Lyre holder in classical artwork / SAT 12-19-20 / Title woman in 1975 R&B hit by The Spinners / Eponym of European capital by tradition / Callisto's animal form in Greek mythology / Creature whose name comes from Tswana language / Sensationalistic opinion informally

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Constructor: Caitlin Reid and Andrew J. Ries

Relative difficulty: Easy to Easy-Medium, I think (untimed)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: OTIS Williams (1A: Williams who was one of the original Temptations) —

Otis Williams (born Otis Miles Jr.; October 30, 1941) is an American baritone singer. Nicknamed "Big Daddy", he is occasionally also a songwriter and a record producer.

Williams is the founder and last surviving original member of the Motown vocal group The Temptations, a group in which he continues to perform; he also owns the rights to the Temptations name. (wikipedia)

• • •

This was a really nice puzzle. It was built like a Friday but clued like a Saturday, or at least like a semi-Saturday. A Friday/Saturday. A Friturday. Grid has room for a slew of 7+-letter answers but also has an interconnectedness and *flow* that means (for me) never getting truly bogged down anywhere. You can really hack away at a puzzle like this. It's true that part of the cost of having a hackable grid is having a lot of short fill, but if your longer fill is nice and your short fill is inconspicuous, i.e. not spit-in-your-face bad, you'll do fine. It's a very sassy, youngish grid, with a colloquialism that, bless its heart, is almost actually very current. Yesterday we got LIT, and today we get Gen Y 102: TURNT (24D: Excited, in modern slang). Pretty sure this refers to inebriation most of the time, but "excited," sure, by extension, I'm sure that works too. It has a party context. Or so I'm told by my Youth Translator. Speaking of my Youth Translator, I woke to a very excited (but not TURNT ... I don't think) text from my daughter this morning, who had very important news for me:

If I'd been fully awake, I would've cried :) So, parents, if you want your kids to share your interests, the key is a. make it seem awesome (or delude yourself into believing that you make it seem awesome!) and b. never ever push it. I would get her kids crosswords when she was little and she would do a few, but the whole crossword bug never really caught her. Then she went to college, and she started finding different ways to waste time, then her friends got into doing crosswords too, sometimes together, then COVID hit and shutdowns hit and she had a lot more "free" time on her hands ... and anyway, here we are. I have a feeling the pandemic, which has been a mismanaged disaster in so many ways, is going to end up having been very good for people's crossword skills. You take the good where you can find it. Anyway, congrats to the girl, and to everyone who got over the Saturday (or Friday, or Thursday, or Wednesday...) hump during this terrible year.

The colloquialism of the puzzle went beyond TURNT to "BE LIKE THAT" and HOT TAKE and "I'LL BITE" (my fav) and all the way to the so-old-it's-new tweenfluencerspeak of "ADIEU!" and "TATA!" (seriously, kids, please pick these up and run with them, I will love you for it). OTIS / SADIE could've been a dangerous cross, but OTI- can really only be an "S," so Natick averted. Here were the only struggles I had, all of them brief:

  • AHEM (5A: Audible nudge)
    — PSST! went in first, "confirmed" by PLAY at 5D: Preschool recital (ABCS). I played Billy Goat Gruff in my preschool PLAY
  • ROLL (25A: Dinner ___) — I had the -LL and went with BELL
  • ROMULUS (29D: Eponym of a European capital, by tradition) — hilarious that I had trouble here, since I teach the Aeneid every year, which is all about "where did Rome come from!?" I thought ROMULUS just *was* the eponym. I don't get the "by tradition" here. I mean, if he's not really a historical figure, wasn't suckled by a she-wolf, etc., he can still be the eponym, right?
  • BOOMERS (36D: Male kangaroos) — LOL, really? If you say so. I got a strong suspicion that this one was reclued so as not to infuriate a certain (giant) segment of the NYTXW solving audience
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR (35A: Common material for a jacket) — had ABOUT THE A-T- and thought "ooh, good one" ... and wrote in ABOUT THE ARTIST!
  • COHOST (40D: Running mate?) — still not sure I get the "?" joke here. Like ... a show "runs" on television / radio ... and if two+ people host that show, they are "running" ... mates? Needs work.
  • TUSSAUD (20D: Wax figure?) — I should've gotten this immediately. Instead, I had -SSA- and at one point definitely tentatively wrote in MASSAGE, which ... I'm just gonna assume that a hot-wax MASSAGE is a real thing and not ask any further questions
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:33 AM  

An easy Saturday, except for one big unforced error in the NW.

First thing that went into the grid was 14A, NOLA
Second thing was 19A, ORBITS
Third thing was 2D, yOuR way for "As you like it". D'oh!

ChuckD 7:14 AM  

Not as much crunchy wordplay as yesterday’s gem but enjoyable nonetheless. Loved ABOUT THE AUTHOR and TREASURE TROVES. Didn’t enjoy the SW corner as much. Agree with Rex on COHOST and don’t like how AL DENTE or STRIP STEAK were clued. In undergrad we focused mainly on H-fields which are measured in Amp/m. Maybe 7d could have been clued “The she who blocked Bernie”? Have always loved the Oresteia - to put that in the same puzzle as THE ROSE is questionable.

Nice overall solve for a cold Saturday.

Teresa 7:31 AM  

Loved this puzzle, but some lame cluing needlessly brought it down when there was so much clever cluing. A number of puns were missing the requisite question marks. I've seen this a lot lately, and it's unfair. Is consistency too much to ask? OTOH, there was needless-to-the-point-of-incorrect punctuation. Since when does "once" mean "Not again!" instead of simply "not again"?

Note to Rex: I'm a Boomer and loved the male-kangaroo angle because any other clue would have been easy/typical/boring, and this one was fun. (For once not) talkin' 'bout my g-generation ...

Riley Cooper 7:34 AM  

Congratulations to your daughter! Saturday is the big test in the NYT crossword universe. Sundays might run easy on occasion, but Saturday never is. (Except for that one time when they ran a Friday on Saturday because of ... I forgot why. You know.)

Joaquin 7:41 AM  

Dang! I thought after all these years I was finally getting smart; then I come here and find out it was just an easy Saturday puzzle. Oh well ...

Megafrim 8:00 AM  

My stupid first response of the day, for -US---- Wax Figure?: MUSTACH! Yeah, I didn't even spell it right, but my boomer brain got excited when I recalled those wax mustaches you could buy for a penny at Halloween time.

mathgent 8:09 AM  

A solid professional job. Smart cluing, clean, only eight Terrible Threes. But not much sparkle for me. Jeff Chen disagrees.

Enjoyed reading about the Elizabeth Warren incident in the Senate.

