Comments: 79

  1. Who dropped off a Monday puzzle on a Wednesday?

    Seriously, this one came within 42 seconds of matching my record Wed ever, and I worked 12 hours today. If I hadn't been so tired, I probably would have broken that record.

  2. Agreed. They’re all being easy on us this week!

  3. 53 seconds off my best Wednesday and 9 slower than Tuesday. Fun and a good theme.

  4. It was pretty easy, but it was a LOT OF FUN.

    I enjoyed this theme immensely and thought there was a lot of good fill, even if it was quick and easy for a Wednesday.

  5. SADLY, it didn't MOVE THE NEEDLE for me.

  6. Agree. Very nice, clean, friendly Monday puzzle.

    Nit or not? 42A. In my experience with too many ERS, I've never encountered M.D.s rushing to them. The Emergency Medicine M.D.s and the rest of the gang are already there. I *have* seen M.D.s rushing to *ORS* for patients coming from ERS.

  7. There are a few situations where the M.D.s would be rushing to the ER; one would be a very rural hospital that doesn't have the traffic that requires full time ER docs; the other would be when specialists are called in to consult or treat something beyond the skill of the ER staff (getting rarer) or requested by a patient (say a plastic surgeon for facial lacerations).

  8. My fastest Wednesday ever. Overall, I thought it was sew-sew.

  9. You mean it wasn't MEH?

  10. Well, you didn't hem and haw in offering an opinion.

  11. Thought this was easy for a Wednesday, finished 1/3 faster than usual. Yay. Didn’t lose any threads or split any seams. All sewed up.

  12. Pretty easy. The only clue I didn’t know right away was “hockey feint” which is embarrassing since I followed the Golden Knights all the way to the Stanley Cup finals.

  13. A Washington-area resident and Caps fan could say that it's not surprising for a first-year hockey fan not to know that common term, but I hope I'm too much of a gentleman to engage in such banter.—Teehee

  14. I always thought the phrase was "stand pat", but I always lost at poker anyway, so what do I know.

  15. Dag Ryen—Win or lose, you're right on this one. In my nearly 80 years, including about 70 of playing poker, I've never read or heard spoken SIT PAT.

  16. This poker authority lists neither SIT PAT nor STAND PAT but it does list (and define) just plain PAT:

    I've heard SIT PAT once or twice, and only at a card table, but I've heard STAND PAT much more (at and way from the card table).

  17. Couldn’t agree more. Didn’t this same odd phrase appear in another puzzle recently? You STAND PAT but SIT TIGHT. At least where I come from.

  18. Liked this one, but with a nit to pick on 35D. As a former volunteer MEDIATOR for civil cases in the metro court in Albuquerque, I disagree with the clue "dispute settler." As we always told the parties in each case, our job as mediators was to help them come to an agreement themselves, settling the dispute, to avoid going before the judge. We were neutral facilitators. Mediation is often confused with arbitration, in which the arbitrator does indeed make a decision and settle the dispute. So strictly speaking mediators don't settle disputes, they help the disputing parties work things out. I should add that about 70% of the cases that came to us were resolved. The judges loved us.

  19. pretty easy for Wednesday. caught onto the theme at LOSE THE THREAD which helped with the other sewing references. liked the musical clues -- OPERA and HAYDN. listening to Wagner's Gotterdammerung right now!

  20. This must be the only forum in existence where ABBA, Götterdämerung, and the Stanley Cup garner equal respect! That's why I like it here.

  21. Sorry, but this is about yesterday's puzzle since no one replied to my query about 56A: What is IROC?? Thanks.

  22. International Race Of Champions. The IROC models were slightly de-tuned, street suitable versions patterned after the race cars.

  23. Not to get all stereotypical here, but IROC-Z were reputedly favored among certain populations. In black. With tinted windows. I remember seeing them around in the neighborhood I grew up in, in Queens, NY, in the 80s.

  24. Thanks, RS, JayTee, and Wen! (Sorry, BA, but I don't follow ...)

  25. and ELKe

    Thanks to Michael H., I had to look for my red Moroccan leather sewing ETUI, which besides THREAD and NEEDLEs, also contains an assortment of safety pins for some emergencies...

