Trumpet flourish / TUE 6-11-24 / Pounded taro dish / Title role for Lee Marvin in a 1962 western / Meteorological description in a Beatles song / Poet Frank who led the 1950s-'60s "New York School" / Cutting onomatopoeia / Nickname for Oliver Cromwell / Unfortunate neighbor of Mount Vesuvius

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Constructor: Chloe Revery

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (**for a Tuesday**)

THEME: FIRST LADY (58A: Title for Jackie or Jill, and a hint to the answers to the starred clues) — "first" words of theme answers can all follow the word "LADY":

Theme answers:
  • GAGA ABOUT (17A: *Crazy for)
  • LIBERTY VALANCE (23A: *Title role for Lee Marvin in a 1962 western)
  • LUCK OUT (36A: *Get seriously fortunate)
  • MARMALADE SKIES (48A: *Meteorological description in a Beatles song)
Word of the Day: Frank O'HARA (16A: Poet Frank who led the 1950s-'60s "New York School") —

Francis Russell "FrankO'Hara (March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American writer, poet, and art critic. A curator at the Museum of Modern Art, O'Hara became prominent in New York City's art world. O'Hara is regarded as a leading figure in the New York School, an informal group of artists, writers, and musicians who drew inspiration from jazz, surrealismabstract expressionismaction painting, and contemporary avant-garde art movements.

O'Hara's poetry is personal in tone and content, and has been described as sounding "like entries in a diary". Poet and critic Mark Doty has said O'Hara's poetry is "urbane, ironic, sometimes genuinely celebratory and often wildly funny" containing "material and associations alien to academic verse" such as "the camp icons of movie stars of the twenties and thirties, the daily landscape of social activity in Manhattan, jazz music, telephone calls from friends". O'Hara's writing sought to capture in his poetry the immediacy of life, feeling that poetry should be "between two persons instead of two pages."

The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara edited by Donald Allen (Knopf, 1971), the first of several posthumous collections, shared the 1972 National Book Award for Poetry. (wikipedia)

• • •

You know that feeling when you're humming along, just loving a puzzle, and then someone goes and dumps a bucket of TUCKET all over it? No? Well, neither had I, before today. What a tragedy. Gorgeous to gruesome in no time flat. When you're out of luck(et), and feel like "f*ck it!," bring in the TUCKET. The TUCKET (as it will now be known, with the definite article out front) has not been seen or heard from in over three decades. It was believed extinct. Or perhaps mythical—who even remembers 1992? But today, it returns from its decades-long hibernation / mystical journey and slimes its grim way right across my MARMALADE SKIES. "With tangerine trees, and [record scratch] TUCKET Surprise!" I cannot say enough about the monstrosity that is TUCKET. I want to put it in a bucket and chuck it. If this seems like an outsized reaction, well, first of all, hi, have we met? And second of all, I refer you to the opening words of this paragraph—I thought this puzzle was (otherwise) fantastic. The quality gap between TUCKET and the rest of this puzzle is a gulf, a chasm, it cannot be measured, you cannot see the other side of the canyon from TUCKET. I mean, I didn't *know* BANTU (as clued) (22D: ___ knots (hairstyle)), but at least I recognize the word (it's an African people / language group), and anyway, hairstyles are not in my purview—if you tell me something is a hairdo, I believe you, because my own personal hair style is NIL. But TUCKET ... TUCKET isn't just something I didn't know. It's something that should not, and possibly does not, exist. Is it real? Am I typing or still in a crossword nightmare. It *is* the 40th anniversary of Nightmare on ELM ST, maybe I'm in the middle of one of those situations, still asleep and being chased by Griddy Krueger, aka The TUCKET. Whether I'm awake or asleep, TUCKET remains very bad (please congratulate me on getting through this paragraph without using "suck it").

But before TUCKET, wow, what a beauty. I smiled when I threw down MCGRIDDLE and then *beamed* when MCGRIDDLE led to LIBERTY VALANCE! OK, yes, I did spell it LIBERTY VALENCE at first, as if it were a chemical or psychological phenomenon, but no matter. What a great movie: Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne and Lee Marvin and Lee Van Cleef and Woody Strode in the same damn western?! That's a lot of western! Before The Man Who Shot LIBERTY VALANCE, you couldn't get that much iconic western manliness on the screen at one time—science had not yet figured it out. But then John Ford was like "TUCKET! I want Wayne *and* Stewart! I'm putting them both in my movie, and a handful of other tough guys to boot, who cares if I literally set the atmosphere on fire!?" And then time passed and here we are, enjoying LIBERTY VALANCE with an APEROL chaser! (18D; Red alcohol in a spritz). Recommendation for APEROL lovers out there: ditch the spritz and try a Naked & Famous. I learned about this (apparently already famous) drink from my new favorite podcast, "Cocktail College."  It's a sour with equal parts (3/4 oz.) APEROL, lime juice, yellow chartreuse and mezcal, shaken, up (in a coupe). Simple and delicious

So this puzzle hits me with a sweet breakfast treat and then an iconic western and a colorful cocktail ingredient and *then* hits me with my favorite modern poet!? (Frank "Don't Confuse Me With John" O'HARA!). I was all in. This is why The TUCKET was so tragic, but let's not revisit that. Back to the theme—it's very simple, very straightforward, nothing terribly tricky about it. I had the "Lady" bit figured out after the first two themers, but did not know what the revealer was going to be, exactly. In retrospect, FIRST LADY seems obvious. This is such a good example of how your theme does not have to be overly complicated. If the concept is tight enough, and especially if the answers are colorful enough, then you can do wonders by focusing on good old-fashioned craftsmanship. Speaking of old-fashioned, the other drink I just learned about that I still need to try is the Oaxacan Old Fashioned. No APEROL in there, but it still has the MEZCAL (only three crossword appearances? didn't debut til 2019!?) as well as crossword favorite AGAVE (nectar). Anyway, on the next hot weekend, I'm giving it a shot

