Candy with an insulting name / TUE 5-4-21 / 1990s fitness fad / Profession of protagonist Stevens in Ishiguro's Remains of the Day / Something that disappears in a chemistry experiment / Philly ivy

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Constructor: Nina Sloan

Relative difficulty: Easyish

THEME: Candy names that can also be insults 

Theme answers:
  • GOOBERS (23A: Candy with an insulting name #1)
  • AIRHEADS (29A: Candy with an insulting name #2)
  • BUTTERFINGERS (33A: Candy with an insulting name #3)
  • SLO POKES (40A: Candy with an insulting name #4)
  • DUM-DUMS (48A: Candy with an insulting name #5)
Word of the Day: PATINA (41D: Green layer on the Statue of Liberty) —
1aa usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color
ba surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use the beautiful patina of this antique table
2an appearance or aura that is derived from association, habit, or established character the criminal has acquired a patina of respectability by his friendship with well-known businessmen
3a superficial covering or exterior The toast was spread with a patina of butter. (
• • •

Wish this one had a better hook. A revealer that made it interesting or something. Just having the clues be a list like this is pretty blah, and there's nothing really to "get" in the end, or ever. You're just going to discover some candy names. Maybe you try to anticipate what they might be ("NERDS!" somehow did not show up). I don't know. Has anyone called anyone "goober" since the '80s? Last time I remember BUTTERFINGERS as an insult was in the old ads for the game "Operation," you know... the one where you "operate" on a "patient" by trying to extract various things from his body while trying not to touch the electrified edges of the board with your forceps? Do I have that right? I don't know that I ever played, but it's an iconic game. Anyway, in one of the TV ads, somebody slips and touches the edge and it maybe sets off an alarm or makes the body's nose light up (again, I don't remember), and one of the asshole-ier kids taunts the bad fake surgeon with "BUTTERFINGERS!" Weirdly, BUTTERFINGERS is singular (in insult form), and you can actually exclaim it as an insult. Not so all the others, though I guess if you were insulting a group all at once, you could shout "AIRHEADS!" Anyway, it's a list of candy names. That is all. No idea what SLO POKES are, to be honest. Just looked it up and still have no idea. Never seen this candy in my life, despite its dating to the '20s (1920s) and appearing on sites with names like OldTimeCandy dot com. What even is this candy??:

I'm also not entirely sure what AIRHEADS are, but I have definitely seen them in the candy aisle, so they weren't hard to get today.

Weird grid construction, in that all of the candies are crammed into a relatively narrow band of space toward the middle of the grid: five candies in seven rows. Maybe if you'd spread them out the grid could've breathed a little better. Been a little less segmented and choppy. Or maybe you could've worked a couple more candies in (actually, scrap that latter bit, I never said that—theme-packing hurts grids and never ends well). The fill is reasonably clean overall except for a few things like the playground retort, OLAF apostrophe S, UPENN (it's just PENN). Besides that, a lot of repeaters, sure, but most of them are innocuous. Not innocuous: JUUL. What are you doing there, shilling for a vaping co.!? It's safer than smoking but still not safe, bad for your heart and lungs, addictive, etc. Ugh. This is a reminder that not all "fresh" fill is "good." See also the crappy white-right U.S. senator in yesterday's puzzle with the A+ rating from the NRA (among other crappy distinctions). I guess you can shout "First!" when you put him in your grid, but ... is this the "fresh" fill you want to be celebrating? Please consider these things.

Fantastic, world-class clue on ROAD RAGE (5D: Fit on a hard drive?). Me: "What? What? [gets some more crosses] ... What? Wha—oh! Oh, wow, yes. OK." Clue on CANARY isn't half-bad either (39A: Little bird of mine?). 

Fun fact: a NATURIST is a nudist. That is the primary definition. It's true. Look (though fair warning, you will see naked people). Yes, other definitions involving studying or appreciating "nature" are also attested, but that is not what anyone is going to think of when they see the word NATURIST. Now, I'm sure many NATURISTs do, in fact, enjoy a good walk in the woods from time to time (35D: Person who appreciates a walk in the woods, say). But it's clear that the clue wants you to think the word means simply "fan of nature," and, well, no, not really. Naked fans of nature, possibly, yes. 

