Rush Hour director Ratner / WED 1-23-13 / Teen heartthrob Zac / 2003 OutKast hit that was #1 for nine weeks / Balkan native

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative difficulty: Medium (5:21)


THEME: Initializing... — all clues are familiar two-word phrases where first word is two letters. To solve the clue, you must imagine those two letters as initials (or as initials with different meanings than expected). Thus:

Theme answers:
  • 19A: Po boy? (PETER O'TOOLE)
  • 29A: L.A. woman? (LAILA ALI)
  • 35A: In person? (ISAAC NEWTON)
  • 42A: P.R. man? (PAUL RYAN)
  • 52A: It girl? (IVANKA TRUMP)

Word of the Day: BRETT Ratner (5D: "Rush Hour" director Ratner) —
Brett Ratner (born March 28, 1969) is an American film directorfilm producer, and music video director. He is known for directing the Rush Hour film series,The Family ManRed DragonX-Men: The Last Stand, and Tower Heist. He was also a producer on the Fox drama series, Prison Break. (wikipedia)
• • •

Back on track today, for the most part, though I still felt a little off my game. I struggled early—far more than is normal for a Wednesday—but then got my footing and ripped through it pretty easily. The theme is very cute but also very ragged. Some of the two-letter parts of the clues are already initials, some aren't. One in particular feels like a completely different animal than the others. I first read [In person?] as "someone who is in," i.e. someone who is part of the in-crowd. I did this because that is the pattern followed by Every Other Theme Clue—two-letter part of the clue functions adjectivally. The boy is po', the woman is from L.A., the man works in P.R., the woman has "it." But "In person" (the way I'd imagined it) is not really a phrase that exists. Instead, "in person" in this case must be playing on the phrase as it's most commonly used, i.e. to indicate literal physical presence. Actually there, in person, not on video or on the phone or whatever. That "in person." But *that* in person doesn't fit the pattern, because that makes the two-letter "in" function as a preposition, not an adjective. And yes, it does matter, and boo. You stress every other two-letter word in the theme clues. You do not stress the "in" in "in person." You practically eat it.


Fill is very nice overall. Simple but solid. BRETT Ratner felt way out of place. That's a Saturday BRETT clue. Ratner's directed some hits, but I've Never heard of him and he is far, far from a household name. He's part of the reason my start was so slow. CROAT (14A: Balkan native) and BY ME (5A: "Fine ___") were also tough to turn up. Hated BY ME, mainly because I hate when partials (which are by def. not great fill) have really hard clues. Struggling to get a partial leaves a queasy feeling in my gut. Getting to OATS via Lucky Charms is like getting to Akron by way of Manila. You can *do* it, I guess, but it's a highly unlikely (one might even say tortured) route (61A: Lucky Charms ingredients). Took me a while to get AVEENO (2D: Johnson & Johnson skin-care brand) and ONE / ACT (23A: With 24-Across, like Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story") and INMATE (again, a Saturday clue with 46D: Cell body). Had to change CHOCOLATE to CHOCOLATY (I wonder if anyone got careless and ended up with PAUL REAN at 42A—because CHOCOLATE is a more-than-plausible answer for 14D: Like many éclairs).

Bullets:
  • 17A: 2003 OutKast hit that was #1 for nine weeks ("HEY YA") — One of my first gets. I'm stunned, bordering on alarmed, that this song is nearly a decade old already. I still think of it as relatively new. OutKast is from the ATL (32A: N.L. team with a tomahawk in its logo).
  • 25A: Teen heartthrob Zac (EFRON) — Zac EFRON, a name I know, but the spelling of which I often confuse with that of EFREM Zimbalist Jr. 
  • 21D: Pickled delicacy (EEL) — I wrote in ROE. Is that a thing? Pickled ROE? Yes, looks like it is. At least it's a thing. At least I have that to comfort me in my wrongness.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

126 comments:

jae 12:12 AM  

Liked this one a lot!  Very crunchy Wed.  So, tough for me, more like a Thurs.   Smooth grid with an unusual  theme which I caught with LAILA.  But, I can never remember if it's LAI or LAY so yOWA was staring back at me for a while.  My other erasure was, like Rex,  e for Y in CHOCOLATY and PAUL ReAN is what made me change it.

Not sure I follow Rex's "In" issue.  I read it like I read the "It" in "It girl.". As, he    is one of the "In" people. 

Potentially tough crosses:  LLCOOLJ/RIJN/EFRON and RETT/HEYYA, plus AVEENO is not a Wed. level gimme, but the crosses seem OK. 

Clever/tricky Thurs. like theme plus the zip...LLCOOLJ,  ARNE (yes, Obama cabinet members are zippy) APROPOS...makes for nice challenge from Joel Fagliano. 

Rube 12:21 AM  

Yes, I never heard of PAUL ReAN, or RYAN... so, you got my number Rex.

Was about 80% thru the puzzle when I got the theme. Really can't say I'm excited about it... in fact, I think it stinks. The clues are totally unrelated to the answers, except for the initials. You have to have most of the crosses before you can guess the answer. And then there is no satisfaction except that you have filled in more of the puzzle.

Wanted Quelques chos(e) before UNES. Must take a French class someday. Also really wanted A-
One before RAGU, but ACAI just wouldn't go away.

It must be nice to think of "HEY YA" as a memorable song. Personally, I've never heard of it and am thankful that it was gettable from the crosses.

Kyle M. 12:24 AM  

I struggled somewhat with this puzzle, mainly because I was unfamiliar with the majority of the theme names. Got the theme off of ISAAC NEWTON, which let me get PAUL RYAN, but the other three are a mystery to me. It's always the trivia that gets me... definitely the main thing keeping me at the Mon-Wed skill level.

JC66 12:27 AM  

@rex

I agree with jae: think in crowd

Anonymous 12:47 AM  

Having just finished watching a Peter O'Toole movie might have been a help for me tonight.

I guess HIYAA couldn't really be a thing, so I had to change the I to an E. One never can tell with song titles, it could have been HUYYA and BRUTT for all I knew. Hell , it could have been HYYYA/BRYTT.

I didn't know Lucky Charms had any ingredients other than high fructose corn sugar, cane sugar and stuff labled FDC #n,m,j, and k. It's amazing what can learn from crossword puzzles. It's amazing that you can worry about whether or not to use the Oxford comma while commenting on a blog about crossword puzzles.

It makes me sad that a second generation of Trumps are now considered puzzle worthy.

