Kibitzing passenger / WED 6-9-21 / Nobel Prize winner of 1903 and 1911 / 1968 Jane Fonda sci-fi role / Espressos stained with bit of milk / Jazz style that influenced the Beat Generation / I'm just like that in modern lingo

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Constructor: Byron Walden

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: sit on it — familiar phrases that start with things you sit on: 

Theme answers:
  • BACKSEAT DRIVER (20A: Kibitzing passenger)
  • COUCH POTATO (35A: TV addict)
  • STOOL PIGEON (41A: Blabbing informant)
  • ARMCHAIR EXPERT (51A: Dilettantish know-it-all)
Word of the Day: PEDRO Almodóvar (9D: "Pain and Glory" director Almodóvar) —

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpeðɾo almoˈðoβaɾ kaβaˈʝeɾo]; born 25 September 1949) is a Spanish filmmaker, director, screenwriter, producer, and former actor. His films are marked by his employment of certain actors including Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz and creative personnel with complex narratives, melodrama, pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humour, strong colours, and glossy décor. Desire, passion, family, and identity are among Almodóvar's most prevalent themes in his films.

He came to prominence as a director and screenwriter during La Movida Madrileña, a cultural renaissance that followed after the end of Francoist Spain. His first few films characterised the sense of sexual and political freedom of the period. In 1986, he established his own film production company, El Deseo, with his younger brother Agustín Almodóvar, who has been responsible for producing all of his films since Law of Desire (1987).

Almodóvar achieved international recognition for his black comedy-drama film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and went on to further success with films such as the dark romantic comedy Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), the melodrama High Heels (1991) and the romantic drama thriller Live Flesh (1997). His subsequent two films, All About My Mother (1999) and Talk to Her (2002), earned him an Academy Award each, for Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay respectively. He followed this with films like the drama Volver (2006), the romantic thriller Broken Embraces (2009), the psychological thriller The Skin I Live In (2011) and the dramas Julieta (2016) and Pain and Glory(2019), all of which were in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

• • •

Well a backseat is in your car, and the rest of it is indoor furniture, so I guess that one's kind of an outlier, but I honestly didn't care too much because the puzzle was delightful to solve. I had no concept of the theme until very late because the theme answers weren't exactly shouting at you with their themeiness, and also the grid itself had so many little pleasures in it that it was easy to get immersed and not worry too much about broader thematic concerns. It may seem weird to talk about how entertaining a grid is when it's clearly got a lot of what we might normally call "crosswordese" in it (ELIE ULNA OLE HEP LOA RICO ALOE, not to mention the musical A-to-A crosswordese trifecta: ADIA, AIDA, and ARIA), but when you have cool longer answers *and* pepper your grid with original (or originally clued) short answers, then the crosswordese tends to fade into the background. And this puzzle GASsed UP on my goodwill right from the jump with MACCHIATOS, and then kept the fun fill coming from there. So happy to see PEDRO Almodóvar, followed by BILBO / BEBOP and the monstrous orange cheeselike product VELVEETA (10D: Kraft product). Once BEBOP took me to BARBARELLA, I was completely smitten (31D: 1968 Jane Fonda sci-fi role). "IT ME" was the cherry on the sundae (54D: "I'm just like that," in modern lingo)—perfect original contemporary short fill (in real life, I now find "IT ME" annoying and cliché, but that just tells me it should've been making appearances in grids for years by now). The theme was almost beside the point for me today. Those theme answers are good answers all on their own; the fact that they have the seating element in common is just an added bonus. 

I thought the phrase "armchair detective" or "armchair quarterback" was the more familiar "armchair" phrase, but as soon as I typed "armch-" into Google, it predictively filled in "ARMCHAIR EXPERT," so the currency of that phrase must be pretty strong. I do want to double-ding this puzzle for doubling up, twice, on subjects that I hate to see in my grid. One is vaping (today we get VAPE and ECIGS) and the other is billionaires (specifically this billionaire, ELON Musk and his TESLA). ELON's effective tax rate is criminally, repulsively low (single digits). Admire his e-car all you want, but take 30% of the billions he made during the pandemic first, please. What a dumb country that not only worships wealth hoarders (just like Jesus did!) but doesn't even see fit to tax them like everyone else. "No, you go ahead, keep it, we're fine [bridge collapses]." But I quickly forgot about the repulsive "I'm-using-my-money-to-go-to-spaaaace!" guy once LIL / NAS X popped into my grid (59D: With 43-Down, rapper with the 2021 #1 hit "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)"). I backed into his name, with NAS- showing up first, and then I tried to guess what the first word of that two-word answer could be. I figured NAS- was going to lead to NASH and so I'd get, well, someone named NASH, but then pow, in went the "X" cross and I was so happy. Instantly knew the first part was LIL and was so happy to run over that SW corner and welcome him, eventually. In summation: LIL NAS X > SpaceX.

[Expect "MONTERO" to show up in your grid(s) very soon.]

Hardest answer for me to get today was the very first clue I looked at: 1A: Some dash mounts (CAMS). This is because I misread the clue the entire time as [Some dash amounts] and so first I wanted, weirdly TSPS (because a TSP and a "dash" are both cooking "amounts"????), and then later, after I got CAMS, I thought it was referring to the CAMS of an engine. It was only when marking up my puzzle after I'd finished it that I noticed "mounts" (not "amounts"), and figured out that CAMS was just a simple abbr. for "cameras." Luckily all this CAMS nonsense didn't really slow me down too much. Thank god for easy crosses! Quick shout-out to TIRED BLOOD, which is amusingly quaint, and the clue on PADS, which should be merely ordinary but feels defiant. Lots of possible clues for PADS out there, but our clue steers directly into menstruation, knowing the puzzle's history of ignoring the topic and daring you to have a problem with it. I like the energy. Have a nice day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 6:42 AM  

I’m used to Byron’s tough themelesses and my heart clenches a bit when I see his name atop a puzzle, but today the voice in my other ear kept saying, “But it’s Wednesday!” Sure enough, what ensued was tight clever theme in a polished grid with that Wednesday degree of difficulty nailed. It sparkled with answers like MACCHIATOS and IRIDESCES, not to mention all the theme answers. That is, a lovely outing, and thank you, Byron.

