Mecca trekker / SAT 1-11-20 / Number six in group of five / Beverage option at early McDonald's restaurants / Acrobat's platform / Rationale for dumb stunt in modern slang / Eisenhower's boyhood home

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Constructor: Andrew Ries

Relative difficulty: Medium (maybe? ... I did it slowly, on the clipboard, in the comfy chair)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: BEER LEAGUE (35A: Recreational sports association for adults) —
Beer League (North American English) is a recreational league for adults to drink beer and compete in different sports. While the pub league (British English) is a form of sports league actually primarily funded by sponsorships from pubstaverns and bars. The bars often provide funding for a team's uniforms and equipment, and often a free drink for each player, in exchange for advertising the establishment on the uniform and usually naming rights to the team itself. Beer leagues can be of virtually any sport but are usually amateur and recreational in nature, not being tied to a larger competitive league system, and contested by adults. The consumption of alcohol is often encouraged during the contest, as the actual competition is secondary. This is beneficial to the adults that compete in these beer league events because not only are they supporting a small business but are also getting physical activity, all while being social. For example, in Beer League Hockey, over 174,000 adults play. The primary goal of these leagues is to have "organized hockey in its purest form, unencumbered by money, skill, ambition, fans or advancement." (wikipedia) (did BEER LEAGUE write this???)
• • •

Dutchess, 2002-2019
HELLO, READERS AND FELLOW SOLVERS. It's early January and that means it's time for my annual pitch for financial contributions to the blog, during which I ask regular readers to consider what the blog is worth to them on an annual basis and give accordingly. It's kind of a melancholy January this year, what with the world in, let's say, turmoil. Also, on a personal note, 2019 was the year I lost Dutchess, who was officially The Best Dog, and who was with me well before I was "Rex Parker." Somehow the turning of the calendar to 2020 felt like ... I was leaving her behind. It's not a rational sentiment, but love's not rational, especially pet love. Speaking of love—I try hard to bring a passion and enthusiasm to our shared pastime every time I sit down to this here keyboard. I love what I do here, but it is a lot of work, put in at terrible hours—I'm either writing late at night, or very early in the morning, so that I can have the blog up and ready to go by the time your day starts (9am at the very latest, usually much earlier). I have no major expenses, just my time. Well, I do pay Annabel and Claire, respectively, to write for me once a month, but beyond that, it's just my time. This blog is a source of joy and genuine community to me (and I hope to you) but it is also work, and this is the time of year when I acknowledge that! All I want to do is write and make that writing available to everyone, for free, no restrictions. I have heard any number of suggestions over the years about how I might "monetize" (oof, that word) the blog, but honestly, the only one I want anything to do with is the one I already use—once a year, for one week, I just ask readers to contribute directly. And then I let 51 weeks go by before I bring up the subject again. No ads, no gimmicks. It's just me creating this thing and then people who enjoy the thing supporting the work that goes into creating the thing. It's simple. I like simple. Your support means a lot to me. Knowing that I have a loyal readership really is the gas in the tank, the thing that keeps me solving and writing and never missing a day for 13+ years. I will continue to post the solved grid every day, tell you my feelings about the puzzle every day, make you laugh or wince or furrow your brow or shout at your screen every day, bring you news from the Wider World of Crosswords (beyond the NYT) every day. The Word of the Day is: Quotidian. Occurring every day. Daily. Whether you choose to contribute or not, I'm all yours. Daily.

How much should you give? Whatever you think the blog is worth to you on a yearly basis. Whatever that amount is is fantastic. Some people refuse to pay for what they can get for free. Others just don't have money to spare. All are welcome to read the blog—the site will always be open and free. But if you are able to express your appreciation monetarily, here are two options. First, a Paypal button (which you can also find in the blog sidebar):

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Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
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All Paypal contributions will be gratefully acknowledged by email. All snail mail contributions will be gratefully acknowledged with hand-written postcards. I. Love. Snail Mail. I love seeing your gorgeous handwriting and then sending you my awful handwriting. It's all so wonderful. This year's cards are illustrations from the covers of classic Puffin Books—Penguin's children's book imprint.  Watership Down, Charlotte's Web, The Phantom Tollbooth, A Wrinkle in Time, How to Play Cricket ... you know, the classics. There are a hundred different covers and they are truly gorgeous. Please note: I don't keep a "mailing list" and don't share my contributor info with anyone. And if you give by snail mail and (for some reason) don't want a thank-you card, just say NO CARD.  As ever, I'm so grateful for your readership and support.

Now on to the puzzle!
• • •

The grid is really nice, especially through the middle. I am almost never on Ries's wavelength, and often find his clues precious and irritating. Loved this grid, didn't enjoy solving it much. Was put off the puzzle early by TIN (5A: Food drive donation). In the U.S. we definitely donate cans. If you want me to donate to your food drive in Britain, just say so, and then I'll bring a TIN. This is the kind of irritating I'm talking about—trying to make every clue oh-so-cutesily slippery, and as a result, having answers that give you an "oh really?" or "ugh" feeling when you get them. YOLO is no longer "modern slang." People said YOLO for about six months in 2013, I think. This clue is puuuure NYT. "Hello, fellow youths!" And STENOG, what the actual *&%^? I got it pretty easily, actually, as I worked that NE corner from the inside out, and the STENO part was undeniable, and I knew it wasn't plural, so ... just as I've seen "photographer" horribly abbr'd to PHOTOG, so I inferred STENOG. Woof, that is hard to look at. I know several people were severely thrown by that "G"; perhaps you were one of them. "CAL-Mex" is annoying because a. what is that? (I grew up in Cal) and b. it's so *clearly* trying to get you to guess TEX so that later it can go "ha ha, fooled you." This is a 6-year-old's idea of a clue.

IN-APP PURCHASE is one of those answers that is very current and fresh (normally good), but ... adds zero life to a puzzle. Solving that one felt like getting email from a corporation's mailing list. Dry and lifeless and nothing I care about. No one is *literally* "covering" their SECRET RECIPES in a kitchen. Like you'd take your little notecard out and then hover over it all evening while you are cooking with people you somehow don't want to see it!?!? I get it, you wanted to be like "oh, covered ... maybe it's some kind of pot or pan or steam cooker ... or maybe it's something to do with aprons ..." I'm all for misdirection, but the actual answer better make Perfect sense when it emerges, or else boo!

