Vague threat from Stooge / SAT 5-5-18 / Mr once played by Leslie Nielsen / Made bubbles as ocean wave / Food described in Exodus / 2013 Best Picture nominee with major unseen female character / Geographical hexagon / Unstable subatomic particle

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Constructor: Damon Gulczynski

Relative difficulty: Easy, maybe creeping toward Easy-Medium (6:17)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ABDUL Aziz bin Fahd, Saudi prince (7D) —
Abdul Aziz bin Fahd (Arabicعبدالعزيز بن فهد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود‎) is a Saudi Arabian Prince and member of the Royal House of Saud. [I read his whole wikipedia bio and don't really get why he's puzzle-famous except for his family and wealth—there are lots and lots of puzzleworthier ABDULs out there...]
• • •

Woo-hoo! High word-count themeless once again! Keep 'em coming! Despite a few weakish moments (ADOZE!? SPUMED!?), this one popped and crackled and largely won me over. The hardest stuff for me ended up being the math / coding / digital lingo (no surprise), but even those I got pretty easily; after a very rough start in the NW and N, I tore through the grid with very little resistance. Started by slogging through the top of the grid with very little to show for it. SNUG UGANDA POGO, fine, but not much else. Actually *wanted* SPUMED (1D: Made bubbles, as an ocean wave) but couldn't convince myself it was a word. Ended up having to jump out of that corner and over to the northern section, where I promptly plopped down UDON at 15A: Japanese bowlful (SOBA). How sad that the answer that finally began to turn the tide for me, the one that allowed me to get some certainty underneath my feet, was was the Leslie Nielsen movie Mr. MAGOO (8D: Mr. once played by Leslie Nielsen). Put him next to ENO, and you get MUON DOOMS ADAM etc. Moved over to NE where I still wasn't quite out of the woods: threw down END TIMES easily but had LIP (?) for HIP at 9D: Axilla : armpit :: coxa : ___, and had zero idea what 9A: Minds could be (HEEDS). Had to fill in the east and then work back up to get DIGERATI (12D: Tech-savvy group) and finally HEEDS. After that, once I corrected OH, MAN to AW, MAN (30A: "Geez, that just ain't right!"), the jets came on and Zoom: I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR, to this puzzle! If you could see my marked up grid (I print it out and write all over it), you would see that the top half is awash (not AGAPE or ADOZE, but awash) in trouble-spot annotations, but the southern hemisphere is almost totally clean.

[Wonka actually says "Good day, sir! ... I said good day!" But the bastardized version of the expression in the grid certainly has currency]

So there was struggle up front, but then END TIMES went down with just one letter in place, and then WHY I OUGHTA went all the way down with just WH- in place and then I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR went clear across the grid with just -SIR in place (37A: "Take a hike, bub!"). Slow start offset by incredible luck with the longer answers. Should've been similarly fast with HIGH-FALUTIN' (a word I enjoy), but I couldn't get the last letter in T-PPED (46D: Gave a little extra). I was like, "TOPPED? That ... doesn't seem right." Then I ran the vowels and hit "I" and thought "Oh. Sure, OK." Then zing, HIGH-FALUTIN', and a bit later, zong, GET UP AND GO. Top half felt like regular Saturday, bottom half felt like record-breaking Saturday. More like a Wednesday. I'm grateful for POE Dameron (59D: ___ Dameron, fighter pilot for the Resistance in "Star Wars" films) because without him, I would surely have clung to MANNA at 62A: Food described in Exodus (MATZO) much longer than I did. May the Fourth be with me! (I know it's the fifth, but I solved this on the fourth, so the stupid pun stands!)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Trombone Tom 12:16 AM  

Similar experience to that of OFL, including MAnna --> MATZO, but AMARETTO cleared that up in no time.

14A just had to be from Walt Kelly, who also gave us "We have met the enemy and he is us."

AGAPE and ADOZE is a bit too much.

Great clue for DEAFEN.

On the easy side for a Saturday but enough crunch to be thoroughly enjoyable.

Harryp 12:36 AM  

This seemed surprisingly easy for a Saturday. Pogo also said "We have met the enemy and he is us." Seems somehow appropriate for the current era. I liked the clue for 24Across, and the answer for 49Across. Thanks Damon Gulczynski.

Theodore Stamos 12:44 AM  

I had HALVSIES with a V instead of an F. For some reason, I couldn't parse the word DEAFEN for that cross and just assumed DEAVEN was some arcane verb I'd never heard of. Oh well, other than that, pretty easy for a Saturday, I thought.

Crabby Pants 1:13 AM  

Fabulous long answers everywhere, but I’m AGAPE that ADOZE, DAYO, DAYA, SPUMED, and MONAD together didn’t doom this one. Surely if I had sent it in it would have been found to have too many rough spots. Bah.

jae 1:20 AM  

Medium for me. I had many of the same issues in the N and NW that @Rex did.

Excellent puzzle, liked it a bunch!

