Cold War-era group that included Louis Armstrong / "Creature From the Black Lagoon" co-star / Moniker for a noted Boston skyscraper, with "the" / Kafka's unfinished first novel, published posthumously in 1927 / Mount ___, highest peak in the Philippines

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Constructor: Brian Thomas + Brooke Husic

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:30)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: BAD ART (The "BA" of the Boston museum MOBA)

The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) is a privately owned museum whose stated aim is "to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum"...Its permanent collection includes over 700 pieces of "art too bad to be ignored", 25 to 35 of which are on public display at any one time.
...Explaining the reasoning behind the museum's establishment, co-founder Jerry Reilly said in 1995: "While every city in the world has at least one museum dedicated to the best of art, MOBA is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the worst." To be included in MOBA's collection, works must be original and have serious intent, but they must also have significant flaws without being boring; curators are not interested in displaying deliberate kitsch.
...The museum has been criticized for being anti-art, but the founders deny this, responding that its collection is a tribute to the sincerity of the artists who persevered with their art despite something going horribly wrong in the process. According to co-founder Marie Jackson, "We are here to celebrate an artist's right to fail, gloriously." (Wikipedia)
• • •
It me, occasional indie constructor Christopher Adams, here to kick off ~two weeks of guest blogging while Rex is out on vacation. Lots of fun bloggers (both new and old) to come, and it'll be fun. This puzzle certainly was—my reaction is LOVED IT (3D: "Five stars from me").

I presume JAZZ AMBASSADORS (Cold War-era group that included Louis Armstrong) was the seed, but it was the rest of the puzzle that really made me love it. Don't get me wrong—JAZZ AMBASSADORS is a great entry that I enjoyed and that's very good to know/learn about—but when it comes to puzzles from Brian and/or Brooke (e.g. this recent collab), the cluing is where it's at. And there was a lot to like here, from the intentional vagueness of (Utter) for ABSOLUTE, to the fun, natural language clues for TOP THAT, WHAT A TRIP, AT ANY RATE, and OH NO, to the clues that try to mislead you: (Salon stock) suggesting a plural, for example, and (Window you might want to close quickly) suggesting, uh, something much more risquΓ© than the actual answer. 

There were also a lot of fun facts: some commonly seen in crosswords ("Snow White" having ~250,000 CELS), some not so much (NORWAY having the world's longest road tunnel). And it doesn't hurt that this puzzle has not one but two soccer references in TIM Howard and Megan RAPINOE. Things like that make it much easier to solve the puzzle (at least, in my case) and much easier to love it as well.

I was originally going to say something snarky and sciency about the Coriolis effect, as referenced in the clue for DRAIN, but then realized that probably nobody wanted to read that, so then I was going to link to WRIGGLE and DRAIN from X Japan's album Dahlia, but all the videos were copyright blocked from displaying here, so, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, here's a mashup of Steely Dan and Glenn Danzig.

Another thing that I loved about this puzzle was how well it seemed to flow, and how getting one answer quite often led to another. As per usual, I started with the top row and then quickly switched to downs—having those first letters always helps in getting those downs. Here, DJING gave me GNC, which then yielded AZTEC, and soon enough that whole area was done. Ditto for TIM to MOUSSE to ONO (a gimme with the O) and PRU (which I knew from the clue, but having a letter already there didn't hurt). 

Probably the quickest part of this puzzle was going from POP-UP AD to BAD ART and EARPS to dropping in RAPINOE / PRELIMS / STAYS AT—I didn't even look at the across clues in that corner until writing this up. But I'm glad I did—things like (Word in the name of many candy offshoots) for MINIS are the fun sort of clues (of which there's a few in this puzzle, and which I ought to have listed above) that may not give you the answer right away, but that yield a nice "that makes sense!" moment when you do figure them out.

  • MOD (Operation that yields the remainder from dividing two numbers, in math lingo) — I guess the "in math lingo" part here is to signify that the answer isn't modulo, but given that nobody actually ever says modulo (outside of defining modulo and then immediately switching to mod), this clue could've done without those words
  • ENTRE (13-Across, in French) — This entry is at the bottom middle of the grid. It's referencing an entry in the top left (which is clued without relation to this entry). I'm never a fan of entries that cross-reference all the way across the grid, especially when there's other ways to clue it, and there's no compelling need / really good reason to do so in the first place.
  • AMONG (Devil ___ the tailors (pub game)) — pretty sus to not clue this as Among Us, tbh.
  • RAPINOE (Sports Illustrated's 2019 Sportsperson of the Year) — per the constructors, the original clue here was ["Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties" speaker], which is the sort of clue that could (and should!) appear way more often in all crosswords.
Yours in puzzling, Christopher Adams, Court Jester of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 1:18 AM  

Medium. This seemed tougher than it turned out to be. I hit just enough crossword gimmes along the way to keep going...LOESS, ONO, EARPS, PTAS, SATED, CEL, PRU, GNC... Solid with sparkle, liked it a bunch!

Frantic Sloth 2:41 AM  

@Z 857pm Rex instead of Shortz, Mamma Mia (Gotta ABBA) instead of Cats, and Musical Beer Pong. That last thing would ensure the proper atmosphere for development of burgeoning brohood, which I assume is one of the goals of Z's Placebo and Tentacle Pub.

No Rex for 2 weeks? This is going to be interesting.

Good write up, Christopher Adams! (Even if I didn't understand much of it, being old and out of it and all)
Thanks for stepping in to help keep this ship of fools afloat!

I also LOVED IT. Loved everything about it: clues, entries (HARDASS?? Wonderful!), and smooth as silk with some bite.

Hate it when I have nothing to grouse about. πŸ˜‰


Anonymous 3:45 AM  

I liked your review, nicely done.

bocamp 5:37 AM  

Thx, Brian & Brooke; this was quite a JAZZy production! 🎺

Excellent commentary, Christopher! :)

Slightly on the easy side of medium.

Got a solid start in the NW, moved down and around, ending up with IN RANGE.

More or less on my wavelength, with just the right amount of tricky cluing and resistance.

