Eponym for an Italian ice chain / FRI 10-8-21 / Portmanteau for a certain hybrid feline / Obtain a sum via special relativity? / Lead-in to stat / Reason for a colonial party / Cry heard at a shoe auction / One who objects to screw caps say

Friday, October 8, 2021

Constructor: Yacob Yonas

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: not really 

Word of the Day: RITA's (30D: Eponym for an Italian ice chain) —
Rita's Franchise Company, LLC, doing business as Rita's Italian Ice (informally known as "Rita's Water Ice"), is a privately owned and operated American quick service restaurant chain that operates primarily in the Mid-Atlantic United States. The chain is known for its Italian ice[1] and frozen custard, (Chocolate, Vanilla, Twist) but also offers multiple types of frozen treats and specialty creations. Rita's opened its first restaurant in 1984 in BensalemPennsylvania, where the chain is currently headquartered. As of August 20, 2021, the chain had 540 restaurants in 31 states, most are located in the Mid-Atlantic. (wikipedia)
• • •

I feel like maybe you get one of these quaint / archaic A-words per puzzle and that's it. Like, OK, ATILT, that's your one, you've spent it, so you may not also bring AGASP to the party. You're gonna have to incur some kind of penalty for AGASP. We need some kind of a-tax. Demerits. Something. I use APACE more than I use either ATILT (exceedingly rarely) or AGASP (literally never), and I don't really use APACE except at least semi-ironically. Mock formally, maybe. But if I was put off by AGASP ATILT, I was oddly charmed by TEIGEN TIGON; all TIGONs are now named TEIGEN, officially. I mean, as far as I know, the TIGON is like the yeti, i.e. completely mythological, but if I ever see one, I will name it TEIGEN, just as if I ever meet a yeti, I will name it Betty, unless it makes the yeti mad, in which case I'll just call it sir or ma'am or whatever it wants to be called. The point is, there's a bad like-sounding word pair, and then there is a good one, and thus, once again, the universe finds its way to balance. The tao of crosswords. As for this first Across / last Across kinda sorta themeishness ... I'm not a fan, but it's also innocuous. It's harmless. I just don't see the point. AHA MOMENTS and EYE-OPENERS have the same clue ... for what reason? I feel like if you're gonna do a little winky thing like that, there should be something to it. The last Across clue seems to have a whole "IT'S ME AGAIN!" attitude: "Remember me, from the first Across clue. Well, I'm back. Why, you ask? Good question ... OK, bye!"

We have both NOB and WINE'S NOB in this grid, which seems suspect. You'd think one NOB would be enough. More seriously, I nearly left an error on the grid when I had 13D: Ballpark figs. (ERAS). as ESTS and then ETAS ... and since I don't really know what an AERO-stat is, I had a moment where I thought "is ... is AETOstat a thing??" The only -stats I know are rheo- and maybe photo-? Anyway, thankfully, I correctly guessed that AETO- would be pure nonsense, and then realized, "Oh, *ballpark* figs. Like the *baseball* ballpark. Gotcha." Otherwise, there were almost no impediments to quick solving today. Oh, RITA. We don't have RITA's Ice here. Didn't have them growing up in CA, didn't have them in MI, don't have them here in central NY. It looks like there's one in Horseheads (real place), and if you go over the border to PA you can find a bunch of them pretty quick. Scranton area, looks like, yeah, a couple. But like the TIGON and the yeti, RITA's are fictional to me. Worse than fictional—I've actually heard of TIGON and yeti before; RITA's, no. Although I've probably seen RITA with this same clue in some bygone crossword and said basically the same thing. Not hard to get from crosses, though I did have TEEN IDOL at first for 30A: Musician on the cover of Rolling Stone, often (ROCK IDOL), so it was TITA's Italian Ice for a bit. 

This is a very solid grid overall. I like "LET'S DIG IN!" though "DIG IN!" on its own feels like the much much much more common phrase. I like CHIA SEEDS even though I don't think I've had them and I like KEG STANDS even though I don't actually like them, frat stunts and binge-drinking being two things that never held any interest for me. There's a lot of alcohol in here, actually. KEG STANDS and a WINE SNOB and a MARTINI and a TANKARD of ale, and, well, MADD in the corner looking worried. FIREPIT is nice. Marshmallowy. Is DISS really spelled with two "S"s? I think of DIS as the insult and DISS as an abbr. for "dissertation." The SOLED pun was so corny I actually nearly liked it (40A: Cry heard at a shoe auction?). I'm blogging at night, which is not the norm for me these days, so before I get any sleepier / loopier, I'll say goodnight. Goodnight. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:06 AM  

I enjoy solving all the NYT xwords, but today makes three extra-super enjoyable puzzles in a row. While I’m happy about this, I am not AGASP. There. I’ve used that word for the first time in my life. And the last.

jae 12:06 AM  

Easy-medium with NW the toughest section. NOg before NOB, rheO before AERO, lard before TSPS, and@Rex EstS before ERAS were my major erasures.

Solid with a hint of sparkle. liked it. The three OTOEs were a nice touch.

Zwhatever 12:24 AM  

The key is the absurdity of a shoe auction compounded by that pun. πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

✋🏽 for teen IDOL on the cover of the Rolling Stone. Probably BTS.

TEA TAX crossing SEX TOY just looks like a weird CPA fetish if you ask me.

Liked this one quite a bit.

Following up on yesterday’s discussion, simple and direct works pretty well.

mathgent 12:31 AM  

If you cut off Everest at sea level and then took it over to the Challenger Deep and pointed it straight down, with the plane where it was cut off riding at sea level, Everest's peak wouldn't reach the bottom.

When I came to the blog just now, there were no comments posted yet. I just wanted to write something.

okanaganer 12:37 AM  

Rex full of humor tonight, so very fun read. Also agree a very quick solve.

I haven't heard TIGON before. LIGER yes; it's the first suggestion if I google "lion tiger hybrid". Oh... I see: "Tigons are produced when a male tiger breeds with a female lion. Ligers are the offspring of a male lion bred with a female tiger". Gotcha.

For Warhol I tried SOUP CANS and TINS (too short) and CANNED SOUP (perfect) and CAMPBELL SOUP (too long) and had to get TOMATO from crosses. Was it just tomato?

[SB: thurs 0, QB 10 days in a row. Crazy.]

Shackfu 1:27 AM  

Easy but fun! Loved WINESNOB. 2 minutes off my best Friday time.

Will Sisco 1:38 AM  

Get yourself a blendini from Rita’s! Great stuff. Set my trust record while walking the dog, thought this was super easy for a Friday

albatross shell 1:54 AM  

I didn't think Rex catered to spelling much, but he has a thing about moldy A's. I like his moldy A party. I keep trying to put "askew" in and it never seems to work. Could askew join the A party? Probably not acceptable to the
moldy A's.

I ended in the NW because I missed the Warhol and O'Keeffe gimmies somehow. Filled it quickly when I returned and put them in.

