Physical realm in cyberpunk / SAT 7-11-20 / Thruway advisory / Eponymous town in southeastern Connecticut / Setting for 1836 shootout / Turn of the century Oldsmobiles / Longtime dance feature on TV beginning in 1971

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Constructor: Kameron Austin Collins

Relative difficulty: Easy (5 to almost finish, 6 to finish finish)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: EPUB (38A: Digital book file extension)
EPUB is an e-book file format that uses the ".epub" file extension. The term is short for electronic publication and is sometimes styled ePub. EPUB is supported by many e-readers, and compatible software is available for most smartphones, tablets, and computers. EPUB is a technical standard published by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It became an official standard of the IDPF in September 2007, superseding the older Open eBook standard.
The Book Industry Study Group endorses EPUB 3 as the format of choice for packaging content and has stated that the global book publishing industry should rally around a single standard. The EPUB format is implemented as an archive file consisting of XHTML files carrying the content, along with images and other supporting files. EPUB is the most widely supported vendor-independent XML-based (as opposed to PDF) e-book format; that is, it is supported by almost all hardware readers, except for Kindle. (wikipedia)
• • •

Big Friday Energy, which is Fine By Me. I like Fridays best. What I'm saying is that this was delightful and easy, full of good ENERGY and light on the blecch. Seems like forever since I've seen Kam's name in the NYTXW (he's a regular contributor at the New Yorker, which runs three excellent themelesses a week now!). Glad he's still throwing the NYTXW a bone now and then. This puzzle had me at MEATSPACE (18A: Physical realm, in cyberpunk). Honestly, one great answer like that can sustain me for half a puzzle. Ooh, also DRAGOON, which I briefly thought had some bad racial angle to it, but I think I'm thinking of "Shanghai"? Or ... I dunno, something else. Anyway, DRAGOON! (14D: Strong-arm). The structure of the grid is such that there's nice long stuff criss-crossed by a lot of short, sometimes overfamiliar stuff. But that stuff—like ADO and DELE and EDYS and CEL and EATME—never overwhelms the grid. Clues stay interesting, pace stays brisk. I did have one major trouble spot: the SW. I could not remember that EPUB was a thing (38A: Digital book file extension), and I forgot who Tamerlane was, and wow I have barely heard of a SPOT AD, and I kept thinking that "lapped" applied to running, and then I thought maybe milk (?). Because of all these issues, couldn't see the RAW in RAW SCORES. Took me about 5 minutes to finish all but nine squares, all in that SW section; those squares took me another full minute. Ah well...

Do people really say PARADISE FOUND? (12A: Heaven, sweet heaven).  It's a ... figurative ... concept? I teach Milton so often that the only answer that sounds right to my ear is "Paradise Regained" (the actual title of Milton's "Paradise Lost" sequel). Why are CROCODILE TEARS a [Hollow-eyed expression?] Is a "hollow" a locale where one finds crocodiles? No, that can't be right. Why is there a "?" on that clue? Is it that your eyes lack (or are "hollow" of) genuine emotion? Maybe I'm not that sure of what regular old "hollow-eyed" actually means. Hmm, it just means having deep-sunken eyes, like a gaunt person. I'm just not ... quite getting, and thus not quite liking, whatever punning is going on here. Weird to clue YOUTH as 22D: Teens, e.g. (i.e. as a plural). I guess YOUTH is a collective noun, so why ... not? I had YOUNG in there for a bit, which I also could justify and also don't like. I do like the clue on HOME GYM (39A: Locale for house reps?). I also like that the METOOMOVEMENT got a clue that gave credit where credit is due (instead of giving it all to Ronan Farrow) (60A: Global justice phenomenon sprung from a 2006 Myspace post by Tarana Burke). I also like TECATE (surprised this answer doesn't appear more often, given its favorable letters) (41D: Mexican beer brand) and who doesn't like a SOUL TRAIN LINE? (35: Longtime dance feature on TV beginning in 1971). Come on.

Last thing: it looks like Wall-E's love is actually EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator)—he just pronounces it "EVA" (58D: Wall-E's love in "Wall-E"). So that ... feels like an error? But I haven't seen the movie, so have no strong feelings one way or the other. Have a nice day.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Harryp 12:06 AM  

Were getting enough FROOT to last for a while. METOOMOVEMENT cleared out the SW to the SE, I had coultrain(sic) before SOULTRAINLINE @35A. 40A etude before MOTET. Reasonably
easy, even with a lot of PPP.

Sara 12:07 AM  

Crying "crocodile tears" usually means fake-crying for sympathy; I assumed the hollow-eyed referred to the fact that there's no emotion behind them. ����‍♀️

jae 12:09 AM  

Pretty easy for a Sat. The only place I had any problems was @Rex SW where, once I got off the track and into the pool, the answers got sorted out.

I too am a tad perplexed by CROCODILE TEARS?

Plenty to like here, a fine Sat.!

Alex M 12:58 AM  

I definitely thought it was EVE... Since her name IS freaking Eve. MAJOR error, shameful editing. Boo boo boo. Clue it as Mendes or Longoria or Pèron. Boom, fixed it. CROCODILE TEARS took some parsing for me as well, "hollow-eyed expression" is a complex little clue! "Hollow" as in "disingenuous", "eyed" since they are tears, and although it's regarding the facial region the answer is an "expression" like a figure of speech. So, "expression about disingenuous eyes?" CROCODILE TEARS. Nice.

puzzlehoarder 1:18 AM  

As hard as I found parts of yesterday's puzzle there were a couple of spots in today's that took it to that extra level.

In the NE PARADISEWORLD at 12A supported by OWELL at 8D had me so stuck I had to give up and go and pound out that whole south and SE section. After that I seemed to be on the constructors' wavelength. When I returned to the NE GUESTS popped up for 10D and I made short work of that area to finish.

That south was no picnic either. Until I changed AVA to EVA I was seriously wondering how I could shoehorn CATABOLIC ACTION into 57A. When OUTSWAM gave me RAWSCORES I finally had the leverage to clear the fog.

What are the odds of FROOT two days in a row?. I think that was the editor throwing us a bone.

When I saw the constructors' name I expected a good solve and I wasn't disappointed.

Frantic Sloth 1:29 AM  

After entering PARADISEFOUND, I thought "how odd. A Saturdee with a theme? FOUND instead of "lost", so...what's the opposite of TEARS?"
Well, that idiocy didn't last a nano, thank God! So silly.

Isn't SPOTAD redundant? I thought SPOT and AD were synonyms of each other.

This was a nice nosh with the only trouble spot for me being MOTE_ crossing _ECATE, where I was lucky enough to guess the T without an alphabet run. Some first-rate answers like:


The list of love goes on, and that's not even counting the clues yet!
Some real gems there as well, but have to say my favorite was the clue for ACME. "Dehydrated Boulders" and "Tornado Seeds" are top-sellers, along with the "Instant Tunnel", "Rocket-Powered Roller Skates", and that old, classic cartoon standard, the "ACME Anvil".

Good stuff! Fun ride!


Owen 2:41 AM  

It definitely is an error — the character’s name is EVE. Wall-E doesn’t have the greatest voice synthesizer in the movie so it elongates that last vowel sound, but that’s an affectation of Wall-E’s character.

