Nixon adviser Nofziger / SAT 8-1-15 / Jazz’s Beiderbecke / Cornel who wrote “Race Matters” / Put in bundles for the bookbinder / Musician Mendes known for the bossa nova / Irish runner Coghlan / Highest authority in some Eastern Churches / Basketball’s Black Mamba / Food writer Drummond

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Constructor: Kameron Austin Collins

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


Word of the Day: QUIRED (42A: Put in bundles for the bookbinder) —
noun \ˈkwī(-ə)r\
Definition of QUIRE

:  a collection of 24 or sometimes 25 sheets of paper of the same size and quality :  one twentieth of a ream (Merriam-Webster)

• • •

Hey there, I’m Evan Birnholz. I write the weekly crossword over at Devil Cross, with a new puzzle every Saturday (the latest one should be up sometime this morning). And next Saturday is Lollapuzzoola 8, a.k.a. Lollapuzzocho. It’s a crossword tournament held on a Saturday in August. It’s a really fun thing that you should go to because I said so, but if you can’t make it in person, you can always order the set of puzzles for solving at home. I’ll be there, so come say hi to me.

I liked this one – it had a good contemporary feel and had several lively phrases like KOBE BRYANTHOLY SYNODBLANK CDSLAD MAGMATCH POINTGEMSTONEPEACH PITTONGUE-TIED, P.A. SYSTEM, and SEXTED. I’m tickled by FRIEND ZONE (32A: Relationship with unrequited love, in modern slang) appearing right below BABYCAKES (27A: Sweetie); I can guarantee that any single person who tries to put the moves on a stranger at a bar while using the word BABYCAKES won’t get any further than the FRIEND ZONE (and more likely, they'll end up far away from the Friend Zone and instead land in the Sketchy Creep Zone). Anyway, the stairway pattern of 7-plus letter answers in the middle is nicely done -- it's not the easiest grid arrangement to pull off. Now, I'm not enamored with short stuff like GPOE'ENENSTEM, and REE, though at least REE has a more interesting clue (51D: Food writer Drummond) than an old standby like [Riddle-me-___]. I’m also not really a fan of the LIBELEE/INTERNEE combo (of the two I'd say INTERNEE is the better entry). But I can overlook these things for the sparkly phrases mentioned above.

There were, however, a few answers that left me scratching my head. NAÏVE ART (50A: Works of childlike simplicity) was totally new to me. It’s a legit thing, with a Wiki page and all -- apparently the artist Henri Rousseau was a practitioner of the form -- though I was looking askance at that one for a bit, like it were as arbitrary a phrase as EAGER ART or CUDDLY ART. But alright, I'm uncultured and uncouth and don't know as much about different art forms as I should, so no real harm there. FREE UNION (32D: Cohabitation without marriage) was another question mark. I've never heard of any living arrangement described as a FREE UNION before. Cohabitation, yes; but the clue is the same, word-for-word, as Merriam-Webster's definition, which to me is usually a sign that it's not a very common phrase since the puzzle gives you the most straightforward clue on a Saturday. Even with a Wiki page of its own, FREE UNION doesn't Google all that well as a term for cohabitation -- it gets more hits on the front page as an uber-small town in Virginia. And then there's QUIRED. That word looks like a beheaded REQUIRED (and how long till we see a puzzle with that as a punny theme answer, clued as [Put in bundles for the bookbinder again]?). It's not uncommon that I'll encounter maybe one or two names in a crossword that I don't know, but these answers felt way, way more obscure as phrases relative to the rest of the puzzle. Your mileage may vary.

Despite those issues, I didn't get slowed up that much while solving. For the most part I think the cluing felt a little too over-the-plate for a Saturday. It could be because Kameron and I are in roughly the same age group, so maybe the modern slang and pop culture references were in my wheelhouse. KOBE BRYANT was an insta-get for me as a lifelong NBA fan. FRIEND ZONE fell pretty easily too, as did BLANK CDS once I had the terminal -CDS (though that had a pretty good clue, 10D: They may get burned). Even something like 30D: Sent pixxx? basically screamed SEXTED because of the triple x's. Whatever the reason, most of the clues didn’t put up much resistance when I had a few letters filled in, save for things like QUIRED and FREE UNION and NAÏVE ART.

My biggest trouble spot in this puzzle, by far, was the southwest corner. At first I had WASN’T I at 48A: Defensive comeback instead of the correct AREN'T I, and actually the clue there seems a little strange. How is AREN’T I a defensive comeback? It strikes me more like something you’d say out of coyness (i.e. “Well, aren’t you just the cutest!” .... “AREN’T I???” *bats eyelashes*). I’ve heard of the musician SERGIO (53A: Musician Mendes known for the bossa nova), but I don’t know his music well and needed help from the crossing NGO (49D: CARE, e.g., for short). EAMONN (55A: Irish runner Coghlan)? Yeah, that name was definitely not coming to me without all of the crosses. Each of those answers was crossed fairly, fortunately. The clue that really threw me for a loop was 43A: Specialty, informally (BAG). Could be just me, but I’ve never heard anyone use BAG in this context. Would KOBE BRYANT say “Basketball is my bag”? Or is it more specific to a certain skill, like Kobe saying “Jacking up contested 21-foot jump shots fifteen times a game is my bag”? I dunno; maybe it's a regional or outdated expression. Maybe people who make bags at the Bag Factory use this kind of slang, and if they don’t, then they should.

Anyhow, all these nits aside, this was still an enjoyable puzzle. I would have liked a little more bite in the cluing, but overall, NICE.

(p.s. Just kidding, Kobe. You know I respect your bag. But on this puzzle blog you’re just like the BLANK CDS: you may get burned.)

  • PEACH PIT (15A: Cobbler waste) — The ‘90s child in me felt about 0.5% sadness that this wasn’t clued as the hangout spot in “Beverly Hills, 90210,” then I realized that the other 99.5% of me didn’t care for and didn't watch much of that show when it was on. Somehow I remembered that little tidbit, though.
  • OHH (21A: "Now I get it!") — Here’s how this little game played out for me: “Ah, it’s AHA!” **sees that 12D: Office paper is MEMO** ….. “Oh, it’s OHO!” ….. **SIGH** (14D: [Not that again]) “Oh, I get it now, it’s OHH.” Weirdly fitting that I would get this one wrong.
  • RISKY (24A: Parlous) — "Parlous" is new to me too. It's basically the same as "perilous."
  • RAILING (24D: What's up for grabs?) — This clue confused me at first. I thought it was referring only to a rail that you'd see overhead like on a subway, but I think it should be interpreted as "what's put up (i.e. built) for grabs."
  • WEST (38A: Cornel who wrote “Race Matters”) — He was another insta-get for me. Two things about this answer: first, now that I realize it, if this had instead been clued in reference to NBA Hall-of-Famer Jerry WEST, then you’d have two Laker legends crossing one another, but maybe that would have been too many sports clues with MATCH POINT and ON THE ICE already in the grid. Second, this puzzle would be a pangram were it not missing the letter J, and 38A could have been JEST. But the crossing WAILERS (38D: Original band that sang “I Shot the Sheriff,” with “the”) references a fun song, so thumbs-up for that. Pangrams are overrated, anyhow.