Nancy wrote about liking Oysters Rockefeller the other day. I just read that they originated at Antoine's in New Orleans. They got the name because they're so rich. I had them once at a party and really liked them. A lot of restaurants here serve fresh oysters but I don't know about Oysters Rockefeller.

I don't like "Not again!" for ONCE. An exclamation substituting for an adverb. I have a feeling that TTrimble doesn't like it either.

Coniuratos 8:15 AM  

Regarding ROMULUS, there are a few competing explanations for why Rome's called Rome (er, Roma), so presumably that's why they threw "by tradition" in there.

Z 8:33 AM  

Typical Saturday challenge. Nothing nothing nothing toe hold a couple of tentative answers corner falls. My pattern is to read the across clues until I get one the start working the downs. This is the reason I had RDA and built out of the NE instead of the absolute gimme of ELIZABETH WARREN. No huge difficulties, just the typical feeling of “am I ever going to get anything,” but I did and repeatedly got that mildly surprised “I guess it wasn’t that hard.”

Hand up for dinner beLL, which was “confirmed” by the brads in the metalworker’s guns (should a false confirmation be a “profirmation?”). I also thought oysters Rockefeller might have been from Nyny. Neither the Rockefellers nor oysters evoke NOLA to me. I was also mildly surprised to realize that magnetic flux density unit isn’t a Greek letter.

I think Rex is probably right that this wasn’t the original BOOMERS clue and I agree with @Teresa that post-WWII generation clues are tired.

@Chuck D - So cautionary tales of matricide are okay but cautionary tales of the self-destructive temptations of fame aren’t?

@Teresa - needless-to-the-point-of-incorrect punctuation - Emoting clues are just as bad as emoting actors.

Quickie PPP - 20/70 - 29% - 5 of the 20 are UPPP (Going to Callisto to clue BEAR? Srsly?)

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

I hate the use of "?". Diminishes the challenge and the satisfaction of figuring out a clue.

Frosty Flake 8:45 AM  

My passing concern was a bill so I finished the puzzle wondering who in the world is Elizabeth Barren and why should I know her? I didn't know the Her of 6D either.
Crime scene the day after Scene of the Crime?

Seth 8:49 AM  

No comment on how yesterday had SCENE OF THE CRIME and today had CRIME SCENE? Hm.

Today my biggest hangup was ABOUT THE AUTHOR, which I just could not figure out, even with ABOUTTHEA--HOR. That's on me, though. I start on the downs so ELIZABETH WARREN popped in early and made this overall an easier Saturday solve for me.

Good job appealing to someone other than the BOOMERS with TURNT!

amyyanni 8:50 AM  

Lovely. Tore through the NE, then scrabbled away the remainder. Another ABOUT THE AUTHOR fan. Kept wanting to squeeze in leather before the light dawned. ELIZABETH WARREN was fun. Would enjoy seeing her pupil Katie Porter in a puzzle someday. Good letters, I think. Good Saturday!

TTrimble 8:51 AM  

Not super-hard, but it felt like wading through molasses, particularly in the SW. Part of my problem there was putting in BUtt instead of BUNS, and also guessing that the Callisto animal was a BoAR instead of a BEAR. I also misremembered and out in Gauss before the correct TESLA. By the way, it feels strange to abbreviate it to "a cool MIL" as opposed to "a cool mill", because the relevant prefix is milli-.

All sorts of misdirection. (And that, @Teresa, is my offered explanation for why "Not again!" as opposed to "not again" -- the idea is to lure the unsuspecting to try something like "oh no!". Misdirection.) One thing that got me was an unpromising string of latters HEAUT for the jacket material, obviously being misdirected to think of a coat lining, not a book jacket.

I think a simpler explanation for why BOOMERS is clued that way is to make it harder, not to avoid pissing anyone off. After all, that's what many of us are known as, no pejorative intended or implied -- I don't think anyone would mind. Now, if you had OK BOOMER -- thems be fightin' words!

I've not heard of TURNT. My first instinct is to pronounce it as if it's a past participle, like "slept" or "dreamt". (Looking it up...) well, that seems to be the case. I guess it's akin to the more Boomerish "turned on".

ow a paper cut 8:57 AM  

Did this in dentist’s waiting room. It was a welcome distraction (not extraction)

mmorgan 8:57 AM  

Really nice puzzle though I thought ELIZABETH WARREN was way too easy for a Saturday, but that might not be the case for everyone. Also briefly had ArTist but I doubted that because, like, really no more LPs to speak of anymore. I liked the unusual clues on not unusual answers.

TJS 9:05 AM  

An absolute travesty for a Saturday puzzle. Not one moment of hesitation required. This would have been an acceptable Wednesday, IMO. Once again, TGF the Archive.

Frantic Sloth 9:12 AM  

Speaking of CRIMESCENE(s)...

And if you're gonna BELIKETHAT...

And ruin a perfectly good and happy time for me with your "Unit of magnetic flux density" and that whole SW corner from WTF, you can just bite my BUTT.

There. I said it.

Seriously, I was truly enjoying this one with all its clever clueing and misdirects and ELIZABETHWARREN grid-spanner, and then....that SW corner!

In fact, as I write this, the stupid thing remains unfinished. Not sure BUTT is even correct at this point.

I finally had to sleep on it with no reward of sudden enlightenment which often accompanies that tactic upon awakening.
Actually, I'll probably end up really liking this after my forehead recovers and I can reflect, but for now....
I refuse to allow myself a DNF!

Later, peeps.`

pabloinnh 9:12 AM  

Agree with many that ELIZABETHWARREN was the bunny hill among the moguls here, but it sure made things easier. Had several iterations of TUSSARD which slowed things down, and the Bruce Lee thing was indecipherable until I thought of MAN for "Big ___", which was wrong, of course, but gave me the M I needed to see ARMY.

My favorite moment was remembering BOOMERS from somewhere which finished up the SW for me nicely. It's a nice morning when you find your memory working.

-7 here this AM to go with all the new snow. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, to coin a phrase, even if my four rehearsals a week for performances are on hold.

Thanks for the fun, guys. Very nice Saturday indeed.

SouthsideJohnny 9:15 AM  

Interesting puzzle, I actually competed everything north of the equator without assistance - and hit the air brakes when I got to the center. I couldn’t remember the exact spelling of the wax lady, never heard of NUIT or TURNT (two more non-words side-by-side) and still don’t believe that “MAIN THEME” is anything other than green paint - at that point I threw in the towel after a noble and valiant effort.