I also liked the Oh! Oh! of BLOOD / STOOL / ROOD / POOR. And here’s a fancy word for ARMCHAIR EXPERT I learned after a little post-solve research: Ultracrepidarian. You’re welcome, and wishing all a terrific day!

OffTheGrid 6:54 AM  


amyyanni 7:01 AM  

Wonderful start to Wednesday. Had ESPN and PLAN instead of ESPY and PLOY. Happily, the pigeon set me straight.

mathgent 7:16 AM  

It's 3:48 am here on the west coast. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep right away so I'm watching Coco Gauff playing her QF match in the French Open against a Czech. Gauff's an utterly charming American teen who's been playing great, but she's off today.

This is the third puzzle in a row with single-digit Terrible Threes, eight today. What a great trend.

I got a chuckle out of Rex calling VELVEETA "cheese-like."

Byron Weldon is a pro and this is a smooth piece of work. But low on crunch and sparkle.

I don't go to Starbuck's so MACCIATOS was new to me. IRIDESCES looks to be short an R.

kitshef 7:21 AM  

What we have here is a pretty good grid but some cluing issues. First of all, too much cross-referencing with LIL NAS X and ELONG MUSK and ADIA AIDA. And I never saw the clue for IT ME while solving, which is good thing as I have never previously heard of it and now hate it.

Also new for me was MACCHIATOS. Had _ACCH_A_OS in place and though I must have at least one error in the crosses.

Unsurprising malapop with ecig at 10A.

Was hoping for a Duran Duran video from Rex in honor of Barbarella.

JBH 7:34 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Confidently put in ONABIBLE instead of SOLEMNLY based only on my one Across at that point: 61A IDOL. Obviously had to change it. Great job, Byron!

Joaquin 7:34 AM  

If 18A - TIRED BLOOD - didn’t immediately bring to mind the old Geritol commercials, you are just a kid.

And 41A reminded me I need to go to the carwash today. Got some PIGEON STOOL on the hood.

Hungry Mother 8:03 AM  

Easy here. Some plodding through the namefield, but no problem. I’ve got to say, there’s not too much weaker than NASX. Learn some more words maybe. Play SB.

bocamp 8:06 AM  

Thx Byron; fun Wednes. puz! :)

Easy+ non-solve; dnf'd: had IReDESCES / MACCHeATOS.

Another case of not spending a minute to whack-a-vowel. Don't know if I'd've changed it but … :(

Nevertheless, a very pleasant journey thru this one; enjoyed it very much. :)

ADIA ~ Sarah McLachlan

@pabloinnh 👍 for QB yd

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

pabloinnh 8:11 AM  

This must be the definition of a wheelhouse puzzle. I sailed through it and had to go back and look for a theme, which did not appear, because I was looking at the second word of the answer and didn't even consider the first one. So, speed solve with an obvious truth missed. Mixed blessings.

I've never had a MACCHIATO but it went in off the M, because I've heard of them, and I know what immaculate means. Also maculate, as in "swelling to maculate giraffe". There's one for you.

And of course LILNASX and ITME are in my everyday experience. Not.

Armchair quarterback, Armchair general, but ARMCHAIREXPERT is new to me. Fortunately, a knowledge of the LILNASX canon came in handy, as I mentioned above.

Smooth and solid, BW, as per usual, But Wish it had a little more pushback. Thanks for all the fun.

albatross shell 8:15 AM  

Mostly just like Rex today. Very appealing grid. (What makes grids appealing? Design, white space, a decent amount of longs in both directions, lack of closed-off sections and I have no idea. Whim?)

Two things different than Rex.
The theme, after I got 2 of them, stood out (sat down?) for me and the final 2 filled in with just a few crosses. I got LIL and NASX the same way he did, but my joy was because it was that it was first time I remembered the name.

TIREDBLOOD, delightfully retro, and instantly thought of Geritol. Thanks for the Betty White video even though I couldn't watch more than a few seconds. Somebody I respected selling a questionable product for a questionable condition. I guess it had iron and vitamins so maybe not? Hmmm.

I went back to my IRIDESCing BEBOP BARBARELLA.

I am not a BACKSEATDRIVER nor a STOOL PIGEON. A bit of a COUCHPOTATO and an ARMCHAIREXPERT. I suppose. Quite a few of that last one on this blog I'd guess.

It was a faster finish today than the last two days, but I got interrupted a couple times on Monday.

Frantic Sloth 8:19 AM  

@Z from yesterday Somebody else. I should drop it because I highly suspect the victim would not find the humor in it. 'Tis Pity He's a Bore.

I must be a genius. According to the NYT website timer, I completed this puzzle in 0:00 flat!

Okay, so obviously there were tech issues, but I'm pretty sure that I finished this more quickly than yesterday, with certain entries (as clued) ridiculously easy: ADAM, RICO, ETC, etc. And that whole ADIA/AIDA was just oh so adorbs, too cute for the room.

Even the theme answers were obvious, though I'm still not convinced I completely grasped the full meaning of it all. Is it people?

There's gotta be more, right? I've been known on the rare occasion to get things wrong or miss them entirely, so I can't rule out that possibility; however, if I'm wrong about being wrong...what's so special about straightforward clues to everyday terminology? Don't I get a clever twist or a pun or even just (big whoop) an extra letter for my themey efforts??

Did my dinner roll just fall off and run under the table or what? And what does that even mean??

Still, for reasons that escape my ken, I enjoyed it. Maybe it was all about the "crushing it", but that's so petty...isn't it?
Eh. I can live with petty. It's just one letter short of pretty, so really, how bad can it be?


Keith D 8:29 AM  

Sigh... Rex simply cannot get through a blog entry without engaging in tiresome moralizing, this time calling Elon Musk “repulsive”. Rex, the world needs more visionaries like him, not less. Also, he did not write the tax code.

TJS 8:37 AM  

So Rex is thrilled with macchiatos, it me, and lil nasx, and dares us to have a problem with menstruation cluing. Sheesh

Too easy for a Wednesday.

Son Volt 8:38 AM  

Not exactly a crunchy theme and didn’t like the segmented grid. A little disappointed seeing the constructor. Liked SOLEMNLY and IRIDESCES. The themers were flat.

