Product once advertised with the jingle Who Wears Short Shorts? / TUE 11-10-20 / How Marcie addresses Peppermint Patty for no apparent reason

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Constructor: Robert Fisher

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (I just woke up, which may have made me slower, but I was over 4, which is sluggish on a Tuesday)

THEME: people in charge of the drinks? — theme clues are people who work with drinks ("?") but answers are just familiar phrases that can be interpreted punnily (!) as people who work with drinks:

Theme answers:
  • PORT AUTHORITY (20A: Sommelier?)
  • DRAFTSPERSON (29A: Bartender?)
  • FOUNTAINHEAD (46A: Soda jerk?)
  • GROUNDSKEEPER (56A: Barista?)
Word of the Day: GOUDA (27D: Dutch city or a cheese it's famous for) —

Gouda (Dutch pronunciation: [...] is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, between Rotterdam and Utrecht, in the  province of South Holland. Gouda has a population of 72,338 and is famous for its Gouda cheesestroopwafels, many grachtensmoking pipes, and its 15th-century city hall. Its array of historic churches and other buildings makes it a very popular day trip destination.

In the Middle Ages, a settlement was founded at the location of the current city by the Van der Goude family, who built a fortified castle alongside the banks of the Gouwe River, from which the family and the city took its name. The area, originally marshland, developed over the course of two centuries. By 1225, a canal was linked to the Gouwe and its estuary was transformed into a harbour. City rights were granted in 1272. (wikipedia)

• • •

Second day in a row when the "easy" puzzle felt like a slog. Looked at four clues in the first (NW) section before I actually knew one cold. No clue about SNAFU SCOPE NONOS or ALERT at first glance. Had to wait til FOOT before an answer was clear. Had to wait until SCO-E and even then wait some more to understand SCOPE, so bizarrely vague was its clue (and so rarely do I ever, ever use a SCOPE ... hey clue, don't say "you" if you don't mean "me") (1D: It will have you seeing things). At 2D: Discussing politics and religion with strangers, often (NONOS), "Discussing politics and religion with strangers..." is one thing, not two, so the idea that that answer would be *plural* never occurred to me. "Qui vive"?? I always forget what this means (because it's not current at all), and even when I remembered (vaguely) what it meant, I put the wrong answer in (wrong answer: ALIVE; 3D: On the qui vive (ALERT)). All that slopping around for a lousy 5x5 corner that isn't even well filled. That opening did not augur well. The theme isn't bad, conceptually, but DRAFTSPERSON was a total mystery to me, even after I got DRAFT. I don't think I've ever seen the word. I get now that it is the non-sexist, genderless version of the more common "draftsman," but even then, I only sort of know what a "draftsman" is, and that answer doesn't really fit with the other themers (AUTHORITY, HEAD, and KEEPER all imply a certain important status, whereas PERSON ... doesn't). 

Annoying clue on ANNOY (33D: What an onslaught of political ads may do). Had DROSS before DRECK (40D: Rubbish). The SE corner is about as exciting (that is, not) as its symmetrical counterpart, but at least the clues made sense to me by then. I enjoyed two answers in this puzzle: "WHAT OF IT!?" and "INDULGE ME." Colloquial, lively, fun. The rest of this puzzle was, uh, flat.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 6:11 AM  

Somehow I found this challenging for a Tuesdee and still felt bored with the whole thing. How does that happen??
The theme was one that's been done to death, but it didn't really bother me.
Hmmm. High praise indeed.

Anyway, everyone will probably talk about how easy it was while I struggled much too much for my comfort. This plus yesterday = proof of what I've always suspected: I can visit the wheelhouse, but I reside in the outhouse.

What this grid needed was a good designer dog.

Hidden Bodice-Ripper snippet: NAIR, SIR TITUS! NAIR shall you win the UNFAIR maiden's FOUNTAINHEAD!
I could go on, but I'm not the story person here. That's to be left to those with talent! You know who you are. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Except for the bushel of good source material for a tale of nonsense, this one left me wanting...something. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm sure someone will happen along with the secret word formula that cracks the code.


๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง .5

Frosty Flake 6:40 AM  

Draftsperson. Perfect example of pointless gender neutral nonsense.

Anonymous 7:14 AM  

Here is the Monday that yesterday was not - for me anyway. Both Sunday and Monday had me stutter-stepping through them. I would find a rhythm and then come to a dead stop. Count me among those who enjoyed the theme and the fill. I especially liked PORT AUTHORITY and DRAFTS PERSON. Spot on. Smooth as silk the whole way through. What a relief.

Played “old” in a couple places which is fine by me; I am old. One of those geezer NYTXW solvers who enjoys a puzzle the follows the pattern to which she is accustomed. After a couple oddball days (again for me), today was a breath of fresh air.

FOUNTAINHEAD, was the weakest of the theme entries, but I am not complaining. I do not typically get my knickers in a twist if the constructor’s theme isn’t precisely defined. I just solve because I like to solve and it gives me a wonderful daily break from the insanity of this pandemic.

I enjoyed some of the “sassier” and longer non-theme entries, WHAT OF IT, NO HASSLE, and especially INDULGE ME. I got a chuckle out of that one.

I had a mentor mid-career who, like me, was an absolute law nerd, and an impressive one. Often when discussing legal options or going over a penultimate version of a critical brief, something would remind him of a nugget from his storied career. His intro to one of these diversions was always precisely the same: deep breath, sip of coffee (from its exquisite porcelain
cup sitting tidily in its matching saucer), push back from the conference table, and interlace the fingers of his perfectly manicured nails and say “If you all would INDULGE ME...”. And who among us would not. The stories were always entertaining and not only was he the Boss, he was also one of the brightest most creative legal thinkers I have ever met.