OK, that's all, have a nice day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


OffTheGrid 6:19 AM  

I really liked this. The theme was clever and fresh. The fill was not exciting but pretty clean with some of the 3 letter frequent flyers. It could have been better, though. The candies BUTTERFINGER(S) and SLOPOKE(S) do not have an S in the name.

Z 6:36 AM  

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5. Wow. Way to put some effort into your theme cluing. Although, actually using synonymous insults could get a little tricky, I suppose, so bland > offensive. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) a PPP-based them is not my favorite, and then deciding to go with the blandest of theme clues means this is yet again the Best Tuesday Ever. Tuesdays are going to Tuezz.*

I’m sure I have mentioned it before, but if you are ever in Holland, MI you have to visit the Peanut Store downtown. Besides selling nuts and candy by weight they carry all kinds of classic candies. I’m sure Rex could get some SLO-POKES there. I haven’t been in awhile, but it seems to me they still carried candy “cigarettes” the last time I was there. Far less addictive than JUULs. Also, Rex, SLO-POKES are exactly what the picture implies, caramel on a stick, no apple needed.

Hand up for thinking ROAD RAGE and CANARY are both exceptionally strong candidates for @Lewis’ best clues of he week list.

*For relative newcomers to the commentariat - Tuesday puzzles have a reputation for being the worst puzzles of the week. Also, PPP = Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns.

Frantic Sloth 6:40 AM  

Enter candy: The schoolyard bully who makes you fat, calls you names, and steals your lunch money so all that's left for you to eat is more candy. Add nausea ad nauseam.

Another sparkling NYTXW debut with a cute theme and some clever clueing. Fill was pretty good with just the requisite amount of "ese" IMHO.
Found it easier than yesterday for whatever that's worth.

Congratulations, Ms. Sloan - and I expect to see you again soon.

*** ZPaTP Menu Alert ***

Rotisserie chicken is yummy, but the new best thing to be featured on the menu at Z's Placebo and Tentacle Pub is PAN CANARY. It makes squab look like a buxom turkey, but hoo-boy is it tasty!


Lewis 6:42 AM  

Any puzzle that bandies candies transports me to my kid mind, which is a treat. How I loved my chocolate bars, Red Hots and SweeTARTS. Thank you for this morph into to what it felt like so many years ago, Nina, which made this a fun solve, and congratulations on your first NYT puzzle!

You gave me a lot besides the theme to enjoy as well. The gorgeous words REGALE, PATINA, SPRIG and BALM, the lovely PuzzPair© OMELET and PAN, not to mention GENIE and MIDAS – echoes of yesterday’s FEE FI FO FUM – to prolong my kid-mind reverie. There was also OURS next to NOTRE, that anagrammed RATS next to NEST, and those sweet clues for ROAD RAGE and CANARY (Hi, @Z!).

I liked that all your candy brands ended with S, which made me think that DOJOS would make a great candy name.

So much to enjoy. May this be the first of many, Nina!

SouthsideJohnny 6:58 AM  

Agree with OFL - the theme is pretty much there cuz the Times says you have to have a theme (and space needed to be filled), but little of interest above and beyond that.

Not a fan of OLAFS and JUUL crossing SOLUTE (which in my opinion is poorly clued - yes it is a likely step in a chemistry experiment - who cares), and (2) FUJI crossing DOJOS - both a touch obscure for a Tuesday, although many may argue that Fuji is early week friendly crosswordese.

So pretty meh, okay I guess if you like candy bars.

Anonymous 7:03 AM  

@Rex. The U in UPENN is University as in University of Pennsylvania. "PENN" is more common but people say "UPENN". You're upset by JUUL but not by all the candy that rots teeth and contributes to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes?

kitshef 7:30 AM  

That’s not what NATURIST means…

Some really fine clues. It’s hard to bring a lot of spark to a Tuesday, so the likes of “little bird of mine” are really appreciated.

Rex on the 1/10/10 puzzle: “It ultimately won me over on the strength of its flashy fill (particularly JUUL PODS …)”.

bocamp 7:33 AM  

Thx @Nina for this 'sweet' Tues. treat; loads of chewiness! :)

Med solve.

Normal NW, down and around solve. Only a tiny guess at the end on the JUUL/SOLUTE cross.

