Ahura Mazda worshiper / SAT 12-22-18 / Court great Goolagong / Pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders / Giant brain of 1940s headlines / Title city of film whose mayor is Leodore Lionheart

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Constructor: Joon Pahk

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (felt like I was gonna be in record territory, but then I got stupidly stuck and refused to look at other clues, which a smart person would've done, and which would've sped things up tremendously ... anyway, 7:16)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: TACONIC State Parkway (20A: New York's ___ State Parkway) —
The Taconic State Parkway (often called the Taconic or the TSP and known administratively as New York State Route 987G or NY 987G) is a 104.12-mile (167.56 km) divided highway between Kensico Dam and Chatham, the longest parkway in the U.S. state of New York. It follows a generally northward route midway between the Hudson River and the Connecticut and Massachusetts state lines, along the Taconic Mountains. Its southernmost three miles (4.8 km) are a surface road; from the junction with the Sprain Brook Parkway northward it is a limited-access highway. It has grade-separated interchanges from that point to its northern terminus; in the three northern counties, there are also at-grade intersections, many with closed medians, allowing only right-in/right-out turns. It is open only to passenger vehicles, as with other parkways in New York, and maintained by the state Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the fourth agency to have that responsibility.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had long envisioned a scenic road through the eastern Hudson Valley, was instrumental in making it a reality as a way to provide access to existing and planned state parks in the region. Its winding, hilly route was designed by landscape architect Gilmore Clarke to offer scenic vistas of the Hudson HighlandsCatskills, and Taconic regions. The bridges and now-closed service areas were designed to be aesthetically pleasing. It has been praised for the beauty of not only the surrounding landscape and views it offers, but the way the road itself integrates with and presents them. (wikipedia)
• • •

So easy to start (in the NW), and then I went right through the middle of the grid with GOING STEADY and finished off the SE with no problems either. From there, things went much more slowly. The middle was an annoying stack where 2/3 were "?" clues, and the top answer in the stack ... is just a gross concept in general. I'm sure that in theory the term isn't specifically gendered, but my experience is that dudes this term when trying to explain why they hooked up with an "unattractive" woman. It's objectifying and stupid and evokes a whole repulsive male culture that I've spent my whole life avoiding. So that's fun. Far worse, though, for me, is the completely asinine term ADULTING, one of my most hated of all 21st-century refuse-to-grow-up millennial-speak bullshit term (16A: Taking care of responsibilities like an actual grown-up). Yeah, being a grown-up sucks, but stop acting like it's cosplay. You're a grown-up. Shut up and grow up. It's so self-consciously infantilizing. Makes my skin crawl.

LOL to PERRY, in that ... she is absolutely unrecognizable (to me) without her first name (28D: First female artist with five Billboard #1's from the same album). She is first and last name. I had P-R-Y and zero idea what I was dealing with. Ended up getting it all from crosses, and then being like "Oh, right ... her." MILEY is at least known as MILEY (43D: 2000s female teen idol, to fans). On a related note: when was this puzzle made? Feels like 2005, but it would have to be after 2016, which is when "ZOOTOPIA" came out (never seen it, no idea what it's about). Proper nouns, man. Speaking of: TACONIC is some provincial nonsense. Lotsa letters strung together, none of them meaningful to me. Further: PEIRCE. I very vaguely know the name, but a. that is obscure, and b. that really looks like a typo. I didn't get too much joy from this. Lots of proper names I didn't know or (more likely) didn't care about, and a couple of answers I actively dislike. It's a well-made enough puzzle (despite your ARNESS and your EVONNE and your YSER), but not really for me.

Five things:
  • 24D: Induces to commit a crime (SUBORNS— Had SU- and wrote in SUCKERS at first. Then ... just had nothing. 
  • 36D: Receive as a member (INCEPT) — uhrerufewhrhfghgherrrrrr ... I guess? No one uses that word. I wrote in INDUCT, forgetting that the clue to 24D (see above) exists. PS also no one says ESPIAL (50A: Act of noticing)
  • 26A: Growth medium (SOIL) — wanted AGAR. 
  • 26D: Ostentatious (SPLASHY) — wanted FLASHY. Really wanted FLASHY. Wrote in FLASHY, not even noticing that it came out FLASSHY.
  • 32D: Want ad abbr. (EOE) — sorry, make that *three* answers I actively dislike. EEO, EOE, EIEIO, let's call the whole thing off
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Actual PS: Who, just noticed that 9D: SOB stands for "son of a bitch," which ... was totally unnecessary, considering SOB is a real word, but OK ... (9D: So-and-so)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:05 AM  

Medium. ESPIAL seemed odd but I’m sure it’s legit...so the SW corner was the toughest. Lots of good stuff, liked it.

I always want to put a Y somewhere in EVONNE

TACONIC was a total WOE.

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey is an excellent mystery novel set in India in the 1920’s. The protagonist is the daughter of a prominent ZOROASTRIAN family in Bombay. Fun read plus I learned a thing or two.

TJS 12:19 AM  

This was a Saturday ??? All 18 minutes of it (including beer runs to the fridge) ? Actually thought "beer goggles" was the best of the bunch, and always considered it a negative comment on drunk guys, not anti-women, but I guess you could take it that way. But for a change I agree with almost all of OFL's review. Espial ? Adulting ? Thats one of those answers you see looming and say "Please dont let it be ..." And with all the possibilities to clue 14 down, why ? Why ? BTW, Tom Seaver did the NYT crossword every day.

GHarris 12:20 AM  

Not as hard as expected. Did get help from auto check. So sue me. The notion of Saturday intimidates.

puzzlehoarder 12:42 AM  

This was much more my kind of puzzle than yesterday's was. It had ten names but there were no killer crosses. Of those ten names six we're gimmes, BACH was easy to figure out so only PEIRCE, PERRY and PITT were problems. I was pleased to see that PEIRCE was indeed a debut. For PERRY it was the open ended nature of the clue that generated difficulty. Those PMs have had their share of use but the university and the actor overshadow them.

Of the words, oddly SPLASHY acted as a road block and I had to backfill the SE from the south center.

That hiccup was nothing compared to how long it took me to ACCEPT INCEPT in place of ACCEPT. I actually had to skip up to the NW and jump start that with NIA and OMANIS to then back fill the SW. SUBORN was just as tough as PERRY.

Seeing ON TAPE again was weird.

That's enough TMI for me. Sign of a good solve.

Harryp 12:44 AM  

I agree that ADULTING and also ESPIAL are not words I would want to use. That being said, there were some great long answers such as 21D NEGOTIATION and 34A BEER GOGGLES that I enjoyed. I remembered EVONNE GOOLAGONG, but thought there was a Y at the start of the name, which SERIF disproved. Thanks for a good Saturday workout Mr. Pahk.