I always feel bad when all my gimmes are crosswordese (or crossword-common stuff), but I guess that's why experience pays. Here's what I knew cold: MRE MIR AGARS EUR ADEPTS ELEGY DEMOTAPES and NENE (that cutesy clue, I liked!) (7D: Double birdie?). I was smart enough to know that I didn't know TEX-Mex but I wasn't smart enough to know that I *did* know ALECK (that is, I thought ALECK was doing the TEX thing, i.e. being the obvious answer that was obviously a trap) (that is, I wanted ALECK but held back because I thought "no way, too easy"). Mistakes, I made a few, and not too few to mention here they are: UNCLEAN for BESMEAR (3D: Dirty, in a way), which led to the *very* persuasive PANE at 33A: Place for a bead (PORE). Considered AREA MAP before ROADMAP (1D: It shows the way). CAN before TIN (obviously). BEET red before RUBY red. . . actually, I think that's all the actual mistakes I made. And I made them all early. Whoops, nope. I made a pretty big mistake with "GO AHEAD" at 40D: "Be my guest" ("GO FOR IT"). Might've put HUTU (?) instead of ZULU at 54D: Origin of some lyrics sung in "The Lion King" but I worked out EMILE ZOLA before that, so mistake avoided (52A: Nominee for the first two Nobel Prizes in Literature (1901-02)). Puzzle could use more feminine energy. There's just poor ALICE down there, all ... still (48D: "Still ___" (2014 drama that earned a Best Actress Oscar)). RUBY could've been a woman, but instead it's a color. Well, at least it wasn't cross-referenced with RIDGE. We can all be grateful for that.

  • 44A: Acrobat's platform (ADOBE)ADOBE makes Acrobat, the software you use to read PDFs. So, yeah, not the kind of acrobat you were maybe thinking of.
  • 26D: Top of a chain, maybe (RIDGE) — so ... a mountain chain.
  • 4D: Rationale for a dumb stunt, in modern slang (YOLO) — stands for "you only live once," in case you didn't know; feel free to go back to not knowing, as you aren't likely to hear it in the wild any more, I don't think.
  • 23A: Number six in a group of five (E.S.P.) — you have five senses, and so ESP here is a sixth sense, but it's also not real, so not part of any actual group, so I do not like this ESP-legitimizing clue at all.
  • 437D: Finger food at a pastry shop? (BEAR CLAW) — a BEAR CLAW is a pastry shaped like, well, a bear's claw, so I guess the "?" joke here is that when you eat it you are eating ... the bear's fingers? ... do bears have fingers?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Hungry Mother 6:44 AM  

Super fast today; still smarting from yesterday.

Petsounds 6:52 AM  

I'm with Rex all the way on the intolerable cutesiness of the misdirects in this puzzle. It all felt very elementary school, with little boys firing spitballs while the teacher's back is turned, then giggling about it, like Nelson on "The Simpsons." HA-ha! You thought it was smart-ALECK! HA-ha! You thought it was TEX-Mex!

Still have no idea what NENE is. Little help?

To be fair, there were some pleasing entries: NECKLINE, PVCPIPING, GUARDDOGS.

amyyanni 7:14 AM  

Fun and relatively fast, tho can for TIN was an annoyance for too long. Got the bottom half, SE to SW, then clawed my way to the top. Happy Saturday!

Space Is Deep 7:18 AM  

Much easier than the BEQ puzzle yesterday, which I'm still only about half way through. Enjoyed this puzzle. Worked through it slowly and methodically. Needed the crosswordese to establish footholds. Never heard of YOLO.

Lou 7:30 AM  

As Rex said, Adobe makes Acrobat. It is not the platform for it. The platform would be PC, Mac, Windows or whatever your preference.

Lewis 7:31 AM  

We are all so different. What you find "precious and irritating", @Rex, I often really like, and often what you like (like the clue for NENE) is okay but not great for me. Often solves that you don't enjoy make my day, as today's did. For me it was a wild and wonderful ride.

And Andrew, how did you do that, exactly? How did you give me just enough at first pass to have some hope, then force me to carom around the grid, landing a revelation here and there, and there and here -- a fully involving gauntlet -- until I found myself staring at two fairly sizable patches of white, one in the middle and the other in the NE. Then I stalled, caroming and flailing, with a growing temptation to beseech outside help. Then, just as I was about to cave, I saw EUR, and then, seemingly, bam bam bam for the win. Your lovely trickery, Andrew, made me work, nay, struggle, and made the unlocking especially sweet. I'm not sure how you did that, but I had a terrific solve, and I'll be back for more. Thank you.

fkdiver 7:43 AM  

Stenog? No, no, no. Not in my wheelhouse, and I'm a lexicog.

kaoconno 7:44 AM  

A nene is some variety of Hawaiian goose. That’s how it’s often clued.

Joe Welling 7:45 AM  

Sol and sol?

JJ 7:56 AM  

I’ve been doing the puzzle for a couple of years now, and this is my first ADEPTS. I have never, ever, heard that used in a sentence, nor has it been used in any xword that I’ve seen. I’ve got to believe something could have been done with adopts instead. Feeling pretty much the same about STENOG. I’ve never constructed, so I may be waaay underestimating the difficulty of those changes, but those answers seemed like a real stretch. I usually thank God for some crosswordese in order to get a toehold, maybe I need to add those two to the list, but at present those seemed like very weak links in an otherwise extraordinary, challenging, puzzle.

Suzie Q 8:17 AM  

This is my kind of Saturday. I was not annoyed by the cuteness or cleverness. That's the way I like to play this game. Fun!
I loved the clue for ESP.
Odd to see some bleed-over from yesterday; McDonalds, adepts, and RSVP.
Thank you Mr. Ries.

QuasiMojo 8:18 AM  

Loved it except for two phrases that did not land properly to me. "We're There" is not anything I or We would say to an invite. "We'd Love To" makes more sense. And I had "It's On Me" for "Be My Guest." I doubt Conrad Hilton ever said "Go For It!" Otherwise I enjoyed the challenge even if I finished in nearly half the time it took to do yesterday's. Bolt Cutter reminded me of the time I saw a young fellow riding a beautiful new bike near my place, while carrying one of those tools. I admired his gall.

Imfromjersey 8:20 AM  

19A DEMO TAPES should have been clued as 1970s record exec. I can guarantee no current record exec has Tapes on their desk. CDs, MP3s (probably in their email) but no one makes a demo tape anymore.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Indeed. This is an editing error

Twangster 8:29 AM  

@Lewis, et al – If you enjoy Andrew's puzzles, you can get many more (paid and free) at

Speedweeder 8:29 AM  

@JJ - "I have never, ever, heard that used in a sentence, nor has it been used in any xword that I’ve seen".