My coffee is black, I try like hell not to watch ESPN and have never had VELVEETA. Ballsy stacking Fonda with the great OTTER. Add the two VAPE references and the overall fill was ugly.

Surprisingly - not an enjoyable solve.

Barbara S. 8:51 AM  

Very nice puzzle. I didn’t grasp the theme until the end, or even particularly notice there was one. I was so enamored of all the long answers, across and down, that it didn’t occur to me to look for one. But places-to-park-your-butt strikes me as just fine (especially in this heat – best to keep still).

I think VELVEETA is one of the reasons I’m alive today. I was such a picky eater as a child that without VELVEETA and peanut butter (not together), I don’t know how life could have been sustained. I became so warped by the flavor of VELVEETA that I thought all other cheese – i.e. actual cheese – tasted stale (and, of course, wouldn’t eat it).

I’m firmly in the Geritol camp. Um, that came out wrong. What I mean is that I, too, am of the age that TIRED BLOOD instantly conjures Geritol. Yikes, they flogged that dubious product unmercifully in TV ads at one time, and most of them were not nearly as charming as that irresistible pitch from Betty White (thanks, @OffTheGrid, 6:54). Those Geritol developers must have made a mint.

I got called BARBARELLA a lot when I was a teenager. That must have been the fate of legions of Barbaras when that movie was popular. I found the name either amusing or annoying depending on mood.

Be sure to check out the photos of these MACCHIATOS, especially the last one.

Today there’s a poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., born June 9, 1922.

High Flight

O, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew,
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Please help 8:56 AM  

I don't get the absolute love and adoration for anything-black.

Z 8:56 AM  

Like @Lewis, I had that what is Walden doing here on a Wednesday feeling. “Sit on it” would have been a great revealer, instead we get LIL NAS X, which I guess sort of applies. I don’t know if it was Montero or another LIL NAS X video that was the latest proof of the downfall of western civilization, but a bunch anti-sexists had their knickers in a bunch over him not too long ago (that’s people against acknowledging that sex is fun and that people do it all the time and not necessarily once a month in the missionary position while trying to conceive, not those against sexism).

Anyway, furniture. Not the most exciting of “themes.” I did give myself a pat on the back for spelling BARBARELLA correctly on my first try. I blame Streisand’s parents for a lifetime of doubting BARBARa. MACCHIATOS got a side eye from me, not from the entry or the spelling, but just for existing and that their existence clutters the useless trivia section of my brain. I’d say that overall I liked this less than Rex, but I still liked it.

I just went full electric last month, but did not even consider a TESLA. ELON Musk is one of those people that amazes me. Not for anything he does, per se, but because he is so obviously a scam artist and people still do business with him. Why are so many allegedly smart people so gullible? Anyway, I considered the new Mustang but went with a Bolt. Very pleased so far. After putting 120,000 miles on my plug-in hybrid and having decided that long-haul car trips are not something I really want to do anymore, we decided it was a good time to have a pure electric car. But not a TESLA.

Chicago Chica 9:04 AM  

They ran the Tuesday puzzle on Wednesday and vice-versa this week. Fun solve.

Barbara S. 9:12 AM  

Back again. Forgot to append this to the poem High Flight.

QUOTER’S NOTE: John Gillespie Magee, Jr. wrote “High Flight” just before his death in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire during World War II, serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was nineteen.

Z 9:15 AM  

@Keith D - Visionary? He’s a crank with a lot of money and almost no moral compass. He also lies. A lot. He’s not quite Trumpian, but he’s working on it.

@mathgent - I had to look it up. The box says that VELVEETA is a “pasteurized recipe cheese product.” I have no idea what that means beyond it ain’t actually cheese. “Cheese-like” would be the kindest descriptor I would use.

@Frantic Sloth - Tis an excuse to link to a Bowie song.

burtonkd 9:23 AM  

@mathgent, unlike the Frappuccino, and calling a small a tall, macchiato is an actual traditional drink available at non-Starbucks coffee shops.
@Z - you should try one. Espresso with just enough (steamed or foamed) milk.

@joaquin - nice drop with the stool pigeon clue.

Only in Rexworld is lilnasx>Elon Musk. Nothing against either while aware of potential problems with both, the video looked like campy fun.

Lots of great answers/clues today.

mInt, lIme, RIND

RooMonster 9:26 AM  

Hey All !
Nice puz. Apparently I'm a "need a Revealer" person to get the theme, cause didn't figure this theme out. Trying to add TIRED BLOOD and LION HUNTER into the mix didn't help. Oh well, spoiled by the fact I can come here, and Rex tells me what the theme is.

One-letter DNF at ESPnAWARD/PLOn. Har. Stratagem=PLOn. Why not?

Had discS for SLEDS first. All your Ultimate talk has my brain on discs whenever I see a brand name that reminds me of throwable flat flying things. 🙂 (And really, Flexible Flyer just screams as a disc name, no?)

I'm gonna start blaming my laxadaisicalness on TIRED BLOOD. Gotta find Betty White and get me some Geritol! Then I can sing an ARIA in AIDA.

Speaking of, ARIA is a nice Casino, when it first opened, it was really dark inside. Low lighting, black walls. Kind of weird. But it's nice now. Bright, inviting. Never stayed there (I don't see the point of a Stay-cation, even on The Strip, but that's just me), but I hear it's nice.

No F's (Twice this week, I had noticed this trend before, which is why I advocate for the F, we need more F love!)

Nancy 9:27 AM  

What to do when BARBARossa for the Jane Fonda flick won't give you either ELIE or ULNA?

Change to BARBARELLA, dummy!

Now we come to the thoroughly unknown MACCHIATOS. Sounds like Spaniards you'd find fighting bulls in a bull ring, doesn't it? (Please understand that my idea of the perfect cup of coffee is my own creation made with Folgers Instant and warm milk, as lovingly described in several previous blog comments.)

IT ME???!!! Good grief! That did not help in the LION HUNTER section (see below).

I remember TIRED BLOOD!!! It's the [very old] Geritol commercial. "Iron deficiency anemia. Or as we call it: TIRED BLOOD."

