Wolf-headed god of Egyptian myth / SAT 1-9-21 / Plumlike fruits / Southwestern shrub that yields a cosmetic oil / Crawford NBA's all-time leader in four-point plays / Coltrane's rendition of My Favorite Things / Sarcastic response to backpedaling / Biblical character who lived to be 912 / Sea serpent in the night sky

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Constructor: Trenton Charlson

Relative difficulty: Medium? (untimed)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: SCUD (20A: Move fast, as clouds) —
1to move or run swiftly especially as if driven forward clouds scudding across the sky
2to run before a gale (merriam-webster.com)
• • •

***HELLO, READERS AND FELLOW SOLVERS!**. 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 grid seems fine, and yet I kept finding the experience of solving it off-putting. I have this reflexive disdain for puzzles where the constructor gets a Scrabble-tile bee in his bonnet. As soon as I sense that it's going to be "watch me put Zs and Qs and Js in as many places as I can!" type of deal, my eyes start to roll and my interest starts to wane. Jamming the grid with high-value Scrabble tiles is some early-aughts puzzboy idea of excellence (it's very much a male constructor move ... though, it's a very male constructor world, still, especially on Saturdays, so maybe the actual data would be less conclusive). As I say, though, the puzzle seems to handle all the Scrabbliness OK. I'd just rather have a grid driven by thoughtfulness and freshness and liveliness than one driven by Scrabbliness, because *most* of the time, JQZ fireworks aren't worth it. Again, this one holds up pretty well. I just can't help my nails-on-a-chalkboard response to unchecked JQZ fervor, which feels like a bad instinct to encourage. The only answer that really made me smile today was "NICE SAVE" (not a rare letter in sight). I'll take genuine freshness over superficial dazzle any day.

Things began weirdly and inauspiciously:

SCUD is the dumbest word, and its dumbness is here compounded by my own dumbness: knowing enough to be in the ballpark, but not enough to get it right. SCUT ... means something else. They're both equally ugly words (this is probably due to their cousin, SCUM, who is both much more popular and iconically ugly). But they all have negative associations. SCUT means "tedious or menial" (in relation to work, usually), and SCUD is probably best known for being a kind of missile used by the Iraqis in the first Gulf War. Anyway, SCUT was wrong, but close enough that I was able to get going. Soon I ended up here:

And then was very much stuck. Stunned that I had the fat back ends of all those answers and no idea what their fronts might be. You can put anything in front of -ESQUE, so no hope there. I thought -RMORE was going to be one word (can't believe I've been solving this long and still forget to shake that one-word impulse out of my brain when I get stuck, ugh). And then there was blank WALTZ. Of course Coltrane plays JAZZ—it's the obviousness of it that kept me from seeing it. I thought a waltz was a waltz was a waltz, 1 2 3 1 2 3, wherever you found it. SAX WALTZ wouldn't fit, FREE WALTZ (which I considered because of association with "free JAZZ!") seemed improbable—contradictory, in fact. I tried the short answers in there, but had this weird balk at OBI because I thought maybe LEI (!?!?!) (19A: Accessory that might have a netsuke attached), and then BIT could also have been TAD (22A: Modicum). Sigh. It was only when my brain finally went "uh, it's not just *JAZZ* WALTZ, is it?" that I had a most deflating "aha" moment. An "oof" moment. It really was the "ha ha, look at us, we're a bunch of valuable Scrabble tiles, TADA!" quality of that moment that made me resent every bit of JQZ glitter that followed.

After that corner, though, things got considerably easier. But then I knew JAMAL, which seems like the kind of answer where if you knew it, wheeeeee, and if you didn't, uh oh (35A: ___ Crawford, the N.B.A.'s all-time leader in four-point plays). Again, the high-value "J" comes into play. I went JAMAL to JOESCHMO with no trouble, and that corner was over quickly. In fact, looking over the grid now, no part of it offered much resistance after I escaped the NW. The cluing was a normal level of toughness for Saturday, I think, but there were no places to get bogged down. But maybe my just happening to know PAMELA Hayden's name very well gave me an unusual advantage down there (46D: ___ Hayden, actress who voices Milhouse on "The Simpsons"). 

If you luck into knowing the proper names in a tough puzzle, you can really fly, and if those names aren't exceedingly well known by the general population, your sense of how easy the puzzle was can really be skewed. So as I say, this felt normal to me, but on a Saturday, just one unknown name can be the difference between success and stuckville. Last letter into the grid was, appropriately (and anticlimactically) the bra size, i.e. the "D" in DCUP (21D: Certain bra spec). No way to know what letter goes there til you get the cross. So I signed the DOTTED line and was done. It's a better-than-SOSO puzzle, I can see that. I just got put off by it early, and the joy never came back—though I guess the ODE TO JOY there at the end did help, a little. Gonna play that now to try to brighten this dark-in-so-many-ways winter day. I wish you all joy as well.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George 6:26 AM  

SCUD is a perfectly acceptable word, especially as it applies to clouds. In aviation, the term 'SCUD running' refers to the dangerous, but all too frequent, practice of flying at a low altitude beneath a layer of SCUD. I have also heard the adjective SCUDdy used quite frequently to describe weather dominated by wind-driven low clouds, although this usage isn't in the dictionary.

Lewis 6:26 AM  

Appealing answers: JAZZ WALTZ, JUNOESQUE, DOYEN, JACK SQUAT, JOJOBA, MASTODON, WREST, TRUDGE, MOREAU, and ODE TO JOY. In other words, A LOT, and with so many answers that charmed, this puzzle has left me in a state of something close to rapture and love of the world. Oh, it may fade quickly, but here I be. TADA and ta-ta!

Anonymous 6:50 AM  

CROAKY made my day.

Anonymous 7:11 AM  

I found Quite a lot of Joy Zooming around in this puzzle. Didn't even notice that there were more QJZs than usual.

Anonymous 7:23 AM  

Here's the problem with "jazz waltz." My Favorite Things is written in 3/4, which is the waltz time signature, and if memory serves whichever of those kids are singing it end up dancing a waltz. But Coltrane's version isn't really a waltz. He plays it in 6/8. The 3/4 measures are in pairs; the first beat of the second measure in each pair is less emphasized than the first beat of the first measure, and if you transcribed it, you would make those pairs into single 6/8 measures. Or to put it another way, try waltzing to it.

Lewis 7:24 AM  

In case you're looking for a go-down-easy chaser to today's puzzle, Jeff Chen and I collaborated on a puzzle out today, Universal syndicate (edited by David Steinberg), which you can solve on line or print out a copy from here: http://syndication.andrewsmcmeel.com/puzzles/crosswords .

Chaspark 7:31 AM  

Northwest crushed me. JOJOBA crossing JUNOESQUE??

Frantic Sloth 7:36 AM  

Why do I always seem to have the most trouble with the NW corner? I can get the entire rest of the puzzle done in under 8 minutes (fast for me) and then spend another 4 just in the dang NW corner.

Sometimes, you just have to jump in the deep end without your water wings and so I did with ANUBIS. Lo and behold, the rest fell into place - thank you, Jesus!

This felt tight and fresh, with a good dose of wink-wink. JOESCHMO and JACKSQUAT were fun. NICESAVE, especially as clued was cute, and who doesn't love pig Latin? AMSCRAY, if you're hand is up!

Plus it is always, always good to see TEEPEE spelled the way God intended.

I've had 1 (one) BLINDDATE in my life due to a computational error. I figured, incorrectly, "how bad could it be?"
The only thing that could have made matters worse? A MOODY BLINDDATE. Fortunately, I called "dibs" on that.

Live and learn. Or is it live and never ever, ever learn anything ever? Yeah. That's the one.


Anonymous 7:55 AM  

ino e or more a non zero number? 0.5 is a non zero amount

T. Esla 7:55 AM  

It seems IN BETA is rapidly moving from its test phase into being full-on crosswordese...

John H 8:05 AM  

This was great. Didn't feel that there was an excess of scrabble tiles, nor notice until Rex pointed it out. So what? I love scrabble, and independently of that love J, Z and Q. My favorite clue was 19A. If you don't already know what a netsuke is the answer would be baffling. But I do, so loved plunking that down.

I had an alternative entry for 66A but it didn't't fit in the grid.

puzzlehoarder 8:13 AM  

A very easy Saturday. I hit a clean grid in a minute less than it took to fill out Wednesday's puzzle. This ought to make up for my dnf yesterday but you expect to breeze through this kind of puzzle.

All those high value letters gave it a JAZZy look but they're dead giveaways and they generate an early week solve. For anyone looking for a Saturday level challenge the object of a puzzle like this seems to be, let them eat QAKE.

Z 8:23 AM  

Unlike Rex, who works the NW corner, I read the across clues until I find a possible toe-hold. GRECO-Roman was that toe-hold and the NE fell with only the slightest of stumbles with GOOD luck quickly getting fixed. JAM made sure I didn’t get into a luck JAM. BORE to EMIT gave me the three long downs in the extreme SE and the rest of the corner soon followed. Absolutely no clue who PAMELA Haydn is, but I had the name before I looked hard at the clue.

From there I backed into the NW. It was finished much more piecemeal. I’m not familiar with JAZZ WALTZ, anything WALTZ having a definite costume drama feel to it. JUNOESQUE is a word whose meaning I know once I see it, but if I were to describe someone with “stately beauty” I’d probably use “stately beauty” unless I wanted to imply a certain snobbiness. No, wait, “stately” and “beauty” just don’t go together in my head. Either way I’d be mocking with JUNOESQUE being slightly more so. Anyway, the NW was the hardest, but it felt more Friday hard than Saturday hard to me. Even fixing ire to ZOO only wasted precious few nanoseconds.

