Titaness who abducted Orion / SAT 8-7-21 / It raised a major red flag / One with key responsibilities? / Composer of many Streisand show tunes

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Constructor: ADAM AARONSON

Relative difficulty: MEDIUM-HARD (8:39 - my longest Saturday in months)

THEME: None, technically (it's Saturday), but let's say "The Kids Are All Ight"

Word of the Day: DNA BANK (Gene pool?) —

DNA banking is the secure, long term storage of an individual’s genetic materialDNA is most commonly extracted from blood, but can also be obtained from saliva and other tissues. DNA banks allow for conservation of genetic material and comparative analysis of an individual's genetic information.
• • •
Let's get things started with a SUITE (4D - Holst's "The Planets," for one)

Welcome back, Crossword-kateers! It's Eli with you for one day more!

I promise it won't be all videos. To the puzzle! I've solved and enjoyed several of Adam Aaronson's puzzles in the past and generally enjoy them quite a bit. This one is an impressive feat, to be sure, but did it make for a fun solve? I could feel the puzzle straining under the weight (IGHT!) of the "IGHT" gag at times, to be sure.

Theme answers:
  • LIGHT WEIGHT, EIGHTY EIGHTY, NIGHTY NIGHTY, IT'S ALL RIGHT, SAT TIGHT, MIGHTY, SIGHT, SLEIGHT (Typing it all out makes it feel like We Didn't Start the Fire or It's the End of the World As We Know It is about to break out). Sorry if I missed one or two.
Looking at that center stack, a couple of things stand out to me. Having 28A THIGHS not end with a T (to be fair, not sure how to solve that) alongside 29D HIGH SALARY both feel like trade-offs to make the grid work, but they make the whole thing feel a little less cohesive. More glaringly to me was 26A RUGS crossing 23D AUGHTS. Like I said yesterday, I'm not a constructor, but that U feels like a sore thumb. "RIGS" would be easy enough, but that makes the cross "AIGHTS," which... I don't know, "Slangy assents?" Admittedly it's not an easy fix, it just made it all slightly less satisfying.

I had a bit of a hard time getting a foothold on this puzzle until I found LORELEI (22A - One of the Gilmore Girls). I'm also a bit embarrassed that NENE Leaks got me out of a jam at 46D, too. What can I say? I work in television. I'm also embarrassed how long it took for me to get TIKI (44D - ___ Bar) considering how many of the Thursday happy hours I mentioned yesterday have turned into tiki nights. (IGHT!)

The southeast corner took a long time to fall for me, as well. The corners in general felt a little cramped. Still, looking at the grid, there's a remarkably small amount of weak fill for as much real estate is given to the gimmick. All in all, maybe I appreciated it more than I enjoyed it. That probably sounds more negative than I actually feel about the puzzle, but it's accurate. I did love the clue for EIGHTY-EIGHTY (32A - Grand total? As in grand piano, if you were still working on it). The cluing in general felt really sharp and fun. Also, the triple stack of double-IGHT 11s were all great answers. And the puzzle put up a fight (IGHT!); I do love a good challenge!

  • EINSTEIN— "The greatest scientists are artists as well"? Pretty high opinion of yourself there, Albert. What'd you ever do that was so great? Oh. Right. (IGHT!)
  • TEXAS TEA— Was this term ever used outside of the Beverly Hillbillies? Well, I've used weaker excuses to post Weird Al videos.

  • TEIGEN— I know she's off social media for some kind of bullying thing, but I don't know enough about the situation to know whether I should be concerned she's in the grid. 
  • HEINEKEN — Someone in my neighborhood regularly drinks two bottles of Heineken under the palm tree in my front yard and leaves the bottles at the base of the trunk. I'm not thrilled about the litter, but more concerned someone will think I've been drinking Heineken. (Even though I brew my own beer, I'm not snobby about corporate macro brew in general. I just don't think Heineken tastes very good).
And with that, my brief time filling in around here is done. You've got a few more great guests coming up in the following days, so be nice to them and don't make a mess! I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have. 

Signed, Eli Selzer, False Dauphin of CrossWorld

[Follow Eli on Twitter]


astrotrav 3:42 AM  

This is just an ugly puzzle. The long diagonal runs of GHs come off as wankery and made for an unpleasant solve

okanaganer 3:46 AM  

"IGH, IGHS, IGHT, IGHT, IGHT". Some sort of bodybuilder workout chant?

Weird that I had several answers filled in, but still couldn't make sense of their clue? EIGHTY-EIGHT is "Grand total"? Took a while to understand that one. Fortunately my sister has a grand piano in her living room, but no TV. I am visiting her tomorrow in Kamloops (if there are no more highway closures due to forest fires... my normal route there is closed in 2 places.) Ah, British Columbia in the summer!

For "Spot for some piercings" I had NIPPLE for a while, just cuz the L worked with INSOLE. Close enough, I guess. Ouch!

Hand up for TEXAS TEA only known via The Beverly Hillbillies.

I was really expecting 47A to be a Spanish word. Cuz the clue's in Spanish, isn't it?

A pretty good clue: 39A "It raised a major red flag".

jae 4:19 AM  

Top half very easy, bottom half tough. I put in BATS IN and ILL PASS with no crosses and filled in the rest of the top in Monday time. Then I hit a wall exacerbated by Esta before ERES, with the (@Eli) SE last to fall. So, medium over all?

The middle stack of IGHTs is a work of art, liked it a bunch!

frankbirthdaycake 5:41 AM  

I got hung up in the SW corner for a little while, with “duvet” before I got to “mulch.” The rest came easier to me. This was a nice way to start a Saturday morning.

Joaquin 5:47 AM  

This was a great puzzle which reminded me of a car my father drove 60+ years ago. It was a fifty-EIGHT Oldsmobile EIGHTYEIGHT It was LOUSY with chrome and was addicted to TEXAS TEA. And, it was a horrible gas-guzzler (you’d fill it up and hope you would make it to the next station).

Zwhatever 6:11 AM  

Feature or Bug? It’s as if Aaronson got started with the IGHliness and just couldn’t stop. I’m still firmly on the fence. I came at the IGHliness from the NW corner and thought that it looked awfully themed for a themeless Saturday, but then no clever revealer bringing it all together in some clever and cohesive way. So in the end just an ode to odd spelling. Earlier this week we had clever revealers in search of equally clever theme execution. Today, just the opposite. I didn’t hate all the IGHliness, but I didn’t exactly love it, either.

Dear Gof how I hate the “anagram the answer and it’s a different word” clues. “A STENO takes notes” stopped being interesting in Junior High. Why yes, little Billy, letters can be rearranged to make different words. It’s why we have letters instead of frickin’ pictographs.

