Classic source of damask / FRI 5-22-20 / Marina frequenter informally / Instrumental that might accompany blooper reel / Noted surname among 1973 Yale Law graduates / Cheaper option of tech device maybe

Friday, May 22, 2020

Constructor: Hal Moore

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (maybe more Medium) (5:30, first thing in a.m.)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ROSE ROYCE (49A: Soul group that did the soundtrack for "Car Wash") —
Rose Royce is an American soul and R&B group. They are best known for several hit singles during the 1970s including "Car Wash", "I Wanna Get Next to You", "I'm Going Down", "Wishing on a Star", and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore". (wikipedia)

• • •

Really liked this grid. The "?"-cluing game was way off today—didn't like any of them, felt like there were too many of them (in the south, anyway), and, well, ECOLI is a weirdly bleak answer to get cheeky with (25A: Cause to recall?)—but the grid itself was chock full of fun stuff. I might be riding a little high on knowing ROSE ROYCE and consequently playing ROSE ROYCE in my head for half of the solve. I wonder how hard this puzzle breaks, difficulty-wise, depending on whether you know who ROSE ROYCE are or not. If you *don't* know it, seems like you'd need virtually every letter from crosses. And since one of those crosses is also a not-necessarily-household name from pop culture (DONAGHY), I can see things getting mucky in there (46D: Jack ___, Alec Baldwin's "30 Rock" role). But when you know the proper names, and crash through them, *and* enjoy them irl, then the solving pleasure factor all of a sudden goes zooom. Not even the horrific-on-every-level YACHTIE could completely eliminate the high I got from the better answers in this grid (43D: Marina frequenter, informally).

It was not easy going at first, though. I thought it was going to be a slog after I made my first pass at the Downs in the NW (which is how I typically approach a grid like this, with long Acrosses up top). That first pass yielded me precisely one solid answer: WES Unseld (5D: Basketball Hall-of-Famer Unseld). So yet again I was a beneficiary of knowing a proper name ... sometimes things just fall your way; I would be very sympathetic to any solver who was like "f*** all these names!"—WES Unseld and ROSE ROYCE are both solid '70s answers, and not everyone remembers / was alive during the '70s. Anyway, not sure WES felt like such a huge get early on, since he was all I had. But then I turned to the long Acrosses up there and EVIL EMPIRE was a gimme (another benefit of being oldish and having lived through a bygone era) (15A: The U.S.S.R., to Reagan). With EVIL EMPIRE in place, the NW got a lot easier. Once I got out of that corner, there weren't many serious hold-ups after that. The NW often feels the hardest to me because that's where I typically start, so I have no toeholds. But looking back now, I think it's actually empirically the hardest, today, EVIL EMPIRE aside. The clues on every Down from 6- to 10- is at least ambiguous if not downright tricky. But once out of there, smooth sailing. Oh, hey, I knew "YAKETY SAX" too, and I'm beginning to realize that my age may have something to do with my sailing (if not yachting) through this (26A: Instrumental that might recall a blooper reel). "YAKETY SAX" is familiar to me from "The Benny Hill Show," which aired ... well, a while ago.

["YAKETY SAX" is the closing credits song]

All these pop culture answers are *right* over the plate for me. There's a boomer/Xer quality to the puzzle. I guess I don't think showing your age (whatever your age is) is a bad thing. This one manages to feel very '70s/'80s without, to me, feeling dreary and bygone in that lazy, crosswordese-ish kind of way. Helps that the grid is clean and not ICKY. I enjoyed seeing PATRIARCHY, which, coming from the NYTXW, has a certain aptness to it, but ... at least today, it's crossing DRUG.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:47 AM  

How could they clue 35A the way they did and not mention Roxy Music?

Lewis 7:00 AM  

The was [All over the place] in a very good way, ranging from the slang (YACHTIE) to the academic (PATRIARCHY, IDEOLOGUES), with spot-on vague and wordplay clues (I starred eight, very high for me), [Not to mention] a bottom EDGE, and, I must report, as your resident alphadoppeltotter, a very low double-letter count (4, where anything under 5 is highly unusual) for only the third time this year.

And, for me, this puzzle had a clear and present Tipping Point, that rare and glorious moment before which I'm scrambling for anything, please dear Lord, anything, and then the domino tips, and the grid caves, splat after splat after splat. A thrilling rise from deep in the hole to the triumphal apex.

So thank you, Hal, for a puzzle that was amazing, beautiful, crazy-good, delightful, YACHTIE YACHTIE YACHTIE.

Joaquin 7:03 AM  

After struggling to finish this puzzle I checked the notes because I wanted to verify what I believed to be true: Hal Moore, the puzzle’s constructor, must be the Mayor of Natick.

Spoiler alert: He’s not.

I’d never heard of DONAGHY or ROSEROYCE or YETI coolers; never heard BOP used as clued, I didn’t know YAKETYSAX was an actual thing; YACHTIE seems like a goofy thing to call the owner of a multi-million dollar boat; and lots of unforced errors.

In my defense, however, I will say I was able to get fairly quickly and without any write-overs 56D, as I already had OMEN. So there’s that!

Geezer 7:04 AM  

I second @Rex and @Lewis. A very solid Friday.

kitshef 7:23 AM  

One of those puzzles where I was constantly stymied not by barely-recalled words or puzzling clues, but by proper names (YAKETY SAX, DONAGHY), slang I have never heard (BOP, YACHTIE), and whatever HAREM pants is supposed to mean. Ergo not a fun solve for me.

I did appreciate the clue for ORAL EXAM, where I fell right into the proposal trap. My other big whiff was BIBLE BOOKS before folk wisdom.

pabloinnh 7:23 AM  

OFL is dead on when he suspects that not knowing ROSEROYCE will throw a monkey wrench into the solving gears, which it certainly did for me. Also agree that the clue for ECOLI is way off.

First we get some form of YACHT as a verb, and now we get some form of YACHT as a nickname. Can adjectives be far behind? "My that double-breasted blazer sure makes you look YACHTIY."

EVILEMPIRE should of course be clued as "AL team from NY" and WES should be "Milwaukee Braves outfielder Covington". More baseball in a puzzle is always better.

Thanks for a worthy Friday, HM. Some more modern lingo goes in the toolbox.

GILL I. 7:30 AM  

So yeah....this was cool beans except for that unfortunate pile up of DUPAC ROSE ROYCE DONAGHY. It sounds like a name for an attorney's office.
EVIL EMPIRE was my very first. I'm glad Hal did't include Gorbachev because I don't know how to spell his name. Putin is easy because if you change his "I" to an "a" you get another meaning - if you know what I mean.
The androcentric social system/PATRIARCHY was interesting. I think I read somewhere that men don't believe there are any advantages to being a man at work. I just love the evolution of masculinity.
So PEAT is a natural flavorer of Scotch? I think of bogs and fens when I see PEAT. Scotch is more like wood and fire - especially if it's a good one.
I like ICKY crossing YACHTIE. I'd love to meet someone who says he's a YACHTIE type person. He'd probably describe his Scotch as being peaty. Oh look...I just saw KLEENEX crossing NOSY. Haha.