Very much enjoyed the TRIP. :)

***Olympics football Spoiler***

Megan RAPINOE converted the final penalty kick to sew up the U.S. football win over Netherlands yesterday. Alyssa Naeher was brilliant in goal. 🏟

@TTrimble (yd) πŸ‘ for 0

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Conrad 5:51 AM  

WOEs included 13A, Devil AMONG the tailors, the nerve at 24A and the motorcycle pioneer at 46A. I'd probably still be puzzling over 13A were it not for the cross reference at 53A.

Took two or more tries to get the correct spelling of GESUNDHEIT and RAPINOE

Had ______NS for the cornet relatives at 40A and wanted ___horNS, but all I could think of were French, English and Klipsch, none of which fit.

Really, really wanted HARDASS at 1D but it took a while to realize that'd actually get past Miss Prudence Goodbody.

Easy-medium for me, and totally enjoyable.

Lewis 6:18 AM  

This was tough for me, practically sweat producing. Tough clues, answers out of my wheel-neighborhood. Few FREE PASSEs. A marathon. Many mental shouts of “What the???”

A nice smile at seeing OHNO and ONO. Another one at seeing that brand new clue for ONO, which has appeared in the NYT puzzle 388 times. Gratitude and revels when answers came.

But mostly knitted brows, and grit, and plod, and square-by-square effort. Hard hard work.

Man, I loved this. This was a Saturday. I will stay at the B&B anytime. Thank you, you two.

Ξ© 6:33 AM  

3 hours and 30 minutes to solve and you call it easy…

Devil AMONG the tailors? Alrighty then. That’s a new one here.

I look at DJING in the grid and feel a little unchained.

Hey look, a shout out to the MODs in the grid.

Occasionally I wonder if I do too many crosswords and then I fill in STOMA without a cross and I am certain of it.

I’ve been feeling good about Saturday’s lately, getting close to the 10 minute mark on occasion and not taking over 20 very often. I was lucky to keep this solve under a half hour, so challenging here. Of course, the rookie mistake of call before HALO didn’t help. I liked this for the most part.

@Frantic Sloth - We’d have to teach Rex to play ping pong… but a Rex Will Ping Pong Death Match while they are singing Abba would be Huge.

Darren 6:39 AM  

I hated every single thing about this puzzle. It was deliberately obtuse. I hated the clueing and it took me forever. Glad you found it easy. I found it to be a slog and not at all fun.

Stimpson 6:43 AM  

Perfect Saturday crunch for me. Sparkling clues and answers. I was a third of the way through when I paused to look at the constructor(s). I should have known - Brooke Husic - the best thing to happen in crossworld in the last 2 years IMHO.

Son Volt 7:30 AM  

Put up more of a struggle for me especially in the center - but liked it overall. Didn’t know the spanning down so that didn’t help getting the crosses. Really liked ABSOLUTE x TOP THAT and ORDINARILY. ADAMS was in the cobwebs somewhere. Don’t follow soccer but those names are culturally gettable.

Side eye to DJING - don’t like it. MOD is short for MODulus and returns the absolute value - short but nice entry here. I wouldn’t classify LOESS as soil.

Very enjoyable Saturday solve.

JD 7:45 AM  

Hard Ass with a Halo. Loved it? Eh.

Djing Ranon is still in it for the gold in Olympic lawn darts. LaPat of France could give him a run for his money though. I like when the ref yells, "Someone's gonna get an put out if they're not careful!" What A Trip.

Ordinarily, I'm intimidated by Saturday puzzles and this was no exception. But knocked down that NW corner and it gave me some confidence. Still, Ulnar was hard. Had to walk away a few times and come back, which always helps.

Like to nominate Utter for Absolute for @Lewis's best clues list. @Darren 6:39, your concise descriptive comment was powerful but I disagree today. I really liked the cluing here. None of the usual sloppiness that I've come to expect. Except …

I've worked on a few website designs, planning the navigation. Menu Page? A whole page for the menu? How do you get there?

Here's a something about Effie you may enjoy, "On May 2, 1915, she set out with her mother Avis in the sidecar, who noted, "I do not fear breakdowns for Effie, being a most careful driver, is a good mechanic and does her own repairing with her own tools." They were mother and daughter! Wiki it!

Ann Howell 8:02 AM  

Would have loved this more if I'd known JAZZ AMBASSADORS, but certainly did not find this very easy. There were a few clunkers, especially MENU PAGE (last seen in the 90s, I think) and the only thing that really perked it up for me was 2 down, as I could finally put my undergrad thesis on Kafka to good use...

Mikey from El Prado 8:09 AM  

And the first shall be last. As in HALO was the last thing I entered. Man, I couldn’t suss GESUNDHEIT for some reason. Glad I skipped the NW early as this really wasn’t too tough, but certainly enjoyable.

Richard Buckalew 8:29 AM  

I agree, lots of fun clues! Also some that I gave a definite side-eye to.

I am quite glad for the 'lingo' cluing because, as Christopher notes, the word is MODulo, and I was upset at the shortening until I re-read the clue more closely. The entropy clue (50a) also had me put my technical hat on; I was able to guess CHAOS not because I think it's correct but because I think it's a common misconception. Entropy and chaos both have specific technical meanings and they're not equivalent. It's often disappointing when a puzzle dips its toe into a technical subject and gets it wrong; I suspect it happens more often than I realize, because I only notice when it's a subject I know well. One of those things that I imagine many of us share, and certainly not enough to dampen my enjoyment of an otherwise excellent puzzle.

My favorite clues that weren't mentioned yet:
Smallish Hail Size (PEA), Cans (JOHNS). I have not heard of Boston's MOBA but now I really want to visit! And, having been familiar with the phrase "Clarion Call", now I'm happy to know the referent.

My side-eyes:
Was there actually more than one Earp at the OK Corral? I admit I haven't seen the movie, but I expect the answer is no. Didn't actually slow me down at 36a, I just love the precision of a good clue and this wasn't that. Also, I don't know where I would ever find a MENU PAGE; perhaps a menu bar or a file menu or somesuch, but a menu page is a new one to me.

