Dakota tribe that attacked Revenant trappers / TUE 2-13-18 / Top Trappist maybe / Airer of Bachelor Catch

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Well, I was slow, but this oversized, so who knows: Medium-Challenging for a Tuesday, maybe?



THEME: BOXED / ROSES (41A: With 44-Across, Valentine's Day gift ... or a hint to the circled squares) — circled squares form a kind of box and contain the letters R, O, S, E

Bonus theme answers:
  • HAVE A HEART (10D: Try some Valentine's Day candy?)
  • STEAL A KISS (37D: Try some Valentine's Day candy, sneakily?)
Word of the Day: ARIKARA (57A: Dakota tribe that attacked "The Revenant" trappers) —
Arikara (English: /əˈrɪkərə/), also known as Sahnish,[2] Arikaree or Ree, are a tribe of Native Americans in North Dakota. Today, they are enrolled with the Mandan and the Hidatsa as the federally recognized tribeknown as the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. // The Arikara's name is believed to mean "horns," in reference to the ancient custom of wearing two upright bones in their hair. The name also could mean "elk people" or "corn eaters." (wikipedia)
• • •

This feels exactly like a February *13* puzzle, i.e. off. The revealer isn't exactly classic. I have seen roses come in boxes only in old movies. "Long-stemmed roses," "a dozen roses," these are phrases that sound right. Who says "Oh, you got her *boxed* roses, ooh la la!"? You just Got Her Roses. The whole BOXED thing is weird, just as a phrase—so much so, that I had BOX OF ROSES written in there at first. And then to try to get the little ROSE squares into the grid *along* with pseudo-valentinish themers ... it was too much, and the grid strained. Kind of nice to have the themers be the candy to accompany the roses (that *is* a pretty classic combo), but HAVE A HEART is not a romance-oriented phrase, whereas STEAL A KISS is. It's just wonky, this thing. But that's not what made the solving experience so unpleasant. No, the real puzzle ruiner came with BATCHED IT, which ... is batsh*t. Batsh*t crazy. That's simply not a thing. And if it were a thing, it would be a vomitous thing. I googled ["batched it"] and first of all, this is not a good number of hits:

And second of all, *none* of the first page of hits had *anything to do* with the meaning of the phrase that the clue is positing. Literally, none. Which means that the real number of hits is way, way less than the already meager 4,160 returned by the search. That answer added eons to my time, because I kept looking at BATCH and thinking, "that ... is not how you spell that." Just horrible. And what's worse, it *thinks* it's good. It thinks it's cute. Like, this is surely a debut answer, and apparently both the constructor and editor thought: "Nailed it!" And now it will go into databases everywhere for unscrupulous constructors of the future to use in their puzzles, on the grounds that, "it was used before ... and in the Times!" Lord help me.


[Jacob fixed it!]

Now people are telling me that young people say BATCHED IT (?) but spelled differently (?!) like ... Bached It!?!? I often Bach it, but, you know, I like Bach. BACHED IT is even more hilarious. Here, Evan found a 1907 usage of BACHED IT for you to enjoy:



Mediocre fill abounds, so why go into it? I have no idea what ARIKARA is (57A: Dakota tribe that attacked "The Revenant" trappers), except probably not a Tuesday answer. I've also never seen "The Revenant," but my ignorance of these particular things really isn't the problem today. It's an off theme for an off-holiday puzzle. It's trying too hard to be clever, it's trying to do too much, and everything just, let's say, wilts. There better be one Hell of a Valentine's Day puzzle planned for tomorrow—what else could explain this thing's appearing today? Maybe I don't want to know. We'll see... Hey, next time you put cookies into the oven, I think you should shout, "BATCHED IT!" Oh, better yet—if someone asks you what you did last night, and what you did was waste your evening watching ABC's "The Bachelor," I insist you reply, "Oh, you know ... just BATCHED IT." Then high-five yourself. OK. Bye.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Elvis's official middle name is AARON. It's even on his tombstone. The ARON / AARON thing is a bit complicated, but cluing ARON simply as [Elvis's middle name] is wrong. Read more here.

P.P.S. "Batching it" googles much better. It's hilarious to see feedback I'm getting on this: roughly 3/4 "what the hell kind of answer is that?" and 1/4 "it's common, what is wrong with you?!"

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

115 comments:

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

I'm old, and I knew "Bached it" -- maybe the "T" is so you pronounce it correctly?

Anonymous 12:16 AM  

Regarding 'Aron', this was the first answer I was tempted to put in, but was certain it was a rebus of some kind, since it was missing an 'a'.

-cz

Anonymous 12:16 AM  

I found this one to be relatively easy, but of course one has to agree that "boxed roses" is cray-cray banana.

The bigger issue for me is 34 down: "Poker advice for Sajak."

The phrase is "Stand Pat." As in five-card draw, or lowball, you take no cards and you "stand pat." You have a pat hand. Never in my long years of playing poker, reading about poker, and writing about poker have I ever heard "sit pat." It's simply wrong.

The weird thing is that could have been clued so differently.

TomAz 12:23 AM  

Yeah so I'm older than Rex by several years, and I have no problem with the (spoken, not written) phrase spelled here as BATCHED IT. "You're wife was gone for the week? You batched it" is a real thing. The spelling, though. That T threw me off for a little bit. I would have spelled it "bached", since the root word is "bachelor", but then you get the whole Johann Sebastian thing going on which is also problematic.

In The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave buys Agatha (Zero's betrothed) a box of white roses "the size of a child's coffin". Those are the only boxed roses I can recall.

The puzzle would have been more fun (and possibly unpublishable) had the grayed squares been read as EROS rather that ROSE.

But Rex skimps over my bugaboo today: ARIKARA. when I was done I googled it and it's a real thing appropriately clued, but I'd never heard the word. It made me think more of The Seven Samurai than Native American plains dwellers. And crossing RORY? Saved from the Natick by a guess.

I enjoyed SNARF. and GO SIDEWAYS and RARING and PER SE and NON-FAT. I always think TEHEE is missing an E -- I personally have never teh-heed, but have frequently tee-heed.

