## Wednesday, September 4, 2024

Constructor: Kareem Ayas

Relative difficulty: Medium, 12:45 (I clocked the rebus very quickly, but some vocab slowed me down)

THEME: SEMICIRCLES [First- and third-quarter moons, e.g. … or a hint to this puzzle's theme]— The letters SEMI appear in three circles scattered throughout the grid

Theme answers:
• [It will change the way you see yourself] for FUNHOUSE MIRROR
• [Honorific for a Catholic cardinal] for HIS EMINENCE
• [Floral bubble tea flavoring] for ROSE MILK
• [Caregiver for a pregnant woman] for NURSE MIDWIFE
• [Warhead carriers] for CRUISE MISSILES
• [Red-haired toon who is always seeing red] for YOSEMITE SAM

Word of the Day: ELAND (Spiral-horned antelope) —
An adult male is around 1.6 m (5.2 ft) tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 942 kg (2,077 lb) with a typical range of 500–600 kg (1,100–1,300 lb). Females are around 1.4 m (4.6 ft) tall and weigh 340–445 kg (750–981 lb). It is the second-largest antelope in the world.
• • •

Good morning friends, it's Malaika here for your regularly scheduled Malaika MWednesday. I solved today's puzzle while eating a "brownie cookie" and listening to every single version of Nothing Compares 2 U. Which is your favorite version? Mine is probably The Chicks'. Also, the "brownie cookie" was to die for. Spectacular texture, and the recipe is done in under an hour, cannot recommend enough. (You do need a hand mixer though.)

The first thing I noticed was all the names straight out of the gate! HOFFA, JONAS, ODOM, MARCEL, UZI, and OLAF. I've been conditioned to think of names as intrinsically hard entries, but since watching my friends solve, I've realized names (that they know!) are often where they are able to start off. When I'm constructing a puzzle, deciding which names to put in is a way for me to decide who I want the puzzle to be easy for. I knew every single one of these immediately (I was only 90% sure about ODOM, but I put it in and was correct), which made for a very fast start. But if you didn't.... sheesh that top left corner must have been impossible!

During my first pass through this puzzle, I didn't get a single one of the theme answers. I suspected the first one would include the word "mirror," but the circles made me wonder if I'd run into a rebus, so I didn't put any letters. Indeed, on my second pass through, I was able to plop in FUNHOUSE MIRROR. This led to me, in a rush of ego and poor spelling, plopping in JASEMINE when I hit the next circle. Luckily I was able to correct it almost immediately.

I loved this rebus execution, with a cute and appropriate revealer. I've heard people indicate that they think a rebus puzzle should have four of them. Obviously, I am incredibly biased because my debut NYT puzzle had only three. But something else to think about (and something I considered while constructing my puzzle!) is the length of the relevant answers. A "standard" themed puzzle has four or five long, thematic answers. Some rebus puzzles, like this one, will have four-ish long answers that are crossed with four-ish short ones. Some, like this one, will have a smattering of short and long ones throughout. This puzzle had six long answers-- that's more than a "standard" themed puzzle!

 Loved to see SLIMES as a verb, btw

My biggest note were a couple of the two-word phrases that don't seem to be Real Things. These phrases tend to crop up in constructors' word lists (the tool from which we pull fill for our crosswords) simply because they've appeared in puzzles before, not because anyone says or uses them. AIR ACE, LYE SOAP, ALE TAP. If you are a real live human who uses these phrases, please sound off in the comments so I can retract my critique.

