Heraldic hue / SAT 10-5-19 / Egyptian sky god / Short yardage play briefly / Game with ball called quaffle / Vague expression of empathy / Hagia Sophia was built in it / Disney president who oversaw the Pixar acquisition

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Constructor: Trenton Charlson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (7-something)



THEME: none

Word of the Day: MESONS (5D: Accelerator particles) —
n.
Any of a class of subatomic particles that are both hadrons and bosons, are composed of aquark and an antiquark, participate in strong interactions, and have masses generally intermediate between those of leptons and baryons. (sorry, I'm not going to look up all those words for you, too)
• • •

The 15s here are nice. Embarrassed it took me a while to back into the BYZANTINE part of BYZANTINE EMPIRE, considering I love using the adjective "byzantine" as much as I can (45A: The Hagia Sophia was built in it). It's a beautiful word. I also like that TAKE-NO-PRISONERS is a compound adjective that looks like a verb phrase (19A: Ruthlessly aggressive). Sneaky. I found most of the rest of this puzzle competent but kind of boring. The little half-show-offy thing in the middle with the string of Qs (plus one J) in the initial positions of a bunch of answers—that felt pretty bush league. I've seen that before, and it rarely makes a grid better than it might've been otherwise. No real harm done here, but it's a cheap flourish, though I will say that both QUAGMIRES and QUIDDITCH are good words. I also enjoyed the colloquial crossing of "IT HAPPENS" (29D: Vague expression of empathy) and "THAT SO?" (40A: "For real?"). But too much of this was IGER OREM ERAS TORI, i.e. yeah, those words, but there's not much sizzle there. Further, the cluing is generally terse and boring. I think the overriding problem with so many NYTXW puzzles *generally* has more to do with the editorial voice (i.e. the cluing) than the quality of the grids.



My lack of real knowledge about particle physics, as well as tougher-than-grid-average cluing, made the NW the hardest place for me to break into. Thank god I got the COME part of COME QUICK, because that's the only way I get a clear path to the NW. Before that, I've got QUARK, but I can't figure out the ANTI- part (despite having the "A" from the gimme MILA) (8D: One of the two components of 5-Down (5-Down = MESONS)). Is IDIOcracy a real word? I thought it was just a movie title (googling certainly suggests it's just a movie title). Weird. Grateful for my proper noun gimmes today: MILA, EVERS, SALMA, and QUIDDITCH. The QANTAS / LOGO crossover was pretty obvious as well. If I leave the NW out of the equation, this is an Easy Saturday (for me). I liked it moderately, but I still wish NYTXW themelesses were as consistently interesting and timely and clever and even funny as the New Yorker's themelesses are (if you're not doing them (twice a week!) you're missing out). If I could get the difficulty of a NYTXW Saturday with the flair and sass and overall grid quality of a New Yorker puzzle, I'd be so happy.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I am a master codebreaker





[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

66 comments:

Joaquin 12:03 AM  

Found this to be somewhat of a struggle. Felt like the puzzle was saying to me, “Four Q.”

mathgent 12:18 AM  

We've had so many puzzles recently where the grid is choked with Terrible Threes, twenty and more. How great, then, that today's had absolutely none. Tying the world record.

That wasn't the only reason I liked it. Smart cluing, sparkly fill. A bit on the easy side, though.

jae 12:23 AM  

Easy and much easier than yesterday’s. Solid but not all that exciting except for maybe the Qs. Liked it.

Archer 12:32 AM  

Oh Rex it’s like Will Shortz spanked you with a ping-pong paddle some years back and you just can’t forgive him for it.

puzzlehoarder 12:57 AM  

An easy Saturday. Between the early week names laced throughout and this constructor's penchant for high value letters it's hard to say which was the bigger cause for the lack of resistance.

A look at the xwordinfo clue and entry list is revealing as well. This puzzle had only two debut entries. That's pretty low for a Saturday and it just goes to show how much the editor likes those colorful letters. The problem with that is the options for their use are so limited they become sitting ducks in a crossword.

A nice looking puzzle but not enough of a late week challenge.