TJS 8:48 AM  

Not sure why but I got no enjoyment out of this puzzle, especially for a Saturday. Just couldn't wait for it to be over, which didn't take long. While I'm at it, got nothing out of the "Court Jester" commentary either.
Oh... and any chance Frantic and Z could just email each other and leave the rest of us out of it?
OK. I feel better now.

MarthaCatherine 8:59 AM  

Had InANYcAsE for 31D and uHoh for 47D. Took me a while to unscramble that mess.

Difficult for me. Finally just started googling like a HARDASS. Didn't know the Hotchkiss sisters or Mr. Howard or what the devil was up to at the pub. Didn't know there was a whole museum of BAD ART or the correct spelling of Mr. Kafka's unfinished novel. Felt like an ABSOLUTE rookie today.

Liked the clues for JOHNS and EARPS, which I got all by my own self. (Well, after googling about the Black Lagoon.)

Carola 9:16 AM  

My experience could hardly have been more different from @Christopher's: I found the puzzle difficult, and as for flow, just "no." After the fairly yielding NW, I had to make repeated circuits of the grid, probing for tender spots that I might somehow have missed on a previous go-round. Eventually finished (at ADAMS x MINIS). Liked it, more because it was hard and made me work than because it was fun. I noted SKINNY over SATED: another puzzle I'd like to solve.

Do-over: uh-oh. Help from previous puzzles: PRU, PSY. No idea: AMONG, TIM, BEN, MOD, JULIE ADAMS.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

Liked the puzzle; liked the review; thanks, Christopher. Not sure how Snow White could have had that many cels. It was an 83 minute film, at 24 frames/second that's about 120,000. And cel animation is mostly shot "on twos", two frames for each cell, so the number is probably closer to 60,000. Still, a good clue and a good puzzle

GHarris 9:24 AM  

I’m with Darren. Clues gave little help; many answers seemed arbitrary rather than directly related to the clues. Therefore was difficult for me and I needed the crutch of auto check.

pmdm 9:25 AM  

Gee, Sharp is on vacation. Does he still do the puzzles? Why not, considering how long it takes him to complete solving one. Assuming he has online access.

The PPP helped me a lot in this one. Not much more to say about it. Time to enjoy the (for a change) wonderful weather in the NE USA.

Shania 9:42 AM  

As a gay American, I know Rapinoe’s statement is ridiculous. Gays in America in 2019 had more rights than in pretty much any country in the history of the world. She can get married and have children. Maybe there’s some guy in Colorado who might choose not to bake her her wedding cake but there are myriad bakers who would love her business. If she had any compassion she would mourn the gays in Saudi Arabia and Iran and any number of other Muslim dominated countries where she would be put to death if she lived the life she lives in America. Instead she gets rich whining about her first world problems. The editors were right to put the kibosh on that offensive quote.

JD 9:42 AM  

@Richard B, Yes. More than one Earp

Frank Grimes 9:54 AM  

I thought he had summers off. Must be nice to have a vacation from your vacation.

Pete 9:58 AM  

@JD - I think the puzzle was referring to DJING Reinhardt, Django kid brother who played with him, and with the JAZZ AMBASSADORS back in the day.

puzzlehoarder 10:06 AM  

This solve was a little above medium for me. The NE slowed me down the most as I had multiple write overs there

In the NW I misread the word modiste as modsite. This made no difference as neither one meant anything to me. In that same section I misspelled GESUNDHEIT with a Z, both of these mistakes were fixed when DRESS became obvious.

HARDASS seems rather crass for the NYT. For awhile I couldn't figure out why HARDnose didn't fit. That made it harder to support HALO along with the rather oblique connection between "Charge" and ONUS.

I'll have to remember that MOD can be clued as a math entry. That's already more than I want to know about that.

There's a Museum of BADART? I hesitated on that one and later when I saw the ABS____
sitting at 31A I confused the two entries and on reflex put in ABSTRACT, that of course contributed to the NE slow down.

This was a fun Saturday solve but when I'd finished it was one of those puzzles where I felt my solving time really should have been faster than it was.

Teedmn 10:06 AM  

I begin to despair of my declining solving skills. Two days in a row that I took well over my usual solving time and twice earlier this week that I didn’t understand the theme. What a (bad) trip!

I should have moved on to the center-top after I didn’t find an opening in the far NW but instead I went looking for fill-in-the-blank clues. I thought ULNAR was right but didn’t get crosses so I started with sys-Ops down at 55A. Great start!

In ANY cAsE for 31D didn’t help. And it wasn’t until I read the comments that I realized that CLARIONS were NOT relatives of comets but rather cornets!! I had been scratching my head over that one, for good reason.

Brian and Brooke, thank you for an utterly delightful Saturday puzzle. And thanks, Chris Adams, for filling in for Rex.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

@9:42- Rapinoe reminds me of the Mormons in Hada Diga Eebowai from The Book of Mormon. While they lament their lost luggage and crowded plane the Ugandans speak of people starving in the streets. She really should shut up.

GILL I. 10:20 AM  

EASY????? Good gravy. Easy is opening a can of SpaghettiO's, plopping it on a plate, and telling everyone at your gorgeous dinner party that it took you hours of slaving in the kitchen. Well...I slaved. I had to gird my loin (pig, thank you very much) and then I had to get up and breath.
Where did you begin, you ask? Don't. Well, I'll tell you anyway.
I had exactly one entry....AZTEC. I know my Cuauhtemoc's. You start giving me motorcycles, a Kafka here, a home of some road tunnel, a Coriolis there, a mount in the Philippines and do you spell GESUNDHEIT? and I run out heaving screaming meemies. that off my chest.
I had to take several deep breaths on this one. I think my mind gets this idea in my head that all Saturdays are just not possible. I knew that if I took my time (I'd really suck at any tournament), I would get something going. Well I did. Little by little a little, a word would pop up. That looks right, I muse. Is it MENOPAUSE? OH NO it's MENU PAGE. Does the SKINNY HARD ASS look right? It does. Is Louis Armstrong one of the JAZZ AMBASSADORS? He is....Oh look....OK is from that Corral and we know our EARPS. Did I finally suss DRESS SIZES? I did...because in Spanish, a modist{a} is the one who sews you lovely stuff. I had one in Spain. She came to my house once a month and made me clothes. I needed someone to sew for me because I got tired of buying slacks that ended at my knees. I also had a shoe maker because not one single female in Spain wore a size 10.
Moving along to my debacle of a puzzle.
I had to go back to sleep and wipe the cobwebs. Back to little by little.
Taking my time and not getting upset made this a bit easier. I did cheat with TIM and DRAIN and MOD didn't help me and I wouldn't know JULIE ADAMS even if she came up from that Dark Lagoon and slimed me. So....I came in last in the race to finish....but I gave it my best.
But GILL...did you like the effort, you ask? I did. I learned a few things and I smiled. I let out a few little whoops here and there and I clapped when things began to fit.
All's well that ends well.