Bullets:
• [Operate, as a program] for RUN — I interpreted this as a coding reference, but I suppose other programs (like, a foundation or a project) can be operated by someone who runs them as well!
• [Work on Broadway, say] for ACT — What is your favorite show you've seen this year? I have zillions on my To Watch List (Oh, Mary!StereophonicThe Outsiders), but my favorite so far has been Hell's Kitchen. Bawled my eyes out, then came home and listened to Alicia Keys for a week straight.
• [Symbol seen on eight national flags (though, ironically, not the U.S. flag)] for EAGLE — I could only name two of these (Mexico and Albania) off the top of my head. The others are Egypt, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
• Hmm, this appears to be nine. I think the bird on the flag of Zimbabwe is unofficially an eagle?
• [London's Royal Academy of ___] for ARTS — This clue made me think of series 16 of Taskmaster, where it's a bit of a running joke that one of the contestants (Susan Wokoma) attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (or RADA). They're different things, though.
xoxo Malaika

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

#### 73 comments:

Marty Grimes

NSA and NSC? Strange, right?

okanaganer

Hi Maliaka! I too noticed the name tsunami in the upper left and let out an audible "ugh" several times. The only names I knew in that corner were HOFFA and MARCEL. Fortunately I knew most of the others: YOSEMITE SAM LENNON AYN FEY SACHA and ATARI. (I was a total Asteroids addict around 1981.) But why clue UZI and ELI with people I will never ever know or care about?

I got the rebus pretty early and it made the puzzle a bit too easy. I would prefer a harder one on Thursday.

jae

Medium. I stumbled around for a bit before I caught the theme…so medium. The puzzle was actually pretty easy…ELI was it for WOEs and I too knew the names in the North. Cute, liked it.

Coincidentally I recently did a puzzle with the clue “Semi circle?” and the answer TIRES.

@Pabloinnh - Here is the Swift video.
https://youtu.be/VuNIsY6JdUw?si=-VmJIOLq3-oPsSi9.
It’s very good, it would have also been a big hit (IMHO) in the 60’s.

Conrad

Let me reiterate that as much as I don't like rebuses (rebodes?) on Thursdays, I like them even less on Wednesdays. Got FUNHOU[SEMI]RROR (17A) quickly, and that gave away that the other circled squares were going to hold multiple letters. So the question became "All [SEMI]" or a variety? NUR[SEMI]DWIFE (11D) provided that answer, which helped with 39Dx48A.

Since @Rex isn't here today, let me say on his behalf that I don't appreciate a weapon of war (CRUI[SEMI]SSILE) in my morning -- or any other time -- puzzle.

My biggest overwrite was NSa before NSC at 21A. Didn't notice the awful-looking MARaEL at 8D.

Mark

Google tells me that "air ace" is a real thing, and (marginally) so is "ale tap" without reference to a specific brand of ale -- but they both felt like stretches to me, too. I feel I would have to be a Fight Club fan to have an opinion about "lye soap."

Bob Mills

I'm catching on to rebus puzzles at last, because a kind soul on the blog told me to hit "rebus" on the screen (I'm not too technological), so this one was fairly easy. YOSEMITESAM was the easiest to get, followed by NURSEMIDWIFE. I had to use trial-and-error on the UZI/AZUL cross, and had to change "Sasha" to SACHA, but otherwise I found the puzzle both doable and satisfying.

Fun_CFO

Nice write-up Malaika. Definitely Chris Cornell’s version of Nothing Compares 2 U.

Circles back to back days. Ugh!

Ended up with slightly below average time, but with all the names, don’t think this could rate as easy. Maybe easy-medium.

NSC/NSA is just bad. Don’t know how that gets past editing. Technically I guess it’s not a dupe, but yeesh. Only 1 National Security something per puzzle please.

No to AIRACE and ALETAP as things people say. As AIRACE became evident, I definitely had “please delete from wordlist” thought. After a long groan. Of course then with its symmetrical counterpart, it gets even worse.

Theme was ok. Thin in concept, but execution with 6 long answers containing “semi” is admirable. Overall though, just too many names (even if you know or gettable from crosses). Like everywhere you turn and then add some very questionable fill, and this one’s not sticking in the memory bank for long.

Anonymous

NURSEMIDWIFE, AIRACE, ALETAP. Way too much AGONY for such an astonishingly thin theme with an all-time lazy revealer.

