Gertrude of 1926 news / THU 11-3-16 / Self-titled debut album of 1982 / Utter old-style / Triage criterion / Rapper's headwear / Rink star Phil to fans

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Constructor: Mel Rosen

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Silver Silver ... I honestly don't know —themers contain two "AG" squares apiece. Maybe ORE is supposed to be the revealer? (28D: Silver ___)

Theme answers:
  • BAGGAGE CLAIM (17A: Carousel locale)
  • ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN (27A: Sporadic)
  • AGREE TO DISAGREE (43A: Leave a dispute unsettled)
  • STAGE MANAGER (58A: Role in "Our Town")
Word of the Day: "Vissi D'ARTE" (32A: "Vissi ___" (Puccini aria)) —
"Vissi d'arte" is a soprano aria from act 2 of the opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini. It is sung by Floria Tosca as she thinks of her fate, how the life of her beloved, Mario Cavaradossi, is at the mercy of Baron Scarpia and why God has seemingly abandoned her. The vocal range is E4 to B5. (wikipedia)
• • •

I'm worried about the puzzle. It's not ... doing ... well. It's not even really trying. This is creaky and not very coherent work. Two "AG" squares ... why? Because silver ... silver? Silvers! Is the meta "Phil SILVERS!?" What is happening? Mothball fill. Sad Scrabble-f*cking in the SW corner. A cultural frame of reference that excludes almost entirely the last 30 years (except HASHTAG—the best answer in this thing by far). Oh, right, there's crowd favorite clue [Rapper's headwear]. I think you can kinda sorta *feel* from this grid's overall vibe that "rappers" aren't really its thing. Are there other "silver" things besides the damn (terrible) ORE clue at 28D: Silver ___? There's an Olympics clue—did someone get a "silver" in the LUGE (3D: Olympics racer)?

ENTRAIN is in the middle of this puzzle (25D: Board, in a way). I love the "in a way" on that clue. It's like the clue itself isn't fully convinced and is kinda bailing out. "shrug idk." Oy, ENTRAIN. You ... must take the ENTRAIN ... but only if you're a FARER (more kwality fill). ABYSM!? D'ARTE? This puzzle lost me at 1A: ___-foot jelly (CALF'S), which remains totally inscrutable to me. I assume it belongs to another era somehow. Oh God, It's Food!?!?! I want to post a picture but ... I think I should tag it NSFW.

Somehow the English boil an actual CALF'S foot and the result is a dessert!? Or ... it can be if you add sugar? Wow. If you google it, you mainly get sites focusing on weird-ass foods. "Foods you've read about but never had ..." "What on earth is ...?" Etc. AG AG. AGAG, is AGAG a word? As in "This puzzle had me feeling all AGAG?" I'll stop now.

In case you're wondering what my grid looked like at the exact moment I "got" the rebus, here you go:

Oh and hey, check out the NYT earnings report, which actually separates out income from digital crossword subscriptions. Turns out it's ~$7 million / year ($6.3 in 2015, with subscriptions way up in the current year so far). Of that $7 million, about $146K goes to constructors. That's 2%. And that's just digital alone. That's not counting value of the crossword to home delivery subscriptions, and definitely not counting merch. Puzzle's overall value is really substantial, and constructor pay remains ABYSMal. The puzzles are increasingly sad/bad for a reason—no investment is being made in the product. None. Best constructors now frequently give their work to other venues or keep it for their own sites / puzzle ventures. Now, they do that for a host of reasons, but insulting pay is definitely one of them.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


newspaperguy 12:13 AM  

Crappy pay = one of Rex's obvious beefs with NYT and Shortz. Fortunately, the blog is always entertaining, and worth every penny!

Unknown 12:26 AM  

Wow, @Rex, you were able to get your critique up despite a pivotal World Series Game 7 in progress! So what am I doing responding? There's a rain delay with the game going into extra innings! Yikes, the tension ...

Not sure what "Silver" was doing in the clue for ORE, but in general, who am I to question any puzzle that uses an element from the Periodic Table as a rebus? @Mel Rosen is one of the giants of crossword history--read this 2010 interview for more.

Sorry, need to get back to the game. For those more into chemistry rebuses than baseball, try this.

jae 12:33 AM  

Easy-medium for me with the NW a bit tougher than the rest. Jive before JAZZ was it for erasures and ABYSM was my double check the crosses answer. I'm kinda with @Rex on this one, it's not really clear what's going on.

I've been to OJAI. I've even played golf there. If the locals tell you it's a city they are stretching the truth bigly.

chefwen 12:59 AM  

Chi town will never be the same! WOOWEE!

My start looked pretty much like Rex's. Got the theme right off the bat with DORag and was off to the races. Had a little hang up with 27A where I tried to fill in ON and OFF AGAIN, was left with an empty box and it took a little while before the light bulb was was illuminated. Doh!

According to my Food Lovers Companion CALF'S foot jelly was once thought to be a restorative for invalids. Sounds nasty to me, especially as a dessert.

Unknown 1:37 AM  

Well, it took an extra year, but remember, this was all predicted in the movies.

AliasZ 2:02 AM  

Today's riddle: "Why are there two AG rebuses in each theme entry?"
Answer: "Because both pens Poe wrote with had silver tips."

Maybe AG is not the symbol of silver everyone thinks. It may stand for Attorney General. No, strike that. Al Gore? Nah... Allen Ginsberg? Alexander the Great? Angora goat? Au gratin?

I got it! The AG rebuses represent the silver lining on the dark cloud hanging over this puzzle, which I was solving while waiting to ENTRAIN the 11:49 to OJAI.

SALT II and JAMES II -- seriously?

If the two rebuses in each theme entry were AU (gold), the revealer could've been AU PAIR.

Larry Gilstrap 2:49 AM  

Well, that was clever enough. Thursday means we get to cram extra letters into squares for some apparent reason. Thornton Wilder's Our Town is must-know theater. Innovative and iconoclastic and metatheatrical, featuring an omniscient STAGE MANAGER, it is an American modern classic, written what? eighty years ago. See it when you can.

AGISM and SAGGY so close together? I really had to dig in my iPhone to find it not spelled AGEISM. If that slave ship we know as the NYT would only pay these poor constructors...

I grew up in a church with strict dogma. No tobacco, no alcohol, no mixed bathing, no dancing, and no work on the Sabbath. But, they were not gloomy people and the mood was not oppressive. My crisis of faith began with the First Miracle of Jesus performed at the wedding at CANA. Seemed hypocritical to me. Wine is the result of a miracle?
My Missouri cousins turned me on to a 16 oz. Busch beer on Shoal Creek near Joplin when I was about 16. Now, I notice that some of my really conservative Christian friends drink like fish. Progress?

