1976 blaxploitation film that was sequel to Dolemite / SUN 4-16-17 / Made-for-TV western co-starring Travis Tritt / Oz figure for short / Nickname for Angel stadium / Vox co-founder Klein others / Native Rwandan / Moved jocularly / Group lampooned in Django unchained

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Saddle Up!" — "Figures" on top of their horses (literally):

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: CISCO KID (35A) —
The Cisco Kid is a fictional character found in numerous film, radio, television and comic book series based on the fictional Western character created by O. Henry in his 1907 short story "The Caballero's Way", published in the collection Heart of the West, as well as in Everybody's Magazine, v17, July 1907. In movies, radio and television, the Kid was depicted as a heroic Mexican caballero, even though he was originally a cruel outlaw. It was also referenced in the popular 1977 television show, CHiPs. (wikipedia)
• • •

The frame of reference here is very old, and the premise pretty tired. The "figures" atop the horses are sometimes pairs but then sometimes not pairs and literally none of them has been a central figure in American culture for well over half a century (Johnny Depp's "LONE RANGER" bomb notwithstanding). I had this strange realization just now that I don't even know who the CISCO KID is. The name is familiar enough, but I realize now that my familiarity with it is probably due almost entirely to my having seen Gene Wilder in "The Frisco Kid" when I was ... a kid. That's pretty weird, as puns go. "Disco Kid" I can see—it takes things in an unexpected direction. But "The Frisco Kid" is a totally plausible cowboy name. (/digression). So the whole thing was mothbally and the fill itself was no great shakes either—even the "original" longer fill was about as interesting as ECRU: AX HEAD? BAR MAGNET? FRET SAW? How are these answers exciting? Items from some old prospector's tool shed don't strike me as scintillating fill. PAH (?!?). Also, GRANPA? Look, it's GRAMPA or it's GRANDPA, but it is not GRANPA. That is terrible. I guess a really old GRANPA would say PAH, though, so ... nice crossing?

The painful icing on this one was the thick layer of "?" clues. Actually, I think they were truly thick only in one part of the grid, but at some point I was literally swearing at the puzzle as, everywhere I turned, another stupid "?" clue. Was MENDEL really a [Pea nut?]. He was a genetics nut. Are PEALS really heard at modern weddings? (32D: Wedding rings?) Is life at all improved by this clue for SKI: 95A: Go on a run? It's so dull and literal it hardly needs a "?". The ones that really *work* today are 37D: Is Greek (IOTAS) and 59A: Down in front? (SUB-) and maybe 62D: Top secret? (WIG). Cluing was too often off today. ALLAH is a [Prayer figure]? I mean, sure, but that's a terribly generic clue for ALLAH. And then there's ugsome stuff like BEERY and WE LOST (I had WOE IS I!) and Arnold Schwarzenegger's ****ing middle name!? (ALOIS). Come on.

Further: a BUTTERMILK DONUT is not a "breakfast item." Donuts, while frequently eaten in the a.m. w/ coffee, are not not not parts of "breakfast" or any meal. I go to diners with extensive "breakfast" menus and I don't even know if there are donuts on there. I've never seen anyone eat a donut *at breakfast*. I know Dunkin' has a "breakfast" menu now but please, stop. No. Also, < 1% of solvers are going to have seen "THE HUMAN TORNADO" (24A: 1976 blaxploitation film that was a sequel to "Dolemite"). I've seen many, many blaxploitation flicks (they're an important part of the history of American Crime Fiction, which I teach) and I don't even know this title. "Dolemite," yes. "THE HUMAN TORNADO" ... no. I mean, I kinda like it here, since at least it's original and not dull, but it's weird that something that obscure passed as a themer. See also "RIO DIABLO," the clue for which is hilarious in its "no seriously this is a thing guys I swear!" pleading (42A: Made-for-TV western co-starring Travis Tritt).

["I used an earthquake to mix my milkshake!"]
[Definitely NSFW]

The SE has some nice stuff going on, like the loopy LOCOMOTED (86D: Moved, jocularly) and the so-awkward-it's-cute partial ON ONE HAND, as well as the colorful PILE IT ON. But that corner was not enough to counteract ... everything else.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:31 AM  

I watched a lot of TV Westerns in the '50s so I knew all the theme answers. Hence, easy for me. I did bounce around a bit in the center with ruG before WIG, NAw before NAH, and nErd before GEEK.

A trip down memory lane, liked it.

Anonymous 12:47 AM  

Had rituAL instead of ORDEAL (17D), seaTo/sEAl instead of NAFTA/NEAR (1A/1D), fell into the mormoN/UTAHAN (114A) trap pretty easily...so in other words, I spent lots of time on clean-up duty.

Not my proudest Sunday.

travis 1:51 AM  

As soon as I figured out what was going on(and I had several pairs without grasping it), I thought, yeh, I'm not going to know the names of any horses. This is going to be tedious. Still played fairly easy despite that.

Larry Gilstrap 2:02 AM  

I'm thinking that OFL was very generous in his appraisal of this Sunday puzzle. I watched tons of TV in the Fifties and Sixties and I was embarrassed that I knew these characters and the horses they rode in on. How about normal people? I take a beating when current pop culture gums up a puzzle, but I'll MAN UP and look for fair crosses. But, my heart goes out to younger solvers trying to get into the NYT Puzzle when they are confronted with this ancient trivia. You'd have to feel DOOMED

I remember one Halloween when I was to go out trick or treating with Teddy Edgel and we were torn because we had to miss the latest episode of ZORRO, "the fox so cunning and free..." Candy handouts door to door or some black and white ethnic oater. Really? I actually viewed TRIGGER at the ROY ROGERS Museum in Victorville. He was stuffed. (Moment of silence!) The horse, not the actor/singer. Happy trails to you, 'til we meet again. The CISCO KID was way early TV fare. I've made my case and lest I PILE IT ON, I will conclude with my humble respect for the skill required to construct a big Sunday themer. It's beyond my ken.

I grew up loving the Lakers and really caring when a CELTIC, like John Havlesuck would break our hearts. Tragic times for a youngster. And then Red Auerbach would light up a victory cigar on the bench? Special place in hell for that kind of arrogance, but perhaps he was a nice man. Forgive and forget!

Anonymous 3:14 AM  

Long time lurker, commenting for the first time because I can't bear to leave unsaid that Rex's complaint about BUTTERMILK DONUT is by far the most ridiculous thing I've read on this blog. Why should food that is prototypically eaten in the morning not be considered breakfast?? If the first thing I consume after waking up is a donut and coffee, would Rex honestly correct me for calling that breakfast???

Greg 3:39 AM  

I have to agree with @Anon 3:14 on the breakfast food issue. Of course, a donut is a breakfast food. Everyone knows it's a breakfast food. This is such a weird thing to get in a snit about. If there were a Family Feud question that asked, "At which meal does one typically eat a donut?", aren't the results going to be something like: Breakfast 99?

Unknown 4:03 AM  

This one felt like a slog. I don't know my cowboys (not to mention their horses). Took me almost an hour. Yuk. Oh - and yes, a donut is most definitely a breakfast food!

'mericans in Paris 4:32 AM  


Yesterday turned into an OFF (old fart fest) day for Mrs 'mericans and me, starting with this puzzle and finishing with a late-night binge of Colombo re-runs, dubbed into French. The guy who provides the French voice-over for Peter Falk sounds just like him. Incredible.

But I digress. We enjoyed this puzzle on balance, but had the same concerns for younger solvers as does @Larry Gilstrap. Except for answers like APP, BCCS and NAFTA, this puz could have been published contemporaneously with Colombo -- i.e., the 1970s. Even the SILVERDOME WAS already around in 1975.

We had our SNAP! moment, getting the theme at BUTTERMILK DONUT and DALE EVANS. (Have to agree with @Anonymous 3:14 AM on the question of what defines breakfast. I imagine there are tens of millions of folk for whom a quick DONUT and a cuppa constitute their first EATS of the day. No doubt paid for with AMEX CARDS.) From there we zoomed through the bottom half in record time. Our only brief pause was thinking -- groan! -- that we would need to know the real names of the riders, not their television names. Then we got TONTO astride SCOUT and we were happy campers.

The North proved, if not an ORDEAL, at least a hard medium for us. Had heard of CISCO KID, of course (mainly thanks to the lyrics of the group War, whose 1972 album, "The World Is a Ghetto", included the line "The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine". Why he was, I never bothered to learn.) Lots of write-overs.

