Office-sharing system in modern lingo / SAT 2-8-20 / Easy kill in Fortnite say / They get big bucks from Bucks

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Constructor: Hemant Mehta

Relative difficulty: Medium (6:50)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: HOT-DESKING (3D: Office-sharing system, in modern lingo) —
Hot desking (sometimes called "non-reservation-based hoteling") is an office organization system which involves multiple workers using a single physical work station or surface during different time periods. The "desk" in the name refers to an office desk being shared by multiple office workers on different shifts as opposed to each staff member having their own personal desk. A primary motivation for hot desking is cost reduction through space savings—up to 30% in some cases. Hot desking is especially valuable in cities where real estate prices are high. Research has demonstrated that while there may be cost savings in office space hot desking has significant negative impacts on both productivity and staff morale. (wikipedia)
• • •

Enjoyed this one despite never having heard of HOT-DESKING, which turns out to be one of these horrid dehumanizing workplace efficiency capitalist bulls**t things that I wish didn't exist, but oh well. You gotta get your "modern lingo" from someplace, I guess. I couldn't even make sense of the clue on that one, honestly. I figured it was some app-related thing like Slack, where coworkers shared ... work things ... or maybe there was some other app or weird office system whereby you share gossip or trash the boss or whatever. I dunno. I do know that at one point I absolutely had HOT DESTINY written in there. By the way, if anyone develops an intra-office gossip app and tries to call it HOT DESTINY, me and my non-existent lawyers are coming for you. Who is Chris O'DOWD? (21D: "Bridesmaids" co-star Chris). Is he that guy I've seen in *lots* of things but I still somehow don't know what his name is? The Irish guy? Who's in the TV version of "Get Shorty?" Or in that one show ... the show ... I watched once ... damn it, what was that? (looks it up) "Family Tree!"? Yes! He was also in "The IT Crowd," which Netflix really really Really wants me to watch, but which I have never watched. Annnnnyway, yeah, I know his face very well. His name, apparently not so much. Thus, NW corner was a bit of a bear for me. NE wasn't much better until I used EDEN to get HOOD and SITE and SHARP and then REUP OIL UP (not so great, the UP/UP crossing) and FLOP and finally whooshed down the grid with SLIP OF THE TONGUE (7D: Possible insight for a psychologist). Things were much easier from there on out.

Stayed at the bottom and took care of the SW, then went up to the center and *dammit* why didn't I look at the long central Across clue earlier!?!?!? (35A: Musical alter ego of Donald Glover). Total Gimme!! Gah! If I'd somehow *started* there, who knows how much quicker I could've slayed this thing. CHILDISH GAMBINO, kapow! Then down into the SE where only RANDI (???!? ugh more modern biz-ness billionaire tech Facebook-adjacent stuff I don't care about, it's ****ing dystopic, I swear) slowed me down (44D: Businesswoman Zuckerberg, sister of Mark) (if she's legit famous, you do not need that "sister of Mark" bit). Finally finished up back in that little nook in the west, at the bottom of HOT-DESKING, where two little wrong answers, stacked (EENY over SAG instead of TINY (37A: Minute) over SOG (!?) (39A: Go soft, in a way)), had to be sorted out, and then I was done. Normal time.

[be sure to check out GRIM FANDAGO's new EP, "HOT DESTINY"]

Overall, there's very little junk in this one, and lots of fun to be had in the medium-range and longer answers, particularly WEIRDED OUT, DEPLORABLE (wink!), KNEEBOARDS, JOKE WRITER, STRIKES OUT, etc. ANDCO is a FLOP, IMHO, but very few other things made me wince (20A: End of some business names). Thorniest clue, for me, was actually 11D: Packed with plasticware, perhaps (TOGO). I imagined "Packed with" meant "Chock full of" and I couldn't imagine anything just crammed full of plasticware except maybe the upper drawer in my kitchen by the Brita. That seemed an unlikely crossword answer, though. OK, that's all, see you Sunday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. the Bucks are the NBA team from Milwaukee, in case the NBA AGENTS clue was inscrutable to you (34D: They get big bucks from big Bucks).

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:24 AM  

Easy-medium. My only erasure was aveS before JCTS. Most of the trivia was in my wheelhouse but I needed a few crosses to dredge up CHILDISH GAMBINO. Plenty of sparkle with some fun long downs. Liked it a bunch, a fine debut.

Anonymous 1:19 AM  

Curious whether Rex has a hissy fit over the other crosswords he solves or if it’s just kabuki theatre for his audience here. Nah, everyone knows the answer to that one.

Jason 2:37 AM  

Better clue for 15d:
One who just had the best week ever.

And it looks like there's some HOT-DESKING going on at the NSC.


fkdiver 5:40 AM  

A thoroughly enjoyable solve. Not familiar with HOT DESKING but I know "hot racking" and "hot bunking" so it wasn't hard to infer. The UP/UP cross is a very minor glitch in an otherwise fine themeless Saturday.

tompdavis 6:10 AM  

What is "salad days"?!?

Anonymous 6:34 AM  

Easiest Saturday for a long time. Hot Desking was a gimme.

Lewis 6:50 AM  

My rhyme for the day is: This was a bear but it wasn't unfair.

As I look over the completed grid, there are only four answers alien to my wheelhouse -- HOTDESKING, CHILDISH GAMBINO, ODOWD, and RANDI. That should be pretty easily overcomable through crosses, and they are all fairly crossed. So why was this so tough? Tough tough cluing. Clues as oblique hints from all angles. At least, tough for me. And yet, as I look the clues over, they make perfect sense. It's an art to make clues like that, and here, in his NYT debut, Hemant has demonstrated that he's got it -- it either flows effortlessly out of him, or he recognizes the just-right clue when it finally comes to him after much mental grind-work.

What a promising first puzzle, and how I look forward to more from you HM!

Suzie Q 7:10 AM  

Fun and impressive debut. I loved weirded out and learning strigine for owls. Too bad Childish Gambino means nothing to me and the clue was no help either but still gettable. Hot desking sounds horrible because I love my privacy. Crossing mount and steeds caught my eye.
I will be watching for this constructor's name in the future.

Anonymoose 7:18 AM  

A few nits:
56A, Clue and answer were both slang

Unfortunate clue for 34D.

42D was weak.

