Cheese from Wales not southeastern Pennsylvania / SAT 10-31-20 / Disney villain based on King Claudius / Battle of the Hedgerows locale / Titular children's song lyric after et la tete / European city where the first carbonated beverage was invented

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Constructor: Stella Zawistowski

Relative difficulty: Medium (wireless keyboard stopped working mid-solve, so I didn't get a precise time, but I'd say 7-8 minutes? maybe? it's early, forgive me ...)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: CAERPHILLY (56A: Cheese from Wales, not southeastern Pennsylvania) —

Caerphilly is a hard, crumbly white cheese that originated in the area around the town of CaerphillyWales. It is thought to have been created to provide food for the local coal miners. The Caerphilly of that period had a greater moisture content, and was made in local farms. At the start of the 20th century, competition for milk in the local area saw production decline, and Caerphilly production was gradually relocated to England.

During the Second World War, production was stopped and diverted to Cheddar in English factories. After the war, those factories began to produce Caerphilly as it was quicker to make than Cheddar, and therefore more profitable. The majority of Caerphilly is now produced in Somerset and WiltshireArtisan cheesemakers still make Caerphilly in the pre-war style, and these have been successful at the British Cheese Awards. (wikipedia)

• • •

First, a clue explanation: 51A: A to B, say, Abbr. is VOL. because it is an imagined volume of a dictionary or encyclopedia or something where contents are arranged alphabetically. It's possible most of you got this immediately, but it's probably that some of you were like me and had no idea what it was supposed to mean at first. And perhaps you stayed in that place of not knowing. No shame in that. I, sadly, had to figure out what the hell it meant, as it's kinda my job. And after a minute, my brain toggled off of sound volume and over to book volume. How often do clues that try to get cute by being ECHOERs (!?) of other clues (see 53A: A to B, say (STEP)) just feel forced and off? A: a lot. This ECHOER clue for VOL. is defensible, and that is the best I can say about it.

Otherwise, the only answer in this grid may as well be CAERPHILLY, because I don't remember much of anything else. Oh, except ACCENT AIGU, which looks amazing written out like that (15A: ´, in French). Big thumbs-up there. The rest just existed. All of the interest was in the clues, I guess. Anyway, the only part of the puzzle I spent any time thinking about, the only part that gave me real trouble, was CAERPHILLY, a super-outlier where general familiarity is concerned. (I don't care if you personally knew the cheese, that's Fantastic, I'm saying that fewer people by far will have heard of the cheese than will have heard of the next least familiar thing in the grid) The -PHILLY part they sort of hand to you with the "southeastern Pennsylvania" part of the clue, so that was nice. But the CAER- part ... no way to infer any of that. All crosses needed. And when you need SCUD ... well, that's an ugly word to need. Main issue here was not at all trusting the "AE" sequence. I was so doubtful of it that at one point early on I pulled LEEDS (50D: European city where the first carbonated beverage was invented) and put in LINDT, because it gave me a more plausible-looking letter sequence there (CAN- as opposed to CAE-). But then SAT PREP came in with it's "R"  and gave me CANR- and everything looked stupid again. Oh, also, LINDT is not actually a city, so there's that. (Me: "That's where the chocolate comes from ... right?"). Eventually I just had to trust that CAER- was right. And it was. And that was the memorable thing that happened during this solve.

Other things:
  • 28A: Post-marathon treatment, maybe (ICE BATH) — started with an ICE PACK
  • 25D: Crispy order at a Japanese restaurant (TEMPURA) — easy, and yet ... I had the "U" and "A" first and was dead certain I was going to be dealing with some kind of TUNA. Not smart.
  • 39A: Protective wear around shellfish (BIB) — had the first "B" and reflexively, confidently wrote in BRA. My head had a picture of a BIB in it, but my fingers went "nah, it's BRA, trust us." Anyway, handle shellfish braless at your peril!
  • 42A: Route for pulling a boat (TOW PATH) — wanted SEA LANE or SEA something, which made getting into that SW corner slightly tricky. Luckily that section had ALOUETTE, which was a gimme (34D: Titular children's song lyric after "Et la tΓͺte!"). Wait, did I say "luckily"? Because...
  • 59A: Battle of the Hedgerows locale (ST. LO) — well, ALOUETTE gave me the "T" and so my brain went "four letters, "T" in second position, sounds British ... ETON!" Who knows what they do at ETON! It seems like a fictional place to me. A wizarding school, 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 6:44 AM  

Heard of SCUD missiles, but not the verb. Never heard of CAERPHILLY cheese, but man, I’ll remember both now. I’ve heard that something gets imbedded in your memory of it gets registered in your mind seven times, and here’s another secret gift of crosswords: When you’re naticked and run through the alphabet to target your best guess, those two words, IMO, will tend to stay in your mind, that is, you will have not only learned two new words, but will remember them.

So thank you, Stella Z, for adding two new words to my rotation – words I like and thus am glad I’ve learned, by the way – and for a most lovely journey through a crackerjack grid punctuated by spark and wit!

Z 6:50 AM  

Zawistowski normally makes puzzles that are challenging plus for me, so I was a bit surprised at how quickly I was flying through this. And then I came to a screeching halt in the CAER section of CAERPHILLY. BHUTANI didn’t occur to me right away, ace before PRO didn’t help, and UNDERRATED and DISPOSSESSED needed letters before the clues clicked. And even then I was left with a WTF at the S-UD/-AERPHILLY crossing. Welsh spellings might as well be transliterated Chinese rap star names for all the sense they make, so literally all 26 letters are possible. The crossing offered a glimmer of hope... SpUD would be an interesting past tense (the clouds SpUD across the sky like mashed potatoes)? Nah. SCUD is a missile... what does that have to do with clouds? Nothing else looks like a word or even a Chinese rap star (SvUD looks like maybe a Russian rap star) so “success” through the “this is the closest thing to a word in my 26 options” method. It turns out that according to American Heritage SCUD means “ To run or skim along swiftly and easily: dark clouds scudding by.” Congratulations to everyone who knew this and didn’t spend 10 minutes puzzled over a single letter. Anyway, 80% easy, 19.5% challenging, and 0.5% Why Am I Stuck On A Wooden Roller Coaster In Rye NY impossible.

Conrad 6:57 AM  

I thought, "Either BIB or TOWPATH has to be wrong because the only word that begins with BH would have to have something to do with Bhutan. Then I saw the 40D clue and the puzzle fell into place. Easy for a Saturday.