Finally from yesterday, Dr. Bunger is a shill for Moby Dick. I would not encourage anyone to read that blasphemous book. It ruined Melville's career, after all.

Dolgo 3:02 AM  

I'm an opera fanatic. There's lots to be said for the aficion. But it helps with crosswords sometimes. "Visi d'arte" is one of the great joys in life. Try it sometime when you get bored with Dr. Dre and Asia and some of these recurring counter culture clues. There's more to opera than "Eri tu," crossword players!

puzzle hoarder 3:40 AM  

To whom it may concern, stodgy creeps up on you faster than you think. This puzzle is composed of very standard material. It should have been much easier to solve but it's late and as a Cubs fan I've been riding a rollercoaster. That 8th inning was brutal but I didn't actually swear at the TV until the 10th. Didn't think I'd live to see it.
People SWIG their beer they don't draft it. Oddly I would find it natural to take a draught and according to Webster's that's just the English spelling of draft. Another little language quirk, you can have a group of CALFS or calves but if there's only one it can only be a CALF. Irregardless of the number she gives birth to a cow can only calve. She can't "CALF". I hope the Chief Wahoo yahoo's all had a cow.

Unknown 3:50 AM  

To echo @AliasZ, SALT II and JAMES II — seriously?

Variant AG(E)ISM? Archaic SAYEST? ABYSM? ENTRAIN? Fragment WE A? Abbreviations ITAL and NEB? Suffix FARER? Not a significant city OJAI? Phil ESPO(sito), Gertrude EDERLE, IONE Skye?

All this junk in service of a puzzle without a clear theme.

Awful and pointless.

Loren Muse Smith 4:32 AM  

Well shoot. Despite getting the trick early enough (with HASH TAG), the northeast had a triple-whammy dnf-blow – I had "hall" "scam" "Aria" "arco" for HELL/SPAM/ASIA/ESPO.

In my defense, not all SPAM is an e-con, right? Nigerian princes who need my help notwithstanding… I mean, heck – this is the AD AGE.

I guess if they had clued CALFS as a plural and not a possessive, people would have complained that it should be calves maybe? Wow, some of those English foods are odd. I guess the little guy should count his blessings that he wasn't rassled down to contribute to this startling dessert.

My inner 13-year-old boy snickered at the clue, "give in to a gut feeling?"

I was certain I'd come here to see the deal, see the punch line.

I'll take it anyway – it's fun for me to suss out rebus squares anytime.

Congrats, ChicAGAGo!

Oscar 5:03 AM  

Mel Rosen's note from WordplaY:

This “Silver Mine” puzzle was a long time in the making. The original construction had a “reveal” answer, but Will said he didn’t care for it. He suggested I redo the grid to (1) eliminate that answer and (2) replace the two theme answers that involved plurals, so I started over. I was happy to find the two 13-letter answers, and this was the final result.

As he had indicated once in the Cruciverb-L discussion, Will has a big backlog of rebus puzzles, and this one proves the point: It was accepted in December of 2014! Patience is a virtue.

Oh, by the way, it’s no surprise that many of my clues were improved. A lot.

John Child 5:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Child 5:34 AM  

Hi-Yo Silver! Away!

This is Mr Rosen's 38th puzzle over almost 46 years, but it's his first rebus puzzle. If he drops in here I would love to know more about his process - does he construct all by hand still, or does he use computer assistance now?

Lack of a revealer was the editor's decision, so no fault to Mr Rosen for the "what's going on?" feel of the unexplained AGs.

@Rex: Most publishers pay less than the NYT, and only one that I know of pays more - $5 more I believe. That doesn't prima facie suggest that low pay is the cause for constructors selling their work to other outlets, does it?

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

I ate calf's foot jelly as a child. My mother would prepare it on special occasions, to my father's great enjoyment (she wouldn't touch it). Always very heavy on the garlic, unthinkable as a dessert. It's a traditional Eastern European (Jewish?) dish, though rarely served today.

Lewis 7:00 AM  

I think I've got it. You look at the theme answers backward, then the rebi read GAGA, which gives you Lady, as in the fat one who sang last night after the Cubs' victory!

Happy to see ASIA in the Far East.

I went back and forth with this one. There were enough gimmes to get me going, but without crosses I never would have gotten CALFS, ASIA (as clued), DARTE, ALDA (as clued), NAIAD, JAMESII, ABYSM (as clued), LIAM, and FLAG (as clued). So when I finally successfully filled in the grid, with it telling me "LEGGO, LEGGO already!", I have to admit, I did walk with a bit of a swAGger, as those Cubs must be doing today.

Brett 8:29 AM  

"Ag, Ag, Ag, Ag, Ag, Ag, Ag, Ag," he said as he gAGged on bad puzzle.

kitshef 8:35 AM  

Add me to the list of non-fans. Main beef is the arbitrariness of the rebus, but had several other issues:
- CABS as icons?
- WE A
- DARTE right above OJAI - Saturday-obscure fill.
- Silver ORE isn't quite green paint, but it's close
- the duelling IIs

As to Gertrude EDERLE, I have no quarrel with anyone for whom the name does not spring to mind. But the first woman to swim the English Channel is worthy of crossword inclusion.

Had GO?ADFOR at 9D, and wondered if 'GOnAD FOR' was some modern expression I hadn't heard.

Andrea 8:47 AM  

I'm not one to complain, but this puzzle was bad, bad, bad... (as in "what was that??" bad)

But then again, CUBS WIN!!!!

Churlish Nabob 9:04 AM  

Sounds like Shortz f-ed up another decent puzzle.

webwinger 9:04 AM  

Finished with an error: ScAM (really a better answer for con, no?) crossing EScO (if there was a player named Escobedo, and I'm pretty sure there was in some sport, wouldn't fans call him that?), so longest streak is over, but Cubs reign!

Puzzle seemed like it could have been a lot better. Rebus placements were satisfying, and having silver appear in a clue was nice, but it just didn't gel, despite the inclusion of a CALFS foot.

George 9:09 AM  


But as to the crossword portion of the NYT earnings, I have a friend in NYC who still goes to a newsstand every day to buy the NYT just so he can do the crossword the old-fashioned way. Funny thing is, he has to hit two or three newsstands in his neighborhood before he can find a Times.

Kim Scudera 9:11 AM  

Here's my contribution to Rex's "Silver Lining" theme, courtesy of the great Bonnie Raitt:

QuasiMojo 9:41 AM  

Ojai y'all! I decided to come back because this puzzle felt like someone knocked me in my calf with a "luge" baseball bat (just in time for the World Series Finale.) AGgravated assault.

