Comedian Margaret / TUES 5-25-21 / Handicraft website / Court cutups / First noble gas to be discovered

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Hi, everyone, it’s Clare back for this last Tuesday in May. I’m writing this now as a law school graduate, which is quite exciting! The last three years were a bit of a slog, but now that part is over. Next up is the Bar Exam (save me)! I’m trying to study despite my desire to just sit around and watch sports all day — seriously, with the end of the Premier League (my Liverpool finished off the season strong!), the NBA playoffs, the WNBA getting started, the PGA Championship, NHL playoffs (go, Penguins), and now the French Open starting, there's always something on. Now, I’m procrastinating by doing this write-up rather than relearning contracts. 

Anywho, on to the puzzle...

Constructors: Kristian House and Mike Dockins 

Relative difficulty: Fairly hard
THEME: Colloquial expressions showing disbelief

Theme answers:
  • I DON’T BELIEVE IT (20A: “Really?!” 
  • NO FRIGGIN’ WAY (24A: “Impo-o-sible!”) 
  • GET OUTTA HERE (45A: “Oh, come on now!”) 
  • THAT’S CRAZY TALK (53A: “How ridiculous!”)
Word of the Day: STEIG (1D: Cartoonist William who created Shrek) —
William Steig (November 14, 1907 – October 3, 2003) was an American cartoonist, sculptor, and, in his later life, an illustrator and writer of children's books. Best known for the picture books Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Abel's Island, and Doctor De Soto, he was also the creator of Shrek!, which inspired the film series of the same name. He was the U.S. nominee for both of the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Awards, as a children's book illustrator in 1982 and a writer in 1988. (Wiki)
• • •

I don’t have a ton to say about this puzzle, other than I didn’t really enjoy it. For the theme, yes, these answers are all sort of colloquial expressions that some people might say. But, there was no real payoff — nothing major tied the theme answers together, and there could be so many different sets of possible answers for each clue. My least favorite of the themers by far was NO FRIGGIN WAY (20A), as I think that “no freaking way” or “no freakin’ way” or even “no frickin’ way” are much more common ways of expressing disbelief. 

I got off to a somewhat challenging start with STEIG at 1D. It’s nice to get him in the puzzle, as Shrek just passed its 20th anniversary (and it’s an all-time classic). I only vaguely knew his name and ended up misspelling it. Then, what started off as one proper noun in that northwest corner multiplied seemingly exponentially throughout the rest of the puzzle. It definitely felt like there were more proper nouns than normal in this puzzle (TARA; BONN; ASTRO; EDIE; STEIG; TONI; ABEL; THE VOICE; ELIZA; ZEKE; OREOS; ETSY; INSTA; THOR; CHO; SYR; WNBA; etc…) 

The thing that sat with me probably the most after I finished the solve was 59A: Hot seasoning made with peppers because I’m still so mad at that clue. A seasoning is made up of crushed herbs and/or spices that you put on chicken to get invited back to the BBQ. A seasoning is not a sauce! CHILI SAUCE is a condiment, so this clue doesn’t work at all. On another note, I’m sure it’s a great school and all, but I think I’ve seen enough of RPI (37A) (and then also ENGR at 17A) to last a lifetime. 

Maybe it was the two constructors on the puzzle, or maybe I was just in a bad mood because the Penguins lost in overtime, but I found the puzzle somewhat disjointed and overall hard to get a foothold in. Then, it felt like the theme offered no spark, and a lot of the fill was overused.

  • It was nice to see the WNBA Liberty (29D) get some love in this puzzle! It was especially timely, as they had a great win tonight, and are currently 5-1 on the season, and Sabrina Ionescu has taken the world by storm. 
  • Even though I grew up watching Disney Channel, I somehow missed “ZEKE and Luther” (58D) completely. I’ve literally never heard of that show before. 
  • If you’re going to have two actresses play the lead role of ELIZA (51D: Doolittle of “Pygmalion”), having Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn do so has got to be one of the best combinations in entertainment history. 
  • And, lastly, what would this write-up be without me mentioning that BTS has released a new song called “Butter” that everyone should listen to!! If you can listen to it without 1) wanting to dance or 2) having it stuck in your head for days, you’re not human.  
Signed, Clare Carroll, law school graduate

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:30 AM  

On the tough side for a Tues., mostly because (as Jeff at Xwordinfo pointed out) you need crosses to get the theme answers.

boxeS before TVADS was my only erasure.

William STEIG was a WOE, STEIG Larsson I know.

ZEKE as clued was also a WOE.

Fun, liked it a bunch!

Frantic Sloth 12:53 AM  

Well, that's a new one. EVEN BETTER? NOFRIGGINWAYis in the puzzle!
Just look at the old grey lady showing a little petticoat. ¡Escandalosa!

Not bad for the Tuesdee swamp slot and a little tougher for me in places - mostly due to my own boneheaded moves.

Didn't know STEIG, but GONOW was the only way forward, so mini-pause (not to be confused with that middle-aged hormonal change) there.

Liked it okay and thank Gof OREOS are back!


Joe Dipinto 1:55 AM  

Yeah, well – Merriam-Webster thinks a condiment can be a seasoning:
Definition of seasoning
: something that serves to season
especially : an ingredient (such as a condiment, spice, or herb) added to food primarily for the savor that it imparts

I like the themers, but having the non-thematic BIG SALE plopped down dead center kind of ruins things. It looks and sounds dull. That entry should have more pizzazz.
"You're having a sale?"
"I don't believe it! A lot of stuff?"
"No friggin way! Like, how big are the discounts?"
"They're...pretty big."
"Get outta here! Like, everything-must-go blowout big?"
"It's...a big sale. That's really all I can muster."

Maybe if the clue had read "Store clearance event that ends with an exclamation point"...

Missed double-cluing opportunity: THE VOICE was a 1981 hit for...the Moody Blues! (Too bad they couldn't work in the Moodies' biggest hit, "Knights In White Satin".)

William's flautist son Jeremy

Loren Muse Smith 2:50 AM  

Clare – congrats and good luck with the bar!

It’s fun seeing how many ways we express our disbelief. I especially liked NO FRIGGIN WAY – hear that fairly often at school.

I actually had a dnf with “Stein/No Now” (hi, @jae and Frantic Sloth), but I’m not all bitter and stuff.

Where do you even start with the clue for TV ADS? Is there Any Super Bowl purchase that isn’t expensive? I did a little research and found the following Super Bowl prices:

bucket of popcorn - $15
nachos - $9
32oz soda - $15
can of beer - $14
strawberry daiquiri - $25
mixed drink - $18 (make it a double for $24)
glass of champagne - $25
crab cocktail - $85

I do hear more and more people talking about INSTA and not Instagram. Makes sense – we shorten all kinds of words (ad, auto, dorm, phone, plane. . .), and I imagine even the snobbiest of pedants use these clipped forms.