The puzzle played harder than usual because, well, TUCKET, but also BANTU took me a bit, and then I couldn't get either POMPEII (41D: Unfortunate neighbor of Mount Vesuvius) or RATTLE (46D: Maraca, e.g.) from their initial letters and ended up having to come back for that SW corner. First I just blanked on the city near Vesuvius, and then I couldn't spell it. Two "I"s!! I was like "well POMPEI won't fit and neither will ... POMPEIAN (!?!?)" so I dunno, man." As for RATTLE ... I mean, true, but so basic I never would've thought of it. Also I confess I get "maraca" and "marimba" confused, still (the latter is also Latin American, and also a percussion instrument, but you play it with mallets (something like a xylophone)). The puzzle wasn't *hard*, just harder than the usual Tuesday, for me. Also, much (much) prettier than the usual Tuesday. That is, until ... but enough about that. Let's not revisit that. Let's listen to some Gary Puckett instead.

See you next time.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. I recently started my vintage paperback blog back up again. Most of you don’t care, but some of you do 😉 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Pamela 6:32 AM  

There once was a man from Nan......, 😉

Irene 6:38 AM  

Lady Marmalade?
What am I missing?

SouthsideJohnny 6:38 AM  

It’s been a long time since I was this far from the same wavelength as the constructor on a Tuesday. Just seems like nothing wanted to register. Saw the APEROLs, BANTUs and TUCKETs (and even some guy who was apparently also nicknamed IRONSIDES) - but the NYT is going to have that kind of gunk pretty much every day of the week.

Just a weird solve for me - I was able to make some grudging progress (almost like a Friday), but definitely no “whoosh whoosh” for me today. At least Rex gave it a difficult rating for today - I wish it were a little more on my wavelength because the theme and reveal ended up being kind of interesting.

Wanderlust 6:38 AM  

Well, I CALLED IT. I knew TUCKET would get a RexRant but I didn’t know it would be possibly the best RexRant ever. Brilliant. From the Untuckit image to the Gary Pucket song, I loved this writeup.

I also loved the puzzle. I laughed out loud upon getting the center-top SET after yesterday. Oh, let’s do that again!

Not at all challenging for me. My only hiccup came right off the BAT in the NW corner. I got LEGS and BOA, MCmuffin didn’t fit, and I was thinking either the elephant or the back of the car for “trunk,” so I didn’t see what L—B could be. But I vaguely knew ECCO and GAGA came quickly so the hiccup did not last long. And the dreaded TUCKET came in from crosses - had to go back and reread the clue to see what the hell it was. I actually have a trumpet player staying at my house while he does a Smithsonian residency, so I will ask him about it when he wakes up. He is from Latin America, so maybe he knows how to say TUCKET in Spanish.

Anonymous 6:48 AM  

It’s literally in the write-up

Andy Freude 6:59 AM  

Retired musicologist here, with a vast vocabulary of arcane terminology related to music and musical instruments. This is my first (and hopefully last) encounter with TUCKET.

Hand up for VALeNCE, which was one of my two errors. The other was MARMeLADE. The curse of the schwa.

Anonymous 7:17 AM  

The puzzle was nice and crunchy. Tuesdays can be pretty moist, but this one had some spirit.

But enough about the puzzle. That column is one of Rex's best ever. I think he does his best work when he's all het up about one particular answer. But today's rage over TUCKET?

kitshef 7:21 AM  

I know LIBERTY VALANCE from the Gene Pitney song, but that's going be tough for anyone under the age of sixty.

TUCKET, on the other hand, is going to be tough for anyone under the age of four-hundred.

I nAiLED IT before I CALLED IT, and as the Danish shoe was (and is) a mystery I spent some time trying to turn “sir” into a camera type before the penny dropped.

Unknowns: APEROL, ECCO, TUCKET, OHARA (as clued), IRONSIDES (as clued). APEROL sounds like an anxiety drug for gibbons.

Phillyrad1999 7:23 AM  

Enjoyed a little extra challenge on a Tuesday but the write up may be my favorite ever.

Anonymous 7:25 AM  

"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." Possibly my favorite movie quote. Thank you, John Ford. Loved this puzzle, although I agree with the epic rant. A neat article on the quote, and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", here.

JJK 7:27 AM  

Definitely challenging for a Tuesday. I liked the theme and after I got the revealer, the theme answers came pretty easily. Loved Rex’s rant about TUCKET, which I have never heard of either of course. Trumpeters out there, do any of you use this word?

Oliver Cromwell’s nickname on a Tuesday…hmm. Not having been to McDonalds for approximately decades, the only breakfast thing I could come up with was MCmuffin, so MCGRIDDLE needed many crosses.

Other things that didn’t come easily: OHIOANS (can never get these sporty things without crosses), RATTLE, BANTU. POMPEII had to be the answer to 41D, so even though I didn’t know/remember the second i, I just figured, well I guess it has two i’s.

EasyEd 7:33 AM  

Weird but fun. Loved the insertion of SET at the top following yesterday’s SET fest. Relatively easy but no whoosh, and agree @Rex’s great fun with TUCKET. Needed crosses for almost everything. Getting ICALLEDIT right away with only two crosses was a lucky start.

Son Volt 7:34 AM  

Surprised the big guy liked this - agree there was some decent fill interspersed throughout - but the empty headed theme was rough to get past. Did like the NOTRE DAME - IRONSIDES stack and O’HARA is cool.

Maybe it was the dog keeping me from a good sleep last night - but I’ll take a pass on this one.

For days and nights they battled the BANTU to their knees

Conrad 7:41 AM  

A bit tougher than a normal Tuesday. I agree with those who thought @Rex's writeup was one of his best.

Only one overwrite, my 1A trunk appendage was a Lock before it was a LIMB

14A Danish shoe brand ECCO
16A Frank O'HARA
Needed every cross for 18D APEROL. I know I've seen it but I couldn't call it up. I need to drink more.
BANTU knots at 22D


Matthew Alston 7:43 AM  

Was surprised to see the breakfast sandwich spelled MCGRIDDLE when the official name of the product is MCGRIDDLES, even for the singular sandwich. Feels like a miss for the constructor and the reviewer. Even though I like the clue!

