Singer with the 2014 hit "Chandelier" / SAT 4-4-20 / Prison guard in the Harry Potter books / Company whose name is said to mean "Leave luck to heaven"

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Constructor: Yacob Yonas

Relative difficulty: Pretty Easy?


Word of the Day: LARA (48A: Nymph who divulged Jupiter's affair with Juturna, in Ovid) —
Larunda (also LarundeLarandaLara) was a naiad nymph, daughter of the river Almo in Ovid's Fasti.[1] The only known mythography attached to Lara is little, late and poetic [EMPHASIS ADDED], coming to us from Ovid's Fasti. She was famous for both beauty and loquacity (a trait her parents attempted to curb). She was incapable of keeping secrets, and so revealed to Jupiter's wife Juno his affair with Juturna (Larunda's fellow nymph, and the wife of Janus). For betraying his trust, Jupiter cut out Lara's tongue and ordered Mercury, the psychopomp, to conduct her to Avernus, the gateway to the Underworld and realm of Pluto. Mercury, however, fell in love with Lara and had sex with her on the way. Lara thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods. However, she had to stay in a hidden cottage in the woods so that Jupiter would not find her.[1]
• • •
Hi all, Rachel Fabi in for Rex today. While I'm glad the NYT is back to running a themeless on a themeless day, this didn't really feel all that challenging for a Saturday! The grid is highly segmented, with each corner and the middle all playing as their own mini-puzzle, so the longest entries we've got max out at 9 letters. Although there was plenty of good stuff in here, and extremely clean fill, there were also a few fill choices that should be been ripped out entirely, which would have been *not super challenging* to do on account of the aforementioned segmentation. And, while there were some fun clues, there were also a few that felt a little tonally off, so overall I have some mixed feelings about this puzzle, despite the presence of a few real gems and a gorgeous-looking grid.

The puzzle started out just kind of unpleasant, with a BLOW DART (1A: Barb from the mouth) stacked on top of a stereotype about mathletes (ALPHA NERD) and the rather gross phrase GAPING MAW. Just not a super fun start, in my view. I did love seeing LLAMAS at 2D and learning (via old SAT analogy symbols) that their babies are called "crias," so I'd say that NW corner is fine but not great.

The vertical stack in the NE is better, with I DARE SAY and NINTENDO both spicing up the corner (while DATA PLAN kind of ho-hums on the side). The NINTENDO clue (12D: Company whose name is said to mean "Leave luck to heaven") piqued my curiosity— does it mean that or does it not?? It's "said" by whom?? These questions led me down a rabbit hole of websites contemplating the various possible interpretations of the characters that spell NINTENDO in Japanese, and let's just say it's 20 minutes I'm never getting back and which brought me no closer to an answer than I was before the rabbit hole.

Moving on to the SW corner, this is where I take issue with the fill choices. I'm not saying the fill is objectively bad, like acronym-soup bad or arbitrary-german-article bad, but it was a choice to include MORON and IDIOT in this grid, and it was a choice that didn't have to be made. Both terms are ableist and cruel, and could have been worked out! Would it have cost us CSI MIAMI? Probably. Is that a price worth paying to not have ableist slurs in your grid? I think yes. Ok, well, to satisfy my own curiosity I redid that corner in ten seconds and ended up with MURSE down there, which is silly but definitely better than MORON/IDIOT. And it didn't even cost us CSI MIAMI! One other questionable decision in the SW is the clue on ME TOO, which I have to imagine was an editorial, rather than a constructor, choice. Why clue this as "I'm with you" when the #METOO movement is right there? Anyways, those issues aside, I did like the clue for ON SAFARI quite a bit [35D: Where you might incur charges overseas], although I was wondering what happened to the question mark!

The SE corner was great, but it was also were I ran into my worst crossing. I love READ-A-THON (which I've decided is how we should rebrand social distancing) and the inclusion of DEMENTOR, although I suspect that may give some trouble to non-Harry Potter fans. My own issue came at the crossing of LATEN and LARA. I'm glad to see a new clue for LARA the perpetual tomb raider, but, if you look back at the word-of-the-day entry, "The only known mythography attached to Lara is little, late and poetic." "Little, late, and poetic" means I have no idea who this character is, and while in retrospect LATEN is obvious, in the moment I was running the alphabet to find a plausible letter to stick in that crossing.

A few other things:
  • 39A: Some online comments, for short (IMS) — I mean, no, right? IMS aren't "comments," they're *instant messages*
  • 31A: Covered porch (RAMADA) — I thought this was just a hotel brand! #learning
  • 36A: "Don't mind me!" (CARRY ON) — very into this double colloquial (clue and entry)
  • 1D: They can be everything (BAGELS) — They not only *can* be everything, in this moment I feel like carbs in general and bagels specifically *are* everything. Mmmmm. Everything BAGELS. Also a fantastic clue.

Overall, I liked a lot about this puzzle. I think the grid itself is very pretty, and some of the longer stuff is excellent, but I really wish a little more thought had gone into the SW corner. It didn't have to be like that! 

Signed, Rachel Fabi, Queen-for-a-Day of CrossWorld
[Follow Rachel on Twitter]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:08 AM  

Easier than yesterday’s and yesterday’s was easy (see my Klahn 2/25/95 puzzle recommendation from yesterday, if you’d like a challenge or you could just google Amy’s “Diary of a xword Fiend” site, click on Today’s Puzzles, and print out the Newsday Saturday Stumper). I did part of this while eating dinner and still finished it faster than yesterday’s. So, “I’m with @Rachel” on the difficulty.

Pretty smooth and chock full of good stuff, liked it. Jeff gave it POW. Maybe the clues could have been tougher? e.g. I know I’ve seen the pen pal clue before.

...and I just noticed that the BEQ Thursday puzzle is a hard themeless.

57Stratocaster 12:28 AM  

Easiest Saturday for me in a long time (31min). Had trouble with the lara ariose dementor group.

Tom R 12:28 AM  

Nice write-up Rachel.

okanaganer 12:54 AM  

Big errors for me in the southeast, where I had RUSH AT crossing (chocolate) ROB and LURA. Chocolate Rob? Honest, I thought it was... say, a drink, maybe a Rob Roy with chocolate? There are lotsa drinks that I dunno.

Re (everything) BAGEL... oh, bagels, I miss you. My source for fresh baked bagels is the local Safeway -- honest! they are the best in my provincial (literally) western Canadian town -- and it bakes them no more, cuz, well you know why. It's been a few weeks that I have missed them, among other things like, say, being with people. I live alone, so pity me you family people!

The constructor's initials are YY! That's gotta be unusual.

Thanks Rachel, and agree on the MORON IDIOT area. Did you know they originated as psychological classifications?

Unknown 12:58 AM  

Definitely easier than normal! I can never finish a Saturday without research, but I almost got this one. Just missed the LARA/ARIOSO cross. Had to plug in random letters that sounded like a name until the app congratulated me.

astrotrav 1:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
astrotrav 1:15 AM  

Rachel I much prefer your redo of the SW corner. ATARI would have been a nice paring with NINTENDO. I had to run the alphabet on LA?A- that was a tough cross, especially since I didn't know how to spell DEMENTOR.

puzzlehoarder 1:19 AM  

Only a minute and five seconds longer than yesterday's so very easy for a Saturday. I struck out on the first four crosses but the moment I read the 17A clue GAPINGMAW popped right up. ANG, DANE and WHITE dropped in and the NW corner went down. Sure it's because it was an easy puzzle but when a grid looks like one of those hard Saturdays from the 90s it's nice to just sink right into it.

"Ableist"? Don't waste my time.

I've never seen this constructor before but there have been a lot of weeks where I've skipped Monday and Tuesday. He picked a very nice looking grid for his first themeless.

chefwen 2:48 AM  

Fairly easy for me also. Ran into difficulty down in the SE where my chocolate was a bar before a LAB, I prefer the LAB. I was getting bASHED before I got LASHED AT, my BANNER was a ruNNER (don’t ask) and my nymph was named LARu. It took two of us to sort that lot out.

Don’t care for LATEN, but I’m getting used to it.

Joaquin 2:52 AM  

Should I feel marginalized? There have been many days when the NYT puzzle included one or the other of the very ableist "genius" or "Mensa". I am neither but clearly, the constructor and the paper think those who are genius and/or Mensa, are a cut above. Poor me!

Words matter and context matters. I believe we can be polite to and considerate of one-another without becoming slaves to some absurd PC standard, a standard that outlaws some words regardless of the context.

Loren Muse Smith 6:28 AM  

I liked this, largely for the reasons I guess I should feel ashamed of. Oops. Loved BLOWDART, ALPHA NERD, and GAPING MAW. Our resident GAPING MAW was mawgaping on a CNN clip as I wrote it in. So I was in a mindset as I filled in TRAITOR, and then MORON right above IDIOT. After the fact, I went back and looked at my (wrong) DEMENTER and wondered if you could say dementeder. (Is demented also ableist?)

@57dtratocaster – that ARIOSO/DEMENTOR cross is a full-on natick.

I checked, and DWARF is still safe to say.

Ok. Once I was going to a wedding and really wanted to wear my go-to ivory sheath. I loved that dress and agonized over whether or not to wear it. Called Mom, called mothers-in-law, googled. But I knew. Despite how classy and elegant I think I looked in it, I accepted that I should not wear it. I opted instead to wear an ice-pink sheath. So of course when I stood and turned to watch the bride and her dad start down the aisle, I was horrified to see that her dress was ice pink. No. Really.