Anonymous 12:50 AM  

I had so many issues with this puzzle. Obscure names like EVONNE and PEIRCE which I would have never gotten without knowing it. Then the words that I've never used, like ESPIAL, SUBORNS, and INCEPT.

And then don't get me started with some of the cluing.
- {Protests, but not uprisings?} SITINS are a subset of protests, and so this kind of equivalence is sloppy, lazy, or both.
- “I’m no TRUANT, I went to school today! How classy of me!” NO.
- SOB? Sure, can’t wait for next week when SON OF A BITCH shows up. Here’s hoping Gloria Steinem doesn’t do the puzzle!
- Sorry, but Paul Rubens is IN CHARACTER as Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee Herman IS the character.
- I don’t even get how talking about jobs has anything to do with a NEGOTIATION. And if it is relevant, man there are way better ways to clue this.
- Ummm, isn’t MILEY Miley to everyone? I’m not a fan, she’s still MILEY. Ha, gotcha, I am a fan. But I call her Miley Cyrus, or Mi-Cy, since I’m a fan.

Or maybe I should stop whining and start ADULTING, put on my big boy pants, and shut up. Aww, too late: I’m a fucking SOB no matter how much AGING I do.

Anonymous 12:56 AM  

Paul Reubens often meets fans IN CHARACTER. Peewee Herman is the character. I contend that the clue is wrong.

Sue T. 1:11 AM  

Came here in hopes that Rex would have unleashed a tirade against "adulting," and I was not disappointed. Maybe it's because I am a grizzled Gen X'er, but it makes my skin crawl too!

Anonymous 1:20 AM  

Peirce is not obscure, at all.

Graham 1:28 AM  

ZOOTOPIA is about a eutopian society made up of animals. I know the etymology is pretty obscure, there, so I’m helpin’ you out.

Brookboy 1:38 AM  

Have to agree with Rex on this one. It felt in some areas like it was from 20 years ago, other areas more modern. I also wanted agar for 26A, so much that it took a while for me to finally get it. 36D (INCEPT) was also a WOE for me.

Liked 13A Bond Order being MARTINI. I read Ian Fleming’s books for the first time back in the 60s when I was a young(er) lad, thought it oh so cool to order a martini ‘...shaken, not stirred...”. Still drink them that way, but far less frequently.

And speaking of drinking, I had no idea what BEER GOGGLES (31A) was about until I read Rex’s comments. I grew up in an Irish family and in an Irish-American neighborhood, started drinking way too early, was in the Army for three years, and have been drinking in and out of bars on and off ever since. I admit all this to establish my drinking credentials, all to say that until this crossword I had never heard the term “beer goggles”, much less know what that term implies. So much for a misspent youth (not to mention middle age and beyond).

Abigail 3:56 AM  

Zootopia is delightful! Definitely worth a watch. Much more thoughtful and politically engaged than I was anticipating for a movie with taking animals.

Seth 4:43 AM  

Rex, to give you another perspective on ADULTING: I don't think it's a refuse-to-grow-up thing. When someone uses "adulting," I think they mean, "I'm growing up, but also I'm acknowedging the probably-almost-universal feeling that all of us don't REALLY know what we're doing as adults, and we're just kind of making it up as we go along." Using "adulting" is sort of a wink to everyone else who is trying to figure out how to live their lives responsibly. It's a way to use humor to say, I get it, we're all just doing our best, no one is an expert at being an adult, let's be open about that fear and struggle instead of pretending it doesn't exist.

Anonymous 6:22 AM  

Watch Zootopia!

Debra 6:27 AM  

Easiest Saturday ever.

Z 6:33 AM  

@Seth said it much more nicely than I was about to. Can we all just stop with the “millennials” crap? You can take any sentence, paragraph, essay, article, or book about “millennials” and replace it with “Get off of my lawn” and be just as well informed.

I liked the puzzle fine. I did wonder about GOING STEADY. Is that still a thing? I thought it stopped being a thing sometime in the 80’s, and was not a term I heard much working with high schoolers and middle schoolers in the 90’s and Naughts. Otherwise a smooth puzzle with the notable exception of TACONIC. I also got a chuckle out of ON TAPE and the clue for YSER not being Flanders.

db 6:41 AM  

Far too many proper nouns to be an enjoyable puzzle. SOB should have been clued with “briefly”, and ADULTING should have been been clued as modern slang—maybe I’m wrong.

Nick D 7:12 AM  

8:45 here, 20 seconds off my record.

'mericans in Paris 7:16 AM  

This was a tag-team effort, and we finished it in 10% less time than our Saturday average, with only a few CORRECTIONS (e.g., yVONNE to EVONNE). OMANIS was a gimme, having just visited the Sultanate. I'm waiting at some point for their branch of Islam to be included in a puzzle: Ibadi. If you capitalize its 1st, 3rd, and 5th letters (IbAdI), it reads the same in a mirror reflection as on the page.

YOSEMITE was also a gimme, as Mrs. 'mericans did a couple of hikes there in October. She didn't encounter any lions or tigers, but she did at one point round a corner and MET a black bear standing in the middle of the path, apparently drinking from a puddle. She did APPLY some quick thinking, though, and shouted at the bear to vamoose, which he did.

But I digress. I love Nick Sostakiwskj's comment on ADULTING. Mr. Sostakiwskj: could you also please include as targets people who gratuitously and redundantly tack on "moving forward" at the end of sentences written already in a future tense? Thanks.

Wow, we get YSER again, this time clued as "Flemish river". And ON TAPE. Funny how some answers seem to come in waves. For a while it seemed as if every other day a puzzle would include OREO or DO OK.

Mrs. 'mericans, who works in medical diagnostics, like @Rex wanted "agar" for 26A, so the simple answer of SOIL as a GROwth medium came a bit as a surprise for its straight-forwardness. Could have also been clued as a verb. And 49A could have been paired with 7D.

To those preparing for Sunday's puzzle, it has 20 three-letter answers, and something like 45 four-letter answers. You can imagine what that does to the fill.

BarbieBarbie 7:31 AM  

Oh come on, @Rex. I grew up in CA and I’ve heard of the TACONIC parkway.
Amazing to me that you can stack BEERGOGGLES on ZOROASTRIAN, shift one letter, and end up with something you can make Downs from. The clues were great here. Saturdays are tough for me, but this was both tough and enjoyable. Thanks!
OK now, please discuss without using a four-letter name that is the name of a white supremacist party: just saw the phrase “hone in on”printed in the NYT. In my book you can “hone” (sharpen, like a razor) or “home in” (focus on and head for, like a missile) but the phrase “hone in” makes no sense. Yet we hear it a lot, and now it’s been blessed by the NYT copy editors. Thoughts? Are we witnessing evolution or are people making a mistake? Is there a difference?

