Conjoined title character of 1990s-2000s Nickelodeon cartoons / SAT 8-8-20 / Sitcom regular at Monk's cafe / Super Six of old autodom / Demographic myth often used with respect to Asian Americans

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Constructor: Brooke Husic and Sid Sivakumar

Relative difficulty: Medium (around 8 min.)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: EVIE Sands (49A: Singer/songwriter) —

Evie Sands (born July 18, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter and musician.

Sands' music career spans more than 50 years. She began her career as a teenager in the mid-1960s. After a rocky start, she eventually found chart success in 1969, before retiring from performing in 1979 to concentrate on writing and production. She experienced a fashionable, UK-led surge in cult popularity beginning in the 1990s and returned to live performance in mid-1998. Sands continues to write and perform. [...] 

In 1969 Sands finally scored with the A&M single "Any Way That You Want Me", a Chip Taylor composition previously recorded by both the American Breed and the Troggs in 1966. A No. 1 hit in Birmingham, Alabama, Sands' "Any Way That You Want Me" also reached the top ten or better in Columbus, OhioHouston, Texas; San Diego, California; and a number of other cities. The record reached No. 53 on the Hot 100and tied with Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles" for most weeks (17) on that chart in the 1960s with a sub-50 peak. (wikipedia)
• • •

Before I get to what I liked about this puzzle (a lot), I gotta start with the one big Don't Like, and that is the answer MODEL MINORITY and *especially* its clue, 21A: Demographic myth often used with respect to Asian Americans. Let's be crystal clear here: the idea of a MODEL MINORITY is racist. Racist. That word is crucial here. "Demographic myth" sounds like some generic concept of how humans behave, but the idea of a MODEL MINORITY isn't just racist against Asian Americans, it's used as a super duper racist cudgel against Black and Hispanic Americans in particular. I have a hard time imagining what kind of "demographic myths" the crossword might accept about, I don't know, Jews, or Black people. The fact that MODEL MINORITY sounds nice should not exonerate it or allow it to pass as something other than the outright racist concept that it is. "Demographic myth," man, I almost literally choked on that little euphemism. Call racism racism, please and thank you.

OK, the rest of the puzzle! It was very entertaining—definitely out of my, uh, demographic at times ("CAT DOG" missed me, and MEGYN whoever on whatever "Rules of Engagement" is, also not on my radar), but only lightly so. I have no problem with proper nouns beyond my ken and out of me demo if the puzzle is well balanced overall, and the crosses on said proper nouns are fair. The REPORTS part of UFO REPORTS felt a little weak to me, somehow, but I cannot argue with PAYTOILET, SOFTPEDAL, BEERRUNS and especially POTDISPENSARY. I live in the state of New York where pot is not currently legal, so visiting my sister in Colorado last year was a *trip*. Dispensaries everywhere. It wasn't so much alarming as it was kinda sad. Just total saturation. Even when we were way out in nowhere SW Colorado, just as we were heading to the New Mexico border, near some lonely off-ramp next to some generic gas station ... bam! Dispensary! I guess you gotta load up on your pot and edibles and what not before heading back into joyless New Mexico, I don't know. Anyway, good answer, I say. I also weirdly like GOOUT. Solid and fresh, which is not something I normally have occasion to say about a five-letter entry. 

  • 15D: Film ___ (NOIR) — my baby! my precious! the genre of my soul. I was like "this *better* be NOIR" and it was, hurrah. Really helped me out up there in the NE.
  • 22D: It has four bases (DNA) — Had "RNA" ha ha I am dumb at science. The best part about that error was ending up with MOREL MINORITY ... and thinking "... do they mean MORAL? But ... no, that's definitely an "E" so ... what are the "demographic myths" about Asian Americans and mushrooms? I am *so* confused..."
  • 51D: Zoom call option (MUTE) — I very much relate to this clue and answer. Very much.
  • 46D: Throw out (EVICT) — Had E---T. Wrote in EJECT. Nope. Thought maybe EGEST. Nope. 
  • 10D: Big name in luxury handbags (FENDI) — wrote in PRADA and immediately thought "but what if it's FENDI!?" Please clap for my knowledge of luxury handbags.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. a little birdie (actually just my friend Rachel) told me that *both* of today's constructors will have puzzles (individually) in next weekend's Lollapuzzoola crossword tournament, which is entirely online, and which you should very much participate in. This is a tournament that puts a premium on fun, so if you're at all tournament-curious, this is literally the easiest way to dip your toe in that world. You don't even have to leave your home! You can even enter the "Next Day" division, which allows you to solve all the puzzles without any time pressure whatsoever. More info here.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Melrose 12:04 AM  

Agree with Rex on Model Minority. Offensive. Otherwise good, slow to get my hooks into it but got it finished.

David Eisner 12:05 AM  

RNA also has four bases, as it turns out.

jae 12:10 AM  

Bottom half easy, NW medium, NE tough. CATDOG and TGEL were WOEs and GEMSTONES took a while to see. So, medium over all. Lots to like here!

Joaquin 12:12 AM  

I was not familiar with the demographic myth of MODEL MINORITY, but I have to agree with Rex on this one. Almost a backhanded compliment on the order of telling someone he's "a credit to his race".

Are PAY TOILETs still a thing? I haven't seen one in decades.

jae 12:52 AM  

...oh, and speaking of easter eggs, I meant to mention yesterday that the Tesla 3 has a “fun” one. It’s a fart app that you can direct at any seat in the car and specify what kind of fart it will be.

Anonymous 1:05 AM  

Does the NSA get involved with UFO reports? That seems as though it really ought to be the responsibility of other agencies. FBI, CIA, DOD, sure, but why the NSA?

okanaganer 1:11 AM  

Better a MODEL MINORITY than a MORAL MAJORITY. (Remember them?) Actually I guess Rex is right, it's a weird phrase.

I had a LOT of temporarily wrong answers on this one. AFTER WW II instead of TRUMAN ERA (also considered something like "YEAR MCMLI" which is just silly.) SEMITONES for GEM STONES (I thought the "ring" was a sound!) STORMED IN for STOMPED IN. PARTY HARD for PARTY HOPS (nice that this crosses GO OUT).

The clue for HALO was both Saturday-hard and educational (I had GRIN briefly!) Wikipedia says it's a stylized AURA... another frequent xword (and Spelling Bee word).

The first time I ever used a PAY TOILET was in Germany in 1987. You paid your coin to an old lady who unlocked a stall with hey key and ushered you in. Fair enough. But when I went to leave I pushed the door open, and before I could go through, it clanged shut. And would not open again because... it was locked tight. I had to shout for the lady to release me. Upon which she cursed me roundly in German. I wanted to curse back but I didn't know any German swear words (except for schastreich?... spelling?), so I just said "was ist los?" about 5 times. That was also the last time I ever used a pay toilet.

