Bass-heavy hybrid music genre / SAT 2-29-20 / Bygone parts of newspapers with local gossip / Self-titled 1961 album / Market built around short term engagements / Former home of Seattle SuperSonics / Titular comic strip character from AD 800s

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Constructor: Andrew J. Ries

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (untimed on paper)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Paul LYNDE (43D: Paul of the old "Hollywood Squares") —
Paul Edward Lynde (/lɪnd/; June 13, 1926 – January 10, 1982) was an American comedian, voice artist, game show panelist and actor. A character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely-closeted homosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched, the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, and as a regular "center square" panelist on the game show The Hollywood Squares from 1968 to 1981. He also voiced animated characters for four Hanna-Barbera productions.
Lynde regularly topped audience polls of most-liked TV stars, and was routinely admired and recognized by his peers during his lifetime. Mel Brooks once described Lynde as being capable of getting laughs by reading "a phone book, tornado alert, or seed catalogue."[4] Lynde once said that while he would rather be recognized as a serious actor, "We live in a world that needs laughter, and I've decided if I can make people laugh, I'm making an important contribution." (wikipedia)
• • •

JANELLE MONAE is the only thing about this puzzle I really liked (7D: Grammy-nominated singer who made her on-screen film debut in "Moonlight"). Oh, I guess I liked SOCIETY PAGES too (20D: Bygone parts of newspapers with local gossip). Otherwise it's a lot of random trivia like KEY ARENA and CROTON RIVER (is every damn river in America fair game now?) and a lot of cluing that is irksome instead of what I have to believe was the intention, which is merely "difficult." It had this weird old-fashioned vibe, like ... who uses WORST as a verb like this? (29A: Trounce) (I had the "W" and wanted "WHOMP!"). In my experience, only the NYTXW. TAMERS are from some bygone idea of the circus (also circuses with captive animals that need to be "tamed" are gross and horrifying). BOYARDEE looks dumb all naked and alone without the CHEF to proceed it. BATE? (30A: Reduce in intensity) Where do you say that? Besides "bated breath," I guess. Still, it's *a*bate. Be honest, you never use BATE. Is "barber" a verb now? "Please barber my hair, Larry!" Odd (26D: Barber => STYLE). Everything about the cluing, and many things about the fill, just felt off. Getting a tough clue should result in a definitive "Ah, OK, right, yes." Not, "Uh ... I guess." I had a series of "Uh ... I guess"es with BATE and BABES and BEEF HOT DOG. "BABES" is fine but seems oddly ... poetic? ... you'd say there are "babies" in a nursery (30D: Nursery contents). Anyway, the clues were not enjoyable or convincing today. They were all, "You could look at this word ... *this* way!" and I just kept shaking my head "NAH."

I listen to music and follow contemporary music reasonably closely and I was not aware FUNKRAP was a thing. I need to look up examples, hang on ... huh ... weird ... when I google [funk rap] the very first hit I get is for G-FUNK, which I *have* heard of. Sigh. If I search your alleged term, the first hit should not be Some Other Term. Now I'm searching for it in quotation marks and *still* getting G-FUNK as the first hit. I am not hunting this term further because the fact that I *could* find it if I tried real hard isn't a very good defense of the answer. If I go to's list of "top funk rap artists," the first is Digital Underground, but if I look up Digital Underground on wikipedia, the "genres" offered for that group are "alternative hip-hop," "west-coast hip hop," and "funk"." lists KMD second among "top funk rap artists"—weird; I own a KMD album and did not know they were "FUNK-RAP." You can't even find the word "funk" anywhere on KMD's wikipedia page. The term "FUNK-RAP" seems really ill-defined and loose—inferrable, for sure (in that everyone knows "funk" and "rap"), but not a very tight / specific genre.

I know that the letters of the Greek alphabet are all fair game, and I'm used to seeing them in my grid, but that doesn't mean I've ever stopped resenting being asked to know the Greek letter *order.* What I'm saying is that if you have to use Greek letters, go ahead, but cross-referencing them to try to be cute is only ever going to be annoying. Can we just turn Saturdays into Fridays? Or find a way to achieve difficulty that doesn't sap the joy from the whole solving experience? Either or.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I found another thing I liked—the clue on ELISION (10D: Something Cap'n Crunch has). That's some wholesome misdirection.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Abigail 6:12 AM  

For 'Follower of Marx?' I initially had IST and I thought it was REALLY clever cluing, as IST follows the word Marx, but Marxists are followers of Marx's ideology. I simply could not see MAST there, because I was so certain that IST was the answer, as it felt so clever and right. Alas. Wasn't a huge fan of this puzzle.

Lewis 6:29 AM  

I have very little time today to comment, but I'll at least say this: My favorite part of this puzzle was the wordplay in many of the clues -- those for DESSERT MENU, BABES, CIG, GAS LEAKS, MAST, CEL, ELISION. Even before tomorrow's puzzle, it's been a most lovely week for cluing!

Lewis 6:29 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kitshef 6:34 AM  

PARENT just looks lonely without its accompanying CO.

Only two overwrites: ONE third before ONE fifth before ONE tenTH before ONE NINTH, and pUNKRAP before FUNKRAP (and you better believe BEEP HOT DOG had me confused).

Surprise of the day was filling in JONELLE MONAE with only a scattering of letters in place. Surprising because I have no idea who this person is or why I know her name.

Man, there is some obscure stuff in here today. CROTON RIVER? A pig named OLIVIA? RAGA? KEY ARENA?? I’m supposed to know bygone arenas now?

Lance 6:36 AM  

The music genre is actually fun-krap

OffTheGrid 6:46 AM  

I found this easy (for me, for a Saturday) except for the extreme NE. I had JAckSON for the whiskey so that hurt. I suspected that the Cap'n Crunch clue referred to the name itself but didn't know what it's called (ELISION). I liked a lot of the cluing. BTW, @Rex, of course BOYARDEE stood alone. "Chef" was the clue. Saturdays are difficult but I usually manage to finish and enjoy doing so. But it was nice to have one like this for a change.

Mad macs 7:14 AM  

I was very annoyed with 1 down. Ragi is a valid Indian restaurant dish accompaniment but food wise. I wasn’t aware of raga and did not try for that because in my mind 18 across solved as “ids” was perfectly acceptable. That was nasty!

Anonymoose 7:24 AM  

Ah yes, the trickiness of a Saturday.

