Popular beige work boots colloquially / THU 9-28-17 / Org with millions of members HQd in Fairfax va / Hale House majority leader of 1970s / Widely played sport developed at Amherst College in 1960s

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: PIÑATA (44D: Party item depicted in the middle of this puzzle's grid) —isolated bit inside the (alleged) PIÑATA is CANDY (35A: Likely contents of a 44-Down), which, a note tells me, is "C and Y"—two letters that appear nowhere in the rest of the grid ...


Word of the Day: Hale BOGGS (10A: Hale ___, House majority leader of the 1970s) —
Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. (February 15, 1914 – presumably October 16, 1972 but not declared dead until January 3, 1973) was an American Democratic politician and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Orleans, Louisiana. He was the House majority leader and a member of the Warren Commission. // In 1972, while he was still Majority Leader, the twin engine airplane in which Boggs was traveling disappeared over a remote section of Alaska. The airplane presumably crashed and was never found. Congressman Nick Begich, of Alaska, was also presumed killed in the same accident. [...] Hale and Lindy Boggs had four children: U.S. TV and public radio journalist Cokie Roberts, born December 27, 1943, and the wife of journalist Steven V. Roberts; Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., a prominent Washington, D.C.,-based attorney and lobbyist; Barbara Boggs Sigmund, who served as mayor of Princeton, New Jersey; and William Robertson Boggs, who died as an infant on December 28, 1946. In 1982 Mrs. Sigmund lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate to Frank Lautenberg. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is so poorly conceived. It's like one concept, with an entirely unrelated concept tacked on to it for no apparent reason. Who cares that there is no C or Y in the non-CANDY part of the grid? Those letters are not not not not not hard to do without. The puzzle wants you to think that a non-accomplishment is an accomplishment. Then there's the (alleged) PIÑATA, which I thought was a dog on some kind of weird leash (not sure if that was before or after I thought that it was some kind of desk or workbench). I do not read notes, ever, before solving. Unless your puzzle is a meta-puzzle, it should be solvable without reference to any "note." The PIÑATA would not hang properly if that's where the string met the horse's torso. Further, those legs are ridiculously long and skinny. Also, I'm told that on the website, the PIÑATA answer is yellow (!?), which, visually, is ... interesting.


So the theme, in all its parts, is just a mess. It's like a bar bet puzzle. "I bet I can do this?" "Who cares?" "BET ME!" "OK, jeez, take it easy." I think the stack in the NW corner is nicely done, and GO JUMP IN THE LAKE is not bad, though I thought it was *A* lake. It's supposed to be a metaphor, not a recommendation regarding a nearby body of water. But I see THE is well attested, so some of my fondness for that answer remains.


There's not a single woman in this grid. There is only one woman mentioned in all of the clues, and she is mentioned only in relation to a man—and What a man! It's this editor's favorite man, the man he can't help working into the puzzle seemingly every day. Another day, another gratuitous Trump reference (57A: Melania Trump ___ Knauss) (NÉE). The guy really, really doesn't know (or respect) his solving base. But this sad NÉE clue is fitting for this puzzle, with its G.I. JOE and the NRA and all that fake manly crap and no girls allowed. A tiresome sausagefest of a party (with the world's dumbest-looking PIÑATA). I mean, the puzzle even manages to shit on the lone female *animal* in the puzzle (39A: No Triple Crown winner ever = MARE). That's some high-end chauvinism right there.

Bullets:
  • 10A: Hale ___, House majority leader of the 1970s (BOGGS) — there's only one BOGGS. He played 3B for the Red Sox and then the Yankees and then I think maybe the (D)-Rays, but that last part I tend to block out.
  • 16A: "Get ___, you two!" ("A ROOM") — since this is up there in the NE corner, I assume "you two" refers to G.I. JOE and ELMER Fudd.
  • 34A: Well-planed (EVEN) — yes, I too read this as "well-planned." I'm guessing that was the plane.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

240 comments:

Anonymous 12:03 AM  

Oh my god! I consider myself extremely liberal, but your politicizing everything is tiresome beyond belief. I guess a good time to stop reading this blog!

Andrew Silverstein 12:06 AM  

This puzzle is also missing another letter: The Ñ in Piñata! As is always the case. Pinata doesn't mean anything but ano unfortunately does.

Questinia 12:13 AM  

I really could not get past GO JUMP IN *THE* LAKE. Got so vexed I had to come here and spew. It's horrifying and unrefined.

And me likes refinement.

MaharajaMack 12:37 AM  

Easiest Thursday I've ever completed. For that reason alone I liked it. Got sick of the "colloquially" type qualifiers. Ultimate Frisbee was fun. Finally, your gripe about the horse's leg length was a bridge too far...

Laura 12:38 AM  

Yes - the cluing for MARE was so oddly worded, it felt like a jab at my entire gender. Anyway, I am an ultimate player, and thrilled to see it in the puzzle, BUT it was started in New Jersey, not Amherst. http://www.wfdf.org/history-stats/history-of-ultimate - and technically the sport is called "ultimate," no Frisbee, which is trademarked name.

Kendall 12:39 AM  

This is the easiest Thursday I've ever seen, except for my DNF at RKO/KTEL. I've never heard of either of these, so any single letter of the alphabet seemed plausible there. I've since looked up KTEL and I'm familiar with things they have done, but nothing about that name rings a bell for me. Oh well.

Anonymous 12:41 AM  

Apart from its ears, the grid PIÑATA is a fairly proportional representation of the one in the posted picture. In both cases leg length appears to be roughly equivalent to torso girth. Yes, the rope should ideally shift one maybe two columns to the left.

I find myself wondering if @Rex truly noticed the lack of women "organically," or if he referred to a checklist. SAD!

tbd88 12:43 AM  

When I filled in "NRA" I thought "why can't this ever be clued as the Roosevelt-era National Recovery Administration?"

Anonymous 12:47 AM  

You're every female, @Laura.

Daniel 12:55 AM  

Feels like you probably won't stop though, right?

Mike in Mountain View 12:57 AM  

Excellent but very, very, very easy puzzle (easy for a Monday). The fill is strong, despite the (albeit small) constraint of using every letter except C and Y. The long answers are very "in the language" and fun. Sure, the pinata doesn't look much like a pinata (looks like a dog with a vertical line coming out of its back, or maybe a merry-go-round horse with the pole in the wrong place), but you couldn't design a puzzle with the string in the pinata's center of gravity and still have words of at least three letters.

So I thought @Rex's take was kind of nutty. I broke out laughing when I read Craig Mazin's "urine" comment. Am I, um, all wet for reacting that way?

Anonymous 12:58 AM  

I don't see how the PIÑATA and CANDY themes are entirely unrelated.

Anonymous 1:01 AM  

What’s missing is “C and Y”. .. ie CANDY. It’s inside the piñata.

Anonymous 1:01 AM  

@Mike - ah, good point about the 3-letter minimum.

Trombone Tom 1:09 AM  

Now we're criticizing the length of the legs on a pinata image? I found the puzzle fairly enjoyable, but as noted by @Mike in MV, very easy for a Thursday, a day I look forward to encountering more of a challenge.

I'm ready to GNAW on a snack of GOUDA and ASIAGO. Preferably with a little CAB, but some AMBER ALE would be acceptable. GIN not so much.

Anonymous 1:09 AM  

Never feel less on Rex's wave-length then when he criticizes crossword art for verisimilitude --- as with the rings yesterday, and the pinata today. I mean, a 15x15 grid can only yield so much resolution, of course, the result looks like the spawn of a Vic 20. What else do you expect?

Anonymous 1:19 AM  

I should do the research but I wonder what the frequency of Obama references was at this point during his first term, particularly with his crossword letter friendly family names.

