Ancient region central Italy / THU 6-1-17 / Universal life force / Theater pioneer Marcus / Folly to be wise / Liberty Tree / El Orinoco / Actress Barbeau Swamp Thing / Composer Copland / Calder Cup / Buttermilk Sky / Kentaro / Escape route Casablanca

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Constructor: Derek Bowman and Sarah Keller

Relative difficulty: Average, with a Thursday gimmick



THEME: The World, orbiting The Sun — The World, indicated in the circled squares in the four quadrants of the grid, orbits The Sun, indicated in a rebus square in the center. The Sun also has lovely rays extending out into the grid.

RIP

Word of the Day: FALUN Gong (23A: ___ Gong [Chinese spiritual practice]) —
Falun Gong /ˈfɑːlnˈɡʊŋ/ or Falun Dafa /ˈfɑːlnˈdɑːfɑː/ (Standard Mandarin Chinese: [fàlwə̂n tâfà]; literally, "Dharma Wheel Practice" or "Law Wheel Practice") is a Chinese spiritual practice that combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centered on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance (Chinese: 真、善、忍). The practice emphasizes morality and the cultivation of virtue, and identifies as a qigong practice of the Buddhist school, though its teachings also incorporate elements drawn from Taoist traditions. Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to eliminate attachments, and ultimately to achieve spiritual enlightenment. [...] On 20 July 1999, the Communist Party leadership initiated a nationwide crackdown and multifaceted propaganda campaign intended to eradicate the practice. It blocked Internet access to websites that mention Falun Gong, and in October 1999 it declared Falun Gong a "heretical organization" that threatened social stability. Falun Gong practitioners in China are reportedly subject to a wide range of human rights abuses: hundreds of thousands are estimated to have been imprisoned extrajudicially, and practitioners in detention are subject to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of thought reform at the hands of Chinese authorities. As of 2009, human rights groups estimated that at least 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners had died as a result of abuse in custody. Some observers put the number much higher, and report that tens of thousands may have been killed to supply China's organ transplant industry. In the years since the persecution began, Falun Gong practitioners have become active in advocating for greater human rights in China. (Wikipedia)
• • •
Laura here -- I'm back again, and I get to blog a woman constructor! (Or co-constructor, at least.) Did you know that so far in 2017, only 13% of New York Times puzzles have been constructed by women? That's on track to be the lowest percentage ever. Why so few? Editors, constructors, bloggers, and journalists have offered explanations: crossword constructing is more techy now (eye-roll), more women used to construct as a hobby and now they have real jobs and don't have time (larger and more dramatic eye-roll), or perhaps there's systemic and/or unconscious bias in the culture (eyebrow raise). Are you a woman or female-identified solver reading this blog and interested in constructing puzzles? I can't claim to be an expert, but I'm learning, and I'd love to learn with you. Send me a tweet or ask Rex to forward an email -- maybe we can work together on breaking what I've decided to call the Newsprint Ceiling.

Oh yeah, the puzzle: I liked it very much. I knew something was up, likely rebus-wise, when I couldn't fit SUNSET into 35A (Cowboys may ride off into it). Got the northeast right away with BATHTOY (14A: Rubber ducky, e.g.) crossing STUART (9D: Little of children's literature), noted that the circled letters spelled out THE WORLD and also that they made a little circle. Went to the southeast next, noted that we had another THE WORLD but that it was oriented differently, then orbited the sun clockwise and finished up in the northwest with ETRURIA (15A: Ancient region of central Italy) and ADRIENNE (2D: Actress Barbeau of the cult classic "Swamp Thing"). Did you notice that the letters of THE WORLDs aren't just randomly placed?


In each quadrant, THE WORLD is oriented differently; in the NE, it begins at noon and goes counterclockwise; SE, at 3pm; SW, at 6pm; and NW, at 9pm. Cool and lovely -- but I am a greedy solver and wanted more. I saw AARON (6D: Composer Copland) in the NE and thought, "Appalachian Spring"? Maybe each quadrant alludes to a season? Or did ETRURIA indicate something about which hemisphere faces the sun at whatever point? But nah. The fill was fill, however decent.

I live near the Appalachian Trail, where it is finally Spring


Bullets:
  • 55A: Part of the escape route in "Casablanca" (ORAN) — I have seen Casablanca eleventy-godzillion times. Thought I had the script by heart. And I needed all the crosses to get this -- since it turns out that I have every bit of dialogue memorized except the escape route narration by the movie announcer guy in the opening credits. "I was misinformed."
  • 40D: Jack of "Barney Miller" (SOO)Barney Miller was a 1970s sitcom about NYPD detectives. Jack Soo, born Goro Suzuki, was interned imprisoned at the Topaz War Relocation Center Concentration Camp during WWII and acted for years on Broadway and in films and television, usually playing stock Asian characters. Detective Nick Yemana on Barney Miller was his last (and best) role until his death from cancer in 1979.
    Jack Soo, 1917-1979 (on far right)
  • 44D: Detective whose first name is Kentaro (MR MOTO) — Mr Moto was a recurring character in stories and novels by John Marquand from the 1930s through the 1950s. In eight movies produced in the 1940s, he was played by Hungarian-American actor Peter Lorre (whom you might also remember from Casablanca).
  • 64A: Cartoonist's aide (INKER) — This was clued back in January as "Comics artist," which is far more accurate. Let's not demote our INKERs! Inking isn't something your assistant does to help; it is an integral part of the collaborative art of comics production. There's even an Eisner Awards category for inking.
Thanks to Rex for giving me another guest-posting opportunity this week, and I hope to see you all again soon.

Signed, Laura Braunstein, Sorceress of CrossWorld

[Follow Laura on Twitter]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

148 comments:

adrienne chi medians 1:43 AM  

Loved the puzzle... And I loved there was no circle for the sun rebus in the middle.
I had one of those synchronicitous moments where as I was solving (I thought it was going to be AROUND THE WORLD) the France24 news in the background said "Our reporters from AROUND THE WORLD, just as I was writing in THEWORLD in a lower corner!

Very clever.
But I held my breath bec I have an upcoming Sunday puzzle that I've been working on with Pete Muller for SEVEN years and it was just accepted after finally being submitted last week... Now I'm sure people will think we got the idea from this!

But this was nice, unique and well done. And I was pleased by the Minneapolis mention, even tho it was only for ESE!

That sun so beautifully in the middle with THEWORLD revolving around it. I just now realized it's the same world, ours, not four different ones! I was thinking oh! I didn't realize all these other worlds also revolved around the sun!

Then again, science ain't my strong suit!
;)
Speaking of which, I'm a female solver/constructor with many many opinions why there are so few women writing/being published, but too tired to get into it all again.
Suffice to say I think a lot has to do with wyounger women not seeking this out as something to do, for myriad reasons reflecting society at large.

