Flowers named after Greek physician of gods / THU 9-12-19 / Refrain from Mulan before with all force of great typhoon / 2001 title role for Audrey Tautou / Place in canopic jars say / Longtime staple of Thurs night TV

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Constructor: Grant Thackray

Relative difficulty: Medium? (computer froze / rebooted in the middle, had to start over)

THEME: Q puns — familiar phrases respelled as Q-containing homophones, then clued wackily:

Theme answers:
  • WIDOW'S PIQUE (19A: Fury at a husband leaving his entire estate to his mistress?)
  • CLIQUE BAIT (25A: What an in-group uses for fishing?)
  • THAT'S MY QUEUE (37A: "Oh, I'm supposed to be in the line over there?)
  • BOOT LIQUOR (54A: Some alcohol smuggled into a rodeo, say?)
  • MARQUEE MARK (59A: Smudge on a theater sign?)
Word of the Day: NO SOAP (68A: "Fuhgeddaboudit!") —
No luck; no chance; certainly not. (Often said as a response, indicating a total refusal orrejection.) Primarily heard in US. (
• • •

Solved first thing in the morning, which is never ever a good time for my brain to try processing wacky homophonic phrases, ugh. These are fine, though honestly it has taken me a while to see what, exactly, is *consistent* about this theme. Middle themer threw me because it wasn't a rewrite of a terminal "K" sound. It was an initial hard "C" instead, which, OK, is the same sound, technically, but spelled with a different letter and, in this case, at the front of the word, not the back. MARQUEE MARK was the hardest for me to get, because, like SEEST and ESSO and ERAT and NO SOAP, he is bygone. Also, on that one, the stress is on the wrong syLLAble, i.e. it's Mar' ky Mark but MARQUEE' MARK. This grid was 16 wide so that the even-numbered third themer could sit squarely in the middle. The fill was occasionally good (MAN OH MAN!) but mostly skewed toward dull and occasionally yuck. It's a super broken-up / segmented grid. Felt fussy to solve. Lots of short stuff with vague cluing. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't like it either. I'm going to leave off the evaluation portion of the program now, as INURN is really trying to make the case for "bad" and I don't want to let it (58A: Place in canopic jars, say).

NO SOAP is familiar to me because I like old-timey movies and expressions, but many people today are going to be wondering what the hell? "Fuhgeddaboudit!" is pretty contemporary, whereas NO SOAP is decidedly bygone, a relic from the early / mid 20th century. There's a good write-up on the idiom here. The salient quote from the article, though, is this: "From my vantage point in the UK, this classic Americanism appears to have largely died out, remembered and occasionally used only by older people" (worldwidewords). You have a responsibility to clue things in roughly equivalent fashion, and these clues don't feel equivalent to me, particularly in that one is current and one is not. I actually use the phrase NO DICE, but only use the phrase NO SOAP when talking about a regrettable restroom. 

Liked seeing RPG (not that I really like abbrs. that much, but the one for "role-playing game" is a familiar, common one I don't recall seeing very often). Didn't really like the clue on ONEA, but I'm never gonna like ONEA, no matter what clue you throw at it (15A: What Elvis Aaron Presley's middle name is spelled with on his birth certificate). "BE A MAN" probably shouldn't be in a grid with "MAN OH MAN"—certainly not in the same half of the grid. Oh, BARBQS is horrible-looking (4D: Some Labor Day events, informally). BAR-B-QS? How do you punctuate that? I think the plural is making it worse. That's all for today.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 6:13 AM  

There are some moments that only happen in crosswords, that only a crowd like the commenters here might identify with. One of those for me is the relief that floods over me the moment I figure out the theme on the Thursday puzzle. Thursday is all about cracking the trick, and until that happens, for me at least, it's all "What is it?" and "Where is it?". Then, when the answer finally hits, it comes with a huge "Aaaahhh" -- for me, a signature crossword moment.

That happened early today, and spurred a relatively quick and a most happy solve fueled by the cleverness of the theme answers. Thank you, Grant!

I did notice a mini-theme of double E's (6), and as I walked away from the puzzle, I laughed as another signature crossword moment -- the brain still subconsciously reacting to the theme post-solve -- occurred, as "Peter Torque" popped into my head.