Evan 12:58 AM  

I got careless. I had CHOCOLATE, didn't look at the cross hard enough, and figured PAUL REAN was some unknown crossword staple. Yeesh. And besides, I'd always thought it was spelled CHOCOLATEY, but it appears that both spellings are acceptable.

Everything else felt pretty easy otherwise, though I initially had DONE before OVER. I wonder why they went with a RINSO/ROI crossing -- would RINSE/REI have been worse? That way you'd have one foreign word for "king" and one common English word, rather than a foreign word that means the same thing plus a brand name. At least it was simple enough to infer with the brand name reference, even though I doubt I've ever used that detergent before.

Anonymous 1:01 AM  

Yes, I did go down on PAUL REAN. I didn't like it at all and scrolled the alphabet with CIA. Just never though of CHOCOLATe as possibly being wrong, even though these kinds of theme answers should be considered universally known. Grrr.


Sophie the African hedgehog gets bath with AVEENO body wash.

Anonymous 1:04 AM  

@Anon 1:01 Usually we frown on Anonymous postings here, but hey, if I went down on PAUL REAN, or PAUL RYAN for that matter, I'd stay anonymous too.

Anonymous 1:27 AM  

Ha! Yeah, I felt pretty stupid when I checked it. CHOCOLATe pushed the blind spot on me and I just couldn't get away from it, despite knowing that <ReAN was a problem and I was probably missing something. The crosses all looked so good.

Carola 1:31 AM  

Liked it. Found it more challenging than a usual Wednesday, except for the theme answers, which really helped me get the rest, espcially the SE. Caught on with PETER O'TOOLE, and knowing the initials, I recognized LAILAALI, ISAAC NEWTON and IVANKA TRUMP pretty quickly. PAUL RYAN, which I also had to change from ReAN, was last.

I wondered if the clue for 19A could also have been "Po' boy?" since it would fit with the apostrophe in O'TOOLE?

Liked the mirroring of ACID RAIN and INUNDATE. Also CHOCOLATY, SOFTIE, POMPOM, APROPOS.

chefwen 1:45 AM  

Took me a while to catch on, wondering why IVANKA TRUMP was an IT girl, thought she was an OUT girl. Peter O'Toole got my head on straight, the rest was history. I loved a lot of the cluing, like 46D Cell Body and 1D Shaken next to a field.

13A done/OVER
16A meal/MENU
Hand up for chocolate before chocolaty, never heard of PAUL REaN so that was another fix.

Absolutely loved this puzzle. Husbands first solo attempt at a Wednesday puzzle, well let's just say, his words were more colorful than mine. I won't repeat them in fear of censorship. But, he finished with a little help from his friend. He has to realize that I have 40+ more years of puzzling than he has had. That is odd because it was his father who got me into crosswords to begin with. He never got the bug until lately. Think he is trying to ward off "old timers".

Anoa Bob 2:51 AM  

There doesn't seem to be much holding this theme together. Like @Rube, I couldn't find any connection between the clues and answers beyond just the first two letters of the clue matching the initials of the person/answer.

And then ISAAC NEWTON kinda rules out there being any common ground among the people in the theme answers.

Lots of good fill, such as TROUT, TOUCAN, and SKUNK in the SE, overcame any misgivings I had about the theme and made it an enjoyable solve.


Apropos Chocolaty Moreso 3:57 AM  

Loved it while simultaneously thinking there should be more of a tie in with the clue and the person...
I mean there are a million folks whose initials are PR...and hopefully, Paul Ryan will be so yesterday's news, blimp on the radar that if it ween't right after inauguration, I'd have been scratching my head to come up with his name if someone asked me two months from now who Mitt's running mate was....

couple of writeover's...AnNE Duncan had to transgenderize into ARNE, nsA to CIA.

With the double AA in ISAAC and LAILAALI, the double OO in OTOOLE, I half expected a double EE in PAULReeN.

Actually quite a few double OO.
OTOOLE, NOON, LLCOOLJ, APROPOO.

Now I am seeing the double YY in HEYYA!
That song was my earworm for at least 8 years.
Never did understand the words...shake shake it like a Polaroid...was the only phrase I got, but worried the young folk wouldn't know what that meant!
;)

(Kidding, why would I care what young folks get or not! Screw 'em!) ;)

And I'm all with whoever thought Trump spawn shouldn't get to be in the puzzle... both women in the puzzle are more or less famous bec of who their daddys* are.

*(I don't care if daddys is misspelled, daddies looks very very wrong. And as a former daddy's girl, I feel I can spell it "daddys", so there!)

Most exciting moment, trying to come up with LINEN for 4th Anniversary gift, thinking we had JUST had that, but of course we had only the 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50th!

Anyway, fun interesting puzzle but for reasons I didn't expect.

By the way, google Brett Ratner and I'll bet you have vaguely heard of him, he's known as the biggest A*hole in Hollywood. He was notorious for a while connected with Lindsay Lohan if that triggers any sordid memories...

Elle54 5:04 AM  

Another Paul Rean mistake here. (hand up)
Ivanka Trump deserves to be in a NY Times puzzle. She's a sharp businesswomen who went to Wharton I think, Has clothing and accessory collection even featured in Macy's windows. She is seen in the Apprentice ( pop culture) and also works for the Trump Hotel business, Travelling the world.

loren muse smith 5:48 AM  

Sign me up in the Who On Earth is Paul Rean Club.

With HEYYA’s debut, I “initially” (sorry) was expecting some Fagliano Funny Business with double Y’s. I’ll always remember that UU/W beaut. Joel – I hereby commission a tricky double Y puzzle.

@Rube – TOUCAN play at that French game; I wanted quelques choses, too!

YOYO is right next to MAyo. Cool.
Another grid with terrific fill to admire. Big POM POM shake for Joel.

Anonymous 6:31 AM  

Yup, I'm a member of the Paul Rean club too!

Gill I. P. 6:58 AM  

I got it but I didn't really get it...and I'm even more confused now. I guess I must be a HICK. Speaking of, I'm with @Rube on this one though I did like a lot of the answers.
Is RINSO still around? I like that OLD is right below it.
Didn't know EFRON or LLCOOLJ and wanted to fit in Sheila for the fem roo. I think ALL eclairs are CHOCOLATY. I've never eaten one that wasn't...
ARF.

OTD 7:07 AM  

Never did catch on to the theme, but that's not unusual for me since I seldom pay attention to it.