@Z from yesterday – Amen, brother on those Language Change deniers. I don’t give a rip if these guys wander around their lives in this staggering ignorance. My claws come out only when they publicly grammar shame someone. I believe with all my heart that when they do this, their goal is not to “help” someone but rather to display for the world their superiority, to gather up their skirts and separate themselves from the unwashed. If language didn’t change, we’d still call an eagle a brid. We wouldn’t find it almost impossible to read Chaucer (Beowulf? Fuhgeddaboudit). We’d say stuff like I shall have luncheon today in the gymnasium.

I’ve asked this question before to the grammar snobs on this blog: Fine. Ok. You see language change as a kind of decline? Let’s work with that. So what year should we draw the line for change that is acceptable? 1066? 1789? 1950? I’m waiting for your answer. Be careful what year you choose; you might paint yourself into a google-less, app-less, whither-and-thither-filled corner.

Prescriptivism is racist, ableist, classist. Hey man – whatever floats your boat, as long as you keep it to yourself. But try to shame someone based on their dialect? I’m all GET OUTTA HERE and NO FRIGGIN WAY.

chefwen 2:57 AM  

Tough, little Tuesday for me. Failed at first in the top third so switched and solved it bottom up. I really wanted Sriracha for 59A, my favorite go to hot sauce, not enough letters. Totally agree with Clare on the seasoning/sauce/condiment explanation.

Mom called me SNOOKUMS when I was a wee bairn so that brought on a little sniffle.

Fun puzzle, I enjoy a little challenge on Tuesday.

Andrea 5:00 AM  


Lewis 6:36 AM  

This had a lovely balance of easy drop-ins mixed with make-you-thinks and make-you-remembers. Excellently pitched for Tuesday.

Answers for the outdoors-person (SKEET, BOW, ROD), sports fans (WNBA, JAGS, RONALDO), and a morality tale (OREOS, HONEY, ACNE).

I thought there might be a revealer that tied the theme answers together, but in retrospect – nah, it works beautifully well without it.

Thank you, Kristian and Mike, for a puzzle loaded with spark. More soon please!

Lewis 6:39 AM  

This theme has a familiar ring, by the way, coming after a recent four-year period.

Richard Stanford 6:45 AM  

I’d argue that a few drops of something would fit that definition but that adding chili sauce to a burrito also brings moistness and changes the feel - and you can’t have a useful definition of “seasoning” that matches every ingredient.

I like the Moody Blues and have even seen them live a couple of times and didn’t know their first hit. Seems to have fallen off the radar.

Anonymous 6:48 AM  

Congrats to Clare!

Tougher Tuesday than usual or expected. Without a "tell" that ties the themers together, one needs to get one or two to get an idea of what's going on.

OffTheGrid 6:49 AM  

I didn't know TARA, STEIG, or GONOW so I moved across the top but unsuccessfully (got ANTI and DEET, then nothing). I eventually solved from the bottom up and enjoyed this very much. My mother made a chili sauce that was not really spicy hot. It was delicious on scrambled eggs. I miss that, and her apple pie, and her.

Richard Stanford 6:50 AM  

This one took a surprisingly long time for a Tuesday but all the PPP eventually fell into place even though I didn’t know much of it.

Another vote that condiments aren’t seasoning. I wanted CHILIpastE for that reason at first.

Liked the clues for ACNE and the two “nays” and it’s always fun to see ELIZA. I wonder if and when Hamilton will replace Pygmalion especially for the M/T/W puzzles?

kitshef 6:51 AM  

Some things I have enjoyed more than doing this puzzle:
-That time our luggage went astray and we had to spend five days in Brazil with no change of clothes or toiletries.
-When my housemate’s drunken friend punched me in the face thinking I was someone else.
-Missing my ride and having to walk eight miles in 95-degree, 80% humidity weather to get home.
-Sitting through three hours of the pure crap that was Interstellar.
-Montezuma’s revenge.

How bad was it? ENGR doesn't make the top ten complaints.

Anonymous 7:03 AM  

Nice puzz but would have liked car clues for JAG, ROD, and RAY. This one shared 2 with the MINI. Look at all the Yoko's in that NW corner, no matter which way you turn.

Z 7:07 AM  

I liked this more than Clare, although I don’t believe it quite qualifies as a “theme.” Now, make it statements of disbelief with creative replacements for “f*ck” and I think we have not only a theme but the possibility of a revealing revealer. But all we get is “FRIGGIN’”.

@Joe Dipinto - took the spicy words write out of my mouth.

I did a real quick look at the PPP and it does seem to be hovering right around the 33% mark. It’s not anywhere near a record, but definitely at least approaching the zone where it is going to give some solvers problems. As someone who knew Shrek and William STEIG before the movies, this was more wheelhouse here, so I had that initial, “it wasn’t really that high was it?” moment. It is an interesting psychological question, why does wheelhouse PPP seem practically nonΓ«xistent?

@Clare - I guess I’m not human. I just kept waiting for a Justin Timberlake or Donny Osmond cameo. Personally, let me know when they’ve done the boyz II men transformation and are doing a little Motown.

@LMS - Tell us how you really feel. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
Now, have I actually misspelt something or was I intentionally playing around with the idea that we aren’t actually speaking here?

Okay, look at the end of that first paragraph. I went with the apostrophe to signify the missing G, the close quote, and then the period. But I understand the justifications for putting that period after the N or after the apostrophe as well. I think style books exist more so we don’t have to think than because of any “correctness.” The diaereses discussion is just going to have to wait until we sort this out.

Anonymous 7:16 AM  

Always look forward to Clare's write ups, offering a changing view. Thanks to both Rex and Clare for their work. Congratulations, Clare, on completing law school.

Agree with your taste in puzzles and sentiment. Enjoy but am baffled by the love affair with BTS. Guess I'm not human, but they sound like every other boy band, ever.

Good luck with the bar...

SouthsideJohnny 7:21 AM  

I enjoyed reading LMS’s comments more than the puzzle. She’s right - just watch how the PLEBs and the unwashed masses throw spitballs back and forth all day about whether CHILI SAUCE is, or can be used as, a seasoning, a condiment or both.

I guess the puzzle was fine - the quasi-theme is a bit of a stinker (OFL would have annihilated it with a 3-paragraph, double-barreled, 24-carat Rex Rant) - along with many of the things I personally find distasteful, like cartoon dogs, Disney TV shows, and of course that Old Chestnut - the made up word (ENGR) - I guess when a constructor is stuck, it is just so tempting to put together a random string of letters and, through the magic of Uncle Google, hope you can find a plausible (real) word that it might be a substitute for - or of course you might get lucky and it might mean something, somewhere in one of the hundreds of foreign languages or dialects spoken here on Starship Earth.

