Statistician Silver / THU 11-27-14 / Second-largest moon of Saturn / Highest paid TV star of 2014 / State south of Veracruz / Sister of grand duchess Anastasia / Upwards of 170 beats per minute / Eastern terminus of Erie Canal / Actual first name of Tom Seaver Orson Welles

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Constructor: Stanley Newman

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME:  [Thanksgiving phrase] — "Thanks a lot" (roughly) in three different languages

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: COO (53D: Corp. manager) —
chief operating officer (COO), also called the chief operations officerdirector of operations, or operations director, is a position that can be one of the highest-ranking executive positions in an organization, comprising part of the "C-Suite". The COO is responsible for the daily operation of the company, and routinely reports to the highest ranking executive, usually the chief executive officer (CEO). The COO may also carry the title of President which makes that person the second in command at the firm, especially if the highest ranking executive is the Chairman and CEO. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was a reasonably solid themeless—yes, I see the theme there, but … I don't know. Those countries don't celebrate Thanksgiving, so while it's literally true that those are all "thanksgiving phrases" , the whole conceit seems rather thin. Also, the theme is just thin generally—just 35 squares total. So its feel is mostly that of a themeless. The most interesting thing about the theme is the way the clues exploit the first-letter-capitalized cluing convention to get you to think that the clues relate to capital-T Thanksgiving, when really they're related only to lowercase-T thanksgiving. The foreign angle … I don't really get. I guess those three phrases just fit nicely/symmetrically into the grid.

Solved this one slow-fast-stopped … then done. Got AAH and SCAM but nothing else in the NW. Then PECS and PSI got me going in the NE, though it still took me a while to throw MUCHAS GRACIAS back across the grid and into that NW corner. I had -RACIA- at the end of that answer, and I was like "… how is a [Thanksgiving phrase] going to end in 'RACIAL'???" After that top themer went in, the puzzle went down fast, until I put in MERCI BEAUCOUP. I thought with LAGS, AUEL, and BEAUCOUP going for me down there in the SE, I'd be set, but Nuh-o. Got TSP and PAST … still nothing. I just sat. I put the blame entirely on COO. Nobody expects a perfectly good word to be clued as an abbr. I will add that nobody *wants* it, either. Why you decide to clue a word as an abbr., I will not know. I guess just to f*** with solvers. Mission accomplished. Without GEORGE, I had no hope down there. No way I was getting RETORT from [Counter with a sharp edge] (clever) or SERAPES from [Clothing items with fringes] without much help from crosses, but those just wouldn't come. I just couldn't pick up any of those short Acrosses from their final letters. Somehow, finally, my brain managed to see through T---U-H to THROUGH, and only then did I realize, "Oh … COO." And then I was done.

I had no idea JUDGE JUDY was still on the air. Seriously. [Highest-paid TV star of 2014, by far]?? Wow.

Happy capital-T Thanksgiving,
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Anonymous 12:09 AM  

    Hmmm, I got RETORT instantly, with just the crossing R from RHEA, which was a personal gimme from astronomy trivia knowledge. Just came here to brag.

    jae 12:12 AM  

    My initial impression was that this was too easy for a Thurs. until I got to the @Rex SE which almost took as long as the rest of it.   SERAPES are sort of an article of clothing,  COO isn't obvious and neither is RETORT.  GEORGE just filled itself in, I had no clue on that one.  And, just when I had RHEA down pat as a bird it turns into a moon.

    Nice Thanksgiving Day puzzle with a corner of crunch and Judge Judy in the center squares.  Liked it.

    George Barany 12:26 AM  

    So much to be thankful for! First, being flummoxed by @Stan Newman's (a fellow Stuyvesantian) misdirectional Thanksgiving theme, which is based on an amazing find about how the three long answers interlock. Second, seeing my first name in the puzzle, which I only knew because the clue referenced my favorite ballplayer while growing up in New York. Third, getting a whole new perspective on Newman's puzzle from this webcomic by the talented Hayley Gold.

    But that's not all ... With the imminent US release of The Imitation Game biopic, Hayley Gold has created a comic called Gobbledygook, which is a cryptic tribute to A Cryptic Tribute, enigmatically speaking.


    Anonymous 12:31 AM  

    Doesn't make sense to use foreign phrases for an American holiday. Any why no Chinese? (xie xie nin, gan en jie kuai le)

    People in other countries celebrate Christmas, so Feliz Navidad and so on, but they don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

    Yeah, I get it that plenty of people in the US speak languages other than English (including my family), but that doesn't make the puzzle sensical.

    Press 1 to continue in English.

    Lon In Austin 12:34 AM  

    i immediately read Rex's write-up to get the story behind the 31A answer. But apparently RP is just as surprised. Anybody else find this "fact" strange?