Z 7:37 AM  

Two minutes faster than yesterday (~13%), so easy here. Knowing JAMESON and JANELLE MONÁE certainly helped. I predict a lot of wheelhouse or outhouse comments today because PPP came in at 24 of 70, just over my 33% line. Being married to a former children’s librarian makes OLIVIA wheelhouse material here, but I suspect that lots of solvers were done reading to children when OLIVIA was winning its Caldecott. Other wheelhouse answers were ARETHA and LYNDE. The PPP seems nicely diverse to me, but juxtaposed with yesterday’s masterclass in fun wordplay just reinforces my notion that wordplay is always better than trivial trivia. Does anyone need more proof than KEY ARENA and CROTON RIVER (cue the anonymous posters explaining why everyone should know the CROTON RIVER).

@kitshef - For all we know it wasn’t “bygone” when this puzzle was submitted. Hand up for ONE teNTH. I’m also very curious where that factoid comes from because it seems high. A high proportion of humans live near rivers, especially river mouths, for agricultural and trade reasons. But on islands? Color me skeptical on that one.

@Mad macs - RAGA music is a frequent Crossworld style. I don’t know that RAGi has ever appeared. The KEY thing on a Saturday is the clue is going to be using the third - NINTH meaning of a word to fool us.

More JANELLE MONÁE... Dirty Computer is a great album.

Suzie Q 7:45 AM  

I thought this puzzle was completely covered in green paint. Boring.

Unknown 7:51 AM  

I guess what i think of as fun, tricky clues feels "off" to OFL. I struggled as I always do so often but it was fun because of the many times I said yes, yes that's how to read the clue.

Verbs to nouns and vice versa are fair and fun game especially when using an obscure (but real) variant. Barber is definitely a verb though rarely used as a noun, much less a verb in my world. But I've seen it in novels.

Susan RST 8:00 AM  

Susan RST
The only reason I knew CROTON RIVER is because I have a friend renovating a house in Croton-on-Hudson, north of Yonkers for non NE solvers. Knew ELISION from years of French but had to solve around it before I could apply it to CAP’N. Ouch. And trouble in SW due to BATE. I agree with Rex on that one — missing the A. When BATE does appear with BREATH it’s always batED. Still, a decent solve time for me, three-sixths of an hour.

Joaquin 8:08 AM  

Was 22D ("Wowzers!"/GEE) supposed to be a revealer? Sure seems like a boatload of “G”s in this puzzle. More than usual, for sure.

Craig Aamodt 8:09 AM  

I was cruising through this one clockwise until running into the BATE/BABE cross - I had muTE... and... mAmaS? Ugh.. took a long time to parse that one out especially with pUNKRAP making BEEFHOTDOG difficult to see. I generally don't get too worked up about bad clueing as long as it's inferrible, but WORST does not matchup with TROUNCE - you can best someone, but can you worst them?

Eastchester Girl 8:14 AM  

The Croton River is in the NY Metropolitan area. How is that comparable to “every river in America” when doing the New York Times crossword? Gotta give a little love to the locals sometimes.

QuasiMojo 8:18 AM  

I couldn't believe that Cybil Shepherd won a Grammy! I couldn't believe her name didn't fit either. Then I thought to myself "Wait! Cher was in Moonstruck, not Moonlight." So I couldn't use her. Epic fail. At least I knew who Paul Lynde was. Listen to him in "New Faces of 52" if you can, a wonderful old Broadway show. His "twin" Alice Ghostley was in it too. The bio Rex posted of Lynde left out a lot of the really juicy stuff. In the end however I filled it all in and enjoyed the puzzle, primarily because the clues were quirky and often clever. I'm not sure MONK though is a "title" except for some show on PBS that I remember not being able to understand.

BarbieBarbie 8:28 AM  

@madmacs, me too. 1D and 18A are a sort of Schroedinger/Natick mash-up. Not sure what to call that, but DNF because of it.

Hungry Mother 8:29 AM  

Needed the red letters to get one of the easier areas. I haven’t eaten BEEF since 1985, so I forgot about it as a type of HOTDOG. The rest of the solve went well.

SouthsideJohnny 8:31 AM  

I’m guessing many people will find this one easier than average for a Saturday. I actually came within a handful of squares of finishing unassisted (I’ve never even gotten 75% of a Saturday on my own before). I also fell for the IDS for “spots” and MarxIST traps (tried TASE for the “boom” clue, lol.

I also had to guess at a lot of letters in the ELISION, CROTON and KANT section. Other than that I held my own.

I agree with OFL that the Greek letter clues are very lame and always give you an “oh, not that again” feeling.

Today’s made up phrase is FUNK RAP - all of these amorphous (and undefined) rock and hip-hop genres should be put on a strict budget of one appearance a month.

paige worthy 8:42 AM  

The only reason I was able to get the greek letters: I was a sorority recruitment counselor in college, and you try FORGETTING the order of the letters once you've had to learn a song about them.

Teedmn 8:45 AM  

BOYARDEE, was I surprised to see Andrew Reis's name as constructor after I finished this puzzle. I subscribe to Andrew's self-published Aries puzzles and they are HARD. This one went about 10 minutes faster than my Saturday average, so GEE! Ironically, I didn't do Andrew's subscription themeless yet because I was saving it in case the Saturday NYT and Stumper puzzles weren't hard enough. Hmmm.

CROTON RIVER - I was curious how it got its name so I looked it up. Last year, my cousin, a Manhattanite, was explaining how NYC gets much of its water supply through an upstate aqueduct that was built over 100 years ago. Now I know the water comes from the CROTON RIVER so not all that obscure after all.

I circled the clues for 27D "One raising an issue" for PARENT, and 41D, "Tree huggers from Down Under" for KOALAS as the most fun to parse today. And 1D, RAGA, was good too - I had Roti and almost left it at RAGi but the Indian music genre RAGA let me see "Spots" were ADS as well as iDS.

Andrew, thanks for the Saturday romp, and I hope your weekly puzzle is a tad more difficult! (Did JAMESON come from the record sales at the Local pub three years in a row?)

Gio 8:51 AM  

I must be getting more like Rex because this puzzle seemed disconnected, like it had no voice or feel to it. It's like the constructor put in Janelle Monae and Gig Economy and the software filled in the rest. It's a huge contrast to the feel of yesterday's.
I had IDS and RAGI too.

three of clubs 8:58 AM  

Guess the most populous islands include those in Indonesia and the Philippines. Japan and Taiwan. British Isles. Long and Staten. Cuba is pretty big.

Rhode Island is not.

ededsearch 9:02 AM  

Way too easy for a Saturday puzzle. I prefer one that makes me think..this was just "fill in the blank" easy.

Z 9:08 AM  

@Three of Clubs - China and India have something like 30-40% of human population, putting something like 15-20% of everyone else on an island. I’m presuming a large percentage of this number is in the Pacific, but it is still pretty counter-intuitive to me.