A very happy Tuesday after an unbelievably stressful week.

kitshef 7:19 AM  

Definitely not a Tuesday puzzle for me.

Very vague cluing;
It will have you seeing things: Light? Booze? Pupil?
Discussing politics: Taboo?
Proceed without restraint: Let fly? Go free? Go fast?

I would have slotted this in as a themed Friday, after changing the clue for FOOT.

Weirdest for me was having FOUNTAIN--AD in, and having absolutely no idea what could go there. NO HASSLE and DRECK also had vague clues so no help there. For a while, I figured I must have some other error - should be mOUNTAIN or FOUrTeeN or something.

Greg 7:24 AM  

I don't really read this blog much anymore because the /r/crossword subreddit has become a much livelier discussion group for my tastes, but I had to come here to get some confirmation that DRAFTSPERSON was just awful.

SouthsideJohnny 7:30 AM  

For a Tuesday, this one contained quite a bit of annoyance, especially in the south where you have the two foreign words (RIOS and AZUL) stacked over a rarely used SERE - it’s unfortunate that the NYT has such a fetish for foreign words, but it is what it is I guess.

I definitely feel cheated by the clue for RICED, as it is not synonymous with “diced” or “ brunoise”. Pushing something through a food mill (or a ricer) just is not chopping - and even in CrossWorld if something is false, it is false (this isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be an alternate reality situation).

One last nit - the clue for STAND, “Booth at a fair” seems pretty lame. Lemonade stand, yes. Ring Toss stand, not so much. Yes, it’s acceptable, just seems a little off though.

ChuckD 7:31 AM  

Liked this one for the most part. Theme was corny but cute and overall fill was fine. Contrary to Rex’s take - this was a quick, smooth solve for me. DRAFTSPERSON was my top themer. I guess GROUNDSKEEPER can fit into the beverage sub theme? Biggest trouble was bottom center with the DOUR x SERE cross. INDULGE ME and LET RIP were pretty cool. Side eye to RICED as finely chopped.

Politics and religion are two things - politics or religion is one.

Enjoyable solve for a beautiful Tuesday morning.

Blackhat 7:50 AM  

6 names, 3 foreign words....

CS 7:53 AM  

This says it all (thanks @Frantic Sloth)-->
"Somehow I found this challenging for a Tuesdee and still felt bored with the whole thing. "

I always think of a snafu as a minor hiccup rather than a big mess but maybe that's inaccurate?

Anyway I slogged through it but it wasn't fun. And "Draftsperson" is OK - I'm in the design field and it is used - also it was easy to suss out even if one didn't know it.


Hungry Mother 7:59 AM  

Super fast here, but I awoke at 4:50am, ran a 5K training run, showered, worked on SB, and did the Mini before solving this one. Very nice theme which made it fun.

El Gran Jugador 8:03 AM  

Re “qui vive” a collection of Krazy Kat comics from the 1930s I came across “qui vive”. The editor of the collection helpfully provided a footnote explaining what it meant. And I still couldn’t remember here.

Unknown 8:07 AM  

This Tuesday puz had enough twists and potholes that you knew from the get-go that rex would be unhappy w/ it, and true to form he did not disappoint. *yawn*
I, too, went immediately to DICED, but eventually saw my way to the finish.

I think all puns are going to skew a little corny and groan-inducing, but that's part of their charm.

Frankly, after beating my head against Newsday's Saturday Stumper, all other puzzles seem pretty easy.

Z 8:13 AM  

Haven't we had the RICE discussion before? You may use a food processor, but chopping with a knife is preferable if you don't want paste.

Martin and Lewis. Key and Peele. Mashed potatoes and gravy. PB&J. Discussing Politics and religion. All singular things with two components. Put me on team Rex and casting a side eye at the plural misdirect. The clue isn't wrong, but I was annoyed at that S.

I think the theme is fine. Reรฏmagining these everday terms as beverage related seems very Tuesday apt. But I'm with @Frantic Sloth, "challenging yet bored" by the fill. The cluing was overly direct and never clever. Overly direct clues means trivia; QED and IPA and TITUS Andronicus and IBM et cetera. The fill wasn't helped by 70's trivia (NAIR, the SIR clue) or the great mattress debate (SERTA or SEaly). In short, a decent theme brought down by dull fill cluing.

pabloinnh 8:15 AM  

Same nits as other nitpickers, especially with DRAFTSPERSON being an outlier of sorts. Just didn't elicit the same "nice one!" for me as the others. Today's head scratcher arose by entering RICER without much thought and then trying to come up with something sensible for FOUNTAIN_EAR. Try filling in that blank.

Liked LETRIP, as it made me think of youthful references to flatulence.

No otters today, but at least a reference to IPA's, and AZUL was as easy as 12 inches=?.

Side eye here to IOR. Is there a SOC (suffix of convenience) category?

All in a a nice Tuesdecito with some smiles, for which thanks RF. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Mike Herlihy 8:29 AM  

I'm definitely with @SouthsideJohnny - RICED is very wrong as clued. Based on the clue the answer has to be dICED.

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

@CS Snafu is often used incorrectly. It’s means “situation normal, all f**ked up.” So it’s not a snag or a hiccup. But lot’s of people seem to be unaware of it’s meaning.

57stratocaster 8:51 AM  

Looks like Rex phoned this one in and went back to bed.

In the engineering/utilities department where I worked, we called our draftspersons drafters, and we never stopped calling manholes manholes, although some cities started call them utility access structures sometime in the 90's.

