Hacienda drudge / TUE 1-14-20 / Video game franchise in which enemies are pigs / Dadism pioneer / Vikki who sang it must be him / BuzzFeed competitor / Rogue computer in 2001

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Constructor: Jim Peredo

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium ("Medium" was *entirely* the fault of the NW)

THEME: animals feeling various levels of ire — famous names / titles which follow the pattern [adjectives meaning some level of "displeased" + animal]

Theme answers:
  • ANGRY BIRDS (18A: Video game franchise in which the enemies are pigs)
  • GROUCHY / LADYBUG (23A: With 51-Across, Eric Carle kid-lit book, after "The")
  • GRUMPY CAT (34A: Feline in an internet meme)
  • RAGING BULL (57A: 1980 Boxing biopic)

Word of the Day: MASHABLE (36D: BuzzFeed competitor) (really? "competitor"?) —
Mashable is a digital media website founded by Pete Cashmore in 2005.
Mashable was founded by Pete Cashmore while living in Aberdeen, Scotland, in July 2005. Early iterations of the site were a simple WordPress blog, with Cashmore as sole author. Fame came relatively quickly, with Time magazine noting Mashable as one of the 25 best blogs of 2009. As of November 2015, it had over 6,000,000 Twitter followers and over 3,200,000 fans on Facebook. In June 2016, it acquired YouTube channel CineFix from Whalerock Industries.
In December 2017, Ziff Davis bought Mashable for $50 million, a price described by Recode as a "fire sale" price. Mashable had not been meeting its advertising targets, accumulating $4.2 million in losses in the quarter ending September 2017. After the sale, Mashable laid off 50 staffers, but preserved top management. Because of the drop in value, stock options previously issued to employees became worthless. (wikipedia)
• • •

This solve was pretty much defined by my never having heard of "The GROUCHY / LADYBUG"; that answer crossed the end of NOTAONE, whose quaintness was inscrutable to me (I had NOTHING and NOT A BIT before getting to the correct answer). I don't think of a PEON as having anything to do with a "Hacienda" specifically or Spanish generally, so 14A: Hacienda drudge was a bizarre clue to my eyes. And then 1D was a cross-reference, ERGO useless (1D: 18-Across, e.g.). Thus, that GROUCHY bit could not have been better situated to mess me up. That whole NW section was an awkward struggle—and I actually *knew* CARR (24D: Vikki who sang "It Must Be Him"), which, if you are not a longtime solver and are under, say, 50, might very well have been baffling. Vikki is no longer what I would call a Tuesday CARR. Are there any Tuesday CARRs? Caleb? I'll have to think on this one. Anyway, once, I got (the hell) out of the NW, the puzzle suddenly got ridiculously easy. I wrote in RAGING BULL without ever looking at the clue, that's how fast things were going. EASY (66A: "No problemo!"). In the end, I think this one is pretty solid. It's got a fun, consistent, modern theme, and the fill is very smooth, for the most part. Angry, Grouchy, Grumpy, Raging. Yes, this works. If only my Eric Carle knowledge went further than "The Hungry Caterpillar"...

I hope you are not one of the people who will inevitably be shouting that the NYTXW made an error today with DESERTS (13D: "Just" punishment). The answer is correct. Just DESERTS are what you *deserve*, not some kind of Banana Split of Justice or pie to the face. Is MASHABLE really a "competitor" or BuzzFeed. I am aware that MASHABLE exists only because its stories get forced into my social media feeds from time to time. I'm not business-type person, but my guess is that this alleged "competition" is, uh, asymmetrical. BuzzFeed feels like a monolith, MASHABLE feels like someone in 2030 making a joke about what the internet was like in 2015. I only ever hear BANE in the phrase "BANE of my existence," where it is idiomatic and means nothing like "ruination." Thus I had trouble getting to BANE from its clue (which is perfectly dictionary-correct) (19D: Cause of ruination). After all those stumbles in the NW, I made just one stumble the rest of the way. I had -O-E at 38A: A wartime communication might be sent in it (CODE), and I unblinkingly wrote in DOVE. I guess they didn't really put the message *in* the doves ... and, wait, am I thinking of pigeons? Oh, dang, I'm thinking of pigeons. Wow. Well, that was fun. Have a nice Tuesday!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 8:18 AM  

Why have all the comments been removed by a blog administrator? I really enjoy reading them

TJS 8:20 AM  

Wow, Was this fun or what ?!! Thank God for the archive. And I think it's really "No problema" but I guess it's idiomatic by now.

