Child actress Jones of Family Affair / SAT 12-3-16 / Noted Volstead Act enforcer / Giverny backdrop for Monet / Bill of 1960s-70s Weather Underground / Refined nutritional ingredient in many cereals meat products / Start of news story in journalism lingo

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Constructor: Jason Flinn

Relative difficulty: Easiest

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: RAE Sremmurd, hip-hop duo with the 2016 #1 hit "Black Beatles" (38A) —
Rae Sremmurd (pronunciation: /ˈr ʃrˈɪmɜːrd/) is an American hip hop duo consisting of brothers Khalif "Swae Lee" Brown (born June 7, 1995) and Aaquil "Slim Jxmmi" Brown (born December 29, 1993) from Tupelo, Mississippi. The duo are best known for their platinum singles "No Flex Zone" and "No Type", which peaked at numbers 36 and 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100, respectively. They are based in Atlanta, Georgia.[4] Their debut album SremmLife was released on January 6, 2015. The name "Rae Sremmurd" is derived from the duo's home label, EarDrummers, by spelling each word backwards. Their second album SremmLife 2 was released in 2016 to positive reviews, featuring the singles "Look Alive" and "Black Beatles", the latter of which topped the Billboard Hot 100, giving the duo (and Gucci Mane) their first number one. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well I'm guessing a lot of Saturday records were broken today. I got a heads-up from folks on Twitter that this one was gonna be easy, but that sort of advance notice usually makes me lock up and fall on my face. I am easily (self-) psyched out. But today, whoa. I mean, Whoa. I had the entire top quad filled in in 42 seconds. I actually lost about 5 seconds staring at grid / clock in astonishment. Then I went on and encountered only slightly more resistance. I didn't break 4, but I was close. What day of the week is it again? Saturday. I've had Tuesdays take me longer. Hell, I've had hard Mondays take me longer. Freaky. Today, I experienced a variation of my 1-Across Theory of Speed-Solving. With quad stacks like this, it's the 1-Down that matters, and today's (1D: John or Christine of Fleetwood Mac) was a hand-wrapped gimme served on a silver platter with a floral garnish. 8-year-old-me could've solved 1-Down without hesitation (not a joke).  That is a Monday clue. On a *Saturday* *1-Down*. That ... is cluing it wrong (variant of "doing it wrong"). ETO, AREN'T followed fast and now I had the front ends of all the quads. And they fell bam bam bam bam. It was wonderful / horrifying.

Here are the only things I remember even having to think about during this solve:
  • 18A: Something a server can give you (INTERNET ADDRESS) — so excited for how obvious this was that I just wrote in quickly: INTERNET ACCESSS, three "S"s and all.
  • 21A: Swiss chocolate brand (LINDT) — only now, looking at the clue calmly, do I realize that it *doesn't* say "Swiss HOT chocolate brand..." My brain froze on "Swiss Miss" and even the LIN- wasn't helping (if I'd read the clue right, there would've been no hesitation).
  • 32A: Old-fashioned (MOLDY) — M--DY and only "MOODY" was occurring to me. Sometimes your brain just locks up, what can I say?
  • 36D: Orthodox group (HASIDIM) — Here, I knew the answer quickly, but the spelling of the proper answer, yipes. I probably spent more time rewriting this answer than I spent on any other single answer. HASSIDS was my opener. Then HASIDIC.
  • 41D: Child actress Jones of "Family Affair" (ANISSA) — who? seriously, who? Got her (her?) entirely from crosses.
The only thing I really liked about this grid was EMANCIPATION DAY (just watched an episode of "Atlanta"—the best thing on TV—that featured a pretty hilarious "Juneteenth" party, so the concept was fresh in my mind) (48A: Juneteenth). I also liked the fleeting feeling of being a speed-solving superhero. Otherwise, it's pretty bland. Stacks are peppered with RLSTNE-loaded fare like VESTED INTERESTS and INTERNET ADDRESS and super-dull stuff like SYSTEMS ANALYSTS. Plus, any answer with ONE'S in it is basically self-parodic in a quadstack—ONE'S is done so often that it's a joke. Seriously, A LOT ON ONE'S PLATE has become shorthand for "tired and out of ideas but still determined to make a quadstack," and ONE'S in general is the quadstacker's most obvious crutch. Ditch it. And then there's that center, ouch. OR M x/w ORY is a Junk Cross for the Ages (30D: Agatha Christie's "N ___?" / 33A: Suffix with transit). Now, to be fair, that is one tight corner, and I don't think there are any easy fixes, given how locked-in the longer parts of the grid are, but dang. "OR M" is possibly the worst partial I've ever seen. And I've seen some doozies.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Afros Criedabout McVie 5:37 AM  

RAE Sremmurd is maybe the worst name I've ever seen for anything (and I say that professionally!) ;)
(Insert clip from Shining with Red rum)

Almost fainted that I knew both SANDOVAL and THE PANDA. 24 years in SF has finally paid off.
Plus the bison in Golden Gate Park are my favorite thing in the city, yet I left out the M in HUmP... My usual one wrong square. (Subconscious protest to N OR M)

chefwen 5:57 AM  

Hi Andrea, it's nice to see you around a little more often.

Got this one done with nary a cheat, an extreme rarity for me on a Saturday, so I knew Rex would rate it easy. Wasn't expecting easIEST, that took a little wind out of my sails. The biggest hang up was 34 and 44D, sports being a weak area in my interest and knowledge. Had to rely on crosses in those areas. Also unfamiliar with AYERS at 47D and ANISSA at 41D. Top half went in quickly, can't say the same for the bottom half.

LOVE LINDT chocolate, or any Swiss chocolate for that matter.

r.alphbunker 6:23 AM  

Finished with {31D Skillful}DEPT/37A {"Naturals"} APROS. I should be more suspicious of two dubious answers crossing. Details are here

Unknown 6:45 AM  

Fun perspective from @Rex on @Jason Flinn's double quad puzzle, his third such in the New York Times this calendar year (2016)! I'm psyching myself for this commentary by "listening" to that RAE rap ... always anxious to expand my "musical" horizons (still working on Fleetwood Mac, to be honest, but no RANT from me).

