TUESDAY, Mar. 18, 2008 - David Pringle (GYMGOER'S PRIDE)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: MAKES SENSE (60A: Adds up ... like this puzzle's theme?) - final words of three theme answers are SENT, CENT, and SCENT, respectively

Forgettable, as themes go, but at least it has logical coherence (unlike yesterday's debacle). I like that the progression of "SENSE" words goes S-, C-, and SC-, and I think the expressions HEAVEN SENT (17A: Providential) and especially NOT ONE RED CENT (27A: Nary a penny) are fresh and engaging; I was hoping to find this morning that the "red" had something to do with commies, but no, just reddish color of the copper. Not so exciting. The one theme answer that is truly objectionable is HOT ON THE SCENT (45A: In close pursuit). So certain was I that the correct phrase was HOT ON THE TRAIL that I wrote it in without looking at the clue, and in spite of the fact that it made all the Downs manifestly wrong. I finally clued in to my error when 47D: Full range (extent) refused to begin IX-. I'm afraid there's not a lot else to say about this puzzle, so I'll move right to my Top Ten answer breakdown.


  • 6A: #41 or #43 (Bush) - both wife and I tripped over this one (maybe you did too?). I tend not to think of my presidents as #s. This answer was made a bit harder by intersecting two other answers that gave me pause:
  • 6D: When stolen, it stays in place (base) - unless it is the base stolen by Ricky Henderson to break the all-time stolen base record, in which case it is torn out of the ground then and there. Not a big fan of riddles, and this clue reads like one, so I grimaced a little. I also had trouble with nearby ...
  • 9D: Dislikes, plus (hatreds) - absolutely hate the "plus" here. I would have preferred [Intense dislikes], but I guess the "plus" phrasing here perpetuates the illusion, somehow, that "Dislikes" is a verb; that's the trap I fell into at any rate. Considered HATES ON for a few seconds, but then thought that might be a little too, er, colloquial for the NYT.
  • 10A: These may be coddled (eggs) - a gimme for my wife ... not for me. I had EGOS. Sorta sucks when your wrong answer is 3/4 the same as your right answer. Caught my error quickly, though, as I noticed that 12D: Auctioneer's last word (gone) couldn't start with "O," because of course the answer was SOLD ...
  • 22A: Walked like a tosspot (reeled) - The Bangles' far less successful follow-up to "Walk Like an Egyptian." God I love the word "tosspot," primarily because it evokes not only drunkenness but the barfing that might bo with it.
  • 24A: Disco _____ of "The Simpsons" (Stu) - a guy created for a single joke (Homer never quite finished bedazzling a denim jacket that was supposed to read "Disco Stud") becomes a show regular and crossword staple. Amazing.
  • 33A: Gymgoer's pride (bod) - I am so in love with the word "gymgoer" right now, I can't even tell you. It's the weirdest-looking set of letters I've seen in a while. I despise the word "BOD" for many reasons, but mainly a. it reeks of the worst parts of the 80s and b. it's the focal, repeated word of one of the dumbest-ass ad campaigns of recent memory (for some kind of body spray - the kind that losers think will make semi-hot chicks want to sleep with them). Here is a great parody.
  • 59A: Pope from 440 to 461 (Leo I) - O good, random popes! I like those almost as much as I like random roman numerals - 40D: Early 17th-century year (MDCI)
  • 27D: Gunslinger's mark (notch) - where does he make this NOTCH? Not on his bedpost, presumably. The first time I heard of the idea of a "NOTCH" for marking ... anything ... was in the Pat Benatar song "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." 11-year-old-me: "Why would she put a NOTCH in her lipstick case? I don't get it."
  • 31D: "_____ is an island" ("No man") - Meditation XVII is back! In non-"poem" form. I feel better now.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


wendy 9:03 AM  

I so wanted Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense in that puzzle.

I hated HATREDS. And BUSH was the last to fall for me; I just have a big blind spot

We had a big discussion about tosspots here awhile back. It is a great word.

wendy 9:05 AM  

... I was going to finish saying, I just have a big blind spot where they're concerned right now. I want my country back!

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Rex, did you forget to post the puzzle solution? Didn't much matter, today was insanely easy. I never even saw the "Bush" answer, the crosses filled it in and I didn't notice it. (What is it with xworders on this site and the persistent political leaning?)