Finished in the SW. Hand up for liking CROAKY and giving JAMAL Crawford the side-eye. I don’t know who the most crossworthy JAMAL might be, I’m just sure it ain’t JAMAL Crawford. I know him and don’t know PAMELA Haydn and I still think PAMELA Haydn is more crossworthy. I also feel like there are more current KAYEs than Danny. A 1947 film based on a 1939 short story to clue Danny KAYE seems like a middle finger to the youngs to me. Yes, I’m old, I got it immediately. Still, oof.

@George - We had this SCUD discussion the last time SCUD SCUDded across the grid. However okay it may be in certain circles, it’s not a particularly common word outside those circles, it’s ugly sounding, and I think it is fair to say that most people who know it probably still know it from the missile. I got it because I remembered that previous discussion, but my opinion of it as an entry and as a word have not improved.

Interesting take on high value letters. I think it is right in the submission guidelines that those letters give a puzzle more interest. I’m far more interested in words than letters, so lean towards team Rex on this. JOJOBA is a cool word and JACK SQUAT is a cool phrase. But JAZZ WALTZ and ZEN MONK and JUNOESQUE all seem a little forced and, while all legit, not particularly in the language. Basically the scrabbling is a wash for me.

Twangster 8:27 AM  

I had all kinds of trouble with the NW but eventually put in a bunch of possible letters. Could not get Mr. Happy Pencil. To my surprise it turned out I had the NW correct but had CREAKY and MASTEDON.

Z 8:34 AM  

@Frantic Sloth - I hear your ANUBIS comment in a Mick Jagger southern accent, now. I think I have to run 20 red lights in your honor.

Guilherme Gama 8:37 AM  

Solved the NE pretty quickly because of ODE TO JOY. Got GRECO and the rest fell into place.

I TRUDGEd through the NW and got JOJOBA last, which is ironic: Jojoba oil is pretty popular here in Brazil, you see it in drugstores all the time. I'd always assumed it was a local thing. It'd never have occurred to be that it's a shrub from North America.

Ted 8:41 AM  

This was a fun Saturday!

Unlike Rex, I don't get bothered by the high-Scrabble-value tiles... if the words are good. And the words, lo, they were good!

Like many, I couldn't get a toe hold in the NW and had to circle around. NE fell easily with ARGO, RADIO, AMONG, a little stumble with GOOD luck instead of GOOD OMEN, but back on the horse! Heading to the SE was also pleasant, even though I had to get every cross for DOYEN my brain accepted that word as probably valid, and EMIT ONO RBI got me a solid start.


Just all pleasant Saturday fill.

13 minutes give or take.

Anonymous 8:44 AM  

I agree that SCUD is an ugly word. It's what teenage boys laugh about leaving in the TOILET.

bocamp 8:45 AM  

Thank you, @Trenton, for a fine, challenging Sat. puz! Always love a tough one. :)

Medium-difficult solve; substantially over average time. Took as long to sort out the extended NW as it did for the other three quadrants combined.

Having had "scud" in a fairly recent puzzle – along with the related discussion – was one of the stepping stones to ultimate success in the NW. Encountering "jojoba" in SB a couple of months ago was also a positive factor in that quad.

Had a lucky guess at the "u" in "Anubis".

I enjoy a struggle, and the eventual sense of accomplishment is always rewarding. :)

The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing - "Danny Kaye" and Vera Ellen

I pray all is well with our "Pamela". πŸ™

dbyd pg -1/ yd 0

Peace and Tolerance πŸ•Š

phenry 8:48 AM  

I was surprised by the assumption that Crows live in teepees. Cultural stereotyping that fell flat for me. Otherwise a strong puzzle, I thought.

Carola 8:48 AM  

I'm with @puzzlehoarder 8:13: a very easy Saturday for me, mainly due to good fortune with the upper tier. JAZZ x JOJOBA and AMONG x ARGO went right in, and the rest unfurled from there, with a brief snag at ALOT x JAMAL. I loved seeing JUNOESQUE and contemplating how it might compare with Rubenesque (possible differences in the cellulite area?) and appreciated the positive vibe of ODE TO JOY, NICE SAVE, GOOD OMEN, and AFTER YOU, with MOODY relegated to the corner. ANUBIS, MASTODON, and HYDRA made a fine trio, too, as well as three VIPS: DOYEN, CZAR, and MAMA :)

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

I was put off by the 23 O's in the grid.

TJS 8:55 AM  

I enjoyed this solve over all. Thought the phrase answers were accurate and in the language, esp. "jack squat","of a sort", "afteryou". Not a "yeah and" in the bunch. {I still haven't got over that one.} I was so sure mast o don was spelled with a second "a" that I refused to see "croaky", which I don't feel a bit bad about, so a one letter dnf.

I don't care how long ago it was written, if "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is not taught in high school English class these days then there is something wrong with the system. If you want to get the idea across that reading for pure enjoyment is a good thing, than Thurber is a good place to start. And who doesn't have their fantasy life taking up significant space in their mind?

All in all, Saturday worthy, and maybe it wouldn't hurt to give Coltrane another try.

ChuckD 9:02 AM  

Whoa D CUPs are the big ones right? This was a tough one for the most part with all the oddball letters. The NW went in fairly quickly - knew JAZZ had to go with Coltrane. Sliding to the right though was a mess - so I solved this mainly top and bottom. JOE and JACK from the vernacular was odd. Liked CROAKY, ZEN MONK and JUNOESQUE.

In one of Lamb’s essays he states his love of inland rivers over the sea and would “change the seagull for doves and SCUD the swallow” or something like that. It’s not a great word.

This was in the category of a Stumper - I liked it.

Frantic Sloth 9:04 AM  

Autocorrupt is always inserting apostrophes where I don't want them. Why didn't I check??

Rex and his JQZ kept bringing to mind a sort of alphabet soup in a whirlpool bath. A jaycuzzi, if you will. Was that his intention or my alleged mind running amok again?

Shocker of the day: the scrabbliness? Never noticed.

@Lewis 724am Thanks for the puzzle - that's next!

@Z 823am I have one word for you: puppy biscuit. Well, two words.
Ditto the whole SCUD thing and fervently hoping for avoiding a rehash.
@Z 834am Can't listen now, but I'm sure it's well worth the aggravation. Right, @GILL? 😘

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

It cannot be easy writing something insightful and witty every day about a mere crossword, without lapsing into personal prejudice and unwarranted pseudo-political commentary. I probably couldn't do it. And obviously neither Rex nor many of his regular commenters can.

But let's hear it for SCUD. I'm a sailor and I've read most of the classic books of the sea, from Sailing Alone Around The World to Two Years Before the Mast to The Cruel Sea to Moby Dick to the Patrick O'Brian stories. And you don't need to be a sailor to have been attracted to these classic books. The word SCUD certainly appears in at least half of these stories. Anyone who sees Saddam Hussein's inaccurate and overrated missiles when they hear the word SCUD is simply not well-read.

FearlessKim 9:15 AM  

Exactly. And yet, I’ll bet you popped JAZZWALTZ right in there, as did I. For a jazz musician, that was a welcome gimme at 1A.

FearlessKim 9:22 AM  

For a jazz musician, JAZZWALTZ, though not technically correct as pointed out above, was a welcome gimme at 1A. One of my favorite Coltrane recordings. Check out my version of Coltrane’s “Naima” at https://us.napster.com/artist/dave-anderson-kim-scudera/album/exploration-279798558/track/naima

TTrimble 9:32 AM  

"SCUD is the dumbest word." No it's not. It's just a word, one going back to at least the 1500's. Is there a dumbest word? What's a dumb word, anyway? Are people dumb if they use a "dumb" word like SCUD? (Well, people are dumb, yes, I'll grant you that. What I meant was: are people dumb because they use a "dumb" word like SCUM?)

Like many, I found the NW the toughest. I had JAZZW---- and ONE-R---- (I thought JOJOBA was nice and please, Lewis, can I be on your team today?) and JUN-E----. Finally it began to fall, starting with ONE OR MORE. I thought JUNOESQUE was great. So what if it's not a word people use a lot? I like it anyway. It just looks cool to me. (Hey, if we're arguing on the basis of subjective aesthetics, as in "SCUD is ugly-sounding", then I get to say I think JUNOESQUE looks cool. Try and stop me.)

English is such a rich language, and I have no trouble celebrating words with J's and Q's. Scrabble words, yum yum yum yum yum.

So, I loved it. DOYEN, MOREAU, LOQUATS. I even liked JAMAL in context (I didn't know the name, but it was fun figuring out). AMSCRAY, ha, what fun! Nice layout, one that one can look back on and say, "Now that's a puzzle!"

To a commenter above: the way professionals look at things today is that notions of "number" are entirely context-dependent, don't have a meaning in vacuo, and that really the only sensible way of doing mathematics is declare first the context or system, or "type" to use the technical jargon, in which one wishes to work. One such type is the type of natural numbers, and so ONE OR MORE is a perfectly acceptable response. And just as a daily reminder: a crossword answer is legit if it fits a possible meaning of the clue, or can possibly be substituted for the clue in some context. Not every context. (Now, that would be dumb.)

KnittyContessa 9:41 AM  

NW was the problem for me too. I don't think I've ever heard JUNOESQUE or LOQUATS and could not remember ANUBIS. Not a clue who JAMAL is but the crosses made that easy. JOESCHMO and JACKSQUAT were fun.

Thanks @Lewis for a fun puzzle. My favorite was 36D. I haven't heard that it a loooooong time, made me smile.

JD 9:42 AM  

@Frantic, The NW thing. I've been asking myself that question for a about month. It may've always been true, but it's steamrolled lately.