Z 8:54 AM  

@pabloinnh - How about SOA - Suffix of Annoyance?

Havana Man 8:58 AM  

Isn't "DRAFTSPERSON" like saying "fireperson" because you want to be gender neutral? Just requires a different word, like "firefighter"...or in this case, "brewmaster" might've been good, no?

Matthew A. Harmer 9:06 AM  

Not gonna lie, PORTAUTHORITY actually got a chuckle out of me.

bocamp 9:20 AM  

Thank you @Robert for a puzzle that challenged me to the max. Happy to say that it finally fell, but not without a battle. I think I most enjoy the ones that really test me, and this was one of those. :)

Over Wed. ave., but worth every brain-cramp.

New: nothing I hadn't seen before, but just not clicking on so many of the clues.

Snafus: 38A "stall" before "stand"; 29D "basin" for "drain" (don't ask).

Brain freezes: "merino"; "sir"; "rios"; "Acuras"; "ionize"; "train"; "Orions"; "SSA"; "scope".

Not recalled: "Titus Andronicus"; "India" (as clued); "erat); (as clued); "ionize"; "qui vive".

Was thinking wine for "merino"; wanted "fizz" for "spew"; had the "na--", but couldn't see "Nair"; always see the clue for "erat" as "the e in QED".

"Nib" or "neb" / "riced" or "diced"(need mnemos).

Three Coins in the Fountain ~ Frank Sinatra

"That all of good the past hath had, remains to make our own time glad" - John Greenleaf Whittier ๐Ÿ•Š

burtonkd 9:22 AM  

Pretty solid puzzle, if slightly tough for Tuesday. No dreck other than possibly the SYL NCO ACT SSA row. Plus some variety to the clues and not overladen with PPP. Time to bring out the "I'm bored". Like clockwork.

Z 9:22 AM  

@pabloinnh - SOU - Suffix Of Unhappiness. I think this is better but maybe you wouldn’t give a sou for it.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

No. Person could be a brewmistress.

thfenn 9:34 AM  

Agree discussing politics and religion is a nono, not a pair of nonos, if those are actually your only options. But also think It's never clear to me whether doing that with friends and family is a nono, or doing that with strangers and/or 'polite company' is a nono, as you hear, sorry, one hears, both often. As counterpoint to both, growing up in my family it was more like 'politics and religion are the only things worth talking about', so this clue and answer were problematic on multiple fronts. Did enjoy learning SNAFU was actually an acronym - don't think I knew that. Looked it up because I too thought a snafu was basically a mistake with slightly more than minor consequence, as opposed to a big mess. Very agreeable Tuesday.

Nancy 9:36 AM  

Before I get to this delightful puzzle, I want to say that Robert Fisher sounds like a funny guy and someone I'd enjoy having lunch with.

"Pretend for a moment that you care what I want." What a droll and wonderfully cynical way to clue INDULGE ME in our self-absorbed age.

"What an onslaught of political ads may do." Oh, do they ever, Robert! Amen, amen.

"How Marcie addresses Peppermint Patty, for no apparent reason." And, yes, there IS no apparent reason, come to think of it, for why she's called SIR. I chuckled when I got to the last four words.

Isn't that just the funniest way to clue NAIR?

And I haven't even gotten to the themers, all of which are quite clever and amusing.

Add to that the fact that, though it's Tuesday, very little in this puzzle felt like a gimme. I'm sure my time was slower than it is on most Tuesdays. That makes me happy, actually. It's so liberating not to know or care about such things. You can just relax and enjoy a challenge that comes a little earlier than expected.

Grown-Up Autistic Kid 9:40 AM  

It was challenging because it was a poor puzzle.

Sometimes the puzzle is blamed here, but is actually blameless. This was awful stuff including several absolutely wrong answers.

Not going into it, did on my primary location, once is enough.

ow a paper cut 9:44 AM  

Draftsperson. Personhole cover.

RooMonster 9:44 AM  

Hey All !
My streak of consecutive TuesPuzs has come to an end. (Not sure what the number was, but it was streaky! :-)). Had WOOd for WOOL, giving me dETRIP for LETRIP, and couldn't make heads nor tails of dETRIP. But, with my impatience-at-the-end-of-puzs-ness, once I got the Almost There! message, I tried once to find my wrongmess, but ultimately gave up and hit Check Puzzle. Dang.

Fun theme. PORT AUTHORITY the best one. DRAFTS PERSON the toughest, partly because of my wrong dETRIP. Partly because someone who serves DRAFT beer isn't known as a "DRAFTS PERSON". I see how it works for the theme, but to me a DRAFTSPERSON is a blueprinter type person. Or someone who roughly DRAFTS a writing/specs thing. Know what I'm trying to say? Hopefully...

RICED, DICED. I put in the ICED and wait.

tRash-DRECK, Agua-AZUL, step-BUMP as misread clue as First and Baby.

SNAFU should be more like AFUSAN (All F*&%ed Up Situation As Normal), but not that catchy of an acronym.

Five F's

pabloinnh 9:49 AM  

@Z-Nah, not my favorite. So sou me.

jberg 10:00 AM  

The theme was fun, but the incorrect clues annoyed me. Not just RICED (@Z, you use a ricer because you DO want paste, eg to make really smooth mashed potatoes) , but also IMO is not shorthand, something that used to be done by stenographers. And while I haven’t flown since January, I’m pretty sure boarding passes have the boarding time and departure time, but not the ETA.

And to get really petty, “Who wears short shorts?” was a pop single, not a jingle.