Randall Clark 1:20 AM  

Just returned from visiting Chicago, so I got DEEPDISH from the I in TOMEI. (Every time I think of Marissa Tomei, I think of her in Seinfeld when she was attracted to George, and I hear George screaming her name at Jerry in my mind's ear.) Last letter to go in was the M in SPUMED/MONAD. Wasn't familiar with either word. First tried SPUgED/gONAD. OK, I know spuged didn't look right, but gonad was the only _onad word I knew. Got the almost there message, and M was my next try to finish in under 30, which is a respectable Saturday for me. Trying to go with my first instincts instead of doubting myself when I don't have immediately confirming crosses, which paid off today with MUON,INNIE,AGAPE, and TIER. Pixel-over: initially had DAnA for DARA.

Anonymous 2:18 AM  

DIGERATI is not a thing any actual person in the tech industry says. Also, SOREHEAD? There were some terrible crosses here too. SPARKY/KOA, ENOS/STE. It's days like this that I just want to publish a version of the puzzle with this sort of trash already filled in for people who don't want to spend precious neurons remembering some guy who played baseball over seventy years ago.

chefwen 2:20 AM  

I got off to a horrible start with this one. Cozy at 1A, tan for 5D, TDS before YDS, stud before ITCH at 37D. Man, I was all over the place.
Handed it over to Puzz partner after I corrected my errors and he proceeded to do the heavy lifting with the long ones and we finished. No way was “easy” going to fit into my equation. Had a lot more fun with yesterday’s puzzle.

Robin 2:24 AM  

A nice enough puzzle, but for a Saturday? My NYTimes web stats are a mess, but when I compete a Saturday in under 10 minutes (last week was 30+), then it classifies was "easy-easy".

1-A was not immediately obvious (hmmm, COZY or SNUG?), but 3D has to be UGANDA. (If that was hard for you to figure out, then you're under 45 or your just have no idea what happened in the 1970s.) Worked out from there.

Perhaps I'd comment more, but with comment approval required, who knows whether what I say will be read in the next 12 hours.

Kefra 2:27 AM  

I thought this puzzle was a HODGEPODGE of fun and fresh entries mixed in with a couple of clunkers (I'm looking at you, SPUMED crossing MONAD). As an ethnic Japanese I was delighted to see my ancestors' country represented by SOBA and WASABI.

Difficulty-wise, I'd give this a solid Easy-Medium. INNIE and IRE were enough to fill in the northwest, and I slowly but surely worked clockwise. Had everything filled in around the 18-minute mark but hunted for a wrong letter for about a minute and a half. I had L for D in DIGERATI because my original guess had been LITERATI, and HEELS in the cross looked fine to me -- d'oh. Luckily, this happened to be my only error, as I was having serious doubts about the M in SPUMED/MONAD and the R in DARA/ROOSTS (see below).

One last thing -- the clue for ROOSTS is too clever for me. Anyone care to explain?

'mericans on Kaua'i 3:26 AM  

We completed today's faster than yesterday's. Liked it. Clean, themeless, and with a low PPP count.

Laughed at Moe of the The Three Stooges' classic line: "WHY I OUGHTA ... ." My mother was clearly conflicted when I was a tyke, railing at how inane The Three Stooges' were, but appreciative of the fact that their show would keep her three sons occupied in front of our small B&W television. HER half hour of peace won out, and we got to watch CRASS Larry, Curly, and Moe. HIP, HIP, hooray!

Was confused by the cluing for 17A, however. France calls itself "the hexagon", and indeed it conforms roughly to that shape. But UTAH? That's a rectangle with a notch taken out of its NE corner.

Charles Flaster 4:31 AM  

Very EZ for a Saturday. Like Rex, southern half was a piece of cake ( MATZO).
Writeovers : SPUMED for flUMED; HIGH FALUTIN for HIGH FAshioN; DIGERATI for litERATI.
Loved the creative clueing for ENDLESS LOOP and PARABOLA.
I did have trouble wrapping my head around UTAH , but how could a puzzle with SPARKY and ENOS be bad?
So we have baseball and mathematics—does it get any better?
Thanks DG.

Anonymous 5:58 AM  

Why is ENDLESS LOOP a code violation? How is ROOSTS night sticks exactly - sticks a bird rests on at night? So a normal bed would be a “night bed”?

Lewis 6:14 AM  

Two joy-laden puzzles in a row! This one was wonderfully low on junk, wonderfully high on lovely answers (I SAID GOOD DAY SIR, GO HALFSIES, GET UP AND GO, HIGH FALUTIN, END TIMES, HODGE PODGE, WHY I OUGHTA, SPUMED).

Names, often a weak point for me, got me in: SPARKY, POGO, ENOS, IDA, RHETT, TOMEI, HEF. I had a thunderous aha getting PARABOLA from "One with a focus in mathematics", with just the second and third letter in. "Stew" was a deliciously brutal clue for HODGEPODGE, and there were a couple of nice crosses in HIGHFALUTIN/SNEERS and ISAIDGOODDAYSIR/SOREHEAD. As a bonus, there was a mini-theme of double O's (5).

