Catchphrase for Olivia Pope on Scandal / SAT 10-16-21 / Eighth incarnation of Vishnu / Erstwhile camera and satellite maker for NASA / People also known as the Cat Nation / Water gait / Showy blossom in the iris family for short

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Constructor: Caitlin Reid and Erik Agard

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: TOGO (54A: Its anthem is "Terre de nos aieux") —

Togo (/ˈtɡ/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the Togolese Republic (FrenchRépublique togolaise), is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Ghana to the westBenin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. The country extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, where its capital and largest city Lomé is located. Togo covers 57,000 square kilometres (22,008 square miles), making it one of the smallest countries in Africa, with a population of approximately 8 million, as well as one of the narrowest countries in the world with a width of less than 115 km (71 mi) between Ghana and its slightly larger eastern neighbor, Benin.

From the 11th to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions. From the 16th century to the 18th century, the coastal region was a major trading center for Europeans to purchase slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast". In 1884, Germany declared a region including present-day Togo as a protectorate called Togoland. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France. Togo gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma led a successful military coup d'état after which he became president of an anti-communist, single-party state. Eventually, in 1993, Eyadéma faced multiparty elections, which were marred by irregularities, and he won the presidency three times. At the time of his death, Eyadéma was the longest-serving leader in modern African history, having been president for 38 years. In 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé was elected president. He continues to hold the office as of 2021.

Togo is a tropicalsub-Saharan nation, whose economy depends highly on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons. While the official language is French, many other languages are spoken, particularly those of the Gbe family. The largest religious group consists of those with indigenous beliefs, and there are significant Christian and Muslim minorities. Togo is a member of the United NationsAfrican UnionOrganisation of Islamic CooperationSouth Atlantic Peace and Cooperation ZoneFrancophonie, and Economic Community of West African States. (wikipedia)

• • •

Wow, ha ha, yes. This puzzle. Sometimes I forget what the top level of puzzle-making looks like because the NYTXW settles for "just OK" or "good" so often. Reasons for this are likely legion, from "accepting your friends' and longtime associates' puzzles out of a sense of obligation and also probably cronyism" to "coasting" to "being deeply committed to a last-century idea of what counts as 'top level'." It really is time for a changing of the guard at the top. It's been So Long. But let's leave that and get to this, which is a statement puzzle. A "hold my beer" puzzle. A "yeah, your puzzles have been nice and all, but ..." puzzle. I mean, I winced ... no times. Not once. Nonce (pronounced "nunce," which should be a word). OK, I winced a little at UNIPOD (how does that even stand up??), but otherwise, I can't remember when I've seen a cleaner or a zingier puzzle. No weak spots, tons of bright spots. It's a model. Just stare at it, constructors, and ... well, you can despair a little, maybe for a minute or so, but then take heart, be encouraged, chase this level of goodness. It is possible. But seriously, even for Erik and Caitlin (two excellent constructors), this is next-level work. Every longer answer bounced, and the only one that seemed even slightly unbouncy on its own (INSECT REPELLENT) got a clever clue that brought the bounce right back (6D: Check for bugs—that's some nice misdirection right there). The sassy slanginess of the puzzle! So nice, and not so niche that oldsters (i.e. me, much of the solving population) are going to feel left out. And maybe that's the real accomplishment here: it really feels like this is a puzzle for anyone, for everyone. It's all over the map (figuratively and literally—hello, TOGO!), in all the demographics, just trying to get all the solving peoples of the world to unite in having a good time. You need a model collaboration crossword for the 21st century? IT'S HANDLED!


Too much goodness to enumerate, but let's just start with the casual conversational vibe of this thing, which sets such a pleasing tone. "HEY NOW!" "NICE ONE!" "NO SPOILERS!" "ARE WE GOOD?" Then fold in the slanginess of SCREW UP, GO ROGUE, and ON THE FENCE. The queerness of AGENDER, PLUS SIGN, and James Baldwin, the Blackness of Rihanna, Olivia Pope, and James Baldwin, the explosiveness of NOVAS and VOLCANOs, the tastiness of MANGOs and CONEY Island hot dogs. It's just so dense with goodness. And the short answers Don't Buckle. What are you gonna be mad at? IDES? UNO? ERIE? Man, you really gotta be committed to the NITS if you think those are problems. They're just common. "Common" in the sense of "much seen." And common is fine when common is (ironically) rare. I probably wouldn't have clued COO as an abbr., esp. with the first two letters of the answer as the first two letters of the clue (43A: Co. bigwig). Seriously, I think that's the only "I would do this differently" thought I had. Wow, I don't know who wrote the clue on WADE (submitted clues are often substantially reworked by the editor), but I'm nodding and slow-clapping at your pun (25A: Water gait?). I'm nothing but RAH RAH today. No complaints. NONE. Now do this every weekend!


Anything need explanation? Let's see: It's PALME D'OR, of course, the main prize at the Cannes Film Festival. We've already established that the "dog" in the CONEY clue is a hot dog. "1999" is simply made up of (mostly) NINES. It's a flower or vegetable bed that's meant in the WEEDS clue (57A: Undesirable bedmates?). "Check" means "restraint" or "deterrent" in the INSECT REPELLENT clue (6D: Check for bugs). GLAD is short for "gladiola" (or "gladiolus," apparently). I think "UX" stands for "USER experience" ... Yes, I'm correct! OK, that's it! Hope you liked it half as much as I did.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

135 comments:

Conrad 6:26 AM  


Easy-medium. I had some hangups in the NW. Didn't know RIRI and it took some time for SCREWUP and AIRCOOL to materialize. At one point I thought the baby shower gift might be a PRAM and the Hamlet quote might be WHerE. Never heard the term AGENDER but it's inferable, and didn't know IT'S HANDLED, but it was fairly crossed.

Lewis 6:27 AM  

I woke up hoping for Erik Agard because it’s been a while, then seeing that he teamed up with Caitlin, who I also love, I came into this puzzle with a huge “Whee!”, and girded up for what I expected to be a tough, fair, and memorable trip.

I also figured there would be a good number of splendid clues.

Now I’m finished and I’m happy as heck. Happy with a PLUS SIGN. There’s that spotless grid, shining actually, filled with spark in answer and clue. It hit my wavelength this morning, went quicker than I expected, but that takes nothing away from the glorious ride.

Look at those answers – NON-APOLOGY, PALME D’OR, ARE WE GOOD, ON THE FENCE, SCREW UP, NICE ONE, RAH-RAH, AGENDER, NO SPOILERS, GO ROGUE, and my favorite, HEY NOW. What a lineup! And the clues, as expected, zinged. I especially loved those for BIOS, TOT, VOLCANO, WEEDS, CONEY, and the magnificent [WATER GAIT?] for WADE.