Carola 10:01 AM  

@Frantic Sloth - OMG, your bodice-ripper! Still laughing.

The puzzle - challenging for me, mainly because of the vague cluing that @kitshef noted. I enjoyed the long Downs, pondered the parallel IONIZE and OR-IONS.

Ann Howell 10:01 AM  

Kind of liked this one, thought the themers were cute and the whole thing bounced along rather nicely. Only thing that held me up for a bit was having STALL instead of STAND at 38A. Solid Tuesday!

mathgent 10:05 AM  

Enjoyed it. INDULGEME, PORTAUTHORITY, the clue for SIR, the clue for INDULGEME - - excellent stuff.

@Anonymous (8:42). That’s what SNAFU really means.

Learned what being on the qui vive means. I had thought that it meant looking for a good time, like going out on the town.

I watch the Food Channel and have not seen any of the chefs use a ricer. What dish is prepared using one?

I got Naticked at NAIR/NAIFS. I had WAIFS.

I think that the constructor is one of the regulars here.

CDilly52 10:08 AM  

I guess I am in the minority today. This was a breeze compared to the last couple days. Nearly a Tuesday record for me. Yes, it played “old” and stodgy, except where it didn’t. I found it a pleasant mixture. Perhaps it is just the joy of having a day that hits the bullseye in my wheelhouse (now that’s a mixed metaphor!) but the last couple days ha e been just slogs for me-almost like English isn’t my first language!

The old corny theme didn’t bother me either and in fact I got a chuckle from FOUNTAINHEAD and GROUNDSKEEPER. Maybe I am just a total mushbrain from months of horrible political campaigns on top of the pandemic making everything more difficult.

I found the old NYTXW-style theme mixed nicely with some fresher fill like NO BASSLE, LET RIP, and especially INDULGE ME. Balanced, snappy Tuesday. To each her own.

INDULGE ME took me back to a mentor during my mid-career huge firm life. For a decade, I worked with one of the craftiest, most brilliant legal minds and most gifted trial strategists/advocates I have ever known and THE best with whom I have worked on a daily basis.

Our litigation team meetings were intense hours of potent disagreements and games of devil’s advocate along with occasionally painful one-upmanship. Often mentally exhausting, and simultaneously rewarding, but that’s why huge companies and “one percenters” paid the, to me, astonishing fees they did. And why the distasteful adage “you get all the law you can afford” is sadly accurate (and why I could never have lasted in that environment.

The man at the head of the table was a dear friend until his passing a few years back. Often in the middle of an about to get a bit nasty “discussion” (lawyers can be real egotistical a-holes) Mr. K would take a sip of coffee from his antique porcelain cup, place it gently in its matching saucer with only the tiniest sound, would sit back from the table in order to weave his expertly manicured hands over his not insubstantial belly, and would say INDULGE ME. What followed was an entertaining short story or anecdote that began seemingly as far from the topic at hand but always, and in very short order would end with something that not only related to the substance of the argument, but assisted in its resolution.

Once several years after I had left the firm to return to public service, I ran into him at a conference and asked him how he always managed to weave the story into a resolution that always seemed “Aesopian” in its relevance. His response was typically Germaine to his philosophy of big form practice. “If you are lucky, Carol, you will be old someday, but more importantly, you know how much I dislike wasting billable time!” I always admired the man but wondered if he ever relaxed. And I have always been grateful for the experience and equally grateful to be able to leave that environment when my family I longer needed me to “win” that type and amount of bread. And I am so proud to be able to bring that level of lawyering to the folks in rural Oklahoma.

GILL I. 10:11 AM  

Oh...I don't know...maybe because my "Happy Button" has been on, I ratherI enjoyed tip-toeing through the drinks. At least I learned the "I" of I.P.A stands for INDIA and not ickey.
I looked a COLON and thought of large bowels. It takes an hour and minutes for them to do their stuff.
I looked at RICED and thought of mashed potatoes and wondered what idiot would ever chop potatoes.
I looked at FOUNTAINHEAD and thought about Ayn Rand and Howard Roark. There are many capitalist genius "Randian's" residing in Silicone Valley. I do thank the Amazon Gods who are able to deliver a last minute gift to my door within a day.
I looked at POLYESTER and thought of Porky Pig. We had a client who was rather large (and not very nice) who wore green leisure suits. We called him Porky Pig in Polyester. Not to his face, of course.
I looked at NAIR and remembered that stuff doesn't work. And because it didn't work, I never wore short shorts.
My favorite all-time soda fountain drink is an A&W Root Bear Float. Do they still make them?
@Anony 7:14. Why don't you get yourself a name and a little avatar and come here often? You write well. I decided I liked your mentor.....

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Maybe it's autocorrect, but your last sentence should have read:
But lots of people seem to be unaware of its meaning.
Second sentence uses wrong word too.
I was a proofreader in another life.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

likely (not gone through the comments) not first, but... dICED for so long, until it had to be RICED. thing is, RICED food stuffs ain't been chopped, finely or otherwise. they been spun through a thingee called a, wait for it...RICEr.

Sixthstone 10:21 AM  

Naturally, I enjoyed this puzzle with its drink-based theme and clever (if a bit snarky) clues. I enjoyed PORT AUTHORITY and DRAFTSPERSON. As a bonus, I even got SPECS, which is a popular liquor store chain in Texas. To accompany my beverages, I get some GOUDA cheese which is one of my favorite dad jokes... that's some good-a chees-a!