    John Child 12:43 AM  

    What Ms Gold said in her comic sums up TOAT my response. Happy (tofu?) turkey day to all.

    Moly Shu 12:44 AM  

    Nothing except ALES, DOS, and RBI for a good 10 minutes. Then tried EssE which got me SPED. Then changed it to ETTE figuring it had to be OUT-something, and it was done in a flash. Only other hang up was CeO, but tried CfO (no good) then COO and I got GEORGE and it was over. Once I got going it seemed like a Tuesday.

    Liked POMELOS, SPRITZ, and BUZZ. UGG? Not so much, but better than ugh. Finally remembering AUEL also helped. Over too quick which I hope is the opposite of my many feastings later on today.

    mathguy 12:44 AM  

    I guess that Judge Judy's syndicated show is picked up everywhere. Maybe she owns the show.

    Why is PRESTO "Upwards of 170 beats per minute"?

    Whirred Whacks 12:47 AM  

    Medium for me. Nice fill. Especially SCYLLA!

    My OAXACAn friends are celebrating "dia del pavo" on Thursday. Speaking of turkeys, there's a family of about 15 wild turkeys that comes on our property every couple days or so. At first, I thought they were "cute," but they can be quite a menace to kids and older people. My Corgis love to chase them away. It's quite a sight to see a twenty pound fowl take flight and head for the trees.

    Nice Hayley Gold cartoon (thanks @George). Question: does anyone know if she gets the puzzle ahead of the 7PM PT (10PM ET) general release time? If she doesn't, she exhibiting a lot of creativity on a very tight deadline.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! And a special Happy Thanksgiving to the @Rexster for the work he puts in on this blog,

    chefwen 1:02 AM  

    My solve was a little different than @Rex's. SLOW, SLOW, SLOW, O.K. got it, FAST.

    Didn't mind that it wasn't about "our holiday", just about Thank you in foreign languages. Thought it was cute and timely. We have a lot to be thankful for, one of them being all my cyber buddies on this here blog.

    It's still your Birthday here Rex, so many happy returns. I'm sure your cake was great.

    Clark 1:20 AM  

    Finished the puzzle with the unknown word TOAT (sounds like tote?) in the grid and was surprised to get Mr. Happy Pencil. Only after reading Rex's write-up with no mention of this strange word did it dawn on me.

    Anonymous 2:17 AM  

    @Lon In Austin,

    Judge Judy is highest-paid TV star -- CNN, August 21, 2013

    "Judge Judy Sheindlin gets paid $47 million per year... generates about $200 million in ad revenue for CBS (CBS) but costs just $10 million per year to produce, before factoring in Sheindlin's salary... The Daily Show's Jon Stewart came in second, but still lagged far behind Sheindlin at $25 million to $30 million a year."

    Benko 2:57 AM  

    @Whirredwhacks-- we might not be on the same page politically, but I definitely agree with your choice of dogs. I am a ridiculous dog lover, and corgis are one of the very best breeds, in my opinion. Purina dog show tomorrow!

    happy thanksgiving.. This is my favorite holiday and I sincerely hope you all enjoy it.

    Ellen S 3:04 AM  

    Yep - happy Thanksgiving to everyone, regardless of politics, but extra if you are a dog lover.

    Ellen S 3:15 AM  

    Oh, @George Barany - thanks for the links. I can't wait for the movie (but it'll make me cry; every movie involving Alan Turing makes me cry, including "Enigma", where Turing was left out of Bletchley Park altogether; instead they had Dougray Scott as a fictional heterosexual guy and Kate Winslett as his (appropriate) love interest).

    I tried to do the puzzle but couldn't. I'm using as an excuse that I couldn't see where the squares were on the interactive solving page, but since they weren't all checked, it would be just another unsolvable Brit crossword, for me.

    Charles in Austin 3:15 AM  

    Three different ways of saying "Thanks a lot" in three different languages on any day of the year.

    What's wrong with that?

    And yes, "thanksgiving" is an actual word.

    ZenMonkey 3:23 AM  

    It's telling that Rex identifies the theme as different languages, but then quibbles with "those countries." The French language does not equal France, Spanish doesn't equal dozens of other countries. I thought the puzzle was a nice, low-key reminder that all of those languages (and many more) are spoken and signed in the U.S.

    Totally agree about JUDGE JUDY, so much so that I needed most of the crosses to get it. Fun tidbit.

    I also liked SCYLLA, largely because it's the name of my mother's best friend. (American raised in Brazil, speaks Portuguese.) Mom has been doing the NYT crossword for over 50 years, so I anticipate a giddy text about this. :-)

    John Child 3:24 AM  

    I just enjoyed @George Barany's cryptic tribute puzzle for the second time. It looked familiar early on, but having done it originally more than two years ago didn't spoil the fun or the joke. I guess advancing years offer some advantages.