Suzie Q 8:20 AM  

Wow, hell must be frozen over. Rex actually used "fun" to describe his solving experience. I completely agree. My first priority for early week puzzles is fun and this was great. Very lively.
I wonder about "deserts" as clued. Why do we pronounce it like desserts? Are there other uses or examples of this?
Thanks Jim P. for an enjoyable start to my day.
@ OffTheGrid, I remember that song and could hear it in my head as soon as you mentioned it. It was pretty funny back then.

Laura 8:21 AM  

I blasted right threw except didnt know the lady bird. Guess that will have to wait for grand kids.

After making some extra tough puzzles at the end of last week i was hoping they would dial up Monday Tuesday a bit since they fly bye so quick. I guess that's not to be. Need to have some balance I guess.

mmorgan 8:22 AM  

Wow. What an amazing range of diverse answers. Some were cringeworthy, and I won’t get into that. I see there’s a kind of a theme of moody animals — ANGRY GROUCHY GRUMPY LADY RAGING — but mainly I just enjoyed the rich diversity of the answers. But sigh, as I’m sure others will note, the word is “problema” (but I guess a case could be made that the English version is PROBLEMO...). I’m kidding about LADY. CARR was a gimme!

Weird that the posts disappeared. I’m posting this anyway...

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

What just happened? I tried tp post a comment and now everyone has disappeared.

xyz 8:31 AM  

Easy with a few new ones needing crosses

Z 8:32 AM  

Well, that’s weird.

Anyway, Rex alluded to my chief plaint. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is canonical Eric Carle. The GROUCHY LADYBUG not so much. Why is one more famous than the other? Not really sure. I double-checked the Wikipedia pages and they support the notion.

Anyone else amused by the “(Benjamin Hoff book)” part of the 20A clue. If The TAO of Pooh isn’t automatic is mentioning the author really going to help?

I did not know that HUGO Boss was German, yet somehow it makes sense now that I know it.

Really like the Emotional Animals theme for a rainy Tuesday. Very apt.

I mentioned late last night that one Newsflash Clue amused me greatly since a mononymous model I just learned of here a few days ago appeared. Makes me wonder if Peter Gordon reads these comments.

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

Peon, Spanish "especially one who does work regarded as menial or unskilled; drudge."

Still, that would be a Thursday clue for a Tuesday word.

Unknown 8:42 AM  

Can we get a consensus on how to spell "smart ALEC(K)"? On Saturday it was clued identically at 44D and spelled with a K. Obviously number of letters dictates which spelling I use, but this will always bother me.

SouthsideJohnny 8:46 AM  

The NW was tough - I didn’t know GROUCHY or CARR, didn’t bite at NOTHING, but struggled to come up with NOT A ONE, didn’t bother trying to trying to figure out “Hacienda drudge” - I still don’t get it, can someone explain ? I finally took a few guesses in that section and recognized MANRAY which helped.

I agree with OFL that the rest of it would maybe be a tough Monday or an easy-ish Tuesday.

Back to “Hacienda drudge“ which means “Spanish estate menial worker” - ok, I get it. PEON is a Spanish term as well. When I hear the word PEON, I don’t visualize a necisarily Spanish person, but that’s probably just the word slipping into common usage, so ok, I guess.

Loren Muse Smith 8:46 AM  

It took a minute to see that the adjectives describing the animals all meant “displeased” – hard to think of any others, right? MAD DOG… too short.