There was no way - ever - I was going to get Junoesque. Jazz Waltz? What would the look like in practice? Jim Belushi doing his imitation of Joe Crocker? It's an oxymoron. So thanks very much Anon @7:23.

Not being contrary here, but I like Scud (thanks @George). Scuddy would be a good name for a furry little dog. Also liked Dotted, Doyen, and Croaky (another good pet name but for a person).

Squat is not the word I've used after Jack. That's for sissies. D Cup? I could take a bath in a D Cup if it held water. Especially since I've dropped more weight by sheltering away from my favorite bakery and Whole Foods closed its hot food bar. Just when I needed the weight to fill in the wrinkles. It makes me Moody.

RooMonster 9:55 AM  

Hey All !
Phooey to Rex! Why he gets so worked up over his "Scrabblinessf*^%ing" is beyond me. This was a very lively puz, with tres cool answers.
JUNOESQUE! LOQUATS! ODETOJOY! JOESCHMO! ZENMONK! JACKSQUAT! C'mon, man, if you can't be happy with those, then what makes you happy?

I'm in the "NW was the toughest spot" group. Crazy Rex starts there, and manages to get WREST right off the bat. I couldn't get USURP out of the ole brain, so that stayed there for quite (oh no! a Q!) some time, giving me RACE for the Cloud clue. In SW, had ETS in, but also had NOAH in for SETH, but had a sneaky suspicion that JOESCHMO was correct, so put it in, and then a hail mary by putting in JAMES for JAMAL. Managed to get that corner first, then erased the ES of my JAMES, and waited on crosses.

For "Finish line" had TApe, as in the tape at the finish of a race. Clever, huh? :-) Had EXEC for CZAR for a bit. Still don't understand the LEARNS as clued. Someone help me out on that?

I did get puz 100% correct, though! WooHoo! Always feels good to do that on a SatPuz. Had most of puz done, without that NW, in about 25 minutes (which is rather quick for me on a Saturday), then took another 10 minutes just for that corner. Dang. That AMSCRAY was a toughie. I kept wanting somethingAWAY. To me, "Hit the bricks!" means "Look out!" or something simliar. Like "Fore!" in golf. But I guess it can mean "Hit the road, bozo!"

So a cool SatPuz, with neat words sprinkled throughout.

"CROAKY!" exclaimed the hoarse Australian. :-)


Drewid83 9:59 AM  

I had the entire puzzle solved except I had a J at the start of 21, making "j cup" and "jotted". I had to confirm that j cups actually exist (they do), and a person can jot a letter or a line. Just irritated I had an absolutely correct answer that they apparently hadn't thought of before publishing.

Odd Sock 9:59 AM  

Good Saturday puzzle to start my day.
Scud does have an ugly sound to it. Then I remembered another one, scut.
It's the name for a rabbit tail. That would be a good Sat. clue/answer.

albatross shell 10:00 AM  

I'm with @frantic on TEEPEE, pig Latin (which always makes me think of the Bowery Boys), and ANUBIS (except I used water wings, googled that one).

Also googled JAMAL and LOQUATS and that was it. TADA took way too long as well as HARDC. I am getting most metas quickly. Cabbage somehow distracted me.

I found the brothers JOE SCHMO and JACKSQUAT quite enjoyable. Cousin JUNOESQUE was a bit stuffy and a bit off-key. BLINDDATE LEMONPEEL DOTTED MASTODON ODETOJOY HYDRA NICESAVE CROAKY JOJOBA all had their own charms. Nothing seemed TRAGIC. A Saturday beauty and on the do-able side.
Coltrane or Ludwig Van?
Although @Z's Stones song...

American Liberal Elite 10:00 AM  

I like the Scrabbliness. If I never see "Oreo" again, or "e-anything," it will be too soon.

Mr. Cheese 10:01 AM  

If it wasn’t for”scud” we wouldn’t have WREST, AMSCRAY, LOQUATS and TRUDGE. Thank you SCUD and many happy returns!

LB 10:04 AM  

What if we want a postcard but are all about PayPal? Should we PayPal and then send you our holiday letter (belatedly although Happy New Year is mentioned)? Kidding. You don’t have to answer. I’ll just do it. As soon as I get out of my solving chair and go to the computer. I’ve been dragging my husband into the crossword (I copy it from the dead tree paper) and we are jazz fans so we liked Jazz Waltz although that corner was a killer for me. I don’t read the blog every day, but often just try to decide if you will like the puzzle or not. I was wrong today, but “puzzboy” made me smile. Maybe I should read the blog more thoroughly to pick up these things.

Unknown 10:10 AM  

@ Frantic Sloth 7:36 Well, that's a bit of a humblebrag to start the day. Haha

SCUD was in a recent puz, perhaps a month or so ago, so not sure why that tripped rex up so much.

While I rarely agree with Z, i agree w/ him that JAZZ WALTZ and ZEN MONK are kind of forced.

And i don't mind a bit of clever Scrabble-ness to a puz. Overall the fill today was just fine. I thought it was a perfect Saturday, so kudos to the constructor. Even if he is a male.

Unknown 10:13 AM  

I should add that having first put down JOTTED, when I got to the bra size I knew that that was going to be problematic. . . .

TTrimble 10:21 AM  

I also wanted "away" for some time.

Every time I hear "Hit the bricks!", I think of Alec Baldwin's iconic scene in Glengarry Glen Ross. "Hit the bricks, pal, and beat it, because you are going out!"

(Word is that on the set, they referred to it as, "Death of a Fucking Salesman".)

Z 10:22 AM  

@Carola - JUNOESQUE and contemplating how it might compare with Rubenesque - Well, that is a poser. You prompted me to go looking and the first thing I learned is that JUNOESQUE is relatively new (M-W says it was first used in 1888). American Heritage says it means Having the stately bearing and imposing beauty of the goddess Juno. That “imposing” makes me think it should be thought of as closer to “statuesque” than “rubenesque” - (p)lump or fleshy and voluptuous. Used of a woman (that "plump" is a modern take, imho, "fleshy and voluptuous" is sufficient and indicates a better understanding of Rubens). Given its relative recent coinage I suspect Rex's is the perfect template for JUNOESQUE.

@TJS - Walter Mitty was more than a little out of context when I was forced to read it in the 9th grade. I doubt that my English teacher even tried to explain the satire and dissatisfaction at work, the pathos driving the humor. Thurber is good, but really he’s for adults. Even college students can only understand what’s happening in a cerebral way. Most of them just haven’t lived enough life to really understand Thurber.

@TTrimble - It seems like you take Rex literally when he writes something like “SCUD is the dumbest word...” Rex uses hyperbole a lot and that’s how I always take such pronouncements.

@anon9:15 - Hmm, ... I did not realize that if I read most of the classic books of the sea I’d be well read. I’ll get right on that.

Frantic Sloth 10:22 AM  

@Z 834am Ha! Now I can't hear it any other way. Thanks. Oh, and Mrs Sloth keeps bugging me to thank you on her behalf for the Elvis links. "Z gets me. I feel seen." (I'ma just let her think that.)

She also pointed out that we met on a blind date. Oops.

@TJS 855am πŸ‘ James Thurber was my first favorite writer.

@JD 942am Love SCUDdy for a dog (or any pet...might try it on the wife) name, but don't make me post the Toby vid again.

@albatross shell 1000am I consider getting ANUBIS via Google one step up from my source: memories of Johnny Quest and the Curse of Anubis. I know.

@Unknown 1010am 🀣 It does look like a humble brag! I suppose it would be were it not for the fact that that is practically glacial compared to many others here.


NWCSG* virtual meeting scheduled for 5pm EST today. If only it could be in person: food by @chefwen and @GILL, drinks by @Nancy, transportation by @Roo, harmony by @Lewis and @bocamp, entertainment by @LMS, @Birchbark, and @JOHN X.
(@Z and I will have our hands full trying to control our rambunctious little @JD.)

*NW Corner Support Group

egsforbreakfast 10:34 AM  

I had a blind date 35 years ago. I was living in NYC and she was living in Boise. The date, arranged by her sister, was in San Francisco (not San Fran or Frisco nor even in Cali). The date went so well that it only ended 4 days later when we each had to get back to work. In many ways, it still continues as we occasionally tell the story to our children and grandchildren.

Thanks, Trenton Charleston, for a great puzzle and for causing a great flashback for me.

jae 10:42 AM  

Easy-medium. NW was last to fall as ANUBIS, JOJOBA, and JUNOESQUE were at best educated guesses. Scrabbly zippy fun, liked it a bunch!

Me too for SCUt before SCUD.

Hungry Mother 10:45 AM  

Much faster than usual, so not as slogish. A coupla wags along the way helped. Very nice Saturdayesque cluing made it fun. A good diversion from real life.

Sixthstone 10:46 AM  

I completed the puzzle and was met with the dreaded message that something is amiss. I searched and searched and realized the area of my mistake but still had trouble correcting it. Not being familiar with DOYEN, I had TARA/ROYEN (thinking "finish line?" was the end of Gone With the Wind). Then I went to TATA/TOYEN, thinking I had certainly "finish"ed the puzzle. Finally arrived at TADA/DOYEN. It made for an ugly finish to a puzzle that started equally ugly in the NW. So not an ODE TO JOY for me today.

burtonkd 10:48 AM  

JAZZWALTZ is absolutely a thing.

@Lewis, I figured you would have an easy time with ASHE county. I was trying to come up with a four letter Indian name since Cherokee is too long, until I had that "duh" moment remembering Asheville.

