Put an edge on / TUES 8-3-21 / Butler in a romance / Website designer's code / Clears up a jumble

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Hi, everyone, it’s Clare for the first Tuesday of the month! I had a good excuse for missing last Tuesday — I was taking the bar exam. But I’m now done with that endless studying, and fingers crossed that I passed! Since I finished, I’ve just basked in watching any and all of the Olympics that I can. I was able to watch a lot of the swimming, which was quite fun. (Go, Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky!). And, now, the track is incredibly interesting. Whatever you do, make sure to tune in to watch the women’s 400m hurdles final tonight — two Americans (Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin) who have been trading wins and world records are up against each other, so the race should be absolutely epic. 

Anywho, I’ll try to focus on this write-up instead of the track — we’ll see how that goes!


Relative difficulty: MEDIUM
THEME: CORNER THE MARKET — Each corner of the puzzle contains the words “the market” scrambled

Theme answers:
  • KAT; ETH; MRE 
  • wHET; hARK; iMET 
  • HTMl; AREd; KETo 
Word of the Day: HAMAN (11D: Villain in the book of Esther) —
​​Haman (also known as Haman the Agagite or Haman the evil) is the main antagonist in the Book of Esther, who according to the Hebrew Bible was a vizier in the Persian empire under King Ahasuerus, commonly identified as Xerxes I but traditionally equated with Artaxerxes I or Artaxerxes II. As his epithet Agagite indicates, Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites. Some commentators interpret this descent to be symbolic, due to his similar personality. (Wiki)
• • •
I don’t have a ton to say about the puzzle today — maybe it’s because I was simultaneously doing the puzzle and watching the Olympics or maybe the puzzle was just particularly meh. I did really like the theme revealer of CORNER THE MARKET — it’s fun and clever and feels fresh. But, the result of the theme was some really quite ugly corners. And, I, at least, found the corners to be the hardest parts of the puzzle — especially the northeast and southwest corners. 

I didn’t know WHIP IT (10D: 1980 Devo hit) or HAMAN (11D), which put me in trouble in the northeast corner. On top of that, I tried to put “deck” instead of HARK for 16A: Start of a carol title, so I really did have some trouble up there. Then, with the southwest corner, I found DETRE (50D: Raison __) and A RED (65A: Run __ light) to be particularly ugly. 

Some of the longer answers were my favorite part of the puzzle. SERAPHIM (9D: Attendants at a heavenly throne) is unusual — and fun. I also enjoyed seeing WESTEROS in the puzzle (though, like every other Game of Thrones fan, do not get me started talking about what a disaster season 8 of that show was!). And, having GRATIS above REBATE was a nice touch. Looking back, I also noticed a bit of a religious theme with HAMAN, HARK, SERAPHIM, and EASTER

Other than that, this sort of just felt like a standard Tuesday to me!

  • Watching some of these events in the Olympics, I’m convinced these athletes are where the phrase ABS (6D) of steel came from. They are very fit people! 
  • Is SLOVEN (48D: Unkempt person) a real word? Google tells me it is, but I think of “slovenly” as the right form of the term. 
  • I remember TKTS (13D: Times square sign for B'way fans) on Broadway very well from when my sister and I were absolutely desperate to see Hamilton and waited in line for a long time but, sadly, did not get to see the musical (until, of course, it was released on Disney+ and was the greatest thing ever).
Hope everyone is staying safe and has a great month of August! 

Signed, Clare Carroll, who's finally done with the bar exam

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:40 AM  

Medium-tough. Pretty impressive theme but the...fill not so much. OK Tuesday, kinda liked it.

Frantic Sloth 12:43 AM  

From yesterday
@Bill L 600pm Thank you!!

The puzz: easy-peasy geez-Louise-y.
Cute theme for the Tuesdee. The fill was...there.
I look forward to the day when Game of Thrones fades into obscurity. Hope I'm still alive by then.

@Clare Fingers crossed for your exam results! 🤞 Nice to know I'm not the only Olympics addict around here, but I'm recording everything, so I'm always a day behind. Can't wait to see that race!


RAD2626 1:33 AM  

I liked this much more than Clare and Jeff Chen. Masterful construction feat and I don’t think there were that many compromises. WESTEROS, ROTOTILL, BUS DEPOT, SERAPHIM all pretty great and revealer obviously spot on. My only objection which will no doubt be mentioned by others is SLOVEN which I have never used, seen or heard. But a good Tuesday with terrific gimmick.

Trinch 2:40 AM  

Am I the only one that can’t stand “10 Items or Less”? Is it that hard to use “Fewer” and not sound ignorant? It not even just a hapless employee’s mistake. It’s a corporate decision.

Sorry. Rant over. Carry on.

chefwen 3:11 AM  

A little on the tricky Tuesday puzzle level. I liked it. The theme helped me on a couple of corners.

CORNER THE MARKET came early, easy going from there.

Ann Howell 5:15 AM  

Cute theme, if a little inelegant in its application. Never got into GoT, so was unsure about 28A and put in WESTERON... spent a good couple of minutes trying to sort out that error at the end before I got the happy music... (and, yes - "10 items or less" bugs me, too!)

Conrad 5:19 AM  

@Clare: Best of luck to you! The world doesn't need more lawyers, but it definitely needs more good lawyers.

Trouble spot in the NE, with the same issues @Clare cited: not knowing WHIP IT or HAMAN, plus having hone instead of WHET and guessing away (as in Away in a Manger) instead of HARK for no good reason. Finally figured it out with the help of the theme, since it dictated what the missing letters had to be.

Ω 5:46 AM  

THE MARKET is made up of letters! We can rearrange the letters! We get a ton of three letter answers crammed into the CORNERs! Best! Tuesday! Ever!

Well, at least they don’t force me to use their sub par proprietary app!!!

FKD 5:55 AM  

NY Times not supporting Across Lite after August 10 !?! Come on, It takes me under an hour to convert a Sunday puzzle to ACL format, and I'm an amateur. What gives, NYT? Surely your subscribers deserve better service than that; a few man-hours a week can't impact your budget that much!

mmorgan 6:15 AM  

Why oh why are they going to discontinue the .puz format and AcrossLite?? I’m really disappointed. Upset. Sad, angry … furious!! I hate their own app. I’m very tempted to just cancel, which would be a major life change….

Richard 6:18 AM  

Is it possible that the editor of the NYT Xword ran this piece of garbage today just because he knew Rex was on vacation? I feel like Rex would have excoriated this puzzle.

TTrimble 6:28 AM  

Trip Payne has been at it a long time, so I was surprised at seeing his name when I looked up. (I rarely look at the name before solving.) My time was medium or a skosh worse, and the puzzle feels about medium or worse in quality compared to other NYTXWs. In particular, the theme seems to force some ungainly resorting to abbreviations like MRE, MR. T, TKTS, and the overall result is just not attractive.

Also, not a fan of GoT, and so WESTEROS is not easy. I got stuck because I tried PayIN before PUT IN. "Presses into service" to me refers to forcing a person to do something, like join the British Navy, so USES feels strange to me, even though a verb aSE- was not forthcoming. That's the "CORNER" that took me the longest to SORT out.

