Physicist Nathan with an early theory of wormholes / SAT 7-24-21 / The wrinkle in "A Wrinkle in Time" and the Cosmic Cube in Marvel Comics, for two / Auto pioneer Soichiro / Popular brand of alcoholic seltzer / Starting point of annual Spartathlon / Garment that might not be worn around the house

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Constructor: Adam Aaronson and Ricky Cruz

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: TESSERACTS (4D: The wrinkle in "A Wrinkle in Time" and the Cosmic Cube in Marvel Comics, for two) —

In geometry, the tesseract is the four-dimensional analogue of the cube; the tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of six square faces, the hypersurface of the tesseract consists of eight cubical cells. The tesseract is one of the six convex regular 4-polytopes.

The tesseract is also called an eight-cellC8, (regular) octachoronoctahedroidcubic prism, and tetracube. It is the four-dimensional hypercube, or 4-cube as a part of the dimensional family of hypercubes or measure polytopesCoxeter labels it the polytope. The term hypercube without a dimension reference is frequently treated as a synonym for this specific shape.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word tesseract was first used in 1888 by Charles Howard Hinton in his book A New Era of Thought, from the Greek téssara (τέσσαρα'four') and aktís (ἀκτίς 'ray'), referring to the four edges from each vertex to other vertices. In this publication, as well as some of Hinton's later work, the word was occasionally spelled tessaract.

• • •

Seemed a bit trivia-testish at times (a physicist here, a supermodel there, an ethnic minority here, a Roman goddess there, and so on), and only COINKYDINK and OVER/UNDER felt like they really came to play, but it's a solid enough effort overall. WHITE CLAW really put me off the puzzle right away, just from a personal taste standpoint. It was a gimme, first of all, so ... I mean, normally, I guess I'd be thrilled to nail 1-Across on a Saturday like that, but somehow just knowing what WHITE CLAW is doesn't feel like a win. It's ubiquitous. Hugely popular, apparently. If I want seltzer I drink seltzer and if I want alcohol I drink cocktails, or maybe wine, occasionally beer. The whole "let's spike this non-alcoholic thing and see what happens" trend ... never got it. But jillions of people do. What bummed me out wasn't so much that I don't drink the stuff (who cares?) but that it feels so product-placement-y to put a brand like this at 1-Across. I'll be slightly surprised if their social media team doesn't do some jokey tweet or Insta post about this crossword appearance before day's end. Brands have been in grids for a long time, so there's nothing "wrong" with this one at all. Giving your highest-profile answer to a brand—that was just a mild bummer to me today. I also was weirdly distracted by a couple repeated letter patterns, namely TESS /  TESSERACTS and TATTOO INK / TIME SINKS / COINKYDINK). Maybe that latter repetition is a *good* thing, looked at from a certain angle—think of it as deliberate rhyme, or echoing, or singsonginess. But I probably would've found a way to replace TESS if I could've. Repeated four-letter strings don't usually bother me but then again they usually aren't at the front of both words (higher profile). ANIMA / BEANS / BESS, something like that ... though I wouldn't want to deprive the world of the "Sailor Moon" clue, so maybe there are other options) (32D: "Sailor Moon" genre => ANIME)

Only felt old once during this puzzle ("WHIPS, you say!? Bah! Listen, sonny, in my day ... I forget what we called them, but it wasn't WHIPS!") (1D: Fancy cars, in modern slang), but then the puzzle went and actually made me feel young by opting for the fully-spelled BRASSIERE, which ... is not a word I've heard used unironically in my lifetime. They're bras. Of course BRASSIERE is a perfectly good, actual word, but it really feels like clues for BRASSIERE should have to use qualifiers like "quaintly" or "formally" or something when referring to BRASSIERE. I did love the clue, though (31D: Garment that might not be worn around the house). Many women solvers undoubtedly nodding "true" there. Is a NAILER what we usually call a "nail gun"? I will admit to being not a tool person, but a NAILER sounds like someone actually striking the nails. Maybe NAILER is the preferred term now because it doesn't have the word "gun" in it. That seems fine. Are we still going to Palm for our PDA cluing needs? (18A: Palm products, for short). Is Palm even still a thing? Looks like it died but then came back in 2018 as an Android phone of some sort. But not a PDA. That term remains bygone. Like the original Palm products. PDA = kissing in public. If you want to go with "personal digital assistant," you must use "bygone" or "quaintly" in your clue (see discussion of BRASSIERE above ... btw, did you know women used to keep their Palm PDAS in their BRASSIEREs? It's true! [citation needed]). As for THEESPYS, I normally find the gratuitous definitely article slightly annoying, but today it didn't bother me at all, possibly because my brain is reparsing it slightly and applying it to the name of a beloved children's lit character, which is to say I'm amusing myself by imagining a character called "Harriet THEE Spy," à la: 

No real difficulty today (beyond the usual Saturday difficulty). I thought the auto pioneer was Soichiro ACURA at first, so that was pretty funny (2D: Auto pioneer Soichiro => HONDA). Rare that I actually enjoy my mistakes, but I enjoyed that one. Had TIMESUCKS before TIMESINKS (enjoyed that mistake less) (38A: Long, unproductive activities). Didn't know the ROSEN guy (23A: Physicist Nathan with an early theory of wormholes), forgot TESS (though she's been in the puzzle before), but remembered TESSERACTS despite having no idea how to define it; it's just one of those vaguely scifi words you see around and take in and then somehow "know" without knowing (that is, if you're me). This puzzle did a good Saturday job of being a Saturday puzzle that I solved on a Saturday. Definitely better than MEH, despite my various minor carps.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Please enjoy this up-to-the-minute DANK (54A) content:
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 6:17 AM  

I have long fancied myself a “car guy”. I got my first car - a ’36 Plymouth - in 1955 (before I was old enough to have a license to drive). I have owned scores of cars since then, and “thought” I was up-to-date on all things automotive. But I guess not - I’ve never before heard the word WHIPS to describe fancy cars.

The fact that I have also never heard of WHITE CLAW made my usual 1A/1D entry point impossible.

So … a nice Saturday challenge and a nice learning experience, too. Exactly what I like in a crossword puzzle!

kitshef 6:30 AM  

“Medium” my butt. That was tough.

Never heard of WHITE CLAW. Never heard of WHIPS. So that NW corner took absolutely ages to finish. Start me off with something I’ve never heard of at 1a and car clues at both 1d and 2d, and you basically have no chance of winning me back.

Other crap included COINKYDINK, MARIO KART, TESS, IKEAS, and the two INs and one INTO.

taylorevan 6:50 AM  

I did todays puzzle in 20:52. That's a Saturday best for me by, like, 38 minutes. (I'm no speed solver, Fri/Sat is typically an hour-long affair)

The cluing felt extremely easy for a Saturday.. I kept dropping in answers and thinking "that can't be right, I got that too quickly!"

What an ego boost. Although, I'm sure it's an outlier and next week I'll sweat over the only five answers I put down before admitting defeat, (Like I did with that Ryan McCarty puzzle last week)


Lewis 6:57 AM  

When I read the constructors’ notes (on XwordInfo and WordPlay), what oozed out is their passion for making puzzles. And, to me, this grid sizzles with that passion. They “toyed” with this for more than three months and “iterated” through tons of possibilities.

You can see it in the polished result – where’s the junk? Where are ugh answers? Where’s a stale clue? Furthermore, look at the answer freshness: OVER UNDER, TESSERACTS, WHITE CLAW, and COINKYDINK are all NYT debuts, plus non-debut TIMESINKS, ANCHOVY, TATTOO INK.

