Galactic conquerors of film / THU 4-8-21 / Second staff in many an orchestral score / Emerald is a variant of it / 2003 #1 Outkast hit / Drink originally called blanc-cassis / Futuristic delivery device / Physics Nobelist who developed an early model of the atom

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Constructor: Jake Halperin

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: boating puns — yes, you read that correctly; actually, it's "place to store your boat" puns:

Theme answers:
  • A PIER ON THE SCENE (17A: Weary boater's welcome sight?) (from "appear on the scene")
  • WHAT'S UP, DOCK! (27A: Cry on arriving for a boating trip?) (from "What's up, Doc?")
  • FOREVER MOOR (49A: Completely retire from boating?) (from "forever more")
  • QUAY DEMOGRAPHIC (63A: Boaters, collectively?) (from "key (!) demographic")
Word of the Day: ROSA Klebb (51D: ___ Klebb, bond villain in "From Russia With Love") —
Colonel Rosa Klebb is a fictional character, the main antagonist in the James Bond1957 novel and 1963 film From Russia with Love, in which she is played by Lotte Lenya. Her name is a pun on the popular Soviet phrase for women's rightskhleb i rozy (Cyrillic: хлеб и розы), which in turn was a direct Russian translation of the internationally used labour union slogan "bread and roses". (wikipedia) (my emph.)
• • •

Grim. The fact that all the boating words are actually *boat storage* words gives the theme set a sort of consistency, but that is really all I can say in praise of this theme, which combines a super-corny, super-old-fashioned theme type with a topic I don't care about at all. The latter issue isn't really relevant, but really are we still just using bad puns as the basis for themes. And on a Thursday—the day when the puzzle is supposed to be its sassiest and most innovative? Profound disappointment. The puns aren't even that, uh, splashy. "WHAT'S UP, DOCK!" and FOREVER MOOR are particularly weak, with hardly any change involved in that first one, and with the base phrase ("forever more???") being so tenuous in the second. And speaking of FOREVER MOOR, I had serious pronunciation issues with this puzzle. I think I say "MOOR" with a long "U," not a long "O" sound. For me "MOOR" rhymes with "tandoor" or "Roger Moore." The pronunciation is still close enough to work for the pun to work reasonably well for me, but it's a little off. As opposed to the QUAY in QUAY DEMOGRAPHIC, which was way way off for me. I've apparently been hearing a regional variant my whole life, because *that* word, as I've known it, is pronounced "kay"! Here, read this, from "Grammarphobia":

So, since there are recognized standard variant pronunciations, that means that the great climax to this boating pun puzzle was a pun I absolutely didn't understand. That is, I didn't know what phrase was being punned on. Looked up "K demographic" and "Kay demographic" (lotta Kay Jewelers fans out there...) before somehow realizing that the base phrase I was looking for was "key demographic." Pfft. I would not be surprised if I'm in the minority here, pronunciation-wise, but I will be gobsmacked if I'm the only one who looked at "QUAY DEMOGRAPHIC" and thought "I'm sorry, what?" So that was a less than ideal way to complete the theme, which, as I've said, I didn't care much for to start with. Oh well. Well at least they didn't try to pull off "STAR WHARF" or "RETURN OF THE JETTY."

I liked "YOU GOT THIS!" (31D: Encouraging words), both because it feels fresh and in-the-language, and because it genuinely threw me for a bit: I figured the phrase of encouragement started, "YOU GO, ... someone!" Alas "GIRL" wasn't long enough to complete the answer, so I was briefly left wondering who was being cheered on, but then I was forced to reparse the answer (YOU GOT, not YOU GO) and boom, there it was. I don't mind being fooled when the resulting answer is strong (and, in retrospect, aptly clued). Most of this grid felt laded (!) with oldish familiarish fill. I won't list it all, but there really is a lot. A lot a lot. I mean, just start at the AÇAI / ICE-T crossing in the NE and work your way out from there, you'll see. It's a lot. I really only accept CAP'N if it's followed by Crunch, and the ART I clue just takes weak fill and makes it weird (7D: Beginning of the Constitution: Abbr.). Enough about this puzzle, I think.

One important puzzle event to promote today:

"These Puzzles Fund Abortion" is a pack of 14 puzzles edited by Rachel Fabi and featuring an all-star list of constructors to benefit the Baltimore Abortion Fund (BAF). BAF provides financial assistance to people who live in or travel to Maryland for abortion care. The puzzles are currently available for preorder through a donation to BAF here. Donors who choose to donate anonymously can forward their receipt to the email address listed on the fundraiser page in order to receive the puzzles (they will not be sent automatically). Puzzles will be sent this weekend, and everyone who preorders by Friday, April 9 will be guaranteed to receive them first.  

The constructor slate really is top-notch (Erik Agard! Robyn Weintraub!), and having been a test-solver, I can say that the puzzle quality is really quite high—far more polished and entertaining than your average daily crossword. Do yourself and others a favor and go get these puzzles. And if you could spread the word, that would be great. Thank you. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. big thanks to Will Shortz for the glowing recommendation in his NYT interview yesterday:

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 6:31 AM  

Pretty straightforward for a Thursday. At first I thought this was a loose set of boating-related puns, but I finally got that it is a tighter set of places where a boat can be parked. I’ll take it.

I appreciated the periphery theme stuff: ASEA, AQUA, TUGS.

“GOP” before TSA ;-)

Loved the clue for CHILD ACTOR – I smiled when that one fell.

I kept pondering that “hardest part of a date” clue, PIT notwithstanding. I guess it’s the massively awkward good-bye at the door, right? I find myself in a position where I could start dating again, and who knows. . . maybe the hardest part will be eating rich foods and trying to muffle any hint of BELLY TROUBLE.

It took me forever to see BE MERRY. Hmm. I guess some people’s “festive enjoyment” presents as being merry. Could depend on your stage in life. . .

...AT TEN: drinking grape Kool-Aid, eating chocolate cake, and playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey
...At twenty: drinking hunch punch, switching to straight vodka, and getting knee-walking, commode-hugging drunk
...At eighty-six: playing Bingo, going on Golden Disciple tours, and beasting the monthly potluck with her chocolate Amish cake. (Hi, Mom again)

Rex - Mom would cringe at YOU GOT THIS. In her presence, I was never allowed to use GOT for have. Give up the fight, Mom – that ship has sailed. (I’m still trying to convince her that it’s ok to refer to children as kids.)

Speaking of pedants. . . bet lots of you think the past tense of WREAK is wrought. Think again. Wrought is an old past tense of the verb work. Wreaked is the past tense of WREAK. So like, The perfidious wretch wreaked havoc as he wrought the sheep into a Capitol-storming mob.

Karl Grouch 6:42 AM  
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Richard Stanford 6:48 AM  

For me this felt easier than yesterday’s puzzle, maybe on par with Tuesday’s. Certainly not Thursday strength. Relatively little PPP and I knew the ones that were here. Unlike Rex I got QUAY first. Unlike many my years of database work made me think of the MDY format or time zone headaches as a brief chuckle before going with PIT.

Karl Grouch 6:52 AM  

Jetty, LeVee's pup went wharf

Riddler 6:57 AM  

How is this puzzle like a vacuum cleaner?

Lewis 7:07 AM  

Hah! I’ve been pronouncing QUAY as “kway” in my head all my life! And so, like @rex, I didn’t understand the last theme answer (and now I do having investigated that word’s pronunciation). But what a gift this turned out to be.

