Bird feeder material / MON 9-4-17 / Degs. held by Bloomberg and George W. Bush / Miso bean / Mythical 100-eyed giant

Monday, September 4, 2017

It's Annabel, back at college and hopefully going to a Labor Day BBQ tonight! This one was actually somewhat harder than I'd bargained for, so I'm coming to you a little bit LATH - er, late - DUH. Hopefully your heart did not ACHE from my absence.

Constructor: TRACY GRAY

Relative difficulty: PRETTY HARD FOR A MONDAY TBH

THEME: BBQ — The last word of each theme answer is something you might find at a BBQ.

Theme answers:
  • WAITS IN THE WINGS (17A: Is ready for one's star turn, say)
  • RESERVOIR DOGS (23A: 1992 Tarantino crime thriller)
  • MILITARY BRATS (52A: Children of armed forces personnel, slangily)
  • BACK DOOR SLIDERS (58A: Fast, sharp-breaking curveballs)
  • BBQ (38A: Cookout, briefly...or a hint to the ends of 17-, 23-, 52- and 58-Across)

Word of the Day: ERIES (34D: Iroquois foes) —
The Erie people (also ErieehrononEriechrononRiquérononErielhonanEriezNation du Chat) were a Native Americanpeople historically living on the south shore of Lake Erie. An Iroquoian group, they lived in what is now western New York, northwestern Pennsylvania, and northern Ohio before 1658.[1] They were destroyed in the mid-17th century by five years of prolonged warfare with the neighboring Iroquois, especially the Seneca, for helping the Huron in the Beaver Wars for control of the fur trade."[1]
Their villages were burned as a lesson to those who dare oppose the Iroquois, adding to their loss of life and likely forcing emigration. The Iroquoian confederacies were known for adopting others into their tribes, and true to form, the remaining defeated Erie are believed to have been absorbed by other Iroquoian tribes, particularly the Seneca, and possibly their kindred Susquehannocks with whom they shared the hunting grounds of the Allegheny Plateau and the Amerindian paths through the gaps of the Allegheny. Whatever their individual fates, the remnant tribes[2] living among the Iroquois, gradually lost their independent identity.
• • •
Hi! By the time I'm working on next month's Annabel Monday, I'll officially be a junior in college! Which I honestly cannot believe even a little bit. Wasn't I just a freshman, like, two seconds ago? Ahem - puzzle!

I got stuck all over the place on this one. Both bottom corners tripped me up, and I was so convinced that SUET was actually SEED. I also took issue with some of the clues - how am I supposed to know so much about sports like baseball and tennis for 61D, 58A, and others? Also, what the heck is a gimlet? Maybe it's just me, though. I did love the fill itself - LATH and TSLOT were both totally new for me, and I didn't run into any of those overused crossword words.

The theme was OK. Seasonal, I guess. I'm a little annoyed BURGERS didn't make it in there, and neither did POTATO SALAD or PASTA SALAD,  because those are the really iconic BBQ foods. I would like to know if anyone has ever actually eaten potato salad at a BBQ. I always take a little to be nice and then eat like maybe a bite of it because honestly potato salad isn't really that good? I don't know why people are always bringing it.

  • ORGY (69A: Anything goes-party) — First of all, I think Tracy Gray knew exactly what she was doing making this one #69, so props to that. Second of all: seriously?!?! "Anything-goes party"? That's uuuuusually not what "anything goes" means. I dunno.
There probably really was a swan coming for me
and it probably looked exactly like this
  • DUCKS (5A: Birds that waddle)  — We don't have ducks on campus, but we do have geese. And swans. I once was hanging out with a group of friends by the lake on campus, thought I heard a swan noise, and immediately bolted away from all of them because I was worried a swan was going to come attack me. Those birds are ruthless, I tell you.

  • SKI (10D: Hit the slopes) — I think everyone who's ever skied before has an embarrassing story about it, so here's mine! The first time I was learning to ski, when I was like 5, I swear I didn't fall down once...until I was getting off the slop and some equally-young snowboarder ran over me. I had to be carried off the slopes by, I guess, ski medics? Is that a thing? Anyway, that was the end of my skiing vacation, I just watched winter sports movies for the rest of the trip.
  • GLEE (21A: Exuberance) — There's only one thing this word makes me think of at this point. Curse you, Ryan Murphy, for doing this to the 2010s!
Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:27 AM  

Brat on a BBQ is pronounced differently than the word brat in reference to a child.

puzzlehoarder 12:58 AM  

With the little used KAHLIL next to the debut SHEERAN this was a little slower than a typical Monday. I have an old house so I know what LATH is but I misread the clue as referring to a piece of fabric so that was another little hitch. PANDG is AANDE'S lesser known ugly cousin. The same thing holds for TSLOT and TNUT. UBOLT is right in between them statistically. For 52A the phrase is usually just army brat. I'm not complaining about the puzzle, it was a good Monday with a little extra difficulty thrown in.

Steve Reed 1:03 AM  

First dnf on a Monday since well, as far back as I can remember. Doh crossing Argos works just as well as DUH crossing ARGUS, and I just couldn't spot a mistake. On a Monday??