JoelAK 7:26 AM  

Yup. Tough slog for a Tuesday,

Also, Julie Andrews is the better ELIZA than Audrey Hepburn. Ms. Andrews sang her own role on Broadway, while Ms. Hepburn's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon for the movie (save for a single line).

pabloinnh 7:30 AM  

I knew the cartoonist, but STEIG or STIEG? Guessed wrong, but RPI grads to the rescue. And the rest was smooth enough.

Interesting list from LMS. My first thought of things that cost a lot at the SB was BEERS, but as she points out, it could be almost anything.

I'm old enough to remember when it was a little risky to use FRIGGIN' in what used to be called "polite company", and now here it is in the NYT. The Times, it is a changin'.

So now AGOG is "eager" when it used to be "awed"? OK.

Nice little Tuesday with enough crunch to be interesting. Thanks for the fun, KH and MD. Hope you Keep Hatching More Delightful puzzles.

Son Volt 7:31 AM  

I liked it - fun theme just too much trivia in the fill. JAGS had to be shaken loose - whiffed on that at first. Liked to see the Jetson’s dog instead of the cheaters from Houston. Liked BOUNTIES x HORDE.

Clare throwing shade on the place I learned about beer and physics. Bessie Banks’ original version of GO NOW is top notch. Hand up for counting CHILI SAUCE as a seasoning.

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

amyyanni 7:36 AM  

Clare, my BarBri instructor told us not to waste time trying to learn Future Interests. Instead, answer B to every FI question. There's a 25% chance you'll be right and if not, there's a chance the question gets tossed if enough ppl give the same wrong answer.
Good luck! Which I seem to have as I solved the puzzle with no look-ups even with all the proper nouns.

JohnS 7:42 AM  

Sheesh, Clare, Take it easy on me! I'm an ENGR from RPI, and I don't cast aspersions on LAWYERS-TO-BE from YALE!


Eleanor 7:47 AM  

Had Stein and No Now at first. Even after playing Go Now! on my phone it wasn’t familiar. About 25 years ago I saw Carson Daly and Tara Reid making out with each in The Cowboy Bar on 78th and 1st.

Eleanor 7:49 AM  

Actually twenty years ago Google says they met in 2000.

JOHN X 7:56 AM  

Well this was a pretty easy Tuesday puzzle. My favorite part was how the answers all intersected with each other.

A few notes before you’re dismissed:

YAW measures rotation around the vertical x-axis of an aircraft or ship, and has nothing to do with the speed or suddenness of the rotation. YAW is nose left-to-right, PITCH is nose up-and-down (y-axis rotation), and ROLL is longitudinal (z-axis) rotation. As I’m sure you all remember from your basic flight training, YAW is controlled by the rudder. A coordinated left turn, for example, involves aileron and rudder deflection to balance the YAW and ROLL of the aircraft to the new heading (i.e. “step on the ball” to center the slip indicator). If a single-engine propeller aircraft some elevator deflection is needed to counter the undesired PITCH change caused by gyroscopic precession. Failure to properly coordinate a turn can result in “crossed controls” which is not good. Simple stuff, folks.

TARA Reid was Bunny Lebowski! For $1000 she’ll help you out.

I think LUNCHEON is a swell word and I want to see it more often. Also, ASTRO has been used in many interesting ways down through the years and we should all be grateful for that.

Did you see the WNBA game? Yeah me neither.

Speaking of SEASONING, when you go to the spice section of the grocery store you are walking in the footsteps of all the great explorers who developed the maritime trade routes from Europe to Asia. Spices! Spices were big money back then, and still are today.

Remember: Takeoffs are optional but landings are mandatory.

Carola 7:59 AM  

If it's not too contradictory to say: easy except for the theme answers, where I needed lots of crosses to know what contradictory phrase fit in which space. Luck of the draw got me almost all of the proper nouns, so the non-theme parts went fast. I liked THE VOICE next to VOTED NO and the JESTERS with their CRAZY TALK.

@Joe Dipinto 1:55 - Same thought here on the fizzle of BiG SALE.
@kitshef 6:51 - Lol! Btw, I was thinking of giving Interstellar another chance....but maybe not.
@Clare - Good luck on the exam!

bocamp 8:02 AM  

Thx John; very crunchy Tues. puz.; tough, but fair! :)

Hi Clare, thx for your write-up and congrats on your grad! :)

Med+ solve.

Had to whack-a-letter at STEIG/GO NOW!

Not on John's wavelength, but that's ok by me. I'm in it for the challenge, the enjoyment and to learn some stuff. :)

Wouldn't It Be Loverly? - My Fair Lady

@Z (10:20 PM last nite)

That Rye roller coaster has dizzied you. πŸ’« Neither @Anonymous nor M-W has 'mis-corrected'. My point remains: you liked it, and for the sake of clarifying the 'sc' connection, you plopped in the hyphen. Makes sense to me. No way is it going to be mis-construed (oops). Love those hyphens! πŸ˜‰

@albatross shell (11:28 PM last nite) wrote:

"The runners do not know who really has the ball. What can the runners do?"

Stay on their bases until F1 toes the rubber. If on or astride the rubber w/o the ball: balk.

Was doing the bases on a two-man crew (LL Senior), when, after a foul ball, F5 brought the ball back to F1 and feigned slapping it into his glove. R3 stepped off 3B, F5 applied the tag, and I banged him out. Both R3 and the base coach took it in stride. The plate ump tactfully asked me later: "did we have a live ball on that out"? It didn't take long to get the point: F1 had not been on the rubber and the ball had not been put back into play after the foul. Never made that mistake again. LOL

yd npg -3

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Peter P 8:03 AM  

A sauce can absolutely be a seasoning. In fact, I have a big bottle of "Maggi Seasoning" in the cupboard. It's a sauce somewhat like soy that it is used to flavor dishes in many cuisines. You'll find it used in Asian, Central European, Mexican, etc. cuisines (and each region where it's used has a slightly different formula to it.) It originates from Switzerland and the variety I grew up with (as a Polish kid) tasted strongly of lovage. (In fact, in Germany lovage is also known as Maggikraut - "maggi herb.") Some random trivia for you, but if you google "Maggi seasoning" you'll see a big bottle with those words on it. If you're familiar with Bragg's Liquid Aminos (a similar product found in most grocery stores around here), the labeling also has "all purpose seasoning" on it. Seasonings need not be dry.

Similarly, Goya has a product called "Sazon Liquid Seasoning" which is somewhat like chili sauce, except made with sweet peppers (and all sweet peppers are chiles. They were bred over time for milder and milder varietals.)

Now is it the first thing an English speaker thinks of when they hear "seasoning"? I presume not. But like the hubbub about "world" last week, it's a valid dictionary definition, and it is used in that manner at least occasionally in the wild, and it's context is being used in a crossword where it's reasonably common to find non-common (but valid) definitions of words being used in cluing and answers.

