Marriageable quaintly / SAT 9-14-19 / One of 23 for Matt Stairs / Symbol of angular velocity / Fish with symbiotoic relationship with sharks / supra Latin phrase in a scholarly paper / Biggie in rap business / European coal center / Where Joan of Arc was held captive

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (6:27)


THEME: none

Word of the Day: IN STIR (17A: Finishing a sentence, say) —

STIR—noun Slang.

prison. (dictionary.com)
• • •

LOL white men putting VIRTUE SIGNALING in the grid (10D: Sharing of a moral viewpoint to gain social approval). This puzzle is so on-brand. I mean, this is exactly the kind of term I'd expect to find in a puzzle that just this week was reminding us all of the glory of Confederate monuments. That's a term used predominantly by those who are real mad that they can't be as openly racist and homophobic as they used to be in the good ol' days. People who use that term also use terms like "P.C." and "SJW" and NUBILE (probably) (41D: Marriageable, quaintly). Super-popular term with right-wing "thought" "leaders." Aggrieved white men love the term. And it's rich coming from an editor who has struggled to keep racism / sexism / classism out of his puzzles. I say "struggled," but that implies he cares or is trying, so maybe not. Anyway, you can dodge criticism of your terrible behavior by calling the criticism "VIRTUE SIGNALING," but your behavior won't be any less terrible. I'm not "virtuous" for pointing this out. Just a sentient person with a capacity for empathy. It's fun! Costs nothing! Try it out!


Maybe worry less about VIRTUE SIGNALING and more about filling your grids well, woof. EDATE OCTAL ELOI AGO OLEOLE INSTIR RIEL IDEE PALUP HRE. Maybe you get half of those, but even then only if the rest of the grid is really wonderful (this one isn't). As usual, longer answers are the only point of interest (DETAILS TO FOLLOW and PINCH-HIT HOMERUN are nice) and most of the rest is just there to be hacked through with a machete on the way to the end. I really ruined my chances for true speed by having the first thing I put in the grid be PAWNS (!?!?), which ... I mean, you can see why I put it in there, kiiiiind of, but not really (2D: Things that are sometimes brokered). I just figured the term "pawnbroker" had to come from *somewhere*, and also maybe it was a chess term?? This error kept me from getting into the NW, and particularly from seeing the front part of PINCH-HIT HOME RUN (15A: One of 23 for Matt Stairs (an M.L.B. record)). I was able to move quickly in the other direction though, moving through middle of grid and down the east coast without too much trouble. Had most trouble with PAL UP (?) and UBI (I've read many scholarly papers, never ever seen "UBI supra," though I am very familiar with the "UBI sunt" motif in Anglo-Saxon poetry).


Had RIAL before RIEL, which kept me from seeing LEECH for too long (21D: Little sucker). Had EDITS for EDATE because really, EDATE?? (47A: Excel spreadsheet function). Not much else to cause resistance today. Took me a while to build SENSATIONALIZES (from the bottom up), but otherwise, the smooth was fairly steady, if also fairly unpretty.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. if you think I'm exaggerating about VIRTUE SIGNALING being a pet term of right-wing (anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, anti-queer) white guys, just google image search the term and scroll away to your heart's content. Enjoy the endless stream of "humor" from some of life's biggest winners...

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

108 comments:

jae 12:26 AM  

Easy-medium. I started of with Saar before RUHR which made the NW tougher than it should have been. The rest went pretty smoothly, except for do it before CMON.

Solid but not very flashy. Liked it slightly more than Rex did.

AdamW 12:38 AM  

I consider myself liberal and very empathic, and virtue signaling is definitely a thing. Like anything else, things can get turned around and twisted any which way. It can be an overused term by right wingers trying to be assholes, sure. But there also are people who fit the description, and there are plenty of liberal types who will admit that they used to be ridiculous about virtue signaling. There are definitely those whose only goal is to use Twitter for these kinds of pats on the back. People of all ilks can succumb to pack mentality and echo chambers.

So Rex, as usual, chill the F out. And I'll never buy the nonsense that just because a term is in a puzzle, it implies an endorsement in any way. Rex's focus on this notion is pathological.

The puzzle was great. Cheers.

chefwen 12:40 AM  

Of course I liked it, finished it cheat free. On a roll here folks!

Had a few spelling mishaps ramoras before REMORAS and SMALLz before SMALLS, thinking rappers try so hard to be cutsie with their names.

I expect we’ll see the usual scarfs vs. SNARFS discussion.

Looking forward to a rebus Sunday, fingers crossed.

Harryp 2:38 AM  

I like to do puzzles. Social commentary like this is way over my head. As far as the puzzle itself goes, I liked it. Easy Saturday, no hang-ups.

Mike in Mountain View 2:44 AM  

It took me a while to figure out NUBILE/UBI because I had ScARFS instead of SNARFS, but I still finished a Saturday in under 10 minutes, which is very unusual. As is often the case, as JAE often says, liked it more than Rex did.

JOHN X 4:10 AM  

Gee Rex, you sure do hate the white man! Did he come and take your land or something? ;)

Seriously, this is some great parody. I love it. And that virtue signaling PC schtick of yours must work great on SJW graduate assistants, although I’ve got to believe the nubile pickings up there must be pretty thin. Keep up the good work though, I’m proud of you!

This puzzle was too easy for a Saturday. I always get those long answers pretty quickly, and then I just fill-in the rest, blah blah blah.

Loren Muse Smith 5:06 AM  

I wasn’t gonna comment this morning - lesson plans, moving to a new house on the hill, shopping, blah blah.

How. E. Ver. I'm grateful to Peter that I learned the term VIRTUE SIGNALING. It seems vaguely familiar. I mean, maybe I had heard it in the background on CNN in the mornings? On BBC on the way to school? That’s the extent of my exposure to stuff like that – I just don’t have time what with all my vapid tv shows to watch. (Your double martini is my Real Housewives. Don’t get all judgy.)

I echo @AdamW's belief that an appearance of something in a grid does not have to be an endorsement of it. But I also don’t wanna see Hitler or the n-word, so, pfft.

Anyhoo… I’m thrilled to learn this term. It speaks to me. The possibilities… if you broaden the meaning from “moral” VIRTUE to just “good stuff about you,” then there are lots of sub-types of virtue signalers who go out of their way to seem Better, who scramble to receive that “pat on the back.” (hi again, @AdamW) or more, to receive veneration and wonderment. People who crow that they don’t own a tv, people who say the hair stands out on the back of their neck when they hear someone confuse LIE/lay, people who voice their disapproval of your box wine in favor of their chewy, pugnacious Barolo.

Maybe I’m just too insecure, but these kinds of virtue signalers first make me feel dumb and then bug me that they made me feel dumb. (Ok. Not the LIE/lay police; they’re just uninformed, bless their hearts.)

