For those who think young sloganeer once / WED 7-28-21 / Signal that a reply is coming in a messaging app / Be motto for wikipedia contributors / Noted colonial pamphleteer / Diatribe trigger / Remove from danger informally

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Constructor: Alex Rosen and Brad Wilber

Relative difficulty: Medium (maybe a little tougher)

THEME: DRIBBLE-ing (39A: Make art like 53-/21-Across (as suggested by this puzzle's circled letters?)) with JACKSON / POLLOCK (53A: With 21-Across, artist known to 39-Across pigments back and forth onto canvases) — you can find the letters P, A, I, N, T (in circled squares) DRIBBLEd "back and forth" inside of four answers (well, "back" (reversed) inside one Across and one Down themer, and "forth" (in correct order) in their symmetrical counterparts):

The PAINT answers:
  • PETUNIA PIG (17A: Porky's significant other)
  • PADDINGTON (61A: ___ station, Central London railway terminal)
  • UP TO A POINT (11D: Somewhat)
  • TENNIS CAMP (29D: Where you might find love away from home?)
the back-and-forth "PAINT"

Word of the Day: RED BUD (50A: Oklahoma's state tree) —
Cercis canadensis
, the eastern redbud, is a large deciduous shrub or small treenative to eastern North America from southern Michigan south to central Mexico, east to New Jersey. Species thrive as far west as California and as far north as southern Ontario, roughly corresponding to USDA hardiness zone 6b. It is the state tree of Oklahoma. // The eastern redbud typically grows to 6–9 m (20–30 ft) tall with an 8–10 m (26–33 ft) spread. It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches. A 10-year-old tree will generally be around 5 m (16 ft) tall. The bark is dark in color, smooth, later scaly with ridges somewhat apparent, sometimes with maroon patches. The twigs are slender and zigzag, nearly black in color, spotted with lighter lenticels. The winter buds are tiny, rounded and dark red to chestnut in color. The leaves are alternate, simple, and heart shaped with an entire margin, 7–12 cm (3–4.5 in) long and wide, thin and papery, and may be slightly hairy below. // The flowers are showy, light to dark magenta pink in color, 1.5 cm (12 in) long, appearing in clusters from spring to early summer, on bare stems before the leaves, sometimes on the trunk itself. There are cultivars with white flowers. The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees such as blueberry bees and carpenter bees. Short-tongued bees cannot reach the nectaries. The fruit are flattened, dry, brown, pea-like pods, 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long that contain flat, elliptical, brown seeds 6 mm (14 in) long, maturing in August to October.
• • •

Like Sunday's constellation puzzle, this puzzle is trying to do a lot. You've got the artist's name, the alleged technique he uses (DRIBBLE) and then the "PAINT" gimmick, where the letters can be found in forward and reversed order inside the themers (a back-and-forth set of Acrosses, a back-and-forth set of Downs). It was the discovery of the "back-and-forth" thing, the precision of it, that warmed me to this puzzle a little bit at the end. Before that, I wasn't paying too much attention, and it felt like the letters in PAINT were just mixed up / scrambled, i.e. appearing in random order. This is probably because the first themer (PETUNIA PIG) has them backwards and so when I noticed PAINT was involved (inside PADDINGTON), I didn't see PAINT reversed, I just saw "the letter in PAINT out of order." But no, there is a definite "double DRIBBLE" (which ... thank you, puzzle, for laying off the basketball pun). PAINT goes forward, PAINT goes back, etc. Before noticing this little detail, I was put off by a couple of things. First, the very word DRIBBLE, which feels simplistic and reductive. DRIBBLE sounds unskilled or else accidental. You DRIBBLE your drink down the front of your shirt if you're clumsy or inebriated or whatever. A baby DRIBBLEs on its bib. I'm sure it's a word that's been used for his technique, but it looks like his technique is generally called the "drip technique," and splashing is another purposeful verb that's been used. I get that the letters in PAINT represent drops of paint, and that maybe DRIBBLE conveys the idea of droplets well, but the word felt almost condescending to me in its oversimplification. Also, JACKSON / POLLOCK never threw paint in such an orthogonal way. The crossword puzzle grid is maybe not the best medium for imitating POLLOCK—it's all right angles, all orderly and precise. If you look at a POLLOCK ... well, here, just look at a POLLOCK:

"Number 48"

But as I say, the back-and-forth element won me over somewhat by the end. Oh, I also did not at all like all the cross-references in the clues for the artist and DRIBBLE, or the fact that the last name comes first (i.e. POLLOCK is up top while JACKSON is below), so his name is out of order and so you have to go down to the bottom of the grid and hunt for the 53-Across clue if you want to begin to understand 21- or 39-Across (a thing I stubbornly refuse to do). This makes the solve feel a bit fussy, awkward, clumsy. Outside the theme, I had some trouble. Because DRIBBLE was unknown to me for a while, I had trouble with the whole middle, especially SWABBIE (!?), which is a word maybe I've heard, but it feels very slangy / informal (25D: Low-ranking sailor). In fact, it is slang. It should really be clued as slang (I had a similar feeling that BFFS should be clued as an abbr., but BFFS is what people actually say, so maybe it can stand on its own with just a slang word in the clue ("buds") tipping us off to its slanginess) (1A: Buds that are very close). In that same DRIBBLE / SWABBIE area, I also had trouble with BOAR (44A: Male hedgehog) and BOLD too (not a fan of the fill-in-the-blank clues for either BOLD or ONLY, neither of which meant anything to me). 

Had RED ___ and no idea what the rest of the tree was (50A). I know only RED OAK (New Jersey!) and maybe RED FIR (or am I thinking "red fern"?), but BUD, no, that was not on my list of possibilities. See also TENNIS ___, where I was out of ideas after TENNIS COURT (for most of us, the TENNIS COURT is, in fact, "away from home"). Never heard of ROCK COD (just "cod," maybe "Atlantic cod"), but strangely I never even saw the clue for that one, so I can't say it bothered me or held me back. For as dense as the theme was, the fill was alright. I watched EPEE last night (Olympics!) so the "touch" reference in the clue was instantly clear to me (16A: Sports event in which athletes try to avoid being touched). Weird that OIL didn't get folded into the theme somehow (would've preferred that to this punny "strikes?" business) (47A: Industry that encourages strikes?). Overall, an interesting, ambitious, mostly successful endeavor.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


JOHN X 6:05 AM  

I thought this puzzle was terrific. I had to fight it and figure it out and the pay off was great.

