Harriet's hubby on 1950s-'60s TV / SAT 6-2-18 / Habitat for ibex / Zookeepers rounds informally / Strobe stuff / Alternative to cab

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Constructor: Trenton Charlson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (not sure—co-solved it with my wife, so there was a lot of reading clues aloud, and discussion, but we still finished in like 11 minutes, which seems fast, given the conditions)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: DAIKON (45D: Japanese root) —
Daikon (大根, literally "big root"), also known by many other names depending on context, is a mild-flavored winter radish (Raphanus sativus variety (cultivar) 'Longipinnatus') usually characterized by fast-growing leaves and a long, white, napiformroot. Originally native to Southeast or continental East Asia, daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region, as well as in South Asia. (wikipedia)
• • •

Hello from a Starbucks IN DC. I am about to go compete ("compete") in The Indie 500 Crossword Tournament, but this morning I am just trying to crank (trank?) this blog out before 9am. I co-solved this with my wife last night and basically enjoyed it. Couldn't spell TZATZIKI to save my life (Ss? Zs?) (56A: Sauce made with yogurt and cucumbers), and I did PSI for PHI (24A: Golden ratio symbol), and SUM for IAM (47A: Cartesian conclusion), and TEE for TEA (57D: It might be in the bag), but other than that there were no real snags. Helped that my wife got a few things superfast, well before I would have. Zs and Xs and Qs meant that the puzzle played easy. CUTEX (9A: Nail care brand) made it supereasy, because that put the X in the first position, which made XENON GAS obvious (13D: Strobe stuff). But now I'm sitting here with my friend Lena Webb (w/ whom I'll be calling the tournament finals later in the day) and we're going over the puzzle. Actually I'm just watching her doing it and writing down her reactions and the ridiculous things she says. She got CUTEX and TAKE A NAP instantly. She is very very happy with the clue for GIN (both because she loves GIN and because the clue seems designed to trick you into a different 3-letter answer: ARM) (54A: It may be in a sling). There were a few items, however, that we both had some issues with. Let's start with ... ODOR (27A: Repute).

The only time I have ever seen the word ODOR used this way was in a NYT crossword. That is, I have never, ever seen the word used this way. ODOR is never used nowadays in a non-repulsive way. SCENT is neutral. ODOR already implies stink. See "body ODOR." The idea that you sniff someone's "repute" is just ... weird. Lots of great potential for cluing ODOR, completely squandered on this archaic nonsense. Also, the scare quotes on "astronauts" in 37A: Some early "astronauts" was disturbing. I mean, the quotes belong there, obviously, since the APES were unwilling participants, but again, so many clues exist and you want to evoke Great Moments In Animal Testing? Speaking of testing, the clue on IQS was probably worst of all (5D: They're high in the Ivy League). First, it's factually wrong, in the sense that no one takes a ****ing IQ test to get into Harvard or Yale. You are assuming they have high IQS, and maybe you're right, but IQ has zero direct correlation to Ivy League admission. It's also just a gross system of measuring human beings, highly racialized and disgusting. Anyone who talks about their high IQ or believes in its meaningfulness is not to be trusted. Or is deeply, sadly insecure. If you go to an Ivy League school, you may be a brilliant, beautiful person. But if you want high correlation between student attribute and student admission, check where the parents went to school, or how much money they make. Come on, man.
Me and Lena, who is dressed to ... fill
GQTYPE is awful, some fill left over from a late-'90s word list. Burn it. Love all the food / drink clues, including DAIKON, which is an aesthetically beautiful word (to me). Lena has never heard of "OZZIE and Harriet," and tbh I mostly forgot they existed (mostly because they existed solely before my time). We all had trouble with CAPITAL B, of course (33D: eBay feature). My helpful advice to Lena (I solved before she did) was "Look at the word!" I offer you all the same advice, for all clues. Very useful. OK, I have to post this. It's So Late. Love from DC. Talk to you tomorrow.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    PS Lena has a JUUL ... I have finally seen one in the wild. Look for it in a crossword near you, maybe.

    PPS Erik Agard has the LAT puzzle today, so you should find it and do it because it's probably great. I'll see him later and ask him, but I'm pretty sure it's great.

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    Loren Muse Smith 8:56 AM  

    Almost had a dnf ‘cause I was confusing the clams with the Moby Dick guy. I kept wanting QUEEQUEG to end with H_ AG. But LULUS led the way out.

    And I misspelled MOHAVE as “Mojave.” So with a wrong “awaken,” the “Eeep!” word was a mystifying “ujah.” But I was dead certain of Mojave and awaken. Kept thinking “ujah” might be some new snapsome kind of interjection. But I managed to sort all that out, too.

    I kinda gave UNGIRD the side-eye, but, honestly, I wear control-top panty hose everyday, and the ungirding when I get home is a high point of my day. Guess you could say it’s loosing all the wayward, uncooperative stuff.

    Liked AWOKEN crossing TAKE A NAP. Boy, after a seriously good nap, that first 15 minutes or so after waking up is weird. You sit there in a stupor, staring. Stunned.

    I loved the northwest corner. Get this: EIEIO, OUI OUI, OOH, YOU, ZEE. 17 vowels, 3 consonants. Shiver shiver.

    Early on, I had to consider our new grid darling, “Essie,” for CUTEX. Bet I’m not alone there. Good for Lena for going CUTEX first.

    Well-dressed, photogenic guy – our own @imsdave.

    TRAVEL SIZE. The iced tea brigade gonna whine that there’s no d at the end of SIZE? Who. Cares. I’m such a sucker for gimmicks that I usually give that aisle a looksee at Walmart. There’s nothing sexier than a tiny little spray can of Static Guard, a little thing of QTips. A mini baby powder or a coin-size Nivea pot. I’m usually powerless not to buy at least one thing. (Hah. But now I don’t travel powderless.)