ChuckD 7:27 AM  

NW corner gave me some short-lived confidence. My boujee brother in law is a self proclaimed turophile - so I’ve eaten CAERPHILLY. Finally something he was useful for. That helped getting that corner - it wasn’t easy. I didn’t like DISPOSSESS especially crossing BHUTANI - thought that was rough.

This one leaned high school French today - couple of gimmes there. The PATTON quote was odd - but I usually think of him first for military clues. Liked the clues for LASAGNA and ALGER.

Overall I liked this one - it was tough but the few longish throw-ins made for a fairly smooth solve. Enjoyable start to a winter cold morning.

pabloinnh 7:27 AM  

Boy, did this one have a lot of gimmes for me:CHARLESTON, SCAR, SCARARB, MATTRESS, ALOUETTE,TEMPURA, and COSA (por supuesto), just to name some. Other answers went in without much thought. Never heard of CAERPHILLY (did anyone?) but SCUD is one of those verbs that shows up in 19th Century English novels that need some atmosphere, so that was familiar. We also used to describe a miskick in soccer or a throw straight into the ground is baseball as a SCUD missile, back when such thing were used in warfare.

On the other hand, I know what an ACCENTAIGU is but it certainly wasn't obvious from looking at the clue, which I took to be an emoji or an emoticon or one of those other modern things I don't know anything about. And wanted UNHERALDED for UNDERRATED, but otherwise a speedy Saturday, which made me feel smart but also disappointed that it was over too soon.

So mixed thanks today, SZ. Probably the Saturday Stumper will take me the rest of today.

Hungry Mother 7:30 AM  

Wow, this one went fast. I don’t know why I was so adept today. I just found a toe hold in the center and made it expand.

Joe Dipinto 7:35 AM  

Q: How do you unwrap Caerphilly cheese?

A: Carefully. Very, very carefully.

Rgilbert37 8:00 AM  

Obscure cheese crossing with scud. How about changing the clue for scud since most of us know scud missile?

TJS 8:17 AM  

Total wheelhouse experience for me. Just filled in one section after another with barely a hesitation.This may be my quickest Saturday time ever, which is not a concern of mine, but if I am within three minutes of Rex on a Saturday that must be some kind of personal record. Of course "accentaigu" and "caerphilly" were total unknowns but fairly crossed.

My kids raved about Korn back in the day, I think just to aggravate me. "tow path"...No. But "oodles" made up for it. Enjoy the weekend and pray for peace.

Carola 8:37 AM  

Easy and enjoyable. Just a good day for me in the luck of the draw department, which allowed a top-to-bottom solve in a jiffy. I liked the international flavor of the TAPAS and CAERPHILLY along with ALOUETTE, ACCENT AIGU, ETAT, ST. LO, ETE, CANA, BHUTANI, and CHARLESTON. Favorite work might have been SCUD - like @Pabloinnh, I think of the clouds over many an English moor - or...any other Koyaanisqatsi fans out there?

Taffy-Kun 8:42 AM  

Good one! As a Welshman, also familiar with clouds SCUDding, CAERPHILLY was the gimme of all gimmes, but I was confused about the PA reference. If a word is very familiar, you don’t try parsing it in strange ways. I enjoy the total diversity of experiences that show up here - the technical term is “night and day”

Paul Statt 8:45 AM  

My trouble with CAERPHILLY started with knowing that southeastern PA is thick with Welsh placenames, so I assumed the cheese would be BRYN- or BALA- or -WYDD somehow.

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

"Lawn sale"? Never heard of it; "yard" sale, "garage" sale, sure, but LAWN sale? Really?

David Fabish 8:50 AM  

The French accent threw me, because I thought it had an E on the end, so I didn't put it in. Other than that, felt like a normal Saturday, and overall a pleasant, if not very exciting, solve.

Oh, and pilots know SCUD because they'll talk about "scud running", which is flying just below an overcast layer, usually pretty close to the ground. It's generally not considered to be a good thing, and pilots who do it are generally considered reckless.

Joaquin 8:52 AM  

SCUD sounds like something Dizzy Dean would say: "He SCUD around second and slud into third."

Pamela 8:54 AM  

I started with Apostrophe at 15A, but it didn’t last long. CAERPHILLY was completely unknown, but luckily SCUD was familiar- I knew that clouds do it from old novels. Lots of other slow spots, but in the end I prevailed.

Ellen C 8:59 AM  


Space Is Deep 9:15 AM  

Last square was the SCUD/CAERPHILLY crossing. Never heard of CAERPHILLY. Ran the alphabet and SCUD kind of sounded right, so I went with it. Wanted ACCENT SIGN. Never heard of AIGU, but the crosses were easy obviously right. Learned a few new things today. Always a good thing.

Sami 9:18 AM  

What is that palindrome about I'm a Lasagna Hog? I can't remember, but if I stick some letters from the beginning of the phrase on the end, like something with A salami ..... Oh, Go hang. This is how I managed PAM / PAN.

I had no purchase to speak of at the beginning, so I sat there alone for a bit with Rami Malek, which was a nice way to start my day.

Now I'm enjoying this Berlioz song I had never heard of.

I also am not feeling Lissome these days, so I put in svelte, and took out svelte like some kind of yo-yo dieter, and finally landed on Lloyd's for a long battle with the SW, or wherever I was.

I have ridden the whole C&O Canal Towpath over 2 days, so the SE (right?) came together for me eventually, after standing on my head to remember that song, and getting stuck by Coup d'Tete for ala minute.

My life is unexciting, so you'd think I'd know that one off the bat, but looking back....I still can't remember what was so unexciting about it, or what that word even was.

Getting more bang for my buck with every crossword I complete, as I take more time to actually fish Japanese menu items out of my ossified mind, and lean less on cheats. My best days are the few female constructor puzzles, since we are a little bit more in sync, I think. Korn, tho. Ew. I was like, is this the first puzzle all week without an X or a Q? Ok, then there must be a K.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

The takeaway for me is SCUD, a word whose meaning is totally misaligned with its sound, i.e. I find it a harsh--almost grating--word, invoking nothing like the grace of a racing cloud. (I acknowledge this may be the influence of the missile but I think it's more than that).

Nancy 9:38 AM  

I thought I knew all the cheeses. I THOUGHT I KNEW ALL THE CHEESES! And yet you almost got me, CAERPHILLY, whatever you are. But you didn't, thanks to SCUD. And here's why I knew SCUD.

Many, many years ago, my father had been taken out on a small sailing vessel by a friend. The friend purported to be a great sailor and a great weather prognosticator too. He may have even been in the Navy, I don't remember. Anyway, the sky looked threatening -- very threatening -- to Dad. "I think we should get back, Howard, " opined my father. "Nonsense, Frank, said Howard, "look at the clouds. The clouds are scudding!!!" And with the utterance of the word "scudding", the heavens opened up and a real downpour ensued. They almost didn't make it back to shore.