Try to think of that as a good thing. You learned a new usage of a word. If you continue doing crosswords, you'll probably see it again, so file it away for the future. I have run across it before both in crosswords and in the wild.

Here's the Merriam-Webster definition (note that it does not say "rare" or "archaic")

adept noun
Definition of adept (Entry 2 of 2)
: a highly skilled or well-trained individual : EXPERT
an adept at chess

pabloinnh 8:30 AM  

@Joe Welling-Absolutely, and I finally put in NOTES, even when I knew it was wrong. We've had this discussion before, people. Also missed the ESP as clued and don't know what an INAPPPURCHASE is. Might help if I owned a smart phone.

On the other hand, I've played in many a BEERLEAGUE and have used a BOLTCUTTER lots of times, also applies to PVCPIPIPING, which made my plumbing jobs infinitely easier. Haven't sent any DEMOTAPES anywhere but our do=wop group actually cut a demo CD in an actual studio, in case we got any offers from someone that wanted to hire us. We didn't, but I still have some. Stocking stuffers.

Way easier than yesterday for me, even with the TIN/CAN and TEX/CAL misdirections. Nice Saturdito, for which thankS, AJR.

shari 8:35 AM  

Do re me fa sol la ti do! Two sol = two notes in the scale.

TJS 8:35 AM  

Besmear and stenog were abominations, especially at the top of puzzles, because it sets up expectations that the rest of the puzzle will be equally as aggravating. But this one recovered nicely. A nice, challenging Saturday, pretty much what @Lewis had to say.

TJS 8:37 AM  

But what's with "So and So" for notes ? What the "L" ?

Rube 8:40 AM  

As a classically trained musician I feel your pain. The problem is that sol is followed by la which can be slurred incorrectly. And there is the sound of music which guarantees that the truth will be forever oversewn

Brian 8:54 AM  

Supposedly anything is forgivable if enclosed in quotes.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

I'd not heard of in-app purchase and had to guess on ESP. I didn't even think of extra-sensory perception but thought it might be an abbreviation for especially, which I sometimes abbreviate esp. instead of espec., in footnotes. E.g., see Kepler's five letters to *** and esp. one to ***--which doesn't make much sense with the clue as it is, where esp. would fall before number six in a group of six. Rex's explanation is of course right, and this is why I come to this site.

On YOLO, many think the word *only* should fall right before the word being restricted--hence "you live only once"--with Bond movie and song this may be a difficult argument. I still wince at TV commercials, etc., when "only" is put right after the verb--"you only need to send one payment" instead of "you need to send only one payment." But I fear this argument is a lost cause.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

turkeyneck 9:20 AM  

Solved this faster than any Saturday ever. Had the same deal with TIN, CAL, STENOG. Misdirection play. Er, ploy. Not my idea of fun or challenging.

Z 9:22 AM  

NENE is a significant member of Crossworld Ornithology, along with ern, erne, tern, tit, the rarer scarlet tanager and, everyone's favorite, the pewit.

Tis true, I was surprised when the G was not the source of my DNF. I conflated* my marlins and TARPONS and TARPiNS Tis hard to see as wrong.

I really wanted my "wooden utensil" to be a stick and GELATO to be s'mores. Yeah Yeah, doesn't quite work, but that's still what I wanted.

Regarding DEMO TAPES, apparently some of the audiophiles here aren't familiar with Third Man Records and the opinions of Jack White on the matter.

@Lou - I found one definition online that makes the clue okay. "The entire ... context...," sounds a little like I here my automotive engineer buddies use the word. I gave that clue the side-eye, TOO. TOO cute by half.

I don't know about your industry, but ONE ON ONE job interviews are not that common in education, especially for administrators but often for teachers and even, at times, for other positions.

*Happy now @anon yesterday?

webwinger 9:30 AM  

Wrestled with this one for over an hour, but finally finished (with no help from Google, new house rule in 2020). Took me almost twice as long as Friday’s puzzle. I think I fell into every one of the traps mentioned above, plus gourmets for EPICURES. And I was convinced for a long time that McDonald’s was selling HiC ORANGE then ORANGE HiC back in the day, but now see that was a relatively recent replacement for the generic ADE. Last correction for the happy tune was changing e to O at the cross of 33A and 2D: PeRE and UNDERGe didn’t make sense, but at least were or looked like real words, and the clue for PORE was wicked. Overall a quite satisfying Saturday experience.

Teedmn 9:30 AM  

Thank goodness cOGAS made no sense at 5D because, as wince-worthy as it seemed, aN APP PURCHASE did make sense. But finally seeing TOGAS let me avoid the DNF of caN.

I thought the aha of ARR (8D) for "In time? Abbr." was fun, as was ESP.

This puzzle was nice, albeit on the easy side. As @Twangster mentioned, Andrew Ries publishes his own puzzles. I just subscribed a couple of weeks ago and now I'm getting two puzzles a week - one harder crossword and also a Rows Garden type puzzle. The Rows Gardens are kicking my butt. Andrew provides 4 versions, from easiest to hardest; so far even the easiest is proving hard for me. The clues are just so vague and the cross-cluing of the "blooms" doesn't provide much help in pattern recognition. So in other words, they're great fun, giving me a challenge!

I got mixed up in the bottom of the SE. I read 63A's clue for 62A and vice versa. I was trying to figure out what school could be USE. And as for 63A, who ever heard of User tax? This gave me a chuckle when I finally got GO FOR IT and saw UTES - not a tax, har.

Thanks, Andrew, I enjoyed your Saturday themeless today.

kitshef 9:30 AM  

This was dramatically easier than yesterday’s puzzle, so boo on Will for not switching the days.

37A is ridiculously wrong. You should never use BOLT CUTTERs on a padlock. They will render said lock permanently inoperable. That one clue BESMEARs the whole puzzle.

SouthsideJohnny 9:40 AM  

Definitely a bogus clue for ADOBE - that’s like saying that APPLE is an IPad’s platform (wow, a factual error missed by the NYT’s editors, what a surprise!).

Agree that the foolishness associated with TIN and CAL is unfortunate - and there are so many legitimate ways to clue them Saturday-tough.

The clue for UPDATE “Reason for a restart” also seems off. I can’t imagine a newscaster saying “This JUST IN ! ! ! , so now we shall start over!”

Will someone please explain the clue for SEWING, “Bee activity” ? I hope sewing bees are not actually a thing (like spelling bees). It looks like I’m the only one who completely missed the boat on that one so far.