I wanted tITA so teenIDOL would fit too, but many RITAs round here so I knew that was hopeless. ROad IDOL for way to lonnng cause I knew they were acIASEEDS. doGSearch (body shaming sexist frat stunt) to dogGSTANDS to KEGSTANDS (Why are they a stunt, nevermind, don't care). It was seeing the INHERIT joke that led the way. I was slow on that one.

A good Friday. Solid and the double POCs were spread out and did not jump out. Clean repectable fill. Fun clues.

Yes @whoeveryouaretoday SOLED indeed. I also like the same clue for the Ξ‘ and the Ξ©. Started with AHAMOMENTS and ended with EYEOPENERS. Probably should have been the other way round. Made me consider I-MOMENTS and AHA OPENERS too.

Why O why O Why Rex-O?
Because because because
Amusement. That is what this stuff is for. Some of them want to amuse you, some want to be amused by you.

chefwen 2:11 AM  

Whipped through this one like nobody’s business. I don’t think I have ever said that about a Friday puzzle before, maybe once.
One write over, Like @Okanaganer I have heard of ligers but not TIGONs, learning moment.
This was over so quickly puzzle partner didn’t even get to put his two cents in, much to his dismay.
I an hopeful that I won’t have to pay the price tomorrow.

Del Taco 2:16 AM  

Fun, easy Friday.
Almost a record solve time, for me.

Frantic Sloth 2:19 AM  

This grid is lousy with epiphanies. Well, two anyway.

I see we're going with the G-rated version of O'Keeffe's subject. Adorbs.

I think the Warhol classic has more to do with the SOUP can than just the TOMATO SOUP. It's not like it's a bowl of soup. The can is the thing.

Look at me pretending to know art and stuff. Now look away.

Can't decide if the 40A pun (SOLED) is clever or just dumb. It sounds like something I might say, so that doesn't bode well for clever.

Good stuff for the most part - I enjoyed it.


Chaiminded 2:27 AM  

Bud= HOMIE? Someone clue me in please!

Harry 2:48 AM  

Solid, breezy solve. Would be a much better Tuesday/Wednesday. I prefer Friday's to be on the crunchy side of "tough".

Loren Muse Smith 2:54 AM  

Rex – you do playful well. I’m now obsessed with Betty the Yeti. I saw WINE’S NOB, too, but vaguely decided that only beer has a head.

Looking back at the finished grid, I keep seeing the blood type, O NEG. ONE G/O NEG. Cool.

I had never heard of a smoothie bowl, but the possible CHIA SEEDS topper had alarm bells going off in my nob. Googled it, and it seems a smoothie bowl is essentially an acai bowl minus the acai topping. Naw, man. I fell for that sexy picture once in some healthy hippy restaurant with my daughter, the seductive image irresistible . . It. Was. Tasteless. One-dimensional. Consistent notes of a syrup-free snow cone; any flavor was beyond ephemeral. Now I’m sounding like a WINE SNOB.

“Homemade headwear for kids” – my sisters and I used to take our t-shirts off just to the point that they were still attached, inside out, to our heads. And then run around. This was great fun, but for the life of me I can’t remember what the point was. Maybe it was the chance to have long hair; Mom kept us all in pixies. God knows what’s going through the minds of kids when they’re being kids. During this same t-shirt-cum-wig stage, I ate a ton of flowers growing next to our house. And then involuntarily surrendered them, still intact, to the commode. I also chewed up and swallowed a small ROCK in Joanne H’s driveway. To this day, Mom has no idea. (I’m reminded of something I just saw on FB: The fastest land mammal is a toddler who’s been asked what’s in their mouth. Hah.)

5D? That plains tribe? “Tribe” affords either a singular or plural answer, so I considered UTES before OTOE. Is it possible to see a Ute and an OTOE gO TOE tO TOE?

I’ll just see myself out. TGIF.

Anoa Bob 4:13 AM  

EPIPHANY is a word nerd's delight but I think of it being something much closer to a religious experience than to an AHA MOMENT or EYE OPENER. Those I would liken to a more prosaic kind of "Oh yeah" moment. I don't think pluralizing them changes anything.

CHIA SEEDS were the superfood du jour a while back but have been supplanted by even supererfoods such as acai berries. I read recently that bananas were first introduced in the U.S. as a superfood. I'm betting that breadfruit will be on the superfood scene soon.

I like TANKARD (23A). I'm having one now after a late night poker game. My first thought for "Pub container" was FLAGON but not enough letters.

Some friends have a sailboat named SEA GAL (34A), a play on SEA GULL.

Anonymous 5:36 AM  

Question: Would a bald man polish his NOB or ask his wife to.

Anonymous 6:03 AM  

@Chaiminded--"Homie" is a shortening of "homeboy" and basically means "friend" a la "bud"

Son Volt 6:18 AM  

Fun - but more of a midweek level puzzle. The dual Epiphanies didn’t bother me. Liked the clue for INHERIT. The MADD x KEG STANDS crossing was odd. I’ll double down with @Frantic - the subject was the Campbell’s can.

ONE G is a measurement of coordinate acceleration - so once you specify FORCE using F = ma in 25a it is a stretch to try to connect the two.

I’m looking for a little more nuance in a Friday - but still an enjoyable solve.

amyyanni 7:12 AM  

Yes, @Frantic, agree: blithely entered CANS OF SOUP instead of TOMATO. And like Rex, same with TEEN IDOL. Even so, a quick solve. Liked starting and finishing with epiphanies. They are worth noting, she wrote insightfully.
Hope your Friday is fun.

Tom T 7:16 AM  

Loopy Rex was lots o' fun. More please!

teenIDOL would have drawn lots of heat if correct, since it would share the grid with TEEN Choice Awards.

Never been to/heard of RITA's and couldn't place TEIGEN, so had to make several guesses before happy music time, leaving me in that dark place between technical dnf and utter dnf. [sigh]

Lewis 7:25 AM  

Easily, my two favorite parts of this puzzle are [Cry heard at a shoe auction?] for SOLED, and TOE TO TOE, a terrific NYT answer debut.

Also, I don’t know whether it was Yacob or the editors responsible for this, but the easyish cluing in the TANKARD/FORCE area yielded for me SPECK and TULANE, the only two answers providing ACCESS to the NW, and just what I needed to complete that area. There’s an art to cluing for a particular puzzle – sometimes the clues need to be easier, and other times they need to be more challenging – and, in general, our NYT puzzles excel at this artistry.

This is one of those grids so cleanly filled, that it calms me down just to look at it. Thank you, Yacob, for making this!

Lewis 7:25 AM  

@Rex -- Wow! Great writeup!

kitshef 7:30 AM  

Just before solving this, I had done a puzzle from 1994 from the archives (April 8). One of the clues was “Anti-D.W.I.org.” for which the answer was MADD. I thought it was an odd clue, as DWI is the offense you get charged with, associated with drunk driving. MADD is in favor of DWIs, I thought.

Then I solved today’s puzzle, and came to the exact same clue. I checked Xwordinfo, and these are the only two times MADD has been clued this way in the history of the times crossword. Weird.

Then I came here, and Rex covered all of my thoughts: ATILT and AGASP, TIGON and TEIGEN, EstS before EtAS before ERAS, never heard of RITAs, WINES NO , teen IDOL before ROCK IDOL, isn’t it ‘dis’, not DISS. Again, weird.