Inactive David 10:21 AM  

Clarions are quite distantly "related to" cornets, perhaps they meant "cornett" or "cornetto," and Julie is not Julia, although she was Julie later.

Ain't spelling fun?

Keith D 10:21 AM  

Nice puzzle. Challenging but mostly fair. Refreshing break from the whiny snark and negativity too. I guess this is also a vacation from that, which I welcome. Let’s see if we can keep it up for 2 weeks!

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Was hoping the virtue signaling might take a vacation, too. Guess not!

Nancy 10:24 AM  

I galloped through the NW, once again fearing that the puzzle would be much too easy for its appointed day. (This is the 2nd day in a row that I had that concern). But I needn't have worried. The puzzle toughened up RAPIDLY, providing very little in the way of a FREE PASS as I went downward and eastward.

So that's what a "clarion call" means!! It's a term I've often heard and maybe even used, but I had no idea that CLARIONS were...instruments! I was so unhappy because there was no room for the "S" of CLARInets -- which is the instrument I deeply, truly wanted there. I thought of "clarion call", and wrote in the final -----ONS with my fingers crossed. I certainly didn't know Mt APO. But it was right.

Of course I didn't know any of the people: TIM, JULIE ADAMS, and the "Sportsperson of the year" RAPINOE. Must be a sport I don't watch, whatever it is. I guessed at the EARPS from "Gunfight at the OK Corral". But the big discovery was the Museum of BAD ART. That was worth the price of admission to the puzzle. I must go out now and buy some inexpensive house paint, which I shall then slap around willy-nilly on a canvas. I've always wanted to be featured in a museum and this sounds like my best chance.

Voice of Reason 10:25 AM  

@Shania - Meghan Rapinoe is 36 years old. She was 26 before she was deemed fit for Military duty. She was 30 before she could legally get married. She played on the US Soccer team for years as a closeted lesbian. She does, in fact, know what it's like to stand in front of the flag of her country which doesn't consider her as equal, and said so in support of others who are currently in a similar situation. That, and she kicked JohnX's ass, so leave her alone.

Newboy 10:27 AM  

All five thumbs up for today’s grid and guest comments. It does seem sorta relaxing to read a critique instead of a rant (though I miss that simmering outrage that OFL would rain on an eNO/ONO OH NO! today). Brian & his frequent collaboration friends are becoming household favorites as we wait for another day ending in 8. Knowing the JAZZ AMBASSADORS made this a relatively quick solution—often I use a calendar instead of a clock to gage my progress on a Thomas grid.

RooMonster 10:42 AM  

Hey All !
Add me to the "tough" crowd. Dang, started Googling about half way through. Didn't know the Down 15, wanted JAZZ Artists Against something, or JAZZ Art AS SAving, but it's JAZZ AMBASSADORS. Confused Entropy with Atrophy, so CHAOS was a "how's that?"

New clue for ONO. Didn't know she was an anti-fracker.

Just a typical tough SatPuz today. No time to do SB, but that's OK. I keep missing lots of words, I don't post my words missed number, it's too embarrassing every day! Har.

You got me good, BT and BH. Gonna CLAM UP now.

One F

jberg 10:43 AM  

I've been in the Museum of BAD ART back when it was in the lobby of a movie theater in Dedham. The theater has since closed, but the museum lives on with three different sites, none actually in Boston, but close enough. So that helped; and I once got AMERIKA as part of a boxed set from the Quality Paperback Book Club, or I wouldn't have had a clue; well, I guess I did have a clue, but I wouldn't have had an answer. Unfortunately, that answer was enough to confirm cALl at 1A, which took a lot of effort to correct.

The Duke Ellington Bridge in Washington has a dedication plaque listing Ellington's callings as "musician, composer, diplomat" (or something like that, I can't find it online). Having seen that often made it a lot easier to figure out JAZZ AMBASSADORS.

But, like many, I was held up by that MENU thing. First I wanted linE, then PAnE, before I finally parsed IN RANGE for accessible. That one was tough.

I agree that CHAOS was clued badly; but the next clue, "Word in the name of many candy offshoots," was very precise. I was about to write in Mandm when I realized it would not fit "word."

What I learned: the name of the highest peak in the Philippines, and that a CLARION is a particular instrument. I started to write in CLARInet, muttering under my breath that it was wrong, until I discovered that I did not have enough blank spaces. Nice entry, in retrospect.

Fellow Earthling 10:47 AM  

I’m with Darren on this one. It was a complete slog for me, even though I finished faster than normal for a Saturday. Too many sports references and names. Always my downfall.

Nancy 10:55 AM  

Loved your writeup, Christopher Adams, especially your inclusion of the Mission Statement of the Museum of BAD ART: To be included in MOBA's collection, works must be original and have serious intent, but they must also have significant flaws without being boring; curators are not interested in displaying deliberate kitsch.

Before I go out and buy the paint and the canvas, I think I'd better go work on my "serious intent.". (The "significant flaws" should come naturally.) Thanks for the heads-up, Chris.

mathgent 10:56 AM  

Excellent crunch (17 mystery clue/entries, near my ceiling of 20) and excellent sparkle (17 red plus signs in the margins, high even for a Saturday). I'm a happy solver.