As I mulled this mispronunciation over, I started imagining me saying “kway” out loud and people stifling laughs out of politeness, but not correcting me, also out of politeness, and me continuing to mispronounce the word for the rest of my life.

My takeaway: When I hear someone mis-pronounce a word from here on, I will – very politely! – correct them.

And there it is, one more side benefit of crosswords. They’re not only teachers of new words, but also teachers of life lessons.

Thank you for this one, Jake – even if you didn’t intend it! – and for an enjoyable (I especially loved the clues for PIT and PSI) Thursday outing!

bocamp 7:07 AM  

Thank you @Jake for this excellent Thurs. puz. Solid theme and a most enjoyable experience! :)

Med solve.

Would've said smooth sailing if not restricted to the PIER.

Our ship MOORed at Pearl Harbor or Long Beach (6 mo. rotation).

After getting out of the Navy in '65, lived one year with parents in Lake Oswego, Or. on Kelok Canal. Had a boathouse and DOCK; fond memories of water-skiing on the lake.

Used to take students to New Westminster QUAY (BC). Lots of great activities for them there.

(Sittin' On) The DOCK of the Bay ~ Otis Redding

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Trockmn 7:16 AM  

Silly me - I didn’t think there were any other crossword blogs.....

Smitty 7:26 AM  


John H 7:30 AM  

Wasn't there a clue earlier in the week in which "quay" was pronounced "key" in reference to a small island?

Son Volt 7:51 AM  

I liked this one for the most part - although not as tricky as my favorite Thursday’s. QUAY is pronounced “key” - there’s really no discussion. Overall fill was fine - a little flat in areas. Liked the entire SW corner sub-theme and the Dino - ASTRO clue.

Enjoyable solve on a beautiful sunny morning.

kitshef 7:53 AM  

Fine puzzle for a Wednesday that was a big disappointment on Thursday.

I always thought "kway" for QUAY was like "kollonell" for colonel - a mistake you make the first time you see a word but learn better quickly. Surprised to see it exists in the wild.

Joaquin 8:08 AM  

My QUAY takeaway from this puzzle: "Boat parking" is a fine theme but better suited for a Wednesday.

Guilherme Gama 8:09 AM  

All I have to say is thank you for spelling AÇAÍ with a cedilla.

SouthsideJohnny 8:23 AM  

Interesting - bo's'n was a completely new term to me, I wonder where it originated. To say or write the abbreviation is almost as difficult as just writing out boatswain, lol. Maybe it originated as a foreign word or phrase.

The KIR crossing HINDI was above my pay grade as well (I had HINDu). BERYL is a word that just sounds cool !

Frantic Sloth 8:24 AM  

The theme was meh for the Thursdee and would have benefited from the inclusion of two absolutely essential words. I don't want to name names, but their initials are Rye and Marina.


Frantic Sloth 8:24 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin 8:26 AM  

I read Rex’s column today specifically to have the QUAY pun explained to me. Otherwise I had no idea. I too tried random variations of KWAY in hopes of striking upon the pun.

Joe R. 8:42 AM  

NE was brutal for me today. My troubles began when I plopped down APIERONTHESHORE rather than SCENE. I couldn’t get any of the downs with this, so I looked at the acrosses, and confidently dropped in TARO for the purple purée ingredient. I even confirmed that it seemed right because -TH-, -RR-, and -OE- all seemed plausible letter combinations, and I figured the rapper -AO- was someone I’d never heard of with the hyphen between the A and the O. But I got nowhere, and it was only after staring at O---- for a minute and finally coming up with OTTER that I slowly managed to dig myself out of this hole,

TheMadDruid 8:44 AM  

Quay pronounced “Kay” is from the French “quai”-pronounced “Kay”. There are cays in the Bahamas.

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

I think a CAY is smaller than a KEY, and a QUAY is a protected anchorage.

Jeremy 8:49 AM  

Damn! Shortz is cold as ice!

Barbara S. 8:59 AM  

This didn’t seem like a Thursday puzzle to me. Some have suggested Wednesday, but to me it was a small Sunday. I don’t get particularly exercised when I feel that a puzzle has fallen on the wrong day. I observe rather than kvetch. I have to say I chuckled aloud at FOREVER MOOR, one of the weaker themers according to Rex. I like STAR WHARF and RETURN OF THE JETTY. My contributions are BERTH CERTIFICATE (reservation document at the marina) and GIVE HIM THE SLIP (offer your mooring spot to a guy).

Biggest goof was YOUcandoIt for YOUGOTTHIS. That messed up the SE for a while. I’m glad to see OUTIES getting some recognition, given the crossword domination of INNIES. My mind went immediately to the same place as @LMS’s in relation to “Hardest part of a date.” "Key" is the right pronunciation of QUAY for me, so I avoided bafflement there. I’ve never been to ALAMO, TX. but I’ve seen The ALAMO in San Antonio. Sadly it was covered in scaffolding and undergoing a major restoration at the time. Well, that wasn’t sad per se – I’m always glad to see historic architecture being preserved. It’s just that restorers see me coming and immediately cover up the nearest major monument. It happened again at Monticello.

Today’s passage is by BARBARA KINGSOLVER, born Apr. 8, 1955.

“April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot wrote, by which I think he meant (among other things) that springtime makes people crazy. We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can't keep, all passion is really a setup, and we're doomed to get our hearts broken yet again. I agree, and would further add: Who cares? Every spring I go out there anyway, around the bend, unconditionally. ... Come the end of the dark days, I am more than joyful. I'm nuts. ”
(From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

Hungry Mother 9:14 AM  

As a retired boater, I liked it a lot. BOHR came from my semester and a half as a chemistry major. We have a ROOMBA-like device which we love. Unfortunately, it’s in storage in Delaware, but sometime in July it will join us in Florida. Very easy Thursday here.

Guerin Wilkinson 9:22 AM  

I didn't appreciate the very non-specific clues for FACTS, SITE, EAT, LENT. I knew the name of the Jetson's dog, but I don't think young solvers would have a chance on that one. And hell if we should know the name of some Bond villain. YAS queen!? Wha? I lost patience right off. But at least now I know that the second staff in many an orchestral score is for the OBOES. And I did enjoy the puns.

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

Ironic to have Child Actor in a puzzle the same day that Rex is promoting the murder of children.

Z 9:35 AM  

As that guy who railed ad nauseam at the clue “City with a marina,” I liked these bad, terrible, groan-inducing puns. Is there really any better kind?

Just to be clear, “cay,” “key,” and “QUAY” are all representations of the exact same sound. And people wonder why I think spelling is stupid.

I thought @BarbieBarbie’s response yesterday was much better than Rex looking a little like his feelings were hurt. I don’t think his feelings were actually hurt (and Shortz doesn’t seem to realize he’s developed a reputation for being petty), but I can’t wait for Real Crossword Constructors of New York to hit the air on Bravo! Maybe they’ll film it at Z’s Placebo & Tentacle Pub at the beautiful Rye Marina.

Despite his straightforward this puzzle was in the end, it played like a hard Friday for me. I don’t think it is actually that hard, I was just stuck in low gear for most of the solve. Even my last entry (TSA) didn’t click for many precious nanoseconds (luggage bags at an airport! D’Oh!). After too many answers I was wondering why it took me so long to suss out the answers. Some mornings you’re just off your best game, I suppose.