Otherwise Keen and NEAT puzzle

GILL I. 7:31 AM  

Like @Lewis, I found this tough...but doable with some patience .
My first and only entry for quite some time was SALAD days. Memories of being young, innocent and very poor. Images of only eating cheap and awful iceberg lettuce with maybe a little tomato and a cucumber. I guess I was green in judgement.
I can't help but think that DEPLORABLE needs a basket in front of it. I'm thinking that Hillary didn't get any help from a PR PERSON when she coined the phrase. Maybe a JOKE WRITER?
By taking my time and getting up from my comfy chair from time to time, I was able to get a word here and there. SLIP OF THE TONGUE was my first long down. Loved it and I loved myself for getting it. I've never heard of CHILDISH GAMBINO and needed ever single down to get him/her. Why did I want STANDISH? I had my one Google at ODOWD and then another at JETT. These names get me every time. Had the BOARDS at 38A and wanted to somehow fit in boogy. Left the middle and headed south. Had BURGER and wanted TUNA. I once had a BOCA BURGER and they taste like cardboard. I put a ton of mayo and mustard and pickles and tomatoes and real lettuce but nothing changed. Never heard of RANDI - I wanted Renee but the wonderful TUDE changed my ways. BLUE MOON is the only beer I actually enjoy so I was happy to get that in.
Really nice job, Hemant.....Hope to see you more often.

QuasiMojo 7:40 AM  


Took me a while to get a lot of this because it was Weirding me Out. Never heard of this Gambino fella nor his real name. Price Range Ina shopping guide? Huh? That JCTS clue had my petticoats in a whirl. What on earth is a Boca Burger? I hope it's not made of Raton!

Plus NBA Agents is one of these increasingly common sports abbreviation answers that are the epitome of junk fill. Sort of green paint that's caked and dried and sitting in a garage waiting for the dumpster.

To the late-day posters who ask questions like "Does it bother anyone that...?" etc -- you may wish to read the comments. Yes it does bother some of us. And we already posted about it.


amyyanni 7:56 AM  

Love it! Thought Rex wouldn't like the two answers that end in OUT, just as he noted the two ending in UP. Delighted that he found it fun. The related answers were a nice touch (BLUE MOON/BOCA BURGER MOUNT/STEEDS). Congrats Hemant, if you check in here. Come back soon!

kitshef 7:57 AM  

Much better handling of the uninferrable name today. Yesterday we had one crossing an obscure company, a foreign word, a formation nonexistent out of crosswords, and a TV character. Today the main threats are OTOS, which is bad, but which most Saturday solvers have seen so many times they are sick of it, and ODOWD, who I happen to know but which is bad. However, with CHIL_ISH in place a ‘D’ is mighty alluring … unless you happen to think of ‘L’ first. And Rex you really need to watch The IT Crowd.

Beyond that, there were a fair few unknowns (to me) today, RANDI, clue for HOOD, KNEE BOARDS, SOG, but all were crossed fairly.

Hungry Mother 8:12 AM  

Just slogged along as usual on Saturday. I try not to overthink my answers at the end of the week, so I end up with answers that I don’t understand. This doesn’t bother me because I know I can’t know everything.

dcrone01 8:17 AM  

really got my salad tossed on this one.

Pepper 8:24 AM  

Why kabuki?

Pepper 8:25 AM  

“Never heard of this Gambino fella” is a GEM lmao

Pepper 8:27 AM  

The only Zuckerberg that matters is Donna!!!

Was afraid I wasn’t going to finish (I’m BABY) until, same as Rex, CHILDISH GAMBINO really got the ball rolling. Thanks Donglover!

Laura 8:34 AM  

Hot desking is ranges from dehumanizing to unusable. I appreciate the rant. The puzzle was tough but had a couple fun clues. Ligh and dark nearly felled me but was a smile when i got ot.

Sarah 8:38 AM  

I had LADLE instead of LASSO for awhile. I like my answer better.

Jeff 9:01 AM  


"Salad days" are one's own naive youth. It's from Shakespeare, and the original sense is more along the lines of "green" (unripe) than in actually buying/eating salad (which isn't exactly the cheapest option these days anyway).

@Rex You should just give up and watch The IT Crowd. It's quite funny.

@Sarah I had LADLE too, and I agree. :-)

Paul Emil 9:06 AM  

What does 1 across mean IMHO?

Marylou 9:06 AM  

@Pepper- I think kabuki theater was being used as a metaphor.

Nancy 9:06 AM  

Are KNEEBOARDS what used to be called aquaplanes? As in aquaplaning?

What on earth is CHILDISH GAMBINO and who is Donald Glover?

HOT DESKING?? Really??

A big "look-up" cheat on ODOWD, which I thought might enable me to finish the puzzle, but it didn't. A more "ethical" cheat on BLUE MOON: I typed BLUE MOON into Google to see if a beer would come up, and it did. An unnecessary (and unhelpful) cheat on Kareem: I knew he went to UCLA, I just knew it, but oh that "C". What to do with it? I wanted an "N", as in TUNA BURGER. What kind of veggie burger was a --CA BURGER????

What on earth is a BOCA BURGER???

I must go look up Hemant Mehta. This seemed like an aggressively youthy puzzle and I'm thinking he may be no more than 12 years old. The only things I hate more than puzzles with this amount of pop culture in them are puzzles that make me cheat. Especially when, after the cheating, I end up with a DNF anyway.

kitshef 9:10 AM  

@QuasiMojo 7:40 - applause for the Raton joke.

SouthsideJohnny 9:17 AM  

Nicely done - very clean and low on esoterica, even though I don’t know either the Gambino dude or the B-list actor ODOWD.

BBOY crossing BOCA was tough because I have not gone to the dark side (I’m still an ardent carnivore) and thus never heard of the cardboard burger brand.

Cluing MOODS as “Climates” seems like a stretch - I’ll bet just this group could come up with 10 better alternatives.

Interesting clue for the OHIO.

king_yeti 9:20 AM  


IMHO means “in my humble opinion”

Teedmn 9:21 AM  

Medium for me today. It started out really easy (I was so proud of getting STEEDS rather than getting misdirected by the noun-not-verb in the clue) but once I crossed the OHIO meridian, I slowed down, though never for long.

I read a New Yorker profile of Donald Glover so CHILDISH GAMBINO went in off the IL. I thought I remembered a quote from that article of Donald Glover saying that every person of color was dealing with PTSD but I just went back and skimmed the article and couldn't find it, even after using Ctrl-F, so maybe it was someone else who said it. But that thought did hit me pretty hard.

BOCA BURGER, ugh. As a pescatarian, I'm often offered a BOCA BURGER by the hosts at a barbecue as if I'm supposed to be thrilled that my dietary preferences have been accommodated in some way. Yes, it's very thoughtful, but I choose not to eat what turns out to be a bun with all the fixings and this charred, tasteless thing thrown in for protein, just as @Gill I describes. I'll just make a pickle and tomato sandwich, thanks.

Hemant Mehta, congratulations on your NYT debut and on an interesting themeless puzzle.

CDilly52 9:25 AM  

Perfect example of being in or out of the wheelhouse coloring @Rex’s opinion of a puzzle’s quality. Yesterday we had difficult, vague, deliberately tough “Agardian” clues but the puzzle wasn’t in his wheelhouse and he was less than enthused. Today, although a bit tough for him in places but overall in his wheelhouse and it is a good puzzle. I think both yesterday and today displayed artful use of tough clues - for me, really tough clues that were much more vague and difficult to parse than yesterday.

