Hard deposit in a bladder / TUE 1-12-21 / Maisie Williams's role on Game of Thrones / Ocean dweller so named for its roundish silvery body

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (it's oversized, 16x15) (4:00)

THEME: THIS TOO SHALL PASS (37A: Adage on the impermanence of suffering  ... or a hint to 18-, 29-, 46- and 61-Across) — things that pass

Theme answers:
  • KIDNEY STONE (18A: Hard deposit in a bladder)
  • BIPARTISAN BILL (LOL, ok) (29A: Legislation often resulting from compromise)
  • PRO QUARTERBACK (46A: N.F.L. signal caller)
  • BRIEF MOMENT (61A: Jiffy)
Word of the Day: MOONFISH (8D: Ocean dweller so named for its roundish, silvery body) —
n. pl. moonfish or moon·fish·es
1. Any of several carangid fishes chiefly of the genus Selene, found in warm coastal waters of North and South America and having a short silvery compressed body.
2. See opah. (thefreedictionary.com)
• • •

I am, in fact, going to pass. MILDEWY is an OK kind of icky, though the clue was ickier (and much vaguer) than it needed to be (1A: Fungus-filled, maybe). But it was really KIDNEY STONE that killed the vibe for me, very early on. I have been fortunate enough not to have a KIDNEY STONE yet, but as I understand it, they are (or can be) extremely painful. And then you go and make a punny little joke out of it with your revealer? I dunno. I don't get the impulse to te(e)hee at people's pain like this. I will admit that my tolerance for "laugh at people's pain" is probably at an all-time low this week (i.e. the first week post-violent white supremacist assault on the Capitol). I know, it *seems* totally unrelated to laughing at kidney stones, but trolls laugh at pain, and all those ****ers with their stupid body armor and their zip-tie handcuffs, who were literally planning to murder Nancy Pelosi and hang Mike Pence, well, you saw the smiles. So much smiling while murdering police officers. So happy. So laughing at suffering is low on my list of things to do right now. And speaking of politics, that second themer is a laugher. Since when does any legislation get "passed" anymore, particularly a (genuinely) BIPARTISAN BILL? "Compromise?" What kind of nostalgic "West Wing"-addled Washington, D.C. fanfiction is this? Currently, one part of the "BI-" in "bipartisan" claims the presidential election was invalid (based on literally zero evidence) and actively supports white native terrorism—so BIPARTISAN BILL, ha. Further, the PRO in PRO QUARTERBACK is an unnecessary tack-on, i.e. it's only here to make the symmetry work out. Quarterbacks at any level pass. Nothing special about a pro in that regard (come to think of it, nothing special about the BIPARTISAN part of BIPARTISAN BILL, either—no necessary connection to the "passing").  BRIEF MOMENT ... yeah, OK. I think that where the theme is concerned, KIDNEY STONE is actually the *best* of these answers, but it's also the worst, for reasons I've already covered. 

I had EPALA- and didn't carefully read the clue (11D: Govt. testing site for air and water quality), and so the only answer that seemed plausible was EPA LAW, which resulted in BIPARTISAN WILL, which *really* seemed insane ... but also plausible. Only other trouble spot was "OK, NOW," which ... I'm having trouble understanding the tone in which I'm supposed to read those words. The clue is *not* helping (53A: "Well, alrighty..."). Are these stand-alone expressions, or just ... lead-ins to some unidentified statement? The "alrighty" is really throwing me. Folksy in a way that I can't pin down, ERA-wise. Anyone might say "OK, NOW..." whereas who the heck is saying "alrighty?" Sounds either ironic or passive-aggressive. Lack of clear context and indefinite slanginess are both hampering things here. Anyway, I had the "OK" and needed help from crosses to get the "NOW." Not much else to say. Really liked "IT'S A LOT" (the simple, spot-on colloquialisms are often the best; though, again, I'm not sure the clue quite captures the deadpan, understated beauty of "IT'S A LOT") (68A: Vague comment akin to "More than you might think"). CAROLINA is not an "Area," though, stop. If you use states in your clue, then a state better be your answer. There's a North and there's a South. Only James Taylor's getting away with CAROLINA all on its own.

Still don't know the "GOT" characters yet. Had the "Y" and guessed ANYA at 58D: Maisie Williams's role on "Game of Thrones" (ARYA). That's pretty close. Someday I'll manage to commit to memory more "GOT" names than Ned Stark ... OR NOT

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Jane Pauley is the constructor's mom, so that TV HOSTS clue is slightly adorable (71A: Jane Pauley and Rachel Maddow)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:12 AM  

@Rex said, "I have been fortunate enough not to have a KIDNEY STONE yet, but as I understand it, they are (or can be) extremely painful."

Well, yeah. After passing the stone you have a pretty good idea of what it feels like to be the inside of a flame thrower. At least, I did.

And yet ... that clue and answer didn't bother me one bit.

Mr. Alarm 12:48 AM  

I entirely agree with your opinion about laughing or smirking at others’ pain.

I too enjoyed seeing Ross finally put his mom in a clue, even though TV crosses MTV. (71
Jane Pauley and Rachel Maddow : TVHOSTS). Love Jane!

MissScarlet 12:50 AM  

So, yeah, we are all bummed about the week’s events. But I don’t need to push my anxiety onto the puzzle. I liked this grid and I enjoyed most of the clueing. Rex seemed to have mellowed out a bit for the last couple of weeks. Guess that’s over.

JD 1:20 AM  

Ah Rex, if I'd passed a Kidney Stone and then run into it in the dreaded NW, I'd be ecstatic. Swish. My pain, my gain. At first it looked like Mr. Trudeau had succumbed to the great bleak, what with Mildewy, Kidney Stone, and Bipartisan Bile … oh wait Bill … Bill! Ok Now, That's better. Be Calm. This Too Shall Pass. Good advice this week.

And what can you say about a guy who puts his mother into the grid? It's a Lot To ask, but I'd say that is my kinda son… if he'd just get offa Reddit and put me in a crossword dammit.

Some easy but pleasant puzzles lately. Thank you, constructors. I'm putting you all on Pedestals.

jae 1:32 AM  

On the tough side for a Tues. One reason was trying HArangue before HARPEDON. Smooth with a bit of crunch, liked it. Jeff at Xwordinfo had some of the same issues with the theme answers as @Rex did.

Frantic Sloth 1:34 AM  

Really. Is it too much to ask to have the revealer at the end of the puzzle? Is it?
Sometimes I'd just like a chance to figure it all out on my own. Geez.

Are KIDNEYS and bladders the same thing now? When did this happen? Is it a COVID thing? I blame Obama.

Then again, maybe this is just an exercise in fantasy. "Compromise"? BIPARTISAN? If they ever happen again, THISTOOSHALLPASS.

Somebody's cranky. I actually enjoyed this until, well, you know. Not all that sparkly, but workmanlike...and anatomy-challenged.

But who's complaining? πŸ˜‰


chefwen 1:44 AM  

If you’re in the NFL I guess you are considered a PRO vs. a college or high school quarterback, so no problem there.

I have said “THIS TOO SHALL PASS” more times than I can remember, thankfully I have never said it in regard to KIDNEY STONES.

Easy and interesting Tuesday, liked it for more than a BRIEF MOMENT.

Frantic Sloth 1:53 AM  

I didn't read Rex before my original comment! I CUSS!

Thanks for the JT (and the Chicks) clip, Rex. That man has the voice of an angel in my mind. CALMs me like nothing else. *sigh*

So, the MOONFISH is also the opah? Opah? MOONFISH?

Unknown 3:00 AM  

This. (A phrase/word that probably should be retired.). Couldn't wait to come here and see what you thought. Too tough for a Tuesday, too dull for a Weds. Ugh. Hard pass. (See what I did there? LMAO)

Valdysses 3:23 AM  

Thanks for the aside about the constructor's mom, Rex. I didn't know that, and it's a charming detail. Also, I agree with you -- mulling over a KIDNEY STONE is a terrible way to pass a morning.

bocamp 5:46 AM  

Thank you, @Ross, for this crunchy puz! Loved the theme. :)

Medium-tough solve; mostly not in my wheelhouse. For me, this would have been perfect for a Wednesday offering.