This is so new to me. I’m getting from Rex’s screed that good, honest people are accused by The Orangemen that we’re not really that good, that we’re just running around trying to seem like we’re that good? I don’t give a goddamn who loves to use this term. If it’s “aggrieved white men,” so be it. I’m just extremely happy that my solving the puzzle today exposed me to the phrase. Just adding it to the rotation in itself feels a little virtue signalingsome. But I’ma start throwing it around.

Thank you, Peter Collins.

Hungry Mother 6:07 AM  

Up early for a 5K race. This one took me well past my first cup of coffee, but was a good challenge well met. I hope I do as well in he run this morning.

Lewis 6:38 AM  

This had everything for me. First pass desperation. Guesses that panned out. Guesses that didn't. Sudden "Got it!"s. Splat fills after a get. Mischievous clues to brighten the path (for PIZZA DELIVERIES, RESOLE, NAIL HOLE, TSA). One thorny area (NW) that fought me to the last word. An ever-so-satisfying and gratifying victory.

A trek to relish. Thank you Peter Collins. You've earned your A.

Anonymous 6:43 AM  

VIRTUE SIGNALING is often used by liberals (like me) to call out organizations or individuals who make ostentatiously pious and hypocritical statements that don’t match up with their actual practices or policies. It’s a phrase. Use it or not, but dont get mad at it.

@mericans in Paris 6:54 AM  

Howdy folks, and a special shout-out to @chefwen!

Today's puzzle was right in my wheelhouse, which was great because Mrs. 'americans and I worked on it together (not as a tag team) in bed, on a fabulous mid-September morning here in Paris. Finished it in less than 8 Rexes, which is slow by most people's standards, but one of our faster Saturdays.

Surprised that several people learned VIRTUE SIGNALING only from the grid. I learned it from many past comments on Rex's or other commentators' remarks right here on this blog. So that was a gimme for me, once we had the "NG" at the end.

I joined Twitter finally a couple of months ago, and have to agree that a lot of people engage in such SIGNALING. There's a couple of people who are big names in the climate debate who I follow, but they pat themselves on the back (and each other) so often that I expect that their shirts have worn thin between their shoulders. Ugh.

Been rather busy over the last couple of months, attending family events in Colorado and Florida, and trying to finish a paper on the long decline leading up to the -- almost complete -- disappearance of the Western European hard coal industry at the end of last year. So RUHR, too, was a gimme. (The Saar was indeed a coal-producing region, but produced only a tenth of what the RUHR did in its heyday.)

What I did learn from the puzzle was that NUBILE could mean marriageable. One of the on-line dictionaries includes a definition "old enough for marriage" -- I'd say barely, and then probably not in most states, 'cause my recollection of its use is that it conveys the idea of a young woman who is just barely sexually mature. Maybe I've just misunderstood its meaning all of these years.

Also learned "Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?” after the fact. But I liked Mrs. 'mericans' answer better. When I stated the clue to her -- "'My God!', to Jesus" -- her response was instantaneous and straightforward:

DAD.

Klazzic 7:10 AM  

Nice puzzle. Pretty easy solve. I'm still in a fog, though, over the answer to FINISH A SENTENCE, IN A WAY. INSTIR?? What am I missing?

MarineO6 7:19 AM  

AdamW, appreciate your comments. Rex’s laser focus on anything he can skew to accommodate his insane world view is astonishing. I used to read his comments with regard to the puzzle of the day, I now read them in horrified anticipation of how he will twist today’s clues and answers into some sort of deviant social commentary.
Thought the puzzle was kinda easy for a Saturday, but I enjoyed it despite Rex’s virtue signaling!

JHC 7:30 AM  

While I agree with Rex that EDATE is silly in a crossword, I use Excel (Google Sheets, actually, but it's more or less the same thing) all the time in my day job, so I'm happy to have learned about that function. So, there's that.

Beaglelover 7:49 AM  

@Klazzic, "stir" is prison.

Fansince1939 7:55 AM  

You can’t chill out when you become obsessed with seeking opportunities to flaunt your superior sensitivity. It is indeed pathological.

sf27shirley 8:13 AM  

In stir is how the British say in jail.

Unknown 8:22 AM  

Klazzic, it refers to a prison sentence, stir being slang for prison

OffTheGrid 8:24 AM  

My time was 3:10....on the MINI! I'm about 2/3 done with the main event but will have to finish later. I'm off to go kayaking on one of our beautiful northern Michigan rivers, the Manistee. It's our first sunny day this week. Read you all later.

mmorgan 8:33 AM  

Wow, Rex... “easy-medium”? And others reporting similar reactions? Maybe it was my mood or my brain but I found this really, really tough. Super difficult. It came together, but very, very slowly and with lots of pain. I’ve never heard of VIRTUE SIGNALING and I think of myself as pretty up on these things. Humph.

GILL I. 8:43 AM  

I could not get feigned righteousness out of the old bean. Should've known better - VIRTUAL SIGNALING gets bantered around all the time - especially when you don't like what you're hearing. (sigh). Speaking of...wasn't Lolita referred to as NUBILE?
I don't know bowling from baseball but by the grace of ELOI, I was able to figure out SPARED and PINCH HOME RUN. The flood gates opened. Since I'm not righteous and not a LIAR, I will confess to one Google. I had no idea the name of the person who would ever utter Ecce homo. I'm not a scholar and the only thing I had for 15D was the ATE of that man. So Pontius was into PILATEs?
I like Peter's cluing and I liked this Saturday puzzle. I always go around looking for a smile here or there. Today it's the ARNO and remembering my little son throwing his GoBots into the ARNO while leaning over the Ponte Vecchio.
@Loren. We had a clue once in a puzzle for "Bota." I'm pretty sure I did my usual Spanish dissertation of how a bota is made, used, and enjoyed with good wine by all. @Tita (I miss her) said the only "Bota" she knew of was a boxed wine she bought at Cosco. We all had a good laugh and nary a tsk tsk was to be heard. Laughter is good for the soul...... :-)


SouthsideJohnny 8:45 AM  

This is crazy - Virtue Signaling appears in the puzzle and Rex is going to bust open an artery. I would suggest that the real travesty here is the presence of Biggie Smalls (aka Notorious B.I.G.). I wonder if Rex would be willing to read some of his lyrics to his family and friends (or even to his students in class).

https://youtu.be/xI7J3aCl90o

QuasiMojo 8:48 AM  

I beat my usual Saturday time by 11 minutes, according to the sometimes annoying app, so I can't say this was challenging, but it felt like a good workout. I tried doubling WELL for the Shakespeare clue but was glad when Measure fell in. Today I learned what Nubile means. I see now it's related to nuptial and connubial. As for Virtue Signaling, I much prefer it to Vice Signaling which is what I think of when I go out and see young ladies wearing mesh skirts and no underwear. Or hear people using the F word to the exclusion of any other vocabulary while chatting in cafes. Or having to bulldoze my way through half a dozen workers spending the good part of a morning vaping pot outside their places of employment. I loved the Fury quote. :)

Teedmn 8:57 AM  

EDATE, a hook-up over Skype? I've been using Excel for decades and have never used the EDATE function. But my usage is pretty basic - I can create a chart but a macro is beyond my abilities. I looked up what the EDATE function is, post-solve, and I can't imagine ever needing it.

