South Asian living abroad / THU 3-11-21 / The Bulldogs of the N.C.A.A. / 1940 Arthur Koestler novel set during the Moscow Trials / In yoga, one side of a triangle formed in triangle pose

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Constructor: Leslie Rogers

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: SPRING FORWARD (Observe daylight saving time, in a way ... as in 17-, 29- and 54-Across?) — The three theme entries are phrases that include times, all of which have been "sprung forward" by one hour

Theme answers:
  • DARKNESS AT ONE PM (60A: 1940 Arthur Koestler novel set during the Moscow Trials)
  • SIX O'CLOCK SHADOW (29A: Short stubble)
  • BURN THE ONE AM OIL (54A: Work very late)
Word of the Day: PULSAR (45D: Dense, spinning celestial body) —

pulsar (from pulse and -ar as in “quasar”)[1] is a highly magnetized rotating compact star (usually neutron stars but also white dwarfs) that emits beams of electromagnetic radiation out of its magnetic poles.[2] This radiation can be observed only when a beam of emission is pointing toward Earth (similar to the way a lighthouse can be seen only when the light is pointed in the direction of an observer), and is responsible for the pulsed appearance of emission. Neutron stars are very dense and have short, regular rotational periods. This produces a very precise interval between pulses that ranges from milliseconds to seconds for an individual pulsar. Pulsars are one of the candidates for the source of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. (See also centrifugal mechanism of acceleration.)
• • •
Hi all, Rachel Fabi in for Rex today. I enjoyed this one a lot! The theme is clever, the theme entries are funny and interesting, and the fill is, on the whole, pretty uniformly excellent, with just a couple exceptions. 

The flow of the solve felt different for me, and it took me until JUST NOW, several minutes into working on this writeup, to figure out why. At first I thought maybe the grid was extra wide, but I've counted the squares *several* times and nope, it's not that. It's the symmetry! This grid has left/right (mirror) symmetry instead of traditional rotational symmetry, which resulted in me moving through the grid in really unusual ways. It's funny to realize that, when you've been doing the crossword for a long time, you get a feel for how to navigate a grid, and when something is different you can just *feel* it in the solve, like trying to put a shoe on the wrong foot. I get the same feeling solving puzzles with diagonal symmetry, and, as with today's puzzle, it always takes me longer than it should to realize why. L/R symmetry is neat and different and exceptionally useful when you're trying to build a grid around themers of asymmetrical lengths (in this case 15/15/15/13). And I'm sure I'm imagining it, but the grid kind of looks like a clock? Nah, I'm probably just projecting now.

Cool grid aside, I really enjoyed the theme today. I wasn't familiar with DARKNESS AT ONE PM (Noon), so it took me until the second theme entry to really get a foothold on the gimmick. SIX O'CLOCK SHADOW fell easily due to the X of SURTAXES, and backsolving to ONE PM followed pretty quickly after that. BURN THE ONE AM OIL was then immediately inferable, so although I struggled mightily at first, the puzzle clicked into place in short order after I cracked the theme (hence the medium-average rating for the puzzle's difficulty). The timing is perfect for this theme, given that we SPRING FORWARD this coming weekend, which makes me wonder how long the NYT editorial staff sat on this puzzle to make that timing work out! I hope this isn't constructor Leslie Rogers's debut, because having to wait for a specific date for publication sounds like torture. (Ok, yes, this is easily knowable, so I went and confirmed that it's not her debut.) 

I also think it's worth noting that the fill today is super fresh / generally high quality, and some standard fill came with fresh clues. I'm especially glad to see DESI clued as [South Asian living abroad] instead of DESI Arnaz for what appears to be only the 5th time in NYT history. Also fun: SWOLE (although I can see this slang confusing some solvers), SINE (which had an actual Ο€ in the clue!), the repeated clue for HIP and ARM [In yoga, one side of a triangle formed in triangle pose]. In fact, the clues were definitely another highlight of this puzzle. I'll bulletpoint some favorites below. The one thing that irked me in this puzzle was the dang clue on NANCY [Woman's name that's also a city in France]. Oh, were there no NANCYs of note worth cluing this entry about? Really, none? I suspect this was an editorial rather than a constructor decision. 


Favorite clues:
  • 20A: Signs of something moving? for TEARS— Because this was in that top section, this took me forever to land, but I smiled when I got it
  • 58A: Safari runner, at times for IOS— Because the built-in Apple browser is Safari. Clever!!!
  • 46D: It gets you close to home for TRIPLE — I normally don't go in for the sports entries but this is a nice misdirect
A few other things:
  • Does the clue for USED [Like most books offered on] count as a dupe of ABE? I don't super care, personally, but I know some solvers do.
  • Not a fan of Jack DORSEY 
  • Love that feeling when you get to 2D and it's [The Bulldogs of the N.C.A.A.] and you panic because there are so. many. [Bulldogs of the N.C.A.A.] 
Overall, this puzzle is great and I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite solving while burning the 11pm oil (which is one hour later than I'd normally go to sleep...!). Thanks for letting me blog at you for a bit, and see you at the New Yorker crossword reviews over on Crossword Fiend, or back here on the 23rd of the month, when Rex and I will (hopefully) do our next video solve, or on crossword twitter.

Signed, Rachel Fabi, Queen-for-a-Day of CrossWorld
[Follow Rachel on Twitter]  

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:21 AM  

Mostly medium. I had dasH before RUSH for longer than I should’ve.

Smooth and timely, liked it.

CA voted for permanent DST a couple of years ago and we are still changing the clocks in Nov. I’m not sure what happens this year?

Joaquin 2:02 AM  

I thought this puzzle was great, and it was also in my wheelhouse. I read "Darkness At Noon" when I was in the 11th grade (62 years ago!), recognized the trick early, and was off and running.

Much as I liked the puzzle, I dislike the clock changing twice a year. Let's just pick one or the other and stick with it on a nationwide basis. The clock changing is disruptive and not necessary in the 21st century.

Anonymous 2:04 AM  

Very nice, just the right amount of crunch for an amateur enthusiast like me, but way under 30 minutes, which is success for me on a Thursday! Liked the theme, learned a few things (swole), tricky clues (SHERYL, USA) but all very fair and gettable! Great puzzle, thanks.

chefwen 2:44 AM  

I love daylight savings time, it means I can get the puzzle at four instead of waiting until five O’CLOCK. Yay, cocktails one hour earlier.

Got the trick early enough with SIX O CLOCK SHADOW. Didn’t know the Arthur Koestler novel at 17A, but puzzler partner did, so this was pretty much a slam dunk.

5D was a dirty trick. I’m a birder and am from the Midwest. A singer from Missouri was the last thing on my mind.

Fun puzzle.

Frantic Sloth 4:45 AM  

I got the "shtick" early on, but needed the revealer for the explanation - and I love when that happens.
This puzzle is nothing like its subject. It was fun and coherent, and I enjoyed it very much. None of which can be said about DST.

Are we the only idiots in the world who still (or ever did) engage in this annoyingly inconvenient charade?
Blah blah it had its use once upon a time, but please please can we just (pardon the expression) shit or get off the pot about deciding what the time is and then stick with it? I know I'm not alone on this. C'mon!

