Moroccan resort city on the Atlantic / SAT 7-17-21 / Boxer whose full name is made up of only three different letters / Endangered wetlands reptile of the northeastern U.S. / Ones exploited in a capitalist system per Marx / High-flying picnic game

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Constructor: Ryan McCarty

Relative difficulty: Medium (Easy for me except the center (Medium) and the NE (yikes))

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: "CRAIG'S Wife" (20D: "___ Wife," Pulitzer Prize-winning George Kelly play) —
Craig's Wife
 is a 1925 play written by American playwright George Kelly, uncle of actress and later Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly. It won the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and has been adapted for three feature films. // There have been at least three movies based on the play. The 1928 silent version was directed by William C. deMille, Cecil's brother, and starred Irene Rich in the title role. In 1936, Columbia Pictures made a film adaptation [directed by Dorothy Arzner!!] with Rosalind Russell as Harriet Craig. The 1950 film Harriet Craig, featuring Joan Crawford, was also based on the play. (wikipedia) // George Edward Kelly (January 16, 1887 – June 18, 1974) was an American playwrightscreenwriterdirector, and actor. He began his career in vaudeville as an actor and sketch writer. He became best known for his satiric comedies, including The Torch-Bearers (1922) and The Show-Off (1924). [...] Throughout his career, Kelly remained a realistic playwright, unaffected by the experiments of theatrical modernism. Novelist Edward Maisel described him as "a simple moralist using the theatre for simple moral purposes." Kelly's plays are often dominated by characters of monstrous egotism, and he casts a harsh light on their shortcomings. Uncompromising in his vision, he scrupulously avoided sentimentality and depictions of romance. Arthur Willis noted "Kelly appears to be anti-love, anti-romantic love, certainly, and distrustful of the tender emotions." [...] George Kelly, a "life-long bachelor," maintained a 55-year relationship with his lover William Eldon Weagley (27 November 1896 - 16 October 1975), the son of John Adams Weagley and Ella Frances Weagley, up until his death. Weagley was often referred to as his valet. That Kelly was gay was a closely guarded secret and went unacknowledged by his family to the point of not inviting Weagley to his funeral; he instead slipped in and sat quietly on a back seat. (wikipedia) (my emphasis)
• • •

Started so fast it made me suspicious. What day is this? Saturday? This is too easy ... surely some fresh horrors await me around the corner (true, more on this in a bit). That NW corner was like dry brush and I was the match, whoosh, goodbye. TYLER URIS SIA, one two three, and every Across from there. The one oh-so-brief pause came when I looked at SPATU--, wrote in SPATULA without even looking at the clue ("what else could it be!?"), then got BOW (22A: Pull (out)), which gave me SPATUB-, and then I looked at the clue (1D: Whirlpools) and, sincerely, for several seconds, I thought maybe the answer was SPATUBI ("a Latin plural?"). I don't think SPA TUBS is a term I've ever heard. There are spas and there are tubs ... and there are tubs at spas ... are SPA TUBS what we call "jacuzzis"? Or "hot tubs"? I guess SPA TUBS is vaguely familiar, but clearly it rang no bells today. Anyway, no matter, still came shooting out of that NW corner and then ... pfft. None of the central Acrosses clicked. The EMOJI part was easy enough, but what came after, shrug, and I could sort of see SLICE, I guess, but that didn't help much.The WA- on the Marx answer meant zero to me, CRAIG'S was likewise unknown, and the Down crosses all got too big from there, so I was just stuck. This is not the first time "stuck" would happen:

[This, then COW + DÉJÀ + nothing]

The most ironically funny thing that happened to me today was blanking on DRAPER—I watched every episode of "Mad Men" and discussed each one fervently with friends online (the first and only time a TV show created that kind of online connection to friends, and one of the only good uses of Facebook I've ever been a part of). Plus I just saw a picture on Twitter of John Hamm (Don DRAPER) walking two cute dogs in (I think) the Boston area yesterday morning, so DRAPER should've been there; it just wasn't. Sterling Cooper is the name of the firm in my head (as it is when the show begins) and so my own devoted viewership was zero help. I got another toe hold in this thing by going all the way to the other side of the grid and putting in COOS (attacking the short stuff first, a strategy I've discussed before, really did pay off today—it's how I started the puzzle, and then how I restarted). SLICE AND DICE seemed to fit, so I tentatively wrote that in. I knew Christine TODD Whitman, guessed that 24D: Like corduroy had to end -ED, and then guessed STONES (38A: First international rock band to play in Cuba (2016), with "the"). Figured I had enough to start looking at the long Down clues, and bam, RAGGEDY ANDY (14D: Inductee into the National Toy Hall of Fame five years after his sister) was right there and I was back in business.

But the hardest part (by far) was yet to come. I polished off the center, all the long Downs, and figured, awesome, I've got the front ends of all the Acrosses in the NE, I should be set! Well, reader, I was not set. Was I set? GOSH, NO! (just a brutal answer, that one). And I got RAINIER from just the "R"—how did I not blow through that corner? Well, I'll tell you: the boxer. Had the "LA-" and could think only of Jake Lamotta. If someone had just said "psst, think woman" it would all have been over. LAILA ALI is the crosswordiest boxer there is. But with the clue referencing nothing but the letters in her name (16A: Boxer whose full name is made up of only three different letters), oof, stuck. But the worst, stickiest thing up there was the cluing of LET, a perfectly good regular word that gets clued as a pig suffix (25A: Pig tail?). With the "E" from NELLIE in place, I looked at -E-, looked at [Pig tail?] and calmly and professionally and reasonably wrote in GEE (because the letter "GEE" is the last letter in "pig," thus "GEE" is "pig"'s "tail" ... this is cryptic / "?" cluing 101). Worse, much worse—the "G" from GEE was at the end of 10D: Having a gap, and since the clue was an -ing word, I figured parts of speech would line up, so I wrote -ING at the end of that answer. So, to recap: -ING + GEE = me absolutely stuck in the NE. 

Probably should've mentioned by now that despite having BOG in place, I had no idea what could come after. If I'd just thought about it a bit, TURTLE would've been a reasonable guess, but to my brain, that word after BOG could've been infinite things, so I just tried to cut into it with crosses ... and you can see where that got me. And oh, the bagel! Wanted ONION, but that wasn't working. Had OIL UP so then P-NI- for the bagel ... PANIC bagel!? Is that the bagel you stress-eat when your unpleasant relatives are coming over. It was all such a mess. The bagel is what eventually saved me ("PLAIN!" I literally exclaimed) and I crawled to safety from there. Actually doubled over laughing when, after getting HIATAL (yeeow), I finished the corner off with "GOSH, NO!" and finally the stupid horse clue (GAIT! I had MANE and then I was out of ideas) (7D: Dressage criterion). I felt like I'd survived a potentially fatal ordeal. 

The rest of the puzzle was a cinch. REDDI-WIP brought down the SE, PAPER COPY brought down the SW (so fast that I never even saw the clue for AGADIR, which I've never heard of, until just now, reviewing the finished grid: 36D: Moroccan resort city on the Atlantic). So, as I say, Easy for the most part, this one. Also, really excellent for the most part. That's a very creamy and delicious middle with almost zero compromises in the fill (CRAIG'S is the only even semi-iffy thing). Weird note on "CRAIG'S Wife"—I saw the clue, and something about Kelly must've made me think of Grace Kelly because my brain went "Ooh, what's the movie that Grace Kelly won the Oscar for ... I'm pretty sure that was originally a play ... I know it's "The *something* Wife" ... Oh, damn it, it's "The Country Wife," doesn't fit, oh well" ... then come to find that playwright George Kelly is actually Grace Kelly's uncle!?!?!?! So my brain's wrong turn ended up connecting two things that truly were connected (unfortunately, those two things were not Clue & Answer). Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, and that maybe you died a little less in the NE. Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 6:29 AM  

This puzzle jogged my memory so I recall when Rick Blain uttered these famous words, “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine here in Agadir.”