Marc 4:42 AM  

Had a lot of the same issues as Rex mentioned, but always thought #MeToo was an Alysa Milano thing. Or Rose McGowan. But really came to say that the two videos he selected were probably the 2 best on a post he's done. Kid by The Pretenders was from their debut album, one of the best debut albums ever. Such misfortune for them in the next few years, although Chrissie still rocks. And who doesn't love a Soul Train Line? Nothing better to get you out of a funk :) than going down a YouTube wormhole of Soul Train vids. This one, at 1:08 had Fred Berry! He would later become famous for poplock dancing and was in the '70's sitcom What's Happening.

Trish 6:17 AM  

Apub also works in place of ePub, I think, if you’re referring to Amazon specific titles? And for the down, Tamerlane was Amir, not Emir (according to Wikipedia...). Is this another error? Eva is definitely an error.

Lindandc 6:21 AM  

SOUUUUUUUUL TRAIN video is 🔥🔥!!!! Thanks for that.

Lewis 6:36 AM  

When I saw the constructor's name, I thought, "I FEAR!", but to naught. Not that this slammed in like an early week puzzle, but it revealed itself steadily. I came in, actually, faster than yesterday.

And I LOVED this puzzle. It had a bit of everything -- wordplay, new things to learn, and sparkling answers and clues. Answers I loved: PARADISE FOUND, CROCODILE TEARS, ME TOO MOVEMENT, DRAGOON, and SCONCE. Among the nine clues I loved: [Locale for house reps?] for HOME GYM, and even [Die, say] for CUBE.

Plus, we have NERO / ALAMO / ELMO / and SLO all in the space of three columns, we have a DIGGS up, and KID over YOUTH. (And thank you Will for preparing us for FROOT on Thursday.)

This was a zippy mix of wit, quality, and entertainment. I was totally charmed. Thank you, Kameron, and stop by more often, would you please?

amyyanni 6:39 AM  

We watched SOUL TRAIN when I was a kid, but still had trouble with LINE today, and again with FOUND. MEATSPACE is new to me, so even though Taye DIGGS was a gimme, the NE gave me a workout. Pshew, good thing it's Saturday and I can get in a nap!

ChuckD 7:01 AM  

Didn’t like it as much as Rex - but straightforward and clean for the most part and fell pretty quickly for me. I liked PARADISE FOUND and SOUL TRAIN LINE but the other longs were flat. It’s just METOO - adding MOVEMENT is a convenience. I’ll pass on CROCODILE TEARS and MEAT SPACE. Did like the clue for HOMEGYM and have visited Argyll so loved IONA.

Didn’t really go for the short stuff here EMIR/MOTET? and OVUM/LYME etc so that left me a little sour on this thing.

pabloinnh 7:24 AM  

I have seen quite a few of Mr. Collins's puzzles in The New Yorker and they're always a fun challenge and skew youngish for me (MEATSPACE, EPUB). Always a good day when you can learn something. MOTETS are a staple of choral singing, and every teacher that does these is familiar with RAWSCORES. My first department chairman's approach was to take RAWSCORES, look at them in a column, and say OK, those are your A's, those are your B's and so on. Not very scientific but usually fair.

CROCODILETEARS as clued didn't make a lot of sense to me either. Perhaps "express" here means "to force out". Perhaps. I'ms still not crazy about it though. Also SOULTRAINLIVE can turn DRAGOON into an interesting word.

Thanks for another fun one, KAC. Always feel like I've done something when I finish one of your efforts.

Barney 7:28 AM  

@Trish, is .APUB is a file extension or the Amazon publishing platform? .APUB is not listed in the wikipedia entry on file formats (though .EPUB is).

JD 7:35 AM  

This puzzle speaks for itself. The constructor was one of my two favorites (with Eric Agard) at the New Yorker and its almost enough to make me resubscribe. It's as close to perfect as I can imagine.

Paradise Found. That brought to mind the last paragraph of E.M. Forster's A Room With A View, "Passion requited, love obtained. But they were conscious of a love more mysterious than this. They heard the river bearing down the snows of winter into the Mediterranean."

Woo. Now I'm all verklempt. Someone quick, bring me my snark!

Z 7:39 AM  

My solve reflected Rex's, right down to having to wrestling with the SW corner. Once I got in the pool it fell quickly, but it took me a long time to get in the pool. With just the terminal -AM I started running the alphabet and the pool lights finally went on at -WAM. RAW SCORES and OUT SWAM provided enough to finish everything else.

I think @Alex M has parsed the "hollow-eyed" clue correctly.

@Frantic Sloth - SPOT AD as opposed to a longer AD, I think. An AD can be a SPOT but a SPOT AD is specific type of AD SPOT.

I dunno - maybe the EVA is wrong people should reconsider both why it sounds like EVA in the movie and why they insist on being so literal. One might argue, for instance, that it is EVE becoming EVA that leads to resolution of the conflict in the movie. But that might suggest that love is more important than obediently following one's creator's directives which is... almost heretical. Wait, does that mean there might be something to cartoons beyond being mere amusements? Nah, let's not think about such things and insist on being literal instead.

Today's constructor had some interesting things to say. (9 comments down into the comments).

Grant update. About a third of the way through and it is well-balanced and well-written.

Conrad 7:43 AM  

Thinking back to my lab days in college, I wanted 57A, Bulk of an experiment, to be WAITING FOR YOUR LAB PARTNER TO FIND THE ANSWER. I always chose lab partners wisely.

STOic before STONY, amYS before EDYS, loWSCORES before RAWSCORES (baseball announcers refer to more than one run in an inning as a "crooked number"). Never saw or didn't remember Wall-E, so I was perfectly happy with the incorrect EVA until I came here.

This was the epitome of a good puzzle. I was just about to give up and Google but ended up solving with no cheats.

GILL I. 7:45 AM  

Well I'm going to hell for sure. I had TRAIN LINE in place so I just figured a TV dance was a MULE. You in MULE TRAIN.
Went back upstairs to try and finish. MEAT SPACE? Is that like a meat market? Then you crossed it with DRAGOON which I equate with the British cavalry. That was my big oof. I cheated.
There was a lot I didn't know. I suppose I should get out more often and do other puzzles so that I can learn things like EPUB, Mr. DIGGS and LIEV. Maybe take a trip to Connecticut and learn all about LYLE. What I will say, though, is that most of what I didn't know, I could sorta guess and cross my fingers. CROCODILE TEARS was one of those. I had ROCO at 15A and threw in all the other letters. Did it work? Why yes. Go for the gold.
I'd forgotten about the ME TOO MOVEMENT - we have so many now - but I had TOOMO in place. I wasn't even sure about that either since that Mexican beer could've been Corona. Get up, move around and look closely. Fun....letters I know falling into place. It pays to move around.
I looked up Doritos LOCOS; they look disgusting. Evidently the guy who invented them is called a hero for some reason. Sadly, he just died.
Best clue ever for HOME GYM. My locale is the bathtub. In-out, your STEP.

Hungry Mother 7:47 AM  

Wowser! What a slogfest today. I almost put it down to look at later, when I thought of RAWSCORES, which opened things up a bit. I remember the olden days when Wednesdays could feel like this, so I’m going to celebrate a bit with a latte.

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

This was so darn easy and yet so vapid. No fun. What on earth is Wall-E and who cares what its friend's name was. And "global justice"? Sure, Jan.

