Pre-Q quartet / TUE 8-18-20 / Alanis Morissette song about unfortunate situations / Heroine in Pearl Buck's Good Earth / Balkan land whose capital is Pristina / Grump cat or doge e.g. / Measure fully ratified on 8/18/20

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Constructor: Olivia Mitra Framke

Relative difficulty: Easy (2:51) (undersized grid, 14x15)

THEME: AMENDMENT XIX (53A: Measure fully ratified on 8/18/1920) — a puzzle celebrating the 100th anniversary of WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE in the U.S. (34A: Subject of 53-Across):

Additional theme answers:
  • ALICE PAUL (17A: Rights advocate who campaigned for 53-Across)
  • CONSTITUTION (19A: What 53-Across changed)
  • TENNESSEE (56A: 36th state to ratify 53-Across, resulting in its passage)
Word of the Day: ORANGINA (10D: Citrus drink often sold in a pear-shaped bottle) —

Orangina (French pronunciation: ​[ɔʁɑ̃ʒina]) is a lightly carbonated beverage made from carbonated water, 12% citrus juice (10% from concentrated orange, 2% from a combination of concentrated lemon, concentrated mandarin, and concentrated grapefruit juices), as well as 2% orange pulp. Orangina is sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup (glucose fructose) and natural flavors are added.

Orangina was developed by Augustin Trigo Mirallès from Spain in 1933 and was sold to French businessman Léon Beton at a trade fair in Marseille in 1935. Today it is a popular beverage in Europe (especially France and Switzerland), Japan, North Africa, and to a lesser extent in North America.

Since November 2009, Orangina has been owned by Suntory in most of the world. In the United States, the brand has been owned by Keurig Dr Pepper (formerly the Dr Pepper Snapple Group) since 2006. In Canada, the brand is owned by Canada Dry Motts Inc. (wikipedia)

• • •

Hey, cool, an anniversary puzzle that actually appears exactly on the anniversary. And it's a milestone that's truly worthy of the tribute. No trickiness or gimmicks here, just straightforward trivia arranged in a symmetrical pattern, but it all works fine. Of course you'd normally refer to the "measure" in question today as the "nineteenth amendment," not AMENDMENT XIX, but the phrase as it appears in the grid is accurate, so I can't really ding it for its non-colloquial quality. Puzzle is undersized (narrow by one column) in order to accommodate the 14-letter central answer. I guess the constructor could've opted for the oversized 16x15 puzzle and stuck with the same answers just fine, but if you can do it in a 14 wide just as well, why not? You get a couple nice longer Downs in the bargain (ORANGINA, MUSTANGS). Actually, FOR KEEPS isn't bad either, and TOXINS and BOX SET both work nicely in the SE. I suppose those X's might've caused trouble, but with KOSOVO that actually ends up being the most interesting corner.

There's some less-than-lovely crosswordesey stuff (AMOI, OLES, OLAN) and a couple of weakish partials (ADEE, AKISS), and MNOP is ... yeah, not great; but this is a puzzle where all the fill really has to do is hang in there. Stay cleanish, let the attention go to the theme. Mission largely accomplished. Not much else to say.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:07 AM  

Nice to have a tip of the hat to 8/18/1920. Do any of you remember “back in the day” when US presidents actually encouraged folks to vote instead of trying to disenfranchise them? That was awesome!

Meanwhile, back at the puzzle … I’ve never heard of ORANGINA but I just may try one and use it to toast Michelle Obama (speaking of awesome).

Marcus Chance 12:14 AM  

As a traveler, I certainly enjoyed seeing KOSOVO in the grid. I'm in next door Albania for the rest of the week, where I recently tried the Burek - phyllo dough pastry with spinach.

I would have a slight preference for MUSTANG to be clued less testosterone-y in a puzzle celebrating women's right to vote. Maybe via the horses meaning. Of course I realize there are all kinds of people who love mustangs and muscle cars. Like I said, just a slight preference.

I find anniversary puzzles to be a bit like a history lesson. Not that that's a bad thing.

jae 12:27 AM  

Easy-medium. Liked it! “VOTE like your life depends on it.”

Fiona 12:36 AM  

listen - as a bona fide queer the term is "femme" not "fem" therefore "fems" is a bonkers answer. Also now us gays have a more expansive understanding of femmes outside of lesbianism.

I don't understand why Kosovo is referred to as a land not a country. Does Will Shortz not recognize the independence of Kosovo?

Shackfu 1:09 AM  

Nice puzzle today. Set a new Tuesday personal best. Excellent theme for today! Everybody VOTE!

Unknown 2:10 AM  

You know, I've been reading this blog for a while, but I've never quite figured out: How does Rex choose which clues to put in the title of each post?

Zach 2:23 AM  

Finally a puzzle to celebrate women! But then they’re going to muck it up with ANAL crossing .....GINA. Coincidence or sophomoric joke?

chefwen 2:39 AM  

How have I lived for 60++ years and never heard or remembered ALICE PAUL? I just read up on her history and am truly embarrassed. As far as the puzzle, easy enough to fill in even with my gap of knowledge. I kept thinking Susan B. Anthony but no way was that ever going to fit. Oh well, got it done and learned an important bit of history on my journey.

Anonymous 4:36 AM  

So freedom of speech and religion are protected by Amendment I and witnesses to avoid perjury take Amendment V? “Non-colloquial”—Rex’s description—is putting it very, very mildly.

Ernonymous 4:48 AM  

I liked how (OR)ANGINA was next to DRAG, with the Ru Paul clue, but then I realized the drag queen is actually named ONGINA and not ANGINA. But still, almost a shout out to ONGINA.

Lindandc 5:14 AM  

I was just wondering the same thing.