OffTheGrid 6:42 AM  

PR for me today at 6:46. Sadly that was the Mini and it was a record slow. I just tripped all over myself. It WAS a 7x7, though. Ok, then I went to the main event and had a fast start as @Rex did. From there it was my typical Saturday experience of about 45 minutes. I love working my way through a Saturday, with the early frustrations ebbing while the fun increases. Big nit today on 38A clue for STONES. The name of the band is "The Rolling Stones" The clue should have had some indication that a degree of informality was present. And "the" should have been capitalized. Smaller nit, I know of no instance of a hat having a "tip". And if it did it wouldn't be the BRIM. (I'm probably missing something here and will feel stupid after I see it or someone points it out) Have a great weekend everybody!

Lewis 6:52 AM  

First thing that hit me was the swirly design that I felt like I could stare at whenever I needed to get calm, a design echoed by the clue [Whirlpools] and the answer LOOPDELOOPS. It has that peaceful flow like the yin-yang symbol.

Maybe that helped me, because I stayed calm despite this puzzle’s high difficulty. I don’t think the calmness helped me solve, because, man did I plod through this, but it helped me stay chill through the many inscrutable clues. I was going to say it helped me through the answers I never heard of, but no, as I look at the completed grid, the only ones I haven’t heard of are BLANKET TOSS, AGADIR, CRAIG’S and BOG TURTLE.

There were times that I looked at the puzzle and thought GO AWAY, but, mind you, I thought it calmly.

Would you look at that splash of white in the middle? All those intersecting words? And big words at that? This is the work of a master constructor, a thing of beauty, and if the price of participating in it is hellishly deep brain diving, then I’ll do that every time.

Thank you for a magnificent workout, Ryan!

Frantic Sloth 6:56 AM  

What a thing of beauty.

Knew everything in the grid except AGADIR (because I'm geographically-challenged. Aw, hell - I'm just challenged) and it still took me many minutes above my average to complete.

That is sparkly fill with stellar cluing and you can't beat it with a stick.

It wasn't over-trying to be difficult - it just was. Period.

I'm happy.


Ann Howell 7:06 AM  

Got stuck in the same mess as Rex with 25A - still don't understand "LET" as the answer for "Pig tail"...

The SE corner also killed me - have not lived in the US for so long that I had no memory of REDDIWIP, which ended up being big liability.

Not the hardest Saturday, but not the most satisfying either.

Nick D 7:21 AM  

Is it just me, or between the Moroccan resort city, the northeastern bog reptile, and the 1926 Pulitzer Prize winning play, was there not a Maleskan whiff to today’s puzzle?

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

I entered doffS confidently. Brims makes no sense.

Son Volt 7:37 AM  

Fantastic puzzle - played hard for me in the SW. Growing up in the Hudson Valley I knew BOG TURTLE so the NE was pretty smooth. Loved the wide open middle with BLANKET TOSS and SLICE AND DICE. DREAM ACT is nice to see.

The SW gave me trouble - the AGADIR x TIN GODS cross was news to me but PAPER COPY finally dropped in to clear up the whole mess.

Used to find the tiny BOG TURTLES everywhere when I was young but remember the talk of protecting them as far back as the late 70s. The poachers are real assholes which is why they remain endangered.

Highly enjoyable Saturday solve.

PuzFreak 7:50 AM  

This was a monumental achievement and a model Saturday puzzle!
Ann, the pig clue refers to a PIGLET (tail = word ending here).
I loved working this one out!

RJ 8:00 AM  

Very enjoyable even with lots of missteps on my part. Paperback before of papercopy, emogi instead of emoji, cowboy way before nellie.

My biggest problem was with blanket toss. I filled in frisbee golf early on because that's been a thing where I live for at least 15-20 years - the state park near my home has frisbee gold (disc golf) goals set up and people play year round - even in the snow. I eventually got blanket toss (paper back to paper copy) but I obviously don't go to enough picnics.

Friday was much easier for me this week.

@AnnHowell - let as in piglet

thfenn 8:01 AM  

Elegant, strong, worldly, and all knowing - this puzzle was all the things I'd like to be and better than I. Just couldn't quite get there on my own this AM. Couldn't wrap up the NE without coming here, and embarrassed that I had an L and an A and still couldn't get LAILAALI. or RAINIER. Or GOSHNO. Thought the answers and clues for the fill I could manage were great, and those that fell into place with a little cheating got smiles and ahas, not head scratches or annoyances. Someday Saturday's will fall into place, but this one gets a prize for just flat out being better than me. Loved it.

bocamp 8:02 AM  

Thx, Ryan for this super challenging Sat. puz!

Very tough 1/3 done solve.

Got the NW right off and was tempted to think this was going to be an easy puz. Quickly came down to earth when I saw that my entries into the remainder of the puz were two longs which were resulting in zero ideas.

Took a long time to finally piece together the SW, and have absolutely nothing firm for the remaining 2/3 of the puz.

Went to bed and had weird dreams. 😡‍πŸ’«

Early Sat. morn now; new eyes, so 🀞. Reminding me somewhat of a Croce Freestyle (hi @jae), so may be an on and off project for the day.

@Joe / @Pabloinnh / @TTrimble: fun acrostic; got it in only two sessions (gradually getting better). :)

@Barbara @. πŸ‘ / @TTrimble πŸ‘ for the QBs yd

yd 0

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

RJ 8:02 AM  

Loopdeloops!sliceanddice! Lailaali! such fun

r.alphbunker 8:05 AM  

{Lent feature} EAR as in when you lend somebody your ear, your ear is lent? I figured this out after I was done. Fortunately all the crosses were solid.

Details are here.

Whitey 8:07 AM  

The hardest puzzle in some time. I finally got it, but it wasn’t easy. Thank you, constructor. It was a tough solving experience.

Twangster 8:12 AM  

There's a documentary that covers the Stones performance in Cuba that's worth checking out. I think it's available on Netflix.!:_A_Trip_Across_Latin_America

JD 8:13 AM  

Not only DNF, barely even started. First pass was typical Saturday but then it never went much further. Failed on various levels.

Just didn't know, (e.g., Free Swim, Agadir, Bog Turtle, Emoji Keyboard, Craigs Wife, Morris).

Have happened upon at some point in my life but never gave thought to again, (e.g., Loop De Loop, Blanket Toss).

Could've sussed out but couldn't get enough of a toehold to get to (e.g., Laila Ali, Stones, SCOTUS, Capita, Dream Act ... DACA or Dreamers, but not Dream Act).

And, finally, stuff I'd quibble with but not passionately (e.g., Tin Gods, Spa Tub, G'day being a Victorian greeting). Plenty of spas and tubs, never heard anyone refer to the Hot Tub or Spa as a Spa Tub. Plenty of Victorian lit, don't recall G'day.

I miss the party favors.

kitshef 8:18 AM  

Great puzzle. One of those where it’s a fight every step of the way. Where you look at a clue and think you have no chance of getting it, but after a few crosses you realize you do.