Lewis 9:40 AM  

Regarding SO vs. SOL, a commenter, David Connell, on WordPlay, had this to say:

"The original term for the fifth degree of the scale is indeed sol. However, both "so" and "soh" are used in English systems, including printed and taught systems, of solfège: soh-fah, so-fa. There is a legitimate and long history of both "so" and "soh" as spellings for what you guys are all saying must be "sol." It ain't necessarily sol. "

RooMonster 9:41 AM  

Hey All !
The grid is 16 columns long. Why? Who knows? Why torture yourself trying to flll an extra column when building a puz? There's no 16 Center answer. Weird.

Anyway, found this puz a not-too-brain-draining experience. Got stuck in a few spots, but was able to wrangle out of them without using the Check feature. Ended up with a two-letter DNF, TARPiNS/TiO (even though I knew TiO was way wrong, but at the end of a puz, I don't have the gumption to look for errors), DEBAnES/EPICUREn (har, see above).

All the writeovers, tex-CAL, can-TIN, HAJj-HAJI, Rose-RUBY, GOhEad-GOFORIT.

A nice SatPuz. Nice for a themeless. Two rows of four threes, for whoever mentioned the other day they hadn't seen it before. Actually liked today's offering. No FIB!


Birchbark 9:41 AM  

Yet once more, O ye Laurels, and once more,
Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
And with forc'd fingers rude
Shatter your leaves before the the mellowing year.

So opens Milton's ELEGY, "Lycidas."

SECRET RECIPES as clued to me imply a certain kind of smile. The ESP clue adds a new twist to the "extra" in extrasensory. Plus BEER LEAGUEs and BOLT CUTTERs -- honest enough. All good today.

RickA 9:44 AM  

Unlike Rex, thought clue on ESP cleverly dismissed esp as nonsense, literally a non-sense, as it is six on an exclusive list of five.

Crimson Devil 9:56 AM  

Enjoyed ESP, NECKLINE: Double birdie, not so much.
TARPON is also Gulf gamefish.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

I agree 100% with OFL on "stenog" and "tin." Re: the latter, no issue if this puzzle appeared in the London Times. Ditto for "Cal-Mex." Still better than yesterday's disaster. I guess YOLO...

Dorothy Biggs 10:01 AM  

As for the cutesy theming Rex mentioned: the syllable is SOL...I know, I know...there are some who use SO, but they are outliers and most musicians will look at them funny for saying it that way. It is derived from the first three letters of "Solve pollūtī," a lyric I posted a while back. The entire system is called SOLfege...not SOfege.

WS...stop. Please just stop.

Also to Rex's point of YOLO...people may still use it, but they now use it mostly ironically. And by "mostly," I mean people who know that it's passe now use it ironically...there are still people (and xword puzzles) who think it's still a thing.

When a phrase (like "True Dat) starts being used ironically, that is, someone uses it and everyone laughs that you went back in time and said something that someone would've said for real 6 months ago, you can tell it's over. YOLO is over.

Nancy 10:01 AM  

So after struggling and struggling with this, I found myself with a (I thought) completed puzzle...and the answer PVCPIPANS. That's because I had PRESTaGE and STENOs. Don't ask. But, look, I'm still under the weather, and it's unfortunate that my illness has overlapped with some Very Hard end-of-the-week puzzles.

But here's the thing: PVCPIPING means nothing to me either. It's less gibberishy than PVCPIPANS, but not enough so that I would have said Aha.

And what on earth is an IN APP PURCHASE?

I was very slow to see ESP (a great clue) when I had ES?. I didn't know BEER LEAGUE but I guessed it. And I cracked the NE by looking up "experts" and then "skill" in my Roget's to get ADEPTS. A cheat, but only a teensy one.

AD SLOGAN (17A) also had a great clue. But would you really keep your SECRET RECIPES covered??? How secretive is too secretive?

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

Rex, don’t hold your breath waiting for Mr. Ries’s Pay Pal message

BobL 10:20 AM  

@kitshek - the bolt cutter guy could care less if the lock can be used again

mathgent 10:25 AM  

Whenever I read Lewis wax orgasmically about a puzzle, I want to say, “I’ll have what he’s having.”

Actually, I did, and it didn’t turn me on. Only five red plus signs in the margins, compared to twenty in Quigley’s gem yesterday. Great clue for ESP, though.

Well-constructed puzzle. A stack of five nines with little or no junk.

I’ve lived in California all my life and read about food, locally and also the weekly NYT section, but CALMEX is new to me. It’s a thing, though. I just read a little article on the internet about the difference between Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex.

Thomaso808 10:27 AM  

@kitshef - when dealing with an abandoned school or gym locker that has a padlock, the facilities maintenance guy will invariably reach for his trusty BOLTCUTTER to solve the problem, so I think 37A has a context that works.

Waste lines mostly use ABS plastic, not PVC. I don’t think the clue for 30A was an attempt at misdirection, or was it? Referencing water or sprinkler lines would have been more correct.

The six level stair stack in the middle was awesome. Best of all, when I realized that caN should be TIN, it changed the ho-hum aNAPPPURCHASE to the brilliant INAPPPURCHASE.

Good puzzle!

Nancy 10:32 AM  

And while you can count me as one of the people who also objected to the "So" clue, @Lewis has the comment of the day at 9:40 in "It ain't necessarily sol." Terrific, Lewis!!

Katzzz 10:39 AM  

Sorry, Rex, photogs is a real usage. Ask anyone who ever worked at a newspaper. However, not so for stenogs, which should be stenos.
I think the ESP clue deserved a ?
And demo tapes are over and should be clued as old school.
As for YOLO, it's been around for a while but it's still used.
I have to say that the clueing for the past three days has stretched the limits of my brain, if nothing else.

Bunnifred 10:44 AM  

Restart as in your phone or computer.

puzzlehoarder 10:47 AM  

A very routine Saturday which felt easy after yesterday's ordeal. This took less than a third of the time.

CAN didn't work at 5A so initially the NW was a skeletal RUBY, YOLO and NENE.

The NE was was easy to fill in. In contrast to yesterday we had the unjocular adEPTs to start it at 8A. That NE block wasn't much help in starting the middle. At 34A I, as per usual, misspelled GUARD as GAURD.

Off the inferred ED ending of 32D I smoothly filled the SE with only a GOAHEAD/GOFORIT write over at 40D. That was easy to fix after UTES, ZULU and EMILEZOLA all dropped in. ALECK kept on working so I ignored the temptation of TEX for 47A.