I "AGree" with Rex. Shockingly bad puzzle. An embarrassment of riches, if the financial stats are true.

Don't like "d'arte" instead of "arte." Seems lazy to me.

Have no idea what "Arnie" has to do with "army" -- please tell me it has nothing to do with the Schwarzenegger.

Maybe I'm just ticked off since I had a big fat DNF with "abyss" instead of "Abysm." To use "FROM" as an "email heading" seems about as "entraining" an idea as eating jellied calf-foot.

Ω 9:42 AM  

Uh, Holy Fucking Wow. Saying and SAYEST. II IIs. EDERLE. How many DARTEs do you want me to throw? OJAI, LEGGO me ABYSM. Just Holy Fucking Wow. Plus, I'm 56 and this puzzle felt old old old to me. Just get me some CALFS-foot jelly and some nog and go away until some puzzles from this millennium are published.

Ω 9:45 AM  

@Quasimojo - The late Arnold Palmer's fans were known as ARNIE'S Army. BTW - Wiki tells me ARNIE last won a major in 1970. Also known as 46 years ago.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

On occasion I finish a puzzle but fail to see the theme. So I happily come here for Rex to explain it. Today, even he is baffled... I certainly didn't hate the puzzle, but the theme...?

QuasiMojo 9:49 AM  

Thank you @Z for the clarification. I guess "AGing" is taking its toll on me. I should have recalled that. I watched enough golf on TV many "MOON"s AGo. :)

chefbea 9:54 AM  

Tough puzzle. Had to come here to learn what it was all about. Never heard of calf foot jelly. Maybe I should serve it at my next party!!!

Wm. C. 9:56 AM  

@Quasi -- "Arnie's Army" was an Army of loyalists who would follow Arnold Palmer around the golf course. RIP Arnie, a fine gentleman!

I had the privilege of following Arnie, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player around in an exhibition/charity round at the Brookline (MA) Country Club in 1962.

Puzzle was OK by me. I do'nt get all the nattering nabobs of negativism here. Early on I saw that 32D just HAD to be do-rag, so the conceit fell into place early for me. Ojai was also a quick gimme. Hied Ione hone put up some resistance for a while. Overall, a quicker-than-usual Thursday.

wgh 10:04 AM  

I really don't get why Shortz nixed the revealer. Without it, the rebus has no purpose and the puzzle suffers.

Dorothy Biggs 10:11 AM  

Maybe the NYT's subscriptions are up because of the election? After this debacle is over next week, things will probably go back to normal...unless there are retaliations like wildlife refuge takeovers, or church bombings, or other hate crimes. In that case The Times might get an extension on subscriptions...

As for the Cubbies...coming back from 3-1 deficit, going the full 7 games, going extra innings...including a rain delay, and winning by only one run. One. Run. If I were a Cleveland fan and I put stock in moral victories, there is that consolation...that it went all the way to the wire and only one run separated the two teams in the end. I'm happy the Cubs finally won...and now I wonder what a Cubs fan is going to do without any more 100+ year old "There's always next year" excuses. And can we all agree that this year, 2016, will go down in history as one of the most notable and notorious years in the history of man? We have the most ridiculous election going on and now the Cubs extra innings by one point. I'm hoping for the same type of "win" next week about this time. I'm not a new ager by any stretch, but we may indeed be at the cusp of a new age with all of these shenanigans going on in 2016.

Oh yeah, the puzzle...

I didn't like it at all for many of the reasons Rex mentioned.

OJAI? What the Jeck? Golfo? GOLFO??

I got the rebus at SAGGY...and then confirmed at BAGGAGECLAIM. I never quite warmed to the theme-without-a-revealer theme. I was confused most of the time. Not that it's the responsibility of the puzzle to walk me through and hold my hand to help me understand what in jades is going on...but hey...throw me a bone, please.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

I try not to dislike puzzles I can't finish, but this was the worst NYT Thursday crossword I can remember in more than half a century of doing them. Rex, with whom I don't always agree, got it right and also gave a reason, budget cutbacks.

What's becoming of us? A psychotic gets the GOP nomination for President; the media downplay global warming, and gun nuts don't care if small children die horribly for no good reason.

Oh, and the World Series TV graphics set a new low. The screen provided no way to determine the inning, much less its top or bottom, or which team was at bat. The only way a non-fan could tell the teams apart was to catch a glimpse of a Cleveland cap with its Indian on the front. The tiny score up in the right corner was barely visible on a 30-inch diagonal monitor, as was the tiny count in an illogical spot down on the right. How many games had been played? Who won them? If the announcers didn't happen to mention any of these things while you were watching, who knew?

RooMonster 10:37 AM  

Hey All !
So, editor edited out revealer. Eek. Leaves us with just a bunch of AGs. Not much to ADORE. Was it FARER before? LEGGO my puzzle!

SWIG= Draft? SLAT= Blind spot?? Did like Drop TROU. Especially crossing TO FU. :-D Reminds me of a news story I heard about a Vegan woman who wanted a personalized license plate, I LV TOFU, or something similar, but the state said No, because of how it read.

Writeovers, geT____ for ENTRAIN (which is a silly word), Soft- S(AG)GY, SAYsSo- SAYEST, and had my famous one letter DNF at ScAM for SPAM. Also agree with the inelegant two IIs.

The theme was good, but the finished product is not. And not the constructors fault. LAME.


Katzzz 10:38 AM  

Calves foot jelly. Known by Eastern European Jews as pitcha, p'tcha or petchah. Like previous poster, I grew up in a home where my grandmother made it once or twice a year to my father's great delight. I wouldn't touch it. Revolting to look at it: a gelatinous gray-green slab, not enhanced by the addition of sliced hard-boiled eggs. I could never bring myself to even taste it, though my father devoured it, extolling the large amount of garlic in it and adding hot mustard as a condiment.

As for the Xword itself, I enjoyed figuring it out, though I think a revealer would have pulled it together and added context to what seems somewhat random as is. Silver mine theme doesn't really come across.

mathgent 10:52 AM  

Rex says that online subscriptions to the puzzle are up. That doesn't prove that more people are doing the puzzle because I think that paper sales are down. However, if it is true that more people are doing the puzzle at the same time that quality is going down, that is sad news indeed. I would like to see NYT double what they pay for puzzles. How much would that affect quality?