But I was very happy to see, as I predicted we would, ZORRO riding his magnificent stallion, TORNADO. "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) was our son's first cinema experience, and it was just perfect: sumptuous, fun and funny, uplifting, heart-warming. CHOKES me up every time. Starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones, it is rated PG for some inexplicable reason. It has numerous swashbuckling scenes (the best is the sword fight between Banderas and Zeta-Jones), but none are really violent or scary. By contrast, we recently watched "Finding Nemo" and were surprised it wasn't boycotted by parents at the time for scaring the begeezus out of their five-year-olds.

Speaking of begeezus, a less STALE, SENIOR-YEAR version of the puzzle would have featured historical or literary figures and their steeds instead of ones whose heydays were in the mid-1950s. Mr. Polin missed a chance, for example, by not placing an ascetic on a NAG, or Jesus (or Sancho Panza) on his nameless ASS.

Question: If Donald Trump (he of boundless EGGO) had a horse, what would he name it? DOOMED? If I had a donkey, I would be spoiled for choice, starting with 124A.

Loved the botanical pairing of MENDEL and MALE stamens.

SO IT SEEMS, so it GOES. Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

Anonymous 5:26 AM  

Blaxploitation Films. Comic Books. The Binghamton degree - priceless.

Johnny 5:27 AM  

That trailer for "The Human Tornado" is the greatest thing I've seen in a while. It was perfect! My favorite part was the black censor boxes over bare-breasted women while the M-F word was said two dozen times. Plus the awesome kung-fu sound effects. Plus the raspy-voiced Rudy Ray Moore narration...

There was a brilliant parody film called "Black Dynamite" released in 2009 that so expertly and hilariously sends up the Blaxploitation films of the early 70s. It's one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, and it so lovingly nails everything that is great about those films made in that era.

I knew all the cowboys and horses too! "The Cisco Kid" was played on TV by Duncan Reynaldo and his sidekick Pancho was played by Leo Carillo who has a California State Beach named for him in Malibu.

Loren Muse Smith 5:40 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 5:41 AM  

@’Mericans – Trump is actually in the grid, about to fall off the back of his horse EARL.

I agree with Rex that this plays to a much older crowd. The only two I knew were TONTO and SILVER. I kinda knew TRIGGER.

And I agree with Rex that the clue for WIG is great: “top secret?” Before I saw how many letters, I was going “implant” or “stuffing.” “Clairol.”

But I’m gonna have to join all the others who find the donut tirade ridiculous. Sure, we eat donuts at other times of the day. We also have omelettes for dinner and bagels for lunch. But ask anyone to group a bunch of foods into breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and DONUT is going resoundingly into the breakfast group, just like eggs and bagels.

That repeated part of “five-mile hike” doesn’t work in this southern GAL’s VERNACULAR; only the “hike” has a LONG I.

BEERY feels more like someone’s breath. How’re the hot wings here? wafting into your face.

“One looking to grab a bite” – first thought was “pelican” off the P. Last year in Maine we were getting ready for a day at Popham Beach. The day before I had sort of put away the last of the ham so that it wasn’t really with all the other sandwich stuff – strategic planning for the next lunch. I love ham sandwiches. When Molly took on the job of making everyone’s lunch, she pulled out the turkey and roast beef. So far, so good.

Loren – can I make your sandwich, too?
Nah – I’ll just make my own when you’re finished. Thanks, though.
I was going for a casual, distracted vibe working on a jigsaw puzzle but side-eying her progress.

She finished, and I dug out that ham and made a killer sandwich with cheddar and pickles. Packed a little baggie with a tomato slice and lettuce to put on right before eating. There were Fritos. You have to have Fritos with a ham sandwich. I sat there on the beach and thought about that sandwich all morning. When you eschew bread and chips as a rule but decide to go for it Just This Once, eating a ham sandwich becomes an event. The anticipation of this sandwich had become a full-blown obsession by the time we decided to have lunch. Yes. This ends badly. Molly tossed me my sandwich that I had wrapped differently from everyone else’s just so there was no mistake. I got the baggie with tomato and lettuce, got my Fritos in place, unwrapped the foil, and before I could add the tomato and lettuce, before I could take even one bite, a pelican swooped down and snatched the whole thing out of my hand. The whole sandwich because I never, ever cut my sandwiches in half. Ever. I acted like it wasn’t a big deal and just had a piece of fruit. But I was devastated, dismayed that I had no sandwich but even dismayeder that I had brought it on myself with my piggishness.

@Numinous – I’d have gotten a kick out of that picture.

@Larry G – that’s I think the second time you’ve used “moment of silence” to ham-up a comment, and it made me laugh again. I’m totally going to steal this device and give you credit here because I have to, but not elsewhere because I’m a ham-hogging pig kind of a gal.

Charles Flaster 6:12 AM  

Very easy once theme was sussed at SILVERDOME. Knew all themers and then some.
Creative cluing for B SIDES ( besides what?), and WIG.
BEERY= Wallace
Pat Brady from ROY ROGERS and Pancho of CISCO KID fame were my early introduction into wholesome comedy and tomfoolery.
I used the ZORRO theme to introduce
"alternate interior angles" in my geometry classes. Helped kids retain it.
Thanks TP

Anonymous 6:16 AM  

Grrr. I'm so mad that Pence was in this puzzle. Alt-Right! Resist! Homophobe! Racist! Not my President! Have I forgot any?

Charles Flaster 6:20 AM  

BTW-- kept looking for Gene Autry and his horse Champion! Where were they?

Z 6:21 AM  

56 year old male and I knew them all (well, almost, i had to infer DIABLO and TORNADO). I'm guessing I'm going to be near the lower age limit on this one. I don't think I ever saw any of these shows except in reruns. My mom liked Roy Roger's singing, and I think several of the actors were still showing up on Johnny Carson for awhile, so I mostly know these riders and horses through cultural osmosis as opposed to direct experience.

I saw a UTAHAN complaining on Twitter last night that UTAHANs spell it UTAHN. I bit my tongue and didn't quip that it ought to be UTAHIAN.

I cry foul at "Is Greek?" That clue asks for the third person singular of "to be" in Greek. "I's Greek?" would ask for the Greek Alphabet equivalent of the letter I. At least that is the way I learnt it back in school.

@Anon5:26 - Yeah - We wouldn't want to study anything about our own art and culture. Where's the value in that?

With tales out there of years between acceptance and publication, I have to wonder how long this thing sat in the queue. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it has been four years, having been inspired by Depp's odd recreation of Jay Silverheels' character.

Lewis 6:24 AM  

@loren -- So... your Trump is AXEHEAD falling off EARL? Even if it isn't, I believe AXEHEAD is going to stick with me as his alternate name.

Rex made many good points today. I had written down "granpa?" (see, I had to type it again because it was autocorrected), and "beery?". I have a love/hate relationship with PAH. It seems so contrived, yet I do believe I've seen an old man say it in a movie, and it sounds perfect for what it is.

This puzzle had to be tough to construct, getting the circled theme answers symmetrical, and kudos to Timothy for that. I liked the crosses of NAG/GETS-TO, and LONGI/PILE, and the answers PILE_IT_ON, BAR_MAGNET, and SO_IT_SEEMS. It took me a while to grok the clue for SUB; it was a highlight.

Some other fictional horses a bit of research produced:
CIGARETTE -- from My Friend Flicka
PIE -- Velvet Brown's horse in National Velvet
HELL BITCH -- from Lonesome Dove
HIPPOCAMPUS -- Who pulled Poseidon's chariot.

"Hi-yo Hippocampus!"

Z 6:28 AM  

BTW - I'm with OFL on the BUTTERMILK DONUT issue. While it may be a food that people eat for breakfast, donuts are not breakfast food. Yeah Yeah. We Americans have managed to convince ourselves that having dessert for breakfast is an okay thing. Pastries are still desserts, not breakfast. Now get outdoors and exercise a little.

chefbea 7:37 AM  

Knew most of the cowboys and horses...which made it fairly easy. However did not know Diablo.
And will someone explain why Mendel is a peanut? We have the best donuts here in Wilmington at a place called Britts Donuts. It's closed in the winter...and when it finally opens in the spring you have to wait in line for hours to get one. They make them fresh all day long so they are warm and yummy.

blinker474 7:52 AM  

"Donuts, while frequently eaten in the a.m. w/ coffee, are not not not parts of "breakfast" or any meal." Now that has to be the most ridiculous statement I've ever seen on this blog by anyone, including, of course The Blogger himself. Only if you had just arrived in the US could you be forgiven for saying this.

As for the puzzle, I found that the myriad intersections with 3 and 4 letter words leeched all the joy out of it.

Happy Easter to one and all.

