Seinfeld's stringed instrument / THU 5-24-18 / output of spinning jenny / Portable music player brand / City center of 1890s Klondike Gold Rush

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Constructor: Erik Agard and Andy Kravis

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (hard to say, though, since I have to adjust for a. morning solving and b. oversized grid) (6:59)

THEME: SPOON-ERISMS (61A: What 18-, 25-, 37- and 52-Across all are (whose circled letters name something used with the base phrases)) — spoonerisms of things that can be eaten (or served?) with a spoon...

Theme answers:
  • WHINNY MEETS (18A: Horse races?)
  • JERRY CELLO (25A: Seinfeld's stringed instrument?)
  • PASTY HOODING (37A: Particularly pale Ph.D. ceremony?)
  • PAY GROUPON (52A: Pony up for a certain online deal?)
Word of the Day: DAWSON City (1D: ___ City, center of the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush) —
The Town of the City of Dawson, commonly known as Dawson City or Dawson, is a town in Yukon, Canada. It is inseparably linked to the Klondike Gold Rush (1896–99). Its population was 1,375 as of the 2016 census. [...] Dawson City was the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush. It began in 1896 and changed the First Nations camp into a thriving city of 40,000 by 1898. By 1899, the gold rush had ended and the town's population plummeted as all but 8,000 people left. When Dawson was incorporated as a city in 1902, the population was under 5,000. St. Paul's Anglican Church built that same year is a National Historic Site. [...] In 1978, another kind of buried treasure was discovered when a construction excavation inadvertently uncovered a forgotten collection of more than 500 discarded films on flammable nitrate film stock from the early 20th century that were buried in (and preserved by) the permafrost. These silent-era film reels, dating from "between 1903 and 1929, were uncovered in the rubble beneath [an] old hockey rink". Owing to its dangerous chemical volatility, the historical find was moved by military transport to Library and Archives Canada and the U.S. Library of Congress for both transfer to safety film and storage. A documentary about the find, Dawson City: Frozen Time was released in 2016.
The City of Dawson and the nearby ghost town of Forty Mile are featured prominently in the novels and short stories of American author Jack London, including The Call of the Wild. London lived in the Dawson area from October 1897 to June 1898. Other writers who lived in and wrote of Dawson City include Pierre Berton and the poet Robert Service. The childhood home of the former is now used as a retreat for professional writers. [...]
The city was home to the Dawson City Nuggets hockey team, which in 1905 challenged the Ottawa Silver Seven for the Stanley Cup. Travelling to Ottawa by dog sled, ship, and train, the team lost the most lopsided series in Stanley Cup history, losing two games by the combined score of 32 to 4. (wikipedia)
• • •

This shouldn't have been so hard, but getting spoonerisms from wacky clues (what other kind could you use?) turns out to be hellishly difficulty. Even when I got WHINNY, I had no idea what kind of "races" I was dealing with, and since at that point I had no idea spoonerisms were even in play ... that whole area was a disaster. I forgot about Imelda MARCOS and could think only of Corazon Aquino, who refused to fit (5A: Onetime big name in Filipino politics). I had -AYS and still couldn't get 5D: Parts of springs (MAYS). Brutal. ARM (6D: Inlet)? Brutal (wanted RIA?). SRSLY? (10D: "Are you kidding me?," in texts)? Brutal (I wanted some version of ORLY?)

It felt like forever before I got the theme, I had the better part of three themers and still nothing. Then I wrote in JOEYS but typoed LOEYS, which mean I kept seeing the *wrong starting letter* for JERRY CELLO (awkward in the non-possessive, but I'll allow it, I guess). Wrote in PASTY HOODIES at first because, as you can see, I had no idea what the theme idea was. "Oh, they're calling Ph.D. hoods "hoodies?" What fresh joke is this!?" Considering the grid is oversized and I was trying to solve upon waking, I have nooooo idea how I squeaked in under 7 minutes. Even reviewing it now, the puzzle feels hard hard hard. I love spoonerisms, and this one has a nice little twist with the whole spoon angle. The spooniness of the themers kind of falls apart as the themers progress. I definitely eat cereal with a spoon, and jello, well, I don't eat that, but sure, I would use a spooon. Hasty pudding???? I don't know what it is, besides a Harvard humor org. of some kind. But assuming it is anything like other kinds of puddings of which I'm aware, spoon seems like the reasonable implement. Grey Poupon, though? I mean, if you're just straight eating Grey Poupon with a spoon, I'm sorry, man. Things must be pretty bad.

Cluing just seemed harder than normal all over. Check out the undercluing at 45D: Some "me" time (SPA DAY) and 30D: Best Buy buy (HDTV). It was like getting [Food item] as a clue for PIZZA or something. You could narrow it down A Little. And then the short vague stuff like 56D: Out for ALIBI, yipes. And then 50A: Doctor or engineer for RIG. Good clues, but hard. Felt like they were trying to compensate for a theme they didn't think was too tricky, but then the theme was plenty tricky, so the overall result played quite hard. But again, my time says it wasn't That hard. Some good fill and clues in here. I especially enjoyed 62D: Opposite of a poetry slam? (ODE), which I wrote in thinking, "yes, ODEs are much more formal and stately than slam poetry," and only later figured out that an ODE praises something instead of "slamming" it. Nice. F*** the NRA, though. Surprised these particular constructors are still using it in puzzles (42A: Grp. with a firearms museum).

[11D: R&B singer who had a 2015 #1 hit with "Can't Feel My Face"]

  • 31A: Literary character with a powerful face (HELEN) — because it launched a thousand ships, per Marlowe. I am obsessed with the Trojan War and I teach Marlowe's Dr. Faustus and I still had trouble getting this one from the clue!
  • 44D: Portable music player brand (DISCMAN) — ... of yore
  • 12D: Mulligan in a dice game (REROLL) — "Mulligan" = do-over. Term from golf (I mean, I think—I've never played golf in my life)
  • 36D: What queso de bola is another name for (EDAM) — learned this recently in another puzzle. Sadly, did not remember it today.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 6:57 AM  

Agreed - spoonerisms are just fun. I’m happy that Erik and Andy thought to tighten up a set so that they could be puzzlized.

WHINNY MEETS was my favorite. Never even knew what hasty pudding was, but I just looked – seems it might be the UK version of grits? Yum. (Hmm – can you smear Crisco all over some IOUs? Ya know – GREASE CHITS?)