After filling in the SW I backfilled the NW off of REBORN. At that point the middle was easy to finish off and correct my bad spelling of 34A. Enough tedious TMI I must have housework I'm avoiding.

Nampa 10:48 AM  

Annoying but “legal” clueing...
There is no such thing as cal-mex... well, maybe at some of the very fine “locals” taco shops in san diego... some remarkable burritos...
yeah... “stenog”...
think I’ll go have a tin of soup now.

Peter P 10:56 AM  

@kitchef, sure, a BOLT CUTTER renders it inoperable, but what other tool would you use on a padlock? That one was a gimme for me, rare for a longer Saturday clue. That's literally the only tool I associate commonly being used with padlocks. It's a perfectly cromulent clue.

I'm not happy about Adobe being referred to as a "platform." I can't see any way that fits. As said before, Adobe is the company that sells or developed Acrobat, but unless there's some sort of underlying OS or software framework called "Adobe," I don't think it fits. I could be wrong, but this usage strikes me as incorrect.

YOLO feels like it did have it's peak in the mid-2010s, but it still is used widely. Just search for #yolo on Instagram (or Twitter) and you'll see probably thousands from just today.

Rastaman Vibration 10:58 AM  

@Nancy - I hope you continue to feel better. PVC = Poly Vinyl Chloride. If you see any plastic pipes under your sink, they are most likely PVC. Many smartphone (and Ipad) apps will let you download and try them for free, then offer you the ability to “subscribe” or “upgrade” for a fee to access more bells and whistles or premium content. The New York Times crossword app requires a subscription fee for example, and charges extra for other content as well.

The clue for TIN is just really, really bad. Yes, many people will get the (unsuccessful) attempt at a “gotcha” misdirection, but many others, as evidenced here, just find it an annoying turn-off.

It’s interesting how people enjoy debating things like sol vs. so (or whether two words rhyme, or if Latin letters are more appropriate than Russian ones). I enjoy the well thought-out arguments that people pose - it’s a chance to learn about something that you don’t normally contemplate.

I think the vast majority of us will agree, however - there is no need to cover up your recipes in the kitchen, lol.

JillyBean 10:59 AM  

@ SouthsideJohnny- think computer update not news update. E.g. when your system loads an update you often need to restart.
Agree on the annoyances (apple shortcake and strong in particular) but love me a rough Saturday and overall enjoyed.

Amelia 11:02 AM  

Oh, man, that SO AND SO. The last thing I put in and I wasn't at all sure. I thank whoever wrote the note from Wordplay, and I guess I'll buy it.

I liked the puzzle. Liked the plodding to get where I needed to go. Maybe a little too easy for a Saturday but if you throw in alternate note spelling....

MY ONLY COMPLAINT is one that I've made before. I've retired from nearly 40 years of advertising copywriting. I give you the years so you can see that I've been in several generations or versions of advertising. WE NEVER USED THE TERM "SLOGAN." Slogan is one of those words that people who aren't in the business use. You're going to have to trust me on this one. AD SLOGAN is like a foreign language.


GILL I. 11:19 AM  

Well I took an Ambien last night hoping my insomnia wouldn't get the better of me. The FDA has issued new warnings now because of disasters that might occur when you finally wake up. I think because I finally got a straight 8 hour sleep, my brain was ADEPTS to Andrew's sneaky puzzle.
Yeah...TIN and CAL were fiendish - but isn't that a Saturday purpose.
This wasn't easy peasy but I managed to finish with only one Googs. I had BEER but had no idea about the LEAGUE. I don't drink BEER - I think there should be a Scotch one. I don't think I'd FIB about food that tastes awful. I might gently wipe my mouth with the serviette and spit out the okra you snuck in. I also don't believe I have one single SECRET RECIPE. I share - especially my rye bread with BEER recipe.
Seeing koala in 9 down makes me sad. Those poor critters are disappearing from Australia because of the great fires. California has sent firefighters and there are lots of people helping out with rescue efforts. I sometimes care more about animals than I do humans.

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

37A is ridiculously wrong. You should never use BOLT CUTTERs on a padlock.

A criminal clue for a criminal act.

ColoradoCog 11:33 AM  

I found this tougher than most, apparently. Finished, but it was way over my average. Overall I enjoyed it but I have the same gripes as others.

Google tells me that CAL-Mex is a thing, but I agree that it and others feel like “nyah-nyah” more than the sly winking “gotcha” that I want from a good puzzle clue. My main gripe is that NOTES and ESP both could have been clued in better, fairer ways, ways that would have avoided the whole so/sol teeth gnashing or the flat out wrongness of “Number six in a group of five.” Crossword clues must be laser-precise, and the word ‘in’ demands that the answer be among the group of five. I was trying to think of a well known group of athletes, one of whom wore uniform number “6”. That would have been a valid answer to that clue. But ESP is not a valid answer to the clue as written. That they cross is all the more reason to keep them strictly fair.

jae 11:35 AM  

Pretty easy and definitely easier than yesterday’s. Solid but not particularly exhilarating. I’d prefer a bit more oomph and resistance from Sat.

Me too for GO ahead.

Nancy 11:36 AM  

@GILL -- Unless your really, really secret "rye bread and beer recipe" also has cheddar, Worcestershire sauce and hot mustard -- making it a Welsh Rarebit, one of my favorite things in the world -- you can keep your SECRET RECIPE really, really SECRET as far as I'm concerned. Even though I know you're a terrific cook, what can possibly justify a secret "rye bread and beer recipe"? I have the strongest feeling that if I must go through the rest of my life without ever tasting it, my life will not be blighted in the least :)

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

Do bees sew now? Or is it Aunt Bee from Andy Griffith?

David 11:51 AM  

Yeah, it's neither "so" nor (as in that horrid song) "sew". It's sol. Rather than "so and so", a good Saturday level clue may be "sun and sun?".

Time travel through this puzzle. We have a 1930s food drive, then a 1970s record exec. [A recording made on a 2" 8 track Studer is not what one thinks of as a "demo tape." It's more likely a cassette tape, the ancient equivalent of MP3s.] Right above is a 1960s Mad Man, and below, McDonalds selling Orangeade to the girls from the Steno pool (with no G). On to the 2000 teens for Yolo and "Adepts," which is right up there in useless dorkiness with "Creatives." Whipsaw back a century for Emile Zola.

