Torus-shaped treat / TUES 11-7-23 / Aruba, Bonaire or Curaçao / Words preceding "with my little eye" / Like items unveiled in a tech show, colloquially

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Hi, everyone, it’s Clare, this time for the first Tuesday of November! Hope everyone had a spooktacular October and are adjusting to the time change better than I have. My big news is that I had a hearing, and my client was granted asylum!! He was SO happy. I’ve been riding that high for the last week. Except also last week I had a “big city” experience, and my back wheel of my bike was stolen. That at least prompted me to get my bike fixed up and to put on clipless pedals. It’ll be my first time with these, so I’ll report back next month on how many times I fall…

Constructors: Kevin Curry and Daniel Bodily

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: T-TOPS (53D: With the giant letter formed by the black squares immediately above this answer, what the answers to the starred clues all literally have) — Each of the theme answers starts with the letter T

Theme answers:
  • T-BONE STEAK (3D: Chophouse choice) 
  • T-BAR LIFT (7D: Skier's support) 
  • T-BALL GLOVE (11D: Miniature mitt) 
  • T-STRAP SANDAL (21D: Article of summer footwear) 
  • T-SHIRT CANNON (23D: Launcher sometimes used during halftime at a sports event)
Word of the Day: MAE (34A: Astronaut Jemison) —
Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Jemison joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1987 and was selected to serve for the STS-47 mission, during which the Endeavour orbited the Earth for nearly eight days on September 12–20, 1992. Jemison left NASA in 1993 and founded a technology research company. She later formed a non-profit educational foundation and through the foundation is the principal of the 100 Year Starship project funded by DARPA. She holds several honorary doctorates and has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame. (Wiki)
• • •
Hmmm. I’m a bit unsure what to make of this puzzle. The construction is solid enough, and many of the long downs are nice. But the theme just kind of existed, at least for me. The revealer itself was a let-down: the word TOPS with a T formed by five black squares above it, requiring a very long clue just to note that the first letter of each theme answer is a T. 

All the T-answers seem legit to me except for T-BAR LIFT (7D). A T-BAR is a type of lift, so it’s incredibly uncommon to refer to it with LIFT in the name. Yes, a chair lift is a thing, but you don’t talk about gondola lifts or funicular lifts or magic carpet lifts. Besides, I was a ski racer as a kid and have spent many hundreds of days on the snow at resorts throughout the Sierra Nevadas and Rockies and have rarely even seen a T-BAR. I rode one a couple times in Canada, but they really aren’t on many mountains anymore. I found the T-BAR incredibly annoying and hard to ride — which, yes, has nothing to do with the puzzle — so I’m glad normal chair lifts are used now! 

The construction of the puzzle for the T-theme created a somewhat odd-looking puzzle, although I do like the symmetry of it. I also think the constructors did a good job with the long downs surrounding the theme answers and with the clues in the rest of the puzzle. I especially liked SAMURAI (4D: One required by a 1629 law to wear two swords), AVE MARIA (6D: Mass recitation), and CAN’T LOSE (8D: Surefire). The three-letter and four-letter crosswordese was clued a bit differently than usual, which made the solve feel fresher than it might have otherwise. Also having MR. T (22A) in this puzzle was certainly apt. 

On the other hand, I never like answers such as A AND E (12D: "Storage Wars" network), because no one spells out the “and” in A&E. I hated the clue/answer for 35A because that’s not at all what I think a nonspecialist is. You can have an AMATEUR who specializes in something (like amateur golfers who compete in tournaments), and you can have a professional who doesn’t specialize in any particular area (like a general surgeon). 

I also wish there’d been more symmetry with 40A: Old man's old man as GRAMPA and 47A: Mama's mama as NANA. They were clearly clued in a similar way and were close together, so I would have thought it’d be more like NANA and “Papa.” It could’ve been easy to clue NANA in a different way — the Darling family’s pet in “Peter Pan” is right there, playing with its DOG TOY (46D)! Is it really referred to as an IV BAG (15A: Pouch of fluid in an E.R.)? That just sounds weird to me. And I had no clue who OMAR Apollo (48D: Grammy-nominated singer) is, even though a Google search tells me he’s 26 and should theoretically be in my wheelhouse; guess I need to go brush up on my pop culture. 

I didn’t love the solve this time around, but I appreciate it more looking back and seeing the construction and the generally solid fill, sometimes with novel-ish clues.