  • P.A. SYSTEM (56A: Principal means of address?) — I'm calling foul here simply because the A of P.A. stands for "Address," so I'm not crazy about it being duplicated in the clue.
Last thing: my best wishes to The Crossword Fiend Amy Reynaldo as she recovers from kidney transplant surgery. I've heard she's doing well, and hopefully she'll be up and about and back to normal as soon as possible. You got this, Amy!

Signed, Evan Birnholz, Earl "The Pearl" of CrossWorld

[Follow me on Twitter @devilcrosswords]


jae 4:32 AM  

Tough Sat. for me.  The SW corner was a bear.  Never heard of FREE UNION, only vaguely remembered EAMONN from a past crossword and struggled with the spelling, plus I really really wanted ARE Not for AREN'T I (@Evan is right about this clue) and left it in way too long.  Also  @Evan - BAG was a gimme, could be a generational thing.  "What's your BAG" is a 60's expression.  Or, musically... James Brown's , "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag"....   The QUIRED/ QUITS cross also took a while.  

Not as much fun as yesterday's but a very solid Sat.  BABY CAKES and FRIEND ZONE are nice touches.  Liked it.

And thanks Evan! 

George Barany 5:43 AM  

@Kameron Austin Collins' Saturday puzzle had a lot of fun stuff in it, but there were also words in it that I just plain did not know that were not inferable either. @Evan Birnholz's thorough and insightful review went a long way towards articulating my concerns and addressing many of my questions. For example, "parlous" as a clue made me think of my high school French "parle" = "to speak" -- so I tried GABBY, TALKY, YAPPY, and maybe even other variations on this theme, without ever getting to RISKY. I also went through that same AHA, OHO progression, without ever getting to OHH.

Paralleling @Evan's observation about KOBEBRYANT (clued "... Black Mamba" rather than a black Laker great) being crossed by WEST (clued for a black scholar, rather than a white Laker great), note SABLE (clued "shade of black" rather than for a luxuriant fur). There was a Jewish/Yiddish vibe with both SCHLEPS and SHTETL in the puzzle, and that high school French did come in handy after all with PAS_MOI. Finally, MATCH_POINT was nice, with a tricky yet fair clue. It's also the title of a 2005 film by Woody Allen, whose latest offering, "Irrational Man," just opened in the Twin Cities. Guess what we'll be seeing this afternoon!

MDMA 6:13 AM  

The wheelhouse stars must have been perfectly aligned because I finished this in a personal record time for a Saturday. Somehow everything just clicked.

This solved exactly like a Wednesday, with nary a pause. Even obscurities like LYN Nofziger and EAMONN Coughlin were gimmes, and I hardly know any track and field athletes or wonks from a bygone era. Guessed EEN correctly right off the bat, without any familiarity with Shakespeare quotes. Got PASYSTEM with no crosses. Entries just fell one after another from partial crosses. Never got stuck for more than a few seconds in any section. It was just that kind of day.

Never heard of Drummond REE, but it didn't matter because I never even saw that clue until after finishing. It's a common thing for an early week puzzle to finish without even reading some of the clues, but unheard-of for a Saturday. For me anyway.

Today I tasted what it feels to be a puzzle god, you know, the kind who writes blog entries and humblebrags by casually dropping a mention of their solving time. As I write this, the comment section is entirely blank, probably because the designated comment moderator hasn't woken up yet, so I can't see how the rest of you did. But I would derive tremendous smug satisfaction and validation from reading of your hypothetical arduous struggles. I guess that makes me a bad person.

evil doug 7:41 AM  

The "friend-zone"-"free-union" pivot point seems kind of sad. Put my wife and me in the " happy babycakes" column. Sometimes we're "tongue-tied" in a good way--and even "wailers"!-- after 41 years. And here's a "bulletin": while I'm not "burly", I don't have a "little one" "slung" in my "bag" "area", so don't "opine" otherwise....

mathgent 7:59 AM  

I agree with Evan's comprehensive comments exactly.

I knew Cornel WEST because he taught here at San Francisco State. During my time with the school district, I seem to remember that he consulted with the the people in the Gifted program about using IQ tests, particularly with African-American students.

It was nice to see my old friend SHTETL again. Annoyed at OOH, GPO, NGO.

I haven't had to prove that I'm not a robot for a week or so. Has something changed?

Glimmerglass 8:13 AM  

Certainly not easy for me. But a typical (i.e. Medium) Saturday. Dnf because of errors in the NE. I misspelled LYN Norziger (LeN), which gave me HOme SYNOD (reasonable, but absurd as well) and mAD MAG. Ah well, I'm pleased to get most of a Saturday NYT puzzle.

Haiku Nerd 8:25 AM  


AliasZ 8:28 AM  

Themeless puzzles should always be the epitome of fill cleanliness. If they are not, they missed their mark in my view. This one struck me as a very challenging and solid puzzle, even sparkling in places. But it didn't knock my sox off because of all the shorts, which resulted in TSOS, EEN, GPO, GTS, NGO, REE, TEM, and some other BLAH entries. There were so many in fact, they brought attention to themselves and soured my otherwise pleasant solve. Then there was INTERNEE and LIBELEE. One of them I can overlook but two are unforgivable. Was LIB E. LEE Rob't E. Lee's wife or daughter?

I did like PEACH PIT, FREE UNION, HOLY SYNOD, TONGUE TIED, BABYCAKES and FRIEND ZONE but ENISLE and ONTHEICE not so much. This latter is the worst long entry to my ears. It doesn't sound like a legit phrase that can stand on its own, like MATCH POINT does. Tennis players on the court, swimmers in the water, gymnasts on the floor, and hockey teams on the ice -- let's start the Olympics. I'll have a bourbon on the ice. PASMOI sounds like a name from a Harry Potter book.

I had BeefY before BURLY for way too long, which made the SE corner the last to fall.

NAÏVE ART is beautiful, but for MATCH POINT, the clue the way I read it was iffy: it is a situation in which one person not only might but definitely does have the advantage, n'est-ce pas? I never heard of Maxim or any other men's magazine called a LADMAG, and I am an expert on those. It sounds like a MUWOC [made-up word of convenience]. Burning BLANK CDS is so passé, it's not even funny -- now it's all solid state memory stix. Is 16A that little OL' DELI on the corner, OLD ELI or ye OLDE L.I.?

It was fun to learn the word QUIRED not only as it relates to bookbinding, but also to choir singing in its original spelling:

Since I am coming to that holy room,
Where, with thy QUIRE of Saints for evermore,
I shall be made thy Music; As I come
I tune the instrument here at the door,
And what I must do then, think here before.

- John Donne.

So why don't we have a little fun with an all male QUIRE, The King's WAILERS?

Enjoy your weekend.

Billy C 8:29 AM  

A lot of sexy/relationship words in this one: SEXTED, FREE UNION, NIP, GERM, GEM STONE, LAD MAG, BABYCAKES, FRIEND ZONE, TONGUE TIED, LITTLE ONE, BURLY. Now I'm all worked up, AREN'T I? I need a cold shower.

mathgent 8:29 AM  

Years back, maybe thirty, the expression "That's not my bag" was common here in San Francisco.