    Cat owner: Doc, did my Fluffy make it through surgery?
    Dr. Schrödinger: Well, YES AND NO.

    Trenton - lovely, lovely themeless.

    kitshef 9:03 AM  

    Very nice puzzle, too easy for a Saturday. Yes @LMS, I plopped in ESSIE.

    Cheeky EIEIO/OUIOUI cross.

    I remain a big fan of GODZILLA movies, despite how many terrible ones there have been over the years. OSAKA’s been hit twice, although ‘destroyed’ is a bit of an exaggeration

    Harryp 9:05 AM  

    So TZATZIKI is a word. This is the kind of puzzle that I look at and wonder how in the world can I do this? Then little by little it starts to fill and I gain more confidence, till there it is, solved! It is a great feeling to solve in average time what at first seems to be a lost cause. Another constructor whom I will remember. Apropos of nothing, GODZILLA is an Urban Renewal specialist.

    Anonymous 9:05 AM  

    Extremely difficult, didn't have the IQ so bailed early and hit reveal puzzle. I studied it for educational PURPOSEs. Tough but fair cluing except for 49A & 60A. This may be picky but ORDINAL would seem to BE a street name, not part of a street name. A TIREIRON is in no sense a spare item. I get what he means but no. I never heard of ODOR for repute but it's clever. I feel quite clean from just getting hosed. One bright moment-I considered ass for "it may be in a sling"

    Nancy 9:10 AM  

    Great clues, no junk, terrific puzzle. Boy, has this ever been a good week!

    Is "It's complicated" a great clue for YES AND NO? Or is YES AND NO a great answer for "It's complicated"?

    SHAKES ON (39A) was so fiendishly clued that I had SHAKES-- and still couldn't see it.

    I thought of MOHAwk first (15A), but was pretty sure they were a NY tribe, not a Colorado one.

    Yes, if you've AWOKEN me, I am definitely "disturbed"! So don't, please.

    Wonderful George Carlin quote to clue one of my favorite answers (19A).

    Who can possibly remember how to spell TZATZIKI?

    A lovely Saturday challenge -- not as hard as some Saturdays, but hard enough to satisfy.

    Whatsername 9:10 AM  

    I also tried to put a different three letter word in 54A but with the G and the N there, my guess was GUN because I had no clue what a Japanese radish was and would have never figured out TZATZIKI below it. Loved the clue for eBay and thought GQTYPE was nice. Liked the crossing of a OUIOUI and EIEIO as well. Rex hope you and your better half have a great day at the tournament.

    JJ 9:12 AM  

    I fell for all the misdirects--TOKYO before OSAKA, ARM before GIN, SUM before I AM, REM before ZEE. Lots of great cluing, with several aha smiles along the way. Good Saturday workout

    Suzie Q 9:14 AM  

    Loved loved loved it!

    Rex had to spoil it (as usual) and today the topic was IQ tests.
    Go jump in the lake! (As Ozzie might say)
    Go f*@& yourself! (As the other Ozzie might say)

    Now off to the farmer's market.

    Teedmn 9:18 AM  

    A very easy Saturday today - that didn't stop me from a careless mistake but easy nonetheless. Only trying to remember how to spell the Greek sauce held me up. Too bad looking at MANsOLES at 15D didn't make me look a little more closely. I guess I have no PsI talents! At least I had the sense to change sIRE IRON when I had ITsY at 53D.

    The cluing here was uniformly clever, I thought. 19A's George Carlin tie-in, 39D's "Cold evidence", 31D's "Zookeepers rounds". And EVERYONE's a critic (comedian). Nice!

    @LMS, I know exactly what you mean about the stupor after a nap - especially on a hot summer day. And I'll agree with you on @imsdave too!

    Great Saturday, thanks Trenton for your first Saturday NYT. You're 5/7 of the way to the full week!

    Mohair Sam 9:19 AM  

    Very nice puzzle, easy for a Saturday (West filled like a Wednesday for us) - wonderful cluing throughout.

    BUT - We dnf'd on the "H" in MOHAVE (hi @LMS). Why? My little finance company was asked to bid on the slot machine lease for Avi Casino in Nevada about 20 years ago. Got to know several members of the Fort MOjAVE tribe (they built the place). Early on in the process I asked a member of of the Tribal Council if the "J" or "H" was correct. He said "It's always "J", don't make the mistake." Guess I should have let UHOH overrule.

    So maybe the MOHAVE and the Fort MOjAVE tribes use different dictionaries?

    Loved QUEEQUEG (threw that right in) and GODZILLA stacked - how do you do that?!? We join the multitude who can't spell TZATZIKI. Unlike Rex I liked the GQTYPE clue, and thought ODOR a great Saturday definition of repute.

    And how 'bout Lena in a grid-dress! Awesome fashion statement.

    Puzz was great fun. Keep 'em coming Mr. Charlson.

    Anonymous 9:20 AM  

    I also had gun in a sling. Concerning "Fluffy" in the above remarks, I am reminded of my medical training where it can be true that "the surgery was a success but the patient died." I also did not like the odor clue and it seemed like some of the other clues were a bit off.

    Lewis 9:24 AM  

    Tough, fair, clean, and lovely, and a second remarkable day of cluing this week, following Thursday's gem. Terrific wordplay in the clues for TRAVELSIZE, SNEEZES, ALTARBOY, GIN and TIREIRON. Trenton, your talent is showing!

    On a side note, I loved the cross of YOU and GQ TYPE because it sure ain't me!

    Anonymous 9:25 AM  

    either way according to wikipedia MOHAVE OR MOJAVE But Mohave usually means the people. Mojave the desert.