You do, Geritol. Doctors don't. At least I've never heard one that did.

I changed swiGS to CHUGS in order to get ETC and LION HUNTER and, presto, the puzzle was done.

I thought the theme was colorful and a lot of fun. Could have skipped BILBO and LIL NASX, though.

Overtaxed 9:42 AM  

@Keith D. Of course rich people write the tax codes. Don't be naive.

Richard Stanford 9:46 AM  

Same here but then I went to PLOt and was wondering if there was a teen ESPN channel or something before it hit me.

thfenn 9:47 AM  

What a great Wednesday. BACKSEATDRIVERs drive me crazy, I've turned into a COUCHPOTATO this year, seen way too many STOOLPIGEONS on way too many cop shows, and read "Dilettantish know-it-all" thinking "I just can't wait to read the Rexword comments today and see who's calling who that this morning". Such restraint today - a pleasure to read so far. Like others, ran through PLOt, PLan, (and yes @Roo Monster, PLOn) before remembering ESPY.

My only gripe is RIND. Peel, sure, but I've yet to see any recipe, recommendation, or bartender garnish a cocktail with RIND. I dug into the differences between rind and peel, and when it comes to citrus might have to concede they're interchangeable, so am just going to say I've never garnished a cocktail with rind. Doesn't feel 'right'.

But had a smile on my face all the way through this one, thanks.

Pete 9:48 AM  

I don't know why I laughed last night at the concept of "Armchair Experts", otherwise know as ANON-A-TROLLS.

@Don't blame rich people folk - You're half right. In great part, their tax code got them there. That's why the Republicans exist - to make being rich even better. Get rid of the lie that there are different kinds of money (taxwise) and we'll live in a world with solid bridges and a little more fairness. Income = Income, earned, dividends, capital gains, inheritance. Tax rates, SS, Medicare.

I want some of what John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was smoking, or ingesting, or injecting. Actually I want a lot of it, delivered on a regular basis. Say what you want about Bezos and his sometime negative tax rates, but if anyone can get that done for me, Bezos would be the guy.

Richard Stanford 9:49 AM  

“Pasteurized processed monstrous cheeselike recipe product” has a nice ring to it don’t you think?

alohagirl 9:51 AM  

I once was in a Starbucks when Arnold Schwarzenegger came in and ordered a Macchiato. When the barista gave it to him, he looked it over and said, I need more of that fluffy stuff!

pmdm 9:51 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. Challenging in a way a Wednesday puzzle should challenge.

Z: You commented yesterday about floppy disks. I suspect Apple choose the rigid 3.5 inch variety because it had more storage spece (or so I remember. Perhaps only the high density kind.) and seemed a bit more sturdy. Any reference to IBM I suspect was uninteded but justifiable.

Some asked where Evil Doug went. I have been redaing these comments for some time. He's been gone now for a long time, As I remember, jhe mentioned in one of his last comments that he was leaving and may have even said why. (Perhaps enigmatically.) I think he said he was going to leave comments elsewhere. If I recall correctly, he and ACME were not the best of friends and some of his posts may have driven her away (with posts written by others). If he truly doesn't come here anymore, no use asking him back. He'll never hear the request.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

You don't know what you're talking about. People in this country aren't taxed. Income is taxed. Musk's rate and your rate is identical, as it should be.
Also, you do realize the billions you refer to are unrealized gains. If he sell the stock to accrue real money--as opposed to what is now-- he will play taxes on it. But why should he pay taxes on those capitol gains? he paid tax on the money he originally used to get the instruments with which he accrued more money. That's taxing him twice. Foul play imho. And the opniuon of a lot of economists.

OffTheGrid 9:55 AM  

@ROO. Check out Spelling Bee today. F is the center letter, meaning that EVERY word must contain F. There's some F love.

Pete 9:59 AM  

Forgot (as I dive into the Armchair Expert pool) - VELVEETA is actually required by law to label itself along the lines of a "cheese-like product" Courtesy of my nephew, a semi-expert on 19th/early 20th century dairy industry in Orange county, Velveeta was engineered as a way to utilize damaged real cheese products. It takes cheese, adds goop, and bam! you have Velveeta. Part of the goop was whey, another waste byproduct, which has nutritional value, so it was initially sold as an improvement on cheese, but as cheese. The FDA intervened, and it couldn't be called cheese, just cheese-something.

Nancy 10:02 AM  

@Barbara S -- Wow! Your poem today (which I loved, btw), along with the info that the poet died during WWII, reveals an outrageous act of plagiarism -- one that I'm pretty sure went unacknowledged, though I'm willing to be shown to be wrong about that.

There are some gorgeous lines in that Magee poem -- lines that I'd definitely heard before. And not in the poem, which I'd never read. No, rather in President Ronald Reagan's 1986 speech after the tragic Challenger Shuttle explosion. A speech written by perhaps his most famous speechwriter, Peggy Noonan. Here's the excerpt in question:

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

I'm not blaming Reagan. I'm sure he hadn't a clue. But Peggy, honey, I've always venerated you for writing that speech. I've always thought that you were the most poetic of all presidential speechwriters -- even including Ted Sorenson. All because of that speech. I do see that you've set off those phrases in quotation marks, but did you ever mention that they'd been written by someone else, along with citing his poem? Or were you trying to slip the surly bonds of earthly attribution? If so, shame on you!

Steve M 10:09 AM  

It me ??????
I’m out of circulation I guess

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Um. You might want to check out John Gillespie Magee. Peggy Noonan is non- pareil, my favorite too. But like Rex and income taxes, I'm afraid you're out of your depth.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

didn't like the TIRED BLOOD cluing. 'better known as' implies the answer is the clinical name, while the name in the clue, anemia, is the implied common name. back asswards, if you ask me. you didn't but so what.

Unknown 10:14 AM  

As a younger solver, this puzzle seemed quite easy. I don’t know one lil naz x song but at least I’ve heard of them. The theme seemed boring and the longer down answers (velveeta, macchiato, solemnly) weren’t difficult enough to be satisfying. Overall, meh

JD 10:16 AM  

Think I have a condition known as Theme Blindness. Never see it on my own and at times, not even after it's explained.