‘Infer” before IMPLY. ;-)

ANNE Hathaway shares the grid with RUNNY eggs. I remember some story about her going all diva Hollywood star on a waitress in a restaurant. She kept sending eggs back ‘cause they weren’t to her liking. I hate reading stuff like this. I want all the movie stars to be really nice, generous people whose fame doesn’t affect them. It’s my plan when I’m famous to be nice and humble to waitresses.

Ok. Since Jim opened up themer possibilities to symmetrical pairs with GROUCHY LADYBUG, you could actually broaden the theme to include TRASHY SABLES and NEUTRAL TOUCANS.

RUNNY crosses SNOT. ‘Tis the season, right? I’m famous at school for my Puff’s Plus Lotion and Vick’s Vap-o-Rub kleenexes. Mother’s love in a box.

QuasiMojo 8:59 AM  

I enjoyed the snarky theme. Maybe I've found my new calling, writing children's books. The possibilities are endless:

The Pissed-Off Possum
Fuming Frogs
The Ornery Onager
Snappy, the Crotchety Croc
Irene, the Irate Iguana
The Llama that Lambasted Lima
Harpo, the Hapless Hippo
Leadfoot: The Bunny who found nothing Funny.
The Wrath of Congers

And so forth.

Todd 9:01 AM  

I actually found the NW easy, mashable was my only issue having never heard of it. I will say I find the concept of a Banana Split of Justice very intriguing.

Taffy-Kun 9:08 AM  

“No Problema” would be better than the obnoxious “No Problemo”, though I never remember actually hearing it. Rather “No Hay Problema” or “No Tengo Problema”

Bruce R 9:08 AM  

Can someone please advise me of whether to say AHH or AAH when relaxing in a crossword spa?

Z 9:11 AM  

I felt like this was heavy on PPP, so I took a look. It’s a very high 31 of 76, for 41%. This didn’t cause much issue for experienced solvers, but this might play unusually tough for newer solvers.

Quick PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns. Anything over 33% gives some subset of solvers problems.

The List

ANNE Hathaway
RURAL (Dakotas clue)
The TAO of Pooh
HAN Solo
MAE Jemison
AVE (Caesar clue)
Bill & TED’s Excellent Adventure
MEOWS (Friskies clue)

Vicki CARR
TOUCANS (Froot Loops clue)
The BAY area.

Note that 8 of the 31 could have easily been clued in non-PPP ways. Wordplay > Trivia. Always.

squawk 7700 9:11 AM  

I almost inserted HAL at 25 Across...but caught myself, remembering that HAL was that naughty computer in 2001. Then came 41 across. Baaden-Meinhof. Danke sehr!

Andy 9:12 AM  

I had to look it up after I solved it.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:12 AM  

One of my favorite moments from Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, when I was about age 10, was his explanation of the Blues. He invented one live. Being from Harvard and a classical musician, he did not start with the couplet anyone was expecting: 'I will not be afraid of death or BANE' he rasped. 'I said I will not be etc. ..... Til Burnham Forest comes to Dunsinane.' It was the ruination of a certain Scottish King's existence.

Love some dove 9:19 AM  

Doves are pigeons.

Banya 9:20 AM  

That was way easier than Monday's. I think today's and yesterday's should have been switched.

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

My theory about the problemo v problema is that problemo rhymes with no and makes it more fun to say for us gringos.

Nate 9:26 AM  

I had an unfortunately long break from puzzle solving due to work/laziness issues, but Monday morning was my first puzzle in months. It was a genuine struggle, and I was concerned that I had just lost it due to my time off.

Thankfully, I breezed through this enjoyable, playable Tuesday, which felt more like a Monday. In fact, my time was 4 minutes better today than it was yesterday!

Lewis 9:29 AM  

A fun Tuesday with enough rub to make it interesting, and thank you for making this, Jim. I'm happy to see ROSY in the grid to balance the theme answers, and I found a theme echo at ERGO when it hit me backwards.