Bageleater 6:48 AM  

Yeah, NO SOAP is A pretty old turn of phrase, but is that so bad? Isn’t it nice for older folks to know a few things and be better at SOMETHING in our youth-obsessed culture? Rex is sensitive to a lot of issues, but often displays a note of ageism.

Anonymous 7:11 AM  

I agree that No Soap is a bit of a head scratcher. I’m in my early 50s and don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say this in real life. However my brain must recognize it on some level, if only from having seen it in crosswords, because I filled it in easily enough upon seeing six letters ending OAP. I agree that some of the fill was so so, but it seems I was more impressed by the theme answers than Rex. Liked it.

kitshef 7:20 AM  

So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie. And at the same time a great she-bear, coming down the street, pops its head into the shop.
What, NO SOAP?
So she very imprudently married the barber.

Great fun! This was an order of magnitude superior to yesterday’s puzzle.

Susie 7:37 AM  

I still don't get "cliquebait" . Can someone please explain?

Netizen 7:39 AM  

Gee Rex, where’s your outrage over convicted hate-crime committing racist Marky Mark? I guess his physique must have drained you.

Joaquin 7:53 AM  

I print the puzzle and do them on paper and never time myself. But that had to be as fast a Thursday as I have ever done. And while it was fun to rip through a late week puzzle feeling smug and smart, I do prefer a more challenging (and trickier) Thursday.

I was disappointed to get to the bottom and not have some sort of punch line. I was fully expecting a ‘URAQT” or some similar finishing touch.

Birchbark 7:56 AM  

EYED UP symmetry with BE A MAN crossing [gasp] BEAVER, MAN OH MAN next to OOLALA, CLIQUE BAIT and an adulterous husband jilting his WIDOW. Yikes, this plays to the @Rex danger buttons. But he didn't rise to the bait on this one, and that is how the big fish grow bigger.

"Would you kindly die, Pierre?" -- CROQUE MONSIEUR

pabloinnh 7:59 AM  

Puzzle theme-"That's My Q?". Nah, probably not. I liked this one a lot, but not for the pun haters in our group.

Unlike OFL, I'm old enought to remember a joke like, she wanted to be a bubble dancer, but her father said NOSOAP. That passed for funny, back in the day.

Thanks for a fun, if not especially thorny Thursday,

QuasiMojo 8:11 AM  

For the last time: It's "ooh la la" -- not "oo" ever.

"When love comes in
And takes you for a spin,
Ooh-la-la-la, c'est magnifique!
when every night
Your love one holds you tight,
Ooh-la-la-la, c'est magnifique."

Cole Porter

Tim Aurthur 8:12 AM  

Barbie queues would be a line of dolls.

Hungry Mother 8:12 AM  

Very fast solve today. Less than one cup of coffee. Loved the theme. Resting today after six 5Ks on the trail yesterday.

Harryp 8:17 AM  

Very easy Thursday, got the theme early with CLIQUEBAIT, then WIDOWSPIQUE. It seems like BAE is popping up all the time now. Liked it a lot.

GHarris 8:32 AM  

I assume clique bait means a subject that is photo worthy. Yes? Found it fun and relatively easy once I changed noes to nays. Also learned a few things like loquat.

Nancy 8:41 AM  

I pronounce this puzzle QUEUE-t (for you to pronounce in one syllable). Enjoyable and smoothly constructed, if a bit easy for a Thursday. Puns based on homophones are not a uniQUE puzzle theme, but this one still felt fresh. All the themers are well-clued.

And a QUEUE-t bit of cluing in the non-themers: the "pocket your checks"/"check your pockets" reversal. Nice job -- although all my really DEEP thinking had to be done yesterday.

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

Click bait -- a deceptive headline meant to attract attention.

Roz 8:47 AM  

@Susie, On the internet, “clickbait” is content, sometimes deceptive or misleading, aimed at getting you to click on a particular web page or advertisement.

Ω 9:12 AM  

I liked this bit of word play quite a bit. I did wonder about AMELIE crossing LOQUAT, it’s a great movie but a foreign film crossing a Japanese plum seemed a little naticky to me. I was surprised that Rex didn’t point it out. I also wondered if anyone got SFO quicker today from reading recent comments here.