    Andy 3:29 AM  

    Thanks to Anonymous for the tip on restarting the App. It seemed to be less sluggish tonight, but sadly still freezes for up to minute once you get to the 'Congrats you solved a Thursday puzzle in 17 minutes' page. Hopefully the techs will get it fixed soon.

    68GTCS 4:10 AM  

    Yep, what @ZenMonkey sed (tho my mom's BFF is named Jonathan). Arigatou gozaimasu all!

    Danp 5:16 AM  

    Judge Judy reminds me of the line from Count of Monte Cristo where a courtroom is compared to a bullring as the defendants are there only to make the judge look good.

    Loren M. Smith 6:30 AM  

    Hey, all – Loren here. I couldn’t remember my google password, and I’m at my mother-in-law’s house.

    Hah! I liked the idea of the Thanksgiving misdirect. Too bad something like DANKE SEHR couldn’t have replaced JUDGE JUDY, but I guess that’s not as in-the-language.

    I found its PLEASE start elegant. Please and thank-you, ma’am.

    And its SLOTHS end funny - won’t we all be there later today? Well, those of us who don’t have to get all the turkey off the bones, put it into several baggies to send home with various Chosen Few, put away the other 14 dishes in Tupperware and then cram into an already jammed fridge, take the leaves out of the table, move the chairs back to their proper rooms, do the dishes, put Aunt LaVerne’s turkey platter back in the tissue back into its disintegrating box, all the while fretting that it’s now Christmas season and the one gift you bought and hid back in September you can’t remember where you put.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. And thanks for the smiles, Stan. Good one!

    Muscato 6:57 AM  

    I loved the multilingual holiday theme, a reminder that Thanksgiving is a holiday for all Americans, as well as from my experience, an American celebration that people in other countries like and admire (even as they puzzle out the various food traditions - trying to explain canned cranberry sauce to friends in Ethiopia stands as one of the great cross-cultural experiences of my life).

    And very fast for a Thursday for me, which is just as well, as I have to get cracking in the kitchen. Happy day, all!

    Scarab 7:10 AM  

    I posted the other day about problems with the iOS app. To their credit, they've already released a fixed version. The lag problems seems to have gone away, and they said this will address the crashes as well. The only lingering problem I'm having is that occasionally a clue in the list is missing the very last word -- but when you click on it as if to enter your answer, the large version of the clue that appears in the lower left is fine. They said they're working on this now but wanted to get the other fixes out right away. If you have version 2.4.0, I can definitely recommend going to 2.4.1.

    Scarab 7:13 AM  

    Also, the title on the Neko Case video made me think of this: .

    Thanks, alot.

    Elle54 7:29 AM  

    @mathguy is Presto a music term?
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
    And Thank you God for your blessings to us!

    Anonymous 7:43 AM  

    This strikes me as practically a robo-puzzle, churned out mechanically as possible with a puny excuse for a "thanksgiving" theme. No depth at all -- three ho-hum foreign phrases that contain the idea of thanks, plus Judge Judy -- Judge Judy? -- stuck smack in the middle. Perhaps the theme is that this is supposed to be a turkey.

    NCA President 8:04 AM  

    Funny, I am completely fine with phrases of gratefulness on a day like this. I have just two nits to pick about the themers though:

    1) I took Italian in college and was taught that "molto grazie" was the way to say the equivalent of "thanks a lot." I get that "GRAZIEMILLE" is a legit phrase, I don't think it is as common. I could be wrong about that...which is why it is a nit and not a major objection.

    2) If I was constructing this puzzle based around a theme of multi-national thanksgiving, I would have included other common thank-yous: "Danke schön," (or "vielen dank"), "domo arigato," "Bol'shoye spasibo," "Toda raba" (the obligatory Hebrew entry) or even something ENglish like "much obliged" or "thanks a ton."

    Now that I think of it, not including other phrases from other countries is an objection...other countries really should have been included.

    I got OAXACA right away because we just saw that a couple of days ago. JUDGEJUDY? Who knew...

    Finally, the first four-letter word that came to mind that "can be a "noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or interjection" was not both senses of that word. That is, it would not have been "okay" to use an F-bomb in a NYT puzzle, just sayin'. Maybe in a BEQ puzzle, but not NYT...

    Vielen Dank...I'll show myself out...

    Charles Flaster 8:08 AM  

    EZ medium but I appreciate the symmetry.
    After SERAPES the solve went PRESTO with some nice "ahas".
    No real obvious crosswordEASE.
    Enjoyed cluing for OKAY, HOARSE and POUTS.
    GEORGE was a gimme for Seaver but also loved Orson Welles.
    Thanks SN and HTD to all!!!

    chefbea 8:16 AM  

    Will read all the comments later...gotta the bird in the oven.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

    Susan McConnell 8:19 AM  

    I think 60 Minutes did a piece on Judge Judy and her millions not that long ago.