But after Backseat Driver and Couch (also the name of a Plaintiff's car crash liability law firm), I knew we were talking furniture and insults.

I've excused my wide but relatively shallow curiosity (obsess and move on) by calling myself a dilettante cause at least it sounds fancy, but if it's going to be Armchair Expert, ouch.

Sadly DNF because of some ugly business with Iridesce where I tried all kinds of alternative spellings of iridescent. No use dwelling. Iridesce is a pretty word, apparently an intransitive verb. My least favorite kind.

Did you know ESPY stands for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly? They must've started with ESPY and then filled in the letters.

Scientists say that after a nuclear holocaust all that will be left are roaches and blocks of Velveeta and that, eventually, the Velveeta should kill off the roaches.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  


of course it's realized cap gain!!! how do you think the money came into existence? it's just a giant loophole in tax law that allows the cost free rollover. who benefits from this loophole? no new property is created. only the landed wealthy benefit. just because he didn't use the money to buy his lady-on-the-side a new mink coat, doesn't mean the money is better used.

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

What ARE you babbling about, Anonymous 10:10?

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

Last November my daugher-in-law was faced with cooking her first Thanksgiving dinner due to the pandemic. She asked her children what they would like to have and Grandma's mac and cheese was their first choice. When she asked me for the recipe I had to confess it was the one on the Velveeta box. My cover was blown. It was my favorite meal on the meatless Fridays of Catholics in the 50's. And it still tastes delicious.

DevoutAtheist 10:28 AM  

Actually, sadly enough, they were simply blown apart and sank to the ocean floor. No god was involved.

Barbara S. 10:32 AM  

@Nancy (10:02)
Of course, I have no idea what was in Peggy Noonan's mind but I wouldn't be surprised if she expected people to recognize the lines from that poem, which I think is pretty well known.

The last line about touching the face of God is not original to Magee, though, something which he openly acknowledged. He'd read it in a poem by Cuthbert Hicks ("The Blind Man Flies") and was so impressed that he incorporated it into his own verse. Check out the Wikipedia article about Magee, and this:

The Blind Man Flies
by Cuthbert Hicks

I am blind: I have never seen
Sun gold nor silver moon,
Nor the fairy faces of flowers,
Nor the radiant noon.

They speak of the dawn and the dusk,
And the smile of a child,
Of the deep red heart of a rose,
As of God, undefiled.

But I learnt from the air to-day
(On a bird’s wings I flew)
That the earth could never contain
All of the God I knew.

I felt the blue mantle of space,
And kissed the cloud’s white hem,
I heard the stars’ majestic choir,
And sang my praise with them.

Now joy is mine through my long night,
I do not feel the rod,
For I have danced the streets of heaven,
And touched the face of God.

jb129 10:34 AM  

Fun puzzle

nyc_lo 10:35 AM  

ITME?? No, it not.

jae 10:38 AM  

Easy. So that’s where the Tues. puzzle went. Smooth with a couple of delightful long downs. Liked it a bunch!

Carola 10:41 AM  

Easy theme with a stellar HEP BEBOP back-up group of MACCHIATOS, VELVEETA, a LION HUNTER, and BARBARELLA. Not much TIRED BLOOD in this grid. After the SEAT, COUCH, and STOOL, I paused to ponder what else one can sit on....and it wasn't to hard to come up with CHAIR. I needed the A of AIDA, though, to get ARM....and then rejected EXPERT because I didn't believe NASX could be right...until I looked at the cross-referenced clue and realized that it could be.

Studying Italian, I'd recently learned that a macchia is a spot or stain, but it never occurred to me that the word had anything to do with the espresso drink - delightful to find out that coffee can be "stained."

sixtyni yogini 11:02 AM  

It was fast and fun-ish.
And off-topic-ish: WANT a Tesla!
But for reasons Rex outlined, cannot justify buying.
Sometimes I think the eco aspect outweighs the obscenity of EM’s wealth.
But mostly it doesn’t.🙄❌🙄

Nancy 11:04 AM  

Sorry, Peggy! I just went to YouTube and found three on-camera interviews where not only does Peggy Noonan acknowledge the Magee poem and her citation of it, but also mentions that Reagan was familiar with the poem and loved it.

When you hear a speech spoken, though, you don't see the quotation marks. I never saw them at the time (1986) and therefore never went looking for a source. I also didn't see any of those particular Noonan interviews and so have always credited her with the writing of those lines. I'm glad to see that she gave full and fulsome credit for them at the time and in later years too. Again, sorry, Peggy!

Newboy 11:10 AM  

Maybe I’m being infected with Rex’s negativity virus, but I expected more when I saw Byron’s byline. With over 100 NYT grids to his credit, it seems like he should feel SHEEPish about resorting to ELIE, LOA ,ELON, ARIA ( duped no less) and ARIEL? But not having any grids submitted to People Magazine myself, I have to admit to ARMCHAIR EXPERT status. Dare I say IT ME? Never encountered that neologism thank goodness. It’s only Wednesday, so maybe I’m expecting too much.

Unknown 11:22 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pete s 11:24 AM  

@Nancy. I suggest you look up John Gillespie Magee Jr on Wikipedia And scroll down to uses. I was impressed by the number of times it’s been used in the media, on gravestones including the Challenger Memorial at Arlington. Even Meagan McCain used it in her eulogy for her father. It’s really worth the read. I don’t think Peggy Noonan plagiarized the poem without giving him credit

Nancy 11:42 AM  

@Pete S. -- Read my 11:04 post.

Anoa Bob 11:44 AM  

Three pieces of house furniture and one piece of car interior strikes me as being a tad loose for a theme. If the Venn Diagram circle is enlarged to include "things that we sit on" then it seems even looser. Too many objects would qualify. 'Yo! I got sumpun youse can sit on right over heah!"

Yep, I did notice that a couple of the longer non-theme entries, IRIDESCE and MACCHIATO, had TIRED BLOOD and needed some help getting up to speed. Additional grid-fill friendly short cuts pop up along the bottom row to help ERR/SLED and TEA/PAD fill their slots.

I enjoyed seeing BARBARELLA. GAS UP and WIPE UP, not so much. Some nice touches here and there but overall IT not for ME. Go now.