Stimpson 9:37 AM  


Bosun is a shortening of boatswain. In fact, I think boatswain is always pronounced bosun.

Coxswain follows the same pattern (coxun).

By the by, quay in British english refers to a mooring structure, not an island. E.g. the Heron Quays at Canary Wharf.

Nancy 9:40 AM  

Here's (a second, I think) example of my "I never met a pun puzzle I didn't like, but there's an exception to every rule" proclamation. And I'm not sure the pun puzzle before this one was nearly as bad.

These puns are so feeble! And boating? I suppose you could say "why not?" -- it's just that I wouldn't say that.

What's a QUAY DEMOGRAPHIC standing in for? Is there such a thing as a K demographic? If so, what is it?

YAS, QUEEN? Who says that? When do they say it? Why? To whom? Not to Liz, I presume.

There's no logic here, either. Why would you say "WHAT'S UP" to a DOCK? Answer: You wouldn't.

This is quite a bad puzzle that I nevertheless enjoyed a lot more than yesterday's video game tribute. That doesn't make it good, mind you -- but at least it's not riddled with pop culture. For which I'm grateful.

TTrimble 9:45 AM  

Yeah, well, I don't know why Shortz would choose to tune in for a daily beating, so what do you expect?

The puzzle played easy for a Thursday.

@Frantic Sloth
Nice to see you again!

"Bo's'n" is often rendered "bosun", which is really "boatswain", a type of naval officer. It's a familiar word if you've read enough C.S. Forester or Patrick O'Brian. Ripping good tales.

Funny, I brought up The Jetsons here yesterday, and today there's ASTRO. Ruh-roh! (No, that's Scooby, isn't it?)

I've always pronounced it "kee" (QUAY). I do sometimes fall into the trap of assuming I know how to pronounce words right without looking them up, and so I was pulled up short some years back when I pronounced "mien" in a kind of French style, "mee-en" with the 'n' sort of swallowed, and my wife laughs uproariously at my pronunciation. It's "meen", of course. You don't forget stuff like that.

Adding to Loren Muse Smith's observations, "wrought" is related to "wright" as in "playwright". I wonder how many people have had the urge to write "playwrite" instead?

I concur that CHILD ACTOR was clued cleverly. I wonder if it'll make Lewis's list?

The other day was the end of LENT. For some reason, even though I'm not religious (I was confirmed as an Episcopalian at age 14 but rarely set foot in a church), I've been observing LENT these past few years. Maybe to feel closer to my ancestors? I'm not exactly sure. Anyway, I give up alcohol. Which has felt like more of a sacrifice this year, what with the pandemic, than in previous years. I'm gonna have a drink tonight as I watch the second installment of Top Chef on Bravo.

Have a good day, y'all!

57stratocaster 9:52 AM  

Wasn't Will throwing shade on Rex by saying he reads "all but one" blog?

Re Quay: I recall that many years ago in Toronto, we were given directions by several locals to the Queens Quay, with Quay pronounced like Quail.

Near Ann Arbor we have the towns Saline and Milan, pronounced Sa-LEAN and MY-lan.

Carola 9:56 AM  

I've been suffering from pandemic day-confusion for months, but today I did know it's Thursday, so I think it's the puzzle that got confused and showed up on the wrong day. Disappointment (no rebus? no diabolical trickery?) vied with smiles at A PIER ON THE SCENE and FOREVER MOOR); confusion ultimately triumphed at QUAY, which I thought rhymed with "sky."

@Barbara S - "Give him the slip" is terrific! (And me, too, for "YOU can do it."

TTrimble 9:57 AM  

"YAS, QUEEN? Who says that? When do they say it? Why?"

I think it started in the LGBTQ+ community and then hit the big time around the mid 20-teens. If someone really nails it, or does something "fabulous", or "fierce", you can try saying (if you can possibly pull this off convincingly -- I certainly can't*) YAS, QUEEN! Almost like, YOU GO girl!

(I was like Rex today and wanted "YOU GO something" before I finally GOT THIS.)

*For me, it would be like trying to DAB. For you, Nancy, there will be a pop quiz later on what you remember about dabbing. ;-)

Judge Judy 9:58 AM  

@Anonymous 9:26 said "Ironic to have Child Actor in a puzzle the same day that Rex is promoting the murder of children."

You make your point, I guess, but "murder" is a legal term and abortion is not illegal in most cases. The word you want is "killing" (if that is what you believe).

Z 10:00 AM  

@TheMadDruid - I’m not clear on what you’re saying. QUAY comes from Middle English. The alternative pronunciation may come from it looking like the French word “quai.” Since the English word QUAY has been around since 1561 according to M-W, I wonder if the French word comes from frenchifying the English word. My French is only good enough to order a beer and find a restroom, so somebody else will need to find that etymology.

Also - the “mispronunciations” of QUAY and cay are so common that they are accepted. However, I do suspect the “accepted” alternatives serve as glowing neon forehead tattoos if one ever visits, say, the Bahamas, that one is a tourist.

@SouthsideJohnny - U - person, I - language. This comes up fairly often in Crossworld so it’s important to remember the distinction.

Real Crossword Constructors of New York 10:02 AM  

@Z Sneak preview of Sharp/

pabloinnh 10:02 AM  

I like puns just fine, and these were OK, but Thursday is not for puns. Sundays can be for puns, and possibly a few other days, but not Thursdays. Don't ever do this again. Thank you.

Only hangup I had was the popular QUAY, whose pronunciation eluded me for too long. Running the alphabet worked but Jeez Louise, you have to get almost to the end.

I've been to the Alamo as well and was a bit put off by the religious aspect of the experience, as far as the Texan attitude goes. I think Mexico owned the property and were not happy with the interlopers.

Anyway, a nice little puzzle. Don't do this again on a Thursday. Did I say that? Just Harping on a theme. Thanks for your effort, JH.

Whatsername 10:06 AM  

This seemed like a very odd choice for a theme. It wasn’t that difficult, but I did a lot of squinting, frowning and erasing. Rex pretty well summed up my general reaction: “I’m sorry, what?” Boating puns YOU say? Um okay, I SEE.

When I saw the clue for YAS, I cringed at the thought of those UGLY slang terms again. But on the plus side, brilliant clues for PSI and TSA which fooled me at first with EPA.

I’ve spent some time in ALAMO, Texas, a nice enough area very popular with the over 55 snow bunny DEMOGRAPHIC. Let me just say, you haven’t lived until you’ve floated on a pool noodle while drinking Jell-O shots with a posse of Norwegian ladies from Minnesota. O, the TALEs I could tell.

JohnK 10:08 AM  

Bo's'n is abbreviation/contraction for boatswain.

Tim Aurthur 10:11 AM  

The linked-to article in Grammarphobia is pretty amazing. What a resource for word nerds.