@Paige Worthy - I cannot even begin to imagine.

pabloinnh 9:13 AM  

A random Saturday clue scan led me to KANT as my first answer in, something that does not happen often. IST for ISM, OLIVER for OLIVIA, wanted FADE for BATE leading to FERNS for BABES, and so on. In short, a crunchy Saturday leading to a smug feeling when I finished unaided, which has become my rule. If you really don't know, make your best guess and see how you did when consulting the OFL page.

MY only quibble with this one is the frank type, which should be ALLBEEFHOTDOG, anything else is just plain wrong, and anyone who disagrees is itching for a fight.

Thanks for the fun, AR, maybe could have been a skosh harder.

albatross shell 9:13 AM  

Had to look up JANELLE. I have not watched Moonlight yet. Was that the one that did win but not really? Was BOYARDEE a gimmie for everyone? The HQs was upstream from me, so it fell quickly here.

So even with a couple Google aids still failed with RAGi and iDS. Are they equally correct? I'd give an edge to the actual answers.

I feel Rex's comments on the cluing are right on today. On the other hand, I took it as a quirky feature of the puzzle more than a failure of the puzzle. And there was much good in the long fill, and much good misdirection as well.

Am I too forgiving, too indecisive, too befuddled or a master of mixed feelings living in my looking glass quantum state?

Ask me if I could care more or less.

And I also do not care whether Rex did or did not rant about TAMERS or LPGATOUR.

HAPPY GIGECONOMY and bread and circuses to all.

Jeff 9:17 AM  

Another one here who fell for RAGI/IDS :-(

Nancy 9:18 AM  

The clues were great and the fill

Lots of great clues, my favorites being for LPGA TOUR; DESSERT MENU; ELISION; SIRI; PARENT and MAST. And nice long answers -- many of which I bet are new to crosswords. Plenty of opportunities to go astray, and I did:

GOLF TOUR before LPGA TOUR. This gave me Paul gYNDE, which I vaguely knew was wrong. I remembered Paul as the most unwatchably obnoxious member of an obnoxiously unwatchable show, but I couldn't remember his last name. Forgetting him was wonderful...but not today. Eventually he gave me LPGA, so there's that.

I don't know my pop music genres, so I had pUNK RAP. Sounds right, doesn't it? But that gave me that famous frank, the BEEP HOTDOG. Nathan's doesn't carry it, I knew. Maybe it's lurking somewhere in the Midwest? Eventually I thought of BEEF/FUNK RAP.

The only Irish whiskey I could think of was BAILEY'S. It took me forever to get JAMESON, even when I had the -SON.

This puzzle would have played a lot easier had I known JANELLE MONAE who almost ran the length of the grid. But I didn't. And I thought the word for "reduce in intensity" was ABATE, not BATE. I only know BATE as in BATEd breath. But other than those two clue/answers, I thought this was a well-crafted and enjoyable puzzle.

Brian 9:23 AM  


albatross shell 9:32 AM  

We all live on islands, except maybe those who live on boats and ships. Polynesia, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, England, and all the coastal areas that have Islands. Probably only a rounding error between one ninth and one tenth.

Harry 9:32 AM  

Ironically, BEST is a better definition for "trounce" than WORST is.

puzzlehoarder 9:33 AM  

A real piece of cake Saturday. GOSTAG matched up nicely with ITT and made me realize the 1D clue was about music. With RAGA in place the NW corner was like shooting ducks in a barrel. The rest of the puzzle went the same way.

I'm familiar with the name CROTON because of the reservoir. It stands to reason that there would be a river feeding it.

JC66 9:33 AM  

I found this puzzle much harder than the typical NYT Saturday.

@Eastchester Girl

I was born and spent my first 27 years living 12 miles from the CROTON Reservoir and have lived in NYC ever since and I didn't know, until solving this puzzle last night that there's a CROTON river.


Don't forget islands like Manhattan & Hong Kong.

Is Japan considered an island? Australia?

burtonkd 9:35 AM  

Thought there was some fun cluing today:
RAGA a musical form as accompaniment. Fun to walk down East 6th street and see all the sitar and tabla players in the restaurant windows.
KEYARENA - former home had me wondering what city they were in before Seattle, this ITINERANT team now being in Oklahoma. Nice misdirect that it was a previous arena, not city. Memory served me correctly that the team originated in Seattle.
Recently watched Match Game 70-something, with Paul LYNDE as a celebrity. The juxtaposition of the sexuality and sexism on that show and Rex on this blog is quite the contrast. "Barely closeted" from the write-up is pretty funny. Could anyone have not known?
Still been meaning to see the documentary on the making of ARETHA's Amazing Grace album. Anytime I need to play old-time gospel on the piano, this is a must listen to fine tune my style.
Knew the CROTON reservoir in Westchester County, one source of NYC drinking water, so the River fell pretty easily. Definitely an advantage to be a HOMER.
WORSTED is definitely a verb meaning "to defeat". BARBER also a verb. Welcome to Saturday.
I like the non chinese food EGGROLL clue.
Frozen Assets for DESSERTMENU is nice wordplay.
Learned that MONK derives from "alone", same root as mono?

albatross shell 9:36 AM  

We all live on islands, except maybe those who live on boats and ships. Polynesia, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Manhattan and all the coastal areas that have Islands. Probably only a rounding error between one ninth and one tenth.

GILL I. 9:43 AM  

JANELLE who? Janet Jackson fits. Do you know that a chef will also make a TOMATO into a rose? Screw the RADISH. CAROLINA is a barbecue variety? Really? Barbacoa has vinegar in it as well. Thank god I knew JAMESON because I know my whiskeys and I knew OLIVIA because I know my pigs. The only EGG ROLLS I know are Chinese and are dipped in soy sauce. The only ESPRIT I know has a de corps at the end. BABES? Really? I only know a pig named Babe and maybe a Ruth. Didn't the SOCIETY PAGE list important people who were getting married? last thing....This was the WORST Saturday puzzle I've done in a while. Not my STYLE, I'm afraid.
PREY for the KOALAS. They need our help!

Richardf8 9:49 AM  

After all of that high-carb fill like naan and roti, I was genuinely pleased at the musical misdirection of RAGA. The clue for PARENT also made me smile as did LPGA TOUR and GAS LEAKS. CROTON RIVER was one of those little reminders that this is the NEW YORK Times Crossword and if Rex had ever driven into the City from his place of employment along US 6, Croton on Hudson would have placed it in his wheelhouse. Maybe he just needs to wait for Susquehanna to show up to be happy. (Clue: River that the Binghamton sewage treatment plant discharges into).

Happy to see KANT and GIG ECONOMY was fresh and well clued.

Birchbark 9:49 AM  

"Now I am an object of inner sense, an all time is merely the form of inner sense. Consequently, I refer each and all of my successive determinations to the numerically identical self, and do so throughout time, that is, in the form of the inner intuition of myself."