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

They're called CAD Drafters, Drafters or CAD Technicians. There never was a Draftsperson.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

no, it is a mess. just that the Powers That Be want it that way.

my Pappy insisted that SNAFU originated in WWII when the Brass made the enlisted do something really, really stupid.

gloriosky 10:38 AM  

Riced means pushed through a food mill, or a “ricer” - which is not a food processor. To “rice” something is not to chop it.

sixtyni yogini 10:39 AM  

Same experience as Rex.
Thought the theme was kinda cute, and a lot of answers interesting.
Not easy, but bigly fun.

Sir Hillary 10:41 AM  

I thought the theme was a refreshing quaff. I imagine all of the answers have been used to clue today's clues, but the reversal was a welcome twist (albeit probably because of symmetry more than anything else).

I like how 26A fits the clue for 44A.

Some of the commentariat seem to have a problem with DRAFTSPERSON as PC nonsense. I don't share that view, but I hated the clue for SIR, at least its final appendage. "For no apparent reason?" Come on! Peppermint Patty was the ultimate comic-strip tomboy, and Marcie calling her SIR was Schultz's way of reinforcing that in a humorous way. I don't know, maybe "tomboy" is a bad word these days, but it was very apparent why Marcie addressed her as she did.

Whatsername 10:42 AM  

I found this on the tough side for a Tuesday and one which would be an extremely UNFAIR to the beginning solver. I agree the theme was nice and three of the answers were outstanding, but DRAFTS PERSON was a big clunker IMO. From skimming comments, it appears that answer was one people either loved or hated. I didn’t love it.

Several clues did their best to ANNOY me; a couple of them others have also mentioned. Food that is RICED has been reduced to the consistency of rice by being forced thru a ricer or a sieve. While the process can be accomplished with a knife, it’s a stretch to say it equates to “chopped finely.” And as someone else pointed out, discussing politics and religion is a singular subject, not two different things, plural. And I would quibble that a booth at a fair is more commonly referred to as a STALL, not a STAND, more than likely where something ARTSY is on display. i’m certain that particular quibble is debatable but please, INDULGE ME.

@Frantic (6:11) “I can visit the wheelhouse, but I live in the outhouse.” See? Little nuggets like that are why everyone misses you when you’re away.

Steve M 10:50 AM  

Played extra hard for a Tuesday imho

jae 10:57 AM  

Medium-tough. Cute theme with some nice long downs. Liked it.

Me too for dICED until PEdSON made no sense.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

Anon@10:33, Your Pappy knew it meant Situation Normal All F'd Up and he what he said was true. Just after WWII people would've been Highly Offended to see it in the NYT puzzle. In the 90s, it became Fubar, F'd Up Beyond All Recognition.

JC66 10:59 AM  


I think either @Anon 7:14 and @CDilly worked at the same law firm or she's her.

Whatsername 11:16 AM  

@Anomymous (7:14) and @CDilly (10:08) Either you’re both the same person or you worked together at some point in time.

KnittyContessa 11:18 AM  

PORTAUTHORITY made me smile. I like puns. I can't say I enjoyed the solve though due to a very annoying ear worm. I cannot get the NAIR jingle out of my head.

I have to agree, RICED does not mean chopped. Nope. No way.

I have never heard the expression ARTSY craftsy and I have a Etsy shop. Do people really say that?

Newboy 11:20 AM  

Agree that this one lacks the sparkle of later week grids, but that’s sorta expected on Tuesday. Had to overcome toe trips at tRash for DROSS and wAIFS For NAIFS. Otherwise, pretty smooth sailing.

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

well, since we're on the subject of military incompetence, or so, there's the B-52, still flying to protect us from Ukrainian ICBMs (yes, that's where Russia put them). known by all far and wide as The BUF - Big Ugly F'cker. bombed Cambodia back to the stone age with conventional sticks of ordinance. could have done the same with retired WWII bombers, but what the hell, why not use nucular bombers?

Masked and Anonymous 11:34 AM  

Really mostly agree with the excellent @Nancy puz analysis today. Tough but fair. Them clues had some 'tude. If the puzs are gonna get a bit harder in general, M&A says LET it RIP, Shortzmeister.

staff weeject pick: IOR. Desperate suffix meat. Better clue, to sorta go with today's theme: {Headless Christian, in a fashion??}.

Thanx, Mr. Fisher. Enjoyed it.

Masked & Anonym007Us

p.s. Historic puznews. Monday New Yorker xword had its NW & SE corner weejects stacked SIX deep! 6. VI. day-um. Now, there's the kind of raised-by-wolves innovation that M&A is talkin about.


egsforbreakfast 11:36 AM  

I was going to point out the amazing coincidence of @Anonymous 7:14 and @CDilly52 10:08 having had the same mentor, but @JC66 10:59 beat me to it. Well played, sir.

As to 2D “Discussing politics and religion with strangers, often”, it could be that there is a distinction between that clue and “Discussing politics and religion with strangers, one time only.” I don’t actually believe what I’m suggesting, but, then, neither does Mitch McConnell believe what he is saying.

Arguing about the provenance of “Who wears short shorts” is splitting Nairs.

Could SECTS and DRECK be an Urban Dictionary synonym for SLOPITCH?

jb129 11:43 AM  

I enjoyed this a lot - very pleasant change "for a Tuesday". Thanks, Robert. More, please!

GILL I. 11:49 AM  

@JC66 and @Whatsername. Well I'll be a monkey's aunt....What are the chances?

CT2Napa 12:00 PM  

From Green Giant:
"Riced Veggies – as the name implies – are made from 100% vegetables. We take vegetables and chop them up into tiny rice-sized pieces. Our Riced Veggies are made from a variety of vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, beets and more."

Google "riced vegetables" and you will find many recipes which call for using your food processor to create "riced vegetables".