Token Millenial 12:26 AM  

ARIKARA/RORY was a straight up Natick, especially for Tuesday. Could have been a lot of other consonants, and the possibility of RumS at the bottom didn’t help. And we young people don’t say BATCHED IT (maybe less polite phrases that are pronounced similarly)...but maybe I’m not considered “young” anymore. I did enjoy the tongue in cheek clue for SIT PAT. Papi before AROD, but I’m biased.

Bruce Haight 12:29 AM  

When I Google "batch it" I get 470,000 hits and the first one listed is a dictionary definition. Also, if you look up "batch" in Wiktionary at the bottom under Etymology 3 (verb) it says:
To live as a bachelor temporarily....." I am batching it three nights a week when my wife visits her sister"

and just below that...........Often with it: "I usually batch it three nights a week when she calls on her out-of-town accounts"

jae 12:49 AM  

Yep, on the tough side and pretty much what @Rex said.

puzzlehoarder 1:20 AM  

I'm at the firehouse tonight so I guess I'm BATCHingIT. That entry messed with my poor spelling. It makes perfect sense to put that T in there. For once a word is spelled the way it sounds and I resist it because even I know bachelor doesn't have a T in it. 470,000 hits? If this is out of the entire English speaking world at least it represents a small percentage.

I'm amazed that ARIKARA is not a debut. After years of solitary solving, the xwordinfo lists rub your nose in how porous your memory really is.

Thinking those shaded squares represented EROS slowed down the center of the puzzle. A striking mixture of easy basic fill and challenging longer material pushed this past Wednesday time. That's Wednesday on paper and this was of course a phone solve. Still the superior quality is holding so far this week.

Moly Shu 1:47 AM  

I had ARIKAwA (@Rex, your missing one of the greatest bear maulings in cinema history) but figured nobody lived in CwETE. Good thing too, because if I wouldn’t have changed it I would have.... wait for it.... BoTCHED IT.

Larry Gilstrap 2:03 AM  

Constructors giving OFL a little push-back is now a thing? I dated a flight attendant for many years and I often BATCHED IT, but actually I was usually BATCHing IT; spell it however you may.

I know somethings about Indians and never heard of the ARIKARA.

I saw EROS in the boxes instead of BOXED ROSES so that's on me. Forget the flowers and go straight to the lovin! Gonna buy me some designer jeans from AcNE Klein after I ScARF up some victuals; Hi @ M&A. Tough Tuesday which is not a problem.

ARON is the middle name of Elvis I have scribbled in this very puzzle for many years and I'm not about to change. If I were to go to Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee and visited the tomb, crypt, sarcophagus of the King, and the inscription was AARON, I would feel betrayed. Facts exist in reality. Let's agree to set a new standard: if it's fake, don't use it!

Wow! I'm still reeling from @Loren's description of the horror movie PJs. Descent into the basement, indeed.

chefwen 2:16 AM  

Raised an eyebrow over BATCH and had to change ScARF to SNARF. I have a tendency to scarf my food whereas my dogs seem to SNARF theirs. It’s a sound thing.

I also have the tendency to GO SIDEWAYS when I hear someone say “MY BAD”.

Learning moment was ARIKARA, will read up on them tomorrow.

Harryp 2:44 AM  

This took me longer than normal, because of two words. I wanted ScARFING instead of SNARFING and wasn't used to RARING. If it had been RARIN' to go it would have played more easily in my mind. Never heard of MURSE, so that didn't help either. Got it straightened out, with ANN instead of ACME and got the Happy Tone.

Single Girl 3:06 AM  

C'mon, @Rex. Batchin' it is a thing. It's been a thing for a long, long, time.

Anonymous 3:11 AM  

Feeling old. I had never heard "murses" before. Man-purse, yes. Murse? Ick. Also not Tuesday material.

rutterj2 3:13 AM  

My aunt says "batched it".

Loren Muse Smith 3:59 AM  

“Rah rah” before RARING. Does anyone, even the most careful pronouncer – say this in its full form? I think if I heard someone say, Boy, he’s really raring to get started, I’d notice. Rarin’ captures the spirit better, imo.

I have a hard-to-handle student who, when he does turn written work in, never uses the G in ING words. Rather than take the bait and fuss at him, I told him that I appreciated his “voice” that comes through in his writing, that I could hear him talking as I read his work. But I suggested he add an apostrophe where the G would be to make it easier to read; the apostrophe alerts everyone that a letter has been dropped. So yesterday, he turned in a paragraph and actually took my advice. But apostrophes popped up in other places, too: gonna’ and sorta’. Oh wow. I really like that he’s thinking now and sees that these, too, have letters missing. But where would the apostrophes actually go? go’nna? go’nn’a ? Back to the drawing board…

BATCHED IT is a phrase I’ve heard, too. My husband and his friends sometimes reminisce about a weekend in school where all the girlfriends were gone and they batched it. I remember two parts of the story: 1) They had a contest to see who could go the longest without brushing their teeth. 2) One of them got drunk and had an “accident” in bed. So of course they all made fun of him. Right before girlfriends got back, someone asked him if he had changed the sheets. No, man, but I hit it with the blow-dryer.

More interesting to me is that we add that T to go from bachelor to batch. Let’s just all be relieved that we don’t write bached it or bach it ‘cause, as Rex and @TomAZ say, it looks weird. That T preserves the pronunciation. Same reason we put milk in the fridge and not the frig. Right now, if we put something in the way back on one certain shelf, it freezes. Friggin’ fridge.

I kind of have an issue with the clue for REROLL (“keep going in Yahtzee”). For me, to keep going in Yahtzee, you roll again. You REROLL if one of the dice ends up not flat, ya know, balanced against the box. Two completely different actions. This pretty much ruined the whole &^%$ puzzle for me.

Hah. Just kidding, Bruce. Too bad it didn’t run tomorrow. But I appreciated the trick and also that the four ROSE letters rotate exactly one square counter-clockwisely each time. Nice touch. Loved STEAL A KISS and HAVE A HEART. Guys – tonight cut out a festive little paper heart to pin on your shirt tomorrow. That way if you’re accused of not being a romantic on Valentine’s, you can point out that you’re walking around with a heart on. Wiggle your eyebrows meaningfully. Basically, you can letch it.