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

@chefbea: Mendel experimented with peas when doing his genetics work.

r.alphbunker 8:12 AM  

Note that an AXEHEAD makes an axehole.

I liked the ? clues:

Down in front? SUB(50)
Go on a run? SKI(50)
Top secret? WIG(50)
Is Greek? IOTAS(50)
Repeated part of a five-mile hike? LONGI(50)
Wedding rings? PEALS(50)
Cuts on the back? BSIDES(50)
Something getting stuck in a trunk? AXHEAD(60)
Pea nut? MENDEL(50)
One looking to grab a bite? PREDATOR(50)

I also liked 46D {Crew crew} OARS

Details are here.

Jacob Roth 8:21 AM  

I thought the clue for MENDEL was delightful. That the blogger only has a surface level knowledge of the father of modern genetics is not the fault of the constructor.

Unknown 8:28 AM  

If everyone was nearly as old as I am, you'd have a much better puzzle by getting rid of the circled letters and giving no clue whatsoever for the ones above the circles. For we 60 year olds you had half the puzzle completed instantly. If I didn't struggle with the fill in the top half, this would have been by far the quickest Sunday puzzle ever.

Mohair Sam 8:29 AM  
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Hartley70 8:40 AM  

I am just the right age to love this theme. As far as I'm concerned it's not Sunday any more. It's Saturday morning and I'm lying on my stomach in front of a 12" screen munching on a donut and milk. My parents voted for Adlai but all was still right with a world that the LONERANGER on TONTO could fix. Nice one, Mr. Polin, and a sweet start to Easter morning.

Rhino 8:43 AM  

I didn't care for this puzzle enough to comment on it, but reading through the blog and comments, I have to take as second from our Easter preparations to weigh in:

1. Donuts are a breakfast food.
2. Like @Lewis, I was hoping to see Hell Bitch (Woodrow Call's horse) in the grid.

Mohair Sam 9:17 AM  

Hey Cisco! Hey Poncho!

If you remember that (I do) this puzzle was at least a little bit interesting. But for the under 60 crowd this had to be a real slog.

Today Will Shortz has earned twelve month immunity against rap artist clue complaints.

I knew Veep numbers and President numbers don't correspond. Didn't realize until this morning how many recent five letter names there were - Agnew, Nixon, Biden, PENCE. Hey @Rex, coffee and two Boston Cream DONUTs constituted a quality breakfast when I was single. I have never heard anyone say PAH, never.

Trying to decide which was more obscure for me RIO DIABLO or THE HUMAN TORNADO. The thought of Travis Tritt acting is interesting.

The most important birthday present of my life was a Hopalong Cassidy bicycle. And Hoppy and Topper didn't even make the cut (sigh).

Maruchka 9:24 AM  

Ah, my childhood equine dreams. Favorite steed in this grouping is BUTTERMILK, a gorgeous light colored quarter horse. I LOVE a buckskin. Not a heck a lot of TV western women heroes (Annie Oakley, DALE..?), mostly dance hall girls, schoolmarms and wives. So glad to see a nod to one the few exceptions.

OH Pancho, OH CISCO! Leo Carrillo opened one of the first supermarkets in my town, mid-fifties. I wore the hat, brought the cap gun, and rode the nickel pony for as long as the nickels held out.

'Blood on the saddle, blood on the ground
Great big gobs of blood all around
Pity the cowboy, bloody and red
The old cow pony done - stepped on his head'

OK, done. Thanks, Mr. Polin, and all you comment wranglers, too.

HumanBean 9:31 AM  

Have to say, I'm with Rex on the buttermilk donut issue. I guess I've heard of a buttermilk donut but it's not something that pops into my mind when I think of breakfast. Buttermilk pancakes, or hash browns, omelettes...yes! Lol. Also....thanks Rex for those awesome film clips! 😂

Nancy 9:32 AM  

I plumb loved it, and when I filled in the last letter and watched the puzzle ride off into the sunset, I felt sad to see it go. ("Come back, Shane, come back!") Yes, it helps to be old and know many of the references, but I assure you I didn't know them all. It didn't matter -- everything in the puzzle was crossed fairly and gettable from the Downs. But with the two Unknowns sitting atop each other, and with no further help from the clue, I found it each section "crunchy", whether I knew the horse and rider or didn't. As @Hartley said, it's a wonderful trip down memory lane. A full gallop, actually. And I found humor in the concept as well. One of the most enjoyable Sundays in a while.

Glimmerglass 9:39 AM  

I thought the clue for AX HEAD was a bit grisley. Is that for zombie fighters or horror villains? Neve saw a BUTTERMILK DONUT in any of the shops where I buy donuts. Is it really a thing? DALE EVANS told me it had to be BUTTERMILK something, so crosses got me there, but if I'd been the constructor, I might have tried for pancake or sky or biscuit.

Aketi 9:46 AM  
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Nancy 9:54 AM  

@Loren (5:41 a.m.) -- I love Trump falling off his horse EARL!

@Lewis, or anyone else -- I still don't get SUB for "Down in front." Can you explain, please? I'm sure I'll hate myself when you do.

Re the whole BUTTERMILK DONUT kerfuffle. I'm not really a donut eater, so I didn't know there's such a thing. I wanted BUTTERNUT WAFFLE or, when that didn't fit, BUTTERNUT CREPE. Doesn't that sound even more sinful and delicious? (ALLO, ALLO, 'Mericans in Paris).

Tita 9:55 AM  

Meh. Not my favorite topic, so couldn't get too excited about it.

@LarryG...great post. What a dilemma!

@'mericans...back to your asparagus experience in Switzerland...shame on them! One of our greatest joys when living in Germany was the quality of the very very local, very seasonal, produce all year long. And we lived next door to the Spargel Kapital der Welt!

@lms...I got physically pained reading your story to its inevitable conclusion. I make things just-so for myself too, So I know the angst that precedes the moment of truth... Weighing the ignominy of outing my selfish self against the agony of silently eating. Less-than-perfectly-constructed sandwich.

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Nothing wrong with a theme that's inherently nostalgic, say I.

Did you eat breakfast? No, I just had a DONUT.

Maybe a fine distinction can be made between a breakfast food and a breakfast item.

kitshef 10:04 AM  

Spent a lot of time figuring out which cross(es) I had wrong since BEERY couldn't be right. In the end I left it in as I couldn't come up with anything else.

Still had a DNF as I had PILE In ON/GETS nO. Could not figure out how GETS nO fit the clue, but talked myself into how a child gets upset when a parent says no.

I liked the theme. As Sundays go, this was a pretty good one. Disagree with @Rex on most of his points, other than ALOIS.

Aketi 10:06 AM  

Hahaha, the only person I know who would agree with Rex on DONUTs not being a breakfast food is my physical therapist who wouldn't consider them food because of their high sugar content. If I eat breakfast at all, it's usually last night's leftovers. Of course I might be able to convince my Physical Therapist that the savory dough pods that I once ate for lunch at the DONUT plant might rise to the level of food for those of us who are gluten tolerant. Some might quibble, however, that they aren't DONUTS without the hole. I have to admit that their Crème Brûlée DONUTs rank on my list as competitive with some of the best deserts I've eaten at good restaurants.

I mentally waved ALLO to Rex as I drove past Binghamton to EZRA'S university with two SENIORS in tow this week. Beautiful clear weather and the BUDS were starting to come out even if it was a bit chilly in upstate NY. I thought my work as a parent was done once my son was accepted and I went to my last parent teacher conference. I discovered, however, that the "old mom" is still useful when my son managed to be one of only three kids at the accepted students festivities to fall out of the canoe into the lake. He had asked how often canoes tip over when he entered the canoe with his iPhone wondering if he should leave it behind, but was reassured that canoe tipping rarely happens. So the old mom ran to the rescue with dry cloths and happily went back to hanging out with her own friends from her good old days. His phone recovered by leaving it in a bag of rice overnight, but I made him leave a hefty tip for the maid who had to clean up the rice he spilled all over the hotel room carpet.

Mikey from El Prado 10:07 AM  

First, I agree with anon 3:14. Everyone I know associates donuts with breakfast. C'mob Rex!
But, 'buttermilk' donut? glazed donut - yes, buttermilk pancake - yes. But, buttermilk donut I'm not sure I've seen in my neck of the woods.

Ran through this thing at a fairly normal Sunday pace except the NE corner. No idea on 1976 blaxploitation film or clueing for GRANPA or ASTRAL or GONG. Had BELL there, and ROT for 'poppycock' clue. So, slowed down considerably, so had to resort to trial and error, finally getting 'aha' moments (followed by groans).

kitshef 10:10 AM  

Oh, and the ZORRO movies in 1998 and 2005 are hardly ancient.

