Provincial governor in the Byzantine Empire / THU 10-7-21 / Harmless rattler / Frozen asteroid or planet / Dispensable young beau / First soft drink sold in all-aluminum cans / West Coast burger chain with a not-so-secret menu

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Medium to Medium-Challenging (depending on your knowledge of trivia and Words I Know Solely From Crosswords)

THEME: SKIPPING / STONES (58A: With 59-Across, lakeside activity ... or a hint to the words spelled across the fifth, eighth and 11th rows of the completed grid) — evenly spaced unchecked squares spell out types of stones, three times: the stones are thus spelled out by "skipping" squares with each letter. Also, I think (maybe?) the words are supposed to be a visual representation of an actual skipping stone, touching down and then going up and touching down and then up down etc. But actual stones thrown on a lake don't really skip with even spacing, do they? Nevermind.

The Stones:
  • R O L L I N G (row 5)
  • R O S E T T A (row 8)
  • B L A R N E Y (row 11)
Word of the Day: John McCrae (3D: John McCrae, author of "In Flanders Fields," e.g.)
Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae (November 30, 1872 – January 28, 1918) was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. He is best known for writing the famous war memorial poem "In Flanders Fields". McCrae died of pneumonia near the end of the war. [...] "In Flanders Fields" first appeared anonymously in Punch on December 8, 1915,[9] but in the index to that year, McCrae was named as the author (misspelt as McCree).[10] The verses swiftly became one of the most popular poems of the war, used in countless fund-raising campaigns and frequently translated (a Latin version begins In agro belgico...). "In Flanders Fields" was also extensively printed in the United States, whose government was contemplating joining the war, alongside a 'reply' by R. W. Lillard, ("...Fear not that you have died for naught, / The torch ye threw to us we caught...").
In Flanders Fields
    In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
          Between the crosses, row on row, 
       That mark our place; and in the sky
       The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

        We are the dead, short days ago 
      We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
       Loved and were loved, and now we lie
   In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
       The torch; be yours to hold it high.
       If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. 
• • •

This puzzle is sort of like yesterday's puzzle, in that I liked it better once I'd finished it than I did while I was solving it. There was something off-putting about the grid, with its giant boxy white corners (daunting) and it's completely bullet-ridden mid-section—no in between, all black squares just shoved to the middle. Plus, the puzzle kept wanting to get Real cute with its clues, which just felt annoying. Like, I've already got this super-weird grid to deal with, I don't need your forced cleverness on stuff like MARACA (17A: Harmless rattler) and REAR AXLE (18A: Ram rod?) and TYRANNY (10D: Rule that should be broken?)—those last two in the same section, and crossing! Plus the fill gets real, uh, odd and crosswordy. This was my opening:

Ugh, carriages. I always feel slightly guilty for my oddly extensive knowledge of carriage terminology, which comes to me *exclusively* from having solved crosswords for three decades. OK maybe some of it comes from 19th-century novels, but crosswords definitely drove it home over the years (over and over and over). So I got SHAY but didn't feel great about it. Same with EXARCH (an answer only a crossword could love). I think I learned MARE from crosswords too; I seem to remember wondering at some point what horses had to do with the moon (MARE is just Latin for "sea," of course) (there are no actual seas on the moon, obviously, just big dark patches that early astronomers mistook for seas). Silas DEANE was another answer where I felt like being an old-timer really helped me move through the grid quickly. But then it wasn't always creaky and old-fashioned. NEXT-GEN had some spice, and I actually really like WAR POET and REAR AXLE and IN 'N' OUT and "ASK ANYONE!" 

As for the theme, I could see pretty early on that the unchecked letters were spelling out types of stones, and that definitely helped by the time I got to BLARNEY. The revealer didn't land for me at first, because I didn't see what the "skipping" referred to. Since the unchecked letters appear exclusively in Downs, I was oriented in that direction, and so the letters seemed to form bridges across a divide. But then I thought "oh, no, they just have spaces between the letters, so they "skip" squares ... that must be it." And that's not bad, conceptually. It was a weird puzzle to solve, but weird in a (mostly) good way. Wait, I forgot about TOPE! When I was going over "Words I Know Solely From Being a Longtime Solver," I left out TOPE! LOL, TOPE, hello darkness my old friend (52D: Imbibe). The Secret Language of Crossword Drunkenness ... I'd almost forgotten. Yeah, I guess if someone's making you eat BEAN PATÉ, you're gonna wanna TOPE, perhaps quite a bit (bean dip sounds great, BEAN PATÉ sounds like you're gonna try to use beans to approximate the taste of actual paté, and that will definitely be a hard pass from me) (49A: Vegetarian spread).