One thrilling shot of mood/brain caffeine, is what you two delivered to me this morning. You are very very good together. NICE ONE doesn’t do it justice. More please, and over-the-top gratitude!

Anonymous 6:43 AM  

Will someone please explain the 1999 clue?

Trey 6:49 AM  

When I started reading the post this morning, I thought @rex was going to hate this puzzle. His opening few sentences were as much a mis-direction as some of the clues in this puzzle. Then he got to the point where this puzzle was not like many of the others - and I completely agree with him. Sparkle, interesting fill and great cluing!

My only disagreement with the review is the rating of "easy". I struggled with finding the right answers in several places (Neons for NOVAS, nadir for FLOOR, Nada for NONE, nth for PHD, etc etc). That, and nodding off because I slept poorly last night, made for a problematic experience. Still loved the puzzle, but my time was not good for a Saturday. Even fully awake, it would have been at least medium for me.

Favorite clues - 50A Photographer's staff (was looking for a person) 10D One blowing off steam (too many mis-steps for me to see this right away) and 45A Metalworker's union (was completely looking for a name of a labor union that I had never heard of). I do not remember the names of constructors and recognize their individual styles or levels of skill like some others on this blog, but I hope to see more puzzles from this pair in the future (if I remember them)

Frantic Sloth 6:58 AM  

Hey, NITS! Get the hell out - you don't belong here!

🧠🧠🧠
🎉🎉🎉🎉

Lewis 6:59 AM  

@rex -- Just read your take, and we are kindred spirits this morning. I second every word of your praise for this puzzle.

King Hamlet 7:20 AM  

GHOST
I am thy father's spirit,
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul,
freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love--

David Grenier 7:30 AM  

I liked it. First pass gave me just SKA and USER to build off. The NW fell quickly but I forgot the E in PALMEDOR and has PALMD’OR. That plus talking myself out of HINGE early made the SW hard.

I couldn’t build anything off of USER because even though I was a professional photographer for ten years I only ever heard it called a MONOPOD. I never needed a monopod but they’re really common among sports photographers and others who need super long heavy lenses. They’re not stand-alone like tripods but they give a lot of stability.

I was 95% on BEALE st and NONAPOLOGOY in first pass so I pencilled them in and was able to get everything else from there.

Son Volt 7:31 AM  

Not as buoyant on this one as Rex but appreciated the Hüsker clip anyway. No idea on Scandal but the crosses were fair. Favorites were WEEDS and VOLCANO. HEY NOW missed for me as did AIR COOL. Damned CONEYs again - still have to take everyone’s word on those.

I’ve surfed Bondi so that was a gimme - nice beach but not a lot of elbow room. The bag of tees or even the dozen balls yes - but not sure the two WOODS I carry constitute a supply.

Enjoyable Saturday solve.

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

How is "Water gait" = WADE valid, much less praiseworthy? Looks like a glaring noun/verb mismatch to me. Also, I've used a monopod many times but never knew that UNIPOD was a synonym.

David James 7:51 AM  

As an avid photographer UNIPOD is awful. I don’t know if this is an antiquated term but you will not find a single legged camera stabilizer anywhere today called anything but a MONOPOD

bocamp 7:52 AM  

Thx Caitlin & Eric, for this crunchy Sat. puz! :)

Med-hard.

Got off to great start in the NW, but progressively slowed down as I moved south, then east, and finally ran into my biggest challenge in Great Lakes and NE.

Neons before NOVAS. VOLCANO was the key to getting this section.

Very enjoyable solve. :)
___

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

SouthsideJohnny 8:13 AM  

Wow - what a gem. All of the answers are real - no made-up words, very light on the foreign stuff (I guess PALME D’OR counts, and TOGO is a country, but heck - they would be welcome on a Tuesday), no dead popes, random Roman numerals, no middle names of Supreme Court justices from the New Deal Era, Esau’s siblings got the day off . . . . It Can Be Done ! ! ! (Can you tell that I’m a bit of a RAH RAH today ?).

As I was solving, I was wondering what on earth Rex would find to bitch and moan about today - to my surprise, Mikey Liked It ! ! !

Like many others I suspect, I definitely wish today were an example of the rule, rather than the exception. Let’s see how far we fall from the mountain top when we get to 1A tomorrow.

Trey 8:16 AM  

@Anonymous 6:43 - the better part (more than half) of 1999 is the three NINES

Space Helmet on Captain Video 8:23 AM  

Anon 7:45 GAIT is a noun which refers to a manner of walking. WADE Is a noun that refers to an act of wading (which means WALKING, perhaps with some difficulty through water). Does not seem like all that unusual a clue to me.

Z 8:27 AM  

Pretty much what Rex said. Flew through most of this while watching the interminable baseball game (great game - could we maybe stop with the over-managing?) with barely a writeover (teLL -> FALL and nadiR -> FLOOR) but then deN and NeonS stalled me out and it was after midnight (seriously, why did a 5-4 generally well played game take 4:07 to play?) so I put down the clipboard and went to bed. Picked it up this morning and decided it had to be AGENDER which immediately elicited the “D’Oh - Wolf Blitzer” moment and CNN which made VOLCANO obvious and then NOVAS and finally IT’S HANDLED. Nothing like a nights rest to make what was seemingly hard incredibly easy.

If there’s a plaint it is that this was probably one of the easiest Saturdays I’ve done. Partly this is because SKA and KRISHNA were automatic, so that’s a whole lot of gimme letters to work off of. And then from there just entry after entry that was easy peasy for me. I agree with Rex on that WADE clue (@anon7:45 - ever go for a WADE in the ocean?).

👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

Unknown 8:29 AM  

I have never heard of a Royal PAIN. I had PAWN until the very end.

Otherwise, for me, a lovely solve.

amyyanni 8:35 AM  

Funday puzzle! Not so easy for me, but that's fine. NONAPOLOGY and GO ROGUE are delightful. Hope your Saturday is as well.

kitshef 8:41 AM  

Tricky clue on WELD got me. Figured the ‘union’ would be initials, so probably begins with ‘N’ for ‘national’, so would up with NAIF at 45D.

Other than ITS HANDLED, which I hated, I thought this was a pretty good puzzle. Lots of clues that seemed impossible, until you get the answer and go “oh!”.

Z 8:49 AM  

@Pete late last night - Dude. The way you wrote that last comment is going to feed the “Pete is really Z” conspiracy theorist.
@Stephanie - Radio?

42 Seconds
42 seconds with Uncle Google is all it takes to verify UNIPOD. TBF, monopod is obviously more common in the world of photography while the first item for sale when I googled UNIPOD is sold at Home Depot. But I looked for images of a UNIPOD and plenty of photography sites popped up. Sure sure, at the photography sites UNIPOD was always paired with monoPOD, while monoPOD can be found by itself, but it is definitely a thing. Merriam-Webster even uses “camera” in the definition.