And it was hard to do because I'm in the tank again, this time CHP in Malibu. Ponch and Johnny got me but I can assure all of you that I am mostly innocent.

Many of you have helped me with bail money in the past, and I could use that help again. Plus a pistol. But please folks when you bring a pistol please make sure it has bullets in it. I can't use it as a hammer. This isn't an episode of Mannix.

At least I had the puzzle to do as a diversion so that kept me going, but I have to warn you: smuggling an iPad in your anus is not nearly as easy as you think.

God bless you all.

puzzlehoarder 6:24 AM  

Using a crossword puzzle as a tribute to JACKSON POLLOCK is at best clumsy and simply exhibits poor taste. This is supposed to be like his paintings because you've got the word PAINT going in four different directions? The theme word shouldn't be DRIBBLE it should be DRIVEL. I abhor themed puzzles in general but this one really got under my skin. Why not just make toilet paper with JACKSON POLLOCK printed on it. You use it and it looks just like abstract impressionism. That mental image is exactly what I think of this puzzle.

Lewis 6:34 AM  

I saw the 2000 movie “Pollock” with Ed Harris as the artist, so as soon as the theme became clear, I flashed back on it, on scenes of him painting, and my brain filled with splashes of colors – quite a terrific show to accompany my solve.

The theme helped with filling in the circles, which helped with the solve, as high-quality themes do.

Many things that I liked. That clever clue for OIL. ORION crossing ONION and PIG crossing PIP. PETUNIA PIG herself! The backward PuzzPair© of DEN and CAVE. That mini-tale with LEAP, SOAR, PEAK, ATE IT, and CRY. A “kosher” clue for OREO, only the second time that has been done in 440 NYT Oreo clues. And that mini-theme of the briny, with POLLOCK, ROCK COD, BAIT, SEAL PUP, and SWABBIE.

Alex and Brad, your puzzle filled my head, making for a trippy solve, a highlight of my day. Thank you, sirs!

Frantic Sloth 6:55 AM  

Do I even have to say it? The monkey on my back that is the lookie-loo clue has stolen my banana and discarded the peel right where I'm walkin'.

Luckily, I knew the answers without crosses (big whoop, I know) and so was able to side-step the monkeyshines.

Good, solid theme and fill. No real nits. I liked TENNISCAMP (and clue) and who doesn't love SEALPUPs? I understand they start early with training for a life of service in the Morale-boosting biz. They'll be ready for the EVAC and beyond.

@TESS, @OWLET, @ABBA - missed you today, but that good ol' stalwart OREO's got your back.


Conrad 7:00 AM  

I started in the NW, as usual. As I filled in SOUSES at 4D and NOV at 18D and PETU______ began to take shape, I thought, "I hope it's PETUNIA PIG." That alone was worth the price of admission. I was only a little disappointed that it wasn't a Looney Tunes theme.

When I think of Jackson Pollock I think of "spatter" more than "DRIBBLE," but what do I know about art?

@JOHN X: Have you considered an iPad Mini?

amyyanni 7:13 AM  

Redbud trees are glorious, a beautiful sign of spring in many places. Finally back to the puzzle, and glad of it. Moving house is a bit daunting. Really makes minimalism most attractive!

Joaquin 7:17 AM  

As is often the case with successful artists, JACKSON POLLOCK was a failure as a human being. His art is among the world’s most valuable today, yet finding him in a crossword that also includes the word SOUSES is all too appropriate, as his drinking killed his relationships and eventually himself (and a friend) in a one-car accident caused by his driving while drunk.

The art itself is worthy of praise; the artist, not so much.

kitshef 7:22 AM  

One nit; I’ve never heard POLLOCK’s technique called DRIBBLE. What you hear is drip/dripping. It’s not that it’s inaccurate, and just because I've never heard it doesn't mean no one ever uses that word when referring to the artist. But it made the puzzle less authentic for me.

The REDBUD is on of my favorite trees. Spring bloomers, and to my tastes much prettier than the Japanese cherries so popular around here. And the blossoms are quite tasty. The trees are cauliflorous – meaning the flowers can sprout directly from the trunk and large branches. You can see a bit of that if you blow up Rex's picture.

Trinch 7:32 AM  

I always get a chuckle at the word 'Terrific' (21a)
In the early 80's, as a fresh immigrant from Italy and starting up my grade school career, I came home with an assignment with a 'Terrific' sticker on it. I proudly showed it to my mother, who's knowledge of the English language was based on minimal formal training, supplemented by a heavy reliance of Italian/Latin roots. I expected her to be proud, yet was surprised by a blend of confusion and concern on her face. In Italian, 'terrifico' translates to 'terrifying'. Far from the SUPER intent of the sticker's message.
To this day, we still use 'Terrific' in an sarcastic tone when the situation presents himself. "Oh. That's", raise eyebrows, 'terrific!!!'.

(Side Note: The 2nd definition of terrific, marked as 'Archaic', is true to it's roots, "causing terror".)

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

JELL? As in 'jello' or 'jelly'? I thought it was GEL, but my handy google dictionary tells me that is 'British.' I'll stick with the Brits.

Richard Stanford 7:37 AM  

As soon as I got to the clue for JACKSON I saw DRIBBLE even though I only had a couple of letters. My mind immediately went to JP but I tried to put POLOCK (sic) into 53A, then it didn’t fit, then it took me forever to get them in the correct order. By the time I did I had enough of POLLOCK to spell it correctly and I just assumed that they were different lengths and my only problem had been not swapping them.

The paint in TENNIS CAMP helped me get CAMP. I was clueless for a while there. Didn’t care for ARIOSO and was never confident in it despite fairly simple crosses.

My last was ATRA/MERC - I had ATLA and it took me a while to figure out that it was referring to the Mercantile exchange despite having recently been there.

Lots of fun. Average time for me, maybe a little over.

Ξ© 7:43 AM  

We are going to the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibition today, so I did this last night. Took me as long as last Saturday’s did, so definitely challenging here, but not because of the theme. I had enough of POLLOCK from the crosses to recognize the name, making JACKSON easy to fill. What slowed me down was the cluing on many answers didn’t help much without some crosses. ARIOSO might as well be “musical term you only know because it has useful letters” because that is how I think of it. EVER SO much works for the clue, I am still wrapping my head around how just EVER SO works. Nothing else really stumped me, I just needed more crosses than usual for a Wednesday in some sections.