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

It’s a famous song by Labelle.

thfenn 7:45 AM  

@wanderlust 6:38 already posted almost every thought I had, minus having a trumpet player in my house. Agree completely. I did let a MCGRInDer linger wondering if maybe McMuffin's were available on a different bread. Great Tuesday.

Lewis 7:46 AM  

Well, I love Chloe’s world. The vibe of her puzzles is light, airy, whimsical, and playful. That may hide the underlying puzzlemaking skill that allows the answer set to shine.

Today that world includes four terrific theme answers, I mean look at them! How can they not heighten one's mood?

What amped my mood most was MARMALADE SKIES, evoking “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band”, an album that for months was the soundtrack to my life, to where without trying I memorized it. Even now, my brain is like a jukebox, where if I come across any reminder to one of those songs, I can hear it in my head as though it were playing out of a speaker.

You won me over right there, Chloe. But then you threw in SITAR, which cued another song from that album, George Harrison’s “Within You, Without You”. Excuse me for a few moments while I sup on that in the player of my mind.

Where was I? Oh, yes, this is a cute, solid theme that adds a bonus riddle – what do these theme answers have in common? -- to the normal get-the-answer-from-the-clue riddles, to the joy of my riddle-adoring mind.

Your world, Chloe, perked me up and brightened my world today, and I’m extraordinarily grateful. Thank you!

Anonymous 7:46 AM  

For once, I smiled broadly at this all-too-rare piece of self-deprecating humor: "If this seems like an outsized reaction, well, first of all, hi, have we met?"
Bravo Rex (from someone who comes here often but rarely enjoys your commentary).

Bob Mills 7:47 AM  

Easy except for the NW. I didn't know ECCO or APEROL, and I can't stand eating at McDonald's, so MCGRIDDLE was unfamiliar. I needed all the crosses there.

The theme was a big nothing for me;I know Lady Luck and Lady Liberty, but can someone explain what Lady Marmalade means?

Anonymous 7:49 AM  

It’s a song. The video is in the write-up.

David Grenier 8:08 AM  

Fun! Sadly I’ve never seen The Man Who Shot LIBERTY VALANCE and didn’t know who was in it, so I needed a handful of crosses to get it (I at least know the name from the song).

I’ve never been a Beatles fan (they broke up before I was born and my parents were more into Mitch Miller and Elvis) so needed a TON Of crosses to get MARMALADE SKIES. And oddly even though I was sure the revealer must involve LADY it took me a minute to get FIRST.

Fun theme.

andrew 8:08 AM  

Will ECCO Anon 7:46 congratulating Rex on acknowledging his outsize reaction. It’s the overreactions that makes this SIDE HUSTLE interesting. That and the nutty as an ACORN rhymes with JOKISM views.

And to double down on my own reputation here as a right-wing IST/PHOBE (with the begrudging redeeming quality of the commentariat for adopting - and ADAPTing to - a rescue pup), wasn’t TUCKET what caused Target’s boycott “flap” last June?

Liked the puzzle - doing Ups and Downs and All Arounds (Paul Revere & the Raiders), didn’t see even the offending word in question. Just enjoyed the Marmalade Skies (anything Beatles gives me kaleidoscope eyes)…

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Just try googling tucket. 🥶

Eric 8:13 AM  

Professional trumpet player here, masters degree from Eastman: never heard of "tucket." Looks fair though from dictionaries and Wikipedia.

Nancy 8:14 AM  

I'm quite sure that this will always be remembered, assuming it's remembered at all, as "the TUCKET puzzle." I came here to lodge a brief squawk of protest, as in "this is a word???", but Rex excoriated it at such punishing length that there's really nothing left to say.

I didn't know APEROL either and I thought I knew most of my alcoholic beverages. Of course if this one is sickeningly sweet, I wouldn't know it for that reason.

But I never complain about a puzzle that's too hard for its day of the week. TUCKET and APEROL were fairly crossed and this puzzle didn't RATTLE me at all. It required a bit more thinking than I normally have to do on a Tuesday -- and that's always a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Liveprof 8:17 AM  

My friend Miriam Webster says this about TUCKET:

Tucket can be found most notably in the stage directions of several of William Shakespeare's plays. In King Lear, for example, a tucket sounds to alert the Earl of Gloucester of the arrival of the Duke of Cornwall (Act II, Scene i). The word tucket likely derives from the obsolete English verb tuk, meaning "to beat the drum" or "to sound the trumpet." Its first known use was in 1593.

Jack Stefano 8:18 AM  

It refers to a jam-filled scone popular with the peasant class in Victorian England.

Anonymous 8:20 AM  

I kept reading the revealer as "Jack and Jill" and was very confused. It wasn't until I had the most of the theme clues (had no idea who Liberty Valance was but at least filled out Liberty from crosses at this point) and then had "-ady" when I finally read it again and realized it was "Jackie and Jill". Doh!

Hard for a Tuesday and I confess I did have to cheat a bit (again, never would have gotten Liberty Valance in a million years, couldn't even begin to guess ACELA, and I don't drink so APEROL wasn't happening). Funny to see that some of the ones that tripped up Rex were instant fills for me, but I was a percussionist in high school and took Latin, so RATTLE and POMPEII were a breeze.

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

don't understand your rant about tucket...the clue had nothing to do with the tuckIt shirt, but an archaic music term. your rant ruined what was otherwise a fine puzzle. thanks rex (dripping with sarcasm)

Hubert 8:36 AM  

Fun Fact for the Day...