Dad, a very amusing man, told the story with his usual wry humor and I've never forgotten it. Nor the word "scudding". He may also have used the same line he used when the Israeli ship the "Shalom" collided with some other ship back in the day: "So who ever said the Jews were sailors?"

For SCUD alone, I would have enjoyed this puzzle. A bit easy for a Saturday, though with some troublesome spots. I'd point them out, but I've taken up too much of your time already.

StevieO 9:41 AM  

That's good!

RooMonster 9:45 AM  

Hey All !
*Toughie - Impressed at y'all who thunk it easy. (Har, thunk re:scud)

*LAWNSALE. Said no one ever. I've heard Garage Sale, Yard Sale, even Tag Sale (thank you Connecticut), but LAWN SALE is silly. Unless you're selling sod. (She sells sod by the seashore)

*Heard of a lot of different cheeses, but CAERPHILLY is a new one. Wanted something like NEUFCHATEL, but that has no connection to SE PA.

*BHUTANI went through BHUThan, BHUTian. Good stuff.

*Fun thing at Genius today (those who know what I mean, know what I mean, otherwise you might think I'm loonie)

*Happy Halloween! Today's perk, if no Trick or Treaters, you get to eat all the candy!

No F's (PH substitute!)

Richardf8 9:47 AM  

I never took French, so the NW just about killed me. It’s embarrassing how many times I entered and then removed LASAGNA. Wound up having to google two items there, but it’s a Stella puzzle, so I won’t feel too bad about it. Her first “Tough As Nails” puzzle kept me amused for most of a twenty hour flight.

As for CAERPHILLY. Well the clue said Wales, so I suspended my disbelief for that bit of vowel soup, once I got past wanting Lancashire.

Now I want to try some Caerphilly and know that I will have to finf this rustic, working man’s cheese in a boutique cheese shoppe where it will have been made by artisan cheesemakers from the milk of heirloom cows fed on grass from a plateau near the sea in Nova Scotia or something.

Z 9:47 AM  

@David Fabish - ACCENT Ague seems like an answer that would gave you shivers.

Under Pressure, just because I want to imagine Karen O and Willie Nelson watching clouds SCUD by while picnicking with CAERPHILLY cheese.

@Carola - This Koyaanisqatsi? Saw it in 1982. If I’m remembering correctly I can see why SCUD applies, but still a new word to me.

kitshef 9:49 AM  

Fairly easy Friday and very easy Saturday means Wednesday remains – by a goodly margin – the hardest puzzle of the week.

The standard in-week pattern means there really is not a slot for a difficult themed puzzle or an easy themeless. I say, if you have a hard themer (like Wednesday’s), run it on Friday or Saturday. And if you have an easy themeless, run it early week.

Really hoping that my interpretation of VOL as a volume of an encyclopedia is incorrect. If that’s it, it’s truly awful. Clues for PAM and CEE were also poor.

Apparently, we do not have a lot of Python fans here. "Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of CAERPHILLY, if you please."

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Anyone else write in ANGER initially for 23A "Hiss at a Congressional hearing"? Gave a little chuckle when I realized my mistake.

Richardf8 9:54 AM  

It’s Saturday.
It’s Stella.
The obscurantism is part of the fun.

Birchbark 9:55 AM  

lAncashire --> (eventually) CAERPHILLY. Lancashire cheese doesn't come from Lancaster County in SE Pennsylvania, you see. The difficulty here is that Lancashire and its cheese aren't Welsh, either. I blame the editor.

SCUD running -- When a low-altitude cloud ceiling is lowering (as a storm brews, say), and you fly a small plane just below it. It is ideal to land before the ceiling reaches tree level.

GILL I. 10:02 AM  

Jimmy cracked KORN and I don't care. And man...who cut the cheese? Dang, I'm going to meet up with @Joe Dip and unwrap this CAERPHILLY. How do you pronounce AIGU? If it's like I think, then I want some with my TAPAS. Well, maybe not.
OK, so this started off pretty easy then I get to PAM and I'm thinking that this has to win the longest clue in the world award all for PAM. Can't you just Dawber? I went back upstairs to do the little right side even though I'm a lefty and I had to think about SCAR. He sure was mean; I guess King Claudius was as well. I was really trying hard to get into Ms. Stella's tete. Oh, wait...the Terrapin is a turtle and not a tuna casserole...of course..they have those hard shells. I'm getting this.....TEE tee.
Up and down...up and down. Am I having fun yet? Yes....I am. I just needed another glass of wine last night then go to bed. I did. I woke up early and continued my quest to get this done without help. (sigh)...I needed a Google for the cheese that should've been Cheshire or Lancashire or anything other than something that isn't PHILLY cheese. I didn't know SCUD. It sounds like something you wipe off of your shoes when you're out walking in horse manure. Anyway....I was happy to get all but those two done.
I had some fun and that's the only thing that matters.
Isn't ALOUETTE also a cheese?

Harryp 10:04 AM  

I hung in there with 17A CHARLESTON even though at first it only gave me 8D LITRES and 10D RUNS, where the U in that position worried me, but it all worked out when SCARCE, then BESTSELLER went in, and of course 56A CAERPHILLY was another area that the crosses were indispensible to the solve. I wanted portage at TOWPATH and toros at TUNAS, but BHUTANI and LAWNSALE straightened that out. Altogether a nice, crunchy Saturday solve.

Azzurro 10:05 AM  

I learned today the TOWPATH is “ a path along the bank of a canal or river, for use in towing boats.” Good to know!

burtonkd 10:09 AM  

More plausible wrong answers than usual first time around

APOSTROPHE fit so well and I seemed to remember an E on AIGU. The character they gave looks more of a steep angle associated with an apostrophe than the shallower angle of accents grave and aigu.

After all the French, in went LASAGNe

I thought hens teeth might be Jagged.

Somehow it all sorted out

@Z - I often read comments as a diversion during a study hall in a Rye, NY school, so your use of it as the new Natick of unknown-ness makes me chuckle.

My son asked me in all seriousness the other day if I take ICEBATHs. My Canadian wife will jump in any body of water, no mattter how cold and has turned my kids into Canucks on that front. This NC raised boy finds no pleasure in that or the idea of an ICEBATH.