  • Pshh. I’ve seen Six The Musical (on Youtube) so I easily know all of Henry VIII’s ex-wives (54D), who include ANNE Boleyn and ANNE of Cleves. The musical is absolutely brilliant, and it may one day help you answer a crossword clue, too.
  • I appreciated the love for Michelle AKERS (24A: Michelle ___, FIFA Female Player of the Century) in the puzzle. She was a phenomenal player. And, calendar note: Some other phenomenal players will be in the NWSL final on November 11! It’s both Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe’s final game, and they’re going head-to-head. It’ll be a good one. 
  • Fun fact about PSY (66A: First music artist to have a video with a billion YouTube views) with “Gangnam Style” is that this song that was massively popular and viral everywhere never went number one on the Billboard chart. The fact that it didn’t make it to number one even with its impressive numbers prompted Billboard to change things for the future to also count Youtube views toward their chart. Since then, the incredible and wonderful BTS have had six number one songs as a group and two as individuals. 
  • With the MLB reference at 1A: METS, I have to mention Bruce Bochy, who managed the Texas Rangers to their first World Series win in their 63 years of existence, after taking my Giants to titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. We love Bochy. The Al championship series featured two former Giants’ managers – Bochy and Dusty Baker, who was managing the Astros – which does make you wonder about who’s making sure the Giants keep their top talent.
And that's it from me. See you all later this month!

Signed, Clare Carroll, happy to have T’d up the puzzle for you

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


chrisborgia 1:07 AM  

As a former ER nurse, "IV bag" is an acceptable phrase in the right context.

egsforbreakfast 1:14 AM  

Was an IVBAG what the Romans called a home run?

I know that MEANT is what people call MRT when he doesn't even pity the fool, he just STABs him, even if he gets caught in the ACT or it violates DECREED of the street.

If you look at 66A, you'll see that it goes up and curls back on itself to form PSYOPS. I'm not sure what I'm getting at here, but I think it has something to do with the Deep State. Speaking of which, if they're so concerned about the Deep State, what about an entire region - - the Deep South? Eventually I'm sure we'll need to root out the scum down to the level of the Deep City and even the Deep 'Hood.

My wife changes her hairstyle at least once a week. "Mrs. EGS" I tell her, "You're a DONUT." "Oh, EGS" she'll reply. "For AMATEUR not very supportive." The wackiness seldom lets up at our place.

Congrats, Clare, on your asylum win and your (as always) fun and fresh write up. And thanks, Kevin Curry and Daniel Bodily. Not a T strainer but fun.

JMS 1:35 AM  

Gotta say, that when the temp is 20 below or colder and windy, I’d rather be on a “t-bar lift” than a chair lift, especially when the chairs died as they did regularly back where I started skiing in Wisconsin.

okanaganer 1:40 AM  

Hi Clare. I'm also a bit underwhelmed by the T gimmick. Plus, 45 down starts with a T (though not as a solo letter) but isn't a themer. Slightly untidy.

And I agree with you that T-BARs in real life were annoying and hard to ride... kinda precarious. Chair lifts rule! Also agree that the clue for AMATEUR is just plain wrong.

Typeovers: 60 across "List in etiquette book": DONT'S before NONOS. And for 65 across, kind of an epic Kealoa, in that "Cast out" = 5 letters starting with E can be: EVICT, EJECT, EGEST, EXPEL.

[Spelling Bee: Mon 0, last word this 5er; QB streak 13 days!]

jae 2:14 AM  

Easy. No WOEs (except for OMAR as clued), no erasures, no problems. Like @Clare said, solid Tuesday, liked it.

JJK 2:46 AM  

The puzzle was ok, but your write-up was great, Clare! Worth the price of admission for a ho-hum puzzle.

I agree about TBARLIFTS, having ridden many in my youth. We did not include LIFT in the name, it was simply the TBAR, and the caution for newbies was “don’t sit!”. The T is (I believe) short for tow and we also sometimes called it the tow bar. It towed you up the hill, and if you sat, you would fall and consequently mess up the next person in line, they would have to stop the machine, get the “sitter” out of the way, and start up again. Super embarrassing. Many tears for young skiers trying to learn to ride the TBAR.

Clare, from this NANA, I hope you always wear your helmet! I’m sure you do. Those city streets can be dangerous on a bike!