Gary Puckett (of the Union Gap) was one of the lesser known famous people to have come from the tiny town of Hibbing, Minnesota (2020 population 16,000). Others include:
-Roger Maris
-Kevin McHale (Basketball super-star, not the actor)
-Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan)
-Vincent Bugliosi (Manson Prosecutor and prolific popular legal author and gadfly)
-Gus Hall (former US Communist Party Leader an perennial Presidential candidate)
-Robert Mondavi (of the wine empire)
-Chi Chi Larue (legendary gay porn director)
-Carl Wickman (founder of Greyhound Bus)

as well as a rather disproportionately large contingent of slightly lesser know professional athletes, entertainers, politicians and authors, including Frankie Campbell, the professional boxer that Max Baer killed in a match in 1930.

It must be something in the water.

RooMonster 8:40 AM  

Hey All !
This was a crunchy little toughie of a TuesPuz. Clues tricky enough to not just auto-fill. Thinking I missed Tuesday, and slept all the way til Wednesday! (That'd be cool, sleep a whole day.)

Got a chuckle on the TUCKET rant. I hadn't heard of that before, either. Now I know next time I hear a trumpet flourish, I can yell out, "Great TUCKET!" If you play a trumpet flourish whilst playing basketball and score, is it a TUCKET bucket?

Haven't had a MCGRIDDLE in some time, but man, those are tasty. Apparently too expensive now, since CA messed it all up.

Only 32 Blockers, gets ya nice Longer Downs.
Thanks for the puz, Chloe. (Debut?)

Welp, Happy Tuesday!

Two F's

Rug Crazy 8:54 AM  

GLUEY bothered me more than TUCKET (which I never heard of)

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

I may get on your back about some things.....but I'm 100% with you on tucket.

Castafiore 9:09 AM  

I liked NOTRE DAME crossing with FIRST LADY for some bilingual lady vibes!

Fun_CFO 9:14 AM  

Good catch and correct. Didn’t think about it while solving, prob because was pleased to see it and drop it right in. But that’s an error and really falls on reviewer/editor. I do think most probably drop the “s” in usage, but the McD menu couldn’t be clearer.

Tom T 9:23 AM  

A quiet day on the HDW (Hidden Diagonal Word) front. BOA (4D) is duplicated with a “diagonal” BOA in the extreme SW. Nothing remarkable there, except this diagonal BOA shares its B with a MAMBA. What do you get when you cross a MAMBA with a BOA? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure their offspring would not be good PETS (a reverse 40A). Toss in a RATTLE snake and it’s time to vacate the premises. Hang around there and you might be kissing your REAR goodbye.

Several enjoyably weird word endings today: IOANS (10D), ANC (12D), NTU (22D), UEY (7D), EII (41D), and YNA (66D). Also liked the look of GOSOLO (What to say when cheering on Han, perhaps?),

Ok, “I’m all SET.”


Stuart 9:27 AM  

I totally agree. Why let a strange word ruin your take on a fine puzzle? Chalk it up to a learning experience.

swac 9:45 AM  

I played trumpet in school for seven years, and bugle in a military renactment group for three years after that, and I don't recall ever hearing or reading the word "TUCKET".

Even so, there's never an excuse for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, probably my least favourite group of the 1960s. Voted "the sleaziest rocker of all time" by The Best Show w. Tom Scharpling back in his days on WFMU.

pabloinnh 9:55 AM  

Sometimes it pays to arrive later in the AM, as the commentariat is wonderfully interesting today and OFL was, of course, en fuego, which is always a hoot.

Tough Tuesday. I find myself in good company by needing most every cross for APEROL,BANTU, Mr. OHARA, Oliver IRONSIDES, how to spell POMPEII, and of course the what-the TUCKET.

MARMALADESKIES you will know instantly or never. Today's "song evoked by a clue" was Randy Newman's "Sail Away"--

Ain't no lions or tigers ain't no MAMBA snake
Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake

Beautiful and achingly sad song.

Lots to like today but should have been later in the week, for all the obvious arcane answers. Didn't see the revealer coming, which is just the way I like it.

Well done you, CR. I Credit Research for finding TUCKET, and thanks for all the fun.

Anonymous 9:56 AM  

Agree with @wanderlust, one of the all-time great RP rants - witty, sharp and focused with not a hint of pedantic malice!

I'm just surprised you didn't suggest a rewrite to LUCKOFF crossing ***UCKET!

Great puzzle Chloe, keep em coming

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

I love that the MARMALADE bit was in the puzzle on the same day as a profile of the inimitable Nona Hendryx.

Newboy 10:05 AM  


Adrienne 10:07 AM  

@Irene and @Bob Mills, Lady Marmalade is a song that has charted a few different times.

SusanA 10:08 AM  

Fabulous TUCKET rant, for a very fun puzzle.
@Irene, Lady Marmalade was a huge hit for Patti LaBelle. You’ve surely heard it, just don’t recognize the name. the well known lyric was, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, c’est soi”

Gary Jugert 10:09 AM  

Fantastic puzzle. I thought we were SET with SET after yesterday.

Went to find out what Lady Marmalade is all about and I think these music videos are too much for my sensitive little soul. BOOING is my favorite thing in the puzzle, maybe the whole world. APEROL took every cross, oof. BANTU knots filled itself, and now I've gone to learn what they look like, and I think it might be a style for me someday. Pretty sure I don't need to know the word TUCKET and I get the sense 🦖 is on the same page with me?! This is our third MAMBA lately and I find them terrifying -- mambaphobia? McGRIDDLEs are ten times better than anything I've ever seen on Food Channel.

Propers: 7
Places: 3
Products: 5
Partials: 3
Foreignisms: 2
Gary's Grid Gunk Gauge: 20 (27%)
Funnyisms: 3 😐

Tee-Hee: A POLE is for dancing, not ending the Earth (which should have been capitalized in the clue) unless you're an anti-lewd-ite and then pole dancing represents another signal the end of civilization is nigh, and that would be the end of earth (not capitalized). Humor explained ... alas, the poor frog.


1 Tweaked for twang.
2 Don't remember her name, but she was definitely blurry.
3 How I failed at the marathon.
4 Brash beret bats babbling bird.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: 🛑😡. STOP HATE IN SHORT.


