Counterpart of iamb / SAT 9-22-18 / Program that analyzes structure of input / Dance in which you bring your knees in tight / O'Hara Martian's host on old TVs my favorite martian / Jon who wrote illustrated smart feller fart smeller

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Constructor: Sam Trabucco

Relative difficulty: Medium (7:18)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: IOLA, Ks. (?) (6D: City SW of Kansas City) —
Iola (pronounced /ˈlə/) is a city situated along the Neosho River in the northwestern part of Allen County, located in Southeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,704. Iola is the county seat of Allen County. It is named in honor of Iola Colborn. (Emphasis Mine) (What The Hell?) (wikipedia)
• • •

[Plaque in front of my daughter's high school]
Well, let's deal with the elephant in the middle of the puzzle first, I guess. Considering the NYT solving base, I don't think that guy should be in any crossword puzzle. I have no idea when this puzzle was constructed—poor NYT constructors sometimes wait many years before seeing their work in print. But that doesn't really matter. The editor has to make decisions about what to run and when to run it, and it's semi-unfathomable that you run This puzzle with This answer in it This week, when a nominee to the Supreme Court stands credibly accused of sexual assault and the accuser is being badgered, harassed, maligned, demeaned and undermined by cretins in both the legitimate and illegitimate press, and in the Senate, where the hearings are being conducted by the party whose leader is himself a 17-time sexual assailant. To say this is bad timing would be a significant understatement. And then you had to throw Les Moonves's wife into the bargain!? There are other CHENs, man. Why run this puzzle? I mean, you know—know!—that you're gonna hear about that center answer. The social media chatter has already begun, and the puzzle hasn't even been out an hour.

The Constructor Himself Acknowledges The Problem:

Decision to go ahead with this puzzle in this climate is at least a little baffling.

But #MeToo issues aside, I found this one delightful in some parts, painful in others. There were just too many obscure (to me) short names (esp. in the Downs, both up top and below). Running IOLA ZOEY and RENI on me so close together like that, yeesh. And then I have no idea who this non-James AGEE is (though I think I've seen him in crosswords before, maybe). TERI and PEEDEE I know only because of crosswords. And I'm not even sure what the clue on TIM is asking for (53D: ___ O'Hara, Martian's host on old TV's "My Favorite Martian"). What does "Martian's host" mean? Like, the Martian lives in his house? I mean, of alllllllll the possible TIM clues in the world, dear lord. So yeah, the names today were a little rough, as was PARSER (?!) and ECT. Longer Acrosses, however (central answer notwithstanding), were generally entertaining. Really enjoyed remembering "THE TIME WARP" and can't believe it took me so long to parse "THE TWILIGHT ZONE" (52A: TV series whose first episode was titled "Where Is Everybody?")—I stupidly had VIN for ZIN (54D: Wine shop offering, informally) and then ENNA for ETTA (50D: Italian diminutive suffix), so parsing those long Acrosses in the south was tough.

Five things:
  • 28A: Garment originally fashionable in the late 1950s (SACK DRESS) — really? Had DRESS and then was like "er.... uh ..."
  • 26A: Shot contents (SERUM) — had the SE- and, well, let's just say nothing came to mind that was right or good
  • 40D: Least in question (SUREST) — tried SAFEST, but, for the first time ever, KIR helped me out (51A: Wine aperitif)
  • 35D: Counterpart of an iamb (TROCHEE) — finally, Finally, my day job pays off. A TROCHEE is just an inverted iamb: a poetic foot that goes STRESSED-unstressed. Pasta. Demon. Parlor. Baby. All one-word TROCHEEs. John Donne uses them strategically at the opening of OK I'll stop.
  • 32A: Childhood home of Grant Wood and Elijah Wood (CEDAR RAPIDS) — had the RAPIDS and went with .... GRAND! Luckily the crosses made no kind of sense with GRAND, and I arrived in CEDAR RAPIDS without too much delay.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. happy 18th birthday to my wonderful daughter, who doesn't read my blog, god bless her

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Unknown 12:22 AM  

We need the time warp video in this blog entry.

puzzlehoarder 12:44 AM  

This was an easy Saturday. Not the pushover that yesterday's puzzle was but barely over 25 minutes on a Saturday is the easy end for me.

The NE filled in quickly. With FOODPORN and OCCURS in place I was set to go west or south. SALMA blew MUMUDRESS out of the water. I skunked on the clues for 29-31D and decided to go NW.

Other than the lower half of that River and the mystery program that went well. Being blocked from going south from the NW I went back to the middle where I'd left off.

Luckily I have some familiarity with Grant Wood. Off the few letters I had CEDAR RAPIDS went right in. DRIP gave me CHARLIEROSE. Here I thought 25D was some fancy cooking term, so I had to laugh when CRISPUP went in. It distracted me to the SE and the rest of the puzzle went in clockwise from there.

A couple of things helped move the solve along. ETTA and DUCHESS we're fresh in my mind from an old puzzle I did today. We just had iamb and that got me to look up TROCHEE and ANAPEST. Learning things from the puzzles is as much fun as solving and of course it makes the next solve easier.

TomAz 1:07 AM  

Opening scene. Shots of tourists on Times Square. Front of NY Times building. Zoom into corner office window.

WILL: Hey Joel, let's run this Sam Trabucco puzzle he sent in a few years ago.

JOEL: OK, let me take a look. ... Oh. ummmmmm... Charlie Rose?

WILL: Yes, OK, I guess we should change the clue. I'll do it later. Gotta go do my NPR bit and then the book signing.

cut to a youngish man with a mop of hair at a kitchen table looking over a folded newspaper page. He's smiling, but then the smile dissolves into horror.

YOUNGISH MAN: What.. the..

cut to archival film of women's march in DC

cut to shot of smirking Trump

jae 1:15 AM  

Easy-medium. TIM was a gimme and yes, Martin lived in his house, but then you had to be extant and have access to a TV in the late ‘50s. The good stuff made up for the cringy stuff, liked it.

okanaganer 1:20 AM  

Constructor's comments on Mr. Rose in the grid on xwordinfo

I tried to fit HUMONGOUS EFFORT into 17A.

Not happy about ECT. Always is ECTO as far as I know. (Show me an example used without the O on a non-obscure web site? Ectasis is the only one I can find. And echthyma doesn't count because I can't see how it evolves from 'external'; quite the opposite.) So I had EXT which led to TROXH-- crossing TORO Polo (guessed; never heard of him/her), crossing TOM Ohara (guessed; never heard of him/her). Train wreck!

Larry Gilstrap 1:54 AM  

I solve the puzzle everyday and 34A does not upset me, so relax Sam. We had SATAN the other day, so I've seen worse.

Anybody else see Tony Randall and Burl Ives on TCM tonight? The latter is truly the star of a Frosty film, so get used to his puzzle friendly last name. Rarely see RIME in these parts, except when reading Coleridge. He used that sea shanty rhythm, similar to Emily Dickinson and the theme from Gilligan's Island. Certain that a TROCHEE is not a metrical foot contained in the music of that poetry, but feel free to discuss. Sublime meet ridiculous.

I grew up watching THE TWILIGHT ZONE on the monochromatic TV and it rarely failed to freak me out. On the other hand, I found that SACK DRESS alluring. Kind of like a muumuu with attitude.

I've maintained a home for many years in the canyons of the Santa Ana Mountains and a neighboring canyon is named Trabuco, which I've heard is Spanish for blunderbuss. Bang up puzzle in my estimation.