Loren Muse Smith 8:34 AM  

Evan – thorough albeit alarming write-up for me as you maintain that it was easy. To steal your KOBE joke, as I sat with this, I slowly morphed into a pathetic BLANK little CD and was thoroughly burned. Eviscerated is more like it; it was pretty ugly. I got about three fifths done and just hit a wall and declared a dnf. Googled YAZ and LYN and still got nowhere.

I'm sure I've filled in HOLY SYNOD before, but heck – I don't think I ever could have gotten that, especially since I had fully committed to some kind of god and am not familiar* with FRIEND ZONE. (*@Teedmn – I have an embarrassing unwritten R word: fermiliar.)

Evisceration Explanation:

"saying" then "guy mag" (off "any," not ODD) for LAD MAG
"million" and "the ring" for RAILING (excellent clue, by the way; shame on me)
"gabby" for RISKY. ("parlous" looks un peu Frenchsome.)
"shnookem" for BABY CAKES
"_ _ god" for HOLY SYNOD
"orate" for OPINE
"beefy" for BURLY
"are too," "are not" for AREN'T I
"pre _ _" for FREE UNION (a big old fat woe)
"Kevin Durant" for KOBE BRYANT. Too long, but I kept trying anyway.
"Serena" for SERGIO – just a wild guess.

Evan – I get how AREN'T I works with the clue. You're not up to besting me in the paint. AREN'T I, KOBE? (pause) AREN'T I?

I did fill in NAÏVE ART but thought it was wrong. Makes me picture dried macaroni glued to a plate. Man, I could glue macaroni with the best of'em.

One Briton's guess on just what the SURVEY says. Utterly mystifying.

I found the clue for PEACH PIT odd; if you have to spit a pit out while eating cobbler, well, the person who made it was on drugs. "Cobbler preparation waste" is more like it.

Couldn't you just stare at the word SHTETL for a while? Wonder if you could have BURLY guys there responsible for lugging things around, and somehow measure it. Last season, Anatevka got a SHTETL SCHLEP Strength rating of 4.2. Twenty consonants, three vowels. Put that bubkes in your pipe and smoke it.

FREE UNION, FRIEND ZONE, YAZ, LYN, EAMONN, SERGIO, and OLD ELI slayed me. Off to the Stumper. Thanks, KA - I enjoyed the fight.

Jamie C 8:49 AM  

Does one use green paint to create NAIVE ART (Since "green" means NAIVE)? Rousseau definitely did! I also use green paint on BLANK CD'S.

Mohair Sam 9:01 AM  

Great Saturday puzzle. My only gimmes were the WEST/WAILERS crossing. Mrs. Mohair liked BABYCAKES/BRITONS and I chuckled. Said "Couldn't be, you're the only person who has used BABYCAKES since 1966 and you got laughed at for it then and now." Oh well.

KOBEBRYANT filled quickly when I gave in to CAKES and EAMONN was tough only because of the spelling - remembered the runner.

Terrific cluing throughout - completely misdirected on PEACHPIT, and loved the NICE/ETE combo. Also wanted breakPOINT for way too long, held us up in the NW forever.

And great write-up Evan. Thanks.

Z 9:16 AM  

NAÏVE ART or NAÏVE AcT? That was a coin flip for me and it came up tails.

Enjoyed this one a lot. Cluing was generally fun and only a little proper name trivia, LYN, REE, SERGIO, EAMONN(!), BIX, and BRILLOS. The only one to give me any trouble was REE Drummond (or is it Drummond REE?).

FREE UNION sounds more political than co-habital, but I guess they amount to pretty much the same thing.

Principal means of address really needed to be "cafeteria voice." I still have mine when needed.

Sir Hillary 9:22 AM  

Good puzzle, played easy for me. I can't and won't defend the short dreck people are mentioning, but the overall zippiness and the superb long entries more than compensated.

I'm a sports nut of a certain age, so yeah, KOBEBRYANT, YAZ and EAMONN were drop-ins. Agree with @Evan that Jerry WEST would have been over the top. SERGIO Garcia, anyone?

Three errors -- aPO, BUlkY, ARENot -- all quickly sussed.

As a lifelong Lakers fan, it pains me to say it, but I am looking forward to the day KOBEBRYANT QUITS.

Dr. Spock 9:28 AM  

Maybe Zaketi can tell us how being TONGUE-TIED affects breast-feeding?

Roo Monster 9:34 AM  

Hey All !
Seems I'm the only one who didn't particularly care for this puz. Too many names, and uncommon ones at that, LYN, BIX, WEST, SERGIO, EAMONN, YAZ, REE, plus a few common ones, KOBE, BANA, WAILERS. Bad NE and SW corners. OLD ELI over LAD MAG?? I cry foul on LAD MAG. Not even in the language. I could accept GUY MAG, even MAN (or MEN) mag, but not LAD. And two obscure names, SERGIO, EAMONN together, ugh. I guess sll the music lovers here would get SERGIO and BIX instantly, but come on for the rest of us. Ad SHTETL(?) next to PASOMI(?)? Ugh again.

Not saying there wasn't any good fill. Some cool answers were in here, BABY CAKES, FRIEND ZONE, PA SYSTEM, SCHLEPS, TONGUE TIED, BULLETIN (oddly clued, though.) But these didn't outweigh the bad parts. IMO, of course.

I'm sure it was hard to construct, but it seems it could have been filled a bit cleaner. SIGH.

Ok, this RAILING OPINE post will end. Feel free to bad mouth me! :-)


NCA President 9:35 AM  

Words/names I did not know 30+ minutes ago: parlous, EAMONN, LADMAG, Eric BANA, Cornel WEST, plinth. I guess that's a Saturday for you.

I have a grammar question. How is "aren't I" a thing? Isn't that the equivalent of "Am I not?" Isn't "Are I not?" wrong?

Am I not? I am!
Are I not? I are!
Ain't I? I ain't!

I agree that "ARENTI" seems to lean to the coy side, but I guess if someone accused you (on the playground) of not being the boss of them ("You aren't the boss of me!!) might respond colloquially "Aren't I? Go make me a sammich, b*tch."

Brazil 66 is a fav. Ah, the 60s...obsessed with all things foreign and exotic. Brazil, England, and to some degree, Jamaica. Those were the days. SIGH

I liked NAIVEART, BRILLOS, WAILERS, and FRIENDZONE. Didn't care for LIBELEE/INTERNEE in the same puzzle. Both words are weak as they are much less putting both in the same puzzle just a few squares from each other.

Apart from the real struggle in the SW with EAMONN, it was a pretty straight ahead Saturday.

Aketi 9:36 AM  

So, the number of days that I cheat has been diminishing, but I know I am simply not capable of a cheatless week. There is just too much trivia that my brain is incapable or unwilling to absorb. So this one qualifies as an easy "googlable" puzzle for me.

I have a huge problem with stammering as a clue for TONGUETIED that has nothing to do with being PC and everything to do with keeping clues factual. Since I work with infant feeding problems I see a higher proportion of babies with ankyloglossia (=fusion of the tongue to the floor of the mouth or abnormal shortness of the lingual frenulum). This condition is inherited and so I often deal with parents who have it as well. The condition does not cause stammering. It causes lisping. To date, among the over 1000 parents I've seen who have the condition, not a single one stammered.