GILL I. 11:52 AM  

Well, all the good stuff has been said so I looked at this lovely Byron work of art and thought.....hmmm,, there's a little dinner party in the makings.
You could start with some BLOOD sausage...Yep. that stuffs delicious. Then you can get all fancy and serve a little PIGEON - or, as the culinary artistes call it, squab. Have a side of scalloped POTATOes and dollop VELVEETA on it (no one will know the difference). If you don't like PIGEON, I'd serve you some SHEEP (better know as mutton), finish up with a MACCHIATOS or maybe TEA. All low CARB mind you...then go GAS UP with a VAPE. Your TIRED BLOOD will yell "ay que RICO".... Or not. In case we have some ANAL guests, LIL can WIPE UP the BACK of the STOOL. Or not.
My BEBOP PADS runneth over.

Newboy 11:55 AM  

Thanks to @Barbara S and @Nancy and others for bringing Poetry to the foreground in today’s blog. The ongoing discussion and almost universal admiration for “the best words in the best order” reflects well on the good natured commentariat. For those who like Ms Moore whose “I too dislike it” graced us recently find verse a bitter pill, I would suggest a dose of Billy Collins or Mary Oliver. Even a meh poem is a better waste of time than another peek at what CNN or BBC is streaming.

Whatsername 12:02 PM  

Seemed like an OK Wednesday. Liked the theme. Odd that I keep seeing ELON Musk in the news and now here he is in my crossword. Never in my life heard anyone say IT ME in response to anything.

I’m more of a COUCH POTATO than ARMCHAIR EXPERT on anything, but the clue for 5D seems glaringly wrong. GATE information is never included on an airline ticket. Boarding pass maybe but not always.

JD 12:20 PM  

So @Gill, Does Puerto Rico mean lovely harbor? And it also means delicious?

A gourmet 12:23 PM  

I love me a slab of VELVEETA covered in Cheese Whiz.

Frantic Sloth 12:54 PM  

I have to admit that the non-theme fill was what made this grid for me. Others have already mentioned specifics, so I'll refrain.

Speaking of VELVEETA... I always referred to Kraft American "Cheese" as "cheese food", since that's more or less what the label said. (It's been tweaked over the years, supposedly to straddle that line between FDA labeling requirements and trying to still sound appetizing. FDA wins.) Back when I worked in an office (and wanted to shoot myself), there were the "cheeses" (management) and the "cheese foods" (acting [temp] management) and I just realized that nobody gives a shit. Oops. Never mind.

@Z 915am I guess that's better than quoting John Ford. 😉

@JD 1016am Why do you know so many law firms? In the biz or just litigious? 🤣🤣Roaches and Velveeta? Yum! Breakfast of champions. Take me in the blast, please.

@Carola 1041am - delightful to find out that coffee can be "stained."

Seems just. Turnabout is fair play, right? 😉

Karl Grouch 1:01 PM  

I was impressed by the number of long answers (2×8, 2x9, 4x10, 2x11, 2×14: WOW!), but the puzzle felt a bit flat if not boring.
Too professional, perhaps?

I, too, (hey #Roo) am of the need-a-revealer kind of solver and SIT ON IT would indeed have been a nice touch, (@z's idea or not).

And since so many of you contacted me asking for the answer to the rhetorical question in my yesterday's post, here it is:

I know.

mathgent 1:12 PM  

I posted early and expected to see something later about Rex's mention of Jesus but I don't think that it's been mentioned. Did Rex mean it sarcastically?

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

@Barbara S, my experience of VELVEETA was the opposite of yours. I hated Velveeta. The only other cheese we ever had in the house was Colby Longhorn which I loved. For years, I thought the only cheese I liked was Colby until I went to college and was exposed to all of the other cheeses that exist. I still hate Velveeta and American cheese but the rest, yum!

My favorite clue/answer pair was 59A. For some reason, referencing both Hemingway and Hercules in the same clue hits the spot.

Fun to get a glimpse of Frodo's family tree, har.

Thanks, Byron, it was fun.

Unknown 1:26 PM  

@ Hungry Mother 8:03 Your comment to the constructor seemed a bit harsh. And condescending. Sometimes you - the puzzle maker -- just get stuck in a section and have to do the best you can with the letters you're working with.

All in all, fun theme, nothing fancy, and lots of crunchy answers. TIREDBLOOD, BACKSETDRIVER . . . I'd call this one a winner.

Actually one of rex's nicer posts, marred only by his reflexive bashing of Elon Musk.

GILL I. 1:31 PM  

@JD 12:20. RICO is a "fabuloso" word. It can mean wealthy, rich, delicious, lovely and cute. A smorGASbord of a word!

Thane of 13th 1:34 PM  

It’s amazing how many Rex haters come here simply to bash him and nothing else. Rex did NOT call Musk repulsive; he called his effective tax rate repulsive, which of course, it is.

JD 2:04 PM  

@Frantic, I was gainfully employed working on their websites and translating their legalese into English for many. But no name beats the classic Dewey Cheatem & Howe. If Covid hadn't finally spun me loose I might've considered your exit plan.

@Gill, I'll never be able to say Smorgasbord again with a pushing on the GAS. Another way to embarrass the family!

howardk 2:10 PM  

Am I the only one that sees the error of 5 down. Airplane tickets do NOT have gate designations.

old timer 2:28 PM  

I was as delighted as OFL today. PADS was indeed a clever way to refer to That Time of the Month, and note the hidden cross-reference to TIRED BLOOD. Note the other cross-reverence to SMOKED vs VAPED as away to get that nicotine fix. The reference to New Zealand made me think of the Maori, though obviously they never had such numbers, but SHEEP, yes, they had a few, and still do.

And then you have the ARMCHAIR EXPERTs who somehow think ELON Musk pays to little in taxes. Folks, when rich people pay relatively little in taxes, it is usually because their companies are investing money and hiring workers, and are now able to write off the cost of new equipment all at once, thus creating tax losses today, but they will have to pay more taxes in the future. In general it is a good thing, and a lot of people seem to like their Teslas. Don't you think all-electric vehicles help with global warming? In most years, a huge amount of electricity is produced by water and wind power. That's why electric is cleaner than gasoline, even though some electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels.

