Long-running hip-hop magazine, with "The" / TUE 11-14-23 / George or Marty of "Back to the Future" / Flowers prominently used in Indian weddings / Alcohol withdrawal symptoms in brief

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Constructor: Matthew Linzer

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: MAKE A WISH (17A: What to do when you see ... [see 23-, 37-, 39-, 48- and 60-Across] — things you make a wish on:

Theme answers:
  • SHOOTING STAR (23A: ... this streaker in the night)
  • EYELASH (37A: ... this stray bit on your face)
  • LADYBUG (39A:  ... this insect crawling by)
  • ELEVEN ELEVEN (i.e. 11:11) (48A: ... this on a clock)
  • DANDELION (60A: ... this just before you blow on the seeds)
Word of the Day: CHOP SUEY (10D: Chinese-American dish) —

Chop suey (/ˈɒpˈsi/) is a dish in American Chinese cuisine and other forms of overseas Chinese cuisine, consisting of meat (usually chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or fish) and eggs, cooked quickly with vegetables such as bean sproutscabbage, and celery and bound in a starch-thickened sauce. It is typically served with rice but can become the Chinese-American form of chow mein with the substitution of stir-fried noodles for rice.

Chop suey has become a prominent part of American Chinese cuisineBritish Chinese cuisineFilipino cuisineCanadian Chinese cuisine, German Chinese cuisine, Indian Chinese cuisine, and Polynesian cuisine. In Chinese Indonesian cuisine/Dutch Chinese Indonesian cuisine it is known as cap cai (tjap tjoi) (雜菜, "mixed vegetables") and mainly consists of vegetables.

• • •

This reminded me a bit of the SMASH HIT puzzle from last week, in that the theme feels upside-down and backwards. That is, we get the revealer first, and then everything thereafter is kind of anticlimactic. Yes, you wish upon this, you wish upon that, shrug. The revealer comes first, and it's got all these ugly cross-reference indications in it, and then you just get a list of "things you might wish on." I get that the idea is to tell a story, or multiple stories—hence the elliptical cluing, with each theme clue being a supposed continuation of the "revealer" clue ("What to do when you see..."). I appreciate the effort to make the puzzle unfold in a semi-unconventional way, but the revealer-first structure here just deadens the puzzle, somehow. I mean, this theme was never going to be anything more than a list, but we don't even get the tiny aha of finding out how all the answers tie together at the end. We get the tiny aha up front, and then we get to discover the things on the list, but somehow the aha is dampened and the pleasure of the solve weakened. I think the narrative structure of the theme has something to do with the fact that you have to force the answers to conform—that is, they need contexts in order to make the "wishing" part make sense. You don't wish upon a dandelion, you wish *before* blowing a dandelion to bits; you don't wish upon an eyelash, you wish upon an eyelash that you have (or someone else has) removed from your face; etc. So perhaps a straightforward revealer wouldn't quite have done the trick. Still, the theme here unfolded in a rather boring, workmanlike way, and the "..." conceit never quite works in a crossword, where soooooo many clues and answers intervene between theme elements. Plus, the theme clue writing leaves something to be desired. There's something clunky and inelegant about it. For instance, "... this streaker in the night" makes it sound like you're wishing on someone running naked through your backyard just before bedtime, and "... this stray bit on your face" makes it sound like you are a really sloppy eater. "Stray bit"??? Bit of what? Such an ugly way to refer to an EYELASH. The whole thing never really comes together, on any level, except at the level of mere list. If this puzzle had come out on ELEVEN ELEVEN, I would've appreciated the wink, and would've liked it a little more, probably.

The fill in this grid is pretty sour. I love the CHOP SUEY / MARIGOLDS bit, but too often the fill was leaden and strange—and inexplicably so. Why would you put CRAP in your grid if you didn't have to? That's an easy-to-fill little corner, and somehow you've chosen to go with CRAP (!?). Why? It's not holding up anything good. In fact, its cornermates are in large part a bunch of plural abbrs. (ATMS, EXECS, SPECS). CRAP is like ANAL in that OK if you *need* it, use it, but otherwise avoid it because its surface meaning just isn't improving the scenery. I remade the corner in approximately zero minutes (no construction software needed):

And then I did the same for the SW corner, where LAS VEGAN ("The vegan!") was bugging the hell out of me. Like, why not just make it the actual city!? The "N" doesn't *do* anything for you, so why would you ... why would you? 