Mothra 10:14 AM  

Had Bigfoot before Bhutani. Am I the only one?

jberg 10:14 AM  

This didn’t quite live up to the constructor’s “Tough as Nails” motto, but tough enough for me. I’d vaguely heard of CAERPHILLY, but I was looking for a PA place that took up the whole space. Harrisburg would fit, but it just didn’t sound like a cheese, so I needed the RILL to get it.

I fooled myself at 1A—I was looking for a job that involved standing around outside. And while I was smart enough to fill in AMOEBA_ and wait for the A or e, I went right in with LASAGNe, the plural.

I had a good time, but no need for an. ICE BATH.

bocamp 10:16 AM  

@Stella, thx for the fun; enjoyed the puzzle very much! :) @Rex, good write-up. :)

Easy puz, altho gaffs in the NW were costly. At 4D, brain said "tern", but somehow "erre" got in there. Already had the the "r" from "Charleston", so not sure what happened. At 22A, had "eeu" instead of "eec". At 1D, had "--c-ed", but couldn't suss it. Wanted "rarity" for "scarce". Left the NW undone, headed south, and things fell into place nicely. Ended up back in the NW; took a few minutes to put it in order by finally seeing the "d'oh" at 4D.

Well under ave. time.

New to me: "accent aigu"; "Korn"; "towpath"; "Caerphilly"; "Leeds" (as clued); "carapace" (seen it before, but…)

Hats off to the constructor and editor for fair crosses. :)

Liked the "A to B"s, and Rex's Charlie Brown dict.

Roy Orbison - In Dreams

The Charleston - Green Hill Instrumental

Peace Shlama Paix εΉ³ε’Œ gzhi-bde Paz πŸ•Š

Old fart 10:17 AM  

HEY! SALE! Get off my lawn!!

Ben 10:21 AM  

I was slowed down for a while because I had RTE instead of VOL for “A to B”, and held onto that being right for far too long.

Also, on my tiny phone screen, the ACCENTAIGU looked like an apostrophe (which is also “apostrophe” in French, and therefore unlikely to be the answer).

Good puzzle overall, I thought.

RooMonster 10:26 AM  

AIGU gave me AGUE.

@kitshef 9:49
Har! I knew that CAERPHILLY must have been in The Cheese Shop sketch, but haven't heard it in a while, and with so many cheeses mentioned in that skit, a few have elided past the memory holding clamps.
"How about cheddar?"
"Well, we don't have much call for it around here."
"Not much call!? It's the single most popular cheese in the world!"

RooMonster Cheesey Guy

Unknown 10:29 AM  

Post marathon I used to get a MASSAGE, so that hurt for a long long time.
Pretty much only the elites (and the crazies) get ICEBATHs.

I agree with RichardF8 Stella + Saturday = a tough challenge.

To all of you who found this to be so easy, hmmm . . . . good on you!
And to rex who again conveniently "loses" his actual finish time, at this point I have to call bulls#$t on his "average" times since he so rarely provides an exact time (unless he sails through it, and then parades the time for all to see).

Pete 10:31 AM  

@TJS - Taking a stroll along the TOW PATH besides your nearest canal is a fine thing to do on a crisp autumn day. It's level, has good footing, and is right next to a river. What could be better?

Teedmn 10:34 AM  

I had the opposite of Rex's experience in the SE. I got SCUD off the S and with what I already had in the grid, guessed the CAER which is what gave me LEEDS as I was actually considering SToP as A to B (lettered train stops, I dunno) and that would have SToPped me from seeing LEEDS. I carefully entered CAERPHILLY and finished 'er off. It's so windy here today, the clouds should be SCUDding across the sky but they aren't low enough to be caught in the flow.

My favorite clues today were "Wow, just wow" for STUN and "Protective wear around shellfish" (which I first parsed as what the shellfish was wearing, which would be "shell", duh.) Bra, good one Rex.

I had a hard time coming up with ICE BATH. I don't care how sore I was after a marathon, I would be taking a HOT BATH. When I was training for a marathon, lo these many years ago (2007, 2008), a hot bath was the best thing for those muscle cramps. ICE, no way. So with __EBATH, I could only come up with toE bath? Hmmm.

DNF today and I just realized it. I was going to see if anyone else was taken aback at EGOTRIc at 9D, having never seen that word before, when I realized it must be EGO TRIP. I blame the really convoluted clue at 31A for being no help. CAM turns to CAn, sure, why not?

Stella, as always your tough puzzles deliver.

Carola 10:35 AM  

@Z 9:47 - Yes, that's what I meant. The images of the flowing clouds streaming over mountaintops have stayed with me over the many years since I last saw the movie. For those, who haven't seen it, this clip will give you the idea (hang on until the end, if you can, for the mountaintops). The music is by Philip Glass.

Nancy 10:40 AM  

@Chuck D -- The PATTON quote isn't odd at all when you know the quote in its entirety: "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win a war by making some other poor bastard die for his country."

I knew it because I've seen the movie. Here's the PATTON scene that features it.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

Anybody who’s read any Cormac McCarthy has seen both scut and scud a thousand times.
Anybody who subscribes to Warbirds knows the origin of scud missile, and would’ve had the answer without wasting a precious nanosecond.

Whatsername 10:47 AM  

Very tough but no complaints. I learned a new French punctuation and a Welsh cheese. As par for me, I was totally stumped without lookups but that’s what Saturdays are for.

ECHOER sounds like a noun of convenience, as does 35 down. “I’m having a LAWN SALE this weekend,” said no one ever.

RIP Sean Connery. Bond . . . James Bond.

kitshef 10:58 AM  

@Roo - to be fair, not all the cheeses in the skit are real. For example, Venezuelan Beaver Cheese I'm pretty sure is made up, given that Venezuela doesn't have beavers.

Stix 11:09 AM  

What does ALGER mean??

mathgent 11:17 AM  

Not easy for me, but well within my solvable range. Eight mystery clue-entries compared to about fifteen in yesterday’s brainbuster. I would have liked more sparkle but DISPOSSESS, BHUTANI (not Bigfoot), SVELTE, and OODLES were nice.

I’ve read about clouds SCUDding in many novels but the context never made it clear what they were doing. Now I know.

Thanks to Nancy for the clip from Patton. Great quote. Francis Ford Coppola won the Oscar for writing the screenplay.

Pro football players completely immerse themselves in tubs of ice water to recover from playing a hard game.

Here is a gift clue for a brave constructor out there. If you want a Z in your grid and can weather abuse from math-haters. “Sin(x) + sin(-x).” ZERO.