-- KANT, "Critique of Pure Reason" A362 (Kemp Smith Tr.). Twas 1781 when KANT published that. Elsewhere in the world, the British surrendered Yorktown. You see similar self-contained but systematically connected passages throughout the Critique. It's underlined in my copy circa 1986 for now-forgotten SCHOLARly reasons, or maybe with the inner sense that a third-of-a-century later it could be responsive to a crossword puzzle.

Yes @Rex, "every damn river in America is fair game now." I think that's what KANT was getting at in the snippet above.

Carola 9:55 AM  

Medium for me, with slow-downs in the FUNK RAP x KEY ARENA and CROTON RIVER AREAS. Like others, I also went wrong on Roti but also guessed an incorrect PsI and JAMiSON. I wondered if there were a CanaaN River before, like others, remembering CROTON-on-Hudson.
I liked ARETHA sharing the grid with JANELLE MONAE and SHAGGY next to HAGAR as well as the eclectic culinary collection of CAROLINA barbecue, EGG ROLLS, a BEEF HOT DOG, and cans of Chef BOYARDEE.

Klazzic 9:57 AM  

Agree entirely, Rex. Just couldn't RAP my head around its imbecility. FUNK it.

webwinger 10:00 AM  

Find myself in nearly full agreement with @Rex on this one (including that TAMER was off key, though I wouldn’t go as far as “gross and horrifying”). Solve was a bit faster than yesterday’s, which was itself a good deal easier than average. Barely noticed the large amount of PPP, even with no resorting to Google. Despite some good clueing there was an overall lack of sparkle for me.

Liked seeing mini theme of NICU: BABES in the nursery, ICUS, PREEMIES. But I participated in the care of premature infants for 40 years and always spelled the informal term for them using just one E.

Professional background also helped with JANELLE MONAE: If you look closely at her pictures you can see that one of her eyes at times deviates to the side. It’s particularly noticeable in some photos that show her sporting a hair STYLE filled with cute little toy googly eyes. (See; tried to make a live link without success) A generally benign condition (of the eyes; don’t know about the hair) that is sometimes bothersome enough to warrant surgical correction, which I did many times. A much younger colleague pointed out to me its occurrence in JM, of whom I’d no previous knowledge.

Frantic Sloth 10:08 AM  

Yes, Rex - I’m afraid nouns are verbs and verbs are nouns and ever the twain shall meet. At least in the NYTXW and millennial-driven language.

I enjoyed this puzzle in an easy-for-a-Saturday kinda way, but that’s only because anything that prolongs my delusions of smartitude is okay by me.

Some of the easy-grid-equals-ridiculous-clues clues were a bit “Huh?”...but I lucked out by knowing Paul LYNDE, JANELLEMONAE, ELISION, and a few other key (NOT the KEYARENA because, again, “Huh??”) entries that made this one not-typically-Saturday-maddening.

Hand up for teNTH before NINTH — and I’m with @Z on the origin of this “factoid” because it just seems oddly specific in a “let’s-make-this-ninth-instead-of-tenth-because-it-will-look-more-sciency-and-therefore-more-believable kinda way.

One exception to my skating through this was BEE?HOTDOG. Yes, THAT’s the one that threw me for a minute. Go know.

Outta kindas and hyphens, so closing with a link (sorry can’t “blue” this one, so you’ll have to copy/paste) of Janelle Monae’s Oscars opening — wardrobe malfunction notwithstanding, she really juiced up their knickers.

mmorgan 10:17 AM  

Yes there was random trivia but for me those were gettable through some very clever misdirections, so I had an enjoyable and rewarding solve, wheeee!

Eastchester Girl 10:18 AM  

@JC66- That you’re a local and didn’t know of the Croton River doesn’t surprise me. That doesn’t contradict my point though. Rex asked, vis a vis an obscure river in Westchester, whether any river in America should be used in the puzzle. I opined that there should be a different standard for a local river than for an obscure river in, say, Nebraska, when doing the NYT puzzle. I think there should be. It’s not the USA Today and a little local flavor from time to time improves the puzzle IMO. Cheers.

bertoray 10:28 AM  

Yes, worst way worse than best.

Gio 10:30 AM  

@z @frantic If you use percentages in your statement, it's 87% more believable.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

You're silly.
Boyardee was precrded by chef. Its on the clue.
The croton river isnt far from your front door. Two, twi and half hours tops.You probably should know it.
And Im guessing youve seen Croton on Hudson in more than one movie. Pretty damned inferrable.
Finally, you dot know the Greek alphabet. Knowing all the letters is not the same thing as knowing the alphabet.
When you ask a child whether he knows his ABC's, your'e asking him if he knows the letters and can put them in order. You sir, are a trivia sponge. Knowing the Greek letters without understanding how they go together is the clasdical definition of a barbarian.

TJS 10:45 AM  

Way too easy for a Saturday, imo. Just a fill in the blanks exercise. Cant believe how often I am agreeing with Rex lately, except for the female-constructor rants. On to the archive.

David 10:50 AM  

I plopped in Caaterskill at 24D just positive it would drive Rex way over the edge. I so wanted it to be I left it too long. Croton River. Yes, pretty much all of our water comes through aqueducts from upstate. Mostly built long ago with some newer ones. The Croton is just part of the system. A small part of Queens gets its water from its own aquifer. The water is not processed and is wonderful to drink and cook with.

Giuliani wanted to sell our watershed off to upstate towns so they could build on it and pollute it; part of his scheme was to build a billion dollar treatment plant to re-purify it. The city comptroller, Alan Hevesi, refused to sign off on the bond issue so Rudy took him to court. Hevesi prevailed and we still have some of the best city water in the country. Just one of the hundreds of law suits Rudy lost, costing taxpayers millions.

Yes to Ragi/IDs. I spent about 12 minutes just hunting for why the app didn't tell me I was done. That was nasty.

Parents raising issues, imps; seems AJR doesn't like kids much.

Some really great cluing: dessert menu, elision (I use a lot of those while setting text to music), main issues.

NYTimes still publishes wedding announcements; ain't that society pages?

A pretty regular Saturday for me, but yes to too much PPP.

Z 10:58 AM  

Ah, gotta love a language where best and worst are synonyms and adding an “a” to BATE doesn’t make an antonym.

I remember seeing RAGA, RAGe, and RAGu in puzzles. Never RAGi (are you all thinking roti?). Nevertheless, “spots” -> ADS not iDS.

@Giovanni - Yes but I’d still like to see a source. As @Frantic said, oddly specific.

@Eastchester Girl - You’re not the first to make the “it is the New York Times argument. New Yorkers are a small minority of solvers of these puzzles.