Loved OUTTA. I’m drawn to the connotation of stuff like kinda, sorta, oughta. . . but it’s hard to use them without seeming to scream Look how folksy and down-to-earth my writing is!

Rachel – I agree that the clue for BAGELS is good. Know what would have been better?
“They can be everything, or they can be nothing.”

“People” are SOULS mainly if they’re part of a plane crash statistic, right? There were 145 souls on board. Do they use the word SOULS to make sure we understand they’re including the pilot, flight attendants, emotional support Komodo dragon, and pair of chocolate LABS crated down in cargo?

@jae – thanks for the heads-up on the Stumper and the Thursday BEQ.

All in all, I found this an excellent themeless, despite my dnf at the ARIOSO/DEMENTOR cross. I think if I had checked carefully, I would’ve remembered that it’s ARIOSO, but I didn’t check. Shoulda coulda woulda and all that.

Lewis 6:33 AM  

Anyone else want chocolate NIB? Anyone else labor over the final vowel of DEMENTOR?

What I loved about this puzzle, on top of some sparkling cluing (CELLMATE, ON SAFARI, PODIA, SERTA, SEMIS) was that the lower hanging fruit was, for me, spread out, depositing a few letters in the answers that were hard to reach. Not enough letters to make those tough answers immediately obvious, but enough so that the brain could do the mulling that is the best part of solving -- that magical work that brings a burst of YES! when the answer comes.

Those bursts caused this offering to shimmer, and thus, for me, it was a thing of beauty. Thank you for this, YY!

GILL I. 6:38 AM  

Ooooof...Some parts easy...some not so. I'll start with 2D. In Spanish, cria is a kid and we're talking goats, right? Well, a goat is either a chiva(o) or a cabra. Where the hell did the LLAMA sneak in? Then I had BLACK for the wedding no no and then remembered I went to some evening ones and every one wore black. Ah....WHITE. Of course. You can't usurp the bride. ONE OFFS? Dang, what is that? Take a break....wash dirty clothes, put the dishes away, clean the bathroom, come back, finish the puzzle. This time I was filling in the empty squares like mad.
Yeah, Rachel...I noticed a few of the unpleasants. BLOW DART MORON IDIOT DEMENTOR. I thought those were a bit on the LATEN side. Like @chefwen I wanted my chocolate to be a bar. Easily fixed with a BANNER.
Hey I found some flour and I made BAGELS last night. I won't tell you where I found it because people will go and hoard it all. My BAGELS didn't have everything on it but I did stuff them with cream cheese. I'm now going to dig around my drawer to see if I can find an old bra to make masks for people who need to wear them.

coupdesinge 6:43 AM  

Though I appreciate when Rex & Co highlight bias and ignorance whenever they crop up in the puzzle, I must admit this week a lower left corner declaring 'moron' and 'idiot' was more than a little cathartic after weeks of being trapped between a pandemic and Trump pressers.
Thanks so much for your work, Rachel, and take care everyone.

Anonymous 6:45 AM  

Ableist? Now I'm supposed to feel guilty for being of average intelligence?

Klazzic 6:48 AM  

Another sermon on political correctness of words. Sheesh. BLOWDART, ALPHANERD and GAPINGMAW are all perfectly acceptable terms. And IDIOT and MORON are particularly timely with a yam as president. Anyway, rock solid Saturday, with two nits: I experienced some squeamishness with BATE for lessen and OUTTA as a legitimate "word".

Klazzic 6:52 AM  

Nice write up, @LMS. You're always a joy to read.

Suzie Q 6:53 AM  

Had some fun with this one.
I loved learning what a baby llama is called and was very curious what company had that cool translation.
I'm always annoyed by the directional clues and today was no exception. I wish there was a different way to clue those 3-letters.
At least we got a different clue for SNL.
I disagree with Rachel about idiot and moron. They are much better than resorting to profanity which makes you sound like an idiot too.

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

@Lewis - Glad I wasn’t the only one thinking NIB there.

Nick 7:09 AM  

Bate = Lessen? As in "abate"? Never heard the word Bate before except in conjunction with motels run by guys with mother issues.

Joaquin 7:23 AM  

@LMS (6:38) - Your BAGEL clue is so good that Lewis should include it on his list of favorites.

Hungry Mother 7:28 AM  

Very easy, and yet a nice challenge this morning. Only one write-over on a eR/OR choice.

nick 7:36 AM  

i tore through this one! at 7m12s, it filled much more like a wednesday for me, with lots of gimmes and few proper nouns.

pabloinnh 7:42 AM  

1A was not a good start for me but the A from LASE gave me an animal ending in A and since I knew "cria", LLAMAS was logical and then EMOTE and awaaa--aay we go! Everything else was smooth and a little less challenging than I would have preferred, e. g. , got CELLMATE off the C, and so on, and now what to do all morning?

Nice writeup by Rachel, thanks, although I find myself saying IDIOT and MORON frequently these days, as I watch a lot of news.

And for our constructor (and rebus fans): YY you are, YY you be, but today you're not YY for me.

Let's get going and break that record for number of comments. I'm running out of things to read.

Dan 7:49 AM  

I had __N__N_O for the “leave luck to heaven” answer and based on what letters were likely vowels or consonants based on other nearby answers, I was like “oh, it must be MONSANTO”. Because, like, using GMO seeds means you don’t have to get lucky to get a good crop or something?

Loren Muse Smith 7:58 AM  

@Joaquin - @Lewis will not like that I'm posting this, but he emailed me a while ago saying he had had the exact same thought on the BAGELS clue. So he deserves credit, too. Heck - maybe there are a lot of us who had the idea, and I'm the only one whose wacko sleep pattern allows me to beat everyone to the punch.

tb 8:03 AM  

Is it ableist to refer to Trump, as an IDIOT and a MORON? I don't think so. Are governors of states that haven't imposed social distancing MORONS and IDIOTS? I think so. Some shaming is a good thing.

The puzzle was too easy for a Saturday.

kitshef 8:11 AM  

Confidently plopped in fishhook at 1A. Thank goodness ANG was up there to put me straight. Only other major error was putting in coinMATE instead of CELLMATE. I've never been so happy to be wrong.

This was a beautiful puzzle. I think the only junk were SSE and SERTA. Love the BAGEL and DWARF clues. DEMENTOR was a snap - read the HP books at least four times each. The ARIOSO/LARA cross was my one scary moment, but the analogy to 'aria' was true.

Personally I think INRUN(?) an MURSE are too high a price to pay for getting rid of IDIOT and MORON, but to each his own.

QuasiMojo 8:16 AM  

Finished in more than half my usual Sat time. Loved Blow Dart, Alpha Nerd, Gaping Maw and Traitor.

Why the outrage over Moron and Idiot but none for Dwarf? They are all clinical terms. I agree they don't have to be used and I'm all for finding other words when possible but only if they are better and more interesting. INRUN seems a bit obscure for non-skiers. I do object to stuff like Louse and Sot and Lush clued for alcoholics because they are slurs. But the above three words seem legitimate to me, although easily avoided. Should we burn all those copies of Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" or ban "Idiot's Delight"?

I also liked the pair of Pluto clues even if I wanted the answer to be Bloodhound. Instead we get two Great Danes.

"I Dare Say" and "my Suspicion is" didn't seem to match in my mind. It's sorta kinda Britishish anyway.

Anyone else always think Nintendo was Italian? Non intendo farlo... don't get me started on Sega... :)

Karen 8:16 AM  

Wish I could go out and get fresh bagels! It's like that first clue is taunting me. Ok puzzle, not too frustrating but not very entertaining either. Nothing in it brought a smile to me this morning which is something we can all use. There's always tomorrow!

Brian 8:21 AM  

Felt like a Wednesday solve ... a welcome gift during this stressful Covid-19 crisis!

Frantic Sloth 8:21 AM  

Hand up for ableist schmableist. Puzzle was very easy for me for a Saturday, but this doesn't mean I'm complaining. It simply means I'm very, very smart.

Arden 8:32 AM  

Enjoyable although felt more like a Wednesday. Now that I’ve got so much time on my hands, I would love more of a mental workout.

Sgreennyc 8:37 AM  

Without words like idiot and moron how will we be able to describe Trump, Kushner and the rest of the numbskulls exacerbating this pandemic?

Birchbark 8:39 AM  

Anyone? EULER?

The sun looked nice coming up over the hill on the other side of the St. Croix River this morning. It's 20 degrees outside. I know this from walking out to the outside garage in my robe to get our old space heater, as the furnace didn't kick in last night.

The fireplaces in the basement and living room don't reach upstairs, where my wife is quasi-isolated on a SERTA-topped bed after some moderate symptoms earlier in the week. She seems okay now, and I think the meals-in-bed part is palliative. The futon in the basement yields a comfortable REM SLEEP for your narrator, who until now wondered whether the guests were just being polite. But we're ready to go back to before.

In other news, the bear ripped down the bird feeder in the meadow outside the office window, an annual ritual marking the onset of Spring at this latitude. So there are chores today, and we CARRY ON.

JOHN X 8:56 AM  

ha ha I'm not dead, just drunk!

I don't believe anybody found this easy, which it wasn't. The three long 7 and 8 square answers in each corner were not easy, although I'll grant CSIMIAMI and DEMENTOR for the Harry Potter nerds as potential gimmes. Nothing else was.

