World's largest terrestrial arthropod / TUE 1-19-21 / Collectible caps of the 1990s / Large herbivorous dinosaur that could walk on two legs / Difficult area to maintain control of in Risk

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Constructor: Olivia Mitra Framke

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (high 3s) (it's oversized, 16x15)

THEME: CAKE (60D: Word that can follow either half of the answers to the starred clues) — just what it says:

Theme answers:
  • LEMON YELLOW (18A: *Bygone Crayola color)
  • HOT COFFEE (12D: *Sign in a deli window, perhaps)
  • FRUIT CUP (41A: *Sweet, healthful treat)
  • WHITE RICE (35D: *Staple of Japanese cuisine)
  • COCONUT CRAB (62A: *World's largest terrestrial arthropod)
Word of the Day: COCONUT CRAB (62A) —

The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, with a weight up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length from each tip to tip of the leg. It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean, and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands and Pitcairn Islands, similar to the distribution of the coconut palm; it has been extirpated from most areas with a significant human population, including mainland Australia and Madagascar. Coconut Crabs also live off the coast of Africa near Zanzibar, and the Gambier islands in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The coconut crab is the only species of the genus Birgus, and is related to the terrestrial hermit crabs of the genus Coenobita. It shows a number of adaptations to life on land. Like other hermit crabs, juvenile coconut crabs use empty gastropod shells for protection, but the adults develop a tough exoskeleton on their abdomens and stop carrying a shell. Coconut crabs have organs known as branchiostegal lungs, which are used instead of the vestigial gills for breathing, and after the juvenile stage they will drown if immersed in water for too long. They have an acute sense of smell, which has developed convergently with that of insects, and which they use to find potential food sources. (wikipedia)

• • •

This is a well-established theme type that's almost never enjoyable. I don't know why people continue to make them. "This short word can follow or precede both parts of all those answers you just put in the grid ... VOILÀ!" The revealer always comes like a thud, the theme answer review like an autopsy. "Oh, CAKE ... the answer is CAKE ... [looks over grid] ... ok I guess that mostly checks out ... SIGH." The problem with this theme type is that it often convinces you to try to pass off some wonky answers. Today's puzzle manages to avoid this problem, mostly, though COCONUT CRAB, yikes, on a Tuesday? With that (very non-coconut-specific) clue?? Glaring outlier, that one, in terms of general familiarity. This type of theme is not exciting or important enough to bloat your grid like this (it's 16 wide to accommodate the even-numbered length of the central Across, which has to be centered for reasons of symmetry—can't center an answer of even-numbered length in a regular 15x grid). So there's just ... more. And you get that thing I never love, where there are non-theme answers right alongside of, and the same length as, themers (see NE, SW corners). Yes, they are bonus long answers, and both of them today are OK, but aesthetically I just like it better when the themers stand out, lengthwise. 

Two other problems with the theme. The clues are ... odd. This is part of what made the puzzle harder than your typical Tuesday. They're very vague. Clue on LEMON YELLOW may as well just have been [Color]. Clue on COCONUT CRAB, well, we've been over that one. I would never in a million years associate a "deli" with HOT COFFEE, though I guess I've watched enough old movies that maybe I can imagine it now. The clue did almost nothing to help get me there, though. The other theme problem is minor, but really really affected the end of the solve (you know, the climactic, most important part): the first letter of the revealer (CAKE) was the very last square I wrote in, and instead of writing it in with an emphatic Pow, I wrote it in tentatively, with a half grimace. Not at all confident. There is no clue for CAKE (beyond the fact that it can follow the answer parts) and the cross on "C" is ooooof an org. initialism (EEOC), the ugliest thing in your grid, and again, it had a vague clue (59A: Workers' rights org. since 1965), which left me just *hoping* at the end that "C" was correct (once I had EEO- in there, I figured "C" was "Commission," from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and I was right, but it still felt more like a guess than I'd've liked). I can easily see someone's never having heard of EEOC, and therefore having a weirdly hard time with that cross, and thus a weirdly hard time getting to CAKE—the whole central premise of the puzzle. You gotta be more careful with the cluing and crosses on your revealer. It has to pop. To leave it just sitting there, a sad, unclued four letters, in an awkward, not-very-themelike position (the third-to-last Down answer!?), with the ugliest bit of fill you've got crossing its head ... that's just mean. 

GLOW STICK, GUEST ROOM, good. Short fill in SW (ATIT RICO ICER), woof, not good. Mostly, the fill here felt very standard-20th-century. Fine. Let's just never do this theme type again. Please. Thanks.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 6:13 AM  

Rex – point well taken on the theme type. But, (surprise, surprise) I never mind it and get a kick out of the little lexical game. It’s fun thinking of other stuff that could work: bundt pan, beef patty, spice tea, short sheet, cream cheese. . .