ArtLvr 9:14 AM  

Easy, and so much more satisfying than yesterday -- I approached from the east so I didn't have trouble with HOT ON THE SCENT!

Very pleased to see a "sensible" puzzle...


Anonymous 9:17 AM  

That was weird! When I first loaded the site, there were no graphics. Now they're back!

Eli Barrieau 9:17 AM  

Couldn't get the B in BUSH/BASE either. Even when I went through the alphabet. Twice. Even so, under six minutes, so very easy.

Politics?! Run for the hills!!! Opinions are being stated!!!

Don't worry, Doug will be amused.

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

Not really "opinions," more like "laments," but my point was the lockstep in viewpoint. Now, on word usage, there's a lively and entertaining variety.

artLvr 9:24 AM  

".... they said sententiously."

Doug 9:26 AM  

41/43 was the last answer I filled in, along with the other nearby ones. Lots of gimmee crosswordese fill that was arcane last year now falls off my fingers: STU, ASP, OBOE, LEOx, ABLE, SLED (as in Iditarod), ODEto, MDCI, ANKH, ESSES and ISLE.

Nice pace for Tuesday. Theme was pretty average, but slightly better than Sun and Mon.

I'm the apolitical Doug--Think the other Doug changed to Nebraskadoug or something like that.

PhillySolver 9:43 AM  

I thought the BUSH answer was part of theme as in, not making any...

I pulled out my coin collection to confirm the year, but the 'Red Cent" reflects the change in the penny in 1864 from bronze to a copper alloy that turns reddish over time, but more importantly depicts an Indian. The term red cent would not be considered PC today. My favorite US coins are the defunct 20 cent piece (1875-1878), the 2 cent coin (1864-1872 and surviving in the phrase let me put in my two cents) and the two varieties of the three cent coin (1851-1889). Sorry, my old hobby seemed more interesting than the puzzle.

Norm 9:51 AM  

I think they used to NOTCH the pistol grip?

Rex Parker 10:00 AM  

We should have one day where everyone posts as some kind of Doug. Nautical Doug. Zulu Doug. Ham Radio Doug. Etc.


Jim in Chicago 10:04 AM  

A very easy Monday - oh, wait, this is Tuesday.

BUSH was also the last thing I filled in, but I loved the clue - obscure until it becomes obvious and then you say "I should have known that".

Jim in Chicago 10:04 AM  

A very easy Monday - oh, wait, this is Tuesday.

BUSH was also the last thing I filled in, but I loved the clue - obscure until it becomes obvious and then you say "I should have known that".

Adam Morgan 10:07 AM  

I got Bush pretty quickly, but I had "abs" in gymgoers pride until the very end.

jannieb 10:09 AM  

I thought the NOTCH was on the gunbelt. Other than the #'a, which was also my last fill, it was so much more of a fun Monday, and certainly better than the usual Tuesday.

PhillySolver 10:14 AM  

ok, one more hobby interjection (but I promise with just one degree of separation) and it will be in two parts!

The homophones in the puzzle (CENTS, SCENTS, SENT) is one of several trios of the ilk. What homophone sound produces the most words? Hint: here are six words on the list.

Answer in a few minutes....

PhillySolver 10:19 AM  

Air (as in what we breathe)
Are (as in the land measurement)
E'er (as in the poetic phrase)
Err (as in to be human)
Ere (as in I saw Elba)
Heir (as in #43 visavis #41)

by Doug the Nerd

Orange Doug 10:20 AM  

"Walk Like a Tosspot"? I love that song! I'm really good at the affiliated dance.

Crosscan Doug 10:31 AM  

TOSSPOT seems likes the type of word you would find in the bottom row of a Friday puzzle but that does not appear to have ever happened per JimH's database. Perhaps in the first puzzle I create.

Crosscan Doug

ArtLvr 10:34 AM  

@ Doug the Nerd -- May I add one more to your six? That's 'Air, as in the bald Cockney 'asn't any 'air...

∑;) Dug the Cat

Ulrich 10:36 AM  

For some reason, the meaning of #41 and #43 is burned into my brain, and it was the second answer I wrote down (after 1A). Perhaps b/c they are both prime numbers?

DIY Doug (working like a dog on my current DIY project)

disco doug 10:40 AM  

one my favorite images of one of my favorite clues in the yawny little puzzle

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

I guess most of you have missed the photos of Bushes, father and son, at Kennebunkport wearing their favorite baseball caps. One says "41" and the other says "43."