Bill Feeney 10:11 AM  

And so the Roy Rogers museum is closed. Google it to see some of the amazing prices the memorabilia fetched. I remember being in an arena when very little to see Gene Autry. I had an aisle seat and Champion rode right by. I reached over and patted his flank. A thrill I've never forgotten. Old enough now to remember all these riders and horses.

GILL I. 10:15 AM  

@Mohair...Hopalong Cassidy/Topper. Dang. I got some Hopalong boots one year. I already had a horse name HIYO SILVER and I think I got a Gene Autry hat. My dad gave me a set of plastic silver pistols that I proudly wore (Hi @Maruchka) and boy could I ride that broomstick around the house. I even pretended the couch was sometimes SCOUT (Hi @Z...I'll always think of you and Depp when I see TONTO)
I feel sorry for any young uns who have never heard of these fine cowboys/cowgirl and their fine steeds. While you may have grown up with Spongebob, we oldies but goodies got to watch how the west was won and how bad fought evil and how Gabby Hayes cooked some mean grub out of his wagon. Happy Trails!
Question: Why is a bachelorette party held in a SPA? I've been to lots and not once did I get invited to such a place. Such a deal...
Heading out the door for Easter service. Then the required Ham, scalloped potatoes, greens galore, and lots of wine. I helped feed the homeless yesterday so I don't feel like such a glutton today.
PS...@Numi from yesterday. Loved your PONY TAIL story. I had my husband measure mine - just out of curiosity - I got you beat! Mine is over 17 inches long!!!!

Steve M 10:18 AM  

Didn't remember Buttermilk or Tornado 😭

seanm 10:21 AM  

slightly harder than average sunday time for me (52 min). had the most trouble in the HUMAN/EDNA/BAR section. being 35 i'm vaguely aware of most of the characters, but only SILVER was a horse i recognized. never heard of DALEEVANS or ROYROGERS and not sure i know what the CISCOKID is. agree with most of the complaints about cluing from rex, disagree about breakfast donuts, though i've never heard of a BUTTERMILK variety

r.alphbunker 10:22 AM  


{Down in front} Think SUBtropical or SUBheader

Jmorgie 10:22 AM  

Also watched lots of 50s tv, cisco kid etc. and grew up in Detroit which is where the Lone Ranger started on radio [had friends who lived down the street from the original Lone Ranger and we always looked for a horse in his yard].

Rex, you just didnt appreciate the pea nut clue: Mendel's experiments on PEAS led to his discovery of genes. wickedly clever that one.

Nancy 10:24 AM  

@Aketi (10:06)-- He fell into the lake??? Good grief! But I'm sure he'll feel better when he learns that he's provided you with material for a really colorful and amusing blog post just now.

Mohair Sam 10:26 AM  

Add Quail to my list of recent five letter Veeps: Nixon, Agnew, Quail, Biden, PENCE. And spare me the "forgettable" jokes on poor old, um, um, oh yeah, Dan.

Teedmn 10:29 AM  

Fun puzzle though I had no idea which steed ZORRO or the CISCO KID rode. Some nice cluing. I thought perhaps "tarts" popped up in the morning and overthinking the amigos clue, I put in "amis" (which was especially helped by having "Mormon" in at 114A). MBA later turned amis to Bros but UTAHAN got me BUDS (which I presume all have MALE stamens).

I liked seeing the SENIOR YEAR TRIGGERING the search for a job. I thought WIG as a Top secret? was fun. And I was still trying to parse SUB as "Down in front?" until I read @Rex's write-up. It didn't work for a Subway sandwich, a submarine, or a substitute teacher, but as a prefix, yup. And I was baffled by the "Is Greek" clue but the answer ended up filling in by crosses so I never had to scratch my head over whether the clue and answer added up.

Thanks, Timothy Polin, very nice.

Piper 10:34 AM  

First time commenting as I had to chime in about the buttermilk donut. It is a dessert! Yes, people may eat pizza when they wake up. That doesn't make it breakfast.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Well, I'd have to say that is a sad, sad thing that Americans have normalized the consumption of sugar filled pastries so much, they consider it a regular breakfast item.
It should not be, of course, but who am I to teach nutritional facts to a nation that considers cooking a couple of eggs and peeling some fruit, a too long and time-wasting activity to do each morning? Hell, there's a Dunkin' Donuts down the street! As long as there's coffe on the side, we can call it breakfast!

BUTTERMILK pancakes, now that's an item you see on breakfast menus (but shouldn't eat too often, either; also, why do they make them so big and numerous? are they trying to kill me??)

Anyway, that's just my two cents

Hartley70 10:39 AM  

While I have much empathy for the loss of Loren's sandwich, I'm actually more surprised to read that a pelican was the culprit. Having spent most of my life living close to or along coastal New England, I have never encountered one. Rapacious, greedy seagulls have plagued me at the beach, on the ferry and at clam shacks, but never a pelican. I see online that a single rare sighting of a solo pelican occurred recently near Thomaston, Maine where I have often visited. For me, a pelican encounter would be well worth the loss of ham and pickle (on rye, I hope).

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

It's Utahn.

Signed, a Provoan in Utah

Chris 10:45 AM  

For New Yorkers of a certain generation, donuts at Chock Full o Nuts is the seminal breakfast.
And yes, pealing of the bells is still a joyful end to many weddings.

billocohoes 10:46 AM  

Rather than Wallace, I'd have gone with Noah BEERY (Sr. not Jr.) who played the fat Spanish sergeant in Fairbanks"1920 silent The Mark of ZORRO

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

GRANPA tripped me up because it is not a word.

Lewis 10:57 AM  

@nancy -- Piggybacking on @r.alph, SUB as a prefix is "in front", and, it means "under", or "down"...

Nancy 10:58 AM  

I'm over the limit, don't bawl me out, but I had to come back to say that I so agree with @Hartley (10:39) that a pelican encounter would be well worth the loss of a ham and pickle sandwich. In fact, I'll grant the enchanting thought of a pelican encounter my highest accolade of all: It would even be worth the loss of a rare roast beef sandwich on rye with coleslaw and Russian dressing. What a sandwich! What a pelican!

@RalphBunker -- Thanks for SUB.

Carola 10:58 AM  

For me this puzzle was way less fun than watching the shows - which I loved. It felt like homework - and I agree with @Rex about all those ? clues. Enough already.

Ellen S 11:00 AM  

I loved remembering the cowpeople and their horses. I was sorry, too, @Mohair Sam, that Hoppy and Topper were missing. Also Tom Mix and his horse Tony. But that was my mother's generation. (She told me the horse's name so my knowledge of cinematic horses wouldn't be limited to those of my childhood.)

Same mother had a sweet roll (some parts of the country call them "Danish") and coffee for breakfast most mornings. The parakeet would sit on her shoulder waiting for an occasional bite of pastry and a sip of coffee. Since Mom drank her coffee black and scalding, I don't know how the bird survived it, but he thrived. Lived to be about 15, despite having a toe almost severed by an irate hamster who had just given birth (we thought we had two sisters but turned out it was a sister and brother. Oops). Mom sat up with the bird all night, keeping pressure on his injured foot until the bleeding stopped.

Unknown 11:02 AM  

Get over yourself snowflake! Summer is coming and you'll thankfully melt away! Just do the puzzle and stop politizing everything.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

Score one for us old guys.
Deal with it, hipsters.

Alan_S. 11:19 AM  

Yes; if it was a buttermilk(?) donut. Pancakes? Sure, but not made up donuts.

Elder Young 11:19 AM  

It is neither "Utahan" nor "Utahn"

Someone from Utah is a "Utite" ("Ute" is even more proper but is reserved for the tribe)

And it's not "Provoan" either; it's "Provonesian," who along with the Salt Licks and the Oremonians populate the larger cities of Utah.

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

"Amexcards" when the clue is "Visa alternatives?" Come on. It's either "Amex" or "Visa card alternative."

Alan_S. 11:37 AM  

Maybe in the U.S. donuts are for breakfast (which partly explains the problem of obesity in this country) but I could not find "buttermilk" on Dunkin's or any other donut shop's menu, and depending on which incarnation of "Family Feud" you're watching, if the question was: name a variety of donut, buttermilk would earn a big fat 0.

Stuartwm 11:50 AM  

Of course donuts are eaten at breakfast. I have a hard time believing that is considered an obscure clue and buttermilk ones have been sold at Dunkin' Donuts for years (maybe not anymore--it's been a while). And as for the horses and their riders, it is obviously an age thing because I (age 67) knew them all (although it took some some effort, I'll admit).