"Aloha" 'Oe ~ The Rose Ensemble

Hoping and praying for "bipartisanship" this year – people everywhere working together to make a better world. πŸ€žπŸ™

We are the World ~ Pavarotti and Friends

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on pretending day by day
That someone somewhere will soon make a change
We're all a part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know
Love is all we need

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness πŸ•Š

smalltowndoc 5:47 AM  

As a physician and sufferer of many a KIDNEY STONE, I think the clue for 18A is way off base. When a stone is in the kidney, it’s a kidney stone. A stone in the bladder is a bladder stone. Not the same thing at all. It’s like equating the trachea with the lungs. Just because two organs are connected via a pathway, one can’t consider them the same structure. That’s a sure fire way to fail gross anatomy!

Anonymous 5:58 AM  

I lost time on ISIAH because I though the basketball player of fame is Isaiah Thomas.
Who knew.

Doctor Peabody 6:04 AM  

@Frantic: A kidney stone originates, well....in the kidney. It then passes through the ureters to the bladder, and then..you know the rest. So yes, it spends some time in the bladder.

amyyanni 6:15 AM  

The state of the nation and the pandemic have interfered with the enjoyment of so much. Even my love of puzzles has suffered.
Today, love the last across reference to his mom, shared with Rachel. Wonder if he's created a Doonesbury puzzle?7

ChuckD 6:24 AM  

I’m not sure why this guy gets published at the rate he does - maybe the family connection? His recent puzzles have been off. I’m usually not on Rex’s wavelength but his take on the NW corner was spot on - it’s a SHAM and nearly made me put it down. The smarmy cluing on people/things is meant to be wordplay but it fails.

The theme idea is fine - just poorly constructed. The revealer is a wonderful phrase and I don’t mind it right in the middle. Didn’t see the issue with PRO QUARTERBACK. Liked to see MOONFISH and CRINKLES is cool.

Rare occasion that I finish a puzzle so quickly but have no enjoyment from it.

Anonymous 6:32 AM  

Isiah Thomas was an excellent basketball player but was far less than a gentleman.

mathgent 6:32 AM  

A dud. No crunch, no sparkle, no life.

Lewis 7:03 AM  

I loved the theme, and when the revealer showed itself, I filled with smiles. I also like that backward TAPS at 26D, which, in a poetic way, echoes THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

I did notice MICS near MIKES, and for some reason can’t un-notice that HALL PASS at the revealer’s end.

The solve flew for me, even for a Tuesday, but for that BRIEF MOMENT, Ross, your puzzle gave me a happy experience, with not only the smile-producing theme, but also the lovely answers MOONFISH (a NYT debut) and CRINKLES, and fun clues for WAY [“No _____!” or its response] and MICS [They get dropped for emphasis]. And God bless happy experiences these days! Thank you, Ross!

Hungry Mother 7:07 AM  

Average time and effort today. I enjoyed working out the long themers. More like this.

Anonymous 7:13 AM  

Rex Parker is adorable.

Hellman's 7:28 AM  

From Mayo. Kidney stones.
Stones that form in your kidneys are not the same as bladder stones. They develop in different ways. But small kidney stones may travel down the ureters into your bladder and, if not expelled, can grow into bladder stones.

JOHN X 7:29 AM  

Wow, Rex, you need a drink.

I'm just as disgusted (and heartbroken) by what happened at the Capitol, and rest assured that I'm completely on your side. Plus I'm a extremely responsible and well trained fire-arms owner, if it ever comes to that.

As for the puzzle, I liked it a lot. I never judge it I just solve it.

From late yesterday, @Diane Joan was worried about the two guys up on the sail of the inadvertently submerging submarineUSS Kamehameha.

My reply:

@Diane Joan 2:05 PM

Don't worry, nobody died. They may have gotten wet but that wasn't too hard to do on a submarine.

A couple of guys probably got fired.

JBlack 7:32 AM  

Surprised not to see you bent out of shape on the redundancy and crossing of TVHOSTS and MTV. I thought that was crossword sacrilege.

Trey 7:34 AM  

It is ISSA RAEs birthday today, BTW

SouthsideJohnny 7:40 AM  

The puzzle was actually pretty good - about 75% of the clues seemed like they would be welcome on a Monday. I guess Ms. Rand has become commonly accepted crosswordese (like our old friends Mr. OTT and the ALOU brothers) so the two PPP (AYN and ARYA) crossing each other is a misdemeanor infraction at worst.

Is it just me, or does Rex’s rant today sound borderline incoherent ? His stream-of-consciousness, all-about-him ruminations (as opposed to discussing the intricacies of the puzzle) remind me of Trump’s communication style (which, obviously, is unfortunate). I can live with KIDNEY STONE in the puzzle, as it happens to be an unfortunate fact of life for some individuals - reading Rex DRONing ON about it ad nauseam is actually more disturbing than the entry itself.

XwordRaider 8:12 AM  

Are we just going to ignore PARD? Is that really a thing?

pabloinnh 8:20 AM  

The quirky spelling of Mr. Thomas's first name is always a bit surprising. And it always looks wrong. Speaking of names, happy birthday to ISSARAE, I guess, and how did people make crosswords without you?

I liked the different meanings for PASS as they were used in the puzzle. Good stuff.

Factoid Department: Apparently THISTOOSHALLPASS became popular in the 19th Century in part due to a retelling of a Persian tale about a ruler who wanted a saying that epitomized wisdom. Edward Fitzgerald, the Omar Khayam guy, did the translation. A. Lincoln also used it to describe the state of the nation in perilous times. We can only hope.

Fun Tuesday for me, RT. but I always like your stuff. You might want to check out some "bunny hills" though, as TBARs are disappearing. The new thing is a "magic carpet", which is basically a conveyor belt that takes you to the top.

Z 8:25 AM  

Breakfast test?

My occasional shouting into the void reminding everyone that Jordan has a losing playoff record against ISIAH Thomas and Detroit’s Bad Boys and only beat them that one time because the F’ing NBA F’ing changed the rules, LITERALLY CHANGED THE RULES, to help Jordan. GOAT? Pshaw with a capital PFFT. There’s a reason he didn’t win anything until all the good players got old or retired. The dude never beat the 80’s Celtics or Showtime Lakers, I doubt he would have beaten the Kobe/Shaq Lakers, and Larry Brown and the ‘04 Pistons would have shut him down. Piffle and rot.

CAROLINA was fine by me, although “the CAROLINAS” is better when describing the region. Using CAROLINA for just North CAROLINA is definitely a usage I’ve heard, and not just from James Taylor. Also no problem with PRO QUARTERBACK, Sure, that PRO is just there for symmetry, but the NFL in the clue justifies it. No, the only nit I had was the missing “so,” as in everyone with half a brain screaming I TOLD YOU so.

Twangster 8:41 AM  

Missed opportunity to link to Bruce Hornnsby's "This Too Shall Pass" (one of my favorite songs).


Nancy 8:55 AM  

I just used the F3 function to see if "breakfast test" came up in any of the comments, and so far, it only did in @Z's. Although others might have used different phrasing to describe what were a whole bunch of oddly unappetizing words:

KIDNEY STONE. MILDEWY. ANT COLONY. SOOT. And then, much too close for comfort to all of them: EAT.

But actually, with the exception of the brand name crossing the actress, I kinda liked this puzzle. It was crunchy for a Tuesday and certainly lively. And if you like to believe, as I do, that KIDNEY STONE followed by THIS TOO SHALL PASS was intentional, then the puzzle also has humor. Black humor, perhaps, but humor.

Everyone: I need help in understanding two clues:

3D) Why is LSD TAB a "paper"?

6D) Why is NO WAY the response to NO WAY?

Thank you in advance.

B. Knudsen 9:17 AM  

As a Toyota Corolla would never be considered as an alternative to a Chevy Camaro, so, too, Edy's should never be offered as an alternative to Ben and Jerry's. Seriously.