I digress. Or do I?
All I know is we're coming up on the time of year when I lose an hour's sleep and that is not a good look (or feel) for me.

Now, I have no complaints about the puzzle. This theme seems pretty original and all the themers make perfect sense as well. Bonus points for revealer location.

In the fill, clever and misdirect-y clues amped up the thrills - no wooden rollercoaster this! TEARS, TRIPLE, LEASE, and for the second day in a row our NANCY makes an appearance, along with the oftener-used ROO - Hi, youz two!

And I loved "randomizer" for DIE and "fin" for ABE.

All of these common words avoided dullery by being enhanced with imaginative clueing. That's all I ask.

Had me got me for a nano or two on the IOS version of Safari. Gnu? No. Emu? Idiot. They're not found in Africa, just irritating insurance commercials. Ohhh - Apple plug. Why was I surprised? Don't answer that.

Did not get fooled by ELSE this time, so at least there's one brain cell still pulling its weight.

And I learned something new! DESI will no longer be just a "Babaloo" singer. (I know he's much more than that. Stifle. And yeah I'm mixing my sitcoms...what of it?)

Cripes! This is a lot of words to say...


Frantic Sloth 5:02 AM  

Nice write up by Rachel today, but I don't agree with her NANCY nit - not even sure I understand what her objection actually is. But, I'm grateful for her note about the ABE "dupe" (I don't super care, personally, but I know some solvers do) because I almost always feel that way these days. It's just become such "the norm", that I've had to adopt the "can't fight city hall" attitude in order to preserve what's left of my crossword sanity. Just happy that it appears I'm not alone.

@Joaquin 202am Yours is the first (of many, I suspect) comment dissing DST (pronounced "dist") and I'm right there with ya. Gonna strap in for the ride now...

OffTheGrid 6:33 AM  

I don't think my reaction to a puzzle has ever changed as much during a solve. I was really hating this but gradually came to like it a great deal. I do NOT like DST, especially in mid March. Jeesh!

Lewis 6:43 AM  

Well now, this is my kind of puzzlemaker, one who has fun with words, one who lays out a trap-filled course. I was “Hah!-ing” left and right. The cute theme. The devilish clue for DIE – [Randomizer] – not to mention those for AIR DRY, FAD, SHERYL, TEARS, TRIPLE, and ALDRIN. The inclusion of things I didn’t know, adding to the mountain that had to be climbed, the kind where you get to the top and feel like “God bless this world!”.

I’d like to think it’s fate, Leslie, since you share my initials, but I know it’s not. It’s just serendipity that your priorities in making a puzzle happen to beautifully satisfy what I hope for in a solve. I’m a fan, and thank you!

Richard Stanford 7:15 AM  

That was fun. Took me a long time to get going but then it just steamrolled.

I feel silly for not getting PM earlier. I had AR_ and HI_ for the yoga sides and assumed that they would be foreign terms I didn’t know. Got the across and never noticed the answers until this write up.

Wanted MADdaSH and it was close enough to convince me my problem was elsewhere for a bit. Loved ALDRIN as clued. And is it just me or have we seen ELIE an awful lot lately?

Conrad 7:24 AM  

@Frantic (and probably others): On Sunday mornings, most people wake up when their bodies tell them to, not with an alarm. When those people wake up this Sunday they'll have gotten their normal amount of sleep, it'll just be an hour later. So you don't "lose an hour of sleep," you lose an hour of day on Sunday, assuming you go to bed at a fixed time. That said, I agree we should go with permanent DST nationwide.

I had an awful lot of white space until I got the revealer. At that point I understood why 17A ended in PM and why five O'CLOCK SHADOW didn't fit in 29A. Then I was able to fill in the themers. Except I still didn't get why anyone would hit the @jae dOOF. That took entirely too long to figure out.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

I loved the puzzle too, for all the reasons already stated by others. But I still don't understand how DESI is a South Asian living abroad. Could someone do some 'splainin' to me, please?

kitshef 7:37 AM  

It's a common experience for me with Rex, and apparently it is true with Rachel as well; the entries they particularly like are the ones I like least. Today, when I saw the clue for DESI I thought "oh, it's that thing they always use that I can never remembers. And at the clue for SWOLE, I thought "oh, it's going to be that irritating bit of slang".

Biggest nit today is itf -- insufficient themer fame. I did not recognize Darkness at Noon, which I figured was due to my age/sex/upbringing. But Rachel did not know it either, and she is very unlike me, demographically. If neither of us knows it, it's probably just not very famous.

Despite all of which, I liked the puzzle.

Martini Mike 7:50 AM  

What a refreshing, delightful and welcome review from your clever mind. (You are hands-down the best sub host for our curmudgeonly fearless leader). Loved the puzzle and its “ timely” theme.

Son Volt 7:52 AM  

50-50 on this one. Theme was cute and timely but I thought the overall fill was off. The clueing was a little abstract and loose. Backed into DARKNESS AT ONE PM - an outlier like that as your first themer is rough. Liked the revealer.

A lot of ugly short stuff - the segmented grid in the center the main culprit. SURTAXES, NANCY, DORSEY etc are bad - so is the SWOLE x HOLE area. The SINE clue probably should have been further defined as pi radians.

Enjoyable theme - but this one should have been better.

Miranda 8:02 AM  

Back in college, DARKNESS AT NOON was what we called Intro to Art History.

Peter P 8:05 AM  

I enjoyed the NANCY clue, as well. Maybe it was because I got it right off the bat, but I also thought it was more fun than a straight name clue.

I also was one of those with MAD daSH instead of MAD ruSH for far too long; that one knotted me up in the south.

My favorite clue, by far, was "Crow native to the Midwest." I'm always on the lookout for misdirects, but that one got me! Once I got it, I had "All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun" stuck in my head for the rest of the puzzle.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 8:15 AM  

Third day this week my paper's been late and I had to do the puzzle in the times digest. If she's sleeping late THIS week, what is she going to do NEXT week when DST comes in?

TJS 8:21 AM  

I guess I'm the only one so far, but I hated this blah, one-note slog. Thursdays should be more than this. Any day should be more than this. Really was looking forward to Rex slaughtering this thing and I didn't even get that bit of enjoyment.

Passcode,die,desi,tee,sao, ole, leah,abe,ios. Whatever...

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

Hi all, pardon the possible stupid question but not being a native English speaker I don’t know how one gets Abe from fin. Can someone help me? Got it from crosses and then was befuddled. Thank you!

Barbara S. 8:28 AM  

Good puzzle, good theme. Got it at SIX O’CLOCK SHADOW. I was almost brought low by the SHERYL/TEARS/NYC cross. The two misdirects on SHERYL and TEARS had me totally flummoxed and I didn’t know WNYC. I stared at that spot for what seemed like hours (was probably 3 minutes) before I finally came up with the Y and everything fell into place. And then was impressed by the spectacularly successful trickiness.

I’m among the time-change haters and wish we’d stop. Apparently studies have indicated that if we eliminate the see-sawing back and forth, we should stay on Standard Time because it’s better for human health.

