Gathering where burping is encouraged / FRI 12-14-18 / Gamer's likeness

Friday, December 14, 2018

Constructor: Andrew J. Ries

Relative difficulty: Easy


Word of the Day: TUPPERWARE PARTY (37A: Gathering where burping is encouraged) —
Tupperware is still sold mostly through a party plan, with rewards for hosts. A Tupperware party is run by a Tupperware "consultant" for a host who invites friends and neighbors into his or her home to see the product line. Tupperware hosts are rewarded with free products based on the level of sales made at their party. Parties also take place in workplaces, schools, and other community groups. (wikipedia)

• • •

HELLO, SYNDICATION SOLVERS! (i.e. the majority of my readership—those of you who are reading this on Friday, January 18). It's early January and that means it's time for my annual pitch for financial contributions to the blog, during which I ask regular readers to consider what the blog is worth to them on an annual basis and give accordingly. As you know, I write this blog every. Single. Day. OK, two days a month I pay young people to write it, but every other day, all me. OK sometimes I take vacations and generous friends of mine sit in, but otherwise, I'm a non-stop blogging machine. Seriously, it's a lot of work. It's at least as much work as my day job, and unlike my day job, the hours *kinda* suck—I typically solve and write between 10pm and midnight, or in the early hours of the morning, so that the blog can be up and ready for solvers to read with their breakfast or on the train or in a forest or wherever it is you people enjoy the internet. I have no major expenses, just my time. As I've said before, I have no interest in "monetizing" the blog in any way beyond simply asking for money once a year. I hate ads in real life, so why would I subject you all to them. I actually considered redesigning the site earlier this year, making it slicker or fancier somehow. I even got the process partly underway, but then when I let slip that I was considering it, feedback was brisk and clear: don't change. Turns out people don't really want whistles and bells. Just the plain, internet-retro style of a blogger blog. So that's what you're getting. No amount of technical tinkering is gonna change the blog, which is essentially just my voice. My ridiculous opinionated voice yelling at you, cheerfully and angrily, about how much I love / hate crosswords. I hope that this site has made you laugh or taught you things or given you a feeling of shared joy, or anger, or failure, or even given you someone to yell at. I'm fine with that. I also hope I've introduced some of you to the Wider World of Crosswords, beyond the NYT. I am passionate about puzzles and I (mostly) adore the people who solve them—so many of my friends, and the thousands of you I've never met. I can't stop, and I won't stop, and I hope you find that effort worth supporting.

Some people refuse to pay for what they can get for free. Others just don't have money to spare. All are welcome to read the blog—the site will always be open and free. But if you are able to express your appreciation monetarily, here are two options. First, a Paypal button (which you can also find in the blog sidebar):

Second, a mailing address:

Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905

All Paypal contributions will be gratefully acknowledged by email. All snail mail contributions (I. Love. Snail mail!) will be gratefully acknowledged with hand-written postcards. This year's cards are illustrations from "Alice in Wonderland"—all kinds of illustrations from throughout the book's publication history. Who will get the coveted, crosswordesey "EATME!" card!? Someone, I'm sure. You, I hope. Please note: I don't keep a "mailing list" and don't share my contributor info with anyone. And if you give by snail mail and (for some reason) don't want a thank-you card, just say NO CARD.  As ever, I'm so grateful for your readership and support.

Now on to the puzzle!
• • •

Hi-diddly-ho CrossWorld! Aimee Lucido here, filling in for Rex. When I told him I wanted to do a guest post, I was hoping he'd start me off with a nice Monday puzzle, or maybe a Tuesday... you know, something I could for-sure finish. I mean, I *just* started consistently solving Fridays back in July. But this one solved pretty easy for me.

I finished the bulk of this puzzle in just over 15 minutes (which is fast for me, I swear), but I spent five whole minutes trying to figure out what the heck NASARSTRITS were. Turns out I had misread the word "Ziegfeld" in 27A as "Ziegfried" and put in ROY. Not that that's even how you spell "Siegfried" but when you have ?OY, LOY is just about the last guess you'd make there. On top of that I had RETRO for REPRO and all that combined with the fact that it took me far too long to realize the clue on 10D had absolutely nothing to do with traffic, added up to me wasting five whole minutes scanning my grid for my mistake.

The puzzle overall was hit or miss for me. I loved the center downs, I surprisingly got ATLANTAN very quickly, and by the time I hit SOCIAL IQ in the bottom right I found myself thinking SO FAR SO GOOD. 

But moving into the west half of the grid began to get painful. I have a hard time remembering SDS, and the clue on 51A felt icky enough that I was reluctant to put in EXCON. And, since it was crossing OXLIP, I found myself rooting for STT and EUCON to be real, since then my original answer of TULIP would be right, and my icky EXCON answer would be wrong.

But what I really want to talk about is this TUPPERWARE PARTY thing. First of all, I didn't know that Tupperware parties even existed. Is it just me, or does the idea of a party where the guest of honor is a bunch of empty leftover containers sound boring AF? Also, maybe it's because I'm a Millennial, but I have no clue what "burping" has to do with Tupperware. Does one drink carbonated beverages at a Tupperware Party? Or eat foods with a lot of OIL? Or does "burping" just refer to the sound it makes when you pull the lid off a Tupperware container? I've been staring at this clue for EONS and I just don't get it! (Update: You burp Tupperware to get the air out! The more you know...)