Also a member of the Paul Rean fan club.

Never heard of BRETT Ratner. Other than that, enjoyed the fill--in general.

dk 7:07 AM  

Andrea, who put a nickel in you?

I am also of the clan-o-careless with REAN.

Mid level Wednesday for this solver. I got the gimmick (hardly a theme) out of the shoot and Emily Post as bathroom reading from my youth made LINEN a gift.

Once made totem poles out of old TVs and used ads for the faces. RINSO and Mr. Burst were on the soap totem the other two were underwear and cigarettes. We thought we were rather arty. NYC sanitation made us get a dumpster - critics can not live with them and can not shoot them.

⛔⛔⛔ (3 HALT signs) Solid puzzle, clears my Wednesday bar.

dk 7:08 AM  

err... chute

Milford 7:31 AM  

Fun puzzle, I was truly amused by the cluing and twisted entries, especially all those double letters that @acme listed (thank you for listing them so I didn't have to!). Temporarily had both CHOCOLATe/ReAN and RINSe/ReI.

I didn't mind whatever disconnect there was between the themes, or gimmick. Isn't it a good thing that they were an assortment of people? Also, I read "In person" as I did "It girl", as @jae described.

Synchronous moment for me: I was watching a Real Sports segment about Royce White, a basketball player that attended IOWA STATE, when I read 31D.

Il think Anon 1 is in the dark about what Anon 2 wrote.

Z 7:45 AM  

RYAN is the one I caught and fixed. Had a 20 minute break to take the kid to school, so I'm going to blame my wrongness on that. OdE ACT? HaYYA? ReI/RINSe? (Portuguese maybe?)

HEY YA got ya feeling old? How about "Feels Like Teen Spirit" has cleared 20? The kid I just took to school prefers something called "Pop Punk," some sort of weird teen-angst/pop/emo hybrid. It all makes me feel definitely not "In" and happy to be out. No one he listens to is as well known as IVANKA TRUMP, yet.

Finally, let me say that ARNE Duncan is an idiot. PAUL RYAN and ARNE are proof that being smart doesn't make you intelligent. I found it very appropriate that the two TIE together with an ARF.

efrex 7:47 AM  

Add one more to the CHOCOLATE before CHOCOLATY pile, although I hope that very few people are more familiar with LAILAALI than PAULRYAN, regardless of your politics.

If you're going to use a lot of proper names in your puzzle, then it's only fair to spread them out thematically, and Mr. Fagliano did a great job with that, making all the obscure ones fairly gettable from crosses. All kinds of nice fill sprinkled throughout made for a very enjoyable experience. Nicely done, sir!

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

Another REAN here.

Susan McConnell 8:12 AM  

I enjoyed this. Ditto most of jae's comments. I solve on an iPad in AcrossLite and liked entering ABBA right next to NOON, since the answers mirror each other on the apps keyboard. Only drag for me was the last clue and answer, Quelques-UNES. I knew it, but couldn't help feeling that "going French" is a move of last resort.

Rob C 8:20 AM  

@Milford
I think you're right that Anon 1 is still in the dark about what Anon 2 wrote. But then again, she (or he, I suppose) would have to be clueless to go down on PAUL RE(Y)AN in the first place

MetaRex 8:26 AM  

Yes to Joel Fagliano's theme and construction!

Yep, "in person" is not a colloquial saying that corresponds to "it girl" and the other thematic clues...but the parallel to "it girl" is v. nice...it's okay to stretch our minds in CWP-land to come up w/ a phrase that doesn't exist but ought to, right?

Appreciate Rex's noting his times M T and today and I assume for the rest of the week...

More at It Girl

Milford 8:35 AM  

@Rob C. - True. Even though RYAN was so awesome that he ran a 2:50 marathon. Oh wait...

jberg 8:35 AM  

Two kinds of solvers today: those who knew either BRETT or HEYYA, and those who didn't. I'm one of the latter, but guessed the E as my last letter, so I succeeded.

Other than that, the big holdup was wanting IVANKA TRUMP to be IVANnA (or Ivan a). I came here thinking my memory must have gone bad, but I gather from the comments that one is the daughter of the other. Is that right?

As for the theme - I don't really see why the clue should relate to the person other than through the initials (well, and also the gender, sometimes - it's never incorrect). But the people certainly are all over the map (and the calendar), from ISAAC NEWTON to the above mentioned IVANKA. And a real purist would want there to be no other names of people in there, I think.

I had a hard time with the detergent, but suddenly found my mind singing "RINSO White or RINSO Blue, Soap or detergent it's right for you!" Not that I'm OLD or anything.

jackj 8:35 AM  

Such a creative theme from Joel Fagliano who stands out as one of the cleverest of the clever of Will’s stable of Young Cruciverbalists; they really do liven up the joint!

The light came on with LAILAALI and the rest of the theme answers filled in easily after that, with the exception of PAULRYAN who gave me, (too), pause when he seemed to be of the REAN clan, but the E of CHOCOLATE switched to Y and the GOP wunderkind happily appeared.

Joel, kindly, didn’t fill the fill with impossible generational entries but, rather, gave us the likes of “Cell body” for INMATE, TAKENIN for “Fooled” and SKUNK for “One raising a stink?”. Gems all!

INUNDATE, POMPOM, ARF and ABOUT were also keepers in this grab bag of goodies, as was my favorite clue and answer, “Suitable” giving us the wonderful APROPOS.

Thought “Po boy” was a minor infraction for a dynamite misdirection that provided a perfect setup for a concoction whipped up from a large dose of fun, a dollop of cleverness and a sprinkling of intelligence, all pureed into a crossword smoothie.

Wonderful, Joel!

joho 8:36 AM  

Caught onto the theme right away and liked it because it's something different.

I was sort of fascinated by the section with BYME/YOYO/HEYYA ... loved the pile up "Y's."

I, too, changed CHOCOLATe to CHOCOLATY ... YaY another "Y!"

@Z, our 18 year old is into Skrillex and something called Dubstep.

@Apropos Chocolaty Moreso ... APROPOO! LOOVE it!

Thank you, Joel Fagliano, nice one!

evil doug 8:40 AM  

Anonymous said: "Yes, I did go down on PAUL REAN."

Perhaps you did, but I'd just as soon not hear about it. No wonder you're protecting your identity...

"PAUL RYAN and ARNE are proof that being smart doesn't make you intelligent."