There was a mini-theme of answers ending in Y (9), and it would have been sweet if RUNNY turned out to be over EASY.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

I wish all comments could be about the crossword and not about the persons writing them

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

Why is miniature golf called “putt putt”?

Unknown 9:40 AM  

NW was difficult. I had NOTHING, the WHO of Pooh and was thinking the Squishy ladybug. Obviously something was amiss when I knew GMC Yukon. Not knowing MANRAY or CARR didn't help.

I thought NOTHING was a Willy Wonka allusion. Guess not. One of the harder Tuesday puzzles I've done.

Crimson Devil 9:47 AM  

Quasi, a quick addition, Biblical perhaps, to your fine list:
Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.

jberg 9:48 AM  

Loren, welcome back! I've been missing you!

Greater FR -- Yes! We didn't have those concerts out in Wisconsin, but as a teenager I bought an LP where Bernstein explained jazz, and he used that same example. Anyway, Rex ought to know fleabane, wolfsbane, etc.

@Z, solving in the paper I get a sketchy knowledge of what else is in the Arts section. Today there was a short item about the New York Public Library's list of the ten most checked out items in its entire history; one of them was that book about the caterpillar. I pretty much needed crosses for the LADYBUG.

I guess the clue for 43D is accurate enough, but some how "Able was I ere I saw SIBERIA" just doesn't have that ring to it.

Gulliver Foyle 9:56 AM  

This was one of those "wheelhouse" puzzles where I knew pretty much every reference, including how to spell "deserts." It happens about every six months to a year. Randomness in action.

Z 10:15 AM  

@jberg - I see that. I’m pleased to see The Snowy Day and Where the Wild Things Are are in the Top Four. My favorite Seuss has always been Green Eggs and Ham so #2 is a bit of an upset in my opinion. More amazing, Wikipedia already had the info added this morning when I checked the page.

@Bruce R - Experienced solvers put in A-H and wait for the cross. It’s what makes us superior.*

*Just Kidding. Seriously, learn to smile. We get to talk about crossword puzzles.

Nancy 10:15 AM  

Oh, @Quasi -- You've outdone yourself today. Just wonderful!

Now for my take: I'm thinking about the animals from my childhood. Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Sylvester and Tweety, Lad a Dog -- they were all so good natured. Even The Black Stallion, once he was ridden for the first time, was good-natured. I guess we live in a grumpier, grouchier and angrier time now. Sad but true.

Does everyone but me know that Sam the Fruit Loops mascot is a TOUCAN? Would I know that even if I'd ever seen Sam the Fruit Looms mascot?

A fun idea for a theme. But when your theme requires so many pop culture names, maybe you could have left out such non-theme names as MASHABLE, HUGO and CARR. I found this on the hard side for a Tuesday.

SeaBea 10:23 AM  

As a novice, I enjoyed this unproblematic puzzle. 'No problema' is not correct in any language. In Spanish, you would say 'No hay problema,' which doesn't really translate as 'easy.'

David 10:25 AM  

Easy breezy fun.

What I learned today: Peon is a Spanish word and Hugo Boss is based in Germany.

Grumpy Cat was the only one I knew off the bat. The rest I needed crosses for. Had Not a Bit before Not a One, but M_I_AY made the obvious Man Ray wrong, so I got rid of Bit, put in the N, and then realized it was Not a One. Hand up for NW being the tough part.

A. Palmer 10:25 AM  

@anonymous (9:34am) Putt-Putt is the name of a chain of franchised miniature golf coursesin about a dozen US states and a few other places around the world. It's been around since the 1950's and has, in those states where it has franchises, become over time a more generic term for miniature golf.

RooMonster 10:26 AM  

Hey All !
One of the Mods must've had their "Delete" button get stuck. I didn't see (apparently) today's delete problems, but checked YesterPuzs comments this morning, and about 20 of the last one were "Deleted by a blog administrator."

Anyway, agree this puz was easy, except that NW. PEON as clued was tough, plus what in tarhooties is "The TAO of Pooh"? Well, a book, obviously, about Winnie the Pooh, but, hoo boy. Took a sec for MANRAY also, actually wanted MAcRAY for a bit.