Squash's Mom 10:43 AM  


Don't forget Ayr (towns in Wales, Australia, Ontario and North Dakota - or a river in Scotland as well.

I had ABS for BOD for some time as I'm trying to work on mine.

A lot more enjoyable than yesterday's puzzle, that's for certain.

dk 10:45 AM  

Tosspot was my favorite, Tom slurred... and I like the notion of a talking heads clue.

Now if we could get s B52s (band and plane) theme the #41 and #43 clue could be used again as could the ALLNEW answer to the cue "needed in dc"

Seth(Dou)G 10:53 AM  

Yesterday's puzzle, by C. Stewart? Some of C.'s clues seemed a little off to me. (Though not the one about the Nemo who sailed the seas vs. the other.) Nothing like last Wednesday's puzzles, what with all those cees. And today, if my the-
ses are correct, it seems like everyone sees the idea quickly enough.

Today, I seize(d) onto the theme quickly enough to answer HOT ON THE SCENT without stopping at trail.

Wade 11:06 AM  

Apparently you guys don't listen to much Marty Robbins (cf. "Gunfighter Songs and Trail Ballads"). If you had "Big Iron" burned into your brain the way I do ("and the notches on his pistol numbered one and nineteen more") you'd have no problem accepting the notch clue.

Back when Bush Jr. took office the terms/nicknames 41 and 43 were used a lot.

I want to stick up for Doug (or Nebraska Doug.) He raised an issue in a very civil matter and got screamed at. (I know, I know, I'm going to get screamed at now. Or probably deleted again.)

karmasartre 11:12 AM  

Pretty good puzzle, I kind of doug it.

jae aka/ala/nee/via/apb doug 11:14 AM  

Definitely an improvement over yesterday. The BUSH clue was a gimme for me because they were playing golf in the Kennebunkport photo. I did try ABS but had the theme by the time I got to HOTONTHESCENT.

In the John Adams HBO series the other night someone called a passing contingent of British troops TOSSPOTS, great word!

Austin 11:14 AM  

Only clue that confused me is 49A: "One of two in 'boxcars'" ... How is "Six" the answer?

Got it easily enough from the crosses, but still ... I have no idea. lol

Ulrich 11:16 AM  

@wade: Let'be perfectly clear about one thing: Nebraska Doug did not get screamed at for the political opinion he expressed, but for the gall of telling the owner of a blog what he (the owner) could or could not write in his own blog. I belong to those who considered that outrageous.

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

Could someone tell me why SIX is ONE OF TWO IN "BOXCARS"?

I'm sure I'm going to groan when I find out.


ArtLvr 11:24 AM  

Pips on the faces of two dice, six each = boxcars


Anonymous 11:29 AM  

Hey, thanks, artlvr. I don't feel so bad after all since I know nothing about dice!


Austin 11:32 AM  

Ah, I knew about snake eyes, but not boxcars ... good to know.

If i have to be a "Doug", I think I'll go with

-90's Nicktoons Doug

Anonymous 11:32 AM  

In rolling dice in the game of craps, "boxcars" is two sixes, as "snake eyes" is two ones.

Noam D. Elkies 11:33 AM  

I did immediately recognize 41/43 (2A:BUSH) -- and then wrote it in at 2-DOWN! Which slowed that corner a bit. Even so I found this puzzle easier than yesterday's (and the timings confirm). Never noticed the EGOS/EGGS trap for 3A because I happened to fill in EGGS first. Did notice that 33A "gymgoer's pride" could be either ABS or PEC, so waited for crosses -- and found that it was actually neither... Could be LAT too, come to think of it.

Nice to see 10D:ETCETERA spelled out. From the clue `"Yadda, yadda, yadda"' and the first three letters I expected "ETCETCETC" but that doesn't quite fit. Will we ever see &C&C&C in a rebus puzzle?

@Austin 11:14AM -- "boxcars" is slang for a throw of double sixes in craps; the Wikipedia entry for "Boxcars (slang)" explains that "The pair of 6 pips resembles a pair of boxcars on a freight train. In modern parlance, it refers to such a roll in any game involving 6 sided dice which are marked with pips." and reports on an extension to "Freight train from Hell" for a three-dice throw of 6-6-6!