Numinous 11:53 AM  

I gotta smile at y'all remembering these guys from TV. With the possible exception of ZORRO, I remember tham all from the radio. Hopalong too. On Tuesdays, I was allowed to stay up past my seven o'clock bedtime to listen to The LONE RANGER. When we finally got TV, I was dismayed at first. The voices were all wrong. Eventually I got used to them but the voices and the fact that they were not at all as I had visualized them made life a bit difficult for me as an eight year old. I listened to a lot of radio between the ages of five and eight and even continued past that age. Radio had some advantages over television. For one thing, one had to LISTEN, I mean pay attention totally. If one tuned it out even for a moment, one lost the gist. The other thing radio does is exercise the imagination of the listener. Each one has his or her own vision of the characters and the settings. Television and film are spoon feeders. Radio and books (a sort of radio on paper) elicit far more creativity on the part of their audiences.

I don't know about now but, when I was there, the BBC and the ABC still had engaging radio shows. I used to love the old radio shows when I had XM radio and, every now and again, I still seek out old radio.

I enjoyed this puzzle. Like @Hartley, it sorta took me back to not lying of the floor but curled up against the right hand arm of the sofa, listening.

After I learned to drink coffee, I would go down the street to the next corner and the King Pin Doughnut Shop for glazed raised doughnuts and a cuppa joe. Painted on the wall behind where the doughnuts were made in the front of the shop was the following:

As you ramble through life, Brother
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the Doughnut
And not upon the hole.

The King Pin, now long gone, made the best doughnuts in the world (but we all know how that bias works). I'd take Winchell's over Krispy Kreme any day of the week now.

Speaking of chips (which I was thinking of in the English sense as in fish and chips) yesterday, does anyone remember SPUDnuts? They were somehow meant to be a healthier alternative in the late forties.

Smile at @Loren, I thought you might get a smile out of that.

GHarris 11:59 AM  

Once at MSG the guy seated in front of me lit a cigar and the drifting smoke bothered my companion who asked him to extinguish it. Just as he turned we realized it was Red Auerbach and said "sorry we didn't realize it was you." Hey, he replied, if it bothers you it bothers you and he put it out. So yeah, Auerbach was a nice guy even though as Knick fans we hated yet respected him.

Alan_S. 12:03 PM  

That OFL has only a surface level knowledge of the father of modern genetics is not the issue, it's that the overwhelming majority of solvers (you know, the folks these puzzles are made for?) don't either.

RooMonster 12:08 PM  

Hey All !
NW downfall today. Heard of the CISCO KID, but couldn't get CaSCO KID out of the ole brain! Didn't know his horse, either. So fail up there. Rest of puz filled in nicely. South easier than North.

THE HUMAN TORNADO was a new one on me. Wasn't even sure that was ZORRO's horses name. And BAR MAGNET not helping things. Little three-letter stagger-step in the center.

ON ONE HAND, agree with Rex on odd entries, like FRET SAW, but on the OHOH, disagree with him on the DONUT rant. No one wants DONUTs for dessert, but give me one (or more) for breakfast anyday!

SO IT SEEMS it WAS a great constructioneering feat. Only minor dreck. I AM not going to PILE IT ON. Liled the IDEA. A LIST. POW! SNAP. Gee WIZ. :-)


QuasiMojo 12:08 PM  

First of all it's doughnut! Not donut. And I've never heard of a buttermilk one either. Ridiculous answer, and it underscores how uninteresting and forced this puzzle was since the circled theme answers merely had to fit in the name of the horse in them, rather than some clever puzzle about figuring out which one it was. And all this "on top of" or "over" stuff in puzzles has me gagging with a spoon.

So many bad clues in here as well. The Iotas one in particular. Edy vs Edy's. Names are trademarked for a reason. You can't just say Edy for a product. It doesn't make sense. Besides, haven't we had enough of these "B-sides"? Oh wait, I'm still doubled-over from that incredibly jocular "locomoted." A real knee-slapper that one.

It amazes me that Rex never heard of the Cisco Kid? Who did he think Casco Kid was referencing?

And people pay tuition to watch blaxploitation films? They used to be $1 for a double-feature back on Times Square in the day. I enjoyed them then but I doubt they'd hold up now.

Rex, don't forget that other Lone Ranger disaster, the "Legend of the Lone Ranger" from 1981 with Klinton Spilsbury.

RooMonster 12:08 PM  

Oh, and Happy Easter!


Alan_S. 12:13 PM  

In a very tender moment at the end of "Road to Perdition" (grossly underrated movie) after Tom Hanks is shot dead (sorry about the spoiler, see it anyway) his young son runs over to him and cries "Pah". I think I remember Opie calling his dad, Sheriff Taylor, Pah as well. It's sorta old timey like the rest of this one.

Alan_S. 12:26 PM  

Since I commented on a few posts already today I'll spare everyone my take on it, yecch, but I will say I liked some of the comments from our reliable regulars. You know who you are.
Happy Easter, Passover, etc.

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

Pea nut? Mendel - was one bright spot.

Trombone Tom 12:39 PM  

One for us old farts! Grew up in the 40's listening (!!!) to the shows with those cowboys (and girls, sorry Dale) and their horses. Where the heck was Champion? And you shouldn't omit Mr. Artery!

Agreed with most of @rex's comments, but not with his donut not breakfast rant.

Major hold-up by dropping in MormoN instead of UTAHAN. Too many LDS friends I guess.

Good clue for SUB!

Wm. C. 12:47 PM  

Like others, I first had RITUAL before ORDEAL, MORMON before UTAHN.

@LarryG -- When Rot first visited Trigger in the museum, he offered him some oats, to which Trigger said "Ne-i-i-igh, Roy, I'm stuffed!" [heh, heh...]. Speaking of the Celtics/Lakers, my B-Ball team got to play on the parquet at halftime in their game at the old Boston Garden. As I recall, it was the highest-scoring NBA game at the time, We then got to go into the Celts' locker room, and one of my lifelong memories was how tall -- and how gracious-- Bill Russell was.

@CharlesF -- The puzzle also shoulda included Autry's sidekick Pat Brady and Nellybelle. [OK,OK, so NB was a jeep...]

@LMS -- Your pelican story is reminiscent of all the sandwiches I've lost outta my golf cart, and the darned squirrel lookin down on me from the tree while eating the Most!

@Z-- Right on "I's Greek! But on Blaxploitation and Comic Books: yes, they're parts of our culture, but decidedly low-brow ones. I wonder if Binghampton's neighbor Cornell would allow such courses.

@GG -- Nothing I see is grisly about an Ax Handle in a [Tree] Stump.

@Elder -- But do you know what a Glasgow resident is called?

Alan_S. 1:04 PM  

Oh, and where was George B. today?
Hope everything's alright.

Ruth F 1:08 PM  

Can't fault a puzzle on those Sundays when I finish quickly and feel smart. But "granpa" was a little jarring. All this talk about what constitutes breakfast food is very amusing. I grew up in a family where breakfast was often leftover dinner on toast. And often, it was pie for breakfast(obviously, without the toast). All this talk of the Cisco Kid reminds me of the Casco Kid who used to comment frequently on this blog. I miss his posts - he had a unique perspective.

howardk 1:24 PM  

today donuts... last week cronuts for bkfst

Aphid Larue 1:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aphid Larue 1:27 PM  

Thee thing that is so disgusting after you are finished that you never want to do it again.

Buttermilk glass.

Standup routine from
Mort Sahl or Shelley Berman or one of that crowd.

Anonymous 1:31 PM  

I was cranky about this one myself. It skews old for me and I AM OLD. I'm also with Rex on Granpa and sort of there on the donut...kept trying to make pancake fit.

Anonymous 1:31 PM  

Agree with you/disagree with Rex. Donuts are absolutely breakfast food, that's why they are brought to morning staff meetings! Me we heard of buttermilk donuts, but am willing to believe they exist, esp. in Amish/Dutch-German-influenced areas like Indiana, Pennsylvania or Amana colonies. Agree completely with Rex about "Pah!" and "granpa". Also had "woes is I"

JC66 1:34 PM  

Do(ugh)nuts for breakfast, yes. Buttermilk Do(ugh)nuts, no.

Surprised no one's commented on the pairings:



and, of course, ROYROGERS on top of DALEEVANS

@ Alan_S.

I don't think PAH meant poppycock in the instances you cited.

Anonymous 1:40 PM  

It's THE Lone Ranger and THE Cisco Kid.