Larry Gilstrap 1:18 AM  

I'm back from a two week road trip. Yes, I was a SIGHT SEER. The Twitter buzz on this puzzle was typically harsh, so I came armed for bear, @Hi PAPA. I'm still not sure of the pitfall, so ignorance is bliss. Tell me I'm missing something; don't bother.

Then I open up the blog and I get Annabel; always a pleasure. Dutch Uncle here: if you're tired, don't go to the party. I've never been to a BBQ that featured SLIDERS, on purpose. I was actually planning on cookin' up some WINGS tomorrow night. I've got the ears of corn, but I need to buy some beans. I know DUCKS are impossible to grill. We already have more than enough wildfires in this part of the world.

Yesterday's discussion of a certain European company that makes spectacular optical equipment (I'm no spoiler) barely touched on the birding world. I'm a birder and I do not feed wild birds or willingly create any artificial environment that might attract them: SUET, seed, or bird baths. Hi @golf courses who shoot coots and Canada geese. Sure, I know Cornell University Lab of Ornithology is the ultimate authority and they feature Feeder Cam photos; losing battle, apparently.

68A is two vowels short of an enigmatic poet.

Andrew Heinegg 1:33 AM  

As an addicted golfer, I am distressed at your statement that courses shoot Canada geese and coots. While I am familiar with their being considered nuisances on courses (watch where you walk), I have never heard of a course that kills these birds. I have heard of course dogs that chase them off and loud noises meant to make them think that somewhere else would be a better place for them to go. With respect to these birds, I don't believe that golf courses would be legally permitted to shoot them. But, maybe I'm just naive.

TomAz 1:33 AM  

The distinction between ARGUS/DUH and the plausible ARGOS/DOH is far too nuanced for a Monday. #*^£ this puzzle. Plus SLIDERS doesn't fit the theme quite right.

Anonymous 1:39 AM  

Finished, but slow for a Monday. I thought LATH crossing KAHLIL was unfair, and DUH doesn't make any sense. Who slaps their head and says duh? Exactly nobody. DOH is the correct answer there. It doesn't even make sense since ARGOS is a perfectly valid thing to put in your puzzle. Or just clue DUH properly.

The theme was good, but a couple of lousy clues and crosses ruined it for me.

Anoa Bob 1:58 AM  

Yeah, SLIDERS was a bit of an outlier for me. I first heard the term in the Navy where it meant farts that left skid marks in your skivvies, some BACKDOOR action with an OUTTAKE of sorts, maybe from too many greasy BRATS at a BBQ.

Anonymous 2:00 AM  

Actually, the more I think about this, the more I dislike it. ARGUS and ARGOS are both acceptable for the beast in question. It's just the Latin vs. Greek spellings. And DOH makes way more sense than DUH as the cross. So as far as I'm concerned, this crossword fails one of the most basic requirements for a crossword puzzle: having only one unique correct answer to the grid.

jae 2:45 AM  

Yep, on the tough side for a Mon. Cute end-of-summer weekend theme, liked it. But, KAHLIL, SHEERAN, and ARGUS are pushing it for a Mon.

Theodore Stamos 3:39 AM  

Agree with other comments here. I had a DNF on a Monday?! KAHLIL crossing LATH? I'd cry foul on that on a Friday or Saturday. Also agree that DOH makes more sense than DUH. This puzzle is mean.

Thomaso808 4:08 AM  

Since the dawn of Homer Simpson, I think it's fair to say that the correct word when chiding oneself with a head slap is most definitely DOH. On the other hand, DUH is properly used when ridiculing a person not yourself. Therefore, a big fail to NYT on 22A, especially since it caused me a DNF.

That being said, this puzzle had some great entries. I thought all the themers were excellent, and worth noting that all were NYT debuts, even though they are all relatively common phrases. That's remarkable. BACKDOORSLIDER was my favorite, but really, all were very good -- perfect for the Labor Day holiday. Also, zero crosswordese other than maybe PANDG. Very clean grid.

I do agree with Annabel that this was on the tough side for a Monday. Oh, and Anabel, I do love my potato salad!

Trudy Morgan-Cole 4:39 AM  

Yet anither victim of ARGOS/DOH here.

I kind of want to be that annoying person who says, "Aw honey, you just haven't had the RIGHT potato salad" and then make potato salad for Annabel.

Lewis 5:42 AM  
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Lewis 5:44 AM  
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Lewis 5:45 AM  

Easy fix for ARGOS/DOH: Replace SPAN with SPAM, and KARO with KANE.

@larry -- Welcome back! (And I saw your post yesterday.) And to add to your point about TSLOT being two vowels away from a poet of note, LATH is one consonant away from same. Then there's PAPA, one word away from the familiar name of the author of "The Old Man And The Sea". And ILIAD, no letters away from a famous work. So there's a literary backstory here to counter the down-to-earth picnic going on.

One thing I liked about this theme is that the picnic items have non-food meanings in their phrases. 'Tis a fun Monday jaunt and may everyone's day here be fun as well!

abalani500 6:12 AM  

Me too!