    This was pretty easy but fell kind of flat for me. Given that it's a holiday, plus a Thursday I was hoping for a fun puzzle with some zip. This seemed.....basic.

    Oh, well. The thought of having my mom's stuffing later today makes everything right with the world,

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    Hartley70 8:37 AM  

    BUZZ just seemed wrong to me. Is it supposed to be the buzzer? Don't get it. Don't like it.

    Otherwise a pleasant theme. It's perhaps a bit too simple (as I scream "Where is my rebus!!!") for a Thursday, but hey, we're all busy today.

    Happy Chobbling All!

    Josh 8:45 AM  

    Perfect Thanksgiving Day puzzle. I like that the theme refers to the literal giving of "thanks" instead of attempting some tortured Thanksgiving thing with, like, Rebus-square turkeys or "I Yam What I Yam" or whatever.

    The cluing is nice and breezy. The grid is super clean (as you'd expect from Mr. Newman). My only nit is the clue for COO. C'mon. Just say something about a dove so I don't have to stare at the name GEERGE for 20 seconds, wanting it to be GEORGE but wondering how a dove sound could run a corporation.

    RooMonster 8:46 AM  

    Hey All !
    Interesting puz, thanks a lot in three languages. Miffed about JUDGEJUDY in the middle. Couldn't squeeze another language in there? Different kind of grid, sectioned off NW & SE. Hands up for the SE as the toughest. Took a bit to remember how to spell BEAUCOUP... bouxceau?? beaucoux??

    Wanted passes for FLYBYS first, didn't write it in, so technically not a writeover! Had LAUREtS/ROtE , only miss!

    42 black squares, a might high.

    Happy Turkey Day! May we all eat hearty and fall asleep watching football!


    Davidph 8:47 AM  

    @mathguy -- PRESTO means 'very fast' in music. Only prestissimo is faster.

    Anonymous 8:58 AM  

    I thought it was relatively easy, and I loved it. 6:38 is pretty good for me for a Thurs. But it was not TOO easy to be enjoyable. Loved it. To the person complaining about no Chinese, well duh, how could they fit in every language? And Chinese is not the easiest for crossword purposes, since there is no single definitive transliteration into English of any given phrase. Also, the foreign language phrases are NOT Thanksgiving greetings, they're just expressions of thanks. Perfectly fitting. I think everyone is aware those countries don't have Thanksgiving, but that wasn't the point.

    Hartley70 8:58 AM  

    @WhirredWhacks. Since it's an appropriate topic today and I raise my hand as a Corgi lover, beware those turkeys! I've had a flock of just under 50 hang around my place the last few years. They came up behind me as I was reading in an adirondack chair one winter day and they chased me around the outside of the house until I found an unlocked kitchen door. It was scary. In the next town, a flock attacked a school bus! You never know when your gang may turn ROGUE(wasn't that a word this week?))

    Bob Kerfuffle 9:28 AM  

    Sorry, no time to read anything.

    But two things I learned from this pleasant and appropriate puzzle:

    It ain't "mucho gracias", it's MUCHAS GRACIAS,

    and, JUDGE JUDY ! ! !

    Z 9:29 AM  

    We miss our corgi, though our Shiba Inu still gets mistaken for a puppy at the ripe old age of 14. They were a great pair for the boys, the beauty and the brains. Our next dog will probably be a mutt from the humane society.

    Newman and I just aren't on the same wavelength. Take my first misstep - SOakED before SOPPED. Nothing to really complain about, but it is a certainty that if his clue wants left I'll write right. If he's looking for black, I'll write ebony. If he wants ebony, black. It wasn't until I was 3/4ths THROUGH the comments that the clue was "beats per minute and not seconds. Also, hand up for having no idea how [Wrong] --> BUZZ.

    CeO left me with GEe-GE for a first name and [blank stare] for quite a bit. I do like that we have foreign phrases balanced by US waterways. ALBANY was a gimme, but I had to do the head slap when POTOMAC finally appeared.

    My son, my aunt, my mother-in-law, and SCYLLA all make the puzzle. Make of it what you will.

    @Questina - Cafeteria Voice is a group of learned skills. It is not a matter of being loud, it is a matter of making oneself heard. To the uninitiated it can seem quite magical, but it ain't.

    Casco Kid 9:29 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Laurence Katz 9:30 AM  

    Well worth it just for the Judge Judy face. Wow, indeed.

    mathguy 9:30 AM  

    @Davidph and @Elle54: Thanks for the help on PRESTO. I looked it up and learned that tempo is often measured in beats per minute. PRESTO is among the fastest tempi.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I'm dreaming of the stuffing and gravy.