Did enjoy the theme. Got a good laugh (and am quite impressed) at @Quasimojo's list of book titles.

Kept reading 59A clue as Many a Mexican. ARAB? Huh? Har.

@Anonymous 9:34
It's because all you do is PUTT. So why not? It's a fun name. When I was in high school I designed a Mini Golf Course. On that brown paper tablet. Remember those? I forget what they were called. I still have it somewhere in a box. One hole even had a small sand trap!

@love some dove 9:19
Agree, doves are just all white pigeons. I read that somewhere... They get more respect than the "flying rats" do.


SeaBea 10:28 AM  

How about the Curmudgeonly Koala?

Chelsea 10:34 AM  

Appreciated "entourage" with its extra ire!

Joaquin 10:34 AM  

Anonymous @9:34 asks, "Why is miniature golf called “putt putt”?

Good question. Seems like whenever I go miniature golfing, they use the plural form. I often hear comments directed at me like, "Look at that putts on the third hole."

Evan 10:45 AM  

I would say "Raiders quarterback Derek" for CARR

Greg Charles 10:47 AM  

+1 to Love Some Dove: pigeon and dove are two words for the same birds.

jae 10:57 AM  

Easy-medium. Pretty smooth solve even though MASHABLE and GROUCHY LADYBUG were WOEs. POed fauna, liked it.

JC66 11:01 AM  


Thanks, you literally made me Laugh Out Loud.

Z 11:13 AM  

Interesting NYT Digital subscription data.

Z 11:20 AM  

@Nancy10:15 wins the day for best typo induced image that made me laugh. TOUCAN Sam as a Fruit of the Loom Mascot would definitely not qualify as “subliminal advertising.”

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Alas, @Evan got here first. OFL needs to spend more time in sports bars.

GILL I. 11:27 AM  

Well I was up at my early god-fearing hour this morning and when I went to post, only @Lewis was up. I always like that because he sets the cheery tone.
I got deleted for some reason and everyone else was out of sync. I won't repeat my amusing (as usual) post but I will say this:
GRUMPY CAT is dead.

John Hoffman 11:47 AM  

Agreed that Tuesday was easier than Monday. Northwest was harder part. I speak Spanish and never heard PEON as a Spanish word. But the puzzle is quite good!

pabloinnh 12:05 PM  

Happy to see so many others were deleted too. Was wondering how I could have offended. Whew.

I thought this was good fun, so thanks JP. "JP" is also what everyone calls my son, so that's what some folks call an "added bonus", which makes me gnash my teeth. Let me know when something is a "subtracted bonus".

Also nice to see many others annoyed by the "no problemo" clue. Momentum is building for banning this from the language, although there are still too many who say this, nor do they cease to say this. As for me, no puedo mas.

@Joaquin-Great stuff. Viva the dad joke!

Alex M 12:15 PM  

Fun fact: pigeons, plain old city pigeons, are in fact "rock doves".

Kathy 12:16 PM  

Why can’t one of the mods explain what is behind all the deletions since so many have asked? Even if it was nothing more than a simple mistake, just admit it.

I liked the puzzle although I never even noticed the theme. Hand up for being flabbergasted that it isn’t just desserts! I’ll tuck that little morsel away.

Anonymous 12:19 PM  

A Moderator said:


If we knew, we'd tell you.

Unfortunately, we have no idea what caused it.

GILL I. 12:31 PM  

The discussion of "no problemo" amuses me no end. Those of us who speak espanol know it's incorrect. Make that enye, please.
It's called mock Spanish and to some, it's a bit on the racist side. To me, and to my amiguetes, it's mock fun. I know you think of surfer dudes throwing out English words and ending them in the forever "O." Does "El cheapo" ring a bell?
You have to have lived in Miami when the Cubans arrived and changed the course of the language. They are famous for it. Take an English word and make it your own. "Se necessita delivery guy." So, I say CHILL(o) and have some fun with words. Just don't call anyone a beano.