Will Shortz reads this blog. I'd love to hear his thoughts on the matter. I'd also love to hear what NYT management thinks of the puzzle. Maybe they consider it a blot on their noble mission. Maybe they would like to get rid if it if they didn't fear the feedback. If so, Shortz has no bargaining power.

Blue Stater 10:54 AM  

Got the rebus almost immediately -- first time for me in forever. But I got badly Naticked off Cape Cod (I realize the geography doesn't work, but so it goes).

I had no idea the puzzles made the NYT that much money -- a sad commentary on the so-called free enterprise system. The precipitous and continuing decline in quality of the puzzles is of a piece with the rest of the paper, sadly. I've come to realize that it's unrealistic to expect that a newspaper with Ross Douthat, Tom Friedman, and MoDo on its op-ed page will do anything to improve its crossword puzzles....

mathgent 10:55 AM  

Oh, the puzzle.

I never met a rebus I didn't like. But it could have been a lot better. A grudging B minus.

Leapfinger 11:03 AM  

Love to start my day with a SWIG of CALF'S foot jelly. @Rex, I believe it's kind of an aspic [sic], not a dessert.

Took almost no time atall to find the AG threads among the gold, but still amusing to find the AGgies show up in each themer AGain and AGain. Briefly thought there'd be a mix of rebi, when I winkled in a D[OO]R[AG] at 32D. Guess that's an improvement over what I used to mentally spell as a DewRAG, because 'forehead Dew', you know. The nice part is that, for a while, I had a D[OO]R abut AJAR

Also did the requisite doubletake at the 'Silver' ORE clue; is it possible any solver needed a revealer. Anyone?

Did not care for S[AG]GY so near to [AG]ISM. That smarts.

Stray parts:
*'Give in to a gut feeling': First thought of BARF
*'Glad handlers' were FoOdISTS,  because that plastic film ADDs so much to FoOd, you know
*I thought 'Golfo' was a game I'd not heard of, even though AGUI just didn't seem right; I'd entered SLiT, thinking of a duck 'blind'. A-hunting we will go.
*Entered GERE before ALDA, but was thinking of Dr T and the Women, wrong movie (which I've not seen, alass). But I've known a helluva lot of doctors, and they all understood women with an almost surgical precision. Was interested enough to look up a Dr T review, and saw Roger Ebert SAYEST that Altman is more interested in women than any other great director, with the exception of Ingmar Bergman. Seems that's enough to makest a living, for some.

@Malsdemare, sorry to hear your Malsdedog got overly enthusiastic, and that it happened when Mr. Mals was out of town. Wondered whether Mr. Mals self-styles as MalsdeSire. Feel better soon.

O JAI, almost forgot: First play I participated in was our HS production of Our Town, but could only remember Emily at first, STAGE_MANAGER emerged gradually as a headbonk. What I'll never forget is the kid brother's great line:Gosh all hemlock, Mr. Huggins, are you all out of lickerish whips?. Immortal language.

Cubbies, you've made Steve Goodman very, very happy.

jberg 11:09 AM  

@quasi -- No, it's the late Arnold Palmer--refers to the fans who would follow him around the course

Tita 11:10 AM  

When I cared about baseball, I cared about the Yankees. Now, I notice it every now ANDAGAIN. I Rooted for the Cubs because 1908 and because a friend is from Cicago. It was a great game, if you like high scoring and plenty of errors.

The puzzle...
I got a nice aha when I finally got the rebus, but then got a little bored. I tried to avoid uncovering the revealer, only to be disappointed that there was to be nothing to tie this together and give me the Thursday AHA! moment.
I love rebi, but this won't make my Top 10.

1A turned out to be my favorite, as it reminded me of my dear departed French neighbor, one of the best cooks I have ever known. She went to the Stop & Shop and asked the astonished butcher for "the foot of a veal". (no, she wasn't making jelly...Osso Bucco, I think.)

@hoarder...I like your riff on calf/calve/calves.

@Anon 10:34... Glad to know I'm not the only one with naught but a 30" tv... Between both teams starting with C, both wearing blue tops, and that micro-info box in the corner, I had a hard time too.
OTOH, I discovered that baseball is a great thing to watch while knitting an intricate pattern. I can be looking at my work, look up at the screen when the crowd goes wild, and be shown the instant replay. No need to grab the remote to back up.
(Granddaughter arrived the 25th!)

Nancy 11:15 AM  

I always observe the First Commandment of Puzzledom: Thou shalt not criticize a rebus. Ever. But this one was a bit of a slog. AG seemed arbitrary throughout, as I couldn't for the life of me find a revealer to explain or justify it. I avoided two potential naticks simply by guessing the missing letter -- the first at the CALFS/FLAG crossing, since I know nothing about foot jelly brands or the game Stratego. Did George W make up the name of that game? And I avoided a natick at the ASIA/LIAM cross by guessing the I. But both the NE and NW corners had too much obscure PPP for my liking. Still, it's a rebus. If my cup doesn't exactly run over today, at least I had a SWIG.

jberg 11:16 AM  

Well, I learned to pronounce OJAI. Happy to give up my previous idea that it was a place where they squeezed a lot of oranges.

SAYEST is 3D person singular, so the clue doesn't work unless you change it to "utters."

DNF -- I had ABYSs, didn't check the cross. Sigh.

Mohair Sam 11:20 AM  

You wanna mess this puzzle up? Put in "onandoffagain" at 27A. It fits. I did that. That means no rebus, and gimmes like "DORAG" and "STAGEMANAGER" can't be. Yikes, it took a little while to get by that. I think I liked this more than most here, probably because it took me longer to get the AG - I like being baffled on a Thursday.

I'm guessing CALFS-foot jelly was a by-product of veal production. Good Lord, what a horrid sounding food. We dnf'd because we didn't bother to check the down when we finished with ABYSs at 66A (thought we were so damned smart). SAYEth before SAYEST hurt us. Didn't Twain have the greatest quips? Loved the clues for SPAM and FLORIST.

How good was ARNIE in his prime? He played an exhibition here with Gary player at Allentown Municipal in August 1963. Never played the course before or since. Hit a few balls off the practice tee, walked out and shot a 61 - still stands as the course record. Golfers will understand, he had never played the course before! Unreal.

Wow! Raw materials and labor total 2% of gross income? Good going Will. Folks, let me tell ya - that man has job security.

Hartley70 11:32 AM  

After a late night of nail biting and hair twisting tension, it is a blessing this puzzle didn't demand much from the little gray cells. Is it possible to have a baseball hangover? A friend of mine is a relative of Kris Bryant, so for the first time I was all in on a game that didn't involved the Red Sox versus The Evil Empire. That Cubs' win was thrilling after the most dramatic game I could imagine. The rain was just the heavens weeping along with Chapman.