Dolgo 1:59 AM  

I agree. Too many "crossword puzzle words"! Why don't we go back to "Eskimo hunting knife"or "Anteater"while we're at it? Or the ever-popular OREO or SNL? I think we NYT Puzzle fans deserve better.

Although I must say, hailing from Kansas City (Missouri, damn it!) as I do, I did get IOLA right away.

Dolgo 2:02 AM  

PS Opera fan me always liked to see an opera, though--(Richard) STRAUSS's "Elektra," shabby little shocker though it is!

chefwen 3:05 AM  

Wanted “pisses off the cook” for 1A, too many letters.

Since when is a PEA SHOOTER a dangerous weapon? BB Gun maybe, “You’ll shoot your eye out” but a pea shooter, NAH! That’s a sissy toy. Dang, I’m sure I’ll hear about that.

Much more difficult than yesterday’s for me. Those double aa’s at 56A had me flummoxed for a long time and I had clog in at 33D changed it to drip, back to clog, finally DRIP won.

DNF due to some cheating.

Marc 3:15 AM  

Live in KC, so IOLA was easy once I had the I. I feel the same way about NYC subway clues as Rex does about this. Had MINIDRESS, then SOCKDRESS, b/c sock hops were a thing, I think. No problem with CHARLIEROSE as clued...IDI AMIN, POL POT, are regulars and recently STALIN made it in. CHARRED, then CRUSTED, before CRISPUP??? Thought FOODPORN but hesitated because NYT and all. Almost a theme with THETIMEWARP and THETWILIGHTZONE as long entries.

Brookboy 3:48 AM  

I knew that the inclusion of 34 Across was gonna rattle some chains, but I am impressed with the restrained yet forceful way Rex handled it. I wonder why Mr. Shortz ran it.

I had a hard time with this one. None of the long answers (and few of the short ones) came easy, but I persevered and finally finished it, which makes the effort worth it. I don’t know Mr. Trabucco, but I saw a picture of him on another website, and he certainly doesn’t look like he was around in the 1950s. I am impressed that he knows so much trivia from that era.

I was around in the 50s (made my entrance in the mid-40s) and I had forgotten all about the sack dresses. Even as an ignorant young street kid I knew that the sack dress wasn’t gonna last, and I knew it was a style that probably wouldn’t ever be revived, unlike other much more glamorous styles.

I used to watch Twilight Zone regularly, loved Rod Serling’s hyper-masculine intro on each episode. An episode I remember well starred Burgess Meredith as a practically blind guy who wore thick glasses, and all he loved to do was read. He worked in a bank (I think it was a bank) and one day while he was deep in the downstairs vault, the atomic bomb was dropped. When he came out of the vault, there wasn’t anyone left, and the city was reduced to rubble. His character made the best out of it by collecting all the books he’d always wanted to read, but before he could get going on the books, he broke his glasses. That’s how the episode ended. Talk about dark humor.

I liked the write up. Happy 18th to your daughter, Rex.

Hungry Mother 4:49 AM  

Just your average Saturday slogfest here. The SW called for some WAGs. Now onto my half marathon race.

Uncle Alvarez 5:59 AM  

Where the hell are Barany and Two Ponies?

Fountains of Golden Fluids 5:59 AM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

Lewis 6:41 AM  

I think Will would have been wise to wait -- even a number of years -- before publishing this, and if that felt too long, then, as Jeff Chen suggests, pay Sam a kill fee. There are names that don't pass the breakfast test, then after a period of time, morph into simply past news items, and become more okay for a crossword. It's a shame here. Sam is embarrassed; Charlie was just a talk show host when Sam made the puzzle. And to kill this puzzle is like slashing a work of art -- it is that good, IMO.

Terrific answers (HERCULEAN EFFORT, THE TIME WARP, I CONCEDE, PEA SHOOTER). Magnificent clues (ACT I, AA MEETINGS, OCCUR, CHEATERS) -- that one for ACT I ("Dramatic opening") is a brilliant mislead that caused me to look for prefixes to "dramatic". And as your resident alphadoppeltotter, I must report that this puzzle has an unusually high number of double letters (21), where 20 or more very rarely happens. The last time we had 21 was ten months ago.

I came into this puzzle with great anticipation, because this constructor's last few offerings have been pools of delight. This one extended that string and kept the roll going -- save for Charlie. Sam, you played it again, and high props for this work, but the exigencies of life just fell on the wrong side here.

Anonymous 6:55 AM  

Not a bad Saturday time for me. Technically one could argue that the theme was 1950s-TV skewed. Not necessarily a bad idea, just unclear until after seeing so many clues regarding that era.

I’m not offended by the central answer. Part of the conversation we need to also be having is that when people of cultural prominence are centered around scandal, can we as a public be sensible enough to separate the individual and his/her actions with what they accomplished and contributed to culture and the world at large. There was not one historical figure, not even Gandhi or MLK, who didn’t have an ugly and, to today’s moral standards, questionable side to their behavior. Every single person has a range of behaviors that will be viewed with suspicion or criticism, from picking one’s nose to arranging marriage with underage children, depending entirely on context within a given culture, era, moral code. Everyone on earth, past, present, and future is subject to such scrutiny in various contexts from various perspectives. That is not to defend the actions were currently deem inappropriate, but to remind us that as our cultures progress and our definitions of what behavior is morally acceptable change, we should also have the sense to contextualize that which we seek to reevaluate.

The only reason the CHARLIEROSE answer appears insensitive is because of how it was clued. Had the constructor/editor thought better than capitalizing on a sensitive and often traumatic issue, clueing him based on his body of work, perhaps the reaction would have been different—less palatable to be sure, but hardly offensive.

I would have preferred had this constructor just made the puzzle a real 1950s/Twilight Zone-based puzzle and made the central answer Rod Sterling or similar.

Dave 7:27 AM  

Thanks for the sign, Rex!

My mom graduated there a year ahead of Mr. Serling. Lived on 33 May St.

Joe R. 7:50 AM  

I'm also embarrassed how long it took me to get THE TWILIGHT ZONE. I had CAB instead of ZIN, and with a bunch of the letters, I was looking at it and actually said out loud, "The Twilight Cave? The Twilight Code? Ohhh!!!"

As a software developer, PARSER was an instant get for me, without any crosses, but I wondered whether most people would have any idea about that. THE TIME WARP was also an instant get, and I still have the song running through my head.

Happy birthday, young Ms. Parker!

kodak jenkins 8:14 AM  

Charlie Rose in a crossword!? This aggression will not stand! Now, let me finish up this entry before I self-immolate in protest.

With the target audience in mind I suggest all future crossword answers only reference wine, french pronouns and Shakespeare (omitting all characters of questionable morality such as Iago, Hamlet, MacBeth, et al).

A little too easy for a Saturday, though the MEKONG/KIR cross was personally challenging. I liked seeing HERCULEANEFFORT, laughed about the Supergirl clue and enjoyed the puzzle in general.

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

FOODPORN new to me. LOVE it. By itself worth doing the puzzle.

BarbieBarbie 8:43 AM  

@Rex, Grant Woods in Grand RAPIDS would not only make a lousy clue/answer pair, it would make no sense. American Gothic is not a painting of the Michigan prairie. No Michigan universities have Grant Woods murals in their library stairwells. Sheeeez.

Good puzzle, satisfying Saturday. Lots of clever clues. Very topical and current. Nothing wrong with public shaming for someone who has done shameful things. It’s a hurled stone, not an accolade. I’d love to see the current POTUS clued that way.

BarbieBarbie 8:47 AM  

@JJ: a “leftist” is someone who believes in big government solutions. The term has nothing to do with over sensitivity to so-called triggers. Repeat after me: intersectionality is what defeated Gingrich and isn’t a sensible way to viewtheuniverseunless you have data that prove the correlations you are claiming.