JJ 1:19 AM  

Cut my average time in half. Very disappointed with that J amidst the run of Q’s.
I did learn QUIRE, and there were a few clever clues to make it fun. I wish everyone threw in a few gimmes to give us a toehold when solving at the end of the week—they were an enormous help!

okanaganer 1:31 AM  

The NL playoff game just finished, and it's NO, LA!

MILA, the crossworld's favorite actress, went in instantly. Then... (about once every ten years my degree in physics comes in useful) 5 down: MUONS is too short, so: MESONS. Then, 8 down, a component of a meson starting with A has to be ANTI- something. ANTIPROTON? no, too long, and wrong level of particles. ANTIQUARK!... from just one letter. Thank you!

And (humblebrag) my second degree was in architecture, so: BYZANTINE EMPIRE!

I RULE. I'm TOP SEEDED. I'm on CLOUD NINE. I TAKE NO PRISONERS. I COME QUICK! (ok, shoulda known when to stop, sorry).

chefwen 2:21 AM  

@Joiquin, That was funny, reminded me of my brother’s dorm room in Madison, WI. Around Christmas he put a sign up in his window for all to see that said “Flock Yule”.

Puzzle was a breath of fresh air after yesterday’s debacle. Started out slowly and thought I was going to have a Google fest like Fridays, passed her over to my puzzle partner who gave me EVERS and BURMA and that was just the boost I needed. The NW remained pretty empty so I did cave and Googled 1A. Technically a DNF, but I’ll take it.

I’ll bet @M & E was chuffed with all those pretty little U s.

Phil 4:24 AM  

loved it. NW again was a struggle.

I think SWAT can be mild, Clock never is.

Lewis 6:21 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:23 AM  

My subconscious was sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, throwing me MESONS, HOSEA, CLINT, QANTAS, QUIRE, and even I RULE, saying "Go for it!", overpowering Reason, sitting on my other shoulder, shouting "Wait and see!" Also, after having put in EMPIRE and having already entered much Scrabbliness elsewhere, it ordered me to slap down BYZANTINE. And thusly I uncharacteristically-for-Saturday marched through the grid. I had a grand old time with this, Trenton, and thank you sir!

After encountering "IDIOcracy" in the SE, I thought, "There's the word you've been looking for, for the past three years!" and then my subconscious, there on my shoulder, dourly instructed me to insert an SH in front of the adjoining IT HAPPENS.

Flying Pediatrician 6:36 AM  

QANTAS plans to begin testing 20 hour direct flights from NYC to Sydney this month. I’d have to download so many crosswords first. I caught a guy cheating off my app solve on a flight from Austin to Detroit recently. #passengershaming

amyyanni 7:18 AM  

LOL at #passengershaming. Really liked this puzzle. Perhaps as many of you have pointed out, that's due to yesterday's work out. Constructor wrote he wanted "_____ box" for both JURY & JUICE. Wonder if I would have appreciated that when solving?

OffTheGrid 7:23 AM  

I liked this a lot. I always love a Harry Potter clue. The diagonal of Q's was cool. TNG fans willENJOY THIS

Suzie Q 7:42 AM  

Like @ Lewis I thought of (sh)it happens.
The clue for top seeded was clever.
I really enjoyed this after a slow start that ended in the NE. It was embarrassing how long it took me to think of garlic clove.
Rex cut this one down because of the Qs but I liked them.
17 hours on a plane? No thanks. Unless we're going to Elysium.

SJ Austin 7:46 AM  

Finished the whole puzzle except being completely stuck in the NW until I gave in and Googled to get MESONS and the ANTI of ANTIQUARK. That and ARIA and MILA were enough to let me finish up in about 30 seconds.

Good puzzle, but sticking two really specialized clues (from the same discipline!) so close to each other seems unfair.

pabloinnh 8:03 AM  

Today I learned that there was a Roosevelt named SARA, MILA is a gimme, and QUIDDITCH is a proper noun. (Thanks OFL, I'llwill henceforth capitalize it in all my writings.)

There was an area restaurant that named itself "Pho Q", which was changed, I assume due to its being in poor taste.

My Buddhist friend's far more elegant take on (SH)ITHAPPENS is "Suffering is".

