Vegetable whose name is Japanese big root / SAT 4-10-21 / Figure to left of Clinton in famous 1993 photo-op handshake / Classic ballad set to the tune of Londonderry Air / Cook's handle maybe / Harry and Lloyd's road trip destination in Dumb and Dumber

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Constructor: Evans Clinchy

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: DINKS (28D: Little shots) —
noun
plural noun: dinks
  1. a partner in a well-off working couple with no children. (google) [acronym: Dual Income, No Kids]
n. Sports
drop shot.

[From dink, sound of a weakly hit or dropped ball.] (thefreedictionary.com) 

• • •
First of all, DINK is a racial slur. It's one I hadn't heard of before, but when you look up definitions of words, you learn things, and some version of the following definition of DINK is in a bunch of online dictionaries:

So if you didn't know, as I didn't know, *now* you know. I think the other defs. of DINK are so much more in-the-language that it's probably OK to use ... and yet it's a rare enough word in general that I (now) wouldn't use it unless I absolutely had to. I bring it up largely because it is conspicuous today in its relative toughness, smack in the middle of the only touch section of the grid—the section that stretches, semi-predictably, from one proper noun (SANDRO) to another (TYRA). So, roughly the mideast. When a word is in the thick of a tough patch, people are gonna notice it more. The fact that it's clue [*Little* shots] as opposed to the clearer [Soft shots] makes it tougher than it might have been. Anyway, it's a word I know, but couldn't really get at, and wouldn't really miss if I never saw it again. 


So let's review the troublesome mideast. First: SANDRO (35D: Painter Botticelli). I know artists' last names, but often not their first, and such was the case here. Had -ANDRO and still wasn't confident. The cross was SOCKS, which had a "?" clue I wasn't sure about (35A: Matchmaking targets?). We've already covered the DINKS trouble. Took me a while to understand REBUS (in the sense of a picture puzzle) (26D: LE VEL, for one). In this case, the REBUS represents "split-level," a phrase that relates to the puzzle ... in no way. Bizarre. No idea about RABIN, or that the Clinton handshake was some kind of Elvis-meets-Nixon iconic photo op. Never heard of TYRA. Thought I didn't know the "Classic ballad" at 12D: Classic ballad set to the tune of "Londonderry Air" ("DANNY BOY") but that's because I had written in TARA for the actress and so had DAN NA-something. Spent half my time in this little section; the rest of the grid was *very* easy and largely unremarkable.

 
Five things:
  • "MY GOD!" (25A: "Heavens to Murgatroyd!") — wow these are not equivalents, as one is a normal expression and the other is exclusively a Pink Panther expression. I had "BY GOD!" here for a short bit.
  • AU JUS (27D: French menu phrase)— LOL I see now that it's the phrase that's French, not the menu, because the clue makes it sound like the phrase can be found on the menu of a fine dining establishment, whereas AU JUS can be found next to the roast beef sandwich on virtually any diner in America.
  • CLOGS (44A: "Träskor" in Sweden and "geta" in Japan, to name two) — what a ridiculous, useless clue. You can write this kind of clue for any word. Any English word. And every such clue would be equally arbitrary and unmemorable. The foreign words aren't evocative of anything. There's no revelation or humor or insight. It's just two random languages. Why? Who knows!? Cluing!
  • ADAGE (4D: "Opposites attract," for one) — PAULA ABDUL TRACK (15) wouldn't fit
  • DECOCT (28A: Boil down) — just as I have an irrational hatred for the word SAPOR (see yesterday's write-up), so ... this word. It's ugly. I'd never use it. I see it only in crosswords. DECOCT is CONCOCT's useless cousin, coming around to borrow money and stink up the house with cigars again. I could do without him.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

115 comments:

bruce 6:34 AM  

It’s Snaggletooth, not The Pink Panther.

Joaquin 6:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Conrad 6:46 AM  


Once again I'm glad I'm not as smart/knowledgeable as OFL. After I realized that ohGOD was wrong, if I'd thought of bYGOD I'd still be looking at the puzzle, scratching my head. But my second choice was MYGOD and all was well.

Had trouble in the same areas as @Rex, and also didn't know about DINK. I'll purge that from my vocabulary immediately. Which won't be difficult because I never use (or hear) it.

Evan 6:53 AM  

The photo is of Rabin and Arafat shaking hands, with Clinton in between. In retrospect, seemingly a moment of excessive optimism.

Lewis 6:58 AM  

I flew through the top, thinking, “Helloooooo, Wednesday!” Then suddenly the portcullis slammed down, and I was huh-ing and what-ing all over the place, everything except filling in boxes. A sudden and unexpected scene change from light and airy to dark and brooding. Did you see the movie “Parasite?”

And so I bore down, I TOILED, putting in a TOSSES here and a REMUS there, an EYEPIECE here and ETUDES there, then waiting, waiting for inspiration, and inspiration leaked in, DINKS with a “Hah!”, and when “CHEF” morphed into CAPN, I shouted “You devil!” to Evans. Then the bigs fell. Still, the grid put up a battle to the end.

So, Evans, you lured me in and puffed up my ego, only to put me to task, bring me to reality. Hot to cold to warm to “Oh, yes, I loved this!” To me, this was the work of an artist, a Clinchy becomes da Vinci. One marvelous Saturday. Thank you!

Carola 7:02 AM  

I'd have agreed with @Rex's "Easy-Medium," except that I...DNF. It wasn't that I had trouble with his trouble spots - SANDRO, DANNY BOY, REBUS, RABIN went right in. Rather, a faulty memory, a bad guess, and inattentiveness met up to sink my ship: Lisa BeNET and DO rePS crossing BArKS, the clue for which I never looked at, thus leaving me with the JeNeS Brothers. Extra dumb, as while pop trios are hardly my strong suit, I do remember the JONAS Brothers as teen heartthrobs.

Loved DEAD AS A DOORNAIL Here it is in Dickens's own handwriting, on the first page of the manuscript of A Christmas Carol. Also fun to have TWADDLE just above - probably what Scrooge would have said about ghost sightings before he had his own.

Anonymous 7:04 AM  

Heavens to Murgatroyd is a Snagglepus line...NOT the Pink Panther.

Frantic Sloth 7:11 AM  

Wow! That was hella fun!

Love the word TWADDLE and those gridspanners were just brill, original, and (again) fun.

Fill was likewise solid and dreckless (sorry @Roo!) as far as I could tell, with some absolute winners, especially as clued: SAUSAGES, DAIKON, LICORICE, RIBEYE...or am I just hungry?

Plus, there needs to be a food named DYEJOB DONUT and it needs to be another menu item at Z's Placebo & Tentacle Pub. Or maybe rYEJOB DONUT?

The constructor's sense of humor shines throughout this grid and can best be described by his picture over on xwordinfo.com.

Also, how can anyone not love the name Evans Clinchy??