Hal9000 4:27 AM  

Corny, simple…and I liked it! I don’t know why but even though Tuesdays are easy they often give me some of my funnest solves. I thought the concept and execution on this puzzle were both good. Would like to see this level of elegance on a Friday or Saturday! (Happens sometimes…not often, IMO)

Conrad 5:29 AM  

@Clare: I hope you wear a helmet whenever you ride your bike!

Even for the short trips.

SouthsideJohnny 6:43 AM  

I admired the construction and thought the theme entries all held up pretty well. Agree with some of the others that the reveal felt a little flat though.

Never heard of PSY - and it was a billion (yes, with a “B”j views on YouTube? At least I knew ABBA and EBAY though, so can’t complain too much I guess.

Andy Freude 6:46 AM  

Fun write-up, Claire. (But boo to bike thieves.)
This theme is the sort of thing that looks fun to construct but is only OK to solve. Not bad, not stellar.
I share your dislike of AANDE, to which I’ll add randb and randr. And ditto for AMATEURs who specialize.
And I love it when someone half my age feels she needs to do more to keep up with popular culture. When I get that feeling I just take a nap, and it usually goes away.

PH 6:52 AM  

Thanks for the entertaining write-up. The theme answers by themselves aren't very interesting, but it's nice how the symmetry all worked out with T-[word][word]s. Such a simple idea, but congrats to Kevin Curry and Daniel Bodily for coming up with it first.

D 7:08 AM  

I admit that people don’t always use AMATEUR in the clued way, but it is one of the definitions. I didn’t see the clue anyway, because I solved downs-only.

JD 7:12 AM  

Started this late last night and suffered self-induced difficulty level (SDL). It was Gran that held me up, sitting there with Grandpa. Agree with Clair on that point.

The grid looks like a series of T's all the way down the center. Impressive.

Our kids played Tee Ball but we just called it a glove, as in "Where's your glove it's time to go if you'd put it where it belongs you could find it."

Checked to see if the term T Ball Glove is a thing (it is), and see that they're selling a Rawlings 9.5'' Tee Ball Mike Trout Series Glove for $39.99.

My memory of Tee Ball is that there was more comedy than sport, and I'm wonderin if anybody who pays that much for a T Ball Glove has delusions of future sports grandeur. I don't recall a single ball being caught.

Really a great Tuesday puzzle.

Mack 7:25 AM  

An uninteresting revealer for a theme about an automotive style that hasn't really existed for decades in a grid filled to the brim with proper nouns. No thanks.

On the plus side, Clare's assessment was spot on. It's true that T-BAR shouldn't include LIFT, but I have another peeve: crosswords love to use T-BAR, but they never really seemed to be a thing to me. J-BARS were much more common. Maybe it's a regional thing (which would be odd) or perhaps generational (did one gradually get replaced by the other?).

And yes, IV BAG is a normal phrase.

Lewis 7:26 AM  

I love the backstory, a tribute to tenacity. Here Kevin submitted a dozen puzzles over eleven years, all rejected, yet he persisted, forged on. Then he linked up with Daniel, with an idea that they massaged over 200 emails! Applause all around, gentlemen.

Lovely visual for T-TOPS. This puzzle could easily have simply had “TTOPS” as the revealer – no black-square T – but K&J went the extra mile. Plus, some lovely serendipities:
• ALL SOLES in row five, five days after All Souls Day.
• Three palindromes (ABBA, MGM, TOT).
• Backward SPOT abutting DOG TOY.
• Backward BATS crossing T-BALL GLOVE.
• A white-square T above the black-square T.

A never-done-before theme playing off crossword stalwart T-TOP – impressive. But most impressive to me, Kevin and Daniel, was your tenacity, which I found amazing and inspiring. Thank you two for a sparkling puzzle!

Lewis 7:34 AM  

Administrative note. My wife Susan and I are going on just-us getaway for the first time since Covid. I shall return on Monday. Wishing you all well!

kitshef 7:45 AM  

Played like a hard Wednesday for me.

OMAR Apollo: Crossworthy? One Grammy nomination and no wins. There must be hundreds of such acts, including the likes Juan Valentin, Baaba Maal and Nic Fanciulli. Although I’d say all of those are better known than OMAR.

Also, Michelle AKERS famously shared the Player of the Century award with Sun Wen. Feels like that should have been noted.

floatingboy 7:50 AM  

Whhhhyyyyyyy can't they save this puzzle-in-a-puzzle crap for Thursdays only??