    Whirred Whacks 9:32 AM  

    @Benko @Hartley 70 @Ellen S

    We've had four Corgis in the past 20 years:
    -- Ruby Dooby Doo
    -- Razzbo Dogjoy
    -- Ziggedy Zack
    -- Wally Doodle

    The last two are still with us. We're getting another one in mid-January (he was born in Sebastopol a couple of weeks ago. Got any puppy name suggestions?

    Our big family news is that our daughter will be having a son any day now (that will be our first grandchild!). Lots to be thankful for!

    @Hartley 70: Yes indeed: wild turkeys can be quite a
    menace. About six months ago, several aggressive Toms went after an elderly neighbor, and he broke his
    wrist when he fell.

    Teedmn 9:34 AM  

    Like PAST Thanksgivings, we will PARE the apples for the Waldorf salad (not the "grape salad" the NY Times would have you believe we are eating here in MN!), ROLE out the crust for the pie, put the ICING on the cake, MUSS the POUTatoeS.

    Then we will ATE, having given MILLE GRAZIE, SOPPED up the gravy, and made TOAsTs to the chef. Upon being EXCUSEd from the table, we will make like SLOTHS to the nearest horizontal surface, while the clean up crew puts CLINGS free wrap over the leftovers.
    Thanks, Mr. Newman, for a fun puzzle, and have a great turkey day everyone!

    Lewis 10:02 AM  

    Warm fuzzy puzzle with thankfulness beaming from around the globe. This was not easy for me, with it's vague cluing (like the clue for ERRS). I did love the clue for RETORT. 13 double letters, which is quite high (and neither good nor bad). It was tough, but felt good to complete, and so my thanksgiving to you, Will and Stanley.

    Steve M 10:04 AM  


    lawprof 10:05 AM  

    Judge Judy makes $47,000,000 per year; Chief Justice John Roberts makes $255,500. Is this a great country or what?

    BarbT 10:07 AM  

    I think having phrases for Thanksgiving (yes, an upper-case T) in different languages makes perfect sense! I know at the Thanksgiving meal I attend we start with homemade ravioli and keep going from there all night. I'm sure someone will say "grazie mille" a few times. My friend married a woman from Mexico, and "muchas gracias" will heard in their house. I don't happen to know any family who speaks French, but there are some around I'm sure. Isn't this what makes our country great? Rex, if you thought this was a themeless, you totally missed the theme.

    Sir Hillary 10:12 AM  

    No time to read comments today, so apologies if I'm covering old ground.

    Right off the bat, I read "Kindly" as an adjective, so assumed 1A would be PLEAS[ANT] as part of a Thursday rebus. But no, instead it was a charming, warming, multilingual message of thanks. I loved it.

    Among the countless things I am thankful for:
    -- My wife and three daughters, all happy and healthy.
    -- My parents, both very active at 75.
    -- Lots of friends who tolerate me (not always easy!).
    -- Technology-enabled diversions unimaginable 20 years ago...this blog being one.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    See you tomorrow.

    Ludyjynn 10:26 AM  

    Like @NCAPres, my first response of a multi-use four letter word at 23D was my favorite swear word. But (POUTy face), I knew it would not fly here.

    JUDGEJUDY was a gimme; my nickname in my former ROLE as an ALJ.
    Wish I'd also earned her salary!

    Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday for so many reasons: totally inclusive (no religious overtones whatsoever), all about family and/or friends, culmination of the beautiful Autumnal season and bounty shared at the table (no gifting required). What a concept!!!

    Gotta run and make a lobster mac and cheese side to take to the dinner I'm attending w/ best friends and surrogate family. Should be a great day now that the snow has melted and roads are clear.

    Much to be thankful for.

    Thanks, SN and WS.

    Arlene 10:29 AM  

    I'm watching the Macy's Parade - nice to have some Thanksgiving nostalgia ambiance when solving today's puzzle.
    The NW gave me some trouble - so I peeked - no patience today (so shoot me!)
    And I would have put ROCKETTES in the middle, instead of JUDGEJUDY.
    Okay - back to the parade -
    a bountiful Thanksgiving to all.

    BillyC 10:29 AM  

    There he goes again ... Barany once again using this site to promote one of his puzzles. One would think that at least on Thanksgiving he'd give us a break.

    Carola 10:32 AM  

    I very much liked this puzzle, with its three Romantic thanks-giving phrases, its POMELOS and LAURELS, MUCHAS GRACIAS embraced by OAXACA and PERU, the ETAILER getting ready for BLACK FRIDAY, and the gift-giving MAGI. Found it nicely "medium," slowed myself down for a while by mOPPING a MeSS.

    No kids home for Thanksgiving this year, so non-puzzle-SPOUSE and I find ourselves far afield in a lovely inn in a tiny town with no restaurants open for dinner today. Plan is to drive to the nearest Publix to forage for a meal to be eaten in our room in the company of the NFL. Happy Thanksgiving to all, whether solo or surrounded by MILLE -kin :)

    retired_chemist 10:39 AM  

    A fun puzzle - I agree with Rex it solved pretty much like a themeless. Once I got MERCI BEAUCOUP the other theme answers were easy, though I agree that GRAZIE MILLE was unfamiliar even though probably quite correct.