GILL I. 10:12 AM  

@Loren...."GOP" before TSA...I'm picturing Ted Cruz eating black beans.
Well, I'm the YAS Queen of mispronunciations; I grew up phonetically speaking. You say. key, I say kway. You eat cheese, I eat queso. Don't get me started on Yosemite.
Do I like puns? You bet your sweet bippy. Give me corny dad and mom jokes and add an elephant and I'm a happy enchilada eater. Did I enjoy this? Yep. You give me WHATS UP DOCK and Bugs Bunny and I go back to watching Looney Tunes when I was about 7. We only had I Love Lucy in Havana but when I'd stay with my grandmother in Malibu she'd let me go visit my neighbor every Saturday morning to watch the goodies. I still had some trouble with the English language but, by gum.....I could do the best Sylvester "Suffering succotash" this side of the Mississippi.
@Barbara S. Love your BERTH CERTIFICATE but it has 16 letters...Is that allowed?
An easy Thursday and it made me smile in places. I'll take that.

J. Hawk 10:18 AM  

In the 1970s, Kansas City had a nightlife area called the River Quay, pronounced KEE. It did pretty well until the rival Mafia owners started blowing up each other's nightclubs.

RooMonster 10:19 AM  

Hey All !
Where has the ThursPuz absconded to? Was it sent ASEA?

Nice puz, but no trick, unless you count QUAY that's supposedly pronounced "key". I "phoneticced" it as QWAY. Wondering what a QWAY DEMOGRAPHIC was. Then I said, "wait a tic..., is it pronounced 'key'?" And apparently it is, so at least that themer makes sense.

A good puz by Jake, not taking anything away from that, just placed on the wrong puz day. I know some say it's silly to complain about "wrong day puzs", but it's my solve and I'll cry if I want to. 😢👍

I believe Will used to read here, but then turned it over to his understudies/helpers. I think Will decides who gets published by the amount of him/the puz being bashed by that particular person. Hence, once Rex started his incessant "Get rid of Will" snarkiness, he stopped approving his puzs. Which made Rex madder. Ad infinitum.

Anyway, DNF for me, at the OBOES/BOHR/ROSA mashup. Had laHR for BOHR, ROnA for ROSA, and OlOEn for OBOES. Thought OLEON was some music term for a symbol I hadn't heard of. Like ODEON, but for music. Har. Who knows___Klebb unless you're a huge Bond fan? And isn't LAHR somebody?

Here's a thought, if I went to college and got my Master's... Would that be a ROO MBA? *Insert eyeroll here*

Two F's

JoshyJosh 10:23 AM  

I kept waiting for the theme to be more interesting than "boating puns". Gah.

How do you know Will Shortz was specifically talking about your blog?

A 10:23 AM  

@Loren, you've outdone yourself! Everyone check out her puzzle-busting avatar. Also kind of appropriate on International Feng Shui Day.

Ethan Taliesin 10:23 AM  

Shortz shade! Love it.

This might have been a record Thursday for me if not for the fact that I left the game running while I left to eat breakfast. I didn't hit pause and the timer didn't automatically stop after a minute like it usually does. Don't know if it's a glitch or what.

Totally nautical--to the MAST!(actually I thought it was a bit of a disappointment)

jberg 10:26 AM  

Just to clear up any confusion, QUAY, quai, cay and key are pronounced the same, but they're two different words: without the u it's an island, with the u it's a dock, like the quai d'orsay or quai de Stalingrad in Paris. But a QUAY is a construction along the shore, rather than a DOCK that juts out into a body of water. I'd call a quay a variety of dock, but I could be wrong about that.

The hardest part of the puzzle for me was trying to figure out the proper four-letter abbreviation for "Preamble," which is the beginning of the Constitution. ARTI would never have occurred to me.

ETHER is misclued, as well, but that's more forgivable. It's not the upper part of the atmosphere, but a fictional medium in interstellar space, once thought to be necessary since light was known to be a wave and waves require some medium to vibrate in. The Michelson-Morley experiment proved it did not exist, and subsequent research showed that light was really particles. Today, of course, it means the equally fictional (well, metaphorical) "cloud" that carries our computer signals. As I said, forgivable.

I did like the puns. But then, unlike Rex, I like boating. Without boats, there would be no Rye Marina.

Somehow typing that made me wonder if there was a Natick Marina; there isn't but there are at least two boat-launch ramps, in case your boat is on a trailer and you want to sail around in Lake Cochituate.

Nancy 10:27 AM  

@Barbara S -- I like both of your boat puns a lot more than I like any of Jake's. I still say you should be collaborating on puzzle construction.

@TTrimble, re my upcoming DAB quiz: I'll move my arms a lot, I mean a lot and hope everyone will think I've got the hang of it and actually know what I'm doing.

@GILL -- As soon as we've had our first glass of wine, I'm going to ask to see your Sylvester imitation. Who knows -- maybe even before.

Flying Pediatrician 10:37 AM  

The shorthand for Boatswain’s Mate in the real Navy is BM, which is unfortunate. At least most of the BM’s I know are partially redeemed by these cool tattoos they have on their hand. Gotta love niche Naval traditions.

Also, what even are the other daily crossword blogs aside from XWord Info and the in-house NY Times Wordplay? Are they any good?

mathgent 10:38 AM  

I agree with Nancy. The puns were feeble (even had I known how to pronounce "quay") but I still had some fun with it.

I suppose Paxil has several uses. My brother pulled out of deep clinical depression by using Paxil. He used it along with regular sessions with a therapist.

53A. MOOT to me means "debateable" as in "a moot point" or as in moot courts in law school.

If snails take three-year snoozes, how long do they live?

Dave S 10:44 AM  

Two of my favorite things about crosswords puzzles are 1. learning new stuff and 2. puns good/bad enough to make me audibly sigh. I caught on to the pronunciation of "quay" a god while ago, but its use in this puzzle was a delight and I feel sorry for anyone who missed out on that enjoyment.

In short, I liked it, and hope the constructor gives berth to more modern wharf fare.

Newboy 10:48 AM  

Fun day (like all the others), so thanks Jake. And thanks Rex for sharing the Will link that began today’s digital chase down the rabbit hole of metablogdom........I’d say more, but I’m late & need to get onto that next blue link!

JD 11:00 AM  

Wasn't going to comment today, puns, straightforward, etc.

But coming here and learning that I've been silently pronouncing Quay wrong for a lifetime. And boatswain and coxswain? Wow. I'm all at sea (just wanted to actually use the phrase that I've only read in crosswords for 40 years).

However, Moor with a long U, like "tandoor" or "Roger Moore." Like the Ghost and Mrs. Muir? Was this said in jest?

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

read the clue as 'Minor perform ance' thus CHILDsplay. ack!

plum before ACAI
epA before TSA
PpI before PSI

'Second staff' wanted some kind of _clef, but of course, there isn't one

always thought it was Innie and Outtie, but I guess not

is it Niels BhoR or BOHR?

always said 'key' for QUAY

Canon Chasuble 11:06 AM  

This is to "anonymous" writing at 9:26 a.m. A foetus is not a human being either theologically or biologically. It is a sociological construct of men who think it is their right and duty and obligation to control women and their bodies and thoughts and ideas. Men will deny women their choices, and then if a woman does decide to give a foetus life the same men, if political experience is anything to go by, will enact laws to deprive the same woman of the necessary medical, psychological and financial support she will then need. So, "anonymous," think before you take up your pen to condemn and insult women for their actions. Men think they have the right to decide for women and make their choices for them? I think not.

jae 11:07 AM  

Medium. Boating puns. A bit of a let down for a Thursday.

Whatsername 11:18 AM  

@Loren (6:31) and @GILL (10:12) Your combined airbag imagery is priceless. And “The perfidious wretch wreaked havoc” is just plain genius.