    After some not so GENTLE (hockey) ADOS , a GOALIE or some KIDs, may LEAVE the ERS IN STITCHES. A member of the ADA may also be consulted....

    Re LOSing THE THREAD- spec. this wordplay THREAD, would the PEA-size brained EMU -,'avian sprinter', have anything to do with it ??
    Fun .

  26. and ELKe

    I saw what you did there!

  27. Yes Barry. Canadians will do that!

  28. Y'all know that was a soccer goalie, right? :*)

  29. SADLY, your comment is not a keeper.

  30. A quilter like me enjoys the line-up of SEAMS, THREAD, NEEDLE, and STITCHES, but I thought the claim that the puzzle related to a wardrobe malfunction was a bit thin. Only the first themer was applicable, while the remaining phrases failed to relate except in containing particular sewing-related words.

    Love the etui photo, although I seldom feel the need for a pen-knife as I work.

    When I was a HS sophomore, (without benefit of home-ec,) I made a dress and wore it on a date. Failure to mark and follow the STITCHing lines meant that a SEAM opened up, and I spent the evening with one arm clamped to my side to disguise the problem. Oops.

  31. I trust you quilts never have that problem.

  32. what happened to the ‘wednesday puzzle’ wordplay link?

  33. The same thing that happened to the "Monday puzzle" and "Tuesday puzzle" Wordplay links, L.O.B. That was Caitlin's weekend fling.

  34. The strongest part of the puzzle for me was the theme -- four interesting phrases that end with sewing words and start with verbs, with the first two telling the problem, and the last two giving a happy solution. A little wordplay-involving story, and different from the usual theme. Kudos there. I would have liked a touch more spark in the cluing and fill, something I've grown to expect on Wednesdays.

    On another VEIN, that word shows up embedded in not one, but two answers, and I like PIANO ROLL resting on RAG, as you will find many of the former playing the latter. There's also a slew of words ending in A (10), or should I say, plethora.

  35. Too easy for a Wednesday.

  36. Agree this was pretty easy for a Wednesday, though it took me a bit to finally fill in any of the theme answers and even longer to see the common, uh, THREAD. Didn't really catch the progression until after I was done. Quite clever.

    Last thing I filled in was the 'D' in square 38 and I paused for a long moment. I was not familiar with DEVEIN, but more than that, my down-reading skills were not leading me to parse that as DE-VEIN and it took me a bit to finally parse that.

    Seems like a RAGtime piece from Jelly ROLL Morton might be an appropriate music link today, but I think I'll go with ABBA and this scene from one of my very favorite films. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it:


  37. Cool, RiA. Eerily similar to Agneta ... in some ways ;)

    Guess I went as far from ABBA as the grid would allow, to the fine old RAG of PIANO ROLL Blues. Al Jolson with the Andrews Sisters weren't quite what I was looking for, and this guy, oddly enough, came close.

    Rinkety tink

  38. That was the last person I expected, Leapy, but yeah, that was pretty good.

    "Eerily similar to Agneta some ways:)"

    I assume you meant Agnetha? And were referring to Toni Collette? I had to look hard at that one but...yeah, I guess. In some ways. :)

  39. It is stand PAT I grumbled, giving Happy the opportunity to change LEDTV to LcDTV. What is a McALY? My PEA brain bursting ATTHESEAMS.

    Malmo Sweden, just off the little square there is an AMBER shop. I asked the owner why AMBER in Malmo. He explained with a smile: It started as a hobby and got away from me. Great source for x-mas gifts.

    Easy Wednesday but I shall not complain. Only missing raglan. A fitting tribute to the garment district.

    Thanks, Michael

  40. Fun puzzle, agree with others that it felt more like a Monday than a Wednesday.

    While not a swing dance, immediately thought of Shakira's anthemic "Hips Don't Lie":

  41. All sewn up in record time :)

  42. Sewn up in the ER[s], Cathy P?

  43. Finished in the NW where I had some problems. Didn’t know either at the GENA/RAINEY cross. Got 17A when changed ARC to ARM at 12D.