POT DISPENSARY... it's legal in Canada, but shops are still restricted by zoning laws. But on Indian Reserve lands (yes, that is still the official label here believe it or not), which have their own minimal zoning laws, they are everywhere. Hence my evangelical Christian 76 year old sister drives to the Indian Reserve to buy pot for her insomnia. What an odd world we live in.

Sunam 1:20 AM  

Thank you for the comment about MODEL MINORITY. Don’t usually comment, but needed to say thank you for speaking out. As an Asian, I was frustrated by that clue/answer. Sometimes the ignorance of these puzzles is exhausting.

Robin 1:53 AM  

Gated the clueing for UFOREPORTS. N.S.A. is crypto stuff and intercepting your communications. It's NASA that has to deal with the effing UFOREPORTS, and I speak from experience as someone whose e-mail address is in the footnote of some NASA webpages.

That aside, I got hung out to dry on the CHIC/CATDOG intersection for way too long. Never seen the show and wanted BATDOG. Much time later, the other side of brain chimed in with a hint about fashion.

Wanted STORMEDIN rather than STOMPEDIN, but that didn't cause too much trouble.

puzzlehoarder 2:22 AM  

It's bad enough I had to do the puzzle on my phone again but that SE corner had to compound it by holding out. I kept thinking that first down had to be GEE but it has nothing to do with "Huh". Never heard of an ESSEX as a car.

Oddly STYX was what finally broke the log jam. Who knew a river could be related. EMPTY is a common recyclable? Seeings how the constructors' heads are EMPTY I suggest they recycle themselves.

Work has me very crabby with almost no time to solve or comment.

chefwen 2:36 AM  

I sure do love me a cheat free Saturday, doesn’t happen often.

Prada before FENDI, Hi Rex and STOrmED IN before STOMPED IN caused me a little grief that I had to right. Had I rough time trying to squish UFO sightings into 38A, not going to happen. REPORTS won out.

Enjoyed this one a lot.

LenFuego 4:50 AM  

A lot to like in this one, but I had a few nits along with the MODELMINORITY thing:

- Cluing ERE as "Infinitive verb suffix in Italian". Really? Now I need to know obscure verb suffixes in foreign languages to do a puzzle? I mean, I get being bored with "Before, to a poet", but there must be better ways to clue that in a novel way.

- TGEL? Yuck. Never heard of it -- that is simply a desperate reach to support unacceptable fill.

- There is no such phrase as "Oh no, you didn't". The phrase is "Oh no, you di'int." The second 'd' is elided past and therefore does not belong there.

- Recyclables are not "common"-ly EMPTY. If it is not empty, it cannot be recycled and is not a recyclable ... so if it is a recyclable, it is *always* empty.

- I count five women slotted into this grid and no men, and a female bent overall (e.g. clues about shampoo brands, luxury handbags and Cher). That's cool -- I am all for lopsidedness in service of evening the score for decades of crosswords' testosterone excess. But goodness gracious, the obscurity level of the women in this puzzle was extraordinarily high. That ended up putting this one in the difficult category, rather than medium.

Pawel Fludzinski 4:57 AM  

"...joyless New Mexico...." Why? You clearly haven't spent enough time in the Land of Enchantment. New Mexico is a beautiful state.

Pawel Fludzinski 4:59 AM  

I have to agree on MODELMINORITY. Just like "credit to his race" as another commenter posted. Excellent example of benign racism, but racism nonetheless.

Kim 5:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lewis 6:54 AM  

The constructors, in their notes, say, "By highlighting the MODEL MINORITY myth as a marquee entry in our puzzle, we hope both to introduce the concept to folks who aren't aware of it, and to make those who have experienced the social pressures associated with a perceived MODEL MINORITY — like Sid himself — feel seen."

Meanwhile, Jeff Chen, in his review of this puzzle, says, "Sid and I had a thoughtful exchange as I struggled to come to terms with how depressed this entry made me. I hate being reminded of something that has plagued me my entire life. I turn to crosswords to escape the realities of the world, and these days, I need escapes more than ever. In Stella Zawitowski's words, "The whole point of a crossword, or any puzzle, is to surprise and delight people"... It sucked to have delight taken away today."

I, the inveterate Libra, relate to both the positive and negative. I am grateful for having this concept highlighted, as it drew me to read more about it after my solve. I also feel bad for those who have suffered because of it. So my feelings are mixed as to whether this should be highlighted in a puzzle, and I am comfortable with that.

The puzzle itself is terrific -- clean and fresh. For the second day in a row there is a bounty of NYT answer debuts (10!), all of them rock solid. With GO OUT, PARTY HOPS, and the cross of POT DISPENSARY and BEER RUNS there was a feel of fun times with groups of people -- something to fondly remember and look forward to again.

I got my Saturday fix of that delicious slower moving solve, with sparks and sudden fills that come when with a flash you figure something out, all in a sea of cleverness. Please, you two, come out with more, and soon!

Lewis 7:02 AM  


Hungry Mother 7:09 AM  

Not as sloggy as the usual Saturday here. I have friends and relatives in the TAMPA/St Pete area, so know the local counties. The clue for GEMSTONES was the best.

LeaveItToYourGoat 7:10 AM  

I'll start by saying that I rarely agree with Rex when he goes on his "That's offensive!" rants, but even I did a double-take at MODEL MINORITY. It definitely feels out of place, but there's no malicious intent. Hey, maybe some solver out there will come across this as an unfamiliar concept and it'll help him or her confront their implicit biases?

All of the long entries felt really fresh, especially the Downs. PARTY HOPS, MEGA MALLS, PAY TOILET, SHOW ROOMS, HUMDINGER, SOFT PEDAL... This is what I come for. Inject this stuff into my veins.

Nice clue for EMPTY. I spent way too much time trying to figure out a 5-letter material. Next time I see EMPTY a want it to be clued as "Beeramid building block" thank you very much.

Anonymous 7:11 AM  

Regarding 1987, @okanaganer, my wife, a French prof, calls that woman Madame Pissoir.

Hungry Mother 7:11 AM  

Looking for PAYTOILETs? Go to Germany after the pandemic.

Will 7:15 AM  

I didn't interpret the inclusion of MODEL MINORITY to be praising the idea. Maybe it was just me bringing my own biases to the puzzle, but I assumed the inclusion of the clue/answer was to ridicule the notion of "model minority". I can see how the clue could have made it more obvious that that was what the constructors intended, but I didn't take it to be affirming the concept in any way whatsoever.

The Joker 7:29 AM  

Here I sit, I'm brokenhearted,
Paid to s*** and only farted.