I truly expected at least a mini-scold over the double use of “out” and “up” with WEIRDED OUT and STRIKES OUT and REUP and OILUP, but not even a blip on OFL’s radar.

I really enjoyed this puzzle because I am an Erik Agard fan and now I’m a Hemant Mehta fan as well. But today’s review seemed off. Methinks I detect some partisan bias that excuses things that would ordinarily be highlighted as taboo or at least not “best practices” by @Rex.

Rebel Rebel 9:27 AM  

@Paul 9:06 - apparently you have not heard of Google as well (it’s a website).

I guess the OHIO is “a” north/south divide, but not necessarily “the” divide (which would be the Mason-Dixon line). Down here in Dixie we have a favorite bumper sticker:

SOUTH 0 Halftime

As the CDB would say . . . The South’s gonna do it again . . .

Z 9:31 AM  

I had a few answers in and feeling like I was in for a mighty struggle until EDEN’s N was enough for me to consider PR PERSON. That was enough to open the entire eastern half of the puzzle. CHILDISH GAMBINO helped get me into the west. After a slowish start this fell fairly easily (for a Saturday). My writeovers were rayS to IONS, OTOe to OTOS, ReNee to RANDI, SACRILaGE to SACRILEGE, and INCAn to INCAS.

Having had to deal with bean counters, you know, the people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing, my response to HOT DESKING is akin to Rex’s. Lots of “innovations” and “industry disrupters” and “the gig economy” are nothing more than new ways to pay less for people’s labor.

SALAD days, I didn’t know or forgot that the phrase was from Shakespeare.

Anyone else wonder about the clue for SLIP OF THE TONGUE? I imagine it’s a “freudian slip” reference, but I don’t think psychologists actually think a SLIP OF THE TONGUE provides any insight. Not like one might provide us voters (I don’t know about you, but Hillary’s made me like her more, even though it wasn’t politically correct).

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Cleopatra: My salad days,
When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But, come, away;
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.

Antony and Cleopatra I, v

Unknown 9:36 AM  

Thanks to TMZ I knew Childish Gambino. At 71 keeping up with the culture. Puzzle was a piece of cake. Now on to the Saturday Stumper

puzzlehoarder 9:40 AM  

A surprisingly easy solve for what initially seemed like a tough puzzle. IMHO was such a gimme that I just started by dropping in the downs. INCAS was as far as I got. That was as far as the NW went and it set a challenging tone.

Things went much smoother from the middle north and since both grid spanners were easy the puzzle quickly opened up.

Like @fkdiver, the term "hot racking" let me put that final G in place. Up until that point I thought 39A would most likely be SOD. I was dreading a repeat of yesterday's ignoble dnf but it was not to be.

This was a great debut. While it did have some ugly glue holding it together the marquee entries and clever cluing more than made up for it.

Birchbark 9:47 AM  

On our fifty minute drive to the voice lesson in Minneapolis on Saturday mornings, my daughter and I connect her phone to Bluetooth and trade song choices. When it's my turn today, I'll just offhandedly suggest CHILDISH GAMBINO's "Camp" (see @Rex). It is exactly in her wheelhouse these days. It's also the sort of unexpected judo move that could prompt a bluegrass counter-choice from her and so play to my longterm "this is a phase" strategy (in the EDEN of predictive modeling I choose to believe). Good song/production values in any event.

This started in little fits and starts all around the perimeter, with zero momentum, until several minutes in the northwest fell into place. Then it was an easyish Saturday solve. Net result would be medium-challenging, but unusual in how we got there.

AdamW 9:56 AM  

I know Danny Glover, but had no idea he was the alter ego behind Childish Gambino. Actually, I never listen to music like that, but I hear the name enough to be able to fill it in after a while. Funny thing is, I had the 'C' early on, and immediately filled in CHANCE THE RAPPER, which also fits like a Glover. I also never listen to that, but also have heard of it. And at that point, Childish Gambino didn't cross my mind. And I was like "huh, Danny Glover is Chance the RAPPER, who knew"... I mean it may as well be, for all I know about either one.

Z 9:59 AM  

This is America was the subject of much discussion and analysis. It seemed so ubiquitous to me that I’m a little surprised so many missed it. But, hey, fame in 2020 is so niche it’s hard to be more than a little surprised.

@Nancy - BOCA BURGERs are huge because making our own veggie burgers is beyond many of us. @Cook-out hosts - If you really care about your non-meat eating guests look up a recipe or three and make something that actually tastes good. Not that BOCA BURGERs are bad, but if you’re not getting your burgers from the freezer case why would you get your veggie burger there?

gfrpeace 10:06 AM  

My impression is that real vegetarians grill slices of eggplant and summer squash, big mushrooms, things like that. The things that look like burgers are for foolishly accommodating hosts to waste money on. And, while I'm at it, Impossible Burgers taste like poison.

Anonymous 10:09 AM  

“In My Humble Opinion”

RooMonster 10:13 AM  

Hey All !
Toughie here, but refused to cheat today, and managed to wrestle it down in 50 minutes, which for me with no help is blazing fast! But (isn't there always a But?), although I technically got it 100% correct, I had an accidental E where the R is in the cross of SACRILEGE/PRPESON. I knew it was SACRILEGE, not SACeILEGE, and seeing as how the E is next to the R on the keyboard, I'm not taking this as a one-letter DNF. SLIP OF THE finger. So I RULE!

Had NEAT and NONE in and out of puz about 100 times. Couldn't get anything to jive (jibe?) with them. Had KNEE BlAdes first (not even a thing, I'm sure), but ended up with that AA in 34D, said, 'That can't be right", so erased the wrongness, and then saw BOARDS. But still had the AA. For a bit, had DEA AGENTS there. Kinda fits the clue. Think about it. :-)

Always want to spell NOOB as NUBE. Assoc for ANDCO first, plus an odd clue on CUTS (the ole brain finally cottoned on to the vernacularness) and crossing Horses made the NW quite ornery.

RWD for REW held me up getting TRUCE and YEOW.

But an overall NEAT puz that I solved with no cheats. Gives me TUDE. IMHO. Har.


Petsounds 10:14 AM  

So many questions about what various clues mean, but no one has mentioned SOG, a word that does exist and has a couple of meanings, but none of them the one used here.

Never heard of a kneeboard, but now I know they exist, so I'll be ready next time. Loved SEDAN for British saloon. Overall, enjoyable and a slightly under average time for a Saturday.