Anonymous 11:22 AM  

As a Brit, CAERPHILLY was the easiest part by far!

jae 11:25 AM  

Medium. Dang, I got this in medium time but I had no confidence as I plunked in the last letter (the A in CAERPHILLY) that the happy music would play. I mean CAER PHILLY, ACCENT AIGU, ULTRA and LEEDS as clued...(I knew KORN but I suspect I’m in the minority)...

ICE pack > bags > BATH

Liked it.

Masked and Anonymous 11:27 AM  

Nope. Not a Happy Halloween puz. A good themelesspuz, nonetheless.

1. ETE (French clue) crossin ACCENTAIGU (French clue). yikes.
2. CAERPHILLY. Had to get all the crossers. Lost precious nanoseconds.
3. Clue for VOL. Toughish. VOL thenceby merits todays's staff weeject pick.
4. Clue for PAM/N. Feisty but cute.

1. CHARELESTON & SCARAB & EGOTRIP long gimmes, which were sorely needed, at our house.
2. Some stuff we sorta knew but needed a few crossers to confirm/jog our memory: BHUTANI. CARAPACE. CANA. ALOUETTE (French, again). TOWPATH [Wanted TOWLANE].
3. Five U's. Lil darlins.
4. Nice Halloween Cross grid art, in the puz's center. Kept the vampires away.

Thanx for the non-spooky fun, Ms. Zawistowski darlin.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

Happy Halloween:

GILL I. 11:30 AM  

I am now officially in mourning. The man I wanted to marry when I grew up has just left us. I always wanted to be a James Bond girl and kiss Sean Connery in a boat somewhere off of Sardinia. Now, I'll never get the chance. RIP you handsome man......

Frantic Sloth 11:30 AM  

LAWNSALE? I've heard tag sale, yard sale, rummage sale, stoop sale, even garage sale, but LAWNSALE? That's a new one on me.

Was sailing along and then the SE corner slapped me upside the head.

BHUTANI (knew of it, but needed crosses)
CAERPHILLY cheese? Sure. Okay.
ACCENTAIGU?? Is that one word, two? Three? Cripes! Definitely needed every cross for that. At what point do Non-English words/phrases become unfair? I'd like to nominate this one, please.

Look, I have enough problems identifying diacritical marks by name in English, so can we just not toss those of other languages around all willy-nilly? Asking for an idiot.

Non-yeti Himalayan dwellers and weird-ass cheeses aside, I finally conquered this little varmint - albeit in a time nearly double my average. That makes it all worthwhile in my book.


Ben 11:36 AM  

Alger Hiss was a government official accused of spying for the Soviets.

Newboy 11:43 AM  

CAERPHILLY puzzle today. Workmanlike grid without pizzazz for me. Could it just be pre-election ennui for those of us who posted ballots literally weeks ago? Did like the 23 & 46D responses when they became apparent via crossings. And now off for my CAERPHILLY on toast with yet more coffee on a morning full of daylight, saved just for this moment. Back now to see Rex & above responses which probably find the pepper jack spice that I may well have missed?

egsforbreakfast 11:52 AM  

I’m a bigger fan of themed puzzles than themeless, but I’ve got to say that Stella Z. produces fun themeless puzzles in general, and especially this one. I ripped through this in a likely record time, as my hourglass broke part way through, but I’m guessing 32-34 seconds.

Agree that LAWN SALE isn’t a thing unless you’re pushing sod, but it brought back fond memories of dozens of bratty kids (myself included) yelling “yard sale” from the chairlift as some overambitious skier left hat, gloves, poles and skis strewn over the area of a spectacular fall.

Strangely, the last letter to fall for me was the “M” in PAM. Although it had to be M to make TEMPURA, my slightly wine-addled brain thought that shifting the last letter one spot down” would mean toward the start, like reducing a number by one. So the answer seemed to be that one would apply PAM to a PAL, and I’m sure that some really, really good pals have mutually applied PAM. Still, it seemed a bit risquΓ© for the Gray Lady.

Richard Stanford 11:54 AM  

Can someone explain ULTRA? I know that it’s similar to Hyper but I was confused by the hyphen in the clue and was looking for the second half of a word. What did the hyphen refer to?

What? 11:55 AM  

Stella! Stella!

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

Scud running is an aviation term for flying under a low cloud deck like 500 feet. Dangerous as in Kobe Bryant’s demise

Sixthstone 12:03 PM  

All the French in this puzzle got me thinking. In a time where I am reflecting on my own eurocentric worldview, this puzzle struck me as extremely Eurocentric.

We have:
Europe in general (EEC)
2 Spanish (COSA, TAPAS)
(I'm not really counting LASAGNA because it is so ubiquitous in USA, but also of European origin)

It's a lot. There are a few global answers (TEMPURA, BHUTANI, CANA), but the overall European bent made it feel like this puzzle was borrowed from the London Times.

Not a bad puzzle, but it's interesting the things you start noticing in the current climate.

@stix - Alger Hiss is a former US official tried for treason.

Sixthstone 12:05 PM  

Forgot to mention the clue for PAM. Why not just clue this as "Get all the crosses and see what happens!"? Ridiculous.

RooMonster 12:16 PM  

Re: Yesterday
I didn't realize I was such a pea-picking nit picker! πŸ˜‚ I didn't remember about the last "correction". Jeez, I need to relax!

And because you and @Barbara S are the only ones posting about the unmentionable game,


gringa 12:20 PM  

I really like this one. Lots of instinctual guesses that turned out to be right. I like SCUD, DISPOSSESS, MATTRESS (Double "s" in the SW an SE corner). Wanted AERATED for ANIMATED and SPRAY something for AEROSOL. That got me all tied up in knots because of the similarity in the words.

RE: CAERPHILLY... I was doubting BHUTANI because of the CAER. What finally convinced me was remembering that WELSH is a really weird language with bizarre spelling.

Z 12:26 PM  

If you google for “LAWN SALE” you will, indeed, find LAWN for SALE. Scroll down some more and you will find lots of Craig’s List ads for LAWN SALES. Vermont, Maine, New York, New Orleans (ooh, a multi family LAWN SALE). I’m more familiar with “yard” and “garage” sales, but had no problem with the LAWN SALE variety.

@Richard Stanford - I took the hyphen to indicate we were looking for another prefix.

@Teedmn - Slowing down the inflammation apparently helps with recovery. Lots of Ultimate players do the ICE BATH thing now, not that they spend a lot of time in the cold cold water. I’ve swum in Lake Michigan in May, that’s close enough to an ICE BATH for me.

@Carola - I’ve been trying to remember why I saw Koyaanisqati and I’m pretty sure it was shown as part of a film series at my college that focused on art films. The other one I remember seeing was In the Realm of the Senses. The SCUDding in that film was of a very different sort.