Learned some good stuff. CLARIONS are horns -- are they what what the swarm of musicians are playing in the movies to signal the arrival of the ruler? There is a museum of bad art (actually two, I read). The JAZZAMBASSADORS were formed during the Eisenhower presidency.

@RB (8:29). Re entropy/chaos, remember Joaquin's Dictum.

PSY-ops. Is that what they used to call subliminal advertising?.

Reno retired 10:57 AM  

To voice of reason- my god why don’t you and Rapinoe go to a country that you can love. I’m thinking Iran is open to you complaints and will elevate you to sainthood.

Anonymous 11:01 AM  

Anyone know what liberty Rapinoe believes she’s been denied?

Richard Buckalew,
Not only is there more than one Earp, the death of the youngest Earp, James, is the underlying reason for the shootout.
The movie you haven’t seen is likely not one you think you haven’t seen. πŸ˜‰Yeah, there are movies called Shootout at the OK Corral, but the definitive movie is actually My Darling Clementine. John Ford at the height of his powers. Not to mention many of his usual players in top form.
One exception is Victor Mature as Doc Holiday. For the best portrayal of Holiday, check out Tombstone. (The movie is pretty good as well)

Shania, it’s worth noting that the baker who wouldn’t bake them a wedding cake was doing business in a state which wouldn’t grant the couple a wedding license. So the couple was attempting to compel an individual to endorse an action that the state itself wouldn’t. Think about that. O And of course, Masterpiece Cakeshop won its case.

Frantic Sloth 11:02 AM  

@Z 633am *groan* 🀣 How about DJING Unchained Melody? I'd pay good food (money means nothing to me) to see - or just hear - that matchup! 🀣 Oh, and 10 minutes (or "close to")? Liar!πŸ˜‰

@Stimpson 643am I'm beginning to agree with your assessment. πŸ‘

@JD 745am Yeah - what is a MENUPAGE?? Thanks for the Hotchkiss info. Little known fact: Effie was a good and boyscout-prepared mechanic, but AVIS tried harder.

@TJS 848am No. Lighten up, Francis.

@Shania 942am How do you know that Megan Rapinoe has no compassion for gays in other countries? Perhaps she limits herself to speaking from personal experience and not pontificating about the obvious. Clearly there are still Americans who need edification, judging from your comment. I suggest that "as a gay American" you might try to appreciate our own history in this country which you seem content to ignore.

@GILL 1020am 🀣🀣 You know what they say - "Home is where the MENoPAus(e) is." And I agree - after the Creature, who knows (cares about) the cast of that movie?

Malsdemare 11:09 AM  

@Voice of reason. Applause, applause. Just because there are people who are treated worse than you are doesn't mean you can't point out your own mistreatment.

I'm feeling pretty smug. Lately Saturdays have not just eaten my lunch, but my dinner and dessert as well. This one I finished in under 30 minutes, an ABSOLUTE blitzkrieg for me. And so many wonderful answers! HARDASS, BADART, GESUNDHEIT (which I spelled correctly out of the gate; guess those years learning German paid off), RAPINOE, JAZZ AMBASSADORS. Great fun. Thanks Brian and Brooke.

Frantic Sloth 11:20 AM  

@Reno retired 1057am Yes, by all means - let's conflate criticism of America's policies with it not being "a country that you can love". Love it or leave it is about the most absurd "argument" that can be made. This is how you criticize another citizen's taking advantage of the very rights you extol? "You don't think America is perfect? Get out." Refreshing.

The Cleaver 11:29 AM  

@Reno retired:

I would suppose that you're among those who consider the Insurrectionists to be 'The Real Americans', just like the Confederates; when Blacks, Irish, Germans, and wimins knew their places?

Only the most Right Wing politicians are qualified to run governments. I think that's called dictatorship. Oh wait, The Orange Sh!tgibbon (not my coinage, but I cleave) tried mightily to convert the Presidency to His Majesty, which would pass down to Junior. Or Eric The Idiot.

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

I grew up at a time when homosexuality was still classified as a disease, when interracial marriage was still illegal in 16 states, when people would not vote for someone who was Catholic. There was so much prejudice and hatred, and it was not that long ago.

There are two things that I thought would never happen in my lifetime, or probably ever: we would never have a Black President, and gay marriage would never be legal. Both were completely and utterly unimaginable. But I was wrong. The world can change. Slowly, and more slowly than it should for too much of our country, but it can change. Rapinoe is right that we must continue to move forward. But I think we can, and we will.

Sane Person 11:40 AM  

If you realize that millions of gays in Muslim countries fear for their lives for private consensual activity it’s kind of hard to take her seriously, whatever her complaints are. What are they again ? She couldn’t get married or join the military a few years ago but she can now ?

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Re: Snow White, the use of the word cel probably causes confusion. Per Disney sources, over 250K drawings were used in the production, which includes backgrounds. Snow White employed a multiplane camera, which required multiple background drawings layered upon each other positioned on different planes and moving independently to give an illusion of depth.

Most people equate cel with a single frame of a finished film (nominally 24 per second). The textbook definition of cel is simply a transparent sheet of film material used to produce animation. In most productions, and certainly in this case, multiple cels are needed for each frame.

David 11:44 AM  

I consider myself a reasonably speedy solver but I think it would take me longer than 3:30 to complete this puzzle even if had all the answers printed off in front of me.

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

Tough one for me, but then, it's Saturday. I also had a real hard time with the clue for "onus." "Load"? "Burden"? Sure. "Charge"?? Nope.

Lt. Kije 12:02 PM  

According to my more French-knowledgeable husband, ENTRE really means between, not AMONG, which would be parmi. Still, was able to figure it out.