DrBB 7:45 AM  

My feeling is that you can have ADULTING, or you can have ESPIAL, but not both, and preferably neither. This is supposed to be the top-notch pz of the week, and two "I know what it is but I really don't want to fill it in" grimaces are at least one more than you oughta be trying to get away with. Legit doesn't necessarily ENTAIL satisfying or enjoyable.

But yeah, pretty easy for a Sat. Some nice cluing--"Swift quality" was particularly pleasing, also liked "Gets one under" (I thought it might be a sports thing but...), and "Got wise to" and "Small flourish" felt nice to nail down. I pretty much breezed through everything but the SE, aided by a couple of personal gimmes (TACONIC, ZOROASTRIAN). Slowed down in the SE at the end, but ESPIAL, painful as it was, gave me INCEPT and everything fell in line. 10:50, which is a fast Sat. for me.

DrBB 7:52 AM  

Meant to add, with TJS above: 14D has to be one of the worst. Why PeeWee Herman? Applies to every actor in the universe. Fine answer but couldn't you do something clever with it? As opposed to just, well, "meh"?

ArtO 8:19 AM  

Made it through Friday and all but SW today (ESPIAL, INCEPT, PEIRCE did me in). (Y)VONNE first correction, ALGE for SOIL ala @Rex the second. As being of a certain age BEERGOGGLES was unknown to me but "workoutable". Liked finding BIRDIES here as they are very rare for me on the course.

All in all, a good week for this old timer who finds the end of the week a challenge. Really appreciate those "easy" ratings although I understand that those pros who come here would like a stiffer challenge.

Bob Mills 8:37 AM  

Relatively easy for a Saturday. AFL partner was the only problem. I had NFL at first. Not sure "ESPIAL" is a real word.

Teedmn 8:39 AM  

TACONIC - It looks so much like taconite, the iron ore mined in northern Minnesota, that I had to look up whether there was a connection. Sure enough, a geologist who surveyed the area, (from Wikipedia), "noted the rock had a superficial resemblance to iron-bearing rocks from the Taconic Mountains of New York state." When I was a kid, the taconite tailings controversy (the stuff was being dumped into Lake Superior, and it had fibers similar to asbestos) was all over the news. The mining company stopped its dumping, by court order, in 1974.

I smiled to see ON TAPE, today clued "quaintly" - that answer crossing ENIAC was my entry to this puzzle which played easy until the SW. I did what Rex did and wasted a lot of time staring at all the names I needed to come up with in the SW instead of moving on and filling in the SE. Going back to the SW, I finally came up with TRASHY somehow, off the R and remembered ZOOTO[PIA] which was a relief after mentally thinking ZOOTOwne?

Thanks, Joon Pahk. While I didn't BIRDIES this, neither was it one of my NEMESES.

mmorgan 8:45 AM  

SPLASHY and TRASHY! Good Saturday challenge, I made steady progress until the SW but eventually it fell. TACONIC and PEIRCE were gimmes. Any puzzle with Pee-wee Herman in it is marvelous in my book — I think I have a VHS recording of every single Playhouse episode, but it took me awhile to get 14D. I’ve only heard ADULTING from my daughter, and she uses it in an ironic, charming way (I thought she made it up!). Didn’t know that meaning of BEERGOGGLES — I assumed that’s what baseball players where when they win a pennant or something and spray each other with champagne. I wonder if we’ll be hearing the word SUBORNS quite often in the near future...

Unknown 8:48 AM  

Sailed through except for the SW, which was almost totally empty until I got CRUISER. Then it all cleared up. Hated BEERGOGGLES; enjoyed the other long answers, though.

TomAz 9:02 AM  

Last year the Washington Post ran a series called "How to Adult". It included such topics as how to shop for groceries, how to buy a car. The grating title is the only reason I knew 16A today.

EVONNE (I had yVONNE for the longest time) Goolagong is a fascinating story if you don't know it.

Kept wanting (hoping) there to be a Laconic Parkway. "You have to be quiet now children, we're on the Laconic Parkway."

If an alien life form prepared for its visit to Earth by studying the NY Times crossword puzzle, it would logically conclude that the YSER is the most important of all rivers.

In all, I thought this puzzle was fine, good even, except for that INCEPT/ESPIAL/PEIRCE train wreck in the SW. I dare you to use ESPIAL in a sentence this week.

QuasiMojo 9:02 AM  

I enjoyed this one thoroughly. I used to live in the Hudson Valley so Taconic was a gimme, altho some of us called it the Vodka Tonic, because of endlessly swerving turns and drowsy drivers. It’s one of the most beautiful roads in America, but treacherous at night as it goes through a very steep rise in a dark, forest-filled state park and is riddled with deer. One time I was driving along it and got caught in a fog so thick I had to SNAP OPEN my door to espy if we were still on the road. I used the white lines below as a guide. Eventually I pulled off the parkway because it was too dangerous to drive. And waited for it to lift.

I had nearly all the same first thoughts that Rex had today but bided my time to avoid write-overs. I highly recommend Nadine Gordimer’s books.

And thanks @JC66 for the link last night.

Anonymous 9:11 AM  

Evonne Goolagong and Yvonne Elliman are about the same age

Wm. C. 9:15 AM  

I've travelled on the TACONIC Parkway several times, so no problem there, dropped it in with the first and last letters crossed.

However, I've never even heard of ESPIAL nor INCEPT, and didn't grok to IRS (Return destination), even with RS in place. So a DNF, but an unfair one on ESPIAL and INCEPT, IMO, even for a Saturday.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

I thought ZOROASTRIAN must be familiar to many now - after the movie Bohemian Rhapsody (as Freddie Mercury's parents were ZOROASTRIANs)

kitshef 9:33 AM  

Overall fairly easy, but I wonder about the fairness of that SW corner. ESPIAL and INCEPT both fail the ‘skyey’ test, and there are some fairly obscure PPPs (MILEY, ZOOTOPIA, and some bloke named PEIRCE).

Luis Suarez is mostly known is the US (if he is known at all), for biting other players, or for racism. Often forgotten is his blatant hand ball against GHANA in the 2010 Cup that prevented GHANA from becoming the first (and only) African team to make the semifinals.

Dorothy Biggs 9:38 AM  

I think one of Rex's own sub-bloggers has used the term ADULTING before. It is, as Seth points out above, used almost always ironically. Usually it is said by someone who has done something that they've watched their parents do (buy a car, buy a house, do their taxes, create a budget) and they have already done, see that they've done something their parents did, and then see that they are, in fact, adults now.