Robso 8:50 AM  

I finished this . . . EVEN THOUGH A PROPER NAME CROSSED “TROCHEE” AND I AM NOT A COLLEGE ENGLISH PROFESSOR. Overall this was fun and I didn’t need the smelling salts after seeing Charlie Rose’s name. If seeing or hearing the name of a sexual predator gave me the vapors, I could never watch the news again.

Suzie Q 8:54 AM  

Really nice grid with some interesting answers but some of the clues felt awkward. We rarely know when Will changes the clues but I've become more and more suspicious of him lately.
Time Warp was my first guess without even looking and I couldn't believe that was the answer.

@ chefwen, Totally agree. If I have gone to the bother of cooking for you don't tell me you've already eaten. Have some manners and eat!
@ Brookboy, I vividly remember that episode. The other one that has stuck with me is the creature on the wing of the plane. I have never flown without thinking about it. Rod would be proud of how badly he scared me.

Teedmn 8:54 AM  

I assumed that 34A would have "Iowa" in it because I knew where Grant Wood was from but backed into CEDAR RAPIDS off the PIDS, which was fun.

This ran PRETTY medium for me also, at 23 minutes on a Saturday (and I've always wondered how PRETTY came to mean "fairly". And how did "fairly" come to mean "fairly"?). I saw the clue for THE TIME WARP and tried to fit in "Ballin' the Jack" but it didn't work:

First you put your two knees close up tight
Then you sway 'em to the left, then you sway 'em to the right
Step around the floor kind of nice and light
Then you twist around and twist around with all your might

Stretch your lovin' arms straight out in space
Then you do the Eagle Rock with style and grace
Swing your foot way 'round, then bring it back
Now that's what I call "Ballin' the Jack"

And @chefwen, your remark about PEA SHOOTERS brought to mind The Pushcart War, a book I read as a kid. Pea shooters used in guerrilla warfare.

Thanks Sam, this was a nice Saturday exploit.

Frayed Knot 9:02 AM  

A teenage boy tries for second base and gets publicly crucified.
If the receiver of such a clumsy attempt is too traumatized to talk about it how has she managed to live the last 30-some years on planet Earth? So many people have suffered true emotional damage for real reasons. Does her claim not belittle them?

Suzie Q 9:16 AM  

@ JOHN X, Almost forgot to thank you for suggesting that puzzle from the archive. You're right. Those were the good old days.

Rob 9:16 AM  

I always like to see more technical answers in a puzzle, working in IT as I do, so PARSER was a nice treat. I'm actually surprised it made the cut.

deerfencer 9:20 AM  

Fun puzzle well done. I don’t quite get why a factual reference to a public figure in the news is such a horror. Jeez, man, grow up—it’s just a damn puzzle, not a political statement.

mmorgan 9:22 AM  

The episode that utterly freaked me out -- I couldn't sleep for weeks -- was "To Serve Man." I still get chills when thinking about the line -- "It's a cookbook!"

Normal Norm 9:25 AM  

How quickly you condemn every man for even the suggestion of sexual
attraction these days. Any wonder why MGTOW is a growing movement?

Nancy 9:29 AM  

What odd dances they have these days. Last week we had the TRANCE and today we have THE TIME WARP. Both of these sound like dances in which you do...absolutely nothing. In my tween years, the era of the jitterbug and the lindy hop, we moved. In fact, many of our dances required a HERCULEAN EFFORT. HERCULEAN EFFORT being my favorite answer in the puzzle, btw.

I'm also old enough to remember that first episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. How I loved that show! I never wanted to miss it. Now, when on New Year's Day the Sci Fi Channel allows you to binge-watch old episodes, I have trouble watching any of them. They're so damned eerie they give me the creeps. Guess I was less easily spooked as a child.

I remember the SACK DRESS, too. Hideous. Though, to give it its due, it did cover a multitude of figure flaws.

I have no idea what a BLAT is (46D). But to me, most trumpets and trumpeters make "unappealing sounds" all the time.

GILL I. 9:43 AM  

I didn't break out in a sweat or feel the need to blow my head off penning in CHARLIE ROSE. As a matter of fact, I got his name immediately off the C in CHEATER. Coincidence?
When I first heard of his infidelities, I was really gobsmacked. You might as well have told me that Pavarotti lip synced his whole life and someone else did his singing. @Anony 6:55 said it best...Good post.
Well, there's a lot that I liked here - mainly the easy parts. When I got to that cluster f*** of names in the basement, I did the groan dance. Here I was, taking my time, enjoying every single little letter that I managed to fill in and then I come up against TERI MIA AGEE CHEN TIM.
It all started with 36D. Because I had a "T" as in TRESSPASS at 36A, I threw in the fabulous word TRUTHY for the fairly clue. I mean if you're going to toss me a PARSER, then I'm all for a TRUTHY. So, here I was, minding my own business and enjoying this thing and you have to ruin it for me with a bunch of names I didn't know. Stick to the trivia you used throughout the puzzle. Because I said to myself that I wasn't going to Google today, the proper names did me in and I had a DNF.
@Brookboy. I probably saw that episode a jillion times. @Suzie Q's plane one also gave me the heebie jeebies.
I could infer SACK DRESS but I didn't remember what it looked like. A Sad Sack of something you threw over your head. Wasn't worth looking it up.
@chefwen. Hahaha. Rude, indeed. I'm one of them, I'm afraid. I seem to always have little APPETIZERs floating around before the big sit down. It's a good way to find out if your dinner guests like what you cooked . Empty plate...good.
I like, I do, seeing FOOD PORN alongside CRISPS UP.
Soapy water gets rid of APHIDS.

Adam Lipkin 9:48 AM  

I spent way too long wondering if SILK DRESSes were ever a trend. I hated seeing that long answer, too, and it was also so easy that it felt like it reduced the puzzle's difficulty by itself. Also nailed THE TWILIGHT ZONE pretty quickly, but that felt like a tougher get in general.

I know that a lot of clues get rewritten by Will and his staff (source: a friend who's published puzzles), and I'd love to know if this was the original clueing for that long one or for CHEN.

QuasiMojo 9:49 AM  

Putting in MELO for the dramatic clue slowed me up. Otherwise I basically filled this one out methodically and with ease. Loved the clue for Cheaters. And AA meetings.

Some of the puzzle was chewy and awkward and thorny. And timely! But do we really need to be so ludicrously sensitive about a person of note being mentioned, whether you liked him or not, and I never did, but really the kind of keening and wailing going on about this is ridiculous. It happened and it’s relevant. Where’s the harm in using it? Are we becoming such a nation of mamby pamby crybabies that we can’t deal with the sight of words anymore? Or the mere effrontery of something unsettling sends us into a tailspin? Do you always have to react by the PC handbook? Learn to see the larger picture not just your own hysterical agenda.

Dolgo I think you may be thinking of “Salome” as Strauss’s “shabby shocker.” ELEKTRA is gory and grim but much more elegant, at least musically.

Serum came easily to me because I just watched two noirs back to back on TCM about urban epidemics and the use of hypodermics dispensing sera was omnipresent.

A SACK Dress sounds like something you would wear to a Drag Potato Race.

Dan 9:50 AM  

Pasta Demon Parlor Baby! I remember that band. Their songs had so much TEEN ANGST...

Tim Aurthur 9:58 AM  

On the streets of my neighborhood you hear Russian spoken more than English. So yesterday, on seeing the mention of Stalin in the puzzle, I wondered how many of my neighbors had family members who were murdered by Stalin and whether they'd be offended by that entry with a clue that simply gives the dates of his rule.