14A, "Break from the rat race" was rETIrE. Nice that I only had to replace the two r's with two M's to get ME TIME.

UBI supra = "Where mentioned above" (freshly post-solve Googled knowledge for me). Somehow that must work together with 46A's citation and 6D's DETAILS TO FOLLOW.

This was definitely much easier than the usual Peter Collins offerings. Thanks, Peter.

Z 9:04 AM  

I have learned and left it at S_ARFS. Definitely ScARFS in my world, but almost always SNARFS in NYTXworld. I had PleaS being brokered and my soon to be ex-con IN jaIl because I live in America. I know Matt Stairs was infamous for being all HOME RUN and strike outs, but did not know he had the PINCH HIT HOME RUN record. So that corner was the toughest. I worked into the corner from below, getting enough letters to realize it had to be SENSATIONALIZES, which made the LFC* IN STIR obvious, to PACTS, then PINCH HIT and I was done. A fine little tussle from a mostly easy Saturday thanks to DETAILS TO FOLLOW.

@AdamW - Let's be very clear how the term is always used, to attempt to discount the other’s argument not by contending with the argument but by accusing the arguer of ulterior motives. VIRTUE SIGNALING is just an ad hominem argument, another logical fallacy. We see it here all the time from people accusing Rex of a PC shtick or being fake woke or too sensitive. They can’t actually contradict his points in any meaningful way so they attack him. So, no, VIRTUE SIGNALING isn’t an actual thing beyond a feckless argument.






*LFC = Learned From Crosswords

Joe Welling 9:05 AM  

I'll still take VIRTUE SIGNALLING over vice signalling, which is definitely a thing lately.

Mordechai 9:10 AM  

If the answer to 5 down, ERI, can be the imperfective 2nd person singular of the Italian ESSERE, then I don’t see what’s wrong with NUBILE as the Italian word for unmarried maiden.

As for Rex’s rant - it’s a classic case of VIRTUE SIGNALING. Methinks he doth protest too much.

Empath 9:11 AM  

The appearance of terms or names in a puzzle is not an endorsement, true, but it does normalize things. Racism, fascism, Trump's antics, McConnel's shenanigans, Stephen Miller in a cabinet position, trade wars, concentration camps, fake news accusations, congressmen who decry homosexuality and then caught in homosexual scandals, and on and on, need to be continually remembered as unacceptable and out of the ordinary. We should never get used to any of that.

And yeah, it is unacceptable on both sides of the fence.

When Rex points out empathy, he hits it squarely on the head. Narcissism is incredibly common in our society these days...and people seem to think that everyone and everything are just props in a movie they are starring in. It used to be "polite" to not call anyone names...now there are people who say they have a right to call people whatever they like and anything else is virtue signaling. They are anti PC because they don't feel like anyone has the right to tell them how to speak. Empathy (and good old just being polite) means just being nice to the other person. That's it.

As for all of the other "virtue signaling" talking points: veganism, tree huggers, SJWs, etc., no one is requiring that you become vegan or hug a tree or fight for the rights of people you don't know...hey, if it's not your thing, then whatever. But you might consider that it IS someone else's thing and they might be passionate about it and talk about it. There is nothing saying that you can't just ignore them.

Finally, there has been a lot written about people preaching tolerance and yet being intolerant of intolerance. I won't say anything about it that isn't freely available on the internet. Suffice to say, most people who take issue with tolerance or being PC are, as Rex points out, using the term "virtue signaling" as an excuse to be assholes.

I'm pretty sure there will be example after example of that in the comments below mine.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  


Another rubbish puzzle. Will Shortz out. Never heard of virtue signaling. Guess I don't read blogs and use social media enough, or much at all. I have a Ph.D. in Classics. Never seen UBI SUPRA anywhere. German scholarship, French, British. Nope. Nowhere. Never seen IN STIR either. Thanks to sf27Shirley for clarifying that one. The SE fell most easily for me. NW was toughest. I had BOWLED instead of SPARED. Really? I thought the expression was to pick up a spare. SPARED to me seems strained.

Amie Devero 9:15 AM  

Completely agree. One might even suggest that privileged university professors enjoying the spoils of every modern benefit of affluence who subject word games to the strictures of 'lexical' political correctness are themselves virtue signaling in extremis!

Matthew G. 9:20 AM  

What makes the term VIRTUE SIGNALING rather empty of meaning is that it happens across the political spectrum, but the term only tends to get used by the right against the left.

There are plenty of forms of conservative virtue signaling: the folks who very conspicuously stress "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays"; people who never served in the military trying ostentatiously to prove how much they adore the troops; insisting on public prayer; the people who got fired up about Colin Kaepernick; and the infamous "thoughts and prayers" whenever there's a shooting.

All of these are examples of {Sharing of a moral viewpoint to gain social approval}, which is how the puzzle clues the term. It just happens to be social approval from a different segment of society. All of these also are things that are signal tribal loyalty without appurtenant concrete action, which is exactly the charge that conservatives make against liberals when they derisively use the term "virtue signaling."

Conservatives doubtless see the above examples as just their way of standing up for traditional values. But how is that different, from a signaling standpoint, from the corresponding impulse on the left, which is to signal values that ought to change? (spoiler alert: it isn't different).

Where there is a difference, though, as Rex correctly says, is that the right loves to level the charge of "virtue signaling" and generally the left doesn't. He's quite right that if you google the term, you'll get overwhelmingly conservative posts. The fact is, most politically motivated people of any stripe want to set the terms of public discourse to a tone that favors their side, and most of the conduct derided as virtue signaling is a part of that conversation-shifting tactic. But because the right sees their views as the historic default, they tend to be oblivious to their own signaling as such. Liberals, almost by definition, are trying to change previously accepted norms, so it strikes them as perfectly natural that people would speak up for the norms they support, so it seems odd to liberals that anyone would criticize such signaling. Hence, they don't bother with the term and challenge the virtue being signaled rather than the signaling itself.

I thought this was an okay Saturday puzzle, but the long entries weren't quite zingy enough to support the weird fill. NUBILE crossing SNARFS was pretty annoying, since I wanted SCARFS for that clue.