@anon 7:23: I see your point, although I think a lot of waltzes have a strong and weak measure. As far as dancing to it, this is art music rather than dance music, like the suites of Bach in that respect. (I think that and of 4 would require a rather spasmic dance gesture)

Okay, so let's criticize this puzzle for having lots of J,Q,Z because of other less well done ones rather than just say, "wow nice job! I've seen how hard this is, and you nailed it". Throw in some additional shade at someone's gender that they were born with.

I thought ___ROMAN was an interesting way to clue TIMES.

Hands up for remembering (not right away) that SCUD missiles were named for moving fast in clouds from the last time it came up here.

I knew JAMAL, so I may be biased toward the clue, but loved the obscurity of that statistic. Who knows anyone by that? Fun way to write it rather than just NBA player____CRAWFORD.

@RooMonster: Get down as in get down pat or master = LEARN. I was looking for something to do with depression or descending for the longest.

jberg 10:48 AM  

I loved having SCUD crossing TRUDGE. best part of the puzzle.

But what’s a four-point play?

Newboy 10:49 AM  

Personal reactions are just that—personal. Rex doesn’t like Scrabbled grids; no prob here! And Scrabble is genderless as are all BOREd games....I’m thinking Queen’s Gambit here. Games are neutral, but society does have stereotypical biases. Rare is the day also when Rex says “medium” for a puzzle that’s clearly “easy.”

Of course, I liked the puzzle with only an over eager “tills” entry blocking MARTS to pause filling the grid as fully as a D-CUP. I did know JACK SQUAT so I wasn’t just any JOE SCHMO today, & I enjoyed pig Latin today. Did get a sour stomach bug from TEEPEE as clued today and Oh no another ONO, but largely clean and clever. I’ll take Trenton’s offering any day of the week, but Saturday is always special—a runner up to Thursday, but again that’s personal isn it? Back to enjoy commentariat.

pmdm 10:56 AM  

Since i had a pleasant solve, thumbs up from me, even though I had to look up the PPP.

egsforbreakfast: A heartwarming and inspiring story.You brought a smile to my face.

anon 7:43: The problem is really that jazz notates its music differently than classical music does. Ask Stravinsky, who had to renotate his Ebony Concerto. Or so the story goes, at least the one that I read or heard.

Joe Dipinto 11:04 AM  

Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things" is most definitely what is known as a Jazz Waltz, wherein the second beat of the three-beat measure is played an eighth note early to achieve a syncopated effect. I was impressed with the specificity of that clue. I don't see how @Anon 7:23 figures it is in 6/8; if notated in anything other than 3/4 it would have to be 9/8 (and an extremely rapid 9/8 at that).

Here's another song with a Jazz Waltz arrangement; though the second beat is consistently bumped ahead by the horn section you still hear/feel three beats to the bar:

Wives And Lovers

Otherwise this puzzle was kind of a 34d.

Here's some more jazz to brighten your Saturday: Moody's Mood For Love

TTrimble 11:08 AM  

So forget "dumbest". It's not even a dumb word, is what I was saying. I guess we could move the goalposts further, and say he doesn't really mean "dumb" either, but I think it's okay to call out what he did say, and offer a differing opinion. It's a fine word, as others are saying.

TTrimble 11:10 AM  

Not glacial compared to me. I'm not worthy!

mathgent 11:10 AM  

Good puzzle. Lots of good stuff. They've already been mentioned. But also a few annoyances.

I'm with TTrimble in being a fan of JUNOESQUE. Who best epitomizes that word? Anita Ekberg immediately comes to mind. And there was also the big blonde that Sylvester Stallone was married to.

Also TTrimble. Thanks for reminding me of that Mamet scene. I think that Alec Baldwin is overrated, but he was dynamite in that scene. I also got a kick out of what they called the scene, using Mamet's favorite word.

Annoyances. "This is the end" for ZEE. "State of madness" for ZOO. "Sarcastic response to backpedaling" for NICESAVE (I get the reference but it requires a couple of jumps).

I saw JAMAL Crawford score 50 one night for the Golden State Warriors. He was totally unstoppable. I think that what kept him from being a bigger star was his inability to fit into a team offense. He was best when they gave him the ball and got out his way.

Out here we say "Hit the road." "Hit the bricks" means go on strike.

I remember how thrilled I was when I saw Danny KAYE in Secret Life. I was 13 and totally bowled over. I've been addicted to movies ever since.

I looked up PDQ. Pretty damn quick.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Using high value scrabble letters is "masculine"? You must be good at mind reading, and not be afraid of categorizing genders and other groups by generalization. And even if you were correct in your generalization and caricature, is there anything wrong with "masculine"?

Nancy 11:16 AM  

DNF. DNCCTF (Did not come close to finishing). That hideous NW corner did me in. Did anyone know either the shrub or the god? I've already forgotten them and I just looked at Rex's finished grid 12 seconds ago.

"State of madness" is, to me, not really a fair clue for ZOO. I had PET, as in a state of anger sort of madness. (How many 3-letter words would have been possible here?) PET gave me ---PWALTZ for the dance, so I'm wondering: STEPWALTZ??? JUMPWALTZ??? Lots of new dances I've never heard of -- right?

Once STATUESQUE wouldn't fit into 17A I gave up. I've never heard of JUNOESQUE. As a height-challenged woman, I've always dreamed of being STATUESQUE but I've never once dreamed of being JUNOESQUE. (Sounds fat, doesn't it? Am I allowed to say that?)

What the hell are LOQUATS? I've only heard of kumquats.

And you can't get ONE OR MORE from ---ERM-RE. All I could see was NEVERMORE, which didn't fit the clue.

I'm glad I'm not working on a streak. I found this absolutely impossible.

TJS 11:18 AM  

@Z, et al : Try "The Night the Bed Fell". No adult status required.

jazzmanchgo 11:20 AM  

Okay, so now there's something "gendered" about Scrabble. *Sigh*

Meanwhile, I'd probably side with those who say that technically Coltrane's "Favorite Things" isn't a waltz since it's in 6/8 time, but that's just quibbling -- any reference to Trane makes my day.

Nancy 11:23 AM  

No time to read the blog now, since I slept late (needed it!) and want to go out, but I skimmed enough to see that there were quite a few people who found it easy. Incomprehensible to me. The blog never fails to surprise.

Chip Hilton 11:25 AM  

@jberg - A four point play occurs when a shooter is fouled while attempting, and making, a three point shot. He, or she, then sinks the foul shot. Voila!

Fun puzzle. Loved the variety of letters and several of the funky answers. NW got me, too.

GILL I. 11:28 AM  

Hoo Boy....you guys found this easy???? I almost ended up doing the CROAKY pokey dance. OK....take a breath, go clean the SCUD in the TOILET.... come back and try again.
I figured I'd do something different and start at the bottom of the barrel. Ooooh look, my best friend JACK gave me a SQUAT. He also gave me a nickel and a dime when we went up the hill.
Isn't finding a four leaf clover GOOD luck? No? Is see JAM and I always think of toes. Oh, wait...I know JOJOBA...kaching! I'm beginning to lick the LOQUATS.....Then....then I know JUNOESQUE. My paternal grandmother was called that my by 8 uncles. She was very tall and rather large but she was beautiful and could cook Thumper like no other grandmother. So....as my story began to unravel, so did little answers by little answers.....
I had to cheat for JAMAL and although I had JAZZ in place for Coltrane, I couldn't figure out his ending.
This was an ODE TO JOY, Trenton....Even though I had some tuff times......Please come back......

@JD....."I could take a bath in a DCUP" made me laugh so hard it gave me hicCUPS.....

Whatsername 11:32 AM  

I may have to stop reading the comments on Saturday because it’s bad for my emotional health. Not exactly an ODE TO JOY, but I finally stumble to the finish line feeling like I won a victory OF A SORT only to come here and read how easy everyone else thought it was. It’s TRAGIC.

I noticed this morning that on Jeff Chen’s page in the statistics maintained for individual constructors there is a “scrabble score” listed. I guess there are reasons for that but I for one couldn’t care less. My goal is to complete each of the blank squares with letters, and it makes no difference to me which letters those are.

Time to take a break from the chaos and mayhem of politics to enjoy the tranquility of grown men in helmets and shoulder pads trying to maim one another. Sounds downright soothing after the week we’ve had. See you Monday.

Joaquin 11:49 AM  

@ Joe Dipinto (11:04) said, "Otherwise this puzzle was kind of a 34d."

Are you referring to clue 34D or answer 21D?

David Eisner 11:55 AM  

The NW corner killed me, too. I wound up in exactly the same situation, with columns 1-4 missing, though it probably took me four times as long to get there. And "JAZZ" was the breakthrough, too.

I must have read about clouds scudding across the sky once, and I've loved the word ever since.

old timer 11:56 AM  

Yesterday was an embarrassing DNF. Today, in contrast, was perfect. A little hard, but very gettable. It actually helped to realize I was likely to see a lot of high-value Scrabble letters.

JUNOESQUE was a challenge. But it brought back memories. Decades ago, I went on a date with a woman as tall as I am. Very enjoyable! This was of course before I met my wife, who is the opposite of JUNOESQUE,and enjoys being a NANA now. My wife and I did not meet on a BLIND DATE, but like the previous poster, the story of how we did meet has often been told. And like that previous poster, it was a case of love at first sight.

Teedmn 11:57 AM  

Maybe I've lost my puzzle-solving JOJOBA but this took me 20 minutes, just a bit longer than yesterday's puzzle. My (handwritten) grid looked almost exactly like Rex's at one point (I had written in __SCRAM at first) but I think, if you do an exchange rate between REXes and TEEDMNs (a ratio of relative times), I think I made the leap to JAZZ faster than Rex did. What held me up was trying to come up with a three-letter word starting with Z that had anything to do with "madness" but certainly ANUBIS and ZENITH helped with that.

