Vegetation along British golf course / TUE 9-19-17 / US city whose name looks oxymoronic / Aid in producing suspect's picture

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Constructor: Don Gagliardo and Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: SILENT PARTNER (57A: Nonactive member of a firm ... or what G, H and W each have in 20-, 29- and 49-Across) — two-word phrases where both words have the same silent letter, therefore each letter is SILENT and has a PARTNER (twin) who is also silent:

Theme answers:
  • CAMPAIGN SIGNS (20A: Yard displays at election time)
  • GENGHIS KHAN (29A: Mongol Empire founder)
  • WRONG ANSWER (49A: "Nope, guess again")
Word of the Day: IDENTIKIT (32D: Aid in producing a suspect's picture) —
noun: identikit; plural noun: identikits
a picture of a person, especially one sought by the police, reconstructed from typical facial features according to witnesses' descriptions. (google)
• • •

If you know people are going to have visceral, negative reactions to an answer, why do you put it in your grid? No one has ever put DOG MEAT in a NYT grid before ... and there's a reason for that. It is a divisive answer, as the clue itself points out (3D: Serving in Asia that's taboo in the West). This is a western paper, so even if we decide fine, different cultures, different ways, there's still going to be a repulsion factor here for many solvers, one that is totally and utterly avoidable if you're the constructor. It's incomprehensible to me that a constructor would think, "You know what this grid needs: DOG MEAT?" What value is added to the puzzle? You have to weigh the potential costs against the potential gains, and this is a totally undemanding corner to fill—why do you go here? Also, please note: I don't know about "taboo," but it's literally illegal to consume DOG MEAT in parts of *Asia* (specifically Taiwan). Also, there's something oddly stereotype-reinforcing about this clue ("Serving in Asia..."). Consumption of dog appears to be a. not that common in Asia as a whole, and b. declining.  I recommend the DOG MEAT wikipedia page specifically for its matter-of-fact-references to the unregulated brutality of so much dog slaughter around the world. This answer is far too unappetizing a way to begin a puzzle. I barely noticed the rest of the grid. And next to DR. LAURA? Come on. Have mercy.

I think this theme is OK, and the fill (DOG MEAT aside) pretty weak overall. Most of the answers are dull or dated or kinda icky (HOS, SKEE, SNO, MAA).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Chris 6:37 AM  

Wasn't happy with this at all. GALENA crossing SONTAG *and* OSLIN? I see a lot of DNFs for this puzzle.

Loren Muse Smith 6:46 AM  

Point well taken on DOG MEAT. Funny - I barely noticed it; it didn’t register that I should be all up in arms about it. That happens a lot. Too much complacency is a bad thing, I guess, and my tendency not to pick up on things that could be seen as objectionable makes me feel dumb.

@Chris – I had to guess on the GALENA/OSLIN cross, but I got it.

Liked the RESTS/TAKE TEN cross.

And the ON ONE KNEE/HOPED cross. I’ve thought about it. I guess the guy is on one knee to propose but then after he does something boneheaded, he’s on both knees to beg her to stay.

WRONG ANSWER feels really, really scary. Maybe I watch too many movies, but it seems like after those words, the speaker jolts his hostage with more electricity. Or just shoots him.

Cool that Don and CC found these common phrases that have the same silent letter.

Thanks to the generosity here, my little book project was funded. Totally funded. Thanks, @Regina, Aketi, et al who told me about the site. I’m at a loss as to what to say. I’m just sitting here staring at the screen with no words. (That’s so rare, we should all just take a moment and enjoy it.) Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Diywriter 6:50 AM  

I'm from Chicago, but isn't "dog meat" a NY slang term for a hot dog? That could have been a less problematic clue. But maybe I'm wrong about that?

puzzlehoarder 6:54 AM  

This was a very clear step up from yesterday. I really have no idea who DRLAURA is so I needed a few crosses for that one. OSLIN is OLSEN'S evil twin and as many times as it has appeared it has yet to become the same kind of reflex entry. I suspect it's the "country music" reference in the clue. I had DRAM before DRIB but my single biggest stumble was misreading 22D's clue as "unreasonably". This caused an INANE/ININK write over. Whether this was inane or unreasonable is your choice. All these issues are much easier for me to resolve on paper so using the tablet I came up with a Wednesday time. I'm not that familiar with the guy but this is the kind of quality puzzle I expect from C.C.

Glimmerglass 6:56 AM  

"You're DOG MEAT" is also a threat/insult in tough guy talk.

Anonymous 7:05 AM  

Echoing @Chris, the SW is awful. GALENA *and IDENTIKIT* crossing SONTAG and OSLIN is absurd.

I also found the theme poorly explained in 57A. G, H, and W do *not* each appear in the three theme answers. So why pick these particular phrases with silent letters as opposed to having more consistency? Seems arbitrary and not well thought out.

evil doug 7:09 AM  
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evil doug 7:11 AM  

Well, at least it kept him off an APACHES rant--or FROS!

kitshef 7:12 AM  

If you have never had haggis, do yourself a favor and fly to Scotland today and get yourself some. It’s a little bit of heaven in a sheep’s stomach.

A fine and dandy puzzle, right up to the overly wordy revealer. Gotta be a better way to clue that.

SATIE is too obscure for a Tuesday. Luckily DRLAURi/SiTIE looked unlikely. I guess MORGAN is, too, but I never even saw that clue as all the crosses flew in.

[No, I am not serious about the haggis]

kitshef 7:17 AM  

When in Switzerland we wanted to treat ourselves to a nice night out (we were mostly hiking and eating a lot of bread and cheese). We went to a nice set-meal restaurant. The entree choices were salmon or horse - and neither of us eats fish. Fortunately they had an unlisted vegetarian option so we both had hugely over-priced falafel.