Hungry Mother 7:34 AM  

Very easy for this end of the week. I was surprised when it was over so soon. No dinghIES at the marina this time out, just some of their occupants. I’ve a feeling of dread for a rebound tomorrow.

Z 7:41 AM  

What is Rex putting in his coffee? The new kitten must be taking off the edge. I dunno, something.

Who thinks double Ena clues are in any way a good idea? I was already thinking “Wow! Who let the ese out” at DOE and ran smack into AUNT. ENA is the Yoko Ono of animated deer, so absolutely no problem here, but it’s the kind of esoteric trivia that stereotypes crossworld as a bunch of dowdy octogenarians. “Hey Gramps! How do you know minutia from 78 year-old movies but you can’t figure out how to Zoom?” I fully expected to run into Yma Sumac and Asta today. I dunno, maybe using Ena in the clue instead of in the grid is supposed to be some sort of meta-commentary on bad fill or something. It just made me cringe.

We do manage to get a little more current in places, but the music vibe is definitely centered in 1976. I couldn’t help but notice that the rap artist who makes an appearance has been dead for a quarter century. YAKETY SAX was released in 1963, ROSE ROYCE started performing in 1973, OTIS Williams began performing in 1958, MC Hammer was performing in HAREM pants in 1990. What I’m saying is this puzzle thinks pop culture stopped in 1995.

I didn’t hate this effort. I just wish it acknowledged that a new century has started. Hell, one of the biggest newsmakers of the last half decade is even relegated to 1973. You would think something, anything, she did in this century could find its way into a Friday clue. But no, wouldn’t want to throw the youngs any sort of acknowledgement that they exist.

TJS 7:58 AM  

Anyone else suspect that Rex and Hal Moore are pals? 99 times out of a hundrd, Rex destroys a puzzle that tilts this old, but today doesn't "feel" "dreary and bygone". This is the Friday that I was hoping to save the week. Sigh.

QuasiMojo 8:09 AM  

I wanted to post the lyric to Noel Coward's song about Mad Dogs and Englishmen going out in the "noonday sun" but he wrote "midday sun." He does rhyme it later with "noonday gun."

This was a tricky puzzle. Never heard of these YETI coolers. That Y crossing was tough for me. But love the Benny Hill video, Rex.

@Z, I bet Dennis RODHAM wore HAREM pants too back then.

Patrick 8:11 AM  

I quite liked this one. Granted, this was one of the first Fridays I've ever finished with no help, so I'm biased.

Had never heard of ROSE ROYCE, but I had a nice crossword moment when I had ROSER_YCE, and the wordplay became apparent.

I also got YACHITE fairly quickly, after spending far too much time watching Below Deck on Bravo, and then erased it, because there was no way NYT would put YACHITE in a puzzle, right? But then I got ICKY, and everything else fell into place (including OCEAN).

I enjoyed this one a lot.

albatross shell 8:16 AM  

WES was so much fun to watch. The passing at the foul line. The way he wore down opposing, much--taller centers by leaning on them the whole game. A wide body, impossible to move back. I always preferred guarding a taller guy than a shorter heavier wider guy. There should be a height plus width stat in basketball.

Loved the humor in this one, both light and dark. Good triple stacks.

I had to look up both ROSEROYCE & DONAGHY for traction.

RODHAM AT LIBERTY, despite Current regime.


Suzie Q 8:16 AM  

I was surprised at the glowing review. Oldish clues and answers are usually taboo to Rex. Nice to read a pleasant write-up for a change.
I'm disappointed in not finding a Roxy Music video like @ Anon 6:47.
For me, the entire grid was full of interesting answers like noon day sun and yakety sax.
Could a mythical sailor be a yeti yachtie?

OffTheGrid 8:17 AM  

I side eyed YACHTIE but looked into it and found this reference:

YACHTIE: pronounced [yot-tee] A person whose occupation it is to maintain and navigate a luxury yacht. A yachtsman whose duty is to keep the overindulgences, idiotic ideas, and beloved secrets onboard the world's richest play toys.


webwinger 8:20 AM  

This one left me cold. Dropped in EVIL EMPIRE right off the bat. Took way too long to figure out RODHAM. None of the other PPP was familiar, though I managed to finish without googling. Liked YAKETY SAX. That is all.

Oh, but one more thing: It bothers me that E COLI so often gets a bum wrap. (Oops, didn’t intend that pun but happy to take credit.) There are of course strains that are highly pathogenic, causing severe gastroenteritis and exacerbating other disorders, and you definitely don’t want it (or any other intestinal flora) in your bloodstream, and the presence of the bug in water supply typically indicates ICKY fecal contamination, but most EC’s are benign residents of the lower GI tract, contributing significantly to our now prized microbiome. Add to that the fact that a great deal of genetic and molecular biologic research made use of this bacillus, making it a major benefactor of humanity in an entirely different way.

puzzlehoarder 8:26 AM  

A good Friday. This came in about 5 minutes over the average. It was ironic to see ORALEXAM at 9D as my first guess for 1A was ORALWISDOM.

I did Thursday's and today's puzzles back to back last night. I'm back to doing paid work again and time is short. An easy QB yesterday.

JB 8:35 AM  

I think yachties are the people who work as crew on the yachts...

kitshef 8:51 AM  

Well, stap me vitals. I have gone my whole life calling MC Hammer's pants "parachute pants". Now I find out that parachute pants are something else entirely, and that there is a thing called 'harem pants'.

nick 9:01 AM  

yakety sax???!!!!
never in my life 👎🏼

Anonymous 9:18 AM  

Rex your opinions on puzzles are all over the place. You disparage a lot of crosswords because they feel old-timey yet this one you champion because you *happen* to know the 70s/80s clues? Your opinion is your opinion but it feels off that your public judgment is so biased against your personal enjoyment that it's really hard to get a consistent analysis, especially when it comes to later in the week

I'll continue to hate-read these posts though.

Z 9:25 AM  

@kitshef - If you google parachute pants images you will see that you are not alone. For those not familiar, “parachute pants” are made from nylon, the same kind of material one might think a parachute is made from, and were a thing in the 1980’s (yes, I owned a pair or two). HAREM pants are what you see in that MC Hammer video in my earlier post. It is the bagginess, not the material, that defines HAREM pants. I suspect some of the confusion comes from both being popular in African American youth culture, and then migrating out to the broader culture.