Blue Stater 9:24 AM  

OFL is right: in a half-century of writing and reading scholarly papers, I never used or encountered the phrase UBI SUPRA. Not. Once.

Birchbark 9:28 AM  

I love whenever fops make an appearance in the puzzle, as with today's CRAVAT. All SIGNAL, no VIRTUE. Everything thereafter is sort of funny.

Case in point = Ecce homo -- I wanted PILATE to be NIETZSCHE, whose last book bore that title and is a series of alternately profound, bizarre, and mostly self-centered adages. Scholarly virtues established, cue the fops and I can't read the clue without hearing John Cleese's theatre critic in Monty Python: "Ecce homo, ergo elk. LaFontaine knew its sister, and knew her bloody well."

@'mericans (6:54) -- I second your perfect mid-September.

@Teedmn (8:57) -- "UBI supra" is too good to be so rarely used. If my family had a coat of arms, that would be the motto, with the image of a guy standing over a vanquished dragon.

TJS 9:38 AM  

Rex (although I know you can't be bothered reading your readers' comments),had to jump right to the comments. Re. "white guys". Why do all the bad people have to be "guys" ? And why do all those "guys" have to be "white" ? Was your Dad mean to you or something?

On the other hand, this puzzle was way too easy for a Saturday. Hated to enter "ashier".

Whatsername 9:39 AM  

@chefwen: Re your post from yesterday, I just wanted to mention you have a fellow Badger and Packer fan here. Are you originally from Wisconsin? I grew up in Missouri and am now back in the Midwest again. However I lived in near Madison during the 1980s and fell in love with the city, the people and the state. One of my favorite places on earth. The Badgers are my number one college team, and I follow them religiously. As for the pros, I will always be rooting for the Packers unless they are playing my beloved Kansas City Chiefs. I also share your fondness for Carl Hiassen books. I keep hoping he will come out with a new one, it’s been a while.

Anonymous 9:56 AM  

Semper ubi sub ubi

Cassieopia 10:00 AM  

Definitely on the hard side here; I had to cheat (aka Google) to get a toehold in some places. When faced with a tough puzzle like this, I allow myself to start cheating on the non-English terms or names ("Form of the Italian 'to be'" and "What the Ponte Vecchio spans"). That usually is enough to point me in the right direction for more sane fill.


There was only one slam-dunk gimme for me today, and that was REMORA. Pulled me back into grade school and those Scholastic readers; one memorable short was "The Remora Runner" about a high school track athlete who always shadowed a runner of the same pace, so that he wouldn't have to make the mental or physical effort to run his own race. @Hungrymother, you would like that one. I found references to it in the Google but not the story itself. And thus are our childhood stories lost.


All this kerfuffle over virtue signaling in the puzzle gets a meh from me although I am enjoying the comments.

What really fried my shorts today was NUBILE. "Marriageable, quaintly". Yeah, marriageable female. What is the term for a marriageable male? Hmm? Hmmmmmm? Well then, editor and/or constructor, please clarify the clueing so that it is accurate. Plus I just hate the word, it conjures up Lolita (yup @Gill) and other dark dank hideous images of old men leering at young women in a completely unsuitable way. Ugh. Barf.

Thank you @mericans for explaining enough about ELOI that I am off to Google it to find more. And yes, my first thought for that was also DAD.

Chim cham 10:28 AM  

Definitely SCARFS

Nancy 10:33 AM  

Paper not delivered today. No Saturday, no Sunday puzzle. Can't get a replacement paper -- overslept and called "too late" (8:50 a.m.!) Off to newstand to get Saturday paper, they don't have any of the Sunday yet. Will probably do today's puzzle in the park, but don't worry about me if I don't post today.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

@sf27shirley:
In stir is how the British say in jail.

not to mention 'Mericun hoodlum films from, at least, the 30s and 40s.

if memory serves, NUBILE was what Lolita was. according to the innterTubes dictionary:
"(of a young person, usually a woman) sexually developed and attractive: "

this is the 2nd definition, but I'd wager it's the meaning used in the vulgate.

puzzlehoarder 11:02 AM  

Ten seconds faster than yesterday's (unfortunately incomplete) solve. This was a Saturday well into the easy end of the spectrum.

I don't read our host's comments and as much as I hate to give him credit for anything I really have to thank him for opening up that west side of the puzzle. If it weren't for the comments on this blog regarding his VIRTUESIGNALING I most likely would be completely unfamiliar with that term. So as @JOHN X said it "keep up the good work" and thank you. Every SJW dark cloud has a silver lining.

@Z, along with that big candle you just put on your Rex shrine could you please light one for me.

jberg 11:02 AM  

I don't time myself, but I think this one was easier than it felt. I use the common method of looking at the crosses until I get one, then alternating down and across from there -- and this method gave me the whole West Side with only the grid-spanners reaching the Far East. Normally, there would be a few answers I couldn't get without more crosses, which would sent me into the East. Maybe the grid shape had something to do with it, I can seldom figure that stuff out.

RIEL was the toughest part by far. Not only did I need all the crosses, but even when I had it I thought it was some kind of bun -- you know 'bread' as in ... bread, not as in money. After I completed the solve I looked it up, just to see -- I should have known, it's basically RIaL spelled differently, right?

I also thought the Ponte Vecchio must be in Venice -- stupidly, since I spent a week in Venice and never saw it -- so I wanted the answer to be Grand Canal. Fortunately, that didn't fit, and '4-letter Italian waterway' starting with A is the ARNO.

Also, I was feeling kind of macabre, I guess, because I thought maybe after you took down the gallows you might leave a post HOLE. SENSATIONALIZES saved me from that one.

Which just leaves CRAVAT. Isn't that just any necktie? A search on Duck Duck Go produces many neckwear images, many of them Ascots, but also some garden-variety ties (if you run to formality in your gardenwear, that is). So I'm confused.

I think we should start giving a prize for the commenter whose question provokes the most roughly identical explanations. Today's winner is

[drumroll]

@Klazzik! Nice going,friend!

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

Nope

Nope nope

It's SCARFS and not SNARFS, and there is zero reason for me not to believe that CUBILE is an old-timey way of saying whatever. I'm rarely proud of myself for not getting a crossword clue, but I'll make an exception for NUBILE.

Newboy 11:10 AM  

Wow! @mmorgan’s commentary parallels my solve. Not at all helpful to pop in IN jail and wander all over the grid to find something to go with IDEE OCTAL CRAVAT. Finally resorted to turning on the reveal errors in settings; AGOG at all those xes . Wondering if that oft repeated controversy over ScARF/SNARF is a regional thing? Best moment today was at last seeing NAIL HOLE — great clue Mr. Collins.