That said, I do agree that, especially for a Tuesday, a clue like "hot condiment" might work better colloquially. (Though if you look up "condiment" in Merriam-Webster, you'll note it says "something used to enhance the flavor of food, especially a pungent seasoning."

Regardless, I found this about average Tuesday time, but I didn't spend time trying to hunt down my mistake at the end. Turns out it was the STEIG/GONOW cross which I had as "STEIn and nO NOW." I'm not sure I would have eventually figured that one out. "No, now!" made enough sense to me as a song title, awkward as it may be, and STEIG didn't occur to me as a valid last name. Chalk it up to things I learned last night.

Anonymous 8:03 AM  

A thought:

Seasoning-something added during preparation or cooking.

Condiment-something added by the eater.

Just trying to find common ground(pepper).

Z 8:05 AM  

@pabloinnh - I looked it up. It’s the reverse. AGOG used to mean “eager” and now it means “awed.” Well, it still can mean “eager” but I hear it more to mean “awed,” too.

@amyyanni - Interesting strategy. I know for tests like the SAT and GRE questions everyone gets right are tossed (because the purpose of the tests are to differentiate and rank students, so a question every subject gets correct doesn’t give them any information on how to rank the subjects), but I’ve never heard of tossing questions because too many got the same wrong answer. It makes sense though, because a significant number of people giving the same wrong answer suggests a problem with the question. However, I would think it would take a consensus across instructors to actually create such a scenario, and such a consensus would soon be sussed out by the test company’s statisticians… i.e. FI wrong answers always being B would show up. More likely is that the instructor knows that there are a certain number of topics you can just whiff on and still pass so this was their way of getting their clients to not obsess pointlessly (Pedagogy’s dirty secret - occasionally lying to students is a teaching strategy).

Mike G 8:08 AM  

I thought this was a really good Tuesday puzzle. I don't expect a ton from a Tuesday theme, but this one delivered with nice long acrosses that tied sections together.

And yes, there were a lot of proper nouns in the grid, which I'm not usually a fan of, but STEIG, TARA, RPI, EDIE and ZEKE were the only ones that required niche expertise. At least 3 of those are frequent fliers in the NYT Crossword and all were easily filled in by crosses.

Nice job overall!

Peter P 8:17 AM  

@LMS @2:50 a.m. -- Thank you for that comment about grammar snobs. That's exactly how I feel. Almost invariably the person complaining is just plain incorrect about their complaint and just using their half-knowledge of language as a way to say "hey, look at me! Me smart, you dumb, you mangle English language!" I just don't understand it. I LOVE language (being an English lit major) and what excites me most about English is its myriad colors and forms. Its changing nature. Its ability to be precise or ambiguous at the same time, depending on context, depending on author's/speaker's need. All languages do this, but English feels to me richer in this regard with the crash of Germanic and Romantic languages that began in 1066, with the spread of the language around the globe and adopting local language patterns and "quirks" along the way. It's something to be celebrated, not stamped out in forcing a prestige dialect to be used universally.

Nancy 8:22 AM  


I suspect a lot of people will find this puzzle cute and amusing. To me, it's rather sophomoric. The over-dependence on pop culture didn't help either. If this had been submitted to me as puzzle editor, I would have VOTED NO. I didn't hate it; I just don't like it very much.

Barbara S. 8:36 AM  

I liked the relaxed, in-the-language feel of this. My favorite themer was NO FRIGGIN’ WAY with THAT’S CRAZY TALK, an expression I frequently use, a close second. I didn’t find it particularly hard or notice the quantity of PPP, so it must have been tucked securely in my wheelhouse.

On the nit-picking front, I thought the clue for EVEN BETTER was odd (oops, a pun): “Not just that…”. I think “What’s more” or “As an added bonus” would have been better. I liked the clues for CONGA (Party line?) and ASHES (Reminder of an old flame?), even though I popped in “ember” first. I didn’t find the long downs particularly sparkly, but enjoyed JESTERS and BAR NONE.

@OffTheGrid (6:49)
My mom made a chili sauce like that, too – it was yummy and, for her, it was one of the pride-and-joys of preserving season.

@JOHN X (7:56)
Your explanation was good, but I wish you’d addressed “bank” (as used in aviation – I get the financial institution meaning).

Today there’s a poem by RAYMOND CARVER, born May 25, 1938.

A Forge, and a Scythe

One minute I had the windows open
and the sun was out. Warm breezes
blew through the room.
(I remarked on this in a letter.)
Then, while I watched, it grew dark.
The water began whitecapping.
All the sport-fishing boats turned
and headed in, a little fleet.
Those wind-chimes on the porch
blew down. The tops of our trees shook.
The stove pipe squeaked and rattled
around in its moorings.
I said, "A forge, and a scythe."
I talk to myself like this.
Saying the names of things --
capstan, hawser, loam, leaf, furnace.
Your face, your mouth, your shoulder
inconceivable to me now!
Where did they go? It's like
I dreamed them. The stones we brought
home from the beach lie face up
on the windowsill, cooling.
Come home. Do you hear?
My lungs are thick with the smoke
of your absence.

Twangster 8:38 AM  

For the younger folks ... Go Now was a hit for an early version of the Moody Blues, before several personnel changes that led to the sound they're more well known for. The singer on Go Now, Denny Laine, left the band and later played with Paul McCartney & Wings.

Abigail 8:46 AM  

Absolutely agree on the seasoning/sauce thing! I had so much trouble with that because I was trying NOT to go for a sauce. I kept thinking, "Well, it's specifically NOT a sauce" and I had no idea on the 'Zeke' cross (I'd put in 'Luke') so that screwed me up for a good long while. Also 'That's crazy talk' is fine, I guess, but it has a bit of a gas-lighty feel to me. Rough for a Tuesday!

Unknown 8:51 AM  

Congratulations Clare

Birchbark 8:53 AM  

NO FRIGGIN' WAY is what I said when they told me where Friday came from.

tea73 8:59 AM  

I wonder if it's a generational thing, I hear FRIGGIN more often than FREAKIN, which sound like you are a wannabe hippie to me.

I remembered STEIG from when my kids were young, but couldn't remember what exactly his last name was - pencilling in STEIn, but sure it was wrong. Sadly the Moody Blues weren't much help as the only song of theirs I can identify confidently is Knights in White Satin, I pulled up GO NOW and it definitely sounds familiar - at least that chorus.

Anonymous 9:11 AM  

This puzzle lost me at STEIG/GONOW.

@LMS 2:50a -- "grammar shame" should be hyphenated. :-)

Z 9:15 AM  

@Birchbark - Edda laughed at your joke but I’m too preoccupied with the this seasoning v SAUCE debate.

