[in which once again we open with discussion of the NYT’s “Spelling Bee” puzzle…]
Lena Webb: I’m just entering TODAY’S E-BEE finds and I’m short! And that means I’m pissed.
Rex Parker: Short?
Lena Webb: Short of genius.
Rex Parker: Oh I cannot even get into the idea of that app measuring my “genius.”
Lena Webb: Today’s genius thing is 85 and I only have 83.
Rex Parker: THOUGHTFUL jesus that was the easiest ever
Lena Webb: My mom just texts me “did u get gene?” for the Longo Bee on Saturday morning.
Rex Parker: THUG LOFT
Lena Webb: I came up with that one too! We get double-triple psychic points.
Rex Parker: HOT GULF
Rex Parker: GOLF HUT lol
Lena Webb: Adam has HOLO TUTU and THUG HUG
Rex Parker: I have issues with the crossword. One big issue.
Lena Webb: Ah okay, shoot
Rex Parker: ALPINE. ALPHORN. Veto.
Lena Webb: Yeeaaaaahhhhhhh not even an elephant in the room, just like all the elephants having a big party
Rex Parker: A million times no. It’s such a bad dupe I can’t believe someone on the team didn’t squawk. Dear overruled team member: blink twice for yes.
Lena Webb: I thought I was WRONG because of it! I thought “surely they wouldn’t…”
Rex Parker: I know. I wrote in ALP part of ALPHORN sooooo late (last, in fact). AIRHORN? I like the idea of some dude in lederhosen just blasting an airhorn and scaring the ibex or whatever
Lena Webb: lol but was the image worth it?
Rex Parker: All images are worth it. But I’d rather 2xALP just didn’t exist. Did you know there was a person named LESS? Or is that a title… It’s probably a title, now that I think of it. Yep, looks like. I thought people won Pulitzers.
Lena Webb: I did not know it, but it’s the title. And I did not know the ALLIE being referred to.
Rex Parker: You’d think you’d include the author’s name. It can’t hurt you. It doesn’t make answer obvious. I mean, you know that book or you don’t. And author is not famous. I mean, not Danielle Steel famous.
Rex Parker: Wait back up. You don’t know “KATE & ALLIE!!”?
Lena Webb: No.
Rex Parker: I mean I guess you were barely born but still. Iconic galpal sitcom– I think it lingers in crossworddom specifically because of ALLIE.
Lena Webb: I don’t think of BLONDE ALE(S) as being hoppy.
Rex Parker: Me either, but I am no expert. Are they hip?
Lena Webb: and I had DIG for SEE and wanted some kind of I-PXX
Rex Parker: DIG LOL. I’M HEP.
Lena Webb: I don’t know that they’re hip, but I think of them as mild and not hoppy
Rex Parker: I had SAPS for VACS (52D: Suckers), which resulted in the setting for “Call Me By Your Name” being SILLA, which I was ready to believe was some Italian place (never saw that movie)
Lena Webb: I liked [Lic. to drill] DDS; I chuckled
Rex Parker: You are easy! That is such a dad clue.
Lena Webb: OH WAIT WHAT VACS? I have SACS– like maybe octopus suckers?– so I too have SILLA. This is where biology knowledge can get the best of you.
Rex Parker: I wouldn’t know 🙂
Rex Parker: I thought this one really needed an editor
Rex Parker: What is the context where a WUSS is [Someone likely to sing]? Like is he being tortured for info and because he gives out the info he’s a WUSS? I need background.
Lena Webb: There’s not a lot of bad fill BUT YES OMG I had the same thought! We are True Detectives. I thought that was super unfair to the person likely being tortured in this clue.
Rex Parker: Also I really really wanted a […say] at 55A: Makes a bowline (TIES A KNOT)
Lena Webb: Isn’t it just some nautical thing though?
Rex Parker: Presumably there are a million knot types…?
Lena Webb: and the bowline is one of them, perhaps
Rex Parker: I mean, that clue feels like the reason the [….say] was invented
Lena Webb: to me …say would imply some innuendo. But if it’s just some dumb boat knot…
Rex Parker: ??!?!? Is that what “say” is? I thought it was just another “for example”
Lena Webb: are you just saying that TIE A KNOT is too general? Yeah, but I think this one should be an “e.g.” if anything because it’s a boring sea knot.
Rex Parker: I’m saying that the clue is one example of a broad category answer, and the clue should indicate that.