As a '70's and '80's feminist, still facing identical issues that we were fighting for and commenting on 30 years ago!!! The fact there even has to be marches for women in this day and age is one of the most frustrating of all things I've seen (Love the signs tho!!!).

But I'd very much like to see this space be used for commenting on the puzzle and fun memories it may evoke (I'm still trying to figure out that Monty Hall thing you linked to two days ago! ZONK!)

Re: your interest in constructing, very very happy to help in anyway I can! And yes, we've had some actual publications borne from comments on this blog! I'm looking at you, Ms Muse!
(Never mind puzzle construction, I'd love to see her publish a memoir culled entirely from her blog comments! For sure huge bestseller!)

CDilly52 2:16 AM  

Fun, fun, fun! Some clever clues for TERMITES, SCALDED and some tougher obscure words: FALUN, ETRURIA. But this type mixture of theme, clever plays on words and even "crosswordy" places etc. is why i adore puzzles! Have to admit, however, that solving on my phone at this hour made me miss the "revolving world" because I can barely see the circles and the solve went quickly. Very satisfactory and a woman constructor to boot. Happy Thursday everyone!

Larry Gilstrap 2:30 AM  

June is bustin' out all over, but in coastal Southern California the typical weather is June Gloom and this puzzle offered the only SUN I saw today. I caught on to theme early on and used it to facilitate the solve. Not going to get all astronomical here about the orientation of THE WORLD, or should it have been Earth instead, or some of the other planets, I got my money's worth. Nice experience!

I guess that MEDIAN is the middle of the road, both figuratively and literally. There's nothing middling about ADRIENNE Barbeau. Can I say that? She was very popular as Maude's daughter in the 70s, and has had a diverse and successful professional career, according to my phone.

FALUN Gong is a new one for me. It has a way to go before it reaches the frequency of yesterday's General TSO. One more nit: LITHE needs a superlative comparative form to be used in what situation? Of the two gymnasts she is LITHEr, but, boy, that one is the LITHEST in the whole gym. And, it's crossing EASIEST.

Happy trails!





tkincher 3:04 AM  

ADORERS is a pretty ugh word. Several entries were just not things I know at all (LOEW, RITTS, MR MOTO) so I struggled with the west half. Outside of those major snags, I enjoyed this one.

chefwen 3:18 AM  

Thanks @Larry G. I was trying to remember where I knew Adrienne Babeau from, but it wasn't coming to me, you saved me a Google.

I know I haven't suddenly gotten smarter, but this week has seemed a little too easy for me, I'm sure I'll retract that tomorrow. Got the WORLD thing in the upper left and just filled the rest of them in with the letters already in place. THE (SUN) SET was a gimme.

One write over at 8D NHL before AHL, not up on my Hockey teams.

We have a friend who had a very blond haired little boy. My husband said to her "what a cute little TOWHEAD". She got extremely offended. Apparently she hadn't heard of that before (huh?) and thought he was calling her child a toe HEAD and demanded an explanation.
ALA @Loren, SHEESH,

chefwen 3:20 AM  

Sorry Adrienne, I missed an R in your last name.

Robin 3:34 AM  

Some of us also remember ADRIENNE Barbeau from "Escape from New York" and "Swamp Thing". It may depend on your age. Maude was over my head the few times I tried to watch it back in the day.

Agree on some of the comments above about clueing/answers. Yay, TERMITES. Big boooo on ADORERS. Also, ASASON?

Places that gave me trouble were in entering WOO rather than SOO, and OCCLUDE rather than SECLUDE.

Finished in average-ish time.

jae 3:34 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 3:38 AM  

Medium for me too.

Hesitated at STIFF (considered STUFF just for the extra U - hi M@A) and the L in LIES UNDER (FALUN was a bit iffy) and I'm still working on making sense out of "Opposite of covers."

Pretty good Thurs., liked it.

Mr. Fitch 3:54 AM  

It's a clever little gimmick, with "the world" ("the earth," really, is the astronomical term; nobody ever says the world orbits the sun) rotating as it revolves around the central sun. Yet the earth's orbit is a non-circular ellipse, so the puzzle doesn't accurately portray its shape. Doing so would probably be pretty hard, if not impossible. Also, the puzzle requires you to see the four "world"s as four separate instances of the same thing, yet "world" is inspecific enough that you could easily conceptualize four different worlds orbiting the sun.

There was some bad fill here too. Etruria? C'mon. That feels like a crutch--lots of common letters in a relatively obscure place name. I'm no fan of Adorers. And Ritts and Oran can go back to from where they came.

Other than that, it was fairly enjoyable. About average, I'd say, although solving time for me was shorter than usual.

Moly Shu 5:26 AM  

I'm sure the reason for the low percentage of women having appeared as NYT crossword constructors is that all of us men are chauvinistic misogynists. I know I am. Well, except for @Rex, he's just a swell guy and a feminist too.
If being called names gets me the Black Hole Sun video, fire away, I'll take the trade off any day.
ETRURIA FALUN and ORAN??? Now there's your obscure trifecta. Thought this was gonna be some kind of "around the world" gimmick as I got the outer parts finished and noticed the circles. The SUN was last to fall and gave me a nice aha moment. Liked it.

Thomaso808 5:32 AM  

Unlike @chefwen, THE(SUN)SET was not a gimme for me because I encountered no rebus in any quadrant and therefore did not expect any. I solved every quadrant before finally seeing the rebus, which was a pretty cool way of finishing out the puzzle! This may be noted by others before this is posted, but the puzzle layout has a nice pattern of radiating arms from the center SUN.

BarbieBarbie 5:58 AM  

I loved Mo and SEC.
It was clever to position the world in an orbit. If you look at the black and white grid with your eyes crossed, it's even elliptical. I especially liked having the same side face the sun all the time, making ng that side go OW OW OW OW. Missed the sun's rays until Laura pointed them out-very nice. I agree, the uncircled rebus in the middle was the cherry on top.
Medium solve for me. Very satisfying.
No idea why more women don't construct. Maybe because construction takes a lot of time, is never a person's day job, and many women already have two jobs? Get more men involved in housework and the situation may resolve. YESSSS, another reason!
These Kapchas are pretty loosey-goosey.

Hungry Mother 6:16 AM  

Average here too. I tried some Tai CHI this winter in Naples to make another attempt to master CHI running. The setting in the Botanical Garden was beautiful. I love rebuses.

e.a. 6:26 AM  

@Moly Shu who called you names

evil doug 6:35 AM  

"Shut up," he explained.

Lewis 6:38 AM  

I loved the solve, with the four THE_WORLDs helping greatly. (After filling in one and part of another, I figured all four would be the same, and just one letter in the remaining circles enabled me to fill them in.) I loved the clues for DAUGHTER and HEALS. MRMOTO and FALUN popped out from the fallow zone in my brain.