DF 1:43 PM  

DONUTs are breakfast food. I honestly don't think that's debatable or matter of opinion. They're objectively a breakfast food. Donuts are universally associated with breakfast-time consumption (as Rex said, donuts are often eat with coffee in the a.m.). If the food you eat in the morning with coffee isn't breakfast, I don't know what is. Maybe one wouldn't eat a donut *in addition* to pancakes or scrambled eggs and toast, but people would, and do, absolutely, 100% eat a donut *in lieu* of other breakfast foods *as breakfast*. And BUTTERMILK DONUTS are really common, at least where I'm from. I would wager that a lot of people complaining about BUTTERMILK have eaten one and not realized it because it wasn't advertised as such. I think it's a perfectly fine answer and the cluing is fine as well.

Masked and Anonymous 2:01 PM  

fave weeject: NAG.

Looks like a sorta hard puztheme to corral, as a constructioneer. Needed EZRAS + GRANPA to splatz ZORRO on top of TORNADO, f'rinstance. DVR+KWH to mount DALEEVANS. OGOD + BEERY for ROYROGERS, and ALOIS + FRETSAW for the LONERANGER to ride again. Etc.

I somehow remembered all the cowboys & nags, so easy-ish solvequest, at our house. Had a heckuva time gettin started, but eventually got my puzlegs back [after about a week off, cuz on the road]. Theme definitely helped me bronc-bust large hunks of the puz in a hurry.

@RP: Like yer "Painful Icing" category idea. Compliments the DO-NUT discussion nicely. Have do-nuts been banned from organized meals, then? Are cinnamon rolls still ok? [If not, it could mean the end of civilization, as M&A knows it.]

Thanx, Mr. Polin. Nice rodeo.

Masked & Anonym007Us


ArtO 2:22 PM  

@Chris you beat me to it on the Chock Full O'Nuts donuts. New Yorkers of the 50's and 60's would not go to the office without coffee and a powdered sugar covered whole wheat donut from CFON. Crisp on the outside and soft ln the inside. Fresh every day. Nothing like them today.

Stanley Hudson 2:28 PM  

Nothing like a stiff Bloody Mary and a buttermilk DONUT to start your morning. Oh, and the smell of napalm.

Lash LaRue 2:32 PM  

@'mericans in Paris:


To answer your question, President Trump did indeed own an equine. Like Don Quixote he preferred to ride an ASS, which turned out to be the Democrat DONKEY. He rode that ASS right into the ground, then implored his detractors to kiss it! He hurdled the blue wall and blew past that old nag DIABLO like a TORNADO. That's how he was able to TOPPER. Now he is the CHAMPION and she is out to pasture. I wonder if she enjoys grazing in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, or does she still think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

@Mohair Sam: Sorry Sam, our 44th VP spelled his last name Quayle.

Passing Shot 2:45 PM  

O GOD, this sucked. Only got the themers because they sounded vaguely familiar. Agree with OFL that GRANPA is not a thing. ALOIS? BEERY? NAH, BUD.

Larry Gilstrap 3:12 PM  

@Loren, I can almost hear you say, "fav mall hike." Close enough?

On the subject of Roy Rogers jokes: Roy's on stage with Trigger.
RR: Trigger, what's two plus two?
Trigger: (gutteral neigh) Stomp! (gutteral neigh) Stomp! (gutteral
neigh) Stomp! (gutteral neigh) Stomp!
(Wait for it...)
RR: Come on Trigger! One more, one more!

BarbieBarbie 3:54 PM  

@Lash, your uncle Lyndon always sounded like he'd gotten his head a little too close to a stick blender at some point, but he turned out to be right about that African railroad. Just ask the Chinese. So you never know who is speaking sense.
If OBL did get a horse I'd be really disappointed if he didn't name it Bigly. So would Neil.
The middle was tough for me. And I'd heard of most of the horse/rider pairs, but needed a lot of crosses. I liked it OK, but felt worn-out afterward. Maybe because I did all the other puzzles first this time. Maybe because I'm just not that good at this stuff.
If you like the old cowboy shows: coincidentally, a dinner conversation caused us to look up an old episode of Wild Kingdom last night. Called something like Roping the Grizzly. Boy, Marlin and Stan could ride, though for some reason Stan never taught his horse what to do after you rope. Caused problems in the anaconda episode too. (Who would rope an anaconda?!?) Animal welfare has come a long way. I couldn't watch the whole episode.
@LMS, if your sandwich had been peanut butter would the pelican have left you alone? I don't get how you caused the incident by hiding the ham.

Tita 4:10 PM  


Happy Easter!

Mohair Sam 4:11 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hungry Mother 4:15 PM  

Lying on my bed on a cruise ship, watching the dark blue ocean speed by, slogging out the Sunday Times puzzle; life is good. I knew all of the answers, but they were slow coming today. A restaurant in Naples (FL) features donuts for dessert. It's a very popular selection.

Mohair Sam 4:20 PM  

@Lash LaRue - You're right. To think - not only could he not spell potato, he couldn't even spell his own last name.

@Wm C - While we're on the subject of bad spelling . . . You're the second person this month to move Rex's place of employment to Eastern Long Island while taking a backhanded shot at OFL and SUNY Binghamton. There is no "P" there. Or was that you the first time too?

Joe in Nfld 4:22 PM  

I find the denial about donuts as a breakfast item humorous. The only place I've ever seen them put out for breakfast is in the States. I went to a few conference at a place on Croton-on-Hudson and in fact all breakfast was was pastries and small boxes of cereal. Oh and we could make toast so I survived on those little packets of peanut butter. Speaking of which, yes, Mendel was interested in genetics, but he did it famously with peas.
The complaint about these people not being significant in American culture was funny too. I was waiting for Alexander and Bucephalos, or El Cid and Babieca.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 4:22 PM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

Anonymous 4:27 PM  

@Joe in Nfld, genuine LOL @ Alexander and Becephalus.

Aketi 4:28 PM  

@ wm C and Anon 5:26 am, I couldn't refrain from looking up what English courses are offered by "Binghamton's neighbor" beyond the "classics" which are a staple.

Here's a sampling:

2771 Africa in Hollywood
2785 Comic Books and Graphic Novel
2931 Race and the Zombie Apocalypse
3771 The African Novel: Sex, Violence, Language and Power

Ezra Cornell, did after all, state that he would "found an institution where any student can find instruction in any study".

Aketi 4:49 PM  

Perhaps this course might teach me what to offer with the Crème Brûlée DONUTs from the DONUT Plant should I offer those as dessert for breakfast or dessert.
HADM 4310 - Wine and Food Pairing Principles and Promotion.

@lms, I did not, however, find any ornithology courses that specifically dealt with food stealing pelicans.

WA 5:21 PM  

This must have been impossible to construct. Any complaints about the clues and answers is simply caviling.

evil doug 5:46 PM  

The most comprehensive discussion on doughnuts for breakfast I, for one, have ever had the pleasure of perusing. I believe there's a thesis topic to be had there....

Lash LaRue 6:02 PM  

@BarbieBarbie: Not sure if I'm completely grasping your comment? Are you speaking of my uncle Lyndon LaRouche? More likely my third cousin twice removed on my mother's side, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of these United States? The same President Johnson who was purported to have said, "I'll have those n**gers voting Democrat for the next 200 years!" He's about 27% of the way there.

As for Osama Bin Laden, if he is the OBL of which you speak, pretty sure he was more into camels. Maria Muldaur might have had him in mind when she sang, "take your camel to bed", or was that "sing your camel to bed"? Can't remember.

@Joe in Nfld: I'm in total agreement! If we have to match riders and horses, the coupling should have historic significance as opposed to mere T.V. trivia. As @Lewis mentioned this earlier. I too was trying to recall famous steeds. Hi-Yo Hippocampus really cracked me up! Just last week I was trying to recall the horse that pulled Poseidon's chariot, but couldn't stimulate the area of my brain that might hold said information?

Who knows Traveller and Cincinati? How are they forever tied? How about Little Texas? What about Winchester, Kidron, Commanche and Little Sorrel who was also known as Fancy?

Horses are great, dogs are even better, but humans are idiots for the most part!

Aketi 6:26 PM  

@M&A the DONUT Plant does have cinnamon buns, but I don't know if those qualify as rolls. My Mom's version of cinnamon rolls was to put pats of butter on leftover pie dough, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on it, roll it up and bake it. Then slice it into quarter inch rolls.The rolls were flaky, not DO(ough)y. She also made the doughy kind with a powdered sugar glaze.

Club des Gourmands 6:57 PM  

the CISCO KID reference reminded me what a great band War was. That's the only reason I knew the reference.