Except for NICE moVE in the NE, traCE in the SW and "now" before PDQ in the SE, I had no other write-overs after I got AMSCRAY.

Since I try not to look at the constructor's name before solving, I wasn't certain but I had more than a sneaking suspicion that this was a Trenton Charlson oeuvre by the time I got out of the NW, due to the JQZs. But that's not a problem in my book. I liked this puzzle, thanks Trenton!

Barbara S. 11:59 AM  

Had fun with this one and it was another ace: like yesterday, just a shade over half my usual time. I loved all the ancient references: ANUBIS (apparently he’s a *jackal*-headed god, but what’s a little canid misidentification “AMONG friends”), JUNO, ARGO, GRECO-Roman (I’m more inclined to spell it GRAECO), HYDRA (relates also to Marvel Comics), SETH (the only non-Cain-and-Abel child of Adam and Eve whose name we know) and, in a different tone of voice, MASTODON.

Strangely, I had the opposite experience to Rex’s in the NW. I got JOJOBA, ANUBIS and ZENITH quickly, so I had the beginnings of those first three long acrosses. For a muddled moment, I wanted 1A to be JAZZ solo, but that wasn't long enough – hmm. Long story short, I finally got TRUDGE and ZEE, and was able to figure out the middles. I liked ZOO and ZEE close together up there.

The clue for TRAGIC made me laugh. “Very unfortunate” seemed a little tepid.

GOOD OMENs as a series was a recent amusing interlude in TVLand. I gather the Pratchett/Gaiman book is great, but I haven’t read it. During my bookstore days, cultish fans would grab my arm, drag me to the shelves and brandish the book in my face, saying “You gotta read this!”

Here's a little compilation dedicated to J.Q.Z. -- excuse me, I mean -- P.D.Q. Bach.

sixtyni yogini 12:02 PM  

Loved all Js, Qs, and Zs!
Even thought there was a z or a j theme
JACKSQUAT (fave answer)
Best Saturday IMHO

Frantic Sloth 12:02 PM  

@Z 1022am My first exposure to JT was in grammar school, albeit on a much lighter level. "The Night the Bed Fell" (Hi, @TJS!) had me guffawing as only a goofy 10-year-old could. An appreciation for satire and pathos came much later, but I will always remember my first time...

@egsforbreakfast 1034am Aaaaw! What a sweet story - thanks for sharing!

@TTrimble 1110am Shut up. 😘

@Whatsername 1132am Speaking for myself (and despite my apparent "humble brag"), I feel your pain. But, there are times when the opposite is also true. More often, I find myself on the "what the what?" end of solving difficulty. On the rare occasion, and for inexplicable reasons, things move surprisingly quickly - like today. Go know.

Birchbark 12:05 PM  

Using underrepresented letters is a form of inclusivity. What a senseless world it would be without them.

Danny KAYE as Walter Mitty -- He hears a mechanical sound in the background of whoever is droning at him, begins to say it to himself "Ta-pok-ita, pok-ita, pok-ita ..." and soon it is the engine of an open-cockpit fighter plane, and he is winning an air battle, then cleaned up in his officer's uniform at night club, still wearing his aviator's scarf, suavely discounting to his colleagues the number of planes he's shot down ("Only 38 -- one was unconfirmed"), finessing the attention of a beautiful woman, and then, ordered back into the sky for more fighting, placing his drink on the bar and saying quietly "Damn this war, but someone has to do it." Or words to that effect. And then something snaps the illusion and he is once again an accountant, hen-pecked by his mother.

@Frantic (10:22) -- re Northwest Corner Support Group -- it is a good name. Yesterday I worked in the northwest corner of my garage, where the workbench is, reviving an old drill press inherited from my dad. I was very methodical about it, cleaning and oiling and getting to know the different functions. Then I plugged it in and it worked -- and it makes the same "ta-pok-ita" sound Danny KAYE said to himself in "Walter Mitty," even though it's a quarter-horse electric motor.

JD 12:07 PM  

@Frantic, Thanks for the invitation! I promise to behave (lie!πŸ˜‚)

@Anon 9:15, Your obviously a snob, but my very favorite kind. Don't recall Scud from Master and Commander (loooong ago). So even the subjective well read is no guarantee. Please get a name for the blog so I can follow you.

@Gill, A physical reaction, that's all I ask for!

@Joe D, Moody's Mood … Woo, deadly. Now I get it.

@Barbara, From yesterday, Cabaret was so much better than I'd remembered. For a good time, Wiki Christopher Isherwood. The original inspiration was his book Goodbye to Berlin.

Photomatte 12:10 PM  

Got SCUD right away but JUNOESQUE took every cross to figure out. Much easier than a typical Saturday.

Teedmn 12:12 PM  

@Lewis, thank you for the heads-up on your collab puzzle today. My local paper runs the Universal puzzle in real time so I was able to solve it in ink. I really liked the theme, my fave being the last one. Kudos to you and Jeff!

A 12:13 PM  

Happy JAZZ WALTZ Day! Also happy birthday Joan Baez.

I remember first hearing a jazz waltz as a teen and being totally smitten with the form. Come to think of it, yes, it was this one.

Sorry if you don't know it, but jazz waltzes are definitely a thing. A good thing. The only problem is it’s a distinctive feel and can get old. Too much of a good thing. I can listen to 3 or 4 quite happily but that’s about it. Unless it’s this thing, which I came upon and wish I hadn’t and don't want to hear even once: sheet music for a Jazz Waltz on Praise to the Lord (Handbell Score) Yikes, now that is forced! Just can’t go there. Anti-SCUD waltz. I’ve heard handbell choirs play jazz waltzes unintentionally. Can’t imagine what it would sound like if they were trying to ‘swing.’
Can't unhear it in your mind's ear? Rewind to this jazz waltz from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

DOYEN - now there’s a word I haven’t heard in a long, long time. Actually, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard it, only read it. But I knew it. And LOQUATS! And MASTODON! Mr. Charlson and I aren’t usually on the same RADIO wave like we were today.

JOESCHMO, AFTERYOU and MASTODON went in quickly and tried to trick me into JAMming in JAMes, but I LEARNed my lesson yesterday and waited for ERAS. Half learned, I guess (didn’t ‘get it down’ pat, @ROO) - I had sEEPEE for a while because I hadn’t thought ALOT about it and assumed scores would be plural. A seepee TEEPEE?

I also tried to up the Z count with LEMONzest before BETA caught that bug.

No doublets today? Well, maybe LO QUATS and JACKS QUAT.

Thanks @Lewis for your puzzle; it looks like fun!

Unknown 12:15 PM  

Anubis is a jackal-headed god, no? Not a wolf? And a hydra is not a sea serpent AFAIK? Hercules fought it on land, with Aeolis.

Anoa Bob 12:16 PM  

I got interested in ZEN many years ago because a fetching lass I wanted to date was into meditation. That relationship never came to much but my interest in ZEN for the intervening 40+ years has continued. That said, I don't ever recall seeing or hearing ZEN MONK until this puzzle. We have, however, had a commenter here in the past with the moniker ZEN MONKey, right? A net search turned up this charming image of a ZEN MONKey (image safe for all situations and appropriate for all ages).

I thought some of the scrabbliness was a bit forced but that the overall quality of the puzzle was excellent and justified those few infelicities. And for any JOE SCHMO who disagrees with me, I say "You don't know JACK shit about diddly SQUAT!"

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this grid shows exemplary restraint in relying on the letter S in the fill. The frequency of S in the wild is a bit over 6% while it only takes up around 5.7% of this grid (11 of the 194 open squares). Most grids approach (or exceed) double that rate. And I only see three of those Ss used to make a plural of convenience (POC). That's unusual. That low rate of POCs gives this solve a noticeably more robust, more satisfying feel, if you ask me.

Love to stay longer but I gotta SCUD away.

Tale Told By An Idiot 12:18 PM  

Seth agreed to go a blind date, of a sort. He told Jamal, the doyen of match makers, that the woman had to be junoesque and wear at least a D cup. Seth and Pamela went to a club where they danced to a jazz waltz and drank one or more martinis with lemon peel. It was fun but eventually they left. Seth parked outside Pamela’s home, anticipating an ode to joy would soon be playing in his head. Surely her friendliness was a good omen. Seth made his move: he grabbed the D cupped flesh. Pamela emitted a scream and scudded out of the car.

Well croaky loquats, Seth said, that’s one moody mama. I didn’t get jack squat!I

Carola 12:24 PM  

@Z 10:22 -Thanks for looking into it. I'd had the sense that Rubenesque was further along on the fleshiness spectrum, but I think saw Juno as being more "substantial" than is meant. I decided to have a look at how the Romans viewed their goddess; here's an example now in the Louvre. Even Rubens's Juno is less Rubenesque than I'd have expected; I'd say the little cherubs on the left outdo her in fleshiness. (Fun where a crossword can take you.)

A 12:24 PM  

Rats! My link to the Great Pumpkin Waltz doesn't work. Back to the drawing board, Charlie Brown. Here is the cut and paste version, with apologies. www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP8ZfRZCy1c

Z 12:25 PM  

@Frantic Sloth - Hey, don’t blame me, blame Mick. Be forewarned, it’s been 40+ years and every time I read “thank you Jesus” I hear Mick’s southern accent. “Thank you, Lord.” And tell Mrs. Sloth she has outstanding taste in music.
An appreciation for satire and pathos came much later, but I will always remember my first time... - Uh... TMI?

@egsforbreakfast - Four days? I hope you tell the grandkids the clean version. πŸ˜‰

@NWCSG - Add Rex. He’s mentioned a non-zero number of times that the NW is his slowest corner.