I went over to xwordinfo to find out the justification for DRIBBLE. “It fit.” I’m not a huge POLLOCK fan but would still never call what he did “DRIBBLing.” I’m sitting here with aching eyebrows from how much they arched at that answer. Rosen also didn’t make a friend here by describing POLLOCK as “rule-breaking.” No. Just no. That’s just a reductionist (to use the word of the day) misunderstanding of what artists were/are doing. The rules are different, but there are still rules and those rules grew out of earlier rules. What POLLOCK did was intentional. Maybe you don’t like the results. Maybe you love the results and have JACKSON POLLOCK wallpaper in your living room. Either way, he didn’t DRIBBLE.

Anywho. A fine effort that, in the end, has too much of the aroma of a tribute puzzle for my taste.

Son Volt 7:44 AM  

Cool puzzle - played tough for a mid week. DRIBBLE was a little awkward - but it got the point across. Overall fill was solid - ARIOSO, PADDINGTON and CONROY top notch - BOPS x BFFS and PIP not so much.

Growing up we had REDBUDs that were the life center of a family of bobwhites. Beautiful trees.

Enjoyable Wednesday solve.

GILL I. 8:07 AM  

DRIBBLE? friends, he splats. Why do I want to sing liar, liar, pants on fire?
No matter...
PETUNIA PIG comes to my rescue (bless her little piggy heart) with the PAINT dealie. Like everyone else on this earth I figured we were dealing with paint. And because all good enchiladas need cheese, I get to 21A and without blinking my blessed heart I put in PICASSO. I skip to the areas where I'm supposed to find his first name and guess what? It didn't fit.
Move along.
Just so you know and don't care, I had DRIBBLE in its middle of the puzzle place and I knew we were dealing with an artist because the clues let you know we are dealing with an artist. So I went down to visit 53A and managed to EKE out JACKSON. Oh....were talking about that abstract artist JACKSON POLLOCK. enough beans. I don't like his work but I did like the puzzle. Why, you ask? If has some nice stuff here and it was different. I like words like SUMP (beats simp). and remembering wonderful times in AVILA. And look.....Just the other day I was talking about Betelgeuse and ORION. So that made me happy. I wish PADDINGTON had been clued with his bear.
SOAR, BOAR, ATRIA and AVIA walk into a bar.......

Ξ© 8:14 AM  

@Anon9:58 last night - It is well established that Apple pay’s Shortz a hefty fee for all the A.P.P.*

@Joaquin - Driving drunk and killing yourself and another is bad. But I have come to take the “great artist terrible human” thing with increasing doubt whenever I run across it. It makes a great story and plays well to our egos, but it seems more trope than truth. At least two very smart women found him interesting enough to fall in love with him. One of them also seems to have spent a great deal of her energy preserving his legacy. He seems to have lived a successful life with many friends and admirers. We have the moralistic tendency to define people by their flaws rather than their successes, especially people who are outlandishly successful. The whole trope just screams “jealousy wrapped in a cloak of morality” to me. I have to wonder if the “terrible person who struggled with alcoholism” thing would be a part of his legacy if anyone had taken his keys from him that night. Of course, that wasn’t the social norm in the ‘50s the way it is now.

*A.P.P. = Apple Product Placement
Also, you read this on a blog on the internet so you know it has to be true.

pabloinnh 8:15 AM  

Well, some NBA guys would say that DRIBBLE-ing is not random, but an art form.

I thought this was an ingenious and challenging construction and I was glad I looked over most of the clues as I was solving. Very helpful in the gestalt of the whole thing.

Can't see EVERSO without thinking of the exchange I overheard on a British beach between a mum and her bratty son:

Mum: Don't you want to help me build a sand castle? It's EVERSO much fun!

Son, with ultimate sarcasm" Oh goody goody. Cheers.

And there was the fascinating city of AVILA. Looks like you could still drive around on top of the walls.

In short, I found this very entertaining. Thanks for the fun, AR and BW. A Rea; challenge that made me think I scored a Big Win.

TheMadDruid 8:24 AM  


Alexander 8:35 AM  

That really caught me up as well, especially when ‘join’ seemed to work so well.

Nancy 9:04 AM  

I like what @GILL says: POLLOCK doesn't DRIBBLE, he splats. But, if you're into design-y art rather than representational art, he splats quite well.

As I sailed through the NW with no thinking at all required, I thought the puzzle would be much too easy for a Wednesday. (OREO, Kosher? That's a new one! And we always need new ones on the OREO front, right?) But there were actually places where I was happy to have the outsize help provided by the circled PAINT letters. And it hindered me with TENNIS CAMP as I much-too-carelessly and much too quickly wrote in the PAINT letters right side-up. And then wondered what the ?OpS "reply signal" on the app was (27A)? OOPS, maybe?

No marquee answers today. No clever cluing. Nothing to write home about. But if yesterday's puzzle got Jeff Chen's POW, we may all be in trouble for the rest of the week.

puzzlehoarder 9:24 AM  

I just woke up.

RooMonster 9:29 AM  

Hey All !
POLLOCK "art". How one becomes famous for "DRIBBLE" PAINT is amazing and amusing to me. Call me a simpleton if you'd like, but art like that is not art to me. If anyone can do it, how is it so valued/vaunted?

Anyway, ducking people throwing PAINT at me, found puz on the tough side. But maybe couldn't concentrate well as got news that my dad (who is in the hospital after our recent trip to PA, caught what the docs think was pneumonia and covid) is not doing well. He's 77, and was healthy before the trip, on no medication of any kind. Send up a prayer.

I know this isn't the proper place for that stuff, sorry. Had to vent.

After 17A themer, saw TNIAP in the squares, said "Huh?", and kept going. Once I got POLLOCK, saw it was PAINT backward, and said, "OK, are the rest going to be backward?" Figured out the ruse quickly after.

How many NAANs before ROTIs? *Raises hand*
RED oak? RED elm? Hmm, RED BUD. Ah. New tree to me. I DIG IT. πŸ˜‹

BFFS is my puz BFF, only F's to sneak in.

Is a ROCK COD the ADONIS of the fish world? Asking for a Guppy.

Two F's

BILL W 9:30 AM  

I go drinking with JOHN X all the time and I can tell you that much of he says is not true.

bocamp 9:37 AM  

Thx, Alex & Brad; nice, crunchy Wednes. puz! :)

Med solve.

Good start in the NW, moved east, then got the central 1/3, before running into some difficulties down south, esp. in the SE corner.