My final square was the fourth letter of DIG_RATI, where I toggled between E (which ST_ favored) and I (which evoked "digit"). It ended well.

One SPARKY puzzle, sir Damon, and I say it portends a good day, sir!

Anonymous 6:48 AM  

Either I am getting better at solving puzzles, or the puzzles are getting easier. I suspect both to be
true. (This applies to today’s and yesterday’s puzzle.) But. It is tough to give an overwhelmingly positive
review when I am able to complete without a meaningful struggle. It’s like giving an opponent in tennis a
high approval even though I win 6-2, 6-2. Not going to do it; expect a better game.


three of clubs 6:59 AM  


matza About 923,000 results (0.40 seconds)
matzah About 2,380,000 results (0.42 seconds)
matzo About 2,010,000 results (0.50 seconds)
matzoh About 684,000 results (0.37 seconds)

oy vey About 1,020,000 results (0.43 seconds)

Anonymous 6:59 AM  

I also immediately thought of France when I saw geographical hexagon. This puzzle had a lot of scintillating answers and was good fun.

RJ 7:03 AM  

A lot of fun in this puzzle, although a DNF for me because I started checking my answers when I couldn't finish. My two problems were SPUMED (I had "foamed") and ASH (I had tan). I even erased SOBA to add "tan" because I don't think of ASH as a stand alone word for a color.

Once I changed my answers to SPUMED and TAN, everything else fell into place. Its funny how one or two correct letters can spawn multiple correct answers.

I thought the clues for PARABOLA, ROOSTS, and DEAFEN were very clever.

Hungry Mother 7:06 AM  

I thought I woke up a genius, and then realized it was an easy puzzle. Anyhoo, me and the constructor were on the same wavelengh.

mathgent 7:13 AM  

Another enjoyable work by Damon G. Good crunch, good sparkle. But it did have its annoyances: "Leader of a LONG race" for ADAM, "Take a hike, Bub!" for ISAIDGOODDAYSIR, "Sentences" for DOOMS.

Someone commented that DIGERATI isn't commonly used. It deserves to be.

LHS 888 7:30 AM  

Yet another technical DNF here. I was stumped at DA_A/_OOSTS and tried a b... no joy. I had to run the alphabet until the R gave me the congratulatory message. I then stared at “Night sticks” and ROOSTS until it finally sank in how that worked. Doh!

Again, many write-overs for me:
cozy > SNUG
dutchtreat > GOHALFSIES
rice > SOBA

I know many of you thought yesterday was easy, but I found today’s puzzle was easier (1 hour easier!j because I fell into fewer traps, and those I did fall into weren’t as deep. Once again I really enjoyed the solve. Such fun words: HIGHFALUTIN’, AWMAN, WHYIOUGHTA, ISAIDGOODDAYSIR, ENDLESSLOOP, PARABOLA, DEEPDISH, HODGEPODGE, GETUPANDGO, and so much more!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, Children’s Day (Japan & South Korea)!

Glimmerglass 7:50 AM  

@club3: I didn’t remember POE and misspelled (or not) MATSa, so,DNF. Congrats to all you geniuses (including @Rex) who found this easy. I started with three wrong entries across the top, cozy, mara- (get it? “Leader of a long race”), and tEnds (confirmed by ENOS). With that start I was skunked up there! I finally got some traction with SPARKY, which gave me ROW, KOA, and YDS, and the bottom went much better, though there was a rough patch or two (cf MATSa). I finally worked bottom-up and fixed my horrendous start. This turned out t be a “medium” Saturday for me, which is to say “plenty hard.”

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

Just not a grammar wavelength.

Mary Ambridge 8:05 AM  

HIGHFALUTIN has neither a hyphen nor an apostrophe.

dls 8:14 AM  

This was my all-time fastest Saturday, at 7:26 -- knew all the math and all the trivia.

Mohair Sam 8:22 AM  

I guess this puppy hit our wheelhouse because we thought it would make a dandy Wednesday. Started with POGO (didn't know the quote - but who else?) then SPUMED and UGANDA and UTAH and we hardly slowed. Write-overs only at the "O" in AMERETTO and the "U" in MUON - thank you Lady M.

That said, I'll agree with Rex that this is the second consecutive day of really clean themeless puzzles. Surprised that Rex liked it so much in that it skewed old - ENOS, HIGHFALUTIN, POGO, SPARKY, DAYO, the Stooges - and terms like GET UP AND GO, and GO HALFSIES feel very '50s.