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

Frantic Sloth, I'm with you on the O'Keefe clue. And then right next to it, a clue about head!?!? Talk about an EYEOPENER!!!!!

Trey 7:37 AM  

Easy except for the NW corner. Had TOMATOSOUP immediately and then no headway. Erased that to put in ‘onIce’ for ‘not straight’, which then gave me IMPROBABLE. With that, the downs revealed that the Warhol answer was correct, and then it all fell together. Maybe if I knew OKeefe art it would have been easy. I could only think of cactus - different artist or just completely wrong?

I liked the puzzle, and enjoyed the double epiphanies, the double artist clues and the double bud clues. Solve time was slightly north of average for a Friday, but all due to the one corner. Write-overs were similar to others with liger before TIGON, and EstS before EtAS before ERAS. Really liked the clue for TSPS. Definitely had lard first since it fit with LIger

Anonymous 7:38 AM  

Definitely easy but enjoyable. I only missed my Friday personal best by 2 seconds.

Trey 7:46 AM  

@kitshef (7:30) - I take ‘anti-DWI’ as “we shouldn’t be in the position to get a DWI” rather than being opposed to the DWI law. Interesting coincidence on the clues for you though.

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

Gotta be easy, because I solved a Friday.

jetzzfan 8:06 AM  

Record time for me for a Friday by 58 seconds. Faster than my fastest ever Thursday and faster than my Wednesday average. Super easy.

Joe Welling 8:06 AM  

I think Rex is right about DIS/DISS. I always thought it was short for "disrespect."

Cristi 8:19 AM  

“Homie” is the diminutive form of “homeboy,” urban slang for friend—speaking in archaic slang, a “buddy.”

Mireille 8:25 AM  

Good write up, pretty much my feelings exactly, but more importantly, that Juliana Hatfield Three album was incredible. Used to listen to it beginning to end over and over. I think I'll listen to it again today!

Frantic Sloth 8:31 AM  

@Rex Hilarious write-up! What would you name a Sasquatch?

Didn't fall into the completely understandable teenIDOL trap. My nob (Hi, @Loren!) was onto dumber and dumber things, like an actual person's name. Ignore a comma at your peril, numbnuts. πŸ™„

pabloinnh 8:38 AM  

Well, OFL is a cheerful primate for once, a state more honored in the breach than in the observance, but nice to see.

This one had a breezy Patrick Berry feel for me, which may be blasphemous, but there it is. No RITA's anywhere near here, and I can never exactly remember how to spell TEIGEN or SEAGAL, Started with a LIGON for some reason but that was easily fixed. And I liked seeing SPECK, which is a nice little word we don't encounter very often.

Thought of HEADTOHEAD before TOETOTOE, which of course made me think of MANOAMANO.

My last answer today was AHAMOMENT, which was delightful in its appropriateness.

Very nice Friday, YY. Please accept this Yellow Yo yo as your prize, which is about the best I can do today, given your problematical initials.

Zwhatever 8:47 AM  

@Son Volt - As a general principal, clues like 31D, 25-Across on Earth, in brief, are referencing only the answer, not the clue. If the clue needs to be considered then it will be mentioned in the referencing clue. In an easier puzzle the referenced answer’s clue might work for both answers, but in a late week puzzle the referenced answer’s clue might be totally unrelated to the referencing clue’s answer.

@Anoa Bob - “Epiphany” certainly implies some sort of religious or metaphysical component. The first definition at M-W (and so the oldest usage) is January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ, and then several more definitions that imply it is somewhat of a religious experience follow. But then we get, an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure. I think using “epiphanies” is fine for cluing purposes, but in actual usage I’m with you, epiphanies have more gravitas than AHA MOMENTS or EYE OPENERS.

@Tom T - Yep. And I already had TEEN in the puzzle. It didn’t stop me, though. ROCK IDOL is a superior answer.

@kitshef - MADD is against driving while intoxicated and would be quite happy if no citation was ever issued if the reason were that nobody was driving drunk.

Considering he did one of each of the 32 varieties available at the time @Frantic Sloth and @amyyanni have a point. Still, for whatever reason, the TOMATO SOUP version is more replicated than the others in my experience. I think I had MARIN and OTOE in place so saw the answer nearly immediately.

@Joe Welling - Slang is notoriously resistant to spelling correctness. I have seen both DIS and DISS in written form. M-W says DISS is the less common spelling, but has it as an entry. My purely speculative guess is that since as a verb it is often past tense, DISSed, that people started keeping the doubled S for the present tense and the noun form.

puzzlehoarder 8:52 AM  

The Wednesday through Friday difficulty gradient has been a complete reverse, which makes me curious as to which way the Saturday will go. I probably would have set some kind of personal record today but for my TEEN/ROCK write over. I've also never heard of this RITA chain and I simultaneously had some kind of ACAI, CHAI, and CHIA brain fart. Luckily we just had TEIGEN back in August and once that name resurfaced all was well.

yd pg -2

Whatsername 8:52 AM  

A fun and entertaining start to my Friday. Smooth and clean. Just a lot to like and very little to be AGASP over. Thank you so much Yacob!

Talk about your epiphanies. I always thought those animals were called LIGERS. Other than that, I finished this one with more questions than answers:

If your STIPEND exceeds your TEA TAX does the government shut down?

So you’re basically saying a WINE SNOB would prefer a cork in his WINE’S NOB?

They say MOO in Jersey? Does that have anything to do with Chris Christie?

Who is RITA and what is so special about her ice?

AH, what could be better than a bowl of TOMATO SOUP by the FIRE PIT on a cool fall day? LETS DIG IN.

bocamp 9:00 AM  

Thx Yacob, for this excellent Fri. puz! :)


Top to bottom, ending at SINES; no holdups along the way.

Very much on Yacob's wavelength for this one. :)

Add CHIA SEEDS to my snack mix.

Fond memories of FIRE PITS and roasting marshmallows.

Very much enjoyed this solve! :)

okanaganer (12:37 AM) πŸ‘ for 0 yd

10 in a row, awesome! :)

Eldreth (12:23 AM yd)

dbyd = day before yester day. :)

yd 0 (in 2 OTs)

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

Unknown 9:08 AM  

With two sets of three tens stacked up . . . . and LETSDIGIN, this was a great puzzle, despite being bit on the easy side for a Friday.

CF 9:09 AM  

Along with all the other boozy goodness, an EYE-OPENER is the first drink one takes in the morning (if one happens to be the sort of person who drinks in the morning.)

Eldreth 9:09 AM  

Still looking for the meaning of SB, QB, YD, and the like. Can you help?

Zwhatever 9:09 AM  

The only RITAs i know are a meter maid and a drink. I just checked the website and there is a RITAs near me, right by the Sam’s Club. Who knew? The shaved ice chain I see is Pelicans New Orleans Style Shaved Ice. I have no idea why the Cajuns shave their ice differently than the Italians. Personally, I prefer my shaved ice with a cheeseburger in paradise.*


albatross shell 9:09 AM  

@Joe Welling, Rex
The one S dis or the two S diss? Hope I never meet the 3 S disss. But my solution would be to make one the verb and one the noun. Then you still could have the spelling of convenience in crosswords. I'd go with dis as the verb.