ZenMonkey 8:12 AM  

58D in the app is “_____ Air (carrier to Taiwan)”. Guess it was an error after all.

Carola 8:26 AM  

I'm with those who found it easy except for the SW; RAW SCORES was the last to fall into place.
- Help from previous puzzles: DIGGS and, of course, FROOT. No idea: MEAT SPACE; EVA.
- Worth it for: DRAGOON, NERO x CRUEL.

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

More like a Wednesday for me. Just made the mistake of going with STOIC vs. STONY. Otherwise, it was like “Dancing “the Robot” down the Soul Train Line.

Anonymous 8:44 AM  

Yep. My 58D was also "____carrier to Taiwan." Didn't know it anyway. Saw The movie so long ago that wouldn't have remembered the love interest's name. - newbie

Pamela 8:45 AM  

I just took a break from reading your posts to go to WordPlay and see what the constructor wrote about this puzzle. The very first paragraph is this:

A note on 58D, which is incorrectly clued. The crossword editors write: “While Wall-E pronounces the name “EE-vuh,” it’s actually spelled EVE, which stands for Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator.” The clue has been changed to ___ Air (carrier to Taiwan) in electronic formats.

So the error has been acknowledged, and fixed.

Petsounds 8:45 AM  

Three of the answers that many of you, and Rex, thought were first-rate killed me: DRAGOON (as a verb--never heard it used that way), MEATSPACE (What the...? I still don't know what it, or cyberpunk, is), and RAWSCORES (Never heard of them either; kept trying to fit BOXSCORES in there--no curves in a box).

Also never heard of ROCS as abductors of elephants, and in my own defense I have to say that is a really obscure bit of crosswordese; it took me a long time to find out what was going on there because any combination of roc-abduct-elephant brought up nothing but crossword clue answers. Also never heard of a SPOTAD. So while a lot of you sailed through this and thought it was a breeze, I was stuck in Natick. Twice. I don't recommend it. The food is terrible and the people aren't friendly.

And despite all that, and my terrible solve time, there were many things I liked about this puzzle. The long answers (except for the bad clue for 15A) were fresh and clued well. Liked them all and was happy to see the METOOMOVEMENT here.

TTrimble 8:48 AM  

My experience matches that of Rex and @Z. Trouble in the SW (for example, had SAT SCORES to begin with, since these are never curved, and didn't know Tamerlane). Then, having sorted that out and expecting to hear happy music, had to ferret a mistake which turned out to be in MEAT SPACE.

Puzzles with multiple long acrosses juxtaposed are always impressive to me: it seems to me this would really test the skill of a constructor. Some pretty cool words like DRAGOON and SCONCE. Really clean construction. Objectively speaking, I would have to agree with this being relatively easy, although my time was only a little better than average because of the delays noted above.

I used to love SOUL TRAIN when I was a kid -- every Saturday night I would stay up late to watch it. Some of the moves I saw in the SOUL TRAIN LINE were super-exciting to me, this during the Boogie era, with guys leaping in the air and landing on splits, Nicholas Brothers-like. And whose was that voice that went

"Soooooooooooouuuuuuuuul Train!"

starting way up high? That couldn't possibly have been basso-voiced Don Cornelius, could it? The thought doth amuse.

--[SB Alert]--

@Barbara S., want to talk about yesterday? Argh, I came so close to QB, missing only CARPI, a word not in my lexicon. And I was so proud of myself! I had felt myself distinctly running out of steam around word 13 and then peeked to see I had 18 left to go, and thought at first I'd never make it to Genius, and maybe would founder at the "solid" level (which would smart -- it sounds so like damning with faint praise).

But I have to say, the SB editors are making some really weird-ass choices. So let me get this straight: PAPA and PAPPY are okay, but not pappa?! What gives? And, my god, they'll take VICAR but not VICARY?! That's just nuts. CARPI is not too obscure, but PARR is?! I tried a *bunch* that are valid Scrabble Dictionary words, and that I knew to be such: caca, capri, cavy, para, parr, picara, vacay (for crying out loud -- that's not obscure), viva.

Okay, now that I'm looking at this, apparently "pappa" is not there in either list. Again, let me get this straight: we have mama and mamma, and papa but no pappa? That's flippin' weird to me.

By the way, for what interest this may have: some days back I contacted the person behind nytbee, whose name is Christopher McLeester. He promptly responded with a sarcasm-laden email, so decided I would keep the exchange between us short. I did learn that his is a fan site and in no way connected with the powers that be at the SB (which in hindsight I could have deduced on my own), and that the dictionary from which they cull their selections is apparently the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. (So I'm going to guess that he has software that runs over the OSPD list to find the words that work and those that don't, and performs other menial tasks such as constructing the histograms and percentages.) It's quite a useful site and I'm glad it exists. I guess Sam Ezersky is reachable by Twitter, but I don't do Twitter. Hence, I'll probably just keep my griping confined to these here comment sections.

TJS 8:54 AM  

"This puzzle had me at Meatspace". Yeah, it had me at meatspace, too. Like it had me ready to throw the puzzle across the room, except I'm doing it on my lap top. But I don't care about the crap fill like digital book extensions and raw scores and friggin cereal boxes. Why ? Because the Soul Train line dance is going to keep a smile on my face all morning long. Awesome.

Petsounds 8:58 AM  

Forgot to add this, in line with "Love Train" being the song on the "Soul Train" video: If you're not familiar with the wonderful group, founded by Yo-Yo Ma and others, called Playing for Change, you have a real treat waiting for you. Dozens of songs done--pre-pandemic!!--by artists performing wherever they are in the world, then synced by some tech genius.

Here's the link for their version of "Love Train." It will cure what ails you:

TJS 8:59 AM  

@Frantic Sloth, thanks for reminding me of the Rocket-Powered Rollerskates.
I can see Wily heading for the mountain wall right now.

Teedmn 9:03 AM  

As usual, KAC, similar to what effect an AES or Erik Agard puzzle has on me, kicked my Soul Train Line. It's a weird world where AP CHEM went right in after I confirmed the crosses but MARINA sat empty with ___IN_ for the longest time. This is partially due to my thinking that P_R_ at 12A was going to morph into a phrase meaning "PuRe bliss", which means "Heaven, sweet heaven" to me much more than PARADISE FOUND.

And staring at HOMEG__ and not knowing what comes after SOUL TRAIN and everyone's favorite EPUB section all lent themselves to an epic Saturday puzzle for me.

CRUELLA de Vil always brings back a childhood memory. My friend and I had just seen the movie. We were riding our bikes along the sidewalk singing the song from the movie when she ran into a bush and I ran into her and forever after that, we called it the Cruella de Vil bush. I wonder if she remembers that!

Thanks, Kameron, for a puzzle I wasn't sure I'd finish but did!

Anonymous 9:06 AM  

Watch “Wall-E”, it’s a sweet and poignant movie.

LeaveItToYourGoat 9:21 AM  

Finished the whole bottom and most of the top pretty quickly, but ran into 2 huge problems in the middle.

Firstly, CRUELLA and DEVILLE both have double-Ls at the same location, and of course the only crossings I knew right away were ALAMO and LIEV. So naturally I chose the wrong one at first.