I don't even know what the word "ableist" means, but I do know that in New York City if a student worked hard they could be promoted up from an IDIOT to a MORON, and we should all be very proud of them.

I'm working my way backwards, and making exceptional progress.

The clue for 29A is wrong on many levels.

I need to go back under my bed. Please buy G.E. jet engines.

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

Stuff like "ableist" (whatever the hell it exactly means) is why we can't have nice things.

OffTheGrid 9:03 AM  

Before blond jokes there were Polack jokes. Before those there were Moron jokes. I think when terms are used pejoratively there is somewhat of a problem. Many (ME TOO) use MORON and IDIOT but, hopefully, don't use them to refer to those who are cognitively limited. There are nuances. The "N" word and the "F" word are never acceptable. Other terms are in a gray area where context defines the appropriateness of usage.

Teedmn 9:09 AM  

I was going to ask if there were a hard and fast rule on whether a noun ended in -eR or -OR (asking for a friend who had a DNF), hoping that @LMS could answer that, but I see she is in the same boat as my friend.

Pondering the eR vs. OR conundrum, I looked at the word TRAITOR. Of course, TRAITOR has nothing to do with the word TRAIT, which became the subject of my post-solve Googlefest of the week. But I was intrigued by the use-it-in-a-sentence choice by online Merriam Webster. For TRAIT, it was "The guy had two desirable traits: a six pack and a job." Six pack abs, or a six pack of beer? And which would be more desirable?

The funny thing is that the eR I put in at 59A was the second thing I splatzed down in the grid today (26A's Duluth to Madison clue was a gimme) because although I couldn't come up with the word for the Harry Potter prison guards right off the bat, I knew it ended with eR. At the end of my solve, did I go back and re-read the clue for 43D? No, even though the R of ARIOSe was my last entry. Would I have fixed my error if I had re-read the clue? I DARE SAY, maybe.

Yacob Yonas, congratulations on your first solo NYT crossword and thanks for the sweet Saturday puzzle.

Birchbark 9:21 AM  

@John X (8:56) -- I'll trade 4 rolls (actually = 8, according to the label) of toilet paper for one GE jet engine. It solves the furnace problem, assuming I can run the venting right.

Lewis 9:21 AM  

@rachel -- A lovely writeup on several levels. You backed up your assertions, said what you liked and didn't like, and made insightful points. I didn't agree with everything you said, but I highly respect how you said it.

Jcap 9:24 AM  

Are all comparative terms "ableist"? Are "better" and "worse"? And please, no German words because, well, uh, you know.

TJS 9:32 AM  

With @LMS and @Lewis re. bagels. The slang usage I am familiar with is zeros.

Witnessed my first incident of someone losing it on the island yesterday. Some 30-something American spent the hour between 9 and 10 AM on the street outside his residence screaming "F---" this and "F---"that and threatening to kill anyone who came near him. Later saw him , in handcuffs, being driven to the police station by two Policei, still screaming his head off. Had to think that however bad his day had started, it was about to get a lot worse.

I know I have heard of Rachel Fabi, probably a constructor, but is she also a fellow educator like OFL ? Sure sounds as if she has the same heightened sensibilities. Seems to me that if we can no longer use "moron" and "idiot" we will just have to invent new words to express the same idea these days.

Gonna check out the suggested archive puzzle and then off to the beach where there is about 30 feet of distance between each visitor. A perfect place to clear ones' head. Peace. Safety.

Barbara S. 9:43 AM  

I'm with @JOHN X (8:56) "on many levels," but in particular in not finding this an easy puzzle, which so many of you did. (Welcome back, @JOHN X!)

I had repeated problems in the East, both NE and SE. Stuff like "grunt"(work) for GRIND and a desperate attempt to make "lanai" fit where RAMADA needed to be. (Wow, how many times have we all stayed in Covered Porch Inns?) For 36A "Don't mind me!" I went through "Curious" (as in "Don't mind me, I'm just curious/nosy") and "Careful" (as in "Don't mind me, but don't step on me either"), before I hit CARRY ON. And then, yeesh, I really dislike LATEN and LASH AT. Give me "Get late" and "lash out at" any day.

In other parts of the grid --
I briefly thought that 50D "It may be high for a penthouse" was "roof," rather than RENT. And, hey, those pads do have very high ceilings.
I guess I'm still in recovery from the pig discussion of several days ago, but I was sure that 36D "Pen pal?" was porcine in intent.

In more positive news, I think I'm finally on to "Chocolate _____," as often having nothing to do with chocolate and everything to do with dogs. Also PODIA was good (rather than "podiums").

And in the end I did prevail amidst riotous celebration. But it did seem a bit as if a DEMENTOR with BLOW DARTs was pursuing me along the way.

Z 9:51 AM  

Harry Potter dropped at the perfect time for my two oldest sons, so DEMENTOR was easy here. I still haven’t finished the series, as the last few books turned into tomes. I guess no editor could convince Rowling that less would be more. The other series from that time that the boys loved was A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The audiobooks read by Tim Curry accompanied us on many of our long car rides (well, minivan rides). If you have kids in the 6-12 range I highly recommend them. Us big people enjoyed them, too.

NW and SE gave me the most trouble. Needed the OP of OPPOSE to finally see BLOWDART and ALPHA NERD. In the SE I had easE before BATE, but SET AT EASE made that highly unlikely. BATE BASIN BANNER all came into view more or less simultaneously and LATEN (ugh) was confirmed. I don’t time myself on Saturdays often, but this felt Fridayish to me.

My list of adjectives for President Fake Tan is extensive. President Negligent Homicide now amongst them. No particular need to resort to ableist terms there. President Dunning-Kruger has some obvious talents (appealing to our racists, bullying, conning people), just none that are useful for actually accomplishing anything. It’s not that Orange Julius has low intelligence, it is that he is a fool. There’s a difference.
I always wonder at the “am I supposed to feel guilty” responses. As a tall white male with the good fortune to score high on IQ tests let me point out there’s a difference between feeling guilty about advantages and recognizing that being tall, white, male, and scoring high on IQ tests has provided me with societal advantages not of my own making. And it was my mom who taught me to be kind. And really, when someone points out that terms like IDIOT and MORON are “ableist” all they’re really saying is those terms are “mean” and could we maybe be a little kinder.
@Quasimojo - Can you show me “numbskull” in the clinical literature? I’ll spare you the entire “even when they were clinical they were extremely flawed” rant.

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

Rachel, dear, if you think the words IDIOT and MORON are "ableist" and "cruel," then boy are there some words you have apparently yet to learn!

xyz 9:55 AM  

Just a little background here:

if offensive can be clued
56A 51-70
58A 0-25

They are Medical Terms
26-50 is IMBECILE

CRETIN is ties to Congenital Thyroid disease, so all these "offensive" slurs have a medical origination

Nancy 9:56 AM  

Some really fiendish cluing, plus some GAPING MAWs on my part, made this very, very hard for me -- with the sole exception of the NE.

I kept misreading "mathletes" as "athletes", and wanted ALPHA MALE there. But would I have known the term ALPHA NERD if I'd read the clue correctly? Probably not. Boy, people sure have different aspirations now than back in my day. Being an ALPHA NERD sounds as desirable to me as being an IDIOT GRIND or an ULTRA DWARF.

(Smile, everyone. I'm allowed to say that -- being vertically challenged as I am).

What cost me the most time was pagAN GOD before ROMAN GOD. It loused up the whole SW. I am proud of myself for not having to cheat on the Harry Potter personage. I guessed DEMENTER. That's how I'd name a villain myself (but, wait, is he a villain?) if I were writing a novel and had a fiction-writer's imagination. Which I don't.

I'm amazed at those who thought this was easy. I thought it was a bear. And a worthy Saturday opponent.

Birchbark 10:01 AM  

@Teedmn (9:09) -- re DEMENTOR vs. DEMENTeR and why:

Henry Fowler's "Modern English Usage" (2d ed. 1965) entry for "-or" says: "-or is the Latin agent-noun ending corresponding to the English -er; compare 'doer' and 'perpetrator'. English verbs derived from the supine stem of Latin ones -- i.e. especially most verbs in -ate but also many others such as 'oppress', 'protect', act', 'credit', 'possess', 'prosecute', -- usually prefer this Latin form to the English one in -er. Some other verbs, e.g., 'govern', 'conquer', and 'purvey' ... have agent-nouns in -or owing to their passage through French or other circumstances that need not be here set forth ..." [the entry continues, but the basic gist is thus].

RooMonster 10:10 AM  

Hey All !
This came in at WedsPuz time for me, heck, maybe even TuesPuz time, 12:15! So super easy here. It felt like I was an ALPHA NERD, SOARing through without my MORONic brain lock-ups.

I call fellow drivers IDIOTs and MORONs all the time, as people seriously do not know how to drive. They'll tailgate you as you're both approaching a red light, as you're slowing down because said light is red, even though they have to stop. Or, they cut in front of you for no reason when there's barely enough space twixt you and the car in front of you.
/Rant ☺️

Oh, the puz. Liked it, seemed more of a FriPuz, and even then would've been easy. EULER I've seen before, but don't really know it, but crossers were extremely fair for that today. Two writeovers, wAnE-BATE, SyA-SIA. That's it. Nothing else wrong. Impressed myself.

Haven't heard a covered porch referred to as a RAMADA, I always just called them covered porches.

LATEN, har. I remember the kerfuffle it caused last time.

