Mountain nymph / TUE 9-15-20 / Giant in media streaming / Disney character based on Dickens character / Like gunpowder and seismometer by origin

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Constructor: Amanda Rafkin and Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Medium (high 3s)

THEME: "KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!" (38A: "Be patient!" ... or advice seemingly ignored by 17-, 24-, 52- and 62-Across) — cartoon characters that don't wear pants, largely because they're all animals, but whatever:

Theme answers:
  • PORKY PIG (17A: Who says "Th-th-th-that's all, folks!")
  • SCROOGE MCDUCK (24A: Disney character based on a Dickens character)
  • WINNIE THE POOH (52A: "Hunny"-loving A.A. Milne character)
  • YOGI BEAR (62A: Jellystone Park "pic-a-nic basket" thief)
Word of the Day: ALDO (57A: Brand of shoes or handbags) —
The ALDO Group is a Canadian retailer that owns and operates a worldwide chain of shoe and accessories stores. The company was founded by Aldo Bensadoun in MontrealQuebec, in 1972, where its corporate headquarters remain today. It has grown to become a worldwide corporation, with nearly 3,000 stores across 100 countries, under three retail banners: ALDO, Call It Spring/Spring and GLOBO. Stores in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Ireland are owned by the Group, while international stores are franchised. The company once operated the now closed or rebranded banners Little Burgundy (which it sold to Genesco), Simard & Voyer, Christian Shoes, Access, Pegabo, Transit, Stoneridge, Locale, Feetfirst and FIRST (which was the American version of Feetfirst). (wikipedia) [the word "handbag" doesn't even appear on the wikipedia page, but I'm sure that's just an oversight]
• • •

Garfield doesn't wear pants. Snoopy doesn't wear pants. Huckleberry Hound doesn't wear pants. Snagglepuss doesn't wear pants. Bugs Bunny? Pantsless. Cartoon animals frequently don't wear pants. And now there's a theme about that, for some reason. I guess that since the themers all wear tops of some kind (???) they seem particularly pantsless. Really seems like a phrase as colorful as "KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!" deserves a better theme than this. These aren't even all different animals. I don't know. Cartoons are fun. The revealer phrase on its own is great. But the connection between them here seems really very forced. But honestly this puzzle never stood a chance because of a fill decision I can't believe neither of the constructors, none of the editors or proofers, no one, vetoed: that is, the OUT / OUTLIE crossing. You cannot just straight up cross OUT with OUT. I mean, if "OUT" were part of a word like STOUT, where the letter string had nothing to do with the word OUT, then fine, but OUTLIE is a compound word, and one of its parts is OUT. And that part crosses ... OUT. I wouldn't put OUT and OUTLIE in the same grid *at all*, let alone crossing one another. I'm now scanning the grid to see if LIE is in there somewhere. This feels like Constructing 101 stuff, which is weird, because no one involved in the making of this is a novice. I honestly thought I had an error, but then everything checked out and I didn't know what to do, so I moved on. And yeah, no error. Just OUT crossing OUT...LIE. That's just not good.

The longer Downs are OK, a little interesting, I guess, but the rest of the full is average or worse. Having to deal with TORIC and ALIA *and* OOP before ever departing the NW is not a fun way to open things. Why would you put a wacky "?" clue on weak fill like SNARER?? (47D: One catching the game?). You make people have to work for something very anticlimactic—never a good thing. I thought HULU was the streaming giant (15A: Giant in media streaming = ROKU). Needed every cross to get ALDO. No other real struggles, and the fill overall ... it's tolerable. Lots of crosswordese if you start to count it up (OREAD ORA OYE INHD and so on), but the theme answers are bright enough as stand-alone answers, and the long Downs are prominent enough, that the short fill doesn't have much opportunity to make a negative impression. I just thought the theme was a shrug, conceptually, and the OUT / OUTLIE cross was a total dealbreaker.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:14 AM  

Clued as it was, TORIC struck me as somewhat of an OUTLIEr for a Tuesday.

Also, never heard of ALDO - but, I'm guessing Aldo never heard of me, either.

David Eisner 12:18 AM  

Yes, I think the fact that they wear tops (if a tie and collar counts as a top, in the case of Yogi Bear) is what makes it work. The revealer made me laugh.

Pamela 1:00 AM  

Cute, pretty quick solve. Especially liked the clue for DEW, and seeing old friend WINNIETHEPOOH. One glitch- I had SPY at 4D, so thought maybe sOSH was some new slang for Social, or something, and didn’t even notice pOKU. Not until the dreaded box came up in place of the happy music did I go looking for my mistake.

bocamp 1:09 AM  

@ Amanda and Ross, thank you for the trip down memory lane. When I visited my Gramma in Eugene back in the 40's and 50's, I loved to go into the pantry where my Uncle's hoard of comic books lived. Porky and Scrooge were there waiting for me on each visit. I loved sitting on the floor in that pantry devouring those books, almost as much as going to the candy store down the street. 🐷

Yogi "Bear" was my favorite catcher, tho Roy Campanella came a close second. So tragic, his accident in 1958.

Al Gore, the man that won the Presidency, but didn't. What a class act. I pray more and more people are paying attention to his message now, especially with the tragedy on the West Coast and the increase in storms threatening the gulf and Atlantic states. πŸ™

"Th-th-th-that's all, folks!"

Peace πŸ•Š

Frantic Sloth 1:10 AM  

Yeah. What is it with these exhibitionist cartoon boys? Do guys really hate wearing pants that much? Seems to be a staple in various sitcoms, too.
What up wit dat?

I loved the theme - mostly, the revealer. Too bad it was in the wrong place.

Yes, @Rex - you've cracked the theme code. Bully for you! Snoopy, Garfield, are nekkid. The theme cartoons are essentially dressed (fully or partially) from the waist up and nekkid from the waist down, and so did not heed the KEEPYOURPANTSON directive.
It ain't brain science or rocket surgery, dude. πŸ˜†

I agree with OFL about OUT/OUTLIE. Isn't the dumbing down of these puzzles over the past 10-20 years bad enough without also littering them with blatant violations of established and historically honored rules and customs? It just keeps getting worse and with more frequency.

Then again, why should the NYTXW care about anything any more than the rest of society these days? It's all going to hell in a handbasket.

Good grief! I've become one of those weed-sucking, antagonistic pessimists furiously driving my rocking chair off the front porch in dogged pursuit of trespassing street urchins with my hair on fire and bellowing the "get off my lawn!" battle cry of my ilk.

Eh. So what?

@Whatsername How'd you like the 7/27/2012?


egsforbreakfast 1:22 AM  

Although the theme was ok and the fill was passable, OUT crossing OUTLIE was nearly enough to bring me to enlist in the “off with Will Shortz’ head” mob. As a further minor nit, “keep your pants on” doesn’t strictly apply to any of the theme answers because they never had pants to keep on!

There was, however, a certain ALGORE rhythm to this puzzle that made the solve fun enough for a Tuesday, for which I thank you, Ms. Rafkin and Mr. Trudeau.

jae 1:22 AM  

Easy-medium. Really cute and amusing. Liked it quite a bit more than @Rex did.

MAim before MAUL was it for erasures.

Jeff at Xwordinfo thought OREAD might be too tough for a newbie but IMHO it’s never to soon to start memorizing the nymphs. They also come in handy for QB.

J. Lemon 1:46 AM  

The theme seems familiar although it doesn’t seem right to leave out Ziggy.