Well done, strange sir - and more, please!

🧠🧠🧠
🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

bocamp 7:16 AM  

Thank you @Evans, for a crunchy Sat. puz! Very entertaining. :)

Easy+ solve.

Great start in the entire top section; a bit more pushback in the lower. A brief holdup at ROCKS and SOCKS; not knowing Botticelli's first name didn't help.

Our family enjoyed playing the parlor game, "Botticelli".

Had a beautiful orange tabby, name of ASPEN.

In DREAMs ~ Roy Orbison
___



yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Richard Stanford 7:18 AM  

I agree with all the points made here. This started out feeling hard for me and never really felt easy but things just kept dropping into place. I don’t understand TENANTS or CAPN (I had Chef at first - damn it, Captain Cook isn’t it?). Didn’t know RABIN SANDRO EPPS et al but they all dropped into place with crosses. I enjoyed SOCKS and the long crosses too. All told a surprisingly pleasant 22 minutes.

Joaquin 7:24 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
OffTheGrid 7:26 AM  

I recall DINK as a non-serious insult when I was a kid. Only other use I've seen is Dual Income No Kids to describe some married couples, DINKs. Not sure I understand the meaning in this puzzle. In any case I don't think it's pearl clutch worthy.

RJ 7:27 AM  

Would someone explain the tenants/letters cluing? Thanks - I tried googling but to no avail.

Joaquin 7:38 AM  

Two people who are definitely not OLD ACQUAINTANCEs of mine are TYRA Ferrell and Mike EPPS. I’d be lucky to tell one from the other. SANDRO made an appearance on Jeopardy! recently, but that was no help here. And I never saw “Dumb and Dumber”. But everything was gettable from crosses.

Enjoyed this relatively easy (for me, for a Saturday) solve. Only problem: All the food answers have me craving something special. Think I’ll break my self-imposed “no DONUTs” rule so, at first light, I’ll be outta here for a treat.

Unknown 8:02 AM  

Why does "split level" have to relate to the puzzle in any way? Seems like a pretty straightforward clue to me.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

My understanding is that Japan and Sweden are specifically known for their CLOGS, hence the cluing angle.

Unknown 8:17 AM  

Tenants let (rent) apartments...more of a British term

bigsteve46 8:18 AM  

LET:a period during which a room or property is rented. (British)

For us ultra-geriatric lawyers, I dimly remember it used in Landlord/Tenant class back in law school, back in the day.

Son Volt 8:20 AM  

Rex really whiffed on his critique today. This was a wonderful puzzle - ELEGANT longs and crunchy fill. I do agree that the limited short stuff in there was a little off - but didn’t bother me. Loved MEAT AND POTATOES and the entire MEAT sub theme. TWADDLE x WONKS is fantastic as is SOCKS crossing ROCKS OUT. Didn’t know Botticelli’s first name but the surrounding fill let me back into it.

The burden must be heavy to be responsible to identify every obscure derogatory term.

Highly enjoyable Saturday solve.

Guilherme Gama 8:23 AM  

The Oslo accords photo-op is pretty famous. I remember it was a big deal back in 199...7? The image of Clinton, Rabin, and Arafat is seared into my mind.

Eprailick 8:24 AM  

If someone leases an apartment, the apartment is said to be “to let” so that person, the lessor could also be called the letter of the apartment. The tenant is obviously the person who leases the apartment from the lessor or letter.

TTrimble 8:30 AM  

Oh lord, we recently had the DECOCT convo. Again with this? Are we condemned to repeating ourselves?

Someone brought up Murgatroyd the other day as a possible alternative to Betsy. And Pink Panther, really, Rex? If I recall correctly, the Pink Panther of children's cartoon fame was a mute. Coolest pink mute I ever saw. (It was in fact one of my favorite cartoons on Saturday mornings.)

I'm with Rex on 44A though. Träskor is what kind of CLOG? Toilet clog? Nasal clog? Do they CLOG in Japan? Who knew?

Maybe the clue for AU JUS NEEDS TO be parsed as French (menu phrase), not (French menu) phrase. It's well known that adjectival modification is a non-associative operation. (That's math term for y'all.)

I really enjoyed this puzzle, although for me the bottom half was somewhat more troublesome than the top. The long answers are terrific, luscious even. Really skillfully put together, and attractive to the eye. (And agreed, Evans Clinchy is a cool-ass name. I picture a suave international spy who is fluent in a dozen languages, and a distinguished art collector on the side.)

Dottie 8:35 AM  

In another era Sharp would’ve been a member of the Moral Majority. Should we also keep spade, as in gardening tool, out of the puzzle ?

bocamp 8:37 AM  

@OffTheGrid 7:26 AM

Ditto the youthful argot for DINK. I guess that could be a "little shot".

In a different context, used the occasional DINK (or tip) in volleyball to keep the defense off-balance, which could also be considered a "little shot" as opposed to the more oft-used "spike".

@Anonymous 8:11 AM

That was my take on the CLOG clue, as well.
___



Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

JOHN X 8:37 AM  

Ha ha It’s Classic Rex this morning! I love it!

Only Rex could be offended by a “slur” he’s never heard. Never heard? It’s only from one of the greatest scenes in movie history, from Apocalypse Now, where Kilgore describes the hill that was bombed for twelve hours and what it smelled like as he walked up it later (hint: it smelled like victory).

Otherwise, this was a pretty good puzzle! I loved all the food answers everywhere. I’m making RIBEYE steaks tonight but now I’m going to make Scotch fillets instead, pan seared and oven roasted in my 1910 Erie cast iron pan. Hell yeah!

ChaGert 8:43 AM  

The clogs clue worked well, in my opinion. There are only a few things that Japan and Sweden are jointly known for, and an affinity for clogs is one of them!

Alessandro B. 8:44 AM  

I wonder what Rex would say to an art history prof who couldn't come up with Shakespeare's first name, lacking only the first letter? I'm again amazed at the narrowness of his cultural-historical knowledge, given his day job.

Harry 8:49 AM  

Speediest Saturday solve to date for me; I was in Wednesday mode throughout. All four 15-letter fills required a mere handful of filled squares to reveal themselves. Perhaps I'm just really in sync with the constructor, but I would have greatly appreciated a greater degree of opaqueness.

Not troubled by most of the more difficult fills cited by Rex; they largely fell swiftly into place from the crosses without even a glance at the trickier cluing. The sole exception was TYRA/TACET where I was stymied on the T, filling it with a reasonable guess for the solve. (SHOOIN slowed things up a tad since I had previously assumed it was "shoe-in

A Saturday completion typically is good for an ego boost. This week I simply long for more complex cluing.

amyyanni 8:51 AM  

Am with Rex today. Am also a little off as one cat went to the Veterinarian yesterday and now the other cat is hissing at her (evidently the scent picked up by a Vet visit can be triggering). Also not real happy with me. Good Caturday!

kitshef 9:06 AM  

Great puzzle. More of a Friday level of difficulty, but sooooo much fun.