@Anon8:03 - A perfectly rational distinction, but we’re talking about English and it’s users here, so of course I can find no support for this perfectly sane distinction.

The CHILI SAUCE clue gave me no problems. But then I’m perfectly comfortable with having the SAUCE being the sole seasoning and it seems to me that “seasoning” is what all SAUCEs do. A SAUCE is just a wet seasoning, as opposed to dry seasonings like herbs or salt. Not that I expect anyone to know the answer, but I am curious where the sense that a SAUCE and condiments are distinct from seasonings instead of a subset of seasonings comes from. Obviously it is a common distinction since so many were stymied by the clue.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

@Z, 8:05

I did both, and the SAT seemed a fairer test of knowledge than the GRE/Economics, just because SAT is based on a reasonably standard curriculum, while the subject matter GREs can't be, just because the course load of a [some subject matter] varies all over the lot. It was too long ago, so I don't recall whether then/now one could have a GRE customized to one's actual curriculum. The core load in econ isn't much, just macro and micro, after that it's a dog's breakfast.

pmdm 9:21 AM  

I would agree this is not a Tuesday puzzle I would introduce new solvers to. I would agree it's too easy for a Wednesday, so maybe it belongs in another publication.

Z: You introduced a sore point I have. If you are sending someone instruction on what to type into a computer, the command to enter "rootroot." is very different from the command to enter "rootroot". Whoops. I violated the stylebook that drastically needs to recognize that things have change drastically since the rules were first compiled.

Richard Stanford: Most seem unaware that the Moody Blues did release an album before their second album that included "Knights in White Satin." [Did I obey the style rulebook?] Their collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra seems to have changed the style of the group permanently. I sought out the first album a while ago. Quite a difference.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

can we all agree that the CHILI SAUCE controversy lies in the use of 'sauce' in the name of the thingee? CHILI SAUCE is in no way a 'sauce' in the marinara or other immersive thickened liquids sense. should they both be 'sauce's?? I think not, but then I'm not much into HOT SAUCE on my scrambled eggs.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

There is no excuse for STEIG crossing GONOW. If you don't know either proper noun, you're just guessing for the "G." Could be an "N" or an "L" or a "T"....

I expect better from the New York Times.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

Yes, Clare, RPI is a great school “and all”. Step right off your pretentious Ivy League high horse and stop whining about how tired you are or how hard you work. Would rather see my “Bid Red” alma mata in the NEW YORK Times Puzzle than another entitled Eli clue!

Unknown 9:28 AM  

I feel [sadly] like Clare is starting to channel Rex's jaded voice.

That certain people are upset over FRIGGIN is also a little sad.
If you want your puzzles to be fresh and current, you can't complain when the constructor introduces some pop culture.

Personally I liked the theme and the long answers. If I had a complaint, it was that there was a lot of pretty common fill. But we all need to take a collective minute and remind ourselves that the constructors are trying to come up with a puzzle that folks will enjoy. Indeed, if you read the constructors notes on the NYT site, they both say, We hope you enjoy the puzzle! Maybe we should pause before just criticizing. Which seems to happen day after day. Sheeeesh. Best clue of the day? Party line. Oh yeah! ! ! ! (I'm not suggesting that criticism is never appropriate; I'm commenting more on the general & constant tone of the blog.)

EdFromHackensack 9:32 AM  

Anyone else have ROam before ROVE? That was my only hiccup. oh also I had GETOUTofHERE at first, but ROGET fixed that. Not a fan of “FRIGGIN” . I never find Margaret CHO funny at all. Some “comedians” just are not funny to me. Sinbad is another one.

JD 9:36 AM  

What the flug people? A puzzle about a buncha guys of a certain age arguing their disbelief? They're some of my favorite people. Bring it on you chuckleheads. Then get off that wii and mow the lawn. Ryan, get your feet off of my couch. Lawn Matt! It's wait high out there.

Shrek had the best soundtrack of any kid movie in history. You Belong to Me (...see the pyramids along the Nile) sung by Jason Wade. Be still my beating heart. @Nancy, this will make up for the puzzle.

Stein/No Now trap. Shrug. Tear-jerking nostalgia over light weight swearing. I'll take it.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Times 1000%! Another RPI'er here. Need more "engrs" to invent and build the future and fewer whiny "BAR"-tenders to parasite off of it!!!!

Anonymous 9:47 AM  


be nice. there are a hoard of xPI schools out there, my fave being Woosta PI. on the whole, none graduates a horde of woke liberal minded citizens, but most end up in Big Cities where they learn to live in a multi-cultural environment and eventually awake. which, of course, doesn't happen to GED or less sh!tkickers out in sh!thole rural counties in God's Real America. we'll see if the hoard of voter suppression laws are enforced anywhere other than those multi-cultural Big Cities in states run by politicians from sh!thole counties. MAGA!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Anyone else have ROam before ROVE?

Banged my pate against that problem enough times that I refuse to finish the word until one of the crosses is fixed. Once bitten twice shy.

JD 9:56 AM  

@Peter P, I'll buy on seasoning. But a definition in the dictionary doesn't mean it applies in every situation. Ever see a pack of hot canines in the grocery store?

@Gill from yesterday. Geez, beautiful, brilliant, hilarious and you make bread! What were thinking up there on that horse surrounded by movie stars?

RooMonster 10:08 AM  

Hey All !
Holy CHILI SAUCE! Arguments about SAUCE being a seasoning, and a former curse word in a NYTXW!

When I was a wee lad, FRIGGIN was a word akin to F@©K as a no-no (does that need a hyphen? 😁) I guess it's OK now. Language change, indeed.

Surprised Will chose to accept this puz. Had a couple similar type themes rejected. Didn't think he liked this type theme. Of course, it is Me and my puzs! πŸ€ͺ

Liked it for what it was. Didn't fall into the STEIn/nONOW trap, almost, but a song called NO NOW! didn't strike a chord (πŸ˜‰) with me as much as GO NOW! did.

Had taGSALE for BIGSALE first. Flashback to living in Connecticut, taGSALE is what they call their Yard/Garage Sale. Wanted VeToed first for VOTED NO, too short, and already had the D of ROD in place.

Does RPI stand for Rex's Perpetual Irritability? πŸ€ͺ

One F (FRIG!)

sixtyni yogini 10:13 AM  

Thought the arts and science references—argon, Abel, Steig, Toni— and —voted no, anti—,and the disbelieving theme answers were a subtle, clever reference to some current attitudes about science and art that have turned political.
Good puzz πŸ€—πŸ§©πŸ€— and here’s to the arts and sciences!

Karl Grouch 10:14 AM  

As @joedipinto 1:55 rightly says "having the non-thematic BIG SALE plopped down dead center kind of ruins things".