Anonymous 2:00 AM  

Also, “at” is both in the clue and the answer for 34D. I thought this wasn’t allowed.

chefwen 2:49 AM  

Cute puzzle, liked it a lot. One screw up that made me laugh, I don’t know streaming devices or how to use them, so I had ROKO, thinking that I had at least heard of that one, so my candy heart message was HOG ME, I was pretty sure that was wrong, quickly changed my O to a U. Ah yes, that’s better. Still don’t know how to use those. I need a teenager in the house.

You’re right @egs, it should have been “put your pants on”.

Loren Muse Smith 3:19 AM  

Ok. So first, can we appreciate the timeliness of the reveal, KEEP YOUR PANTS ON? Critical advice for all our Zoom and Teams meetings? That, and turn your mic off if you’re excusing yourself for a minute to visit the restroom, right? (And make sure if you’re the meeting leader not to change yourself into a potato when you don’t know how to undo it and end up conducting the entire meeting as a potato?)

That POOH, PORKY, ET AL conduct all their bidness with no pants on has escaped me my whole life. I’m with @David Eisner - this theme made me smile.

OUTLIE feels weird as a verb describing to “extend beyond.” It’s mundane these days, though, as a verb describing the act of serving up over 20, 000 lies in less than four years. As in, He has managed to OUTLIE everyone.

In the same vein, I like that Nobel Laureate AL GORE is OUTLIE’s symmetrical partner. Our Mr. Outliar supposedly really wants a Nobel Peace Prize, too.

Oh – and I never even noticed the OUT/OUTLIE cross. Somehow even now that I see it, I’m not all mad and stuff.

“Ass” before ADO because “rumpus” feels buttsome. At school we have a rolling, staggered schedule so that not too many kids are in the building at once. It’s quite pleasant with just a few students; so far the rumpodes are minimal.

SNARER and SLAYER share the grid. No matter how long I live here in WV, I’ll always feel a little sad for the deer who are slayed and the coyotes who are snared.

Yeah – traffic can mess up your ETA. Because of this, and because I’m obsessively punctual, I figure in a ridiculous amount of wiggle room when I have to be somewhere on time. Movie starts at 2pm? Great! Let’s leave at 11am just to make sure we get good seats. Needless to say, I do a helluva lot of sitting around waiting because ETA-altering traffic happens to me only about once a year.

I liked the guy in the CAN YELLING AT someone through the CELL WALLS.

Yo! Rexites! Good to be back!

jae 3:56 AM  

@lms - nice to have you back. Stay safe!

Hungry Mother 6:08 AM  

About half my average time today, but not a PR. Some favorite characters without their PANTS. I didn’t get caught with my PANTS down.

ChuckD 6:16 AM  

Eh - fine for a Tuesday I guess. Cute theme but not so sure about the second part of the reveal - seemingly ignore implies choice which just felt odd for a cartoon character and Rex’s discussion regarding most characters are drawn without pants is relevant also. Hands up for PORKY being the class of this group. I chalk the weak fill up to it being Tuesday and all the themers. The OUT/OUTLIE is bad but so is “Berating at...” and YELLING AT and the DREW/DEW cross. The tight corners in the NW and SE are bad.

Neat theme idea - that seemingly was not fine tuned before submission.

Anonymous 6:30 AM  

It seems that when these cartoon figures lose their pants they also lose their genitalia. I'm not complaining--just stating a fact. And I wonder if later comments will lament this.

Before we feel too sorry for Porky Pig and Yogi Bear, let us reflect on the fact that they have the company of one esteemed by many, Jesus. In the apse of the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, in Rome, there is a mosaic depicting the coronation of the Virgin. Below this is a depiction of Jesus and the 12 Apostles, all represented as sheep (this is fitting and common, since Jesus referred to this followers often as "sheep," and Jesus himself was the lamb of God). All of the twelve apostles have their genitalia, but Jesus does not. As they say in baseball, you can look it up. This should be the link:

(I see in pasting this it's not hilighted--because it is not on one line--hope it works.)

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Rastaman Vibration 6:44 AM  

It looks like OREAD is one of those words that only a crossword solver could love. Does anyone really HEAVE a sigh? Seems like the collective braintrust could have come up with much better than that, especially for a Tuesday.

I enjoy reading all of the props for the AL GORacle - who seems to have been spot on (although his mansion in Tennessee contributes more to climate change in a week than the average household does in a year - and I really wish he wouldn’t waste all of that fuel in a private jet to fly to Europe to pick up a cool quarter mil. for one of his lectures . . . ).

Lewis 6:47 AM  

@loren!!! Ah, everything feels right again!

I thought the theme was cute and well-executed. It made me think of the pants-wearing Micky Mouse, and re-wonder, "What are those two white ovals on his pants?" It also made me fondly remember two of my favorite pants-less characters -- Pogo and Hobbs.

Also Allison Janney, who blew me away in "I, Tonya", and is blowing me away, as I'm watching "West Wing" for the first time (I'm on season four, and OMG, what a revelation of a series, and yes, what a comfort to see humanity and competence in the White House), and she is so perfect in her role.

Also, my eyes fell to the ends of words today, giving me oohs and aahs. OOHS -- ADO, ROKU, THRU, WINNIE THE POOH, DEW, GURU, and DREW. AAHS -- ALIA, ELLA, PAPA, CASA, ORA, and EDNA.

Thank you, Amanda and Ross, for this light and lovely gift!

Michiganman 6:57 AM  

I liked this amusing theme. I didn't notice the AT double or the OUT/OUTLIE cross. A great value of the blog is having these snags pointed out and learning to spot them myself. I've been doing the LAT xword for a couple of weeks. The puzzles are fine but one blog I found is pretty tame. Lots more energy and excitement here. Thanks everyone.

JD 6:58 AM  

"Cannot think of much to say that adds anything more to the conversation than, “Ass” before ADO because “rumpus” feels buttsome" "AlGore rhythm," and "the battle cry of my ilk."

But I would like to see Winnie the Pooh, Scrooge McDuck, Yogi, and Porky on a talk show thanking Rafkin and Trudeau for their contribution to the Pantsless Movement.

And I do wish I could've been in the room where someone said, "What's with cartoon characters and shirts but no pants?"

Easy, lotsa much appreciated silly.
Pick up the pompoms, let's have a big cheer:

Posh Pit, Porky Pig, Roku, and
Alia Dew

Mr. Ed, Outlie, Winnie. The. Pooh!

JJK 7:10 AM  

This was cute and easy, never noticed OUT crossing OUTLIE But the revealer - the phrase I’ve always heard is KEEP YOUR shirt ON. Am I wrong? Maybe it’s a regional difference.

amyyanni 7:14 AM  

Wish I could watch "West Wing" for the first time again. Thanks, Rex, for mentioning my favorite who didn't make the cut: Huckleberry Hound. Overall, this was smile inducing. Grins, everyone.

kitshef 7:14 AM  

I get that a lot of people object to the constant references to Game of Thrones, or Star Wars, but I must say that the NYT has been seriously delinquent in Buffy Clues. Besides SLAYER, things like Anya, Giles, Angel, Spike would be useful words in filling your grid. Embrace them.

PeRcY PIG, “confirmed” by Mario cART messed me up for aeons in the NW. ICENS was clearly wrong, so PIT or ADO or ALIA, or some combination thereof, had to be wrong. Half my time in that one corner.