Got tied up a bit in the MY GOD/ASPEN/MSDOS/TYPE B area. (eeGaD, bY GOD, TamEr, vegas were among my wifflings).

Mike EPPS was unknown. I guess Omar would be my go-to EPPS, but there are others that seem a lot more famous than Mike. Similarly, TYRA Ferrell is not at the top of the TYRAs list. All fair game on a Saturday, though.

SAUSAGE, AU JUS, RIB-EYE, MEAT AND POTATOES. And DAIKON, whatever that is.

Tom R 9:10 AM  

I had trouble at the very end and ran the alphabet to get the smiley pencil for the last square. Namely 44D and 50A giving me cook's handle of "capn" (captain? Really? Cookie makes more sense - but of course there is a specific captain cook), but tenants for "letters have them." is one I just do not understand. Wish Rex had explained that one.

Barbara S. 9:11 AM  

I agree with all the love shown for this puzzle. Every year I watch the Alastair Sims movie version of A Christmas Carol and I can clearly hear the narrator’s voice in my head: “Old Marley was as DEAD AS A DOORNAIL.” This puzzle wasn’t and had joy in every corner.

The problem with words that can be used as racial slurs (but aren’t being used that way here) is where does it end? I didn’t know about DINK but one could give a similar side eye to NOG. But is the right response to stop using these words and hand them over to the haters? I tend to think not, but I’m not in a demographic that can be personally hurt by these expressions. However there’s no doubt that the abusing of certain groups does immense damage to society and ultimately hurts us all. That being said, is the place to start correcting this problem to omit certain words from crossword puzzles? Obviously words with only one meaning – a hateful one – must never be used. But I would rather see words like DINK and NOG reclaimed and returned to their rightful meanings. (Will you tell me to DREAM ON?)

Today there are two excerpts from the work of ANNE LAMOTT, born Apr. 10, 1954.

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.”
*****************************************************
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
(From Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)

TJS 9:12 AM  

Interesting that Rex starts off a paragraph with "Lets reveal the troublesome mideast" and then equates the historic Rabin/Arafat photo with a Nixon/Elvis incongruity.

Telvo 9:12 AM  

'Dink' is a commonly-used tennis term for a soft shot from close to the net that's meant to surprise your opponent. I knew that, but I didn't know it had another, offensive meaning until Rex dug it up. That usage is clearly unacceptable, but I don't think we need to ban a perfectly acceptable term just because it's susceptible of another definition that the constructor didn't use. Rex, would you ban "Jew" (which I am) for the same reason?

Teedmn 9:16 AM  

Man, I have really lost all of the Swedish I spent 7 years learning (was never fluent.) Träskor, I knew trä was "wood" but forgot "skor" was "shoes". Rats.

This puzzle was very fast for a Saturday for me. 8D's TOIL at (that tricky tense issue with "put" in the clue) made "Set shots" a TaD hard to see (_AKaS, huh?) And I had a flashback to Thursday's boat puzzle and tied up to a doCk for a while but otherwise smooth sailing, though the S in SOCKS was my last entry and caused an alphabet run (sorry, SANDRO). I loved that matchmaking clue once I got it.

I have this odd (maybe) quirk of solving. I don't read clues of long entries right away and it isn't a conscious choice. I sniff around the short stuff and if I can't get one, I leave the area. Today, I took one look at 1A and headed for the bottom. I washed up at BALKS crossing BONET and branched out from there. DINKS, aren't they talking about a golf shot? I didn't get it at first but DINgS wasn't going to work out with what I had in the grid already (_OC_S at 35A). When I finally had enough crosses to peek at the grid-spanners' clues, they all pretty much filled right in. I guess that's why I don't read the clues for the long ones - I want to leave my mind uncluttered of possible answers until I can see more of the picture.

Thanks, Evans Clinchy, nice puzz!

kitshef 9:19 AM  

@Alessandro B. I don't think you can equate Shakespeare to Botticelli. One considered by many the greatest ever, the other not.

Shakespeare would be more like a Van Gogh or van Rijn.

Botticelli is more like Picoult or Blake.

RooMonster 9:25 AM  

Hey All !
A little Rex bash to start...
How can you be offended by something you've never heard of? Dang. Ever hear the expression "DINK and dunk"?
Also, Pink Panther? It's Snagglepuss. Heavens to Murgatroyd!, indeed.

Anyway, nice puz until trying to finish up in the NE corner. Yeesh. Had AQUAINTeNCE spelt thusly, with that wrong e messing me up. Plus the REBUS/TACET/DECOCT/TYRA mess. Had to Goog for TACET, as non-music anything here. Had lenIN first for RABIN. Har! Then putIN. Couldn't figure out how LE VEL was a REBUS, so thanks for the explanation, Rex. (Dang, bash him, then thank him!) DECOCT not readily available in the ole brain, and DANNY BOY eluded me also. Even with _ANN_BOY. Need to get my Ballads organized in the brain file. Ended up with TreacLE for TWADDLE, giving me, starting at 9D, rONKS, eRTY, eNe, cANNaBOY. Egads!

In SW corner, wanted eYEJOB for DYEJOB first, thinking what an odd way to describe the cucumber-on-the-eyes spa thing. But then thought, "there's already an EYE in EYEPIECE, so there can't be another EYE, right?" Then saw DYEJOB. Much better. But then was disappointed when across the grid, RIBEYE showed up. But, minor nits, that.

For 13D, What fennel tastes like, SHIT was too short! 😁

Unknown, DAIKON, TYRA.

Has there ever been a REMUS REBUS? Or a RIBEYE EYE PIECE? Maybe Lady Gaga could've had one with her meat dress. Can you DECOCT a CONCOCT?
I NEEDS TO stop! Too much TWADDLE.

UH, NO F's (MY GOD!)
RooMonster
DarrinV

JD 9:31 AM  

Immediate intimidation, relatively immediate gratification. Down one escalator and up the other. My kind of grid and something that made me feel smarter than I am.

Nudge and Twaddle could be a Sausages shop in Python skit. Dear Evans Clinchy an off-Broadway show. Wasn't around for @TTrimble's Decoct convo but that did slow things down quite a bit. I think I've heard it as a slur for roosters so I won't be using it any too soon.

Clinton's famous handshake photo was as a teenager with Kennedy. But Rabin fell into place.

LtKije 9:43 AM  

Didn’t love the clue on MEAT AND POTATOES. Yes, both clue and answer are about essential things, but the “bare” in the clue implies that essential thing is meager, while the answer is (metaphorically) about an essential thing that’s big and hearty, or a lot to deal with. If you say “that’s the meat and potatoes of the matter” it means the big, central idea, not something that’s been stripped down to a minimum.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

I like that the comment about knowing Botticelli’s first name came from an Alessandro.