Bud is also a twice-used clue (HOMIE, MATE) that connects to the first and last across answers. There is also the OTOE triad (@LMS). One coming down from 1A and two running parallel to the last across. Makes me wonder if SPECK might have been originally an attempt at SPEaK to mate with STATE.

The Velvet Underground would agree with you.

And if Epiphany's terror reduced you to shame
Have your head bobbed and weaved
Choose a side to be on.

From Black Angel's Death Song. And a Warhol connection. NOB for head?

Now if only Warhol and O'Keeffe ever went TOE TO TOE.

mathgent 9:18 AM  

I was thinking about the Challenger DEEP being deeper than Everest is tall when I made an early post last night. My little fantasy is impossible, of course, because the base of Everest is way above sea level. Does anyone know the tallest mountain if you measure from base to summit? Not how far above sea level the summit is.

I don't think that this puzzle was easy. Monday puzzles are easy. It required an agreeable amount of brain activity, it had sparkle, and I learned a couple of things. That makes it a winner in my book.

I nominate the clue at 43A for Lewis's list. "Shortening used in many recipes" for TSPS. I tried to make LARD work.

Ellen 9:22 AM  

I will have to share this w my dad, who knows more trivia than most people ...

Lewis 9:25 AM  

@mathgent -- I loved the clue for TSPS too, but it won't go on my list, because it's been used before, I'm sorry to say.

Unknown 9:27 AM  

Spelling Bee, Queen Bee. Don't know YD

palomarPuzzler 9:35 AM  

@Mathgent, I believe it’s Denali in AK, at 18,000 meters base to summit. Everest is only 12,000 meters according to the Wiki.

mathgent 9:36 AM  

I Googled “highest mountain base to peak” and got our old crossword friend, Mauna Kea.

Barbara S. 9:40 AM  

When Andy met Georgia --

Warhol's Portrait of O'Keeffe

Warhol's conversation with O'Keeffe for Interview Magazine>

palomarPuzzler 9:41 AM  

Correction, feet not meters.

thfenn 9:41 AM  

I went straight with lard crossing lIGer in the SE and going toe to toe wasnt easy as i tried to play with head to head, one on one, man to man etc. Got tied up there and in the NE, where I confidently had cansofSOUP (glad to see others did, thanks @frantic sloth and @amyyanni) for warhol and desert for O'Keefe (which maybe was too obvious for a Friday, and, LOL @frantic much less interesting than, uhh, lilies). But now I've learned the difference between a liger and a tigon, so that's fun, and that ended up being a great clue for TSPS.

I also went straight with bobdylan for the Rolling Stone cover - maybe another answer so obvious it couldnt suit a Friday but wanted to stick with it. For some reason I have it in my head that one of the reasons Rolling Stone sometimes gets my interest is that they DON'T put teen idols on the cover, but that might be entirely untrue.

But i untangled all that mess and finished well ahead of my usual Friday, so yes, this must've been easy for many, but gets a big woohoo from me.

Chris 9:41 AM  

@eldreth: Those all refer to the Spelling Bee (SB) puzzle on the NYT site. QB=Queen Bee, the designation you get if you find all the approved words. YD= yesterday. It's considered by some to be poor form to discuss the current day's puzzle as some people like to work on it through the day.

As to the puzzle, another personal best here. 8-flat. Slammed in the NW without pause. Only the SE caused any hesitation.

MarthaCatherine 9:45 AM  

Hand up for lard (TSPS is such a much better answer) and liger. I did like the explication of liger vs tigon. I never knew. So what does that say about limons? And mules? Can there be no male horse/female donkey combo?

RooMonster 9:49 AM  

Hey All !
Puz seems hardish while solving, even getting stuck for a bit in the NW, but when I finished, error-free, btw πŸ‘, the clock said 18:54. Rounded up, 19 minutes on a FriPuz? Wow, must've been easy!

lard first for TSPS. Clue seems off to my ears as worded for TSPS. Also lIGer here first for TIGON. lard was the culprit there. MOO I don't get. Is there an abundance of cows in Jersey? (I'm assuming it's England Jersey, and not USA New Jersey.)

Haven't heard of RITA either, and I'm originally from the Scranton area of PA. Do remember "The Great Implosion", which was when they imploded about three blocks of old buildings to build a mall downtown. Was on the news from various cameras.


ITS ME AGAIN doesn't need to be ba-a-ack", does it? Why not just "I'm back?"

*SB explaining alert*
A while back, those of us who do the Spelling Bee used to comment about it here. Then others started complaining that this was a Crossword blog, not a Spelling Bee blog. So @bocamp came up with a simple system of adding a one line post script to his messages to show off his prowess at the Bee to make us all jealous. (I kid, @bocamp!) Anyway, SB is for Spelling Bee, QB is for Queen Bee (when you get the whole shebang), p is for pangrammic (some have more than one pangram, so you can't claim it unless you know [which you can go to nyt.bee, and see how many words there are, and other info]), g is genius, td is today, yd is yesterday, dbyd is day before yesterday, pg is pangrammic genius, and the minuswhatever (as in -2) means how many words you are away from QB. If you see 0, it means @bocamp got another QB. (or lately, @okanaganer). Aren't you glad you asked?

One F

Nancy 9:55 AM  

There was a big difference for me between the NW section (impossible at first) and the rest of the puzzle (not that hard). I had an idee fixe on Campbell's SOUP and could not for the life of me come up with TOMATO. I hesitated on 5D (OTOE? OTOS? UTES?) and wrote in only the "T". The only thing I could think of for "like hitting a million dollar jackpot" was WHAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.

And which flowers were the O'Keeffe flowers? When I eventually got back there with ??LI??, I wrote in TULIPS. But there was that OTOP tribe staring back at me.

LOO before NOG before NOB ("head in slang") kept me from seeing both AHA MOMENTS and IMPROBABLE. But when AHA MOMENTS did come in, I knew I'd finish the challenging NW.

I left the RI?A/?EIGEN cross blank and pronounced the puzzle "Solved!" I'll always do that in such Naticky cases; you can count on it.

Beginning this puzzle with AHA MOMENTS and ending with EYE OPENERS was a very nice touch. The ONE G/FORCE cross reference was also a nice touch. And the clue for WINE SNOB was marvelous.*

*You can say at least this one positive thing about SCREW TOPS on wine bottles. The wine is never "corked".

JD 9:56 AM  

People give Sex Toys as gifts? Another clue that I'm living in a world not my own anymore, and a far more entertaining one than my own.

This was so incredibly easy that I'm starting to think the NYT puzzle team schedules puzzles by drawing them out of a hat (haha, THIS one Wednesday and THIS one on Friday!) So nearly clean of ppp you could eat off it. Refreshing.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Clue of the day - Shortening used in many recipes for TSPS. Let’s go Brandon.

Trey 10:18 AM  

@RooMonster (9:49) there is a breed of cow called a Jersey

Nancy 10:30 AM  

Another hand up for ESTS to ETAS to ERAS for "ballpark figures".