Olfogy 11:49 AM  

Another for your list - Ayer is a town in central Mass.

ryanfacestheworld 11:53 AM  

Seems like today's theme (makes sense) is a direct response to yesterday's theme (makes absolutely no flipping sense whatsoever).

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

Hi Rex:

Glad you didn't hate the puzzle...let's not forget it is a Tuesday, after all -- and the fill and clues reflect that (FWIW they'd all be 'Thursdays' if it were up to me).

I didn't love HATREDS either. Originally had HOTRODS but then realized there was already a HOT in HOT ON THE SCENT -- and we wouldn't want a word repeated twice in the grid, horror of all horrors...

Still, I don't believe that HATREDS is a word 'outside' of common usage (think 'age-old hatreds' for example), but for sure, it wouldn't be a first choice, and it wasn't.

Anyway, love your blog and happy to see how popular it has become -- mazel tov!


Dave P

Mary 12:39 PM  

Air and err are homonyms?

I've always said it like er but with a little more r.

This was a fun puzzle, and fast. I was pleased when I figured out BUSH and I'll bet that was the first time either of 'em has made me smile.

ronathan 12:54 PM  

I also did not understand 49A "One of two boxcars" (SIX). Thanks for clearing that up for me!

I still, however, do not understand 2D "Coward of the theater" (NOEL) or 67A "Tide type" NEAP.

Also, what was with the "Hieroglyphics" clues, 44A and 56D? Did the word hieroglyphics really need to be used twice in the same puzzle? Seems kind of dumb to me.

And finally, liked how I was vindicated today with 52D "Clark's partner" (LOIS). My first thought on yesterday's puzzle with a similar "Clark" clue (I think it was Clark's associate, or something like that) was of Clark as in Clark Kent/Superman, not Clark as in Lewis and Clark (which was of course the right answer).

ronathan 12:57 PM  

Oh, one more thing. I'm from the NY area, and I've NEVER heard someone use the word "BrooklynESE" (5D). Where does that come from?

Anonymous 1:03 PM  

There is also a blatantly wrong clue in this crossword. 33D "Org. with dens" should not be BSA (Boy Scouts of America). The correct answer would be CSA (Cub Scouts of America).

Cub Scouts are organized into dens, while Boy Scouts are organized into troops.

Think I'll write Will Shortz about this.

-Irate Former Boy Scout

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

To Ronathan:

Neap tides are 'slack' tides that occur when the moon is perpendicular to the earth (as it orbits the sun). Neap tides do not rise and fall as much as other tides, such as 'spring' tides.

Noel Coward is a 20th century playwright.

ESE denotes any language suffix; incidental to the root word -- but I suppose Brooklyn has its own colloquial or 'dialect' such that same qualifies as a 'language' of sorts.



Anonymous 1:18 PM  


Cub scouts are a division of the Boy Scouts.


SethG 1:20 PM  

The BSA website says that "Cub Scouting is a program of the Boy Scouts of America—so in that sense, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are both members of the same organization."

-Former PittsburghESE speaker

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

Irate former boyscout,

Cub scouts are a division of Boy Scouts of America.


With a knick-knack paddywhack, give a doug a bone (or puzzlegirl) 1:26 PM  

Felt like a Monday in that I didn't need to know the theme to whip through it in average Monday time.

I think we had a coddled egg clue in the last week or so (the answer was CAESAR SALAD) so that was a gimme today. We also saw ELLE recently -- maybe in the same puzzle as the coddled eggs?

I had to look at the word "gymgoer" for several seconds before I figured out what the heck it meant. And then put in ABS for the answer. Corrected it through crosses, of course.

I loved 40A, Cass and Michelle, for MAMAS. I'll have "California Dreamin'" in my head the rest of the day.

At 65A, Bracelet site, I put in WRIST first time through. Tricky!

I would love for somebody to expound upon OGLE, LEER, GLANCE, STARE, and any other looking-at word. I used to think of OGLING as lascivious, but it's often clued in a way that's more, well, appropriate (romantic even?). And I definitely wouldn't think of a LEER as a sly glance. In fact, I would think of it in the same way as OGLE. Wow. Maybe I just don't like people looking at me.

@anonymous 1:03: My son is a Cub Scout here in Iowa and his den is part of the BSA's Hawkeye Area Council. I didn't even know there was a CSA. Maybe in some parts of the country and not others?

ronathan 1:31 PM  


"ESE denotes any language suffix; incidental to the root word -- but I suppose Brooklyn has its own colloquial or 'dialect' such that same qualifies as a 'language' of sorts."