Egad! Adobe's a platform? Who knew? I first had "In App Upgrade." Re-reading the clue now I see "Purchase" makes more sense. Love the Bear Claw but I've never used a bolt cutter to crack a padlock, all you need is a hammer.

Despite the fresh water fishing (carping), I had fun doing this puzzle.

It had a mercifully small number of sports and pop references.

Cal-Mex is responsible for the burritos bigger than your head they sell at Chipotle, and many other perversions. When in California, stick to the real Mexican food.

The big added bonus was triggering Beethoven's seventh in my brain to push out that horrid song referenced above. Thanks for that.

jberg 11:55 AM  

I was pretty irate about TARPONS, but I looked it up and apparently it is correct. I've never heard or seen it used, though -- people say they are going fishing for tarpon, there were a lot of tarpon caught yesterday, etc. It was obvious, but annoying.

It looks like no one reads the comments every day -- only yesterday, @Yvonne cited ADEPT as the proper antonym for inept. That's the adjectival form, of course, but still.

In less than six weeks Martha and I will be escaping the cold and snow on the isle of Captiva (where tarpon fishing is big, but not until later in the year). There's a store there called YOLO Watersports -- they rent jet skis and take people out for parasailing. I think I'd been going there ten years before I understood what the name stood for.

Despite those annoyances (and others already mentioned), I enjoyed the solve, with lots of good fill. BOLT CUTTER brought back memories of the 1960s, when we occasionally had need of one to get in someplace we planned a sit-in. Looks like those days may be coming back, I fear.

By the way, my wife always tells me I don't know my colors (mainly because I refer to her maroon sweater as purple), so maybe I'm the only one -- but I put in RUst off the R in 1A. That really held me up.

JEPlanet 12:05 PM  

Newbie here - finished it, but still puzzled by PORE clue - can someone please explain it? Thank you!

Kathy 12:07 PM  

Spot on, Rex! The write-up was far more amusing than the puzzle.

To me, Thursday and Friday were at least worth the long struggle. But today’s misdirects fell with a thud. I won’t even count the ways because others already have.

@Brian 8:54 “well put”

Escalator 12:18 PM  

“Mistakes, I made a few, and not too few to mention”

But he did it his way.......

Ethan Taliesin 12:19 PM  

@webwinger 9:30

That's quite a New Year's resolution. Take it like a fitness model takes their diet though-- an occasional cheat day is allowed.

Because seriously, there are over 350 days left in this year.

The puzzle was at a nice level for me, that is to say, doable.

Whatsername 12:25 PM  

Going to be a non-judgmental about the puzzle overall since I only occasionally do a Saturday. But it’s cold and snowy outside and a good day to stay in, so I decided to take a stab at it. My only big quibble (Is there such a thing?) was STENOG. I was a star student of stenography and I think still have my little gold 140 word-per-minute pin. During my early years, I worked in a couple of STENO pools, but never ever did anyone refer to me as a STENOG.

@GILL: I saw a video of the American firefighters arriving in Australia and people at the airport giving them a standing ovation. It was heartwarming to see the USA welcomed and applauded, especially in light of the current state of world affairs.

To all in the path of this wintry weather, let’s be careful out there.

Peter P 12:27 PM  

@Amelia - Sure, professional argot may differ from common usage -- that's fine. Lord knows as a photographer and having worked in newsrooms, the terms of our trade can differ from popular usage. Out of curiosity, what is the advertising lingo for it? "Tagline" or something like that?

LB 12:28 PM  

I love that you love snail mail. Trotted out some really quality stock to write with my contribution.

Melrose 12:41 PM  

Had can instead of tin, was absolutely sure that was correct and never recovered. Yolo? Pretty fast for a Saturday otherwise.

Master Melvin 12:42 PM  

The Beer League I played in around 1960 was a Softball league sponsored by a number of bars on Long Island. After the game both teams went to the winner's bar and the losing team paid for the keg. Sometimes the bar owner laid out a nice lunch of cold cuts. A good time was had by all, win or lose.

Carola 12:53 PM  

Hard. Struggled. Finished - with a close-my-eyes-and-just-put-an-E-in NOTES x ESP (really resisted “so” for “sol” and didn’t get the ESP extra-sense meaning.) Favorites: TOGAS and BEAR CLAW.

Grateful to know: IN APP PURCHASE, ABILENE, ADOBE. Happy to easily cotton on to: NENE, WE’RE THERE
Help from previous crosswords: YOLO and those UTES (who else would they be?), which confirmed ZULU and got me EMILE ZOLA and saved that corner.
Do-overs: admirE before REVERE, GO ahead, eRa before ARR, tex, “Still ALIvE,” in person (interview)
Once in a lifetime: Actually knowing that that Beethoven symphony is in a MAJOR key.

GILL I. 1:27 PM  

Dearest amiguita, @Nancy. I am the world's (at least to me) biggest bread snob. I'll also throw in cheese snob - but I don't make cheese...well, I've made Feta once and, well, it tasted just like you'd think.
Bread, on the other hand, is God's gift to glutton loving gals like me. I think your life will be just a bit blighted for not having tasted my easy, no knead rye with BEER. I make it at least once a month along with my delicious no knead Mediterranean olive bread. The not so secret is the best flour you can buy and patience. I let it rise for 24 hours. Since my husband (of the TIN variety) drinks BEER, I always have an IPA on hand and in it goes along with the caraway seeds. Even Panera here in Sacramento can't produce what I can. ( I will now stop patting my back). Add all the cheddar, Worcestershire and hot mustard you want - but....wait just 5 minutes after the bread has come out of the oven....Manna from heaven. ;-)

Pablo 2:18 PM  

I think YOLO has lived on more than Rex realizes. YOLO was taken seriously by tank top donning bros while I was in college, but it very quickly became more of a mocking, satirical term. It's not as current as TAKETHEL from yesterday, but I heard it used (always sarcastically) far more even in 2019 than a lot of viral terms from today. It was simply a bigger and more ridiculous phrase that has lived on and is now part of the vernacular, but with a new meaning.

That being said, full agreement on TIN, STENOG, and CAL. I liked INAPPPURCHASE, and the grid survived surprisingly well with those triple Ps. PVCPIPING was another good one and DEMOTAPES was tough but interesting. Rex and I were on similar wavelengths. I also couldn't suss out ALECK right away (or figure out how it's spelled). I had GOahead, then GOFiRsT, then finally GOFORIT.

I also thought the middle was just fantastic. Great, gettable clues with long and interesting answers.

