Ancient allegory paralleled in plot of the Matrix / SAT 3-13-21 / Journalist who wrote 1990s-2000s comic strip Capitol Hell / Eponymous founder of a San Diego research institute / It has coronoid and styloid processes

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Constructor: John Guzzetta

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: MAIA (7D: Eldest of the Pleiades)

Maia /ˈm.ə/ (GreekΜαῖαLatinMaia), in ancient Greek religion, is one of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes.

Maia is the daughter of Atlas and Pleione the Oceanid, and is the oldest of the seven Pleiades. They were born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, and are sometimes called mountain nymphsoreadsSimonides of Ceos sang of "mountain Maia" (Maiados oureias) "of the lovely black eyes." Because they were daughters of Atlas, they were also called the Atlantides. (wikipedia) // 

The Pleiades (/ˈplədz, ˈpl-, ˈpl-/; GreekΠλειάδες, Ancient Greek pronunciation: [pleːádes]), companions of Artemis, were the seven daughters of the titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione born on Mount Cyllene. They were the sisters of CalypsoHyas, the Hyades, and the Hesperides. Together with the seven Hyades, they were called the Atlantides, Dodonides, or Nysiades, nursemaids and teachers to the infant Dionysus. They were thought to have been translated to the night sky as a cluster of stars, the Pleiades, and were associated with rain. (wikipedia)
• • •

I didn't have a good time with this one, but it's truly not the puzzle's fault. I made the world's dumbest mistake early on, which gave me a cross that I couldn't make sense of from the clue, and then hit two clues in a row where the answers didn't seem to fit into the given boxes ... and then I looked at the grid and thought "Oh, no, is there a theme in this one? Is this a Saturday rebus? Are they really gonna ruin my Saturday like this?" But no, it was I who was ruining my Saturday. I completed the puzzle, eventually, *with the world's dumbest mistake still in place*, and then struggled to find my mistake because, to my eye, everything in the grid looked just fine ... except for that cross I just couldn't make sense of. How, how in the world, could [Things often seen in windows] be TUBS?, I pondered. I turned it over and over, through all the meanings of TUBS ... only eventually to realize, so very late, that there's No Such Place as PLUTO'S CAVE. I mean, maybe Pluto had a cave, he was a god and all, he probably had a lot of things, but if he had a cave, I don't think anyone wrote about it. PLATO, on the other hand... [facepalm] [headdesk] [etc.] And I threw PLUTO'S CAVE down so fast, no hesitation. I blame used clothing store Pluto's Closet ... oh crap, that's PLATO too!?!? Plato's Closet??! Didn't Pluto get anything!? (I thought maybe Pluto's Cave was the name of the sex club in the 1982 Ron Howard film Night Shift, a movie I watched *a lot* as a teenager, but I just spent 15 minutes tracking that little bit of trivia down, and the name of the sex club is actually Paradise Fell ... which, you know, keeps us in the realm of Great Literature, but ... still no Pluto). Did I mention I have a Ph.D. in literature? And I've taught Plato? But then I also just finished teaching Dante's Inferno, which depicts a kind of Underworld, which is the realm of Pluto (even if Pluto's not actually in Inferno), so ... I'm gonna blame my confusion on that. Yes, I feel better now. It has been quite a morning.

Not EVENING(S) but EVENTIDE (8D: When a vesper bell rings). Not NESTEA but NESCAFÉ (9D: Beverage brand portmanteau). Worst of all, not SOLEMN but SOMBER (14D: Like many minor-key compositions) (that mistake was real and brutal). No idea about MAIA. Once I got out of the NW, things evened out considerably. Many long answers are very nice today, particularly "I MEAN COME ON!," NOT IF BUT WHEN, and BENTO BOXES (somewhat surprised I don't see BENTO in puzzles more often). Had no idea Jake TAPPER wrote a comic strip (22A: Journalist who wrote the 1990s-2000s comic strip "Capitol Hell") and no idea ANGORA CATS had different colored eyes (11D: Pets that commonly have different-colored eyes, such as one blue and one amber) (why are there examples of the colors???). The only puzzle thing I actually didn't like today was the clue on OPEN BOOK EXAM (20D: Hardly a test of one's memory). The idea that these are inherently easy or don't require you to remember anything is laughable. With the move to distance learning, *all* my exams went to "open book" format, but weirdly grades did not magically get better—if you ask the right kinds of questions, and your exam is time-limited, then open books aren't much of a crutch at all. You just don't have time to look up everything you need to know, let alone process it into thoughtful, analytical prose. Anyway, that flippant clue can go **** itself. Most of the rest of this seems like decent Saturday entertainment.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Paul 6:58 AM  

Loved this one. Just the right amount of resistance. Any more and I would have thrown in the towel by hitting "check puzzle" somewhere in the middle. Same types of problems as Rex, e.g., PlUTONIC?? and TEE "driver's place", the difference being that such problems are normal for this spelling-challenged mediocre solver. Really apprecited the paucity of coloring-between the lines crosswordese.

Lewis 7:02 AM  


That was my favorite part of this puzzle, those jazzy words and phrases, though I also did like the word-laddery inclusion of BETS / BEDS / WEDS, and I couldn’t unsee that BOMBE shared its line with a backward WAR.

It filled in steadily but not without effort and and a good number of pings of joy when answers I was struggling with popped into my head.

But those great answers sparkifying the grid were the stars. They jump-started my day. Thank you for making this, John!

Megafrim 7:03 AM  

Had a rough go by entering "Plato's Love" early on. Because, ya know, the Neo/Morpheus relationship was spiritual not sexual...

mathgent 7:05 AM  

My procedure is to go through every clue and fill in the gimmes. Uhoh! Only one, but it’s long. BENTOBOXES. Then the X gave me AXEL, and I had a bit of a foothold.

It wasn’t real hard, only 11 mysteries (entries I either didn’t know or didn’t connect to the clue). Hard puzzles have around 20 of them.

So not real crunchy and not very sparkley either, but rather pleasant.

What I liked.. No junk, few threes, 14 longs, and I learned some things (PLATOSCAVE, BIOTEXTILE).

Leon 7:29 AM  

The bombe (UK: /bɒmb/) is an electro-mechanical device used by the British cryptologists to help decipher German Enigma-machine-encrypted secret messages during World War II.

jbh 8:07 AM  

Liked this puzzle a lot.

Plato's Retreat was a NYC sex club back in the day.

And Saturday puzzles have gotten much easier over the years. While I've vastly improved my puzzle-solving skills, I remember many/most Saturday clues consisting of only one or two words. Does anybody else?

John H 8:07 AM  

This one was just great. Tricky cluing, great answers and all.

Rex, really?! "Tubs"? 20D, Meh. You could have been more generous with your review of the rest.

Coniuratos 8:09 AM  

Could certainly be argued that, as god of the underworld, all caves (or at least the ones in and around Greece and Italy) are in fact Pluto's.

Unknown 8:11 AM  

Pluto's Cave (or Pluto Cave) is a partially collapsed lava tube on the northern outskirts of Mount Shasta.

bocamp 8:21 AM  

Thank you @John for this most enjoyable offering. The editor might have run this on a Friday, but I'll be happy with a fast and fun Saturday from time to time.

Easy solve.

Good start in the NW, worked down to the SW, over to the SE and finished up in the NE. No major holdups along the way.

This felt really good after having done a couple of older Saturday NYTs earlier in the day that took me mega-time to complete.

@jae, you may (or may not) find these challenging. I found the first of the two more difficult, but liked the second (a Walden) more: Sat., Feb. 17 & 24, 2007.

Mom lived in MESA, Az.; she loved the dry air.

Had a g.f. whose family hailed from BUTTE, Montana. Her brother attended Dartmouth in the 50s, hi @pabloinnh.

Often picnicked at Skinner's BUTTE and occasionally hiked Spencer BUTTE in Eugene, '50s.

My Heart is an OPEN BOOK ~ Carl Dobkins Jr. (1959)

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

pabloinnh 8:24 AM  

1D has to be one of the most convoluted clues I've ever seen for something that is usually clued "church part", but APSE is my four-letter go to for such things, and I was off. The P gave me PLATOSCAVE instantly ("Pluto's cave? IMEANCOMEON). The rest of the puzzle flowed on, smooth as a smelt, and I was done way too soon. One of those days when first guesses turned out to be right.

I learned JANE Adams and BIOTEXTILE and was reminded of Jake TAPPER's writing skills, and that there are such things as ANGORACATS as well as goats, but the rest went right in, making this seem like a very nice Friday. More batting practice than the pitcher trying to strike me out.

Very pleasant Saturdecito, JG. Just Good enough.

mmorgan 8:24 AM  

Maybe Rex was thinking of Plato’s Retreat for the sex club?

Really nice puzzle, though the dumb mistake that held me up for awhile was NOTaboUTWHEN.

Hungry Mother 8:28 AM  

I had WEEPy and thought HALy looked OK. DNF. Otherwise, a nice, challenging outing. Better luck next time.

amyyanni 8:33 AM  

Who knew the Taj Mahal was on 42 acres? This was just right for Saturday. If you feel adventurous:

TJS 8:39 AM  

Wow, I'm in total agreement with @Lewis today ! What you said, Dude ! This was a tough but emininently fair challenge with great "in the language" phrases. True Saturday challenge. Yay.

Richard Stanford 8:48 AM  

Challenging but ultimately rewarding. Couldn’t see A_BS for ever and was convinced I had something wrong. Had BENTOBOXES early then really wanted DISHTOWELS, it wasn’t until BISECT that I gave up on the wiper.

“why are there examples of the colors?” - probably to make it clear that they meant one of each, not a car with an unusual eye color (but two of the same).

puzzlehoarder 8:50 AM  

I did the puzzle last night and this morning I couldn't remember anything about it. It's not that it wasn't good I'm just busy lately. This one had nice Saturday resistance and very evenly spread. It took a few minutes longer than Friday's solve. BOMBE was the only thing that needed all the crosses. My only write over was ELEVENPM/EVENTIDE. NESCAFE and WIFE fixed that one.

Otto 8:51 AM  

Pluto? You mean like Mickey's Dog? Yeah, don't think he had a cave. :)

Telvo 8:53 AM  

Given the Cathlolicentroism (new word?) of this puzzle, it should have run during Easter week. Let's see: APSE, ROMAN EMPIRE, BCE, and the stunning triple cross of AMEN, EVENTIDE, and SEE (clued, of course, as HOLY ____). Well done, John -- ooh, there's another one.

Son Volt 8:56 AM  

Liked this for the most part. Thought the longs were fantastic - especially the 4 word NOT IF BUT WHEN and the history lesson behind the ROMAN EMPIRE.

Don’t like cats, never had NESCAFÉ and BIOTEXTILE is a little unappealing so there were areas of no interest.

Love EVENTIDE - when worry flees and comfort presides.

Enjoyable Saturday solve.

Barbara S. 9:00 AM  

I liked this better and found it easier than yesterday, but no pushover either. It’s one of those puzzles which requires you to be persistent, dogged and steady – keep calm and carry on, and eventually all will fall into place. At the end I had a silly mistake that I corrected in the nick of time: CAREERiEST crossing iCE. Huh? I guess I thought iCE was some dating app that I didn’t know about and I just didn’t notice the goofiness of CAREERiEST. Loved the clue for OVEN TIMERS (Dingy kitchen items?). Never heard of BIOTEXTILE but thought its placement was interesting directly above I NEED A HAND. Liked ROMAN EMPIRE and HALS: I always enjoy history and art history content. After the solve, I had a great time reading about PLATO’S CAVE and its connection to many novels and films. I’ve never seen “Stranger Things”. Is that the Sean ASTIN who’s Patty Duke’s son (Sam Gamgee), or is it *his* son?

Today’s quotation comes with a *Pungency Warning* if you happen to be sitting down to your morning meal. It’s by VIET THANH NGUYEN, born Mar. 13, 1971.

“Oh, fish sauce! How we missed it, dear Aunt, how nothing tasted right without it, how we longed for the grand cru of Phu Quoc Island and its vats brimming with the finest vintage of pressed anchovies! This pungent liquid condiment of the darkest sepia hue was much denigrated by foreigners for its supposedly horrendous reek, lending new meaning to the phrase "there's something fishy around here," for we were the fishy ones. We used fish sauce the way Transylvanian villagers wore cloves of garlic to ward off vampires, in our case to establish a perimeter with those Westerners who could never understand that what was truly fishy was the nauseating stench of cheese. What was fermented fish compared to curdled milk?”
(From The Sympathizer)

kitshef 9:01 AM  

Well, I was able to fill everything in correctly, which means the puzzle was fair, but the clues for MTN and TABS meant nothing to me.