I'm not saying either of my corners is great (again, I didn't spend time on them), but they get rid of the conspicuously junky bits. There just didn't seem to be a lot of care given to making the grid smooth throughout. Fill seemed like an afterthought. The worst of it was MNOP and its (to me) baffling clue (35A: Rows #13-#16 in a theater). I came to a dead halt trying to get through that bottleneck of a middle section:

No idea what this was after, thought I had an error. Oh, and the problem was compounded by the arbitrarily three-"O" "OOOH," what the hell (25D: "I like that a LOT!"). Fitting that one of the words running straight through this section is WOE, because yes, that is what I'm feeling here (32A: Deep grief). MNOP is the kind of bad fill you just don't see much any more—the random four-letter alphabetical sequence. And "OOOH" is just made-up. "OOOOOOH" seems just as plausible. In fact, I respect "OOOOOOH" more because at least it has the courage to go Super big. This one extra "O," bah. You can see how the constructor got in a pickle from the jump, with themers placed such that you gotta have a four-letter O--H word to lock them together. There just aren't that many four-letter O--H answers to choose from. OATH, ORCH., "OH! OH!" OPAH ... OK, there are a few, but still you're severely limited by the letter placement. So you end up with MNOP / "OOOH!" Oo(o)f. 

"HI, Y'ALL" felt off (30D: "Howdy, folks!"). Really wants to be "HEY, Y'ALL." I mean, there's a country song and a hard ice tea (!) and everything. 

I had MISTAKE (obviously, fittingly) before MISSTEP (7D: Blunder), but I think that's about it for ... yeah, mistakes. Really appreciated seeing The SOURCE today, as clued (33A: Long-running hip-hop magazine, with "The"). A really important magazine, though I expect it will be new to a significant section of the solving population, and might've caused things to play a little slower than usual today. In honor of The SOURCE, here's a different "HEY (not 'Hi') Y'ALL!" for y'all.

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Bob Mills 5:16 AM  

Finished it in short order, even without knowing all the good-luck charms. I misread "masc" as "misc," so FEM came slowly. It would have been easy if I had known MCFLY.

Mostly easy fill here made it a quick solve.

Conrad 5:27 AM  

I solved without reading the clues for the long acrosses until I was done. That made the odd revealer placement less bothersome. But I had guessed the theme by LADYBUG (39A).

Two overwrites: SOUl(something) at 33A, corrected by the R in TRIBAL, and emu before JAY for the three-letter bird at 57D. An ornithologist I'm not.

nalpac 6:52 AM  

I feel so cheated! 70+ and never did I know that one is supposed to make a wish when one sees a lady bug, an eyelash, or when the clock strikes 11:11. Nor indeed dandelions. "She loves me, she loves me not" was the routine we went through while blowing off the seeds. Simple binary choice. Disappointment or joy. But making a wish? No. So, for me this was the theme that wasn't, which made it a hollow solve.

SouthsideJohnny 7:05 AM  

Agree with OFL that after the reveal it was a bit anticlimactic. Not a fan of CRAP in the grid, but it seems like that train has already left the station, so just get used to it.

I’m sure I’m in the minority as I’ve never watched Back to the Future, so MCFLY along with the other popular culture like LAHTI, LEICA, ELISHA and even JENGA just lied there, but at least I had the Tuesday crosses to bail me out. Serviceable puzzle - think I would be a little more generous than Rex, but I don’t pay as much attention to the theme as he does.

kitshef 7:15 AM  

Maybe it’s just me, but I'm unfamiliar with 60% of the themers, as they relate to the revealer
The other three are completely foreign, in a wish-y way.

Thus for me, basically a themeless puzzle.