The second major problem I had was convincing myself that SOUL TRAIN LIvE was the correct answer at 35-A, keeping me from seeing DRAGOON.

Really liked the clue for HOME GYM.

As a proud Texan, I winced a bit at the clue for ALAMO, referring to the legendary battle as merely a "shootout." Pffft. You might as well call Thermopylae a "tussle" in front of a Spartan.

Otherwise this was a fantastic puzzle.

bauskern 9:22 AM  

Note to Z: Please skip the next two lines; I don't want to trigger you.

I had the first three across answers in 30 seconds. So 0:30
But yeah, *quite* a bit longer to "finish finish."

FROOT again?? I've gone from "What's that?" to "Oh, that again."
How quickly we become jaded.
Re: 57A, DATACOLLECTION is *after* the experiments are done; it's not part of the experiment itself. And for some reason the cluing of 35A made me think that SOULTRAIN was still on the air, which is not the case.
But those are very minor quibbles.
I love a good Saturday challenge, and this one fit the bill.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Sorry I didn’t see your comment of 11:04 last night.
I hate to tell you, but your veiled attempt to correct me via mean spirited is quite wrong. In my construction mean spirited was a compound predicate adjective. It doesn’t take a hyphen. Your original sentence mean spirited was a followed by a noun. That does take a hyphen.
Hope that helps you.

Christian Patrick Clarke 9:33 AM  

Our 58D clue is Taiwan air carrier

jberg 9:34 AM  

Brilliant Saturday. Almost gave up, then suddenly thought of LYME. a bit unfair to clue “eponymous” with no context—I almost went with “naME.”


The Joker 9:38 AM  

I thought MEATSPACE had something to do with men's underwear.

Rob 9:40 AM  

I really enjoyed this, very fresh fill! I love cyberpunk and fell in love at MEATSPACE as well — never thought something like that would show up in the NYT! — but there was lots of good fill here and I'm glad to see a puzzle that isn't all moth-eaten stuff from the '50s.

I struggled to fill in EPUB, kept trying to make MOBI work. I usually read on Kindle, and while I'm familiar with both formats, I don't usually need to futz with them.

kitshef 9:44 AM  

One of those days when half my time was spent filling in 93% of the puzzle, and the other half filling in the last 14 squares.

First major problem was the unknown ALEROS, crossing what should be EVE – EVE is the character’s name, not EVA. Don’t care what anyone says, that is an error. And I thought maybe the Disney CEO was named Swift. So my car was EOEROS. Well, that had to be wrong. Played around a bit and ALEROS sounded like it might be a car. Happy to find that was correct.

Second problem was in the SW. No idea on the file extension or the choral composition. ___ me felt like ITS, but could be NOT or EAT or a half dozen others. Had SCORES in place but did not know what kind of SCORES. Thought Tamerlane was European, so thinking LATT or SLAV or LETT or SERB or something. SPOT AD finally came in, then much later OUTSWAM, and that allowed me to close the deal.

Clue for CROCODILE TEARS, which on Wordplay is called “perfect” does not work at all for me and their explanation is forced and unconvincing.

OffTheGrid 9:44 AM  

I remain perplexed over hollow-eyed expression/CROCODILETEARS. The @Alex explanation is creative but doesn't quite click. This is what hollow-eyed traditionally means:

hollow-eyed. adjective. Pale and exhausted, as because of worry or sleeplessness: careworn, drawn, gaunt, haggard, wan, worn.

This one is just a clunker IMO.

Pamela 9:45 AM  

For a while I thought I was getting smarter, as nearly the whole South filled in with no cheats. But I believed in EVe, and the Olds, like most car clues, was well outside my wheelhouse, so I had ETEROS until Rex.

Why is it that so often the lightbulb goes on lower down in the puzzle, after which the upper parts are magically less opaque? Today too. Back up in the north, GOPERS for Party people had given me _A__DISE_ OO___ for way too long. Now TROVES and RACER led to CROCODILE, which made TEARS unavoidable, and PARADISE had to be FOUND, so regretfully I gave up my notion of blind followers and went on to solve the puzzle. I knew it was snarky the whole time, but really wanted it anyway.

SCONCES for Torchbearer was devilishly clever, but I guessed MOTET early and loved seeing METOO. A long time since I’ve had a TECATE, and nearly as long to remember it today.

Yes, I was frustrated yesterday, too. But today-OMG! Only 3 away from QB, and I don’t have the pangram! Yikes!

Terrific puzzle, and not too bad for me for a Saturday.

Peter P 9:52 AM  

They must have changed 58D overnight. It was the WALL-E clue when I did I last night on the app. This morning, it’s the airline clue. I mean, unless I woke up in a different reality (which, given 2020 so far, is not wholly unwelcome.)

Anonymous 9:53 AM  

Poppa not pappa.

RooMonster 9:59 AM  

Hey All !
Wow, that SW corner. Egads! My DNF spot. EPUB was new here. Don't get many books published (Read: never wrote a book). Plus MOTET, which I've heard, but not clued as such, EMIR as clued, which is a WOE, plus SPOTAD? and the cross of RAWSCORES and OUTSWAM just not registering. Yikes. But, even if I'd gotten said corner, I Still would've DNFed in NE. Had GOTno for GOTTA, giving me MEAnSPACE (why not?) and sniffing out RoT. Smelly trash? Sniff out RoT. Har.

Happy to have filled in most of grid correctly. Learned DRAGOIN means strong armed, heard word before but didn't know what it meant. An elongated dragon?? (Credit to M&A) Of course, I will forget the meaning forthwith.

Turn of the century Oldsmobiles. Har, which century? They started in 1903, I think. With my memory (and no pre-lookout), I'm probably off. I like Oldsmobiles, bring them back! I have an 1992 Achieva SCX, the rare one they made in 1992-1993. They made around 1450 in 1992, around 500 in 1993. Mine has low mileage (83000 and change), red, 5 speed.

Anyway, nice puz for a themeless. No too CRUEL(la).

Two F's

Nancy 10:01 AM  

A puzzle I found unspeakably CRUELLA -- jammed up the wazoo with pop culture, brand names, slang, and a fair number of completely off-the-wall, unfair clues. I rage-quit this on

About those awful clues:
The one for CROCODILE TEARS (15A)
The one for I FEAR (8D). You tell me why it shouldn't be "I FEEL a letdown."
The one for RAW SCORES (52A).

Then the PPP:
Doritos LOCOS Tacos. I should know such a crazy product name?
MEAT SPACE??!! Should be MEET SPACE, if there were any sense to it. (18A)
EPUB sounds like a non-MEET SPACE where you drink non-beer.

I hated this puzzle and its deliberate, in-your-face youthiness. Results will vary, of course.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Did 58D change? I have EVA but the clue reads "_Air, carrier to Taiwan" nothing about Wall-E.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Can someone explain Rex’s explanation for not caring that Eva is an error? I’m genuinely at a loss. What does his not having seen the movie have to do with whether the error is important or not? Are only things he’s interested in or has experienced first hand worth getting right?