I understand that, and you are correct insofar that the word "Brookylnese" does actually appear in the dictionary (I checked). Nevertheless, the word seems to imply that the Brooklyn "dialect" is SO distinct as to warrant the creation of the word, yet I think that the Jersey accent (for example) is also very distinct and yet there is no such word as "Jerseyese" or "Jerseyish". There are many distinct dialects found in various regions throughout the country (not to mention the world), and I doubt that you find a word following that same format (place name followed by the suffix -ESE) for most of them in the dictionary.

So why single out Brooklyn? Especially when its more common to describe the phenomenon of a Brooklyn dialect as a "Brooklyn accent", not a distinct language?

thanks for the other explanations, though!

MargaretR 1:34 PM  

It was full of gimmes, and I got BUSH instantly, but six and boxcars?? Even though I knew it was right, I had no clue why. Thanks to the blog, now I know more than just snake eyes for dice. Learning odd things via my crossword almost every day is why I do these!

I'm not Doug -- just ol' Margaret.

Anonymous 1:38 PM  

To profphil:

"Cub scouts are a division of the Boy Scouts."

True, but not relevant. The Cub Scouts are a distinct division within the Boy Scouts organization, but still the Boy Scouts do NOT have dens. It's simply not true.

By analogy (the first one I can think of off the top of my head, so bear with me), the FBI is a division of the Department of Justice. Yet you would describe someone in the FBI as an "agent", and would not use the same word to describe a person who worked in DOJ. Just because the FBI is part of DOJ does not mean that the terms translate to both organizations.

-Irate Former Boy Scout

Anonymous 1:44 PM  


Hey I hear ya -- if it were up to me I'd stage a sit-in outside the New York Times -- but what can ya do?

Surprised, too, that NOT ONE RED CENT passed with a minimum of dissent; again, I say we storm the Bastille!

Next thing you know they'll be trying to put GOLLIWOG or NAZI in a puzzle!


puzzlemensch 1:45 PM  

Brooklynese = e.g., "dese, dem and does" for these, them and those. Also the now famous "fuggedaboudit"

Joon 1:54 PM  

liked the puzzle today. nice theme, some tasty fill (noam, i also liked ETCETERA), nothing egregious. i didn't mind HATREDS. not a big fan of random roman numerals, but LEOI is not a "random" pope. he's sainted (which most popes are not) and is somewhat famous for supposedly meeting with atilla and convincing him not to sack rome.

loved "mr peanut prop" for CANE! but i wanted "How a Bill Becomes ___" for ALAW. more schoolhouse rock, please.

i filled in BSA and BUSH and had no idea what was going on, but knew that they were right. after looking back on the puzzle, i now "get" it. never saw the "brooklyn suffix" clue; filled in ESE from crosses and assumed it was clued directionally.

i also wrote down SOLD and ABS for GONE and BOD. i don't think anything else really tripped me up.

a good tuesday overall.

New England Newbie 2:00 PM  

We stumbled over Bush at our house, too. When we got it, I couldn't help noticing the negative downs off Bush (6 through 9): Base, User, Sin, Hatreds. Happenstance? Perhaps, but I'm not a big believer in coincidence.

We find politics everywhere, even in crosswords!

Kate 2:02 PM  

"Hatreds" is in a George Carlin quote I like, "I don't have pet peeves; I have major psychotic f***ing hatreds." I had "wrist" instead of ANKLE for a bit before I noticed it didn't work with OTHER for the crosses, other than that, very easy one for me.

PhillySolver 2:13 PM  

@ newengland

If the down fill had been something like;


I would say you had a point, but I go with happenstance since it refers to both Bushes.

Anonymous 2:38 PM  

New England:

With all due respect -- the negativity of connotation is yours -- I could easily deduce the opposite. That is, we see what we want to see...

Despite that I believe you are 'correct' in your take upon the implications of BUSH stemming all those 'bad' words...it's not the point...

This is because crossword puzzles, generally, do not hold to some sort of 'sublime' orthodoxy by design -- there's just too many disconnected hands that produce them -- thus the associations can only be by 'happenstance,' as you say, although this is, of course, maleable to a small degree as might be evidenced here. Still, the association is tenuous at best, and it's a bit of a leap to infer to such as 'intentional.'

