Once-popular resort area in the Catskills informally / SAT 2-6-21 / World leader with role in 1961's annexation of Goa / Music genre that includes geeksta rap

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Constructor: Kameron Austin Collins

Relative difficulty: Easy to Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: BORSCHT BELT (21A: Once-popular resort area in the Catskills, informally) —
Borscht Belt, or Jewish Alps, is a colloquial term for the mostly defunct summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in parts of SullivanOrange and Ulster Counties in upstate New York, United States. These resorts were a popular vacation spot for New York City Jews from the 1920s through the 1960s. (wikipedia)
• • •

Ah, I was *hoping* Mr. Collins would get a puzzle in this week—he constructs regularly for The New Yorker and I always enjoy his work. Since he (like yours truly) studied Literature in graduate school, I frequently seem to be on his wavelength. Or maybe that's not the reason, but it sure feels like the reason. It sure felt like the reason today, as literary answers that are very close to my work or life came rushing at me time and again, starting with LEO Tolstoy at 1A: First name in Russian literature, whose Anna Karenina is among my very favorite novels, and then again with AENEAS (my boy! I'll see you again next week, buddy!) and SESTETs (I'll see *you* in April, guys). "Twain" is a very poetic way to say DUO, so that clue too felt literaryish. HERSTORIES feels very thirty-years-ago (18A: Chronicles from a feminist perspective), but it turns out I was just starting out in grad school thirty years ago, and have spent my whole life surrounded by (and married to) feminist scholars, so no problem there. My family's from IDAHO. I've never been called "TEACH," but I do TEACH. My first cinematic memory is "STAR WARS" (1977). So yeah, in literary ways and so many other ways, this puzzle felt made for me. Still never watched "THE WEST WING," though; the clue on that one (41A: Government program?) was one of the tougher things about the puzzle (see below), though with a few crosses, it wasn't all that tough.

I solved this one in a fairly regularly counterclockwise manner, starting in the NW and heading down the west side of the grid, mostly because that's where the short answers were, and those tend to be easiest to get quickly. Easy to slide down to DIRGE CARPS TEACH and then (because I had the front ends) into GREAT WORK BE PATIENT S-CLASS. I actually didn't have the WORK part of GREAT WORK at first, but I got OVERT off the "T" (46A: Plain as day) and then SHOVEL off that "V" (36D: Big scoop) and so the SW was over fairly quickly (though I did briefly write in C-NOTE instead of T-NOTE at 41D: Certain govt. security, resulting in a [Government program?] that appeared to be about CHEW-ing things). Had trouble with the second half of an answer again at NERDCORE (50A: Music genre that includes "geeksta rap"), but ROCK didn't make much sense, and once ETC. went in, I remembered HARDCORE and NORMCORE and DADCORE (I swear these are real)—in short, I remembered the "-CORE" suffix and off I went again. The one time that the puzzle appeared daunting was when I rounded the corner in the SE and tried to come up. Progress halted at the backend / bottom of those long Downs in the NE, and all of a sudden I was staring at what looked like a lot of empty white space. But at this point I hadn't gone back and checked those long Acrosses I hadn't pursued back at the beginning of the puzzle, and as soon as I set my eyes on one of those: bingo:

Saved by the Borscht! Only thing holding me back at that point was HOTWIRING, which I found to be by far the toughest answer to come up with today (16D: Getting started the wrong way?). But that's why they call them crosswords—because the crosses save you from your ignorance and/or befuddlement. The end. Only one actual mistake today (besides the C-NOTE / CHEW- thing): I thought that the [Nice pair of boxers?] (at 17A) was PAWS (not PECS). I thought we were playing with dogs, not ogling athletes ("nice pair"!?). Speaking of PAWS, gonna go play with my cats now. Have a nice day. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. I forgot to be mad about there's being three "IN"s in this puzzle (IN NEED OF, SEWN IN, TIE-IN) ... OK, now that that's done, goodbye for real.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joe R. 6:43 AM  

Set a new record time today of 6:09. Would’ve been even faster if not for that stubborn mule. I had HIND LEGS to start with, but I knew EFTS, so I corrected that one..... into HIND FEET. Who ever saw a mule kick with one FOOT? That cost me a chunk of time, until I was able to come at DISH IT OUT from the other side, and figured out the answer they were looking for,

Lewis 6:46 AM  

OMG, so many pleasures in this one:
• The gorgeous pattern of black squares.
• Wordplay cluing to bow down to: HOLIER, THE WEST WING, SHOVEL, ELS, LONERS, STAR WARS, HOT WIRING.
• Paucity of yuck/junk answers.
• That four-letter string in 47A that I can’t unsee.

Quality, thy name is this puzzle. KAC, you were a real joymaker for me today. Thank you, sir, and please don’t be a stranger!

Unknown 6:50 AM  

easiest Saturday puzzle I can ever remember...felt more like a Thursday...not a bad puzzle, just seemed a bit weak. IMO

Anonymous 7:02 AM  

Six nice puzzles this week, capped off with the usual KAC top-drawer production. Two questions:
1. Why couldn't the NYT have shifted Erik to Sunday and gotten another constructor to make it an actual full week of puzzles?
2. Where was Timothy Parker? (Seriously)

puzzlehoarder 7:17 AM  

A great looking puzzle filled with quality material but disappointingly easy to solve. From MIL I went clockwise with no resistance to the SE corner where I stalled after changing HINDLEGS to HINDFEET. Rather than waste time I just went back to where I started and went counterclockwise just as easily and finished with HINDFOOT. Along the way my CARET/CARAT write over did cause CARPS to be delayed but that was it. Everything else was one gimme after another. Not what I look for on a Saturday.

What took longer than solving was reading the constructors' notes at xwordinfo. When this guy gets on his soap box he will not get off.

bocamp 7:34 AM  

Thx, @Kameron, for a nice, chewy Sat. puz; very much enjoyed this one! :)

Easy-med. solve. On my wavelength all the way. No major holdups.

Swapping Friday and Saturday would have worked for me difficulty-wise.

"Herstory" Comfort Women Animation: "Produced with actual voices of the victims"

"Petrarch Sonnet" 104 ~ Anna Fedorova

A friend and I "hot-wired" his older brother's car. Got a well-deserved chewing out, and never pulled that stunt again. :(

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

Patrick K 7:44 AM  

Blew through this one fast. Only stuttered on NERDCORE, but only for a few moments. Did have to change HINDLEGS to HINDFOOT, so another 15-20 seconds added due to that one. In total, they were enough to push me just over 10:00 for the solve, though, although I wasn’t attempting to minimize my time. I did feel like it was a Tuesday puzzle, or maybe a Wednesday. Enjoyed this one, no complaints about any of the clues or the grid. Anytime I can plow through a Saturday puzzle from top to bottom without hesitation, I feel like a genius!

TJS 7:49 AM  

Absolute travesty for a Saturday. How could this be slated for anything other than a Tuesday or Wednesday. Are we done with the week-long series "honoring" Black History Month ? Sheesh. A 12 minute Saturday, speed solver heaven, I guess. Hope you all enjoy your new personal records.

Hungry Mother 7:54 AM  

Very quick and easy here. It seemed like a Wednesday. ATLAS played a bit old; visions of a dude kicking sand in my face.

Bubbabythebay 8:03 AM  

@Puzzlehoarder@7:17 Agree completely.. There's enough drama there for a whole reality show. We have shows about cake decorating and flower arranging, why not a bunch of up-and-coming constructors competing to avoid getting kicked out of the competition each week. 3 snarky judges shouldn't be hard to find.

pabloinnh 8:04 AM  

I'm familiar with KAC's work from the New Yorker so when I saw the byline I knew I was in for some fun, and was not disappointed. Off to a flying start in the NE with HEY and YEAST and HONE and then the long a nd valuable BORSCHTBELT, although I wondered if I had spelled it right (I had). This was entirely too fast for a Saturday so I popped in HERDIARIES off the IES which got me stuck. Went around the grid at moderate speed so as to enjoy myself, with a hiccup at NERDCORE. Seems like NERD-something is becoming popular, but the CORE suffix is news to me, at least in terms of music.

Back to fix the NE and bang I was done, too soon.

Nice to see Charles ATLAS, because I used to appear in his ads. I was the skinny guy on the towel getting sand kicked in his face.

Great stuff, KAC, and thanks for making me feel smart by including AENEAS and SESTET.

Rug Crazy 8:07 AM  

Great puzzle!

mmorgan 8:11 AM  

I agree with those who found this easy for a Saturday but not with those who are outraged by that. It’s a well-designed, lovely puzzle regardless of what damn day it is.

Barney 8:14 AM  

Nice puzzle. Fresh fill, solid clues. What a great way to finish the week.

About the only stumble which left me feeling daft was 17A: Nice pair of boxers? I'm not exactly certain why that answer is PECS. I've never once heard anyone, anywhere refer to PECS as boxers. Is that something kids say these days?

amyyanni 8:15 AM  

A little easier Saturday, but still challenging enough for me. Cluing is sparkly and interesting grid. Happy Saturday!

Z 8:41 AM  

No personal record here. ENTERIC/PECS was Whac-A-Vowel (still not seeing how PECS are “boxers”) and HELGA Hufflepuff is a HP Deep Cut (How long until we get a HELGA Godric Rowena Salazar theme) who made HOT WIRING opaque to me. I also had to clean up STAR tuRn and had S-Coupe before S-CLASS. That many stumbles pretty much precludes a PR.

As I filled it in I was pondering the difference between SATIATED and sated. As far as I can tell the difference is the IAT and nothing else. I don’t regularly use or see these terms outside of crosswords, so any of you users out there draw any kind of distinction?

@puzzlehoarder - 🀣🀣🀣 - Using the guy’s own site to call him to task is next level. While I mostly agree with Collins I might have framed the problem differently. Chen does a great job of coaching constructors for the current solving community. But that is inherently narrow and regressive. What Collins is calling for is coaching and publishing constructors who will interest new solvers and a broader solving community. From a business perspective that makes a lot of sense. I also read that as an extensive sub-tweet.

kitshef 8:48 AM  

I have no idea what a Petrarchan sonnet even means, or ‘octave’ in this context, or what the heck SESTET means in this context. I though Octave was a person's name in a sonnet by someone named Petrarch, and we were looking for a person who followed Octave, literally or figuratively. And that crossed a TV Network, which basically means any three letters. So finished with SESTEn/TNn.

Other than that cross, I think this would have been a damn fine Tuesday puzzle. Why it ran on a Saturday I can’t imagine.

ChuckD 8:53 AM  

Nice puzzle - but not Saturday level. Low word count based on all the black squares is odd - but the overall fill was solid. BORSCHT BELT covering STAR WARS is outstanding. SATIATED with THE WEST WING not so much. Wanted rear legs in lieu of HIND FOOT and after I parsed HOT WIRING it was more of a MEH moment.

Not sure in whose world ONE CARAT is a normal thing - my wife got a fraction of that.

Enjoyable solve - just expect more. Greg Johnson constructed the stumper today - I still refer to it as that. It’s a good one.

Unknown 9:00 AM  

@ puzzlehoarder 7:17
I thought Collins's "essay" went on a little too long - - - I have only limited patience in the morning - - - but I thought his point was actually excellent and on point.
@ Z 8:41 I don't know what you mean by "next level." Do you mean it was uncalled-for? That it was inappropriate? I'll disagree. That smacks of criticizing Colin Kaepernick's taking a knee during the national anthem as "next level," and I'm guessing that you didn't intend that. Collins is calling out unconscious bias and prejudice. Frankly, he can do that any way he wants. Maybe just in fewer words . . .

As far as today's puz, a personal record for me on a Saturday which left me feeling disappointed. I miss the old days when my first go-around on a Saturday would yield only a handful of answers. And today's puz didn't feel particularly "black" to me . . . With references to Star Wars, Harry Potter, West Wing, the Borscht Belt, I was feeling more of an UWS Jewish vibe.

Nancy 9:06 AM  

An extremely enjoyable puzzle with no junk and terrific clues for HOLIER; THE WEST WING; SPOIL; PECS; EARTH and HOT WIRING. That said, it's not very Saturday-ish in overall difficulty -- which is certainly not Kameron's fault. If you're Will Shortz and you have a terrific themeless puzzle that's more Wednesday or Thursday level, but you can't slot it there, then what do you do?

Well, I say loosen up the "rules" of which days themed and themeless puzzles are "allowed" to be used. After all, these rules didn't come down from either Mount Sinai or Mount Olympus. I assume that WS made these rules and therefore he can also un-make them -- at least once in a while. They're so arbitrary and quite silly, after all.

My only complaint about this puzzle is the same as everyone else's. HIND LEG or BACK FOOT. But a HIND FOOT is something no one said ever. Also, someone pointed out that mules kick with both legs at once -- though happily that's something I wouldn't know from personal experience.

Still, a smooth and entertaining puzzle that was fun to work on.

RooMonster 9:08 AM  

Hey All !
Argh! Thought I had puz wrapped up nicely with a bow, but tehn when I put my last letter in, got the Almost There! message, as if the puz was taunting me, saying, "Ha! And you thought you got it all right!" Dang! Turned out my one-letter DNF was at CARPe/eCLASS. In defense, Mercedes DOES have E-Class-es, and they ARE four door sedans. So *sticks tongue out*.

Aside from that, this was a good puz. After thinking it would be another SatPuz that I wouldn't get in a million years without cheating, answers suddenly started to appear, as if KAC let you peek just a bit behind the curtain. Stuff I didn't know, I was actually able to suss out. Neat feeling, as usually I'm just exasperated and give up.