TJS 8:51 AM  

Sucked from beginning to end. Everything Rex loved, I hated. There is a niche of solvers out there that the constructors were aiming for, and, not surptisingly, they found their cheerleader in Rex. Stared at the NE and SW for a while and said screw it.

Z 8:58 AM  

BTW - 17 of 72 for 24%. These include WHOSE and MANGO because of their clues. Just top notch in every way.

Pete 9:01 AM  

@Zuzzerzeedo - In life, you can't let the aluminum-foil-helmet guys ruin everything.

Rug Crazy 9:22 AM  

It's MONOPOD not UNIPOD. I own two

thfenn 9:28 AM  

Very happy this AM. Reading the blog and comments after completing what I thought was a fabulous Saturday is very affirming. Agree with OFL's enthusiasm and points, and my only difference from @Z's experience was that I fell asleep with the Sox down a run, woke up with a start at 1AM and finished it.

But I'm not ready to go with "easy", unless that still has to be the case just because I could do it. Had dIdo before getting RIRI and had to google that to learn it was Rihanna. ICEPOPS took a long time as I was stuck trying to remember what those giant plastic tubed pixie sticks of my youth were called. I had tidE and WAvE before WADE, thinking more of the water's "gait" rather than my own gait in the water, and going from AGENvER to AGENDER got the much longed for chimes to ring, so a perfect ending there. That was after neonS went to starS, and after starS gave way to NOVAS to make room for the Christmas tree decoration (which i'd say is misplaced at the bottom). So the NE was the last to fall. Agree that the thing in my closet next to my tripod a monopod, but am happy to concede it can also be called a UNIPOD, so that was OK.

AREWEGOOD? You bet. No sitting ONTHEFENCE from me. Loved it for all the reasons that have already been said.

Peter P 9:32 AM  

As a professional photographer (off to a shoot in two hours), I agree that UNIPOD is an odd term -- one that I had never heard of before. It's inferable, but I've been doing this since the late 90s, and have only heard of it being called a "monopod." I won't be shocked if some pockets of photographers somewhere call it a UNIPOD, but in my experience across news, sports, and event photography, I've only heard "monopod." And yes, it useful for when you're shooting with long lenses (anything a 300mm f/2.8 or bigger you want to use a monopod for if you're shooting for any extended period of time. If you shoot any amount of sports--which I did in yonder day--you'll likely need a monopod.) I also see them commonly used by videographers to stabilize shots, pans, zooms, when unable to work from a fixed tripod location. That's one of the other useful points of them is that they are more mobile than tripods. I've also seen them used in creative ways like mounting a camera on monopod, extending it, and raising it high up for an overhead shot (using the self timer or a remote trigger to trip the shutter.)

Nancy 9:33 AM  

I came here because I couldn't take it any more and wanted my suffering to be over. And now it is.

Not that the puzzle was easy anywhere else, but my downfall was the SE where CeO went in and CeO stayed in and COO is something you do at a cute baby or a love interest. So did I have a chance in hell of seeing GO ROGUE when it began with GE? I did not.

Then there was "Did some PR work on" beginning with "S". I began with SOLD (which I didn't really like) and eventually switched to SANG as in "sang the praises of" (which I didn't like either). In a million zillion years I wouldn't have thought of SPUN.

Of course, if I'd had ICE POPS (for the "P", don't you know) -- but I didn't. I don't know from how sweet treats are wrapped ("in plastic tubes").

The catch phrase on "Scandal"? That's what you want from me? Oh for heavens sake, give me a break. Never seen it, don't plan to.

"Discontinued" does NOT equal OLD!!!!!

WADE for "water gait" is too cute by half.

Best clue/answer is "Check for bugs" for INSECT REPELLENT -- partly because INSPECT = "check" and you might be fooled into thinking there's a rebus. I was so fooled for a while, actually.

I suffered much too much to have enjoyed this. And I don't think it's entirely fair, either.

Whatsername 9:33 AM  

“Easy” is not how I would describe my experience, especially in the SW. Could not get a breakthrough anywhere. While I understand the reasons for the high praise, I can’t ECHO it. But I will humbly chalk that up to greater minds who see something I don’t.

ONE of my NITS, the clue for CRIB. Blankets, bibs, booties and onesies are “popular“ at baby showers. Most guests do NOT give furniture as a gift. And why would they? How many cribs does one NEED?

Speaking of greater minds, HEY @Roo. Couldn’t help but think of you when I saw FILTH and FOUL. Just look at all those F’s. You really hit the jackpot today.

Sixthstone 9:34 AM  

I enjoyed this, not quite as much as Rex, but he has a point. It's casual and easy-going, a nice way to kick off a Saturday. Even the 3-letter stuff is better than normal.

I actually had a tough start, completely blanking on the NW. But slowly and surely worked through the center and back up to knock it out. Thanks, Erik and Caitlin!

puzzlehoarder 9:35 AM  

I'd like my African nation TOGO and my Saturday puzzle with a little more teeth please.

I can see what a lot solvers would like about this puzzle if they're into gumming soft material. With the exception of the inane RIRI the constructor's eschewed obscure names which are so often the source of good Saturday resistance. BEALE does count as a name but that street is famous.

This puzzle was a common phrase palooza. There's nothing wrong with phrases in a puzzle but when there's this much it becomes monotonous. NOT DONE was the most boring of all.

I felt no RAHRAH for this puzzle.

yd pg-1 (an 8 pointer)

johnnymcguirk 9:36 AM  

Hello

The Clerk 9:36 AM  

Your link doesn’t show how it stands up on its own.

Richard in NM 9:37 AM  

Go to the New Yorker on-line and get this quality puzzle three days a week -- by these and other master constructors. (No, I don't work for the mag).

thfenn 9:38 AM  

@Trey 6:49, forgot to mention I had all those do-overs as well, and same thinking on WELD. All part of why today's was so good.

albatross shell 9:55 AM  

@TJS
I am curious. What was your problem with the puzzle? That is to say what do you want on a Saturday? More "advanced vocabulary words" more directly clued? Less colloquial language? A few examples from the puzzle that you despised. Just everything and 2 sections is to general to tell me anything. Not that you need to explain yourself.

johnnymcguirk 9:57 AM  

X

kitshef 10:03 AM  

@Whatsername - yeah, I'm with you on CRIB. I'm sure they have been given as shower gifts, but so have lottery tickets, shaving kits (yes, I've seen it), and bathrobes. But none should be clued as baby shower gifts.

bocamp 10:16 AM  

UNIPOD (images)

ECHOing and reenforcing @Zuzzerzeedo's (8:49 AM) '42 Seconds' para:

"A one-legged support (as for a camera)" (M-W)

@puzzlehoarder (9:35 AM)

ECHO the 8er yd; maybe same one as yours.
___

td 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 10:19 AM  

Rex… are you… ok?