This puzzle brought back any number of memories, including the guilty pleasure of having read that Agatha Christie opus more than forty years ago, when stuck at home and unable to get into the lab due to a nasty cold (spoiler alert: N and M were code names for SPIES), to even longer ago, and then back to 1970 (remember INTERLAKEN the other day?) a side trip to a Swiss chocolate factory (Tobler, not LINDT) where I had cleverly fasted and hence was the only family member not to come down with a tummy ache from all the free samples, and let's not forget Bill AYERS who was injected into the 2008 presidential campaign or the epic San Francisco Giants who for a while were winning World Series championships every even year (though not in 2016, obviously)--great find to get both the player's name and his nickname into the same puzzle!

My favorite word in the puzzle was one that debuted a decade ago, right here (see 66-Across). Second favorite, a certain museum found here (see 91-Across). Third favorite, a prop that I learned about right here (see 53-Across).

Unfinished business from yesterday, @Loren Muse Smith's riff on FARDING was one of her all-time best (and that's setting a very high bar). And yes to @Z, I didn't have any trouble with ASE, just as today I was rather pleased to see SOY_PROTEIN.

Z 6:56 AM  

Now I wish I'd started a clock. I don't normally for Saturday because I solve while watching soccer and being interrupted by the pup. It was late and I wasn't working to be fast, otherwise, what Rex said.


evil doug 7:14 AM  

Bill Ayers ought to be in prison. But as long as terrorists like Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Yasir Arafat are in the NYT Crossword, I guess there's room for Ayers, too...

Hartley70 7:28 AM  

Oh c'mon guys, it wasn't that easy!

What the devil is EMANCIPATIONDAY? I might be liking this idea if kids thought it up. There were several years with teens in the house when we all would have signed up. Considering the clue, I don't think it was proclaimed by Lincoln. Perhaps it is the day when taxpayers begin working for themselves, not the government. I'm flailing here and relieved the Jeopardy music isn't playing in the background. I just googled to no avail.

I always love a stack puzzle. MAS is my hero, but Mr. Flinn has made a worthy foray into the MAS stratosphere. I had 1a without a moment's hesitation, although MCVIE escaped me for a ridiculous amount of time considering my era. I thought LEDE was spelled "lead" as in "bead". OMAR who? The RAE brothers are just ridiculous. I saw the "drummer" bit immediately, and was gobsmacked by EAR. Could it be? Yup. I didn't know NED or Pablo. Never heard of the dudes. This is what makes solving fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed defeating my ignorance this morning.

Anonymous 7:30 AM  

Thus has been a funtabulous week of puzzles and a very entertaining week at the blog. Great commentators with T Rex ruling from on high. I find little fault with this puzzle, other than it should have been a Wednesday, and the answer 'raised ones voice,'appears to be impossible to use in conversation (but I could be wrong). Finally, before I move on, let me close with one more thought. Tortilla chips are an ingredient in nachos. They are not the nacho. Now let's all move on.

John Child 7:35 AM  
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John Child 7:40 AM  

Pretty easy for Saturday, but not knowing much Spanish, PONS, SANDOVAL, ANISSA, PANDA (in context), or AYERS made the bottom quad a lot harder than the top.

It's time again to remember that you don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.

Glimmerglass 7:43 AM  

@Rex is correct about 1-down being the key to speed solving quad stacks. Also 48-down in this puzzle. The problem for me is that I'm so old MCVIE wasn't a gimme for me. I vaguely rememberd that MAC was based on some Scots or Irish last name, but I was not a fan. I was the father of three small children when Fleetwood Mac was popular. My Spanish estar got me only some of ERES. The bottom quad was easier for me than the top, but I have to rate this "medium." My last entry was TARDIS. Never saw Dr. Who. What's a TARDIS?

Z 8:01 AM  

@Evil Doug - So you're saying you don't agree with "second amendment" remedies to political issues? You liberal, you. If only the FBI had a culture of faithfully following the constitution AYERS probably would have served time. Sadly for everyone, the FBI still doesn't.

Hitting the road.

Dorothy Biggs 8:39 AM  

I opened this puzzle up in the online applet and saw all that white. I was frightened and figured this would be a two cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal puzzle. Soon into it, it was like I was a jenius or something. I filled in those long crosses with very few clues, and of course once you get those, you're pretty much done.

My only hang up was that I wanted 44A to be something French...and while I've heard of SANDOVAL, I figured his nickname would maybe start with an S, and also complicating things was that I didn't know ANISSA Jones. So, if you're keeping track at home, that left me with sO? (L or N or R or who knows what)D. I couldn't think of any French bodies of water spelled "sold" or "sord" or even "sond," though that made the most sense. I entertained PANDA, but seriously, a panda is Chinese and Sandoval, I'm pretty sure, wasn't Chinese. So I resisted for a long time. Then, POND. Oh yeah...a *POND.* Just an ordinary, everyday English word for what is in a French painter's painting on a Saturday when there was already a OUI and a SESTO and a LIRA and an ERES in the puzzle. Why on earth would I think that this would be something French? Beats me...

I laughed at RAISEDONESVOICE. I actually couldn't believe ONES was in there. Much like many other things that seem to pop up long after you think they're long gone, this one surprised me. But then, like Rex said, with those stacks like that I've just come to expect that ONES is going to be in there at least once.

I didn't do this in 4 minutes...but then I was well under my two cups of coffee and one bowl of oatmeal time. One cup. That was all it took.

Teedmn 8:48 AM  

This wasn't a hard Saturday but neither was it easy for me - 26:34 is about my Saturday average - and I had a DNF to boot. I was so SEtTO on Italian "sixth" being SEtTO that I left in VEtTED INTERESTS and it was so close to the correct phrase that it did not set off any alarm bells.

I know MCVIE as well as anyone but couldn't see it for anything. I had MASTER something off the AREN'T and TATE and the I and E but M__IE meant nothing to me, nothing (MoxIE??). And with _REAT(something) in at 16A, all I could think of was gREAT. I had to backtrack from the right to get CREATURE FEATURE. In fact, only knowing TARDIS since I'm a huge Dr. Who fan (the classic version) got me into the northern hemisphere at all. And I was actually "waiting" for an EpiphanY at 5D but held off after I had the ITY in place. That was a nice clue/answer combo.

Juneteenth was easy to spot - every year there are local celebrations which are well-covered in the paper. The southern hemisphere was every bit as easy as most of you found the whole puzzle. I smiled at the "ONE'S" in 51A. That was an in joke, I'm sure :-). I also smiled at the clue for TATE as I wondered if all of the ranting about calling the TATE a museum some time ago influenced its phrasing.