'merican in Paris 5:45 AM  

I didn't get the happy pencil and tried to fix it, but was Naticked at the crossing of A_RIKARA and _ORY. Guessed "R", but still I seemed to have an error, so gave up pressed the "check puzzle" button.

Like others, I had ScARF and not SNARF (I like @chefwen's distinction between how people and animals eat). All I've ever heard is "scarf". I guess I should have thought of ANNE, however, but what do I know? If can name his kid "Moon Unit", then why can't Calvin Klein name his daughter "AcNE"?

Put in LOLA early, but that didn't work with MookS (5A: "Series of courses?"), so the north took me awhile to suss out. ABBOT is a simple answer to "Top Trappist, maybe", but I presumed that the answer would be trickier and have something to do with Belgian beer.

I don't understand @TomAz's statement that "The puzzle would have been more fun (and possibly unpublishable) had the grayed squares been read as EROS rather that ROSE." I appreciated (for the first time) that they both use the same letters. But I agree that there were definitely alternative possibilities to clues such as 41D: "Item under a blouse". Speaking of EROS, anybody notice that the row at 27A that begins and ends with with "ORG ... ASM"?

Alexander 5:47 AM  

They could have clued 38A as “Make a lot of changes at once”, because BATCH EDIT is definitely a thing

'merican in Paris 6:08 AM  

Speaking of EDITing, I really should have done that before posting. Just checked, and ANNE Klein and Calvin Klein aren't related. Also, that sentence should have read, "If Frank Zappa can name his kid 'Moon Unit' ... ." And my last sentence has an extraneous "that" and two "withs". Just sayin' that I noticed.

Charles Flaster 6:14 AM  

Very easy with cute anagrams—all puzzle-worthy.
ROSE
ORES
SORE
EROS

Liked clue for ALMA MATER.
Loved watching Musial “bat” it.
Thanks BH

Lewis 6:22 AM  

All kinds of reactions here. SPAM is not NONFAT, in case you were wondering; two ounces has 16 grams. I liked the answer SNARF and the clue for ALMA MATER ("Old school"). I wonder if Bruce went back and forth between MURSES and PURSES, as either would work there. I liked that right below MAITAI is a dropping BRA. Nice cross of MY BAD and GO SIDEWAYS. Never before thought about ROSE and EROS being anagrams, not to mention apt anagrams.

Mostly, though, this puzzle left me with a feeling of completeness, not just because all four possible rotations of ROSE were used, but also that 4-1-5 HAVE A HEART balancing off that 5-1-4 STEAL A KISS, plus the use of the four corners, the center, and the long stalactite and stalagmite theme answers tying everything together. A nice round feeling, like a heart full of love.

zevonfan 6:33 AM  

Only knew 58 Down thanks to C. Montgomery Burns
"Look at you, standing on your hind legs like a couple of Rory Calhouns!"

Hmmmmm 6:40 AM  

Batched went right in. T and all. Helps with pronunciation. Just as adding a D in fridge. No D in refrigerator.
OTOH NEVER heard of murse. Even spell check kept changing it to nurse. Sounds gross.

Cass Garnet 6:40 AM  

I’ve only ever heard of people SCARFING down food, so I just figured ACNE Klein was one of those weird names people have nowadays, like North West or Hingle McCringleberry.

Anonymous 6:44 AM  

I received a dozen long-stemmed red roses delivered in a long, yellow box that was one of the most romantic experiences of my life - the box was part of the deal. Even though the florist was a friend of mine, he wouldn't tell me who had sent the flowers. The next week of discovery will never be forgotten.

The Bard 6:55 AM  

The Two Gentlemen of Verona, ActII, scene IV

VALENTINE:
And I will help thee to prefer her too:
She shall be dignified with this high honour--
To bear my lady's train, lest the base earth
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss
And, of so great a favour growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
And make rough winter everlastingly.

RJ 7:04 AM  

I'll take the words of more experienced puzzlers that this puzzle TUEZZED. Like most I've never heard of ARIKARA but everything else was pretty straight forward.....

I saw BATCHEDIT after doing downs - I've heard it, understand what it means, but it seems really dated. Maybe one day we'll see BATCHIT as an ORONYM for BATSHIT.

- really liked ALMAMATER AND GOSIDEWAYS
- knew RORY right away and have no idea why
- I'm one of the many who thought Elvis' middle name was ARON

I just want to say - since it's almost Valentine's Day - that I love reading about other solvers experiences. Thanks for taking the time to write about them.

Joel Palmer 7:09 AM  

"murses" for male bags? I suppose it's better than "scrotums"

Glimmerglass 7:24 AM  

The revealer should have been FOUR ROSES, clued as “Rye whisky.”

Anonymous 7:25 AM  

While I was okay with the puzzle, when did crosswords become a test of names. There were a few people who complained about the Arikara/Rory cross, but how about the Stan/Teri/Aron cross (although I knew Stan and Aron, I am sure some did not). Also, let's not forget Erich crossing Sia.

In short, there are just too many names in this puzzle for a Tuesday (or any day).

Marcie Watts 7:29 AM  

@lms Hah! Your mind works in ways that amaze me. ❤️ on. Hah!

Birchbark 7:54 AM  

BATCHE has a certain catche. The @LMS "fridge" analogy makes the "t" easier to accept.

BATCHing it these days: Grilled lamb chops rubbed in garlic and rosemary, asparagus tossed with salt and olive oil, decent scotch, a well-set table for one in the kitchen, and loud alternative music from 30 years ago. Everything makes sense for a while.

@The Bard, way to tie the whole thing together.

Anonymous 8:18 AM  

Wish I had come up with “Haighted it!”

Two Ponies 8:20 AM  

A little rocky for a Tuesday. The T does ensure correct pronunciation but was hard to look at esp. with Bachelor right there in the clues.
Then we have Sia whoever he/she is.

Murse?! Okay, does that mean changing any ol' word to begin with an M means something pertaining to men? Maybe it's "Let's make up a word and pretend that you don't know it 'cause you're not cool".
All of those 's made me think of your student @LMS.