One reason the Pink Panther mixup is so wonderful is that the Pink Panther famously has no vocal espression at all.

SusanMontauk 9:49 AM  

My mother said "heavens to murgatroyd" before either the pink panther or snagglepuss had been thought of. Maybe it was a rural Ohio thing from before WWII.

Fischgrape 9:57 AM  

Exit, stage left......corrrrection! Exit, stage right!

Sixthstone 10:04 AM  

Heavens to Murgatroyd! is about all I can say. No joy in this one for me. So many vague, quotation-based, or ? clues and random proper nouns. Credit for keeping 3-letter answers to a minimum and for some nice food answers and a cup of NOG. til tomorrow...

Z 10:09 AM  

My solve was the flip of @Lewis. Nothing in the grid until ETUDES/DYE JOB. EPPS was very briefly myer, but only very briefly. OCTOBER SURPRISE is about as wheelhouse as an answer can be here. SANDRO was automatic (how long until we see Savonarola in a puzzle?) because is there any better use of a half shell? Only real issue was that the JONAh brothers had to be fixed eventually. Getting into the north was facilitated by finally understanding the non-internet meaning of “hot links.” Had a brief moment of doubt with DACQUAI in the grid, but D ACQUAI clicked. “Friend” ≠ ACQUAINTANCE although Facebook seems to have completely obliterated that distinction. Having OLD ACQUAINTANCE meant the rest was mostly just a series of “oh, not as tough as I thought on first pass” moments. I did need to go back and suss out RO-ehOUT, but that took few precious nanoseconds.

A fine Saturday solve.

I knew DINK in the sports sense and in the Double Income No Kids sense and just faintly from the slur from way back. I wonder if the slur is still in the language. I haven’t heard the slur in decades.

@Frantic Sloth - ”Brill” is always going to evoke The New Pornographers.
I’m pretty sure Z’s Placebo & Tentacle Pub will have both a DYE JOB DONUT and an OCTOBER SURPRISE AU JUS on the menu.

@Alessandro B - What @kitshef said.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Banning a word is pointless. The meaning behind the banned word will simply be transferred to a different word, which will then have to be banned, etc.

Anybody who watches football is probably familiar with “dinks and dunks” to describe short passes.

TheMadDruid 10:12 AM  

Right you are!

mmorgan 10:12 AM  

And it was said by Bert Lahr before Snagglepuss, the latter imitating the former.

Enjoyed the puzzle but inadvertently spelling “acquantaince” [sic] wrong really messed me up for a while.

TheMadDruid 10:19 AM  

“Heavens to Murgatroyd” cried Road Runner! Well, why not? Just as likely as the Pink Panther.

Z 10:21 AM  

@LtKije - I think MEAT AND POTATOES is clued fine. Think of it as “the big central idea” stripped bare of extraneous details. If you describe a person as a MEAT AND POTATOES sort you are saying they don’t like things to be fancy, all they want are the bare essentials, no need for haute cuisine. They wear flannel to dinner, never a tie.

Kevin 10:31 AM  

DINK definitely doesn’t seem like a rare word. The only thing odd is seeing it without its partner RINKY. The description of something as a “rinky dink” thing, at least to me, connotes not just small, but inconsequential.

Hungry Mother 10:33 AM  

When I turned on the red letters, a big glob was wrong in the NW. Too many names to sort out, so I revealed the puzzle.

Whatsername 10:33 AM  

Dear Saturday puzzle. Oh how I loved thee, let me count the ways. I love thee from the depths and breadths and heights of thy wide open spaces, long crosses, and diabolical clues. This is what a Saturday is supposed to be. Thank you Evans, and BTW, great bio pic.

This puzzle was worth doing if only to learn the word TWADDLE. “The election was a SURPRISE. I won by a lot!” “MY GOD old man, you’re DELUDEd. What TWADDLE! Put on your SOCKS and CLOGS and SADDLE up. TAKE your DYE JOB and ROCK on OUT of here. Seriously you NEED TO. And leave the DONUT.”

Joe Dipinto 10:41 AM  

Rex, you really need to stay on top of your métier. (That's a French menu term for "Meat".)

The constructor says there are four references to meat in the puzzle, but actually there are five if you count SADDLE.

Let's cha-cha.*

*DO NOT click on this link. You are not permitted to see or listen to it. It contains a racial slur.

Amelia 10:47 AM  

Very nice (maybe too easy) Saturday puzzle. DESPITE ALL THE RACIAL SLURRING AND OFFENSIVE OVERTONES AND UNDERTONES OF EVERY SINGLE CLUE AND ANSWER.

I have to laugh at this comment by Rex. I suspect he got it from one of his woker and dare I say younger pals, because it wasn't terribly obvious.

Why do I have to laugh?

Because he missed last Sunday's HUMBERT next to CANCEL in the puzzle. That had to be targeted right to him.

I am sincerely sorry and apologize to all who might be offended by what I have written above.

mathgent 10:48 AM  

Loved the story told by Evans Clinchey on Jeff Chen. His grandfather would read A Christmas Carol to the family on Christmas Eve and he still remembers the opening line. Old Marley was dead as a doornail.

Pretty grid. I suppose that it contributed to there being only eight threes. The fewest in quite a while. Bravo!

As always, I read through all the clues looking for gimmes. Only one or two. It's going to be one if those Saturday ball-breakers, I thought. But going back, I tried ESQ at 6D which suggested that ACQUAINTANCE was in 17A. And then suddenly the whole top half was done. The bottom half took more work but not that much.

Calling LE VEL for "split level" a rebus is a stretch. A rebus is a picture puzzle. But the Thursday treats we call rebuses very rarely have pictures.

Enjoyable puzzle. TWADDLE and DREAMON, nice.

Nancy 10:56 AM  

I saw all the white space and thought: Gee this will be lots of fun and very challenging.

It was lots of fun, but only medium challenging. I struggled somewhat in the ROCKS OUT (didn't know)/DINKS (strange clue)/SOCKS (tricky clue) section, but nowhere else.

DEAD AS A DOORNAIL is so familiar -- but who knew it was originally used to describe Marley?

I kept wanting the "Scotch fillet" to be fish, not meat. I guess I was thinking of SOCKEYE salmon. I resisted RIBEYE until I couldn't resist it anymore.

Some consider DANNY BOY to be the most perfect melody ever written. You'll get no argument from me.

JD 10:56 AM  

@Whatsername, I love your thoughts purely with ideal grace. Woo.