  • 39D: Writer of satirical works (PARODIST) — My brain really wanted this to be a specific writer of satirical works. 
  • 49D: Reduces to small bits (RICES) — This is one of those Friday-esque clues that I actually really like. I've never heard "rice" used as a verb before, but it's inferable from the "small bits" part of the clue, and the crosses are all gettable. 
  • 25A: Part of a cable network? (GONDOLA) — Gondola *lifts* not gondola *boats*
  • 8D: Gamer's likeness (AVATAR) — I will never again hear this word without picturing this:

Signed, Aimee Lucido, Scribe of CrossWorld

[Follow Aimee Lucido on Twitter and Facebook]

P.S. Any other Bachelor fans out there hear SOCIAL IQ and picture this?



Loren Muse Smith 4:55 AM  

Aimee – thanks for the write-up. Anyone who ends with a Taylor gif is ok by me, (but I found her kinda sanctimonious.) How. Ev. Er… that gif is not from The Bachelor. It’s from the even more horrifying can’t tear myself from this train wreck Bachelor in Paradise. I really thought I had hit rock bottom by watching The Bachelor. But along came Bachelor in Paradise, and I just started digging…

Terrific Friday fare. So much to appreciate… NASAL STRIPS, SO FAR SO GOOD, SOCIAL IQ, TUPPERWARE PARTY…

I’m always struck by the name OXLIP for a pretty flower. Like the edibles had just kicked in when the guys naming flowers were finishing up. I know what let’s do, let’s take the name of a beast of burden and hook it up with a body part. [giggling, snickering].

Florist – May I help you?
Yes – I’d like an arrangement with oxlip, yaknape, assface, muleknee, and cameltoe. How long will that take?

I like the idea of SOCIAL IQ. My husband’s boss, a long time ago at Glaxo, started doing full-on, magnificently thorough and by-the-book windmill touch-your-toes exercises at the annual Xmas party. He. Had. Not. Been. Drinking. Said his back was getting tight. I kid you not. Seeing that spectacle will flat wake you up.

Believe it or not, TUPPERWARE PARTY, TEASE, HAIRBOW make me think of growing up in Chattanooga. Aimee – Tupperware parties were like Longaberger or Pampered Chef parties: host would invite friends so said friends would feel pressured to spend money so host could get lots of free stuff and company rep could then pester same friends to host their own parties. The deal with burping was that the women in the ‘60s got to learn and then practice how to close the top and then burp the extra air out of the container. This was revolutionary back then. That burping deal alone probably upped the spending for everyone. (Kinda like when I saw the ice-cube in the Pampered Chef ice cream scoop melt ten times faster than the ice cube in the contemptible scoop. Oh my god I had to have this stuff. Sign me up for one of each.)

Mom had many a Tupperware party, and I was so seduced by the stuff. I wasn’t allowed in the living room, but I always peeked in, enchanted by the different sizes and shapes and colors. I wanted my own Tupperware.

During this time, I was a tomboy. To the extent that other people would ask Mom, What’s your son’s name? Short pixie cut, boy clothes, blah blah. Anyhoo, on picture day at Rivermont Elementary, Mom always showed up with a rat-tail comb and a big ole velvet hair bow and went to work on me while I was in line. I ended up smiling under this ridiculous high, poofy creation with that bow festooned in front. This was not a picture of me. It was a picture of the me Mom kept hoping for.

Thanks for the memories, Andrew. The NOT SO/ YES YES cross was most excellent. Oh, and GRAY/HAIR. And CANNED/CLOWNS…

Lewis 6:22 AM  

Much to like in the cluing (NASAL STRIPS, CLOWNS, TUPPERWARE PARTY, GONDOLA) and answers (SOCIAL IQ, ABNEGATE, SO FAR SO GOOD), and this offering put up enough fight to make it satisfying. My AMA, for the org. with many operations, stayed in for quite a while.

But may I insert a wow here. Look at this creation. First Andrew J. had to design a grid in which each corner was well connected with the rest of the puzzle. Then he filled it cleanly, and with big blobs of letters as this offering has, that involved trial trial trial trial and error. Polishing a puzzle is a beast of burden. Finally, he had to cleverly clue the puzzle, taking time and care with every answer, making each Friday difficult, and employing nifty wordplay when possible.

To successfully pull this off requires great skill and persistence, and Andrew, IMO you beautifully came through on this one, making an entertaining beauty, and I salute you for it!

Anonymous 6:47 AM  

I don’t comment often, but this was awesome. Check out the middle down stacks. All three are snappy and fun, and not a single lame across needed. It’s like they were meant to be stacked. Cool.

Aketi 7:04 AM  

@LMS, you described the experience of being a daughter of a TUPPERWARE party host perfectly. It was no different in a small town in California. My mom tried the hair teasing but gave up on HAIRBOWS since they never stayed in our fine hair. She did manage pigtails which looked ridiculous because they were pencil thin and our ears stuck out.