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

Some questions. How would you even make a slider on a grill? With a tiny little spatula or a tiny little grill. @Annabel, are yr friends only showing up with the nasty grocery store potato salad? Isn't it fascinating how our individual somethings are brought to light by puzzles? This was super easy for me yet I still had fun doing it. It ends my streak of dnfs.

Anonymous 7:02 AM  

A tweet from Rex: "Monday #crossword is harder than usual, totally botches baseball, & has an egregious crossing (one where two different letters are RIGHT)." In other words, total fucking bullshit.

Aketi 7:10 AM  

@Anabelle, when my son and his friend were just a little older than you were, I took them skiing. His friend (a very good skier even that young) slipped away from us when we were waiting in line because he saw someone wearing ski skates. I was angry because the rule was always stay together. We kept waiting and waiting and just when my anger turned to fear and I decided something bad must have happened, I got the announcement to come to SKI patrol. Yes they are SKI medics. A snowboarder had plowed into him. Luckily he was wearing a helmet. The one thing worse than seeing you own kid hurt is seeing a child entrusted in you care get hurt. Despite that they both elearned to board but they always wore helmets and never plowed into any skiers.

Hmm, those SLIDERS must have slid from the BACK DOOR into the BACK YARD for the BBQ. Ever since my days working Jack in the Box I haven't looked at burgers the same way. They cam frozen and you didn't defrost them before you threw them on the grill. Literally threw them on the grill like frisbees. They slid like hockey pucks. There are lots of games bored teenagers can come up with when working in a fast food kitchen, particularly when the food slides nicely along a flat surface.

OTD 7:19 AM  

Tougher than the usual Monday. Guess the NYT wanted us to labor a bit on Labor Day. For someone whose pop music ended with the coming of Rock and Roll, I always have to struggle with those clues. This time it was SHEERHAN. Oh well, always learning something new. That's part of puzzle fun. Good to see you again, Annabel. Nice write up.

BarbieBarbie 7:30 AM  

Fun puzzle, kind of hard for a Monday, but that's still not hard. And how great is having a BBQ for Labor Day? Thanks Tracy!

No excuse for the DOH fans not knowing ARGUS-eyed. No valid complaint there. Still Monday-ish.

@Larry, with all due respect, nice thoughts about birds and nature, but the biggest unnatural thing in your immediate neighborhood is your house. And, you're not going to get rid of that, so it's already an unnatural environment. We ended up hanging SUET because it was that or start shooting woodpeckers, which are a protected species that can make a huge hole in your siding in less than a second. (No, we don't have bugs. We checked. They also drill just to make noise.) Our neighbor was Mr. Natural and took every opportunity to stack more wood for his (poorly-designed, Dickens-London-level polluting) wood stove-- but never bothered to tarp the stacks. So, rain, rot, bugs, woodpeckers galore. We got some of them checking out our house too (too big a crowd at his house) and were going nuts until someone at Home Depot suggested suet. It worked wonderfully, and we got bonus woodpecker-viewing.

Julie Riordan 7:37 AM  

Me too!

QuasiMojo 7:44 AM  

Annabel, congrats on becoming a junior soon. It does seem like yesterday you were just beginning there. I totally agree about POTATO SALAD at BBQs. They rarely taste good. haha. But I have to disagree about PASTA SALAD at a BBQ. That would be totally new to me. And who serves SLIDERS at cook-outs? The burgers are YUGE at mine.

This puzzle had potential to be a knock-out, but SO MANY NAMES! And did we have to remember that awful Tarantino movie? The ILIAD made up for it, I guess.

I had DOH before DUH too, but I have to admit it is a different word with a different meaning and therefore I accept being wrong. And ARGUS should have been my first thought, not second.

Took me forever to figure out PANDG! I thought it was going to be PANDA. Now let the satanism rumors fly.

Hungry Mother 7:51 AM  

Stuck with DoH to the DNF.

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

Me three.

chefbea 8:01 AM  

Good to see you Annabel the junior!!! Fun puzzle for labor day...all food...especially potato salad. I love it and eat it at BBQ's

mathgent 8:07 AM  

These kids today. Not liking potato salad.

Sliders are all over the local menus, so I can see people throwing little patties and little buns on their grills.

Annabelle's probably not really tired. That's her signature line. The anthem of college girls everywhere.

I liked this puzzle very much. I had eleven red plusses in the margin, a record for a Monday. Admittedly some like GLEE and ABASHED are idiosyncratic. This puzzle had personality.

Very pleased that San Francisco-born Sam Querrey crushed Zherev last night, avenging what that serve-and-volleyer had done to our boy
Isner a couple of days ago.

Exubesq 8:09 AM  


Anonymous 8:14 AM  

I took an additional 3 minutes to find the doh-duh mistake. Most of this was doable, but there were some hard names/entries. I agree that "where anything goes" is really not a definition of orgy and likely needs a question mark. Glad we didn't have to hear Rex's foul-mouthed rant--- another reason I don't follow Twitter.

jessica cohn 8:28 AM  

Grew up in the northeast - we made snow men, snow angels , snow balls and paper snow flakes. Never a snow fort!
Also , never heard of suet .