Having "art" on the brain from 1A, I put in "nudeS" for "naturals" at 37A because I was anticipating 13D would end in D due to the past tense. Luckily SANDOVAL was scratching at the back of my brain and DEFT certainly made sense at 31D. And having someone point out 30D was OR M cleared up my question of what N ORM was doing in a puzzle with an Agatha Christie-related clue.

Fun stuff, thanks Jason Flinn.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

Somehow I'm down with the ONES here, tho I know how ridiculous a ONES pile-up can be. "Shouted" could clue RAISED her/his/my/your VOICE, no? Or our/their VOICEs? Dependent on the assumed subject? Impressed by those stax!

Daryl 8:54 AM  

Finished in 9:20 … on my fast side but not record breaking. Should have started with 1D! Still I don't think I physically can fill a grid faster than 4 even if all I was doing was putting random words in so really impressed by Rex's time.

Otherwise, really like puzzles with lots of stacks and little fill. All killer no fillers like this are great.

Mohair Sam 8:58 AM  

MCVIE, ARENT, CREATUREFEATURES, TATE - filled the top. Looked down, EMANCIPATIONDAY a gimme - ERES, INSET, AYERS, PONS, SANDOVAL, PANDA - filled the bottom. Faster than most Wednesdays.

Very nice Saturday, I always enjoy stacks, but I'll join the throng this morning - way too easy. I saw that "ONES" however, and knew @Rex would just hammer it. A "ONES" in your stack with Rex is like a dangling participle to Dr. Gratz back in my English 101 course.

@Z - Finished the puzzle just in time to catch the own goal gift at the half to Man City from Chelsea. We have similar Saturdays.

Dolgo 9:00 AM  

I stopped listening to pop music just before Fleetwood Mac, do "McVie"wasn't s gimme gimme for me, either. I've always thought I just outgrew it. But as for the puzzle as a whole, I agree it was too easy for a Saturday. Since I live on the West Coast, I depend on the crosswords to help my chronic insomnia. Last night--no rest for the wicked, though you get a charge when you can so easily breeze through those solids.

Tita 9:09 AM  

@acme...shocked, SHOCKED! that you knew those sporty clues too...

Even more so that I got 1A with no crosses...! 1D, however, I needed every cross, in spite of being the right age. Yeah, I can mumble a few of their songs, but pop names have just never held enough sway for me that I allocate them much room on the cookie sheet. Not even ones I like...

So Rex...RANTing over that or anything other pop as a ginormous universal gimme is inane. Trivia is never universal. You-know-or-you-don't. Doesn't make one a bad person - solver or constructor. It's just convenient fill.

Having 1A, I sprinted with many of the downs, and even having no Complained at 7D didn't hold me up for long.
But then the puzzle started turning hard, and it was a real struggle to finish the bottom stack. Erased NOTASMANY for NOTASMuch, knowing I was probably violating that less/fewer thing that I often get wrong.
That baseball guy was hard to infer...once it looked like it might be SANDOVAL, PANDA was so far from being inferrable. Why PANDA? Are pandas good at baseball? Is his uniform black and white? Des he FARD himself with that black paint to make him look like a panda?
Oh wait...I don't care.

Even though it was a careless DNF due to TACiT, too much pop, and it too easy a Saturday, I liked the puzzle.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

Finally a chance to use my encyclopedic knowledge of Family Affair the lamest of the lame but in Grade 1, the basis of all of our fantasy lives.
Anissa Jones was a gimme. She was Buffy one of three children who went to live with their Uncle Bill in his New York penthouse after their parents died or were bored to death by the adorableness of their off spring.
And even as a six year old I had to question some of the plot lines. Butler Mr. French once loved but lost her in "the population explosion after the War."
Sorry for digressing but finished so fast that I have time to write a long post.

puzzle hoarder 9:12 AM  

The top half of this puzzle went in as fast as I could write it. The bottom half had a little hesitation to it but not much. I admire the patience it must have taken to assemble these two stacks but they offered almost nothing in the way of a solving experience. I know the puzzle had a middle third but it was simply the result of the two halves needing to mesh and the result wasn't pretty. Yesterday's puzzle was the work of an enthusiastic beginner who was eager to please and delivered. This puzzle seems like a technical exercise. To make up for that middle the majority if not all of the gridspanners would have to be of the quality shown by 48A, it was interesting, a definite "thing" and not easy to guess.

Maruchka 9:16 AM  

Juneteenth solve cracked the stacks wide open from the ONSET. Shocked and awed by how quickly this filled in. Not to compare with @Rex's times, of course - I'm on the lazy river clock.

A couple of do-overs: internal/INTERNET; lead/LEDE (shoulda known that!).

Re: N OR M - With @GeorgeB on Christie. Fun reads. BTW: If the clue had been "LeGuin's ___ Embar" would it have been more challenging?

Anyhoo, nice diversions down my MOLDY memory lane. Thanks, Mr. Flinn.

Humming along to "CREATURE -- CREATURE FEATUREs.." Ach - ear worm!

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

I have a different puzzle in the newspaper. It is called "The Hardest Puzzle" and is even easier than the online puzzle.This is clearly living in an alternate universe.I can now go to the 10AM movie.Saturdays are not supposed to be like this. HELP!!

Dolgo 9:23 AM  

If you ask me, some places (e.g. this one) should be free of the grinding of political axes.

SW 9:24 AM  


Phil 9:24 AM  

@evil_doug Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin were meglomaniacs who commited mass murders and torture to achieve power. There is no conceivable connection to Ayers.

I am proud to say I got Lily PONS and didn't get RAE. They ARENT in the same world either.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:31 AM  

Couldn't get into it at all. Lily PONS, SOS, OUI, a few other such things and then nothing. TARDIS: I knew that because I once took a picture of the boxy thing hanging off a school building and posted it on Facebook, asking 'What is it?' and somebody said 'A Tardis'. Turned out to be a decommissioned giant clock mechanism, sans face and hands. But that got me nothing, I gave up. Off to play 3 gigs. That time of year. I get fed well at them. One's a fundraising luncheon at a Portuguese church. We get slicked Chourico on crackers for appetizer. Then there's mashed potatoes with Chourico, beans with chourico meat and turkey with chourico stuffing. Oh, did I mention the cabbage soup, seasoned with chourico?