But one with terrible fill:
HTML, SPECS, THO, MNOP, EIN, MAVS, ASA, ICI, ATMS, HIYALL, ETA, EXECS, LASVEGAN, HAW, ANI, OOOH, TRI, RNS, AVIS, DTS, FEM, YDS. Sure, you’ll get some of that glue in any puzzle, but in this case the glue has run over the edges and gotten on your hands and the rug and the dog and made a mess of the whole room.

Mack 7:31 AM  

So easy. So dumb.
The early revealer gave away the themers so much that I didn't even realize there was such a bad clue for SHOOTING STAR because I never read it. Well... really it gave away most of the themers because... do people actually wish on ladybugs and eyelashes?? I usually curse ladybugs and as for eyelashes... you're joking right? People wish on eyelashes on their face?? Weirdos.
ELEVEN ELEVEN was the best part of the puzzle. The rest was a YAWN.

@Rex: I can't believe you mentioned CHOP SUEY but didn't post this: System of a Down - Chop Suey!

Anonymous 7:33 AM  

Got a few laughs from the commentary: Got rid of CRAP and added DUMP; and Hey YALL instead of HI YALL. As a native of Texas , Hi YALL is correct. Yankees use Hey with their “Hey guys!” Nice commentary, nice puzzle!

Lewis 8:02 AM  

Oh, I liked the three palindromes (ASA, ICI, EVE), as well as the contrasting pair of VEGAN (of LAS VEGAN) and CHOP SUEY, and that NO LIE nicely balances yesterday’s CAN YOU BELIEVE IT puzzle.

But my favorite serendipity was STRIP abutting the answer clued “… this streaker in the night”.

Another possible theme answer: BIRTHDAY CANDLES – [… these cake brighteners].

This is the second day in a row that a debut constructor honored a family member who introduced them to crosswords. Just another of so many Crosslandia gifts: The power of these puzzles to bond people together.

Congratulations on your first NYT puzzle, Matthew. You puzzle charmed me, bringing alive a ritual that brings light and happiness into life – making lucky wishes. A sweet start the day – thank you so much!

Whatsername 8:09 AM  

Like Rex, I was immediately put off by 2D. Not that I'm so delicate that I never speak that word but in a puzzle grid, it brings to mind other four-letter words . . . like yuck, stop, don't do that to my crossword please. Beyond that, a simple theme and an easy solve, even though I've never known ELEVEN ELEVEN or LADY BUG to be any sort of good-luck charm.

BobL 8:13 AM  

Nice debut, Mathew. MNOP was tops.

Sam 8:21 AM  

Last square filled was the MNOP/OOOH crossing. Soured an otherwise perfectly fine Tuesday. Ugly way to end.

Whatsername 8:29 AM  

As a native born Midwesterner, I say HI Y'ALL is perfectly acceptable and FYI, is the greeting extended when the driver of an oncoming vehicle waves at you with one finger. Two fingers means "How y'all doin' today?" Three fingers means "How's your Mom and all them?" And just a reminder, proper plural usage of the term is ALL Y'ALL.

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

35A: Most theaters do not have a row labeled "I", or a row "Q" for that matter. When looking at tickets, the letter "I" can easily be mistaken for the number 1, and the letter Q can be mistaken for the letter O, so most theaters skip those letters when numbering their rows. If the first row is A, then row M would be the 12th row. However, many theaters have an orchestra pit that can be covered by additional rows of seating when the pit is not being used. I can't say I've seen less than 3 additional rows added, making row M in these theaters the 15th row or higher. - Martin W

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

Go watch BTTF today. It’s that good.

Visho 8:41 AM  

Early revealers never bother me because as soon as I see it is a revealer, I skip over it. This allows me to try to figure out the theme on my own. I'll come back to it later if I need to.

RooMonster 9:05 AM  

Hey All !
Well, shoot. Had HeY ALL, because, well, that's my opening! And was all happy that that made it in the puz! (Rex erroneously added in an extra Y.) But, got the "Almost There!" message, said, "Huh? Everything's correct!", then proceeded to actually look through the grid. Went over the entire grid twice, finally seeing that EEN didn't seem to be a German "a", saw EIN, realized it was HI Y'ALL, and disappointedly came here to vent my frustration. 😁

Rex's reworked NW corner adds two F's! Good job, Rex.