@Aimee, back in the day housewives (aka Stay at Home Moms) didn’t have access to as many entertainment venues as are possible with hand held devices. They also didn’t get arrested for telling the kids to go outside and not come back till dinner or expecting them to walk or bike to school and athletic events. So they had time to plan parties. Getting joy out of burping a Tupperware container at a party may seem slightly pathetic by today’s standards, but I’m not sure it’s much different from wasting time on social media watching silly gifs or instant streaming realty shows. I confess to binge watching the shows that follow animals around with cams. The types of cams that were rigged up to follow polar bears were amazing, but I’m not sure watching that was any better than burping Tupperware while sipping drinks with friends. I think the latter might possibly be better for SOCIAL IQ

Z 7:11 AM  

This struck me as a little dated for a Ries puzzle. Maybe because TUPPERWARE PARTY is squarely in the “something ‘old’ ladies did when I was a kid” part of my brain (“old” being relative since those “old” ladies were all younger than I am now). The Simpsons have been on for something like 70 years, now, Ricky and Lucy are from before I was alive, and Minnie Mouse first appeared when my mother was pre-school age. Myrna LOY, 1976 sci-fi, Sid Caesar..., this puzzle was fresh in 1993.

That’s not to say I disliked it. It is refreshingly fair in the PPP at just 18 of 68 (26%), so even if you are not familiar with The Thin Man or Lucy’s ex you shouldn’t be too stymied. I was only briefly befuddled by the construction zone misdirection, but the year in the clue convinced me it couldn’t be rOY. LOY then gave me NASAL and the “oh, that kind of bridge” moment. I resisted TUPPERWARE PARTY only because I thought “no way that’s still a thing,” “Based on SNL” is just about the most worthless movie clue there is. How many SNL based movies have there been? That and not knowing what kind of BOW made the NW the hardest section for me. I had to fix trA to SHA before I could finish.

Low PPP, good cluing, low on ese, so I like it. But I’m guessing it will play harder for anyone under 35.

Anonymous 7:19 AM  


kitshef 7:35 AM  

Another week, another Friday that was much easier than Wednesday. A well done, interesting Wednesday.

56D clue may just as well read “three letters of the alphabet” for all the good that clue does.

The “LIP” in OXLIP was originally “slyppe”, variously translated as "slime”, “paste” or “dung”.

@Z - Eleven. Or nine if you ignore sequels.

amyyanni 7:38 AM  

Another tomboy here. Mom put my hair in 2 braids every morning and tied bows at the ends (which half the kids in school delighted in untying). Loved the puzzle, especially after I got over wanting "att" (for attorney) for "bar fixture"..... [ ] -> for Rex's objection to "sot."

OffTheGrid 7:44 AM  

56D is only 2 letters of the alphabet.

Sally Rogers 8:04 AM  

Someone got confused and ran the puzzles out of order this week. Friday on Tuesday, Wednesday on Monday...Monday today?

But ah the Tupperware memories. As a child in the 60s I fought to avoid household chores. Too busy dressing up Barbie in her classy Jackie Kennedy clothes and sending her off to work in New York City or on a date with my brother's GI Joe who was home on leave.

So moms having a party to celebrate plastic bowls? Woo, even at age 7 I rejected the very idea of it. But the leftover Technicolor food was delicious. Lime Jello whipped to death with cream cheese, solidified in Tupperware. No event of my childhood was complete without it. The leaching PCBs added that little tang.

Kids today! Know what you're missing and thank God.

Rainbow 8:18 AM  

SOT doesn't bother me but look, an alternate clue: "Group studying Poisons"

Society of Toxicology

SOT—Dedicated to Creating a Safer and Healthier World by Advancing the Science and Increasing the Impact of Toxicology.

Rhino 8:25 AM  

This one played super easy for me. 14D, 17D and 20D were all gimmes, which never happens to me. I should have had my best time ever but had TIDIEs (with the Slytherin activist party: SsS) and could not find the mistake.

pabloinnh 8:27 AM  

I never keep time but this must be one of my fastest Fridays ever. The long answers just went right in and first guesses were confirmed and I was done and wishing it had taken longer because it was so much fun. This probably means that a) I really skew old and b)my brain still works. "b" is the good part.

Mil gracias to AJR for a swell Friday. Maybe tomorrow will skew young and I'll go back to feeling befuddled again.

Aketi 8:37 AM  

@Z back in the days when my mom hosted her TUPPERWARE party, moms who were older than 25 were considered old. My aunt scandalously ended up pregnant with my youngest cousin Jimmy when she was [GASP] older than 30. In NYC, I rarely see parents that are under the age of 30 and a good chunk are over 40. I even see some in their 50s. The oldest I’ve seen that I know of was 59.

AVATAR reminded me to get rid of Conor being choked.

Aketi 8:43 AM  

@Sally Rogers, if my son is any example of Gen Z trends, they have gone back to an era predating TUPPERWARE. He drinks out of glass Mason jars and his girlfriend gifted us with her homemade pesto and tamoto sauce in them. Both my Gramdmothers used them. I actually had a huge collection of them in grad school and recently rediscovered my collection hidden on the top shelf and started using them again. Now of course you can buy them in colors and get lids with reusable straws

mmorgan 8:45 AM  

This was hard then easy then hard then easy... you get the idea. TUPPERWARE PARTY dropped right in (and it makes one feel old to learn that some have never heard of those -- or of SDS). I resisted HAIR BOW for a while (too much like green paint?). I proudly slapped down ABroGATE at 5D, which sat there for awhile (since I don't know Falcons or Hawks), and I also first had AMA for 22A. And I was quite sure that 10D was NASAL STRaPS (not noticing that that left me with ASaAN at 42D.