Adam 10:07 AM  

Will must have read this: looks like they changed the Wall*E clue on the app.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Funny about the English language. I ended up getting everything correct although I did not know many things--things simply "sounded" right. The whole bottom section took me forever since I did not think of the obvious. For 36D, OUTSWAM, I kept trying to come up with someone lapping someone on a running track. The center, 31A, DEVILLE, wouldn't work with 27D, NERO, which seemed like it must be correct. The worst was the NE. I had 12A PARADISE ----- and first imagined some theme park, Paradise World. Crocodile I had early, and gave up on Crocodile smile with the crosses, and that tears worked better with reference to eyes. 7A DIGGS of course I didn't know, nor did I know MEATSPACE. Things were not clear until I finally realized 10D must be *guests*. Does one snap fingers at poetry readings in imitation of the old reaction to jazz concerts? There I thought the motive was to avoid waking up the people upstairs. For 24A, Geez, I wanted Gad. One reason why words like Gad and Doggone were invented was to avoid "using the Lord's name in vain," and usually puzzles respected this. I would have clued this differently, since one wanted some other euphemism (or whatever)--Geez is Jesus and Gad (as in Gadzooks) is God. With the crosses (and my GAD), I had at last 16D as S*ANCE, and imagined that the torch-bearer pose, like that of Lady Liberty, was some sort of STANCE. I eventually dropped it when MEATSPATE yielded. Like Rex, when I saw 14D ending in -oon, I thought of some racially offensive term. Perhaps we were thinking of quadroon, a term I've never heard in speech and is I suppose offensive and certainly archaic, referring to someone "one-fourth black." When would it come up? Perhaps in some Louisiana inheritance battle. A sconce, I see, is the niche in one's cave where one places the torch.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Photomatte 10:15 AM  

@rexparker, you may have been thinking of the word Quadroon, which is a highly offensive word that tries to categorize a person's amount of 'blackness,' when you saw the word Dragoon.
This was a very easy Saturday except for the error on EVE and the mis-clue for CROCODILETEARS.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

All standardized tests I know about - PSAT, SAT, ACT, GRE are rescaled at least thrice:
1 - the correct answers are weighted differentially by 'intended difficulty' to a number
2 - some tests then do the same for incorrect answers
3 - the answer scores are totalled
4 - this RAW SCORE is then 'curved' to produce a percentile score or letter grade

When I started college, my freshman physics prof. Buffalo Bob Smith told us up front that a 50 on a test was a C. Not many got that high. After one test, which were graded and discussed by grad student TAs, he lambasted the TAs (as a group, though not by name, IIRC) for not knowing the answer to some questions. 50 on a graduate test was a B. Welcome to real education.

pabloinnh 10:17 AM  

I should have said earlier that the appearance of LYME reminds me that the disease is named for Lyme CT. If you run a summer resort in NH in a town of the same name, you would become as tired as I did of explaining that fact to would-be guests.

Also, we liberated a TECATE can from a bar's Christmas tree many many years ago, and it still decorates ours every year. Call us hopelessly sentimental.

kitshef 10:22 AM  

Anon 10:04 - I suspect Rex is saying he does not have first-hand knowledge of WALL-E and therefore cannot say with certainty that the clue is wrong. The world would be a better place if we all exercised such caution.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

LOCOS(doritos___tacos) crosses daTACOllection.

Birchbark 10:41 AM  

Tam: Wel, bark ye dogs. Ile bridle al your tongues
And bind them close with bits of burnisht Steele,
Downe to the channels of your hatefull throats,
And with the paines my rigour shall inflict,
Ile make ye roare, that earth may eccho foorth
The far resounding torments ye sustaine... etc.

-- Chistopher Marlowe, "Tamburlaine" part 2, Act 4, scene 1 (1588, re 38D EMIR)

Also: FROOT, again. Spelled Marlowe-style, it will be heard.

Anonymous 10:42 AM  

Thanks kit she’d. I’m not sure that explanation stands up to much scrutiny. It s really just rephrasing the question, isn’t it?
The question is what does Rex need to have experience to care about something? I understand not knowing something. But when confronted with a question whose answer I don’t know, I don’t dismiss the questions worth by saying I don’t know and therefore have no opinion on whether one answer or another is correct. That’s a bizarre approach for a man who works in the academy, the very purpose of the university is the search for truth..

jberg 10:50 AM  

yeah, even after figuring out that the CT town was eponymous with the disease, and guessing it must be LIEV, I found myself staring at HOMEGYM for 3-5 minutes before I figured out what kind of reps we were talking about. Brilliant cluing!

@petsounds- Cyberpunk is a genre of fiction in which people put on virtual reality helmets and have adventures in cyberspace. By analogy, MEATSPACE is the world of flesh and blood.

@Nancy, it's the listener who is in for a letdown. If your boss responds to your request for a raise with "I FEAR...." you know what's coming.

And whoever asked: ROCS are mythical birds in the Thousand and One Nights (aka "Arabian Nights"). They're large.

EMIR/AMIR are the same word, transliterated.

Die as the singular of dice in a clue, DICIER in the grid. Is that OK?

Barbara S. 10:53 AM  

**SB SPOILER ALERT: Do NOT read if you’re still working on Friday’s Bee.**

I found yesterday’s words delightfully suggestive, and in honor of the suggestion, wrote this wee story à la @Tale Told by an Idiot. It includes all 31 words.

NOTE: I’ve used “pica” twice, once in its current medical/psychological meaning, and the second time as the archaic spelling of “pika” (the animal).

There was an aviary and an apiary – the birds and the bees. There was a priapic vicar under an acacia, valuing his privacy, drinking cava and eating caviar, carp, acai and papaya. (He’d got over his pica.) Don’t strain your carpi, reaching for all that bounty! Did he pray, did he aspire to the papacy, hearing shouts of “Viva Il Papa!” Had he supped of the mysteries of the sacred papyri? No, he was happy with his racy daydreams of piracy on the high seas – he imagined thrust and parry with a luscious array of comely maidens. He offered a berry to his yappy pet pica. What a pair! Neither could carry a tune, but Pappy Vicar sang an airy aria which didn’t vary for circa an hour. Was it crappy? Depends how you define crap!

Anonymous 10:59 AM  


yeah, but... Lyme disease doesn't just occur in Lyme, CT, but all over and always has been. just misdiagnosed for at least decades and has been in North America pretty much forever [the wiki]. it just was identified there.

just because one is in NH doesn't, by any means, mean you're out of range of the wee little critters that pass it on to human meat bags.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  


Nicki 11:04 AM  

Definitely EVE and not EVA.

Cheerio 11:05 AM  

I didn't think GOD could be the answer for GEEZ, because the latter is used when one is trying not to use an official SWEAR word. I also thought that the NYT didn't allow GOD as an answer for an oath. Not sure why I thought that, but I just did.

I thought Amir made sense because of APub = amazon publishing, but that's only after I looked up Tamerlane and saw no reference to Emir.

Data collection = bulk of an experiment? Huh? One could do an elaborate experiment in search of just one data point, couldn't one? I agree with those who think something is off with the cluing for CROCODILE TEARS.

I loved the clue/answer pair for RAW SCORES. That was my favorite answer and AHA moment.

Whatsername 11:05 AM  

I didn’t have too much trouble with this but on Saturdays I cheat shamelessly on the Propers so that helped. Without that crutch IFEAR I would be crying CROCODILETEARS. But I liked it immensely and especially loved the long crosses. Lotsa good stuff here, thanks Kameron.