Yeah, Z, luckily we got our current genius veep just one heartbeat away. I don't think Joe needs to watch the mail for his Mensa application. Has he figured out what state he's in yet?

"And I'm all with whoever thought Trump spawn shouldn't get to be in the puzzle... both women in the puzzle are more or less famous bec of who their daddys* are."

Particularly coming from someone who's always whining about the lack of women in the puzzle, seems like the sisterhood might resent those remarks as both sexist and inaccurate. Each of them can stand on her own accomplishments, and they don't need to rely on grasping at 'shout-outs' as their only basis for appearing in puzzles. Who's your daddy, Andrea?

Evil

Notsofast 8:58 AM  

"PAULREAN' victim. But isn't something either chocolate OR chocolatey? A Hershey Bar is ...chocolate. And you wouldn't order a "chocolatey eclair". And I'm sure someone in the world is named Paul Rean. So I'm sticking with that.

retired_chemist 9:18 AM  

Hand up (with, apparently, a substantial majority) for PAUL REAN. I am used to seeing names I never heard of and getting them correctly with crosses. Didn't see that this was any different. so finished with one error and about two minutes of futile checking.

What everybody said.

Anonymous 9:18 AM  

Guilty of Paul Rean, but after ten minutes of proofreading chocolate finally dawned on me.
Jlb

B Donohue 9:20 AM  

One mistake (like everyone)- PAULReAN. I was lazy as Rex alluded, but the puzzle still took me 20 minutes. Perhaps CHOCOLATY deserved a "(var.)" in the clue?

I found many of the clues for the fill today more open-ended than usual for a Wednesday. When I got the theme answers and so more crosses, everything filled itself in smoothly.

C. Ross Word 9:24 AM  

Hands up for PAULReAN, guess I've started to forget Ryan already!

@evil doug

I'm sure you're a smart guy (did Mensa accept you?) but I'm personally more attuned to Biden's upliftingly positive approach to life than your mostly taciturn, though admittedly funny, outlook. Lighten up, I'll bet there's a nice guy in there.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

Mostly good. i should have gotten Isaac Newton, but I was thinking of current popular figures. I got Peter Otoole quickly, so I knew what the gimmick was.

WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE RED OR BLUE SQUARE IN THE ONLINE PUZZLE MEANS!!!

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Doesn't anyone care that it should be POMPON?

Paul G 9:29 AM  

@ED - The "going down on Paul REAN" joke was made 7 hours earlier, and discussed at length prior to your post. By your own analysis of duplicate themes in puzzles, you really should delete your own post. That is, if you had any integrity.

chefbea 9:30 AM  

Good puzzle!! Hand up for chocolate at first but then realized it was Ryan.

Do they still make Rinso??? Liked that it was over old.

Guess I should change my name to Stu??? Actually a good day to make some...in the 20's here.

Tita 9:34 AM  

Mmmm...meh...I guess because I'm never thrilled by lots of pop.

TIF (thought I finished), since for all I know PAULReAN is in fact a person. I don't think anyone has ever uttered "Boy, that eclair is chocolatey!".

There is really somebody named IVANKA?

THere was plenty of good stuff: clue for MENU, GATE, and ABOUT. Liked APROPOS in the grid.
Learned that a female roo is a DOE, or that Lucky Charms contained food.
LAILAALI always looks great written down.

Just watched PETEROTOOLE on TCM, and just baked eclairs on Sunday (and yes, some were filled with chocolate ice cream, others with coffee - were they coffeey?

P.S. how great is it than PAULRYAN is so far out of people's minds...
@efrex...I don't think it's a commentary on do we know pop better than politics in this particular case.

Joe B 9:42 AM  

@ED - I grew up in an impoverished alcoholic family, managed to get myself through law school and become a lawyer, was a US Senator for 6 terms, and have been the Vice President for the past 4 years.

What have you done lately?

M.A. Dude 9:50 AM  

@Nancy: @31 uses the colored grid squares to spell out the 7-letter Word Of The Week. So far, none of them have made any sense at all.

ReAN.
POMPOn.
But 7 U's, so I'm still a jf junkie.
M&A

retired_chemist 9:53 AM  

CHOCOLATY is fine IMO even though, as Rex says, CHOCOLATE is better. LOVE the thought that everybody has now forgotten Paul Ryan.

Smart republican embarrassed by RomneyRyan 9:54 AM  

Ha ha @C.Ross Word - I always thought he was pretty smart for a 3rd grader...

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Hands up for Mr. Rean here. Would ner have questioned/noticed if Rex hadn't pointed it out.

Another Joel Fagliano winner. This guy's a major-league rising rock star of a constructor. The new BEQ. Can't wait to see more (we need another themeless!)

Glimmerglass 10:08 AM  

Doesn't anyone else remember the famous Paul Rean?

Sandy K 10:08 AM  

Enjoyed solving the theme- cute idea. Didn't love all the people, but HEY YA, it's a puzzle.

All the fill was fun BY ME!

Now can't stop earworm- 'Shake it like a Polaroid picture'.

lawprof 10:26 AM  

Barked up a lot of wrong trees on this one. At first I thought this was going to be a fishing-related theme when I came to the 17D (TROUT) 35A crossing, where I wanted IzAACwalTON. Then I thought the theme answers all had double vowels. All false scents, but quickly dismissed.

Although Paul Rean is not well known, he is reputed to have made the first ascent of Mt. Hagamythrymojowerkin in Sri Lanka in 1849. Notwithstanding his relative anonymity, he is now more famous (and thus more cross-word worthy) than the answer to 42A. In fact, as some have suggested here, he merits a fan club. I nominate myself as treasurer, propose a $100 initiation fee for prospective members and invite all interested applicants to remit that amount directly to me. All major credit cards and PayPal accepted. No personal checks, please.

John V 10:27 AM  

Put me on the PAUL REAN bus. That aside, I was pleased to solve this one with the avalanche of pop culture stuff of which I had no idea. NE last to fall; crossing LLCOOLJ with LALLAALI? Really? Natick City, seems to me. HEYYA completely new to me with this puzzle.

Shouldn't clue for MAYO have indicated that the answer was an abbreviation?

Zac EFRON? Huh?

Go the theme but agree that it was inconsistent, some initials, some not. Like I say, apart from 42a, got it all, but played pretty challenging for all the stuff.noted.