For that “childish comeback,” I DID SO WIN was too long.

FRUIT CUP feels very specific. Like it’s for a really little person or a really old person, right? Maybe I’m overthinking it.

No time today; kids are back in person after a couple of weeks remote. I’m scrambling to check on who owes me what because once we went remote, ¾ of my students vanished into thin air.

Lewis 6:13 AM  

Oh, this puzzle was filled with quality. Tuesday in ease, but so interesting that it never felt like autopilot. Where DID “The meek shall inherit the earth” come from? Remember POGS? And LEMON YELLOW? COCONUT CRAB – What the heck is that??? Ahh, Yul Brynner in The King and I! Oh – she was going for the lamp in the Pixar logo, not a word starting with “i”! Oh yeah, AERIALs on roofs, an image I haven’t thought about in ages.

Quality answers – SOLD ON, FRUIT CUP, BEREFT, GLOWSTICK, SUE ME, VOILA, WIDE CUT, IGUANADON. Wit in clues (on Tuesday!) – [Driving force?] for MOTOR, [Figure of speech?] for ORATOR. Plenty of gimmes, yes, as there should be on Tuesdays, but enough also to make you stop a moment and think.

After all this CAKE, I see the puzzle has a backward TUMS. There’s also an international flavor with ASIA, OSLO, SIAM, KENT, Japan, and maybe you can get to all these places on DELTA. We have the unlikely marriage in the cross of APELIKE and TWERP, and a (for me, happy) reminder that there is but one more day before the BOLT of Sir EGOTISM.

A most lovely Tuesday offering, Olivia, quality through and through. Thank you!

The Joker 6:18 AM  

An important cake was omitted. LOOK HERE

Meel Mill 6:20 AM  

Psalms 37:11 — “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

“Blessed are the meek: For they shall inherit the Earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Conrad 6:21 AM  

If we "never use this theme type again" for all the theme types that @Rex doesn't like, we'll have seven days a week of themelesses.

Anonymous 6:28 AM  

I was inspired to look up photos of the COCONUT CRAB. Wow, that's a thing to be reckoned with!

Joaquin 6:37 AM  

Re: 17A - “Collectible caps of the 1990s”. I collected nothing in the 1990s, not even unemployment. So POGS crossing the never-heard-of-by-me IGUANODON took me right through the heart of downtown Natick.

Re: 52D - Shouldn’t we have waited until after the noon swearing-in tomorrow to declare in writing “FACTS are FACTS”?

SouthsideJohnny 6:38 AM  

Seemed very fair for a Tuesday without a lot of gunk. The NE was tough for me - SHIA and NCAA are legit and fair game for Tuesday, POGS must be some type of trivia (and probably trivial at this point) and ETUI is one of those CrossWorld words that appears just infrequently enough that I always forget it between appearances. The fact that POGS crosses IGUANADON didn’t help at all either.

NCAA, FDA, EEOC and ACLU all appearing in the same puzzle seems like poor form, but at least they are all Tuesday-level familiar and not the FDR or depression-era public works agencies that pop up later in the week.

Apparently SOLI is an actual English word, but it sure looks like one of those faux plurals that the NYT comes up with from time-to-time.

Nick D 6:39 AM  

Big editing mistake at 1 Across: “the meek shall inherit the earth” is from Matthew, not Psalms.

amyyanni 6:45 AM  

Never really thought about how many kinds of cake exist in the world. Huh. Lemon Yellow is most pleasing in the grid. It's a happy color and I am a fan of the flavour.
Appreciating good hot coffee on this foolish morning. One more sleep.

Karl Grouch 7:11 AM  

Yellowcake. Handle with care.

kitshef 7:17 AM  

First day back after missing some time I’m normally so happy to be solving again I’ll like pretty much anything. Not today, though.

NE in particular felt rough with the fairly obscure POGS, the crosswordese ETUI, the vague clue for NCAA, and a bunch of “chatty” answers HOW SO, AS FOR, SOLD ON, SIGH.

Rex never knows nature-y answers, so of course to him COCONUT CRAB is an outlier. We all have areas we know and areas we don’t (for me, ARI was the big unknown today).

bocamp 7:26 AM  

Thank you, @Olivia; enjoyed your Tuesday challenge. Fun theme. :)

Medium+ solve.

The SE was tricky, especially since I had "left" in place of "went" at 45A. That, along with some crunchy fill, contributed to the med.+ time. Overall, a very worthwhile experience.

Always enjoy seeing Mickey Mantle. Fond memories of the Yankees back in the day.

1952 World Series, Game 7: Yankees @ Dodgers (full game)

Tanya Tucker - "Delta" Dawn

pg -3

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness 🕊

ChuckD 7:30 AM  

Not sure whose idea it was to take a played theme - jack up the size of the grid and fill it with weird cluing but that’s what we have today. We’ve seen some nice puzzles from this constructor so I’m leaning towards bad editing today. I do like the LEMONY YELLOW themer but the others were BEREFT of sparkle. EEOC and ETUI can’t coexist in a puzzle - add in SOLI and HSN and it all goes to hell.

Rough start to a beautiful Tuesday morning.

D Peck 7:43 AM  

I’d’ve said the ugliest thing about this puzzle wasn’t EEOC but AS FOR, which is gibberish (it’s “as per,” which is still awful but at least idiomatic). WIDE CUT was also terrible. There’s “wide leg” and “boot cut” but WIDE CUT isn’t anything. And those of the only parts of the puzzle I remembered because the rest was such a snooooooooooooooze.

Barbara S. 7:57 AM  

Like @Nick D (6:39), I was convinced there was a mistake at 1A, identifying "The meek shall inherit the earth" as coming from the Book of Psalms. So I went scurrying to the Bible to check. @Meel Mill (6:20) nailed it with the two quotations, one from Psalms and one from Matthew. I found it interesting that such a similar statement appears at least twice -- I don't know if the meek inherit the earth anywhere else in the Bible.

mmorgan 8:00 AM  

If you had kids in the 90s (or, I guess, if you were one), you probably knew POGS.

I’m not a super fan of this kind of theme but here I thought it worked quite well and was an enjoyable solve. Thanks!

pabloinnh 8:10 AM  

I thought CAKE was a fine revealer and it was in the right place and if people want to do more themes like this, it's OK with me. I think getting slowed down made OFL a little grumpy, is is his wont, and he should go play with the cat.

One son became involved with POGS, a fad that I never began to understand. Hey ETUI, how ya been? You always sound like someone spitting.

I always thought the "meek" quote was strictly New Testament, so I learned something there. It always reminds me of the similar observation, about the race not always going to the swift or the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.

Solid Tuesday, OMF. Thanks for the fun.

Todd 8:11 AM  

Pogs v Iguandon was total Nadick. A 30yo game crossing an obscure dinosaur on a Tuesday.

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

I suppose I haven't been a daily NYTXW solver long enough to be tired of this kind of theme. I found it enjoyable. Like Rex, "CAKE" was just about the last answer for me. Unlike Rex, I was confident with the C in EEOC, but then thought perhaps we were headed toward Coke (starting with "lemon Coke"), until I realized COCONUT CROB was probably not a thing. My hiccup was somehow deciding the toiletry case was an ETOI, but I got to the happy ending by seeing the need for the U in IGUANADON. (Here in South Florida, the iguanas are everywhere.)

sosumi 8:20 AM  

38D "So ___!" (sarcastic retort) - I made the puzzle! ;)

Z 8:56 AM  

This really felt like a puzzle needing a Marie Antoinette quote revealer. A sadly apt quote for the last four years, at that. Has the reign of terror ever been more understandable? And we must face the hard fact that many Americans would like to have a nation which is a democracy for white Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over black Americans. We must face the fact that we still have much to do in the area of race relations. MLK in 1967

@Conrad - The evidence suggests that a week of themeless puzzles would make Rex happy.

Anyone else wonder if the alternatives would work? LEMON bAKE, LEMON fAKE, LEMON, jAKE, LEMON lAKE, LEMON, mAKE, LEMON rAKE, LEMON,sAKE, LEMON tAKE, LEMON wAKE...

@Meel Mill - Thanks for the scripture. Now, did you mean “Meek Mill”?

Unknown 9:02 AM  

The NE corner was no piece of CAKE for me.
POGS, ETUI and IGUANADON was a bit above my Tuesday brain.

I'm taking bets on whether or not Trump pardons himself.
I'm going with Yes.
Any takers?

Carola 9:10 AM  

I'm with @Loren 6:13 on never tiring of this theme type. For @Rex, "The revealer always comes like a thud," but one person's thud is another's "Oh, neat!" I enjoyed going back and envisioning each themer half transformed into a CAKE. Fun to learn about the very impressive coconut crab and to have it share the grid with another behemoth, the IGUANADON.

JD 9:11 AM  

As For and Iguanadon (come on down to Iguana Don's for all your reptile needs!) were tough and I thought it was O'Rourke, but the rest was a cake walk. Coconut Crab sounds more like a recipe (for disaster if you're the crab).

A lot of us will only recognize 1A from the Sermon on the Mount version in the new Testament, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." That "meek" thing always confused me, not sure they could handle it. But last year I listened to an expository sermon online and learned that the translation from the original Greek (Praus) to the King James (Meek) loses something along the way. The Greeks would say a horse trained for war was praus, meaning it was self-possessed of its own strength. Strength under control and a willingness to submit to what was necessary. Think of George Washington not wanting to be called "His Elective Majesty," Adam's suggestion. We dodged a bullet there.

tea73 9:13 AM  

@mmorgan I had kids in the 1990s. Neither of my kids collected POGS though I vaguely remember they were a thing. I've seen it before in the puzzle, but today I put in POdS and could not see my mistake since IdUANODON also looked plausible. Total Natick. Why don't the things my kids like end up in puzzles? Pokemon, Sonic the Hedghog, or Ninja Turtles?

I'm with LMS that I find this sort of word play reasonably amusing.

G. Weissman 9:13 AM  

This puzzle was just fine. I learned how to spell IGUANODON after mistakenly thinking the word “iguana” was in there. Who knew those dinosaurs were full of GUANO?

Nancy 9:19 AM  

This for me is the most boring themed-puzzle-category ever invented by the human mind and yet it appears over and over and over again in early week NYT puzzles. I guess that's because there's no end to how many words fit with other words. So what's new about this puzzle? Maybe it's the first time that CAKE has been the star of the show. Or not. Yawn.

I do applaud the lack of proper names and the relative cleanness of the grid. And there was one tough cross for me: I guessed at the "G" in POGS/IGUANADON and guessed right. My guess was based on the fact that we have an IGUANA today, so maybe we had an IGUANADON all the way back then. Good grief -- can you believe how many kinds of dinosaurs there were back then?

I echo those who complain about a "lack of sparkle". It's easy to tell when constructors are having fun with the cluing and when they're not, right? The word that comes to mind here is "workmanlike". Perhaps "dutiful". But definitely not "playful".

Adam12 9:35 AM  

DNF on IGUANODON/ASFOR cross. Firstly, what the heck is an iguanodon? The POGS cross was horrible but at least I could suss out IGUANA. Who in God’s name decided it should be IGUANO? ASFAR & ASFOR both arguably work. As one pheasant said to the other, “I cry FOWL.”

RooMonster 9:36 AM  

Hey All !
ETUI, welcome back. It's been a while. Still waiting for OMOO...

@The Joker 6:18
Perusing that article, stumbled upon the excellent word "peeer". @LMS (or any grammarian out there), is that a real word? It's not pe-er, because then it would be peer, as in a jury of your peers. Peeer, har. And who knew taking a whiz gave off deadly gas from those CAKEs? Dang.

I don't mind this type theme. It's fun trying to guess the word that goes with the themers. Got down to the SE corner, having ROoney in for ROURKE, so the CAKE was slow in showing it's face. Two Mickey clues was neat. You don't think of how many known people are named Mickey until something like this shows up. Rooney, ROURKE, MANTLE, Mouse...

Had my one-letter DNF today, after a streak of Not having it. IGUANaDON/ASFaR. I cry Boo! Both very feasible answers. Looked over puz after getting the Almost There! message, and went over that at least twice, not seeing it needed to be an O. So hit Check Puzzle, and that A got crossed out. Bugger.

Noticed the 16 wide grid, so there's that. The ole brain still functioning! Too bad ACRO cake, BATIC cake, IGUANO cake, or DON cake aren't things. Could've have side by side Down themers. Try harder next time. :-)

Four F's

A Moderator 9:44 AM  

@Todd - You posted on the wrong day.

Newboy 9:51 AM  

I don’t expect much from early week puzzles; today I got just that. But in workmanlike fashion I dutifully filled in this piece of CAKE....thanks @Nancy for predrafting my response. Strangely, the constructor notes at xwordinfo suggested the grid was more work than “fun” in development. Happy to see there that great puzzles are available at

Angela 9:51 AM  

Really mad at “ETUI”

Anonymous 9:53 AM  

AERIAL really bothered me on this

Hungry Mother 9:57 AM  

Exactly my average time. I had to take a half hour off in the middle of the solve to wait futilely in an online covid vaccination queue. Cute theme, but not useful to me.

Smith 9:57 AM  

@KarlGrouch 7:11

That was my first thought, too.

Smith 10:00 AM  

@Barbara S 7:57

In Matthew, Jesus is quoting the Psalm.

GILL I. 10:01 AM  

Like @Z, I thought of buxom Marie Antoinette and how she was concerned with the peasants. Off with her head!
I rather enjoyed this one until about the 6th Org. Dang, those things give me alphabet angst. I don't know what they stand for half the time. The airline industry is famous for acronyms and initialisms. Would you know what AAR means? How about Authorized Airworthy Representative...See? Go drown in a lake and take your cake with you. what did I like. I like CAKE. Who doesn't? Would you eat a chocolate prune? No? Neither would I.
I had no trouble with the IGUANADON. My son was a dinosaur enthusiast and we spent lots of time at The American Museum of Natural History as well as the Smithsonian. I think he still has all of his dinosaur book he collected. He never was into POGS.
Does anyone believe that the meek shall inherit the earth? Oh...I wear jeans and I know they get lots of names, but I've never heard of WIDE CUT. Maybe mom jeans or prospector jeans, even the paper bag waist jeans but I have no idea what a WIDE CUT is. Should I know?

bocamp 10:15 AM  

@JD 9:11 AM

Thx for the "meek" elucidation; it makes a lot of sense. The "cake" recipe I take from that is: inner strength, humility and equanimity, "baked" on a higher power.

td pg -4

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness 🕊

A Jewish Dude 10:15 AM  

What's "Matthew"?

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

I can easily see someone's never having heard of EEOC

well, The Great Satan has about 26 hours to destroy it. leave on a high note. he certainly didn't make it prominent in his reign.

Malsdemare 10:19 AM  

@Karl Grouch. Thanks for the reminder of YELLOWCAKE, source of years and years of misery on the Navajo Reservation.

@Loren, I want your avatar!!

I'm surprised Rex hasn't mentioned the plethora of women constructors of late. Or am I misremembering?

POGS are totally a miss for me, but that G was the only thing that made sense of the long down.

We should start a betting pool on how many pardons will get issued today. I say 83.

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

having reached LEMONY_____ just couldn't drop Snicket, however it's spelled.

@Barbara S:
@Meel Mill (6:20) nailed it with the two quotations, one from Psalms and one from Matthew. I found it interesting that such a similar statement appears at least twice

so, I guess that makes plagiarism sort of OK? if the Bible does, so can we?

hoping to be the first to thank ETUI for joining the party, but a Tip of the Hatlo Hat to you

Whatsername 10:26 AM  

Easy easy except for the NE corner where I was completely BEREFT. Didn’t know the Islam branch, never played Risk, no clue on POGS and WTH is an IGUANODON? Jurassic Park is pretty much the extent of my prehistoric knowledge, and I don’t recall ever hearing about one. AS FOR the clue on HOT COFFEE, seems way more like a sign you would see in a diner window than a deli.

Anyway I wasn’t SOLD ON that particular area but the rest of it was fun and really made me hungry. I have a recipe for an Italian Cream CAKE with COCONUT frosting. It’s three layers and a lot of trouble to make but it’s to die for. No ICER required.

KRMunson 10:28 AM  

Never had COCONUT CAKE. Sounds awful to me.

EdFromHackensack 10:32 AM  

almost got beaten by a Tuesday. Had bootCUT before WIDECUT and something didn’t smell right. Finished 100% no errors but , agree, the NE corner was a bear and above Tuesday’s pay grade. Also COCONUT cake? Thats a thing? I heard of coconut creme pie but not really coconut cake. Time to try some :) I used to live in a penthouse suite in Edgewater NJ with awesome views of the NYC skyline. I miss those days

jae 10:33 AM  

Medium-tough seems right.

Stuff that didn’t help:
Suni > Shia
lefT > WENT

Pretty good Tuesday, liked it.

A 10:33 AM  

Happy Inaguration Eve!

@Loren's avatar is worth a million POGs, whatever they are.

MikeM 10:39 AM  

Ugh, DNF. I had "sent" for 45A, which seemed reasonable. That made 45D "sidecut" which seemed reasonable (as I know nothing about jean types). Could not spot the mistake.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  


go find this 'Good Eats' episode:

Thomas 10:45 AM  

@KRMunson COCONUT cake is plain old cake, with plain old icing enhanced by shredded coconut on top. Nothing to get upset about.

@GILL - WIDECUT jeans are just jeans with wide legs - the antithesis of skinny jeans. I guess they're roomy, just not roomy in the areas where room really matters. Unless you have freakishly massive calves.

Stan Combs 10:48 AM  

I wondered if Rex would get "Coconut Crab", as well as others. Not very familiar to anyone who hasn't lived in the South Pacific, Vanuatu in my case. Two things for sure; you don't one to get a hold of your finger, and you don't cook one by plunging it live into a 12-inch pot of water. Oh; also look out for those pinchers on their hind legs.

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Duluth Trading Co. sells men's ballroom jeans.

GHarris 10:54 AM  

Only a couple of hang ups; had to abandon efforts to write in antennas, swap went for left and make a good guess on pog. An overall uninspiring jaunt.

albatross shell 11:02 AM  

Cowboy jeans. They fit over boots.

JC66 11:07 AM  


I immediately thought of you when doing today's LA Times puzzle.

adammmoore 11:14 AM  

iguanadon/asfar iguanadon/asfor dnf for me


Tim Aurthur 11:18 AM  

I started off on the wrong foot by putting "gospel" in 1A. Blame "Quo Vadis."

albatross shell 11:21 AM  

And speaking of cowboy boots, did you notice Fran Lebowitz was wearing them?

Whatsername 11:33 AM  

@Loren (6:13) HOW did you ever find that avatar? You are the SLY one.