    This puzzle had a couple of astronomy connections for me. 40D: Mosaicists had me thinking about putting together larger images (taken with telescopes) from many smaller images, so it’s not just for tiles (the resulting final images are called mosaics). Also just read the July “Astronomy” magazine where a column notes that the June full moon could be called the “honey” moon because of its yellow/amber color (the full moon in summer is low in the south as viewed from the northern hemisphere because it acts like the sun in winter, so we see it at relatively high airmass and it looks a little red as a result); anyway, that actually helped me at 55A.

  44. I liked this one because it's different by telling a story without a reveal.

    It did leave me with one gnawing question, though: does Michael Hawkins sew?

  45. The second themer suggests "No."

  46. As a Chinese food fan, both at home and in China (and Taiwan, and Singapore) - brown rice is not generally a side dish in Chinese restaurants.

  47. Would you agree, Mel, that white rice also isn't a "side dish" in Chinese cuisine(s)?

  48. You mean that if you went into a Chinese restaurant and asked for a bowl of brown rice on the side, they wouldn't be able to give you one?

    Seems to me people do it all the time.

  49. The framing of the question is wrong. Rice (brown or white, we're not going to be racist here) is a staple. The concept being that the rice and the main dishes simply go together. It's not a side dish in the sense that you could do without it. Western style cuisine where each person gets an entree (main dish) that is all self-contained often includes the staple as part of it (think pasta, shepherd's pie and the like). You can get additional side "dishes".

    American Chinese food has had to straddle the two conflicting ways of viewing the main dishes and the staples, allowing for people to view/treat rice as a side dish like mashed potatoes or french fries or extra vegetables. In family style Chinese food, that's not the case.

    In American Chinese food, people eat on plates! What manner of nonsense is that? Picking up rice on a plate with chopsticks or forks or spoons is an exercise in futility and food waste. Chinese people eat rice in a bowl and pick up the bowl so the rice can be shoveled into the mouth with the chopstick.

    Worse, rice in American Chinese food are often long-grained and don't clump together because Americans like rice like that. Rice that clump together are easier to pick up with chopstick.

    In American Chinese food, rice is a side dish. In Chinese food, it's a staple.

  50. Fun and easy Wednesday made this quilter happy to see references to sewing appear in a NY Times puzzle! When I MOVETHENEEDLE in order to LEAVEINSTITCHES, I never LOSETHETHREAD! And I certainly hope that my quilts will never BURSTATTHESEAMS!
    Thanks, Michale Hawkins!

  51. I sew, and am a hockey fan. This puzzle brought me joy.

  52. Anyone write DON for "Honest prez"?

  53. Because BARACK didn't fit?

  54. (Asked with tongue in cheek...)

  55. Oh, thanks everyone! Now I'll be compelled to think of DON for every three letter answer just to see if it makes a funny...LOL

  56. Clue for the whole puzzle? DARN! (2D)

  57. The only stitch in time was the RAINEY-GENA Natick. But still a record, with mostly Monday-level fill.

    The theme and 19 A reminded me of the old classic cryptic (somewhat blue) clue:

    Clue: Pay attention to oral sex, so to speak?
    Answer: Prick up one's ears.

  58. Wouldn't that be aural?

  59. I thought surely today’s theme was to coincide with National Sewing Machine Day - wasn’t it? Wonderful puzzle!

  60. Wow, I have to agree with so many other commenters that this was a super easy Wednesday puzzle. I finished in 32 minutes and 17 seconds! That is 13 minutes and 7 seconds faster than my previous best Wednesday time, which was sometime in May of 1943, I think.
    Unfortunately, I broke my current streak of 3 (longest since 1954) because I had to use check to correct ALA to AKA, a stupid error because I absolutely Knew that "Edward Teach" was Also Known As "Bluebeard," the famous pirate. Ah me, my stats are going to Heck!
    Another famous pirate was named John Hawkins (an ancestor of Michael's perhaps?).

  61. "....sometime in May of 1943, I think."


    (Hubba hubba?)