The one that had me pause was PAY GROUPON. I’m with Rex. Who eats mustard with a spoon? Ok. So the reveal clue says used and not eaten. Deft little hedge there. I guess if your mother-in-law is coming for lunch, you spoon the condiments in little bowls so she’ll think you’re all fancy and stuff. But still… (Reminds me of when I put vanilla yogurt in a mayonnaise jar and stood outside my room between classes eating it with a spoon. It electrified the whole hall.)

Speaking of electrified, I can never truly accept that an EEL is a fish. It’s just too snake-like. Do people put them in moats as extra incentive against attack? Ya know – the dreaded MOAT EEL?

Didn’t know there was a song I Can’t Feel My Face. I just looked at the lyrics, but they’re a bit mystifying. I think if a boyfriend had told me this, I don’t know how I would have reacted. I probably would have gone straight to some kind of serious allergic reaction; the phrase would’ve evoked alarm, not dreamy sighs.

(I couldn’t feel my face for about a week once. Outward Bound. Northern Minnesota. February. Minus forties. I grew a pair that week.)

Speaking of that song, I had a dnf ‘cause I didn’t know THE WEEKND or DAD jokes. I guessed wrong and had “food” for the walnut and forgot to guess the joke. Bad jokes, sad jokes, fad jokes… don’t know if DAD would’ve occurred to me.

The whose in the clue for the reveal requires a little thought, but I see how it works.

I appreciated that 1A is DISH and that it crosses STIR. And SNEEZE crosses NEZ.

The clue for ODE is one of the best of the year. Maybe decade.

Lewis 7:03 AM  

Brilliant wordplay second day in a row, today taking spoonerisms to another level by simply emphasizing the spoon! That's an idea that has been right in constructor's faces forever, but until now, no one has seen it.

Chuckles at the theme answers, plus:
* Cross of SNEEZE and NEZ.
* Symmetrical DUD and DAD.
* Mini theme of double E's (7).
* Some lovely cluing (RIG, a devilish non-baseball clue for MAYS, and ODE, which, it turns out, according to the constructors, to have been devised by Will et al.).

I slurped this one up! Thanks, guys!

kitshef 7:19 AM  

I often dislike two-constructor puzzles. You start to get accustomed to a style, and suddenly it switches.

Today was a huge exception. The whole thing held together beautifully.

Not sure how find I am of both SRSLY and THEWEEKND in the same grid, but the price was not too steep.

Never heard of HOODING in this context.

Is DARK GREEN green paint?

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

If the first thing I saw each day here were an LMS and a Lewis - I could go away happy.

Moly Shu 7:23 AM  

cArSON before DAWSON, maybe they stopped in Nevada before setting out for Alaska, and that’s how it became the capitol. That’s what I figured anyway. No other real problems except for the missing e in THEWEEKND, but since he’s an R&B singer, I just kinda waited on the spelling. Absolutely loved the SHOTS NRA pairing, I’m guessing @Rex didn’t, not sure. Also wish we got a STIRITUP video.
“Your recipe darlin', is so tasty,
And you sure can stir your pot” maybe @BobMarley was singing about PASTYHOODING, who knew?

Hungry Mother 7:28 AM  

So that sucked! I’m a touch typist, so I don’t do the text nonsense. Then “D” would have been my 26th choice for _AD jokes.

Passing Shot 7:37 AM  

This was good. Loved the clue-ing for RIG and ODE.

Forsythia 7:44 AM  

Fastest time ever for daughter and me! 11 minutes, flew through it! MAYS for spring took all the crosses since Spring wasn't capitalized. Needed the crosses for HELEN but grinned when we got it. DAD was our last clue in. I thought CALICO wasn't spotted (pinto is, right?) but more stripes? Love all the food spoonerisms. Thought Imelda before MARCOS but waited for crosses to put in fortunately. I had just seen something about WEEKND in Time magazine and thought, "That name will show up in a puzzle!" And it did.

Fun time! ICHABOD and GHOSTS! When we get an "Easiest Ever" and Rex says "medium-challenging" we feel like we won the lottery. But we disagree that there should be an adjustment for "morning solving!"

Thanks Erik and Andy!

ghthree 7:47 AM  

RE 31 Across. I have always enjoyed the definition of a millihelen: "the amount of beauty needed to launch one ship." Reminded me of my undergraduate days, when we calculated the speed of light in furlongs per fortnight. :-)

LHS 888 7:51 AM  

Technical DNF here. Had to Google THEWEE_ _ b
Had _ORE_ and couldn’t see. LOREN (no good reason for my lapse)
Had _EAK and couldn’t see LEAK (d’oh!)
I call NATICK on the THEWEEKN_ / _AD cross. I had a B in there until Mr. Google showed me the error of my ways. bAD jokes are just as much a thing, if not more so, as DAD jokes.
Knew we were into Spoonerisms with JERRYCELLO. PAYGROUPON was the hardest for me to see, but a good aha moment when I did.

I liked this challenging puzzle. Thanks!

RJ 8:02 AM  

It took me as long to do the NW corner as it did the rest of the puzzle because of DAWSON/DISH - didn't know dawson and had "poop" instead of dish. I saw the spoonerisms at JERRYCELLO but must have resisted the NW because I hate Mini Wheats. Yuk.

Loved the cluing for ODE and am always amazed when I need crosses for a 3 letter answer (RIG)

Live in MA where we all know HASTY PUDDING but it sounds disgusting as well

"hast·y pud·ding (noun)
A mush containing cornmeal or (in Britain) wheat flour stirred to a thick batter in boiling milk or water."

Nancy 8:06 AM  

Really clever and great fun. I love SPOONERISMS.

Saw the trick immediately, getting PASTY HOODING off just PASTYH------. Aha, I said. But didn't realize yet that all the theme answers would be based on things you eat with a spoon. This adds an especially delicious [pun intended] component.

I could have skipped the texting nonsense SRSLY. I wish we could dispense with all such garbage. And 5D was unfairly misleading: "springs" should have been "Springs." Oh, and the R&B singer with the crazy moniker annoyed me. But other than that, a really nifty puzzle.

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

I think MARCOS refers to Ferdinand Marcos -- not his wife Imelda. He was president far more years.

John Child 8:08 AM  

Cherry Jello is DARK GREEN paint-ish to me, and THE WEEKN_ crossing {___ jokes} felt brderline unfair to those who didn’t recognize the artist. I DNF there with bAD jokes.

But overall good fun and a theme that pushed SPOON-ERISMS higher. Two thumbs up.

Jamie C 8:28 AM  

@forsythia: SRSLY, why would "spring" be capitalized?

JOHN X 8:29 AM  

I finished in pretty good time (24.235 seconds), but after the awesomeness of yesterday this puzzle seemed kinda dumb.