Always enjoy a David Gulczyski puzzle. Junk free and well-crafted.

r.alphbunker 8:27 AM  

One way to tell how easy a puzzle was is to look at what letters were needed before you saw the whole answer. For today's puzzle it looked approximately like this. I say approximately because sometimes you mentally have a crossing answer in mind but have not written it in the grid.
{37A "Take a hike, bub!"} ISAIDGOOD______
{24A Code violation requiring an emergency exit?} ENDLESS_O__
{49A Fancy-pants} H____A_UT_N
{58A Vim} _ETU_A____
{4D Split the bill, informally} GO_A______
{18A Stew} H_DG______
{31D Vague threat from a Stooge} _HYI____TA
{39D Tiramisu flavorer} AMA_____
{21D Chicago-style, in a way} D_EP____
{12D Tech-savvy group} __G_RATI
{11D Revelation subject} __D_IMES
{26D One with a focus in mathematics} P_RAB__A
{38D Poor sport} SOREH___
{29A Pierce the ears of} D_AF__
{2D Zero} NOTO__
{44A Night sticks?} _OOS_S
{47D Doesn't look good?} ___ERS
{32A Anderson who managed Cincinnati's Big Red Machine} S_____
{1D Made bubbles, as an ocean wave} _P____
{45D Be a homebody} _____N
{46D Gave a little extra} _IPPED
{3D Setting for "The Last King of Scotland"} ______
{42A Sinus-clearing condiment} WAS___
{8D Mr. once played by Leslie Nielsen} _____
{36A Butler of fiction} _____
{67A Additional stipulations} ____
{27A Choler} ___

More details are here

Z 8:38 AM  

INNIE was my first word in, but from there it flew by. DAnA to DARA because nOOSTS does not look like a thing. MAnna to MATZO, and terMS to DOOMS were my only other writeovers and none of them wasted many precious nanoseconds at all.

The ENOS clue got an early arched eyebrow from me. Seems like on a Saturday we would just see “Slaughter,” sans the extra info that tells us it is the crosswordese baseball player and not something like “kill.”

@‘mericans - Nope, you were fooled by the wheelhouse fallacy. 24 of 72 for a PPP of 33%. It was a puzzle like this that first got me counting the pop culture, product names, and proper nouns. That 33% does not include the math/tech answers so this actually skews even higher if one is not much into math and tech. I am confident we’ll see quite a few people who will not have found this “easy.”

@anon2:18 - You are correct. It is a term used about them, not by them. And, yes, it is used almost exclusively derisively. I saw a “guillotine Bezos” meme on Twitter yesterday, so calling him part of the DIGERATI seems tame in comparison (Amazon allegedly is withholding 7,000 jobs to avoid paying a tax that would help the homeless, hence the “let them eat cake” French Revolution allusion).

ENDLESS LOOP is a reference to computer code that causes the program to get into a loop making the user force the program to quit, the emergency escape, in order to continue.
A ROOST is the stick a bird sit on at night.
Apologies if these have been answered 20 times now.

QuasiMojo 8:38 AM  

This was the first Saturday in a long while where I thought I was going to have to cave and google something (Dara Torres, for instance) but purely though perseverance I managed to crawl my way through it. Itch by Itch. And ended up in an average time. Great job Mr. G.

I never knew UTAH is a hexagon. My first thought was CHAD. But that doesn't even look like any geometric pattern I've seen. And I had no idea about STEW. Supermarket in Westchester? Bouillabaisse? Then "hullaballoo" hit me but I couldn't figure out how to spell it. Finally HODGEPODGE fell into place.

Loved "GET UP AND GO." I could use some VIM (and some VIGOR) today.

I never heard the expression "I said good day, sir." I kept trying to fit "go jump in a lake" (no "the") but eventually I saw the light of DAY.

ENOS came out of my crossword bank, as END TIMES came out of my erstwhile Sunday school lessons.

I saw an electrician's van the other day called Mr. SPARKY.

Wasn't Hitler a MONAD?

Evil Doug 8:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 8:48 AM  

Spumed brings back the memorable ending to "Y tu mamá también"
La vida es como la espuma, por eso hay que darse como el mar.

Teedmn 8:50 AM  

Another Damon Gulczynski Saturday smash. Much easier than his usual offerings but clean and SPARKY. Nice cluing and only ENOS and DARA for head-scratching PPP for me. I must admit that I am out of the LOOP on Stooge sayings - I had "WHY I should" for a little while - that just sounds awkward coming out of Moe's (or Joe's, I can never keep them straight) mouth.

I like how Damon went all HIGH FALUTIN' with his I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR.

This puzzle had some GET UP AND GO - nice.

Two Ponies 9:04 AM  

I'm going to have to skip tomorrow's puzzle because after two days of excellent solving there is no chance that it will live up to the fun of today and yesterday.
Most of the good stuff has been noted but I will add the clever clue for deafen. That Poe guy is news to me but I guess on a Saturday anything Edgar Allan would be too easy.
Friday had open wide as an answer and today we have wide open as an answer.

Pogo is full of such wonderful quotes. All you youngsters should give it a try. Today's quote reminds me of the sarcastic quip

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

mmorgan 9:14 AM  

Stare at puzzle. Nothing. Scratch head. Fill in a bunch of words fast! Stare at puzzle. Nothing. Scratch head. Fill in a bunch of words fast! Repeat until done.

Lovely, fun puzzle with many great answers! Loved WHY I OUGHTA having spent most of my childhood watching The Stooges.

Got SPUMED because I know that espuma is Spanish (castellano) for foam. Long story.

Had miso for SOBA, NOT any for NOT ONE and various other writeovers but nothing serious. Not sure if I SAID GOOD DAY SIR quite fits the tone of "Take a hike, hub!" but I can live with it.

