Tapenade discard / SAT 12-12-20 / Hybrid fruit also known as aprium / Luxury wear for showgoers / Longtime college basketball coach Kruger / Profession in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle / Jazzy Jeff per a 1988 3x platinum album title

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Constructor: Sid Sivakumar and Brooke Husic

Relative difficulty: on the harder side, but it's oversized (15x16), so maybe it's just bigger, not harder

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: STOP-TIME (46A: Rhythmic pattern in jazz) —
In tap dancingjazz, and bluesstop-time is an accompaniment pattern interrupting, or stopping, the normal time and featuring regular accented attacks on the first beat of each or every other measure, alternating with silence or instrumental solos. Stop-time occasionally appears in ragtime music. The characteristics of stop-time are heavy accents, frequent rests, and a stereotyped cadential pattern. Stop-timing may create the impression that the tempo has changed, though it has not, as the soloist continues without accompaniment. Stop-time is common in African-American popular music including R&Bsoul music, and led to the development of the break in hip hop. (wikipedia)

• • •

***HELLO, READERS AND FELLOW SOLVERS IN SYNDICATIONLAND (if the date is Saturday, January 16, 2021, that's YOU!)!***. The calendar has turned on another year (thank God), and while that might mean a lot of things to a lot of people, for me it means it's time for my annual week-long pitch for financial contributions to the blog. Every year I ask regular readers to consider what the blog is worth to them on an annual basis and give accordingly. Last year at this time, I wrote about what a melancholy year 2019 was; my oldest dog had died and the world was kind of a wreck. And then 2020 happened, and I learned what a real wreck looks like. In February, my other dog died (R.I.P. Gabby). And then, well, COVID. And let's be honest, even with a new president, 2021 is going to be, uh, challenging as well. But I hope that the regular ritual of solving crosswords brought some solace and stability to your lives this past year, and I hope that my blog added to your enjoyment of the solving experience in some way. This year my blog will celebrate its 15th anniversary! I feel so proud! And old! A lot of labor goes into producing this blog every day (Every. Day.) and the hours are, let's say, less than ideal (I'm either solving and writing at night, after 10pm, or in the morning, before 6am). Most days, I really do love the writing, but it is work, and once a year (right now!) I acknowledge that fact. As I've said before, I have no interest in "monetizing" the blog beyond a simple, direct contribution request once a year. No ads, no gimmicks. Just here for you, every day, rain or shine, whether you like it or, perhaps, on occasion, not :) It's just me and my laptop and some free blogging software and, you know, a lot of rage, but hopefully some insight and levity along the way. I do genuinely love this gig, and whether you're an everyday reader or a Sunday-only reader or a flat-out hatereader, I appreciate you more than you'll ever know.

How much should you give? Whatever you think the blog is worth to you on a yearly basis. Whatever that amount is is fantastic. Some people refuse to pay for what they can get for free. Others just don't have money to spare. All are welcome to read the blog—the site will always be open and free. But if you are able to express your appreciation monetarily, here are two options. First, a Paypal button (which you can also find in the blog sidebar):

Second, a mailing address (checks should be made out to "Rex Parker"):

Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905

And heck, why don't I throw my Venmo handle in here too, just in case that's your preferred way of moving money around; it's @MichaelDavidSharp (the last four digits of my phone are 4878, in case Venmo asks you, which they did that one time someone contributed that way—but it worked!)

All Paypal contributions will be gratefully acknowledged by email. All snail mail contributions will be gratefully acknowledged with hand-written postcards. I. Love. Snail Mail. I love seeing your gorgeous handwriting and then sending you my awful handwriting. It's all so wonderful. And my thank-you postcards this year are really special. They are portraits of my new cat Alfie (a bright spot of 2020), designed by artist Ella Egan, a.k.a. my daughter. And they look like this:

He's eating kale in that middle one, in case you're wondering. Anyway, these cards are personally meaningful to me, and also, I believe, objectively lovely. I can't wait to share them with the snail-mailers. Please note: I don't keep a "mailing list" and don't share my contributor info with anyone. And if you give by snail mail and (for some reason) don't want a thank-you card, just indicate "NO CARD."  Again, as ever, I'm so grateful for your readership and support. Now on to today's puzzle...

* * *

This is oversized for some reason. Usually it's a theme that drives a grid into unexpected dimensions, but I guess they couldn't do what they wanted to do in a 15x15, so here we are. More puzzle for the buck, I guess. Lots of thorniness in this one, but nothing that really dragged matters to a halt. The NW opened up pretty easily with IBM & IMS both being gimmes and then bam, BEQUEATH dropped right in (2D: Pass on after passing on), and the "Q" made SQUALL the likely first word there (17A: Narrow band of storms), and the rest of that corner just kinda fell into place. But getting into the center proved mildly challenging. Had TAKES but couldn't come up with AIM (25A: Gets ready to throw), and sadly AIM had all the letters I needed to be able to turn the corner there. I don't know what's being thrown that aim has to be taken. A dart I guess. Or an axe. I associate aiming with guns or bows or weapons like that, hence my blankness here. Also missed the turn into the center when I went with "I'M OUT" at 23D: "It's game over for me" ("I LOST"). That clue is bad, actually. It's bad to have a slangy clue and then have an absolutely plain, literal answer. Clue is idiomatic, answer should be too. "I LOST," my god it's so plain that no one actually says it. Also, the verb tense is off (present in the clue, past in the answer). Bah. And I was so proud of getting LIFER right away (24D: Die-hard fan no matter what, in slang), really thought I was gonna zoom down into the center there. But no.

Everything else was pretty doable, except the SW corner, where, even after I got UNDERSTOOD *and* NEEDS, I couldn't drop the Downs. Three opportunities (UN-, NE-, DE-), three strikes. I actually wanted UNSEATS at 41D: Wins a race against, but wasn't sure. And NEUTRAL was well disguised (42D: N as in Nissan?) (NEUTRAL being a transmission setting in an automobile such as a Nissan; cute). And DEBACLE was invisible to me, as I think of people having "meltdowns" and DEBACLEs just being situations. Oh, and I also couldn't figure 49A: I, for one (SUBJECT), even with -JECT in place. That's bad on my part. Shoulda seen that. So I had to dive into the unknown and build my way back out of that corner. Luckily TALE was right! (worried it might be DUST) (62A: Fairy ___), as was SLEW, and so building my way back out of that corner was less painful than I feared. Slowed a little by not knowing the word that was supposed to go before RISE at 63A: Order in the court. My brain just kept shouting "ALL." Me to brain: "It doesn't fit!" Brain: "ALL!" Me: "Stop it." Brain: "... ... ... try ALLLLL!" Me: "omg shut up."

PEACES is one of those slang terms I know exists but that I don't hear much, probably because it seems like it would be really easy for others to think you were saying something else. "Peace out!" has the "out" indicating departure. And if you are signing off or leaving, saying "PEACE" makes sense. But as a verb in the 3rd-person present indicative, it's awkward-feeling. But I'm old so he PEACES she PEACES it PEACES great whatever, go to town. Only bad things in this puzzle were ET ALIBI (I have some experience looking at bibliographies and yikes I can't remember ever seeing this—the term I'm familiar with is passim), and -TUPLE, up there with the worst suffixes ever to grace a grid (with the understanding that suffixes never truly "grace" anything) (51D: Mathematical suffix). Much of the rest was fun and entertaining. I was very excited to see PLUOT, which I guessed straight off (32D: Hybrid fruit also known as an aprium). Proudest, tastiest, happiest moment of the puzzle. Those things are delicious. I miss summer already. Let's see, any tricksy clues need explaining? [Pings] = IMS = "contacts someone via internet messaging" ("ping" comes from "the name of the sound a sonar makes when it detects another vessel"). Everything else seems reasonably straightforward. I'd like to thank Anna Karenina for teaching me about TATARs (48D: Siberian native). Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


mooretep 6:54 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle. Just crunchy enough for a Saturday.