Son's BDAY, so if you're reading this Mark, have a great one! πŸŽ‰

Often played catch with youngest g.d. (at 4 yrs. old). If she muffed it, I'd say BUTTERFINGERS, and she'd laugh and laugh. Soon, BUTTERFINGERS fell by the wayside, as she vacuumed up every toss, and is now a valuable asset on the diamond at pitcher and SS. πŸ₯Ž

CANARY Islands ~ Goth Babe


Had trouble where you did, but major woes for me. Toughest Freestyle yet (by a wide margin) LOL. Nevertheless, relished the battle and learned a whole bunch of stuff (maybe … time will tell). 🀞


Making progress (in the NW for now). Taking it slow and easy and enjoying the concept. Thx for the encouragement! :)

yd pg -3

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Anon 7:34 AM  

UPENN is the internet domain name and has become accepatable. From an a Penn Gazette article on the topic:

"Penn-affiliated organizations and Facebook groups include: Learning Alliance at UPenn, UPenn Alerts, The Odyssey at UPenn, Own It UPenn, UPenn Singles Meet, and UPenn Mental Health Helpers."


Of course, UPenn is still far from the dominant term. A Google search for the phrase “goes to Penn” yields 67,000 hits (excluding “goes to Penn State”), compared to only 14,300 for “goes to UPenn.”

Anonymous 7:36 AM  

@anon7:03 Some days it's a tougher climb onto that high-horse. Tune in tomorrow for the latest faux-outrage. May that trend die in the '20s.

Son Volt 7:44 AM  

Harmless enough puzzle - simple theme, solid fill. The candy doesn’t interest me - but it’s clued well. A little odd how all the themers are stuffed into the central part of the grid. Hand up for not knowing SLO POKES.

Liked TAG TEAM and PATINA. Side eye to allowing JUUL given all the anti vape PSAs around. SOLUTEs dissolve - they definitely don’t disappear especially saturated.

Fun Tuesday solve.

GILL I. 7:50 AM  

Shucky left out TOOTSIE ROLLS?
Candy.....My favorite is of the eye variety.
What a SWEET little Tuesday, Nina. AND..I happen to like a little comeback. ARE TOO...ME TOO...AM NOT....
I didn't really grow up with candy but when I came here I remember the grocery store down the street from where we lived in Miami. He was a newly displaced Cubano and he had comic books and lots of candy. He told me that BUTTERFINGERS were better than the Cuban piruly's. They were! When I get a little urge now and then, I like to eat them along with some Snickers.
My DUM DUMS runneth over.

JJK 7:58 AM  

I found this a very fun and easy puzzle with a lot to like. Good cluing and the candy theme is just fine. I agree with @Anonymous 7:03 - people say both PENN and UPENN. Loved the clues for CANARY and ROADRAGE.

I really think Rex is overdoing it with the outrage regarding all things that might have a political cast. Those names/groups/entities are out there in the world, it’s ok to have them in a crossword puzzle.

KnittyContessa 8:19 AM  

When I saw the first candy clue I thought I would have to make a change to the name of the candy to make it a clever pun of some sort. Nope. Just had to fill in the candy names. While it was fun to solve it was a little disappointing. Then again, it's Tuesday.

Peace and Unity 8:19 AM  

I like Sen. Crapo and was happy to see his name in the puzzle yesterday. I expected a Rex Rant before I realized there was a guest blogger. It doesn’t bother me to see the names of politicians I don’t like in the puzzle. I’m glad Mr. Shortz doesn’t make the crossword an extension of the editorial page, All should welcome in the sprit of unity.

Barbara S. 8:22 AM  

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this puzzle. Yesterday’s really trounced me, so it was good to return to solving competence today. I thought the theme was fine despite the unimaginative cluing. Here’s what I came up with for additional themers: Flake, Runts and Cry Baby. Honorable mention to Toxic Waste, although I don’t think anyone would use that as a personal insult. I was slightly bothered to see Wrigley’s GUM appear outside the themers, but it’s no biggie.

I also loved the ROAD RAGE and CANARY clues. I feel we’re getting the sticky/NEST joke quite often these days. And what’s with the OLSENS? Susan of “The Brady Bunch” on Sunday and now Mary-Kate and Ashley. I liked BERT beside BERET. (Can remember that he ever wore one.) Was ARETOO a subtle nod to Star Wars Day today?