GILL I. 11:00 AM  

A swift nifty Saturday puzzle.
First entry was SADDLE because I'm always prepared to ride. Second entry was ADONIS because I like to drool al a hunk or two. So I had the D and the A... and just like that....DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL popped its large headed stud that is bent at a strange angle and unusable afterwards. How's that for a SILKY NUDGE?
Cool beans when you have a MEAT AND POTATOES puzzle. Serve it AU JUS, please. Be sure the potatoes are roasted in the oven and the meat should be the Sunday roast. Hi @mathgent...
I need a DYE JOB....I also need a haircut . Hello OLD ACQUAINTANCE. Goodbye to my ELEGANT SAUSAGE.
Doncha love SHOOIN right next to CLOGS?
DECOCT sounds like something DANNY BOY gets when he WONKS.
My ARTY runneth over.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

@Joe D - No, the fifth reference to meat is DE COCT.

Harry 11:08 AM  

Given that I rate myself as being somewhere between the 40th and 60th percentile of contributors to this blog in terms of my crossword skills (and maybe not as skilled as that), my speedy run today was a huge outlier (judging from today's feedback).

I'm inclined to get in touch with "Evans" to see if we're as psychologically linked as today suggests ;)

Ellen S 11:37 AM  

Regarding “letters,” I used to see signs in front when a room or apartment was available: “TO LET” which I always always always misread as TOILET. Maybe I’m not the only one, so “FOR RENT” became more common.

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

@Nancy- “Old Marley was dead as a door-nail” is indeed a line from the first paragraph of A Christmas Carol, but Dickens didn’t coin it. Shakespeare used the phrase in Henry VI (had to look that up I confess) and it was apparently an oft used simile since the 1300s.

Frantic Sloth 11:58 AM  


Yeah. What is up with Rex and this DINK Panther business? Writing off an offensive word that was heretofore unknown to you? And as everyone and their cat knows, it's Snagglepuss!! For criminy's sake!

@bocamp 837am Exactly my thoughts on DINK, having played volleyball in college.

@amyyanni 851am Hope all is well with your "pariah kitteh"! Grudge much? LOL

@kitshef 906am DAIKON is a Japanese "radish", only shaped more like a carrot and it's white.

@Barbara S 911am Hear! Hear! With you all the way! 👍👏
Particularly moving quotes today as well. Thank you!

@JD 931am 🤣🤣🤣 and 👍👍👍on your "bread and circuses" imaginings. And thought the same about the Clinton photo.

@LtKije 943am Good point which I remember now gave me pause at the time. But that irksome @Z 1021am also makes a good argument. (He's annoying that way)

@Z 1009am Wholeheartedly approve of both menu additions for "the pub", but can't help you with your The New Pornographers affliction. 🤷‍♀️

@Nancy 1056am I don't think DEADASADOORNAIL was originated by Dickens, if that's what you implied. Reading the second paragraph of the transcript in the link provided by @Carola 792am will illustrate. Who knew? Oh. @Anonymous 1148am. Never mind.

***Rating Alert***

After reading so many comments about how easy the puzzle was, I started thinking about my 3-brain rating. Apparently, it played tougher for me than it probably was since my time was about 2/3 my average (about 10 minutes less) for the Saturdee.
So, how the hell did that happen??

I'm sticking with my original decision because that's how it felt.

Newboy 12:05 PM  

Great use of in the language phrases. Only wanting DOORknob from Dickens held me at bay. Others long entries like the RABIN/Arafat photo came readily to mind.

I fear I must be aging into the hardening of the catagories where usage becomes an issue of moral dilemma? I won’t use the N-word, but don’t think that Twain should do a revision. Context and historical intent should hold some sway, but don’t woke my grids into oatmeal mush. My 80mg Lipitor seems to help the arteries, but the categories....sigh! Or “heavens to murgetroid” as Yoga the bear might have said.

Silasxl 12:06 PM  

SnagglePuss

Anonymous 12:09 PM  

name one 'ball' game that doesn't have a DINK shot. bet you can't.

Mikey from El Prado 12:24 PM  

I guess Snagglepuss is well-known among us boomers who watched Saturday morning cartoons back in the sixties, but not so with the younger crowd?

I did like Rex’s comment on DECOCT, a word I find a bit painful.

And, with that, I shall “exit, staaaage left!”

jberg 12:25 PM  

DNF— I finally gave up and looked up the plot of “Dumb and Dumber.” My problem had been wanting TamEr for “less intense” and not seeing how it could end with a B. I even tried DYE Jar for a few minutes. Nope. Once I knew they really did go to ASPEN I was able to parse TYPE B

I had a little trouble wanting Botticelli to be Andrea, due to unconscious confusion with A. Bocelli.

I actually knew the word gets, but didn’t remember it until I got the crosses. Alas!

Another Anon 12:25 PM  

billiards, croquet, bocce, dodge ball, tether ball, baseball, kick ball, softball, tee ball, football, lacrosse, rugby, soccer

jae 12:26 PM  

Mostly easy with the SW a tad tougher than the rest...carte before AU JUS didn’t help. Solid and smooth, liked it.

I noticed POT in the middle of 48a and was looking for a way to somehow put in “piss in”.

old timer 12:39 PM  

Pretty easy for a Saturday.

I am amused by the DINK comment. The slang use might be from World War I. It was a big deal when the Japanese joined the Allies in 1914. They sent only a small contingent to the Western Front, but it was big news, much ballyhooed in the press, and you could argue that "Hinky DINKy Parlez Vous" refers to the hilarious spectacle of the Japanese soldiers trying to JABber French, while trying to make whoopee with the Mademoiselles. The song, Mademoiselle from Armentieres, was by far the most memorable soldiers' ditty of the era.

OK I made that up.

Z 12:41 PM  

At the risk of making a good point and annoying @Frantic Sloth, let me wade into the DINK hullabaloo.

I really do not get the DINK hullabaloo in the comments. It looks to me like most of you are reacting to something Rex didn’t say. Quick recap... Rex said (mostly paraphrasing here):
1. Rex was looking up DINK
2. Rex learned that lots of online references list a slur definition
3. This was news to Rex
—— Okay so far - this is where all your imaginations seem to start running wild ——
4. The other DINK usages are much more in the language
5. So it's probably OK to use DINK — YooHoo Looky Here People Did You Just Miss This Sentence?
6. But DINK is a rarely used word in Rex’s vocabulary
7. So he, Rex, for himself, not telling anyone else what to do, is not going to use DINK unless I absolutely had to.

What Rex wrote is roughly the same as saying I never used “fuck” in front of my mother or that I never use “niggardly” anymore because people think I’m saying something else. The only pearl clutching I see is in the comments.

A 12:47 PM  

Happy Birthday, Claude Bolling! (God-like piccolo trumpet alert)

Very quick (for me) Saturday, which would have been quicker yet if I hadn’t momentarily ruled out AD SALES because of wanting to buckLE my seatbelt rather than SADDLE my mount. (I always liked bareback riding anyway.) Also waited for crosses for OLD ACQUAINTANCE because for some reason I always want two C’s. C-crazy.