I got the SPOONERISMS (and SPOON) revealer first so I knew what I was dealing with. I thought PASTYHOODING was odd; is a Ph.D ceremony really called a "hooding?" Sounds like a lynching. JERRYCELLO is just stupid. PAYGROUPON was sorta okay I guess, but WHINNYMEETS just sounds weird, even when I unspooner it, and I know the cereal.

I believe the political MARCOS was Ferdinand, not Imelda. She was the shoe collector and cake eater.

DAD jokes are . . . jokes I guess. I've heard them, but this seems like what you call "green paint" around these parts, especially when crossing the whathaveyou in 11D. When I still only had walkMAN in 44D I thought for a brief second that maybe they were going for JEW jokes which was pretty daring IMO.

This puzzle was constructed by not one but TWO dudes, which is quite a "dickfest" according to Rex.

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

This one felt easy to me. 5:32, only a half minute or so off record time, and well below Thursday average.

Never really needed to fully comprehend the theme, as the crosses were all getable.

I'll take it!

JOHN X 8:38 AM  

Now I just read that Imelda MARCOS was not only elected to the Philippine House of Representatives but that she's still in office! That's a Marion Barry level of amazing comeback considering she fled in exile with $millions in stolen loot.

kitshef 8:39 AM  

@Forsythia, @Nancy - probably me being dense, but I don't understand the issue with the clue for MAYS. Each spring (the season) has a May (the month) in it - at least in the northern latitudes, so springs have MAYS as parts of them.

puzzlehoarder 8:50 AM  

A bit harder than the average Thursday. I didn't figure out the theme until the end. I was dealing with the WEEKND spelling issue and once I got the theme I changed HOODIES to HOODING. 40D had to be GARISON so that helped.

I haven't checked the xwordinfo list for DAD yet but I know we've had it recently. Still it wasn't the first answer to come to mind. Good clue for RIG.

This was a nice workout on a quality Thursday.

George 8:52 AM  

I have lived on this earth for 53 years, and I had no idea what a SPOONERISM was. Googled it and thought, OK, so there's a word for that, but what does it have to do with spoons? I'm still a bit mystified.

Dan P 8:59 AM  

Hard to complain about a spoon for Grey Poupon when a spoon is actually shown in the ad.

Clueless 8:59 AM  

Springs => MAYS ?

Please explain

Anonymous 9:01 AM  

@Kitshef 8:39 & Jamie C 8:28

The issue with MAYS is that "springs" is a proper noun and should be "Springs" in the clue. Uncapitalized it is both incorrect and misleading.

Ozzie 9:02 AM  

Hey Rex, will we ever reach the day when it will be not PC to make DAD jokes?

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

That R&B singer has an unusual name but I guess if U2 can have The Edge anything goes.
Most small restaurants that I remember in Paris had a standard condiment setting with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and a tiny pot of mustard with its own tiny spoon/paddle.

Pete 9:11 AM  

Last weekend we took a friend & her children out to lunch. The 12yo had a class assignment to bring in a picture of antiquated technology. This turned into a string of suggestions, starting with crank landlines, and moving from there. At some point Walkmans & DISCMANs got brought up. I believe that it ended up with my suggesting that she simply take a photo of the teacher standing in the front of the room, with a prepared essay about how ridiculous is it that we attempt to teach our children with one person who barely knows the subject trying to convey a deeper knowledge than they possess to 30 different intellects with 29 different learning patterns a the same time. I assured her that teachers have the most excellent senses of humor and would appreciate the effort.

Grammar Moses 9:16 AM  

Seasons, such as winter, spring, summer and fall, do not require capitalization because they are generic nouns. Some people may confuse these words as being proper nouns and try to capitalize them using that rule of capitalization. The winter season allows for many snow related sports.

Wm. C. 9:19 AM  


Re: Spoonerism etymology. Nothing to do with spoons. There was famous old British professor who frequently swapped word-pair starts, named Spooner.

GILL I. 9:22 AM  

Dad joke alert:
CASHIER: "Would you like the milk in a bag, sir?"
DAD: "No, just leave it in the carton!"
I'm glad this wasn't a stinkeroo. Well, except that part of POUPON being eaten with a spoon. I guess if you are starving and the only thing in the fridge is a bottle of mustard and the one clean utensil you have is a spoo, then, well, I suppose you'd use a spoon. I spread with a knife.
Ah, yes. the MARCOS. Imelda with her shoe fetish. Evidently when she fled with their millions to Hawaii, she had to leave all her shoes behind and they got musty. I think there's a shoe museum in her name somewhere in the Philippines. Guess what her sons name is? BONGBONG.
Nothing really gave me pause except for wondering who would sing about not feeling his face. Never heard of THEWEEKND. I once couldn't feel my face because it fell asleep. I never knew your face could do that. I slept with my arm wrapped around my neck and it went numb and scared the hell out of me because I thought a stranger was trying to smother me. You had to be there.
Fun puzzle, guys. I like SPOONERISMS and DAD jokes - but only if they make you laugh.

Roo Monster 9:25 AM  

Hey All !
3.85 Rexes for me today. Not too shabby. Did have writeovers that I don't remember (did online), but also a DNF having loyOlA for TACOMA because geography sucks! :-)

Had a smaller grid YesterPuz, 14 wide, get the larger version today, 16 wide.

Liked the SPOONERISMS (which was the first themer I got, so at least I knew the others would be wacky), with next one figured out being JERRY CELLO. I see @Loren made the puz.

Only know THE WEEKND from living in Las Vegas. He's on a bunch of Billboards around The Strip. PITBULL also. Although his pic, he looks constipated.

Liked the NE's TROT HERE ERIN WOOD. And the warning line NOT SHOTS HELEN! Har.


Thomaso808 9:25 AM  

DAD went right in because for years my kids have been telling me exactly what kind of bAD my jokes are.

Not so fast for DUD. That’s where I actually had baD for a long time. Really slowed down the NW. Stinkeroo can be an adjective, right, like BAD, versus a noun, like DUD? Nice misdirection.

mathgent 9:25 AM  


The Spoonerisms are sweet, the cluing is smart and fresh.

I would say that DARKGREEN is not green paint because it is in reference to a particular crayon.

Unlike most collaborations, it has a personality. These two young guys must be in sync.

jackj 9:31 AM  

MAYS clue could/should have been "Spring parts", perhaps.

Greg Charles 9:33 AM  

The spoonerisms were brutal until I hit the reveal. Then they were easy like most of the fill. I'm glad I wasn't solving on paper though. The app told me I was done before I even saw The Weeknd [sic]. On paper, I would have just stared at that and finally given up.