I agree with @Anonymous who said that the sound of SCUD doesn’t match what it describes. It sounds more like a portmanteau of “skid” and “dud.”

Newboy 12:28 PM  

OK, I did spit caffeine on the iPad screen when @egsfor’s Pam to pals came on screen! And I forgot to say “Thanks Stella” for again bringing amusement into our household; her byline is one I do look forward to seeing. On reflection, I am impressed by the triples that ground each grid corner—SCARAB beside CARAPACE is my favorite. And it’s nice to have Rex in mellow mode as well.

bocamp 12:43 PM  

On my wavelength the whole way, except for the NW blunder, which got corrected at the end.

"ice down" before "ice bath"

Got "Alger" on the "a" from "amoebas". Nice misdirection, @Stella, but I was all over this one. πŸ˜‰

@Anonymous 9:25 AM - re: scud

Ageed! I knew the word, and felt the same when dropping it into the puzzle. It was a "bomb". :(

@Nancy 9:38 AM - re: scudding

Loved the anecdote :)

@RooMonster 9:45 AM - "fun thing"

Nicely encrypted! Looking forward to it; and, no, you're not "loonie". πŸ˜‰

@kitshef 9:49 AM - re: HPOTW

Indubitably true for me as well! Also, echo your sentiment re: changing up days, when it makes good sense to do so.

@Nancy 10:40 AM - re: Patton quote

Thx for the context :)

"Patton" speech to the 3rd Army

@Carola 10:35 AM re: scudding clouds

Thx for the vid; lead me to look up the movie. Fascinating!

@Z 9:47 AM - re: scudding clouds

I had this teed up to go, and then I saw your post. Great minds LOL – I'll link it again, just because it's free on YouTube and looks like a skookum flick. Plus, it was you who explained to me how to include links in posts, so consider it a tribute link. :)
Koyaanisqatsi full movie here

Koyaanisqatsi: Hopi for "life out of balance"

A walk along the River Thames towpath - Swinford Toll Bridge to Godstow.

@RooMonster 12:16 PM πŸ˜‚

Peace Shlama Paix εΉ³ε’Œ gzhi-bde Paz πŸ•Š

Anonymous 12:45 PM  

Z and Anon 9:26
No. Scud matches precisely with the sound. To scud is to be driven quickly by the wind. It is in effect noiseless. Hence the scud missile is a perfectly apt name. Missiles travel at terrific speed almost silently. The boom at the end is the smallest part of their life.

Coniuratos 12:48 PM  

I get the complaints about the Caer in CAERPHILLY, but if you've ever been to Wales, that's a gimme. Seems like every third place-name there has a "Caer" in it.

Nancy 12:53 PM  

I hadn't heard the sad news, @GILL and I'll miss him, too. I would have handed you your other not-so-secret passion, Omar Shariff, without a backward glance, but please understand that I would have fought you tooth and nail for Sean Connery.

KenScudder 12:57 PM  

As you can imagine, I got SCUD fairly easily...

Anonymous 1:03 PM  

Between ACCENT AIGU, ALOUETTE, ETE, ETAT, and ALA, I'm starting to understand that I need to know French in order to do the NYT Crossword. It seems like a cop-out to use so much from the same non-English language, even if, say, ETAT and ALA weren't the most difficult.

Anonymous 1:04 PM  

@ RooMonster Caerphilly isn’t in The Cheese Shop sketch but it is in the Mice men sketch; its where the Micemen go “The Caerphilly A-go-go”

Rabitz 1:07 PM  

Did no one else know Caerphilly from my favorite of all Pete Seeger songs, Bells of Rhymney? "They will plunder willy-nilly cry the bells of Caerphilly." A song about coal mining in Wales.

Unknown 1:07 PM  

The name beginning ALO- is NOT ALOYSIUS.

old timer 1:12 PM  

OFL doesn't say so, but I bet Stella Z beat him at a couple of xword tournaments, and maybe he beat her once or twice. I read up about her -- Philly-born, went to Princeton, ended up a copywriter, maiden name Daily, and a fan of xword tournaments and wordplay starting in high school.

I'm going to jump out on a limb and speculate that she spent a semester in England, or at least a summer, loved going to pubs, and therefore had many a ploughman's lunch -- bread and cheese, and quite often the cheese on offer is CAERPHILLY. And in my experience, if the pub is not "gastro", CAERPHILLY is very often the best cheese you can get -- there are of course many excellent cheddars you could be served, but there are also many barely worth eating, and CAERPHILLY strikes a nice balance between cost and flavour, keeping the publican happy. Wash it down with a fine English ale, ideally served off the wood, or in my day if you were an American girl, you probably had a shandy.

In any case, I bet there is a back story here. The puzzle was fairly presented, and while I had no difficulty, it probably was tough for more novice solvers.

old timer 1:19 PM  

I forgot to mention ACCENT AIGU, which makes me laugh in memory of W.C. Fields, who insisted that, as Egbert Souse', his last name was spelled with an accent e grave over the e. Of course it wasn't: it could only be an ACCENT AIGU, and that was part of the joke.

MJB 1:22 PM  

Yeterday ern, today tern. Two long-ago crossword birds make a comback.

Bonnie Buratti 1:26 PM  

Never heard of Caerphilly, but I realized that "philly" had to be in there somewhere. Had it upfront first, but none of the crossclues fell; when I stuck it at the end, the whole corner fell into place. Although I do agree with others that "Scud" missile was more appropriate than the obscure clue that was there.

Where I had trouble was with Towpath. This is my pet peeve: Xwordese is out for the most part, but a new Xwordese has been invented:creating new compound words or phrases. I had seapath and got nowhere. Got tow only after the three long relatively easy down clues.

I see that Google considers towpath to be a word but not seapath. So at least I learned a word.

chris b 1:40 PM  

This was my worst Saturday time since I started keeping track. ACCENTAIGU, ALOUETTE, CAERPHILLY and CARAPACE all completely ruined me. I suppose I need to learn French and Welsh?

Charles Flaster 1:45 PM  

LOVED this one.
Lots in my wheelhouse but some creativity such as
Mme. Gesualdi, Montauk JHS , Brooklyn NY.
SZ - thanks very much.

Hack mechanic 1:52 PM  

Great movie, one of his finest roles (the other would be Dr Strangelove)

Hack mechanic 1:53 PM  

Me too, first word down & went from there.

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

Knew Caerphilly from an old Monty Python routine The Cheese Shop- “Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Caerphilly, if you please.”