Thank you for the Public Image Limited Video.
One of their best songs. May the Road Rise Up to Meet You, an Irish Blessing.

Saw them in St. Paul with the Sugarcubes (Bjork) and New Order.

Ah, nostalgia.

Conrad 6:56 AM  

Easy Saturday ... except for the SE. Figured EASY was too ... well, easy. Confidently put in BART for the SF Muni component. Bumper Cars before CROP and EspYS before EMMYS. Thought TATARs were from Turkey. Had the same alllll RISE problem as OFL. Fell into the "broken" trap at 39D. Needed a lot of help from Sergey and Larry.

Joaquin 7:15 AM  

Twice recently we’ve had RANDO; today we get RONDO, a much better concept (IMO). For a really great RONDO example, google “Dave Brubeck Quartet - Blue Rondo à la Turk”.

And, as an aside, for those not familiar with the meaning of Sid’s surname, the word “Sivakumar” translates to “maker of really cool crossword puzzles”.

Nick D 7:47 AM  

A minor quibble - I’ve practiced law in New York for 25 years and I’ve never heard a bailiff or a marshal say PLEASE RISE. “All rise” yes, PLEASE RISE no. Maybe they say it elsewhere, but I doubt it.

bocamp 7:55 AM  

Thank you @Sid & Brooke for a most enjoyable, easy, but at the same time challenging, Sat. offering. :)

Good start in the NW, and only problems were parsing "stop time" and "opera capes" to match the downs. Av. time.

Write-overs: "understand"; "plune" (didn't pay enough attention to the clue); 50D "cars"; 56D "Bart".

New: "squall line"; "Lon"; "etalibi"; "stop time"; "ims"; "the DJ"; "Adams" (ac); "pluot"; "lifer" (ac); "olive pit" (ac).

Hazy: "Sealy"; "opera capes"; "tuple"; "peaces"; "moonquake".

Sp/parsing/defs: "colonal"; "et alibi"; "Mauna Kea/Loa".

Side-eye: "rust-eaten"; "worse".

?? "neutral" ??

Fav clues/answers: "shush"; "squall line"; "unbalance"; "e-filing"; "takes aim"; "DNA profile"; "that was close"; "home run trot"; "understood"; "lap"; "splays"; "macros"; "unseats"; "debacle"; "peaces".

WOTD: "et alibi"

LOTD: "Hawaiian"

SOTD: The Phantom of the "Opera" - Emmy Rossum

FOTD: "pluot"

Timbuktu, "Mali"

Always enjoyed playing "Clue".

Peace Maluhia Paix ειρήνη Pax 🕊

Mary S 7:56 AM  

Epsilon is the symbol for elasticity. Not eta.

Frantic Sloth 8:06 AM  

Got THATWASCLOSE off of the first T, and that was the beginning and end of my cockiness. The fact that it doesn't even show up until the middle of the puzzle should have been my first clue, but...well, you know.

This dude Sid Sivakumar. Just evil sometimes. (This is Brooke Husic's 2nd NYTXW - both co-constructed with SS - so I still blame him)

Rex: "...maybe it's just bigger, not harder"
Oh, shut up already. (I'ma have to go back and finish reading him later)

Had to sleep on this one and that might be because I fell asleep mid-solve... anyway, sleeping helped because closing my eyes made me open my eyes (and mind) to the dastardly tone of this puzzle.

And only then was I able to twist my thoughts in accordance with these constructors. I think you might be catching on by now that I found this one jaw-breakingly crunchy. But I take solace in the fact that I didn't have to "cheat" (in any form that should take, according to some here).

In retrospect there was a lot to love. Actually, almost all of it.

Part of why this was so difficult is because so much of it was unusually fresh entries and beyond clever clueing - qualities which are sorely lacking these days.
I mean, MEATPACKER, SQUALLLINE, DNAPROFILE, HOMERUNTROTS, RUSTEATEN, OPERACAPES, PLEASERISE - and those are just the acrosseses! The downseses were just as, perhaps even more sparkly - and brutal.

I know I'm not as up on my "earth mother" and "sky father" lore - Hawaiian or otherwise (MAUNAKEA) - as I should be, but is there any excuse for not knowing who resides next door to "the Rafters" (gave me the SHINGLES) or not being able to parse "PEACE(S) out" from "Heads out" according to modern slang because we all know that that's where my language lives its best life??
Answer: YESSSS!!

Still, it's good to stretch and I love the feeling of accomplishment I'm left with when it's all over but the whining.
Thanks, you two. Give it a week or 2 to receive my medical bills.

🎉🎉🎉🎉.5 (mostly afterglow)

linac800 8:18 AM  

Economic elasticity, not mechanical...

Hungry Mother 8:23 AM  

Had RONDa, thinking of my sojourn in Spain and, at 80, not old enough to get PEACES. Not too bad for a Saturday slog.

TJS 8:27 AM  

Pluot,etalibi,otoh,tuple,tameness,eaved,stoptime, peaces,??? Jesus

pabloinnh 8:29 AM  

And lo, SQUALLLINE begat BEQUEATH, which begat MEATPACKER, and many answers fell into place, and it was good. Until the SW, where I hit the CARS>CROP snag, which was quickly repaired, and the end came too soon. Must have been a wavelength thing but this played like a Wednesday, and not an especially hard one. I'm sure the Saturday Stumper will bring me back to earth.

Had a @Nancy leTHARgy moment with DEBACLE, which I once used in a satiric poem. It's one of those words I knew very well but had never heard pronounced, and my line of poetry scanned nicely with the word pronounced DEBacle. Hey, looks like tentacle, no? Live and learn.

Slight side eye to TAMENESS, and trying to imagine its usage. Goodness, that lion is exhibiting an unusual amount of tameness! Uh, no.

Nice Saturdecito, SS and BH. Like taking a quiz I had studied all the right things for, and that almost never happens.

Mickey Bell 8:38 AM  

Agree, Conrad, on that SE corner. Terrible slog. Bad cluing and clunky fill. The rest was fun and challenging enough.

Ranius 8:39 AM  

Pretty challenging puzzle but I was able to slowly slog my way through with a lot of digital “erasures”.

I thought SQUALLLINE was going to be part of a theme considering the 3 Ls in a row.

Had cars instead of CROP and dust instead of TALE for the longest time, and espys for EMMYs (I thought the athletic part was relevant). I also tried substitute at the beginning instead of PLEASERISE (thinking it was a basketball court reference).

There also seemed to be a lot of jazz and musical references which did not help me out in the slightest.

NEUTRAL was one of the last squares I filled in but it was a nice aha moment.

Z 8:47 AM  

Z playing Tempest at the Rye Marina Arcade. Z almost has the high score when his last player is destroyed. On the screen the words “Game Over” grow. Z steps back and says, “I LOST,” and reaches into his pants pocket for another quarter.
/End Scene

@Frantic Sloth - I have an unfinished “easy” Inkubator puzzle on my clipboard by one Brooke Husic. I blame her. 😉*

This played mostly easy (for a Saturday) with just a couple of stumbles. “I, for one” took me to Roman nUmeral. Bumper CROP showed me I was wrong, but not until I realized that Jazzy Jeff was THE DJ did the clue make sense. The other stumble was STeP TIME which became STOP TIME but I had the puzzle filled and still ran the alphabet to make sure there wasn’t a better answer than PEACES. I have never heard PEACE verbified that way with that meaning so I still had a fear that I’d get to Rex and discover I DNFed.

At 19A I had the -ANCE and concluded the “tilt” was jousting and added the L to make some sort of LANCE. I was amused to discover that I’d been tilting at windmills when UNBALANCE appeared. I’m also glad that I had the -TEN in place before I read the 54A clue because my first thought was RUSTed out. So much easier to fix when you never have a chance to write in your wrong answer.