SCUD, SCUt, SCUm, SCat - Any one syllable S HARD C word conveys a little ugliness to the ear. SCUD is a real outlier in meaning.

@Roo - Rubenesque makes me smile. JUNOESQUE makes me think someone is trying to hard. Today wasn’t bad, none of the scrabble letters seemed excessively forced, but the words themselves were half πŸ‘πŸ½ and half πŸ‘ŽπŸ½. And the more we write about it the more ZEN MONK just irks me. Unless one is writing a comparative religion paper they are MONKs. I know this wasn’t the intent (which was getting another Z in the puzzle) but the otherizing adding ZEN does is irksome. No, it’s not a big deal. But it’s not nothing either.

@TTrimble - What's a dumb word, anyway? It's not even a dumb word, is what I was saying. - Yep. The very next clause is Rex drawing a parallel between the “dumbness” of SCUD and the “dumbness” of Rex. Do you also think Rex considers himself “dumb?”

Pete 12:28 PM  

@"associating Crows with TEEPEEs is racist" dude & @"TEEPEE is the god's way of spelling TEEPEE" dudes (dude/dudes being gender neutral):

The traditional Crow shelter is the tipi or skin lodge made with bison hides stretched over wooden poles. The Crow are historically known to construct some of the largest tipis. Tipi poles were harvested from the lodgepole pine which acquired its name from its use as support for tipis.[90] Inside the tipi, mattresses and buffalo-hide seats were arranged around the edge, with a fireplace in the center. The smoke from the fire escaped through a hole or smoke-flap in the top of the tipi. At least one entrance hole with collapsible flap allowed entry into the tipi. Often hide paintings adorned the outside and inside of tipis with specific meanings attached to the images. Often specific tipi designs were unique to the individual owner, family, or society that resided in the tipi. Tipis are easily raised and collapsed and are lightweight, which is ideal for nomadic people like the Crow who move frequently and quickly. Once collapsed, the tipi poles are used to create a travois. Travois are a horse-pulled frame structure used by plains Indians to carry and pull belongings as well as small children. Many Crow families still own and use the tipi, especially when traveling. The annual Crow Fair has been described as the largest gathering of tipis in the world. [Wikipedia].

So, the Crow people are the archetypical Plains Indians who relied heavily on TEEPEES, and (apparently, and news to me), it's properly Tipi not TEEPEE.

Oh, the person and trying to jam as many Zs, Qs, and Js in a puzzle as is humanly possible is most likely a young man because it's just pointless showing off.

YG#1 Hey, I got 13 Zs, Js, & Qs in my puzzle!
YG#2 Hold my beer...

mathgent 12:28 PM  

@jberg (10:48). A four-point play occurs when a player takes a three-point shot (behind the arc), is fouled while taking it, makes it, and also makes the following free throw.

Barbara S. 12:29 PM  

@Z (continuing our Tabor/Costello discussion from yesterday)
Thanks for the link to "Shipbuilding" -- I didn't know it. I listened to three versions: Tabor, Costello and Wyatt, and thought the first two vastly superior. Apparently it's a song born out of the Falklands War.

This is an interesting list. It says that Elvis wrote "All This Useless Beauty" and "I Want to Vanish" FOR June Tabor. Did you know that?

Here's June with "I Want to Vanish" and here's Elvis.

OMG, a Tabor/Costello duet would be terrific. I think their voices would complement each other perfectly. Who can we write to?

Unknown 12:31 PM  

So my elementary-school-age amateur Egyptologist self from the 90s was incensed that ANUBIS was clued as wolf-headed and not *jackal*-headed, as I was sure it was supposed to be. But I did some digging and found out that Egyptian Jackals were properly re-classified as African Wolves, relatives of the familiar gray wolf!

D 12:41 PM  

Loved it PR for me at 33 on a Saturdee!

61 across would also work if clued for a Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster!

Anonymous 12:48 PM  

@Drewid. Your "correct" answer is not correct if it doesn't match the answer the constructor indicates. I love how some solvers rationalize their errors.

newspaperguy 12:48 PM  

Oh, for goodness sake, Rex. At some point you just need to grow up.

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Sorry, but. . . Having Loquats, Junoesque, jojoba, Anubis and amscray all criss-crossing each other in one small corner made this one impossible FOR ME to finish.

Barbara S. 1:00 PM  

@JD (12:07 PM)
I'm glad you found it and glad you liked it. It's one of my favourites. Have you read the Isherwood? It sounds worth seeking out. I gather in the 1950s the story was made into a Broadway play and a film, both entitled "I Am a Camera." I've never run across that film but it's hard to believe that it could outdo "Cabaret."

@Tale Told By An Idiot (12:18 PM)
Thank you! I'm hoping SETH becomes a ZEN MONK or at least LEARNS ONE OR MORE lessons from that experience.

NY Composer 1:00 PM  

Gotta love “jack squat”

Masked and Anonymous 1:01 PM  

yep. More Scrabble-twerked than snot. Enjoyed most of the solvequest anyway, tho. Had my full ration of SatPuz trouble spots, of course.
Didn't know: JUNOESQUE. SCUD (as clued)(wanted SOAR/SAIL). JAMAL. DOYEN ["What's this do-yen in my puz?!" asked M&A, MOODY-ly]. JOJOBA. ANUBIS. LOQUATS. PAMELA.
I did at least know JACKSQUAT.

staff weeject pick: PDQ. Also admired the symmetric(al) OBI/RBI bi-duo.

fave sparkle splatzes: AMSCRAY. JOESCHMO. NICESAVE. TRUDGE. And, hard to beat a JACKSQUAT/TOILET one/two combo.

fave ?-marker clue: {Finish line?} = TADA.

Thanx, TC dude. It was feistiesque.

Masked & Anonym007Us

bit of bite:

TTrimble 1:05 PM  

In this relative and contextual sense: yes, of course! He's dumb, you're dumb, I'm dumb -- at times. But his own dumbness comes first and foremost, as the proximate reason he finds the word dumb. Amirite? I think I'm right.

Anyhoo, don't be upset. I just felt sorry for the word SCUD. Poor little SCUD. Never did anyone any harm. (Shhh... there, there, it's okay. Rex didn't really mean it. He was just in a bad mood.)

(I shan't pursue this further.)

Unknown 1:07 PM  

@ Frantic sloth 10:22

It took til today for me to figure out why this blog space often feels so much like a high school lunch room. Thanks for letting the newbies here know who all the cool kids are and what table they sit at.

Kath320 1:20 PM  

Scud forever! Loved the Coltrane tutorial on "My Favorite Things"

Louis Proyect 1:22 PM  

I've been a Coltrane fan since 1961 and heard him play on the same bill as Ornette Coleman in 1966 but I've never heard of "Jazz Waltz". Ridiculous.

Anonymous 1:23 PM  

I am about to renew my app subscription. Does anyone know if they have a discount for getting the full NYT news subscription plus a discount for the games app? I've been googling and can't find that but I thought someone mentioned that here once. Thanks@

pabloinnh 1:35 PM  

Late to the party again. I did this early this AM and then went to one of my regular eye appointments where they do stuff I don't even like to think about, and it's taken this long to be able to read comments. I pretty much sailed through this one. I mean, 1A had to be JAZZ something which gave me a Z for ZENITH, and away you go. The Z's as high value scrabble letters led to thinking about more of same, and, yep, there they were. Nice crunchy fun.

Another Thurber/Mitty fan here. I read this in high school and still quote it occasionally. I think it's where I learned the word "vicarious".

I have heard natives around here use the word SCUDDER to refer to a rug rat.

Didn't Keith "Silk" Wilkes change his name to JAMAL"?

Hi to folks from last night's national anthem discussion, which was fun. @Nancy-not ready to vote for God BLess America. It sounds too much like God Bless America, and nobody else. Also, I've performed Paul Simon's "American Tune" more than once, and I always have trouble maintaining composure, especially in these times. @TTrimble-agree that "Rhymin' Simon" is special, but I think "Graceland is his masterpiece.

Thanks for a really fun Saturday, TC. Go ahead over and take a place with the first team Saturday all stars.

Frantic Sloth 1:40 PM  

@Z 1225pm You're welcome for the LOB. πŸ˜‰ Did you have to use that "in music" qualifier as if she had no taste elsewhere or elsebody?

@Pete 1228pm Good info. Never had a problem with "tipi" as a likely official spelling. My issue, with or without basis, has been with the bastardized (IMO) spelling "tepee". To me it looks like it should be pronounced as if it meant "lukewarm urination".

@Unknown 107pm You're welcome. And for the record, I didn't miss your snark. Dragging your high school experience bitterness baggage into the picture is not a good look. Any "cool kid" would know that. πŸ˜‰

Unknown 1:41 PM  

Because I am a science teacher, SCUD was the first clue I filled in....

Joe Dipinto 1:44 PM  

@Joaquin 11:49 – Don't be making wink-wink nudge-nudge bro jokes. @Rex will get mad.

Whatsername 1:55 PM  

@Lewis (7:25) Thanks for the link to your puzzle. A fun little chaser as you called it and just what I needed. It actually uncoiled some of the tension after today’s quagmire. Anyway that’s the score from this ANALYTIC SINNER. ;-)

@Anon (9:12) You probably wouldn’t consider it a classic, but I thoroughly enjoyed In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick.

TAB2TAB 2:02 PM  

Thought the puzzle was deliciously Saturday crunchy, and the right side of the NW was by far the trouble spot. Not knowing SCUD as clued (had SPeD) and having dEE (This is the enD) instead of ZEE had me staring at JAZZW_LTD and _MSPRAY for many seconds.