As for capital gains, many of you own your own homes, and are sitting on significant capital gains you don't have to pay taxes on unless you sell. You can't afford to pay taxes on gains you have not actually realized. Maybe the best policy would be to increase estate taxes, and cut the amount that passes tax free to heirs. Probably your children are not going to live in your house, anyway, so when you die it will be sold. In the old days, a good chunk of the value of parents' homes would have been taxed, and now, unless you are quite rich, none of your estate will be taxed. I suppose if Musk does not give away his fortune, or blow it on bad investments, his estate would pay a good amount in taxes, but most who inherit several millions they never earned, will get the proceeds tax free.

Or to put it in layman's terms, when my mother died, I had to pay some estate tax as her sole heir. When I do, my children probably will inherit with little or no tax to day -- I'm not *that* well off but they could afford quite a bit more than they deserve. It is, I agree, not fair.

Blue Stater 2:46 PM  

Fair, error-free, sophisticated, and fun. It can be done, Will.

Whatsername 2:52 PM  

@ Barbara: Enjoyed both poems today. A dear friend who was an aviator passed away recently. He flew his last solo flight on his 100th birthday, then went on to live another 6 years. We read “High Flight” at his graveside service, but I was not aware of the Hicks poem behind it. Wish we could have also read “The Blind Man Flies.” He would’ve loved that one too.

@mathgent (1:12) I too raised an eyebrow at that remark. To my knowledge I don’t believe Jesus ever worshiped anyone except God Almighty.

Retired party boy 2:57 PM  

I used to throw Halloween parties that included a keg of beer and a Crock Pot of queso dip: Velveeta and a jar of Pace's. Good times.

Penna Resident 3:05 PM  

@howardk you are not the only one.

airplane tickets (actually known as airline tickets) do not have GATEs. boarding passes do. i refused to write that answer in until i had all 4 crosses. much for error-free.

Perry 3:08 PM  

Why are ECIGS "Modern health risks, for short"? Except for the health problems that were caused by adulterated vape liquids, e-cigarettes are generally considered to be harm mitigation devices, relative to smoking cigarettes. I know I sure as hell have tried to get my sister to stop smoking and switch to an ecig, but she just won't do it.

Whatsername 3:13 PM  

@howardk (2:10) See my post at 12:02. I was very surprised there hasn’t been an outcry about that.

@old timer (2:28) My home has doubled in value since I bought it 20 years ago and you made me a little nervous with your talk of capital gains. But as I understand it, gains of up to $500,000 for married couples filing jointly and $250,000 for single individuals are exempt from taxation. Restrictions apply. Of course they do, it’s the government so it’s going to be as complicated as possible.

Z 3:24 PM  

@howardk - When’s the last time you flew? If you do your ticket on your smartphone rather than print it out the ticket will even update when there’s a gate change.

@Thane of 13th - Yep. I came closer than Rex by calling him a scam artist and liar, but mostly I shake my head and people who fall for his schtick.

@mathgent - My read is that Rex was mocking followers of the prosperity gospel. Talk about scam artists… Camels and eye of a needle and all that.

@Karl Grouch - It will hearten you to know that it wasn’t my idea, it is how Rex described the theme.

@Frantic Sloth - From Stagecoach! Of Course!*

@sixtyni yogini - There are lots of options besides TESLA. I even considered waiting for the new Ford F-150.

*It’s a joke - the movie director did not write the play and neither did Bowie.

Anonymous 3:32 PM  


well, one of the side-benefits of the super-rich not paying taxes is the greatest wealth chasm betwixt themselves and the hoi polloi. why is that a Good Thing? why is a USofA with a handful of people having most of the wealth and the rest not much? riddle me that Batman. and who says they actually create jobs in the good ole USofA? Buffett and Bloomberg are financial mavens. they create nothing.

Anonymous 3:36 PM  


you ought to be worried more about the disparity between 'normal' home owners and these feral dogs wrt cap gains. whatever they slough off on the rest of the tax base, means you.

Z 3:38 PM  

@Whatsername and @howardk - I see what you’re saying. An “eticket” for example, doesn’t have the Gate, only the “boarding pass” does. Of course, to assert that a “boarding pass” is not the “ticket” is the sort of specialized jargon that may help if you work for an airline, but ignores what “ticket” means in every other context. That is, a ticket is the item that grants one access. I’d go farther and say that the “boarding pass” is more of a ticket than what airlines label a “ticket” since the airline “ticket” only helps you get your actual ticket, the boarding pass.

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

@Z I don't think that is your actual ticket that you are looking at on the phone. The ticket is created when you buy the ticket. It is emailed to you and it does not generally have the gate. The ticket is an asset in the reservation system that can exchanged, refunded, etc. You cannot get through security with a ticket - you need a boarding pass. If an airline combines these in a phone app it is still a boarding pass.

Nancy 3:47 PM  

@JD -- I forgot to say that I found the entirety of your 10:16 a.m. comment absolutely delightful.

Also in the great airplane ticket vs boarding pass GATE discussion: I wish the ticket did have the GATE info included. The more info I have well ahead of arriving at the airport and the less improvising I have to do once I get there, the happier I am.

Eniale 3:55 PM  

Liked that this puzzle construction allowed the crossing words to fill in the PPP for me, most of which would have left me paralyzed. But I knew LIL NASX because of his cover of "" which never fails to give me an ear worm.

td pg-1

Carola 3:59 PM  

@Frantic Sloth 12:54 - Too true! Thanks for the (rueful) laugh.

Frantic Sloth 4:02 PM  

@Z 324pm If you have to say it's a joke, is it? 😘

@Z 338pm Stop saying "ticket".

Karl Grouch 4:24 PM  

@z, sorry for the misquote.
At my tender age, memory sometimes fails me

JBolt 4:50 PM  

Same! Every time there is a puzzle with a theme but no revealer, I'm just like well I guess there is no theme.