SouthsideJohnny

Ugh. Didn’t see the rebus angle so really struggled. ROSEMILK (and to a lesser extent NURSE MIDWIFE) are not things that normally jump out at me (and HIS EXCELLENCE is not top of mind as we get these names of generic religious figures all the time as well).

Add in things that I don’t even consider to be real (yes they are possible, but who cares?) phrases like AIR ACE and ALE TAP (and put a cherry on top with more gov’t initialisms, and the ultimate low point of the grid, yet another rapper, this one who named himself after a submachine gun). No thanks, I’ll pass today.

Adam

Fun puzzle! Great write-up, Malaika. One of my fav versions of Nothing Compares 2 U is this Chinese cover that opens Fatima Al Qadiri’s Asiatisch: https://youtu.be/rOjxmR6mXBY?si=6pFNUonilCjNbV83

Rick Sacra

I thought this was a nice puzzle for late on Tuesday night! I enjoyed the non-Thursday rebus, the first ever NSA and NSC in the same puzzle, and the theme. It was straightforward and very well executed. Thanks for a great puzzle, Kareem!

JJK

I didn’t particularly enjoy this puzzle while I was doing it, but Malaika’s write-up helped me appreciate it more. I was a little stuck on the theme for awhile because a. The word that comes to mind in relation to the waxing or waning moon is “crescent” not SEMICIRCLE, and b. I didn’t expect a rebus on a Wednesday so was looking for some kind of circling around situation instead.

I did know most of the names, thankfully.

David F

Was it just me who was amused by the repeat of ELI (in almost the same spot!) - NOT clued as related to Yale - right after Rex's rant about ELI?

kitshef

Lots of not-quite-in-the-language stuff today: AIR ACE, NURSE MIDWIFE, ALE TAP.

And what an awful clue for LYE SOAP (which is in the language) - completely uninferrable. Why go movie reference for something that doesn't need it?

But worth such nits for the clever theme.

Two things I don't want in any cookie ever: espresso powder and "flaky sea salt for finishing".

Lewis

I liked the “things that fly through the air” mini-theme of AIRACE, RAF, CRUISE MISSILES, GEESE, and EAGLE.

I liked another mini-theme, this one with a revealer – ARTS – that included three vocal performers, a painter, a writer, and two comic actors.

I liked seeing FINAL in a puzzle whose theme is SEMI.

I liked the theme echo in crossing answers MISERS and SLIMES, which both contain the letters of SEMI.

But what I liked most of all was the message that undercut the entire puzzle: I Want You To Succeed. This was accomplished through a plethora of footholds, which gave the solver a decent chance to see the rebus and figure out what it was. Wednesday is the perfect day for making rebuses simple and do-able, so that the solver can face the more difficult ones that come on Thursdays, with some experience and success at it.

Kareem, in your four NYT puzzles you’ve shown originality (themes which have never been done before in all four), imagination (as in your Wormhole puzzle of 7/18/24), and moxie (as in your puzzle in which all 14 three-letter answers were the word SET).

Thank you for today’s fun and I am uber-eager to see what you come up with next!

pabloinnh

Was going down staircase fashion and landed on SEMICIRCLES which of course gave me the revealer. Very helpful, as then I could just draw a line bisecting the circles and not try to squeeze in SEMI. Plus you get two SEMICIRCLE S, which is what you need.

Yeah, names and green paint expressions as noted. Glad I knew AZUL or UZI would have been a wild guess. Not familiar with ROSEMILK bubble tea or LYESOAP as clued. At least we got a new take on ELI after all the Yale discussion yesterday,

@jae-Thanks for the link. If it would have been a big hit in the sixties, I;ll definitely check it out.

Cool idea KA. If you Knew All the names, it was a breeze. I didn't but it was still a lot of fun, for which thanks.

Anonymous

Prince’s version of pretty much anything is better than pretty much anyone else’s.