Anonymous 5:31 AM  

FEMS gave me pause too. According to twitter, the creator suggested a (var.) note for FEMS, but the NYT didn't use the note, but either way it feels like a thorny answer to pop up in a mainstream crossword since its connotations aren't always positive. I've mostly known femme to be used for women and "fem" used negatively against men. In fact, tying into the puzzle's RuPaul reference, Drag Race season 8 contestant Kim Chi performed the song "fat fem and asian" at her season finale as a callout of the notorious "no fats, no fems, no asians" disclaimer (or similarly discriminatory & disgusting language) seen too often in dating profiles. Although I've also seen non-binary people using "fem" to self-describe as well ... but all that to say I was surprised to see it pop up nonchalantly in the puzzle since the NYT crossword isn't exactly a deep insightful dive into the queer lexicon.

Conrad 5:37 AM  

@Unknown 2:10: I believe that the clues at the top of Rex's blog are the ones Rex believes are most likely to give solvers problems. He puts them there to increase the chances of someone Googling the clue to be directed to his blog.

Anonymous 5:55 AM  

Interesting side note...
Womensrights has the same number of letters as amendmentXIX. I was so stoked when I filled in womensrights without a single down!.. Yea, that took a minute to erase and start over.

ChuckD 6:12 AM  

Wonderful theme - burdened by a lame puzzle - although as Rex said finally an anniversary puzzle that runs on the anniversary. I don’t solve for time - but this was my quickest time ever for a NYT puzzle. It felt like a TV Guide offering - not celebratory enough for the occasion. You just can’t use AMENDMENT XIX - somehow the leading 19th has to be worked into it - even on a Tuesday. And then stacking TENNESSEE just under it creates all that short garbage on the bottom. Liked all the female inspired fill supporting the theme. The DRAG/ANAL crossing was cool.

The presence of ALICE PAUL early on here really piqued my interest - but all downhill after that.

Olivia 6:39 AM  

LOL! Coincidence!

Olivia 6:40 AM  

YES!!! Not intentional but I wish it was. :)

Beaglelover 6:51 AM  

I think, since Alice Paul is one of the lesser known suffragettes, that Rex should have cited her instead of orangina. All his readers could have been educated about a very interesting woman instead of a soft drink!

Lewis 6:52 AM  

When a puzzle spurs valuable learning, it becomes greater than just a fun solving exercise. If it is well-crafted, as this one is, IMO, all the better.

First thing I did after finishing was read about Alice Paul, who effectively and tirelessly fought, beginning in 1907, and through 1964, for issues revolving around women's rights. She was a world changer, along with Lucy Burns. Read about Alice (and Lucy) and be inspired. Alice not only effected noteworthy change, but because of her work, spent much time in prison, often in bad conditions. In one stint, during a hunger strike, she underwent force feeding, which adversely affected her health for the rest of her life.

We owe her our thanks, and I owe you, Olivia, gratitude as well, for this puzzle and how it enriched me.

Anonymous 7:07 AM  

I hope 34D, Surfer's need/WAVE doesn't ignite another "wave" vs "surf" controversy.

Anonymous 7:20 AM  


Keeping with the women's theme, perhaps the clue could have read: "Like a gold ring in a swine's -----, so is a beautiful woman without discretion" (Proverbs 11:22). Now there's a turn of phrase!

Then again, this clue would probably not have been a good idea.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

kitshef 7:24 AM  

Well, it’s not a quote puzzle, so that’s something. But it's not much of a step up, as themes go. An important anniversary that deserves recognition, but putting related word in a puzzle doesn't feel like the right way to give that recognition.

OMF, 97 out of 100 people voted OLAF/EFT as a better cross than OLAN/ENT. I would understand if you were trying to keep the puzzle completely woman-centric, but we already have SON and KEL and PELE in there.

JD 7:44 AM  

@Poggius, Funny you comment on that word. I saw it surrounded by Womens Suffrage, Vassar, Alum, and Art and thought, poor humble and slightly hilarious snout wandered into some pretty sophisticated company.

Tho above Women's Suffrage there's a whole different neighborhood with Feral and Anal.

Does anyone else long for the day when the NYT finally clues the oft used Alum as "a sulfate of aluminum and potassium." Don't hold your breath.

Odd Sock 7:54 AM  

This reminded me of a puzzle the teacher would hand out to the class in hopes of making a boring topic fun. That never works and this one didn't either.
Crossing a RuPaul quote with anal doesn't pass my breakfast test.

Hungry Mother 8:06 AM  

Another quick and easy one. Some names to deal with, but not too bad. I think using names is laziness. Wordplay takes more intelligence and cleverness. So say I.

Petsounds 8:07 AM  

Someone said this felt like a TV Guide puzzle, and that's exactly what it felt like to me, also producing a record solve time.

I don't know which surprised me more--seeing the vaguely offensive cluing to FEM or the fact that Rex didn't go on a tear about it. I was looking forward to his rant on what seemed to me, old and straight, an insulting throwback to the days when straight people assumed that in every lesbian couple, one would be the "woman" (femme) and the other the "man" (butch). Kind of soured the whole 19th Amendment celebratory theme of the puzzle for me.

If every woman eligible to vote would do so, we would no longer have to deal with the ongoing tear-down of our democracy. Would you like a side of Alaskan Wildlife Refuge oil with that truckful of mailboxes, sir?

OffTheGrid 8:21 AM  

@JD Your post brought to mind THIS 3 STOOGES BIT The relevant portion begins at about 6:30 into video.

Unknown 8:26 AM  

I found the obviousness of this puzzle sort of insulting tbh

Runs on Dunkin 8:30 AM  

Love it when a puzzle’s clues feel difficult, and yet I end up with a near-record time! Also love it when the constructor joins in the comments. ;-) Thanks, @Olivia for a great puzzle!

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

Where can I find your clever, intelligent wordplay puzzles?

Nancy 8:42 AM  

If you're going to create a tribute puzzle, then WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE is a very worthy subject -- a lot more worthy than, say, the automotive industry.