@Loren Muse Smith – welcome home.

Jim Lemire 7:16 AM  

Yay! I only ever lurk here but wanted to tell you I was genuinely worried about your absence. Glad you are back

Mr. Cheese 7:23 AM  

LMS RETURNS !!! All’s right with world.... NOT!
At least I’ll be able Smile while reading this blog

I missed you, @LMS

Anonymous 7:28 AM  

9 names
3 foreign words.....

Montrealxworddiva 7:59 AM  

As a Montrealer, Aldo was a gimme but who cares???? @LMS is back!

Joaquin 8:01 AM  

I awoke early this morning so I decided to start the day with a scroll through the Rex blog. What a nice surprise to run into LMS. Always great to see old friends out on the trail.

Frayed Knot 8:09 AM  

I'm with @ JJK in knowing the phrase as "keep your shirt on".

FearlessKim 8:25 AM  

LMS! Good to “see” you! A gentle nit: isn’t it the “Noble” Prize? πŸ˜‰

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

Adding my voice to the "Welcome Back, @loren!" chorus.

pabloinnh 8:41 AM  

Add me to the "keep your shirt on" crowd, but KEEPYOURPANTSON does add a level of urgency.

Wait, OUT crosses OUTLIE? Oh.

Nice to see OYE clued as "Hey!", which is fine. It literally means "Hear!" which reminds me that lots of people use here here! to signify agreement when they really mean hear hear!. On a similar note, a contributor to our local listserve urged our school to "air on the side of caution". No help from Spellcheck there.

Oye LMS--where have you been? You could have called. We've all been worried sick.

Just kidding of course. Welcome back. You've been missed.

Thanks to AR and RT for a nice Tuesdecito. Anything with lots of cartoon characters is aces with me.

schmuzz 8:43 AM  

missed you more, LMS

glad you're back!

lurker II ( @Jim Lemire )

Sir Hillary 8:44 AM  

Anthropomorphic animals with no pants? OK. Elmer Fudd, say? OHMY, ICK!

This puzzle is fine -- a Tuesday trifle. I didn't think once about the OUTLIE/OUT cross.

And I appreciate any puzzle, regardless of its quality, if it brings @LMS here. So this one's a winner.

Carola 8:46 AM  

Nice to have a laugh on a Tuesday! I really enjoyed this goofy theme (FYI Goofy does wear pants) and my post-solve review of the characters' outfits, which revealed that SCROOGE MCDUCK is the most completely attired, perhaps fitting, given his generous clothing budget, in a top hat, elegant belted red coat, and snazzy spats. I wondered about Hanna and Barbera's decision to clothe YOGI in such minimalist garb and found this nugget of information: "The Yogi Bear shows of the 1960s and ’70s were notable examples of Hanna-Barbera’s much-derided technique of 'limited,' or reused, animation, which drastically reduced the number of original drawings required to film an episode. For example, the clean line created by Yogi’s signature shirt collar and tie enabled the studio to animate only his head in conversation scenes, leaving his body static."

Phaedrus 8:51 AM  

They should have included Clark, the Cubs’ new mascot.

Can't unsee that 8:54 AM  

Al Gore doesn't wear pants?

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

I missed LMS more than anybody. Wait....who's LMS? KIDDING!!

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

I saw that OUT / OUTLIE cross and I said to my husband OH MY, Rex is going to have a conniption fit.

Nancy 9:01 AM  

At one time or other, I've seen every one of these animal characters -- either on the screen or on the page. And my question is: Were they wearing pants or were they not wearing pants?

Beats me. I could look it up, but I guess I'll find out when I read the blog comments.

It was a neat trick matching the numbers of letters in these characters and building a symmetrical grid. I can admire that. As far as my solving experience went, however, I found it pretty meh, with no thinking required. And then there was OYE; ORA; OOP; OREO. (But at least no ONO).

Unknown 9:11 AM  

I found TORIC and OREAD to be a touch esoteric for a typical Tuesday, but my biggest critique would be that a lot of the clues here would not pass the test of time. In ten years, how many people would know who a minor character on The Simpsons was? And is Buffy that popular a show, or is it pretty niche? I didn't mind MRED because he is part of the cultural scenery (i.e., even though I never watched the show, I've certainly heard of him).
I didn't notice the OUT/OUTLIE "disaster," and even now that it has been brought to my attention, it doesn't bother me at all.
@ Kitshef I assume you're joking. I'm not a fan of either GoT or Star Wars, but I appreciate that they are immensely popular and well known. Buffy? Not so much.

Victor in Rochester 9:12 AM  

Elmer Fudd's constant going after Bugs Bunny with a gun may have led to his cartoon-world demise. A couple of years ago, as my wife battled the bunnies which continually ate her garden, I stopped at the local Warner Bros. store to buy her an Elmer Fudd T-shirt. There were none, although there were all kinds of things for other characters. There was no Elmer Fudd merchandise at all. He only existed in DVDs of old cartoons. I guess you can't glorify a shooter of any kind.

RooMonster 9:14 AM  

Hey All !
Let me add to the chorus of Welcome Backs @LMS! Try not to stay away so long. Plenty of room here for ya! 😊

Theme consistent to me, four cartoon characters who don't have PANTS. Sure there's others. Why not these four? As @chefwen 2:49 points out, the Revealer should've been along the lines of 'Put your pants on' as they don't have PANTS to KEEP ON. Nit, You know how it is. Another nit? 19 threes. Not super terrible, but seemed like a lot while solving. Weird. Most were actual words, so that was nice.

That OUT/OUT crossing is a definite fault, but didn't seem noticeable while solving. Strange how stuff like that doesn't jump out.

**SB Musings**
Missed Q YesterBee by 4. One I should've got, but seem to miss Every Single Time it's a word. Two words that should've been in YesterBee? OOGABOOGA, BALLGAG. Har, and Behave! on that second one! Todays, not a spoiler per se, as it's not in, but * (see below)

**SB Over (kinda)

Too bad (well, not really) AL GORE wasn't a themer! πŸ˜‚

No F's (HUG ME!)

*why isn't AROAR ever in? It's s legitimate, non hypened word. Dang!

RatGMan 9:16 AM  

Nice to have you, and your terrific sense of humor, back to liven up the conversation.

burtonkd 9:19 AM  

Welcome back, LMS!! How do you take the same fodder material and spin it into gold every day??

@ gentle nitter fearlesskim- not sure if that was some joke or reference, but the Peace Prize is the Nobel

OREAD is a word that when seen in the wild, I'm not sure what it is or how it is spelled, but in a xword and a letter or two fills itself right in.

berate has an "at" in the middle of it, to further

Lawrence O'Donnell is Jed Bartlett's father 9:22 AM  

@amyyanni: just a suggestion: watch "West Wing" for the 2nd time. I did that shortly after the last presidential election and it was such a pleasure, escaping to a world that is clearly the opposite of what one feared and what we are now living through. The dialogue is wonderful (because, well, Aaron Sorkin) and the issues - some of which are still around and unsolved - make for great story-telling. I don't think you'll be bored.

pmdm 9:22 AM  

Today's theme made me think of the following. Betty Boop started life out as a dog. After she morphed into a human, the finger of censorship nixed her "racy" appearance. As well as her friend. (Beastiality was a no-no.) Seems silly today. As least to me.

I liked today's puzzle more than normal for a Roos [co]creation. Perhaps is seemed to include more old trivia than normal, which maybe helped me. Whatever.