Agree kind of an odd theme, but still a likeable puz. I hadn't heard of a few of these to wish upon. I could use some, as I'm still working off the Seven Years of Bad Luck from walking under ladders, black cats crossing my path, et alii.

Alternate clue for MNOP - With L, Part of the alphabet said really fast?. Har.


One F

Chicago Chica 9:10 AM  

CHOP SUEY / chow mein is another Kealoa.

pabloinnh 9:16 AM  

Agree with folks that discovered new things you can make a wish on. Who knew? Also discovered The SOURCE which OFL says is "important". Didn't know that either. And met Ms. Cuthbert, who is on something called "24". That's probably important too, but news to me.

Started as usual in the NW and when that corner was done the revealer was obvious and misplaced (grrr) but since several of the themers had, to me. nothing to do with it, it turned out OK.

Didn't mind the MNOP but had to wince at OOOH, as I was thinking "don't be OOOH", but it was anyway.

@Roo-Very sneaky, No Roo's, instead we get a LASVEGAN. More points for you.

Serviceable Tuesday, ML. Mainly Learned lots more things to wish on, and thanks for a fair amount of fun.

mathgent 9:23 AM  

I think that Rex's comment today is a load of CRAP. It's not writing, it's typing.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Agree with Rex and commenters, MNOP/OOOH just reeked of a lack of editing and effort, as did CRAP.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Thought MNOP clue was the most clever I’ve seen for an alphabetical string. So boring for clue to just say “alphabetical string.” I had a pleasurable aha moment when I got it. Almost an OOOH moment.

Lewis 9:41 AM  

Speaking of wishes, one of my crossword fantasies is that Patrick Berry return to making NYT puzzles.

He is in the highest strata of my constructor Valhalla. A master clue-maker, a master theme-maker. Brilliant all around, arguably the best puzzlemaker ever. He is still is publishing elsewhere, and why his puzzles have not shown up in the Times is a mystery.

If you want to experience his genius, do this set of six puzzles which ran consecutively during one week in the Times in 2011 as a contest. The last of the six connects them all together. I will never forget it. The best way to do them is from here -- https://www.xwordinfo.com/Contest -- where you can print them out as PDFs. You can also access the answer sheets from this page.

chipperdee 9:45 AM  

Change OOOH to OHOH with the clue Arnold Horshack Raises Hand. Too obscure?

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

35A needs a qualifier, like "perhaps." The reason? Most places (theaters, stadia, arenas) that use letters for seat rows skip the letter I (and sometimes the letters O and Q) to avoid confusion with the numbers 1 and 0, and confusion between O and Q.

As a result, row M will often be the twelfth row, not the thirteenth.

Carola 9:58 AM  

I like to try to guess a reveal, but with this sort of "reverse" structure, it can be harder to preserve the mystery -- at least when, like today, I already had MAKE from the Down crosses when I got to the reveal clue. Nonetheless, I left all the other theme answers blank, until I'd filled the rest of the grid, then went back to 23A, where SHO was enough to reveal the idea. The real mystery for me lay in getting the other items - I had no idea anyone would WISH on a LADYBUG, DANDELION, EYELASH, or clock time. Huh. Otherwise, I appreciated MARIGOLDS and the nod to LAS VEGAN @RooMonster.

11:11 reminded me of the Italian movie The Double Hour (La doppia ora), a romantic thriller. I see that it's streaming on various platforms - I thought it was good.

Nancy 10:02 AM  

Who knew? I have missed out on SO many wishing opportunities. It just breaks my heart. Just take ELEVEN ELEVEN alone. I did the math, and the clock has been at ELEVEN ELEVEN more than 59,000 times since I was born. Alas, I didn't wish on a single one of them.

Then the EYELASH-on-face thing. I wasn't paying attention, but I'm sure it's happened many, many times. Let's just add that to the 59,000+ figure. Okay?

Now I've never seen a SHOOTING STAR, but I have brushed LADYBUGS off my clothes. If not in Central Park, then in the country. And also at camp as a child. I didn't know they were lucky; yucky was more like it. But they owe me big time.