However, with a BOX SET of cars -- the MUSTANG, the PRIUS and the EDSEL -- this sort of doubles as a tribute to the automotive industry.

Never mind. These are cars that even car-ignorant me knew. But who in the world is/was ALICE PAUL?

If she was involved in WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE, she sure sounds like someone I should know. But I don't. I guess I'm just an Susan B. Anthony/Elizabeth Cady Stanton sort of person.

Some of the other PPP gave me trouble -- like RAMONA, KEL, LIU, ORANGINA and the song IRONIC. But the crosses were fair.

My response to 6D, SALT? Oh, no, no, no, no, no! Say it isn't so!

My favorite clue/answer was DRAG (24D). I had only the G and found it fun to make the right guess. A funny quote.

Anonymous 8:49 AM  

The 19th amendment is great. But come on Rex, amendment 19 is tortured. If the fix wasn't in for a distaff constructor celebrating female empowerment we both know you would've eviscerated the clumsy, and frankly, embarrassing construction of the revealer. I mean, calling the phrase 19th amendment colloquial is absurd. It's always said that way.

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

Not thrilled with the FEM, or even if it were FEMME, clue. It's problematic because it feeds an outdated stereotype that all lesbian couples have one partner who takes the male role (aka butch) and one the female role (aka femme).

There's a way to clue the word that also references its connection to queer identity. This clue in this puzzle is not that.

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

I can't believe the clue for 57 Down didn't reference the 28th Amendment-to-be.

TTrimble 8:54 AM  

Quick and easy puzzle. I haven't much to add to the commentary, except to mention that some years back, HBO was running the movie Iron Jawed Angels, which centered on women's suffrage in the US, and particularly on the spectacularly brave Alice Paul (played by Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Frances O'Connor).

---[SB Alert]---
-->> spoilers from yesterday <<--

As noted by a number of SB-ers, yesterday's was tough. Alas, I missed QB by 5. Three were well-known to me: PLANTAIN, TANNIN, TILAPIA. The other two were ATTAINT and TALI (oh brother).

Today's pile of manure has a ridiculous number of words. I got to Genius and the pangram and may settle for not much more than that (right now I have 10 to go). A largish number of four-letter words, which don't excite so much because they're only 1 point each.

Hey Sam: you don't accept ALEE? That's really weird. You're weird.

CDilly52 8:55 AM  

Nice observation @Marcus Chance 12:14. Mustangs seem always to get that “testosterone-y” (love your word there!) treatment. Many folks are unaware that back in the late ‘70s, the ‘Stang was actually a strong seller to single professional women. So, I might have used that angle, were I clever enough to actually craft a puzzle.

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

If you don't like FEM clued as "some partners in lesbian couples," see how you like the clue that appeared in the print newspaper: "Ladies, slangily." What an ear that Will Shortz has.

RooMonster 9:00 AM  

Hey All !
An important anniversary, so thanks for that Olivia.

14 wide (which I noticed, the ole brain not dead yet!) which is fine, to get that Center Themer in there cleanly. Had AMENDMENT___, and couldn't figure out what it could be. Aha, RRN (well, not Random, actually) XIX. Fill clean in SE, which is tough/nice with a XIX thrown in there. Rest of fill nice, MNOP kind of a sore thumb, though.

One-letter DNF on a TuesPuz! Ouch! Had GaP/aRAG. A GaP could be One meas. of economic activity, no? Actually, read it as "means" right up until I looked closely at the clue to copy here! Har. Plus, if I let RuPaul sink in with the clue of 24D, I might've gotten it. Well, probably not...

Did everyone learn their ABCs with a basically one word run LMNOP? Elemenopee. Now I know my ABCs, won't you sing along with me?

Have a Great Tuesday Suffrage Day!

Three F's

Z 9:04 AM  

@kitshef beat me to it, “Well, it’s not a quote puzzle,” pretty much says it all. That the bare minimum (a tribute puzzle appearing on the actual anniversary) is comment worthy is an indictment of previous tribute puzzles more than an actual compliment of this one. As tribute puzzles go this is fine, but it’s a tribute puzzle so is limited by its very nature, No trickiness or gimmicks here, just straightforward trivia arranged in a symmetrical pattern. So, Yay! we’ve been slightly less sexist for a hundred years than we were for the millennia before that. That this is worth celebrating is more than a little embarrassing. Kind of a “I don’t beat my wife anymore” vibe. I guess the fact that we avoided a bloody civil war to allow women a basic human right is a good thing.

One thing I didn’t know was that there was a difference between “femme” and FEM. Well, actually, I didn’t know anyone used FEM at all. When I put it in the grid I just assumed it was a variant of “femme” because people heard the term without knowing FEMME was from French. Odd thing to learn today.

@Fiona - When some politician over the next three nights refers to the US as “this great land” it isn’t because they don’t recognize the United States is an independent country. I assume that’s how “land” was used in the clue.

@Unknown2:10 - @Conrad is correct. How do I know? Question 14 on Rex’s FAQ page.
14. Why are there tiny little clues in parentheses above the title of each post?

These are clues I've chosen to highlight for one or both of the following two reasons:

a. They seem likely to move people to Google.
b. They are strange, challenging, colorful, or otherwise noteworthy.

@JD - I think using “aluminum” as part of the clue for ALUM is never going to happen.

CDilly52 9:05 AM  

With you all the way on ALUM, @JD 7:44AM. I learned about that useful substance (and so many other things) from my Gran, who essentially raised me. She had magic. Lots of it. One early “trick” was her recipe for homemade modeling clay. Secret ingredient to make it shelf stable for quite a while and what improved the texture was our friend ALUM. Learned that word and it’s uses even before Gran sat me down to teach me about crosswords. . . Before 1960.

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Voting isn't a basic human right. Lots of legitimate forms of government don't have voting. It is a basic right in American democracy, but that's hardly the same thing.