I'm right at the cusp of the baby boomer/gen X line...I'm probably more gen X than BB, but my kids are millennials. First, I hate that there are generational labels...I think it only creates tension among people by objectifying each other. Lots of people can't wait for me to die because baby boomers are, ostensibly, conservative assholes. I'm not conservative in the slightest and I take umbrage at people wishing for me to die en masse with a bunch of people I've been lumped in with. Second, my kids demonstrate "millennial" tendencies which I recognize as just post-adolescent/young adult symptoms that we all experienced as kids learning to grow up. Their technology is different, so their growing up looks different than mine, but it's all the same: responsibility for one's life is a growth process, and you grow in fits and starts. If anything, the new generation is a lot more woke than I ever was.

ESPIAL is clearly a Saturday word. I'm sure WS considered it to be just as crazy as the rest of us, but since it's Saturday, it passes muster.

The TACONIC is scenic, but if you're trying to make time getting into the city, it's annoying as hell. It's a narrow-ish 4-lane, full of deer and people driving all kinds of speeds.

And I agree that Paul Reubens is who always appears INCHARACTER. PeeWee IS the character he appears in.

relicofthe60s 9:50 AM  

Never heard of BEER GOGGLES, but I agree with Rex about ADULTING. Adults don’t use “adult” as a verb. Puzzles started off hard but ended up being pretty easy.

GILL I. 9:50 AM  

Tres enjoyable Saturday. Some things I didn't know, many things that I guessed but in the end felt this was doable with some patience and good coffee with BACH.
Speaking of guesses...Pee Wee Herman's IN CHARACTER made me laugh out loud. There is another word that fits in that slot and I could not get it out of my mind. And then it crosses ADULTING......!
GOING STEADY was my first long answer entry. I remember my first (and last). I was new to this dating thingamajig. I was seeing this cute BEER GOGGLES type for a while and one day he said he wanted me to be his steady. He gave me his class ring and told me I had to wear it around my neck. I did. Then my girlfriends and I went to this place that had trampolines and we spent the day jumping up and down. I guess I jumped too high because I lost his ring......
Had no trouble with ZOROASTRIAN. I love all religious beliefs. You just have to read between the lines.
@Abigail 3:56 is right. ZOOTOPIA is a wonderful movie. It has "smart" talking animals and the politics are insightful. Watch it!
TACONIC and PEIRCE were my only woes. Still, I didn't have to Google them. I will admit to one cheat and without it, I could not finish. ESPIAL is a words I've never seen or heard. I had the INC at 36D and then just a blank stare. I wanted to finish this up...so I peeked.
This was SPLASHY and MEATY and not TRASHY.... well, except for Pee Wee Herman.

DeeJay 10:02 AM  

Absurd. Maligning BEERGOGGLES because frat boys use the term.

Does that mean no woman nor homosexual has ever had a late night hook up encouraged by inebriation?

Z 10:05 AM  

@Distancia Horticrux - Yes. I could not possibly agree more with your second paragraph.

@Gill I - I feel badly for leaving a bad taste, so here is Rex giving some excellent advice on how to get better at Crosswords. It is not all nastiness and churl.

Nancy 10:05 AM  

ADULTING???? A verb? Oh, puhlease!

Then I got to the "film city whose mayor is Leodore Lionheart". Sounds like a film I wouldn't have seen -- one that's CHILDRENING.

Google didn't offer any CORRECTIONS to CHILDRENING just now, btw. I thought that I just made it up, and was clapping myself on the back for my wonderful IRONY. But I guess that CHILDRENING is a verb now, too.

There have been some terrific neologisms, portmanteaus and other recent coinages created by people who haven't done much AGING yet. ADULTING and CHILDRENING are not two of them.

I didn't know PEIRCE; BACH as clued; and ZOOTOPIA. Never thought of TRASHY as lowbrow -- though I guess it's not all that bad an answer. Does anyone say INCEPT? Would it even be used in, say, the most awful legalese?

Some very good clues in the puzzle (SASSED; BIRDIES; and especially NEGOTIATION) but marred by the above-mentioned fill. And if anyone cares, I DNF, thanks to the SW.

Joan Rivers 10:10 AM  

Adulting? Oh grow up.

JOHN X 10:14 AM  

Pretty easy for a Saturday, although that SW corner nearly did me in with that PIERCE/ESPIAL/INCEPT thing going on, and I had all the other crosses.

EVONNE Goolagong is a great crossword entry. She's a Grand Slam champion and the spelling of her first name can really throw a wrench in the works if you don't catch it.

BEERGOGGLES is awesome, but Rex's reaction to it is even better. It's like he was crossing his legs when he wrote it.

Katy PERRY > MILEY Cyrus

I know a good MARTINI joke but I can't tell it here.

Suzie Q 10:20 AM  

I guess I woke up on the right side of the bed today. I was able to overlook the oddness of some of the answers and just sit back and enjoy the fun moments.
I thought I was oh-so-clever to guess truant with no crosses.
@ BarbieBarbie, I'm with you on the hone/home issue.
@ mmorgan, I used to love watching PeeWee too.
@ TomAz, How's this? My espial of a robin gave me hope that spring was right around the corner.
@ JOHN X, Really enjoyed the puzzle you recommended last night. Back when it ran it would have eaten me alive but I'm much better now.

I've worn those beer goggles before just not in a long time. Rex talks about them like he never was a kid. I hope he wasn't always such a grouch.

Carola 10:30 AM  

Top-notch, I thought, lots of fun to do - a combination of the clever cluing and not-seen-everyday answers.
I liked MARTINI over ADULTING, wondering if those doing the latter are drinking the former or haven't yet graduated from BEER.
Do-overs: SNAP shut, ratS before NUTS
SUBORN - Shades of the Watergate hearings (SUBORNation of perjury).
ZOOTOPIA - A delightful movie, not just for kids.
Speaking of delightful - BACH's "Coffee Cantata," too.

Joe Dipinto 10:30 AM  

That was ridiculously easy -- one gimme after another: BACH, AVEC/TACONIC, NADINE, MARTINI, EVONNE, SERIF, it just kept going without pause (Until INCEPT/PEIRCE, which crossing one could ultimately infer.)

To me you SNAP something SHUT (which is what I had at first), and you UNSNAP it to open it. I've never snapped anything open.

Re objections to the 14d clue: you couldn't really just say Paul Reubens appears "in character", you'd say he appears "in character as Pee Wee Herman". I think the clue is okay as is, if not ideal.

Pajama Boy 10:34 AM  

Don’t blame the millennials. It’s your generation what made us the way we are.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

That you dont know Charles Peirce reinforces my notion that your knowledge of classic hard boiled fiction is sadly wanting. In The Maltese Falcon Spade relates a story of a man who disappeared only to be discovered years later to be living a new life. Only the new life was precisely the same as his old. Only the proper names had hanged. Spade drolly remarks that he always liked the fact that the man didnt recognize that he had really only recreated the life he hbelived he had abandoned. That is of course much of Peirce's philopsophy in a nutshell.