My only beef: As a newer solver, this was my first time coming across a Pig Latin answer. is it fair game to have AMSCRAY with no indication that the answer is in another "language", a made-up language at that? Usually clues give *some* indication that the answer is not in
English like "Goodbye to Pierre" or "Road in Rome". I realize its Saturday, but that was azycray ardhay.

Frantic Sloth 2:03 PM  

@Birchbark 1205pm I always enjoy your posts. Seamlessly moving from Danny KAYE to your resurrected drill press was unexpected and fun! Thanks!

@JD 1207pm Apparently, I didn't make it clear when I called it a "PSA" that an invitation wasn't necessary. Wrongly assuming that everyone knew they were welcomed and those listed are workers at this "shindig for the slow-minded" has apparently rekindled old wounds for some and misplaced gratitude from others (you). It's just because your father and I couldn't get (read: convince) a sitter.

@pabloinnh 135pm Ouch! Hope your eyes are back to normal now. Always happy to meet a fellow Thurber fan and that "vicarious" was learned through that experience. I think I learned the word "shoe".

GILL I. 2:19 PM  

Oh good gravy, @Z....I fell for it again and opened up that MJ link that @Frantic warned me about. Will I ever listen? I know people will fat shame me but I can't stand Mick Jagger. I also can't stand the voice of Dylan. Should I go on? No...but I'll be here for @Frantic's 5 o'clock call. I'll make some dreadful pizza for all. @pablito will you sing for us?

SBpianist 2:21 PM  

Eighth note-quarter, eighth note quarter, quarter note half note: jazz waltz.

Dave S 2:27 PM  

Lots of fun, new or unusual answers, with just enough fat around them that I could still get the juicy parts. Really enjoyed it.

And, jeez, Rex, clouds scud. That's what they do. I suppose other things too, but I've never seen them. That one's a gimme.Though according to Tennyson, owls scud too. But I think this one might b e dyslexic:

The little bird pipeth, "why? why?"
In the summerwoods when the sun falls low
And the great bird sits on the opposite bough,
And stares in his face and shouts, "how? how?"
And the black owl scuds down the mellow twilight,
And chaunts, "how? how?" the whole of the night.

Tom R 2:28 PM  

Enjoyed the comments today. I doubt many are reading this far down, but couple of thoughts anyway.

The only dumb word I know is "dumb." A word is a word if its in the dictionary (or slang) and, as pointed out, scud is a good weather word (haven't you heard of scudding clouds?).

DCUP is not so big. C used to be the average size but now it is D. If you can take a bath in a D cup I have to ask which body parts were you considering washing? However I object to a clue which has an alphabet list of possible first letter answers.

And I, too, when it comes to Friday and Saturday, typically can't get anywhere in the NW until the end. I don't know why its tougher than the rest of the puzzle. My first two gimmies were greco and scud.

Last, very glad to see the treatise on tipi. Liked that comment best.

Explorer Innes 2:29 PM  

Happy to finish this without the usual help of my partner-in-crime, my daughter, or google! SW corner was the trickiest for me.

Anonymous 2:30 PM  


Wundrin' 2:30 PM  

Who was the mother of Adam and Eve's grandchildren?

Anonymous 2:35 PM  

Sorry but who died and left you in charge? I completely agree with Unknown. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows who is in the "in" crowd. Just let the rest of us be.

Hoboken Mike 2:36 PM  

Wow. So much I loved. Amscray, Jacksquat, Coltrane.

I love Junoesque for a very personal reason: my childhood dog was an enormous playful blue Great Dane with unclipped ears and tail who my father insisted on naming Juno because she was Junoesque.


But all of that buries the lede.

I came to the comments today looking to see who was the first of many to comment on the clever way in which the constructor made the insanity of the Trump fraudulent claims a part of the New York Times crossword puzzle, and unless I miss something none of you saw it or at least thought to mention it.

A non-zero amount was the formulation Trump's lawyer's used in the Pennsylvania election case to grudgingly admit that they had overstated when they claimed there hadn't been any pole watchers and that in fact there had been quite a few.

It was really quite funny at the time and pointed out the lengths to which they would go to lie about the election.

The headline is:

Exasperated judges question Trump lawyers on election claims, leading to one 'nonzero' admission

Here is the link:


We have been in dark times for a while. And while it may be that we're getting closer to the end of all the bad stuff we still should take time to enjoy the few moments of levity the disaster in the White House is providing to us.

I will never again hear the word not zero without remembering those lawyers trying to make something out of a pile of crap.

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

@frantic sloth 1:40
Any "cool kid" who has to announce that they are a "cool kid" isn't really a "cool kid."

JD 3:04 PM  

@Frantic, All the sitters avoid me. It's that thing with the fire extinguisher isn't it? (Clue that it wasn't an official invite was there was no place to go).

**Book Alert**

@Barbara, I read it in college but didn't know a lot about the author. Turns out Sally B. was based on a real and impressive person (she's got a wiki too). Plan to re-read but must finish what I have before I buy anything else.

ow a paper cut 3:09 PM  

STAT means immediately if not sooner. PDQ doesn’t indicate the same urgency.

TTrimble 3:19 PM  

@Gill I.
"I know people will fat shame me but I can't stand Mick Jagger. I also can't stand the voice of Dylan."

You've got the skinny as far as I'm concerned. Particularly Dylan. I like neither his voice nor his harmonica which always sounds raucous and grating to me. Probably people will 'splain that in both cases it's more in the attitude they have. Or (my favorite), they're "poets". Somehow that always sounds to me like a cover for "they can't sing well". Give me a pretty, tuneful voice any day over that.

Just my opinion. The opinion is my own and should not be taken as a reflection on the organization I work for.

"Also, I've performed Paul Simon's "American Tune" more than once, and I always have trouble maintaining composure"

What do you do for that? I think it's come up before, that 'Shenandoah' produces a catch in the throat, either for you or someone you know or someone you were conversing with on this blog. I know it did for me when I was taking voice lessons; I don't know why. But anyway, do you have a trick for overriding the emotion?

Frantic Sloth 3:22 PM  

Is it that time of year again so soon? When all the brave Anonymice and Unknowns of the blogosphere simultaneously rail against me while (paradoxically) pleading to "just let the rest of us be."?

"Sorry", but I am not the one who fired first, so if you truly wish to remain anonymous and/or be left alone, try starting by not starting.
Your need to separate everyone here based on some fictitious "in crowd" status sounds like a personal problem requiring the aid of a professional.

Oh, and @anonymous 303pm Anyone who misses the sarcasm of "cool kid" (while ignoring the massive hint of quotation marks) isn't really in a position to decide much of anything, let alone coolness.

And now feel free to rejoice, claim victory, or whatever thrills your dear selves, because I'm done with this idiotic argument.

Oldactor 3:25 PM  

The only BLIND DATE that comes to mind was a Lulu! My friend Rip Torn asked if I would accompany his cousin, who was visiting from Wash.DC, and had two tickets to "My Fair Lady" that evening. She happened
to be LBJ's private secretary and Rip had to work that night.

MFL was the hottest ticket in town and these were excellent seats. I was delighted to except.
I had heard that Rex Harrison was on vacation at the time but as it turned out he was back that night and Julie Andrews was taking her vacation the next day. So we saw them both!

I guess that's what happens when you're the President's Secretary!

I took her to, what was then the Actor's hang-out, Jim Downey's, on 8th Ave. (before Joe Allen took that title). She was a delightful companion but I forget her name. We ate and then drank until the bar closed. (3:00AM?) I was not used to drinking like that and as we stood outside waiting for a cab with all the other patrons, I was getting sicker and sicker.

Finally, I put her in a cab, said goodnight and as I closed the door, lost it all on the curb.

Of course, I never saw her again, but I did receive a lovely note thanking me for a NY night to remember.

Z 3:53 PM  

@Barbara S - Wow. Elvis has been my favorite artist since My Aim Is True but that link proves I’m just a piker. Anyway, I knew Elvis wrote for lots of people and with other people and for soundtracks and and and... He just writes lots of music. He’s recorded 6 albums since I read he said he was done recording albums. Anyway, I did not know he wrote that song for June Tabor, but I’m not surprised.

@Anon1:23 - I think both the crossword and cooking app come free with a news subscription, but I’d email customer service or use the Chat to ask to make sure.

@Frantic Sloth - “Lob?” More like setting it on a tee. As for “Lukewarm urination,” I hear that, besides the wooden roller coaster, the Rye amusement park’s best-selling brewed drink has an odd side effect. That’s right, tepid tea pee.

@TTrimble - don’t be upset - Curious. Not upset. As for poor SCUD... as a word it’s a thud.

@Gill I - 2:19 - I did clearly label it as “Mick Jagger’s Southern Accent.” 🀣🀣🀣

@ow a paper cut - If your boss says she wants that report PDQ she really means “yesterday.”

@Oldactor - πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ - At least you got her into the cab.

@uncool kids - Sir, this is an Arby’s.

Georgia 4:00 PM  

Ha! Its nice when communities form from shared interests, but don't people have each other's emails? Also .... negative numbers are "non-zero," further complicating that section for me.

Hoboken Mike 4:31 PM  

Maybe it's an age thing but I think of PDQ short for pretty damn quick as the military 1940s equivalent of stat which is the hospital word for the same thing

I suspect Hawkeye Pierce used both

Whatsername 4:41 PM  

@GILL: Re Mick Jagger, I agree. Even as a rabid screaming Beatles fan back in the day, didn’t care for the Stones much either.

@Frantic: When I grow up I want to be just like you. πŸ€—

Bonnie Buratti 4:43 PM  

It was pretty good, but a loquat is nothing like a plum (I have both trees in my suburban orchard). Apricots are more plumlike than loquats.