Great puzzle!!!

michiganman 9:18 AM  

Yesterday, REPENT. Today, ENDTIMES. I really want RAPTURE to be in the Sunday puzzle.

Pete 9:34 AM  

I couldn't SPARKY Anderson because, while I knew of SPARKY Anderson, my go to SPARKY is SPARKY Lyle and I forgot that SPARKY Anderson didn't always coach the Tigers so it had to be SPARKY Lyle so who the hell was the Anderson that coached the Reds?

I believe HIGHFALUTUN / TUPPED is a valid crossing for 49A/ 56D. I reject the notion that there's a definitive spelling of Falut[i]un', and sometimes "gave a little extra" involved tupping.

DBlock 10:02 AM  

A breeze
Think way too easy
NE blank forever
Wanted ass instead of hip for Coxa
Tan instead of ash
San instead of ste
Still don’t want digerati
But gave in eventually

Amie Devero 10:07 AM  

I had some real issues with some of this cluing. I make award winning tiramisu and have read at least 100 recipes other than mine. There is no amaretto, or even almond, in it. Consequently, I had espresso at 39D, and got amaretto (grudgingly) only through crosses.
Also, had high fashion at 49A, after mentally discarding high fallutin for letter number and the fact that the other theme answers had been standard English (albeit idiomatic), not slang/dialect.
And I had the same reluctance about spumed, since I didn't know Pogo-- so DNF with only the P left blank. Grrr.

Bob Mills 10:13 AM  

I had SPUTED for 1-Down and TONAD for 20-Across. Otherwise 100%. Not sure why ROOSTS works for "Night sticks?" Good puzzle, typically tough on Saturday.

GHarris 10:13 AM  

My wild celebration at having quickly finished a Saturday puzzle without a single cheat came crashing cruelly down when Rex mentioned Poe. Never heard of that bleepin guy and had Pae because I eat matza or matzoh or matzos. Still proud of my performance but my medal is tarnished.

GILL I. 10:26 AM  

AW MAN,I was hoping for a Cinco de Mayo now that I'm all smart on the tildes. But we get one sweet DG puzzle. I love his cluing and all the saying like HIGH FALUTIN. Sweet!
Nothing really gave me any angst. I was easy (for me) for a Saturday. I didn't fly through it but I managed to stick it out sans Google.
I just made some Tiramisu the other day. I just usually make it with brandy or cognac if I have any or substitute AMARETTO for almond extract. Coffee is really the main flavor me thinks.
How in the world do statisticians come up with the percentage of people who have an INNIE or an outie? Do the OBS count them at birth?
My two pus are Stooges. Curly and Moe.

Nancy 10:29 AM  

SPEWED before SPUMED (1D). CRUDE before CRASS (43A). SAN before STE (23A). These slowed me down, especially the first one, in what was for me a tough puzzle. I enjoyed it a lot, but AW MAN do I have complaints.

The place of honor is reserved for the worst clue/answer in the puzzle. How should I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR be clued? Surely, surely, surely not as "Take a hike, bub!" You might clue I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR as:

"But I didn't snub you, Your Majesty."
"Can I interest the distinguished gentleman in a hearing aid, perhaps?"
"Yes, I am an Aussie, but I honed my English at Oxford, General."

If nothing else were wrong with this clue, how can "bub" ever be a stand-in for SIR?

ADOZE is awful. Is it a new crosswordese coinage? Just what we need -- more crosswordese.

And what in heaven's name is KOA (34D).

Still, with all its flaws, the puzzle held my attention and I enjoyed it.

Carola 10:29 AM  

I thought this was an all-around treat, one wonderful entry after another and some engagingly tricky clues. And I didn't find it easy at all, so I got my Saturday "challenging" fix. I was fine with SPUMED x MONAD, but thought the sentences were "terms" and that the Mr. spelled his name McGOO. Crossword pals ENO x MUON eventually helped me out of that trainwreck. Also had to change GO HALves on, NOT any, and DAnA.
I liked the humor of ADOZE v. AGAPE; ENOS and the ENDLESS ENO.

TubaDon 10:31 AM  

Three wrong initial guesses (GOODBYESIR, PION, MANNA) took this one out of the easy category for me. I cringed at llittle at ENDTIMES, but thought GETUPANDGO, HIGHFALUTIN and HODGEPODGE were nice colloquial answers. And I confess to once creating an ENDLESSLOOP in machine code that once took down a U. of Illinois Cray computer. Thank goodness it was at two a.m. and I got it back on line in less than five minutes.

Clueless 10:39 AM  

@Z 8:38

Thank You!

Digerati, which I got, should have then understood Endless Loop. Although, it's been many decades since I last wrote any computer program.

Lastly, even though being a Sansei, blanked on Japanese bowlful. Cd only think of rice 🍚 & other rice bowl dishes, all too long to fit.

Birchbark 10:46 AM  

Only thing missing today was AMENHOTEP. Not one puzzle this year has included it.