You two got me with [Seven year stretch]. At first I thought “score?”, but quickly remembered how wrong that was, then I scoured my brain for the word for a seven-year period. When TEENS finally came, that brought a “very well played, guys” smile.

You got me with that, yes, but mostly you got me with your excitement and skill. I want more of this… please! Thank you for a scintillating solve.

John H 6:57 AM  

Agree with @joaquin and @kitshef about whip and white claw. Also thought this was a little harder than medium because of it. Brassiere is a normal word, not a quaint one. And didn't anyone else notice the heavy use of French? And btw, 37A is so very Shortz. I don't find his word games amusing.

Richard 7:02 AM  

I had TIMESucKS too, but COINKYDINK, of all things, straightened me out fast. This was my fastest all-time Saturday since I started keeping track -- not a real 'thinker' among them this week. It's a little disappointing, but then I have a lot to get to today so I'm not upset.

I *love* having TESSERACTS in the puzzle. Such a fun word, and the fact that it's clued to A Wrinkle in Time, my favorite book as a kid, made it an instant get. Added to the ubiquitous WHITECLAW and WHIPS, the NE corner went super quickly for me. SE's MARIOKART and SW's IKEAS also fell immediately into place. I'm sure there are folks out there for whom those don't come readily to mind, but this is right in my wheelhouse.

It reminds me of the compendiums that I work out of on vacation and while traveling. Those puzzles are usually 20 years old or more, and even when the clues aren't specifically dated there's still some kind of common experience that they rely on, and it makes older puzzles much harder. At least I assume that's what it is; either that or constructors have become more generous over time. I'd be curious to hear from some old-timers whether you think crosswords have gotten easier over time.

I'm a little disappointed that I got BRASSIERE completely by crosses, because, what another cool word! That's one of the reasons I head over to this page after I finish; sometimes Rex notices something that I managed to zoom right past.

This was just a beautifully constructed puzzle, smooth without much filler. Happy Saturday!

Brian 7:27 AM  

Yikes, this was harder than any Saturday I can remember. The Northwest corner was torture.

Trockmn 7:28 AM  

How is White Claw ubiquitous when half of us have never heard of it? I didn’t even know hard seltzer was an actual thing.

Frantic Sloth 7:30 AM  

NW corner. Didja have to start with &#*@ PPP at 1A?? Didja? Huh?!
And then cross it with so much WTF??
And then Rex with his "medium" difficulty rating.
I mean, I know I'm old and out of it, but C'mon!

And aren't they TIMESucKS? BTW, ironic, that one.

I'm so frazzled by this WTF-fest, I can't even tell if I love it or hate it.

Maybe when (if) I finish the little sh!t...


Cankee Yanuck 7:31 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard 7:37 AM  

Trockmn... it's huuuuge in the college party scene. Massive marketing. Slogans like "There's no laws when you're drinking Claws". It's ubiquitous at bars and near college campuses; obviously if that's not your scene it's not going to be familiar.

It also tastes really bad.

Frantic Sloth 7:52 AM  

And literally less than 2 minutes later, I finish. 🙄
Maybe the spazzing was a tad premature.
Maybe not.
Never heard of WHITECLAW, or WHIPS for fancy cars, had telEPHONE forfreakinever (a dog with a bone should be so tenacious), did not expect PDAS to make a reappearance so soon, and HONDA just seemed too obvious.
That's the nutshell version of my NW nightmare.
As for the rest of the puzzle?
So out of my wheelhouse/off my wavelength, my eyes won't uncross.

Still, it was a "challenge" which is always preferable to a pantywaist puzzle, but I didn't enjoy the ride.


JD 7:52 AM  

This one goes out to the bros in a fun and joyful way. White Claw, Whips, Steph Curry the NBA Player, Mario Kart, Tattoo Ink, Over/Under, Force In, thinking you can't wear a bra around the house. Dude Perfect.

I loved it.

Conrad 7:54 AM  

I knew the word TESSERACT thanks to my nerdy high school self, but didn't get the connection to "Wrinkle" or Marvel. Lots of WOEs for me today: WHITE CLAW, WHIPS (tough when you Natick at 1A x 1D), physicist ROSEN (first thought was WOLOWITZ but that didn't fit), supermodel TESS. Two clues were so generic they could've been almost anything: Just what the doctor ordered and record producer. IKEAS is a particularly ugly PoC, and Googling NAILER gets you a bunch of nail guns.

All that said, I didn't find the puzzle particularly challenging for a Saturday and finished without help. So I guess all the hard parts were fairly crossed. Agree with @Rex's Medium rating. On the @Frantic scale I'd give it three brains and 2-1/2 party hats.

Son Volt 8:03 AM  

Fun puzzle. Love to see L’Engle front and center - although I think some would argue whether the Cosmic Cube is a true TESSERACT. Don’t like the plural there either. If you don’t know WHITE CLAW you may want to get out more - as they are prominently displayed at every market or store I go into. Popular with my kids - I’m with Rex and will take a hard pass.

Liked the clue for ROACH but really despise the THE ESPYS. Had to dig in deep for EREMITE. Briefly studied the Einstein-ROSEN bridge but was a little too conceptual for me. I don’t think it’s ever been fully developed.

Enjoyable Saturday solve.

DeeJay 8:03 AM  

Can someone please explain the clue to BRASSIERIE?

puzzlehoarder 8:09 AM  

This was 20 minutes, or so, faster than last Saturday's solve so it's at least medium. The grid is much like yesterday's but with the NE and SW opened up and nearly equalling the triple nine stacks.

I had good luck throughout. In the NW WHIP was a WOE but I cold guessed HONDA and even withan EMO/EPS write over I was able to recognize WHITECLAW. That kind of fun solving kept up throughout. The puzzle was packed with good material.

A significant portion of my time came from pouring over TESSERACTS. It was the last entry and in spite of its containing the more familiar TESSERA it was an unknown and I didn't want such a nice solve marred by a dnf. However the crosses were all solid and it held up for a clean grid.

Frantic Sloth 8:10 AM  

@JD 752am Oh, shut up. 😘

@Conrad 754am I'm flattered! But, they're party favors or @JD is gonna take a hostage. 😉

JD 8:12 AM  

@Frantic my love, not sure the organ rating should be in brains today. Of course this is a family newspaper 😎

Ciaran 8:24 AM  

I’d never heard of this so-called supermodel. Are all models supermodels now ? Can anyone name a model who isn’t a supermodel ? Or does the question answer itself ? I’ve heard of her/him. QED: supermodel.

jberg 8:43 AM  

OK, I guess I'm the only one here who didn't know what a hallux was. I had to look it up (blush). I've also never heard of COINKYDINK, and it didn't just leap out at me; I had to get MARIOKART first, almost entirely from crosses.

My big problem on the East Side was earN for "pull (in)" at 15D. When I looked up the BIG TOE, I changed it to gaIN; bot hof those kept me from seeeing ROACH or the French preposition (apres worked with gaIN and earN, but it had to go.) That finally got me THE ESPYS and I eventually saw that the masseuse's hands were OILY, not wIde.