Linda Vale 9:34 AM  

It’s time to ban the clue “Prince Valiant’s son” since the answer, ARN, is NRA backwards. No need to trigger anyone to their safe space...

Amelia 9:38 AM  

Lovely puzzle. Had a ball. Love spoonerisms. Got it at Jerry Cello! The rest were still difficult, as others have noted. But fun!

Listen, people. I'm an old fart, and even I knew who The Weeknd was. The trick is to watch SNL. Can't you hear it now? Ladies and Gentleman, The Weeknd! Can't Feel My Face, while I couldn't sing it if my life depended on it, was a huge hit. I would have bet it was The Weekend. But I got over that. My spell check is going crazy, though.

My biggest trouble was in the SE. But it's only Thursday. Didn't take me that long.

Have a nice Weeknd, everyone! (In the US, that is.)

Ilana 9:43 AM  

Gah... Why am I not understanding the RIG clue or answer? Can some please 'splain?

Mohair Sam 9:56 AM  

Agree with the throng - this was a terrific puzzle. Very clever cluing, nifty misdirects (RIG and ODE the best), all the themers were fun, and using the SPOON in SPOONERISMS was so good.

For those debating which MARCOS - reread the clue, says big "name", not big "person" - it covers both.

RE: Spoon/mustard question - I use only spicy-hot mustard on my sandwiches, I spread with a knife. I use only Grey Poupon whenever I use mustard as part of a sauce - SPOON always! Hence our theme is flawless.

Nice team-up Agard and Kravis, keep 'em coming.

Sir Hillary 10:01 AM  

Nifty puzzle, although it felt more Wednesday-ish to me (I seem to be in the minority with that view).

Left to her own devices, my oldest daughter would eat Grey Poupon with a spoon, but we've TENDED to discourage such things. We do use a ton of it in our household though.

Were I constructing, I probably would have avoided NRA and gone with OTTO/TRA, but not such a big deal.

Maybe it was the presence of THEWEEKND, but this puzzle definitely brought music to mind. How's this for a SRSLY random set on a DISCMAN:
-- "STIRITUP" by Bob Marley. Nod to @Moly Shu for mentioning it first.
-- "Imelda" by Mark Knopfler. Funny rip on Ms. MARCOS. Imelda baby, what to do? All the poor people sayin' they got to quit payin' for you.
-- "ARTHUR" by Christopher Cross. Great movie, so-so song.
-- "DECember" by Collective Soul. A favorite band of my mustard-eating daughter.
-- "Rockin' Me" by Steve Miller. I went from Phoenix, Arizona, all the way to TACOMA...
-- "The STAKE" also by Steve Miller. Less well-known than the song above, but it still made his first Greatest Hits album.

jberg 10:07 AM  

OK @Rex, @Loren, et al. -- I'll try to explain. Long ago, before the plastic squeeze bottle was invented, mustard came in little jars. While you could, indeed, dip your kinfe blade into it to get a little bit to spread on your hot dog, it was easier and neater to use a spoon. You were more likely to get the amount you wanted, and less likely to drip it on your tablecloth. Some of us still cling to this old technology; I also push an unpowered mower around my lawn and wash dishes by hand. my life is richer as a result.

I, too, am always tempted to capitalize the names of the seasons, so I'm not surprised to see that so many people think you should -- but no, they are not proper nouns. Why are the names of the months proper nouns, but not the names of the seasons, you ask? Go figure, I reply.

I had no idea what mini-wheats are (some kind of cereal, I gather?), and wanted 'S after JERRY, so I needed the revealer to see the theme, and even then it took another moment to get the SPOON part. That made the puzzle all the more fun.

Speaking of obsolete technologies, though -- I've stayed at many an inn in my day (which continues, btw), but never yet found a hostler (an hostler?) at one. You can still find them at stables, though.

@Loren, finally an easy-to-grok avatar! Still puzzling over Monday's -- maybe I'll email you and beg for mercy.

Harryp 10:08 AM  

Not only are Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos longtime Philippine politicos, their son BongBong Marcos was a State Senator. Liked the Spoonerisms, and we had a similar Spooner Theme not to long ago. THEWEEKND was Natick territory, but if you chose DAD joke you were OK. He wanted The Weekend, but another Canadian group already had it. Liked it.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

You seem to know your way around here - what does this blogger mean when he writes "I'll allow it"? Is there anything he can actually do about it (besides complain)? Does he have any real influence on the NYT xword? Thank you.

Matt 10:20 AM  

@Anon 9:01
False. Seasons are not proper nouns.

Teddi and Teddy 10:28 AM  

IIana...think of doctor and engineer as verbs. If you doctor or engineer something it could be rigging it. We loved the puz!

Bob Mills 10:32 AM  

Very clever puzzle. Enjoyable. i had "BAD" (jokes) instead of "DAD.," because nothing made sense at 11-Down. "MAYS" as "part of springs" was sneaky.

Al Michaels 10:38 AM  

I don't know from HOSTLER but I remember Jeff HOSTETLER, the Amish quarterback who won thee Super Bowl with his NY Giant brethren.

Blue Stater 10:48 AM  

Another nasty and no-fun puzzle, second day in a row. "Sch. with a Concord campus" (58A) is really a stretch. UNH, I learned from Wikipedia, has a law school in Concord, something I never knew despite living about 20 miles from the NH state line and having once interviewed for a senior position at UNH proper, which is in Durham. Not exactly a household item. We need better puzzles than this.

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

I planned to do this puzzle, I made arrangements to do this puzzle. I even announced to the world that I would do this puzzle. However, my partners told me that I was too stupid to do this puzzle, that if I attempted it I would end up looking like a fool.

I am not going to do this puzzle.

I should probably apologize for pulling everyone's chain, but I don't do that.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

Anon 10:15,
I'm willing to take the bait and assume your question is sincere.
Michael Sharp, AKA Rex Parker, has no affiliation with the New York Times. That includes its crossword puzzle. That he wields no influence over it seems to stick in his craw. If you've read him for any length of time, you've likely noticed he has a great many complaints about the puzzle. ( And men, especially white men, as well)

Many, if not most of the regulars here come to the blog for the community, not Sharp's commentary. Like all groups, there are all kinds. Welcome.

paperandink 11:04 AM  

at the hasty pudding club dining hall there is a horse suspended from the ceiling.. his position suggests that his emission has dropped into your desert dish i.e. the "hasty" pudding which is actually an old new england desert... aah the humor in bathroom jokes is timeless i guess... loved the puzzle

Stanley Hudson 11:10 AM  

@Anonymous 7:19, hear hear!