H. Gunn 9:22 AM  

@ Nancy:

LSD often comes on perforated sheets of blotter paper

The slang response to NO WAY is either "Way" or "Yes Way"

You are, as always, welcome in advance!

Andy S 9:23 AM  

Who's Thistoo? And why does he get a hall pass?

thfenn 9:24 AM  

The news these days? ITSALOT. With plenty of ITOLDYOUsos. We can only hope that THISTOOSHALLPASS. ORNOT. And that we'll see something like a BIPARTISANBILL again. But these times shouldn't be times we try to put behind us but rather times that change us, so the CALM in this one isn't felt. Two winter related coats (RIME and SOOT) and we couldn't even get snow. And these days when I think of things that aren't what they appear to be I think of things worse than SHAMS. Ugh. Agree with the NW woes, will just add that I compounded mine by confidently going with STUFFED before MILDEWY, which I corrected by going with DoN for Dapper Guy (and really the only dapper guys I can think of are Dons (Meredith and Gotti). Didn't like kidney stones being in the bladder, or having to add 'PRO' (tho, yes, NFL in the clue makes it OK), didn't even like BRIEFMOMENT as part of the theme - stones, bills, and QBs all require some active passing, whereas briefmoments pass only because they're brief, or moments. Also nobody is really kneeling when they're protesting during the anthem, they're taking a knee, which is different. And OKNOW and 'well, alrighty'? ugh. There was just too much that didn't sit right today, but I'm seeing STD and thinking sexually transmitted diseases as opposed to standards, so not much fun. Did like CRINKLES, MOONFISH, and LSDTAB.

Unknown 9:24 AM  

@ Nancy 8:55 The response is "WAY."
There were two Canadians comics who used to riff on it -- Garth and someone else?

I won't answer your LSD question on the ground that it might incriminate me, but clearly you were a very good girl during the 60s/70s.

THISTOOSHALLPASS is a lovely theme for a puz during these calamitous times.
I'm not a GoT fan at all, but ARYA is kind of a gimme.

What hurt me was confidently putting in SPOILED for 1A & then quickly realizing that none of the downs would make sense.

Frantic Sloth 9:24 AM  

Uh oh. Dueling doctors. Not sure I wanted to start that.
Thanks anyway, @smalltowndoc 547am and @Doctor Peabody 604am! Now I get it. 😁
Or so I thought until I read Mr. Condiment (@Hellman's 728am).πŸ˜‰
[thinking...] Nah. I still get it.

@Z 825am Maybe you & Mrs. Z might maybe kinda almost think about switching sides of the bed? Just a thought. 🀣😘
History tells me I should hunker down now. 😳

Frantic Sloth 9:26 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
RooMonster 9:29 AM  

Hey All !
Jeez Louise, I think I might take the @Nancy route, and skip reading Rex. What a mess today's write-up is. Stick to the puz, and leave the Everyone-Sucks politics out of it! I've said it before, ALL politicians are liars. ALL. Period. *MIC drop*

That mini-rant aside, this puz was OK. Things that shall pass. Eventually. Especially a back-up PROQUARTERBACK. The tie-in was the neat part. Did notice the 16 wide grid, so the hamster is still running. Also noticed the TVs crossing. Yikes. And a tone-deaf clue on KNEELS. Again, keep your politics out of my puz. What about "Atones, at church" or somesuch for KNEELS? "Gets knighted". "Proposes" Something.

I'm sure others will answer, but LSD TABs usually come on strips of paper that you essentially peel off. Never have done drugs in my life, and yet I know that. Weird. And WAY by itself is a response to NO WAY. Became popular with the "Wayne's World" SNL skit and movies.

Is Under ARMOUR a British company? Asking because of the U. No offense to @M&A, but here in the good ole USA, we don't use no stinking extraneous U. It's ARMOR. COLOR. Har.

Anyway, decent TuesPuz. ARF.

Two F's

TTrimble 9:38 AM  

I won't say the puzzle went swimmingly for me -- kind of meh on the solve time. And I agree with some of Rex's nits: PRO does seem kind of tacked on, and the tone of OK NOW is a little puzzling. But BIPARTISAN BILL is clued just fine.

I'm surprised that Rex didn't jump on PARD, which is nose-wrinkling to a far greater degree than yesterday's HON. I'm trying to think if I've ever heard "Pard" (that's short for "pardner", which substitutes for "partner", right?) in any western whatsoever. Someone play me a clip; it confounds me even more than OK NOW when it comes to subvocalizing. But in my head, the intonation is very much like that of HON. As crosswordese, it has a stink of desperation to me.

On the other hand, exclusive rights to CAROLINA do not belong to James Taylor, wonderful though he may be. Let's just say it could have been clued differently: if Kurt Coleman is doing color commentary and says CAROLINA as synecdoche, he has the Panthers on his mind.

(If you suspect that I had to look up Kurt Coleman, you're right -- I know JACK SQUAT about football and couldn't even tell you who the Panthers PRO QUARTERBACK is without looking it up. I do like watching it from time to time, because I think it's a neat sport -- it's just that I have no skin in the game and haven't for decades.)

I can't decide whether I like or dislike ARF. OK NOW, I'll split it: the cluing is not bad as red herring, but ARF is an oof as crosswordese.

Methinks Rex went on over-long on KIDNEY STONE. I didn't think there was anything tee-hee about it. Now if you want to tee-hee on human suffering, maybe here's one for you: you know the Capitol invader dude with the horned helmet and the red, white, and blue makeup? He'd turned himself in and is now in federal custody, and his mommy reports that he hasn't eaten in jail because he'll only eat organic food! Gotta admit, I howled over that one.

Sir Hillary 9:39 AM  

Pretty sure Hawkeye Pierce uttered THISTOOSHALLPASS as a punchline to someone having a KIDNEYSTONE or swallowing a coin or something like that.

Ross Trudeau has never been my favorite constructor, but this one holds up pretty well. Sure, BIPARTISANBILL and PROQUARTERBACK contain unnecessary information so they fit the grid, but they are are both very real things, so no issue. Big props for the long downs, all of which cross at least two themers. And extra credit for including Mom!

Lots of talk about MTV crossing TVHOSTS. Yeah, not great. I am amused by LMAO just above MAO.

@Z -- You have HARPEDON the Jordan thing before, so your rant was not surprising. I do not entirely agree with it, but it is very well-articulated and argued with such passion that all I could do was LMAO (in a good way) as I read it. Not so much about Jordan, but I consider the 2004 Pistons to be the most remarkable NBA champions in the last 50 years (this from a diehard Laker fan). But (and again, not a Jordan thing)...the problem is...ISIAH Thomas himself. What an insecure, petty jerk. A disaster as a coach and GM, got run out of New York on a sexual harassment allegation that rings true, and just cannot seem to come off as anything but bitter in any interview I have seen. Shame, because he is one of the top five point guards in the history of the game.

thfenn 9:44 AM  

@nancy, on 3D all I can say is I think it has something to do with one way you can take LSD. On 6D the response to "no way" can be "way". And as always, appreciate your take on what to like about this one.

GILL I. 9:55 AM  

Well I always like a Ross Trudeau puzzle. I also like his Papa's cartoons and his Mama.
I had no idea where this was going. I did my usual pause and mind wandering at KIDNEY STONE. Yeah, I had them. I guess when a man gets them, they can then know what birthing pain feels like. I also had gallstones. Those are fun as well. Had to get my gallbladder removed in an emergency. I blame it on all the black beans and rice I EAT.
So I get to the THIS TOO SHALL PASS and I did a stink eye movement. I thought maybe Ross was taking us to a "skip to my Loo." Oh wait...we have CRINKLES. I make fudgy chocolate ones that makes my two year old granddaughter sing a little song.
Is the TBAR still in existence? We were set to go to Tahoe and ski last March but guess what happened? My daughter has been exposed to COVID. She's getting tested at the tune of $400 because it's one of those emergency ones and you get results in 24 hours. Such a land we live in.
@bocamp...Thanks for the We are the World. I've heard that rendition lots of times and I never tire of it.