Jesse 12:42 PM  

This puzzle felt much easier than Monday's. Maybe they got flipped?

Anyway, if you want a "Carr" in current pop culture, look to Oakland Raiders' QB Derek Carr! He is very well known and well paid!

Carola 12:57 PM  

What a delight. The crossword muse really smiled on Jim Peredo with this theme. Some nice Downs, too.

@Suzie Q - Your question made me think of Maine’s Mount Desert (dih-ZURT) Island, but that’s from the sense of “desolate,” not from “deserved.”

Looking up “desert” in the OED led me to this poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1542)

The Lover suspected blameth ill Tongues

Mistrustful minds be moved
To have me in suspect,
The truth it shall be proved,
Which time shall once detect.

Though falsehood go about
Of crime me to accuse,
At length I do not doubt
But truth shall me excuse.

Such sauce as they have served
To me without desert,
Even as they have deserved,
Thereof God send them part.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

You people are funny today. First, @Quasimojo gets me warmed up with his angry animals kids lit titles, and then @joaquin puts me over the top with his putts. I get to @Z's Fruit of the Loom toucan (I had missed @Nancy's typo) and my belly is quivering with giggles. Stop it, you all, I'm at work in an open office!

Easy today. I did notice the preponderance of PPP but it all went in faster than yesterday so no problemo.

@LMS, I have a friend who used to send all of her food back at least once. She's gotten better but recently she went off on a waiter about too much dregs (plural? singular?) in her red wine. The replacement glass was also a cause for contention. My friend wasn't belligerent but she wouldn't back down either. If she had been famous, she probably would have gotten tagged in the tabloids for being difficult like ANNE did. As we left, she said she was leaving less of a tip because of the wine. One of our other tablemates replied, "Well, I left a bigger than usual tip because you were so GROUCHY" (quote has been paraphrased to some extent.)

Jim Peredo, thanks for the breezy Tuesday, and thanks, commentariat, for the laughs!

QuasiMojo 1:21 PM  

I was unaware of the mass excision this morning but I did notice there were fewer comments than usual. I wonder what happened. Thanks to all you other posters for the clever book titles! Quite the menagerie. @Nancy I can't believe you'd want to get rid of Vicki CARR. (Much preferable to Caleb in my book.) and @Z good catch on the Freudian toucan remark. Reminds me of Joe Camel. :-)

The problem with "just deserts" is that there are so many bake shops called "Just Desserts" that one forgets the original meaning.

CDilly52 1:23 PM  

Either this was a really easy and enjoyable solve or I am over the hump with this dang flu. Either way, today the fog is lifting. Totally agree that the LADYBUG is not Eric Carle’s best known book, but I have my five year old friend PJ to thank for knowing this one. I

My daughter and son in law live in Northern California, both of them dedicated teachers. They
have finally been approved as adoptive parents and we are eagerly awaiting “the phone call.” Much to my surprise, I am eager to become a grand parent! Until then, I am surrogate grandma to my friend PJ.

My dear friends Chris and Alison have two boys: a “heading toward sullen teenage” 12 year old and 5 year old PJ. I have been honored on many occasions to join their Sunday Dinners, always good food prepared by wannabe chef-dad, and always wonderful people, all family and friends. From the time he was about 2, PJ latched onto me after dinner armed with a book or two. He knew an easy mark when he saw one! I think he was just a bit over 3 when one evening after a couple books, PJ looked up at me from his place perched on my lap in “the reading chair” and asked, “Miss Carol, whose grandma are you?” I told him I wasn’t a grandma yet, and inquired why he asked. He said earnestly, “You read as good as a grandma.” High praise indeed. And he introduced me to both of Mr. Carle’s characters, the Hungry Caterpillar and the Angry Ladybug. Thanks PJ, for helping my speedy solve today, and for all the enjoyable hours spent sharing a wonderful family. Today is going to be a good day.