I don't understand the Aron discussion. We have seen this hundreds of times over the years. Pretty standard xword fare.

Yes, you Stand Pat not sit pat.

They filmed some of The Revenant" quite near where I live. After seeing it I looked up the tribe in the movie because I had never heard of Ree. That's what I remember hearing not Arikara.
Also, living in griz country I could have done without the bear attack scene. It has stuck in my mind like Jaws did.

Irene 8:25 AM  

Anyone else get ACNE for Fashion's Klein, or was it just a misprint on a small print run?

And BTW I thought "batched it" was terrific. Not Arikara, however, and definitely not murses.

Weirdly, I first read the boxes as SORE.

Irene 8:27 AM  

Wow. Just saw SNARF rather than SCARF down. Should have noticed.

QuasiMojo 8:30 AM  

Ugh. Too many thorns. And I don't mean EDHs. Guess I'm BITCHING IT again today.

When a constructor (self-admittedly) has to to rely on google to come up with something to follow "BOXED" so he can have a Valentine's Day theme, then I think he should have tossed his roses in the garbage and started over with a more compelling and viable theme. Maybe use STEAL A KISS whereby the word KISS is missing in each word or phrase, having been purloined by a guy too cheap to buy roses so he gives a box of Hershey's Kisses?

It's SKIMMED milk, not skim.

Having AS TO and AS OF and even ASIA all in one grid (with IS ON to boot) seemed like the glue was starting to crack.

@'Merican in Paris (check out that apostrophe LMS!) you made me laugh with your naming Calvin Klein's daughter ACNE. Calvin's actual daughter is named Marci.

Kudos to the mods!




Anonymous 8:39 AM  

Was unable to finish because of the RORY/ARIKARA crossing. Otherwise, fairly straightforward.

Also, I have only heard the term "baching it" from the Little House series in reference to Almanzo Wilder before he married Laura Ingalls. I'm a millennial well in my 30s, so I'm not sure if I qualify as one of the young folk, but I've never heard it anywhere else. (I'm pretty sure it was spelled without the T in The Long Winter, but I figured it was a variation.)

Pete 8:52 AM  

@Bruce Haight - You should know that Google tells you what it thinks you want to know, not what it knows. When I Google "Batch it" I get 4K responses, not the 400K responses you got. Also, none of the first page entries are about the usage you're using here, they're about batch processing.

Google knows you've looked up "Batched It" in the sense of the puzzle before, that you've validated its usage, that it's of interest to you in some sense, and so it gives you every possible citation of that usage. It also knows I've never used it, so it gives me the bare minimum, not the 100 variants of the same thing it gave you.

The only problem I had with BATCHEDIT was the spelling, I knew the phrase assumed it would be spelled without the T, so I'm not complaining about the entry. It's just that your Google count is dispositive of precisely nothing.


cwf 8:54 AM  

Kind of surprised that this is only Mr. Haight's 35th NYT puzzle as it feels like he's had nearly one a week for years.

@Quasi: "skim milk" is definitely a thing. Ah, it appears to be an Americanism. Then again, New York is in America. Hence the "New".

Nancy 9:02 AM  

Oh, don't be BATCHED IT, I said to the puzzle, but BATCHED IT, it was. Rex did my rant for me and I agree. It's awful, even worse with the T.

I've also never heard that to GO SIDEWAYS means to "get fouled up". To me, it means running for a wide shot on the tennis court.

Originally had ScARF before SNARF. FWIW, I would never say SNARF.

Would it thrill you, Bruce, if I said I was RARING over this puzzle? I mean I'm not RARING, but I'm talking about the word. My Webster's agrees with you that it is a word and that it means "enthusiastic". It's just that no one's ever said it ever.

Some very questionable fill in a puzzle with a theme that struck me as pretty meh. I think I recently raved (not RARed) over one of your puzzles, Bruce Haight, though I have no memory at all of what it was. But I'm not so enthusiastic about this one.

Anonymous 9:04 AM  

ROSE....EROS should get a mention.

MURSES is pretty bad.

Mohair Sam 9:11 AM  

@Rex - When I send ROSES to Lady M or any of my fancy women I always ask the florist to BOX them - it makes for a beautiful presentation. Try it.

The controversial BATCHEDIT would have been a gimme here, but the "T" threw me for a while. I've used the term when Her Ladyship has been gone for a day or two.

Sajak should stand, as he does on his show, not SIT. Learned MURSES today. Didn't know ARIKARA either, but knew them as the Ree. RORY Calhoun a name for fans of TCM, he appears in so many of those old Westerns. Thought the Valentinish long downs were a nice touch.

@Birchbark - I'm betting that you'll have plenty of volunteers for unBATCHing given that scenario.

b h8te 9:27 AM  

haha...i would love to see what would happen if rex and bruce had a mutual friend who got married and they were assigned seats at the reception dinner at the same table. i'd pay money to sit at that table. the awkward would be deafening.

that said, i doubt i'd enjoy sitting at the table with mr. bruce. his humor is in a different galaxy than mine. not even close. i hardly ever look at the name of the constructor unless i'm pissed off about the puzzle. today i guessed it was mr. b before i even looked. horrible.

SITPAT? SNARF? BOXED ROSES?

the thing is bruce, you resonate with a bunch of people who comment on this blog...so there's that. it's why i don't comment here. it's like being forced to sit at a wedding reception table and making conversation for 2 hours. brutal.

Blue Stater 9:27 AM  

Hmmmm...yet another reminder that I have a Large Birthday coming up in a month (round, symmetrical number in the left column). Back in the 50s at a college in northern New England that shall remain nameless, it was "scarf" for wolfing down food and SNARF for ill-tempered rejoinders ("don't snarf at me, t'ain't my fault"). MURSE? fugheddaboudit. I had other reservations in line with OFL and other commenters.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

Google confirmed that RARING is a dialect variant of ReARING. “RARING to go” is idiomatic reference to horses rearing up on their hind (rear) legs, maybe in the starting gate before a race, in excitement. RAmpant is a similar term from heraldry. An animal, often a lion, is pictured standing on its back legs, usually in profile. Heretofore I had thought that RAmpant implied violence and was related to RaGING, but apparently not.