Only unknowns were CRAIGS and BLANKET TOSS, and the latter I know of but never in a million years would think of it as “picnic game”. The hardest thing about this puzzle as having those two side-by-side, and crossing the unfair STONES clue, and devious use of “iconic” in this week’s Apple iPhone ad.

amyyanni 8:20 AM  

Wow, lesson in humility. Not on my wavelength, nor anywhere near my wheelhouse! Love the RAINIER clue. What is a BLANKET TOSS? Agree the NW was most gettable, thankfully! Happy Saturday. Mine is, even after the puzzle fail, as the Sox beat the Yankees 7th time in a row last night. So good!

Zygotic 8:24 AM  

NW - SE was easy, NE and SW were challenging, so a classic “Easy-Challenging Saturday. Hand up for gEe and onion bagels making the NE harder. And GOSH NO to HAITAL. The SW was a cluster of WOE (AGADIR) and opaque to me cluing (LEGGY). I feel like I was doing a challenging Wednesday for that large swath from the NW to SE, but then well over half my solve was spent in those smaller corners. A fine Saturday tussle.

@Nick D - “Corvine cry” crossing AGADIR gets my Maleska Award. I was thinking some variation of bAa or. mAa would be the cry, and my Moroccan geography stops after Casablanca, Rabat, and Tangiers. So, yes, I agree, the puzzle definitely is wearing Eau de Maleska.

@7:31 - That’s the trap they set for you. The tips of hats are BRIMS. A stretch on the meaning of “tips?” Why, yes, I do believe it is. But it is Saturday so one needs to be AGILE.

puzzlehoarder 8:43 AM  

Getting a clean grid on this puzzle took me a little over twice the time for yesterday's solve and I loved every minute of it. Having misidentified the constructor just based on the name I was taken aback by how good the puzzle was. After solving I went to xwordinfo and saw the photo of the constructor and it all made sense. This guy is the bomb when it comes to themeless puzzles. I don't specifically recall his last puzzle I just remember being this impressed by it.

The two northern corners were slow going. With both of them in place the center still froze me out. The SE corner was a little easier and only then was I able to tackle the center. The SE then fell quickly but being able to do any portion of this puzzle with speed just added to the rush.

Between that beautifully open center, the quality of the material and the high level of resistance this was a top notch solving experience.

Birchbark 8:49 AM  

GDAY. I like the gimmick-free, spelled-out EMOJI KEYBOARD in the center of the puzzle -- I half-wondered if at the end those squares would turn into animated dancing emojis or the like. They didn't. Just a couple of words made out of letters as God intended.

I also like cluing ARGYLE as "fashion." I own one pair of ARGYLE socks, which I wear on special occasions.

On reflection, a BOG TURTLE emoji at the end might have been a nice touch. But otherwise a fine Saturday.

pabloinnh 8:49 AM  

For those finding the NW too easy, I suggest misspelling CAMISOLE, even when you know better, and entering TOW for pull (out) and leaving it there for far too long.

More fun can be had be having CAT for COW, leading to EMAILKEYBOARD, which made a certain amount of sense, given that my iPhone knowledge extends to knowing it is some kind of wireless telephone.

The small h in heights should have alerted me to the fact that we were not discussing an area of NYC, and it did, but not until most of RAINIER had been filled in. Jeez.

The lifesaver in this was RAGGEDYANDY, which I was hoping had to be correct, as I don't
know another famous toy with a sister.

No quadrants of this one came easily, which is what I want in a Saturday, and this has enough great long answers to qualify for The Saturdazo! prize, which I gratefully award to RMC for his Roayally Masterful Challenge, along with my thanks for so much fun.

Teedmn 8:50 AM  

My solve barely resembled Rex's. NW? No way. I started with DEJA and RAGGEDY ANDY and branched out from there. The NW was last - CAMISOLE and AMELIA and URIS were my only entries there. I can't believe I stared at _SS_ and was clueless, clueless I tell you! I think my aha was PAPYRI and then it was over. Take that, USSR.

I did fall for Rex's gEe as the tail end of the pig but I was finally able to ORIENT myself and LET became PLAIN to see.

When I was trying Rex's strategy of looking at the small stuff, I read 29D's clue and could only come up with "ash" as a three-letter word associated with Lent. I got the "lend me your ears" when the E of DICE went in, but that was a great clue (hi @r.alph!).

Thank you, Ryan McCarty, for this great Saturday puzzle.

kitshef 8:55 AM  

@JD 8:13 - "Victorian" as in Victoria, Australia.

Anonymous 8:57 AM  

TIN GOD and SCOTUS in the same puzzle? OK, I can understand that.

Zygotic 8:57 AM  

@kitshef8:55 - Thank You!

Barbara S. 8:57 AM  

Hard, challenging, lots of fun. An excellent Saturday. I, too, aced the NW before I had a chance to go anywhere else and was filled with false confidence. I had more trouble in the center than Rex did, despite getting DEJA, DRAPER (hi, @JC66!), RAGGEDY ANDY and RIBBED right off. After doing what I could there, I slithered down to the SW and conquered it, thanks to a good start from PAPER COPY and ERROL. At this point the west was won, but the east was terra incognita. I had a bunch of trouble in the NE. Poor NELLIE was all alone for a long time. But after getting GAIT and OIL UP, things started to get helpfully lubricated. Finally moved to the SE where REDDIWIP was a huge assist. But, ye TINGODS! REDDIWIP next to GRAVY – I can hear my arteries hardening.

@JD (8:13). Thirty-seven people will already have said this, but I assume “Victorian greeting” refers to the state of Victoria in Australia, hence G’DAY.

I want my next pair of socks to be AGILE ARGYLES.

Barbara S. 9:03 AM  

Today’s passage is by ELIN HILDERBRAND, born July 17, 1969.

“After her mother died and Adrienne and her father took up with wanderlust, Adrienne became exposed to new foods. For two years they lived in Maine, where in the summertime they ate lobster and white corn and small wild blueberries. They moved to Iowa for Adrienne's senior year of high school and they ate pork tenderloin fixed seventeen different ways. Adrienne did her first two years of college at Indiana University in Bloomington, where she lived above a Mexican cantina, which inspired a love of tamales and anything doused with habanero sauce. Then she transferred to Vanderbilt in Nashville, where she ate the best fried chicken she'd ever had in her life. And so on, and so on. Pad thai in Bangkok, stone crabs in Palm Beach, buffalo meat in Aspen. As she sat listening to Thatcher, she realized that though she knew nothing about restaurants, at least she knew something about food.”
(From The Blue Bistro)

Carola 9:06 AM  

What a terrific Saturday! A brain-racker with evil-in-the-best-way clues and such great answers. For me, it was a tale of two puzzles: the NW was taken care of with a very quick SLICE AND DICE, the rest was done at the pace of a BOG TURTLE, doing repeated LOOP-DE-LOOPS around the grid, picking up a square or two each time. REDDI-WIP got an extra smile for my knowing how to misspell it correctly (there's always some in our fridge - along with a carton of real heavy cream and also 1/2&1/2, of course [Dairy State]). Last in HIATAL x RAINIER.

Help from previous puzzles: SIA, LAILA ALI. No idea: CRAIG'S. Do-over: Adept.

pabloinnh 9:21 AM  

@bocamp-Thanks for the heads up on the Acrostic, which I'll save for tomorrow, because tradition.

-1 yd on SB for the third time in the past few days. As my old friend Burns would say, it's enough to make a man rob his own trunk.

Jaheim 9:27 AM  

I believe Victoria, in this instance, refers to the Australian state.