@Birchbark and @Klazzic - I enjoyed your posts.
@Ruchardf8 - I loved your cynical clue.

The commentariat is in fine form today. Almost makes me not miss our Muse. Almost.

pmdm 11:03 AM  

For a puzzle with a high percent of PPP, I found it easier than most Saturday puzzles. I guess the crosses were easy, or I'm getting more proficient. Probably the former.

A word about the Croton River. NYC gets water from both the Catskills and the watershed around north Westchester (the county north of the Bronx). A comment above may have confused the two. Anyway, The Croton "River" now consists of the runoff from the Croton Reservoir and flows from the dam to the Hudson. I enclosed the word river in quotes because, like the Westchester Saw Mill, Bronx, and Hutchinson rivers, they are all more like creeks than actual rivers. You couldn't sail much more than a rowboat in them, although they can pack quite a wallop when they flood. Want to know where the reservoir is (which might be TMI)? Get a map and from the Bronx follow the Saw Mill River Parkway north until it meets the Taconic State Parkway in Hawthorne. Then follow the Taconic State Parkway north and it will cross the reservoir before Yorktown and Route US 6. I used to go fishing in the body of water and pick wild mushrooms in the area. Best tasting mushrooms I have ever had. I was lucky to have grandparents who could distinguish good mushrooms from the "crazy" [poisonous] ones.

If you took offense at having to know the Croton River, just wait until a constructor expects you to know the Muscoot River, which is a tributary of the Croton River.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Z Please cite evidence that a small minority of solvers are New Yorkers . I’m not being confrontational that just a statistic I’ve never heard and seems surprising. And to be clear, in this context New Yorkers includes the New York Metropolitan area. So Ridgewood NJ and Greenwich CT count but Binghamton NY doesn’t.

Cho Da 11:15 AM  

Confidently threw in freddy before OLIVIA. Grandma used to read the Freddy books to me when I was wee.

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

I’m not from there and I have no problems with a New York puzzle having NYC centric clues.

RooMonster 11:20 AM  

Hey All !
This one must've been easy, my time says 21 minutes, that's me WORSTing this puppy! My PANTS again were REIGNITED.

Liked the triple stack of 12-14-12 Downs, usually the triple stacks like that are Acrosses, so that difference was nice. As most of y'all, had pUNKRAP in there, until the BEEp HOTDOG (which is funny to me) didn't quite work. Happily changed it to (the only) F.

I grew up next to the Rush Brook, an appox. 5 mile river in NE PA. I'm really waiting to see that in a puz! :-)

There are 11 G's in this puz, a lot of two G words/phrases, which does seem odd. I don't track G's, just the poor F's.

ONEteNTH like everyone else. With the new 2020 census, maybe that'll change? Or is it just the US that does the census? And how can we be sure? There are many indigenous peoples on some of these obscure islands out there. Plus, as the commenters have espoused, what constitutes an island? Like Hawaii, or Australia? And did I use espoused correctly? Curious minds.

GOS TAG - When you get tapped to start a race
Years ago, car maker Lotus had an ESPRIT.
Knew KANT thanks to Monty Python!
"Oh, Immanuel Kant was a real pissant,
who was very rarely stable." Thanks MPFC!


Z 11:39 AM  

@Anon11:14 - I’m on my phone and traveling, so not really in a position to find a breakdown of the numbers. But the NYT is basically a national paper and digital crossword only subscribers are international as well as national. The best I can do on short notice is reference the commentariat. NY people might be the largest single group, but even tiny Asheville NC has at least three regular posters. Hawaii, Minnesota, WV, MN, MI, France, and San Francisco are among the home locations I’m aware of.

Joe from Fordham Rd. 11:44 AM  

@Z-We welcomed you into our house. Don’t try to rearrange the furniture.

Peter P 11:45 AM  

@Gill I - Yes, Carolina style barbecue is one of the major US Barbecue styles. Texas, Memphis, Kansas City, and Carolina (which is subdivided into Eastern North Carolina, Western/Lexington North Carolina, and South Carolina) are the major four, but then you also have Owensboro (mutton), Alabama (famous for their white chicken), Santa Maria, and many others ....

Newboy 11:48 AM  

I think therefore I am

James 11:50 AM  

I had what I thought was a near-record Saturday time, but the timer kept ticking. 25 minutes later I finally figured out 1D/18A was RAGA/ADS instead of RAGI/IDS. Turns out ragi balls don't really get shortened to "ragi," but given some of the sloppy clueing we've been seeing lately, I didn't bat an eye. And "IDs" works just fine for "spots" so the cross was no help.

Rastaman Vibration 11:51 AM  

Ok, folks - let’s get this straight. FUNK RAP is not a GENRE. No way, no how. There is Funky Rap (like there is funky jazz, soul and other types of music), and there is G-Funk. Why they would take a perfectly benign adjective like “funky” and attempt to ascribe a new meaning to it is beyond me. It’s very disappointing because the people who construct and edit these puzzles deal with vocabulary and the meaning of words on a daily basis. It’s embarrassing.

I also would have enjoyed it if @LMS had been able to share her thoughts the last few days - we’ve had three days in a row now where the puzzles have been pretty high quality - I’ll bet she would have provided some nice insight.

Hopefully there will be an NRA included in the puzzle tomorrow so Rex has something to whine about besides the sex organs or gender-identities of the people who submit puzzles that get published.

Does anyone know what an EGG ROLL is as it pertains to Easter - is it one of those races with eggs and you use a spoon? If so, that’s a good clue.

Joe Dipinto 12:00 PM  

This was easily the best puzzle of the week, much better than yesterday's with its "I don't wanna bingewatch 'Sharknado'" silliness. Good answers, creative cluing all around, nary an eye-roll while solving. Could have been a bit harder, that's all. Rex's torrent of words on how he couldn't find funk rap is laughable, as is pretty much his whole "critique". Guess the constructor's maleness was just too irksome.

Another twofer today:

♪ Plant a radish,
Get a radish,
Never any doubt.
That's why I love vegetables;
You know what you're about...

They're dependable!
They're befriendable!
They're the best pal a parent's ever known!
While with children,
It's bewilderin'.
You don't know until the seed is nearly grown
Just what you've sown.

Plant a carrot,
Get a carrot,
Not a Brussels sprout.
That's why I love vegetables,
You know what you're about!...

But if your issue
Doesn't kiss you,
Then I wish you luck.
For once you've planted children,
You're absolutely stuck! ♪

Not really an NBA fan 12:03 PM  

Once you infer the K in FUNK, KINGDOME fits the across space perfectly (and, hey, it was in Seattle).

TJS 12:12 PM  

@paige worthy, "The only reason I was able to get the greek letters: I was a sorority recruitment counselor in college." I'm trying to figure out what the hell that is.