Whatsername 12:23 PM  

Tough as nails. Not much fun when I can’t even get a breakthrough any place. But that’s partly on me not being fully focused, too many interruptions this morning, and partly on the PPP here just not remotely IN RANGE for my wheelhouse today. I finally gave up but checked in here to see what others thought. Glad to see I wasn’t alone in my frustration.

old timer 12:28 PM  

Chris Adams, the original clue for RAPINOE is precisely what does not belong in a clue. Though it would be an excellent thing to refer to in this blog. An easy solve for me, but no walk in the park. AZTEC and PRU were the only ones I put in without checking the crosses, though LOVEDIT was on the tip of my pen from the start. I did want AMONG -- I love fiddle tunes, and that gave me ENTRE

By far the best entry was the longest: JAZZ AMBASSADORS.

There was a lot of Green Paint today, but without it, I could never have completed the solve. I finished with CLARIONS, which was a wild guess, but fit the crosses.

TTrimble 12:29 PM  

Easy, eh? And look at that time, holy smokes, WHAT A TRIP! He solves more RAPIDLY than RAPINOE kicking a goal shot. I could never TOP THAT time. I don't know if I'll ever even be IN RANGE of such a time. Who are you, Christopher Adams, so-called Court Jester?

AT ANY RATE, I LOVED IT. I don't reckon it was a HARD-ASS puzzle (my time was pretty good, compared to me), but it had liveliness and crunch, if not bounciness and sass. Am I deploying these technical terms correctly? ENTRE nous, what I'm trying to say is this puzzle had ZEST.

The only part I found relatively (not ABSOLUTEly) easy was N central. I was hoping to shoot down in Rex-like fashion with JAZZ in place, but didn't know the AMBASSADORS part, so I had to settle for settling in. Would LOVE to see the Museum of BAD ART someday (my son goes to college in the Boston area, and my daughter might be heading that way also -- she liked Brandeis for example -- so maybe the fam could one day get together at MOBA).

Before AT ANY RATE, I had "in ANY cAsE". I withheld putting in "bOobS" before JOHNS for "cans", thinking nah, the NYT wouldn't do that, would they? But you never know these days. Somewhere from the depths bubbled up the first name of JULIE ADAMS, which helped.

Have a good day, y'all. I'll check in later with @bocamp, after I have a look.

Newboy 12:31 PM  

Interesting exchanges on JAZZ AMBASSADORS and social change led me down the rabbit hole this morning where I found this anti-jingoistic response The Real Ambassadors . I never totally believe what I find in the Ethernet Wonderland, but I’ve had bunches of fun following grid inspired prompts.

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

I don’t think homosexuality was ever considered a disease. The DSM considered it a disorder. And that is a crucial distinction.
It gets to the heart of the matter. What is the purpose of sex? What end is it ordered to? The answer is of course self evident. And has been for all of human history outside the last 10 minutes or so. The fact is, homosexuality is a form of deviance. Does that mean people with homosexual tendencies and inclinations are any less worthy of liberty than heterosexuals? Of course not. And no serious thinker has ever said that. Many people do condemn homosexual acts, just as they condemn adultery, or incest or masturbation for that matter. Those acts too are disordered. The myth of the Age of Feeling is that one’s identity is determined by one’s feelings and desires. It’s akin to an infection in modern consciousness, affecting all of us to some extent. But the great teachers of humanity across the ages and traditions have, with impressive unanimity, emphasized the importance of being masters of our feelings and desires rather than being enslaved by them. Self-mastery is the challenge facing every human being.

47s 12:38 PM  

I wonder whether NEW ERAS was originally clued in relation to baseball caps.

Frantic Sloth 12:50 PM  

@Anonymous 1137am Hear! Hear! πŸ‘πŸ‘

@Sane Person 1140am And you know what her life has been like until exactly? To reduce any bigotry to a simple matter of "what the law says you can do" is a cheap and entitled argument that ignores reality. But then "All Lives Matter", right?

@Anonymous 1233pm Although I appreciate that the points you make are valid - and agree with some of them - your comment aspires to objectivity in the same vein as Gov. Dukakis responding to the question about his probable reaction to his wife being raped. It's logical, but decidedly detached. Still better than a foaming-at-the-mouth knee-jerk reaction, though! Thank you.

@Everyone You'll be happy to know I'm taking my leave because I hate the way this commentary is making me feel and behave. Until tomorrow.

jb129 12:53 PM  

jb129 said...
I wish I hadn't read Rex's difficulty scale which was "EASY" (not even for a Saturday)

This was NOT easy but kept me going all the same & I enjoyed it.

Never read Rex's revues!

12:44 PM

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

Arguments should be dispassionate. My feelings, or yours, no matter how deeply felt or sincerely held are simply unimportant.

Anonymous 1:04 PM  

Getting JAZZ AMBASSADORS off the clue alone set me up for a successful and relatively fast solve. It took me a little more than a half an hour longer than Christopher, but it was close to my Saturday PR of 34 minutes, so I feel good about it. ORDINARILY Saturdays take me at least an hour. Enjoyed the clue at 1A and the Kafka reference at 2D.


Masked and Anonymous 1:12 PM  

Seemed slightly easy for a SatPuz, at our house. But that's ok, not to suffer overly much.

Luved the "Creature from the Black Lagoon" schlock flick reference in the JULIEADAMS clue. My bro-in-law and I just polished off a coupla schlockers last night. His choice was: "The Fungus Among Us". My choice was "Abominable". The entr'acte cliffhanger serial was chapters 5 and 6 of "Black Widow". It was a Friday Night well wasted. Only prob was his flick choice had DVD quality issues, and would halt-and-skip stuff, off and on. Made it extra schlocky. But, I digress…

staff weeject pick: MOD. Haven't thought about good ol' modulo from my college math days, in quite a while. Probably couldn't prove-number-theory-stuff my way out of a wet paper bag, anymore.

Great 5-step staircase of longballs in mid puzgrid: MENUPAGE thru CLARIONS. Amazin feat of constructioneerin.
Also admired GESUNDHEIT and its subtle clue.

Thanx for gangin up on us, BT & BH. Very enjoyable. Nice weeject stacks in the NE & SW, btw.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

harder than snot:

or less harder than snot:

TTrimble 1:15 PM  

Hey @jb129,
Today someone, not Rex did the review. As will be the case for a while: Rex is taking a break for two weeks.