Then I headed west, put in the obvious 'bait' for 'can of worms,' and even though I thought 'could be EPS while writing in lPS, I never went back to see if it would work. I've read A Wrinkle in Time and all its sequels -- that's where I first learned about mitochondria; but I didn't remember that there was a TESSERACT(S) involved; and while I've seen ads for WHITE CLAW, a year and a half of home-delivered everything (Thank you, Drizly! Thank you,!) had rubbed it out of my mind. So I guessed that the wrinkle and Cosmic Cube were the result of some sort of lesser arts, the seltzer was maybe cHIll CLAW, and the cars were cHIPS (thought I would have preferred to call them sHIPS). Finally I saw the ACTS ending, and it all fell into place. So I guess it was a good struggle, in the end; I was going to complain that you can't just make up a mispronunciation by calling it "cute," but many people here seem to know the word, so OK -- I learned something!

Now I've got to go read Bulfinch, or something, to confirm that MINERVA had a mother; I'd always heard that she sprang full-grown from the brow of Jupiter.

Nancy 8:44 AM  

"Unfair!" I maintain. As others have mentioned, if you never heard of WHIPS for fancy cars and you never heard of WHITE CLAW, you can't finish this puzzle. Period.

I "finished" only by cheating on WHITE CLAW -- at which point I realized that my TTOPS for fancy cars (which I'd never questioned) was wrong. The thing that was "off the hook" was t?M??HONE (time PHONE????) and my "at bottom" was o?E??ENCE. Neither was decipherable.

Maybe if I'd known TESSERACTS -- but I've never heard of it.

And what in the name of the Good Puzzle Fairy is COINKYDINK???!!!

An aside on 1D: If you're dumb enough to put TATTOO INK on your chest and then it's hard for you to get off, don't come crying to me. All I have to say is TSK.

Other than the awful NW corner and the ridiculous COINKYDINK, the rest of this puzzle wasn't half bad. But those things spoiled it for me.

Frantic Sloth 8:53 AM  

@JD 812am 🤣🤣🤣 BTW, I give your review and this comment 🍆🍆🍆🍆. And let's just stop right there. 🤯

Anonymous 8:55 AM  

White Claw as a beverage and an answer is gross.

Took me a while to get NAILER. That's what we call wood added to steel so the carpenters have something softer than steel to nail to. Usually hear the tool called a gun.

I heard WHIPS thrown around in the mid naughts and not since. How do you do, fellow kids?

bocamp 8:57 AM  

Thx, Adam & Ricky for this crunchy, challenging Sat. puz! :)

Very tough unsolve.

Dnfed in the NW; learned WHITECLAW, TESSERACTS and WHIPS.

The rest of the puz was a great battle, but finally yielded to my slow, steady persistence. :)

Very productive and enjoyable time spent!

Keep 'em comin' A & R. :)

@Andrew Heinegg (9:18 PM yd)

Hands up for PHI, as well. 🏀

yd pg -1 (one totally unknown and unguessable word)

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Unknown 8:58 AM  

After struggling through so many, mostly Midwestern, colloquialisms and foodstuffs as answers, I must admit to some schadenfreude over the complaints about whips as legitimate slang. So I’ll just point out that “Ghost Ride the Whip” is a 2009 movie and I’m 5000.

Barbara S. 8:59 AM  

I found this easier than yesterday but not a pushover. Count me among the WHITE CLAW- and WHIP-ignorant. I got out of the NW pretty fast looking for friendlier territory and found it, as I often do in challenging late-week puzzles, amongst the littler words in the middle: OPS, RIG, VID, COOP. I was also lucky to pop in TIMESINKS with no crosses. I knew the “Sailor Moon” answer would be either ANIME or “manga” (I’ve never been sure of the difference), so TIMESINKS gave me that answer, which in turn gave me TMI, then MINERVA, etc. I also got COINKYDINK with remarkably few crosses – a word I don’t think I’ve heard since my mother’s best friend, Happy Peterson, last said it in my hearing in 1968.

Speaking of my mother, she *always* said BRASSIERE, never the less formal version. I, on the other hand, have always said “bra” and furthermore I have a slightly dyslexic reaction to the word BRASSIERE, always hearing and seeing in mind its close cousin, BRASSeriE, the (French) restaurant. I guess someone should really open up the BRASSIERE BRASSERIE, although what to do with that concept beyond the name fair boggles the mind.

Liked the “Curry” misdirect (NBA PLAYER) – I guess you call that a hidden capital letter – liked the shout-out to Frida Kahlo, liked the nod to the NOTE TAKER as I am one par excellence. Liked the proximity of IKEAS to NAILER, and TEENS to GLITTER. In short, liked the puzzle and was happy to finish with no help.

JD 9:04 AM  

@DeeJay, Yes. The constructors assume that because they can't see a woman's BRAssier when it's under her clothes, she's not wearing it around the house. Mooom, TMI.

Anyone notice that yesterday Tess was a cranky old first lady in a movie and today she's a super model? Tess, Tess, Tesseracts. The new Owlet.

Barbara S. 9:05 AM  

Today there are two excerpts from JUN’ICHIRŌ TANIZAKI, born July 24, 1886.

“Whenever I see the alcove of a tastefully built Japanese room, I marvel at our comprehension of the secrets of shadows, our sensitive use of shadow and light. For the beauty of the alcove is not the work of some clever device. An empty space is marked off with plain wood and plain walls, so that the light drawn into it forms dim shadows within emptiness. There is nothing more. And yet, when we gaze into the darkness that gathers behind the crossbeam, around the flower vase, beneath the shelves, though we know perfectly well it is mere shadow, we are overcome with the feeling that in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway.”
“With lacquerware there is an extra beauty in that moment between removing the lid and lifting the bowl to the mouth, when one gazes at the still, silent liquid in the dark depths of the bowl, its colour hardly differing from that of the bowl itself. What lies within the darkness one cannot distinguish, but the palm senses the gentle movements of the liquid, vapour rises from within, forming droplets on the rim, and the fragrance carried upon the vapour brings a delicate anticipation ... a moment of mystery, it might almost be called, a moment of trance.”
(Both from In Praise of Shadows)

Nancy 9:11 AM  

@jberg -- Be glad you didn't know BIG TOE for "hallux". I did -- because a hallux valgus is a bunion-like deformity of the BIG TOE and I developed on on my left foot about 25 years ago. The surgery to correct it is evidently hideously painful, so I continue to live with it, hoping it won't get much worse. It's known to be progressive.

But it did lead to the funniest comment any doctor has ever made to me.

Back when I first developed it and it was bothering me a lot, I mentioned it to my internist during a yearly checkup. "Show me," he said.

I took off my shoe and sock. He looked at it closely.

"Mine's worse," he said.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

LOL. People are agreeing with a poster who says he never heard of something. That’s ludicrous and hardly the same thing as saying that they too haven’t heard the term. The lack of language skills on a blog devoted to a pursuit in which words are, for all intents and purpose, the only elements, is stunning to me.
As for someone saying it’s unfair— in quotation marks ( who is she quoting?)—is ridiculous. Who made anyone here the arbiter of fair?
Besides whip for car is as old as the hills. MTV had a show called Whips. Two decades ago.

mathgent 9:19 AM  

Lewis did a good job listing the many joys in the puzzle. These two young guys produced a gem. What fun it was to solve.

I had a hard time getting a foothold, two crossing entries that I'm pretty sure of. First time through, all I had was TRES and I couldn't get anything off of it. After some time, I got COOP crossing THEESPYS. I built off that and was able to solve it clean. But it wasn't easy, especially the NW.

I got MARIOKART only because it was in the puzzle recently.

Another virtue of the puzzle is the 16 long entries (8 or more letters). The average is about eight.

In the old days, the waiter would roll the Caesar salad cart up to your table and make one in front of you. He would start by putting three or four anchovies in the bowl and pulverizing them. One of the ingredients was a raw egg.