CDilly52 9:13 AM  

Don’t disagree with those who liken this offering to something a teacher might employ, but I didn’t hate it. In fact, it was more a breath of fresh air to breeze through one in a trice and enjoy the theme that appropriately appears on “the day.” The last three from last week (Fri-Sun) nearly did me in. I do not recall a three day fight to the finish like that in the 60 consecutive years I’ve been solving this puzzle.

High marks for a smooth theme with very little dreck. I did notice both FERAL and especially ANAL, and thought perhaps those spots could have been reworked. Overall though, I agree (unusual as that is) with OFL today. Relief to have had the time and the good fortune to breeze through early today!

Whatsername 9:15 AM  

What fun this was and what a lovely way to pay tribute to a centennial observance. I love it when a crossword makes me smarter which was definitely the case today. I only vaguely knew of ALICE PAUL so I made a quick search of her role in the suffrage movement. Goodness, I thought women had it tough during the Mad Men era, but the horrors she and others endured made those days seem like minor struggles in comparison. So thank you Olivia for an entertaining and educational puzzle this morning. And thank you ALICE, Susan, Elizabeth, et al. for bringing us to this day in history.

And ladies, let’s be sure we don’t squander that privilege. I’ve already ordered my absentee ballot and will walk to the courthouse with it if necessary. Hopefully my mailbox won’t be ripped up out of my front yard between now and then.

I was surprised Rex didn’t point out that beyond the obvious theme answers, practically every proper name references a feminine entity. We have Leontyne Price, Alice Walker, RAMONA Quimby, Alanis Morissette, ANNE of Green Gables, Lucy LIU, and Pearl Buck’s OLAN; plus a Scottish miss, a lesbian partner, Seven Sisters, formerly female Vassar College, two goddesses and a female impersonator. Wow! I am woman, hear me roar.

CDilly52 9:22 AM  

Preach, @Petsounds 8:07 AM!!!!!! Not just women (although you are bang on), but VOTE everyone!! PLEASE. Regardless of ideology or political views, voting is democracy in action. It does matter, and every eligible person has a voice and should use it every available chance. A teacher of mine in high school chided a classmate for his political screed and vociferous insistence that voting doesn’t matter one day in history class. When he persisted, she told all of us that unless you take the time to cast an informed vote, perhaps you waive the right to have an opinion about the outcome of elections. She summed it up by saying, “Class, it’s easy to remember, when you all get to be eligible, vote because if you don’t vote you shouldn’t bitch.” I bet every one of us still alive remembers that day at Columbus North High, the teacher said “bitch” in class!!! I k ow I remember and agree.

rjkennedy98 9:24 AM  

If ART doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for? - Alice Walker

All ART is Quite Useless - Oscar Wilde

GILL I. 9:33 AM  

And you put my favorite DRAG queen crossing ANAL? Ay frijoles....although I'd bet if he saw this, he would come back with some witty remark.
This was cool beans. I almost wish Olivia had included an LGBT(and the Q) with a sprinkling of some Human Rights. But today, we're celebrating Women's History Month and how we are changing the world. Did you know that the CONSTITUTION is actually a gender-neutral document? Bet you didn't.
And you happily start me with an ARIA from one of my favorite non coloratura soprano tessitura of all sopranos.... Leontyne Price! This will be a good Tuesday, says I, and I just know @Rex will like it. All will be good in Mudville.

KnittyContessa 9:45 AM  

The best part about this puzzle - I finished it in 8:18! Should I play Lotto now?

Loved seeing a tribute to suffrage. I'd forgotten all about ALICE PAUL. Thanks for the reminder Olivia. When I saw the theme the first thing I did was check to see who the constructor was. Thank god it was a woman!

Winifred Beecher Howe 9:46 AM  

I will iron your sheets when you iron out the inequities of your labor laws.

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

Yeah, there is a lot to say, like a lot people, left and right grit their teth over the 19th Amendment, as being one of the worst examples of special interest politics in American history. Yes, the Constitution needed to be amended to deal with suffrage, but the 19th amendment was a poorly thought out blunt instrument that has basically precluded any ability to think about suffrage overall, like, who should vote and why, in favor of bad identity politics. The 19th is on the hit list of amendments that need to be repealed, not celebrated, which shows why Rex teaches comic book literature, not history or politics, at Binghamton.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Fun fact. Vassar went coed in 1969 and now has a gender ratio around the national average. The other six sisters (Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, and Wellesley) are still exclusively for women.

Anonymous 10:09 AM  


So, by your assertion, Idi Amin was a 'legitimate' government? and so on. who or what defines 'legitimate' by your account? assent of those governed? assent of those who rule?

generally, an easy Monday.

Art 10:15 AM  

Anyone else jump to fore at 9 across, or just me? It didn’t help that I was not familiar with Alice Paul or Lucy Liu.

mathgent 10:20 AM  

Pleasant puzzle.

I learned that some Lesbians split couples into either butch or femme. But what is fem? Apparently not short for femme.

Nancy’s comment made me realize that I know a lot more leaders of the Black equality movement than leaders of the women equality movement.

Whatsername 10:23 AM  

@GILL (9:33) I did not know that about the Constitution but great info. Really everyone should know that but who knew? Like I said, I love it when a Crossword makes me smarter, and now I’m even more smarter thanks to you.

Speaking of smart awesome women, how about Michelle Obama last night? Another convention, another phenomenal message. Even Fox News applauded. In case you missed it, here is the full speech

Pamela 10:27 AM  

Two takeaways for me from this very simple but timely puzzle:
Alice Paul- Why is she so unknown today? I’m shocked that I’ve never even heard of her, and so many other stand-out women’s names would at least ring a bell even if I didn’t quite remember them. So thanks for that, Olivia Mitra Framke.
Fem vs. femme- What a lively discussion! I have no opinion, but am enjoying being educated as to all the ways you all think about it.