Two Ponies 10:56 AM  

Really disliked all those names.
Yuck. Isaac and Peter were the only names with any weight in my little corner of the universe.
Considered Hats before Oats thinking there might be marshmallow top hats in the cereal.
Not my cuppa.

mac 11:18 AM  

Very cute puzzle! Had to fix Paul Rean as well. At least he had the courtesy to show up at the swearing-in. Mittens, in California, announced he wasn't even going to watch.

Rembrandt finally had his name spelled properly! Don't think I've ever seen it spelled van Rijn in a puzzle.

Masked and Anonymo7Us 11:27 AM  

@lawprof: Hagamythrymojowerkin? Dude. har. Put me down for a c-note's worth of that.

Day-um. Just occured to me. Themer names sound like a killer line-up for the next Celebrity Apprentice show.

Fave fillins: CHOCOLATEREAN, HIYYABRITT, IVANNASNUNK. Honorable mention to NORESO. Sign me up for that there ACPT. 31 is hearin' footsteps. A new 30 is comin' to town.

Fave clue: "Constipated dairy cow byproduct". But I digress. Or digest. Or egest. Or jest jest.

Last WOTW: EIIRGAPEB. Hmmmm. Anagram?

JFC 11:29 AM  

There is no theme, merely an illusion of a theme. Rex touched on the clunky cluing but in fact there are no clues to the theme answers other than the initials of people whose gender is given away in the clue. Really?! The clues might as well have been P.O. mailman for Peter O'Toole (POT would have been better), L.A. boxer, IN lawman, P.R. Congressman and I.T. manager. The “aha” moment comes when you realize the two letters are the initials of people, presumably famous people. That’s a theme? I think not. The proof is PAUL RYAN. Half the people don’t vote and wouldn’t know who he is and most of the other half has already forgotten. So, many stared at PAUL ReAN, wondering if he were a forgotten French painter or Dutch Master. I am really surprised that Rex was so light in his criticism of the theme....

JFC

quilter1 11:32 AM  

Hand up for PAUL ReAN. I just thought it was another person I never heard of. Overall I liked it and thought it was pretty easy.

DigitalDan 11:54 AM  

Hands up for Paul Rean. Fascinating.

I wanted SUE for the chef. I REALLY wanted it.

chefbea 11:59 AM  

@DigitalDan me too!!! Now time to start the Stew

the redanman 11:59 AM  

Got through it, but sure was clunky. Seeing NHL where only NL existed as a former CHI-town boy probably doubled my time with what version of chokolottee was used. haha on me.

Sparky 12:25 PM  

Hand up for ReAN. No one says I just ate a CHOCOLATEY eclair as observed above. That would indicate it was not quite CHOCOLATE in taste. Wouldn't it? @Gil I. P. There are coffee, dulce de leche, mocha and lots of kinds of eclairs around. I've even seen pink ones.

Clues seemed peculiar to me. I saw O'Toole"s name staring out at me and couldn't figure why an Irish actor would have anything to do with a New Orleans sandwich. I caught on but didn't like it.

Took a while to get RIJN. Hi @Mac. Did this in the wee hours with insomnia. Stuck at 26D and LAIL-ALI. After 4 hours sleep, got it.

Captcha tossand. Need another nap.

Sister Mary Agnetta 12:28 PM  

Sister Mary Agnetta Says: When all else fails, read the FAQ at top of the blog. Knows all tells all. Tut, tut @MA Dude.

Lewis 12:32 PM  

I propose that PAUL REAN become our term for a wrong answer made by lots of solvers.

I had no issue with the theme; it was clear as a bell, enjoyable, and cute, and it helped my solve.

I did Natick at BRiTT/HiYYA. I'm thinking that if I had thought about it longer, I would have come up with the E as a better possiblity than the i.

Thanks for a fun puzzle, Joel!

Ellen S 12:43 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellen S 12:43 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellen S 12:50 PM  

I did worse than PAUL ReAN. when I filled in eclair I wasn't sure if it was going to end in Y or e (not liking CHOCOLATY but realizing spelling is kind of loose in these puzzles, e.g. POMPOM/pompon). So I just left that Y/e choice blank, waiting to see what the cross brought.

And then a terrible thing happened. I knew the theme answers had nothing to do with their clues, other than the initials, and yet, when I saw PAUL R---, I said, oh, graphic designer Paul Rand did mostly corporate identity projects (IBM, Westinghouse, UPS, many others), that's a kind of public relations; how nice to see him recognized in a puzzle. So that's what I filled in and was so pleased with myself that I never even looked to see what a mess that made of the crosses...

(If I'd put in half as much work checking my answers as just now trying to correct one little typo, I'd have finished the puzzle correctly.)

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

POMPOMs are the things the cheerleaders shake at the side of the football field. Pompons are the heads of certain flowers, which may or may not be next to a filed.

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

I got a little turned around on STU; I was dead-set on SUE, as in sous chef. Oh well, it's good practice

Gill I. P. 2:06 PM  

@Sparky: Thanks. I get my cream puffs mixed up with eclairs.

Bird 2:07 PM  

I liked this puzzle. The theme, though probably done before, is fresh. The cluing and some zippy fill made this an enjoyable challenge. Only two write-overs: ARTS at 5A and SOFTeE at 44D.

The first name I filled in was 35A and I thought, “How is he an “In person”. 52A answered that question. Aha! Clever theme. Construction would have been that much better if the answer somehow matched the clue. For example – PAUL RYAN worked in Public Relations and Ivanka Trump worked in Information Technology. No matter, this was good.

What’s wrong with CHOCOLATe/ReAN?

Thank you Mr. Fagliano.

Hard to believe that Seinfeld made its debut 22 years ago today.

Webster confirms @Rex’s definition for “partials” . . .
par•tial
Adjective: Existing only in part; incomplete.
Noun: A component of a musical sound; an overtone or harmonic.
Synonyms: Biased, one-sided, not great fill

Happy Humpday!

Davis 2:08 PM  

Another PAUL ReAN here. The problem with this theme is that there was nothing about the clues that hinted at the person. For all I knew, there was some Paul Rean out there somewhere I'd never heard of (I already hadn't heard of IVANKA TRUMP — I kept thinking there must be some weird spelling of Ivana I didn't know about). Moreover, there's absolutely nothing these people have in common, aside from initials that happen to make two-letter words. So mark me down as someone who thinks this theme is a SKUNK—it stinks.

Otherwise I liked the fill here, aside from the fact that I consider CHOCOLATY an unfair trick. Lots of solid stuff: LL COOL J, ACID RAIN, TOUCAN, APROPOS (I like that word), HEY YA.