@Joaquin(6:37) I agree re the NE corner, one big fat Natick for me. And AS FOR waiting to avow that facts ARE facts, don’t forget according to FRUIT CUP Giuliani “the truth is not the truth.“ And speaking of childish retorts, I don’t expect to ever hear a more pathetic one than “I won by a lot.” (SIGH)

@kitshef (7:27) Welcome back!

Long before the days of the HSN, we had a grotesque looking antenna on the roof which was commonly referred to as an AERIAL. It had a small MOTOR wired to a gizmo connected to the TV which turned it in the right direction to pick up the signal. Almost every spring it would get blown over or bent during a storm, and my dad WENT up on the roof to fix it. Much swearing ensued as he yelled down to ask if the picture was coming in, and I stood at the open window shouting back “NOT YET,” followed by more cussing and APELIKE behavior. Those were the days.

newbie 11:40 AM  

Got it. Therefore, liked it. Easy enough for me. Fun enough. A few head-scratchers, no real gripes. All in all, enjoyable.

mathgent 11:41 AM  

I liked it. It was fun seeing all the different CAKEs, including CUP and CRAB. Smart, fresh cluing.

Jeff Chen says that ETUI spoiled the puzzle because it might alienate new solvers. Poor little darlings. We all learned it when we were new solvers. Part of learning how.


Thomas 11:48 AM  

@AlbatrossShell - Boot cut jeans have a slight flare below the knee to allow them to just fit easily over boots - they're a subtle bell bottom. At least the 50 or so pair of Levi's Boot Cut jeans I've bought over the years are that way. WIDECUT have enormously wide legs from the crotch down. They're like full-length gauchos.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

Ignore the theme--just do the puzzle.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

some folks still use AERIALs to watch the local teeVee stations, rather than take the signal from cable or sat. it's said that this over-the-air HD signal is much better than what you get from cable or sat.

anyone doing it that way?

jae 11:59 AM  

@GILL - Actually AAR (or sometimes AARE) is a river in Switzerland that shows up in Xwords every now and then.

jberg 12:00 PM  

@Z Before Igor the A I was considering LEMON CoKE.

The first two themes I got were LEMON YELLOW and WHITE RICE, so of course I was looking for a color theme.

The BBC reported this morning that a woman had been sentenced to 43 years in prison for insulting the King of SIAM. Things have gone down hill since Yul Brynner. Etc, etc, etc.

Nancy 12:04 PM  

How on earth did she do that????!!!!! Thanks, @Whatsername, for calling my attention to @Loren's apt and hilarious avatar. (I'd missed it, of course, -- I just don't notice visual stuff ever.) But could Loren have actually found this???? Wouldn't she have had to create it somehow to fit in with today's puzzle? Could it have just been there all along, waiting for the perfect opportunity? Explanations will be greatly appreciated.

JD 12:13 PM  

@Anon 10:22, Jesus was a Jew, sermonizing from Jewish scripture, but you probably knew that.

@Bo, You're welcome. This was from the same minister who in a sermon on Genesis said the bible is concerned with the what and the why and that it's up to scientists to figure out the how. Then he went on to talk about the big bang and evolution. Mostly retired now most of his sermons going back to the '70s are online.

KRMunson 12:25 PM  

@Anonymous. Thanks for the link. I’ll have to try it!

R Duke 12:25 PM  

Hey, my wife works for the EEOC!

Barbara S. 12:33 PM  

I just wrote a highly entertaining paragraph (well, it was a paragraph anyway) about the artist Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, who painted the portrait of Marie-Antoinette that's in Rex's review, and then managed to lose it. Zut alors!

@Smith (10:00)
That makes sense. Does he quote other passages from the Psalms in the Sermon on the Mount or elsewhere?

@Anonymous (10:23)
I thinketh not. Quotation and plagiarism are not the same.

CT2Napa 12:35 PM  

AS FAR as I'm concerned iguanAdon is a perfectly appropriate spelling. AS FOR my wife, iguanodon was OK.

pmdm 12:46 PM  

The requirement that early week puzzles are very simple more or less justifies today's type of theme. For those who dislike this type of theme, why not solve like I do: as a themeless. On Mondays or Tuesdays, I always try to solve the puzzle ignoring the theme. I had no idea what today's theme was until I finished the puzzle. Of course, doing it that way would eliminate the point of complaining.

I think early Christians felt that Jesus fulfilled a lot of what was written in the "Old Testament." As a result, many quotes originating in earlier books of the Bible are repeated in the books written after the life of Christ.

I do have more to say but no time to say it. I'm happy that a number of you enjoyed this past Sunday's Acrostic. The constructors always are searching for quotes that jump out at you. They did a good job this past week.

Z 12:46 PM  

@malsedmare - I don’t think 5.5 out of 19 constitutes a “plethora.” Maybe it seems like more because a couple of those were co-constructed by pairs of women, but pretty much on pace to match the 25% the NYTX published in 2020.