Agree that yesterday's x-c was a bear. Missed the post game discussion as a shingles booster and flu shot combined to flatten me. Thought the flu shot was supposed to prevent the flu, wrong again.

Fun Saturday, just right for recuperative mode. Thanks TC.

Suzie Q 8:22 AM  

@ OffTheGrid, Thanks for the link. Funny clips of my least favorite character.
@ okanaganer, Yes, one step too far. TMI.

kitshef 8:27 AM  

Quite a bit easier than yesterday’s, although I DNF’d at BIoS/oURMA. Was thinking “bios” as on a book cover, although now that I think of it those are normally on the back cover. Should have thought about that cross more.

Instead, I wasted a ton of time on that horrific OREM/IGER cross. Got it right, but ORaM/IGaR was equally likely.

Egypt has waaaay to many sky gods. My first thought was Nut (goddess of the sky, stars, cosmos, mothers, astronomy, and the universe), but that didn’t fit. Second thought was Hathor. Also didn’t fit. Okay, five letters: Ami-Nu? Sopdu? Oh, Horus.

kitshef 8:41 AM  

Oh, and not sure of the accuracy on that TOP SEEDED clue. To take one example, the top seed in the NCAA football playoff has never won the championship.

Or ladies' tennis, where none of the major tournament winners were the top seeds.

The top seed in the NCAA basketball tournament has won three times in the sixteen years they've assigned a top seed.

Etc.

Z 8:47 AM  

“(Sh)IT HAPPENS and then you die” is how I learned the phrase. Did I mention that I was raised Calvinist and cynical?

To Rex’s point, Black Swan, Friends with Benefits, Jupiter Ascending? No, a TV show that was cancelled 13 years ago. Kunis is going to be our MILA clue, can we make it fresh and misdirective, please?

diSSED and always spelling Ms. Hayek like the city made the SW an unnecessary challenge. Then having cleaned that corner up it took me an unnecessarily long time to come up with EMPIRE. Many precious nanoseconds wasted in the south.

IDIOcracy, LIAR, I RULE, QUAGMIRES, ... these Saturday themes have to stop, and SOON.

Garlic CLOVEs and ginger ROOT, our resident chefs should be as happy as @M&A.

RooMonster 8:52 AM  

Hey All !
Four Q's, a Z, but no F's. The nerve.

Was a nice puz. Did online, finished in 27 minutes, which is suoer fast for me, although it seemed to take longer. Odd.

Had sheet for QUIRE first. Figured out BIDE which got me QB SNEAK off just the B, then with having s_IE_ for 34D, knew something was amiss, then saw COME QUICK, which enabled me to see QUIET and the Q run. But where'd that J come from?

Got a chuckle out of TORI. Thanks to crosswords, know anything round is a TORUS, plural TORI. Tire, donut, inner tube, Cheerio...

For TENSES, had TEN___ and wanted something meaning "a perfect 10, and then some." So thinking CLOSES was CLOckS, had TENSki. Har. AT LEISURE oddly clued.

At least I spelled SALMA right today. THATsSO.

I RULE, I NEPT, I GER, I THAPPENS, I SNT, I DIO :-)

CHIC BIBS
RooMonster
DarrinV

mmorgan 8:55 AM  

This was hard and then it wasn’t. I had fun, learned some words, got my happy pencil song, but was deeply distressed by that errant J among the Qs. I agree that the diagonal letter thing has been seen before, but if you’re gonna do it, you should do it. So there.

Z 9:04 AM  

@kitshef - that’s why you play the games. I suppose it’s what you mean by “unlikely.” The NCAA football thing doesn’t count because the seeding is mostly just pulled out of the selection committee’s derri√®re. In competitions with seeding actually based on something more than “eye tests” like the NCAA basketball tournament and tennis how often do you see a 1 seed lose in an early round? It is so infrequent as to be a major story when it does happen. In March Madness the top seed usually finishes the month no worse than 3-1, sometimes 4-1, 5-1, or 6-0. Seems to me that being very likely to reach at least the Elite 8 means it is unlikely that you’ll be upset.