Mary the Lawyer 9:48 AM  

Serendipity at 32 down. DACA ruled unlawful yesterday. No surprise there. President Obama pretty much said so himself.

Pete 9:56 AM  

I looked up George Kelley somewhere between starting the puzzle and going to sleep, I won't say exactly where, but damn, that guy sounds like a moralizing douche. He may have won a Pulitzer but damn, why would anyone want to see one of those plays?

I found most of the misdirects odd rather than amusing. The puzzle had all the difficulty without the payoff.

Tom R 10:03 AM  

Brutal for me. I don't time myself, but I really struggled with this. I managed to guess correctly a number of times (e.g., Craigs where I had aig and craig was the only name I could think of that fit; Draper)and Agadir defeated me (had to look at a map). Spatubs took me forever. But two answers seemed almost unfair. I know what an emoji is, but emojikeyboard??? Who the H knows the history of the iphone? The other is wage laborers. I had the W and confidently put in workingclass. But again, is this expression by Karl Marx really that common?

Joe Dipinto 10:07 AM  

@Rex – The Grace Kelly film was "The Country Girl". There's a bawdy restoration comedy called "The Country Wife".

bocamp 10:08 AM  

Well, managed to finish the puz with what I thot was a somewhat reasonable possibility. Fact is, it was a multiple dnf, having EMAIL KEYBOARD, TRUE LABORERS, HIATAS, SNARE and the resulting incorrect crosses.

Nevertheless, a terrific puz (as humbling as it was), and a doff (which I had for too long) of the hat to Ryan for an awesome creation. :)

@pabloinnh, I'll try to defer my gratification and hold off on the acrostic until Sun. the next time. Glad to hear you're getting -1s. That means 0s are close at hand; I'm rooting for you every day. 🀞

Here's hoping today's SB goes better for me than the xword. LOL

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

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

Got stuck and then angry right at 1A because SCOTUS is not a “high branch” it is the high *part* of a branch. There are 100 other federal courts in the Judicial Branch too.

GILL I. 10:35 AM  

Well yesterday I rudely stared at UMA for an eternity, today my only stare was URIS. He, too, was not amused. Where did you go wrong, you ask? I'll start with SCOTUS. I was pretty sure I had the right answer, but my mind kept thinking scrotum. Why does a high branch contain a bag of skin? No....move on.
I looked under SCOTUS and wanted to know who PAPY RI was. Was he related to RAGGEDY ANDY? Did he and AMELIA frolic in the SPA TUBS? Am I still on this planet? Go to bed. Wake up. Make my favorite latte.
OK, let me start over again.....
What a difference a day makes......
What Rex found easy, I found hard. I always do on a Saturday. I sincerely have to get into a different mind gel. I did and so...little by little.... a door creaked open. What I found inside delighted me. Like a child at Christmas opening that one present you find that contains the Roy Roger cap pistol set you always wanted. Yes...that was it.
I get to DRAPER and the squeal of delight escapes me. John Hamm is my father's doppelgΓ€nger. I loved Mad Men.
Little by little letter, I get a word here, I guess correctly at a word there; another squeal getting the long answers and my SLICE AND DICE runneth over.
There were things I never heard of. My mind wanders at BLANKET TOSS. Who tosses a blanket and why? Are you getting rid of the bread crumbs, potato salad, tortilla chips and salsa? Is the REDDIWIP flying off the face of the earth? Moving along.
Did anyone else think CAPONE at 35D? I did. Oh, wait...I know AGADIR. I almost forgot about that place. I went many moons ago after visiting Casablanca and Marrakesh. We decided we needed a little sun and water and by gum, we went for a visit. I bought a rug and got a burn.
But did you cheat, you ask? Hell yes. I didn't know names. I never know names. I wouldn't know a COW from a CAW. A SIA from a TODD, nor a HIATAL hernia from a lent EAR.
I didn't care about looking these things up because I truly enjoyed this puzzle.
SCOTUS? GOSH NO....I can play BOG TURTLE with the best of them.

Curmudgeon 10:46 AM  

I gave up and threw it away in frustration. This one was a complete mystery to me.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

Joe Dipinto,
Yep. If you’re ever in Philly head over to the neighborhood of East Falls. That’s where Grace Kelly grew up. Her house has been preserved by the Grimaldi family. Kind of a cool part of the world. Oh, and the road along the river nearby is named after her father John, the first triple Olympian in Us Rowing history.

JD 11:07 AM  

Thanks @kitshef and @Barbara, et al, Add another category of fail: Duh!

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Wasn't James K Polk president when Texas was officially admitted to the Union? While it is true that John Tyler started negotiations with the Republic of Texas in 1843, it was Polk that signed the resolution that admitted Texas as the 28th state in December of 1845.

Gio 11:13 AM  

Took me 2 hours 43 minutes so it was hard. I kept chipping away. Finally got all of it! I don't google I just play with letters combinations. I guess Tex found this easy! I give myself 3 hours before giving up. I just made it!

mathgent 11:14 AM  

I went to bed last night with the NE mostly white. I woke up at 2:30 to go to the bathroom and started thinking again about the fighter whose full name uses only three different letters. I knew that it started LA. It couldn't very well start LAA or LAL. I went through the alphabet and got to I. That's an anagram of ALI. Aha! I filled in LAILAALI and finished. I helped that I am old and remember "Whoa, NELLIE."

I didn't solve it clean, though. I needed Dr. G for CRAIG and for the meaning of "corvine."

Too hard to be really enjoyable even though it had all of my favorite things. Fifteen red plus signs in the margins, for example.

jae 11:18 AM  

Medium-tough. Solid Sat. with a crunchy center which was the tougher part for me. I didn’t have the NE problems that @Rex encountered. Nice challenge, liked it.

Mike Herlihy 11:20 AM  

@pabloinnh maybe it's a NH thing - I had tOW, Cat, and EMailKEYBOARD, as well. I also copied Rex with gEe instead of LET. A tough morning...

Zygotic 11:25 AM  

@Anon11:12 - Yep! And I don’t see a way to lawyer out of that one. Polk became president in March of 1845 and Congress admitted Texas in December of 1845. Wikipedia points out that Tyler signed the bill that offered Texas annexation terms three days before the end of his term, but the clue clearly says “admitted” and that’s Polk. Good catch.

egsforbreakfast 11:34 AM  

Some interesting cross currents in this puzzle. For instance, did you know that LEGGY AMELIA EARhart holds the world record for the BLANKET TOSS at 53.5 meters? She set it in AGADIR in 1935, despite competing under the strain of a HIATAL hernia.

Or that the number one cause (per CAPITA) of a CLOG in SPATUBS is the use of REDDIWIP during a DREAMACT after your partner SAYSYES?

This puzzle was tough as nails, but completely fair. Thanks for a great one Ryan McCarty.

mmorgan 11:42 AM  

I had exactly the same experience in the NE with GEE and the PANIC bagel and no idea why to put after BOG. After I reluctantly took out GEE (and corrected a typo in LAILA ALI), things finally came together. Whew!

Anonymous 11:46 AM  

Someone please explain the answer to "lent feature."

Mikey from El Prado 11:51 AM  

Somebody please straighten me out, but I believe James K Polk was president when Texas became a state.

Frantic Sloth 11:57 AM  

@GILL 1035am PAPY RI was a sailor man.

Joe Dipinto 11:57 AM  

@Anon 10:52 – As it happens, I may go down to Philly soon. I found out recently that a relative has some paintings exhibited at the Barnes Foundation, so I want to check it out. I'll make a note to visit Grace while I'm there. (Btw, it doesn't seem to have occurred to Rex that maybe RAINIER made him think of her too.)

@bocamp → I'll try to defer my gratification and hold off on the acrostic until Sun. the next time

I won't. :-)
–but I haven't looked at it yet today

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Might have given up too soon, but I felt like I couldn't get a foothold on this one, even after I decided to look up the straight factual answers that weren't obliquely clued (which did not, for me, cover RAGGEDYANDY). I don't feel too bad about it, since this is a Saturday, and I'm not extremely experienced.

Had OBELISK as the Washington clue, which fit in the available space and threw me completely off. Also had HOTTUBS for a time, but scrapped it because I couldn't make much with it. Turns out I was close but was gotten by some crosswordese.

My brain might just not have been functioning today, because I had PAPERCO?? (after starting with PAPERBACK) and couldn't think what it might be.

Only a few clues made me say "ew, no" instead of "I should have gotten that" when I saw the answers, though. Looking at you GOSHNO and BOW for "pull (out)". That parenthetical is absolutely essential for that meaning of the word.

Anyway, a DNF for me.

Nancy 12:12 PM  

Absolutely impossible for me. I seldom give up on a puzzle unless I really, really hate it, but I just can't sit here all day and suffer like this. I've already cheated twice on AGADIR and SIA, but an awful lot of this puzzle is cheat-proof.

It's the NE right into the BLANKET TOSS/SLICE AND DICE section that's done me in. I have nothing in the NE at all. Wrote in COPY not CLOG for "Back up" at 20A, giving me --PP-E LOOPS and -OA-KET TOSS. And I've never heard of a BLANKET TOSS. Blankets are "high-flying" objects? Not my blankets. Bet they wouldn't go two feet off the ground.

Not fun, this puzzle. Basically it made me feel dumb -- even in the places I finally finished, sort of.

johnk 12:14 PM  

The NE, SE and NW were easy for me, even though I'm too old to know SIA, who apparently co-opted my friend Janis Joplin's album title. But forget the center! Never heard of a BLANKET TOSS, and I've been to hundreds of picnics. Never seen Mad Men or CRAIGS Wife. Never seen anything by Morris or heard of AGADIR, but was able to cobble together the SW.

Whatsername 12:21 PM  

Busy morning and I didn’t have time to SLICE AND DICE any clues which is sometimes a good thing, especially on Saturday. Just throw down the first thing that comes to mind and there’s a fair chance it might be correct. Not the least bit easy, GOSH NO! Far from it and I needed help in a place or two like the NE with both the three-lettered boxer and the TURTLE I never heard of. Brilliant clues for SCOTUS, and NOVICE but offset by the very odd one for SPA TUBS, and I haven’t looked it up but questioned whether 4D wasn’t a little snafu.

In line with yesterday’s discussion of places to meet people, I wouldn’t mind standing on Madison Avenue and seeing Don DRAPER walk by. But that’s about as likely as my climbing Mount RAINIER so I might as well DREAM on.

PaulyD 12:23 PM  

Awful in every possible way. The worst puzzle in memory. Terrible cluing. Ludicrous answers. Worst of all - no sense of satisfaction at completion, just anger at having wasted some of my morning on this POS.

jb129 12:25 PM  

Aside from the fact that no one says "Gosh" anymore, this for me was truly worthy of a Saturday puzzle.

Nancy 12:29 PM  

Oh and I forgot to say that I also cheated on TYLER.

I just went back and read the comments so far. It was a truly humbling experience. If this were what I'd call "a wheelhouse" puzzle... But it really isn't. There's very little obscure trivia that others would have that I don't -- maybe EMOJI KEYBOARD, which finally filled in for me anyway. And, as I say, I cheated on AGADIR, SIA and TYLER. No this is a pitting-your-wits-against-exceptionally-difficult-clues kind of puzzle, and an awful lot of other people here did it a lot better than I did today. I'm blown away by the number of people who finished this bear, and no, I couldn't care less how long it took you. It makes me realize that, as a solver, I can't hold a candle to some of the best of you.

WelshMan 12:31 PM  

Big miss on 38A. The Manic Street Preachers (aka the MANICS) played Cuba 15 years before the STONES. Even had Fidel in the audience!

Mitch McConnell 12:35 PM  

I was not familiar with BOG TURTLES. I had ___TURTLES so I went with BOx TURTLES.

Barbara S. 12:42 PM  

Blanket Toss

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

Joe D,
I’ll be awaiting your impression of the Barnes. I’d love to talk about it, but it can keep.
That whole stretch of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is loaded
with Museums. The Phila. Art Museum is at the end of the Pkwy., just a few blocks from the Barnes.
The Rodin museum,also on the Parkway, is even closer. This is from memory so,I might be wrong, but I think it houses the largest collection of Rodin works outside Paris.
Finally, and this kind of inside baseball, if you have a car and you are indeed at the Kelly’s place, head a little over a mile down Henry Ave. to Henry and Wendover. There’s a place called Dalessandros. Some people think they make the best cheesesteak in the city. Once upon a time it was a little known neighborhood joint. Then some idiot wrote it up in the newspaper and it was”discovered” by foodies. But that’s getting to be a while ago.I think the poseurs have moved on. FYI, it’s really only a dinette.nothing fancy. I don’t think they do fries. But their steak is aces. And the joint across the street, Chubbys, is supposed to be good.
Anyway, hope Philly treats you well.

Frantic Sloth 12:59 PM  

@Mitch McConnell 1235pm I'm surprised your initial answer wasn't gOpTURTLES.

Mary McCarty 1:00 PM  

Way over my Saturday average, due to some truly unknown stuff: SIA, AGADIR, and typical rush answers to the misdirects (ash, cat, NFL, PrintCOPY), but what I really objected to were the unnecessarily obscure clues on CRAIGS (why not CRAIGS list?) and G’DAY (practically any other Australian locale would’ve been better, IMHO.) The additional difficulty there was unnecessary. As mentioned by others, a few clues were a “little” off the mark, as SCOTUS clued as a “branch” and BRIM ( I preferred—sadly—*doff, seeing the “tip”as a verb). Most proud of getting PAPYRI and ARGYLE right off the bat.

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

A "Hat tip" would be the CROWN. BRIMS makes no sense. I get why they ran this nonsensical version, though. Oh, Will... lol

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Don Draper is a cad!

Anonymous 1:07 PM  

@ Mikey from El Prado, think “Friends, Romans, countrymen, LEND me your ears.”


old timer 1:08 PM  

Most impossible puzzle I've tried in years, and I usually solve the Saturdays and find them easier than the Fridays. I did guess SCOTUS amd ots neighbors, but not SPA TUBS, and certainly not BOW -- how can that mean pull (out)? Got SLICE AND DICE, too. But totally spaced on LAILAALI. And BOG TURTLE, since we don't seem to have them in California. Got CAPITA right away, but not AGADIR. Blanked on DREAM ACT, though I wish it would pass, and expect it will. And for some reason, totally spaced on REDDIWIP, probably because I never use it, I buy local cream and whip it in a copper bowl, as God intended. And had to Google for ERROL and CRAIG, both of which strike me as too obscure, especially CRAIG.

But I DIGRESS to bring back the memory of famed lawyer TONY SERRA, still practicing after all these years. He is 86 years old, and only takes cases that interest him. For many years, he was the go-to drug lawyer in San Francisco, and the greatest privilege of my life was trying a drug case with him. My client was going to be acquitted in any case, I figured, but he and the other great lawyers in the case were so effective at exposing the crooked ways of the narcotics officers that everyone got off. One remarkable thing about Tony is, he used to fly his entire office staff to Morocco, for a two week vacation, perhaps in AGADIR. (Was there hashish involved there? Could be, but you can bet Customs was checking to make sure none came back on his flight -- he was very well-known to the DEA).

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

Oops, I meant @ anonymous 11:46; think “Friends, Romans, countrymen, LEND me your ears.”


Anonymoose 1:12 PM  

When I was a kid my family would visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins on their farm. We did all kinds of things. One of those things was playing BLANKET TOSS with a cat. I know, not our best moment. But we only did it once and stopped after a couple of tosses. The cat was unharmed.

Masked and Anonymous 1:16 PM  

G'NIGHT -- This here puz was harder than snot, at our house. Lotsa entries made up of known words, but producin full answers that were unknown to the likes of m&e:

* OILUP. [har]

Always admire a puz that puts up a fight, tho. Good for M&A to suffer. Did get LAILAALI off just one of her L's, tho.
And definitely glad that @RP had such a good time, today, puz-wise.

Thoroughly enjoyed seein the Jaws of Themeless once again in the SatPuz.
staff weeject pick: CAW. Impressed with its corvineness. Sorry for COW, that it didn't get the logical-by-extension "bovine" clue treatment.

Hey now! Did the NYT MinniePuz up and go to a 7x7 format while I was out of town?! It even sported asymmetry and a complimentary single Jaws of Themelessness today! All known runtpuz common traits. If this continues: Welcome to the Runt Family, Minnie! Have U considered double ?-marker clues and runt-rolls? Feel free to bask in yer runtiness, and partake fully. No hard feelins.

Thanx for the spa tubs of fun, Mr. McCarty dude. Tough but sorta fair. Turned numerous nanoseconds into no-mo'-seconds, in our solvequest.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


bocamp 1:19 PM  

@Joe Dipinto (11:57 AM)


pg -1 🀞

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

Nancy 1:24 PM  

Aha! So it's not the BLANKET that you're TOSSing. It's the person standing on top of the BLANKET that you're TOSSing. Sort of like a poor man's trampoline. Thanks for that, @Barbara S.

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

Anyone else think the clue for 21A "Bagel variety" was misleading? Maybe I'm nit picking, but in my mind, a bagel starts off as "plain" and then the "variety" of this would be onion, sesame, poppy seed etc.

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

"Tyler signed a bill to annex Texas three days before leaving office, and Polk completed the process. "
the wiki

so, one might argue that either is true.

joebloggs 2:02 PM  

Agreed. Horrible

nyc_lo 2:07 PM  

Found the inconsistent clueing on this one wildly annoying at times, along with a couple of unforced errors on my part. Had REDIWHIP in there for a long time, and was convinced that DACA was the same thing as the DREAMACT, so how could it be alongside?? My bad.

But just baffled as to how GDAY can be clued as it was, without a “for short” or ”in dialect” thrown in. Likewise, the STONES. And BRIMS are “edges” of hats, not “tips.” Throw a dang question mark in there, at least.

And PLAIN bagels just make me sad. With all the delicious options available to one, live a little, for Pete’s sake.

Unknown 2:23 PM  

Did anyone else put in cropdusters for 16D? It fit perfectly and made total sense to me.

Gio 2:25 PM  

I had a dog named Raggedy Andy. The shelter named him that because he was picked up stray and he was very matted and raggedy. The sister dog also at the shelter was named Raggedy Ann. Ann and Andy. I adopted Andy and he was the best dog I ever had. Eventually, he was no longer Raggedy. He looked like he'd been through the ringer.

Richard 2:32 PM  

First, the positive: Beautiful grid, love the open space and (mostly) very natural long answers. I grinned hard when I thought to myself: "Did they really slip 'proletariat' into this puzzle?!" (even though, no, they didn't). The difficulty felt right on for a Saturday as well.

I particularly enjoyed the cluing for 21a (PLAIN): I actually thought to myself, "well sure, that *is* a variety of bagel, isn't it?" Great and very fair misdirect. I felt similarly about 14a (RAINIER) for reasons already mentioned by others.

I was annoyed by the SW crossing of AGADIR and TINGODS though. I've never heard of a tin god, nor of Agadir. The I in Agadir was therefore an educated guess, and I *hate* making those.

I spent a long time staring at 38a once I had ___NES (the international rock band) because I knew I should be able to get it. Since there is no band named "The Stones", I never did. The cluing on that one is just plain bad -- there ought to be some indication that it's not the full name of the band.

My last gripe isn't really one; I had printCOPY for 45a which significantly delayed my SW development. I think PAPER is totally fair there, I just also think that print is more widely used in that context.

All in all, an excellent saturday puzzle!

Smith 2:53 PM  

Well, here in NJ we had BOxTURTLEs, which made Raggedy Andy hard to see. I was thinking of a toy *inventor*, knowing nothing about the Toy H of F. Never seen or done a BLANKETTOSS, so started with BeANbagTOss...and thx whoever explained what it actually is (um, no). Still finished in exactly average time. Weird week. Thursday and Friday quicker than Tuesday and Wednesday. Stay cool out there. L.

Joe Dipinto 2:58 PM  

@Anon 12:43 – Thanks for the Philly info, I saved your post. I'll be going by car with my brother so we can tool around a bit. Dalessandro's has a little video on their website, I would definitely stop in there to eat. There's also a specialty guitar store called DiPinto Guitars! (No relation as far as I know, but we should pay them a visit.)

LenFuego 3:07 PM  

Other than the SW, the NE, the SE, the NW and the middle sections, this one was fun. It kicked the crud out of me in every way imaginable. Took me 4 hours, and I only finished then because of cheating like crazy after I hit 3 hours. A true slog.

Put in ROSS confidently for "Name in a noted '90s breakup", which fit nicely with HAYES as the president for Texas, and the arcane rest of that corner made it impossible to dig out. TOW for "Pull (out)" did not help either.

That '90s breakup clue is ridiculous. USSR is not a name, first of all, it is an abbreviation, and even if it wasn't it is still not really a "name". Russia, you might say is a name if you want to stretch, but USSR, not on this planet. The level of this type of "trying to make it hard" misdirection throughout this puzzle made it unfair and untenable. No more of that please.

CDilly52 3:54 PM  

I got thrown all the way off the dang thing once in a BLANKET TOSS, and dislocated a finger. My flute professor was livid - justifiably. But what can you say, it’s college students during finals and there may have been alcohol involved.

I had a minor surgical procedure yesterday that required conscious sedation. I think it may be the versed and the clever clues, but this one took a very long time, and a few clues simply mystified me for ages! I actually love that.

My nit is the Latin plural and I don’t love HIATAL. The only use of that I have ever seen is medical: HIATAL hernia. Never have I ever heard or used the adjectival form to describe a temporal occurrence, or a gap in something like the badly warped back door to my house. But those are just nuts and in fact we’re a couple of the easiest answers fir me. Go figure.

Clever clues abound. I’ve been watching an Australian cooking competition between naps today and got the “Victorian” greeting right away. Others not so much.

Great Saturday workout!

GILL I. 4:08 PM  

@Frantic 11:57....If PAPY RI and Mammy Yokum had a child, would it be called Popeye the Pammpy man?

TTrimble 4:31 PM  

A nice, nontrivial puzzle. Oh, it had trivia all right. So I need another word here. Hmm... let me give 'quadrivial' a spin. A nice, quadrivial* puzzle.