Elision

LYE SOAP is a thing I've said. ALE TAP and AIR ACE, not so much.

Anonymous

It’s Wednesday

OldCarFudd

AIR ACE is definitely real to older people who are/were aviation-crazy. In World War I there were these new dashing heroes who dueled one-on-one in the sky. An ace was one who scored five enemy planes downed. The U.S. top ace was Eddie Rickenbacker, who went on to start Eastern Airlines. The absolute Ace of Aces was the German Manfried von Richtofen, known as the Red Baron for the color of the plane he flew (yes, he had a choice). He had something like 21 kills. He was so respected that, when he finally was killed over territory occupied by our side, his body was flown back to a German airfield under a truce agreement with full honors. He lives on today as Snoopy's nemesis in the Peanuts cartoon.

Anonymous

I threw it out as soon as there was a reference to a Kardashian.

Anonymous

I never realized there was a difference between an ale tap and a lager tap.

DrSparks

"AIR ACE, LYE SOAP, ALE TAP. If you are a real live human who uses these phrases, please sound off in the comments so I can retract my critique"

Of course I use them (with apologies to Andy Zaltzman):
• If I make a mistake with a pencil, I have to AIR ACE it.
• When sleepy, my dog LYE SOAP on the couch.
• My mailman lets me know when a large package is on the porch because ALE TAP on the door.

Anonymous

We absolutely don't need to know about a rapper named "UZI".

RooMonster

Hey All !
WedsRebus. Way to try to trick us!

Suspected a Rebus early on, even not knowing the actual answers that would go into those circled square spots. After I was rather sure it was YOSEMITE SAM, I didn't put it in, cause unsure which letters would be Rebied. Then got FUNHOUSEMIRROR/HISEMINENCE, and saw the ruse. Wondered for about 2 seconds if they'd all be SEMIs, yep after YOSEMITESAM. That helped with the third one, as those two answers were the tough ones.

ALETAP as clued is odd. Maybe Bartender's asset, but value? Think that stretches it a bit to far.

Odd to have a Themer spot without a Themer in it. Also odd to have the third SEMI basically in a random spot. What in tarhooties is it doing where it is?

Anyway, I did like the puz. We'll see what craziness TomorrowPuz brings, since we got a Rebus today...

Happy Wednesday!

Five F's - Nice!
RooMonster
DarrinV

mathgent

Rebuses are welcome any day of the week. Very nice puzzle.

It's only a clue in a crossword so it's okay to refer the sight of those moons as SEMICIRCLES. They're actually halves of disks. Parts of their outlines are SEMICIRCLES.

Anonymous

NSC and MARCEL could be bad if someone doesn’t know them. The TLA could be anything at all

Lewis

Upon reading my primary post over, I'd like to replace "undercut" with "permeated".

"Undercut" means to weaken, which is contrary to what I was trying to say, that that wonderful message was under the surface of the entire puzzle.

I'm sorry for any confusion my poor choice of word caused!

Shandra Dykman

It’s VALVE, not value, actually, if that helps. I was a bartender for years and I can’t even begin to list all the things I truly valued, such as a good bouncer.

Anonymous

Air ace and ale tap “no”. But we used to sing a song about “Gramma’s Lye Soap” at my YMCA summer camp back in the 60s.

Whatsername

What FUN! Love, love, love having a rebus on Wednesday, although it took me a little while to SEE it. I initially had FUNNY MIRROR and CRUISE -I-ES before the revealer finally sold the mystery. Then still had to work in the NE where my tea was flavored with RO(SEMI)NT because I don’t know my Spanish.

My dearly departed BAE was an ACE pilot who often said if you want to know how to land a plane, just watch a flock of GEESE. Slow your speed, set your wings, lift your nose, and let gravity do the rest. He loved AIR shows, particularly the old military aircraft, and I seem to recall the term “air ace” was a synonym for the pilots of those vintage war planes, flown by many a HERO back in the day.