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

Appreciated the construction, and the non-trite fill that often accompanies themed Tuesdays. Easy medium and fun. The revealer was anti climactic but fine. Nice guest spot discussion to boot - looks like good day ahead

Dr.A 7:52 AM  

IV bag is oK but usually you’d specify the type, Saline Bag, Lactated Ringer’s bag, etc, but I think it can get a pass.

mmorgan 8:08 AM  

Thanks for a great write up, Clare! Although I admit I was kinda looking forward to Rex trashing this and was even imagining what he’d say.

Bob Mills 8:10 AM  

Didn't know two of the theme answers, but the crosses made the puzzle fairly easy for me.

pabloinnh 8:14 AM  

Agree with Clare and others on TBARLIFT, which no one says ever. Also agree with @Mack on the preponderance of JBARS, which are also becoming increasingly rare. I used to go to a small ski area in the Adirondacks that had two rope tows, one very slow and one high-speed. Smaller kids who made the mistake of trying to grab the high-speed one instead of gradually squeezing it were often airborne. Exciting, but occasionally painful.

The T trick was instantly obvious which made this a sort of a JV stunt puzzle. I'm always surprised when I learn something about a pop star like PSY being so enormously popular and I say who? Also I know a couple of OMARs, but not you, Mr. Apollo. Sorry.

And does anyone on the world call a five dollar bill an ABE? Only in crosswords? Thought so.

Kind of a cool trick, KC and DB. The T's just Kept Coming but Didn't Bring great joy, so thanks for a fair amount of fun.

andrew 8:17 AM  

Solid T-T-T-Tuesday. Particularly liked the Little Stevie Wonder clue - such an amazing talent! Also thought the GRAMPA/NANA being less predictable than a PAPA/MAMA type duo was a positive not a flaw (though the latter combo reminds me of another source of great 60’s music. But they should land on Monday Mondays).

Growing up in MN, T-bars were the main lift and an upgrade to the rope tow. Easier to ride up a hill using your thighs and butt than holding on to dear life to a rope slipping through your frozen mittens. Hated when the rider ahead of me would purposely hold onto the rope instead of getting off to create a rubber band effect on us suckers below him (snow-bullying has NO place on the slopes).

Fun puzzle, nice writeup!

RooMonster 9:00 AM  

Hey All !
Nice to see you again, Claire. Congrats on your clients asylum, wondering what type of law you do?

Neat puz. Tough to fill cleanly, hence we get a moderately closed off puz. Both South corners are "one square in", NE and NW corners are practically closed off by the Blockers after MAE/before ORB. N center is its own thing.

Not saying I didn't like this puz. I did, just reporting what's there. 🙂

Constructors got all the T(something) words? Or is the ole brain just not thinking of any others? (Probably...)

A fun, fast TuesPuz. TRIFFIC. Har.

One F

Anonymous 9:04 AM  

THAT is how you guest blog....please keep Clare, and drop Malaika.

Phillybear 9:11 AM  

Easy throughout and just wanted to say how excited I was to see OMAR Apollo make his NYTXW debut. As I wrote him in I was excited to check the comments and see the fuddy-duddy GRAMPA and NANA posters go on a RANT about his lack of crossworthiness. For those unfamiliar, here’s a beautiful piece of his on NPR’s Tiny Desk series with mariachi roots honoring his childhood across the RIO Grande.

Steve McCraw 9:14 AM  

Hi Clare. I agree with you on all points, including our love for Bruce Bochy. FOREVER GIANT.

Carola 9:32 AM  

A harder than usual Tuesday for me - a plus. The TOP three TB-answers led me to believe that ALL would start that way, and so I was ready to grudgingly accept Michelle AKERb, until later crosses made it impossible. Well, if they couldn't all be TB's, it was nice that the other two were both TS's - and I liked the paired SANDAL and SHIRT. Also thought SAMURAI, DECREED, CAN'T LOSE, DOG TOY stood out from the run of the mill.

Do-over: Core before CRUX, T-BAR LIne (non-skier). Help from previous puzzles: SARA, MAE, PSY. No idea: OMAR.

Diane Joan 9:32 AM  

Hi Clare,
Enjoyed your write-up!
So sorry about your bike! When I was in college back in the day I chained mine to the porch on our dorm which was a little house. When I returned I found a neat pile of sawdust and no bike. Oddly the loss was covered by the homeowner’s insurance purchased by my parents. If you have insurance on your domicile it’s worth checking it out.