Paul Rean 2:08 PM  

I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, whis is what I am, let's face it . . .

Acme 2:13 PM  

@elle54
You're right, both women are very accomplished... I was stating tho that's how both are Better known...it's Like Bristol Palin, ...actually, it's more the Trump part that rubs me the wrong way. Having just seen the doc "Trumped" about ruining the environment in Scotland. The pileup of Trump, RYAN and BRETT all put me in a bad mood, so i don't think my humor came thru. That'll teach me to try out a word like "spawn"!

@dk, is that the nickel you were referring to? Let's add DROPADIMEON and SACKTHEQUARTERBACK and we've got a puzzle...sorta!

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

@C.Ross World

I bet there isn't!

Tita 2:19 PM  

@gill...understandable confusion...
Cream puffs,éclairs...all the same dough...for that matter, beignets, sonhos, cheese puffs, and the famous Paris-Brest...all made from pâte à choux...
Gotta love such yunny and simple 42 skeyversatility.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

I am from the hills of Tennessee and the puzzle takes me awhile. If I get it 100% then it is not the norm. Ended with "Paul Rean". Boo! Would have gotten it all

ANON B 3:06 PM  

What do you solvers do all the
time? Listen to songs like Heyya
which I never heard of? And so
many of you had Paul Rean at first
when Paul Ryan, the VP nominee, was in the news almost every day
for months.

Julia Child 3:11 PM  

@ANON B...that's an easy one...consider the crossing...
The human brain is so much more willing to process CHOCOLATE eclairs then they are pathetic "choices" who represent not the people but the last gasps of an insular and irrelevant party.

ANON B 3:13 PM  

Apropos my comment the other day:
Why,in a NYTimes xword puzzle,
do more people know Heyya than
Paul Ryan? My guess is that almost
every one knows Paul Ryan and very
few know Heyya.

ANON B 3:27 PM  

@Julia Child@3:11

Is this blog the place for childish political comments?
Why don't you grow up?
And it's "than', not "then".

Let's think this through 3:28 PM  

Nate - I guarantee you that more people know Paul Ryan than Hey Ya. The issue is that they put down CHOCOLATE and thought it correct. They didn't rethink that answer to get at (the much worse CHOCOLATY), but assumed there was a Paul Rean out there that they didn't know. Or, equally as likely, they never noticed it until Rex pointed it out.

C. Ross Word 3:40 PM  

@ANON B

I'm quite sure virtually all the "Paul Rean" people (great suggestion @Lewis: popular wrong answer term; added to the lexicon along with Natick ETAL.) are well aware of Paul Ryan. My guess is that most, like me, never questioned the validity of CHOCOLATe at the cross because it seemed spot-on! LINEN also seemed solid so I actually ran the alphabet to see if I could come up with an alternate Homeland organization! When all else failed: Paul Rean was born!

@Anon 2:16

He just doesn't want us to see it: that's why he's Evil. Most times he says what our worst (or most honest) thoughts may be. Today, IMHO he missed the mark. I'm sure he doesn't care.

chefbea 3:53 PM  

I made chocolate eclairs the other night. Boy were they chocolaty. I think next time I'll use less chocolate.

ileen 4:10 PM  

I got both themes without too much trouble, but felt today's was an easier solve than Tuesday's; I would have liked to have seen them flipped this week. I agree that Sue is a much better name for a chef than STU.

evil doug 4:17 PM  

C. Ross,

1. Not Mensa.

2. I think Joe Biden is a great guy--highly experienced, fine sense of humor, I'd happily share a beer with him. I truly appreciated the way he successfully engaged himself in the recent negotiations with his old friend Mitch McConnell when Harry Reid didn't have the right stuff.

But the whole discussion preceding my comment had to do with tired ad hominem and particularly inaccurate attacks on Paul Ryan's intelligence---let's be honest, not Joe's strong suit---so I decided it was fair game to contrast Ryan with Biden. We all know the majority here have, um, somewhat different political views than my own, and I generally bite my tongue rather than waste this space on meaningless political debates; but occasionally I lose my usually awesome self-control....

3. I prefer 'honest' to 'worst'---but sometimes they're one and the same.

4. Some people (even here!) think there is a nice guy in there---but the nature of this forum isn't necessarily the best place to see it. And you're correct: If I think I'm right, I don't care what anybody else opines about me or my words.

I appreciate your balanced commentary today.

Doug

lawprof 4:34 PM  

We might all agree that CHOCOLATE would be AN appropriate answer to 14D. The question is whether PAULREAN is also correct. The theme clues do not specify that the correct answer must be the most famous person with the relevant initials. I should think that any name of a real person that fits the criterion is also correct. So the issue becomes: Does/did Paul Rean exist?

Turns out he did. On September 3, 1942, a 43-year-old Florida farmer by the name of Paul Ream committed suicide (or so it was reported on the front page of The [St. Petersburg] Evening Independent) the week after he had been drafted into the U.S. Army. Officials surmised he was apprehensive about military service.

(I'm not making this up, contrary to other things I might have said here in the past. A little googling will turn up the story).

So...all of us in the Paul Ream fan club can claim victory today.

John V 4:37 PM  

Not to belabor, but I am in the camp of having never for a moment thinking that CHOCOLATE was wrong. I think, in the end, the clue for CHOCOLATY was a touch ambiguous. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that if so many of the crowd that hang out on this blog got it wrong, there is at least some defect with the clue.

C. Ross Word 4:39 PM  

Thanks Doug, I enjoy your perspective on the many topics discussed in Rex's blog! Keep it up!

Still...think Biden's brighter than credited (despite flaws: loose lips, plagiarism in 1988 etc.).

Best wishes, three and out

sanfranman59 4:41 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Wed 10:43, 11:44, 0.91, 29%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:29, 6:30, 1.00, 45%, Medium

lawprof 4:44 PM  

Sorry, I referred to the man variously as "Rean" and "Ream." His name was, in fact, "Rean." Google Paul Rean St. Petersburg and you'll find the article if you're interested. Sad story.

Bird 4:57 PM  

So . . . is CHOCOLAT?/R?AN a Natick or a Paul Rean?

However, after some thought the éclair clue does contain the word "like" which usually means the answer is an adjective.

Pete 5:08 PM  

@Evil Doug - Of all the preposterous things you've said (and they are legion), that "this forum isn't the best place to see it" referring to you're being a nice guy takes the cake.