I recall ROSES arriving BOXED in old movies, but the revealer phrase strikes me as forced. Perhaps it’s merely dated. Didn’t notice the ROSES were spinning mid-solve, let alone the anagram potential.

Barry Frain 9:38 AM  

I believe the ARIKARA were a branch of the Cree tribe.

Barry Frain
East Biggs, CA

Sir Hillary 9:41 AM  

BATCHEDIT, SITPAT, STEERER, ARIKARA, REROLL, MURSES, ADOS and MTOSSA all in the same Tuesday puzzle, running a day before the inspiration for the theme? Count me among the haighters. Sorry Bruce, I really liked your last one, but this one had too many shortzcomings.

Adam Trotter 9:41 AM  

I'm very sorry to say I managed to convince myself there might exist a fashion designer named ACNE Klein.

GILL I. 9:47 AM  

I'm LOVING some of the comments today...
@Larry G...ACNE Klein
@'American...ORG - ASM
@Joel Palmer...Male bags => Scrotum
Always good to have a loud laugh on a Tuesday morning. SOOO glad Flappy and Bastard aren't here to ruin it...
I enjoyed the puzzle because it reminds me that I love Valentine's Day. I want it to last and last. I hope tomorrows' is another loving' example.
My husband is a romantic at HEART. A week after we met, he sent me ROSES. They weren't BOXED that first time but I have received boxed roses. @Rex, the boxes are a lot more elaborate now compared to the Hollywood white ones wrapped in a red ribbon type. FTD and others will send them in different shapes and designs.
I love that people out there continue to re-invent words. Like coming up with a BATCHED IT.
Let's see, would " lived like a single woman" be spinstered it? I spinstered a lot in my youth. Is there such a thing as a spinster pad? Bacheloretted it?
thank, Bruce for a sweet Tuesday. I definitely did not Haight it.

Cristi 9:48 AM  

Whether you batch it, batched it, or are batching it, it’s a thing. I’ve heard it, said it, and now read it: https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/batch+it

paperandink 9:53 AM  

batch it or batched it is very commonly used in nyc during weekends or summers when the family is in the country and the worker bee soldiers on... also i have never seen valentine roses come in anything but a box.. after the 93 wtc bombing, deliveries were banned and we had to go down to the sidewalk to claim our boxes of roses sent so loveingly by our special someone to our work spot... the sidewalk was covered in thousands of boxes of valentine flowers, most i would presume to be roses, just waiting to be claimed...

i enjoyed the puzzle but was tripped up by the sw corner..

relicofthe60s 9:55 AM  

BATCHING IT was close to a gimme and BOXED ROSES are pretty common, but this should have been a Wednesday puzzle, which would have matched the difficulty and put it on the right day for the theme. I guess Will must have something else planned for tomorrow. Personally I think the press should ignore Valentine’s Day, which seems largely like a gimmick by the floral and candy industries to move product.

Patricia Hughes 10:00 AM  

Very old school. Long stem roses came in a box back in the day when they were delivered by the local florist. Batched it is an expression from the same era (1950s / 1960s). And 4 Roses is (still) a bourbon that was very popular at that time.

Hartley70 10:01 AM  

No Naticks today, but I did raise my eyebrows at some of the same answers that others found questionable. It's ScARF and always will be. I saw The Revenent, but that tribal name didn't register with me. BATCHEDIT may be worse than "ADORBS". I can't decide. SITPAT sounds like Pat is a pooch. MURSE is definitely worse than "ADORBS".

On the up side, I love a visual element and it's nice to be reminded of long stemmed yellow roses that came in a box several years back. HAVEAHEART spoke to me of those tiny sugar hearts with "Be Mine" written on them. Sure I will, if one comes my way!

mathgent 10:08 AM  

Very nice jib by by Bruce Haight. The theme was smoothly executed. Much more sparkle than the average Tuesday.

SITPAT was unfortunate but not a dealbreaker. When ARIKARA appeared, I checked all the crossing downs and found them to be correct. This must be the name if an Indian tribe, I concluded.

chefbea 10:09 AM  

too tough for me!! Got all the boxed roses!!! and loved the clue for alma mater!!! Of course I knew good ole Stan the Man!!!

Anonymous 10:09 AM  

He probably won’t appreciate being “outted,” but I've heard PAT Sajak is a sometime participant here.

katherine catmull 10:10 AM  

"Bached it" (no T for god's sake) is familiar to me from 19th c books. Never seen it with the T, which is ridiculous.

I was also helpless before ACNE Klein.

Banya 10:10 AM  

Why "The Catch"? It was a 20 episode flop that was cancelled a year ago. There are so many great, long-lasting ABC shows out there.

Z 10:14 AM  

Most of my observations have already been observed, so I will save you the redundancy. Hand up for ScARF, but I recalled making that same “mistake” before so quickly decided that AcNE was not a name associated with fashion. No such luck in discerning that cORY Calhoun was not the requested actor, so a Tuesday DNF.

Despite the nasty natick, this does not have a high PPP count. A quick perusal toted up only 22 of 81, well below the 33% threshold for excessive. On that note, I do give this puzzle the side eye for using “The Bachelor” in a clue and BATCHED IT for an answer. I get that the clue was going for “love” related clues in keeping with the theme, but still less than optimal in my opinion.

As for the whole BATCHED IT controversy, yeah it’s a term I’ve heard, but not one I’ve ever seen written before. This spelling is at least as defensible as “gonna.” Or RARING. Or ARON. Or MURSES. Or Town Cryer (which is not a song about a Town Crier and Elvis Costello does Emo SOoooo much better than any Emo band ever). But, seriously fellow possessors of the XY gene combo, the absence of our significant others really isn’t an excuse to GO SIDEWAYS from couth to uncouth. Have a little pride.