Nancy 9:40 AM  


Gary Jugert 9:43 AM  

I've been to two Denver Nuggets games in my life and at one I caught the projectile from a T-SHIRT CANNON. The shirt was cheap and too small and I should've given it to the kid sitting next to me, but when you catch one of those, your pride clouds your thinking.

Growing up skiing in Colorado in the olden times I never used a T-BAR LIFT, but used lots of POMA LIFTS, often up some pretty aggressive mountains, but these days people ride in gondolas sipping spiked hot chocolate and they pay a week's salary for the experience.


1 The squeaky one.
2 How one Swedish nurse intends to make a mint.
3 What we knew he would do when gramps said, "I'm going to the city council meeting on the computer."
4 Father figure in the chromatic harmonica community.
5 It might be a good song, but collecting royalties is gonna be devilish.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: #yum. PITA BREAD TWEET.


Trina 9:46 AM  

Enjoyed the puzz and the write-up!

And the memories of t-bars … worst nightmare was being pared up with a beginner (who would inevitably try to sit) or someone vastly shorter (so you would ride with the bar mid- thigh …)

My Name 9:49 AM  

I wonder if @Rex was finally happy as he got his wish for the DONUT spelling...

bocamp 9:51 AM  

Thx, Kevin & Daniel; you're both TOPS.! 😊

Hi Clare; good to see you again! Thx for your write-up. Well done on your asylum case! 😊 Bummer about your wheel, but way to make lemonade out of a lemon! 👍

Med (smack dab on avg).

Learned ZUMBA today.

G'ma will be getting HUGs when when she arrives in Anchorage today. The forecast is snow. ☃️ Papa will be happy with the (so far) mild Vancouver weather.

Enjoyed the solve! :)
Croce's 856 was med-hard (nearly 4x NYT Sat.) Dnfed at the 'Icosa-' / 'diplomat' cross. Was right on my other guess at the 'Bari' / 'ninth hour' cross. On to Gorski's Mon. New Yorker. 🤞
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude & a DAP to all 👊 🙏

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

The Ave Maria (Hail Mary) is not a prayer normally said during Mass.

Nancy 10:03 AM  

Hi, Clare --

Thanks for letting me know that "Six, the Musical" is available in full on YouTube. I was not motivated to go to the show, but I certainly will take a look online where it's free, easy to get to, and there's plenty of leg room. (For reasons I won't bore you with, I go to very little theater now after a lifetime of theater-going.)

But "an absolutely brilliant musical"? This is not meant as any kind of putdown, Clare, and the questions I'm asking are rhetorical -- not to be answered here. But I'm wondering, simply because of your age, if you have the best yardsticks against which to measure great musicals?

You may of course know ALL of the classics from the Golden Age. But in the event you don't, and if you love the genre, here are some musicals that will truly enrich your life.

Show Boat
Porgy and Bess
My Fair Lady
The King and I
South Pacific
Guys and Dolls

I'm leaving out, for the moment, Sondheim, who is something of an acquired taste.

That's your listening "assignment", Clare. I wish you many wonderful discoveries from the archives of some "absolutely brilliant" musicals of the past.

Joe Dipinto 10:14 AM  

The puzzle is fine, but that may be the Worst. Revealer. Clue. Ever. "With the GIANT LETTER formed by the black squares IMMEDIATELY ABOVE above this answer..." Oh yes, the T is so gargantuan, it frightened me! And the immediacy of its aboveness needed to be pointed out! Piling 23-words onto a clue for a 4-letter answer is ridiculous.

And as Anon 10:02 mentions, the AVE MARIA is not a prayer that occurs as part of the Mass.

Petee 10:14 AM  

Hi Clare. Sorry bout your bike and congrats on your success. The Mae Jemison Wiki entry is long overdue as she is a frequent flier in the puzz. Even spellchecker “corrected her to Jamison” and then offered alternatives. My issue with the puzzle are the locked-in corners. No horizontal breathing space and limited vertical. I’ve seen Rex rant on that and I agree. I like the “AANDE” “BANDB” answers. Just one more head scratcher you have to learn to navigate with experience. Best of luck going forward.

ccredux 10:24 AM  

Great write-up! Hope Clare and Malaika do more. Never heard of a TeeSHIRTCANNON, OMAR . Clue for NEXTGEN is arguably wrong. Isn’t this lingo or jargon, not colloquial, which is familiar language?