Anyhow, I give this an easy rating. CALFS, CABS and LUGE seemed obvious so I got the theme immediately at BAGGAGECLAIM. Since it's Thursday, the rebus was no surprise. Operating under the belief that any rebus is a good rebus, I was perfectly fine with this.

Since gelatin was once made from hooves, CALF'S foot jelly hardly seems like much of a stretch. Today they use other bits. I was familiar from reading Victorian literature. I'm a picky eater and not quite that old, so I can't comment on the delectability, but I can guess.

Nancy 11:33 AM  

To those of you who think ARNIE skewed too old: He was a gimme for me. Of course, I skew old, too, though not as old as ARNIE. Thing is, Palmer was such a charismatic and appealing golfer, so full of life and brio and guts and enthusiasm, that it feels as though I watched him only yesterday. So to me, ARNIE doesn't have an era. Rather ARNIE is [AG]eless. (And shouldn't that have been one of the clues?)

r.alphbunker 11:39 AM  

On Thursday we got a riddle originally posed without an answer. Today we get a theme with an unknown revealer. 32D {Rapper's headwear} had to be DOR[AG]. Details are here.

Nate AG 11:40 AM  

Asper Wiki, the OJAI Valley was originally settled by the Chumash Indians. Interesting biblical connection, there.

Speaking of religion, @Larry Gilstrap brings up strict dogma. I lean toward a more lenient catspaw, personally.

GILL I. 11:48 AM  

Ooof. I went scouting all over the puzzle looking for a reveal just so that I could get something going. I guess DORAG did it for me. I had lots of mistakes - standby/STEERAGE, jive/JAZZ, sayeth/SAYEST and probably more.
When I came to 29D I took a little pause and started singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" which I ADORE. My brother used to devise an elaborate Christmas play for my grandmother when she'd come to visit. He had puppets and all kinds of twinkling lights and lots of music. He always made me sing at his plays and he'd make me hide behind a curtain to give the appearance of some sort of angel in the background. At least that's what he told me...."O Holy Night" was my favorite but O Come was just as good. FALL ON YOUR KNEES....

Carola 11:54 AM  

I liked searching for the nuggets of AG but I'm sorry that Will Shortz nixed the reveal. First in for me was SALT II and I went on a leftward slop down to DOR[AG], which got me the rebus. E-Z sailing from then on, except that I...

DNF: I left the A?IA x E?PO square blank. No idea.

Two bits of information I gleaned here: 1. The Cubs won. Awesome! 2. CALF'S foot jelly is something one is supposed to EAT; I'd assumed it was something like neet's foot oil, for external application only.

Nancy 11:59 AM  

CALF'S foot jelly is something you're supposed to EAT? Yeccchhhh!

Malsdemare 12:07 PM  

@Leapy. Malsdesire? hysterical! Actually he chose to keep his own name when we wed so he's @mooseklaus and has absolutely no clue about blogs, posts, tweets, can barely send a text. Poor man is a Chicago boy, born in the city, dad a Chicago fireman, cousins both pro ball players tho neither played for the Cubs. The Cubbies NEVER win if he watches, evidenced spectacularly with their three losses in this series. After the third loss, he was banned from turning on the TV. Last night, I kept track of the score (he's still in Alabama) and texted him in the 8th inning with 6-3 Cubs. He turned on the game for 30 seconds and Cleveland tied the score. If he'd been home, he probably would have throttled me. I can't imagine being a diehard Cubs fan unable to watch your team win the series for the first time in 108 years. Makes me wonder what he did in his previous life to deserve such awful karma. I hope it was fun!

I wrestled this puzzle to the mat, but it wasn't much fun. Hand up for wanting a reveal; "Silver mine" is unsussable without one. I did like HASHTAG, and that moment when you grok the rebus is always a rush. But otherwise? Meh! I disagree about the money thing; I don't construct puzzles but I am a freelance editor. Money is pretty lousy, but I like the occasional mental workout and the stuff I edit is usually science or sports so I'm always learing something new (I'm a textbook editor). Unless the constructors are trying to earn a living with puzzles (yikes!), I'd guess some care less about the money than just getting their work into the Times. But I could be really wrong about thus.

Which reminds me; a manuscript awaits, it's grey outside, and my leg still hurts so a day in front of the computer is my lot.

Sarah AGman 12:09 PM  

SALTII/JAMESII naysayers: so now there's a moratorium on duplicating (2 final letters) in the grid? Say it ain't so.

Problems with Phil ESPOsito HoFer with 18 years in Chicago, Boston and New York, AND a Canadian? Problems with Gertrude EDERLE? Let us know when you first tried swimming across the English Channel.

OTOH, the theme AUgmentation revealed with AU PAIR was a wonderful bit of Alchemy. Nice metalliturgy, @AliasZ

Masked and Anonymous 12:12 PM  

Mystery theme!

@RP: U are forgettin all the NYTPuz-related salaries that have to be paid out. A huge team of people are actually involved in selectin, endlessly refinin, and deliverin a puz like this right to yer doorstep (and bein able to run off real fast).

@RP again: Now, U see that? U holler "bad puz!" so often lately in so many creatively snarky ways, that there's no higher Plateau of Abysm to escalate yer vitriol to, when U finally get served up a rare sittin-pewit opportunity like this. It's like the Trumpmeister; there's so much bad, it all eventually sorta scales over into one huge, funky calfs-foot jelly, and goes all numb.

@RP also again: ENTRAIN. har. Better clue: {Board, en a way??}. Scrabble-twerkin in the SW is ag-ok, when U get to serve up a dandy desperate AVEO/EDERLE combo, btw.

M&A weren't a major fan of this puz. Might flip-flop my mind, if wea can ever solve the "Mystery of the Theme". All that's keepin this FBI case opened for m&e: AG is the first two letters of AGR! … verrry interestin ...

Ooo … Is the revealer perhaps AG-ISM? yeah. Didn't think so …

fave weeject: the theme. Honrable mention: ORE.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Molly Piconme, why don't you 12:19 PM  

@kitshef adds another 'main beef' to the CALFS foot discussion. P'tchah may sound like a very appropriate name to some. Nu, so maybe pickled pigs feet is better?

Leapfinger 12:33 PM  

@GeorgeB, we'd use silver nitrate sticks to cauterize small bleeders, but sadly, that formula is just AG-NO3. Perhaps something could've been made of AG2CO3 and SILVER "CARBO" NATE eating pasta...