@Birchbark, Thanks for the Kant snippet. If I was ever tempted to read Kant, I am now cured.

Anonymous 12:12 PM  

That WORST one really was the... well... you get it.

But BEEFHOTDOG was great, GIGECONOMY as well, and JANELLEMONAE was a nice touch.

Overall, three out of five.

sanfranman59 12:20 PM  

This is too rich not to share with this message board ... I'm making my way through the NYT archived puzzles and recently reached the point when Rex started blogging. It's been a lot of fun reading his takes before he soured on Will Shortz and became so curmudgeonly. I just came across this response he had to someone who expressed great frustration with a Saturday puzzle and was critical of the direction of the puzzle under Will's editorship (yes, at one time, he participated in a lot of back-and-forth with folks in the comment section):

Dude, you hate Everything. Your complaints are all variations on the same theme: Will Shortz Ruined The NYT Puzzle. How about some variety?



Chris Arias 12:20 PM  

Couldn’t agree more! I’m a music PRODUCER in Atlanta and have never heard of “funk rap.” Today was a tedious chore. Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better experience.

What? 12:43 PM  

Tough puzzle - what a surprise. But I got through it after much time with only one , ok, two misses. Never heard of 7D - put in DANELLE - and 7A gave me DAMESON, ok since I know nothing about Irish whiskey. These two faux pases don’t count because there was nothing to figure out, just know it or you don’t.
I got about half, read the depressing morning news (coronavirus is a Democratic bug!), then (almost) finished which cleansed my cerebral palate.

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

We all live on islands

yeah, tell me about it. Australia was officially an island when I was in knee pants. they made it a continent, but demoted Pluto. who needs experts?

burtonkd 12:49 PM  

@Z, RAGI is a form of flour popular in India and Africa (finger millet, here) - all new to me as of 2 minutes ago. ID in the verb sense of identify makes sense for "spot", so I would give credit for those wrong answers., even if I like the "correct" ones better.

@pmdm, Muscoot Farms on Route 100 has a terrific farmers market that I frequent (note the verb), so bring it on!

@sanfranman59, good find!

Joe Dipinto 1:02 PM  

@sanfranman – Do you remember the date of that puzzle? Because it would be fun to insert that quote into future comments, with attribution, like so:

Dude, you hate Everything. Your complaints are all variations on the same theme: Will Shortz Ruined The NYT Puzzle. How about some variety?
– Rex Parker, (date)

albatross shell 1:09 PM  

Eleusine coracana
Finger Millet, also known as Ragi is an important millet grown extensively in various regions of India and Africa. Its scientific name is Eleusine coracana. It ranks sixth in production after wheat, rice, maize, sorghum and bajra in India.

If you know KANT and you know Greek letters in any order, then you know TAU.. It is the only 3 letter Greek letter with second letter A.

Better clue for Susquehanna:
River that made it to Cooperstown

Take your nit and eat it.

Another sloggy Sunday?
Nancy has me all edgy for a good one. Are we going to get a warning?

Crimson Devil 1:11 PM  

Much PPP, but quite enjoyable. CAROLINA q is excellent indeed but so is much other. Liked reference to philosopher-opera buff BUGS.
Excellent cluing in SKORT.

oldactor 1:23 PM  

@Joe Dipinto: Thanks for the memories, I've played both Father's roles in NYC on Sullivan St. and six months in Japan probably
over 1000 times. At 88 I can still do the dance steps.

Nards 1:30 PM  

I don’t know the Croton River, but I do know the Croton Reservoir, part of the NYC watershed, and so it kind of came together. I wasn’t made up about that clue.

Joe Dipinto 2:04 PM  

@oldactor – I've no doubt you were terrific. I saw The Fantasticks several times on Sullivan St., maybe you were Huck or Bell on one of those occasions! :-)

Azzurro 2:53 PM  

Meh. This was awfully tedious in parts. I stared at my completed grid for a long time and never realized that RAGA/IDS was not the bit of esoterica the author intended.

RAD2626 3:03 PM  

While I generally like most of the puzzles, I usually nod at and understand Rex’ problems, although they do not affect my enjoyment. Today I disagree with him vigorously. Loved the puzzle and the cluing. Read five or so aloud to my spouse. Won’t repeat them but @Lewis and @Nancy listed them. Got KANT from the delightful The Good Place. Got a little stuck with HudsON RIVER and ISt but thought puzzle was great fun.

Mini was terrific today too. Best I can remember.

QuasiMojo 3:06 PM  

@Joe D -- I guessed it right too. I played Henry, the "old ham," or "emoter" back in high school.

Nancy 3:48 PM  

@old actor -- I must have seen you in "The Fantastics" because I know I saw it down on Sullivan Street. Both fathers in the production I saw were wonderful, so whichever father you played on that particular night, I know you were wonderful.

I assume you were in the production with Jerry Orbach?

I've always been surprised that Schmidt and Jones didn't have a career as monumental as R&H. "The Fantastics" has one of the greatest scores of any musical, ever. The melodies are completely captivating and infectious -- even the melodies in the up-tempo songs like "Plant a Radish". (Confession: I always provide my own musical sound track when walking -- no headphones for me with other singers on them! -- and "Plant a Radish" is one of my go-to songs when it's a brisk day and I'm full of energy. Today, my walking song was "Annie Laurie", so evidently I had slightly less energy. I don't plan these songs, btw -- they just come to me out of the blue when I'm walking.) Anyway, @old actor, congrats on having a key role in an indelible and successful musical.

sanfranman59 3:50 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Hilton 3:55 PM  

Hate it when my only error is way down at the bottom. You think you’ve got a perfect puzzle and, pfffft, there it goes. ISt for ISM, ESPRIe for ESPRIT, and tASe seems almost worthy of the clue. Silly me.

Hate to agree with Rex, but this one is a big step down from yesterday’s beauty. Oh, well . . .

sanfranman59 4:13 PM  

@Z (et al) ... I often see comments/complaints out here about such-and-such an answer is "just trivia", "random trivia" or, perhaps my favorite, "trivial trivia" (sorry to pick on you @Z!), but don't understand what the difference is between non-trivia and trivia. It seems to me that solvers (including this one) identify answers as trivial if they either don't know or can't come up with the answer. Isn't one person's trivia another person's knowledge? I just don't find that term to be a useful construct in critiquing crossword puzzles. Just my two cents.

bulgie 4:27 PM  

I got a little chuckle when I figured out that my first guess earTHA was really ARETHA -- at least I had all the letters, just wrong order.

Shouldn't the clue for GO STAG indicate somehow that it only applies to 49% of the population? Or is that something the fairer sex can do also these days?

FUN KRAP indeed!