YES YES, to STEAKS and DESSERT! Terrific puzzle, well-designed and fun to solve!

Sir Hillary 8:50 AM  

If you subscribe to Andrew Ries's Rows Garden/Freestyle combo pack, this puzzle's structure will feel familiar. He is big on central stacks, quite often vertical ones. He did a puzzle suite a year or two ago called "The Stagger Sessions" featuring only themeless puzzles with central stacks, packaged as if it were a musical album. It was great.

I really liked this -- excellent entries, some fun cluing (hello, NASALSTRIPS) and not much junk.

Fun to see ABNEGATE in here -- I thoroughly enjoyed "Catch Me If You Can". :)

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

Once a parent, always a parent, regardless of age.

Teedmn 8:55 AM  

TUPPERWARE PARTY's clue got circled today as the standout in this puzzle. The very idea of burping at a party is absurd. I have to confess I was once the honoree at a Tupperware party. I don't remember practicing any burping - by 1983, we must have all known how to do that. I still have the nested set of four bowls, at least one of the trio of dressing cups (but no longer the little rack they snapped into nor the cute mini-ladles) and the gigundous cake carrier. Why I still have it, I don't know. Maybe I'll dig it out of the upper cupboard where it takes up far too much real estate and toss it. Wrestling the springy plastic top into the rigid bottom is like wrestling an octopus. You get it all stuffed into the slot and then the other side pops out. And I lost the handle for it long ago.

I was pretty sure 10D wasn't going to deal with traffic on a bridge but my mind went to guitars. I thought maybe it was going to be the part of the neck that keeps the strings from congesting together. Turns out the bridge IS that part, with the nut on the other end. Good to update my guitar anatomy knowledge.

As @Lewis points out, this puzzle had great access into what could have been isolated corners. It wasn't enough to keep me from a slight panic in the far SW, thinking my up-to-then fast solve was about to be derailed, but CLOWNS crossing OWIE kept me in the game.

One writeover - 60D was QTS, but then I realized that pTS would be much more likely - who ends a word with Q? So a chuckle when it turned out to be Q after all.

Andrew Ries, thanks for an easy, smooth Friday.

Snarffles 9:02 AM  

Nary a word about Ned Flanders ???

ulysses 9:06 AM  

Is it Monday already?

MickMcMick 9:07 AM  

Owie? Seriously? SW was awful. I agree the rest of this puzzle was an easy Friday. Owie, bah humbug

RooMonster 9:11 AM  

Hey All !
Schwing! (WAYNES WORLD reference for those who were born in or after the 90's) (Imagine, those born in 2000 are 18 this year. Man, that makes you feel old, no?)

Nice crossing long answers, resulting in light to no dreck. Found puz easy, but hadn't a clue on that Q hanging out down in the SE corner. One letter DNF. Kept wanting the word to be one word, as in SOIALIC, or somesuch. Took me an alphabet run, then an Aha that it was SOCIAL IQ.

Fun, not too harsh on the ole brain puz.


QuasiMojo 9:18 AM  

Hi Aimee, welcome! but seriously never heard of a ricer?

TCM showed a creepy documentary about Tupperware recently, from the 50s. Made it seem like a strange SECT, finding spiritual benefits in plastics, despite the appalling ugliness of the product. Plus the incentive plans for the workers seem almost feudal in hindsight. No mention of the toxic effect of plastics on our environment or what to do with these burping gizmos after they’ve served their usefulness, hence our landfills stuffed with the junk. I wanted some sort of TOGA party for the answer.

I found today’s puzzle challenging mostly because I had a hard time in the NE. Put in ABDICATE and refused to remove it. Also RAINBOW for Minnie. I could never stand Disney cartoons and still can’t. LIMBS for SECTS had me treed. But sussing our NOT SO saved me from total failure.

Never heard of Ned Flanders. Was he DAGMAR’s beau?

Happy Friday everyone!

QuasiMojo 9:33 AM  

I meant NW! My compass is off.

Z 9:33 AM  

@kitshef - and yet it feels like so many more. What is that, then? Two good ones and 9 "what were they thinking"s?

@QuasiMojo - A NED FLANDERS/Dagmar remake of The Thin Man with Brian Griffin as Asta?

Okay, I emailed her but she's probably working and hasn't responded so... What are the odds that what she wrote was intentional? It's not often that the commentariat causes a 7:00 a.m. guffaw, but it happened today.

SouthsideJohnny 9:37 AM  

Can anyone explain the clue for 60D ? Pecks are bites -> QTS are quarts. I don’t see the connection. Is “on the qt” a saying ?