I thought there might be a mini baby theme as I got BABYCAKES, LITTLEONE, and NAIVEART but abandoned that thought when I got SEXTED. I think it is perfectly find for consenting adults to communicate words and images to each other that might be TMI when revealed to others even via text ---- as long as they realize that texting is not secure and are willing to deal with the consequences.

On the other hand, I can't look at the word SEXT without thinking "why oh why did a man with an unfortunate last name think any woman on the planet would find pixxx of his ugly gray shorts to be anything other than an immediate bypass of the FRIEND ZONE and immediate entry into the sketchy creep zone". I feel the same about those who expose their frayed tighty whiteys with low SLUNG pants. I still remember standing in front of Starbucks with my then 7 year old son staring at a full view of butt cheeks with a thin strand of what a midwife I know calls butt floss in the window. The top of her pants were not visible at all. I think in general if people decide to wear low SLUNG pants it is kinder to the rest of us whatever appears above the pants is attractive.

John V 9:36 AM  

So, the thing is I look at the name of the constructor before I start on a puzzle. In some instances, I will take a pass, based on exerince. This is one. Based on Mr. Collins prior two puzzles, I decided (perhaps cowardly) that I had better things to do with my Saturday morning. I am an okay-but-not-great Saturday solver. I sometimes just need to pick my spots.

Carola 9:36 AM  

Easy-medium for me, too: easy until I tried to get into the SW, where FREEU???? and those average-width characters barred the door. Eventually, wait-is-it EAMONN? was confirmed by BASE and AREA and I was able to finish.

Loved the old-fashionedy BABYCAKES along with SEXTED. Wondered if being TONGUE-TIED might keep you in the FRIENDZONE when you'd rather be in a FREE UNION (in which a LITTLE ONE might ensue). I also liked RAILING (in the "ranting" sense) next to LIBELEE.

PEACH PIT came to me right away, as I've been debating whether this weekend's project is going to be cobbler or PEACH-buttermilk ice-cream. In the learn-from-puzzles category: I'd thought QUIRE was only a noun and wasn't quite sure about "parlous" (situation to be avoided by a poltroon).

@jae, thanks for mentioning yesterday's puzzle as fun - we were off at the lake with no Internet so I missed W-F. Will go and check it out.

Aketi 9:43 AM  

Forgot SEXY BEASTS yesterday followed by BURLY today made me smile, unlike visions of a now disgraced politician.

Charles Flaster 9:43 AM  

EB- fabulous review.
GB- liked yours too. DNF pour moi.
Record Saturday time until Northeast.
Did not cotton to RISKY, OHH and LAD MAG.
Liked cluing for QUITS, BULLETIN and KB who attended school where I taught but never in my
class .
Enjoyed my first Saturday puzzle as a septegenarian .
Thanks KAC.

Jamie C 9:49 AM  

@Aketi: TONGUE TIED is not just a medical term relating to breast-feeding, about which I anticipated some discussion; it is also a figure of speech. If someone comes to you in an agitated state and "stammers" while they try to report, say, a fire, you might say, "What are you, TONGUE-TIED?

Here is the first dictionary definition of TONGUE-TIED: "speechless or confused in expression, as from shyness, embarrassment, or astonishment."

Nancy 10:05 AM  

"Easy-medium"???? Am I losing my everlovin' mind. I have two words for this puzzle. IM POSSIBLE. So many names! This puzzle didn't just defeat me. It broke my spirit and led me to the brink of despair. But then I pulled back from the brink, because, whatever else you might say about me, I am not a masochist. So I gave up, with just the NW-far Midwest completed. With a less-broken spirit, I might have seen TONGUE-TIED from what I had: TON---T---. But it got to the point where I saw nothing. If I encounter a puzzle like this at the 8/8 tournament, I may shoot myself. And remind me to remember this constructor's name, so I can avoid him in the future.

The Rhino 10:11 AM  

Medium Saturday for me, which means I cheated a lot, but I've cheated worse.

Steve M 10:20 AM  

Tuff tuff tuff

Glimmerglass 10:23 AM  

I'm a lifelong stutterer (more exactly, a stammerer), but I'm not offended by 36A. While both "stammering" and "tongue-tied" have technical, clinical definitions, in everyday speech, the just mean "embarrassed and fumbling for something to say."

Nancy 10:27 AM  

@Everyone -- until there is a different method in place for keeping out the riffraff, I suggest we all get in the habit of checking the end-of-the-day posts from the previous day. My 4:57 p.m. post appeared after sometime after I went to bed last night (EDT) and so did other comments some from of my favorite solvers. Sometimes the lag time is five minutes, but sometimes it's 6 hours or more. If we don't do this, we'll be missing a lot of comments from people we enjoy reading.

I'm posting this 2nd comment of the day, without seeing my 1st comment up there yet. But I'm going to the park now, before it get's hot. Hope to read both comments...eventually. Certainly won't be staying home for my 15 seconds of fame. (BTW, let's see if Rex zaps this 2nd comment. You won't know, of course, but I will.)

Teedmn 10:29 AM  

NAIVE ART immediately brought to my mind those big eyed waifs depicted in Margaret Keane's art, but it is the first time I've heard the term.

As for parlous, all y'all have to start reading more fantasy books - for some reason authors writing in that genre tend to channel their inner Chaucer (just like characters in all the fantasy-based movies have English accents).

SLUNG over had me imagining a cook in a diner SLiNGing hash over his/her shoulder onto the waiting patrons' plates. KOBE BRYANT could probably pull it off.

Better H BOMBS than F BOMBS in the puzz methinks.

I was slowed down in the NE at 15A, waiting to see something leather related. Nice clue misdirect for me. And RAILING was a clue/answer that 'grabbed' me.

Not HAPPY with this puzzle? PAS MOI! Thanks KAC and thanks for the write up, Evan Birnholz.

Laurence Katz 10:32 AM  

What was missing from commentary was this youtube clip of James Brown singing "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag.

jberg 10:40 AM  

I've been ENISLEd for a week now, but fortunately am able to buy the paper at a little gallery a 5-minute walk away. Deer Isle is less islandy since they built a bridge to the mainland 51 years ago, but it's still pretty nice.

Thank God for NGOs -- otherwise EAMONN/EAMaNN would have been a total guess. My only other real trouble was wanting REa DRUMMOND first.

As with @LMS, "SURVEY says" seems like pure babbling.

NAIVE ART is a thing, but now regarded as disparaging (those who create it aren't any more naive than anyone else); more common name now is "outsider art," meaning art that doesn't draw on the conventions of the mainstream.

But I'm shocked to hear that this isn't a pangram! After I saw the K, Z, and X, and then came upon QUIRED, I just assumed it must be. I knew quire ok, but not as a verb. I was willing to forgive it for the sake of the pangram, but my forgiveness is now withdrawn.

To end on a nicer note -- we went to a jazz concert last night (Evan Christopher, go see him if you can! In New York tomorrow, I think), and while listening to a piece called "Buddy Bolden's Ballad" started thinking about BIX Beiderbecke, so it was nice to see him in the puzzle.

wreck 10:44 AM  

I wanted "Shacking Up" badly before I found it didn't fit and was disappointed to find that FREE UNION was actually the answer. I kind of agree with Aketi in that it was a somewhat "easy googlable" puzzle.