Joy2u 10:16 AM  

I see the boxed roses, and thinking I'll most likely be too late finishing today (as most days) to make any sort of relevant comment about the puzzle. I just wanted to note that apparently 'late in the day' will also get no 'joy' as far as the moderation goes.
While it is true that the message I posted last evening was simply praise and thanks to @Rex for allowing moderation (YAY!), I swear I didn't say anything 'offensive' or 'political' (hate the stuff). Yet, for some reason, my little note was not allowed.
I guess later this afternoon (most likely) when I've finished today's puzzle on paper and read all the comments, I'll find out if today's attempt is successful.
It is a mystery. Still, I am very grateful for the moderation.

Matthew G. 10:25 AM  

What’s funny is that I know exactly one person who uses the expression BATCHED IT (or “batching it”), and he’s not all that young: my sixty-six-year old father-in-law. It’s the term he uses for what we do when my wife and mother-in-law go away for a weekend without us. Until I saw it in this puzzle, I actually thought it was a jocular Dad Term he came up with. I kid you not.

As for the rest of the puzzle, my time was only moderately behind my usual Tuesday time, but I finished with an error. Both ARIKAWA and RORY Calhoun are unknown to me, so I went for CORY. I fully realize ACIKAWA looks implausible, but I thought ARIKAWA sounded too Japanese to be a Native American tribe. It was kind of a surreal moment, because I thought I had at least heard of all of the significant Native American peoples, but this one was completely unfamiliar to me. I feel like I shouldn’t fault the puzzle for that, though; like most Americans, I really ought to know more than I do about the country’s original inhabitants.

Nancy 10:26 AM  

So, after you gave me your BOXED ROSES, I VASED it.

Shortly after I ETAED, I ETDED. (52A)

I wanted to live intrinsically, so I PERSED (36A).

After I HOLAED, I BUENOS NOTCHED. (10A)

Did I tie one on? No, I MAITAIED. (5D)

And when I went off to Greece, I CRETED (54D).

ArtO 10:30 AM  

A cute pre-Valentine's day puzzle. Considered too easy for the actual day??!!

Much ado about nothing with all Rex's hubbub over "boxed" roses. Not at all out of date if you give them elegantly, as you should on Valentine's day.

As for "BATCHED IT" that is surely a well known phrase. Seems to me ole Rex ought to be less critical of those usages he is unfamiliar with. Hey, guy, you don't know everything!!

Mark N 10:37 AM  

Came here to say exactly this

Joseph Michael 10:45 AM  

I thought this puzzle had a few SORE spots.

With all of the ADO about BOXED ROSES and BATCHING IT, we've overlooked the equally offensive REROLL and STEERER, as in "The raring steerer whipped the Yahtzee game out of his murse and rerolled."

Liked the Valentine's reinterpretations of HAVE A HEART and STEAL A KISS, but otherwise this puzzle and its theme are in need of water.

Suzie Q 10:58 AM  

I hope all of you lovers remember boxed roses and maybe a heart-shaped box of chocolates tomorrow.
Do not kid yourself that a last-minute purchase of a single rose in plastic tube you hastily grabbed at the 7-11 at the last minute is better than nothing. It's Not.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

MURSES!!!! Are you kidding?

Tim Aurthur 11:09 AM  

I can imagine a computer programmer using the term "batch it" to combine a series of commands into a batch file. Back in the 1980s, that is.

Gary Holmes 11:12 AM  

My 85-year-old mother says I'm "batching it" whenever my wife goes away for a weekend and I always cringe. So it's a real thing but point taken on not being well known by younger puzzlers. My other issue is that Druids were not at Stonehenge. That's just a factually wrong answer

Foldyfish 11:12 AM  

I'm with Rex, I guano dislike this puzzle. BATCHEDIT is something I've never heard. It's awful. I'm in my 40's. Is that too old for batched it? On second thought, who cares. It's a terrible phrase. I agree with a previous commenter above that it should be stand pat, not sit pat for the cards reference. This puzzle was not a rose, boxed or otherwise. Perhaps tomorrow's puzzle will have more heart.

Wm. C. 11:19 AM  

When my wife goes away for a weekend, I usually tell my dog: "Well, Malcolm, we're gonna be BATCHING IT tonight."

ARIKARA? Nope, not on a Tuesday!

Fatflappy 11:23 AM  

I loathe Valentine's Day, almost as much as I loathe this puzzle.

Wm. C. 11:24 AM  

ARIKARA?. Nope, not on a Tuesday!

When my wife goes away for a weekend, I tell my dog: "Well, Malcolm, we're going to be BATCHING IT tonight.

Scotty Moore 11:27 AM  

On Elvis's middle name: https://www.elvis.com.au/presley/article-aron-or-aaron.shtml. Turns out both "Aaron" and "Aron" are correct.

Roo Monster 11:41 AM  

Hey All !
It's curious how many of you haven't heard of BOXED ROSES. As a watcher of many movies and TV shows, I usually get the PPPs related to those clues. I say that because if you remember the movie "Terminator 2", good old Arnie had a shotgun concealed in a ROSES BOX in the mall scene. Anyone? Beuller? (Might not know that reference either...) Thought BOXED ROSES were standard fare. Just sayin'. (Apostrophe for @LMS)

Really didn't like BATCHED IT, however, after reading the comments and seeing it is actually known and even used by a lot of people, I've warmed up to it. Didn't think there was much dreck considering the constraints of the theme. Also only saw ROSE, not EROS in the BOXEs, since I got the center revealer first. (*Pat's myself on the back* :-))

All in all, a good puz run on the wrong day. MY BAD. (Well, not mine...) TEHEE

Watching Winter Olympics - I SEE MORE SNOW.
RooMonster
DarrinV



jberg 11:59 AM  

So, it's the thirteenth, not the fourteenth, so I'm not completely Valentine-focused yet, and I see those ROSEs going around in circles -- so naturally I'm looking for a revealer about Gertrude Stein, who wrote wanted her most famous poem to be engraved on the inside of a ring. I also didn'tnotice the "& 44" in the clue for 41A, so I wrote ROSES in 41; then saw it and changed it to box of roses before finally seeing BOXED ROSES. I agree that the boxes are a thing (thanks, @paperandink, for the wonderful image of thousands of boxes of flowers on the sidewalk outside your office!) But I'm still not sure you ever say "Boxed roses."

i always order flowers delivered in a vase, including the dozen red ones just delivered here for my wife (I may not be Valentine-focused, but the florist is, so I get reminded). However, the vase itself is in a small box. Anyway, now that I'm in my 18th year in this house, most of the storage space is filled with old vases and old books (plus my children's old closthes). I had to read Marie Kondo to accept that it was OK to throw them away.