Frayed Knot 8:37 AM  

As per Rex's comment, yeah, the clue on BACKDOOR SLIDERS isn't all that accurate
A "fast, sharp-breaking curveball" is an OK definition of a generic slider but BACKDOOR refers specifically to the pitch's location -- one starting outside of home plate but curving its way in (via the back door as it were) as opposed to one that starts over the plate then moves off -- rather than to the curving action of the pitch itself.

Anonymous 8:49 AM  

I really, really, really dislike potato salad.

Carolyn Grose 8:56 AM  


RooMonster 9:03 AM  

Hey All !
Damn, Annabel will be a Junior in college soon, holy crap I'm getting old. I remember when she was just a tired High Schooler. Always nice to read her thoughts, though. Have fun today!

Thought puz was good, and quite tough in spots for a MonPuz. Agree with KAHLIL and SHEERAN as toughies. Wanted two R's in SHErRAN instead of two R's. Also had CITcO, royally messing up GLEE to c_r_. WED TO oddly clued and not helping in that little area. Also had the O for DoH, and not wanting to get rid if SeEd, as SUET was out of the ole brain til I got the DNF, even though I was pretty sure QeAY and dARSI weren't correct. Changed the E to U, then remembered SUET.

I like potato salad, unless you ruin it by adding olives. Blech, green or black, NO olives! :-)

Growing up in Pennsylvania, (not ERIE) a couple of big snowstorms left you no option other than to build a snowFORT, as the snow got quite high.


JP 9:17 AM  


Tim 9:31 AM  

A slider is by definition NOT a curveball, so that clue is wrong. A slider is a different pitch than a curveball. The grip is different and the action and spin are different. That's why they have separate names. The clue should have been something like, "sharp breaking pitches that move from the batter's outside toward the plate." "Breaking pitch" is a term that encompasses both curveballs and sliders.

gifcan 9:36 AM  


kitshef 9:37 AM  

Never heard of a TSLOT, and for all I knew it could have been TSLiT or TSLat. But the cross of Sold Right Out was fair.

My skiing story. Went out for one last run of the day, and was walking towards the chair lift. My skis started to slip and I reached to grab them, and one came up and hit me in the forehead. It bled like crazy and I had to go to the first aid hut, and from there to the emergency room. At work I would just say it happened "on a skiing trip".

e.a.p. 10:01 AM  

enjoyed this puzzle. one of the easier mondays for me. cut my time by a third.

GHarris 10:03 AM  

I spotted the pitfall of duh/doh and elected to go with the version I grew up with in the Bronx (duh). I have long resented that doh came into fashion and apparently is now the preferred expression.To me that was always wrong.
@Tim I agree completely with your distinction between sliders and curve balls. Right on.

Anonymous 10:09 AM  

@FRAYED not,

I figured Rex would chime in on the back door slider, but I don't see his comment. What dI'd he say?
Obviously nothing you and Tim are dead right.


PS. @Larry Gilstrap,
Cornell is truly the authority, but here in South Jersey, some of us have a real fondness for the Cape May Bird Observatory. I guess she is have a little of that parochialness I chastised Rex for. Only, in my case it's justified😁

mathgent 10:15 AM  

@kitshef (9:37): On a tennis court a few years ago, I went for a low shot. I was off balance and tried to top-spin it with my Prince graphite. I missed the shot but got my forehead on the follow-through. Opened a gash and nearly knocked myself out.

Nancy 10:15 AM  

I had only the WA at 17A's "Is ready for one's star turn, say" and was sure the answer was going to be WAITS ON TABLES or something very much like it. Which reminds me of the joke: A theatergoer waits at the stage door for the lead actor to emerge, then tells him that he's the greatest actor she's ever seen. "Thanks", he says, "but actually I'm really an out-of-work waiter. Unfortunately, there are no available jobs right now."

There are four company or product names in this puzzle: 16A, 7D, 11D and 52D. That's too many. Who was the person here who surmised recently that maybe the Times gets paid for product placements in the puzzle? I thought you were kidding, but maybe you weren't. Yesterday, we had the unpronounceable jewelry store, and darned if I didn't go to their website and case out their stuff. Well, since I don't make pecan pie (16A) or need any auto body parts (52A) since I don't drive, or any CITGO oil (ditto), I didn't go to anyone's website today. But product names are a bad tendency. Other than that, I found the puzzle a bit more interesting than the average Monday and I learned for the first time about BACKDOOR SLIDERS. Except that @Tim tells me that what I just learned is wrong.

Joseph Michael 10:15 AM  

Fun and meaty Labor Day puzzle. Enjoyed it even though I don't eat any of the themer foods.

Ended up with a DNF in the NE, but for a different reason. I remembered the syrup as Kayo, so my mythical giant ended up being an Aygus. When I realized what I had done, I slapped my head and said DOH. Then I slapped it again and said DUH.

Nice one @larry and @lewis on finding poets hidden in the grid. I looked for others, but the best I could come up with was SEAL being one consonant away from a mattress.