Here’s a first: today I have a passage which is a direct TIEIN with one of the answers in the puzzle: FEN. It was written by GRAHAM SWIFT, born May 4, 1949.

“When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labor to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labors to nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing? And what are the Fens, which so imitate in their levelness the natural disposition of water, but a landscape which, of all landscapes, most approximates to Nothing?”
(From Waterland)

Anonymous 8:26 AM  

GOOBER is a peanut, a term of endearment, so, no.

TTrimble 8:39 AM  

Agreed: 5D (ROAD RAGE) is clued with marvelous misdirection.

Anyone remember GOOBER from the Andy Griffith Show? A smiling, well-meaning doofus, last name Pyle, cousin of Gomer. Wore what looks like a cloth crown but which I now know is called a "whoopee cap", like Jughead used to wear. So I always think of a GOOBER not just as a simpleton, but as a country bumpkin kind of simpleton.

Thanks to Rex for getting into NATURIST. No, I didn't know that; I do now! I'm reminded of the David Sedaris story about visiting a nudist colony, and how he was repeatedly told not to forget to pack a towel for his lodgings, for eventually revealed reasons that make me squeamish to this day. I used to think when I was about 11 or 12 that nudism as an idea had a lot going for it, but the story of the nudist colony that Sedaris REGALEs us with, the reality in all its concrete details, will probably forever make me think again.

Oof, The Remains of the Day with Anthony Hopkins as Stevens the BUTLER. Hopkins is a most remarkable actor, but boy howdy his performance haunted and left me depressed for about three days straight.

So Rex didn't like it, quelle surprise. Not fresh enough. STALE AIR. (I wonder how he writes when he's marking up student ESSAYs. I don't suppose it ever descends to candy insults, but also half-imagine that freshness of formulation frequently finds its way into his critiques, to the point of... it no longer sounds that fresh? I wonder...)

I thought there was good stuff in it. Good 'n plenty.

TJS 8:39 AM  

Hey Rex, one of us needs a break.

Paul & Kathy 9:08 AM  

PR time today.

And plural Butterfingers is not a candy.

That is all.

pabloinnh 9:08 AM  

Well READTO went right in instanter and of course bollixed up that section for a while. I usually think of REGALE as involving actual physical presents, so I deserved that one.

Was thinking NATURIST was going to be wanted for 35D which made my inner adolescent smile because I happened to know the first definition of a NATURIST and was picturing such an individual walking through the woods and meeting up with them. Har.

BUTTERFINGERS was reserved exclusively for people who had trouble catching a baseball or a football when I was a kid. Haven't heard it since. Also, much as I like them, there's nothing quite like BUTTERFINGER residue stuck to your teeth.

Nice Tuesdecito, NS. Not Shabby at all.

mathgent 9:11 AM  

Me: This is a bad puzzle.

Will: Do you know who did it?

Me: A teen-age girl.

Will: And you still think it's bad?

Me: Terrible, actually.

Will: What's the matter with you?

Janet 9:11 AM  

Surprised you didn't say anything about 1D "sprig" of basil?! Sprig of parsley, thyme - I'll even give you rosemary. But sprig of basil - NOPE! It's leaves.

RooMonster 9:11 AM  

Hey All !
Can't go wrong with candy... I confess to enjoying chocolate way more than I oughta. Oh well, life isn't worth living without Oreos.

Cool Revealer would've been - Classic board game... And a hint to the starred clues (of course, there would have to be stars...) CANDYLAND.

Thanks @kitshef 7:30 for the Rex JUUL 180. And these are the people who vote. Just saying you can't let herd thinking be your thinking, have your own mind. Was JUUL cool 10 years ago because vapes weren't widely known as bad? If you are smart, you'd've known any artificial substance you put in your body is harmful. Even today's themers. I'm not saying I'm perfect, and don't eat shittily, but at least I know and admit it!

Anyway, "get off my lawn" aside, thought puz decently filled considering the closeness of all the themers. Had FiJI in for FUJI until HiGE didn't make sense. Believe that was my only writeover.

Inspired clue for ROADRAGE. Top 10 of the year.

