Ancient undeciphered writing system / FRI 11-13-20 / Wikipedia articles that need expanding / Hijiki or arame in Japanese restaurant / Successful shot from downtown in basketball lingo / Prominent feature of babirusa deer-pig

Friday, November 13, 2020

Constructor: Sawyer Tabony and Ashton Anderson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (high 5s, w/ sleep still in my eyes)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: WORD (CLUE) —
• • •

Would you like your bread singed? I didn't think so. SINGES connotes an unwanted light burning (as when you can't get the gas element on your stove to light and then it suddenly bursts to life, singing the hair on your hands, and hopefully only your hands), whereas "Toasts" suggests an intentional, delicious browning. I guess you could singe marshmallows, but come on, you don't singe marshmallows. You Toast Them. ANYWAY ... I had the -GES at 42A: Toasts, say and eventually wrote in WEDGES ... which, while implausible, seemed, and still seems, way more plausible than SINGES. Happily for me, and you (probably), that [Toasts, say] clue on SINGES is probably my biggest gripe today, as the grid was full of mostly delightful answers and very few of the clues had me wanting to hurl my computer out the window (it's been very warm, so. the storm windows are not yet up). In a perfect world, you probably wouldn't cross WAY and AWAY (see the NW corner), or have NO IRON, NO WORRIES, NO ONE, *and* NO FEES in the same grid, but we live in a postlapsarian world, and so we mortals will just have to be happy with great-but-flawed until the coming of the New Crossword Jerusalem (sorry, I've been teaching Paradise Lost, and I can't stop saying "prelapsarian" and "postlapsarian," and then the weird religious words just follow from there...) (no, seriously, Paradise Lost is just trampling through my brain at the moment; I spelled the [Soup dumpling] W-A-N-T-O-N at first, probably because Milton describes Eve's hair waving in "WANTON ringlets" ... Mmmm, wanton soup ...)

As happens so often, I struggled most with the NW (where I started). Even after getting the front ends of the longer Acrosses, I'M ON A ROLL was the only one of them I could manage to throw down successfully (15A: "Look at me go!"). "LET'S ..." man, that could've been anything, "an outstretched hand" suggesting so many things. I thought maybe the hand was trying to shake yours, or else trying to help pull you to safety after you managed to nearly fall off the face of Mount Rushmore (in addition to reading Milton—watching Hitchcock). And NO WORRIES is clear enough once it's filled in (17A: "You're good"), but if you've only got the first three letters, and you have no idea of the context for / tone of "You're good," then you're left wondering "NOW" what? Add in that I forgot Awkwafina's real first name was NORA (20A: "___ From Queens," comedy series co-created by Awkwafina), and that section became something of a bear. So I floated downstream, down the west side of the puzzle, where I found much less resistance, and didn't actually get back to finish up the NW until the very, very end ("C" in CLEANED was my last letter) (8D: Hit the jackpot, with "up"). 

Five things:
  • 35A: Key of Dvorak's "Serenade for Strings": Abbr. (E MAJ.) — this answer is fair enough, I guess, but DMIN and EMAJ and all these musical key abbrs. are really a PAIN in the rear to fill in unless you are one of the few people who know this kind of stuff cold. I got the "E," wrote in the "M," then had to go retrieve the crosses. Actually, I inferred pretty quickly that it was EMAJ, not EMIN because the "J" was in an initial position (where "J"s usually are found), and also wow EMIN is really truly ugly ... I had to have faith that these constructors wouldn't do that to me. Faith rewarded! Paradise regained! (Sorry, the Milton again...)
  • 47A: Cousin of "OMG!" ("WHOA!") — I was genuinely concerned that the puzzle was going to try to perpetrate WOAH on me. Have you seen this stylization of the exclamation? It's remarkably, disturbingly, obscenely common among, uh, younger people. Sorry, younger people. I try to love everything you do. But this is a line in the damned sand.
  • 37A: "Think so?" ("YEAH?") — among the hardest clues of the day. Intonation is *everything* here, and YEAH is not a word I would normally read as interrogative. I did like the overall slangy, colloquial feel of the grid, "UP TO YOU" was another one that was tough to pick up, but once picked up, felt right (12D: "I'm good with whatever").
  • 18A: Excited (ASTIR) — ASTIR is what you are when you first wake up in the morning, EAGER is what you are when you are excited. And of course the first letter I had in place was the "R" ...
  • 11D: Prominent feature of a babirusa ("deer-pig") (TUSK) — no idea what animal this is. Still, this would've been easy enough to pick up off the "K" in NIKOLA, if I hadn't typoed STUBS (10A: Wikipedia articles that need expanding) as SRUBS and somehow never noticed (!) ... so I lost a lot of time first working through every cross in RUSK and then wondering what part of the deer-pig body was the RUSK. Actually abandoned the section, went and finished up the puzzle, then had to come back to RUSK to find my error. So I guess the "T" in TUSK was, technically, the last letter I entered in the grid. See, this is why my early-morning solving times are not to be trusted. I'm happiest in the early morning, but I am not my sharpest, that's for sure.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Happy birthday, mom :)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Blackhat 6:38 AM  

6 names, 5 foreign words...

Conrad 6:45 AM  

"Prelapsarian." Good word. I'll have to start including it in conversations. With absolutely nobody.

I also got nowhere in the NW, so I started in the NE and worked clockwise, ultimately coming into the NW from the bottom. Knew DE NOVO because a former boss was enamored of the phrase, knew YAHWEH because when a former religion teacher introduced the term, he miswrote it on the blackboard as YEWHEW and the class had a ball with that.

Needed every cross for TEMPEH, even though I've seen it often enough.

Overall, a fun outing.

Pamela 7:12 AM  

Rex is a hoot today. I didn’t realize he could be so funny. Prelapsarian indeed!

ChuckD 7:16 AM  

So-so Friday - couple of things that didn’t click for me. No idea on LINEAR A - completely backed into it. The rest of that NW corner was straightforward so that helped. Didn’t like the look of the grid with that diagonal black line - created some ugly short stuff. Liked LETS DANCE and EASY AS PIE. Side eye to the odd PRESS SEND.

The minimal trivia was welcome - TUPAC, NIKOLA and OLE MISS are all nice entries. We just saw GOES APE and again it is less effective without the trailing shit. The conditional clue for hijiki and arame seems unnecessary and a little down putting.

Decent enough solve for a Friday the 13th.

kitshef 7:24 AM  

Switch this with Tuesday, and they would both be on the right day. Did anyone find this harder than Tuesday's puzzle? Seems impossible. Hardest thing today was ANYhoo/ANYhow/ANYWAY.

Now, what sportsball topic shall we talk about today?

TTrimble 7:25 AM  

Found this pretty easy for a Friday -- not too far from a PR. Now I should have known that NIKOLA would be the more common spelling, with Tesla being Serbian and all, but I at first entered NIcOLA because of a memory of seeing his name on a plaque somewhere near Como, Italy. Put in matzOh before WONTON because oops. Hiccuped a little over SCHNOZ because I'm so much more used to seeing it spelled with two Z's. I think those were the only snags. Otherwise it almost seemed to solve itself.

That's not to say there weren't cool entries. LINEAR A, DE NOVO, YAHWEH, TEMPEH. I liked the cluing for POEM, and for MOSES. I like being quizzed on the Greek alphabet (but that may be just me).

Happy Friday, everyone!

DeeJay 7:27 AM  

Woah! Very funny today, Rex, thank you.

Unknown 7:37 AM  

YAHWEH crossing WHOLEHOG is my new favorite crossing

Z 7:44 AM  

LET’S DANCE immediately had me thinking Bowie. And that video!!! I’d forgotten how political that video was. Great puzzle and some great Bowie and it’s not even 8:00 yet.