So, I made it halfway through a Saturday without assistance - I hope that in addition to being a moral victory that today is a confidence-builder and hopefully a stepping stone to further enjoyable weekend parsing (even if today is just Friday-tough). Thursdays and Sundays have pretty much been my ceiling to date.

ChuckD 9:16 AM  

@Z lol - fame and addiction who cares? Morality and revenge - those make for the good stories.

TJS 9:19 AM  

Wanted to rant about "turnt" and all its relatives. Then I remembered that I am possibly the only person that still uses "Far out !"

TTrimble 9:31 AM  

@Southside, NUIT is French for "night".

Mohair Sam 9:31 AM  

Nice clean Saturday that just hit our wheelhouse perfectly and resulted in our fastest Saturday in memory. When a grid spanner is a gimme things get a lot easier, add a few more gimmes - NOLA, THEROSE, ERATO - stir in a good guess at ALDENTE (thank you Lady M) and you've got a slam dunk puzz.

Would have been a little tougher and a lot more fun if ELIZABETHWARREN had been clued as "Native American Legend".

Hey, congrats to @Rex's daughter. Cracking your first Times Saturday is always a great feeling.

TTrimble 9:41 AM  

Katie Porter is very, very impressive. I'm surprised not more people know here name. She is an absolute tiger, and what a boon to her constituents. Woe betide the unprepared witness who comes under her scrutiny in an investigative committee hearing.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

Well, pin a ROSE on your.......

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Isn’t anyone going to ask what the explanation for 7 down is? I do: what does it mean, in simple, easy to understand English, please?

kitshef 9:52 AM  

Clue for ABOUT THE AUTHOR goes on the list of all-time greats.

I was not aware that beans or cheese were not served ON TOAST in the US. They are at my house.

I was also unaware that SOMEHOW, SHE PERSISTED is associated with any particular person or had a wave of popularity recently.

Gotta think TATA crossing TETON was intentional – and missed by the editors.

Unknown 9:52 AM  

I had BOAR instead of BEAR, so that was a Natick for me and the one square resulted in a DNF. Otherwise I thought it was an absolutely fine Saturday that perhaps skewed slightly on the easier side.

I'm not sure I would have clued SADIE the way the constructor did. So many other better-known Stylistics songs (Break Up to Make Up; You Make Me Feel Brand New; Then Came You; I'll Be Around; etc.) Clearly I'm dating myself! But I'm pretty well versed in the popular music of that era, and if I could only get that one via the crosses, perhaps a better clue was called for? Ah, the games people play. (Couldn't resist.)

While I rarely agree with rex on so many topics, I do agree w/ his take that the pandemic has been very good for the crossword industry.

Frantic Sloth 9:54 AM  

Well, finally finished and I'ma break it down to fairly determine just who's responsible here.

On me:

1. Didn't help that I had BoAR where it should have been BEAR. Could not unsee "orion" despite knowing it was wrong and if the E were present, ERATO would have dropped right in. What a jamoke.

1. Kept insisting that COHOrT was a "running mate?" because that's who one "runs" with, no? No.

1. Have no idea why I didn't try TESLA. Dunderhead.

1. ALDENTE, or at least "ALDE_ _ _ " is always a DOOK for me. Always. And it shouldn't be. Never see AL DENTE. Never.

On them (the constructors, the editors, and the demons):

1. I wanted TATA for parting word, but kept saying to myself "but, that's two words, isn't it??" I mean TA TA is goodbye. TATA is, you know, an echoic euphemism for mammaryland. Unless "parting" (parting word) refers to...cleavage? No. No. They wouldn't be that cheesy....would they?? Please. God. No!

2. Did you really need that exclamation point at 58A?? Huh? Did you? I don't consider that a clever misdirect. That is a foul.

So... 2 to 1. I'm righter. I win!!

🧠🧠🧠🧠🧠 (that 5th brain is mine because I "helped" with the difficulty)
πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ (minus 1 party favor for evil)

Now, I can't wait to read Rex and you all. I think.

Carola 9:58 AM  

Easy and full of treats from ON TOAST to ONE MAN ARMY. I thought we had an unusually fine cast of characters today: SADIE, ELIZABETH WARREN, ROMULUS, ORESTES, ERATO, and TESLA, along with PAPA BEAR turning the corner.

Help from previous puzzles: TURNT. Do-over: TREASURE chestS. Fun to learn: BOOMERS.

Krazy Kat 10:04 AM  

I don’t spend good wampum on crossword puzzles to be reminded of Fauxcahontas.

Newboy 10:08 AM  

Aaaawwhh! So nice to see Rex as a loving dad rather than his usual curmudgeon persona. And he likes kitties. Agree that the puz didn’t resist as much as I’d suspect for Saturday, but it did flow once a couple longer entries fell into place: TREASURE TROVE & CRIME SCENE. Given those anchors, I was on a ROLL without a CLOUD in the sky. Thanks R&R for the weekend rest & relaxation 😷 My only quibble was the TETON which Wiki tells me is “an 64-mile-long (103 km) tributary of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River” which I was sure powered the Natick Flour Mill’s grindstone. Even the Henry’s Fork would be obscure—and I’ve lived in Idaho since the 60s.

Nancy 10:10 AM  

So I "kept the faith", leaving the ridiculous NW corner that crosses an original Temptation band member with an R&B title woman and going elsewhere -- all in the hope that eventually I'd return with some additional letters to help.

And eventually I did -- with the TU from TUSSAUD and the TRE from TREASURE TROVES. But I'm still not happy about the NW corner.

There are some clues I liked a lot and others I didn't:


Didn't: ABOUT THE AUTHOR is not a "material". It's a headline. AUTHOR'S BIO -- maybe, but only if you really stretch. And I know why SET (26A) is hard, but why is it also fast???

Something I learned: Male kangaroos are called the same thing that you and I are called. Well, at least a certain proportion of you. As for me: about 10-20 years ago the nameless people who "determine" generational designations tried to oust me from the BOOMER category that I'd inhabited for my whole life, moving the starting date of birth several years forward and extending the category all the way up to 1965. (What does someone born in 1965 have in common with someone born in 1946, 1946 being still "allowed"? I'd say nothing in common.) Anyway, I refuse to be ousted. No one STEALS my BOOMER street cred from me. I will not slither away silently into the Silent Generation and that's that. You can consider me a ONE MAN (or woman) ARMY on the subject. You can say about me, in the face of all the people SET on moving the goal posts: "Nevertheless, she persisted."

kitshef 10:11 AM  

My two biggest hangups: wanted gauss instead of TESLA (turns out that was not so far off - gauss is also a unit of magnetic flux density); and for Wax figure, I went really astray. I confused 'wax' with 'whacks' and went for a mis-spelt asSasin.

jae 10:11 AM  

Easy and faster than yesterday’s. Terrific Sat. and Jeff gave it a well deserved POW. Liked it a bunch!