For my birthday, my brother usually points out something exceptional about the number. He came up with a great one this year. Today I am 5! - (4! + 3! + 2! + 1!).

Paul 9:20 AM  

This puzzle was perfect. It gave itself up slowly, gradually, bit by bit, right through that astonished moment, almost an hour in, when I realized I had successfully finished. As satisfying as a solving experience can possibly be!

Zwhatever 9:22 AM  

Easy. Like, nearly Wednesday easy. Like I solved this last night while tired and clocked in at 12 minutes easy (I’m in the 15 - ∞ range on Saturday usually). Usually this range of reactions. (“record setting easy!” to “ &#*@ hard” (such language Ms. Sloth)) means high PPP, but my quick count says no. I do think it leans more on trivia than word play in the cluing, which makes it feel more PPP heavy (PPP - Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns).

How does anyone not know WHITECLAW? Ubiquitous seems like an understatement (and I’m not a college student nor do I associate with college students). WHITE CLAW is the kleenex of hard seltzer (i.e. - people will use WHITE CLAW for any hard seltzer) and WHITE CLAW is the company responsible for making hard seltzer a thing. The very idea of “hard seltzer” gets the arched eyebrow here, but there’s no denying that it is friggin’ everywhere now. The next time you go grocery shopping toddle over to the beer section and you will find shelf space devoted to WHITE CLAW and other hard seltzers. (@TTrimble - Pop Quiz - Is “seltzer” countable?”)*

Hand up for finding the full sized BRASSIERE quaint and the clue amusing (@whoever asked - You get home from a hard day at work dealing with dudes and their dudeness and just want to relax - the first thing that comes off is the BRASSIERE, followed by pouring yourself a WHITE CLAW). BRASSIERE definitely fits the old saying, that is BRA is a mouthful and BRASSIERE a waste. (@JD - sorry - I’m still a dude at heart)

Hand up for WHIPS being a WOE, so of course the first two places I looked say it is a common idiom. But then I read it is common in hip hop and rap and I am reminded again that I’m an old white guy.

A fine Saturday and so many of the commentariat finding this easy puzzle challenging is always good for the ego. 🤗

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

Yep. And Marshawn Lynch semi famously ghost rode the whip—in this case the flat bed golf cart trainers use to cart off the injured— after a win over Washington. Obviously college football isn’t this blog’s forte, but Lynch is now a C-list celebrity and as such his antics —and ghost riding the Cal football whip is a biggie—are trotted out from time to time.

amyyanni 9:27 AM  

Yes, @JohnH, all the French was noted! While I don't drink it, White Claw is in a lot of places, including on aisle displays in supermarkets near me. One trips over them, if not careful. Not my favorite Saturday, but very much appreciated. Tried to include a range of interests & knowledge based. Now onto a Summer Saturday!

Zwhatever 9:33 AM  

*If you don’t read the comments every day my pop quiz will make little sense. In Crossworld all nouns are countable, much to the chagrin of many solvers. “Seltzer” would not normally be countable, but it is now a product with variations, so “seltzer” as a synecdoche for the product is countable.

JBH 9:36 AM  

An easier Saturday solve for me than usual.

Had MAZDA before HONDA.
Also had TIMESUCKS for a bit.

Wasn't so put off by THEESPYS because the clue said 'show' that awards plays - so I immediately figured there'd be a 'the'. Had THETONYS first but BIGTOE straightened me out eventually.

Challenging and fun!

Ted 9:40 AM  

Well, that puzzle couldn't be more in my wheelhouse unless it signed a lease agreement for said wheelhouse and moved in.

Crushed it.

8 minutes and change. The only resistance was in the NE where I had EARN for REIN and it stumbled me. Everything else? Like a tough Tuesday or fast Wednesday.

staili 9:47 AM  

I don't think I've ever seen COINKYDINK in writing before, so I didn't know how it should be spelled. Didn't have the "Y" originally. I personally don't love cutesy slang like this, so I wouldn't have been heartbroken if it hadn't been in the puzzle.

Richard @ 7:02, if your puzzle books are pre-Shortz, they are almost certainly harder. The NYT puzzle used to rely more on obscure words. I also remember seeing something online where someone did older (but Shortz era) puzzles and found that his times for puzzles from the last few years were faster than older ones. I also find that doing a puzzle from ten years ago from the archives is more of a workout than doing this week's puzzle. Some of that has to do with remembering old pop culture, but I think there might be a bit of a shift in overall difficulty as well.

Frantic Sloth 9:59 AM  

@Z 922am Well, you can just shut up, too. 🤣
As for WHITECLAW...not having been in a supermarket/grocery store in years - and even when I have, never visiting the beer, etc. section - it's no wonder I never heard of it. And judging from those who are familiar with it, this is lucky for me.

And just as a general observation, people with kids and grandkids have a distinct advantage over those of us who don't when it comes to knowing current anything - especially slang and/or PPP. Just my opinion, but I'm right.

Never thought the PPP was terribly high, just in my face at the start, which is going to sully my experience unless something happens to lighten my mood. It didn't.
I'll cop to wanting a trespasser-free lawn, but I just did not think like these boys.

That said, I agree with @Son Volt's 803am opinion on the ROACH thing. Found it mildly (pleasantly) surprising for the NYT.

RooMonster 10:06 AM  

Hey All !
My toughest spot was the SW. TESS unknown, but kind of inferrable from T__S. Had to Goog for Joxtorp and Knorrig. Should've known there were IKEA products. Dang IKEA. Originally had soAP LAYER for Curry. Har. Originally wanted dReSS___ for the BRASSIERE clue. So a bit of a MESS down there, can't say I NAILEd it.

Rest of puz was slow, but steady. soft first for OILY slowing me down. Is GEMINIS real? Isn't GEMINI already plural? Is that a FISH-FISH/DEER-DEER thing?

Had tIpTOE for BIGTOE first. Funny. I never knew that being on tIpTOE had a name. Who beside Doctors go around saying, "Ouch! I stubbed my Hallux!"

COOP as CO-OP. Oh, crazy SatPuzs.

Know WHITECLAW, basically from TV commercials. There's also Corona Seltzer, Budweiser Seltzer, a few others the ole brain can't come up with. WHITECLAW has a sorta HIPSTER connotation.

Surprised no one asked what a HIME PHONE is. Har. Mustn't be too many of us here under 30.

One F (Almost FORCEd IN) 😁

CreamyT 10:38 AM  

New record for the wife and I by quite a bit! Maybe ~70% of our previous best. I knew a lot of the trivia off the bat, which certainly didn’t hurt. I thought the non-trivia answers were fun, if not a lot easier than normal for a Saturday. First time for us I think where we never felt “stuck” for awhile anywhere

Michael Page 10:39 AM  

There are no anchovies in a “classic” Caesar salad, invented by Caesar Cardini in Tijuana during Prohibition:

What Is the Original Recipe?

Today, the ingredients in a Caesar salad vary from place to place.

Cardini's recipe had six simple components -- full stalks of lettuce, raw egg, olive oil, croutons, parmesan cheese, and Worcestershire sauce. Caesar dressing had yet to be invented.

Add me to the “what’s White Claw?” crowd. Made the NW nasty for us oldsters.

Teedmn 10:47 AM  

I stuck my big toe into the water at 20A/20D and worked from there. I'm with @Barbara S on this being easier than yesterday and with many on the "huh?" at 1A/1D.

But I knew TESSERACTS from my love of "A Wrinkle in Time". One of my favorite books from 3rd grade though I read it again as an adult and it didn't hold up. I bet "Harriet the Spy" would still be fun, though.

And GLITTER. I splatzed that in immediately after confirming that it would fit. A couple of years ago, I stupidly bought some wrapping paper with glitter on it. I wrapped one gift with it and then gingerly carried the rest of the roll out to the garbage. I had glitter in every crevice of my hardwood floors, on the countertop, on my skin. And when I presented the gift, I had it wrapped in several layers of plastic bag and gave warning to the lucky recipient. Nasty stuff!

I do agree with Rex on his dislike of using Palm as a clue for PDAS. That's my only black ink on my paper today - I put in PDAS, decided that 2D wasn't mazDa, so surely 18A must be something more relevant than PDAS. I crossed it out, but later there it was again.

Thanks, Adam and Ricky.

Jill 11:08 AM  

Okay I need to know how you have missed White Claw. Hard seltzer itself is everywhere, but White Claw is pretty much what everyone calls it, regardless of brand. It's everywhere - grocery stores, memes, television, radio, commercials during sports... You avoid all of that??

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

No way that a "nailer" is a tool restricted to deck builders, so why such a narrow definition? A minor quibble, perhaps, because otherwise I thought the puzzle was just right for a Saturday.

Whatsername 11:18 AM  

WHITE CLAW? COINKYDINK? HONDA I know but WHIPS? For me - someone who still has a HOME PHONE - this puzzle was IN ESSENCE not my TYPE. These two young whippersnappers can just get off my lawn!

Just kidding of course so don’t launch a SIEGE of catapults and trebuchets at me. Saturdays are always learning experiences and I acquired some cool new stuff in the old rusty old brain today. Ever have a Myers-Briggs personality test? I took one years ago and was absolutely gobsmacked at the accuracy of the results. Reminded me of the old poem Ode To A Louse, about seeing yourself as others see you.

Amelia 11:21 AM  

I am neither hip, nor young, nor a driver of cars. But WHIPS was a gimme, because I'm a reader. Gabriel Krauze's Who They Was was a Booker Prize longlist nomination. And that's right up my alley even though the subject wasn't.

The book explores his life growing up in the South Kilburn housing estate in London and balancing his pursuits as a college student and gang member. This is the first sentence.

"And jump out the whip and I’m hitting the pavement and it’s this moment— when you jump out of the car and it’s too late to go back— when you know that you’re definitely gonna do it, even though the way the adrenaline bursts through your body makes you wish for a second that you weren’t here."

Apparently the robbery was meant to produce enough cash to buy another WHIP!

jae 11:27 AM  

West side very tough, east side easy-medium. Deep in the recesses of my aging memory I knew WHITE CLAW because my of age granddaughter bought some for my under age grandson last New Year’s eve for a party he was going to. However, it took forever to surface partly because I had telePHONE before HOMEPHONE. SW was also a bear. I finally dredged up TESSERACTS from a vague memory of a sci-fi book I read over 60 years ago which helped me finish that corner. An excellent Saturday challenge with plenty of sparkle, liked it a bunch!

johnk 11:37 AM  

Agreed. He should reserve his silly word games for NPR's so-called "Puzzle". That's when we turn off the radio on Sunday mornings.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

OINK OINK seemed like an inside joke - a COINKYDINK of TATOOINK (containing OINK) right next to COINKYDINK.

Rube 11:42 AM  

Exactly. I dropped in SMIRNOFFS which works with the I for 3d and also the M if you go with Mazda over HONDA.

pmdm 11:42 AM  

This puzzle seems a good example of how new constructors feature entires that I don't like. Sadly for me, these types of puzzles are becoming more frequently published in the NYT. I'm all for new constructors, and don't expert their puzzles to be as competently constructed as a PB puzzles, but there is a limit to how much leeway I will allow. Maybe it sells. But a would rather buy a PB authored book than a book by most of the new constructors. Which is my judgment alone.

And if you don't drink alcoholic seltzer, I'm not sure why you would be aware of White Claw. Like much of the stuff now in puzzles, if you lead a sheltered life ... well, maybe that's my problem.

jb129 11:47 AM  

Not a fun puzzle - even on a Saturday.

So! End to a disappointing week.

johnk 11:52 AM  

Never ever heard of WHITECLAW, Nathan ROSEN, WHIPS as cars, TESSERACTS, COINKYDINK, or TESS Holliday. I never even want to hear of 4 of those! I'm an old fart, but I'm around mostly younger people. But they don't drink cheap alcohol or use dumbass neocoinages (Now there's a neocoinage for you).

Paul Statt 11:58 AM  

Puzzled about why this crossword bothered me. "Somehow just knowing what WHITE CLAW is doesn't feel like a win." Exactly, Rex.

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

well, WHITE CLAW is widely adverted on the telly. given the DVR and time shifting I suppose lots more folks never see any adverts.

bocamp 12:13 PM  

@taylorevan (6:50 AM)

What an awesome result for you! You just never know what you're gonna get. (ala Forrest Gump) :)

@Jill (11:08 AM)

I'm one who might have many reasons for not having known WHITE CLAW or hard seltzer (the only seltzer I'm familiar with is Alka): 1) haven't imbibed in over 50 yrs; 2) don't live in the States; 3) cut the cord years ago; 4) haven't visited a grocery store for some time (order online for delivery); 4) don't watch tv or listen to radio (all streaming via Apple TV, listen to podcasts, get news online and via PBS on YouTube, etc.); 5) use a browser (Brave) that reduces ads to a minimum; 6) don't watch sports (except granddaughters' softball and ringette games) (will, however be keeping up with the Olympics via Prime Video on Apple TV).

Bottom line: not so much 'avoidance'; just a different live-style than some, I guess. Doubt I'll be forgetting WHITE CLAW, tho, in case it shows up in a future puz. LOL

pg -4

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Tim Carey 12:38 PM  

I don't avoid any of that. Never heard of White Claw. Not once. Never heard of Whips as a fancy car, so after entering telePHONE, the NW was OPD.

kitshef 12:39 PM  

@Jill ... Yes, I go to grocery stores - and often buy alcohol. I watch a lot of TV. Unlike most people, I listen to the radio in the car. I watch and listen to sports. I'll admit to a cultural void on memes, but that's four out of five of your listed activities. All of which makes me wonder if White Clay might be regional? Googling it does not make it seem so, but nothing about it - name, logo, packaging, slogans - ring any hint of a bell.

old timer 12:45 PM  

I too have never heard of WHITE CLAW, but a daughter informs me it is quite popular among tweI nty-somethings. Never seen it in a bar, but that just shows I have expensive tastes in bars. I guess I have seen it at the store and ignored it. I figured TESSERACTS had to be right, and knew HONDA was, so with HITECLAW an initial W was indicated, though at first I had "chillCLAW" and therefore "chips", which made no sense. But then, neither does WHIPS.

NOTETAKER is such bad Green Paint it actually is good. But I protest about IKEAS. There is only one IKEA, no matter how many stores they have. Even as a POC, it is intolerable. As bad as Searses or Macyses or Penneyses.

Technical DNF as I had "coinsydink" instead of COINKYDINK. Though one of my 1962 college friends used that word. Obviously I did not know that TSK means a cluck of disapproval or I would have gotten it right.. I just think tsk is a word, though only found in crosswords.

Have puzzles gotten harder over the years? I'd say so, on Fridays and Saturdays. I became a huge xword fan when someone gave me a compendium of Sunday puzzles 40 years ago, and those Maleska era puzzles were definitely easier, once you learned all those words only found in old-time crosswords.

Joaquin 1:24 PM  

@Jill (11:08) - You asked how I missed WHITE CLAW. Here goes:

Number 1 - I am not much of a drinker. A six-pack of beer lasts me six months and I might have one cocktail a month. Not on any sort of anti-drinking crusade, just never developed a taste or much of a tolerance for it.

So, I am almost never in the beer/wine/alcohol aisle in the local Safeway.

Also, I seldom watch a tv show that isn't taped so I avoid most of the commercials. If WHITE CLAW advertises during football games (which I do watch live) I must have slept through their ads. At my age, I sleep through lots of stuff!

Carola 1:31 PM  

Nicely challenging, with some pleasing grid GLITTER: TESSERACT, BRASSIERE, ACROPOLIS, TIME SINKS, MINERVA, and the dear old HOME PHONE. Not the constructors' fault that hard seltzer, fancy cars, and video games are beyond my ken. I look forward to more of their puzzles.

Shirley 1:40 PM  

@DeeJay, i disagree with the other person's response to your question about 31D and why is BRASSIERE the answer to garment that might not be worn around the house. The fact is that brassieres are not comfortable and many women don't wear one when hanging around at home. I take mine off first thing when i walk in the door. Wondering if Maidenform sales dropped during the lockdown??

Re 13D: Isn't it some kind of puzzle-constructor no-no to include "The" in the answer?

While I'm always happy to see references to Steph Curry, the fact is that the NYT puzzle has become the equivalent of Jeopardy. The difference is, in Jeopardy you pick your category. People in this blog complain when they think they shouldn't have to know some product or song or tv show or slang. They'd apparently be happy if they could tell the constructor or Will Shortz "The Simpsons for Medium Difficulty, Will" or "Video game characters for Easy Difficulty, please."

The puzzles are no longer a challenge to the intellect, but a test of familiarity with the dumbed down pop culture.

LorrieJJ 1:41 PM  

It's the second thing discarded (after shoes) when a woman gets in the door.
And Rex, you really aren't a woman, are you. Maybe it's a Canadian thing, but that's all I call it. Bra is a Caribbean male bestie.

Trockmn 1:45 PM  

I guess the problem is that in my home state you can’t buy alcohol except in liquor stores so I don’t have occasion to see this ubiquitous beverage.

oisk17 1:49 PM  

Never heard of "White Claw" (and have never tried "alcoholic seltzer" although I have heard of Zima), and so had no shot. Making it worse was that I had telephone instead of home phone. Since I've never heard of the term "Whips" (modern slang??), nor Soichiro, (although I guessed that it might be "Honda". ) and didn't "get" "Palm products," there was no way to correct the phone. Never heard of Tesseracts either. I agree with Nancy; the NW was ruined for me, which ruined the puzzle. And it didn't have to be that way. Had the constructor realized that there ARE many people who have never heard of white claw, he could have given us a shot with better clues for Honda and Whips. Puzzle was ruined for many of us, and didn't need to be... Phooey.

Masked and Anonymous 1:52 PM  

Interestin mix of easy stuff and hard stuff...

* We ain't exactly sophisticated booze drinkers, at our house. Mostly limited to wine, beer, and an occasional south-of-the-border mixed drink. Oh, and vodka with the cinnamon rolls, of course. Sooo … didn't know WHITECLAW and lost precious nanoseconds.

* Got TATTOOINK pretty fast, and really enjoyed its ?-marker clue.

* Got VID/ANCHOVY pretty fast, altho started out misspellin one of em as ANCHOVE.

* Nailed CHEM + LABS real quick.

* Had no idea, on ROSEN or TESSERACTS. Also, got suckered into goin with THETONYS ahead of THEESPYS.

* {Blunt end?} clue was die-O-ball-ical. And don't bogart that roach, dude.

staff weeject pick: WEE. Elegantly describes itself.

Thanx for the fun and for gangin up on us, AA & RC. U were a bit "U-under", on the OVER-UNDER, on this puppy's U-count, btw.

Masked & Anonymo1U


Whatsername 1:57 PM  

@Jill (11:08) Why I didn’t know WHITE CLAW: When I shop the liquor aisles, I go directly to my preferred brand of beer or wine and pay no attention to the rest. I never ever listen to the radio and only watch TV for sporting events during which I mute and ignore the commercials.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

Dum de Dum Dum
"The hard seltzer craze has come to an end" so we can expect more cites?

Anonymous 2:34 PM  

Yeah. . . They changed the tool name to "nailer", 'cause they don't want GUN in the name. . . Yeah, that's what happened. . . Good day.

Richard in NM 3:08 PM  

Back in the early '70s, when I was a kid-lawyer representing farmworkers in the Salinas Valley (California), César Chávez farmworkers union went on strike. The self-proclaimed "best restaurant" in Salinas* immediately and ostentatiously took the Caesar Salad off the menu.

(By the way, Chávez pronounced his own first name the same way we pronounce the salad, not SESSer, not seZAR, as we hear it most commonly in the media).

*Actually, the food wasn't half bad.

chance2travel 3:43 PM  

1A has been advertising big on youtube where I watch all kinds of VIDs, so I shot out of the gate on this one, had the entire west done in about 5 minutes. Overall it played Easy-Medium for me.

@jberg - you're not alone on 20A. I think I've seen it before but could not remember and so had to hack at it from crosses. Even began to think it was some kind of demonym, like BreTOn

I also had eArN and even gaIN before REIN, and apres before ENTRE. And I fell for the misdirect on THEtonYS before THEESPYS.

Still, those got sorted pretty easily after 11D and 12D. I finished in 2/3s the time yesterday's puzzle took me.

Robert Berardi 3:58 PM  

Enjoyed everything but the 3, count 'em, 3 French words. I know WHIPS because I teach high school in the South Bronx. Be happy the clue wasn't "Outdated cars, in modern slang". Then you would've had to figure out HOOPTIES.

Chip Hilton 4:17 PM  

@Jill & Z: Add me to Kitshef, Joaquin, Whatsername and others who never heard of the damned stuff..I don’t lead a monastic existence, either. It’s just a product that holds no interest for me. And, of course, WHIPS as a crossing: pffffft. On to the SE for a foothold and a concluding, lengthy slog in the NW. somehow, a successful finish.

I’d like someone from Cleveland to tell me if those bridge Guardians are iconic within the municipality. If so, then, not bad.

Anoa Bob 4:24 PM  

I had CHIPS for fancy cars, CHILL CLAW for the seltzer drink (I'm a beer guzzler), LPS for discography section and LESSER ACTS for the fiction book thingies. Looked okay to me. Wrong, buffalo breath!

I did learn that apparently there is a four dimensional cube, though, called a TESSERACT. The skeptic in me says "I'll believe it exists when I see one". The cynic in me says "This 4-D stuff is all just mental games and will never have any practical use". The crossworder in me says "TESSERACT is one letter short for that grid slot. There's an easy fix for that, a POC (plural of convenience), but using it does weaken the overall strength of the puzzle".

I have actually heard someone say COINKYDINK. It sounded as silly as it looks. These neologisms come and go. I believe it and WHIPS, as slang for fancy cars, will have very short lives before they fade away to their rightful place, oblivion.

Is TATTOO INK (11D) redundant? Would that make it a ROC, a redundancy of convenience?

MarkG 4:25 PM  

Right there with you Nancy on coinkydink

Anonymous 4:52 PM  

I had vaguely heard of something called WHITECLAW, but I didn't know any specifics about it. My "reasons" for Jill and others who insist you have to have a "reason" for a knowledge gap: I don't drink so pay no attention to that part of the store or any such advertisements; I don't watch sports on TV, which is where a lot of alcohol advertisements are centered; the brand was only created in 2016, so it hasn't been around that long.

What? 5:08 PM  

@Nancy. Well, I never heard of WHIPS or WHITE CLAW but I finished anyway. cf below.

Perfect if perplexing puzzle, the latter because I scored 100 without knowing many fills. I know, it’s the crosses but I didn’t know many of those either. I’m not quite sure how this happens, something to do I guess with the brain able to “see” certain patterns almost subconsciously. Very satisfying but mysterious.
So that takes care of explaining one phenomenon but how to explain how one(or two) constructs such a puzzle. I fear I shall never know. It’s as inscrutable as Shortz’s mind.

albatross shell 5:33 PM  

Caesar Salads:
Dorthy Killgallen reported having a Caesar Salad with anchovies in 1946. Cardini did not add anchovies in his original. However Worstechier Sauce does contain anchovies, so if that's in your classic recipe you have a shred of anchovy anyway.

One restaurant here had an owner-bartender who if not too busy, would make it at your table. What a treat. Never found another place that does it. Weep weep weep moan.

Pennsylvania land of state stores. Beer only recently could be sold in grocery stores and they need to be paid for at a separate register. Usually off in a corner by itself. Sometimes a six-pack lasts two seasons for me. Prefer bourbon or occasionally a cold sweet summer cocktail. Whiteclaw even more unknown than that water park ride. Never been to one. Watch sports? Do they advertise there?

Thanks for the laugh. Love that story. Post of the day to me. I hope the HV is not too hard on your tennis game or visa versa. Sounds like it would.

@Barbar S.
I'm with you on those B&B words. Spoken and spelling. Nice little restaurant xalled the B-word Louis. I go to great lengths to not say the name. I thought I avoided the problem, when off the B, I filled in Bikinitop and thought I had the answer. That caused problems too.

The name of the show is THE ESPYS, so the mustard passes I guess. Do you take the bra off that magical way women do that looks like the solution to some topological problem? There was a commercial on TV lately with a woman coming home doing that thing to the reggae song Pressure Drop. A nice little joke of its own. But the song itself seems to be about pressure dropping as in increasingly unpleasant consequences for the person in the song. But not unusual for a song to be taken out of context.

My neighbor flew down to an armyless country yesterday. Rains, floods and 64 degrees in the daytime he reports. He did pack a raincoat but no other coat.

Dental click. That West Virginny woman (now Carolina?) could give us a great riff on that. VISIT US, pretty please.

Birchbark 5:47 PM  

This is a weird and rewarding puzzle. All of the WHITE CLAW discussion overlooks that it crosses ANCHOVY. This takes courage. Above a HOME PHONE that can be taken off the hook. No surprise to see nearby TESSERACTS, often at the root of such four-dimensional monkey business.

The true gem is the INK/INK crossing + OINK/OINK junction in the east, joining TATOO INK, TIME SINKS, and blustery, wave-to-the-neighbors COINKYDINK. The neighbors = noble ACROPOLIS crossing pedestrian BIG TOE in this genius junk drawer of a corner. THE ESPYS somehow belong there too.

@Jberg (8:43) re Minerva's birth -- Minerva's Greek counterpart Athena was born from the head of Zeus, but only after Zeus swallowed her mother in a fit of jealousy. Guessing something similar might be so with Minerva and Jupiter. So everyone's right. Except Norse-minded Bulfinch, who is silent.

@M&A (1:52) re vodka paired with cinnamon rolls -- intriguing, and an apt description for this puzzle.

Peter in Chicago 6:00 PM  

WHITE CLAW did not feel like product placement to me just because the stuff is so ubiquitous in the real world. I can’t walk into any store that sells booze without falling over stacks and stacks of it. As a former booze hound I’ve never been curious about it, so today’s puzzle moved me to look it up. I find that it’s beer-based but the beer formula is “secret” and adds 5% alcohol to the mix in the U.S. (4.5% outside the U.S. – why?). So it’s not watered-down beer, it’s slightly beered-down water and ought properly to be avoided for that reason alone.

My carp is about Frida Kahlo’s art as FEMINIST. That is reductive. I wanted imagist or symbolist or surrealist or macabre or eschatological or something that speaks to the art rather than to the creator as a member of the majority of human beings who are women. You may have noticed that Diego Rivera was capable of making images that were out-and-out kitsch, and that alone speaks to his talentlessness. Frida Kahlo was incapable of kitschiness and I wonder how she felt knowing that she was the superior artist, prevented from demonstrating her superiority solely by dint of her physical inability to climb and stretch.

Monty Boy 6:24 PM  

I liked this one a lot, mostly because I finished Saturday within my 2 lookup limit.

@Barbra S. 9:59: Your idea for a BRASSIERE BRASSERIE restaurant is already taken. It's called Hooters.

Zwhatever 7:02 PM  

@Michael Page and others - “Classic” does not necessarily mean “original.” It’s closer to “traditional” in today’s clue (definition 1b).

@Monty Boy - I think Tilted Kilt restaurants also fit @Barbara S’s BRASSIERE Brasserie.

Regarding WHITE CLAW, I feel misunderstood. It seems like people are taking people’s incredulity as “How can you not know WHITE CLAW you yokel” instead of “How are you so lucky to have missed out on the hype.”

@Chip Hilton - I was hoping for Spiders. The only thing Guardians has going for it in my opinion is that it’s not racist.

@anon2:05 - Yeah, no. Also from that article, He wrote in a note that the drink is "still a segment that is growing faster than any other across beer" because customers still prefer the low-calorie drink as an alternative to beer.

@Peter in Chicago - Kahlo is as ubiquitous as WHITE CLAW because she’s become a FEMINIST icon, I agree that this is reductive, but most crossword clues are.

Anonymous 7:04 PM  

Looks like someone took an art history class AND a woman’s studies class.

Unknown 7:51 PM  

Somewhat challenging but a fun puzzle. I have one problem with one of the clues. The clue, "Seven year stretch" having the answer TEENS. Maybe it's used a lot and is accepted BUT, TECHNICALLY the TEENAGE years only cover the ages of 14 through 17. My 7th/8th grade teacher taught us this... (I think this is CORRECT)... Anyone from 1 to 11 is a YOUNG CHILD, 12 & 13 are TWEENS/PRE-TEENS, 14 through 17 are TEENS, 18 through 20 are YOUNG ADULTS and when one turns 21, they are officially ADULTS. ANYONE older than 17 is NOT a teen bc 18,19,20 etc... year olds may legally live on their own. A TEENAGER is NOT allowed to do that. (I have always hated when sports announcers call rookies who are those ages, TEENAGERS. NO Professional sports league would have TEENAGERS on their team. They are YOUNG MEN/WOMEN or YOUNG ADULTS. The reasons why someone who turns 21 is officially an adult is bc ANYONE who is younger that 21 is NOT allowed to legally smoke, drink or gamble. One last point... Pornos call their young stars, HOT "TEENS" but girl/guys who are 18,19... Whatever, wouldn't be allowed in pornos if they were REALLY teens. That would be ILLEGAL... A.K.A. Kiddie porn. THEY ARE... AGAIN - YOUNG ADULTS.

Anonymous 8:05 PM  


It ain't my headline.

"He wrote in a note that the drink is "still a segment that is growing faster than any other across beer" "

The thing about growth: the smaller the base, the larger an increment appears. 10 more units on a base of 10 looks better than 10 more units on a base of 100. Which would you rather own? Not counting geometric progressions like Covid, naturally.