Pamela 9:22 AM  

@LMS- Please add my ‘welcome back’ to the list. You were missed!

Andrea 9:23 AM  

Welcome back!
And please, stay safe 😊

EdFromHackensack 9:27 AM  

MRED did not wear pants either. Loved the puzzle, lots of fun though I did cringe and “SNARER”. But sometimes, somethings gotta give.

Z 9:35 AM  

it’s never to soon to start memorizing the nymphs.
What more needs to be said?

@LMS - Spittake* at your avatar. KEEP YOUR PANTS ON indeed.
*pronounced like the mushroom, only with more coffee in the nose.

The revealer made me laugh. I think this is a perfectly okay Tuesday theme. Hand up for MAim needing some patching up and spY before PRY. The OUT dupe is definitely sub-optimal, but I imagine fixing six-letter acrosses isn’t all that easy, especially if you want to keep TV LICENSE and TRICKSHOT, so not a complete deal-breaker here like it is for Rex. So I give it a Best Tuesday Ever nod.

@Anon late - Ha! Exactly. I’d explain but you’d only reply with more inanity, boring everyone else beyond tears.

Frantic Sloth 9:45 AM  

Welcome back @LMS! You've been more than missed!
Why is there a potato filter in the first place?

@Lewis 647am Welcome to the Allison Janney (& West Wing) fan club! I will never forget the "dental work" episode - she was utter perfection. Alas, I can offer no insight about Mickey's ovals...@Z?

@Carola 846am Now that you mention it, I remember that it was mostly the head (Yogi's) that ever moved.

I'd like to go on the record as claiming that no cartoon/animation was creepier than Clutch Cargo. Those mouths!!

I've heard both "keep your shirt on" and "keep your pants on", but then I live in a nudist colony.

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

I’m surprised that no one has made reference to the “no cell phone” PSA in theatres from years ago: “Happy the Hedgehog”. Look it up; it’s worth a giggle. And apropos to the puzzle.

Z 9:51 AM  

@Unknown 9:11 - Not a Buffy fan, but huge. Absolutely huge and disproportionately influential given its popularity when originally aired. I’d compare it to Star Trek:TOS except I think it was more popular when originally aired and has fewer direct spin-offs. (Do we even get the whole Twilight series without Buffy?) And yet, Buffy pales when compared to The Simpson’s. So, yeah, I fully expect there to be Simpsons clues long after we’re dead. And how dare you call AL GORE a “minor” Simpsons character. πŸ˜‰

Donald's Duct Cleaning 9:53 AM  

Now you know how it is for a Canadian to do net xword and guess at american retailer clues

jberg 9:59 AM  

If I tell you to KEEP YOR shirt ON, I mean don’t be in such a hurry. If I tell you to KEEP YOUR PANTS ON, that’s something else entirely. I mean AL GORE kept his pants on, Bill Clinton not so much. But maybe that’s just my strait-laced Midwestern upbringing.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

'Got' the THEME before most of the themers, so KEEP YOUR shirt ON, of course, since in this part of the world, that's what we say. sigh.

stopped filling in the entirety of any clue requiring ALI[i|a] until confirmed by the cross. stop with that damned answer, OK???

anyone try 'the met' (LOUVRE) first, btw?

TRICK SHOTs are actually real SHOTs in competition, when the object ball is blocked, esp. 9-ball. that's how they came to be. "The aim of the game is to hit the lowest numbered ball on the table (often referred to as the object ball) and pocket balls in succession to eventually pocket the nine-ball." [the wiki]

JC66 10:08 AM  

When people undress, some take their pants off first while others take their shirts off first.


Missed you. Glad to see you back.

Whatsername 10:11 AM  

What a pleasant lighthearted Tuesday! And who doesn’t love a real cartoon character? I mean the old-fashioned anthropomorphic kind, not the weirdos that pass for cartoons these days. PORKY always made me laugh and I loved YOGI and his little pants-free buddy Boo Boo but hadn’t thought of them in years. I almost always say pic-a-nic basket but I would never have remembered where the expression came from if someone asked. It was worth the effort this morning just for that little trip back in time to Jellystone Park. Thanks Amanda and Ross, lots of fun today.

@Frantic(1:10) That was one tough puzzle. Such a pretty grid, so much pain for an unsuspecting dolt who thought it looked like fun. (For anyone who’s curious, we are referring to the Crossword of 7/272012, on record with the fewest number of black squares.) You reminded me of a story I saw about Grandparents’ Day at Kindergarten class. A little girl introduced her grandfather by saying “This is my grandpa and he will explain how the world is going to go to hell in a handbasket.” I’m right there with you in the wheelchair too, hair on fire and cane swinging.

@LMS: Howdy ma’am. You’ve been missed. I hope things are well in your neck of the woods, or at least as well as they can be in these extraordinary times. That potato story is hilarious.

J 10:23 AM  

The theme is fun, Rex. Don't be such a SCROOGEMCDUCK.

albatross shell 10:24 AM  

I thought the revealer was excellent for the themers. I had 3 of themers in before the revealer. And I was thinking what is going to connect them. Found it a fine aha moment and noted they all usually have tops. It seems to me I remember Donald Duck trying to cover himself with a towel when he had no clothes on. It wasn't clear a what he was trying to hide. Being a Christopher Robin namesake, I still do not think of Pooh being a comic or cartoon character. A literary character with illustrations. Never cared much for Walt's version.

Fill not great, but better than I thought it would be with all the short answers.

Started out as easy as yesterday but I hit a couple nearly crunchy areas. ALDO unknown. Greek nymph was one I can fill in after 2 or 3 crosses. HEAVE and AVE not obvious. About AVE; Two abbreviations hinting its an abbreviation and one telling you its an abbreviation. Why the overkill?
Missed the at in clue and answer. Did wonder about OUT/OUTLIE. Same take as welcome back Loren. I can almost hear Sebastian singing.
Is there a written list of the rules of the unwritten rules of crosswords somewhere? With footnotes for theme exceptions?

Maybe reuse it with a quartet of Presidents, politicians, or world leaders?

Sir Hillary 10:27 AM  

@Lawrence O'Donnell (LOL at that handle!) and others -- my "West Wing" plug...

A couple rainy weekends ago, my wife and I were bingeing the first season of "Dead to Me." We had gotten through eight of the ten episodes (and had enjoyed the show a lot) when I suddenly felt the need for a break. I suggested we watch the first episode of "The West Wing" Season 2, a two-parter called "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" which takes place immediately after the shootings in the Season 1 cliffhanger finale. "The West Wing" was always, and remains to this day, a fantasy of what a liberal administration, and indeed the world, could be. But, man oh man, did it feel good. I tend to enjoy Sorkin the most when he works in flashback, and this episode utilizes them extensively. And, OHMY, the pathos -- my wife actually cried multiple times, despite our both having seen the episode at least five times previously. Comfort food, warm blanket, broken-in slippers, any metaphor you like -- it was just what we needed. ALLISON Janney was, as always, superb.

Crimson Devil 10:28 AM  

Ms Smith: wouldn’t want you to think we missed you...’cause we did.
Good also to see Mr. Ed, of course, and reference to outliar.
Also never noticed that many cartoon characters were sans trou.

mathgent 10:29 AM  

I found an explanation for “Keep your shirt on.” Some would take their shirts off before getting into a fight. But not for “Keep your pants on.” I can think of a sexual one but that’s probably not it, the expression going back to the beginning of the last century. The expression isn’t used anymore and it doesn’t mean anything, so why build a puzzle around it? To remind us that some cartoon characters were drawn without pants?