My biggest nanosecond suck was Snake before TETON for the Idaho river.

@Rex - congrats to your daughter, that first Sat. is a major milestone.

MarthaCatherine 10:13 AM  

Like someone upstream (can't find the comment) I too had HEAUT and was looking for some kind of French fabric or material for way too long. When I finally got the answer, I liked it a lot.

And I'm embarrassed to admit that my first reaction to 7D was Nancy Pelosi. I know, I know, I'm an idiot.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When the plain ol' name wouldn't fit, I'm trying to make Speaker Pelosi and Madame Pelosi and Speaker of the House Pelosi--you name it--fit. Finally got it from some crosses.

And then came the SW corner. Finally cheated and looked up male kangaroos, cuz I couldn't make "joeys" fit (full confession: I even tried "josephs").

GHarris 10:29 AM  

Only difference between me and Rex’s daughter; she finished in 43 minutes and felt like it took forever; I finished in 43 minutes and thought I was flying. Slowed by first trying to put in Eliza Doolittle, getting the right spelling of Tussaud and starting with sirloin before realizing we were dealing with a cheaper cut of steak. Still, a Saturday without a single cheat done in a reasonable time is a big deal for me even after many years (though not just once).

DavidN 10:42 AM  

I think that co-hosts run the show together, therefore they are "running mates"

BrianM 10:46 AM  

Boomers - check out Aussie Rolf Harris’ Christmas song “6 white boomers”.....a common apellation fir a big Kangaroo down under.

Frantic Sloth 10:49 AM  

Somehow, I must have known that reading Rex and youz would not be as much fun as it usually is. It's official. I'm the odd duck. This was easy? Okay. Sure. I say again, BELIKETHAT.

So far off from Rex today. His obsession with youthiness in crosswords rankles at times, but TATA? I like TURNT and BELIKETHAT (is that really just youthy or is it everyoney?) as much as the next schlub, but c'mon.
Although I do agree that COHOST "needs work."

Hand up for ABOUTTHEAUTHOR love.

@TTrimble 851am Our kinship has a name: BoARBUttheads. πŸ˜‰
However, I disagree about that exclamation point being a simple misdirect. It was unnecessary, especially in light of the many other solid misdirects. Plus why are they trying so hard? To fool us over ONCE?? Please. Feels cheap.

I find it interesting that familiarity with the whole "Nevertheless, she persisted" thing seems to have a line drawn straight down the middle of men on one side, women t'other. Or is it me?

Cliff 10:53 AM  

"Wax figure?" Question mark? So I thought, "Well, it must not be Tussaud," which was my first, straightforward thought.

Nancy 11:03 AM  

@pabloinnh and @GHarris -- I, too, had trouble spelling TUSSAUD, at first spelling it TUSSEAU. A little knowledge [of French] is a dangerous thing, because that's how it's pronounced. And, to make it worse, it rhymes with "trousseau".

@Mathgent remembered my rapturous praise the other day of Oysters Rockefeller, though I had no idea that it was invented in NOLA. I was looking for a restaurant -- in the way that the Famous Grilled Reuben was invented at Oscar's restaurant in the Waldorf Hotel. But I couldn't think of any high end 4-letter restaurants.

All the food in today's puzzle is made TO ORDER for me. Those sublime oysters, the STRIP STEAK, and I always order my pasta AL DENTE. (*Food spoiler alert* for yesterday's puzzle below.)

Yesterday we had the dish I might well order for my Last Meal: SHAD ROE. It may be my favorite entree of anything in the entire world. And I haven't seen it on anyone's menu in years and years. Such a bummer.

Yes, wouldn't this would be a superb last meal? Oysters Rockefeller followed by Shad Roe with bacon. Will Mousse Au Chocolate be in tomorrow's puzzle?

GILL I. 11:07 AM  

I got a bit of the ILL BITE bug. I only ZIPS through the north but the south got me good at my first TURNT.
Where did I go wrong? Oh ABOUT THE actors section.'s AUTHOR. I had to do the get up and move several times, dance.
ABOUT the only thing I had staring at me in the downstairs was PURR. I had ELIZABETH and I kept thinking the queen. When WILL came into view, I did the head bop, of course, WARREN. I really like her!
I did remember BOOMERS but I wanted to fit "Old Men" in there. Like @jae, I had the river SNAKE. The dear, sweet, TSE TSE gave me the E and the boob TATA gave me TETON. And so it went. Erase, erase, think, think, don't let the ODOR CLOUD your memory. I'm happy that many of you found this easy....especially @Rex's daughter. She's one smart cookie.
I will now bid you ADIEU and go open my third floor window to listen to the murmurations of our blackbirds and starlings doing their dance just one mile from my abode. We live not far from huge rice fields and the birds come here every year. The farmers hate them and set off BOOMs to scare them away. I tried video taping them on my iPhone but you couldn't see them very well. It's an amazing sight. Santa will be happy.

Teedmn 11:18 AM  

Not the easiest Saturday but it took me about the same amount of time as yesterday's puzzle so I finished under my average Saturday time. Certainly not as hard as I find Andrew's subscription themeless puzzles (and his bonus Rows Garden puzzles). Did Caitlin soften up his clues? ELIZABETH WARREN as a gimme might have been the difference.

I started in the NE with STEALS and OTC. I had read the clues for 15A and 18A, and with that final C__E in 18A, I thought "Fine, then" could be "as if I CarE", but oops, that was the clue for 15A. Luckily I looked before splatzing that in.

I considered Rex's "Dinner beLL" for 25A along with "Dinner paiL when all I had was the L but no, it's a dinner ROLL.

41A's passing concern was briefly the Wake and I misentered 31D's AMOUR as AMOre which clouded that area up for a moment but the lingering ODOR set me on the right track. Otherwise, this was not a BEAR of a puzzle in the least, but very enjoyable.

Thanks, Caitlin and Andrew, nice Saturday puzzle.

Buss 11:23 AM  

51 years old. College educated, reasonably (I thought) up on current events, quite good at Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit, and regular finisher of most NYT puzzles. As God as my witness, I have never heard of "Nevertheless she persisted." I now feel like I've just crawled from under a rock. Love the regulars in here. Been missing @'Mericans for awhile and now missing @Lewis. Where are they? I dont normally post because I'm a day or two behind, but I almost like coming here just as much as the solve itself!

jberg 11:25 AM  

TV shows have an actual position called “show runner” which is not the host. I think the clue refers to Zoom meetings, where the host and any COHOSTs can do things—eg, send people to breakout rooms—that ordinary participants cannot. (If that all sounds like gibberish to you, thank your lucky stars.