Also, congrats to you, OMF for constructing this while sick with COVID-19, and to the editing team for leaving your clues alone. Kinda the icing on the cake, yes?

*****SB ALERT******

Yep, a real time suck. I have 47 words, didn’t take all that long, but from here it gets harder. I’m taking a break.

Crimson Devil 10:32 AM  

Good to learn of ALICE PAUL.
Very good to have constructor watch comments and chime in.

Pamela 10:33 AM  

Forgot to mention another cool thing learned from this puzzle, or rather, Deb Amlen’s notes in Wordplay: All those 19’s. Amendment 19, passed in 1919.

JD 10:43 AM  

@OffTheWay, HAR!

@CDilly52, I didn't know it had a household use until I watched OffTheWay's video. Our first grade teacher brought homemade modeling clay to school for the whole class (1962). It was gray and had a slight scent, which might have been the Alum.

@Z, It's actually the name for aluminum potassium sulfate. Probably should've used @Frantic's sarcasm font, but here are two other people who've heard of it.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Wonderful puzzle theme marred by a Natick on the star: Liu/Paul. It would have been a great finale to learn Paul's name, but instead I got stuck because I didn't know Liu's. I know that's lame but in the future it would be nice for it to be easier to more straightforward to reveal the most educational information. This ended for me with a disappointing whimper rather than a bang.

Vote Green Party 10:45 AM  

@whatsername- someone should remind Michelle Obama that children were put in cages during her husband’s administration too. He was just as bad as Trump.

Nancy 10:51 AM  

As you know, I know nothing about cars and certainly not the important stuff. Like which cars are safest, which get the best mileage, which are the most fuel efficient, and which have the lowest rate of malfunction. If I ever sat in any of them, I'd at least know which are the most comfortable, but I don't even know that.

I do know which are the sexiest-looking, however, and I just Googled the 2020 MUSTANG, along with "classic MUSTANGS". What a surprise! I thought the 2020 model was at least as sexy-looking as any of the classics and maybe even sexier. Which is unusual. Cars today seem really, really boring to me, looks-wise. Really expensive cars like the Mercedes, BMW and Lexus -- yawn. I wouldn't know any of them if I fell over them, which I suppose is the point. They all sort of look exactly the same to my untrained eye. Boxy. No je ne sais quoi like you had in the '50s.

Anyway, re today's puzzle: Maybe we can have a new twist on the old "a priest, a rabbi, and a minister" joke:

An EDSEL, a PRIUS and a MUSTANG roll into a parking lot...

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

A puzzle about the 19th amendment without mentioning Susan B. Anthony seems strange. Heard she’s getting pardoned today.

GraceT 11:01 AM  

Alice Paul! Swarthmore college! Woohoo!

jberg 11:04 AM  

Nice!! I liked it from RAMONA the Pest, then I saw the theme and liked it more. I’d never heard of that TV show, so I had to lookup KEL’s gender. He’s the only male in the grid. Jason and some bulls are in some clues. Oh, wait! There’s PELE too. Still very nice.

Bax'N'Nex 11:04 AM  

With all of Mike's proselytizing about the lack of women constructors published in the NYT, there is no way he would criticize this puzzle...

If this were a Bruce Haight or Jeff Chen, he would have ripped this for what it was...Great subject, but boring overall. Nothing special here...move along. I mean MNOP? and he only gave that a "not great"??

And coming from me, who even loves doing Joel's mini puzzles I love crosswords so much, that is saying a lot.

But, as always, Thank you, Ms. Framke, for my morning diversion. Keep supplying me with entertainment. Your work and talents are much appreciated.

Peace and love, peace and love.

TJS 11:06 AM  

Voting is not "a basic human right" by any stretch of the imagination. It is better described as a "privelige" in my opinion, no matter how hard fought. Hey All, (apologies @Roo), please exercise it.

TTrimble 11:10 AM  

Several people have mentioned that the constructor, Olivia Mitra Framke, weighed in in comments. Just wondering if I missed anything: there were short comments at 6:39AM and 6:51AM, but that's all I saw.

[Enjoyed your puzzle -- thanks!]

On a separate note: I might not agree with trolls, but I defend the rights of trolls to their trollish speech.

ghthree 11:23 AM  

Would it have been so terrible if the constructor turned out to be a man?
There are lots of men who are familiar with (and sympathetic to) women's suffrage.

Z 11:24 AM  

If you’d like to be more depressed about AMENDMENT XIX read this. It’s been said that laws are like sausage, nobody really wants to watch either being made. OTOH, it’s good to remember that real progress is often the accumulation of smaller victories.

@Gill I 9:33 - Interesting. I’d parse that a little finer by saying the text is gender neutral, but the actual Constitution, the constitution that defines and limits what our government may legitimately do, has never been. There’s this myth that the text is the Constitution, but there’s a reason the fight over what the text means has been going on since this Constitution was proposed. If the actual Constitution, not just the text, had been gender neutral no AMENDMENT XIX would have been needed.

@JD - I’m all for a non-College grad clue for ALUM, so missed that you were being sarcastic.

I wonder if Bruce appreciates being the poster-child for white male constructors. Speaking of, Bruuuuuce!!!!!

GILL I. 11:24 AM  

@Whatsername....thank you for the Michelle Obama post. I don't watch the Conventions because I hate the theatrics...but....I admire the hell out of Michelle. She is one smart, classy woman. And yes....even if I have to walk 10 miles up hill in snow, nothing will prevent me from voting.
@Vote Green Party. During the Obama administration, there was a huge influx of children arriving at the Arizona and Texas borders without either a parent or a guardian. Obama wasn't about to dump these children on the streets. They were put in detention housing which the Trump administration likes to call cages. Now you just look at Trump's miserable response and handling of his unwanted immigrants. Let's just call a spade a spade.

DUDE 11:29 AM  

surely you mean a Waver's need?