Frantic Sloth 2:49 PM  

@Nancy 938am Loved your Dad's story (and sense of humor!), but I'm left wondering - wasn't Noah a Jew? Then again, he did park the ark on top of a mountain...

Speaking of...
@Z 650am Well, that was a pleasant SCUDding romp through your thought process. Just imagine if Noah had moored in the Rye marina...that wooden roller coaster might have ended up on a mountaintop, which makes no sense, but that's how I like it.

@Carola, @Z Thanks for the Koyaanisqatsi links. I've always been drawn to The Pulse section because I'm a slave to bright lights and chaos. This should surprise no one who's had even a fleeting glimpse inside my mind. If I were a deer, I'd be dead by now.

Sorry, @Z, but This is the only version I care for. (Sorry, Willy! Ignorant of Karen O.)

@GILL I 1002am "Can't you just Dawber?" 🀣🀣 And indeed!

@egsforbreakast 1152am Your bratty youthemisms and imagined PAM-PAl acts are worth the price of submission. 🀣

And with @Z's 1226pm SCUD portmanteau, I bid you all adieu and 23 SCUD-dud.

Z 2:55 PM  

@OldTimer - Don’t quote me on this, but I think Stella Z makes OFL look slow.

@Anonymous - Can you get your Monty Python story straight? I looked up the sketch on YouTube and CAERPHILLY is mentioned as advertised. There are also at least 2 Lego recreations of the skit.

@MJB - I don’t know how long ago “long ago” is. They’re not quite as frequent fliers as they used to be but they still appear far more often than pewits.

@Anon12:45 - We were talking about the sound of the word itself. SCUD is the very opposite of onomatopoeia, nonomatopoeia as it were.

Carola 3:10 PM  

@Frantic Sloth 2:49, thanks for bringing that segment back into memory - what a trip! And, I'd forgotten that ascending moon!

bertoray 3:56 PM  

I had to check, but yes, CAERPHILLY eas one of the unavailable cheeses in Monte Python's Cheese Shop sketch.
The borne on the wind definition of SCUD I recalled from the 1st Gulf War because those scud missles were sorta lobbed over, unguided as it were.

Anonymous 3:56 PM  

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese

just read up the wiki piece on the piece when it was created. initially, only Palin thought it funny. if one considers the alternative connotations for the rodent, and a certain affliction associated with one such connotation, it is vewy, vewy funny. whether the Brits have that connotation, I know not, without which the piece isn't all that amusing. OTOH, recently saw an episode of 'Death in Paradise', an estimable UK police procedural set on a Caribbean (British) island, wherein one of the characters refers to the smoking of cigarettes, using a slang word (not acceptable on this side of The Pond) I'd thought had been retired. guess not. rather taken aback, since the show runs on PBS, and surprised that such a PC channel hadn't beeped it. guess not.

Anonymous 5:06 PM  

Thanks for the gratuitous lesson on onomatopoeia. Assuming you’ll grant the obvious- that scut and scud are used interchangeably by artists of all ilk- I say take your beef up with Elliott.
“ I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floor of silent seas”

Note the silence despite the movement conveyed by the verb scuttling?

That you and Non 9:25 were unfamiliar with the word and ascribed qualities of your own imagination to it is, obviously, insufficient to make your impression correct.

TTrimble 5:14 PM  

Popping by head in briefly, in response to a shout-out from @bocamp -- thanks. Miss the gang, but will rejoin in a few weeks. Hey @Roo, -0 too.

Speaking of obscure cheeses: if you know your cheeses (looking at you @Nancy), then you will excel at the game that's swept the nation, Cheese or Font? You're welcome.

Eniale 5:16 PM  

I finished this Saturday puzzle all by myself and was feeling like an achiever - but after seeing how many of you commented on how easy it was, maybe not.

The first time I ever saw the word towpath was when I was reading "Three Men in a Boat" (Jerome K. Jerome, 19th C Brit, very English humor). Very funny in my youth and I've learned not to reread books I loved back then. But the cheese bit in that book ws also funny; that one was a Limburger I think, that travelled by train with his Uncle George.

*SB* - I was -1 today and did Not approve of the spelling of the word I'd missed.

Nancy 5:26 PM  

One of my favorite Pete Seeger songs, too, @Rabitz (1:07). But I didn't know any of the Welsh towns he was singing about or how they were spelled, including CAERPHILLY. I never saw a lyric sheet, only heard the recording.

But why did you stop with a mere mention, @Rabitz? Surely everyone on the blog who's never heard the song -- and that's probably most of the blog -- should have the chance. And for anyone who's too young to know any of Pete Seeger's work, well, here's one of his finest protest songs.

Joe Welling 5:34 PM  

Rabitz--yes, exactly. Once I got Caerphilly, I couldn't get Pete Seeger's Bells of Rhymney out of my mind.

Barbara S. 6:39 PM  

I've had a rough week in Solving City but for some reason, I just SCUDded through this one. A couple of goofs along the way -- tried to make RADISHES RADIcHio, which I think now is an incorrect spelling (should be two Cs). Also had a bit of a problem with TOWPATH, trying out pOrtAge instead -- guess I'm not clear on the concept of pulling. On this street in the fall when we're not having an international pandemic, we have a neighborhood Porch Sale -- no, we don't flog porches -- so I was cool with LAWN SALE as an acceptable variation. I liked the answer DREAMON which, as one word, conjured visions of John Hamm, George Clooney or, yes, Sean Connery playing a devil.

I, too, have read about Victorian clouds in Victorian skies, and I didn't think twice when I entered SCUD. But all the talk here has made me think about the word and remember something completely irrelevant, but eminently worth mentioning. When I was a small child and just out of the bathtub, i.e. unclothed, my mother would say that I was in my bare scuddy. I assume it would be spelled that way, or maybe skuddy? [Pause for research]. Hah, it's Scottish! (Although my mother wasn't.) And the primary spelling is scuddie (also scuddy, skuddy and in reduced form scud). Is that an expression known to anyone?

Z 7:04 PM  

@TTrimble - 32/50 for a barely passing grade. Thanks (I think).

bocamp 7:08 PM  

@TTrimble 5:14 PM

Good to hear from you. πŸ‘ Thx for the "Cheese or Font?" link. I knew only one of the 50 questions, as it was mentioned in today's puzzle. I did take the quiz, tho, and scored 31/50 by guessing.

@Nancy 5:26 PM

Thx for the Seeger vid :)


Peace Shlama Paix εΉ³ε’Œ gzhi-bde Paz πŸ•Š

Anonymous 7:16 PM  

I know SCUD because of the scene in Top Hat where Fred Astaire flirtatiously explains thunder and lightning to Ginger Rogers, inaccurately talking about clouds scudding up to each other.