Knew or guessed more than my usual number of answers without crosses. DAIKON was the only Japanese veggie that came to mind, though I’ve never cooked one. 12, 13, and 14 down all went in as fast as I could type them. Only mysteries were DINKS/SOCKS (cute clue for socks), and the MY GOD/MS-DOS/TYPE B/ASPEN double-crossing.

Interesting clue for TYPE B - “Not so intense, say.” Must NEEDS TO end in Er, sez me. Er, no - that’s an err. I guess the implication for comparison is that TYPE B is second to TYPE A. Subtle. A TYPE B clue, say?

I did hesitate briefly on that B because salons don’t offer DYE JOBs, they offer ‘color’ - if you ask a solon colorist for a DYE JOB they’ll say, “UH, NO, you’re looking for Maebell’s Beauty Parlor.”

I thought it was fun that instead of “eat” as the entry it’s the clue. Sneaky clue for DNA, too.

Thanks for the SILKY DECOCTion, Mr. Clinchy!

Frank 12:54 PM  

It’s Snagglepuss. Besides a stand-alone cartoon, he was a spoken-feline for Cocoa Krispies.

Masked and Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Has anyone ventured a "Evans to Murgatroyd -- good SatPuz!" comment yet?
@RP's DINKS essay seemed to generate lotsa comments here. Does @RP read our comments? Kinda hard to give the Shortzmeister guff for not readin yer blog, if U don't read yer own blog's comments … sooo … surely @RP does read these, right? (yo, @RP!)

Slightly easy-ish SatPuz outin, at our house. Only spotted three ?-marker clues; M&A has seen TuesPuzs that get nastier than that with the ?-markers. Only precious nanosecond droppins were at the mysterious TYRA & SANDRO & DAIKON & they didn't deem to cross each other at all.
Plus, the {Meta di sei} = TRE clue was not much more meaningful to m&e than {Xxxx xx har}, but, hey it was just a lil weeject answer with all solid crossers. Ergo di qed: staff weeject pick, to the lil meta di sei varmint pup.

a samplin of sparklers: DEADASADOORNAIL. MEATANDPOTATOES. OCTOBERSURPRISE. SHOOIN. AUJUS.

Thanx for the smoooth solvequest, Mr. Clinchy dude. Good job.

Masked & Anonym007Us

misterarthur 12:57 PM  

FWIW, "decoct" and "decoction" is used all the time in english-speaking Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It's how classic South Indian coffee is made.

Quotes 1:07 PM  

Apocalypse Now:

Kilgore : Smell that? You smell that?
Lance : What?
Kilgore : Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

History of Henry VI, Part II,Act IV, Scene 10
Jack Cade: Brave thee! ay, by the best blood that ever was
broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I 2925
have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and
thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead
as a doornail
, I pray God I may never eat grass more.

Tom T 1:13 PM  

Perhaps I can inject a little levity into the DINK controversy today with a quote from Vera Carp, Vice President of the Smut Snatchers of the New Order, in Greater Tuna, a riotous play by Williams, Sears, & Howard:

"Now, we have a new list of words that have been declared possibly offensive or misunderstandable to pre-college students. Now the words are: hot, hooker, coke, clap, deflower, ball, knocker, and nuts. Now after much prayer and soul searching with the Lord, the Committee has decided not to include the word “snatch” on this year’s list. We know some of you have very strong feelings about snatch, but we just can’t afford to change our letterhead at this time."

I had the great fun of playing Vera (and 10 other characters--male and female) in several productions of Greater Tuna.

As for today's puzzle, I needed a "prompt" (25 down) from the online app before I could figure out MSDOS. Good Saturday puzzle, always delighted to find my way through a Saturday without asking for a "check puzzle" bailout,

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

one time though. maybe twice(?)

Doctor Work 1:14 PM  

To be fair, Snaggletooth is pink, but he's definitely not a panther. He is a cougar, even. Exit, stage left.

JoshyJosh 1:19 PM  

Re: dinks--I don't think it's much of an issue because a) very, very few people are likely aware of the derogatory meaning, AND b) the other, non-racist meaning is quite well-known, especially to anyone who plays sports esp. tennis, golf, baseball. This feels like a gripe in search of a problem. I guess I'm *glad* to know there's a racist version of that word, but when in the hell would I ever use it? Even people who are racist against Vietnamese people would never use it lol.

Frantic Sloth 1:40 PM  

@Z 1241PM I suppose I should be grateful that you can be relied on to never surprise me; however, IMHO Rex was overreacting to the word and therefore sowing the seeds that have the long-term potential of adding yet another innocuous word to the ever-growing list of verboten verbiage. No pearl-clutching involved - just wokeyness to the nth power. Others have pointed out good reasons for reclaiming vs relinquishing inoffensive ownership.
One has to wonder how often this situation would even come up. When/if it does, I would gladly apologize. Until then, DINK DINK DINK. 😘

Or what @Tom T113pm said.

@M&A 1255pm "Evans to Murgatroyd" is *mwah* 🤌💋🖐

Lewis 1:48 PM  

@whatsername -- Great post!

Aelurus 1:51 PM  

What a fabulous, fun puzzle! Some tough cluing but eventually finished without a single search, once I realized I had the wrong tense for “put” and replaced “toil on” with TOILED (hi, Teedmn 9:16). Which helped immensely with changing _AKoS to TAKES as that version of “shots.”

Didn’t know DINKS but gettable from crosses. Loved “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” (also had “oh GOD” first, with switch to MY GOD; hi, Conrad 6:46). Almost entered SCOOP instead of DONUT (I'm fond of the longer doughnut version) but warily waited for a couple of crosses.

Favorite answer: SOCKS for 35A “Matchmaking targets?”

No idea why REBUS made sense, so thanks, Rex, for that. And to you, Evans Clinchy, for the puzzle, and your cool name and playful photo.

@Barbara S. 9:11 am – Thanks for the Anne Lamott excerpts! In May on Extended Session from San Francisco bookstore Book Passage there’s a ticketed Zoom workshop with Anne called “Writing 101: COVID College Edition.” Book Passage also has ongoing and archived conversations with authors, many of them free. My introduction to this series last year was from a friend’s recommendation to watch the conversation between Amy Tan and John Muir Laws on nature journaling. Amy’s approach to it is with a storytelling eye.

@amyyanni 8:51 am – This happens to my two cats every time one goes to the veterinarian and the other doesn’t. I finally decided to work it so both get their annuals at the same time, but did not get the desired outcome. One seems to be decidedly averse to her dear pal smelling like the vet’s office, apparently unaware that she herself smells just the same!

Cynthia 2:02 PM  

Incidentally, there a fantastic graphic novel about him - Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles.

pabloinnh 2:13 PM  

Spent the morning getting the eight-week eyeball injection, so it took a while to get everything back into focus. When I finally dug in, what fun!