BarbieBarbie 7:22 AM  

I'll never forget the Burns supper I attended, specifically the moment when the kilted host yanked a knife out of his sock and plunged it into the haggis as he got to the words "steaming entrails" in the poem he was reciting (to pipes, of course). @LMS, if you teach poetry, maybe find a YouTube of that. Great. Bet there's some ancestry there for your students, too. And congrats on the books!
DOGMEAT went unregistered because I got that corner on the crosses.
@kitshef, I agree about the revealer clue. Clumsy.
OK puzzle. Fast-ish.

BarbieBarbie 7:25 AM  

Oh- and, Lewis and Clark ate dog meat. They had one dog they saved out as a pet. The rest were there for food. Times were different.

Hungry Mother 7:25 AM  

Very quick and easy for me this morning. I didn't need the reveal for the thems answers and did mostly downs again today.

Anonymous 7:27 AM  

KNEE again with no Kaepernick? This is an outrage!

GHarris 7:31 AM  

This one was easy for me and no we in NYC don't call hot dogs dog meat. We may refer to them as dogs. And why must puzzle answers have to make us feel good or at least avoid discomforting us in order to be judged worthy ? Since when did that become the purpose of the exercise ?

Marcie Watts 7:37 AM  

Unerasably........come on?

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be snowflakes.

Two Ponies 8:07 AM  

The only ingredient in haggis that is odd is the lungs (a common ingredient in dog treats). Otherwise it's all rather ordinary stuff. Sounds a lot like a sausage recipe.
As for being cooked in the sheep's stomach, well, that's not much of a stretch beyond natural casing franks.
I've eaten bear and mountain lion and they both were fantastic. There must be something unique in the meat of a carnivore. If that is true then I imagine dog meat is pretty good.

I cannot deny that I was a little giddy with anticipation at the thought of the general reaction to this answer.

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

Dog meat LOL more feigned outrage from Rex. Thanks.

RAD2626 8:11 AM  

Also had trouble with the SW started by wanting to put in Lange for K.T. which was a double error: I thought she was kd but did not know she was e-less. Made up for that by putting the e in OLSeN. Never heard of IDENTIKIT, but IDENTIKET makes no sense unless you have to buy admission to a police lineup.

The Urban Dictionary has several slang definitions for dog meat which while unattractive I think would have been better than the clue that was used.

Other than the SW, a very easy puzzle imo.

Anonymous 8:21 AM  

Better add "formerly" to the clue for ASHTREE. The emerald ash borer is making dog meat out of these majestic plants.
And when did "Smokey Bear" replace Smokey THE Bear"? I say save the the.

Anon 8:23 AM  

Somebody explain to me how SCOUNDREL is SO AND SO please. got it from the crosses, but doesn't make sense to me. SATIE and OSLIN also from the crosses. I thought GALENA pretty common knowledge and fine even for a Tuesday.

Jay Cutler, Dolphin 8:28 AM  

Speaking as a house cat, I would have found DOG MEAT entertaining if I cared, which I don't.

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

Triggered by dog meat today. I was betting on the Dilbert clue. Wrong again.

wgh 8:30 AM  

Isn't the theme explained incorrectly? The G, H and W ARE the silent partner. Shouldn't it be what N, G and R have?

Peace, Love and Paco 8:31 AM  

I believe that today seals the deal. Sharpie is officially the Mad King in the Castle (MKC). King Lear has nothing on Rex. He should visit a therapist to deal with this unrepressed hostility which rears its ugly head on a daily basis. It's a shame, really. Rex could provide interesting insight if he weren't hell-bent on constantly skewering Shortz. Reminds me of the drunk at a bar who is fixated on bitching about his ex-wife.

Wm. C. 8:32 AM  

@Anon8:23 --

Re: Scoundrel => So-andSo ...

I guess you've never heard the expression: "He's a dirty so-and-so!" "So-and-So" is just a replacement for a cuss word.

chefbea 8:36 AM  

tough puzzle for a Tuesday. Never heard of K.T. Oslin. Wanted Laing....And no...I don not have a recipe using dog meat...yuck!!!

Eddie Wilson 8:37 AM  

Given the usual pop-culture level this constructor works at, I'd be willing to bet that DOGMEAT was originally clued as the name of your pet in the 'Fallout' video game series.
Fortunately, Dogmeat is a dog. No idea why the name sticks.

kitshef 8:39 AM  

Normally I avoid responding to the anonymice but this is one of my hot buttons. Smokey Bear is the original and, to the purist or pedant depending on your point of view, the only correct phrasing.

It is even enacted into federal law this way:
"Whoever ... knowingly manufactures, reproduces, or uses the character 'Smokey Bear', originated by the Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Association of State Foresters and the Advertising Council for use in public information concerning the prevention of forest fires, or any facsimile thereof, or the name 'Smokey Bear' as a trade name or in such manner as suggests the character 'Smokey Bear' shall be fined not more than $250 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. "

As a wee one, I several times was able to see the original Smokey Bear at the national zoo. Probably the biggest (in size and fame) celebrity I have seen in the flesh.

Gil 8:42 AM  

This goes along with the creepy, right wing embrace of the racist Trumpian lineup of white supremacists that seems to be taking over the NYT puzzle.

Nancy 8:43 AM  

One trouble spot in this slightly harder-than-usual Tuesday. I didn't know OSLIN, but I was sure SPIKE was right. And so IDENTIKIT filled in, and while I'd never heard of it, I thought: It sure sounds like something I'd want to have if I was drawing a suspect's picture. Sounds like a fun job, don't you think?

The theme was ho-hum, as far as I was concerned, but I liked the fact that at least I had to think a little bit. What a treat after yesterday's mindless exercise.

I love dogs, too, Rex, but will you please stop getting offended by crossword puzzle clues. You may be the most constantly and easily offended person who ever walked this planet.