M and A

Well, hey -- it's just a SEMI-rebus. Sooo ... I reckon that's ok, for a WedPuz.

staff weeject pick: UZI. A mysterious part of the NW house of no-knows: AZUL/SERRANOS/ROSEMILK/UZI.

Cute theme idea, tho. And the rebuses got circled, so no prob pinnin down their locations. FINALANSWER didn't get a lotta rebus action, but that seems ok, since it didn't have any circles splatzed into it.

some faves: LENNON. FEY. SLIMES [yo, @malaika darlin]. FINALANSWER. Yosemite Sam gettin runned over by a SEMI.

Thanx, Mr. Ayas dude. Semi-great! [har]

Masked & Anonymo5Us

**gruntz**

M and A

oopsie … make that NE house of no-knows.

M&A House of Corrections

RooMonster

Har! Valve makes sense, thanks Shandra! Dang misreading...

Roo Pour Me A Drink Guy

Sam

Yes but we typically just say ACE or maybe ACE pilot. Folks here are objecting specifically to the use of the phrase AIR ACE, which is not very in-the-language.

egsforbreakfast

Nice to see both ELI and its plural, ELAND, in the same puzzle.

I used to drive a SEMI, but eventually I upgraded to a full truck.

I once heard the entire Royal Air Force play a repeated guitar phrase really well. "Nice riff RAF," I enthused.

I see we have an OGLER ALERT in the SE.

I'd like to spend some time at the old ALETAP with the guy whoSEMInd came up with this puzzle. Thanks, Kareem Ayas.

Bob K

I think Poland’s flag also features an eagle. Malaika, cookies look amazing! Any chance you could share the recipe?

Bob K

I believe Poland’s national flag also features an eagle. Cookies look amazing Malaika. Any chance you can share the recipe?

Anonymous

I liked the idea of a sort of “rebus tutorial” with the revealer forcing the rebus squares to be marked. Compare that to the MINUTE HAND Thursday we had recently, it was an easy puzzle with identical rebus squares but you actually had to hunt a bit for them, so there was some Thursdayness.

I actually refused to accept that there was a Wednesday rebus until I had all of FUNHOU_RROR filled in. Then I instantly got the revealer.

Anonymous

A box for “crackers”? I’m taken aback.

Nancy

On Thursday, Sept 19th, Will Nediger and I will have two different puzzles appearing in print and online-- one in the WSJ and one in the LAT. Quite a coincidence!

Will N assures me that you'll b able to access them both online. And even though I'll remind you all the day before, you might want to make yourself a note now.

Beezer

I really enjoyed this puzzle, thought the rebus theme was clever, and the majority of the rest of the fill was above average (IMO). Malaika, I think LYESOAP is “in the language” for older people like me. Well, older people that watched Granny making LYESOAP in a big black kettle by the cement pond in The Beverly Hillbillies.

And LYESOAP—with respect to Fight Club—had me down a rabbit hole of search. I loved that warped movie, but somehow missed the fact that Tyler Derdin made LYESOAP, and that it holds a special symbolism that I’d like to think Chuck Pahloniak detailed more in the book, but there are photos of the pink LYESOAP that Derdin made in movie photos. I might have to revisit the movie now.

@Roo…your mistake on value v. valve made me laugh…you know, the kind of laugh that is…”oh that SO could have been MY read, too”!

Anonymous

Another day, another annoying set of bubbles, more ugly names like Ms. Rand and the Israeli submachine gun, and those three aforementioned non-phrases. A Mount Rushmore of crossword SLIMES made this puzzle an AGONY.
There were a few likeable names such as FEY, LENNON, MARCEL and a non-Yale ELI.

GILL I.

A SEMI rebus...Que fun! I found you with YO[SEMI]TE SAM. And look!...you crossed with AGONY. I didn't have much of you except for (of all things}, TAU. That, and not seeing THEMES which made getting HIS EMINENCE the hardest rebus for moi. I can't spell....