Hartley70 9:36 AM  

Oh no. Now I'm abashed. I've discovered that Juneteenth is indeed a celebration of the abolishment of slavery. I apologize for the levity.

Churlish Nabon 9:44 AM  

@Dolgo, you weren't asked.

Kim Scudera 9:45 AM  

@Hartley70: Wikipedia article on Juneteenth

Nancy 9:47 AM  

First of all, I didn't find it Easy, much less Easiest. Rex's MCVIE "gimme" was for me a WTF. Nonetheless, the crosses for all the PPP were mostly fair...until suddenly they weren't. And I had been enjoying this puzzle so much -- loving both the quad stacks and the cluing -- ETERNITY being my favorite. But it all ENDED IN DISASTER as I crashed and burned in the middle of the South. I didn't know the child actress (ANISSA is a first name????), nor the baseball player (34D), much less his nickname (44D). And because I was sure the actress had to be ALISSA (now there's a first name I've heard of), I had -OL- at 44A and therefore also didn't get POND. So I had 3 squares unfilled, and I stared at them longer than it had taken me to do the entire rest of the puzzle. That's why I hate PPP so much: you either know it or you don't. And if you don't know it, you can stare at the grid until the cows come home -- or at least return to the FEEDLOT -- and you still won't get it. Even so, I did have fun with most of this, and only became frustrated and grumpy late in the game. An [almost] nice job.

ArtO 9:53 AM  

Don't usually even try Saturdays but seeing the quad stacks I thought I might have a shot. And, I did. Complete finish without help. Needless to say, a multiple of OFL time. Somewhat miffed to see the "easiest" rating but then again I didn't know MCVIE so did not have a "gimme" start.

Nancy 9:54 AM  

@Hartley -- Don't be abashed. I didn't know Juneteenth either, and EMANCIPATION DAY only came in from the crosses. (But only after I changed omITS to EDITS at 45D.) Since so many people seem to know the term, I think I'll go Google it now. And, also, thanks @Hartley for saying the puzzle wasn't all that easy. Whew! What a relief!

kitshef 9:56 AM  

Played like two puzzles for me: easy bottom, medium top. Overall, easy for a Saturday but nowhere near record-breaking. Of course, my solve method stays the same for stacks as for other puzzles, rather than attacking the downs and pattern-recognizing the longs.

Great puzzle. The longs aren't glorious, but they are solid, and they don't compromise the grid. MCVI? I was sure would be rrn MCVII, before I looked at the clue. That would have been an issue, much more so than ORY.

@Tita A – SANDOVAL looks like a giant PANDA, all pudgy and cuddly.

LINDT white chocolate truffles are better than true love.

r.alphbunker 10:07 AM  

I thought JUNETEENTH was a reference to school letting out for the summer. It appears that the word is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth.

QuasiMojo 10:08 AM  

It felt easy at first as I tossed in McVie without even thinking and then filled in all the long acrosses, cursing the facileness. But then I got stuck having put in ETE instead of ETO since SESTE seemed fair. Plus I had Emancipation Act instead of Day for far too long. But once I saw my predicaments, I easily resolved them. Wish this had more difficulty but then I've got a busy day (Santa Parade) and can use the extra free time. Did anyone do the LA Times puzzle yesterday? With words being placed "over" each other? (Not sure the date of it is the same on my coast as yours.) I thought that was much better than the NYT one. Surprised me. I"m now doing three puzzles each day. LA, NYT and WSJ. I know, I need to get a life. :)

Nancy 10:12 AM  

@Tita (9:09) -- Now that Grammar Nazi has mercifully ridden off into the sunset, allow me to help you make sure that you never, ever confuse "less" and "fewer" again. And it's so, so easy:

If you can count the items, you use "fewer". And if there are no items to count, you use "less". So that: there are fewer drops of water in my glass than in your glass. But: There is less water in my glass than in yours. You can't "count" water, but you can count the number of drops of water in a glass -- even though I'm sure you won't want to. To continue: There is less ice in my glass than yours. But there are also fewer cubes of ice. You can count the number of cubes, but you can't count ice. To continue: There are fewer people at the parade than last year, but there's less of a crowd. You can count the number of people, but you can't count a crowd. There is less foliage in the park than last week, meaning fewer leaves. (You can count leaves, but you can't count foliage.) I hope this has made everything crystal clear for you. Has it?

evil doug 10:28 AM  
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GILL I. 10:31 AM  

OOOOH fun puzzle. I struggled in places - the ends and starts of the stacks got the better part of my unimagination. I got MASTER but wanted architect to end that top part. Went to the bottom and I had EMAsCuLated for that June thing. Didn't know SANDOVAL nor that he looked like a cute PANDA. Anyway, I just kept plugging away, erasing and plugging.
Learned a lot about the Volstead Act thanks to watching Boardwalk Empire (Hi Numi) I guess I don't know my Idi Amins because I don't know Bill AYERS. Maybe because I was busy wanting Franco to quietly disappear.
@Nancy....Thank you for the tutorial. You remind me of my grandmother who patiently taught me all kinds of tricks to figuring out our language. It was she who started my on crossword puzzles....! and look at me today!

Carola 10:33 AM  

Easy here. Stepped into the grid at ETO, which led to AREN'T, SESTO, TATE and the rest of the top. My only hang-up on getting to the bottom was giving my bison a croP (I guess it's actually a beard) before a HUMP.

Help from previous crosswords: OMAR, SYSTEMS ANALYSTS
Absorbed from the atmosphere: RUDNER, SANDOVAL
MUSED OVER: CRIED A...."river" wouldn't fit. Tear? Drop? Laughed when I got BOUT.

jberg 10:48 AM  

I knew Fleetwood Mac, but somehow I seldom know the names of individuals within music groups -- just not enough of a fan. So that made the whole thing more medium than easy for me. Especially since I wanted SYSTEM operatorS at 53A.

I also didn't know SANDOVAL or his nickname, but once I had NDA what else could it be? And that gave me POND, although I question the accuracy of the clue. Monet may have named those paintings "water lilies," but he painted lilies and pond as one entity.