Sir Hillary 8:48 AM  

This is a very good Tuesday puzzle. Tight theme feels original and has a nice revealer. Some excellent long downs -- hello, ONEONEKNEE, IDENTIKIT, SOANDSO, TAKETEN, PORSCHE!

Having watched Episode 2 of the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary last night, I thought of APACHES flying over HUE, but that couldn't have happened if they've only been around since '84.

GENGHISKHAN over NERO. Nice bedfellows there.

DOGMEAT clue is a little off-putting now that I think about it, but no big deal. I know the term well -- my high school basketball coach yelled it to anyone who made a mistake, and I was pretty ERROR-prone.

Aketi 8:50 AM  
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QuasiMojo 8:51 AM  

I wonder if a goat calls its grandmother MEE MAA?

Aketi 8:53 AM  

@Anon 8:23 am, the only person I heard calling someone he was ANGRY at was "That ole SO AND SO" was my Dad when I was a little kid when he thought we were in hearing distance. If he thought we could hear it was "SON of a..... " with various different endings depending on how ANGRY he was.

Ages ago, I took a taxi ride with a bunch of freshly returned Peace Corps volunteers and for some reason we started one upping each other with tales of what odd things we had eaten to fit in with the locals and the results of that consumption. DOG MEAT was of course on the menu. Our taxi driver was glad to get rid of us. Still, to date, my worst food experiences was with the giant snails that were supposed to be kept live in a loosely woven basket, only to have them die. The only thing that came close to the horror of their decomposition was a six month old bagel I found in the bottom my son's backpack and couldn't recognize because of the multicolored fungus that had colonized it. @Lewis, I have not forgotten that some snails have teeth.

@Leapfinger, enjoyed your comment late yesterday.

Mohair Sam 9:06 AM  

@Kitshef - Neat anecdote. I have never paid over $6.99 for a falafel that was worth eating, I fully expect you paid no more.

Had a dog named SPIKE, would never think of eating the big guy, still the DOGMEAT clue didn't upset me. I love horses too, and they're eaten all over the world as Kitshef discovered. Wondered what became of DRLAURA, now I know. Confidently threw in "Lange" for K.T. at 64A showing my complete lack of knowledge of that subject and spelling. Liked HAGGIS crossing GORSE, getting ready for the next British Open I guess. Also liked the VW clue, but would have been better without a question mark.

Clever theme. Tuesday audiences are always tough to please.

abalani500 9:18 AM  

From Wikipedia:
So and so (or "so & so"), a euphemism for an offensive or pejorative term, used in reference to a person or thing regarded as unpleasant or difficult, or whose name is not worthy of mention.

oldbizmark 9:19 AM  

IDENTIKIT?! DRIB?! Otherwise, boring puzzle, but mad about the DNF due to I(D)ENTIKIT!

Carola 9:22 AM  

One of the puzzles I liked way better after coming here, thanks to...
- @Rex's explanation of the partners (I'd failed to see that the silent letters teamed up);
- the nice grid correspondences the folks above have noted;
- @QuasiMojo's MEE MAA - thank you for that laugh!

Lojman 9:25 AM  

This. Could've had a creative, peppy clue for this meaning, and avoided the whole east vs west business.

Otherwise liked the puzzle, but found the SE GALENA, SONTAG, OSLIN business in-Tuesday-ish.


clk 9:37 AM  

So apparently there is no breakfast table test if they now put in things that literally make you* gag.
*by which I mean, a significant part of the crossword solving audience

GILL I. 9:43 AM  

A long time ago, my friend and I happened upon a teeny tiny village outside of Pamplona, Spain. We were STARVing and found a rustic type restaurant. On the menu was "perritos caliente" (hot dogs) and I thought Wow, I could go for one of those right now, so I ordered it. My meal came in a bowl with carrots and potatoes and little onions and perritos caliente swimming in the sauce. I stuck to tortilla de patata after that.
I don't know why, but this puzzle isn't a very happy one. Maybe seeing DR LAURA put me in a mood. @Quasi made my day with his MEE MAA so that was good.
Wanted my wiggly body part to be a toe. My most unfavorite cousin could wiggle his ears like a bunny rabbit. He looked like one too.
"Dilbert" is a sad SO AND SO isn't he?

jberg 9:57 AM  

I'm not proud of this, but as a 1/4 Norwegian-American, I need to point out that the reason Amundsen and his team beat the British to the South Pole -- and, more important, came back alive -- is that they started out with sled dogs carrying their supplies, then ate the dogs when the dog food ran out. Scott and his team pulled the sleds themselves, on ethical grounds, and died.

I was once a guest at a lunch in Korea, and the guy next to me said what sounded to me like "I think we're having dog." I must have looked upset, because he quickly added "D-U-C-K, dog"

Joseph Michael 10:01 AM  

I liked the fact that this puzzle was a little more challenging than the usual Tuesday. However...

The wording of the clue for 57A is WRONG. The G, H, and W don't "have" silent partners. They "are" silent partners (hello, @wgh). The wording also suggests in ERROR that there will be a G,H, and W in each of the three themers. Somebody call 911. This clue needs an editor.

Also have a problem with the fact that two of the three themers have G's that are not silent.

As a canine lover, I have to ADD to the ANGER about DOG MEAT. I would not have devoted my entire review to it, but it does not pass the breakfast test in this house.

Gee, I thought I liked this puzzle until I started writing about it. I did appreciate the fact that each themer included two words commonly combined. And, after all of the KNEELs and KNELTs of late, we at least got the variation of ON ONE KNEE.

Hartley70 10:05 AM  

Another very easy early week puzzle today.

I'm not thrilled to be reminded of DOGMEAT and I disagree that it passes the breakfast test or any other time of day test. Eww! Rubin the dog asked to be removed as my avatar today in protest! Coming across that clue and answer so early in the solve was distressing as I try to avoid any medium where the dog dies. @Nancy, I downloaded "The Art of Racing in the Rain" this morning before I realized it was a dog story. I'll have to wait until I need a good cry before I start it.