I finished without cheats in well under my Sat average time, which surprised me because in my initial pass thru the acrosses I got nothing before KANT. I was pessimistic about finishing, so a pleasant surprise when I did, yay me.

Birchbark 4:55 PM  

@sanfranman59 (12:20, 3:55) -- I'm working my way back through the Archives as well (currently just cracking into February 2000) and had similar observations about @Rex's evolving style and views toward the editor. Also, note his occasionally recorded times back then -- while still speedy, not anything like the category he's in today.

Once I got past (or before) late 2006 into the pre-Rex era, I began to appreciate in absentia the value of an expert's technical explanation of what I just solved. I'm not bad at finishing puzzles via persistence and inference, but occasionally I don't understand how the clue ties to an answer (sometimes missing the whole theme even after solving). It's very easy to forget just how rock solid @Rex's technical analysis usually is, cloaked as it often is 'midst the noise and hyperbole over which puzzles are good or evil. But when it's not there, you notice, and you could use it.

I do see @Rex's style and tone continuing to evolve, with more humility and good-natured wit in recent months than in recent years. We all skew old over time, and it is good.

sanfranman59 5:02 PM  

Since inquiring minds seem to want to know ... One source for ONE-NINTH {17A: Approximate proportion of the world's population that lives on an island} is Wikipedia. Here's their list of the top ten most populous islands (rounded to the nearest million):

Java (141)
Honshu (104)
Great Britain (64)
Luzon (61)
Sumatra (58)
Madagascar (26)
Mindanao (26)
Taiwan (23)
Borneo (21)
Sri Lanka (21)

Hispaniola (21 million) barely misses the top 10. Manhattan (1.6 million) is 43rd. Long Island has a much large population (7.8 million). I'm a little surprised to learn that Madagascar's population is 26 million.

sanfranman59 5:06 PM  

@Joe Dipinto (1:02pm) ... It was Robert Wolfe's 2/17/2007 puzzle. At times, Rex almost seemed reverential of Will back then.

JC66 5:17 PM  


Thanks for the posts.

Don't be a stranger.

Joe Dipinto 5:18 PM  

@Nancy, @Quasi, @oldactor and any other fellow Fantasticks fans –

I don't know if you're aware but there was Hallmark Hall of Fame tv version that ran in 1964, with Ricardo Montalban as El Gallo, Stanley Holloway and Bert Lahr as the Fathers, John Davidson (remember him?) as the Boy, and Susan Watson (don't know what happened to her) as the Girl. It's only an hour long, and a number of songs were cut. I saw it when it originally aired, I think that was my very first exposure to the show. You can watch the whole thing here (with period commercials included!)

Anonymous 5:28 PM  

Good color San Fran Man thanks. Value added.

Z 5:41 PM  

@burtonkd - Thanks. Now I’m wondering if RAGi has appeared and I just don’t remember it. And, yes, Now I see how IDS works. D’Oh.

@Sanfranman59 - Thanks for the research. As for when trivia becomes trivial, I don’t think there’s a hard and fast spot, but it’s somewhere between “where is the source of the Nile” and “where is the source of the Grand River (in Michigan).” There is stuff I know about and care about deeply (the difference between a hammer and a scoober, Elvis Costello’s guitar solo on (what’s so funny ‘bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding) that are still trivial trivia because I wouldn’t expect most solvers to know them. Most answers that Rex’s natick definition are what I would call trivial trivia. In today’s puzzle, if the NYTX was for a purely NYC audience CROTON RIVER wouldn’t be. But for this guy who grew up in Michigan and now lives in WNC, yawn. It is closer to the “where is the source of the Grand.” But, again, there’s not a hard and fast demarcation.

@webwinger - Your link posting problem is most likely smart quotes. Figure out how to not use them. They are often the default and don’t work for html.

SouthsideJohnny 5:50 PM  

@sanfranman59 - I draw the distinction between “trivia” such as JANELLE MONAE today (who not everyone knows, but she is certainly fairly well-known), and “esoteric trivia” (such nonsense as “Serbian for grandfather” or one of the Times’ specialties - flat out made-up words (staring at you FUNKRAP). Frequently there will be a clue that is so “out there” that it is not even a clue in any real sense of the word (as maybe one out of a 1000 people have even heard of it). In this instance the clue is really just a placeholder for a “Dark Matter” entry (i.e. we know that it exists, but we have no real idea what it is).

To add insult to injury, many times there is a simpler, more fair way of cluing it, or a few simple changes - sometimes even recommended by posters here, would easily clean up the entire section and eliminate the garbage esoterica.

I just maintain that an above average solver should have at least a fighting chance of finishing any published puzzle through logic, reasoning and deciphering wordplay rather than just “Sorry, you either know it or you don’t“ (Natick-type) clues.

GILL I. 6:29 PM  

@Peter P 11:45....if you're still reading...thanks for the CAROLINA info. I cook a lot but I'm not a BBQuer. Hot coals and I don't ever see eye to eye. I tried doing some ribs once (even marinaded them for hours) and they tasted like shoe shine leather.
Looked up my unknown Janelle Monae (is she what is called a FUNK RAPper? I asked to see her without makeup and she's quite beautiful. doesn't need any natural suits her.
Let's see. what else did I not know and will never remember.....KEY ARENA CROTON RIVER and I could care less/couldn't about a ONE NINTH proportion of the world's population. BEEF HOT DOGS give me heartburn.
I'm making my SIN empanadas tonight. My ESPIT de joie.

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

Crossword Puzzles should have regional diversity, The NYTimes should favor its area and the LATimes should favor its area. Otherwise you have boring cookie cutter puzzles.

pabloinnh 7:25 PM  

Hey @GILL I-

I know there aren't any Spanish words that start s/consonant, as I am not estupido, so I imagining your "ESPIT de joie" put a big esmile on my face.

Hoping that was deliberate.

Malsdemare 7:43 PM  

I know it’s late and no one will be paying attention but . . My hotdog was a BEErHOTDOG, and that gave me fUN KRAP, which . . . What do I know, sounds possible. I didn't know JONELLEMONAE (surprise there) and for whatever reason it took for ever for OLIVIA to drop. DNF due to my hotdog, but other stuff was just fine.

I'm in Washington PA tonight, on my way to my daughter's in Philly to care for grands for a week. A very bare bones Ramada—elegant lobby, spartan rooms, but they took my big furry dog and there's a restaurant and bar. I may die of food poisoning, but it meets my minimum standards: dog, bed, food, wine. Hopefully not bedbugs. In this part of the country, hotels have huge numbers of roustabouts—al the folks who work the mining—but they are usually nice people. Better than drunken teenagers boozing it up in the next room on a Saturday night.