Magpie 10:11 AM  

I love that the MARMALADE answer was in the puzzle on the same day as a profile of the inimitable Nona Hendryx ( appeared in the same section.

Yes, I do the puzzle by hand in the paper edition of the paper.)

AZ 10:13 AM  

While I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments about The TUCKET, what I wasn't prepared for was the assertion that 1992, the year of mine own birth, was "over three decades" ago. If anyone needs me, I will be sitting quietly in a corner contemplating the inexorable passage of time. With some Aleve on hand because I'm in my 30s and things hurt.

Newboy 10:14 AM  

Honestly the most fun Tuesday solve in a good long time, so thanks Chloe. Rex’s reaction is vintage Rex and youall’s reactions were an added delight to behold.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

Hilarious rant from OFL. I had tocsin for tucket for a while (isn’t that a trumpet thing too? Possibly even worse?). Had my first APEROL spritz the other day from our more hip friends, but remembered it as “averol” and spent way too much time trying to figure out the vole at the end of the earth. A horror movie?

Jim in Canada 10:17 AM  

Trumpet player here.
Never heard of TUCKET.
Turns, trills, ornaments, even flutter tongues, yes. TUCKET, no.

Nice puzzle, though.

Bob Mills for Adrienne 10:26 AM  

Thank you, Adrienne. I question whether arriving at a theme answer should require a knowledge of contemporary music...that puts old guys like me at a disadvantage.

David Reiffel 10:31 AM  

Theater worker here--having done a ton of Shakespeare plays, TUCKET was a gimme. But glad that it has brought out the best of rants! (Now I just want to see a puzzle with ALARUMS.)

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

TUCKET! The great rant trigger. A must clue for all future xword puzzles.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

All due respect, but I’d hardly call the song “contemporary”. It first came out in 1974…

johnk 10:44 AM  

Easy! No complaints. So TUCKET is a new one for many, including me. Well, so is MCGRIDDLE. What's new about encountering a new word in a crossword solve?

For me, APEROL is best used in a Negroni variation. AMEN.

Adam S 10:51 AM  

I'd have edited to TiCKET/imTOO/mOI/taoS/ORa/SNIt.

TUCKET has no place on a Tuesday. "I'm too" is obviously a less than ideal partial, but who doesn't like being reminded of I'm Too Sexy?

I'm sure there are even better edits but don't have more than 2 minutes to think about it this morning.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

Ce soir. It means tonight.

jae 10:58 AM  

Tough Tuesday. When TUCKET (@Rex delightful rant), OHARA, BANTU, APEROL, and IRON SIDES are all WOEs there is no whooshing. Also, starting out with tusk before LIMB didn’t help….and the only settings on my oven for BROIL are on or off.

I wonder how many solvers under 40 will know MARMALADE SKIES or LIBERTY VALANCE (or Lee Marvin for that matter)?

… I just checked with my Gen Z grandson who has a Games subscription and can usually do the early week puzzles with out looking things up. He never heard of Lee Marvin or “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

…Late night call back from my grandson and his girl friend who is also a puzzle person. She knew “Lucy in the Sky” but neither of them knew Lady MARMALADE.

Smooth grid, fun theme, liked it.

egsforbreakfast 10:59 AM  

If you're looking at the king
And your trumpet wants to sing

If your shirt is hanging out
And the boss man starts to shout

When your tummy starts to sag
Til bikinis make folks gag

If you wanna sleep some more
But your beddings on the floor

If you're spending too much time
Trying to stretch for one more rhyme

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

Ce soir. It means tonight.

andrew 11:05 AM  

Maybe 48A would have connected more with those left baffled if they used the lyrics in the clue:

* Gitchie, gitchie, ya-ya, da-da (da-da-da)
Gitchie, gitchie, ya-ya, here (ooh, yeah, yeah)
Mocha Chocolata, ya-ya (yeah, yeah)
Creole Lady _________?

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

TUCKET. I dunno. Didn’t have a problem thanks to the crosses. Paused a bit, then just figured, gee, I’ve learned a new word for “fanfare.”

Masked and Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Yikers island! Lotsa no-knows at our house, for a TuesPuz. Featurin: ECCO. BANTU. APEROL. TUCKET. MCGRIDDLE.

Anyhoo, cute, if well-worn puztheme of the first-word-kind. Had the most trouble with the MARMALADESKIES themer. But, not a no-know; it's one of them know-now critters.

staff weeject pick: SET. Oh, wait … no -- that was yesterday's pick. Let's go with SLR.


Thanx for the fun, Lady Revery darlin. Nice and feisty.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

caution: may be the hardest runtpuz of all time:

GILL I. 11:16 AM  

Voulez vous coucher avec moi, TUCKET? Maybe a little MARMALADE LADY is what Labelle orders UP.

Oh, where to start with this really fun puzzle. @Rex's happy meal.... which leads me to 3D and some deep thinking. Not to brag or anything but the last time I think I ate anything from McDonalds was when I was pregnant with our daughter. I'm pretty sure I ate about 7 cheeseburgers in one sitting. I have NO IDEA what a MCGRIDDLE is. And...I've never heard of ECCO shoes. But...yay me for figuring it out.

So I'm plunking in fabulous answers here and there and I'm seriously wondering what this theme could be about. Unless it's Thursday, I never jump to the theme answer. So I didn't

What does GAGA ABOUT and LIBERTY VALANCE have in common with LUCK OUT and MARMALADE SKIES? I don't know. So I continue to fill in things I wasn't even sure of (ECCO BANTU). and hope for a mighty aha...."Gimme five!" is UP TOP? There is something called APEROL? GLUEY is not GOOEY? You pound POI?....Just go with the flow.

So I get to the reveal. I misread it as Jack and Jill and all I could think of was going up a hill... (each with a buck and a quarter...Jill came down with two and a half they didn't go UP for water....So you can imagine what I was imagining... what with coucher and UP TOP and SKIES and taking LIBERTY....Never mind. I go back and re-read the theme clue and the AHA jumped out at me. Of course....A FIRST LADY smile. My real name is Jill and I feel like a FIRST and I can be a LADY like the best of them.