@Anon9:53 - AERIAL was a common term for an antenna back in the day. I wasted precious nanoseconds on it, too.

@JC66 - I will print it out and do it now.

Loren Muse Smith 12:47 PM  

@Nancy et al- I’m so happy you all noticed! I just google imaged “trump t-rex” and found it. I just had to add the caption.

Z 12:51 PM  

@Barbara S - Here’s a list of times Jesus quoted the Old Testament. I didn’t look closely, but I noticed there are six pages in the list.

SFR 12:59 PM  

The only non-edible themer?

Teedmn 1:15 PM  

Oh my, how hard I made this for myself! I started right off in the NW by pairing "hide" with HAIR before seeking an alternative. Can it be considered a partner if the two are separated by nor rather than and?

35D, WH led to WHale meat in the Japanese diet. I suppose it's more of a delicacy than a staple these days (at least I hope so.) But it SMUTted up my SW.

I was rounding up my 53A cEntS, which the mom jeans style and playground retort hard to suss out, and OSHA in place of EEOC was the ICER on the CAKE.

I haven't yet tired of this kind of theme type yet so I liked it.

Thanks, OMF, nice puzzle.

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

pogs ....

Z 1:43 PM  

@Barbara S and @Poggius - Did you see this?

Richard 1:52 PM  

Re WIDECUT: Several years ago (I can't remember exactly when), a small company attempted to market jeans for plus-sized women under the label "Lardache." Jordache sued, claiming trademark violation. Seems like nobody can take a joke.

Re EEOC: Surprised to see consternation (including that of OFL) over what some seem to believe is an obscure federal agency. You'd think this would be a common acronym in the x-word universe, given all those vowels, but I guess not. Actually, the EEOC is a rather important agency, created to implement Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination in private employment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion and national origin. It was most recently in the news last year when the Supreme Court ruled that the word "sex" covered members of the LGBT community. The clue (59A) calls it a "Workers rights org." Hmm.... To my mind an "org[anization]" is a private group, such as the ACLU or th NAACP, rather than a governmental agency. I might be wrong.

Masked and Anonymous 1:56 PM  

CAKE … mm-mm.

staff weeject pick: HSN. Better clue: {Towel letters to be paired with "Hrn"??}.

fave sparkler, thanx to @muse: IGUANODON. honrable mention to: LIONESS. GUESTROOM. ACROBATIC. TWERP.

Shook M&A up slightly, to behold the Jaws of Themelessness on a TuesPuz. Thought maybe I'd slept thru the Inauguration Party. [News flash: The Iguanodon will not be attendin the Inaugurbiden.]

Thanx -- for the WIDECUT COCONUT CAKE especially, Ms. Framke darlin. Good bake.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Nancy 3:13 PM  

This could be wonderful news, @Loren 12:27: the thought that anything anyone could possibly dream up is already on the Internet! Why that means that if ODD SOCK, say, is in the puzzle and I Google: "photo of Donald Trump looking like an ODD SOCK", I would find such a photo, and if BIGFOOT is in the puzzle and I Google: "photo of Donald Trump looking like a big foot", I'd find it, and if WAFFLE PAN is in the puzzle and I Google: "photo of Donald Trump looking like a waffle pan", I'd find that, too. Why the possibilities are really delicious and absolutely endless.

But I'll make you a promise in front of all these witnesses right now, Donald. If you get on the plane tomorrow and instead of heading towards Mar A Lago, you head towards your golf course in Bermuda or your golf course in Scotland, along with your entire family and all your worldly possessions, and and you bloody well stay there to avoid criminal prosecution*, I will forego all the delights of exacting my LMS-style avatar revenge on you. I'll be happy to let bygones be bygones.

*Why has no one, I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, thought of such a possibility? I put the likelihood at at least 25%; and if he doesn't pardon himself and his entire family in the next 20 hours, I put the likelihood at 80%. Everyone wants to know what he's been planning during all these days he hasn't done a lick of work running the country. Well, THIS is what I think he's been planning. Truly I do.

You heard it here first. I haven't heard it or read it anywhere, I swear. But if it comes to pass, I want full credit for my incredible insight into the avoid-repercussions-at-all-costs Trumpian psyche.

albatross shell 3:30 PM  

The recent art posts on this blog make me think some here would enjoy this:
Many Trump-era photos look like dramatic old paintings. That’s no ‘accident.’
By Kelsey Ables

If it works and if nobody else has linked to it yet.

Barbara S. 4:19 PM  

@Z (12:51 PM)
Thanks for the list. It looks like Christ quoted from Psalms at least 10 times.

@Z (1:43 PM)
That's an entertaining article which I would have missed if you hadn't posted it. It's an idea that's been around for a long time. I've often wondered if photographer George Tames, who took this photograph, knew this painting. The symbolism seems too close to be accidental.

This is an old video from 2013 featuring a brilliant re-creation.