BATCHED IT, OTOH, sounds just right to me -- heard and read it many times, always with the T.

@Loren, I love your stolen kiss avatar. Next week we drive to Florida, spending 3 weeks in Captiva, but stopping off to see my brother and his family in Apopka on the way. The road between the two goes right by IMMEE.

I dunno about your last paragraph, though. Are you gunnin to replace Evil Doug?

@NANCY, your last comment reminds me of a story about an older woman in the small midwestern town where I grew up. She took a trip to Ireland, and was asked when she returned, "How did you like Dublin?" She replied, "I don't know, I've never doubled." [Full disclosure, this is really from an Ogden Nash poem.]

Carola 12:07 PM  

I liked this getting-ready-for-Valentine's Day puzzle - ordering the BOXED ROSES...surreptitiously opening the gift box of candies and HAVING A HEART and STEALING A KISS (and then artfully rearranging the remaining pieces to fill the gaps). I, too, first thought that EROS was the theme - such a nice Valentine coincidence that moving the E gives you a ROSE.

No trouble here with BATCHED IT, common enough in use around here. ARIKARA and GO SIDEWAYS were new to me. Not SNOW, though - February is making up for the last few months.

'merican in Paris 12:15 PM  

Regarding AARON versus just plain ARON, my father was given the middle name of Aarend as a boy (which means "eagle" in Dutch: his father was of that nationality), but when entered school, teacher would have none of that and spelled it as just Arend. Years later, he was very surprised to discover, when he obtained his birth certificate, that extra "A" there. Having spelled his name as Arend all of his prior life, he decided to keep it with just the one "a".

Anoa Bob 12:48 PM  

For years I've been cooking meals in large quantities and then putting the grub in individual serving containers and storing them in the frig and freezer. Each would then last me for a couple of weeks.

Just recently I saw this method referred to as BATCH cooking. So for each meal, such as steamed veggies or bean soup, I BATCHED IT.

I grind my FLAX SEED in a coffee grinder one serving at a time, though.

Thought ORES at 11D running through the ORES/ROSE/EROS/SORE in the shaded BOX was inelegant.

Is SIA from ASIA?

JC66 1:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 1:01 PM  

@Anoa

If you're going to pick a nit about "ORES at 11D running through the ORES/ROSE/EROS/SORE in the shaded BOX " you also have to mention 2D PESO runting east (thanks M&A) to echo itself.

Teedmn 1:07 PM  

Um, the first thing that went through my head at 38A, with the B in place, was BA[T]CHED IT and I just had to wait to see exactly how it would be spelled. I had more trouble with "HAVE A piece" at 10D and 61A's Enthusiastic being RAh rah before RARING. Plus my omega-3 source was going to be Fish oils but I balked at the pluralization and never finished entering that, saving a bit of black ink.

ARIKARA filled in and I had to double check all of the crosses because it is not a tribe I am familiar with. I've seen a bit of "The Revenant" movie but the tribe name never came up while I was watching.

ARON as the crosswordese version of Elvis's middle name went in with no hesitation. And upon seeing the BOXED ROSES, I had an image of long stemmed (or is it "stem"?) roses in a white box pop into my head immediately so I didn't have a problem with that.

I hope this early Valentine's Day puzzle is like STEALING A KISS out of your sweetie's gift bag before proffering it up, and we'll see another one on the actual day. But I'm not going to hold my breath. Nice job, BH.

Dick Swart 1:13 PM  

"Batched it" ... a very common expression in the 50s.

I was dismayed that Kevin Klein had a bad case of acne.

Anonymous 1:26 PM  

@LMS: When I donate blood, they give me a red heart sticker that says, "Be nice to me - I gave blood today." I was wearing my sticker when one of the women I work with said (to appreciate my donating blood), "Oh, I see you have your little heart on." I stopped myself from saying, "It's not THAT little."

Anoa Bob 1:35 PM  

@JC66

ORES at 11D duplicates the letters in the shaded box through which it runs. PESO at 2D does not. So I think the nit is legit.

Donna 2:09 PM  

Elvis's middle name IS "Aron." It is on his birth certificate, which I think is more legally valid than a tombstone. I have been an Elvis fan for many years and "Aron" has been accepted as the proper spelling, not the 2-"a" version. Before I got to the revealer, I read the 4 boxed letters as "sore." Yikes!

tea73 2:22 PM  

When I was in fifth and sixth grade I went to the American School in Mogadishu. The school library was not very large and I read every single biography they had including way too many sports bios. But it was a help today. No other reason I would know STAN Musiel. I took had AcNE Klein for a while. And for a long, long, long time I had aTE A L KISS. In fact that was the last thing to get corrected. I thought the RORY/ARIKARA crossing was brutal. Liked the boxed roses, and have seen boxed flowers in old movies, if not IRL. Time was 50% more than usual.

Wileyfex 2:31 PM  

The ROSES are in BOXES in the four corners of the puzzle.
I just received a box of roses for V Day. It still happens.

Whatsername 3:02 PM  

Re ARON vs AARON, i would have bet money on Aaron but found that Elvis had a stillborn twin which I did not know. The twin was named Jesse Garon, so the family apparently spelled it Aron for that reason. In either case, I like it when a puzzle causes me to educate myself on any subject. Have to disagree with Rex on BATCHING. That’s an expression I’ve heard most of my life, but I’m sure that’s significantly longer than Rex’s life, so I forgive him. Like others, I had SCARF for SNARF, then realized that Acne Klein was no designer. Yes I have received boxed roses with little water filled balloons on each stem to keep them fresh. But again, that may be a practice from days gone by. As for the Valentine theme in general, I loved it. A clever Tuesday that made me smile.