ONEOFFS, nice word, supplying two of the three F's today!


Z 10:14 AM  

@Birchbark - He’s sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Euler pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

@Teedmn - -er for most things, -or if it’s coming from Latin. Do note, though, that the link starts with the wishy-washy “generally.”

@TJS - So do you think his girlfriend dumped him or are you somewhere around Barstow?

Todd 10:24 AM  

Rachel is more annoying than Rex. She lost me at ableist, which my spell check doesn't even think is a word.

albatross shell 10:26 AM  

Its Easter season. I'm not religious in any of the middle eastern styles, but this time of year I, barring pandemics, go religiously searching for the best chocolate EGGs around. Nobody else gave EGG a try?

LARA/ARIOSO did me in. Looked up AVANT. Rest was on my own.

MORON and IDIOT reversed in my mind. Good luck on your regression, in any case.

Apparently in today's world no context is local.
Be careful out there
It's serious even when you are not.

Anonymous 10:29 AM  

With what's going on with the Orange Sh!tgibbon (not my coinage, but I cleave) means that MORON and IDIOT are not only appropriate, but required.


Petsounds 10:32 AM  

@ts said exactly what I was going to say about MORON and IDIOT, two words I've been using pretty much daily for the past three-plus years. There's nothing "ableist" about either one. They're both perfectly good descriptions of someone who isn't curious and doesn't learn or think.

Agree with @Nancy that this was a tough one. I got -NERD immediately for the "mathlete" clue, but the ALPHA part took much longer. Other trouble spots: I entered CHALETS for 24D and EASE for 52D, and it wasn't until I got SETATEASE for 57A that I realized 52D was wrong. Had no idea that a covered porch is a RAMADA and never heard of EULER (math is so not my thing) or ULTRAmarathon. LASHAT still sounds off to me.

I did like the clues for SERTA and ONSAFARI.

albatross shell 10:35 AM  

@Barbara S. 943am
Hershey has Chocolate labs that are not canines.

QuasiMojo 10:42 AM  

@Z, I'm not sure I catch your drift. All I said, or meant to say, is that if one is going to nitpick why not be consistent? Especially in the same grid. I also made it clear that such terms are easily avoidable and I am all for that but I am not in favor of dissing a puzzle simply because they're there. I admit I have a pet peeve about alcoholic slurs when they appear because it seems the one area where the SJWs and PC brigade rarely if ever take issue with. And yet alcoholism is accepted as a disease. So why the double-standard? It's not always something people choose to become. And it's not really very funny. I had typed "souse" by the way but "louse" came up. I'd add "wino" and "toper" and DTs and the egregious ODs as fill that is not cutesy and beneath the standards of the NYT although they employ them frequently. As for "numbskull" I have no idea. Although I get one every time I eat Chinese food with MSG. (Just in case, that is a joke.)

"Life is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." -- Shakespeare (from Macbeth)

PS Why would you need to take more than one IQ test?

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

Just to be specific:
"In 19th- and early 20th-century medicine and psychology, an "idiot" was a person with a very profound intellectual disability. In the early 1900s, Dr. Henry H. Goddard proposed a classification system for intellectual disability based on the Binet-Simon concept of mental age. Individuals with the lowest mental age level (less than three years) were identified as idiots; imbeciles had a mental age of three to seven years, and morons had a mental age of seven to ten years."
[the wiki]

We can argue about the meaning of IQ tests (as distinct (if it is) from the ability to engage in higher-order thinking), but there are those who are profoundly mentally incompetent. Whether there needs to be explicit terms for their conditions in order to provide them support is a separate question.

In today's environment, 'venal' might be what we mean in certain corners. But, clearly, as used today, we don't mean what the psych- folks did when they coined the terms a century ago. We don't use them in an 'ableist' sense, whatever that is.

amyyanni 10:46 AM  

Got fooled by the chocolate clue for too long. Convinced it had to be food or drink related. And the rest of the SE was tough.
Hi Rachel, thanks for the write-up. ALPHANERD made me laugh and imagine a superhero with cape askew and horn rimmed glasses. Overall I had a good time doing this one and it made me smile. Also love the bagel clue.

bauskern 10:47 AM  

The L in LARA killed me. DNF. In retrospect LATEN was apparent.

Jeff Anderson 10:49 AM  

I thoroughly enjoyed your take on the puzzle and the angle from which you approached it. You should sub for Rex frequently. Thanks for the fresh insights. Havea a great day.

A Moderator 10:50 AM  

Anonymous Grammar Police are not welcome here.

Todd 10:53 AM  

Personal best for a Saturday 18 minutes.

Newboy 10:56 AM  

I DARE SAY PODIA was the last to fall thanks to that great clue & its cross. I know that a question mark should raise a red flag, but.... Other spots especially in the southeast got groans before LATEN & BATE joined the party. Thanks Yacob for my Saturday GRIND that was tough enough but still had its chocolate LAB patiently waiting for its CELLMATE. Now to see if Rex & y’all have similar mixed feelings—or did I miss the boat again?

In the socially isolated mountain states we have so far flattened the curve, but our hearts grow heavy for the commentariat in NY & other impacted hot zones. Thanks for sharing this brief moment of sanity in our ongoing angst. Wash, wipe & stay safe IN there.

Teedmn 10:57 AM  

Thanks, @Birchbark and @Z. Now, would I have had the wherewithal to go back and determine whether DEMENT was Latin- or English-based? (Or French-?)

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

@birchbark 8:39 AM Google "Seven bridges of Königsberg".

Anonymous 10:59 AM  

Why not? Crosswird puzzles arebuilt on understanding language. Precision is required. Why allow folks to pobtificate on some subjects but not on grammar?

Whatsername 11:03 AM  

What a perfectly pleasant non-stumper. Only the second or third time I’ve done a Saturday with no help but it’s a nice feeling and a little relief from the GRIND of the non-stop news cycles about you-know-what. Sad news also about the Kennedy family. The dark cloud just seems to stay with them over the generations.I don’t recall seeing the constructor’s name before, but a beautiful name it is. Thank you, YY.

Thanks also to Rachel for guest spotting today, and so right about IMs; they’re messages, not comments. However, I disagree that the mere words MORON and IDIOT should automatically be classified as ableist. It depends on one’s intention - deliberately being disparaging or cruel to someone who is challenged - or just kidding around with a friend. Take for instance a well know public figure gleefully mocking a news reporter with a physical disability. That’s an excellent example of ableism. And just plain cruel.

@okanager (12:54 AM) I get my BAGEL fix at Panera Bread, sesame with light honey walnut cream cheese, pure heaven. The New Yorkers here would probably be horrified, but they are excellent and the best coffee in town. By the way - pity you because you live alone? I DARESAY some of the folks cooped up with spouses and/or kids would love to have a little alone time right now. See @TJS’ post at 9:32.

If we crossword aficionados had a captain, could one INFER that Rex Parker is our ALPHANERD?

It’s beginning to LATEN and I must go wash my increasingly long, desperately-in-need-of-color hair. Even my dogs are beginning to avoid me. I’ll skip the Sunday solve as usual but will stop in to read comments. Everyone have a safe weekend.

Teedmn 11:06 AM  

I know this is merely fanning the flames on the argument, but it was too coincidental to pass up.

thfenn 11:06 AM  

Lol, another reminder of that time I got charged by a hippo on safari (me being the one on safari) - didn't that happen here a week ago or so? Like others (or was it just @Gill I), black before white, and also like others, gaping maw, traitor, idiot, and moron all pointed to the WH for me, tho, as always, I appreciate @Z's refinements. SE corner definitely held me up, but finishing a Saturday is rare for me, and finishing in under 30 minutes a joy.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Also mod,
What does anonymity have to do with it?
If I have a name, may I correct erroneous grammar usage?

Kevin 11:08 AM  

I was totally offended by the use of ULTRA to suggest that it is somehow better than a regular item. The clue of SEMIS was a smear on the teams that lost in the quarterfinals and shouldn't have used them just for wordplay.MAAM is over-the-top sexist and needed to be balanced by SIR somewhere else. SOULS is offensive because the synecdoche makes sense only to people who believe in religions which involve souls. READATHON is ableist in that it excludes people who are illiterate. SET AT EASE is wildly improper in that it includes the letters TEASE which is a sexist name for a woman who uses sex to get what she wants. DEMENTORS is flat out name calling to people who already have to deal with being demented.

I won't even bother to list all of the highly offensive things that the vertical clues include.

I wish the guest blogger were not so discriminating in her choice of offensive words. I'm offended by that.

Carola 11:10 AM  

First impression: geez, this is going to be tough - my first pass got me only the SE of SERTA/SEaly, SNL, ATM, and DEMENTOR (I was too timid to write in GAPING MAW,). But some felicitous crosses soon propelled me into acceleration phase, and the rest came quickly. Besides the wonderful GAPING MAW, I thought BLOW DART, CARRY ON, ON SAFARI, READ-A-THON were excellent grid treats.

ME, TOO Department: Seriously considered coinMATE (hi, @kitshef). Longing for BAGELS. My Chicagoland son and 5th-grade grandson are dealing with the stay-at-home situation by taking on baking projects. The texted photo of yesterday morning's just-out-of-the-oven BAGELS just about finished me off.
Help from recent puzzles: LATEN, BATE.
Do-overs: riM before DAM, tube TOP.

@Birchbark, your mentioning the St. Croix makes you a far-flung neighbor (my body of water is Lake Mendota). Best wishes for warmth and good health!