Two nanosecond sucking writeovers. cLEMson before OLE MISS and EASY peasy before EASY AS PIE. You may disagree but I think both my wrong answers are better than the answers the puzzle demanded. The precious nanoseconds wasted were relatively few. MOSES had to be the early tablet user so I knew cLEMson wasn’t wanted (don’t tell Dabo Swinney) and while I don’t know my Milton I certainly know my Lewis Carroll. EASY peasy would have brought me joy, but even as I wrote it in I was prepared to write over it.

That I know AIWA is Japanese and Acer is Taiwanese is not something I am not proud of since I only know such useless information from doing too many crosswords. Still, filling AIWA in after already having ANYWAY and ROAST gave me -ARA which was somehow enough to loosen LINEAR A from whatever cobwebby corner of my memory it sleeps in. That also allowed me to see that “heart” was going all metonymy and cluing EMOTION, which got the briefest of arched eyebrows. “The team played with heart” and “the team played with EMOTION” don’t quite work as equivalents for me. I can Crossworld Lawyer it into acceptability, but it feels a little trumpy to me.

Anyone else think SCHNOZ should be SCHNOZz? It looks like it had a nose job without a second Z.

Great Friday puzzle.

Z 7:55 AM  

@kitshef - My money is on the “OLE MISS isn’t a “rival” so much as fodder” discussion. Not a lot of other sportsball options today.

@TTrimble - 👃🏼👃🏼!
(Uh, those SCHNOZz emojis need some work - are there emoji plastic surgeons?)

pabloinnh 8:04 AM  

Hand up for wanting two Z's in SCHNOZ.

OLEMISS goes with "Bama", both shortened forms.

I think TUPAC is the other rapper I know along with the useful Dr. DRE. Oh, and the equally useful NAS.

You want a snag? Try EGG instead of ESS. I thought "concave and convex" was a great egg clue and was delighted to see the answer immediately. Oops. Did the NICOLA thing too which was not helpful. Otherwise nice crunchy Friday with some good clever clues.

Nice work guys. Thanks for the fun.

Odd Sock 8:04 AM  

I'm tired of puzzles full of conversational answers. The NW has three stacked right on top of each other. I count nine such answers. I prefer puzzles that test my knowledge and entertain me with word play. Stop making me guess what you're going to say.

Mike Herlihy 8:25 AM  

As of 8:22 AM EST the word of the day is WORD, definition DEFINITION. Had me confused for a bit, but I guess it shows Rex wasn't lying about the sleep in his eyes!

bocamp 8:28 AM  

@Sawyer & @Ashton, thank you both for a wonderful Friday puzzle. Very much enjoyed! :)

"Easy as pie"; nearly 1/2 my Fri. av.

Totally whiffed in the NW; got a hold in the NE with "stain" crossing "Nikola", and moved smoothly throughout, ending up back in the NW, although one cell remained: "Yahweh" / "tempeh". Was maybe 95% sure for the "h". Wouldn't call a Natick on it (for me anyways), but maybe for some it was.

Mis-steps: "Nicoli"; "demo tape"; "easy peasy".

New (or sorta new) to me: "stubs"; "Nora"; "deep cuts"; "e maj" (as clued); "tempeh" (sorta); "seaweed" (as clued); "Tupac" (as clued); "soul" (as clued).

Fav. clues/answers: "let's dance"; "look at me go"; "no worries"; "whole hog"; "Moses".

??: "pan…", as in a bad review??

Wasn't much of a dancer, at least not a bopper or swinger. Did love the slow dances, tho.

Bit of a pet peeve: "no worries" for "you're welcome". But, it's the thought that counts, right?

Trust that everyone survived all the "hit and runs" yesterday, without too many bumps and bruises.

Brenda Lee - Emotions

Do You Want to Dance - Bobby Freeman

y.d. 0

Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

Frantic Sloth 8:31 AM  

Starting off, I had DARN and ELS and then...crickets.
Somewhere around the middle a wavelength appeared on the horizon and I was able to run it down and sit on it. From there the weirdest things I never see or say just plopped right in. Where did these come from?? It was unholy. And a little scary.

***Falling Corn Alert***
(Seriously, if you eschew nonsense...move along now. You've been warned.)

Ever have the ROAST NERF SOUL at TREY PAIN ("translation": Very Bread)? It can be a little spongy on off days.
If you're feeling meaty, try the WHOLEHOG on an IMONA ROLL and don't forget the ANIONS!
For dessert - what else? EASY-ASs PIE, of course. (No pun)

Who knew MOSES was so tech savvy?


You've just witnessed the downside of a nitwit's nit-less solve. Mea bad.


TJS 8:38 AM  

Once you realize how stupid this puzzle is, it gets real easy. Thanks for nothing on a Friday.

Anonymous 8:38 AM  

Only people from outside of Illinois call Chicago "Chi-Town." Makes my skin crawl. Otherwise, enjoyable puzzle.

Kathy 8:41 AM  

This is one of those puzzles that I didn’t get much in on my first go-round, but a few toeholds here and there opened it up. Like @oddsock, I generally dislike conversational clues and answers but today’s were less annoying to me for some reason. We could use a name for these types of clues, maybe @frantic, who brought us “lookie loo,” can oblige!

First try:
marriED (up) for “hit the jackpot”

bobr 8:50 AM  

Roast pan? Really? Roasting pan in my world.

Anonymoose 8:51 AM  

I like the dessert theme of 63A. Cake, PIE.

Mr. Fizzles 8:55 AM  

Faster than Tuesday for me, and fastest Friday ever.

burtonkd 8:56 AM  

A great Rex review!

@Z - Okay, I'll bite and join a sportsball discussion. I credit where you live and recent history for your Clemson preference as the answer. As was noted, OLEMISS and BAMA are both abbreviations and more historical and geographical rivals. Clemson has become a powerhouse and rival for the national championship recently, but they have been in different conferences for most of their existence.

Great fun today: lots of white space to start, then filled in quickly afterward.

Hungry Mother 8:58 AM  

A bit slow, but great wordplay. More like this, please. Seeing DENOVO reminded me of my 30 years in academe, where using Latin was a sign of erudition.

GILL I. 9:01 AM  

@Odd Sock...I LOVE conversational answers. I feel like a prelapsarian with a popsicle in my mouth trying to figure out what you want with my outstretched hand. Just don't pull my finger like my uncle Bob used to ask me to do. He was like that man that needed to see a horse.
I had lots of fun with this AND NO GOOGLE. But.....I have one mistake and I'm keeping it. That honker at 30D was, and will remain, SCHNOB. Yep. I had Beta for for 53A. So I finished up and looked up SCHNOB. Guess what? It means a small penis and this word was coined by Trump. (He should know)....So my mind wanders and I'm thinking is this what men call it? Sure...why not.
I pulled YAHWEH and TEMPEH out of my dusty hat. I'm not a soy person because God wants us to eat real meat. I'd love my food glands to taste a ROAST WHOLE HOG. Leftovers filled in a little WONTON. A little EASY AS PIE for dessert.
Fun Friday....Keep em coming.

Frantic Sloth 9:02 AM  

Happy Birthday, Mama Rex! 🎂🥂

Rex has a point about SINGE. Have you ever SINGEd your eyelashes? It's funny-looking. Kinda like a tiny perm for the eyelids.

Hand up for SCHNOZz, but I looked into it (pick up your chin) and it's from SCNOZzola, the Italianization of the Yiddish SCHNOZ. (Wiki)

Confession of Dolthood: Read it as "LINEARA" and thought "Hmmm. Is that an Italian dialect or some such?"

Why am I suddenly craving lasagna?

@Z 744am Really? The last thing I would associate with him is "heart".

Nancy 9:05 AM  

A puzzle almost entirely comprised of chatty, conversational phrases. I found it enjoyable and challenging enough to hold my attention.

Hardest answer for me was LINEARA. I have no idea what is and am quite sure I've never seen or heard it before. I also didn't know STUBS as clued. Nor DEEP CUTS (33A), which, as it started to come in, I was wondering: Would it be DEEP CUTS or DEEP OUTS. (No, I think DEEP OUTS are actually an offensive passing option in football.)