Does C3PO taunt R2 with, "Am not!" πŸ™‚

Three F's

Unknown 9:24 AM  

@ Janet 9:11 I had the same thought re the SPRIG of basil. A "bunch" of basil, or even a "leaf" of basil is fine, but I've never seen basil SPRIGS. And I've picked a lot of basil in my time.

I agree w/ rex that CANARY and ROADRAGE were brilliant. And yes, a naturist is a nudist. Found that out in Wilmington Vermont as we were hiking along a trail only to discover a horde of, well, never mind, you get the picture, and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. A bit of a warning would have been nice.

I agree that JUULs aren't healthy at all, and I'm certainly not a fan of how they were marketed to kids, but does that mean that they should be banned from puzzles? That's an interesting form of censorship; one might say it almost veers into political correctness. Sort of like saying, I don't want certain politicians or political groups to appear in puzzles because I don't agree with their positions. I'd like to keep cancel culture out of my morning puzzle.

Canon Chasuble 9:26 AM  

Dum dums were explosive bullets that were banned from use by The Hague Convention because they worked by exploding inside a person’s body. To me, at least, the name conjures up not sweetness, but horrific deaths.

Carola 9:34 AM  

First look at the grid: "Nina Sloan? A new constructor? Oh, goody! Let's see what we've got." Which was an amusing take on candy + some delightful morsels of cluing. A Tuesday that left me with a smile. SLO-POKES was the one theme answer that took me the longest to see, and yet it was my treat of choice at the candy counter for childhood Saturday matinees, as they lasted forever...that is, if you nursed them along rather than attempting a bite-off-and-chew maneuver, which could pull out a filling...or a tooth.

@Nina Sloan, congratulations on your debut. Looking forward to more.

GHarris 9:41 AM  

Butterfinger was (and perhaps still is) a not obscure candy bar. It is also an expression used to describe a clumsy person, most often on a ball field. So I just don’t get all the objections and distinctions raised by Rex. Have a sweet tart.

Chimpo 10:03 AM  

A SLO POKE is a delicious caramel, from what I’ve read.

Pete Drexler 10:06 AM  

Leviaton is a noun, not an adjective. "Come on man! "

Nancy 10:06 AM  

Uh-oh. Now I've really gone and done it. There's a big hole in my wall right now.

I didn't just throw the puzzle against the wall, you see. I hurled it from all the way across the room. Did you hear the noise it made in California, @GILL and @mathgent? All the way up in Canada, @Barbara S? Maybe innh, @pabloinnh?

This puzzle made me all the M&Ms. Miffed and Mystified and Mad. I stopped having only gotten as far as GOOBERS, theme-wise.

I'm going to the dentist on Thursday. By then I hope my wall will have been repaired and repainted. And at least one of us, Nina, will have teeth that are not rotting out of our head :)

JD 10:11 AM  

A super fun Tuesday that showed how some of the worst candies in the world also have insulting names. Too bad we didn't see Mike & Ike, Hot Tamales, and Peeps (all manufactured by the same company). Marched through it top to bottom in one round. Rare.

Not a big candy eater or television watcher. Really I'm damn near saint now that I think about it.

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

You can get New York Times Crossword Answers and get across and down answer.

jberg 10:23 AM  

In my youth I often had part-time jobs in convenience stores, where kids would come in after school to buy a little candy (or in some cases, steal a little candy), so I knew all these brands, and it was kind of nice to see them. I never could get much into the non-chocolate ones myself; and today I've managed to refine my tastes to the point that I can't eat any candy that I can afford--Daskalides or Leonidas being my favorites. That's probably good for my health, I guess.

So the problem is BUTTERFINGERS, which is only an insult in the plural but a brand in the singular. After going back and forth, I think that's OK. The candies that have plural names, like GOOBERS, do so because you get more than one of them in a package. I think if you wanted one from the package your friend bought, you'd say, "hey, can I have a Goober?" And if you wanted to buy two bars, you'd ask for a couple of Butterfingers. Anyway, it was fun trying to guess the brands.

The one thing that bothered me was the clue for GRAM. I mean, 1,000 of anything is a kilo -- so you might as well just clue it as "metric unit."

I'll leave you with this rendition of Goober Peas by Burl Ives and Johnny Cash.