Anonymous 8:27 PM  

I go to grocery stores and supermarkets of various stripes all the time, I buy alcoholic beverages, I watch TV, and I have never ever heard of anything called WHITE CLAW. Maybe it's regional?

mmorgan 8:53 PM  

Never ever ever ever heard of WHITE CLAW. Alcoholic seltzer?!?! And WHIPS?!? WTF?!!? Other than the NW (total fail!), I liked the puzzle.

Zwhatever 9:07 PM  

@Anon8:05 - Yeah, I hear you about that headline. $500 million in sales in 2018 to $4 billion in 2020 doesn’t sound like a market segment in distress to me. Even if it just flattens it’s a good sized market. Still, Budweiser by itself was $11 Billion (I think that’s all Budweiser products) so it’s all relative.

@Anon8:27 - Not regional at all. It must just be blending in when you walk past the booze. I think most of the packaging is white, I bet that now you’ve heard of it you’ll notice it next time.

Chip Hilton 9:20 PM  

So, we go out to eat tonight at Bill’s in Westbrook, CT (right next to the Singing Bridge), and while I’m waiting in line, I see a beach umbrella over one of Bill’s outdoor tables with the words: WHITE CLAW HARD SELTZER emblazoned on it. Funny what you’ll notice when it means something to you.

albatross shell 10:16 PM  

By legal definition your teacher is somewhat right. The age of majority is 18 or 19 in the states and 21 in Puerto Rico. Adolescent may be different for girls and boys at the lower end. But where does the clue tell you it wants a legal definition? The normal definition goes by the numbers.

TTrimble 10:20 PM  

Was keeping a low profile. After an exhausting road trip yesterday, declined to look at yesterday's commentary which I expected would have pushback (and misunderstandings) directed at my one meager comment, esp. my opinion on Forrest Gump, which of course I fully intended (and accordingly thoroughly proofread) to be written for the ages. Ah, the internet. Anyway, as I was saying, I was too tired yesterday to have a look for subsequent reactions. Perhaps once I do, I shall be disappointed that no one reacted at all. ;-)

Interesting question. Is "seltzer" a countable noun? (In civilian terms: does it take an "s"? Well, I'm oversimplifying since "deer" is a countable noun.) Hmm. "Instances of seltzer". I'm inclined to think "no" is in very fine taste. After all, seltzer is seltzer. Collective noun it shall be, if I could issue executive orders. But I can't, and don't, and won't.

More importantly: WHITE CLAW, which I've neither seen nor heard of before today, sounds completely revolting. WOE does it taste like? Lucky for me today, "WHIPS" is not entirely beyond my ken (thank you, The Bachelorette, which I watch with irony, an irony which btw I never apply to pronouncing BRASSIERE.) (Rex, you are over 50 and an odd bird to think BRASSIERE can only be pronounced ironically by people of your generation or younger.) Anyway, I avoided a semi-Natick there.

I know ROSEN from the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen thought experiment. Not so much from the speculative wormhole. Who knew this? Not I.

I used to stub my halluxopodes far more often. Once, when walking through woods in the dark, when I went slam, damn, thank you ma'am right into a log in the path. It was a bloody mess. My BIG TOEs are currently doing well, thank you.

I thought it a cute puzzle. Slow start, but it ended well. Nice cluing for ROACH and TATTOO INK. ACROPOLIS was a happy guess. I feel smug for holding off between TIME SINKS and TIME SucKS until more information arrived. I'm a smug guy.

I skimmed through the comments quickly and was half-hoping to see someone asking for an explanation of "dental click" (TSK). The Brits write it as "tut". "Tut tut". Which I used to always pronounce as written, as I did "tsk, tsk", until I finally caught on. Smug, but not too bright it seems, although I desperately hope to hide the fact.

Oof, CO-OP crossing COINKY DINK. I didn't see COOP as CO-OP. Major Natick there for me. OK, I'll grudgingly admit COINKY DINK is a little bit cute. SASSY? You be the judge.

dbyd: -1. I didn't know the missing 6-letter, which sounds to me like a Taco Bell offering. At -3 for yd. (@bocamp, I'm gonna have to break down and study the blinkin' word list. But thanks!) td: 0.

albatross shell 10:28 PM  

The damn NBC olympics show just told us White Claw Seltzer was sponsoring the games. Seek and you will find for better or worse.

Zwhatever 10:40 PM  

@Chip Hilton & @Albatross Shell - Yep. And now you’ll probably keep seeing it everywhere.

Anonymous 12:55 AM  

Robert Heinlein wrote a wonderful short story about an architect who built a house based on a TESSERACT. Full text is available here:

Capn Charlie 1:47 PM  

good puzzle.

spacecraft 11:47 AM  

So WHITECLAW is "ubiquitous" and "hugely popular?" Ne. Va. Heardofit. In all my 81+ years. And that was just the beginning of my woes in a grossly DNF effort. I had ____ERACT and no earthly idea what went into those first four squares. "At bottom" for INESSENCE??? Some obscure physicist named ROSEN? You couldn't at least have given me Nevada Senator Jacky? And how in the world am I supposed to come up with COINKYDINK? Forget it. These guys did not WANT their puzzle solved.

thefogman 11:53 AM  

MEH… Too much PPP. Had no idea what a hallux (20A) is. TESSERACTS was a tough slog that required each and every cross. So was WHITECLAW (boo!). Had spicydish before NBAPLAYER. Frida Kahlo was first and foremost an artist and more than just a FEMINIST so the clue was intentionally deceptive. Why not Gloria Steinam instead? Too cute by half and not very enjoyable.

Don 1:12 PM  

I'm with you guys. Perhaps these are east coast things. But as a lifetime west coaster I have never heard of White Claw or the term whips (unless you are going to add chains, cream or bull to it). Enjoy your comments. Thanks!

MC 1:43 PM  

I have heard of White Claw, despite being old and west coast. No idea why. Perhaps it stuck in my brain because it reminds me of flavored cigarettes/vapes - a way to entice people who otherwise wouldn't drink alcohol. Not that I have anything against alcohol - just shady marketing.

I liked the physics "theme" here. Rosen, of EPR Paradox fame. Ok, I'm a physicist so fame is relative. But good article here, And I think one of the characters in the Marvel movie, Thor, referred to an Einstein-Rosen bridge, his other claim to relative fame.

Anyway, this tied in nicely with the tesseract/wormhole/time travel thing. And then "time sink" seems somehow related if you think about time and the technical term sink, e.g. heat sink or absorber. Yeah - maybe overthinking. Occupational hazard. But I liked it.

Burma Shave 2:40 PM  


that MINERVA's a FEMINIST queer,


rondo 3:46 PM  

I've got some WHITECLAW in the fridge, so gimme at 1a. It's really popular at golf courses, mostly among women it seems.

Editors bringing in MINERVA and Palm PDAS again. They'll do that sort of thing. But how much French are we expeted to know?

Spice Girl GERI Holliwell, yeah baby.

Took some TIME but very gettable.

Diana, LIW 3:52 PM  

Put me in the MEH, never heard of WHITECLAW crowd. Oh well...that's the best I can say about this.

Diana, Waiting

leftcoaster 4:12 PM  


And If I were a FEMINIST I’d surely dispense with a BRASSIERE.


Anonymous 6:34 PM  

I am 70 years old, don't drink, and literally half blind;I read the 1 across clue, and immediately wrote in White Claw. It's freaking everywhere.

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