Ando 1:25 AM  

Donald Trump is an unattractive angry ignorant excuse for a human being, but he conned enough people into electing him President, so it makes sense that he shows up regularly in these puzzles. I don't have a problem with it; it's not like I forgot he was President and this served as a jolting reminder.

Erik 1:31 AM  

Would have been cute if it was a Tuesday puzzle.... it wasn't really Thursday fare.

Melrose 1:43 AM  

Too easy for a Thursday, but a cute theme. Take a deep breath, ReX. No need to overanalyze.

Anonymous 1:48 AM  

I am Dismayed at the cluing for TIMS ("popular beige work boots, colloquially"). The boots in question are made by Timberland. The slang term for them is "Timbs". If you're going to work in one clue that skews young, at least fact-check it?

Bobby Riggs 1:53 AM  

Seriously? Who parses a crossword for the distribution of gender clues? An ivory tower academic. Tenure must be nice, but the rest of us have to work for a living and can't spend our time on petty grievances. How about a review without an agenda? Appalling

Theodore Stamos 2:07 AM  

It must be tiring being so offended all the time. I think there's a large swath of the population these days who think only in terms of "what can i be offended by here?" I can only assume that he has picked up this habit from being on a college campus for years. But it is interesting to see this new mind disease on display every morning in this blog. I'm waiting for Rex to one day tell me why the word "the" is offensive.

Anonymous 2:23 AM  

I'm offended by the Ultimate Frisbee clue! I went to Columbia High School, which is credited with playing the first game and really developing the game into what it is today. None of that Amherst BS.

Larry Gilstrap 2:25 AM  

I have issues. Finish the puzzle, sort of, and then I'm asked to do a CSI which includes an alphabet run. grid art, and a cross reference? These are a few of my least favorite things to do as a solver. At least, we are then rewarded with two grid spanners, but pay the price with all those three, four, and five letter stacks. It's a novelty puzzle and it is Thursday, after all.

I am immersed in Mexican culture and feel that the argument requiring a tilde over the "n" in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle is like tilting at a TOTEM POLE. Not quite sure what that means, but it was fun to write. I'm at the Center Market and my wife texts me: "Hey, pick up a PINATA" and I'm like WTF? Oh, you mean the thing that holds CANDY. Got it!

When I witness a PDA, my response is "Hey, rent A ROOM!" Sorry, but if I am out of line, feel free to tell me to GO JUMP IN a LAKE! since there happen to be no lakes in this proximity that might require some driving.


TIMS are boots? Just asked my resident fashionista about a nickname for Timberland footwear; she said, and I quote: "Nobody calls them TIMS." Well all right! Maybe it's a regional thing.

My own crabbiness is exhausting, so to end on a lighter note: everyone has heard of a Junior College. Can you name a Junior University? Wait for it...

LELAND Stanford Junior University. The poor kid died of malaria while visiting Rome, like Daisy Miller, back when that was a thing.

Anonymous 2:48 AM  

Curiously, Rex's first published puzzle with the NYT also did not have a single woman in the grid or even in the clues (https://www.xwordinfo.com/Crossword?date=8/17/2010). Rex's puzzle does, however, reference Ricky Nelson, Ron Paul, John 1:1, Vincent Van Gogh, John Muir, Simon & Garfunkel, Shaquille O'Neal, Ignaz Schwinn, Yogi Bear, and Paul McCartney... Why, it even has some typical "manly" type things like a Sawed-Off Shotgun (much like NRA in Krozel's puzzle) and GI's (much like GI Joe in Krozel's puzzle). Rex even had a clear chance to at least clue the shotgun as being related to Bonnie & Clyde, but instead ONLY referred to Clyde Barrow.

The takeaway: every puzzle does not have to check every possible box. The lack of a check mark does not imply some sinister motive.

Loren Muse Smith 3:27 AM  

Man oh man, I couldn’t disagree more. Never, not once, did I get the feeling that omitting C and Y was to be viewed as some kind of coup; rather, I just took it as a part of the riddle. I loved this puzzle. Loved it. It’s a given that people are going to overthink grid art, but BUT this is a full-on dog. Period. That Rex thinks the legs are too long is my true WTF moment this morning (Hi, @Trombone Tom). I care not one whit that the string is over to the right. (And just gave up trying to understand the complaint that this was “one concept, with an entirely unrelated concept tacked on to it for no apparent reason.” Huh? Come again?) When PINATA fell, I was delighted.

For me, this puzzle is what grid art is all about. This is what a Thursday is all about.

I guess this was harder for me than people are reporting because it took me a while, even knowing I was working with C and Y, to see the word. I was going more nuanced - trying to sound out a word using the sounds of the letters. Needless to say, I kept snorting to myself that the two missing letters may well have been M and T ‘cause that’s what that center space was.

When I saw Joe’s name at the top, I knew I was in for some shenanigans. I love his shenanigans. This is one for @Lewis to show his class. This is one for anyone to show anyone. It’s a helluva puzzle.

@Questinia – I miss your comments. Come back!

My avatar is OWEN, my dog whose sole desire is to establish and maintain meaningful eye-contact with people.

St. ANSELM’s Ontological Argument stunned me in college. At least for the brief moment that I grasped the idea. Then the understanding poofed away in smoke and I never got my mind around it again.

Since @Rex went there first… my first thought for a 5-letter name who is a “fighting man from head to toe” was not GI JOE.

This would be one I’d never forget, but there’s not one Hispanic or African American person represented in the grid, so that just ruined the whole experience for me.

newspaperguy 3:27 AM  

Michael, you get more Trumpy by the day. You are actually making complaints up just to be contentious.

jae 3:32 AM  

Easy-medium and pretty much, sorta, mostly what @Questinia said.

Patrick Butler 3:36 AM  

MARE feels wrong to me. If a female horse HAD won the Triple Crown, wouldn't it have been a FILLY?

JP 4:11 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JP 4:13 AM  

And the first league game was against my high school, Millburn.

JP 4:14 AM  

He died of typhoid.

mathgent 4:52 AM  

I might have enjoyed the gimmick if there had been some sparkle and crunch to the fill. But except for the NW where I didn't know TIMS and where I stalled by not seeing immediately that TOT??POLE was TOTEMPOLE, the letters practically filled themselves in.

Since he had no rebus to offer, I suppose that Will Shortz felt that he needed to give us something novel. But the novelty doesn't make up for the lack of quality.

Hungry Mother 5:48 AM  

New PR and enjoyed it. Loved CANDY in the piñata.

Rev. Bill Johnson 5:59 AM  


I liked that there were no dames in the grid causing problems.

Anonymous 6:12 AM  

I must insist that puzzles such as these have a "snowflake alert" to warn those like me who find offense at everything.

evil doug 6:15 AM  

Best anonymous (@2:48 AM) post ever. Please repost every day Michael persists with his nonsense - - in other words, every day. Is ULTIMATE whining a game? You win!

If you've seen one OED, you've seen 'em all....

Thomaso808 6:22 AM  

Got home from work late today and downloaded the puz. Called upstairs to my wife "Hey, did you look at the puzzle today? Looks like a dog." She said, "Yeah, it's easier than usual. I solved it." She's a M - W solver, and usually a Th - Sun "cheater". 13 minutes later I called upstairs, "Yeah, easier than usual, but hey, I never knew C AND Y is CANDY."

Liked it. Two grid spanners, a triple stack, and some good long fill.

The sport that began in the 60's and that I played in the 70's and 80's was called ULTIMATEFRISBEE. The current sport is just Ultimate (thanks to the lawyers at Wham-o, I assume). The clue for 3D interestingly avoids being clearly present or past.

Very interesting observation by @Anon 2:48. Someone needs to GOJUMPINTHELAKE.

Aketi 6:26 AM  

First entry CANDY
Second entry PIÑATA.