Embarrassed by how long it took me to get MONETS. Saw the names in italics, I think I had the -NETS in the grid already, and the brain wanted sonNETS and poetry. I put in MULCH and looked at MONETS and wasted several precious nanoseconds wondering what kind of poem that was. D’Oh.

Hand up for wondering if TEXAS TEA was purely the fabrication of a TV SitCom theme song writer. I don’t recall ever hearing the term anywhere else. Apparently it is now a variant of Long Island Iced Tea as well as some Sprite and Cough Syrup concoction. Searching for the term doesn’t turn up many oil related websites.

Lewis 6:28 AM  

This was created with a high level of skill and wit. The skill? Sixty-six words and junk-free, very hard to do, not to mention including the IGHT motif (which was top-flight, by the way, IMO). The wit? Sweet wordplay clues, my favorites being [Who had a major part in the Torah] for MOSES, [Brings home] for BATS IN, [Bed cover] for MULCH, and [Grand total?] for EIGHTY-EIGHT.

I love the word “Hassenpfeffer” and when I saw it in the STEW clue, from somewhere buried in my DNA BANK came this old song, “Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen by the Sea”. It’s amazing what resides in our deep recesses.

Two unrelated notes. One, if I were a betting person, I would say those 14 GH’s in the puzzle will stand forever as a record, and two, I was surprised HEINEKIN is a NYT debut, with all its vowels.

You drew out smiles and gave my solving chops a sweet workout, AA. Excellent one, and thank you!

TTrimble 6:35 AM  

For me this played easier than yesterday's. More or less solved in the order SW, NE, NW, SE, except that I put CREATIon before CREATIVE, thinking I'd better have a noun, not an adjective, to match the part of speech for "portion". Maybe CREATIVE here is a synecdoche or something? As a result, I had anNE instead of NENE. My last action was getting all this sorted out.

HEINEKEN! Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

I found the cluing for THETA a little curious. Is there some reason it should be THETA and not say delTA? Also, I'm not sure how IT'S ALRIGHT is really any more informal than "No need to worry". I was expecting something slangier from the "informal".

Interesting spelling for LORELAI (Eli, check your write-up). Thank you Eli for explaining EIGHTY EIGHT. That should have been obvious. I was facing in the direction of our grand piano while solving this!

Oh LAWDY, I had trouble coming up with SYDNEY even though I lived there a few years.

Same reaction as @okanaganer to "No bueno".

Despite some quibbles, I liked this and the panoply of GHs.

Re the EINSTEIN quote: he's right. I don't know how many of you have read any of his papers, but I remember looking at (in translation) his 1905 paper that introduced special relativity, and it's really clearly and elegantly set out. Scientists like that take pains to prettify their work.

I responded to your late night post last night.

Have a good day, y'all.

WA 7:00 AM  

This was a ridiculous puzzle. The clues and answers ranged from TV Guide to those only known by the creator.

JD 7:14 AM  

Think the problem here is that I was blinded by the ight.

Went down that slope from the NE to SE corner and screeched to a halt at what would eventually be Monet.

Couldn't figure out why the middle conceit had suddenly stopped. What was it all about? Was it going to lead to something? Would it pull together as a whole? Or was it like that leather jacket with fur sleeves I had in the early '70s? An expanse of one thing inexplicably bounded by something else. I regret most of my wardrobe from the '70 and that one perm.

Finished with some help but something felt off. This of course is on me. Not casting aspersions on the puzz. Except for Texas Tea.

Mikey from El Prado 7:55 AM  

@astrotav…. And I’ll add the the seven down “GHs” to the eiGHt that are across for 15 total. One word for all of that: uGH.

Son Volt 8:11 AM  

Didn’t like the look of the grid and in the end didn’t like the puzzle much. I get it - the guy has the chops to construct this thing but why? A Saturday with a goofy sub theme and clunky overall fill.

Please keep ANYHOO out of my puzzle - especially crossed with the LOUSY BATS IN to start off. I’ll join the crowd who only know TEXAS TEA from the Beverly Hillbillies. Having MONETS and SUITE is a little boujie. I do like THIGHS and AREOLA though.

Knew Hasenpfeffer from the old VW Rabbit commercials - I had a ‘78 diesel which is still trying to get up some of the hills in the Adirondacks.

I would suggest Steve Mossberg’s stumper for a proper Saturday.

glenbee 8:35 AM  

Gilmore Girls answer if LORELEI so it is misspelled in the grid to LORELAI (or LORELOI) in order to have AUGHTS (or OUGHTS) for the down answer. How did nobody catch that?

John H 8:38 AM  

It was an ok solve but I just don't get the point. If there were some clear geometry to the IGH arrangements I would feel differently (and by the way, I do love high words.)

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

Who spells Lorelei “Lorelai”?? That threw me.

bocamp 8:46 AM  

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

Hi, Eli; thx for another fine write-up. That's some WEIRD HEINEKEN palm tree stuff! πŸ€”

Just south of medium un-solve.

Dnfed at TEIGEN / ERES.

Was helped greatly by the 'GHT' repeaters.

Really enjoyed this puz, in spite of the dnf. Actually, my first thot was ERES, but the fingers wanted, and got, ERAS. :(

@TTrimble (10:51 PM yd) πŸ‘ for 0

Not familiar with 'Funes the Memorious'. Wiki-ed it; sounds likes something I'd enjoy, I'll have a look for it today.

yd 0 (a real battle to get to p; a most satisfying result. :)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Anonymous 8:52 AM  

I really liked the -IGHT/-GH motif, which didn't seem too restricting to me. A fun little extra for a Saturday.

I don't think ALRIGHT is all right.

Carola 8:53 AM  

I liked TIC introducing the row of IGHs that just wouldn't quit. It made the mid-section go fast, but for me that was balanced by the slower corners, especially the SE. Nice cluing! Speaking of which, @Eli, thanks for explaining EIGHTY-EIGHT.

Do-over: BuTTon before BOTTLE. Help from previous puzzles: NAS. No idea: LORELAI, NENE.

Conrad 8:54 AM  

My opinion is closer to @astrotrav's than @Z's. I fell for the @frankbirthdaycake dUvet/MULCH trap with both feet. Took a lot of synapses to figure out how EIGHTYEIGHT worked with the clue. And I guessed dramaS for 34A because the titles in the clue sounded like something Chekov might have written.

What @okanaganer said about LOUSY and what @TTrimble said about THETA (and HEINEKEN!)