On seeing that talk show guy's name today, I thought there was at least one consolation. Being made an answer in the NYT puzzle is usually a great honor. I bet the author of the spoonerism book is feeling extremely happy right now. But for the talk show guy the clue only adds to his humiliation. He's not going to be calling all his friends (if he still has friends) today telling them, "Hey! Guess what!"

Barry Frain 10:01 AM  

@Kodak Jenkins, don’t quit your day job Sparky.

Barry Frain
East Biggs, CA

Suzie Q 10:02 AM  

Last post of the day, sorry but I have to acknowledge Anon 9:50 am yesterday and that charming e.e. cummings poem. I made a copy for the kids next door. Beautiful.

Flism Flosm 10:03 AM  

Where the hell is Evil Doug?

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

Frayed Knot (9:02): I've been thinking the exact same thing. You phrased it beautifully. I haven't been posting lately, but I wanted to let you know that some of us agree with you.

Mo Pariser 10:13 AM  

If you didn't know that Charlie Rose is misogynous womanizer, now you know. He's not Voldemort, you can say his name. I'm glad they posted him up front and center. Spread awareness of the ubiquitous ugliness. It's more prevalent than you may think.

As for the puzzle, I really wanted NOLA instead of IOLA. It's aaalmost SW (but definitely SE)

DEED for Exploit?? On Charlie "The Exploiter" Rose Day nonetheless. C'mon

PEA SHOOTER is archaic. Didn't even know it was dangerous

Had CRuSt UP for too long. Juxtaposed to FOOD PORN. Ick yick yich yuck. I don't like that one bit.

I used to babysit a kid who loved ZOEY. That was a gimme. But overall, too many short, lesser known names floating around for my liking.

What is PRESS PASS? Ohhh as in a journalist's credentials. I figured that one out as I was typing it. While solving I imagined a writer pushing a magical PASS button. Like the Staples commercials.

Nice puzzle. Would solve again.

Nancy 10:14 AM  

@brookboy, @Suzie Q and @mmorgan -- I remember both TWILIGHT ZONE episodes vividly too. "Dark" is a good term for the broken eyeglasses one and To Serve Man, one of the most famous episodes in the entire series, is a real chiller and absolutely brilliant.

But the two scariest were two horror episodes -- I hate horror, always have. The first was something-or-other about an evil doll named, I think, Tiny Tina. I've blocked the plot out of my memory. Please, please, don't remind me of it, anyone! The 2nd was the one with the masks. Nasty, vicious people with perfectly ordinary faces are instructed to wear hideous masks depicting their inner ugliness. When they remove the masks at the end of the episode, their faces have become the hideous masks. Just typing these words have raised the hairs on the back of my neck. I hated that episode! The creepiest TWILIGHT ZONE I ever saw.

@BarbieBarbie -- Thanks for your excellent rejoinder to @JJ. You beat me to the punch. I feel I stand as Exhibit A of the person who can be very liberal politically, but who is offended and triggered by just about nothing, and certainly not by words in a crossword. CHARLIE ROSE didn't bother me in the least. In fact, the most offensive clue/answer of the week for me was yesterday's stinky GYM SHOE. Now that really didn't pass my breakfast test!

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Hey Rex. Let's say you yourself were accused of groping a girl 36 years ago. She can't say when it occurred (not the year, not the month, not the day of the week, not anything), or where ("somewhere in Maryland" does not count as a location), or how she got to the unspecified place, or back, and the other person she places in the room denies it happened (and her account as to the number of people in the room has also been inconsistent). The accuser has an apparent political agenda and she is refusing to be subject to questioning about the allegation. But you say this is a "credible" accusation. What would count in your book as a less than credible accusation? How would you defend yourself against this sort of accusation?

JC66 10:39 AM  

Hand up for NOT being offended by at the appearance of CHARLIEROSE, especially as clued.

@ Quasi

I'm no opera buff, but I thought @Dolgo was punning on shocker/ELEKTRA

Mary Jane 10:39 AM  

There is no reason to keep Charlie Rose out of the puzzle. He’s a bad guy but he’s also famous. By the way, Kavanaugh has not been credibly accused of sexual assault. Whether what he is accused of doing thirty six years ago should disqualify him is moot because he has testified under oath that it never happened. Thus the perjury would disqualify him. Diane Feinstein was sitting on this for two months then leaked it a few days before the judiciary committee was set to vote. The whole thing smells. When the accuser testifies under oath that it happened you can say he’s been credibly accused. Until then, no. Her own lawyers gave her a lie detector test in their office which they said she passed. Guess what ? So did Roy Moore pass a lie detector test given by his lawyers. It’s meaningless. She claims she’s willing to testify under oath under the penalty of perjury as Kavanaugh did. Don’t claim she’s credible until then.

Banana Diaquiri 10:53 AM  

@Joe R:
As a software developer, PARSER was an instant get for me, without any crosses, but I wondered whether most people would have any idea about that.

well... in verb form, which can be inferred, any English teacher (or, at least, one from bygone days) has tried to teach sentence parsing to clueless students. yes, there are, it is said, sentences that are NP complex to parse.

QuasiMojo 10:55 AM  

@JC66 10:39am, haha. Never thought of that. Very clever.

@Nancy et al, re Zone, loved all those episodes as well as the one where the “pretty” girl is being treated to make her look more like the “ugly” folk around her. But my all time fave episode is the chilling one about a woman who is sick during a sweltering heat wave, but it turns out she’s actually in some horrible arctic climate of endless snow and cold. I may be mixing it up but it was so well-acted it left me shivering too.

pmdm 10:55 AM  

A lot of widely disparate comments about Charlie Rose. Without commenting on the truthfulness of the allegation, I would say this general statement is true: a lot of very bad people have done very good things that need to be remembered. Richard Wagner is one such person. It is very problematic trying to decide where the dividing line is. There are, for me, enough of comments posted here that justify Will's decision. That will not soothe those who are offended.

I'm on the fence with this one.

And about the rest of the puzzle: I was comfortable with a lot of the PPP so it seemed easier to me than the typical Saturday puzzle.

michiganman 11:06 AM  

I am not offended by xword entries. What disturbs me is all the sarcasm and insensitivity (today it's sex crimes) towards an issue. @Larry points out that SATAN was in a puzzle. While I agree with his position, that is a bogus comparison. Satan is a fiction and sexual predators are real, doing real harm mostly to women. Other commenters today have offered various rationalizations for why it's OK to have CHARLIEROSE in the puzzle. No rationalization is needed. PRETTY much anything is fair game and that should be it. The issues evoked need to be dealt with in the real world through the justice system. You know, the one the president is trying to destroy.

Banana Diaquiri 11:07 AM  

I wonder. shouldn't MGTOW lead to lower breeding rates? it's not as if the planet is underpopulated. remember, at the time of Christ and Bible ("be fruitful and multiply") the planet was about 170,000,000 souls. now over 7,400,000,000. that would be a good thing:

"Among the males the behavior disturbances ranged from sexual deviation to cannibalism and from frenetic overactivity to a pathological withdrawal from which individuals would emerge to eat, drink and move about only when other members of the community were asleep."

prandolph 11:10 AM  

Nice, crunchy puzzle.

In my opinion, the best Twilight Zone puzzle was “The Night the Monsters came out on Mulberry Street”.

And unlike Nancy, I usually watch again on the Sci Fi channel on New Year’s Day.