Jyqm 11:21 AM  

This was one of the funniest write-ups Rex has ever done. I was all ready to drop a light-hearted comment about how VIRTUESIGNALING might have been a gentle poke at him. But of course, he’s so far down the rabbit hole (or maybe so far up another more personal passageway) that he spent half the post offering up a perfect and perfectly clueless demonstration of this modern-day Phariseeism. Or maybe this was a meta-blog and Rex is in on the joke! (LOL.)

Anyway, maybe I’m less familiar with the rightwing blogosphere than our fearless leader over here, but I for one hear the term “virtue signaling” mostly from more liberal members of minority communities who are sick and tired of people precisely like Rex rending their garments in public all the time as a way to score brownie points from the actually oppressed.

Hack mechanic 11:24 AM  

Snarf not in my vocab & no idea about UBI so as usual ended up with an undecipherable single letter cross

Hack mechanic 11:27 AM  

No we don't. Have always referred to it as either " at her Majesty's pleasure" or " doing porridge"

What? 11:32 AM  

Liked it because I finished it without an error although I struggled with SCARF instead of SNARF. Never heard that word but NUBILE settled it and now I learned a new (for me) word.

nyc_lo 11:38 AM  

@MatthewG, well said. I don’t take too much issue with it’s use in the puzzle, but I see Rex’s point. And it’s his blog, so he can pretty much say whatever the F he wants on the subject.

Beyond that, I was amazed at 1-Down being a single word. Weird how long SENSATIONALIZES looks in that context. But then, I’m somewhat easily amazed.

Escalator 11:41 AM  

What the heck is INSTIR as answer to “Finishing a sentence” for 17A?

RooMonster 11:52 AM  

Hey All !
Three 15's Down crossing two 15's Across. Nice.
Triple OLEs in SW
Triple INGs in SE.
Is BOOTLEG common parlance for Pirate? Should've been clued as 'Illegal alcohol'.

PIZZA DELIVERIES was fun. Was originally thinking of golf for that clue, especially after seeing 21A's LIE clue.

Had ScARFS, should know better by now to leave that second spot blank. Resulted in my DNF, a two-letter one this time, as also not knowing UBI supra (Toyota? Har). So, picked an R for the B, ended up with cUrILE. AR, NO. :-)

Aare first for ARNO. milder-TAMEST, INjaIl-INSTIR, uaE-HRE, olaf-SVEN. Embarrassingly had to run the alphabet for _OO. (54D) Talk about the ole brain refusing to work. Got all the way to the Z, and let out a "D'oh!". At least it helped me get PIZZA.

Hey, rare appearance for me in the grid! DARIN. Although he spells it wrong. Har.

Just found another OLE in NAILHOLE.

TAMEST FURY
RooMonster
DarrinV

Unknown 12:01 PM  

rex, if you spewed those bigoted words about minorities, all hell would break loose. i'm white and I take umbrage at your not so veiled insults. Self hating white man

Jyqm 12:11 PM  

Utterly fascinating comments section today. Wikipedia tells me that, outside of its academic use, the term VIRTUESIGNALING was popularized in its contemporary pejorative use by a conservative British journalist Brexiteer, but I was honestly surprised to see so many commenters here denouncing it as a right-wing ad hominem smear term. As I wrote in a reply above, I’ve encountered the term primarily on the left, particularly among activist communities and minority groups. In that context, virtue signaling is something that occurs especially on social media and often at certain times of the year — say, around January 15th or throughout the month of June. Many (white, straight, cisgender) liberals may make a big show of posting excerpts from King’s “dream” speech or drape their avatars in rainbow colors, etc., but otherwise be entirely uninvolved in actual activism to address issues of concern for minority communities. In addition, many activist groups take pains to make sure that their own actions and communications rise above the level of mere virtue signaling by promoting real, concrete action and solutions to problems. Of course, the term also has its nonsense conservative valence. But it’s a valuable concept in its own right, not something to be tossed aside just because alt-right reactionaries also use it for their own purposes.

BobL 12:13 PM  

@davidm - looking for your post? Its in Fridays

Amelia 12:14 PM  

Saw the Molly Ivins documentary the other day, and boy does she nail the free speech thing. You gotta protect that speech you hate in order for the whole constitutional thing to work. As for Virtue Signaling, I see it ALL THE TIME in the left-wing online world. The anti-corporate screed, the climate change people, the medicare for all folks, the privilege police. They believe their thoughts are sacred and so do the guys on the right. Duh.

So that's where the two concepts intersect. Everyone thinks their virtue (speech) is protected, it's the other guy they're not so sure about.

As for the puzzle, fine but slightly too easy for a Saturday.

As for Z, not Rex, but someone clever he's enlisted (or not) to be on his side. Rex wouldn't know how to use feckless in a sentence.

Carola 12:18 PM  

A pleasant stroll from the RUHR to the ZOO, the three long Downs providing easy access to the E-W paths.
New to me: how loaded the term VIRTUE SIGNALING is.
Surprising to me: the comments that STIR in the sense of "jail" is British; I learned it as a kid in the phrase "STIR crazy," akin to having cabin fever.

TCapt 12:21 PM  

A solid puzzle, challenging but constructed so you can pick up speed quickly if you get some well-placed answers.

As for the other issue, you can only police the dictionary and the language to a certain point before you become a parody of yourself. My views on actual social policy are probably more progressive than Rex’s, but really, some perspective please. Is Rex’s post today sharing a moral viewpoint to get social approval? Even granting that his passion is genuinely felt, isn’t this becoming a bit meta? We’re talking about a puzzle, a diversion, something to pass the time while waiting for the bus. If we start examining and rejecting jigsaw puzzles because the shape of some of the pieces conjures up images of symbols of oppression, have we gone too far?

PhilM 12:40 PM  

@sf27shirley - I agree with @hack mechanic. We Brits say what @hm said, plus in gaol, in prison, doing time. But not in stir.

Anoa Bob 12:40 PM  

Hello ARNO my old friend... And crossing HRE! That's xword gold for the, um, mature solver.

I would be remiss in my POC SIGNALING if I didn't point out that two of the marquee grid spanners would not span the grid in their base form (SENSATIONALIZE and PIZZA DELIVERY) and needed to be gussied up a bit to get the job done.

Official chant of the YEMENI National Soccer Team: RES OLE OLE OLE

old timer 12:41 PM  

THIS IS THE BEST blog I've seen in a coon's age. OFL off on a crazy rant. The first few replies containing sensible and cutting and clever responses, pointing out how absurd @Rex can be (I too have only heard "virtue signaling" from liberals who think someone also on the Left is twaddling too much). And then the vastly overworked at this time of the year @LMS chimes in with yet another piece of wit to brighten my morning. And then, praise be to ELOI, @'mericans in Paris come back to tell us what they like to do in bed in the morning. My cup runneth over.