GILL I. 9:47 AM  

I don't think I ever bought any TUPPERWARE until after my son was born and I had to find a container for all the food I pureed for him. My freezer contained apple sauce and ice cubes.
So, sadly, and thankfully, I never attended one of those parties. I did, though, go to a Sex Toy Party. I was intrigued, you see. You have to have spectacularly funny and imaginative friends in order to attend. Laughter is a must. The host, and one of my best friends, made a ton of money; she convinced everyone that these little gadgets would make great gag gifts. The problem was finding the right size wrapper and BOW.
My first entry was NED FLANDERS. He's such a SAD sack but always up-beat. Who else but NED could come up with intellectual phrases a la "Hi-diddly-ho!"
The NASAL STRIP clue was my favorite. The bridges I kept thinking were Golden Gate or Bay. I use Flonase for my congestion because those STRIPS look like you're trying to hide a nose job.
Also liked the Outback offerings > STEAKS clue. I only went once and remember ordering a New York Strip. I asked for it rare and since nobody in all of Sacramento orders their STEAK rare, I got it medium. I never ever send back food unless there's a hair or a cockroach in it, but I did this once. Chef cooked it perfectly and didn't charge me for the baked potato!
I always enjoy Andrew Ries puzzles. I get on his wavelength. And even if I don't know an answer, I feel it's gettable. I wasn't familiar with the 1980 musical Barnum but what else could "Join the Circus" be? CLOWNS......
No Friday Google and so I'm off to check my SOCIAL IQ.

pmdm 10:05 AM  

The constructor mentions that he selected two seed entries that had characteristics that would result in a "smooth (if less flashy) grid." Boy, did he hit pay dirt. Would that the constructors whose goal is to be flashy reconsider their bent.

Wm. C. 10:05 AM  

@mick9:07 --

OWIE was a gimme for me with no crosses, as it was a few days ago.

The SW (especially) and the SE gave me trouble. In the SE, I couldn't get it out of my mind that Outback was a Suburu car, even though Outback is a model, not a provider, as the clue required.

In the SW I'd confidently written in AIRPORT.NAME for "JFK, for one." Even with OWIE, CANNED, and SDS in place, I was stuck because I was so committed to the JFK NAME. SECTS was also a recent repeat but didn't see it because I had A.ANON for "Resident of a Halfway House," across the JFK NAME.

So a rare DNF for me, as I came here and cheated out the CODE and TIDIED to give me the finish. Spent more time in that SW corner than for the rest of the puzzle, even with a problem in the SE.

Oh, well, easy for some, I guess, but not me.

jberg 10:20 AM  

@SouthsideJohnny -- Think of the song -- from Oklahoma! I think:

I love you
A Bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck

A peck is a fraction of a bushel, equal to 8 quarts

As for Tupperware, my first encounter was when my friend Dean's mother became a Tupperware agent; she had a lot of samples in her house. I'm sure her act included burping, but the real star turn was filling one of the containers with water, sealing it, then turning it upside down, tossing it around the room, etc. They were supposed to last forever, though I'm sure they did eventually come to rest in a landfill.

As a radical SDS type I came to look on them with scorn; but then I read a sociological article about working class women who threw Tupperware parties because it was the only way they could afford to throw a party at all; apparently the company paid for the refreshments.

Unlike everyone else, appararently, I came to 27A from the L, not the OY. I just figured that on a Friday a congested bridge had to be your nose, so I wrote in NASAL Spray. That mad the actress a lot easier -- no idea about "The Great Ziegfeld," but 3-letter actress from the 40s starting with L?

I was really slowed down by two writeovers, above mentioned Strips plus trA before SHA.

Nice write up, Aimee! Since no one has mentioned it, I guess I will: she may be a newby blog guest, but she's a veteran constructor over at

king_yeti 10:22 AM  

To Southside, a peck is a dry measure. Four of them in a bushel. 8 quarts in a peck

JC66 10:22 AM  



Malsdemare 10:40 AM  

Well, this was awfully easy but fun. TIPPI reminded me of the famous snark who called her Hitchcock's Teutonic Titwillow and abasing as it is, I still find it hysterical. I wasn't a housewife all that long, and with a SOCIALIQ somewhat south of my shoe size, I didn't get invited, much less go, to TUPPERWAREPARTYs, but I know what they were. They were one reason it was years before I worked to develop some social skills that would get me asked to boring parties, but by that time, the parties were much more interesting and at times for women who worked outside the home.

I did exactly what so many others did, struggling with NASALSTRIPS for forever. Had rOY before LOY, but RICARDO fell with just a few crosses. I saw ABN and thought, no, really? We're going to get ABNEGATE, and grinned when it became true. Christmas shopping to day for books. Any ideas on a smashing good story about a dog suitable for an eleven year old reading way above her grade? Dog can't die.

Nancy 10:42 AM  

You could have knocked me over with a TUPPERWARE dish when I saw the answer to 37A. I was looking for some kind of NEONATAL WING or CHILDCARE CENTER. I've never been to a TUPPERWARE PARTY and, believe me, it's going to stay that way.

Do people who go to TUPPERWARE PARTIES have a SOCIAL IQ? Or are they all CLOWNS?

The clue for CLOWNS (55A) is great, by the way. And I love the answer SO FAR SO GOOD.

Re 24D: Can you be defined as a mere AIRPORT CODE when you're actually an airport?

I enjoyed this puzzle. The fill was lively, and there were almost no proper names at all.

Sally Rogers 10:43 AM  

@Aketi, And if your grocery store has a canning supply section, you might find plastic screw- on lids. It's true! I'm a Ball jar fan myself.

Mo-T 10:44 AM  

This may sound weird, but in the 90s when I was organizing English Club student trips to Europe, I had to come up with lots of different ways for kids to raise funds.

Someone told me about a Tupperware "consultant" who was nearby and would be interested in doing a fundraiser. So the Club had a Tupperware sale, which was unbelievably successful. I kid you not, one student made almost $600 on that fund raiser alone.