TubaDon 11:11 AM  

As a beginning trumpet player before age 10, I'm sure I made my share of BLATs. That and two other crosses helped me intuit THE TWILIGHT ZONE right off the bat. Some stumbling blocks: CAB, CRUST UP and trying to fit THE HUCKLEBUCK into a space too short for it. Finally got PRESS PASS (tricky clue) and worked my way up from the ottom to the top and finished with a HERCULEAN EFFORT.
     I've never watched this Charlie guy, and see that he's apologized for bad behavior, but don't quite understand the fuss. He's newsworthy and far worse persons (STALIN, HITLER, ATTILLA) have appeared in crosswords before.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Only horrible people are allowed to post comments at Rexland.

If you have a soul, go somewhere that's else.

Carola 11:19 AM  

Very easy. Thanks to previous puzzles, PEEDEE went right in, confirming APPETIZER and the grid unfurled from there. MEAT STEW paralleling FOOD PORN - maybe with lots of styling.

Anonymous 11:28 AM  

Sometimes this blog reminds me of the Twilight Zone.
It is a window into a world I do not understand.
Bizzarro World.

Amelia 11:31 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vic 11:33 AM  

I have a vague recollection of this site once having something to do with crossword puzzles. Since that’s no longer the case, I’m out.

TJS 11:49 AM  

I had the oddest occurrence doing this puzzle today. Had the HRandL of 34 across and started writing in Charleston before realising it wasnt going to fit, looked back at the clue and realised I ahd the wrong clue but the first five letters were still right. Pretty strange.
Charle Rose being in the puzzle was no big deal to me. I thought @TimAurthur had the best take on it. If you want to find fault, I think Mekong and MIA in todays puzzle could trigger more angst.
Twilighters, how about the spider that the guy finds in his bathroom sink that kept coming back larger every morning. Used to watch that one peeking through my fingers!
Not a fan of censoring comments in general, but any time the trolls show up attempting to change the whole tenor of the discussion, xing them out is OK with me. I guess the best move is to not take the bait.

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

Enough of the knee-jerk, overreactive, “look how socially aware I am so I can feel superior to everyone else” political “correctness”! Charlie Rose is a name in the news...they say it on TV and in print ALL the time! Should they stop saying “ the name”? All of a sudden it CAN’T be in a crossword puzzle? Horrors! Get over yourselves! If anything, it disgraces him more by having his name in the NYTX, but in such a negative connotation.

Sam...your inclusion of Charlie Rose (DON’T SAY THE NAME!!!) even if it was written prior to all the revelations on his character, does not make me think you somehow endorse his behavior or are trivializing it. You need make NO apologies. Please don’t let this ruin what, I thought, was a really good puzzle (maybe because I actually finished a Saturday!). Nice work.

Bax'N'Nex 12:04 PM  

In regards to “leftists” over reacting to the Charlie Rose inclusion, (someone posted that earlier...too lazy to look and don’t care who it was anyway)...I am a Democrat because I believe that everyone should have the right of the pursuit of happiness...not just old white men and their families. (BTW... I am 58 and as white as they come...almost clear). If that makes me “leftist”, so be it. I am proud of my views.

But this “leftist” thinks this uproar over the inclusion of Charlie Rose is ridiculous. It doesn’t condone or justify what he did. As has been stated above, he makes to The NY Times Crossword as an example of scorn, not prestige. Relax people, breathe...

Bax'N'Nex 12:04 PM  

BTW...thought this was a great puzzle...

mbr 12:05 PM  

@Nancy & @QuasiMojo: The Twilight Zone episode was actually a comment on beauty being in the eyes of the beholder. In that world, everyone had horrid pig-like faces and were considered normal, &, I suspect, beautiful. Along comes this one unusual looking woman (who looked quite pretty to us viewers) whose face made people cringe, and she chose to have plastic surgery to make her look like the rest of her world's people. If I remember correctly, all the faces were blocked or hidden from the camera so that viewers didn't understand the purpose of the story....until the surgery failed and all the faces were revealed. One of my favorites, along with Burgess Meredith's broken glasses and William Shatner's fear of the alien on the plane's wing. The episode that kept me up at night was the one about a family refusing to let neighbors into their bomb shelter.

MJB 12:19 PM  

I think evil people and the horrible deeds they do should be in crosswords; we must remember and not forget the evil they have done.

MJB 12:21 PM  

I think evil people should be mentioned so we never forget.

Anonymous 12:24 PM  

Yeah... "credible"...
Doesn't remember where or when, anybody else there, has an active "not my president" history and attorney... had to be hypnotized to remember the alleged event... reported it 6 years after the "awakening"...
screams "credibility" to me, too.
SMFH at the "never trumpers"

Anonymous 12:27 PM

Masked and Anonymous 12:37 PM  

Happy B'day, to @RP's daughter … may all her fabulous b'day wishes come true.

Cool grid design. Has the popular jaws of themelessness, plus some bonus interestin one-leg wiener dog-like structures. Lotsa room left over for primo longball fillins, plus a nice BLAT of desperation, too boot. Well-crafted job, with somethin to upset almost everybody.

Thought I had all THETWILIGHTZONE [fave puzentry] episodes semi-memorized, but the one referenced in this puz didn't ring a bell. TIM spewed forth OK out of remote sitcom memory, tho.

staff weeject pick: ECT. Extra tough, since M&A didn't know about the intersectin TROCHEEs. Guessed "C" right, but it was the crossin square that got saved for last, in our solvequest. There ain't a whole lotta [any] ECT- words, in the Official M&A Help Desk Dictionary. They all seem to start with ecto-. No O-ectomy entries.
ECT is more of a prefix of a prefix, I reckon. Also maybe it could be a rough-hewned "ETC.", that's sorta a "tell" for beginner list-builders?

Had a good time, learned new stuff, didn't get seasick, ect., ect.
Thanx, Mr. Trabucco. Sorry, that yer puz got CHARLIEhOSEd. [More C.R.'s fault, than anyone else's, IM&AO.]

Masked & Anonymo5Us
[Abbr. var.: MAA.]

GHarris 12:37 PM  

Almost succeeded but put in plastic bag for dangerous toy and that screwed me in the NW. Finally had to google to get Peedee and Zoey so dnf.

Joe Dipinto 12:39 PM  

it's semi-unfathomable that you run This puzzle with This answer in it This week, when a nominee to the Supreme Court stands credibly accused of sexual assault and the accuser is being badgered, harassed, maligned, demeaned and undermined by cretins in both the legitimate and illegitimate press, and in the Senate, where the hearings are being conducted by the party whose leader is himself a 17-time sexual assailant. To say this is bad timing would be a significant understatement. And then you had to throw Les Moonves's wife into the bargain

Oh God, PLEASE get over yourself.

jberg 12:41 PM  

Easy puzzle, except for the plausibility based guess at the TERI/TIM cross. It was just in my groove -- got HERCULEAN EFFORT off the FORT, and THE TWILIGHT ZONE off the ONE. Never heard of THE TIME WARP, though, so that took more crosses.

BTW, is there a rule about how many times you can have "THE" in the grid?

The clue for OCCUR is pretty neat.

When Martha and I retired, we decided to extend our one-week spring break in Florida to two (and now three), and to get the money for the extra rent by driving instead of flying (saves two air fares, one car rental, and two bike rentals, since we can put ours on a rack and bring them with us). The first time we crossed the PEEDEE River, I thought it was a joke, but I eventually came to accept it; otherwise, this puzzle would have been a lot tougher than it is.

What I learned: RAF is MUCK older than the USAF. Good to know.

Charlie Rose didn't bother me, as clued, but each to his or her own, I say.