I'm old enough to remember The Beverly Hillbillies, so TEXAS TEA wasn't a problem. But come to think of it, I've never heard the term used outside the sitcom. Urban Dictionary says, "The term 'Texas Tea' was originally used to describe oil, and was popularized by the hit 1960s television show ... Today, the term can also be found in your local bar as it represents the name of a mixed drink, also by the same name." The term does appear to have had some currency pre-Hillbillies.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:01 AM  

My dog Orion likes to now and then be in the clues instead of the grid, but he insists that his connection to EOS, the rosy-fingered dawn, is quite tenuous. He'd rather be linked to Artemis, or Pleione, mother of the Pleiades, or the Scorpion. Or his dogs. 'Only in crossword puzzles' he sniffs.

amyyanni 9:01 AM  

Love Hassenpfeffer as well, @Lewis. Who remembers "Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!" ...name that show! Puzzle was fun, good start to Saturday. Yesterday was great: got my new library card and am delighted with my new library here in DeKalb County. Also visited the Farmers' Market and got some treats, one of which must earn with a long walk this am!

Nancy 9:05 AM  

You're really going to get a piercing there???!!! Have you lost your bleepin' mind? Oh, no, no, no, no, I thouGHT: please don't be AREOLA!!! Please don't.

But you were. SIGH.

Moving riGHT along, or as we say in the puzzle biz, ANYHOO...

How can you have an English language answer (LOUSY) to a Spanish language clue ("no bueno")? You absolutely can't, but you just did.

Another LOTR clue/answer (will it ever, ever stop? and no I didn't know it today and won't know it tomorrow) crossing a very questionable clue. NARROW is not a synonym for "specific" and cannot stand in for it. A specific answer to my question is a lot narrower than a NARROW answer to my question -- if you see what I mean. Ask SCOTUS if you don't believe me.

And don't even talk to me about that "Real Housewives" clue/answer.

I bitched and moaned my way throuGH much of this, but guess what? It challenged me and made me do a lot of thinking. It gave me a run for my money and I kinda liked it. But did it play entirely fair? Not really.

kitshef 9:15 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frantic Sloth 9:18 AM  

GrEIGHT. Now IGH'm gonna be seeing these letters all over the plEIGHce for the rest of the dEIGH.

Why is it always the NW corner? Didn't help that I had ANYHOw for the longest time before noticing that EwS made zero sense. πŸ™„

And why would you use Spanish to clue an English word? Is that supposed to be cagey? Just seems WEIRDO to me. Not to mention LOUSY.

ANHYHOO...I mostly really liked the off-kilter, off-wavelength vibe of this puzzle once I sniffed out the tone. And especially liked the effect STENO and its clue likely had on @Z.

But, I'm mostly here because I want to answer @amyyanni from yesterday. Upon re-reading my comment, I can see how your interpretation makes sense. That was not my intention, nor do I find anything "amusing" about SIRHAN SIRHAN or the soul-crushing event of RFK's assassination. It was an inept attempt at referring to the usual clamor that arises here whenever unsavory or evil people populate a crossword puzzle. That is what I always find interesting for my own peculiar reasons. Clearly, it was ill-conceived and a thoughtless mistake. I apologize for any discomfort or anguish I might have caused you or anyone else, and have removed the comment.

I might be absent on some days for the next couple of weeks and I didn't want to leave on such a nasty note.

I bid you good day.


Marcy 9:27 AM  

Small correction, Eli. It’s not Lorelei, as you mentioned in your comments - & as I also expected it to be. It’s LorelAi, which is where the A in Aughts comes from!

Jane Bitter 9:28 AM  

28 D will be at Barack Obama’s Super Spreader 60th birthday πŸŽ‚ today. Good for her.

Suzy 9:29 AM  

@Nancy— I’m with you. Piercings belong in earlobes, nowhere else! The question is “why?!”

Greight puzzle, tough but doable, with a littl help from Mr G. 🀨 I love Holst, rappers not so much. And I thought
Nene was a Hawaiian goose! The 8ts were fun once they fell into place. Thanks, AA!

kitshef 9:34 AM  

By some miracle, I finished this. Toughest solve in months, but all the difficulty was in one section which is not much fun.

I stared at that SE corner for longer than the entire rest of the puzzle had taken. SALARY went in and came out a half dozen times, as did SAURON, because I couldn’t make any crosses work. SIS went in and came out. INStep went in (so close!) and came out. Septum and tragus were tried for the piercing spot.

What finally broke it open was giving up on the idea that the answer for ‘no beuno’ would be in Spanish. Unfortunately, when that break finally occurred, instead of that great feeling when you crack a really tough puzzle, I just felt cheated. A lousy clue for LOUSY.

I can’t recall ever liking an AA solo puzzle. But he’s had some really good co-created puzzles.

Nancy 9:40 AM  

@Frank Birthday and @Conrad. I had DUVET before MULCH, too. But who on earth was that painter starting with a D? I had to have all the letters of ?ONETS in order to get the M and to see MULCH. MULCH was the trickiest clue/answer in the puzzle because there are not one but two possible answers to "Bed cover" where the 2nd letter is a U: DUVET and QUILT.

@Lewis -- "Hasenpfeffer, e.g." (I overlooked the "e.g." which led to a lot of trouble) made life exceedingly difficult in the SW. It's a dish I adored when I ate it way back in the day with my family at the Jager House in NYC. It came as a full three-course dinner for (are you ready for this?) $4.95. Or maybe even $4.75, I forget. But I was more entranced by what was in it (HARE!!!) than by the fact it was a STEW. So in went HARE at 43D -- leaving me to wrestle with a worker/output anagram (43A) beginning with "H". I couldn't get it -- possibly because no such worker exists. Finally CREATIVE enabled me to change HARE to STEW.

JC66 9:43 AM  


From late last night.My bad, I thought you were referring to big L Liberals.

Teedmn 9:46 AM  

Is CREATIVE really a line item in an ad agency's budget? At least, with CREA in place, I was pretty sure a T came next, which gave me STEW for Hasenpfeffer (for which I had put "hare" first.)

DNF at the cross of TEIGaN and ERaS, oh well.

I started down in the SE with SAURON crossing SIS, and then INSOLE. I really wanted Stairs for the passage connecting stories but that didn't work with INSOLE so I left for greener pastures, i.e. the NE and LUXE crossing TEXAS TEA got me going again.

HEINEKEN, yucky stuff here in the US but my husband toured the brewery in Amsterdam and he says the free sample they got was tasty and nothing like what they sell here.

I really wanted "one thousand" for the Grand total but I guess that wouldn't need a ? on the clue.

Thanks, Adam Aaronson, nice Saturday puzzle.

Robert Berardi 9:57 AM  

Agreed. ALRIGHT isn’t informal; it’s just incorrect.

RooMonster 10:07 AM  

Hey All !
Why Adam would torture himself with making a puz with a ton of IGHTs is beyond me, but I really liked it! So, hope your hair is growing back nicely Adam! I know you had to have torn some out trying to get any semblance of clean fill. Adding to the obvious IGHTs Across, we get Down ones in SATTIGHT, SLEIGHT, SIGHT, MIGHTY, ITSALRIGHT, plus a bunch of IGHs, SIGH, THIGHS, HIGHSALARY. Wowzers.

NW toughest spot for me today. SE also tough, although I did use good ole Google to facilitate blank-staring. Looked up NAS and SAURON. Should've guessed NAS, as he's in a lot of puzs. DRE is the other three-letter rapper a lot, but usually referenced by his "Dr". PSY and SIA popular, too, although unsure of their music type.

Very CREATIVE puz, Adam.

No F's (LOUSY 😁)

Robert Berardi 10:09 AM  

The correct answer for 2 down popped into my head, but it didn’t fit because I thought it was spelled ANYWHO. So I went with ANYHOW, even though I knew no self-respecting titaness would be named EWS.

TTrimble 10:09 AM  

Because all roads lead back to Bugs Bunny: Hasenpfeffer.

RooMonster 10:20 AM  

*Warning (Really), sad story following about my Dad. *

Well, on a sad note, we had to let my Dad go. Never recovered from the double whammy of Covid and pneumonia. He kept steadily declining despite what the doctors were trying. Visited yesterday, and he was just laying there with his eyes open, unresponsive to even my mother. My sister came in from Florida, she'll be here all week helping out our mother with all the shit that comes up with the passing of a spouse. The sickness wrecked his lungs, he was on max oxygen on the breathing machine, heart was getting weaker, also. His fingers were turning black from lack of blood flow. He had even said to a nurse he'd had enough. He had a living will that said if he was ever in this situation, he wanted to be let go. So, they sedated him pretty good, took off the breathing mask, were going to put a regular two-prong breathing thing to slowly let him go, but his lungs were so gone, he went before they could even get the two-pronger in.

I love all you people on here, I am sorry for posting this here, but I had to get it out. He's not suffering anymore, so that's a comfort. I want to pre-thank you all for the condolences you will probably send, but if there is a way to send them ESP-ally, I think that'd be better, as I don't want to clog this puzzle blog with tons of extra posts.


Joe Dipinto 10:32 AM  

Schlemiel! Schlimazel!
Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

If this puzzle made you feel like this:

Make it STOOPPPP!!!

Relax and chill with these:

Movie only, but who cares

Ray says "au-IGHT" after his verse

Disappointed with too-easy Qwiptik on Sunday variety page.

Birchbark 10:42 AM  

Sometime in the AUGHTS, I climbed to the top of the world's tallest steel arch bridge in SYDNEY. It's about what you'd expect. At night, you see enormous bats flying in the artificial light around its arches.

Quite a SIGHT: We lost an ancient white pine along the river bluff in a storm a couple of nights ago. When it fell, its roots took along a few feet of soil and revealed very nice limestone shelf underneath. Just like a floor beside the high stone face of the bluff. Once cleaned up, it will be a good spot for a picnic, or just to sit and watch the water go by.

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

I’m so sorry. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

Joe Dipinto 10:52 AM  

Whoops. This is supposed to be the last link.

Cankee Yanuck 11:00 AM  

I thought for sure this was going to be a DNF as I struggled almost everywhere but especially in the NW, which made me leave the puzzle multiple times and come back hoping fresh eyes would help. The biggest problem was that I was 95% sure that 1D was BOTTLE and 17A was oboIST. The weird thing that saved me was having E_S for 25A. I had no idea what the answer was but thought I had seen EOS as a god's name in the NYTXW before, so I threw in the O to see if that helped. I already had the other O from LORELAI and, ANYHOO, I was ON AUTO for the rest of the corner.

Only ever heard of hasenpfeffer from the Laverne & Shirley theme song but never learned what it meant. Loved the clues for TAPERS, PTAS, and EVES.

JC66 11:04 AM  

Hey @Roo

I'm so sorry for your loss. Considering the son he raised, your dad must have been a fine, fine man.

Joaquin 11:09 AM  

@Roo - My condolences on the loss of your father. I hope you will find comfort in the many fond memories you will always carry of him.

Whatsername 11:13 AM  

There are some Saturdays where I am so humbled that I don’t even feel qualified to critique the puzzle. This wasn’t necessarily one of them and I rather enjoyed it which was a pleasant change. Definitely a challenge but I liked all the WEIGHS in which it did so.

In the early days of my career I was a MIGHTY good STENO. EIGHTY EIGHT words per minute? NO SIREE, I would’ve been totally BORED. Purely for LIGHT WEIGHTs. Could’ve done that in my sleep. NIGHTY NIGHT now.

It’s safe to say that every steno was also a TYPIST but not necessarily vice versa. A “girl” who knew shorthand had a distinct advantage in the job market. Some of them even helped introduce products such as HEINEKEN in the CREATIVE department of agencies like TV’s Mad Men, source of the original Me-Too moment.

Thanks for your thoughts today Eli, and cheers to all the guest reviewers this week.

GILL I. 11:14 AM  

@Roo. Your post made me cry.....I am so sorry for your loss. Damn.
Making things worse for me today is not being able to get Schlemiel and Schlimazol out of my head and having to go wipe the damn ashes from my car. I'd go take a cruise somewhere to get away from it all but COVID is striking big time everywhere.
But did you like the puzzle, you ask? All I will say is NIGHTY NIGHT and don't let the bedbugs bite.

bocamp 11:14 AM  


ESP it is then; God Bless! πŸ™

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Anonymous 11:15 AM  

Got the clue for grand piano by remembering this classic from the Capitals - Cool Jerk -Reference at 1:32. Loved that song!


JD 11:15 AM  

Oh Roo, God bless you. Prayers for you.

Anonymous 11:26 AM  

Lorena is correct. See Gilmore Girls cast.

egsforbreakfast 11:28 AM  

As Bob Dylan said after finishing this puzzle, “Don’t think twice it’s all IGHT”.

Sorry for your loss, Roo.

Good puzzle AA.

Whatsername 11:28 AM  

@Roo: My heart is breaking for you. May you and your family be comforted by your memories in the difficult days to come. And clogging up the blog? NOT EVEN an issue.

Zwhatever 11:33 AM  

@Roo - We are sorry for your loss.

TJS 11:33 AM  

Amazing how the guest commenter exactly matched the puzzle. They both sucked.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

Darn auto correct! "Lorelai"

mathgent 11:40 AM  

When I finish a puzzle, I go to Jeff Chen to check my answers. If I did them online, I wouldn't need to. Today he complained about EIGHTYEIGHT and NIGHTYNIGHT being paired when they had both appeared in another puzzle three months ago. It didn't bother me, of course, because I didn't remember the previous one. But even if I did, ... And reading the comments here so far, it doesn't seem to bother any of the rest of us. Chen's job is crosswords. His appreciation of a puzzle is dramatically different from those of us who do them for fun. That accounts for many of his baffling POW awards.

I found it very hard. Seventeen mystery entry/clues, close to my limit of twenty. But good sparkle. I feel good about having solved this toughie.

I drink beer often. My current favorite is Modelo Negra, but I like all beer, even Bud. Surprised to hear some of us say that HEINEKEN is bad.

Happily, the people I hang out with don't ever say ANYHOO.

pabloinnh 11:41 AM  

1) Aw jeez, Roo. Even when we know it's coming, there's no way to be ready. Thinking of you. Thanks for sharing.

2) Post a little later, and you can only agree with a lot of stuff. Delta>THETA, Duvet>MULCH check. Stine>Styne may have been just me. No bueno=LOUSY is execrable, as has been pointed out. SAURON had to be right but lead nowhere for a long time. TEXASTEA=BH only. Specific=NARROW, no it doesn't. And around here, an Afghan is more of a blanket than a RUG, also more of a DOG than a RUG. Oh, and (American) HEINEKEN is awful. Ditto for ANYHOO, fingernails on a blackboard stuff there.

That's about it, except it taking forever for BATSIN to make sense. I must be subconsciously avoiding baseball because of the way The Olde Towne Team has been playing lately.

That all sounds way negative but I actually had a lot of fun with this one. The middle was more than impressive. Nice feat, AA. Architecturally Advanced.

Unknown 11:46 AM  

Just came here to pile on. This had some witty bits, but the four absolutely unforgivable errors make it the worst NYT puzzle I’ve ever come across.

ALRIGHT is not a word (or phrase). The phrase is “all right.” Two Ls. You don’t get to shorten a common phrase just because you need it to fit in your puzzle.

LORELEI is a name / an actual word. LORELAI is just wrong. What’s that you say - it’s a deliberate misspelling used as the name of a TV show character I’ve never heard of? Don’t care, still wrong.

AREOLA is a fine word - but the clue is absolute garbage. People get their nipples pierced. They do NOT get their areolas pierced! Clue 8s 100% wrong.

LOUSY could be clued a dozen different ways. You could refer to it as “worse than mediocre” or as the state of a child’s head when he comes home from daycare. But you may NOT mix languages just to seem like a hip frat bro.

Malsdemare 11:55 AM  

Huge Baldwin grand 10 feet in front of me as I solved and I did NOT get the gag. That is all. I'll go sit in the corner now.

KnittyContessa 12:01 PM  

@ RooMonster my condolences to you and your family. I couldn't help but cry reading your post. Sending my prayers.

Zwhatever 12:06 PM  

Merriam Webster on ALRIGHT:
all right or alright?: Usage Guide
Although the spelling alright is nearly as old as all right, some critics have insisted alright is all wrong. Nevertheless it has its defenders and its users, who perhaps have been influenced by analogy with altogether and already. It is less frequent than all right but remains common especially in informal writing. It is quite common in fictional dialogue and is sometimes found in more formal writing. the first two years of medical school were alright — Gertrude Stein

And Oxford says:
Is it acceptable to write alright as one word, rather than two separate ones? For example:

She calls them whenever she is travelling to assure them she is alright.

Similar ‘merged’ words such as altogether and already have been accepted in standard English for a very long time, so there is no logical reason to object to the one-word form alright. Nevertheless, many people dislike it and regard it as incorrect, so it’s best to avoid using alright in formal writing. Write it as two separate words instead:

She calls them whenever she is travelling to assure them she is all right.

Tl;dr - ALRIGHT is ALRIGHT but some will assert (with no actual basis) that it is not so if you care about their opinion you should avoid ALRIGHT in formal settings.

And yet another example of names in puzzles being suboptimal.

@Frantic Sloth - Yep. Exactly the reaction you expected, arched eyebrows cursing in Gaelic and everything.

@Cankee Yanuck - I spell it sometimes, ANYHOO other times, and will throw in an occasional ANYwhy just because. So hand up for wasting precious nanoseconds there.

I’m not seeing who asked, but hand up for arching the eyebrow at the CREATIVE clue. Yes, it’s legit, but the kind of person who would use the word as clued is likely to be the kind of person I would not want to associate with.

Joseph Michael 12:06 PM  

ANYHOO this puzzle put up a good fIGHT from beginning to END (especially in the SE) and I had to see Dr. Google to find out who that Dark Lord was, but I enjoyed the struggle nevertheless. At least there were no Harry Potter clues and only one rapper.

Liked all the IGHTs and the LIT clues for EIGHTY-EIGHT, USSR, MULCH, EVES, and PTAS.

Did not like the clue for ENDWISE, which is a word I have never uttered and which I would never use to mean “back to back.”

Think it’s funny that @Eli was worried about his neighbors’ reactions to the beer bottles under his palm tree — not because it made him look like a litterer but because it made him look like a HEINEKEN drinker.

Malsdemare 12:11 PM  

Clogging be damned. @Roo, I'm so sorry.

@Nancy, honey, you can't imagine the places people put piercings (and beads!) Sorta makes old Caligula seem rather tame. I'd share links but I don't want to go look for them.

Birchbark 12:16 PM  

@Roo (10:20) -- ESP condolences. May what was best in your relationship continue to grow in spite of the loss.

jae 12:19 PM  

@Roo - sad about your loss. Best wishes.

bocamp 12:23 PM  

@TTrimble (re: mnemonics from yd)

Found 'Funes the Memorious' in the collection, 'Labyrinths: selected stories & other writings, Augmented edition, 7th printing' at the Open Library of the Internet Archive.

Funes is somewhat disparaging of forced memory techniques, including Simonides in the mix.

Simonides 'method of loci' is among the mnemonic techniques used by current memory champions.

Nevertheless, a very interesting and thought-provoking short story.