Tupperware: The green solution to disposable plastic containers.

I liked the puzzle. It was fun and brought back lots of good memories of my former students.

Masked and Anonymous 10:45 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 10:45 AM  

Wait, what? I thought a satirist wrote satire, and a parodist wrote parody. They’re not the same thing.

And can someone enlighten me? What’s “icky” about either EXCON or its clue?

Nancy 10:51 AM  

Reading the blog, I see now that you burp the TUPPERWARE and not yourself. Whew! That's a relief. But if I'd known that, my first comment wouldn't have been nearly as much fun to write.

Lewis 11:13 AM  

@jberg -- "Bushel and a Peck" is from Guys and Dolls.

GILL I. 11:36 AM  

My all-time favorite: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
And: Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley.

The first one is an enchanting read about a young boy and his incredibly smart and clairvoyant dogs.
The second one I read because I have a love affair with dachshunds. It's a bit sad because it deals with death - but in a wonderfully and sweet way; one all of us pet lovers have to come to grips with.

I think both are suitable for a smart 11 year old but you can read the reviews and judge for yourself.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

Agrarian measure, bushels and pecks... as in lyrics to a song from ‘Oklahoma’ I think ...

'merican in Paris 11:39 AM  

My experience was like that of @mmorgan: hard then easy, hard then easy. In the end I had to consult Prof. Google to complete 14D (even though I had seen the movie), 17D (I know, I need to binge watch the Simpsons one of these days), and 29D (now that really was obscure).

However, especially thanks to @Lewis, I appreciate the construction feat.

One thing that held me up in the SE was a first slotted in gEneral for 62A. Finally saw SO FAR SO GOOD, which made me think of DE ..., and everything fell into place from there. Also had felON before EXCON, etc.


Probably doesn't pass the breakfast test for some of you (though by now you should have finished your second cuppa), but here's a fun fact: I must be in the bottom 1% of the population in terms of nasal passage diameter. It's not that my nose is small -- au contraire, if anything it's a proper schnozzle. It's just that my nasal passages are so close together that I can close them simply by inhaling suddenly through my nose. To engage in any exercise while breathing through my veritable proboscis, NASAL STRIPS are a must. All it would take to suffocate me would be to cover my mouth.

Send in the CLOWNS. (Don't bother, they're here.)

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

OK. So, I'm a lawyer and apparently don't have any social IQ, but I do have social IP, which is intellectual property, and pts made as much sense at qts, and I never heard of social IQ, so I got naticked. Speaking of which, I was dragged to the new Fabulous Beasts movie last night at a town next to Natick, and there were five of us at the movies and not at christmas parties, so I would say that confirms I like both social ip and social iq. For what its worth, here in Massachusetts, we don't have ex cons in half way houses. We use half way houses for the mentally ill and juvies and we dump the ex cons back on the streets to kill again.

GHarris 11:46 AM  

Once I crossed the bridge and got to the nose and stopped assuming that burping could only happen at some kind of fraternity party I was able to sprit home. Yes, yes I loved it.

jb129 11:51 AM  

Pleasantly "easy" for a Friday & I enjoyed it a lot!

Suzie Q 11:59 AM  

So much to love today. Every entry either had a clever funny clue or answer. If there were any stinkers in the bunch I didn't notice. Toss in some great vocabulary and childhood memories and we have a winner.
I always cruise the kitchen dept. of any second-hand store or garage sale looking for vintage Tupperware. The old collections had such soothing pastel colors.
@ Sally Rodgers, If you had been in the clue I still would have gotten hair bow.
My mother Shirley (named for Shirley Temple I'm sure) could never accept my fine blonde hair.
Wasn't Wayne's World mentioned the other day because of the Queen tribute puzzle?
Thanks for the fun Mr. Ries.

Carola 12:09 PM  

Beautiful grid. I wish the cluing had been tougher, though, to up the EFFORTS needed to complete it. First in for me: BARNUM x BAM, and the crosses kept me going clockwise right around to SHA.

Help from doing EONS of crosswords: SECTS, OXLIP, ATARI, SDS. No idea: NED FLANDERS.

TUPPERWARE PARTY: In their heyday, I didn't have enough money to buy anything but a set of 6 of those little shot-glass size ones, with lids. Awesome for baby food (Hi, @Gill I). Later on, at a PTA resale, I snagged an iceberg lettuce keeper (which I see has now achieved "vintage" status on, and which put in years of service, until somehow one was no longer buying iceberg lettuce. When did that happen? At the same time recipes stopped calling for just "oil" as an ingredient?

Anonymous 12:39 PM  

Thanks very much, Mr. Ries, for an enjoyable puzzle. Nice job!

Masked and Anonymous 12:44 PM  

p.s. Re-postin this, on account of clerical errors. Sorry.

First, thanx to Aimee today and Dan yesterday, for their super-excellent subjobs.
@Aimee: M&A didn't know some of this puz's stuff, either … different stuff than yer stuff, tho. Myrna LOY and burpin TUPPERWARE was no problemo, f'rinstance. AB-NEG ATE (but TYPE-O FASTED) was another matter, at our house. Always good to learn things from the puz, no matter which stuff it is, tho.