Adam12 9:25 AM  

Agree with most, much easier than yesterday but I’m feeling so dumb that I can’t understand the clue for TENSES, “perfect and then some”. Please help so I can say “duh” and concentrate at work today. Thanks

QuasiMojo 9:35 AM  

Few quibbles today. Agree with Rex about lack of elan, verve, vivacity and wit in the NYTX of late. I personally, however, find the New Yorker puzzles tedious of late with their bending over backwards and kowtowing to radical chic pop culture, but then so does the magazine. It used to be literary and cultural but now it's like reading People magazine for woke trust-fund hipsters. The only puzzles I really enjoy these days, not counting anything by Patrick Berry, are the Saturday Stumpers in Newsday. Curiously the rest of the week there is even duller than the Times. A shout out to the LATX however for being consistently engaging if not exactly exhilarating.

That hypotenuse of Q's in the center had me wondering if QUICE was a word. Other than that I was done in no time flat. Way too easy and Q-tsey. I knew SARA right off the bat. I've been to that park. She was a remarkable, intrepid person in her own right.

GILL I. 9:35 AM  

If you had clued 5D as Spanish inns, I wouldn't have had to call up Mrs. Googs. Que pena. My only Saturday Night cheat.
Enjoyed the puzzle. When you do these at 4 in the morning, the brain is a bit fuzzy. You have to start cleaning house and empty the dishwasher and then everything becomes a lot clearer. Take note. Since fuzzy was still there, I forgot about the lovely MILA and moved on to the middle. JURY was my first! Imagine that...My peers opened the flood gates and the JUICEs flowed. The QUARK QUAG QUIRE QUIET QUID QANT was there for the grabbing. Que cute.
I would rather eat mushy okra than ever sit on an airplane for 17 hours. I've done my share of crappy airlines and Amtrak has my number now. My longest flight/lay over was a flight from Montevideo to SFO. It took 38 hours and I had my 4year old son with me. We were stuck in Buenos Aires at the airport for 9 hours. Jordan found a kindred soul who played with him but all I wanted to do was scream or sleep. Then stuck in Rio for hours then we get to LA and our flight to Sacramento was cancelled. 30 years I worked for the airline industry and I'm still alive...I retired at the tender age of 55 (or so)....Do you wonder why? I'm a lot more fun now.
Yes...this was a lot easier that yesterday's debacle. What a hoot that I can get a long answer just off a letter or two. I had BY at 45A and without picking up a mop I was able to get the rest of the EMPIRE. Isn't that satisfying?.....My only huh is 44A. Why is REAP get back? I know what REAP is....kinda like bringing in the sheaves or the ye shall sow thing, but did I misread this thing? Was it IDIOcracy on my part?... and I'm sober.
By the way, QANTAS is a wonderful airline. At one time, Australia was on my bucket list of places to visit. Now, If you want the "ultimate" you must try Emirates Airline and fly to Abu Dhabi. Of course you'd have to ply me with a bottle of Talisker to get me there. Maybe?
I love Saturday puzzles and I love the name Trenton.

davidm 9:45 AM  

@Adam12, in English there is a verb tense called PAST PERFECT — I HAD done x, vs. I DID x. … Hence, “Perfect and then some?”

I loved this puzzle. It’s filled with great words and clues. Anything with MESONS and ANTIQUARK in it already wins for me. At first I had BOSONS, but then got the QUARK part of ANTIQUARK, and recalled, somehow, that BOSONS are made of quarks and antiquarks, so I solved those two together.

TAKE NO PRISONERS and BYZANTINE EMPIRE are also big winners. Nice misdirection clues for SWAT, TENSES and LIAR. Hated TORI. The standard pluralization is TORUSES, and anyway, I wish the answer could have been made singular, TORUS, to echo HORUS.

Loved QUIDDITCH as a word, but I wish the Times would scale back Harry Potter clues. Sometimes they seem to appear almost every day. Of course it’s my bias; I know nothing of Harry Potter, but even if I did, why the fixation on this work? How about some clues for stuff by Faulkner, Hemingway, Dostoevsky, etc. etc.? You know, real literature? (Though come to think of it, I believe there was a Faulkner clue recently.)