I solved this thinking this is going to be a banner day for @M&A.

@Bageleater - Ageism in the USA works in the opposite direction, the game is tilted towards us olds. This is sometimes hidden by the fact that pop culture skews towards the 19-24 year old demographic. But make no mistake, pop culture is a huge wealth transfer from young people to old people. That the transfer is not evenly distributed amongst us olds is another issue altogether, but that isn’t ageism, that’s classism.

@Netizen - He did his time and has expressed regret. See the difference? As far as I know there are no monuments or statues of the guy. And he apparently makes a great burger (although I can’t believe any burger is good enough for that amount of hype).

SouthsideJohnny 9:19 AM  

Interesting that Robert E. Lee warrants a classic Rex venom-spew, yet Mark Wahlberg doesn’t even get a turn of the head.

puzzlehoarder 9:23 AM  

I am so not a theme person. Even after putting in WIDOWSPIQUE I still managed to put CLICKEBAIT in without noticing that E In the middle. This goes to show my indifference to themes as well as my ability to ignore the obvious if it doesn't fit in with whatever misconception of the moment I happen to be working with. Along with my SEETH/SEEST write over I really had to step back and reassess that section.

This still came in at average Thursday even with 50D missing it's H. Almost 12 minutes faster than yesterday. If I do well on Friday and Saturday's puzzles this might end up being one of the rare weeks where Wednesday's puzzle turns out to be the toughest.

Thomaso808 9:35 AM  

DNF on the NOSOAP / UTA cross. I thought it might be NOSOuP as in the Seinfeld soup nazi with the clue Fuhgeddaboudit being a NY thing. The cross was no help at all.

Anonymous 9:36 AM  

Fastest thursday ever for me!

RooMonster 9:38 AM  

Hey All !
Actually saw the 16 wide grid today, so the ole brain continues to work, which is a good thing. (t)HAR.

Lots 'o U's for those of us who are aware (woke?) about such things. :-) Two F's, as I know you also care DEEPly about that.

Liked the rephrasing of common phrases to include Q's. Made for a fun solve. First themer I got was BOOT LIQUOR, let out a chuckle. Also had some fun clues, UMP, NO I.

Writeovers, SEEth-SEEST, iRa-ARI (dyslexia strikes again), faq-MAP (thinking that was where the Q was in the first themer), ERe-ERI, UNSeal-UNSTOP.

BARBQS grated a bit.
MAN OH MAN, OO LA LA(Warning! Possible sexist phrase ahead!) What you say when you see a sexy women?


oldbizmark 9:40 AM  

Like Thomaso808, I DNFed due to the UTa/SOaP cross. I too assumed it was NO SOUP and UTU sounds as good as UTA. Better puzzle than yesterday (no surprise there) but other than the UTA/SOAP cross, too easy for a Thursday.

jberg 10:02 AM  

@Susie, that's because you are pronouncing CLIQUE properly (rhymes with Greek), while most contemporary Americans pronounce it "click." Not shutter clicks, @GHarris, but mouse clicks on a website, which can count as the basis for ad revenue, if you happen to be selling ads.

Sadly, I did not have a Canadian coin handy, and thought that if I did it would have a maple leaf on the back. Since that didn't work, I put in lEAVEs. Never seen Mulan, so I thought maybe lEAMAN was a character's name. STIs made no sense, but I gave up and decided it was weird slang (as opposed to ordinary slang, such as NO SOAP).

Another sign of old age: MUD before RPG.

Despite the DNF, I enjoyed figuring out the theme answers.

Noam D. Elkies 10:06 AM  

Re: 46D:BE_A_MAN vs. 39D:MAN_OH_MAN -- at least 26D:BEAST wasn't clued for "be a saint" . . .

Banya 10:09 AM  

I'm surprised Rex didn't mention ONEA *and* LINEA in the same puzzle.
Overall, I liked it. It didn't have a Thursday trick, which I don't mind. The puns made me chuckle. It was definitely better than yesterday's monstrosity.
I've never heard of NOSOAP.

I'm not the greatest crossword solver, so if I can finish a Thursday without help, it's on the easy side.

Gretchen 10:11 AM  

Fun theme!