Happy to hear your sweet voice again, LMS.

Ross Trudeau is the son of a cartoonist. I wonder if he tried to do that. He had all the materials around the house, I suppose.

I have a feeling that Mr. Trudeau will construct a puzzle that I like one of these days.

Canon Chasuble 10:30 AM  

Sorry to pour cold water on all these comments but the long answers, which I looked at 1st were so obvious that it took all of 20 seconds to get them (Without even bothering to write them in) another 30 seconds to guess the reveal. What’s the point of spending any more time on this? As 24a might say, “bah, humbug.”

Crimson Devil 10:39 AM  

Also good to be reminded that, to my knowledge, we never learned who was responsible for audible flush during recent SCOTUS arguments.

Stix 10:42 AM  

Yes! I’m surprised Rex didn’t mention that.

Lee Carroll 10:53 AM  

I thought it was cute!

egsforbreakfast 10:56 AM  

@burtonkd 9:19 am. The orange blob has several times referred to the Noble Prize in tweets. That is what. @gentle jitter fearlesskim refers to.

Adding a hearty welcome back to LMS.

GILL I. 11:05 AM  

OH MY....Nudie tunes. A couple of clues scared the pants off of me and I flew by the seat of my pants. AL GORE always looks like he has ants in his pants but then we have @Loren to come and charm the pants off of us once again. My favorite semi nudie is PORKY PIG....
Q: What do you get when you cross a pig and a Christmas tree?
A: A porky-pine....
Feel free to get up and oink.
Wow, Jesus is missing his (ahem) thingie? I'm really happy for the apostles, though. How can you do "that thing" without one? Mind tends to wander in the Huey, Dewey, and Louie arena.
Cute enough puzzle. Anything involving no pants is primo. I would also invoke the Freedom Trash Can event and toss all our bras into a burning heap of flames. Come to California....we will all watch.
So all of you like "West Wing?" Have you noticed how fast ALLISON talks? I have trouble spitting out "Is the bathroom free?" without tripping over the wad in my panties.

What? 11:11 AM  

As noted above, these cartoon characters not only are sans pants, they also lack genitalia. Imagine all those prepubescents looking at those characters and then looking at themselves. Quelle damage!

albatross shell 11:12 AM  

@Gill I

Frantic Sloth 11:16 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 11:21 AM  

There are lots of depiction's of Christ with all his external anatomy on display. Michelangelo carved a fantastic piece of an utterly naked Jesus with the Cross. Not sure why Poggius thinks the depiction he links to is especially noteworthy. More to the point why would he make a connection between Christ and cartoons. Not blasphemous but certainly baffling.

Nancy from Chicago 11:22 AM  

@Loren, thanks for the potato story - that was hilarious!

Z 11:24 AM  

@Lewis and @Frantic Sloth - No actual clue, but I always assumed the white ovals were decorative buttons. If Mickey wore braces then those buttons would have an actual use. If I’m remembering correctly, buttons were originally just decorative, so Mr. Mouse is just fashionably old school.

Z 11:30 AM  

@Frantic Sloth 10:16 - When I forget my quote mark it seems like Blogger YELLs AT me.

@Anon11:21 - Really? I thought @Poggius did their usual excellent job of explaining what spurred the link.

Jed Clampett 11:33 AM  

The West Wing is very entertaining. I just started watching last spring. I may or may not get through all the seasons. It kinda wears me down somehow and I need a break. I think it's because it is so slick and so fast moving.

Newboy 11:35 AM  

Liked it & saw the reveal early, so I didn’t need suspenders for keeping it together decently this morning. Seems Rex is being overly critical of a Tuesday puz that’s just about perfect for Newbs to the game as JC points OUT over on xwordinfo. And I hadn’t thought of Will’s junior high fascination with drop trou themers, but that also rings true to my inexperienced ear. Any solve that brings back vibrations of sharing Saturday mornings of long ago with our two now middle aged sons is welcome fare. A happy day in spite of the toxic air that chains us to the couch. Thanks Amanda & Ross for the amusement today and also for your willingness to broaden the constructor base; it’s a joy to recognize favorite constructor names, of course, but a sheer delight to find a new face gracing the pages of the ole grey lady and your efforts really help make that possible.

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

Of course really. Have you looked at the image he's referring to? That particular scene is crazy famous. Christ is clothed. As I say, I have no idea what prompted the compariosn of a depiction of Christ-- a real figure--with fictional characters, to say nothing of the fact that he is in fact clad.
Perhaps you could explain it.

CDilly52 11:41 AM  

@LMS, welcome back! I for one have missed your posts.

The theme made me smile, as did your post, @bocamp. Until my folks bought their own little house near campus, we lived in the other half of my grandparents’ old brick duplex near downtown. The kitchens had a pantry off the back door complete with banging screen that was the source of consternation for my Gran.

Although not stocked with a trove of comics, for some reason, the dark spaces were a magnet for me. I loved to go in there on “Gran’s side,” use the old, old Cornhusker’s Lotion dispenser on the wall next to the tiny window adjacent to the old sink where Gran still washed her gardening shears and arranged masses of peonies and lilacs in giant old rowers every spring, and then crawl under the shelves with a book.. Whenever I smell lilacs or peonies, I am instantly transported back to that dark, cool room where I fit so nicely under the shelves.

On hot summer days, I would scrounge through the books Gran kept for us on “her side” of the houses. My favorite was a vintage “Mickey Sees the USA.” I would travel with Mickey and Pluto in their car that was hauling a tiny travel trailer.

As an adult, I visited the places I learned about in that book. The memories of my small self tucked snugly under the pantry shelf traveled with us. I recall the first time I stood at the south rim of the Grand Canyon with my husband on our belated honeymoon (and that’s another story entirely). The dust motes in the early morning sunlight took me back to that pantry. I could smell the Cornhusker’s lotion and the smells of the pantry’s cool linoleum floor. I told my husband about the book.

About a year later, we had scrimped and saved, and purchased a well used pop-up camper trailer. Our very first night out on its maiden voyage, we pitched camp at Bluewater Lake State Park near Gallup, NM. The whole day driving, I could tell that Larry was exceptionally pleased with himself, and kept asking him what he was up to. When we crawled into our snug cocoon in the camper, Larry told me to look under my pillow. He had found a copy of “Mickey Sees the USA.” We visited each place throughout our 45 years together and have photos of us at each location, with “the book” and of course our daughter, Katherine once she joined our adventures. The adventures that began in that pantry on Brydon Road.

Thank you @bocamp. Thank you to our constructor’s.

Swagomatic 11:55 AM  

I thought it was a funny, good Tuesday. Zero complaints.

dadnoa 12:05 PM  

+1 for the Toric/Alia comment. That’s rough for Tuesday

Masked and Anonymous 12:06 PM  

Luv those old Uncle $crooge adventure comic books, by cartoonist Carl Barks. Sometimes the ducks did wear pants -- like when they were in outer space (lookin for an asteroid where $crooge could safely hide his moneybucks) or under the ocean (in divin gear, discoverin Atlantis).

staff weeject pick: OUT. And OUT II. har
fave fillins: GURU. ROKU [Can never remember this one, other than I know it has a nice U in it].

Thanx for gangin up on us, Team Amanda & Ross. Nice selection of impatient toons.

Masked & Anonym8Us

p.s. yo, @Muse!

Frantic Sloth 12:07 PM  

@Poggius, @GILL, Jesus is missing nothing because "he" was a woman. πŸ˜‰


@Z 1120am ARGH!! Stupid Blogger cranks about almost everything else!

Whatsername 12:11 PM  

@CDilly: I think that’s your best story yet. The wonderful adventures you must have had, both the imaginary ones created as a child and the thrill of living your dreams later on. Thank you so much for sharing.

Frantic Sloth 12:17 PM  

@CDilly52 1141am. And another lovely story of yours that delights the senses. Thank you! πŸ₯°

bocamp 12:38 PM  

@ Loren Muse Smith 3:19 AM wrote:

Yo! Rexites! Good to be back!

I've been reading your comments for years! So happy you're back; keep on truckin' πŸ‘

Paca πŸ•Š

Teedmn 12:42 PM  

Has NED Flanders ever been seen pantsless, and do I even want to know?

I thought this easy Tuesday had a cute theme that gave me a chuckle when I realized it wasn't referring to the speed of the theme characters (PORKY was giving me PO_KY, for slowness, but none of the others came close) but to their pantsless state.

MR ED, of course, never wore pants (but not a 'toon).

Thanks, Amanda and Ross, nice Tuesday effort.

bocamp 12:55 PM  

@ CDilly52 11:41 AM

I loved your anecdotes! 😊 I can so relate; bless you for lighting up my day. 🌈 And, in Vancouver, we need all the light we can get, due to the smoke coming up from the fire-ravaged states to the south.

Prayers for all those affected by the fires. πŸ™

Paco πŸ•Š

old timer 1:05 PM  

The sounds my wife may have heard a few minutes ago was me chortling, laughing, te-heing, and almost roaring as I read @LMS's glorious return to this blog. I guess the school authorities made her go back to her West Virginia home for another year. And you know, if you can't go traveling abroad, it seems to me the rolling hills of West Virginia really are a better place to spend the summer, or would be if her family had stayed there. To quote U. Utah Phillips (the Golden Voice of the Great Southwest) they really are the "nearest thing to Heaven that I know". Seemed that way to me the one time I went through there, if for some reason my native California is unavailable.

I enjoyed thinking about the cartoon characters of my youth. Especially Uncle Scrooge, who always got the best lines. Somehow I knew ROKU, so the puzzle played quite Easy for me today.

bocamp 1:19 PM  

@ Sports Fan 7:08 PM yesterday wrote:

"GOAT in the major sports:
Baseball: Babe Ruth
Basketball : Michael Jordan
Football: Jim Brown
Golf: Tiger Woods
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky
Lacrosse: Jon Reese
Soccer: PelΓ©
Tennis: Roger Federer"

@ Crimson Devil 10:04 AM yesterday wrote:

"Sports fan, et al.
Your list seems well considered, though I know nil about lax: I’ve always heard Jim Brown was the man; didn’t he occasion a rule change?
Also, I would add “athlete” to your list, and nominate Bo as GOAT. So certified by ESPN ~10 yrs ago; one of the best 30 for 30s."

My comments from today (Tues)

When "Bo" "owned" my man "Boz" . IMO, "Boz" was toast when he a attempted a high tackle on a throttled up 220 lb. locomotive; with only two yards to the end zone, that's not going to work. Besides, his angle on Bo was not optimal. A low tackle might have worked, but we'll never know. Anywhere else in the field, this might have been rated a decent tackle.

Reddit comments on the "Bo" vs "Boz" affair

Bo and Boz are class acts; they ended up on the same "team" much later in life, including this worthy undertaking. Another hookup: > Bo Jackson, Brian Bosworth meet again — 27 years later .

I'd rate Bo high on the list of "GAoaT", and "Neon Deion" right up there, but ultimately have to go with Babe Didrikson Zaharias , Jim Thorpe , Jim Brown (football/lacrosse or maybe even a great decathlete such as Ashton Eaton or Kevin Mayer . As soon as the women's decathlon replaces the heptathlon (which is not a given 🀞), more women, such as Lithuanian Austra Skuiyte should be added to this list.

And, let's not forget non binary people; how will they fit into the equation?

All food for thought. πŸ€”

Paco πŸ•Š

Anonymous 1:19 PM  

due to the smoke coming up from the fire-ravaged states to the south.

my local weather critter doesn't say much, well... anything at all, about BC weather. so, no drought or heat or winds or dry lightning in BC? or just not much forest?

bocamp 1:26 PM  

Winnie The Pooh Theme Song Sing-A-Long 🐻

Paco πŸ•Š

bertoray 1:30 PM  

LMS is in the house. Aaah yeah.

ani 1:33 PM  

Another lms fan. Glad your back!

GILL I. 1:45 PM  

@Frantic....You may be right, but if you're going to nail anybody to the cross, it might as well be a male without

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

To anon. 11:37 a.m. I should have explained more carefully the reference. The mosaic depicts the coronation of the Virgin by Jesus (this would have taken place in heaven after the period of their earthly sojourn). Jesus, the Virgin, and a few others in this are all fully clothed. Below this, on a sort of band, there is a depiction of Jesus and the 12 Apostles, all represented as sheep. Jesus is right in the middle, especially labeled with cross in front of him.

I lived an entire year about a 5-minute walk from Santa Maria in Trastevere, on via della Scala, and I would on occasion drop in on the church--this sort of thing was easier before so many famous churches in Italy began to charge admission. I remember once someone pointed out to me that each of the 12 apostles had his genitalia, but Jesus did not. I suspect this has been discussed in print, but I do not know of any reference. There's much literature on the sexuality and even gender of Jesus, but I have not read it. The theme of today's puzzle, the artistic representations of animals without pants, made me think that that these animals lost more than their pants, and animals without their genitalia made me think immediately of the portrayal of the Lamb of God in Santa Maria in Trastevere. There the artist, to borrow an expression of Abelard (*Story of My Adversities*), "removed the part that caused the offense."

Anon. i.e. Poggius

zephyr 1:54 PM  

Oread should have been a dryad but then it would have to be a yogi bera. Sorta. Needs more smushing, just like they did to make this one. Heave was fine. Thought it was cha-cha. Never saw Buffy but heard that title. Theres an Aldo on Broadway in SoHo.

Dave S 2:33 PM  

What an entertaining string of comments. Glad I stopped by even though I didn't notice out/outlie while doing the puzzle and can't get mad about it now, and the theme was the most enjoyable I've seen in a bit. Loved the little extra trickiness of toric, since otherwise it would have just been a quick dash through. Just hope those cute cartoon animals remain safe from the snarers and slayers lurking in the corner, as well as from indecent exposure laws.

Barbara S. 2:36 PM  

I had a good chuckle over this one. All those cartoon characters took me back to my childhood very pleasantly, although somehow SCROOGE MCDUCK is less well known to me. I seem to know Donald’s other uncle, Ludwig von Drake, much better. (Another eschewer of pants, but of course it’s a family tradition.)

While solving, I noticed without emotion the OUT/OUTLIE cross. Didn’t notice the YELLING AT/clued “at” combination. That second one seems more serious to me and would have been so easy to fix: “Berating loudly.”

Hand up as both a “West Wing” and “Buffy” fan. I see no contradiction.

EDNA St. Vincent Millay, as probably most of you know, wrote:

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light!

That’s the entire poem, entitled “First Fig” and included in a book called “A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Four Sonnets.” Less known is that the screenwriter and poet, Samuel Hoffenstein, wrote a reply called ”I Burned My Candle at Both Ends.”

I burned my candle at both ends,
And now have neither foes nor friends;
For all the lovely light begotten,
I’m paying now in feeling rotten.

ASTERS proliferate in my yard. They’re all in glorious bloom and filled with bees, butterflies and all sorts of unidentified flying insects. Not as many as in the past, though, and it does makes me worry about our shrinking populations of pollinators.

@LMS, welcome back to our lady of language and laughter.

Barbara S. 2:55 PM  


Almost forgot that I have some very important venting to do regarding yesterday’s Bee. I was extremely annoyed that they wouldn’t accept LOGGIA, undoubtedly derived from Italian but now a commonly accepted word in English (in all reasonable circles). But what really tipped me over the edge was that, having welcomed GLACIAL and BIOLOGICAL, they wouldn’t accept GLACIOLOGICAL! My husband’s a glaciologist and he was furious! Well, he was mildly disgruntled for about 5 minutes. But it was an egregious oversight.

I was foiled yesterday with one word to go: BOOGALOO. Tee Hee. Did anyone get that? In other words, is it well known to any SBers around here?

Anonymous 3:47 PM  


Thanks. Two things. Please refrain from explaining the coronation of the Queen of Heaven to me. I'm eminently familiar with it. It's rich that on today, Our Lady of Sorrows feast day, I would get a gratuitous talking to by a protestant on The Blessed Mother.

As for the images. Asyou rightly note, the centerpiece of the eponymously named Basilica is Marian in its focus.

As for Christ being depicted without genitalia. Are you now saying that you're referring to a small image on what you describe as a banner under one of the greatest and most important mosaics in Christendom? My word. That is some takeaway.
But I'll bite, even though the link you provided isn't sufficiently large to discern whether the center sheep does or doesn't have genitals. But let's grant the veracity of your claim. So what? What would truly be more interesting would if you could cite one depiction in the two millennia worth of art where Christ is symbolized by Agnus Dei (The lamb of God) WITH genitals. I've never seen such a depiction.

I'll pray to the Virgin Mary for you.

Anonymous 3:50 PM  

Ugh!!!! I wish I read to the end of your post Poggius.
Christ's genitals did not cause offense. Comparing Our Blessed to Savior to Abelard is an offense.

JC66 3:54 PM  

****SB ALERT****

@Barbara S

I got BOOGALOO, but didn't know GLIA or GLIAL and couldn't see ALGAL

egsforbreakfast 3:57 PM  

@Barbara S 2:55 pm

*******. Kind of an SB Alert, but also possibly of more general interest. *******

I do SB most days, stopping when I reach Genius, as the additional 2 or 3 hours to possibly get QB (as I occasionally did initially) doesn’t seem worth it. I did not get BOOGALOO yesterday, but it is indeed extremely well-known and current due to the odious Boogaloo Boys who increasingly frequent social justice-oriented rallies and protests with the express aim of intimidating those who exercise their constitutional rights. We can expect the Boogaloo Boys to be a part of the biker/confederacy//Christian right coalition that will attempt to violently thwart the will of the people after the buffoon loses.

bocamp 3:58 PM  


@ Barbara S. 2:55 PM

I tried "loggia", as well πŸ˜”

Don't see why "glaciological was not accepted. πŸ€”

Didn't know "boogaloo" , but it's a cool word, as is the dance. πŸ’ƒπŸ½

paco πŸ•Š

Frantic Sloth 4:26 PM  

@GILL I. 145pm Good point. πŸ˜„

(I wanted to say my old standby "You've got a point, but if you wear a hat, no one will notice" but I'm trying to be an adult for a's not working, is it?)

Stay safe, chica!

Anonymous 4:37 PM  

Reply to Anonymous, 3:47 p.m. and 3:50 p.m. (same person?).

First, it is odd to complain about ad hominem attacks when one posts anonymously. I have no idea as to whom I am supposed to be attacking.

Second, I am not a protestant.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Joaquin 5:04 PM  

I've seen man word ladders in NYT crosswords. And I've seen this blog get off-topic from time-to-time.

But going from Porky Pig to Jesus' genitals, well ... that's a new one!

Rgbruno 5:10 PM  

58 across didn't keep his pants on either

JD 5:15 PM  

@Barbara S., I took that little Edna poem to heart as a life direction when I was 17 along with, "Life fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse."

@Poggius, Che bella vita. Your tales never cease to educate and fascinate. Just wished you posted more often.

@Frantic, Forgot to mention, again you've amazed. During my misspent youth, pictured myself old, even scrawnier, dressed in black, Hanes Support Hose and those black tie-up flats, holding a broom, shaking my fist and yelling, "And stay off my porch!"

My icon lived a few doors up the street when we were young. Savagely magnificent.

bocamp 5:24 PM  

@ Anonymous 1:19 PM wrote:

"my local weather critter doesn't say much, well... anything at all, about BC weather. so, no drought or heat or winds or dry lightning in BC? or just not much forest?"

Vancouver is in S.W. BC and, gratefully, there has been no fire activity around here, just the aforementioned smoke. There are plenty of forests in S.W. BC, so we have indeed been fortunate.

There are number of isolated fires in S.E. BC, though, so we pray that they will be extinguished quickly. πŸ™

As for the weather phenomena you ask about, BC has a plethora of ecosystems, each having its own climate and weather characteristics.

On a side note, BC is a huge place (1.36 times larger than Texas) , so what's going on in Vancouver (the Lower Mainland), wouldn't necessarily hold true for other parts of the province.

Hope this clarifies our situation here in the Lower Mainland; bottom line is that it's been declared one of our worst air quality conditions ever and is among the worst in the world . I've had my windows closed for days (fortunately, the temperature has been moderate).

My heart goes out to those in our area, and anywhere on the West Coast, who are suffering from Covid related issues, and/or respiratory conditions πŸ™

Paco πŸ•Š

bocamp 5:45 PM  

@ Joaquin 5:04 PM wrote:

"I've seen man word ladders in NYT crosswords. And I've seen this blog get off-topic from time-to-time.

But going from Porky Pig to Jesus' genitals, well ... that's a new one!"

This is worth the price of admission … almost split a gut! πŸ˜‚

Paco πŸ•Š

Z 5:48 PM  

@Joaquin - Porky Pig to Jesus’ genitals (well, technically the absence thereof when depicting him metaphorically) has got to be an all-time blog high. And Rex thought this theme deserved better.

@Poggius - You were perfectly clear initially and I, at least, followed exactly why those sheep came to mind.

Barbara S. 5:54 PM  

@JD 5:15
I'm glad we still have you with us!

****SB ALERT****
@egs 3:57
I had no idea about the dark side of the word boogaloo. Very disturbing. I only knew the music/dance meaning of the word. These days, as a Canadian, I'm often thankful for my ignorance-is-bliss relationship to certain things American. That being said, I'd very much like a vote in November to help oust the forces that are undermining democracy and the fight against climate change, not just in your country but globally.

Z 6:06 PM  

Hey all you West Wing fans! Time to swag up.