A polite bailiff? Alrighty then.

@Frantic Sloth - re: Rex’s comment - I wonder why that comment stood out to you.

*The PPP is far fresher than I am, which is really what is destroying me.

Carola 8:48 AM  

An enjoyable Saturday, easy and pleasing (COLONEL Mustard!) up top with some sticky wickets below (NEUTRAL, THE DJ, PEACES).
Do-overs: I LOSe; HOME RUN TRipS before TROTS (nice placement over LAP).

astroman 8:55 AM  

Excited to throw down 37A INFIELDTARPS.oops

Joe Dipinto 8:59 AM  

Clue for 23d could have been:
"45 words Americans will never hear?"

Pretty good overall, except for some unnecessarily long-winded cluage.

A rarely-played jam from fall of 1968
(#97 on WABC's Top 100 Songs Of The Year)

ChuckD 9:03 AM  

Was having a smooth, crunchy time until that SE corner hit me. The puzzle is atypically larger vertically - it wouldn’t justify within my phone screen. Gave them a few additional longs across the center. Not sure there were any real great moments here - HOME RUN TROTS and SQUALL LINE stuck out for me. Thought most of the cluing tried to be too cute at times - the UNSEATS, NEUTRAL and DEBACLE stack was pretty bad.

I guess I agree with Rex on the SE corner - it was difficult but not an enjoyable test. Officers say All rise and PEACES and TAMENESS are awful. I did like TUPLE out of that group - knowing of course Rex would rip it.

So overall I liked it - but when the last part of the puzzle you finish is so bad - it doesn’t leave a good taste. Crappy weather today - - hoping the Stumper can cheer me up.

Frantic Sloth 9:07 AM  

From yesterday @Whatsername and @pablo
Thanks so much for sharing your cat pics/stories. @pablo, you got it bad for those Bosox, dontcha?😉
BTW, Gary the turtle has been living with a friend of mine going on 30 years now.

Oh, yeah - how did I forget to mention TUPLE?? What an SOB. (Suffix Of Blech!)

And I agree with Rex about DEBACLE - seems more like a situation thing than a person thing.

@Nick D 747am makes a good point. Please RISE vs All RISE seems to me like a religious service request vs a court bailiff directive.

@Z 847am That's about the saddest scene I've ever read. If you need any help with that Inkubator puzzle, just send it over. 😉 (or you could send it over anyway)
And Rex's comment stood out to me because it was his first comment. Don't be gross. 🤣🤣

Stupac2 9:13 AM  

A pluot and an aprium are not the same thing, you'd never call one by the other name. They're both hybrids of plums and apricots, but the proportions of each parent fruit are different. Pluots are more plum-like, apriums more apricot-like. And as far as I can tell those names are trademarked by Zaiger Genetic (the developer of both crosses). So while I doubt many people will be thrown off by this, that clue is just completely wrong.

amyyanni 9:14 AM  

Fun,top half much easier than the bottom. Cute play with ORDER in the court starting with PLEASE. Agree with Rex on Peaces, but how else to clue that? Good Saturdays, all.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:16 AM  

Ah, COLONEL mustard. Kept thinking it's in the family Cruciferae, you make cole slaw from cabbage which is also a crucifer. Couldn't make any of it fit. It was a slog. Only gimmes for me were meatpacker and rondo.

Nancy 9:26 AM  

Seldom have I suffered* so much on a puzzle I actually managed to finish. No part of it was EASY, but the SW was brutal.

*Please note that "suffered" is not in quotation marks. Meaning that I really did suffer. (When it's in quotes, it means that I enjoyed my "suffering." Today, not so much.)

Occasionally, the constructors got me with a brilliant clue like that for NEUTRAL (42D).

Occasionally they taught me something, as in 10D. So that's where the word ALIBI comes from!!

More often, they flummoxed me with people I didn't know (Jeff THE DJ) and with vernacular I never heard (PEACES for "heads out." Really??!!)

Once it was with a ridiculous made-up phrase that no one said, ever: HOME RUN TROTS.

I never felt on the same wavelength as these constructors and I think I'll take myself over to xword.info to find out if they're young enough to be my grandchildren. I'd take that bet...

A very difficult puzzle for me. And too much effort to be all that much fun. But I'm proud I finished it. More grit than brilliance on my part, I'd say.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

Curious to me that TUPLE was clued as a less-than-desirable suffix. It is a fine standalone word in mathematics and computer science.

kitshef 9:39 AM  

For tapenade discard; THE WHOLE DISGUSTING MESS would not fit, alas.

PEACES?!? No, just no. Crossing STOPTIME – even no-er. And PLEASE RISE is what you hear at the ballpark, not in court.

Interesting misdirect on EMMYS – “Athletic Club” had me putting in ESPYS.

Having TROTS at the end of 37A sent my brain in a different direction.

Teedmn 9:42 AM  

I'm with @Carola on this being an easy Saturday. The SE was the toughest spot. Even after I had OPERA CAPES (based on thinking 50D was going to be bumper poOl), that area took a long time to fill in until I decided 65A could be EMMYS and everything was EASY after that.

My write-over today was PLUap. SpOP TIME got me rethinking that, even though, the clue citing jazz, I thought it might be okay in a bebop sort of way. But getting rid of the TOaD in 41A, I then capeeshed 41A.

This was fun and I enjoyed the explanation of the grid construction over at xwordinfo.com, which went right over my head, including the 16X15 size. Thanks, Sid and Brooke.

RooMonster 9:43 AM  

Hey All !
Agree with Rex on the 16 longness, any reason why? Quite unusual for a themeless. The good news is the ole brain caught it before even starting the puz. My brain sometimes acts like Rex's brain. Sad when you get into an argument with it. 😆

Had a three-letter, five-word DNF. STePTiME/RONDe, because crossing two musical thingies for an unsophisticate like me is just cruel. And EspYS/SEEs/TRAp, because they all made sense! Why would the EMMYS be at an Athletic club and not the ESPYS? Anyone? Bueller? 😀

Thought the Jazzy Jeff answer was THEDJ, but refused to put it in, because it seemed silly. Had defEATS first for UNSEATS, messing up my "Capeesh?" for a bit. And PLUma for PLUOT. Har.

PEACES is a pretty iffy answer. PEACE out, sure, PEACE along with a mic drop, sure. But as a plural, it's a POC if I've ever seen one.

yAle-UCLA, ImOut-ILOST (see I'm not alone, there), pAusE-TABLE, usA-SEA (Har, didn't sing it/know it immediately [foggy brain, Hi @Nancy!], so figured it was a song about The USA, so...), think that's it.

So a fun-ish, hard-ish puz. Took a break for a few minutes whilst solving, as the ole brain was not seeing anything in the SW-SCenter. Seemed to do the job, and finished. Well, DNFed finished, but still finished. ☺️

Two F's

Nancy 9:44 AM  

@Joe Dipinto (8:59) -- What an inspired clue for 23D, especially the "45" part! Maybe it's time for you to create a crossword?

@Nick and @Frantic -- I had the same "this should be ALL RISE, not PLEASE RISE" reaction that both of you did, and kept hesitating to write it in because it seemed so wrong. @Frantic -- I love how you say it belongs in a religious service, not in a court of law.

Blue Stater 9:47 AM  

I found this to be the most counterintuitive, difficult puzzle I can recall in 70-plus years of doing these. Unusually, for an exceptionally gnarly puzzle, the editor or whoever did not artificially enhance its difficulty with mistakes, although much of the fill was so arcane that I couldn't tell whether it was accurate or not. I should have given up early on; it was an aggravating waste of time.