What? 10:13 AM  

Fun and pretty easy. Sort of makes up for yesterday’s disaster.

Katzzz 10:34 AM  

Also an old absurdist punchline: “No soap. Radio.”

David 10:40 AM  

I was 1-A once, so no soap is quite familiar to me. I was doing downs, as usual, and found a strange number of "Q"s in the puzzle, which made the theme answers pretty obvious to me.

Nice to have nurses clued as more than givers of "TLC" too, thanks for that.

Erat und Unum, I liked this puzzle pretty well. So much nicer than yesterday.

bagelboy 10:46 AM  

i also got hung up on the AMELIE/ERI/LOQUAT crossing. Figued the L was the most likely to fill out _OQUAT and ran the vowels on _RI.

Joe Dipinto 10:47 AM  

"Honey, do these jeans make me look 'good' fat, like yesterday, or 'bad' fat?"

This was okay. Seems like this idea must have been done before, and probably in reverse too. But it works just fine. On the subject of old-timeyness, "cats" vs. "squares"?

♪ Why don't you be a man about it and set me free
Now you don't care a thing about me, you're just using me
Go on, get out, get out of my life ♪

Sarah 10:48 AM  

Found this pretty easy, but I was struck by the old timey cluing. NOSOAP? Marky Mark? Really?

Paul Rippey 11:07 AM  

@Birchbark ‘s CROQUE MONSIEUR made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

Jeff 11:11 AM  


Newboy 11:11 AM  

Someday I will learn how to spell MARQUE? With its second E and sort out who UTA is (not uma sadly for me). But today was not that day: DNF.....long siiiigh! Still an enjoyable way to start the day; BOOT LIQUOR as @Lewis noted first was payoff enough for other moments of frustrating MAN OH MAN staring with jaw agape.

albatross shell 11:17 AM  

Easier and faster than yesterday here. EasY for a Thursday too.

NOSOAP jumped right in for me. My father, from Cleveland (regionalism?), would say it. OK, did research. 1860s: No soap meant no money. 1918: Great Lakes naval training station. No soap was a local substitute for "nothing stirring." It transformed to "won't happen" and was spread by draftees writing home. Raymond Chandler used it in The Big Sleep.

MARQUEMARK is the one that meant nothing to me, but it filled in anyway.

As I often do I filled in the last letter of the puzzle without noticing it was the last letter. If I notice I check for errors and typos first. I had a typo. The last letter I typed in was the G in GRR. And the GRR message saying you messed up stupid, popped up. Irritating and amusing.

TJS 11:19 AM  

So RPG is "familiar" and "common", but "not seen very often". Huh ?

If all you kids get RPG and bae, I get "no soap".

Hey @Z, I bet R.E.Lee had a lot of regrets too.

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

my recollection, from the ether not experience, was that WoW was a Mxxx not an RPG, which is a rocket propelled grenade. checking the innterTubes, it's a MMOG, sometimes shortened to MMO.

Carola 11:34 AM  

Medium for me and fun to solve. With WIDOW"S PIQUE showing me the theme early, I tested myself on how quickly I could get the others. The only one that went right in was THAT'S MY QUEUE; BOOT LIQUOR and MARQUEE MARK put up a nice Thursday level of resistance. An extra smile for NO SOAP.

Masked and Anonymous 11:38 AM  

A ThursPuz on the Q-T [Q-themers]!
This'll do just fine, thanx. Got yer grade-A dozen U's. Plus, there's a CUBIT in yer CLIQUEBAIT, if U is from Mars.

Did have some initial trouble figurin out CLIQUEBAIT and WIDOWSPIQUE, so the theme was clear but unclear, for a spell, there. CLICK-BAIT is evidently somethin on a web page that tempts folks to mouse click on it, I guess, right? WIDOW'S PEAK is some sorta hairline shape, but I was thinkin WIDOW-SPEAK, for way too long, as raised-by-hair-everywhere-wolves M&A just plain didn't know any better.