Knew JACKSON POLLOCK, so that was some help, but the SE moved the puz from easy to medium.

Didn't know REDBUD, and BAITS was not cooperating. Knew DEA, but for some reason fingers wanted NEA, so PADDINGTON was hard to come by.

Bottom line: a nice challenge, and a most enjoyable and satisfying solve.

yd 0

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

Keith D 9:38 AM  

The fact that John X thought that smuggling that iPad in would be relatively easy I guess lends credence to his claims of prison life. Can’t believe I ever doubted him.

Great puzzle. Jackson’s art is another “emperor has no clothes” phenomenon to me, but I’m not going to win that argument with this crowd…

JD 9:57 AM  

@Frantic, You beat me to it! It's uncanny. I can only add, "Look @Bra, now promoted to Brassier, Oreo is back. You still have a chance."

Re___d, Act_, and all of Bold held me up for a long time. They messed with Swabbie.

Fun puzzle. I liked Dot as a little nod to the Pointillists. They're all dead though, so, ya know.

For new readers. JohnX is a known big liar. Submarine story was a blatant prevarication. Don't send money.

TTrimble 9:58 AM  

Not being knowledgeable in an area can be an advantage, perhaps, when doing crosswords: I never once let DRIBBLE bother me, whereas I can see it making others who are more knowledgeable second-guess themselves. Seeing the reactions of others and comments on the drip technique, I did a little google search, and it seems that artists refer to dripping, dribbling, and splattering all as components of his technique. In accordance with Joaquin's Dictum*, I'm happy to give it a pass. He DRIBBLEd, okay?

I wonder how hard it is to find order-preserving and order-reversing injections of the letters P A I N T into larger phrases, but I think this constructor found some good ones. PETUNIA PIG and PADDINGTON Bear are adorable. TENNIS CAMP is pretty inspired, if not computer-assisted. UP TO A POINT inspires me less. I guess it's good UP TO A POINT.

Overall the puzzle seems intelligent. The solve time for me was a bit on the high end (i.e., only a little better than the running average that I've set since doing them online -- I'm up to 579 now), but it's quite all right. There's good stuff in there, like the clue for DISCO, and don't you love the old-fashioned "Dreamboat"? ACTA, ARIOSO: a bit out of the ordinary fill which makes it nice. REDBUD, wow, what a pretty tree. Huh, "Be BOLD", that's a new one for me. I think of "Be neutral" and "no original research" as the main precepts; what does it mean to "be BOLD" as a WP editor? Go where no man has gone before?

yd -1, grr. Missed a perfectly ordinary 6-letter; I think I'm sleep-deprived. Today's I'm finding difficult for some reason; that H is playing ball only UP TO A POINT.

*It's a clue, not a definition.

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

I swear, when I first (and ever since) heard of POLLOCK, he was described as a 'drip' painter. Let's go see, shall we...
"He was widely noticed for his technique of pouring or splashing liquid household paint onto a horizontal surface ("drip technique")"
the wiki.

Janie 10:02 AM  

Well, I am finally forced to join the commenting crowd. I liked this puzzle, found it somewhat but not overly challenging. But what I really wanted to contribute was that some years ago I did a Jackson Pollock jigsaw puzzle! And, besides the fact that I finished it, I became aware that there was some actual structure in his work. It isn’t just dribbles.

JOHN X 10:06 AM  

@ JD 9:57 AM

Submarines stories are true

Anonymous 10:13 AM  

"Jackson Pollock was an American painter and abstract expressionist who had a net worth equal to $5 million at the time of his death."

according to one calculator, that pile would be $48,595,895.52 today. not bad for someone who either couldn't or wouldn't draw.

viz: "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." -- Picasso

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

DRIBBLE isn't "wrong" but it feels like a backup choice for the theme answer at the center of the puzzle. If the constructors are using DRIBBLE because they can't make the best choices work, Will Shortz should have made them keep trying to make the best choices work rather than allow them to fall back onto the backup. Or at least that's the kind of quality that I would want from the NY Times, which should be the best-of-the-best IMO.

Shortz has mentioned that the pandemic has led to an explosion of submissions. There have been more debut constructors, which is great, but are they just getting MORE submissions, or are they also getting BETTER submissions? I don't think the quality has improved.

TTrimble 10:17 AM  

I wish comments could be edited after the fact -- such primitive software. At 9:58 AM I had "splattering" instead of "spattering". Honestly, I'm not sure how established these names for painting techniques are in the first place.

jberg 10:24 AM  

The first time I saw REDBUDs was in the early 1970s, on a backpacking trip with my (now ex-) wife in Shenandoah National Park. It was early May, and the redbuds (pink) and dogwoods (white) were in bloom everywhere. I don't think I'd ever seen either tree before, although now they are common here in Boston. Rex, you should get out more -- I'm sure you'll find some in Binghamton.

Aside from that, the theme was OK, but OLA! circles -- they made it a little too easy, since once I got the first two I could just fill in the other ones.

Plus some far-out entries, like ROCK COD (I had ROCK and was expecting eel, of course) and ACTA, and others mis-clued (ARIOSO can be an adverb or an adjective, but it's clued as a noun; and if you get a map of central London, PADDINGTON will probably be off the left edge. Fortunately I had enough crosses to rule out King's Cross.) Also, 'daddy-o' was something you called an older person sarcastically; so "That's cool, daddy-o!" would be the equivalent of "Okay, boomer."

So a nice construction, but it needed a little more work.

2Gill, me too for Picasso at first; I actually spent a nano-second thinking maybe some of those wives called him "Pablito."

Whatsername 10:25 AM  

@JOHN X: May I suggest next time try an iPhone. The letters are smaller and harder to see but you know, so is the device. And I don’t care what @Bill W says, I believe every word.

Shawn 10:26 AM  

Agreed, the central verb of the puzzle struck me so wrong that I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the fill. My least favorite in months, but I guess that’s how taste goes.

I’m curious how the immersive Van Gogh exhibit is! Something about its existence rubs me the wrong way, much like DRIBBLE/drip, but I’m also perversely interested in the experience. I have friends headed there next week

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

I agree with the others who have pointed out that Pollock's technique is predominantly known as "drip." The period during which he created his most famous works is known as his "drip period." I suppose dribble is an accurate way to describe Pollock's technique, but it seems a little odd given how established the term "drip" is in relation to Pollock and his works.

jazzmanchgo 10:32 AM  

RE: The debate over the relative "artistic" merit of Pollock's paintings . . . I'm waiting for someone to take on William Burroughs' "shotgun art" . . .