Today I give you two passages courtesy of DOUGLAS ADAMS, born Mar. 11, 1952.

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen.”

(Both from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Birchbark 8:31 AM  

SPRING FORWARD PASS CODE. I'm a fan of time changes. Unlike shadows and snow-melt patterns, which speak no matter what we do, it's within our power to assign and reassign the numbers of the day and night. We exercise the right twice a year, equal voice to the work ethic and our lazy bones that just want to keep sleeping.

ABEbooks NERDS: I spend a fair amount of time on this site. For nearly any book you want to read, you can usually find a hard-cover with dust jacket in very good or better condition and at a reasonable price. Lots of sorting options. A word to the wise: click "Not printed on demand" to screen out the low-quality noise. The sellers are largely "real" used book stores around the world.

Unknown 8:32 AM  

Same age as you, also read the book in high school. Got the the trick early.

bocamp 8:32 AM  

Thank you @Leslie; what a fun Thurs. puz! Thx for the DST reminder, too! Clever theme. :)

Med.+ solve. Slightly over avg. time.

UGA was my first entry, but nothing else came in the NW; pretty much hit and miss the rest of the way. Sorta got the idea when THE "midnight" OIL didn't work. LOL

Nice timing to see @Nancy in the puz. right after her's and Will's wonderful Wednes. offering. :)

Ole Shep ~ Wilf Carter


One error on Croce's Freestyle 588; wonder if it was the same one you missed? I don't know what was the matter, altho, I do now. πŸ€”

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Kevin 8:57 AM  

I wasn’t a big fan of this. The theme seemed odd to have two changes from the name of a specific time to a specific numerical time, with one change from a specific numerical time to another.

The sticking point for me was NANCY. I’ve never heard of that city. For a long time, I kept trying to read the clue as somehow suggesting that Nancy could perhaps also be pronounced like Nantes (a far more famous French city). I had to eventually go to Google to look up whether Nancy was a real place.

Richard Stanford 9:05 AM  

A fin is old-school slang for a five dollar bill. Abraham Lincoln is featured on that bill. A bit of a stretch but generally acceptable for a Thursday I’d guess.

JonB3 9:05 AM  

Puzzle theme reminded me of a classic Victor Borge routine where he substituted the next higher number as he read a passage. For example: One Mostel was twoderful in Fiddler On The Roof.

pabloinnh 9:13 AM  

If you know Darkness at Noon, which I did, DARKNESSATONEPM was nearly a gimme, and that made the rest of the puzzle too easy for a Thursday for me. The themers are all fine and the cluing has some nice misdirection, as has been pointed out, but it played earlier in the week than it might have.

Learned DESI in this sense, and NANCY was still fresh in my mind from yesterday.

SPRINGingFORWARD means going back to arising in darkness and having an extra hour in the evening to watch the snow melt, not much of a tradeoff. Hand up for choosing one or the other and sticking to it.

Liked your puzzle fine, LR, but it offered Less Resistance than I was looking for.

gerry w 9:14 AM  

@Anonymous 8:22
A "FIN" is slang for a five dollar bill. So is "ABE", because Abe Lincoln is pictured on the five.

@Anonymous 7:29

Nancy 9:15 AM  

Nice! A puzzle to remind me that my favorite Setting-of-the-Clock is only three days away.

I knew DARKNESS AT NOON immediately and saw it was one letter too short. So I immediately knew there was a trick. My first thought was that the word NOON would be pushed FORWARD one square and that maybe the empty square would be left blank. But, no, that wasn't it. SHEEPDOG had to be right, giving me an E where I wanted an O for NOON. So moving right along to the next possibility...

Ah, yes. The O from OATHS and the E from SHEEPDOG gave me the ONE of ONE PM.

Now that I had the trick, everything else was quite easy.

My biggest hiccup was MAD daSH instead of MAD RUSH. What was a dOOF? Any relation to a DOOK? And what's aNSOLD? I saw my [heavily written in ink] mistake, corrected messily, and was done.

I thought this puzzle was cute and timely (pun intended). But I was primed to like it anyway, come hell or high water, because of the wonderful 18D answer.

Hungry Mother 9:18 AM  

I looked for the rebus ME in Id to get a fleeting FAme, but had my mind changed later. Nice theme, very easy for me. My mother had “Darkness at Noon” on the bookshelves in our rec room when I was a kid, but I never read it or knew what it was about. Some slick cluing made this just right for a Thursday.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

I cannot possibly express how much I enjoy this blog when Rex doesn't do it. At this point, I only browse it to double check my answers, and then see how miserable he is, how his unending personal beef with Shortz affects his assessment of the puzzle, how his hobby, his DAILY PURSUIT of happiness is utterly ruined. What a sad and angry little man. I wish you well Rex. I wish you peace and happiness, you strange animal.

Kudos Rachel for being normal.

Hungry Mother 9:25 AM  

@Miranda: or Art in the Dark

RooMonster 9:31 AM  

Hey All !
Best answer? Why, ROO, of course! πŸ˜†

Hand up for MADdaSH, and trying to get Hit the ___ to make any sense. Had deck first, off that incorrect D.

Got theme at SIXOCLOCKSHADOW, then relooked at 17A, already having the NEPM at the end, and saw it'd be AT ONE PM, even though didn't know the book. Unsophistication strikes again! Not a big book, opera, art, Broadway etc. knower. BURN THE ONE AM OIL was both funny and weird! BURN THE ONE AMOIL? Har.

Got weirdly stuck in a couple spots, alphabet run (in the ole brain, not physically putting in letters till accepted) employed for the V of IVS. Thinking human administrators, nice misdirect. HAVEN oddly tough to get, and that Crow clue! Dang, never thought of SHERYL until down to SHER_L. The NYC cross was Npr, then Nbc.

Nice F right off the bat. Kind of high three count, 24. But it gets a ROO, so it's OK. Har. Liked the L/R symmetry, for some reason it looks bigger than 15 squares, as Rachel mentioned.

@NANCY, spotlight two days in a row! At least today, I get to join the fun!

Two F's
Two ROO's! (ROOM)

RooMonster 9:34 AM  

Oops, that's be (ROOF), not (ROOM). (How do you hit the ROOM?)

And @bocamp, yd, me too -1, closest in quite a while. Wondering if you missed same word? The double letter non-word? Har. What pisses me off more, is I've gotten that in previous SBs. πŸ™„

RooMonster Queenless Guy

Z 9:45 AM  

OK. Not being nearly 80, DARKNESS AT (NOON) ONE AM was a WOE. A PPP themer is never going to be my favorite, but 80 year old novels (even those making “the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century”) seem like a bit much to me (the irony of a novel written in German making that list that was published a wee pre-maturely in 1998 is, well, remarkable). I was vaguely familiar with the title once I had a few letters, but it is hardly a curriculum mainstay anymore and I don’t know how much currency a “Stalin and Hitler are evil” work has anymore. That it needed to be said in 1940 is a little depressing, but I think most non-white-supremacists basically accept that as a given now.