Joseph Michael 10:55 AM  

HOLY SYNOD, Batman, this puzzle was tough.

Some great contemporary answers -- such as LAD MAG, FRIEND ZONE, and SEXTED --
combined with some gluey LITTLE ONES like GPO, EEN, ETE, TEM etc. So kind of a mixed BAG. But thought the pluses outweighed the minuses, so it left me HAPPY.

Some really NICE cluing as well, especially the misdirects for PEACH PIT and RAILING. And an excellent writeup by Evan.

Wanted BOTH ENDS for "they may get burned" and DICEY for "parlous" but the crosses eventually led me to see the light.

grammar nazi 11:00 AM  

@NCA Pres @9:35: from Merriam-Webster: "“Aren’t I?” is commonly used and very acceptable in informal language. “Am I not?” is grammatical, but extremely formal, so in most contexts, “aren’t I?” is the preferred choice. The only exception is when you are writing a formal letter or an academic paper, and then you can either use “am I not?,” or even better, restructure the sentence to avoid using either of these forms."

Hartley70 11:03 AM  

This was certainly an easier Saturday for me despite the fact that the SE held me up. I wanted intercom for PASYSTEM, had only vaguely heard of WEST, never ever heard of QUIRED, had beefy for BURLY, never heard of BIX, and finally preferred to think of summer camp and just did not want to go the depressing INTERNEE route. I worked it out in the end though, and faster than my usual Saturday struggle.

@Aketi, I had no idea that TONGUETIED was an actual physical condition. Interesting, and hopefully easy enough to fix.

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

is OLDELI Loralei's father? Or is he just the DOOK of Germany?

mac 11:39 AM  

Good puzzle, medium hard for me, and a wonderful write-up, @Evan!

I started out with TENNIS GAME crossed by PEELINGS, plus WORDY for risky. That took some undoing.

I spent some time with a 4-year old Eamonn this week, so that name came into sight easily. Yaz was also a gimme, but only because I know him from a charity fishing tournament in Martha's Vineyard I accompanied my husband to years ago.

Naive art makes me thing of Grandma Moses right away.

Good one. Now to print out the stumper.

mac 11:41 AM  

I've seen Ree Drummond on the food network: this pioneer women feeds her kids an incredible amount of sugar.

Ludyjynn 11:54 AM  

SIGH...after a HAPPY start, when I NAIVEly believed success was at hand, this one ultimately went South. I had 'strand' for ENISLE and 'ebony' for SABLE until I finally Googled BIX and resolved the problem. I OPINE that sable is dark brown, not black. And enisle just reeks. Also, NGO? Never heard of 'non governmental org.' until I Googled it post solve. End of rant.

FREEUNION stands out as the weakest answer. Just as there is no free lunch, there is no free union. Ask anyone who has cohabited!

WAILing aside, there was a lot to like here and I did enjoy the struggle. @John V., I deliberately opt NOT to check out the constructor's name before I solve, so I will not be predisposed to like or fear or hate the grid before I give it my best shot. Although Saturdays are still the BANe of the puzzle week for me more often than not, I continue to improve each time I face the dragon and find it is worth the time and effort.

I will now officially call it QUITS and get on with my day. Thanks, Evan, KAC and WS. And thanks again, Rex for bringing back cicility to this blog.

GPO 12:06 PM  

This was mediumish for me.

I momentarily panicked when I didn't know anything in the NW. Then I remembered, this always happens on Saturday. Buckled down, filled in YAZ, and then kind of went around in a circle from there; the faster I went the rounder I got, and 25 minutes or so later, there I was.

I liked it, especially seeing the WAILERS show up, not that I would call ISTS a "fun" song necessarily.

My only gripe was the seemingly exclusively cruciverbial ENISLE -- not that I have any better ideas, unless you think BAA, SEABED and WEBB would have been better, which I don't.

old timer 12:25 PM  

I hope we haven't lost @'mericans in paris, because the answers here seem like they would fit in the adventures of Matt Esquared. An OLDELI has crossed the pond to edit a LADMAG that is being sued by a LIBELEE. I say "crosses the pond" because I believe a "lad mag" is a British term more than an American one.

I had WEST immediately, followed by BIX and the WAILERS, who shot the sheriff but did not shoot the de-pu-tee. My only WOE was BANA in that corner. In the SW, I had EAMONS for a while, before I figured out ARENTI which gave me FREEUNION. There's a term that sounds more Scandinavian than American or British.

The NW was pretty easy, I thought. Wanted PEACHPIT immediately. For a while, I wanted APO or FPO before I got GPO -- another British institution.

Favorite clue: The one for BLANKCDS.

So, did Jewish immigrants to London speak Yiddish? Because I really think this puzzle's geographic heart is there.

Questinia 12:26 PM  

Nice to read @ Evan's as usual incisive take and I miss his comments here...😀

I literally had just made a PEACH cobbler and was eating it while solving and as a lark threw in the PIT for 2A and left it there. One of those synchronous instances of puzzles imitating life or life imitating puzzles.

@NCA Pres. brings up a good point and I am anxious to hear one of the resident grammarians take (where is the caped Grammar Nazi Crusader when you need him/her?) AREN'T I? Is AREN'T the grammatical default to the non-existent AMN'T? Cause otherwise it'd force one to be all louche and slangy with AIN'T?


Nice puzzle which I found medium-challenging cause KOBE BRYANT took forevs.

Indypuzzler 12:33 PM  

This is the kind of puzzle that has me in awe of people who can solve AND call it easy-medium for a Saturday! Many things here just not in my wheelhouse. Other mistakes I made were similar to those already stated, BEEFY/BURLY. I resisted putting the S in front of ABLE for way too long because I'm pretty, pretty sure that SABLE is NOT a shade of black. @aketi, I also did not like the STAMMERED/TONGUETIED situation but then I decided it was the reaction you might have to something start to respond in reaction before a cogent response forms in your mind, thus..."uh,uh,uh...." As you gather your thoughts. I suppose one could say you are tongue-tied in responding to someone's comment.
As usual, I'm impressed and pleased over all with this puzzle!

Skir Skulls 12:38 PM  

I've been around the magazine rack quite a few times in my life and have never heard anyone ever say "lad mag." Nor do I hope to going forward.

Questinia 12:42 PM  

Nice to read @ Evan's as usual incisive take and I miss his comments here...😀

I literally had just made a PEACH cobbler and was eating it while solving and as a lark threw in the PIT for 2A and left it there. One of those synchronous instances of puzzles imitating life or life imitating puzzles.

@NCA Pres. brings up a good point and I am anxious to hear one of the resident grammarians take (where is the caped Grammar Nazi Crusader when you need him/her?) AREN'T I? Is AREN'T the grammatical default to the non-existent AMN'T? Cause otherwise it'd force one to be all louche and slangy with AIN'T?