Very timely placement for the METOOMOVEMENT. I just read this morning that July 6 was the anniversary of Gretchen Carlson’s fateful decision to go after the old boys at Fox and ultimately bring them down.

TECATE sounds good but the only Mexican beers I’ve tried are Corona and Dos Equis. I seldom buy either one but have very pleasant memories of drinking icy cold ones in PARADISEFOUND places like like Ixtapa.

My knowledge of a DRAGOON was heretofore limited to John Wayne in True Grit: “By GOD that's a Colt's Dragoon!” I had no idea the word could be used as a verb meaning to strong arm someone. That and MEATSPACE were the highlights of my Saturday crossword schooling. Safe weekend everyone.

mathgent 11:06 AM  

So many of us found it easy. Not I. But happy that I was able to solve it clean.

It was like last Saturday’s for me. Lots of mystery entries. Last week they ganged up on me in the NW where CLICKHOLE was. Today they mugged me near the bottom of the left side with EMIR, EPUB, RAWSCORES, and OUTSWAM. Also, like last week, I admired a lot about it, though. But the good stuff didn’t outweigh the bad.

The bad? The clue for RAWSCORES. PARADISEFOUND. The clue for LYME. The clue for ROCS.

The good? No junk. DRAGOON. The clue for ACME.

QuasiMojo 11:30 AM  

According to "Secrets of the Dead: The NERO Files," on PBS, Emperor Nero wasn't such a baddy after all. Apparently his reputation as the fiddler who watched Rome burn was most likely fake news.

As for the puzzle I am in @Nancy's camp. Big surprise. Ha! Although I found it woefully easy. I also think just using "Cruella" was crappy. Besides she was my favorite character. I was on her side.

burtonkd 11:30 AM  

DRAGOON and strong-arm are nouns, no?

@pabloinnh, has Lyme disease not made it up to NH? I thought it was all over the NE. For a long time, we would hike west of the Hudson, to avoid the heavier infection areas radiating from LYME, CT but it is pretty wide-spread by now, I believe.

Really enjoyed the puzzle, but my half-the-time-on-a-few-squares section was the NE. Weirdly couldn't see GUESTS. GOD felt a little sacreligious to throw in there casually, so resisted that. I seem to recall DRAGOONS featured in Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas, but maybe I'm mis-remembering.

SOULTRAIN____ hour? live? oh, LINE

I would have had a better chance on getting the wrongly-clued EVA than the random airline letters I got on the app. It filled in entirely from crosses, so I didn't even see the clue.

JD 11:30 AM  

@RooMonster, I got caught on the Olds turn of the century thing. Thought, "mmm, in my merry Oldsmobile ... when would that've been? Wait, Aleros? Turn of the 20th century? I'm really old."

@Birchbark, You're on a roll. Good stuff.

@Frantic, Used to lie on my stomach in front of the TV, watching cartoons and thinking I wanna go to an Acme.

Joe Dipinto 11:31 AM  

Tricky choice of the Black Eyed Peas title as the clue for GOTTA – that spelling usually replaces GOT TO.

Doppelgänger track.

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

Online version had 58D clued as ___ Air (carrier to Taiwan) instead of the Wall-E clue. Does that happen often?

Sir Hillary 11:34 AM  

Nope, not for me. KAC has produced some of the best NYT puzzles I've ever done, and I imagine that his non-NYT work is even better. But this ain't one of them, and IFEAR that constructor love is biasing some opinions.

MEATSPACE and cyberpunk -- fine, whatever. EPUB -- how is that welcome when things like EMAG routinely (and rightly) get slammed? METOOMOVEMENT -- a great thing, to be sure, but hardly novel. DATACOLLCTION, PARADISEFOUND and RAWSCORES -- zzz. CROCODILETEARS as clued -- WTF? DRAGOON, OUTSWAM and INMONO -- yeah sure, hear those all the time. LOCOS -- Hilariously bad PPP, given that it cannot be clued any other way.

And to those who like to harp on "cheater squares" when trashing puzzles, I'm interested in your thoughts on the 14 in this one.

egsforbreakfast 11:58 AM  

@Z 7:39. The comment you linked to by today’s constructor was a beautifully articulated, 9 paragraph explication of my comment at 3:58 yesterday that no one ever talks about a puzzle skewing white. Mine was met with no reaction.

@Barbara S 10:53. Loved your SB-based tale!

I loved this puzzle, and finished it quite a bit faster than yesterday’s. I wasn’t familiar with MEATSPACE, but once I filled it in, it became obvious and, I thought, brilliant. Meat, as opposed to the far superior cyber, encapsulates the physical world perfectly.

It struck me as odd that we got a partial time from Rex for how long it took him to do a great deal of the puzzle, then another time for the complete puzzle. I think he may have reacted to the abhorrence on the part of some commenters at his alcohol excuses. Now he says, in effect, “My time was slower than I’d like, but it almost wasn’t.” OKAY

Hartley70 12:02 PM  

I’m totally annoyed with the A issue today. It’s EVa and aMIR. Without those two errors this would have played easier than Friday, until I hit my last corner in the SW. I got stuck there last night and had to finish as best I could this morning.

DevoutAtheist 12:04 PM  

@Cheerio. God, being non-existent, will not be offended.

Have it with lyme 12:08 PM  

The phrase "I'd like the Corona, please" will forever be strange.

Brett 12:08 PM  

Doing the puzzle Saturday morning on the NYTimes app, 58-D is clued as “___ Air (carrier to Taiwan)” so maybe they issued a digital correction?

Brett 12:10 PM  

Doing the puzzle Saturday morning on the NYTimes app, 58-D is clued as “___ Air (carrier to Taiwan)” so maybe they issued a digital correction?

Whatsername 12:34 PM  

@Vermontah from 8:35 Friday night: You mentioned that you “try to get the NYT as well, though to be honest sometimes $3 just to do a puzzle seems a little steep.” Not sure exactly what that means but hopefully you are aware that an annual on-line subscription to the NYT Crossword only is $39.95 for all puzzles including access to the archives of past years. And it allows print capability if that’s your preferred method for solving. Oh, and welcome to Rex World. Hoping you’ll stop in again today and see this.

Masked and Anonymous 12:36 PM  

Sooo … learned lotsa new stuff, [gradually] solvin this here SatPuz. There's evidently a PARADISE Lost & FOUND, f'rinstance. Fruit has apparently officially become FROOT. And, luved hearin about MEATSPACE … the final frontier. Well … if MEATSPACE is now an in dimension, then let's take up a collection for POTATOTIME.

sparkly fillins galore, includin: CROCODILETEARS [with clue of mystery]. CRUELLA. SOULTRAINLINE. HOMEGYM. METOOMOVEMENT. DRAGOON. ELEROS [hey -- that's how Wall-E *says* it]. SCONCE. GOTTA.
sparkly goth/cyberpunk clue: {Die, say} = CUBE.

68-worder with Jaws of Themelessness. This puppy is seriously anti-themed. More theme-lackin than a meatspace rodeo. Even tho yeah, FROOT and IFEAR are symmetrically spaced, there just ain't enough meat there for a legit theme mcguffin.

staff weaject pick: EV(A/E). GOTTA like how this pup kinda wobbles back and forth, within the MEATSPACE/POTATOTIME continuum. PARADISE FOUND, dude.