    Fill overall felt lively - nothing to complain about in the cluing.

    Flabbergasted that JUDGE JUDY earns that much. Interesting fact.

    Thanks, Mr. Newman.

    Casco Kid 10:40 AM  


    Lewis 10:41 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Lewis 10:45 AM  

    Factoid: Frank Mortel of Mortels Sheepskin Factory (Australia) began manufacturing UGG boots in the late 1950s, giving them that name after his wife commented that the first pair he made were "ugly".

    Quotoid: "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining." -- JUDGE JUDY

    mac 10:54 AM  

    What's Judge Judy doing in the middle of a Thanksgiving puzzle? I had read somewhere she is the highest paid TV personality. Personally I think she should be muSSled, or at least censored.

    There are so many names and family members in this puzzle, it almost feels like one of those personalized ones.

    Back to my oven. I wish everyone here a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, and I want to thank Rex for his work every day. A blessing.

    Dank je wel.

    Bird 11:01 AM  

    Happy Thanksgiving all.

    Ps. Where's my rebus?

    jberg 11:03 AM  

    I started confidently with SOakED up crossing a SquIrt of perfume. "Ah," methinks, "he's going for a pangram if there's a Q so early." Then PRESTO showed me it had to be SPRITZ instead, and the poor Q never came back. Meanwhile, the pangram ghost made me see OAXACA -- if you'd asked me to guess where Vera Cruz is, I'd have guessed somewhere much further East.

    As for the theme, I think all this multicultural America talk, while perfectly true in its own right, was not the point of the puzzle. This is Thursday, it was supposed to be a trick -- have us wracking our brains for phrases we'll be hearing later today, until we suddenly realize we've been had.

    One question though: Is the real phrase GRAZIE MILLE, as it reads in the puzzle, or MILLE GRAZIE, as @Rex lists it? I don't know how Italian works. If it's the latter, reversed to make it fit the interlocking theme answers, this puzzle loses some respect, IMO.


    Benko 11:09 AM  

    @whirredwhacks: I don't think I can compete with the names you've come up with! I really like the idea of a corgi named ziggedy zack, though, I think you've got the right idea.
    @z: Shiba inus are also an adorable breed,
    As for me, I have a one-eyed jack. A beautiful jack Russell I adopted from the dierenasiel (animal asylum) in amsterdam ten years ago who lost one eye due to cancer, but is completely happy and fine regardless. I'm thankful for Bodie, my little troublemaker.

    Masked and Anonymo9Us 11:25 AM  

    Top Ten Stuff M&A is thankful for...

    * Nine U's. (Lil darlins)
    * @63's neat blog.
    * @63's reaction to pangrams.
    * Pangrams.
    * @muse easin back into the comment gallery.
    * jUdge jUdy able to beat back poverty.
    * Homemade cinnamon rolls.
    * The dessert bar that just opened up a few blocks down the road. Within waddlin distance of the donut shoppe.
    * Endless supply of schlock movies. (Tomorrow night, b-inlaw and I are doin a Worst Of Night, to christen the holiday season.)
    * Blossomin unity between the branches of our federal government. (Hey--9 outta 10 ain't bad.)

    "Pardon Me, Turkeys!"

    AliasZ 11:26 AM  

    I found myself often between SCYLLA and Charybdis while working on this puzzle. Soaked or SOPPED? Splash or SPRITZ? Arias or POUTS? Fuss or MUSS? ATE ORATE? Sags or LAGS? Although, in this case the former hangs down, not back. ETTE or -elle? Et al.

    PRESTO is actually ~168 to ~200 beats per minute. Yes, it is a tempo marking, my very first entry. PERU was second.

    I liked to see MUCHAS GRACIAS, OAXACA, PERU and DOS in the same puzzle, together with DOS AGES. I enjoyed BEAUCOUP crossing with COO and GRACIAS with GRAZIE. Also, BUZZ, MUSS, HUMS, JAB, SPOUSE and MAMA crowding JUDGE JUDY in the middle was fun to C.

    In cryptocruciverbology the TOAT is a species most closely related to the ATOZ and the GOAT, which, when seen in the wild, is often confused with the domestic, mountain or pygmy goat, genus 'Capra' [see Frank]. The TOAT is also related to the INON, INB, AANDE, RANDD, MANDM, PBANDJ, RAZR, SOFTG [see GEORGE], HARDC [see Capra], etc., all belonging to the common 'junquefille' family, whose proliferation in Cruciverbia is comparable only to that of insects on Earth.