Ciclista21 7:37 AM  

Toss that EMPTY into the recycling, Bubba. It's time for another BEER RUN.

Space Is Deep 7:38 AM  

I’m 58 and I’ve never seen a pay toilet. Who had them? Fairly easy Saturday puzzle.

GILL I. 7:38 AM  

I only was able to get MODEL MINORITY from the downs. I stared at it for a while and wondered where I had heard this phrase. I'm pretty sure it was a documentary I saw that discussed tiger moms and an increase in Asian teen suicides because of the systematic discrimination. Not a ROSY picture.
I think PAY TOILETs are outlawed now. If not, they should be. The last time I saw one was at a bus depot somewhere in Philadelphia. I didn't have the required quarter on me and I contemplated squatting down in a little corner. Some extremely large woman came in and told me she'd leave the door open for me. I never thought I could hold it as long as I did but I did....all the way to New York.
I thought this was easier than yesterday's puzzle. I didn't know MEGYN nor TGEL nor CATDOG in the upper hemisphere so I went downstairs and zippy doo dahed through the rest. Looks like Brooke and Sid like to party hardy. Just about every senior I know uses POT. Good for the aches and pains and sleep disorders. I don't give a fig who uses it but I sure as hell hate the smell. You're taking a little stroll, trying to smell the roses and all of a sudden the waft from the river STYX fills your nostrils .
I can origami a DOLLAR SIGN It's cool beans.
Another week, another no DOLLAR.
Oh, and thank you @Pawel 4:57 for coming to New Mexico's defense. I love that State. It is beautiful as are the people and food. Maybe @Rex had to use a PAY TOILET there.

ChuckD 8:04 AM  

Most of this went in pretty easily. Agree with Rex regarding MODEL MINORITY and further really don’t want my daily puzzle to force feed me on any social or political issues. Rest of the fill was solid - a little boring in spots. Liked the TRUMAN ERA/HUMDINGER cross and GEMSTONES is a nice entry. Surprised Rex didn’t criticize the bromance feeling of this one as he normally does - even though it has a bunch of wonderful female names - the POT DISPENSARY/BEER RUNS cross alone leans towards the frat house crowd. Although I always enjoy the Todd Snider take on B, double E, double R UN.

Actually doing a real world 10k in an hour - not formally organized but with a decent sized running club. They have all restrictions and distancing in place but it will be nice to have some resemblance of normality back.

Preferred Customer 8:08 AM  

Good morning,

This may seem redundant, but reading the comments so far I believe it is a point that needs to be made.

It's not just that model minority is racist, it's that the clue SOFT PEDALS the racism.

Not naming racism when it occurs, not naming misogyny when it occurs, downplaying the belittling and minimizing of whole groups of people, allows the ugly side of that mindset to flourish and poison people's lives.

If the clue were "racist trope associated with Asian-Americans" it would be more truthful. And that was a big part of Rex's point.


MarineO6 8:30 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Z 8:41 AM  

TRUMAN ERA really slowed me down. I tend to think of that period of time as post WW II with the Marshall Plan and GI Bill as the most salient aspects of that period. That Truman was president is probably not in my top five key features of post WW II America. Anyway, that’s probably just me, but even with —-MAN ERA I didn’t see it. Once CREΓ„M dawned on me I saw it.

Not much to add on the MODEL MINORITY thing. Thanks, @Lewis, for your post.

@LenFuego - The ERE clue might be read as “common crosswordese so we’re giving it an obscure clue so you ‘geniuses’ have to figure it out because it is Saturday so deal with it.” As for EMPTY, see @Ciclista21 for the explanation.

@Pawel Fludzinski and @Gill I - I didn’t read that as an insult to New Mexico but rather as a criticism of Colorado’s , er, elevated state. Pot shade, as it were. I was also bemused by Rex’s puritanical take on Colorado’s POT DISPENSARY businesses. How is the POT DISPENSARY near some generic gas station off a lonely off ramp any sadder than the seedy dive bar with Tuesday night karaoke next door? Really didn’t expect the implied pooh-poohing by our cocktail and wine swilling fearless leader.

mathgent 8:50 AM  

I consider 16 of today’s clues to be hard. They don’t narrow down the possible answers very much. For example, 14A, “When NATO was formed.” There are millions of historical things having nine letters.

On the other hand, about forty clues are pretty easy, like 10D, “Big name in luxury hand bags. There are maybe twenty designers with five letter names.

If the ratio of easy clues to hard is high, the puzzle isn’t too difficult because some of the letters in the entries with hard clues get filled in. Also, it helps if the entries with hard clues don’t bunch up, forming Naticks.

These are my thoughts as I try to understand why I was able to solve today’s pretty comfortably. Lots of hard but often intersected by easies. And the hards not crowded.
I’ve never heard the term MODELMINORITY. Here in San Francisco, one third of the population is Asian.

Sometimes there is a clue within a clue. “Place to go that requires cash at the door?”

Z 8:52 AM  

CREΓ„M? I have no idea why auto-corrupt did that.

@Preferred Customer - That’s how I read Rex, too.

JD 8:53 AM  

Endless hurrumphing on offensiveness tends to enure (inure spelling preferred these days?) but Model Minority is everything Rex said it is. And from my perch in high dudgeon let me also take offense at his own baffling swipe at New Mexico.

Agree with @Gill that this is a party hardy puzzle. The Millenials finally come of age in the crossword. I wince, but only slightly based on my party past. This too shall pass.

RooMonster 9:02 AM  

Hey All !
I hate this @&$! phone that auto-refreshes when you're well into your post. I'm ready to hurl it across the room. Lost my first post, so a concise second one, not as good.

I thought MODEL MINORITY was weird in the fact it sounds off to my ears.

Had buick first for ESSEX. I know Buick had a Super Eight, not sure about a Super Six.

Funny writeover, had cFO REPORT first for IDO REPORT. Either one works for the clue. 😊

That Y of MEGYN was messing me up for a while. Wanted an A, but that gave me PAA for 4D. Finally saw PAYTOILET, which is ironic, as I haven't seen one since I've been about 8.

Good themeless, easier than YesterPuz for me.

Two F's

Colin 9:04 AM  

Pay toilets are mostly banned in the US, but they're still a thing in many other places.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

Thought for sure Rex-Michael would be over the moon for the NYT publishing a puzzle with such a far left agenda but no, of course not, it's not far left ENOUGH for him! Doesn't even come close.

How one can have a PhD in literature of all things and yet be so spectacularly closed-minded? Probably into censorship too. Truly amazing and frightening.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

There is right now a pay toilet in Manhattan just ouside of the Madison A ensue side of Madison Square Park. Ignorance is a poor excuse for whining.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

if you're a 'Law&Order' addict, then you've seen the couple or so episodes that deal with the MODEL MINORITY situation. far better than this puzzle.