Leapfinger 12:35 PM  

(Better politics through chemistry)

Greg 12:38 PM  

Since we all like to post what our "gimmees" were, I'll say that Vissi D'ARTE was a gimmee for me, since I'm an opera singer.

Put me down for a DNF, since I had no idea who Phil ESPOsito is, let alone that ESPO is his nickname? I had SCAM in for SPAM, and Phil Esco seemed as likely a proper name as any.

Sometimes having neither an interest in sports, nor a degree in literature can feel like a real handicap in solving crosswords.

old timer 12:39 PM  

Go Cubs go! Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago whaddya say ... (written by the late Steve Goodman at the special request of Cubs management. They loved "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request but could not play it at the ballpark, so he penned them a little anthem. (Goodman is best known for "City of New Orleans" a train that used to go from Chicago to NOLA.)

I liked the puzzle, except for the ASIA/ESPO Natick, which I left blank rather than look it up. Don't know what OFL has against the JAZZ corner in the SW. Probably he does not know his history and had to think about JAMESII, which was my very first entry. And i was delighted by ABYSM, because I love learning a new (to me) word. I did have "sayeth" before SAYEST, which really needed an explanatory "you" before it to be an accurate clue.

So has anyone found out what the revealer was, before WS ordered its removal?

AZPETE 12:45 PM  

Nailed it.

ecanarensis 12:47 PM  

The calf's-foot jelly reminds me of what Bill Bryson said in his latest book, "The Road to Little Dribbling" --that the British are surely the only people in the world who have made a culinary feature of boiled cartilage & phlegm (very funny book, btw).

Masked and Anonymous 12:49 PM  

Happy Birthday, @r.alph, from every scrappy runt crossword puzzle in the universe.

auto-correct manual-correction dept:
From first M&A comment: … if wea **cana** ever solve the "Mystery of the Theme" …

Theme = Quick silvers? … naaah. … day-um. This here is a tough one to crack …


@RP: Coulda listed out the "theme" answers with a heading of "Silver Bullets:"! But, hey ... nice quik-thinkin, on the "Fill Silvers" angle. Polite golf clap, there.

Mercury 12:59 PM  

Love this veritable 'mine' of quick SILVERS.

Silver mine, gold your'n.

Tita 1:07 PM  

@r.alph - Happy Birthday!!!

@M&A - have I ever mentioned how much in awe I am of your - um - posts?
I am always exhausted/amused/bemused - did I mention exhausted? - after reading them.

Can we come up with a word that better describes your contributions here...
Blogflash? (akin to news flash, but sadly, also to hot flash)
Blogspree? To me, it's like you're mind is on a spree, seemingly unencumbered by the thought process, but of course, very exquisitely constructed.

I'm pretty pathetic at this - you'll have to come up with your own term, I'm afraid.

Dick Swart 1:13 PM  

Ojai backwards ..

Jai-O Silver

ANON B 1:17 PM  


Mohair Sam 1:22 PM  

@M&A - What @Tita A said. I just could never quite phrase it (although I see she can't quite phrase it either).

But keep 'em coming. Your Trumpmeister comment today cleared everything up. I'm pretty sure I feel the same.

Teedmn 1:23 PM  

I'm thinking the AGs are representing the constructor's silver dental fillings. Other than that, can't come up with an explanation.

Putting in eTAL in at 52D killed my chance at getting JAMES II, which I ended up Googling. Of course, I remember learning about James, Charles, Charles (II), James (II) in English History, with James and his family escaping to exile, but I don't remember hearing it called a Glorious Revolution. Instead, with 49A ending in SIe, I was looking for a king who possibly ruled somewhere before Ethelred the Unready. EDERLE was my cross to bear. When I finally got JAMES II ensconced on his throne (hi @Tita from earlier this week!), I finished, not exactly with ZEAL, but hey, I SAT HOME last night and watched the seventh game which kept me up rather late. What a cliffhanger!! That was ZEAL enough for one 24 hour period.

Mr. Rosen, if you could visit and shed some silver light on the raison d'etre?? D'ARTE??

And happy birthday to @r.alphbunker today!

Dorothy Biggs 1:24 PM  

ANON B said...


Anoa Bob 1:25 PM  

I'll always remember WEA SATHOMÉ's tragic role in TAUS DARTE's classic NAIAD HIED To OJAI.

I believe SALT II was preceded by ANT I.


nick 1:25 PM  

Ugh to this puzzle. Second dnf in a row, this time thanks to a 34-year-old band I've never heard of crossed by a sports guy. Calf's foot jelly, familiar from Louisa May Alcott novels, at least had reasonable crosses.

Fred Romagnolo 1:34 PM  

My first (and only) exposure to the term CALF'S foot jelly, was in the dialogue of the play "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Vissi D'ARTE is the aria with which Renata Tebaldi became the first women to ever be allowed an encore at the San Francisco Opera, so there's a connection to Gertrude EDERLE. Luckily I was in the audience. I still balk at defining SWIG as "draft."

Masked and Anonymous 2:03 PM  

Well, shoot. Best idea I can come up with is that it's the Silver Anniversary of somethin …
Surely **somethin** happened 25-years ago, today. So … whatever big dealy happened to U back on 3 November, 1991 … This Puz Is For U! Congratz! thUmbsUp! QED!

@Teedmn: dental charts! har! Maybe that's another silver linin, in this here crossword's playbook!

This Mel Rosen dude is worthy of a lotta respect, y'all (yo, @U). He started publishin NYTPuzs way back in 1970! That's a long stretch to stay on the grid. And he's still got enough marbles left in the drawer today to come up with HASHT(AG)s and {Glad handlers?} = FLORISTS? [fave clue, btw. (yo, @Gladioas)]. may-yerd, dude!! Heck, M&A's only been makin runtpuzs a coupla years, and feels like he's already down to the steelies, in his bag. Mel Rosen wrote The Book on crossword constructioneering: M&A read it, at a young, impressionable age. Maybe it's the Silver Anniversary of that book? [Ain't sure ... had to give it back to the library.] Anyhoo, thUmbsUp, Mr. Rosen. Thanx, for many years of solid service. Do U live in Georgia? [GA = AG, backwards; sorry … I'm still graspin at straws, here … ]

And special thanx to folks like @Tita, too. [PuzEatinSpouse read yer comment, groaned, and said "ARgh … she'll only encourage U! …"]


Alex 2:13 PM  

A question to my fellow crossworders. Is there a blog that is a little less cranky than this one? I have been reading this one for a few years, and even contributed, but I am tired of the crankiness Every. Single. Day. Some is ok, but this is too much for me.
As usual, I enjoyed the puzzle. I always enjoy Thursdays. Well, except for that anagram one.