PugS for PECS first. And I thought PugS was so clever, kind of a let-down to see PECS. 21A starting _ORS, I put in hORSe____, and couldn't come up with anything for 21D. Got enough crosses to be able to change the wrong h to the right B. My biggest hold-up was in the SE, having HINDFeeT until the last few fill-ins. Finally seeing the FeeT wasn't working, changed it to FooT, and was able to finish. I cry partial-foul on the clue, to me it makes it seem like FeeT is a better answer than FOOT, but I guess it can be defended either way, and it is a SatPuz.

Another writeover was IsNEEDed to INNEEDOF. Spelled DIRGE as DuRGE first. Trying to give @M&A an extra U. Tryed airIER first for HOLIER. Har.

Non puz related, I ran out of coffee creamer yesterday, plus have no milk, so I have some powdered Hot Chocolate mix and threw that in my coffee. Turns out it was really good! Try it sometime! (Unless [and probably] either everyone already knows this, or Starbucks beat me to it!)


Two F's

Blue Stater 9:14 AM  

I thought this puzzle was challenging, fair, and imaginative. No linguistic or factual mistakes (that I could see, anyway), no aching-to-be-clever mediocrities. WS, it can be done. Let's have more like this.

egsforbreakfast 9:23 AM  

I set a new personal record today, but it had nothing to do with crosswords, so I won’t go into detail other than to say that I’m a bit shocked at how much truffle and jalapeΓ±o oatmeal a guy can eat in one sitting.

Puzzle was a great solve, but might have benefitted from toughening up some clues to long to Saturday level. I immediately think of BORSCHTBELT, HERSTORIES and STEPHANIE. But still, a great week of puzzling for me. Thanks, Kameron Austin Collins for a nice Saturday, and thanks WS and all constructors for this week.

bocamp 9:24 AM  

Re: "pecs" and "boxers"

Why do 99% of boxers have perfectly sculpted pecs but no thick neck?

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

Glen Laker 9:29 AM  

Pecs aren’t boxers. They are “of boxers”. As in fighters, who presumably have a pair of nice pecs.

TJS 9:32 AM  

@mmorgan, I am definitely one of the solvers who care what damn day it is. The NYT puzzles are supposedly geared to greater difficulty from Monday through Saturday. That is the expectation that has been set up for regular solvers, and I can understand the thinking behind it. But if, as someone who has been doing these things for over fifty years, I have to resign myself to pretty much no-brainer Monday through Wednesday solves, I feel I should then be recompensed with challenging entries the next 3 days. In working my way through the archives, it seems that this was the case far more often than it is now. A 12 minute solve on a Saturday by someone who is not even trying to speed-solve, doesn't cut it, IMO.

Barney 9:41 AM  

Solved! Nah, @bocamp, @Glen Laker PECS are a brand of men's underwear (including boxers).

Richard Stanford 9:41 AM  

As a rookie, my rounded times this week were 6, 11, 12, 10, 11 and 24 for today so if anything I’d argue that Friday was the easy one.

Still not sure I see PECS. I mean, I understand that boxers have pecs but that’s so weak. STARWARS unlocked the NE and then I had to run through X/P/T/S to her EFTS not knowing EFT as anything but a banking term. Loved HOTWIRING. Had hARPS for way too long for that matter.

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

TJS - have to agree. Some imaginative clueing here and there but Wednesday difficulty at best. I like to hunker down on the weekends for some serious puzzle time and this didn’t even last the whole of a first cup of coffee. Thank goodness for the archives.

egsforbreakfast 9:53 AM  

@Barney 8:14. Boxers each have a pair of PEC(total muscle)S that are in impressive shape.

mathgent 9:56 AM  

Terrific. Everything I want in a crossword. Lewis ticked off all of its virtues.

Mr. Collins may have been having fun with Will by having all white people in the grid.

I think that the Charles ATLAS cartoon ad was in every comic book I ever read as a kid. Maybe not Little Lulu.

I make HERBALTEA (ginger) but not for my throat. My tummy.

I also found it easy, probably because of the wide-open grid and the multi-word longs.

Z 9:59 AM  

@unknown 9:00 - Next level
So, yeah, we don’t actually disagree. Well, maybe we disagree about one thing. When I don’t understand a word or phrase my first instinct is to ask uncle Google.

@Glen Laker - D’Oh! Thank you.

@TJS - Have you considered that this one just happened to be in your wheelhouse? Or that you’re just really good at these things now? I still remember playing a game at sectionals against what was essentially a college team. I had the disc in my hands on the goal line for game point and called a time-out. We called a simple play. The D put their biggest guy on me (I’m 6’4”+), but positioned him wrong - definitely a mistake they weren’t going to make again. I looked at my defender and actually said to him “are you sure?” He checked the disc and I made the simplest of passes for the score and win. On the one hand it felt good to beat a team of young men who were, to a man, more athletic than everyone on my team, but I also felt vaguely guilty because their inexperience made the victory a little hollow. That guilt has never stopped me from rubbing it in whenever I see that guy on the field. 😈

Teedmn 9:59 AM  

This is a PR for me, I think, for a KAC puzzle. I'm usually not on his wavelength but this was well below my average Saturday time. Except for being hoiST by my own petard (9D for too long), this went smoothly.

@Lewis points out the beauty of the grid. I'm not usually a visual person but for some reason those middle black squares have me seeing a sleek aquatic entity swimming through a reef. And the mutated "jaws of themelessness" (hi M&A) are also interesting.

HOTWIRING and HOLIER were definitely my ahas of the day. And I was glad to finally get a rise out of YEAST, allowing me to finish in the NE.

Great work, Kameron Austin Collins!

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Erik is biracial and celebrates/identifies with his heritage like Obama so I consider it a full week of puzzles in celebration of Black History Month

Z 10:03 AM  

Thanks? @Barney. Looks like they are more geared to the PECS crowd, not the Man Boob crowd.

Anonymous 10:08 AM  

The clue "Ones practicing social distancing" should have been clued with a "?" at the end. The clue uses a hyper-modern phrase that is specific to behavior during the ongoing pandemic, but the answer LONERS twists the clue to mean someone who doesn't socialize at all.

Z 10:09 AM  

@10:03 - Are you responding to @7:02? I think what @7:02 is saying that Sunday wasn’t constructed by an African-American so they would have liked an EA Sunday puzzle and someone else doing Friday for a full 7 day week celebrating Black History Month. I say “I think” because your reading is certainly plausible given that lots of people yesterday were surprised Viking Name guy was biracial.

Barney 10:10 AM  

@egsforbreakfast et al. The effectiveness of a punch has almost nothing to do with the chest. It's largely a function of the legs and core. Said differently, boxing alone does little-to-nothing to develop the power or stamina of the chest muscles. That's what made the clue/answer (initially) so perplexing.

burtonkd 10:10 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle, even if a little easy - nothing wrong with feeling smart on a groggy Saturday. Great variety to the clueing and frame of reference!

@Unknown 9:00, I was thinking the same about it skewing Jewish:)
I think you are reading too much into "next level". I did have to check to see where I was reading Collins' comments as they seemed very pointed to be on Jeff's own site. Tweeting these opinions or writing them on his own blog or fb is one thing, but going to Jeff's site could be called "next level" without implying anything further.

Collins had some fair points, as did Jeff with some of his critiques. The idea of introducing Tanahesi, an unfamiliar spelling by using it in the clue for COATES, then reversing it in a later puzzle is pretty clever.

The "average solver" is such an interesting question. I'm sure we can all imagine what this person has traditionally been. Already a wonderful person, and can be even deeper and wider.

TTrimble 10:11 AM  

Joining the chorus of those who don't get PECS.

Yes, this was an easy Saturday. I didn't set a PR, but I wasn't far away. Is the NYTXW getting easier?

HIGH HATTED sounds odd to me. I had HIGH HAndED at first.

Harry Potter trivia -- MEH. Maybe one could make the clue for 16 Across more Saturday difficult by referring to HELGA Testorf, the model of many paintings by Andrew Wyeth -- I saw a documentary on Wyeth not long ago and they discussed the Helga paintings at some length. (Then, there's always Hagar's wife, good for a Tuesday perhaps.)

Glad to hear about yd. I'm not done with today's, but it doesn't look too bad.

Mike G 10:16 AM  

I know that you're right. But I hate that you're right :)

GHarris 10:19 AM  

I’m with all those who found this surprisingly easy for a Saturday but, nevertheless, enjoyable. My only stumble, the spelling of borscht (that sneaky little c.

albatross shell 10:20 AM  

Maybe @Barney is right if he wasn't slipping us some NONSENSE. Maybe it's a coincidence. My first answer was PEtS which I think is better than Rex's PawS. But I thought PECS worked, and was an echo of yesterday's pair of rings for TAGTEAM. I'd hate to move it from wordplay to PPP.

Again today: a beaut and easy for the day. I finished a Saturday counting my MyK exemption. If she is in the room with me I get to ask her questions on 2 subjects. She is a retired ER nurse and Harry Potter devotee. HELGA I think I would have puzzled out. ENTERIC, maybe not.

Otherwise this solved like yesterday for me and like @ROO today. No idea to answers just popping in even though I had no idea, I knew it was right. ATLAS was a prime example of this phenomenon. That makes a puzzle fun.

And somebody does say HINDFOOT. Me! But that doesn't mean anyone else does.

Crimson Devil 10:23 AM  

Nice puz, ‘cept PECS. If thas brand name, so be it.

Newboy 10:23 AM  

Great puzzle as is typical for this constructor. Rex’s morning experience parallels mine right along to the HOT WIRING finish; maybe there’s something to that English grad school experience that does survive the decades after all. Of course, Rex was stepping on home plate by the time I stumbled around first! Almost as much fun as the grid was the constructors note on that other blog that takes itself as seriously as Rex is sometimes accustomed of being. KAC observed that “ starting to think seriously about questions like these” is critical if the NYT’s commitment to Black History is more than tokenism. And I’ll have to think about that. Kudos to Jeff and Rex and Kameron for taking us to @Z’s “next level” where a puzzle is an entertainment—and so much more.

Potato Chimps 10:26 AM  

Who snuck a Thursday puzzle in today? This was a breeze...

Charles Flaster 10:29 AM  

Loved this easy one with some beautiful cluing.
Favorite clues were for LONERS and THE WEST WING which I might start binging real soon.

Spent many a glorious summer in the BORSCHT BELT from 1950-1970. What memories!! Exit 105.
Rex- TEACH- read Up The Down Staircase.
Anyway always enjoy KAC creations, so thanks.

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

I've never once heard anyone, anywhere refer to PECS as boxers. Is that something kids say these days?

the usual indirection, courtesy of the '?'. one might object that PECS are the muscles that propel the fists while boxing. most folks who study martial arts seriously know that most of the force, if not the speed, comes from the core, i.e. the heeps. even baseball players know this.

gastRIC before ENTERIC, bah!!
SPlIt before SPOIL, bah bah!!


is it a FOOT or a hOOf???


check the ingredients label. I'll bet (long time since I've had any in the house) it's almost all sugar; so, yeah it'll taste GREAT!! just like Frosted Flakes.

bocamp 10:46 AM  

@Nancy 9:06 AM

Well said!

@Barney 9:41 AM

A bit of a "stretch", but good outside-the-"box" thinking; certainly a valid option, tho. Like it! πŸ‘

@TTrimble 10:11 AM

SB stuff

Assuming you were yd 0 πŸ‘ td pg -10 🀞

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

Canon Chasuble 10:59 AM  

This was just classy. That it was an easier-than-usual solve for Saturday in no way impairs the satisfaction of seeing the thought that went into it, and the pretty-much absence of trivia. I, also, have been solving the NYT puzzle for over a half-century and have been annoyed at some of then, but to see so many splenetic outbursts over this clever, pleasurable puzzle is just beyond belief.

Anonymous 11:01 AM  

Although the NYTimes highlighted the constructors as “African-American”, they (Shortz) should have waited until today to reveal this. After all, isn’t the goal of ending racism that there is no difference between people? Besides, who would know a person’s race by their authorship or by-line? Until certain constructor’s race was pointed out, most solvers would never have known that. And isn’t that the point?

Whatsername 11:04 AM  

Just yesterday I was saying how rarely I finish a Saturday without cheating, and even with the noticeably low word count, this was no exception. Thought the clue for THE WEST WING was absolutely brilliant, but the one for ENTERIC was close to failing the breakfast test. My only complaint was 31D. I don’t know how they do it in other states but when Missouri mules kick they do it with both feet, not one FOOT at a time.

NERD CORE was new to me but if it means music for geeks, then you could probably call what I listen to GEEZER CORE.

Happy Super Bowl weekend. Hoping all of you in World Champion Kansas City Chiefs country are staying safe and warm inside.

Charlie 11:06 AM  

Pecs does not compute as boxers. Tour de force is punny.

Frantic Sloth 11:09 AM  

Hmmph. Better than average time for me today. And I ain't exactly "literary" like OFL.

@Rex says "saved by the BORSCHT", when I can't be the only one (nor the first) to point out "saved by the BELT" would have been the way to go. Sheesh.

Fun puzzle with great clueing and not your average (*yawn*) fill. Although the dupes still raise their ugly heads.

Gotta run, but wanted to say @A from yesterday: "His Puzzleness" struck me the same way as soon as I typed it - great minds, dude!



GILL I. 11:13 AM  

This was a lovely puzzle. I wouldn't exactly call it a "Piece of cake" since there were some things I had to work a bit hard to get. I didn't know HELGA Hufflepuff. If HELGA isn't clued as The Helga Pictures by Andrew Wyeth, then I don't really know you. Are you pretty and have long braids? Do you pose naked?
For some reason, STEPHANIE's name took me a while. I had to re-imagine the scene after Grace Kelly's deadly car crash. Perhaps that's the reason I blanked on her name.
I got to 21A and blanked a bit as well. Everyone called it the Jewish Alps. Then I remembered. My brother and a friend bought a 16 acre farm at the foot of The Catskills. Oh, how I loved that place. My sister and I would spend some summers staying in paradise. I remember we'd drive my brother's beat up old truck every morning to get fresh milk - straight from the cows teat - (and still warm) - to drink right out of the can. My then 3 year old son called him Farmer Cow. The people were incredibly friendly and I cried when he sold the farm. He lived in NYC and was a busy musician; life and work took up too much of his time.
Had a T BILL instead of the NOTE but that NO NONSENSE and my favorite TEAK wood took care of that.
Never heard of NERDCORE but the downs were easy enough to get it working.
Did anyone else thing HEF SERIES for the chronicles of the feminist perspective? No? neither did I. I just thought it would be cool beans.

Thank you all my blog friends for the birthday wishes. I had the most bodacious banana split on this EARTH. I just wished we all could've shared it along with some drinky poos provided by @JC and @pablito.

sixtyni yogini 11:39 AM  

Thought pecs was clever but no so for hind FEET.
Good, fast one, but it did not end the week with a πŸ’₯.
Oh, well.

sixtyni yogini 11:45 AM  

Ps. Huge fan of Kill Bill movies, but only got els from the downs.
Thinking one (I ) know a lot about something can be a block to a simple answer.πŸ€” haha and then it took a minute. πŸ˜‚

TTrimble 11:52 AM  

Yes, yesterday, and now today as well. I don't believe I've ever gotten three in a row.

Bustedarmart 12:07 PM  

Nice, solid puzzle. Lots of enjoyable answers and some clever clues.

I’ll jump on the “too easy for a Saturday” bandwagon, and here’s why: not only was it a PR for me, but my time today was faster than my Friday PR and faster than my average time for Wednesday. And I finished it with my phone in my non-dominant hand, while brushing my teeth.

My vague personal goal each week is to be faster than my average for each day, and it never happens. This week it was no problem! Maybe I have just been in a flow state?

Maybe I should learn to type; I believe one of the keys to truly fast times like Rex posts is being able to read ahead to the next clue while still writing in the one you’ve just figured out. I can’t do that on my phone.
Well, we all have our different manners of solving. Since the app keeps track of my times, that’s become a focus of mine.
And I enjoy most every puzzle, even the “bad” ones, full of dreck and dupes and Naticks.

Z 12:07 PM  

Regarding the Great PECS Controversy
As soon as @Glen Laker pointed out how “of” was working in the clue I was satisfied with the misdirection. @Barney pointed to the brand and, sure enough, it can also be read as PPP. Personally, having done a number of KAC puzzles I’m perfectly willing to conclude that he wanted the clue to work on both levels. Looking at the PECS website the product seems aimed at men of a different age and sexual preference than me. It would be totally in keeping with KAC’s style to have a clue that works for a general solver while winking at a specific subset of solvers. I can also imagine him chortling at slipping such a clue past the NYTX editorial team (not that I know whether or not he is a chortler).

@Anon11:01 - No, I don’t think that is the point. I would say that is almost the polar opposite of the point.

HELGA seems more Stumper fodder. That the Wyeth family already gave Crossworld “natick” I’m a little leery of going with the HELGA paintings, but then you’re limited to Potter, Hey! Arnold, or a bunch of foreign athletes or politicians.

Carola 12:08 PM  

Yes, on the easy side, but offering me enough resistance to avoid causing Saturday solver's resentment at a too-fast finish. Agree with @Lewis on the many pleasures of the grid.

I liked the clusters of answers that "talked" to each other: STEPHANIE, HELGA, and HERSTORIES; STAR WARS, CARPS, and SPOILS (thinking of commenters who've had it up to here with Star Wars clues); TEACH, EARTH, and ATLAS. I also was taken with the line SATIATED + NANOS - were it so! I usually end up eating the whole bag.

Do-over: Satiny (jacket lining). No idea: NERDCORE.

TTrimble 12:22 PM  

(Huh, I thought I posted this. Maybe a mod nixed it? I'll try again.)

Yes, -0 for yesterday, and now for today as well. I don't think I've ever gotten three days in a row until now.

As mentioned earlier, HELGA can also be clued as Hagar the Horrible's wife.

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

I grew up in NE, with many Jewish kid in our schools, and Jewish godparents (a Brooklyn o rthodontist, of course). How La Madre got that by the Episcopalian church powers that be, I've never known. And no one ever called the area 'Jewish Alps', just The Catskills or Borscht Belt.

Of interest: the wiki lists 'Jewish Alps' in the Catskill page, but...
" Because of this, this area was nicknamed the Jewish Alps and "Solomon County" (a modification of Sullivan County) by many people who visited there.[citation needed] "

So, questionable?

Cyclist227 12:46 PM  

A rare Saturday win for me. Very Enjoyable.

bocamp 12:48 PM  

@Z 12:07 PM

I like your analysis of "The Great PECS Controversy" 😊

@TTrimble 11:52 AM

SB stuff

πŸ‘ for your 2 IAR, and 🀞 for t's

pg -3; this would/could be my 3rd 3 IAR if… 🀞

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

jae 1:02 PM  

Yes, easy and easier than yesterday’s. No real problems with this one, hARPS before CARPS was about it. Solid with a tinge of sparkle, liked it.

Here are KAC’s comments on Xwordinfo .

Arden 1:10 PM  

Easy! More like Wednesday

ChrisSaintH 1:14 PM  

Easier than a typical Saturday for me, but still took two cups of coffee to finish. I also solved counter-clockwise, and also benefited from having read Tolstoy and (some) Virgil. And you'll never guess which Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy I started re-watching this week?...

All in all a very pleasant puzzle.

PS My first comment! This blog has been a part of my morning routine for years. Appreciate you all.

oisk17 1:27 PM  

Easier than usual, but fine. Is "nerdcore" a thing? A sort of insult aimed at music that is too intelligent?? Loved the reference to Petrarchan sonnets - much more difficult to construct than the more familiar Shakespearian sonnets. (How do I love thee, let me count the ways might be the most familiar Petrarchan) I have seen "herstories" used only as a joke! SNL had "Great moments in herstory", - I recall one with Anna Freud on her father's lap, discussing bananas...

old timer 1:40 PM  

I never know if a puzzle constructor is Black unless he tells me. KAC, it turns out, is as Black as they come, and proud of it. But I only learned that today, just as I only learned that Erik Agard is half-Black. With that name, I assumed that Agard was from MinneSOTa, or someplace all those Scandinavians emigrated to over a century ago. Collins is also, we learn, going for his PhD in English, and I trust is shooting for an eventual professorship in the Ivy League. The kind of place where SESTET leaps immediately from brain to paper (I went to Stanford, but also to the kind of prep school where they teach you all about sonnet forms).