Nancy 10:34 AM  

So that's a RED BUD tree!! Thanks to Rex for posting the pic since I see one early every spring in Central Park, but never could identify it.

It's at the top of the hill leading down to the tennis courts from the East Side -- around 97th Street. The green trees aren't really fully green yet, or maybe not even there; the cherries and apple blossoms may be just starting or not really there, either. But this tree stands there -- big as life and quite magnificent -- very welcome after a cold, drab winter. I have always called it "that gorgeous purple bush, you know, the one at the top of the hill" to the tennis players I urge to go look at it. (Most of the players live on the West Side and don't enter the park by this route.) What do I know? But it does look purple to me -- doesn't it to you? And it is sort of bush-like, don't you think?

mathgent 10:42 AM  

@TTrimble (9:58). Thanks for reminding us all of Joaquin's Dictum. It's been ignored a lot lately.

Nancy (9:04). That's how I feel.

I think that a lot of people feel that if they could reproduce an art work then it isn't very good. Like geometric shapes of different colors. I don't like art like that either but for a different reason. It doesn't do anything for me. I've stared at some of these pieces for minutes trying to discover what I'm missing. The best I can come up with is "Kinda pretty."

A fresh clue for our old friend, OREO.

Carola 10:43 AM  

I thought the puzzle was wonderful. The impressive constructing feat aside, anyone who finds a way to pair JACKSON POLLOCK with PETUNIA PIG has won me over entirely. I caught on to the PAINT-DRIBBLE theme early, but still had to fight for traction in a few areas and enjoyed the challenges there. I loved the cross of DRIBBLE and SWABBIE, being reminded of photos showing POLLOCK pouring PAINT from buckets onto his canvas, much like (I imagine) a SWABBIE might do with water when rinsing the deck.

For the past year, my 3rd-grade granddaughter and I have been doing Zoom "art chats" every couple of weeks: I choose an artist, mail her images of 4 or 5 paintings, and then we talk about them. I can't say that POLLOCK was one of her favorites, but I took a screen shot of the completed puzzle and used "mark-up" to color in all of the PAINT dots, and look forward to showing her the result....never too early to engage interest in the crossword art form.

JD 10:46 AM  

@JohnX, You mean to tell me everything else has been a lie! I'm shocked, shocked to find that lying is going on in here!

jae 10:48 AM  

Medium. My only iffy spot was the BOLD/ REDBUD cross as both were WOEs. Reasonably smooth and reasonably clever. Liked it.

Whatsername 10:49 AM  

A perfectly nice Wednesday crossword which I enjoyed solving. Liked that the theme aided the solve but could’ve done without the cross-reference cluing. Look here, now look there, okay now look someplace else. Triggers my IRE EVER SO much but I’ll let that be the extent of my diatribe.

REDBUD trees are breathtakingly beautiful in the spring, especially in areas where they are intermingled with dogwoods blooming at the same time. It’s a spectacular choice for a state tree as is Oklahoma’s state bird, the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, a most graceful creature whose tail is twice as long as its body and which I am lucky enough to occasionally see from my own back yard during the summer.

Joseph Michael 11:06 AM  

This puzzle brings us yet one step closer to the last and final OREO clue of all time. What will it be!

I thought Daffy Duck was notably a Warner Brothers toon or perhaps a Bugs Bunny foil. I didn’t realize that his claim to fame was his speech impediment.

Not a huge fan of POLLOCK JACKSON but the puzzle was pretty good. Would have been nice to have a diagonal DRIBBLE but maybe that’s asking too much from an already theme-dense puzzle.

Don’t listen to @Bill W’s dispersions of @John X. Bill’s just mad because it was his iPad.

albatross shell 11:19 AM  

EVERSO is EVERSO accurate.
And, my dear sir, your suit is EVERSO last year. You are EVERSO welcome.

Mikey from El Prado 11:21 AM  

Medium time, but it seemed longer as my solving matched Pollock’s style a bit. I didn’t fill in one section and move to the next, but rather a word here, and word there, starting with sussing the P-A-I-N-T circles right away and filling them in first, then the bouncing around for the rest.

Boy, a lot of Pollock-bashing going on in the comments. I think there are quite a few artists that could be criticized for their personal faults, big and small. In fact EVERYONE can be criticized for something. Are the commenters here perfect? I certainly am not.

Paramount Television Legal Department 11:45 AM  

@ JOHN X 6:05 AM

May I remind you that Mannix is a wholly owned and copyrighted property of Paramount Television and its subsidiaries, and use of that name in your so-called “humorous” posts will not be tolerated until you come down to the lot with a bunch of cocaine.

jb129 12:01 PM  

Unlike Sundays puzzle which I never went back to, I really thought this one was great! (

Thanks guys!

Frantic Sloth 12:13 PM  

Always fun to start the comments out with a guffaw - thank you, @JOHN X!

I DRIBBLEd in DRIzzLE right off the batπŸ¦‡ (and he was not pleased), so I'm not a fan of DRIZZLE for that reason alone. But agree with others' criticisms as well. Way well. @TTrimble 958am Thanks for the clarification from the horse's mouth, but he's just wrong. πŸ˜‰

@Z 743am Mrs. Sloth is EVER SO JELLy about your day.

@GILL 897am 🀣 Yes! Splats! First he splats and then he plotzes.

@JD 957am Sorry (not sorry) about that! Just proves "great minds" (plus ours) and all that. Besides, you never answered my SEAL question from yesterday, so consider it sloppy payback.

@Roo Sorry to hear about your dad. I'll keep him in my most positive thoughts. ❤️
LOL at "asking for a guppy".

A 12:24 PM  

Once again I had mostly the same experience as OFL, especially with TENNIS ???? and SWABBIE. Got a chuckle out of his “for most of us, the TENNIS COURT is, in fact, "away from home.” I did catch on a bit sooner to the PAINT letters configuration, and it did help me get to CAMP. Also, REDBUDs are ubiquitous in my neighborhood - they spring up like weeds. Good thing they’re so pretty - not just the buds but the heart-shaped leaves and graceful branches.

Not sure I’d call moccasins SLIP ONs - I sure couldn’t slip into mine.

What is this new word, JELL? Are we just supposed to let that by without IRE?

The LAPD has been active in the grids lately, haven’t they? They have a long way to go to catch ABBA, though.