DrBB 10:15 AM  

Really enjoyed this one, tough but fair. I especially like puzzles where I'm pretty sure I've got a good guess on some of the answers but have to hold off for at least a one-letter confirmation, and then a corner falls, which happened a lot here. Most notably with HOTDESKING, which is also nothing I've heard before, but I guessed what it might be by analogy with "hot-bunking" which I have. It's what sailboat crews do in multi-day races when the person coming off watch uses the bunk of one going on, and I know there are offices (glad I don't work in one) where no one has their own dedicated workspace, you just grab one that's open when you need it. Bingo.

But unlike Rex, 35A was anything but a gimme for me and a major slowdown in crossing the center. I slowly got CHILDISH, just because it's, y'know, a word, but GAMBINO was about the last thing I finally filled. So a big "ain't I smaht" at filling HOTDESKING, followed by dismay when I saw 35A and knew it was gonna fell right into the chasm that is my knowledge of current pop culture icons, let alone their alter egos.

Otherwise pretty clean. Not a huge fan of SOG (39A) as a verb--I mean, I know it is one, but it's one of those "Said no human being ever" Xwordisms to my ear. One of those doesn't ruin a puzzle for me, though, and I think it was the only clinker.

Would have been a much quicker solve if I wasn't clueless about Glover.

Petsounds 10:19 AM  

@AdamW: Donald Glover, not Danny Glover, is Childish Gambino.

Gio 10:27 AM  

It's Donald Glover. Danny Glover is the famous actor.

Gio 10:36 AM  

I knew who Donald Glover was because researching ISSA RAE after seeing her name in crosswords 45 times, I wound up watching her web series on YouTube, Awkward Black Girl. Donald Glover is in one episode. That show is hilarious
In the episode she is dating a whirw guy, and they meet Donald G, and the date says: your whole family is so talented, I loved your dad in Fast and Furious movies. Hahaha (no relation between Danny and Donald Glover) Anyway I'm new at this I solved it in about 95 minutes with one cheat that I call Ask-A-Brit. He said the pub or the car? I said I don't know they are trying to confuse us so probably the car, which is all he had for 5 letters! He gave me sedan. I'm happy after I only had one foothold on the first pass.

Joaquin 10:38 AM  

Several things in today's puzzle stopped me in my tracks, but none had me veering out of control as much as @Rex's, "By the way ... me and my non-existent lawyers are coming for you." This from an English prof?

kitshef 10:39 AM  

My experience with impossible burger is the exact opposite of @gfrpeace 10:06. I had one at Elevation Burger it it was indistinguishable from beef. Alas, the same could not be said for the vegan cheese, which was salty and otherwise flavorless.

Also my sister sent one back at a Cheesecake Factory thinking they got the order wrong and she was given beef, but it turned out the order was correct. Had cameras been rolling, it would have been a spectacular advertizement for impossible burgers.

Amelia 10:50 AM  

I race to the computer so that I, who just signed up for Medicare Supplemental, had gimmes at CHILDISH GAMBINO, ODOWD, and BBOY.

If you don't know Donald Glover (NOT DANNY) and his TV series, Atlanta, you're missing something wonderful with a cast that is sublime. Paper Boi!

Wonderful puzzle. It's a debut? How great at the thought of more like this. Every square was tricky.
Not like the usual deplorable stuff.

Shouldn't it be They get big bucks FOR big Bucks?

@Nancy 78th and 2. Was that your letter to the editor last week? (I wrote this yesterday, but it was late in the day. That's the only trouble with this way of commenting. If you do it latish, no one sees it.)


PhiskPhan 10:52 AM  

Just realized my first job out of college involved "hot-desking!" Worked for my hometown paper 50 years ago, me on the day shift and Frank somebody (who came in at 5 p.m. and used my desk) on the night shift. Of course there were no "offices" involved -- just a small but busy newsroom, where I got accustomed to working amid the clatter of tyoewriters. I miss it to this day.

Sir Hillary 10:53 AM  

What a fabulous debut. Some of the cluing is trying a little too hard (NBAAGENTS, OHIO) but most of it is excellent (EDEN's is my favorite). And the grid? Well, the grid is just superb. That central area, with all the JCTS of long stuff, is a thing of beauty.

It certainly helped that CHILDISHGAMBINO was a gimme right off the bat. I'm not really into his music, but there is no denying that Donald Glover (no relation to Danny) is a true artistic polymath. So talented.

I noticed the OUT and UP "dupes" but tit didn't bother me. Three OUTs or UPs would, but two is OK.

Only real clunker for me is ANDCO. See my comment yesterday for why.

Joan JETT -- quite the underrated trailblazer. IMHO, she belongs in the R&R HOF.

There have been many things imposed on those in the modern labor force that have strained their well-being and feelings of dignity, but HOTDESKING is not among them. In my company, for years I've seen rows and rows of offices, cubicles and workstations go unused for weeks at a time, mostly because people are choosing to work from home (or at their clients, if they are in client service). So we've reduced our real estate footprint and moved to HOTDESKING, which we call hoteling. People who truly need an office desk every day always have access to one -- does it really matter that it's not in the exact same place each time? I'm sure HOTDESKING is in some cases more insidious than my personal experience with it, but I would assert that lumping it into the general "evils of capitalism" is a lazy argument.

Bax'N'Nex 10:59 AM  


Swagomatic 11:02 AM  

I was already familiar with Hemant Mehta, and I strongly suspect that the editors changed his clue for RANDI from something having to do with skeptic and atheist James Randi to Zuckerberg's sister. I suppose a James Randi clue was a bit too easy for Saturday.😊

TJS 11:04 AM  

I am 72 and filled in "ChildishGambino" off the "ishg". How do these things happen? No help from the clue,either. Knew the Japanese sword yesterday, too. NO idea how. One of the great things about crosswords is realizing how much stuff your brain has filed away with apparently no conscious effort on your part.

OTOH, why did I immediately think of @Z when I filled in 1 across?

Newboy 11:09 AM  

Nice Saturday puzzle for a rainy February day. With KNEE BOARDS and TOSSed SALAD and BLUE MOON with BOCA BURGERs how can one not look forward to that first summer cookout at the lake. Maybe invite the OTOS over, let FIdo off the LEASH & REW Joan JETT god it’s EDEN. Hope others enjoyed this OBSCENELY cute offering as much as I did; off to see prior posts🤞

Nancy 11:19 AM  

@Amelia (10:50)-- 94 off Lex. Yes, it was my letter in the NYT Book Review last Sunday. I didn't mention it -- here, or even to family or friends -- because I was miffed by the editing. The Letters editor of the regular newspaper always checks back with you as to whether you accept her edits or not. She usually makes so few and/or they're so subtle, that I hardly know that they're there or even what they were.

The Book Review editors just did their thing and ran it -- without notifying me. My original letter was much stronger. They took out (among other things) my last sentence, -- the sentence that was the original impetus behind my entire letter.

Their last sentence: "Has mankind ever done anything dumber?"