Some piñatas have pull strings now for toddler parties in case they can't manage to whack it hard enough to break it. My son had the rainbow fish version when he was three. So much fun trying to separate three year olds that fight like feral cats over CANDY and having a back up stash to make it EQUITABLE for those who didn't manage to grab as much. Over the top kid birthday parties in NY City are not something I miss. Some have more entertainers than a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

Liked the DIG IN under the PIÑATA.

@Rex, haha, if I knew how to construct puzzles, I'd do one that had a clue "No foal bearer ever". Would that make you feel better?


@JP, you beat me to the correction.

Pawel Fludzinski 6:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pawel Fludzinski 6:43 AM  

"The guy really, really doesn't know (or respect) his solving base".

I am curious - what is the NYT solving base demographic? If I were to try and deduce it from Rex Parker comments, I would assume that solvers are: a) politically to the (far) left; b) mostly under 40, given frequent disparaging comments for any culture familiar to those >40; and c) live within 100 miles of either coast, both geographically and mentally.

Are these assumptions actually true? I can understand that these assumptions may be true for the universe that a (liberal) liberal arts professor from an "east coast" SUNY school resides in, who spends his time educating our youth, but has anyone actually ever collected any data on the demographics of the NYT solver?? I ask, because I am conservative, >40 (ok >60), and live in NM.

My question is genuine about demographics - I would assume/hope the good folks at the NYT subscription dept would know their readership demographic. Does anyone have the data? Thanks.

Z 6:48 AM  

Close enough for grid art (unlike yesterday’s rings that weren’t rings) although my first thought was “weird looking dog.” The note, though, is totally unnecessary and contrived. Ampersandwiches are cute the first time you’re befuddled by one, but the 9,465th time not so much. Then to force a pangram through one? It turns a serviceable concept into a stunt. A PIÑATA with CANDY in the middle is neat. Constrain yourself by having to force 24 letters into an odd grid - Yeah - trying to win a bar bet, but one that Patrick Berry already one with far more style.

@LMS - The ontological argument? Proof that philosophers smoke pot.

@Laura and others - Strange ULTIMATE clue, but I did discover that Amherst College claims an earlier invention of our favorite sport. Since both WFDF and USAU cite Columbia High School I am guessing that the Amherst claim is either apocryphal or what they were playing wasn’t ULTIMATE. Either way, the clue is wrong.

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

you are insufferable.

Big Sister 7:02 AM  

Just castrate yourself Rex and get it over with.
The lead up to this event is killing us.
You even think Elmer Fudd and GI Joe are lovers?
Get a room Rex, a rubber room.

kitshef 7:12 AM  

Brooks Robinson is my favorite player all-time, edging out Eddie Murray (well, or Stan Musial, but I never saw him play so that’s based on reputation).

Brooks and Eddie each hold a quirky ‘record’. Brooks is the all-time leader in hitting into triple plays (4). Eddie is the only qualifying player to lead the majors in batting average without leading his league (1990).

My favorite quote by Brooks:
Whether you want to or not, you do serve as a role model.

And about him:
How many interviews, how many questions - how many times you approached him and got only courtesy and decency in return. A true gentleman who never took himself seriously. I always had the idea he didn't know he was Brooks Robinson.

Oh, puzzle was SO-SO. Great clue for LIFT, offset by the awful TIMS. Absurdly, Tuesdayishly easy.

Birchbark 7:28 AM  

I really enjoyed the ambling counterclockwise solve in a weird, unfamiliar pattern. The long downs fell easily. I don't ask a whole lot, so CANDY inside PINATA was just fun.

I guess I don't see the offense in a clue about a horse's gender.

clk 7:32 AM  

I loved this puzzle and thought it was clever. My complaint is that, as always, the note is cut off after 3 lines in the iPhone puzzle app so you don't get the whole clue.

Unknown 7:42 AM  

Yes-- there is no realist school in crossword art.

Anonymous 7:44 AM  

The one most damaged by hatred is the hater himself.

puzzlehoarder 7:48 AM  

I was expecting there to be couple of letters actually missing from the fill. This could have brought the challenge up to something of an actual Thursday level similar to working around rebuses until you understand the theme. That never happened. Just an early week romp with a cute picture.

Unknown 7:51 AM  

This was one of Rex's best rants ever, if you go for that sort of thing. Scratched several major itches (T rump, gender politics, theme concept, grid shape) and made us laugh several times.

Two Ponies 7:53 AM  

So Rex is an art critic now?
Considering that most grid art work always looks like it was drawn on an Etch-a-Sketch, I thought the dog looked fine.

I'm OK with "jump in THE lake." But "What's Done is Done" sounds better to me than Past.

I just don't know what to say about Rex's feminist rants.
Do the ladies out there really need his help? Assuming that his assistance is wanted or needed is kinda sexist in itself. Don't you think they are capable without you Rex?

I am always suspicious of male feminists. Maybe they think this attitude will get them laid. It's the only explanation that makes sense. But what woman is sexually attracted to these girly men?

Unknown 7:57 AM  

Really? Just stop reading the blog, if it leads you down this dark path.

Unknown 8:00 AM  

Ladies? Girly men? Ooh you are so transgessive there, GI Joe

chefbea 8:03 AM  

What a great puzzle!!! Loved it. Had to google a bit. Also loved the clue for 37 across!!!

GHarris 8:05 AM  

Easiest puzzle I've ever done, let alone a Thursday. Still, it was fun. I am now convinced that Rex is pulling our overly long legs with made up venom and probably has been doing so forever. His critiques are too weird to be real.

FPBear 8:06 AM  

@Rex has a stick up his ass. I hate Trump, but who gives a fuck what words are used to create a crossword? It's just a friggin puzzle!

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

Male feminist and Trump hater Joss Whedon: Poster boy for do as I say not as I do lefties.

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Ha ha ha ha. What a dork. The string's in the wrong place! The legs are too long! Must be fun playing playing Hangman with Rex. " Aw, come on! No one's that skinny. And that's not a proper noose around his neck! And why are there no "hangwomen?"

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

Mike Sharp loves and respects women. Just look at his Twitter page. Oh wait, never mind.

Mary Ambridge 8:19 AM  

If the lift is between floors in a building, then they're storeys, not STORIES.

Sir Hillary 8:19 AM  

Wow, when @LMS ends a post with wicked sarcasm, you know @Rex has gone off the rails.

Setting aside his absurd commentary, I actually liked this puzzle. I'm generally not a big fan of JK's work, but this one was fun. Cute theme with nice grid art. And the fill struck me as relatively clean, especially compared with yesterday's junk fest. My only complaints: (1) too easy and (2) TIMS.

Like @Trombone Tom, I liked the food and drink that accompanied the PINATA party. DIGIN!

Nice clue for LIFT.

Just as Melania is NEE Knauss, my mother is NEE GOODE.

The clue for MARE is odd. The answer could be anything other than colt. Reminded me of Cliff Clavin's Final Jeopardy answer to a clue of three celebrity names: Three people who have never been in my kitchen.

Joel Palmer 8:23 AM  

pinatas are inherently cruel and teach kids that it is ok to hit animals. then rewards them for this abuse. ban pinatas

Joel Palmer 8:24 AM  

pinatas are inherently cruel and teach kids that it is ok to hit animals. then rewards them for this abuse. ban pinatas

Gorelick 8:27 AM  

@kitshef Brooks is my favorite, too

Burt Offerings 8:28 AM  

I consider myself pretty liberal. But people like Rex are the reason so many people hate liberals.

mmorgan 8:28 AM  

My main problem was that it was just too easy (for me, anyway) for a Thursday. I slapped down the ULTIMATE FRISBEE answer with no crosses (even though I knew Amherst's claim is not universally accepted, having friends who claim to have been on the original NJ team). Also slapped down GOJUMPINTHELAKE with no crosses. The rest just fell in what felt like the blink of an eye (and I am in no way a speed solver). Okay, art criticism and leg length aside, the attempt to build a piñata into a crossword grid is a kinda cool idea in the abstract, but no one would notice that the rest of the grid was two letters short of a pangram. But mainly, I like my Thursdays crunchier.