While I'll venture a personal opine that most crossword constructors likely tend to the left of the political spectrum -- and thus don't much like Bush and ilk -- as far as any real 'conscientous' effort goes into incorporating a political ethos into a puzzle -- it's not something that occurs from a constructor level except to a minimum, and arbitrary effect.

But you never know -- maybe all the NYT puzzles are directed first and foremost by the CIA or something like that -- big brother stuff...I hope not...

Personally, I've always wondered when product endorsement might find its way into the NYT puzzle:

Puzzle Editor: Hello, is this ADIDAS?

Adidas: Yup.

Puzzle Editor: Well listen; I got this puzzle comin' up and it's got the word ADIDAS in it and I'm thinking the clue should be either REEBOK RIVAL or POPULAR FOOTWEAR. Five large gets popular footwear. I already got NIKE on the hook says I use NIKE instead of REEBOK -- You following me here? Hello?

Adidas: Um yeah...I'm listening...hold on let me get my supervisor...

Let's keep our fingers crossed...


Ulrich 2:49 PM  

@anonymous 2:38PM: Thanks--you made me laugh!

I'm also not into conspiracy theories--and consequently I find the "happenstance" discovered by New England delicious.

Crosscan 3:14 PM  

I think we have some TOSSPOTS commenting today.

Snoop Dougy Doug

Anonymous 3:20 PM  

Thanks Rex for the history of Disco Stu as I get all of my Simpsons information from the crosswords - never having watched even one episode.

Amazing how many characters I know just from the puzzles.

ArtLvr 3:21 PM  

Me too, I have to laugh... though head trauma can lead to increased irritableness, and mental trauma such as we've been through in the last several years is probably having a similar effect!

Politics is a subject of which we all must have heightened awareness these days, at the very least... Words leap out at us, with varying emotional effect. So be it --


Anonymous 3:44 PM  

When you guys express strong views on musical theater, TV shows, pop hits, novels, etc., you're generally very entertaining, and the comments are a pleasure to read.

just say no to dougs (or puzzlegirl) 3:44 PM  

@kate: Thanks for the George Carlin quote. Here's one of my favorites along the same lines: "Road rage, air rage. Why should I be forced to divide my rage into separate categories? To me, it’s just one big, all-around, everyday rage. I don’t have time for fine distinctions. I’m busy screaming at people."

Eugene 4:02 PM  

to the homophone question: "Ayr" is also the brand name for a saline nasal spray, and nasal gel. I know that because I use both.

miriam b 4:16 PM  

Carlin rocks.

I took issue with the bracelet thing. The word derives from "bras" = "arm". I think it's incorrect therefore to say that a bracelet is worn on the ANKLE. That's an anklet. Or wait - aren't short socks called anklets too? Forget that I brought this up.

Doug self into hole.

greendoug 4:45 PM  

I think that's a good point, Miriam. Like, earrings in the nose are called...nose rings.

And I don't understand, if everybody and their mother knows that an auctioneer's last word is "sold," why you wouldn't find another way to clue "gone." Like maybe, "What #43 will be in '08." See how easy?

And just a little nit--anonymous who posts in a huge blue link to nowhere, could you try clicking name/url instead? I keep wanting to following your blue promises somewhere thrilling, but they only lead to empty space.

green mantis 4:46 PM  

"Wanting to following..." Must be mantisese.

doug 4:52 PM  

Gee, guys; "we're" amused. I feel as famous as Anit...oops...I mean...

Aw, never mind.

I really do appreciate good humor. Well played.

The REAL ___________

Cape Doug 5:26 PM  

I wanted Dislikes plus to be DETESTS, which seems more than HATREDS.

I know enough people from the Azores to know they speak Portuguese, so the SAO was easy.

Orange 5:54 PM  

Of course, New England should take note that Dave P., the constructor, already popped in and said HATREDS was originally HOTRODS. And we don't know if BUSH was originally clued by him as the presidents' name or "___ league" or shrubbery or "___ pilot." And the clue for USER was [Tech caller], so where's the slur there?

The worst crossword conspiracy is the one that foists OLEO on us all the time and makes us think it belongs on muffins and toast. Horrors! Only butter will do.