Hadn’t thought of PETUNIA PIG in decades. It’d be fun if she started making recurring appearances.

@Joe Dipinto, I finally listened to your Grupo Fantasma link - loved it! Great energy, awesome horn section. Was that a synthesizer solo in the middle or steel drums? That was very cool. Thanks!

I’m attending a conference and the subject of anxiety dreams came up. @Nancy, orchestra musicians talk about work-related dreams such as not being able to find the concert hall, the stage, your clothes, your instrument, your music. I think its because the profession is rife with uncertainty, much like the uncertainty a lot of students have in school.

Coincidental to my brass instrument lecture yesterday, Maurice Johnstone, born July 28, 1900, was an English composer and arranger who wrote works like Concert March: Beaufighters in the British brass band tradition. He also composed a pastoral orchestra work, Tarn Hows, A Cumbrian Rhapsody for orchestra.

TTrimble 12:35 PM  

Would love to hear from @Barbara S. what she might have to say about POLLOCK's art. Hello, are you there, Barbara?

There's this commercial for an eczema drug treatment called Dupixent, where they show "real patients" doing their thing while having eczema. One is this kid named Jason who stands before a canvas and heaves the entire contents of an entire can of Sherwin-Williams blue paint at it. Uh, kid, I don't think you have quite the right idea here. Some good hate-watching comments here.

JC66 12:41 PM  


If you go blue, you can delete, edit and repost your comments.

Masked and Anonymous 1:06 PM  

Mighty cool theme mcguffin idea … Different. M&A luvs different.

Can't help wonderin if there is some one snazzy long phrase that has P-A-I-N-T scattered through it, in *both* directions. Then U *could* have an epic DOUBLEDRIBBLE themer [yo, @RP]. Crossword hall-of-famer feat, constructioneer dudes!
[Somethin like: PUTINSAGIANTDIP … or PUTSINAGIANTCUP … only maybe better.]

staff weeject pick: ITE. Nice Ow de Speration suffixese meat. Better clue: {Kite tail??}.

fave fillins: PAINE (ohso close to bein a themer). IDIGIT. SEALPUP. And sorta SWABBIE & ROCKCOD [debut words, no surprise].

Thanx for gangin up on us, AR & BW dudes. This puz had lotsa PAIN, btw. [har. Now PAINE gets to participate. He would be so proud.]

Masked & Anonymo4Us

M&A kinda actually likes the Pollock artwork style. But I know it's a spatter of opinion.


Masked and Anonymous 1:09 PM  


@Roo: Prayer sent.


Joe Dipinto 1:10 PM  

The "painting" as presented looks like Pollock barely started working on it. They should have circled the letters P, A, I, N and T everywhere that they appear in the grid. It would make for a fuller, denser composition, and you'd still have the long theme answers with p-a-i-n-t splattered through them. Who cares if the letters aren't in order or repeat.

You like PIPs? This movie's got PIPs.

JC66 1:23 PM  

Hey @Roo

This morning I read that Las Vegas was a Covid-19 Hot Spot and immediately thought off you. Then I read your post about your dad and said f*ck, that really sucks.

Wishing you the best.

Teedmn 1:24 PM  

Since I understood today's theme without outside help, unlike yesterday, I liked it a tad better. Having filled in PETUNIA PIG, I looked at the circles, failed to see the backwards paint (piano-something, I thought) and shrugged, figuring it would become clear down the grid, which it did.

My hold-ups were nothing like Rex's. I had Join at 53D before I figured out how to park my LIMO and I was wondering what 5-letter word at 51D could take the place of "pushes buttons"; ah, BAITS.

Thanks, Alex and Brad, this was EVER SO pleasant to solve.

Teedmn 1:33 PM  

@Roo, I'm so sorry to hear the news about your Dad. Best wishes for a safe recovery.

kitshef 1:43 PM  

@RooMonster - sorry to hear about your father. Wishing you both strength and good fortune.

Sure, a lot of people can paint like Pollock. A lot of people can paint like Rembrandt, or like Vermeer. Technical skills can only take you so far. Ideas make you great.

Anonymous 1:52 PM  

Said a prayer for your dad. More to come for both him and you.

Amelia 2:00 PM  

So here's a fact for you non-Jews. Because Oreos weren't kosher, Hydrox was the cookie of choice in kosher homes. I still think the old Hydrox was a better cookie. I think it now tastes just like Oreos. Which is to say, chemically.

Oreos are vegan, which is hilarious, when you think about it.

Now I'm thinking who names a cookie Hydrox? What's that about?

I do an impression from the film Pollock. "I thought I knew every abstract expressionist in New Yawk."

Alas, you'll never hear it. It's good!


Unknown 2:12 PM  

I find "Paramount TV Legal" to be way funnier than JOHN X.
But I rarely find JOHN X to be as funny as he thinks he is.
He must be an acquired taste.

I disagree with Z; artists can certainly "break the rules." It doesn't mean they aren't operating in a new structure, but they are breaking free of the conventions of the past.

But to the puzzle: a sizzler, and much harder than the typical Wed. I had PBA (Professional Bowlers Assoc) for a while as an industry that promoted strikes. Then thought it might be MLB. So that got me hung up for a while.
And ACTA was problematic for me. Only got it because of the cross, and even then needed to hear the music to know it ws a real word.

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

As mentioned , there is a white-flowering form of the redbud genus . A real beauty!

Frantic Sloth 2:28 PM  

@Paramount... 1145am Hilarious! But, beware - @JOHN X just might come toting that pistol (with bullets)...or at least an iPad. Neither would be pleasant.

@TTrimble 1235pm Ditto on @Barbara S's take. I hope they're not having more issues at home (was it the plumbing? My memory stinks)πŸ˜•

burtonkd 2:34 PM  

So MOMA describes his process as pouring, dribbling and flicking enamel paint. (So the OIL clue as a tie-in wouldn't work). So even if "drip" is more prevalent, this is absolutely solid. (cue @Joaquin)

Hands up for having a hard time parsing SWABBIE.

REDBUDS are my favorite spring blossoms! The intense (reddish?) lilac purple color, on such delicate branches. All over NYC, they are toward the end of the spring blooming tree season. Like dogwoods and cherries, you hardly notice these trees any other time of year.

I thought this was tough for a Wednesday, and lots of clues needed a few crosses and left me with a "well, okay perhaps" taste.

I didn't see it right away but a male pig or hog is a BOAR and it is right in the name hedgehog. No SEGA tie-in today, thankfully.