Much I did not like today. Starting with an unknown proper name at 1A is always discouraging. The next time I see BENTO BOX outside a crossword puzzle will be the first. And most of all, I absolutely detest made-up phrases like I MEAN COME ON.


On balance – I liked it but wish 1A could have been avoided.

Could have gone with ASHEN/HABS/ETS, but any non-hockey people would be mystified by HABS. Maybe A PLAN/PLOP/LABS/ATS? ATS is pretty weak but could be clued as '@@'.

rushscott 9:02 AM  

Lol. Let's just say Rex's idea of the world's dumbest mistake and that of us, maybe Wednesday skilled, mere mortals is a bit different. Another Saturday another mostly empty grid.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

Audible groan when I finally sussed out "Dingy kitchen items?". Slapped OPENBOOKtest into 20D without a second thought, then took forever to unwind the mistake. It was finally my brain's emphatic insistence that 45A had to be ROMANEMPIRE that put me onto my mistake.

Despite (or maybe because of?) these mistakes, a really fun saturday. Great fill, with FOISTS and BISECT being two favorites today.


sixtyni yogini 9:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Teedmn 9:11 AM  

Well, I did it again. I printed out the puzzle last night, started in on it this morning and 10:04 minutes later was done. Another Robyn Weintraub beauty, but far too easy for a Saturday. And didn't she use BANANAS FOSTER before?

So I turn to xwordinfo, and on the home page is a picture of...John Guzzetta? Arrgh, I turn my puzzle over and on the other side is an empty grid, dated March 13, 2021. D'oh. The Weintraub puzzle was from November 27th. The real question is why I had an empty grid version of that in my printer (I re-use paper). I'm sure I solved on paper back on that day. And once again it proves that for me the memory of any puzzle is fleeting, since only BANANAS FOSTER rang any bells for me.

So, bonus puzzle! I started in on the Guzzetta puzzle but it wasn't all that much harder, filling in at 14:21. But very enjoyable. My only error a la Rex was EVENings, but I quickly crossed out the nings when __S made no sense at 32A. And thank goodness SOlemn never occurred to me for 14D. Though I did try to put 42 AtRia in the Taj Mahal complex but PLATO StoVE? I didn't think that sounded very Matrix-ish.

Thanks, Mr. Guzzetta, nice work!

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:13 AM  

Ha!I knew MAIA! My dog is named Orion, and is in the puz frequently, and always gets his picture on facebook for it. When my sister got a dog a couple of months after I did, who was prenamed (by the shelter) Mia, she changed the name to MAIA so she could be astronomical like her cousin. And currently they are staying with me, after a fire in the condo complex, so I had to put MAIA on Facebook too.

I'd never heard of Cassius Dio, however. He's a 3rd-4th century historian, who lived in Nicea and wrote in Greet about the ROMAN EMPIRE. Wikipedia gives no catchy quotes, although it says he attempted to emulate Thucydides in his writing style, a man who said many quotable things. Such as 'When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are', for one that's timely.

Dan A 9:18 AM  

I too landed in Pluto’s Cave and figured window tubs must be large flower pots 😜

Teedmn 9:20 AM  

@Barbara S, I loved the quote. I dated a Vietnamese guy in college and loved fish sauce from the first time I was introduced to it. Sure, the tale of how it is produced is somewhat off-putting, but perhaps my Dad always referring to soy sauce as "beetle juice" inured me to such things.

Z 9:25 AM  

@pabloinnh - I had a similar response to 1D. I don’t know how one writes an actual Saturday clue for APSE but this one falls in the If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit (Plato via WC Fields) category.

I have no way of really knowing since I solved this with a chihuahua on my lap, but it felt on the easy side for a Saturday. Sean ASTIN was not a gimme, but seemed likely and the NW fell quickly. MAIA as Pleiades instead of Lord of the Rings is an interesting mythological choice. Since Sean ASTIN’s biggest role had him hanging out with one of the MAIAr that seemed like a Saturday tough cross-referencing opportunity eschewed. I’m not complaining, here, just observing.

Anyway, worked down the west coast, across the south, and back up the east coast with barely a stumble. EVENings before EVENTIDE and BUd before BUB and a minor D’Oh moment at the end of having to dig through the cobwebs for the J in JANE Addams. All in all an excellent Saturday puzzle.

DavidL 9:27 AM  

All three short answers in the SE corner (BIAS, ULNA and BEDS) were tricky, when trying to finish up. Didn't know that sense of the word "process," didn't know that sense of the word "BIAS", and only vaguely knew that a "sham" had something to do with a bed. But all three inferable. So cool.

Very nice puzzle. Loved "NOT IF BUT WHEN"

RooMonster 9:28 AM  

Hey All !
Lots of white space in N Center and NE, so after getting exasperated and impatient, finally looked up what vespers meant. (I know, but it's been a minute since I've heard that). EVENTIDE popped up, so got my answer. After that, was able to plod through the rest. But... no Happy Music when finished! Argh! Hit check puz to see I had BIOTEXTurE in. Dang. Was wondering what BuAS and UrNA were.

But still a nice challenging puz. FOISTS is a neat word. Don't know the BOMBE ice cream dessert, but sounds like the BOMB! (I MEAN, COME ON!)

Some cheater squares (4), but never mind them (even if I point them out) to get cleaner fill. They don't make me lachrymose. 🙂

Four F's

Birchbark 9:31 AM  

PLATO'S CAVE, or the "Allegory of the Cave": we live in a cave and face its wall, looking at shadows from the firelight thrown by objects we never see. We come to believe that the shadows are reality, though their true substance is outside of our perception: the realm of philosophy. It an early example of a philosophical proof that philosophers are better than everyone else.

Today's puzzle was chock full of "fair" misdirects. I fell for most of them but was able to cure with crosses. Favorite clue was "Like bootleg jeans" for FLARED. I kept thinking about how surprisingly expensive Levi's jeans were in Europe (or at least used to be), and the black market that would follow.

Guilherme Gama 9:34 AM  

Had a hard time accepting that MAIA could be a Greek deity until I remembered there's literally a month named after her.

Andrea 9:47 AM  

Great quote!

burtonkd 9:49 AM  

Dating initials of interest back in the day for me were SWF, so BCE came through crosses and didn't see it until coming here.

I can completely envision a "Young Man With a Skull" as painted by dALi, but HALS it is!

42 at the Taj Mahal complex, hmm: domES (envisions Red Square)?, roomS?, Halal caRtS?, nope ACRES

Is a SALTMINE more a place of drudgery than a coalMINE? (ORALEXAM also fits)

@anon 9:10 - I came here IREd to find out what in the world an OVENTIMER had to do with a boat, going through all the boats large and small with galleys to find the first four letters, having____TIMER. Your saying you sussed it out made the bell ring for me (well before EVENTIDE). Thanks for turning my frown upside down.

At 36A, I had that's a WRAP, but it looked like 5D should end with tHEN, so changed it and fell into a tRAP. Was completely stuck in the West, so ran check and that one letter opened up the rest of the puzzle instantly like magic!

ohmANCOMEON didn't help me either.

mooretep 9:53 AM  

Michael AKA Rex,

This is likely your best writeup ever.
Had me laughing all the way through.

Thank you for bringing even more sparkle to this fine crunchy Saturday puzzle.

LGreenfield 9:58 AM  

To be fair, the clue about open book exams didn’t say they were easy, just that they are not testing memory.

Nancy 10:02 AM  

What unusual and interesting things I learned today.

ANGORA CATS have different-colored eyes.

"The Matrix" is based on PLATO'S CAVE. (Maybe I should rent it?)

Artificial skin is a BIOTEXTILE.

The Taj Mahal complex has 42 ACRES.

EDEN is said by some to be a place you can actually locate right on Earth today. (Maybe I should go there on my next vacation?)

Even when I wasn't learning anything, the answers were delightful. OVEN TIMERS; OPEN BOOK EXAM; SALT MINE; and especially NOT IF BUT WHEN.

I do have two nits in this otherwise entertaining and sophisticated puzzle. CAREER BEST seems vague and strange -- a bit Green Paint-y. I can see it for an athlete, I suppose, but what's a doctor's CAREER BEST? A lawyer's? An accountant's? You saved Donald Trump 40 million dollars more in taxes this year than you saved him any other year? I was a book club editor and I'm pretty sure I never had a CAREER BEST. I wouldn't have any idea what that might be.

And every time BITES is used in a NYT puzzle these days, it BITES me in the 55 Across. I've never heard BITES used as a synonym for "stinks". I don't like it one bit and I don't especially want to hear it again.

But a terrific puzzle otherwise.

Sixthstone 10:05 AM  

Whew! This was a workout for me. All of my instinctive first answers didn't fit, so I was wondering like Rex if there were rebuses or something in the puzzle. In the end, it was just challenging clues and a bit off my wavelength. Ultimately, I finished but at the top of my time range. Really nice puzzle and a great mental workout for me!

pabloinnh 10:13 AM  

@bocamp--Well, Dartmouth is ten miles down the road and I know several people who were there in the 50's, as they tend to settle in the area, so I may know someone who knew your ex-girlfriend's brother. It's a small world after all.

Nancy 10:16 AM  

The NYT weighs in on our blog discussion of two days ago.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

When I was at Clarkson (back when it was just a College, and up the road from Binghampton), the math and physics depts. were legendary and as was the occasional student. Buffalo Bob Smith taught just one undergraduate course, physics 101, and the rest graduate courses. The grad course tests were always open book (50% was his passing grade in all his courses), until one day when he decided to stick it to one of the smart guys who didn't always attend lecture and generally annoyed Smith.

The exam was closed book, the student in question had blown off the class where that had been announced, and his (no girls at that point) classmates didn't bother to pass this tidbit along. He annoyed them, too. So he shows up for the exam, book in hand as usual. Smith mentions to him that it's closed book. It happened, not by coincidence, that a passel theorems committed to memory were essential to solving the exam.

The punch line: the student who annoyed everybody aced the exam. He pulled this off by *deriving* said theorems along the way. How many Ph.D. in literature can make that claim?

Tom T 10:37 AM  

My fastest Saturday solve to date continuing my longest streak to date (I haven't been at it for very long). So something has clicked to put me on a more proficient level.

My only significant hold up here was ANGORACATS. It seems to me that Siberian Huskies have those multicolored eyes, and with "tee" in place for 10A and "poke" instead of URGE for 17A (prod), I plopped in ESKIMODOGS for 11D. I MEAN COME ON, that took a little time to straighten out!

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

Mrs. Peel, our long since sainted Siamese, had bi-colored eyes. Just couldn't get Siamese to fit. Mulder, also sainted, Lhasa did too. I guess it's not so unusual in the animal world.

Nancy 10:49 AM  

Thanks to our resident philosopher, @Birchbark, for his excellent and elegant explanation of the concept of PLATO'S CAVE. (My claim to fame is in having instinctively known @Birchbark was a philosopher long before he told us that he had majored in Philosophy.)

Unlike @Birchbark, I did not major in Philosophy, and PLATO'S CAVE was the main reason. Wile I loved such political philosophers as Hobbes and Locke and Rousseau who were concerned with entirely practical things like, say, how to set up a political system that best reconciles people's desire for freedom and people's need for order, PLATO's concerns seemed to be a lot less practical. I remember being taught that the *chair* or *chairs* in my life (in your life, too) were but "imperfect" representations of the Platonic ideal of "chair-ness". And that was true of every object we see on earth. I suppose that even my socks are an imperfect representation of the Platonic ideal of "sock-ness". Or am I being too facetious?

I remember thinking: And what the hell am I supposed to do about it? And also: Do I really care?

I really didn't and so I majored in Government instead.

George 10:51 AM  

I did not like "Cheyenne, e.g.,: Abbr." as a clue for MTN. Who's with me??

Also, in my humble opinion, an OPEN BOOK EXAM can be many things -- fair, well-designed, and challenging, or their opposites for that matter... but such an exam is NOT a test of your ability to memorize any one specific thing that exists in that book. if OFL took issue with the word "hardly", and felt like it was meant as a broadside against the legitimacy of open book exams in general, fine. but i agree with the clue as it is written.

Whatsername 10:52 AM  

I love a Saturday that makes me feel smart because I don’t have to look up every other clue. Had a big dumb mistake in the same area as Rex only mine was SAD STORIES before SOB. So then I was looking at SLAP and TADS on the downs and wondering WOE those meant.

New Stuff: Did not know Jake TAPPER was a cartoonist or that an ULNA had processes, and always thought the odd-eyed cats were Persians. Had to look up BCE, cringing because my mind, which apparently was in the gutter this morning, expected to see some sort of weird creepy definition for a matchmaking app. Come to find out it’s a boring politically correct thing.

The clue for OVEN TIMER threw me for a loop. I was reading “dingy” as dinJy and thought “I beg your pardon. My oven might be dingy but my oven timer is not.” Then realized we’re talking about the dinGy part of the thingy.

Doesn’t the thought of POET Amanda Gorman just make you smile? That young lady is a ray of pure sunshine.

jae 10:56 AM  

Very easy and much easier than yesterday’s. I put in ASTIN with no crosses and just kept going. JANE as clued was my only WOE. Liked it but it played more like a themeless Wed.

jae 11:00 AM  

@bocamp - I ‘ve done all the archived Saturday puzzles and am currently working my way through the Friday ones. Today, however, I’m starting Croce’s Freestyle #589.

A 11:01 AM  

Happy National Coconut Torte Day and National Good Samaritan Day! Nice coincidence with JANE Addams in the grid. Long before becoming a major promoter of international peace, she founded Hull House in Chicago, which provided a kindergarten and day care, job training, classes for immigrants, a gym, and an art gallery. And that’s just the beginning.

“Decent Saturday entertainment.” I guess I can go along with that. Didn’t care for 1A PPP but no SOB STORIES, just moved on. Was briefly blind to PLATO’S CAVE but it went in later, thankfully without Rex’s detour. Loved the way he described that confused journey.

Liked seeing BENTO BOXES - no bowl of SLOP there. More edibles with BREAD, BOMBE, DEVOUR, WRAP, BAKE, OVEN TIMER and NESCAFÉ.

Couldn’t SEE DIMS as “brings down” for the longest, and didn’t know the MTN. (It’s a former NORAD site.) Looking that up reminded me of camping in the magnificent Spanish Peaks State Wildlife Area, about 150 miles south. Magical place. (IT’S AMORe)

My first thought for “It’s a ___” was WRAP, but I held off, unwisely, as it turned out. Plopped in Scullery for “place of drudgery” which prompted me to abandon WRAP for fact. NOT IF BUT WHEN I saw the error of my ways I got back to the SALT MINE.

Time to go look up HALS.

OffTheGrid 11:02 AM  

I don't usually notice POC's and VFOC's (verb forms of convenience) but they jumped out at me today. These are doubles; TABS/EPS, AFBS/ACRES, ANGORACATS/LOFTS, WEDS/FOISTS, BETS/BITES, MESAS/BEDS.

egsforbreakfast 11:06 AM  

I MEAN COME ON is a great phrase that can be used as a put down or as praise. I think that John McEnroe used it in the former way during his playing career as part of his “You can not be serious!!!” tirades on the incompetency of a referee. Nowadays, he more often uses it in the sense of “I can’t believe anyone could pull off that shot.”

Puzzle was a tough but doable Saturday for me. Thanks John Guzzetta.

Carola 11:23 AM  

So much to like: the terrific long entries, the loveliness of EVENTIDE; the liveliness of FOISTS, LOFTS, DEVOUR BITES; the combined SOB STORIES + WEEPS; the metaphoric CAVE and SALTMINE; the humor of the ding-y TIMER. Smooth sailing for me, apart from a wrong tack at SOlemn.

@Unknown 8:07 - I do remember those one-word clues from the days when I first hesitantly ventured into Saturday territory; in fact, I remember encountering one in particular: "Cover" and realizing it could be a noun or a verb, with any of a variety of meanings. For me, those sorts of clues defined a Saturday puzzle.

bocamp 11:26 AM  

@pabloinnh (10:13 AM) 👍

Six degrees of separation / Magic Kingdom It's A Small World

@Nancy (10:16 AM)

Thx for the DST link; very informative. :)

@Tom T (10:37 AM) 👍

@Whatsername (10:52 AM)

Echoing your Amanda Gorman sentiments! 🌞

@jae (11:00 AM)

Perfect timing; I'm on it!

@egsforbreakfast (11:06 AM)

Excellent point re: some phrases having more than one connotation!

td pg -20

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

GILL I. 11:26 AM  

An oof de la oof in some parts...a BOMBE when I couldn't find a PLATO CAVE even if someone handed me a map with an X marks the spot, and Cassius Dio made me say AY DIOS MIO. Other than that? I loved the fishy stench of cheese that @Barbara S provided.
That brings me over to my first BENTO BOXES entry. So what do I do? I go BAKE me some BREAD. Yep. I needed the OVEN TIMER and I even wore a BIB. I also looked at SOT and thought....hmmmm, maybe I need a little Pinot in the SLOP I'm making of this. My SOB STORIES runneth over. that off my chest. Did I say I liked this? I didn't? Well, I did. I had many of my "I don't know this" moments but I did my usual fandango dance, took a break, took a little sip, went to bed, had nightmares of a bull charging me, got up, brushed my teeth, and forged ahead. YESIREEBOB....Works every time.
As usual, the names got me good. I had a JANE TAPPER MAIA cheat. Now if they were the names of the CAREER BEST lawyer firm, I'd hire them.
So I moved on...little by little the AHA, OOOH, came to fruition. I love when that happens....I didn't NEED A HAND from the RAW WIFE on down. By gum....I even got ROMAN EMPIRE all by myself.
I think 3 cheat names on a Saturday makes me a happy camper and I haven't gone camping in an EVEN TIDE vesper bell ring moment.
AMEN...and with that, I shall now go walk my little pups and maybe I'll adopt an ANGORA CAT......

Amelia 11:39 AM  

About halfway through the solve, I was planning my post. What is this Tuesday/Wednesday puzzle doing on Saturday? I mean come on.

The half was the west.

Then I went east.

Oh boy. You should see the pen writeovers. They went right through the page to the article on theater side about the exhibit at MoMA about Black architecture which I saw yesterday and was fantastic. That's a reco. Along with a new Calder exhibit. But I digress.

I had Angora rams, then rats, then finally I put in cats. Finally I got foisted, which eluded me for the longest while and I never actually got Careerbest. You should only know what I had in there for the longest while. As for bites and biotextile and ulna, the less said the better

Props to you, Mr. Guzzeta. For the puzzle. For fooling me for half the solve.

And for Jerk over Ass.