Rex Twitter Report: Rex wrote In which a puzzle feels "bygone" and I somehow like it
@TJS - Rex does like most of Moore’s puzzles, but he did write But there is literally zero interest from the solver's point of view. Who. The. Hell. Cares. About two-letter strings? once. Hard to square that review with the “Rex is easy on constructors he likes” contention. (@everyone - It is easy to find Rex’s previous critiques of today’s constructor- in the web version scroll to the bottom of the post to find “Labels” - click on the constructor’s name and the ten most recent puzzles by that constructor will load in your browser)

@QuasiMojo - You have to know that your RODHAM quip made my “well actually” muscle twitch. I’ll control that little spasm by noting that the Chicago Bulls have a losing playoff record to Dennis Rodman’s Detroit Pistons. 1-3 Series, 10-12 Games. Those Bulls couldn’t win a damn thing until the League got easier.

BTW - The PPP may skew old, but it is not what I would normally call excessive, 22 of 72 or 31%. Get rid of the Ena clues and it is only 28%. Both are below the 33% standard where we expect to see lots of wheelhouse/outhouse comments.

Gentleman Farmer 9:26 AM  

Liked it very much...but I admit to knowing “Rose Royce” right off the bat. On the other hand, “Yachtie” should have been the answer to “Eliciting an EWW!”

mathgent 9:31 AM  

Learned some things. YAKETYSAX. Languages of PERU. ROSEROYCE. BOP as slang for a good song. Cleopatra’s speech as she put an ASP to her breast. That’s enough to make the puzzle worthwhile.

“Bambi’s aunt” was a frequent clue in the puzzles of yore. Haven’t seen it for ages.

I’m reading RODHAM, the new novel by Curtis Sittenfeld. It imagines Hillary’s life if she hadn’t married Clinton. Sittenfeld also wrote An American Wife, a fictionalized biography of Laura Bush. She’s quite a writer.

OPA is also an interjection of joy used by Greeks when dancing.

Frantic Sloth 9:33 AM  

There was some interesting and mildly amusing wordplay and then there was that whole OMEN/NEMO fiasco - What on earth? How old are we - four??
And YACHTIE?? This is a thing? If so, it's a dumb thing. And trust me - I know from dumb.

Never heard of BOP as an "awesome song", but that could be just my dumb.

I will say this for the puzzle: not a lot of crosswordese-threes which is refreshing, and overall it did provide a challenge.
The good was good and the bad was horrible, but at least there was more of the good, so for me that works out to an overall 👍.

Rating from 🧠 to 🧠🧠🧠🧠🧠:


OffTheGrid 9:37 AM  

@Puzzlehoarder. Impressed that you knew TAIGA. I missed QB by just that one word.

Blade 9:49 AM  

If you have a Laphroiag and don’t describe it as “peaty,” you may have COVID19. “Burning tires” is also an acceptable description.

DavidL 9:57 AM  

I just found this super difficult. Combination of PPP that I didn't know and tricky cluing that I couldn't decipher while solving, although now that I look back on it, doesn't seem unfair. Just not on my wavelength. Well above average Saturday time.

td 9:57 AM  

They sat in front of the fire and drank the Irish whisky and water.
"It's got a swell, smoky taste," Nick said, and looked at the fire through the glass.
"That's the peat," Bill said.
"You can't get peat into liquor," Nick said.
"That doesn't make any difference," Bill said.
"You ever seen any peat?" Nick asked.
"No," said Bill.
"Neither have I," Nick said.

Nancy 9:59 AM  

A mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So you've got your alto SAX and your tenor SAX, but what on earth is a YAKETY SAX? (Spellcheck's not accepting, btw.)

This crosses a brand name, yet. Just why is YETI an "appropriately named" brand of cooler?

Oh, good grief. Now you've got the who-he? DONAGHY crossing the who-she? ROSE ROYCE! I only guessed the cross because of the play on Rolls Royce, the car. And I know the really weird ways that rock groups and soul groups name themselves. Probably to frustrate crossword solvers like me.

I should know what's in the middle of a Q3 report?

What on earth is a YACHTIE???? (Spellcheck's not accepting this either.)

I did like some stuff. The answers FOLK WISDOM; PATRIARCHY; ELIXIR and NOONDAY SUN. (Is Joe Dipinto already up there with the Noel Coward lyric? Must go back and see.) I also liked the clues for RODHAM; LSD; DRUG; and PORE.

A puzzle that had the potential to be delightful-- marred by the inclusion of some real junk.

amyyanni 10:00 AM  

This was a fairly swift one, even without knowing Rose Royce. It became guessable, unlike Kleenex, which was the last word I entered, smiling as I did.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

I'm aware of YAKETYSAX, only filled it in, in protest. Every blooper reel I see, not many of course, are punctuated with a descending Wah, wah, wah trombone-ish sound. The 'Benny Hill' stuff are scripted skits. Don't recall, at all, what sounds are added.

Scotch, it must be, is different from all other hooch, if the composition of the mash determines the taste, since, unless it's made completely differently, all distillation yields 100% alcohol, pristine as a baby's bottom; all burn and no taste, aka Moonshine. The flavors of hooch come from the barrels used to age. Some hooch, don't recall which, are aged in old wine barrels. Bourbon/Tennessee whiskey in new charred maple. And so on. Do the Scots just toss in some local dirt?

Barbara S. 10:15 AM  

My experience was very like @Lewis's (7:00): struggle, struggle, struggle, then quite suddenly it all falls into place. I can't seem to reconstruct exactly how that happened, but I think it had something to do with getting the long downs that contain the Xs: KLEENEX, ORAL EXAM, KICKBOXING and, of course, their crossers. Suddenly, I'm a genius (Hi, SB).

If we're doing a survey, I didn't know ROSE ROYCE but because it's a riff on Rolls Royce, I found it gettable from _O_ER_YCE.

I wore harem pants in the 1970s/80s and they looked nothing like M.C. Hammer's. Yes, his are baggy but surely their defining feature is that extremely low crotch. The HPs I wore were made of very light Indian cotton that fell almost into pleats. They were hip-huggers, the crotch was conventionally situated, and they were roomy all over, but had very tight cuffs around the ankles that gathered in all the extra material. Seriously, they were meant to look like the garb of Eastern women in French Romantic paintings of the nineteenth century. Exotica! I looked quite good in them (if I do say so myself) but, please, someone, tell me I'm not the only person here who wore harem pants like these!

bauskern 10:15 AM  

Wasn't ROSE ROYCE an answer in another puzzle within the past week or so? How did a group that was essentially a one-hit wonder get so famous all of a sudden? To me, this puzzle skewed very 1970s, during my teen years. So EVIL EMPIRE, WES, and ROSE ROYCE were pretty easy. But let's face it, Rex loved this puzzle because it was easy for him. Had he struggled, (a) he wouldn't have given us his finish time, and (b) he would have complained about how dated it is. I wasn't crazy about the NEMO cluing based on OMEN; surprised Rex wasn't all over that. As an earlier poster remarked, there's no consistency in Rex's critiques.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

Thanks, @Quasi. Joe Dipinto's not here yet, but you have just reminded me that the Noel Coward lyric is "midday sun" not "NOONDAY SUN". I should have remembered that.