Malsdemare 11:19 AM  

Great, great fun. I hated WHINNYMEETS until I got PASTYHOODING and the drenny popped. That all the spoonerisms needed spoons was perfect, because, yes, as a snobby person, I decant the mustard into a small bowl and slip in a spoon for dispensing.

Yup, HOODING's a thing. I skipped my own, but was an absolutely beside-herself momma when I got to hood my daughter. It took an absolutely abasing, pleading letter to University of Miami President Donna Shalala to achieve that honor, but I was willing to do whatever it took. My own institution encourages candidates to choose their own conferrer of the hood, as long as said conferrer had the requisite doctorate, but The U does not. They made an exception for me. Because I ain't too proud to beg.

Thanks, guys, for a fun morning.

Masked and Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Liked this ThursPuz's 'tude.
Took m&e two themers, to catch on to the mcguffin; except for the "spoon" part, which came later on. @RP: yeah U can. U can use a spoon to get the mustard out of the GP jar. Do U normally use a knife?

A few nice, semi-desperate longballs, with: STIRITUP. SPADAY. REROLL.
Had no earthly idea, on THEWEEKND. Or SRSLY. Or DISCMAN.

The 14-D clue {Bodily connector} really sounds weird. Sorta like "airily conditioner", or somesuch.

staff weeject pick: UNH. Could be a grunt sound U make, when you're not quite sure if U should really answer a question "yes" or "no". Buys U some time to think, like when U is sittin down with the grand jury, say.

Thanx for gangin up on us, EA & AK. Thursdily feisty.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


QuasiMojo 11:26 AM  

Wow. My comment earlier this morning didn’t seem to make it past the mods. I wonder why.

paperandink 11:41 AM  

at the hasty pudding club dining hall there is a horse suspended from the ceiling.. his position suggests that his emission has dropped into your desert dish i.e. the "hasty" pudding which is actually an old new england desert... aah the humor in bathroom jokes is timeless i guess... loved the puzzle

Banana Diaquiri 11:51 AM  

it's nearly noon (EDT) and no one has said:
"Doctor or engineer for RIG. Good clues, but hard."
prove it! makes no sense.

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

Never heard of THE WEEKND and don’t like the spellng. I do like MINNY WHEETS, but I’m celiac, so no. GRAY POUPON? Gluten-free, anyway. Ever eaten HASTY POODING? Really wouldn’t mind a CHERRY JELLO shot right now to deal with this FAD BEAST.

jb129 12:10 PM  

What is going on here this week?

Jesse 12:11 PM  

"The Weeknd" got me! I'm not familiar with the artist and how his name is spelled so I assumed it was a rebus...

Anonymous 12:12 PM  

I solved in 55 min but saw and thoroughly enjoyed the theme. I'll STAKE that I had more fun.

JC66 12:23 PM  

@Banana Diaquiri

As @Teddi and Teddy said above (10:28)...Think of Doctor & Engineer as verbs.

foxaroni 12:34 PM  

@LMS-- you have outdone yourself with GREASE CHITS, but even more so with MOAT EEL. I laughed out loud at that one. Love your posts. I look forward to them every day.

The puzzle was quite hard for me, especially the SW. Mainly because I wrote in "aye aye" instead of "aye sir." Yesterday's puzzle was a complete disaster. At least I finished today's. Nice job, EA & AK.

Carola 12:34 PM  

I, too, have a soft spot in my heart for SPOONERISMS. It happened that, being daunted by the NW at the start, I began solving in the SE, so I had the reveal and the SPOON hint early. That made PAY GROUPON and PASTY HOODING easy to see; but JERRY CELLO was harder, and WHINNY MEETS almost defeated me (finally understood MAYS and remembered MARCOS).
Help from previous puzzles: THE WEEKND, DAD jokes.
@jberg, at our house, too, the Grey Poupon comes to the table with a little spoon in the jar.

old timer 12:35 PM  

Father and I went down to camp along with Captain Goodin
And there we saw the men and boys as thick as hasty pudding

Usually the first verse of Yankee Doodle. And easily assigned to a particular period of the Revolutionary War, for hasty pudding is a New England dish, and Washington was in New England early on, to besiege the British troops at Boston. Washington arranged for a big cannon to be lugged all the way from Ticonderoga, and once it was installed on the Heights overlooking the harbor, the Brits had no choice but to get into their ships and sail away, because the ships were now within range of the cannon. Washington moved down to New York, where he was badly defeated, and had to retreat to Valley Forge, near Philadelphia, where after much hardship he was able to take his troops across the Delaware and beat the Brits in New Jersey, thus bottling the Brits up in New York. Which remained in British hands until the war was over.

DNF because I looked up THE WEEKND

foxaroni 12:38 PM  

P.S. COURT SHAKE, @LMS's avatar today, is another excellent Spoonerism.

Joseph Michael 12:39 PM  

Mixed reaction to this one. I like the concept of SPOONERISMS related to SPOONS, but didn't know the base product name for 19A or the use of HOODING for 37A, so half of the themers for me fell flat.

However, PAY GROUPON as a spoonerism is brilliant, even if I don't eat mustard with a spoon. JERRY CELLO ain't bad either.

A few nicely challenging clues. I filled in MAYS for 5D but had no idea of how it fit until way after I had finished the puzzle. Same with ODE.

Lucky guessed at ORIOLE but what other O bird could it be if it resides in a crossword? Also lucky guessed at DAD jokes which I assume are dumb jokes that aren't dirty.

Have been a fan of THE WEEKND for a long time but didn't realize until today that his name has a missing E. So for a while I thought there was some kind of rebus at work.

@LOREN, in "I Can't Feel My Face," he's not singing about a woman. He's singing about cocaine. Maybe that's why that SNEEZE ended up in the puzzle :-)

Mark 12:50 PM  

It's an expression. Harkens back to 80s legal dramas where the lawyer is pursuing a questionable angle in court but the judge, after an opposing objection, decides to let the lawyer continue. There's an implication of some degree of reservation. Anyway, as far as your question is concerned, the answer is no except insofar as this blog seems to be fairly widely read and so serves as a bit of a soapbox.

michiganman 12:55 PM  

@bluestater. I agree with you that yesterday's was awful but I love today's. Also, UNH has 3 campuses; Concord, Manchester, & Durham. So how is that clue/answer a stretch? There are many Concords. There's even one in MIchigan.

One more time for spring whiners. Seasons are not capitalized.

I got JERRYCELLO first. Hard puzzle for me but satisfying.