My last two sentences: "In the long history of human stupidity, has mankind ever done anything dumber? What a truly idiotic species we are."

It was a watered-down letter and I was frankly less than thrilled with it. But thanks for noticing it, Amelia. I wonder how many other people did?

Carola 11:26 AM  

An enjoyable DNF: O’Dowl x Chillish (hi, @kitshef). I’d never heard either name, and being “chill” seemed hip enough to be part of an alter ego (or whatever the equivalent of “hip” is these days). I enjoyed TOSS above SALAD and the parallel OBSCENELY, SACRILEGE, and DEPLORABLE and got a smile out of SHARP meaning “exactly,” which is true unless you’re singing or playing a musical instrument, when it means the opposite.

Random wanderings alert: SALAD days reminded me of the jolt I felt a few years ago at the Oregon Shakespeare festival, when I heard Cleopatra talk about hers (“so that’s where it comes from?!”), similar to the one I felt the other day when reading The Tempest and encountering the phrase “suffer a sea-change” and thinking, my gosh, what doesn’t come from Shakespeare?

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

By do “it” again, you mean traitorously rebel against the US government to assert your right to enslave people?

Z 11:40 AM  

@Amelia - “For” would work, too, but NBA AGENTS are getting a percentage of some pretty big contracts. The 100th highest paid player is making $13,000,000 a year. I think I heard the going rate is 5%, so for just that player, Justise Winslow, his agent is making $650,000 a year. That doesn’t count endorsements. So I think “from” is fine.

@Joaquin - I was taught the same thing. I think we were taught poorly. If I were writing in an academic context I’d definitely change that “me” to “I.” However, here it would sound stilted and forced (it would in an academic context, but “stilted and forced” is expected there). I’m sure with enough time I could come up with some grammatical reason “me” is “correct” in this context, but honestly, it just sounds better and more appropriate for the humor of the line.

@Sir Hillary - You are correct, of course. In an organization that otherwise treats its employees well HOT DESKING would be fine. Unfortunately, “otherwise treats its employees well” is more the exception than the rule, hence the, “Research has demonstrated that while there may be cost savings in office space hot desking has significant negative impacts on both productivity and staff morale.”

Someone asked about up the clue for SOG. It means “soak,” which is something you might do to something if you wanted it to “go soft.” Again, explaining, not defending.

@TJS - Har. Because I’m famous for my humble opinions, of course. I did note that Shortz staked his flag on the correct IN MY HUMBLE OPINION hill and not the erroneous IN MY Honest OPINION hill.*

*Joking on all counts, but if you have to tell me that this opinion is your “honest” one is it safe to assume all your other opinions have been lies?

Pete 11:41 AM  

I learned an important life lesson thanks to KNEEBOARDS. 50+ years ago we had one, basically a piece of plywood with a rope handle on towed behind a boat. Not basically, exactly but for some paint. For over a year, none of us could stand on it - not I, nor my 2 years older brother, or my 3 years younger sister. The best we ever managed to do was kneel on it. One fateful day we all turned around and noticed in shock that my sister was standing on the damned thing. Little punk 7yo. By the end of the day, all of three of us were riding it standing up.

The only thing we needed to learn to be able do it was that it was doable.

pabloinnh 11:42 AM  

The NW fell so fast that I thought it was Tuesday, and then reality set in. A word here, a word there, some new stuff, at least to me, and eventually finished correctly and without taking up my whole morning, so just about right for a Saturday.

Highlights included SLIPOFTHETONGUE from the SL and knowing HOOD and TUDE and BBOY, which made me feel like a really with-it hep cat again.

I thought a BOCAGBURGER was something you eat with your mouth, and what's so special about that?

Also, OIL and GREASE are definitely different things with different uses, and if you confuse them you'll be sorry.

Congrats on a really fine debut, HM. Looking forward to lots more from you.

CDilly52 11:44 AM  

I’m now a fan after such a great debut! Mehta’s clueing reminds me of Agard only sometimes even tougher! Agree completely with your summary@Lewis

CDilly52 11:46 AM  

@Nancy: As in Boca Raton FL, I believe. I have seen BOCA BURGER in many FL burger places so I have guessed that the recipe for the non-meat sandwich must have originated down there.

kitshef 11:46 AM  

@Sir Hillary 10:53 - possibly you were trying to say that Joan Jett is deservedly in the HOF, but it reads as though she is not there but you think she should be. Anyway, just to remove any doubt, Joan Jett is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with the Blackhearts). Miley Cyrus (!) gave their introduction speech.

Unknown 11:47 AM  

is Anonymous Will Shortz possibly??? Rex verbal antics always brighten my foggy morning solves...

CDilly52 11:53 AM  

Hand up @Nancy for the ease and quality taste of meatless patties (and many other things). I have a couple recipes that are so delicious in the summer with fresh tomatoes and lots of lettuce and mayo that we occasionally eschew the meat altogether and that was a momentous shift even occasionally for my husband - a native meat, potatoes and chicken fried steak Okie most of his life.

CDilly52 12:03 PM  

LOL, for real @Petsounds. My initial reaction to the “go soft” clue was in fact SOG, followed by “of course not!” Just happens that in preschool, when my daughter had to start bringing her lunch, her dislike of sandwiches that had to sit in the lunchbox all morning began in earnest . She asked for her “sandwich guts” (ham and cheese or whatever) be segregated and packed separately from the bread. When asked why the extra effort her response: “they SOG out by lunchtime.” There you have it; out of the mouths of babes. I still didn’t put it in as an across and was pretty astonished when the downs proved my initial reaction correct!

Nancy 12:19 PM  

To all of you BOCA BURGER-explanation people today: Yes, I get that it's meatless and that it was invented in Boca Raton and that, according to at least some of you, it can actually taste good. (I have the strongest doubts about this, but never mind.) The problem for me is that none of you -- not a single one of you -- has told me what the bleep is actually IN it!

Mike Herlihy 12:20 PM  

@Sarah - I had LADLE as well. Thinking of food before cowboys. ;-)

Anonymous 12:29 PM  

Welp, I'm always happy to just finish one of these with no cheats. Got it in about 2 hours, and had to think really hard on it, but was rewarded by eventually prising out the answers. NW was the hardest for me, and I got stuck for a while in the W too, even with the CHILDISH GAMBINO gimme. I had EENY over TINY and SAG over SOG too until I realized JOKE WRITER.

This was one of those puzzles where I didn't really trust my first instincts (SALAD, NEAT, INCAS, HOTDESKING, etc.) and was punished for it. It also had a few words/clues that I've never heard (SOG, Nabe, SEDAN). And I got hung up for a while trying out BEAN and TOFU BURGER before BOCA revealed itself.

And to the poster below who claimed the 'best week ever' for his DEPLORABLE self, enjoy it while it lasts buddy. Every regime is eventually toppled.