Another hand up for LARD before TSPS.

Since it's Friday, I don't write answers in without at least one confirming cross. And I was fooled both times. I wrote in ESTS which was confirmed by the "E" in PLED. And LARD was confirmed by the "L" in LIGER, which eventually became TIGON, of course. When there are clever traps like these, I always wonder if they were deliberately set or whether they just happened fortuitously for the constructor.

albatross shell 10:30 AM  

Think Jersey cows wherever they are. The name comes from the English Jersey. A breed of cows. At least that is my acquired knowledge w/o checking.

Mountains by one source:
Mount Everest's peak is the highest altitude above mean sea level at 29,029 feet [8,848 meters].
Mount Chimborazo's peak is the furthest point on Earth from Earth's center. The summit is over 6,800 feet [2,072 meters] farther from Earth's center than Mount Everest's summit.
Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain from base to peak at more than 33,500 feet [10,210 meters].

I think I came across one of those in Ripley's Believe it or not: Everest is not the tallest mountain on Earth!!

@Barbara S.
If only indeed. They did go OTOE TO OTOE. Thanks for the interview.

Carola 10:35 AM  

Easy and fun, a quick trip from ATILT x TOMATO SOUP to DMITRI x MATE, with a few slowdowns for the unknown RITA and SEAGAL and the jokes of INHERIT and SOLED. One me-too do-over: after considering liger v. TIGON, I went with the former because "lard" confirmed it. Being wrong about that was my favorite moment.

Barbara S. 10:36 AM  

For 1A I confidently wrote it R E V E L A T I O N, and then stopped, nonplussed, because there was no room for a final S. Dang. I was so sure I’d nailed it. So, erased my singular revelation, got PLED right away, and tried to make “soup cans,” “Campbells soup” “Brillo boxes” or “Marilyn Monroe” fit 15A. “Liz Taylor” almost did, but she was one letter too short. Moving on. For O’Keeffe, I did get LILIES with no crosses, so that was something. I surprised myself by getting FORCE with no help – I’m not usually that swift on science-related clues.

I didn’t fall into the “teenIDOL” trap because I thought Rolling Stone tends to be quite a serious observer of the contemporary music scene, or at least used to be. I’m not saying that no teen IDOL has ever appeared on its cover, but I feel it goes for more serious analysis. But I may be out of date. Loved the clue for INHERIT (Obtain a sum by special relativity), but didn’t see it without a few crosses. When I finally got it, I was a big fan of the clue for TSPS (Shortening used in many recipes). That’s primo misdirection. BUT what recipe ever actually used TSPS? It’s always TSP., whether it’s one or six. I also never get baseball clues right off, but three cheers for Satchel PAIGE, such a trailblazer that even I knew him. Put me firmly in the “liger” camp – never heard of TIGON till today. Whoa! SEX TOY crosses EYE OPENERS! That’s enough to get your morning started.

Hartley70 10:43 AM  

This was a fast Friday. I was only delayed a modicum by RITA. I don’t know if it’s an East coast thing or not, but in any case I avoid a brain freeze whenever possible. I toggled between lard and TSPS, but I really wanted lard because it makes the better pie crust and who doesn’t like pie!

Gio 10:54 AM  

I must be watching too much Britbox because I'm looking at NOB like that's pretty vulgar and it's a different body part than the head.
I must be losing it rapidly because only writing this post am I realizing the word was NOB and not KNOB.
I'll see myself out now...

The Swedish Chef 10:54 AM  

The only one that made a smile was 43A, which started with lard, of course. You can't make a decent pie crust without it. Vegans be damned. Likely, they will be.

albatross shell 10:55 AM  

What is the "tallest" mountain entirely below sea level? Hard to say because of definitional and informational difficulties. But Tamu off Japan is the largest volcano by volume on Earth and perhaps in our solar system. See Mars for #2.

Steve M 10:58 AM  

Well my favorite puzzle in a while a pleasure to solve no gimmicks

bocamp 11:00 AM  

** SB Stuff Alert **


Lots of good explanations of Spelling Bee shorthand today. Hope this clarifies it for you 😊. More info on SB here.

More re the shorthand: when I started doing the Spelling Bee last year, there was already some shorthand being used, e.g., SB & QB. After much controversy over the amount of SB discussion on this blog, @TTrimble (miss you) coined some additional useful terms, e.g., 'p' = pangrammatic (indicating all possible pangrams gotten) and 'g' for Genius level (highest level short of Queen Bee) attained, ergo: pg = 'pangrammatic genius'. The rest of the shorthand evolved from there, e.g., '-n' (representing the number of words yet to be discovered); td; yd; dbyd; '0' = QB (all words found), etc.

Many SBers have set goals short of attaining QB (as solving can become a huge time-sink), such as aiming for 'g' (Genius level); in some cases, solvers have set a time limit. I was one of those who fell into the 'time-sink' trap and subsequently have set a one-hour time limit. I post my status at the one-hour mark, and now take a further look at the puz in short periods throughout the day (which I refer to as OTs or overtimes). This has freed up a huge amount of time for me, and seems like the most reasonable solution to the time issue.

I really enjoy the camaraderie with other SBers on this blog (other SB blogs just don't work for me). I hope more SBers will share their daily progress ala @puzzlehoarder (8:52 AM) / @okanaganer (12:37 AM), regardless of status. :)

td pg -18 (in reg. time); showing off lack of prowess (hi @RooMonster (9:49 AM) πŸ˜‰); (may forgo OTs today, as I never manage any touchdowns (hi @albatross shell πŸ˜‰). But, probably won't be able to resist the temptation to have a look-see now and then. πŸ˜‚

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

TJS 11:12 AM  

Wow ! A mind meld with @Lewis ! Had exactly the same experience. Cool.

I had the strange feeling that OFLs' comments were ghost-written by one of our daily contributors. Way to quirky/cheerful for Rex.

Whatsername 11:17 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZGR 11:21 AM  

I just came here to say that Marino’s is the only Italian Ice.

Unknown 11:22 AM  

Wow so easy. Did this in Wednesday time. No resistance anywhere in the grid. Knew all the names.

Is it me or has Shortz just dropped the Breakfast table test recently. GAY PORN a few weeks ago and now SEX TOY. This isn't your father's NY Times Crossword.

Joseph Michael 11:25 AM  

After reading how easy this was for most of you, I’m feeling a bit AGASP. Like most Friday’s. I found this hard. though I was finally able to complete it with no help from Dr. Google. The only thing that made me MADD was the crossing of RITA and TEIGEN.

Lots of great answers and clues otherwise. Especially liked IT’S ME AGAIN and the Dad clues for TSPS, MOO, and SOLED.

So a tiger dating a lion is a TIGON just like a Ben dating a Jennifer is a Bennifer?

Didn’t realize that CHIA SEEDS were not only edible but also a “superfood.” I know CHIA only as that CHI-CHI-CHI-CHIA pet that stands there and grows green fur.

Whatsername 11:29 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 11:30 AM  

I moved out of the mid-Atlantic seven years ago. I miss RITA’S Water Ice! Thanks for the memory.