    Gretchen 9:30 AM  

    What are TRANKS?

    jberg 9:32 AM  

    I was thinking this would have been a pangram if it had gone with MOjAVE, but I was wrong, there's no F. Probably other letters missing, too, I stopped checking after that.

    Is TZATZIKI cucumber raita in another language, or does it taste different? I hear maybe there's garlic in it. Aside from that, my biggest problem was wanting QUEEQUEeG to have another E. I've read the whole novel without noticing that I was spelling his name wrong.

    Someone well reputed is "in good ODOR." And you can have the ODOR of sanctity. But I don't think one says "in bad odor." I couldn't think of anything else once I had the R, and it fixed the Tokyo error for me, so I'm grateful for that.

    Do you like green eggs and ham?

    Birchbark 9:33 AM  

    I enjoyed this puzzle. After finishing, I also enjoyed the looming 9:00 @Rex-self-imposed deadline and wondering. Somewhere a storm must be raging, Buster Keaton style, winds strong enough to drive the man back as he struggled to hit the send button in a timely fashion. Or Hieronymous Boschian disasters, natural and otherwise, plaguing his ability to find just the right words for this easy-flowing grid. Turns out he was at Starbucks.

    @LMS (8:56) -- Speaking of Starbuck, confusion over QUEEQUEG and quahog claims dates back to Moby Dick itself. In Chapter 18, when QUEEQUEG signs onto the Pequod as a harpooner, his signature is the infinity sign (a sideways "8"). One of the ship owners, Captain Peleg, writes "Quohog his mark" around the sign.

    Wm. C. 9:35 AM  

    OFL is over-the-top on this IQ issue. For one thing, he seems to think that the fill is "IQ Tests," (things) rather than just IQs (attributes).

    "...no direct correlation to Ivy League admission."

    He's right that IQ Tests are not part of admission credentials to Ivy League colleges, but there certainly is a high correlation between high IQs and Ivy League students.

    Oh, that's right, Ivy admissions are more highly correlated with ancestors' attendance and/or their income, than with an applicant's intelligence (which, in turn correlates highly with their high school ranking and their SAT scores). There is certainly SOME correlation with ancestors' attendance and admission liklihood, but far less so for the Ivies than with less-selective colleges (like UBinghamton, for example). My father-in-law went to Dartmouth, and was a lifelong donor, but neither of my children (top 10% in one of the highest SAT-scoring high schools in Massachusetts) were admitted.

    JOHN X 9:36 AM  

    This was an absolutely kick-ass Saturday puzzle. Every single word clue was just amazing. I was stuck with almost nothing for so long because . . . Man I had to work this thing. I was greatly admiring it while I was doing it. This is what a Saturday puzzle should be.

    ODOR is still most definitely used for reputation, particularly for groups and other organizations. And seriously Rex, you object to the clue for APES? Those astronaut-apes were national heroes. I know you hate God and America, Rex, but must you also hate our brave astronats?

    Once again, this was a terrific Saturday puzzle.

    Kim 9:38 AM  

    Wanted the Korean War for 40-down but it didn’t fit.

    GILL I. 9:40 AM  

    WOW # 6. Crossing fingers tomorrows puzzle is supremo.....
    OUI OUI first in. What else would you say? Well, maybe a mon dieu but he doesn't fit.
    GQ TYPE is certainly photogenic eye candy. I especially like it when they oil up the abs and show the latest Hanes BVD's.
    I once knew an Ivy Leaguer who couldn't spell IQ. Smartest Man On The Earth
    Trenton would have to include the one recipe I love and can never pronounce nor spell. TZATZIKI.
    I, too, loved GIN as clued except I put a PEA in my sling. Even thought about a WAD as in bubble gum. Bazooka was my favorite go to sling shot filler. Only problem is that you had to chew it for a long time in order to get the sugar out.
    I don't know what TRANKS means or what the zookeeper is doing with them.
    @Loren. When I go get my prescription at Wally World, the line starts in the TRAVEL SIZE section. I'm a sucker when it comes to buying little things. I have a drawer full of mini hairspray just in case a hurricane hits while I'm traveling. Panty Hose? Haven't worn them in years - I'm too busy buying gauchos and you don't need hose for those things.
    George Carlin always made me laugh. He was a bit of an UNSUNG HERO in a crazy way.

    QuasiMojo 9:44 AM  

    I came here earlier because according to the NYT online thingamajig, I had a DNF. But the blog wasn't up yet. I was desperate so I went to CrosswordFiend instead. Even then I couldn't see any errors anywhere. Not a one (because I did not know how to spell DAIKON...!) Yes, I too had GUN for the thing in a sling. Better than a banana hammock, don't ya think. Oh well, chalk it up to my distate for radishes.

    Rex, I am living proof that you don't need a Mensa level IQ to get into an Ivy League school. When I took the IQ test, by a visiting Jehovah's Witness, no less, I totally missed a question where I had to arrange cartoons of a guy breaking into someone's house through the window. Stupidly, I thought it was a trick since the sun was moving across the sky and I assumed they wanted that glorious ORB selected in order, from dawn to dusk, or something like that. But I was wrong. They just wanted him going in and out of the window in the obvious way based on his feet positions in the drawings. Dumb! I still got three digits however. One of which I immediately flipped at the tester.

    As for the puzzle, YES AND NO. It was a LULU but also a LEMON. NINA and EL NINO equals a NO-NO, n'est-ce pas?

    Loved the clue for CRATE. you don't hear that term much anymore. Since most cars today are primarily computer CONSOLES (my first answer, btw, for MANHOLES.)

    GQ TYPE, Rex, is still very much in Vogue (or at least in Gentleman's Quarterly.) And ODOR of Sanctity is an expression still in use, I think.