And if you can't turn that into a revealer, then at least use something else, find a nice clue and give your puzzle a chance to make the cut.

Better clue (hey @m&a) for 11down:

Negationist's leitmotiv or a hint to this puzzle's theme?

Hungry Mother 10:19 AM  

Very fast and easy solve today. Interesting theme, fun to fill-in the themers. I never say FRIGGING, darn, gosh, or dang. The regular words do a better job. After spending a year in Thailand in the Army in 1963, when I arrived home on leave I had to remember not to say, “Hey Mom, pass the f___ing butter.”

burtonkd 10:20 AM  

Nice women's basketball possible mini theme with Tara VanDerveer and Rebecca Lobo appearing with the WNBA.

Thanks John X for confirming my arched eyebrow at YAWS clue.

I'm glad I had to spell THOR and not Mjolnir.

@LMS, I think the hard core prescriptivists may have left this blog or been converted by you a while back:) As you know, you can both appreciate/debate the minutiae of fine grammatical precision and welcome living language.

Unknown 10:24 AM  

Congrats Clare!!😁😁😁

Peter P 10:29 AM  

@JD 9:56 -- I'm not sure I understand. "Hot dog" is treated as a single lexical unit. You can't just swap in synonyms and not break the meaning, hence, as you've noticed "hot canine" doesn't work. This is not at all analogous to "seasoning" which is a broad category that includes condiments, herbs, and spices.

But to your other point that a definition in the dictionary doesn't apply to every situation -- of course not. I don't think anyone is arguing that. But "seasoning" does apply here, and it's in the primary definition in Merriam-Webster that it includes condiments.

Un-converted 10:30 AM  

@burtonkd -- some of us just keep a low profile because we're really tired of dealing with her unpleasant bullying on the subject over and over and over and over again.

mathgent 10:41 AM  

I still remember seeing This Gun for Hire at the Saturday matinee double-feature. Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, she with her blond hair covering one eye. It came out in 1942 when I was eight, but I must have been older when I saw it. Alan Ladd was so cool as the doomed hit man.

I never hear people say FRIGGIN or the other variants of the original coarse word. I see them occasionally in writing. I think that James Jones used "fuggin" in From Here to Eternity.

Tom R 10:41 AM  

Good write-up, Claire. Went from easiest Monday in NYTimes history for me with no resistance to this middling hard Tuesday. Theme answers easily gettable, but is anyone else bothered by "friggin"? Talk about ancient, and not really sure I like even euphemisms for vulgarities in my puzzles. Just me, I guess.

thfenn 10:46 AM  

I kept wanting a reveal for this one, and still feel like not having one gave this a bit of a thud, but I did enjoy sorting out the themeless answers, and didn't mind needing the downs to do it.

Clare, good luck with the bar and juggling all the sport related distractions. Was with you right up until the end, but what the write up would be without mentioning BTS is, well, better. Call me inhuman, but I just can't get into BTS.

JD 10:58 AM  

@Peter P, I agreed with you on seasoning. It's the world "hubbub" where we part. But we can agree to disagree there and move on.

Birchbark 11:02 AM  

@Z (9:15) -- I appreciate your Loki sense of humor.

GILL I. 11:02 AM  

Well I thought this was a SCAB of a SINK KNEE BOW JAGS CONGA kinda of a puzzle. What didn't you like? Oh...I see we're having some hot sauce jibber jamming. I'm surprised the conversation hasn't shifted to the spelling. Is it CHILI, CHILE or CHILLI? My favorite is my CHILe Habanero hot sauce which is not for the scaredy panty pants types.
I like a Tuesday where I hafta do a little thinking. I had to think at all the names. I hate names. I prefer to be called "yo...dudette." The ETSY Betsy Spider.
If any one here has done the CONGA, I wan't to hear about it. I think I'd rather do a TANGO.
@kitshef. While I enjoyed this puzzle, your list was intriguing . It made me laugh out loud, so that's a good sign. And then I thought of some of the worse puzzle I've done and what I'd prefer to do other than solve them. : Looking for my grandmother's false teeth in an airplane bathroom...
@JD.... To answer your question: "Please don't fall on my fondillo." :-)

Crimson Devil 11:08 AM  

Yes, keep dirty side down.

PhysGraf 11:09 AM  

Did this first thing in the morning with the hopes of waking my brain up with a quick easy Tuesday puzzle. Unfortunately, my morning brain couldn't think of any other word other than "clot" for a "recent" reminder of a scratch so I decided that SCAR had to do even if they don't necessarily form for recent scratches. I slogged everything else out in about 10 minutes but then stared at the PNW for three minutes hazily trying to guess which abbreviated engineer was being used this time (engg, engi, enxyz?). Finally it all hit me and my penance for my idiocy is to post this here.

Congrats Clare and LET'S GO PENS!

Whatsername 11:12 AM  

So according to Clare, these are colloquial expressions? THATS CRAZY TALK! Nothing antiquated about any of these theme answers. I don’t know what they’re teaching in law school these days but any self-respecting ENGR graduate from RPI would know that. (Just kidding Clare. Nice contribution today.)

I enjoyed the puzzle but found it challenging for a Tuesday. I first had CIA/TAG SALE even though I knew Clarice Starling worked for the FBI - and probably never ate fava beans again for as long as she lived - because I couldn’t BELIEVE that 24A was going to be the answer it turned out to be. GET OUTTA HERE with that! Sorry. After reading comments I’ll admit I’m the one being colloquial NOW.

The are-SAUCE-and-seasoning-synonymous debate is tricky. FWIW, I think of seasoning as being absorbed into and becoming part of the food, while SAUCE is something separate in and of itself. Grilled salmon would be seasoned with dill and served with dill sauce to be added to if one desires. Ribs can be seasoned with a dry rub but adding barbecue sauce is optional. Steak might be seasoned with tenderizer but the sauce is in a bottle on the table. I’m just trying to picture a recipe with instructions that specify “season with sauce” or a restaurant order where one might say “bring me the seasonings on the side.” Nope. VOTED NO on that one. OTOH some sauces - like soy and Worcestershire - could be used either way. It’s a sticky situation, probably best left to simmer for a while.

Crimson Devil 11:17 AM  

Yes, keep dirty side down.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

The STEIG/GONOW intersection was interesting. I knew neither. N seemed like the best guess for STEI_, but, as @ROO suggests, GO NOW is the only realistic title for a song.

albatross shell 11:42 AM  

@bo camp
The hidden ball scenario was intended as a defensive real time response to the skunk play after the runner went to right field and after the pitcher stepped off the rubber. In your umpire story aree you saying the ump knew it was an improper trick play and did not call it that way? Or is it that the opposing team had to appeal it to him? Or something else?