Chronic dnfer 2:48 PM  

Yesterday's puzzle sucked too.

Doc John 3:01 PM  

OJAI- home of The Six Million Dollar Man

Blackbird 3:10 PM  

Rex is a snob. Well, I've eaten calf's foot jelly in childhood. We called it p'tcha. It's nutritious, savory, inexpensive, good for what ails you. Very Eastern European. So, puzzles have to have fill that refers mainly to the last 30 years? Oh, so hip! Sorry, this blog is not amusing.

Blue Stater 3:17 PM  

@malsdemare - I have a similar story about curses overcome, this one afflicting the Red Sox. Unlike, I suspect, most other RS fans, as I watched Carleton Fisk's 1975 homer in Game 6 hit the left-field foul pole at Fenway, I was immediately certain -- certain -- that they were going to lose the next day, which they of course did. I was watching Game 7 (I think it was Game 7) of the 1986 World Series and they showed the champagne icing down in the RS clubhouse. I said, to the roomful of Mets fans I was watching the game with, "they're gonna lose." Came the Buckner ground ball. They lost. And so I resolutely refused to watch or listen to any of the four victories over the hated and loathed Yankees in 2004, until a pal e-mailed me that Damon had hit the grand slam, after which I figured it was safe. I managed to keep an ironic distance from the Cubbies, but had many of the same feelings as I watched them flail away late in the game and then -- mirabile dictu -- recover, something the RS never would have done. All in all, a highly satisfactory outcome, if a bit lacking in the cosmic justice of 2004.

Dorothy Biggs 4:03 PM  

@Alex 2:13pm:

As cranky as Rex is, Jeff Chen is rosy.

Singmaster 4:15 PM  

So where do we go Rex? What daily crossword do we migrate to? I'm willing to move. I pay for nyt crossword but I'm not married to it.
I give you more each year than I give nyt. I'll follow you. Just let us know. Be the pied piper.

Anonymous 4:19 PM  

Actually AG, AG, AG, AG, AG is what I've been saying ever since The Orange One entered the Prez race. It's my expression of perpetual disbelief...

Hungry Mother 4:19 PM  

Love rebuses and hate British cooking. Played easy for me for a Thursday.

Don McBrien 4:35 PM  

I just checked out Mel Rosen's first puzzle, from 1970. Got a kick out of the theme answers and, frankly, was a little surprised to see this theme run in 1970.


Does anyone know when themed puzzles were introduced?

Ω 5:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ω 5:08 PM  

@NCA Prez - No moral victories allowed for a team using a racist logo they've been "retiring" since 1997. I spent the weekend playing with Ohioans. They tend to be liberal like me and were less than thrilled at the decision to wear that hat for the home games.

Alex 5:13 PM  

@NCA Prez at 4:03. Thanks - I don't need a Pravda version of a blog - but the unending complaining is pretty old for me by now. And @Z at 5:08pm - I am a Northeast Ohioan by birth, and I love the Indians. I think our small-market status has enabled us to retain Chief Wahoo. I also am a liberal, and nostalgic, so I am conflicted in my feelings about the Chief.

Mohair Sam 5:53 PM  

@Z - About 20 years ago I scheduled a business meeting with a Native American at a construction site he was managing. I walked into the construction trailer to meet the guy and was shocked to see him wearing a Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo cap, my eyes went right to it as we shook hands in greeting.
"Surprised by the cap?" he said.
"Well yeah", said I.
"So," he retorted, "I should root for the fucking Cowboys?"

We eventually became friends. He wears the Indians cap because he's an Indians fan. And he loves to break the ice with white folks with "I should root . . . " line. And no, I never asked him if he found the logo offensive.

Bill L. 6:55 PM  

Always thought calf's foot jelly was like neatsfoot oil or mink oil and used as a leather conditioner. Turns out that neatsfoot is made from the shin bones and feet of cattle, mink oil is rendered mink fat, and people eat calf's foot jelly! I prefer Limmer boot grease, for leather, not to eat.

Blue Stater 9:03 PM  

Addendum to my OT (sorry, but I hadda) of 3:17 p.m.: it was Game 6, not Game 7. Memory, as a friend of mine once observed, is a theory of the past.

Ω 9:13 PM  

@Mohair Sam - One of the ways to deal with offense is to co-opt it. Tacit in your story is that the site manager knew the hat was offensive, but chose to take agency against the racism. I get why someone like @Alex is conflicted. I also get why Sherman Alexis tweeted, "I've never wanted a team to lose as much as I want the Cleveland Racist Mascots to lose," at 12:42 a.m. this morning. What disappoints me is that we know the logo is offensive and still we put it on the heads of thirty plus adults. I don't expect sport figures to be heroes outside the lines, but is it too much too ask that America's pastime not actively insult a large number of our fellow citizens?

OISK 11:12 PM  

Would have liked a revealer, but I have no other complaint. Liked it.

Malsdemare 11:39 PM  

@Z @Mohair Sam. Years ago I spent my sabbatical teaching at Navajo College in Crownpoint NM. In one of my classes, my alma mater, the U of Illinois and its then-mascot Chief Illiniwek, came up. One of my students looked at me soberly and said, "So some Anglo kid dresses in a chief's robes and dances on the basketball court? Really?" He wasn't angry, just confused and maybe hurt? and that made me want to crawl in a hole and die. Everytime I see one of my rabid neighbors defiantly wear a t-shirt with that banned symbol brazenly displayed, I think of that man and his life circumstances. And now I'm seeing his brothers and sisters protesting at Standing Rock and it occurs to me that if you can wear that shirt, you won't have a problem tear-gassing some women who are trying to protect their water. How did we get here?

Hartley70 11:44 PM  

Sneaking it in under the wire, Happy Birthday, @r.alphbunker!

Unknown 5:04 AM  

So many interesting comments ... along with the general joy about the World Series outcome. I couldn't help thinking, as did a few others, that the meta agenda of today's puzzle could have been not the chemistry of silver, but rather pollster extraordinaire sodium tellurium Ag.

@r.alphbunker shares a birthday with @Fred Piscop, the new USA Today crossword editor. Wishing both of them many happy returns!

Hat/tip to @David Steinberg for this remarkable interview with today's New York Times constructor, @Mel Rosen. Notice that @Rosen wrote the first computer program to help create crossword puzzles, a precursor to Crossword Compiler (ccw) that so many of us are using nowadays. Talk about standing on the shoulders of giants!

Numinous 10:34 AM  

Meant to post this last night.