Frantic Sloth 10:29 AM  

I played Operation. The "funny bone" was always my downfall. Clearly I've been scarred because why would anyone remember such a thing??

Hand up for SPRIG of basil side-eye. This annoyed me.

Oh, holy @JD 1011am I worship at your feet. Nah. Just kidding. πŸ˜‰

GILL I. 10:29 AM  

Well I began thinking about NATURISTS and saw @Rex's little post and then my mind wanders to the nethers. I actually went to a nudist beach (for the first time) in San Francisco. I didn't know it was one but it didn't take me long to figure out that everyone's (ahems) were hanging out. I actually said " cool beans" until a dude with a dong the size of a BUTTERFINGER chatted me up.
I'm not sure why Americans (and Brits, too) have this distain for nudism. We all have our things and some are nice and some sag, but when all is said and done, it's your brains that count.
The Europeans don't give any stink eyes at nudists. They only care about food and wine and if you have droopy one cares.
Viva el vino.....

Whatsername 10:39 AM  

Congratulations Nina, on your awesome debut! Fun, clever and cute. Almost had a Natick in the NE corner since I don’t know Disney movies or vaping brands and was never much of a chemistry student either. The second U in JUUL was just a guess and I got lucky. Other than that, a very smooth and enjoyed solve.

Thanks Rex, for the illuminating definition of NATURIST. Who knew? I would have wandered onto that beach expecting to see people carrying butterfly nets and spotting scopes, looking for a turtle NEST. In my shock as I EYED folks without even their TEE shirts, I might’ve tripped over a GOOBER, IMPALED myself on a BUTTERFINGER and ended up covered in a PATINA of SOLUTE. What a DUM DUM!

burtonkd 10:41 AM  

Since there have not been enough Simpsons clues lately, I'll support Rex's singular candy complaint with "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!"

I love Rex's "asshole-ier kid" description.

Hands up for internal question marks on NATURIST and SPRIG while solving.

Miniature ARF theme this week - get it? good clue in there somewhere

I would think the University clue to complain about today would be MSU: sports teams and initialisms. Sorry, @Z.

Old timey candy is kind of fun. I found some Candy Cigarettes and gave them to my nephews, expecting to be slaughtered by their parents, but they definitely got the ironic intention. What a devilish product to introduce kids to tobacco and sugar simultaneously.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Maybe a regional thing or a generational thing (I'm a Zillennial), but almost everyone I know refers to the school as UPENN rather than PENN. Helps to distinguish it from Penn State.

JD 10:54 AM  

@Gill, I might've been at that beach you mentioned! Some very sweet relatives from Minnesota invited us to visit them at a beach house they rented somewhere around San Francisco. Turned out to be a NOOD beach (which they hadn't known), but I could never remember the name.

Apparently, people with hot bodies like Speedos and bikinis and Naturists are old and flabby (NOW I qualify!). I remember constantly pointing out to the kids fun things to look at on the ground.

The Minnesotans were sweetly horrified. A delightful situation.

@Frantic, I also floss religiously πŸ˜ƒ

jae 11:00 AM  

Mediumish. also before SAME got me off to a slow start, and xmas before BDAY didn’t help. Fun and smooth, liked it. Nice debut!

Joe Dipinto 11:01 AM  

@G Harris – I don't think @Rex objects to BUTTERFINGERS. He's just observing that, in insult firm, it's a plural word used as a singular noun. You call a clumsy person a "Butterfingers!" In that way it differs from the other Insult Candies.

Theoretically you can cut a SPRIG off the end of a basil stalk, but I don't know what you'd do with it. Garnish a basil julep? It's pretty much always separated into individual leaves, whole or torn, for use.

We've got parts to perform, hearts to warm
Kings and things to take by storm
As we go along our way

Julie 11:11 AM  

Primary care MD here. I, too, did not like Juul in the puzzle.
Butterfinger(s) remind me of Paula Poundstone, so I got a good laugh.
Maybe somebody could put Sen Crapo (?) in the puzzle and cross lots of insulting candy names. That would be fun.

ghthree 11:11 AM  

Q: How can you tell a blind man at a nudist camp?
A: It isn't hard. (Hi, @GILL I)

egsforbreakfast 11:12 AM  

I like that after filling in the first three crosses I had SAME RAPT ESSAY staring st me. And I thought I was just doing a crossword. Later I got to wondering whether I’d fit in better with the GOOBERS TAGTEAM or the OPERA AIRHEADS. I’d expect to see @RooMonster on the former, and @Nancy on the latter (once she’s finished with wall repairs).