I figure I've got oodles of unused wishes coming to me and I don't intend to let the DANDELIONS grow under my feet before starting to make up for lost time. Thank you, Puzzle, for this eye-and-eyelash-opening fount of useful information!

Joe Dipinto 10:04 AM  

@Pablo – The Source is important if you like celebrity rags with stories such as:
• "Former assistant says Will Smith once had sex with Duane Martin"
• "Darius Jackson says Keke Palmer's mom once threatened to shoot him in the head"

Anonymous 10:08 AM  

I had MISTAKE too, and I also had EXPAT for 52A before EXILE.

egsforbreakfast 10:11 AM  

For 48A (...this on a clock), I tried and tried to get four twenty to work. I guess that wouldn't really fit the theme anyhoo. You don't make a wish when you see 4:20. That's when your wish has come true. Right @JohnX? (Some of you may remember that I once conclusively demonstrated that @SouthsideJohnny is actually @JohnX. Let's see if this little TIDBIT will draw a confession!)

MNOP was made easier by someone's mention of triskaidekaphobia recently. It saved me from having to use 3 of my toes in counting to "M".

If you've put on enough MILEAGE to reach a RIPER age, you're an ELDER.

Ponce de Leon gets all the explorer/conquistador/fountain of youth type credit, but his spelling-challenged cousin, DANDELION did all of the heavy lifting. And all he got was a weed and a Ray Bradbury book of obscure glogg named after him.

One of Santa's traditions on Christmas Eve was to let each of the reindeer sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. He'd always start by saying "C'mon up on my LAP Dancer."

I guess if you were in favor of @Rex's rework of the NW corner, then you liked the CRAP out of this puzzle. I wouldn't go that far, but thought it was a fine Tuesday. Congrats and thanks, Matthew Linzer.

jberg 10:19 AM  

Well, unlike some of you I was happy to be educated about more times when I could make a wish. And I thought "this streaker in the night" was a brilliant misdirection. The clue for MNOP is a pretty good one if you are going to clue MNOP, but of course it would be better to avoid it.

Here's <A href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHDfZ5pP060>musical proof</A> that LADYBUGs are lucky.

Photomatte 10:29 AM  

Flew through the puzzle until MNOP. That clue was badly written: rows 13-16 in a theater are rows 13-16. Nobody says "hey, we're in row 14, which is really row N." Theater rows are either identified by number or by letter; letters and numbers are not synonymous or interchangeable. Yes, Row N is the 14th row, but it's not Row 14. Other than that clueing error, I liked the Make A Wish theme. I've heard of every one except 11:11.

pabloinnh 10:44 AM  

@JoeD-Hey, thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely look into it. Sounds like some pretty solid journalism to me.

Canon Chasuble 10:44 AM  

It took a long time to get here, but at last: the worst NYT puzzle of the year..and that is saying a lot. Thanks, Rex, for leading this off.

bocamp 11:07 AM  

Thx, Matthew; here's WISHing you continued success with your future xword creations! 😊


Good start in the NW; steady and smooth most of the way, except for a MISSTEP, originally having MIStake.

Also, a bit of a hitch at OOOH / MNOP.

Didn't know (or remember) any of the themers.

Nevertheless a fun ROMP! :)

Always enjoy rewatching the 'Back to the Future' franchise in late Oct. / early Nov.

Liked this Tues. puz very much! :)
Croce's 858 is very hard (8 NYT Sats, so far); still ruminating on the final cell at the 'Evermore / ticket' cross. 🤞 All other answers confirmed. 😊 [update: wahoo! got it! Finally arrived at the correct letter, which more or less seemed plausible for both answers. 🌟]
On to Natan Last's Mon. New Yorker. 🤞
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude & a DAP to all 👊 🙏

Trina 11:13 AM  

Shocked, I tell, you … shocked —> that Rex wasn’t triggered by REAGAN international airport

Actually he probably was, but refrained from commenting in light of the response he would likely have seen

Gary Jugert 11:17 AM  

Really enjoyed working on this one! Just so much fun.

MCFLY is one of the great character names of all time. I love HI Y'ALL, but like 🦖 probably should be HEY Y'ALL.

MNOP MNOP, beep beep badiba. Love the clue, love the song.