Anonymous 4:24 PM  

Why has no one, I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, thought of such a possibility? I put the likelihood at at least 25%; and if he doesn't pardon himself and his entire family in the next 20 hours, I put the likelihood at 80%. Everyone wants to know what he's been planning during all these days he hasn't done a lick of work running the country. Well, THIS is what I think he's been planning. Truly I do.

he can't. turns out the Constitution is specific: no one under impeachment can be pardoned. once (the Other) Nancy got the vote in the House, he was toast. the Constitution doesn't say, 'impeached AND CONVICTED'

"This clause bars a president from pardoning anyone — including himself — who is the subject of impeachment once debate on offenses set forth in the articles of impeachment begins. "

debate occurred and impeachment was voted.

Puzzlenotpublish 4:56 PM  

Would he not have to admit guilt in order to pardon?

Unknown 5:42 PM  

@ Puzzlenotpublish 4:56

Yes, the pardon is a tacit (sometimes explicit) admission of wrongdoing.
So to that extent, unlikely he would go that route.
But you never know with him.

On an unrelated note, I believe that there are judges who have been impeached/convicted after they have stepped down from the bench, so there is precedent along those lines. But that's not what you asked.

albatross shell 5:46 PM  

I see @Z beat me too it. I did not click on that when reading the posts.
See @Z 143PM.

Anonymous 6:00 PM  


yes. the tale was told last night on Snowflake News about one named Belknap after the War of Northern Aggression.

Anonymous 6:19 PM  

I've definitely heard talk of his orangeness leaving the country for good. My personal favorite theory is that he will need to spend between now and when the statute of limitations runs out managing the construction of the Trump International Hotel Minsk.

Z 6:58 PM  

Here’s the Accidental Renaissance link.

@Barbara S - Did you notice the name of the founder of that sub-reddit?


@JC66 - Of course my knee jerk reaction was “I play with an UltraStar.“ We can be pretty snobby about such things and the second half of the answer doesn’t even make the approved list. Many of us get snotty about even the mold that is used.

Barbara S. 7:12 PM  

I did -- Tee-Hee. But I swear on the Book of Psalms, it isn't I.

JC66 7:26 PM  


I thought the second half of the answer might bother you. That's why I gave you a heads up.

sanfranman59 8:52 PM  

Good to see you back, kitshef. I inherited my mother's and her mother's worry-wart gene and, these days, get particularly worried when folks aren't where I'm accustomed to seeing them.

Unknown 10:47 PM  


thefogman 9:50 AM  

This one was a piece of CAKE. (SEW SARI about that). All kidding aside, this was an enjoyable solve. BEREFT of junk. Kudos to OMF. You’ve URNed it. PS - Please keep ATIT.

Diana, LIW 11:37 AM  

Yes, @Foggy - too bad PIECEOFCAKE wasn't a revealer answer.

A sweet puzzle, indeed.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

PS Did y'all hear about the woman who completed a jigsaw puzzle with 40,000 pieces? She's apparently going for a record. "Let's see...does this piece fit here?...)

spacecraft 11:43 AM  

Interesting about the meek quote. So, did Jesus "borrow" from PSALMS for the Sermon on the Mount? Hmm.

I was just a bit derailed, momentarily, when after getting LEMONYELLOW and the centrally placed FRUITCUP, I assumed the theme was about, um, fruit. When I got down to the SE and found the revealer, I had the "oh yeah" moment too--but to me that type of theme is devilishly clever. Even so, I was astounded to see @LMS reel off five more (though I don't know if there's such a thing as "cream cake").

I just don't understand OFC's rating system. So, you put an extra row in and it takes a little bit longer to solve. That doesn't make it "medium-challenging." There's nothing at all "challenging" about this Tuesday puzzle. To make the rating system a slave to the stopwatch solving time is absurd.

There is a fill "owie" here and there, but by and large the puzzles recently have taken on a more scrubbed look than in the past. The days of "any old piece of crap goes" are pretty much gone; I hope they don't return. We'll give SARA Bareilles a turn as DOD and let all the EVAs rest. Birdie.

thefogman 3:20 PM  

Command a citrus fruit to shout in pain? LEMON-YELL-OW

leftcoaster 3:24 PM  

I find this one more on the "medium-challenging” side -- for a Tuesday.

Theme was easy, except maybe for the COCONUT(?) CRAB. Other challenges were IGUANODON/POGS cross in the NE and WIDECUT/ROURKE(sp.) cross in the SE. CAKE revealer was helpful in making it all clear at the finish.

In the auto parts and other such businesses, “parts are parts” is a pretty common term. WENT for that one before "FACTS are FACTS”.

Burma Shave 9:10 AM  


ARE you SOLDON her YET or not?
FACT is that LIONESS may scare ya,
I'll BET she's SLY as she is HOT.


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