So while those of you who have "ricers" cluttering your cabinets and probably gathering dust, others have moved on. So the term is is common use as "finely chopped".

Anoa Bob 12:16 PM  

My real name is Anoa Bob but my cruciverbal moniker is Robert Fisher. As I mention at, the theme mostly fell into place in an afternoon sauna bath/cool down session. I had been thinking about a "wines reimagined" type theme and, beyond "Cabaret Sauvignon" and PORT AUTHORITY, nothing was developing.

Then my crossword muse Lexicrucia joined me at 180° and whispered in my ear "make it a beverage server reimagined theme". I was off to the races and all four themers and their clues fell into place in short order.

Seeing as how the theme came rather easily, I spent extra time on designing and filling the grid. I worked and reworked each section until I had the best I could come up with. Sure, there is some DRECK (40D) here and there, but you reach a point where trying to get rid of one stinker makes another stinker pop up somewhere else. Also some of the DRECK is necessary if some of the better fill is to remain in place.

So if you see a corner or section with objectionable fill, I would be much obliged if you would suggest a better alternative.

If I may borrow an adage from xworder Tyler Hinman, if you liked a clue, give me credit and if you didn't like a clue, blame the editors!

Let me close by saying that needless to say, it goes without saying.

bocamp 12:28 PM  

Puz definitely not in my wheelhouse, but always looking to add on to the "house". ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once again, didn't see the theme. Looked carefully at all the answers and couldn't see any connection. Read Rex and saw that it was in the drink clues. Looked again at the answers to find that they're all in "charge" of drinks. Just gotta do better on the post-solve analysis to fully appreciate the full measure of the puzzle. IOW, check both the clues and answers of the themers. As for "person" being an outlier, not so sure about that. "Person" might be construed as short for "person in charge".

Hadn't thought of the gender neutral "draftsperson", but should have. Imo, gender neutrality should be over-emphasized, even at the expense of so-called proper grammar and staid, conventional thinking, e.g., they for he/she, 2nd baseperson, etc..

The term"Snafu" is interesting; it was used frequently in the Navy, where the "f" was not bowdlerized as "fouled up". I think nowadays lots of us just use it to indicate something that has gone off the rails. Words and meanings change, just like "manhole" to "personhole". ๐Ÿ˜‚

Lived in Holland for a year, and visited at least one cheese market; can't recall if Gouda was one of them, but if not, should've been.

@Anonymous 7:14 AM

Loved "stutter-stepping" and "rhythm" in your first par.; in fact, I really enjoyed your entire post, including the anecdote. :)

@Havana Man 8:58 AM

Like your thinking! :)

@Nancy 9:36 AM

Enjoyed your post. :)

@KnittyContessa 11:18 AM

I've used the term on occasion; many in my family are "artsy-craftsy", but, alas, not I. Although, I did lots of arts & crafts with my students, e.g., string art, macrame, stained glass, candle making, etc., (things that can be done at a very rudimentary level). But, by no means am I artsy-craftsy by nature. I don't think I've done anything "artsy-craftsy" since I retired.

Big Rock Candy Mountain - Burl Ives

"Oh, the buzzin' of the bees in the cigarette trees
The "soda" water "fountain"
Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings
In that Big Rock Candy Mountain"

"That all of good the past hath had, remains to make our own time glad" - John Greenleaf Whittier

Anonymous 12:29 PM  


100% correct. A lot of mouth breathers say form follows function. But the big brains understand that form follows process. That's why riced is fundamentally different than diced. The form of the vegetable is the result of an entirely different process.

JC66 12:33 PM  


Thanks for the puzzle and for "coming out."

I count 7 POCs. Is that high or low?

What? 12:37 PM  

I guess I don’t understand all these complaints. I thought it was fun and clever

Masked and Anonymous 12:47 PM  

@Anoa Bob Fisher: We shoulda suspected it was U. No double-POCs.

Only suggestion I'd have for the fillins is that there shoulda been a signature entry of ANOA somewhere in the grid. [ANNOY is close, but no cigar.]

Clues, as I mentioned before, had a nice degree of Fishy-ness to em. Besides, U had a primo disclaimer, with 34-D's {"Pretend for a moment that I care what you want"}.

Again, good job. And congratz of yer first TuesPuz placement. And thanx for stoppin by, constructioneer-wise.


Anonymous 12:50 PM  

anyone else get PORT AUTHORITY and spend a long time thinking the themers were going to be major bus terminals?

Anonymous 1:09 PM  


no, but I misaligned 20A and 29A and decided PORT AUTHORITY was barely correct for Bartender?

Teedmn 1:14 PM  

@Anoa Bob, great puzzle, thanks.

DRAFTSPERSON: Before I took my current job, I worked for three different OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), all of whom had DRAFTSpeople on staff (and yes, each one had at least one woman on staff so DRAFTSPERSON was correct.) PERSON strikes me as being like spokesPERSON, therefore in charge of DRAFTS. Maybe not as strong a connection as authority, head or keeper, but it works for me.

My Sp. blue was AZUr for a while, making ___ASSrE hard to turn into NO HASSLE but I finally pushed through that STAND IOR DRECK area to prevail.

I enjoyed going from "huh?" to "nice!" as INDULGE ME filled in. Great clue/answer pair.

Yes, this took me a tad longer than my usual Tuesday but I'll agree with @Nancy that it is a desirable Tuesday trait.

old actor 1:16 PM  

@Anoa Bob: Congratulations! I love seeing a fellow RGVer succeed. Loved the tricky puzzle, except for RICE, but it was adequately explained. I think you're in Port Isabel and I'm in Freddy Fender's home town.