ArtLvr 5:55 PM  

@ puzzlegirl -- You asked about LEER vs OGLE, etc.?? My feeling is that OGLE is less "in one's face", can be distant, from across the street or even gawping at a poster of the "cheescake" type. LEER would be at most across a table or desk, (if not down the front of one's blouse), i.e. much more lip-licking personal and personally offensive... Or was that a tongue-in-cheek question?


PuzzleGirl 6:08 PM  

@artlvr: Nope. It was a completely serious question. I keep getting tripped up on those kinds of clues and I think I just don't understand the nuances of the answers' meanings.

crosscan 6:16 PM  

After reading REAL Doug's comment, I went for a walk outside my office on DOUGLAS street and ran into a colleague...named DOUG!

Doug couldn't understand why I burst into laughter upon seeing him. What do I say? You see, there's this crossword puzzle blogger named Rex Parker - well that's not his real name and there's all these Dougs, well not really......oh TOSSPOTS!!

This is a weird hobby sometimes.

Dougie Howser, MD

jannieb 6:37 PM  

@greendoug et al - I've heard auctioneers cry "going once, going twice gone" Didn't seem odd to me at all.


Cea (Doug) 6:46 PM  

I always thought bracelets were something you wore on your wrist, and anklets were worn on the ankle. Guess I was wrong.

Nice puzzle tho.

Michael 6:46 PM  

A Friday/Saturday clue for "Cleveland" might be "#22 or #24."

Michael 6:48 PM  

maybe that should be "#22 and #24."

miriam b 7:09 PM  

Yes, Orange, OLEO is anathema. As you say, only butter will do, and IMHO, it has to be unsalted.

Oops. I'm back to a food topic. Sorry.

Leon 7:19 PM  

There's a web site which features Ankh Ankle tattoos.

Not too many words that begin with ANK.

Also,Hieroglyphics use something called the Rebus Principle

ArtLvr 7:46 PM  

@ puzzlegirl -- okay, I looked them up and found OGLE relating more to "eying", as follows:
Etymology: probably from Low German oegeln, from oog eye; akin to Old High German ouga eye —more at EYE
Date: 1682
intransitive senses
: to glance with amorous invitation or challenge
transitive senses
1 : to eye amorously or provocatively
2 : to look at especially with greedy or interested attention

LEER had this:
Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: probably from obsolete leer cheek
Date: 1530
: to cast a sidelong glance; especially : to give a leer
- leer·ing·ly /-i[ng]-lE/ adverb
Function: noun
Date: 1598
: a lascivious, knowing, or wanton look

So you might "ogle" a fancy piece of jewelry in a greedy way, but "leer" would be used only in a sexual way, either at a person or perhaps at an off-color joke...

In general, I would also hazard a guess that while OGLE might apply to an entire adult age-range, with emphasis on naive youth, the LEER tends to indicate an older "knowing" or more experienced person, and most often an aggressive male (randy old goat, etc.)

I don't recall ever seeing a written expression indicating that a woman was "leering" at a man, just "giving him the eye"... It's a class thing too -- ladies don't leer or ogle, and gentlemen don't ogle in an obvious way, let alone leer. Are we back to politics yet?


andrea carla michaels 7:54 PM  

why don't you make a puzzle out of those airs?!
or maybe we can make one with


andrea carla michaels 7:57 PM  

Years ago on "Wheel of Fortune" I was staring at:

_ _ _

And my blocking out of that family was so intense I asked to buy an E!
(Lost my turn, but won a motorhome anyway!)

PuzzleGirl 7:59 PM  

Thanks, artlvr! I think the clues I've seen for OGLE have focused more on the "amorous," "provocative" and "interested" parts, whereas I've always thought of it more in the "challenge" and "greedy" sense. And I would never have thought of a LEER as a sidelong glance, but there ya go! You're awesome -- I totally doug your post. :-)

ArtLvr 8:20 PM  

That was fun, puzzlegirl! Dug up a few extentions of CENT/SENSE too --census, centarian, sentient, sensate, sensual... I'm sure there are lots more.


Fergus 8:56 PM  

I thought NOTCH as the Gunslinger's mark referred to a notch in a board in a fence, where said gunslinger might aim during practice sessions. And the boxcar I learned for SIX came from card games, which I reckon must have carried over from dice.

As Wendy mentioned way up top, there was a pretty lively discussion on the term, Tosspot. I won't bother to revisit the issues, but I do wonder whether this blogger site is catalogued, or tagged, in case one wanted to search for commentary on such a topic?