I agree that Rex gets too picky about the puzzle sometimes (don't mind the politics at all), but that's his persona and you don't have to go apoplectic about it. But I do like
the idea of GI Joe and Elmer Fudd getting a room...

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

"Joining us now on Weekend Edition is Puzzle Master and New York Times Crossword editor, Michael Sharp".

"Mike, Mike! Time to get up! You're comic books class meets in 20 minutes!"

"Oh damn."

QuasiMojo 8:36 AM  

It's hard to dislike a puzzle that includes the great BROOKS Robinson, but I have to agree with Rex on this one (although not for aesthetic reasons.) Tone deaf answers (THE Lake?); no difficulty factor for a Thursday; and a forced, uninteresting and extremely contrived theme. First of all, full disclosure: I HATE PINATAS. But even if they had good candy in them, which they rarely do, finding delight in the fact that they consist of the letters C and Y is hardly a thrill. Considering the chauvinist theme (if Rex is to be believed), I had hoped for at least some MARS bars.

Stuart Showalter 8:38 AM  

Yes, Rex is insufferable, tiresome, and ridiculous. So why do I keep coming back? To get a chuckle at the what new ways he can be insufferable, tiresome, and ridiculous. 😆

Mohair Sam 8:44 AM  

Different, fun, touch on the easy side once Lady M told me that it was planed not planned, and what kind of stories were connected in England.

@Laura and anyone else offended by the phrasing of the MARE clue at 39A. It's a joke folks, not a slur. The Kentucky Derby is open only to three-year-old horses, female race horses are called "fillies" until they turn four - hence MAREs are not eligible for the Derby. Three fillies have indeed won the Derby, most recently Winning Colors in 1988.

Hale BOGGS the father of famed political commentator Cokie Roberts. Can't believe you guys are quarreling over the exact proper name of ULTIMATEFRISBEE - it was an awesome long down, as was GOJUMPINTHELAKE. Also can't believe OFL sits there and counts women's names in the grid. Speaking of whom - two days in a row now Rex has critiqued art work in a 15 by15, c'mon man.

Paco 8:50 AM  

Have to agree with Big Sister 7:02. Rex the MKC (Mad King in the Castle) has gone off the deep end. His daily rants are so contrived, insincere and nonsensical that he is borderline incoherent. Nice job by Anon 2:48 as well, pulling back the curtain and exposing him as a complete hypocrite. Yes, with all of his credibility torn to shreds, the MKC is ready for a rubber room.

Dave Tevelin 8:54 AM  

Am I the only person grumpy over the wrong clue for GIN at 46 across (Enliven, with up)? GIN UP has nothing to do with 'enliven'; it means "Generate or increase something, especially by dubious or dishonest means" Nothing enlivening about that, unless you're a PONZI schemer, I guess.

Anonymous 8:57 AM  

So true.

pwoodfin 9:03 AM  

Ironically, when Rex goes off on one of his anti-Will rants, as he seems to almost every day, I have the same visceral, stomach-churning reaction as when Trump rails against fake news. Both men have singled out a non-enemy to make allowances for their own inadequacies. Stop it Rex. You wouldn't have a blog if not for Will. Sad!

biochemRhapsody 9:04 AM  

I do xwords to relax and have fun. Being reminded of the current president is neither fun nor relaxing. I suspect Rex feels the same way. Also, Rex is not the one politicizing things. That would be the editor who insists on including political clues for words that have no intrinsic political connections

Anonymous 9:06 AM  

You sir, or madame, are a snowflake.

Anonymous 9:08 AM  

How come ITEN and not ITIN?
Itinerary - what's ITEN short for?

Rachel 9:08 AM  

I thought the PINATA was cute and charming, and was looking forward to a fun solve, but things just fell flat for me after that. GOJUMPINTHELAKE can go jump in a lake. The cluing on MARE had me confused for a while, and when I finally filled it in it felt weirdly and unnecessarily pointed. And the 45 reference brought the mood down even further for me– I get that he's going to appear sometimes, but he seems to be popping up in the puzzle a lot lately, and in clues where it's completely unnecessary. I know not everyone feel the same way, but for me solving the puzzle is a bit of fun escapism and every time he shows up it kind of ruins that–he's already inescapable in every other facet of life, so it would be nice to have a break from him here.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

Easiest Thursday ever!

TSG 9:09 AM  

by all means, stop reading this blog. soldier on, rex.

Wm. C. 9:10 AM  


I too was amazed at @Rexy's over-the-top anti-Trump, anti-male rant here.

Hey, I'm a life-long Republican, and the Trumpster is the first Pub I voted against --not FOR Clinton, mind you --against the worst major Pub candidate in my memory. And after seeing what he's done since then, I'm amazed that he's far worse than even I imagined. Nonetheless, @Rexy's continual ranting is "tiresome beyond belief," as @Anon12:03am aptly put it.

Sir Hillary 9:12 AM  

@Anon 9:08 -- Interstate 10 (I-Ten) goes across the country.

George 9:14 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Smiled at the clues and the answers all the way through. Easy, yes. But lots of fun too. I thought the theme was fine, and yes, the CandY are inside the piñata, not outside (until it gets smashed.)

Also loved Rex's rant. I'm OK with no women because I'm gay and like men. Manly men,as in NRA members. NRA men who would just spray that piñata with an AR-15.

G. Weissman 9:15 AM  

Yes, outrageous!! Could it be that Rex happens to notice what you don't because he's more observant than you, especially when it comes to things you happily ignore, and respond to with irrational anger when they are pointed out? Must be nice to regard others' marginalization and denigration as a petty matter. Talk about privilege. Appalling

G. Weissman 9:18 AM  

You've written this because YOU'RE OFFENDED by a chess blog. Get it, Theodore? Get it? Think about it, Theodore.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I like how Rex is the "snowflake", when people go to HIS blog to read about PUZZLES and feel bad because they think he's too sensitive.

hankster65 9:27 AM  

The length of the pinata's legs just totally ruined this one for me. OMG, whatever was Shortz thinking when he ok'd those leg lengths? OK, serious now, I really enjoyed this puzzle. I immediately liked it as soon as I saw the strange grid. Nice to have something different.

G. Weissman 9:28 AM  

... whereas the parade of posters complaining about Rex's complaints about the constant Trump references is delightfully refreshing, right?

G. Weissman 9:32 AM  

I hate making that you're/your typo error.

Nancy 9:33 AM  

88 comments at 9:26 a.m.?! That must be a record. I found this boringly and disappointedly Monday-easy (maybe even easier), but with a middle word I couldn't solve. That's because I was looking for 2 letters that should have been there but weren't. That might have made at least the one answer Thursday-hard. But no -- there were simply two letters that weren't used at all. I'd imagine there are many, many puzzles where two letters aren't used, and no one misses them. I'd call this the worst Thursday puzzle -- on every level -- that has ever appeared in the NYT.

G. Weissman 9:34 AM  

Really? I thought it had to do with socio-economic self-interest and unexamined biases.

G. Weissman 9:36 AM  

Folks who frequent a crossword puzzle blog just might care, your brilliancy.

Hartley70 9:38 AM  

I started reading the comments and after I got to @Loren's, I decided to Google ontological argument and St. Anselm. I read for a few minutes and thought just a tiny bit and then fell right back to sleep for an hour. It worked faster than a tsetse fly. If I gave this any serious thought I'd have to keep slapping myself in the face.

The puzzle was fun. I didn't look for a note until after I completed it. Oh yeah, CANDY is C AND Y. Not earth shattering but cute enough for Thursday.

BTW, I like puzzle art and this piñata piece was worthy of exhibition.

mathgent 9:41 AM  

@Anon (2:48): You hoisted Rex on his own petard.