LET'S DANCE at the outset of the puzzle was a big relief. I was so afraid it was a poor, downtrodden, homeless person with his hand outstretched.

rOoM before POEM at 55D. That and YAHWaH were my only erasures. But I knew Da NOVO wasn't right.

Funniest answer (for its understatement) was NO ONE at 49A. Yes, I'd call that a pretty disappointing turnout, all right.

Unknown 9:21 AM  

The cluing on ARROW was a little off; I think of the straight shooter as the archer.
Like pretty much all of you, I found the puz to be pretty easy for a Friday, with the NW giving the most resistance. But once I sussed out IMONAROLL, the rest of the corner sort of filled itself.

The best past of this puz? No references to Star Wars or Harry Potter. I know they are cultural touchstones; just never got into either.

WHOLEHOG! While I'm not a fan of rappers names, I'll give a pass to TUPAC.

I don't know what particular medications rex is on today, but he should stay on them! Almost didn't recognize him.

Z 9:28 AM  

@Frantic Sloth - He he. I meant to make a reference to the high quality lawyering going on right now.

@burtonkd - I was merely speculating on what sportsball topic might arise. The “answer X is wrong because they aren’t good enough to be rivals” discussion is a frequent flier here. I did go to a college tryout tournament at Clemson (we were all masters and older players who got to play for free so that the college kids had some knowledgeable competition- each half we asked the opposing captains what D and O they wanted us to run) with a season-ticket holding alum. He regaled me with stories on all the sites, including “the church that Dabo built.” Alrighty then.

@Anon 8:38 - I’m pretty sure nobody in Michigan uses that phrase either, so I’m right with you. Fans of Detroit sports teams have a few other terms they apply to the city, but not “Chi-town.” It is so unfamiliar that when The Chi was getting all kinds of positive press I was wondering why they named the show after X.

@bocamp - Right. Rex panned the puzzle. Rex ROASTed the puzzle. I think Rex is more of a roaster than a panner, the latter lacking the vehemence Rex often displays.

Wow. The I Love Conversational Answers/I Hate Conversational Answers battle lines are stark. De gustibus non est disputandum et cetera.

Nancy 9:37 AM  

@GILL -- I had bETA/SCHNOb also -- but unlike you, I simply corrected to a "Z". It never occurred to me to look up SCHNOB. What a hoot!!

mbr 9:42 AM  

@bobr: it's "pan roast" - as in how you might cook a chicken - and not "roast pan"

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

I'll go further. The response "no worries" to someone who says "thank you" is rude. So is "no problem." And for the same reason. I understand that it isn't meant that way, but that's because people who say it are so very limited. No worries or no problem ( and the very worst: no prob) transfers the onus from the speaker to the receiver. And that's not gracious.
Spell it out if you're not convinced. No worries is a shortened form of an imperative: don't worry about it. And that is a ridiculous response to gratitude. It's a command. Yes, gentle, I'll grant. But a command nevertheless. It isn't warm, it isn't kind. The words you are welcome are kind. They are warm. They are short for You are welcome to the effort or object or thought I gave you.
No worries? No problem? That introduces a new element to the proceedings. It's way of reducing or eliminating a debt. That's transactional. And that is anything but welcoming. That's someone who keeps a ledger whether they acknowledge it or not.

RooMonster 9:44 AM  

Hey All !
The SW was my bugaboo today. Only had ITSME down there, worried it wasn't right as nothing seemed to go with it. Wanted WhoAMI for WHATAMI, but was one letter short. Same with wanting aggieS for OLEMISS, one letter short. Thought I was being punked! Did have YAHWEH, but never hearing of DENOVO was messing me up with the HOG part. Wanted HOt, but then with that wrong T, all I could think of was tinEAR, again, one letter short, and also thought that was a bad thing for a musician, not a good thing. Finally decided to throw in the W at Square 38, just because there are five W-question-starter-words, and thought it must be one of them. Which got me to see WHOLEHOG, which led to GOODEAR, and OLEMISS. Then got HALL, and saw WHATAMI, and slowly that corner fell. ANION was a f$@# you clue. :-) Last letter in was the D of DENOVO, as had an R there for RE-something. WHEW!

ANYWAY, all that silliness aside, the rest of puz ended up EASY AS PIE. Well, easy enough for a FriPuz. Toughest other thing was that LINEAR A. Wha?

Still impressed by your almost constant run of 0's. My brain applauds you. I've been averaging 5 missed every day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. Hence, average. :-)My last 0 was Halloween! I'll live vicariously through you!

PRESSSEND looks neat with the trip S's. And technically, it only gets us one POC.

Gonna get my SHCNOZzola outta here. Lets all have NO WORRIES on this Friday the 13th! It's usually a better day for me than most. *Knocks on wood* Reverse psychology at work. Maybe Reverse Karma?

One F

Frantic Sloth 9:45 AM  

@Anon 838am I was wondering whether that was the case (not being from the area) because it grates on me, too. Like Frisco. Blech!

@Kathy 841am You flatter me and undeservedly, methinks. I didn't coin "lookie loo" (and my iPad keeps arguing with me about it), but it's okay with me if you want to believe so. 😉
As for conversational clues/answers...that's a tall order. Now I'm gonna obsess over it all day. This approach to finding cleverland (wasn't that a movie?) never works for me. Clearly I obsess a lot.

@GILL I 901am 🤣You completely sold me on SCHNOb before I read the rest of that paragraph. I'm loath to give it up, but fear I must. 😕

Looks like @Z 928am has identified today's convo of controversy...let's watch!

Carola 9:59 AM  

A treat of a Friday, full of wit and lively phrases and just resistant enough. I liked the positive vibes of LET'S DANCE, I'M ON A ROLL, NO WORRIES, HERE WE ARE, and EASY AS PIE; the answering cross to WHAT AM I?.... IT'S ME; and Pope JOHN being neighborly with YAHWEH. Moment of astonishment: there's a language we haven't deciphered yet? WHOA! Way to go, Cretans!

Helped to have heard of: LINEAR A. Had never heard of: NORA. Re: SCHNOZ x SINGES: There's actually a Reddit thread addressing the question, "Could I use a lighter to burn out my nose hairs?" (No, I wasn't thinking of doing so myself). The responses are hilarious.

Unknown 9:59 AM  

Is it me or does YOW look weird? Until now I thought it was only YEOW. Maybe that's a comic book thing?

Mr. Cheese 10:04 AM  

@Gill 9:01 Great Post!

Whatsername 10:32 AM  

Well that was fun and lightweight in general. Not really what I would call easy but made me feel extra smart to finish as quickly as I did. Thought we might have a pangram but not quite, although an unusual number of Ws. Nine of them but it seemed like a lot. My only quibble was WHOA clued as a cousin to OMG. They have the same meaning yes, but one is a word and the other is a text abbreviation.

I temporarily changed my avatar to share with the commentariat. In case you missed it, Joe Biden is sporting a new anti-MAGA hat. It’s hard to see in the photo but it says – in answer to the tiresome Make America Great Again – “WE JUST DID. #46”

No baseball clues today. Let us all give thanks.

Gracious Grace 10:32 AM  

@bocamp, I also have a pet peeve about “no worries” and “no problem” as a response to “thank you.” These responses are appropriate to “sorry I goofed you up there.” My millennial daughter and I had an “argument” whereby she said “you’re welcome” has no meaning. I said, think of it as a toned down version of “my pleasure!”. Anyway...these days I try to not so much think of the “no problem/worries” as rude but misguided and an unfortunate turn of phrase that MIGHT eventually go away, but I doubt it. I do think the clue in the puzzle is an acceptable use of “no worries” so it didn’t trigger my pet peeve alarm.
Very much enjoyed the puzzle but I agree with @Rex about SINGES. I do NOT singe my cinnamon raisin bread in the morning!