Very nice Tuesday puzzle. (Is “Oklahoma” from the Golden Age? )

Georgia 10:37 AM  

Ouch. Not nice. This blog should be a balm, not a bane.

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

Happy to be corrected on this, but when my kids played T-ball, we still called it a baseball glove.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

T-top puzzle. All those t-bar stories remind me of learning to ski. Long t-ime ago.

Clip on pedals? I suggest the mountain bike shoes with clips. Easier to walk in. Road bike shoes with clips are flat out dangerous while walking.

Long-time Giants fan here. Vamos Gigantes! Bochy's hat size is always a "thing." Someone once remarked on how many baseballs could fit in his cap. Don't remember exactly how many but it was a lot. Loved the Reds as a kid and recall Johnny Bench had huge hands. Similar stores about how many baseballs he could hold. Big Red Machine. Put Rose in the HoF now.

And Dusty Baker stories usually include his son the bat boy getting swooped up by that famous football player's son at home plate.

jberg 10:50 AM  

Claire, thanks for the writeup, and my sympathies for the loss of your wheel. The same thing happened to me back in 1964 when I first came to the Boston area for graduate school. I got back from class and found that my bike, carefully locked through the frame, was missing the back wheel. It was my first 10-speed, and learning how much the rear wheel cost was a rude awakening.

@Nancy, I think I'd include Oklahoma!

What would have been really cool would have been no non-theme Ts.

jberg 10:53 AM  

And as a tribute to those two ANNEs, here's a little song that's not really about their husband.

Whatsername 11:05 AM  

Mostly on board with Clare today. I thought PSY, RIO and OMAR were obscure for a Tuesday, and agreed about the clue for AMATEUR. It made me look for some kind of doctor. “Nonprofessional” would have been my choice there. But it was a good theme and fun to figure out where the T’s were going.

MJB 11:11 AM  

I heartily agree with all Nancy's suggestions, but I would also include Hamilton.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Chess pieces are men… how are we explaining the queen?

Nancy 11:17 AM  

@jberg and @ccredux --

Yes, "Oklahoma" is from the Golden Age. But my list is already R&H- heavy and "Oklahoma" happens to not be one of my top favorites of theirs. Although it does have one of the greatest and most ground-breaking (for its time) opening numbers in all of Broadway history.

GILL I. 11:23 AM  

I had a teeny tiny moment of......TBAR LIFT. But why? you may ask.....Because you were my first. A disaster that involved my fondillo being dragged about a mile up a snowy hill.
I learned how to ski in Spain. Navacerrada.... My skis were about 6' feet long and made of wood. They were rented. I hauled them to a slope I figured would be safe. The lift was a TBAR. I think it was just called a Barra de esqui. I can't remember because we drank some brandy before tackling gorgeous snow. I tell the very handsome man guiding the rope and its little T to my body that this was my first. He smiled.... Said it was easy. It wasn't. I didn't sit. I just grabbed the rope and it dragged me, along with my 6' rented wood skis, halfway up the mountain . Everyone shouting to let go of the rope. I think I was actually enjoying being dragged through snow.
I eventually figured it out. I get to the top AND.....That's another long story.
SARA was SORA and MAE was MOE. That's really all I have to say about the puzzle.

Petee 11:28 AM  

West Side Story anyone?

Whatsername 11:30 AM  

@JMS (1:35) I would never be out there at 20 below but yes, there’s nothing like dangling on a chair lift 20 feet high while you’re slowly freezing to death. @Gary J mentioned gondolas which they did have when I was skiing but I always had trouble getting in and out of those things.

@Lewis (7:30) Hope you and your bride have a lovely getaway.

@Gary J (9:43) Just curious, how much does a lift ticket go for these days?

johnk 11:39 AM  

Came here as usual, curious as to what TRex would be saying about this.
Nice comments, Claire.

jb129 11:42 AM  

I agree with Clare's write-up (Hi Clare!) & with @okanaganer "underwhelmed by the T gimmick." I didn't like "AANDE" for A&E. But a typical puzzle for for Today I guess.

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

Also annoyed by amateur.

Masked and Anonymous 12:10 PM  

Ahar! A T-zer TuesPuz. With primo E/W puzgrid symmetry. Like.

staff weeject pick has got to be: MRT. And MRT is at the head of a nice weeject 4-pile, which is later continued by an additional 3-pile at the bottom center.

fave clue: MAINE. Becuz we have been to its Acadia Natl Park … very pretty. honrable mention to DOGTOY's slobbery clue, of course.