    I had a marvelous Greek dinner the other night, complete with gobs of TZATZIKI.

    Remember that fun cartoon of GODZILLA meets BAMBI? Well, I'm now GUNning for a 'toon of GODZILLA meets QUEEQUEG. Considering that whaling is still big in Japan, it should go over like DAIKON.

    Anonymous 9:50 AM  

    Apologies to Wm. C. and JOHN X for the redundancies. I did not see your comments until I had posted mine.

    Mel Torme 9:53 AM  

    Short for tranquilizer bullets.

    Tim Aurthur 9:53 AM  

    It's a WOE for solvers that three of Japan's major cities - Tokyo, Kyoto and OSAKA - have the same number of letters.

    New Jersey presents a similar problem. I once got stuck by entering Trenton first, then Teaneck, only to discover that the answer was TENAFLY.

    mmorgan 9:59 AM  

    I enjoyed this, but the SW really gave me fits. I had BUYITNOW for the eBay clue at 33D, which seemed very reasonable, and couldn't come up with SPAMALOT (but should have, fairly easily). Also had PSI for PHI. It seems to me that the Cartesian SUM usually turns out to be IAM so I skipped the Latin and saved a beat. No trouble with TZATZIKI, and I loved THAT'S ALL (folks!).

    Anonymous 10:02 AM  

    I think he was totally sung. Quite famous and influential to many.

    Bill 10:03 AM  

    @Gretchen: I didn't get TRANKS either, even after I'd finished the puzzle Apparently it's slang for "tranquilizers." That's some crosswordese for ya.

    emily 10:03 AM  


    TubaDon 10:03 AM  

    First answer in was TAKEANAP, but I didn't. Proceded steadily until I hit the SE where my guess at WASABI radish led to my ASS being in a sling, tho I suspected that was too racy for the NYT. Only cucumber sauce I could think of was RAITA, so I stalled until YESANDNO bailed me out of that corner. Lifted an eyebrow at TRAVELSIZE and had to take TZATZIKI on faith, but checked later and found it was indeed a Greek condiment.

    Z 10:07 AM  

    I can’t believe the eBay clue tricked me as long as it did. Gah. Sum before IAM (DesCartes does dog food? Who knew?) didn’t help, nor did my poor penmanship causing me to think the hINA sailed the ocean blue. But I fixed NINA making SNEEZES finally obvious and I saw BYTES and it still took precious nanoseconds to parse CAPITAL B. Gah.

    TZATZIKI with the double TZ constructions that don’t sound the same when I hear it pronounced. That second T is a lot more silent than the first T, so I always want to omit it when trying to spell it. Hand up for finishing with DAuKON radishes. It looks wrong, but did I bother to check when I filled in GuN? D’Oh.

    I saw that they are considering turning SPAMALOT into a movie. UH. OH kay.

    I don’t usually call a DNF “easy,” but that was just a sloppy mistake and this was an easy Saturday here.

    @Mohair Sam - A native American name transliterated into Spanish then English? There is no universally wrong answer in these situations.

    @Suzie Q - ? If one is in education and studies assessment the limits of assessments are one of the things you learn about. That Stanford-Binet is racially biased is pretty much unquestioned by anyone who’s not a raging racist (amongst researchers who actually study such things). I don’t understand why Rex mentioning this upsets you.

    Peter Griffin 10:08 AM  

    Quahog, Rhode Island

    Peter Griffin
    Quahog, RI

    Anonymous 10:09 AM  

    TRANK is tranquilizer. A zookeeper would have rounds of tranquilizer to shoot an animal, hopefully not an astronaut APE.

    Hungry Mother 10:11 AM  

    Very quick solve early this morning, befoe the blog was up. Then I won my AG in a 5K race.

    BarbieBarbie 10:11 AM  

    XENONGAS is green paint. At least on this planet.

    My dad (an Ivy League grad) used to explain to me that to do well on an IQ test I needed to put myself in a “B student” frame of mind, reduce my horizons, and tamp down my imagination. Basically, don’t overthink. So yeah, OFL is probably correct about no correlation between high IQ and Ivy attendance. But that isn’t what the clue said. Just because you find a lot of apples at the fruit stand doesn’t mean you won’t also find a lot of apples in the grocery store. Quit being so defensive, Mr. Professor.

    Anonymous 10:12 AM  

    The OED is complete??????

    EEEP! What's a TRANK?

    Don't get SHAKESON.

    Stanley Hudson 10:13 AM  

    What@Z said about assessments.

    A fun puzzle albeit a tad easy for a Saturday.

    Wonder if Howard Kaylan is lurking today?

    Ellen S 10:13 AM  

    @LMS: I think “ujah” is a keeper.

    Slim Harpo Productions 10:16 AM  

    Does anyone remember Two Ponies?

    Howard Kaylan 10:17 AM  

    Rex, I just want to tell you "Good Luck" in today's tournament.

    Lewis 10:22 AM  

    Spectacular week of puzzles, and lest we forget:

    M -- Put On A Happy Face with smiley face grid (Eaton-Salners)
    Tu -- TriDENTS, with triple letters (Lieb)
    W -- Scrabble racks, with the mixed bag anagrams (Chen/Milton)
    Th -- It's all Greek to me (Talvaccio)
    F -- "Teachable Moment" themeless (Rise)
    S -- Queequeg/Tzatziki themeless (Charlson)

    Effervescent gratitude to Will Shortz et al and to the entertaining and edifying work of these constructors for this parade of excellence!