Dogfish 10:07 AM  

Reaaaaaaally did not gel with this one at all. In fact, I'm sure there's a good synonym that means 'did not gel at all'.

KIDNEYSTONE is a yikes themer, both PROQUARTERBACK and BRIEFMOMENT feel very green-painty as themers (on their own they'd be fine I guess?), but I really can't abide by BIPARTISANBILL. Perhaps in part because in the UK our political party system is weird and it doesn't really hold true... and in part because it as an answer in the US, in the context of a 'things which pass' puzzle, implies the only way Democrats should be able to pass anything (like a week after they finally got a just-about-majority!) is by compromising with a group of sexist, racist, homophobic fascists. It's bad enough that they have to work with Joe Manchin!

Whilst the theme didn't really work for me, if it was able to act as a themeless-but-not I don't think I'd have minded? But unfortunately, a lot of this puzzle had the cluing tone of a... "I don't care about politics and would be proud to call myself a moderate" type (By comparison, my issues with Bernie Sanders were that he's far too right wing on economic policy, and it's depressing that he was the best choice) - and I think that's a lot worse than any sins committed by the themers. Most notably in the list, I don't think I'd ever opt to use a word that gets thrown out to bully people in a clue - especially when a perfectly valid "___ Ancilla Domini" clue is sitting right there. I suspects that's entirely editorial - QUARTERBACK crossing KNEELS was pointed out and almost saves the puzzle - which does give me good reason to be grouchy I think. Whilst I don't love the fill (LSDTAB, crossing names in the NW, TBAR, EPALAB crossing the aforementioned, ARF), cluing really let this one down for me.

But hey, ARMOUR spelled correctly! Small mercies :-)

TJS 10:09 AM  

Saw the name Ross Trudeau and tried to remember whether he was one of OFLs' pals or on his s**t list. Now we know. What a well-reasoned critique. Proud of you, Rex. Stay classy.

Newboy 10:12 AM  

OUCHES!! Rex is right to throw the flag on this one. Next week we get the joys of post surgery radiation? And even the post riot Rex rant seems appropriate to my ear. Having a grandson with spongy kidneys, I’ve come to understand vicariously how debilitating passing a stone is.

OK NOW—the puzzle. Except for that BRIEF MOMENT, I liked it. Ross is a byline I enjoy seeing as he always seems to challenge with entries that are gettable but not obvious. Today’s only clunker was that ARYN/AYN crossing — even Atlas Shrugged there for many I bet. ISSARAE, while WOE for a non-viewer, was fairly filled from crosses I wager. More fun than I expect on a rainy Tuesday, but I’m SETTLING.

pmdm 10:13 AM  

Many of the entries in a Ross puzzle strike me as "icky." He seems to me to enjoy using PPP that includes seemingly random letters (LMAO) if you are unfamiliar with the jargon. I rarely respond enthusiastically to his creations. Nor, I must admit, do I enjoy the picture of an EZPass sign, given the connection. I do hope I'm not becoming jaded.

I brief comment about yesterday. I know someone who is having a medical test tomorrow and needed to take a COVID test yesterday. I promised to drive him to the locality of the test in midtown Manhattan, which forced me to rush posting my comments. Seems that errors creeded into my post which I had no time to catch. Seems like my errors annoyed some to no end. Be assured that, if more time were available to me, I probably would have caught those errors and corrected them. I greatly dislike rushing, and too often my comments are rushedly posted.

I did refer yesterday to some examples of the music of Charles Ives. I did not have time to post links to the music. The Circus Band March can be found here. I think it's a fairly early work.


Psalm 90 can be found here between the 7 and 8 minute mark. Try to get beyond the opening, which is a loud and dissonant organ part. And words such as evil and wrath do not evok pleasant images, which the music faithfully depicts. But I do think the conclusion of the work works very well.


I do hope many of you will appreciate this music, which at times can be demanding.

MarthaCatherine 10:15 AM  

my husband and his father suffered through many a kidney stone. Terrible, terrible experiences. Doctors compare the pain level to that of childbirth and burns. But they sure could joke about it. First "joke" they shared was, well:

Husband had been in the hospital for days (this was decades ago) trying to pass what had been determined to be a fairly large stone. Docs finally decided they had to go up and get the thing. so much pain. Then the whole staff had to wait until husband was able to "void" (y'know, pee). Husband's dad (who had experienced this very procedure) said "not to worry. It doesn't hurt at all once the stone is finally gone!" So husband bravely decided he'd let it go. OMG! Howling from the depths of hell! "Dad!" says husband. "You said it wouldn't hurt!" His dad, grinning like a jackass eating briars, says "Hah! I LIED!" They bonded over over this in a way only certain kinds of males can. Not sure which kind that is....

sfriedberg 10:19 AM  

Enjoy your comments.
Best part is that I agree with your take on life in general and politics in particular.

Z 10:24 AM  

@Sir Hillary - Yep. Sport stars are great at sports. Rarely are they good role models at other aspects of life. The way our systems coddle top athletes and insulate them from consequences for their behavior from a very young age it is really amazing that more scandals aren’t exposed. Make no mistake, I think a whole of shitty behavior happens that just never gets exposed. The Knicks and Washington football team and other such scandals are top of the iceberg stuff. As for the GM stuff, I would argue that ISIAH has been every bit as good at the front office thing as Jordan, i.e. they both are terrible at it. Not that this should be surprising to anyone since the difficulty Hall of Famers have in such roles is well documented.

@Frantic Sloth - 🀣🀣 - Remember Rex’s comment about responding to over-hyped TV shows? Conventional Wisdom on G.O.A.T. hits a similar nerve with me. Throw in a little Detroit-Chicago rivalry and I’m ready on short notice. Besides, howling about sports is better than discussing KIDNEY STONEs.

Xcentric 10:30 AM  

The Carolina colony split into two separate colonies in 1712. North Carolina and South Carolina were two of the original thirteen colonies. So I guess if the clue refers to a time prior to 1712, CAROLINA could be correct. However, the clue gives no time constraints, so CAROLINA really should be plural.
Liked the clue for ANTCOLONY.

@Gill - thanks again for the recos yesterday. Can’t wait to travel again so I can get to try them out.

burtonkd 10:36 AM  

I want to hear the revealer in the voice of the Ian McKellen as the wizard in LOTR.

For the OKNOW tone, I think of Ace Ventura Pet Detective saying, "Alrighty then". Kindred spirit to Garth & Wayne doing NO WAY - HHHHHWAY

@BKnudsen - my thoughts exactly. Ben & Jerry is super-premium, Edy's is air-whipped medium grade.

@Nancy et al from yesterday, @A had it right that I was commenting on the American music discussion, maybe misunderstanding a focus on singers. Nice to see so much Charles Ives love on the board. For you, I get your experience. Jumping in with no context can be a bit rough. I think of it like jumping into a cold lake, not very pleasant at first, but becomes an experience that makes you feel more alive and enjoyable in a way not approachable in a warm pool. Musical taste, like food preference, is 90% what you are familiar with, so listening a few times to anything makes you enjoy and crave it more.
I invite anyone to try this portion. The opening sounds a bit like the Dvorak New World Symphony. The other soft contrasting dissonances make the beauty earned, much like a gorgeous river walk is more than just the Norman Rockwell painting - there are smells, bugs, FUNGUS and muddied water.


sixtyni yogini 10:40 AM  

Could not agree more, Rex.
Ewwwwww, kidney stone, etc!
But fast (for me) which was kinda fun despite the ick factor.

KnittyContessa 10:55 AM  

I have to agree with Rex 100% today. From the moment I read the first clue it was unpleasant. CAROLINA was just wrong. Carolina requires a North, South or The.

Jane Pauley and Rachel Narrow were the only bright spots, but aren't they always?