NSA is a sig int agency. UFO reports have gone through Air Force for decades (Project Blue Book). saw a headline, didn't follow up, that some/many/all reports were to be declassified, soon. anyway, everybody knows that Teflon was a gift from the little green men. and integrated circuits too.

Magpie 9:43 AM  

Shouldn’t the clue on 50a have been: Ξ© Ξ© ?

kitshef 9:45 AM  

Today the puzzle lost me before I left the NE, with the clues for 4D and 16A. Then I hit 21A and I thought “this has got to be an early Agard work”, which I always disliked. Turned out not to be, but could have been.

Yesterday started off poorly but won me over. Not so today.

kitshef 9:49 AM  

@Several posters - Google "NSA UFO" and you will find out just how involved the NSA has been in UFO REPORTS. Be prepared to be exposed to the less sane side of life.

@LenFuego – some things that are recyclable, such as paper, are usually not EMPTY.

Carola 9:51 AM  

Medium for me, mixing the easily gettable with some real head scratchers. Beginning up top, I could come up with only one lonely OCEAN, so I went down to probe for a hopefully SOFT underbelly, and indeed the appropriate cross of PUSHY x STOMPED IN opened up the grid enough to allow steady and rewarding progress. Some nice match-ups: BEAD and GEMSTONES, the boxing team of SPAR and ROPES, and the mythological father-daughter pair of OCEANus and STYX.
Help from previous puzzles: TGEL, ESSEX. No idea: MEGYN, CATDOG, MODEL MINORITY (which took almost every cross to get).

PAY TOILETs: what a source of stress! Was your quarter going to work, or be one of the rejects that ran right through the mechanism? Or, if it weren't rejected, would you manage to open up the stall door before time ran out or you otherwise messed up?

RickA 9:57 AM  

I know there has been more than sufficient commentary on MODEL MINORITY. But just to explain it a bit further, the problem with the clue is that it can be read to imply that while it is a "myth" that Asian-Americans are a "model minority," perhaps some other group qualifies as a "model minority."

Nancy 10:03 AM  

The SE almost finished me off, thanks to two answers:

1) The Dook of the Day: GOOUT

2) The "common recyclable". What could it be? PAPER? PLASTIC? BOTTLE? CAN? METAL? ALUMINUM? I had no idea. Then, when I had an MP in the middle, I got even more befuddled. Turns out it's an EMPTY. Is that a thing? Topic for discussion: Is EMPTY a clever, tricky answer or is it unfair?

One writeover that caused a lot of trouble: Had the M of TRUMAN ERA and wrote in ATOMIC ERA. Two writeovers that caused less trouble: "Turns down" was DIpS before DIMS and "Throw out" was EjeCT before EVICT.

Like the clue for THORN, though I think it causes more real pain than irritation.

Two challenging puzzles in a row, so I'm a happy camper.

Cyco 10:08 AM  

An “empty” is slang for a can or bottle, specifically.

bertoray 10:16 AM  

Between PARTYHOPS, BEERRUNS, and POTDISPENSARY, this was a HUMDINGER. Didn't know CATDOG, despite loving Ren and Stimpy, a 1990s cat dog duo on Nickelodeon.

jberg 10:22 AM  

I recycle my old newspapers, which are not EMPTY, so I think “common” is fair.

I was looking for a tear for NATO, but didn’t know the number. But NOIR worked only with forty Nine, so I was off and running— backwards. But my real problem was those two women in the NE. ANN seemed likely, and MEGaN worked with MEGAMALLS, but then I had PAA starting 4D. Aha, it could be MEGna, like my favorite NPR person, crossing ANa! Then I got PAY TOILET, and decided MEGYa was ok. That was my final answer.

“of old autocompleted.” Really?

JD 10:22 AM  

@Nancy, It's part of the mini theme, @Gill's Party Hardy. Go Out or just to the Party House. Stop at the Pot Dispensary first. Get lucky with some Empty (ES)Sex? It'll be fun, yesterday we did Body Shots and watched CatDog* reruns, Golden age of Nickelodeon bro, don't leave that Empty on the table.

*I have a CatDog ceramic rain stick made by my daughter in a high school art class. It's a prized possession.

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

If it’s permissible, I think it’s worth noting that even the Democrats are calling for schools to reopen. Thank you Chuck Schumer.
Also, some pretty left-leaning media outlets are beginning to call the goings on in Seattle and Portland riots and not the absurd peaceful protest that they’ve been selling for months. It’s almost as if their polling is telling them something their instincts didn’t.

ColoradoCog 10:34 AM  

As a resident of Colorado, I have to chime in.

When we first legalized weed, it did seem that a POT DISPENSARY was popping up on every corner. But after a while, it just became ho hum. The world didn’t collapse into chaos. Nothing really changed at all. And then the dispensaries were just there, no more noticed (and less numerous) than liquor stores. Once you get past the novelty of the once taboo coming out into the open, it’s only “total saturation” to the extent that any number is infinite percent growth over zero, and it’s only “sad” to the extent that you feel morally offended by someone winding down with a gummy instead of a beer.

pyroclasts 10:34 AM  

@LenFuego, as a classics minor, I quite liked the Italian clue. Why are obscure actresses and films from the 1930s a-ok in your book but not the basics of Romance grammar?

And re: “di’n’t”, no the expression is absolutely written “oh, no you didn’t”, it’s just pronounced differently. I hope you’re not trying to suggest English is a phonetic language, or else button would be written “buron”! (Yes, that sounds we Americans make when gliding over the t’s is the same as the Spanish tapped r!)

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Preferred customer. You do see how delicious your preferred sign off is given your PC lecture, right?

TJS 11:12 AM  

Man, I was ready to quit this thing right from the get-go. A city name, a computer name, a shampoo name a purse name, a cartoon name, a sitcom name, and a Cher clue. AARRGH. But as has so often happened in my life, a beer run cheered me up. Popped that sucker in with no letters of help and decided to stick this thing out. The U from beer run gave me ufo-something, which gave me the F for soft pedal and off to the races.
Kinda with @Z re. "Truman Era". And I still think of the Marshall Plan as our countrys' finest act of inspired diplomacy. Heading out for some Presidentes.

sixtyni yogini 11:22 AM  

Model minority clue πŸ‘ŽπŸ½πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ πŸ‘ŽπŸ½πŸ‘ŽπŸ½πŸ‘ŽπŸ½. Agree. Surely a better clue for those words could be found. Haha how about “Democrats in the Senate?“ (Uhoh, another biased crossworder! πŸ˜œπŸ€—πŸ˜œ) or “Good sports?” “Gracious winners”
Agree w Rex on rest also. But very hard for me until I got a rhythm going.

bauskern 11:29 AM  

@ Will [7:15] I agree; there was nothing in the clue for MODELMINORITY to suggest that the constructor approved of the stereotype. I am no fan of racism, but it strikes me that many people on this blog get very offended very quickly.