@Z (7:41) -- I love your observation that "ENA is the Yoko Ono of animated deer." Nice one!

@Frantic Sloth (9:33) -- I'm a bit confused by your emojis. (Or are they emoticons? I never know the difference.) They sort of look like MINI brains. Are they?

KnittyContessa 10:19 AM  

I can't believe I knew ROSE ROYCE but not DONAGHY. I had YACHTeE for the longest time.

Did anyone happen to catch Will Shortz on What's My Line last night? First, he was one of the imposters trying to convince the celebrities he was a beekeeper. When the real beekeeper was revealed, Shortz remained with another man and the celebrities had to guess who the NYT Crossword editor was. One of the celebrities - I have absolutely no clue who she was - was a huge NYT Xword fan and positively giddy to meet Mr. Shortz.

burtonkd 10:21 AM  

- I was given a YETI hat as a promotion at an REI garage sale, so that helped.
- Like, Rex, lots of PPP in my wheelhouse. Love ROSEROYCE, music holds up.
- Just rewatched 30 Rock so DONAGHY went right in. Lots of great NY-centric humor.
- Patton Oswalt's new Netflix special has a bit where 2 Phish concert attendees think of starting an organic breakfast cereal company and one says to the other JINX, buy me a kombucha:)
- @Nancy, listen to the Benny Hill video on Rex's writeup and you'll find YAKETYSAX is something you didn't know you knew. That show hasn't aged well...
- MC Hammer came to mind for me instantly with HAREM pants. Can't touch this!
- @Lewis, that was my experience exactly: oh well, my streak of Fridays is done. Oh wait, and this, and that. Wow, I got it! Ultimate solve experience to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

RooMonster 10:33 AM  

Hey All !
Tough one for me. Googled a few times for stuff I didn't know, as got stuck and just couldn't move forward.

I'm sure I've heard YAKETY SAX as a song, but never knew what it was called. Had the EVIL EMPIRE in 17A, royally messing me up in the NW. Weird clue for AVIAN.

Didn't find puz totally ICKY, but not my cuppa today. Had FEW RAHs for me.

**Spelling Bee Paragraph**Skip if uninterested**
Missed four YesterBee, two I should've gotten. Today's is going slowly also.

One F (right out of the gate, thought we'd be in for many, but alas...)
GAME over

Newboy 10:36 AM  

Only got to the second comment to realize I had nothing else to offer today. @Lewis said it perfectly. BOP was WOE until the O dropped into the final square to lettuce finish.

Nancy 10:37 AM  

"...roomy all over, but have very tight cuffs to gather in all the extra material." Good heavens, @Barbara S! That sounds perfectly awful! I think you just told me you're very tall, like our @GILL. You must be to pull that look off, pun unintended.

If someone of my height wore garb like that, I wouldn't look like someone out of a French Romantic painting -- from the East or from anywhere else. I would look like someone out of a "Wizard of Oz" poster -- namely, a munchkin.

Sir Hillary 10:38 AM  

Felt way more like a Saturday to me — tough, tough tough. But I STEELED myself for battle and fought through, without needing a MEDIC.

RODHAM sitting on ROSEROYCE was my way in.

Definitely skews old — SITEMAP and EBAY are the most current entries in the grid. I’m guessing the SEN clue was the editor’s — it’s 20 years beyond anything else here.

Absolutely love the clue for TAX-HAVENS.

As a Lakers fan, the Bulls-Pistons back-and-forth leaves me cold. I will say, however, that given what it has taken to win in the NBA since forever (namely, at least one superstar), the Pistons’ 2004 title is, to me, the most impressive of any North American pro sports franchise in the last 50 years. A testament to team play and brilliant coaching from the incomparable Larry Brown. That it came against the Shaq-Kobe Lakers is all the more amazing.

Frantic Sloth 10:58 AM  

@Nancy 959am YETI is an "appropriately named" brand of cooler because everybody knows of the beast's fondness for tailgating and camping.
I have no idea why you are not aware of this.

Oh, and to answer your 1018am question - yes, they are emoji brains, size mini. (Also a favorite of the YETI)
I couldn't tell if they were cute or "eewt", so gave them a whirl.
Maybe a mistake. 🤷‍♀️

Soupcan 11:07 AM  

Yep, am a millennial and absolutely hated this board.

QuasiMojo 11:12 AM  

@Z you are too kind. That wasn't a quip on my part. Just an ignorant mistake. Also, harem pants have been in vogue a long time. Leon Bakst designed a pair for a high society fashion plate back in the Roaring 20s.

You're welcome @Nancy.

@Lewis, do SB fanatics consider it cheating to look at the hints on WordPlay? Some of them are super obvious. Just asking because I'm one word away from QB today but hesitant to look. Lol

oisk17 11:15 AM  

Just awful. And not only because I DNF at Yeti with Yakety sax. The clue for "Yeti" is not acceptable, especially crossing "Yakety." Bad. In fact, I had Rakety Sax, with Reti, largely because if it was Yeti, (which was my other choice), I figured it would be clued fairly....

And then we had Rose Royce crossing Tupac and Donaghy, three completely meaningless (to me) entries in the same area. Icky indeed. BOP??? Modern slang? The terrible clue for ecoli? Or for Kleenex? "Pass me a sheet of Kleenex" said no one ever... Two "Ena" clues???


The Vez 11:17 AM  

Sometimes it's good to be a Boomer

Lorelei Lee 11:22 AM  

@Frantic, Yeti - HAR!

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

Peat is used as a fireplace fuel in Ireland and probably in Scotland.

Laura 11:41 AM  

I'm Hal's wife and I always read over the grids before he submits to see where I have questions, what I enjoy, what I don't know, etc. I didn't know what YAKETYSAX was either, until he said it's the benny hill music, which of course I knew. As a baseball fan, I wanted EVILEMPIRE to be clued in reference to the Yankees, alas. He asked me if people would know what a YACHTIE was and I said yes, but I was also deep into a binge of Below Deck on bravo where the term is used quite frequently. I guess my bravo bias is showing.

Azzurro 11:42 AM  

Liked this one a lot. Obscure enough to be challenging, but nothing impossible to get via crosses. Great puzzle.