GHarris 11:01 AM  

Rex, I’m sure most of us share your grief as democracy teeters on the edge of tyranny but I thought the theme was clever and found the solve enjoyable.

sanfranman59 11:09 AM  

Easy-Medium NYT Tuesday ... about 8% below my 6-month median (plus it's 16 x 15 grid) and 1.22 Rexes, which is pretty darned good for me ... This was a relatively smooth and very consistent solve for me. Passing a KIDNEY STONE {18A: Hard deposit in a bladder} isn't really something I care to think about when solving a crossword (or ever, for that matter), but I do like the variety in the themers. I'm always at least a little surprised when clues/answers like LSD TAB {3D: Paper you take to go on a trip?} show up in the NYT crossword. Flashbacks ( ;^) ) to my college days in the late-70s/early-80s are always welcome. I think it's very cute that Ross gave a shout-out to his mom.

DonMcLean 11:10 AM  

@GILL I. - Thought you might appreciate this video. I wrote the song about Vincent Van Gogh in 1971, who never sold a painting while he lived.


Carola 11:12 AM  

Clever theme, PLUS the bonus of CRINKLES. This was a tough Tuesday for me, at least at the outset: just a random ECCE, PARD, EAT, and ARF, until I reached the the reveal, which went right in and immediately unmasked the KIDNEY STONE and BIPARTISAN deaL (OOPs) and helped the rest of the puzzle go much faster. I liked QUARTERBACK x KNEELS.
@Rex asked, "[W]ho the heck is saying 'alrighty?'" The answer is my sister-in-law. Her equivalent, however is "OK then."

Help from previous puzzles: ISSA RAE, ISIAH. No idea: WAY.

jberg 11:12 AM  

FWIW, Congress passed a couple BIPARTISAN BILLs lately. For one, the National Defense Authorization Act, they also bipartisanly overrode the President's veto (he objected to several things, including the renaming of military bases currently named for people who had fought against the United States and killed American troops -- kind of reminiscent today.) It could have been a "congressional BILL" but then it would have to be 17-wide.

I did admire the way that PASS was used in 4 very different senses.

More later.

GHarris 11:17 AM  

Btw, I suppose technically Jane Pauley and Rachel Maddow are tv hostesses but I think of the former as an introducer and the latter as a talking head.

Anonymoose 11:21 AM  

Any ice cream brand is an alternative. Any car is an alternative. We choose among them mostly by taste and price. Alternatives don't have to be equivalent.

TJS 11:22 AM  

Yes, @Southside, "Ms. Rand" has appeared fairly regularly in crossword puzzles. For like 60 years.

Z,Z,Z...Ah, yes, the great Larry Brown, who in 25 + years as a head coach in the NBA, managed to win how many times? Once. And of course that '04 team would have beaten the Bulls. Who could compete against a team led by the great Rasheed Wallace ? And talk about a class act !

NBA champs in 91,92,93. took off 94 and 95. NBA Champs 96,97,98. What would have happened those two missing years had he played ?

Whatsername 11:24 AM  

Alrighty then. This was a solid and very well constructed Tuesday PLUS I really liked the theme. A little trouble getting started in the top section, primarily due to the unusual spelling of ISIAH and - since there are two of them - expecting CAROLINA to be plural. Then for a BRIEF MOMENT, thought ANT COLONY might have something to do with a borough in New York but finally took off once that NE corner began to take shape.

I agree with Rex that the clue just doesn’t work for for OK NOW. To me, the logical answer there is OK THEN. However, I don’t see anything insensitive about KIDNEY STONE. The clue is straightforward with no attempt at humor, and in relation to the revealer it might be punny but not necessarily a joke as in LMAO funny. It’s no worse than say the expression “about as much fun as” a root canal, a heart attack, a KIDNEY STONE, etc.

tea73 11:27 AM  

I had ScAMS. Stupidly put in MILDEWs. Looked at that final S?S for 7 down and put in SOS though it didn't seem right, so I had ISSARAo and was baffled. The crossing of the actress with the weird name and the basketball player who spells his name wrong felt pretty Naticky to me.

Count me as one who gave KIDNEY STONE the side eye, though I'm not in principle against having yucky things in puzzles.

I have an amusing story about LSD TABS. Back in the early 1980s I was sharing a house with a bunch of Caltech grad students. We took it upon ourselves one weekend to clean out the freezer and discovered a piece of blotting paper... We did not throw it out, but put it back. I'm pretty sure a lot were like me, too scared to take it - what if you had a bad trip - but tempted none the less. A discussion ensued over dinner shortly afterwards and a friend of ours took it home with him. He refused to ever say whether he took the stuff or not.

I thought the theme and answers were great. I don't mind revealers in the middle. It just seemed much harder than the usual Tuesday fare. That's not on the constructor though.

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

IIRC, not from experience, mind, current therapy for stones is to blast them with massive ultra-sound into teeny, tiny fragments which pass unnoticed? may be only the 1% can afford the therapy, of course.

Ulysses 11:42 AM  

According to Nancy Pelosi, you must use the word "parent" and not "mother". Shame on Rex for this egregious breach in PC decorum. On the other hand, his (the constructor's) inclusion of the parent is merely an exposure of his Oedipal complex. This too shall pass.

bocamp 11:47 AM  

@GILL I. 9:55 AM ~ yw 😊

@pmdm 10:13 AM

Didn't know Charles Ives until the recent discussion. Thx for the links. :)

yd pg -3

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness πŸ•Š

A 11:51 AM  

Happy Let’sjustgetitoverwith Day!

I very much appreciated this offering. Seems to FIT the times.

Agreed with OFL about CAROLINA - how about “North or South, but not East or West?”

PLUS, Rex’s description of the essence of ITSALOT was WAY inspired. Sometimes I just need a MOMENT.

Much ado about KIDNEY STONE. TRY to be grateful for small favors - it isn’t plural. If you’re looking to get worked up about something, what about ANT COLONY - it has COLON in it. JUST a short WALK to ANT COLONOSCOPY. ANT should EAT more OATs.

Embarrassment du jour: forgot “ECCE homo” and had wRINKLES in my foil. ECwE homo??? O KNOW!

Fun with the neighbors:

The KNEELS clue was ok, but RT missed an opportunity to tie it in to the theme. “How Sean Connery acts on hearing ‘only the penitent man shall PASS.’?”

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

another interesting factoid, to the nerd crowd anyway, is that gout has the same underlying cause as kidney stones. and in olden times, gout was known as 'the rich man's disease', since only, you guessed it, the rich could afford the diet which promoted it. ain't life grand?

Mary McCarty 11:59 AM  

Re 3D: At UCSB back in the early 70s, the April 1 edition of the school paper (NEXUS) announced that a drop of LSD had been placed on the back top corner of selected papers. When word got out you couldn’t find an intact issue to save your soul!

Amy 12:00 PM  

When I like a puzzle and Rex completely pans it I have to chime in and let the constructor know. Loved It! Thought kidney stone was funny! So there! Needed “This too shall pass” a lot this week, so thanks, Ross!

Crimson Devil 12:01 PM  

Very good Tues puz. There should be Doonesberry puz someday.

old timer 12:06 PM  

"Oh, I guess (so) was my disgusted comment when I got to TVHOSTS and the desperate ITSALOT. Pretty good puzzle, as Trudeau's often are, until that sad corner. I guess if I had though of it I would have smiled at Ross getting his mom into a clue.

There is no excuse for today's Rexrant. Believe me, we are going to need some BIPARTISAN cooperation in the coming year, and no one knows this better than Joe Biden, the People's President. The current one is deluded, and that call to the Georgia Secretary of State showed me he is clinically insane. I'm sorry the marchers to the Capitol are delusional, too. But you know, despite the ones who waved a Confederate flag, they did not strike me as white supremacist. The leader of the Proud Boys is as Black as Obama (biracial), and I saw some other people of color in the crowd. These are people who feel left out and ignored. Biden knows this, and will I hope work hard to change that.

Ethan Taliesin 12:13 PM  

I liked everything (esp KIDNEYSTONES) except TV intersecting TV which was inelegant to say the least.

Funny EZ-Pass story... When my wife and I first traveled to Arlington, VA cross-country we had to go through a toll station in PA late at night. Neither of us really EVER uses cash and when we approached we saw three lanes:

EZ-Pass/No Cash

We pulled into the third lane since we had "no cash," but couldn't for the life of us figure out where to insert our bank card.