    Ellen S 10:24 AM  

    I got SHAKES ON from the crosses but I still don’t get it. Can someone explain? (Loved the puzzle, especially all the fiendish clues that I *did* get.)

    puzzlehoarder 10:26 AM  

    A medium solve for me. I started with IQS in the NW and finished in the SE with the K of DAIKON. There was no alphabet running on that K. I was more familiar with the Greek word but the Japanese one looked right also.

    I had only three write overs: BED/ZEE, TOKYO/OSAKA and TRAVEL SAFE/SIZE. The clue for MANHOLES is completely wrong. TRANK went in strictly on the crosses. These little issues and solving by phone kept this above easy.

    kjones 10:31 AM  

    @Anonymous - "SHAKES ON" refers to "Shaking on it" to close a deal. I had to google the phrase "shake on" to understand the meaning. I guess they don't bother to give the 'with "it"' explainer, since its a saturday.

    ani 10:58 AM  

    Shakes on=closes a deal. Took me forever to understand it. Came here for an explanation of thanks

    Charles Flaster 11:01 AM  

    Loved it and thought I had a DNF with all the crazy spellings but I guessed correctly ( especially DAIKON ).
    Only writeover was PURPOSE for sURmiSE.
    Loved the numerous misdirects but especially liked the clueing for EVERYONE, MANHOLES, SNEEZES, and TRAVEL SIZE.
    Thanks TC.

    frankbirthdaycake 11:04 AM  

    Fun puzzle. Took me longer than I thought it should have taken, but I don’t mind because I enjoyed it. Not sure I get the “odor” reference, but it wasn’t too hard to figure out what the constructor wanted.

    Questinia 11:05 AM  

    TZATKIKI proudly joins the pantheon of salmagundi, piccalilli, and gallimaufry as a x-word food mixture.

    Richard 11:15 AM  

    BUYITNOW is an eBay feature. I plugged it right in. Clunk.

    mathgent 11:19 AM  

    @Nancy (9:10), Lewis (10:22): My sentiments exactly. Terrific puzzle in a week of terrific puzzles.

    GHarris 11:19 AM  

    A wonderful feeling when I can work through a Saturday without a cheat even though it contains words or names unknown to me. Certainly helped that I am a tzatziki fanatic. One shakes on it when closing a deal.

    Anonymous 11:19 AM  

    I miss the days when the Saturday puzzle was challenging. Used to take me all day, sometimes all week, to solve. The longer it took, the more satisfying. Nowadays, I finish it before my second cup of coffee. Sigh.

    Found this a breeze, although I got the SE wrong with “gun” instead of “gin.” Gun-slinger, is how I got there. And Daukon was a plausible as Daikon— never heard of either.

    Otherwise, I’d have rated this Wednesday worthy, not Saturday.

    Teedmn 11:25 AM  

    Hah, I just got back from Walgreens Pharmacy; while I was waiting for a prescription to be filled for my Dad, I strolled around the store and what to my wandering eyes should appear but the TRAVEL SIZE display, which was labeled exactly that. (Hi @Gill I). I bought one of those nifty folding toothbrushes. Then I continued my wandering and came upon the cosmetics section. Above the displays were the brand names and in bold, huge letters I saw ESSIE. I then resolved to walk up and down every aisle and memorize all of the brand names I saw in order to enhance my crossword solving skills, such as they are. Too bad it only took 20 minutes to fill the prescription - I only made it down 4 aisles and didn't get even close to memorizing all of the CUTE[X]sy baby product brand names. Another road trip is required.

    TJS 11:28 AM  

    Loved this puzzle. Could not come up with Queequeg on my first scan, but raced to enter Tokyo so I could throw in King Kong at the top. That sent me all the way down to "cash, alp,pta area to start my recovery. This is my favorite puzzling experience, wondering how I will ever finish, then battling back, inch by inch. (Is battling correct spelling ?)
    If tzatziki crossing daikon doesn't deserve a peep of protest, lets not hear any complaints about sports figures from the sixties or seventies.

    DrBB 11:37 AM  

    Hard for me, thanks to that accursed underivable DAIKON/TZATZIKI cross in the SE. Got everything else, including the clever ETUDE, which I had as STUNT for the longest time, but I was reduced to going through the alphabet when it came to that K cross at 56A/45D, and you know what I felt when I finally got it? Meh. For me, a great puzzle is one that challenges me but when I finally get it (like remembering that ETUDE is a dexterity exercise too), I go "Yes!" Not one where I have to run through every damn letter in the alphabet to resolve a cross of two foreign terms in languages that could have used any damn thing in there, producing a "Meh." Guess I don't spend enough time in the right restaurants.


    DrBB 11:44 AM  

    Z @10:07 "I saw that they are considering turning SPAMALOT into a movie. UH. OH kay."

    They did the same thing with Hairspray. Movie to musical to movie of the musical (of the movie). Gimme the John Waters original.

    Annette 11:46 AM  

    @z : Is the Atlantic Monthly racist ? Read the article “Why People Keep Misunderstanding the Connection Between Race and IQ” and get back to me. It’s not helpful to call all those with whom you disagree racist. It only gives cover to the real racists.

    Masked and Anonymous 11:51 AM  

    Scrabbly lil beast. Different. Like.

    @RP: JUUL. Like the cut of its vowel jiib, whatever it is. From the pic, it looks like either:
    1. Ruler with its back up. (yo, @DJT)
    2. All-day chocolate bar.
    3. Whittle-yer-own tire-iron.
    4. Really wide, dark crayola thingy. For shadin-in large, jaws-of-themeless grid areas.
    5. Fridge magnet. Perhaps Lena displays some of the runtpuz greatest hits, say. Advantage: magnet is so big, it covers up most of the puzgrid.

    "Eeep!" har. Sounds like the shriek made by someone bein stabbed by an epee. Like.