Word Salad 12:44 PM  

Long time solver, medium time reader, first time poster: I wasn't bothered by the of Charlie Rose (particularly with the acknowledgment) but WAS bothered that there were so many names to choose from that fit the description- Bill Oreilly, Matt Lauer, Etc..
Also did not like the inclusion of two "the" answers (THE twilight zone, THE time warp dance)- don't recall seeing that previously and am surprised no one else was similarly irked

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

nothin but weird mofos here at Rex's place

CaliMarie 12:56 PM  

Another creepy Twilight Zone episode is the one starring Agnes Moorehead battling alien invaders in her attic.

relicofthe60s 1:14 PM  

I don’t understand the logic of objecting to putting someone in a puzzle who did something horrible, especially if the clue acknowledges the evil. Idi Amin is in crosswords all the time and no one complains. Would you object to Hitler? Mussolini? Kim Jong Un? Clarence Thomas? I despise Trump and am no fan of Kavanaugh, but it seems to me everyone, including crossword bloggers, is way too sensitive these days.

Unknown 1:15 PM  

If Dr. Ford's accusation is credible, I hope you get accused by a similar accusation in the near future and have it go public to your friends and family and the rest of your world. Good luck defending your innocence and reclaiming your reputation.

SATAN 1:32 PM  

Fictional? Well, my work is done here.

Anonymous 1:34 PM  

Im sorry I saw Trabucco's apology. Pathetic. Grow a pair.
Theres not a thing wrong with including a well known figure in a crossword puzzle.
By the way, to all you folks who went on and on about the misuse of MIA a few weeks ago, did any of you happen to do ANYTHING yestersay on POW/MIA day?
Nah, you SJWs all are hot air. MIA when it counts.

Banana Diaquiri 1:39 PM  

@Ken R:
Politically motivated allegation paid for by the left still irate at the Garland affair.

let's see.... her classmates knew of it at the time; some have said so this week and she discussed it with her therapist in 2012, at the least. all because educated Lefties can see the future? kind of like the Kenyan President's Grands planting a birth announcement in Hawai'i newspaper the week following his birth in Kenya. just so he could be President in 2008.

any other conspiracy stories you'd like to share?

there are more whacko Right Wing fantasies posted here than ever. if you're so outraged, how about not showing up?

First Time Long Time 1:40 PM  

Wait, he complained about the wife of someone who, unlike Judge Kavanaugh, is credibly accused of sexual assault ? I wonder how he’d feel about the inclusion of Hillary Clinton, the wife of someone credibly accused of rape.

CDilly52 1:41 PM  

Even with all the complaint-worthy moments, finally dissing out PRESSPASS made me smile and enabled a finish!

Rufous Ruminant 1:41 PM  

I didn't just make that stuff up. I'm only telling you what I see.
One of those expanding businesses I've noticed is owned and operated by women. I see them crying...all the way to the bank.

GOD 1:41 PM  

This isn't over.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

Her classmates were talking about it in school was her claim. Only thing is the party was in the summer.
So how was the school, out of session, talking about it?
Why doesnt she know the date or place? Why tbe hell did Feinstein hold the letter for months?
Look no one knows what happened or didnt happen three and a half decades ago. But whats happening today is pure lolitics. Payback for Garland. The Dems and their aplogists should have the guts to own it.

Piña Colada 2:00 PM  

@Banana: Wrong. The accuser claims only she, Judge Kavanaugh, and one other boy were in the room at the time of alleged assault. Furthermore, she told the Washington Post she hadn’t spoken of the alleged incident until 2012, thirty years later. There was one classmate who posted on Facebook that it was talked about in school in subsequent days. She has since deleted her post and told NRR she has now idea if anything happened. Seriously, if you are ever accused of something by an acquaintance you knew in high school decades after the fact, I hope people don’t presume you to be guilty, even that’s just what you’re doing.

TJS 2:04 PM  

Rex, I hope you're happy...

Charley 2:05 PM  

Nobody says “meat stew.” I had beef stew, veal stew, lamb stew.

Catherine 2:10 PM  

With ROSE crossed by PORN, MEAT, I CONCEDE, SALMA, and KARA, and surrounded by PRESS, EMBRACE, RISK, PRETTY, NAE, ROAST, DEED, APPETIZER, HERCULEAN EFFORT, and that particular TWILIGHT ZONE episode, maybe the old puzzle was published now because of the constructor's ability to WARP TIME.

Jr. in the basement 2:21 PM  

Once in pre-school I got caught coloring outside the lines.
I guess I can just skip my job interview next week.

Olive Oyl 2:25 PM  

Stress ate yesterday, food porn today.
We anorexics are deeply offended.
Off with your heads!

Odd Sock 2:28 PM  

I've noticed that the blog only goes off the rails when Rex starts it. When he is civil and sticks to the puzzle so does the peanut gallery.

Chim cham 2:29 PM  

I like it. Make it shorter and we’ll take it to Broadway!

Banana Diaquiri 2:31 PM  

Her classmates were talking about it in school was her claim.

this is tiring. not her claim, but Cristina Miranda. given the death threats to Ford, the expected Charlottesville folks are at it again. as Kavanaugh bragged, "what happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep". with a nasty smirk. and he as sausage fingers just like The Orange Dictator.

So how was the school, out of session, talking about it?

you do know that there are local students? it's not like the rural preppies we have in Elite New England. all those diplomats and lobbyist and lawyer kids.

Catherine 2:38 PM  

@jr in the basement, did you ask the little boy or girl for their consent before you drew lines on them?

OffTheGrid 2:47 PM  

Yesterday was so pleasant when the only controversy was golf courses. It even got kind of silly and was fun.

Piña Colada 2:51 PM  

Banana- Please explain how her classmates were talking about it if the accuser, as she recounted to the Washington Post, hadn’t spoken of it to ANYONE for thirty years and only she, Kavanaugh, and one other boy were in the room. You’re worse than the birthers, a movement by the way, that was started by Clinton henchman Sid “the shiv” Blumenthal.

Reasonablewoman 2:51 PM  

Please don't trivialize sexual assault.

BJD 3:00 PM  

I had no problem with CHARLIE ROSE as clued. Some folks are truly snowflakes.

Leon 3:20 PM  

The TZ clue references the very first Zone episode to be televised, Earl Holliman was the lead.

The female lead in Eye of the Beholder was Donna Douglas who later played Elly May Clampett. In this episode, her voice is dubbed by
Maxine Stuart. Ms. Douglas spoke for herself when the bandages were removed.

The Masks was directed by Ida Lupino and featured Alan Sues as one of the mask wearers.

Banana Diaquiri 3:24 PM  


gee... ya think a testosterone addled 17 year old might brag about getting to second, or may be third, base??? "what happens at Georgetown Prep..." do ya? isn't the whole point of such behaviour *to brag* about it?? ya think??

as to Sid, he never did that. Sid: “I never spoke to Mr. Asher about this. Period. Donald Trump cannot distract from the inescapable fact that he is the one who embraced and promoted the birther lie and is responsible for it.”


GILL I. 3:29 PM  

Dear Lord. Thanks a lot, @Rex.

puzzlehoarder 3:32 PM  

Today's comments are a good example of why I don't read our host's reviews and why I wish no one else did either. When the blog gets to the point where it has to be monitored he has no one but himself to blame.

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

Which is it? The Prep has a culture of omerta, or it doesn't.