Like Lewis, I appreciated getting the PAINT gimmick about halfway through and used the letters to seed the bottom half of the puzzle once I found an anchor letter.

Joe Dipinto 2:53 PM  

@A 12:24 – I don't know what that instrument is, it's nondescript and kind of feeble-sounding. The band's website lists players on drums, congas, timbales and hand percussion, but no steel drum or keyboard player. It could be a guest musician. I think a real steel drum would cut through the sound more, so I'd say it's a synth patch.

@Roo – sending good vibrations...

Anonymous 3:25 PM  

Hydrox was the cookie of choice in kosher homes.

And my Episcopalian one, too. Hydrox was first.

Checking the wiki...
"a name that would convey "purity and goodness" and derived their choice from the component elements that constitute the molecule of water (hydrogen and oxygen)"

albatross shell 3:27 PM  

It is a REDBUD tree actually. and may not be an Eastern REDBUD but an Oklahoma REDBUD as in the clue. The Okie has darker flowers and leaves that are glossy and darker than the Eastern variety. The Eastern leaves are not glossy. In any case the Redbud flowers maybe more violet than red with the western ones even darker. Shiny leaves are the key element.

Thanks for your Christie perspective. Poirot did get better plots maybe because she was usually in a small village. I did possibly enjoy Marple more at times because she could easily be underestimated. Poirot was of course ever so idiosyncratic but was a Holmesian genius detective at heart. Marple was a surprise to people who did not know her. Hercule wanted to be known for what he was. Jane couldn't care less as long as it didn't prevent her from finding a murderer or saving a life. I think the marriage couples in Christie's books was a reaction to her first marriage if that is not too simplistic. She desired an unbreakable bond. And a plot device of convenience. Good point, and I am exceedingly thankful for your response.

GILL I. 3:29 PM  

@Roo. Good thoughts and lots of prayers being shipped to you.
@Frantic...I think @Barbara S had her roofed caved in or some such. I'm pretty sure she's dealing with leakage all over the place.

An now our fire's are raging. Gaaaaaah.

Anonymous 3:30 PM  

@Paramount Television Legal Department
come down to the lot with a bunch of cocaine

is this a new measure of cocaine? I've heard gram and kilo, but not bunch. I mean, a Ralph Bunch of cocaine would take out the whole Russian army. by the way, do you hold the copyright to his name?

A 4:02 PM  

@Roo, flu AND covid? That's awful. Best wishes for a swift return to health.

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

Ugh. Back to Christie again? And with wrong answers, again. especially the bizarre analysis of married couples. That can be dismissed by remembering that
Christie's best detectives were Tommy and Tuppence. And a happier couple there isn't on the isle.

The best part of Jackson Pollock is his hometown. That nonsense that hangs in the museums of the gulled and the gilded homes of the gullible? Well, that's not worth the ink needed to dismiss it.

pabloinnh 4:54 PM  

@Roo-Adding my good vibes to those of your many friends around here. Hoping for the best.

Joaquin 5:01 PM  

@Roo - You said, regarding your dad's health, "I know this isn't the proper place for that stuff, sorry." Sure it is; you have lots of friends here (virtual friends, but friends nonetheless) who are interested and caring. We all send our best to you and your father.

Whatsername 5:34 PM  

@Roo: Prayers and good wishes for your dad. And please keep us posted.

@Amelia: I can remember loving the original Hydrox cookies when I was a kid but to this day I hate Oreos.

Carola 5:49 PM  

@Roo Monster, I'm so sorry to hear about your father. Sending all good thoughts to you and your family.

chefwen 6:02 PM  

@Roo, positive thoughts are flying your way.

As for the puzzle, a little on the challenging side and I loved it.

Lewis 6:10 PM  

@roo -- prayers for healing a peace delivered, and more to come. You're both in my thoughts.

Ξ© 6:18 PM  

@Roo - I hope your dad gets better soon.

@Shawn & @Mrs.Sloth - I don’t think it quite lived up to the hype, but only because we live in America and we overhype everything. In Charlotte it is set up in an old factory space. The space was pretty much perfect. They did a great job with timed tickets and spacing so everyone could really enjoy the exhibit. A couple of the music choices were questionable, well, really only one that was overly triumphal. I do suggest sitting through the presentation twice as there is so much happening that it is easy to miss things. Maybe even a third time just to see everything they do with the floor. Somehow Van Gogh projected on an old wood block factory floor really works. Several people brought kids of various ages. Hearing a ~10 year old exclaim “ooh Starry Night” was only surpassed by the pre-schoolers touching the walls as if they could actually touch the sunflowers. There were also a couple of teens clearly believing anywhere else in the universe would be better. It was a worthwhile experience. However, if the notion of oil paintings being digitized and animated bothers you it may not be the most enjoyable hour or two of your life. But then, I also really enjoyed Loving Vincent. I do have one question, what was with the cornfield? Everything else flowed, and transitions seemed pretty natural, until one point where we are going through a cornfield. It’s the only point in the 45 minute presentation where what is projected isn’t from Van Gogh’s work. I’m trying to remember if Van Gogh ever did a cornfield, but even if he did this wasn’t that.

@Unknown2:12 - I think lots of artists like to think they are rule-breakers and independent thinkers. And then art historians and critics come along and show how they really fit into the rule set of their particular milieu and how that rule set evolved from earlier rule sets. It was serendipity that had me buy my Van Gogh tickets for today, but nothing like having some flowers blown up to fill a factory wall to expose just how much POLLOCK and, say, de Kooning owe to people like Van Gogh and Monet.

Anonymous 6:31 PM  

Z said: "It is well established that Apple pay’s Shortz a hefty fee for all the A.P.P.*"

I hope you meant that as a joke. (Humor doesn't always transmit well over the internet.) Otherwise it would be a very serious accusation, or else a serious libel.


Peter P 7:35 PM  

I wish I could paint as well as Pollock. His paintings look nothing like random splashes anyone can do (and there have been analyses showing a deep underlying fractal structure to his work, and that's also used to help detect genuine Pollocks from fake ones.) I am a professional photographer by trade, so representational art is in my wheelhouse, but what I love to look at on my own for inspiration, emotion, spirituality is non-representational work like Pollock, Rothko, Kandinsky, DeKooning, etc. Pollock is among the best of the best. The first time I saw his work in person while visiting New York and MOMA, not really knowing him being his reputation as a splash painter, I was literally stopped dead in my tracks. The damned painting just vibrated with energy. I know, it sounds odd and mystical and bullshitty, but, I swear, it just fired the right synapses in my brain. I had to stand there for five, ten minutes, transfixed by the patterns, the rhythms of the wavy lines, the perfect balance and placement of dark and white. His work excites me like few others.