I was watching SHERYL Crow being interviewed by Dan Rather last night. She’s from Missouri. Last time I looked, that Arch thingy is the Gateway to the West, not the Midwest. I realize lots of people like to think of themselves as midwesterners because we’re all that is good and great about this country and so have foisted that lie as if it were truth, but the Midwest is synonymous with the old Northwest Territory and ends at the Mississippi. Minnesotans get the Headwaters exception, but all the rest of you people on or immediately abutting the Great Plains are Midwesterner Poseurs. Missouri, specifically, has more in common with the South than with the Midwest, so get out of here with that “we’re midwesterners” malarkey.

Want to get rid of DST? Okay, just convince all businesses to be open from 9 to 5 in the winter and from 8 to 4 from March to October. Oh, and schools, too. Starting elementary schools at 8 in winter means getting the kiddies out and about in the early morning dark. Or maybe we should pick a single time zone for the whole country. Let’s see, the Mountain Time Zone is the middle between Eastern and whatever Hawaii is on, so let’s go with that. Does it really matter if we call it 9 a.m. or 7a.m.? I don’t think anybody really knows what time it is, but at Z’s Placebo and Tentacle it will always be Happy Hour.

@Anon8:22 It’s probably been answered 20 times already, but just in case it hasn’t, ABE and “fin” are both allegedly slang for $5 bills, although mostly just in crosswords.

@Barbara S - “I don’t know. I didn’t listen.” hits this retired educator’s funny bone each and every time.

RyanSem 9:46 AM  

I'm so psyched, this is the first time I've ever completed a Thursday without outside help/checks. Took me a whopping 53:19 to finish, but it was well worth the trip.

I got BURNTHE... OIL? really quickly. Had no idea what I was doing wrong until I remembered it was a Thursday. Once I settled on SIXOCLOCKSHADOW I realized what was happening. Had no idea about the book title but saw ONEPM and felt DARKNESS would be a clever book title for a time at noon.

Took me until reading this to understand the IOS clue. TEARS had an amazing clue, as did TRIPLE and ALDRIN and IVS.

Still don't understand EIRE, is this supposed to mean East Ireland? If so, why is there no abbr. in the clueing? Also don't understand ABE for the clue "fin". But oh well.

Great puzzle!

Nancy 9:52 AM  

@Barbara S. (8:28) Your citations today -- Wow, the prose just leaps off the page! Lively, Original. Highly provocative. Makes me think: What else has Douglas Adams said that I've missed? Evidently a lot.

I'm putting "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" on my must-read list. Thank you, Barbara.

Bubbabythebay 9:52 AM  

22A Womens' gymnastics powerhouse should have included "inits." Wracked my brain thinking of 3 letter countries, let alone ones that could be strong in gymnastics

albatross shell 9:52 AM  

I thought we had DESI as clued in the puzzle somewhat recently because it was new to me then and this time I knew the first and last letters.

Very little until the midnight OIL that did not work and was obviously a trick of some sort. Then got SPRINGAHEAD easily and the trick. Filled in the rest of the theme answers. Moved from the bottom up to fill the South half. Then completed the East.
But the NW kicked my ass. I was deked by clues for TEARS IVS SHERYL NYC LEASE NANCY and, missing the plural in the clue, I had crACkEr for TEACAKES. Whittled away but had to reveal SHERYL and even then was a fight to finish.
High quality puzzle.

Mirror symmetry often works well. Without the excellent but easily gettable theme this one would have trounced me.

Loved a bunch of the clues.

Peter P 9:58 AM  

@RyanSem: "Eire" is Irish for "Ireland." Get used to it, it shows up alot in these crosswords. Also be aware of its cousin ERIN, a literary/poetic name of Ireland.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Abe and fin are allegedly slang for a five dollar bill? WTF?! They are slang for five. As is fiver. Get over yourself Z.
s for the the rest of your post... There are no words. And certainly no laughs on your very strange discourse on the what the Midwest is and isn't.

--Bill Evans

Mr. Benson 10:04 AM  

I think the “Bulldogs” clue had to be UGA. There aren’t that many teams with that name, at least among major college teams. They wouldn’t clue a small college that way. Gonzaga and Yale won’t fit. So UGA it is.

albatross shell 10:05 AM  

@ryansem 946am

Any 4 letter combination of letters with E,I,R,S and sometimes Y or W can mean Ireland.

Sir Hillary 10:05 AM  

Count me among the clock-change haters -- especially the SPRINGFORWARD version. I can't stand that for the next month it will be barely light at 7:30AM.

The puzzle, however, was a joy. Clever theme. Solid fill -- nothing spectacular, but no garbage either. Nice clues for TEARS, TRIPLE and ALDRIN.

My errors: PASSwOrd and StOLE. "Jacked" can also mean "stole" (like "boosted" or "nicked") so that's a good clue for the T/W Schrodinger file.

@NANCY -- Very sly of you to sign the next day's puzzle. Well done.

Feeling musical today, so in honor of today's theme:
-- A pretty song from One A.M. Oil (good video too, with their typical passion).
-- My favorite Mark Knopfler song, "6:15 A.M." (this video is user-made, so has nothing to do with the song).

pmdm 10:09 AM  

I enjoy breaking rules, so it is quite odd that including ONE twice in the puzzle annoyed me. I am a bit surprised that no one else (as yet, I think) has complained. Wonder if Sharp would have.

DeeDee 10:20 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot and I love this write-up about it. The north-center was the trickiest part of for because I originally entered SmITE for "intentionally hurt" and had never heard of DARKNESSAT(noon) so it took a while to work my way out of that.

SpyGuy 10:22 AM  

As a 48 year resident of St Louis, steeped in the lore of our beloved Cardinals, I held on to MADDASH way longer than I should have. Otherwise good solve with a well-executed theme.

bocamp 10:29 AM  

Thank you @Rachel for another great write-up; always look forward to your takes. :)

Barbara S. (8:28 AM)

Thx for the Douglas Adams quotes. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is another fave for me. :)

@RooMonster (9:34 AM)

That was indeed the one. And, I learned some time ago to try doubling up letters in words already found. Why I didn't on this one will be my secondary puzzle to decipher today. LOL

@JonB3 (9:05 AM)

Great catch on the Borge schtick! πŸ˜‰

@RyanSem (9:46 AM) πŸ‘

Another puzzle for today is to conjure up the correlative to "fin" for the ten dollar bill, without having to look it up. Oops, belay that, it's "sawbuck", I think. πŸ€”

Add me to the πŸ‘Ž for time-changing; pick one or tother and stick to it.

SB getting underway. 🀞

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Paul Statt 10:31 AM  

Rachel, thanks for a lovely explanation of the slightly uncanny feel of today's puzzle.

And praise to Leslie Rogers! For a second day in a row, I have been reminded why I like the crossword.

Carola 10:34 AM  

Cute idea, and a mix of easy (the theme) + medium (the rest) made for a very enjoyable solve. It definitely helped to have heard of the novel.

Does everyone know the daylight saving movie trailer parody?

Whatsername 10:40 AM  

Fun and timely! Not knowing the name of the novel or that devilish ”crow” at 5D triggered an OATH or two. And shame on me with SHERYL being from my home state. All I could think of was black birds since in the last few days they have made their annual influx into the area and swooped in like a mob of thieves on my back yard feeders. Anyway, I thought the puzzle was really well done. On the easy side but still challenging enough to be interesting.