@Z (6:48): That was the word I was searching for. Stunt. But the kind of stunt that isn't fun to watch, like seeing Joey Chestnut stuff a hundred hot dogs down his throat.

@Mary Ambridge (8:19): I think that on the other side of the pond it's "storey" and "storeys." Over here it's "story" and "stories."

I think that there are quite a few baseball fans among us. I just learned of a feat called an immaculate inning. It's when a pitcher strikes out the side throwing only a total of nine pitches in the half inning. In the long history of baseball, it has been done fewer than ninety times. Sandy Koufax did it a record three times.

Stanley Hudson 9:43 AM  

Too easy but fun.

@Anon 2:48, nice research.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

And yet there are still Republicans who think he's a good President. Shows you the absolute stupidity that is rampant in that party. Follow your man till the bitter end! No matter what asinine shit he does!

ArtO 9:45 AM  

There's no question in my mind that Rex is simply trying to outdo himself with inane, over the top criticism each and every day just to stimulate reaction from his audience. If I'm wrong then the man needs help from an anger management specialist who deals with those of us who have trouble dealing with the tweets out of Washington.

Jamie C 9:45 AM  

When it first started on college campuses it was indeed called ULTIMATEFRISBEE, so the answer, as clued, is correct. Its place of origin is a matter of great debate.

John Fischer 9:55 AM  

Also, the two cheese answers are only partially correct. Aged Gouda can be pretty feisty, and young Asiago is quite mild.

crackblind 10:05 AM  

Apropos of not much other than I just read about it, it seems that "GET A ROOM" was originated by Rodney Dangerfield in Back To School. Seems like it's something that's much older.

Here's the source (which is a fun read about a fun movie): https://melmagazine.com/an-oral-history-of-rodney-dangerfields-back-to-school-50b1ad2367dc

semioticus (shelbyl) 10:06 AM  

I've been here for a few months only. I sometimes disagree with Rex, sometimes agree with him completely.

This one is his most meaningless review I have ever read.

(P.S.: I am not in love with the clues either, but...)

Blue Stater 10:11 AM  


Grotesque, for all the reasons OFL cited, to which I would add that no puzzle EVER should depend on one bit of uncheckable factual knowledge. The rot continues.

Deputy Dawg 10:20 AM  

@ G. Weissman, Who are you talking to? Your comments sound like only one half of a conversation. Maybe you and Rex can get a group discount on some therapy.

RooMonster 10:20 AM  

Hey All !
Mixed bag/feelings on this one. Grid art, which I had heard the editor wouldn't allow anymore. Not sure why Joe thought it necessary to not include C AND Y anywhere else in the grid. Added absolutely nothing to the solve, or to the grid.

Agree with the THE in GOJUMPINTHELAKE. Started filling in GO JUMP IN A... then saw it wouldn't fit. "It can't be THE, can it?" was my next thought. Ugh to that answer. Liked BLOTTO, cool word.

This should've been a WedsPuz. There were dome weird clues also, like the one for GIN, e.g.

Writeovers, TRaVelGAMES-TRIVIAGAMES, pep-GIN, daTE-SITE, QUa-QUO.

Get A ROOM, DIG IN. OLES!
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

If any man knows about where the string goes, it's our favorite feminist Mike Sharp. Flow must be unusually heavy today. Have some tea sweetie, pop a couple of Pamprin and curl up with a comic book. You'll feel better in a couple of days.

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

So Rex objects to a political insert into is entertainment (a crossword puzzle). Other people are being criticized for objecting to a political insert into their entertainment (a NFL game). It's getting really hard to know what is right and wrong these days. People are just too darn sensitive these days.

Anonymous Feminist 10:30 AM  

This is a clever puzzle, with a lot of interesting fill and a fun reveal. That's what it is. It isn't a political statement. It isn't an affront to women.

I didn't find it to be easy, didn't finish, and still appreciate the visual, the clues that did me in, and the sweet finish (see what I did there)!

@Larry, I disagree with everything you said but this "My own crabbiness is exhausting" will make me love you forever. It's a genius.

QuasiMojo 10:34 AM  

You tell 'em, gurl! @Nancy. :)

DCWIS 10:35 AM  

Fun puzzle with a totally undeserved Rex Rant.

RooMonster 10:35 AM  

@Deputy Dawg 10:20 AM,
I believe if you are commenting on and reading this blog on a smart phone, the Replies go directly under the post you are replying to. However, on a regular computer, the Replies are placed in time order, i.e., not underneath the comment you're replying to. So it looks like @G. Weissman is just spouting nonsensical stuff at no one. @Z has explained this before, that's where I remember it from.

What you have to do @G. Weissman, is first say who you are responding to, like at the top of this post. @Whoever 3:33 for example.

RooMonster Help Desk (Across the way from @M&A's)

GILL I. 10:39 AM  

My first thought was Merry-Go-Round. Yeah, that's it. Went immediately to 44D and the party item depicted in the middle gave me the cute PINATA. CANDY was next to go in. So, I brew some coffee and before I can take one sip, I'm done. Well, says I, that was fast. Hmmm, did I enjoy it though? Yes, indeedy. But, says I, why wasn't this on a Tuesday? I'm confused.
So Melania's middle name is NEE?. The old grey MARE ain't what she used to be.
@Questinia...good to see you again.

ColoradoCog 10:41 AM  

As others have said, way too easy for a Thursday. Maybe Tuesday.

I have a different take on the CANDY thing. I wonder if there's some unwritten rule that an enclosed answer with no crosses like that must be either 100% unambiguous from the clue or have some other support for the answer. I would say CANDY is only 99.9% unambiguous. If I really stretch, I can think of other possibilities. SUGAR? Too literal, but maybe. SWEET? If you're a Brit, perhaps, but then you would want it to be plural, SWEETS. These would be really bad, but we've seen bad. (TIMS?). Having a note to point out that the rest of the grid is missing "C AND Y" serves as that "pseudo-cross."

I know... I'm stretching.

Bill 10:54 AM  

I like to do the puzzle slowly and enjoy it. I like it when Rex praises a puzzle and enjoy it when he rips one. I enjoy it when you all get upset with Rex and/or flame each other. Life is too short to get angry about any of this. Puzzling.

Joseph Michael 10:59 AM  

This was one of the few times I have actually been able to see the image that the grid art is suggesting. Thought it was a dog at first but soon figured out that it was a pinata with a C AND Y inside. But then I had to stop and think for a moment whether I was looking at the NYT or Highlights for Children.

Thought the puzzle was OK but run on the wrong day since it hardly seems Thursday level. From bullring shouts to library teferences, clues were not particulary clever either. So it seems like another case of a stunt puzzle being more fun for the constructor than the solver.

A wee objection to the clue for 22A. Bills do not "originate" at an ATM. They originate at a mint,

Also, 5D could have been clued as something like "Curry and Teboe" to avoid the weird boots reference.

Some nice long downs that are even longer than the dog's legs. But isn't PINATA in a rather curious position?





Brett 11:02 AM  

I just googled and you’re right! Storey is British for “level of a building” and storeys is the plural. Didn’t know that, thanks!

Masked and Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Piñata symmetry! Different. Like different.

You'da thought that the 35-A clue could've just included the pertinent part of the "note". Sorta like the grid doesn't have any C AND Y, until U break into the PINATA. Gotta be a way.

Sooo … fun and pretty easy pickins. Toughest part was that after I finished the west side, the connection into the east side was solely down there at the PINATA's ATA regions. Pretty much a re-boot. Got rollin again fast, tho, with TONKAS.

@RP: M&A has sexed the PINATA, and it's a she. A Sheeppinata, if U will. As others have mentioned, the rope's attached about the only place practical, grid-spacin-wise. The ORIOLE sittin atop the sheep's tail helps balance the piñata, nicely. QEDoodah.