On the upside, I liked seeing Susan SONTAG in the puzzle and having "ire" be the clue instead of the answer, even if the answer was obvious. I like GORSE in general and it might have tripped me up in a more difficult corner. As it was, it just appeared like magic from the crosses. HILO may have appeared before clued in this way but it felt new to me. It's easy to overlook those Hawaiian cities and use "Reno" again and again and again. Thanks for giving us some variation.

The theme was Tuesday appropriate and it did it's job well.

carlisle 10:13 AM  

Dear Rex,

Thank you.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

One of the world's worst mass murders in today's puzzle and not a peep from RP, yet yesterday's THEDONALD brought a fit of apoplexy.

Two Ponies 10:19 AM  

@ Hartley70, Don't be afraid of that book. It's a wonderful story.

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

I'm a vegetarian. DOG MEAT was just another unappetizing answer for me, not so different from beef, veal, mutton, and so on.

No surprise to me to find these answers in puzzles. 90-95 percent of people in the USA eat animals. It would be foolish of me to be shocked by this.

But it seems inconsistent to be squeamish about eating dogs or horses but not care about eating cows. They're all mammals.

RooMonster 10:25 AM  

Hey All !
Nice TuesPuz. Repeating silent letters. Normal phrases, not some made up stuff. Nice open NW/SE corners. Decent fill. What more could one ask on a Tuesday?

Got a Heh out of HILO clue. I thought getting your TONSILS out wasn't painful. Still have mine, so don't know.

DOGMEAT had no affect on me. Don't the Chinese eat cats? Alaskans eat moose? What makes one breed of animal eatable, (chickens, turkeys, pigs, fish, e.g.), but others not? We eat deer, but not horse. Sushi has eel and other stuff, we eat shark, swordfish, crab, lobster. Just saying. Hoping @M&A's Pewit is safe.

Falling on a slippery surface? LEGS OFF ICE
David, e.g.? SON TAG


Regina Flannery 10:33 AM  

@LMS That is great news about the books. There is no such thing as a little book project. Books are gigantic and wonderful. Hope you and your kids have fun!

Ray 10:39 AM  
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Ray 10:59 AM  

It didn't register for you to "get all up in arms about it" because there is nothing to get up in arms about. Failing to be offended by everything you read, see or hear does not make you complacent or dumb. Fact: Asia is a region where dog meat is eaten by humans (not by all or even most humans in the region but more so than on any other continent). Fact: In the West, eating dogs is frowned up. How is referencing those FACTS and using the term dogmeat in a crossword puzzle in any way offensive or "stereotype-reinforcing"? Answer: it is neither. Would people be offended if a crossword puzzle in India used the clue "serving in the West/USA that is taboo in most of India"...Answer: cowmeat. People have to stop looking for things to be offended by. If it didn't bother you when you first saw it, don't suddenly become offended (or label yourself as complacent or dumb) merely because someone else suggests that the use of a factual and innocuous clue and answer in a crossword puzzle is somehow offensive.

H777 10:59 AM  

Rex - this was an incredibly clever puzzle...and you spent virtually your entire review ranting about dogmeat??!?! Is there ANYTHING that you are not capable of being offended by?

GILL I. 11:07 AM  

@Anony 10:20. Interesting post about us meat eaters and the mammals we eat. I'm on Facebook and a ton of my friends are always posting videos of "cute" little baby animals that have become pets i.e. pigs, turkeys, cows, goats - you name it. When I see a little pig frolicking around the owners living room and generally looking absolutely adorable, I ask myself how I could possibly eat bacon again....Well, I can; it's delicious; no regrets. My ancestors learned me right. Eat meat!
Dogs, on the other hand, have been bred for centuries to be a humans best friend. When I see a turkey or a pig or a MEE MAA fight to defend me, sleep at the foot of my bed or lick my face when I'm sad, maybe I'll stop eating them.
@Hartley....Roast goat!!! Love your new avatar. Proud grandmother - adorable baby!

LG 11:26 AM  

Am I the only person who didn't know DRIB is a word?

jb129 11:28 AM  


Mr. Benson 11:37 AM  

I'm not offended by DOG MEAT, but I'm hugely offended by OSLIN crossing IDENTIKIT and GALENA.

Aketi 11:46 AM  

@Hartley70, love your new avatar and FYI. Despite the strange things I have been offered and eaten in my travels I am happy to report great DOGMEAT was not one of them. They have really been bred to be companions, unlike cats who have domesticated us into taking care of them.

G. Weissman 11:47 AM  
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Anonymous 11:47 AM  

HAGGIS is, in fact, fabulously delicious, despite the derision it receives. DOG MEAT probably is too, but it is, as the clue states and this commentary confirms, taboo in some places. That's a cultural difference, and a matter of fact, not prejudice. No one on this blog would "beef" about "beef" being clued as a food, but many millions of people, including at least hundreds of thousands in this country, regard it as taboo. Feels a little like a personal judgment creeping in to criticize this cluing.

G. Weissman 11:48 AM  
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John 11:49 AM  

Anonymous at 11:47 is spot on!

G. Weissman 11:51 AM  

"Why you dirty so-and-so ... I oughtta punch out your lights."

old timer 11:52 AM  

Today's was every bit as easy as yesterday's. And while I seldom pay attention to the anonymice, when you think about it GENGHIS KHAN was responsible for a lot of corpses wasn't he? I think I preferred Kublai who "a stately pleasure dome decreed."

DRLAURA is still on the air in my town. I think I hate her less now that she is complaining about the Republicans in THEDONALD's administration.

I have never been offered DOGMEAT in Spain or Switzerland. Horse meat, yes,

Masked and Anonymous 11:53 AM  

@RP: har. M&A don't think that DOGMEAT entry was one of yer faves. Yer writeup didn't get to the rest of the non-meat puz review, until the last two sentences.