New stuff learned: DESI, PHO and SWOLE as a synonym for jacked. Excellent clues for IVS, IOS, ALDRIN, TEARS. Nice to see NANCY appear in the afterglow of her dazzling Wednesday.

Just recently placed my first order with and I was very pleased. USED books reasonably priced and excellent service.

Mikey from El Prado 10:48 AM  

@Frantic Sloth, if I understand you... you are not a fan of DST. If so, that makes two of us! I’m guessing most who oppose it are morning people. And besides... it doesn’t really add any daylight. So, my recommendation to appease the crowds...


Anonymous 10:48 AM  

I would prefer standard time year round. I live in the western portion of the eastern zone. My good friend in New Hampshire would no doubt prefer DST, and I would, too, if I lived on the east coast.

Nancy 10:51 AM  

I'm always surprised at the Daylight Saving Time haters. Just as I'm always surprised at the "Pick-a-time-any-time-but-then-leave-it-the-bleep-alone-and-don't-ever-change-it" defenders. As someone who's not a morning person, I live for Daylight Saving Time. Why should all the beautiful sunshine be practically gone by the time my metabolism is ready to SPRING FORWARD into full throttle?

Standard time doesn't depress me the way it did when I worked in an office and it would be pitch dark when I left. I'd been working all day indoors, and now there wasn't any day left for me to enjoy. True, I can control the situation better now: I can push my body out the front door earlier, ready or not. But I still am happiest when I'm able to not leave my apartment until noon and still have more than five hours of sunshine to enjoy. Seven hours, later on in the year.

As for the farmers who seem to do the most bitching and moaning about DST: What's your problem? The cows and chickens and piggies will continue to get up when they have always gotten up. You, who have no time clock to punch, can still get up exactly when you have always gotten up. Call it 4, call it 5, call it 6 -- who cares what you call it?

Is Standard Time good for anyone? Definitely. It's great for morning people and I happen to have a great many morning people friends. They dread the beginning of DST just as I dread the end of it. Too much late evening light and they can't fall asleep by 9:30 as they are wont to do. :)

CDilly52 10:55 AM  

@Joaqun and @ unknown 8:32 a.m. Ditto high school required reading! Made the theme easy.

jrstocker 10:58 AM  

The NE took me forever. Probably twice as long as it took me to do the rest of the puzzle. Had no idea on the themer crossing through there, never heard of a SHERYL, and stared at ___CAKES ___CODE and ___CAKES for a very, very long time.

A 10:59 AM  

Happy World Plumbing Day! No matter what time the sun rises and sets, we can still be grateful for indoor plumbing.

Why do we need to “save” daylight when the days get longer?

I was a little worried about this puzzle, or rather, if I’d be able to fill in the white space in the north. Then I got SIX O’CLOCK SHADOW and got more confused. What a weird variation, I says to myself. Then ONE AM OIL reared its ugly head and I just got mad. This puzzle is messing with my adages. Then FORWARD SPRaNG up and, AHA! Now I get it! And the cluing helped the fill avoid feeling AGED, even with ABE, OLE, CIA, USA, SAO, IOS AND TEE scattered around the grid. Who doesn’t love a big, shaggy, SHEEPDOG?

Didn’t get a chance to make back here yesterday so here are couple of leftover items:

First, to answer @Frantic, the bagpipe is the only musical instrument deemed a weapon of war because it inspired its troops to battle and instilled terror into the enemy. Here’s the official story , and here’s a short example: Piper of Loos, and a longer one: instrument of war.

The other thing: I know the real BOBO, and he’s no clown. Roger Bobo, one of the GOATs of the tuba, played for 25 years with the LA Phil and was the first tubist to give a recital at Carnegie Hall.

The headline in the April 1, 1961 New York Times, “Roger Bobo Gives Recital on Tuba” inspired John Updike to write the following poem:

Eskimos in Manitoba,
Barracuda off Aruba,
Cock an ear when Roger Bobo
Starts to solo on the tuba.
Men of every station -- Pooh-Bah,
Nabob, bozo, toff, and hobo --
Cry in unison, "Indubi-
Tably, there is simply nobo-
Dy who oompahs on the tubo,
Solo, quite like Roger Bubo!"

Nice writeup, Rachel, and enjoyed the clever puzzle, Ms. Rogers!

mathgent 11:02 AM  

I went to University of San Francisco in the mid-fifties, a Jesuit school. A required course then was Geopolitics, which was all about the evils and the threat of international communism. That's when I read Darkness at Noon. We also read Witness by Whittaker Chambers

Wonderful puzzle. Excellent sparkle (16 red plus signs in the margins), crunchy enough, learned some things (DESI, triangle pose in yoga). I forgive the 24 threes.

DEIGN is a neat word. Strangely, it reminds me of She Stoops to Conquer, a play I know nothing about except its provocative title. It makes me think of those who DEIGN to humble themselves in order to gain an advantage.

I hope we haven't lost the erudite Todd Trimble.

Jack DORSEY lives in the Sea Cliff neighborhood here in San Francisco. It's by the Golden Gate, where San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific. He often walks to his downtown office in the morning, about five miles away.

burtonkd 11:03 AM  

I'm stunned at the overwhelming DST hate here. I think it may depend on how close you live to the time zone lines and how far north or south you are.
Where I live (NYC),it is a godsend. As Z points out, it is very depressing to go to work or school and return home in the dark in the winter months. Conversely, the sun and birds are both coming out so early now that it is hard to get a full nights sleep, so DST is due. Plus the bliss of light well into the evening hours during the summer. Payoff much greater than the minor inconvenience 2x/year.

burtonkd 11:06 AM  

@Nancy, good things come in 3's, so I wonder what wonders await you tomorrow?

Christopher Castoro 11:08 AM  

I also read it in High School, voluntarily. Teacher said I should read it again when I was older! Im 74 now. Maybe its time?!

Anoa Bob 11:09 AM  

Whaaaaaa??!! I always thought it was Fall Forward and Spring Back! No wonder I was never on time for my classes! (Okay, I saw an opening for my inner smart-ass to make an appearance and I took it!)

One of the nicest things about being retired is that I go to bed when I get sleepy and I get up when I wake up. Many people know of the importance of diet and exercise in maintaining optimum health but I don't think as many know that regular restful and restorative sleep is the third pillar of health maintenance. And one of the most important factors for that is circadian synchrony/regularity where sleep onset and waking occur as close to the same time each 24-hour period as possible.

One of our systems that benefits greatly from circadian (from Latin for "about/near one day") regularity is the Immune System. Want to boost the power of your immune system? Arrange your schedule so that you can get seven to eight hours of good quality sleep (where you cycle through several REM-NREM sleep stages) every day.

That would be my main objection to goofing around with the clock twice each year: It upsets our circadian synchrony and has an overall negative impact on our health. There are other, less harmful ways to adjust our lives to seasonal changes in periods of daylight and darkness. Don't let the clock be our ENEMY and rule our lives!