@jae, as always, thank you for the puzzle tips.

Loren Muse Smith 11:12 AM  

@Grammar Show-Off Whose Comment Smack Down by a Moderator Made My Heart Sing –

Yeah, yeah - so many times you people try to play the “precision” card to rationalize your pomposity. Spare me.

How is

We descriptivists need to stick together.

any more precise than

Us descriptivists need to stick together.

How is

You went to the game? Whom did you see?

any more precise than

You went to the game? Who did you see?

I won’t respond here again. But my email is nerol2 at msn. Happy to argue with you in private. If you're willing to give up your anonymity.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

I wasnt correcting anything you wrote.

Dan 11:25 AM  


Great write up!

Count me among those who feel that moron and idiot are perfectly acceptable words. I think that they are offensive if said about a disabled person. But there are people in this world who are simply fools. They do and say foolish things. And we need words for it. Otherwise we can't call it out.

But be that as it may... I can totally see how for you the two words on top of each other in the bottom corner were a downer in the midst of what you otherwise liked. And the fact that you showed how you could change it to more fun things (ATARI, PARADE, ROMANTIC) was so excellently done!

I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your post.

William of Ockham 11:30 AM  

Is there a corner of the world currently more PC than CrosswordNerds?

Asked from the POV of White Male Privilege

Dexter Green 11:31 AM  


Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth,
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,
And in despite I'll cram thee with more food!

Romeo & Juliet, V, ii, 51 - 55

Z 11:34 AM  

@QuasiMojo - Way to pull out Shakespeare. I would argue that I used “fool” the same way Billy used “idiot.” Then this whole IQ nonsense put a patina of science on “IDIOT.” It’s that patina that causes the problem. Well, that and humans’ tendency to otherize people who make us uncomfortable. Anyway, the clinical use is offensive (and the wiki article specifically discusses your other examples).

@Teedmn - Yep. With Harry Potter there’s a lot of Latinesque words in things magical. But If you’re familiar with Harry Potter enough to know that you probably already know that Rowling spelt it with an -OR. As for everything thing else English, good luck.

@Anon11:14 - 1. Correcting someone’s grammar is fine if you are their parent or teacher. Otherwise you are just being rude. 2. If you don’t know why “us” is more appropriate than “we” in what I wrote than you don’t actually understand what I wrote.

Newboy 11:37 AM  

@okanaganer (12:54 am) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on OFL’s blog. There’s so many reassessments that need to take place from where we shop to how we treat one another & ME TOO on missing BAGELS. I’d love to have brightened your inbox, but your profile has nothing when I clicked on it. Personally, I’ve decided to email one blue link each day if an email address is part of the profile—disappointing that so few provide one. Should we all revisit our profiles occasionally? I’d say yes🥴 May the joy continue.

burtonkd 11:40 AM  

Everything with nothing is one of my go to bagel orders.

Aketi 11:42 AM  

I loved the northwest corner. Especially the ALPHA NERD and GAPING MAW which reminded me of my favorite video game series Dead Space. That game had the best kraken-like monster with tentacles covered in pustules and a giant GAPING MAW that would eat you if you didn’t shoot the pustules on the tentacles before one of them grabbed you.

Now I’ve finished absolutely every chore I could possibly do in a pristinely cleaned apartment with every speck of laundry done and caught up on puzzles too. My son sold my Dead Space collection so I’m am stuck with games that are considerably less apocalyptic, like Red Dead Redemption.

totally disadvantaged 11:44 AM  

@Newboy our e-mails?


egsforbreakfast 11:45 AM  

When I got to 31A, it happened that I had already filled in _A_A_A. So cAbAnA seemed obvious, particularly since I don’t remember ever knowing the meaning of Ramada.

On the subject du jour, Wikipedia says “Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled.” Having been many times called idiot or moron by persons of distinctly inferior intellect, I’m certain that the terms are not generally being used in a truly ableist sense.

Thought the puzzle was quite good, but easy for a Saturday.

Pedro 11:50 AM  

Where to incur charges overseas? Immediately threw down PAMPLONA

OffTheGrid 11:58 AM  

@Petsounds. LASHAT sounds off because it is. The usual expression is LASH out AT. Another example of crossword license, I guess

Odd Sock 11:59 AM  

@ Kevin 11:08, Yes!

Crimson Devil 11:59 AM  

Unfortunately have more time to agonize over puzs these days.
If I never see another Harry Potter or Rap clue, it’ll be too soon.
Saved by Fr. in NE, liked SERTA,
Also ONEOFFS, SEMIS, dunno bout BAGELS, also unaware re no white at weddings, liked OUTTA; DEMENTOR, as said, not so much.
Hunker down...gotta be included soon.

Joe Dipinto 12:03 PM  

Most people don't know that Aframes was originally a role in "Aida", i.e. that of Radames's brother. But Verdi felt it should be cut because there were already too many characters whose names started with "A" (Aida, Amneris, Amonasro, a messenger...)

God this was boring. That this passes muster for an NYT Saturday puzzle these days is criminal. Where's the challenge?

Oh well, here comes the stage manager. "You're on, Ms. Watley, ma'am."

Anonymoose 12:04 PM  

I thought of the bull running, too. I would have entered Pamplona but couldn't remember the name.

GILL I. 12:06 PM  

I had to look up the term ableist. At least I learned a new word. I didn't necessarily think in those terms; I just thought it kinda ughish - particularly during these trying times. Like @Roo, I use those terms a lot when I'm driving - actually I use worse language (Said out loud to myself).....
I've been on this blog a long time and we get on the pejorative words discussion a lot. Rachel is expressing her opinion; she has that right.
Few words make me wince, but hoity toity (or is it hoi polloi) grammarians loudly correcting others, makes no sense to me. I've been known to massacre (can I say that?) the English language and I don't care. It's not a pretty language and it has too many rules and regulations. I get we and us confused all the time and I just say what sounds right. If I were writing a thesis, I'd have to have someone look over my draft because I'm sure I'd need lots of white-out. But this is a blog. Auto correct takes over many times, and most of us just write what we'd say out loud.
Don't become one of @TJS's neighboring rager. Make bread instead.

jberg 12:11 PM  

Tough for me; I had to get to AVANT before I could put anything in, and then I decided I should celebrate with a trip to Paris, for which I would have to go out and buy myself an international DATA Pack. Since I had no idea where SNL was produced, I was trying to think of another TLA (three-letter acronym), eith no success. It was only once I puzzled out CARRY ON, rather than I'll be Ok, that I couuld make any progress.

The rest was pretty good, except for DEMENTOR. I gather from comments that it's a name for the category, rather than of a particular guard -- but I took it as the latter, which meant that IT COULD BE ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING! So I needed all the crosses, and like everyone else I always refer to the nymph LARA as Larunda, so that was tough. Finally I worked it out, and came here with BATEd breath to see if I was right.

Those of you citing clinical definitions -- that's the problem! It's not offensive to you if I call you an idiot, but it is offensive to those who fall into that classification to have it used as an insult.

Stand up, Rachel!

Birchbark 12:18 PM  

@Anon (10:58) -- Thanks, and understood re EULER -- and sorry about the misdirect on the question. In "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," there's a line where the teacher (played by Ben Stern) says "Anyone? Bueller?" (See @Z (10:14) for more on that).

I liked seeing EULER in the puzzle. I tried a few years ago to draw my way to a solution of the Konigsberg bridge problem, using only a pencil and no math. The math was beyond me, of course. So was the drawing, as it turned out.

@Carola (11:10) -- Lake Mendota is one of those places where on the right day, you feel like everything is exactly how it's supposed to be. What a good place to live.

Leslie 12:24 PM  

Be kind.If you can't be kind, be funny. Seriously, if incorrect grammar makes your skin crawl, I just hope there's a way to discuss it with the offender privately. I have a friend (retired English teacher) who is busily correcting people on twitter--people who are baring their souls in anger or fear about the current political situation--and her response is yes, but you should use "lie" not "lay". That makes MY skin crawl (and I'm a retired writing teacher).

Anonymous 12:39 PM  


What makes it so silly is that American English, unlike some/many/all European languages doesn't have an 'Academy' adjudicating vocabulary and grammar and whatever else the sphincter focused care about. American English morphs just like Goldblum in 'The Fly'. Random folks change the rules from time to time, some of which the sheeple accept and some of which don't gain acceptance. Anarchy rules. Someone should just shoot it.

Michael Page 12:40 PM  

Surprised that more folks aren’t offended by OUTTA as a word. Without even a question mark or “slang” in the clue.
As for BATE, I wait with worms on my tongue for someone to reference BATED BREATH.

Whatsername 12:44 PM  

@GILL (12:06) Re Auto correct and writing what we say out loud, I almost always use the dictation feature on my iPad as opposed to typing - so I actually do write what I say out loud. I go back and edit but don’t always catch every single thing. I agree let’s make bread, not war. If only I had some yeast.

@Z: For the record, I’ve never found your comments condescending, sarcastic, smug or supercilious. As a rule, your posts are informative, interesting and convey a genuine desire to respectfully interact with other bloggers. Keep them coming.

Pete 12:46 PM  

@Z Not to tread too closely to the grammar/ vocab Nazi line, but the Bronze Shitgibbon really should be charged with homicide due to depraved indifference rather than negligent homicide. He makes decisions on how they will affect him, not how many people will live or die. It's an overt action.

old timer 12:46 PM  

Finished this one with only a few silly writeovers. Somehow I knew RAMADA almost instantly. I would rate the puzzle Easy (for a Saturday).