    Let me give thanks to this wonderful year the best way I know how: with music. Here is the PRESTO (third) movement of Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, by Beethoven, performed by the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by GEORGE OUTSELL.

    Köszönöm szépen.

    mac 11:33 AM  

    One little nit the ladies will probably agree with: you don't spritz perfume, or no one would join you in the elevator. You spritz eau de toilette, maybe eau de parfum.

    dk 11:39 AM  

    Greetings from Moab. Turkeys were buried last night in a bed of coals. They shall be undug at about four today.

    62 and sunny for another day in the red rocks.

    This puzzle was just odd like the flock of peacocks that just came into the yard.

    pmdm 11:48 AM  

    Just for the record - Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving, but on a different day (usually, I think, the Sunday of Columbus Day week in the US). There are a handful of other places (not always full countries) that celebrate a similar holiday. And if you consider Thanksgiving to be a holiday related to the harvest, many other countries have similar holidays.

    Mr. Mathguy's question got me to thinking. While you are listening to a piece of music, you can often tap your foot to the beat. By convention, the number of times you tap your foot each minute is associated with tempo designations, from largo to prestissimo. As the tempo speeds up one might stop tapping the foot to each beat but instead tap the foot once per measure. Counterintuitively, while the tempo is actually accelerating, the beat seems to slow down. The French composer Darius Milhaud wrote Pacific 231 as a piece of music describing a train ride. See if you hear where, even though the tempo speeds up, it seems that there are less beats per minute.

    If you enjoy hearing a train ride depicted in music, Alkan wrote a piano piece "Chemin fe Fer" and Charles Ives iincluded one as the second movement of his 4th symphony.

    Geerge 11:55 AM  

    I'd give COO a break. Sure, it's an abbreviation, but t's probably more common than the dove noise at this point. (Google Ngrams agrees: Surely very common abbreviations like FBI, CIA, CEO, etc. aren't bad fill.

    Master Melvin 12:00 PM  

    ALBANY is not the Eastern terminus of the Erie Canal. Waterford is.

    "The easternmost section and locks of the Erie Canal pass through the town [Waterford] and connect with the Hudson River . The Waterford Flight series of locks is one of the steepest in the world. The east-west Erie Canal is linked to the north-south Champlain Canal at Waterford." (Wikipedia)

    I don't always trust Wikipedia, but I've done both canals by boat and their description is accurate.

    Questinia 12:05 PM  

    OMG Judge Judy. A woman who tries but fails at cafeteria voice, instead screeching people into submission. What a gig!!

    @ Z, I understand Cafeteria Voice (CV) is not about being loud. It would be too easy to tune out *loud* because it is ultimately dismissible. But the projection I imagine to be part of CV includes moral authority and sense of responsible stewardship coming from a person's core, i.e. much deeper.

    Because of the snow and inability to be at my sister's, I will be eating a piece of

    ✺❅ ✺❅ frozen fish ❆❄︎✺❅ ✺❅

    A piece of fish that had languished in the fridge for a while until I realized I was not being in the mood for fish so froze it with the optimistic pragmatism of both keeping it *fresh* and getting it out of my sight.

    Well, as Judge Judy would screech: "You eat that fish and you enjoy that fish, cupcake".

    So, any sides would be appreciated. Even if they come from a cafeteria.

    RooMonster 12:18 PM  

    Hey @Whirred,
    how about Georgie Porgie?


    Mohair Sam 12:22 PM  

    Well Mr. Newman's little misdirection trick misdirected us right off a cliff. Worst dnf in this household in, like, forever.

    Had over half the letters in all the themers and just couldn't figure it out. Embarrassing now that we see it. Decided our big error (my big error actually, wife disavows - I'm eating at the children's table today) was in loving dEbITS for 18A. That meant the letter at square 16 had to be a vowel and killed both GRACIAS and GRAZZI. And how about 4 years of French and not sussing MERC__EAUCOU_? Yikes.

    Anyhow, a nifty puzzle perfectly tuned to the day - I don't care if they don't celebrate the Holidays overseas, they still give thanks.

    Happy Turkey Day all.

    joho 1:04 PM  

    The theme of today's puzzle is beyond appropriate no matter how you say it. Loved the foreign twist because we Americans are a totally mixed bag. Thank you,
    Stanley Newman!

    Thank you, @Rex! Thank you, Will!

    Thank you to all who post here for your insight, humor and love of crosswords!

    Mohair Sam 1:38 PM  

    @lawprof - loved your point showing that Judge Judy makes $47,000,000 to Judge Roberts' $255,500. I'm sure Judy would remind of us Babe Ruth's quip when told he was making more than the President of the United States: "Hey, I had a better year."

    NCA President 5:00 PM  

    PMDM... so the Canadian equivalent is "thanks a lot, eh?"

    also, "presto" doesn't fit neatly into a metronome marking. it all depends on the meter. you can have a presto at 100bpm if the meter is right.