Of course DANNYBOY is primo showoff tenor stuff, so I knew its tune name. DEADASADOORNAIL was pretty common parlance where I grew up, AND I knew the quote, so that went right in. And things continued in a similar fashion with a couple of unknowns revealed by crosses. Over too soon, as I was having fun.

DINKS from tennis and volleyball, as with some others. I don't wear CLOGS but I have unclogged many a plumbing CLOG and didn't even think of footwear until I read about it here. Shoes just don't do it for me.

Thanks for all the fun EC. Pretty EC for me, I guess not so EC for some others.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

@12:25

confining ourselves to inflated balls, played (more or less) with the hands/feet

http://alvin-almazov.com/soccer-eng/dink/

https://www.amazon.com/WHAT-EARTH-Responsibly-Sweatshirt-Pickleball/dp/B08LJF1FGV (never played this one)

https://www.yourdictionary.com/dink (includes the Grand Olde Game)

https://www.wordreference.com/definition/dink ("to hit or kick (a ball) delicately") would seem to cover the whole

https://www.discussfastpitch.com/threads/frustration-with-dink-hits.34667/page-2 (softball, fast pitch)

https://www.theringer.com/2016/9/15/16040942/nfl-quarterbacks-dink-and-dunk-passing-trend-9e48acad3e83 (NFL)

https://www.world.rugby/video/343263/world-rugby-nations-cup-italy-score-great-dink-through-chip (rugby, and didn't expect to find it, but it's used in World Football, so I suppose it's expected)






Joe Dipinto 2:28 PM  

Worse than "dink" is "pearl clutching". Could everybody stop using this stupid expression? It's worn out its welcome. It's not clever. It's over. And it's offensive to pearls.

CreamyT 2:40 PM  

First DNF of the week for the wife and I, and there were a number of clues. We cruised through everything else, well on pace for a far-below-average time, and then just absolutely stuck. No idea about RABIN, DANNYBOY, TACET, or TYRA. We also couldn't suss out DECOCT - a word I certainly have heard, but couldn't have given you a solid definition of. That was a whole mess of a word for us to with rEduCe, DEduCe, DEduCT (sounded wrong but fit our downs), DEpiCT (again wrong but were struggling). I'm totally fine with those words, but mixed in with the PPP was a mess. Not enjoyable to solve there.

And I know TACET isn't a PPP, although I still find it to be a bit esoteric. If you aren't an educated musician or a XW solver, would you have any inkling of that word? Or be able to fill in any of the letters with confidence?

Anyway, I know it's easy to focus on the downs, but it's the last thing we worked on so it's fresh in my mind! And I did really enjoy it otherwise. I got a good chuckle out of DNA for "Cellular data plan." RNA/DNA show up a lot, and that's probably the best cluing I've seen for it.

I love learning new words and getting a better ideas of words I'm iffy on, but that cluster put a damper on an otherwise easy-but-fun Saturday. We almost had it through the week with no DNF for the first time, but still looking forward to fire up a new hot streak on Monday!

Frantic Sloth 3:01 PM  

@J-Dip 228pm Oh, quitcher pearl-clutching.

Dave S 3:16 PM  

One of those I stared at for two minutes thinkin I was never gon gto get one answer, then slowly fell into place. Perhaps I'll remember what a Scotch fillet is next time, but probably not. Meanwhile, it left me hungry, what with daikon, fennel, nog, donut, meat and potatoes, ingest, au jus and sausages, besides the fillet.

Doc John 3:41 PM  

There’s an old movie called Planet Earth (written by Gene Roddenberry!) where women are in charge and men are called DINKs.

Pretty soon, Rex’s (surely the word Rex is a slur in some language) vocabulary is going to be reduced to a, and, the.

TTrimble 3:48 PM  

@Joe Dipinto
Hear, hear. The phrase is being stretched almost beyond recognition.

"Rex is a pearl-clutcher!"

"In calling Rex a pearl-clutcher, you're a bunch of pearl-clutchers!"

"Oh yeah? You're calling us pearl-clutchers? Talk about pearl-clutching!"

And so on.

Changing the topic: did you know that Joe D dunks at DINKy DONUTs? If you didn't know, as I didn't know, *now* you know.

Joe Dipinto 3:51 PM  

@F-Slo – Brutality against pearls is one of the most under-reported crimes in this country.

@Nancy's erstwhile collaborator constructed tomorrow's puzzle with someone else. And it's a guy. Shhhh, don't tell her, maybe she won't notice.

burtonkd 4:07 PM  

@Joe D - Pearl clutching is up there with "panties in a bunch" on need-to-be-retired phrases.

@TTrimble - thanks for remembering my Heavens to Murgatroyd, although I mispelled it, from previous comments, even if you didn't remember it was me;) I love your use of the mathematical parentheses to parse the sentence, btw.

@Z - it is easy to jump to conclusions while reading Rex based on what we've read of him before (you've busted me on this before). Today I was thinking he really should read the comments more after the recent multiple defenses of DECOCT, but went back to see that he opened with owning that his dislike was "irrational" - fair enough. Plus DINK was made the word of the day!

I like the mini Irish song them of Danny Boy and Old (Auld) Acquaintances: should they be forgot?

My attempt at an LMS comment: OCTOBER SURPRISE - that time we came home to find that some of my mother's middle school students had TPed all the trees of our front yard on Halloween.

GILL I. 4:21 PM  

@Tom T 1:13.....Thanks for the laugh (I think!)....."Now we have a list of words........So snatch is something I'm new to. I will no longer tell my husband to quit snatching the remote control. I had to look that one up and the Urban Dictionary gave me an eyeball full. Ay....dios mio.
@Frantic....I'm picturing you clutching some of @Joe Dip's brutal pearls..... :-)

Anonymous 5:17 PM  

Friends , Rexians and contrarians, lend me your ears
I come not to praise Z but to bury him. Surely such august company won’t let our Dutch friend get away with the twaddle he tried to,foist on us.
First let’s dispense with paraphrasing. We can, and will do better. The first sentence of Rex’s review is: First of all DINK is a slur.
That’s clear. It brooks no dissent. It’s definitive. Forget context, intent, or ignorance ( more on that shortly).Nope the word is a slur. That tag is surely the greatest condemnation available today.
Rex continues: “so if you didn’t know, as I didn’t, you know *now* you know.”
This is the critical sentence of today’s comments. Those asterisks around the word now are key. They’re meant to preempt disagreement.
Res often has a grievance against a word, believing it to be a slight to a particular group, be it an ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
He knows full well that anyone who uses the word in question has an easy out by saying he didn’t know the word was problematic.
So, Rex in anticipation of this defense, Rex preemptively disallows it.
It’s patronizing, haughty and oh so Rex.
That argument is tacit, implicit. It is also unmistakeable the one he’s making.
No. Rex is. It a moron. He does t write the words “ I won’t use this word now that I know it’s a slur, but of course you can.”
That undercuts his position. Nope, Rex takes the moral high ground as he always does. All he says is, he won’t use the word, leaving the unspoken sneer “ you can use it if you’re a racist” hanging in the air.
So, once again Z, you’re right. Everyone is failing against thins Rex never said.
To the rest of you.does anyone else wonder why that guy fromMichigan feels so compelled to defend Rex?