ANYHOO, Enjoyed the read. Thx for the rec. :)

pg -4

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

nyc_lo 12:25 PM  

CREATIVE is very much a line item for an ad agency budget, “creative” being a blanket term for art, music, vocal talent, etc. Somewhat industry-specific, but that can describe 90 percent of crossword clues.

LORELAI was no bueno for me, but into each puzzle, a little natick must fall. I thought it ought to be OUGHTS not AUGHTS. But LORELOI seemed ridiculous, as did LORELEI and EUGHTS, so I just had to alphabet my way through. Fortunately, it was a A.

jberg 12:27 PM  

@Roo, I am so sorry about your father. I know how hard such loss can be.

jberg 12:35 PM  

I had two big problems: not wanting to take the qUilt off my bed, and thinking that 30A must be LIGHTy-lIGHT, to go with EIGHTY EIGHT and NIGHTY NIGHT. So I was looking for Christie TlIGht. I would have got TEIGEN if not for the preconception.

And then I had oUGHTS/LORELoI—crazy, but no more so than the character’s actual name. I even considered LORELeI/eiGHTS/RiGS. So Duck Duck Go earned its pay today.

pmdm 12:53 PM  

Wasn't going to post today, but after reading the post by RooMonster I have to offer my condolences. If your post convinces a person who chooses to remain unvaccinated to change his/hers mind, at least your post may result in a positive.

That said, Mr. Sharp is on record as disliking themes creeping into puzzles that are usually themeless. And he can be very critical of entry repetitions, which apparently happened today. I have forgotten about the earlier puzzle, and as a result I actually struggled and liked this puzzle. This weekend would have resulted in a puzzle solving hell for him, I suspect. More to come tomorrow.

pmdm 12:59 PM  

A reply to JC66's question posted yesterday. I didn't mean to seem to apologize. The SE30 cost around $3000 and computers running MS-DOS were much cheaper. I was just revealing to those who care why I, who was never rich, chose to spend so much on a computer (with only a black and white screen) when there were cheaper alternatives. If I had a real choice, I probably would have chosen a computer that ran UNIX or XENIX since from work I knew how to run all the shell programs, but back then the home market didn't provide much of a choice.

linac800 1:13 PM  

@Roo So sorry for the loss of your father. Our deepest condolences to you and yours at this really difficult time.

old timer 1:25 PM  

Loved the Bugs Bunny cartoon. Hated the puzzle. I had to look up all sorts of stuff, having never watched the Gilmore Girls, never cared about models, and never paid attention to pop culture, if not found in rock songs or major movies. Yeah, the cascading gh's were clever. Clever plus a 15 cent token will get you a ride on the subway (yes, that was long ago indeed).

Ladies, can you explain why some women get their nipples pierced? (BTW some piercings are through the AREOLA). Seems to me nipples have two sets of fans: Lovers and babies. A piercing interferes with a lover's caress, and even more so with a baby's nutrition. So who but perhaps an exotic dancer would ever want to do that?

(Put me down in the "hare" before STEW category too. I did order it sometimes, since Noe Valley once had a first rate German restaurant, in addition to the more famous one in downtown SF).

Joe Dipinto 1:28 PM  

@Roo – very sad news. We are all with you.

TTrimble 1:32 PM  

Funes registers something like astonishment that Simonides etc. would ever be considered extraordinary, as they were of necessity utterly trifling, almost childish, next to him.

I see the short story more in terms of an extended meditation on what it means to think, to conceptualize, to systematize. Such things were without value for Funes -- he had no need for them (as evidenced by his proposed numeration scheme, which is the very opposite to a conceptual point of view). Put differently: science allows us to forget almost everything.

Anyway, my drawing attention to this was not to point out what Funes says about memory techniques -- you simply reminded me of that story. :-) It's fiction obviously, but to me staggering and almost frightening.

I'm very sorry for your loss. We'll be thinking of you and your family.

Lewis 1:33 PM  

@Roo -- So sorry to hear. My heart is with you and your family.

Bad Mouse 1:59 PM  


Just think: if you'd move to Missouri you'd not only get an exponential increase in Covid possibility, but you could just shoot the mother under the tree. Trespassing and all that; the Gov would surely pardon you if you got convicted.

Anonymous 2:01 PM  


remember that back in the 50's we still had some iron ore left in Minnesota; steel was cheap and plentiful. not so much anywhere else on the planet then or now, where automakers weren't stupid enough to emulate US.

Anonymous 2:08 PM  

AREOLA is a fine word - but the clue is absolute garbage. People get their nipples pierced. They do NOT get their areolas pierced! Clue 8s 100% wrong.

yeah but... some of us do use 'no smear' liquid lipsticks to them. makes for even better high beams.

CDilly52 2:10 PM  

Roo, so sad to hear of your father’s passing. Sending healing thoughts and energy to you and your family and friends. I call the “shit” to which you refer the “bureaucracy of death.” But only to try to be polite when required. Be mindful to take care of yourself.

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

Pretty easy except for the SW corner, where I really struggled to see HEINEKEN and CREATIVE.

Chaumette Communications 2:19 PM  

Laverne and Shirley of course! Same thing I was thinking when I saw that word.

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

ran UNIX or XENIX since from work I knew how to run all the shell programs, but back then the home market didn't provide much of a choice.

didn't see the reference, but *nix was available for the IBM/PC from the start. IBM sold the machine with PC/DOS, UCSD p-System, and CP/M-86. MicroSoft already had 8086/88 Xenix for sale, to OEMs and eventually civilians. in fact, it was their intention that Xenix would be the de facto OS for the machine. unfortunately, Mitch wrote 1-2-3 in PC/DOS assembler, which together made Mitch and Uncle Bill rich; the latter for more and longer. in the end, Xenix/SCO and such went the way of all flesh. some grad student in Finland did make a close-enough clone eventually.

" "Microsoft hopes that XENIX will become the preferred choice for software production and exchange", the company stated in 1981.[8] Microsoft referred to its own MS-DOS as its "single-user, single-tasking operating system",[33] and advised customers that wanted multiuser or multitasking support to buy XENIX.[33][34] "
the wiki

Son Volt 2:19 PM  

@Roo - sad news - my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Nancy 2:20 PM  

That's so hard, @Roo. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

oldactor 2:22 PM  

Heinekens reminds me of a delightful KLM flight from Amsterdam to LA back in the day. It had a large cooler in the rear of the plane filled with ice and cold Heinekens. One could smoke and drink beer and mingle with other passengers. I was chatting with a group of young skiers heading home to LA when a man came up to me and asked if I was an actor. I was quite flattered to being recognized and said yes I was. He said Barney Miller, right? (at the time I had a recurring roll as a gay character) I said, Yes, that's me. He turned and yelled to his wife in the front of the plane "Honey, you're right, it's the FAG from Barney Miller!

CDilly52 2:38 PM  

With the “Lavern & Shirley” (‘. . . HASENPFEFFER incorporated,’) and and the “Beverley Hillbillies” (. . . ‘black gold, TEXAS TEA. . . ‘) now both lodged as earworms, I may have to drink - a lot to stop the endless loop.

Pretty darn good Saturday though. I simply would not trust my intuition on so many of the answers that turned out to be right, and then promptly fell into all the traps including marc for LEES because I thought LEES was too easy for Saturday, had dellTA before THETA, doGS before RUGS (and am still a bit side-eyed about that one,) but I guess lots of folks do call what you put over your lap to keep warm on sleIGH rides or football games RUGS.

I think the parallelism between clue and answer for 48 is off and I’m not sure why EIGHTY EIGHT is right unless it refers to a big (grand?) old Oldsmobile. But, I defer to those with far more cooperative grey matter on all my shortcomings today, for sure!

And, shout-out to @Nancy for on AREOLA. . . just NO!!! So many other possibilities, why try deliberately to be . . . whatever Mr. AARONSON thought he was being there. Editor, please?

So, had my Saturday struggle, but this was a really tight puzzle and totally Saturday worthy. Alas, my brain was only barely worthy.

. . . 🎢 when up from the ground came a bubblin’ crude. . . Oil that is, black gold, TEXAS TEA. . . 🎢

Masked and Anonymous 2:55 PM  

Real different kind of SatPuz. Like different.
fave GH-er: AUGHTS.

Also luved ITSALRIGHT. In 7th grade, had an English teacher dude that gave us a 25-word spellin pop quiz, on our first day in class. One of the words was ALRIGHT. Many were suckered in by ALL RIGHT, which, of course, ain't one word. Anyhoo … a few months later he gave us the same 25-word quiz; M&A got all 25 right, hiGHest in the class. Probably missed half of em on the first go-round, tho. But, I digress …

Speakin of spellin probs, we had HEINEKEN [debut beer puzword] to do battle with in today's puz. M&A usually spells it COORS(L)IGH(T), so lost precious nanoseconds, tryin to remember how to spell DOSEQUIS.

Only eiGHt weejects to pick from, so the staff went with: AND. Alternate but not necessarily better clue: {M ___ A}.

Six ?-marker clues to pick from [plus one !-marker clue] -- fave was: {Grand total?} = EIGHTYEIGHT. miGHty clever. AND only ?-marker with a GH-er answer.

9 G's. 11 H's. 4 U's. But no UGH? … go figure.

Thanx for the lauGHs, Mr. Aaronson dude.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Anonymous 3:05 PM  


what the moron didn't know: he was actually saying, Brit Style, that you still had the shape of a lean and mean Pall Mall or a Parliament.

Puzzled 3:21 PM  

Why is it alright all right?

chefwen 3:56 PM  

@Roo, Deepest sympathy to you and your family.

I’m usually a LIGHT WEIGHT when it comes to Saturday puzzles, but I managed to reach the end without too much angst.

JD 4:28 PM  

@Puzzled, et al on Alright v. All Right.

"Alright - Satisfactory but not especially good; acceptable." Don't worry about me, I'll be alright.

All right - All right. Well, glad to see things are all right with the world.

Anonymous 4:38 PM  

a true piano, including all Concert GRANDS, have the full length - 88 notes

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

hard for us Snowflakes to have anything nice to say about the union busters at Coors. besides the fact it's no more than a watered down Bud. which is, itself, a watered down German lager.

kitshef 4:41 PM  

@Roo - very sorry. Live well to make him proud.

Michael Dees 4:58 PM  

By no means a boast, I’ve seen a fair share of nipple piercings in my time but I’ve never seen nor heard of an areola piercing. I’m sure it exist, it just seems…odd.

Cc’d 5:05 PM  

They will stop about the time the Game of Thrones clues stop.

Cc’d 5:11 PM  

If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything.

The Cleaver 5:21 PM  


So critics ain't got no reason to live? Just like short people? We should allow liars like The Orange Sh!tgibbon (not my coinage, but I cleave) to spew unabated and unchallenged? Our Pole Star should be Orban, Fucker Carlson's bestest bud? Minority rule (Radical Right Wingnuts who are driving this period of anti-democracy amount to about 20% of the populace) is our proper future?

Masked and Anonymous 5:22 PM  

@Roo -- Will be broadcastin the requested ESPs all day. Sad news; so sorry.

Thanx to Eli the False Dolphin, for his stand-in blogmeister efforts.

New stuff learned today from the SatPuz: LORELAI. SAURON [M&A is totally useless with LOTR, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones names]. SACHS. TEIGEN/ERES [That one kinda hurt, but eventually guessed their crossin E correctly. Only tough crosser, at our house.]

Last nite's FriNite Flick Schlockfest © at our house got kinda extra-spooky. Bro-in-law and M&A both brought the same DVD flick! ["Crawl".] Sooo … M&A chose another flick from his old DVD stockyard ["X the Unknown"] … only to hear that it was the *other flick* that the bro-in-law had considered bringin with him, instead. Mucho eerie-o. Both flicks were way above-average excellent, btw.


Eniale 5:56 PM  

@Nancy - I don't even have mine any more, but I had exactly the same reaction as you to AREOLA - a real physical cringe - and I had to give myself a hug to recover.

Eniale 6:08 PM  

@Roomonster: so sorry for your and your family's ordeal. Breathe deeply and think good thoughts of happier times.

Fan girl for two 6:13 PM  

@Roo, I’m kind of a non-troll lurker with different names (usually) because I still work and can’t afford to blog much. You are probably the absolutely NICEST person on this blog! (5 f’s in this sentence!) my heart goes out to you.

@oldactor…omg…I finally followed your bread crumbs. You rock sir! Yes, I’m 23 years younger than you and have now resolved to quit thinking of myself as old! Please keep on keeping on, and I hope you see this.

Oh. So as to not get bumped….I was a fan of this puz!

Unknown 6:30 PM  

@fan girl

Classy comment

CPG 6:36 PM  

Condolences to you and all your family. Roo.

Anonymous 6:43 PM  

But it wasn't "Lorelei" — it was "Lorelai".

I'm guessing Rex Parker solves on paper, so he may think the puzzle is solved sometimes when it hasn't been.

TTrimble 7:02 PM  

@Anonymous 6:43 PM
The blogger today is not Rex, and Rex doesn't solve on paper I don't believe. I suspect LORELeI was a typo in the review.

Try tomorrow's Variety puzzle (the cryptic). There's interesting stuff in there.

td 0

bocamp 8:22 PM  

@TTrimble (7:02 PM) πŸ‘ for 0

Thx for the cryptic reminder; looking forward to it. Just finished the SB. Yippee! :)


Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Newboy 8:29 PM  

@Roo me too

Anonymous 8:31 PM  

Ohhhh thats so sad:(
As a long time reader here, you have always made me smile and laugh. I worried about your dad and was surprised about your new adventure from limo.
I hope you well my buddy


Anonymous 8:38 PM  

Healthy Reminder-Old White Democrats dominate this blog. They are are a minority in the real world.

Anonymous 8:48 PM  


even healthier reminder: there are 10 times more Old White Democrats in Cities than Old White Republicans in shithole counties. there are more Old White Democrats in cities than any other slice&dice of the voters you care to name. which is exactly why Old White Republicans are scared shitless of Real Voters and are working like never before to restrict voting to Old White Shithole Republicans. Trump even admitted it: "They had things—levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again." he's consummately evil, but not completely stupid. he can read the writing on the wall.

Mammy Yokum has spoken.

Vytas 8:58 PM  

Fun puzzle but definitely but not a fan of the NW. BATS IN for your 1A? Nobody says that. The clue for 19A was so plain; there must be a more interesting, Saturday way, to get there. Also LORELAI crossing AUGHTS was just hard for me.

A 11:21 PM  

I’m just catching up on the week after being out of town. Was going to talk about crosswords but then I saw the post from @Roo about his father.

Darrin, if there is any sane reason to clog the blog this is it. What a horrible thing for you and your family. Please know that all of us are sending loving thoughts. It is small comfort, I know, that you were able to visit him. So many people, including a dear friend of mine, suffered and died without loved ones near. I'm sure you know your presence meant the world to him.

You said your Dad was in good health, no meds, before this. That must make his death especially hard for your mother to accept. She is lucky to have you and your sister to help her now.

We all love you, and lots of ESPs are headed your way from all over creation.

All my sympathy,
Mimi L.

PS. There are not enough f’s in the dictionary to express how I feel about the unnecessary suffering we are witnessing now.

Anonymous 11:31 PM  

REALLY not digging the answers in this one:
STYNE - who???
Real housewives clue - really??
2nd Gilmore Girls clue this week, isn't that over?
Typist - do those still exist? and then Steno? is this the 40s?
Nosiree and Anyhoo??
DNABANK - we keep sperm in a bank, DNA in a pool
And am I required to read the Lord of the Rings to solve a freakin crossword? Every week there's at least one clue!
Rant over.

Gio 11:34 PM  

@anon 8:36 And if it was a law that all adults ate required to vote, to vote, or everyone could vote extremely easily, you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.
And the GOP is highly aware of this.

patialalegitimate 12:29 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 12:32 PM  

So, you’re using Rex’s blog to troll Chrissy Teigan, who in your opinion is the big troll. Take this childish meme war somewhere else.

Anonymous 7:24 PM  

Let's figure this out. The Guest blogger likes doing the Sunday NYT puzzles, however, he complains about the format. He complains that the NYT which is struggling to stay afloat is trying to make money. The blogger is being super cheap by not getting a subscription to the NYT and helping the industry he is exploiting. Hmmm. Who's the boot licking jerk? Just get the times daily, in paper, shut up and help the newspaper industry.

egsforbreakfast 8:41 PM  

I sense that the commentariat is being polarized into the .puz and anti-dot.puz factions. Soon we’ll be seeing unfounded butt thunderous, orations on how AcrossLite changes your DNA and how the NYT app is a mind control mechanism planted by Bill Gates.

Personally, I don’t really care how I solve for a few minutes a day. It’s all fun and I almost always appreciate and admire the efforts of the constructors, including today’s ( in a big way). The ridiculous vitriol contained in today’s blog post is cringe-worthy, and I applaud Rex for editing it.

Ben 8:12 PM  

In case anyone is wondering, right now the unexpurgated version of this entry is still in Google's cache here: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WKsJzYjGQKYJ:https://rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com/2021/08/response-to-little-red-hen-sun-8-8-21.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

The redacted bit reads:

"Which is all to say that it is not shocking that Will Shortz apologist and bootlicker, Jeff Chen, would be involved in creating a puzzle that kowtows to his new cash grab. I mean come on, I do the Spelling Bee daily, and it's pretty clear that Sam Ezersky doesn't do anything. What are you paying him for? To repeat pangrams over and over while haphazardly deciding what are actual words? Ok. Tirade over. "

Burma Shave 11:34 AM  


and I'LLPASS with a SIGH,


thefogman 11:25 AM  

Felt MIGHTY proud about finishing this one. Then I noticed I had ANYHOw instead of ANYHOO. In my haste I overlooked the cross EOS and that was my Waterloo. Good puzzle. Loved the GHT non-theme.

Uke Xensen 11:44 AM  

ALRIGHT is not "informal." It's wrong

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Bizarre cluing. No fun to be had. Rejected.

Diana, LIW 1:34 PM  

Talk about being on the constructor's wavelength! I could not believe that my first responses were so often the correct ones. And then there was that middle - a giveaway. Easy Saturday for me. Hmmmm.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoaster 6:23 PM  

Bottom four rows were LOUSY, but I get by with a little help from my friends, The Look Ups, a would-be post-Beatles band.

Are STENOs still working for their post-tech bosses? Probably, but not very many these days.

spacecraft 6:54 PM  

Strange beginning for me; I didn't see a single gimme anywhere. I finally decided, what the hell, BATSIN/BOTTLE. Nothing to go on but the common B. Turned out rIGHT, and then once I reached the central hEIGHTS, I was all rIGHT.

Yes, I do it the old way. To me, "ALRIGHT" is what I call "lazy English." For people who don't have the time (!) to write one extra L and leave a space. Unfortunately, the word has passed into acceptability, but I will not use it. Call me a purist.

Is this a themed puzzle or not? I say it is. So be it; it's not a mortal sin to go themed on a Saturday, though some say different. Ach, all these rules! Who can keep track? ANYHOO, Chrissy TIEGEN is DOD, H.M. to NENE Leakes. Birdie.

leftcoaster 7:11 PM  

Impressed by how many IGHTS appeared in the middle of this non-theme puzzle.

sdcheezhd 3:59 AM  

Narrow and specific are not synonyms. Terrible. Too bad bc there were otherwise some good things here.

Claire 2:41 PM  

I put in "quilt", with great confidence. Oops.

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