Blink three times if you need help,

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

Wonder if Kiké Hernández is now crossword worthy.

jae 10:41 AM  

Medium. NW and SE were on the easy side, the rest was tougher. Neon before NOVAS, Wife before WAIF, and UbER before USER didn’t help.

Smooth and sparkly with some tricky clueing makes for a superb Saturday. Liked it a bunch. Jeff gave it POW and said it was “perhaps his favorite of 2021”.

Chris 10:41 AM  

I haven't been to too many baby showers in my long life, but ISTM that the CRIB complainers are only thinking of one definition of "popular." Sure, one would hope there is never more than one bestowed at a shower, but lots of showers would feature one, hence popular. Of course, this assumes the perhaps OLD practice of only having one or two showers per baby.

Gratitude School 10:46 AM  

Had LetMeGuess for way too long on "wait wait don't tell me"

eddy 10:49 AM  

@albatross shell

I'm with @TJS. The entire NE hinged on knowing a phrase commonly used by a character on a TV show I have absolutely no interest in. It could not be inferred by the misdirection clues all around it. I stared and stared and finally gave up, my first DNF in months.

Diane Joan 10:53 AM  

The best part of 1999 for me was the song by Prince but I couldn't make any part of that fit in so I settled on "Nines" from the crosses. It was also fun seeing people buying generators at Costco...and then returning them after January 1, 2000 when the dire millenium predictions
turned out to be a bust.

James K. Lowden 10:59 AM  

Wade is a verb. A person who wades into the surf is a wader. If you can’t swim you might enjoy the wading pool. “Wading “ is participle; it doesn’t work as a gerund.

“Let’s go for a wade”, said no one, ever.

mathgent 11:13 AM  

We are quite a group here on the blog. Some of us make the most clueless comments, others think that this puzzle wasn't hard enough.

I needed help. I Googled "iris family" to get GLAD and my wife gave me SPUN.

Two top-natch constructors came up with a gem. So many great clues.

Someone said that the New Yorker puzzles are usually of this caliber. I have access to them but don't do them because there isn't a way to talk about them with other solvers. That's why I don't criticize Rex much. He makes doing crosswords a big part of my day.



Barrowma 11:14 AM  

Where's ChuckD and why did Togo steal a line from Canada's national anthem?

Barbara S. 11:18 AM  

Whew, I'm just struggling to recover from a brain flip. "Terre de nos aïeux" is in the first line of the French-language version of "O Canada", which I sang many times during my school choir years. Canada is clearly not 4 letters long and I must have had a visible question mark hovering above my head until I got that answer, and even beyond. In case you're wondering, the words mean "land of our ancestors" so it's a good generic French-language line for use in an anthem. But still. [Taking deep breaths...]

Carola 11:19 AM  

Medium here. For me the puzzle sparkled in the misdirection in the cluing rather than in the answers: the pile-up of chatty phrases in the grid left me feeling crotchety.

Do-overs: Me, too, for NeonS, nadiR, CeO. No idea: RIRI, IT"S HANDLED.

@King Hamlet 7:20 - Thank you for that wonderful passage. Among other things, it gave me the language-induced high that the puzzle didn't.

Z 11:20 AM  

@Anon10:21 - Given that we don’t get diacritical marks in puzzles that nickname is never going to appear. Also, it was pretty clear to me last night why Enrique is on his fourth team. There are players called 4A players (too good for triple A, not good enough to stick in the majors). If there were such a thing I would label Enrique the prototypical 5A player, good enough to stick but not consistently good enough to be an everyday player on a good team. Now, if he manages to repeat his 2021 season I’ll reassess, but the most likely thing to happen in 2022 is that he’ll return to something near his career averages. Don’t be surprised if he gets traded by Boston to capitalize on his career best season.

@Pete - 🤣😂🤣 - Agreed.

@Nancy and others - M-W it’s almost always the Chief Executive Officer, on Saturday it almost never is. That’s when we have to be on the lookout for a Chief Financial Officer or the Chief Operating Officer or Chief Cover-Up Officer (aka Major Sports’ Commissioner - the entirety of Twitter was rolling their eyes last night over the latest NFL email claim).

@eddy and @TJS - I’ve never seen Scandal, don’t know the character, and had no idea about the phrase. I still got it. Anyone can solve a puzzle where they know everything. That particular piece of PPP took some sussing out here, but was gettable and would have been downright easy if I hadn’t stubbed my toe on a couple of other answers.

@James K. Lowden - Already explained. Let’s go for a WADE in the ocean and discuss.

Another possibility is that UNIPOD is more common in Britain. It does not appear in Lexico’s US Dictionary, but it does in its UK Dictionary. That’s pure conjecture on my part.

@Diane Joan - 👍🏽 I was dreaming when I wrote this so forgive me of it goes astray.

Tim Carey 11:25 AM  

Me too. After twenty minutes...
I.Had.Nothing.

Steve M 11:30 AM  

Top drawer but HARD

MickMcMick 11:37 AM  

I agree Rex, outstanding Saturday. NE was the only real challenge for me. Top shelf

Carola 11:38 AM  

@James K. Lowden 10:59 - That's what I thought, too - until I took a look at the Oxford English Dictionary, which has definitions of WADE as both a verb and a noun, the latter as "An act of wading." It characterizes the usage as "rare," and the most recent citation is from 1904: "Daily Chron. 7 May 5/2 The Japanese..have already begun to erect piers so as to avoid the necessity of that long wade."

oceanjeremy 11:43 AM  

Solved with my fiancée, as is our weekend ritual. My only complaint is — maybe too easy for a Saturday? Felt like an easy Friday to me, but it was also a joy to race through. And running it on a Saturday meant I could race through it with the love of my life.

So I guess I really don’t have any complaints!

Amie Devero 11:48 AM  

Couldn't agree more. I was astonished when he rated it easy. I was stumped every step of the way and when I looked at the answer, I had at least half a dozen answers completely wrong, and had gotten it wrong enough to get the crosses also wrong. This puzzle just pissed me off.

puzzlehoarder 11:49 AM  

@bocamp, after I made that comment I realized there were two 8 pointers. I missed the H word. Too bad it was a good one.

beverly c 11:50 AM  

I didn’t hold out much hope - Saturday's usually are too obscure for me to solve without a little outside research. But even without knowing Scandal, BEALE, RIRI, or Bondi, and falling for NeonS, Wife, trIPOD and having no idea about PLUSSIGN - I eventually found my way and completed the puzzle. Wahoo! But it turns out it was easy. :-(

JD 11:53 AM  

Super difficult for me. Surprising because Erik Agard is one of my favorite constructors and I usually get him. But it was all on me and I agree with the general consensus of great and with @Southside's analysis.

Watched Scandal for a season when I still had a TV but that's been a while. Never heard of RiRi. I need "quite a" in front of Stir to make it a Big To-Do. You can fix a Screw-Up, it's not fatal but this was a verb so yeah.