Anonymous 11:36 AM  

Wonderful theme ruined by cringe-worthy clues: 33 Across, 24 Down, and 31 Down.

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

Anon 10:09. Pish posh. My assertion in no way accommodates Idi Amin or his murderous regime. Plenty of tyrants and despots are in power heading illegitimate governments. But so what? The question I was addressing was Z's claim that voting was a basic human right. And of course, it isn't. Felons in most US states can't vote. The courts have sanctioned it. Clearly those jurisdictions don't believe they are denying a basic human right. That's just one tiny little example of why the claim is erroneous.

Carola 11:41 AM  

Nice to have a cause for celebration and appreciation for those who fought for this change to the CONSTITUTION.
Having read a bit about the ratification vote in the Tennessee legislature and the ultimately unsuccessful scramble to hold a re-vote to overturn it, I enjoyed the cross of WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE and FOR KEEPS. I also enjoyed learning about ALICE PAUL. Previously, I'd associated the ratification effort with Carrie Chapman Catt because of the charming story of a mother's letter persuading the 24-year-old Harry Burns to change his vote at the last minute to the deciding "Aye": "Don’t forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Thomas Catt with her 'Rats'," the Rats being those in favor of ratification. GASP captures the reaction in the legislative chamber.

Bax'N'Nex 11:53 AM  

So I have a random question for the group that has nothing to do with the puzzle (well maybe in some aspects)

Just read that Kamala Harris has chosen her "code name" for the Secret Service, "Pioneer".

My question is "Is it really a code name if everyone knows it?" Why not just call her "Ms. Harris"?

I will wait for the avalanche of insight that is about to come my way...and appreciate all of it!

bigsteve46 11:55 AM  

re. Nancy (10:51 AM) - as to "priest, minister and rabbi" jokes - has anyone heard one where the minister gets the punch line?

JC66 12:00 PM  

For those of you who weren't familiar with Alice Paul, there's a lot more you may not know.

old timer 12:38 PM  

Easy puzzle today. Just wanted to point out that AMENDMENT XIX (or AMENDMENT II, V, XXI, etc) is the ordinary way of mentioning amendments in those paper copies of the Constitution some politicians and others like to carry in their jacket pockets.

You'll find it that way in your almanac, too.

Fun fact: Wyoming was the first U.S. Territory with women's suffrage. By 1919, many states had adopted it. The Amendment gave the vote to women in states that had not already acted.

Teedmn 12:50 PM  

Hey, if you're going to have a tribute puzzle, the passage of the 19th amendment is about as good a subject as it gets. And this is as easy as Tuesday gets (possibly another PR for a Tuesday for me); I only had a pause at the 23A G?P.

I've loved the word ABACUS ever since it was on a reading word list in 8th grade. I don't know why, it's just cool. And MUSTANGS *run* in my family - we had a yellow 1965 Coupe until it rusted out in 1978, I had a 1968 Fastback in the late 80s when I was trying to be a gearhead, and my Dad had a couple of the newer versions when in his 80s.

Olivia Framke, nice job on the puzzle, thanks!

600 12:54 PM  

Echoing what another has said: FEM is offensive, especially if used by someone outside the community, and especially because it plays on old stereotypes and prejudices about the dynamics of a lesbian relationship. It really did ruin the celebratory aspect of today's puzzle. (And it was celebratory, @Anonymous who thinks the amendment should be repealed. SMH)

I, like @Petsounds earlier, was looking forward to Rex's rant about FEM's inappropriateness. I was disappointed not to find it.

Frantic Sloth 12:57 PM  

@Nancy 1051am ....and the attendant says "we don't service your kind here."

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

How depressing that more Americans, by far, know RuPaul but don’t know Alice Paul. I say that as a huge fan of a RuPaul.

Like several commenters above, I really don’t like seeing FEMS clued the way it was.

Also, as a huge fan of Beverly Cleary (national treasure, 104 years old!) and a gay woman myself, I always had an inkling that Ramona was a future lesbian.

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

@old timer:

good catch. I knew that back in junior high school, but of course forgot. if memory serves, suffrage happened in western states before the 19th. let's go see... yes, yes it was (mostly)

Barbara S. 1:06 PM  

@CDilly52's 8:55 post struck a chord for me. In the late 1960s, Ann, a good friend of my sister, bought a black Mustang. It was flash. Ann was smart, quick, witty, sophisticated. She did not suffer fools. She had the most amazing head for statistics, math, accounting, calculations of any kind. That car was her alter-ego, and she wore it like a sable. No matter what anyone says, Mustangs will never drip testosterone for me.

Austenlover 1:39 PM  

I’m shocked at the number of people who don’t know Alice Paul. She was a leading strategist in the suffrage movement. She led the fight as a national effort, while Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton went state by state. The two groups eventually joined forces. These leaders died before the 19th amendment was passed, and Carrie Chapman Catt led the movement to victory. Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment, which still has not passed. The US Constitution was gender-neutral until passage of the 14th Amendment which uses the word male in regard to voting rights.

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

the problem with the Mustang, esp. the first model, was that it was so nose heavy that it couldn't turn much above a trot, much less a gallop. the first model had an anaemic 170 cu in straight 6. not a Charles Atlas muscle to be found. and even with such a puny engine, it still couldn't turn.

GILL I. 2:33 PM  

@JC66 12:00. Glad you posted that. Remember the "grandfather clause"? (You couldn't vote unless your grandfather had voted, which was not possible if your grandfather was a slave)..... We still have lots more work ahead...