@Frantic (8:24) Good to see you. I’ve missed your effervescent presence.

@Barbara (8:59) Your quote today reminds me of how every fall after the long cleanup process, I swear I’m not going to garden next year. Then along comes spring, bursting forth with all its promises that I know it can’t keep. Nevertheless, I’m joyfully off to the greenhouse, eager to start digging and planting, all while knowing that most likely I am doomed to have my heart broken yet again.

JHawk (10:18) 63A reminded me of the River Quay also and brought back a few memories. BFF and I used to hit the bars on ladies’ night and drink beer for a dime. Our favorite spot was a literal dive in a basement space called Dirty McNasty’s Boiler Room and if I remember right, directly above it was a great place to eat called Dinkledorf’s Deli. I still have my wedding ring which was crafted by one of the silver artisans there. White a shame it met such a violent end.

albatross shell 11:29 AM  

It is more like YAAAAAASSSS QUEEEEN. And it is one of those gay culture things that has gone mainstream. I suspect that the Dave Van Ronk redo or the Tampa Red Blind Blake original Yas-Yas-Yas had some influence. WHATS UP is a way of saying hello and what's up doc is a famous phrase (as well as the best "modern" screwball comedy). But I believe you know this. Seems like a pun to me. But why the complaint? What's up dock? Imagine your boating party on the dock.

I thought the puns were a bit weak. The solve was tough for me. Looking at the puns again I actually think they are all good.

Like ASEA TUGS AQUA CAPN as theme enforcers, and the PIER TIER echo.
The fill isn't sparkly but I like the overall feel of the puzzle. Very good construction. Not an ideal Thursday, but so what.

Thanks to whoever provided the pup answers recently. Looks like more might show up this weekend.

old timer 11:36 AM  

GEEZ LOUISE! When I finished the puzzle, I thought this was one of the most satisfying puzzles (of the humorous variety) I had ever done. I laughed hard at all the themers but WHAT"S UP, DOCK, which was a bit of a groaner, since no one would ever think it was funny enough for a maritime jest. The others, oh yeah! So I totally don't get the DISsing for this one, except that it is a bit different from the usual Thursday fare.

Thanks, folks, for explaining how to pronounce QUAY. Which it seems I have always mispronounced. But I have seldom been on a QUAY for any reason, except a couple of times taking the night boat from England to Holland. It left from Parkeston QUAY in Harwich, which is also unpronounceable,unless you realize it was named after a fellow named Parkes. The Eastbound trip to Hook of Holland used to be the scene of a great deal of drunken MERRYmaking, as the booze is totally untaxed, and the English lads, so used to slowly sipping their pints of beer in a pub, are soon getting drunker than the proverbial skunks on the hard stuff. For many, those trips to Holland are, in essence, a way to begin what the Brits call a "dirty weekend" in Amsterdam. My last trip, I had three children with me, and it wasn't long before I chose to join them and my wife in our snug little cabin. My first trip, at age 19, with a bus full of college students, produced quite a hangover.

There actually are so many wonderful things to see in Amsterdam, our favorites being the Anne Frank house, and the Van Gogh Museum. For families, the most dangerous thing is getting run over by the speeding trams in the streets. Well that, and the chance that the kiddos will get a glimpse of the red light district.

Welcome back, @LMS. You made me laugh, even more than the puns did.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  


I have always been flummoxed by the Right Wing Religious cabal. If they really, really cared about the unborn humans they would endow adoptions into wealthy white suburban households for any woman who shows up at one of their 'counselling' clinics, aka anti-abortion indoctrination camps. Simple as that. But, of course, they don't since a large part of their stance is that poor women should 'pay' for their wantonness.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Canon Chasuble,
What? A fetus is a baby. Fetus-or foetus if you prefer- is simply a term describing a developmental stage. It is certainly not a man- made construct. It is a biological fact. No one, not a soul disputes that abortion kills a living thing. The best abortion rights activists can claim is that the living thing they're killing isn't a person. Which is absurd. And everyone knows it. We go to to baby showers and women sport baby bumps. No one goes to fetal shower or is asked by someone whether they can feel her fetal bump. That an unborn baby magically becomes a human when it leaves the womb is the silliest and least tenable position of the age. That unborn being is simply a small human. a tiny, defenseless human being. Tell yourself any lie you like, but there's no scientific disute that life begins at conception.

Anonymous 11:43 AM  

@Canon Chasuble 11:06

Sorry about dropping your name, had 'anon' on the brain as I typed, and this teeny edit box was way below it.

mathgent 11:44 AM  

My wife made me a wonderful roast beef dinner last night. But I was disappointed because we usually have that on Sundays.

sixtyni yogini 11:47 AM  

Meh... 🧩🙄🧩
But did enjoy the Shortz comment.

Anoa Bob 11:52 AM  

I see that WHATS UP DOCK is a pun of the classic Bugs Bunny "What's up Doc?" but have to agree with Nancy and mathgent that it makes absolutely no sense by itself. For a pun to work for me, the punnified version has to make some sort of sense, some connection to reality, however tentative that might be. I've been around things nautical for the better part of my life and WHATS UP DOCK one doesn't even come close.

For those seeing a "place to park/store a boat" connection in the set of themers, MOOR doesn't meet that criterion. MOOR isn't a place unless you're talking about "a tract of open, peaty, wasteland, often overgrown with heather" (from my Random House College Dictionary). Nautically speaking, MOOR is most often used as a verb meaning to tie up to a MOORing buoy and is how it is being used in the FOREVER MOOR pun.

So we get two stand-alone punnified nouns, DOCK and QUAY, a third, PIER, that needs the indefinite article A to qualify as a pun on "appear" and one punnified verb MOOR. That leaves the broader, looser "boating puns" as the theme. And did I mention that one of them seems totally nonsensical to me? Maybe one of you smart cookies out there can come up with an example of how WHATS UP DOCK is other than word salad gobbledygook.

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

ARTI is cringeworthy. Particularly since most folks would say that the preamble, not Article One, is the beginning of the Constitution, whether or not it has force of law.

"We the people..." is broadly how the Constitution is thought to begin, not "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

Theodore Lawrence 11:55 AM  

Michael Sharp, buddy, boy, why continue blogging if you never like the puzzles? You never are right on anything either. I mean, if Will Shortz ignores your blog, that is a definite sign you are wrong about something, everything. Still, Will is (sadly) getting up there in age, maybe you could ask to guest edit for a week, show your (nonexistent) superiority. Or start publishing your own crossword. They are a penny a dozen, but do it anyway. And king of crossworld? Bah, king nothing or king Natick maybe.

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

A fetus is a potential human, not an actual one. Life begins at conception, possibly yes, but human life definitely begins at birth.

RooMonster 11:59 AM  

@bocamp (and other 🐝ers)
Did it! QB! Hooray!

Sorry, everyone, but it's been a while!

RooMonster 🐝 Guy

Hey Mathgent 12:10 PM  

@Mathgent, you are correct about MOOT but I think what can cause confusion is mootness within the justiciability doctrine in federal courts where legal actions cannot be brought or continued after the matter at issue has been resolved, leaving no live dispute for a court to resolve...the case is dismissed due to “mootness”. This actually seems to suggest an opposite meaning to the word.

Karl Grouch 12:12 PM  

@mathgent 10:38
Most snails live from 2 to 5 years, but in captivity, some have exceeded 10 or 15 years of age.
You asked, so there..