Nice puzzle which I found medium-challenging cause KOBE BRYANT took forevs.

grammarian 12:51 PM  

@NCA Pres: Here is Merriam Webster on the topic: “AREN'T I?” is commonly used and very acceptable in informal language. “Am I not?” is grammatical, but extremely formal, so in most contexts, “AREN'T I?” is the preferred choice. The only exception is when you are writing a formal letter or an academic paper, and then you can either use “am I not?,” or even better, restructure the sentence to avoid using either of these forms.

Mike D 1:00 PM  

@Nancy: I am going to set my alarm to wake me every hour overnight so I can log on with the hope that I might be graced with one of your pearls.

Bob Kerfuffle 1:23 PM  

Fine puzzle to my taste, on the easy sided.

@Nancy - Just a reminder that anyone who clicks the box "Email follow-up comments to . . . " will receive all published comments for that puzzle, in their mailbox, without having to check back on previous blog postings. (Those of us who have been around awhile were recently treated to a flurry of stray, late remarks going back four years or more, some kind of house-cleaning before Rex went on the new, moderated system. Good place to ask, can anyone explain how that came about? Wasn't the first time, either.)

Also, @Nancy - I feel that I may have been one of those who talked you into signing up for Lollapuzzocho, coming up in a week. I hope you do enjoy it, I am personally facing having to cancel for health reasons (nothing serious; just can't walk at the moment), but I will make a great effort to be there.

Barry Privett 1:27 PM  

Lyrics from one of my favorite bands, Carbon Leaf:

The night you came into my life
Well, it took the bones of me
Took the bones of me.
You blew away my storm and strife
And shook the bones of me
Shook the bones of me.

By the way,
I do know why you stayed away.
I will keep TONGUE TIED next time.

It's worth a listen:

Carbon Leaf: Life Less Ordinary

Music man 1:32 PM  

I must admit I did not read the comments yet as I am experiencing a lazier than normal Saturday :/

But I liked this puzzle except for the obvious spots.

Played and reffed hockey my whole life, and I hate ON THE ICE, seems just stupid. Goalies are on the ice too, and they're not considered a "skater," and they do a small amount of skating at all.

I call BS on FRIENDZONE too. That's not what the relationship is called. If you step into the area of the FRIENDZONE, then your relationships is "friends."

Other than that I thought there were tons if great entries in this puzzle and I had a good experience working it. (Minus the SW and INTERNEE)

Sorry if I repeated anything... :)

Whirred Whacks 1:33 PM  

Nice puzzle. Delightful writeup, Evan! I have one quibble with your word-usage in the second paragraph where you say:

"Now, I'm not enamored with short stuff like . . ."

I had learned (long ago) that the proper expression is enamored of, but for about the last fifteen years or so I've heard various prepositions — such as with, by, for — following enamored. My question: are these all legitimate now, i.e., usage trumps grammar? Or am I right to continue to press for "of"?

My favorite answer was EAMONN (Coghlan) because it took me back to the days when people actually cared about following/watching track & field events (before widespread PEDs). It was interesting to see that EAMONN has gone to become an Irish senator.

I agree with FREE UNION sounding weird. The expression makes sense, but nobody I know ever called it that. I tried to get SHACKING UP in, but there weren't enough boxes.

Thomaso808 1:40 PM  

Medium difficult for me.
- KOBEBRYANT, YAZ, SERGIO were all gimmes.
- Had stuttErIng instead of TONGUETIED for a long time, along with ARENot, so SW was tough.
- The hardest was the NW with OLDELI over LADMAD over LYN.
- As others have commented, I had guyMAG, mAnMAG
- I tried aLlELI, eLiELI
- You never know for sure if it's going to be aBOMBS or HBOMBS
- Throw in a LYN (how does a guy get the name LYN? -- it's short for "Franklyn" -- I looked it up) and that was a pretty tough corner.

@NCA President - I totally agree with you on the word ARENT for the first person. Growing up as the son of two Irish immigrants, until I hit high school I regularly used the word "Amn't" instead of "I'm not". I still cannot bring myself to say ARENT referring to only myself. For an interesting write-up on ARENT, amn't, and ain't, check out this article at I am not
It explains how the "presciptive grammar chaps" killed the word "ain't".

grammarian 1:48 PM  

@Whirred: "Enamored of" is preferable, but "enamored with" is acceptable. "Enamored by" is wrong, unless you mean to say the thing loves you rather than you love the thing.

GILL I. 2:34 PM  

I had trouble enjoying this puzzle...LIBELEE, Libelo, LIBELEE, Libelohohoho. ON THE ICE? where else would a hockey team be?
FREE UNION? I like my sleep over better. BABY CAKES...cute something a little kewpie doll might say?
I did love the write up though....Evan, you sure can write a sweet sentence.
I'm still in awe of yesterday's PEACH of a crossword.

joho 2:51 PM  

I thought today's puzzle was a great follow up to yesterday's fresh Friday. This also had many fresh phrases making it not just challenging but entertaining, too.

I had a bad start, though. With the P(GPO) and T (ETE) in place I quickly wrote in PiecrusT. NICE set me straight there.

The NE was the most difficult part for me. I finally got SIGH/OHH but failed at LA_MAG. Maxim means saying relating to what? Law? LAwMAG. Nope. I should have seen ODD but simply bailed at that point.

Regardless, wonderful Saturday puzzle, thank you, Kameron. And, Evan, your critique was right on.

Aketi 3:44 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
weingolb 3:55 PM  

I agree with @Music man. I'm wondering if MATCHPOINT -- as well as ONTHEICE and FRIENDZONE -- is a sports metaphor in this puzzle. So MATCHPOINT isn't precisely referring to tennis but maybe some face-off between two people. ONTHEICE is maybe something colorful an announcer would say. FRIENDZONE obviously got coined because of its sports metaphor (Friends annoyances might have been the reason I stopped watching TV in 1994).

Overall, this was the kind of puzzle where I undid myself: Ruling out INTERNEE because LIBELEE was already solved; having NAIVE but changing it into paeanART because somehow that seemed more like the term.

Anonymous 4:55 PM  

Just want to say that if you haven't been doing today's temp blogger's weekly Saturday puzzle over at you're missing out. They're every bit as good or better than NYT weekend fare. Thanks for your puzzles, Evan.

Music man 5:06 PM  

Oh and best wishes to Amy Reynaldo. I didn't know who it was until I looked her up. Turns out I've read her blog a handful of times. Check out Merl Reagle's shoutout to her in todays puzzle. Well, I suppose it's tomorrow's puzzle but the Inquirer runs an "early sunday edition." I know his puzzle runs in the SF Chronicle and loads of others as well.

Aketi 5:46 PM  

@moderators thank you for taking on what must be a tedious task. My apologies for adding to your work with my ineptitude in dealing with the I'm not a robot checker, followed by losing the edited version, and then posting and deleting the typo ridden version.

@Bob Kerfuffle, hoping you a speedy recovery.

@everyone, I was HAPPY this morning that Rex has put in place an Rx that will hopefully overcome a fulminating infection.

@r.alphbunker, I enjoyed your link to Whitney Phillips book on Internet trolls, but based on a review I might find her concepts a little too simplistic. I'm still going to ead the book anyway. Having lived in a small town and worked in many small villages during the time I worked for an international NGOS, I've seen that real live trolls can be just as destructive through word of mouth. History is strewn with people who were burned at the stake or tarred and feathered, probably as a result of insinuations started by such trolls.