Steve M 10:37 AM  

Nice one made my Friday 👍

Newboy 10:43 AM  

Like Rex, I found today’s grid mildly amusing with its language insouciance. Got an actual chuckle when MOSES descended into my solve, but grimaced at the several short word phrases like that triple stack anchoring the SE corner. LINEAR A brought a sigh when it revealed its mystery way too late to be helpful—long decades since grappling with Tocharian passage translations in Dr Lord’s Linguistics—but just right as a memory prompt. Friday often finds me staring at an empty grid for several Rex’s before I stumble across NIKOLA and mutter “thank god for YAHWEHl.” Today’s offering from Tabony & Anderson was certainly not EASY AS PIE, but that’s what amuses on a Friday a.m.

Be careful out there—it is the 13th, Back to see previous & enjoy xwordinfo insights.

MarthaCatherine 10:52 AM  

Never heard of LINEAR A, and like Frantic Sloth, read it as one word and thought it must be some Italian or Sumerian word I was happy to learn.

Also never heard DE NOVO and now, thanks to Hungry Mother, am embarrassed by my lack of erudition. I'mma find a way to work it into conversation at my grandson's birthday party tomorrow. He turns 5. He'll surely be impressed by my sapientiae.

Loved the clue for MOSES. Isn't ENTER IN kinda redundant and repetitive?

jberg 10:57 AM  

I liked the colloquialisms, and I liked having LINEAR A and SCRAWLS staring incomprehensibly at each other across the grid. But I didn’t really care for the one-z SCHNOZ. I also liked seeing two recently deceased hurricanes cross-referenced. If not for them, I would never have guessed which came before the other.

mathgent 10:59 AM  

What do I want from a puzzle? To be engrossed for an hour or so. Some word play. Learning something, often here on the blog. This one had it all.

Rex seemed to say that WHAO stood for something objectionable. I couldn’t find anything on the internet.

I nominate the clue for MOSES to be on Lewis’s list this week.

KnittyContessa 11:00 AM  

Am I the only one who had agita for 10D?

Happy Felix Unger Day everyone!

Z 11:01 AM  

@unknown 9:59 - You’re not alone.

@Anon9:43 & @bocamp - Huh? I’ve been pondering this and I can’t recall hearing it as a response to “thank you.” To me NO WORRIES is a response to an apology. “I’m sorry I’m so late.” “NO WORRIES, the ‘Bama OLE MISS game hasn’t even started, yet.” Now I’m wondering if I have ever used it in response to a thank you. I feel like “no problem” is used the same way. I cannot think of any way NO WORRIES is an apt response to “thank you.” Where is this common?
Aha! I hit refresh before I hit publish and @Gracious Grace has the answer, it’s common with the sort of people who spell WHOA as WOAH. If a person of a certain age “NO WORRIESed” me I’d accept it in the manner intended but if any of the younger Z’s did it I’d have a similar conversation to the one @Gracious Grace had, emphasizing that it might be okay with their friends but us older folk might take offense.

Dan W 11:07 AM  

Great puzzle on the whole, but isn't it a bit insensitive to some percentage of the solving population to include YAHWEH as an answer when the clue itself acknowledges that they aren't allowed to write it?

Newboy 11:08 AM  

Just popping back to congratulate Sawyer on his debut and suggest his constructor note at xwordinfo is worth a side trip click .... wonder if Rex or Will made it to that public puzzle event?

Joe Dipinto 11:13 AM  

Did you see? XWord Info used a PULL QUOTE in constructor Sawyer's bio today. Getting all fancy-schmancy, aren't we.

Re SCHNOZ-with-one-Z: the puzzle is correct. From the Wikipedia entry on Jimmy Durante: He often referred to his nose as the schnozzola (Italianization of the American Yiddish slang word schnoz "big nose")*

I never remember the key signature of anything, and most of the time it's pretty useless information anyway: in the case at hand, Dvorak only wrote one "Serenade for Strings" so what practical purpose does it serve to remember that it's in E Major? It does help in chamber music, where, for example, musicians would be more likely to say Schubert's B-Flat Trio or Schubert's E-Flat Trio to clarify which of his two trios they mean, rather than Trio No. 1 or No. 2. But mostly it's just a formality appended to the title of a piece. And crossword filler.

Anyway, I liked the puzzle.

*Given the presence of schnoz, I was disappointed that the puzzle didn't also include the standard New York follow-up question to 38d, so I put it in my avatar. Have some, it's good!

The Bee Gees, and yet not the Bee Gees.

Whatsername 11:17 AM  

@GILL (9:02) Thanks for the background info on SCHNOB. All I can say is eeeeewwwww!!

LETS DANCE made me think of Kevin Bacon in the original Footloose. THE one song I can never hear without wanting to dance like nobody’s watching.

Happy birthday Rex’s mom. 🎉🎂🥳

TTrimble 11:28 AM  

@Anonymous 9:43AM
That's hilarious! Oh wait, maybe you're not just having us on (?).

If not, then I nominate you for winner of curmudgeon-of-the-day. And if I laugh, then please know that the slide (ascent?) toward curmudgeonliness is a fairly universal phenomenon for those of, ahem, a certain age, present company included, and so anyway, if I laugh, then please know, with sugar on top, that I laugh partly at myself and my inner curmudgeon who sometimes comes out to play.

That said, I've never heard such spleen directed at expressions which are meant to be innocuous and to put the recipient at ease! I think "no worries" might have first become popular in Australia before migrating to the States and elsewhere. "No worries, mate!"

I dedicate the sign-off below to our good friend @bocamp who wishes us Peace in many different languages. (Congratulations to bocamp btw for all his recent successes at SB. You spelling genius, you. Someday I will share with you my very modest story of winning a spelling bee -- the memory still warms my heart though. At which point: you're welcome?)

No prob! Pas de problème! Kein Problem! De nada!

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

no worries and no problem are used everywhere by everyone. Its grotesque.
And to prove it, I'll direct you to another website I frequent. Manhattan birding twitter. It's a pretty great site even for non birders. But hand to God, I was just there and I guy in our age group just used now worries as a response to thank you. Its in the video a couple of posts in--so very recent. Its a video of a coot being rescue. Vid cant me more than 40 seconds long

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

I am serious. But as you note my spleen is directed at the phrase, not the mooks who utter it. So I dutifully accept their good wishes in the spirit in which they're meant. But giving the morons the benefit of the doubt only enables them. And as I mentioned to Z in my post above, contrary to his original claim implying the usage was rare, it is common and getting ever more so.
I stand by both my assessment and reasoning as it relates to those execrable usages.

Douglas 11:56 AM  

Love the dessert theme of 63A. I’m hungry now!

pmdm 11:59 AM  

Not much to say about the puzzle. But a comment on the Dvorak entry. I am familiar with the piece, but forgot which key it was written in. So, the first letter has to be an A to G (Bach would change the G to H), the second letter had to be M and I knew the last two letters were AJ and not IN. So even if you don't know entry, the possibilities limit what you can enter in the down crosses.

I don't care either.

Elizabeth Sandifer 12:04 PM  

I had the same concern. An unfortunate lack of inclusivity here.

bocamp 12:06 PM  

Trickiest clue to parse: "Pan … or a word that follows pan"

@kitshef 7:24 AM

Same time as Tues. for me. Tough Tues., easy Fri.; I wouldn't have switched days with them, tho. Just the vagaries of x-words on any given day.

Hands up for the "singe" side-eye; the bread that's getting its hide toasted might claim more than "singeing" was taking place. Close enough, tho, for x-word purposes. Besides, maybe some like their bread "singed" rather than toasted. Would that then be called, "having a piece of 'singe'"?

@Unknown 9:21 AM

Interesting re: "shooter"; the archer shoots the "arrow", but the "arrow" is shooting (flying) straight through the air to it's target.

Had no issue with "Ole Miss" for "Bama" rival; put "arch" (or some-such) in front of rival, then maybe.