Anonymous 12:29 PM  

@old timer:
These are people who feel left out and ignored.

at some point the rest of us have to call out this whining as bull. these 'left out' from socio-economic progress nearly all live in Red states run by politicians who treat their populations like cattle; cheap and ignored. 'business friendly' states, and proud of it. and, of course, those who claim to being 'left out' have elected these politicians for decades. and continue to do so. IOW, they only have their stupidity to blame. the Blue states' populations have better lives just because they elect politicians who treat their populations like human beings. they, and their populations, rail against 'socialism', yet that's the only certain way not to be 'ignored' by the Damn Gummint (state and federal).

enough whining from these.

Nancy 12:30 PM  

@Unknown -- It's not that I was a "good girl" -- it's that I was a scaredy-cat girl. You couldn't open a magazine or turn on the TV without hearing about an LSD "Bad Trip". And I'm someone who wouldn't even go see "Psycho". I certainly didn't want some absolutely terrifying horror flick playing inside my own brain, for heaven's sake!

Also -- I must say I like the workings of my own mind and my own brain. I have no wish to *improve* them, *enhance* them or indeed change them in any way at all. I would only be distorting them and generally speaking, distortions tend not to be pleasant experiences.

When a few people I knew told me they'd taken LSD, my jaw dropped all the way to the floor. I thought it was the dumbest, most unnecessarily risky thing I'd ever heard.

@burtonkd -- I respect your musicianship enormously, but I don't think Ives is someone that I could ever grow to love. Or even like. I hate dissonance. In fact, it's sort of like the distortion just discussed above.

@thfenn -- Thanks for the compliment.

Frantic Sloth 12:32 PM  

@Z 1024am Don't worry. I doubt anyone noticed.

@A 1151am You've got me thinking about an ANT COLONOSCOPY in ways which defy description. There goes my day...

sanfranman59 12:33 PM  

Since I'm always in speed-solver mode while solving, it didn't even occur to me that the clue for KIDNEY STONE {18A: Hard deposit in a bladder} is just flat out wrong. Multiple demerits to the constructor and/or editor for that one.

**** OT rants ****

@GILL I (9:55am) ... I'm so sorry to read the news of your daughter's possible exposure to the virus and it's so aggravating to learn that it's going to cost her $400 to do the right thing about it from a public health perspective. When will the powers-that-be in this country finally realize that our healthprofit system is so often at incompatible with the concept of healthcare? It just makes me so angry.

@Z (10:24am) ... re "The way our systems coddle top athletes and insulate them from consequences for their behavior from a very young age it is really amazing that more scandals aren’t exposed." ... Amen! I'm an all-sports fanatic and have always been dismayed by this aspect of that world. Since only a small fraction of them will ever parlay their talents into successful careers, such coddling does a real disservice to both the athletes themselves and to society in general. I can't imagine how difficult it must be (for example) for an athlete who blows out a knee at age 18 or 20 or 22 to make the adjustment from a lifetime of being coddled to the realities of life when one isn't so coddled.

**** End of OT rants ****

FrostMo 12:34 PM  

PROQUARTERBACK got an audible groan, always hate to see such a bad shoehorn on a themer. Was a slog all the way through.

CDilly52 12:35 PM  

Well, after yesterday’s weird vibe (just couldn’t get any flow going). . . oops, here we go with the KIDNEY STONE “passages problem, I was delighted by this tougher than usual Tuesday with some humor.

Having passed more of the dreaded gritty little objects, the cause of almost unbelievable anguish, than I can recall (and have no desire to), let me state right out of the gate how much I enjoyed the humor! Humor is a wonderful tool in my personal healing tool kit.

MILDEWEY gave me another chuckle because I remember accidentally bringing home a wet towel from camp one summer and my Gran, eager to both give me a warm hug on my return was equally eager to accept my filthy clothing, made the first discovery.

It had been a two week Girl Scout remote camping adventure. No showers, dig your own latrines - the whole hard work meets huge reward experience.

Gran took me down to the basement where she collected everything from my meager backpack as well as what I was wearing and upon discovering the towel, made a horrible face and remarked that my towel had MILDEWed. Having no idea what that meant, she tossed the offending object to me and said “here, you smell it.” Awful doesn’t quite sum it up.

She also instructed me to finish the unpacking and toss the clothes into the appropriate pile. As I continued to empty the pack, the smell did not abate and I became concerned. Sure enough, when I got to the bottom of my pack, there was a single t-shirt wadded up at the bottom, my favorite that I had worn for at least a week of the two week stint including a rain shower during the camp striking exercises a couple days before we hiked out to the pickup point.

As I sheepishly pulled out the shirt there was no denying it’s condition and I vividly recall tossing it onto the “filthy” pile as Gran had dubbed her weekly load that included my Dad’s work duds from his shop out back and his night-school gig teaching Adult Ed auto mechanics. I said,”Sorry, Gran, this one is MILDEWY too. So, whether actually in the regular vernacular, it is firmly ensconced in mine.

The end result was a review of the parts of speech (my family, as I may have mentioned, revering education and language above many other things) and a laundry lesson. “Well,” said Gran with what I now call her “teaching moment” face on, “you have five minutes to go get dressed and come back here. If you are old enough to go out into the wilderness for two weeks, and bring back MILDEWY belongings, you are old enough to learn to do your own laundry.” What a homecoming, yet I recall it so vividly as being another wonderful memory of time spent with the one adult in childhood and to the day she died, who made me feel loved in every single moment spent in her company. MILDEWEY indeed!

Qosmonaut 12:36 PM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, though it was perhaps my slowest Tuesday ever. The size alone can't explain how I hit 10 minutes. Somehow I just found the cluing to be unusually hard.

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

@Oldtimer. Maybe they won't feel ignored when they're in prison. Your sympathy for the terrorist traitors is disturbing. They murdered someone and beat others. They attacked our government. I think it is ALL about racism and white "supremacy". Also they are none too bright. You're not paying attention.

Anoa Bob 12:58 PM  

Once again my belief that the NYTXW does not get $ from product placement in their puzzles was challenged by today's offering, especially because of the grid entries that could have been clued in a number of ways and yet were given commercial product clues.

Going with a brand of hard lemonade for the clue for 1D MIKES is exhibit one. Same-o same-o for 27D ARMOUR as a brand of athletic wear. And then we get two products in a single entry/clue combo with 60A EDYS clued as a "Ben & Jerry's alternative". Oh, and I almost forgot 64D OSH of OSHkosh B'gosh fame. I'm still skeptical about the product placement/$ connection but I'm starting to suspect that some kind of conspiracy is going on right under our noses.

My recollection is (and a quick net check confirms) that the main cause of KIDNEY STONEs is not drinking enough water.

Did you know that 8D MOONFISH is also called a sunfish? Maybe the ichthyologists who came up with that had dropped an LSD TAB or two. (And that "chthy" letter string would be a neat to put in an xword grid, right?)


burtonkd 1:04 PM  

@IGILL, I'm trying to figure out why the rapid test is costing $400. I had to get one and it took a few hours, and only cost $20 out of pocket: not sure if insurance picked up any amount beyond that. At any rate, this seems way out of line with any testing fees I've heard of before. Regular test usually has 2 day turnaround. Good luck, at any rate.

Z 1:09 PM  

For @burtonkd, although I must say this clip had a too strong 2020/January 2021 vibe to it.

@TJS - Well, I ‘spose whether you think his “retirement” was for steroids or gambling might influence one’s answer. I think there’s more reason to believe it was gambling. If you believe the official story I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. And Sheed outclasses Jordan by a couple of orders of magnitude. Surely it’s not lost on you that Sheed was suspended for threatening Tim Donaghy. Again, if you buy the “hot head” narrative on Sheed you are missing most of the story. Biggest mistake Stan Van made was not keeping him on staff when he was hired. Sheed does have an interesting podcast, BTW, Let’s Get Technical. I wonder how they came up with that name.*

@CAROLINA deniers - Wowser. Rex posted the best justification for the clue and y’all still want to argue that it’s not in the language. OK NOW, people, it is really okay to admit the clue was a fine misdirect.