Yes (Clare), SLOVEN is a noun form. "Slovenly" is not. True, that noun sounds pretty old-fashioned. I was wondering SLObbo? before settling in. SLOVEN reminds me of "slattern" which is another word you don't hear much anymore.

ROTOTILL reminds me of the annoying caprice of Sam Ezersky, who can't seem to make up his mind whether or not that should be on his SB word list.

There's some okay stuff in there like GRATIS and SERAPHIM. Other than that, not much WIT, and it wasn't very enjoyable. Do the puzzle and move on.

oceanjeremy 6:53 AM  

The theme really bothers me because yes: you have THE MARKET scrambled in each CORNER, but nothing about “CORNER THE MARKET” indicates scrambling anything. It makes no sense.

And I am absolutely obsessed with anagrams, but this is not that. Anagrams are arranged into actual words and these grey squares are just scrambled nonsense.

If the phrase were “CORNER THE MIXED UP MARKET” or “SCRAMBLE THE CORNERED MARKET” or something like that it would make sense, but that is Not The Phrase.

The end result just doesn’t look good. I mean, this is what you get:


Even just as three-letter fill the northwest and southeast is simply ugly. Some might call this an impressive feat of construction but I would beg to differ. Difficult? Perhaps. Impressive?

Well, I’m not impressed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Other than the theme it’s a fine puzzle. If the shaded squares weren’t there and this were played as a themeless I think I’d have enjoyed it more.

Lewis 6:58 AM  

As a solver and constructor, I adored this.

My constructor mind, afterward, was wowed that Trip came up with this idea at all, then had the chutzpah to think he could pull it off, and then he did just that, making every corner work. There is great talent and skill in that. Bravo!

The solver in me that loves unpuzzling things kept trying to crack what was going on theme-wise in the corners as I filled them in – to no avail – until that reveal was uncovered right at the end, so I was unpuzzling through practically then entire length of the puzzle. I didn't react to finally understanding the theme with a meh, as others here already have done, but more with a "Ooh, that's cool!"

Wowsers, Trip, thank you for this. Nice one!

And the icing on the cake (non-Trip-related): Yesterday there was the very rare event of five palindromes in the grid, and I’ll be darned if it didn’t happen again today, with AMA, STS, EKE, ETTE, and ONO.

Son Volt 7:06 AM  

The clunky corners overwhelm this grid. Revealer is solid - but the theme dies there especially with the 3x4s in the NW and SE. Did like SERAPHIM x GRATIS and Moonstruck for IN LOVE. Not enough good fill to redeem this one.

Not an overly enjoyable Tuesday.

amyyanni 7:12 AM  

Hi Clare, and congrats. Still remember the August following the bar, and that was decades ago. Life is sweeter, all around. Also following the Olympics; volunteered just before the pandemic at the US Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Those races are this weekend. Go Aliphine, Molly, & Sally; Galen, Jack, & Abdi!
Puzzle is a nifty Tuesday. And hoping one of my Jewish friends here will explain Purin and Haman (& yummy Hamantaschen) to Clare.
A PS for @Trinch: you are not the only one. Absolutely a 10 items or fewer person.

kitshef 7:26 AM  

Well, if you have no clue what a WESTEROS is, and you don’t know where the Texas Ranger HoF is …

Or – if you don’t know French, and you don’t know the key of every piece of music ever written …

There was enough very easy stuff to average out to Tuesday, I suppose.

Also, SHAK is pretty terrible. And TEC. And ETH.

pabloinnh 7:27 AM  

Filled in the NW corner instanter and tried to see what was going on with the letters, failed, went straight down, got the revealer off the C in WACO (quick, name another four-letter city in Texas), and saw what was going on. Didn't notice THE in the mix until the SW corner, oops.

The W from WACO led, eventually, to WESTROS, a place I have not visited and do not plan to. Hand up for finding SLOVEN an outlier and learned about HAMAN, possible related to HEMAN, possibly not.

Also I'll be humming "Holy, Holy, Holy" all morning as that's where my cherubim and SERAPHIM reference comes from.

I liked this one just fine, TP. Don't know about your ABS, but you have some Tightly Packed corners.

Anonymous 7:30 AM  

@Trinch: I agree 100%

But I think you're just trying to lure LMS out of hiding so she can remind us that complaining about bad grammar is worse than the bad grammar.

OffTheGrid 7:30 AM  

@Lewis describes this perfectly. After I did my second corner I saw that they shared the same letters. That helped a bit in seeding the other 2 corners. Then the revealer opened the door. I resisted REALER as long as I could. That was my only wince in the entire puzzle. Perfect Tuesday!

NB 7:44 AM  

Can't remember a Tuesday with so many short words completely out of my wheelhouse... made even harder as I'm not American (ROTATILL?!)


JD 7:57 AM  

So it turns out that Corner The Market means, "Control or ownership of enough of the available supply of a commodity or security especially to permit manipulation of the price." It's a Hot market, somebody's gonna Pay Pal.

In Love with Leaner Lemons was an interesting block.

Couldn't remember good ol' Jack Kemp. For a second, seriously wondered if it was candidate Kelp but ran the alphabet and slapped my forehead. I think Kelp ran on the Sponge Bob ticket.

Tough Tuesday that wandered in from Wednesday. Fun though, except for Shak. Hark! Bad.

@Trinch and @Amyyanni, I like 10 Items or Less. But I love Thru Traffic Merge Left, so there's no accounting for taste.

Ω 8:05 AM  

I don’t know, of course, but that whole “focus our resources” sounds like pure BS to me. The NYT is a for profit company and you generate profit in a couple of ways, one of the ways being to drive eyeballs to your website. So I suspect some Exec asked why they were letting eyeballs get to their product somewhere other than through their website or their app. Then somebody asked “how many subscribers are we likely to lose if we don’t support across lite?” They did a few calculations and decided that any short term pain was worth the long term gain.

MARKET running along the corners would be a better expression of this revealer in my opinion. But then 1A would have to be KET… and 1D KRAM…, so not easy to pull off I suspect.

@Anon 7:30 - Being irked by “less” when our ear screams “it should be ‘fewer’” is one thing. “Correcting” someone because we learned one rule that never actually universally applied is quite another.

Joaquin 8:06 AM  

This must be the most divisive Tuesday in forever. Put me in the "loved it" camp.

And while "10 ITEMS or less" is technically wrong, it's what most everyone says (where's LMS when I need her?) and, I predict, will be considered perfectly acceptable in the not-too-distant future. See also: "somewhat unique".

Please note - I am not in favor of reducing language to its lowest common denominator, just pointing out the reality. And speaking of reality, who in the world says REALER?

Birchbark 8:20 AM  

All SORTs of three-letter words in the scrambled MARKET CORNERs. Three-fourths of them are words, suffixes, or abbreviations in their own right: ___ KAT, -ETH, MRE, THE, HET, ARK, MET (twice), HAM, ERE, TKT, ARE, TRE, HAT, MR T, EKE, ARK.