I did not know you can wish on a ladybug. Nor at 11:11. I need to up my wish game from its well-centricity

Tee-Hee: TEEHEE! All hail the slush pile editor! I see you seeing us. Just love the CRAP you squish past us, you LAP STRIP-per.


1 Warning: This breakfast cereal will cause me to burst into song.
2 What happens with you and your sweetie in the forest after you see the shooting star.
3 Autocorrect when it comes to THE.
4 Favorite game of lawn owners.
5 Mobsters according to legend.
6 My brain after high school.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: Google Earth satellite to god forsaken wasteland. "SAY CHEESE FARGO."


lodsf 11:22 AM  

As soon as I saw that ‘first place’ revealer last night I knew to expect a rant from Rex. OTOH - hand up for disliking 2D in my puzzles. But on the other OH - I liked the 36A clue/answer. I had to step away & come back before I saw it, but thought it was clever. Long time theater/ballet goer here; have sat in N3 (for example) many times.

jb129 11:28 AM  

Regarding today's puzzle, I have to ask ...

WHAT is going on at the NYT?

Rug Crazy 11:30 AM  

OOOH and MNOP were just awful!....the rest wasn't so bad

jb129 11:45 AM  

BTW @ Lewis - Patrick Berry is at The New Yorker today if you're interested :)

kitshef 12:08 PM  

@bocamp 11:07 - I was pretty sure about my "Evermore" answer, which is a good thing as I still can make no sense out of the 'ticket' clue.

Anonymous 12:21 PM  

Exactly. AA, BB, CC usually.

jae 12:51 PM  

Easy. No erasures and no WOEs except for not knowing ELEVEN ELEVEN was wishable. Cute theme but add me to those not so fond of some of the fill. Liked it more than @Rex did.

Liveprof 12:57 PM  

Despite the name, not all ladybugs are female. It's hard to tell the males apart, but they tend to be a bit smaller (and insecure, I would guess).

Beezer 1:04 PM  

Late to the game today and my hand is up for not being familiar with wishing on any of the theme answers except SHOOTINGSTAR.
As for the CRAP “controversy” doesn’t this come from the casino game of CRAPs? I only know enough to be dangerous but I think once you start rolling the dice, you keep rolling until you CRAP out (roll a 7 or 11?). I dunno. I KNOW the “other” reference which I THINK is attributed to the invention of the toilet by Thomas CRAPper but I have to say both USES are fairly low on my “I’m offended” scale.

@nalpac…I think “she loves me, she loves me not” is associated with plucking petals from a daisy…and the answer is in the last petal.

@Nancy…well. We have a VERY serious disagreement here. Ladybugs are YUCKY?!! Nay Nancy…they are cute as a ladybug! They are little, don’t bite, and are nicely red with little dots! 🐞

johnk 1:11 PM  

Very easy. Quick fill, paying no attention to the theme. My only write-over was REDS over GEMS.
Never heard of ELISHA or JENGA. I'll never remember MCFLY or EGOT, and would like to forget REAGAN.

Sharonak 1:15 PM  

@ DJoeD and pabloinnh Loved your comments Thaks for the chuckle

@ Nancy Did you really do the figuring to get that number or just guess no-one would challenge you on it because...
Enjoyed your riff on wishes missed.

CT2Napa 1:20 PM  

FYI ELEVEN ELEVEN is a winery in Napa

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

And the DANDELION's wish is that you blow on it to disperse its seeds.

bocamp 2:14 PM  

@kitshef (12:08 PM)

Maybe a bit of a stretch, but here's what ultimately sold me on the ticket.
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude & a DAP to all 👊 🙏

Georgia 2:34 PM  

SAME! My title for this (easy) puzzle is "News to me!"

Anonymous 2:51 PM  

I thought the clue for MNOP was at least kind of cute, even if it's bad fill. LEN, on the other hand... "Man's name hidden in 'bottleneck'" is the absolute worst genre of lazy cluing. "Here, I'll just put the answer right in the clue, you don't even have to use any brain power."

Anonymous 4:30 PM  

Close enough for crosswords

Anonymous 4:38 PM  

Amazing when I come here and learn what I don’t have a clue about! Like eyelash as something to wish about. As well as eleven eleven. Wish upon a star of course I knew.