@Anonymous 9:43 AM

Good analysis! "No worries" does often seem a rather perfunctory response, rather than a heartfelt "you're welcome", "you're very welcome", "my pleasure", "glad I could help", etc., with a smile and sparkle in the eye that communicates a pleasure in having been helpful. Otoh, the vernacular, ever evolving as it is wont to do, pretty much has its way. Imo, the key is for all of us – young and old – to inculcate a sense of love and caring that permeates all of our actions. Then, whatever words we choose to use will be backed with an unmistakable, underlying sense of warmth, appreciation and respect. :)

@RooMonster 9:44 AM 👍

@Unknown 9:59 AM

Yes, a twinge of side-eye for "yow".

@Gracious Grace 10:32 AM

Agreed! Btw, I had "no worries" as one of my favs. today, so I too have no issue with it being in the puzzle. Love your handle. :)

@Z 11:01 AM

Good that you read @Gracious Grace 10:32 AM before posting. :) Also, "no worries" is often a response to "thank you" in and around the lower mainland of BC; at least in my experience.

@Joe Dipinto 11:13 AM

Good catch! I had perused XWord Info before posting today, and did read the "pull quote", but didn't twig on the relevance to it's recent usage and comments on this blog. In fact, I didn't even think "pull quote". It did, however, have the intended effect. I'll try to pay more attention in future. :)

@TTrimble 11:28 AM 👍

Enjoyed your take on the "no worries" thread. The Aussies, "mate" at the end, and the friendly, personable way in which I've heard it used, is another thing. Not quite the same as the blasé usage that I included as my "peeve". 😉

Anonymous 11:34 AM

Do you have the URL for the "Manhattan birding twitter" website you mentioned? I Googled it, but couldn't come up with the vid you mentioned. thx :)

Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

egsforbreakfast 12:07 PM  

Funny that GOESAPE also appeared Monday. And aren’t we all getting a bit tired of designer animals like labradoodles and Deer-Pigs, I understand the attraction, since neither of them shed and, in fact, seldom SINGE.

I’m not a fan of loading a puzzle up with vague conversational clues, each of which might support an infinite number of answers. One or two are fine, but this puzzle has too many. Suppose you constructed an entire puzzle with that sort of clue. Anyone want to solve that?

JC66 12:12 PM  

@Anon 9:21

"The cluing on ARROW was a little off; I think of the straight shooter as the archer."

I think the clue/answer is referring to the phrase "s/he's a straight arrow.

Crimson Devil 12:12 PM  

Love #46 Avatar.
Re rivals: when Ole Miss, or Clemson for that matter, has been ranked #1 nationally at one time during each of 14 years, as has Tide during Sabah era, then we can consider ‘em rivals. RTR !

Masked and Anonymous 12:15 PM  

Nice, friendly FriPuz. Only things M&A did not know were very well-scattered, except for the TEMPEH/YAHWEH crossin. Didn't lose many nanoseconds thinkin about that mystery "H", tho … just splatzed a "U" in there, and kept movin.

Nice, long gridstripe, down the middle. And lotsa interestin fillins, faves of which included: WHOLEHOG. LETSDANCE. NOWORRIES. EASYASPIE. SCRAWLS.

Mostly unfeisty clues, today. Don't recall any ?-mark clues, except for {Straight shooter?} = ARROW. Seems like the ARROW is more the shootee, but I haven't ever followed archery lingo too close.
27-A's ROAST clue was a bit tricky, I'd hafta grant.

staff weeject pick: YOW. M&A started out with OWW in that "smarts" spot. Only 8 total weeject choices, in this rodeo.

Best Ow de Speration: EMAJ. JOHN alerted m&e to not goin with EMIN or ESHP or EFLT.

Best theme inklins: TOWAWAY & ANYWAY. Sorta a NW-only theme. SW sorta had a coupla -EH endin themer wannabes, I reckon … plus a stealth one in WHOL(EH)OG.

Off to SINGES our toasts just right, now…
Thanx for the themeless fun and for gangin up on us, Sawyer & Ashton dudes. Good job.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Anonymous 12:16 PM

Anonymous 12:19 PM  

Regarding WHOA versus WOAH. I can't recall seeing either actually written, although I guess I have since if asked I'd say W-H-O-A. So this is the first I've learned of the corrupted spelling. Keanu Reeves of course owns the modern meaning, and if you check the script of the first Bill & Ted (available on line), it's spelled Whoa! Moreover, the two should not even have identical pronunciations, for the same reason wither/whither, wale/whale, witch/which etc., should not. So Rex, your rant is spot on, and welcome to old-fogeyhood.

TTrimble 12:22 PM  

Morons, wow! The poor mooks, do they have any idea of the contempt you hold them in?

Or perhaps "morons" and "mooks" are terms of endearment. Yeah, I can see that. I'll try 'em out for size, starting with my wife and daughter.

GILL I. 12:29 PM  

@Nancy....In case you missed it late last night, our friend @kitshef posted the day a bunch of us went on and on about Pinot also features YOU in it. We've lost some of our amigos and @Frantic wasn't posting yet (too bad as I'm sure she would've chimed the chime grapes) but at least it wasn't all about balls......

Paul Rippey 12:32 PM  

Real conversation that may have happened in Ancient Rome, inspired by Rex’s brave stand against language change:
Teen children: Mom, Dad, we’re going out to them Jupiter Festival.
Dad: “Jupiter”!? What’s the matter with these kids?
Mom: I don’t know. They have no education. “Jupiter”! Where do they get that?
Mom & Dad to children: It’s Yupiter!
Kids: yeah, sure, whatever you say.

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Of course they don't know the contempt I have for them. Nor how wrong it is to use No problem or no worries in lieu of you're welcome.
They are profoundly ignorant, and worse, incurious. So even if these poor dim souls could understand their error, they wouldn't be interested in the explanation. You might show me some generosity.
I've been making an argument. It may correct or not. You on the other hand are not arguing the point. You're sniping with sarcasm. taking me to task about whether I'm condescending, doesn't discredit my argument.
Surely even if I'm the world's biggest jerk, my personality defect has no bearing on my assertions.

Joe Dipinto 12:39 PM  

@Anon 9:43 – If you're, say, sitting on a bench waiting for the subway train, and someone comes and asks if you would mind moving over a little so their friend can sit down too, and you do it, and they say "thank you so much" and you say "no problem" – you really think that's rude? To me it's a precisely appropriate response. You're acknowledging their gratitude and reassuring them you weren't inconvenienced by their request.


I recall asking for the check an an eatery recently and when the waitress put it down on the table I said, "Thanks", and then she said "No problem." Now there I thought it was a ridiculous thing for someone to say. She really didn't need to say anything, but a perfunctory "you're welcome" would have made more sense.

So: context counts.

Z 12:57 PM  

@Anon11:34 - Maybe more pervasive than I’m aware of, but I wouldn’t say “everywhere by everyone.” As to the birder clip, that “thank you” certainly had an apologetic subtext to it (“thank you for coming I’m sorry that I couldn’t handle this without imposing upon you” is a little overlong). It looks to me like “you’re welcome” versus NO WORRIES is akin to the difference between “avec plaisir” (with pleasure) and “de rien” (it’s nothing) in French (and similarly in other Romance languages). Not really knowing how people use it makes it hard, but when the “thank you” is apologetic NO WORRIES would be fine by me. OTOH, as a response to “thanks for (finally) finishing your job” would get the arched eyebrow.

JC66 1:08 PM  

The real question is, would the BAMA baseball manager say NO WORRIES to the OLE MISS batter who missed the hit and run sign?

bagelboy 1:12 PM  

One of my fastest Fridays ever. Started with NIKOLA, recently in the news as a truck maker. worked clockwise back the the NW, where i had trouble. Had DARN and NOIRON. Once ARROW and ELS dropped, the rest filled in.