I didn’t mind the clots of Qs in the middle; I was starting to think the puzzle was somehow Q-themed, but this turned out be another fine misdirection feint.

All in all this was a fun Saturday for me. :)

davidm 9:51 AM  

Oops ... correct my post above to note that MESONS are made of quarks and anti-quarks. ...

SouthsideJohnny 10:04 AM  

@adam12 - per Merriam-Webster:

perfect tense noun
Definition of perfect tense
grammar
: a verb tense that is used to refer to an action or state that is completed at the time of speaking or at a time spoken of

Seems like it would be more appropriate to say COME QUICKly, however that may be a nit - I just don’t think of quick as an adverb though.

Similar to some of the sentiment expressed yesterday re GOT, would really like to lose the Harry Potter nonsense ASAP.

Hungry Mother 10:05 AM  

The NW corner made this a long slog with a happy ending. Nothing our of my wheelhouse, but I failed to look at things the right way all too often.

Adam12 10:07 AM  

@davidm, thank you. I get it now but still had to read your explanation three times. I was obviously not an English major. Cheers

Lewis 10:18 AM  

@quasi -- I wholeheartedly second your endorsement of the Saturday Stumper.

Teedmn 10:26 AM  

Two minutes faster today than yesterday so I'll go along with the easy rating. No write-overs today. I just seemed to have a case of "read the wrong clue" in the center. I was reading the clue for 25D at 26D so when JU___ showed up, I was thinking there was a city named JUdea on Utah Lake. And I read the clue for 38A at 36A - with the ending K of COME QUICK in place, I was expecting 36A to end in banK. As the QUI's filled into the center, all of that got sorted out and since I hadn't written in any of that, no harm done. But I guess I need more light on these gloomy, rainy days so I can read the numbers.

I'm with @Roo on SALMA's name. I always want SeLMA Hayak rather than SALMA Hayek but today, I had BYZANTINE already in place so I didn't have to do any mental maneuvering there.

I figured out the QB part of 37D but then what? QB SNatch? I think I had QUIDDITCH on the brain and was thinking of the SNitch. SNEAK finally snuck in there.

Thanks, Trenton Charlson. It wasn't that long ago we were congratulating you on your NYT debut and now you're up to 16! Nice job.

davidm 10:29 AM  

@Adam12, I should have added that there are also present perfect and future perfect tenses in English, hence making the clue "perfect and then some?" all the stronger, and lovely misdirection.

davidm 10:36 AM  

I wanted to add further that given all the Q clues, I wish the words QUANTUM or QUANTA had been worked in, since this is the realm of MESONS and ANTIQUARKS.

TJS 10:44 AM  

Why does Rex feel he has to include a tweet to echo what he has just said in his commentary? Does a tweet in any way add confirmation to an opinion? I don't get it. I bet there's someone out there who will clear this up for me.

Carola 10:44 AM  

I'll begin with admiration for all of you who 1) found this easy and 2) remember yesterday's puzzle. This one was tough for me to get a handle on, but the puzzling-out was fun all the way. For once, I was glad of a cross-referenced clue: having the G from IGER got me LOGO + QANTAS, leading to QUARK and onward. I enjoyed the humor and trickiness of the clues, especially for Wile E. Coyote's INEPTness (or is he just unlucky with malfunctioning devices from the Acme Co.?), AT LEISURE, TOP-SEEDED.

@Trenton Charlson, this was all I want in a Saturday puzzle. Thank you.

JC66 10:52 AM  

@davidm

Not to mention pluperfect.

Teedmn 11:16 AM  

I'm with @TJS 10:44 in wondering about Twitter protocol. I've noticed that in the NYT (online version anyway), when quoting tweets they will quote it in the text of the article and then show the tweet, a la Rex today. What's up with the redundancy?

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

Man, I wish I knew what happened between Mike and Will...!

Mike, we get it...you don’t like Will Shortz. But your personal vendetta needs to take a rest. Nobody cares but you. You just sound petty and vindictive.

Oh, wait, that’s what you are...carry on.