RooMonster 9:48 AM  

"Things we're thankful for"

Modern tech, allowing us to keep in contact with other humans ala Zoom, FaceBook, Twitter, et.al. to keep us sane during Cabin Fever times. (What did they do in the 1918 pandemic? Semaphore? ☺️)


puzzlehoarder 9:51 AM  

Today's solve reminded me of last Saturday's. The NW was Monday easy. From there the solving switched to average Saturday for the entire NE to SW swath. Then I tried to get into the SE and the wheels came off.

The incorrect UNDERSTAND was a major roadblock in the middle. I spun my wheels helplessly on MACRA_ and PLUN_. TROT crossed with SPED along with RONDO in the middle and CROP in the SW bracketed a whole lot of nothing.

I had to resort to crossing EMMYS with EASY then put the puzzler into 4WD with the crawl mode on to slowly and painfully fill that last corner.

The biggest single hurdle was changing RUSTED OUT (strong) to RUSEATEN (very weak). The secondary and final hurdle was putting in UNDERSTOOD. This allowed MACROS and PLUOT to come back to me (I haven't solved regularly for months).

STOP (completely unknown) became a forgone conclusion but I still don't like PEACES. Whatever it takes to make a fiendishly difficult section so kudos to the youngsters.

**** SB ALERT ****

Before starting this puzzle last night I did get the QB for the Friday list. That's at least one for this week.

TTrimble 9:57 AM  

I didn't find it easy, and so was surprised to read @pabloinnh's take on it. Different strokes, obviously. (I think it was a wavelength thing.)

I got screwed up by entering "Mauna Loa" before correcting to MAUNA KEA. Clearly my knowledge of Hawaiian could use some brushing up. ;-)

Same reaction as of others to PEACES. "Peace out", sure. "Peaced out" or "peaced" -- okay, if you ask nicely. But can anyone attest to have actually heard "PEACES" spoken?

Same question for PLEASE RISE. Yes, of course "All rise", but I had the P from CROPS and for quite some time I wondered if it were "People rise" (which of course I've never heard either, but it sounds more like a command than a request, as it ought).

Can someone speak authoritatively to the ETA vs. epsilon war that is beginning to simmer? Mary S says epsilon is the symbol for elasticity. Then linac800 says "economic elasticity" (I don't know why or to whom, but I guessed in response to Mary S). I didn't know, so I Googled, and in the Wikipedia article for the concept of elasticity in economics, the page is peppered with instances of epsilon (the version which in LaTeX is rendered using \varepsilon). My eyes do not deceive, and I know my Greek alphabet. So it sure seems to me at the moment that Mary S is in the right and this was a big editorial blunder, but I eagerly await someone more knowledgeable to weigh in. (Will Shortz, I'm not mad, but: what happened?)

Oh, it took me a looong time for TUPLE, not only a suffix, but an actual word in mathematics (an element of a cartesian product). (I kept thinking along the lines of -topic as in homotopic.) BTW, it's completely fine, Rex -- just something to get used to.

I don't understand what's objectionable about TAMENESS. What else would you call the condition of having been tamed, "condition" being a noun?

I figured Rex would be less NEUTRAL about NEUTRAL, as in "shouldn't that be N as in a Nissan?". Glad to be wrong about that.

Re SQUALL LINE: there was a joke between someone or two yesterday about 3 L's. I didn't get it, but was reminded of it here.

Sorry to nitpick, but you might want to edit out "moonquake" from your write-up; that was from yesterday's. Also, it should be COLONEL.

Teresa 10:02 AM  

Loved it. Fun, interesting and with cluing heavy on wordplay, those things for which we love the puzzle. And I, one of those tedious music types, learned something new with STOPTIME.

MEATPACKER: Knew it instantly. Anyone who had to read The Jungle in high school will never forget it. And shouldn't.

Mustard: I started with SUSPECT but COLONEL tickled me just as much. I had a crush on Colonel Mustard. He was way more handsome than Mr. Green and Professor Plum. Which segues to my ...

Question: I, for one, love apricots and hate plums. Why would anyone do a thing like that to a perfectly good apricot?

Quibbles: I had a few, but then again, too few to mention.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Regarding 63A: I'm wondering if something can be considered an "order" if you begin with the word "please." It seems to me the correct term should be "request."

jae 10:18 AM  

Medium. Top half easy-medium bottom half medium-tough so medium.

I had some of the same problems in SW as @Rex and others. Solid Saturday, liked it.

Birchbark 10:19 AM  

A SQUALL LINE blasts through. THAT WAS CLOSE. SHUSH, the UNBALANCE in the air remains. Twenty minutes later the real storm begins.

Katzzz 10:25 AM  

No peace for “peaces.” Very weak. How would it be used in a sentence? Blech. Peace out.

ss 10:31 AM  

"All rise" is what the court crier (or bailiff or whatever you call that person) says when a court is called into session and every person in the courtroom has to stand up.  E.g. "All rise, the court of crossword disputes is now in session, the honorable Rex Parker presiding."  Then the judge sits down and says to everybody else "you may be seated."  

"Please rise" is how a judge generally asks a specific person to stand up.  Here is an almost verbatim example from a transcript -- "Mr. Parker will you please rise and face the jury.  Will the foreperson please rise.  Have the jurors reached a verdict?"

TTrimble 10:37 AM  

Ah, thank you, @ss!

GILL I. 10:44 AM  

Holy Bunions. ETALIBI and his forty thieves got me good. IMS needing some TUPLE, a bit of PLUOT with a little COLONEL Mustard. Will this give me the HOME RUN TROTS? Yikes baboo.
PLEASE RISE for The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Yep...I LOST...
Where did I go wrong? Let me count the ways The only EFing thing I had for ever was SEALY and only because I know my Pedics. Boy did I need another Pinot last night as I tried this thing. I guess a fairly decent night's sleep helps. Get up...brush teeth....make coffee....walk dog....sit in favorite chair...you can do this..... Well, I got some of it done...
So I'm thinking...Isn't there a dish called "Shit on SHINGLE?" And I think again about that home run trots. Then I get so much wrong. Erase, erase. Why isn't BART the San Francisco Muni system? Why isn't it RUSTED out? Why isn't it Bumper cars? Who says PEACES without some Reeses? HENCE I needed all the STOP TIME I could get. Utter fail. SS and BH got me good. I shall now go dust off my OPERA CAPE and spit out the OLIVE PIT hanging in my throat.

Unknown 10:57 AM  

@ ss 10:31 My thoughts exactly. And I've tried a lot of cases.

Crunchy & fun for a Saturday, but the SE is where I got stock. I had RUSTED and could not let go of the D. So a DNF because of that one square.

I don't know why rex gets all upset when a puz is a tad larger than what he expects. Personally I didn't even notice, and secondly, does anyone besides rex, really care?
Don't mean to be snarky, but his gratuitous negativity gets old.

kg 10:57 AM  

They gave their peaces?

Jeff Ford 11:00 AM  

Me: Kinda weird that they have CARS in the puzzle when CARS is also in one of the clues.

Later me: It’s not CARS.

Newboy 11:03 AM  

I’m with @Nancy today who wins her bet on the constructors being young whippersnappers who just need to stay off my damn grid....uhhh, no, that sounds negative. Today took a couple tag team assists from Mrs N to close the gaps. Same rough spots noted by the above posters, but all fair enough UNDERSTOOD. A tussle on Saturday is what’s expected & boy oh boy Sid & Brooke deserve their HOMERUN TROTS today!

Sixthstone 11:06 AM  

I fell into bumper CARS/CROP trap as well, which made the SE tough but ultimately finished in average time.

Though the holiday season is upon us, it seems like prohibition has hit the NYTX. I'm not sure we saw any HARD beverages this week. A little COCOA, some LEMON ICE, but overall a very DRY week. I'd like something stronger, please.