I had no idea that the Taj Mahal was a TOMB, so happy to learn something new. Am currently reading Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, which takes place in India. If you're looking for a well-written, eye-opening book, I highly recommend it. India is truly another world.

I thought today's puz was *much* easier than yesterday's. Only answer/clue I didn't care for was 54D ERE. There's Saturday hard, and then there's just "really??" But apart from that, this was a pleasant diversion.

pmdm 11:51 AM  

So one person posts a comment that notes pays toilets are almost extinct in the USA. That means some do exist. And someone else posts a comment that provides an example of a pay toilet in NYC and uses that to imply the forst post was incorrect. I see a logic problem here.

Like myself Lewis seems to read XWordInfo before coming here. I have to agree that the comments posted there by the constructors and Jeff are worth reading in their entirety. While unfamiliar with the term, I am all too aware that racism is alive and doing well in this country. Perhaps racists are responsible for who's in charge of this country right now. And they form a bloc that will be important in the upcoming elections. I normally shrug my shoulders at crossword puzzle entries, but I would say with all that I read in the news, I look to puzzles as things to take my attention away from what I dislike, not underline it. I think Jeff is correct. A more gentle touch should have been used.

More trivia in the puzzle that I am unfamiliar with than I prefer. Most if not all I could live without.

Ernonymous 11:55 AM  

They have pay toilets in Iceland. There were some at tourist places like the waterfalls. You had to buy a ticket inside at the cashier, or else use your credit card. It was difficult to understand where to get the tickets and how to feed them in. The used paper tickets were strewn all over the ground. And it was about $2 and for that price, they were not clean.
3 years ago in Italy there was a bit of a scene at a restroom at the train station Stazione Trastevere. My friends were meeting me there, but they were late, so I went to use the restroom in the back, by the tracks. I went in, and used it and then a woman was chasing me and yelling at me that I had to pay to use it. It felt like I'd done something awful, like deface a work of art, the way she was cursing at me. Oops!
Back in the old days they had restroom attendants in all the bathrooms in Italy. You would give them 200 Lire for a piece of toilet paper. I sort of remember them as a kid in New York City. One thing I do remember is being in the Penn Station toilets with my mother and they had white toilets with black seats, and I'd never seen that before and I thought it was gross. It must have made a big impression because I still remember it!

Whatsername 11:58 AM  

What an enjoyable solve! One of the best Saturdays I can recall in a while. Lots of fresh new fill and not very many Propers.

TRUMAN is the Show-Me state’s biggest claim to fame, along with fireworks stands which are what you’ll find next to the generic gas stops at the last-chance exits on the interstates.

BRATS reminded me of crisp fall days at camp Randall Stadium in Madison Wisconsin. You could smell them sizzling for miles around and an EMPTY never stayed that way for long. Even the UNHIP were welcome to PARTY HOP on football Saturdays.

Like many, I was taken aback by 21A. While I’ve not personally known many Asian Americans, I can’t help but think it might cause them considerable discomfort. Plus it intrinsically implies there is something “wrong” with other minority groups, that they’re not as good or should strive to be better. By whose standards, I wonder.

Masked and Anonymous 12:04 PM  

There are quite a few books based on the MODELMINORITY myth. One of em has the title: "Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism".

Any puz that has PAYTOILET & POTDISPENSARY & GOOUT gets at least three stars from m&e.
Also, the OCEAN rolled in, for a second day in a row.

staff weeject pick: IMS. Has a special place in old M&A's heart, as he served a stretch as a database administrator, in his wilder days. The IBM database system on that company's mainframes was called "IMS". [Info Management System, probably.] Anyone else ever do the IMS rodeo thing? HDAM? HIDAM? HISAM? Segments? Get Unique calls? SSA's? Virtual logical childs? All-nighter database reorgs? But, I digress …

BEERRUNS & PARTYHOPS & POTDISPENSARY. HUMDINGER. UFOREPORTS. BRATs. Far out. I'ma gonna wanna be invited to these constructioneers' puzpublication celebration bash. Hard pass, on the CATDOGs, tho.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Brooke darlin & Sid dude. Primo GEM-STONE-fillinS! And congratz to Brooke Husic, on her debut.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


johnk 12:08 PM  

After finally entering the D and L to complete MODEL MINORITY and the puzzle, I googled the term. There, right at the top, was a 2017 NPR article titled "'Model Minority' Myth Again Used As a Racial Wedge Between Asians". I had never heard the term, let alone any controversy. But, knowing that one of the constructors is South Asian, I assumed he must encounter the term.

Unknown 12:16 PM  

Bloomngdale’s had PAY TOILETS in the 70s. That was the first time I ever saw them and I was mystified and fascinated. Had a little trouble in the NW corner, but mostly because I never heard the term MODEL MAJORITY (ugh) and kept thinking HOTEL MAJORITY which obviously made no sense

Birchbark 12:17 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
What? 12:19 PM  

Yes but easy to get with the cross.

Anonymous 12:25 PM  

Many foreign countries.

What? 12:29 PM  

Terrific puzzle. Hard but yielding to perseverance for a 100. Only “problem” is STOMPED IN. Never heard that expression, STOMPED ON , yes.
Together with praying for a COVid vaccine and Dodo Donald’s defeat in November, why can’t every Times puzzle be as good as this? Too bad there isn’t a Dememorizer (sp?) from Men in Black so we could solve this one every day from zero.

Anyone have any useful info re the Xword tournament? Is it worthwhile for a casual solver to enter the timed sessions?

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

megyn crossing with paytoilet just completely killed my time

Z 12:34 PM  

@bauskern & others - There is nothing in Rex’s write-up to suggest that the constructor approved of the stereotype: that is the answer MODEL MINORITY and *especially* its clue,... Rex is on record multiple times placing responsibility for clues on the editor, so I think it is fairer to read that paragraph as mostly a criticism of Shortz.

@ColoradoCog - You probably already saw it, but I agree.

How long until we see WAP in a puzzle and how aghast will solvers be when they accidentally see the video? References to the video were all over my Twitter timeline because a bunch of “family values” types had their panties in a twist so I accidentally watched it, too. Yep. Raunchy. What cracked me up was that YouTube suggested that I wanted to watch Blurred Lines next. I don’t recall as much panty twisting for that video. In short, hetero T&A = bad, implied minority bisexuality and much ado about nothing = end of civilization and the corruption of children. My guess, WAP will appear in a BEQ puzzle within the next week, a AVCX or Inkubator puzzle within the next month, and the NYTX in 2025. Anyway, it is probably a sign that I do too many crosswords when a raunchy video has me wondering how long it will be before it becomes crosswordese.