*@Frantic Sloth - I TOLD YOU I was always ready on this. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

TJS 1:09 PM  

Let's drop all the us vs. them namecalling and just argue about Bulls vs. Pistons, okay?

Frantic Sloth 1:16 PM  

@Z, @sanfranman59 For the record that nobody cares about: Could not agree more. I had been a football fan since the 60s and it still angers me no end that I haven't been able to enjoy it since the whole Ray Rice thing and stopped watching it completely soon after that. And I've no doubt that what's been exposed is not only not just the tip of the iceberg, but wasn't even a gleam in the eye of the tip of the iceberg. The whole thing makes me sick with rage. And nobody wants to imagine that.

Teedmn 1:17 PM  

I took a long time with this one due to stupid missteps including mis-entering letters and in one case, the whole answer. I was blank on what knights went on, could only think of CRUSADES which didn't fit.

I got a sly chuckle from this theme though, granted, I have not had a kidney stone. One of my friends had one announce itself while he was at Burning Man. Talk about inconvenient. One positive is that plenty of people had Vicodin and Percocet that they gave him. There was probably plenty of LSD TABs floating around too but I have no idea how that would combine with kidney stone pain, never having partaken, myself.

Thanks, Ross Trudeau.

Frantic Sloth 1:25 PM  

@CDilly52 135pm I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating: I love your grandmother and your stories. It doesn't even bother me that you were obviously a slobby little kid. 😘 (me, too!)

Z 1:53 PM  

@TJS1:09 - I try but they did not strike me as white supremacist has my tongue bleeding. But then I remember debating with flat earthers and creationists is a waste of time and move along.

@Frantic and @SanFran - I’m sure I told this story before but the wake up slap happened when I was an assistant principal. Despite being at a “football school” we ran a tight ship (our stance with all the athletes was “you wear the school’s name, this puts higher expectations on you, you will not embarrass the school”) so I was fairly insulated from the crazy. My third year I became responsible for student records. We had a transfer in from a Texas school who was a talented football player. About the Monday before the first game Coach came in asking about transcripts because we had to show the kid was eligible before starting him Friday night. I made some calls and got brushed off. Wednesday rolls around and Coach is getting desperate. He asks me about the delay and I tell him I’m getting politely nowhere. He tells me that the next time I call I need to tell them I’m the football coach and I need the transcripts so the kid can play. I did. We had the fax within the hour.

okanaganer 2:03 PM  

Interesting about Carolina and all that, but what I really wanna know is: why is there no East Virginia?

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

Interesting about Carolina and all that, but what I really wanna know is: why is there no East Virginia?

but, there is. it's called Bermuda. been there once. what was odd: the preferred legal tender is the US Buck.

Paul Statt 2:21 PM  

My mother, who completed the Times puzzle every day--even when the Times came days late to rural NH in the sxties--hooked me in the habit.

She also used to say, at times like these: "THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS."

Which was just what I needed to be reminded today!

Sharonak 2:29 PM  

@Bocamp 5:46 THANK YOU for the Aloha Oe link. Beautiful.

@ Mathgent 6:32
HUH? No sparkle?? I laughed out loud when I got the reveal after "kidney stone" and "pro quarterback". Plus what Lewis said.

@ Andy Cute comment

Whatsername 2:30 PM  

@GILL: Fingers crossed for your daughter.

JC66 2:31 PM  


But, flat earthers and creationists aren't a threat to our democracy,

Unknown 2:49 PM  

@ Z 10:24
There have been a number of notable athletes who have used their platform to try to make the world a better place: Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe, Naomi Osaka (spelling?), the two black 400 meter runners from the Mexico Olympics. . . .

So while yes, many athletes lead privileged lives without fear of repercussions, the very same could be said of most of our politicians. I think it's important, especially in these days when we seem to be bereft of role models, to acknowledge the ones who have taken a stand for what they believe in, and not just lump them all together.
And props to Bill Belichick for turning down Trump's recent "honor."

Maddiegail 2:52 PM  

Have just scrolled through all the comments looking for the explanations of l) Paper you take to go o a trip; 2) V.J. employer. Thanks to all who enlightened me on LSD strips. Who knew? (I'm old). As for V.J./MTV, I just don't get it. Someone? Thanks.

JC66 3:09 PM  


A DJ (disc jockey) plays records.

A VJ (video jockey) plays videos.

GILL I. 3:21 PM  

@Sanfran and @Whatsername...Thank you for good thoughts for our daughter.
@burtonkd 1:04. You, too on the good luck. BUT.....YESIREEBOB, my friend.....it costs $400 here in the Capital City of CaleeefornIA. She's taking the same day RT-PCR test and she's having to dish out the money herself. Her health insurance will reimburse her most of it - somewhere down the line - but...but...when?
@CDilly ...let me join @Frantic and others chiming in on the enjoyment of your stories. I'm SOOOO glad your's today was about MILDEWY. I put my bathroom towels in the washing machine yesterday and forgot to take them out and put them in the dryer. Talk about cheese smell...... They are now being re-washed so I have your Gran to thank..... :-). Eat some Brie with a apples.....

Maddiegail 3:23 PM  

Thank you, JC66!

RexIsRight 4:15 PM  

@old timer: Did you notice the tee-shirts & sweatshirts on some of those Proud Boys? If you don't know what "6MWE" stands for, look it up.

DigitalDan 4:27 PM  

For four years I have had a negative reaction to positive descriptions in these puzzles of the work of the EPA, as with most of the cabinet organizations. I could also do without throwaway references to LSD, which has been undergoing something of a rehabilitation recently, but still is a topic to treat with tippitoe caution. This puzzle also had my "favorite" anachronistic object, the TBAR, which along with OATERS and RAREES only occur in the crosswords, not in real life.

JC66 4:42 PM  


Hope your daughter's OK.

Z 4:44 PM  

@unknown 2:49 - Sure. And lots more that don’t do it as publicly. As in most fields, the people who do good or at least don’t actively do evil are even the majority. The mistake is thinking that great athletic ability and virtue are linked. Some may be both great athletes and good citizens, but there’s no guarantee. And not holding privilege accountable has predictable negative consequences.

Z 5:05 PM  

I just got tested. Had results in 36 hours (negative πŸ’ͺ🏽). Process was video call with a PA (Gustav - I swear to god he looked like he got his HS diploma last week) then drive through nasal swab in the back parking lot. (10th in line when I got there, 10 in line when I left). Insurance covered it all. Our biggest scare so far has been my in-laws. Both 84, both tested positive. Luckily, they had practically no symptoms other than a little lethargy. When you’re an 84 year-old with heart issues a little lethargy prompts a visit to the emergency room - the assumption being that the lethargy is heart related. Both of them testing positive was a surprise. They did trace the source to the car salesperson. Yes, they all wore masks, but they spent almost an hour inside the new car going over how to operate all the features. So wear a damn mask, but stay out of enclosed spaces where you can’t maintain social distancing, too.
@Gill I - I hope it is as minor for your daughter as it was for my in-laws.

Nancy 5:12 PM  

OMG, @CDilly52 (12:35) -- Youthful camp experiences -- and the physical discomfort that might, alas, be involved therein -- vary so greatly: much more than I could have possibly imagined during my years at Camp Pinecliffe.

Little did I know that some years later (You're younger than I am, @CDilly) a girl's camp experiences could sound a lot closer to being in the Marines.

No showers -- well, yes, for us also in our bunks. Once a week we got a hot shower -- in a special shower outdoor lean-to shared by all the bunks (150 campers). But digging your own latrines?????!!!!! Are you kidding me???? Fuhgeddaboudit!!!