That takes talent.

Unknown 11:41 AM  

From Philosophy and Literature by Thompson. Allegory of the Cave. I taught this for 30 years. Students loved it. Thought provoking and relevant. My problem today was bootleg pants. Trying to think of fake ones. Finally got flared

Masked and Anonymous 11:43 AM  

Didn't know PLATOSCAVE, but definitely knew (and have been on) Cheyenne MTN.
Didn't know MAIA but kinda knew Sean ASTIN.
Everything else was pretty day-um gettable … not very many name entries, in this rodeo. Easy-ish SatPuz, at our house.

BENTOBOXES. yum. We used to go to this wonderful Japanese restaurant, and get those puppies for lunch. We took it as a bad sign, tho, that it was always real easy to get a table at that place, no matter when. And now that primo establishment is no more. Wrong kinda restaurant for a town that's big on bbq-rib joints and Mexican eateries, I reckon.
A Z's Placebo & Tentacle Pub franchise might also have some trouble, gettin started hereabouts. Too high-classy. Might need to go with Z's Plato-beano & T-Bone Cave, or somesuch.

staff weeject pick: MTN. Cheyenne MTN is home to NORADSCAVE. M&A rode by their front entrance, several years ago. Didn't look like the type of place that would admit many dudes wearin masks, tho.

Ow. PuzEatinSpouse really unloaded on the M&A, about that there {Big buttes} = MESAS clue/answer. When on trips around here, we always get into back-and-forths about whether a big flattened-out MTN is a butte or a mesa. M&A always goes with "It's a beaut!"

Too many cool sparkler puzmoments to honor them all. NOTIFBUTWHEN was a definite winner and probable seed entry. Also highly admired that {Dingy kitchen items?} = OVENTIMERS clue. Works either way, around our kitchen. har. Our timer is a real beaut.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Guzzetta. Nice job.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

it's a butte-kicker:

Ethan Taliesin 11:46 AM  

What's a CAREER BEST? Is that like a personal best but specific to one's work life? Is that an idiom or common thing?

That was the only hang-up for me. I thought maybe it was NEST or TEST.

Rex, I wish you would start including your solve times again.

Anoa Bob 11:54 AM  

In Japan while a train is stopped at a station, people will come aboard briefly with small boxed meals for sale. The meal is called O BENTO. No one would call it BENTO without that initial O. (It's been like 30+ years since I bought my last O BENTO BOX, but as I recall that O is referred to as an "honorific".)

Also of note, a BENTO BOX is quite small, too small to fit a 10-letter slot in a crossword grid. Even an OVEN TIMER won't get that done. But there is a quick and easy way to get around that, a shortcut to filling the grid if you will, and that is by tacking on an S or ES to get an entry up to speed.

Most grids will have a few of these plurals of convenience (POC). Today's puzzle FOISTS a whole bunch of those on us, especially the ultra grid-fill-friendly two for one POC, where a Down and an Across share a final, letter-count boosting S.

I count six of the two-fers, the first at the end of 3D TAB and 18A EP and the last one where they are most likely to be found, in the lower, right hand corner. Those Ss could all be changed to black squares, the clues slightly tweaked, and nothing much of interest or value would be lost. The grid would then show its true colors, so to speak, and have a virtual 38 black square count and that is very high for a Saturday themeless.

Hey, I'm going to list all the entries that need a POC assist to fill their slots and yous can decide if it's excessive.


See how handy it can be to tack on an S, an ES, or to drop a Y and add an IES (STORY to STORIES, e.g.) to boost letter-counts? Maybe I notice these things because I have an Aristotelian rather than a PLATOnic world view. I would call this grid POC marked.

Anoa Bob 12:08 PM  

OffTheGrid @ 11:02 AM, your comment had not come up yet when I was writing my screed. The POC, or plural of convenience, was never meant to be a grammatical term, only a crossword term for adding an S, an ES or dropping a Y and adding an IES solely for the purpose of boosting an entry's grid-filling power. For example, you could clue 44D BITES or 56A BETS as nouns or verbs but either way they are still POCs.

Marc M. 12:24 PM  

Open book tests are definitely much easier than regular tests, Rex. Just like open Googlt crossword puzzles are much easier to solve.

Dean M 12:30 PM  

I must live in the wrong part of the country. BOMBE crossing with BENTO BOXES was a complete and utter Natick for me. I’m stunned to see how many commenters found one or both gimmes.

pmdm 12:35 PM  

Anoa Bob: Many of the Japanese restaurants I have gone to have BENTO BOXes on their menus. No leading O. And the boxes are not particularly small. I would bet you are right, but based on what I've seen, the crossword clue reflects what Americans who only get Japanese cuisine in American Japanese restaurants. Or maybe those that are in my area of the country. While I prefer being technizally correct, that isn't how crossword cluing works with today's editors.

Today's puzzle felt typical for a Saturday puzzle to me. I've already done tomorrow's and unusually it caused me to laugh a number of times. Not because of itself but because what it recalled to my mind. I await others' reactions. No more now because what I write might end up being a spoiler.

About the 20D clue. I've taken a number of open book tests. One of my physics teacher's tests included all the formulas, so it pretty much amounted to an open book test. It simply isn't true that an open book test requires less from your memory, especially if the class teacher is great. So I heartily agree with Mike Sharp in this matter.

What? 12:39 PM  

Great test. At first glance knew only SALK then ended up finishing. Clues gave just enough hints to lightly pencil in and then many ahas.
Liked OVEN TIMERS but does DINGY refer to things that ding? A stretch but nice misdirect. And BETS referring to poker also a good one.
Didn’t know more than a few but crosses came through.
Some might say I NEED A HAND but I MEAN COME ON, we don’t need SOB STORIES. Why it’s almost like an OPEN BOOK EXAM (not).

newbie 12:49 PM  

Finished it! A Saturday! And Rex calls it a Medium! Strangest thing, though, is I did the Pluto’s Cave thing for a minute, too - how weird is that? Am I turning into Rex? Better get that thought out of my head right away. Time for another coffee - or a nap.

Crimson Devil 12:50 PM  

Nats multiple Cy Young winning ace Max Scherzer has ANGORA CAT eyes. Works quite well for him.

Chip Hilton 12:55 PM  

So, why is it TABS? I went with flower box TuBS and PLuTO.
Sorry if it’s already been answered here. If so, I missed it.

Enjoyable Saturday. I especially liked IMEANCOMEON and EVENTIDE.

newbie 1:45 PM  

Thought of the Allegory of the Cave right away and was pleasantly surprised to see how it connects with The Matrix but for some reason my mind went to the name of the planet - now former planet - but it will always be a planet to me! I felt brilliant for about one minute until I realized my mistake, then much amused.

Took me way too long to turn from Cheyenne Nation to Cheyenne Mountain, since I’m a big fan of StarGate, which takes place in Cheyenne Mountain and shows the outside of it before every episode - but it’s been awhile since I watched it.

Same with BENTO BOXES - knew what I was going for but it took a long time to find it through the fog.

Wanted merles for the two-different-eye-colored animals, because a lot of them have that trait, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, if I remember correctly.

All in all, a very satisfying, if tough, puzzle. Have a great weekend, everyone. Can’t wait for DST! 😎

newbie 1:49 PM  

I think if the clue had Windows it would make more sense @Chip 12:55 pm.

TauntingEmu 1:55 PM  

Misreading "Dingy kitchen items?" as "dinghy kitchen items?" briefly had me going down the path of a slightly-more-fun-than-normal GRAVY BOATS clue, before BENTO BOXES made that a no-go. OVEN TIMERS, though, still pretty fun!

CreamyT 1:58 PM  

Got stuck for awhile with ANGOlACATS and (Ted) koPPEl, which really threw my wife and I for a loop. Unfortunately wasn't familiar with holy SEE, and without knowing about HALS, we had WEEPy/HALy. A bit of a natick seens WEEPY fits perfectly well with the clue. Also couldn't decide beetween DIsS / DIpS / DIgS before finally doing a puzzle check and realizing it was DIMS. I assumed Cheyenne was some car or something I wasn't familiar with.

We haven't done too many Saturdays - still single digits. I'm happy we were able to get it without looking anything up, but we did require 2 puzzle checks to right our wrongs. Had fun overall, learned a few knew words, but definitely a tough one for us.

CreamyT 2:01 PM  

They can be - but the clue also wasn't a comparison to regular tests/exams, just that it is "Hardly a test of one's memory."

That being said, I don't think it was too bad of a clue, especially with "test" connecting it to an actual test you take. Maybe they should have added ", often" to the end.

Z 2:04 PM  

Bloom’s Taxonomy anyone? My point is that OPEN BOOK EXAM or closed book test is irrelevant to an assessment’s difficulty. If you look at the nice pyramid in the link one way to think of it is the lower levels are necessary for one to operate at the higher levels (yeah yeah, over-simplification but good enough for a crossword blog discussion). So a closed book test focusing on knowledge is going to be far easier than an OPEN BOOK EXAM that asks the subject to analyze and apply knowledge to a specific problem.

@Chip Hilton - It is a browser window that has TABS.

@Crimson Devil - Back when I had Tiger Season tickets I went to watch Scherzer pitch on a less than pleasant night (drizzly and cool) so Mrs Z let me enjoy the game alone. Along about the third inning Bill (the usher/security guy) asked if I would mind if a player’s guest sat in my empty seat (my seats were underneath the overhang so dry while the players’ guests had box seats behind home). As a result I got to enjoy the company of Max’s girlfriend (now wife) for 7 innings.

@Ethan Taliesin - CAREER BEST seems more like a sports phrase to me, but I can imagine, say, a sales rep having a CAREER BEST month so I was fine with it.

@Greater Falls - I promptly Tweeted Thucydides since it is still so apt. $27 million can buy quite a lot, but it cannot buy the most important thing.

sanfranman59 2:40 PM  

Easy-Medium NYT Saturday ... 15% below my Saturday 6-month median solve time

I'm on a good roll with my NYT Saturday solves. I've averaged a little more than 10% below my 6-month median solve time on the 11 Saturday puzzles so far in 2021. I'm sure that will come to an end at some point (most likely with the next Byron Walden, Will Nediger or Erik Agard Saturday), but it feels good while it lasts. When I go through periods like this, I always wonder how much of it is me and how much of it is the difficulty/easiness of the puzzles. It's hard to say sitting here in my silo.

Speed bumps:
-- 'tee' instead CAB {10A: Driver's place}
-- 'wEre' instead of BEEN {12D: Existed}
-- 'reekS' instead of BITES {44D: Really stinks}
-- 'incAN' and then 'mayAN' instead of ROMAN EMPIRE {45A: Cassius Dio said it went "from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron"} ... given the name "Cassius Dio" I really shouldn't have had as much trouble with this one as I did [forehead slap!]

Tough stuff:
-- PLATO'S CAVE {13A: Ancient allegory paralleled in the plot of "The Matrix"} ... I guessed the PLATOS part pretty quickly, but needed to wait for crosses for the CAVE part
-- JANE {15A: ___ Addams, first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize} ... I know who she is but not that that she was a Nobel Prize winner, so I waited for crosses
-- I MEAN COME ON {19A: "Oh, gimme a break!"} ... I'm generally not a fan of colloquialisms like this in puzzles, probably because I always seem to struggle with them ... see also NOT IF BUT WHEN {5D: Statement of inevitability}
-- MAIA {7D: Eldest of the Pleiades} ... needed three crosses here
-- ANGORA CATS {11D: Pets that commonly have different-colored eyes, such as one blue and one amber} ... the CATS part was easy enough, but it took me a while to recognize the ANGORA letter pattern

Surprisingly easy gets:
-- BOMBE {23A: Ice cream dessert} ... I thought of this immediately, but waited to check it against a couple of crosses
-- FOISTS {38A: Forces (upon)} ... off the O
-- OPEN BOOK EXAM {20D: Hardly a test of one's memory} ... off the O_EN, giving me a bunch of footholds for the acrosses in the SE
-- SALT MINE {32D: Place of drudgery} ... off the S plus a confirmatory cross ... for some reason, "back to the SALT MINEs" is a favorite expression of mine ... this and OPEN BOOK EXAM helped tremendously in the south
-- EVENTIDE {8D: When a vesper bell rings}

I so much prefer the humble and humorous Rex to the snarky, "fire Will Shortz", "this puzzle sucks since it has stuff I don't know and I couldn't finish it in 30 seconds" Rex. Why can't he come out to play more often like he used to the first few years of this blog?

thisdaythatyear 2:58 PM  

I got hung up on EVENTIDA/HOLY SEA. What is eventida? Must be a religious thing ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I probably lost a full minute on an otherwise smooth-ish solve trying to figure that section out.