Yo, @Q. Me likes U still writin the comments.

Toughest spots, at our house: LELAND & ANSELM.
staff weeject pick: QUO. Me likes how JoeK. got the pangram's Q off the table, real quick. UZI, the way they evidently will break into the piñata, also makes a nice pangram contribution.

Thanx, Mr. Krozel. thUmbsUp.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


**gruntz**

Brett 11:06 AM  

Interstate 10

jberg 11:22 AM  

I loved the art and the theme, but really, it was much too easy to be fully enjoyable. The note made it even easier -- normally I'd have been reluctant to just throw in EQUITABLE with no crosses, but since the puzzle was going to need a Q, I went ahead. Same with MULTIPLEX.

Where I grew up (Sturgeon Bay, WI) we always said GO JUMP IN THE LAKE. Maybe that was because we lived almost on the shores of 'the lake,' viz., L. Michigan. But I never heard anyone change the to a there.

@Mohair Sam, thanks for explaining about the MARE. I knew it was a joke, but my knowledge was based on the false belief that the Derby was a run for colts only. Apparently that was never true. Crosswords are so educational!

Carola 11:31 AM  

A disappointing Thursday for me on two counts: it was too easy, and the CANDY was less a treat than it might have been because of memoires of a past puzzle that also had a C AND Y theme entry.

I grew up with GO JUMP IN *THE* LAKE, but then I also grew up on a lake, where my grandma had a "cottage" (=Victorian era house). To a child, "THE" made perfect sense: why would you go looking for "a" lake, when THE lake was right there? Still, I thnk nowadays, I mostly hear "a."

K-TEL! For me, a practically mythical source of rock & roll treasures. I was astonished a while ago to learn that a friend's brother was the founder.

Two Ponies 11:35 AM  

@ jberg, Where I grew up in NE Indiana there are hundreds of small lakes. The response to "Where're you going this weekend?" was usually "The lake." It did not matter which one. So Go Jump in The Lake went in my grid without hesitation. Another one of those regional things I guess.

abalani500 11:41 AM  

Hear hear

Juli Greenberg 11:50 AM  

I've never heard of "gin up". Also, I had no idea on KTEL and RKO. Otherwise.... it was a fairly easy day.

old timer 11:55 AM  

A little birdie told me that Krozel's original clue for 57A was "Jacqueline Kennedy NEE Bouvier." WS made the change to Melania in order to get a rise out of @Rex.

A delightful puzzle in every way, I must be on Krozel's wavelength since I got EQUITABLE and ULTIMATE FRISBEE right off the bat. On the other side it took a while to find the lake was THE LAKE instead of "a lake". Yes, very easy for a Thursday, but C AND Y was such a delight to find at the end,

The pinata is being held up by LELAND. I see no problem with that. LELAND Stanford was a fine old robber baron, popular enough to get elected Governor of California as I recall, and Senator too.

Master Melvin 12:00 PM  

Sorry, but to me the grid looks like a reference to Odell Beckham's gross TD celebration.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, ask a football fan.

Airymom 12:19 PM  

I volunteered for the Orioles for many years and had the privilege to meet Brooks Robinson several times. A true mensch.

I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. I'm surprised at Rex's opinion about "go jump in the lake." That's how I've said it for over 50 years. Perhaps it is an NYC thing---like waiting "on line" rather than "in line".

Heather 12:21 PM  

My somewhat random comment as a long-time reader/supporter of the site...

My US-born son has been named to the under-24 BRITISH National Ultimate Disc Team (Frisbee is a brand name and the Whammo company does not make competition discs). He'll be going to the World Championship in Perth, Australia in January to compete! Am super proud!

(He goes to unit in Scotland as has lived there long enough to qualify for the team)

Bob Mills 12:22 PM  

Rex...please switch to decaf. Your friend, Bob Mills

Heather 12:23 PM  

He goes to UNI in Scotland.....

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

Great puzzle—absolutely loved it. Fun theme, cool grid art, interesting entries, not too tough—what's not to like? Don't agree with the criticisms at all, and as a "liberated" woman, don't care that there are no entries about women. A puzzle is a puzzle—it doesn't have to be a political statement.

Joe Bleaux 12:25 PM  

Yup, at least "colloquially." As a boy in Kentucky, I used to show up when locals would drag their asses, and horses, mules, donkeys, jacks, and jennies, to "Mule Day" to buy, sell, and swap them. A female horse was a filly til she foaled (had a colt), which made her a mare.

obertb 12:25 PM  

I never look at "notes" either—-mostly because I fail to notice them. But I don't agree with Rex that the CandY thing is just some arbitrary sub-theme. Consider: there's no absolutely logical way to know what to put at 35A because there are no crosses to confirm the correctness of one answer over another. Suppose, as someone suggested above, that URINE is the answer. Well, why not? Or TREAT. Or STUFF. But by omitting C and Y from the contiguous grid and cluing them (via the note) into 35A, you now have only one answer that will go there. That's clever, IMHO. (I might have put the info in the note into the clue for 35A--something like, "Contents of 44-down or what's missing from the rest of the grid.")

Joe Bleaux 12:38 PM  

No, you're not, and right you are.

Joe Bleaux 12:39 PM  

And they're not totim poles.

Dick Swart 12:42 PM  

Saw the note, thought it was going to be a hard Thursday.

While 3 and 12 down looked daunting, turned out they were easy. As was the rest of the grid.

All i saw was a dog but 44 down cleared that up.

Reference to Amherst was upsetting.

Sir Hillary 12:46 PM  

@M&A -- The "ORIOLE on the tail" comment might be the funniest thing you've ever written here, and that's saying something. Very well done!

Aketi 12:51 PM  

@Nancy, I didn't read the clue. I saw the PIÑATAs and saw the five letters inside it and put CANDY in the slot. Be happy you didn't have to suffer through as many kiddie parties as I did to be able to instafill that PIÑATA without a clue.

@George, 9:14 and, haha, you just described what I once might have liked to do to a PIÑATA after one two many birthday parties. Forturnately children grow up and stop wanting PIÑATAs so I didn't succumb to that temptation. My aim with firearms is terrible. It would not have been pretty.

@Two Ponies, go back and read Gone With the Wind and remind yourself who Scarlet loved first. If you insist that sensitive guys are girly, then I guess she must have had bisexual tendencies. Good thing Ashley didn't marry her or she would have needed conversion therapy, There is a whole genre of romantic literature in which women go for the sensitive type over the brutish he man type. The funniestpart of Beaty and the Beast is Belle's rejection of Gaston who in realty is far less sensitive than the Beast.


Joe Bleaux 12:56 PM  

@Roo. Thanks for the explanation (and reminder), lest he/she be discouraged from posting replies, which I find as enjoyable as their inspirations.

Joe Bleaux 1:01 PM  

@M&A. Sheepinata! Har! LOL-level har! Ewe rascal, ewe!

Ed C 1:02 PM  

With all you people upset by seeing Trump's name, I commiserate. I'm not a big fan of Oreos, so doing the NYT crossword is just awful, almost daily. I feel your pain, but it's a burden we all must carry in our own way.

SethC 1:03 PM  

It felt like Joe wrote this puzzle for me. I play ULTIMATEFRISBEE and used to be on a team called "bashing PIÑATAs".

@Heather - Congratulations to your son! Worlds is a fantastic experience.

Mr. Benson 1:04 PM  

Michael Sharp often kvetches about construction feats that don't add to a puzzle's entertainment value, as if the constructor would rather impress you than entertain you. Today, Michael Sharp kvetches that omitting C and Y is "not not not not hard to do," that it's really a "non-accomplishment." You can't win with this guy.

Agree with the majority of commenters that Mr. Sharp's hypersensitivity is grating, and I say this as a liberal who detests everyone associated with the current White House. Also agree that this puzzle was way too easy for a Thursday -- the whole thing just went down with virtually no resistance at all, answer after answer. The gimmick is cute, although it got tedious going through the alphabet to see what was missing.