New crosswordese learned today was MRE, MIR, EUR, NENE. I've seen UTES before, but I don't think I'll ever fully internalize all the ways it is clued. The ESP clue was garbage and I didn't even get it until I read the blog.

Whatsername 2:22 PM  

@ JEPlanet: Welcome Newbie! A place for a bead [of sweat] might be on a PORE of your skin.

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

As in beads of sweat coming out of pores.

Masked and Anonymous 2:32 PM  

Tricky clue litter, I'll grant … but, but … it's a SatPuz. And I think they left a lot of the constructioneer's own cluing personality shine thru. That's A-ok by m&e. Ain't nuthin wrong with a little puzvoice variety, now and then -- especially this late in the week.

Like almost the entire solver population, I went for {___-Mex} = TEX. CAL-Mex was a brand new cuisine, at our house. Sooo … CAL gets staff weeject pick, no contest. Honrable mention to TIN, for similar reasons. Only time M&A ever donated TIN was to a scrap metal dude.

Cool puzgrid layout, in several ways:
1. Has the signature Jaws of Themelessness black square blobs. Beautiful.
2. Has a different 15x16 size. I like different.
3. Has a wowzer stack of 6 long ball 9-ers, mid grid.

didn't know: INAPPPURCHASE [but was deducible]. BEERLEAGUE. ALICE [as clued].
har-worthy: ADEPTS. BESMEAR. ESP [yo, @RP -- and they made U fight for it!].

I'm with @GILL I., in bein struck a bit heartsick, when I saw "koala" in the clue for DOE. Lots of news clips lately where poor lil koalas are gettin treated for burns … not to mention the coverage of all the ones that have died. Real sad.

Thanx for yer U-neek & feisty challenge, Mr. Ries. M&A was not one of the ADEPTS, while a-solvin it.

Masked & Anonym8Us


Adrian K. 2:38 PM  

So! A needle pulling thread...

Paul 3:28 PM  

How's things in Binghamton... Home of my Alma mater. Harpur College NOT Binghamton University!

webwinger 3:37 PM  

@Ethan (12:19) - I appreciate your concern, but I'm riding a streak that began 12/31/19, and really feel ready for it to end, but I want to go down at the hands of a worthy opponent, not just resign. And as a retiree now, the extra time solving is not a problem. So bring 'em on, NYTXW!

@Gill (1:27) - Description of bread made my mouth water. I'm very happy overall about my recent move from Chicago to a small city in Colorado, but there is a real dearth of good rye bread in this entire state. If you see this and my email works, would be delighted to get your recipe.

One of the Moderators 3:39 PM  

Besides a whole bunch of spellcaster posts I also deleted an Anonymous post about Friday's puzzle. Remember, not everyone solves puzzles in order so you need to post comments that contain spoilers on the right day.

Joaquin 3:43 PM  

I am a native Californian who has been patronizing El Cholo, the quintessential Mexican restaurant of SoCal, since the 1940s (< not a typo). And I've tried everything from Taco Bell to the fanciest of Mexican cuisine. Yet I have never heard the term "Cal-Mex" - ever. Yes, Wikipedia says there is such a thing, but then Wikipedia also provides 18,000,000 possibilities when you Google "Queen Elizabeth's Buttocks".

Nancy 3:55 PM  

Aha, @ GILL. So it's not some peculiar appetiser or entree that's comprised of rye bread and beer. (I was thinking: She actually serves that???) No, it's a homemade bread made with beer!!!! Well, why didn't you say so? HOMEMADE BREAD!!! I'd kill for homemade bread! Store-bought breads get worse and worse; the bakeries often don't have slicers or the size of their loaves won't create a slice that will fit in my toaster...Yada yada yada. I'll eat your HOMEMADE RYE BREAD made with beer anytime!!! If you distribute it to stores in NYC, I'll buy it.

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

18,000,000 possibilities when you Google "Queen Elizabeth's Buttocks".

Thanks for a grotesque image I'll never lose. Although, Kornheiser makes one every month or so.

burtonkd 4:03 PM  

Go ahead matches the clue much better then go for it. Be my guest implies you may stand in front of me in line or something. Go for it is more like a sports term or something else that does not imply the speaker giving up anything.

ESP is problematic: it is extra sensory, therefore not a sense, therefore cannot be included as six on a list of five senses.

Yes, the proper tool for a padlock is a key or remembered combination. Several times a week in a typical high school, a student is able to provide neither. The tool the janitor brings to solve this quandary is a pair of bolt cutters. Not sure why scissors and bolt cutters require a pair to be a single item since either arm is useless on its own

Sol Is the correct term. As someone mentioned earlier so is used for shape note singing, which has a long enough history and enough current practitioners to make it a legit clue. It was mentioned in Ken Burns’ country music documentary as a system for people that didn’t or couldn’t read music

gifcan 4:05 PM  

I was all huffy about so instead of sol and then I read Adrian K.'s comment and I cracked up! So, a needle pulling thread . . . Exactly! Sol may be correct but so/sew is what we hear.

Newboy 4:12 PM  

For JEPlanet @ 12:05 think swear POREs on an August forehead. Thanks @Rastaman you wrote my commentary for me today. Not as cryptic as a wedding puzzle, but YOLO as some would say (outdatedly). Filling the middle first made me happy, but that ESP/NOTES was solved only by a lucky guess.

Z 4:16 PM  

@Joaquin - The top two hits on my search were explanations of the differences. From the descriptions the differences don't seem that significant. I think New Mexican food is more distinctively unique.

@One of the Moderators - You missed some other spoilers.

@Anon11:37 - I can't believe that nobody seems to have answered your question (maybe I missed it?) but the clue references a SEWING Bee. There's even a Great British SEWING BEE reality TV show now. A SEWING Bee is something I imagine Aunt Bea attending.

chuck w 4:57 PM  

Thanks! I always thought the song was, "Sol, a needle pulling thread," and never knew that "so" was an alternative for the note.
And yes, a bee activity is sewing. "Quilting" or "spelling" might be another.

CDilly52 5:02 PM  

Been working on this all day between naps and bouts of ague. Solving with the flu dampens the fun for sure!

GILL I. 5:13 PM  

@webwinger 3:37. Your e-mail doesn't appear. Go to mine and I'll be glad to share my recipe. It's really easy and believe me it's better than anything you can buy in the store.
@Nancy...Hah....Maybe I can figure out a way to send you some via parcel post! It keeps for a few days but because the yeast is alive, after a few, you need to refrigerate.......
I'm watching the Forty Niners kill the Vikings, so any recipe requests have to wait until I do my victory dance!