Poor KEM, ATR, HTM, KET, HAK, and TTE. You too deserve a voice. Especially KEM and HAK.

MLSchrenk 8:20 AM  

I'm with you on "10 or fewer".

bocamp 8:57 AM  

Thx, Trip, for a nicely themed Tues. puz! :)

Hi Clare. Thx for your write-up, and 🤞 for passing the bar! :)

Med solve.

I might have been tripped up down at SHAK / KETO had it not been for the MARKET theme.

Pretty much on Trip's wavelength for this one. No hitches, other than the aforementioned 'K'.

I use PAYPAL whenever possible.

Good SB word in ROTOTILL, but ROTO has been ditched. :(

Overall, a very enjoyable 'Trip'. :)


Two sessions. Botched the confection in the SW (which was in the SB List), and consequently two of the crosses. So, stuff learned, and an SB word I won't soon forget LOL. See you next Mon. :)

Partial redemption for bombing on Croce's Freestyle: surprisingly, got the acrostic right. :)

yd pg -1 (missed an easy 9er, again!)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

RK from Switzerland 8:59 AM  

Me too

Andrea 8:59 AM  

I’m sorry but SHAK is the ugliest, most terrible made up abbreviation ever.
Dear William deserves better.

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

Never bothered to figure out what the letters in the corners scrambled from until filling in the theme revealer. Just guessed it was going to be something like all the same letters or something from the shaded corners in the app and went from there. Didn't find the corners very difficult once a made the assumption. Only thing I didn't get pretty quickly was SHAK but I was pretty certain HAK was right there.

"10 or less": honestly "fewer" sounds stilted to me and strikes me as hypercorrective rather than correct. Also https://xkcd.com/1108/ :)

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

Paypal, Atra, Sprint...I could do without the brand names. I liked Sloven and Sahib. Putin is hiding in plain sight, which made me chuckle. I didn't think there were any especially clever clues. Overall, pretty easy but not that exciting.

Bubbabythebay 9:13 AM  

Total non-techie here. Can someone explain what "no longer support Across Lite" means? I use an app that I believe I downloaded when I subscribed several years ago. Do I need to something before Aug 6th? Did NYT CORNERTHEMARKET on their app?

Andrea 9:17 AM  

Inre the NYTXW app, I don’t understand why people who solve in Across Lite hate it so much. I always do the puzzle in their app and —though not perfect— it’s quite ok.
Or am I missing something?

Tim Aurthur 9:21 AM  

I'm glad Clare filled in today. The review was justly critical but kind. I shudder to think how Rex would have shredded this mess.

JD 9:22 AM  

Just found this quote from the real Shaq, "Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do." But he also said, "Me shooting 40% at the foul line is just God's way to say nobody's perfect." Repetition, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

@Birchbark, You reached QB status on the mini SB.

@Z 8:05 am, I think "consolidate our resources" means spend less money. And if the NYT's goal is to keep people moving around the site, they should start by making it easier to navigate from the Games page back to the homepage. Because I've yet to figure it out other than clipping /crossword off the URL. If there is a way I haven't found, it's just God's way of saying I'm not perfect.

KnittyContessa 9:31 AM  

A Devo clue on a Tuesday was enough to make me forgive WESTEROS. I watched GOT and I can't remember any of the names. At least it wasn't a Harry Potter reference.

rjkennedy98 9:41 AM  

My big issue with this puzzle was the clue for the revealer:
"What you might do after some financial trading...".

Corning the market usually involves financial trading right? Not sure what is meant by "after some financial trading". Or it refers to a company getting monopolistic control over a product/commodity and has nothing to do with financial trading. Either way, I just don't see how this clue makes sense.

Nancy 9:54 AM  

Even though I found the corners a bit ELHTER-RESKTLE*, I really liked this puzzle -- which I found quite un-Tuesdayish. Nor were the corners the places where I most struggled. I found them the easiest part of the puzzle. I didn't need (or take much heed of) the topsy-turvy letters and I didn't use them to help me solve.

But there were some quite tricky clues for an early week puzzle. SHAK (instead of ANON) for the frequent quotation attribution; "presses into service" as a clue for USES; REALER as the answer to "less contrived" (don't like that one very much) and the (unknown to me) answer ROTOTILL.

So glad I don't time myself or care about my times. I was slower on this than on most Tuesdays and I enjoyed every extra minute of it -- however many of them there were or weren't.


RooMonster 10:00 AM  

Hey All !
Oxymoron - 5D Less contrived = REALER. Har. Talk about contrived...

Trip Payne is a cool name, sounds like a super short story. 😁

Didn't hate the puz, not the best out there, either, but it is a TuesPuz, the iffiest PuzDay of the Week. Did like how THE MARKET was jumbled in each CORNER. And all words (abbr., etc.) we see in puzs all the time. Inspired ARED clue. So simple, it's almost missed when you see ARED. I kept seeing "ARE-D", like the past tense of ARE. Har.

Simple theme, THE MARKET in EACH CORNER. ERGO, you CORNER - THE MARKET. Boom. Maybe kinda would've been better if somehow Trip could've gotten THEMARKET in order in each CORNER, but then there'd be similar words. I'm sure he tried.

🎶 "Now WHIP IT, into shape, shape it up, get straight, go forward, move ahead, try to detect it, it's not too late, to WHIP IT, WHIP IT good" 🎶 🤪 Ah, the 80's.

No F's (Let's get REALER and add an F!)

TTrimble 10:03 AM  

I've trained myself to say and write "fewer", just because I have better things to do than answering to Mrs. Grundy, but I find the distinction a bit artificial and old-fashioned. What is it now: if 10 is considered a term of natural number type, then the < relation is "fewer than", but if it's of real number type, then it's "less than"? Good grief. That's about as arbitrarily prescriptive as "don't split infinitives".

Since there is an order-preserving embedding of the natural numbers into the real numbers, there is a clear justification for using just "less than".

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

For the absolute best use of sahib watch Young in Heart. It's utterly charming. And while Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Paulette Goddard and Janet Gaynor are supposed to be the appeal, but Roland Young as the Sahib steals the movie. (It might help that some of his scenes are with and in the Flying Wombat.0 Anyway, if you see it ON TCM, treat yourself and watch it.

Frantic Sloth 10:11 AM  

@TTrimble 628am I use "slattern" all the time. Don't ask me why. Also, I like to think (delude myself?) that SLOVEN is based on the sloth. Again, don't ask.

@JD 757am "...Kelp ran on the Sponge Bob ticket." 🤣🤣🤣

@Z 895am I voiced my extreme displeasure yesterday (If anyone else feels like doing so, email NYTGames@nytimes.com), but am not hopeful that any amount of complaints or threats will have an impact. I am simply furious about scrapping the option to download in .puz format. I'm just hoping I can download every puzzle from 2010 forward and 1994 through 1996 before the 10th.
Between that and watching the Olympics, I'm one wildly productive person. 🙄

Mikey from El Prado 10:13 AM  

I’m with Frantic Sloth…. Enough Game of Thrones crap. And while we’re at it, same with Harry Potter. Popular topics? Yes, but so is fast food, and that’s crap, too. The popularity of both GoT and HP make me worry about humanity.