@Frantic Sloth
A man sees a woman, doubled over and vomiting, and says to her, "I know just what you mean."

We all need a break now and then. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

(BTW: second time I'm seeing "lighten up, Francis" and not remembering why that sounded familiar. Stripes, of course! I'll have to remember this all-purpose rejoinder.)

emily 1:21 PM  

Couldn’t agree more.

John 1:30 PM  

As a person named John I take great offense to the use of John as a synonym for lavatory. I also don't like John used as a noun for a customer of prostitutes, or as the name of some random dude (John Doe). WTF?? Just kidding, but In any case, a pleasant medium difficulty solve, worthy of 20 minutes of my life. Except for the Rapinoe reference. Who likes being reminded of petulant, malcontented, arrogant and divisive people?

Unknown 1:31 PM  

Ah . . . . two weeks sans rex? A vacation for all of us! I hope he enjoys his, seriously.

Calling this puzzle "easy" is sort of rubbing our faces in it.

And can we agree to drop the Megan Rapinoe/homosexuality thread . . . .

As far as the puz, I love a good Saturday with crunch & spice, and this had it in spades. For some reason I felt that there were a lot of proper names, and so if it wasn't in your wheelhouse, it was a struggle. I know Z has his 33% rule (although what that's empirically based on remains a mystery) - all I know is that between the actress, the Boston Museum, the name of the drinking game, yeah, it was a (fun) slog for me. I had TOPTHIS for the longest time, so the NE corner got hard.

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Yup - and who says "what a trip..." anyway.

Toot my own Clarion 1:53 PM  

Wow. I either ate my Wheaties this morning OR I was just really on the constructors’ wave length…21 minutes and no cheating! This provided the perfect solving experience for me as I had the combination of crunch with aha moments and learned about a BADART museum!
Without Googling, I believe there were three Earps at the OK Corral, Wyatt, Morgan and ? .

Gio 2:04 PM  

I need to add STOMA and LOESS to my crosswordese list. I did not know those. I knew RAPINOE and YAWED from previous puzzles.
It took me 1 hour 13 minutes, which is around my Saturday average. Usually I'm between 45 minutes and 2 hours. I'm only 16 months into this though and I never google or give up.
This one looked impossible for awhile I was stumped by all the PPP in some places.
Another one in the books!
I don't know if you people realize you are the cream of the crossword solving crop. The average person can't do what I did, that is, solve this puzzle. Yet I come here and look like a turtle in mud!
What percentage of the American people could even solve this puzzle? 2%? Then you guys are in the top 1% of that! An elite group you are! KUDOS!!

Suzy 2:31 PM  

Is a menu page even a thing? After filling in the few obvious answers, and there weren’t that many, it took me forever!
Thanks anway!

chance2travel 2:41 PM  

Wow I can barely get a Monday done in 3:30, much less a Saturday! Welcome to the party, Christopher!!

This one took me to 19:38. I'm gonna call that Medium to Medium-Hard. Yeah,I had to stop and stare a few times, at least I never descended into despair. :)

Had no idea about 10A or 19A. But was encouraged by getting RAPINOE, PRELIMS and even STAYSAT off of BADART and PEA.

Haven't thought about MODulo in *ages* As a math person, I'm actually a bit embarrassed, but I blame the fact that my job is all arithmetic these days.

Struggled with ENTRE because I though the Devil was "At the" tailors maybe.

Happy Saturday!!

JC66 3:01 PM  

@Toot my own...

Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil.

What? 3:04 PM  

Whew. I thought I was alone. Worse ever.

pabloinnh 3:17 PM  

I took this one to the flea market with us this morning, as we continue our downsizing adventures and thought I could kill a considerable amount of time with a Saturday. Well, not really. Looking for a toehold and I started in the bottom and soon enough had the ending ____ASSADORS, which had to be AMBASSADORS, and JAZZ showed up and help was there right down the middle. I don't time myself but it was over too soon as I was having a fine time with some fun clues and answers.

Two things: 1) My wife's mother was named EFFIE. I have not seen this name elsewhere. 2) I continue to read a lower case r and n as an m, and "comets" made no sense in the clue. I do this on a regular basis and should double check every time a meaningless clue like this shows up, but I clearly am incapable of that and deserve to be baffled. It's my own fault,
darn it.

Real nice intermediate run with some moguls and tough patches to make the finish worthwhile. Lot of fun BT and BH. Big Thanks and a Big Hand for this one.

PS-I took the Saturday Stumper with me too, and it was easier than this one.

Anonymous 3:25 PM  

Hated this. Chock full of obscure factoids and even more obscure names. Not enough fun in it to counter-balance the many irritants.

Toot my own Clarion 3:48 PM  

Thanks JC66! Yes, I think Sam Eliot played Virgil in Tombstone with Val Kilmer as “Ah’ll be yer huckleberry” Val Kilmer.

Anonymous 3:52 PM  

@11:37 -
interracial marriage was still illegal in 16 states

you needn't be all that old.

"In 2016, Mississippi passed a law to protect "sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions".[40] In September 2019, an owner of a wedding venue in Mississippi refused to allow a mixed race wedding to take place in the venue, claiming the refusal was based on her Christian beliefs. After an outcry on social media and after consulting with her pastor, the owner apologised to the couple."
the wiki:

while the laws were, kind of, struck down by SCOTUS in 1967, ya think all was hunky-dory thereafter? not so much -
"Following a Nov. 7 [2000] ballot referendum, Alabama becomes the last state to officially legalize interracial marriage. "
and, not surprising
"When voters finally had the opportunity to remove the language, the outcome was surprisingly close: although 59% of voters supported removing the language, 41% favored keeping it."

these are the same knuckleheads who've spread Covid far and wide. stupid is as stupid does. kind of like a box of chocolates.

chefwen 4:53 PM  

Certainly not “easy” here, it two of us and a couple of visits to Uncle Goog to wrastle one this down. Started off poorly as I read 12D as salon stAck and plopped down TOWELS. Finally took it out for PRU, which also took a while, finally had to go back and read the dang clue again.