Other clues for NRA: eatery group-National Restaurant Asssociation. FDR office or Depression buster-National Recovery Administration

MBI 12:56 PM  

The Weeknd can't feel his face because he's doing cocaine. The song's about cocaine. I hope that helps.

Masked and Anonymous 12:57 PM  

@RP: But then again, there's plenty of others ways (besides spoon) to get the Grey Poupon out of yer GP jar …

1. Punch and dump. Turn jar upside down and give the bottom a couple of Sharp whomps. This has a nice random outcome to it, as far as servin amounts.
2. As mentioned earlier, use a knife. That way U go direct from jar to spreadin down the weenie bun. Sometimes the counter or floor may get pouped-on [poupon-ed?], if U really like to lather it on, and ain't real careful.
3. Finger. Pointer digit works best, I find -- especially if you're runnin low. Has a nice, raised-by-the-wolves ambiance to it. Can sting like hell, if U have a paper cut, tho.
4. Dunk. For small buns, only. Or maybe go bunless, and just dunk the weenie al-fresco into yer GP jar, as U eat on it.
5. Squirt bottle. Best solution of all, if U ask m&e. Saves on washin up utensiles. Plus, when startin to run low, U can really squeeze out some primo tunes/gassy noises. Biggest drawback: missin the intended target and hittin the budgie instead. Followed by mustard wing spatters all over tarnation.

M&A Help Desk

Dennis 1:00 PM  

Love reading how OFL struggles at the same points as I do yet my time is 4x slower! Maybe some new clues for NRA, like “abettor of school massacres” or “Emma G. foe.”

Azzurro 1:02 PM  

Fun puzzle. It took me a few minutes to get going, but I ended up demolishing my personal best for a Thursday.

Teedmn 1:17 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 1:41 PM  

Dennis and michiganman,
Uour attitude toward the NRA and I'm guessing its members is why trump won. keep it up and he'll win in 20, too.
And Z, before you chime in, long-time readers of this board will recall how you guaranteed Hilary would win and offered advice on how the Republican party could become relevant again.

Teedmn 1:48 PM  

I found this tough, cluing-wise. Something I guessed right away (MARCOS) was held up because only RTE went straight in. I found all the other clues there vague or tricky, which was great fun but made my solve rather molasses-like (another spoonable ITEM.)

HELEN as clued put up a fight for me - I needed 2/3 of the crosses to figure it out. But while I was waiting for the crosses, this DAD joke was running through my mind.

I circled the clue for RIG - I let it fill in with crosses and went back to see what it turned out to be and it took a couple of moments for the aha to come, along with the ODE clue.

Nice job, EA and AK and editors.

mathgent 1:50 PM  

I just finished today's WSJ crossword by Jeff Chen. It has a clever gimmick and the trademark Chen intelligence and wit. Anyone have an idea why it didn't run in NYT? Certainly not because of its quality. Chen and Will Shortz have a close relationship. The money's about the same. Perhaps Mike Shenk and Chen hatched it up together?

Mohair Sam 2:02 PM  

@jberg - We too struggle without a dishwasher. Find that it takes about the same amount of work as a dishwasher in much less time - and you skip the manual pre-rinse, load, and unload cycles.

GeezerJackYale48 2:07 PM  

Things have gone that far, haven’t they!

Malsdemare 2:26 PM  

The story is that Winston Churchill would rate women on a Helen scale, as in "that face would launch 13/42/61 etc. ships." When he first saw his beloved Clementine, he said, "1000." They were married 57 years.

Z 2:29 PM  

Spoonerisms! Yay! Cluing turned up a notch! Yay! Clean short fill! Yay!* Good Thursday Puzzle.

Let’s see, the “seasons aren’t proper nouns” thing seems clarified. But no one has answered @Ilana and @banana daiquiri so far. I doctored my fender so it wouldn’t fall off. I rigged my fender so it wouldn’t fall off.

@jberg - good mustard almost never comes in a squeeze bottle. Hand up for using a spoon unless I’m at a cook-out.

@anonymous10:15 - I’ll beg to differ with some other explanations given. “I’ll allow it” is used in a self-deprecating sense. If you actually have no control over the situation but make a statement as if you do you are being mildly ironic. Since the listener/reader knows you have no control, the speaker/writer is emphasizing their lack of influence by making the statement.

@anon1:41 - Yep. I didn’t account for the Russians. My mistake. At least I didn’t vote for a treasonous, serial-cheating, multiple bankruptcies, racist, sexual assaulter, lying con-man feathering his own pocket with tax-payer dollars. What’s your excuse?

*I’ll just pretend I didn’t see that EEL. Besides, it’s more about overall effect than one overused snakelike fish.

Kimberly 2:32 PM  

Weirdly, the clues that stumped Rex were my gimmes. The first themer I got was JERRYCELLO because the NE corner was my in, and I immediately saw cherry jello in there, so was able to fill in the theme clue right away.

Mustard may not be eaten with a spoon, but small mustard spoons go way back as a means of dishing mustard, and the theme clue specifically said “used with” rather than “eaten with” so I had no issue there.

It’s still not Thursday-level clever, though. I keep hoping this loss is temporary and they’ll give us back our real Thursdays someday.

michiganman 2:38 PM  

@Anonymous 1:41. I was trying to point out other legitimate uses of NRA besides the gun nut meaning. I think the Nat'l Rifle Assoc. is extremely bad for the U.S. of A.

QuasiMojo 2:51 PM  

Can someone explain Whinny Meets and Jerry Cello to me? Who is Jerry?

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

You don't know who I voted for. But more imporatnt, you're glossing over you're comically incorrect claims that the Dems would big nation wide. That was why you offered your gratuitous advice to republicans to help them become relevant nationwide. those were your very words. But as you know, republicans dominated the 2106 election cycle. They won not only won both houses, but occup8 39 governor's mansions and the majority of statehouses. What's your excuse for not owning up to your wildly inaccurate analysis?

Anonymous 3:02 PM  

I know. your feelings about the NRA were clear. That's why I wrote what I did. And I believe, and many liberals do too, that bashing the NRA and its members is a losing proposition for democratic success. It smacks of arrogance--the let them cling to their God and guns superciliousness that's off putting to lots of reasonable people. Calling 60 million souls bigots and racists and deplorable is not good for the polis. And I don't believe it's a winning path to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. either.

Harryp 3:12 PM  

@QuasiMojo 2;51pm Mini Wheats & Cherry Jello.

JC66 3:29 PM  

@Z. You must have missed my 12:23 post.

jae 3:55 PM  

Pretty easy for me except for the NW themer. I kinda forgot exactly how SPOONERISMS work and was trying to switch just the first letters. Revisiting PAY GROUPON helped.