Masked and Anonymous 1:49 PM  

JUSTDESSERTS was used as a themer once, in a NYTPuz. Seems like it would make a pretty good theme revealer, sometime, also.

Nice list, by @QuasiMojo. Only thing M&A can sorta add to it is: PISSEDASAPARROT.

Lotsa cool fillins, of which ENTOURAGE and EARTHDAY were a coupla faves.
staff weeject pick: MAR. Better theme-semi-embracin-clue: {Ram with its back up??} = MAR.

I'll keep this kinda short, in case some hacky Russian moderator goes rogue again.
Thanx for the grouchy fun, Mr. Peredo.

Masked & Anonym007Us

slight NYTPuz dejavuoisity:

Bea 3:32 PM  

Funny how it works out, but today's puzzle was a breeze & yesterday's made me feel like a numbskull.

Bea 3:33 PM  


Bea 3:36 PM  

A note: If one is in 'the bay', then it had better be either in a boat or in a wetsuit.

Richardf8 3:43 PM  

It was recent, I think. I wondered if the puzzle was constructed before news of (iirc) her passing.

Anonymous 3:49 PM  

the use of bane in the phrase bane of my existence is not idiomatic. It is in fact literal as in the cause of great distress or annoyance.

Bane as ruination from the archaic meaning of bane as a poison--thinks wolf's bane--is a non starter.

Richardf8 3:49 PM  

While we are on the use and abuse of Spanish, has anyone considered using "the Spanish word for ‘year’ as it appears in a crossword, to a spaniard” to clue “rectum”

Anonymous 3:52 PM  

z, jberg.
Most amazing thing about that list is why Goodnight Moon isn't on it. Wow!
First Alexandria now this. Who said librarians don't wield power?!

pabloinnh 4:16 PM  



Z 4:38 PM  

@Anon3:49 - Have you ever heard anyone use “BANE of my existence” to mean ruining someone’s life or causing their death? That’s the literal meaning of the phrase. Go ahead and look up BANE and you will find “a source of harm or ruin” and “Death, destruction.” When I say “año/ano discussions are the BANE of my existence” I don’t actually mean @Richardf8’s comment will kill me. Rather, I’m using it idiomatically.

@Anon3:52 - 25 years? That’s some serious influence. I also see strong HS English course influence, #’s 3, 5, & 7 are all HS staples. Makes me wonder how many times they were checked out but not actually read.

PatC 5:46 PM  

The NW was easy for me. Being a former elementary school librarian, I know all Eric Carle’s books and since I’m old, CARR was a gimme (that song is still running through my head, dang it)

All in ll, pretty easy (no problemo) and fun. A lot fewer problemos than yesterday.

Anonymous 8:16 PM  

You're confused. Again.
In fact, bane of my existence is literal, not a metaphor owing to the i
(identical) definition we both provided.
Also, stay in your lane.I was adressing Rex. Step off.

Giskarrrd 8:37 PM  

Despite having similar struggles with the NW as Rex, and despite having learned the expression just DESERTS today, and despite being unfamiliar with some of the PPP (CARR, MANRAY, GROUCHY LADYBUG), I still beat my record for fastest Tuesday by a minute and thought it was a pretty good puzzle. First time ever I didn’t notice a theme until I was done, I guess mainly because there was no revealer.

Z 10:13 PM  

@anon8:16 - If you don’t want your mistakes pointed out publicly why don’t you email Rex? BTW - Rex is on record that he doesn’t read the comments anymore.

Charles 11:56 PM  

I'll admit, I thought it was desserts. Hadn't really seen the phrase spelled out much, and I always figured it meant that a person would reap the consequences (i.e. desserts, which come at the end) for their actions (the meal, so to speak). Now I know!

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

Rex not treading the comments isn't an invitation for you to jump in.
I made no error. You did. Re-read the posts.

jb129 12:23 PM  

To not be well & constructing a xword puzzle is admirable. Wish you the best Mary Lou. Hope to see you again soon.

spacecraft 11:50 AM  

I got 'er done okay, but there was a lot I didn't actually know. Fortunately, I was able to infer (the guesser infers; the provider IMPLIES) what my unknowns were through crosses and there were no true naticks.