Mohair Sam 7:05 PM  

@Aketi (4:28) - Your spell check changed the last two words of course 2931 to "Zombie Apocalypse"

Anonymous 7:06 PM  

Q: What'd you have for breakfast today?

A: Coffee and a donut.

Z 7:12 PM  

On rare occasions I'll see criticisms of OFL and have to go back and see what I missed. Most often I go back and realize that, whatever people thought they read, OFL didn't really write what they think he wrote. Such is the case today. One could disagree with his pea nut/ genetics nut distinction but to suggest this proves anything about the depth of Rex's knowledge is an example of adding 1+1 and getting pink.

@Gill I. - Now I'm wondering why I'm linked with Depp's Tonto. I'm sure it was incredibly insightful.

@Wm C. - Yes, Cornell would. You might note the Comic Books and Graphic Novels class as well as the Crime Fiction class. Keep scrolling and you will find the Beyoncé class. I didn't see anything specific to blaxploitation movies, but would not be at all surprised if the topic were covered in the Crime Fiction course.

Finally for me, a DONUT RECAP:

OFL suggests that a donut is not a breakfast food even though many eat them at breakfast. Someones say "I eat them at breakfast." Some others point out that they eat things like leftovers and cold pizza for breakfast but that doesn't make left overs or cold pizza "breakfast food." Some others add that donuts are not breakfast foods, but are more properly considered dessert foods that some eat for breakfast. Someones more say, "but I eat donuts for breakfast so it's a breakfast food." The 'it's eaten at breakfast' argument has been doubly refuted and no counter refutation has been offered. Unless you got something else the Not A Breakfast Food team wins. Z, self-appointed, totally unbiased, debate judge and not a Utahian.

Anonymous 7:18 PM  

The "It's most commonly associated with breakfast" argument has not been refuted. No one has refuted that donuts are sometimes eaten at breakfast.

Anonymous 7:26 PM  

Sorry to post so late. As I adapted my answering machine: "This is ***. I have not yet risen. If you would like to leave a message" etc.

It seems to me that the 50's TV etc. was a multicultural dreamword: Hispanics on Hispanic-named horses, at least one native American, a woman packing heat. It would have been nice to find Alexander the Great on Bucephalus (or -as), but he would have been an outlier, since he was not primarily chasing the bad guys. The only manifestly "Anglo-Saxons" were Roy and Dale, and they are portrayed as the dumbest of the lot (cf. Roy and Trigger jokes in earlier posts). But the PC-utopia falls apart on one major front: all of the horses had alpha-type names (the Lone Ranger's Silver not named for his tea service, but for the metal of his bullets) except that of Dale Evans, who was on Buttermilk.

skristol 7:36 PM  

Contra Rex I do believe that donuts are a breakfast food, but I have never heard of a buttermilk donut. I don't think they are on the menu at the chain I frequent, Dunkin Donuts, nor are they on sale at my local supermarkets. I do know about cronuts (last week's puzzle?). I once had the exciting chance to meet Dominique Ansel, the inventor of the cronut, in Madison Square Park, on the 50th anniversary of the invention of nutella. Nutella cronuts beat buttermilk donuts hands down.

Michael 7:54 PM  

The comments by Rex and everyone else reinforce my ambivalent feelings about this blog. On the one hand there are complaints that the theme is dated and some of the fill is bad. Almost no one (note my "almost") commends the puzzle for the constructor's difficult, clever task. And sure the puzzle is dated - it's even too old for me (and I'm old), but this seems ok if other puzzles are full of rappers and recent tv shows. Perhaps the puzzles as a whole skew too old but that's another question.

On the other hand, there is the wonderful discussion about whether donuts/doughnuts are a breakfast food. Much more could be said here. What is "breakfast"? Is it necessarily eaten in the morning? What are the requirements that something be considered a "breakfast food." Who determines these requirements? Perhaps breakfast foods are what are sometimes called a "fuzzy set." Aren't there different subgroups and subcultures in the U.S. who vary in what they consider appropriate to eat in the morning?" How about yoghurt (which I eat every morning)? is that a "breakfast food"? etc.

Aketi 8:12 PM  

@ Mohair Sam, that was the actual name of the course.

BarbieBarbie 8:25 PM  

@Michael, If you reject your buttermilk donuts for breakfast, very soon they will indeed be a fuzzy set.
I think the buttermilk ones are those really plain ones. My mother used to get on her high horse (theme check!) about donuts vs crullers. Crullers have more fat in the dough. Buttermilk is usually skim, so yeah-- donuts. Add some jelly, and you get JFK: ein Berliner. And yes, this was really sweet construction, with the riders atop their steeds. Happy Easter, everyone.

Andrew 8:36 PM  

Michael: Agreed! This donut debate has been fascinating. I originally strongly disagreed with Rex on this, but the more I read others' opinions on here the more I see that it's a reasonable debate to have, and I appreciate the measured opinions by everyone who has contributed to this fun discussion.

I think a lot of the resistance here is the adjective BUTTERMILK in the entry. To me, the clue is ironclad as the clue refers primarily to the noun DONUT; the adjective here is variable - the same clue could apply for JELLY DONUT or CREAM DONUT or FILLED DONUT, for instance, as all of those also qualify as 'rich' donuts. Now, it's a separate issue to debate whether the term "BUTTERMILK DONUT" is common enough in everyday usage to qualify for a crossword entry, no less a theme entry (I'll definitely entertain GREEN PAINT-type arguments against this entry - I've never heard the term 'buttermilk donut' before, but I'll concede it's a thing, in the same sense that 'buttermilk pancakes' can be on a menu at Diner A whereas the same exact dish, even pancakes made with buttermilk, may just be listed as 'pancakes' at Diner B. If I misinterpreted Rex's argument against the entry as falling in this GREEN PAINT category, than I can understand that. He just didn't make that distinction clear enough in his original post, which I think explains the lengthy debate here in the comment section).

As I say, the entry works just fine with the clue "Rich breakfast item" as long as the adjective modifying 'donut' is indeed 'rich.' The exception would be if the adjective completely reconceptualized the donut as a savory dish - say a meat donut (YUM!!! meat donuts!). This would then disqualify the entry as a 'breakfast item," in my book, at least.

I think you'll have a hard time, though, arguing that donuts aren't most traditionally associated with a morning food-and-drink consumption, and along those lines, I think you'll have a hard time arguing that the term 'breakfast' isn't most traditionally associated with said morning meal.

Piggybacking on Anonymous's post a few posts ago, had someone asked you what you had for breakfast and you replied "coffee and donuts," I don't think anyone would think that's weird. Had the same person asked you what you had for dinner and you said "coffee and donuts," I think that would come as a surprise to the person who asked you.

Anyone care to rebut? This is fun!

Teedmn 8:39 PM  

To muddy the breakfast waters further: Breakfast Around the World

Cyrus 8:48 PM  

Rex, Love the column and I always learn from you. But with all due respect, my wife says you're an idiot. Yes, buttermilk donuts are very much a breakfast item. You should see the lines at our Sf Bay Area donut shops at dawn- Colonial, Home Skillet et al. And we're old enough to remember the Cisco Kid. My wife rode with him (the actor Duncan Renaldo) in a parade in Hermosa Beach. And sure, they're dated cultural icons. But so are the Easter Bunny and Captain Kirk. Our gray hair has to be good for something... like doing crossword puzzles. Happy trails (as Roy used to say).
Cyrus Musiker
Alameda, Ca

Sendhil 8:51 PM  

Far be it from me to interrupt Rex's usual stream of dyspepsia, but the maligning of donuts as a breakfast food compelled me to remind us all of this gem: https://www.hulu.com/watch/2345

Dolgo 9:14 PM  

As has been said many times above, lots of fun, but mainly for us geezers.

Ralph 9:26 PM  

LOCOMOTED reminds me of Chuck Barry's "motorvatin'" in "Maybellene"

kitshef 10:24 PM  

A day-long debate without a single reference to the Wikipedia article on breakfast foods?

ghostoflectricity 11:09 PM  

The Cisco Kid was a Mexican caballero initially depicted in the early 20th century, in dime novels, as a desperado, then later as a heroic figure. In either case, he was a stereotyped figure, played in a six-year-running 1950s Western TV adventure series of the same name by ROMANIAN actor Duncan Renaldo. My wife, who is Mexican-born and raised (of a Mexican father and originally Soviet Russian mother), and who has a Ph.D. in Spanish and Latin American studies and teaches these subjects at a Midwestern university, uses episodes of the show (among many other examples) to educate about stereotypes (even if well-meaning; the TV Cisco Kid was approximately a Lone Ranger with a wannabe Mexican accent) in popular culture to college students, including the fact that fictional characters of color were often depicted by white, American or European actors as an act of cultural appropriation.