But I came here to point out that in the Ed Biz, IDIOTs, MORONs and the like are all Special.

Nancy 12:50 PM  

@Birchbark (8:39) -- Here's hoping that your wife continues to recover fully and uneventfully and that you will continue to stay well.

Your remark that you "are ready to go back to before" made me think of one of the most exquisite theater songs ever written -- one that is not all that well known. It has always moved me deeply, but at this particular time, its emotional power and its sadness seem especially and tragically apt. For anyone who is looking for the catharsis of a good cry: We Can Never Go Back to Before

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

Please leave your POLITICALLY CORRECT criticisms out of your puzzle reviews. . . . Let's face it - There ARE morons,idiots and nerds out there. . . even (GASP!) in the MeToo movement. . . A x-word puzzle is a pleasant, time-passing diversion in these trying times - Let`s leave it at that, please.

CDilly52 1:18 PM  

Writing without reading any comments this morning other than the blog. Adored the analysis. Thank you Rachel! You identified issues and made excellent suggestions for improvement. Again, thank you.

I really liked all of this puzzle except the SW. Not only are the terms IDIOT and MORON ableist, they are cruel. Each used to be the term for what we now would call a learning disability, or something other than a pejorative label. I was really enjoying the experience until I got there. I spent several minutes trying to redo that corner to avoid actually having to write the word moron. My father was a professor of special education with a focus on (as he put it back in the late 60s) the “learning challenged,” that others still called “retarded or (ugh) morons. Yes, Mssrs. Stanford and Binet actually used that term in print for an IQ below something. We were prohibited from using those kinds of words en famille and Dad never allowed his students to employ such terms either. Took decades for the rest of the world to catch on.

Loved some of the clues-all those that Rachel mentioned (we should have had the ? on the overseas “charges” ) and in addition the chocolate LAB. Also SERTA as the king or queen maker. The details that clued me in finally were the capitalized King and Queen. One more memory of my Gran teaching me to pay attention to the smallest hint embedded in the language and punctuation of each clue.

I came very close to a DNF, though. Did nobody else nearly crash and burn in the NE? Even after I got NINTENDO it took forever to get PODIA and DEEP and the tail end of the NE, RAMADA. Just ULTRA brain freeze up there.

A bit easier in spots, but the themelessness was welcome and the puzzle overall (SE excepted) interesting and fun. And the write up was like an ARIOSO to my ears. Enjoy the weekend, folks. Stay in and do crosswords.

KnittyContessa 1:21 PM  

Arioso/Dementor = worst. crossing. ever.

Ariose (a.) Characterized by melody, as distinguished from harmony.

Arioso (adv. & a.) In the smooth and melodious style of an air; ariose.

Anoa Bob 1:24 PM  

I put in PAMPLONA straightaway for 35D "Where you might incur charges overseas".

I've heard of BLOW gun and DART gun, but never BLOW DART (1A).

The reason 7D REM SLEEP is something "You might not get...during a power nap" is because it occurs during sleep on a 90 minute schedule. If your power nap is shorter than that, REM isn't likely to happen. And REM is necessary for restful, restorative SLEEP, and that is an essential ingredient for a strong immune system (hint, hint).

What? 1:27 PM  

Very nice Saturday. Just hard enough (NE corner especially) to take my mind off the virus that shall not be named but not so hard that I couldn’t get 100.
Re Rachel Fabi - just what we need, a Rex avatar, nitpicker supreme. MORON, IDIOT, so what? Never mind that they’re more often used as pejoratives at those we disagree with rather than at people with actual disabilities. Wait, don’t never mind, mind.
I think I’ll just stick to reading Nancy.

chris b 1:45 PM  

If IDIOT and MORON are offensive, than so is MURSE. Guess what? Men can be nurses, and women can be doctors. Don't bring your sexist BS into it.

Masked and Anonymous 2:10 PM  

Fun and kinda (yo, @muse) easy-ish SatPuz, at our house.


@Queen Rachel darlin: Enjoyed yer SW-redo, as it enableisted an extra U [lil darlins]. But then, M&A is an UPSILON-NERD. Also, very thought-provokin blog write-up. Thanx.

staff weeject pick: SIA. Its crosses, however, were more than fair to non-knowers -- other than maybe to Pluto. [Disney could maybe do some computer dub-in work, and re-market their old flick as "Snow White & the Eight Dwarfs".]

Really havin a hard time decodin that {They can be everything} = BAGELS clue, even after Rachel's pro-bagel comments. M&A just ain't the sharpest knife in the Comments Gallery drawer.

Thanx, Mr. Yonas. M&A will now remember not to bring Betty WHITE to weddings.

Masked & Anonym(3or4)Us


George Carlin 2:12 PM  

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

Barbara S. 2:20 PM  

@albatross shell 10:35
RE: Chocolate Lab
Thanks for opening my eyes to other meanings. And, believe me, anything that calls itself "an interactive hands-on chocolate experience" is something I want to know about. Are they located in places other than Hershey, PA? At one time there were several Hershey plants in Canada, fewer now. I'm not aware that any had this sort of customer-experience-type Chocolate Lab. I suppose there's also a more generic meaning to "chocolate lab" in the Hershey context, namely the facility in which the Hershey scientists and engineers make breakthrough innovations in chocolate.

CT2Napa 2:24 PM  

Take your pick -- from Google-ing "numbskull"

wing nut

vulgar slang

John Hoffman 2:37 PM  

How rare that I can finish a Saturday puzzle! I feel much less like an IDIOT or MORON. For today, I’m able!

OffTheGrid 2:42 PM  

You made me laugh. Thanks.

GILL I. 2:55 PM  

@CT2Napa 2:24....I (think) I needed the laugh. My favorite is boofhead. Auto correct doesn't like it, though.
The Aussies and the Irish sure have colorful words.

JC66 3:04 PM  

@CT2Napa 2:24

Haha. That would make a great theme for puzzle, but it would have to be a Sunday. Maybe @M&A could help with the construction. ;-)

Barbara S. 3:05 PM  

When I was a kid, one of my girlfriends thought the word "idiot" was "idot," in other words, she failed to notice the second I in the word. She thought this epithet was absolutely appropriate as a putdown. You'd say to someone, "You're an idot!" meaning you're as insignificant as the teeny, tiny dot on top of an "i". I think she was quite disappointed when enlightened.

QuasiMojo 3:05 PM  

@Nancy 12:50: thanks for the link. Beautiful indeed!

SandyM 3:29 PM  

Had chicolate bar crossing runner. No way to suss out the problem. DNF.☹

GILL I. 3:32 PM  

@Nancy....that was magical. I just love her voice even though I'm not a huge fan of sopranos. She hits the notes so purely.
Have you made your mask, yet?

Petri 3:37 PM  

I will never be able to understand the big brain behaviour of those of you who get so offended you feel the need to write a screed about how sensitive everyone else. Rachel made her point calmly and offered an alternative. You threw a temper tantrum in the comments. Who is triggered here again?

Anonymous 3:37 PM  


ah, you forgot one, but that's not surprising since it was coined by one of the commentariat (so far as I know, and forget the name) here


Pamela 3:50 PM  

Slow starting for me. I really got going in the lower half of the puzzle, SW first, then SE. liked ONSAFARI. READATHON was a surprise as I started with book sales. There were still a few holes when Instead of AFRAMES I confidently wrote in chalets for 24D, because it matched up with the T from 40A ADSpotS. From then on I was in a mess. That Middle East section was a nightmare, because veranda wouldn’t fit, and RAMADA was impossible to come by. I still don’t get it:(. ONEOFuS obscured ONE-OFFS, and SE-IS escaped me as well. And what does that even mean?!

Even after filling in everything else, I ended up with a DNF.

I loved the BAGEL clue, especially expanded as above. Tal Bagel, possibly the best in NYC, is right across the Avenue from me, now closed of course. On weekdays there’s a collection of regulars, a motley assortment who seem to have no other agenda. If I have an early appointment, my treat is to stop in there for a toasted sesame with cream cheese and a coffee, one of the many delights deferred for the present. One particularly harried morning when I ran in sans makeup to pick up an assortment for breakfast guests, one of them caught my arm and and said with great concern, “You look tired today!”

I was hoping to insert a photo of cartoon from the NYer, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. Can anyone help?

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

re 17A, GAPING MAW, and, crossing, 8D, TRAITOR, referring to Brutus. Dante placed Brutus (and Judas Iscariot) in the gaping maw of Lucifer, literally in his throat, in the very center of hell, the worst place anywhere. With the current political situation, I'm relieved to find that Dante did not use the Italian word "fauci" to refer to this maw. The Italian *fauci* means something like mouth or throat (fauces, a Latin word, can be found in most English dictionaries, taken over from the Latin as an anatomical technical term for an area of the throat). The Italian "fauci" for animals can mean "jaws," as Dante used it in reference to Cerberus (according to some readings).

Brutus in hell became controversial in the Renaissance, as defenders of republican traditions (e.g. in Florence, ca. 1400) found him a heroic defender of liberty against Caesarian tyranny. I suspect nearly all references to Brutus among American founding fathers would have been favorable.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

kitshef 4:00 PM  

@CT2Napa: drongo????

@Birchbark - I was really hoping you would not explain the reference.