And, the revealer should be CORNERTHEscrambledMARKET or else the shaded boxes need to be constructed:


That would have been a better construction feat.

Oh well. In the meantime, everyone have a great day.

jberg 10:13 AM  

It's a clever theme, I did like that; and the scrambled corners are probably all you can get, although it would have been neat if the NW one was


and each of the others was rotated 90 degrees from the one before. That would be a pretty big constraint.

and it did help me, especially in the SE, when I had _RT and was actually wondering whether aRT Carney had ever said that. So, Mr. T and Ms. E meet in a bar.....

But the PPE! Like Clare, I knew neither WHIPIT or HAMAN; If I hadn't known TKTS, IMET, and SPRINT, it would have been hopeless for me. Then there was WESTEROS resting partly on RAMIS. I think I had heard of both of them, but it took many crosses before they came to e.

Then for some reason I went with raison D'ETat, and seriously considered SHKR for the bard; here again, looking for THE MARKET helped get that sorted.

A Gamestop clue would have been better forr CORNER THE MARKET.

Back long ago when I thought about buying one, ROTO-TILLer was a brand name, but apparently it isn't any more. I don't know how that affects its SB status.

AH ME - a melodramatic cry last heard during the Renaissance.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

That quote aint Shaq's. It's Will Durant's, often misattributed to Aristotle.

pabloinnh 10:17 AM  

Our local upscale food market in the college town has had their express lane labelled "!0 items or fewer" for a number of years now. Other local supermarkets have been following suit.

The distinction drilled into me in seventh grade by Mrs. Brownell was that "fewer" is for things you can count, but I don't correct other people's usage, as I have also been strongly influenced by LMS.

Whatsername 10:17 AM  

Theme concept is solid but it sure seemed like some oddball fill in the cornered MARKETs. Or maybe I should say the MARKET corners. At least the revealer aided in the solve, always an asset in my exalted opinion. An overall good Tuesday effort and I enjoyed it.

REALER made me cringe and I was dismayed to see that it is actually considered a proper word. It certainly is an ugly one. In my exalted opinion.

Joseph Michael 10:22 AM  

I agree with @oceanjeremy that the theme doesn’t make sense. If you disassemble a car and throw the pieces in random order into a box, it’s no longer a car. What’s being cornered in this puzzle are boxes of scrambled letters. Not THE MARKET.

Meanwhile I’m looking at answers like ETH, IMET, ONA, SHAK, ARED, and AHME and wondering what language this grid is speaking.

So, not IN LOVE with this puzzle, but appreciate that it presented a harder than usual challenge for a Tuesday,

Must run now to the ground transportation hub and catch my BUS.

Nancy 10:28 AM  

Love your posts, @TTrimble, but I don't think too many non-mathematicians will understand your arcane explanation of the less/fewer distinction. Here's the way I learned it.

If you can count something, use "fewer": "This drink has fewer cubes of ice in it."

If you can't count something, use "less": "This drink has less ice in it."

You can't count "ice" but you can count individual "cubes of ice".

That's it. So very, very easy, really, to understand and practice.

But interestingly enough, "10 items or less" didn't bother me at all today. When you've seen that sign in supermarkets for perhaps the last 20 years, you just stop noticing. These signs aren't written by Rhodes Scholars. They're written by people whose first language often isn't English at all. You see some real doozies in NYC supermarkets -- many of them much worse than this. Some are hilarious. Someone should write a book. Oh, wait, I think someone already did.

mathgent 10:37 AM  

I enjoyed it. I had CORNERTHEMARKET early. That signalled that the theme had to do with the shaded squares in the ... corners. Then I got the NW corner and saw that it contained the letters in THEMARKET. Aha! I went to the other corners hot to fill them in. The key was finding an entry with a K. That was a lot of fun.

Very well-constructed puzzle. Smart cluing. No junk (although ARED and SHAK aren't great). Only 12 threes, and six of them were forced by the 3x3s. Clever theme.

I guess at one time people would say "Jasper is such a sloven." And then, as society became more polite, they would say "Jasper's rather slovenly."

When Nancy listed her favorite Agatha Christie novels the other day, it struck me that I had seen many movies made from her novels but had never read one of her novels. So I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd last week. It took my breath away. I just got another of her favorites, Funerals are Fatal (also titled After the Funeral). I'm going to start it today. They both feature Hercule Poirot.

Renee 10:39 AM  

Thanks for helping me understand the theme. I got corner the market pretty early, but knew I was missing something when all I could take away from it was shaded four corners. Because it started with Kit Kat I thought maybe I'd see some food items in ever corner, but nope. Very creative!!

The puzzle was a tad bit harder to me for a Tuesday, but overall I enjoyed it a lot. Especially after being wowed by the theme/construction like others here.

l'americaine 10:46 AM  

I see there are not many Jews in the comments -- as a person who has hissed about the evils of King Haman every Purim that clue was a gimme and was let me know 10A was not HONE as I originally put.

Brian 11:04 AM  


bocamp 11:07 AM  

'Less ITEMS' wouldn't sound right to me, but 'ITEMS or less' sounds better than 'ITEMS or fewer'. That may be due to having seen it so often at the superMARKET. 🤔

Hey, hey the Dukes are trying to CORNER THE MARKET. From Trading Places.

@TTrimble (6:28 AM)

I may be mistaken, but the last time ROTOTILL was possible in the SB, it was accepted, whereas ROTO (from ROTOgravure) has been removed.

td pg -1

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Masked and Anonymous 11:09 AM  

Seems like quite a spell since the last Trip Payne puz. Welcome back, dude.

Weird-ass abandonment of AcrossLite by the NYT. M&A used to print off the PDF version over at xwordinfo.chen, but that also got a lot trickier to do there, as of last night, for some reason. [But … if U go to their Solutions & Notes page, they do still offer a nano-print-sized "PDF" option, up-top in the heading area, between "Fiend" and "FAQ".]

Kinda neat, havin theme-related weeject stacks in the NW & SE. Staff weeject pick hasta go to ETH. honrable mention to ONA, tho.

Some unknown-to-M&A fillins: WESTEROS. SERAPHIM. HAMAN.
fave Ow de Sperations: SHAK. REALER. ARED. TKTS.

Thanx, Mr. Payne.

Masked & AnonymoUUs

Thanx also to all the blogmeister subs this week so far. Good job, y'all.

the runtpuzs still do AcrossLite ...

What? 11:17 AM  

“10 or fewer”. The language police are at it again.
What is the purpose of language, I ask you (do rhetorical questions need question marks?)? It is to communicate. Does nobody know what “10 or less” means? If they got it, it good.

albatross shell 11:18 AM  

10 items or less. My complaint is it's 15, 20, or 25 around here and that's an improvement. And depending on the line 30 or 40 is what people go by.
10 or less is wrong? How about 10 items, more or less? 11 items or more not allowed?

3 is less than 10, true or false? Or incorrect? Nevertheless, some of us say it and the meaning is clear.

albatross shell 11:19 AM  

Oh, and the clue is correct in any case.

Pete 11:21 AM  

@TTrimble - Come on man, preserve the integrity of Integers! Get mad at people who use Less than when referring to integral objects, and then get even madder at people who say "fewer than 50% of the population is vaccinated" because they're trying to be correct about the less/fewer issue and end up being incorrect anyway. Then we can get totally apoplectic who say "My parents gave my wife and I a..." when they've learned to say "My wife and I are going.." and think that applies everywhere.

Ethan Taliesin 11:28 AM  

Great theme, and more like a Wednesday in difficulty.

egsforbreakfast 11:33 AM  

Those who argue that CORNER THE MARKET is not a good revealer because it is less than (not fewer than) 100% correctly descriptive of the fill in the corners would presumably argue that yesterday’s revealer should have been “WEATHER related words that appear at the FRONT of non-weather related phrases.” You should read a book about how crosswords work.

I thought the theme and revealer were great.

blinker474 11:38 AM  

One of the ugliest puzzles i've ever seen - or solved. SHAK has to be the worst abbreviation ever in a crossword. I was shocked, shocked to see that the constructor was the very talented Mr. Payne. What a shame

Whatsername 11:51 AM  

Re 10 items or less, https://imgflip.com/i/oj54f don’t let this happen to you! Or how do you like this version of the sign?

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

It's not just a lack of Jews hereabouts, it's a profound lack of religion of any kind. Well except liberal secularism. Billions of people around the world believe in God. The folks around here believe in themselves. It never ceases to amaze me. I could go on, but no one wants the whole megillah from me;)

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Darn! I forgot. I very much doubt the women's 400 meter hurdles will be able to match the men's 400 hurdles. It was the greatest race in the history of track and field. Yeah, the greatest ever. Going back to Pheidippides.

TTrimble 12:06 PM  

Of course I completely understand the rule and where it comes from, and in fact I obey it myself (for a reason I gave). It's just that I don't think it's really a compelling rule, especially if it causes one group of people to look down in some way upon another (and no matter how benign a form that looking-down takes). It's a convention some of us learned, but to my mind an entirely dispensable one.

And yes, I wrote a formulation in the language of mathematics, pretty deliberately in fact, and apologies if it sounded pompous. My main point is that having one grammatical expression for discrete countable quantities and a different one for continuous quantities is unnecessary, and in fact it's inconsistent with usages elsewhere.

For example, we know what it means to add two whole numbers, and we know what it means to add two real numbers (i.e., numbers potentially with stuff after the decimal point). We use the same word "addition" to cover both cases -- even if a stickler would insist that the two operations are strictly speaking not the same. So if the word "addition" is permitted to cover both cases, why can't the phrase "less than" (which is the default expression in mathematics) cover both cases?

Again, particularly in view of how grammar which is in essence arbitrary is used as a shibboleth.

I almost feel that your not reaching QB gives me permission not to look further myself. I was yd -2, and looking at the solution, don't feel a bit bad about it. Right now I'm td -1 (missing a 5-letter).

Ω 12:11 PM  

@Pete - The Integrity of Integers is now the name of my new band, playing backup in the ping pong room.

@Anon 9:03 - 👍🏽👍🏽

@Frantic Sloth - I hope writing that email made you feel better. If they are halfway competent they knew this change would lead to actual cancellations and have an estimate for it, so it will only matter if you are joined by enough people actually canceling to make them notice.

@JD 9:22 - As someone pointed out, we’re talking about a one hour task in somebody’s workday, probably the lowest paid person in their tech department (again, speculating here), so they aren’t saving much money.

@BubbaByTheBay - Do you know how to find the name of the app you are using? There’s actually a bunch, and most of them use the .puz file. You will need to use the NYT Crossword App after August 10.

@Andrea - The NYTX has a hard time with unusual visual elements. It is as good as any other app for most puzzles. But there are days these comments fill up with angry posts because the NYTX App wrecked the solve. Across Lite is no better, but many people prefer the ease of navigating the grid in that program. I much prefer PuzzAzz to any other program because it is best at replicating the print version. Most of the time I just print the pdf, so the move doesn’t affect me much unless I’m traveling.

JD 12:28 PM  

@Z, Those are the people who are very first to go. Preserve high salaried execs, cut a bunch of peons and deal their work out to other peons. Private industry.

GILL I. 12:33 PM  

Ah...let's see. A Tuesday that let the CORNERS of my mind take a little hike to my local MARKET and see if the sign says "LESS" or "FEWER"....Well dang...it just says "EXPRESS LANE".....Do I qualify? Is that REALER? Do I need to take out my WHIP and WHIP IT? Should I take a HOT SPRINT over to the LEMONS or maybe to the CLAMS and make them smile? The MENUS at the GREASE DINERS don't serve KETO and the ACAI needs a little TATA...but that's OK. I met a SLOVEN MR T in the LINE and he told me he was IN LOVE with all the ITEMS in his EASTER basket. I told him it wasn't EASTER yet but he swore they were GRATIS and he needed to WHET his appetite. I felt I needed to run to the PARK and HIDE. Such is life.

@Frantic...Horrors of all horrors if this means that we won't be seeing your using emojis anymore. Please don't say it's so......I couldn't live.

@Clare....Best of best to you. I'm sure you sailed through.

Teedmn 12:55 PM  

This was as easy a Tuesday puzzle as yesterday was for a Monday. Though of course I had hone before WHET, kiwI before ACAI (and wondered who was having kiwi bowls) and anon before SHAK (which was so eyeroll-worthy, I decided I liked it.)

I love the clue, "Occasion that people are dyeing to celebrate?" for EASTER, a tad wordy but worth it.

The theme works as revealed so I'm okay with the letter soup that it produces. Thanks, Trip Payne.

mmorgan 1:00 PM  

I wrote the NYT to complain about their removing support for .puz files and apps like AcrossLite, and I explained why I don't like the NYT app or desktop version.

They responded, thanking me for writing them, and saying, "As a reminder, you can play the NYT crossword on our Crossword app and on desktop and mobile web."

I'm so glad they heard me. Not.


Blog Goliard 1:00 PM  

@albatross shell - "How about 10 items, more or less?"

I would pay my local grocery store cash money to change their express-lane sign to "10 items, more or less".

My two cents on this question: By temperament and conviction I'm definitely a prescriptivist stickler, but at the same time would concede that "or fewer" just strikes the ear oddly in a way that "or less" doesn't. (It is just the extra syllable?) And surely that has at least as much to do with the signs reading the way they do as a shaky command of grammar.

At any rate, it's not as big a sore thumb for me as many, many other things.

For instance, I have never been able to shake a super-picky (one might even say perfectly-arguable) pet peeve when watching or listening to sports broadcasts. Say Shaq's team is behind 79-69, and he sinks a free throw to make it 79-70. "Shaq brings them within 9!" the announcer will say. "No," insists my pedant brain, now and forever, "he's brought them to exactly nine points behind. What they're now within is 10 points...also they're within 20...also within 150..."

Anyhow, as for this particular puzzle...agreed that SHAK was awful and perhaps not worth it even if the theme could have never worked otherwise. Also other fill problems, from other inherently-bad, please-never-do-this-again ones (e.g. TEC), to ones that aren't necessarily that bad, but are so overused that constructors should really try much harder to avoid leaning on them so often (e.g. ACAI, SRS, TATA).

Sure, that's easy for me to say because I've constructed way fewer puzzles than the likes of Mr. Payne; but I have built some, and managed to follow my own advice here in doing so.

Perhaps puzzle editors should put in place a system of incentives. "You get a $5 bonus for not using EKE...but you did use ATRA, that's a $15 penalty...so your check will be the standard rate minus $10."

nope 1:14 PM  

I agree, rarely to I need to rant about the NYT crossword, but I hated this. BTW who even uses HTML any more for web development

doghairstew 1:14 PM  

I had the same disgruntlement. I wanted some explanation in the revealer as to why all these markets are scrambled.

Maybe it's a commentary on the randomness of existence. Why is everything so mixed up? That's life!

old timer 1:27 PM  

I found it very hard for a Tuesday, unlike yesterday's super-Easy. I wrote in "hone" for WHET. I suppose it means "put an edge on", but I think of the phrase "WHET your appetite" and I don't think anyone thinks of a sharpening steel. It means "stimulate" in that contest. You might be served an amuse-bouche to WHET your appetite before the entree (and, folks, the entree really means a first course, what you have after soup and before your main meat course).

I also almost wrote in "Cruz" before ROSA, which is silly because I live in Santa ROSA. Which you must never call ROSA, no more than you can call San Francisco "Frisco'. But you can call our oldest high school ROSA and most folks do. My kids all went to ROSA.

I thought the puzzle had some flaws. SHAK was awful, and who ever cried out AH ME? Oh my is what people say, with or without God or stars at the end. Plus, I always get confused between SAHIB and bwana, which once was common in Kenya, but is now used more as a jokey term for "boss".

Bubbabythebay 1:57 PM  

I don't know how to find which app I am using...I think if is whatever comes with the NYT puzzle app that I downloaded. Is there somewhere I can find the app name? It's not under the 'settings'icon

Anonymous 2:20 PM  

I guess that few NYT crossword solvers have played horseshoes. Leaners are worth two points, not one point.

bocamp 2:31 PM  

@Bubbabythebay (1:57 PM)

By the sound of it, you're already using the NYT Crossword app, so you won't be affected by the same issue as those using the Across Lite app.

The app I use on my iPad is listed in the App Store as 'New York Times Crossword'. The icon for it on my homepage just shows as 'Crossword' with a stylized TC on a black and white magnified grid background.

td 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Whatsername 2:42 PM  

mmorgan (1:00) Whoever wrote that letter should run for office. It’s the same kind of pandering BS I get from my congressman and senators.

Legume 3:05 PM  

Am I the only one that can’t stand “10 Items or Less”?

More or less than the thugs with a cartfull who take the lane? The innumerate mob leads to other problems; one detailed below.

Got the theme easily enough, but didn't see MARKET in any of the corners, because, well, THE LETTERS AIN'T IN ORDER.

Rex would have excoriated this puzzle.

Well, excrementalized?

Yes, it's hone, not WHET. Being a Gentile, I didn't have HAMAN on my mind.

As to not enough Jews on the board and the evil of secular liberalism: Jews don't believe in heaven or hell, to boot. Stupid people, for millennia, have bought the 'pie in the sky' siren song of mainstream Christian sects. What has it gotten them? Just a Trumpster and a cabal of other grifters determined to keep the hoi polloi poor and themselves ever richer. Nice bargain if you can get it.

To quote some anon long gone: WWJD? Certainly not support the Trumpster and the cabal. Does that make Him a secular liberal? I expect so.

TTrimble 3:06 PM  

@old timer
I think of WHET as meaning "sharpen". That works with blades and appetites. For example, there's whetstone for the blade sense.

td 0. The usual congrats to @bocamp :-)

pabloinnh 3:32 PM  

@anyone interested

td 0 also, and about time.

Anonymous 3:44 PM  

I got bored with the BEE. So much repetition. Similar thing happened with Sudoku. It just got tiresome.

Anonymous 3:58 PM  

Quite right. How ironic then that a Catholic priest used legumes to become the father of genetics? But besides that, what has the sect done for the world?

Hmm. Let's see...

Light and the cosmos
The Opus Maius (1267) of the Franciscan Roger Bacon, written at the request of Pope Clement IV, largely initiated the tradition of optics in the Latin world. The first spectacles were invented in Italy around 1300, an application of lenses that developed later into telescopes and microscopes.

While many people think of Galileo being persecuted, they tend to forget the peculiar circumstances of these events, or the fact that he died in his bed and his daughter became a nun.

The Gregorian Calendar (1582), now used worldwide, is a fruit of work by Catholic astronomers, as is the development of astrophysics by the spectroscopy of Fr Angelo Secchi (d 1878).

Most remarkably, the most important theory of modern cosmology, the Big Bang, was invented by a Catholic priest, Fr Georges Lemaître (d 1966), a historical fact that is almost never mentioned by the BBC or in popular science books.

2. Earth and nature

Dondi's Astrarium
Catholic civilisation has made a remarkable contribution to the scientific investigation and mapping of the earth, producing great explorers such as Marco Polo (d 1324), Prince Henry the Navigator (d 1460), Bartolomeu Dias (d 1500), Christopher Columbus (d 1506) and Ferdinand Magellan
(d 1521). Far from believing that the world was flat (a black legend invented in the 19th century), the Catholic world produced the first modern scientific map: Diogo Ribeiro's Padrón Real (1527). Fr Nicolas Steno (d 1686) was the founder of stratigraphy, the interpretation of rock strata which is one of the principles of geology.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (d 1829), a French Catholic, developed the first theory of evolution, including the notion of the transmutation of species and a genealogical tree. The Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel (d 1884) founded the science of genetics based on the meticulous study of the inherited characteristics of some 29,000 pea plants.

3. Philosophy and theology

St Thomas Aquinas
Catholicism regards philosophy as intrinsically good and was largely responsible for founding theology, the application of reason to what has been revealed supernaturally. Great Catholic philosophers include St Augustine (d 430), St Thomas Aquinas (d 1274), St Anselm (d 1109), Blessed Duns Scotus (d 1308), th Stein (d 1942), Elizabeth Anscombe (d 2001) and Alasdair MacIntyre. Suárez (d 1617) and Blaise Pascal (d 1662). Recent figures include St EdiOn the basis that God is a God of reason and love, Catholics have defended the irreducibility of the human person to matter, the principle that created beings can be genuine causes of their own actions, free will, the role of the virtues in happiness, objective good and evil, natural law and the principle of non-contradiction. These principles have had an incalculable influence on intellectual life and culture.