Theme was pretty reasonable … have seen silent letter puz mcguffins before, but phrases with two of the same silent letter might be kinda new. And harder to come up with symmetric samples for that. Sooo … ok.

Only 74 words. Low count for a TuesPuz. Usually an omen for lotsa loongish non-themer answers, and for short sparklers of desperation. fave long ones: PORSCHE. SOANDSO. APACHES. fave desperation: GORSE/EDS/DEE. MAA.

Solvequest was mostly smooth, laced with a few long unknown names: DRLAURA [holder of the puz's sole U]. MORGAN. Knew both GALENA and OSLIN, tho. Not a big SiriusXM fan. Several years back, they tried to sneakily auto-renew a subscription on our car for an out-of-sight really high rate. But they had to confess, becuz our credit card info had changed on em. When we said "hella no", they came back with a "just kiddin" and a more reasonable rate … but by then, we didn't trust em. Now we listen mostly to oldies CDs in that car. But, I digress.

Congratz to @muse on her book bonanza and to all the smart folks who were able to help her out. Crossword solvers are the nicest peoples…

Thanx, Don G. & C.C. [DOGMEAT *was* maybe a bit gross, tho, for most folks' tastes. It evidently also upset our neighbor's dog. Heard extra howlin this mornin. Even louder than @RP did.]

Masked & AnonymoUs


RTWhite 11:59 AM  

Hmmmmm....since DOGMEAT passes the "breakfast test" with some solvers, would anyone care to collaborate on a puzzle with said theme? So far I only have:

G. Weissman 12:00 PM  

Maybe this would have been clearer: What G, H, and W each have, in turn, in 20-, 29- and 49-Across? G, H, and W each have a "silent partner" in the corresponding answers (e.g., two silent G's in "campaign signs@).

G. Weissman 12:02 PM  

I utterly missed this until reading this blog. Puzzle would've been far more challenging if 57A only included the latter part of the clue.

evil doug 12:05 PM  

Pekinese duck.

evil doug 12:07 PM  


evil doug 12:07 PM  

Collie greens.

evil doug 12:09 PM  

Blackened lab.

evil doug 12:10 PM  


evil doug 12:12 PM  

Pupricka chicken.

JC66 12:21 PM  

When doing Monday's puzzle, I knew immediately upon filling in THE DONALD, that @Rex would find it unacceptable fill, So last night, after completing the puzzle (medium Tuesday for me) I decided to go back and revue it to see if I could guess what @Rex would find offensive in it.

Total fail.

I considered GENGHIS KAHN and/or NERO, but never DOG MEAT.

So I'm not going to waste any more time trying to figure out what'll push his buttons.

One thing I'm sure of, though: it'll be something (unless the constructor is one of his BFFs.

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

Finally we see that Rex is a closet white supremacist. Applying western standards to another culture shows the height of his intolerance. ;-)

Anonymous 12:31 PM  

Our Commander-in-Chief just delivered a powerful speech at the U.N. Quite refreshing to no longer have an Apologist-in-Chief.

Master Melvin 12:37 PM  

When I was in Alaska I enjoyed reindeer sausage with my eggs at breakfast. I wonder if Santa enjoys reindeer sausage?

Anonypuss 12:45 PM  

@Loren Muse Smith, I think your "tendency not to pick up on things that could be seen as objectionable" makes you a better person.

Once you start looking for anything objectionable, you'll find that EVERYTHING is objectionable.

Puzzle played easy for me: 4 minutes flat.

ArtO 12:49 PM  

I wouldn't have expected so much furor over "dog meat" but that said I must take exception to those haggis lovers who have blogged. Had the dubious "pleasure" of tasting that Scottish "delicacy" when in the country a number of years ago. The three Americans at the table had a mutually negative reaction to the item much to the amusement of our Scottish host.

Aketi 12:51 PM  

@Evil Dog your post distracted me from pet food and pushed me to contemplate how stale the FRO is as a crossword clue. Turns out that some humans can have poodle like dos.

Aketi 12:53 PM  

And some poodles can have FROS

Teedmn 1:26 PM  

IDENTIKIT - @Nancy's comment on the subject had me imagining a KIT that the police artist would use, with stickers for different noses, eyes, mouths, eyebrows, etc. to make the face the witness was describing. Kind of a planar Mr. Potato concept. At least it would save trying to find someone good at drawing faces.

Seeing DOG MEAT in the puzzle, I thought to myself, "Not served as often as it used to be". I was harking back to this NYTimes article on the subject.

I liked the theme even with the oddly clued revealer so thanks DG and CC.

@Hartley70, adorbs!

@LMS, congrats on your success. Please give us an update on your students' reactions, when the time comes.

@Leapfinger, welcome back, per your yesterday comment. Loved the pithy themer discussion re: skin color vs. clenched fists.

Keeping It Symbol 1:38 PM  

I am afraid that the individual animating Rex Parker has hit the political third rail. Stick to the puzzle analytics (which indisputably, you are the master) and stay in your lane. Keep the nauseating political and virtue shaming rhetoric for your inner circle or face the music. Your blog has become repugnant.

Anoa Bob 1:43 PM  

I think the main point of OFL's review is why would you put DOGMEAT and clue it as something people eat in your puzzle in the first place. You have to know that a significant portion of your solvers, rightly or wrongly, are going to have unpleasant thoughts, images or associations with that. As a constructor, I would want to avoid that at all costs.

The old POCometer came alive with this grid. Lots of HO,S & FROS in this one, 14 in all the dial indicator shows, including a couple of cheater/helper square two-for-one POCs at the end of ELAND & LEG and STARVE & SON.

If one of your potential themers is a letter short of filling its slot, as CAMPAIGN SIGN is here, just tack on an S, problem solved. Besides, no one will notice.