Z 11:15 AM  

@astroman - I realize you probably just missed the space key, but .oops seems like it really should be a domain name.

@Frantic Sloth - My inner video-game player immediately thought “that’s what she said.” 🤷🏽‍♂️

@Anon9:28 - Okay, but that strikes me as more a Saturday Stumper clue than a NYTX clue.

@TTrimble - I found this but I couldn’t find any support for it including the linked page on elasticity. Every explainer I found on elasticity in the economic sense used the Latin alphabet, not the Greek alphabet. Not much of an explanation but it is all I got... so still waiting on someone with some expertise.

@Anon10:03 - Let me assure you that every student who dealt with me understood that “PLEASE” in no way implied that I was making a request.

@Birchbark - SQUALLs are always snow SQUALLs and the SQUALL LINE is always somewhere between 3 and 15 miles from the Lake Michigan shore. That “narrow band” caused me to waste at least three nanoseconds.

PLEASE RISE - As @ss so wonderfully demonstrates, the “Order in the court” wording sent us all to the bailiff when it’s really about the judge. D’Oh. @ss turned my frown upside down. I’m now on #teamGoodClue - it got me.

@burtonkd late yesterday - I would say that is exactly it. Explaining how you fixed it without ever clearly saying you were wrong is placating and people hate being placated. Our case studies were things like the Johnson&Johnson response to the Tylenol murders and NASA’s decision-making before the Challenger disaster. Obviously these are far more serious than crossword puzzles, but Shortz has repeatedly done exactly what our case studies suggested not to do. Having had cause to advise professionals in trouble, getting past their natural “I’m right, I didn’t do anything wrong” responses, hopefully before they made their public/formal responses, was always task one. Beyond the specifics of the various crises, I find myself shaking my head at the way Shortz responds. I mean, the first time you respond to something and people end up angrier should be enough to suggest a different approach is needed. Not that Shortz is alone. Most recently my local government has induced that same head-shaking over how they have handled what should have been minor kerfuffles, and that’s only the most proximate example. I see organizations and people repeat the same basic mistakes all the time.

Nancy 11:25 AM  

@GILL -- The culinary dish with that gross nickname is Chipped Beef On Toast. It has been given that epithet for a very good reason: it's revolting.

I'll never forget the Camp Pinecliffe breakfast that led me to be confined to my bunk for an entire morning as punishment because I had refused to eat -- as the rules required -- at least one out of the three courses served.

To say this was unusual is an understatement. I'm not, and never have been, a fussy eater. I eat almost anything that isn't nailed down. The few food dislikes I have are almost all based on consistency and not taste: lima beans; raw oysters; oatmeal. And therein hangs a tale:

The Camp Pinecliffe menu that morning was:

1) "Maltex" -- a lumpy version of oatmeal the color of vomit.

2) Dried apricots -- stick to your teeth and the roof of your mouth chewy. I have always hated dried fruits.

3) Chipped beef on toast. Which is cooked in some sort of revolting cream sauce which would be Too Much at 7:30 at night. This was at 7:30 in the morning when I am gastronomically fragile.

I actually tried the Chipped Beef, since I didn't want to be confined to my bunk. I took one tiny bite...and stopped eating on the spot. So back to my bunk I went. And it was such a nice day!

bocamp 11:38 AM  

@Stupac2 9:13 AM - thx for the explanation. :)

@RooMonster 9:48 AM 👍

@puzzlehoarder 9:51 AM 👍 for your QB :)

@TTrimble 9:57 AM - Thx, noted :)

@ss 10:31 AM - Good points!

Sid, Brooke, Jeff, Jim comments at "XWord Info": here.

Amy Reynaldo comments at "Diary of a Crossword Fiend": here.

Read "The Jungle" recently, so "meatpacker" came quickly.


Peace Maluhia Paix ειρήνη Pax 🕊

Ellen C 11:39 AM  

Moonquakes was earlier in the week

jberg 11:42 AM  

Unlike@Nancy, I “suffered” through this one, emerging with a smile on my face. I loved all the long answers, despite starting with RUSTEd out. I loved the triple L in SQUALL LINE. I loved the elaborate mythological clue for crossword standard MAUNS KEA, even though I went for loA first.

I thought of HOME RON TROTS but was afraid to write it in, so it was a thrill to see it appear. And I know enough Latin to know what ALIBI means, but waited for crosses because I’ve never seen it with ET. When I had a piano I liked to play Scott Joplin,from a book that also had a STOP-TIME Waltz—so I was hesitant to put it in as a jazz pattern until I had more crosses.

To explain: Muni is an agency of the City of San Francisco; BART is a regional transit authority.

jazzmanchgo 11:50 AM  

I've always interpreted "Peace out" as meaning "Be at peace" -- nothing to do with "heading out" or leaving from anywhere.

GILL I. 11:52 AM  

Ah....@Nancy. This is where we agree: Chipped beef on toast or Shit on a Shingle is right up there with greasy pizza (for me)....When I see recipes like this I'm reminded of housewives in pomegranate aprons, waiting for their husband's to come home, cheerfully kissing them on the cheek and guiding them to the dinner table. "Here, honey....I made you your favorite dinner."
Here's where we disagree: Lima beans have a bad rap. That's because nobody knows how to properly cook them. Take some very good OLIVE oil and heat it up in a pan. Add some finely sliced shallots and some finely minced garlic. Sautee for just until fragrant. Add the lima beans, some salt, pepper and stir - almost until they're mushy. God I love those puppies.
As for oysters....I can eat raw oysters every day of my life. I know they're an acquired taste. I think @Z classifies them as "Like eating snot." NO...they are the pearls of the sea. Just add a tad of lemon juice or even a bit of tabasco......Heaven. Shits on Shingle can go take its TROTS.

Frantic Sloth 11:54 AM  

@J-Dip 859am 🤣🤣Perfect! Somebody's kicking themselves for not coming up with that!

@Roo 948am Semaphore? 🤣

@TTrimble 957am Reese? As in Reese's PEACES? (Hi, @GILL!)

@ss 1031am Yes s! There it is!

@GILL I 1044am LOL - Your entire post! And I'm exhausted!

@Z 1115am Natch. 😘

@Nancy 1125am Your Camp Chipped Beef story reminds me of a similar experience I had. When our parochial school was still serving hot lunches, they made an abomination simply called "chopped meat sandwich", with chipped beef texture and sloppy joe flavoring. On white bread. And it sounds better than it was. I refused to eat it, the nuns pulled my sister away from recess to supervise me until I complied, and she sat seething while taking a bite out of my dessert for every minute that passed until I finished. The dessert was gone, recess was over, and my sister wasn't speaking to me by time I finished just half of that monstrosity.

Anoa Bob 11:57 AM  

Now hear this: Navy grub was by and large excellent but that didn't stop us from coming up with POTTY HUMOR names for some of the concoctions. A Sloppy Joes type seasoned ground beef on toast was called "Shit on a SHINGLE". Another was small, thinly sliced pieces of beef in a white gravy on toast. We called that one "Foreskins on Toast". They were both delicious.

As for the solve, it wasn't a DEBACLE but it sure wasn't EASY. Sometimes I think the Saturday puzzles are trying too hard to be hard.

Whatsername 12:00 PM  

Late this morning. People keep calling, texting, interrupting the important business of crossword solving. The horror! I’m always glad to get Saturday done because WHEW, this one was a challenge. PLUOUT, RONDO, ET ALIBI et al. sent me searching and waving the help-me help-me flag. Not even CLOSE to a HOME RUN today. But on BALANCE it was a good one and HENCE, also very satisfying.

I liked RUST EATEN, such an accurate description, and “foundation” for SKIN was a terrific misdirect. 23A “game over” had many possibilities. Like Rex, I first tried I’M OUT. Then I LOST made me think TRUMP, which also has five letters. Just sayin’.