Cute, liked it.

Kimberly 4:07 PM  

@quazimojo - Jerry is Jerry Seinfeld from the clue. Seinfeld. Pretty much the only famous Seinfeld.

Hungry Mother 4:11 PM  

Now that I’ve cooled off a bit, I can explain that what sucked was my performance, not the puzzle. I started out well, dove right to the line with the circles and had SPOONERISM quickly, setting up for an easy go at the theme rows. I love SPOONERISMS and had fun with the theme. I have a bad attitude about the texting abbreviations, but I shouldn’t be so lazy about learning the common ones. I will always use the expanded form of WTF however. I’ve heard of DAD jokes, but don’t like most jokes, unless they’re particularly witty. So congratulations to the constructors for a good puzzle. It was just a bit over my pay grade.

Anoa Bob 4:13 PM  

I like Spoonerisms as much as the next person, but they only work for me when both the base phrase and the Spoonerized version make sense. Here the latter of the two did not.

The clue for 25A uses the possessive in "Seinfeld's stringed instrument?" but the themer doesn't. JERRY CELLO is grammatically dissonant to my ear. It sounds more like what a non-English speaker or a toddler might say.

WHINNY MEETS and PASTY HOODING just don't look like credible, in-the-language phrases to me. My first read of WHINNY rhymed with "why knee" rather than "when knee", so that added to my alienation to that themer.

Maybe PAY GROUPON would've worked, but neither I nor spellcheck have ever heard of GROUPON. Does GROUPON sell CALIFORNIA KINGs?

I was in the Philippines when Ferdinand MARCOS was overthrown. I was watching MARCOS on TV, surrounded by his Generals in full regalia, assuring us that any talk of overthrow was idle rumors and that, rest assured, he was in full command and control. And then the TV screen went blank.

A few minutes later the screen flickered back to life. The rebels had taken over the TV station. They had cut off the signal from MARCOS' broadcast, and began there own, informing us that they were now in power. It looked like they were broadcasting from a janitor's supply closet that was only lit by dim fluorescent light or two. A few hours later MARCOS was on his way to Hawaii where he spent his last few years in exile.

Imelda MARCOS would occasionally ride around GHETTOs in Manila in a big Mercedes convertible while throwing out handfuls of Pesos bills to the throngs in the street. Hard to top that act.

MM 4:35 PM  

I see your point and you are likely correct.

QuasiMojo 4:39 PM  

Okay, thanks guys. Still no idea what “mini wheats” are and never saw Seinfeld. Otherwise enjoyed it. Just a spoonful of bad puns helps the medicine go down, I guess.

garret rubin 4:56 PM  

I don't like DISCMAN.
That's a model, not a brand. The brand is SONY.

sanfranman59 4:59 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 5:19 4:24 1.21 86.6% Challenging
Tue 4:34 5:26 0.84 16.6% Easy
Wed 15:58 6:39 2.40 100.0% Very, Very (almost impossibly) Challenging
Thu 10:33 9:42 1.09 65.4% Medium-Challenging

There's some stuff in here that's out of my wheelhouse, but I enjoyed this solve. Plus, it's a 16 x 15 grid, so that adds a little extra time. I like spoonerisms, so I liked the theme, particularly additional SPOON theme element, though I'm more likely to use a knife than a SPOON for my Grey Poupon.

My biggest WTF moment came with THEWEEKND (11D). I have a very vague recollection of seeing that name before, but it obviously didn't stick with me very well. I had aquino before MARCOS (5A) at first and since that section didn't come easily, that error created some problems. SRSLY (10D), seriously? I also had 'AYE aye' before AYE SIR, but that was easily remedied by crosses. RIG (50A) was a tough little misdirect. Ditto for MAYS (5D). I had to knock the cobwebs off of DISCMAN (44D) when I pulled it out of the attic.

Two thumbs up from me.

Jenskis70 5:06 PM  

No pre rise necessary in modern machines.

puzzlehoarder 5:22 PM  

DADJOKE was an entry in a Friday puzzle just this February. Prior to that there's been no reference to it in the NYT puzzle including the pre-Shortz era. It's understandable that so many people found the 43A clue difficult. The words "joke" and "dad" have never been used as clues for each other prior to today. That seems odd as people seemed to be more familiar with the term "dad joke" than I am.

The clue for DADJOKE was something along the lines of "Corny pun." In that sense today's puzzle along with most themed puzzles could be considered DADJOKEs.

Mohair Sam 6:13 PM  

@Jenskis70 (5:06) - I'm guessing you're in marketing at Norge? Throw in a kid's half eaten plate and prepare to call the plumber. I had a "modern" machine until we moved a few months back.

Ralph Phillips 7:55 PM  

Me too!!

David Alfred Bywaters 8:04 PM  

If you enjoy food-based-Spoonerism-themed crossword puzzles (and who doesn’t?), you will not want to miss my website puzzle from last February:

Monty Boy 8:19 PM  

Question I've not seen (above). How is a Hot gossip (1A) a dish? I know one slang term for a pretty woman is "dish" and so is "hot." Is the gossip about a woman? Or is a woman the gossiper? I had DIRT for an answer and that seems to fit the clue better, at least to me until the downs didn't work. "I have some great dirt on [insert a celebrity]". Maybe I'm overthinking it just to justify my "better" answer.

Anonymous 8:20 PM  

@Wm.C. - I'm 89.6% certain that the SPOONER in question was a cleric (as opposed to a LAIC), not a professor. I'm too tired too Google but willing to remain blissfully ignorant if I'm wrong. Hence the classic example: May I sew you to a sheet in the shack of the birch?

Thanks, @Matt, I also balked at seasons being proper nouns.

@jberg - Enjoyed the SPOONsplaining.

Larry Gilstrap 8:43 PM  

Nice puzzle with fun fill. The themers were wacky enough, and I totally spaced on the SPOON connection. The puzzle was smarter than I was, apparently.

Washington Irving was America's first great writer and his prose is masterful. If you remember him as only a children's writer, you haven't read the real stuff. ICHABOD is set up for harassment by a local gang of immigrant punks, in a delightful way.

I taught The Highway Man" for many years, and the kids loved when we goofed on the sappy Romanticism. On the subject of bad boys, Tim the 'OSTLER rats out our hero. Motif: jealousy "his face burned like a brand."

If your driving from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula, you will drive entirely around Turnagain ARM, and like most things in Alaska, it is a large body of water. It's not very deep, so the tidal bores roll for miles.