We 'Cliffies thought we were roughing it at the time (and I still fervently believe we were). We had no hot water, no showers in the bunk, and no electricity. When we heard that those soft, spoiled, utterly laughable boys at the boy's camp right across Crystal Lake from us, Camp Zakelo, had hot water and electricity in their bunks, we considered them a bunch of wusses. (Or whatever synonym there was for wusses back in ca 1956.) We thought we were so hardy and resilient and outdoorsy. But the truth is that we were ourselves wusses compared to you, latrine-digging @CDilly52!

bocamp 5:26 PM  

@Sharonak 2:29 PM ~ yw 😊

@Unknown 2:49 PM

Well said!

The first athlete I thought of when it comes to kudos for positive action was Ann Meyers Drysdale. She was part of a group who came to Vancouver in the '90s to honor local special needs students. Derek, a person with Down's Syndrome, was chosen to represent our school at the conference, and he and I had the chance to meet and talk with Ann. She was so interested in Derek, and exuded such a sense of love and caring. Derek was over the moon.

I had followed Ann's career at UCLA, and she was a hero of mine; the opportunity to meet her was truly a serendipity, for both Derek and me.

A brief anecdote about Derek: he played baseball in our Challenger Little League program, and I was umping the plate for one of his games. He hit a long homer and his home run trot was a thing of beauty. He capped it off by jumping into my arms at home plate. Definitely one of the highlights of my life.

Derek went on to become a volunteer ump in our Jr. Umpire Corp., doing Rookie (pitching machine) games.

So, it isn't only professional athletes who deserve recognition. Hats off to Derek and all the young amateur athletes who contribute in a positive way in our communities.

An aside because I love coincidences: my first thought after reading your list of praiseworthy athletes was Ann Meyers Drysdale. When I googled "athletes who have made significant contributions to society", the first article I clicked on was this. After a brief description of the importance of Colin Kaepernick’s stand (to kneel), Ann was the first of many to be featured in the article, which highlights Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King and many others, some of whom you mentioned, including Tommie Smith and John Carlos from Mexico City.

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness πŸ•Š

Former Girl Scout 6:59 PM  

@Nancy, kudos to your kudos at CDilly52 but I am pretty sure a private camp for ‘Cliffies is nothing like a Girl Scout camp. I was born in ‘55 and we had to sell the infernal cookies to go to GS camp. We pretty much just had a “lodge”, surrounding woods and the latrine. Nonetheless, we had a great time. Instead of mildew (since no pool or lake) I remember my clothes smelling like smoke from the campfires and the lodge fireplace (it wasn’t heated) plus freezing my arse of at night.

pabloinnh 7:16 PM  

@GILL I-Oye amiguita-

One of the very first phrases I learned in Spanish 1 in college was "Ojala que se mejore pronto." Never a better time than now to use that one.

Estamos contigo.

GILL I. 7:55 PM  

RESULTS ARE BACK!!!!!! NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE....$400 dollars behind us...I don't care. Doing the little tango dance. Well, the big tango dance. Damn I hate sweating bullets. I think I need a drink.
My husband is at high risk for not making it through COVID so his PCP has him on the "first waiting" list for the vaccine. I'm not "old" enough nor am I at risk (yet) so I wait, and wait, and wear my mask and wash my dry, raw hands and give the stink eye to those that still refuse to wear a mask. Maybe God will reward me. I'm thinking of making bread for the homeless.
Thank you for well wishes. I have them for all of you as well. This is not fun. BUT.....before you know it, the 20th will be here!!!!!

Nancy 8:11 PM  

Wonderful news, @GILL! I'm so happy for you! Coincidently, I just emailed you, wishing you luck and hoping for the best for your daughter, so my email is already out-of-date even though I sent it no more than 8 minutes ago. Such good news to be out-of-date.

And, yes, you definitely deserve a drink! In fact, have two -- one for you and one for your daughter.

JOHN X 8:39 PM  

@Gill I. 7:55 PM

Have five more drinks for me. In fact, drink the whole dang bottle.

bocamp 9:00 PM  

@GILL I. πŸ™

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness πŸ•Š

JC66 9:01 PM  

@Gill I

Great news!!!

Brett 9:03 PM  

Been wondering for a while...
How does your rating system work?

GILL I. 10:00 PM  

Guess what?????? I just opened up a chilled bottle of Julien Fouet Cremant de Loire. It's not a fancy shamanzy champagne..... but ALL of you are invited...I have plenty of flutes for everybody.
Merci, gracias, amigos/amigas..... :-) a million times over.

Frantic Sloth 11:38 PM  

Late to the party as usual, but I'm over the moon for you, your daughter, and the rest of your family (including we here), @GILL! This is the best news I've heard in months and it's fitting that it should come from (and for) you! ❤️‼️

jae 12:02 AM  

@GILL - Glad to hear she is OK. We are currently waiting for our 18 yr. grandson to get tested. He was exposed late last week and you have to wait 5-6 days before you can get an accurate result. Meanwhile my daughter and her husband are living in a different part of their house. Fortunately we haven’t been with in 15 feet of him for months.

SomeOneHasToBeMe 6:34 AM  

Catching up on the week.

The sticky wicket for me was ISIAH crossing ISSARAE. I didn't have that first S and it had to brute force it.

Lots of duds (ARF, for all that's holy?) lots of dud fill ("MDS OOP ERA yeah yeah yeah")

But some real gems too the cluing for "SOOT" was fun, and for such a grid friendly word, I don't think you see SOOT that much. ECCE homo was, again, something at least kinda fresh.

I had THE QUARTERBACK for a while. Makes just as much sense.

Anonymous 4:17 PM  

Can we also mention that EDYS and EDDY are both in the same puzzle? It's not technically a dupe, but it's getting pretty darn close! How did that pass muster?!

kitshef 10:42 AM  

Solved as a themeless, and quite an enjoyable one. Had filled in THIS TOO SHALL PASS based on crosses and did not realize it was the revealer, so assumed the revealer was BRIEF MOMENT and was baffled until coming here.

Still don't know who ISSA RAE is, but nice to get the whole name in the puzzle for a change.

MTV/TV HOSTS is one terrible cross.

thefogman 9:09 AM  

Will Shortz only has 50 puzzles to go before he hits the 10,000 mark as the current NYTXW editor. It’s too bad he’s slacking off and giving the green light to just about anything as he approaches this milestone.


spacecraft 11:12 AM  

Two things: 1) There is one and only one thing that follows "Well, alrighty:" THEN. "Well, alrighty, OKNOW?" Ludicrous. 2) I'm going crazy trying to figure out what--or who--V.J. is in the clue for MTV (gotten on crosses). Vegetable juice? Victor Jory?* Van Johnson?* Wha???

Hard to ignore full-named ISSARAE for DOD. This is actually one of Trudeau's better efforts. Weird acronym symmetry: LSDTAB and EPALAB. CRINKLES is a marvelous word. Agreed that BIPARTISANBILL is never gonna happen, and that PRO is only there to fill out the grid--and necessitates the "NFL" in the clue for ___QUARTERBACK. But all in all the theme works, even if occasionally painful. Birdie.

*Two old-timey actors

Burma Shave 11:50 AM  




rainforest 1:50 PM  

This is a fine Tuesday puzzle. I thought the theme was coherent and effective, with a perfect revealer. NFL in the clue for 46A definitely signalled PRO for the QUARTERBACK.
Also, @Spacey, the answer OK NOW isn't meant to follow "Well, alrighty..."", It's an alternative, just like PLUS is an alternative to "Not to mention...".

Overall, good fill with some sparklers and a lively vibe throughout. There was a BRIEF MOMENT when I had trouble with VJ, but it's just short for Video Jockey, as a comparison with DJ, a Disc Jockey.

Good fun puzzle.

leftcoaster 3:04 PM  

Clever and amusing = fun puzzle.

Last letters in (NW of course) were the L in LSD TAB (great clue) and the M in MIKE’S lemonade (unknown).

Interesting fact via Rex: Jane Pauley is Ross Trudeau’s mom. (Forgot about that.)

Diana, LIW 3:35 PM  

Two letters off. Due to - well, you know. I just don't know enough "people" - famous people.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

But I do you you!!!

rondo 6:09 PM  

OKNOW, if they just coulda fit in impatientdriver among all those threes.

The corners got SOME.

Naomi WATTS, of course.


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