Nancy 10:25 AM  

@mathgent (10:15) -- Of course you hit yourself in the head with the Prince racket. It's too damn big! I was using my beloved Yamaha YFG 50 back in the day, a small-headed racket, but with a lot of zing, that I adored, when someone loaned me her green Prince graphite. I served one first serve and hit myself in the left shin on my follow-through. Like you, I opened up a big gash. At that point, I had been playing for more than 25 years and I had NEVER hit myself in the leg on a serve. Never! I handed her back the racket and said: "The head of this racket is too damned big." While I eventually switched to a Dunlop with a larger head than the Yamaha, I never, ever used a racket with a head as big as the Prince.

QuasiMojo 10:28 AM  

Sold Right Out? I thought SRO stood for Standing Room Only or (Single Room Occupancy in a different context.)

Nancy 10:35 AM  

@Quasi -- Standing Room Only

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Why hell yes.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 10:38 AM  

Does anyone remember laughter.

GILL I. 10:40 AM  

Hey...This was a pretty darn good BBQ puzzle. Particularly liked PAPA DUCKS, ITCHY ACHE and SLY ORGY. I don't mind a little SUET on a Monday even though I'm a sugar kind of girl for my little hummingbirds, Chutzpah and bossy boots.
I think i've seen potato salad at every single outdoor BBQ attended. You won't see it at an Argentine asado but boy do Americans seem to like it. The trick is to boil yellow potatoes whole until soft. Nothing worse than hard ones.
I have cracked my TARSI, sprained my wrist, had snow stuffed up my nose, rolled all the way down the "Bola" in Spain while SKIing. I was too darn stubborn to ever take a lesson so I just learned by watching. Graduating from about 10 foot long ski's to the shorts was the hardest part for me. I still stem christie.
Well, it's going to cool down to a balmy 98 today. Company back in Jolly ole England and all I'm going to do all day is sit back in my favorite chair, eat potato chips and read a good book..."Portrait in Sepia."

Gobie Dillis 10:41 AM  

Is Rex always foul-mouthed?

Two Ponies 10:48 AM  

More fun than the usual Monday.
Only two clues/answers gave me pause.
Who is Ed Sheeran?
Rimshot instrument is a snare? As in drum?

Very nice puzzle that does not deserve petty nit picking. Glad to have a guest hostess at our BBQ today.

Missy 10:53 AM  

SRO - Standing Room Only

Dr. Bill Johnson 11:05 AM  

I was skiing in Vermont some years back when I clipped a small child who appeared out of nowhere on the slope. What an adorable child! He had obviously wandered away from his parents; he was a bit woozy and had a small cut on chin but was otherwise OK. The boy was maybe six or seven, and was cute as the dickens. After I was sure he was okay I pointed him to the trail back to the lodge, and I whispered to him that if he told anyone that I ran into him I would slit his throat and kill his family. Oh the precious look on his face! You can bet that I never heard a word about it! Oh my goodness such fond memories . . .

w 11:06 AM  

I say, PAPA Parker, OPAL of mine, SOYA found this "pretty hard for a Monday" did ya? If you long for ELMO room, then move to a more RURAL area. WHH DUCKS and heads for the hills, as Rex shouts "LET me at 'em!"

jberg 11:08 AM  

My Boston parochialism compels me to defend KAHLIL Gibran. "The Prophet has been continuously in print since 1923, has been published in 40 languages, and has sold 9,000,000 copies in the US alone. Not that obscure.

Otherwise, what everybody else said (except that I don't know from BACKDOOR SLIDERS); including the DoH/ARGoS error that caused my DNF.

I did like the BBQ sandwiched between the wintry snow FORT and the SUET that you feed to birds especially in winter.

@Larry, there's a minor uproar here in MA because a town on the North Shore has been netting geese en masse and having them slaughtered. They claim they are giving the meat to homeless shelters, but no one has found a shelter ton confirm that yet. Something does need to be done about the surplus population, and they do taste good. We're dealing with deer but allowing hunting a few days a year in parks, but the geese tend to be in settings where that wouldn't be safe.

Annabel, thanks and congratulations!

Janet Mitchell 11:17 AM  

I guess I am in the minority here. I didn't have much trouble, and finished in 1:43 better than my average time for a Monday. I also think agree that "duh" is appropriate for a "head-slap". I'm 57, up in Illinois and never heard "doh" until Homer Simpson said it. and yes, Rex sometimes swears, but I love following him on Twitter!

jb129 11:17 AM  

Easy for me until I got stuck on - WED TO for Fixated on as an idea?

Janet Mitchell 11:18 AM  

And I LIKE potato salad!

RooMonster 11:22 AM  

@Two Ponies 10:48
(If this works)
Here is what a Rim Shot means
Used for (bad?) jokes. :-)


Teedmn 11:25 AM  

As usual, Tracy Gray serves up a great puzzle. I thought the Labor Day BBQ theme really hit the spot (though I would be dining exclusively on the potato and pasta salads, unless some thoughtless person put &%$#@ pepperoni in the pasta salad or bacon in the German potato salad.)

SKIing - I went to the @GILL I school of skiing - I learned on my own and my form shows it - it is pretty bad (I've seen videos of myself). I was 29 years old the first time I tried it and my boyfriend (now husband) was purportedly teaching me how. When I asked him how to turn, he said, "I don't know, you just do." The guys running the gondola commented on my way down that I hadn't picked any more snow on my body than I'd had before. Progress.