TTrimble 12:06 PM  

I didn't think of trying Z's trick of Googling Eta which returned bupkes on its application to economics, but this did suggest applying the same trick to epsilon, and lo, it says right there under the Symbol section that it's used to denote elasticity in economics. That would appear to settle the matter in Mary S's favor.

I wonder how hard Shortz edits the puzzles. Or if they have fact-checker schlubs over there. I don't do Twitter, but maybe someone should send word.

JC66 12:08 PM  


re: Incubator Puzzle

Check your email.

Cankee Yanuck 12:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 12:12 PM  

Nope. under Shirtz’s watch The Time’s puzzle has not only improved, it’s gained in popularity and been the paper’s best source of profit, surpassing even ad sales in rate of return.
Your an acolyte of Rex who has a personal grievance with Shortz. Enjoy tagging along with that junior high BS. But your assertion that Shortz has made mistakes is so far out of touch with reality it makes me wonder if you’re serious are just pulling everyone’s leg.

mathgent 12:13 PM  

I had to work hard to solve it but what was the payoff? Below minimum wage.

Besides being underpaid, I had to put up with a lot of crap. "I, for one" for SUBJECT. "State of being broken" for TAMENESS. "N as in Nissan?" for NEUTRAL. "Heads out, slangily" for PEACES. "Part of San Francisco's Muni system" for TRAM. PLEASERISE. RUSTEATEN. "Demands" for NEEDS. (Partial list.)

egsforbreakfast 12:17 PM  

Seeing UCLA appear in consecutive puzzles, I was taken back to Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent, an occasional routine where Ed McMahon would hand him a sealed envelope containing a question. Carnac would hold the envelope to his head and pronounce the answer. Upon opening the envelope, the given answer always proved correct in a soernof Dad-jokish (though also often slightly risqué) way. I don’t remember this particular question exactly, but it was something like:

Answer: UCLA
Question: What occurs when the fog lifts over Santa Monica?

Just to continue my hilarious stroll down memory lane:

Answer: Groundhog
Question: What are Jimmy Dean sausages made of?

Answer: Sisss, Boooom, Baaah!
Question: What is the sound of a sheep blowing up?

More than enough of that, but I did like this tough nut of a puzzle. Thank you, Sid and Brooke.

trebore 12:32 PM  

Also find clue for 42 Down inappropriate. N as in Nissan is asking for a phonetic answer whivh is too many letters for the space. Cluing too cute.
Capeesh does not mean understood. It's used as a variant of the Italian first person singular-understand, present tense. Don't allow stuff to go in a puzzle if it ain't right editor.

bocamp 12:34 PM  

@Ellen C 11:39 AM

Thx, and roger that; no rational excuse. :(


Peace Maluhia Paix ειρήνη Pax 🕊

Whatsername 12:39 PM  

@Joe D (8:59) “45 words.” Oh that’s brilliant! 😂

@Roo (9:48) Good choice. I sometimes get annoyed with the time-consuming aspect of social media but I have grown to appreciate the connectivity it affords during this time of social isolation. I even had my annual wellness check with my doctor via a virtual visit. Weird and I wouldn’t want to do it every time but it sure beat sitting in a crowded waiting room SUBJECT to whatever might be lingering in the air.

@GILL and @Nancy: Now I’m hungry for you-know-what on a SHINGLE, something I haven’t given a thought to in decades. Those lima beans would go nicely with it too. Yum! I like cocktail sauce and saltines with my SEA pearls and plenty of icy cold beer to wash them down. After five or six you forget about the snot factor. Beers that is, not oysters.

TTrimble 12:49 PM  

Sheesh, capeesh.

Thanks, @trebore, but another way to consider it is that UNDERSTOOD as in the question "Understood?" is short for "Is that understood?", which brings us right back to the present tense. Understood? :-)

Taxed Too Much in NJ 12:51 PM  

Thank you for showcasing Lucinda Williams!!

Masked and Anonymous 1:06 PM  

Spent many many nanoseconds starin at a puzgrid with just SHUSH/UCLA/HENCE/REEF in it. Eventually, M&A went rogue and just tried to answer anyoldthing anydayumwhere in the puzbiggrid that I could muster. That eventually led to masterin a couple of longballs [THATWASCLOSE, HOMERUNTROTS], and then the icejam started to break up into solvable cubes and bergs.

Didn't know: PLUOT. PEACES [as clued]. The Jungle profession [wanted VINEHACKER]. ETALIBI. THEDJ. Not too long a list, for a SatPuz, tho … solvequest troubles musta been more in the way they clued up this beast. Hardly a long list of ?-marked, clues … they were mostly just pleasinly vague at our house, I reckon.

Did really admire that there {N as in Nissan?} = NEUTRAL clue. Primo stuff. Absolutely WOOTable.

staff weeject picks: IBM/IMS. Ironically [for us old computer mainframe nerds], IBM has a database management system called IMS. Sooo … nice, nostalgic corner, right outta the rodeo chute. Those two weejects are like Virtual Children segments [inside joke].

Hey, double files. E-files and DNAPRO-files. Then etalibi an anagrammed FILER at 24-D, crossin the other two.

Thanx for the challenge -- which M&A solved in a heavily STOPTIMEd rhythm -- and for gangin up on us, Sivakumar & Husic. And for the extra row. And for the cool Z's in the puzgrid design. And for all them files.

Masked & Anonym007Us


ChuckD 1:11 PM  

@Gill - we had a few dozen fresh Wellfleets on Thanksgiving. They came out of the water Wednesday afternoon and were unbelievable. The comparison with snot and other things are from those who have only eaten stale, old examples. So - you can keep your limas but I’ll join you anytime for my favorite bivalves - I’ll bring the Krug.

Dan 1:16 PM  

San Francisco Muni cars are not usually called trams. Rather, streetcars or trolleys. However, they are a moving museum of streetcars from around the world and now offer 2 boat trams from Blackpool, England: https://www.streetcar.org/streetcars/228-228-233-blackpool-england

RooMonster 1:17 PM  

53A clue for ETA should've been edited, taking out "in economics", then it would've been a great SatPuz clue.
Maybe... 😃

Had the famous chipped beef Shit on a SHINGLE in Basic Training (Army), and thought it to be quite good. Our version was just chipped beef in brown gravy on white bread. Good and filling.

@Gill 10:44
Got a good chuckle out of your post! I'd like to spend a few hours running around inside your brain!
(Add @M&A to that list, too!)

Lima Beans are nasty. End of debate. 😁

RooMonster DEBACLE Guy

Nancy 1:22 PM  

@GILL and @Whatsername -- Oysters: if only...

Once, and only once, I saw "Oysters Rockefeller" on a menu. The oysters were cooked!! Cooked with spinach, one of my all time faves!! Cooked would mean no sliminess!! And so I ordered them. And they were sublime -- one of the most delicious appetizers I've ever eaten. Brinier than even the briniest Little Neck clams -- one of my great favorites. (Won't order raw Cherrystone clams, either, because of the slime. But Little Necks have a much firmer texture. Highly recommended to people who, like me, are put off by slimy raw foods.)

Meanwhile, why is it that every Oyster Bar in the world has raw oysters but not cooked oysters? It's so frustrating. Will I ever find Oysters Rockefeller again? I can't even remember where I had them that time.

@GILL -- Your lima bean dish sounds absolutely delicious -- except, of course, for the lima beans :)

Kath320 1:22 PM  

There is no order, in the court or anywhere else on the plant, that starts with the word, "PLEASE." "Please" denotes a request, not an order.

Frantic Sloth 1:46 PM  

@egs 1217pm Well, you could have had me at Carnac (I remember), but "sisss, booom, baaah!" slays me.