Anonymous 1:16 PM  


Couple a three things. In your first scenario you've ever so slightly change the question. In that fantastic tableau you expand thank you to thank you so much. It's a distinction worth noting and you address it explicitly in your explanation. By adding the intensifier "so much" you implicitly acknowledge fret or at the very least, relief, in addition to thanks. Precisely because the phrase is an intensifier the respondent is signaling to the other party not to worry or fret, which is indeed wholly appropriate. Gracious even.
(we should set aside that it's subway or more properly train but not both. And no one, no one on the MTA says thank you so very much. And I mean no one, including the doyenne slummimg it on her way to the Frick)

Your second scene is of course different. And I disagree with your assessment there as well. First and most important, not acknowledging someone is rude. Always. And everywhere. So when one part says thanks, decency requires it be acknowledged. It doesn't have to be verbal of course, sometime, as we all know, a smile or nod or wave of the hand is more than sufficient. But to ignore someone's thanks is the act of a philistine.
But getting to today's point, the idea that the waitress could possible be inconvenienced by having left a check on the table is through-the-looking-glass crazy. The check is a sine qua non of the dining experience. It's part of her very being when she's acting in the capacity of her job. It is impossible for there to be a problem with giving the diner the check. To introduce any idea of an onus--which is what a problem is--is bizarre.

Teedmn 1:17 PM  

I had to put my hand out to see what _______NCE at 1A was going to be which was fun and also broke open the logjam I had going in the NW after the rest of the puzzle filled in.

I broke into this at TWAS in the SE and kind of seesawed to the SW and then counterclockwise around. So what seemed hard at the start ended up filling in quite nicely.

Favorite clue/answer pair is MOSES as the early tablet user.

Thanks, Sawyer and Ashton, and congrats, Sawyer, on your NYT debut.

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Come on man! Your first post said you'd never heard teh usage. Literally, the first website I went to after reading that comment, had the usage you had never heard. I can't prove that it is everywhere and used by everyone. But man, I must be the luckiest son of a gun in the world to stumble on the precise usage in question on my very first click while not even searching if it aint a pervasive usage.

bocamp 1:22 PM  

@TTrimble 11:28 AM

Would love to hear your Bee anecdote sometime. Btw, the "international peace wishes" change on a daily basis and are not random (a little puzzle in a puzzle, so to speak). 🤔

@Anonymous 12:16 PM

Thx for the URL; this is now a bit of a puzzle within a puzzle: finding the right video. LOL - Ah, your instructions were impeccable, got it, and heard the "no worries" part. So glad that the coot was rescued and will receive the proper care! :) I'll imbed the URL here. :)

@TTrimble 12:22 PM 😂

@GILL I. 12:29 PM

I read that whole blog; what an exposition (inundation) of "grapes", "nose", "aroma", "bouquet", etc. @LM's good-natured "send up" was hilarious, but you probably noticed it didn't even come close to ending the discussion. LOL - Nevertheless, I'll choose a "baseball" themed thread any day, thank you very much. 😉

@Paul Rippey 12:32 PM


@Joe Dipinto 12:39 PM / @Z 12:57 PM

Yes, context and delivery.

@JC66 1:08 PM

And, is the signal that it's time to end the "no worries" discussion? 😉

Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

burtonkd 1:44 PM  

Funny about No Worries, I was a little inexplicably taken aback when someone used it thinking to myself, "I wasn't worried, just appreciative". I now see it as it didn't cause them any worries, or most likely that they aren't really thinking about it one way or another, just repeating what is used in their environment.
French say the equivalent of "it's nothing" or "not a thought", which aren't too far off from no problem, although I agree with Joe about context and tone for that one.

Love the triple SSS in PRESSSEND (Hi, Lewis)

Professional violinist wife didn't know the key for Dvorak Serenade, so doubt it is known to many solvers. It falls into the category of clues that give you a couple of hints like the M in the second spot followed by IN or AJ and A-G as the first letter, then you have to wait to fill in the rest. I personally consider those clues to be part of what makes a Xword a puzzle, but have seen much invective against stuff like E-vade vs E-lude or ts-AR vs cz-AR. Fairly crossed, they keep it from being a fill in the blanks exercize.

Anonymous 1:51 PM  

Once I realized 21A was Nikola and not Nicola, I had 10D, STAIN, and then 18A, ANTIC. So IID had to be OINK--the Babirusa was therefore a
"deer-pig" because it had the prominent feature of an oink. Great disappointment when I finally sorted it out.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

sanfranman59 2:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 2:15 PM  


Nope. Just my feeble attempt at humor.


Always enjoy your comments (& stats); keep 'em coming.

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

Give those mooks who gave you a hard time the finger if only in your own living room. If you don't mind, I'm giving them the one-fingered salute for you.
Post as much as you want. Especially on baseball.

GILL I. 2:26 PM  

@sanfranman...Wow and oof. I've had my email address available since I first started posting many moons ago. My very first one received from this blog was from @imsDave. He was so gracious and welcoming. Since then, I've heard from many here and we've become friends. I'm so sorry and I won't say NO WORRIES for fear of an explosion, but really, I don't understand sending nasties to you because of your contributions.
I don't skip over most posts because, well, I like to hear what people say. BUT WHEN YOU REPEAT EVERYTHING OVER AND OVER AGAIN....well, I get up and pour myself a drink.
Don't go away......

bocamp 2:27 PM  

@sanfranman59 2:00 PM

As far as I'm concerned, you can post any time on any subject. Folks can always choose the scroll bar. :)

@JC66 2:15 PM 👍

It was humorous and apropos; no disrespect intended. :)

Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

Nancy 2:37 PM  

@Sanfranman -- I hope you realize that my hit-and-run/run-and-hit sendup quiz yesterday was meant to be funny. I didn't mind all the dozens of baseball comments in the least and I didn't notice who wrote them because I stopped reading them after the very first one. So I didn't notice yours -- which for all I know may have been the most perspicacious, the most knowledgeable, the most revealing hit-and-run (or vice versa) comment of all time, in any forum. I'm a great skimmer, or skipper for that matter, so no tangential discussions bother me.

I'm sorry you feel that you intruded on the blog and I hope I bear no responsibility for your feeling that way. As far as what happened to you on email-wise back whenever -- how awful!! I don't remember anything you ever wrote on the blog that would have precipitated such a reaction, but there are a lot of haters out there. It's why I don't post my own email. But do come back to the blog, this time sans email attachment. It's a shame you left and we miss you.

I'll go back now to see whether I regard your hit-and-run comment yesterday as the most perspicacious of its ilk ever written :)

RooMonster 2:41 PM  

Dang. I'm lucky to never have received an email, good, bad, or ugly. Hoping I just now didn't find myself! It's probably because i never have anything interesting to say!

Screw 'em if they can't be bothered. You've read some of the inane banter on here. I bet you've never sent someone a nasty email. Keep posting, of only to piss them off more!

And people railed against talking about SB. Dang, better than these past two days' rumblings.

RooMonster Hardly Interesting Guy 😋

Nancy 2:42 PM  

FWIW, @sanfranman, I couldn't have been satirizing you. My post and your post were posted at the exact same nanosecond, so I couldn't possibly have read yours.

(I read it just now. I didn't understand a word of it.)

TTrimble 2:54 PM  

Heh. I think we have our controversial convo of the day! But it doesn't seem to have anything to do with sports. :-)


"I've been making an argument. It may correct or not. You on the other hand are not arguing the point."

Yeah, okay, a point I really reject is the sweeping conclusion that a person is a "moron", "profoundly ignorant" [my emphasis], dim, incapable of understanding a point, etc., just because they say something in an unguarded moment that Brother Anonymous considers to be an inapt use of language (I'll assume Anon is male, sue me). More to the expression itself, I do understand the argument that it could be inapt response to "thank you" in some cases, e.g., if I say thank you for this lovely gift, and the giver responds with "No problem!" or "No worries!", then that would sound off to me, definitely. But I don't recall ever hearing the phrase applied that way.