Things are not always as they appear. The 17th c. philosopher Gottfried Leibniz felt that everything we imperfectly perceive has a corresponding MONAD, its true essence independent of space and time. He felt that the identity of MONADs includes their relationship to all other MONADS. So if we fully understood the MONAD of a single tree limb, for example, we would understand everything there is to know about everything.

I've spent considerable time this morning looking at a box elder limb that the woodpeckers visit, but so far have little progress to report. It's pretty cool though.

Roo Monster 10:49 AM  

Hey All !
NE got me my DNF today. Had HEaDS for Minds (as in 'minds the store', heads it?). Which messed up ENDTIMES, had aNDroMEs, whatever the hell they are. DIGERATI a new one on me, and sounds like a made-up word. Plus, the crazily clued IRE, uh, crazy. So after the Check Puzzle check, fixed everything except that R in IRE that had to be alphabet ran.

Rest of puz nice. Not too much of a hold-up elsewhere, although that SPUMED/MONAD cross was iffy. SORE HEAD also seems made-up. Nobody has called a Poor sport a SOREHEAD. It's SORE loser. And ADOZE. Can we now just add an A to the beginning of a word to make it something we're doing right now? I'm apuzzling the NYTCW. Next I'm gonna acook a meal. Har.


LHS 888 10:56 AM  

Each time I see MONAD in today’s blog I am reminded of a mnemonic my mother learned from her high school history teacher...

“Wash-Ad-Jeff-Mad-MON-AD-Jack; Van-Harr-Ty-Po-Tay-Fil; Pierce-Bu-Con-John-Grant-Hay; Gar-Ar-Cleve-Harr-Cleve-Mac; Roo-Taft-Will-Hard; Coo-Hoo-Roo-Tru”

That’s as far as it went at the time, but it has served me well to remember the early US President names. Now we can add...

Ei-Ken-John-Nix-Ford-Car; Reag-Bush-Clin-Bush-O-Trump.

LHS 888 11:14 AM  

Oh, yeah... if yesterday was Star Wars Day, is today Drunks’ Day?
May the fifth be with you!

Stanley Hudson 11:19 AM  

From Wikipedia: “Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is the world's largest system of privately held campgrounds with almost 500 locations across US and Canada. It was founded in 1962 and is based in Billings, Montana, USA. The current President/CEO of KOA is Pat Hittmeier.”

Leibniz was a Platonist. Pogo? A pragmatist it seems to me.

Nancy 11:22 AM  

Thanks, all, for letting me know that ENDLESS LOOP is a glitch in computer code and not a maze or haunted house from which it's impossible to escape. I was worried for a while that I might inadvertently get caught in one and have to STAY IN there forever.

@Glimmerglass and others: I also thought "cozy" and "mara" for 1A and 5A, but unlike you I never wrote them in. There were no crosses for either answer that worked and I always want at least one cross -- especially for late week puzzles.

We really do have a Resident Philosopher on the blog. Everything I read by @Birchbark makes me think he's by far the deepest thinker in Rexworld -- even though I often have no idea what he's talking about. Anyway, I Googled Leibniz/MONAD just now, and, FWIW, I didn't understand Leibniz either :)

High Flutin' 11:36 AM  

Rex really should have used HIGHFALUTIN' as the word of the day. I've read about 5 different theories on the etymology of that word and there is no consensus for where it came from or how it's spelled. That apostrophe could be a replacement for the dangling G (many theories hold that the word, no matter the exact etymology, comes from the south).

I'd recommend checking it out. So many theories presented with confidence that their's is the true origin. Who knows, maybe they're all true.

The two prominent ones, best I can tell, is that it either comes from Steamboat days when the rich people would have cabins on the top of the boats and the smokestacks had "flutes" on top to keep from smoking the rich people out. Those people were "High Fluting." The other has to two with a pretentious way someone would play an actual flute...they would hold it high and pompously play their flutes like it mattered.

There's also a French origin, a Latin origin, and a few others...but they all agree (kinda) that the G has been dropped. Also, the Chaucer reference is a translation, so Chaucer never used it. It's probably mid-19th C American English.

Masked and Anonymous 11:36 AM  

Pretty cool puz, for a themeless.
Random highlights:

* HIGHFALUTIN, WHYIOUGHTA. Surprised Otto Correct let these pups through. Luv it, when the puz talks my lingo, tho.
* ISAIDGOODDAYSIR. Also luv it, when the puz talks like nobody I've ever known. Diverse.
* ROOSTS clue. I see that this nasty lil biter has already had to be explained.
* ADOZE. Nice touch of desperation. Needed, since most of this grid fill was inhumanly clean.
* Central weeject stack. staff weeject pick = OBS, btw. Sooo … OBstetricianS, I presume? OBSolete abbr.
* ENTR clue. Nasty sadistic. U need to know ENTR ACTE, just to get into the ballgame. Primo.
* AWMAN. Wanted OHMAN for AWhile.
* 6 U's. Themeless, but with respect. themelessthUmbsUp.
* Word of mystery: DIGERATI. One of them derned random -ERATI words. Lost valuable nanoseconds. Word that makes M&A shiver: PEWITERATI.