Sacgurl 7:44 PM  

Hello. My brain isn't wine-addled and I still think the Pam/pan clue is articulated as the opposite of what's intended - i.e., wrong, wrong, wrong. How does "shifting the last letter one spot down in the alphabet" *not* mean shifting it *down* - meaning, toward the beginning? I saw Pam when I got "Tempura" at 25D, but then I thought for a while that "Tempura" must be wrong 'cause I didn't see how Pam/pal could be right. (I didn't even get your risquΓ© possibilities...) So could someone please explain - why is Pam not an incorrect response to the clue as worded?

Mr. Alarm 8:33 PM  

“Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog!”

It’s the title of a fun little book of palindromes I have.

Mr. Alarm 8:45 PM  

Love-love-love Koyaanisqatsi (also saw it in ’82, many times since. Brilliant film, beautifully photographed, chilling and exciting at once.

Glass’s soundtrack for Koyaanisqatsi is one of my regular go-tos, especially appropriate listening for walking busy NY streets.

bocamp 8:45 PM  

@Sacgurl 7:44 PM

I see where you're coming from. It's a matter of perspective.

If the letters were placed thusly: A B C D E F G, etc., how would up or down be defined? On a piano keyboard, the notes get lower as one moves to the left. So, this would be in line with your reasoning.

OTOH, if the letters were depicted vertically (as in Rex's "Charlie Brown Dictionary"), "M" would be followed by "N" and thus be "one spot down".


Any dictionary page would bear this out, e.g., in the "A" section, words would start "aa, ab, ac and move finally to ax, ay, az, with "am" words coming before "an" words as they move vertically down the page.

Also, one can look at web pages which alphabetize data. They would move from A - Z down the page.

This is just my take on the subject. Hope it helps, but if not, it's my bad, not yours. 😊

@Roo & @TTrimble πŸ‘

-1 w/two hours to go 🀞

Peace Shlama Paix εΉ³ε’Œ gzhi-bde Paz πŸ•Š

Mr. Alarm 8:51 PM  

...Written by Jon Agee (and now I ‘get’ the clue from Wednesday 10/28’s puzzle, “Palindromist Jon of “Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis!””). I only remembered James Agee.

Nancy 10:07 PM  

@TTrimble -- I flunked the "Cheese or Font?" quiz big-time. I don't mind so much not knowing the fonts, but I was truly chagrined not to know the cheeses. So many cheeses!! Who knew there were so many cheeses?

I dropped it long before finishing it. The robot quizmeister was making so much fun of me every time I got an answer wrong (which was most of the time) that I thought: why should I continue to take all that abuse? Now, admittedly, it was very amusing, sardonic abuse: Comments like: "I don't quite know how to break this to you, but it's a cheese!" And: "You're finally right at long last, it's a font. Oh wait, don't you know I'm playing with you. It's really a cheese, just like the last that you also thought was a font."

You think I use a lot of italics? The robot also uses italics.

I quit when I realized that the robot was having more fun than I was.

jae 12:43 AM  

@TTrimble - 31/50

@Roo & TTrimble - Also 0

TJS 1:11 AM  

If Venezuelans don't have beavers...

Richardf8 1:54 AM  

Laban? I will believe that it’s a font but its also a cheese. A middle eastern version of Quark.

pdplot 7:16 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Giz 10:20 AM  

Scud is not nearly as ugly a word as grok.

MC 12:52 PM  

As an adolescent fan of KORN, I had never imagined doing the CHARLESTON while listening to them but hey it’s never too late!

I've been combing the NYT archive and just happened to do a puzzle that goes all-in on diacritics, so ACCENTAIGU was timely pour moi. (Thursday, August 2nd, 2001 if you're curious)

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

The last time I took an ice bath was involuntarily. I woke up in one on the hospital shop USS Repose, sailing along the coast of South Vietnam. Malaria. Ah, memories...

thefogman 11:37 AM  

Good one. Not ULTRA hard, Just right for Saturday. But you had to proceed CAERPHILLY. I give it a CEE plus.

spacecraft 12:25 PM  

DNF. A tale of two puzzles. West? Like a shot. No problemo. East? Fuhgeddaboudit. I got nothing. ICE what? BATH, really, people DO that?? Nothing is worth that. But the thing that made me throw it in is 14d. If "Sources of crunch for a salad" is not CROUTONS, then the clue is downright unfair. That was the gimmiest gimme in the whole thing! Rejected; hitting below the belt.

Burma Shave 1:51 PM  

(true story)




rondo 2:05 PM  

@foggy - HAHA, CAERPHILLY, good one.
That CAER_ and the -AIGU above had me wondering. The REST was not that tough. Not tough enough to make me flip my wig, or HAREPACE. OK, not as good as CAERPHILLY but I'm tryin' here.

That PAM clue had to come from Will S. Longest clue by far in the puz, for the Shortzest answer. Just to get in his 'wordplay'. EGOTRIP?

ALGER wouldn't Hiss at this puz.

rainforest 4:36 PM  

The last two puzzles of this week were immensely enjoyable. Today, ACCENT AIGU, RADISHES, SCUD, and CAERPHILLY (great clue) were virtual gimmes which helped a lot in getting a handle on this puzzle.

No nits; no weaknesses; good puzzle.

leftcoaster 4:39 PM  

Most troublesome words (and clues):


Troublesome is Saturday’s name with a DNF tag.

leftcoaster 4:52 PM  

P.S. The troublesome George S. PATTON, a real bastard (M-W def. 7a), and proud of it.

strayling 7:44 PM  

Now I'm jonesing for a nice wedge of CAERPHILLY. To anyone who hasn't tried it, it's a semi-crumbly mild white cheese. It has an almost honey-like taste which somehow works with the underlying cheese tang.

Great with Branston pickle and a crusty harvest loaf.

\ Homesick? Moi?

Wendy Cutler 10:19 PM  

@Z 7:04 PM
@TTrimble - 32/50 for a barely passing grade. Thanks (I think).

That what I got - if you scroll down, you can see that that score puts you in the 88th percentile!

I didn't get the terrapin topper, though was at least thinking of a turtle, and I was thinking of a drink for bubbly, having just read a review of sparking wines. I also didn't get anything that crossed those two words except for TACOS and ICEBATH. But I filled in everything else. I'm glad I gave up at that point - I never would have come up with the rest. Still, I enjoyed it.

I have only recently started to see the names of diacriticals, but in French class, right from the start, we were taught the name of ACCENT AIGU.

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