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

If I want a lecture about respecting women, I'll get it from Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner, thank you very much.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

@jberg, @Carola, @Two Ponies, yup, living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (there are actually over 11,000 but who's counting?) means that GO JUMP IN THE LAKE was the phrase we used. You know, the lake right there -->.

I first had @Gill I's thought of merry-go-round, but it was a dog, and there's no lower POLE anchoring it. But PINATA filled right in. I then played the "find the pangram" game to find the missing letters. But failing to read the 35A clue meant I had to think, "What am I looking at" before realizing that the innards of a PINATA are filled with C AND Y. Brilliant, I love it.

Thanks, @Mohair Sam, for filling us in on the 39A MARE "joke".

And @LMS, I've had that ephemeral moment of comprehension, only to have it fade away, though not necessarily on any of St. ANSELM's arguments. And as so often happens, @Hartley70 made me laugh out loud with her reaction to said argument.

Thanks, Mr. Krozel,for some dandy CANDY Thursday fun.

Laura 1:14 PM  

Yes, that's true on both points. And my husband pointed out that the clue mentions where it was developed, not first played.

JHC 1:16 PM  

I went to Amherst College. And (like most liberal arts colleges), Amherst is really, really into things that happened there. And I had friends there who played ultimate. So if ultimate started there, I feel like I wouldn't need a crossword puzzle to tell me about it. But whatever. It was nice to see the alma mater pop up, accurately or no.

While I'm here, I'll say that I enjoyed this puzzle a lot more than Rex did - I liked the wonky shape, and the unusual construction requirements it engendered - but that's MARE racing. I'm a lot more surprised by all the vitriol from people who disagree (about the puzzle or about politics). This is a blog. It's one guy's opinion. You don't have to agree with everything he says to enjoy reading it.

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

@Aketi,
Your bias is showing. @Two Ponies never said anything about he-men or brutes. She just said she doesn't get the appeal of girly men. There's a whole generation of wussified men for you and folks like you. Real men aren't brutes, or girly.

Ann 1:31 PM  

Best responses yet!

MetroGnome 1:34 PM  

I loathe Donald Trump; I teach a course on social inequality and activism at a university, in which we vigorously discuss, criticize, and talk about the need to struggle against [as G. Weissman put it] "marginalization and denigration [and] privilege"; I've proudly marched in Black Lives Matter rallies/demonstrations (yeah, I'm a white boy); in fact, my political activism extends all the way back to the days of the Vietnam War . . . and I find nitpicky,pseudo-politicized 'GOTCHA!" games to be irritating and soul-killing, especially when they're directed at something like a crossword puzzle, which is supposed to be about being creative, imaginative, and playful with language AS IT ACTUALLY IS, not as one might wish it were in some alternate, joyless, irony-impaired Brave New Moralistic Universe.

. . . but one question: I thought "QUO" meant "that" (as in "quid pro quo"), not "where" -- have I been wrong all this time?

Anonymous 1:35 PM  

Anon 2:48 AM. Mic drop.

Joe Bleaux 1:36 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann 1:40 PM  

Re: mare/filly.

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

I'm mamby-pamby.

K Swayze 1:49 PM  

And abject ignorance. Let's not forget ignorance! (-:

Anonymous 1:55 PM  

You call it a mere typo, eh? That's generous of you.

Cassieopia 1:59 PM  

Liked the grid design, at least...

My father was friends with Don Johns and flew with him a few times. Don was known to be a bold pilot (as the saying goes), in true early bush pilot tradition. That boldness came in handy when bringing food or supplies to weather- bound villages. Dad claims that Don wrote an article for an aviation periodical titled, "Ice on Wings: Is it Really a Problem?" Like many older Alaskans, my dad likes to embellish his stories so I don't know if that's true. But it is true that when Don, Nick Begich, and Hale Boggs disappeared into the wilderness, we were all devastated.

K Swayze 2:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ethan Cooper 2:02 PM  

Would you support changing ANGELO/SOSO to ANGELA/SOSA? It introduces a woman's name into the puzzle, but also adds another man.

K Swayze 2:03 PM  

Ummmm...? These are replies to the posts above them. That's why they're shaded in gray and headed with the word "replies"....

K Swayze 2:05 PM  

Or maybe far too many (white, privileged) people are just too "darned" INsensitive?

Anonymous 2:15 PM  

@MetroGnome,

Quo is a pretty big word in Latin. Yes it means where, as in Quo Vadis, but it also means by which and in order that and in effect, something. Quid is indefinite substantive, i.e., 'something."

So quid pro quo becomes something for something. Or what for what.

I don't think it was a term in classical latin. Can't be sure of that, but I believe it was a phrase ginned up by medievalists. ( see what I did there?).

I'm just some schmo. No expert like @Z. We can only hope he'll be around soon to set things straight.

Pax

K Swayze 2:16 PM  

@MetroGnome: I think the most common translation of "where" to Latin is "ubi," as in "Ubi sunt." I find Rex's commentaries refreshing. Not everyone is privileged enough to enroll in your classes, so Rex is taking a dynamic opportunity to apply legitimate Cultural Studies critiques to a cultural object (the NYT puzzle) and point out its continued biases. Whether we have our biases challenged (or reinforced) in an elite classroom or in a puzzle blog, it's still legitimate work...

ghthree 2:17 PM  

I enjoyed Anonymous's 2:48 AM comment, pointing out all the male-oriented clues in Rex's first crossword published by the Nytimes (Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010). Rex could have interjected an even more feminist twist by changing the clue for 2 Down (ADA) from the dreary "Org. on a toothpaste box" to "Computer programming pioneer Lovelace." For me (a computer nerd) that's a gimmee. Of course it's not Tuesday-easy, but I think most Tuesday-solvers could get it from the crosses.

evil doug 2:20 PM  

I don't mind Michael's negative reviews. It's his persistent insistence in injecting his virtue-signaling identity politics on a nearly daily basis that has rendered a once-clever writer into a tedious harpy....

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

@K Swayze
Continued biases? Refreshing? Come on! Rex is spouting the same sad drivel I've been hearing from the left in academia forever. It's as fresh as Henny Youngman joke. Come on.
Ubi pus,ibi evacua.

Malsdemare 2:39 PM  

Goodness! After Rex's rant, amd seeing there are 165 posts, I'm afraid to read the blog. So before I do, I'll admit I thought this was pretty much fun. I liked the PINATA, even if it would hang a tad funny, GOJUMPINTHELAKE, the cheeses, the toys. Yeah, it's just ULTIMATE to the purists, but I always tell people my daughter played ULTIMATEFRISBEE because otherwise, they'd be doing "huh?" Not sure those tribes that create TOTEMPOLES would agree that they are hierarchical structures; many of them tell origin stories or preserve cultural values, which gets trivialized by "hierarchical." But it's a minor complaint.

I'm a feminist, fought for the ERA, suffered through major discrimination in the 60s and beyond, and I'm rather tired of reading Rex's bloviation on the topic. There isn't a chance in hell that a MARE, an equine who's birthed a foal, could win the Triple Crown -- even be entered in one of the raves -- so why protest her otherwise rare appearance? And he's the one who's defining Melania by her marriage when the clue is trying to define her origin, make her a person in her own right. My feelings about her are very convoluted, but having seen the video clip where the Dotard is addressing the crowd (somewhere) and saying, "Melania really wanted to be here" while she stands quietly on his left, I'm disinclined to pile on her too harshly.

Anyway, I hope the blog today is funny and insightful. I need a palate cleanser.

Anonymous 2:41 PM  

@anon. 2:48....I'm not going bother to check but assuming what you wrote is true (and I do otherwise Z or one of his other defenders likely would have contradicted you) , then that is a tremendous bitch slap. I guess Rex didn't become woke until late in life.