Nancy 11:11 AM  

Here's the funniest song about mornings on a farm ever written!

Newboy 11:13 AM  

Polysemous words (Thanks @Nancy— or should that be NANCY?) moved today’s grid up a notch or two in appreciation. IOS & TEARS both landed appropriately after head scratching, but SHERYL filled with crosses as an assumed avian mystery until @chefwen’s early post prompted today’s ultimate brow slap. I’m patting myself on the back for dropping TRIPLE into the SW without even a single cross to confirm, so it’s only fitting that I’m eating Crow clues from the heartland section. Very enjoyable way to start the day Ms Rogers, so thanks heaps. And thanks as always to Rachel for guest critique. Now back to enjoy others & xwordinfo constructor notes. I’m suspecting that many will share @Juaquin’s disdain for the antiquated SPRING FORWARD that grounds today’s grid so well.

OffTheGrid 11:16 AM  

I certainly understand why bagpipes would "instill terror into the enemy". Worst...Sound...Ever! If I were a spy it would only take 5 seconds of bagpipe playing to make me spill everything.

RooMonster 11:24 AM  

@Carola 19:34
Holy shittake, that was the most awesome thing I've ever seen! I literally have TEARs from laughing! Whoever came up with that is a genius! Thanks so much for sharing it!


Unknown 11:26 AM  

The grid layout doesn't look like a clock, but it DOES look like a Rorschach test. For a couple hundred bucks an hour with a top therapist maybe you can figure out why it looks like a clock to you.
(I see the Venus of Willendorf, so I've already added it to the agenda for my next therapy session.)

SouthsideJohnny 11:32 AM  

There is an article about diversity in crosswords in today's Washington Post (it may be behind a subscription firewall). Would be interested to get OFL's take on it as well.

Crossword Diversity

Edward 11:37 AM  

Alternate clue for 2D: College mascot who had a cameo in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." (full disclosure: I'm an alumnus)

Hartley70 11:39 AM  

I love daylight saving time so I look forward to this weekend all winter. It was lovely to get a reminder in this theme. At first glance I wandered around the grid looking for my toehold. As usual it was the PPP of LEAH, ELIE and BUZZ which got me going in the SW and led to SPRING and BURN. Those themers were the key and I was set until I needed DARK to finish the novel. I’ve never heard of the book or author, so there was some serious NW fiddling until something made sense. I got a BUZZ out of this puzzle and SWOLE gave it an extra kick.

EdFromHackensack 11:40 AM  

@Lewis - No doubt the SHERYL Crow clue will make your Top 5. Not to influence you, but that was a wicked curveball.... HOF in jy book :)

CDilly52 11:48 AM  

I enjoyed everything about today’s puzzle ad I especially enjoyed the analysis from our Queen for a Day, Rachel. Well done and thank you.

The theme was easy for me as I have the dreaded DST change on my mind. Every year it just irritates the life out of me. I did have n elderly constituent while I was on the City Council here in Norman who wore me “clean smooth” as the folks here in OK like to say about irritants with her campaign to make DST permanent just in the city.

Ms. E was a renowned Master Gardener and won countless Firsts and Grands for irises and tomatoes all over the Midwest. She came to council on many occasions, certainly each year at switch time, to begin tell us that it would be good for all the competitive gardeners in the city because “it’s that extra hour of sunshine our crops will get that others don’t. Ever since we started this daylight time my tomatoes are doing better than ever! ” I kid you not. She believed that “saving daylight” meant that by moving the clock forward somehow the earth slowed down a little and the day was an hour longer. I’ll never forget Ms. E.

Great puzzle, almost zero junk, total enjoyment.

Masked and Anonymous 12:11 PM  

Masked and Anonymous 12:18 PM  

Well, shoot--I said a whole lot more than that first message came thru the meatgrinder as…

Timely theme. Some states don't do this SPRINGin and fallin stuff, clock-wise. They seem to get by ok. Can really get confusin, when travelin to one of them states this time of year, tho.

Superb write-up by Queen Rachel. Thanx, as always. And, yep … NANCY certainly Drew a few specific names out, at our house.

Primo E/W symmetry is a definite puzgrid plus. Also, them black weeject-long bars in the SW & SE corners were a different touch. M&A likes different.
staff weeject pick goes to the black corner bars [parts of Z's Placebo & Tentacle chain, of course]. honorable mention to UGA, crossin the AGU in AGUA … good stuff.

Didn't know the mysterious DARKNESS novel, so the theme mcguffin remained a novel mystery for several extra nanoseconds. Cute theme idea, tho. Liked.

other notable stuff-ins: PASSCODE [debut word]. MADRUSH [Can't believe M&A had MADDASH first -- lost precious nanoseconds]. The all-weeject rows #5 & #9.

Thanx for the DST-reminder, Leslie Rogers darlin. Great themers.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Let’s Do the Time Warp 12:27 PM  

I found this puzzle delightful and almost had a dnf at the TEARS/SHERYL crossing before I realized SAKI is the writer and SAKE is the drink. Amazing how one mistake can sometimes throw me for a loop. @Z, ha....I throw down on the MIDWEST thing. Our country has been filled out from coast to coast for awhile so I personally think it is ridiculous to call Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin the Midwest. I’ve always been partial to “Great Lakes” states. States to the west may be plains, but to me those states are geographically THE Midwest.

Also, count me in with the “love the time change folks” but I learned it’s not just people in Indiana that get in a lather about this twice year. Of course many Indiana peeps gets bent out of shape and bring up the “we should be in the Central time zone. My thoughts on that are that someone has to be on the western part of the Eastern time zone and the petty thought of who in their right mind WANTS to be in the Central time zone (sorry, they get the old-fashioned news at 10 pm instead of 11).

All of this is somewhat tongue in cheek and @Z PLEASE don’t trash Indiana...some of us have the self-loathing already, we don’t need more.

old timer 12:53 PM  

By the time I got towards the bottom I only had SIX O'CLOCK SHADOW so the revealer was very helpful -- I really had forgotten about the Koestler work's title. SPRINGing the other themers an hour forward really helped complete the solve.

As a child growing up in Brentwood (OJ's future house was just up the hill from me) I really loved DST because it meant more time at the beach all summer, and well into the fall. I stopped liking it when I settled in San Francisco, and wanted to see a glorious sunset *before* going home to dinner. I am still in the stay-on-standard-time side, now that I'm an old man who likes getting up before 7 a.m. I suspect Jack DORSEY agrees, since he likes to walk to his office every morning. Or maybe doesn't, since his parties in Sea Cliff would be more charming if there was a lovely sunset out the window.

Writeovers: MADdaSH before MADRUSH. And "ano" before SAO. Who knew that was a tilde? Now I wonder how SAO Paulo is pronounced.

Whatsername 12:58 PM  

Whether you love or hate the time change, have yourself a good laugh and go watch the link posted by @Carola at 10:34.

@Carola (10:34) That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing.

@Mikey (10:48) Re the suggestion of moving the clock 30 minutes either way, I’ve heard that said for years. There are probably experts who would argue against it, but it sounds like the perfect solution to me.