Slight precious nanoseconds drain at the SARA/MAE no-knows. But in the end, those names seemed to be the most obvious choices.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Mr's. Curry & Bodily dudes. And congratz to Kevin Curry on his half-debut.
Kinda liked how the giant black T was surrounded fairly closely by 6 or so T pups.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Sailor 12:17 PM  

It's Clare Tuesday! I hadn't noticed it being First Tuesday until arriving here, so that's a pleasant surprise. As per usual on this day, the write-up was a treat, and more entertaining, truth be told, than the puzzle itself, about which I agree with Clare on every point.

I haven't seen SIX yet, but the concept is delightful, and I see that it received glowing reviews and not a few awards, so I'm looking forward to it!

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

Never heard of PSY (66A)
Had PTY which made sense of 53D.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Am I the only one who thought the grid looks like a rabbit and kept waiting for some sort of rabbit out of the hat/magician type revealer?

Anoa Bob 1:05 PM  

Another possible reveal for this puzzle could be DONE TO A T.

23D reminded me of the Simpsons episode where Ned Flanders wife Maude gets killed by a T SHIRT CANNON barrage (50 second video).

I'm in the victim of a bike theft crowd. Had mine locked up with a cable through the frame on campus at San Diego State. Came out from class to find the only thing left was a severed cable on the ground. It was a nice Schwinn 10-speed. Can't figure out why anyone would want to steal just the rear wheel. Building a custom unicycle?

Teedmn 1:28 PM  

While I agree that TBARLIFT is redundant, I have seen T-Bars in the Alps, usually on very flat runs where a gondola or chair lift isn't needed. But it's been a while since I've been skiing in Europe so it may have changed.

I liked this theme, it was nice for a Tuesday and clever. Thanks, Kevin and Daniel!

Clare, good luck with the clips. I love mine and when I have to ride without them, I get the same feeling that I get when in a car without a seatbelt. The most dangerous thing is when you're going very slowly - if you can't get your foot out fast enough, you're doomed to watch yourself go down in an ignominious heap, usually with only your pride hurt. I loosened my pedals as far as they would go so the shoes come out easily.

Anonymous 2:31 PM  

If you like these, do not bother yourself with Six. Inane pop with no semblance or plot or musicality

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

yikes, T strap sandal crossing Akers DNF’d me; never heard of either. arguably i should know akers, but the sandal, come on!

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

No surprise that the patently Anti-Catholic Times would get it wrong about what's in the holy Mass. When Notre Dame burned a couple of years ago, their reporter was so ignorant she misunderstand what the priest meant when he relayed that rescuers were able to save the Body of Christ; she thought the Eucharist was a statue. Yikes.

Anon 10:39,
Someone may ask to see your Red's bona fides. You mention the size of Johnny Bench's hands but there's a famous picture of catcher Ernie Lombardi--in his red's uniform-- holding seven baseballs. That's a pair of mitts!!
Fun fact. He won a pair of batting titles despite being so slow, he was thrown out at first more than once running to first base. That's a bigger yikes than the times reporter's mistake.

As for Rose in the Hall of Fame-- that institution gets almost everything wrong. Keeping Rose out, however, is not one of their errors.

ccredux 3:03 PM  

@jberg thanks for the version of Henry VIII . Brought back memories of the great British Invasion. Thanks to @nancy for filling my head of those great songs from South Pacific!

Gary Jugert 3:57 PM  

@Whatsername 11:30 AM
It's about $200-$250 per person for a weekend lift ticket at any of the larger places. Most people in town here buy season passes, but to fly in for one weekend, we're talking many thousands with equipment rental, and hotel, and transportation, and resort taxes, and food prices that seem like they're printed from a cartoon. Airfare has gone insane too. And then you end up hanging around with the entitled. You can see why I stay home and watch The Bachelor.

dgd 6:01 PM  

I heard ablnd used the terms T bar and J bar depending on the shape of the embarrassment creating machine in question. I think T bars you leaned against and J bars you sat on. I always thought the name came from the shape. There were also tow ropes which were also embarrassing to beginners.
My guess is that at remaining small local slopes etc. there may be a few of these devices left.

dgd 6:30 PM  

Don’t know about Six but remember seeing South Pacific at the age of 9 or ten at the local summer theater and was blown away as they say circa 1960. My Dad was IN the South Pacific during the War and my parents had seen the musical on Broadway, hence their choice to take their 2 boys to it. (My brother couldn’t care, sadly).
The Times described Six as good theater with a contemporary pop music style. Might not be to Nancy’s taste!