Chicago Chica 11:31 AM  

Kept trying to to Liger and Lard instead of Tigen and TSPs that had me going for awhile.

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Lard would be a tempting answer but it's Friday. I get fooled a lot but I was onto this one.

Unknown 11:46 AM  

Weren’t those lilies basically vaginas, which also fit the squares? Remembered the breakfast test in time.

On painters, TOMATOcans were what was painted. Tomato soup was more up rothko’s alley;)

Whatsername 11:50 AM  

@mathgent (12:31) Possible or not, thanks for that stunning Mt. Everest analogy. It really put it in perspective for me. I had no idea.

In the process of learning more about this fascinating spot on our planet, I stumbled across this incredible site with detailed illustrations of the different life forms starting at the surface of the ocean and all the way to the bottom of the challenger DEEP. And yes, hard as it is to believe, there is life at those depths. I even discovered there is such a THING as a Yeti Crab. I wonder if her name is Betty. If you have any interest, take a few minutes and treat yourself to a visit. It’s absolutely amazing!

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

RITA's is a huge deal here in Philadelphia! Nothing better than lining up for free water ice on the first day of spring.

x 11:57 AM  

Like most of the other commenters here, I'd like to point out, as I do every day, that I finished this puzzle in practically no time at all because I'm absolutely brilliant.

Joe Dipinto 12:03 PM  

@F-Slo 2:19 is on the mark: the soup can is the subject in the Warhol paintings (of which Tomato was only one of a series).

And I'm sure Rita is lovely, but the *only* Italian ice chain is Uncle Louie G in Brooklyn.

Tulane, Tulane, Tulane...he must be a Tulane student.

jb129 12:12 PM  

Easy for a Friday but after the week we've had, I deserve it. Thank you YY

longsufferingmetsfan 12:12 PM  

I knew there would be crickets from Binghamton about the inclusion of that squirrel cheek boned no talent twitter bully in today's puzzle. Any mention of a Republican in a puzzle is nauseating but its just awesome to have somebody in here who suggests that others who aren't quite as self-obsessed should just end it all by committing suicide.

mathgent 12:26 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

JD (9:56)
albatross shell (10:30)
Whatsername (11:50)
x (11:57)

albatross shell 12:29 PM  

Actually Warhol's subject was a TOMATO SOUP can. And cans subsequently. In another sense it was commercialism or maybe seeing the artifice in front of you or Seinfeld's nothing or whatever. On the other hand the words he painted included TOMATO SOUP. Certainly a hint to the answer in any case.

Always play with your SEXTOYS before or after breakfast and not at the table even if some are fruits or vegetables.

brendal 12:29 PM  

Excellent πŸ‘

What? 12:33 PM  

“I just don't see the point. AHA MOMENTS and EYE-OPENERS have the same clue ... for what reason?”
Of all the stupid comments by Rex, this is near the top. Why am I drawn to this ninnny? I need an intervention.

Frantic Sloth 12:45 PM  

@mathgent 1231am, etc. I'd like to echo @Whatsername 1150am in thanking you for the mountain elevation rabbit hole - love that stuff. Ditto, @Whatsername - can't wait to explore that link more thoroughly. Truly fascinating. πŸ‘

@J-Dip 1203pm Ditto on Uncle Louie G!
LOL at your link, the inspiration for a certain George Harrison song (and lawsuit).

albatross shell 12:58 PM  

Warhol turned 17 the day Hiroshima was hit with a WMD. A-bomb, not an H-bomb. WMD was an artificial grouping made to sound as scary as possible. Iraq's WMD was mostly rotting canisters of mustard gas that probably could not even be moved safely even if they knew where they were. (Don't forget he gassed his own people). I'm glad we don't have any WMD. I'm enola glad.

Masked and Anonymous 12:59 PM  

SEXTOYS, PAPERHATS, KEGSTANDS, ... and CATERED. too boot. Well, there's yer party.

staff weeject pick: MOO. Cute non-moo-cow eazy-E clue.

Been to TULANE a few years back, so that rang a bell. Been to the O'Keeffe museum, also … altho -- went with IRISES, before LILIES … did Georgia-O paint giant IRISES, too? Or is the M&A memory bank full of silt again, as usual.
Thought of TEENIDOL before ROCKIDOL, but could not fathom that the Shortzmeister would abide both TEEN & TEENIDOL almost next to each other, so didn't bite on that.

Thanx for the themeless party favors, Mr. Yonas dude. Good job.

Masked & Anonymo1U


upstate george 1:12 PM  

I wish I could remember who it was who said once: "An epiphany is when you realize you're an a--hole."

Frantic Sloth 1:14 PM  

@albie 1258pm What are you - a homophobe? πŸ˜‰

Whatsername 1:23 PM  

@okanaganer (12:37) Thanks for the explanation of the difference between a TIGON and a Liger. Who knew?

@albatross shell (10:30) Ditto on the elevation statistics.

What an education I’m getting today from some of the greater minds amongst us. I do love this blog!

Beezer 1:27 PM  

Yep, seemed like my experience was very much like @thefenn but he said it much better than I could.

@Frantic…yeah lilies. Was truly unaware of that whole thing until I went to the O’Keefe gallery/museum in Santa Fe. Walked around a wall, looked up at the painting and said “Oh, hello”! With the emphasis on first syllable.

This was a VERY enjoyable Friday!

CDilly52 1:30 PM  

True that@Frantic, LILIES were not the first, second or third entry I conjured up. Went skulls first to be G-rated, and besides other body parts had too many letters. Years ago, the Gallery in Santa Fe had a visiting exhibit of O’Keefe sketches in pencil and charcoal. They were bold and gritty and very very “anatomical” in shapes and references. Good stuff.

CDilly52 1:33 PM  

What a blast from my last as well, @LMS! I have a number of summer pictures of me as a kid running around with my “T-shirt Rapunzel” because my mom insisted that my hair be short simply because it was so much easier to hose me down. Pigpen had mutton’ on me!

Trey 1:59 PM  

On the topic of mountains and ocean DEEPS - if you took all the land mass above sea level and placed it into the ocean, you would fill only 1/10th of the ocean’s volume (and I guess raise the sea level a bit as a result)

GILL I. 2:10 PM  

Another late sleep in. I blame it on delicious lasagna and garlic bread late last night. Thank god there were no CHIA SEEDS.
You found this easy? Holy hot tamales. The first thing I wanted to know was "Who the hell is RITA?" Why is she an Eponym? TOMATO SOUP? Where is the can? Warhol is dancing on his grave. Why can't LARD be a shortening? Why isn't that feline a LIGER? I've never gone TOE TO TOE with a living SOLE nor has anyone ever given me a SEX TOY (dang)....
Well, this one blew my whistle out the door....BUT....I'll tell you a dirty MARTINI story. I had never heard that term before until my sweet across the street neighbor came over and asked me to make her one. I always have something for everyone and I always have Spanish olives in the fridge. Anyway, she went into a long diatribe about this cocktail - telling me that most people like to make one with vodka but she prefers gin. I had a bottle of un-opened Hendricks gin (I don't really like gin but my sister-in law does so I always have a bottle for her....ahem). Anyway, she was delighted and spent about an hour explaining to me how careful you had to be with the goop from the olives and how much dry vermouth you couldn't pour in and how cold your martini glass had to be. I wanted to yell "JUST POUR YOURSELF A DAMN SCOTCH." About an hour later she made herself her dirty MARTINI. She let me have a sip. She was all smiles - acting like she just invented the A Bomb. It was disgusting, folks. It tasted like old socks dipped in TOMATO SOUP with a side of TOE TO TOE MOO NOD TROT. And that's my story.