I liked this sweet debut puzzle, Nina Sloan.

Bax'N'Nex 11:17 AM  

Show of hands for those who clicked on the NATURIST link...

Joe Dipinto 11:21 AM  


(Making a lot of typos lately)

pabloinnh 11:29 AM  

@Nancy-Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking maybe sonic boom, guess not.

Whatsername 11:34 AM  

@GILL (10:29) That Butterfinger. Was it bite size, snack size, or the whole shebang? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tom R 11:47 AM  

Candy clues pretty easy - maybe because I worked behind the candy counter at a movie theater for a while in the 60's. Butterfingers as an insult was around a lot longer than the game Rex recalled, so I don't think its the origin of the insult, but the other way around. Bad name anyway since the defining characteristic of the bar is to stick to your teeth.

Anyway, to further clarify, a naturist is someone who enjoys being nude outdoors. A nudist just enjoys being nude anywhere. Not exactly the same.

travis 11:58 AM  

I had OLAF A Frozen Adventure ala Solo A Star Wars Story crossing YEA and it made perfect sense to me. I did think it was a rather silly partial, but I didn't doubt it.

Crimson Devil 11:59 AM  

Hand up for ROAD RAGE, nominee for HOF. CANARY and NEST also praiseworthy.
Never considered ALFAS luxury.
U surplussage re PENN, duped by Joe Shapiro.

pabloinnh 12:01 PM  

@Whatsername-Fun size.

Suzy 12:03 PM  

Hey, Nina— I liked it! Very fun puzzle, deftly clued. Plus it reminded me of all the candies I shouldn’t eat these days. Oh, well—

Anonymous 12:29 PM  

Like it or not, a JUUL is an actual thing. . . That U.S. Senator is an actual person. . . Therefore, they belong. PERIOD. Guess Hitler can't be clued in your "perfect" puzzle either. . . So, constructors, please DON'T consider the political correctness of a clue. . . Don't bend to the cancel-culture fascists. . . Its only a crossword puzzle. . . Oh, and have a crappy day.

GILL I. 12:39 PM  

@Whatsername...11:34. Neither....It was all nuts.

R Duke 12:46 PM  

As I recall, the SLO-POKE was very much like the Sugar Daddy. Both were caramel slabs on sticks, but the SLO-POKE had a chocolate coating. I think they were made by the same company. Quite a workout for the teeth and jaws!

Z 12:47 PM  

@Gill I, @pabloinnh, & @Whatsername - So a giant BUTTERFINGERS wasn’t an option? And how did the chocolate get there?

@burtonkd - Yah. So many options for MSU, SMU is a little more limited. Then there’s the Ames/ISU duo. And of course UTEP, ASU, and UCxx. All dreck. We got TAG TEAM and a themer out of this instance of MSU, so not awful, IMHO.

R Duke 12:50 PM  

After further review, the chocolate covered caramel bar was the Black Cow.

Teedmn 1:07 PM  

A misfire of the brain had me wondering what _iGE had to do with Leviathan, 51D, because FiJI Island had morphed into a mountain. AIRHEAD, I guess.

SLO POKES, never a favorite of mine, kind of like a tootsie-roll on a stick.

Nina Sloan, nice job. Congratulations on your NYTimes debut.

old timer 1:10 PM  

Not the world's greatest puzzle. And hard for a Tuesday -- who eats candy anymore? Actually I very occasionally grab a bar at the local gas station, but peak candy for me was when I was in Jr High -- they actually sold candy at the school store.

If you are at all squeamish, you really don't want to walk down through the bushes to water near Land's End in San Francisco. It is, or was, a very popular spot for gay trysting. You can, however, drive to a spot overlooking the official nude beach, where you will find naked men and women getting that all-over tan, and behaving themselves with relative propriety. Prettier, though, to drive the twisty road to Muir Beach in Marin. Prudes on the left, nudes around the rock, on the right. The huge advantage if you go to Muir Beach: a world-class English pub, the Pelican Inn, with excellent food too. I hope they survived the pandemic. Probably did, because as I recall they had lots of space to dine outdoors.