I think Joe Dipinto illustrated the typical usage well with the example of the bench (where, I agree, I see no problem there), and the example would hold up just as well if the "so much" had been left off.

(Oh, gee, what time is it? Gotta go. See a man about a horse.)

jae 3:03 PM  

On the tough side mostly because of NW. 1,2 & 3d did not come easily. I recognized LINEAR A once the crosses filled it in but it was buried way below my memory threshold.

Fun Friday, liked it a bunch.

Dr Write 3:12 PM  

Set a PR today. Found it easy.
Thanks for reminding me of Hal Hartley. He’s my favorite.
Have a good weekend.

Z 3:28 PM  

@sanfranman59 - You have to do what makes you most comfortable, but I miss your stats. I was commenting a little while ago about how complaints about @Lewis’s PPPs caused him to stop and that it still bothers me that Rex shared those complaints with @Lewis (who is every bit as nice in person as he is here). Learning that you stopped posting for similar reasons is maddening.

@Roo - I’ve gotten a few emails but not many. And for all the grief some anonymous posters have given me, they’ve never darkened my inbox. Kind of surprising given how opinionated I am, really.

@burtonkd - Scene 1 starring Z when he was new to crosswords - How the hell am I supposed to know the key of some random work I never even heard of? *&$#@/*& crossword snobs.
Scene 2 starring Z as a grizzled crossword solver - Second letter M, is the last letter a J or an N, do I need to wait on whether the first letter is abcdefg or can I get it from the cross? BTW - I’m solving in pen! Bwahahahahah!

@Anon1:22 - Not my search engine. The very first hit was the Wikipedia article (their take on the American usage is less than complimentary) followed by a whole lot of dictionary hits. I did notice that in Australian NO WORRIES meaning “you’re welcome” is the fourth usage given. I use DuckDuckGo and it seems to know I prefer starting with reference works because they are often my top hits.

@JC66 1:08 - 🤣😂🤣😂🤣

sanfranman59 3:32 PM  

OT ... Thanks for the kind comments and I'm sorry about my previous post (now-deleted). Reading it over again, I decided that it was best to remove it. I think I may just be too thin-skinned for the Wild West of internet discussion boards.

I didn't realize until I read Nancy's message here that you could sign up for Blogger without giving a public email address. That knowledge sure would have come in handy way back when I originally signed up with Blogger (I'm not sure that was the case when I signed up in 2009). That probably would have spared me a good number of the nasty comments I've received over the years. I was pretty stunned by the visceral reactions some folks have with anything that smacks of math and statistics, at least as they relate to solving crossword puzzles.

Once again, my apologies for stirring up a tempest in a teapot.

Hack mechanic 3:38 PM  

Yep, awful hard on the teeth.

Anonymous 3:42 PM  


I hope this doesn't get your goat. it's about subject matter that I've posted about several times, but I believe this post is materially different than earlier posts and therefore not subject to the scorn you were heaping on posts that repeat the same thing again and again..


The fact that you draw a distinction between the times when its ok to say no problem and thank you underscores my point not yours. Now you're suggesting that certain exchanges aren't worthy of thank you. Getting a check at a restaurant and saying thanks isn't worthy. Getting a sweater and saying thanks is worthy. Hmm. You should write up the scenarios for each usage.
I'll do the same. Here's mine. When someone says thank you, respond with you're welcome. Or my pleasure.
Manners and courtesy are in fact subject to rule and words, both of which matter. They're not fusty, musty old curmudgeonly gotchas. They're to put people at ease. To show respect for the worth and dignity of your fellow man. To keep society pleasant. or least livable.
all the little erosions to manner and civility add up over time. You know that. I know that. And to me that's the crux of the problem. Thank you is always worthy of you're welcome. Try and use the word gay in any context other than homosexuality and it wont work.

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

Z, B
Bait and switch. My entire point for the tremendously wide usage was that I went to a random website and saw it used. a website about birding for goodness You went to a website specifically in search of the usage. Come on. Apples and oranges.

bigsteve46 4:03 PM  

The discussion about "no worries" and "no problem" and other modern usages or lack of same reminds of a George Carlin observation (paraphrased below):

Ever notice how people say, all the time, "have a good one?" What's that supposed to mean, "have a good one?" As a professional comedian, I had to come up with a response and I think I've got one. Now when someone says to me, "have a good one," I say "Thank you - I've got a good one: I just wish I had a big one!"

albatross shell 4:16 PM  

ignore this test

Anonymoose 4:24 PM  

This puzzle needs sports! Change clue for JOHN (36D) to Pitcher Tommy, the clue for MOSES (62A) to NBA hall of famer Malone, and clue for ELS (9D) to Golfer Ernie.

Re: STAIN, We sure are having a rough time getting out the orange one.

pabloinnh 4:41 PM  

re "no worries/no problem"--

Should it be "hit and run or run and hit"?

GILL I. 4:49 PM  

@Anony 3:42. Only one thing gets my goat....and that is cheese. May I suggest Soignon Petite Buche de Chèvre?
If you've followed me at all, you'll note I take a pisser from time to time. I even made fun of myself yesterday about how I went on non-stop about a Pinot. I've made it no secret that I don't know squat about baseball. Yesterday's HIT NO NOT HIT reminded me of the ad nauseam discussion we all had of one of the first grapes the God Bacchus introduced into my ecstasy laden tongue. You're welcome.

Frantic Sloth 4:51 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 5:03 PM  

Getting in here very late - I put the puzzle down and did other things and went back to it several times today. Did it in the same order as Rex and agreed with his take on the freshness of many of the answers. (Am I becoming a genius, too?) I'm pumped because I figured everything out! On Friday the 13th! (I was surprised that wasn't the theme but then realized Fridays are themeless, if I've understood Rex correctly.) So two late-week days in a row for me! Happy Birthday, Rex's Mom! - newbie

Frantic Sloth 5:04 PM  

@sanfranman59 332pm Seems I'm too late to catch your original post, but if I infer correctly... someone from here actually emailed you to voice their extreme displeasure about some comment you made? WTF? That's just bad and wrong. Period. I hope the others here have convinced you to return to the body - I know I'd welcome you back as well! 🤙

bocamp 5:24 PM  

@Anonymous 5:03 PM

Congrats on your two-in-a-row! 👍 🤞 for making it three, tomorrow. :)
As they say in bowling, a turkey.

Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

TTrimble 6:00 PM  

Hey @Anonymous
You seem to have trouble interpreting my last comment correctly. I'm sorry to say, but I fear that a protracted conversation about this is likely to annoy others, and so I'll decline discussing this further with you, except to conclude by saying that this

-->> "When someone says thank you, respond with you're welcome" <<--

certainly seems sound as simple rules go. It's mannerly, and unlikely to get one into any trouble; for example, it's unlikely to cause the interlocutor to rashly conclude that one is a moron or profoundly ignorant (except for some made-up cases which need not detain us here). It's good advice if for example one is teaching a small child some elementary manners.


"I'm not a robot." Yes, that's true!

chinch 6:22 PM  


jae 6:33 PM  

@sanfranman59 - add me to those who always enjoyed and now miss your posts.

y.d. 0

Sami 6:42 PM  

Deer Pig,

It took me 6:20 to complete this schnozzle. It was a definite yow, but no worries. I got 75% of it completed while waiting for my Bagel (lox box) to be prepared for me in a driving rain this morning, then I got to finish it at the onset of my weekend, I used an Android phone app and this computer one -- I think I do better with the phone app, because it shows one clue at a time and the whole grid is visible on my phone.

Tusk, tusk, it's still looking like rain. My favorite dog is GSD. Put that in your puzzle, and it will eat your labraschnozzle for breakfast.

chinch 6:44 PM  

Only wannabes complain about such things.

bocamp 6:52 PM  

@jae 6:33 PM 👍


Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

albatross shell 6:53 PM  

Was it Zeno or Kafka or Newton who said only the still arrow shoots straight?