Overall, great fill … and fairly easy to solve. themelessthUmbsUp.
staff weeject pick: QTS. Plural abbrev meat and a POC splatzed into the finale square (yo, @AnoaBob). Nicely ab-negates the earlier lack of desperation. Like.

Openin weeject stacks in the NW (and ergo SE). YESYES.

Thanx for the fun solve, Mr. Ries.

Masked & AnonymoUUs
"AB-neg ate almost all my U's"
"Social IQ of a dessert steak"


ABNErmal biter:

Sally Rogers 12:51 PM  

@Suzie, Thanks for getting it. Barbie was dressed up to go to work with Buddy and Rob. Looked like way more fun than housework and I was right.

Crimson Devil 1:05 PM  

Enjoyed yes yes, clowns, dessert, steaks, nasalstrips, parodist. Learned sprit.
Don’t understand canned=let go ??

jae 1:06 PM  

Easy! Lots to like here, but way too easy for a Fri.b

TubaDon 1:21 PM  

     One of the easiest Fridays ever. Got the long anwers on the first try, and only hiccup was temporarily guessing the EYE of the OX instead of the LIP. I must say though, that the image of a batch of housewives burping at a party, is not one of my favorite takeaways from a crossword puzzle.

Nancy 1:22 PM  

@Sally Rogers (12:51) -- I never owned a Barbie, much less dressed her up for work or parties or any other occasion. But this I'm sure of: Anything is "way more fun than housework"!

Northwest Runner 1:32 PM  

I'll second what anon had to say. A parody is not a satire. You would never say that a writer of biographical works was an essayist. I'll pin this one on the editor and not the constructor. It's a fine word to use in a puzzle, but it needed to be clued more accurately.

JC66 1:34 PM  

@Crimson Devil

She got fired (CANNED) from a prestigious job, yesterday.

Hungry Mother 2:32 PM  

Yeah, easy. I’m in the Pacific Time Zone in Las Vegas, and I ran this morning, so I worked on the puzzle late morning. No big hangups.

Z 2:49 PM  

@Northwest Runner and @anon - I’ll grant that parodies are not necessarily satiric, but, then, EFFORTS are not necessarily struggles. To be a good clue the answer only has to be true at times. Are there PARODISTs who are being satirical? Yep. Most parodies are probably not satires and most satires probably don’t use parody. The clue and answer are still okay.

What She Said 3:27 PM  

Loved, loved, loved TUPPERWAREPARTY, in part because I’ve actually hosted one. It was in the early 90’s, and it was very tongue-in-cheek, but we did have a Tupperware rep come out and show us the goods. Party guests all donned whatever vintage togs we could find, with one of my male guests sporting a beard, a corset, a tutu, pearls, and combat boots. This was clearly new territory for the Tupperware lady (yeah, all the TV ads said “lady” back in the heyday of Tupperware and Avon), but she gamely made her pitch, and we did in fact buy lots of goods. I still use the nested measuring spoons and cups I bought that evening because they include unusual increments (1/8 tsp, 2/3c and 3/4c).

FWIW, young’ns, part of the deal with Tupperware is that it wasn’t ever sold in stores. Ever. (Like Herbalife, Amway, or cocaine.) There was no Amazon or eBay. The only way you could purchase virgin Tupperware, particularly in the colors or sizes that you wanted, was to order it at a Tupperware party.

(Androids may dream of electric sheep, but now I’m going to dream of Tupperware Jello molds...)

QuasiMojo 3:37 PM  

@Z, I’m down for a Thin Man remake, with Dagmar as Loy, but I hope they make the plot easier to understand.

Suzie Q 3:49 PM  

@ malsdemare, I second the suggestion by @ GILL.I of Edgar Sawtelle and add The Art of Racing in the Rain, One Good Dog, and The Watchers. That last one is by Dean Koontz and I hope the title is correct. Happy shopping.

Bourbon Street 4:42 PM  

I don’t know if Tupperware created the idea of selling merchandise at parties, but other vendors have picked up on the idea. Thus, I have been to Mary Kay makeup parties, wine parties, candle parties, lingerie parties, kitchen gadget parties, and Amway parties, but never a TUPPERWARE PARTY.

My niece had only a few wisps of hair until she was about one and a half years old and her hair really didn’t start coming in thick until she was about three (now she has a great head of hair). No Minnie HAIR BOWS for her.

Anonymous 4:44 PM  


Teedmn 4:58 PM  

@Suzie Q and @Gill I, I don't agree that "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" is a good choice for an 11 year-old, even though I, too, loved the book.

SPOILER ALERT, it's a modern re-imagining of Hamlet - everybody dies! @malsdemare specified that the dog shouldn't die.

My suggestion for a great dog book, and I'm 99.9999% sure the dog doesn't die, is "Champion Dog: Prince Tom" by Jean Fritz, Tom Clute. I read it as a kid; my neighbors owned it and I borrowed it every chance I got. Loved that book.

Crimson Devil 5:00 PM  

Thanks for not adding “Duh” !!

Suzie Q 5:36 PM  

@ Teedmn, I think you might be right. I do remember the Terhune collie books but I don't know if they are more for younger readers.
Lad: A Dog is a classic.

Unknown 6:14 PM  

Guys and Dolls

Unknown 6:17 PM  

Getting “canned” means getting fired.

old timer 7:40 PM  

tupperware is good stuff. My wife has had some for about 50 years. Lasts forever, easy to wash, and the best way to store food to put in the refrigerator.