You feel bad, not badly. Unless you mean your emotions are somehow outside your control. But I suspect you meant bad. Try to rememner Thomas : do not go gentle....

jberg 10:42 AM  

I liked the way yesterday was a SETUP for 1A today, with quaintly in the clue.

TACONIC was a gimme for this Boston resident—it’s part of the all-parkway route to avoid I-95 when you drive to NYC Unlike@distancia I find I make better time that way.

I think ADULTING is used specifically by people in their 20s who had helicopter parents who proofread their college papers for them, told them what classes to take, and generally called them on the phone multiple times a day. At some point the kids realize they want to be more independent and start teaching themselves how to change a tire. Legitimate puzzle-fodder, IMO.

TubaDon 10:50 AM  

Even though AHURA MAZDA sounds like a Japanese econocar, it somehow jogged my memory to plunk in ZOROASTRIAN. Had to guess at the crossing movie, though. TACONIC also a gimmie. Had to take a refreshing nap after puzzling out ADULTING and BEERGOGGLES to get those images out of my mind. After three or four tries at spelling PEIRCE (I agree with Rex, it's a typo) I finally polished off the SW.

Kiki 10:55 AM  

You said it better than I ever could...why ADULTING is a sickening term. It makes my skin crawl, too!! High five on that mutual disdain bordering on unhealthy hatred that I will not check!!!

TomAz 10:59 AM  

@BarbieBarbie re home/hone:

I agree, you read "hone in on" more and more these days. One theory, which makes sense to me, is that because "home" is not really used as a verb any more, "home in on" sounds unnatural and we replace it with "hone". Also, if you apply "hone" as sharpening to mean sharpening one's focus, there is a certain logic there. See, e.g., https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/home-in-or-hone-in

When reviewing a slide deck recently I asked a presenter to change "hone in" to "home in". Because certain people might object to "hone" but no one would object to "home".

CT2Napa 11:02 AM  

Thought I actually going to finish a Saturday puzzle, but the SW did me in.

Had SOT for the third time this week, until RETURN became REBATE.

chris b 11:05 AM  

I thought this was going to be breeze but turned into a big fat DNF for me. Dropped INCHARACTER, GOINGSTEADY, BEERGOGGLES in right away but all the proper names killed me. Some really awful cluing throughout IMO.

Also, what is PAP supposed to be?

GOINGSTEADY reminded me of Pete Shelley, RIP.

Malsdemare 11:23 AM  

Oh dear God! I battled with this one and with tons of effort got everything except that damn Baja area. I tried lots of stuff for 36D and finally went with INCulT which gave me the very sensible USMAIL for the act of noticing (using the mail to send notices, right? Makes Sense?) but I didn’t know the philosopher so even if I’d had the very weird INCEPT, I would have failed here. ZOOTOPIA was a fail; yeah, I guess I’ve heard of it but even with ZOOTO—-A, it was not anywhere in my memory bank. And no way I would get ESPIAL. I have a good vocabulary but there’s a word I’ve never heard or read in my lifetime, which consists of a lot of years.

So why is Peewee Herman noted for being IN CHARACTER? Isn’t that the point of acting? Or am I missing something? I needed lots of information before ZOROASTRIAN jumped into my brain. Rex is right about BEERGOGGLES; not a nice perspective at all, but it’s a puzzle, not a polemic. Personally, I was unhappier with yesterday’s BEARSKINS; couldn’t shake the image of Trump’s sons grinning over their displays of manhood.

Tough but a good diversion. Family descends today and this kept my eyes from watching the clock.

Crimson Devil 11:36 AM  

I’ve long since given up on those editors as arbiters of grammar/usage.

AdamW 11:37 AM  

Doesn't need "briefly" because "so-and-so" and SOB are both colloquialisms

Unknown 11:38 AM  

With William James, the greatest American philosopher of the 19th century. Peirce is pronounced "Purse"

Anonymous 11:45 AM  

Don't get why y'all are so angry that "adulting" appears in a puzzle. Yes, it's a stupid term. Yes, people who use it seriously should be flogged. But does that mean it can't appear in a puzzle? That would mean that words like "groovy" (which NO ONE EVER used except to be silly or because they were culturally ignorant and thought it was a term that those hippies actually used), or "woke" which is a true abomination (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adPXDTvADD0). But they can absolutely used in a friggin crossword puzzle, for pete's sake (and who the hell IS Pete?)

Okay. Rant over. But get a grip, folks. It's a pastime! It isn't epistemology. It isn't a philosophical treatise on the demise of the human race.

DavidL 11:51 AM  

In the early 90s I was driving on the Taconic Parkway in a snowstorm in an Isuzu Trooper, a notoriously tippy SUV, and ended up upside down in a ditch. No injuries, thank God. But that answer was a gimme for me. I think that car was eventually banned or recalled.

Is it correct that you can't beat NEMESES? I thought they were just arch enemies, but not necessarily unbeatable.

@TJS, I didn't know about Tom Seaver doing the puzzle, but Ron Darling was famous for it with Keith Hernandez. I assume Darling got most of the answers.

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Don't know why y'all are so upset about the word "adulting" appearing in a crossword puzzle. Yes it's a stupid word. Yes, people who use it seriously should be flogged. But if you can't use that word, then you can't use a word like "groovy" (which NO ONE EVER used except to be silly or because they were so culturally ignorant, they though those danged hippies actually used the word), or "woke," which is a true abomination (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adPXDTvADD0 take a minute to watch this. It is hilarious). Adulting is a word that is being used in our culture at this moment--stupidly or ironically or seriously--which makes it fair game for a crossword puzzle.

Seriously, folks. It is a frikkin crossword puzzle. It isn't a scholarly treatise on epistemology or a philosophical exposition on the fall humankind.

RooMonster 11:58 AM  

Hey All !
Managed to get the center 6 crossing 11's before any corner, which is quite odd for me. NE corner was my downfall. Had to Reveal Word for both AVEC and SOB, as that SOB of an answer kept wanting to be cad. Agree on crassness of SOB clue. Maybe clue cutely, like "Waterworks?" or somesuch.

After cheating, finished up that corner, but then had errors in SW. ESPIAL a hugeh WOE, plus wanted MIssY for MILEY, thinking Missy Elliott (sp?).