Blue Stater 11:42 AM  

Dear God, another prime candidate for Worst Puzzle Evah in less than two weeks (a week ago Sunday was in a class by itself, but so was this daily, particularly for a Tuesday). *FULL* of mistakes, stretchers, all the artificial tougheners of the late WS era. Speaking of which, please retire, WS. Yesterday. You're old enough. Give us our puzzles back.

jb129 11:44 AM  

I was surprised to see "No friggin way" but wtf

CT2NAPA 11:46 AM  

Steig's C D B!

haari 11:59 AM  

i dunno about BTS... i guess it's a generational thing... i'll could think of while listening to it was Carlos!!

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

GO NOW is the only realistic title for a song.

even in the 60s/70s (can't be bothered to date the Blues), NO NOW is quite believable coming from a disinterested woman. get my drift? some commenters have made the point that this version of the Blues was rather different from the 'Nights in White Satin' unit, so, without knowing the history, certainly a possible song title.

Unknown 12:10 PM  

Can someone explain 44A for me? I understand that jags (as a noun) means prickly object, but how do we get to "bouts of crying"?

kitshef 12:16 PM  

No Now is the name of a song (and album) by Clarence Clarity.

albatross shell 12:23 PM  

Yep I am with those who think BIGSALE was the GREEN PAINT of this one. And in an eye-catching location. Maybe if it switched positions with JESTERS.

There was much to like. SINK partnered with RAZE that sounds like raise the opposite of both. With RUIN passing through and a downward KNEE too.

BARNONE BOUNTIES. An oxymoron? A failed businesss?


EVEN BETTER theme answers.
Nice clue for ASHES.

Yes I guessed STEINxNONOW early on. No music later. Took 5 seconds to find the G and realize that cartoonist created Shrek. No memory of his first name either. A lot of bottom up work in the solve.

Weak review today. Law school fatigue?

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

a jag is "a period of unrestrained activity, 1887, American English, perhaps via intermediate sense of "as much drink as a man can hold" (1670s), from earlier meaning "load of hay or wood" (1590s), of unknown origin. Used in U.S. colloquial speech from 1834 to mean "a quantity, a lot."

You see it mostly with crying attached. But sometimes drinking or laughing is the participle of choice.

Anon 9:28,
I think Clare went to G Town law, not an Ivy. Though she does have that Ivy condescension. But I know a dude who went to Kalamazoo College and he emits the same vibe. You never can tell.

bocamp 12:38 PM  

@albatross shell (11:42 AM)

Oops … my bad, I got up very early this AM and was likely more than still half asleep when I read you scenario. That's indeed a very clever response to the 'skunk in the outfield" ploy. What's your advice to the runners?

As for my scenario, I was the base ump and saw what the defense was up to. I blew the call because it was a dead-ball situation. Apparently, no-one but the plate ump realized that fact, so there was no appeal by the offense. After the game, I asked why he didn't correct my mistake. He shrugged and said, "everyone seemed content with the call". ⚾️

td pg -3

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Anonymous 12:41 PM  


Smart people tend to talk smart, not like a fish belly white Appalachian hillbilly. Got a problem with that?

Whatsername 12:50 PM  

@JOHN X (7:56) Thanks for the aviation briefing this morning! I once took a six-hour “pinch hitter” course designed for spouses/partners of pilots who want to know enough to be a helpmate in the cockpit and hopefully be prepared in case of an emergency. I learned the basics of YAW and pitch and roll, but the most important lesson I retained was that your landings should always equal your takeoffs.

Joe Dipinto 12:50 PM  

@Moody Blues mentioners – I assume you all know that the real title is "Nights In White Satin". I just like to picture a bunch of knights flouncing around in shiny white dresses with matching helmets and shields.

@Anon 8:03 – that's the distinction I would generally make between "seasoning" and "condiment". Condiments are optional after the dish is prepared; seasonings go in during the preparation. But even that's a pretty loose "rule". For example, salt is still a seasoning even if you add it after the fact. You really couldn't call it a condiment. Or could you? Gah, I don't know.

Anonymous 1:17 PM  

Anon 12:41.
Couldn't agree more. I especially like your decision to use an adjective where almost everyone else would've employed an adverb. "..Talk smart." I assuming you're emulating the construction most famously used by Dylan Thomas when he wrote "Do not go gentle into that good night." So many people add the ly to gentle completely ruining not just the rhythm but the meaning of the line. So too your prescient prose. So insightful. Practically poetic. Your imagery is superb. Appalachia is so redolent a word. and the syntax. Mwah ( chef's kiss). If only i had your skill, you sliver-tongued devil. One minor critique, fishbelly is one word not two. But otherwise, what a lovely and helpful post your was.

Anon 12:32

Aelurus 1:20 PM  

Congrats, Clare, newly minted law school grad! And I'm with @LMS 2:50 am on having a living language that breathes and alters and is inclusive and getting over it--the only constant is change, I think by now we know that for sure! And we get puzzles containing my fav answer today - NO FRIGGIN' WAY. Also very fond of THAT'S CRAZY TALK.

Gotta run, it's weekly, modern-times hunting-and-gathering day so I'm off to buckle up the Prius and ride out, but I'd like to share something posted on A.Word.A.Day, which selects a short quote from someone born on the day:

"May my silences become more accurate."--Theodore Roethke, poet (25 May 1908-1963)

(@Barbara S 8:36 am - I checked, and you didn't share a quote from Roethke; thanks for the Carver you did! Love his last line.)

Teedmn 1:26 PM  

The top half of this went much slower than the bottom half. I needed some time to get up to speed, I think. Things like "one" instead of the obvious TWO for 24D left me with _ONOn for the Moody Blues song whereas _ONOW led me to the correct G. I always forget that song is a Moody Blues song. It doesn't sound like their later music to me. A little Wiki research tells me that Justin Hayward didn't join until 1966 so "Go Now" is pre-Justin. Makes sense now.

When the expensive Super Bowl purchase didn't lead to seAtS, I was left with T_ADS and blearily thought ToADS? But I was able to VOTE NO on that one, whew.

I was Avid before AGOG.

THAT'S CRAZY TALK is used at our house, facetiously.

I wouldn't have called a condiment a seasoning but I'll concede the point based on the research of other commenters. I recently found some "exotic" seasonings in my local grocery store which surprised and thrilled me. We live in a non-diverse suburb so I was excited to find harissa, za'atar, Chinese five spice, peri peri and a dry version of gojuchang. I'm glad I didn't have to order online or drive into the city.

Thanks, KH and MD, for a little Tuesday crunch.

And Clare, congrats on graduating!

Anonymous 1:29 PM  

@Kitshef, Good find. How could I forget Clarence Clarity?

'Eponymous “No Now,” is an ambient interlude (instrumental), introducing the following track “Cancer™ in the Water.”' on the album of the same name.