Stubbornly hung on to what I thought was a fake plural for Neons. Plus Signs is good news because I wasn't sure how many more letters could be added before I wouldn't be able to remember it.

No Spoilers just isn't there for me. Out of the office long enough now to forget the COO even existed (CEO, CFO, CIO).

Etc.

jb129 11:53 AM  

Hi Caitlin & Erk - still working on what everyone says is a great puzzle, which I'm sure it is!

I never have to cheat on an Erik puzzle - you've been gone too long!

Newboy 12:03 PM  

Not “half as much” Rex, but twice (maybe even thrice) as much since our team tag solve today took a second eraser and a clock rewinding….not at all what we consider “easy” west of the mountains! Any day that OFL likes the grid that Mr Chen gives the POW is a moment in time worthy of a calendar note, and so today let me just add our RAH RAH before returning to the top of others posting which I expect to ECHO @Lewis whose praise of even the most mundane offerings is legendary.

Anonymous 12:04 PM  

Hernández may be a career journeyman but last night he led the way, going 5-for-6 with a homer and three doubles. He tied the MLB postseason record with four extra-base hits, becoming the fifth player all-time -- and the first since Albert Pujols in 2011 -- to pull off the feat.
Most career postseason games with 10+ total bases:
Kiké Hernández: 3
Babe Ruth: 2
Albert Pujols: 2
Steve Garvey: 2
George Brett: 2

Definitely worthy of inclusion notwithstanding the unfortunate coincidental spelling of a religious slur.

TJS 12:05 PM  

@albatross,I don't usually go into listing what aggravates me in a puzzle, and @Nancy mentioned many, but :

Riri
It's handled
"A gender"
"discontinued" does not = old
"hey now" " " = thats uncalled for
"wait, wait,etc. " " = no spoilers
UX = what ?
COO ?

And Rex awarding points for "queerness" and "blackness" was just too much.

Enjoy the weekend. I'm heading for musica on the playa.

egsforbreakfast 12:08 PM  

I’m probably too OLD to be RAHRAH about RIRI, but I’d be happy to act as referrer for any REFEREE in search of an ESCORT.

WOODS crossing FLOOR is a nice touch, but I’m not sure about TOGO crossing GOROGUE. I’m ONTHEFENCE about whether a TOGOROGUE would eat ICEPOPS.

Very smooth and enjoyable puzzle. Thank you, Caitlin Reid and Erik Agard.

daveyhead 12:09 PM  

I liked it . Done in my usual leisurely 33 minutes-plus, no mistakes. Most of the complaints here made me chuckle.

rjkennedy98 12:23 PM  

This puzzle was very difficult for me. Normally Erik Agaard puzzles are right in my wheelhouse but this once challenged me a lot. I really struggled to get a foothold, but once I did, boy was this a pleasure. Great clues and answers everywhere. So much sparkle.

@TJS
UX = User Experience and its used quite a bit in website design.
COO = Chief Operating Officer. Its what Sheryl Sandberg is at Facebook.
I agree that OLD != discontinued. My only NIT.

What? 12:33 PM  

Lots of 9’s

Laurie 12:34 PM  

3 out of 4 numbers are nines

Wanderlust 12:34 PM  

Got off to a dumb start guessing that invention on a Kingston Street was RUM. Getting RIRI, UNO and PALME D’OR got me SCREWUP and I was back on track. Then realized rum was unlikely to have been invented in one specific place. (Small NIT with PALME D’OR because for me “big award in French cinema” implies FRENCH cinema, but the PALME D’OR can be given to a movie from any country — I wanted something with Cesar in it, because that’s an award given only to French movies.)

I am part of the LGBTQIA community but I don’t know why a plus sign is needed there - what is left out of those seven letters? Actually, maybe it needs an N for non-binary, which shows up elsewhere in the puzzle. I have a non-binary family member and a non-binary work colleague. I have completely adapted to using “they/them” pronouns although I do wish that they had come up with a new word (some people pushed for “ze”) rather than choosing one that already had a meaning. By the way, that family member is the child of my partner’s brother. I asked them if there is a non-binary word for that relationship (like parent, child, sibling) and there is! It is “nibling” - a combination of niece/nephew and sibling. Constructors take note - hoping to see it in a puzzle soon.

Like Rex and most commenters, I really liked the puzzle.

Laurie 12:35 PM  

TY. Agreed.

What? 12:41 PM  

One of those strange instances where I know nothing and almost finish. I don’t know how that works.

jb129 12:43 PM  

I know what threw me - Rex said it was EASY.

Great puzzle but not easy.

Good to see you Erik!

Wright-Young 12:49 PM  

I really wanted 33A to be IMPOTENCE, not gonna lie! :D

JD 12:52 PM  

@Whatsername, Re. Cribs. They have baby shower registries now, just like bridal registries that tell friends exactly what Crib is want and the cribs are shipped. I know this because my daughter bought a Crib for one of her friends last year. And. I. Still. Didn't. Get. It.

@mathgent, I've found that The New Yorker skews heavily Millennial (names, culture), with Agard and Patrick Berry two constructors I could still get but I quit doing it. After today I think I should start again. I think I need the workout.

mathgent 12:53 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

King Hamlet (7:20)
Barbara S. (11:18)

oldactor 1:03 PM  

Loved it all. Also loved my first answer to 51 across: NPR Program. Anyone else?

Sgreennyc 1:04 PM  

Poor Rex. Still thinks he should be editing the NYT crossword. He’s about as qualified to replace Shortz as Trump was to be president. Sad.

UESElvis 1:13 PM  

Palme D’Or is terrific fill but the clue is actually incorrect. The Palme d’Or is not an award in French cinema but a French award for cinema. Many if not most of the winners are not French films. Lousy clue in an otherwise nice puzzle.

The Vez 1:14 PM  

Let's wade into the water sounds correct to me.

Joe Dipinto 1:29 PM  

A puzzle for anyone, for everyone!
It's all over the map
(background singers: Hello, Togo!)
In all the demographics
The Blackness of Rihanna (it's handled)
The Queerness of Agender (it's handled)
The sassy slanginess!
The explosive tastiness!
Just trying to get all the solving peoples of the world
To unite in having a good time!
A crossword for the 21st cen-tu-ryyyyy!!!


Someone really needs to set music to this. @burtonkd, what do you think? Something 12-toneish?

Michael Rosenthal 1:48 PM  

PALME D'OR is a misclue. It is not an award in French cinema as clued. It is an award in international cinema that happens to be given in France. Most recipients of the Palme D'Or have not been in French cinema at all. Perhaps you could argue that it is an award given in a French cinema, but that is a stretch.

old timer 1:54 PM  

I always have a comment to myself after a Fri or Sat puzzle. Today's was: "Oh really? I got it? I can't believe I got it!" Read only enough of OFL's screed to see he liked it. I'll read the rest of the comments over a well deserved cocktail at lunch.