Anonymous 12:13 PM  

I feel your pain.

A 12:16 PM  

Per @Z’s request:
quay (n.)
"landing place, place where vessels are loaded and unloaded, a wharf," 1690s, a spelling variant of Middle English key, keye, caye "wharf" (c. 1300; mid-13c. in place names), from Old North French cai (Old French chai, 12c., Modern French quai) "sand bank," from Gaulish caium (5c.), from Old Celtic *kagio- "to encompass, enclose" (source also of Welsh cae "fence, hedge," Cornish ke "hedge"), from PIE root *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (see hedge (n.)). Spelling altered in English by influence of French quai.
(from, where else, Online Etymology Dictionary)
That’s the condensed version. Rex’s Grammarphobia link (Hi, @Tim Arthur) offers an extended explanation.

Hand up for not knowing the pronunciation, even though I did know cay sounds like key, and also for going right to the mental image of the DATE that @LMS put so well: “massively awkward good-bye at the door.” (@Loren, between that section and your overnight post it sounds like times have been rough - I hope better days are in store.)

After I recovered from the shock at the initial appearance of a nautical theme I smiled out loud. Who doesn’t love boats, especially when they give us a break from sports crosswords? I do commiserate with the longer-time solvers who were denied their usual Thursday trickiness. The best (and politest) admonition came from @pabloinnh at 10:02am, with @ROO MBA guy’s “cry if I want to” coming in a close second.

So glad I know what an orchestral score looks like. If we ever get the same clue for a 3-letter entry on a Saturday, try IN C.

Nice inclusion of water/nautical non-themers OAHU CAPN OTTER (on the ROCS?) ASEA TUGS TSA, and especially the USS BERYL, the USS HUGO, the USS ALAMO, and the USNS ROSA. (There’s also a USS BOHR but it’s a Federation starship.)

Thanks for the cruise, Mr. Halperin!

Canon Chasuble 12:20 PM  

To anonymous: if you think there is no dispute that a foetus is not a living being that begins at conception then you are ignoring the views and considered opinions of about 80 per cent of the world, including dozens of religions, thousands of religious leaders, and billions of people. Just because you think it is true, it does not make it so. PS: the first part of my “nom de plume” should give you a pretty good indication of my background, to let you know where I am come from.

Masked and Anonymous 12:25 PM  

@RP: har. Well, good mornin, Sunshine. No wonder the Shortzmeister ain't started usin the double-?-marker clues yet, as suggested here, huh? Must have somethin to do with yer blog wantin to oust him, maybe. Altho: he didn't actually mention any *particular* blog to not read, so M&A still holds out faint hopes that Will might at least read the Comment Gallery stuff. [Give us a subtle sign on that, Mr. mighty beluved 10001 puz dude? … Please?]
Anyhoo … thought RETURNOFTHEJETTY was kinda primo.

yep. WedPuz on a ThursDay. fave themer: FOREVERMOOR.
Knew almost everything in the puz, except for HEYYA. Also unusual for a ThursPuz, at our house. Did also learn how to pronounce QUAY, tho.

fave ?-marker clue: {Org. concerned with air bags?} = TSA. Thereby gettin TSA today's coveted staff weeject pick award. [p.s. @muse darlin: GOP = quite "YAS queen" great].

Thanx for the LEVEEty, Mr. Halperin. Everything here was Jake except for the editin. [Just derp-in U, Shortzmeister … please still come play Comment Gallery pong with us].

Masked & Anonym007Us

too tough/weird for a ThursPuz:

Paul 12:29 PM  

Same here, but worse. BEET before TARO. WATER before SHORE. TYPE and SORT before TIER. The ambiguity was brutal.

albatross shell 12:48 PM  

ALERT;!!! Continues the A-word discussion.

The idea that it is the government's duty to make sure every fertilized egg in a woman's body is carried until birth seems ridiculous to me. Biology is not always destiny. Nor should it be. People's lives are complicated. Forcing women to carry a fertilized egg to birth is basically a form of slavery, if they are unwilling. If your religion tells you it's a sin, do not have an abortion. If you belive it is murder then sentence the doctor and woman to 20-life or death. I am against forced birth and forced abortion.
So now that everyone agrees with me, we need no further discussion. I'm going to go eat a fried chicken, I mean egg, sandwich.

bocamp 12:54 PM  

Think I learned the "key" pronunciation back in the '70s when becoming familiar with the New Westminster Quay area of New Westminster, BC. Probably pronounced it "kway" prior to that time.

Speaking of a different "cay", both caiman and cayman are SB words.

"No MORE" from "Blue Hawaii" (Hanauma Bay, OAHU, Hawaii) ~ Elvis Presley

@RooMonster 11:59 AM 👍


Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

JFS 12:55 PM  

I'm confused by Rex's confusion on the pronunciation of MOOR, more, and [Roger] Moore. To me, these are all homonyms, and rhyme with words like soar, pour, and tandoor. A quick google says that they're neither using a long O or a long U, but something called an "Open-mid back rounded vowel", represented by a backwards lower-case c: "ɔ."

Pete 1:11 PM  

@Canon Chasuble - Your 80% number comes from thin air. Also, just because you think a fetus is a living human being doesn't mean it's true, but your own admission. That is an article of your faith, by which you are welcome to abide. BTY, you might want to brush up on your understanding of faith, and how faith interacts with fact (hint: if it does, it does so by coincidence, not cause). More importantly, about 100% (yes, that too comes from thin air) of women who feel they desperately need an abortion think it should be legal, and I have no right to deny them based on whatever my faith or religious beliefs dictate. Nor do you, or anyone else.

KRMunson 1:12 PM  

We have New BER-Lin. Lol

Teedmn 1:23 PM  

I'm the [YAS] Queen of mispronouncing words I've only seen written. Just recently, ADAGE was in the puzzle and my co-worker and I mentioned it. I pronounced it my usual way, sounding like "massage". I guess I have people bamboozled about my grasp of the language because he thought maybe he'd been mispronouncing it. We did the research, nope, I was wrong, dang. But today, I can BE MERRY - I learned to pronounce QUAY as "key" in middle school so the pun did not fly over my head, yay.

I thought this puzzle had enough fun wordplay that it made up for any "just a pun puzzle on a Thursday" disappointment I might have felt. And once again this week, I hesitated at the answer DOG at 44D because the clue was so, um, yeah.

Thanks, Jay Halperin.

OffTheGrid 1:37 PM  

It's time for some LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

A 1:37 PM  

@Aona Bob, @Nancy and other WHAT’S UP DOCK skeptics (and anyone who needs more boating puns, @GILL, @Z?) apparently boaters are pun-lovers as much as they are fun-lovers. Googling (actually Duck-duck-going) “boat names “what’s up dock”” I found this 2001 NYT article with enough punny boat/ship names for any paronomasiac. So any of the sea DOGs (missed that tie-in earlier) who named them might cast that line. (For those who don’t follow the link, among the many groaners are Chum Lord, Erie sponsible, Fahrfrumwurken, Nauty Buoy and, yes, @Barbara’s Berth Control.)

CuppaJoe 2:13 PM  

You go, Rex. Let ‘em read cake.

burtonkd 2:15 PM  

@Real Crossword Constructors. I opened this in a new tab to watch after reading the comments, then wondered why in the world this was shared. Had to go back to find your post. Hilarious, but how people watch these shows...