ARGoS/DoH, OHOH, me too, me too.

Nice write-up @Annabel and great catch on the 69A ORGY tie-in.

Eponymous 11:25 AM  

A timely post @Barbie. It took us a while to find the source of a periodic racket here. It was a woodpecker drumming on our metal fireplace vent, which he is doing as I type. A territorial display, I guess. The vent seems to be holding up pretty well, and we're managing.

RooMonster 11:25 AM  
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ArtO 11:28 AM  

Kudos to Annabel for a terrific write-up...great catch on 69A.

Agree for all previously stated reasons that this was a tougher than usual Monday.

Alison 11:30 AM  

Ensnared also

RooMonster 11:35 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
RooMonster 11:37 AM  

Well, just go to


aging soprano 11:52 AM  

Hey, Math Gent, did you say DUH when that racket hit your forhead?
Potato Salad and slaw did not fit the theme as they were all meats that are grilled on the BBQ. Obviously the constructor couldn't find a clue for burgers so she put in those baby burgers instead. Maybe next Labor Day she can do a vegetarian BBQ and then we can get corn, eggplant and marshmallows in.

Masked and Anonymous 11:53 AM  

Happy Labor Day, all U nice folks. How many shoppin days left til Christmas?

staff weeject pick: BBQ. Great to see one of the lil guys get the primo respect of bein the puz revealer.
Honrable mention to DUI, and his brother DUCKS HUI and LUI.

This MonPuz seemed more like a TuesPuz, but its theme definitely was also perfect for a LaborDayPuz, sooo … ok. But, can see why Blu'Bel thought it was a bit chewy, what with KAHLIL, SHEERAN, MAACO, and TSLOT roamin the premises. M&A survived the ARGUS/DUH intersection of death smoothly: when in doubt, he always always goes with the "U".

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {8:00-11:00 p.m. on TV} = PRIMETIME. Actually, this moo-cow-er was part of a small herd that also included PAPA's clue and EARP's clue, up there in the NW.

M&A is actually attendin a BBQ, late this afternoon out in the country on a real pretty day. We are bringin the chili con queso and chips. Also bringin some scraps for the dogs. I believe the BRATS will be served as the entree, if they act up.

Thanx and Merry early Christmas, Tracy Gray darlin.
Thanx for the write-up with primo bullets, @Blu'Bel. Grade = A.

Masked & Anonym6Us

runt labor:

Wileyfex 11:58 AM  

I found the puzzle to be really easy.

clk 12:06 PM  

Thank you! I could not figure out why I didn't get the happy music. Seems devilish, especially for a Monday.

Anonymous 12:14 PM  


Lewis 12:20 PM  

@m&a -- You *did* notice Annabell's "uuuuusually"????

This Monday BBQ puzzle is a lot easier than the Monday BEQ puzzle.

Masked and Anonymous 12:41 PM  

@Lewis: Oooooh, yes … M&A stands corrected …

Thanx for the write-up with primo bullets, @Blu'Bel. Grade = A+.

"LaboUr Day Fan"

Unknown 12:43 PM  

Same. Tricksy.....

Two Ponies 12:47 PM  

Thanks, that second link worked.
I recognize the familiar sound but did not
know it had a name.
A new bit of trivia for the brain bank is
always a plus, esp. on a Monday.

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

Fun to see Annabel's posts evolve over time.

Lawrence Dickerson 1:14 PM  

Birds are shot near airports, all the time by Farmers of certain crops, and I would therefore assume at or near golf courses.

All of this with varying degrees of legality.

Masked and Anonymous 1:33 PM  

Also @Lewis: yep. BEQ puz darn near B-BE-Q-ed M&A's lambass. Put up a backdoor slider of a fight, at our house. Ended up with 3 circled "guess" letters in it, and some upended den furniture. All guesses happened to be correct, which is real unuuuuuusual, for m&e.

Back to the NYTPuz: Seems like RIB/RIBS would be a natural BBQ themer thing to chew on. Any 15-long -RIB(S) entries out there? Well …

* STUCKTOONESRIBS. This don't disguise the RIBS themeword meanin real well.
* CREAMEDCORNCRIB. Maybe a smudge too desperate? … yeah, thought so.
* READITINTHETRIB? Do have to take the T-bone off the TRIB, to get there, tho.
… ?


Matthew G. 1:59 PM  

Co-sign. DOH is at least marginally a better answer than DUH for 22A's clue, and ARGUS is not one of the better known mythological creatures. So that makes for the hardest crossing on a Monday that I can recall. Some slack cut because holidays are allowed to deviate from the usual day-of-the-week difficulties. Still, the problem could have been solved by cluing DUH as {"Oh, of course I knew that!"} or such.

SteveDubs 2:14 PM  

The key to good potato salad is to be very sparing with the mayo base, and a quality herb mix.
And yeah, DOH/DUH was boggled me as well. That was a BS crossing.

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

backdoor slider is also an orgy term so it makes even more sense.

Laura 2:28 PM  

Same!!! I quadruple checked my answers and COULD NOT find the error. Had to finally use the "check puzzle" option to figure it out. DUH.

Charley 2:47 PM  

I'm fine with back door sliders. But what the hell is PANDG?