Suffice it to say there were almost no gimmes here at all. TOGO was not, because the Land of our Ancestors (or Elders) could also maybe have been Mali. My immediate thought for a French film award was Cesar, which didn't fit, but I remarkably remembered PALME D'OR. About the only other ones that went in at once were TOT and STAR, but the TOT helped confirm NONAPOLOGY.

So the puzzle for me went from being a Royal PAIN with many a potential FOUL to a rare work of cruciverbal art.

THE FIVE LAKES HERON 1:56 PM  

“Wait wait…” doesn’t mean “don’t tell me what’s going to happen.” It means “I have the answer on the tip of my tongue.”
Why is “Sorry if you were offended” a nonapology? It can’t be a sincere statement?
I could go on but I understand the joy of puzzlers who loved this one. But not for me. Got it done, but no joy.
I love lateral thinking but not imprecision.

stephanie 1:57 PM  

"nonce" is a word, and it's uk slang for a pedophile. so maybe...let's not with that one.

i have to say i almost gave up on this early on (or rather, after i'd spent a chunk of time and gotten largely nowhere) thinking "ugh, there have been a lot of good puzzles lately, but this is truly too hard for me." but eventually i broke open the right side. i wanted AGENDER early on, but had DEN for wolf's home (thought it was too easy but couldn't unthink it, especially when the N seemed right at least) so that stymied me for a bit until my brain got thinking outside the box. whenever there's an easy puzzle when there's supposed to be a hard one (like yesterday), it takes my brain a bit longer to get in the proper gear.

ultimately i still got stonewalled on the right side, so i decided to google the hamlet quote and the various iterations of vishnu. that allowed me to get the rest. i had CASH before CRIB, with my other guess BIBS. (and irl, diapers and onesies and maybe even books would supersede all of those.) INDECISIVE before ON THE FENCE which i had trouble giving up. took me forever to see NO SPOILERS because, like @oldactor, i could only think of the npr show and then such things as "i want to guess!" etc. (plus i had BELLAS before BELLES.)

proud of myself for finishing this one when i thought i was done for, and it is a nice puzzle, but i wasn't head over heels about it like rex, and i certainly didn't find it easy!

stephanie 2:06 PM  

@Z har har! hey, i like listening to the radio. shame there aren't many stations left to flip through anymore though. there's just something about hearing a song you love randomly that can't be replicated by choosing exactly what you want to listen to every time. plus, i often hear new things i'm unfamiliar with that i end up liking. (i know spotify and other things have the ability to "discover new music" but every time i have chosen a random station either in a particular genre or, let it continue to play songs it thinks i would like after a personal playlist ends, i end up skipping every god awful song until i give up and go back to my music or the radio.)

Anoa Bob 2:07 PM  

Not RAH RAH over this one as much as most of yous seem to be. Thirty two black squares, four of them helper/cheater squares, meant way more short stuff than we usually see in a themeless. Anyone say YEA to RIKI UNO SKA? Some of the longer stuff earned a NICE ONE rating but I was less than impressed with the random, isolated from context conversational snippet type entries like HEY NOW, CLOSE IN and NOT DONE.

I sometimes wonder if the falling birth rates and the sudden increase non-binary AGENDER non-reproducing types is a result of some biological reaction to human overpopulation that is the driving force behind so much destructive climate change and biodiversity collapse. Most species have instinctive mechanisms for population control so maybe this is part of ours.

Would like to stay longer but according to the clue for 9D OLD, it looks like I have been discontinued.

Z 2:15 PM  

@URSElvis and @Michael Rosenthal - Reconsider the meaning of “French cinema.” Remember that late week puzzles traffic in using words and phrases in acceptable but not common ways. Today’s clues is not a reference to French Cinema, just the mundane “French cinema” as in, Nous allons au cinéma.

stephanie 2:17 PM  

@TJS it's not "a gender" but "agender" just fyi :) i.e., doesn't fit within the gender binary/has no gender.

JD 2:19 PM  

@oldactor, I did! And felt pretty damn good about myself when I did.

stephanie 2:23 PM  

@Wanderlust many people also use LGBTQIA2S+, to include indigenous two spirit folx. the + is always needed because everything exists on a spectrum, so there are always people who will not fit neatly into one label or one or more existing labels, etc. us pansexual folx don't get a letter (which is fine by me as pan exists under the bi umbrella, but just as an example), there's also demisexual and graysexual, for two more examples.

stephanie 2:30 PM  

@Anoa Bob nonbinary and other GNC folx have kids. and they've always existed, there is just better terminology now and existing as your authentic self is marginally safer/more accepted than in previous eras. it's hard to want to start a family when even supporting yourself is becoming exponentially expensive. even buying a home is a pipe dream for many of us.

stephanie 2:32 PM  

ugh, stonewalled on the LEFT side i meant to say. an edit button sure would be nice sometimes. :)

Ferguson 2:36 PM  

Seriously!!!

Anonymous 2:36 PM  

PALME D'OR was my entrance into this puzzle, and once I had that the rest fell into place fairly easily. However, I'd rate its difficulty medium rather than easy because of the superb cluing, which successfully misdirected me several times. One of my favorites was the clue for WELD, "Metalworkers union." I was racking my brain for labor union initials only to be delighted to realize what the correct answer was (although an actual labor union would have made this puzzle even more intersectional than it already is).

stephanie 2:43 PM  

@THE FIVE LAKES HERON i think there is definitely a sincere way to apologize for accidentally offending someone, but "sorry if you were offended" isn't it. something more like "i'm really sorry i offended you, it certainly wasn't my intention but looking back now i can see how it could have been taken that way and i apologize."

generally speaking, versions of "sorry you felt that way" are pointless "apologies" and only serve to double down on defending the original offensive statement with no real regard as to the feelings of others. that isn't to say just because someone gets offended you need to issue an apology, but i either feel like you should do so sincerely if you feel it is warranted, or don't bother with one at all.

DigitalDan 3:00 PM  

Pretty hard for this old guy. Had to delete many guesses and open up the grid again before I could get a handle on it. Too many opportunities for alternatives (Had BENICE where HEYNOW goes) and AREWEOKAY for AREWEGOOD, IKNOWIKNOW for NOSPOILERS, CANTDECIDE for ONTHEFENCE, and many more such. THat can slow one down considerably. Didn't Google though, so I guess I survived.

JMS 3:05 PM  

Just finished, and for the first time in a long time, I thought... “I bet Rex will like this s one”, so I came to the blog for the first time in a long time to see that, yes he did!

Tom T 3:14 PM  

At 27:10, my fastest Saturday solve ever. No real slower parts for me. Didn't know the Scandal quote, but figuring out allowed the NE to be the last section to fall.