@mathgent (11:02) I’ve been wondering about @TTrimble as well. Also I noticed @Giovanni hasn’t been around in quite a while.

bocamp 12:59 PM  

@Carola (10:34 AM)

Thx for the vid. :)

@Nancy 11:11 AM

Funny and fun; thx. :)

@SouthsideJohnny (11:32 AM)

Excellent article, thx!

@CDilly52 (11:48 AM)

Great anecdote! I sometimes get confus-ed by the so-called obvious things, so I can relate to Ms. E. LOL

td pg -5

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Teedmn 1:18 PM  

When I got 5D, it made me chuckle because of the Midwest's version of Siri, which is a hoot.

But this puzzle really kicked me around. 1A (todo), 5A (SmITE), 33A (Eaten, though I see that PacMan only eats the ghosts when they turn blue), 35A (StOLE, because there have been a lot of carjackings in Minneapolis this winter) and 49D (ROad). All of this got fixed but they interfered with filling in the grid. Plus there's my thought that 29A's base phrase should be "four-o'clock shadow", so SIX O'CLOCK jumped an hour and a time zone.

Nice idea, Leslie Rogers, thanks!

pmdm 1:35 PM  

Nancy: I remember reading somewhere (I forget where) that the reason why farmers dislike DST is that it wrecks havoc with their interaction with the rest of the world. Shopping, banking, and so forth. Don't know whether that's true or not, but at leat it is a coherent reason.

Those who work on Sundays (like church music ministers) may be unhappy at losing the hour in the spring. I did not mind, but my wife was quite unhappy with the loss. My unhappiness boiled down to irritation if I had to program my recorder to record any broadcast at 2 AM plus or minus one hour. The guides I had were not too smart about DST.

I frustrate people by keeping my watch on DST all year. That frustrates them almost as much as by displaying the time in military (24 hour) format. Now I shall post this comment at 13:35 my time.

A 1:47 PM  

@Barbara S., two great excerpts! And I concur with the sleep experts in your link.

So rather than fight over capricious time changes, how about we just do like nature intended: work/play less in the winter and more in the summer?

ABEbooks is a great resource. I think my first purchase, several years ago, was a set of Elyne Mitchell’s “Silver Brumby” books for my neighbor’s daughter.

@Z, love that Chicago horn section!

@ RyanSem, congrats on your first solo thursday!

@pmdm, the ONE dupe was a minor NIT for me, and I was anticipating a major Rex rant.

But ONE + ONE = two, @NANCY and @ROO! Will they ARM wrestle over which one gets AM and which PM?

@Carola, thanks, the parody was hilarious. “Wanna buy an hour?”

paulfahn 1:49 PM  

Another tricky clue: 52D Put on the line (AIR DRY). Tough!

Anonymous 2:10 PM  

I was first told about Arthur Koestler's *Darkness at Noon* in the 1950s, when it was presented to me as a form of extreme right-wing, anti-communist propaganda. Mathgent (11:02) is correct that that was its reputation. I never read it. Z (9:45) tells us that people objecting to it today may be on the right, since the work says negative things about Hitler! Z's point is correct also, and it should serve as a warning about glib generalizations about the "anti-communist" 1950s, as opposed to the more enlightened present. In the 1950s, in a very conservative area of the USA (the South) I was warned that Koestler was extreme right-wing propaganda, and the people warning me were by no means leftists. We are now told that it is a healthy, mainstream work attacking right-wing extremists.

At least in the 1950s there were still some communists in the US around to attack. Today our "socialism" is altruistic blather, with an admixture of racist identity politics.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Carola 2:19 PM  

@RooMonster, @Whatsername, @bocamp, @A - So glad you enjoyed it!

jae 3:02 PM  

@bocamp - I suspect we missed the same square as I too now know what the matter is.

Frantic Sloth 3:13 PM  

@Conrad 724am Thanks for the breakdown/explanation, but I don't do logic/rational. 😘

@Mikey from El Prado 1048am LOL! Congrats on gleaning my hidden message!

@A 1059am Thank you for your "due diligence" and answering my question. You mentioned most of that in your original post, but I didn't put 2+2 together. (Math is so hard!!) Seems whoever decided to classify bagpipes as a "weapon" might have owned stock in the biz. Perhaps they mistook the cowering as fear when it was something else entirely, if you get my drift. Then again, I imagine it wouldn't fee great to be thwacked upside the head with them… πŸ˜‰ And I really liked the John Updike poem – even though it made my head hurt. 😁

@Barbara S 828am Douglas Adams knows whereof he speaks! Nice quotes – again! You do realize you're trapped now, right? πŸ˜‰

@Carola 1034am No! I don't believe I've ever seen that – so thank you! I would call it "hilarious", but I'm weaning. Did send it to everyone I know, though. πŸ˜‚

@Nancy 1051am and others defending DST Of the two choices, I actually prefer DST, too – but let's just leave it there! Not a morning person either, but am also trying to "mend my ways" in order to better align my waking hours with my hometown friends'. Does not always work.

@mathgent 1102am and anyone who might be concerned – TTrimble is fine, just taking a step back for a while. I can relate, but if he doesn't show up soon, I'm letting the hounds loose.

@Anoa Bob 1109am Question: inner smartass? 😘

@Nancy 1111am You could be right about that video, but I'll have to wait until I have more time. (Is it really over an hour long??)

@CDilly52 1148am LOL! No words.

Gah! I keep falling behind – will have to finish reading you all later! Toodles.

sanfranman59 3:58 PM  

Challenging NYT Thursday ... 36% above my Thursday 6-month median solve time

I've had all kinds of trouble with the six puzzles I've done with Leslie Rogers's name in the byline. I was all over the grid during this solve. That's unusual for me except with Friday and Saturday puzzles and is indicative of a struggle. This is a fine puzzle that I didn't connect with and didn't solve well at all. I know the Koestler title, but just couldn't dig it out of my memory. I can't believe that I submitted with 'SmITE'/'mASS CODE'(???) instead of SPITE {5A: Intentionally hurt}/PASS CODE {6D: Smartphone alternative to a fingerprint scan}. Duh! Not my day.

My missteps:
-- 'to-do' long before FUSS {1A: Kerfuffle} ... I erased this error pretty quickly with AGUA {14A: Contents of un rΓ­o} then UGA {2D: The Bulldogs of the N.C.A.A.}
-- 'USc' (duh! ... read the entire clue!) long before USA {22A: Olympic women's gymnastics powerhouse}
-- 'Npr' before NYC {24A: Big public radio letters after "W"} ... WNPR is what I listened to when I lived in Connecticut
-- 'StOLE' before SWOLE {35A: "Jacked"}
-- 'MAD daSH' before MAD RUSH {47A: Scramble} and, therefore, 'dirt' before ROOF {49D: Hit the ___}
-- I bounced back and forth between EIRE {59A: Homeland of James Joyce} and 'Erin' several times
-- 'At Risk' instead of AIR DRY {52D: Put on the line}

My learning opportunities:
-- DESI {36A: South Asian living abroad}
-- DORSEY {68A: Jack ___, co-founder and longtime C.E.O. of Twitter}
-- NANCY {18D: Woman's name that's also a city in France}

Yikes! I clearly made a mess of this.

chefwen 4:23 PM  

@Teedmn 1:18. Being born a bred a Cheesehead I was laughing so hard at that clip I scared the beejesus out of the kitty. Between @Carola and yours I’ll be chuckling for the rest of the day. Thanks to da bot of yous.