XxWordLoser 11:17 AM  

Someone called a quality of this one 'smart cluing'

I guess the opposite must be dumb. I'm with Rex, good grid unexcitingly clued

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

And throwing the “(lady)” in there as an , I assume, perjorative seems a little sexist from someone that is always championing women in his blogs.

Why gray “lady”, Mike?

GHarris 11:24 AM  

Had to resort to auto check to finish the NW. was pissed at first about tenses because as others did I assumed clue referred to scoring and wanted tensie. Only grasped the grammatical angle upon coming here. Otherwise, a good and satisfying workout.

What? 11:24 AM  

Plural of ten

Unknown 11:28 AM  

No sass? No timeliness? With idiocracy in the puzzle? You never shied away from polutics before... And cluing could have been better.

davidm 11:29 AM  

@JC66, Yes, the pluperfect, or plusquamperfect (from the Latin, “more than perfect”), from which we can also derive the past perfect progressive, present perfect progressive, and future perfect progressive.

Unknown 11:41 AM  

Yawn. Rex slams Will Shortz once again. Thought this pretty easy for a Saturday. Got all but one letter. The g in IGER. Thought LOLO was ghe nickname for the kangaroo.

JC66 11:49 AM  

@anon 11:19

I think it was @Rex's feeble attempt at humor because The New York Times is often referred to as "The Gray Lady."

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

Ahhh...thanks, JC66...my bad.

davidm 12:10 PM  

@Anonymous, the Times' nickname is the Gray Lady. I think it harks back to a time when it was filled exclusively with newsprint, and, as late as around 1999, it refused to publish color photos. Just as, until relatively recently, it refused to use the word "gay" -- only "homosexual" was permitted. And, until relatively recently, no one in print could ever be described as "fired" from a job -- they were "dismissed." The Times still insists on using honorifics for all individuals, and "tweet" is technically banned, in favor of "Twitter message," though "tweet" increasingly works its way into print. Unfortunately the meticulous Times has fully succumbed to the plague of "run-up", which is appearing everywhere, in place of the more elegant and economical "prelude" -- as in the measles-like contagion of "... in the run-up to the election."

ccredux 12:15 PM  

First time here. I enjoy your comments. I think there only two tenses, present and past, in English. Future, present and past perfect, progressive, etc. are “aspects “ of those two tenses .

Joe Dipinto 12:18 PM  

This required a bit of effort to get going after plunking in MILA EVERS SALMA. I couldn't see BURMA for the Kwai train for the longest, and for "shaved ice ingredient" I just kept thinking "water"? Once SYRUP occurred to me the Kwai train got rolling and things progressed.

I agree with Rex about the general NYT clue editing: either it's dull or it's excessively cutesy or it's weirdly off in some way. Very often it just doesn't "click" overall. I think today's is a really good puzzle but brighter cluing would have made it even more of a fun solving experience.

@Teedmn – I find the Times's style of quoting a tweet verbatim and printing an image of it as well incredibly annoying. One or the other is fine, I don't need both.

@Anon 11:19 -– The Gray Lady is a sobriquet for the NYTimes.

Here's something to spice things up.

Anoa Bob 12:27 PM  

The (sh)IT HAPPENS thread reminds me of an essay titled "World Religions Simplified". In a nutshell, it goes like this:

Taoism: (sh)IT HAPPENS
Confucianism: Confucius say "(sh)IT HAPPENS
Zen Buddhism: What is the sound of one (sh)IT HAPPENing?
Hinduism: This (sh)IT has HAPPENed before
Catholicism: If (sh)IT HAPPENS, you deserve it
Protestantism: Let (sh)IT HAPPEN to someone else
Judaism: Why does (sh)IT always HAPPEN to us
New Age: Visualize no (sh)IT HAPPENing
Atheism: We ain't (sh)IT
Agnosticism: (sh)IT if I know

Sgreennyc 12:27 PM  

Rex wrote: I think the overriding problem with so many NYTXW puzzles *generally* has more to do with the editorial voice (i.e. the cluing) than the quality of the grids.

It's obvious that just as Trump envies/hates Obama, Rex has the same feelings toward Will Shortz. And like Trump, his pathology is getting worse.