@Roo 117pm If you're planning a run through @GILL's brain, I'd take a map and pack a lunch. I imagine one could get totally lost and yet never want to leave. 

Unknown 2:00 PM  

@ ChuckD 1:11
If the Wellfleets came out of the water on Wednesday, and you ate them on Thanksgiving (i.e., Thursday), then I'd say they really weren't fresh; I'd call them a day old. But I grew up on the water, so I was always a bit of a shellfish snob. We'd rake our clams by 1 pm, and my mom would be steaming them by late afternoon.

Z 2:29 PM  

@Unknown10:57 - Rex didn’t say he was upset about the oversized grid. The most negative thing I see in that opening observation is that oversized grids usually result from themes, which is hardly a complaint and agrees with my impression of when we see them. And, no, he is not the only one who cares about such things. I’d say about a fifth to a quarter of the commentariat discusses things like grid design on a regular basis (that’s a pure guess based on impressions).

@TTrimble - Aha! I switched my search from “elasticity eta” to “eta elasticity” and and this was the top hit, using η as the symbol for elasticity. So ε is used and η is used. So Shortz et al. aren’t wrong again.

@everyone else - Sorry about this - I was just responding to @burtonkd earlier - I didn’t intend to rehash old sins. I realize that for the regulars what follows is old news.
@12:12 - Besides the main topic this article mentions at least 4 times Shortz has made errors of the sort that have gotten others fired. But sure, Rex is so powerful he can get Fox to publish articles about Shortz messing up. There is also this which mentions this... and I’m not even trying real hard to find stuff. But, sure, Shortz is perfect and it’s just that Rex hates him.

Birchbark 2:33 PM  

@Z (11:15) -- Your SQUALL LINE exactitude is impressive. Not sure why it reminds me of the crop circle scene in "Waiting for Guffman," but it does -- "Once you step inside this circle, the weather never changes. It is always 67 degrees, with a 40% chance of rain. Always."

sanfranman59 2:34 PM  

Medium-Challenging NYT Saturday, but it's a 15 x 16 grid, so maybe really Medium?

When I saw the constructor pairing, I feared this one would eat me up, but I moved through it pretty steadily and really enjoyed the solving experience. Interestingly, although I've struggled with both constructors' solo puzzles, I tore through their other NYT collaboration (also a Saturday puzzle ... 8/8/2020).

ET ALIBI {10D: Latin for "and elsewhere"} is an interesting answer and a learning experience. THE DJ {35D: Jazzy Jeff, per a 1988 3x platinum album title} was (predictably) a mystery. I really liked the long crosses in the NW ... MEATPACKER {13A: Profession in Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"} and SQUALL LINE {17A: Narrow band of storms} crossing BEQUEATH {2D: Pass on after passing on} and MAUNA KEA {3D: Representation of the first-born child of "earth mother" and "sky father," in Hawaiian culture}. I can't say the same about the crosses in the SE corner. Does anyone actually use the term PEACES {47D: Heads out, slangily}? IMO, that wins the prize for the ugliest thing in the grid. I was so happy when TRAM {56D: Part of San Francisco's Muni system} didn't turn out to be 'BART', as I feared at first. That would have been flat out wrong since Muni and BART are separate transit systems.

okanaganer 2:36 PM  

I echo the sentiment that this was a particularly hard puzzle. I had everything but the SE corner completed last night but eventually gave up. Hands up for the train wreck of CARS and BART. Finally completed it just now. Probably my longest solve of the year (I turned the timer off as it was bugging me).

One interesting dead end was, for "N as in Nissan", I plunked down NUMBER2 (and got excited that there might be other digits in the grid). Because "Ni-san" is Japanese for number 2... oh wait, that's "Ni-ban". Ni-san would be "Mr. Ni", I guess.

Anonymous 2:51 PM  

Ridiculously hard

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

MEATPACKER is so, so, so wrong. No one, but no one, PACKs meat in a MEAT PACKing plant. The beasts are dismembered, more or less, and the parts (is parts) are shipped out on hooks. What the 'profession' of the folks in the plant do is that of a MEAT CUTTER. To the extent that some small beasts (chicken parts (is parts), particularly) are boxed for shipment, that task is 99.9% machine executed, same as in any other automated industry. So stop already.

Whatsername 3:37 PM  

@egsforbreakfast (12:17) My favorite Carnac memory—

Answer: Zippity Doo Dah
Question: What’s on your zippity when you wake up in the morning?

@Frantic (1:46) Re that trip thru @GILL’s brain, I completely agree.

trebore 3:39 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JOHN X 3:46 PM  

In the U.S. Navy, Shit on a Shingle is known as “creamed foreskins.”

Grouch 3:46 PM  

I absolutely HATED the much loved Nissan clue. Probably even be on Lewis's list.

Hack mechanic 3:55 PM  

Love Brubeck but only recently learned it's a riff on Mozart's Rondo ala Turka.

TTrimble 3:58 PM  

Well, now that I'm looking a second time at ETA in Wikipedia, I now see economic elasticity listed in the Symbol section. I misconstrued your first comment as saying you didn't see it there. Anyway, yes, it seems both ETA and epsilon are used. I'm satisfied.

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

Har. Linking to an article from Slate and the Atlantic to prove your wackadoo leftist identity politics is fabulous. Oh wait, you were serious? Let me laugh even harder.

albatross shell 5:03 PM  

Too late. Darn old @ss beat me to posting about please rise. It felt right to me, but I couldn't think of the context. Please raise your right hand? Nope. Searched it out on Google, but the old @ss had posted before I even started reading the posts. But if you thought basketball court was a possible interpretation (I didn't because of 'in the court') then: Please rise for the playing of our National Anthem.

Same with @Z: I found:
-The Greek letter eta, η, is used to denote elasticity. The notation is shorthand for "percent change in price", where the Greek letter delta denotes the change in something. This equation is also called “endpoint” elasticity. A percent change in some variable is: value 2 − value 1 value 1 × 100 % .-

Although I suspect economics' use of math and greek letters is mostly window dressing to make people believe there is some kind of scientific certainty behind the theory, I do not know enough to believe my suspicions.

So WS 2, anti-WS commetariat 0 today. By the way, I do not think Rex said either answer was wrong. Which still doesn't make me think PEACES is a good answer with a decent clue.

Ah. Nancy we are so different. ShitonaSHINGLE is my favorite diner breakfast. On top of biscuits and/or fried potatoes and onions.
I'll take raw fresh oysters anytime. A dozen or two at least. Snot it's not.

How come the longs often come easier than the shorts late week? Still needed help to finish.

Tried 'do you get it' before I UNDERSTOOD.

Twas an easier than average Saturday but crunchy enough.
Good fun.

Anonymous 5:06 PM  

@12:12, etc.
it’s gained in popularity and been the paper’s best source of profit

just because the riff raff decide to pay for an inferior product by the droves isn't a vote for the quality of the product. or, as most right wingnuts know, a Timex isn't a Patek Philippe; that is, they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

TTrimble 5:20 PM  

Friend, I don't think I'm going to try to figure out hopalongwhateveritwas, since it has a smell of sarcasm to it, but to try to put this productively, what we may have here is a case of free translation. (BTW: you said first person, but Merriam-Webster has it as: 3rd person singular present indicative of capire "to understand".)

So, I would say that "Understood?", "Is it understood?", "Do you understand?", etc., all carry the same semantic content for the purposes of this crossword discussion. Correspondingly, Merriam-Webster indicates that "Capisce?" is, as a piece of US slang, used to ask if a message, warning, etc., has been understood.

Are you claiming that the US slang means something other than this?

Anonymous 5:27 PM  

I do not know enough to believe my suspicions.

your suspicions are correct. thank, mostly, Samuelson.

GM 5:31 PM  

Capeesh? Really now, either use the correct word (and don't insult Italians in the process) or find another question. Capito? would not have been that challenging.