As it was for many here, the NW was comparatively easy. URIS, PAPYRI, SIA, AMELIA went in with little sweat, and TINES seemed so obvious that I doubted myself. The cluing for USSR is very cute.

Thank you, Ms. Nickerson, for teaching me Latin (CAPITA), which also helps for remembering 'corvine' (CAW). AGADIR is completely new to me. I know Desmond but not ERROL. Clever cluing for ARGYLE.

I found the NE a heck of a lot easier than Rex did, although I hesitated over the spelling of RAINIER, thinking it should be Ranier. No, that's a German name. Ah, a mini-epiphany: RAINIER is easy just by remembering that Washington State is RAINIER -- more rainy -- than most states. But I DIGRESS.

PIGLET is my favorite Winnie-the-Pooh character.

I really paused over the very center. DRAPER should have been easy except I never watched Mad Men. I had EMOJI___BOARD and took an embarrassingly long time seeing KEY. SLICE AND DICE also took a while to see, perhaps because I had put in "dOg" before COW, and WAGE LABORERS also took a while to come into view. I'll take the NYT's word for it that Marx actually uses that phrase, or the German equivalent.

Thank you @kitshef for explaining G'DAY. Tricky.

The cluing (excepting the TYLER gaffe) was certainly above average, and I got done in decent time for me, so this was a very satisfying Saturday.

yd 0, td -1. Missing a 5-letter.

*In classic liberal arts -- going back to ancient times -- 'trivium' refers to the lower liberal arts consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. It was considered preparatory to the quadrivium, the upper division, consisting of geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy. The quadrivium was considered deeper than the trivium, and that's where the word 'trivial' comes from.

Slow Motion 4:41 PM  

I had — and was SURE of! — BEANBAG TOSS down the middle. Shared a bunch of letters with several crosses, and with the right answer, and made perfect sense. Oh well.

albatross shell 5:06 PM  

@old timer 108pm
The "out" goes with the BOW. Seems to me that in general the word in parentheses following a one word clue has to attach to the answer not the clue. A crossword convention that does not seem entirely logical. But it does seem to be a way of distinguish the clue "Pull out" from "Pull (out)". It does raise the question what "Pull, with out" or Pull (with out) might mean. This was talked about recently and I mentioned some of this. This example is complicated by the fact that it is to me unclear if BOW (out) is a better answer for the clue Pull out or the clue Pull (out) as defined by my alleged convention above.

Or is there a different better explanation.

Anonymous 5:10 PM  

Joe D,
You’ll scarcely credit what I write next. Nevertheless…
Yes, DiPinto guitars are a thing. A real thing. DiPinto in this case is Chris. And Chris DiPinto — beside being a guitar maker to the stars (and schools like me) is the frontman for a glam rock band called Creem Circus. I won’t presume to know your tastes, but, owing to your posts over the years, I’m confident you would, at the very least, get what they’re going for. I know the band mostly from one of its members. And, here’s where the you-won’t-believe-it part comes in.
That band member is good friends with the maker of a documentary called Art of The Steal. It’s about the sordid story of the Barnes…
Anyway, like I said, Philly wishes you well.

John Hoffman 5:18 PM  

“Lent feature” is EAR? Like “lend me an ear”? Is an ear a feature? What am I not seeing?

Smith 5:55 PM  

@Joe Hoffman

Last night he said, "Lend me an ear."

"So what did you do?"

"I lent him an ear."

The ear being the "feature" that was lent.

TTrimble 6:11 PM  

SB: 0 for td. Only one did I give a side-eye to. SB-ers ought to give this one a try.

I was about to mention a word that was unacceptable in today's SB, but I'd like to ask you first about a post of mine that you deleted 4 days ago (July 13). I think enough time has elapsed that I can safely reproduce the message (in quotes below), which could not cause offense except that perhaps you thought it contained a spoiler.

Please don't delete this: it doesn't concern a very recent puzzle. I'd be grateful for an explanation for why that comment was deleted.

yd -3. Two E-words I'd never heard of. td: pg -16. Am I crazy, or wasn't ROTO once an acceptable word? And PROPITIATORY would have been very SWEET; he should have put that one in for a COOL 19 points."

I had written asking for an explanation that day for why this was deleted, but never received one. In that request, I mentioned that SB-ers do from time to time mention words not on the list for that day [I can provide examples], and I don't see how PROPITIATORY could otherwise suggest a word on the list. As for the two unmentioned E-words, that was referring to the puzzle from the day before, and it's hard to see how that's much of a spoiler (for a puzzle about to die of spoilage from age anyway).

Anonymous 6:15 PM  

I think that if Polk and Tyler could be here today, neither would want "credit" for admitting Texas.

The Joker 6:19 PM  

@Albatross. I think we all know what Pull Out means.

Anonymous 6:23 PM  

@John H. I took it to mean like a facial feature even though EARs aren't quite on the face.

Anonymous 6:27 PM  

The way I understand a clue like Pull (out) is:

Enter a phrase that means "pull out" that also ends in out, but don't enter the "out" part.

In general, if the clue is "phrase 1 (phrase 2)" then your answer will be of the form "phrase 3" where "phrase 3 phrase 2" means the same as "phrase 1 phrase 2".

The lent feature clue is just a groaner, that's all. The ear is the object that has been lent. It's a "feature" of the loaning process. Nothing deep here. It's Saturday, after all.


A Moderator 6:32 PM  


I didn't delete your post. I can't speak for the other moderators, but I see no reason why your post would have been axed.

Sometimes, Blogger does strange things.

BEE-ER 7:05 PM  

Like any word puzzle the BEE has elements that can be interpreted differently. It can be interesting to discuss these but keep things in perspective. Remember they're puzzles. As solvers we get what the constructors and editors provide and overall they do pretty well and give us some fun.

pabloinnh 7:12 PM  

@T Trimble-0 also for td after being at -1, again, for what seemed like forever. Side eye to two entries here. but I'll accept them, because QB.

@bocamp-Thanks for the encouragement. I needed that.

Monty Boy 7:33 PM  

The puzzle kicked my fanny (See @Nancy 12:12 for details – my experience also).

But to get to the REAL news: I live in Centennial, CO, a short drive to the Ultimate Tournament. My grandson (an Ultimate athlete) and I went to cheer on Z and the Age Against the Machine team. We saw their Friday afternoon game. Sadly, they lost a close contest 15 to 1. Bad breaks, bad penalties, bad referees, No. 1 seed for an opponent all contributed. (oops, grandson reminded me, no ref in Ultimate).

But I DIGRESS. I’m pleased to report that Z played very well. He is an AGILE, LEGGY athlete. You should see his LOOPDELOOPS. He would not GO AWAY. Did he CEDE the match? GOSH NO. The opponents COWed at his SNARL.

I'm impressed that he is able to do the puzzles and comment in the midst of his athletic achievements.

Barbara S. 7:41 PM  

@TTrimble (6:11 PM)
0 me, too.
You're not crazy! (Well, not about this, anyway πŸ˜‰). ROTO absolutely used to be accepted--it's on my "jae's list of SB words," now asterisked along with a bunch of other words that are no longer kosher. [Voice crying in the wilderness: "Sam, Sam, add words, don't take them away!"]

TTrimble 7:53 PM  

@A Moderator 6:32PM
Thanks for responding!

Frantic Sloth 8:16 PM  

@GILL 408pm 🀣🀣 No doubt!

RooMonster 9:05 PM  

Hey All !
Haven't read anyone yet, just finished puz, as having to do some after work, cause it was a toughie! (It is only 6PM here).

Anyway, wanted to commend (or condemn?) the clue for ARGYLE. Yowza, and I used to wear ARGYLE socks! (In High School, no less, a bunch of us [well, maybe 6 of us] thought we were neat! [Shows you what social status I had in High School]). 😁


Harry 9:38 PM  

Great construction and awesome cluing. But the NE corner totally stymied me, aside from PLAIN. Fills were just a little too obscure, general, or just not on the top of my brain.

I'll take the fault for filling [pig PEN] rather than the more satisfactory pigLET. RANIER is of course familiar, but being an east coaster, not in my active lexicon. Someone please connect "Don't make me laugh" with GOSHNO in an obvious way; seems entirely arbitrary. ("joshno" seems more appropriate.) BOG TURTLE and LAILALAI? Fair fodder for a Saturday ... but put them along each other and fill with less than obvious crosses and I guess I'll DNF every time.

Cc’d 9:58 PM  


Zygotic 9:59 PM  

@Monty Boy - I will never believe another thing you ever write. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
Not unsurprisingly that team you watched is in the finals, and depending on tomorrow games we may end up having been in the best pool, with chances at finishing 1st, 3rd, 9th, and 13th, all finishing higher than our original seeding except for that team in the finals who came in seeded first. And we finally got to “eat the baby” in our last game today, guaranteeing at least 14th after having been seeded 16th (I’m using that “we” pretty liberally, I only played in one point in our victory- but it was the game winning point so I’m not complaining (much)).

As for commenting, our games started at 12:30 mdt yesterday and 2:30 mdt today. So plenty of time to wax poetic here before heading to the fields. Tomorrow we have a 9:00 a.m. game, so I will probably solve the Sunday now and comment when Rex posts, as we will probably leave for the fields at 7:30 mdt.

@Anon2:00pm - I’m not familiar with all the specifics of Texas, but I suspect TYLER was only involved because the terms of annexation were a matter of foreign policy, which the constitution puts the president in charge of. Admission into the Union, though, has no constitutional role for the president. The congress and the congress alone decides who gets admitted to the union. And there is an official date when congress admitted Texas and that date was 9 months into Polk’s presidency. I don’t see anyway to lawyer this clue into being anything but wrong. I can usually find some way to twist a clue around to justify it, but this one is beyond any reinterpretation I can find.

Cc’d 10:09 PM  

So brims was easy? Or did you get that via crosses.? I don’t see how brims is valid for the clue.

Anonymous 10:13 PM  

The band's name is not 'the Stones,' it's the Rolling Stones, so the clue should suggest that. The brim of the hat is not the 'tip' it's the edge (unless this is a reference to the act of tipping one's hat which, when no one wear hats anymore, let alone tips them, is archaic), and who has ever heard of Agadir (yeah, I just sailed there last week). I understand that Saturdays should be most difficult,but shouldn't be obscure and obsolete.

Nancy 10:39 PM  

You scored the game-winning point in the "Ultimate Tournament", @Z? Well, don't keep me in suspense. What sport are we talking about? And are you a world-famous jock in that sport, whatever it is?

(I'll come back and find out the answer tomorrow, hopefully.)

A 11:09 PM  

EMO JIKEY BOARD! Meetings and teaching kept me AWAY. Y’all said it all anyway. I’m in camp “Whoa, NELLIE, this was hard but satisfying!” Ran short of time so looked up DRAPER and managed to SLICE AND DICE the rest into submission.

Peter Schickele's (P.D.Q. Bach) birthday today, so here’s his The Short-Tempered Clavier - I. C major

23 words with O. (5 with BO.)

Liked the comBO ARGYLE CRYPTS. “The Argyle Diamond Mine is a diamond mine in Western Australia. It is the only known significant source of pink and red diamonds, and additionally provided a large proportion of other naturally coloured diamonds, including champagne, cognac and rare blue diamonds.” (Wiki)

G’DAY, mates!

Zygotic 11:15 PM  

@Nancy - No No, just the game winning point in our last game today, and I had the “hockey assist” (I threw the pass to the person who threw the pass that somebody else caught for the score). We are hoping to finish 13th out of 16 tomorrow. Seeing as I play in the GGM division (50+) in a niche sport that isn’t even in the Olympics yet on a team that might conceivably finish at 13th best in our division, You can only call me a “world famous jock” in a very very very small world. As for the sport, Here is one of the best games in the past 26 months. You should skip all the babble in the first 5+ minutes, and 10 minutes should give you a good idea of the sport.

NC 10:08 AM  

After a half-hour or so, SW solved, a few words in other sections, totally stuck in the middle. So, I looked up the "Mad Men" and George Kelly clues, filled those two in. That triggered the rest of the fills. I usually stick with it on my own, but I could tell this would take a while and I need the rest of the day. A few clues were shaky (hat tip? the Stones clue), but I liked the nods to the ladies (Amelia, Laila Ali) and to the Dream Act.

pdplot 10:18 AM  

DNF for this old-timer. I usually agree with @Nancy on almost all puzzles. Never watched Mad Men, don't understand Dead Tree edition, etc. As a birder, I knew Corvine cry (crow), also Rainier and Laila Ali. Duck Soup.

johnk 1:37 PM  


Junief 11:04 PM  

Not to mention that Cheap Thrills was a number one album by Big Brother and the Holding Company and a little singer by the name of Janis Joplin. Sia? Really?

Layer5 3:18 PM  

Excellent puzzle, only issue was with gosh no, everything else rang the bell

Layer5 3:18 PM  

Excellent puzzle, only issue was with gosh no, everything else rang the bell

Layer5 3:20 PM  

Excellent puzzle!

Anna 12:49 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thefogman 10:39 AM  

Tough but fair, for the most part.. HIATAL was borderline but gettable via the crosses. Had Pitt before USSR. I guess SIA is officially a member of the three-letter pop stars which include ENO, ONO, UMA, YMA, AMY, PSY etc.

Burma Shave 1:24 PM  


AMELIA was a LEGGY one,
her DREAMACT was some AGILE fun,


rondo 1:47 PM  

Toughest in recent memory for me. For a while had only URIS RAGGEDYANDY GNC and REDDIWIP. Some lucky guesses and eventually finished but must have taken an hour. I think a snafu (situation normal, all effed up) is more than a SNARL

In these parts a BLANKETTOSS is more associated with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival than with a picnic.

Olympic champ NELLIE (NELLy) Korda, yeah baby.

Numerous ink stains on my PAPERCOPY.

thefogman 2:00 PM  

PS - I was a bit perplexed by the clue for 44A - picturing men on horseback with tophats saying GDAY as they ride by townsfolks in Victorian times. But then it clicked. Crikey! We’re talking about the state of Victoria in Australia. GDAY mate!

Diana, LIW 4:58 PM  

I had a DEGATH - "didn't even get a toe hold." Had to look up a BUNCH of names to get any of the rest.

Too many names, too much trivia.

Too little wordplay. Absolutely a CRYPTic puzzle, but without the puns.

Did you know that "GEtout" and GOAWAY fit into the same space? I do.

Bring on the Sunday slog!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 6:32 PM  

DNF. How could 33-a not be WORKINGCLASS?? WAGE LABORERS????? Never heard of such an expression. I mean I get the idea, but I have never seen those two words next to each other. Sorry, but that one's way out of left field. WAGE LABORERS, said NO ONE EVER.

thefogman 8:01 PM  

Wage Labour and Capital by Karl Marx:

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