Thanx for the fun, D.G.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Foghorn Leghorn 11:51 AM  

The Roost answer keeps being questioned so here it is

Some birds, particularly chickens, roost (sleep) on a stick or dowel rod put in the hen house just for that purpose. Both the act of sleeping and the stick they sleep on can be called Roost.

jberg 11:54 AM  

I loved this because of all the neat answers -- HIGHFALUTIN, HODGEPODGE, GET UP AND GO, GO HALFSIES, and more. Also, I used to go around singing DAY-O to myself back in the 50s (when ENOS Slaughter was still playing, btw.)

But I found it tougher than most. I filled in the whole NE and couldn't get into the rest of the puzzle; then I got the NW, and still couldn't get into the bottom. It all worked out, but slow.

Also, for some reason I saw that ID and thought it must be BID, so I had 'we bID GOOD DAY, SIR!" for way too long. (@Nancy, you have to take it up another level of generality -- they're both ways of brushing someone off. It's the initial "I SAID," implying that you have said it before and the recipient is too thick to realize that he or she is being shown the door.)

Luckily, I once read a book about the origins of agriculture; otherwise I would have looked at M--Z- and put in MAIZE. But now I know it's a new world plant, unknown to the authors of Exodus. Even more luckily, since FUZZ worked with everything (if you call ADOZE "working"), I was saved from the MAnna rabbithole.

Now for sume upsetting news: apparently almost all the stuff served as WASABI in US restaurants is not wasabi at all, but horseradish dyed green. I'm not sure if they do that in Japan, as well, so now I don't know what wasabi actually tastes like. This video tells the sad story.

phil phil 12:03 PM  

DEEPDISH didn't fool me...thought Dutch Treat didn't fool me either. But all in all pretty quick for me too 10 min off my best but spent a good five finding the MATZa error. Then it was just a hunch to go there. Don’t know POE or PaE for that matter so bit of a ?flag pour moi.

JC66 12:05 PM  
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JC66 12:06 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 12:09 PM  

@Two Ponies

You're such an optimist.


I think OBGYN (Obstetrics and gynaecology) is still in use for a "lady doctor."

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

There's your answer to all this gender baloney. Metrosexual, pansexual, etc etc. Do you see an OBGYN? Yes= you're a woman. No= you're a man. That's it. End of discussion.

old timer 12:54 PM  

DNF here. Ended up looking up TOMEI which opened up its quadrant. Otherwise, did OK. i wanted HIGHFALUTIN early. My main problem was having "gross" before CRASS. And KOA came immediately to mind. We used to have one where I live.

Oh, and @Pete, "tupped" is, to be polite, what the ram did to the ewe. Basically a Northumbrian word, up where a ewe is a yow (rhymes with vow). And in consequence, what we call a ram is a "tup". They have a *lot* of sheep in Northumberland, and the sheep dogs (border collies, up there to herd them.

Pete 1:01 PM  

@Anon 12:32 - Your comment is absurd, even for a bigot. Metrosexual has to do with style, not gender identity or sexual preferences. Pansexual has nothing to do with gender identity. I won't deny you your right to be a bigot, just please don't be an ignorant bigot.

old timer 1:05 PM  

Looked back at yesterday's posts and was glad to see something from 'mericans.

And it seems to me it will take many an año for the NYT puzzle to use tildes. Which on almost any Mac are made by holding down the option key and typing an n.

Anonymous 1:19 PM  

Was that THE evil doug @8:44am?

Jordy Carpenter 1:21 PM  

This is one of the most delightful puzzles I've done in ages. HIGHFALUTIN! ENDLESSLIOP! ISAIDGOODDAYSIR! WHYIOUGHRA! GOHALFSIES!!

And a reference to the best comic strip ever!

JC66 1:39 PM  

@Anon 1:19

I don't think so, It didn't have his avatar.

The poster was just riffing on @Evil Doug's penchant for quoting lines from Seinfeld.

Birchbark 2:02 PM  

@Nancy (11:22) -- I too have no idea what I'm talking about. Some of it holds together in spite of it itself, but much falls into the category I prefer to think of as "ahead of its time, even to the speaker."

sanfranman59 2:43 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 5:27 4:30 1.21 87.7% Challenging
Tue 6:39 5:37 1.18 81.8% Challenging
Wed 8:07 6:07 1.33 89.6% Challenging
Thu 10:24 10:01 1.04 59.5% Medium
Fri 12:48 13:01 0.98 47.1% Medium
Sat 12:24 16:06 0.77 25.5% Easy-Medium

I had more of a Friday solve time and a relative fast one at that. There's lots to like here. DIGERATI (12D) is a neologism I don't recall seeing before and was a cool aha moment. After finally giving up MAnna at 62A, that O at the MATZO/POE cross (62A/59D) was a toss of the coin since I haven't kept up with Star Wars names over the years and MATZa is also a legit spelling. SPUMED (1D) was awkward as I don't think of SPUME as a verb. ADOZE (65A) is meh. But just about everything else here worked for me. A very pleasurable solve.