    @RP: IQS could just mean "smarts", right? [Example: Ripley, from "Aliens" … "Did IQS just drop sharply while I was away?!"] Smart choice for staff weeject pick: gotta like IQS. Plural abbrev meat.

    OZZIE & Harriet be-gat Ricky, who sang "Travelin Man" & "Hello, Mary Lou". Got the 45 rpm. Like ...

    Hey -- Lots to like, about this puppy.
    TRANKS for the fun, Mr. Charlson. But, but … DAIKON/TZATZIKI?! day-um. I'm melting! Melting! [Eeep!]

    Masked & Anonymo8Us

    Bob Mills 11:55 AM  

    Finished it with help from the Internet. SE was really hard. I was sure "exercise in dexterity" was STUNT. Finally guessed that "it may be in a sling" was GIN (Singapore Sling?), which gave me UNGIRD.

    TZATZIKI is just mean. I'm going to ask the waitress for some tzatziki sauce next time I'm in a restaurant. She won't have a clue.
    And I agree with Rex that the clue for "repute" cannot be ODOR. No way, Jose. There are a dozen better ways to clue "repute," for example, "standing, in a way."

    Amelia 11:56 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    jb129 11:56 AM  

    Enjoyed this a lot!

    LHS 888 11:57 AM  

    This puzzle must have been “easy” because I was able to solve it in under 41 minutes without Googling or checking or any other form of cheating. That’s rare for me on a Saturday. OUIOUI was my first entry. I so enjoy it when a first instinct is correct. I certainly didn’t breeze thru the solve, but for the most part I seem to have been on the same wavelength as the author (SPAMALOT drops in on the S!?!) I did fall into the Tokyo trap and stayed there far too long. Oops. Hand up for wanting to spell it MOjAVE. Also confused PsI with PHI (every time).

    I enjoyed learning that Godzilla has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Cool! Lots of great clues / answers in this puzzle. Some of my faves were. EIEIO, QUEEQUEG, UNSUNGHERO. Aha moments: ORDINAL, CAPITALB, APES, TRANKS (although I thought the short form was TRANqS).

    Good, fun, puzzle. Thanks!

    Aketi 12:44 PM  

    Not sure whether I’m more likely to forget how to spell QUEEQUEG or TZATZIKI the next time they appear in a puzzle.

    Enjoying a beautiful view of one of the smaller of the Finger Lakes in a well organized, but teeny tiny cottage. Discovered that there are games and puzzles hidden in the ottomans. @Rex would not approve.

    Adam 1:07 PM  

    I so wanted "Till Fill" to be BILL - I therefore had a lot of trouble in the SW. But the rest of the puzzle was enjoyable, especially the cross-ref of GODZILLA and OSAKA (the fact that 1A destroyed a city was helpful!).

    I had the I from I AM, and with BILL, confidently put BUY IT NOW for 33D, which killed me in that corner. Finally realized that PI_L couldn't be right, and if it started PI it was likely PITH. reluctantly changed BILL to CASH and quickly got the rest of that corner. But I still think BILL is a more fun answer for "till fill".

    RooMonster 1:19 PM  

    Hey All !
    What a wonderously EIEIOKQXZ of a puz. But, missing the oft forgotten (there's two right there!) F. No respect.

    Amazing how it all came together with words like QUEEQUEG and TZATZIKI. Bold, with a CAPITAL B. I liked it, is what I'm trying to say.

    That IQ clue should've been "They're high at Mensa". Or push the envelope even further with "They're high at 4:20 at Mensa, amongst other times". That's a three-deep clue there! :-)

    YOU as 2006's Person of the Year? Missed that. Was it a person named YOU, or did it mean you and me?

    THAT'S ALL for now, gotta run.

    YEA AND NO (Schrödingers cat?)

    nyc_lo 1:24 PM  

    Was cruising along for a pretty good Saturday time, but crashed and burned on the GIN/GUN ruse. Had to come here to find the offending letter, so technically a DNF, which aggravates me no end. But after consulting my bartender’s guide, turns out I have all the ingredients for a GIN Sling on hand, so l’ll make one tonight and calm my nerves. Or maybe now. It’s five o’clock somewhere.

    RVA flier 1:38 PM  

    Could have been a Saturday personal best... except I saw ‘thing in a sling’ for G_N and confidently wrote in GUN. Gunslingers sling their guns out of slings, right? [narrator: wrong] And I’d never heard of a DAUKON, but that seemed plausible as a Japanese vegetable to me. By the time I sorted that out, several minutes had passed and a personal best this was not. Ah well. I still enjoyed the puzzle. Now off to the Raffles Hotel for a Gin Sling.....

    Mohair Sam 1:47 PM  

    @Z (10:07) - I wasn't arguing that the clue was wrong, I was just stating why I missed it (and I expect my friend from the Fort Mojave tribe did too).

    Anoa Bob 1:47 PM  

    A restaurant we frequented in Okinawa had a large aquarium near the entrance. We would pick out a fish, go to our tatami mat room, and a few minutes later our sashimi was served. The cubed pieces of filet were on individual trays for each of us (with real wasabi paste and soy sauce) and on a large tray in the middle of the table was the remainder of the fish. It was placed so that only the head and tail stuck out of a bed of grated strands of DAIKON. It was all arranged so that it looked like the fish was leaping out of a breaking wave of water.

    DAIKON also appears in the usually unflattering epithet DAIKON ashi, which refers to the shape of some peoples' legs.

    I've heard some pretty raunchy jokes about MANHOLES.

    UNGIRD is what you do to your loins after the battle is over, right?