The puzzle struck me as very Easy for a Saturday. Could be that's because Peter Collins and I know all the same things. Ecce homo (Behold the man!) is from the Gospels every Catholic hears read aloud every Easter, and so is ELOI, which Jesus calls out before meeting his Maker (aka Dad). Though I only learned in my solve about that PINCHHITHOMERUN dude -- as a Giants fan, I see some of our guys, but too many of their guys, change the course of a game with one loud hit. This year, for the Giants, the Panda (Sandoval) was our Matt stairs, until we went out for the season for needed surgery.

UBI supra is something I know I have seen, but not very often.-

Joe Dipinto 12:54 PM  

I appreciate the attempted humor in the PIZZA DELIVERIES clue, but couching it that "they" (the deliveries) *do* something isn't very smooth.

The puzzle had about the right amount of difficulty for a good Saturday, imo. I started in the NOR/SMALLS/DARIN corner and worked my way around to finish on MINERAL. No stops and starts, but definitely some slowing down and speeding up along the way.

♪ Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo ♪

David 1:01 PM  

It was very difficult for me since I usually start with crosses and was getting nowhere. But getting 10D right off (I experience that here on the left, by the way) got me into the SE, which fell pretty easily and I built out from there towards the NW without actually getting there.

Cravat and the silly "metime" got me the NE, including Home Run but, not being a baseball guy, the only thing I could think of was Grand Slam so I headed down to the SW. Scarfs and Stoned before Snarfs and Stupor. Tulsa was a gimme and worked both ways. I was going nowhere and remembered that somewhere out in other parts of the world people say "snarfs."

I had figured out "to follow" earlier, which helped me suss out pizza deliveries and killed off "stoned." I also worked upwards to build sensationalizes and the North fell (sorry Rex) when I remembered baseball has a thing call pinch hitter.

I must have really enjoyed this puzzle because I almost never remember how I solve them.

Austin's mom 1:07 PM  

Your paper subscription entitles you to an online subscription. I never miss a puzzle due to the vagaries of weather or other delivery snafus. Ask the help desk if you need help, they're super helpful.

Austin's mom 1:10 PM  

True. SNARFS is when you get food or soda up your nose, usually laughing while eating.

JC66 1:23 PM  

@jberg

How about a trophy for those who re-ask the multiple answered provoking question?

Hi @Escalator 11:41.

Crimson Devil 1:26 PM  

Hand up for SCARF.
N/H/O INSTIR, or VIRTUESIGNALING.
Have always enjoyed word NUBILE, and liked Dresden quote.
As avid and longtime baseball fan, N/H/O Matt Stairs or his admirable record. Good to learn.

davidm 1:31 PM  

Oh, no! I accidentally posted this in Friday! Thanks to BobL for the heads-up.

I expected Rex to be ticked by VIRTUE SIGNALING, and I see his point, but it didn’t bother me, and I’m as liberal as he is. First, it’s a fairly new coinage, which makes it fun to see in a puzzle, and second, it can, and should, be spun against right-wing virtue signaling, too. What would that be? Well, DOG WHISTLING, for one (clue: subtle appeals to racism) which could have been included on the left side of the puzzle to balance VIRTUE SIGNALING, although that would have broken the nice symmetry of three down clues, left, middle, and right, that ran all the way down the grid.

I also appreciated VIRTUE SIGNALING because it is what finally got me out of the blocks in this puzzle after a very slow start, the opposite of yesterday’s blowout. I guessed it after only about four crossing letters, mainly since I had CRAVAT, and that jump-started me on the right side of the puzzle. Weirdly, halfway through, I had the whole right half of the puzzle solved, and almost nothing on the left. Solving continued that way, painstakingly right to left, like slowly pulling a drape from right to left across a window. I ended in the southwest by changing SCARF to SNARF, hence getting NUBILE.

Great clues for the ordinary word MEASURE, and especially for PIZZA DELIVERIES, which until nearly the bitter end my brain insisted must have something to do with golf.

Tim Aurthur 1:32 PM  

I used Excel for 20 years doing historical analysis for a financial group, and can't remember ever using the EDATE function.

@LMS, I envy your students.

Anonymous 1:34 PM  

"in stir" is American slang. Dashiell Hammett used it often in his fiction.

Masked and Anonymous 1:44 PM  

My first Google comeback when askin about "VIRTUE SIGNALLING" …
"Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values. Academically, the phrase relates to signalling theory and describes a subset of social behaviors that could be used to signal virtue—especially piety among the religious."

That sounds kinda like the SNL church lady.
Puzclue today for V.S. sounds more like a "humble-brag" type thing. But, not into all the social meedz meanins, at our house. [That's sure ok if U are, tho.] All M&A tweets are still directed at the budgie.

Good, clean SatPuz … seemed slightly easier than the FriPuz, somehow. Clues mighta been a shade too friendly? Hardest clues often seemed to be on the weejects.
staff weeject pick: UBI. {With Dubie: Roy Orbison phrase in a scholarly rocker??} = UBI.

How'bout *VIRTUAL* SIGNALLING? Definition could be: Puttin stuff in a puz that U had no earthly idea would set a buncha folks off, but it did so in spades, anyway. Obvious example: PEWIT.

I thought the fillins were generally more excitin than a NAILHOLE. faves included: PINCHHITHOMERUN. MINERAL/MEASURE. DETAILSTOFOLLOW. BOOTLEG. SNARFS. PIZZA+anythingatall.

Thanx for all the virtual fun, Mr. Collins dude. (Primo photo album framin corners, in NW & SE. Virtue signal = "suitable for framing". har)

Masked & Anonymo6Us


virtual theme oasis:
**gruntz**


Amelia 1:59 PM  

From Crossword Fiend today:

"One of the 15s is a phrase that is basically a big “fuck you” from conservative types to anyone who espouses any sort of social justice: 10d. [Sharing of a moral viewpoint to gain social approval], VIRTUE SIGNALING. And it’s so hypocritical! Are you not doing exactly that when you carp about them lib’ruls and their virtue signaling? It’s also deeply cynical, as if I can’t say “I support trans and nonbinary folks’ rights to use the public bathroom they’re comfortable in” to express actual support rather than to make people like me for my lib’rul ways. Such a bullshit term, and used so disingenuously. It’s “fresh fill,” sure, but the clue buys into the right-wing framing of the term."

Whenever he goes on a rant, Amy does, too. Coincidence?

Unknown 2:09 PM  

Chill out Rex. You aren't as cool as you think you are. You are as hateful as you proclaim the right to be. I like your column but you are so disgustingly socialist. If it weren't for my kids I would hope you get everything you wish for.

Leee 2:35 PM  

This was surprisingly easy for a Saturday (personal best at 15 minutes), and I enjoyed the fill largely because I got PINCH HIT HOME RUN (and MEASURE!) with no crosses.