NW ate up the nanoseconds, due to LOT (as clued) and BARBQS (as spell-casted) and ALBOM. All that, plus I self-chocked my peckets on MEAtIEST and SEEth, for several nsecs too long. Fillins dooo lean perilously close to emittin an Ow de Speration at times, but that's probably a puzprice U pay for a snootful of Q-themers.
[Shout at the Indy 500 tailgatin party: "Gentlemen, UNSTOP yer BARBQS!"] t-HAR.

Did know AMELIE (got the DVD on it), so the NE held fewer traps for masked dudes.
staff weeject picks: IRS & TSA. Joined at both hips by that whole primo check(s)/pocket(s) cluin shtique.

BAD FAT! ... U go sit in the corner, while all these day-older, nice cinnamon roll GOOD FATS watch the "Amelie" flick. Plus a D-Duck cartoon, of course.

Thanx for the big barrel of good, squirUffy fUn, Mr. ThaQUO-ray.

Masked & Anonymo12Us


GILL I. 11:42 AM  

Que nice and I got an added bonus with a huge chuckle thanks to @Birchbarks "Would you kindly die, Pierre?"....Ooh, I would've loved had that one been included....
Well, anyway, I enjoyed this mucho mucho querido. Loves me some Q's. When I figured out WIDOWS PIQUE, I let out a little squeak.
Biggest hangup was reading 1A as extremely instead of extremity. I had the L for LOT and forgot about THAR she blows. My son, at a young age, would say that out loud every time his Dad would go to the bathroom. He loved that kind of humor. . AND...speaking of LOT. They used to fly Russian made airplanes and, well, you know about those. I flew them once from Chicago to Gdansk. I couldn't tell what kind of aircraft it was and I was scared stiff. Turns out the flight was quite comfortable and the crew were phenomenal. The food wasn't bad and the drinks were free. I was a booze LIQUOR. Seeing Gdansk was worth any fears I might have had. And no, they don't fly out of SFO....
NO SOAP is new to me and I'm no spring chicken.
I worked at BEAVER college and now I understand they changed the name. Who would want BEAVER on their application forms!
Don't know who MARQUEE MARK is and don't care. I've heard the name and thought it @Nancy QUEU-t.
Thanks for this fun puzzle - especially after yesterday's UGH fest.

RAD2626 11:45 AM  

Totally agree with @Lewis that 1) Thursdays are scary until the gimmick reveals itself 2) this was an easy gimmick to ferret out.
Liked puzzle a lot. Did not ruminate much about NO SOAP but just dialed it in. Seemed fine to me.
Have tried to watch AMELIE three or four times and never get past 20 minute mark.
Small nit: would have used “phishing” in CLIQUE BAIT” clue rather than “fishing”.

Seth 12:01 PM  

Can anyone here explain to me how "cat's opposite" is "square?" I feel like there's a double meaning I must be missing.

Joseph M 12:12 PM  

Suffered from rebus separation as I solved this Thursday puzzle and realized that it was only going to be about Q’s.

It’s a clever theme with some good wordplay (such as clues for SQUARE, IRS / TSA, UMP, and UNUM) but I think yesterday’s and today’s puzzles should have been swapped to fit the NYT’s usual levels of difficulty for days of the week.

I second @Quasi’s objection to OO LA LA and add another one for BARBQ. Also groaned over answers like ONE A, LINE A, and NO I. What is this? A spelling bee?

ERNURSES looks like some kind of a physical condition that you don’t want to get (much worse than KNEE PAIN)

NO SOAP for the three men in BEAMAN and MANOHMAN. Add a reference to Marky Mark and the testosterone level of this puzzle is off the charts.

albatross shell 12:38 PM  

@Newboy 1111 am
Me too apparently.
@1117am. Har.

Cassieopia 12:50 PM  

Put me in the NOSOuP crowd. Fascinating strange little articles appear in the Google when looking for the origins of NOSOAP. I still don’t get it. Add in “radio” and count me as double confused.

Ethical musing: was I wrong to LOL when MARQUISMARK appeared in the grid?

Too young for NOSOAP but old enough to remember reading print copies of the Detroit Free Press. Mitch ALBOM was a sports writer back then, and I would always flip to the sports section first to see what he had written, despite having little interest in sports per se. This was before his “Tuesdays with Morrie” megahit.

Awesome clue for PEONIES.