@Jamie C, you seem sincere so I will respond to your comment. I think you need to reread my post. I posted only about the medical impact of TONGUE TIE on speech, not infant feeding. One can be rendered speechless because of embarrassment, but that is still not the same definition as stammering.

@Indypuzzler, you gave me an acceptable explanation of a tenuous link to stammer.

@Hartley70, TONGUE TIE is a real condition as is the forked tongue that literally can be a result of the tie. I would not have believed that a forked tongue existed had I not seen one myself. TONGUE TIE IS easily taken care of when medical practitioners keep up with advances in diagnosis and treatment, Unfortunately, there are still many who do not get the treatment they need to suck, swallow, and speak more easily because it takes a while for new practices to be adopted.

Meanwhile, until Jamie C incorrectly assumed I made mention of B_ _ _ _ _feeding, I forgot that this is World B_ _ _ _ _feeding Week. Far from being any sort of celebration, it is a time when I duck and cover from the HBOMBS that almost inevitably explode throughout the internet about the so-called controversies in infant feeding and the scathing attacks on those who attempt to help parents who actually do want the help. I sincerely could care less about how parents feed their babies, I just want them to have the tools, info, and support to do the best job they can.

In comparison, the random cell of ECOLI that popped up here today is no match for a healthy immune system, especially when fortified with a little of evil doug's humor. I have to admit when he mentioned pissing in the wind a few days ago, I remembered the playground days when my son was three or four. His friend's nanny and I caught the boys comparing trajectories and distance when pissing with the wind (fortunately not into it).

Nancy 5:54 PM  

@Bob K (1:23 p.m.)-- So sorry to hear you're ailing and I do hope you'll be able to make it to the tournament. While there may be other Rexites at Lollapuzzoola, you are the only person who had actually said you were going, so I was looking forward to meeting you. But if you can't, you can't.

And please don't feel responsible for whether I do -- or don't -- enjoy the tournament. First of all, it's $30 out of my pocket -- the price of a less-than-memorable NYC dinner. I'm going mostly to try and meet nice people. Maybe some of them will even live nearby. I haven't a prayer of winning and expect nothing from myself. I have no "skin in the game", since my ego identity is not tied in with being a competition-level crossword solver. I'll have to talk firmly to myself, of course. We tennis players and former tennis players, however modest our levels, tend to have a fierce competitive spirit. I'll have to douse that, or I'm in for much frustration and disappointment. For one thing, I'm a leisurely solver and I like it that way. Rushing through a puzzle is, for me, like rushing through a great French meal. Where's the fire?

But do hope you're well enough to get there, Bob. And thanks for the thoughtful heads-up.

@Mike D. (1:00)-- I'm so flattered by your consuming interest in my posts. I feel strongly that no one should take her fan base for granted. If you're really willing to give up sleep to read my comments, will you at least allow me to treat you to a really fine, dependable alarm clock?

Leapfinger 6:43 PM  

@Evan, I was anticipating we might once again sheave those papers into bundles back at the house where it's cool: reQUIRE inQUIRE acQUIRE. But of course, I'm preaching to the QUIRE.

What with the GEMSTONES and the ICE, I could tell from the start that this would be a jewel and a PEACH. A number of other things that made me HAPPY:
*Remembering PBS' serialized "Tales of the City", which introduced me to Armistead Maupin and the word BABYCAKES, that I use intermittently;
*Remembering my ER rotation, where I spent endless hours for weeks on end, till our [very NICE] senior resident told me to take the time to get a haircut, because I was starting to look like a BRILLO pad. Actually, he used a different metaphor, one which left me TONGUETIED;
*LADMAG, which sounds like a gendered alternative to chick-lit;
*'101 pounds of fun' from "South Pacific", trying to remember if it was her lips or her hips that were 'hurly and BURLY'; my lyrics-memory may be way off;
*Harvard men calling Yale an OL' DELI; is it the smoked SABLE?
*WEST being Cornel instead of Kanye;
*The myriad possibilities of HOLY SYNOD. "Batman" was good, @Whosaidthat, better than Little Orphin Annie;
*I'm grateful whenever I can enter YAZ and let it go at that.

I agree that FREE UNION doesn't seem as much a phrase as 'open marriage', for instance, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, or a BULLET IN any other body part.

@Questinia, I'd like to hear more on how AIN'T is louche. I wouldn't give it an inch more than 'nubile'. Riddle me REE?

Al has left the SERAGLIO
Per "CARE noise"/1st president of S. VietNam: NGO Din Diem
(That CARE:NGO was a good lesson for me; I'd always considered NGOs to be small and community-based)

Just remember, INTER NEE and morte, there's a whole SPHERE of living to be SLUNG, and the less RAILING the better.

For a puzzle this good, I'll abandon my beloved Heels and join with the Kameron Krazies any day

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, @Chas Flaster, and Welcome to the Septas!

La Leche President 7:01 PM  

When I saw TONGUETIED in the grid, I suspected what would ensue, but I was HANDTIED.

Leapfinger 8:08 PM  

"Won't you step into my parlous?" said the Spider to the Fly... Indicating [archaically] that 'parlous' is a perilous/RISKY place to be.

@George, SCHLEP SABLE over to your SHTETL list: the best OL' DELIs serve it up, along with the lox and smoked trout.

@Alias, sorry that I reQUIREd you yet again. Late though I was, I hadn't your your post when I posted. You know I wouldn't plagiarize you, pas moi.

I can see why so many tried BEEFY before BURLY, what with KOBE in the grid.

Isn't EAMONN something the WAILERS might say?

I'm finding the new format a bit difficult to stay current with, if you haven't been keeping up all along. What with packets of comments appearing at irregular intervals, it's harder not to duplicate, and easier to miss things you might want to respond to. Apparently some people are keeping up, as some are making more long comments with more individual replies in them. Ah well, not y'all's problem, is it? Here's hoping a new and improved SYSTEM is in place soon. And yes, with @'mericans back in it, and none of those aforementioned inexplicable disappearances.

@jberg, we didn't get TEX turning to TEC, but maybe BIX will turn by der BIC tomorrow. (Am I sorry for that one? Pas moi!)

Curious Yellow 8:32 PM  

@Aketi, you piqued my curiosity, so I looked up ankyloglossia. The first thing I noticed was that some reports seem to be conflating incidence and prevalence, which AREN'T the same thing, but I suppose if you're talking about newborns, it would be incidence (newly identified cases annually). Estimates, as you know, vary widely, mostly by virtue of how the condition is defined, but whatever estimate is accepted (range being between 1-11%), that would mean the 1000 cases you've served represent approx. between 10,000 and 100,000 live births. Pretty impressive.

old timer 10:57 PM  

Of course the logical phrase would be "Ain't I", but "I'm a sweetie, AREN'T I" is very much in the language. I can see it used in a riposte, too. Also, "Oh, man, I really want that girl, but we are in the FRIEND ZONE" is marvelous and true for those in that predicament.