In conclusion....Loved this. I should write a story about this...I'd start with Mr. MCGRIDDLE going out with LADY TUCKET....

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

Very surprised. No one in the commentariat has stood up for Tucket. Far from never having heard it, I’ve heard it within the last year. More than once. It’s not an uncommon term in classical music.
Rex, consider tuning into WRTI 90.1 in Philly. Their classical programming —6AM to 6 PM—might expand your world.

Minoridreams 11:41 AM  

Great rant - I, too, would add a rant about gluey, but liked the puzzle. No issues with Pompeii, nor with Aperol. Now living in the south of Italy - spritzes abound!!! I introduced a variation on a spritz at a rather well known NYC restaurant in 2007, ten years before it became an item on just about every drink menu. Instead of either white wine (the original), or Prosecco, I used Bass Ale. Cuts down on the sweetness, highlights the bitter and is very refreshing. @Nancy - Aperol is an aperitif - a little sweeter than Campari, but still an amaro (bitter).

Georgia 11:42 AM  

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

Lcvalerio 12:04 PM  

I am literally spitting out my coffee …I am LMAO! This is Rex at his best! Ranting and raving, with cause, in the most Rex-way. Thanks for the laughs…you bring a whole new level to my crossword adventures ❤️

George of the jungle 12:30 PM  

@kitshef - "APEROL sounds like an anxiety drug for gibbons."

And shitgibbons, as well.

Anonymous 12:30 PM  

My short list for Most Sensual Song is (in no specific order):
Lady Marmalade Labelle
I’m So Excited The Pointer Sisters
Jackie Wilson Said. Van Morrison
I’m sure there are many opinions on the subject.
I almost forgot Airplane Blues by Helen Humes from a previous era.

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Never heard of aperol. And to me a sphere doesn’t have an end. Luckily I figured out that pole (north/south) is probably what the puzzle wants.

So that’s my rant about pole/aperol.

What’s all this pother (wink, wink) about the nearly archaic tucket? Never heard of it. Every letter was fairly crossed and life goes on. No big deal.

Lady Marmalade is a disco era pop song.

Nice puzzle.

jb129 12:42 PM  

I started out late today so I'm happy to say that I whooshed through this & found it very easy. Got hung up on BANTU so I was stuck on - of all things - BOOING, didn't know TUCKET & APEROL but all in all, pretty easy for me & I enjoyed it a lot.
Thanks, Chloe (my puppy before Cinnamon). :)

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Little known fact: Melville had only planned to spend 6 months writing Moby Dick, and at only half way done after 1 year he thought about packing it in. He had already outlined a very different ending, but his publisher demanded he persist with the planned work, no matter how long it took. The alternate ending? Ahab, realizing his hold was already full of whale oil and his mania for revenge against the whale ill advised, said "Fuckit, let's head back to The 'Tucket" (19th century sailor slang for Nantucket)

Another little know fact - Forrest Tucker had 4 daughters and one son - Nip, all of whom were excellent musicians. The formed a rock group call Nip and the Tuckettes - the model for the Partridge family. True story.

I immediately threw in LIBERTY VALeNCE, but pictured Kid Shelleen in my head. I'm surprised I can dress myself every morning.

As a Drag performer, I TUCKET all the time. Well, very often.

jb129 12:51 PM  

@Magpie 10:11 I saw in the NYT (digital subscription) that Nona Hendrix turned 80 today - not sure she's still singing "Voulez vous coucher avec moi " (loved that song) anymore - but hey, maybe she is - why not?!"

Carola 1:04 PM  

About two-thirds of the way through the grid, solving the Acrosses, I saw that I had TUC--- going down, and I thought, "Hm, maybe TUCson" and then proceeded with Acrosses and forgot all about it. So, thank goodness for @Rex for TUCKET and the ensuing screed! Fun puzzle, and even funnier commentary.

It was a harder than usual Tuesday for me as well: I didn't know MCGRIDDLE or IRONSIDES or that MARMALADE was a LADY or how to spell POMPEII. I wrote in O'HARA but then erased it, fearing confusion with the novelist. I had so much fun writing in LIBERTY VALANCE that I never considered how the name might relate to GAGA. Well, being slow on the LADY uptake at least provided me with the delight of a reveal surpirse.

@Castafiore 9:09 - Thank you for pointing out the cross of NOTRE DAME and FIRST LADY!

Anoa Bob 1:08 PM  

I consider the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" as one of their iconic songs signaling a shift from their more adolescent pop rock and roll ("I Want to Hold Your Hand") to their exploration of Eastern religions/philosophies/music and all things psychedelic. I misremembered the lyrics, however. I thought it was "Marshmallow skies".

Aha! Oho! Just checked and it's further along in the lyrics that we get "Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies"! There's also "Looking glass ties" and my favorite "The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes".

Factoid of the day: KALEIDOSCOPE has appeared only once in the entire run of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle. Um, bye.

Teedmn 1:12 PM  

My solve danced around the TUCKET entry once I determined "tantara" wouldn't fit - I had to go back post-solve to figure out what it ended up being. Very odd.

Like @kitshef, I know LIBERTY VALANCE from Gene Pitney whose greatest hits I have on CD because I love the song, "Town Without Pity". I've tried singing it at karaoke but it goes too low for my soprano.

I love the clue for SNIP; ever since I learned the meaning of onomatopoeia, I've enjoyed seeing it in the wild. And LADY MARMALADE. That song came out when I was 14 and led me to finding out what "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir" meant.