So much to like in this one--I think my favorite was the misdirection on the "Check for bugs" clue. Had me looking for something to do with inspections or spies!

Frantic Sloth 3:19 PM  

@Whatsername 933am "HEY @Roo. Couldn’t help but think of you when I saw FILTH and FOUL." Ouch! What did @Roo ever doo too yoo? 😘

@Z 1120am "Given that we don’t get diacritical marks in puzzles ..."
No, we don't; however, they are ignored more than año-ly.

Also never watched/have no interest in "Scandal", but thought ITSHANDLED was inferable with crosses.

@JD 1153am It might be time to shorten the whole schmear to just a PLUSSIGN. 😉

@jb129 1153am Agreed! It's been waaay too long!

"Discontinued" = OLD is a direct descendant of @Joaquin's Dictum.

Hand up for "let me guess" before NOSPOILERS for the same reason mentioned by @THE FIVE LAKES HERON 156pm. Then accepted the Jo-Dict.

@stephanie 157pm I use "for the nonce" rather often. Ew. 🤭
@stephanie 206pm If you listen to Pandora long enough to "like" a bunch of songs, you can use the "Shuffle Station" for the closest thing to surprise/variety. You'll even get some new ones that will more or less match your taste(s). We have Sirius in our car, yet I prefer using Pandora.

TTrimble 3:20 PM  

For the most part the puzzle felt easyish for a Saturday, or maybe I was on the right wavelength, but I did pause over the SW to the S. 41D could have several plausible answers (like HEY you!) and I don't necessarily think HEY NOW* is the most compelling. "Let me guess" has the same number of letters as NO SPOILERS and I like it better. I didn't know WAIF from Wife at first. Tried "nth" before PHD. Little things like that slowed me up.

But there's so much to like that overall, I'll say NICE ONE to the constructors. NONAPOLOGY is perfect for "Sorry if you were offended" -- mwah. GO ROGUE is also quite NICE and not trivial to see. I didn't know IT'S HANDLED, but I love imagining the tone in which it might be said. Someone earlier complained about AIR COOL, but I think it's quite nifty: rhubarb pie resting on some Indiana windowsill over the kitchen sink. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine...

yd 0, td 0. (Most of today's had their wordclouds to themselves; my last two entries belonged to the longest wordcloud of today's. [I don't expect anyone who didn't read my post from two days ago carefully to have the slightest idea what I'm talking about.] Yes, I did like the 8-er from yesterday.)



*Which instantly brought on an earworm due to Crowded House. I shan't link to it, because I'm a nice guy -- sometimes. But while tracking down that culprit, I encountered a HEY NOW that sounds much cooler, hitherto unknown to me.

Wanderlust 3:20 PM  

Thanks! Can you explain the difference between bisexual and pansexual? Is “pan” a way of avoiding the obvious binary quality of “bisexual “?

mathgent 3:41 PM  

I posted this at noon or so but it didn't take.

My favorite posts this morning.

King Hamlet (7:20)
Barbara S. (11:18)


Masked and Anonymous 3:58 PM  

Good themeless puz, as I believe @RP may have already mentioned.
Sooo … was the seed entry INSECTREPELLENT? Inquirin M&Ainds wanna know. M&A is actually more of a REPELL-ANT guy, btw.

fave fillins included: PLUSSIGN [interestin clue]. HEYNOW. NONAPOLOGY. KRISHNA [early gimme get, once I had SKA in there]. REFEREE [even earlier gimme get].

har & day-um. That 12-D SYDNEY clue lost m&e some precious nanoseconds, due to my own dumb stubbornness. Kept tryin to think of a US state whose capital would fit a ?Y???? pattern. Thought surely I should be able to get it, from that. Turned out that there 12-D {State capital near Bondi Beach} clue was just exsqueezeitly misleadin.

staff weeject pick (from 10 choices): CNN. Mostly cuz of its clue. One of those deals where {Wolf's home?} = DEN would obviously work, but the ?-marked clue plumb scares U off of it.

Thanx for the fun and for gangin up on us, Caitlin darlin & Erik dude. Had everything primo, exceptin the Jaws of Themelessness.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


**gruntz**

A Moderator 3:59 PM  

@mathgent

Your "rankings" were posted at 12:53PM.

sixtyni yogini 4:03 PM  

I liked is 1/2 as much as 🦖.
But still liked it 😂 a lot.
🤩🧩🤩

tk 4:11 PM  

The only reason I knew the Hamlet clue was because of the absolutely flawless children's book "The Golden Name Day" by Jennie D. Lindquist. There's a little injoke threaded through the book:

Why is a pig with a curly continuation like the ghost of Hamlet's father?
Because it can a (tail/tale) unfold.

The kids in the book are too young to understand "a curly continuation" or the ghost of Hamlet's father, but they sure do get a kick out of "a tail-tale." So now I will always remember those lines.

TTrimble 5:14 PM  

@Wanderlust 3:20PM
Here's an article that tries to explain the difference between "bisexual" and "pansexual". It would be possible to summarize it, but the terminology used might invite further debate and qualifications and so on, whereas I don't feel all that qualified to begin with. Suffice it to say that the "bi" here means more than one, and "pan" means all (as it does in Greek).

stephanie 6:29 PM  

@Wanderlust so, the short answer is, bi and pan are the same thing. many people (myself included) chose the label pansexual back in the day thinking it was more "inclusive" and that bisexual meant "attracted to men and women" and thus pansexual included NB/GNC folx. however, we were wrong and we didn't understand bi history and we didn't understand the inherent biphobia in our choice. as "bi" in this case simply means "more than one", bisexual already includes all gender non conforming and genderless folx and always has. for me, i chose to keep the label as it just feels the most "me" and encapsulates the way i experience attraction, where gender actually plays no role. however, it's important to note that bisexual folx can feel this way too!

this user on instagram has a highlight called "pansexual" that contains a lot of great info about the term, and her page is a great resource in general especially for less understood sexualities, genders, etc.
https://instagram.com/femmmeow
(i'm not affiliated with them in any way i just have found their page really helpful.)

Z 6:32 PM  

@Stephanie - 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

@Frantic Sloth - año-ly - 🤣😂🤣😂🤣. Z’s Placebo and Tentacle will definitely issue an año-al report to all shareholders.

stephanie 6:35 PM  

@Frantic Sloth maybe i'll check out pandora then. we have spotify, and granted i'm still new so it's still learning, but my partner uses it all the time and i swear the things it thinks we'd like is just trying to troll us 😂

also, re: año - yes, but ano is not a slur. (at least that i know of! 😬😆)

stephanie 6:36 PM  

@tk my father told a different joke on the same animal accessory...