Bruce Fieggen 3:08 PM  

@Bocamp 8:21. Nice to see Skinner's BUTTE and Spencer BUTTE while reading about the puzzle in New Jersey. I enjoyed them in the '80s

Doc John 3:19 PM  

All I can think of is Jimmy on South Park saying, "I mean, come on."

BigJ 3:20 PM  

I happen to be wearing a pair of bootleg jeans as I solved the puzzle. So where did my mi nd go at that clue???? Bootleg as in COPY or KNOCKOFF!! Had to get the answer from the crosses!! The puzzle was a total Blast! Really enjoyed it all the way through!!!

bocamp 3:23 PM  

@Bruce Fieggen 3:08 PM 👍

pg -2

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Richard Stanford 3:34 PM  

Many Japanese restaurants or sushi places am offer bento boxes - basically just a variety platter in that context.

BigJ 3:39 PM  

Cheyenne Mountain is where the NORAD complex is located, Which was featured in the 80's movie WAR GAMES.

Singmaster 3:45 PM  

I was in tears reading Rex Plutos Cave etc .
Rex - front page below the fold headline in Carmel Pine Cone
Tortoise escapes from yard but doesn't get far.

James 4:34 PM  

Loved this puzzle (it's nice when you learn a fair amount of interesting trivia— Angora Cats, Plato's Cave, Roman Empire) but loved even more Mr. Sharp's commentary on solving it. Greatly amusing. Thanks!

Phil 5:21 PM  

portmanteau to me has always been combining parts of words, and in fact that is the definition so NES CAFE, cafe is a whole word.

I know wikipedia says it’s a portmanteau so the constructor relied on that but is it so?

wiki def of portmanteau explains it is a morph and does not contain whole words which would be a compound.
So I think this would be companteau or portpound. part of a work combine with a whole word.

Cyclist227 5:56 PM  

As Saturday's go, I thought this one was relatively easy. And, liek Rex, I liekd I mean come on, etc. Biotextile struck me as a bit forced, but maybe not.

LGFL 8:00 PM  

I did the same thing when we went online last spring, Rex. Made all tests open book. Grades were actually lower, with complaints about not enough time.

Anonymous 8:08 PM  

Open book tests need not be easier than closed book tests. It is possible to put in harder problems if you allow open book.

A 8:19 PM  

Ah, I won’t forget Frans HALS again. But the clued work is not my favorite, and didn’t seem to be the most famous. Wonder who made that choice and why?

@Birchbark, awesome post: “It is an early example of a philosophical proof that philosophers are better than everyone else.”

@mathgent, I got a smile out of your numerical determination of what constitutes a hard puzzle. I’ll have to count next time. Do you consider the depth of the mysteries, as well?

@Barbara S, how deftly you slipped in the mention of the proximity of BIOTEXTILE and I NEED A HAND before anyone could finish their breakfast! Enjoyed the excerpt, too. Just bought a new bottle of fish sauce. Oddly, the only way I can tolerate Noni juice is to think of it as liquid cheese.

@Greater Fall, thanks for the Thucydides quote. Hope your sister is ok.

The main reason I stopped back in is to see if anyone advised @Nancy about renting The Matrix. Looks like her query went unanswered. I’m no Matrix expert, but from what I know of it and her, that is not a match made in heaven.

I still prefer scullery as the place for drudgery. A SALT MINE seems more like torture.

RooMonster 9:53 PM  

@A Re:

Personally, I don't think she'd like "The Matrix", but hey, you never know. It might tickle her fancy. We won't know until she's watched part of it, and either thinks it's kinda neat, or throws it against her wall. 😁

See previous sentence. 🙂

RooMonster Take The Blue Pill! Guy

burtonkd 9:29 AM  

@Roo, A, Nancy: hands up for Nancy, like Mikey, won't like the Matrix, nor will she appreciate this reference linked to her name:)

thefogman 11:28 AM  

IMEANCOMEON pretty well sums up my feelings about the NE corner. Glad I did not start there. Finished, but only after lots of write overs. PS - My local paper has Nancy Stark and Will Nediger (not John Guzzetta) listed as the constructors. Several other puzzles has been credited wrongly the past few days.

thefogman 11:37 AM  

EDIT - Got burned by the TuBS / PLuTOSCAVE trap.

thefogman 11:44 AM  

PPS - It’s the wrong answer but there really is a PLuTOSCAVE...

thefogman 11:53 AM  

EDIT - PPPS, Make that the NW corner in comment #1.

spacecraft 12:06 PM  

I am reminded of the end of "Diamonds are Forever," when Wint and Kidd, posing as servers, wheel an elaborate dinner into Bond's cabin:

"And for dessert, we have the BOMBE surpreese!"
"What's in it?"
"Ah, but then there would be no surpreese!"

This was Saturday-hard and then some, so no medium here. I finished it with guesses in the SW. As you can see, I knew BOMBE, but have never been to Japan, let alone eating lunch there. 28 down: was it DIpS or DIMS? And what was 35 across? I know two Cheyennes: the tribe and the city. There was considerable alphabet running. Wait: was there a mountain? MTN?? Could very well be; I went with it. So the lunches are BENTOBOXES. If you say so.

Hand up for SadSTORIES before SOB. PLATOSCAVE was all crosses; I know nothing of this. OTOH, ROMANEMPIRE was a welcome gimme. I agree about the clue for OPENBOOKEXAM and invite our esteemed constructor to take one if he thinks it's such a slam dunk. There's a reason they let you have an open book.

I liked WIFE atop EDEN--and just look up to find EVE! The clue for OVENTIMERS is another groaner: not soft-g dingy but ding-y! It dings. IMEANCOMEON. JANE Addams is DOD; well deserved. Birdie.

Burma Shave 1:55 PM  


your ROMAN' fingers have BEEN tried,


Diana, LIW 3:30 PM  

It always concerns me when I don't know the answer to 1A. But bit by bit I got the rest, with a few errors to correct along the way. (race tag/bib, driving off the TEE instead of riding in the CAB, you know the drill)

That's all - it's a WRAP.

Diana, LIW

leftcoaster 4:12 PM  

Got most of it, but not enough to exclaim AMEN!

The ASS-kickers were MAIA, BOMBE, MTN and BIOTEXTILE.


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