@phil phil, Doug wasn't saying Ayers is just like Idi Amin -- he was making an a fortiori argument. Not that I agree with him about Ayers deserving prison, but fair is fair.

jberg 10:55 AM  

I just checked yesterday's late comments, and see that my sports ignorance was exposed. Face now a bright shade of cardinal.

Charles Flaster 11:00 AM  

Easy but not "easiest".
DNF at ETA which needs (abbr.) in clue.
I kept mYERS in my answer as AYERS eluded me.
Liked cluing for ART STUDIO and EDITS.
Many write overs--LIRA for maRk, SLEEP AIDS for Snow tireS( previously discussed this week, so Retiring made sense), HUMP for HUsk, and EDITS for maIlS.
Thanks JF.

Malsdemare 11:01 AM  

@Nancy @Hartley, I stand with you; not easy! I knew MCVey, of course, which messed me up from the get-go. Once I sorted out that boo boo, I got the top filled in toute suite. And then ground to a halt. Pablo who? Family Affair? Juneteenth? Sremmurd? I filled in SYSTEMS engineer from a couple of downs and then took it out when NOSY wouldn't work. But even that helpful Y didn't help me get ANALYSTS until I succumbed and googled for SANDOVAL and ANISSA. Ultimately I finished, didn't get the musical interlude and ended up decided Sremmurd's name must be RAE, not mAE. Not sure why I thought OMAm was a name.

We actually have bison down the road from us (I almost put my car in the ditch the first time I saw them; keep in mind I live in rural Illinois). That made HUMP easy. I was oddly disappointed by POND, or maybe I was disappointed that Monet was used to clue such a lackluster answer.

I'm up for coffee or wine or anything if swapping dog stories is on the agenda (or not). But note rural Illinois, above.

mathgent 11:06 AM  

The bottom stack fell apart easily because here in San Francisco we know Pablo (Kung Fu Panda) Sandoval well, He was on two of our championship teams.

The top stack took some work. I just got to know Fleetwood Mac and the wonderful Stevie Nicks recently through their greatest hits CD and didn't know MCVIE. Also didn't know SESTO, FEEDLOT, and TARDIS. But CREATUREFEATURE finally popped into my head.

Mick Fleetwood owns a restaurant/bar in Lahaina where he sometimes leads a band from the drum stand. We were there last year. I think that he lives there.

Liked it. A minus.

Alex 11:10 AM  

I knew it was an easy Saturday when I only had to cheat for RAE Sremmurd. But Monday or Tuesday easy? Come on. MCVIE was a good start, for sure, and then CREATURE FEATURE, but I found the south more challenging, even though I remember Buffy from Family Affair. The first child star I was aware of dying of a drug overdose. I had REcol before RECEDE, etc, but I had fun with the puzzle.

evil doug 11:10 AM  

phil x 2,

"There is no conceivable connection to Ayers."

All have appeared in the puzzle, and all employed terror to achieve their goals.

Ayers and his ilk also compare quite uniformly with ISIS--using terrorism against America--but to the best of my knowledge ISIS hasn't appeared in the puzzle. Yet.

jae 11:13 AM  

Yes, very easy. I had one hiccup similar to the problem @Nancy encountered. I did not know SANDOVAL's nickname and started with AlISSA Jones which made POND tough to see. Fortunately, I have seen a few Monets so it wasn't tough to fix. The problem with quads is that they tend to be easy once you have one or two of the 15s. To toughen up the 15s the downs also need to be tough and these were not. I'm with @Rex on too many gimmes.

ANISSA did not end well.

That said, the quads were pretty good, liked it.

old timer 11:17 AM  

I did *not* finish the puzzle in 4 minutes, and OFL's times leave me in awe. Might have helped if I remembered MCVIE (Christine has a lovely voice, BTW and I knew it started with MC). But it was on the Easy side for a Saturday. In fact, it was the bottom that I got quickly, since I knew EMANCIPATIONDAY and ERES. You know ERES too if you ever heard Joan Baez perform "ERES alta, such a perfect tune for her.

Juneteenth has long been a big holiday in the SF Bay Area. One thing many people don't know is that when black people came North in WWII, they followed the routes of the great passenger trains. Migrants to New York tended to come up the East Coast; migrants to Chicago followed the IC and GM&O route from Mississippi, and migrants from Texas followed the SP route to Los Angeles or the Santa Fe route through the Central Valley to Oakland and San Francisco.

The connection with Juneteenth is this: The Union Army fought almost no battles in Texas. Therefore, slaves in Texas were not emancipated during the War. Lincoln may have freed them on paper, but it took the Army to free them for real. On June 19, 1865, a Union general stood on a balcony in Galveston and announced that by order of the President all slaves in Texas were free. Word traveled north to East Texas where many were still in slavery. The date was remembered and celebrated there, and when years later so many blacks came from there to the Bay Area, the traditional celebration on that date came with them.

Nancy 11:23 AM  

@Quasi (10:08) Re: "busy day." Are you the Santa?

Unknown 11:24 AM  

So many interesting comments this morning, but let me address some of what has emerged in the dialogue involving @evil doug and @Z (and perhaps others?)

For many many years, the go-to clue for ISIS referred to the Egyptian deity. However, its three most recent appearances have been clued thus: "Hadji group, briefly" (Livengood, September 15, 2016); "Sunni jihadist grp." (Polin, June 21, 2015); "Mideast grp." (Gagliardo & Burnikel, April 19, 2015). Zero appearances for ISIL, an alternative spelling that is preferred by some.

On the other hand, AYERS is traditionally clued for the Australian rock, and this is the first New York Times mention for Bill. Can't say one way or another for other venues, though.

As to my own constructing efforts, I've made the conscious choice more recently to avoid IDI and AMIN, among other monsters, whenever possible.

old timer 11:26 AM  

Oh, have to say I had a big smile on my face thinking about Pablo SANDOVAL, our once-beloved PANDA. He was the MVP of the Series but felt disrespected in some way and asked to be traded. Ironically, he never had another good year. And the Giants still have their Horse, pitcher Matt Cain, though maybe not for long.

kitshef 11:45 AM  

For those who would like to know more about @old timer's referencevto black migration from the south, let me recommend The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

Trombone Tom 11:47 AM  

Nice to see the PANDA show up. A lot of us miss him out here in the Bay Area. Tapping his toe with the bat and all the other tics.

It's daunting to face those stacked quads but perseverance has its reward. Not to say that my time is in the same league as OFL's.