Anonymous 2:53 PM  

Anon 2:00
I have no idea why you think engine displacement would in any way be related to handling characteristic per se.
As for 170 cubic inches being puny, again, I'm not sure what you're going on about there either. F-1 engineers, especially the boys at McClaren and Renault, were producing 6 and half hundred BHP in the mid to late `80s with 1.5 liter (91 cubic inches) engines. And you dont have to anywhere near that exotic for proof. Heck anybody can walk in to a kawasaki dealership and ride out on a bike with an 88 cubic inch engine ( 1441 CCs) that develops 190 BHP. It costs less than a Kia.
I'm no fan of mustangs. But be fair. Handling was just fine. Not exceptional but not bad. And the 170 CU engine was, I believe, only in the base model for a very short time. Perhaps only the inaugural year 1964 1/2 ( another insipid bit of Ford-ness).
In any ebvent, I've driven worked--never anything heavy duty-- early Mustangs and when balanced, they can be plenty capable. Even drivers (that is regular street cars) have their charms.

Jad 3:18 PM  

That's exactly how I discovered the website a couple of years ago.

Anonymous 3:40 PM  


just go read the contemporaneous reviews ('Car and Driver', 'Road & Track', etc.). no horsepower and handled like a pig with so much weight on the nose and so little in the rear axle. lots of fun in the snow.

that racing engines can turn out hundreds of HP from 1.6 or 2.0 liters of aluminum and magnesium displacement, using V6 or V8 and multiple turbochargers and double overhead cams and direct fuel injection is irrelevant to what a 1964 Falcon 170 c.i. straight 6 pig iron engine could do.

"The original 1965 model Ford Mustang used a 101 hp (75 kW) version between March (production start) and July 1964."
[the wiki]

nothing like a muscle car. that was the point. that it handled like a pig was just a bonus.

oh, and the 1964.5 nomenclature was not Ford's but the public. Ford badged them all as 1965, as you can see from the quote.

Barbara S. 4:25 PM  

Clue: Noises you make when your little brother pokes you with the tines of a certain eating implement.


Anonymous 4:32 PM  

Conrad 5:37 am: believe that the clues at the top of Rex's blog are the ones Rex believes are most likely to give solvers problems. He puts them there to increase the chances of someone Googling the clue to be directed to his blog....interesting if true. Anyone confirm this ?

syracusesolver 4:38 PM  

I thought the puzzle was fine for a tribute.

Yes, Michelle Obama rocked last night! I recently finished her autobiography — it’s intelligent and perceptive. I’d recommend it.

Anoa Bob 4:43 PM  

Cutting back to a 14X15 size grid and then shoehorning in five longish theme entries is always going to exact a price on the puzzles overall quality. Today is no exception. The random 4-letter sequence MNOP at 54D is a glaring example of that.

I don't think crosswords are a good venue for any kind of tribute, no matter how worthy the person, cause or event might be. The tribute part inevitably takes a toll on the artfulness of arranging words crossing one another, which is the reason for being for an xword puzzle, right?

I still have my FUTON that I got while living in Japan in the 80s. It doesn't "fold" up as the clue states, rather it rolls up, like a bed roll.

When my sister's four kids all finally left the nest, she treated herself by buying a new car, a model that she had always liked but never got because it wasn't a proper "mom" car. It was a Ford MUSTANG.

Anonymous 4:58 PM  

futon BEDS, at least here in New England were/are wood frames which are 'sofas' during the day, then fold down to 'beds' at night using the same 'pad'. we always called the assemblage a 'futon'.

Anonymous 5:40 PM  

Reread your original post. You ascribed anemia to 170 cubic inches. My point is displacement is no indicator of performance.
You seem to agree.
BTW. That 64.5 Was fords nomenclature.
I’ll link to prof after I’m done what I’m doing.

Anonymous 5:42 PM  

Gah. A slow. It may have been a pig. And it was certainly cast iron. But pig iron is a real thing and it wasn’t any wagers near that engine.
You’ve conflated iron with pig. Wildly inappropriately.
I live within 7 miles of an actual pig iron smelting site.

Z 5:52 PM  

I don’t know about the obsession with size in this argument, but the original MUSTANGS were considered Pony Cars, not Muscle Cars. Some newer MUSTANGS are muscly, so the clue was fine, but the original MUSTANGS would not fit the clue. Once in a Great City has lots about the development of MUSTANGS, including some salacious details on how it ended up be ping named for horses.

@Bax’N’Nex 11:53 - I’ve often wondered myself. Do you think they have a public code name and an actual code name? That would make some sense to me.

@TJS - My immediate reaction was, “White privilege you mean.” The “voting is a privilege” concept is a tool to justify Jim Crow laws. I’ll grant you this, I should have said it’s a basic human right to have a voice in determining how the government is constructed. Voting is just the least violent method the governed have to voice their wishes. Personally, I find voting preferable to other common forms of expression societies sometimes are forced to use. In other words, remove the ability to vote in free and fair elections and a government risks people using other methods to make themselves heard. Belarus comes to mind for some reason. I can come up with lots more examples, but let’s stick with Belarus today.

@Anon11:39 - Wow. Pretty sure most 8th graders studying US History could explain to you the gaping hole in your argument.

Doug Garr 6:40 PM  

As soon as I started solving I thought Rex is going to have a hard time panning this one.

Anonymous 6:56 PM  

@anon/5:40, 5:42 (same mouse, I guess)
But pig iron is a real thing

it's also a metaphor - a pig made of iron

"You ascribed anemia to 170 cubic inches"
what I said: "an anaemic 170 cu in straight 6"

as you can see, it's the engine in toto that's anaemic, not the displacement per se. Europeans were making engines which were far more powerful and efficient at, by American standards, small displacements. there have been lots of anaemic American pig iron engines of all displacements for decades after WWII, vis-a-vis European implementations. they had access to less petro and at high prices, so had to figure out efficiency.

Barbara S. 6:57 PM  

****SB ALERT****
People said they hated yesterday. It seems like a picnic now compared to today. I got a late start and I'm still 10 away from QB (although did get G). Last night I had a sudden burst of mental activity just before chucking it in, and ended up missing only 3, all of which have been mentioned. Good luck to anyone still in the fight.

albatross shell 8:13 PM  

I thought this was an excellent puzzle. I always appreciate the effort to have a CW relate to a holiday or historical event. So hooray. Why have a random puzzle every random day. Solsticopodes, birthdays, annivereies make puzzles for them all.