Carola 11:43 AM  

Slow but steady carried the day. My way in was SPAS x PATRIARCHY, giving me AT LIBERTY and a wealth of helpful crosses that allowed a pleasurable grid meander. I had to skirt the roadblocks of the parallel YACKETY SAX and ROSE ROYCE but was able to come back to dismantle them from below when all else was finished. Last in: the DO of RODHAM x DONAGHY x ROYCE.
I liked the cross of YACHTIE and TAX HAVEN, which might be why the yacht was affordable, as well as STEELED sharing the grid with SYRIA (the Damask clue reminding me of Damascene steel).

Help from previous puzzles: knowing how to spell ELIXIR (IR, not eR). Help from being old: WES. Kvetcher's Korner: I've never, ever found a SITE MAP to be helpful.

Crimson Devil 11:58 AM  

Tried for the longest to squeeze gaucho into pants slot. Had capri for way too long. Being no fashionista, whas difference among HAREM, capri and gaucho britches?

Whatsername 12:04 PM  

Rex is all loving this one because he just happened to “know” stuff today. Unfortunately I did not, especially the Propers, and for me it was one big S.L.O.G. from beginning to end. Started off badly with scriptures, which I knew just had to be correct, at 1A and tried taekwondo with an E on the end, which I knew was probably wrong, at 43D among other misfires. Knew YAKETYSAX but couldn’t think how to spell it. No idea on ROSEROYCE but I like the name. YACHTIE crossing TAXHAVEN was apropos. Good puzzle, I just had a tough time of it today. Didn’t help matters that it’s heavy thunder storming outside, and I had to keep the clipboard just so to keep from disturbing the fraidy cat and dog taking shelter on my lap.

@mathgent (9:31) Early reviews of RODHAM have been mixed, but I’m a big fan of Curtis Sittenfeld so I plan to give it a look. My favorite of hers is “American Wife,” loosely based on the life of Laura Bush.

astrotrav 12:09 PM  

I entered the grid with YAKETYSAX and then went straight to ROSEROYCE. I mean, how many people younger than 50 are going to know either of those? Thanks to those two, and EVILEMPIRE, this was a fairly easy grid to fill for me. Otherwise there's a lot of potential Naticks in this one. All was going well until I DNFed on YACHTIE. That killed the fun.

OffTheGrid 12:09 PM  

@Roo. The Bee has been tough this week.

Re: AVIAN, Kite is a type of bird.

Whatsername 12:12 PM  

@mathgent (9:31) Just skimmed comments again and noticed you also mentioned American Wife in your post. Missed that the first time, duh.

Pamela 12:19 PM  

I’m a Boomer, but that didn’t help me today. Yeti? What? How is that appropriate for cooler? Never heard of YAKETYSAX- although I do remember Benny Hill. How old/young was I when I thought he was hilarious?!

Most of the PPP’s were a miss, too, certainly the sports ones, but also ROSEROYCE. I ended up with blanks all over the place, and big holes in the NW, where the little grey cells refused to kick in and do their job. For 6D, Small handful, I had FEW, which tells you just how far off I was. Oh well. Tomorrow’s another rough day, then maybe Sunday will be fun, I hope.

Jeff 12:26 PM  

This puzzle was a total bop. This was a martial fart addressed to the martial farts running the country. The references may come out of the seventies, but few people then were hip to the privatization of economic gains and the socialization of economic loss that goes by the name of neoliberal capitalism. The pandemic and its mismanagement has forced mass awareness of the way the word really works. And its finally rubbing off on Mr. Shortz.

According to, this is the first time both the words “patriarchy” and “tax havens” have appeared in the puzzle. I doubt that Hal Moore or any constructor for that matter could get away with naming the T-Rex directly in a puzzle so spicy with incrimination of the filthy rich.

Alec Baldwin’s JACK DONAGHY from 30 Rock, however, is a great alternative, as the television mogul character combined all the macho bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia of the Archie-Bunker-style heavy in the more charismatic guise of Apprentice-era T-Rex. 30 Rock marked a political revolution in the comedy landscape as its structure and story lines hastened the demise of the pre-canned, consensus-manufacturing laugh track that characterized televisual fare in the golden age of the boomers (50s-70s). When you parse the raciness of clues like (Cotton, since 2015) and the cheeky inclusion of Rose Royce, you can see just how clever and cross-generational this puzzle is. Some have proclaimed Cotton as the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy 2.0 (China edition) and the renaissance of the Confederate South, while a tribute to a black band, Rose Royce, innocent in another grid, flashes with both the aspirationalism of racial minorities working Car Washes and the pearly Rolls Royce crowd this crossword condemns by wit.

If there were any sound track to our current state of affairs, I can’t think of one more appropriate than YAKETY SAX. Benny Hill is a show that boomers remember fondly, but which social justice warriors have criticized as symptomatic of white supremacy in television programming ever since. On the other hand, most millennials are too young to remember Benny Hill, but have encountered its sound track in every funny compilation video on YouTube. So although there is a lot of pop culture here, its very cohesive from a thematic standpoint, even if this is technically a themeless. I needed a Kleenex to wipe away the Cottonelle. Bravo Mr. Moore.

Malsdemare 12:29 PM  

Typical Friday solve for me. I was all over the grid looking for a toehold; I’d find one, try the crosses and come up empty. On to next clue. Unlike Rex, I didn’t know ROSE ROYCE or WES or DONAUGHY, but I got EVIL EMPIRE and YACHTIE, ‘cause, well, I was one years ago. I’ve hung out at a lot of marinas. Yeah, I know, lucky me!

I thought this was just the right amount of hard, taking me through two cups of coffee. The sun is out today — finally! — and I have flowers to plant. AND!!!! Illinois is very slowly opening up; we go to phase 3 next Friday. We’ve been in lock-down for 11 weeks. Meanwhile, 4 friends will be here tonight to hang out in our squirrel yard; we’ll sit on our own chairs, eat and drink our own libations and food and catch up, all perfectly legal under phase 2. We’ve just been waiting for outdoor weather. Frankly, I feel as giddy as a kid on the last day of school.

I hope you all have reason to be optiistic, though I fear that isn’t the case everywhere. Keep staying safe, everyone,

GILL I. 12:37 PM  

@Nancy...Thanks for that visual giggle. I really don't think ANYBODY can pull off wearing those MC Hammer Harlem pants. He looks like he might've dropped a load in them. On the other hand, you might be able to pull off a classy look with Barbara S's. harem pants. My petite daughter-in-law wear them and she looks tres chic!

BJD 12:52 PM  

The clue for AUG should have a “maybe” or “mostly” attached. It’s not always true.

Doc John 12:53 PM  

What? No picture of the quintessential NOSY neighbor, Gladys Kravitz?