Oh well. A better than average solve for me on a Saturday. Liked the rotationally symmetrical grid. Which means any way you look at grid, it's the same. 90°, 180°, 270°. Explaining for those who don't know. :-)

Used to drive over (not on) the TACONIC Parkway when I lived in CT, and drove back to see family in PA. Used Interstate 84, liked to listen to a Poughkeepsie radio station (forgot which one) as I drove through who used to end their identification with a drawn out saying of Poughkeepsie. Like Puhhhkeepsie.

One F today, the rare last-letter-for-two-words F. Tough to find in the wilds. :-)


retired guy 12:05 PM  

to all the complainers about TACONIC -- It is the ***New York*** Times, after all. And, if in a future puzzle BMT or IRT should show up, you'll just have to live with that as well.

Hungry Mother 12:06 PM  

Another long slog to completion. I’m always very happy to finish a Saturday, so now on to my morning run.

Anonymous 12:06 PM  

Wanted to ask Rex if he spent his whole life avoiding beer or unattractive women. Instead have concluded that Rex is really good at solving xwords but not so good at being human or writing without preaching.

Those oldtime religions 12:07 PM  

Yes, I knew I’d heard Ahura Mazda before, but I struggled for an inordinate length of time to fit [some adjective] + Assyrian before I remembered ZOROASTRIAN. A great Saturday clue.

Masked and Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Was gonna do a whole thing about ADULTING being the opposite of "just KIDDING", but it's already gotten covered pretty well, by other commenters.

Primo grid sit'n'spin symmetry design, with four jaws of themelessness.
The clues in this puppy were really somethin. Seems like there were about a hundred ?-clues, but after calmin down and countin em up, there are but six. A fave: {Traveler's boarding areas?} = INNS.

staff weeject pick: Was torn between NIA and EOE -- but, since @RP already unloaded on EOE, I'll go with NIA. Better NIA clue: {Ma's ending, leading to insanity??}.

fave fillins: ZOROASTRIAN/ZOOTOPIA. Also, a la @RP, kinda liked GOINGSTEADY, as I figured it out off just a coupla letters.

fillins of mystery: TACONIC, PEIRCE. Coulda just clued them as {Theoretical random word structure that includes three non-U vowels}. Lost precious nanoseconds, tryin to get all their crossers with no merciful help.

Thanx for the SatPuz challenge, mr. pahk. day-um. Had no earthly idea U were such a big Pee-wee Herman fan!

Masked & Anonymo3Us

p.s. Can't do runtpuzs anymore for a spell, as @r.alph wisely added security to its website.

chris b 12:17 PM  

Also, the Taconic Pkwy is a JOY to drive on a nice summer day. Scenic and pastoral with curves in all the right places. Seriously, it's like being in a car commercial.

Black Sun 12:27 PM  

@ Anon 11:45 & 11:58,
One reason I come here is to observe how this blog IS a treatise on the demise of humanity.
Also, be patient after you post. Sometimes it takes some time for your comment to appear.

Dorothy Biggs 12:29 PM  

@jberg...I believe it is the only way into Manhattan without paying the $20 toll. So there’s that.

Kitty 12:33 PM  

BEER GOGGLES is another alcohol abuse clue with the added offense of judging women’s physical attributes.

What? 12:35 PM  

Pretty easy - but.
TACONIC - unless you grew up or live in NY area, how would you know this? Like IRT for a subway line.
ESPIAL - a filler. Who uses this?

kitshef 12:37 PM  

@M&A or @r.alphbunker - is there a trick to solving on runtpuz.org now?

Joe Mike 1:10 PM  

Sad to think of an infant as AGING, but I guess it is what we all do, even when we’re ADULTING or wearing BEER GOGGLES.

Wanted VERY DRY for my Bond order and SNAP SHUT for my coin purse. Liked a lot of the tricky clues, such as those for TRUANT, IRS, NEGOTIATION, INNS, and CORRECTIONS.

Words that I and no one I know will ever use for any reason in our entire lives except to complete a crossword: ESPIAL, INCEPT, and SUBORN. Gag me with a spork.

Masked and Anonymous 1:22 PM  

@kitshef: The trick is mostly to wait, I reckon, cuz right now M&A can't upload any more puzs, until @r.alph fixes whatever the new (real tight) site security broke. He does however give a stop-gap hint at runtpuz.blogspot.com on how to download archived runtz from runtpuz.org.

M&A Help Desk

@RP: Also wanted AGAR before SOIL. And SNAPSHUT and then SNAPGOOD, before SNAPOPEN.

Joe Isuzu 1:27 PM  

@DavidL, wasn’t it the Suzuki Samurai that allegedly easily tipped over?

David 1:37 PM  

@barbiebarbie @crimsondevil; what makes you think the NYTimes has copy editors any more? The got rid of the copy desk last year, although they kept some editors, and the electronic version, which I read, has no editors and is so bad it reminds me of the bulldog print edition we got when I was a kid. Yes, one "homes in" on. "hones in" is not a thing.

That bulldog edition was sold in southern NY, where there were once many iron mines, and where the southern part of the Taconic is. We used to hit that parkway at about 3am after being bundled into the care around 2am for our yearly drive to Maine. It is a beautiful ride (when done in daytime). For a special trip when you have time and are riding a motorcycle from NYC to Tanglewood or nearby, take the Taconic to Rt. 44 near Millbrook. 44 will take you to Rt. 22, an official "scenic highway". From there you could either take 23 to go over and up to Great Barrington to catch MA7 or stay on 22 all the way to the pike. Nice in a car too.

Thanks to all who clued me in to what Rex was on about with beer goggles. I had no idea, but I've been adulting for a much longer time than I kidded.

@what? Nobody under 45 who lives in NYC has a clue what I'm talking about when I say IRT, BMT, or IND either. Their loss.

My favorite of today, "Swift quality".

Z 2:06 PM  

@anon10:41 - You know what’s worse than a grammar scold? A grammar scold who is wrong. Maybe look at a dictionary before making a fool of yourself next time.

BarbieBarbie 2:13 PM  

@TomAz, a Roomba is pretty darn present-day, and what it does to find its base isn’t any kind of honing. It homes. It homes in on the signal. So I think when you try to make hone and home equivalent, you actually change the meaning of the expression, and you don’t modernize it in any way.
I’m still curious about whether this is an example of language evolution, or misuse, or both. Another good example is “vs.,” which I pronounce “versus” and use as a preposition. But because of the way it’s normally found (Kramer vs. Kramer, for example), when it is said out loud it sounds like the present tense of a verb “to verse” meaning “go up against.” And these days I often hear of somebody “versing” somebody else. So there we go: a flat-out mistake that is evolving into usage. So interesting! And so weird!

Joe Bleaux 2:45 PM  

Anyone else even consider (much less pencil in) "contortions" before CORRECTIONS at 35A? If so, you too might be too steeped in politics, even in these wretched times. The shapes some of those guys twist themselves into when they screw up and start trying to explain it away ...
A challenging, but fun, puzzle until that miserable SW corner: INCEPT, ESPIAL ... NUTS!