Anonymous 1:35 PM  

So why does picnic become picnicked and traffic becomes trafficked, but arc becomes arced and not arcked?

Just asking,


Note: I've done random anonymous posts but as suggested I'll give myself a good crosswordese name (not willing to give the powers that be any personal information - spent too much time cleaning up after some of those messes). I am not Leox, though, just Leo.

Whatsername 1:46 PM  

@pabloinnh (12:01) Aren’t they all? Fun sized? Butterfingers, I mean. πŸ˜‰

@GILL (12:39): Oh, nuts. Might’ve been a Mr. Goodbar then. But we’ll never know, will we?

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

Realize it's hard to avoid duplicates, but having STALE AIR and AIRHEADS in the same puzzle (and even crossing) seems problematic. This puzzle also has no second level or wordplay to It (aside from a few good clues).

albatross shell 2:44 PM  

I had ToEIN because when you get a toe in (the door) you have a connection. Could not decide if it was a bad or clever clue. Soon found out the answer was just wrong.

I used GOOBER as an insult just yesterday. But there was nobody from Georgia around. I'm a sensitive fellow. Wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

About that triple play stuff. The lengthy explanation was to show it might even happen. The pop up would not have to be too high. Nothing on the basepaths would cause the Umps not to call an infield fly. And my original claim was the unassisted triple play w/o the ball being touched by the fielder was possible. Another way: Bases loaded, pop-up to the 3rd baseman.
The umps call the infield fly rule. The runner on second runs by the runner on third, and the runner from first gently pulls down the glove hand of the third baseman. Why? Because its the top of the ninth, visiting team behind 2-zip, and it's the last game of the season, and the visiting team have no pitchers they want throwing before their upcoming playoff game. Plain ridiculous. But it still works theoretically.

Yesterday. Did you want someone to say you meant to say "abode abodopodes"?

I only knew what two of the candies were. And I thought I knew my candies.

I want a bidet for my BDAY.

Bill L. 2:53 PM  

Hike Nude Day used to be a tradition among some long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. It was an annual summer solstice event. Just the thought of Lyme disease has mostly put an end to it.

bocamp 2:57 PM  

@Leo (1:35 PM) πŸ‘

pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Z 3:31 PM  

@Albie - Adobe Abodopodes just rolls off the tongue. I think Z’s Placebo and Tentacle now has a name for the upstair rooms we rent out to those who should not be riding the Rye roller coaster home.

Marlon Brando 3:32 PM  


kitshef 3:45 PM  

@Leo 1:35: Vowel before the 'c', add a 'k'. Consonant before the 'c', do not add a 'k'.

frolicked, shellacked, synced.

Now, explain 'sicced' to me.

ZenMonkey 5:47 PM  

Today I learned putting a product in the puzzle = shilling for it.

I’m a pinko commie leftist too but give me a break with this.

Anonymous 5:57 PM  

It’s Penn. Now and forever.
Hurrah for the Red and the Blue.

Karl 8:47 PM  

As I recall, a Slo-Poke is basically a Black Cow without a stick.

Anonymous 9:11 PM  

Yeah. Repetition doesn’t make your argument stronger.
The umpires would intervene long before the third put.

albatross shell 10:02 PM  

Nothing until the final interference calls for a stopage of play.
On what grounds could they stop it?
Find a rule.

Z 10:12 PM  

@kitshef - It’s the “If the result results in confusion ignore the rule” rule. “Sicked” looks like the past tense of the verbified “sick” so use “sicced” instead. If that’s not a real rule it should be.

@Anon9:11 - Umpires do not “intervene.”

@Albie - Simplest scenario is a double steal. Infield fly, batters out. Runner on first rounds second. Runner originally on second returns to second, passing the runner from first, trailing runner is out, then runs into the fielder waiting to catch the really really high infield fly, runner out for interference. Ball lands. What I don’t know for certain is if the closest fielder gets credit for all three put-outs.

Hey - There’s a USA Today Crossword Blog.

Anonymous 2:18 AM  

How is "Sticky spot?" "Nest"? I don't get it.

JC66 9:25 AM  

@Anon 2:18

Nests are made of sticks.

Amy 8:31 AM  

the kids call it UPenn now

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