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

Enjoyed the puzzle today, though it was on the tougher side for me. FWIW I appreciate Rex's sensitivity to potential slurs, but I am Vietnamese-American and never knew it was a slur. DINKS was an instaget for me as a tennis player. Don't mind it at all.

Nancy 6:29 PM  

Would I call a DINK a "little shot"? No, I'd call it a "short shot". The kind of tennis shot that's softly pushed over the net and therefore lands quite short. And, surprisingly, to fit the definition, it must be hit without backspin or sidespin.

Because if it's hit with backspin or sidespin, it's a DROPSHOT and not a DINK.

I had a very effective backhand dropshot, but, alas, nothing resembling a forehand one. So every once in a while when I came upon a ball that was close to the net and with my opponent way back in the court, I would just dump my forehand over the net. It wasn't very pretty and it wasn't very elegant, but it could be effective. On defense, I always found a DINK harder to "read" than a dropshot and therefore had even more trouble with it.

@Joe D -- I took an early glance at Will N's puzzle tomorrow with another collaborator and feel the way Ginger must have felt when Fred first danced with Cyd. But the puzzle looks on first impression as though its ABSOLUTELY GREAT AND VERY UNUSUAL and I can't wait to get going on it -- which I'll do tomorrow when I'm sober.

Anoa Bob 6:36 PM  

I have asked before how REBUS got appropriated/expropriated from its Latin definition of "by things" or "by way of things" and its long association in linguistics with the evolution of written languages from pictographs/hieroglyphics to abstract letters (known as the "REBUS Principle") into crossword puzzle lingo for a single grid square that has multiple letters in it. No one seemed to know.

I'll try again. Is there anyone out there who can enlighten us on how this blatant misuse of a word meaning "by things" got commandeered to mean "by multiple letters in a single square"? Shouldn't crossword puzzlers as a group be the first to object to such a glaring error? Judging by its frequent use in these pages, apparently not.

Sailboat cruisers usually carry or tow a small boat to use when at anchor or moored in a port to ferry passengers and goods back and forth between their sailboat and land. It's called a dinghy and boaters will often shorten the latter term to DINK.

Frantic Sloth 7:01 PM  

@GILL 421pm Not "clutching", but perhaps "snatching"? 😉

@Anoa Bob 636pm I feel your pain, but at least you made one convert! Shame it had to be me though...I hold no sway over anyone about anything. 😕

@burtonkd I emailed you last night about the "ouch" incident.

Time to do tomorrow's puzzle!

Smith 7:07 PM  

@Barbara S
Thanks for the Anne Lamott quotes, love her. New book coming out soon!

Karl 7:19 PM  

It is not the pink panther. It is not Snaggletooth. It is Snagglepuss. Snagglepuss is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character debuted in prototype form in 1959 and established as a studio regular by 1962. A pink anthropomorphic cougar sporting an upturned collar, shirt cuffs, and bow tie, Snagglepuss enjoys the fine things in life and shows particular affinity for the theatre. His stories routinely break the fourth wall as the character addresses the audience in self-narration, soliloquy, and asides. As originally voiced by Daws Butler, Snagglepuss seeks quasi-Shakespearean turns of phrase. Some of his campy verbal mannerisms became catchphrases: "Heavens to Murgatroyd!", "Exit, stage left!", and a fondness for closing sentences with the emphatic "even". (from Wikipedia)

JC66 7:52 PM  

@Nancy

Tomorrow's puzzle is very good. but, IMHO, your collaborations with Will are better

RooMonster 8:19 PM  

Wait a tic... , is that why the little people on "Spaceballs" only say DINK?
Naw, can't be.

The Dink Dink Song

RooMonster DINK DINk Guy

Anonymous 9:10 PM  

Remember that cartoon ca. 1990 of a French waiter, having served a piece of meat to an American tourist, and holding a bowl of sauce, asks "AU JUS?"? The American answers: Gesundheit.

My first answer to the figure in Clinton's photo-op handshake was "alien." Part of my problem was not knowing what a photo-op was, and second that the famous photo was a Jimmy Carter shaking hands with an ET-type alien, on the steps of the White House. The alien was endorsing his reelection. It was published by that wonderful purveyor of fake news, the now-defunct World Weekly News, which really knew how to do fake news right. I remember being struck by the accompanying article. Tabloids with dubious stories tend to drift to the right. But instead of damning Carter for allying himself with aliens, the paper took the view that the alien endorsement was a positive thing for Carter.
This was the paper that had front-page photos of a new mother with her 17 babies (all doing fine, thank you). It would also tell us that scientists were 100% certain that the earth would be destroyed this coming April by a giant asteroid. What to me was hilarious was that the earth-ending story would be buried on page 7, where the more important stories, babies born with two heads, one human, one alligator, got the front-page niches.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Joe Dipinto 9:16 PM  

@JC66 – Did 32a in tomorrow's bring back fond memories? :-)

JC66 9:24 PM  

@Joe D

Absolutely!

Ah, sweet youth.

Thane of 13th 9:31 PM  

THANK YOU!!

burtonkd 10:44 PM  

@Frantic, emailed you back early this morning. Now we will have people wondering about an ouch incident.

Kay 10:44 PM  

I agree!

Unknown 10:53 PM  

PLEASE STOP TEACHING ME OBSCURE RACIAL SLURS

Frantic Sloth 11:07 PM  

@burtonkd LOL - let 'em! 😉 I just checked again and don't have it. Might have been eaten by - no kidding - my SPAM FILTER. If we're good, I'm good. 👍

albatross shell 12:51 AM  

Nothing from the Minneapolis contingent about DINKytown?
I lived off dink shots in ping-pong even after I learned to slam.
Maybe using it in non-slur ways will decrease its usage in slurs. I am proud of being an expert dinker.
In any case Rex was relatively restrained in his comments and our Mysterious Obssessed Troller must admit Rex is correct. Dink is a slur and is used that way, as Rex said, even though, as Rex also says, it has more common usages that are not slurs. Rex chooses one path. I choose another. Will the time come when one of us changes positions? Who cares?

My solve was the opposite of @Lewis. Bottom to ETUDES RIBEYE last night. Did not get back to it until late this evening. Broke through, but having heDGE for NUDGE gave me a hunk of woe.

Truly a fine Saturday. Easy cause I almost finished without a cheat.

dm3000 3:54 PM  

Rex is constantly vigilant to find the slightest transgression in anything. The embodiment of what's wrong with society today. Very sad.

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