Most people here manage to present themselves in a good light, quite possibly a better than reality. The fact that you don't isn't a function of the forum.

Elle54 5:36 PM  

Yes, I agree. Just because we got Paul Ryan wrong, doesn't mean we don't know who he is!
Have a great night, everyone. See you tomorrow!

Z 5:58 PM  

A NATICK is an unfair cross because the answers are trivial, NC WYETH crossing NATICK, MA.

I suggest that a PAUL REAN is an unfair cross where one cross has reasonably better answer than the "right" answer and the other wrong cross looks plausible.

@Evil - My comment wasn't ad hominem - either towards ARNE or RYAN. Based on their actions I've reached a conclusion. Feel free to disagree.

Anonymous 5:59 PM  

@C.Ross Word

"Most times he says what our worst (or most honest) thoughts may be."

Please do not speak for me. I do NOT share those thoughts. Getting attention by attacking others is not how most people function here.

C. Ross Word 6:47 PM  

Sorry,all, for another post but I would like to respond.

Words are important and my use of "our" wasn't meant to include everyone but rather myself and perhaps some others. If I had said "some people's including, at times, my" it would have more accurately described what I was trying to say.

In any case, let me be clear, I was not speaking for @Anonymous 5:59 PM nor any @Anonymous (choose random time).

Four and, this time really, out.

evil doug 6:54 PM  

Kind of like the royal 'our', C. Ross...

And you demonstrate why one should never address the anonymous morons. Or Pete, who has a burr so far up his ass his pet gerbil can't reach it.

Evil

Anonymous 7:40 PM  

I rest my case.

PS- Don't you realize that the 'anonymous morons' you so despise are the same people who kiss your tuchus when they use their "names"?

acme 8:14 PM  

@ANon 1:01 am
thanks for the AVEENO clip, tho frightened it was going to turn into some horrible snuff film at the 15 minute mark!
Also listened to the Acoustic HEYYA that @rex posted. Interesting way to hear the lyrics, but I prefer the crazy happy dance version.

jae 8:30 PM  

A late comment on the infamous "Y". Just did the LAT Wed. with the clue "Like some bagels" (look familiar). Answer = ONIONY.

Sparky 8:57 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sfingi 10:11 PM  

3 Google: BRETT, HEYYA, ARNE; and change CHOCOLATe and iVANKA.

Took a while.

@ACM -Good point on vowels. I like those insights as a card-carrying OCD person.

VP Biden seems pretty sharp as a full-fledged adult, but when he was in law school with Hubster, he was famous for turning in his books untouched. Or maybe he was a genius who picked up everything in class.

Anonymous 10:21 PM  

Paul rean was almost vicy president

Mr. Webster 11:01 PM  

I vote thumbs down on the term "a Paul ReAN".
It's real clever and all, but lord knows, I would much rather both Pauls sink into oblivion. I didn't like the Veep candidate, didn't like him "canonized" in the NYT puz, and def don't want him living on far beyond his natural PR lifetime by us putting him into our little lexicon...

Rex Parker 11:12 PM  

@evil,

You seem to be reading Anonymouses. This is a Huge mistake. Haven't read one in years. Life much better. MUCH better.

If everyone could ignore or at least not respond (in a personal way) to the commenters they really hate, this comments section would be far more readable.

RP

Z 11:13 PM  

John Stewart just made a "Paul Rean" reference.

Miss Manners 11:15 PM  

Wow, talk about your ad-hominem attacks! Pete makes a valid point, and all ED can do is make crude gay illusions? Lovely.

Milford 11:15 PM  

Yes, I just saw that, too!

Rex Parker 11:19 PM  

You all are going to turn me Republican w/ this nonsense. Nobody cares what you think about Paul Rean. Your indignation at his politics is 100% predictable and uninteresting. I don't like him. Didn't vote for him. But this is relevant to the puzzle ... not at all.

As for whether he should be in the puzzle—IDI AMIN is in the damned puzzle all the time. WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE? (A: non-existent, as it should be)

rp

Rex Parker 11:21 PM  

What's wrong with gay illusions?

3 and Out!
rp

Miss Manners 12:13 AM  

It's only crude gay illusions that I object to.

Milford 12:16 AM  

The Jon Stewart reference, that is.

sanfranman59 12:47 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 5:45, 6:12, 0.93, 17%, Easy
Tue 8:31, 8:37, 0.99, 46%, Medium
Wed 10:47, 11:44, 0.92, 30%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:41, 3:39, 1.01, 54%, Medium
Tue 5:04, 5:01, 1.01, 54%, Medium
Wed 6:22, 6:29, 0.98, 43%, Medium

evil doug 3:43 AM  

"You seem to be reading Anonymouses. This is a Huge mistake. Haven't read one in years. Life much better. MUCH better."

Precisely my advice to C. Ross, Michael.

Gay Aleutians?

Evil

Doc John 9:20 PM  

I just wonder if corporate-wise, there is an actual substance called chocolaty (or chocolatey) which conveys chocolate ness without actually having to be chocolate.

Spacecraft 10:43 AM  

Gosh, so much fuss about the ReAN/RYAN thing. Yeah, I saw it, rejected "Rean," figured it had to be RYAN, changed my E to a Y and moved on. CHOCOLATY is OK BYME.

My own near-Natick resulted from a misspelling of LeILAALI, which left me with the D-Kong E_E across the Facebook I_O. I thought, surely the "event" must have been their IPO...but what's an EPE? You wouldn't believe how long I STU'ed about that before finally realizing my mistake. DUH!!

This guy Fagliano really likes to throw unusual letter combos at you. The triple YOs, double BOs, double A's in names (I thought that was part of the theme there, for a moment), and LLCOOLJ, one of only two rappers I even acknowledge (Ice-T) creating a __JN ending. Only one way that can go: the Dutch master. Filled that baby in without ever looking at the clue. Then the perfectly ordinary word that has plenty of crunchy letters: SKUNK.

This one was made a little tougher with some great clues, such as for 1- and 46-d. Enjoyable solve.

I took "In person" to be a bleedover from IN [NO hyphen, please!] CROWD. Didn't bother me.

rain forest 1:33 PM  

"I love Bosco, it's rich and chocolaty..." Many eclairs are chocolaty, too. Paul Ryan is rich, but not chocolaty--just a horrible little man. Bit of an offbeat theme here, but overall the puzzle was refreshing.