Grouch 12:37 PM  

Are you familiar with Google? Try it.

Gio 12:42 PM  

Sorry they edited your letter with no approval from you. That happened to me once. A friend said "Good letter to the editor. I bet your original was much better." It was obvious they chopped it up. They took out my main point. It was over 20-25 years ago but it had to do with a local young dad being killed in Iraq. I compared it to my grandfather being killed in WWII. I wish it would have remained the way I wrote it.

Rgoldfilm 12:47 PM  

If Gianis gets a 40-M contract, his agent, having secured the deal, would get 2M at least. Gianis would get the money, then give his agent his cut. “From” and “for” would both be correct. “From” is trickier, IMHO.

Rainbow 12:51 PM  

@Anonymoose 7:18 said, "Unfortunate clue for 34D." I agree and I cringed. Big Bucks? This is a disparaging racist term for African Americans, and given their predominance in the NBA?.... My god, what was Shortz thinking? "Beaner" drove solvers nuts a while ago and that was benignly clued. This was too high a price to pay for "cute" word play. I am amazed that @Rex let this slide.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

Last fill was cross of Nabe/ plasticware. Thought nabe was a Japanese stew (hotpot, olio). Still trying to make the association with HOOD. Can anyone explain?

Marymom 1:01 PM  

I would recommend watching the IT Crowd. Try the episode where they go to the soccer game pretending to be “real” men.

Rastaman Vibration 1:20 PM  

@Rain 12:51 Interesting take on the NBA clue. It does seem to parallel the situation in Washington with their racial slur for the football team. At least in Milwaukee there is an alternative interpretation for the team nickname. This one seemed a little more subtle until you pointed it out though. I think we can forgive Rex for missing it (and it spared us all one of his over-the-top wild-eyed maniacal tirades). You summed it up very succinctly in a sentence or two - Rex should take notes.

I agree with everyone who is not a fan of those cruddy fake “Veggie” burgers. There are so many good options available nowadays for people who choose to avoid animal products in their diet.

Congratulations to @Nancy for being published again. Sorry to hear that they modified your comments without checking with you. If that is not poor journalism, it has got to be outside of the norm as far as editing goes. I wonder if they were short-handed and had to borrow someone from the crossword staff that day.

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

Nabe is short for neighborhood.

Gullible Gus 1:24 PM  

Rainbow 12:51: 😁almost had me there good one.

Joe Dipinto 1:32 PM  

I like Donald Glover – besides what others have mentioned he had a small, funny part in the movie "The Martian" – and Chris O'Dowd, so those were entrée gimmes. After that I wasn't much impressed with what was on offer. "Businesswoman Zuckerberg?" Please. Randi Weingarten is much more crossworthy, imo. Is the Bocaburger named after Boca Raton? Actually, I don't care.

The puzzle feels disjointed somehow. Like the entries just don't really mesh with each other. I don't know, it just has no personality. I wouldn't call it a great, big, fat FLOP but it could've been better.

Z 1:34 PM  

@Rainbow (and maybe @anonymoose) - Care to share? “Big Bucks” is slang for large amounts of money and every where I looked agreed, even the Urban Dictionary. The last had some other meanings, none of them racist terms for African Americans. It is certainly possible for some slang to appear with which many people would be unfamiliar, but the interwebs usually knows of it.

Ragu 1:41 PM  

Per Wikipedia, a “Black Buck” is described as

“According to popular stereotypes during the post-Reconstruction era, "Black Buck" was a black man (usually muscular or tall) who defies white will and is largely destructive to American society. One would usually be hot-tempered, excessively violent, unintelligent, and sexually attracted to white women.[1] This stereotype was used as a pretext for lynching and other forms of violence against black men.”

Sounds just a touch racist to me.

Frantic Sloth 1:46 PM  

IMHO at the start just reminded me of “in my humble opinion pancakes”, which I suspect I will see from now on. This will make me chuckle to myself and wholly unable to explain it to other people. Oh, well...

Tom 1:52 PM  

From Shakespeare: being green, cold, and raw = inexperienced.

oldactor 1:54 PM  

@Carola: You are absolutely right about everything started with Shakespeare. I remember reading somewhere that, after a performance of Hamlet, someone complained that it was full of "cliches".

JC66 1:57 PM  


If the clue contained the phrase "Black Buck" you'd be right.

However, the phrase used was "big Bucks" and I refer you to @Z's 1:34 comment above.

burtonkd 2:00 PM  

So Chris O'Dowd is a "that guy" in the "The It Crowd"?

I went ahead and looked up Randi Zuckerberg, since the clue may as well have said 5 letter woman's name with a possibly nonstandard spelling for me. First fact after her title at FB is that she hates being referred to as "Mark's sister"...

Hands up for LAdle before LASSO. I like both answers.

@gfrpeace and others (alii?), I was thinking grilled vegetables, also. Almost always a mistake to try to make an imitation of a meat item, when so many tasty non meat items exist in so many forms. That said, I've ordered an impossible burger before, and it was fine, but not as exciting or realistic as I'd hoped. Would order again if going lite.

@Amelia, for or FROM both work: Yours is more literally correct, "for" may have more room for alternate interpretations?

@Nancy, having your work cut in editing is like killing your children, as they say. I'll say that I clearly got your point from the edited sentence, the rest being redundant overkill for my first impression. Now that I've offered MHO, I'll go read the rest for context and see if I should take my foot out of my mouth:) btw, we're neighbors on Monday nights when I conduct a chorus on the UES near you.

Bob Mills 2:05 PM  

KNEEBOARDS? First I had "AQUAPLANES," but that obviously wouldn't work. Then I had "SURFBOARDS," and when the last six letters worked i was sure I was right. KNEEBOARDS, really?

Hardest puzzle I ever finished. I'm taking a nap.

What? 2:06 PM  

Some years ago I wrote a letter to the editor of the Times taking the press to task (can’t remember for what), including the Times. They will print it, someone wrote back, if I agree to remove the reference to the Times. I was young and foolish (not a bad excuse) and the letter was printed sans J’accuse. Would I do the same today? Not saying.

Escalator 2:26 PM  

Two answers containing the same word? OUT in both 24D and 28D? Nay I say.

Also, wanted Hotdesking to be hotdishing!

Ragu 2:32 PM  

@Z, @JC66 has chimed in on the matter as well (buck).

buck1[ buhk ]SHOW IPA
1, the male of the deer, antelope, rabbit, hare, sheep, or goat.
2. the male of certain other animals, as the shad.
3. an impetuous, dashing, or spirited man or youth.
4. Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to an American Indian male or a black male.

Item number 4 sounds just a touch racist to me.