Nobody mentioned my least favorite answer: AVIANS. I knew it would be in the dictionary though. I would prefer it to mean bird-lovers. The avians flocked to the park every Sunday morning carrying their binoculars.

I once worked at a voter registration table without being registered myself. If you voluntarily participate in the system, that is vote, then you you accept the system and should not bitch. If you despise the system, you retain the right to bitch any time you feel like it. I think I was reading Dostoyevsky at the time. And a pretty and funny woman may have been involved too.

Is ORANGINI aged for 3 or 4 years in oaken barrels?

Thanks for worthwhile fun puzzle O.

Anonymous 8:15 PM  

You misunderstand.again. There is no obsession about size, you’re adolescent implication aside.
Some time ago i Tried to explain that engine size was not a predictor of output.
Anon 6:56 seems to be from your school, the gratuitous mouse insult is a dead giveaway.
In any event, anon is now Backtracking from his original clAim that the engine was anemic BECAUSE of its displacement as opposed to his current claim that the engine was anemic and its displacement happened to be 170CU.
That’s ludicrous.
As is his pig iron claim. Again he’s conflated a common insult for a pokey car, a pig ( actually Usually reserved for heavy vehicles) with an actual type of primitive metal— pig iron.
The insult he’s looking for is dog. Mustangs were many things, and had many failings, weight ergo Piggishness, was not one of them.

albatross shell 8:44 PM  

What do you mean by "gender-free" document? The constitution refers to the president as "he" and "him". This has never been amended. Certainly this is enough for a strict constructionist rogue court to rule a woman may not be president.

Runs with Scissors 9:29 PM  

@albatross shell 8:44 pm

The founders understood the English language. "He" and "him" were understood to refer to the human race. All of it. Both genders.

Unfortunately entirely too many people don't understand that anymore.

Pamela 9:40 PM  

****SB ALERT*****

@Barbara S- I’m exactly in the same place, 10 words short. And I agree, it does seem worse than yesterday. I prefer when there are fewer words to find, I think. There are always at least a couple of weird choices, and with a high word count I find myself spending a lot of time on odd letter combinations. I doubt that I’ll spend much more time on this one.

GILL I. 9:56 PM  

@Runs with tijeras..... Thank you....Yeah, him and her were the human race. Had any Cubano recently?

Omg 10:00 PM  

@Runs- kind of like mankind is a shortened word for humankind. all men are created equal, i.e., all humans are created equal, but they know that, they’re not stupid, but see it as a useful cudgel

Runs with Scissors 10:21 PM  

@GILL I. 9:56 PM

Nope. Can't abide the lines at Porto's. Someday.

Sherlock 10:31 PM  

@Runs w/ scissors - Re: he: from Wikipedia “ in traditional forms of English grammar it is also used as a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.“ Seems pretty clear.

sasses 10:44 PM  

My daughter wrote her essay on Alice Paul as part of her application to Swarthmore. It worked!

albatross shell 12:38 AM  

Yes, but. Can you really claim a document is gender free that has he and him? Carefully gender free everywhere else. Any evidence the founders ever imagined a female president? Certainly you can make convincing arguments. Which meaning of he were they using? I agree with your analysis. But even if they did not mean it as a non-gender he, I would still read it that way.

thefogman 10:08 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 10:10 AM  

Besides Rex, who could ask for anything more from a crossword? Nicely done Olivia Mitra Framke.

spacecraft 11:14 AM  

Solve and learn, solve and learn. Today I was introduced to ALICEPAUL and ORANGINA; luckily by the time I hit their crossing letter it was obvious. I suddenly feel as though my education was sorely lacking, that I never heard of this lady. For sure, she wins DOD. Yes, Lucy LIU and ANNE, I see you, but this time you'll have to be content with honorable mention.

I never notice whether a grid is over- or under-sized. Big deal. This is rather an amazing theme puzzle, with 60 squares given over to it--including 14 in touching rows. No wonder we have the RLS (random letter string) and the RA P/S (random awkward prefix/suffix) with MNOP and ADEE. Forgivable under the circumstances. I salute all those pioneers--including today's constructor (-trix?) Birdie.

Burma Shave 11:39 AM  


IRONIC and RARE in prostitution,
AKISS from that LASS RUNSTO a sum,


leftcoaster 3:28 PM  

First thought it was way too easy, but soon enough it tightened up with a strong theme and parts of the fill.

In addition to ALICE PAUL and other great WOMEN'S SUFFRAG(ists), we can add some non-theme FEMS: Lucy LIU, RAMONA, OLAN, ANNE, a unknown Scottish LASS, maybe the goddess LUNA, and possibly even the "citrusy" ORANGINA !

Lots to enjoy here.

rondo 4:04 PM  

So it takes a tribute puz to be any good on Tuesday.

The four corners get you out of the GATE.

Worthy tribute even for Syndi-cats.

Diana, LIW 6:40 PM  

Yesterday and today were both fun - hooray for Mondays and Tuesdays. The publication of this puz is of course ironic this week.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 12:16 AM  

I like FEMS and chickADEE in a chick-flick - er - chick puzzle. So great that women could finally vote for either Tweedledum or Tweedledee ! As Emma Goldman -a woman ! -opined, "If voting changed anything they would abolish it."

BoySeptember 3:32 AM  

I’m glad someone said something. This was a groaner for me, too.

muons 1:09 AM  

My grandmother drove a 1966 Mustang, and she was the least testosterone-y person you could imagine. The car more or less came under my care in the early 1970's when she could no longer drive and I was finishing high school, although officially my mother owned it. I agree that at that time it was a Pony Car, not a Muscle Car.

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