Anonymous 6:32 PM  

Yes. I think 1943.

Anonymous 6:35 PM  

Because language is not rational.

Anonymous 6:41 PM  

Been in the Times a lot.
Millions of people wear them and call them that.
What’s to be so upset about?

JohnMc 6:56 PM  

T bars are more common in the east and even more so in Europe. They take getting use to.

Whatsername 6:59 PM  

@Gary (3:57) Oh my! I can just imagine. Amen to staying home and taking it easy - and saving a lot of money!

Joe Dipinto 9:03 PM  

I just noticed watching the clip from "Six" that Jane Seymour ends her little intro segment with "Stick around and you'll suddenly see more" – hah, a hat tip to another classic musical.

albatross shell 11:47 PM  

Just getting back to see if anyone was upset because this is a tribute puzzle and I hate tribute puzzles. Not me. A tribute to the letter T. Wow we could get 2 dozen + more like this.

I thought this was a good, on the difficult side for a Wednesday with a lousy reveal. But it didn't bother me but I noticed.
Hello and best to all.

AlixF 9:51 AM  

Thanks for the interesting writeup, Clare, and congrats on your asylum win. I work with asylum seekers and refugees, and help like yours is so important to them.

Skiing on the East Coast, I’ve encountered many T and J bars, and have some strong memories of my difficulties managing to stay on the Poma lift at Middlebury Snow Bowl as a beginner. Their easiest trail had the hardest lift. Even once you mastered the lean-don’t-sit technique at the bottom, near the top there was a super steep section where you felt like you were being pulled up a vertical face.

Some fabulous volunteers in our town of Brattleboro have revived our sweet and tiny in-town ski hill where you can ride the T-bar for a few dollars.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

T-Bars are still popular around the World and I have had some pull me up what felt like cliff faces in Europe. Quite frightening! Surely the fact that T-Bar Lift is shortened to T-Bar does not negate it as a word fit for a puzzle!

Anonymous 7:28 PM  

A T-Bar in itself does not 'support' a skier. It 'lifts' them to the top of a mountain. So for me, the clue "skier's support" (to get lifted to the top) is accurate.

Anonymous 8:05 PM  

Having reread all the posts parsing/analyzing/discussing/grousing about the "skier's support" clue, and TBARLIFT answer...
I reiterate my position that TBARLIFT was not intended as a noun, but as a descriptive phrase.
Or to put it another way:
"What might you call the activity of having a simple mechanical device bring you to the top of a mountain so you can ski down it?"

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Fun solve.

spacecraft 11:01 AM  

To me the fuss, if any, should be about TBALLGLOVE, not TBARLIFT. ALL the other themers use T as describing the shape of something; the T in TBALLGLOVE is short for "tee," what the ball sits on. I suppose, if you stretched it, you COULD call it a T-shape, but it's still the outlier.

A minor complaint is that there are two T-words going down, TAXTIP and TEMP, that are outside the theme. It would be more elegant sans those.

ALL that said, I liked this one, and any grid that includes a TBONESTEAK is thumbs up here. STEVIE, not Wonder but Nicks, is DOD.

This would normally be a birdie, but the ampersandwich AANDE is an automatic one-stroke penalty. Par.

Wordle birdie.

Burma Shave 12:55 PM  


he DECREED, “I’ll eat IT ALL!”
NANA asked, “What’s NEXT to MAKE?”
“Tater TOTs would be A BALL.”


Diana, LIW 4:30 PM  

From ABBA to ZUMBA, this puz covers a lot of ground. A fine Tuesday romp thru most of the alphabet.

Busy day - must run!

Lady Di

BS2 9:02 PM  


an ACT she MET with DREAD,
she’d RANT that he CAN’T BALL with her,
which MEANT NO ‘GLOVE’ in BED.


rondo 6:31 PM  

Interesting choice by OFL to use a shot from the WRECKINGBALL video where Miley Cyrus has her clothes on, or also not using another where she is tonguing a SLEDGEHAMMER. SMASHHIT indeed.
Unlike OFL, I thought DEMOTAPE hit the right spot.
I knew all the tunes, so no problem there.
Wordle par.

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