GILL I. 1:19 PM  

@Anoa Bob is ROBERT FISHER??????!!!!!! And I enjoyed it mucho. NO DRECK...No better alternative.
Make some more.....Too bad you got the "If it's Tuesday, it's the red-headed adopted daughter."
Kudos to you......

Malsdemare 1:37 PM  

I am compelled to comment on DRAFTSPERSON. When I started making masks for our local foundation, I was taken aback by their referring to us as “sewers.” It took me a second of reflection to see that seamstress is gendered, and there was my husband helping out. Of COURSE, we were sewers. Head slap.

I love it that another of our own provided this nifty puzzle for our distraction. Thanks, Robert/Anoa Bob. I enjoyed it.

sharonak 1:40 PM  

@Frantic Sloth 6:11 am Loved your Snippet, Brilliant

Whatsername 1:44 PM  

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Sharonak 1:48 PM  

@ChuckD 7:31am
In some sentences politics and religion would be two, but in the clue as written
I understand discussing politics and religion as one thing- discussing politics or religion as two things.

Joe Dipinto 1:55 PM  

Good job, @Anoa Bob. I didn't realize you're so young. Is that your granddad holding you in the pic at XWord?

Crimson Devil 1:56 PM  


egsforbreakfast 2:41 PM  

Nice job Anoa Bob. Love your treatise on POCes.

pabloinnh 3:01 PM  

Sr. Fisher:

Well now all you incisive commentary on the daily xwords makes a little more sense. Congratulations on a fun puzzle.

No surprise here that this was the product of a Bob, so to AnoaBob greetings and best wishes from the whole tennis foursome: FrogBob, KillerBob, ScoopBob, and myself, CoachBob, nom de blog pabloinnh.

Bob Power!

Anoa Bob 3:17 PM  

Joe D @1:55, I figured if Mozart could compose music by age five, I would one up him by doing a NYT puzzle before my second birthday The old geezer is my grand uncle (he likes it when I call him that).

Anonymous 3:34 PM  

Bob Power!

I'd have to say that the 'best' Bob in NE, not considering politicians of course, has to be Bobby Orr. Not that hockey is my favorite sport.

Rug Crazy 3:56 PM  

Wow- SNAFU ns DRECK in the same puzzle! Next up FUBAR and PUTZ

Z 5:10 PM  

@Anoa Bob - No Anoa when there are a couple of likely spots makes it seem like you were hiding. On a different note - What percentage of clues were yours? And are you asked to calibrate the clues to the day of the week or is that something done by Team Shortz? As I said early this morning, the fill cluing seemed especially dry to me, as if more word play would toughen the puzzle too much. Instead we got lots of straight definitions.

@pabloinnh - How about @M&A's DSM - Desperate Suffix Meat. The DSM has been RICED!

I agree on the base for the acronym SNAFU, but there seems to be some dispute about the size of the mess it describes. "Situation Normal" is the cause of the confusion I think. If it is "normal" how bad can it be? Except, of course, we are talking about "normal" in the context of people shooting at you and dropping bombs on you as @anon10:33 suggested. So not a spilt milk situation as I understand the phrase, more of a clusterf*ck.

@Anon10:27 - I seem to remember that the D in CAD stood for DRAFTing. I also seem to remember a time when the design function and the DRAFTing function were done by different people. With CAD it seems as though designers are now expected to do DRAFTing, too.

Rex FAQ 16 paraphrased: If you think a clue/answer is wrong it is usually you, not the clue/answer who is wrong...

My keen powers of observation has detected the source of the RICED confusion, the tool known as a RICEr. Since none of you looked at the definition I so helpfully linked to, here's what it says (with emphasis added):
: to finely chop or process (a food) so that it resembles rice

Since I don't own a RICEr like all of you seem to, if a recipe calls for something to be RICED out comes my big knife. I don't own a RICEr because they are inconvenient; something else to clean and store and forget which cupboard it is in so wasting precious nanoseconds looking for it when my big knife RICEs quite well, thank you very much. RICErs make sense in a restaurant setting, but having another kitchen gadget would not bring me joy. (I think we probably don't see RICErs on cooking shows because chopping is much cooler looking on TV... until someone loses a finger). Also, for Thanksgiving I prefer mashed potatoes and gravy, not RICED potatoes and gravy.
{I swear I wrote something like this the last time RICED was clued this way}

Nancy 5:18 PM  

@Anoa Bob -- So it is you! Congratulations!!!!

@Mathgent could have tipped me off in his email before I wrote my comment, but because I always go to the blog and post there before I check my email in the morning, I wrote my comment before knowing who you were. After hitting "Send", I went to my email and read @Mathgent's email. I was so happy that a puzzle I enjoyed so much was constructed by one of my favorite Rexites. Wouldn't it have been awkward if I'd written a negative review? Or even a meh one?

I love the way you write clues, Bob, and the theme you came up with was also delightful. You're really good at this. More, please!

Anonymous 6:08 PM  

Anon Bob- congratulations great puzzle. Ignore Rex and the other haters. BTW John James won Mi. The racists are trying to deny him his seat.

Anonymous 6:32 PM  

Didn't love RICED, either

albatross shell 6:38 PM  

Absolute yes to @Z. One might not like or agree with a dictionary definition, but one must agree that the dictionary is the gold standard for crossword answers. Yes? Go quarrel with the dictionary editors, not the crossword editors.