The puzzle was easy for a Friday, which means I completed it with no errors and no lookups.

What? 9:59 PM  

Surprisingly easy for a Friday

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

Quibble: Getting "Naticked" is only applicable when proper nouns are crossedthat have no way of inferring an answer. Quarts and IQ are just answers you didn’t think of today...

Aketi 10:00 AM  

@Anonymous 8:51 am, haha, I left out that my work involves parents with newborn babies.

Burma Shave 10:24 AM  


those CLOWNS’ EFFORTS aren’t REAL well-knowed.
SO . . . SOFARSOGOOD for the CIA


spacecraft 11:15 AM  

I wouldn't call this easy. 10-down had me flummoxed for the EONS, it seemed. Had NASA and was thinking, of course, the kind of "bridges" you build across the River Kwai et al. So what was NASA doing with bridges?? Never thought of oldtime DOD Myrna LOY; I went with Eddie FOY. Then eventually when I came around to the middle east (hardest and last to finish), and filled in STRIPS, the bulb finally lit.

SE was somewhat sticky too, till I got rid of Stet for the ed.'s convenience and, finally picking up on the abbr. in the clue, realized it was a book publishing ed., to whom aspiring authors enclose the SASE. Then was puzzled about the ending of SOCIAL__. Never heard of that kind of IQ, but...YESYES, I got it.

As my EFFORTS were successful, I collected some triumph points. Not the toughest Friday ever, but I'd say, medium for the day. Birdie.

rondo 11:36 AM  

Pretty sure that it was Shadrach, Meshach and ABNEGATE that EONS ago were CAST into the fiery furnace to improve their SOCIALIQ. All it took was a TUPPERWAREPARTY held out in NEDFLANDERS’ field and BAM, MASSES of CLOWNS and DROIDS were saved through those EFFORTS.

YESYES, pretty easy puz save for self-induced calamity like NASALSpRayS, AIRPORTnamE and amA before CIA.

Myrna LOY in the pre-code The Barbarian really made the censors sit up and take notice. Yeah baby. Except for emboldening the code makers. OWIE. Or there’s TIPPI Hedren from right here in MN and her daughter Melanie Griffith and grand-daughter Dakota Johnson.

Well, that’s enough of my MESSY INPUT, I’ve probably driven you all to TEARS. OK puz.

Diana, LIW 11:44 AM  

Fairly easy Friday after a fairly easy Thursday. You know what that means. All the difficulty must be saving itself up for tomorrow. I predict a Saturday bear. You heard it here first.

This was one of those, "Well, here's a guess. Hey - whattaya know? It's right!" kind of puzzles for me.

Diana, Lady in Waiting for trouble tomorrow

thefogman 12:38 PM  

Rex's fill-in found this one to be easy. Me, NOTSO much. SOFARSOGOOD was my SLOGAN while I conquered the NE corner at ALLEGRO SPEEDS. Then I had a few STOPs and starts. Things got a little MESSY in the west but I kept at it and BAM! my EFFORTS were rewarded. This one RICES above most. Nothing REAL TIPPI and not much to IRK. And plenty of TEASErs in the cluing to challenge every LOBE of my GRAY matter. YESYES, ANITA break now. Perhaps some SECTS? :-) Anyhoo, Bravo to Andrew Ries for raising the STEAKS on a Friday. I hope he never DESSERTS us.

DMG 3:25 PM  

Figured the young-uns would have problems with this one-old time memories, Myrna Loy, and no rapper names! Mention of Tupperware really brought back memories. Tupperware parties, in my experience, were usually hosted (hostessed?) by a not-to-close acquaintance who had cast a wide net in sending invitations so as to reap more goodies from the event. In addition to the few bowls I ibought at these events, I was blessed with an out of town sister-in-law who was apparently an avid Tupperware supporter for years. All our Christmas gifts, some of them actually Tupperware. Came "boxed" in Tupperware! I ended up with a pretty major collection (ham carrier, anyone?) of what they had to offer. On the bright side, it was really desireable as just about the only thing out there that did the job at that time, and it lasts forever. I'm still using some sod it like 60 years later! Don't visit here often anymore, but still enjoy reading what others share.

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

I still don't get repro for dupe.

spacecraft 7:03 PM  

@anon 5:55: dupe-->duplication; repro-->reproduction. Shorthand...or "shortmouth."

rondo 7:15 PM  

a REPROduction is a dupe-lication, think Xerox copy

thefogman 7:23 PM  

To Anon @ 5:55 PM,

Dupe is shorthand for duplicate. Repro is shorthand for reproduction. Both are synonymous.

strayling 7:33 PM  

Reproduction/duplicate. Yeah, it's a bit weak.

leftcoastTAM 8:23 PM  

Liked a lot about this puzzle, especially the long downs (all five of them) and the one grid-spanning across, TUPPERWARE PARTY, that made this pleasurable and gettable.

Favorites: Myrna LOY, SID Caesar and, in a different way, SOCIAL IQ, which presumably was pretty high for both of them.

"Dupe" clue for REPRO was a ? And so was "Napoleon" DESSERT. But what else could they be?

Friendly Friday.

thefogman 8:30 PM  

LOL! Plenty of DUPE responses re Anon 5:55 PM

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP