Roman foeman / SAT 9-5-20 / Dice in slang / Source of brachiocephalic trunk

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Constructor: John Guzzetta

Relative difficulty: Medium (8:01)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ATHOL Fugard (42A: Playwright Fugard) —
Athol Fugard FRSL OIS (born 11 June 1932) is a South African playwright, novelist, actor, and director widely regarded as “South Africa’s greatest playwright.” He is best known for his political plays opposing the system of apartheid and for the 2005 Oscar-winning film of his novel Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood. Acclaimed as “the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world” by Time Magazine in 1985, Fugard continues to write and has published over thirty plays. Fugard was an adjunct professor of playwriting, acting and directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego. He is the recipient of many awards, honours, and honorary degrees, including the 2005 Order of Ikhamanga in Silver "for his excellent contribution and achievements in the theatre" from the government of South Africa. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was honoured in Cape Town with the opening of the Fugard Theatre in District Six in 2010, and received a Tony Award for lifetime achievement in 2011. (wikipedia)
• • •

Sometimes puzzles have no dramatic flaws but still come across as listless, like they were spat out by a computer armed with a prodigious word list. There's just an Uncanny Valley quality—yes, these are all words and phrases, and they are mostly reasonably familiar, but somehow it still doesn't feel like a flesh & blood human being made this. I think I just want to see more obvious humanity in, well, everything, and I expect Fridays and Saturdays to fairly teem with it. BUREAUCRAT and ACCOUNT REP are just deathly to joy in general, and then many of the longer answers, while Just Fine, don't really sing. Don't have flair. Don't seem daring. Maybe you love Gilbert & Sullivan and so thought PIRATE KING was keen, ok. But by the end of this thing, the only things I looked back on with any fondness were MEDAL HUNT, OPEN LETTER, and RAINMAKER. The rest feels like a robot or a Martian or a robot-Martian made it. I mean, a well-trained, highly observant robot-Martian, one who had been studying the ways of humans and their language for years, but still. I also just really didn't like the structure of the grid—I always find highly-segmented puzzles annoying, as cut-off corners tend to play like entirely separate, often much harder stand-alone puzzles. With only one tiny route in, the NW and SE corners like that—the rest of the grid is more open, had a nice flow, wasn't a slog. But then there were these tight 3x10 (roughly) corners and they felt slightly suffocating. Maybe this entire puzzle rests on PIRATE KING. Certainly if I'd known it, the SE would've been much easier, and maybe if I were a Gilbert & Sullivan fan, I'd've felt that PIRATE KING and MUSICAL were sufficiently delightful distractions. But I doubt it. 

Hey, if cancel culture is real, why is infamous racist Paula DEEN still showing up in my crossword? (4D: Celebrity chef Paula). Literally no one in solver-ville is clamoring for more DEEN content, so ... what the hell are you even doing, constructors / editors? To whom is ONE STAR an [Amazon deterrent]. Does it deter me ... from buying something. The seller ... from selling bad things or giving bad service? Mostly I find ONE-STAR reviews unhinged and narcissistic. Also, it's the review / rating that's the deterrent, not the star itself. Cluing ONE STAR as if it were a noun phrase is weird. "I gave the blender ONE STAR and that ONE STAR will surely deter future blender buyers." Again, as I said up top, something about the wording here lacks a distinctively *human* quality. It's called a "paring knife," not a PARER. But I don't have a load of complaints today, just a kind of disappointed, listless feeling. Mistakes? A few. I genuinely thought PIRATE KING might be PIRATEKIND (26D: Gilbert and Sullivan's "glorious thing to be"). HISS (?) before SASS (52A: See 48-Across) (48A: "Watch your ___!" (response to 52-Across) (TONE) (suuuuper-awkward cross-reference). MAKE A JOKE before TAKE A JOKE (43A: Laugh it off, say). MARES (??) before BERGS (51A: Calves come from them). INDIA before TAMIL (5A: Part of Kamala Harris's ancestry) (wasn't really sure what part of speech was called for there). HIS before THY (21A: "Glorify ___ Name" (church chorus)). Nothing too remarkable. Nothing too remarkable. That's how I feel about pretty much the whole shebang today.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:05 AM  

Easy-medium except for NW which took a while. I was looking for one word for 1a so A TAD was slow in coming plus it’s been quite a while since i’ve seen AMBIT. Did not know about Kamala’s TAMIL background and had idiot before, many nanoseconds were invested. @Rex, me too for his before THY.

Solid and pretty smooth, with A TAD more sparkle than yesterday’s, liked it.

Harryp 12:09 AM  

I found this one to be much easier than yesterday's. When Calves came up my only question was BERG or Floe. Glad to have this one done early, so I can take my evening walk.

Donald 12:19 AM  

I had “I can’t even” for “I can’t go on.” I prefer “even.”

Joaquin 12:20 AM  
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Anonymous 12:20 AM  

liked: "mountainbiker", "bedsidemanner", "openletter", "gameover", "bergs", "cup"; nice indirection with "gmen" and "tamil"

did not like "bureaucrat", "tone"/"sass", "accountrep", "moron", "bones", "teasertrailer" (redundant sounding)

and do they still sell "Bugattis" - yes they do! (to the tune of the
19 million), yeah, well, they say the rich are different - it was better when 1930's movie stars were driving them

Pamela 12:30 AM  

This was tough but I managed to get through it without help, which I was pretty proud of- until, much to my dismay, I got the nasty pop-up instead of the happy music, couldn’t find my mistake and ended up DNF.

mAKEAJOKE did me in- I never noticed that mAPE for the trainer’s supply made no sense.

So many blind alleys along the way-yikes! I had BONMOT early, then took it out until BANANAPEEL. Mel Tillis before PAM, nOlInes before BOMBING, eVe before AVA. That section was a mess until the end, when BIKER joined MOUNTAIN and the knots unraveled.

I loved the clue for MUSICAL.

I’m always delighted to be reminded of Gilbert and Sullivan, a staple of my childhood that carried over well into adulthood. At one point I knew several almost completely by heart, including Pirates of Penzance. I could hear the tune to ‘It is, it is a glorious thing’ as I read the clue. So why then did I spend so much time trying to make ‘Englishman’ fit?!

The Amazon clue had me looking for monsters in the rainforests for a while, so ONESTAR made me laugh.

I’d heard of Fugard, but not his first name.

Not much word play today. All those made up phrases, someone’s idea of normal speak but not often mine, they don’t cut it in my book. So now we have GOON and GOAS to go with GOOK.

And why, at 44D, is ACE the A in Atlantic City?

Joaquin 12:38 AM  

@Rex says, "But I don't have a load of complaints today ... "

Just how many complaints are there in a load? I know that 2.5 loads = one bunch, and two bunches = one oodle. Must be a lot of complaints per load if Rex didn't hit a load today.

Frantic Sloth 12:43 AM  

That NE corner.

* I had Econ at 10A forever despite a gnawing feeling that it was wrong.

* Don't know slang terminology for gambling tools and only got BONES once I figured out nearly everything else first.

* Could not for the life of me decide if "Amazon" was referring to the deep, dark, jungle of danger and mystery or the Brazilian rainforest. Had "netting" (13D)as a...deterrent...against...mosquitoes?? (That darned "Econ"!!)

* Finally got ERGO, GAMEOVER, and ONESTAR in a flurry of firing synapses and then stared at ONESTAR for several nanoseconds before the DIME dropped.

* Ultimately realized it was the first Amazon option and the "deterrent" - presumably against purchasing - was the ONESTAR review.

It sneaky, but me likee. 😊

Now, that was a tussle I liked rasslin' with!

See, here's the thing. It took me about twice as long to complete this puzzle as it did for yesterday's, but the clues in this one made sense to me - whether misdirects or not.

I wasn't left with a feeling of "really? that's what you want here?"

Instead it was "Ohhh!" after "Aha!" after "Oooh - you got me there!"

And therein lies the difference between a good yet challenging puzzle and a dreck slog of tedium.

Thank you, Mr. Guzzetta!


Frantic Sloth 12:47 AM  

Just read Rex, who (unknowingly?) hit the irony mother lode with "Mostly I find ONE-STAR reviews unhinged and narcissistic."

Meghan 12:48 AM  

I feel like 51A is wrong. Icebergs are calved from glaciers, they don't make calves as far as I know.

JD 12:57 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
okanaganer 1:06 AM  

All those mini phrases slowed me down... there were often other phrases that were just as plausible. Looking at -OUGHE---UP for "Grew a spine" I just thought ROUGHED IT UP, imagining a schoolyard with a wimpy kid trying to prove he's not (wimpy), and had trouble letting it go. Also could not see TAKE A JOKE without CAN'T.

But really, my biggest problem was MEL Tillis. There's just no way a country singer could be --- Tillis and not be MEL. Which made the "Terrible opening weekend", I dunno, BOLTING? And the Gilbert & Sullivan thing MIRA---ING... MIRAGELING? MIRACLEING? I guess Saturday should be a bit devious, but really that's how you clue PAM? I propose: "Robin's 70's sitcom co-star".

Carolpres 2:44 AM  

I got Tamil right away (there were several stories after her DNC speech about her throwing in a Tamil word) which led me to a record-breaking pace (14:07 - really, the fastest I've done a Saturday), so I liked this one. :-)

chefwen 2:49 AM  

One cheat for TAMIL, I’ll take it.

Agree with @jae with easy medium. Had idiot also for 7D TAMIL fixed that, thank you Uncle Goog.

I remember when Doctors actually came to your house to treat you. That was BEDSIDE MANNER, unheard of now. Egad, I’m old!

Lewis 6:45 AM  

I can GOON very well, thank you, so people have indicated.

I loved BEDSIDE MANNER, the look of BUGATTI, the clues for MOUNTAIN BIKER, DIME, TAGS, and MUSICAL, the four palindrome answers, the flash solves (for Saturday) of the SE and NW, and the sweet grit of the rest. And, with Gilbert and Sullivan on my mind thanks to 26D, PEERS made me think of “Trial by Jury”. All in all, the Saturday experience I’ve come to crave, and thank you for everything you put into this, John!

Then there are the stunning connections the subconscious makes. After I completed the puzzle, I immediately started hearing in my head “The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring” (tra la) from G&S’s “The Mikado”, and I couldn’t figure out why, because PIRATE KING is from “The Pirates of Penzance”. Then I remembered that my final sticking point in the puzzle was that I had CASES instead of CODES (as things that can be cracked) and it made no sense, because that made the [Fall sound] THUS instead of THUD. After a bit of mental wrestling, I finally figured it out. What does this have to do with that Mikado song? One of its verses starts, “The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la, have nothing to do with the case…” Nothing to do with the CASE – just what I needed to know to finish the puzzle! Now I’m wondering if that song started while I was wrestling with that final problem. In any case, stunning.

ChuckD 6:49 AM  

Workmanlike Saturday for me. Like Rex - not a lot of flash here but nothing terrible. The grid was restrictive - the three long centers were nice but it created odd corners especially the SW. ULA, ATHOL, INTS are pretty bad. MARIE CURIE shows up again which is fine. Liked RAINMAKER and BUGATTI. When are we going to see Gilbert O’Sullivan in the puzzle?

Overall a decent offering that gave me a good workout. Surf was great yesterday - today should be even better.

Unknown 6:55 AM  

The NW was hard, especially because I stubbornly refused to remove DESK JOCKEY as my adored open-fill answer for "Paper pusher". I was failing at using the J as some form of DJ for the "work with a needle" clue (I still spin vinyl in my den). It is tough to delete answers that you adore.

Lobster11 6:55 AM  

Am I the only one who thought crossing BUGATTI with ATHOL at a vowel was ATAD Naticky?

Eric NC 7:14 AM  

Darn it. Thought I was so smart when “FIRSTDONOHARM” fit.

barryevans 7:39 AM  

Took awhile, but compared with Friday's humorless, DNF slog, thus was FUN. Still p.o'd about Friday's INAROMP and BLART...prob'ly time to let go...

JD 7:53 AM  

In the far off chance that a fact checker reads this, please know for the second time what Calve means as relating to chunks of ice in big water. This is what comes up on Google at the very top when you ask, "Do icebergs calve?" I couldn't say it better.

"Cows have calves, glaciers calve icebergs, which are chunks of ice that break off glaciers and fall into water. Calving is when chunks of ice break off at the terminus, or end, of a glacier. Ice breaks because the forward motion of a glacier makes the terminus unstable. We call these resulting chunks of ice “icebergs.”

Again struggled in a NW corner. Went back and stared at it for a long time but was blinded by rage over Calve and DNF. I think that was the reason.

@Z. Told kid the rim story. She had an even worse definition. I wish I could tell you about the teabag story of years ago but not appropriate here.

Matt 7:56 AM  

As in an Ace card at the casinos

Z 8:11 AM  

I think Rex overstated it a bit, but I take his point. The one that felt robotic to me was TEASER TRAILER. Wha??? There are TEASERs. There are MOVIE TRAILERs. If I have ever heard TEASER TRAILER in real life I must have just edited it in my head to something sensical, something not redundant.

I saw through the Amazon clue pretty quickly but then doubted myself when Jeff Bezos wouldn’t fit.

I also saw through the -nomic clue, realizing right away that it is not econnomic. I still needed GO in place before seeing the right answer.

@Donald - I had I CAN’T dO it. I prefer your “even,” although I CAN’T GOON has a certain bad guy gone good lyricism to it.

@Lobster11 - ATHOL Fugard was a big name when I was in college, so automatic here. But, yes, two proper nouns from foreign languages crossing at a vowel is always sub-optimal and at least a little naticky.

Hungry Mother 8:16 AM  

3 wrong when I turned on the red letters. Still don’t get TAGS; I thought bAGS as in baseball infield.

Z 8:37 AM  

@JD - I remember much hooting and hollering when the tea party types initially called themselves teabaggers, so I can imagine.

@Hungry Mother - License plates are sometimes referred to as TAGS.

@Chuck D late last night - De gustibus and all that, but I always have felt that Bell’s weakest attempts have been their stouts. I’ve had many good IPAs, but never one better than Two-Hearted Ale. I have some Oberon in the fridge right now. Third Coast Ale, Bell’s Amber, and Bell’s Best Brown Ale are all top notch. But if I want a stouty Michigan beer I’m picking up some Dragon’s Milk from New Holland Brewery. My stout fiend buddy is from Ohio and has strong preferences for several Cincinnati area offerings and is constantly talking about 3 Floyds Brewing in Munster, IN. I generally reserve my stout drinking for the winter months, but Brewster (yes, that’s his real name) has been known to drink several on a hot summer afternoon at the fields after a hard day of ultimate.

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

Who the F is PAM Tillis? I know Mel Tillis. I know Pat Tillis.

Pamela 8:57 AM  

@Lobster 11- I feel your pain! I had BUGoTTI at first, and 2 O’s for Fugard’s name. I racked my brain for a variation on Otto with an extra letter until MUSICAL clicked into place, then dimly remembered having seen ATHOL as a name somewhere before and fixed it.

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

Another quick and (relatively) easy day- QB already, before breakfast even.

TJS 8:59 AM  

Well, it seems that Rex might have a little animus for todays' constructor,no? Nitpicking at its' finest. Did it never cross his mind that "one star" rating might refer to a movie review? Amazon is in the movie business, I believe.

"If cancel culture is real" ? Rex you practice it every day with your "Why is (fill in the blank) allowed in my puzzle ??"

Three fourths of the review is a whiney rant about death "to joy", "don't really sing", and "Dont have flair". And then we get "But I don't have a load of complaints today".

What a maroon.

B Right There 9:00 AM  

Our second fastest Sat ever. The puzzle didn't tickle me in particular, but I, apparently was on Mr. G's wavelength and just danced though the thing. I agree that 51A (Calves come from them) is not correct, but knew right away that that's what was wanted there. Knew 28A had to be something related to cyclists. Wanted to put tOUrdeFrancERr (which fit just fine, and would have been very timely) but we already had GOAS MUSICAL ATM, and ILES so had to wait until we looked at 28 D MEDALHUNT, which gave us the M. Agree that TEASER TRAILER seems redundant, and that TAKEAJOKE seems awkward.
Mini woes: Had 4D DEEN as DEAN for one second before putting in 17A BUREAUCRAT. Wanteed OPEdLETTER at 49A (my father used to air his grievences about Chicago politics in Op Ed Letters to the Trib all the time back in the 70's). Had Kamil as TAMIn for a second since nET (9d) seemed like a perfectly reasonable diminutive suffix. Hubby came up with GMEN at 24D, which would have been a stretch for me to come up with. Tried to spell BUGATTI as BUGhaTI for a second (in my Honda Fit income bracket, BUGATTIs are some far off mythical beast, so not overly familiar with the spelling). And was stumped at why 35A (Plates) was TAGS (filled in from the crosses) until it clicked a minute after I finished. Vehicle license plates. (lightbulb illuminates over my head).

Also loved the 18A DIME and 47D (Kind of rule) MOB. Had just one very odd moment where I wanted 38a (Zip) to be nil. And worse, them somehow my brain thought 23D (Some slapstick props) to be squirtLapel, which, of course made no sense, bot being a plural, and it being usually the squirt flower stuck in the lapel that would be the prop. But hubby saw the BANANAPEEL right away off the A in MOUNTAINBIKER and that got us into the NE and SE sections just fine. Good thing since 26D PIRATEKING was unknown to me, or had been forgotten if I ever knew it. Kept thinking it should be a place to be. Like It's a glorious thing to be in Carolina in the morning. So the only song running through my head for the rest of the time was Carolina in the Morning. Still, like I said, the grid just filled itself very smoothly. So, I think I will enjoy breakfast now and then peek into the Tour De France.

kitshef 9:10 AM  

Solved this after a long drive and a beer and on an unfamiliar keyboard, and flew through this like it was a Wednesday – which suggests it’s really somewhere between a Tuesday and a Wednesday.

Following on from yesterday’s citics of JEANETTE RANKIN, I wonder if someone will come after MARIE CURIE today. Chances are some ATHOL will, but I hope not as she is one of my heroes. Brilliant, generous, and yet tragic. Marie and her daughter Irene won four of the first eight Nobel prizes won by women (Marie #1 and #4, Irene #8).

mathgent 9:15 AM  

Rex did a good job explaining something that I’ve commented on a few times. Puzzles that lack humanity. He said that today’s puzzle felt like it had been constructed by a “well-trained, highly observant robot-Martian, one who had been studying the ways of humans and their language” for years. @Pamela (12:30) referred to “made up phrases.” Exactly. Like TEASERTRAILER, TAKEAJOKE, MEDALHUNT, MOUNTAINBIKER. They all make sense but they aren’t real phrases.

I love puzzles which are the opposite. I commented the other day about a puzzle where I felt like I was in the company of the constructor while solving it. When I’m doing a Joe DiPietro puzzle, I feel like I’m in his bar, having a drink with him.

Not a bad puzzle, though. Seventeen entries eight-letters or more, crunchy, some sparkle.

From what I’ve read, the evidence that Paul DEEN is a racist is pretty thin. She’s a Southern lady of a certain age who has used the n-word.

Unknown 9:15 AM  

A nice tough solid Saturday. SOlved it without resorting to Mr. Google, which always makes me feel good on a Saturday. I had BOXSTER instead of BUGATTI for the longest time, and threw in SAM for Tillis, so that caused a bit of grief. Kind of weird seeing Paula DEEN, BERGS & MARIE CURIE; I feel like they have all been recent answers. While I rarely agree with Rex's political correctness, I agree w/ him that Paula DEEN should really not be celebrated in a XW puzzle. And seriously, in ten years no one will remember who she is anyway. I agree that TEASERTRAILER is a phrase I have never heard before (has anyone?), although it was easy to suss it out. All in all I liked it.

Nancy 9:19 AM  

This took me a long time, but I kept hoping there was MORE TO COME and I never once said I CAN'T GO ON. My kind of puzzle -- all wordplay and no trivia. There were two names in the same SW section that had the opposite effects: ATHOL was a big help and I was glad to see him. BUGATTI is a car I have absolutely never heard of, not even once.

I had such a problem at 23D, wondering why BANANA Pies didn't fit. Finally, finally when I got around to TAKE A JOKE, I saw BANANA PEELS. Talk about your idee fixes.

Also, there was the wonderful BEDSIDE MANNER, ripe for the plucking, with all the best crosses already filled in and making it obvious, and my eye keep missing it and going back to the same clues I wasn't getting. This, dear friends, is why I don't do tournaments: my eyes often get waylaid mid-solve and I don't know why.

One small nit: I'm a native New Yorker who's been a NY Giants football fan since the Fran Tarkington days, right through the Phil Simms days and up to the pathetic present and I have never heard the team referred to as "GMEN". Never. Occasionally "the Jints", but never GMEN. Time to go back to Eliot Ness for the clue. (Or was he a TMAN -- I never get them straight.)

Entertaining and smooth puzzle.

Frantic Sloth 9:23 AM  

And then I wake up thinking "the clue says '-nomic', you jamoke." πŸ™„

ChuckD 9:26 AM  

@Z - with you 100% on the stouts in summer - I just don’t enjoy them as much as in the colder months. Bell’s is all around a great producer. I’ve had the Dragons Milk - it’s off the charts. NH used to make - maybe they still do - a sour cherry stout that was funky and delicious - it’s how I learned that cherries are so important to Michigan’s economy.

Among beer aficionados - 3 Floyd’s is the real deal. They don’t distribute to NY - but I know guys who have driven to IN when they release their Dreadnaught IPA each year. I’ve never had it - but hear the stories.

pabloinnh 9:26 AM  

Well, I liked this a good deal more than OFL, but I could say that every day, so probably I'll stop saying it.

Was sailing along smoothly until I was nearly done, and then had to change MEL (hello to everyone else who had this, which is clearly the proper answer), ANA, and OPEDLETTER. You get some interesting crosses that way, but they will not lead you in a helpful direction. Fixed those, finished up, and thought nice Saturdecito.

ATHOL Fugard has two names that stick once you've seen them, so no problem there.

Hard to believe, but a doctor here in my little town in NH, who died not too long ago, had the world's largest private collection of BUGATTIS. He had a large NE style barn constructed to hold them all. Used to get one out once a year or so and drive it around, usually on the Fourth of July. Sometimes other enthusiasts would show up in town for a mini Bugatti rally. Who woulda thunk it?

@ChuckD-Agree with your assessment of Smuttynose, which is/was my go-to beer at our hootenannies. Hope you and @Z have a chance to try a Lawson's Sip o' Sunshine or the iconic Heady Topper from The Alchemist if you're ever up this way. I've bought both of them at their respective breweries. Fresh is wonderful, and beer doesn't get any better, IMHO.

RooMonster 9:35 AM  

Hey All !
So, you like it Rex? Har.
Fun puz, me being unsophisticated in all things sophisticated, had to Goog for ATHOL. Not in my sphere of knowledge. Was getting sick of looking at white space, so looked him up, after which, the flood gates opened, and was able to relatively zoom through the puz. Amazing how one answer can have that effect.

Am I the only one who had ferrarI first for BUGATTI? Wanted THuD, but took it out to put ferrarI in. After the ATHOL (**un-PC joke** Is that someone calling you an ano with a lisp?) lookup, erased ferrarI, and saw BUGATTI.

I CANT GOON! Good stuff. Also GOAS. Isn't GOA a thing? And can it be pluralized?

Also started with Econ for 10A, then realized (much layer), clue said -nomic, not -omic. Funny how the ole brain sees what it wants. Like misreading a clue.

HD maReS for BERGS first like some of y'all, thinking MOm ft the clue for Kind of rule. But couldn't get TAPa to mean Athletic trainer's supply, unless they were feeding their athletes. Erased the ma (sorry @M&A!) and saw MOB/BERGS/TAPE.

So a tough but not really today. Nice. TEASER TRAILER is a bit redundant, but that's fine. I END ON that. πŸ˜‹

No F's (Argh! Told ya they aren't used often enough! πŸ˜‹)

TJS 9:38 AM  

Fun Fact about the Curies : Husband Pierre used to carry around a piece of polonium in his pocket which he would pull out at lectures to show off its radioactive glow. Pretty sure he regretted that in later years.

Nancy 9:41 AM  

@Lewis (6:45) -- "...have nothing to do with the case..."

What a truly ingenious and resourceful subconscious you have, Lewis! I live with a changing variety of MUSICAL earworms night and day, every day, but not a single one of them has ever helped me solve a puzzle.

R Duke 9:43 AM  

Anon @8:54, Pam Tillis is Mel’s daughter. She was popular in the 90s, even won CMA female vocalist of the year.

Michael Page 9:47 AM  

Teaser and trailer are synonyms. Repetitive redundancy.

JC66 9:54 AM  

Can we please get

****Beer ALERT****

Keith 9:54 AM  

Since Jeannette Rankin (Friday), Athol Fugard (Saturday) and I all share the same birthday (June 11) does that mean I'll be in the crossword tomorrow? Or do I have to do something else noteworthy? Keith Irwin, lots of xword friendly letters!

JC66 9:56 AM  

πŸ˜‚ Semi joking.

57stratocaster 9:59 AM  

Loved it. Started slow and then it was over too soon. Lots of great clues and answers.

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

In English, the question would be: “You can’t even what?”

Barbara S. 10:03 AM  

@ TJS 9:38
Pierre Curie was spared death by radiation poisoning by getting knocked down in the streets of Paris by a horse-drawn carriage when he was in his mid-40s. That was a better way to go. As I recall, after getting over their initial shock, his loved ones weren't too surprised at his demise as he tended to walk around like the quintessential absent-minded professor, completely consumed by his own thoughts.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

See yesterday’s 1. Down.

Sixthstone 10:04 AM  

I really want to like this one. There's some snappy and interesting long stuff here (especially RAINMAKER and BANANAPEELS) but it is offset by dullness (BUREAUCRAT, ACCOUNTREP, TELETHON, OPENLETTER). MUSICAL fans seem to enjoy this one, but I was just not on the same wavelength as the constructor. It was a bit of a joyless struggle for me, with lots of "...oh i get it" rather than "Aha!" when I solved clues. Well constructed, but not really my CUP of tea.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  


Anonymous 10:08 AM  

I concur. Will someone please explain this answer (in English).

William of Ockham 10:12 AM  

TEASER TRAILER is oxymoronic or at least duplicative

Not on this wavelength at all

Something like Rex said, but not what Rex said.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

Cancel Culture is real and Michael Sharp is its poster boy.

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

Sorry All ( with your permission Roo πŸ˜‰)
The mods spiked a few of my thoughts on Rankin. I think it’s a point of view worth sharing.
Rank insignia vote against entering WWII was an abrogation of her duty. She took an oath to defen the country. Having been attacked by a hostile enemy already making war against us, she had the absolute duty to protect the country. That meant prosecuting a war.
She may have been a devoted pacifist, but that’ was famously not part of her rationale. Rather in a moment of grve national danger she opted to make her vote not about pacifism, the country’s security but herself. She said she couldn’t send someone to war if she herself could not go. herself. That’s self centered. Putting asidare the nonsense 5bat she couldn’t go to war— heck they made a major Holllywood movie about a pacifist going to war— part of her oath of office.

Andrew Heinegg 10:21 AM  

If you think the evidence that Paula Deen is racist is thin, I respectfully suggest that you do some more reading. Her entire career consisted (in the main) of finding a talented and accomplished Black chef who created the dishes and the ideas for dishes that made Deen's restaurants and books successful. She paid this woman next to nothing. She gave her zero royalties from her books. Her treatment of her Black staff at the restaurants was also reprehensible. Finally, because you are a Southern 'lady', as you call her, you don't get a free pass to use the n-word because your doing so shows whom you are. Period.

Eric 10:34 AM  

Tags as in license plates

jazzmanchgo 10:35 AM  

"G-Man" -- from a true "Giant" --

The Clerk 10:43 AM  

Loved this one!

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

It probably means license “plates” which are sometimes referred to as “tags”, but I’m not quite sure.

Nancy 10:44 AM  

While mostly I don't, occasionally I rely on the NYT puzzle to augment my paltry knowledge of cars. So what was the BUGATTI, I wondered today, having never heard of it. I expected it to be beautiful (all Italian cars are beautiful, right?) -- a cross between a Ferrari and an Alfa Romeo. But this has to be one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen!

albatross shell 10:45 AM  

Nope, Me too on ferarri.

A lot of the criticism of Rankin was absurd. I put up a late defense. I guess it rankled me. Last line should have said federal office and maybe the quote about her war vote was WWII.

TEASER TRAILER. I have not heard these words put together, but I do not believe all trailers are teasers. Some certainly are. I have no complaint about doing so. Does that make it a good answer? Well, OK at best. Trailer teaser slightly better?

Football picks had me thinking favs before INTS jumped up.

ATHOL TAMIL only cheats.

GAMEOVER DIME ENDON area was fun to solve.

Not as fun as yesterday. Still much to like and has all ready been mentioned.

BERGS I will consider wrong unless anyone can explain it. Editor error I presume. I did try KNEES there mostly because last rows and final columns often are E and S heavy. N and K do pretty well for last letters too.

K9doc 10:48 AM  

35A plates is TAGS. Can somebody please explain this?

Todd 10:53 AM  

Go to any site that sells knives and you will see some small ones referred to as Parers. The OED also lists parer as a small knife. So Rex's complaint doesn't seem valid to me.

jberg 10:55 AM  

I have to like any puzzle that puts my family in it, even if it does have us bearing calves. And I liked the long answers more than Rex, but then I used to teach aspiring BUREAUCRATS. I did think the MOUNTAIN BIKER clue was contrived, and I thought the Romans were gone by the time Attila and his posse came along, but I could be wrong there

I don’t get the context in which plates = TAGS, though.

Babette in Bama 11:03 AM  

Having effectively cancelled scores of people and words the King of Cancel Culture asks, with a straight face, “how can Cancel Culture be a thing if I haven’t been able to cancel Paula Deen yet .” You can’t make this stuff up.

Carola 11:34 AM  

Easy and a pleasure to solve. I see @Rex's point about the scattering of dull-as-dishwater entries, but surely one MUSICAL PIRATE KING more than makes up for a BUREAUCRAT and an ACCOUNT REP. Plus we have a RAINMAKER and MARIE CURIE along with BANANA PEELS to PEP things up. I also liked MORE TO COME balancing I CAN'T GO ON and was relieved to realize I'll never have to make the TOUGH choice between a Lamborghini and a BUGATTI. No BONES about it, I loved this one.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

Tags = vehicle license plates

Google "tax and tags" and it will take you to various state DMV sites.

Joaquin 11:40 AM  

@Nancy (10:44) says about the Bugatti, " ... one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen!"

This car guy begs to differ. Perhaps to a New Yorker, anything short of a Checker cab is ugly, but among most automobile aficionados the Bugatti designs run from classic to cool.

Speedweeder 11:42 AM  

The clue for PARER is "one knife in a knife collection". The small knife in my Calphalon knife set is labeled "Parer". I'd say the clue is accurate.

Then again, the label was probably made by a robot-Martian.

Z 11:46 AM  

@JC66 9:54 - We will make sure not to spoil any beer in our comments. 😎

If there was ever a good example of “expensive beer chaser” it is driving from NY to Indiana for beer.Although, now that you mention it, that is just about the best reason to drive to Indiana.

Ethan Taliesin 11:51 AM  

I also had ICANTEVEN at first and was disappointed to change it.

I take one-star reviews to heart and five-star reviews with a grain of salt. There are browser extensions that will analyze all the reviews on a product's page and assess its reliability. Remember, there are people behind computers at bid workspaces writing five star reviews all day full-time for a paycheck

sixtyni yogini 11:52 AM  

Believe that mood, mental state has a lot to do with how I feel about a puzzle.
Agree with Rex’s comments, but am sure I would have liked puzzle better if brain were more flexible and alert this morning.
Yoga for stiff brains - these 🧩s.
🧘🏼‍♂️πŸ™ƒπŸ§ πŸ™ƒπŸ§˜πŸΌ‍♂️

sixtyni yogini 11:56 AM  

Ps and I stopped and couldn’t even — at P Deen.

Norm Son of a Gunderson 11:57 AM  

In Fargo the tan Ciera had DLR tags.

Joe Biden 12:02 PM  

Of course your guy is a genius. Not a stable one, an evil one.

Newboy 12:10 PM  

erGo leading to Gene code and a stubborn mindset today meant GAME OVER here. Finally rescued by the PIRATE KING lifting me higher toward the proper BON MOT. Agree with Rex that today’s reaction was more THUD than PEP, but that’s Newboy’s problem rather than John’s grid. Perhaps I just need to TAKE A JOKE today, thank Mr Guzzetta for his delicious humble pie and hope for MORE TO COME.

Back up top to see how y’all (I was born on granny’s couch in the Ozarks, so I’m kosher—or does that constitute illegal cultural theft?) did this Saturday.

jb129 12:12 PM  

I had "MEL" Tillis for so long I don't even know (or care) who PAM is

pabloinnh 12:20 PM  

****BEER ALERT****

@Z-I've met people from as far away as Chicago who had set up lawn chairs and games in a parking lot in Montpelier VT at 5 AM waiting for the store opening at 8 so they could snag a case of Heady Topper. Another reason to be suspicious of cults.

@JC66-OK, I'm done, but I should note that "Beer Alert" generally means there's an accessible cold one right around somewhere.

GILL I. 12:21 PM  

An enjoyable Saturday night date. We start out at the Golden Peacock and nibble on some NAAN. DEEN is there with some MORON BUREAUCRAT. We don't care. After dinner a little ride in my ATHOL's BUGATTI to take in some G&S MUSICAL and sing "I am a PIRATE KING" at the top of our lungs. The TEASER TRAILER is BOMBING, but my BEDSIDE MANNER takes hold. My BONES, my ULA and my AORTA begin to ache. I take a GEL CAP and by golly the PEP is back. My HUN is a gentleman. We TOUCH kiss goodnight at the BERGS, and being the lady I SASS JUTS my mouth. What BON MOT.......

jberg 12:46 PM  

Hey, folks, try a little searching. I'd never heard or seen TEASER-TRAILER either, so I figured it was some kind of insider jargon in the film industry, but Duck Duck Go shows all kinds of examples and definitions, including a dedicated website, New to me -- it's all I can do to remember that they are supposed to be "trailers" rather than "previews."

To my ear, "I can't even" does not mean exhaustion, at least not the physical kind -- it's more 'I can't even begin to tell you how despicable that is.'

@Nancy, I'd love a g-man clue based on this song from "Pins and Needles," but I can't figure out how to make it plural.

JC66 12:46 PM  


I'm much older than you and became a Giants fan when Charley Conerly was quarterback. FWIW, I've heard the term GMEN refer to the team fairly often (maybe on the broadccasts, sports talk shows, etc. and in bars watching the game).

****BEER ALERT****


I knew that. That's why I was "semi joking."

And, please don't stop on my account.

Cincinnatus 12:48 PM  

Relatively easy for a Saturday. Much faster than Friday’s which was a slog for me. Time to retire MORON from puzzeldom because of It’s sinister history with the eugenic’s movement and its use as a derogatory word for folks with disabilities.

albatross shell 1:02 PM  

G-men is an actual Giants fansite.
This is from the CBSNFL website:
Giants' Jon Halapio: Back with G-Men
Rotowire SEP 3, 2020

I have heard it and seen it used in tabloid headlines.
I do not think the NYT uses such shorteners.

JD 1:04 PM  

@Gill, Big grin! See what ya did there? Rex complained about no "humanity." He didn't know to look for "womanity."

@jberg who wasn't calved, agree about preview v. trailer (it comes before the movie so how can that be), but if Teaser Trailer is a thing I'll accept that just about everything is anymore. Except Calve, which misuse is a debacle because it's a term of science and a stunning phenomena.

johnk 1:05 PM  

Pam is Mel's daughter. Clearly clued to create cross confusion.

Old White Guy 1:05 PM  

@Anonymous 10:18

To be fair to Rex - The Cross-world is the ironic home of Virtue Signaling.

It is really hard to be an old white guy these days

Foe of Historical Negationism 1:06 PM  

If one more person says one more time that one more word needs to be disallowed from one more puzzle, I'm gonna vote for Trump. Seems like the worst threat I can muster.

SteveHikes 1:14 PM  

Excellent reply!

Masked and Anonymous 1:21 PM  

There was some unknown stuff in this feisty SatPuz that I had to get almost entirely from cross-words: TAMIL. PAM [Wanted MEL first, like lots others]. ATHOL/BUGATTI [guessed the "A" correctly, by chance]. That ain't a long list, tho … so, pretty good solvequest, at our house. The nanoseconds lived to fight another day.

Not too clear on this "cancel culture" concept that @RP brought up. Does that mean if someone doesn't like a crossword entry, then no crosswords are ever allowed to use it again? Do U need any sort of credentials, to "cancel" stuff?

M&A doesn't use any computer assistance [other than dictionary-type ref. stuff] to make his 15x15 crosswords. So, I reckon my puzs show a whole cartload of "human quality". No Martian robots, at our place. The last 15x desperate themeless I unleashed here had 4 intertwined grid-spanners, that all intersected at a "U", f'rinstance. But, I digress.

Didn't sense them robotlike intrusions in today's Guzzetta offerin, however. Not quite sure what the seed entries were, tho. MOUNTAINBIKER is kinda cool, with a cool clue. Also admired TAKEAJOKE, GAMEOVER and MORETOCOME.

staff weeject pick: ULA. Yep -- I get this kinda stuff a lot in my "human-made" themeless puzs, too. Had some nice ONI and ARS pups, in my most recent try. That's ok … it happens. Gives yer puz humality.

Thanx for the fun, John Guzzetta dude. Primo Jaws of Themelessness puzgrid design.

Masked & Anonym8Us


chance2travel 1:29 PM  

Didn't get any real traction until BONMOT which helped with BANANAPEELS and then the center and south fell into place pretty quickly. Then it was back to the two corners in the north where had to fumble around.

Although I love movie trailers, including the teasers, I'm not a fan of TEASERTRAILER.

I like seeing the full name of MARIECURIE :)

johnk 1:29 PM  

The DEEN problem could have easily been avoided with SEEN, crossing AVAS (clued Gardner and DuVernay).

Anonymous 1:44 PM  

these days, BUGATTIs are Volkswagens. 200 mph Beatles.

JD 1:49 PM  

@ Old White Guy, Don't let it get you down. Married two of them and gave birth to one and love all of them, their friends, and extended white men families, as well as my own. The elected officials are another story.

@Foe of Historical Negationism, Stay strong on the vote or we'll have alternative history. History is written by the winners.

pmdm 1:51 PM  

Really struggled but did finish the puzzle with the help of the web. Interesting that Lewis thans the person who constructed the puzzle while Sharp suggests its robotic, or something like that. Hmm.

I have always heard tag number as meaning license plate number. Which would mean tag would be equivalent to license plate and not to plate. But then again, it could have more than one meaning. I'll give it a pass.

****BEER ALERT****

Like Z, a lot of people prefer stouts in cold weather. I like them all year round. Funny thing is many people equate flavorful with heavy. Stout is not heavy. Pour a Pilsner and a Stout into the same glass (Black and Tan) and see which one floats (which would be the lighter beer).

Scale House Brewery on Lake Seneca NY has a peanut butter stout which my wife loves. I've had others, but prefer this one. Hopefully the pandemic will not prevent me from visiting the place this fall.

Until tomorrow.

Barbara S. 1:57 PM  

I liked this puzzle a lot, but DNFed in the demonic NW. The first 3 things I filled in up there were DEEN (knew her name from my days in the book trade but didn't know enough), BUREAUCRAT (lived too many years in government towns) and IM AN "absolute mess." Sad. Oh, and I confidently entered several MOTs that weren't BONs, such as "India" for Kamala Harris and "his" for the hymn chorus. This last one left me with a big dilemma at 2D. Art museums aren't just IN my wheelhouse, they practically ARE my wheelhouse but I couldn't think of a 5-letter something you're not supposed to do that ends with I. Sushi? (well, yeah, you can't eat in the galleries.) Pepsi? (Or drink.) Okapi? (Or bring in animals.) Khaki? (they really don't care what you wear.) Hmm. Ultimately I had to ask the app for help in that corner. In retrospect, nothing there was completely out of my AMBIT and I wish I'd TOUGHENED UP.

But I liked GAME OVER (yeah, that's for sure), RAINMAKER, MUSICAL and BUGATTI. I loved PIRATE KING ("I'll be true to the song I sing/And live and die a Pirate King!") And the almost-double entendre of TAT as needle-working: tatooing and lace-making.

@Pamela -- Vivat! Vivat! Regina Pamela!
I'm curtseying low to your stellar accomplishment of yesterday and today. I missed yesterday by 2 and really, where was my brain -- they were easy words. Today I'm in exactly the same position: 2 to go. I can only hope my brain has returned or will, before the end of the day.

baldwinhater 2:14 PM  

My set of Calphalon knives I received as a wedding gift 9 years ago includes a 4.5” “parer.” Says so right on the handle.

ZenMonkey 2:19 PM  

I’ll never understand the process by which “answer I’ve never heard of” becomes “OBJECTIVELY BAD ANSWER.” And they say cancel culture is dead.

(Da da da dat dahhhh da da da da da ya da da da da da da ya da)

pabloinnh 2:54 PM  

@JC66-No offense taken. I know kidding around when I see it, it's mostly what I do all day.

@Old White Guy-Right there with you, but consider Paul Simon's observation that "I'm older than I once was, but younger than I'll ever be." Also, there are those things that are very helpful (see beer discussion). It's up to us to show the world that not all old white guys are Trump voters.

Pamela 2:56 PM  


@Barbara S- Many thanks! I had what seemed like a very long dry spell before this, so I’m pretty happy. But then, tomorrow’s another day. In the freelance world I was part of for so long, no one cared about yesterday, only today mattered. The Bee feels like that to me.😏

Good luck!

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

Why is infamous fascist Kamala Harris still showing up in crossword puzzles??

Anonymous 3:01 PM  

Not only is cancel culture real, it’s most prevalent in your own backyard. And eventually it’ll get you or someone you care for.
Why believe me? Check out what’s happening at USC right now. This second a professor is cancelled because his students didn’t like the sound of a word in Chinese. They were in a class to learn that language, the prof was teaching them the language. They were offended by a foreign word which reminded them of a word no decent person utters in English. Insanity.
This is Salem buddy. If the woke don’t get you today, it’ll be next week or next semester.

David 3:21 PM  

I really really wish Will had clued Athol as "A town in Massachusetts northwest of Worcester," or, better, "west northwest of Natick"

Yeah, take a joke feels off, not fond of moron or "watch your sass?" Who ever says that? Watch your mouth. Gmen? Never have I heard that here in NYC, and I work 4 feet away from a lifelong season ticket holder. There was a time when the sports folks had to differentiate between the "NY Football Giants" and "NY Baseball Giants." Olympians on a medal hunt? That's kind of demeaning, no?

Mountain Biker--no such phrase as? Tell it to the XGames. Bedside manner, open letter, another pioneering woman, Bugatti, the pirate king slips on a banana peel. More to come.

Even before go on, tika before naan (forgot there're two Ks), bones on crosses

Pretty fun for me.

DigitalDan 3:25 PM  

Foals come from mares.

RooMonster 3:30 PM  

***Beer Alert***
From Pennsylvania originally, and the best Lager Beer is Yuengling. Family owned in Pottsville PA, it's America's Oldest Brewery. And it's awesome! It used to only be available in PA, but they have it in other states now. Years back, I lived in Connecticut, while my sister lived in South Carolina, and I couldn't get Yuengling in CT, but she could in SC! Weird.
Anyway, a lot of people never heard of it. It's not a micro-brewery per se, but u don't think it's considered a brewery on the likes of Bud, Coors, But, I could be (and probably am!) wrong, anyone extrapolate further?

RooMonster Now I Want A Beer Guy

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

Rex, mares are horses and they have foals/fillies/colts.
Whales, cows and icebergs have calves. Happy Kentucky Derby day.

Anonymous 3:57 PM  

Aren’t all trailers teasers?
Thinking of the jungle, I plonked down piranha - which caused no end of grief.
Mel IS the only Tillis anyone would care to know.
I suppose a huge ice mass that breaks off an ice shelf (could one be considered a berg?) can further break up, or calve.

Ernonymous 4:24 PM  

I finished the puzzle after filling it all in and having a mistake somewhere, but this time I worked out what my error was to get the music. When all the crosses seem right, but one word seems wrong, I usually give up and check the answer key. It took me 15 minutes to solve, but it was very satisfying.

My trouble was in the SW: For Olympic Pursuit, I thought of cycling. In track cycling there is an event called Pursuit. And PEDALLING fit with the crosses I had and made sort of sense. After I got MOUNTAIN BIKIER, I realized it was MEDALLING not PEDALLING. Not knowing Fugards First Name, that could have been anything. Also clues like "Picks in Football: Abbr" could be any combination of letters. Not knowing those two, with Medalling, everything worked except for FALL SOUND I had "THIS" . THIS seemed wrong, but this is the kind of thing I usually ignore, and assume it is something I am just not getting.

Instead of checking answer key I realize that I had CASES for something cracked. Once I changed that to CODES I was able to get THUD. However it was still a mess! Then I changed medalling to MEDAL RUNS. This was wrong also. At that point I just plugged in every letter of the alphabet, having _UN_. The last letter could have been an S,a T, or an E. I tried all 3 letters than ran the alphabet and I eventually got HUNT and the music. Hmm. It doesn't seem this section gave anyone else trouble!

ghthree 4:25 PM  

Being more familiar with Gondoliers than Pirates, I confidently put in "Royal Queen" at 26 Down, and it stayed in there far too long. The tune stuck in my head. My wife Jane noticed that 38 Across killed that one. Actually, the lyrics in both songs affirm it's a glorious thing to be. The same is also true of "MAJOR GENERAL," but that wouldn't have fit.

Barbara S. 4:26 PM  

@pabloinnh 2:54
You sent me scrambling after Paul Simon lyrics that I'd never heard of, and I found out all about the missing/left-out verse of "The Boxer." That verse isn't on the album "Bridge Over Troubled Water" because it was replaced by a flute solo written by Garfunkel. That's the only version of the song I'm familiar with, so I'm fascinated to find out there are other incarnations.

***SB ALERT***
I did it! I'm so happy to share the honors with you today. (Well, for another 8-ish hours -- as you say, disaster and glory are both fleeting.) I hope other Queens will crop up.

bocamp 4:27 PM  

Thank you @ John Guzzetta – If you're a robot, I'll be happy with your puzzles any day. I learned some things this morning! πŸ‘

Easy/med. with a challenge in the NW.

Didn't know "rainmaker" and lacking couth and/or knowledge of opera, didn't know "Pirate King"

Hadn't heard gmen in this context. YA Tittle was a favorite and watched a lot of Giants football in the 60s.

I'm sure I've seen Athol Fugard before, but I'm not blessed with good short or long-term memory, so I have to rely on repetition and mnemonics. I'll do some extra work to link "Athol" with "Fugard". 🀞

I always love seeing Marie Curie (for whom Polonium was indirectly named)

Speaking of NY sports teams, mnemonics and Polonium, Jerry Lucas (70's MY Knicks) co-authored a book with Harry Lorayne titled: "The Memory Book" from which I learned some nifty techniques (mnemonic link and/or peg system) for memorizing long lists, e.g., presidents, periodic table, random order of cards in a deck, etc. For example, the word "fur" represents the number 84 and visualizing a group of fur seals playing water polo would immediately link 84 with Polonium.

Had "dummy" for "dummkopf'. Lived and worked in Munich for a year back in the 60s, so knew I was in the ballpark, as it were.

Being an "Amazon Prime" member, I do take into consideration the ratings. A one-star rating is not, per se, a factor for me. It's the over-all average of many ratings (as well as the actual comments themselves) that might influence my decision). πŸ€”

Peace πŸ•Š

Z 4:35 PM  

@Anon 1:44 - “200 mph Beatles” seems like something Yoko Ono put a stop to. I do like the image of a 200 mph Beetle, though. We used to have a VW Rabbit. Downhill with a tailwind it could go 85 mph.

@jberg 12:46 - Just because it ain’t wrong doesn’t make it right.

@I DON’T DRINK BEER Barbara S - I bet we could find something you would like. IPA brewed with chili peppers? A peach lambic? A chocolate stout. Maybe a brown ale reminiscent of a PBJ? Or maybe you’d like a sour aged in tequila barrels with lime and grapefruit zest? When I say there are creative options out there I mean there are creative options out there.

******MORE BEER ALERT*****
@pabloinnh - Limited supply combined with people’s FOMO is powerful marketing. Bell’s HopSlam generates a lot of buzz every January, with many smaller retailers in Michigan getting a very limited supply. But come down to WNC and walk into an Ingles and you can buy a 3 month supply without any hassle.

@pmdm - It’s the creaminess that’s not particularly summery to me. Now you got me wondering if I have what I need to make a black and tan in the fridge, though. There just might be a Duck Rabbit milk stout hiding out.

Old White Guy 4:37 PM  

For all concerned, I'm talking about the other Old White Guys. I'm just fine. Thanks for the cares.

JD 4:40 PM  

@Anon 3:57 I don't know if that term is specific to glaciers and ice shelves because it involves certain conditions, or not. Also if you think about how much of an iceberg is below water and force would cause it? If interested, go to YouTube n watch a few calvings. It's so cool

RooMonster 5:10 PM  

Doesn't anyone watch ESPN? Chris Berman always said GMEN when he gave the playback of the games. Sometimes even elongated it, "The Geeeeee-MEN"


Pamela 5:13 PM  

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

@Barbara S- πŸ’₯☄️🎊⚡️🌈! Today, today matters! Congrats on your victory!

Joe Biden 5:26 PM  

Oops! So sorry, Chefwen. I thought you meant ‘idiot’ for 5A :-). I can agree to disagree

Anonymous 5:48 PM  


I must agree. Moreover, the following:
(car trip from home to Grandparents in Petersham, if it still exists)
Anon: where are we? (in fact, about half way, but wait... there's more)
La Madre: Ware, honey
Anon: but, where are we!
La Madre: Ware, honey
Anon: but, where are we!!
La Madre: Ware, honey
Anon: but, where are we!!!
La Madre: Ware, honey

whereupon Anon slaps La Madre. lived to tell the tale.

Monty Boy 5:52 PM  

I liked this one a lot. I had to look up the playwright, but the rest was pretty easy - well under average time (8 Rexes, no speed solver here).

Anyone else think a MOUTAINhIKER might also have a lot of up and downs (though not cyclic)? Colorado has lots of mountain bikers and bombingt changed quickly.

JC66 6:00 PM  

Hey @Roo

yes, Chris Berman! Thanks, I knew I Heard it a lot somewhere, but couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Nancy 6:03 PM  

Roo -- As a New Yorker, I don't need ESPN to watch the Giants on TV. I've watched them over a lifetime on CBS. And you and JC66 notwithstanding, I don't remember ever hearing "GMEN". Of course I do often tune out the incessant and annoying "guy" blather of NFL announcers, so it's possible I missed it. (I'd mute the TV and skip the CHATTERBOX announcers entirely, except then I wouldn't have any idea about what just happened in the line. As a woman who never played football, I do what I gather most other women spectators also do: I watch whoever has the ball -- assuming I can even tell. Sometimes, on a really deft play, I'm completely fooled.)

JD 6:16 PM  

@Anon, 3:57, I meant what force on an iceberg would exert enough pressure to cause it to calve? Maybe a meteorite. Kidding.

I'm spending too much time on this blog today, I know.

Barbara S. 6:21 PM  

@Z 4:35
I'm amazed by your suggestions. I truly had no idea such beers existed. All things considered, though, I think I'd prefer my PB&J sitting dryly between slices of bread on my plate. But there's another thing about me and beer, and that's dietary restrictions. But, c'est la guerre. I think if beer and I had been destined for each other, we would have come together many years ago when I was still able to consume everything. I'm content to save my connoisseurship for a future life.

Dave S 6:24 PM  

Nothing really wrong with the puzzle, but annoying to me in many ways anyway. Not that there weren't things I liked. Athol Fugard is one of my favorite playwrights, and I loved the mountain biker clue and liked the musical one a lot. It's not the constructor's fault that I find those huge gelcaps harder to swallow than other medicine, that I've heard of Mel Tillis but never of Pam, that "one star" never even clicked as to what it meant even after I'd filled it in with crosses until I decided to look it up (somehow giving up often leads to an "aha" moment), that I know many Giants fans and while they sometimes refer to them as the Jints, I don't know that I've ever seen Gmen outside a space starved headline. Do definitely have a quibble with "a tad" being the opposite of the the adjective or adverb very. I thought it should at least approach the same part of speech. Good, challenging puzzle, and not nearly as formulaic as Rex portrayed it, but still not my favorite.

bocamp 6:38 PM  

Corrections and additions 🧐

It was the NE (not the NW) that was somewhat of a struggle.

Gave the "A as in Atlantic City" the side eye and meant to come back to it with more scrutiny, but as the crosses were all pretty straightforward, I never did revisit to figure it out. Not sure if I'd've got it, although after the "aces" in a previous puzzles, I probably should have. πŸ€”

Lots of craps games going on below decks (far below) in the Navy, but poker, euchre, spades, whist and hearts were my fare, so didn't roll the bones more than once or twice.

Wanted "Mel" before "Pam".

@ Lobster11 6:55 AM – yes, I agree that the 32D/42A crossing was a potential Natick at the "A".

This Wikipedia article on ice calving seems somewhat contradictory in it's first paragraph. The first sentence states, "Ice calving, also known as glacier calving or iceberg calving, is the breaking of ice chunks from the edge of a glacier." Then, the second sentence reads, "It is a form of ice ablation or ice disruption. It is the sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier, iceberg, ice front, ice shelf, or crevasse." A number of examples in the article refer to "ice shelf" calving events. So, for me, I think the clue and answer in this puzzle holds up, i.e., large chunks of ice breaking off from larger chunks of ice – some of which are glaciers, ice shelfs or icebergs (bergs).

tags/licence plates

Pam Tillis daughter of Mel.

@ Pamela 8:57 AM – muchly appreciated your SB Alert, as I was reading your comment in support of @Lobster 11 re: the "Bugatti" affair and was going to proceed to the rest of your comment, when I noticed the SB alert and quickly averted my eyes. I haven't got around to today's SB. LOL

pabloinnh 7:01 PM  

Hey Roo (as opposed to Hey Boo, said to the guy behind the door in To Kill A Mockingbird)--Exactly. I've been thinking about Berman saying that since I read Gmen and neglected to post it. Nice work.

@Barbara S.-

I found that verse when I was learning "The Boxer" to sing at a memorial service. To the best of my recollection, it's"

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rocking evenly
And I'm older than I once was, and younger than I'll be
That's not unusual, nor is it strange
After changes, after changes we are more or less the same...

Having had a few years roll by me as well, this is now my favorite verse of a great song.

Congrats on QB. I stopped at Genius,again. Easily pleased but inordinately happy.

Anonymous 7:38 PM  

Z’s right. Who ever hear of associating cream with summer? It’s crazy!! I’d like to wax on about his insight on this, but my kids are going nuts. The ice cream man is right down the block. Hold that thought. When I get back we can talk about the heaviness of cream and how it sinks to the bottom.

Kyle 7:39 PM  

Managed to finish it without any cheating, but got crushed by the SW corner. Had no idea who ATHOL Fugard was and was sure that 37-D Things that can be cracked was CASES instead of CODES. Brutal crossing of those two.

I’m mostly commenting to ask if Rex realizes that the Cancel Culture is something that is mostly universally reviled and seen as a reflection of intolerant extremists. (And this is coming from a liberal college professor.). Calling for the cancel culture to intervene in a crossword is like a racist begging for discrimination to kick in and remove all the names of Black people from puzzles. The “cure” is worse than the disease.

Z 7:52 PM  

Natick has a craft brewer, Kells, right in downtown Natick.

bocamp 8:13 PM  

Just had a shock! searched my iTunes library (nearly 11,000 songs, and not one of them a Mel Tillis number). YouTubed both Pam and Mel; played the top two listed songs for both Pam Tillis - Maybe It Was Memphis Pam Tillis - Shake The Sugar Tree Mel Tillis - Coca Cola Cowboy Mel Tillis - Brand New Mister Me and wasn't familiar with any of them to my recollection. In spite of Pam's beautiful voice, didn't care for her songs (which goes toward confirming my cool reception for country music post 60s-70s). No matter how talented the artists, most new-country (80s on) just doesn't do it for me (I've tried, but the ear makes the judgement). And, in spite of not knowing Mel's first two, they had me at the opening riffs. The ear just seems to know what I like (it's more the tune than the lyrics). I searched the Apple Music store and found one song of his (on an album of various artists) New Patches , which I downloaded to my iTunes library. Now I have one Mel Tillis song (and might download more). Woohoo! Thank you John Guzzetta for putting Pam in the puzzle, and Pam for being in the puzzle (you really do have a lovely voice, even if my ear can't appreciate the melodies).

Peace πŸ•Š

Runs with Scissors 8:31 PM  

@Nancy@ 10:44 A.M.

You've never seen an AMC Pacer, apparently.

This was a funpuz. I think most of them are, since I enjoy the solving experience.

I CAN'T GOON. Priceless!!!

That about says it all.

As a MOUNTAIN BIKER, I have to love that clue/answer.

MARIE CURIE was awesome, and smart, and at the same time ignorant. If you understand English, that's not a slur or slap..

An OPEN LETTER to those who think health care is a right: Initiate the amendment, because Congress doesn't currently have that authority over you. Or me.

My BEDSIDE MANNER is deficient.


The Orange Curtain Beckons

Anonymous 8:43 PM  

Ugh!!! Beetles are a favorite in the world of drag racing. Thee are at least a couple that do 2 in a quarter. And that’s off the top of my head. I’ve see me at Atco., NJ.
As for your Rabbit, who cares!? The Golf— the mode4; name for the rabbit— is and has been for decades called a pocket rocket because it is universally acknowledged as a small buggy with great speed. In its GTI trim it is known as a aPorsche killer. Sheesh,

Anonymous 9:09 PM  

Anyone else get 36A as Viagra ?

Anonymous 9:10 PM  


there's no constitutional statement of a right to privacy. Obama, et al had every right to spy on Trump and his agents. works both ways, as it always does.

Anonymous 9:34 PM  

Anon 8:43
Um... No need to go down the line. VW had a Rabbit Golf in 1983. The term used then, and still (frankly) is hot hatch.
And it certainly was. As for them being Porsche killers—- I got ticketed on 295 just above Swedesborpo, NJ dusting ( well, pulling ahead ) a Porche911 SC. Trooper was more than fair. But that 911 skated. Still sticks in my craw.

Barbara S. 9:55 PM  

@pabloinnh (7:01)
Thanks for quoting the verse: it's lovely. The wonderful and random things one learns on this blog.

I appreciate the congrats from you and @Pamela. You said: "Easily pleased but inordinately happy" -- you're doing something right!

bocamp 10:40 PM  

Another arguably "Naticky" puz from '95 (Thurs. Oct. 5, 1995 by Christopher Page). Three Naticks, IMO, and somewhat lucky – but ultimately good – guesses. Otherwise an easy and most enjoyable solving experience. Love to struggle with, what for me are unknowns, employing logic, reason, intuition and whatever seems most palatable to the eye. Even when wrong, there's still the satisfaction of having given it my best; and maybe I've learned something new, to boot.

Peace πŸ•Š

Anonymous 10:46 PM  

Anonymous 9:34— Thomas?!!!

Runs with Scissors 10:50 PM  

@Anon 9:10 PM
Sigh. The constitution is not a grant of rights. We have thise inakienabke rights regardless. It is a grant of selected, and restricted, powers from the states to the Congress.

Ignorance of this fact has gotten us where we are today.

Unknown 1:50 PM  

Right on, Zen! Really can’t stand that as an excuse. It helped me a lot that I had never heard of Mel Tillis, so I had no trouble trying “Pam.” Lucky that Pirate King and Athol Fugard we’re right in my wheelhouse!

thefogman 11:55 AM  

Pretty challenging for me. I got held up for quite some time near the end of my solve by 26A PAM. I had Mel there and did not know there was another Tillis. Agree with Rex on this one. Nothing outrageously wrong but lacking a certain PEP.

Burma Shave 12:02 PM  




spacecraft 12:05 PM  

Hand up among the many for Mel Tillis before DOD daughter PAM. This was probably my biggest roadblock, but I have to know one thing: how does "Plates" get to be TAGS????"

Well, two things. Is OFC doing the same grid we are? This is one of the most singularly OPEN designs I've ever seen. "One tiny opening into the NW & SE? If you count a two-lane highway as "tiny," then OK. 5&6, and 23&26 down, run into the corners. I wouldn't call that "tiny." And they're "roughly" 10x3? Two threes across the ten, that's VERY (as opposed to ATAD) "roughly." Come on, Rex.

Wanted TOUGHEd it out, but that was too long. I like mine better. Going across in the SE before getting those entry downs, I had OPEdLETTER first. In the SW I mixed up my "-fixes" in the clue for 33a, so had Uni in there. Hm, would "design for team outfit" be a UNI-FORM-ULA? Those and the wrong Tillis were my overwrites today. I do recall that BERGS have calves, reinforcing my belief that geology has the weirdest words in the language.

Despite the green paint of TEASERTRAILER, the weakest link in this chain, I liked it. Birdie.

BTW, I'll be sure to catch the new Weakest Link game show, with DOD-in-waiting Jane Lynch. Should be fun.

rondo 12:17 PM  

Hand up for Mel Tillis before PAM. And as mentioned by some above, I think of BERGS as being the calves. Palindromic woman's name had multiple possibilities other than AVA: Ana Ada Eve, etc. BUREAUCRAT MOUNTAINBIKER BEDSIDEMANNER and MARIECURIE all gimmes, so that made it easier to finish. Don't know why we can't have clues for real words like ERGO (clued as a prefix) or why there's an awkward partial for IMAN instead of cluing the yeah baby supermodel. BUGATTI still makes cars? I liked this ATAD more than OFL.

leftcoaster 4:15 PM  

An unusually gettable Saturday, but with a particularly resistant SW.

Wanted eTHeL before ATHOL Fugard, leaving BUGeTTI instead of BUGATTI, a deluxe car brand I didn’t know.

Liked the batches of longer entries, which were quite helpful in moving things along.

Not a perfect solve, but close enough.

wcutler 5:58 PM  

@kitshef 9:10 AM (SEptember 5)
"Following on from yesterday’s citics of JEANETTE RANKIN, I wonder if someone will come after MARIE CURIE today."

I haven't been able to finish Friday's yet, have been held up on "JEANETTE RANKIN", was hoping one of the downs would come thru for me. I can't not remember RANKIN now.

And it's not just you - there was another spoiler for that puzzle in the Saturday comments.
People, could you comment on puzzles on the day of the puzzle instead of putting in spoilers on some other day's puzzle? It's particularly bad for Sundays, where the syndi people see it a month before the dailies, so any comment about a daily puzzle will be one yet to appear in syndiland.

Or mods - how about removing spoiler comments?

PurityofEssence 6:03 PM  

Some good stuff but difficult to enjoy a puzz that is based to some degree on long non-standard phrases. East first finally backing up into the NW where I was pissed by “a tad” when I finally got it. Deen should be removed from crossword use.

While i realize we’re all different, what’s the point of to a “cheat” or “uncle Goog” when solving a puzzle? Do your best and then if you cant get it just take your medicine and look up the answer when you have finished. I tend to grind through these, but occasionally stop out of pique and say a pox on their puzzle and feel the better for having dropped it.

The comment on the irony of Rex’s take on one star ratings was good. I’d probably be a little misanthropic if i took it upon myself to write something up on all of the NYT xwds too.

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