Richardf8 12:55 PM  

Rose Royce. I had not thought of them in years. Took me back to when I was a teen, browsing the albums at Woolworth’s. I never listened to their stuff, but I remember the pun and the album cover.

Malsdemare 12:57 PM  

@ Joachin, and others. Years ago when we bought our first sailboat, we took my mother for a sail. Mom, a total snob, asked archly, “Is this a yacht?” and we grinned like fools to say, “Well, a yacht is anything 25 ft, and over, so yes, this is” (The Atlanta Lady was just at 25 ft.). You don’t need to be a millionaire to own a yacht; just willing to go into debt. We paid $10,000 for her in 1979 and were still paying off the loan when we dragged her to Illinois in 1982.

Our entire “cabin” was maybe the size of a queen-size bed, with two berths (about 2’ by 4’) that were partially under the benches in the stern, another that ran the length of the port side and a loosely named pullout “double” to starboard. (My first camper at 22 feet long had 4 times the space). We’d stuff ourselves and three kids into our battered car, stop at Wade’s BBQ for lunch on Friday and then drive to the marina. We’d board with coolers and swimsuits and head out on Lake Lanier for the weekend. Swimming, beachcombing, and games all day, cookout on board with the mini grill that hung off the stern rail or on the beach, and then cram all five of us into that tiny cabin. We had a portable potty in an area the size of a coffin, a minuscule stove and sink, a table that hung off the mast pole, and more joy and love than I can ever describe.

I remember this one blissful weekend when rafted up with other “yachties” off a point on Lake Lanier where the Beach Boys (!!!) did a concert. Speakers were turned to the myriad boats, kids jumped from one boat/yacht to the next, we all explored one another’s baby, drank a lot of beer. When the music ended, we sailed quietly under the moonlight back to our berth at the marina and tucked our weary, water-logged kids into our cabin. After the kids went to sleep, my husband and I skinny-dipped off the stern and then . . . Well, you can guess the rest.

We sold her in 1987 (kids were too busy with stuff on the weekend) for $6000 and cried all the way home.

And yeah, years later When we had a little money, we’d charter half-million dollar catamarans In Belize or the Abacos, which I guess makes us the snooty yachties, but nothing was ever as blissful as those years stuffed liked sardines on the lovely Lady.

Sorry, just wanted to set the record straight.

A deer named Bambi 12:57 PM  

I Very much enjoyed the puzzle and I’m sure that it was because it was very much in my mid-Boomer wheelhouse. I remember when I was a kid and Yakety Sax (Boots Randolph) played on the radio (only in the car because my radio would have rock). Loved Car Wash but initially I tried to put in Rolls, then thought Rolz?, then finally eureka...ROSE. No problem with DONAGHY except for spelling so I plopped in DON with a Y at end. Personally, I think Millenials can figure out Rodham if they know most folks finish law school at 25 and add 47 years...omg...she’s 72 now!
@Z, Bambi was based on what I thought (but maybe not) a children’s classic before it was made into a movie and a “Little Golden Book.” Loved that book. Much more involved than the Disney production.

Pete 12:58 PM  

How on earth can you people not know about YETI coolers!? Are you serious? You're going to take a lousy $500 cooler on your yacht!? You're just a bunch of punks who call a boat a yacht. Anyone who owns an actual YACHT would have the $800 YETI cooler. (If anyone really doesn't know why YETI is an apt name, YETI's live in the Himalayas, where it's cold.)

I really didn't enjoy this one, though on review it's good. Just didn't like seeing EVILEMPIRE, the reductive re-branding of the East / West face off by an IDEOLOGUE casting their opponent as evil. Apparently, making a complicated story impossible simplistic and casting your opponent as pure evil, works in some fashion. Not one that resolves the issue, but somehow.

Anonymous 1:06 PM  

"The calendar year is used as the fiscal year by about 65% of publicly traded companies in the United States and for a majority of large corporations in the UK"

the wiki. so, yeah, a modifier is in order.

Masked and Anonymous 1:07 PM  

Braking News: PrezTrump ends hydroxy binge. Starts drinkin brake fluid, instead. Claims he can stop, anytime.

Well, hey -- it was a themeless puz, so figured we could use a little extra humor. Anyhoo …
This pup played about as usual, nanosecond-wise, for a FriPuz. Some stuff I didn't really know [DONAGHY, ROSEROYCE, YACHTIE, OPA], mixed with lotsa cool stuff I did [KICKBOXING, ATMOSPHERE, TAXHAVENS, YAKETYSAX, ATLIBERTY, ORALEXAM, KLEENEX].

Got EVILEMPIRE and WIDESPREAD off 3-4 letters each. But got em *cold* -- before ever readin their clues. That ever happen to U? It's sorta like a hybrid of ESP and vague-pattern recognition. Probably happens more often to folks who don't speed solve … when U can better stop and smell the roseroyces.
Got FOLKWISDOM offa the FOL?WISDOM ... right after gettin KLEENEX.

staff weeject pick: OPA. Tough clue. Somehow I'd totally forgotten that OPA could even be admissible to a non-runt puz [until I recalled OPA-Locka]. Honrable mention to the puz's ENAfest, of course.

This time, the Jaws of Themelessness were sawed into two pieces each. Different. Like.

Thanx, Mr. Moore. AREGO! har



JC66 1:28 PM  


Barbara Eden looked pretty good wearing HAREM pants in I Dream of Jeannie

Photomatte 1:41 PM  

Some very old-timey clueing here; had to google a few (and by google, I mean I had to check Rex's post for today :-). My only nitpick is for 29D "All systems _____". The phrase is All Systems Go, not All Systems ARE Go. This reminded me of that Christoph Waltz line from Inglorious Basterds (yes, that's how it's spelled), when he tries out his English by saying "That's a bingo!"

Joaquin 1:44 PM  

@Malsdemare (12:57) - Based on your wonderful recollections of your days on your *yacht*, I'd guess we are of a similar vintage. And yes, those simpler days with the young kids, were golden. Hard to imagine that a generation from now today's young parents will be nostalgic about all those days of parallel video game playing.

jberg 1:46 PM  

Unlike @Rex, I always start with 1A, thought of FOLK WISDOM, did a FEW mental crosses to confirm it, dropped it in, and i was off an running. Those stacks of tens really made this puzzle. I knew the song YAKETY SAX (though I would have spelled it with cK), but didn't get the clue. Rex misquotes it, it's "might accompany a blooper reel," not might recall (that's e coli). And I guess I could kind of imagine that, but not really. Still, it fit, and I had the S_X from crosses, so what else could it be.

i thought YACHTIE was OK, in part because we had the really horrid YACHTER a little while ago, and I was afraid we were getting it again. I would have assumed YACHTIE was like preppy, a mildly pejorative term for a mildly obnoxious group--people who not only owned yachts, but wore white captain's hats and blue blazers with gold braid on them when they went out on them. But the suggestion that it refers to the crew seems persuasive.