I knew the mules thing though. If you have ever hiked in the Sierra, or gone to a Western summer camp, you know that mules kick with their rear (HIND) FOOT, and are warned to never get directly behind one of those critters! My one hangup is not being sure if the ring was measured in CARATs or Karats, and when I remembered, I was left with PECS, and had to come here to realize the boxer had a splendid pair of pectoral muscles.

I think the clue for THE WEST WING is the clue of the week, if not the decade. The clue for STARWARS was great too. May the Force be with you, Kameron!

bocamp 1:46 PM  

@TTrimble 12:22 PM

Your 11:52 AM post came thru at my end. πŸ€”

@jae 1:02 PM

Thx for the KAC link! πŸ‘

@ChrisSaintH 1:14 PM

Welcome to the commentariat! 😊

And, if your "Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy" is what I think it is, I'd like to watch it too, but for the first time. Alas, it doesn't seem to be streaming in Canada, and I'm not prepared to fork out the do-re-mi to Apple to buy or rent it.

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

How is EPS an answer to 11down. Jim

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

I think the poster meant that 6 puzzles by Black constructors isn't a full week. Had Erik been given the Sunday puzzle and a different Black constructor given his slot, it would make 7.

Joe Dipinto 2:03 PM  

Alternate clue for 16a:
Maid who did a bad job cleaning the floor in "Mommie Dearest"

sanfranman59 2:21 PM  

Easy NYT Saturday ... 36% below my 6-month median solve time ... 62-worder ... my 6th fastest solve time of 476 completed NYT Saturday puzzles

This puzzle has the disadvantage of following a tour de force Friday puzzle by Erik Agard and is kind of MEH {4A: [Shrug]} in comparison. Any other week, I think I'd have a decidedly non-MEH reaction to it. It's probably a 3.5- or even a 4-star puzzle vs. Erik's 5-star Friday. I sailed right through this one and, based solely on my solve times, yesterday's should have been the Saturday puzzle and this one should have been the Friday. But it seemed like a lot of folks here thought yesterday's puzzle was quite a bit easier than I did, so it may just be a wavelength thing. This one's also an ultra-low word count affair and I think Will usually makes those Saturday puzzles.

The only section of the grid that gave me much trouble at all was the SE, where NO U-TURN {35D: Intersection sign}, HIND FOOT {31D: What a mule kicks with}, NERDCORE {50A: Music genre that includes "geeksta rap"} and SESTET {40D: Octave's follower in a Petrarchan sonnet} put up a token fight. My Harry Potter blind spot meant that HELGA {16A: ___ Hufflepuff, one of the co-founders of Hogwarts} was all crosses in the NE. In the NW, ENTERIC {2D: Intestine-related} was the equally valid 'ENTERal' at first.

I'll second Rex's shout-out to Kameron's puzzles at The New Yorker. As I mentioned yesterday, they've got a great stable of constructors over there.

Masked and Anonymous 2:24 PM  

Personally, M&A ain't quite on the same puzpage with folks who want more this or less that in one particular puzgrid. Shoot, there's even some [masked] nuts out there that gripe if there ain't enough of certain *letters* in a puzgrid. It's a crossword puz -- it'll have different stuff every day -- if U don't get enough of yer fave stuff one day, check out tomorrow's stuff. Take for instance The Jaws of Themelessness … if four normal ones weren't exactly yer thing yesterday, check out today's extra-terrestrial ones. Da busta gut.

Besides, constructioneers don't always get to splatz in their own fave stuff, especially in a themed x-word. They often have to just put it what'll fit and play well with the other fillins. How else does one explain off them appearances of PEWIT, f'rinstance? QED.

On the plus side, maybe that there Marjorie Greene Congress-person will have more time now, since she don't have no committee job-jar/homework stuff, to construct some real unique-point-o-view crosswords … The Lasers of Themelessness! [shiver]

Anyhoo, nice SatPuz. Learned some new-core words, and got to say hey to some old friends, too boot. Played a bit on the easy side, at our house.
staff weeject picks: M&A is kinda torn, between ELS and EPS. EPS did have that neat sister clue for FIRSTS, tho.

fave sparkler: NOUTURN. Not to be confused with NONONUTURN.

Thanx, Mr. Collins. U do good work.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


A 2:27 PM  

I really wanted STAge mom for the cinematic tour de force!

Good to have some HONE Y topping off the HERBAL TEA for a sore THROAT.

@GILL, loved your milk story - I’m INNEEDOF a farmer now!

I tried hOOf first but FOOT is perfectly fine.
@Joe R, @Nancy, @Roo and anyone else who thinks a mule won't kick you with one FOOT, don't go anywhere near a mule! He will, and it's lighting fast and accurate to boot. (ahem) Sure, the scenes on tv are all about the big, twain-hoofer because it's more dramatic, and they’ll do that if there’s room or if they’re out roughhousing with other equines (right, @Whatsername?). But a mule will as often as not kick a human with just one FOOT, especially in close quarters. And he won’t just strike rearwards, but sideways and forwards, too - especially if you’re trying to pick up a front foot and he’s not happy about it. So stay home and stay safe!

I took a Russian novels course in college and one of the characters was LEv, so I waited until ONE CARAT confirmed the O. LEO seemed a little OVERT for a Saturday. Ooh, maybe that was the trick! Well I didn’t fall for it, so there!

Enjoyable puzzle with very little at which to wrinkle my nose and enough tricky clues for some resistance and chuckles. Thanks, @Glen Laker for the explanation of PECS being things “of boxers” and also to @Barney for the alternative. And if @Z is right, then it’s extra tricky andI like it!

Thanks KAC!

Z 2:32 PM  

@Anon1:54 - EP’S are Extended Play recordS, as opposed to LP’S, Long Playing recordS, or Singles (which should really have been called Doubles, don’t you think?). EP’S have fewer songs than LP’s but are “Extended” because they are longer than “Singles.”

toddh 2:32 PM  

Had high “HorsED” and PEtS for pair of boxers (29D and 17A) for the longest time making it difficult to work my way from NW to SW for the longest time. Fortunately I straightened that out and completed a Saturday for the first time unassisted in a long time. Feels great :)

Masked and Anonymous 2:34 PM  

Many thanx to the @sanfranman59 from yesterday, for his nice New Yorker puzsite tip. mm-mm ... PB1 fixes.

And, @ChrisSaintH (1:14pm) - Yo. Welcome aboard the Comment Gallery.


jberg 2:37 PM  

My first reaction was easy, but very frewh -- not much stale fill -- so I liked it. Then I realized I had an error, and one I should have seen. I put in HIND FeeT, like so many others, then changed it to FOOT when I saw haRD CORE, which also gave me a Smooth lining for my jacket. I finally, finally, saw that the program was THE WEST WING, so that the linings were SEWN IN -- But DISS aD seemed a reasonable way to insult someone, and I never checked 50A, so I ended up with NeRD CORE. If I'd looked at that, and thought for a second, I'd have been all right.

KAC'S style is usually lots of up-to-date PPP, so my guess is he was cluing the underwear with PECS. But maybe Z is right, that he was having it both ways.

Quite a few cheater squares today. I didn't really mind, because the fill was pretty fresh--that's sometimes the tradeoff.

A 2:41 PM  

Thanks @bocamp for the Liszt link - I was thinking this puzzle lacked musicality!

Welcome aboard, @ChrisSaintH!

@Anon 1:45, back in the day not all ‘vinyl’ records were LP (long play). EP means extended play. I’m sure someone, maybe @Joe Dipinto or @Z, could tell you all the variations.

Whatsername 2:45 PM  

@Roo (9:08) Re hot chocolate mix in the coffee, no I didn’t already know that. Sounds like a great idea to me, but then I also like Frosted Flakes.

Cliff 2:48 PM  

Yes, HOT WIRING was tough. I actually needed every single cross! and then it was like ... oh, yeah, I get it!

Smith 2:58 PM  

Super fast here, new PB for Sat at just under 10, and faster than T W TH F this week. Huh? But nice. ✋ for HINDlegs and Satiny. Easily fixed. And I think the grid looks way cool (thx @Lewis for pointing out). Surprised to learn about PECS as underwear, thought it was just some boxing thing about which I know...zipp.

bocamp 3:04 PM  

@A 2:41 PM ~ yw 😊

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

jae 3:17 PM  

@bocamp - WEST WING recently move from Netflix to HBO MAX. If you have access to HBO MAX all the seasons are available.

A 3:37 PM  

@Z came through! Doubles - makes sense. So a longer work split on both sides of an LP would be a single?

@bocamp - Great piece! Federova plays well, but the intonation was bothersome so I looked for an alternative. If you haven't heard it, try the Bolet - he totally draws you in. www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDlYFramVKQ (Sorry, my last few hyperlink attempts haven't worked - not sure why.)

GILL I. 4:22 PM  

OK...so I'm waiting for my beer bread to cool so I'm here to tell you about mules and their kicks. We had one in Cuba and my mom named him Francis. We lived out in the boonies and had lots of horses and many other animals. My favorite was out goat named ChiChi. He would keep all the grass we had trimmed and also figured out how to come into our living room through the back kitchen door.
Anyway, Francis was our hay hauler. The man who took care of him was named Secondino. He was a bit crazy but he loved Francis and he loved horses and he loved my little mutt dog named Raffles. Raffles hated Francis and would nip at his heels. Francis would take a flying HIND FOOT kick and always miss. Boy would that foot go flying. He never did the two-step....just the the one-foot-kick. So now you know.

HEY @Whatsername. I wonder who you'll be rooting for tomorrow????? I'm on the KC side......Hope you'll have a big bowl of Fritos on you lap.

FrostMo 4:35 PM  

Two straight Saturdays for me. Minor miracle, or maybe a sign o the times on puzz difficulty.

bocamp 5:55 PM  

@jae 3:17 PM

Thx, but in Canada we get "Movies + HBO" on Crave; no HBO Max yet for us. πŸ˜”

@A 3:37 PM

Thank you; beautifully played; very soulful!

This may or may not work because I have to take URL and Clickable Text out of the following html line, in order for it to appear here without becoming a hyperlink. Consider this a test. LOL

WRT to hyperlinks, here's the html line I use: I had to leave out URL which was between the quotes, and Clickable Text (which was between the greater than and lesser than signs.

When I first started (thx to @Z), I occasionally had problems. It's important that you squeeze your url snuggly between the quote marks, replacing URL with your url. Same goes for replacing Clickable Text with your own words. Snug them up to the greater than/lesser than signs. Also, ensure you leave at least one space at each end of the html line if you choose to have extra comments on either side of your hyperlink.

Hope this makes sense. If you have any problems, I'm sure either @JC66 or @Z would be more than happy to clarify.🀞

@FrostMo 4:35 PM πŸ‘πŸ‘

SB stuff


Still spinning wheels at pg -3 :(

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

Masked and Anonymous 6:12 PM  

Note to @The Shortzmeister:
Really enjoyed yer Black Constructioneers Week. Great idea. Thanx.

Another idea: Constructioneers Raw Week … where the editors take a week off, and leave all the original clues submitted by the constructioneer unchanged. No offense meant to the editorial staff, tho. Just think it would be a hoot to see the totally un-masked personalities of the constructioneers come oozin thru, for one week. Especially if the chosen contributors are real characters, like Bruce Haight and ACME.

M&A Raw Ideas Desk

pabloinnh 6:15 PM  

So reading about a mule's HIND FOOT in all the comments made me think that I had never heard of a mule, or a horse, for that matter, having feet. Birds have feet. Rabbits have feet, I guess, because of that good luck charm thing. Cats have feet, because the fog comes in on little ones. Dogs? I think I have heard of calves' foot jelly, or something similar, but I never heard anyone say oh, oh, looks like that cow has a hurt foot. Never heard of a deer foot or a moose foot or really anything that has a hoof also having a "foot". Camels have toes, allegedly, but feet? I think reptiles have feet, but then they don't have hooves. Fish developed feet and some apparently still are, although the vast majority seem to have rejected the idea and stayed where they were.

The point is that this piece of nomenclature went unnoticed, or at least unremarked upon, and I saw it as my duty to do something about that.

I yield the floor.

Z 6:25 PM  

The Lasers of Themelessness! πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ Maybe we can convince His Puzzleness to bless us with such a Runtz.

@A 2:27 - if!?!?!?!😎

@bocamp 5:55 - And now you know why you can’t just put the magic incantation right here in the comments. @JC66 has a link explainer he shares. I think I have one somewhere, too, but can share from memory with anyone who emails me. I believe in the mobile version links are clickable without special formatting.

bocamp 7:14 PM  

@Z 6:25 PM

Yeah, that result didn't really surprise me. LOL

Nevertheless, @A may still be able to benefit from my initial tribulations, provided she can decipher my gibberish. πŸ˜‚

Anyhoo (SB acceptable word), Thx to you and @JC66 for being there to help us rookies, provided the rookie is ok with giving up their email addy to either of you. πŸ˜‰

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

JC66 7:37 PM  

@bocamp & @Z

I've shared my Embedding Cheat Sheet with @A.

Here's hoping it helps.

TTrimble 7:44 PM  

@A 3:37 PM
In the following, URL denotes your url, TEXT denotes the text that you want highlighted, ( denotes <, and ) denotes >. In other words, where you see ( below, substitute <.

To create a clickable link, just type (a href="URL")TEXT(/a).

bocamp 7:49 PM  

@JC66 7:37 PM

Beautiful! All's well that ends well. πŸ™

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

Whatsername 7:53 PM  

@A (2:27) You betcha! Go trying to pick up the foot of a mule, a cow, a horse or any other four-legged critter and all bets are off. Prepare to be bitten or kicked from just about any direction.