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

Hmm, let's keep looking, shall we Legume?

4. Education and the university system

Perhaps the greatest single contribution to education to emerge from Catholic civilisation was the development of the university system. Early Catholic universities include Bologna (1088); Paris (c 1150); Oxford (1167); Salerno (1173); Vicenza (1204); Cambridge (1209); Salamanca (1218-1219); Padua (1222); Naples (1224) and Vercelli (1228). By the middle of the 15th-century (more than 70 years before the Reformation), there were over 50 universities in Europe.

Many of these universities, such as Oxford, still show signs of their Catholic foundation, such as quadrangles modelled on monastic cloisters, gothic architecture and numerous chapels. Starting from the sixth-century Catholic Europe also developed what were later called grammar schools and, in the 15th century, produced the movable type printing press system, with incalculable benefits for education. Today, it has been estimated that Church schools educate more than 50 million students worldwide.

5. Art and architecture

St. Peter's
Faith in the Incarnation, the Word made Flesh and the Sacrifice of the Mass have been the founding principles of extraordinary Catholic contributions to art and architecture. These contributions include: the great basilicas of ancient Rome; the work of Giotto (d 1337), who initiated a realism in painting the Franciscan Stations of the Cross, which helped to inspire three-dimensional art and drama; the invention of one-point linear perspective by Brunelleschi (d 1446) and the great works of the High Renaissance. The latter include the works of Blessed Fra Angelico (d 1455), today the patron saint of art, and the unrivalled work of Leonardo da Vinci (d 1519), Raphael (d 1520), Caravaggio (d 1610), Michelangelo (d 1564) and Bernini (d 1680). Many of the works of these artists, such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling, are considered among the greatest works of art of all time. Catholic civilisation also founded entire genres, such as Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, High Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The Cristo Redentor statue in Brazil and the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona show that the faith continues to be an inspiration for highly original art and architecture.

Anonymous 4:01 PM  

Legume, as Ron Poepeil loved to say, but wait, there's more.


Dante Alighieri
The centrality of Greek and Latin to Catholicism has greatly facilitated popular literacy, since true alphabets are far easier to learn than the symbols of logographic languages, such as Chinese. Spread by Catholic missions and exploration, the Latin alphabet is now the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world. Catholics also developed the Armenian, Georgian and Cyrillic alphabets and standard scripts, such as Carolingian minuscule from the ninth to 12th centuries, and Gothic miniscule (from the 12th). Catholicism also provided the cultural framework for the Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy), the Cantar de Mio Cid ("The Song of my Lord") and La Chanson de Roland (The Song of Roland), vernacular works that greatly influenced the development of Italian, Spanish and French respectively. The Catholic Hymn of Cædmon in the seventh century is arguably the oldest extant text of Old English. Valentin Haüy (d 1822), brother of the Abbé Haüy (the priest who invented crystallography), founded the first school for the blind. The most famous student of this school, Louis Braille (d 1852), developed the worldwide system of writing for the blind that today bears his name.


Catholic civilisation virtually invented the western musical tradition, drawing on Jewish antecedents in early liturgical music. Monophonic Gregorian chant developed from the sixth century. Methods for recording chant led to the invention of musical notion (staff notation), of incalculable benefit for the recording of music, and the ut-re-mi ("do-re-mi") mnemonic device of Guido of Arezzo (d 1003). From the 10th century cathedral schools developed polyphonic music, extended later to as many as 40 voices (Tallis, Spem in Alium) and even 60 voices (Striggio, Missa Sopra Ecco).

Musical genres that largely or wholly originated with Catholic civilisation include the hymn, the oratorio and the opera. Haydn (d 1809), a devout Catholic, strongly shaped the development of the symphony and string quartet. Church patronage and liturgical forms shaped many works by Monteverdi (d 1643), Vivaldi (d 1741), Mozart (d 1791) and Beethoven (d 1827). The great Symphony No 8 of Mahler (d 1911) takes as its principal theme the ancient hymn of Pentecost, Veni creator spiritus

Anonymous 4:06 PM  


Don't forget..

Law and jurisprudence

The reforms of Pope Gregory VII (d 1085) gave impetus to forming the laws of the Church and states of Europe. The subsequent application of philosophy to law, together with the great works of monks like the 12th-century Gratian, produced the first complete, systematic bodies of law, in which all parts are viewed as interacting to form a whole. This revolution also led to the founding of law schools, starting in Bologna (1088), from which the legal profession emerged, and concepts such as "corporate personality", the legal basis of a wide range of bodies today such as universities, corporations and trust funds. Legal principles such as "good faith", reciprocity of rights, equality before the law, international law, trial by jury, habeas corpus and the obligation to prove an offence beyond a reasonable doubt are all fruits of Catholic civilisation and jurisprudence.

Good luck with your view of the world. As you say, your story ends in the grave. Mine? With some luck, in paradise with the communion of saints enjoying infinite love in everlasting life.

bocamp 4:44 PM  

@TTrimble 👍 / @pabloinnh 👍 for 0s

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Ω 4:48 PM  

Dan Feyer has opinions about the NYT dropping support for .puz
It’s a longish thread. I agree with everything he says. So will @Frantic Sloth and @mmorgan and others. If you don’t know who Dan Feyer is Watch this.

Anonymous 4:56 PM  

Feyer acknowledges that the app the Times is suing is the industry standard.
Hard to take his complaining seriously given that acknowledgement.

Jeff B. 5:12 PM  

Ugh! Did not know HAMAN. Wish I did not need to know game of thrones trivia to do these puzzles. WESTEROS and SAHIB was my NATICK in this slog.

Fortunately, WHIPIT was a gimme that brightened the experience (thank you Devo).

Ω 5:15 PM  

@anon 4:56 - Feyer says .puz is the industry standard, not the NYT app.

A friendly reminder 5:40 PM  

To make an anonymous post disappear all you need to do is tap or click on the word “Anonymous” as it scrolls up. This might come in handy today or in the future.

Anoa Bob 5:50 PM  

I was put off even before I read the first clue when I saw the grid had 40 black squares and the typical 40-square pinched off areas, here especially the CORNERs. The upper left and lower right CORNERs are almost completely closed off and their opposites are only slightly less so. The shaded squares take up most of the space in those CORNERs and were like a dark shadow, an inauspicious omen of what was to come.

I think the CORNER THE MARKET theme idea looks like it has potential but in order to make this happen, MARKET has to be stuffed in each CORNER and the results, as some others have noted, strikes me as unpleasing to the eye. Is there any way to scramble MARKET in a 3X3 configuration that isn't ugly? And on top of that, lots of threes and fours were needed to get it done. The central area had some nice touches but the pair of two-for-one POCs wasn't one of them.

At least the area HEB grocery stores have signs over some check-out lines that read "Express Lane Lane Only 15 items or fewer". Somehow I find that comforting.

While making the above comment I was hooked up to a polygraph. The operator said I remained as cool as a cucumber the whole time.

Anonymous 6:13 PM  

Friendly reminder.
You can memory hole a post, but the truth remains.

Joe Dipinto 6:27 PM  

I don't care if "LESS" is improper grammar, you can't have signs hanging in supermarkets that say "10 ITEMS OR FÜHRER". You just can't.

(Sorry. I'd like to think Mel Brooks would approve.)

Susan 6:34 PM  

I have not heard anyone use the word realer in my 79 years. Can’t believe it’s in the dictionary. It’s another case of the bad words driving out the good.

Anonymous 6:48 PM  

Just now.ABC news reporting on the goings on at the Pentagon:
Officials are providing few details.
So, are you sticking with your claim that few and less are redundant? That is, are you claiming this
Officials re providing less details— is equivalent?

Stephen Minehart 6:59 PM  


The thing is, the people who write those signs might actually be Rhode Scholars. Because they're not thinking "What is the grammatically correct phrasing?" They're thinking "What phrasing is most common? What will the customers find pleasant? What sign will make our store feel like home to them?" Casually dismissing their grammar error as ignorance is probably ignorant itself, sorry. It's exactly the same as who vs whom. Why would an ad exec write"Who do you trust?" vs "Whom do you trust?" It's not because they don't know what they're doing, it's because they do. They don't want to sound like a condescending effete to their customers. Where is LMS anyway?

Anonymous 7:36 PM  

Stephen Minehart,

GILL I. 8:17 PM  

@Joe Dip 6:27 gets my funny bone is tickling award.

ghostoflectricity 8:23 PM  

Meh puzzle; hope you passed the bar exam with flying colors!

TTrimble 8:38 PM  

@6:48 PM
Really, that's all you got? All I have to do is sit back and let the public observe what a pitiably lame and illogical comment that is.

You should pace yourself. I think you're all tuckered out by that long multi-comment Catholic screed which the mods were kind enough to let pass.

Birchbark 8:44 PM  

@JD (9:22) -- Thanks -- Not since junior high have I been called a quarterback, and it may be as close to the Spelling Bee discussions here as I'll ever get. Heavy is the head that wears the helmet.

Unknown 9:00 PM  

Since I only use the NYT app, I have no idea what folks are complaining about.

Fun puz, excellently constructed.

Or as Z would say, quite cromulent.

Cristi 10:03 PM  

Yes! Good olde Shak! Not to mention the fact that scrambling letters into random gibberish isn’t much of a stunt: Corner the gibberish market? Corner the scrambled market? IDK, I’d this where we are?

Anonymous 10:23 PM  

Oof. Talk about bigotry.Catholic screed?! Wow.

Anonymous 10:25 PM  

Any part of the “screed” that you refute?

Legume 10:55 PM  


well, Islam has a better deal: a bevy of virgins!!

albatross shell 12:05 AM  

If you rate religions by the paradise they promise after you die, you are too foolish to need refutation. But big rock candy mountain doesn’t sound too bad. You were joking I hope.

Martha 8:16 AM  

Me too.

Kate O'Kula 2:07 PM  

Not a fun puzzle for me. What is a “Shak”? 54 down.

Unknown 1:47 PM  

Kate: I,too, have no what a "Shak" is, even after reading every post in this thread!

thefogman 9:35 AM  

The gimmick was just not worth it. You solve one corner, you’ve solved them all. I wasn’t the only one who did not understand 54D. Upon reflection I believe SHAK is an abbreviation for Shakespeare. That alone should have disqualified this HOT mess.

thefogman 9:48 AM  

PS - Also REALER is a big no-no, in my opinion. There are lots of others. Where’s the editor?

spacecraft 11:38 AM  

@the fogman is correct. Anyone who opens a Webster's Unabridged soon runs across a SHAK[espeare] quotation. I assume the same is true of the OED, though I've never opened one of those. Those tomes do, however, unfortunately, contain "REALER." Hm. A thing is either real or not, as far as I can see. Also SLOVEN, a back-formation from "slovenly" that's very rare.

@our long-winded anonymous: Think about everlasting life, filled with peace and love, day after day after everlasting day, with no end in sight, attended by sycophantic SERAPHIM, and not even a slightly bad day among them. Your soul would go bonkers. Good times are good only because there are bad times to contrast them against. Even further: there can be no good without the backdrop of evil.

The theme is executed about as well as possible, and again the revealer is a clever use of a common phrase. The fill, again, understandably suffers. It includes two bleedovers from yesterday, EKE and TATA, both most unsavory. And the old RMK along with some pretty rough CORNERs.

Learned WESTEROS, and welcomed ROROTILL & SERAPHIM--at least fresh. Don't walk away, RENEE, put on that DOD sash. Most honorable mention to ERIN Andrews. Ta...nah, ciao for now. Par.

Burma Shave 11:47 AM  


IMET ERIN, she is HOT,
she’s ON THEMARKET a lot,
ONTAPE her TATAs were caught,


rondo 12:00 PM  

For all the junk this ‘theme’ generated in the corners (and elsewhere) this puz should not have seen the light of day. Plus a RMK and finishing with an EKE. ONO!

Nobody saying any thing about PUTIN? Let’s at least recognize what should have been the actual clue.

SARA and ERIN and RENEE all worthy of a yeah baby. And in the SE corner the PARK ETTEs, who used to be the MN Vikings dance team.

I hope Tuesdays will not revert to being the NYTXword garbage can of the week.

thefogman 1:24 PM  

@Spacey: Your comments about too much ofa good thing etc. remind me of that old Star Trek episode (This Side of Paradise) where Spock, Bones Kirk etc. beam down on a planet that has strange plants which shoot spores in their faces. After that happens, everything is hunky dory. There is a kind of mutuny that ensues (Spock telling Kirk to stick it) and to make a long story short the crew eventually gets back to reality while Kirk concludes you need have at least some struggle and pain in order for joy and pleasure to exist.


Diana, LIW 2:36 PM  

Starting a puzzle with a Kit KAT bar is a good omen. But not REALER than some of the bad answers.

Gonna go get a little KK mini now. Not as bad as many noted. But use REALER words next time.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Reality

leftcoaster 4:31 PM  

Tuesdays’ puzzles often get a bad rap. But this one deserves some respect.

Take a look at the NE CORNER (and the others for that matter): WHET, WHIPIT, HAMAN, TKTS are not gimmes. And CORNERTHEMARKET is a fine revealer.

SHAK. and KETO weren’t LEMONS either.

Mr. Payne did not Trip over this one.

Anonymous 6:09 PM  

Shak and Shaq were at the playground and decided to play a game of equine.
Shak won because he was better at making free-throws than Shaq.

Anonymous 6:18 PM  

And so began (S)Hak-a-Shaq.

Anonymous 6:21 PM  

Or was that Shak(e) Shaq?

wcutler 9:48 PM  

I guess all the folks who were using the puz app have got themselves sorted out by now. I noted a mention or two of people wanting to print the puzzle. I get my syndicated puzzle from the online newspaper subscription, and print it out as a scrolling screen print using Snagit.

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