Ethical musing: was I wrong to LOL when I realized that KEANU was clued as an actor?

old timer 12:53 PM  

I would have done much better if I had not kept misreading the clues. For instance, I put in Aron (such a common xword entry) instead of ONEA, and confidently wrote in Enos, Adam's grandson I think, instead of ESAU, who was Abraham's. Plus I was sure OUTTAKES was actually some kind of "track".

A well crafted puzzle all the same. I liked IRS/TSA. flanked by CSI. I do wish BEAST had been given an Ogden Nash clue (The one-l lama, he's a priest, the two-l llama, he's a BEAST). And KNEEPAIN smells a little of green paint.

Missing @LMS today. My heart goes out to her, as I imagine her every waking hour out of class is consumed by drawing up lesson plans for the new school year, trying desperately to keep up.

Cassieopia 12:56 PM  

@Seth 12:01, think, “He digs jazz, he is such a cool cat!” Vs “He wears a pocket protector, what a square.”

Teedmn 1:14 PM  

A fun puzzle today, even with my multiple misQUEUEs. I had the MushIEST apples in the NW. Morrie ALBOM helped me reconfigure that one but I had a total brain misfire in that I thought Elvis was missing an R in his middle name. That made 15A read ONE "r" and left 4D as BrRBQS. Is a double R part of the Thursday trick, I wondered? I finally came to my senses and saw BAR-B-QS (which I don't like but oh, well.)

13D, "You got me" I interpreted as someone coming clean rather than being stumped, so I put in "I did it". Later, still interpreting it incorrectly but now with "I DUN it" in place made me think, "eww" but KEANU came to my rescue.

Last, but not least, was my 52D cluelessness. SQU_RE crossing _SIS and without reading the clue for 63A, I plopped in SQUiRE and tried to parse that as "Cat" somehow. A reading of the 63A clue cured that but really, some days I wonder about myself.

Grant Thackray, nice job.

Carola 1:24 PM  

@Seth and @Cassieopia, the clue made me think immediately of Elvis's "You're So Square, Baby I Don't Care." One of those times it helps to be old.

Susie 1:27 PM  

Thanks to those who explained cliquebait. I guess I am losing ground with technology references. My daughter tries to keep me current but it's a daunting task.

Teedmn 1:32 PM  

@kitshef's NO SOAP quote reminded me of a story from the 80's. I was getting ready to leave for work when I got a call from a friend who lived a few blocks away. He had leapt out the door to catch his cat and got locked out, dressed only in robe and slippers. I don't even know how he called me - possibly collect from the public phone at the nearby convenience store. He wondered if he could come by and get the spare key he had given me to keep for him.

I went outside to wait for him and got the biggest laugh, watching him come down the sidewalk in deshabille, flapping and flopping. When he reached me, he had an addendum to his indignity - while waiting to cross at the light across from the convenience store, a woman waiting for the bus EYED him UP and down and asked, "NO SOAP?"

jae 1:44 PM  

Easy-medium. Fun and amusing, liked it.

@oldtimer - me too for Aron
It helps if you read the entire clue.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

odd that xwordsters don't grok the difference between MARQUE and MARQUEE. this isn't a matter of alternative spellings.

kitshef 2:18 PM  

Just now realized I left a bit out of my Samuel Foote quote.

"So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber".

Lori 2:21 PM  

could you explain the cat square clue to me?

RooMonster 2:46 PM  

See @Cassieopia 12:56

RooMonster Just A Little Bit of Help Department

Lori 4:20 PM  


Doug Garr 4:42 PM  

I was at this puzzle all day and finally finished after going back two or three times, per the usual advice when you're stumped (take a break). Once I got half-way done I thought I could finish it. The theme answers were pretty good. And once I saw the Qs I got inspired.

Anonymous 4:42 PM  

could you explain the cat square clue to me?

well... there's the latest Miles Davis CD, said to be his last recording. you'll cool.

Ω 5:27 PM  

@TJS - Feel free to share any of his own words where he expresses a single iota of regret for being a traitor, slavery, or 600,000 deaths. His only real regret seems to have been losing the war.

Uke Xensen 5:48 PM  

"the same sound, technically"

Hahaha. It's the same sound.