DMGrandma 2:28 PM  

I am, of course, a member of the ReAN club. Yes, it looked odd, but there was a lot in this puzzle I had to take "on faith". A four letter school ending in "a"-try IOWA. Donkey Kong? Thought that was some kind of game, but apparently it is an APE. HEYYA crossing BRETT? Real opportunity for an error. LAILAALI, really? And so it went. I feel lucky to have emerged with just the one "bad" letter.

Now off to look up the Oxford comma cited by someone above and see if it solves my problem of whether to put punctuation inside or out of quotation marks. I use outside, but think that is more English (my roots) than American. Maybe someone can set me straight?

DMGrandma 3:06 PM  

Well, the Oxford comma is that one before the "and" when listing a series. Taught to use it in grammar school, I stick with it, though I understand it has gone out of favor. I actually looked up the other stuff, and it turn out I punctuate the British (specified as separate from English in my source) way. It appears that both ways are acceptable, each more so to certain groups of "purists", so I'll stick with what I'm used to. Cheerio!

Waxy in Montreal 3:08 PM  

Yeah, the REAN & BRITT (HIYYA) perfecta for me too.

Note to self - add LLCOOLJ to the LLAMA, LLANO, LLOYD, LLEWELYN lline-up.



Nick G. in San Diego 3:39 PM  

The theme clues were more than arcane. Words for an-(un-? non-?)acronymous initials are more than ambiguous; they are misleading, and there is not the slightest relationship among these persons, non even their humanity, since Mr. Ryan seems to lack any.

Dirigonzo 4:49 PM  

I had IVANKATRUMP in the grid withour understanding why she was an It girl - it troubles me that I know the Trump family tree well enough to fill in their names without knowing why. Anyway, apparently I am the only one here who picked up on the theme when PAULRYAN appeared; the clue made it obvious that it was the initials, not the definition, that was the key. Then Ivanka made sense and the rest of the grid fell easily.

Anonyrat 8:34 AM  

No more than medium, at worst, for me. Closest thing to a potential Natick was the spaghetti sauce, which I thought was RAGo at first, crossing some French partial I've never heard in my life. Ultimately decided RAGU was more probable, and was correct.
Nobody, other than Acme (partially), seems to have caught on to the mini-theme of all the answers with double letters in them - there are a dozen - not just Os and Ys - also As, Es, Ts, Ls, Fs and Bs.
Props for the shout out to UCLA - Go Bruins!!
Also appreciated the reminder that "Hey Ya" was by OutKast - can never remember their name - I just remember them as the group that Andre 3000 was in.
Apparently, this comment section is dominated by seriously hardcore Democrats. I am absolutely flabbergasted by the number of people who didn't know Paul Ryan. I don't give a rat's patoot about politics, and am not a Republican, but even I was pretty sure he was the Republican VP candidate in the election we had a couple of months ago, and that his last name wasn't Rean. On the other hand, nobody's bitching about Arne Duncan, whom I've never heard of. Needed every cross for that sucker. And normally, if I had admitted that, I would be excoriated with: 'Try reading a newspaper once in a while, you Philistine.' But y'all don't know the Republican VP candidate in the election that just happened?!! Sheesh. Try reading a bumper sticker, at least.
@ Nancy 9:28 AM - Me too. Newton was outlier, since all the others are all contemporary folk. Had I_A___NEWTON and was wondering if there was some rapper/actress named Inane Newton ;-). Don't judge. Stranger things have happened. Was listening to NPR the other day and they had some report from East Jackson, Mississippi, and the woman who was the subject of the story mentioned her two year old daughter, Lunesta. Seriously? You named your kid after a sleeping pill? That poor child. For the rest of her life, whenever she doesn't seem to be paying full attention, people are going to yell at her "Wake up!"
Re the raging Sue vs. STU controversy - What do you call a guy with no arms or legs in a Jacuzzi? Stew (or Stu?)!
@ evil doug 4:17 PM - You go Do(u)g! Mostly I bite my tongue about the ultra "liberalism" on this blog, but today is just over the top. Really makes me wish there was an alternative that was more representative of the population as a whole.
@ lawprof 4:34 PM - Just what a lawyer would say! I always wondered why people hated lawyers. Then, one boring day in Real Property, I looked around the class and realized that 80 percent of the people in the class were TOTAL @$$holes. Then the light came on ...
@ Pete 5:08 PM - ED is obviously a jokester/smartass who likes to deliberately make comments that will either amuse or offend their reader, depending on their bent and/or IQ. The fact that most folks here are usually offended IS a function of the forum insofar as it appears to inhabited primarily by ultra-liberals, who for some reason seem to have no sense of humor whatsoever.
@ evil doug 6:54 PM - Nice Lemmiwinks reference!
@ Miss Manners - It's "allusions," not "illusions." Get off your high horse and get literate. Typical ignorant pompous facist "liberal."
Sorry for the rant, but reading some of these comments both made me fear for the future of this country and irritated the crap out of me.

Paul Rean 9:31 AM  

Sorry I'm late. Have there been any messages for me?

Texas Syndy Solver 3:10 PM  

@Anonyrat - AMEN AMEN
The only thing I can add is the frustration of reading the complaints about current events and rappers when the same people are overjoyed with Shakespeare, opera or foreign language clues. Maybe I am just not "refined" enough for the NYT.

Z 8:17 PM  

@Anonyrat - Your rant would be even better if you hadn't totally misunderstood the reason people erred with Paul ReAN. CHOCOLATE is arguably better than CHOCOLATY and PAUL REAN could be somebody. @RP mentions it in his blog. Many people mention it. Apparently you were too busy being upset to actually grok what people were saying.

BTW - I'm not a democrat, too conservative for my tastes, nor am I a republican, too pro big government for my tastes, but I got PAUL RYAN right.

Anonyrat 5:45 AM  

@ Z - I actually did get that. In a vacuum, CHOCOLATe is better than CHOCOLATY, but CHOCOLATY is so far more plausible than ReAN that the latter never even crossed my mind. (As a couple of people mentioned, Paul Rean isn't "anybody" - apparently, there was a farmer of that name who, 70 years ago, "dodged" the draft by intentionally not dodging a bullet - hardly puzzle worthy). And I wasn't upset as much as annoyed after reading the 397th post gleefully admitting their error as a way of indirectly bashing the Republicans. It's not that I mind a little Republican (or Democrat) bashing every now and then - just not here. I come here for discussion of the puzzle. Can't we just stick to that? Save the political flag-waving for another more appropriate context.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP