Small flat-bottomed boat / WED 3-10-21 / Title matchmaker in 1815 novel / Start of a saying about getting in the way / Polysemous words have multiple of these

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Constructor: Nancy Stark and Will Nediger

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: SPOILER ALERT (54A: Warning you might give before revealing the endings of 20-, 29- and 45-Across) — theme answers are the front ends of familiar adages, the back ends of which all begin with SPOIL(S):

Theme answers:
  • TOO MANY COOKS (spoil the broth) (20A: Start of a saying about getting in the way)
  • ONE BAD APPLE (spoils the whole bunch) (29A: Start of a saying about negative influence)
  • SPARE THE ROD (spoil the child) (45A: Start of a saying about parental discipline)
Word of the Day: Bob SEGER (32A: Rocker Bob) —

Robert Clark Seger (/ˈsɡər/; born May 6, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heardand Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, breaking through with his first album, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man (which contained his first national hit of the same name) in 1968. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the 'System' from his recordings and continued to strive for broader success with various other bands. In 1973, he put together the Silver Bullet Band, with a group of Detroit-area musicians, with whom he became most successful on the national level with the album Live Bullet (1976), recorded live with the Silver Bullet Band in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he achieved a national breakout with the studio album Night Moves. On his studio albums, he also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which appeared on several of Seger's best-selling singles and albums.

roots rocker with a classic raspy, powerful voice, Seger wrote and recorded songs that dealt with love, women, and blue-collar themes, and is an example of a heartland rock artist. He has recorded many hits, including "Night Moves", "Turn the Page", "Still the Same", "We've Got Tonite", "Against the Wind", "You'll Accomp'ny Me", "Hollywood Nights", "Shame on the Moon", "Like a Rock", and "Shakedown", the last of which was written for the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also co-wrote the Eagles' number-one hit "Heartache Tonight", and his recording of "Old Time Rock and Roll" was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001.

With a career spanning six decades, Seger has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. (wikipedia)

• • •

This was a ride. I went from "WHY am I getting only the front ends of adages!?" to "WHY in the world would anyone want to 'spoil' and adage, or think that was something it was even possible to do!?" to "Ohhhhh ... *spoil* ... I see ... hmm ... yeah, that weirdly works." This is definitely the direction you want your feelings to go in over the course of a solve. Much better than "This seems nice" followed by a series of potholes and finally your car skidding off the road into a ditch. Understanding the theme really does require mentally finishing all of the adages, so hopefully you knew ... those? I never know with adages like these whether they have currency any more with younger people. "TOO MANY COOKS" was the title of a viral video a while back, though I don't think anyone in the video ever finished the adage. The Osmonds version of "ONE BAD APPLE" is the version of the adage that lives in my head, and that song actually reverses the adage ("ONE BAD APPLE don't spoil the whole bunch, girl..."), but the "spoil" part comes through all right. SPARE THE ROD seems most likely to be dated, i.e. least likely to be familiar to younger readers, though like all adages with which I'm familiar, they don't seem to belong to time, exactly, so who knows. Certainly a maxim exhorting the value of beating children is less likely to find a friendly audience today than in the past, for good reason. All the adages were familiar to me, though, so the "spoil" part of the joke was able to land properly. 

The fill is mostly clean, and the symmetrical drinking establishments (IRISH PUBS / SPORTS BAR) was a nice touch. The clue on GLOB seemed a little lazy. I could trip on virtually anything on the floor, and FLOOR MAT is not a tripping hazard that immediately comes to mind. I'm not even sure what they mean by FLOOR MAT. Mats come in "door" or "welcome" varieties. Oh, there's a bath mat, certainly. But FLOOR MAT, as a thing around your house (which is where I just assumed the tripping would occur), that didn't hit home for me ... even though, now, as I look around, I notice I have two decorative pieces in my home office, painted by my grandmother, which could only be described as FLOOR MATs, and I've almost certainly tripped over them at least once ... whatever, I put FLOOR RUG here, thinking a rug the most likely tripping culprit. ERRATA should be only for books—tedious to put the logically correct answer for the clue, ERRORS, and then have to erase it. Especially tedious when your thought on entering ERRORS was "man, I hope they don't want ERRATA here, that would suck." My least favorite of the clues, though, was the one on MENTAL (1D: Like solving crosswords), because again, in attempting to get cute and winky, you make things vague and unpleasant. Most things you do are MENTAL, even when they're physical, and crossword puzzles are physical as well (ask a speed solver about the importance of grid navigation technique). So the puzzle is all "tehee, I'm being meta" but all I am thinking is "you've swapped aptness for cutesiness, bad call." 

Still, the only real trouble I had with the puzzle came in the west, where ALLOW was hard for me to get to (the usage described by the clue here feels slightly old-fashioned, so it didn't spring to mind quickly). Actually WASH was probably the toughest element over there, since "Draw" can mean a lot of things, and I'd use "draw" more for a specific contest, but WASH for more of an overall situation ... I wouldn't say a match ended in a WASH, is what I'm saying. But the clue is apt enough, just tough. Then there's the cutesy "?" clue on WASP, which doesn't quite land for me, as the "center" part of the clue doesn't really refer to anything specific. But maybe the sting is "centered" (by definition?) in the WASP itself, I dunno. Anyway, I bumbled (!) through that corner. The rest of the grid, no problem.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. happily watching the "Too Many Cooks" video (above) and had a genuine record-scratch moment when I noticed what was on the coffee table in this shot:

So ... the crossword contains TOO MANY COOKS and
"TOO MANY COOKS" contains crosswords. Nice.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 6:06 AM  

Nancy has a knack for wordplay wit, as we know from her comments here. She crackles with it. Will’s puzzle construction is always clean, high quality. What a natural team for making crosswords.

And what a result we have today – a puzzle with spark, beautifully designed and pulled off.

The theme immediately drew me in. After getting TOO MANY COOKS, my brain was busy guessing the other theme answers, not to mention the revealer. I got the other two theme answers with few crosses, which filled me with the joy of triumph, and when the revealer hit me (with more than a few crosses), it was unexpected and my brain shouted “Hah!”, and “Brilliant!”.

What more can you ask for from a theme? Plus, there was the cluing, padded with wordplay, funny obvious plays like [Strip in the bedroom], plays on meaning like [Draw, colloquially], and that bubbly play on sound [“Argo” or “Fargo”], which reminded me of “argle-bargle”, and which I’m sure to use at least once in a sentence today.

Fun, crackling, and well made. Nothing spoiled my enjoyment of this one. Thank you, you two!

JOHN X 6:17 AM  

This puzzle kicked the shit out me at first, and that always impresses me.

But eventually I got the upper hand.

OffTheGrid 6:22 AM  

@Nancy. I enjoyed your puzzle and am glad it wasn't a long saying chopped into parts, which was what I feared when I hit 20A. Overall fairly easy but you killed me with MESHUGA. My next puzzle will be full of car and TV names. Har!

Karl Grouch 6:27 AM  

I'm certain @nancy didn't throw this one on the wall..

Kudos for the idea and the execution.
Fun wordplay, nice open grid, clean fill and some witty clues. What more can you ask for?

(Maybe a Spartan in lieu of an Apple)

To the victor__!

Z.T. Walton 6:35 AM  

Those who have the good fortune to have elderly parents, or who are getting on in years themselves, know that one of the first things to be done to "age-proof" one's home is removal of all those cute little floor mats that have morphed into real and immediate tripping hazards, daily threatening debilitating bone injury and death.

smalltowndoc 6:50 AM  

Random thoughts:

Clever theme, nicely done with a great revealer. However "SPARE THE ROD..." gives me the creeps, because my father was a strong believer of the adage. The only lesson I learned was to never lay a hand on my kids.

I really didn’t like the clues for WASP and WASH, which made me doubt I even had the west properly filled.

What Rex is describing as FLOOR MATs, I think of as "area rugs", I think.

My in-laws always used MENTAL to mean MESHUGA . Being from Hoboken, they pronounced it "meh-ull".

Peter O’TOOLE was nominated 8 times for best actor, but never won. I think that’s a record.

SouthsideJohnny 6:57 AM  

Nice puzzle - tough enough to hold its own on a Wednesday but not overly esoteric. I didn’t know that MESHUGA was a real word (I’ve heard something like “meshugina” before and could tell from context that it was pejorative). Enjoyed GLOB with blob (although sLOB would have fit as well). I love the way someone came up with “Prime Cuts Extra Gravy” when they really mean “dog food” - advertising/marketing can be a fun ecosystem to just observe sometimes. Hopefully (sometime soon) the world-wide advertising bubble will break and companies/entities will realize they are not realizing a sufficient return on the money they throw at ads clogging up everything from web-site popups, to intra-video ads on YouTube, to in-game sponsorships (this half-inning sponsored by XYZ auto sales . . .).

Joaquin 7:07 AM  

Congratulations Nancy! A very clever puzzle that was a lot of fun to solve with a great revealer.

The only hiccup for me was BOzO. And although I don’t often have a reason to write the word MESHUGA, when I do have such an occasion I use two “G”s, using Leo Rosten’s “The Joys of Yiddish” as my authority.

mmorgan 7:18 AM  

Wow — hard and tricky puzzle but in a good way. Thank you Nancy and Will, so much clever stuff that I shall ignore all nitpicks!

amyyanni 7:28 AM  

Blaming my Scottish great aunts & uncles for 50 down trouble. Instead of WET NAP, had WEE NAP. (also refer to faucets as spigots and idiots as eejits)

Son Volt 7:36 AM  

Liked this for the most part. Elegant theme + a neat little mini theme. Some of the clueing was clunky - but a smooth solve overall.

OTOOLE is fun to parse - also liked the V cross of OEUVRE x SVELTE. Knew MESHUGA but fought for bLOB over GLOB for awhile.

Enjoyable Wednesday puzzle.

kitshef 7:38 AM  

SPORTS BAR, Garnish for a gimlet, IRISH PUBS, sounds like a fun night out.

Quite enjoyed this. Just right for a Wednesday. The one big disappointment is that Nancy, with all her wit and craft, could not come up with a better clue for GLOB.

Anonymous 7:47 AM  

So where can I find a quick lesson in this "grid navigation" of which you speak?

Ben 7:57 AM  

I enjoyed this one. Once I understood the theme, I expected one of the themers to be “To the victor...” but I guess that’s a different kind of SPOIL.

mmorgan 7:59 AM  

Oh, by the way, the lyrics to the “Too Many Cooks” video from Adult Swim do indeed complete the adage. If you haven’t seen it, you should — it’s brilliant. Or at least extremely clever and well made.

Joe R. 8:06 AM  

I had MEN--- for 1D, and thought “Menial? That can’t be right, it wouldn’t play to the audience.” Then I got the A and the L, and really worried that was where they were going. So I wasn’t as unhappy with MENTAL as an answer as I should have been, simply because I was relieved.

Hungry Mother 8:08 AM  

Very easy for the middle of the week. The theme was not thrilling, but was helpful.

Richard Stanford 8:14 AM  

Also that’d be 18 letters - all of the others had spoil as the next word.

Hartley70 8:18 AM  

Nancy and Will, you’ve given us a fine Wednesday puzzle. Congratulations! It’s an accomplishment to be chosen for any day of the week and you’ve risen to the Hump Day challenge. I love watching you two as a team become constructor “regulars” at the NYT. The theme is neat, the clues are relatively unambiguous and I didn’t find anything difficult, so I’ll give it an easy. Unlike @Rex, I’m old enough to be more than familiar with the adages, although I try to avoid the ROD advice when it comes to my grandchildren. I find handing out a m&m for good behavior is more efficacious. Miracle of miracles you also get what I would call an enthusiastic rave from @Rex. Make sure you read him today, @Nancy, wink,wink! What day of the week will you surprise us with next?

Anonymous 8:18 AM  


I think the intent was "a small gully" not a "situation"

Birchbark 8:20 AM  

MOSS at 1A is so comfortable it made me want to lie down and return to sleep. Nicely done, @Nancy and @Will Neideger.

TOO MANY COOKS is the name of a good Nero Wolfe mystery. One of the few where his corpulence leaves the brownstone for a private weekend competition of the greatest chefs. Plus there's a murder to be solved. And a lot of interesting meals.

albatross shell 8:27 AM  

Well no doubt about it. We are all MENTAL.

nArc before WASP. The only place I had to circle back to finish because I did see how draw is wash. But it had to be. A bit after the music played I got it. A draw as a tie game is a WASH, as in no edge for either player.

Very nifty revealer for a solid theme. Seems to me the revealer came first. Maybe they often do?

I think ERRors was my only other write over. Almost as easy as yesterday.

I enjoyed seeing @GILL I's UPDO entwined with @bocamp's favorite 50's fighter BOBO Olson the Hawaiian Swede, both from yesterdays comments. My favorite middleweight of the era was Dick Tiger who may have never taken backward step in the ring. A fighter for a better Nigeria too.