Q: why is 5am like a pig's tail?
A: because it's twirly! (too early)

stephanie 7:03 PM  

@TTrimble this is accurate imho. (i definitely don't pretend to be any sort of authority and only speak from my own experience :)) one could say all pansexual people are bisexual, but not all bisexual people are pansexual. for a lot of pan people, gender simply plays no role in attraction. (and this can be true for bi folx as well, but not necessarily all bi folx.)

GILL I. 7:19 PM  

Loved the puzzle. Took me all day to finish because I was busy with other fun things to do.
A lot I didn't know because, well, I don't know everything. BUT...BUT, with time, a few AHA moments, a little brain tickle, I got this thing done.
I don't do any other puzzle except the NYT because I don't always have the time....but if this type ran every Friday and Saturday, I would dance the fandango tango tipping through the tulips in the garden of delight.

Whatsername 9:19 PM  

@Roo: After reading @Frantic’s 3:19 post, I feel maybe I should clarify my earlier comment to you. It was a weak attempt at humor. No offense intended and I do offer my most sincere APOLOGY if it did offend.

TJS 10:26 PM  

@stephanie, thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous 10:26 PM  

WhoTF is Riri?
WhoTF is Olivia Pope?
WhoTF is James Baldwin, or BEALE?
Do you really see NOVAS on bright nights? I would think that would make them harder to see.
Choose the lifestyle you like, but dont expect me to keep up with the everchanging woke jargain.
I'm on a different wavelength with this constructor. I get the answers with the clues after the fact, in some cases barely, but would not infer the connection of many of them without the help of friendly crosses. Slogged slowly but still needed a couple Google jumpstarts to complete.
Played tougher than an 'easy' for me. I can usually get through a Saturday after some time without a lookup.
And I don't get the rave reviews. Nothing clever, nothing noteworthy, just different. But as I have observed from the various symphony concerts I have attended, some people celebrate different more than they appreciate quality.

Welmet 11:03 PM  

Relative difficulty (at least for me) : real real difficult. An hour and a half to solve it. Very challenging but worth the effort. Persistence. Persistence. And more persistence. Definitely a nice leap forward. Problem: “coney” still doesn’t make much sense.

Harry 12:20 AM  

@welmet said it all for me. This was a stumble from start to finish. Just illustrates how far I have to go to become a consummate solver .

albatross shell 1:26 AM  

@TTrimble
I had letCOOL before AIRCOOL with the idea of a pie cooling.

Also if a product is discontinued it is by definition old in the sense of not current. That is an old model. We don't make it anymore.

@ anon 1026pm
RIRI is and extremely popular singer and has been in the NYTCW under usual name that begins with RI.
BEALE is famous street in black music. Baldwin was a literary giant. If you cannot keep up with jargon you may well expect to have trouble with crosswords.

@GILL
I'm with you on that last sentence 100%.

pdplot 9:16 AM  

As usual, I agree with @Nancy. I'm from the old school. I still think a puzzle should either amuse or enlighten you in some way. Open your mind a bit. This did neither. What's clever about a throwaway line from an obscure TV show that no one I know ever watched? And its a monopod. I gave mine to my nephew. Too many wrong guesses ruined this one for me.

OISK 4:39 PM  

Yep!

OISK 4:39 PM  

Yep!

Charlie 10:23 PM  

Not fun. Some deceitful and erroneous cluing.

Unknown 12:44 AM  

A nit is the egg of a louse , not a little carp !

Ldswat 3:01 PM  

This is not a crossword puzzle.been doung em since 63.. It is pure culture cancel b. S.

spacecraft 11:58 AM  

"Sorry if you were offended" carries with it the idea that "but I was gonna say it anyway." Hence a NONAPOLOGY.

A background in the flower industry resolved AREWEGOOD vs. AREWEcOOl. A few varieties have commonly shortened names; GLAD(iolus) is one.

Writeover: NOSPOILing before NOSPOILERS. Then NCR instead of RCA.

It wouldn't pay to do this one INHASTE. CeO is for M-W. On Saturday it is likely to be something else. I too wonder: how on earth does the damn thing stand up? (UNIPOD) I've heard of UNIPOL (referenced in the movie NXNW), but NOTLONE would be an awful stretch..."When accompanied by Tonto?"

No BELLES to ESCORT to the DOD stage; oh well. A toothy Saturday, typically difficult for the day, so "medium." NITS? Maybe RIRI and RAHRAH together is a bit much, but that's it. The rest is "extra primo good."* Eagle.

*Last scene of "Trading Places"

rondo 1:22 PM  

Don't understand all the love for this puz. It was OK. A few clues/answers were bright spots. And @D,LIW gets her NOVAS. Other than that, what's the big deal? That it seems to lean very far left? That doesn't on its own make it GOOD.

Anonymous 1:23 PM  

TJS, well said. Not easy, pisser infested, and not fun. Another face pie for Agard is called for.

Burma Shave 1:30 PM  

AREWEGOOD?

IT'SHANDLED INHASTE, the REFEREE has IT SPUN,
don't SCREWUP his taste, IT'S simply NOTDONE.

--- WADE WOODS

Diana, LIW 1:54 PM  

I cannot not not not believe I got this. Especially after clearly inserting a few incorrect guesses.

But I did - triumph prevails.

Yes, @Rondo, NOVA with a schmear!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Geome 2:13 PM  

Being Canadian - like Barbara S.(11:18) the "Terre de nos aieux" clue threw me as well. The first line of O Canada as sung in French (one of Canada's official languages) is :'O Canada! Terre de nos aieux', which translates as O Canada! Land of our forefathers.
So unless I could somehow squeeze Canada into 4 letters, I was flummoxed.
Nonetheless I hung in there and eventually got Togo from the crosses, which led me to looking it up and learning that 'Terre de Nos Aieux" is the official name of Togo's anthem (even though that phrase does not appear in its actual lyrics) and thus is the correct answer for 54 across.


Three things I love about doing these puzzles:
1: The feeling of accomplishment when I successfully complete a Thursday, Friday or Saturday one (and no Rex, this was certainly not an 'easy' one, you poseur).
2: The stuff I learn (Togo's national anthem for example).
3: The comments section. So many of you post regularly and I the feeling that I somehow "know" some of you, or at least can anticipate your comments. e.g. bocamp(7:52) perhaps you might open a thesaurus and come up with a few synonyms for 'crunchy', you've beaten that term to death...

BS2 2:15 PM  

NINES PLUS

GO SLOW with those BELLES, ESCORT them with GOOD sense,
a NICEONE WHOSE swell might SCREWUP ONTHEFENCE.

--- SYDNEY BEALE, PHD

spacecraft 5:25 PM  

This is a test. Neither yesterday's nor today's comments of mine made it onto the blog. Was it something I said?

leftcoaster 6:18 PM  

I was glad to see that Rex liked this puzzle a lot. But I was surprised to see he rated it EASY. Really? (I found it less than half as easy, in fact a bummer.}

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