Five things:
  • DRY EYES (41D: Unmoved reaction) — only in the phrase "not a dry eye in the house." Thus, only in the singular. DRY EYES is a medical condition.
  • ELLS (20D: What jelly rolls are filled with?) — I get more mail about this type of clue than any other, by far. I think of them as "letteral" clues, in that you are supposed to take the clue "literally" as it refers specifically to "letters" in a particular word. In this case, words: both "jelly" and "rolls" are "filled with" (i.e. contain) multiple "L"s (or ELLS). 
  • BERG (49D: On the surface, it might not look like much) — this is some kind of "tip of the (ice)berg" clue, it seems. Only a small part can be seen above the "surface" of the water.
  • BOOER (25D: One who's not a fan) — I had HATER at first. I also had DENTED before DINGED (27A: Left a bad impression on?) and LADLE (!) before LASSO (26D: One way to prevent stock losses?)
  • CARD (7D: Memory ___) — these are used in portable electronic devices. I have somehow gone my whole life without ever having to deal with them. Or, if I have been dealing with them all along, I haven't noticed.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 5:18 AM  

What a weird-looking grid. I like it. It's purdy.
Though I'm not a fan of the Cryptic Crossword vibe with all those orphaned boxes in the middle.

So, I guess these STONES are SKIPPING over lines in the grid? Is that the deal? Keedoke.

I'm also guessing this was some kind of wizard-made construction because that's where all the oomph is. It sure as Moses wasn't in the solve.
But I admit the fill was better than your average bear, so that's impressive. Another seasoned constructioneer, and there ya go!

Things I noticed:

ICEBALL sounds like the name for a winter prom.
ICEBALL DINGED sounds like hail damage to one's car.
ICEBALL DINGED TITO sounds like a mishap during the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.*

*I know I know - Tito was gone in 1980 and the Olympics were in 1984, but work with me here, people!

Having the maturity of a ham sammich, I can never see ANHEUSER without thinking about "ANHEUSER Busch" and that sophomoric ('dirty') joke. [insert Beavis & Butthead snicker]

The damage stops here. Toodles.


Conrad 5:30 AM  

Unaware of the wiles of the snake in the grass
Or the fate of the maiden who TOPEs,
She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
Her courage, her eyes, and his hopes.
-- "Madeira M'Dear" by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann

Frantic Sloth 5:46 AM  

Oh. Skipping squares. Okay - that works, too. 😂

Rex mentions those "letteral" clues (Hey, ELLS! Yeah -you!), and I wonder how many emails are seeking an explanation vs. how many are just hating on them. It would be nice if the majority were the latter. In the lookie-loo/letteral race to the top of my list of disdain, the gap is rapidly closing.

Never saw the clue for TOPE. Hello, again! And where's your drinking buddy "Evoe"? You can't just walk into @GILL's bar all by your lonesome.

Frantic Sloth 5:46 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smitty 6:33 AM  

MARE TRANQUILLITATIS "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

Anonymous 6:38 AM  

I rather like my first thought that jelly rolls are filled with EELS....

Canon Chasuble 6:46 AM  

The Museum that honors the dead of World War I, and the Canadian poet/physician/soldier Colonel John McCrae in the reconstructed Cloth Hall in Ypres, Belgium, is one of the most moving, emotional and stirring monuments in Europe. It commemorates the bloodiest battle of the War (the Somme) and the destruction of the city of Ypres. Walking the battlefields and visiting the cemeteries in Belgium is, for me, as (and sometimes to a greater degree even more) emotional than walking the battlefields and cemeteries in Normandy, and that is saying something. In the year 2021 one may disagree with McCrae’s views of patriotism expressed in his poem, but he was there, and saw it all. When you visit Ypres, and see and understand what happened there, you will never forget it, and it will haunt you for the rest of your life.

OffTheGrid 6:50 AM  

This one reminded me of a Beach BOYS title, FUN, FUN, FUN!

Zwhatever 6:53 AM  

Who the hell is ALISTER and what did he do with ALISTaiR? All I really want to know, though, is Is ALISTER’s aim true?

EXARCH today. Calends and nones yesterday? What century is it again?
Speaking of …@Anon yesterday - I complain vociferously about how old the PPP is, but I don’t usually actually tally it up. However, if it is a Shortz edited puzzle 1993 is the cultural center of the puzzle. Today is a fine example 90’s TV, boxing, and R&B. Today is unusually modern with the 2021 hurricane and IN ‘N OUT freshening the fill.