Masked and Anonymous 2:53 PM  

@JC66 - yep. Under OBGYN, Wikipedia says:

"Obstetrics and gynecology (commonly known as OB-GYN, OBG, O&G or obs and gynae) is the medical specialty that deals with pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period (obstetrics) and the health of the female reproductive systems …"

So, there's yer "obs" reference. Better clue? = {Gynae go-with??}.
Didn't mean that the medical specialty was obsolete, btw. Just meant that OBS is an abbr. for "obsolete".



JC66 3:03 PM  


Yep, your clue is much better.

Sorry I misunderstood you..

Anonymous 3:47 PM  

birds sleep at night in nests made of sticks. roosts

RVA flier 4:42 PM  

Endless loop - programming / computer code violation?

Alex 6:46 PM  
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Joe Bleaux 7:36 PM  

And chickens roost on poles (sticks, if you will) laid from one side of their coop to the other for that purpose.

Foghorn Leghorn 10:43 PM  

Ah say
Ah say
@ Joe Bleaux at 11:51 Ah thought
ah made that clear.

Anonymous 11:30 PM  

IMHO is definitely "In My Humble Opinion" which is something you hear said. Of course if you're using it, you're purposefully *not* being Humble. If you want to express your overt Honesty, that's what TBH (To Be Honest) is for.

If you type IMHO, just know it will be construed as Humble, not Honest.

Evan Jordan 9:57 AM  

Wow. That clue sucks. I don’t care if I’m the only one who didn’t get it.

kitshef 7:27 PM  

Very, very easy, except for the N, which took a long time for me:
1) All Japanese food items other than rice are WoEs to me.
2) muON or piON?
3) Still do not understand the clue for ADAM.

Good puzzle that needed just a little more polishing to get rid or DIGERATA and ADOZE, and to create a better clue for I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR.

Burma Shave 9:38 AM  


but I’m NOTONE to FOGUP, you know,


BS2 9:57 AM  


HIGHFALUTIN’ AND snobby, with a HODGEPODGE of fish:


spacecraft 10:25 AM  

I do like in-the-language expressions, and we have several long ones here. I smiled as I wrote in GETUPANDGO off just the G of GMA (had already written the "gimme" MAnna)), and again the Stooge thing off no letters at all! What else would a vague Stooge threat be but "WHYIOUGHTA...?"

Did the NW, for a change, but couldn't get the END of the ENDLESS thing. North central became the last holdout in this one, finally revealed by getting HODGEPODGE. For a Saturday, yeah, easy-medium.

I do NOT like NOT-in-the-language stuff like ADOZE. Never heard of DIGERATI, but okay, inferable...sort of. Nice POGO quote, STAYIN' away from the more familiar "We have met the enemy--and he is us!" I miss ya, Walt.

Paul;a ABDUL and Marisa TOMEI GOHALFSIES on the DOD today. Birdie.

thefogman 10:28 AM  

Close but no cigar. I got Naticked at the crossing of DOOMS and MUON. I bet I'm not the only one who found that to be a tiny bit unfair. And to that ISAIDGOODDAYSIR to Damon Gulczynski.

thefogman 10:34 AM  

Not sure if it was mentioned above but...

Does anybody remember HODGEPODGE Lodge?

rondo 10:49 AM  

About 21 minutes of good stuff slowed only by CRude before CRASS and tan before ASH; that HODGEPODGE of an answer tipped me off to the ASH. I’m apparently in the majority having an INNIE. ENO and ENOS are awfully close neighbors up there.

Even George Costanza knows that Marisa TOMEI is a yeah baby. I’m NOTONE to disagree. I’ll bet evil doug woulda had something to say about that.

Really good puz. Gotta GETUPANDGO back to work.

leftcoastTAM 3:57 PM  

AW MAN (tone of admiration), there's just a lot of good stuff here. Can't cover it all, but am sure others have already said plenty.

Long acrosses and downs are all good. GO HALFSIES was a new one. The not-quite-as-long DIGERATI was new to me, too.

The bisecting I SAID GOOD DAY SIR wins the prize of the day. And Stooge Moe's WHY I OUGHTA is etched in memory, for good or bad.

SPARKY and RHETT are both well-known, related only by chance on the same ROW

MAiZe before MATZA, and WASABI, SOBA, and PAE needed crosses.

Hard not to dote on this great puzzle.

leftcoastTAM 5:59 PM  


Diana,LIW 7:24 PM  

Oh well - didn't ring my bells.

Lady Di

Sun Ra 2:18 AM  

This is not a Saturday puzzle.
This is not a Saturday puzzle.
This is not a Saturday puzzle.

A Fine piece of work. I really enjoyed solving it, but it really is a Friday level puzzle of MEDIUM difficulty. This just isn't what i need on a Saturday. NYT, Challenge me, make me doubt you and myself. What I'm saying is: I'll stick with a tough NYT puzzle because I know that no matter how sticky it may be it is well constructed, solvable. Keep the Saturday puzzle difficult!

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