Off to walk the dog and try the restaurant. Wish me luck!

GILL I. 7:44 PM  

God I hate autocorrect. And @sanfranman...always good to have you back...Do you visit with ACME?

pmdm 7:52 PM  

Similar to my response to a David Brooks essay, I sometimes agree with the analysis but not the conclusion voiced by Z. Today, I'd say his response to sanfranman59 was spot on. By definition, trivia is a fact of little importance, but it has taken on the connotation of a fact known to few. Following that up, trivial trivia would be a fact known to the very few. And location doesn't really have anything to do about it. I would say relatively few people who live in NYC could tell you the name of the highway I-95 in Manhattan (the Manhattan Expressway, not the Cross Bronx Expressway) and relatively few from NYC know there are two boroughs that connect to the mainland (Bronx and Manhattan).I would call these two trivial trivia. But maybe I underestimate the intelligence of most from NYC. If so, mea culpa.

sanfranman59 10:12 PM  

@GILL I ... Thanks for the kind words. ACME and I cross paths on the odd occasion, but not for much longer. I'm blowing this pop stand soon (does anyone else besides me use that expression?). I can afford to retire using Ohio as a base of operations, but not San Francisco.

Joe Dipinto 10:28 PM  

@pmdm – not sure I understand your "two boroughs" trivia. The Bronx is on the mainland. Both Manhattan and Queens connect via bridge to the Bronx, and Staten Island connects via bridge to New Jersey. The only borough with no direct connection to the mainland is Brooklyn, as far as I am aware.

Joe Dipinto 10:44 PM  

@pmdm – I think now I understand what you meant. The sliver known as Marble Hill, while geographically located in the Bronx, is actually part of the borough of Manhattan. So there are two boroughs that actually have territory on the mainland. My mistake, sorry!

Anonymous 10:54 PM  


well... there's a nice old bridge that does just that. I'd be happy to sell it to you for a mere $1,000. you can charge vehicles as you may.

Anonymous 2:16 AM  

Strangely, this one felt very easy & definitely not Saturday-difficult. Maybe it's b/c, as a child, I used to make 'radish roses' at Thanksgiving to decorate the various serving dishes. This dates me, of course, as growing up at a time when little girls were taught such home-y skills - and when radish roses seemed like an "elegant" touch.

xyz 10:57 AM  

Yes, easy until Mid-East which gave me fits, several points Rex noted.

old timer 12:18 PM  

No paper yesterday (production problems, the e-mail said) so I am doing the Saturday puzz on Sunday. Easy I thought, even though JAMESON did not leap to mind. Pretty much what you get if you order whisky at an Irish bar. I used to love Pat O'Shea's (long gone now) when I lived in SanFran. And if I had actually bought that cute house in Noe Valley I had my eye on back in 1977, it would be worth so much today I could sell it and retire almost anywhere, if I sold it.

I bought the Fantasticks album and played the grooves off it. Probably did not see @oldactor in it though -- I first saw in in Philadelphia, spring of 1967. At least, I think it was there and not in NYC. It went on the road with a second company long, long before the Sullivan St production closed for good.

Rug Crazy 2:38 PM  

CROTON RIVER was the NATICK of the day. I lived not to far from it, yet never heard of it

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

The L in LYNDE / LPGATOUR was a NATICK for me since I thought it was WYNDE / WPGATOUR. Ladies, amirite?

Burma Shave 12:22 PM  


It was the RADISH EGGROLLS EYE bought,
'TIL the BEEFHOTDG went bad
with the Chef BOYARDEE that EYE GOT.


rondo 12:35 PM  

One write-over, but it was a big one. I had the tributary's C and went way down to check a cross at ISM, so with that C and I promptly filled in ConnectIcut. Epically wrong TIL I fixed it all. Funny to see SHAGGY twixt ITT and HAGAR; applies to both.

ARETHA has got to be one of the yeah BABES.

The WORST part was WORST, so ITT wasn't so bad.

spacecraft 12:37 PM  

As to the clues: hey, it's Saturday. If you want to do another Friday puzzle, wait six days. What's the matter, O Fearless One, things getting too tough for you?

I never heard of JANELLEMONAE, but the crosses were there. Ditto the CROTONRIVER. BTW, when does the "River" part of a river precede the name (River Jordan) and when not? Inquiring minds want to know.

You don't need a COLLEGEDEGREE to solve this, but it might help. Letter add-ons that don't crunch two unlikely consonants together, such as AROD, don't bother me much; those that do (TNOTE) do. I give the LPGA a pass because, well, they ARE ladies. Perhaps a collective DOD--but no, ARETHA has the honor today. And speaking of late soul artists, ain't no sunshine, Bill.

Difficulty appropriate to the day, some very lively long stuff and BABES aplenty: those mentioned above plus OLIVIA Newton-John, a very close honorable mention. Birdie.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

A workable, fun puzzle for the most part, but containing too many pissers. Rejected.

nakaj 3:00 PM  

long time lurker, first time caller...

just wanted to note that KEY ARENA is *not* a bygone arena. it is where the Sonics used to play before they were sold out from under us & the current home of the Seattle Storm WNBA team. i'm not sure why that is trivial when innumerable ballparks that have appeared in the past are legit.

leftcoaster 3:48 PM  

@nakaj -- Welcome to the blog. Re KEY ARENA, the crossword clue in my newspaper is "Former home of the Seattle SuperSonics", i.e., the Sonics "former home". (Could be a clueing disparity.)

leftcoaster 5:50 PM  

@nakaj -- Or maybe you were objecting to Rex's "trivia" comment?

strayling 6:47 PM  

I so wanted MACH as something a boom might come out of. Guess my brain was still stuck on the SuperSonics.

@nakaj: Welcome to the tail end of the blog. Don't fret about Rex too much - I'm fairly certain he's a role-playing a curmudgeon to keep things lively.

wcutler 2:02 AM  

Z 11:39 AM, if you're reading syndi comments, I'm in Vancouver, Canada, and I know others have posted from other Canadian places.

It's strange to read comments from six weeks ago, one poster was travelling to another city to babysit the grandkids, planned on going to a restaurant. Grandparents around here now are not going inside their children's homes, and all restaurants still open are doing takeout only.

Wolfpack 10:48 PM  

My paper carries the "used" puzzles so we are 5 weeks behind and no one will read this... but - saw only one substantive comment about the BBQ clue. Eastern NC is where the vinegar-based sauce lives. Western NC sauce is tomato based. And South Carolina makes some abomination with mustard as the base. Yuck!

wcutler 11:04 PM  

@Wolfpack 10:48pm April 5: I read your comment. Sorry I don't have anything related to say about the vinegar-based sauces. I had never heard of them, and have not tasted them; now I'm keen to try.

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