Kaplan of indie rock's Yo La Tengo / TUE 9-14-21 / Ward old political operative / Intl financial giant headquartered in London / Everlasting candy from Willy Wonka / Bygone M&M color / Lord High Executioner in The Mikado / Choco ice cream treats

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Constructor: Christopher Adams

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (I think ... felt "name"-y and I had more hiccups than usual)

THEME: "KINKY BOOTS" (57A: 2013 Best Musical Tony winner ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme) — the letter string "boots" appears "kinkily" (i.e. mixed up) inside seven answers:

Theme answers:
  • GOBSTOPPER (15A: "Everlasting" candy from Willy Wonka)
  • BOOSTERS (13D: Some vaccine shots)
  • BOSTON POPS (9D: Orchestra once conducted by John Williams)
  • NANOBOTS (22A: Teeny-tiny futuristic machines)
  • SOB STORY (46A: Tale of woe)
  • GUEST BOOKS (26D: Places to sign in in inns)
  • LOST BOYS (32D: "Peter Pan" group)
Word of the Day: "IGOR" (56A: 2019 #1 album for Tyler, the Creator) —
Igor (stylized in all caps) is the fifth studio album by American rapper and producer Tyler, the Creator. It was released on May 17, 2019, through Columbia Records. [...] Music journalists have noted that Igor continues to build on the hip hop and neo soul sound established in Flower Boy, while also incorporating R&B and funk influences. Critics have noted the album's use of synthesizers and low-mixed vocals. Thematically, Igor follows a narrative of a love triangle between the titular character and his male love interest. The album employs the "Igor" literary archetype to explore themes associated with love, such as heartbreak, loss, and jealousy. // To help market the album, Tyler, the Creator released the single "Earfquake", which reached number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming his highest charting single. In its first week of release, Igor debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, moving 165,000 album-equivalent units and becoming Tyler, the Creator's first US number-one album. It was a widespread critical success, being named among the best albums of 2019 in many publications' year-end lists, and won Best Rap Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards. (wikipedia)
• • •

The only thing I don't get is why three pairs of boots intersect. They're not supposed to be boot-shaped, are they? No, those pairs all actually form slightly different shapes, and the final pair (including "BOOTS" in the revealer) don't intersect at all, so maybe (probably) intersection has absolutely nothing to do with the theme. A red herring. Are the kinky boots in "KINKY BOOTS" red? I confess I know nothing about it except Cyndi Lauper is involved, and I adore her. Answers that feature the rearranged letters of "boots" may not sound like much—it's a simple concept—but this is a good example of where the *concept* does not have to be mind-blowing for the result to be pretty delightful. The one big plus: all the kinky-boots answers, i.e. all the themers, are entertaining and original answers. Something about that letter combination produces zingy fill. GUEST BOOKS and BOSTON POPS and BOOSTERS are solid and straightforward, not earth-shaking, but it just gets better from there, with SOB STORY, NANOBOTS, and GOBSTOPPER being real winners. I also liked LOST BOYS, but confess I would've liked it better if the clue had taken the 1987 Kiefer Sutherland vampire movie route. Still, overall, those themers really pay off, and the rest of the grid, though heavy on short fill, is smooth enough, and often interesting in its own right. I declare this puzzle not WACK (5A: Bad, slangily).

Perhaps because "KINKY BOOTS" is a musical, today's grid is chock full o' musical answers of a surprising breadth and, I'm guessing, for a good segment of the solving population, "obscurity." Note the quotation marks. The closest thing to a truly obscure musical clue here today is IRA Kaplan. That clue for IRA is a favorite of Ben Tausig over at American Values Club crosswords, but that's a slightly different crowd, that solver base. Ben's puzzles are often hyper-musical (Ben himself is a musician and ethnomusicologist), so I expect lots of music over there. I don't expect the majority of NYTXW solvers even to have heard of Yo La Tengo, frankly. So, easy for me, but maybe harder or unknown to many of you (I actually never saw the clue because the crosses took care of it, but I *would've* known it had I seen it). I feel like we've seen ROBYN before, and she's very popular, but, you know, not ENYA-familiar, gridwise (20D: One-named singer with the 2010 hit "Dancing on My Own"). Despite seeing that the three-letter B-word for the Michael Jackson song was about a rat, my fingers still instinctively wrote in "BAD." Bad! Bad fingers! The worst musical moment for me was forgetting "IGOR," an album I listened to a lot when it came out, and one whose potential crossword value I definitely touted. He has a new album, one whose name I've also forgotten (it's "Call Me If You Get Lost"), and so though I could picture the album cover for "IGOR," I found the name had escaped me. There's also a RAGA in here, and of course the BOSTON POPS, so I think the volume on music clues was definitely turned up today.

I am never going to remember supermodel names, or most of them anyway, so BELLA was a big shrug to me today (13A: Supermodel Hadid). I also don't know much at all about "The Mikado" and would probably steer clear of it entirely were I cluing puzzles. Its white imperialist fantasies of the "exotic East" have been known to rub people the wrong way, not surprisingly. So, yeah, KOKO? No idea. That whole SW corner was a bit tough for me, as I thought a SPIKE was a SMASH and couldn't come up with "OH, GOD," which to me is far more common and decidedly less old-fashioned and prim than its clue, ["Good heavens!"]. Moments like this, and the preponderance of names in the puzzle, probably meant that I was slower than usual for a Tuesday. I don't time myself any more T through Sat because I now solve regularly at 4:30am and I just can't work up concern (or capability) for speed at that hour. The clock is just not something I want to think about. So I don't. But I am guessing this one played somewhat on the hard side, for a Tuesday. If not, good for you! See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:15 AM  

Why the %#$@ is there a &*%$^#@ "?" on 1A? Please stop this $%&@# nonsense!

Loren Muse Smith 6:18 AM  

Yesterday’s “walk” word(s). . . today we’re SASHAYing. These BOOTS made for SASHAYing, that’s just what they’ll do. . .

When my daughter was in kindergarten, she and some friends performed a little dance to These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ at the talent show, but one friend’s mom pulled her daughter out ‘cause she thought the song was too RACY, EDGY, KINKY, that it was actually about a PRO. I dunno. Seemed innocent enough to me at the time. (FWIW even back in the '60s I adored the line You keep samin’ when you ought to be changin’. I didn’t fully understand that they were making an adjective into a verb; I just knew I liked it and thought about it a lot.)

Those GUEST BOOKS? At bed and breakfasts and rental mountain cabins? I always feel guilty that I didn’t experience the same utopia of people who gushed about the view, the relaxation, the recharging. My stays usually involved digging out Cheerios from the couch cushions, scrubbing crayon off the wall.

I had no idea that WACK meant bad; I thought it meant crazy, like the economy version of wacky. Oops. I checked Merriam Webster - it’s there, and it’s not good. Cool. I love dictionaries for their stalwart dedication to reporting on how we use a word, any word. For several years, I kept checking to see when batshit would be entered as an adverb and whooped when this finally appeared:

batshit adverb
Joey is aware that there are a lot of people, … who are just batshit crazy. — David Brooks, Weekly Standard, 28 Apr. 2003
… over the years he's been called everything from ruthless to batshit insane … — Seth Mnookin, Vanity Fair, December 2008

One of my very first entries was TAN, and the nostalgia of those TAN M&Ms washed over me like warm grape Kool-Aid. Seriously, just the memory of the TAN ones in my hand took me back to Chattanooga and vending machines that delivered the Fanta orange in a paper cup with crushed ice, to Dippity-doo and my Chatty Cathy doll. To white gloves for Sunday school and the Fuller Brush man with his little green bottles of perfume.

I kept seeing SOBA crossing Boston. Hah. You SOBER UP in a jail most places, but in BOSTON you SOBA up.

And speaking of BOSTON POPS, I didn’t understand until a few years ago that the POPS was short for popular, that these guys played the more famous, accessible music for people like me whose taste is, well, pedestrian. Fine. I’ll take it if that means I never find myself at a John Cage concert again.

OffTheGrid 6:39 AM  

There is no day of the week for which this puzzle is appropriate. It could be used in a trivia contest, though.

Anonymoose 6:59 AM  

Why KINKY BOOTS? There's nothing kinky there. Just scrambled letters of B-O-O-T-S. Only one is an anagram, BOOST. The others are not words and OBSTO is repeated. At least have your theme make sense or follow a pattern. Is kinky supposed to mean scrambled? "How would you like your eggs?" "Kinky, please." "What sort of sex do you like?" "Scrambled."

smalltowndoc 7:04 AM  

I don’t understand the theme. Is KINKY a synonym for scrambled?

I would’ve preferred KOKO clued as the late amazing gorilla with a vocabulary of 2,000 words and a love of kittens.

Lewis 7:11 AM  

For me, this was a good mix of gimmes, mezzo gimmes, dig-deep-fors, and no-knows. Five no-knows, actually, unusual for Tuesday, and thus a rare treat. My favorite three answers – the theme-related GOBSTOPPER, LOST BOYS, and NANOBOTS – are all NYT puzzle debuts. Plus, there is some clever cluing (those question mark clues for ABBOT, TEST, and especially [Cannery row?] for JARS); more, I think, than usual on a Tuesday.

When I figured out that lovely clue for JARS and ran into a couple of no-knows, it put me on high alert, which is my favorite solving state.

The theme helped me figure out BOOKS when I had GUEST filled in. Also, I liked seeing that kinky OAKY crossing OAK.

This is the work of a pro, a spry puzzle with personality and quality, and it sparked my morning. Thank you for making this, Chris.

Lewis 7:13 AM  

@anonymoose and @smalltowndoc -- According to Jeff Chen, "kinky" or "kinked", in cryptic crosswords clues, indicates anagramming.

kitshef 7:16 AM  

Not sure what makes the boots in the grid ‘kinky’. So either I don’t understand the theme or the revealer doesn’t work. Either way it’s a foul.

Some non-Tuesday stuff – IRA Kaplan? ROBYN? EZRA Cornell? SOBA???!? And what the heck on that IGOR clue?!?!! HEELER? BELLA Hadid? Wow – that’s not just non-Tuesday, that’s non-Saturday stuff. In retrospect, how the heck did I finish this? Fair crosses, I suppose.

Not my cup of tea today; in theme, fill nor cluing.

amyyanni 7:17 AM  

Broadway geek here, sighing contentedly.

SouthsideJohnny 7:22 AM  

I scanned through the clues and realized that they decided to publish a trivia quiz disguised as a crossword puzzle and decided to move on to a different form of entertainment for today. I’m sure it’s good fun if that things is your cup of tea - just not for me though.

Amy 7:31 AM  

Had Robin, and then was like oh yea, Robyn. Then had Skye, and was like, oh yea, Skyy. Cheekyy !

Son Volt 7:35 AM  

Lots of trivia but I liked this puzzle. The theme is neat - shaded squares really monopolize the grid. All the themers were solid - liked the GOBSTOPPER x BOOSTER cross. The center block of EERILY, PRESS ON and ISLETS was top notch.

Never liked Peter Pan so LOST BOYS needed work. In the early years we saw Yo La Tengo quite a bit at Maxwell’s - before Hoboken became what it is today. The darlings of punk, fuzz and noise they were never the same without Dave Schramm.

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

Ω 7:39 AM  

From Merriam-Webster: Definition of kink (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : a short tight twist or curl caused by a doubling or winding of something upon itself

Clearly the theme is playing with KINKY in a more wholesome way.

Interesting that for both WACK and KINK adding the Y results in such different meanings in common usage.

I’m wondering if BELLA crossing Donna KARAN will cause anyone problems.

Newsflash, I’m not a fan of anagramming. Anagramming that’s not even actually anagramming is not what I’d call an improvement, so the theme is definitely not my cuppa. As a themeless this is fine.

TTrimble 7:47 AM  

I SAY, this played fairly tough for a Tuesday. It was WACK! Just not up on this particular array of PPP (e.g., BELLA, and the only Cavs I could think of offhand was UVA (CLE), and I had a hard time not thinking of Liebfraumilch, a wine instead of an ALP). But wait, there's more! HEELER, IGOR, KOKO, JAGR, ROBYN, EZRA, IRA. I even had trouble coughing up OSKAR. I have a really vague memory of BEN, or do I? That's somehow, without warrant perhaps, bracketed in my mind with Willard, a horror movie that's about rats or something. I happen to know SKYY and RAE and ARISTA and KARAN and, at length, HSBC, but not everyone will.

PSST... Tuesday is the wrong day of the week for this puzzle. Not exactly a THUR, but it would have been more appropriate for a Hump Day.

yd 0

Amie Devero 7:49 AM  

I'm with the others above about 1a. JARS are not CANs. Agreed about the names, trivia, and the usual exclusionary sports minutae . All the following were need to me: JAGR, ROBYN,BAT,LINEOUT,UTES (as a team),EZRA cornell (???).
Crosses were essential, and even then DNF thanks to 1a and 1d.

Trey 7:56 AM  

I am sorry if this is a repeat post. The blog site seems to have swallowed my first post

I am shocked that Rex did not lose his skittles over this theme. While I liked the puzzle overall, the theme was very weak in my opinion. The arrangements of the various ways the letters in BOOTS were ordered did not represent KINKYBOOTS in any manner. The arrangement seemed random. Nothing looking like a BOOT or anything KINKY about it. Ideally, the words would have resembled the boots on the poster advertising the musical. That would have worked for me.

As far as the puzzle went, the answers that gave us the various forms of BOOTS were solid. I really liked LOSTBOYS (including the clue which reminded me of the Peter Pan connection and not just the great movie that is easier for me to conjure), NANOBOTS and GOBSTOPPERS (which I originally had as GOBSmackERS). There were a few tough words for me (like IGOR and KOKO) but the crosses allowed me to get those without too much sweat. Probably on the upper end of my recent Tuesday times, but hard for me to tell for sure since the app averages all my times forever. A very good Tuesday puzzle if you ignore the theme which fell flat for me.

Back to the theme - Rex seemed OK with this puzzle and theme but not at all with the SMILEYFACE/winkyFACE from last week which was much more of a construction feat (at least in the eyes of a non-constructor) than this one was.

bocamp 8:03 AM  

Thx Christopher for a very crunchy and challenging Tues. puz! :)

Very tough unsolve.

Lucky to have only a one cell dnf, and an inexcusable one, at that.

I was in a different universe for this one.

Guessed correctly at the BELLA / KARAN cross, but totally botched SOBA / TACO with SOBE / TECO. :(

Nevertheless, a fine puz and no one to blame but myself for not running the vowels on the aforementioned gaff.


Great battle with the Croce puz. Dnfed on one cell (the French pastry / particles cross) with a careless entry. I had thot the correct letter previously, but when it came time to fill it in (last cell), I plopped the wrong letter in. :( One of the tougher Croce's pour moi. See you next Mon. :)

yd 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

MissScarlet 8:09 AM  

Jars are used in the canning process if you are canning at home, especially. Most people keep their jars in rows.

Anonymous 8:17 AM  

I also hit a few bumps, but must say this felt refreshingly millennial (specifically older millennial?) to me.

Also note that although Bella Hadid is a supermodel, her father's family was displaced from Palestine and she has a history of activism related to Palestinian freedom which has (rightfully) garnered her some respect amongst the youths.

—Elder Gay Millennial

pabloinnh 8:18 AM  

We still have quite a few Ball canning JARS after our move, and lots of folks around here use them, so while I agree that JARS are not cans they can be used for canning.

Count me among those who don't equate mixing letters up as being KINKY. Nice feat of construction to find that many ways of doing it though.

Things I was wondering about include what is Ms. Hadid's first name, ditto for Mr. Kaplan, and what is that financial giant in London? Good to get those cleared up.

Highlights included remembering Mr. Cornell's first name and having someone tell me "You don't SPIKE like you're forty" when I was still playing volleyball. That was several years ago, however.

There's quite a long baseball story about a player learning "Yo la tengo" for "I got it" so he wouldn't collide with his Spanish-speaking teammate. When he actually did this in a game, he was run over by a different, non-Spanish speaking teammate. This courtesy of Roger Angell, Best Baseball Writer Ever.

Sticky little Tuesdecito, CA. Cleverly Assembled but not my favorite ever.

GILL I. 8:37 AM  

Who in the world will eat a Choco TACO as an ice cream treat? Does it contain a little cilantro and maybe a side of SOBA to spice things UP? And you name your candy GOB STOPPER? I'm gobsmacked.
Does WACK need a doodle? Does NANO need another NANO? I'm confused.
Today is Tuesday, right? Do I need a little shot of SKYY....or should I SOBER UP?
I will, instead, go wear some KINKY BOOTS but forgo my favorite fandango tango.

Frantic Sloth 8:43 AM  

So these BOOTS are KINKY because...they're shuffled? And they intersect? Oh, hold on there - that last pair doesn't even do that.
Or are they KINKY like a garden hose? I just don't get it.

Tuesdee is tuezin' again, I guess.

If I never see another "Supermodel" in a grid it will still be too soon. BELLA Hadid? If you say so.
Frankly, I think the term is thrown around much too freely - like "hero" and "star" - so the meaning is diluted into banality.

It's like when past lives are always those of famous people like Napoleon or Harriet Tubman, but never some human cog in a factory line. Blah lives matter!

Not really my kinda puzzle, but I'm sure others will enjoy it, so there's that.


mmorgan 8:45 AM  

Struggled through getting used to the NYT app for the second day and for the second day the process of learning the app was such a distraction that I barely noticed the puzzle. Oh, my beloved AcrossLite, come back to me! But I’m curious — Rex’s screenshot shows circles (which I normally can’t stand), but the NYT app showed lightly shaded squares. The print version seems to be the same. AcrossLite would most likely have shown circles. What site or still-usable app would give the circles as in Rex’s screenshot?

Ω 8:49 AM  

Again, because it seems to be eluding people, KINKY like a KINKY hose or a KINK in your neck, not the way advertised in the back of your local alt-weekly. It’s a play on the word. Dare I say it,… it’s wordplay.

As to the other Plaint, yessiree and bob’s your uncle, a hefty 41% on the PPPometer.
{that’s pop culture, product names, and other proper nouns if you’re newish here}
The List

GOBSTOPPER (Willy Wonka clue)
*BAN deodorant
Carly RAE Jepsen
*Super Bowl ADS

Jaromir JAGR
JUNGFRAU (can we psychoanalyze a mountain?)
CLEveland Cavaliers
EZRA Cornell
Houston ASTRO
OSKAR Schindler
SKYY Vodka
IRA Kaplan

*PPPized answers.
Also Ward HEELER isn’t technically PPP but it sure feels like something June would say when feeling KINKY.

CDilly52 8:53 AM  

@LMS 6:18-

Thanks for those memories, especially the Dippity-Doo! Ugh, that smell and the crispy hair! I also lament the loss of the tan M&Ms; I rather thought they were classy, like the tan leather interior of a racing green Jaguar !

Ω 8:55 AM  

@Gill I - Choco TACOS

CDilly52 9:01 AM  

At first I thought we were paying homage to the BOOSTER SHOT with the mixed up ways to “boost” and considered it totally WACK! Was delighted that it was lots of KINKY BOOTS. That was such a clever show!

This was pretty tricky in spots due to the many names of people I did not know. The. We had ARBYS and HSBC. Lots of places to stumble but the short fill ultimately got me through with a rather long Tuesday time. Just so much of the dreaded PPP.

Booty Cal 9:07 AM  

The theme does not work. Period. The defenses of it are weak. @Rex only glossed over it because he liked the theme clue answers so much. I can only speculate, but he might have ripped the theme, otherwise.

Blue Stater 9:18 AM  

Saturday-plus level of difficulty on a Tuesday. Who edits this junk, anyway? Oh wait....

40 minutes of vain struggle, undone in the end by JAGR, which is probably the most unfair clue-answer pair I've seen in many years. No help from the cross, either.

I continue to recommend the New Yorker's puzzles, which are turning out to be demanding, fair, and error- and gimmick-free. It *can* be done.

GILL I. 9:24 AM  

Good gravy @Z....Do I need to act like a chicken to get my Choco Tacos?

mathgent 9:26 AM  

It's not often that I get a kick out of a theme but I did today. Nicely done.

I looked up ChocoTACOS. I'm looking for one when I go to Safeway today.

The Giants had another bullpen game last night. Six relievers held the Padres to one run. None of them pitched more than two innings. And they didn't even use their three best relievers, who consistently shut out the enemy in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings in close games.

Nancy 9:27 AM  

Okay -- I had a big problem at one of the few normal, non-trivia places in this perfectly dreadful puzzle: putting in PlaStic instead PRESS-ON for the "fake nails". Well I bet they are plastic, aren't they? Anyway, this kept me from seeing BOOSTERS (because I had --OSTELS) and LOST BOYS (because I had LIST----). I also had WARD HEALER instead of WARD HEELER, which seemed perfectly fine by me.

But don't get me started on crossing JAhR with hOBSTOPPER (DNF). Or on having what felt like about 900 singers and albums intermingled with what felt like about 600 brand names. Mostly for candies and other sweets. Oh, yes, red meat too (ARBYS: one of the easier ones.) Dreadful diet, btw.

But there's another dreadful diet at work here, too. Spending your life listening to pop music and looking at screens. There are a few nods to serious culture: ZEUS; EZRA (also a proper name but at least he founded a college); and BOSTON POPS (Don't let the "POPS" fool you: they play darn good music -- a lot better than the ephemeral pop hits "immortalized" here today.

I did have a genuine "Aha Moment" at KINKY BOOTS when I finally saw what was going on. But by then my Wall was well past all possible repair.

JD 9:30 AM  

Canny Row as a clue for Jars, crossing Hockey Great Jagr Jaromir - on a Tuesday - is abominable. Nice Thursday clue though. Just like the great Diamond Club for Bat. Guess I can't think hard on a Tuesday. Not in my contract.

Coincidences happened In Twos (do they or did I just make that up). But then some nails were Acrylic, things looked bleak for a Tuesday, and I was losing hope.

Igor, Koko, Bella & Robyn LLP, an unknown law firm that folded before the ink dried on the business cards.

Names I didn't know and Ward Heeler, which I forgot after that poly sci class in the late 70s. When we wore hoop skirts and carried parasols.

Did they stop making Red M&Ms? Convinced myself that they did.

Gob Stopper? Looked at the possibility of Lobster with the letters I had for a while. Did they stop making the Tan ones?

Anyway, ground to a finish. A clever puzzle on the wrong day, with a few too many names.

bocamp 9:43 AM  

Agree with Jeff Chen that KINKY is a crypticism indicating scrambled BOOTS (hi @ Lewis (7:13 AM)). In a cryptic puz, one would look for an anagram of boots, which would be 'boost', as @Anonymoose (6:59 AM) has pointed out.

However, the fact that the unscrambling results in only one anagram (BOOST), doesn't detract from the legitimacy of the 'KINKY/scrambled BOOTS' idea; nor does the fact that all 8 either intersect or abut.

@TTrimble 👍 for 0 yd

td pg -1

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

EdFromHackensack 9:48 AM  

I have no problem loosely equating KINKY with jumbled, anyone can figure that out, should not be a problem. Many BWay shows are reopening today, so the theme is topical. JAGR/GOBSTOPPER did me in, I have heard of neither though I have seen Willy Wonka and play Pure Imagination on the piano. I entered ARBYS and later RACY and thought “that can’t be right, that leaves 2 Ys in a row...” thank God for SKYY vodka, although I dont drink. Are NANOBOTS a thing? I never really heard that before. My wife - a CCD teacher - had a hard time with “OHGOD” feels it should not be in a puzzle. I rank this as more of a Wednesday, kinda tough at parts but I got KINKYBOOTS early so I was able to back into a few answers. Cheers all!

RK from Switzerland 9:53 AM  


Carola 9:53 AM  

I'm in the Venn diagram where "Hard," "Enjoyable," and "So Many Names I Didn't Know" overlap. What an array of KINKY BOOTS! - I thought the theme answers were terrific and the reveal a delight. Extra smile wattage for GOBSTOPPER and SOB STORY.

Do-over: Per before PRO. Didn't know: BELLA, BEN, KOKO, IRA, IGOR, HSBC, JAGR, TACOS, ROBYN.

@MissScarlet 8:09 - Thank you for reminding me of home canning.

@Beezer from yesterday - In case you didn't see, responded last night at 8:27 with my thanks. Some struggles today in moving efficiently in the grid (perhaps because I use an external keyboard that doesn't mesh exactly right), but yes, so much better than the version on the Games page of the NYT whole-newspaper app

RooMonster 10:06 AM  

Hey All !
I know this was tough to construct, but two OBSTOs is tough to overlook. If you have a KINKY/scrambled/anagrammed theme, make sure to scramble your words differently each time.
Or maybe that's just me.

Surprised Rex gave this a pass on an ass-tearing review. Aforementioned two OBSTOs, three pair crossing, one not, too many Blockers resulting in too much short fill, PPP up the Wazoo.

Also, seemed a lot of B's floating around, heck, there's 3 just in NE, not including the Themers, which requires them. Or is that also just me? (Har, probably.)

Agree with the "should've been a WedsPuz" group.

OBOTS would be a cool band name.
ST BOO is a nickname for an outstanding boy/girlfriend.

12 B'S (7 in Themers, so yes, I was seeing things!)

Hack mechanic 10:08 AM  

Me neither.I know nothing about golf,baseball or Michael Jackson (nor care to) so went with WPGA, WIPEOUT & BEN. Same kind of thing in a few other places in the grid too.

Peter P 10:09 AM  

BELLA crossing KARAN did me in. I guessed BELLe/KeRAN. Oh well. I don't bother with figuring the theme out on early week puzzles -- it only slows me down. "KINKY" to indicate jumbled-up or an anagram did not feel odd to me, and I don't do cryptics as they drive me irrationally up a wall, so it's not terminology I picked up from there.

Puzzle was fine; finished faster than a usual Tuesday, but that Natick in the north irked me.

Andrew H 10:30 AM  

I had big trouble with the PPPs today

Hartley70 10:35 AM  

This was a much harder Tuesday than I’ve come to expect since IGOR, JAGR, ROBYN and ChocoTACOS left me scratching my head. Seriously, “Tyler, the Creator”, is a moniker? He sounds like the alpha in an ten year olds’ tree house. On the other hand, I loved the cute KINKYBOOTS theme and I’m trying to clap my hands for the constructor while I type.

Am I the only one who regularly tries to get SB to accept NANO? I suppose I need to have the b and t also.

rjkennedy98 10:43 AM  

Wow that was a lot of PPP, and on a Tuesday. At least it felt vaguely this century with Tyler the Creator, Bella Hadid, Jaromir Jagr, ect.

The EZRA Cornell question reminded me of a scene from The Office where Andy conducts Dwight's Cornell interview

Conrad 10:44 AM  

I liked this a lot more than ... well, just about everybody. It was a bit challenging for a Tuesday but the WOEs were fairly crossed.

@amyyanni: Count me as another contented Broadwayphile. Four shows are reopening today (Sept. 14): Chicago, Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked.

BEE-ER 10:46 AM  

Quick GENIUS level today but still looking for the PG.

Barbara S. 10:50 AM  

I don’t think it matters that the letters of BOOTS are scrambled every which way but only make a new word when they spell BOOST. This puzzle is not declaring itself to be the creator of anagrams (i.e. new words), but simply the rearranger of those particular letters. And, yes KINKY is absolutely an anagram indicator in cryptic crosswords (along with about 1000 other possible indicators – one site I looked at listed 50 words starting with A alone!) But this isn’t a cryptic crossword. So I took KINKY to mean simply a repositioning of letters. I think both concept and execution work well.

I noticed the vast array of PPP. There was a lot I didn’t know, mostly the more recent stuff, but I was lucky enough to be aware of Jaromir JAGR right out of the gate (or should that be, right out of the penalty box). I’m bad on almost all sports-related material but if I’m going to know any of it, it’ll be hockey. (Canajan, eh?) The rest of the PPP must have been crossed enough in my favor that I was able to get all of it without too much struggle. I didn’t know BELLA but I did know KARAN; I didn’t know ROBYN but none of the crosses gave me any trouble.

Dang those Japanese noodles! I’ve just learned “udon” with much travail and the loss of countless brain cells, and now they want me to learn another, SOBA?? And ditto vodka brands: I’ve made myself conversant with Absolut and Smirnoff and now SKYY? And what’s with that double Y, anyway? Oh, and speaking of vodka, let me introduce you to Vodkow, liquor made out of the waste sugars from milk production. It’s sustainable and it’s yummy, so say my husband, my cousin and a bunch of friends (I haven’t tried it as I’m not an imbiber).

I enjoyed learning WACK, TAN M&Ms (they passed me by completely) and WARD HEELER (which I initially thought was a guy’s name). And MEOW, MEOW, MEOW at full volume (his trademark), my 17-year-old cat SPIKE was in the puzzle!

Whatsername 10:53 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJS 10:58 AM  

With ya all the way, @Nancy. A joyless slog. Only amusement this a.m. was learning Rex is a big Cindi Lauper fan.

TJS 11:02 AM  

Whoops, it's Cyndi, and he "adores" her.

BTW, I'll bet there are more people offended by the frequent appearence of "God" used so loosely than are offended by "Mikado".

Whatsername 11:10 AM  

WACK! That’s the sound of this one hitting Nancy’s Wall. I didn’t get the theme until I was finished at which point I stared at the shaded squares, saw the letters of BOOTS rearranged - twice in the same order - and wondered why. They looked like gibberish answers to a Jumble quiz. There’s an idea for a new game: Jumble Jibberish.

Also a puzzle which reminded me of how much I miss playing Trivial Pursuit. While I am not the Resident PPP Checker,* my rough calculation was right at 40%. That’s not RACY or EDGY, that’s a load of RCPA. So anagram that.

* @Z (8:49) “like something June would say when feeling KINKY.” 🤣

bocamp 11:13 AM  

@RooMonster (10:06 AM)

Totally understand where you're coming from re: the hot mess scrambles. As a constructor and technical aficionado you have every right to be critical. For me, it was just a very minor blip on the radar, and certainly didn't in any way spoil my enjoyment of the solve.

@Hartley70 (10:35 AM)

Yup, put in 'nano' every time, as well as anoa. Ya just 'never' (hi @Pabloinnh) know when Sam might kick in one or t'other (both being in the Scrabble dict). Of course, today no 'a', so no go. lol

@rjkennedy98 (10:43 AM)

Interview 😂


Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

TTrimble 11:15 AM  

Re 7:47AM
Ah, so I wasn't hallucinating a Ben-Willard connection. BEN was a name of a rat, the main rat, in the movie Willard.

(Pretty obscure movie reference, at this remove in time.)

td 0

kitshef 11:27 AM  

This will probably be my last post for a while. I have a terrible scrambling of letters in my hose to deal with, and an this anagram in my neck just won't go away.

jb129 11:36 AM  


I never not finish a Tuesday puzzle

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

Inaccurate clue for raga--not a composition.

Joseph Michael 11:38 AM  

OBSTO sounds like a medical condition and this puzzle clearly has it since it shows up twice — at 15A and 46A (a fatal flaw). Add more than 40% proper nouns to the grid and you have a puzzle in need of rehab.

I did like the KINKY BOOTS theme, but not at the cost of JAGR crossing GOBSTOPPER. BELLA crossing KARAN, etc. And then there’s HSBC being a brat in the corner. No more Choco TACOS for you, pal.

SASHAYS and PRESS-ON nails were fun bonuses to complement the theme. But where’s the BOA? If there was ever a time to drag that out of the crosswordese bin, this was it.

Marc 11:48 AM  

I never understood why preserving food in glass jars is called canning. And isn’t a cannery the place where fish gets put into tin cans? Maybe the fish cause a row when they try to escape their fate? Funny the english language is.

sixtyni yogini 11:55 AM  

Good one! Enjoyed it, (and saw “Kinky Boots” on Broadway several years ago.)

Lots of clever clues
and adding to the apparent musical theme, an oldie:

“These ————— are made for walkin’”
“and one a these days they’re gonna ———————————”


M-W 12:10 PM  

Definition of canned

1 : preserved in a sealed can or jar

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

I also don't know much at all about "The Mikado" and would probably steer clear of it entirely were I cluing puzzles. Its white imperialist fantasies of the "exotic East" have been known to rub people the wrong way, not surprisingly.

interesting observation. here's another one. TCM ran Paul Robeson films on a recent night. one of which was "Sanders of the River"/1935. this was when he had already made a name for himself, and was coaxed into playing a tribal chief by the Korda brothers (find them on the wiki) on the promise that it was not a White Bwana propaganda flick. of course, they lied, and that's how it ended up.

" Robeson also discovered that Bosambo had been changed during the editing process from a proud leader to a servile lackey of the colonial administration. Furious, he complained that:

The imperialist plot had been placed in the plot during the last days five days of shooting...I was roped into the picture because I wanted to portray the culture of the African people and I committed a faux pas which convinced me that I had failed to weigh the problems of 150,000,000 native Africans...I hate the picture. "
-- the wiki

Charles Young 12:15 PM  

Liked it more, not liked it better. Just sayin’.

Douglas 12:18 PM  

@Anonymous 6:15 am. The ? in 1A is due to the fact that Cannery Row is typically associated with the novel and not a row of jars. Good clue.

jae 12:20 PM  

Tough, but I’m just starting to get familiar with the new format. We saw “Kinky Boots” a few years back and really enjoyed it. The puzzle was also pretty good. Liked it.

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

I don't get the kvetching. The 'BOOTS' have kinks in them, do they not? The 32D/57A touches only at the corners, so those are really, really KINKY. Oh wait, that's part of the answer, isn't it? And, of course, there's the Nancy Sinatra implied connection, too.

The kvetching about CANNERY and JARS is silly. If you're old enough, or still subsistence farm in a shithole county, you know for a fact that Mason JARS are the approved method for home done canning. Corn, or cahn in these parts, and yellow beans come out the best. Tomatoes are easy, being highly acidic; the wee little critters don't much like acid, unlike SF in the 60s.

Ω 12:26 PM  

@Anon11:38 - Let me suggest that you rethink how you’re thinking of “composition:”
Definition of composition
1a : the act or process of composing
specifically : arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form

From Merriam-Webster

@Whatsername - I love it when somebody laughs at my B&W humor.

@TJS 11:02 - I think this opinion piece is nicely balanced. The subtitle sums it up nicely, A masterpiece sits in the shadow of context.

jae 12:37 PM  

@bocamp - full disclosure: I had some spousal help with spelling the french pastry.

G. Weissman 12:48 PM  

Too many proper names and too many pro sports-related answers. The torrent of proper names is NYT xword puzzles is a problem.

Anonymous 12:59 PM  

despite me playing hockey for 40ish years, and loving jaromir.. i had yagr and yars (
sea men / cannery) seemed plausible.

mathgent 1:05 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

Loren (6:18) SOBA up in Boston.

bocamp 1:07 PM  

@Z (3:17 PM yd)

Thx for the xword suggestions. Have been doing Stella's & Tim's for some time. Just finished BEQ's Mon (found it = to a NYT Fri.). Looking forward to my first New Yorker this aft. :)

@Anonymous (12:11 PM)

Thx for the Paul Robeson shoutout; have teed up 'Sanders of the River' on YouTube. Will bear in mind the info you've provided.

@jae (12:37 PM) 👍

I still say I should have gotten it by virtue of the first three letters of the 'particle'. Nevertheless, looked it up later and confirmed it was as I had originally thot, and then promptly forget when typing in the only letter I could think of to fit the pastry of the morning. lol

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

johnk 1:09 PM  

I'm older than the WWWonka generation, and I'm not about to read/see it just so I can fill a STOOBid xword. Nor am I going to memorize hocky rosters, supermodels, women's fashion stores or teen pop stars. So this PPP TEST was WACK for me in the NW.

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

Give me an NBA team and I'll be sure to get it wrong. I first thought the Cavs were in ARI and 5A was going to be WeaK (bad). The GOBSTOPPER stopped that in its tracks. (Didn't help that I was trying to find a three letter word that literally meant Jungfrau. Oh, another ALP. Where's Mont Blanc or Matterhorn?)

The theme came in handy in the NE. I had the two Os and the T placed in the 9D shaded area. Looking at 17A, H_B_, with the choice of HbB_ or HSB_, the latter won the day.

NANOBOTS, sometimes good tech, often times bad tech in science fiction. Rogue NANOBOTS, wack.

Christopher, I liked the puzzle with its cryptic theme, thanks!

Space Is Deep 1:15 PM  

Way more difficult than a normal Tuesday due all of the names. Luckily the crosses made them doable. Love Yo La Tengo. Seen them live.

PhysGraf 1:26 PM  

Anyone else initially put MODERNAS at 13D instead of BOOSTERS?

R. Eally 1:28 PM  

Once again, a serial child rapist appears in the puzzle, and nary a word.

How does one take Michael seriously when he objects to so many others making an appearance merely because he finds them politically and personally objectionable. None of them raped even one ten year old boy, much less a series of them.

old timer 2:23 PM  

Would have been a very rare Tuesday DNF, until I found JARS. Which of course are found on the assembly line of many a cannery. I think the long-ago sardines on Cannery Row were packed in tins, but your applesauce, produced by many of our old Sonoma County canneries were often packed in glass jars, as are the jams and jellies I use most often. There is no such thing as a jarrery, so glass or metal, such containers are indeed produced in rows of jars in a cannery.