    Z 6:17 PM  

    @Master Melvin - the Erie Canal's terminus was ALBANY. You travelled the more modern update.

    @Q - Not sure about that "moral" adjective.

    Whatever happened to Judge Wapner? As for the salary comparison, the market has spoken. And now I understand why we have more TV judges than SCOTUS judges. Does make one wonder if we couldn't encourage Scalia and Thomas to retire to a more profitable bench.

    Tita 9:06 PM  

    Happy Thanksgiving to my puzzling family here in Rexvillw,

    Bonus theme answer... 17A... PERU is Portuguese for turkey. (I am in the back seat riding home from dinner. ..haven't read all the posts. ..I'm guessing @Gill ha already made mention of this...)

    And while it's still a bit early for my MAGI, our Presépio-building is well underway,

    Muito obrigada. Mr. Newman. I liked this fine.

    Sal the Canal Mule 9:26 PM  

    @M M - Remember, the song about me says

    We've hauled some barges in our day
    Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
    And every inch of the way I we know
    From Albany to Buffalo.


    Tita 11:03 PM  

    @NCA Pres - I work for an Italian company...I often close an email to a helpful colleague with "Grazie 1000", which I learned from them.
    It is the most common "thanks alot" that I hear them using. "Grazie tante" is runner-up. Molto is a distant 3rd.

    @jberg - No need to lose respect. I hear it both ways when in Italy, though my particular Latina-based crew seems to favor the way it is in the puzzle.

    Aggressive turkeys? Wow - maybe our 2 cats intimidate them into docile wild-raspberry-eating entertainers. We often have as many as 2 dozen at a time.

    Thanks to Rex and to all of you.
    And to Marzipan, (44D today!!!). my male cat. for earning his keep today. When we got home, he cornered the winter's first uninvited mouse in the house and showed it the door.

    Waxy in Montreal 9:51 AM  

    Wishing everyone in Syndiland a very Happy New Year!

    Anonymous 11:04 AM  

    Please explain. Today is New Years day 01/01/15. Why are all the blogs acting like it's Thanksgiving? This puzzle is in todays paper, was not in the paper for Thanksgiving. Am I in some kind of time warp?

    spacecraft 11:24 AM  

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! Easy-medium?? Not for me. 90 minutes of hard work. It didn't help that I plunked down asseTS at 18a. That cost me tons of time.

    JUTE and UGG left me with JUDGE JUDY (!) as the BY FAR (!) highest paid TV star of 2014. Man, did I balk at that entry. Really?? By far???? Who would have EVER suspected? But it held up so...way to go, Your Honor. Nobody ever accused you of being stupid!

    I think you can call this a themed puzzle. Perhaps thinner than usual, but the theme answers reach into every corner of the grid, and of course appearing when it did (for you real-timers) it made for a reat midsirect.

    Hmmm. GEORGE Seaver; GEORGE Welles. Again who knew? But they both, methinks, made good career choices by adopting their more famous handles.

    SODA bread?? You chefs will have to educate me on that one. Ne-vah heard of it. Wow, seems I'm learning a ton of new stuff today.
    Including POMELOS and OAXACA (guessed at the natick O in sq. 13).

    Finished it, though, with only that asseTS/MERITS writeover. I think I oughta get a medal or something. Easy-medium indeed. A.

    202. I'm THROUGH.

    rondo 12:52 PM  

    What's not to like about a puz that has both my SPOUSE's name OLGA and my daughter's name LAUREL -S??
    Not easy for me esp. the SE. Also had @spacey's asseTS/MERITS and then ForaYS/FLYBYS.
    Glad to say I've never seen one session of JUDGEJUDY, merely the constant promos.
    In all I liked it a lot.
    In Swedish "Tack ska du ha" which could have fit in the vertical.

    Happy New Year syndis!!
    Or as the captcha - happy holidays

    DMG 2:00 PM  

    Here I am. Ele rating a bright, sunny New Year and all those people are still going on about turkeys! Makes for an interesting time warp. As for the puzzle, the fact that I struggled is pretty evident from the many write overs, but I did get there. One big hang-up was thinking the boots were UGh, another was watching my Nativity inhabitant go from MAry to MAre to Mule, before the Wise Men suddenly appeared and finished things up!

    Happy 2015 to all!


    DMG 2:02 PM  

    Actually I,m "celebrating"!

    Texas Syndilander 2:40 PM  

    Anonymous 11:04 - Many newspapers run the NYT puzzle 5 weeks late. We are in Syndicate Land. If you look at your puzzle in the upper right it has "No. 1127. That means this puzzle was originally ran on November 27th. Welcome.

    Shax 4:09 AM  

    Liked this thanksgiving puzzle 5 weeks after turkey day. And I'm a Judy in syndiland. Happy end of 2014!

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