I love Islay malt, so I know all about the taste of PEAT, but until today I never knew that it actually comes from peat. Apparently the distillers of Islay mix a little into the barley. Interesting!

My idea of harem pants was what @Barbara S. described; I think the style MC Hammer was sporting comes from men in some parts of West Africa, whereas the others are actually descended from harem attire. But if @Loren was here she'd probably tell me that language evolves; if you do a search for harem pants and click on Images, you'll get pictures of both types. But thanks for the video, @Z, it was cool.

A couple people have asked why YETI is an appropriate name for a cooler. While @Frantic Sloth's answer is hilarious, I'm guessing it's because Yetis, aka abominable snowmen, live where it's cold. I think another brand is called "Eskimo."

pabloinnh 1:48 PM  

@Malsdemare-Funny, from your nom de blog I didn't figure you for a sailor.

Nice story and memories. I found everything to be very yachty.

GILL I. 1:51 PM  

@Mals 12:57...Loved your "little" yacht story. When you got to the "my husband and I skinny-dipped off the stern" I did my usual pause. I'm all for going nekid...just like God intended... but dang, you never know what's lurking underneath. Little fishies and little eels and all kinds of things....You gotta be careful out there.
@JC66. Yeah....but I bet Barbara had a rib removed. ;-)

Barbara S. 1:51 PM  

I don't know if Barbara Eden ever had this problem but I've remembered there was something really rather lethal about wearing harem pants. There was so much extra fabric just about the tight ankle cuffs that it was easy to get your toe caught in it and go flying. (And I don't mean on a magic carpet -- ouch!)

ChuckD 1:54 PM  

Easy - but dull for me given all of the out of date pop stuff. I just assumed Rex would rag on it - but yet again he shows his uneven critiquing. I can’t figure the guy out - when I used to read Kael’s reviews there was never erratic evaluations like we see here.

JC66 1:54 PM  


See Harem pants in my 1:28 post.

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

Stuff from slightly before Rex's time - "This puzzle is an ancient dreck dinosaur!"

Stuff from slightly after Rex's time - "Too much new nonsense that no one knows!"

Stuff that Rex happens to know from life - "Amazing puzzle!"

Crimson Devil 2:07 PM  

Good to see you’ve apparently avoided consequences of your recently confessed felony. AG now on your team too?

albatross shell 2:09 PM  

Is there some reason rETI would be an appropriate name for a cooler? YETIs were the rage a year or two ago. Big ad campaign. YETIs full of frozen steaks were raffled off. Tough and cold.

@Nancy 959am
If your quarterly question was serious, the 3rd quarter is July,August, September. August is in the middle. Sometimes fiscal years are not calendar years.

YAKETY SAX probably stole its title from the Lieber-Soller Coaster song Yakety Yak. And the tune seems at least inspired by the sax break in that song too. Boots Randolph's, writer of YAKETYSAX, solo version is an easy Google search . There is also a Chet Atkins solo version, as well as a Chet, Boots and Ray Stevens trio version called yakety axe. I'm too slow to try to blue link 3 songs. Any reasonably relevant search will get you there.

The Y is pretty easy get if you know the cooler or either song.

What? 2:19 PM  

Third quarter is July, August and September. Ergo...

QuasiMojo 2:33 PM  

And all this time I thought they meant "coolers" as in alcoholic beverages. Doh!

kitshef 2:57 PM  

@Laura- thanks for stopping by. Sounds like other than your call on YACHTIE your notes were spot on.

Joaquin 3:02 PM  

I just took a look at the YETI website and now I know why I was not familiar with their products. In the words of the immortal Frank Barone, "Holy crap!" Those are some pricy coolers.

Tale Told By An Idiot 3:02 PM  

Here is the folk wisdom among the ideologues who now stay in their tax havens: The noonday sun will protect us from the icky virus. Or maybe it is that drug, Hydroxychloroquine, that is the elixir. Whatever, we yachties will be safe in our spas; our patriarchy will remain in tact; we will remain masters of the evil empire we control.

But the site map shows that the virus can cross the ocean, is widespread and is at liberty to get you even in the thin atmosphere high in Peru. So be steeled; stock up on Kleenex and nasal sprays; get yourself an in-house medic; call your CPA; prepare. And maybe, please, amid the luxury of your life, have a mini epiphany about those who live on the edge of disaster and maybe you will be turned to good works and omit the soul-sapping greed from your life.

jae 3:23 PM  

Easy-medium with NW last to fall. No real problems, but like many of you ROSE ROYCE was a WOE and YACHTIE seemed a tad odd. Solid Fri. with a bit of sparkle, liked it.

YAKETY SAX has been in previous puzzles and will probably show up again.

Greg 4:10 PM  

Got it, but barely. The TUPAC/RODHAM/ROYCE/DONAGHY clump should not have been allowed, imo. Trivia contest at that point.

Also, regarding ECOLI, is "recall" supposed to be a euphemism for vomiting? "I drank way too much last night, and had to recall several times."

Malsdemare 4:31 PM  

@Greg, Recall refers to recalling food that's contaminated with ECOLI. Your example in my mind refers more to what my dogs do after they toss their cookies.

Barbara S. 4:34 PM  

@Tale Told 3:02
Bravo! So glad to see you again and the fruits of your labors. I was concerned that you'd left us.

Lewis 5:22 PM  

@quasi -- I regularly do SB, but do not know the group mores. I can tell you that I do as much as I can without going to WordPlay and seeing the double letter chart, regular chart, and clues. But, if needed, if I am truly empty, I do go there because I just want to get it behind me! And there's a cheat that's even more of a cheat than that -- because it can directly reveal all the answers -- but I won't tell you what it is unless you ask.

RooMonster 5:25 PM  

Holy Everything, talk about made up stuff!

**SB Alert!** **Skip if applicable**

Anyone else think in YesterBee that VAGARITY most definitely should've been an answer? I'm short a few today. I always think I'll get back to it, and never do!

RooMonster ARE GOGO Guy

Tori Spelling 5:52 PM  

Bee answers are available the same day at Click on *Show Answers*

Birchbark 5:53 PM  

@Joaquin (3:02) -- re YETI: We have a couple of their ice packs, purchased on faith. I'm not sure what if anything distinguishes them from a generic ice pack or just ice.

@Malsdemare (1:57) -- I love this puzzle for how its words take us to places we didn't expect to go. Your life by way of YACHTIE in a few vivid paragraphs is the perfect example. Excellent.