The BIG IF is in SKIFF.

No f's in theme. Unusual considering the number of them.

Congrats Nancy. I did not see it was your puzzle til I read rex this morning. I wrote the rest last night.

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

I was on jury duty for a civil trial where the plaintiff tripped over a FLOORMAT and sued the city (who was the lessor of the property where the FLOORMAT was placed to avoid slippage.) The plaintiff, who was indeed injured, claimed damages for 'loss of marital relations' because he and his wife could no longer get it on with his leg in a cast. He lost.

oceanjeremy 8:37 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, thank you @Nancy!

LITHE and SVELTE are two of my favorite words, nice to see them both in the same grid. I'm a fan of both Wrangler and LEE jeans (I grew up in Texas, after all!) so was pleased to see both. I also like the assonance-to-alliteration going on with "EMMA - ETTA / REST - REAP" in the south and southwest.

Like Rex, I thought of the Adult Swim video. The only thing that gave me pause on the revealer is that I've never heard the entirety of the "TOO MANY COOKS" adage (a quick google search tells me they "spoil the broth").

But I didn't let that hold me back longer than two or three seconds before I went ahead and banged in SPOILER ALERT and finished the grid.

Interestingly enough, a 2011 University of California study found that spoilers, counterintuitively, enhance enjoyment of a story. I remember being angry at "The Sixth Sense" after I saw it in the theater because, in my opinion at the time (as a 21 year old), any movie that can be ruined by knowing the ending is simply not a well-written story.

I feel this still to this day. I secretly suspect that those who go to great lengths to avoid spoilers, and feel their media are ruined by spoilers, are sadly just consuming poorly-written stories. But what do I know?

(My fiancée says this is one of the reasons she agreed to marry me. She is the sort who always reads the last page of a book before starting it.)

Blue Stater 8:38 AM  

This puz had a Goldilocks just-right flavor to it: no errors of fact or language (that I could see), good gimmick (even though I don't like gimmicks generally); appropriate level of difficulty. Well done! Let's have more like this.

Frantic Sloth 8:39 AM  

See...this is what you get when two pros are in charge. I thought this theme was fun, imaginative, new, and it was based on my favorite warning to ignore: SPOILERALERT! Oh, and hey there, revealer in the right place - that's a good look for you.

The fill had some stars, too. BALKSAT, OEUVRE, HEIFER & SVELTE facing off, and who doesn't like MESHUGA?

One goofy thing bugged me though: that uninvited party crasher too dopey to belong. Yes, blob/GLOB rhyme crime, you're it. You're not worthy.

Other thoughts:

1D - MENTAL is apt in more ways than one when you talk about solving crossword puzzles. Ammaright?

I need help with WASP being the "center" of a sting operation. The pun is clear, but I don't get the "center" part of it.

It took me way too long for STROKE to ring the bell. It was obviously much more clever than I and it didn't help that I kept reading the 1A clue as "soft seal in the woods" and then of course my mind wanders to this wholly irrelevant thing.
So the NW corner basically laughed in my stupid face. Can't say I blame it.

Knowing this was coming, my expectations were sky-high, so the risk for disappointment in these cases rises as well.
Not a problem - Will and our Nancy have given us the gift of a real winner, winner SHRIMP JET dinner! Thanks, you two!

🧠🧠. 75

bocamp 8:45 AM  

Thank you @Nancy & Will for this very crunchy APPLE; not a BAD one at all! :)

Med. solve.

Minor holdup at SEW/WETNAP; otherwise slow and steady, with some jumping around to get crosses for the unknowns.

Nice coincidence with BOrat and placeBO from yesterday, hi @albatross shell (1:28 PM) yd. :)

My Wild IRISH Rose ~ Dennis Day

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Mikey from El Prado 8:46 AM  

Agree with Rex on this one on almost all accounts. When I think of FLOORMATs, they’re in my car or truck. I don’t trip on them, but they have snagged the accelerator, which I think is more dangerous than tripping on one.

Loved the Yiddish MESHUGA finding its way into the mix.

Yes to more pubs and bars! This puzzle was the closest I’ve gotten to them in quite some time.

RooMonster 8:48 AM  

Hey All !
Neat repurposing of SPOIL to fit the themers. Also neat how two of the adages are symmetric. Who'd'a thunk?

Kept running into K's everywhere, or so it seemed. Weird how your brain fixates on one letter. (This coming from the F counter!) There's five K's, btw. Not a huge amount. Maybe I'm just wonky. (Likely...)

Thanks to crosswords, OEUVRE was gettable, and spellable! The crossing Downs helped, also. NORM clue fun. A few names around, but not enough to give you a STROKE. 27D clue got a chuckle, as we know @Nancy doesn't know car names.

So a neat IDEA for a puz. I'll ALLOW it. 😆

Four F's (Not ICKY 👍)

Barbara S. 8:55 AM  

Enjoyed this a lot, thanks @Nancy and Will. I actually laughed out loud at the double entendre of MENTAL – it put me in a good mood for the rest of the solve. The NW corner was interesting to uncover. As the actor’s name started to appear, beginning with OTO, I thought “What on earth!!” but it all made sense in the end. There’s a lot of good stuff here: BIG IF, ALKALI, TUDOR, OEUVRE and MESHUGA, a word I love! I was unfamiliar with that MEANING of WASH. I liked the inclusion of both LITHE and SVELTE, the description of a very CHIC HEIFER. My husband who, in his 20s, worked on farms in Denmark, says that HEIFERs are extremely unruly. They’re a bit like a gang of teenage girls, always finding a way out of their enclosure to run amok on the road or somewhere – anywhere – they shouldn’t be. And they dash off gleefully when you try to round them up. One thinks of cows as placid but not so at the HEIFER stage.

Today there's a poem by E. Pauline Johnson/Tekahionwake, born Mar. 10, 1861.


The cedar trees have sung their vesper hymn,
And now the music sleeps--
Its benediction falling where the dim
Dusk of the forest creeps.
Mute grows the great concerto--and the light
Of day is darkening, Good-night, Good-night.
But through the night time I shall hear within
The murmur of these trees,
The calling of your distant violin
Sobbing across the seas,
And waking wind, and star-reflected light
Shall voice my answering. Good-night, Good-night.

Sixthstone 8:58 AM  

Delightful theme with lots of clever clues. Only trouble was MESHUGA, which I hadn't heard. I was stuck on MESHUSA/SLOB for a long time. That sapped a bit of the fun, but quick stops in IRISH PUBS and SPORTS BARS saved the day. This is a solid A from me!

oceanjeremy 8:59 AM  

I need clarity on the WASP also.

I wanted to fill "OPER" since it is the four letters at the center of "sting operation."

Then I remembered I was doing NYTXW, not a cryptic crossword. Oops!

Z 9:01 AM  

FLOOR MAT is in a car. Throw rug is in a house. So that one got an “is this regional” eyebrow arch. (@smalltowndoc - I think area rugs are bigger than throw rugs but are less than wall-to-wall carpeting)

SPARE THE ROD is fine by me as long as the ROD is metaphorical. That is, no one ever needs to hit a child, but parents who never say “no” to their children or set boundaries for their children keep school administrators busy. All-time gob-smacking moment was having a mom (a very affluent and well-educated mom) in my office because her son was constantly in the office for petty misbehavior say to me,”I don’t believe in saying ‘no’ to children.” We could tell. But, yeah, in the literal sense the adage is just wrong.

On the day of the week placement debate, I didn’t time myself but got a definite “felt like a Tuesday” vibe from this one. It really feels like somebody dropped the stack of puzzles and rearranged them so that the Wednesday puzzle was on top. Like yesterday, this felt like a right over the plate fastball (despite the “@Nancy how could you?” nanosecond when the first themer looked like the beginning of a quote puzzle).

Dr. Haber 9:02 AM  

What about slats for strip in the bedroom? Unless you’ve bought a bed from ikea recently, green paint.

webwinger 9:07 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 9:12 AM  

@Anon8:18 - That works. I think the clue works in the sports sense, too, but is tighter as “small gully.” Both are attested to by American Heritage.

Z 9:14 AM  

@Dr. Haber - Think venetian blinds.

Joe Dipinto 9:16 AM  

Now I will forever think of @Nancy as the person who unmasked the Osmonds as liars. All these years I thought the original saying was that one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch.

Wonderful puzzle, @Nancy. You and Will N. make a great team.

I'm so distressed about the stupid Osmonds, I think I'll take a walk

Tim Aurthur 9:17 AM  

To me a FLOORMAT is the rubberized thing the staff of a building or business throws down on rainy days to prevent slipping - and which, ironically, sometime causes people to trip. That happened to me once in a Whole Foods. The security guard was extremely solicitous, obviously fearful of a lawsuit. I was fine.

TJS 9:19 AM  

Worked enjoyably through this one and felt, at the end, that this is exactly what a Wednesday should be. Then came here to find that is the work of our Nancy, and Mr. Nediger. A nice big cherry on top ! Thanks to you both.

MarthaCatherine 9:26 AM  

Z: I'm with Dr. Haber. I get your venetian blinds note, but it's the bedroom part that makes the clue odd. Blinds can be in any room; they're not exclusive or confined to bedrooms. But it didn't make the clue ungettable--I like the little tease about strip and bedroom (see what I did there?).

At 26D threw in sLOB, with unshakable confidence. Just couldn't make sense of MESH USA though, but shrugged and thought maybe I'd learned a new phrase about crazy milliners.

webwinger 9:28 AM  

A very satisfying Wednesday from @Nancy and Will. All themers were very much in the language. Revealer was perfect. Nice that the key part of each theme answer was what was missing.

Learned a new word, Polysemous. Also a new jazzy ETTA, Jones, in good company with four-letter friends ETTU and EMMA. Nice to sneak down to IRISH PUBS or a SPORTS BAR for a break.

Stuck at the end on 24A, having wrongly entered SONOrA at 8D and sLOB at 26D. If only its clue had been less WASPish...

albatross shell 9:31 AM  

The game was a draw.
The game was a wash.

The heifer is out by the draw.
The heifer is out by the wash.


Seven M's seems above average to me. Three BO's too.

pmdm 9:35 AM  

I agree with Z that this felt easier than a typical Wednesday puzzle. Truly an odd sequence this week.

Nancy 9:38 AM  

It's gratifying to hear from all of you who really liked it and I thank you for your warm and very flattering comments. For those of you who had some nits: it's always interesting to find out what they are. And to get such an unexpectedly positive review from Rex nearly knocked me out of my chair and made me very happy.

They say you should never watch the sausage being made, but there were changes to some of my clues and you might be interested in hearing about them. They fall into the category of Will Shortz giveth and Will Shortz taketh away; blessed be the name of Will Shortz.

On the side I'm thrilled with: Will came up with the clues for MOSS, MENTAL and BIG IF -- and they're all better clues than mine were. But he did some things I question, too, and some of them speak to a few of the nits that have been expressed:

My clue for WASP was "One on a sting operation?" No "center" in that clue, and I don't like the word "center" any more than you do. A WASP can sting you from the side, and often does. :)

I offered a choice of two clues for GLOB, the clue that many of you dislike. One was "Lump of whipped cream, e.g." and the other was "Amorphous shape". Neither is brilliant, but I doubt either would have bothered anyone as this one did.

My biggest disappointment was the clue for ALPO which tells you more about the brand than I, for one, really wanted to know. My clue was "Meal fit for a King Charles."

I'm sure there were other changes, but these are the ones that come most readily to mind.

Again -- thanks, everyone, for the nice feedback.

Frantic Sloth 9:38 AM  

Oh, I forgot to mention that this puppy chewed my shoes and peed on my leg for a good minute or 20. (Should really have rated it 3 brains, but too much pride left that trigger stuck. My bad.) Highly unusual for the Wednesdee (for me) and ever-so-greatly appreciated. It put up a fair fight - without "invented" difficulty. I just had to think. Ooooh! Imagine that!

An example? Words with more than 2 consecutive vowels always give me trouble. OEUVRE is one of them. Others include, but are not limited to: oeuf, l'oeil, Saoirse, and the most annoying to me - hors-d'œuvre. Always have to look them up. The only vowel runs I can get consistently are "a,e,i,o,u, & sometimes y" and "eieio".

Also gotta mention my hackles getting a faux-rise in anticipation of a thank-god-it-didn't-turn-out-that-way-you-sly-boots quote puzzle. Sneaky, but in a good way.

Rex put my huh?-to-duh!-to-aha! journey into the right words: "This is definitely the direction you want your feelings to go in over the course of a solve."
But his nit with FLOORMAT seemed a little off and meh. It reminded me of less-funny version of this Taylor Negron shtick.

It's fitting and delightful that @Lewis 606am is the first comment here today because he sets the right tone with his usual eloquence. Ditto, dude! (Could his use of the word "spark" be the nudge-nudge-wink-wink to "Stark"?)

@Barbara S 855am Thanks for that imagery of a HEIFER gang. I love that! "Oh, yeah? You chew the cud!"

The Vez 9:44 AM  

I had bozo before Bobo and cat nap before wet nap. Otherwise a great puzzle With few mistakes.

Crimson Devil 9:44 AM  

Learned MESHUGA. Rest WedISH.

GHarris 9:59 AM  

Just knew that I would resonate with a puzzle crafted by Nancy. While I hesitate to say that she is in my wheelhouse ,I so often find myself in agreement with or appreciative of her comments here, it follows that I would relate to and enjoy solving her puzzles. This one was no exception. A delicious romp with a fun theme and superb revealer.
My only do-overs were hive for wasp and errors for errata. Also wanted Bozo for the clown.
I, too, interpreted draw geologically when I came up with wash but I can see the other possibility of “even up”.
Thank you Nancy.

GHarris 10:04 AM  

Oh, also had ugly before icky but once corrected I loved the clue for mics.

tea73 10:12 AM  

I got slowed down by not knowing how to spell Yiddish (and to be honest I stared at M--HU--H for a while thinking one of my downs must be wrong). Of course when I went back to check OaD was clearly wrong.

That WASP/WASH crossing was tricky but fair. It took me forever to see.

I never knew a clown named BOBO except in the crosswords.

Loved the theme and the revealer. Congrats Nancy!

(And Mikey liked it!)

Cassieopia 10:12 AM  

Smooth and fun with a smiler for a revealer. Loved seeing O'Toole in the grid along with OEUVRE (couldn't remember how to spell it though, thank you crosses). My favorite was the two vertical bars, exactly mirrored. Gorgeous construction. 2021 is pumping out some great puzzles so far. Thank you @Nancy and Will!

Tim Aurthur 10:16 AM  

Re the athleticism of crossword solving, I think speed solving on paper requires the vision and eye-hand coordination of an athlete. Is that part of "grid navigation"?

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

Wash doesn't apply to a tie game. Come on! No one has ever employed that usage. Just because a wash means for things to come out even, it can't necessarily be applied to all things that are even.
A wash is applied to the concept of fairness or equitability, that meaning
of evenness. As I lost $20 to Joe on the outcome of the election, but won $20 from Pete, so it was a wash.
To use it in sports would require that track. Something like offsetting penalties in football, where each team is, simultaneously, penalized 15 yards, making it a wash.

GILL I. 10:23 AM  

Ay....caramba. Does anyone want to dance a fandango or maybe a tango with me?
A @Nancy fiesta.....We'll all meet up at the BAR and I'll provide the WET NAP. HAH!
Ahhhh. What else can you expect from smarty pants, funny, little wink in her eye, @Nancy? This was fun. All the way from BOBO the GLOB to the WASP CLAN MESHUGA.
I LOVE any adage. My Nana always quoted them hoping something would penetrate my heathen brain. Her favorite: "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know." I had no idea what she meant until I became an adult and met the boss from hell. I wanted to send him an anonymous note that said "fish and visitors stink after 3 days." NAH.
More, please, @Nancy. You ALWAYS deliver the smile. You give me a WASP, an ASIAN, throw in a CLAN and the word "Polysenuous" and I become a happy quesadilla.

Joe 10:26 AM  

No comment on MESHUGA? Seriously?

sixtyni yogini 10:33 AM  

Ditto- all the positive comments.
Ttight. Clever,.And a smile-mind-rush
Spoils can be sweet it seems.

Tom T 10:34 AM  

Only real holdup came in the west, where I couldn't convince myself that "hive" could possibly "bee" wrong for "center of a sting operation." Also had pause with sLOB instead of GLOB. I figured it out when I realized that somewhere along the way I developed the "crazy" idea that MESHUGA/meshugenah was a term of endearment!

I could get SPOILed by enjoyable puzzles like this.

bigsteve46 10:38 AM  

It certainly helps to be one of the regular commenters (you know, those folks who basically talk and respond to each other) to get almost universally positive reviews. This was a nice enough puzzle - but had it been composed by Jane Doe I suspect some of the responses might have been a little more caustic. No complaints, but "gorgeous construction" and "delicious romp" seem to be a little over-the-top.

Andrew Heinegg 10:38 AM  

Fun,interesting and well constructed; I hope Nancy doesn't get in 'trouble' for disclosing her points of disagreement with Lord Shortz. As was no surprise to me, I am in complete agreement with her.

jae 10:39 AM  

Easy-medium. Clever, smooth and delightful. Liked it a bunch! Nice one Nancy and Wil!

Newboy 10:44 AM  

ECHO the commentariat delighted to see Nancy and Will this morning. Nice echoes in The grid itself with Emma and Etta plus the repeats of drinking establishments appropriate for this weekend.

@birch bark gets a thanks for another good reading recommendation; love a good mystery and so far he is not steered me wrong.

Double thanks to @Nancy for circling back and adding to the blog commentary. Loved your clue for Alpo, so sorry it didn't survive the edit.

Frantic Sloth 11:00 AM  

@Nancy 938am So happy (and yet, a tad annoyed) to learn that your WASP clue didn't include "center", but now I fear there will be no clarification forthcoming. Waah. And, hold the phone, but I much, much, much prefer "Meal fit for a King Charles"!! That would have gotten a good chuckle out of me - at least! The clue they went with? 'Tis pity it's a bore.
I'm afraid GLOB is just a goner.

@Tom T 1034am I had the same thought about the WASP clue - that dang "center" had me drop in "hive" with authority. When that didn't work, I thought "maybe 'comb'?" but nope. 🤷‍♀️

@bigsteve46 1038am Even if what you say could be proven empirically, why would you feel the need to say it? Even if it were true, is it wrong? Naturally you're entitled to your opinions, but this seems unnecessarily party-pooperish with a soupçon of bitter to me.

Anonymous 11:01 AM  

FWIW, the wiki denies the existence of BOBO the clown, but does have a (looooong) page for BOzO the clown. 'nuff said.

JC66 11:12 AM  

My reaction upon completing this puzzle: how does someone come up with a theme and revealer like this?


And the fill ain't chopped liver, either.


How can you say that SLAT is green paint and then make the same joke that the clue for it did (Strip in the bedroom)?

oceanjeremy 11:15 AM  

@Nancy 938am: I agree with @Frantic Sloth, I much prefer your clue for ALPO! It would have brought a smile to my face, but then — it just did, in your recap of changed clues. So I got the smile anyway.