Also in the grid is the rarer SOC, or singular of convenience. There are two SILENT letters in each themer, so shouldn't the reveal be SILENT PARTNERS? Nah, not enough room. Besides, no one will notice.

Unknown 2:09 PM  

No one in New York calls a frank dog meat.
Where do goats say "Maa"?

Anonymous 2:13 PM  

Alternative clue for 3D
What Obama has admitted eating in Asia that's taboo in the West

Lewis 2:17 PM  

@mr. benson -- Your comment made me laugh out loud!
@quasi -- So did MEE MAA!

The puzzle flew for me with only a slight hesitation in the SW. It didn't have a lot of zing, but was clean and gave my brain the exercise it loves. I rewatched the documentary "Wordplay" today for the first time since 2008 and for those wonder how people can solve puzzles so fast, you can see several examples of it demonstrated. It's an enjoyable 85 minutes, especially for crossword lovers, and you can get the DVD on Amazon for around $6, by the way.

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

According to xwordinfo, this is the second time the New York Times has used DOG MEAT as an answer.

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

Is it possible that Will edits the puzzles with a high priority of triggering Michael? Great job, Will!!!

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

Rex needs to retreat to his safe room -- it's awful that the appearance of "dog meat" sent him into a tizzy. As horrible as it is to Westerners, billions of people in Asia eat it regularly. Perhaps he is not showing enough "sensitivity" to those that have different customs.

Anonymous 2:30 PM  

I said to Alexa: "Alexa, turn on CNN. I want to watch the news."

She said, "Please pick one or the other."

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

I used to be able to comment as ANON B. Can I still
do it and, if I csn, how?

Masked and Anonymous 3:10 PM  

@RTWhite and @Evil D. - U folks can come up with some real weirdball themer ideas. har ... And I always thought I was too out there.

Obvious addition: HOTDOGSANDBEANS. 15-long. Could be yer central grid spanner.

Along the same plot lines, would a better DOGMEAT clue for today's puz have been somethin like:
{Filler, frankly speaking … with "hot"?} ? Too out there? … thought so. But M&A's a definite dog-luvin-dude, so I'm tryin to find a tolerable way out. Maybe work on a NW corner re-build, and see if it can be licked, thataway, I reckon.

Yulin, China evidently has an annual Dog Meat Festival. But … I don't really know beans about that ...


Rory 3:14 PM  

Pretty ridiculous to be so upset over DOG MEAT, considering the treatment that cows, pigs, chickens, etc. get all over the world, on a much larger scale. I'm a vegetarian, and I find all of it disgusting, but I think it's absolute nonsense to eat meat (as I assume Rex does) and get so het up about one type of mistreatment that happens on a much smaller scale.

The real travesty is that the revealer is a mess, and says that G, H, and W *have* silent partners, when really they *are* the silent partners. Stupid theme, and blah puzzle.

Nancy 3:17 PM  

@Lewis (2:17): Yes, you can watch how the speed solvers solve at breakneck speed in the movie "Wordplay". But I got terribly winded watching them and had to close my eyes in order to catch my breath.

Anonymous 3:42 PM  

@Anon 2:22

wait. Are you telling me that the pontificator in chief Michael Sharp made a false claim in the first sentence of today's scree. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. @Z please help me to the fainting couch.

JC66 3:49 PM  



I can only imagine what your reaction would be if you watched pornography.

semioticus (shelbyl) 3:57 PM  

I hated the SW corner. The rest of the fill had its HIs and LOs, but mostly LOs. The theme was meh. So overall, meh-.

Joe Bleaux 4:00 PM  

Today's commentary is proof aplenty that some people are, ironically, hotly offended anytime anyone finds anything offensive (or even, it seems, off-putting). That said, I guess I'd best shut my PC snowflake libtard pie hole and move along.

TCProf 4:01 PM  

Dog meat is offensive (due to ethnocentrism) but, for example, Idi Amin, who ate much worse, is okay? Do we need trigger warnings now? That's it's fine to eat cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, and so forth but not dogs or horses strikes me as arbitrary, just as our revulsion over the prospect of snarfing down an insect might be.

CDilly52 4:04 PM  

What Ray said!! We should be working to find common ground to solve problems we agree exist instead of seeing how many things we can find to keep us divided.

CDilly52 4:06 PM  

And don't forget "oh, crap, if Dad finds out I dented the car I'm Dogmeat!"

Unknown 4:22 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hillaryfan 4:24 PM  

All these complaints about the dog meat but none about the obvious dog whistle? WIPING and erasing a hard-drive is clearly a reference to our rightful President.

Joe Dipinto 4:38 PM  

@RTWhite 12:59:


JC66 4:41 PM  


ghthree 4:52 PM  

I'm reminded of the tourist who ordered a hot dog in New York, fully expecting dog meat. When her serving arrived, she asked her husband "What part did you get?"

Joe Dipinto 4:53 PM  

I'm with those who think the 57a clue is written incorrectly.
More recipes:



Anonymous 5:06 PM  

The Hs in GENGHIS KHAN are NOT silent. GH and KH are the aspirated forms of the sounds represented in English by G and K. My respect for the Times just went down a notch.

Unknown 5:10 PM  

I think I solved my earlier question.

Joe Dipinto 5:16 PM  

At X-Word Info, CC Burnikel says the original revealer clue did not specify G,H,W. So the editors changed it. Jeff Chen thinks the revealer answer should have been PARTNERS (plural), with which I kind of agree.

ANON B 5:20 PM  

Just testing

Nancy 5:34 PM  

@Joe Dipinto, Evil Doug and JC66 -- You're all too much. Proving that sick humor can sometimes be really funny humor. I laughed at all of these.