The CREATURE FEATURE was a TV staple.

A great way to start the weekend. Thanks, Jason.

Mike B. 12:15 PM  

What the heck is ETO? I feel like I'm missing something obvious.

evil doug 12:17 PM  

European Theater of Operations.

Lewis 12:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maruchka 12:25 PM  

@Mike B - European Theatre of Operations - World War II acronym.

Lewis 12:33 PM  

@acme -- Rae Sremmurd is Ear Drummers backward, and I think there's a back story to this... Ah! Here it is from Wikipedia: The name "Rae Sremmurd" is derived from the duo's home label, EarDrummers, by spelling each word backwards.

Wileyfex 12:36 PM  

I think you are confusing The Tate with The Tate Modern. The Tate has been around for at least four decades and has always been The Tate.

QuasiMojo 12:45 PM  

@Nancy -- lol or should I say "Ho ho ho"? Definitely not. Though a few more chocolate coconut scones like I had this morning and I might audition for Santa. :)

Masked and Anonymous 1:14 PM  

Ow …

1. Saw the grid layout, and immediately, instinctively, snivelingly headed for the relative safety of the central weeds. Fatal mistake ... Shoulda checked out that gimme at 1-Down, much earlier. Tusk!

2. TARDIS who? LINDT who? [Did know Doctor who, tho.] Went with TARDUS/LUNDT. Kiss my sweetass bonus good-bye.

3. ORY/ORM. fave conjoined weejects. Easiest fix:
29. Perfect record spoiler
33. Spot remover brand? [Hint: rhymes with dachsie]
30. Fifty grand, expressed as a random Roman numeral formula??

Thanx for the fun, but not completely eazy-E for m&e, Mr. Flinn.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Numinous 1:25 PM  

ETO is the European Theater of War.
It took me the longest time to get MCVIE which is embarassing considering that I spent some time, in the '80s at the house of a friend, on the beach in Santa Monica, where Fleetwood Mac was always on the stereo.* He even took a bunch of us to the Tusk concert in a couple of Limos. He'd booked a whole row of seats. It was a nice way of giving back.

I clearly remember seeing the [Kung Fu] PANDA, Pablo SANDOVAL when the Giants played the Braves. He was that good that when he came up to bat it was gut wrenching for a Braves fan.

I've used ONE in speaking to avoid referencing that ubiquitous Korean, General Yu, for a long time so seeing ONE in a puzzle is not a problem for me at all. In fact, I don't see why it bothers anyone. With just a little shft in thinking, it's possible to use ONE in LIEU of him or her, ONES in LIEU of his or hers. It's a style thing that may seem a bit MOLDY, but, for the most part, it works.

This was not a piece of cake for me, I'm having that a little later. I got the southern hemisphere first in dribs and drabs until the stacks made themselves known. On the first pass though, I'd guessed ARENT, wanted abattoir and plunked in TARDIS. I enjoy watching Dr. Who from time to time. I watched it from time to time when I lived in London too. Those were the classic B/W ones. In Google Maps, entering TARDIS Earls Court then going into the photographs, there is one with arrowheads which, when clicked, give a tour of the inside. For a Dr. Who fan, it is fascinating.

Somehow I had FEATURE and CRAFTSMAN before MASTER CREATURE occurred to me. Saw ADDRESS and INTERESTS before I got INTERNET and VESTED. That finally gave me MCVIE and I was all, "Oh yeah, now I remember." This did not END IN DISASTER for me. I finished it up in 20 minutes under my Saturday average and was pleased to have avoided googling. I won't say it was EASIEST, there were very few gimmies. I liked this challenge.

*I'm not going to say why I spent a couple nights a week sitting around a table at a house on the beach in Santa Monica at the western terminus of I-10, but if you recall I was in the film industry in the '80s you'll figure it out. In those days I worked 10 or more hours a day, seven days a week for three and a half months solid, September into December. Putting music on Saturday Morning cartoons is mind numbing. One loses all perspective.

Numinous 1:29 PM  

P. S.

I misspoke, it is indeed European Theater of Operations not War.

On behalf of Mrs. Numi, I feel I need to mention that LINDT Lindor Truffles in white chocolate are a major jones for her. Whenever I didn't know what to get her, a fistful of those would always do the trick.

skua76 1:44 PM  

Totally unrelated to today's amazingly easy Saturday puzzle, but rather some crosswordese news. Chef Peng Chang-kuei, the inventor of General Tso's Chicken, died this week in Taipei at the age of 98. Details...

Greg 2:16 PM  

Not thrilled about OMAR/RAE. Yes, Omar is a name, but felt that the R could have easily been a couple other consonants as well. The MCVIE/ETO/SESTO clump had my stymied for a bit. Shouldn't the clue for ETO indicate an abbreviation? I was trying to make it a three-letter proper name along the lines of STLO, or other obscure WWII locations. At least Lily PONS was a gimmee (opera).

Doc John 2:30 PM  

Not to mention the presence of both ONSET and INSET.

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

Saturday's take me forever. Not today. ETERNITY RECEDED.

Fred Romagnolo 2:35 PM  

In the controversy about Ayers, nobody objected to equating Arafat with the ruthless mass murderers; freedom fighters against illegal occupation are not equatable to Stalin or Amin. I'm not sure I like equating Old-fashioned with MOLDY; ageism?

Nancy 3:05 PM  

This is my 5th fascinating post in fewer than six hours.

Anonymous 3:31 PM  

I swear to god, I actually had EMASCULATIONDAY.... don't ask me how I got there!

Rick 3:35 PM  

Naticked on TARDIS/LINDT crossing. I went with a 'U' instead of 'I'.

Cassieopia 3:53 PM  

@Nancy - my brilliant mother always catches me using less/fewer incorrectly. She tried to explain that "you can count less" but that didn't help me when I thought of "I weigh less" versus "I weigh fewer." Your explanation was the clearest I've seen. I weigh less, but I weigh fewer pounds. Right? Mom will be proud!

Anonymous 4:17 PM  

Fewer than 200 pounds? No.
Fewer than 2 cups of sugar? No.
Fewer than 6 hours? No.

It has nothing to do with "counting", since you can "count" pounds, cups, and hours.

You use "less than" when what you are measuring can be broken down to parts.

How's that for a clear and simple explanation?

evil doug 4:18 PM  

There is less water in my glass than there is truth in this statement. You should post fewer than five times.