Nancy 5:05 PM  

@Old Actor -- Wonderful, wonderful "insider's" reminiscence. Especially to this Broadway musical-loving lifetime New Yorker who was around when you were having this kind of experience, but never on the "inside", as you were. And, yes, "My Fair Lady" was one of the hottest, most hard-to-get tickets in B'way history. And well worth it. Certainly one of my top ten theater-going experiences of all-time.

@GILL and @TTrimble -- Of course you're forgiven for not liking Dylan's voice. Does anyone like Dylan's voice? But here's why you Shouldn't Care. He gave our generation a treasure trove of many of the greatest folk and protest songs ever written. Many wonderfully talented singers have recorded them -- and therefore you never ever have to listen to him growl and rasp his way through his own songs if you don't want to. But please venerate him for being the creative genius he is. There are tons of great singers, but a songwriter like Dylan comes along only once or twice in a generation. (I actually include some remarks on the subject in my blog profile.)

Prof 5:28 PM  

I’m at the point where cheap bra-related fill is just too gratuitous. But I guess NYTXW needs to get its titillation somewhere.

JC66 5:32 PM  

What happened to the 5 o'clock soiree?

Nancy 5:54 PM  

@Old Actor -- You say you can't remember her name. Maybe I can help jog your memory. It wasn't Gerri Whittington by any chance, was it?*

*I really do enjoy playing Rexblog detective, even when I don't succeed :)

TTrimble 6:17 PM  

Thank you. I could stand to be better educated on the topic, for sure.

albatross shell 7:20 PM  

JACKSQUAT crossing TOILET might be just a two.

I called JUNOESQUE stuffy and off-key because I did not consider it sufficiently different than statuesque or any statuesque-actress-or-goddess-esque. I do agree with you that it's a good-looking word. Good sounding too.

Dylan voice haters:
Feel free.
But do you also dislike Woody Guthrie Hank Williams the Carter family Jimmy Rodgers?
Joan Baez was a better singer but deadened most of the Dyan songs she did. A rhythmic dulling among other problems. Many of his best songs few people even do. Certain songs, other singers have improved -Forever Young and some of his love songs. I think the first Dylan song I heard that was clearly better than the original version was by Hendrix. Is it common to hear better versions of Mr. Tambourine Man or Baby Blue or Tangled Up in Blue or Visions of Johanna or Sad Eyed Lady?
Does he sing other people's
songs well? Less so. Especially that Sinatra CD.
He does do well on blues, country, or traditional songs. And he often turns them into his songs. I love listening to his voice. Good taste is timeless. Good times are tasteless, unless your eating or drinking.

Raucous and grating is not inaccurate. A fair amount of rock, blues, jazz, even classical and opera is raucous and grating. Tom Waits and Dave Van Ronk.

Nancy 7:39 PM  

@pabloinnh (1:35) -- I didn't see your comment earlier. See your point on "God Bless America" but it's still the song I like the best of all three contenders. Whoever suggested "This Land Is Your Land" yesterday: A very interesting idea and a terrific song, though it's not really anthem-y. But maybe that's what a divided world needs right now: anthems that aren't too anthem-y.

When you said you sometimes break down singing Simon's "America Tune", @pablo, I was thinking of a different Simon song -- one that's actually called "America". This one. But I also know American Tune, though I didn't know that was the title.

Unlike you, I don't perform professionally, so it doesn't matter what songs cause me to sometimes break down while singing, but there are some that almost always do. A few of them are:

Ol' Man River
Oh, Lord, I'm On My Way
Some Other Time
The Highest Judge of All
Everybody's Got A Home But Me


GILL I. 7:58 PM  

@Unknown 1:07....I don't believe there is a table for any cool kids here. I've been coming to this blog with my blather for a long time and newbies are always welcomed - even if your cafeteria tray has nothing but a bologna sandwich with ketchup on the side......@Re-read @Frantic.....She's our resident funny, sarcastic, smart teacher's aide. She'll let you sit wherever you want as long as you don't piss on your stool.
@Nancy....We've had this little tete a tete before. When Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I almost made myself an egg and sardine sandwich with a side of peanut butter and onion dressing. You see, I will only remember him and his "Like a Rolling Stone." I wanted him to just die like "Mimi"...He never did. It went on and on and on. BUT.....You made me look at his lyrics and reconsider. I did. If only he had stuck to writing and NEVER SINGING AGAIN, I would've been inspired. OK...you convinced me... :-)

JC66 8:16 PM  

@albatrross shell

You evoke memories of going to the Gaslight to hear Van Ronk, Dylan, et al.

Great times.

Jazz 8:28 PM  

Crow indians.

Nancy 9:11 PM  

@GILL (7:58)-- Like Mimi???!!! What an image! Watching poor Bob Dylan dying slowly -- very, very slowly -- of tuberculosis! Singing in falsetto as he withers away, perhaps? What'd he ever do to you, @GILL?

Seriously, though -- if you've recently come to appreciate his lyrics and if I had anything to do with that, I'm truly, truly happy.

@albatross shell (7:20) -- I agree that sometimes Dylan performs his own work better than anyone else. And that's usually when they're angry songs -- meant to be growled. Better, in fact, when they're growled. While he's the last person I want to hear performing "Mr. Tambourine Man", there's no one else who can sing "With God On Our Side" as well as he does. I'm not sure anyone else has even tried.

TTrimble 9:18 PM  

@albatross shell
I think the one song that really epitomizes the raucous (and somewhat grating) aspects is Rainy Day Women #12 and #35. (Brings back memories of a smoke-in at college.)

I was amused to read one YouTube comment (this is under a Flatt and Scruggs cover I found), noting the equation 12 x 35 = 420. ;-)

marty 9:36 PM  

I stop by this write up less and less. There's little joy found here anymore. Michael, you need to take a good long look at your own prejudices that you seem to read into these puzzles and its constructors with such frequency. Terms like "puzzleboy" are as ridiculous as they are misandrist and completely unfair to the constructors. I hope you can begin to see the world with kinder eyes or least cease to ascribe maliciousness where it doesn't exist.

Douglas 9:52 PM  

Reminded me of this Wayne’s World quote
Wayne: You know, the first time I heard the word “Scud”, I thought it was like, you know when you see a really pretty chick walking down the street, about 30 feet away, and you saiy, “Hello! Babe alert!” Right? But when you get closer, you go, “Oh, my God! She’s a scud!” It’s just like the missile, right? You’ve got medium-range chick scuds, and long-range chick scuds.. it’s brutal!

kitshef 10:14 PM  

Easy, but for the third day in a row, not good. SCUD was my entry.

jae 11:57 PM  

@albatross re: Dylan - Amen!

Nathan 12:18 AM  

I went straight to TATA/TOYEN, but otherwise the same. Still never heard of "doyen". Huh.

Bonnie Buratti 12:54 PM  

Pretty lame. Way too many three letter words, and completely lackluster theme (couldn't believe it was just strings of letters repeating. And then my pet peeves: made-up words and arbitrary strings of words. For example: Terrif crossing with How Often?, and even the main clue "Welcome home, hon". Easy to get but kludgy. Now looking forward to the 7X7 kenken rather than the NYT XWord when I get up on Sunday morning. Sad.

jberg 4:15 PM  

Thanks to @Chip Hilton and @mathgent for explaining basketball to me yesterday.

Anonymous 6:45 AM  

Oh, thank you. Hurrah for "classic"English literature and Patrick O'Brian. Scud is a beautiful word.

Ed C 9:46 AM  

Fascinating to learn that using too many JQZ letters means you’re a puzzboy. Never knew. Also, what’s a puzzboy? Sounds like a made up slur of some kind.

spacecraft 10:23 AM  

Hm. I saw Coltrane and immediately thought: JAZZ. Soon as I saw 3-down "summit," I put in JAZZ/Zenith. It was the LAST part of 1-across that I had trouble with. SCUD I know, cloud-wise, but the word for me will always conjure up a memory of Desert Storm, and those missiles. It was a real TRUDGE through the rest of the NW, though, till I finally pieced together JUNOESQUE. JOJOBA and LOQUAT filled themselves in; it took a leap of faith to leave them there.

I will not name "PAMELA DCUP" as DOD. I'll go with Jeanne MOREAU, whose haunting beauty played well opposite Burt Lancaster in Frankenheimer's classic "The Train." If you have never seen this film, please do.

I was bothered more by HARDC than by all the high-count stuff. Still, if you have to go with 1- and 7-down, you're getting pretty desperate. Par.

thefogman 12:18 PM  

Good Saturday puzzle although yesterday’s puzzle was tougher (for me) and should have traded places with this one. But what do I know? JACKSQUAT !!!!

Diana, LIW 12:30 PM  

By now I'm onto that HARDC kinda stuff. But, IMVHO, the clue for AMSCRAY should have indicated Latin of a sort or at least a "?"

Thought it quite a bit harder than yesterday (hi @Spacey!) but not by much. Other than the mentioned "incomplete" clue.

Diana, Lady-in-wai...

Burma Shave 2:03 PM  




Teedmn 2:21 PM  

@Burma Shave, congrats on the long run of versification! You are kind of hard on those of JUNOESQUE stature, though :-)!

leftcoaster 4:02 PM  

From Bill Web’s syndicated site today:

"The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is based on a pork patty. There isn’t any pork rib in the patty though. It is primarily made up of pork shoulder meat reconstituted with tripe, heart and stomach tissue. Enjoy …”

August is right.

Jokr22 11:22 PM  

Haha, enjoyed your post and shared your pain.Threw down Jazz (at the front of waltz) in desperation - never ever heard of a Jazz Waltz - and had enough traction to finish.

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