@George Carlin - too true, and utterly apt for today's non-argument.

Newboy 4:15 PM  

Anonymous totally disadvantaged said...
@Newboy our e-mails?


11:44 AM

All the poster with@before their avatar have “profiles” on Many provide an email link as I did; others have no email by choice which is fine; some have NOTHING so the profile is useless.

bertoray 4:16 PM  

@Rachael thanks for your choice of word of the day. I learned about Lara and her psychopomp Mercury. Psychopomp. I so want to appropriate that term, as in resident psychopomp.

JC66 4:23 PM  


If you email me, I'll send you an embedding cheat sheet.

Masked and Anonymous 4:25 PM  

Ahar! Semi-extensive M&A Help Desk research has revealed a type of BAGELS that is actually called the "Everything Bagel". Now that BAGELS clue makes some sense to m&e. And I can now finally close my gaping maw jaw.

DEMENTOR? Sooo …ok, M&A now realizes he has lost valued bonus points for an otherwise pristine mint solvequest solution. I had DEMENTER, and dumbly [trumply?] somehow overlooked comments above about that, until doin some re-readathon fun.

@JC66 (3:04pm version) - That would be quite a CT2Napa puzthemer list, if one wanted to pack em all in. It would be like an Everything Trump thingy.
M&A often gets confused about words that offend. Don't mean no harm. It really crimps my other Trump Reference List word selections, tho.
How'bout ASSHOLE? Is that still ok, or are proctologists maybe gettin offended?

Hey -- I figure M&A probably offends a few blog readers a lot, just elidin my -ing's and usin "yer" for "your" and such. I've gotten that a lot, over my years of bloggin. But it's the way I've always talked, havin been brought up in small towns out here, so it always seemed more honest & authentic somehow, to bein myself. Man, it sure offends Otto Correct, tho...


Z 4:40 PM  

@Anoa Bob - I was wondering about that clue/answer. I thought you needed R.E.M. SLEEP to feel rested, yet power naps do seem to work. Why? I’ve done it when on a long drive; pull into a rest area, take a 10-15 minute nap, and feel good to go. It seems as if I didn’t get R.E.M. SLEEP in that 10-15 minutes I wouldn’t feel as refreshed.

@M&A - I’ve never understood why, but BAGELS with everything are pretty popular. Personally, good asiago BAGELS are the best.

@Pete12:46 - I think the case can be made for both in multiple jurisdictions.

@KnittyContessa - I almost used “ariose” in Scrabble today. (God, I hate Scrabble - Makes Monopoly seem interesting).

@CDilly52 - I agree, but you probably already knew that.

@CT2Napa - Your list reminded me of the existence this useful volume. I wonder if it rivals the OED definition of “set” in length.

@Michael Page - The only thing I can think is that the slang identifier was omitted because it’s Saturday.

@Anon12:39 - Even with the Academy trying to police French, what’s spoken in Alsace is not the same as what’s spoken in Paris is not the same as what’s spoken in Languedoc. When I was in Languedoc I was often mistaken as British because of the facial hair and saying “weigh” instead of “wee.” My French was crap, but at least my crappy French had a little of the local accent. Then there’s Québécois. Ne pas la même chose. The Royal Spanish Academy has an equally quixotic mission. Catalan is as prevalent as Castilian in Barcelona and it’s in the same country as Madrid. Let’s not even pretend that there’s any control over the languages spoken in the Americas. Those language police can try as they might, they are tilting at windmills.

@anon/Poggius - I had the same thought, fleetingly, as I wrote in TRAITOR. Revenge of the Sith has a more American riff as the heroic Jedi Mace Windu fails to kill the Caesarean Emperor Palpatine. Precious nanoseconds were wasted pondering who was actually the evil one on the Ides of March. Which has now, thanks to your post, reminded me of David Brian’s critique from 20 years ago, one which remains apt still.

@Whatsername12:44 - Thank you. That’s what I strive for but I know I don’t always succeed. I do try to remember to reread before I hit publish when I am debating some point, which means I do edit out a fair amount of snark.

Aketi 4:42 PM  

@birchbark, from 8:39 am, hope your wife continues to get better.

@Gill I, since I learned my bad baby Spanish in the altiplano of Peru, I thought of LLAMAS first. I had no idea that it meant goat kids.

@Nancy, your mask solution from yesterday has definitely been explored thoroughly by my fellow lactation consultants who now are only working virtually unless they are on staff in the hospitals. So they have lots of time to make designer masks and post competitive pictures of their creations.

My solution was to take the cotton gauze rolls that I bought to try to cope with the Cone Wars I engaged in with Charlie the cat who had licked his belly raw with some sort of allergy. After he managed to figure out how to take off two different types of cones in under 1 second and popped two neck pillows, I thought maybe I could attach a long length of gauze to the cone and wind the gauze around his limbs and over his belly and somehow that might keep him from clawing it off his head. Needless to say it did not end well.

So I repurposed the gauze rolls and used three layer accordion fold technique with hair bands and managed to make a mask. Probably as porous as Swiss cheese, but I went on the principal that if you layer enough Swiss cheese slices on top of each other you will eventually over the holes. Not vouching for the efficacy of the technique but the mask is comfortable. FYI, Fortunately Charlie’s medicine started to work once I abandoned the cone wars.

I do feel very sad about friends and colleagues and clients I know that have the virus including some who have not made it like a very beloved obstetrician in Brooklyn and of course John V. Every day is precious as is every relationship. May all of you stay safe and healthy or get better soon if you already have the virus.

CaryinBoulder 4:54 PM  

I finished 4-ish minutes faster than my average (which probably doesn’t included numerous Saturday DnFs), so I guess it was fairly easy. As usual, my first pass left a sea of WHITE, but perseverance eventually paid off.

But let me say: Would someone please do a whole puzzle full of Harry Potter and rap references so I never have to see them again? I didn’t read the HP books, saw the first movie and thought it was “meh,” and now have to pay for eternity for those sins via the NYTXW.

The MORON/IDIOT stack offended me, as it clearly did others, because it brought me out of PuzzWorld and back to the reality where the Bloviating BLOWTARD gets to prove his crisis cred by making the absolutely worst possible decisions every single day, ad Infinitum. Will he ever learn to shut his GAPING MAW?

@pabloinnh if you’re returning to read this far down, re your comments yesterday I haven’t been to Gold Hill in quite a while. My old friend Washboard Chaz Leary used to be the mayor there. He’s hightailed to lower lying climes in New Orleans.

No baseball references today, so I’ll have to go make my own.

Malsdemare 5:04 PM  

@carola, you must love close to my daughter. She's on Monroe two blocks from the lake.

I'm making masks like crazy for our local health care workers, family and friends. So by the time I can comment, it’s all been said. But I agree with the majority; fun puzzle that was petty easy only because of a few gimmees. Thanks, YY. Excellent work.

Whatsername 5:40 PM  

@George Carlin (2:12) Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? I always add “and all the others are MORONs.”

@Z (4:40) At one point there was an anonymous post right after GILL’s at 12:06. It was responding to yours at 11:34 and used the adjectives which I repeated in mine at 12:44. Shortly after that it disappeared, but I thought I would tell you that’s what I was making reference to, in case you were wondering why I said that.

Dave 6:08 PM  

I was cruising until I got to the corner with DEMENTOR. As a GenXer with no kids, I have neither read these children’s books nor seen the movie. What might be easy for the kids was impossible for me. Total Natick.
Definitely prefer it when NYTXW skews to me or my elders. Tolkien and Roald Dahl, no problem. Whatsherface, don’t know and don’t care.

Z 6:14 PM  

@Whatsername - I saw that post - I assume that one, the “whom” one, and the 1:14a.m. were the ones the Mod deleted for grammar policing. I didn’t notice any others.

@Lewis - It took me forever to get 1D of the Stumper. I assume you saw through it immediately.

Unknown 6:19 PM  

Oh god, here we go. Turn up the PC Meter to 9.3

QuasiMojo 6:43 PM  

@Z I thought 1D was too obvious. But I loved that ch-thonic corner!

Anoa Bob 7:03 PM  

Z@4:40, a power nap, or just a nap, can be beneficial and recharge the batteries, so to speak, without going into the REM stage. If you are very sleep deprived, you might enter REM earlier after sleep onset, but years of research with volunteers who were monitored during their night's sleep show that REM typically sets in around 90 minutes after sleep onset and occurs several times at 90 minute intervals during the night.

There are some clear signs that a person is in REM, for both males and females. REM is an acronym for one of these, Rapid Eye Movement. Narrative dreaming---where there is a story line to the dream---is another. Sexual arousal also accompanies REM, erection for males and lubrication for females. The major skeletal muscles are also paralyzed during REM. (Some people wake up during their last REM of the night and experience this paralysis. It can be frightening.) If you experienced any of these in your rest stop naps, you were probably getting some REM.

Nancy 7:23 PM  

@Aketi and GILL -- I didn't exactly create a mask. I cut an old bra in half, cut off the clasp and the inner tag, and found that -- voila! --it would cover my face, sort of, when I pulled the bra straps over my ears. It's a bit skimpy, to tell the truth, I wish it were broader and covered more of my face, and SNL would have a field day making fun of it. They could open cold with it and build their whole show around it. I didn't wear it today and I'm not sure I ever will. Maybe Mals or Aketi can make me a better one? I'm not very handy and I came close to failing Sewing Class at P.S.6.