Thanks, Chloe Revery, for a very nice Tuesday puzzle.

dgd 1:36 PM  

What others think of as gunk , I enjoy. Liked the puzzle
I too found parts of this puzzle hard.
Figured Rex would like Frank OHARA
I didn’t remember the name immediately but one letter made the connection for me. Interesting man who was run over by a car.
Of course tucket caused confusion
Rex’s rant was perfect. He knew to omit any reference to the history of the word because that would have been beside the point! Some poster here said it is from the time of Shakespeare ( a theater professional I gather). Like Alarums. So that’s why the trumpeters here were equally confused.
I thought of in the pouring rain (falling on the banker who doesn’t wear a mac) but did see MARMALADE SKIES appearing.
Took me decades to remember that Voulez- vous couchez avec moi ce soir was titled Lady Marmalade but now I do.
Just listened to it again and realized that for the past 50 years I didn’t know Lady Marmalade appeared in the lyrics. And unlike Paul’s marmalade ( pronounced like ade) skies Patti LaBelle sings Marmalahd in the New Orleans Creole manner.
Would have had no clue about ECCO if I hadn’t learned of the brand here
Which then made the McDonalds connection of 3 down clear

Lego v Legos
McGriddles v McGriddle
Don’t care what the brand or menu says, what people say is what counts!
And people say Legos and apparently a McGriddle.
Acela has been in the puzzle recently and quite often over time
Now crosswordese. It would pay to remember it

okanaganer 1:48 PM  

Theme wise, it was okay for a Tuesday. Speaking of Beatles songs, it would have been nice to have Lady MADONNA.

Some real toughness here; never heard of TUCKET or Lady Marmalade. For the trumpet flourish, I know tantara from Spelling Bee so I was all like "woohoo" but then it didn't fit.

I thought EGG MCMUFFIN was much more popular than MCGRIDDLE. And my "Sun blocker" was a CLOUD before a VISOR... better to be really wrong than slightly wrong.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

Fun puzzle and consequent howling from the cheap seats! And speaking of cheap, Apersol can be used as a less expensive substitute for Campari, with less of a bite and a bit more sugar but overall similar in taste.

Fun_CFO 2:22 PM  

First, sounds like more people didn’t even know McGriddle, then whether it has an “s” or not. So not really, what a people say thing, but something that folks got from crosses that made sense.

Way more answers get included that aren’t what people say. Common phrases truncated/modified to fit a grid. People complain. The reverse should hold when PPP is just wrong.

DigitalDan 2:38 PM  

Knew the MARMALADE song, didn't recognize the lady part, but no matter.

I have been a fairly serious trumpet player for 71 years, and until today had never heard the word "TUCKET." TANTARA, yes. BLAT (ugh) too many times. With apologies to Guy Carryl: "Little Miss Mucket discovered a TUCKET, which never occurred to the rest of us. And as 'twas a June Day and just about noon day. . . ." it goes on like that.

Les S. More 2:49 PM  

I'm checking in a bit earlier than usual. Still pretty late but, nonetheless, I must add my voice to the chorus of appreciation for @Rex's TUCKET rant. Lovely! I too got messed up on BANTU, knew but didn't know APEROL, forgot the second "i" in POMPEII, and thought MYNAH had an "h" on the end. But none of that stopped me from loving this puzzle.

About POI - I had some once. Looked like that white glue you used in kindergarten. The pasty stuff. When I ventured a taste, I was transported back to the classroom, making a Valentine's card for my mother and licking up all the oversmear. Interesting when I was five but not so good when I grew up and developed taste buds. Yuk! Do people actually eat that stuff?

While we're on the subject of food, if you got all your information from crosswords you might think squirrels existed solely on a diet of ACORNS. Wrong. Ask anyone who has watched the little tree rats rip up a tulip bed and chow down on the bulbs.

And, yeah, like JAE, "the only settings on my oven for BROIL are on or off."

Karl Grouch 3:03 PM  

What a masterpiece of a write-up!
@Rex Respect, man!

Karl Grouch 3:09 PM  

Up there with the all time greats, bro

oldactor 3:12 PM  

@egsforbreakfast: You're still my favorite!

Doug Garr 3:24 PM  

I had a lot of trouble finishing this puzzle, and thought, wow, sort of Thursday hard. For all the stuff Rex crabbed about. And the NW just had my eyes glazed over for some time.

ChrisS 3:49 PM  

Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir. The first French phrase I ever learned.

Anonymous 4:05 PM  

for whatever reason i cant not see mc hammer scooching side to side saying, "cant tuck-et". its going to be a long day.

Anonymous 4:10 PM  


Slow Hand has to there.

Giz 4:42 PM  

Trumpeter here, of 50+ years. Jazz, funk, rock and classical - NEVER heard a fellow musician use that word. Probably archaic. Had to get it from crosses, but once I did, it seemed vaguely familiar. So I've heard it before but it's an ugly word, like ""grok" (which is woefully and often misused). We trumpeters prefer "fanfare."

CDilly52 4:47 PM  

As a former professional musician with graduate education in musicology including a specialty in performance practices of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, I possess a large vocabulary of performance- and specifically flourish-related words, in quite a few languages. Never ever until today have I encountered the word TUCKET related to music - or anything else for that matter. The notes say this is a debut word and @Rex says it has been dormant for thirty years. If it has been in the NYTXW, TUCKET is just so, well . . . totally wrong that I truly believe I would have remembered it even from thirty years ago. The word is so ridiculously not onomatopoeic as it should be (like the trumpet’s “wah-wah mute” for example), it’s just . . . awful!

OK, chuck TUCKET in the bucket and forget it ever happened. Please. I predict however, that after today, you will find new word lists available. Choose one and with “luckit” will have TUCKET! On word lists for sale at a crossword builder’s emporium near you! O!M!G!

And, I absolutely could never charge our wonderfully talented Chloe Revery with a deliberate “word foul” because her puzzles are tight, clever, instructive and so, so, enjoyable! This one absolutely glows with the colorful energy. And I always give extra credit for good Beatles entries. I think this just was one of those things. And I know that all you regulars know that I am not a constructor, but having solved almost every day for 60 years, I recognize a polished piece. I suspect after all the polish, there was this one place, and to keep everything balanced, the theme perfectly placed and clued, and to avoid diluting any of the joy, she just said “Oh, nuts (I don’t know Chloe personally, so I won’t presume she would use the word I - a foul-mouthed bare knuckles litigator would undoubtedly employ faced with this problem), TUCKET!”