Anonymous 5:00 PM  

@Anonymous 4:17:
Nice clear explanation!! To add to it, consider this scenario:
Before we left, we packed FEWER THAN twelve bottles of water.
Later, I realized I had drunk LESS THAN four bottles of water.
These make sense because what you packed is measured in integers (whole numbers), but what you drank can be measured in fractions.

Nancy 5:39 PM  

@Evil Doug -- Actually, I posted only 4 times (before now) today. Fake "Nancy" (the troll) at 3:05 p.m. posted the 5th comment. Check it out. But what I really don't understand is why it matters so much to either you or the troll, when skipping past the comments of people you plainly don't like is so ridiculously easy. I often skip comments -- but I would never be so rude and unpleasant as to let the person in question know. This site is a smorgasbord -- help yourself to what pleases you and pass right over whatever you don't like. I could understand your complaint if space were limited and my comments prevented someone else from having a turn. But space is unlimited. And, with Rex no longer monitoring the blog, I'm not causing him any additional trouble or expense Do understand, @Evil, that I'm not writing to you or for you, much less for the troll, (who I'm very, very grateful I shall never have to meet in real life!) I'm writing instead for the friends I've made on this blog and I've made many. And in that regard, let me say to @GILL I and @Cassieopia -- Thanks for your respective comments. I'm very glad I could be of help today.

evil doug 5:51 PM  

My finger is tired from scrolling so much. Help me out, will you?

Relax, Nancy. My comment was tongue in cheek. You can't have your fun, and then get all defensive when others do the same.

And Michael still monitors. He just doesn't get as overzealous with his editing. But he still occasionally yanks out an offender....

Anonymous 7:02 PM  

@Nancy, the troll at 3:05 was simply demonstrating to you that your explanation of "fewer" was incorrect. It was supposed to be humorous but you missed it.

Random Passerby 8:26 PM  

@Nancy 1012,

'If you can count the items, you use "fewer".' You know, you could have stopped right there. But you went on to provide four (count them, four examples. You could have gotten by with fewer examples if you thought @Tita was less of a dim bulb.

Random Passerby 8:43 PM  

I think @evil d (12:17) is a real gentleman for answering European Theater of Operations with no rant attached.

mathgent 9:29 PM  

My enjoyment of the blog is directly proportional to the number of times @Nancy posts.

Leapfinger 10:46 PM  

Guess I'm one of the TARDIeSt ONES today. Can't ever remember what that time-traveling phone-booth is called. Maybe I'll think of a mnemonic, for next time.

Didn't think this took me an ETERNITY to solve till I read @Rex, but I'm pleased I had that much more time to enjoy it, though I had NOT AS MANY gimmes. Must say I also got a few less laughs at the few less than serious comments that clue prompted.

Trip-stacks and quad-stacks used to give me the willies: used to be I wouldn't even read the Across clues till I'd done all I could with the Downs. Things got much better after I broke that habit, and today, the Downs got me the Acrosses up top, while things worked in reverse down below. Being in the camp unfamiliar with the term Juneteenth, I was glad it didn;t turn out to be EMANCIPATION ERA.

Despite the much-vaunted ease, I managed some errors: 'start up, in a way' sounded pretty good for BOLT, in several ways, and I was willing to consider SLY PROTEIN as a way to sabotage a rival's carbo-loading regimen.

Elsewhere, I thoughtlessly entered LEAD, though I've seen @Z's use of LEDE often enough. Until today, I'd no idea it was such a topic of concern in journalistic circles. Scratch that: I'd no idea it was a topic, period. Anyway, with LEAD in place, that left me running the alphabet for 32A, and couldn't come up with an 'old-fashioned' --LAY. By, the way @FredRom, MOLDY isn't all bad for ageism: we have all those antibiotics and stinky cheeses on our side.

Speaking of chocolate, there's that tasty intersection of LINDT with the DOVE bar, but I hate to tell the white chocolate truffle lovers (@kitshef, better than true love?? mmphmf), them ain't chocolate, them's oil&sugar truffles.

btw, I'm surprised nobody mentioned Lily (of the opera) PONS paired with Lily (of Monet's Giverny) POND. I thought that downright elegant.
Now the white truffle lovers can tell me I'm being weedy.

So I thought this was In Like Flinn, DEFT from S.T.E.M. to STERN, and only de Flight of de Bumblebee ENDED IN DIS ASTER.

Anonymous 10:51 PM  

@Mike B, ETO is sometimes clued as Ike's or Eisenhower's command. You might find this useful in the future.

lynn 11:06 PM  

@dolgo Yes Yes Yes!

For What It's Worth 11:27 PM  

Time, money, distance, and weight are often listed as exceptions to the traditional “can you count it” rule because they take less, but when you use the “singular or plural” rule, time, money, distance, and weight all fall in line. Although a thousand dollars is certainly countable—a bank teller will do it for you gladly—we routinely ignore that fact and think of them as singular amounts:

He believes $1,000 is a lot of money.
She says that 50 miles is a long drive for ice cream.
We think 12 hours is too much time to spend on the road.
They’re singular and they take less:

We had less than $1,000 in the bank.
We’re less than 50 miles away.
I can fix the roof in less than 12 hours.

Freddy Murcks 1:38 AM  

Based on my own record, it looks like July 9, 2016 was easier that this one. But this was ridiculously easy for a Saturday. It's like somebody just phoned it in.

Anonymous 3:38 AM  

I chimed in before 10 A.M. yesterday morning to report that the puzzle in the NYT newspaper is different from the online version.In the paper the grid is headlined, The Hardest Puzzle. It took a lowly soul,such as I,about 5 or 6 minutes to solve,because I print very neatly and the clues were absurdly long. Did anyone else do that puzzle? Perhaps it was only printed in Boston and/or in my newspaper. I am less inclined to believe that, but then, I have had fewer than three hours sleep.

kitshef 9:14 AM  

Anon at 3:38. The puzzle you solved is not the actual NY Times puzzle, but an advertisement. Keep searching the rest of your paper and you will find the real puzzle.