What? 2:38 PM  

Nancy, I wonder if you’re a member of the “20 or more letters to the editor”, a club from the Times that recognizes, well, 20 or more etc. I have 15 and in striving for 20, I must confess I would adhere to any “suggestion” by the Times to edit any way they see fit.
The 20 or more club reminds me of a competition where if you get 10 bronze medals you then get a silver medal that says “I have 10 bronze medals” . Then 10 of those, and so on. I’m striving for the club only for my grandchildren, I tell myself.

Sir Hillary 2:49 PM  

@kitshef 11:46 -- My bad on Joan JETT. I didn't realize she was in the HOF. Thanks for correcting me and confirming that she is where she belongs. IMHO, I'm an idiot.

To anyone seeing racism in the NBAAGENTS clue: One, read more closely. Two, calm down. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a big Buck. So was Jack Sikma.

Nancy 2:55 PM  

@burtonkd (2:00)-- So I tried to cross-reference your nom de blog, plus "chorus conductor", with the 92Y. Then with The Brick Church. Finally with The Church of the Heavenly Rest. Nada on any of them. Then I gave up. I imagine it's one of them, though, -- right?

JC66 3:02 PM  


Yes, the 4th definition of BUCK is racist. However, the Milwaukee NBA franchise in named after the 1st definition: Deer; and the clue is a play on words for the phrase "big Bucks" which has no racist overtones.

There's a two word phrase beginning with mother that is quite profane, IMHO, but in other contexts mother isn't profane at all.

Carola 3:12 PM  

@oldactor 1:54 - That’s hilarious.

Joe Dipinto 3:14 PM  

@burtonkd – I'm curious about your chorus too. I already sing in one but might be tempted to join another if feasible. You can email me via my profile if you want.

Ragu 3:32 PM  

@JC66 - Fair enough. @Z 1:34 was pretty adamant that “ The last had some other meanings, none of them racist terms for African Americans”. You seemed to concur with that assessment (perhaps I misunderstood).

Now, if only we could do something about that awful football team from D.C.

Raphael 3:42 PM  

Given the number of people being let go or fired, there are plenty of desks -- no need to hot-desk.

FWIW, the term is derived from the military's concept of "hot-racking" where multiple jr enlisted who are working in shifts share/swap bunks as needed for sleep.

pabloinnh 3:48 PM  


I've heard that one too, and remembered it, as did you, and think this is another pretty good reason we need to get together for a libation.

I'm suggesting Heinekens somewhere near the tail of a KLM flight, preferably a long one.

Anonymous 4:09 PM  

Of course you're right.
Don't bother correcting z or JC66. Bith know it alls

Unknown 4:30 PM  

Paper Boi, Paper Boi! We rewatched episode 1 last night.

Anonymous 4:30 PM  

@Ragu The DC Redskins seems appropriate owing to the fact that Washington was a slaveholder.

Nancy 4:31 PM  

@What (2:38) -- Gee whiz, I didn't know there was a "club" for people who've had 20 or more letters in the NYT -- or else I would have started counting decades ago :) I doubt it's been 20, though, -- maybe more like your 15? I doubt the Times has kept the count over lo these many years and through (I would imagine) the tenures of so many different editors. I certainly haven't. Plus my memory is terrible and I haven't saved the letters. But nothing is ever lost on the Internet. Even though it was written in 1987 -- years before the mass use of computers -- the first letter I ever wrote to the Times can still be found online.

It's far and away the most important letter I ever wrote. It launched The Committee to Save the Central Park Tennis House -- a group of which I was a founding member. We fought Park Commissioner Henry Stern and the zealous, somewhat crazed Conservancy Head Betsy Barlow Rogers to a standstill. We ultimately beat them. We saved the Tennis House and our entire facility from years and years of construction and massive disruption. For anyone interested, here is that NYT letter.

Nancy 4:46 PM  

Let's try again on my NYT letter from 1987.

If it doesn't work this time either, you can Google it yourself under "Letters to the NYT/Could We Have Less Progress in Central Park/1987"

webwinger 6:03 PM  

I hate to say this, given the generally very positive vibe from OFL on down today, but I really did not like this puzzle. Though finished in a few minutes over average Saturday time, it felt very sloggish (sloggy?). Did not know CHILDISH GAMBINO, but with most of the letters in place recognized it as a name I’d heard before.* My real discontent, though, was with the overall clueing (the voice?) which just seemed repeatedly off somehow. SOG for Go soft? MOODS for Climates? TUDE for Lip? Clue for OHIO, where I grew up, was just weird. Strigine could not have been more Maleskan, though crosses for OWLS were OK. Agree that RANDI should have been better referenced. And SLIP OF THE TONGUE is not an insight, though it may lead to one. Did get a chuckle from the clue for TOGO.

I’m generally not hypersensitive about words or phrases that can be twisted into slurs, but the clue for 34D bothered me, for reasons well stated by Rainbow 12:51, and driven home by Ragu 1:41. I too thought back to the BEANER dust-up of yore, in which case the actual clue reference was to a baseball term completely unrelated to the offensive meaning, whereas here, again as noted by Rainbow, the unwelcome alterative could easily be associated with NBA in the answer. If he was on the anti-BEANER side (which I strongly suspect), Z’s 1:34 response is inconsistent and misses its mark completely IMHO.

OTOH, today’s blog posts taken together were among the best of all time. I learned about 3 TV offerings I plan to check out (IT Crowd, Atlanta, Awkward Black Girl), got a bunch of tasty looking veggie burger recipes, took in some interesting takes on HOT DESKING, enlarged my knowledge of Shakespeare, and appreciated comments about the NYT’s editing of letters submitted. Ladle as an alternative for LASSO absolutely fit the clue perfectly—could have been used in one of those Schroedinger puzzles. Still don’t like the puzzle much…

*It actually went a little differently than in my brief account above. Full disclosure: Like @Carola 11:26 I first filled in as CHILlISH. Could picture the crossing actor, whom I really liked in Bridesmaids, but thought his name might be ODOWl. On my current Google fast I’ve allowed myself a few times to check a word or phrase after entering it, to see if it is a real thing. (Often find myself in this situation now with harder puzzles.) (I realize this is not much different from using the Check Word function in the NYT app, but that option ends a streak, so no can do.} Anyhow, I ran ODOWl by the googmeister and to my horror it gave me without pause or redirection the correct name, which I think I would have gotten on my own with a little further thought, but AARGH! I do not want my precious streak to end this way—no! I want to go down in flames! Not with a whimper, but a bang! So I will continue, with just a touch of chagrin.

jae 6:41 PM  

@Joan Jett fans - If you haven’t seen the movie “The Runaways” it is a mostly accurate account of Jett’s first band and a pretty good movie.

I would also recommend the TV series Community for a look at some of Donald Glover’s earlier work. It’s streaming on Hulu.

@Nancy - Mostly soy stuff.