P.S. I’m happy to see that comments are being moderated. This is not a forum where I wish to discuss or read about politics or read profanity laced insults. It’s too bad that standards of conduct have to be enforced but that seems to be the world we live in. Thank you.

sanfranman59 3:16 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 4:27 4:09 1.07 72.0% Medium-Challenging
Tue 6:40 5:47 1.15 76.9% Medium-Challenging

I had a furrowed brow through much of this solve and kept saying "Really?" to myself. Such behavior is not my typical Tuesday solving experience. Are BATCHED IT and MURSES well-known neologisms? I don't ever recall coming across either one. I think this is also my first exposure to ARIKARA and SIA. Four WTFs in a Tuesday puzzle is pretty unusual. Then there's whatever SIT PAT is. "Stand PAT", I know. SIT PAT? Uh, no. The rest was a piece of cake, making for a very uneven solve. It felt to me like a poorly ramped-up Monday or a poorly ramped-down Wednesday.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

Anon 8:18--yes thatth very original and clever. We only hear it every time Haight authors a puzzle.

James Pratt 3:43 PM  

I'll admit, me knowledge of music that was released before I was born is hit or miss, and "Lola" by The Kinks is in the miss category. I was familiar with the song by name, but have never heard more than "Lola - L O L A -
Lola." Nevertheless, I was able to plop that answer straightaway because, while my knowledge of The Kinks is virtually nonexistent, my knowledge of Weird Al Yankovic is extensive, and I immediately recognized the beats of the opening of "Yoda," which I knew to be based on Lola.

Joe Bleaux 3:45 PM  

Where else are you gonna carry your guyliner? Or your manscara?

Anonymous 3:57 PM  

Snarf? Really? Exactly nobody says snarf, at least not if they mean what the clue said (Wolf down). The answer is SCARF. This would mean 21 Down should be ACNE, which is an easy word to clue. Snarf is just plain wrong.

semioticus (shelbyl) 4:13 PM  

This was OK. The fill had a couple of problems (ASTO and ASOF; ARIKARA/RORY crossing, STEERER?!) but it also had juice (GOSIDEWAYS, MURSES, HAVEAHEART, STEALAKISS). Could have been better, but given the constraints, also could have been much worse. I think Bruce Haight found a balance.

As to BATCHEDIT. Apparently it is an idiom so I was OK with it. I had no idea, but it was crossed fairly. That's OK in my book.

The theme was cute. Again, if you type in "boxed roses" Google autocompletes it with suggestions like city names and "delivery" and etc. so I think that's OK. I'm not mad at it.

The clues were also decent, except for "Poker advice for Sajak?" What kind of an advice is SIT?

To conclude, this puzzle didn't have a high ceiling to begin with, but it did a good job. I don't expect more from a Tuesday anyway.

GRADE: B-, 3.25 stars.

Two Ponies 4:19 PM  

@ Joe Bleaux, Way back at 8ish this morning I was wondering about other words like murse but wasn't clever enough to create any. You did it wonderfully. I knew someone would. Well done.

BarryMac 4:23 PM  

Who “SNARF”-s anything down? SCARF is the word more commonly associated with S_ARF

semioticus (shelbyl) 4:28 PM  

Also, wow, I wasn't expecting such a strong reaction to MURSES, but the comments are crazy. I am pretty sure I've heard it before in a few sitcoms from the 90s.

Joe Dipinto 4:44 PM  

Not a huge fan of this one, most of the reasons for which have been mentioned already by other posters. MURSE feels so out-of-date as to be archaic by now. Never heard BATCHED IT, but apparently it exists, so...okay. STEERER is like STORER from a couple of days ago -- does anyone actually say these words?

Maybe we'll get another, better VDay puzzle tomorrow. Or not.

Anonymous 5:17 PM  

There is nothing better than receiving roses in a box; one doesn't necessarily know what is in the box, and the surprise and the fragrance is wonderful.

Cleared2Land 5:33 PM  

Anon @ 1:26 : I normally cringe when I see the Anonymous header, it is often a safety wall for a troll to make a political comment and/or a personal insult. Your comment made me laugh though. I always appreciate a low budget laugh and you provided it today. Thanks.

But Jeebus Christoles, crossing Arikara with Rory on a TUESDAY??? GTF outta here.

OldMotherRiley 6:13 PM  

@Anonymous 1:26 PM and @Cleared2Land, I'm not getting it.

Buck Pharma 6:16 PM  

Anonymous @ 3:17 PM, ROFL!!

Isn't "murse" a portmanteau for "man's purse"?

JC66 6:17 PM  

@OldMother

Loren 1st made the "little heart on" play on words joke earlier (3:59 AM).

Credit where credit's due.

OldMotherRiley 6:24 PM  

Thank you @JC666.

Mickey Murse Club 6:56 PM  

Buck Pharma 6:16 P, I believe that is correct.

Cleared2Land 7:43 PM  

@ JC66, you are absolutely correct. I read Loren's post (as I always do, she cracks me up) but I missed the subtle reference. Thanks.

retired guy 7:58 PM  

Murses??? Curses!!!

btw, the boxes all say "eros"... nothing wrong with that.

Michael 9:00 PM  

Alternative clue for SNARF: comic relief on Thundercats.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snarf_(ThunderCats)

JC66 9:22 PM  

@ Cleared2

Yeah, her posts are so filled with good stuff, it's hard to keep up. Even though I keep reminding myself, I keep forgetting to check out her avatar until someone posts a comment about it.

Anonymous 1:24 AM  

So, googling didn't get me much on this constructor, but I'm a third-generation North Dakotan. and my dad frequently said , "I guess we're batching it" (or a variation thereof) anytime Mom was gone. And we learned about the Arikara in grade school (it's one of the "three affiliated tribes"). So this one was easy, and maybe the constructor is from the northern Great Plains.

Tarheeled 9:35 PM  

What the hell is SNARF? The commonly used word today is scarf. Apparently, I'm the only living person who knows that word is wrong, too.

I had a 1930's English novel that used the word "scoff" to mean wolf it down. I also heard it used that way when I was in Marine Corps boot camp in 1953. Later, I began to hear " scarf it down". I realized the speaker was a New Yorker and was using the intrusive R as New Yorkers tend to do. I will continue to say to my grandchildren, "Don't scoff your chow!"

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