TJS 2:16 PM  

Okay, I just gotta share this. I have been working my way thru the archive doing the Friday and Saturday puzzles when the current puzzles don't provide my fix. So I just hit upon April 18, 2008. If you can access it, it's a pretty good puzzle with one enormous exception. But the real reason I'm mentioning this is the review by Rex, and the subsequent comments, are hysterical. What a shame Rex no longer responds to our comments, because he seems like a totally different guy back then.

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

CDilly52 2:18 PM  

What a fun week we have had! This one had so much to like, starting with the punny SOLED. and book-ended with the first and last “related” entries that highlight some of the clever, aha-producing and eye opening clues and answers.

At the moment, though, I am working frantically to design a new plushie in time fir Christmas sales: Beti the Yeti (naming rights to @LMS with whom I shall happily share the millions). Think of the franchising opportunities for a whole family and neighborhood of yetis et al! This will make the weak sister, Rita a mere speck in Beti’s rear view. Comics, apparel, toys (no SEX TOYS, all G-rated), animated cartoons and movies!

And forever, the bulbous sparkling wine cork cleverly secured beneath its little wire cage shall be known as WINE’S NOB! They deserve such status after all, as they are part and parcel of celebration sitting there in the neck of a bottle energized by the pressure of all those happy bubbles awaiting their release as the sommelier, with a flourish and twist of the wrist releases the knobby projectile from its metal prison that it may take flight in celebration. Ladies and gentlemen, a toast to WINE’S NOB!

A million thanks to the alliterative Yacob Yonas for a delightful Friday full of fun!

JC66 2:22 PM  


I'm a MARTINI drinker (Bombay Sapphire) and I always ask for olives on the side. Why anyone would screw up a good drink by adding olive juice escapes me.

Ben 2:27 PM  

Wow, super zippy! Maybe it's just me, but this felt a lot easier than Thursday's -- I finished it in just about half the time I took yesterday

TJS 2:34 PM  

@upstate g, love it. I have to try to work it into a conversation someday.

Zwhatever 3:04 PM  

@albatross shell - Let me also thank you for the mountainous erection size information. I vaguely recalled that the base to peak record holder was somewhere in the Pacific, but I thought it was completely underwater. Isn’t Olympus Mons the record holder in the Solar System.

@unknown 11:22 - De gustibus and all that, but sex before breakfast passes the test for me. After breakfast, too. During breakfast probably not only because it creates such a mess.

@TJS 2:16 - I really want to see that “Yo, Hadrian” clue that @Joon mentioned again. The New York Sun puzzle was edited by Peter Gordon I think. And yes, I did notice the last bullet point. That’s when I had relatives who were members. They aren’t anymore. My relatives haven’t changed.

albatross shell 3:05 PM  

Being afraid of anything seems rational to me. So no, no irrational fears at all.
Enola Gay Glee Glad. Sister planes. Look it up.

albatross shell 3:09 PM  

@Herr Zuss
Yes it is quite far underwater. Sorry if I implied otherwise. Did not think I did.

Eniale 3:55 PM  

Bakers alert: When I make pastry I usually include a TSP of vanilla, or almond essence - so the shortening isn't the only TSP, in fact one needs about 8 TSPS of shortening for a 9" crust.

@bocamp - I do the SB regularly but rarely post, seeing who cares about the late-rising left-coasters anyway. Admire @okanoganer because they do it at night, which for me would mean waiting till midnight before the new one comes. And further reason not to post: I've had about 2 QB's in about a year, and usually end up pg -4, which is neither here nor there.

Unknown 4:38 PM  

A tiger/lion combo can be called anything, I guess, but like a labradoodle, there are conventions and I have seen this hybrid beastie listed as a "liger" and only a liger. That was the first word that I filled in (wrong, of course).

albatross shell 4:54 PM  

Science land of endless updates.
2013: Tamu Mastiff declared single volcano. Bigger, than Mauna Kea.
2016: Tamu Mastiff surface area increased to include a new area. Declared greater in surface area than Olympic Mons. Mass a toss-up.
2019: Tamu Mastiff declared a volcanic system not a single volcano. Titles returned to other volcanopodes.

Thats the story. I now hope to die before the next revision. Almost as bad as virus vaccine updates.

GILL I. 5:07 PM  

@JC sesenta y sies 2:22. My sweetly departed parents were both martini drinkers. Mom was no June Cleaver but (and because) she'd be home before Dad, she'd have the martini glasses in the freezer waiting for the lovely pour of gin and just one drop of dry vermouth. I'd sneak a little sip because I always did that, and then promptly go outside and, well, toss the cookies. It took me years later, on a date with the biggest jerk I ever had the misfortune to go out with, to actually enjoy one.
Cheers, my friend.....Come over for a Talisker......

kitshef 5:31 PM  

@x 11:57 - But did you solve it in practically no time at all using only the across clues, and in your head (no writing allowed) the way the rest of us do?

JC66 5:51 PM  


Thanks for the invite, but I thought you were coming to NY to visit me, @Nancy, et al. πŸ˜‚

Joe Dipinto 5:52 PM  

@kitshef – and without looking at the grid, don't forget.

GILL I. 6:37 PM  

JC.....You bet your sweet patootie I'm coming....Just as soon as no masks, no CORONA, and no one sneezing on me happens......

Two nerds 6:38 PM  

Got thrown off by the fact that acai berry is the same number of letters as CHIA SEEDS.

Havana Man 6:40 PM  

I guess it must be obscure or a regional thing but I have only ever heard the word "nob" used as a slang reference to a male penis. And also as a putdown as in, "You broke the remote, you nob."

Am I the only one?

bocamp 7:09 PM  

@Eniale (3:55 PM)

Always good to hear from you. 😊

Like you and @okanaganer, I'm a 'left-coaster', and I always love to hear from SBers, regardless of where they're located, what time they post and what their results may be.

Were it not for the extra OTs (overtime periods) during the day, I'd often be hard-pressed to come up with a -4 in my initial one-hr period. :)

pg -1

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

Amy 8:10 PM  

Rita’s does not make Italian Ice. As their name says, they make water ice. Or Wooder Ice. Blasphemous clue.

jberg 8:15 PM  

I had to cheat. I thought it was crossword law that ballpark figs. = ests. So there I was looking at AEsOSTAT, couldn't figure out what it was, so I looked it up. Turns out it's nothing, but there was dictionary.com asking me if I'd meant AEROstat. Well, I did now.