The song "Cisco Kid," by the R & B/funk band War, which was a hit in 1972 (the year after the bluesy, white British singer Eric Burdon, previously of The Animals, quit his one-year tenure with the band), was more ambiguous. Aside from Burdon, who was only briefly a member (when they recorded their previous hit, 1970's "Spill the Wine"), the band, originally from the L.A. area, was all Black and Hispanic. While the song does not question the stereotypes, the band members' ethnic makeup makes the song less offensive than if it were done by a white band. (Other War hits included "Why Can't We Be Friends" and "Low Rider"; the latter, referring to young L.A. Mexican-Americans' penchant for customized low-riding automobiles, was also used as the theme song for George Lopez's prime time sitcom in the 2000s; Lopez is of course Mexican-American).

The reference Rex is thinking of regarding Gene Wilder is from "Blazing Saddles," the Mel Brooks-directed 1974 send-up of Western movies, in which Wilder, a frequent star in Brooks's movies (including the next one after "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," probably Brooks's magnum opus) plays the alcoholic (and pot-smoking) anti-hero "The Waco Kid." Having Wilder play a gunslinger with a moniker derived from the name of a small and (at the time) obscure Texas city (it later became infamous for several mass shootings and of course for the notorious 1993 standoff and shootout between federal officials and the Branch Davidian religious cult) emphasized what a nebbish his character was. Waco's other claim to fame is being the site of Baylor University. Brooks of course skewered racism and ethnic stereotyping in the film; The Waco Kid's partner in dealing with corrupt bad guys is a black gunslinger played by Cleavon Little.

ghostoflectricity 11:14 PM  

Incidentally, I agree wholeheartedly with Rex about "GRANPA/PAH," about the "BUTTERMILK DONUT" controversy, and about the overall triteness of the puzzle theme. I can accept "pah" as an obscure and rare variation of "bah," but only just, and I will never in a million eternities accept "granpa," which is simply non-existent. Crossing the two puts the puzzle completely beyond the pale.

Daryl 11:54 PM  

But the story of Mendel in science classes in high school is always told with his use of peas.

Daryl 11:58 PM  

I too go to diners with extensive "breakfast" menus and they almost never have corn flakes or Wheaties on the menu, but I'd consider those breakfast foods as well. Diner breakfasts are not the be all and end all of what counts as breakfast food.

evil doug 3:41 AM  

Will this be on the test?

gitana 1:47 PM  

Did anyone else notice that the clues to 70 & 72 across were different in print and online? In print: 70 & 72 :If ever, oh ever a ____ there ____." Online 70 across: "Oz figure for short," and 72 across: "Third word of many limericks." I've only been attempting the puzzles for a few months. How often does it happen that the clues are not the same in print and online?

Mary Rose 9:19 PM  

Just as I said, Rex. I loved this trip down memory lane. Easiest puzzle for me in months.

Weyauwega 10:56 AM  

@Quasi (12:08): You misunderstood the clue. It asked for a person, not a brand name. Answer: Joseph EDY.

Burma Shave 11:04 AM  


SOW, ORGIES with the LONERANGER she’d steal,


spacecraft 11:58 AM  

Oh, I don't think it's so bad. There are a few things: HUTU is way out there, and "Brownie, e.g." is NOT a proper clue for GIRLSCOUT: the former BECOME the latter, but at that moment cease to be Brownies. The area within both circles of this Venn diagram is zero. "Brownie's goal" would be accurate, but too much of a giveaway. The cluer tried to muddy the waters by offering yet another fattening breakfast item. BTW, I've heard of--and eaten: yum!--buttermilk pancakes, but the donuts? PAH.

Still, by and large, this is a pretty clean effort for a Sunday "BIGO." Fill crap is blessedly rare and there's a lot of cool stuff. Today's one of those days when I should've skipped the lead blog; what a downer! NAG NAG NAG! I do agree about GRANPA, but the rest of the criticism is baseless. OLD IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY BAD! I'm old, and I don't think NEW is automatically bad (though much of it makes me struggle and SOME of it is certainly bad!). I would ask the same courtesy from the young.

DOD for me is EMMA Samms. Despite an RTZ* and an RPL**, this one gets, for a Sunday, a birdie.

*random time zone
**random pronunciation lesson (LONGI)

rondo 12:04 PM  

SOITSEEMS that I finished it and knew all those equestrians. ONONEHAND I’m not sure it ADDED much to the day, but at least I wasn’t DOOMED to a rebus. Second time in semi-recent memory I had the bAH/PAH write-over.

Old, un-PC joke likely to TRIGGER comments:
The LONERANGER gets a rattle-SNAKE bite in a sensitive area, sends TONTO to town for doctor’s advice, which is to suck the SNAKE venom out. TONTO returns and the LONERANGER inquires of doctor’s SNAKE-bite counsel. TONTO informs LONERANGER, “Him say you gonna die.”
Okay, no need to NAG or PILEITON.

Is the plural of MANSES MeNSES?

ELLEN Page makes a rapid return to the puz. Please see comment from the other day.

To add to yesterday: you will note that the north-south U.S. interstates (which are all odd-numbered) start with the low numbers out west (I-5) and the high numbers (I-95) in the east. East-west interstates (even numbered) start with the low numbers in the south (I-10) and the high numbers (I-94) in the north. All other route numbers on the National Highway System are also even or odd depending on E-W or N-S orientation, but not in numerical order from border to border. Their mileposts all begin at their southernmost or westernmost termini. As I mentioned, we highway engineers have our reasons.
If “tar” is in the puz tomorrow I might blow a gasket. Too tough on a guy approaching his SENIORYEARs.

This puz WAS not an ORDEAL at 37 minutes. A trip down memory lane BSIDES.

AnonymousPVX 1:34 PM  

This was a tough one, arcane clueing and answers, plus the gimmick. I got the solve but without any fun.

PAH indeed. Geez, let's just make stuff up now.

rain forest 2:04 PM  

What about Wyatt Earp's horse "Dick Naylor"?

As an oldster, I found it fun to do this puzzle. Interesting how a horse and its rider are almost always remembered together. Wondering whether Pancho had a name for his horse.

Except for the due North, this was a pretty easy puzzle, PAH notwithstanding. I think that's how @LMS might pronounce "pie", judging by her comment on "five mile hike". I think pelicans like PAH.

Some commenters got quite serious while debating what is or isn't a breakfast food. I think it is what you choose to eat for your first meal/snack. Bigger issue: why does it matter?

Nice unsloggy Sunday puzzle.

Diana,LIW 3:32 PM  

First of all, I admit that I haven't read all 138 comments, so this may be a repeat - but what about the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse? Eh? You could win a major award with info like that.

Finished it all but the HUMANTORNADO area Natick. Always a disappointment to put in that much effort, only to realize that you could stare at that one last corner for the next two weeks and get no further.

But it's all worth it to read the continuation of @Rondo's dissertation on road labeling. Now...what has the LATX have in store?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

nakaj 3:38 PM  

@ghostoflectricity re: Frisco Kid. it was not a Blazing Saddles reference but, in fact, a separate 1979 film with Gene Wilder as a rabbi & Harrison Ford as a bank robber. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpGrcK62ObQ

faktchekker 3:49 PM  

Cisco's paint hoss was named Diablo and Pancho's palomino was named Loco.

leftcoastTAM 5:14 PM  

Thought this would be fun after quick discovery of theme, but, alas, it wasn't. Oh, I solved the thing, but at some real cost in time and mood.

It turned out to be a long, slow slog.

Will mention only one small cluster of entries that GETS TO ME (i.e., "Aggravates"). Last letters in were the M from MALE (okay, should have seen it earlier) and the L from LSAT (had pSAT for a long while) needed for MENDEL.

Mendel was a great scientist of genetics. He was not a "Pea nut". I get the joke, but it's way too cutesy-clever, to the point of aggravation.

As noted, found the puzzle something of a mood killer. That's on me, not on the punily named Mr. Polin.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

Rex, you're getting pretty crotchety; take a vacation

Blogger 3:42 AM  

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Anonymous 7:09 PM  

Difficult in spots but I thought a good puzzle to puzzle over. Took me ten minutes longer than usual to solve even after I got it at Buttermilk.

Why do people complain about 50s and 60s oriented themes as too old for newer puzzlers and not bitch about Shakespeare or rap-oriented answers. It’s all relative people.

So many comments that I didnt read them all after ‘Mericans

Let Rex blow off steam about donuts, it keeps him from making other, less cogent themes, and makes most everyone else feel superior

Anonymous for the usual reasons

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