Anonymous 9:37 PM  

It's not obsolete, really. Don't recall the episode title or actors, but an episode of "Law and Order" involved a 20-something Italian girl/women who, in the finale is revealed, to have killed her black boyfriend. The reason was that she objected to staying over at his place, since it would get her in deep trouble with her father. She had a previous relationship with a black boy while in school. In the course of the confession, she relates (appr. from memory) that he said that he could no longer stand being treated like 'her black buck'. In retaliation, she (again from memory) stabbed him.

Anonymous 10:06 PM  

Was going to mention Glover and "The "Martian", but @Joe got here first. OTOH, it wasn't just some funny bit part. In fact, Glover's character is pivotal. A black astrophysicist who figures out the celestial mechanics that will allow the mother ship to retrieve Damon's stranded Martian. Who knew there were black astrophysicists that weren't just AA hires? Kind of Obama-esque: the talented black guy who cleans up the mess made by blundering white folk. I wonder how many folks watching the movie saw the implication?

Joe Dipinto 11:02 PM  

@Anon 10:06 – I didn't mean to suggest Glover's was a bit part; it wasn't large but as you say it was pivotal. For those who haven't seen the movie I highly recommend it. Here's a clip.

SamStone 11:13 PM  

A very enjoyable puzzle from a first time author. I look to see more from Hemant. It seemed particularly strong in mixing some current lingo with older standbys.

Z 9:43 AM  

@Ragu - I didn’t go to so never saw that. American Heritage also has it as an offensive term. Thanks for doing the extra checking. It’s hard to fault anyone about “buck.” It’s so unknown as offensive today that people thought the original complaint was satire. Apparently it’s not so out of date as to be totally forgotten, but when the Urban Dictionary doesn’t have it I tend to think it’s current power to insult is not what it once was. I do wish some usage had been included. I have to wonder if I’ve heard it used and it’s import went right past me.

I do detect a common misunderstanding in lots of comments. Nobody is expected to know everything offensive out there. But when you’re told, “hey, ‘beaner’ is really really offensive - You might want to change it” you should change it rather than take the “But I’m not a racist” stance. That stance pretty much means you don’t care about the feelings or opinions of minorities, making you at least a little bit racist.

OISK 9:53 AM  

Me too. I had Chillish.

boomer54 9:55 AM  


webwinger 8:21 PM  

Just a couple more comments re the “buck” issue, and @Z’s 9:43 am Sunday response: As I recall, it was Jeff Chen who reportedly advised Will Shortz about the BEANER usage. In that case, as in many others on this blog and in progressive enclaves, it seems to be mostly non-members of the potentially offended demographic, and at times group representatives who are among its least disadvantaged, who voice the loudest complaints. When one privileged non-marginalized person labels another a bigot, it doesn’t carry much weight with me. My implicit point in 6:03 pm Saturday remarks was that accidental offensiveness doesn’t require abject, and maybe not any apology to escape the charge of bigotry. Z seems to be agreeing with this in his last post.

I well remember a comment by Z some time ago to the effect that life is too short to risk offending people needlessly. I’d reverse that to say it’s too short to be always worrying about giving unintended offense, or taking offense when none was intended.

And what about being “a little bit racist”? That can probably be said of anyone among us, if we are truly candid. We should acknowledge and work on our own prejudices before lashing out at others.

Rube 11:06 AM  

I know Danny Glover and I know the famous Gambino famil . But what on earth is a childish Gambino? Why not just say "immature Mafioso" instead? This answer is totally uninferrable but it doesn't ruin the puzzle because you can get it from the downs.

Steve Berke 12:41 AM  

I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
I'll come back for more :)

From Japs a researcher from alwaysopencommerce

spacecraft 11:45 AM  

When I had the grid filled after more than an hour of toil--having plunged on with guess upon guess, so that the whole thing might be way wrong--I thought "If this is right I have just broken the triumph points record!"

I have just broken the triumph points record!! OFC's cold gimme (35a) was my "Wha? WHO??" Never heard of him, or of BOCABURGER either, so understandably this was waay harder than "medium" for me. Despite getting the NW for a change, noting the cross of MOUNT with STEEDS, I soon came to a halt. Then it occurred that relatives of water skis would be some type of BOARDS, I took a stab at that ending. Wanted SURF or SAIL, so I stuck an S into #38. Eventually worked out the unpleasant NBAAGENTS and the SE, and was left with a -AMBINO ending for 35, which figured to be either B- or G-. But then 8d would have to end in -BF, -BL, -GF or GL. No, my board had to have a vowel there. At the last, KNEE was filled in crossways, but I don't know about KNEEBOARDS. Sounds painful, at least. These knees will never rest on one, that's for sure.

Writeover at DEspicABLE before DEPLORABLE. I take it that the OHIO River was a civil war dividing line, but man, what a clue! All these clues were Saturdayed up, for sure. (BTW, OILUP across REUP--a term almost exclusively used for military reenlistment--is bad form.) Joan JETT makes a fine DOD.

Well, I said I needed a good one, and I got it. OBSCENELY difficult, several of the clues WEIRDED me OUT. YEAH, it's an eagle, IMHO.

Diana, LIW 1:48 PM  

Total mess-up in the mid-west area. Once again my lack of PPP does me in.

CHILDISH smildish.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Don't touch your face - ha! I caught you!

leftcoaster 4:05 PM  

Starting off with a too-obvious IMHO with over an elusive NOOB clued by "Nabe" was was not a good omen.

Was discouraged by the unknown HOTDESKING, CHILDISHBAMBINO, KNEEBOARDS, BOCABURGER, and a couple of others prodding me to opt out of this one early.

rainforest 4:49 PM  

After yesterday's one letter DNF, I was determined to finish this one correctly. My experience was similar to @spacey's with many guesses which worked out. BOCABURGER(?), CHILDISH GAMBINO(?). I mean, I had to work hard, accept some entries I was skeptical of, and even when completed I didn't know if it was all OK. Amazing! HOT DESKING, indeed. I briefly thought "hat passing" there. Har.

I hope all Syndies are taking care of themselves right now. Just yesterday I cancelled a trip to Mexico, and, though disappointed, I am relieved.

Tough puzzle with a lot of obscure/slang terms, but it feels good to have solved it.

Anonymous 4:50 PM  

@Rainbow is leg pulling. I'm not sure about @Anonymoose.

Burma Shave 6:19 PM  




rondo 6:20 PM  

Very EZ.
YEAH baby rocker Joan JETT.

Rick J 2:15 PM  

Whosoever said this puzzle was easy must be medicated with something that I need. I hated every minute of this puzzle and didn't come close to finishing. I think I'm giving up on Saturday puzzles; they are really aggressively hard IMHO. I'm going to go get OILED UP and drown my sorrows. Couldn't spell SACRILEGE right (and still might not have, although it didn't get the wiggly red underline, so...) Hated this puzzle, made me feel inadequate (yes, maybe I am)

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