Yesterday I had to drive to Bethlehem and do some famiy business (saw signs for Bath and Belfast AS WELL), and so I missed out on the hit-and-run fun. At least I did not notice if I did. I think the toodle-do over whether zero is a natural number may have been as big, and it is largely a matter of choosing a definition AS WELL.

Speaking of dictionaries, I suggested the other day that dictionaries were the gold standard for CW answeres. Well, the no-EN player of an old stringed instrument is in the M-W.

Now can we all agree that concerning puzzle themes, that if a puzzle theme can reasonably be described in a way that is appropriate and consistent and makes it work perfectly, that should be the way to describe and see it, instead of describing it in a way that makes it not work or be inconsistent? Is that too much to ask? Besides Mr. Nash, we had the baseball stuff, so I will add: triple A, two-base hit. 3-run homer, and 450 foot smash.

Returning to the present day. I did not know DE NOVO, TEMPEH, NORA, LETSDANCE and forgot LINEAR A. So struggled and needed a limited number of googlyhelps. Liked the grid shape, the non-PPP fill. Many fine answers. When I only had the Y in UPTOYOU, I thought OF "annoY me". It is a good answer butI knew it was wrong cause nobody has used it.

I had EASYpeasy and cLemson but thought the puzzle answers were better; the former only because it was used recently, which was also reason I put it in.

OMG and WHOA: Distant cousins at some remove I would say.

Fun anyhoo.

@Trimble 6pm
Ever try to answer those quizzes like a robot would?

TTrimble 7:16 PM  

@albatross shell
Hey, I get nervous just trying to answer like a human. "Now am I sure there's no hidden crosswalk there?" As if captcha is a gotcha.

Z 7:24 PM  

@Anon3:45 - How exactly did you find this first website I went to after reading that comment? Here’s what I get when I go looking for a usage: Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster, The Free Dictionary, Wikipedia again, Collins Dictionary, One of the latest Punjabi songs, a book about anxiety, Lil Wayne, an online slang dictionary, the English Stack Exchange (a site dedicated to usage questions), and an insurance company. None of these sites support the idea that there is widespread usage of NO WORRIES in lieu of “you’re welcome.” Urban Dictionary has 7 definitions, only one saying it means “your welcome,” which, yeah, enough said. That definition is from 2003 so apparently language manglers have been using NO WORRIES this way for nearly 2 decades.
In short, aside from the Twitter video, an anecdote here, and one dissenting opinion over on Urban Dictionary and only Urban Dictionary, I haven’t seen online support for the usage that upsets people. Almost everything I see is NO WORRIES is a response to an apology.

Anonymous 7:33 PM  

Because I wasn’t looking for the usage. I just went on about my day. By wild chance the website that’s part of my daily surfing supported my position and refuted, or at least suggested a refutation, of yours.

Anonymous 7:37 PM  

I know you!!! I wish to hell you and me and JC 66 and anyone else who like to imbibe and eat oysters were all,on the Isle of Skye.
Having a shite evening. I’d give a whole heckuva lot to be at The Tilasker distillery. Which I didn’t tour. Making me feel even worse. LOL....

Anoa Bob 7:42 PM  

This comment board has turned into yet another social media! It's been overtaken by an invasive species. I can remember when the number of comments on a typical day was in the 20s and 30s and almost all of them were about the crossword puzzle. These days the number is rarely under 100 and precious few of them are about the puzzle. Most of them are comments about the comments of someone who was commenting on the comments of a previous commenter and expounding at length why they think those comments are unworthy of anyone but the lowest, meanest of commenters.

Come on people! This is a crossword puzzle comment board on a crossword puzzle blog site. Are there not options on social media where people could form "groups" or "sets", or some such, with others who enjoy this sort of thing?

Ain't saying it's wrong or anything like that, just saying it's misplaced. It's hard to wade through sometimes and may be a reason that yous don't see some of the commenters who used to be regulars here.

Anonymous 7:51 PM  

Anoa bob,
You are saying it’s wrong to do what people are doing. Kudos!!! Own it. Don’t pussyfoot around the issue by graciously allowing folks to speak. That’s what a blog is for. All blogs have rules. No one has violated them. That you don’t care for some posts,is well, a frat in the wind.
By the way, this is a social media site. All blogs which allow the public to comment are.
Your puzzle this week was great. This bit of policing? Not so much.

Deb Sweeney 8:47 PM  

Babirusa!! I was just reading about these in Patrick O'Brian. A wealth of knowledge is to be had amid fantastic reads in the Aubrey-Maturin novels.

bocamp 9:05 PM  

@Z 7:24 PM

I certainly respect your take, as well as your reasonable demand for documentation. Not always that easy to come by, tho. My own experience is that I've many times heard the phrase in question, although "no problem" is more common. Both phrases still take a backseat to all conventional forms of "you're welcome", tho.

Just heard back from five family members (two are school age girls). I put the question to each separately. They all indicate the usage ("no worries" and/or "no problem") is prevalent, but they themselves use it only among friends and acquaintances, and revert to conventional replies in more formal settings. They live in the Okanagan area of BC. There are many expat Aussies in BC, so that may have had a gradual influence here, as well as many Aussie programs on TV, and Canadian streaming content.

"no worries vs you're welcome"

@Anoa Bob 7:42 PM

I respectfully disagree. It seems to me that the comments generally follow a thread that originates from puzzle content, and yes, may tend to become tedious to some, but that's the nature of blogs. It's a thing. Today's discussion results from a puzzle answer and is fair game to run its course. It's here today and tomorrow will be as far gone as yesterday's "hit and run" / "run and hit" is today.


Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

Z 9:23 PM  

@bocamp - To be clear, I’m not saying it isn’t used that way, just that it’s not “everyone everywhere.” And if where you live has lots of Aussie ex-pats it would make sense that you would hear it more. I’m also well aware that reference works trail popular usage, sometimes by years, so I’m open to countervailing evidence. I just didn’t find any beyond what I listed.

mathgent 9:24 PM  

Anoa Bob: I agree 100%!

Joe Dipinto 9:37 PM  

@Anon – Yes I wrote "train" first then switched to "subway", or vice versa, and accidentally didn't erase the original word. Thank you so much for calling me out.

bocamp 9:40 PM  

@Z 9:23 PM

Roger that. 👍


Peace 和平 Mir 平和 Perdamaian שָׁלוֹם ειρήνη Pax שלום 🕊

Anonymous 9:58 PM  


Unknown 11:06 PM  

If anyone wants to read Sanfranman59's thoughts and stats EVERY DAY, you can find them at . I'm still confused by some of his stats, but always enjoy his opinions. Although maybe today's outpouring of support will convince him to post here, too.

Boy was @Z ever wrong about OLE MISS being today's overwhelming topic!

If I ever say "thank you" to you, it is because I am grateful because you have done something I appreciate. If you want to say "you're welcome", or "no problem", or "de nada", or nothing at all, that's fine with me. Why should YOU, the one who has done ME a favor, be forced to incur the additional onus of having to not only to acknowledge my thanks, but to do so in precisely the way that will keep me from blowing a gasket?

Lowy 11:43 PM  

@Anonymous I absolutely love your well thought out and structured arguments on your very strong belief of the appropriate usage of the phrase no problem or no worries . I laughed heartily at several of your points , not to mock, but because of your passion. I think your extremism on the subject even to the degree of making users of the phrase out to be ignorant is delightful. These puzzles are designed to be built around subjective interpretations of usage of the language . If this blog is for nothing else it is to argue vehemently for your view of the correctness of those usages with other folks to whom this matters . I ,for example, have never been a fan of “you’re welcome” what are you welcome to ? My appreciation? It always came off as condescending to me. I like “my pleasure “ as the connotation seems more kind. Of course I know what the intent was behind it which really is all that matters and accept it. We all have our sticking points but nonetheless Curmudgeon away! I love it.

Greg 1:35 PM  

Never heard of LINEAR A. Whichever course that gets taught in, I guess I didn't take.

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