Wileyfex 2:43 PM  

Quo vadis comes to mind. I had ubi before quo. Quo is to where. Ubi is where.

Anonymous 2:51 PM  

@mals... 2:39 pm. In horse racing parlance, a mare is a female horse five years or older. So yes, a mare will never win the Kentucky Derby, nor will a cow. Three fillies have in fact won the Kentucky Derby-Winning Colors in 1988, Genuine Risk in 1980, and Regret in 1915.

Anonymous 3:02 PM  

You rock, Rex, and I love your "politicized" rants!

Bruce G. 3:02 PM  

Unlike Rex I quite enjoyed today's puzzle and found it very clever. As Laura indicates, Ultimate Frisbee was first played in NJ. At my high school, Columbia as a matter of fact. Apparently its initial development was at Amherst, though not called Ultimate Frisbee at that time.

wgh 3:16 PM  

I would bet that the constructor originally had the middle clued as "what 2 letters are missing from the rest of the puzzle", which would at least give the solving of that an "aha" moment.

Malsdemare 3:17 PM  

I am abashed to admit that the puzzle woukd have been tons easier if, when I tried to determine what two letters were missing, I hadn't come up with C and H. I knew that cute PINATA was filled with CANDY, so trying to figure out how C and H would work there was awful; I left for a while. When I came back, I did a recount, and Voila! CANDY it is.

@lms Quantum physics has the same effect on me. I read, nod, understand, get the whole box and cat thing, and then .....zzzzzzz. It's much easier if done from a Native American perspective on time. THAT I get.

@anonymous 2:38. Do that more often.

Because of Loren, I reread "Animal Dreams" last week and in that book, the pinatas are Peacocks! If Mr. K had tried THAT Rex's head would have exploded, peacocks being, well, cocks.

TCProf 3:32 PM  

"The PIÑATA would not hang properly if that's where the string met the horse's torso." What? Seriously? Your fingers (or your brain) didn't protest when you typed that absurdity?

If I write that no woman has ever won the U.S. presidency (sob!), does that make me a sexist?

And certainly we would all know about Melania if she hadn't been married to the current president (sob! and contemplation of suicide).

Sometimes I writhe with embarrassment when I read what some people whose politics I agree with write (or hear what they say).

OISK 3:35 PM  

How could there be 174 comments on this fairly easy, cute puzzle? Sure, I never heard of Tims, and that could be easily clued "McCarver and Teufel, for example...", and I never heard of KTEL, but anyone my age knows RKO. ( I was astonished that anyone did NOT know RKO, but the holes in my current pop knowledge are so huge that I guess I should understand...) But I could never have guessed where this discussion was going to go. Guess I am a privileged white man, having dwelt too long on top of the totem pole to have an equitable opinion on gender balance. My automatic response to political comment on a crossword blog is too seek out a suitable lake for some people to jump in...but I've said that before. Often.

Liked the puzzle. Clever, if a bit too easy for a Thursday. Worth a couple of "oles" from me.

Matthew G. 3:38 PM  

Last week I gave Rex grief for criticizing a really great Thursday puzzle.

Today I’m with him. I groaned as soon as I saw the grid, and it got worse from there. The proprietary app NYT forces solvers to use doesn’t even display notes, so I wasn’t aware of the C and Y trick until I came here.

Nobody says GO JUMP IN THE LAKE. It’s A. Even if I were saying it to someone while sitting next to a lake, I would still say GO JUMP IN A LAKE, because haha, irony, the lake’s right there.

JC66 3:47 PM  

Born & bred just north of NYC with nary a lake in sight and it was always GO JUMP IN THE LAKE.

Can we just agree to disagree? ;-)

Anonymous 3:53 PM  

Lots of comments today, but still far short of the 244 generated by Patrick Blindauer's 9/11/14 puzzle. That was painfully memorable.

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

Great to see the King of Crosswords exposed for the hypocritical fraud he is.

Elle54 4:40 PM  

I don't fit the imagined demographic.

JanetM 4:41 PM  

Will Shortz is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG about the creation of Ultimate Frisbee. Don't take my word for it, read about it on the official Ultimate Frisbee web site. It was created in 1968 at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ. http://www.usaultimate.org/archives/

chefbea 4:57 PM  

It's 4:56...we have 182 comments!!!WOW

Rob 5:00 PM  

I actually really liked this theme. The fill is average but I didn't notice the shape formed by the black squares and I thought it worked cleverly on a few levels.

Reiterating Roo 5:08 PM  

@K Swayze - They are shaded in gray and headed with the word "replies" ONLY ON SMART PHONES. On all other devices-iPads, desktops, lap tops, tablets, etc.- those post appear a random off the wall comments.

Mohair Sam 5:17 PM  

In the 1962 version of the movie "The Manchurian Candidate" Raymond Shaw is told, while under the hypnotic influence of the Queen of Diamonds, to take a cab to Central Park and "GO JUMP IN THE LAKE". He does so. The answer at 12A is correct, or at least acceptable.

Cassieopia 5:26 PM  

@matthewg, I use the NYT app and on the iPhone, tapping the blinking i in the URHC gives puzzle notes.

Anonymous 5:33 PM  

@anon 2:41 pm : That Rex could write a puzzle seven years ago with zero clues or answers about women and many many clues and answers about men shows how much he's evolved in the last seven years. It's kind of like how President Obama evolved on gay marriage. Kudos to both.

Joe Dipinto 5:53 PM  

@K Swayze 2:16 and Wileyfex 2:43 -- I wanted UBI for where as well, which hung me up in that corner for a good little while.

Anonymous 5:58 PM  

Anon @ 5:33

Is it a case of truly evolving or hypocritical pandering to the PC police. Any man, and, of course, woman, who sees Chauvinism in using crossword clue/fill for an animal (mare) has a lot more evolving to do, starting with growing up.

Joe Dipinto 6:03 PM  

@JC66 3:47 (and others who commented on the expression) --I, too, have only ever heard "Go jump in THE lake".

PeterPuzzler 6:05 PM  

When I was at Amherst in the 50's, we played what is now called Frisbee using heavy beer trays. When they hit the ground, the sides often split, creating a dangerous hazard for the next people to catch them.
Can't remember if we used the term "Frisbee". And there were no rules then. 'Twas just a pasttime, played on a green opposite a couple of fraternities on Boltwood Ave.
Ah, the good ol' days. Great to see my alma mater in a puzzle, however. And I enjoyed the puzzle.

Anonymous 6:19 PM  

@ anon 5:58 : LOL I thought the sarcasm was obvious

Susie Q 6:27 PM  

How is Ultimate Frisbee different from Frisbee golf? I see those posts with circular hanging baskets everywhere and mostly gathering dust and pine needles. These Ultimate folks sound serious but I have no idea.
Of course I'm just a girl. Ha! And a blonde as well!

Anonymous 6:30 PM  

Ditto for "that's a dog."
Puz was (very) easy for a Thursday, and I learned Amherst College != UMass Amherst.
Just saying, I wasn't counting how many white males/etc were referenced, but sure, we need quotas. Hey, ANGELO Dundee, Walter de la MARE, and John CANDY could have made things even more manly.

Anonymous 6:54 PM  

Candys Dandy but Liquor is Quicker

Alison 7:28 PM  

Considering the rising percentage of women who do not change their names after marriage, it would sure be great to find some other clue for nee

Anonymous 7:59 PM  

He's really so grumpy.

Anonymous 8:16 PM  

Skates here

Just wanna say, I grew up in MN, the land of 10,000, and up there I do believe we said Go JUMP IN THE LAKE.

Rex, I do luv that you're a feminist, me too, but I think you could maybe run a little scoreboard or something and leave some of the rant out of it?

Slow Motion 9:46 PM  

I just wanted to be the 200th commenter.

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