Vague clues? Very few, by my way of thinking. Vague to me implies you've no idea of what context or universe the clue exists in. The clue for SCOPE, maybe. The clue "Rubbish" is not vague. Trash dreck dross etc. are all synonyms pretty much. You just need some crosses. The clue for NOHASSLE pretty much straight forward. Not vague.
And that NW corner: 12 inches. DC setting, hour and minute separator. Straight forward and standard CW cluing. ONEOF pretty obvious to me even though I had no idea of the song title. UNFAIR honestly clued. What is so hard there?

PORTAUTHORITY GROUNDSKEEPER both great. FOUNTAINHEAD almost as good. DRAFTSPERSON not as good because it's not as much in common usage and missing the snap of the other 3 answers. It is more than adequate and most of the dislike for it because of pc backlash by people who criticize Rex for doing the same thing in reverse.

@Anoa Bob
Thanks for this fun-more-crunchy-than-usual Tuesday.
Hope you answer @Z questions about the clues. I like learning how things work. And thanks for the real deal in acronyms after yesterday's fake.

I had wAIFS, not NAIFS. Took awhile to see NAIR. Nice not UNFAIR trick.

Anonymous 6:46 PM  

for those who've never worked in a modern machine shop the acronym is
which is
Computer Aided Design
Computer Aided Manufacturing

IOW, the output from the CAD program is fed to the CNC, and other automated, machines which take that instruction set and execute it to make the part. except for documentation purposes, there's no realized drafting.

chefwen 6:58 PM  

@Anoa Bon, Congratulations, I really enjoyed this. Keep ‘em coming.

Anonymous 7:04 PM  

Anon 6:46
Thank you!!!! I was going to post, and help clear up a lot of errors. Wanted to do so last week viz Howdie Doodie last week.. Yeah. I knew the model maker who refurbed him.
He was an early adopter of CAD. All very boring, I’m sure.
But two points for the peanut gallery to keep in mind.
At his shop, the very best model maker , and I mean by worlds, was a carver whose bench was almost devoid of tools. Really, just a sculpting knife and straight edge.
The rest of the model maker’s benches were littered with every imaginable tool. But when Mattel wanted a prototype, Jack Nelson went to him to carve it before it hit any CAD.
Also, you should know that the hoopla over 3-D printers is old news. That shop, Product Dynamics, was doing stereo lithography a long time ago.
One last note. One of Products Dynamics competitors might have just died. Harry Shaw’s property in South Jersey is for sale.
Any of the inmates interested? Nice living in Shamong....

pabloinnh 8:00 PM  

@Z-DSM does it for me. Primo M&A.

@Anon 3:34-Bobby Orr has to be the best ever Bobby (his endorsement of the current occupant of the White House saddened me) but if you're going for the all-time Bob in NE, I'd suggest BOB Cousy.

Anoa Bob 8:25 PM  

@Nancy I learned a long time ago to not take negative reviews of my puzzles personally. As I recall, even my first one in the Chronicle of Higher Education in '08 was not well received. I even had a puzzle that on one blog was deemed so bad as to not be worthy of a review! But I figure if I like it and the editor likes it, that's all that counts. I'm disappointed when some solvers don't like my puzzle, but I think that's to be expected. Anyway, I'm pleased you liked it.

@Z, I came to the realization some time ago that my basic modus operandi is stealth mode. I like to keep a low profile and stay off of people's radar screens. So if it sometimes seems like I'm hiding, it's probably because I am. Bottom line, I don't feel comfortable dealing with people unless I can be physically in their presence. I like to hear not only what they are saying but how they are sayin it. I like to see their posture and body movements.* I even have a mild aversion to telephones!

As far as clueing goes, that is absolutely where editors will have the most input and make the most changes to the puzzle. This puzzle was no exception. Many of the clues were changed and by and large I think for the better. I don't think I had ?s after the theme clues, but I think that's a close call. For my absolute favorite long Down, one that required compromises here and there to keep it in the grid, INDULGE ME, I clue it "Pretend for a moment you care!" The decision to add "..what I want" was an editorial one. Yous make the call.

*I think this helps me be a better poker player, having grown up in a non-electronic era, where direct, face-to-face communications was the norm. that and I use to teach probability as part of a PSYCH Statistics course. I miss poker. And sauna baths.

Anonymous 8:42 PM  

Loved this puzzle. Definitely Puzzle of the week, though it’s only Tuesday LOL. BTW BEQ Monday was a bear. DNF here though the wife grinded it out. Z definitely seems to be a racist.

Andrew Heinegg 9:10 PM  

Yes, and I suppose you think Trump should be declared President because all the States where he lost by relatively small margins were won by Biden via fraudulent votes.

James lost by 85,000 votes. Not realistically possible to have that many fraudulent votes; I don't suppose you have any evidence of this racism turned into fraudulent votes that caused James to lose, do you?

Election experts have explained again and again that it might be possible to have a few hundred fraudulent votes in an election but, not thousands. And, I hasten to add, there has never been any proof in a U.S. election of even hundreds of fraudulent votes in a statewide or National election. That, in a nutshell, explains why all of Trump's appeals are going nowhere. Thank God.

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

John X-what are you talking about? The US Army sure as hell doesn't know.

janet schulman 1:06 PM  

chopped finely is not riced. ricing is when you put food through a ricer and it comes out looking like rice. chopped finely is mincing.

janet schulman 1:10 PM  

chopped finely food is not ricing. ricing is when you put food through a ricer and it comes out looking like rice. It is not chopped. mincing is chopping.

Rich H 4:31 PM  

I don't know. When did a Yiddish word like "drek" (alt "dreck) become part of the kings english? ;) Being Jewish, I grew up with the word more akin to SH-T!!

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