The Joker 5:25 PM  

This airline ticket gate or not controversy has me so agitated I know I won't sleep tonight!

pmdm 5:29 PM  

I tend to read the comments and shake my head silently at some of what I consider nonsense. This airline ticket debate would normally be such a thing. (Anything to do with Rye NY might be another.) But as my wife was an airline agent until CTS did her in, I guess I have a special interest in the subject.

I think most people would agree that a voucher may entitle you to a ticket. The voucher gets you the ticket, and the ticket gets you the admission. So what airlines call a ticket would more be like a voucher and what airlines call a boarding pass would more be like a ticket in ordinary speech. I looked up the definition of a ticket which is a bit vague. The ticket entitles you to something, but not necessarily an admission ) [at least according to one definition]. So to me the resolution is clear as mud. And, like many others (I suspect), I just don't care.

PS: the definition of a voucher did not for me resolve the discussion

Eniale 5:58 PM  

The Lil NasX cover I meant was "Old Town Road"

pabloinnh 7:06 PM  

Really hoping this is the end of Gategate.

James K. Lowden 7:14 PM  

There’s lots of “double taxation” in the tax code. And lots of nontaxation. You’d be hard out to find an economist to dispute that.

There’s no need to treat rising asset values as untaxable. Values can be imputed and estimated. The rest of us pay property taxes, one way or another, without any transaction taking place. Why should paintings and stocks be treated differently?

JD 7:19 PM  

@Nancy, Thank you! Just being a goof. I think you can also use Velveeta to spackle holes in the wall when you take down the artwork.

@pabloinnh 7:06, Genius.

albatross shell 7:31 PM  

I mentioned once before that James Beard named VELVEETA as his guilty cooking pleasure. Since then,of course, many more of his guilty pleasures have become known. Did he really eat or use it? Was he getting paid for the statement? Was he trying to promote himself as a regular guy in order to sell more cookbooks? Who knows. He did mention it's easy perfect consistency for a cheese sauce. He said something about it's taste too but I don't remember what. Philly cheesesteaks have become famous and many of them are made with velveeta or cheez-whiz (sp?). I always considered that a step down from Velveeta.
My standard football day dip is 1/3 fried ground beef and fried onions with taco seasonings, 1/3 fresh salsa, 1/3 Velveeta. Heated in the microwave. I can't imagine GILL I. liking it. It does disappear before the other dips do. The shrimp and chicken thighs and eye round roast give it some competition. So make fun of it. I do occasionally substitute other cheeses.

Anonymous 8:26 PM  

Huh? Rex absolutely attacked Elon Musk. It was 100% ad hominem. There was no mention of taxes in the sentence in which Rex libeled him.

Z 8:30 PM  

@3:41 - Yep. I tossed my puzzle into recycling, so I don’t know if it specified airlines. If the clue didn’t then it would be fine in terms of many sports and music venues. Some venues specify a gate so that the hoi polloi and hoi polloi don’t mix.*

@Frantic Sloth - I knew you’d get it. I was just looking out for the anonymopodes.

@Frantic Sloth - Just for you I wrote more about Gategate without the T word.

@pabloinnh - And here I thought you knew me better than that. 😇
@pmdm 5:29 - Yep. I don’t really care all that much except for the recurring idea that a clue is “wrong” when it is wrong for one specialized case.

*Dontcha just love autoantonyms?

JC66 8:37 PM  

@Anon 8:26

What sentence were you reading.

Z 8:41 PM  

@8:26 - ELON's effective tax rate is criminally, repulsively low (single digits).

Anonymous 8:52 PM  

“But I quickly forgot about that repulsive space ‘I’m using my money to go to spaaaace guy...”
Ad hominem

Nancy 8:55 PM  

@JD (7:19)-- Actually the sentence I laughed hardest at was your off-the-wall throwaway line that the "intransitive verb" is your "least favorite kind." To say it took me by complete surprise would be an understatement.

Gilly 9:20 PM  

Simply the most fun I've had solving a puzzle in some time.

True, perhaps not the most amazing theme, but the rest was so enjoyable I frankly forgot to even think about the theme. (Whereas too often, the solve is such a slog all I think the whole time is "please let the theme be good"--[and it usually ain't (perhaps because of all it has to live up to just to float the fill)]).

Just a pleasure. Kudos, Byron.

Anonymous 10:01 PM  

Over a year ago, I submitted a puzzle with this same theme (plus a revealer) to the NYT. In fact, two and a half of the theme answers were exactly the same. My puzzle was rejected because "the core idea felt a bit too familiar" and didn't "excite" them enough for acceptance. Apparently that reasoning doesn't apply to Byron Walden.

Incidentally, I looked up Walden's profile on XWord Info, and he now has 101 acceptances at the NYT. I have none. Make of that what you will.

I don't think this is a bad puzzle, mind. It's just that sometimes, the hypocrisy is too frustrating to ignore.

Anonymous 10:09 PM  

Ya gotta tolerate z,
I caved. But. But.but, only one post and it is supported by a direct quotation. There is no interpretation. Is that Ok? Or do I have to head to. Z-anon meeting? I know I have to bathe. Please advise.

Keith D 10:37 PM  

“But I quickly forgot about the repulsive "I'm-using-my-money-to-go-to-spaaaace!" guy...”

Try reading better.

VancouverNana 10:48 PM  

After reading Anonymous 10:10 I went down the internet rabbit hole and discovered John Magee’s story (His dad was Rector at St John’s Church in DC, the church in Lafayette Square made more famous by the former guy). Among other things the poem is the official poem of the Air Force Academy and all cadets are required to recite from memory. Initially I was of the same view as Nancy’s, but the snarky comment from Anon 10:10 led me to indulge in some delightful research and I now know the backstory to Reagan’s remarks. 😇

Charles Flaster 11:44 PM  

Loved VELVEETA sandwiches in the fifties.
On Wonder bread.

Joe Dipinto 12:02 AM  

Don't know if it was pointed out above, but as per XWord Info, VELVEETA has *never* been in the puzzle before today. That seems incredible to me.

albatross shell 1:48 AM  

My guess is that you do not know what libel is nor do you know what an ad hominem argument is.

Amy 9:59 AM  

It is likely that he was experiencing mild hypoxia.

Amy 10:03 AM  

All aviators know that poem and it is frequently read at funerals, as it was at my father’s.

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