Masked and Anonymous 5:50 PM  

"Almost DOGMEAT-less" puz version …

1. Moves your boat
14. Irish singer with one name
17. Opposite of go
23. Ocean State sch.
28. German article
31. Stray on a roundup -- and possible meat source [couldn't resist]
1. Saved, in a way
2. Big name in lakes
3. Yellowstone National Park co-host
4. 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Warren ___

Don't claim the above is perfecto, but it does double yer puz U-count, as a bonus.

M&A Meat Desk

Anoa Bob 5:54 PM  

To follow up on my earlier "Why on earth would you put this in your puzzle in the first place?" comment, I thought maybe putting in DOGMEAT was the only way to fill that corner. Since I have some time before tonight's poker game, I put this corner up on the old drawing board to check it out.

With the same black square arrangement and the same crossing restraints at 20A CAMP... and 31A SAT..., I found a number of alternatives. For example ICECAPS, MORAVIA, PIGMENT & SLOP at 1, 2, 3, & 4 Down give IMPS, COIL, ERGO, AVE & PIN for the crosses. The themer CAMP... and SAT... remain unchanged.

To avoid the controversy, I would definitely have gone with something like this.

jae 6:06 PM  

Easy, pretty smooth and subtlety clever. Liked it. The 57a clue makes sense if you parse it carefully, but I agree with Jeff Chen that it is a tad convoluted.

Joe Bleaux 6:09 PM  

(blame it on doug)

JC66 6:15 PM  

@Joe Bleaux

See @ Joe Dipinto 4:53 PM re: BEAGLES & SHEPHERD'S

GILL I. 6:41 PM  

@Nancy...Credit where due. @RTWhite 11:59:
Followed by @evil....Just sayin!

Moly Shu 6:46 PM  

I've eaten DOGMEAT before, it's not bad. Poodle was my favorite. However, I much prefer catmeat.

Cristi 6:50 PM  

I never got to the offensive stage with "dog meat," although Rex's point is well taken: Asia is not a monolithic thing with one cuisine or culture. I was taken aback by the very lack of thing-ness. Cow meat anyone? Serve up the fish meat. I sure like chicken meat. Zombies dine on human meat. "Meat" is superfluous and just odd usage.

Anonymous 6:54 PM  

@Joe Dipinto,
No need for the tortuous construction. Just end the sentence with the preposition and be done with it.
No need to believe me. Google what Winston Churchill advised.

Rita 7:08 PM  

@Rory 3:14
You summarized my reaction exactly on both counts.

Joe Dipinto 7:16 PM  

@JC66 and @Joe Bleaux -- that's okay: second helpings of beagles and German Shepherd pies are always welcome.

J-Dub 7:24 PM  

Seriously, when did Rex's comment thread get overrun by anti-PC trolls? When I saw the clue, my first thought was "tell me this isn't going to be DOGMEAT." I can't remember the last time a clue incorporated such a blatant racist trope.

jb129 7:44 PM  

I have never been so blatantly offended by these bloggers - & they think b/c they can do the NYT crossword puzzle that they're so smart.

And I have never responded in such an angry fashion...

Obviously none of these bloggers have a dog that they love - your loss assholes- I hope you get cat food next time you order "chicken" Chinese take out since you care so little for pets.

evil doug 7:49 PM  

Miniature schnauzer: 15 years.
Jack Russell terrier: 17 years.
Sense of humor: 65 years.

Anonymous 7:58 PM  

What's that, 125 posts today? Nice to see a regular honoring the 3 and out rule.
May even in your next post you can tell us about your time I the Air Force. Don't know about everyone else, but I know I can't wait.

JC66 8:03 PM  

I don't have any dogs, but I have an ex-wife. Does that count?

evil doug 8:10 PM  


Dog Lover 8:13 PM  

As Anonymous 2:22 said above, DOGMEAT has been in the New York Times puzzle before. But the clue was "Food for Fido" - meat for a dog, not meat from a dog.

Even if there were no controversy over it DOGMEAT is just not a very good entry. Other comments have said that the corner could have been reworked so I don't know why this entry was left it. Who knows, maybe the NYT wanted a reaction?

jb129 8:23 PM  

JC66 - does your wife love you unconditionally?

Still stewing - so I gotta say - at first I left the grid empty because I couldn't believe the NYT would allow it - also as far as the constructors are concerned, this must have been a ZB clue - yes, I can be insulting too.

Another thing - for all of you who think you are so witty with the blogs & anti-dog comments, you probably don't have anything else to do after/if you've done the puzzle.

Good night.

Joe Dipinto 8:32 PM  

@jb129 8:23 -- Good riddance. Nobody here is "anti-dog". Get a sense of humor, your dog would probably appreciate it.

evil doug 8:38 PM  

Mongrel-ian beef.

Joe Dipinto 8:44 PM  

@JC66 8:03 -- Rimshot!

JC66 8:53 PM  


JC66 8:54 PM  

Thanks JD

JC66 8:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jb129 8:59 PM  

Joe Dipinto - I have a sense of humor and you have balls - maybe my dog's are bigger

JC66 8:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 9:02 PM  

Lighten up Francis (not post specific but applies to all who are offended or appalled but crossword clue/answers). Seriously, do you people ever leave your houses ? Rex is an egregious example but there are many others.

JC66 9:05 PM  


Hillaryfan 9:05 PM  

But not concerned about WIPING a hard drive?

JC66 9:11 PM  


She's my EX-wife, so what do you think?

Joe Bleaux 9:11 PM  

HUH? I just scrolled back up to Joe 4:53, and I see no mention of beagles or shepherds. Honest! What's the deal?! It's NOT okay, Joe D. I wouldn't knowingly copy anything from anyone.

Joe Bleaux 9:22 PM  

Ah! Another scroll shows It's at 4:38. I totally, flat overlooked it. Sorry, Joe D, and thank you JC66 for pointing it out. I know this was all in fun, but I'm seriously embarrassed by my oversight.