Anon 11:30

Hanedawg 1:34 PM  

With regard to the clue “Expensive Super Bowl purchases, I believe the clue refers to advertising rates which historically have been mind bogglingly expensive.

JOHN X 1:49 PM  

@Whatsername 12:50 PM

The submarine equivalent is

keep the surface-to-dive ratio equal to one

Unknown 2:21 PM  

Agree about nice Tuesday!!!

Unknown 2:27 PM  

Need a collection of best blog entries on nytimes crossword puzzles
.They make great reading.

Unknown 2:29 PM  

Second this comment!

Anonymous 2:34 PM  


i'se never say dat I talk smart, onery that smart people do. I gots no prolem wit dat.

chefwen 3:23 PM  

I stand corrected. Looked it up in the Food Lovers Companion.
Seasoning. Ingredients added to food to intensify or improve its flavor. Some of the most commonly used seasonings include herbs (such as oregano, rosemary and basil), spices (like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves Abe allspice), condiments (such as Worcestshire sauce, soy sauce and mustard), a variety of vinegars and the most common of all salt and pepper.

Unknown 4:36 PM  

I'm living for the BTS shout out. I haven't been able to get the song out of my head since it came out last week! Guess it's a generational thing (I'm 27), but the mention honestly made my day!

Congrats on finishing law school :)

jberg 5:19 PM  

I think I may have mentioned that I'm going through cataract surgery. Today was my second (and final!) eye, with both new lenses adjusted to give me good distance vision. As a result, I can't read! I'll get some reading glasses tomorrow, but today I did the puzzle slowly, with a 10X handheld lens. Agonizing, so you won't see me again until my reading glasses arrive.

I'm embarrassed to say it, but I knew Mr. Steig only as a New Yorker cartoonist (though I now realize I've also seen CDB)--and I didn't go to either Yale or RPI. That mad him a gimme, though--and I'm getting the impression I ought to check out Shrek.

@Loren, I believe the usage is "I shall take luncheon today in the gymnasium..."

Btw, my distance vision is fine -- as soon as I'm allowed to go outside and do strenuous things I'm going to enjoy it!

jberg 5:21 PM  

Wait, I forgot to mention my biggest problem! I misread "Susannah" as "Clementine," and spent a kilonanosecond trying to decide between "lips" and "foot."

JC66 6:30 PM  


Here's hoping for a full, fast recovery.

Z 7:48 PM  

@9:16 - I remember that while doing the GRE I had a moment of “do I give them the answer they want or the right answer” on a multiple choice question about either an Art or Art History question. The GRE has to be more unfair because it needs to sort a more learned cohort. Again, questions all or most people answer correctly don’t give them any basis to sort. Since the smaller number of GRE takers know more, the questions have to be more esoteric to differentiate between test takers. The Bar, I presume, is different because there is no particular difference between acing it and getting the minimum passing score. Hence, also, the idea of not stressing over an area you don’t know, because the goal is to pass, not score in the 99th percentile so Harvard will accept you.

@un-converted - Ahhh., the classic middle school bully move - the bully gets called out for being a bully and immediately accuses the person who called them out a bully.

I have two Moody Blues albums, but I’m hardly an expert. Thankfully, I know STEIG. As for the plausibility of nO NOW, let me present Alone Again Or. The original is from the same era, so I’d say nO NOW is very plausible.

@Joe Dipinto 12:50 - Thank You. I didn’t have time to look it up and see if it was my memory or you.

@jberg - kilonanosecond! I love it.

@RPI Hurt Feelings People - Inferiority Complex much? I mean, Jesus, all Clare said is that she has seen RPI enough (that is, too much) in puzzles and you go on and on whining as if that’s some sort of insult. I wish you could swim like dolphins, like dolphins can swim, but that doesn’t stop me from complaining about seeing Eno in another puzzle. And ENGR is a bad entry - that’s hardly a newsflash.

Anonymous 9:12 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 9:18 PM  

Law school graduate congratulations. Time to pass the torch.

Anonymous 9:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 9:22 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
albatross shell 1:12 AM  

@bo camp
Safest if the the a fielder with the ball is a few feet down the 3rd baseline. Around the mound or first base also ok. Second base maybe. Runner on third must stay on the bag.
The skunk must run in a straight line to first or second. He can only change direction by running to the other base. So he cannot do much. He could just stay deep and dare the fielder to tag him. If he doesn’t have the ball there is no danger. Then head to first. If the fielder there doesn't chase him go to second. If the fielder there doesn’t tag him go back and forth and eventually choose one base or the other. It makes some sense for the defense to allow him to get to first by leaving it uncovered, and end the play. Best I can think of for all involved.

albatross shell 1:19 AM  

You need to work a bit on not embarrassing yourself with your own insults. Please stop.

Anonymous 11:08 PM  

Congrats Clare on surviving law school. And good luck with bar. Several weeks of stress but just remember you’ve been passing exams all your life so it’s unlikely you will suddenly fail to do so now.

And glad to see another Liverpool supporter on the page. Who’d have thought we’d be ecstatic with a third place finish?. YNWA

spacecraft 9:28 AM  

It's certainly more "fun" to do a puzzle full of Things People Actually Say. I still remember the first time I heard "FRIGGIN." I went "Huh?" And the guy says, "Look, you know we really mean 'fuckin',' right? But we can't say that in front of girls." Yikes, nowadays the girls say it AT LEAST as often as the guys. Talk about your language shift. Hard to adjust.

So, yeah, I enjoyed this. Was looking for "Shut the front door!" A sixteener, though, they'd have to make it an extra wide. TARA Reid dons another DOD sash. Birdie.

thefogman 10:34 AM  

Come on. NYT crosswords should be way better than this. Beige, bland, blah…

Burma Shave 1:19 PM  




Diana, LIW 5:02 PM  

Just checked the weather service - it's 109. The hottest it has ever been in Spokane. NOFRIGGINWAY. I heard that it's so hot/dry that the "ignition factor" is up to 100%, and one should not fart in the forest for fear of starting a fire. Yes, this was on NPR. They apologized for using f**t. Ha - little did they know what was in the NYTX!!!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, Hot Crosswords

rondo 7:09 PM  

@D,LIW - did you try frying an egg on the sidewalk? I remember it being hot and dry in Spokaloo but nothing like that.
TOSS in the corners and ICANTBELIEVEIT.

leftcoaster 7:28 PM  

Themers made for some good no-nonsense talk here. NO FRIGGIN’ WAY especially calling them as you see them.

Wasn’t sure of ZEKE or ABEL but there they were.

Oops, Natick cross: STEIn instead of STEIG.

Diana, LIW 9:19 PM  

@Rondo - No eggs were TOSSed, but alerts have gone out to walk dogs early in the day to avoid frying little paws. It is about 35 degrees above normal. I feel vapors coming on...

Lady Di

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