Anonymous 6:56 PM  

What ad hominem? I attacked your take on the art in the basilica. Not you. I apparently misidentified your religious affiliation. That is an error, not an attack. I asked you to refrain from trying to teach me about The Blessed mother. That is a request, not an attack. The rest of my post, you have not refuted. Yours is the weaker position regarging genitals and Agnus Dei in art. I do plenty wrong. For instance I see now your original post does indeed refer to the imagery under the main piece of the Basilica's art. I will not however tolerate being smeared as someone who resorts to ad hominem attack in lieu of argument. I don't need to. And haven't. You sir are now the one in error.

Barbara S. 7:30 PM  

****SB ALERT****
I know it's past time for me to shut up about the Spelling Bee, but

πŸ‘‘πŸ!! ☄πŸ˜ƒ❤πŸ’₯πŸŽ“πŸΎπŸ€Έ‍♀️πŸ₯‡πŸš€πŸŒž

I just got QB, which I've never done on a day with a list this long!! YAY!!

OK, enough jubilation. I have to admit it was a bit of a struggle at the end -- there are a few head-scratchers. But, fellow-SBers, if you're of a mind, it can be done! Buona fortuna!

Andrew Heinegg 7:36 PM  

Ya know, even if LMS hadn't written her usual clever and entertaining bit, her avatar for the day was so clever and funny in the context of the day's puzzle. Truly a pro!

Anonymous 7:47 PM  

To Anonymous, 6:56 p.m. If you would read more carefully before engaging in visceral attacks much of the confusion would disappear. I never accused you (at least until now) of engaging in ad hominem attacks. I accused you of *complaining* about an ad hominem attack, i.e. my attack against you for needing an explanation on what the Coronation of the Virgin referred to. Read my statement of 4:37 p.m.: "it is odd to complain about ad hominem attacks" when one posts anonymously. My meaning is perfectly clear. You wrote as if I were trying to lecture you on the notion of the Coronation. Since you are anonymous and I had little to work with, how could I possibly know who you are or what your religion was? Since much of the Christian religion, from Catholics and others, depends upon tradition, and since the Coronation is not Biblical, I thought I would give a one-sentence description of what it involved. Perhaps this was unnecessary, and it certainly wasn't addressed to you or anyone else in particular. I thought a number of readers had never heard of it--particularly non-Christians, but I suspect a number of Protestants have not heard of it either. On a few occasions in the past I've tried to offer an explanation of things regarding Christian teaching--e.g. that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of the Virgin and that when Lincoln spoke of the "house divided" he was quoting Jesus.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

bocamp 8:11 PM  

Don't know from "Mario Kart", but one of my favorite things in the '50s was building go-karts from whatever material I could muster. Used the next street over, as it extended farther south than mine, and the slope made for a perfect karting experience. I don't recall the home owners every being upset with us for using their street (bless their pea-pickin' hearts). The streets in that area of Eugene were not thoroughfares, all having dead-ends to the south. The south end of our street was the best for sledding in the winter, as it had a fairly good sized, undeveloped hill. Ah, the memories these nyt puzzles invoke. πŸ›·

Paco πŸ•Š

Ernonymous 8:17 PM  

Did someone smear the good and holy name of Anonymous?

crayonbeam 8:38 PM  

Newbie solver here - I like that OUT and OUTLIE cross to make an OOO diagonal pattern. There are helpful rules for puzzle making, but avoiding crossing words like that seems like stale rule of thumb that is worth breaking away.

bocamp 9:05 PM  

@ crayonbeam 8:38 PM wrote

"Newbie solver here - I like that OUT and OUTLIE cross to make an OOO diagonal pattern. There are helpful rules for puzzle making, but avoiding crossing words like that seems like stale rule of thumb that is worth breaking away."

Welcome to the world of NYT crosswords. 😊

I hadn't even noticed the "so-called" faux pas; certainly didn't ruin my solving experience, and wouldn't have had I noticed. LOL

Paco πŸ•Š

bocamp 9:14 PM  


Found four scrabble-worthy words so far that have not been accepted. πŸ˜”

Still a bit shy of "wanna-Bee," but a mile away from QB's hive. Enjoying ever bit of it, tho. 🐝

Paco πŸ•Š

Unknown 9:15 PM  

The great yhing about not being a constructor is that U didn't notice out/outlie and can't make myself care. What's not to like about a puzzle of great characters. Not enough of the clues made me work but as Rex points out, one did.

Fun puzzle. Fun review, after a long day. Good night.

Anonymous 9:48 PM  

Could someone explain how PAIN and pill are synonyms? (I get the second part of the clue but but not the first, and Google isn't helping for obvious reasons)

Nancy 9:59 PM  

@Anon 9:48 -- He's such a pain.
He's such a pill.

@Andrew Heinegg (7:36) -- Your comment drove me to go look at LMS's avatar. (I never think to look at people's avatars). And I haven't a clue what you're talking about because I have no idea who that gentleman is.

bocamp 10:19 PM  

****SB ALERT****

@ Barbara S. 7:30 PM

That is so skookum! Well done to the "real" QB 🐝

I made the "wanna Bee", but still have 15 words to go. 🀞

Paco πŸ•Š

Frantic Sloth 10:45 PM  

@Nancy 959pm I believe it's Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Z 11:07 PM  

@Nancy - If you don’t know that the avatar is Jerry Falwell Jr could it be that you don’t know why him, Pool boy, and “I like to watch” are now hilarious? Here’s a decent enough recap.

@Gill I - I don’t know if you like biographies, but my 9/21 New Yorker has a review of a new one on Goya. Janis Tomlinson is the author.

Unknown 6:52 PM  

The answers published in Wednesday's early edition had several errors in center area: posh instead of push, spat instead of slate,etc

CDilly52 9:52 PM  

@Frantic, you are too kind.

Westword 1:19 AM  

The revealer cracked me up. Fun puzzle. No longer sure what rigorously narrow criteria one has to meet to please Rex.

Knitwit 2:11 PM  

Missed you (and was also a tad worried)! Welcome back!!!!!!

thefogman 10:26 AM  

Rex is right. The OUT/OUTLIE crossing is a Boo-Boo. Is the editor saying OOPs! now?

Burma Shave 11:42 AM  


“COULDI ask, what are YOUR hands ON?
Don’t HUGME you have no SHOT.


rondo 12:51 PM  

No real PAIN in this solve. Is SCROOGEMCDUCK as well-known as the others?
Do cons still mark time on their CELLWALLS?
In the four corners you can get your PAWS on WASP.
Oscar winner ALLISON Janney. Yeah baby.
No spilled INK today. I'm THRU.

Diana, LIW 1:55 PM  

My grandparents used to have a thing they would say to each other on the way to the store. In Finnish. I just imagine years and years of Grandma taking care of the 5 kids. Grandpa would say, "Hurry up and BIN EN TALLA." and Grandma would reply, "Don't be such a HATTA HOSUA." (CAPS are my phonetic Finnish memories.

Anyone else remember this? Basically it's "Hurry up and shake a leg." "Don't be such a hurry pants" - or "keep your pants on" in the English idiom.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Mr. W - who is never a HATTA HOSUA

leftcoaster 3:35 PM  

Fun, entertaining puzzle. Required a bit more attention than usual. Had a scattering of entries before putting it all together. Includes a TV-related mini-theme as a bonus. Enjoyed it.

@Diana--My immigrant grandparents were Finnish as well. Wish I had had closer contact with them back then. Grandma didn’t speak English, but she expressed a warm and loving nature.

rondo 4:06 PM  

hΓ€tΓ€housu = literally 'emergency pants' (Finnish)

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