Banana Diaquiri 4:01 PM  


omerta happens *outside* the family!! it only takes one second or third hand drunk to spill the beans. the incident, if it happened, is pretty audacious, don't ya think? "she was a real fighter, that one." and such. the real Mafia would still be thriving if omerta were absolute. it's never quite. kind of like the problem TTO faces; also a crime family. :) one might wonder who Kavanaugh's Cohen is!! I can't wait. sheesh. which is why you're not likely to hear from Georgetown Prep-ers. they were rich, white, entitled boys. Now they're rich, white, entitled middle aged guys. With sinecures, country club memberships, fancy parties, and such. ya think any one of them is going to give all that up to confirm what Kavanaugh did?? do ya? no more cushy job. no more rich friends. no more lush country club. I lived on Capitol Hill for a decade. knew that class of critter. they crawl on their bellies.

Anonymous 4:09 PM  

Banana-The Birther Movement was started by the Clinton Smear Machine in the run-up to 2008 Democratic Primary. Trump's not that smart. I could point you toward many articles that show that. I won’t though because I am just as bad a linker as you are😏 and Google works. Trump definitely ran with it no argument there. Mostly to keep himself in the news because that’s what he does no doubt. As for the idea Kavanaugh was bragging about this alleged incident, if you believe that you are truly delusional.

Banana Diaquiri 4:18 PM  


enough already. Sid, the asserted perp, has denied it many times. I provided one such quote.

" if you believe that you are truly delusional. "

I'm old, but sure do remember being a testosterone addled 17 year old. along with every other 17 year old male. bragging is the whole point; more than the deed. denial is just a river in Egypt.

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

Just because you were a teenage creeo, doesn't mean everyone was.

Anonymous 4:47 PM  

Banana- That is what scurvy spiders like Sidney Blumenthal do. Smear, subvert, lie, deny. The guy is the dirtiest political operator since Lee Atwater. Do you really take him at his word ? Can anyone be that dense ? Atwater came clean on Willie Horton after he learned he had terminal disease. Maybe Sid will then too. By the way, imagine if you were unjustly accused (decades later) of attempting to rape a fifteen year old girl when you were a testosterone addled seventeen year old ? Should everyone assume you were guilty cause hormones ? There is a reason Diane Feinstein sat on this for two months and then leaked it after the hearings were over. Let's hear Ford testify under oath and then decide whom to believe

Anonymous 4:58 PM  

What is Like half a deck-RED? 15D

JC66 5:08 PM  

@Anon 4:58

A deck of cards has 26 black cards (Spades & Clubs) and 26 RED cards (Hearts & Diamonds).

Rainbow 5:08 PM  

What a vile outpouring today. Don't blame Rex. The hate is in the heart of the writers.

Anonymous 5:09 PM  

Deck of playing cards. Hearts and diamonds are red. Spades and clubs, the other half of the deck, are black.

Anonymous 5:10 PM  

Anon 4:58: Diamonds and Hearts are red. Spades (are you allowed to write that word anymore? ) and Clubs are black. There are 52 cards 26 red and 26 black, I suppose if you include jokers there are more so some pedant may object to the clue/answer.

Anonymous 5:11 PM  

Sorry JC66.... mustve posted a millisecond before me.

JC66 5:14 PM  

@Anon 5:11

No apology necessary. I'd rather talk about cards than politics and possible sexual assault.

Chuck Chagrin 5:18 PM  

Screw latinate scansion and embrace Hopkins's sprung rhythm. To break the pentameter, that was the first heave.

Anonymous 5:23 PM  

What happened to the comment limit of three per day? Enough already!

Anonymous 5:39 PM  

@ Rainbow 5:08—Which posts were vile ? I’ve been reading a civil discourse, albeit not about the puzzle. That is Rex’s fault. The answer was Charlie Rose, clued in a politically correct manner, and he chose to bring up the Supreme Court controversy. Call it clickbait.

Ginmillphil 5:53 PM  

The first crossword I ever did was the TV Guide puzzle back in the 70s. It had as a clue, “Actor Ed from Kansas City.” I remember knowing the answer. And I also remember that I didn’t care that Ed Asner was from Kansas Cify then and I don’t care that Elijah Woods is from Cedar Rapids now.
And yeah, the Martian did live in Tim’s house.
But you probably don’t care.

Mr. Grumpypants 6:07 PM  

@Frayed Knot : Your ignorance about issues of sexual assault is surpassed only by that of the person currently residing in the White House.

Nancy 6:24 PM  

@puzzlehoarder (3:32). Me Too, to coin a current phrase. I have the exact same Rexblog wish that you have. Alas, it'll never happen. My way of dealing with it? I skip every single one of the Rex-inspired "shocked and offended" comments, right along with Rex's. I find them an irritating waste of time and life's too short.

Michael 6:28 PM  

Living in Iowa helped me get a welcome head start on a Saturday puzzle by filling in Cedar Rapids immediately.

Where should the line be drawn on which proper names are unacceptable in a puzzle.?If Charlie Rose is unacceptable, what about Idi Amin? Or Lizzie Borden? Or lots of other people who are known to behaved badly (or horribly for that matter).

I am very interested in the Kavanaugh nomination and have strong views on it. But what is that discussion (much like countless others on the internet) doing in a crossword puzzle blog? This is clearly Rex's doing and it is his blog. But that doesn't make it a good thing.

JOHN X 7:02 PM  

This was pretty good for a Saturday. It challenged me, and I like that. As I've said clearly for the last two days, I don't need the puzzle to welcome me or have the words validate me. I want a struggle, a struggle in which I am victorious and celebrated throughout the land.

@Suzie Q 9:16 AM
I thought all of the January 1999 Saturday puzzles were very tough. It was all ingenious (or diabolical) clueing, as the answer words weren't really obscure or pop culture. Mostly.

Malsdemare 7:29 PM  

Tough but PRETTY fair puzzle with some great marquis answers. Thanks, Sam

@ John X My thanks, too, for the puzzle recommendation. I enjoy doing puzzles from the archives but there are so many! Nice to have a recommendation.

I wasn’t going to jump into the Kavanaugh discussion but I can’t stay silent. So, long response below. SOme may want to skip.

I really wasn’t going to comment today; the vitriol is pretty thick. But the repeated remark about “a teenage boy just trying to get to second base” appalled me. I was once, long ago, a teenage girl and if I went on a date, it was a given the guy was going to grope me. Thing is, usually the third or fourth “no,” or finally getting out the car ended what was always a rotten ending to the day. The only time I was scared was when my date, the son of a former Eisenhower cabinet member, was able to lock ALL the locks in his car (pretty upscale in 1963). The nasty intent of that maneuver was awful.

The thought of some guy getting me, at 15, into a bedroom, closing the door, flattening me on the bed and trying to get my clothes off, covering my mouth when I tried to scream? That’s the stuff of nightmares. And if those of you who are suggesting that it’s just teenage hi jinx have daughters, it should make you see red. That’s not normal behavior, even for over-sexed, drunk teenage boys. You can decide that it doesn’t make that man unsuited for the highest court in the land, but to even consider it as something to be dismissed as a no big deal saddens me more than I can express.

Why didn’t she tell someone? Well, it wasn’t rape — sort of the poster child of crimes — so she’s not going to report it; she’s 15, for God’s sakes. She just wants the whole thing to go away. And as someone who was one of 64 classmates at a prestigious high school, I can say with passion, I would have moved heaven and earth to be sure I didn’t become the latest juicy scandal. In fact, most of the 30-40 indignities and sexual predations I’ve experienced I’ve stayed silent about. Everyone’s been pawed, groped, leered at, followed, been victimized by weenie wavers — on and on and on. We’re told we’ll be in trouble if we tell, that no one will believe us, that we’ll have to answer all sorts of probing, deeply personal questions (so, Mary, did he put anything in your vagina?).