Jeff Keller 10:58 AM  

ANISSA lined up as a gimme thanks to my 60s-70s childhood. Family Affair, in which Anissa Jones played Buffy, was pretty popular during its first run, then in syndication. Sadly, many remember after the series end Anissa's troubled adolescence and untimely death at age 18. Yes, easy fill for me, except around the LINDT/TARDIS area, which I simply didn't know and didn't infer properly.

spacecraft 11:23 AM  

I also knew MCVIE right off--though for my money you can keep Christine and give me some Stevie Nicks, please. In fact, after making that upgrade I hereby install Ms. Nicks as DOD.

This was easy-medium for me; the stacks went down OK, but some of that shorter stuff! LEDE?? Seriously? LEDE??? Is that supposed to be a "word?" Don't try that one in Scrabble, 'cause you'll lose your turn. I'm here staring at MOLaY ("With De, a Masonic youth club") and ATEd (, I'm not even gonna try a clue) and wondering where the H-E-double hockey sticks I went wrong. I finally convinced myself to repair the acrosses, but really doubted myself looking at that ridiculous LEDE. This is a penalty-grade violation.

And in that same section, just below, we have yet another rap/hip hop whatever. This time gets a pass because of the obvious sdrawckab gnilleps of "Drummers." Just to be in that genre is enough nonsense; why do they feel the need to compound it with these inane names?

Besides the painful LEad/LEDE writeover, I had one at RaDNER (no, you idiot, I said to myself, that was Gilda!). Rita is of course RUDNER, RUnNER-up for DOD. Also IteS before ISTS. Bill of 47-down should have formed a band--then we could call it AYERS Rock!

Well, I've CRIEDABOUT this one enough. Woulda been a par without 22-down: bogey. Hey, a penalty stroke is a penalty stroke.

rondo 11:35 AM  

Half an hour only because I couldn't/wouldn't let go of LEad for the longest time, but knew ATEE had to be right. That top stack went quickly because of the PPP gimme-ness of MCVIE, TATE, RUDNER, AFTA, and NESS. The WOF instincts kicked in and off to the races. Also helped knowing the PANDA SANDOVAL in the bottom stack.

The Juneteenth thing was easy as they have a big celebration in the old Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul, where I kinda lived for ten years. No, my nickname did not come from there, though in the 70s I was one of those guys sporting AFROS.

Rita RUDNER might not be every ONE'S yeah baby, but I could SEEIT for me.

Nice Sat-puz that could have ENDEDINDISASTER if I had not changed the LEDE.

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

Huh? Easiest? Wasn't in my wavelength. At all. Rejected.

Sailor 1:07 PM  

@Spacecraft - from the Merriam-Webster Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary, 5th Edition: LEDE: the introductory section of a news story. 5 points. I agree it makes no sense, but there it is.

Burma Shave 1:37 PM  


NOSY critics MUSEDOVER making the CREATUREFEATUREs faster.
From the ONSET, he CRIEDABOUT those SPIES and propaganda


leftcoastTAM 2:09 PM  

One of the easiest puzzles I've seen in many a Saturday, and I don't mind that at all.
Grid spanners almost filled themselves in with a few down crosses.

But I BOOTed it at the TARDIS/LINDT cross with a "U" instead of an "I". Just a bad guess. ANISSA, unknown to me, fortunately showed up at the POND crossing. Wanted to see Alissa or Alyssa, of course.

Nothing to RANT about here.

Diana,LIW 3:45 PM  

I was writing a post when our power went momentarily out. Too bad - it was glorious.

Had a dnf due to too many unknown PPPs in the bottom half.

Stormy Sunday coming our way.

Diana, LIW

rain forest 5:34 PM  

Started this earlier this morning, then had to go shovel the driveway, and then drive my son to the airport. Too bad, because I got off to a blazing start with MCVIE, ARENT, SExTO, and MASTER CRAFTSMAN, of which I was very proud. That whole north stackathon fell quickly, once I corrected the "x".

Coming back to the puzzle much later, I laboured long and hard, but eventually got'er done. I've heard the phrase, "don't bury the LEad", or at least I thought it was "lead". Is there a reason why the spelling changed? Also, both "juneteenth" and EMANCIPATION DAY were entirely new to me, and so I had to get a lot of crosses to get those stacks down low.

I continue to not understand the aversion to seeing ONE'S in the grid. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. However, I'm glad to say I *know* when to use "less" and "fewer", thus was spared a tutorial by someone unclear on the concept.

Liked this one a lot.

rondo 6:25 PM  

@rainy - re: less vs. fewer. My foreign-born and -raised wife points out the misuse of less/fewer in this country all the time, especially in advertising, and reminds me of the rule. Fewer goes with "countable" things and less with "uncountable": fewer chairs and less furniture.
Energizer batteries has it half right with "Use less batteries, create less waste"; I buy their product grudgingly. About 5 years ago the MASTERCRAFTSMeN at Mercedes (of all people) were crowing about their new sport model having "Less Doors". Poor, poor English. To this date I have not purchased their product.
So I guess that NOTASMuch for less and NOTASMANY for fewer are words to live by. For at least four years as some SEEIT.

rain forest 6:40 PM  

Hey @Rondo - Once on a golf trip to Port Townsend, I was in a supermarket where the express line sign said "12 or less items". I pointed out to the cashier the incorrectness of the sign, and, lo and behold, the following year they had changed the sign to "12 items or less". Can't win for losing.

leftcoastTAM 6:54 PM  

@rain forest:

Concerning "lead" and "lede", somewhere, some time ago, I picked up on "lede" as newspaper-ese. Never learned when or why the odd spelling was adopted.

Could be to distinguish the first sentence or two of a news story from other kinds of "leads" or even other parts of the story. The substance and structure of a "lede" consists of the basic who, what, where, and when of the story to follow.

Just guessing.

Sailor 7:03 PM  

On the matter of lead/lede, here is a great piece from 1990 in the late William Safire's famous NYT column "On Language":

fakt chekker 7:09 PM  

LEDE - Back in the good ole days when newspapers were laid with metal pieces of type, the space between the lines of copy were filled in with blank strips of lead. If you wanted more space between the type, then you added more lead. Hence the typographic term “leading” to indicate vertical space between type.

If an editor writes on a proof sheet that an article has a bad “lead” — meaning the first sentence to the news story, then that could easily be confused with bad “lead” — the space between the type. So, some brilliant newspaperman long ago changed the spelling of “lead” to “lede.” Now everyone always knew whether the editor is referring to the first sentence or to vertical spacing.

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