It's been a generous generation since I had a kid in the house, so I never even heard of Eric Carle. References to internet stuff also glazed my eyes. The last square I filled in was 36, the closest I came to a guess.

I understand ENTOURAGE, but must it be a rapper's posse? Any famous person could have one. This clue makes me GRUMPY. Hand up among a sea of hands for NOThing; causing a great WASTE of time in the NW.

My GROUCHY attitude was offset right off the bat with a DOD at 1 across--and another near the end. ANNE and TINA co-win today. ATANYRATE, the theme was consistent, and as much fun as anger can be. The fill is also pretty clean, which is getting to be more and more of a rarity these days. Despite its being definitely out of my wheelhouse, I give it a birdie: just DESERTS.

Burma Shave 1:50 PM  


MAE felt GROUCHY, not flashy -
it’s EASY to act TRASHY,


Diana, LIW 2:21 PM  

I'm with @Spacey today - a lot not to know, but got 'er done. GROUCHY lady bugs? Really? They look pretty content to me, eating aphids in the garden. They even get called "good" bugs - beneficial insects.

And GRUMPY cats aren't grumpy - just regal. Lion-like. Deserving of all good things.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoaster 3:22 PM  

I do like the challenge, but is this make'em-squirm-early week? Will there be more like this?

Would be fine with me if that's the idea. But wouldn't that deter "newbies" (a bit condescending) who are supposed to be attracted and nurtured?

Consider TAO, MASHABLE, REC, MANRAY, among some others. And one of the main themers, THE GROUCHY LADY BUG. How about adding The Testy TOUCANS and The Steamed-up SABLES?

Not a neat, smooth puzzle, but a pretty good Tuesday challenge.

rainforest 3:54 PM  

Good lively puzzle today. I knew 3 of the irritable animals right off. GROUCHY LADYBUG needed crosses to get, but I've never seen a ladybug that is "grouchy". When I was in Grade 4, a ladybug landed on my shirt sleeve and stayed there through math and English. Definitely friendly, and eager to learn.

One of my favourite singers in my late teens was Vicki CARR (not "Vikki") and besides "It must be him", she recorded "He's a rebel" - a far superior version to the Chrystals'.

Those points aside, this was a competent puzzle, perfect for Tuesday, and I liked the fill, particularly the longer downs.

wcutler 4:21 PM  

I loved QuasiMojo's and others' additional animal titles, as others have mentioned, but no-one seems to have mentioned Crimson Devil's 9:47 AM :
"Gladly, the cross-eyed bear".
I thought this was brilliant.

leftcoaster 6:01 PM  

@wcutler -- Please explain the Biblical "Gladly, the cross-eyed bear".

strayling 7:19 PM  


It appears to be a dreadful pun. Bearing a cross gladly + eyed/I'd.

I enjoyed this one. All the trivia names were inferrable from crosses and it somehow felt relaxed and light-hearted. I do wish US English had stuck with LADYBIRDS instead of LADYBUGS though. Those useful and pretty critters deserve a nice name.

leftcoaster 7:21 PM  

@wcutler -- OK, got it. "Gladly the cross I'd bear." Hmm...

E. McBain 7:43 PM  

Gladly The Cross-Eyed Bear was created by Jean Patty Armstrong (GTCEB CEO's mom), the Preacher's Kid who sometimes misunderstood what her dad said during his sermons - like "the cross-eyed bear" instead of "the cross I bear".

Sam 8:09 PM  

Precious to me are the moments we TOUCANS share . . .

Anonymous 10:52 PM  

Glad to see everyone else had the same problems I did. Had to guess the "A" in Manray/Carr, was confused by the clue for peon (learned its etymology today), and was irked by "alec" three days after "aleck". I've always thought of it as alec but Merriam says that's the less-common spelling. Probably just the first way I saw it spelled.

Otherwise, smooth sailing--much easier than Monday's.

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