Joe Dipinto 9:45 PM  

@Joe Bleaux 9:22 -- really, no prob! - I'm sure I've made the occasional post without noticing that someone had gotten there first.

JC66 10:12 PM  

@JB & @JD

2 class guys!

Ry 10:56 PM  

The issue isn't the answer, it's the clue. Way too broadly categorizes who eats it and it plays into offensive stereotypes/tasteless punchlines about Asians. For the same reason certain clueings of watermelon and fried chicken wouldn't be ok, this is also not ok.

Ian Fusselman 10:59 PM  

First time poster here. I'm far from a good solver and am lucky to finish a Wednesday and can rarely get through a Thursday. Threw up my hands when I filled in Olsin to cross identikit figuring I had to have gone wrong somewhere. Actually got no satisfaction out of learning I actually finished it correctly. I'm 2 for 2 this week but can't say it feels that way.

Z 11:21 PM  

Uh..., "If you know people are going to have visceral, negative reactions to an answer, why do you put it in your grid?" NOT. ONE. WORD. ABOUT. HIS. OWN. REACTION. TO. THE. ENTRY. Rather, a perfectly reasonable observation that if you know a clue/answer doesn't pass the breakfast test why don't you work to avoid it. I'm not particularly bothered by the clue/answer but it got the immediate side eye from me. However one feels about munching on Fluffy, you're particularly insensitive to those around you if you don't realize that the notion will upset people.

Teedmn 11:24 PM  

The comments today jogged my memory about an anecdote: my husband and I were throwing a party and one of the invitees showed up early and asked if she could help. I had some homemade venison sausage and some beef sausage to slice. She gladly sliced the beef sausage but wouldn't touch the venison. I asked her, "You'll eat Daisy but not Bambi?" She said, "I'm used to eating Daisy."

apaches campaign maa 2:25 AM  

I wonder if HAGGIS contains DOGMEAT?

Devon 2:28 AM  

I tend to forgive them more obscure clues that are NYC specific because it is, well, the New York Times, even though it's a national paper.

Devon 2:31 AM  

This took me a second also - each clue has TWO silent letters: campaiGn siGns etc.

Devon 2:33 AM  

I'm glad I'm not the only person who shuddered at "THE DONALD" on Monday

Anonymous 3:25 PM  

A vegetarian murders many more plants in a lifetime than a carnivore murders animals. Don't be kingdomist!

Karen 5:05 PM  

Am I the only one bugged about the ANODE clue? It's the negative terminal, not the positive one. Ughh!!

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Burma Shave 10:25 AM  


To VOTE DR.LAURA into OFFICE is wrong
if you had HOPED she’s WIPING out cancer.
that SOANDSO is just the WRONGANSWER.


spacecraft 11:05 AM  

Ah yes, The Age Of Taking Offense. Some people are born to that age, notably our fearless (?) leader. His review is 90% a rant against one entry. I shall attempt a more balanced approach.

3- and 9-down simply elicit a "No, thanks" from me. I can certainly write those letters down without losing my breakfast. I do like GORSE, a mainstay of courses in Scotland, crossing the national dish. More palatable to me is PASTA--if it's gluten-free--and DOD ERIN Burnett. Now THERE's a dish!

I enjoyed solving this ININK, as always. Theme is fine, though the clue for the revealer is somewhat awkward; I'm not sure it's necessary to list the three SILENT letters, but I guess for a Tuesday it's OK.

Time to TAKETEN. The constructors today stayed deftly out of the GORSE and shot a birdie.

thefogman 11:07 AM  

The puzzle was okay but lacked zip. A bit too easy even for a Tuesday. It kind of ANGERED me to find sounded G's in GHENGISKHAN even though I understood it's the two H's are the silent partners there.
I am not sure why there is such revulsion to eating the flesh of a dog while eating the flesh of other animals (cows, pigs, lambs, chickens etc.) is culturally acceptable in the West. It doesn't make much sense to me.

Diana, LIW 11:31 AM  

@BS -- well done. Have you passed the 1000 days mark?

puzzle was easy for me - not one for the ages. I like CC's puzzles - today was one of her more obvious ones.

Not lovin the dog answer. There are other things eaten in China that we don't - some protected fish, for example.

Agree with @Foggy that the two G's in GHENGISKHAN annoyed me.

Not much else to write home about.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

Lot of pre-offended types out there. Back on your meds, ranters

leftcoastTAM 4:12 PM  

Does Rex have to protect us from feelings of repulsion about DOGMEAT, or anything else for that matter? Many different people can be repulsed by many different things, and it seems unlikely that we really need a repulsiveness cop for this blog. Or do we?

The puzzle is more than medium for Tuesday. I'd put it on the challenging side given entries like GORSE, OSLIN, MORGAN, SOANDSO, IDENTITIKIT, SKEE and a couple of others that set up some potential Naticks. All this on Tuesday, for heaven's sake.

But it's a good one with a good, if somewhat thin, theme.

rainforest 4:23 PM  

I like haggis; I like falafel; I eschew dog meat, but as an entry in a crossword puzzle, no problem. I had friends who owned a small farm where their kids would name some of the animals. Of course that would lead to emotional discussion at certain dinners.

I thought this was a good puzzle with a theme that I figured out once I took SILENT PARTNER as the revealer.

A little crunch for a Tuesday, and clean to boot.

rondo 4:41 PM  

Pretty easy puz. I would’ve clued DOGMEAT as @Glimmerglass mentioned, as a tough guy insult. Had HOPED for a stronger theme, but this is OK.

I think I remember seeing SATIE’s name on sheet music back in H.S., and EON ago.

GORSE and fescue are the places not to be on a golf course.

Agree on yeah baby ERIN Burnett.

I did this ININK and had not one WRONGANSWER.

Jentaps 2:46 PM  

It really is "Smokey Bear". It never had a "The". I know. Popped my bubble too.

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