Birchbark 4:36 PM  

PASSCODE from the Archives: Thursday March 29, 2001 is fun, in a gee-whiz, Bazooka Bubblegum kind of way.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

"Oh, were there no NANCYs of note worth cluing this entry about? Really, none?"

Oh, just stop it. The clues are not required to be of one kind or another. And ANYWAY it WAS clued as a woman's name AND a city in France. What do you have against France?

Whatsername 5:24 PM  

@Frantic (3:13) Thanks for reporting back on Trimble.

@Teedmn (1:18) Midwest Siri was a hoot. Reminded me of my days living in Badger Land.

@chefwen (4:23) I must admit I thought of you when I watched that one.

Carola 5:41 PM  

@Teedmn 1:18 (and @chefwen) - OMG that video! Thank you! Coincidentally, an hour ago my out-of-state daughter, needing some information from a Wisconsin business, asked me to make the phone call for her, as "They will respond better to your accent" :)

Nancy 6:15 PM  

@Frantic -- So I had absolutely no idea what you were talking about. More than an hour?? I thought I was linking to just the first song which is maybe 2-3 minutes. I clicked on the link again and, son-of-a-gun, it's not just one song -- it's Comden and Greene's entire Broadway two-person show -- a wonderful show that I saw in person back in the day.

Who knew that it had been preserved in its entirety? You've done me a favor, Frantic. It was a wonderful show and I'll watch it again, definitely. I hope it holds up; I hope it's not dated. If it holds up, everyone here is in for a Broadway treat and it's absolutely free.

Z 7:09 PM  

@RyanSem - πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

@Time Warp - Well, certain people here might suggest that there is one and only one Great Lake State... But sure, Indiana is more of a Great Lake State than Missouri is midwestern. Hard to argue with your “geographically” claim until one realizes that looking at the question that way forces the “midwest” to be California, Oregon, and Washington. So, nah. Lets go with it’s original historical meaning of the old Northwest Territory and stop the wannabes.*

@Poggius - I’ve never heard Eric Blair described as “extreme right-wing” and he wrote favorably of Koestler. I can see why right-wingers and McCarthyites would like anti-Stalin works, but that doesn’t make the work itself extremist.


Joe Dipinto 7:49 PM  

@Nancy – Try the Cryptogram today, if you haven't already done so. It actually ties into the main X-word, in a way. :-)

Anonymous 8:21 PM  

There was a copy of Darkness at Noon in the house as I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, which my father had bought. He was a liberal and certainly never considered Koestler to be right wing.

I think it was the residual early 1950s far left wing that hadn't yet accepted Stalin's crimes, that was portraying Koestler as right wing. They had their influence of course, but that didn't make their claims widely accepted among liberals.

Z 8:37 PM  

BTW - My favorite geography trivia question: Which state is westernmost and easternmost?

Here’s a hint.

Anonymous 10:31 PM  

Z’s comment (7:09 pm) about Eric Blair, i.e. George Orwell, liking Koestler is accurate, or he liked him at least for a time. I think when Orwell was writing, at least at the time of *Homage to Catalonia*, he saw the Stalinists as sort of getting the upper hand. I like Orwell’s work, and I don’t blame him for this. Certainly Stalin should be scrutinized and criticized. The nicest thing about Stalin was written by one of his critics, Isaiah Berlin, who, in summarizing his influence, remarked that he sent “everyone to school.” Once you have everyone reading and thinking, you cannot control the outcome, as Stalin would have realized had he lived longer.

Anon. (8:21 p.m.) states that he had copy of *Darkness at Noon* in his home. As I try to recollect how I knew about the work, I think now that our family (mildly progressive in the 1950s [at least by Southern standards], solidly democratic from about 1964), had a copy as well, and my father, I think, warned me about it being “reactionary.” For some reason I never read it.

When we look at questions about Hitler, et al., we have to get into areas that are difficult to deal with, since we are dealing with what is sometimes called things that are “objectively reactionary.” When we all agreed that Hitler was evil, ca. 1945, his supporters attempted to argue that Stalin was worse. When I first took Western Civilization courses, using texts like Palmer and Colton, *History of the Modern World*, we were told that Stalin’s purges may have killed a million people. Palmer and Colton were militantly anti-communist, and the “million” figure in their work was possibly a slander, based on an improbable anecdote Stalin himself made to Roosevelt (to their credit, Palmer and Colton never actually stated that they believed the “million” figure; they were merely reporting it).

Then the numbers started changing. Scholars began learning that the Holocaust deaths numbered about 6 million. Stalin killed “only” one million. Almost magically, without a shred of evidence, the number of those murdered by Stalin rose from one million to six million. Then those answered that Hitler’s war killed tens of millions, which was true. Miraculously Stalin’s victims came to number in the tens of millions. Later Mao’s foes came up with a figure higher than that of Hitler and Stalin. I have no idea as to what numbers are accurate. But I think we should have a healthy scepticism when we hear them cited.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Holly 11:49 PM  

Huh. Didn’t know triangle pose was formed by your arm and leg, always thought it was formed by your legs and the ground made the (invisible) third side.

albatross shell 1:38 AM  

Alaska. Now to check your hint.

Unknown 11:15 AM  

Actually, California voted to have permanent DST if the rest of the country adopted it. Not the same thing as CA could have just adopted it (as Arizona has rejected DST)

spacecraft 10:55 AM  

A couple of groaner clues (Crow native to the Midwest = [DOD] SHERYL; (South Asian living abroad = DESI) put this one squarely in the Thursday slot. Not finding an easy starting place in the north, I found the revealer clue, mentally inserted SPRINGFORWARD and double-checked a down or two--yes, FDR hated WAR--and wrote it in. From there, it wasn't long to uncover the three gridspanning themers. It was the FILL that I had the hardest time with.

Unique theme, even if too easy to get, and some interesting fill without much junk. Birdie.

Wait: DESI was South Asian??? Really?

thefogman 10:56 AM  

Excellent puzzle. PS - Maybe one day the deciders can agree to abolish daylight saving time. WWAD? (What Would ABE Do?)

Burma Shave 2:22 PM  


Goodness SAKEs, make THE TEARS CEASE,
it MEANS she's APT to LAY you.


Diana, LIW 2:45 PM  

Fearing the rebus, I braved the Thursday solve. Only to find a timely theme. And I agree with @Spacey on the Crow Clue - tee hee. Is it really Thursday already!?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 6:53 PM  

P.S. I belatedly noticed that the time of day progresses in orderly fashion from midday to evening to late night, top to bottom. Extra primo neat!

Jokr22 11:50 PM  

SWOLE? Seriously? “Jacked” has any number of slang meanings, couldn’t parse SWOLE. I was happier with ATAY for not around (even though it sounded absurd) than I am now with SWOLE.

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