Hannah 12:31 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jberg 12:35 PM  

I hadn't noticed the total absence of three-letter words. A big plus, for me, now that it has been pointed out. And I liked more of the fill than many. As for that little parade of Qs enfilading its way up the grid: I'm divided. Part of me says, if you can't fit in all 5, then take them out (or all but one); but my other half says, if you can't get a good entry with Q, and you can with J, then go ahead -- and "peer group" is a pretty good clue for JURY.

I was pretty proud of myself for getting ACRONYM off the A, but really that just means I've been doing too many crosswords.

@Gill, of course you were working and had no choice -- but if you have plenty of time, the best way to handle a long flight is to put in a stopover. My parents had done a tour of Australia (also New Zealand); my mother enjoyed it, but she really suffered during the 13-hour flight. So when I got a chance to go to Australia myself, I built in 3 days in Honolulu each way. It was wonderful.

Anonymous 12:38 PM  

I don't really keep track but I'm pretty sure I smashed my Saturday record with today's puzzle. For some reason, the answers just kept falling into place. The proper nouns and crosswordese were all gimmes, and that gave me enough crosses for the long answers to fall into place with no resistance. I'm usually in the 20-min range on Saturdays but today was a 7:09 with hardly a blink. Sure was fun after I had to cheat three times yesterday.

Masked and Anonymous 12:39 PM  

Can kinda see what @RP meant about the cluin … only two ?-clues in a whole SatPuz is a little tame.
TENSES clue was outer-space-crafty, tho.

If U can't complete yer continuous string of Q's in a puzgrid, splatzin a J into the mix is a pretty cool plan B. Sorta like a QJ-SNEAK.

Primo seed(?) entries: TAKENOPRISONERS. BYZANTINEEMPIRE.
Other good stuff: WRITTENIN. ANTIQUARK. QUAGMIRES. COMEQUICK. ACRONYM. QBSNEAK. CLOUDNINE. ATLEISURE.
QUIDDITCH was ok, altho I kept wantin to spell it QUIDDIDGE, or somesuch.
har to @RP lookin to them 4-letter words, for his ration of sizzle.

staff weeject pick: [sigh]

Thanx for the feisty 68-worder, Mr. Charlson.

Masked & Anonym8Us

QuasiMojo 12:50 PM  

@Lewis, glad you agree. I hope you compose one for them! @Anoa Bob thanks for that list of religions. Hilarious and true.

Taffy-Kun 1:40 PM  

Joke actually told at a Massachusetts Linguist Conference:

Man relishing seafood jumps into a Boston cab “Quick driver, I want to get scrod”
Driver “30 years driving a cab, that’s the first time I’ve heard the Pluperfect Subjunctive of that verb!”

L

deerfencer 2:58 PM  

Fun puzzle with lots of great answers--bravo. And Take No Prisoners is the title of my favorite live Lou Reed album, taped in 1978 at the Bottom Line. Anyone looking to document or explore Reed's hatred of rock critics need go no further than to hear Lou's long rambling speed-driven monologue during "Walk On the Wild Side." Some very funny shite.

Anonymous 3:23 PM  

If u do it on the app, click “stats” it will show your fastest time ever for each day.

GILL I. 4:19 PM  

@jberg. Yes...the only way to travel...stay over in someplace fun! But here's the rub. When going to Spain, I would stay a couple of days in NYC. No non stops so you'd change in either Chicago or Atlanta. AND...I promise you your flight is delayed or cancelled. You'd think by now the airlines can get it right with a crew change or back-up plane. NO and they don't give a caca. My good friend just took a United flight from NYC to SMF and she was stuck at O'Hare for 13 hours because of a weather issues, flight crew rest time and no available planes. They changed the ETD about 4 times so she didn't dare leave the airport. FUN...ain't it?

Nancy 7:26 PM  

Loved it. My paper arrived very late once again -- not until after I left the house. But at least it came. Spent the day not knowing. If I'd missed this puzzle, it would have been a real loss. Lots of thinking required and I was very engrossed. Avoided reading the blog this a.m. Running out -- read y'all later or tomorrow.

graylady 8:25 PM  

Perfect tense and others, remembering High school English class . . .

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