I dunno, @Nancy, I was born in 1943 and insist that I am a war baby, not a boomer. I mean, the baby boom was a result of GIs coming back en masse, no?

Richard 11:25 AM  

So OFL was Billy Goat Gruff in his pre-school play. Explains a lot. Me? I played the title role in Chekov's "The Boor" in high school. Maybe....? Nah.

Congrats to Rex's daughter. Just 43 minutes? I didn't (don't) time myself, but I'd guess she beat me. And I thought this was an easy Saturday. (But then, any Saturday I can finish without cheating is, by definition, "easy.")

Room 26/28 11:28 AM  

Loved “I even tried joseph”!

Bax'N'Nex 11:33 AM  

I found this to be hard. Could not finish (on my own), Didn’t cheat any letters, but did “check puzzle” a few times to see if my guesses were correct. Finally finished.

Not sure how this “skews young” or whatever Mike said. The Spinners, Temptations, Tussaud, Bruce Lee, Bette Midler, Ness, “I’ll bite”, NATO alphabet? Does Turnt, Her and Elizabeth Warren offset those to make this young?

Don’t get me wrong, at 60 those were the ones I knew...

BTW...are there R-rated puzzles out there? That would be pretty fun...

GILL I. 11:40 AM  

The blackbirds and the starlings have flown the coop. So I'm back to speak with @Nancy. I looked up the origin of Oysters Rockefeller - mainly to figure out why they were called that since they originally were served in New Orleans. Evidently they were named after John D. because of its extreme richness. Hah! Anyway, they were created in 1889 by this Jules Alciatore dude. There was this shortage of escargot and oysters were plentiful in NOLA so he comes up with his famous recipe. He took the "green" ingredient to his grave. Nobody knows if it is parsley or even absinthe liqueur that gave the color! So there you have it, @Nancy....Something you can tell all of your friends while perhaps enjoying a starter of SHAD ROE, followed by rare STRIP STEAK with pommes frites and a glass of Pinot. Cheers!

CDilly52 11:43 AM  

@Franitc and I seem to have had the identical solving experience today! Also, I blazed through yesterday, wondering how the heck, - with a bad case of the flu no less (thanked the virus gods that it wasn’t COVID-who is ever glad to have the flu. . ) - that happened. Now today, I was off and running.

However, fatigue and too much cold medication made me read 13D as “Dies some fitting” so I had STEAm and thought that was just dandy. That made me think 12D had to do with political cabinets and “additions” as HANDoutS which made 25A a dinner ROom (and all the while I was thinking to self - whatever the F a “ dinner room” is - sounds more like a clue than an answer, but - and moved on. Thought REStS was fine for 29A as in an”stand” being something upon which one “rests” something. Now, how’s that for some fancy flu-brain justification, my friends! And what a giant mess.

Went on in essentially a counter clockwise manner through the remainder. I did loathe OKED (and any other variation of using OK in written verb forms - just looks wrong no matter how one spells whatever. Cranky flu-headed woman speaks out!

While on the subject of things I disliked - biO of THE AUTHOR fits perfectly in 30A and Infell for it book line and proverbial sinker! So there’s where the SW corner began to go horribly wrong. My t-bone STEAK was marbled, and my cheeks were a BUtt, not BUNS. I also knee that the magnet field was also the name of a car and still couldn’t remember TESLA until this morning’s 4am cat feeding.

So, after I got TESLA, you’d think things would get better. Not so much. All that did was make me think a “running mate?” Was a COHOrT which sounded just dandy but didn’t account for the ?, but what the hell, right? Clues are messed up and badly formed all the time. But the. There’s that dang STEAK again, so maybe?

Anyhoo, y’all can see my struggle with this one after setting a new PB yesterday and all, the ego thrashing I experienced as the puzzle’s happy music continued to elude me.

Like our esteemed @Frantic though, I was not to be bested and ruin my current streak through the dreaded and despised DNF, so several cups of tea, a short nap and back to the drawing board. 1:25:57 later, I finally remembered our dead Mr. TESLA, had weakened enough to read “lifting” instead of “fitting” at 13D and πŸ˜ƒ 🎢 at long last!

Oh, by the way, OU vs Iowa State fir the Big 12 (COVID-year) Championship today: BOOMER Sooner all!!

RooMonster 11:44 AM  

Well, I was just about to finish my post, when my POS phone decided to auto-refresh, and I lost it. I'm waiting until later, because sometimes when you hit the back bar later on in the day, it comes back. Took three hours to calm down to post this!

But since I'm here...

"Things we're thankful for"

People who sincerely exude kindness over judgment.

Hope that's me, but sometimes...

Photomatte 11:48 AM  

I don't think of TA TA as a single word (in fact, as I just tried to write it as such, my autocorrect wouldn't let me). Also, since when does ONCE mean Not Again? That's like cluing the word FOUR as 'Not Five Times.'
Wanted SNAKE for the river in Idaho, or even BOISE, or possibly a rebus of the words PAYETTE or SALMON....totally forgot the eastern part of the state contains part of the Teton River!

Masked and Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Fun themeless. Knew almost everything in the puzgrid, but the clues were what put up the fight. Seven ?-marker clues, plus lotsa great mini-trivia-contests, at our house, such as: TSETSE. ROMULUS. NOLA. BEAR. ONTOAST.
Plus, some clues just kinda tried to help as little as possible, such as ...
* {Dinner ___} = ROLL.
* {Flies} = ZIPS. Eponym in "zip up yer fly".
* {Voice} = UTTER.
* {Not again!} = ONCE.
* {Passing concern} = WILL. Rates a ?-mark clue, in our book.
Enjoyable solvequest sufferin ensued.

Sooo … close call for Rome. It coulda ended up bein called Ream, or somesuch.
Had the wax lady spelled out as TOSSEAU. French pronunciation/spellin always throws the M&A into nanosecond overtime.

This puz was nicely UTURNT. 8 of the lil darlins.
staff weeject pick: Has both a HEM and a HER. Went well with AHEM & THEIR.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Caitlin darlin & Andrew J. dude. Nice job.

Masked & Anonym8Us

p.s. Applause for the @RP daughter. She no doubt owes it all to solvin runtpuzs.


Z 12:03 PM  

@Anon7:50 - More here, but perhaps the most infamous recent example of the guys in the Senate being snowflakes.

@Southside Johnny - Saturdays are one of those things. Keep at it and you will prevail. I suggest the put it down and come back to it method. Three or four whacks at it over the course of a day does wonders and the more you get on your own the better for your overall skills. Lots of stuff (NUIT for example) will come easier the more puzzles you do.