JC66 3:01 PM  

Proctor & Gamble

newspaperguy 4:01 PM  

Re: the complaints about SRO. I suspect it far more commonly refers to Sold Right Out because few venues offer Standing Room Only, probably due to fire regulations. Just because an initialism means one thing doesn't rule out it meaning another.

QuasiMojo 4:16 PM  

I've never heard anyone or any businesssay Sold Right Out. The acronym dictionary says that definition is used "very rarely." The most common acronym usage is Standing Room Only whether or not they offer it. "SOLD OUT" is very common however. They sell those signs in case you need one.

JC66 4:32 PM  


"They sell those signs in case you need one."

Unless they're sold out.

Joe Dipinto 4:39 PM  

@JC66 4:32 - D'oh! Good 'un!

(And I don't care what the answer key says: DOH is the only correct answer for 22a.)

QuasiMojo 5:01 PM  

@JC66 -- Touché!

socdem 5:32 PM  

It's not just devilish or tricksy, or hard for a Monday. It's an error in construction. ARGUS and ARGOS are both accepted spellings, and DOH and DUH are both perfectly good answers for that clue. Should have been caught in editing and fixed!

socdem 5:37 PM  

Except, Argus and Argos are both accepted spellings for that giant:

JC66 5:39 PM  


I was just trying to help underline your point.

Arthur Wenk 5:41 PM  

Hi, Annabel. Good luck on your junior year. If you're interested in reading a murder mystery set at Wellesley College, go to and click on "Mysteries."

Lewis 6:11 PM  

Will Shortz chimed in on WordPlay:

"Will Shortz here. A lot of solvers have reported entering ARGOS/D'OH instead of ARGUS/DUH in today's puzzle. Nobody -- editors, solvers, or constructor -- noticed this ambiguity beforehand. If we had, we would have changed something.

Either answer, of course, can be considered correct.

The alternative answer only matters because of solvers' streaks. For those whose streaks were broken today, perhaps the Times's digital staff can make things good. But they won't be back in the office until tomorrow, so please be patient."

Anonymous 7:10 PM  

@ALL who where offended by Rex's use of profanity on Twitter - Please learn to read. Anon 7:02 correctly enclosed Rex's twitter comment in quotes, then added their own comment,

i.e.: Rex wrote ".....". My comment.

Rex didn't write "My comment", Anon 7:02 did.

I'm sure Rex is awaiting apologies.

Nancy 7:47 PM  

@Dr. Bill Johnson (11:05) -- "Oh my goodness, such fond memories..."

Not for the child, I'd venture to say.

Anonymous 7:49 PM  

All I see in Rex's twitter is misogyny from Rex towards Ivanka, and elitism from Lena Webb.

Cassieopia 7:52 PM  

Add me to the DNF because of this crossing.

Steve Reed 8:16 PM  

It seems that the NYT app has retroactively given me credit for completing the puzzle even though I hit the check puzzle button. Apology accepted. :-)

Anonymous 8:32 PM  

He teaches Comics:Foundation. In College.

Brandon 8:39 PM  

Yes, yes it is 12:27, very observant.

Anonymous 8:46 PM  

Hold that thought honey, gotta tweet something snarky.

Dawn 9:15 PM  

Although I too got ARGUS'ed by the puzzle, I thought it was pretty interesting for a Monday. In spite of its lack of potato salad. ;)

Anonymous 9:27 PM  

How the freak did @Shortz "Nobody, editors, solvers, constructor, notice the ambiguity." Are they all living under a rock? Guess what? You need much better test solvers. Holy shit, if we all saw it, how the hell did the "chain of command" not? Amazing.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 9:50 PM  

I enjoy a good shit sammich, at an ORGY or otherwise. Even as a BACKSLIDER.

Mayhan Phipps 9:53 PM  

Anonymous 9:27, I don't think it's believable either.

JC66 10:08 PM  

His last sentence says it all.

"The alternative answer only matters because of solvers' streaks. For those whose streaks were broken today, perhaps the Times's digital staff can make things good. But they won't be back in the office until tomorrow, so please be patient."

It really doesn't matter to WS or the NYT.


kitshef 10:13 PM  

@Quasimojo, @Nancy, @Missy - inside joke. About nine months ago Rex (jokingly, one presumes) translated SRO as Sold Right Out an the comments board exploded.

JC66 10:25 PM  


I had sneaking suspicion you were joking.

Nancy 11:05 PM  

@JC66 (10:25 pm)-- If Will doesn't care, why should the solver? No need for anyone to see an impressive streak broken. If Will says DUH is as good as DOH (or did he say that DOH is as good as DUH), then proclaim whatever you had correct and proclaim your streak unbroken. That's what I would do if I paid attention to streaks and had a good one going.

@kitshef -- the joke was so "inside" that I missed it entirely.

kitshef 11:11 PM  

Sold Right Out was from June 10, 2016 - a bit further back than I thought.

JC66 11:19 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 11:20 PM  


What I was finding unbelievable is that WS said he only cared about solving streaks:

"The alternative answer only matters because of solvers' streaks. For those whose streaks were broken today, perhaps the Times's digital staff can make things good. But they won't be back in the office until tomorrow, so please be patient."