Thanx for the HOMEGYM workout, Mr. Collins. Looked up APCHEM, btw. Dictionary thought I meant UPTIME. Wikipedia thought I meant APACHE. Google had it in yer M/P continuum, tho. Sooo … ok.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


pabloinnh 12:40 PM  

@Anon. (10:59), @burtonkd-

Sorry if I wasn't clear on Lyme disease. Of course we have it around here, I know people who suffer from it, and it's no fun. We work outside a lot and are forever doing tick checks, as they're all over, and often hitch a ride into the house on one of us. Nasty little things.

Nor did I ever tell would-be guests that we were free of Lyme disease. The question was usually something like-"Oh, Lyme. That's where the disease comes from, isn't it?", at which point I would explain that it was actually named for Lyme CT. Agree with Anon. that it is often misdiagnosed, but disagree that I implied we have no such thing in NH.

JC66 12:51 PM  


Try Googling AP CHEM

Joe Dipinto 12:52 PM  

@pabloinnh – Well, Y, for one, understood iou the fyrst tyme.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

Vermontah means buying the paper for $3 simply to do the puzzle is a little steep. And it is.

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Crocodile tears is just wrong. Perhaps constructor meant Crocodile Smile - a false frozen smile concealing bad intent,

Masked and Anonymous 1:14 PM  

@JC66 (12:51 PM) -- yep. But, I get about the same thing, either way -- with APCHEM or AP CHEM -- tho. Both of em return: Advanced Placement Chemistry course and exam, administered by College Board.
U do get the bonus "specialty chemical company APChem" also, with APCHEM, tho.

Wikipedia does wise up, tho, if you search for AP CHEM. No more Apaches. Dictionary draws a blank, on AP CHEM.

Tried comin up with a funnier clue for APCHEM, but no luck yet. I've Got to think ...

Maskspace Continuum Research Desk

Nancy from Chicago 1:36 PM  

I am amazed at how many found this puzzle easy. I was hopelessly stuck in the SE for what seemed like hours (actually about 1/2 an hour). I have never heard the term "SPOT AD" in my life, didn't know "EPUB" (although at least that's inferable), didn't know MOTET even though I studied music as a young person, and worse yet, had "sat SCORES" for the longest time so I couldn't see "OUTSWAM." Finally once "RAW SCORES" occurred to me I was able to finish the rest.

The Gridians 1:45 PM  

EVA was bad editing, especially crossed with “ALEROS” which is.... obscure.

KnittyContessa 1:52 PM  

Lots i didn't know today but it was all clued fairly so I was able to solve with the crosses. Spoke great clues made it a fun Saturday.

@jberg thanks for the cyberpunk explanation. I had no idea what that was about.

@Cheerio i was under the same assumption. I resisted filling in GOD because I didn't think the NYTX used it as a swear word.

ACME and SOULTRAINLINE made me smile.

pabloinnh 1:54 PM  

@JoeD-Whew. I feel better.

My wife, who absolutely loathes ticks, is a magnet for them. A little over a year ago we did a river cruise in France. While walking around one of the lovely little towns a tick got her right on the ear lobe, it became infected, and we wound up in a French ER late at night, because our tour guide was doing other things before that. One of those travel stories you'd rather not be able to tell. We did find out a little about the French health care system--the pharmacie will open for you at any hour, but you have to stop by the police station to make sure you're not some sort of drug addict looking for a late night fix (I suppose).

old timer 1:56 PM  

Total DNF here. Since yesterday was tough but doable, obviously today's is poorly constructed (channeling my inner Rex here).

I finally guessed SOULTRAIN but had to Google for LINE. Never saw it, never want to see it. Never heard of DIGGS, had to Google for that too. And even with those lookups, the answers I came up with were mystifying even if right. Crocodile TEARS? I cannot for the life of me connected that to hollow-eyed, though I put it in. Paradise FOUND? Like OFL, I knew "Regained", and possibly like him, I believe PARADISE Lost is the greatest poem ever written in English. And I really think EPUB is too remote an answer to expect anyone to know. Put it in, only because EMIR was a reasonable answer for Tamerlane, which led to RAWSCORES. And when I finally got OUTSWAM, I had a D'OH moment.

MEATSPACE was I think a perfect answer for a Saturday puzzle. DRAGOON seems off to me. I think of the use of military force, with weapons like swords or sabers or muskets. Strong-arming is something unarmed robbers(or police) do.

WeesaSuzi 1:59 PM  

Had BOXSCORES and ARAB before RAWSCORES and EMIR, so that whole section probably took up a third of my total time. And it's still the Wall-E clue on my iPad NYTXW app right now.

Trish 2:04 PM  

You are right. But is Amir/Emir always interchangeable?

pyroclasts 2:06 PM  

Not sure why I even read these comments when half of y’all are such misers

Ask any kid who actually watched Wall-E when we were kids, we’re gonna say her name was Eva. The whole point of the movie is that both machines and humans regained empathy after roughly a millennium without it due to rampant corporatism, the main signifier of that is Wall-E and Eva’s relationship.

David 2:23 PM  

Let's boot froot for a few weeks.

Rombuses off the R was my only write over. Pretty quick and fun.

I also don't get what's going on with the clue for crocodile tears. Maybe an explanation is up above, I haven't read the other comments yet.

And it's got motet, yes!

Liked this one a lot, thanks.

oisk17 3:01 PM  

Like @ Nancy, this was a slog for me, although I did manage to finish it correctly. Tecate, Locos, and Froot right next to one another? Fortunately, I had just seen Froot in a previous puzzle. I have tasted Corona, Modelo, and Dos Equis (sp?) but never Tecate. No idea what Doritos Locos Tacos means. Extinct car models (Alero) crossing Eve or Eva. Fortuntately, never heard of Wall-E, so Eva was fine. Soul train line? Epub? Meat space? Diggs? I do teach AP chem though...

Xcentric 3:01 PM  

Got to the puzzle late today, so 58D was ___ air (carrier to Taiwan).
Agree with all who thought today’s puzzle had some fun answers.
Had mime before epub, which slowed me down in the SE.
Tecate is made by the Mexican subdivision of Heineken, not a true Mexican beer.
Brain read the conqueror of Tamerlane - argh! So needed the crosses to get emir, then re-read the clue. Doh! Real conqueror of Tamerlane as winter, just like Napoleon and the German army in Russia.
Loved the clue for RAWSCORES.
Still puzzled by CROCODILETEARS even after reading comments - they all seem like a stretch.
Heard of a spot, but not a SPOT AD like many others, but it sounds like it could be a thing.
All in all enough pushback to make the puzzle fun.

Joe Dipinto 3:03 PM  

Btw, for those who do it, I must plug tomorrow's Diagramless by Alex Eaton-Salners. It's a good one.

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

LOVE the inclusion of the "METOO MOVEMENT". . . BELIEVE ALL WOMEN!!! . . . Except those accusing Sleepy Joe Biden, LOL. . . . Count on the Left to take the LOWEST road available.

LenFuego 3:07 PM  

Found this one a lot more difficult than Rex, partly because I tried to solve late at night when I was tired, and that never helps my times. Like Rex (not a comparison I usually like made), the SW was really what did me in. Once I had S---AD, the first thing I thought of was SPOTAD, but thought nahhhhhh, that cannot be it, SPOT is just the same thing as an AD ... so yeah, not a fan when the answer is the first thing you think of but you reject it because it does not make sense, and still does not make sense as the answer when you are all done.