Frantic Sloth 6:17 PM  

@trebore 339pm I certainly hope you're "joking" with the name-calling, because if you are not, there is just no call for that. Please either explain yourself or delete your comment. Thank you

Joaquin 6:20 PM  

@Hack mechanic (3:55) - I'm also a big Brubeck fan (particular favorite playing now: "I'm In a Dancing Mood"). But when it comes to "Rondo ...", I'll go with Mozart. I could listen to that all day! I really should have recommended that instead.

ulysses 6:23 PM  

Surprised to see this one rated difficult. Found it easy breezy (not as easy as Sunday’s which is maybe a Tuesday level). A lot of fun but not a lot to slow me down, other than maybe the NE which is where I ended up.

ulysses 6:23 PM  

Easy but not as easy as Sunday’s.

Anonymous 6:39 PM  


blame those leftwing snowflakes in LaLa Land. that's what they have folks say in their movies. it must be right.

Anonymous 6:42 PM  

Obviously you know this, but its worth saying aloud. You’re under no oblifgation to accede to frantic sloth’s wishers.

mmorgan 6:49 PM  

No spoilers here, but Sunday seems ridiculously easy. Not bad, just ridiculously easy. I suspect that those who time themselves and tweet about it will be breaking their Sunday records. (No offense to those who time themselves and tweet about it.)

JOHN X 7:09 PM  

"Shit on a Shingle" popped up in today's comments, and of course bunch of us veterans (I meant heroes) were busting on it. Now, the different military services have very different chow practices and recipes, which is legally called "rations." I was in the submarine service and we were fed like kings. We never had "S.O.S." on the boat on patrol but sometimes up on the tender during refit.

But the best one is called "Marine Breakfast." Here's the recipe:

(Serves 8 or two hungry Marines)

½ lb ground beef (ground chuck for flavor)

1 TBSP bacon fat (or lard/butter/Crisco)

3 TBSP flour

2 cups whole milk

salt & pepper to taste

8 slices dry toast

In a large skillet crumble and brown the ground beef with the bacon fat and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.

Mix in the flour until the meat is covered.

Replace the skillet on the heat and stir in the milk, allow to boil for one minute stirring continuously.

Serve over toast, then invade Iwo Jima.

TTrimble 7:44 PM  

Not a PR, but it did play fast.

Frantic Sloth 8:30 PM  

Thanks, @Anon 642pm for making that clear. Of course, you are correct - they are free to ignore my request for clarification or civility and follow your lead instead, should they wish.
Obviously, the mods have no problem with someone being called "Hopalongchesedic" as is their decision. I, however, do not have to like it and see no problem with making a request which was put more politely than perhaps warranted.

trebore 8:34 PM  

Anonymous 6:42PM
Capisco e lo so, grazie.

jae 9:37 PM  

@Z - I just took a crack at Brooke’s Incubator puzzle. First of all, the Incubator folks rate it Challenging and second of all it’s not challenging it’s (so far) impossible. Let me know if you can finish it.

sanfranman59 9:41 PM  

@Frantic Sloth ... FWIW, I too am surprised that the mods allowed trebore's veiled vulgar insult through. I'm guessing that they didn't grasp the meaning since trebore wasn't forthright enough to make it clear. Another reminder of one my favorite maxims: When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

Jones 10:10 PM  

Not sure if Rex was implying IM stands for internet messaging? IM stands for “instant message”

A Moderator 10:24 PM  

@Frantic Sloth

@sanfranman59 is correct. I didn't realize @gtrebore's comment was vulgar.

It's been deleted.

Please accept my apology.

sanfranman59 10:30 PM  

@A Moderator ... It seems you are stricken with the same condition as the rest of us ... we're human and we're fallible. There's no apology necessary, AFAIC, and thanks for cleaning up trebore's mess.

Joe Dipinto 11:00 PM  

Hopalong Che Si Dice:

"Che si dice" means "What's up?" in Italian. Since it sounds sort of like Cassidy, you put it together with Hopalong to make a silly sobriquet. Pretty sure that's all there is to it. Here's a really dumb song.

Bustedarmart 11:41 PM  

Long time reader of this blog, first time commenting. (I come here mostly for the comments, and feel like I know many of you).
I’ve never commented on any blog. I put together a collage of my weeks times as my profile pic; curious if it will come through. I didn’t include my actual times, because who cares, but I wanted to toot my horn a bit because I got two PRs this week (Friday and tomorrow’s Sunday). Friday was about the same as my average Wednesday, and tomorrow’s was less than an average Friday for me. I am guessing Rex will cruise through it in under 5.
So, yeah, no comment on the puzzles. I’m just testing things out with this post.

Bustedarmart 11:53 PM  

Hmm, one more try before I sleep

Frantic Sloth 12:08 AM  

@sanfranman59 941pm Thanks for the backup and the maxim! 😉

@moderator 1024pm @sanfranman59 is right - no need to apologize. You guys have a tough and thankless job. I, for one (of many) am grateful for your support with this issue and just your presence in general! 👍❤️

Frantic Sloth 12:34 AM  

OMG!! @J-Dip 11pm. Thank you for explaining! And here I was thinking they altered the spelling just enough to sneak it by the mods! Looks like I'm the one who owes everybody an apology.
(While I'm at it, a RELO of my mind from the gutter appears to be in order. Yikes!)

To @trebore I am sorry. Especially since what you said was not only clean, it was too clever for me!

@sanfranman59 I'm sorry you got dragged into this by my ignorance. You were very gallant. 😉

@Mods I might need to open an account with you where I can save up all my thanks and apologies for future use. But, for now, I am so sorry I started all this, and thank you for (hopefully) your understanding.

Stevied 10:52 AM  

Can’t believe nobody has a problem with Neutral. The connection doesn’t fit grammatically

Ray Greenberg 9:42 AM  

SE killed me. Made a fun puzzle into a tedious slog. Oh well....

Roy Dimaggio 9:31 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
spacecraft 12:24 PM  

Came roaring out of the NW (!) and quickly had north & midsection--though I didn't UNDSRSTanD which tense to use there at first. But that wouldn't be the only writeover. No indeed.

After a bit of thinking, I hit on UNSEATS and the SW was cracked. Now to the SE.

Did I fall into the bumper Cars trap? Oh, you know I did. And did I miss the TRAM and take bart instead? Of course. This made a DEBACLE in the SE that took many minutes to unravel. Even when I did, the last letter in was the C of PEACES (yougottabekiddingme) and...OPERACAPES (???). So sorry to say, but I don't have any of those in my closet, nor am I likely ever to have one in the future.

Amy ADAMS is DOD, but a special honorable mention to Simone Missick of "All Rise," for obvious reasons. Nice to see the shout-out to fellow Syndicat @RONDO. EASY till I got down to the SE, so overall, maybe medium. Birdie.

thefogman 12:30 PM  

Not EASY. Had HOMEcoNTROlS for 37A thinking of an app that turns your lights on and off and locks the doors etc. A bit of a DEBACLE.

Burma Shave 2:02 PM  


and THAT he WAS SEW CLOSE to THE prize:
and WAS LIBEL to cry out, "PLEASERISE!"


RONDO 2:11 PM  

There's a recurring theme here and it SEEMs to be RONDO!
My biggest trouble was at first splatzing in MEATcuttER, especially on a day when the PACKERs will be playing.

The corners remain AS-IS.

Amy ADAMS, yeah baby.

Not too hard, not EASY says RONDO.

J 2:32 PM  

Wikipedia shows epsilon for economic elasticity. Sorry.

Diana, LIW 3:44 PM  

What can I say. Obviously, RONDO is KOD - King of the Day. (It does seem to happen over and over.)

Thought the SE corner was most difficult - a few unknowns. Good for a Sat.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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