Christophe 9:42 PM  

Spoonerisms. Yuck, stick them up your ...

Mohair Sam 9:54 PM  

@Monty Boy - I prefer your answer too. But I think the puzzle's answer comes from the vernacular "DISH the dirt", as in Sinatra's song "The Lady is a Tramp" - " . . . . .Won't DISH the dirt with the rest of the girls, that's why the lady is a tramp."

@Anon (8:20) - The other 10.4% is my vote for Karl SPOONER, fireballing Dodger lefty who threw shutouts in his first two Major League appearences in 1955 (striking out 27) and went down with arm trouble the next year.

Larry Gilstrap 10:14 PM  

You're typo. Aargh!

Adam Frank 11:08 PM  

I also thought today's puzzle was difficult - but far less difficult than yesterday's puzzle. I certainly enjoyed it more, although I thought the themers were weak, particularly WHINNY MEET (who calls a horse a "whinny"?) Meh.

Blue Stater 6:08 PM  

@michiganman: Sorry for the belated reply. I'm pretty sure that the Concord campus of UNH has only the law school (unsurprisingly, since Concord is the state capital, which also boasts the third-largest legislative body in the English-speaking world [after the UK Parliament and US Congress], the New Hampshire Legislature). If I'm right, then I think that clue-answer pair is a stretch, but YMMV.

rondo 9:11 AM  

Uh, @Rex, even I know the reference is to *Ferdinand* MARCOS; Imelda was only there for the shoes. SPOONERISMS? SRSLY? Well, if you’re in the mood for Rindercella as recited by Archie Campbell on Hee Haw. Now that’s highbrow.

STIRITUP coulda been clued as a Bob Marley tune. No longer popular to clue GARRISON as ___ Keillor.

Let’s mash up a yeah baby with Sophia LOREN Muse Smith.

They should REROL the dice on this one; there’s no ALIBI.

Burma Shave 10:01 AM  


DISH ‘em out and STIRITUP!


spacecraft 10:40 AM  

One-square DNF. I of course have no idea who any singer is after, say, Sheryl Crow, so guessed bAD jokes. As to THEWEEKN_, that entry was never going to make any sense to me whatsoever. So, there are DAD jokes? If you say so. Maybe there are Mom and Kid jokes too. Whatever. This was just the fatal symptom of a ridiculously hard puzzle that maybe, just maybe could appear on a Saturday. This week (hopefully not including the *ND) has really been scaled up, difficulty-wise. I fear the next two days, I can tell you.

OFL has already listed the brutality of the clues. One, I suspect, must be a misprint in my paper. The clue for STAKE (45 across) read "et." No cap, and since all clues traditionally begin with caps, I was sure it was supposed to read "Bet." But appearing when it did, it just added to the whole "SRSLY?" experience.

DOD is ERIN Moran--as she appeared in "Happy[er] Days." Tragic. No score for a DNF.

@rondo: I particularly remember the "sisty uglers," the "gairy fodmother" and the "sass glipper." Fun stuff. Or stun fuff. The nd.

rondo 11:49 AM  

BTW they forgot one:
NYTXword advertiser’s beer starters = SHILLWORTS

thefogman 12:01 PM  

Rare is the game of dice where you would be allowed a mulligan or REROLL - especially if there's big money on the table.

How to REROLL your duct tape.

thefogman 12:54 PM  

There's a bonus spoonerism by the constructors on Jeff Chen's site. I haven't figured it out yet. Here it is...

Constructor notes: Thanks to the NYT team, not least for their incredible clue at 62-Down. Also, see if you can figure out this theme answer that was left on the something room floor: [Breaking pitch thrown by an oddsmaker?] (6,6)

leftcoastTAM 3:24 PM  

Got that we were dealing with SPOONERISMS, and got them, but had some difficulty in getting there. WHINNYMEETS was last to go. Looked for a possessive " 's " in the JERRYCELLO answer.

Thought MAYS "springs" should've had a capital "S". Needed all the crosses for SRSLY; not very fluent in, or fond of, textspeak

What spoiled the fun was THEWEEKND and DAD clinging to its bottom. Never heard of the singer with the very odd and unlikely name, so it became a guessing game. Ended the name with an "s" because sAD "jokes" seemed more likely than DAD jokes. (Let's leave dad alone for a while, can't we?)

Looking forward to a fun weekend.

rainforest 3:40 PM  

Once in a while, being Canadian is an advantage. Thus, THE WEEKND and DAWSON were gimmes for me. In addition, my children, when they were kids, and who are also Canadians, always made fun of my incredibly clever DAD jokes, usually puns.

SPOONERISMS can be a rich source for wacky crossword clues, and these were pretty good, SRSLY. Got the idea at JERRY CELLO, then was able to parse WHINNYMEETS. I used to eat Mini Wheats until I checked the sugar content. It was a bonus to tie SPOON into the themers via the revealer. Yes, I do use a small spoon to get the Dijon out of the jar. I happen to prefer PC Chardonnay Dijon to GP, though.

Very enjoyable puzzle with some outstanding clues and little to no dreck.

Diana,LIW 5:39 PM  

For me? Absolutely enjoyable from beginning to end. Got the theme quite early, but didn't need it to get the answers. Just made it more fun.

I think DAD jokes are in cahoots with "dad jeans," etc.

Agree with @Spacey that I was looking for the possessive "s" in the cherry jello cello of Jerry's. At least we don't have a gay proupon. Right?

Had "dirt" before DISH for a while, but ACTI cleared that up.

I'm thinking about that bonus spoon - hmmmmm - you know I'm not a sports nut. Maybe if I take a walk...

Diana, LIW

thefogman 5:40 PM  


My all-time favourite spoonerism is the classic by Dorothy Parker (and often attributed to Tom Waits): “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”

Spooning out the Grey Poupon... SRSLY. Is that considered a foodie faux pas like eating pizza with a knife and fork, or putting ketchup on a hotdog? If so, I too plead guilty to the crime.

Mean as custard - Keen as mustard. <- This one goes out to OFL

spacecraft 7:47 PM  

Heard in a long-defunct series whose title I can't recall: "Champagne to our real friends--and real pain to our sham friends."

P.S. Somebody wake up the syndilinker--again! We've been stuck on Monday for three days now.

Diana,LIW 10:03 PM  

@Spacey - since @Rex "just started" timing himself recently, perhaps he forgot to move the Syndie puzzle forward.

Lady Di

Janet Bakos 3:46 PM  

Put the word "to" in front oh the clue. As in to doctor, or to engineer something is to "rig" it. Clever I guess, but a little weak.

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