I'll mention that I have three daughters who were breast-fed, and three grandchildren who are (or have been) too. It's controversial these days only if an infant is bottle-fed, to the point where friends will ask if there is some sort of medical problem. Pediatricians these days are all in favor of nature's nutrient for newborns

As a result, "breast" never even occurred to me as part of an answer today

Anonymous 11:18 PM  

@old timer, you ARE indeed a sweetie!!

I'll be submitting this comment anonymously, just in case there's a Mrs. old timer with a jealous disposition.

Aketi 12:53 AM  

Off topic alert, since I can't respond to the following two commenters via email.

@old timer, I've exceeded the three post rule as well as veering off topic, but your story was so nice I felt compelled to respond of the moderators will allow it. I don't think breast actually was a part of an answer today because TONGUE TIE can negatively affect feeding for all infants no matter how they are fed. I work wth many bottle fed babies and while the milk can be poured into baby's mouths with a bottle so that they get enough milk to be adequately nourished, these babies often struggle with breathing and spill milk while they feed. They are often uncomfortable and have indigestion as a result.

You must live in a nice part of the country because I still encounter just as many parents who feel they have been criticized for breastfeeding (for reasons that have nothing to do with medical science) by health care practitioners as those who feel they have been criticized for bottle and or formula feeding. I usually find the alleged criticism is unnecessary and unhelpful on all counts. Maybe I just hear a lot of stories from highly stressed parents who feel criticized that skews my perspective.

@Curious Yellow, since I responded to old timer I might as well go for broke and respond to you too. Yes people confuse incidence and prevalence all the time. I see a subset of the population that experiences feeding problems so I will see a higher rate of tongue tie among my clients than you would expect to see among the general population of infants. Also, I work outside the hospital so I see infants all the way through weaning, not just newborns. So you can't extrapolate from the 1,000 or so cases I've seen to the incidence of tongue tie among live births. Nevertheless it is possible I've seen over 10.000 babies by now. I stopped counting the number of cases after I'd been in practice for five years when my total exceeded 5,000 mothers and I've now been practicing for close to 13 years.

The current estimates of the occurrence of tongue tie are still sketchy from an epidemiological perspective because the various diagnostic criteria are highly subjective and therefore exceedingly prone to error. Some biomedical engineers in Isreal and at Columbia University have done some interesting work looking at oscillations of tongue movements via sonogram. I think they might actually eventually come up with an objective diagnostic tool based on functionality rather than appearance.

Phil 9:25 AM  

Guessing this is an ongoing issue with Yiddish transliteration, but why is the beginning of shtetl spelled differently than schlep? They would be spelled with the same character in the original language. I will say that, while I've seen schlep spelled without the c, I don't think I've seen shtetl with one.

Leapfinger 1:14 PM  

@Phil, as I've heard from One Who Knows about such things, the sch- start is Germanic while the sh- is Yiddish. Since schlep means to pull/drag in German exactly as shlep does in Yiddish, both versions will be found. On the other hand, shtetl exists only in Yiddish (a diminutive of stadt), while the German equivalent is Kleinstadt or Dorf.

kitshef 8:47 PM  

A long, slow, ultimately satisfying solve. EAMONN was my first word in, followed by KOBE BRYANT.

Unusual experience of having not one but two in/out/ins. TSOS and BRILLOS. In both cases, I filled the word in with confidence, than when I could not get a single single cross took 'em back out.

theELI before OLDELI, AHA before OHo before OHH, tennisgame before MATCHPOINT, ari before LeN before LYN, ARENot before ARENTI, intercoM before PASYSTEM.

Loved it.

Burma Shave 10:40 AM  


I’m TONGUETIED here in bed.
You keep RAILING about my LITTLEONE,
and I’m not HAPPY you SEXT ED.


rondo 11:13 AM  

Never thought I would say LYN Nofziger would save me, much of that AREA might have been BLANK if I’d not recalled him. And gimme SERGIO Mendes saved the SW; though I might have gone with “golfer Garcia”, maybe he’s early week or they’re going for a non-sports clue.

With all of the good stuff are we REE QUIRED to get ENISLE?

BIX another gimme as he played cornet (and other instruments) as I did.

Arthur, King of the BRITONS, Monty Python, say no more.

Can we sometime lose the French words?

Took a while to determine if the BOMBS were A, N, or H. Thought the PO would be A or F.

NICE Sat-puz, now I’ll be HAPPY to put the beer ONTHEICE for an afternoon on the St. Croix. That’ll be me, low-SLUNG in the blue kayak REEmoving tan lines.

spacecraft 12:00 PM  

Easy-medium?? EASY-MEDIUM??? YOU TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW! NOBODY on GOD'S green earth could find this "EASY-MEDIUM!"

Okay,I had to get that out of my SYSTEM. Now if you'll bear with me, I need to get one more thing out of the way:

Please, PLEASE keep the syndilink up to date! Most especially on the cusp of the month! I had to go into the August archives, scroll to the bottom--and then hit "older posts" SEVENTEEN TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did NOT sign up for this! Finding this page was almost as hard as doing the puzzle!

Almost. I don't even know how I finished this. Was there a gimme? Yeah, one. Good ol' BIX Beiderbecke. Still didn't help me with ENISLE, one of those real words (though red-lined) that NOBODY EVER USES. By dumb luck I seemed to recall hearing a reggae version of the Clapton classic, which led me to Marley's WAILERS, still just a guess. 90% of what I wrote was pure guess.

What broke things out was, paradoxically for me, in the NW. I finally sussed ONTHEICE, having rejected "ON ICE--" the more familiar expression--some time back. That expanded my SPHERE, and I found HAPPY. What a clue: "Are you satisfied now?" HAPPY? No. I'm getting the distinct feeling that someone does NOT want me to get this. Putting an extra "THE" in where it has no business, and such.

Took me forever to work out BULLETIN because I'd misspelled EAMONN. Gosh, is that REALLY how his name is spelled? I had EAMMON and it looked fine.

I worked like a dog on this all morning, stopped dead, it seemed, several times before I was through. And Smarty-pants calls it "easy-medium." Maybe he's familiar with sayings like FREEUNION and FRIENDZONE. I am not. NAIVEART is another WOE. I would rate this as THE MOST challenging puzzle I've ever completed. Glad I didn't call it QUITS. With fill like NGO, GTS, REE and TSOS, I can't give it more than a B.

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

Ditto, ditto, ditto, with everything Spacecraft said. This was certainly no Easy/Medium. I'd call it Challenging/Near Impossible.

I'm 78 yrs old and terms like Friendzone, Freeunion, are not in my vocabulary. So, the entire midsection is blank as well as blankcds.
I did finish the other three corners but so what. What the hell is naïve art? No fun, this puzzle so I'm sending 3 Noogies and 2 Wedgies to Mr. Collins.

Ron Digo, Grumpy Old Man, Living in La Mesa, CA
(Where the city fathers will not allow Mensa members to reside).

Z 4:20 PM  

@Spacecraft - Sunday is one week old, the rest of the week is five weeks time-warped. If that helps any.

leftcoastTAM 5:32 PM  

This definitely wasn't any Easy-Medium for me. I was ENISLEd in the SE, where QUIRED and NAIVEART marooned me. Otherwise, not a bad trip for a Saturday.

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