Z 7:40 PM  

@QuasiMojo - I did the D’Oh slap when I got it. Yes, perfectly obvious in hindsight.

pabloinnh 8:05 PM  

@CaryinBoulder-Yep, still here, watching Game 4 of the 2004 World Series, Red Sox at St. Louis. I've seen it before. It will never get old.

My friends have been in Gold Hill since the 70's so I'm sure they knew the mayor. My buddy's wife was the fire chief for years. Drove out years and years ago, but it's a place that stays in the memory. Thanks for responding, I appreciate it.

Anonymous 8:13 PM  

Hey mods
Thats at least 6 posts from z. What gives?!

JC66 8:23 PM  

@Anon 8:13

You have something else to do, go do it.

GILL I. 8:24 PM  

@Anony 8:13....Shut up. Maybe you need to wear a bra over your face. Most everyone here is staying at home and going nuts. What better place to fraternize?
@Nancy....Can you send me a picture????? You cannot imagine what my imagination has conjured up.
I need milk and I need vanilla. (sigh). Hand cream is also in short supply.

Anonymous 8:30 PM  

Mwah! You too.
Three very reasonable posts of mine have bern spiked. Ive been here longer than our friend from Michigan. Or you too.
My requests and questions are fair and civil
Not sure you can say the same.

jae 8:31 PM  

@Z & Quasi - 1d was the only thing I had in that corner for more than a couple of nanoseconds. I do the Stumper on my morning walks so it gets done over a day or two depending on difficulty. I glanced at the clue for 12d when I came back this morning and have spent a fair amount of time today trying to recreate the Monopoly board in my way to kill an hour or...

Anoa Bob 8:38 PM  

I've been following the news about the firing of Captain Brett Crozier of the carrier USS Roosevelt, and an image accompanying one of the reports seemed apropos of the recent there-are-no-ropes-on-a-ship discussion on these pages.
If I get the link right, you can see off to the Captain's right a bright shiny brass bell and if you look closely you will see, hanging down from inside the bell, a BELL ROPE. They're quite common. I even have one on my little 28 foot sailboat. Yes, boats can have ropes.

JC66 8:42 PM  

@Anon 8:30

I've been following @Rex since 2008. If you only had a blue name, we could compare.

Anonymous 8:43 PM  

Hard pass. Go on about yiur business.

Anonymous 8:45 PM  

I assume you're drunk JC. That's why I didn't comment on the grammar, or typo, or intelligibility of yiur last post.
Sleep it off pal.

JC66 8:48 PM  

@Anon 8:43

That's why anonomice have zero credibility.

JC66 8:51 PM  

@Anon 8:45

P.S. Since you're @Anon, we have no idea how many times you've posted!

JC66 8:53 PM  

@Anon 8:45

Since I'm social distancing, I can go on all night.

GILL I. 9:02 PM  

@JC66. I've gone waaaaay over my limit but dang....I'd be having a drink with you about now. BUT I have to social distance. I'm almost out of scotch. Waaaah.

JC66 9:13 PM  


FYI, on Saturdays, I have a martini. Stirred, not shaken (when you shake it, ice chips break off and it dilutes the drink).

BTW, I wish I could test out one of your bras. ;-)

BTW2, Since we're social distancing I think the 3 post limit is suspended for the duration.

Anonymous 9:37 PM  

BTW2, Since we're social distancing I think the 3 post limit is suspended for the duration.

More significantly: no restriction on divergencies?

Anonymous 9:48 PM  

Here's a serendipitous one:
"Taiwan rapidly produced and implemented a list of at least 124 action items in the past five weeks to protect public health"

See ACTION ITEM is really lingua franca

Malsdemare 9:49 PM  

@nancy, Mals will definitely make you one. I just need to know where to send it, meanwhile, STAY SAFE!

Barb Chamberlain 10:34 PM  

Thank you for calling out the ableist answers. They continue to include these and others. What will it take to make them as unacceptable as other words that don't show up because they're slurs? I occasionally call them out and tag them on Twitter for public shaming value, and they ignore that.

Smith 11:01 PM  

@Nancy and Mals
Like the bra idea. Working on making masks out of many, many scraps, but no elastic, so trying to, ahem, make my own bias tape. Well, that really needs a rotary cutter. Then today a complete stranger (who looked like Bob Odenkirk in a mask) offered me a "free mask" - his words - after watching me struggle to tie a heavy scarf around my face so I could go into a store. It's a paper version. He told me to "spray it with alcohol" so I could reuse it. Huh. Don't have any sprayable alcohol (running low on the drinkable kind as well).

Thought the puzzle was tough, although got it done. Had DEMENTeR, oh well. My kids were the right age for HP but not interested because they were reading Philip Pullman.

Liked ONSAFARI best.

Smith 11:02 PM  

And now almost 160 comments, after all the grammar stuff.

CDilly52 11:46 PM  

Well, I finally found time in between work emergencies emergencies to read the comments today. To those of you for whom 56 and 58A are merely terms for someone who annoys you or fails whatever test would permit her/him to breathe the rarified air at your elite level, have it your way. You summarized my feelings nicely, @LMS. I look forward to see what Sunday brings.

Z 11:57 PM  

@JC66 - It’s @grandpamike

Pooshlar 9:15 AM  

I am super sad to hear about John V. He was one of the very few people I would seek out to read his comments. He talked about his experience with the puzzle, not about his dog or the President and all of the Face Bookey drivel that I hate browse. Long live JAE and some other people who don't come here anymore like August West, people who helped me finally crack the code to doing crossword puzzles.

Waxy in Montreal 10:24 AM  

Enjoyed solving this far-too-easy Saturday puzzle in syndieland while shoving a couple of cream cheese-topped Montreal BAGELS (the best in the world) into my GAPINGMAW. In fact finished it before the bagels which still leaves about 14 hours to kill today before hitting the SERTA for REMSLEEP. May become a READATHON day.

Loved the SAUTEED / SOULS cross. In fact, has provided an excellent idea for supper.

Only problem was with LARA which laddered from LEDA to LENA to LANA but sadly no further.

OUTTA here.

spacecraft 11:42 AM  

Wow, y'all thought this was EASY??? Not chez spacecraft. I fought tooth and nail with this puppy after getting a decent start in the SW. That, and the NE, open narrowly, and I had no idea about CROPTOP. It seemed like eons till I finally thought: OUTTA? Could this really be OUTTA? And WTF is ONEOFFS?? Somebody needs to explain that one. Off.

Then I tripped over the senaTOR's toga--or was it one of his SARIS?--and almost DNF on account of that TRAITOR. It eventually came down to the SE--and I don't know the Harry Potter thing. After considerable toil, I hit on 42a: don't think food, think dog. That was devious. Fair but devious. Bordering on the diabolical. Still I wasn't sure everything was right till I checked it out here. Luckily, my mind was SETATEASE, but triumph points run off the scale.

I really dislike LATEN as one of those words that Nobody Ever Uses. When's the last time you heard anyone say "We'd better go; it LATENS." I think LATEN should refer to modern Latin.

Agree that the terms IDIOT and MORON apply to the current [non-]administration. DOD is LARA Croft as played by Angelina Jolie; honorable mention to Julie Christie's LARA in Dr. Zhivago. Birdie.

Anonymous 12:59 PM  

JOHN X - I agree. This was infested with pissers. Love seeing the phonies line-up to eagerly claim how easy and quickly done this was. You can count on it.

leftcoaster 3:31 PM  

A gettable Saturday, but I didn't get it all. Liked it, even enjoyed it, anyhow.

Early errors: Wanted senaTOR before TRAITOR crossed by unknown SIA; ARIOSe before ARIOSO crossed by the tricky LAB; and pagoda before RAMADA.

Words we might do without: MORON, IDIOT. For that matter, ALPHA NERD isn't much of a compliment for a math whiz or "mathlete", either. (Yeah, I know, a word is just a word... blah, blah, blah.)

Diana, LIW 4:05 PM  

I'm with @Spacey and @Lefty - not THAT easy. At all. At first, I was staring at blankness.

Then, one by one, I got it. To my complete surprise.

But not easy - not at all.


Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

I won't even tell you how my local paper stopped printing Saturdays and I had to be helped by @Teed to get the puz. Sheesh - again.

Teedmn 8:34 PM  

@Diana, LIW, pleased to be of help. :-)

Burma Shave 8:41 PM  


MRS. EULER I love your CROPTOPs,
IDARESAY LAARA, they do please,
but take ONEOFF at the RAMADA,


rondo 8:58 PM  

Jesus. Rachel Fabi must be a really fun date. More pre-offended than OFL. Surely can't abide Three Stooges. IDIOT and MORON were 'scientific' terms 100 years ago on a scale measuring intelligence. And most of you seem to buy psychology as 'science'. Same era as Freud, which is why I reject all that crap. But terms, nevertheless. I lived with an Adlerian therapist for 10 years - they're all the ones who are nuts.

In the corners you can find a DRIB, but not a drab.

Yeah baby SIA.

Additional commenters like @CDilly need to wake up. God help us all.

rondo 10:38 PM  

Don't care about degrees or Jeopardy accomplishments. Misguided is misguided.

rondo 10:53 PM  

And of course, DRIB is a backwards BIRD, or chick, of whom I commentes earlier.

Anonymous 2:54 AM  

Not very easy for me. Had to slog through all the Saturday type clues and answers.

And thanks to @cdilly for standing up for all the numbskulls of the world !

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