Kim Phillips 2:51 PM  

I check the blog every day and find it very useful and informative about crossword puzzle solving. But I wish it would leave political commentary where it belongs, not here. My own political perspective, like yours, is left of center, but I don't do crosswords to confirm or challenge my political opinions. Today I was thrilled when I finally hit on "virtue signaling" and wrapped up the puzzle, not something I always manage on a Saturday. Imagine my surprise to find I was supposed to be offended.

Raoul Duke 2:53 PM  

Rock on Rex.

Any time the liver-spotted Luddites get their knickers in a twist over one of your posts, the combination of self-owns and utter cluelessness is wonderful to watch.

I blame the hippety-hop music. Won't someone think of the children?

Chuck Chagrin 3:14 PM  

Today's theme is virtue signaling across the spectrum, from ivy tower academics (pace, Rec) to yer standard American troglodytes. Left me agog and eager to retrace the American odyssey of Humbert and his nubile Lo.

Birchbark 3:27 PM  

@M&A (1:44) -- Have you considered running in 2020? I would vote for you.

Yebsom 3:48 PM  

Rex, Buddy, you need help. Seriously. I’d start by suing whatever institution of higher indoctrination did this to you. They damaged you.

Anonymous 3:54 PM  

@Amelia:
Rex wouldn't know how to use feckless in a sentence.

'Rex' is a thinly disguised (if, at all) persona for (more than?) a decade. With so much practice, its creator should, by now, be able to do the schtick with accuracy. IF 'Z' or any of the anonymice (any writer without a live identity) has one and the same creator, accruing to 'Z' the same abilities as 'Rex' would be a mistake. Even paperback writers can keep multiple personas (not just in their texts, but in their pseudonyms) running simultaneously.

GILL I. 4:20 PM  

I'm loving the comments today.
I don't know who is more obnoxious...the righteous left or the righteous right. Both have opinions just like a part of our body that leans towards the rear. The rants are right out of Alice. BUT....we have @Amelia back...yay!
A smile is free - so is being polite. Or am I being obtuse?

chefwen 4:23 PM  

@Whatsername 9:39 - Yup, born and raised just north of Milwaukee, doncha know! Husband from Green Bay. I have a well worn, ready for the dust bin tee shirt that has the Hawaiian state flag in the shape of the state of Wisconsin. When people question me on it I tell them I’m just a Cheesehead in Paradise.

People SCARF dogs SNARF, you can hear it while they’re wolfing or woofing down their food.

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

I work at a school that changed the already single toilet and sink bathroom signs to very prominent GENDER NEUTRAL signs. Solving an actual problem or virtue signaling????

Anonymous 5:48 PM  

well... the difference. the right asserts that *you* will live as *they* say. the left asserts that *you* may live as you please, so long as you don't do real harm to the Right. having an abortion, for instance, doesn't mean that *you* must, too. levelling the school and employment fields doesn't do real harm to the Right, of course. just reduces their privilege. note that not one of the Huffman brigade was anything but fish belly white.

Unknown 6:04 PM  

C’mon. You and Farad Manjoo. Stick to your knitting and leave politics out of it.

Solomon 6:40 PM  

I’ve never met a racist who considers himself (themself ?) a racist. I’ve never met a virtue signaler who considers themself (think that’s the correct pronoun) a virtue signaler.

Masked and Anonymous 6:43 PM  

@Birchbark 3:27 pm: har. Well I dunno … M&A gets the runs, just thinkin about such a suggestion.
Was it my pro-U-respect stand or my firm anti-PEWIT stand, that tugged on yer vote strings?
In any case, thanx for the unexpected honor.

Are dog catchers elected offices? I do really luv the doggies. Would kinda want to specialize in catchin the runts, tho …

M&A


OffTheGrid 6:53 PM  

I'm home from the river. Saw more than one Great Blue HirEdpeRsON.

AdamW 9:36 PM  

Many folks make good points here, and as I said in my original comments, I'm fully aware then many righties use it to justify their asshole-ness. The part that is irksome - and that leads many liberals to also get annoyed at "virtue signaling" - is that rampant overreaction and "getting offended by everything" is a thing ... there are narcissists on the left too, that look under every rock at things to be offended by - so that they can proclaim their offended-ness on Twitter, and get pats on the back from like-minded people. (i.e. "likes" and "RTs" .... the currency of the 21st century)

Anonymous 9:43 PM  

To anonymous, re "gender neutral" signs - What did the signs that were replaced say? We would have to know that to know if a problem was solved.

Nancy 10:05 PM  

I had to traipse 6 blocks out of my way to get a copy of the Times from a newsstand and plunk down $3, because Times Home Delivery didn't deliver today to my entire building. So I'll pay the puzzle the highest praise to say it was worth the schlep. @Mathgent emailed me to say I'd like the puzzle, so I didn't read the email, snapped my computer shut and made the pilgrimage.

Had P------THOME RUN and had no idea what it would be.

Had ScARFS initially at 40A and the C gave me CHASTE for "marriageable, quaintly". A bit TOO quaintly, I thought and was happy to get some crosses that enabled me to see NUBILE instead. So I changed to SNARFS -- as I always am poised to do, or vice versa, when that clue arises.

And I loved VIRTUE SIGNALING. I think it's clued fairly here and I absolutely do think it's a Thing.

Avoided reading the blog all day. Will read it now. I'll also read @Mathgent's email.

Anonymous 11:22 PM  

Lots of back and forth about the actual meaning of virtue signaling and who actually uses it more. A healthy, worthwhile discussion. For the record, I have heard this term on both the left and right, and its meaning is exactly how the clue in the puzzle articulates it: publicly announcing a moral or ethical position specifically for the purpose of looking good in public. A form of performative hypocrisy and dissembling.

But I would like to add another wrinkle to this discussion: let's suppose the constructor and editor are right-wing. So what? They're not allowed to be right-wing? We can only have one social and political viewpoint in the United States? We have to live in tyranny, with a conscripted political affiliation for everything and everyone? I, personally, am a liberal who abhors Trump and everything he represents, but what is the point in demanding that every person and outlet follow my viewpoint? That's not liberalism; that's fascism. If Peter Collins and Will Shortz happen to be right wing, that is their absolute right, and even if (let's assume, even though I don't think that's actually the case) that they are promoting a specifically right-wing viewpoint by including VIRTUE SIGNALING in the puzzle, rather than simply including a prevalent term in modern social discourse, again: so what? I may personally disagree with the specifics of their views, but I do not and MUST not attempt to stifle or censor anyone because of their political affiliation. They're not doing something UNETHICAL by being right-wing, if we assume that's what's behind this. They are still citizens, human beings, fellow people. They aren't committing an outrage against me, personally. And even more than that: you know what I can do if I am truly offended or outraged by what I infer to be the subliminal right-wing propaganda being oozed into the laps of thousands of crossword lovers by Mr. Shortz? I CAN STOP DOING THE PUZZLE. I CAN CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION. I CAN WRITE A LETTER TO THE PUBLISHER. What I wouldn't do, though, is continue to directly promote that publication by creating and contining an entire blog devoted to it.