Curious where the #30 football player picture comes from?

PhillySolver 9:28 PM  

@ fergus

If you enter "rex blog (and the word you want)", Google usually finds it. can add words "like rex blog nyt etc" and you can also get hits... I just did it for tosspot and in addition to today's discussion I got...


Works for Orange, too.

Badougir 10:06 PM  

Oh yeah, baby, gimme prime numbers in my puzzle! 6A was a gimme, and I was all over coddled EGGS. Even though I also tried, like Noam Doug Elkies, to put in "ETCETCET", I was still sailing along and set my Tuesday record! But I'm still enjoying the fruits of my recent improvement, so I can't judge objectively the difficulty of this puzzle--everything (almost) feels easy these days. :)

Joon 10:07 PM  

the #30 football player is rod smart, aka HE HATE ME. smart is one of the few veterans of the defunct XFL to later play in the NFL. among the many XFL gimmicks was the fact that players could choose what "name" appeared on their jerseys. HE HATE ME was by far the most interesting. i assume rex posted it because it relates to HATREDS or rex's proposed HATES ON.

doug e doug aka wendy 10:11 PM  

Yeah Fergus, Dec. 15 of last year was the day we had the tosspotian discussion going. Good times ;)

doug a-hole 10:25 PM  

I am offended by the making light of the name "Doug" and demand you all stop at once.

Fergus 10:35 PM  

It's always nice to get the answers to one's most frivolous, practical or most profound questions. The correlation in the connection with other Xword enthusiasts is of course very high, at least in the frivolous and practical. I also assume the correlation coefficient is pretty close to one among us, too, and yet sometimes I wonder whether the deep thought gets supplanted by virtuoso display?

Lest the last question offer any offense, let it be said that sometimes I mistake my trove of obscure facts and information for an intimation of knowledge, and occasionally confuse the two.

Anonymous 11:19 PM  

Apparently I completely misunderstood the HTML instructions. I'm somewhat charmed, though, to think anyone tried to follow my link.

Signed, formerly-blue-ink Anonymous

PhillySolver 11:49 PM  

@ anonymous 11:19

All forgiven and its nice to see you are over the blues.

Fergus 12:46 AM  


I like how you've narrowed down your icon to Plato and Aristotle

from Raphael

PhillySolver 1:15 AM  

@ Raphael

Well noted. The name PhilySolver is a play on the word philosopher. When said in a South Philly way, they are homophones.

karmasartre 2:08 AM  

99 luft balloons. Do I hear 100?

DONALD 2:39 AM  


Orange 2:45 PM  

101 Dalmations.

MarkTrevorSmith 5:08 PM  

I got "BUSH" right away, because I've read many stories of those nicknames 41 and 43. However, the Bushes are NOT the 41st and 43rd men to hold the office. And why not? Because Cleveland's two separate terms get two numbers and throw off the accuracy of the sequence. He was officially 22nd and 24th!

doc John 11:07 PM  

I wasn't thrilled about the BSA/CSA thing, either, but after realizing that I couldn't think of any body parts that started with C, I just filled in the B and went on my way. And since I'm in that section, speaking of "ODE TO a Nightingale", one of the most famous lines of my high school years came when we were studying that piece. A particularly bored guy said, "Who cares about a stupid bird, anyway." It was very funny at the time. I guess you had to be there.

Interesting that there was a "California Dreamin'" clue in the puzzle because I was at Disney's California Adventure on Tuesday (Disneyland's redheaded stepchild) and that song played frequently. (Which is why I'm commenting on Tuesday's puzzle on Wednesday night.)

-Donald Doug

dgranias 2:40 PM  

Wow, I can't believe there's a blog for daily crossword enthusiasts! I'm a fan.

I was also in the scouts, and when I read the clue, I couldn't believe BSA was right.

I was also really into Egypt when I was younger, so the ASP and ANKH clues were also amusing.

Anonymous 3:15 PM  


My wife wears anklets on her ankles and bracelets on her wrists. But then, it might just be because I'm Doug.

- - Douglas

Anonymous 8:46 PM  

@phillysolver: sigh. Am I the last person on earth who knows that "ERR" is pronounced like earth minus the "TH", NOT like "air"? Alas,in recent years the dictionaries have allowed "AIR is human" to creep in as a secondary pronunciation, but anyone who wants to sound uppity says "UHR". Oh woe. Docruth

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