@Chuck D 9:16 - Fair enough. It’s been {checks watch} 35 years since I read the ORESTEia and I never saw THE ROSE, but that’s mostly because I find cautionary tales generally pedantic. The news is all I need for cautionary tales.

@Frantic Sloth - They wouldn't be that cheesy....would they?? Please. God. No! - See @kitshef 9:52 and then decide.

@Newboy - Re the TETON River - But the TETON mountain range is crossworthy so we might expect an eponymous river in Idaho to make a Saturday appearance. But wait, aren’t the TETONs mostly in Wyoming? To which I say, “Saturday.”


TTrimble 12:15 PM  

@Frantic Sloth
This is sort of repeating myself, but I'm not sure a toneless "not again" would be misdirect-y enough. You hear "Not again!" from your spouse and you can't help but think "oh no! what now?" A flat, affectless "not again" might not carry the oomph to turn the solver in the wrong direction.

Another way to clue ONCE that might be Saturday-worthy... well, it would be a little PPP-ish, but there was that play and movie. I really liked the movie, with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. A sweet and simple tale with good music, I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. (The Broadway play, I dunno. The ads carried a whiff of trying too hard, speaking of that. Maybe I'm wrong.)

I like your twisted bodacious TATA reading. What with the recent business of BUTT cracks -- which has sent my mind down dark POTTY HUMOR paths (I expended several paragraphs recently on the subject of flatulence, of all things, with little prompting at that) -- I mean, why not? We've already come this far!

bocamp 12:21 PM  

Thank you, @Caitlin & @Andrew for this fine Sat. offering. It was indeed a treasure!

Got no traction at all in the NW, so moved east and it was smooth sailing all the way down, around and back up to the NW, which then fell into place from the crosses.

Near record time for a Sat. puz.

Loved "treasure troves".

Peace πŸ•Š

misterarthur 12:21 PM  

A Boomer is also the nickname in the Navy for an Ohio-class submarine, FWIW.

kitshef 12:21 PM  

@Frantic Sloth 10:49, on 'nevertheless...'. I don't see it. Not clear what sex everyone is, but here is what I see.
Gimme - Z, Seth, mmorgan, mohair sam, teedmn
Huh? - Frosty Flake, anonymous, kitshef, marthacatherine, gharris, gill i, buss

@Nancy 11:03 - should we ever have occasion to dine together, we may have some difficulty choosing the place. The only thing I can imagine worse than oysters Rockefeller and shad roe would be serve them with latkes. Maybe we should just go out for dessert - chocolate mousse is about as good as life gets.

Z 12:45 PM  

Scene: The Rye, NY wooden roller coaster
Tween Sloth played by Keanu Reeves
Momma Sloth played by Meryl Streep

Tween Sloth - Mom! Mom! Can we ride it again?
Momma Sloth - I said ONCE.
TS - But MOooOOM it was so much satanic fun!!!!
MS - I said ONCE and I meant ONCE.
TS - But Mo-
MS - Not again! And that’s final.

/end scene

@Bax’N’Nex - I don’t know about “R-rated” but the independent puzzles will venture beyond PG-13 on occasion, maybe “PG-16.”

@kitshef & @Frantic Sloth - Since US news skews slightly right of center and heavily male I’m hardly surprised that that clue was not automatic for everyone, plus it has been almost 4 years since the incident. This particular guy has a Nevertheless She Persisted T-Shirt so the clue was Monday easy here.

Nancy 1:07 PM  

Thank you, @jberg (I think). Now I have a generation!!!!! I'd completely forgotten about the War Baby Generation and so, it appears, did everyone else.

While I will miss being a BOOMER (I've gotten so used to thinking about myself that way over the years), at least I won't be dragged, kicking and screaming back into the Silent Generation. And "War Baby" sounds sort of cool and romantic, doesn't it?

On to dinner, I'll have dinner with you, @@GILL (yum!) but I suppose not with @kitshef -- despite the fact that I really like @kitshef. Somehow he thinks that I want to have latkes with my shad roe. And, trust me, I don't. Latkes are potato pancakes, yes? If so, I only want them with my pot roast, @kitshef.

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

Hill before will. Different kind of passing concern. Excellent misdirection. After all, who the heck is Elizabeth Harren?!?!

One man army hung me up for a while too.

Boomer Pride 1:15 PM  

@Nancy, I am a 1955 person and have never seen 1965 listed as a Boomer. My quick Google search shows that you are a Boomer...fear not! @jberg, you are a member of The Silent Generation as is my sister who was born in 1944.
I am in the camp that enjoyed this puzzle but I did not find it easy. I DID find the yesterday puzzle to be easy. I just would not give up on the SNAKE river. That was stupid stubbornness that had me struggle in the SE forever!

Barbara Bolsen 1:16 PM  

A little heart potter Pat for your daughter. I started doing the NYT crossword in college, Sunday’s in ink. I’d go to the library to research answers I didn’t know. Yeah, I’m that many years old. πŸ™„πŸ˜‰

albatross shell 1:17 PM  

TETON River. I only know Snake where the TETON gets to. I found the Wikipedia page that call it a 65 mile tributary also claims it's length is 81 miles. Including curves or is something else afoot? Also
there is a one Teton River in Montana. Anyway it's the last free-flowing river in Idaho, not that they did not try. In 1976 they built a dam that collapsed while being filled. Eleven dead and severe environental damage. Time has healed the latter.
I got the top half done on my own, but had to cheat on the lower half.

ONEMANARMY: Fine Bruce Lee clue.

TOORDER: kinda Dook-ish.

filmTHEME for a while.

ABOUTTHEAUTHOR fine with me.

@Frantic, I think.
I've been saying BE LIKE THAT and/or BE that way for four or five decades, so not particularly youthful here.

Barbara Bolsen 1:23 PM  

I had BUTT also and got stuck in the SW. look at the BUTT clue more carefully for your aha moment.

Nancy 1:28 PM  

Oh, bless your sweet, adorable little 1955 heart, @Boomer Pride. I love you so much. And that's because you so obviously think that I'm younger than I am. But alas, no, -- I am of @jberg's and your sister's generation. OTOH, I just found out that I'm a War Baby [see above] and certainly that's a lot better than being thrust backward into the namby-pamby Silent Generation. You might want to pass the good news on to your 1944 sister, btw.

Barbara Bolsen 1:49 PM  

Snake and Salmon. There are other rivers in Idaho?