JC66 11:29 PM  

@Anon 11:22

Well said!

sf27shirley 5:02 PM  

Maybe not now, but once upon a time. It referred to Newgate. The phrase "stir crazy" comes from stir meaning prison.

sf27shirley 5:03 PM  

Glad I'm not the only one!

tim 6:24 PM  

Conservatives do like to coin epithets to denigrate decency: "bleeding heart," "do-gooder," etc. But we'd be making it a lot less easy for them if people like Rex didn't so perfectly embody the caricature defined by "virtue signaling"—this histrionic moral posturing in an arena that is 100% trivial.

kitshef 11:24 PM  

If yesterday was easy for a Friday, this was pathetic for a Saturday. Go back through Rex's blog for the last few years. You will fine VIRTUE SIGNALING used fairly often, and invariably by the right to criticize the left.

the redanman 11:30 AM  

Did this puzzle late. So glad the comments pages are free of VIRTUE SIGNALING.

Seriously, only right-wingers need apply?

Those memes are hilarious and cut both ways, folks.

Katzzz 10:24 AM  

Hardest puzzle this year.

Unknown 9:02 AM  

He is so hateful and it's only a puzzle, for 😢 out loud.

Burma Shave 12:09 PM  

DARIN' GIBE

'VIRTUESIGNALING' AMUSESME,
Rex' OPENING DESPISES it as hollow.
C'MON, TIME to MEASURE the FURY;
we'll be SPARED the DETAILSTOFOLLOW.

--- ARNO ROUEN

rondo 12:37 PM  

Hey, SVEN's here with multiple OLEs. Alas, no Lena, but still a nice crowd. Started with DETAILSTOFOLLOW and used it as the spine to work each direction. Everything above TAIL in the NW came at the TAIL end.

This weekend could be the last for golf and bicycling in these parts, so a little METIME before continuing the everlasting remodel project next door. Ordered several thousand bucks worth of stereo equipment yesterday (and not done yet)for the new house. If it lasts as long as my current stuff, I'd be 90 IFATALL alive.

I liked this puz. No LIE.

Unknown 1:04 PM  

I agree Marine. Rex and his Socialist rants are really getting old

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Just think - I had never heard nor read the term "virtue signaling" in my life. And probably would never use it or miss it. Kind of like a joke - if you have to explain it, it didn't work.

And OFL has to be one of the most "pre-offended" people I have ever run into.

Good Day!

spacecraft 1:43 PM  

All this fuss about VIRTUESIGNALING, and I never heard of it. The NE was a bear for me anyway; I had the SIGNALING part but had no idea what went in front. All I had to go on was the clue; that in and of itself made the term seem lacking in integrity.

Threw myself off track with GO ON instead of C'MON (, man!). It must've taken me the better part of an hour trying to sort out that NE, but I finally hit on the 7-down mistake, and then the fog began to clear.

Hand up for thinking that 53 across pertained to golf; with the Z in place I thought it started HAZARD....something. So, a secondary inkblot down there.

For starters I racked my brain for the repeated Shakespeare title word; finally came up with MEASURE for MEASURE. (All's WELL that ends WELL also fits, but doesn't fit in the grid.) From there I actually nailed (creating a NAILHOLE?) the NW for a change. I might call this one easy- (NW-CTR-SE) medium- (SW) challenging (NE). Overall? Medium-challenging, because that one area was REALLY tough. For DOD I have to invade the clue set: Joan of Arc. Considerable triumph points: birdie.

rainforest 3:46 PM  

Started by splatzing SPARED and DETAILS TO FOLLOW, saw that it was good, and rested a spell. Resumed by attacking the NE with LIE, HRE, ARNO, REMORAS, CRAVAT. I felt like VIRTUE SIGNALING there and then (I rule!), but retained the virtue of modesty.

There were so many references to @Rex in the comments that I had to go and read his rant. I honestly don't understand his perspective when an answer (in a crossword puzzle, for ELOI's sake!) somehow reveals a cunning agenda on the part of Will Shortz. Takes chutzpah.

So here's two items that might AMUSE you, or not. In pondering the Shakespeare play, I considered "minute by minute", not knowing whether the Bard wrote that or not. Then MEASURE came to me. Later on, while thinking about losing my slices (note: my second most common shot. First is snap hook. Look it up), I realized that it had nothing to do with golf and actually almost wrote in "bread" because as a boy we had a milkman, a vegetable mean, and a breadman who came daily around our neighbourhood. Then of course came PIZZA. Yay. I want to assure you that I had no write-overs and was careful enough to hold off when the choice between SNARFS and ScARFS came up. More 10 down there.

There's more, but I don't want to bore you more than I already have. I really liked the puzzle in its medium-challengingness.

leftcoast 5:46 PM  

OLE, OLE, and RESOLE! This puzzle deserves some cheers. It is reasonably gettable and fun to do. Which doesn't mean I finished without a cheat or two to get things going.

Biggest cheat: REMORAS in the NE. SMALList (i.e., dumbest): bread, before PIZZA DELIVERIES in the South. But all grid spanners were good ones, and they showed up very well. Favorite: VIRTUE SIGNALING.

That, and the Dryden quote, "Beware the [FURY] of a patient man", triggered jarring memories of a patient man, a colleague who expertly brown-nosed his way to the top of the organization. Underneath his demeanor, he was furiously ambitious. Did I resent his "success"? Yes, to some extent, but never wanted to be in his shoes of take his place. (ELOI! Am I VIRTUE SIGNALING?)

I digress, but otherwise enjoyed the near-solve.


Diana, LIW 6:05 PM  

The puzzle was fun enuf, even tho I dnf'd because of a few unknowns. Unfortunately, I then read OFL"s comments.

Someone "spoilered" the SIGNAL yesterday for me. So here's another SPOILER ALERT FROM YESTERDAY - @Rainey - insurance companies will call something an "act of god" (legally) when they don't want to have to pay to cover the damage. Think storms/earthquakes, etc.

And @Strayling from yesterday - are you talking about THE Seattle Art Museum. Yes, it has many examples of "bad art" IMO.

Diana, LIW

strayling 7:30 PM  

@Diana, LIW

There's an actual Museum of Bad Art dedicated to the worst tat and kitsch you ever saw for sale at a Goodwill. Velvet Elvises are the least of it.

The name is a contrived acronym of a recent President, which is why it jogged my memory.

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