Kevin 6:45 PM  

I’m just reading the comment now, and I’m surprised not to see anyone else pointing out the big problem with the themers: CLIQUE is NOT pronounced CLICK. The word is pronounced CLEEK. In fact, my desktop dictionary don’t even give CLICK as an alternative. It might be commonly said that way, but it isn’t.

xyz 7:49 PM  


(HEP) CAT or SQUARE, man you one or the other?

UTA crossing NO SOAP meh

I wasted time with OO(H) LA LA trying to find a rebus.

Oh bother, two clever by half.

Blackbird 8:29 PM  

No soap, radio. Punchline.

CT2Napa 8:36 PM  

the “Tech school in Cambridge”s mascot is a beaver

Anonymous 9:13 PM  

Rod the Mod and I agree with QuadiMojo. Poor young grandson ...

JimG 9:13 AM  

And clue-writers think a MARQUEE is the sign, instead of a canopy or projecting awning or roof.

Burma Shave 9:07 AM  


IDUNNO, that WIDOW’SPIQUE is moot, MAN,OHMAN, I’ll leave her,


spacecraft 9:53 AM  

Wow, second day in a row for JCBMTF (Just Couldn't Bring Myself To Finish). Come ON, MAN!! UNSTOP?? No, you uncork--but CORK IS IN THE DAMN CLUE!! "Look at, biblically" = SEEST?? Note: the clue does NOT say "Looks at." What is going on here? Is there an editor or isn't there?? Apparently there is such a thing it clickbait?? Whatever. Too tech for me. BARBQS, now there's one. Abbreviated: BBQS. Unabbreviated: barbecues. This is a half-breed. Why abbreviate half your term?? Terrible! And after all this I hit the NE Natick. Who the hell is Audrey Tautou?? And what on God's earth is a Japanese plum? Well, THATSMYQUEUE to say IQUIT!

Somebody please wake up Will Shortz, or call him back from vacation, or something. We need help!

rondo 10:12 AM  

I found this puz rather EZ with CLIQUEBAIT falling first amongst themers and the rest following along. Good thing for crosses or that Japanese plum woulda been blank forever. I so did not want to fill INURN with the IN__ just sitting there, but alas.

I’ve gotta mow and trim around those dang PEONIES all spring, summer, and fall, and for what? Maybe a week’s worth of flowers? IQUIT. Better off with hydrangeas.

Ever go into a church, see a stained glass window, and say, “Nice APSE.”?

IDUNNO for sure, but expect KEANU might get a yeah BAE from the ladies. UND MANOHMAN, Audrey Tatou as AMELIE, or any other role – OOLALA.

Liked it a LOT more than OFL and better than a rebus.

Charlotte 2:08 PM  

I have a loquat tree in my yard. My mom brought a seed back from the Canary Islands 20+ years ago. It is small, ornamental, and happy in the Pacific NW. It finally made fruit the last couple of years. To me, the fruits are like somewhat mealy apricots. Okay.

rainforest 2:54 PM  

I got the 'theme' at CLIQUE BAIT and I was going to write a short essay on the many CLIQUEs at my high school, in none of which was I a member unless "nerds" qualifies as one, but I defer.

Barbeque, barbecue, BARBQ, BBQ--all the same to me. I've seen 'em all.

Clever use of Q-words and a generally entertaining puzzle

leftcoast 6:12 PM  

Very clever, lots of fun. Didn't get the QUE gimmick until MARQUEEMARK, which served as a revealer of the others. Favorite was WIDOWSPIQUE, but liked the others, too.

NE was toughest: the side-by-side LOQUANT/IDUNNO/EYEDUP (and down?). Elsewhere, wanted STOicaLY (missing a second L) before STOLIDLY, Steve before KEANU, and Unplug before UNSTOP.

PEONIES are my favorite flowers. Very fragrant, very plush, but unfortunately short-lived -- though that is inherent in their rare and fleeting beauty. Appreciated the clue noting their classical heritage.

Diana, LIW 9:29 PM  

Now this was lots and lots of fun. A real Q T.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

StellaBlue 3:08 PM  

Thank you. "No soap. Radio". This is what I dimly remember as the punchline to some old comedian's act. Probably on the Ed Sullivan Show. The line also, I think, figures in an episode of MASh.

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