But I still don't grok the theme. If it were THE EARTH in those circles, then it would be a nice visual of a revolving Earth circling the sun. But the world doesn't circle the sun; that's as inaccurate, I believe, as saying the world circulates around Earth (something Copernicus set us straight on). I guess I'm to believe that the earth is our world for this puzzle.

Nonetheless this puzzle brought a very nice aha when I saw the SUN rebus, and the solve was tough and satisfying. It would be accurate, IMO, to call this puzzle revolutionary.

Lewis 6:40 AM  

@acme -- Glad you suggested that Muse write that book; I've told her the same. Now maybe, Ms. Loren, you'll get on it!

Tom4 7:05 AM  

Excellent. Though could someone explain to me Mo and SEC? Thanks!

Anonymous 7:07 AM  

Kathy Griffin, Eric Clanton.

Moly Shu 7:10 AM  

I did.

Lewis 7:12 AM  

Maybe what I was trying to say is that the theme has a certain je ne sais quoi covfefe quality about it.

kitshef 7:14 AM  

Played hard here. Completely not on the constructors’ wavelength today.

NW was the hardest, with tiNtIn before DENNIS, ETRURIA a WoE, and SAD LOTS needed every cross.

And I fully expected to come here and find out I’d missed the point on the theme, but it turns out there really isn’t one.

Rita Flynn 7:19 AM  

@tom4
"I'll be with you in a MO" = "Yeah, give me a SEC."

Joseph Welling 7:27 AM  

The only planet tidally locked to the sun is Mercury. So THE WORLD is Mercury?

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

So easy. Has no one heard of the soap opera 'As the World Turns'?

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

Ken Jennings voted for Hilliarly.

Anonymous 7:55 AM  

Shortened forms of small time spans. Mo(ment) Sec(ond)

Anonymous 8:03 AM  

Remember the outrage when Ken Jennings called Condaleeza Rice a lesbian? Me neither.

r.alphbunker 8:10 AM  

Just learned that if a day is defined to be the time for a planet to make one complete turn on its axis and a year is defined to be the time for a planet to revolve once around the sun, then a day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus. See https://www.wimp.com/why-a-day-is-longer-than-a-year-on-venus/

Progress in the NW was slowed by
5D. {Leave nothing behind?} STRIP-->STIFF

Details are here

chefbea 8:12 AM  

Fun puzzle...got the sun set right away!! I remember Adrienne Barbeau from Maude...played by Be a Auther........speaking of which I noticed another Be a showed up the other day in the comments

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

Astronomy buffs will have noticed that THEWORLD always has the same side facing the SUN (the W, O squares). Hence this can't be the earth. OTOH, how else was the composer supposed to suggest a turning world?

Gerry W

Tita A 8:34 AM  

Are we all sure there is no significance to the 3 letters inside THEWORLDs? I kept hoping there was, and was all ready to do a "duh" when I came here to be enlightened.
This was fun, and being a lifelong budding astronomer, really liked the idea. I just think it's too obvious and too easy for a Thursday.
(Though at xwordinfo, Ms. Keller calls it an *astrology* theme... ? I'm hoping that was just an autocorrect. Not that I'm an astronomy snob (I am), but given a choice I would go with science-as-theme over not science.

Besides, astrology always struck me as decidedly geocentric, in fact, anthropocentric, not the heliocentric depiction illustrated here.

Thanks, DB and SK, for a though-provoking puzzle.

Mr. B 8:36 AM  

Once I got the THE WORLD trick revolving around THESUNSET... the rest of the puzzle was easy breezy.
Set a new personal Thu record. My early hang-up was entering ETRUscA for the ancient Italian region - cuz I've heard of the Etruscans. Wanted SADsack above it too... but that didn't work. Only WOE and unknown to me is FALUN gong...but crosses fit easy enough.
Thanks Mr. Bowman & Ms. Keller...although you'll never catch me saying "LITHEST"...
Good Night and Good Morning


Nancy 8:38 AM  

Oh, so thats what all those highly annoying tiny little circles were about. Yawn. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate tiny little circles?) And then there was the rebus. Yawn. I found myself saying: Is that all there is? One reeb? Not to mention the fill. Chock-full of 3-letter words, abbrevs. and utterly forgettable pop people I don't know. I didn't like anything about this puzzle. Except for SNOOPY of course. He's a pop pup, but he's also timeless.

Nancy 8:48 AM  

I just realized that I had a double DNF. ETRULIA crossing TOLO (I don't blow any snow, so how should I have known?) and CEnTS crossing nIO (cashiers always have rolls of pennies and I thought NIO was some sort of car I never heard of). Anyway, yawn to my DNFs, too.

Frayed Knot 8:51 AM  

ORAN was mentioned several times in 'Casablanca', it was on the train to there (or was it from?) that the couriers carrying the "letters of transit" were murdered and the letters stolen, thus setting off much of the plot line.

Mr. Benson 8:51 AM  

I'm glad there was a guest blogger today because I had a sense that Rex would find some silly reason not to like this one. I'm not sure where he'd find fault but maybe he'd say there were not enough WORLDs, or he didn't like "THE" being part of the solution, or he thought it should be Earth and not WORLD, or he didn't like SUN referring to the star in the across but not the down, or he disliked ORES over BLTS, or he found the heliocentric model repressive or part of the wrong "cultural center of gravity" (gag), or some such noise.

This was a fine Thursday.

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

Suprised to see so many positive comments! Liked the gimmick fine, but this was a SLOG for me -- Haven't been solving for that long, and even with the gimmes from "The World" couldn't get a rhythm going. Lots felt forced and stale.

Two Ponies 8:55 AM  

Puzzle was clever.
As for the write-up...
it's annoying when off-topic tangents interfere
with the discussion, even more so when it dominates our puzzle review.
Not enough lady constructors? Judge the quality not the gender. Should we lower the bar just so we can say we have enough female puzzle builders?
Feminism is destroying our society.
Editing history to suit your ideas of political
correctness is self-delusional. You don't like the name of that camp? Let's change the name and pretend it never happened. That will make it all better and you can sit in your "safe place" and suck your thumb.
If you want to discuss current events or recipes start your own blog.

David Schinnerer 9:22 AM  

Thought this was a really good puzzle. I love it when I pass through the first time, have no idea to an answer, then, bit by bit it falls into place. Thursday's are definitely my favorite day for that reason.

Nice review, Laura. I'm sure the "King of Snark" would have found fault all over this somehow. Like "why didn't they use 'the earth' instead of 'the world'?" Or some other nonsense.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

ADRIENNE Barbeau (2D) and her Lamborghini Countach played an important role in Cannonball Run. Very important. Two important roles, actually. (*)(*)

Signed,

Boys of the 1980s.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

@Laura,

Newsprint ceiling? C'mon. There's been a decline in puzzles from women, not some sort of institutional bias or impediment created by the powers that be. And female identified? Please.
I used to think of you as a pleasant respite from Rex.

South Jersey Anon

RooMonster 9:41 AM  

Hey there @Miss ACM 1:43... :-)
I honestly don't think the problem stems from not getting puzs accepted just because of gender. Will publishes what he likes, and what he thinks his rather large solving base wants. This from a male wanna-be constructor who has never had a Yes from all the puzs I've submitted.

I always think yours are good! :-)

RooMonster

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Identity politics. ZZZZ.

Gareth Bain 9:41 AM  

FYI, the LA Times is by two dames, Zhouqin and Agnes, today and is quite fab!

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Very refreshing two-day break from having to wade through all of Rex's venom. Need more guest reviewers - at least we have next Monday to look forward to as well. Does anyone really, really care what percentage of NYT puzzles are constucted by men, women, transgenders, caucasians, african americans, africans, mexicans, asians, tall people, short people, blondes, brunettes, redheads . . . ?

QuasiMojo 9:50 AM  

Who can forget Adrienne Barbeau in THE FOG? I think she was married to George Romero at the time. Wonderful screen presence... :)

I loved Jack SOO in "Flower Drum Song."

"I got the world on a string..." -- I did not see the spinning ORB theme at all. But I managed to fill the entire puzzle in without any difficulty.

It seems to me that anyone with a decent high school or college education would have heard of Etruria. At least in my day. Don't they teach the history of ancient civilizations anymore?

Speaking of which, I thought the clueing for that was a bit off. "Ancient region of central Italy" -- shouldn't that be "ancient region of what is now Italy?" Italy was not a country or a place back when Etruria existed. According to Wikipedia, "The name Italia was... not applied to the entire peninsula (now under Roman rule) until the 1st century BC." The Etruscans flourished circa 800 BC.

Okay, I'm being too nit-picky. I know. But I expect the NYT puzzle to be a bit more on the ball.

FALUN Gong has been very much in the news lately.

I used to think that ADORATION OF THE MAGI was about people admiring the three kings, not them adoring the baby Jesu.

Great to see Herb Ritts in the puzzle but I did think that was an outlier today. He did shoot some of the "lithest" people though. Great artist.

Sir Hillary 9:54 AM  

I found this harder than a normal Thursday, but ultimately quite satisfying. Having the THEWORLD both rotate and revolve was pretty cool.

Fill could be pretty sketchy (ASASON, AHL, HORSY, WEGO) or -- to me, at least -- obscure (ORAN, ETRURIA) but overall the good won out.

Last row describes Charles Schulz.

mathgent 9:56 AM  

I'm joining @Nancy in being unenchanted. Twenty Terrible Threes for one thing. The token rebus square. Dull cluing.

It had decent crunch, however. Being able to fill in THEWORLD four times certainly helped.

Stanley Hudson 9:57 AM  

Good write-up Laura. Especially interesting to see how your rather innocuous remarks on the dearth of female constructors raises the hackles of a number of male snowflakes.

Kodak Jenkins 9:58 AM  

I liked this puzzle, partly because it was the easiest Thursday I've ever done!

but SEC for "Mo"? Really? It crossed my mind that "mo" might be short for moment but since I've never ever ever heard that in 46 years of life...Nah!

ADORERS was a stretch but I don't hate it. "Oh come let us adore him..."

HEALS also a stretch for "makes sound" which caused me to try to force PEALS in with PERO...almost not quite.

Thanks for all the Adrienne Barbeau flashbacks. I had forgotten about her Cannonball Run

It's too bad politics and trolling have to rear their ugly heads even here on a rather pleasant crossword comments section but Ms. Braunstein set out rather a lot of bait...

blogger on icedaniel.se 10:03 AM  

Soundgarden, a really like it. Godd choise.

Mr. Right 10:09 AM  

The word "world" almost always means "the Earth." Using it any other way is not wrong, of course, but not generally used correctly.

Nate 10:11 AM  

It seems people liked this puzzle, so I won't waste too much time raining on anyone's parade. I got THE WORLD gimmick but not the SUN rebus. Have I mentioned that I hate rebuses? I NEVER see them until they're pointed out in the recap.

Also, this puzzle skewed extremely old, at least to me. How many pop cultural references from pre-1970 need to be jammed into a puzzle? Blarg.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

@Stanley,

I hope you're not calling me a snowflake. I'm neither wounded nor afraid of @Laura's comments. I do however think the idea that one can choose his or her gender is absurd. I also think her comment about a newprint ceiling is ill-informed.
I may wrong, but nothing in comment-either in tone or text-- warranted an ad hominem like snowflake
You cannot say the same. Not only is your ideology unmasked, so too your poor manners.'

Anon South Jersey

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

I would be highly insulted by comparing the murder of millions in concentration camps to the mistaken internment at a time of national crisis!!! The liberal redefinition of history to suit their warped agenda.

hankster65 10:30 AM  

LOL! By the way, how long do you think it will be until that "word" actually shows up in a crossword?

Hartley70 10:41 AM  

And another one bites the dust....just as I was beginning to enjoy his or her posts. You can only hide the crazy for so long, I guess.

This was a nice follow-up to yesterday's puzzle, but the cuteness of Wednesday's hook and line wins for me over the sinker of the sun today. They both abound in visuals however, and that always entertains me.

I wasn't at all perturbed by WORLD being used instead of Earth. The Earth and the WORLD can serve as synonyms in my WORLD. Oops, I'm seeing the problem, but I choose to overlook it. SADLOTS seemed awkward to me, SADsacks would be my choice. I liked the clues for the FDA/DAUGHTER cross. I didn't know MRMOTO'S first name, but pleased I remembered Herb RITT.

One rebus is way better than none and the little annoying circles didn't cheese me off today. Circles in a circle are easier to see on a mobile device. I'll call this a success!

JFe 10:42 AM  

@laura
Great write-up!

hankster65 10:42 AM  

Loved this one. (As I do all that I successfully finish!) I stumbled over SUN until it occurred to me that this is Thursday. Duh! Also, struggled with HORSY. Where's the E? Sure seemed like it should have had one.

puzzlehoarder 10:43 AM  

The NW corner filled in very quickly. This really didn't help much with the theme. It could have simply had an "around" focus with THE BLOCK being an obvious alternative. Between the RITTS/SOO pairing and the unexpected single rebus the puzzle showed some grit in the center. Oddly I got the rebus off the down entry. I think I just found that clue more intriguing. I was sure of the L in 23A even though I remembered the word as "Falon." I filled in the NE with out help from the theme. The SE is where the theme helped the most. In the Sw I put it in clockwise off the W of WOE. This cost some time erasing but still probably sped things up. Over all this was a big step up from yesterday's "dam" fish puzzle.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Good job, Trump, now no one will have health care. Dumb ass.

Mohair Sam 10:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohair Sam 10:50 AM  

@Quasimojo - "Don't they teach the history of ancient civilizations anymore?" Apparently not.

@Frayed Knot (and all other "Casablanca" fans) - There were no "Letters of Transit" in Morocco in World War II. The entire movie is based on a lie, round up the usual suspects.

Jack SOO was funny as hell in "Barney Miller", master of the dead pan. SOO, Barbeau, MR. MOTO, DENNIS the Menace, Casablanca, STUART Little - did this puppy skew old or what? RERUNS indeed.

Liked the clues for SEC and DAUGHTER a lot.

Charles in Austin 11:04 AM  

RATIONALE:

In each corner, a RAY of the SUN doubles as a HORIZON line. As the WORLD turns CCW, the WORLD is just about to go below the horizon, starting with the letter W.

The theme of the puzzle is THE SUNSET.

A bit hard to see, but lovely.

kitshef 11:14 AM  

As no one else has mentioned this in the ADRIENNE Barbeau retrospective, she also was in Creepshow, playing an unpleasant character very convincingly.

jb129 11:34 AM  

Liked this a lot - thank you for Adrienne (Barbeau) - was stymied by Female Issue but finally got it as Daughter. Fun.

GILL I. 11:35 AM  

I'll put this in another cute puzzle that could have gone in the Wed. slot.
My two favorite "A whole bunch" answers: RAFTS and OODLES. Hey you could probably do a WHOLE ENCHILADA crossword with gobs, plethora, legion, bunches, scads and wads.
I did love this concept, though. I like WORLD better that earth circling THE SUN SET. DENNIS and SNOOPY, BITER and TERMITE, ADRIENNE the DAUGHTER of Maude Fun stuff.
Anyone even remotely interested in constructing - take up ACME's offer. We bandied about one with the catch-phrase "Knows One's Onions." It had been coined by another constructor but we tried some other varieties: WALLA WALLA, BERMUDA, BUFFALO, EBENEZER, YELLOW, WHITE, LEEKS...well, you get the idea. She's a good teacher; stern, but fair and funny. I'd do it again but my husband's health issues pretty much take up my entire time. That and my puppies...Oh, and don't forget @George B. I had an incredible time working with him on a crossword dedicated to my son's birthday. He has it framed.
Thanks DB and SK....

MaharajaMack 11:41 AM  

Proof that feminism is destroying our society? It's nearly doubling the length of pithy crossword blog posts. So much for that cancer cure I was working on last night.

Carola 11:44 AM  

@Laura, thank you for your review, which helped me to appreciate the puzzle more. I hadn't noticed the WORLD's precise quarterly turns nor the SUN's rays.

I"d give the puzzle a "medium." I happened to know ETRURIA, FALUN, and ORAN but not ADRIENNE, and I misremembered LOEW as Lowe; I needed an alphabet run for AS?SON; and for "Owing" I wrote in "wHY," (because of "owing to," I guess). I smiled at proper STUART sharing a corner with informal STEW.

German Nerd Corner: HERO crosses HELDIN, the German word for "heroine" (masculine: der Held, feminine: die Heldin).

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

Anon 10:44 actually sounds coherent compared to the recent wave of lefty snowflakes.

old timer 12:06 PM  

I didn't understand the circled letters until I drew me a little sun in the middle and noticed that one of the circles spelled out THE WORLD. After that, it became very helpful to complete the rest of the puzzle. To me, the circles represent the annual progress of the Earth (World) around the SUN. Just imagine looking down on the solar system from the North (or South).

I would like to have been eavesdropping on the constructors as they discussed "female issue", with its connotation of blood coming out of a woman's "whatever". For a moment I thought the answer was "laughter" which made no sense. DAUGHTER is of course perfect. "Issue" is the standard word for children, if you ever need to write a Will.

I looked up Mr. SOO. Turns out he was born on the ship that took his family to the USA. So technically, not having been born in the USA, he was not born a citizen. And it is entirely possible that neither he nor his parents were citizens when the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor. In which case, they were citizens of Japan and it is quite correct to say they were "interned", All citizens of Italy, Germany, and Japan were interned and shipped off to camps. There was such a camp in Sonoma County, with as I recall Italians in it. It is true, American citizens of Japanese descent were also sent to camps, such as Manzanar, and locking up citizens was I think an illegal and criminal act by our government. But in the case of Mr. SOO, his family was treated the same as noncitizen families from Germany and Italy.

Tita A 12:16 PM  

@Quasi...I worked at a company whose breakthrough product was named after Mercator. One of our execs would regularly begin her presentations with a little background on why the name...

"A study was done on what things kids should be taught by what grade. By 5th grade, every kid ought to know what a Mercator projection is." (this was long before the tv game show)

I had to tell her that she was regularly insulting 60% of her audience.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 12:17 PM  

Remember when Shortz kicked Rex's ass a few months ago?

Churlish Nabob 12:18 PM  

Merv Griffin, Ike Clanton

Rob 12:21 PM  

Didn't like this at all, some real garbage in the fill. ADORERS, LITHEST, the cross of LIESUNDER with the THE SUNSET rebus. Theme and revealer are pretty pointless. I don't think much of the cluing for SHY either. Rex would have torn this puzzle apart, and he'd have been right.

jberg 12:24 PM  

I already had OR from crosses when I got to ORAN, so I didn't need to remember it -- only city in North Africa staring that way, as far as I know. It seemed unlikely that the escape route ran through ORem, Utah. Also, I was in ETRURIA in April (BTW, while you learn about the Etruscans in school, you may not learn that the area they lived in is called ETRURIA now). And the Museum of Fine Arts here had a Herb RITTS show a few years ago; so with all those gimmes the puzzle was pretty easy.

Also BTW, and while we are remembering what we learned in school, we were indeed all taught that Mercury always kept the same face toward the sun, but apparently that's not true. Closer observation from NASA revealed that it rotates once every two years. (That's in a sun-based frame of reference, of course).

Seeing the SUN was about the last thing I did in solving, but not quite -- I had to go back and figure out whether equine was a noun (i.e., HORSe) or an adjective (HORSY). SNOOPY knew, of course.

@Laura, thanks for the great write-up!

Anonymous 12:24 PM  

Stewie Griffin, Old Man Clanton

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

Gill O' the Red Cap, Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio

jack 12:35 PM  

For crossword purposed the orbit of the Earth is circular. The difference between perigee and apogee is 91 million and 95 million miles so the ellipse is noticeably roundish.

Btw, it was mentioned but not explicitly so in one of the comments, but the word "snowflake" used as a slur refers to the ash flakes coming out of the crematorium chimneys of WWII.

Uncle Milford 12:42 PM  

I liked this one. The only clue I didn't love was "Opposite of covers". Not sure how lies under is opposite of covers. Wanted it to be something that is "revealing". I guess the opposite of covers is ... uncovers?

Mohair Sam 12:50 PM  

@Laura - In light of your "Newsprint Ceiling" crisis alert - Has Liz Gorski stopped submitting puzzles to the Times? I remember a great article by her on the dearth of women constructors. And I don't remember seeing a puzzle by her in the Times for a long time, her puzzles seemed to appear constantly - and were damned good.

QuasiMojo 1:04 PM  

@TitaA -- Oh my, I guess I need to go back to school. I'd forgotten about those weird maps! Sorry if I sounded pedantic and pompous today. I was feeling "worldly." Thanks! :)

gzodik 1:17 PM  

Laura, you are not aware that there are genetic differences between men and women (eye roll)? To say that women are (on average) superior in empathy and communication is accepted as a truism. To say that men are superior is outrageous bigotry?

Aketi 1:20 PM  

@Joseph Welling, I like your explanation for THE WORLD being Mercury. It sent me on the hunt for HGs. I only found one going up from SHY into WEGO.

I loved the ODDLES in this puzzle that followed the DOODLEs in a recent puzzle. I you give me a piece of paper and a writing utensil I will cover it in OODLES of DOODLES. Ar one of those "curriculum nights" that elementary school teachers felt were obligatory to inflict on parents as a self preservatinal preemptive strike against the mostly overly involved parents in my son's school, the teacher gave us one of those questionnaire to fill out about your child's characteristics. During the droning that went on way too long to hold my attention for more than a nanosecond I tried to fill out the questionnaire. But some of the questions were nonsensical so I then scribbled in questions about the questions. That activity didn't eat up enough time so I finally succumbed to DOODLing all over the sheet. I turned it in anyway OODLES of DOODLES and all.

The fifth grade teacher was not only boring, but disorganized. When my son applied to middle school, the fifth grade teachers were supposed to organize a portfolio of the children's best work to include with applications to middle school. During that period of time I was recovering from surgery from a broken wrist so I let my husband monitor the paperwork. Next fall after my son started middle school, the teachers in his middle school returned the portfolio that had been submitted by his fifth grade teacher and presumably checked by my husband. All the other parents received beatifully bound portfolios decorated with pictures. When they opened them up, the pages of their children's work were neatly typed and many were covered with protective sleeves. I received a slightly tattered manilla file folder full of ALL of my son's crumpled papers from the entire year including the questionnaire I had DOODLED all over. I can only assume that the admissions committee a) never looked at the "portfolio", or b) laughed hysterically and concluded my son shouldn't be punished for parental ineptitude, or c) just laughed over how refreshing it was to not read the parentally curated portfolios.

Teedmn 1:23 PM  

So many here thinking this was easy - I was going around in circles in the SE for eons, it seemed. When 56A wasn't "due" and MEDIAN wasn't MEDIum, I became ANNOYED. I thought iRAN might have been an escape route for Casablanca, even if that would be quite the trek from Morocco.

I was sure of DIECI and MLK so was 59A vERMIns? Finally the clue hit me over the head and I saw TERMITE which gave me CERTS (also a problem since I had thought 45A's "Mo" might be a month so I had SEp).

I agree with @Hartley70 that the 37A/38D combo had great cluing. I did like this puzzle but that SE left me feeling SCALDED. Thanks, DB and SK.

RooMonster 1:30 PM  

Hey All !
Quick and short, liked puz, different type. Looking forward to Acmes SunPuz. Did this morning, but work forced me not to comment til now. :-)

RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 1:42 PM  

Make America Covfefe Again.

Archie Bunker 1:52 PM  

I would like to know why this blog only has an occasional woman guest contributor.

andrea carla michaels 1:52 PM  

Roo write to be off blog and let's see if I can help turning any of your rejects into something publishable! I don't care what sex you are! Sometimes things are one step away but Will doesn't always have the time for telling u exactly given the volume of submissions ... I'd be happy to help... Tho caveat, @Gill has called me "stern"... First time I've heard that word and me in the same sentence in my life! ;) but I do take constructing semi-seriously! My email is my full name at g

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

Another day, another surge in the stock markets. Record jobs (not gigs) creation. Aaahhhhh.

jjpennyless 2:09 PM  

I just learned that "pluses" is an acceptable, even preferable form of "plusses." I'm nonplused.

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

Content farms in Macedonia cost Hillary the election.

okanaganer 2:56 PM  

I have an astronomical nit to pick: a day is not simply the time it takes a planet to rotate 360 degrees around its axis, it is the time it takes for the planet to APPEAR to rotate 360 degrees relative to the sun. Since all planets move along their orbital paths, the sun appears in a slightly different area of the sky each day, relative to the distant stars. So in a non-leap year with 365 days, the earth actually rotates 366 times.

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

Yes! You put into words what was bugging me. "World" is inaccurate

GILL I. 3:29 PM  

@ACME...Ay/oy...Stern in a gentle way. You taught me how one must be disciplined in the art of crossword making. I would always send you what I thought were all these amazing clues and they'd all be 16 or 17 letters long!
You tsked me very nicely...:-)

Malsdemare 3:36 PM  

Trump just announced he's pulling out of the Paris accord. I'm too bummed to comment.

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

Think I'll curl up in the fetus position and suck my thumb.

Anonymous 4:03 PM  

Dow and Nasdaq post record highs. We report, you decide.

Anonymous 4:17 PM  

Cathriona White.

Anonymous 4:30 PM  

Trump just announced we're pulling out of the Paris climate accord? I'm struggling to see what that has to do with the NYT crossword puzzle.

BarbieBarbie 5:05 PM  

No time to read the latest comments but I did want to point out that the Nazi-era etymology of "snowflake" has been debunked by Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/snowflake-nazi-term-holocaust/
"Snowflake" used to be a derogatory term for a coddled/entitled milennial, but is now a derogatory term for anybody who fusses about being treated poorly. Somehow that is taken to mean political liberals, which is pretty funny if you think about it.

Now to whoever it was who saw the SUNSET theme: great one. I think you got it.

To those who carped about Earth not being Mercury, if Mercury were tidally locked: think again. The earth orbits the Sun once in a year. During that time it spins on its axis about 365 times. At each of the four points shown, there is a moment when the OW side faces the sun. So there is nothing wrong with that orbit as-drawn. No tidal locking needed. And yes the eccentricity of Earth's elliptical orbit is really small.

All in all, I stand by liking this puzzle. It's interesting that even with so many three-letter words there was no boring cluing. And no ACNE, a plus.

Naryana Gora 5:25 PM  

I certainly enjoyed this puzzle, I drew a cute little sun in the middle.

The conversation on female constructors is interesting, especially the two jobs theory (no time). Maybe it's the brain thing, you know, men and women think differently, process information differently, etc. Men are thought to be better at compartmentalizing (little boxes, little crossword squares). Women are more holistic.

Perhaps this leads to different types of puzzles rather than fewer puzzles from women.

Maybe it's not a female issue but how one may be loved (DAUGHTER AS A SON).

What?

Anonymous 5:27 PM  

Al Franken - "My friend Kathy Griffin . . . "

Questions?

chefwen 5:43 PM  

@Mohair Sam, Elizabeth Gorski publishes a weekly puzzle that you can subscribe to. It comes our every Tuesday under the title of Crossword Nation, and yes, they are very enjoyable.

Anonymous 5:45 PM  

Dumb ass Trump pulled out of the Paris Accords. So now when you can't breathe the air anymore, you'll die. Please shoot yourself before that happens. You're all delusional.

Albert Einstern 5:54 PM  

Trump Says, "HELL NO" to the wealth distribution scheme known as the Paris Accord. Wall St. records highs with gains in all sectors.

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord has sparked widespread hysteria in juice bars and luxury spas across Hollywood.

Some of Hollywood’s most esteemed scientists fear the president’s decision will put the nation on a slippery slope to the hothouse – an apocalyptic future with homeless Eskimos and polar bears unable to put their Coca-Colas on ice.

“If this is true he will have the death of whole nations on his hands,” warned scientist/actor Mark Ruffalo. “People will be looking to the USA for retribution for what they loose.”

Liberal heads exploding like firecrackers on Chinese New Year's eve.

Life is good!


Peter Puzzler 6:02 PM  

As to the orientation of the four circled "The World"s --
The "T" (and hence the circled "The World") that starts each one is located in the NW, SW, NE, SE as appropriate to placement in the grid.

Anoa Bob 6:05 PM  

I tread lightly here. Before I retired from the arena, the conventional wisdom in psychology was that males and females show different cognitive abilities and talents from early on. One example is the ability to form a mental image of an object and to be able to see it from different perspectives. Males typically do better at these kind of task, while females are more likely to use a verbally strategy when solving tasks and problems.

This is when large numbers of males and females are compared. There will be overlap, i.e., some females will be better at mental imagery than some males, but, overall, males will score higher on this measure than females.

This would throw light (no shade intended, I assure you) on the constructor gender issue. If success at crossword puzzle construction is improved by good mental imagery, then this would contribute to the observed constructor gender difference in numbers of puzzle publications.

Just saying.

Anonymous 7:28 PM  

Hey fucktard. You are so stupid to not think that global warming and climate change don't exist. Where do you think all the car/factory pollutants go? Think they just dissapte? You must also think that smoking cigarettes doesn't cause cancer. How do you even function with such a disabled brain? Please ,please kill yourself, save all of us from your asinine stupidity.

Anonymous 7:35 PM  

Do all you idiotic nonbelievers in climate change see now? Smart Elon Musk quit the WH over dumb-dick Trump pulling out of Paris accord. Trust me, Elon Musk is 1000 times smarter than your non-working brain. I hope you get a disease linked to pollution, and then die alone at home in agony because you won't have any health care. Heil Trump!

Anonymous 8:04 PM  

Ah, the tolerant left showing its true colors once again. Always predictably spewing vitriol.

Naryana Gora 8:11 PM  

Man-caused climate change has little to do with climate change. Or does it? Let's at least have the conversation.

SCALDED 8:18 PM  

I'd say that posterity will look back on this day and curse Trump and all his thickheaded followers for their unbelievable ignorance and stupidity. Except that there isn't going to be any posterity. The earth, and every living creature in it, is cooked. And it's going to happen sooner than most people think. I hope disaster hits the climate change deniers first and hardest. Won't happen, of course. But just wait till Judgement Day when these coal and methane-loving types try to explain to God why they failed to protect His Creation, while smugly trashing the people who tried to save it. Will they tell God, "Yes, but remember that Wall Street had a huge rally! My stocks absolutely soared."

Anonymous 8:44 PM  

Hey Scalded - How many times did you go to Google to solve today's puzzle?

Space Is Deep 9:08 PM  

Loved this one. Clever gimmick.

Anonymous 9:24 PM  

@SCALDED 8:18

Be very careful bringing God into this conversation. You'll probably alienate 99% of the posters. If you are worried about others answering on Judgement Day you might want to review 1st Corinthians 6:9 through 6:11, (actually the whole Bible is good reading in regards to it). I won't type it out here as it will probably be deleted. I'm just trying to be a little road sign in life trying to point you toward the right direction.

Good luck with that anger issue.

GWood

Warren Howie Hughes 9:31 PM  

WOE!!! HORSY!

Anonymous 9:56 PM  

And good luck with your Biblical mythology.

-Martin Ashwood-Smith

Albert Einstern 10:05 PM  

@Anonymous @ 7:28PM and and 7:35 PM:

Thank You, you made my day! If both comments were made by the same poster, fine. If the comments were made by different posters, even better. Two Liberal heads exploding are always better than one.

Of course I believe in climate change! The climate has been changing constantly since about five minutes after earth came into existence. Its gullible liberals who have been conned into believing that anthropogenic climate change is settled science.

Its only settled among the scientists whose research and paycheck depends on receiving huge grants from governments and tree-hugging foundations to reach the conclusion that that said entities desire.

Liberals may be nescient enough to accept AGW as a new religion, but others want more definitive proof before we experience your rapturous epiphany.

You want settled science? Here's settled science! Its an indisputable fact that one millisecond after you're dead, you won't give a shit if AGW is real or not. Chances are, you'll never know the answer in your lifetime.

Now, jump your "virtue signaling" ass on your high horse and tell me how selfish I am! Just remember, some people are destined to be the last people on earth. Rest assured, it won't be you.

Tim Pierce 10:17 PM  

ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS
EXCEPT ETRURIA
ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE

Anonymous 11:37 PM  

@Anon 9:56

Thank you for the wishes about my Biblical mythology. Just a couple question:

What does it matter what we do bad, (rob, steal, lie, kill innocent life, destroy the planet, etc.), if there is no God? You're just dead at the end of it.

What if there is a God and your good deeds don't matter if you don't have faith?

@Albert Einstern

While we may have 1 big disagreement, GREAT POST!

GWood

Anonymous 11:45 PM  

But, wait a minute. Republicans are the ones who are supposed to believe in God, not Democrats. Right? And they want the right to bear arms, and also the right to screw around on their wives, because that's okay, it's a mans right, right? So how can you justify calling yourselves "conservative". That sounds quite liberal to me.

Anonymous 11:54 PM  

So, what your warped mind is saying, is you don't care about polluting or not recycling because you'll be dead before it really affects you. How about concern for your children? Or your grandchildren? Or their kids? See? It's all about you. You can't feel for others, all you care about is yourself. Wow. Sad.

Anonymous 12:07 AM  

@Anon 11:45

1-What does the right to bear arms have anything to do with this conversation?

2-Not all Republicans "screw around on their wives". We actually skewer those on our side that we find out about. Democrats gladly celebrate those on their side that do, (Clinton, Kennedy, Tip O'Neil, Barney Frank against his gay lover, etc., bring about any memories?

3-Again, I posted long ago, we take out our own "trash" that behave badly, most evident was Nixon. No impeachment. You celebrate those on your side that do. Clinton WAS impeached!!!

GWood - 3 and out.

Anonymous 12:21 AM  

Sorry, have to come back in for a 4th.

@Anon 11:54

Hell no! I've been recycling for over 20 years!!! I have a family of 4 and while we put out our Green Waste and Recyclable bins, we only have to put our "Trash" bin once every 2 weeks. I mountain bike and hike in the Saddleback Hills and my group, (whether friends or family), ALWAYS pick up trash from others and tote it back. You apparently did't read my post. I'm on the side that says we DO have to answer questions in the end. You're just too narrow minded to realize someone can do both be responsible humans and also disagree with people that the Ice Age ended without human assistance.

GWood

It's simple 12:33 AM  

Stop! I could give 2 rats' asses if climate change is a man-made thing or not. Stop spending all that money on researching it.

In the meantime, just don't put garbage into the air and water, ok?

Oh...also in the meantime, innovate the crap out of alternative energy and at the same time win the race to come up with low energy-consuming technology. To the innovators go the spoils.

It doesn't take an Einstein to figure that out.

MaharajaMack 1:00 AM  

This is a crossword blog. Please shut the hell up or take your tiresome debate to a forum where it is appropriate. Fighting it out here disrespects Rex, as well as his readers who just come here for snarky commentary about a meaningless but entertaining word game.

ULNAR crossing RITTS is a Natick. Discuss.

Anonymous 2:22 AM  

I'm with MaharajaMack here. What kind of comment section is this? At least keep it limited to the politics presented in the post. That alone is popcorn material.

Anonymous 5:39 AM  

Sorry, @Maharaja. ULNAR is a gimme. And, thank you.

Z 10:53 AM  

Busy week here so posting on Saturday morning. I finished this right after I finished this week's AVCX puzzle. How timely.

@Lewis and others - I confess to be totally confused by your earth/world concern. As a good sci fi fan I can't help but wonder why you don't know that the word for world is forest.

livelovemakemusic 1:17 AM  

See, now I thought the theme was "as the world turns" until the very end when I finally got the sun in the middle....

livelovemakemusic 1:34 AM  

I thought somebody moderated these posts.... Apparently not. Such pointless jibber jabbering. Let's talk about crosswords and ignore these trolls! :D

livelovemakemusic 1:36 AM  

Well said! Thank u!

Burma Shave 10:22 AM  

EASIEST STIFF (LOW LOEW WEGO)

ADRIENNE WEPT as SHE SATAT the FIRESIDE,
ANNOYED and in WOE as SHE learns
in STEAD of “DAUGHTER of MR.MOTO’s Bride”,
‘TIS a RERUN of “As THEWORLD Turns”.

--- DENNIS STUART-RITTS

spacecraft 11:26 AM  

Guess I'm in the minority this time: I didn't like it. There were several "Are you freakin' kidding me?" entries:

--> ASASON. Talk about your RRAP's!

--> ALT. Rock, OK, but right?? ALT-right??? Huh?

--> FALUN. If not for crosses, hopelessly ungettable.

--> SATAT. RRAP #2.

--> and even LIE{SUN}DER, theme-involved, RRAP #3!

--> RITTS. H.U. #2 (see FALUN above)

Still other things ANNOYED me to a lesser degree: BPLUSES, CERTS as "Roll at a counter," and of course the RCD at 34-across.

So although it was doable--filling in THEWORLD helped OODLES in the south--the whole thing was outside my comfort zone. I have to confess I didn't notice those single black squares as "rays" of the central SUN, but that's a nice addition of depth to the theme. As far as the theme goes, its density pervades every quadrant. Thus restricted, it's hard to blame the constructors too harshly for some of the fill; I just didn't enjoy forcing some of that stuff in there.

The unquestioned DOD is the "pneumatic" (per Huxley) ADRIENNE Barbeau. Theme birdie, fill bogey...I guess that's a par.

rondo 12:27 PM  

The biggest thing that ANNOYED me was the self-inflicted mini-inkfest in the middle where my “opposite of covers” was at first LIESfoR. Made complete sense by itself, but THESUNSET in some form had to be correct. So my errors revolved around that. Not knowing RITTS was a hinder in that area.

After seeing the first occurrence of THEWORLD, all I could think of was BBC News. Distraction to the puz.

Another OLE with no Sven nor Lena to keep him company.

We used to call her ADRIENNE Bimmbeau; yeah baby for the eyes, but SHE was a SADLOT in the talent department.

I liked most of this puz except where it was putting on the RITTS.

5wksltr 1:18 PM  

Don't knock Oran. It is the setting for a great novel. Which one?

5wksltr 1:53 PM  

Let me rephrase: Oran is the setting for one of the world's (i.e. Earth's) great novels.

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

Check every puzzle for the constructor, and am constantly delighted when it's a woman. With rare exceptions, their puzzles are better clued and pisser free.

leftcoastTAM 2:22 PM  

Very clever and RAFTS of fun in the SUN.

Didn't see all of the astronomical features of the puzzle that Rex did, but enough to get the drift. And it was nice to let the solver "create" the revealer.

SW was last to go, which meant for me a winter not a summer SUN SET.

Bravo and Brava, DB, SK, and WS.

leftcoastTAM 2:24 PM  

Oops, Laura, not Rex. Nice review, Laura.

Diana,LIW 5:36 PM  

nITTS! had a 2-letter dnf (Was waiting to hear @Rex rant on ULNAn) And STuFF vs STIFF. STIFF much better answer. (Saw someone stuffing him/herself at the dinner table, leaving nothing behind.)

Rest of the puzzle went smoothly, found the worlds after a 3.5 hour dental break, and then...the sun. So I'm giving myself a pretty good grade of a BPLUS.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

strayling 7:40 PM  

Nice touch keeping THE WORLD tidally locked.

leftcoastTAM 8:52 PM  

@rain forest:

rainy, rainy, where are you?
If you don't come back
we'll all dry up.

Longbeachlee 9:48 PM  

Easy, once you saw the gimmick and you needed one letter in a circle to get 7 free ones.

Scott McLean 11:57 AM  

I didn't hate this, but I didn't much like it either. THE SUNSET was good for the across revealer, but LIES UNDER and it's corresponding clue were absolutely awful. This is literally the centerpiece of the puzzle, and it was badly botched.

Anytime a constructor does something fancy like orbiting circles, the fill tends to suffer as a result, and this was no exception. WEGO, HMOS, AHL, HORSY, SEC, ESE, MLK, RHO, CHI, RIO, ORAN, ALT, TIS... Garbage, garbage, garbage. I take it back, maybe I did hate it.

I was really looking forward to reading Rex's total evisceration of this mess (would have made up for the time I spent solving), and was terribly disappointed to see a guest blogger. Then, her very first sentence made it clear that this would not be an unbiased review. It was barely a review anyway; just a rant about gender politics.

Hope you enjoyed your day off, Rex. I missed your snark.

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