@GILL (4:22) I’m delighted to know you’re going to be a fellow Chiefs fan, at least temporarily. Weather threw a wrench into travel plans and barbecues but I’m stocked up on junk food, beer, and soda so no worries there. Fingers and toes crossed that the outcome will be the same as the last time they played in Tampa Bay. 🀞

Whatsername 7:56 PM  

@GILL: Forgot to mention I love your mule story. πŸ˜„ Beer bread making me hungry,

Sgt. Mac 8:14 PM  

My only problem was 16 down - I can actually hot wire older cars so to me it seems like the right way to get started !

TJS 8:21 PM  

@Z 9:59...Wow... Maybe you're right ! Your post reminded me of my play in the world finals of the 1994 world Checkers championship in Helsinki, when I had lured Reti into a fatal double jump which led to my triple jump winning move. I'm sure you know of it, but you can re-live it in Byrnes seminal work "Games That Nobody Gives a F---" About.

bocamp 8:28 PM  

@TTrimble 7:44 PM

Nicely stated! Keeping 🀞 for @A 😊

pg -1 🀞

Peace ~ Empathy for all ~ Good-heartedness ~ Togetherness πŸ•Š

TJS 8:36 PM  

Wow @Z, just got around to reading the riveting description of your winning play. Reminded me of my winning trap in the 1994 checkers finals against Korshhek when he fell for the double jump that gave me my triple jump win. You can read all about it in Hoyles "Games That Nobody Gives A F*** About".

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

JC66 8:42 PM  


Thank goodness I always lost.*

*I hope this comment is worth at least two responses.

JC66 8:51 PM  

BTW, as usual, SB doesn't accept ANOA.

headth 9:05 PM  

Those who are fans of KAC's puzzles and are frustrated by the monoculture that is the NYT crossword might be interested to read his comments on this puzzle and constructing in general that he made to Jeff Chen, who is something of a taste maker and gate-keeper in crossworld: https://www.xwordinfo.com/Crossword?date=2/6/2021. Absolutely fucking spot on.

bocamp 9:33 PM  

@JC66 8:51 PM

Yep, I just keep plugging it in there, thinking somehow, someday – by osmosis (or the equivalent thereof) – Sam will get the message, and the maligned anoa will finally get its due. πŸ™

pg -1 with 1 1/2 hrs. to go

Peace ~ Health ~ Hope ~ Equality for all πŸ•Š

JC66 9:54 PM  



A 10:05 PM  

@bocamp, @TTrimble, @JC66, @Z: Thanks, all! JC66 was kind enough to get me started back in December. Somewhere along the line I must have begun doing something “the wrong way” and I don’t HOTWIRE. I’ve examined all the instructions carefully and here is the reboot attempt:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNahS3OHPwA”>I do appreciate you</a>

Joe Dipinto 10:39 PM  

@A – try it with only this between the quotation marks


(That is what it gives me when I do Copy Link)

A 10:42 PM  

Foiled again, it appears. Retry with variations. Good time to experiment - annoying as few people as possible. Apologies to moderators.

I do appreciate you being round

TTrimble 10:49 PM  

Beats me. That should've worked. Testing:

I do appreciate you

Thanks for bringing this to attention!

A 11:04 PM  

@Joe Dipinto - thanks! I actually had forgotten that "share" option and was just copying from the navigation bar. Good grief! Ok, third time's the charm?

there must be a better way

bocamp 11:06 PM  

@A 10:05 PM

Looks like we've still got some sleuthing to do. Your formatting looks fine, and your url is good. It's interesting, tho, cuz your effort didn't result in a hyperlink, but the html line passed inspection. Mine got erased in the previous post to you.

Some things to try: 1) reboot 2) use a different browser 3) use a different computer/device 4) are you religious? πŸ™

BTW, what platform are you using?

Peace ~ Health ~ Hope ~ Equality for all πŸ•Š

Joe Dipinto 11:14 PM  

I do appreciate you being 'round

@A – I just noticed you have a closing smart quotation mark in your 10:05 post. Those don't work, you must use regular ordinary quotes (that look like straight vertical lines).

jae 11:26 PM  

@A - If you are still around, I think your problem may be the quote marks, assuming you are posting on an iPad. If not ignore what follows:

To typing a link on an iPad you need to hold the quote key down until you see this display above the quote key » “ " ” „. Select the center quote mark by sliding your finger upwards to touch it. Your link should hopefully now work.

jae 11:32 PM  

...and FWIW I posted a link to KAC’s Xwordinfo comments at 1:02.

A 11:48 PM  

@Joe D and @jae, Yep I see it! I was pasting into an example from @TTrimble, which was fine until I went to change his ) to a > and then the quotes changed to smart quotes. Too bizarre! (@JC66, I didn't use your example this time, but they show up as smart quotes on my MacBook.)

Using the Force this time:

with a little help

JC66 11:52 PM  


Mazel Tov!!!

A 12:14 AM  

Whew! Thanks, everyone!

TTrimble 12:24 AM  

@jae, @Joe Dipinto
Sharp eyes! Glad that's settled.

Bob Mills 8:32 AM  

Easy for a Saturday, I thought...because I finished it without an error (despite knowing what "SCHLASS" meant).

bocamp 8:34 AM  

@All @A's Team Members

Looks like job done! Good eyes, @Joe and @jae. Lots to learn from this experiment, the main thing, being more observant. LOL πŸ‘€

And, bless you, @A, for having the patience and perseverance to see it thru to the finish line; and, hats off to the @Mods for their cooperation! πŸ™

BTW, perhaps there are others not knowing how to create hyperlinks who may benefit from all this, as well. 🀞

Peace ~ Health ~ Hope ~ Equality for all πŸ•Š

Newboy 10:14 AM  

Indeed, I’ve been lurking in this thread since I had given up the hot link option after repeated tries and reading online help articles. Not sure if the problem is my iPad being “smarter” than I, but certainly something to think about. At least your discussion has suggested that another attempt is not borderline insanity!

bocamp 1:29 PM  

@Newboy 10:14 AM

Good stuff; glad to hear you benefitted from the thread! 🀞

It's interesting that your quote marks are slanted (is that a type of "smart quote?). I wonder if that might be your issue, i.e., they may have been interpreted by Blogger as being in the "smart quote" category that was plaguing @A. @Z mentioned something related to the iPad and "smart quotes" in Sunday's blog: "@JC66 - you need to add a “don’t use smart quotes” warning to your cheat sheet. That’s not just an iPad thing, other systems sometimes default to “smart quotes.”

Reiterating what @jae 11:26 PM said about fixing the "smart quote" issue (insofar as iPad and Blogger goes): "To type a link on an iPad you need to hold the quote key down until you see this display above the quote key » “ " ” „. Select the center quote mark by sliding your finger upwards to touch it. Your link should hopefully now work."

Anyhoo, the best to you and your future use of hyperlinks. Looks like the mods are willing to go with this thread. It's obviously a benefit to the blog to have url's turned into hyperlinks.

Peace ~ Health ~ Hope ~ Equality for all Teamwork πŸ•Š

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