I wasn't sure about the NURSE MIDWIFE. To me, it's either a NURSE OR a MIDWIFE. I didn't know the two went together. I think all nurses in this country should receive a METAL of gold honors along with all of our teachers. Underpaid those two, and overworked!

The others I wasn't sure of was an NSC here and an NSA there or why anyone would be named UZI. I got all the other waterfall names and sat for hours wondering which way to spell HAJI. Other than some ponders hither and yon, I finished the puzzle easily enough.

I'd rate this in a yummy brownie cookie way. First bite tasted really good and the last crumb made me want more.......

Nancy

A wonderful rebus -- surrounded by absolutely horrid fill, or at least the cluing choices for that fill.

I mean, you know how much I love rebuses. Do I have to pay a price for that -- the price being knowing who Khloe Kardashian's ex is...or the cast of "Cobra Kai" (any relation to Kubla Khan?)...or, wait for it, the cleaning product made in "Fight Club"?

Good grief!

I soldiered through this swamp of the most completely mindless PPP, teeth clenched, doing it all for the rebuses, you understand. Only for the rebuses -- and they were all very, very good rebuses.

But the less said about the ridiculous trivia, the better.

Anonymous

One of the dumbest puzzles in months.

Anonymous

It may not be in everyone's language but having been in Naval Aviation Air Ace is a thing.

old timer

A few of you may remember Johnny Standley's hilarious hymn to Grandma's LYE SOAP, on his hit single from 1952, "It's in the Book". I do, because it is one of the few singles my mother ever bought, and I was delighted to hear it over an over.

I got the trick pretty early and am delighted that the theme truly was CIRCLES with SEMI in them.

Anonymous

Calling Hyundai the parent company of Kia is not a very good way of describing their relationship. Hyundai is the largest shareholder of Kia, but their arrangement is nothing like that of other car companies where ‘parent’ is used. (ie: it would be accurate to say that Honda is the parent company of Acura)

Gary Jugert

El ratón tiene una casa en el parque. Yesterday's mouse relocation caper was successful as far as I will ever know. We went to a big park where there's usually water in its arroyo. In New Mexico, a ditch is called an arroyo, and when it rains 50 miles away, the water doesn't soak into the cement-like earth, it balls up and rolls down arroyos until a wall of water takes out some kid skateboarding in the arroyo even though everyone knows you're supposed to stay out of arroyos. We released Mister Mouse near the trashcans with a couple of slices of American cheese to get him started. He looked healthy and leapt from the trap with speed and agility. I hope things go well for him in the country. We reset the trap, but nobody is in there this morning.

Also we bought a house (surprisingly expensive for the hellscape I've made up in my head). For the most part, it's an enormous air conditioner surrounded by a little bit of house. Only a few more weeks in our rental and then we'll be in our own park under our own own trashcan.

Hi Malaika! I SEMI liked this puzzle. Circles and a rebusipodes rile some folks, but I like them. AGONY is my sixth favorite word. Too many people clogging up this grid.

Propers: 13 (gasp)
Places: 0
Products: 4
Partials: 6
Foreignisms: 4
--
Gary's Grid Gunk Gauge: 27 of 76 (36%) (hm)

Funnyisms: 3 😐

Tee-Hee: [Built in bra.] [Lewd onlooker.] [Covers in goo.]

Uniclues:

1 To make money from lap dances.
2 Libertarians in a church basement.
3 When you look at an old person and wonder what the hell they're doing.
4 Giant purity rings on a hill near a fundamentalist Christian church.
5 Tells the truth about a certain former president.
6 Bobby Flay.
7 Future dad, assuming she's cute.