WAR POET is an odd category. Is Homer a WAR POET? How about Lord Byron and Alfred Lord Tennyson? Or how about Bono and Dolores O'Riordan (although I guess they are probably anti-war poets).

Does any movie theater anywhere in the universe AIRPOP their POPcorn? Strikes me as a sin against all that is good and buttery in the world.

I’m with Rex on the whole “liked the concept post solve but was feeling snarly during the solve” thing. Maybe if a Petoskey Stone had been included I’d have been happier.

Lewis 7:06 AM  

Smiled as soon as I saw the out-of-the-box grid, and smiled even bigger when I saw this was by Timothy, whose puzzles are always well crafted and sparked with clever cluing. He’s a pro.

This filled in for me just as I’m sure he hoped for – scattershot answers, leading to more, but still not enough to get the “skipped’ answers, even with several letters filled in, then getting the reveal, which enabled me to fill in those answers, and a quick finish. That is, resistance eventually broken, to my great satisfaction.

A sweet journey it therefore was, made even better by being glittered with wordplay clues, my favorites being those for MARACA, BERG, and especially CHESS GAME [What may be drawn with black and white].

TP’d once again and grateful for it. I loved this one, Timothy!

Lewis 7:09 AM  

I too thought those squares were unchecked, but Jeff Chen says no crossword rules were broken because each of those squares "has two crossing letters". So who is right, Jeff or Rex? Or is this some sort of crossword rules gray area?

kitshef 7:18 AM  

When I was sixteen, this RC COLA commercial was pretty much everyone’s favorite in my peer group.

SHAY has been around for 200 years; I think we can drop the “informally”.

amyyanni 7:23 AM  

Like the suggestion of Petoskey Stone, @Zuss. Great idea. Otherwise, this one wasn't fantastic, but may just be me. (Up too late with the Dodgers and Cardinals, that was fantastic!) Happy Friday Eve.

Son Volt 7:27 AM  

STONES SKIPPING across the grid - pretty neat. Another themer would have been nice - but that would have watered down the other fill even more. Agree with the crosswardese here - but mostly overlooked due to the theme fun. ICE BALL, CHESS GAME, ASK ANYONE are all pretty solid. I’m not eating any BEAN PATE and the singular ZALE is odd. I liked the TYRANNY clue.

Enjoyable Thursday solve.

Zwhatever 7:28 AM  

@Lewis - I’d go with “seemingly unchecked.” SKIPPING STONES is the clue for ROLLING, ROSETTA, and BLARNEY, so they are not unchecked. Indeed, I guessed that it was going to be ROLLING without all the letters and without having seen the revealer clue or answer. Then the revealer revealed I was looking for more stones. Definitely checked in the end even though they don’t look checked at first glance.

bocamp 7:47 AM  

Thx Timothy; I was definitely not a ROLLING STONE on this. Lots of moss on me, but I managed to shake it all off! :)


Got a decent start in the top 3rd, but it was all downhill from there.

Having 'dented' instead of DINGED was a major stumbling block.

This was one of those hard to suss out puzzles that one could think, "I might not finish".

Really, my fave kind of puz; just kept plugging away, made a correction or two along the way and finished successfully.

Liked it a lot! :)


The 'Berry' was a jewel; zipped thru everything but the NW, which took probably 3 times as long as all the rest of the puz. That final cell was a doozy. Could only see one letter as viable, then tried to visualize the results, and bingo, bob was my uncle! Thx for that. :)

yd 0 / dbyd; couldn't find the -1 (would have been a very lucky guess; added to word List)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Am I the last living person who encounters SHAY and immediately thinks of Oliver Wendell Holmes’s poem “The One-Hoss Shay”? And how it “went to pieces all at once—all at once and nothing first”? Prolly.

puzzlehoarder 8:05 AM  

I thought yesterday was more difficult and Thursdayish than todays offering. The resistance was medium at best. What it felt like was an easy themeless with a little interference in the middle.

My biggest slow down was a DENTED/DINGED write over. I also had DEADPAN before DRYEYES but BOYTOY supported by ABES solved that quickly.

Because of the way I solved ROLLING was the only themer filled in before I got the reveal and the second two themers became obvious. All four of the themeless corners offered little challenge which is why those lower corners went in before the middle.

yd -1

A.C. Hilles 8:34 AM  

"War Poet" is a term of art - certainly not an odd category to be subjected to glib remarks by those who are unfamiliar with it.

Joaquin 8:41 AM  

In the words of the immortal (or is it immoral? I can never remember) Bob Dylan:

"But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned."

Mikey from El Prado 8:42 AM  

Groovy puzzle.