Nancy 5:51 PM  

I'll be waiting in my lobby. I've already cleared out a special space in my refrigerator.

jae 5:56 PM  

I just finished an archive Sat. puzzle from 1994 with the clue “British container.” I’ll leave it to the commentariat to guess the 3 letter answer.

RooMonster 6:00 PM  

NENE is always in the NYTXW. Always clued as a Hawaiian goose, because that's the only thing it is, until some Rap "Artist" starts using that as a name. I'm surprised so many have said they've never heard it before.

Watched a TV show once that had that subject about Scissors. They called them (it) in the singular, as in, "Can I get a scissors?"
Same thing with a pair of jeans. It's only one item of garment, unlike a pair of socks, or shoes. English!

Roo NENE Goose Knowing Guy

Nancy 6:13 PM  

Oh, and GILL -- thanks for letting me know the 49ers are on. The game is actually on in NYC. Yay. I'll be rooting for them in your and Mathgent's honor. Also, I just love the city of San Francisco.

Anoa Bob 6:38 PM  

I lived in San Diego in the 60s and early 70s and again in the late 80s and practically every neighborhood had a mama y papa style Mexican restaurant, and I ate at many of them---they were all excellent---but I never heard CAL-Mex used to describe the food. When I saw it in the grid, I figured it must be a more recent coinage.

Living in Tex-Mex Land (Port Isabel, TX), I have heard Tex-Mex food used a lot hereabouts, so I'm with many others who tried that first. Also, the Port Isabel High School athletic teams are the Fighting TARPONS. Your angling PRESTIGE will go up if you catch one of those bad boys.

Teedmn 6:42 PM  

If @Nancy is rooting for the 49ers, the Vikes are doomed. I'm sure the only reason the Vikings won last week is because @Nancy had thrown her good wishes their way!

pabloinnh 6:57 PM  

@burtonkd-I've sung shape note music and whoever thinks it's easier than learning regular notation is sadly deluded. Nice idea. Not sure how sharps and flats are supposed to fit in.

GILL I. 7:45 PM  

YAY...Free bread for all. You called it @Teedmn...Hah.
@Webwinger as soon as I get home, it's on its way.
@Nancy....Overnight Pony Express there by tomorrow. I'll tip your porter ;-)

Nancy 8:20 PM  

Never fear, @Teedmn, it's usually just the opposite. In the NY Giants' huddle, they refer to me as The Kiss of Death. In the Jets' huddle, they refer to me as The Jinx.

In fact, I love the 49ers so much, I thought I was doing them a disservice by turning on the game. It's so rare when they're televised in NY. But they were un-jinxable today -- such a great team. So unlike my teams. I wish they were My Team. Sigh. They've been my favorite non-NY team since the days of Joe Montana.

I really enjoyed what I saw of the game. I came in with 10 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Had it not been for GILL, I would have missed it entirely.

My sympathies to you though, @Teedmn. I've liked the Vikes since Tarkington went there from the Giants. And I thought that The Purple People Eaters was a neat description of the defense.

Unknown 10:34 AM  

Imagine there were actually 437D clues!?!? And thanks for ALWAYS peering into my thoughts.

thefogman 10:49 AM  

Solved it. Medium-challenging for me, and not much fun. Rex is right about the cutesy clueing. STENOG was among the last entries.

spacecraft 11:21 AM  

This was one of those beautiful puzzles--I call them "peony puzzles." Ever watch the ants swarming over the tightly closed flower until, layer by layer, it opens up? I am the ant, and I had to do some considerable swarming on this one--but by golly the thing blossomed into full, glorious flower.

One of my pet peeves is the old RMK, Random Musical Key, which can take the form of "INE," e.g.: "IN the key of E." Or, as in today's, it can go [letter] MAJOR (or MINOR). But notice that the M and the OR remain constant--and that, my brothers, was my first petal pull. From that I guessed the simple WRITEME, and my HAJ began.

Mr. Ries, a la Donovan's Sunshine Superman, used "every trick in the book" to throw us off, but I stayed with it. It went SW, center, NE, NW, and finally the SE, where I already had SECRET and thus RECIPE for the obvious finish, so the Tex- trap never snared me. I never heard of CAL-Mex, but after filling crosses, easy to infer.

I was surprised that I didn't see RUBY/YOLO right off, or I might have broken into the NW first. Coming back, it was like, "Oh, of course." Doh! No writeovers, a TON of triumph points, and nothing worse than the RMK that let me in in the first place. ALICE Krige, whose NECKLINE figured prominently in her role as the smoldering hot Borg Queen, wins DOD. Eagle.

Diana, LIW 1:26 PM  

Change rosy to RUBY, change can to TIN, and ta da. Of course, I had to check on them, so it's really a dnf. But a darn good one.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Burma Shave 2:04 PM  


his PRESTIGE VALUED over mine -


El Dingo 3:11 PM  

Argh! No, he COULDN’T care less!

Sorry. That one hits the cringe button every time.

JimmyBgood 3:40 PM  

I learned the musical scale in school in 1958,and the note I learned was SO, and never saw it as SOL until much later. So please stop blaming SO on Julie, since this obviously predates The Sound of Music.

JimmyBgood 3:48 PM  

Hated stenog, but I loved besmear(and its identical cousin besmirch).

JimmyBgood 4:16 PM  

I was thinking about the can/tin dust up, and while I have always said a can of soup, I also have always said a tin of sardines. Maybe something to do with the shape?

leftcoaster 6:21 PM  

Getting more ADEPT[s] at Saturday puzzles, but still need some help to "finish" them cleanly. Even relatively easy ones like today's.

Wanted esteem before REVERE and PRESTIGE didn't answer to "Grand standing" clue.
EMILEZOLA didn't answer either with its ZULU cross, which eluded me. Long down INAPPPURCHASE helped hardly at all. So GELATO is eaten with a wooden spoon? Hm.

Long acrosses in the middle were good, especially BEERLEAGUE and its clue. Liked(?) the BESMEAR-DEBASE pairing, and TOGAS as "The emperor's old clothes" was mildly amusing.

Enjoyed this one and hope to do better next time around.

rondo 7:26 PM  

The eta/admiRE/mARliNS crosses in the NE was a true time killer. When I just went with something as simple as ESPN, things started to fall together.

Zero job interviews are ONEONONE where I work. Panel of 3 at a minimum. Iffy clue there.

ALICE Fredenham is a terrific singer. Yeah baby.

This was no BEERLEAGUE puz.

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