Lena Webb: and I’m agreeing with you but preferring an “e.g.” to a “, say.” Maybe it’s just the way we exaggerate “SAAYYYY” when we co-solve? It makes it sound like there’s some bawdy undertone.
Rex Parker: I’m gonna keep an eye out for “say” clues. I have never heard said ‘bawdiness’ but i’m on alert now
Lena Webb: Oh, I LOL’d at AS AM I for [“Same”] because AS AM I is such stuffy old fill. I had ME TOO and even considered I ALSO.
Rex Parker: The DEVIL is a [Slick one]? I think I just don’t know some of this terminology, or these idioms, or whatever. How is a CONSOLE WAR different from just playing video games against someone?
Rex Parker: ASAMI! It’s one word (in my mind)
Lena Webb: Instead of “same” I am going to say “as am I” very solemnly
Rex Parker: “ah SAH me” is how you must say it. Like it’s Japanese.
Lena Webb: I have no idea what a CONSOLE WAR is– like, if you have the same console you’re probably playing the same game as your, uh, LAN buddies or whatever?
Rex Parker: LANBUDDIES (10)
Lena Webb: We are n00bz
Rex Parker: [Makes good on sweater weather, maybe]—I don’t understand how “makes good on” is being used here. You make good on a promise, i.e. you fulfill your promise. I don’t know other meanings of the phrase.
Lena Webb: Yeah, now that you mention it I think I finished in the NW and did not like that clue. I guess it’s like “Takes advantage of” but, yeah– weirdly evasive.
Rex Parker: REPOSSESS should be [Take back]. Why is there an “it” in that clue (60A: Take it back)?
Lena Webb: So that we’d be misdirected into thinking it was some kind of RETRACTION. I was also stuck on believing that IN AMONG being IN A four-letter-word
Rex Parker: YES. In a (H)mong.
Rex Parker: 24D: Ones looking for a cause (CORONERS) seemed annoyingly underclued to me. Like … put something death-y in your clue.
Lena Webb: I came around on that clue fairly quick– the “…of death” is implied and I liked it
Rex Parker: Hang on it’s not “implied,” it’s omitted. Like, you can see that it’s omitted after you get it, but “implied”? Side-eye.
Lena Webb: It’s in limbo between needing a question mark and not. I think I’m okay with letting this be an implied question mark clue
Rex Parker: I should say I liked a lot of this. BAD KISSER (1A: One whose tongue is constantly in a twist, maybe) and NO PICNIC (21D: Tough) were particularly tough/entertaining.
Lena Webb: Yes! BAD KISSER(S) are the worst. I did like that one. And NO PICNIC felt novel yet classic.
Rex Parker: I learned who Tracy Letts was this morning (!?) from a Peter Gordon Fireball puzzle about DEMONYMS (which was a word I did not know). And now here’s Tracy Letts and his (his? her?) play “August: OSAGE County” (which I know of only because it was made into a movie a few years back)
Lena Webb: IDNO I GIVE UP
Rex Parker: SRSLY, IDNO!
Lena Webb: SAWV the puzzle
Rex Parker: LOL
Lena Webb: WAPO
Rex Parker: EWAN I SAWV DIS PUZZ
Lena Webb: LOL
Lena Webb: <dies>
(time passes) (Rex tries to post his GOLFHUT drawing)
Lena Webb: ru having trubz w ur GOLFHUT
Rex Parker: yeah i cannot figure out layout at all it’s nuts. Like the view is different. OK.
Rex Parker: I should’ve drawn GOTH FLU
Lena Webb: ohhh brilliant. Today’s best fake one I got was OPPO-NOT– someone not even in your league.
Rex Parker: I thought this was the hardest New Yorker crossword yet. But maybe not. I could’ve just been in a bad headspace, man. Loved HOMOEROTIC (43A: Like John Singer Sarget’s “Male Nudes Wrestling”), but started out with the -OE- and that’s just … hard to figure out
Lena Webb: I got that one very quickly– I started in that corner and it fell easy but the rest not so much.
Rex Parker: DEVIL as [Slick one] just didn’t compute. Anyway, I blame ALPHORN. Is that “alp space horn” or “alforn”?
Lena Webb: I wanted ALP SHOE
Rex Parker: SHOE HORN I get it
Lena Webb: Maybe this is a rebellion against the singular ALP so often seen in NYT puzzles?
Rex Parker: That answer was NO PICNIC. I think I’m done.
Lena Webb: AS AM I.