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

not only is the Taj a TOMB, but a Muslim one, too. in a country that's been chary of such folks for centuries.

Frantic Sloth 12:44 PM  

What a lovely workout! This puppy had a little nipping action going on. It put up some feisty little dukes, but I prevailed. Smell me!
(Puppies don't really have dukes, but they make dookies!)

I don't know how long it took, but it wasn't anywhere near the 7.5+ hours that the online puzzle says it was. Must have left it running when I went to sleep. That sucks. I'm always curious about my times when I struggle.

Some random thoughts:

Is there anything more sadistic than a PAYTOILET?

Checking for possible errors mid-solve, I found myself saying "what the hell are UFORE PORTS? That's gotta be wrong..."

MODELMINORITY What the hell is that? I had MOraLMINORITY until I decided that a BaERRUN could only be a training ritual for Max.

PARTYHOPping must be a college fraternity/sorority thing. I only ever did the 70s...

Don't know about you guys, but when I GOOUT (DOOK!) it's not necessarily to "hit the town". Dafuq?

"Monk's Cafe" drove me nuts for the longest time. I knew I knew it and I just couldn't dredge it up. When I saw ELAINE happen, I nearly broke my hand slapping my forehead. (My testa dura is safe.)
Personal problem because I only ever think of it as "Tom's Restaurant", which it is IRL.

I'm not a ballerina, but I play one on radio and ONTOE is just stupid. It's "en pointe" or even "on pointe". ONTOE is Martian-speak.

POTDISPENSARY only serves to remind me of how my state (let alone this country) just won't pull the damned trigger already!

There is no way on God's green earth I should have known ESSEX, but in it went without so much as a how-do-you-do.

Life=mysteries a-go-go.

On that pithy note, I bid you good day!


MarthaCatherine 12:46 PM  

When I went to France for the first time in 1999, I learned from the American students there that if you need to pee, find a McDonald's because the toilets were always free, unlike nearly every other place.

Z 12:46 PM  

@What? - Why not? I did an online tournament, finished in the top 700, which is about what I expected. In a similar vein, at my fastest I ran a 7:00 minute mile pace for 10Ks, that never stopped me from entering. I look on these tourneys the same way. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have the time to participate in Lollapuzzoola, so I will probably have to do the next day division.

David 12:47 PM  

@Magpie 9:43, no, Omega is the symbol for ohms. Don't know how you'd fit 10,000 omegas on a single resistor in a schematic...

@Anon at 10:32. Sure it's permissible to point out science-denying blindness coming from Democrats. Get ready for the next shutdown now.

This was far outside my wheelhouse and a struggle. Things I either don't know or care about: Megyn, Tgel, megamalls, party hops, beer runs, catdog, fendi, Monk's cafe?

After WWII before Truman era. The man dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago this week, it's odd to not associate him with both that and the Marshall plan.

Party hard before hops; stormed in before stomped

Ideal before model; I took "myth" to mean "untruth."

Crush before cream

The last Essex came out in 1933, about the same era folks said "humdinger."

I heard a nice interview with Evie 2 or 6 times this week on WNYC and still didn't get that easily.

The only things that came easily to me were "pot dispensary", "styx", and "horse race." I so wanted 17A to have to do with Wagner. Bass Arias would have been nice.

When I have such difficulty with a puzzle, I think I hate them while I'm doing them. Then, most often, I sit back and look at the finished product and think, "wow, that's pretty good."

This one is.

What? 12:57 PM  

Modi won’t dare tear it down. Or will he.

sf27shirley 1:13 PM  

Goodness, I am almost 68 and remember seeing them rather often a long time ago. They were in bus terminals and other crowded public places.

Master Melvin 1:17 PM  

Starting from Dublin we toured Ireland inn a more or less clockwise direction. Never encountered a pay toilet in the Republic. As soon as we crossed into Northern Ireland: pay toilets. Just one more reason to advocate the reunification of the North with the Republic!

barryevans 1:19 PM  

Any codgers from the UK like me are well acquainted with pay toilets, hence you still hear the euphemism, "I'm going to spend a penny"--because heaven forbid you use the word "urinate" or the vulgar "pee."

old timer 1:24 PM  

I think the puzzle was brilliant, which means of course the long answers were almost all ones that leapt to mind at once. BEERRUN (I remember the country song, and a few parties where they were deemed necessary). PARTYHOPS! Less wowing, but SOFTPEDAL was good.

Still had to look up stuff to finish in the SE -- STYX, because I didn't see OHMS and long wanted "paper" before EMPTY. and did not guess GEE until the end. POT DISPENSARY was definitely not UNHIP.

Who ever hear of MEGYN before? Not I. PAY TOILETS I remember. They existed to deter their use as places to shoot up, or perform other unsavory acts. The Martinez AMTRAK station, and others I'm sure, provided dime-sized tokens for use by genuine passengers. In France, BTW, every public toilet had an old lady commonly called "Madame Pipi" who was unfazed by the men at the urinoirs, and expected a small tip if you used the cabinet to make caca. Same was true in Germany, of course.

The word "myth" in the clue for MODELMINORITY made it clear that the composers disapproved of the term.Had the clue called the term "Racist" it would have failed to make the point. Lots of folks have come to distrust anyone who bandies about that term frequently. Of course the most "model" of all minorities in California were of Japanese descent. Hard working, honest, admired by almost everyone. In WWII, we sent them to concentration camps. When I learned about that, I was ashamed to be an American, and lost a lot of respect for Roosevelt.

Rick Walker 1:28 PM  

A myth is a lie. I have no trouble calling the concept of Γ€sians being the model minority a lie. I see it as a friendly reminder. I find going on a tirade about even saying the words to be political correctness from an arrogant prig.

Smith 1:29 PM  

When I was young my mother told me always to carry (no split infinitives in our house, sigh) change for the pay phone and the
PAYTOILET. Also that she would always pick me up, no questions asked. Turned out one night to be a very good thing.

One son used TGEL frequently in childhood. Scalp issues. We called it "road 'struction 'poo" after the tar smell. He thought it was cool.

Anyone able to get pdfs? Phone solving...

Art 1:41 PM  

Is “stomped in” a thing? “Stormed in”, yes. “Stomped in”, not so much.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

Thanks for calling out the racist Model Minority and not letting it just slide by.