I stuck with lard too long, too, but I had heard of TIGON, so eventually I got it. I even knew that it was dependent on which was the mother, but not which way it went.

All you dirty-minded people. First of all, O'Keeffe denied it to her dying day. Also, a flower is a sexual organ, so if you paint a bunch of them many will look like sexual organs. None of that meant O'Keeffe wasn't just lying to keep herself out of trouble, of course. Oddly enough, my solve today was interrupted by a trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see an exhibit of (mostly) quilts -- one of which consisted of squares which each contained a male and a female organ hanging out together. Quite an EYE OPENER.

In another coincidence, while driving back from a wedding in NE Vermont last Sunday, I noticed that the dairy cows we were seeing were all Holsteins, and only Holsteins. Growing up in Wisconsin back in the 50s it was different -- many Jerseys and Guernseys, and some others; people would talk about how the milk from different breeds tasted better. My theory is that the breeders have managed to create super-productive Holsteins, and they have displaced the others.

Oh yeah, the other big stumbling block for me was reading te clue for 30D as "Eponym for an Italian ice cream." Tort? Spum? Gela? I was stumped. I had to get RITA from crosses before I went back to reread the clue.

Matt 8:43 PM  

TOMATO SOUP was a classic Rockwell subject. Tomato soup *cans*, or more precisely the labels, were the Warhol subject. I know it's a quibble but the cluing there to echo the Georgia O'Keefe clue was off. As Magritte might have noted, this is not soup.

Anonymous 9:56 PM  

and no one sneezing on me happens......

for that part, just stay out of sh!thole places. general view is that Covid is forever, and hopefully will decline in nastiness as it continues to mutate. could be worse: COV-SARS-1 was nearly 10% lethal and very fast. could be better: those two characteristics caused it to run out of hosts in no time at all.

"The masks came out, temperature scanners were placed in all major public gathering places in China and other parts of Asia, quarantines were implemented, the virus infection peaked in late May of 2003 and then it disappeared. The strict quarantine measures paid off, and by July 2003, the WHO declared the threat over. "
here: https://theconversation.com/the-mysterious-disappearance-of-the-first-sars-virus-and-why-we-need-a-vaccine-for-the-current-one-but-didnt-for-the-other-137583

MERS is a bit worse:
"Caused by a type of coronavirus, MERS-CoV, was first identified in 2012, and is transmitted through contact with infected camels or people. There is no known cure and 35 percent of the reported patients have died. "
here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d42473-019-00422-y
also ran through its populations very fast.

it could be worse. of course, in Red states, only the unGodly die.

Stephen Minehart 11:47 PM  

Rex, I'm told you don't read the comments, but your blog today was more fun than the puzzle, and today's puzzle was quite fun. Your good mood today is infectious.

stephanie 2:07 AM  

@kitshef & @Trey DWI stands for "driving while intoxicated." thus, MAAD (mothers against drunk driving) is/are against driving while intoxicated. anti-DWI. (here we call them DUIs though...pronounced "dooey(s)" - driving under the influence.)

stephanie 2:09 AM  

@anon 7:35am, @Frantic Sloth, and others - yep! with SEX TOY, NOB, and head, "lilies" took me quite a lot of crosses to come up with XD

stephanie 2:27 AM  

satisfying, like yesterday, but better. two in a row, i'll take it!

had ROCKSTAR before ROCKIDOL so it was really pure luck that when i got the down crosses and edited to IDOL, i just didn't end up having to change the ROCK bit. KIDS before TEEN for the choice awards, likely because my partner was talking about nickelodeon just then! what are the odds. HEAD TO HEAD before TOE TO TOE. interesting to read those who read "ballpark" as meaning "estimate" - that hadn't even occurred to me. really enjoy seeing everyone's perspectives. wanted OLEO or LARD and when i realized it was neither i was stumped. as an avid cook i can't stand it when i get stumped by the food clues! filled that one in last with a forehead slap. i eat CHIA SEEDS mixed with mango kefir and brown sugar and left in the fridge overnight for chia pudding the next morning with fresh fruit. very good. (eats like tapioca.) we have richie's italian ice here in boston, so i kept seeing RICH. but we recently got a RITAS water ice too so eventually the lightbulb went on. still haven't tried it though. hard to choose a chain over a local favorite, and honestly i'd rather have soft serve ice cream than slush anyway. will it be PTO or PTA, MCL or ACL, LOA or KEA? whatever it ends up, it's not the one i type first i'll tell you that.

just made it in under the wire to keep the streak going before the clock struck too late, thank glob for a bit of halloween candy to keep the brain chugging along. worth it. goodnight everyone!

Joel Rosenberg 3:07 AM  

Tigons, exist, Rex! They're not a yeti! Google the word and then click "Images" and you'll see some pretty wondrous-looking critters. Wish we had more of them, and, for that matter more big cats altogether, hybrid OR thoroughbred. Anyhow, a cat mutt is pretty wonderful. Meanwhile, you missed the puzzle's stupidest clue, also involving Ms. Teigen: 47-Down's "Like the ancestry of 35 Across." The correct answer (which I at first erroneously entered) should be "DUAL," for Teigen is both Thai and Norwegian, and indeed her surname (most likely a nom de plume) is itself a crude portmanteau of that cross-breed status. So, this puzzle sorta has a theme, after all, or at least one better than "epiphanies" (whose answers are terrible uses of that venerable and underappreciated term).

--Joel R.

Anonymous 11:04 PM  

Not wanting to accept a putative word as a word carries no weight when many respectable dictionaries list it as a word. Case in point: "ovoidal". You are entitled to say you don't like the word, that it is unneeded when we have "ovoid" and "ovate", etc. But to insist it's not a word says much more about you than it does about "ovoidal".

A 3:41 AM  

First concert of the season tonight (Beethoven 4, high Bb) kept me otherwise occupied, but I did like today’s offering, and had some observations.

Either time travel is real, and it’s Wednesday, or someone sprinkled magic puzzle fairy dust over me today. I was one with this one (even threw down TAIL FIN off the T). Did have to get up and get more coffee to work out the SE corner. Thought the advanced degree had to be phd, mma, mfa, mba, dma, etc, etc. Yeah, ok, time travel it is. But is it a future Wednesday, or past?

Really doubted OVOIDAL, but left it and finally my personal TRAINER showed up. Weird puzzle coincidence (WPC?)- I was just talking with an oboe player last night about her personal trainer. I never talk about personal trainers. I don’t have a trainer, but I think I’d prefer an impersonal one.

Shortz loves to repeat himself. ACCESS is back from yesterday. And, though WINE is not, it’S NOB is.

Musical clue for SLUR. Interesting word. Etymonline says: "deliberate slight, disparaging or slighting remark," c. 1600, from dialectal slur "thin or fluid mud," from Middle English slore (mid-15c.), cognate with Middle Low German sluren, Middle Dutch sloren "to trail in mud." Related to East Frisian sluren "to go about carelessly," Norwegian slora "to be careless." Literal sense of "a mark, stain, smear" is from 1660s in English. The musical sense (1746) is from the notion of "sliding." Meaning "act or habit of slurring" in speech is from 1882.

Sleep now.

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