So I’ll repeat. Maybe you don’t think that, if this assault really happened, this disqualifies the man from the Supreme Court. But if you have any humanity, you should see this assault for what it is: deeply disturbing behavior that we don’t want our boys and young men to see as okay.

Cassieopia 7:43 PM  

@M&A 12:37 - I can always count on your posts to make me smile. And I always learn something about construction, too. Thanks.

JC66 8:02 PM  



Anonymous 8:06 PM  

Sorry you dated so many creeps.
But I'm afraid your dating history is not proof that Kavanaugh assaulted anyone.

Malsdemare 8:25 PM  

@anonymous 8:06. You seem to have missed my point. I have no way of knowing whether Kavanaugh did what he's accused of. But Dr. Blasey describes actions that go far beyond "going for second base" as my "creepy dates" did. If her accusation is true, his behavior should be abhorrent to us all.

Anonymous 9:01 PM  

Perhaps my misunderstanding can be chalked up to your imprecise language.
Please note that it was you who wrote "this assault should be seen for what is"
Thats plain English. And it asserts that an assault ocurred.
Now youre saying you have no way of knowong whether an assault occurred.
Also, your history has no bearing whatsoever on tbe Kavanaugh case, so in
my opnion it was your rambling post filled with gratuitous details of your long ago dates which missed tbe point.

Chuck Chagrin 9:10 PM  

Screw latinate scansion and embrace Hopkins's sprung rhythm. To break the pentameter, that was the first heave.

BarbieBarbie 9:11 PM  

thanks, @Mals. You put it beautifully.

Anonymous 9:49 PM  

He didn’t do it. Y’all are a lynch mob.

GILL I. 9:59 PM  

@Mals.....Some will NEVER get it.

Andrew Heinegg 10:00 PM  

The reactions to your post are further evidence, as if any more were needed, that the leader of this country has emboldened people to express their deepest racist and sexist feelings. The males of this country apparently feel that 'boys will be boys' excuses most anything.

It further reminds me of the 10,000th absurd statement by the sexual predator in chief that he doesn't believe a woman, in this case, a college professor who took and passed a lie detector test, re her accusation of sexual assault. Shocking that he would he think that, NOT.

GILL I. 10:17 PM  

I'm going to add: Unless It hasn't happened to you, you will always be skeptical . If your wife or daughter confides in you - perhaps years later - will you believe, or at least wonder if it did? Will you be horrified if it turns out to be true?
I'm off to have a tiny little scosh of Talisker. I save it when I want to ponder.....sometimes when I'm sad.

JC66 10:29 PM  



Nancy 11:31 PM  

@Mals, @GILL, @Barbie -- Listening to @Mals's car-centered reminiscences, I'm beginning to think growing up in NYC in a car-less environment may have saved me from a lot of unpleasant and unwanted groping...and maybe even worse. The logistic opportunities for men to sexually abuse women are far more limited without a car.

Also, you've heard of "gaydar"? I suspect I may have been blessed from a fairly young age with a handy supply of creepdar. I've always had a sort of sixth sense. I pick up vibes. There's something that strikes me as not...quite right. So far I haven't been wrong.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

@Andrew...Roy Moore took and passed a lie detector test. Do you believe him?

Anonymous 1:32 PM  


kitshef 10:48 PM  

Spent probably half my time on this in that wee SW corner - and that's with THE TWILIGHT ZONE and CHEATERS firmly in place.

spacecraft 11:19 AM  

Fearless One, and many others: please go directly to @deerfencer's post and read it. Then read it again. Then shut up.

I had some issues with this, but they have more to do with what's "in the language"--and what isn't. First of all: in chess, NO one EVER says ICONCEDE. The term is resign. Official and unofficial. Scoring example: 46. h8 (Q) … resigns

Also hand up for *not*MEATSTEW. Name yer meat, dude.

This was an enjoyable solve, a bit unusual in the black square deployment; I love @M&A's dachshund description. Started with ZIN which immediately triggered THETWILIGHTZONE and got a lovely gridspanning start. But soon after, off just the CU of ESC and THUS, came the other one, HERCULEANEFFORT (well, the -FORT part was there first). So, although it presented as a properly tough Saturday, I didn't exert a 17a.

I lived for a short time in IOLA, a tiny village in PA.

FOODPORN? Really? What a strange term.

The grid is stuffed with numerous female names, including bleedover MIA, but I EMBRACE PRETTY SALMA Hayek as today's DOD. Birdie.

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

@malsdemare: Marquee, not marquis

thefogman 12:12 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 12:37 PM  

Not sure that 34A (CHARLIEROSE) being placed in the centre of the puzzle is offensive - especially when you consider how it was clued. I doubt Mr. Rose is going to frame this puzzle and hang it on his wall like you normally would if your name made it to the NYT puzzle.
Anyhoo, it required a semi-HERCULEANEFFORT but I finished, albeit with a few writeovers and/or erasures. All in all, ICONCEDE this was a PRETTY, PRETTY good one by Sam Trabucco.

Burma Shave 12:52 PM  


YES'M, so is Kavanaugh, ICONCEDE,
with SUREST TEENANGST in his grip,
THUS hoping one SAYS,"IDO the DEED."


rondo 1:27 PM  

Dropping THETWILIGHTZONE crosses in with no broke it open for me, spawning many answers that spread through the grid. Also helpful that 1a and 1d were gimmes. THUS, not a HERCULEANEFFORT with no write-overs in about 3.5X Rex.

Knew that somewhere in Iowa would be correct, so CEDARRAPIDS showed up. CEDARRAPIDS is also the name of a manufacturer of paving machines. (No tar involved.)

So many options with ZOEY, MIA, ETTA, TERI, SALMA, IOLA, and Ms. CHEN. Did I forget anyone? EMBRACE whom you will.

Before I realized it this puz was done, a PRETTY good one at that.

Diana, LIW 1:52 PM  

All the unknown people
Where do they all come from?
All the unknown people
Where do they all belong?
Ahh, crosswords

Yes, PRETTY please, LETSDOTHETIMEWARPAGAIN Once you've been Rockied, you can never go back. Let's hear it for TIM. Unless you go back to - THETWILIGHTZONE. Doesn't TTZ have one of those all-day marathons around this time of year? Note to self - check this out.

Mr. W is going to a Stanford/WSU game today, wearing a Lakers hat, doncha' know. Brave guy.

Hand up for Iowa prior to the RAPIDS.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rainforest 3:26 PM  

This was a Saturday puzzle I thoroughly enjoyed. 34A didn't bother me one IOtA. I thought he had a good show and was a great interviewer. The clue outed him, so no prob.

I must have been out of the room when THE TIME WARP was popular. Never heard of it and needed most of the crosses. Proud was I when I got OCCUR off the U, but I join with @Spacey in my opposition to I CONCEDE. It's either "resign", or "I resign", something I did too often in my chess-playing days.

Easiest section for me was the S/SE. TTZ and TEEN ANGST announced themselves off the last 4 letters of each. Then it was simply a move upwards, a move that went relatively smoothly to the satisfying conclusion of IOLA.

Solid puzzle.

leftcoastTAM 4:18 PM  

Easy top, medium bottom, tough middle= Medium Saturday.

Trouble in the middle: FOODPORN, ARIES, CEDARRAPIDS. Didn't make it through without error

Down below, Exo before ECT.

CHEATER[S]? Guilty today.

strayling 7:38 PM  

Never heard of CHARLIE ROSE, sounds like he's not worth memorizing. I have heard of The Young Ones, which is why I was so confident filling in 17a as MURDERINTHEDARK. Is describing an onerous job as "murder" just a Brit thing?

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