    Harryp 1:50 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Paul Rippey 2:00 PM  

    Great puzzle! Loved the clueing. QUEEQUEG and TZATZIKI are both in my wheelhouse but I couldn’t come close to spelling either one. I still can’t. IQs may be higher at Ivies than, say, land grant colleges, but I don’t know that and there was something unpleasant about the assumption that they are higher.

    RAD2626 2:38 PM  

    Agree with everyone that it was a terrific puzzle as part of a terrific week of puzzles. This one was fabulously clued. Hand up for Buy it now. But I thought it was much harder that most of the commenters. Had IQS but GQ was not easily forthcoming nor was GODZILLA and all the vowels in the NE were not readily guessable. Maybe just a bad biorhythm day.

    DigitalDan 2:40 PM  

    For me, Tzatziki crossing Daikon was a Natick. No way I could get the K without enumerating the alphabet.

    Georgia 2:55 PM  

    You shake hands to close a deal...you shake on it.

    Georgia 2:59 PM  

    I came here looking to understand how Eeep = Uhoh. I think it means Yay!

    TCProf 3:17 PM  

    I'm an Ivy League professor, so I have no allegiance to Binghamton University (just to the truth, I hope), but Wm. ought to check Binghamton's acceptance rate before he makes uninformed statements about the selectivity of that school. It's a very selective university, no doubt more so than the one Wm. attended.

    Also, regarding IQs as traits of an individual is quite naive. IQs are scores on particular tests at particular times. One does not have an IQ. I suspect that students at Ivy League schools do, as a group, have mean scores on IQ tests higher than one finds in the general population. But arguing that X correlates with Y which correlates with Z, so therefore X must correlate with Z is a common fallacy (one that I bet the statistics faculty at Binghamton disabuses its students of).

    Ando 3:33 PM  

    Has anyone here ever in their life uttered the phrase "shaked on" to describe getting new business?

    Anonymous 3:40 PM  

    I like the word *odor* as defined. To me it has a different nuance than simply "standing." Maybe it is old-fashioned. Perhaps its identification with "stink" makes people prefer something else, perhaps the word *aura*.

    Glad to see others screw up Mohave, as I did. I perhaps would have gotten it with more time. I didn't know exactly what *eep* meant, but of course I see now.

    I've got to start eating and drinking better. I screwed up the SE thinking a gun was in a sling, and not knowing the Japanese radish and yogurt-and-cucumber sauce. Hey, I am starting to eat better--just arrived in Italy.

    The International NY Times prints the Sunday puzzle with the Saturday paper (no Sunday paper--I've not seen that anywhere in Europe, but I've not traveled that far. Will put off the Sunday puzzle until tomorrow, Sunday. It printed in a very small font. You would think the NY Times people would realize that no one buys their paper in Europe who is under 60, and as people age they become less comfortable with small fonts.

    Google knows everything. Soon after logging on in Italy, they knew where I was, and Italian ads started appearing. Then a big message appeared, asking me to accept their use of my *cookies*. I could click a box accepting, or have the screen stay there--no option of saying *no* or closing the box. Whoever is doing this sort of thing really should be jailed.

    I agree with others: good puzzles this week!

    Anon. i.e. Poggius (or Poggius Florentinus)
    Florence, Italy

    Anonymous 4:03 PM  

    Get that Juul out of here! Its terrorizing my granddaughters high school! Difficult to learn when the classroom is covered in smoke!

    (i.e. they dont want that smoke!!)

    Anonymous 4:17 PM  

    @TC Prof 3:17- According to z you’re a racist.

    Appropro of Nothing in Particular 4:24 PM  

    “Oder” is a very common surname in the American Mennonite community.

    Barry Frain 4:27 PM  

    @Anon 4:17, you’re being deliberately obtuse and trying to troll or you need to re-read @Z more carefully.

    Barry Frain
    East Biggs, CA

    sanfranman59 4:35 PM  

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

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

    Mon 4:43 4:30 1.05 60.8% Medium-Challenging
    Tue 5:54 5:26 1.09 67.7% Medium-Challenging
    Wed 5:50 6:39 0.88 29.1% Easy-Medium
    Thu 11:28 9:51 1.16 75.2% Medium-Challenging
    Fri 11:19 13:05 0.86 32.5% Easy-Medium
    Sat 13:43 15:48 0.87 37.6% Easy-Medium

    This makes five 12-15 minutes Saturdays in a row for me. My 2018 average is 18:13. All but one Friday in the last two months is well below my 2018 Friday average also. I'd like to think that it's because I'm getting better at end-of-week puzzles, but I wonder if Will has decided to make the Friday and Saturday puzzles more accessible?

    Since I'm a sucker for Scrabbliness, this one passes muster with me (QUEEQUEG and TZATZIKI!). But when there are so many Z's and Q's and X's, it likely ratchets down the difficulty. The clues and answers were mostly lively and fun. I did direct a furrowed brow at "Eeep!"(???) cluing UH OH, "Repute" cluing ODOR and TRANKS. I also had no idea about PHI, but that's on me and it was handled by crosses. I rejoiced when I thought there was a reprise of Essie from the other day and that I was finally going to get it without a bunch of crosses. But no, it was CUTEX.

    According to this website, Godzilla has attached 21 different cities, including OSAKA twice (I, of course, had Tokyo, which is well atop of the leaderboard with 13 attacks).

    JulieS 5:22 PM  

    Rex, you object to people advertising their IQs, but you post your time on the NYT crossword puzzle every day of the year. Also, I think that the animals they sent up in space were chimpanzees, not apes.

    Harryp 6:09 PM  

    I waited 30 minutes or more to delete a mistake, but had to leave before I was able to undo the pangram mistake. Sorry, but I didn't see the prior posts on the same subject. My bad

    jae 6:42 PM  

    Easy-medium for me too. I also pondered MOjAVE vs. MOHAVE and Gun vs. GIN until I remembered the drink.