@Roo 2:41 - “Ship of fools afloat”. Cracked me up. You keep doing that to me.

jae 5:14 PM  

@pabloinnh - The Saturday Stumper is no more. It is now called the Saturday Themeless and is quite a bit easier than its predecessor. If you want a real challenge on the weekend try one of Tim Croce’s themeless puzzles. They’re almost always harder than the Saturday NYT and usually a tad tough than the bygone Stumper. I did Croce’s Freestyle #632 last weekend and it was a bear.

Carola 5:15 PM  

@pabloinnh - The spelling is a little different, but your comment reminded me of the 19th c. German novel Effi Briest. I know you're busy with your move, but when you have time, I recommend it.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

My Ivy and baseball touchstone. Check out The Maltese Falcon. Pay particular attention to Sam Spade’s secretary’s name.
Could be your MIL is a tribute.

Tim Carey 6:24 PM  

Virgil Earp. Wyatt Earp. Morgan Earp.

bocamp 7:49 PM  

@jae (5:14 PM)

Seconding your rec of Tim Croce's Freestyle xwords.

pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

pabloinnh 8:05 PM  

@jae-I knew they weren't calling it the Saturday Stumper anymore, and have found it lots easier. The Monday New Yorker is a good tough one. Where can I find Mr. Croce (not Jim)?

@Carola-Thanks for the recommendation. If I ever catch up with 18th c. German novels, I'll be sure to track it down.

@Anon, 5:19--Well, was a tribute, sadly. My MIL's premature death precipitated our move to NH, where we took over the family business. and have been here ever since. Anybody connected to Sam Spade is sure to be a person of interest. Thanks for the tip. Now to see if we can remember how to play baseball long enough to give the Rays a decent game.

pabloinnh 8:29 PM  


PS-Forgot to say, re names, that our neighbor up the hill for years is a Carola. And she and you are the only Carolas I have ever been acquainted with.

jae 8:43 PM  

@pabloinnh - tap the blue Tim Croce’s link in my post or the link in @bocamp’s post. Good luck, they do require time.

Nancy 9:27 PM  

@Gio -- You successfully solved it. You didn't look anything up. That's an "A" performance, however long it took you. All the rest is window dressing and couldn't matter less. You should be very proud.

CuppaJoe 11:26 PM  

Rex, when you come back: tell us what you really think of this one. Miss ya, sub is okay, but I want your take.

Harry 3:54 AM  

Preface: Time to see the eye doc ... "RELATIVES OF COmETS" drove a spike into my brain.

Distraught that yet a 4th Saturday in a row has caused my week to come crashing down with a DNF. This should have been far easier than it proved for me. Just got off on the wrong foot with a couple of near-misses (INReach v INRANGE, inANYcase v ATANYRATE, ZEal v ZEST) and some poor fill (cAllouS vs HARDASS, cALl v HALO, levy v ONUS).

That pretty much brought me to a cold stop early on. (Hanging my head in shame that the grid didn't suggest GESUNDHEIT from just a couple of letters.)

Loved the cluing for POPUPAD.

kitshef 9:39 PM  

Hated it. Hard, but not in the fun way. In the "who is this AVIS person and why are you using an obscure PPP clue when you don't have to" way. Stick this one in the MOBA.

spacecraft 10:47 AM  

For some reason my paper did not include a byline for this one; they needn't have worried. I'd be proud to claim authorship of this gem.

The Saturday difficulty resulted from both clues and, in places, content. I was a full-bore hour at it. Broke in with CEL/CHAOS, but went astray quickly with inANYcAsE for 31 down, which had me in an ABSOLUTE funk for a while. But then the ol' Crafty one WISES up and gets it right. another, but far less debilitating, error occurred at 5 across, where I put in DJgiG; sounded natural to me. But it was even more natural than that: just DJING. Felt kinda dumb.

The soccer mini-theme was mentioned but not the Boston one. Gee: two MINIS! We have to reach wa-a-y back for DOD JULIEADAMS. (Shout-out to our guest blogger; and thanks for duly advancing the syndication link, big guy!) This would've been an eagle but for a couple of unfortunate APs (Awkward Partials): LAPAT and STAYSAT. Birdie.

thefogman 12:21 PM  

Easy? Maybe for Rex. Not so for mere mortals such as I. A bit heavy on the PPP and that made it tricky in some spots like the O in STOMA - RAPINOE. AVIS didn’t have to be clued so obscurely but I did like to learn about the mother-daughter duo, so that sort of made up for it. The big gum-up in the NW was GESUNDHEIT which took forever to decipher. The MOBA is not in Boston proper. It’s in South Weymouth which is a 35 minute drive from Boston. And I’m not a big fan of archaic words like modiste or cutesy clues like the one for EARPS. (OK fighters) *groan*. You can add RANON to Spacey’s list of awkward and undesireable partials. Can’t say ILOVEDIT even though it had some rather good moments. Lately, the NYTXW is a perfect example of the Coriolis effect. It keeps on going down the DRAIN…

PS - What did the Beatles say when they found out about John’s new girlfriend? OHNO!

Diana, LIW 1:14 PM  

Here is a puzzle I had to suss out letter by letter. But with the help of one or two PPP names (darn them) I got the rest all by myself. Gloryosky!!!

Somehow RAPINOE was still in my memory storage unit. And lots and lots of phrases. Lots.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Burma Shave 1:16 PM  


what INTERESTS me is her HARDASS.


Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Puzzle a nasty, pisser infested dump. OFL's temp right out of the lunatic fringe.

leftcoaster 3:58 PM  

The Boston Museum of BAD ART doesn’t sound good or especially entertaining.

Neither does OHNO, but ONO is O.K.

Main hang-up and mess-up was "in ANY case” instead of AT ANY RATE. (Impatience doesn’t pay.)

OH, and CLARIONS as “relatives of Cornets"? Didn’t know that one either.

Consolation prize, not bad.

Claire 1:26 PM  

Ulnar nerve was easy for me because I ride bikes. If you cock your wrists on the handlebars, you can get ulnar nerve syndrome, aka "cyclist palsy".

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