What an absolute beauty!

CDilly52 4:53 PM  

LOL! @Les S. More, love the squirrel comment. As birders, my husband and I were never able to keep the squirrels away from any bird feeder. Drones weren’t available when he passed and I can’t afford one that could just hover, but that might be the only way to keep squirrels out of the birdseed. Hell, little critters can open containers; they could probably operate their own attack drone!

CDilly52 5:00 PM  

Here’s an AMEN @Eric from Eastman! I’ll do my “educated musician” riff in a little while.

CDilly52 5:04 PM  

@Namcy, 8:14 AM I looked it up in my Renaissance music treatise and couldn’t find it, and eventually found the Shakespeare. PDT makes my posts so late; thanks for taking care of it!

Arthur Wenk 5:42 PM  

Listen to Flanders and Swann's skit on "Greensleeves," where they pun on "hearing a tucket without" and "pausing only to tuck it within." (Art Wenk)

Sharon Ak 5:47 PM  

I was pleased to see Rex around this somewhat tough for Tuesday. Then found it was for opposite reasons from mine. (Except TUCKET which I have never heard of and am inclined to agree does not exist.)
Have never heard of a McGriddles. Despite having disliked MCdonalds fare since I first tried it back in about 1958 when I was not yet 20, I did think I'd heard of their breakfast sandwiches etc.

Had never heard of Aperol. Sounds like some chemical beverage made in a lab.

Had never heard of 22D bantu knots, nor Lady Marmalade.

On the other hand 41 D Pompeii came easily (except for the second "i") as did Maraca.

Rex's rant re "tucked" was hilarious.

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

Did anyone do Ben Baas' Crytoquip? Part of the letters are missing in my newspaper so I only have part of the answer. And the answer does not seem to anywhere online. Would someone mind posting it if they have it?

Anonymous 7:17 PM  

What a strange puzzle. Three minutes over my average so medium-ish. But the north-central third was very tough. What even is APEROL??? Wanted GLUEY to be GOOEY and talked myself out of ABLE. Just flailed around until GAGA_____ got its last five letters.

Anonymous 7:56 PM  

*If this seems like an outsized reaction, well, first of all, hi, have we met?*
Literally LOL

SMCortland 8:06 PM  

OOF I found today near impossible, couldn’t believe this was a Tuesday. Constructor and I just weren’t on the same page anywhere. Whew!

Anonymous 8:45 PM  

@CDilly Get ahold of a real slinky, the big metal ones we had as kids years ago. The post goes through the center of the slinky, one end of the slinky gets connected to the bottom of the bird feeder. The slinky should only fall down no more than half the length of the pole.

When the squirrel tries to climb up it grabs the slinky and falls to the ground. Eventually this too will fail, but until then you've had hours of fun laughing at the little bastards.

PH 9:34 PM  

Challenging (TUE)! (Not a complaint!)

THERE ONCE WAS A MAN FROM NAN (Trumpet flourish)

Damn. @Pamela 6:32 AM (First!) beat us all to it. (Congrats!)

TUCKET was my favorite entry, because WTF/WTH/WOE! Enjoyed Rex's blasting of the word, and hoping to see it again within a few decades before I forget it, just to say, "I was there."

I also read(/skim through) all the posts from the day before. I enjoy reading about entries that people are excited about, which I would normally dismiss as being PPP fill. Was initially upset at OHARA not being Scarlett/John on a Tue, but I learned about Frank, so that's cool. Also Rex's mention of LIBERTYVALANCE. I love westerns, but did not know it. I jumped from Shane straight to Clint Eastwood.

Post of the day: @egsforbreakfast

dgd 9:52 PM  

I have no knowledge about McGriddle v McGriddles. But it was explained above that despite the menu wording, most people leave out the s. By most people, what was meant was people who eat at McDonald’s, NOT people who do this puzzle. McGriddle is a perfectly valid answer if that’s what most people say. A large % of the US eat there regularly after all Whether people here are unaware of the item is irrelevant. My point was, it is the reverse of the toy but the same principle.
People speak what comes naturally, not what businesses tell them to say.

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

I get bird feed from the Wild Birds store with red peppers (likely capsaicin ? ) added. No more squirrels, voles etc. Apparently birds don’t have the taste bud for pepper. Mammals do. It’s a bit more expensive but worth it in my view.

Anonymous 9:58 PM  

I don't come here everyday, but I do look forward to Rex's rants. So after realizing TUCKET was a word that would cue the trumpets (so to speak), and after thinking "what the heck is a TUCKET," I headed straight here in hopes of finding a rant worth reading. Outsize reaction indeed! It's a wonderful thing.

Anonymous 10:55 PM  


Anonymous 10:57 PM  

I’m bookmarking this one, it’s a keeper. Best rant ever. I’m gonna go see if I can stream Liberty Valance somewhere now.

Anonymous 11:06 PM  

I watched Scorsese’s George Harrison documentary a couple months ago and I honestly can’t stop thinking about it. I will think of him and some of the clips from the movie every time I hear the sitar in a Beatles song.

Anonymous 11:17 PM  

I let out a whoop as I wrote in SET! Really appreciated it coming the next day like that.

Anonymous 11:29 PM  

Haven’t played trumpet for a looong time, but tucket is the sound you make when you “double tongue” - say it several times fast. You can articulate sixteenth notes that way

Anonymous 11:46 PM  

It’s pretty unreasonable to lump APEROL in with TUCKET as “gunk”, given that the former is one of the most widely-known aperitifs. As for BANTU, it’s no more obscure than the trivia that makes it into crosswords every Tuesday. The only difference is that it’s something more black people would know than white people… I’m not sure that’s enough to qualify it as “gunk” either.

Anonymous 4:07 PM  

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Anonymous 6:01 AM  

Aperol is orange, not red.

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