    There is a lot to like here. The stacks in the corners are a real treat. I agree with Jeff Chen on POW!

    My recollection is that the Raven’s Matrices replaced the Stanford-Binet in the mid 1970s in most schools. Also SAT and ACT scores are correlated with measures of “g”.

    Anonymous 7:10 PM  

    &Barry 4:27 pm. Z verbatim “That Stanford-Binet is racially biased is pretty much unquestioned by anyone who’s not a raging racist (amongst researchers who actually study such things). I don’t understand why Rex mentioning this upsets you. ” TC Prof explained that the test is not biased but some interpretations are biased. Z should choose his words more carefully.

    Anonymous 9:27 PM  

    Good grief.

    Wm. C. said: "There is certainly SOME correlation with ancestors' attendance and admission liklihood, but far less so for the Ivies than with less-selective colleges (like UBinghamton, for example)."

    TCProf said:
    I'm an Ivy League professor, so I have no allegiance to Binghamton University (just to the truth, I hope), but Wm. ought to check Binghamton's acceptance rate before he makes uninformed statements about the selectivity of that school. It's a very selective university, no doubt more so than the one Wm. attended.

    So, the only thing that was claimed there re: selectivity is, AR Binghamton > AR Ivies.

    So, Professor Allegiance to the Truth, per the latest figures on "Truth" that I could find:

    AR Binghamton = 42%
    AR Least Selective Ivy (Cornell, by a lot) = 14%.

    Very selective? Maybe. Relative to the Ivies? Nah. I award you five pinocchios.

    Anonymous 9:58 PM  

    @TC Prof:

    If you have allegiance to the truth ...

    Acceptance rate at Binghamton = 42%
    Acceptance rate at LEAST selective Ivy (Cornell) = 14%.

    Seems like Wm.C. was speaking the truth.

    [Sorry if this is a duplicate, but my posts today don't seem to be posting - trying again.]

    Abigail 8:12 AM  

    Not crossword related, but I love Lena's dress!!!

    Andrew B. 4:39 PM  

    I was stymied because I could not see how ODOR could be the answer for "Repute." And I still can't. Can anyone conceive a sentence in which the two words are interchangeable?

    spacecraft 11:20 AM  

    Not easy, not hard...IMPOSSIBLE! That SE Natick is the natickest Natick that was ever naticked! In fact, I hereby and for the record propose that the term "Natick" be changed to "TZATZIKI," forever. DNF, naturally, for that one hopeless square. THATSALL, folks!

    Burma Shave 1:07 PM  


    Then each AWOKEN with PURPOSE to enjoy,
    IAM not sure who says YESANDNO.


    leftcoastTAM 2:34 PM  

    Must be on the easy side since I had little trouble with a Saturday puzzle. (My wife helped me with CUTEX, DAIKON, and TZATZIKI. Thank you, D.)

    Finished in the SW, and needed English IAM instead of Latin SUM to do so.

    Lots of bonus words. Special mention to QUEEQUEG, UNSUNGHERO, and TIREIRON. Indeed, a surfeit of good ones today.

    Agree heartily with Rex about the Ivy League and IQS. (I was an Ivy. Oh, and I was an ALTARBOY, too--but not when in college, I must add.)

    leftcoastTAM 2:57 PM  

    @Andrew B.
    Not necessarily interchangeable, but related: "That man has an ODOR of ill-repute."

    r 4:15 PM  

    It's all what you know in some puzzles. Others have related that they can't spell TZATZIKI, but it's dead simple if you've eaten Greek food. I see DAIKON in the supermarket all the time. Since I love radishes, I must try it.

    Overall, I found this "medium", and very interesting. First entry was GODZILLA after I saw the clue for 27 D (thinking it must be TOKYO, but unsure. Saturday, you know.). With IQS in place, QUEEQUEG was a laydown, and whole NW, indeed the whole West side went relatively easily.

    Eventually figured out TRANKS, and gave up the J for MOHAVE, and, well THAT'S ALL FOLKS!

    Excellent puzzle to finish an excellent week of puzzles.

    Diana,LIW 4:16 PM  

    Patience was the key to today's puzzle. In other words, take a break, come back, repeat...

    Agree with 85% of @Rex's beefs today - GQTYPE indeed. Not so much with IQs - they aren't the end or be all, but probably high in many Ivy schools. Many others as well.

    Bs has a great poem today, if you haven't already read all about it.

    Thought ORDINAL was just dopey. IMHO

    And doesn't everyone know Ozzie and H from general knowledge? Like Lucy and Howdy Doody. And the Beav.

    Surprised that my guess for PTA was spot on. Mothers - unite!!

    Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

    leftcoastTAM 8:03 PM  

    @Diana -- About Intelligence Quotients:

    The basic issue here is: What do IQ tests measure? If Ivy Leaguers and many other subsets of the total population test out as having high IQs, what does this tell us about their "intelligence"? It tells us whatever it is relative to others testing out as having higher or lower IQs, but it tells us little or nothing about life potentials and capabilities. "Intelligence" is what we tautologically define and measure it to be.

    Anonymous 8:47 PM  

    I thought Godzilla destroyed Tokyo - but of course it was the US military - and from there I couldn't recover so a DNF goes on my resume.

    Agree with Rex on almost everything except that it was medium easy. I would say difficult.

    Not sure if IQ's are higher today in the Ivies, but who really cares ? Poor cluing for that and others as Rex points out.

    Great pic of Michael and his wife. You make a great couple, and good luck in the tournament.

    thefogman 1:15 PM  

    Late to the party. I liked this one. Tough but rewarding. Plenty of aha! moments. I thought the cluing was quite clever. Rex needs to switch to decaf...

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