YAS has been an answer and a discussion here in the recent past. I guess some memories are as sieve-ous as mine. Is that a word LMS? Speaking of whom, how many proposals have you received on this blog so far after your announcement? ;)

Never heard any of the English bastardizations of the French "Quai", so confused on that pun as well.

ALAMO clue a little confusing since it is in San Antonio.

We all remember what happened here last time Will visited, right? Hi, @Z

Joe Dipinto 2:23 PM  

Unfortunately the band had no more hits, since they never figured out how apostrophes work...

I liked these puns. The whole idea struck me as original, offbeat, and not without charm. And who wouldn't want to be out on a boat on a day like this? Or at least on a pier/dock/quay. (But never "moor". Quoth the raven.)

And never having heard the word "quay" spoken by anyone in my entire life, I assumed it would sound like "kway". So I didn't get that pun. But the upside is that there's a pronunciation mistake I won't be making in the future. If I ever have to pronounce "quay". Which will probably happen never.

I bet @Guilherme Gama knows this song.

(I thought I posted this hours ago, but since it's nowhere to be seen I'm reposting. If a dupe shows up, I'll delete it.)

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

HA HA HA. . . Good for Shortz!!!

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

Not sure where people get the idea that a feeus isn't living. It is. An no scientist disputes that. ergo, abortion kills a living thing. If like one of the commenters above believe, human life begins at birth-- a queer and untenable position,-- you can blithely kill a fetus. But you are killing it. (I'd like to hear the rationale by the way for what happens at birth that suddenly makes a fetus a person. Is it half a person when it's halfway out?) But in the interest of comity, I'll leave the question of when human life begins alone. Reason however demands that science, including basic embryology, be acknowledged and that means recognizing that a fertilized egg is a living thing.

As for quay, my dear old mom taught me its pronunciation when I was reading In Our Time. Hemingway's first collection of short stories. On the Quai at Smyrna has a lot to say in very few words including how women carrying their dead infants wouldn't give them up for six days.

An yeah, In our Time grew out of the six short stories Ezra pound had commissioned Hemingway to write for The Little Review. ( I know Z, I know. You know all about what works in English literature, Including saying poets aren't authors. Pound disagrees. Hurrah for the Red and the Blue)

Anoa Bob 2:41 PM  

A @ 1:37 PM, had the clue read something like "Goofy, non-sensical punny name for a boat", I think WHATS UP DOCK would work but in a crossword puzzle clued as "Cry on arriving for a boating trip", I'm afraid not*.

*A FRAYED KNOT would work because nautical knots often become frayed, i.e. worn or chafed, through use so both the base phrase I'm "afraid not" and the punified version "A FRAYED KNOT' make sense. One segues humorously into the other. I don't see that kind of connection between "What's up Doc" and "WHATS UP DOCK". It's a stretch too far.

That is all. As you were and continue ship's work.

Pdhaws 2:59 PM  

If I'm correct the clue for ART I is just wrong. Since the beginning is the Preamble, but I suppose you might say that the Preamble is, strictly speaking, not the preamble.

Otherwise, totally agree about the QUAY pun. I have neither heard nor seen it before so it was lost on my even after I solved it.

Pdhaws 3:09 PM  

You can also just reply to the comment fyi.
Also you can't say with any kind of certainty that "a foetus is not a human being theologically". As that statement is always relative to a given theological view. Unless you are making the claim that you have looked at every conceivable theology and all of them yield the conclusion: a foetus is not a human being. Or, perhaps you are making a more astonishing claim that you have the only valid theological view and, according to that view foetuses aren't human beings.

Nonetheless the anonymous commenters comment was pretty ridiculous.

Pdhaws 3:10 PM  

*preamble is not the beginning

Anonymous 3:13 PM  

fur cryin out loud. a Preamble isn't, and never has been, a document. it's the equivalent of all those pages in textbooks in school with those Roman Numerals, ya no I to XXV. just because it's on a page with ART I, etc. doesn't make it 'the document'. if the FF wanted it part of the Constitution's text, they would have called *it* ART I. they didn't.

Singmaster 3:35 PM  

The beginning of the Constitution is the PREAMBLE not ART I.
The was a restaurant on the Vancouver Washington side of the Columbia named The QUAY. They and we pronounced it KEY

Frantic Sloth 3:37 PM  

@burtonkd 215pm Well, I don't remember because I was much too young to be on the blog back then (😉), so please share. Or do I really not want to know?

@TTrimble, @Whatsername Thanks.🥰

I just came here for the abortion discussion 3:45 PM  

I hope this finally answers every question, solves every problem, and makes everyone happy.

JC66 3:45 PM  

Pronunciations vary.

In NYC, Houston St. is called HOWston St.

wrollinson 4:22 PM  

My least favorite Thursday puzzle of the year... maybe my least favorite puzzle?

Barbara S. 4:24 PM  

Here's a first (for me). Yesterday on email I got a comment in response to something I'd posted on March 3rd! This person gets the puzzle several weeks later than we do "in syndication", and then, apparently, goes back into Rex's archives to read that day's discussion. Who knew?

@Gill I. (10:12)
I'm thinking primo length for a Sunday. ;-)

@Carola and @Nancy

@Whatsername (11:18)
It sounds as if, like Barbara K., you don't care and you, too, are seasonally nuts. Tee Hee.

@RooMonster (11:59)
Me too, QB. Your shout of triumph inspired me.

GILL I. 4:27 PM  

@Nancy 10:27. Well after we've had that drink and I've graced you with Sylvester, I may need just one more and do you my Porky Pig.
@Joe Dip 2:23. I LOVE Karrin. Thank you for posting that....and I'm sure@Guilherme will love it just as much.

Why the hell are we talking abortion and why is it only the dudes discussing it? I'd rather stick a SOCKET in my eyeballs.

bocamp 5:06 PM  

@Barbara S. (4:24 PM) 👍 for QB

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

Dudes gave women the legal access to abortion in this country. Have another drink while you consider that.

Anonymous 5:23 PM  

And of course we’re talking about abortion because Rex made a de facto request to support it by purchasing crossword puzzles with the avowed purpose of helping women procure them.

Nancy 6:11 PM  

@GILL -- Porky too??!! Oh, dear.

Aelurus 6:24 PM  

Middling totes adorbs for me. Had the same thought as @Barbara S 8:59 am - Seemed like a short Sunday, with, again, a theme of wacky clues [boating] resulting in phrases wackily reimagined. Though I didn’t think about it long enough to get that it’s places boats are parked, thanks, @Rex and @Loren 6:31 am.

Also, like @Barbara S, plunked in “you can do it” for 31D (encouraging words) before correcting after a couple of crosses. YOU GOT THIS has a nice friendly sound to it, and I said it just this week when talking to a friend who was worried about teaching her first Zoom class. I was the student stand-in for the prep and I thought she aced it. Love the Barbara K. quote, Barbara S. And your two boating puns.

Still laugh at the “city with a marina” clue for RYE, thanks, @Z 9:35 am. And jberg 10:26.