Not the quality of the puzzle.

Chris Mc 11:25 PM  

The same, Steve Reed. First DNF on a Monday in memory. And the same square.

Argos Citgo Mbas 3:40 AM  

Nice, timely theme, Ms Gray...
This puzzle just like I like my burgers... Well done!

@Annabel, once kayaking (only time kayaking!) in Sweden and came upon swans and was scared sh*tless. They can be very protective!

Chuckled at you being carried off the "slop"! Favorite kind of typo

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thefogman 4:44 PM  

Got a jump on this one because of Cdn Thankstaking. Found it easy as (pumpkin?)pie even though I did not clue into the theme. I didn't know what sliders were and now that I do i do not like them at all. They're like a hamburger version of the "fun size" chocolates you find around Hallowe'en. And with that, I'll leave you with this thought from Bill Murray:

Burma Shave 10:06 AM  


SIGHTSEERs at an ORGY need not be ABASHED hiders,
LET them play if they’re ITCHY to SNARE BACKDOORSLIDERS.


rondo 10:31 AM  

Pretty sure that the 100 eye thing had something to do with the naming of the ARGUS cameras, which were best-sellers in their time. Gimme. Pretty sure @spacey will have something to se re: TSLOT, APTEST, and ampersandwich PANDG.

Dickens aside, URIAH Heep was/is one of my favorite early 1970s bands. Worth a 2:30 Monday morning listen to EASY Livin’:

Did some rib-eyes on the BBQ over the weekend. Wouldn’t waste the time on WINGS or DOGS. Sometimes BRATS.

URIAH Heep is done and so am I. I’ll LET him stretch to find a yeah baby.

thefogman 10:49 AM  

Regarding 69A and Annabel's comment about ORGY (an anything-goes party)...
The Trump administration has been characterized as being an ORGY of corruption and incompetence.

spacecraft 11:27 AM  

RNF (refused to finish). Groaning right out of the gate with AAA, then the ridiculous WEDTO, the awkwardest (sic) partial I've ever seen--and then to hit 11-down. That was it. At this point it was like cereal with spoiled milk: WHY am I eating this? COME ON, Will! If you had to print this garbage it means you had NOTHING else to print, and I find that hard to believe.

One of our fellow syndicated bloggers, who choose to remain anonymous, talks about "pissers." Well, this baby is LOADED with 'em. If PB anchors one end of the constructor scale, I've got a nominee for the other end.

The end.

rainforest 1:39 PM  

Canadian Thanksgiving Day today, so no paper, so no crossword.

But, I send best wishes to all the syndies today from up North.

Diana,LIW 2:15 PM  

A tad harder than the average Monday (not as hard as PAPA bear's bed) but I finished. Correctly.

What with the DUH/doh conundrum, the 100-eyed creature, the singer I never heard of but apparently would have were I plugged into reality, and the spelling of the Prophet's name. Good guesswork.

@Spacey - try starting toward the bottom. It's been my experience that the yuck floats to the top.

BBQ! What's wrong with sliders? Just little burgers that allow you to also sample some other fare. Like tapas.

Happy Canada T-Day, @Rainy. We have a holiday too, but much controversy over who/whom to honor.

leftcoastTAM 2:43 PM  

Are we already at Wednesday? Must have overslept.

Clever theme, well-executed, with some sticky fill.

CITGO, MAACO, and middle South, as clued: SALONS, SNARE, TSLOT.

Confused about DUH and DOH. Thought that "DOH!" was the Homer Simpson-like head slap and "DUH" was the put-down response to a dumb or too obvious comment.

If DUH is the right answer I'll need to catch up with the slang. (The crossing, incorrect ARGoS looked okay.)

fakt chekker 3:13 PM  

"Argus is the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek word Argos." - Wikipedia

How could Mr. Shortz possibly say, " Nobody -- editors, solvers, or constructor -- noticed this ambiguity beforehand. If we had, we would have changed something." ???

Diana,LIW 7:07 PM  

Just read thru half of the Futurelander's comments, and I am declaring the doh/duh combo to both be right.

Because they are, that's why.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting forediting apologies

Diana,LIW 7:20 PM  

My apologies - I just saw the WS apology.

Lady Di, Lady in Red Face

Scott McLean 12:48 PM  

The problem with potato salad at a BBQ (the mayo-based type, anyway) is that if left unrefridgerated for more than an hour or so it goes bad. That casserole dish fulla spud chunks is a big bowl of food poisoning waiting to happen.
Safeway has a pre-made "egg salad potato salad" that's pretty tasty, but I only eat it in the safety of my own home, fresh outta the fridge. Won't touch the stuff at any sort of potluck gathering.

Anywho, this puzzle had some nice crunch for a Monday, with a holiday-appropriate theme. I had no issues with it, and didn't see the "DoH/DUH" snafu until reading the comments here (I plunked in a U, but could just as easily have gone with O and never noticed, had I been in more of a Homer Simpson frame of mind). Quite interesting that there's now a NYT puzzle with two officially correct solutions. (Besides the brilliant CLINTON/BOBDOLE feat of 1996. Remember that?)

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