I also forgot to mention earlier that MESHUGA immediately got the band Meshuggah stuck in my head. I used to play with a drummer who is very into metal bands with a strong technical side (among many, many other genres). We had a few Meshuggah listening sessions post-rehearsal. Recommended, if you like extreme metal.

jb129 11:17 AM  

Great puzzle (can't believe I was stuck on "WASP")

Malsdemare 11:17 AM  

Oh, that was fun! Another great puzzle from our own Nancy and her co-puzzler, Will. I particularly enjoyed some of the in-the-language things like BIF IF and HOT TAKE. FLOOR MAT wouldn’t be my first choice for a tripping hazard but I’m fully capable of falling over just about anything (or nothing), and so it worked for me. My usual downfall comes from a big dog, but a lowly mat, minding its own business, is an equally likely culprit.

Great job! Thanks, Nancy and Will.

Martha Stewart 11:19 AM  

@SLAT folks - If you have a bathroom cabinet intended to hold towels, it's guaranteed to have slats. Slats permit air flow, and keep the towels from getting moldy from the steam arising from the shower.

albatross shell 11:19 AM  

Anonymous 1101
I think you missed one very well-known clown. BOBO Barnett. More said.

egsforbreakfast 11:28 AM  

Thank you @Nancy and Will for a really nice puzzle. Like others, my enjoyment was upped a notch early on when I realized that the theme was not a dreaded step-quote.

Odd coincidence that @Nancy read Rex today for the first time in decades (don’t get mad, I’m just funnin’ ya).

I think BIGIF is a competitor of TGIF for those opposed to taking the Lord’s name in vain. (Boy I’m Glad It’s Friday). I’ll quit now because, as the adage goes, TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL ONE BAD APPLE.

Thanks again, Nancy and Will.

Whatsername 11:31 AM  

As Ronald Reagan used to say, “Well, Nancy”. . . brava! This one gets a BIG thumbs up from me. A crackerjack theme with a great revealer that was just a delight to solve. That’s not to say I didn’t have to think a little bit but that’s what makes it fun. One BAD spot in the SE corner, mostly of my own doing with the slip of ERRORS at 49D and not knowing OEUVRE. That was a new one for me along with MESHUGA and polysemous. But as @Lewis said, you crackle with words, and now I’m a little smarter because of it.

I loved the small subtleties like BAR and PUBS, MICS and HOT TAKES, SEW and REAP, SVELTE and OEUVRE, even though that last one stumped me good. And then there was the added bonus of featuring three of my favorite FILMs: Argo, Fargo and EMMA. Thank you ma’am and all I can say is I hope you’re busy working on your next one.

Carola 11:34 AM  

On the hard side for me, which is all to the good for a Wednesday. At the start of the theme, I had the horrified thought, "EEK, Nancy has gone for a quote theme?. Oh me of little faith! Very cute, very clever. Apart form the theme, my favorite "reveal" was getting how ?I?IF could turn into something that made sense. Thank you, @Nancy and @Will for an unusually rewarding Wednesday.

@oceanjeremy 8:37 - I think you and your fiancee were genius to understand the importance of the SPOILER compatibility issue. Rabidly SPOILER averse though I am, it's not something I thought of addressing ahead of time in approaching a lifetime commitment, but thankfully my husband soon learned to remain silent about any and all plot elements when recommending a book to me....mostly. I still have to intervene when he starts with, "This doesn't give away anything about the plot, but...."

Joe Dipinto 11:41 AM  

BOBO is also a good name for a waiter in an Italian restaurant.

Malsdemare 11:51 AM  

@BarbaraS: I so appreciate your lovely literature excerpts; they bring a peace and tranquility to my mornings that I love. The poetry this morning was particularly moving. Thanks!

And your story of the heifer gang reminded me of the neighbor’s horses in our front yard Sunday as well as another neighbor’s horse who staged a prison break last night and entertained the four of us on our deck for ten minutes.

@Nancy, I totally agree with your nits; I especially like “Meal fit for a King Charles.” And the bars! Mr Mal and I got our second vaccine last week and we are both fantasizing about going to a bar. And we haven’t done the bar scene, other than in Europe, in years.

@oceanjeremy, I remember reading that study years ago and deciding that it gave me permission to check the last pages of any book that has me distressed, especially if there’s a dog. I know that I enjoy books more when I’m not speed-reading to get to the conclusion. I have no problem with spoilers.

@Frantic. Two thumbs up for your reply to @BigSteve. I rarely look at the constructor name and even with advance notice, was halfway through the puzzle before I remembered the puzzle came from one of our own. That simply enhanced my joy. So @BigSteve, pffft!

We have floor mats in the garage and in the bathroom; I can fall over them with the best of them.

Chip Hilton 12:03 PM  

Greatly enjoyed your puzzle, @Nancy, and loved your explanation on the editor’s clue changes. In all instances, I preferred yours. Love the three beautiful words in the solution: LITHE, SVELTE, and OEUVRE. They slide off the tongue.

GILL I. 12:10 PM  

@Joe Dip.....BOBO take the cart away made me laugh out loud. Where do you find these things? Speaking of.....@Frantic beat me to the @bigsteve punch. My first thought was the Jane Doe reference. She was an unidentified murder victim, no? Well we all know @Nancy, you're a regular commentator and she has never murdered a puzzle as far as I know.
At least you had the pelotas to not comment as an anony. You get points for that.....punto final.....

Frantic Sloth 12:11 PM  

@J-Dip 1141am 👍👍👍🤌 I could watch that movie a million times. Thank you!

jberg 12:19 PM  

Nifty puzzle! I broke my 3-week NYT fast (while vacationing on the beach) to go buy the paper, and I'm glad I did. If I'd been a little smarter, I would have noticed the repeated "spoil" in the second half of the sayings, but I didn''t, even though I said the whole sayings in my head. So I figured it was going to be some intertwining of sayings, and was all the more delighted when the revealer hit me over the head.

I went in a different direction with "Draw, colloquially," thinking of art. You can draw a picture, and you can apply a WASH to a picture -- but they aren't the same thing, so I resisted. That kept me from seeing the other meanings -- I was looking for a different answer, rather than a different way of interpreting it--until I had all the crosses. That was fun; and btw, the clue nowhere says that it's a sports contest that is tied. Anyway, agile use of a polysemous clue.

Congratulations, Nancy and Will!

albatross shell 12:25 PM  

The BOBO,with the clownish bullfighter Peter Sellers, and this emotionally overwhelming dance performance by La Chana:

Yes I posted it before but wow.

Masked and Anonymous 12:33 PM  

Heckuva puztheme find. Perfecto themers, symmetricaller than snot. Like.

staff weeject pick: ISH. As in IRISHPUBS -- not as in ICKY.

some fave sparklers: MESHUGA. IRISHPUBS+SPORTSBAR [named Z's Placebo & Tentacle, of course]. SKIFF. SVELTE. DALIS [M&A has been to the most excellent St. Pete's Dali Museum, and seen these works of art].

@Nancy asked for suggestions for improvement, but that's kinda a head-scratcher for the M&A. Very little Ow de Speration in the fillins … unless U count the BOBO, EMMA, ETTA trio. Clues were generally entertainin. U's were fairly represented. A well-run rodeo.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Nancy & Will. Super-good job by just the right number of cooks.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

@Teedmn calls this puppy "The wienerdog of runts":

offbrand 12:38 PM  

The “colloquially” on the clue for WASH tripped me up big time, as here in AZ, that’s what they’re officially called. Apache Wash, Santa Rosa Wash, Silver King Wash—these are all official names of hydrological bodies.

Crimson Devil 12:40 PM  

Agree: three great words.

old timer 12:56 PM  

Brilliant puzzle. Congrats to Nancy, and thanks for dropping by.

A WASH is a creek that only has water in it after a rainstorm. We have them in Southern California -- my cousins had one in back of their house in San Marino. A draw is the same thing, but something you find on the cattle trails leading out of Texas, where in the song, the dogies and HEIFERS sometimes end up in. The cowboy has to turn them around, back to the trail.

ENNA is I think the best Austen novel. Not as hilarious as Pride and Prejudice, but a fine combination of humor and seriousness. And Emma's final romance with Mr. Knightley is the inspiration for many a story written by later authors.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

Loved this puzzle. @Nancy, my co-worker declared this an example of "the perfect crossword" so there you go.

The themers were interesting and that revealer was definitely worthy of a "Eureka". Very nice.

I laughed at "Soft seat in the woods" = moss - yup, right up until it soaks through your pants! (From personal experience).

And I laugh at Rex's calling out FLOORMAT's clue when that is pure Nancy who has railed against them and area rugs in previous blog comments. Har!

I liked seeing BIG IF fill in backwards in my grid, with ___IF not helping at all. And the clue "Draw" for WASH is right up there with WORST = BEST.

Great Wednesday puzzle, Nancy and Will, thanks so much!

pabloinnh 1:15 PM  

Always a treat to see someone we sort of know achieve success like this (see also @Lewis), we get that little glow of fame by association. Hey did you see the NYTXW today? I (sort of) know that person! Anyway, sincere congrats to (our)Nancy, and Will too, for a fun time.

Really liked that the revealer was a phrase that pops up so often in the commentariat, could be about SB or the acrostic or a previous puzzle. A smile to see it in a puzzle and not about a puzzle.

Late to the party as I spent all morning skiing in the sunshine and tomorrow is the first time in months for a full day with our three year old granddaughter. Life is good.

A large Well to the NW team. Nice Work.

CreamyT 1:43 PM  

More challenging than your average Wednesdays I thought. OEUVRE/SVELTE was tricky, and I'd never heard MESHUGA before. In fact, that only reason I filled it in was because I listen to the band and figured their name might be based off of a real word (though they spell it differently). Thankfully we were able to solve it without checking or looping through the alphabet for a final square!

Fun overall, enjoyed the theme, enjoyed the cluing quite a bit. Except BOBO - is that actually a common clown name? Is there a clown database where I can verify this? Maybe this is just due to my very purposeful avoidance of clowns and anything clown-adjacent. I had BOzO at first although it was fortunately easy to swap out the Z for a B due to the down clue being a rhyme.

Douglas 1:44 PM  

I liked the puzzle but as I was flying through it felt it was more like a hard Monday or easy Tuesday. Seems like this week has really been off with the days. I only got caught up when I had cat nap for 50D (yeah, I know, that probably wouldn’t be considered an amenity) and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what sec was.

bertoray 2:44 PM  

Yay Nancy. Thanks for collaborating on a delicious dish served right over the plate, which you knocked out of the ballpark. Your aversion to PPP dreck made this Wednesday Special mighty tasty.

A 2:59 PM  

Happy International Bagpipes Day to you and your CLAN! Maybe even Interorbital Bagpipes Day?

The second TUDOR King, Henry VIII, was a musician - when he died he left a large collection of instruments that included 5 bagpipes.

Bagpipes were officially designated as a WEAPON of war in England for over 200 years. Also traditionally used to provide inspiration and resolve during difficult times, they’re now being used in a Sunset Solidarity campaign to encourage frontline workers.

Very solid and fun theme, with interesting or interestingly clued fill. Nice clue for little old OED. Even if you don’t know the reference, it’s implied. Loved how three sports were dispatched with one STROKE! Got a kick out of seeing Nancy’s pet peeve, the FLOOR MAT.

Had to have help to draw the connection with WASH. I’m square now. I did notice that CLAN and MIA didn’t have to be clued as PPP. Surprised Nancy missed that opportunity! Also thought she’d be sneakier with TKO. Maybe holding out for a Friday?

Very pleasant, tactile clue for MOSS. I instantly thought, ‘well my soft seat in the woods would be on some MOSS, but is that really universal?’ Waited for STROKE and SUMMA, then happily filled in MO.

Three holdups were hive before WASP, sLOB and caTNAP. Oh, and I inexplicably wrote TwO MANY COOKS. Who this OTOwLE actor and who are the MESHUsA Oscar slOBs who didn’t vote for him? Must’ve been taking a caTNAP.

Thanks Nancy and Will for the Wednesday romp - now we’re SPOILEd!

Anonymous 3:31 PM  

I did notice that CLAN and MIA didn’t have to be clued as PPP.

Visited the on-line dictionary and wiki (naturally), expecting to find that CLAN is the term for a group of some critter. Dictionary, FAIL. Wiki, nearly FAIL, my fault since it isn't colored as a link, but, yes, a pack of Spotted hyenas is a CLAN. Synonyms that spring to mind instantly: white fascists, Trumpsters, morons, and, of course, Klan members. Hyenas are scavengers, naturally. Some times, English does have some structure.

EdFromHackensack 3:43 PM  

I take a caTNAP after a big meal.