@Lewis – I’ve been pronouncing it KWAY in my head too! I grew up by the water and no one ever said the word aloud. I don’t know if I can correct after all this time. One of my favorite artists is Klee, and thankfully my college modern art class corrected that pronunciation for me early on. So I say it aloud as CLAY but I still see it as it’s spelled, KLEE, like my brain is negotiating a very foreign language. Looked it up on Merriam-Webster and American Heritage entries have the pronunciation as KEY, KAY, KWAY; Oxford has KEY, then KWAY. And @JC66 3:45 pm – that too! Houston pronounced HOWston in Manhattan. I'm in awe of those who learn English as a second language. Plus, on reading "Will Shortz Edits His 10,000th Crossword" in the NYT, Deb Amlen identifies that rainbow rebus Sunday puzzle. It's "Spectral Analysis" from November 21, 1993. Lots of fun in lots of places.

@Roo 10:19 am – Laughed out loud at your ROO MBA parsing.

@A 10:23 am – Thank you: Just went back and looked at @Loren’s avatar, which is brilliant. Your “International Feng Shui Day” heads-up is also a smile. I thought you were joking, but that is what today is, every year apparently.

Thane of 13th 6:47 PM  

Moot doesn’t mean debatable in either of your examples. Perhaps you should consult a dictionary; it means what the puzzle clue says. I.e., a moot point is not relevant (usually made that way by some earlier “canceling” action).

Anonymous 7:21 PM  

*** Spoiler Alert

Tonight, Jeopardy! proves that it is Penn. Not U Penn.
$200 clue in Ivy League.

shmelse 7:23 PM  

Will Shortz extremely subtle messaging:

For me,
Unless I
Keep to my schedule, I

X word blog but one; it brings me such joy!

Z 7:25 PM  

More, MOOR, and MUIR each have slightly different vowel sounds the way I pronounce them, with MOOR being a bit of a hybrid of the other two.

The French word “quai” is not pronounced like the English word QUAY. The Wikipedia article for the Quai d’Orsay has a listen link and that matches how I would pronounce the French “quai.”

@A - Your answer and Rex’s link don’t really answer my question, which is where does “quai” come from.

@Barbara S - At the top of the web version of Rex is a link to that day’s syndicated Blog. Monday - Saturday are five weeks behind, Sunday is one week behind. Since you are Blue you could check the “Email follow-up comments to ...” box below the “Choose an identity” option and all their comments (roughly 5-20 every day) would land in your inbox. They are all fine folk and solve the puzzle the way Gof intended, on paper.

@Frantic Sloth - I was here and I don’t even remember. I do remember several constructors observing (through email correspondence) that they were careful with their words here because they felt WS held grudges (my word).

@Anon 5:20 - Dudes gave women... Well, doesn’t that sum up the problem perfectly?

George taught senior Lit & Philosophy. He put the final exam on the chalkboard (yes, it was still a chalkboard) the first day of class. What does it mean to be human? I always enjoyed my classroom observations in that class. I always wonder how some of our anonymous posters would do on that exam. The class read a breadth of literature in that course, sometimes where the relationship to the Exam Question wasn’t always readily apparent. Good stuff.

Anonymous 7:32 PM  

No. No, it doesn’t. The problem is the killing of innocent children in utero. That the supremes were all men and made bad law is incidental to the problem.

Tale Told By An Idiot 8:37 PM  

@singmaster 3:35. I, too, learned the pronunciation of “Quay” because of the name of that Vancouver (WA) restaurant. On *very* special occasions we would go there. I grew up in Portland in the 50s and early 60s. My parents were teachers with four children. Eating out was very rare.

@Barbara S. Your birthday quotes are invariably interesting and thought provoking (hmm, maybe that is redundant.) Thank you.

Peter P 10:20 PM  

@Thane of 13th -- I'm sorry if I'm misunderstanding, but a "moot point" is, at least originally, a debatable point. That is what it says in the dictionary. (Check for example: "adjective 1. open to discussion or debate; debatable; doubtful: Whether that was the cause of their troubles is a moot point." Merriam-Webster gives the same primary definition, as well.)

The secondary definition is of "little or not practical value, meaning, or relevance." THAT SAID, I feel that this meaning, indeed, has probably long overtaken the listed primary meaning of "moot." (Like in the lyrics of "Jessie's Girl," where "the point is probably moot" references this meaning.)

Monty Boy 11:52 PM  

And no mention of LMS avatar? It's classic.

Joe Dipinto 12:18 AM  

@Peter P – I'm impressed that you remember that line from "Jessie's Girl". @Nancy would point out that "moot" doesn't actually rhyme with "cute", as the song tries to have it. If she knew the lyrics, that is.

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

Hard to believe this was a Thursday puzzle. I kept waiting for a Thursday theme, and never found it. A pier on the scene fairly quickly so that helped slog through the puniness. To pull off puns anywhere requires an audience that appreciates them. If I wanted puns with my puzz I would go to Meryl Reigle, but thats only when theres absolutely nothing else available.

Groaners: 10A, 53A, 13D, 24D

Kudos: 19D

Anytime you use the terms quay and moot, you’ll be looking for an argument. I like “moot” as it is one of the few words the has two meanings that are completely opposite and it is often hilariously misused despite that. I worked with someone who consistently pointed out that a number of situations entailed a (sic-pronounced) “mute” point, so I guess maybe for some there are other definitions. I enjoyed it so much I never corrected them.

Quay is an entirely different situation, where a French inspired word used frequently by British speakers enters our lexicon. If you relied on others pronunciations to learn the word you would be as rattled as OFL. Speaking of OFL, I thought he showed remarkable restraint today.

As always solved pencil and paper.

Purity of Essence

thefogman 10:27 AM  

This one was a bit of a BOHR. The thene was a sad collection of groan-inducing puns - the kind you find after solving Jumble. ACAI - not of relief but of disappointment.

Burma Shave 11:58 AM  


WHAT'S MOOR, your 'FACTS' aren't TRU,


spacecraft 12:45 PM  

There he goes again: "Easy-medium." NO!!! It's a long journey between this puzzle and "easy." On my first read-through, I had two things: MAV and ROSA. I did not know a single one of the rest of the answers! Guessing ensued.

I tried a couple, they worked, but that left a ...PD... for one of the themers, and I jokingly said aloud "WHATSUPDOCK?" Then I thought, what the hell, throw it in there. And thus the solution began to take shape. Then I remembered ASTRO, and the FACT that OTTER kids are called pups. Nice mini-theme there, along with DOG.

ROSA Klebb wouldn't be much of a DOD, so how about Ms. Parks? Works for me. Cluing on this one was brutal, more suited to a Saturday. Triumph points piled too high to see the top. More like work than fun...but after finishing, well, that's different. Birdie.

rondo 4:03 PM  

Only write-over was at REtUrn before my REFUND showed up.
Corners are ABET or a BEAT.
OLE all alone again.
Good clue for SOCKET.

leftcoaster 5:01 PM  

Good theme- until QUAY as “key”? Maybe there are a number of ways of twisting that one around, but don’t count on me. Otherwise, thought this was a pretty good theme.

Had to look up FIST for “Hard ball” and YAS for “____queen”. DOG and OTTER, clued the same and hard to miss. ASEA and AQUA kept nicely in touch with the theme.

Tatum O’Neal, a CHILD ACTOR AT TEN, with and Oscar at that!

Diana, LIW 8:17 PM  

Had a bit of help (with the PPP, since you ask), but I got the theme quickly, which helped a lot with the bottom half. It's always the PPP - you OTTER know that by now.

Lady Di

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