1 CAMI ACT MOTIVE
2 AYN SEMICIRCLES
3 ADULT-AGER EYED
4 JONAS MONUMENTS
5 SLIMES HIS EMINENCE (~)
6 SERRANOS SEER
7 NURSE MIDWIFE OGLER

My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: Punk rocker couch surfing. ROOTLESS RAMONE.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anonymous

hi! it’s hard not to choose the chicks for anything, but i don’t know if even they can top sinead’s version? how could anyone? even prince couldn’t!

loved your recap—thanks!

gorgeous george

Your clearly a young un -
Air Ace has been in use in every (declared) war since airplanes existed

Lye Soap is (nearly) the first soap ever invented. me Mum threatened us with it if we said something she didn't like: "Do it again, and I'll wash your mouth out with soap. The Lye stuff!!!"

Ale Tap is not a beer tap. whether brew pubs keep them always segregated, I don't know

Anonymous

@Gill - 11:23
just like nurse practitioner et al.

Alice Pollard

Agree, Malaika - Hell's Kitchen on Broadway is extraordinary . I thought I would like it but it really blew me away. Sidenote - I never got into Prince, I thought he was way overrated

Anonymous

That's only the naval flag.

jb129

Not liking 'rebuses' (rebi?) either, here's hoping we'll be spared tomorrow

jb129

Hi Malaika,
Could've gone through life without knowing
"Lil UZI Vert. And a Wednesday rebus :(
What's up for tomorrow then?

Linda

@kitshef - Definitely agree on no flaky sea salt on my cookies but I like to use espresso powder - it doesn't make the dessert taste like coffee (which is good because I don't like coffee) but it intensifies the chocolate flavor. I always add a little instant espresso powder when I make brownies or chocolate cream pie.

Anonymous

As a millennial who has been binging Cobra Kai for nostalgia purposes, I laughed and laughed at the cluing on ELI. I wonder what the overlap is between NYT xword solvers and Cobra Kai watchers.

Marshall

Thought it was a little too easy for a Wednesday. Got the theme right away. Loved how the first rebus resembles an actual fun house mirror!

Anonymous

recipe is here: https://nyti.ms/4fZreSJ

Anonymous

I agree. I also hate the idea of cruise missiles when i’m trying to stay calm before my day starts. So many other words to use without having to go down that path

Anonymous

It's incredible how many people are enraged about the mere existence of UZI in this puzzle. I appreciate the mix of newer pop culture references, there are only so many times I can stand ARLO or ENO.

Anonymous

Thanks, Malaika! I agree with you on the puzzle, but my favorite version is Chris Cornell's acoustic one. Heartbreaking.

ChrisS

I don't buy ale tap as a real thing. You use a beer tap for all beers whether ales or lagers or lambic or sours or ..... There is a beer-engine tap that is usually used for ales but it is not referred to as an ale tap.

Anonymous

What a horrible puzzle!

bmv

What a hoot to remember "It's in the book." My brother and I played it over and over. You must be old as the hills!

Roshan

As a former AIR ACE turned barman, let me tell you that nothing gets the gunk off the ALE TAP like LYE SOAP

Anonymous

I also like Chris Cornell‘s version. So talented and such a sad end…

dgd

Maybe no one will see this
Liked the puzzle. I don’t usually think of the rules about which day rebuses appear on I thought they occasionally appear on other days besides Thursdays.
Air ace and lye soap are definitely valid. The reason so many here are criticizing
them is they are old expressions and they are not aware of them
Ace has long meant expert. When air to air combat developed people needed the qualifier to describe this particular expert. BTW air to air combat is very rare now so no more ( air)aces.

Anonymous

I didn’t know nsc and that was my last square. So I just put in letters til my app told me it was correct.

Anonymous

I had no idea there were so many version of Nothing Compares. I only know the prince and the Sinead versions.

albatross shell

Weird. Great theme idea. Nurse midwife or midwife nurse seem equally strange to me but certainly possible.

Maybe a female midwife nurse could get double pay as a midwife nurse maid.

On My way out I will mention the lye soap sounds perfectly natural and common to me.
Must be in a different world here.

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