Anyhow, "dribbling" is not the word I would use to describe his technique. Splash painting, action painting, dripping are the word that come to mind.

This puzzle slew me and I gave up on it. I got Pollock quickly and all the theme clues, but I just could not get any traction in more than half the puzzle. After looking up a few, I threw in the towel. JELL? Really? That's how it's spelled? I guess it is, but it's always been "gel" to me. It was the SE and the NW that refused to fall. Oh well.

Lindsay 7:52 PM  

@Joseph Michael got me thinking about Oreo clues. I would love to know how many different ones have been used. How about 'cookie whose name contains three times the number of vowels as it does consonants'?

Anonymous 7:52 PM  

I have a strong feeling that John X, Bill W, and Paramount Legal are all the same person.

bocamp 8:30 PM  

@TTrimble (9:58 AM)

Almost missed a 6er yd. Fairly common word, but tough to pick out of the crowd. Added it to the list. πŸ€”

npg -1

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

JC66 8:32 PM  


Per @Lewis' 6:34 AM post, there have been 440 different OREO clues.

kitshef 9:03 PM  

@Lindsay 7:52, @JC66 8:32. Lewis said that OREO had appeared 440 times, but many of those appearances had identical clues. Also, five of those appearances were not in the main crossword, but in Variety puzzles. In the main crossword, there have been 226 unique clues, although many are similar. E.g. "Snack since 1912" and "Cookie introduced in 1912".

JC66 9:27 PM  


Oops. πŸ˜‚

american glasser 9:41 PM  

Alcohoism is a disease, maybe we shouldn't judge him *too* harshly.

american glasser 9:42 PM  


RooMonster 10:12 PM  

What a bunch of awesome people on here! ❤️
@Frantic Sloth
@Anon 1:52
@Joe Dipinto
@Gill I

Let's hope we bent God's ear. πŸ‘Ό

RooMonster Appreciative Guy

albatross shell 10:57 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
albatross shell 11:01 PM  

Best wishes for you and your dad. As a Pennsylvanian I feel I should apologize. Sorry and take care.

Anonymous 11:10 PM  

Worked it. Theme was irrelevant. Because the theme was invisible to me it worked above average. Meh.(popular clue that was NOT in this puzzle.

Ξ© 11:11 PM  

@Anon/Villager 6:31 - As I said earlier, you are reading it on a blog on the internet so you know it has to be true. As sole proprietor of Z’s Placebo and Tentacle on the Marina in Rye, NY I’ve been angling for Apple to sponsor our back room ping pong gambling ring but they somewhere got the notion that we serve bunches of cocaine in our 226 unique varieties of Oreos and are balking at finalizing the deal. BTW, you may notice a plethora of OREO varieties on your grocer shelf. That is also the result of product placement deal because Will needs more OREO clues. Triple Double Neapolitan ______?

note the boxed comment at the top

elaine2 11:51 PM  

For future reference for all you East Coast dwellers, Rock Cod is a Pacific Ocean fish. Very available as a food fish out here, very common. "True" Cod not as available on this coast.

I agree that "dribble" is a weird word for Pollock's style, but I liked the puzzle anyway. (I always think of "spatter."

Bruce Fieggen 12:53 AM  

I always thought his apt nickname was Jack the Dripper

Bruce Fieggen 12:56 AM  

I always thought his apt nickname was Jack the Dripper

albatross shell 1:11 AM  

Eastcoaster thanks you.

Charles Flaster 3:04 AM  

TENNIS CAMP was perfect!!

Charles Flaster 4:31 AM  


Unknown 6:01 PM  

I believe I’ve found an error in the puzzle. 67 Across- Org. For Lt. Columbo. He was a detective for the LAPD, not the NYPD.

thefogman 10:22 AM  

Good one. My one mistake was rOAR at 58D which I should have stopped for a second and fixed but ARIOrO sounded okay..

spacecraft 11:45 AM  

@unknown 6:01: You are correct, the disheveled detective does indeed work for the LAPD--but there's no mistake. 53 down is not Join (a trap I fell into myself but later corrected, precisely on account of the police dep't.) but JELL, which also means come together. Nasty trap, that one.

Absent for a couple days due to a bit of minor surgery, I return only to find that old Rip Van Winkle of a syndilinker to be snoozing AGAIN! Since Saturday! Must I wait twenty years?? I am really, REALLY getting tired of this.

I can't give DOD to PETUNIAPIG--sorry, Porky--so...ah, there she is: EVA!

A few unknowns in this one: ROCKCOD, REDBUD; but still overall fairly easy, once I got that J-word straightened out. IDIGIT, UPTOAPOINT. Birdie.

Burma Shave 12:08 PM  




thefogman 1:03 PM  

@Spacey - I had the same experience with LAPD-nyPD and JELL-Join. Tricky little misdirect that one…

Anonymous 2:07 PM  

Most can go in the garage and produce a dribbled and splatted canvas. Not art, but a gimmick.

thefogman 2:29 PM  

According to the New York Times, crosswords are gaining popularity among a younger audience:

Diana, LIW 3:02 PM  

@Spacey - as I've mentioned before, when Rex has a guest host in FutureLand (today's current NYT puzzle), the guest host doesn't know how to turn on the SyndieLink. Maybe they don't have access to it - I don't know. Anyway, I agree that it's a pain!

But this puzzle was not painful. A couple of fun misdirects (see JOIN/JELL above) but all became clear once errors were corrected. Unlike the reason why Pollock's paintings are so well known. I. Don't. Get. It.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, Hoping for the return of SyndieLinds

spacecraft 6:50 PM  

I don't get why Jimmy Choo or the guy who simply writes his name on clothes--Tommy Hilfiger--get their big bucks either. If anybody knows...and don't just simply tell me, oh so condescendingly, that I'm too dumb to understand.

Diana, LIW 6:58 PM  

SyndieLinks, not SyndieLinds. sheesh

Diana, LIW

leftcoaster 7:21 PM  

I like this puzzle a lot -- UP TO A [fine] POINT: Too often, I TRY, the “Modest reply to a compliment", comes across more like a phony expression of modesty.

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