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

I doubt he was restrained by fear of criticism of the usual suspects.

Nancy 5:42 PM  

@Sharonak -- I did the math. Very, very easy with a computer which does all the work. I took my age, multiplied by 365, and then multiplied by 2, because ELEVEN ELEVEN happens twice a day. I then rounded down a bit. You surely didn't expect me to round UP, did you?

@Beezer -- I don't like bugs that look, well, squashable. Somehow, a ladybug looks a bit like a cockroach to me, only smaller and with nicer colors. But maybe I've never given any of them a fair chance.

jae 5:50 PM  

@bocamp &kitshef - I interpreted the word “Ask” in the ticket clue as “watch out you’re asking for trouble”. My 2 cents. My DNF involved the first word of the 39a answer.

jberg 6:02 PM  

You can actually buy LADYBUGs for your garden -- if you have an aphid infestation they'll clean it up, unless the ants (who 'milk' the aphids, and will protect them in turn) get the ladybugs first.

Does anyone know why ELEVEN:ELEVEN is wishable? And does it work on a digital clock, or is it all about the relationship of the hands on a traditional clockface?

Anonymous 6:28 PM  

German “a” is ah. Ein is one. Am I wrong?

Anonymous 7:19 PM  

Rex— when you say you appreciate the effort then proceed to piss on the effort, I’m reminded that you aren’t just a crank, but a pea brain.
Enjoy Binghamton. And that homely wife.

Anonymous 7:53 PM  

Just wanted you folks to see the kind of shit we delete *regularly*. Have a nice day. ~RP

Anonymous 8:00 PM  

Although to be fair no one’s actually gone after my beautiful wife before. That is new.

Anonymous 9:12 PM  

Anonymous 7:19's comment was despicable. Please do kot come back to this page.

Gary Jugert 10:01 PM  

@🦖 7:19 PM
We are blessed you're willing to put up with humanity's sludge to make a fun and intriguing place for us to hang out. You're the best.

Anonymous 10:52 PM  

To be fair, the critique is a bit off—the revealer isn’t “WISH upon” it’s MAKE A WISH. Which you definitely do in the case of all of the themed answers as clued. Not sure the gripe there.

As far as the revealer coming first and giving away the themed answers? Agreed. But I guess that’s why it’s a Tuesday—meant to help the newer solvers solve. Though it’s actually cute enough, would have liked to see it reworked into maybe a Wednesday, with the revealer at the end.

Some rough fill, but the en pointe theme and cuteness gives it a pass for a Tuesday.

Anonymous 12:25 AM  

I thought this puzzle was pretty, pretty snazzy! A Tuesday POW! I had fun with a lot of the clues — unique wordplay, more than the usual Monday or Tuesday. Trix! Jenga! Marigolds!

So I came straight here to read the write-up. I’ve only been puzzling regularly and reading this blog since the pandemic. But I’ve learned a lot, and have improved my times and tastes quite a bit over the past few years. I like to think I can guess what Rex likes by now.

Crap. :(

Anonymous 12:27 AM  

Oh my gosh, you kill ladybugs? Eek

Anonymous 2:18 AM  

This version of the word does not even share the same etymology as the word for junk or feces. https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/crap_out#English

Anonymous 2:19 AM  

For your information...(and to help you with future crossword clues):
'24' was an iconic, espionage thriller TV series that ran for 9 seasons on Fox. It starred Keifer Sutherland as Counter Terrorism agent Jack Bauer (a last name I've seen in crosswords). Elisha Cuthbert played his trouble-prone daughter.
The uniqueness of the series was its structure. Each 24 episode season spanned a single day, and each episode was one hour of that day, with all the events occurring in real time (and with a digital clock counting down the time frequently displayed in a corner of the TV screen).
The show was lauded by critics, and beloved by fans, winning both Emmy and Golden Globe awards. The name Jack Bauer has become part of the pop culture zeitgeist. The series has influenced most other espionage shows that came afterwards (most notably Alias and Homeland). And it's real time episode structure makes '24' the ultimate binge watch.

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