Douglas 2:09 PM  

Great puzzle! Finished while waiting in line to get my COVID vaccine. Be safe everyone!

okanaganer 2:09 PM  

Geez, my bachelor's degree in Physics lets me down yet again. I refused to think GAUSS could be wrong, then I was like WEBER? But no, TESLA. All of them 5 letters!

Yes it was a fast solve, except for the other traps that people have mentioned: COHORT for COHOST, ABOUT THE ARTIST (thinking CD or album jacket) instead of AUTHOR, BOAR instead of BEAR.

For @BrianM 10:46, here's Rolf Harris with his fun Christmas song, Six White BOOMERS.

Anonymoose 2:17 PM  

Still waiting for a plausible explanation for Running mate /COHOST

Anonymous 2:25 PM  

I hope nobody is taking generation classification too seriously.

Michelle Turner 2:36 PM  

I’m thinking cohost could be mate for a running joke.

jae 2:57 PM  

@Z - re: NOLA and oysters. Gulf coast oysters are some of the best in the world.
re: She Persisted - my bride has several campaign style pins with that phrase which she wears frequently.

General comment about the Stumper: My first thought was that someone has blackmailed Stanley Newman and forced him to substitute an easy NYT Friday for the Stumper. However, your milage may vary.

jberg 3:06 PM  

I thought my Zoom explanation of CO-HOST was pretty plausible, but maybe it hadn't posted at the time of the recent queries. See 11:24.

Also, no one has answered those asking about the Warren clue. Sometime in the last several years she was questioning some hostile official in a committee hearing when the male committee chair told her either that her time was up or that she was out of order (an Internet search for the phrase in the clue should turn up the details.) She was then "silenced" for a day as a punishment. Some Senate leader, probably McConnell then summed up the charges against her, explaining that she had been told to stop pressing her question, but "nevertheless she persisted." This was all more or less according to Senate rules, but enforcing them more strictly than usual. The optics of a bunch of powerful men telling a woman Senator to be quiet, and then punishing her when she persisted, created a huge outcry at the time - along with a merchandising boom in shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, etc. with the quotation to them (see @z above.)

TTrimble 3:40 PM  

Following on @jberg's recollection about the Elizabeth Warren story, the context was the confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. She was arguing against this based on his record on civil rights, and was silenced (via a Senate vote along party lines) after an objection from Mitch McConnell, citing a rule about impugning a fellow senator. The Wikipedia article does a pretty good job of laying out the story, for anyone whose memory needs refreshing.

Anyway, yes, as jberg says, it was McConnell, while summarizing his version of the events on the Senate floor, said this: "Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

ZenMonkey 3:41 PM  

I’m amazed that no one has mentioned the cluing error on 51A. The movie is “Fist of Fury” not “Fists.” I guess no one at the NYT cares either because I emailed them yesterday and the iPad version is still incorrect.

Z 3:43 PM  

@jae - No doubt but NOLA is firmly associated with a seafood boil resplendent in crawfish more than oysters with me. I’m much more likely to associate oysters with Maryland. Of course, I don’t think oysters have ever been made TO ORDER for me, so I’m about as far from an expert as possible.

@jberg - I did link to the lengthy wiki article about the phrase and incident. I’d forgotten it was because she spoke the truth about Jeff Sessions.

@misterarthur - based on my extensive naval expertise (I’ve seen Hunt for Red October) I thought BOOMER was naval slang for any sub with ballistic missile capabilities. “I’ve got a BOOMER out of Polyarny.”

Z 3:52 PM  

@Zen Monkey - Fist of Fury
Fists of Fury
I’m usually loath to say a clue is “wrong” because usually it just needs to be interpreted differently. In this case, though, it looks like their fact checking fell short, perhaps because of the later movie. You are correct, it seems, that clue is wrong. Is there any possibility that it is a translation issue?

Cankee Yanuck 4:05 PM  

I didn't find the puzzle easy as I was doing it (went through the entire grid at least a half dozen times) , but I finished under 46 minutes which is my second-best time for a Saturday. Liked the mix of topics for the entries and thought most of them had great clues.

Had the WI for 41 A (Passing concern) and entered WIND. Was quite glad to find out I was wrong about that one!

Z 4:27 PM  

@jae - 13:47 for the Stumper. For me this is most definitely Friday, maybe even hard Wednesday range. I would have been thoroughly amused if Prince Phillip had turned out to be a COHOST but the puzzle demanded 7 letters. At any rate, the easiest Stumper I remember doing.

Joaquin 4:36 PM  

@ZenMonkey - The clue for 51A is correct ("Bruce Lee in 'Fists of Fury,' for example) in the online version which was available last night.

Z 4:39 PM  

@jae - Apparently Newman is on vacation and this is an updated puzzle from 2010.

Z 4:42 PM  

@Joaquin - The plural is wrong and is what still appears in my iPad app version.

Anonymous 4:49 PM  

Absolutely no fisting!

Anonymous 5:11 PM  

I feel about Elizabeth Warren the way Rex feels about Mike Lee. Of course in this group of mostly superannuated lefties I’m in the minority. Vive le diffΓ©rence. Donadagohvi.

jae 5:14 PM  

@Z - thanks for the Stumper link (I’m not on Twitter). Makes sense now.

pmdm 5:18 PM  

Struggled quite a bit, put the puzzle down for quite a bit, looked up all the PPP entires that I could, then completed the puzzle. Z is quite correct: put it down and come back and you may be amazed.

A comment about Z's comment from so long ago. In the world of physics, each unit has both a name and a symbols. The symbols are often Greek letters, and the names are frequently eponyms. It may not be clear to all whether a clue such as 57A is referring to the unit name or the unit symbol. I guess that's what makes a Saturday puzzle a Saturday puzzle.

ZenMonkey 5:18 PM  

“Fist of Fury” is an extremely famous 1972 movie starring Bruce Lee. Single fist. I watched it about four days ago.

“Fists of Fury” is something from the 21st century not starring Bruce Lee. Multiple fists.

Not a translation error or misinterpretation. A flat-out WRONG answer that the NYT appears not to care about at all.

Which is why I’m starting to wonder why I still care about the NYT.

Joaquin 5:27 PM  

@Z - Yep. I had misunderstood the original complaint by ZenMonkey.

emily 5:43 PM  

I’m a tail-end ‘Boomer’ my from Kansas mom did the daily xword, when I moved away she would call me for answers to ‘current culture’ clues. She got me hooked. A fond memory

Frantic Sloth 5:44 PM  

Holy Marina! Go away for a little Christmas shopping and yikes! I hope I don't leave anybody out...

@CDilly52 1143am Don't knock the flu brain - it's very entertaining! More importantly, you feed your cat(s) at 4am?