Whatsername 3:52 PM  

@Nancy - I thought your ALPO clue was waaaaay better. Also, in my earlier comment, I forgot to give a nod to Will Nediger for his share of this Wednesday jewel. I know you like to share the praise where it’s due, and rightfully so, there’s no shortage of it today.

oriordan 4:35 PM  

Thoroughly enjoyed this one, @Nancy! Like others I struggled with MESHUGA (not a lot of Yiddish-isms growing up in Ireland...) Agree with those who thought that BOZO is a much more common clown name. I also much prefer your original clue for WASP. Relatively easy but no complaints! Will the number of Irish related clues/answers increase as we get to a March 17th? Seems like this one would have worked even better a week from today.

Frantic Sloth 5:05 PM  

@A 259pm "Bagpipes were officially designated as a WEAPON of war in England for over 200 years."

I'll bite: how, exactly? I mean, I realize to some people the sound is like fingernails on a chalkboard, but is that enough to win a battle? Was this the sonic warfare of its day? Hmmm. 🤔

Anonymous 5:51 PM  

Groan. I finally got WET NAP(kin). I just couldn't understand what kind of an amenity it was to take a nap while you were wet, either due to an external or internal source of wetness.

Whatsername 5:51 PM  

@Barbara (8:55) Running amok “somewhere – anywhere – they shouldn’t be. And dash off gleefully when you try to round them up.” Sounds exactly like my cats. Seriously though, I grew up on a cattle farm and your husband is right about those HEIFERS. I also wanted to say thanks for the touching quote today. I am not familiar with the author, but I think her poem is sublime.

@bigsteve46 (10:38) The regular commenters who talk and respond to each other generally do so with a healthy dose of camaraderie and respect for one another’s opinions. Just saying. And if you think those universally positive reviews of this work are not deserved, then you might go read what The NY Times Wordplay Column had to say about it.

@GILL (12:10) That BOBO clip is from the movie Moonstruck, one of my all-time favorites. If you have never seen it I highly recommend you watch it sometime. One of those rare beauties that is solid entertainment with a wonderful cast and great performances by each of them and generally PG rated.

TJS 5:55 PM  

@Joe D. Oh my God, I forgot how great that movie is. I forgot how great Cher was in that role. I ended up with tears in my eyes thinking not only how perfectly set-up that scene was, but also being reminded of where I was in my life, and who I was with, when I saw that movie. Thank you, Joe.

Barbara S. 6:09 PM  

@Malsdemare (11:51)
I'm glad they affect you that way. And knowing that, I feel I can't ever stop posting them. :)

Has anyone asked you this? Do you remember when you and Will submitted this puzzle? I'm asking because I'm interested in the lag-time between submission and publication.

burtonkd 6:33 PM  

@Nancy - love the King Charles clue, maybe ruled too obscure? Enjoy your victory lap:)

I was wondering about the first vowel in MESHUGA since it is pronounced with a schwa. I also wonder if that is a homer answer for the NYT solving audience within a Rye radius.

Only sit on MOSS if you want your pants soaked through. Good for deer, though.

Joe Dipinto 6:47 PM  

Wow, I wasn't expecting "Moonstruck" to get such a reaction. But it's one of my favorites too – it seems even better now than when it first came out. The house they used for the exterior shots just went on the market. It ain't cheap.

GILL I. 7:08 PM  

@Whatsername 5:51. I never liked the way CHER sang...EVER....BUT she could act. That was her forte (sounds like fort)....I did see "Moonstruck" but I forgot about @Joe's BOBO remark. I think I might try and watch it again tonight. I need a light uplift.... and not the kind anyone is thinking of.

Nancy 7:57 PM  

@Barbara S -- I see that I sent my last batch of clues to Will Nediger on 2/26/20. I don't know how long after that he submitted the puzzle -- probably no more than a week at most. So it's been just about a year from submission to publication.

I don't remember when the puzzle was accepted. Because I seldom delete anything from my email files, finding anything in there is an enormous challenge. If I had an office job and were keeping files for my boss, I would have been fired years ago.

chefwen 8:33 PM  

Just getting to comment now as I was out all day. Hate when Rex doesn’t blog until the next day. By the time I get here everybody is back in their jammies and ready for bed.

Wanted to add how much I enjoyed @Nancy and Will’s fun puzzle. Had a little slow down in the WASP area, looking for a narc or the kind.
Loved MASHUGA, one of Great Grandmas favorite words, but I seem to recall her adding an LA at the end.

Anyhoo, please keep ‘em coming.

Frantic Sloth 8:44 PM  

@GILL 708pm You seem upset and you've changed your avatar...are gonna shoot somebody? Definitely watch Moonstruck first.

GILL I. 9:44 PM  

@Frantic....If you're still watching....listening to my MOO STURCK nonsense....The only thing I would shoot would be a nobody dressed like a wannabe Annie Oakley. I need a horse right now. Preferably, Trigger. Yipee Kayay.

Barbara S. 11:08 PM  

@Nancy 7:57PM
Thanks for looking that up. A whole year -- wow. That seems like an age.

Anonymous 10:06 AM  

Agree 100%

EightAndEight 9:41 AM  

A different online puzzle commentator kept wringing his hands (verbally) over today's phrase "SPARE THE ROD." My advice to him would be to avoid Proverbs 13:24. But even the Bible agrees with Rex's interpretation to "carefully" discipline the child.

thefogman 10:34 AM  

FILM star Peter O’TOOLE was nominated 8 times for best actor but never won once..It’s enough to drive you MENTAL or a little MESHUGA...hop into a TUDOR coupe and head down to an IRISHPUB to drown your sorrows. May he REST in peace

Burma Shave 1:16 PM  


to cause ULCERs from their ICKY grub,


spacecraft 3:06 PM  

To the victor belong the what now? This was kind of a neat theme...except that once I got the idea, not only the rest of the themers but the revealer as well went in instantly. This ALLOWs for a swift solve.

Noticed the alcoholic mini-theme--including the LIME garnish. Started right off with DOD Kate MOSS and never lost my good mood. I know the Yiddish word MESHUGA but usually hear it with an extra syllable: "Meshugina." Solid birdie.

leftcoaster 3:38 PM  

An on-and-off tough, tricksy puzzle, with a bit of a WASPy bite.

The theme and themers helped make it easier to deal with, and had to like it for that. Also liked the symmetrical PUB / BAR answers and the smoothness of LITHE and SVELTE.

THE G in MESHUGA was the last letter in, assisted by the rhyming “blob" / GLOB.

Diana, LIW 5:06 PM  

Lambo and I finished this off with our first cup of coffee. We feel SPOILed.

Diana, LIW

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