Barbara S. 3:09 PM  

Just to prove that I can still comment on the XW and haven't completely switched allegiance to SB...

The constructor had me at "Kameron." That is such a kool way to spell it. Cameron is a commonly-used name in my family, but spelled predictably and uncoolly.

I got temporarily bogged down in the SW where so many had trouble, but I was able eventually to sort it all out. But I had a DNF thanks to the NE, specifically SCONCE, EDYS, GOD, STONY, ROCS. I had stoic for STONY and gad for GOD and a whole lot of nonsensical things for the others, and I just couldn't DRAGOON it into place. I also didn't know SOUL TRAIN LINE (but figured it out from crosses). Either we didn't have STL north of the border, or I've completely forgotten it.

Seeing OVUM in a puzzle is a bit tedious but I liked the clue (Tube traveler?), which immediately conjured London commuters. I thought DICIER was "iffIER," but I knew the maker of bizarre products had to be ACME, so that sorted that out. I also hesitated over CRUELLA vs. "DeviLLe," forgetting her last name was actually De Vil (devil, dontcha know).

OK, inevitably: ****SB ALERT****
@TTrimble 8:48
Yeah, I feel you. I missed yesterday by 2. "Carpi" and "papyri," the latter of which was firmly in my wheelhouse. I've been around the grumble-block with both "Papa" (and derivatives) and "Dada" (and derivatives) any number of times. Thanks for reporting on your interaction with Chris M. (even though it wasn't all that satisfactory). It's good to know what they use as their standard reference (and that they don't just completely make it up as they go along).

@egs 11:58

Prof Karl 3:54 PM  

You going to let “in mono” slide? Ick.

TTrimble 4:23 PM  

--[SB Stuff]--

@Barbara S.
I enjoyed your word-woven tale from earlier today! I may give that a go myself. My parents used to do the same after their Scrabble games. Such nice memories...

Reached QB today. Very low obscurity factor.

Mike G 4:31 PM  

Seconding you on the Cruella/Deville error, and hesitancy on Soul Train Live. That slowed me up a bit in the center but Nero put me right.

Margaret in New Jersey 4:35 PM  

Overall, this puzzle was hard for me (well, Saturdays always take me 30 minutes or so), but I knew MEATSPACE right away. I believe the term was adapted from this charming 1991 short story by Terry Bisson.

Newboy 5:08 PM  

TROVES of gems to enjoy today as previous posts attest. Add my voice to the ME TOO MOVEMENT looking forward to Kameron C’s next effort. Will check xwordinfo for previous grids to continue the game now afoot 🤒

Anoa Bob 6:09 PM  

I was put off at first by the likes of DIGGS and MEATSPACE (Really!?) but along came DRAGOON and a bumpy start to my solve smoothed out considerably.

CROCODILE TEARS ranks high on interest and complexity and is a great entry. You could write an essay just to define the term. The clue, however, seemed like it was written for a completely different word or phrase. Put me with the rest of yous who don't see any overlap in their Venn diagram circles.

Around 1970 three or four us each bought Japanese Enduro (on and off road) motorcycles. On one trip we would take, we would leave at dawn from San Diego and ride our bikes on a twisting two-lane road along the border to the TECATE, Mexico crossing. We would cross and then ride down into Baja. There were no roads, just trails through the desert that local ranchers and sheepherders used. We would ride south until around noon, stop in this village we had discovered to grab a bite to eat and maybe a TECATE beer, and head back north to TECATE, Mexico. It would be late at night before we got back to San Diego. Talking about tired! But it was the most fun I've ever had in my life (with all my clothes on).

Also learned how reliable the Japanese motorcycles were. None of us ever broke down or had any mechanical problems. I still have a Kawasaki although it's a street bike. Still fun to ride.

Sam 6:17 PM  

I finished, but was very close to cheating. I had chanT instead of MOTET and SAT SCORES, which probably tripled my time. Never heard the alternate definition for DRAGOON (I only knew it as some kind of military unit) and it felt weird to clue GOD that way, so I was unsure of the G.

Pamela 8:20 PM  

@barbara S- Love your story! Today’s is not nearly as much fun, and for me, tougher. Finally got the pangram and Genius. Whew! But no QB today, I FEAR.

John 9:57 PM  

Disagree w/ Rex. Difficult, not fun, a slog. Dragoon, meatspace, etc. way out of my wheelhouse. Pass.

Billy G 10:27 PM  

WALL-E is one of my all time favorite movies, so I have some strong feelings about this puzzle. It’s definitely EVE, and that particular mistake kinda ruined the whole puzzle for me...

Barbara S. 10:56 PM  

@TTrimble 4:23 and @Pamela 8:20
Thanks to you both.

**RE SB**
One word to go, hope fading...

Joe Dipinto 11:03 PM  

T-minus 57 until the trashing of the Sunday puzzle.

JC66 11:15 PM  

Joe D


Of course, it's a Samuel A Donaldson puzzle. Plus 9A.

Joe Dipinto 11:29 PM  

@JC – 9A, and so many other things.

Joe Dipinto 12:07 AM  

As predicted...

Wendy 6:12 PM  

Very annoying since I knew that the Olds was Alero.

spacecraft 11:24 AM  

Wow, looks like the constructing committee jumped all over FROOT, once the door was "ajar." Shame to call that sugar-laden stuff nutritious. This one gave me little trouble except in OFC's SW corner. Had to slap my head for not seeing METOO sooner, though. Shoulda been a gimme. This finally enabled me to work out OUTSWAM and SPOTAD. EPUB? Clueless. Filled by crosses.

Actually lots of cluelessness plagued me here; neither of the first two long acrosses made sense to me via the clues; thinking like the guy up there again (oh, no!). I also got MEATSPACE from crosses. Never heard of it.

My main complaint, however is: the answer to "Historic megalomaniac" only contained four squares. Clearly something wrong there. I tried for a rebus...

So, this one was a bit DICIER than recent endweek offerings, but still doable. A long while absent from the DOD stage, EVA Longoria returns. Birdie.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

A gigantic "Huh?" from me. Had absolutely no clue what half of the puzzle was, even with the answers.

rondo 12:42 PM  

Wow, a second helping of FROOT. Will's idea to put them together no doubt. I had trouble finishing in the NE because of STOic for so long instead of STONY, so a two letter over-write today.

The numerous corner letters will get you DRESS DAMPS, or something.

How about Bond girl EVA Green?

Liked it lots, wouldn't say easy.

thefogman 1:02 PM  

Easy huh? Well, it took me about 25 Rexes - so not that easy for me. Loved the Soul Train video!

Burma Shave 1:34 PM  


GOD, this METOOMOVEMENT is being DICIER all around,
'cuz with each GIRL I'm SEEING, there is no PARADISEFOUND.


Diana, LIW 4:26 PM  

Got something like 90+% - not bad, considering some of the big and eye-bending errors I made. Twas fun, for a stumper.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

El Dingo 4:46 PM  

Yeah, well, I suppose it could’ve been easy... if I weren’t determined to make the crosses work with DATAACQUISITION...

leftcoaster 6:53 PM  

Saturday can be and often enough is a killer.

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