Yesterday I said I would BRAISE lamb shanks for dinner, but deferred to today and instead made our version of Egg McMuffins. That was just the vibe at the time. So the weather is more gray and conducive today, and the lamb, seared in its cumin-coriander-thyme-red pepper-salt and pepper rub, is covered and simmering slowly for a few hours in a shallow mix of red wine and water, with garlic, onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes and a bundle of fresh thyme, rosemary, basil and sage. And we wait. And it sure smells good.

Bill L. 6:11 PM  

@KnittyContessa 10:19 - I saw the segment with the Shortzmeister (Hi M&A) last night. The show is To Tell the Truth, hosted by Anthony Anderson. Yep, that lady was fit to be tied. I looked it up - her name is Gillian Jacobs. Never heard of her either. It looks like the show is available on Hulu.

The smoky peat flavor gets into the scotch when damp barley is dried over a peat fire according to There is also a decent video that covers the process "Scotch: A Golden Dream" on Amazon Prime.

Puzzle just about right for a Friday, IMO. I enjoyed it.

Anonymous 6:13 PM  

yea high? i don't think so . ISNT IT YAY HIGH?

xyz 6:14 PM  

Pretty easy Friday despite some wayward cluing.

I am constantly surprised that folks don't know an answer and then declare it off base. Oh wait, Rex does that. Forget I said that.

I don't bitch when Yiddish the Bible and mythology come together. I recognize that by not giving a toss about memorizing such rot, it's not the puzzle's fault, I go for the crosses.

And to whomever thought E COLI is not legitimate as an answer to the clue 'reason for recall' ought to eat some meat so contaminated and get back to us.

May your Memorial Day cookout not have E COLI burgers.

CDilly52 6:42 PM  

Oh joy, oh happiness, oh glorious Friday moment!!!! I just finished this puzzle and was about to give in. Not only was I nowhere. Ear the wheelhouse, I wasn’t aboard the vessel, didn’t have and couldn’t get passage on the voyage and apparently had no hope of getting a visa for the destination. Somehow I stowed away. I kept peeking at the few places I had gained a tiny bit of purchase and when my (apparently) unauthorized presence put me in danger of having to toss in the towel, I just went into hiding for a few hours.

Yep, I have been working on this since about midnight yesterday-off and on and finished and came straight here. Holy moly!! Felt like hours but was only 3 minutes longer than my average. Mr. Moore and I obviously share no comment thought processes. But I think it was a fine and certainly Friday-worthy puzzle. I really enjoy this kind of tug of war that requires all kinds of creative thinking g. And the reward when I finally got the “Ta-DA” music! Well, how about me!!!

Y’all have said everything f I would say, thank you very much. I’ll hope to do better tomorrow.

QuasiMojo 7:11 PM  

Thank you @Lewis. Luckily I figured it out on my own. I know about the other site. Was just curious about the ethical angle. It's generous of people to want to help. But some make it too easy! :)

Nancy 7:58 PM  

After reading @Knitty Contessa, I went to YouTube and looked for Will Shortz on "What's My Line". Nada. Then, after seeing @Bill L's correction, I went to look for him on "To Tell The Truth". Nada again. I liked "Line" well enough back in the day. but TTTT is my favorite TV program of all time. Nothing even close. Although now, after all those wonderful decades, they've dumbed down the program horribly in its newest incarnation and I can't watch it any more. It's offensively puerile and sophomoric. Goodson and Todman are almost certainly spinning in their graves. But never mind that -- I'd still love to see the Will Shortz episode. Can anyone provide a link? Or is it just too soon for it to be on YouTube?

KnittyContessa 9:56 PM  

@Bill L. Thanks for the correction, sorry about that!

@Nancy I can't find it on youtube. I checked and it is OnDemand on ABC.
I agree, it's not a very good show now but seeing Will Shortz was just such an unexpected surprise it was fun.

albatross shell 10:42 PM  

Annonymous 613pm
Yes yes. I did not make sense of YEA at all. Did not know why it was an answer.

@redanman 614pm
Yes yes yes. Well said.
Sometimes YOU just do not know. There is no rule that one cross or the other has to be common knowledge for most people. Just cause I do not know doesn't make it a bad puzzle.

@CDilly52 642pm
Wonderful description of a good puzzle struggle. Be proud. Well done. Congrats. Have a drink.

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

Couldn't crack the top third. Not a bad puzzle but the sort of thing that--absent the 30 Rock clue--could have been released 15-20 years ago and all of the pop culture questions would have seemed more timely.

Burma Shave 1:07 PM  




BS2 1:59 PM  




Anonymous 2:22 PM  

I remember them being referred to as parachute pants(iirc).

Diana, LIW 3:40 PM  

I was about to declare "near victory" (a spelling error on my part. And then...YETI??? Really? You want to drink - or drink out of - an infamous arctic beast? Maybe you do, but I'll keep my Tervis Tumblers close at hand for my ice tea. (no - not the rapper) (or wrapper)

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Rapping at my window

rainforest 3:50 PM  

Another terrific puzzle to continue the quality of the week. EVIL EMPIRE, WES, and DIET, all gimmes got the NW going, and it seemed from there that every section had a key word that was needed. In all those sections, the crosses were so helpful.

I'd say this puzzle was 'medium' in difficulty, and so enjoyable to solve. I don't know whether YACHTIE is commonly used, but it was certainly inferrable and seemed OK to me.

Liked it muchly.

leftcoaster 3:52 PM  

Had a good start with the long acrosses in the NW and SE. Then...

Very annoying:


Very provacative:


Win a few, lose a few, but not a bad way to spend some time.

El Dingo 5:29 PM  

Thank you! I’ve been gritting my teeth all the way through the blog, waiting for someone to bring this up.

spacecraft 7:12 PM  

Late today (celebrating in excess) but here. I liked it. Not fond of any rapper, let alone TUPAC, but hey, that's just me. The rest of it, fun, YET I don't understand 26 down. Must be a regional brand.

DOD today is ALICE Krieg, who played the queen of the EVIL Borg EMPIRE so hotly. Had to TURN YACHTer inTO YACHTIE for a small inkblot. An Ogden Nashism comes to mind:

Isn't the YACHTIE
Awfully snotty?

Apricot scarf and all. Well, here's to the next 80! Birdie.

bs2 7:24 PM  


rondo 8:54 PM  

@spacey and others - YETI is a brand of super-insulated coolers, coffee mugs, etc. I have a friend who swears by them as to how long ice will last in them (or coffee stay hot) as compared to a Coleman or such. But you pay for them - not cheap at all. My pal bartered with a resort owner in Canada, trading a large YETI chest cooler for an extra day or two at the resort. At the time YETIs were not available north of the border but very much in demand.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP