Neologism for best ever / THU 9-16-21 / Apt foreign rhyme for moon / Super Mario creature that resembles a turtle / Marvel character with metallic skin / the Saxon Ivanhoe's father in Ivanhoe / Nearly massless subatomic particle / Metonym for movie industry

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Constructor: Kevin Patterson

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: SILVER / LINING (33A: With 44-Across, bit of consolation ... or a feature of this puzzle's grid?) — the "lining" of the puzzle (i.e. every edge answer) begins with "silver" (which you have to mentally supply):

  • BELLS (1A: Christmas classic covered by Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan, among others)
  • BACK (6A: Kind of gorilla)
  • AGE (10A: Second-best era)
  • TONGUE (16AD: Gift of persuasiveness)
  • SCREEN (51D: Metonym for the movie industry)
  • SPOON (71A: Symbol of privilege)
  • WARE (70A: Forks and knives, e.g.)
  • FOX (69A: Attractive older fellow)
  • SURFER (42D: Marvel character with metallic skin)
  • BULLET (1D: Simple solution to a big problem)
Word of the Day: (Silver) SURFER (42D) —

The Silver Surfer is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character also appears in a number of movies, television, and video game adaptations. The character was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in the comic book Fantastic Four #48, published in 1966.

The Silver Surfer is a humanoid alien with metallic skin who can travel through space with the aid of his surfboard-like craft. Originally a young astronomer named Norrin Radd on the planet Zenn-La, he saved his homeworld from the planet devourer, Galactus, by serving as his herald. Imbued in return with some portion of Galactus' Power Cosmic, Radd acquired vast power, a new body and a surfboard-like craft on which he could travel faster than light. Now known as the Silver Surfer, Radd roamed the cosmos searching for planets for Galactus to consume. When his travels took him to Earth, he met the Fantastic Four, who helped him rediscover his nobility of spirit. Betraying Galactus, the Surfer saved Earth but was exiled there as punishment. (wikipedia)

• • •

I can't stop laughing at RONI. Who calls it RONI? I feel like this alleged slang belongs in the same fictional pizza universe where people call it 'ZA. "Hey, I'm gonna order a 'ZA, whaddya want on it?" "RONI!" "OK, a RONI 'ZA, gotcha. I'll call KOOPA's" (which seems as good a name for an imaginary pizzeria as any). Stop inventing slang, esp. slang abbrs.! Or, keep doing it, so I can end every puzzle laughing. Let's see, what else was in this puzzle? Oh, right, SILVER / LINING! This is one of those ideas that seems like it shoulda been done a million jillion years ago. You see the phrase and the puzzle just writes itself. It's a fine idea, but wow does it make solving the puzzle easy. Once you get the gimmick, you've basically got every edge answer handed to you on a ... hey, where's PLATTER? Why isn't PLATTER in this puzzle? PLATTER needs a better agent? Oh, wait, I'm seeing that PLATTER is just too long. Poor PLATTER. A victim of lengthism yet again (probably). I got the theme right away. Well, I should've gotten it here:

But somehow I thought the intersection of the answers was what mattered, so I had no real idea what to expect. Also, I was still singing the "Christmas classic" in my head like this: "Jingle bells ... jingle bells .. it's Christmas tiiiiiiime in the city," so yeah, many facets of the puzzle hadn't quite sunk in yet. But then I got the silverBACK gorilla and:

At this point, I could've gone around and filled in every edge answer, but I resisted and continued to solve normally (i.e. working off crosses until I was done). So I actually forced myself to slow down, which is *not* something I'm accustomed to doing, but it meant the silver answers came in one at a time instead of in a glut, which I think was probably a nicer experience. There's nothing particularly stunning about the fill, but it's clean and it holds up. But then again I was in a good mood from the start, because, well, I have a longstanding, fervent, unwavering crush on Laura LINNEY, so it's always delightful to run into her, in the LONDON AREA or wherever. Speaking of LONDON AREA, that was probably the hardest thing in the puzzle for me to get, honestly, mostly because I was thinking maybe all those Premier League teams played in the same LONDON arena (hey, just add "n" to your AREA and bam, arena!). But no, just the area. 

Five things:
  • 20A: Apt foreign rhyme of "moon" (LUNE)
    — this is actually a non-foreign rhyme. LUNE is a geometrical term. Also, apparently, a pasta-shape term: "a filled pasta case made from a circle of pasta dough folded over" (google)
  • 26D: "Absolutely!" ("YUP!") — this is Absolutely! my least favorite clue (or one of them) because there are a bunch of viable and semi-viable three-letter "Y" answers and you have no idea which one it's gonna be. I went with "YES!" "YEP!" would've been reasonable. "YEA" and "YAH" seem far less likely but you never know.
  • 18D: Like some healthier potato chips (NO-SALT) — ah, I see the Snack Food Council has got its thumb on the scale again. Did a NO-SALT potato chip write this clue? There is no "healthy" (or "healthier") potato chip, please keep the word "healthy" at least six feet away from the word "potato chip" at all times. If you are cramming chips in your mouth, you've left "healthiness" behind (and that's OK!). Eat chips! Or don't! But healthy shmealthy (or healthier shmealthier, I guess)
  • 49A: Some significant others, for short (BFS) — short for boyfriends. Another answer (like "YUP!") where the answer (that first letter, in particular) could've easily been more than one thing. This answer looks like a typo for BFFS.
  • 59D: Pixy ___ (candy brand) (STIX) — I always want this answer to be STYX, which is apt, as this is the only candy they have in hell. Dante uses it to punish the gluttons in Ring 3. Oh, you don't think so? Yeesh, read a book once in a while, why don't you!?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. GOAT = Greatest Of All Time (15A: Neologism for "best ever"). Not the first time we've seen this. Won't be the last.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 5:59 AM  

Early on, I was thinking the top row would end up being something along the lines of “White” (Christmas), silver BACK, and (golden) AGE. So at least I was thinking some kind of color deal.

Later I thought maybe the Marvel guy could be Silveroni, like the Thursdayery would involve right turns or some such.

Finally saw it with SCREEN, this after considering “the biz” because I can’t keep all my nyms straight.

I didn’t expect RONI, either. The only one of those I know, pronounced the same, is RHONY. It’s what we in the Bravo biz call the Real Housewives of New York.

I think Dad used to have a gym membership called SILVER Sneakers. Just throw a SILVER at the front, and you have some kind of seniors group. I took Mom to church recently, and the senior handbell choir performed. Five’ll get you ten that they’re called the SILVER BELLS. Bet there’s a class somewhere for seniors learning about the joys of the internet: the SILVER SURFERs. A bone-density scan or hearing test could be a SILVER SCREEN.

I kept seeing GO TO before I had looked at the clue, so it was GO-TO, like

These are my go-to shoes when I know I’ll be standing all day.


She’s my go-to colleague when I need to vent and want it to stay just between us.

Hah. Nope – it’s

Piedmont Correctional will do in a pinch, but my GO-TO JAIL is always Jail North because their potato chips always have a lot of salt.

(I just checked, and Merriam Webster lists go-to as an adjective. No KOALAs there, buddy. They’re alert and on the job.)

“Open” feels pretty generous as a synonym for FORTHRIGHT. One of my DLAs (teaching assistant) is uncomfortably FORTHRIGHT – Pet peeve – always reset my microwave. And You have to leave now. Class is over. (She said both of these to me. Sternly.) But she’s anything but open. Closed tight as a clam, that one. Actually, she’s becoming my favorite DLA because she takes her job seriously and helps me deliver instruction. And she’s young ENOUGH to be my daughter.

My real daughter recently SPAYed her first cat, Munchkin. There was a picture she sent of herself and Munchkin post-op – Sage all smiling with her surgery shower cap on, presenting a DROOPy, groggy Munchkin, and Munchkin’s expression’s like W. T. F. I couldn’t find it online, but I went down a rabbit hole of googling her name and found some intimidating scientific articles. I tried to understand the titles, but, man. No way. I was proudest of this one because of her wordplay.

CuppaJoe 6:04 AM  

BTE = best Thursday ever

Loved the cheerful writeup.

Conrad 6:07 AM  

I got 1D before I grokked the theme, and BULLET without the implied "silver" is an absolutely horrific thought for a "Simple solution to a big problem," as in "To be or not to be ..."

Joaquin 6:12 AM  

I wanted to file a complaint with the authorities about this puzzle but realized complaining to the state AG might not be a good idea.

Frantic Sloth 6:17 AM  

I think this is the third NYTXW by this constructor [checking xwordinfo]... yes, it is. So far, I've liked all three.

Okay, so I'm a sucker for themes that go "outside the [crossword grid] box", and maybe that doesn't require a lot of wordplay brainpower, but I always have fun doing them. Alright, that's clearly a symbiotic relationship, but so what?

Now I'm wondering if others added all the SILVER(s) in rebus form...I left them out entirely and the website accepted that. Hmmm. We shall see...

The rest of the puzzle practically filled itself in as I soared on the wings of eagles to completion in close to PR time. I guess - I don't really keep track of those things. 🀣

I think my only type-overs were OTRa to OTRO and BOCCi to BOCCE because I'm languagely-challenged. Apparently.

You're batting 1.000 thus far, Mr. Patterson - keep it up!


Thank you @Loren, @Crimson Devil, @Whatserame, and @GILL for your support. @GILL I'll share what I'm having if you'll do likewise! 😘

I don't understand while I always seem to have this problem, but has anyone here donated to the most recent "these puzzles fund abortion" drive and if so, have you received your puzzles?
I'm just getting crickets.

Zwhatever 6:39 AM  

I had the puzzle well over half done before I realized what was going on. I just had this faint tickle that a bunch of answers were a bit off, but not really worrying about it. Finally paused to actually solve the revealer and had an Aha! moment that felt more like a D’Oh! moment.

Oddest moment of the solve was immediately filling in CEDRIC the Saxon and wondering WTF (“why”) I knew that. I have never read Ivanhoe, if I ever saw the movie it was decades ago, it’s just not a topic I would think I had any knowledge about or interest in whatsoever. Yet there it sits ready for immediate recall off just the C. Why is CEDRIC the Saxon taking up valuable real estate in the old gray matter?

YAK’S UVULAS are definitely going on the Appetizer Menu at Z’s Placebo and Tentacle.


@Frantic - No idea. I got them the first time around and had no issue.

Lewis 6:58 AM  

Kinda wish I was wearing my Long Johns while solving this.

It’s always a good feeling on Thursday when I figure out the theme (which happened early); it brings a little sigh of relief. Sometimes it brings a “whoa” as well (no further comment), but today it was more of an “Ah, I see what’s going on and how to solve this”. It put me in a serene place and I was hoping to stay there – and I did, because there were no brutal sticking points to puncture the mood. Sometimes a serene journey through the squares is just the ticket, and it was for me today. Thank you Kevin!

To add to the pleasure, the journey included a faunal mini-theme, with GOAT, WORM, FOX, BRONCO, YAKS, KOALAS, […gorilla], and even wannabe ROAR.

Anonymous 6:59 AM  


Meghan 7:16 AM  

As a pizza aficionado, I’m just here to vouch for “roni.” I’ve seen it on NYC’s Emmy Squared’s menu, and on various pizza-related social media accounts. “Roni cups” is also a term, and they are delicious.

Anonymous 7:24 AM  

My friends and I call pizza 'zza. You have to use the double-z, both in spelling and pronunciation. Pepperoni is called roni or (preferably) pep-pep. If the local 'zza shop doesn't understand what you are ordering over the phone, that means you need to order from a better 'zza shop.

Son Volt 7:24 AM  

Lots of fun here. Unlike Rex i went around the perimeter and filled in all the SILVER entries - so this flew by. Not sure about LONDON AREA and I never like the Monopoly clues.

Rex has never been to pizza joint in NY if doesn’t think RONI is a thing. Love the cross with the SILVER SURFER. Cool to see Descartes and Shaq in the same grid.

Enjoyable Thursday solve that went by too quickly.

kitshef 7:27 AM  

ECHO clue … why??? You have a perfectly good word, and choose to clue it with obscure geography.

Can’t make “Absolutely” be YUP. I mean, I know they both indicate an affirmative answer, but they are miles apart in tone, formality, use.

BRONCO FIASO … If you’re over 40, you probably remember one of those. Of course, that was white, not silver.

I do not believe RONI has ever been used by anyone.

amyyanni 7:30 AM  

Fun. Admission: loved Pixy Stix as a kid (tasted like powdered sweet tarts in skinny tubes). Even so, wanted to spell it STYX, as Rex discussed. Thanks for rounding up all the critters, @Lewis! Happy Friday Eve, everyone.

kitshef 7:31 AM  

Also, is there a difference between a 'magic bullet' and a 'silver bullet'?

Trey 7:39 AM  

I really liked this puzzle - mostly clean. I got the theme as SURFER started to fill in from the horizontals.

LONDONAREA was well-clued - I was going in a completely different direction initially. MAE was easy for me because I watched Arrested Development (one of the best comedies ever if you like subtleties in humor), but she played a relatively small role and the show is not as famous as many other comedies - I can see this as sticking point for many. Luckily, the crosses are relatively easy.

I can see KOOPA as being a problem for many, but I got it from too many hours of Mario Cart with my kids

Apparently LUNE is from the Latin luna (moon), and can be "a fit of lunacy or madness" - it is also the pleural of the Italian luna, so it is moons rather than the singular as clued

smalltowndoc 7:41 AM  

Um, Rex. "LUNE" is a foreign word, specifically French for moon. You know like Debussy’s "Clair de Lune" (moonlight).

Trey 7:43 AM  

@kitshef (7:31) - silver bullets kill vampires. Magic bullets do not. Critical difference when we get to the End of World times

Lobster11 7:52 AM  

Sometimes I miss the days when I was a newbie solver -- before I was jaded by experience (and Rex) -- because a lot of things about solving that were fun back then aren't really much fun any more. One of those things was the enjoyment that came from sussing out the theme, and then using (relying on) that knowledge to help me solve the rest of the puzzle. Nowadays, though, I tend to zip through themed puzzles (which of course are mostly early-week, easy puzzles) as if they were themeless, and then notice the theme either late in the solve or afterwards. Today's puzzle reminded me of those days, because sussing out the theme was so easy, and the rest of the puzzle was so easy, that I didn't need the help; in fact, I wished I hadn't had the help because it made the whole thing too easy. Sigh....

Zwhatever 7:58 AM  

@Trey - Hmmmm - Nope, every joke about your typo leads me to COVID and it’s too soon.

@kitshef 7:31 - Seems like we need some bullet points.

@kitshef 7:27 - Absolutely. No need to PPPize ECHO.

@Anon7:24 - Because double Z is quadruple the fun, of course.

@Anon6:59 - You’re not fooling anyone, Patterson.

bocamp 7:59 AM  

Thx Kevin, for this 'fine Ag' puz. Nicely done! :)

Easy-med. solve.

Off to a good start in the NW; solved from top to bottom, ending with SPOON / SCREEN.

Got the theme at BACK, and moved steadily towards the finish.

No holdups, no guesses.

Liked this one a lot!

@TTrimble πŸ‘ for 0 yd
yd pg -1 (tabbed; looking for a tough 6er)

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

Zwhatever 8:06 AM  

The convicted was found guilty of calling pepperoni “RONI.” Seriously, jail time for PPP crimes seems perfectly reasonable to me. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

JD 8:09 AM  

Dear @Frantic, I think I may have missed something darling.

This puzzle. I don't know how it happened but somehow I thought 'Bells' at 1A and 'this is something to do with silver,' and then through my different-time-zone fog overlaying my usual fog, filled in 1D Bullet and thought 'ah uh, this IS about Silver.'

Then I filled the rest in Monday style and thought the SB might be right, that maybe I AM a genius and I can now do a Thursday in 20 minutes while simultaneously thinking I need to find that room card so I don't lock myself out again and have to look like an idiot in front of the hotel desk clerk.

This could've been one of the best Mondays ever but apparently it made a left turn at 10:00 last Sunday night and wandered into the wrong day. Still, I loved it.

Anon @7:24, Pep-pep? KK.

@kitshef, While we’re taking back Echo can we also take the tired sports thing away from GOAT and give the word back to the bearded ruminant? So many fun facts we could learn now that we’ve learned everything possible about oboes and Oreos.

pabloinnh 8:11 AM  

Some of you may have seen Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel, and he is a local, and his family runs a local pizzeria which refers to one topping as "RONI". This is the only place I have seen this usage locally and it took a beat to recognize what they were listing. OTOH, our local pizza place when I was in college was Zasa's, and it was very common to get a "za" at Za's.

Speaking of food, any NOSALT potato chip is just wrong, and should not be offered for sale.

Got the theme early, which was wonderfully helpful, because a first peek at clues was going nowhere. After that, zipped on through and was done too soon, as I was having fun.

Lots of SUBARU's around here. Great car in the snow.

Had a similar experience to @Z with CEDRIC. I think the clue reminded me of CEDRIC the Entertainer.

Really fun Thursday, KP, and I hope you Keep Producing more gems like this.

mmorgan 8:15 AM  

Rex seemed in an especially good mood today. I hope nothing’s wrong.

I’m not a nutritionist, but I do wonder if NO SALT potato chips (which I actually happen to like) are a smidge less unhealthy (which is not to say they’re “healthier”) because, y’know, less salt.

John H 8:15 AM  

I love prime n umbers so was happy with 2017 and 2027 (36A).Did not like the answer for "catchy tune" (12D). An ear worm isn't necessarily catchy except for the fact that it gets caught in your head. My current one is "Happy Talk" from South Pacific. No idea why. Just woke up with it and still have it. It IS a catchy tune, though.

I couldn't resist filling in the perimeter, once I figured out what was going on. Stumped at 42D. I am not off the Marvel generation. How many Marvel characters are there anyway?

Prof de franΓ§ais 8:17 AM  

It’s great that Rex at least found an English meaning of 'lune,' because 'moon' actually does NOT rhyme with French 'lune.' The French vowel is not the same, folks, despite the typical mispronunciation of 'Clair de lune.' Say 'lean' while rounding your lips tightly into an 'oo' shape, and you’ve got it!

DanGolder 8:27 AM  

31 year old male here. Can confirm we used roni and za in college (albeit ironically). Definitely not made up by NYT.

W. Rooney 8:33 AM  

The puzzle is a bit out of date.

Brentford FC, a London team, was promoted to the premier league for the 2021-22 season - making that seven London teams in the league.

Last season, Fulham FC, a London team, was in the premier league, but was demoted at the end of last season. So the premier league also had 7 London teams during the 2020-21 season.

So the puzzle is at least a year out of date.

Tim Aurthur 8:37 AM  

This recent obsession with Super Mario Bros. is as dismal a development with the crossword puzzle as was the NYT food editors' decision in the mid-90s that tobacco was a wonderful ingredient in recipes.

Meghan 8:42 AM  

New personal speed record today. I thought this was really easy.

Speaking as a pizza aficionado, I can vouch for "roni." NYC pizzeria Emmy Squared uses the slang term on its menu, and I've seen it on social media posts from local pizza bloggers/influencers.

My favorite are "roni cups", where the thinly sliced pepperoni curl up in the oven and create an umami-laden crispy cup filled with their natural meaty oils.

daveyhead 8:47 AM  

This write-up is the GOAT, Rex. Laughed out loud a couple of times, especially at the Pixy STIX part.

H. Kane 8:50 AM  

"...because I was thinking maybe all those Premier League teams played in the same LONDON arena"

The idea that any of these teams would share the same stadium - much less a generic London arena - would be anathema to every premier league fan - perhaps even causing riots! Each stadium is "sacred space" for teams and fans, wholly a part of a team's mythology. One dare not commit sacrilege against one of these holy temples.

TKL 8:58 AM  

"the only candy they Have in hell" LOL

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

@ W. Rooney - last season there were six London Premier League teams (Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Fulham). This season there are still six and one just outside (no Fulham, but Brentford and Watford).

Not including Watford was a missed opportunity. Nobody would say the six teams are in the London area - just that they are in London. As Watford is not administratively part of London but is in the metropolitan area, the rather clunky phrase would then have made sense.

V.I.A. Appia 9:21 AM  

Pizza terminology is very regional and, even, age-specific.

Try to order a "pie" in a pizzeria outside of metropolitan NY, and they'll tell you you're in the wrong place - then direct you to the bakery is down the street.

Frantic Sloth 9:22 AM  

Another fun write-up by OFL today. Platter and the F-word walk into a...nagent's office. Bet you thought I was gonna say "bar", but I didn't. Ha!
In my ancient world of game show ruins, RONI needs a "Rice-a-" and that's that.

@Loren 559am Sage is clearly a chip off the ol' block. I made the mistake of reading beyond that (very clever) title, though...ouch! The "huh??". It burns!

@Joaquin 612am Good one! 🀣

@Z 639am May I borrow your CEDRIC riff because me, too! WTF is that about??
Did they come in a zip file? I might have trouble receiving that. But, you'd think I would at least get a response to my email...unless it included the files. 🀷‍♀️
@Z 806am Need a subscription to read that article. πŸ˜•

@JD 809am Gotta get back home, dude. This could become dangerous. I agree - the puzzle was easy-peasy for me-sy... too-sy? Whatevs.

@pabloinnh 811am Right? No-salt potato chips? Ew. Just bake a damn potato. (Sorry, @mmorgan 815am πŸ˜‰)

Now, Pixy-STIX, OTOH.... since I'm going to hell anyway, I'll look for them there. JK - gotta try to remember I'm not 6 anymore.

The Vez 9:22 AM  

Too easy for a Thursday puzzle. Once I got the silver edge theme it became so simple. I filled in all the edges he just wrote in the answers quickly. This puzzle was more like a Tuesday, which I never do, because they're too easy.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Za was actual, organic slang as far back as the early ’80s in my college dorm. (Though I’d rather see it clued as a Supergrass song.)

And the only candy they have in Hell is candy corn. The association with Halloween — that’s no accident.

HawkeTrackler 9:32 AM  

can confirm that many Boston area pizza places abbreviate to 'Roni

Pete 9:41 AM  

I knew @Rex would once again avow his life long adoration of Laura LINNEY once I saw her in the grid. While I, in some ways, share his feelings, I have of late grown to understand that she is perhaps the most dangerous woman in the world. I say this knowing that there is not any evidence that she is, but she might be.

I listen to WHYY radio regularly in my car, and Ms LINNEY does a lot of voice work for them. At the end of, say, a piece by Terry Gross I get to listen to Ms LINNEY tell me that the preceding segment was supported by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur of the MacArthur Foundation, that they support building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. This news calms my savage breast, feeds my soul, and brings me into unison with those around me who wat a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. No longer am I just another asshole trying to get home one second faster than I otherwise would, I am a man among many who long for a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. She will likely next tell me that the segment was further sponsored by Laura and John Arnold who believe philanthropy should be transformational and should seek through innovation to solve persistent problems in society, and I feel totally blessed that such people exist and that I walk among them. Finally, she tells me that I, me in particular, are among the "People like you" who are equals supporting this work. I am equal among those who seek justice, peace and transformational change!. All is right with the world.

I know that at least the last part of this is not true, but what is a fact that Ms LINNEY can put on her radio voice and tell me anything and I will believe it. You would too. WHYY didn't pick her to convince me specifically, they picked her because she would convince you too. You will love her, and believe anything she says to be other-worldly good and true. Again, I have no reason to think she would say anything other that which is other-worldly good and true, but if she did, you would think it was. You could end up there in the kitchen with her, with your daughter's rabbit bubbling away with root vegetables in a pot on the stovetop, and never see it coming. You would just simply eat the rabbit stew, enjoy it, and worry about what to tell your daughter later.

Just watch it people.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

I resisted writing in [SILVER] FOX for the "attractive older fellow" because I thought that compliment was reserved for us older women. But no such luck. Funny, because it's women who are referred to as "foxes" and "foxy". I guess we'll have to settle for being...what? Silver cougars, maybe?

I caught onto the theme at 1A/1D because there is absolutely no 5-letter Christmas song, classic or otherwise. Think about it. Thus the puzzle aroused my curiosity straight off at 1A -- and a puzzle that does that is already ahead of the game. What made me even more curious was that Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan just about never sang the same songs.

SAY HOW before SAY NOW for "Here's an idea". I'm not quite sure why I have to GO TO JAIL if I'm merely wandering between Marvin Gardens and Pacific Avenue -- which seems like an innocent enough activity. But such are the peculiarities of board games.

Easy, but curiosity-provoking and fun to solve.

RooMonster 9:46 AM  

Hey All !
Pixy STIX, fav of youth. Pure sugar in a tube. Talk about amping up kids!

Wanted gnuS for YAKS until the end when nothing else was working. Dang, I like seeing GNUS more than YAKS. Who knows why. Silly brain, I guess. Had UVULAS as UVULea for a while, because of anyhOW instead of SAYNOW. That worked for the N of SEEIN to get me Neg for NAY with my incorrect UVULea and gnuS. Surprisingly didn't take too long to untangle all that.

Figured out someone stole the SILVER after getting WARE and TONGUE, and said "AHA! Heigh Go SILVER!" 😁 then looked at the Revealer, and got SILVER LINING. (Even though I had BRAy for BRAG, and evE for NYE.)

Fun clue for ALS. BFS looks weird, as our brains are now accustomed to see BFF and nothing else. Actually had BFF in, even though clue was plural.

The Revealer lines could be something:
"Amazon subscription for seniors?" SILVER PRIME
"Cheap shower curtain?" SEEIN LININGS

Three F's

Frantic Sloth 9:49 AM  

@Pete 941am 🀣 My, Gof, man - you're right! Let's take her out back and beat the shit outta her!

Zwhatever 9:51 AM  

@Frantic Sloth - Need a subscription to read that article - But you only need the headline for the joke. Reading the actual news ruins the funny. Just in case the headline is hidden behind the paywall, too: Macomb County pizza business owner sentenced in PPP fraud case

Hartley70 10:12 AM  

I got mighty irritated right off the bat thinking there was a very minor Christmas carol BELLS, that was new to me. I didn’t catch on until I actually reached the center revealer. At that point the puzzle was over and I raced around filling in the edges. Nothing else in the bottom half gave me any pushback.
We haven’t had a theme that fills in the edges in a long time, so I thought this was a pretty cute version. Since it took me too long to catch on, it was Thursday worthy for me. (Head slap!)

Buffy 10:18 AM  

@kitshef (7:31) and @Trey (7:43)
Silver BULLETs kill werewolves. Wooden stakes kill vampires. Try to remember this. I may not be with you at the Apocalypse.

jbh 10:21 AM  

I agree this was easy. But fun. Thanks, Kevin Patterson.

Started any old place so wound up in the southeast first - and initially had 'MOZZ' for 66A Pizza topping - but of course none of the crosses fit.

I never say "Za" btw.

Carola 10:22 AM  

I'm in favor of any puzzle that brings out the best in @Rex and @Loren (thank you both for the laughs), but I liked this one just fine on its own, too. I went through the Acrosses first, and it wasn't until I got way down to the knife and fork that I caught a mental glimpse of SILVER. But it took until I started the Downs that I saw BELLS and BULLET and got the idea of the SILVER frame.* I followed it around clockwise until I was stopped for a while in the SW by the unknown FOX and SURFER. Nice array of theme answers - I especially liked the mundane tableWARE next to the metaphoric SPOON, with the metaphoric TONGUE nearby.

*Before I saw the frame, though, I thought the SILVERy answers were going to cross at their initial letter, like BULLET and BELLS. So when I got BACK, I thought, "Cannellini BEANs are SILVER??" and filed it under "Whatever." But then, there is this SILVER BEAN, which was referred to in a recent puzzle.

Stephen Minehart 10:27 AM  

Somehow I ended getting the revealer in the middle before filling in the edges, which made it super easy-going from there on out. This week is playing out on the easy side, maybe in counter balance to last weeks tough puzzles (for me at least). It needs to be Rice-a-RONI. Rex is right, no one ever orders a RONI pizza.

jae 10:30 AM  

Easy. The theme was pretty obvious so I filled in the perimeter and it was cake from there. Avid before AGOG was it for erasures. Breezy and fun, liked it.

For those of you anxiously awaiting Season 4 of Ozark it now looks like the spring of 2022.

TTrimble 10:30 AM  

Heh. I did the old 3 and 11 divisibility tricks* and 2017 and 2027 passed through those sieves, so put in PRIMES without further verification. One of those hunch things.

A little slow on the thematic uptake, but I really liked it. So often the Downs get short shrift, but here the edges participate fully and the result feels really clean.

Time will tell whether SILVER BELLS is one of those EAR WORMS, but weirdly, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" may be on the way, and -- wondering how to spin RONI into a joke and failing lamely -- "My Sharona" is seeking to take up residence in my ear canal. And now I read this interesting tidbit: "The word earworm is a calque from the German Ohrwurm. The earliest known English usage is in Desmond Bagley's 1978 novel Flyaway, where the author points out the German origin of his coinage."

A NO-SALT potato chip is a no-fun potato chip. What would even be the point of that? Find something else that brings you joy, a la Marie Kondo might advise.

The longish Downs are delightful. GO TO JAIL and NEUTRINO in particular.

But I'm not sure EGESTS passes the breakfast test. More like the after breakfast test -- there may be passage then.

@smalltowndoc 7:41 AM
Um, Rex knows. He's saying it's also an English word. With a related meaning.

I have a feeling I know which 6-letter it is -- it's a bit unusual, and I felt fortunate to have hit upon it. If I'm right, then I also have a feeling, based on what I know of your background, that you will know the word even if you weren't already an SB expert.

td pg -7

*The 11 trick: form an alternating sum starting from the least significant digit to the most significant. For example, from 2107, form 7-1+0-2. Then 11 divides the result if and only if 11 divides the original number. For example, 11 does not divide 7-1+0-2 = 4; therefore it does not divide 2017. It also works if you start from the beginning and form 2-0+1-7; I like it better my way because the remainder upon division by 11 is the same for the original number as it is for the order I do the alternating sum.

Unknown 10:33 AM  

Here to say that I've heard both 'roni and 'za - people that ask for 'roni 'za perhaps should GO TO JAIL, but I call legitimate

EdFromHackensack 10:36 AM  

great puzzle, had SPOON and SCREEN and WARE in before I got the theme, they both seemed reasonable if a little iffy. wanted White Christmas for 1A . I had EjEcTS before EGESTS. GREAT Puzzle Kevin Patterson! really enjoyed it

Frantic Sloth 10:42 AM  

@Z 951am After I commented I returned to the article (yes the paywall was right over the big, fat middle of the page) and chose the "home page" link and there was the headline! As long as the article doesn't go on about RONI or Zza, that'll do. πŸ€£πŸ‘

mathgent 10:46 AM  

Had a bit of fun finding the silvers. That's about it -- minimal crunch, minimal sparkle.

We don't say RONI out here. Boston, I just read. Where else?

Liked the reference to the MGM lion at 62 across. The MGM Grand hotel/casino in Las Vegas used to have a live lion in a cage. Now they have a magnificent golden statue of their lion on a pedestal in the registration area.

I remember a game where I fought my way into the hole, went up with the guy next to me, reached high and tipped it in with my left hand. Not easy at all at six feet zero.

We watched Ozark until it went off the rails somewhere in season two. Laura LINNEY is magnificent. I've seen most of her work from the movie You Can Count on Me in 2000 until now. She had a very touching role in Love, Actually.

FIASCO is fun to say.

Newboy 10:50 AM  

SILVER was golden. Hard to keep that reveal in mental overlay, but definitely a crutch to confirm otherwise bizarre entries.

Michael Page 10:56 AM  

Not only did Brentford get promoted after about 70 years in the wilderness, but they then beat once-mighty Arsenal 2-0 in their first game, triggering the most moving, raucous celebration ever, with the sold-out crowd singing Hey Jude over and over for what seemed like 30 minutes, and the team circling the field over and over, kissing babies and high-fiving young fans while old men wept. Has to be seen to be believed:

The puzzle was a delight, very easy and very clever: I was just idling along for a couple of minutes before kicking into speed mode, and still came within 15 seconds of my all-time Thursday record (likely 2 or 3 Rexes, but I’m mortal).

JC66 11:00 AM  

@Kitshef, @Trey & @Buffy

FWIW, The Lone Ranger used SILVER BULLETS (real ones, not those EGESTED by his horse).

Joseph Michael 11:09 AM  

If you’re into healthier NO SALT potato chips, you might also enjoy a tossed lad with matos, cumbers, and rots before digging into that roni za.

Pleasing puzzle with a SILVER LINING that was easy to SEE and a menagerie of exotic creatures: KOALAS, YAKS, KOOPAS, EARWORMS, a SILVER FOX, a SILVERBACK APE, a BRONCO, and a GOAT that isn’t a GOAT.

Lost and Found Department: Has anyone seen the Lone Ranger’s horse?

Whatsername 11:09 AM  

“Lovely” was the first word that came to mind when I got the theme. This was the most pure enjoyment I’ve had solving a Thursday in quite some time - or any day for that matter. A big SILVER medal to you Kevin! I loved your puzzle.

I tried to make my cannellini bean some kind of pasta and PANDAS were my choice of sleepy ones at first. And of course, being a loyal AGOG Kansas City Chiefs fan, I gagged violently at 49D. (Right @Joaquin?)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen our old friend Descartes. He used to appear quite often. Where have you been RENE? NO RESPONSE.

Is BF the same as the BAE?? It’s hard to keep up.

nyc_lo 11:13 AM  

I don’t mind a nice, easy Thursday once in a while to make me feel smart. There’s enough else going on in my life to make me feel stupid. And while there’s enough people here vouching for RONI, it’s still pretty lame. I’d have gone for the old standby RONA, which at least would have allowed for a shoutout to STAX Records. I’ll take “Green Onions” on my ‘za over ‘roni any old day.

johnk 11:14 AM  

Yankdude go town
Rode d'pone
Stuk feth inzat

OffTheGrid 11:20 AM  

@Nancy, Don't tell me you've never heard Bing's marvelous rendition of Subterranean Homesick Blues.

ZA, RONI, and WOAH can all Go back to hell!

Puzz-- I saw that SILVER was needed but wasn't sure where. After I had FOX and SPOON I realized the top and bottom row entries all needed SILVER(which helped me finish the NW). Then I saw that the left and right columns needed Silver as well. My gradual, rather than sudden, awakening made this a lot of fun. What may have slowed me down is that LINING is more of something that's inside something, not outside or on the "EDGE".

JD 11:20 AM  

Best post of the day: @mathgent

Weighing in on No Salt potato chips. I've never a seen them but if I ever do I'll throw every bag to the floor and stomp on them. They exist as a vehicle to deliver salt. No salt, just a another plot to undermine all we stand for as Americans.

rjkennedy98 11:27 AM  

Easy, so easy, nearly record time! But what fun! Really enjoyed all aspects of this solve. Almost all the themers are great: SILVER BELLS, SILVER BULLET, SILVER FOX, SILVER BACK! Wow. Plenty of other great fill as well. My favs were: GO TO JAIL, NO RESPONSE. Just an all around great solve.

Dr Write 11:27 AM  

As soon as I finished this, I thought, “that was so easy! Let’s see what Rex has to say.” Thanks for the write up. I, too, have a crush on Laura Linney, as everyone should.
Thanks for the First Aid Kit this morning. Needed that.

bocamp 11:31 AM  

@TTrimble (10:30 AM)

Thx for the PRIME 11 trick; I'll work on grokking that. And, thx for the encouragement on yd's missing 6er. :)
td pg -1 / yd pg -1 (both works in progress)

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

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

no rebus, so Yay.

_OSALT was all I was willing to do, until that cross. LOSALT is more common, and tasty, than NOSALT. would you eat mashed potatoes or Freedom Fries with salt? of course not.

what @Buffy said.

still don't buy SILVER LINING as a consolation. SILVER medal, sure. and didn't see all the backends, since *all* the answers are, in fact, LINes. it could even be that all clouds do have a SILVER LINING, but that doesn't stop the rain from washing away your house. not much consolation in that.

and lest we forget the malapropism for UVULAS. 'Well, here comes the smut, Martha'

Nancy 11:41 AM  

@mathgent -- Try it at my height, and you might find yourself reappraising just how hard that TIP IN of yours really was. No applause from the peanut gallery here :)

@pabloinnh (8:11) -- You maintain that no NO SALT potato chip should ever be offered for sale? What's someone like me to do then?* First, salt makes a person unbearably thirsty. Then salt makes one have to pee. What's the fun of that? Such an overrated condiment.

*Oh, never mind. I don't eat potato chips at all -- salted or unsalted. All my dips go on crackers or raw veggies.

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

mashed potatoes or Freedom Fries withOUT salt?

just to fix the typo. wouldn't want to be accused of salt prejudice.

Tom T 11:49 AM  

Had a "technical" dnf by entering some of the SILVERs as rebus answers. Duh ...

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

Both Za and roni are common slang in pizza parlance. My God, you are so parochial.

Nope. In Philly and Wilkes-Barre, Pa. pie is commonly used. I'm guesing other places too. And don't get me started on tomato pie and whether it's any different than regular pizza.

(Now I'm jonesing for DeLorenzos. Damn)

Masked and Anonymous 12:16 PM  

YUP. Looks like the puz covered most of the prime-est silver stuff, other than maybe: DOLLAR (yo, @Muse darlin), PLATTER (yo, @RP), and SMITH (yo, @Maggie).

Always a kinda hard puz to construct, what with them 8 themers crossin in all four corners [well -- ok, not quite, in the NE &SW]. Anyhoo --good job with the smoooth fillins, considerin.

Sooo … folks put Rice-A-RONI on their pizzas?

staff weeject picks: FOX & AGE. Silver weejects.


Thanx for the AG-glomerations, Mr. Patterson dude.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Joe Dipinto 12:18 PM  

Pepperoni is a fave pizza choice, and I've never heard it referred to as RONI, ever. I would never dream of ordering a "Roni slice". In fact, so alien is this coinage to me, I assumed RONI must be referring to MacaRONI and I thought, who the hell gets macaroni as a pizza topping?

"Excuse me, can you point out the constellation to me? I mean the consolation?"

mathgent 12:28 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

Buffy (10:18)
Joseph Michael (11:09)
JD (11:20)

Anonymous 12:47 PM  


here in backwoods NE, a former wife, who was at the time the former wife of an Italian family, in a heavily Italian town (lots of small machine shops and pizzerias), was on the phone to order the pizza we had agreed upon. she says into the phone, "I want a pie..." Whaaaaaa?? first and only time I've heard that. but then, I don't hang out with Italians.

and, of course, there was the guy (my boss) I worked with years ago in DC, who'd spent the previous decade or so working in Rome, and talked of Roman breakfast: stop at a cafe for coffee, generally espresso, and pizza bianca.

Frantic Sloth 12:58 PM  

I hope all this pizza talk isn't keeping our @GILL away...πŸ˜•

kitshef 1:13 PM  

@trey, @Z, @Buffy, @JC66. Especially given the current global pandemic, I think it is very important not to be spreading misinformation. There is no scientific evidence that silver bullets are effective against werewolves, nor against vampires. Unless you mean Coors Light, which will repel anything:

Frantic Sloth 1:13 PM  

@TTrimble 1030am Somehow, I missed your post until I saw @bocamp 1131am just now. Thanks for the PRIME 11 trick - it was good for a laugh. 🀣 I'll just use my typical method - guessing. It's almost foolproof, so it's a staple for me.

Teedmn 1:18 PM  

I had the same thought about the NO SALT potato chips as Rex. My question was how many nanoseconds of life were saved by the NO SALT (they should put out a study, like they did with hotdogs, as to how many minutes each one subtracts from a healthy life.) Yes, I eat chips on occasion, but it's rare.

When I play Scrabble with my friend Sonya, we do not allow ZA. I don't care if it's in the official Scrabble dictionary, we're not going there. Obviously 'RONI isn't going to pass muster either! (Though I have occasionally used qat - that dang Q is a pain.)

Thanks, Kevin Patterson, nice Thursday. Great SW, with DEVOID OF and NEUTRINO crossing UVULAS. And Rex, I enjoyed your write-up.

Chip Hilton 1:22 PM  

@H.Kane - I’d agree with anything you have to say based on your name alone. COYS. But, you’re right, sharing arenas would never happen. As someone else pointed out, I, too, loved Brentford’s opening day whipping of the Gunners.

Fun puzzle, cute theme, easy for a Thursday.

Whatsername 1:28 PM  

@Z (6:39) YAK UVULAS 🀒 🀣 Will those be grilled or sautéed?

@Pete (9:41) What you described reminds me of those commercials for prescription drugs with the soothing voice that tells you how wonderful your life is going to be if you’ll only “ask your doctor” and get hooked on it. Then the same soothing sing-song voice goes on to tell you about the side effects you may experience, which may include death and disfigurement . . . but no worries. It’s all good.

old timer 1:28 PM  

I too thought RONI referred to macaRONI, which hardly belongs on a pizza. Took a moment to realize it was PeppeRONI, which I now plan to have on a pizza at lunch. But I am easily confused. Saw cannelini and thought canneloni and wanted to put in "tube" instead of BEAN.

We actually own a SILVER SPOON passed down through the ages, for use of babies. But really, I immediately thought of The Who's Substitute, which told us, "I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth" Big hit in my crowd when it came out in 1966.

I knew all the SILVERs except for the SURFER, so when I got the gimmick, I was retroactively amused. SILVER FOX by the way refers to a well groomed older gentleman with SILVER hair and a gift of gab, which appears here as a SILVER TONGUE. A warning to you older ladies: Don't trust him for one moment. He probably won't steal your SILVERWARE, but he is after your bank account and stock portfolio!

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

For Will Shortz to allow a clue based on the supposed rhyme of the French word LUNE with the English word moon is absolutely disgraceful.

They don't rhyme, they never have, and they probably never will.

Also surprised that Rex didn't expel ingested matter at the use of EGESTS. Awful word, even if correct.


brendal 1:59 PM  

What is "roni"?

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

There is an animal shelter near me called The SILVER Muzzle. It's sort of a nursing home/hospice for elderly homeless dogs. What a great thing.

Unknown 2:10 PM  

My fastest Thurs ever, only a day after my fastest Wednesday ever.
The puzzles are getting dumbed down.
Nevertheless, today had a great theme. . . .
@ Kitshef: Calling ECHO Park an "obscure" location makes me think you're a provincial New Yorker.
@ Rex The fact that you've never heard of RONI doesn't mean it's not a thing; just that you're getting old. And your comments about LONDONAREA makes one think you know nothing about soccer (football).

Georgia 2:14 PM  

I want whatever Rex had this morning. This is really fun writeup!

Monty Montague 2:27 PM  

Loved this puzzle, although I had LAYUP instead of TIPIN for a little while.

Anonymous 2:35 PM  

I hear Mariachi static on my radio
And the tubes they glow in the dark
And I'm there with her in Ensenada
And I'm here in Echo Park....

The opening verse from the song by one of Rock's most criminally underrated artists.

Echo park also shows up a fair amount in James Ellroy novels.
And frankly, it's almost impossible to call any Los Angeles neighborhood obscure. There are simply too many tv shows and movies that have been using LA locations for more than a century for any of them to be truly obscure.
The same is true of NYC. Just too important and widely reported upon place for neighborhoods to fly under he radar.

Nashville, Charlotte, Detroit and all the rest of the second and third-rate towns have obscure neighborhoods. Not LA.

Anonymous 2:38 PM  

makes one think you know nothing about soccer (football).

be careful there. over the last 5 or 6 decades, the top tier of footballers came not from the LONDON AREA, but South America. not that I keep track of such things in real time, but I'd be willing to bet a non-functioning gonad that the best current footballers toiling in the LONDON AREA are South Americans.

Anonymous 2:40 PM  

Rex, your word processor, inadvertently I hope, dropped the " , sadly" bit from the end of the last sentence in your PS.

albatross shell 2:41 PM  

I've been in Cape May for a few days feasting on oysters and clams casino. The Lobster House and hotel restaurant had those brownish "own-made" chips. The LH had lO-SALT and were almost worth eating. The hotel had NOSALT chips and were not worth eating. I tried salting them but they shed the stuff. My dictionary defines potato chip as a vehicle for salt and oil. I have recently disparaged the trend in packaging that imply chips are healthy, and dumped on the taste of graham crackers. I add to my chip opinion- stop trying to make them less unhealthy or as my Mom said about pumping gas: I am 70 years old and have never pumped gas. I am not going to start now. Simiarly I don't want your kale infused chips. But I will amend my graham cracker comment to say it makes a nearly acceptable vehicle for key lime pie (the whitish creamy kind, not the neon-green jell-ish kind).

Speaking of pie. If pi people split a pizza evenly each person gets one
pizza÷pi = zza.

Pi is the sensible shortening of pizza pie. Peppe is the tasteful shortening of pepperoni. Precisely the letters that were left out in both cases.

New Jersey is now the only state that demands you not pump your own gas. God bless their lack of freedom.

For some reason the National Mall is listed as 146 acres. some places, and some list its dimensions as .66 by 2 miles elsewhere. Different definitions I guess. The latter is over 300 acres.

And ACRES crosses AREA.

I was even slower than Rex at getting the SILVER LINING. But it sure helped with some trouble spots. I did not know LINNEY-LUNE but the N was certainly guessable, even necessary.

A fun Thursday surprise. Theme was quite edgy.

To those who want to ask how someone who complains about tasteless chips and crackers can love oysters: Don't. Perfection clarity texture. And that is just a start.

North Fork potato chips out of Long Island are excellent. Their website sells them at a ridiculously high price as is the price listed there if you buy them at their farm. Our Mennonite discount store has them 79 cents for a 6 oz. bag.

Anonymous 2:42 PM  


let's not get cocky. more and more teeVee is made in Vancouver, Toronto, and various Red States while set in NYC and LA and other Blue Cities. the earliest example I recall is 'X Files', and that was a looooooong time ago.

Slow Motion 2:50 PM  

My family calls it RONI. But not Za.

mmorgan 3:08 PM  

Sheesh, so much hating on NO SALT chips! I do eat real, salted potato chips, but the NO SALT ones made by Utz are yummy!

burtonkd 3:33 PM  

@anon 2:35, that is probably why they are valid for the puzzle in that you have had a chance to hear of these neighborhoods.

Hands up for LUNE and MOON don't rhyme. Did Rex notice that the pasta shape he describes is a circle folded in half - thus, a half-MOON named after the French LUNE?

On that French sound in LUNE (y in IPA), is that the same sound in SUBARU when pronounced by a Japanese person? I hear that sound in the songs over the closing credits of Miyazaki movies.

I'm with Rex on the chips, or burgers for that matter: just eat the real item, not some similarly shaped imitation. Gluten-free LUNES, anyone?

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

Anon 2:35,
True, Vancouver has a tremendous amount of TV and film production. Toronto too. But frankly, nothin like LA, obviously.
But my larger point is that LA and NYC -- for not entirely the same reason I'll grant--are different than every other city in America in that their neighborhood are widely known. Sure, people know the loop in Chicago, Back Bay in Boston, Maybe Society Hill in Philly. But those are exceptions. Everybody knows Coney Island, Flatbush, the Village etc.
Just as the whole country knows Beverly Hills, Compton, Elysian Fields etc.

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

LUNE does not rhyme with RONI!!

GILL I. 4:28 PM  

GAAAAAAH...Pizza! and you top it with a RONI?????? (Hi @Frantic). Why not add some UVULAS and some NORES PONSE....
I'm late because (are you ready?).....I conned-begged - pleaded with my psychiatrist (oops, wrong one) my Podiatrist to do my nails. She went in hiding because I guess she didn't want to look at fungus anymore. Anyway, My toenails started looking like vampire fangs in my nether regions and I needed help. She isn't CHEAP; she doesn't order RONI on her GOAT and I tipped her very well.
I like SILVER but I prefer Gold.
I need to have a gastroenterological look see...Anyone know a good doctor? One that doesn't care if I'm full of caca?

pabloinnh 4:52 PM  

@Nancy-Since you never eat potato chips, when my suggestion of not offering them for sale is finally enacted, you are exempt. See @JD 11:20 for further elucidation of this theme.

@albatross shell-Esquire Magazine named Cape Cod Russets as the best potato chip in the USA. Obviously this is entirely a matter of taste (har), but just as clearly they are right.

Buffy 5:02 PM  

@kitshef (1:13)
Science, schmience, I'm talking personal experience! (But I agree with you completely about Coors Light -- and furthermore, no demon will touch it.) As far as COVID and vampires is concerned -- they can't get it, being dead. And as far as I know, the studies involving werewolves have been inconclusive.

CDilly52 5:54 PM  

Well, for OFL’s enlightenment, in my ancient universe, during my later high school and undergraduate years, many people did indeed often say things like, “Who’s for ’za after?” (After whatever was going on), and I confess to being guilty. And apparently, folks younger than Gen X people have a practice or habit or some other “thing” for truncating as many words as possible. My hypothesis is these are the folks who grew up texting and now can neither spell nor speak by employing complete words-and don’t even get me started on spelling. I recently heard a gaggle of this age group of folks talking about the approach of Halloween and whether or not to have their own ‘stume par’ or whether to go to one being thrown by another acquaintance. This is but one example. I would bet the farm that had the adults in the room asked the kids if all the party planning made them hungry and would they like it we ordered some pizza, the immediate affirmative responses would be things like “double ‘roni, no ‘shrooms, I’m veeg, gotta have cauli’ crus’ and cash-chee”

Translation: double pepperoni, no mushrooms (obvious); less obvious - I’m vegan and would you please order one with cauliflower crust and cashew cheese. Alas, RONI was sadly obvious for me.

Actually, this was the easiest Thursday in ages. But I rather enjoyed it. I learned about the Silver SURFER (never been a comics aficionado) and KOOPA (everything I know about Mario and Super Mario comes from crosswords).

I remember the logo on my daughter’s beater of a Subaru. She wrecked three sets of shocks in college from taking the ridiculously high speed bumps on the U of Hartford at campus high speed. That and her penchant for rolling stop signs makes me crazy. I look foreword to her teaching her own teenager to drive. Anyway, that car had a hard life when it functioned as our beater second car while I was in law school, but it limped home from Connecticut after her graduation nearly unrecognizable. But it still had the logo on the trunk. Six stars.

Seemed like a mixed bag of fill. Some crosswordy things mine EGEST, UVULAS (thankfully not a fake Latin UVULAe) and some less than sparkling fill on the blanks (YOU’RE), but also some fairly decent word okay. Overall though, a quick but not sparkly solve. Easy Thursday- half my usual time.

Unknown 6:10 PM  

@ albatross shell 2:41
I've had the North Fork potato chips, and sadly, they didn't come close to living up to their reputation. I was pretty dismayed, and no, they are not cheap. I didn't think they were particularly crisp or tasty.
For my money, Trader Joe's makes a great kettle-style potato chip that's as good a anything out there.

Celiac Mama 6:19 PM  

@burtonkd - I gotta stick up for the gluten free, man. After an unwelcome diagnosis, GF za saved my Friday nights and GF everything else saved every other day. And I gotta tell ya, the transition was surprisingly easy.

Joe Dipinto 6:28 PM  

Unsalted potato chips are pointless. Still, you don't have to go overboard, and most commercial brands probably do. What I like though are sea salt and vinegar chips, which are *very* salty but very delicious.

Anoa Bob 6:43 PM  

Hello UVULA, my old friend, you've come to help my solve again. I guess the multiple UVULAS were there to make up for having been away for so long.

Now and then I get a craving for potato chips, the SALTed kind. I get some and eat them with gusto. I figure it's a natural signal from my body because without SALT we die. More people die from drinking too much water, for example, than from not drinking enough. The excess water lowers the salinity of internal fluids and things like vital organs start to fail.

Without pepeRONI (and other deli style meats) we do just fine, maybe even better than deli meat eaters. The high rates of preservatives like nitrates and nitrites are thought to increase the risk of colorectal cancer and the increased consumption of deli style meats is thought to be a prime reason why colorectal cancer is showing up in people at a younger and younger ages.

The sheer number of theme entries and a two-part revealer must have made this a challenge to fill. There are some indications of this here and there such as a few helper/cheater squares and a number of POCs (plural of convenience) but overall the grid is not DEVOID OF some nice stuff and there is ENOUGH to put this one in the liked-a-bunch category for me. Definitely giving the gold to this SILVER LINING.

albatross shell 6:55 PM  

Have you tried North Fork chips? I think they are better than Cape Cod even though I praised Cape Cods as better than the normal PA chips here not long ago. They are amazingly good considering they do not use lard. They are both yuppie brands in pricing and trying to make their chips sound healthy. Yes the word yuppie dates me. I just bought 3 bags of differrent styles of North Fork chips today and some bags of Cape Cod original chips. I forget if they only use russets. Tomorrow the guy who looks after my house while I'm away is coming over. He is serious about chips. I am only in it for fun. I am going to have a taste test between the 2 brands. My memory is North Fork is better but I never had a head to head comparison. He only eats chips in modest amounts because of health concerns. My chips are from a store that specializes in selling seconds or near expiration dates or stuff that fell off a truck or whatever. So there is that to consider too. Cape Cod seem to be people who might have decided to brew a perfect cup of coffee, bottle of beer or glass of wine glass of wine. North Fork seems to be a family farm that decided to market there own brand of chips made from their own potatoes.

pabloinnh 6:58 PM  

Have been meaning to say all day that "Subaru" is the Japanese term for The Pleiades, and that's where the stars come from. Just found that out after being a Subaru owner for a number of years.

burtonkd 8:04 PM  

@Celiac Mama - I posted that, and regretted putting gluten as my example since people do choose that for very real medical reasons. I actually find a lot of non-meat burgers a nice, tasty light choice - still enjoy the real thing, too. Enough back-pedalling; on to tomorrow...

pabloinnh 8:50 PM  

@a shell-Have not had the opportunity to try North Fork chips but I think I would like them just fine. I have similar feelings about all the good IPA's out there now--so many of them are terrific that I would have a hard time choosing a favorite.

Anonymous 8:59 PM  

Finished without getting the theme. I could see after I got the words along the top that silver was missing, as well as surfer, but not getting the theme answer I didn't put it together. Played tougher for me, but Thursdays always do - I have more trouble on Thursdays than on Fridays for sure, and about the same as Saturdays. Maybe a mental block. Bottom surely played easier than the top for me. Seems every time 'SP. other' is in a puzzle its spelled differently. Took Latin in HS not Spanish. Do they even still offer Latin in HS?

Zwhatever 9:20 PM  

@pabloinnh - The best IPA is the one in your glass, but if you are ever in Kalamazoo go to the Eccentric CafΓ© and have a Two-Hearted Ale. There are equals out there, but there is not a better IPA.

@Whatsername - I was thinking deep fried and tossed in Yak Sauce (like buffalo sauce only spicier). But sautΓ©ed in olive oil with some fresh cracked black pepper, a little fresh crushed garlic, tossed in some freshly grated parmesan, and garnished with a sprig of mint would probably work, too.

@LA Anon - I agree with you about Zevon, but everything else you wrote is parochial claptrap and there’s little that is more parochial than big city parochials. Honestly, we don’t care about LA neighborhoods nor do we bother to learn where exactly Ensenada or ECHO Park happen to be. If you had told me Albuquerque I would have believed you. Just not that important. Same with Flatbush or Soho or Greenwich Village or Compton or East LA (well, okay, I’m guessing that neighborhood is in eastern Los Angeles). Even when non-residents have heard of them we don’t actually know, or care, where these places are. 8 Mile is as well known as any of them and it ain’t even a neighborhood. That 8 Mile is nine miles north of Canada is a geographic curiosity, not something I expect non-Detroiters to know.

@Anon2:38 - Mo Salah, Jack Grealish, Virgil van Dijk, Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne, Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku,…Oh, wait, those aren’t all from London teams. Let’s see, Arsenal has three South Americans on their roster, Crystal Palace has none, and West Ham only one. So none of the top players in the league and barely any on London rosters at all. Heck, the best South American player in the world is arguably more Spanish than Argentinian. Fortunately for you I seriously doubt that anyone wants your gonad, functioning or not.

JC66 9:31 PM  


Some people know the best IPA in Kalamazoo and some people know LA and NYC neighborhoods. :-)

TTrimble 9:39 PM  

@Anonymous 8:59 PM
Surely depends on the school district. Latin is still offered in my own district, but not German. Chinese would surely be a viable option in some districts, but not in mine.

Latin however is regularly on the chopping block when it comes to deciding school budgets. It's more of a fight to defend because the direct benefits are more intangible than for say Spanish or French.

(Speaking purely for myself: I was a Latin student, which has little to no direct benefit in doing my job. I can read the literature in my profession in French, much less so in German, and I can only read titles in Russian. I can't read Chinese or Japanese at all. While I feel somewhat deprived (esp. with regard to Russian), I have no regret retaining a smidgen of Latin and Greek in terms of general education.)

Joe Dipinto 10:17 PM  

I've never been to Echo Park but I have a sense of what it generally looks like. It figures somewhat prominently in "Chinatown". First, the lake is where J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) takes photos of Hollis Mulwray (the husband of Faye Dunaway's character) in a rowboat with his "mistress".

Later, the person who hires Jake at the start of the movie is found dead in an apartment in Echo Park.

Unknown 11:29 AM  

Macaroni on 'zza - Mikey's Late Nite Slice in Columbus does this as a specialty 'zza and it is really good. Y'all need to broaden your horizons. 'Zza = cheese + carbs = Macaroni. Obviously these things go together.


Grateful 12:56 PM  

OMG Thank you. I cannot stop laughing...

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

I liked this one … enjoyed the theme and, like you, resisted the urge to go for the full silver lining all at once. I think you were too harsh on roni. I didn’t give it much thought, though it does bring rice-a-roni to mind. And now I can’t get the old Rice-a-Roni jingle out of my head …

Diana, LIW 8:18 PM  

@Spacey from yesterday. (I am posting here since it is so late.) YES/AND is a common phrase in the ad lib or improvisation world. When your partner in an improv makes some outrageous comment or other, your job, as the other actor, is to say "yes" (as in "Yes, I remember grandma's gun") and then add to it, or "and" (as in "I always wanted to steal that gun, until I learned...") Get it? Always go along with the other actor, and then add to what they said or did. The first two rules of improv.

Lady Di

thefogman 10:51 AM  

A bit on the easy side for a Thursday but very enjoyable.

spacecraft 11:22 AM  

Thank you, @Lady. Today's was a layup--oops, a TIPIN. Therein lay my only foul. Once I got the revealer the rest was history. Actually did it so fast that RONI was filled in without my ever seeing the clue. Belonged in the Tuesday slot, but at least the solve was enjoyable, and nothing to fuss about. Birdie.

Burma Shave 12:48 PM  


It's a FIASCO with MAE


rondo 1:00 PM  

I agree with those who SAY that Rice-a___ is the only real clue for RONI. 30 years ago or so a friend-turned-hipster called it 'za, or sometimes the less objectionable 'pie'.

Does it have to be a 'fellow' to be a SILVER FOX?

Laura LINNEY, yeah baby.

ENOUGH from me. YOURE the one who YAKS. [NORESPONSE]

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Stand away from the Cape Cod chips. They routinely place last in taste tests. Best of all are Ruffles.

Diana, LIW 3:54 PM  

Funny thing, as my grandfather would say. Yesterday I watched my car, The Silver Lining, get towed away forever. The engine needed major work and, long story short, it was not worth how much it would cost me - so I'm getting a new car. Still, TSL was my faithful car for 14 years. Ironic that this puzzle shows up - you never know when you'll get a Silver Lining.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoaster 4:20 PM  

I like the SILVER LINING concept, but wasn’t sure of SILVER AGE or SILVER SURFER. So I took the CHEAP, quick way and looked them up. Enjoyed the puzzle.

Anonymous 4:31 PM  

You must be much younger than I thought you were, because as soon as I had the E of cannellini bean, I knew it was Echo Park, which I consider kind of famous, and not obscure at all. At least it was back in the old hippie days. There is even a song titled: Echo Park.

Anonymous 4:35 PM  

Lune is French for moon.
Clair de Lune is moonlight.

Anonymous 4:43 PM  

And that's exactly how I pronounce moon!
What a coinkydink! (not French)

thefogman 4:54 PM  

The “une” in French word LUNE is not exactly the same as the “oon” in moon.

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