous 8:00 PM  
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Anonymous 8:53 PM  
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Harry 11:02 PM  

I sense something particularly circadian is at the root of how one week I can disagree with just about every observation Rex makes, and then the next (Tuesday) Rex hits every note that I observed while solving squarely on the head!

Anonymous 11:21 PM  

This "theme" - if it even IS a theme - is inane and beyond stupid. I've read the explanation, and after about the 5th time reading the explanation, it just barely makes sense to me.

If even the explanation is that unclear, it means the whole "theme" is just lousy. NOT worth the effort, and a lousy Tuesday (or any day of the week) puzzle, IMO. I'd actually call this puzzle clueless.

Anonymous 5:06 PM  

Also a Yale alum … ditto

kitshef 11:10 PM  

What ALETTE was to Rex, ENOS was to me. But ALETTE is at least inferrable from the roots. ENOS, as clued, is unguessable and on a Tuesday unforgivable. There were some nice other things, though.

Muhamad Zacki 2:56 AM  
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M Faisal 8:30 AM  
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