Frantic Sloth 1:51 PM  

After reading Rex, I have to say I couldn't agree more. (Except for GOOUT)

Also, I went one step further with MOreLMINORITY (and before the BAeRRUNS discovery) wondering whether this had to do with mushrooms. "Are there that many mushrooms in Asian cuisine? Enough to generate a whole 'demographic myth' about it?? [thinking] "Nah."

Is "demographic myth" the new euphemism for racism? I haven't heard/read it before and I hope it really isn't or really doesn't become a "thing".

Oh, and I only ever think of "UFO sightings" as the terminology.

Also entered Lollapuzzoola for the first time this year. Looking forward!

@LenFuego 450am I agree about "Oh, no, you didn't" and actually prefer the "Oh, no, you bettah don't!" variation.

Always being the voice of kindness, @Lewis can also be the voice of reason as in his 654am comment. Couldn't have said it better myself in a millennia. Thank you!

@TheJoker 729am You silly!😁 Too many beans.

@Comment deleted 830am Tsk! We've all been there. Well, with certain notable exceptions, I'm sure. (You know who you are! πŸ˜‰)

@Z 841am So agree with you about TRUMANERA vs. postWWII! If it fit, it was going in with confidence.

@JD 853am You should speak more often from your "perch in high dudgeon" (love that!). It is in welcome contrast to certain others' (who are and should remain nameless) voice(s) from primordial ooze.

@Roo 902am I feel your pain, bro. Phones happen.

@Magpie 943am I wondered that myself - especially since OHMS is clearly a POC. (Not as bad as a POWTF, but bad enough.)
Thanks to @David 1247pm for explaining our misconception!

@Nancy 1008am
1.) Ditto!
2.) Neither. It's just stupid. I went through the same progression. (Sorry about that)

POTDISPENSARies: The new Starbucks.

@What 1229pm I consider myself a casual solver, joined the online tournament earlier this year, and just registered for Lollapuzzoola. Both entries were my first time for each, so not a lot of experience to speak from; however, if the earlier tourney is any indication of future experiences, I highly recommend it. That one was whipped up on the fly within a very tight window and despite some very minor, short-lived glitches, was mighty impressive IMHO. I can only imagine that Lollapuzzoola, with the advantage of more time for preparation, will be even more so.

Unknown 1:51 PM

model minority report.... so to speak!

rjkennedy98 3:10 PM  

The clue that gave me the hardest time was "Makes the rounds on a weekend night, say". When I had PART I immediately thought it had to do with part time work - and it took for ever for me to see PARTY HOPS. I guess we live in a time of such economic distress that immediately came to mind.

To me this was just outstanding fill. Probably the best of the NY Times puzzles I've done. It definitely had a weird paranoia hanging over it though with MODEL MINORITY, POT DISPENSARY, PAY TOILET, PARTY HOP - just crazy f-ing fill. I felt like it was a puzzle created by Thomas Pynchon.

Barbara S. 3:13 PM  

I made up a new word which I rather like. For STOMPEDIN, I went through a stage of having STOMPaDed due to the following downs: aRE, EjeCT and NodE. I’ve had moments of anger or frustration when I’ve stompaded around the house or office, but not too many, fortunately.

I have to wax nostalgic over the appearance of SOFT PEDAL. This very answer in a puzzle from sometime last year caused me to find Rex and you all. I had a question about SOFT PEDAL and I felt sure I needed to find online discussion of that day’s puzzle to resolve my query. I didn’t know anything about sites that discussed the NYTXW – or even if they existed. My solving experience for all the years leading up to that point had been solitary. But I found Rex, read his review and saw, to my disappointment, that he said nothing about SOFT PEDAL. So I clicked on “Comments,” read you guys and found, to my further disappointment, that no one said anything about SOFT PEDAL. So I posed my question anonymously and got several useful answers -- Yeah! From then on, I read Rex every day. I didn’t always go into the Comments section (didn’t always have time) but that was the start of my lurking on this site and ultimately contributing to it.

GOOUT was a good DOOK, but I thought U FORE PORTS was right up there. (And there’s also the superior equestrian, also known as the HORSER ACE.)

Queenoid 3:24 PM  

As another Colorado resident, I am chiming in to agree with ColoradoCog. The people who become excited/exercised about the dispensaries are the visitors to the state.

Preferred Customer 4:31 PM  

A. Nony Mouse from 10:44am. The ambiguity of my chosen moniker keeps me amused. PC was bequeathed to me by a Microsoft machine long ago, and has served me well.

I would however argue that my contribution is not really politically correct, because I don't care if I offend someone. In fact, I am fine if someone squirms a little and realizes that everyone is human and deserves justice and dignity. See below:

Political correctness (or PC for short) means using words that will not offend any group of people. ... Some of these words have now been replaced by other words that are not offensive. These new words are described as politically correct.



JD 4:43 PM  

@LenFuego, I always think of it as, "From the git go." Also, have heard, "Oh no, you didn't." I'm the kind of person who can be driven to use "Git," so naturally I elide the second D but I Have Heard it said, probably by other hillbillies.

Thank you @Frantic! And heheh Morel Majority. I prefer the common button.

Anonymous 5:13 PM  

On xword info Jeff Chen wrote of his discussion with co-constructor Sid Sivakumar about the inclusion of Model Minority in the puzzle. They are two Asian Americans who had a thoughtful conversation and respectfully disagreed with each other. Might want to sit this one out Rex. The white guy condescending to the person of color is not a good look.

GILL I. 5:19 PM  

@JD and @Barbara S.....My wish for the day...both of you should get a little avatar. Make it easier for moi and the rest of us who really enjoy your posts to pick you out of a line up. It's easy; it's free...make my day?

Fred Wollam 5:35 PM  

I pretty-much agree *and* disagree with all the above, and want to toss in one other, uniquely crosswordly moment I had with it: at 19A (form moisture) I initially thought BEAD, then dismissed this as too clumsy a clue, in that such moisture "forms" *before* it (later) BEADs up. I eventually revisited the clue, whereupon a *hated it* changed into a *loved it* when "formed" revealed its other meaning... a hate-then-love-that-clue thing which had never occurred before, not in my 65 years at this. This may or may not have bein helpe?d along by 42A, POTDISPENSARY... I am not at liberty to dyvulge; this ifnormation at persent.

Nancy 5:56 PM  

Should I characterize the demise of PAY TOILETS as the single best thing that has happened in my lifetime? Well, it's certainly right up there. @GILL -- since I'm not exactly known as a camel, I would have had to take a chance with that "extremely large woman" you dodged rather than try to make it all the way from Philly to NYC -- there's no chance in hell that I could have.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the end of PAY TOILETS is closely tied to the women's movement. (Help me out, ladies of a certain age.) Either men's toilet's at the time mostly were free whereas women's weren't or, assuming both were pay (and I don't think they were), it was assumed that the situation was harder on women than on men who had other "options". Anyway, it's something that women were protesting back at the time and their protests worked.