Go Cubs!!! Awsome game! The puzzle was anticlimactic.

Happy birthday @r.alph and @Fred Piscop!

tkincher 11:54 AM  

Didn't really have a problem with this puzzle outside of the ESPO/SPAM crossing.

I do have a problem with that pay discrepancy, that seems pretty off. They could easily double what they pay constructors and only eat up 5% of the budget. I understand they need to pay people to verify, prep, and print the thing, but it can't cost $6m to do so.

Mohair Sam 12:27 PM  

@Z from last night - I didn't think my story would get quite the reaction. My Native friend Tony is an Indian fan because he played a year of "D" ball (back when there was "D" ball) in the Cleveland system, no other reason. Later in the day (we're going out) I'll email you and anecdote from my business dealings with Tony that will let you know the kind of genuine racist shit Native Americans have to put up with.

@Malsdemare - No one is more sympathetic than I to the Natives at Standing Rock. I'll argue that there is no connection between imaginary Warrior Chiefs as symbols for sports teams and disrespecting Tribal lands and beliefs. Now on the name "Redskins" you and I will come to complete agreement.

Adam 6:53 PM  

What in God's name is a Golfo? I knew OJAI because that's where the bionic woman is from. I think that (sadly) tells you all you need to know about me. Bleh.

Eddie 6:18 AM  

Hah, nice!

Anonymous 3:26 PM  

AG Sulzberger, the newly announced publisher in waiting?

Burma Shave 10:03 AM  


She’d NEED to ADORE other ADULT men,


rondo 11:29 AM  

I made a mess of things in the south with AGIng, SAYEth, sTet for ITAL, and AGar for AGUA, thinking Golfo was some sort of product. Doh! Finally got it together, but what an inkfest. And there’s gotta be a better clue for ENTRAIN. For instance, in the construction game we intentionally ENTRAIN a controlled amount of air bubbles in concrete to relieve internal pressure and increase durability. Bet you didn’t know that.

HELL, if the commentariat from 5 weeks ago knew that Jeff Sessions was going to be the next AG, or who Trump would pick for AG Secretary, well, they’da SATHOME to SWIG their ADULT beverages in mass quantities.

My dad was a big fan of ARNIE, which probably lead to my ZEAL for golf (not Golfo).

I SAYEST and will AVER with ZEAL that IONE Skye is in the HASHTAG yeah baby ZONE.

I suppose we could AGREEOTDISAGREE on how good or bad this puz is. But I just do ‘em and try to act like an ADULT.

spacecraft 12:38 PM  

Unbelievable! NO ONE fell into the trap?? My first gimme was that all-important Stratego piece--the only one who can defeat the CIC--the SPY, of course! What else would you put in three squares?? It was a done deal; I would've ETCHED it into the paper. Except the rest of the NW madeno once AGain I had to abandon that accursed area and go to HELL. For this Twain fan, that was another gimme. After coming out of that corner with HAS____ I figured 10-down had to be HASHTAG--I'm not THAT backward--but was a square short. Thus was my rebusiness suspicion born.

It wasn't long from there that I could lay down ONAGAINOFFAGAIN, and off I went. Then my 4-down gaffe hit my brain and the NW was fixed.

Many winces ensued. "Aren't___pair?" Absolutely the only way those three letters can be clued. Major wince. ENTRAIN: OK, @rondo, there may be a technical justification for that verb, but when's the last time any commuter kissed his wife goodbye saying, "I gotta ENTRAIN now."? Barf. More winces, too many to list.

Enjoyed the aha! moment with the spy/FLAG thing, and AGree to AGree that Ms. Skye's the limit for DOD, but I still feel slightly generous to award only a bogey on this one. Must have landed in the rough (fill).

Diana, LIW 12:43 PM  

Despite getting CALFS jelly right off as my first answer, despite knowing D'ARTE, despite getting the SAGGY mattress, leading to getting the rebus, I had a dnf. The SW did me in - didn't remember EDERLE. My bad. Should have stared at it longer - could have sussed it out. Was guessing JAMES II, but with SALT II I ended up doubting myself. Should have remembered it's "doubles" week.

Oh yes - the EPSO/ASIA cross, too.

But, hey, got the rebus, so that's something.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 2:44 PM  

Have to agree with Rex on this one, except his ANTI-NYTXwords thing. Agreed, constructors seem undervalued and underpaid, and you get what you pay for sometimes, like maybe today.

This was, as the 13D clue says, "hardly adequate" for a Thursday rebus, hardly waiting for. I look forward to dealing with Thursday's usual trickiness. It wasn't here today.


Anonymous 2:51 PM  

Huh? Went to check the answers, saw all the ag business, and quit. Rejected.

rain forest 4:48 PM  

Oh hi! Cute.

Lotta hate here. Lotta wasted emotion. Some people need to get a life, methinks.

I see this as a rebus puzzle having no revealer, unless the Silver ORE answer points to all the little AGs in the themers as nuggets within the ore. I don't know. Often people will say that having no revealer is superior to having one. Not today, apparently. Anyway, it was a rebus puzzle, and I got it.

Question: Can a rebus just be, or must it have a revealer? Bigger question: Must there be a reason for a puzzle, other than to provide a bit of enjoyment during a cold, snowy morning? Oh, never mind.

rondo 5:09 PM  

This puz was better than the WSJ (real time) puz today, which consisted of inserting "RR" into a real thing to get a "wacky" answer. And clue! So then you have to figure out what the original "real thing" is, with no clue given for it. "Making out with a masked hero" gives you PETTINGZORRO. Really? For inserting RR into petting zoo? Can't imagine that Will would buy that. So maybe the NYTXword IS better. Or best?

Sharon?A 6:25 PM  

I was one who did not expect, nor empathize with all the negative comments. ?Guess I never thought a rebus had to have a theme or reveal. Thought the rebus was the theme. Thought this one was quite good because it was repeated in each "theme" answer. Got a smile from 21A when I realized the answer and thought it fun to have Gertrude Ederle in the puzzle with the naiad/swimmer of myth.
@jberg Thank you for telling me why I was so bothered by sayest" instead of "sayeth" answering the clue to 45D

Didn't read all the comments so maybe this was answered, but how is a swig a draft?

leftcoastTAM 7:49 PM  

Nice to see more interaction in syndiland.

Diana,LIW 8:26 PM  

@Lefty - I believe we read and mentally comment much more than shows up on the blog!

Lady Di

spacecraft 11:07 PM  

@Sharon?A: Admittedly the connection is loose, but think of "draft" as a glass of draft beer as opposed to a bottle, take a SWIG, and await tomorrow's adventure.

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