I totally forgot KOKO's name in The Mikado, and never knew IGOR, nor Tyler, the Creator. But easily gotten on crosses.

Too much unknown PPP for me. But the puzzle had its points. Actually, anything that reminds me of the Jungfrau makes me smile, as I saw it every day in my lovely hotel on Lake Thun. I've seen the Jungfrau Railway often at Kleine Scheidigg, but not being a rich Japanese tourist, never opted to ride that line.

Eniale 2:29 PM  

QB today, yay me!!

Yoga came first, so haven't even looked at puzzle yet

Stephen Minehart 2:31 PM  

Well, I liked it. Didn't know IGOR or KOKO or IRA or HEELER, but was able to finish anyway so satisfying. Of those, I'll only remember HEELER tomorrow. Definitely felt more like a Wednesday than a Tuesday, but there's going to be variance from day to day, so I can't really complain about that. I definitely prefer PPP, some of which I might get lucky and know, to crosswordese gobbledegook that many puzzles resort to. Echoing Rex, lots of good fill today.

Masked and Anonymous 2:32 PM  

At first reveal ahar moment, I figured that the "KINKY" part meant that somehow there'd be a "kinked" BOOTS string of letters, turnin a corner, imbedded within each set of two shaded paired BOOTS anagrams. Nope again, M&A breath.

Official M&A Help Desk Dictionary does list "twisted" as a synonym for "kinky". Soooo … ok, just anagrams.
Wow, tho -- 8 kinky BOOTSes. Lotsa themer material. Impressive.
Most popular kink-age: OBSTO. (Used twice.)
fave kinkage: ST. BOO. Patron saint of trickertreaters.

HSBC -- har. Guess what? … debut abbr. Nice Ow de Speration spritz.

staff weeject pick: CLE. Btw: Yah hardly ever get a debut weeject, I've noticed. And CLE ain't one, of course. The runtz are a big fan of scoreboard abbreevs, like CLE.

Thanx for the fun & boatload of unknown names, too boot, Mr. Adams dude. [BELLA/KARAN was a particular oofer twofer.]

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Crimson Devil 2:45 PM  

Unusually challenging Tuesday: much enjoyed.

tea73 3:07 PM  

It's weird that when you go can a bunch of tomatoes you put them in mason jars, so I think 1 Across is fair, but I never saw it because 1 Down was a complete unknown to me and appeared to be misspelled. Ditto the vodka which I have sort of heard of. I've done a lot of cryptics so KINKY to mean scrambled didn't bother me. I already had all the BOOTS in the puzzle by the time I got to the revealer. I prefer it when the revealer is a help, but not too much of a help. For what it's worth I've heard of Yo La Tengo, but never listened to them because I find their music so boring.

I do not watch sports, but of course today would be the day that I remembered it was the UVA Cavaliers. Sigh.

Mr. Benson 3:35 PM  

I spent years trying to force myself to like Yo La Tengo and finally gave up. Anyway, I remember being surprised that someone under 50 was named IRA. (That was about 20 years ago, so the cutoff age would be 70 now.)

stephanie 3:59 PM  

just stopping by to let everyone know (as i don't think it has yet been mentioned) that today is GOBSTOPPER day :)

the overall puzzle PPP always falls into one of three categories for me: saves me, kills me, or goes unnoticed. today was a rare one in that it definitely saved me. although you could argue it also killed me, as i had a technical DNF and had to run the alphabet to get me the "L" of LPGA and the "N" of ben for LINEOUT which i also had not heard of. otherwise a good time - i enjoyed the theme even though i don't care for musicals/theater, so that was a nice surprise.

stephanie 4:31 PM  

@anon 6:15am cannery row is a novel as well as a geographical area. since they are asking about a literal row of cannery (JARS) the "?" is appropriate, imho, since it is a play on words and not simply some kind of synonym for the usual definition. ...unless you call the supermarket aisle full of canned and jarred goods "cannery row," which i suspect most people don't...but i might start ;) i suppose one could also argue that because the words are not capitalized, the "?" is implied and therefore not necessary, but it is tuesday.

Anonymous 5:12 PM  

Please note, 1A defenders. The c of cannery is not capitalized so the clue has nothing to do with the novel. No "?" needed. This happens a lot, with cluers trying to be too cute. "Risque" was a 2014 movie. So I guess 64A should have had a "?".

GILL I. 5:27 PM  

@R.Eally 1:28. Who on God's Graciousness Earth are you referring to? Can you be more specific? Did someone rape a ten year old boy? Was it Choco TACOS? I'm confused......

Anonymous 5:37 PM  

Rex wants to cancel Gilbert and Sullivan. This is how it starts. It’s just me but I find one character in The Mikado problematic. You know how it ends. Whatever.

JC66 5:55 PM  


FWIW, I think @R Eally is referring to Michael Jackson, although s/he may be overstating the situation just a tad.

Bill L. 6:24 PM  

@mmorgan 8:45 AM – check out the Diary of a Crossword Fiend entry for Friday, August 20. Amy Reynaldo talks about using the crossword scraper extension for Firefox or Chrome in her write-up and then tells you how to use it in the comments. I just tried it with today’s puzzle and it instantly brought up the puzzle in Across Lite.

Rex’s twitter feed alerted me to the extension and then some googling got me to Amy’s site.

Belinda 6:32 PM  

@5:37- I think you misread Rex’s comments, but yeah, the pitchforks are out. G&S will eventually be undone by Woke McCarthyism.

Anoa Bob 6:39 PM  

Started off on a good note. Used to keep my stash in a Bell Mason JAR. Still use them, although these days for more mundane purposes. Yes, I did notice the letter BOOSTing S that got tacked on.

Peaking of which I thought the shaded areas were going to be anagrams of BOOST (weird placement of shaded areas, no?) and didn't straighten that out until the reveal KINKY BOOTS which I didn't know even though I too am a Cindi Lauper fan. So the theme fizzled for me.

KOKO is also the name a female western lowland gorilla who made national news twice, once because of her abilities with sign language and later when she adopted a kitten for her pet.

There were some nice touches although my favorite NANOBOT got dinged a demerit for needing some help to fill its slot. The names, all the names I didn't know---did I mention the reveal KINKY BOOTS?---that is what I came away with from this puzz.

This olde word nerd will hang on to the olde, conventional meanings of KINKY and "anagram" until I see a compelling reason to do otherwise. That hasn't happened yet.

Classicist 6:41 PM  

Ah, thanks for clearing that up. I thought s/he was referring to ZEUS.

JC66 7:00 PM  

@Bill L

I can't figure out how to access the Diary of a Crossword Fiend entry for Friday, August 20. Can you provide the link?



TAB2TAB 7:04 PM  

This constructor must be one of Rex's pals because this theme just does not pass muster. KINKY is in no way an accurate description of what is happening with the BOOTS letters: you might say that the letters have been re-ordered, or randomized, or rearranged, or scrambled, but they are not 'curled' or 'bent' or 'twisted' or any of the other definitions of KINKY. Further, the circled letters mean... nothing! Should I see OBSTO or STBOO or OBOTS or BOSTO and think, wow, how'd he pull that off? Being able to rearrange a five letter word into a five letter non-word just seems a low bar.

Outside the theme, there was a lot to like but like other, some of it seemed way beyond a Tuesday. One example: diamond club = BAT is wonderful, but wouldn't a question mark be appropriate at least for a Tuesday? Some of the PPP was not Tuesday material but still could get it from the crosses.

stephanie 7:41 PM  

@Anoa Bob that's the koko i know too :) i remember the kitten because it didn't have a tail, and koko named it "all ball."

Joe Dipinto 7:42 PM  

I could never remember if the band's name was Yo La Tengo ("I have it") or Ya Lo Tengo ("I already have it"). So I made it a point to never talk about them at all, ever.

IRA has never been clued for jazz saxophonist/composer Jane Ira Bloom, which seems surprising to me. She'd be worthy of an occasional Saturday puzzle, imo. They did clue IRA with "Pianist Stein" once. Since I never heard of such a person I looked him up and found this hilariously unimpressed Wikipedia entry:

The American pianist Ira Stein debuted in 1982 alongside oboe player Russel Walder on the Windham Hill release "Elements". Apart from 1986's Transit, he otherwise spent the majority of the decade confined to a series of Windham Hill collections as well as several releases by labelmate William Ackermann.

Windham Hill = new-agey noodling. Anyway, aquí tu tienes Jane ___ Bloom.

JC66 7:44 PM  

@Anoa & @stephanie

See LMS's avatar (6:18 AM).

Anonymous 7:46 PM  

Probably not gonna happen but it would be great if the Black man from South Central defeats the entitled white former mayor of San Francisco. Sadly, racism thrives in the USA.

stephanie 7:48 PM  

@JC66 thanks for pointing that out! i often don't notice avatars because of their size, but maybe i should start since i know some folx go to the trouble of being on topic :)

GILL I. 7:52 PM  

@JC....And, and ....was Michael Jackson eating some Choco TACOS? Good gravy. I almost like@Classicist's ZEUS. I even toyed with BELLA WACK.....Maybe the GOBSTOPPER did the evil deed?

Anonymous 8:11 PM  

Last Tues my record time, this Tues perhaps my longest - did finish without help eventually. names, names, and more names ...

ward heeler (couldn't tell if this was a name or a position,carly rae somebody guessed RAE with the crosses, kaplan of a group i never heard - crosses, mikado executioner - oginally had KATO, one named singer from 2010 - crosses, cornell's first name - guessed from crosses, supermodel hadid - guessed right early, dkny's donna - another lucky guess, hockey great jaromir - knew this, let's go PENS!

also didnt know
Peter pan group - dont get the reference
kinky boots - never heard of
tyler the creator album

Unknown 8:14 PM  

Despite a lot of names I didn't know, this clocked in within a minute of my fastest Tuesday ever, so I'm thinking it wasn't all that hard.
Since it sounds like rex has never listened to, nor seen, The Mikado, maybe he should reserve his comments. And the fellow who complained about Michael Jackson appearing in a puz. . . . if he's triggered that easily, maybe he needs to take up a new hobby.
Just my idle observations re the level of political correctness that seems to have consumed this blog.

Bard 8:28 PM  

I’ll go for Gilbert & Sullivan clues any time over supermodels

Ω 8:50 PM  

@stephanie - Always check @LMS’s avatar

@Anon8:11 - Peter Pan as in the book, play, and movie(s). The LOST BOYS appear in all three, not to mention as a conceit in non-Peter Pan movies. Here’s more. I feel like I saw an allusion to them in some random foreign film I watched part of in the past couple of months, but I don’t recall the name, now.

Just a reminder that what Rex said about KOKO is that he would “steer clear” of using a Mikado clue. There is obviously an option that’s less controversial.

@Gill I - Do you really not know about Michael Jackson? Think Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein, only with young boys. Big difference is that Jackson was never convicted.

@Classicist - 🤣😂🤣

@Anon5:12 - Cannery Row is a place. The clue isn’t referencing the place, instead it is a play on the term. That’s the reason for the question mark. Later in the week the cluer might eschew the “?” but early in the week, when cluing is intentionally easier, the “?” for this type of clue is pretty common.

Crossword Fiend August 20
Or skip the middlewoman

Blog Goliard 9:21 PM  

Those who have actually seen/listened to The Mikado might manage to realize that it is, from top to bottom, a satire of varied aspects (often absurd) and classes (typically upper) of British society.

(In other words, it's classic Gilbert & Sullivan.)

Seeking to banish even the mention of such a work, that insightfully and hilariously mocks upper-class Victorian imperialists, seems rather a curious way to strike a blow for oppressed people.

Though one can certainly understand not wanting to sacrifice that warm glow that comes from righteously not knowing anything about the work and not wanting to.

Anonymous 9:41 PM  

@7:46 - Same thing going on in Michigan as they’re shouting down James Craig, African American former police chief. It’s Media Matters astroturf shite. The people know better.

GILL I. 9:54 PM  

@Z...Amigo. I know what Michel Jackson has been accused of.....I just wondered why @R.Eally even brought up his name. Was it because he owned a gorilla named KOKO? Did it have to do with TACOS? Did I miss the memo? Why am I even interested in this conversation.......I need a drink with @JC66 and @Nancy and everyone else living in NYC.

Ω 10:04 PM  

@Gill I - Ah. See the clue for 49A.

GILL I. 10:09 PM  

@Z...Crickey....I do need a drink.

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

For this solver, the puzzle was ho-hum, the BOOTS thing being an OK but not great gimmick. But I was absolutely thrilled by the Yo La Tengo inclusion -- teh NYT xword features 15+/- TV and movie stars a week, finding something that actually touches the life I live was really nice to see.

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