Anonymous 6:16 PM  

well, it's pretty much impossible to charge for a guy's pee palace. but we still had to pay to poop. girls, for obvious reasons, don't have that option. although I've seen adverts for devices that allow girls to pee like a guy. don't know that any girls rooms have urinals in a row to make that option viable.

one of my bosses, back in the 70s, had spent some time in Germany (US Army, of course) just prior, and allowed has how, at least for guys, public restrooms consisted of holes in the floor with carved out foot prints to aid in aiming. never took to time to find out if he was gaslighting.

Jim Spies 6:50 PM  

I honestly can't believe you didn't connect the cross of "Beer Run"s and Pot Dispensary with Todd Snyder. Enjoy.

Bob Mills 6:52 PM  

I think Rex has to learn how to relax. "MODEL MINORITY" is only racist if one considers Asian-Americans to be a model minority. To simply refer to the fact that someone else has made such a reference is not racist. There;s no endorsement of the phrase here.

If I refer to the Southern Manifesto, whereby Southern politicians vowed to retain segregation, is that a racist reference? Or it is simply a historical fact?

JD 6:54 PM  

@Gill, Funny you should suggest that. I haven't because I couldn't quite figure out what to use. But when this puzzle brought up CatDog, I thought Aha! just loony enough. My daughter sculpted this silly thing.

sf27shirley 7:22 PM  

Nancy I'm of that age and had forgotten that pay toilets were an issue in the women's movement. I was deeply involved in the radical side, we agreed women should have equal opportunity to be cops or judges but we're more into changing the system entirely. But I do remember a few instances of jamming the coin slots and the like....

JC66 8:30 PM  


I never realized PAY TOILETS was a feminist issue.

However I was/am, very aware that the lines for the 'Ladies Room" at Broadway shows, sporting events and concerts were/are always longer than the lines into the "Men's Room." I din't know if that's changed much.

Anonymous 8:53 PM  

Usually you are a little to left for me, but I agree with you’re reaction to model minority...

Jonathan Tomer 11:12 PM  

I had both GUCCI and FENDI before PRADA. Only skipped LOUIS because I already had the D from the cross. Oh well.

Dave S 11:36 PM  

Mostly enjoyed the puzzle, but just to weigh in on the outrage dept;

While I do think rex sometimes looks for things to be annoyed at, model minority really ticked me off and nearly spoiled it for me. The constructors bringing it up as something to be rejected seems like a copout; it really shouldn't be discussed at all. Catdog got them back a little bit into my good graces. I knew watching cartoons with my kids at the turn of the century wasn't a waste. Catdog and, especially, Courage the Cowardly dog, were two of the best.

Lord knows restroom equality is something worth fighting for, but I can't see the absence of pay toilets as a victory. Now, I guess some people are referring to pay stalls within public restrooms, and yeah, that's a nuisance. But the lack of general public toilets in the United States, pay or otherwise, is a disgrace. I would have paid twice whatever the small amount of Euros asked for at the jardin du luxembourg last time I was in Paris, and I , and the city, were much happier for those pay toilets being there.

Jem Macy 4:12 PM  


thefogman 11:06 AM  

Easy for a Saturday. Agree with Rex about 21A. Yet another example of why it’s time for a new editor for the NY Times Crossword.

thefogman 11:32 AM  

@Dave S 11:36. How about a pay toilet that allows the user to pay it forward? A pay-it-forward toilet...

spacecraft 11:58 AM  

Well, the clue DID say it was a "myth"...anyway, I struggled with D vs. R for square 22. MOREL--isn't that a kind of mushroom? Could the answer be a play on words? But I finally settled on good old DNA.

The whole thing was wicked hard, but I persevered, garnering tons of triumph points. One writeover: I STOrmED IN instead of STOMPED. Not quite sure how you stomp in--maybe to get the snow or mud off your boots. Not really much anger, there, just a desire not to mess up the floor.

We have many a POTDISPENSARY out here in Vegas; yet "grow houses" are still illegal. Go figure.

Since so few have heard of MEGYN Price, we shall honor her with the DOD award. Most honorable mention to Julia Louis-Dreyfus as ELAINE.

Some NASTY clues, including the ones for DNA and STYX, put this baby squarely in the Saturday slot; and no "medium" about it. Birdie.

Burma Shave 1:03 PM  


to PAY MEGA DOLLARs, of course,


rondo 2:15 PM  

Not being a great piano mind, all these years I thought it was SOFTPEDdle, as in not being a PUSHY seller (of things or ideas). Growing up on the farm we had a rather PUSHY peddler come around from time to time. So I learned that. Other than that, I had no write-overs even though it took more than a half-hour to solve. I did circle MEGYN Price, who knows if she shows up again? I DIDNT find this hard. ARENT you glad to know that?

Anonymous 2:31 PM  

Pisser upon pisser - a true infestation. Not enjoyable, constructed with malice afore thought.

rainforest 2:46 PM  

Well! Three challenging puzzles in a row, at least for me. Today's was a little less so, but still put up a fight.

I *did* give 21A the side eye, but since it is a myth, no harm done. The puzzle in general was quite fun to do with nothing really daunting, and several clever clue/answer combos. CATDOG, though inferrable, seems weird to me.

Liked it.

leftcoaster 4:14 PM  

Much friendlier puzzle than yesterday's, and more fun to do, though not easy.

Liked MODEL MINORITY, though not sure how much a "demographic myth" it is. Also liked DOLLAR SIGN but left wondering about that "4". POT DISPENSARY was a bonus.

Why would NSA's UFO REPORTS be "hard to believe"? Those "objects" are "unidentified" but seen repeatedly by responsible observers and duly reported.

DIDN'T know MEGYN in the NW or EMPTY/STYX cross in the SE, and had downPEDAL before SOFT.

"Finished" the puzzle with a bit of outside help, and enjoyed it.

Diana, LIW 5:25 PM  

Got 95%. Now will the virus go away? And take the smoke with it?

Lady Di

strayling 6:30 PM  

4 down had me chuckling at the memory of classic PAY TOILET graffiti:

"Here I sit, broken hearted,
"Spent a penny and only farted"

spacecraft 8:11 PM  

@ leftcoaster: On your standard keyboard, the $ is shift-4.

Anonymous 9:19 PM  

Easier than Friday - for me.

Is 21A clue suitable ? Depends on what model behavior one is calculating. So it could be a myth or not a myth.

@Lady Di - smoke comes and goes, but viruses are always in the air. Mandatory decrees and lock-downs and silly six foot rules need to go away.

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