@kitshef 1221pm Thanks for doing the actual calculation - which of course, I couldn't be bothered with. πŸ˜‰ Thing is, I thought I might be imagining it due to my natural predisposition to break things down along gender-y lines. Never said I was fair. Probably never will. Haha!

@Z 1203pm Never even noticed that cross, so thanks for pointing out @kitshef's 952am because I wasn't skeeved enough.

@TTrimble 1215pm and @Z 1245pm
Well, look at that! You're both wrong! And I am neither "twisted" (TTrimble), nor Keanu-freakin'-Reeves!

@albatross shell 117pm Right? Thank you! Another vote for "everyoney".

@ZenMonkey 341pm Great catch! Nobody brought it up because I'll bet more people believe "Fists" is correct. And stuff like this doesn't help. Go know. 🀷‍♀️

Coming up on Sundee puzzle time...fingers crossed!

chinch 6:18 PM  

@Frosty Flake 8.45 AM Me too on bILL instead of WILL. By the way, bILL fits the 41A clue just as well.

Anonymous 6:30 PM  


I was making dinner and She Who Must Be Obeyed yelled to watch the TeeVee - Porter was grilling some Right Wingnut's chestnuts. It was a sight to behold. First I knew of her. A bit portly, so I suppose The Orange Sh!tgibbon (not my coinage, but I cleave) has made something of that.

chinch 6:31 PM  

@Buss 11.23 AM Me too on everything you said, except that I’m a few years older than you.

Nancy 7:37 PM  

To all those confused by the CO-HOST clue:

When you host an event like the Oscars, you're basically running it. And when you're the host of a game show, you're running that. So when you're the CO-HOST of an event, the person running it with you is your running mate.

A bit tortured in syntax, perhaps, but not nearly as tortured as ABOUT THE AUTHOR, in my opinion.

Z 8:09 PM  

@Frantic Sloth - No actors were harmed in the writing of the scene and any resemblance to any person is purely coincidental. Besides, I imagine you as more Meryl Streepy.

@Zen Monkey - I didn’t see anything on crossword Twitter either. The irony is Fist of Fury makes sense if he is a ONE MAN ARMY. Apparently the groups “martial arts movie aficionados” and “crossword commenters” has a very small overlap.

@jae - Serendipity. I was just catching up after posting my time here and there was Evan’s Tweet. I wasn’t actually looking for that info.

TTrimble 8:32 PM  

(@Westchester Gal - a propos of what, exactly?)

@Anonymous 6:30 PM
If you can remember who that was and what it's about, I'd be interested. There are loads of YouTube videos of her doing the people's business. Memorable are her grillings of Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Steve Mnuchin, the CEO of Wells Fargo (I think it was), Louis DeJoy -- to name only a few. It's an embarrassment of riches, as the saying goes. She gets right to the point and strips away the facades.

But if anyone wants an object lesson in exactly how representatives ought to go about their business, I offer you this, in particular how she secures a pledge from Robert Redfield as head of the CDC, to ensure that Americans who want to get tested for coronavirus will be covered, regardless of their insurance. It's absolutely beautiful. It just about brings tears to my eyes. Why don't more congresspeople do this?

GILL I. 9:25 PM  

@TTrimble. WOW. Thank you for sharing this. Damn....Ms. Katie Porter is my new hero. Now we'll see if Dr. Redfield holds up his promise. I'm going to be tested this week. I'll see how much out-of-pocket I have to pay.

TTrimble 10:07 PM  

@Maddie h -- troll harder. You need a lot more practice.

@Gill I. Good luck this upcoming week. IANAL, so it's quite hard for me to say how actionable Redfield's pledge is. Luckily for us, people like Katie Porter and Elizabeth Warren are trained in the law. Make that, Professor Porter and Professor Warren.

sanfranman59 10:08 PM  

@Unknown (9:52am) ... "I'll Be Around" and "Then Came You" were by The Spinners (the latter, with the magnificent Dionne Warwick). Loved me some Stylistics back in high school. "You Are Everything" and "Betcha by Golly, Wow" were two of my faves by them, in addition to the ones you list. Russell Thompkins' amazing falsetto voice is echoing in my mind as I type this.

puzzlehoarder 10:57 PM  

Very late post (and solve), I had Xmas shopping to do. A pretty average Saturday level. I was surprised to see both AHEM and HEM in the same puzzle but both were well supported.

I cold guessed OTIS and NOLA right out of the gate. Another boost was spelling TUSSAUD correctly. TURNT was difficult the first time we had it. Slang of the moment gets stale quickly and today it was a gimme.

In the middle I had to change CHESTS to TROVES. The SW held out briefly at the end. Not too hard but a quality solve.

thefogman 10:56 AM  

Add me to the club that got 44A and 45D wrong. Had BoAR - oRATO. It’s all Greek to me... So I ran through my ABC’s and picked the wrong animal. The editor OKED another Natick. (Eye ROLL) but the puzzle was good besides that.

thefogman 11:16 AM  

PS - I had bILL not WILL. for 41A Both are “Passing concerns”. Now I get 7D. TATA for now...

spacecraft 11:22 AM  

I don't know the Muses either, but ERATO, with its one-pointers and terminal vowels, is an old crossword darling. I couldn't name another one if my life depended on it.

"Easy" is definitely NOT the word I'd use to describe this puzzle. On first read-through, I didn't know a single entry. Wanted BEthatway but it was a letter short. That, IMO, is far more common than BELIKETHAT--but when KEPT suggested itself, that's where I broke in. Pretty soon I had the beginnings of ELIZABETH--but who? When it TURNT out to be WARREN, I was mystified. The quote in the clue means nothing to me, but hey, if it's a full name and a gridspanner to boot, she deserves a DOD.

I surprised myself in the extreme by finishing this thing, and garnered a ton of triumph points in the process. Very challenging, so: eagle.

leftcoaster 3:52 PM  

If this puzzle had a MAIN THEME, it would be “clever and bright”, thanks to Caitlin and Andrew.

All the long acrosses are good ones, especially ABOUT THE AUTHOR. But ELIZABETH WARREN STEALS the show. Indeed, she has persisted. Maybe more of her colleagues could BE LIKE THAT.

Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle, and with that, TATA and ADEIU.

Diana, LIW 5:31 PM  

Foiled by the Greeks again. But otherwise, a filled-in Saturday. Is there a poster of Greek gods/goddesses/etc. like the Periodic Table to memorize? I bet there is - somewhere in the crossword store.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 5:33 PM  

PS - It was ORESTES (not ERATO) that messed me up.

Lady Di

Burma Shave 9:59 PM  




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