Northwest Runner 2:46 PM  

A big fat ugh from me. I will say though that Zootopia was an unexpected pleasure. Plenty of gags only the grownups will get and some witty social commentary. And side note, an older animated film, Cats Don't Dance, which along with about 10 other people have seen, is worth seeking out. Enjoyable for kids but also with not so subtle but very well executed swipes at Hollywood.

Unknown 2:57 PM  

Set my all-time speed record

Anonymous 3:08 PM  

Are you serious?
Checks linkyou are, let me laugh louder.

Anonymous 3:11 PM  

Anon is right. You wanted an ajective to decribe your state of being. An adverb modifies, in your comstruction, the verb.
I think you're the fool in this exhange.

bauskern 3:48 PM  

I actually finished with no help, so qualifies as an "easy" for me!
But ADULTING? If it is a word, I hate it.
And I also thought purses only snapped shut, not open.
EVONNE Goolagong was a gimme, if you played tennis back in the 1970s.
And I thought the return address (IRS) was clever.
Overall I liked it; it made me feel smart.

Aketi 4:13 PM  

If “babying” is a legitimate term, then why not “ADULTING”?
Although the former is when someone cares for a young infant or someone else as needy as a baby and the latter seems to be used ironically when someone is caring for themselves. Seems like ADULTING should refer to how people treat those that they think are capable of caring for themselves.

If “parenting” is a legitimate term, then why not “childrening”?
The only definition of childrening I found on google was a podcast that I’m not going to watch about some convoluted distinctions between the two that sounded about as interesting as staring at the SOIL after you’ve planted a seed until it finally sprouts.

@ Pajama boy, I gave birth to a Gen Zer, not a millennial. I did not “make” him. No one “makes” another human being, they may only influence them a bit.

Sunnyvale Solver 4:20 PM  

The animal reference in the mayor’s name was a hint to ZOOTOPIA.

What’s annoying about the term ADULTING is not the feeling of “acting” like an adult. Every generation feels that. What’s annoying is the way millennials mangle our language, turning perfectly good nouns into the ugliest of verbs.

The word of the day should have been Zahara Mazda.

pmdm 4:30 PM  

After doing the puzzle I thought to myself "How pleasant" and then I read the write-up and comments on this site. It's sad.

The Taconic State Parkway certainly helped generate a lot of chatter. Did you know the northwest of Ithaca there is a similarly named Taughannock Falls State Park? I don't know if thats a variant spelling or a different name, but I do know the short walk to the pretty falls is dead flat. So if you visit the area and like that sort of thing (and it isn't in a drought situation), it's a nice place to visit. Free parking in the off season and for seniors during the week.

If you're not a parkwayphile, skip the rest of my comment. The Taconic State Parkway was one of the first parkways built i this country. Robert Moses liked to build the parkways to be enjoyably scenic for the passengers but devilish to drive. The southern parts of many of the roads have been widened/lenghtened, but the Moses choice to build low bridges (to keep off trucks) now result in frequent collisions between the truck roofs and the bridges. (Truck drivers follow their GPS routes rather than obey the "No Trucks" signs. Expensive mistake. The southern parts were not built as limited access roads so they have traffic lights here and there. If you like rush hour congestion, there for you.

Crimson Devil 4:42 PM  

Enjoyed inns, IRS, irony & sitins.
Adulting, espial, incept, zootopia, zoroastrian, beergoggles & negotiation not so much.

Aketi 4:45 PM  

@Sunnyvale Solver, do you think “babying” and “parenting” are the ugliest of verbs? Or is it only that you are used to hearing them?

BarbieBarbie 4:56 PM  

@Sunnyvale, millennials didn’t invent the verbing of nouns. Try “interfacing.” Try “impacting.” Try “dialoguing.” All of these have been around longer than I have, and I’m not young. My office-mate and I used to joke about the Corporate Edition of the OED being twice as thick as the regular edition in order to accommodate all the words that had been invented in business courses so that execs could use more syllables.

Aketi 4:56 PM  

Actually I take that back about childrening. All the others are singular, ADULT-, baby-, parent-. So it should be childing. Still can’t believe someone turned childrening versus parenting into a whole podcast.

Hungry Mother 5:05 PM  

When I was planning to travel to Williams College from central Pennsylvania for a math institute, a colleague from Manhattan recommended the Taconic.

I spent the month of August, 1952 living with my aunt in Brooklyn and travelling the BMT, IRT, and IND daily with my older brother.

I’ve worn BEERGOGGLES many times.

GILL I. 6:01 PM  

@Z. I feel badly too. What in the world happened to a perfectly good adverb? I know......patience! Would, if I could.
@Aketi...If @Rex can coin NATICK, I think you should coin "Childering." It's grand.
@Sunnyvale: Why in the world would you shoulder blame on millennials for mangling words? I remember my grandmother's HORROR reaction when, living in the Palisades, every other word out of my mouth was "bitchen." Surfer dudes back in the day took it from "bitched" which originally came from Middle English bicched which meant "cursed, bad." Now how friggin clever is that? @Barbie B...Your OED reference made me laugh out loud. So true. Thank you, innovative, clever youngsters, who come up with words that are adorbs. Makes me feel young.

ZenMonkey 6:19 PM  

Nondisabled people don't understand why a word like "adulting" is helpful. I'd explain but I'm more than aware no one here cares.

I enjoyed the puzzle a lot, only complaint was it went by too quickly.

Anonymous 6:33 PM  

Really? I thougnt you better than an illterate. My mistake.

old timer 8:08 PM  

I used to do a monthly pub quiz at a bar fairly close to a local public university, and when we old folks finished around 10 pm, the place was set up for a Thursday night beer bash, and BEERGOGGLES were definitely provided.

I am old enough to have adult children, and ADULTING is certainly part of the language. No complaints there. I did object to ESPIAL but that is my real complaint in an otherwise very good puzzle.

And I definitely remember the vogue of GOING STEADY though it was even then more talked about in Dear Abby and Ann Landers than in real life; circa 1957 when I was in junior high a few kids formally were in that relationship. The whole institution kind of died out circa 1967 when my generation got in the habit of sleeping with each other when the mood struck, with no rings or formalities. The high schoolers certainly had girlfriends and boyfriends while still virgins, but it seems to me they too did not usually make the relationships formal and announced -- it was just understood. The same was true when I had teenage daughters living at home.

JC66 8:12 PM  


You have a lot of friends here. Please elaborate.

G. Patton 9:13 PM  

Let's stop hating on Millenials for butchering the language because they don't really and it's not their fault anyway.