  62. Congratulations, hepcat8! To a future streak of at least four!

  63. i love spelling bee and wish there were 3 or 4 a day

  64. This was fun for this professional tailor! But I wish the link to Mr. Hawkins' earlier effort brought up the PUZZLE and not the ANSWERS! Now I have to track it down in the archives....

  65. Ahem.

    Seems well-tailored for light Wednesday fare, so no reason to amend the pattern. Butt on account of me loving the 3 Musketeers, would've liked Athos, Porthos, Aramis and DART anon.

    Liked the GOALIE/DEKE, the nod to the Grandboy JOSEPH and the old PIANO ROLL RAG TMIE. Sometimes the best stuff is HAYDN front & center in plain view.

    Missed having Rip Torn worked into the grid, but overall, Michael H, THOU MOVETH mE NEEDLE.

    C'est BIEN ;)... and ELKe's back!!

  66. 'C'est BIEN' was meant to show how "That's good" would usually be said in French, often with a c-cedilla CA to finish it off. A free-standing BIEN is more along the lines of an 'Okay' or 'Fine' interjection, but I'm really not going to start picking knits in multiple languages.


  67. Addendum: the persons on that beautiful ETUI seem in dire need of having some clothing whipped up for them.

  68. Liked seeing JOSEPH and HAYDN, who shared Conrad's first name. Literature and music - what a great combination.

    It makes up for how long it took me to fill the NW corner, thanks to the word CRUD which, along with ACHOO, kept eluding me. I must admit that my patience is improving with this daily exercise - and I eventually got it solved with no look-ups. Yay!

  69. HAYDN's first name was actually Franz, but he is definitely known by his second name, JOSEPH.

  70. Faster than my usual Wednesday, but not so much so that I really noticed, and I didn't think it was too easy for a Wednesday. I enjoyed all the sewing puns.

  71. This was a very smooth solve for a Wednesday. The theme answers came much more quickly than ACHOO for me.

    There’s little worse than a big ole sneeze that just won’t commit!

  72. First thing I did upon finishing the puzzle -- which was fun & clever -- was Google the photo. Alas, G. Images, bless its inconsistent little heart, decided it must be a coin purse.

    I am pretty disappointed, as I was hoping for a clearer picture and also to find out if she of the bare breasts might be Boadicea, queen of the Celts, leading an uprising against the invading sewing machine!

    (It was invented 1790.)

  73. Not to disrespect the constructor (they do after all provide us with fodder for our obsession) but I found the "Story" element of the theme clues a bit weak. How does losing the thread lead to moving the needle?
    Oh well, just being a grump. After all, the puzzle did end up being a new Best! :-)

  74. When you lose the thread on a sewing machine you often have to raise or MOVE THE NEEDLE in order to re-thread the machine.

  75. Should've been a quicker solve, but expected *cities* in Japan for 9A: KYOTO? TOKYO? OSAKA? Saved by getting PEA for 11D and NAS for 13D. JAPAN, of course! (I know *very* few rap artists, but the popular Nas seems to have become a bit of crosswordese!) Even though I had ABBA, ADA, and BROWNRICE (agree with others -- *not* a "side dish") in the NW, just couldn't think of ACHOO for the longest. Briefly delayed further by having GOOGLE for 22D and ALSO for 33D (and ORS for 42A).

    Enjoyed the theme, but didn't realize that the entries were "sequential" till I read Deb's column. Clever, Mr. Hawkins!

    Beg to object to the clue for 8D: MEH is an exclamation, not a synonym of uninspired.

  76. Re 53D: Science Friday is not broadcast by NPR. It is distributed by PRI and broadcast by local public radio affiliates. It has no connection with NPR.

  77. That bottom right was tough for me to get into: RAYGUN and PHASER before IONGUN; APEXAM and FINALS before APTEST; low confidence in the spelling of PHOENICIA; SPEW before VENT; and a feeling that anything starting FT was going to be wrong. VENT opened it up giving IRVING, IONGUN, and the rest.

    Couldn't break into the corner for about half my total solve time, than a thirty second flurry after VENT closed it all up.

    Overall I loved the puzzle, clocking in at about 60% my Friday average.