Let's hate on them for being dumbshits and wimps who are going to be owned by the Chinese.

GILL I. 9:50 PM  

Anony 6:33. Ouch....
My dear grandmother used to call me her "little heathen" when I was young. I finally read the "Anne of Green Gables" that she gave me. I've been resurrected.

Yam Erez 1:06 PM  

Oh goddess, can we please stop slamming "adulting"? It just makes us sound old and crochetty. I actually find it quite useful. And making verbs out of nouns is not new: The player was benched. I roped a calf. I yarned over my crochet hook.

I actually recall women talking about needing beer goggles. Perhaps on Gilmore Girls. So it's not necessarily objectifying women; it's more looksist. Or looks-ist.

I will never forgive "espial". IRT and Taconic, OK, it is the NYT, after all. But "espial"? Never.

spacecraft 11:36 AM  

Weird: just yesterday* in the "Zits" comic Jeremy put his "drinking glass?" on a coaster; his mom overreacted. In the next panel he told his friend "I accidentally ADULTED today." His bud advised him to take something for it. It's humor, guys. Take a chill pill.

But in general this puzzle felt more like Dystopia than ZOOTOPIA. I completed it, but not without a pure guess in the SW. #54 is the naticky culprit. INCEPT is a real word, all right, but 100% new to me. And there really exists a surname that almost certainly has to be a misspelling?

Funky clues abound. I know it's Saturday, but...who knows the Poor Sisters? And the ARNESS clue? Early week: "Star of 'Gunsmoke.'" Midweek: "Title actor in 'The Thing.'" But HTWWW? That's Saturday, baby.

Wanted TRASHY for 3-down, only to have it surface elsewhere. Its companion SPLASHY joins in. Those, along with MEATY, might make good descriptors for today's puzzle. None of my usual NEMESES appear, except maybe EOE; I guess that must be "Equal Opportunity Employer" as opposed to EEO, "Equal Employment Opportunity." You're right, Fearless One: let's call the whole thing off.

NIA Long edges out EVONNE for DOD. Despite the strong hint for scoring at 47-across, I can muster up no better than a par.

*Something was wrong with the Syndilink yesterday; I kept getting a "cannot connect" message. I wanted to say good things about that puzzle and give it at least a BIRDIE. I'm glad the glitch didn't carry over.

thefogman 1:16 PM  

The IRONY of seeing BACH on the same page as PERRY and MILEY. His great works are infinitely greater than MILEY's greatest twerks. I was doing fine until I hit the SW corner. I went with (Franz) BerH for 47D and MIssY (Elliott) for 43D. Wrong and wrong! The reason for my debacle was I had ESPIes for 50A, and not the correct (but archaic) ESPIAL. Seriously? That's a TRASHY way to SETUP solvers for failure. What's NUTS is I had MILEY for 28D before PERRY but never moved her to 43D like I should have. Too bad ESPIAL SOILed an otherwise good puzzle. Not GHANA lie. I DEEPLY resent the use of archaic words and that's not up for NEGOTIATION. Now, time to SNAPOPEN a few cold ones and maybe mix a MARTINI. Hasta la vista babies. I'll be BACH.

Burma Shave 1:57 PM  


SETUP Katy PERRY for insulting
the DEEPLY TRASHY affections of AGING MILEY.


rondo 2:31 PM  

Mostly a clean solve save for two notable write-overs having at first SNAPshut and raTS before NUTS. OFL is INCHARACTER again, making a mountain out of the BEERGOGGLES mole-hill.

I have been to the ZOROASTRIAN fire temple of Ateshgah near Baku, Azerbaijan. For a small fee you can get a semi-guided tour of the grounds and buildings. There is a fire that purportedly has been burning for more than a thousand years; likely a vent of natural gas.

I would also recommend YOSEMITE if you've not been.

No shortage of options today so I'll stick with the musical side with AGING wild child, now ADULTING, MILEY Cyrus and/or yeah baby Katy PERRY. No BEERGOGGLES required.

Good puz finally complete after the aforementioned CORRECTIONS.

leftcoastTAM 3:04 PM  

One of the most, if not the most, accessible Saturday puzzles I've seen in a long time. So thanks right off the bat to Joon Pahk for that pleasure.

SW was the most resistant corner, with INCEPT, ESPIAL, and the spelling of PEIRCE.

NW was unusually friendly except for ADULTING (wtf?). Close by, TACONIC needed some coaxing, and finally recalled the E (not Y) in EVONNE. And of course SOB stands out among them all.

Most enjoyable.

Diana, LIW 3:59 PM  

So much I didn't know.

So guessing PATSY (Cline) gave me a very tny dnf, that I'm bigly proud of otherwise. I mean really. Ahura Mazda? A new car model? And what the heck are BEER GOGGLES???????

Diana, Waiting for a drink, but not that beer - make it a Pepsi

Diana, LIW 4:00 PM  

@Spacey - I got the "can't connect" message yesterday, too. Had to force my way in. "Outta my way!!"

Lady Di

rainforest 4:28 PM  

This was much easier than yesterday's puzzle, and on top of that, I couldn't get to the blog yesterday ("server down" message). Anyway I finished it, the "U" at the HULLO/UREY cross being my last letter. Liked it, though.

Today's was much more accessible once I accepted the spelling of PEIRCE. I had INvEsT, then INducT before INCEPT, which I've never heard anyone utter. I remembered TACONIC from a previous puzzle because it sounds like an evil river.

Last night Bill Maher did a nice bit on ADULTING, so that came to me instantly. He also had some words about Stan Lee and comics in general which I'm sure @Rex wouldn't have appreciated.

Good puzzle with tons of devious cluing.

Wooody2004 5:18 PM  

I had to BEER GOoGLE ZOROASTRIANS so I guess I DNF'd. I got INCEPT from the movie Inception somehow. I knew ENIAC, but that may be because I was Geezering.

Waxy in Montreal 9:16 PM  

TACONIC State Parkway is so much more pleasant a drive than the New York Thruway - always use it driving to/from NYC even if it adds an hour to the trip - and was one of many gimmes in this extremely easy (for a Saturday) puzzle. On;y real challenge was with the PEIRCE-ZOOTOPIA-INCEPT intercepts. Also had CHILE before GHANA. Share OFL's distaste of ADULTING - ugh! Well, at least I can get to my Saturday MARTINI early - maybe should dress up EN TAILS like Mr. Bond.

centralscrewtinizer 8:45 PM  

Woody, that is some good geeze you have there.

Rambo 5:39 AM  

SNAP OPEN [What some coin purses do] PEIRCE (pronounced "purse") "The Metaphysical Club" is great on PEIRCE. He was really important to John Dewey. TACONIC AVEC slowed me up, otherwise this was an easy Saturday.

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