My Thursday time beat Wednesday’s. I think in part that was due to an initial assumption that the orphaned squares would form words across, and thus no need to figure on the mysterious rebus, which we had yesterday anyway. I went straight down to the bottom to find the revealer, and shorenuff there it was, confirming the assumption. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.

Did not know EXARCH, so that was the last word.

Any puzzle with ROLLING Stones is alright by me. Reminds me… RIP Charlie, you made the Glimmer Twins shine.

Zwhatever 8:44 AM  

@A.C. Hilles - Don’t be such a heel.

Sgt. Hulka 8:58 AM  

@A.C. Hilles Lighten up, Francis.

feinstee 9:04 AM  

Can someone please explain 43A .. ALISTER?

feinstee 9:09 AM  

Never mind my last post....I just re-parsed the answer and now see A-Lister

Nancy 9:11 AM  

I sort of feel that, since I ultimately managed to solve this bear, I can accomplish anything.

The difficulty lay in the combination of four almost completely isolated corners -- each of which seemed to connect to only one letter in another section -- and those three rows of unchecked letters. Isolated sections and unchecked letters in the same puzzle! Whew! And while I wanted DEWARS all along, I couldn't figure out what the pesky "W" would led to, hence didn't write it in. The NW was left as white as one half of a CHESS GAME as I went elsewhere in the hope of something that would open up the NW for me.

(It certainly wasn't going to be EXARCH.)

It turned out to be DEMERIT, which I got from the "I" in ICEBALL. By then I had the SKIPPING STONES revealer and, boy, did the revealer help. I wouldn't have solved the puzzle without it -- and that's the sign of a superb revealer.

DENTED before DINGED. (GOTHS cleared that one up for me.)

Didn't know INNOUT and had to guess. Misspelled ANHEiSER.

And what the hell is a "Memory CARD"? Can I have one, please? No one can possibly need one more than I do.

A really tough Thursday. I had an absolutely wonderful time -- just as soon as I stopped having an absolutely terrible time. If you see what I mean.

bocamp 9:18 AM  

Enjoyed SKIPPING STONES with the granddaughters on Okanagan Lake in West Kelowna, BC.

Also with the granddaughters, many a CHESSGAME was 'drawn', usually due to stalemate.

"Stalemate is another type of Draw in the game of Chess. This means that if a Stalemate happens while playing a game, neither side wins or loses and the game ends in a Draw." (ChessMatec)

td pg -4 (timed out)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Blue Stater 9:26 AM  

Horrible, horrible, horrible. Worst Wednesday in years, compounded by the presence of letters with no crosses. I cannot understand why WS, even WS, publishes junk like this.

ulysses 9:27 AM  

our brains are magical. i enjoy how this was a medium-medium challenging and yesterday, too. i found each to be rather easy other than some of the crosswordese yesterday. today, the last letter i filled in (guessed) was the H in ShAY crossed with EXARCh. But the rebus was easy to parse and i found it to a fun and quick solve. To each his/her/their own.

SouthsideJohnny 9:49 AM  

You can tell it is getting later in the week because there are quite a few things that many people will only be familiar with due to extended stints on the planet CrossWorld - EXARCH, TOPE and perhaps SHAY come readily to mind.

WAR POET and ICE BALL seem a little contrived - but hey, you've got to make up something.

Personally, I don't believe "SISI" passes the common usage test (unless perhaps it is SI SI ! - in which case a fair number of Spanish speakers will disagree, lol). Anyway, I'd be fine with saying NYET, NYET ! to the whole lot of foreign words since they don't really enforce any type of general usage considerations (which is certainly their prerogative - but why lie about it?).

thfenn 9:58 AM  

Loved this one. Talk about a Thursday in your wheelhouse. Will admit I briefly entertained canoe bobbing and fishing related entries when I hit the reveal, but SKIPPING STONES was only a split second behind, and then it all fell together beautifully. And yes, stones skipping at evenly spaced intervals along the lake surface are things of beauty.

Momentarily had Walker before DEWARS, and would quibble with that a tad as the name in that case is actually Dewar, but of course DEWARS is OK (as an answer - if we're sticking with budget blends I'd go with Famous Grouse or Teachers, all of which pale up against those Islay single malts). Also like the way CHESSGAME sits there right in the middle of the checkerboard.
Had TYRANts (like Dewars, fine with the missing apostrophe), but, LOL, mainly got hung up smack dab in the middle - is it Mauna Kua, Lua, Luo, Lea, ahh KEA. Just never remember. Fun puzzle this AM.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

This was a good reminder of why the usual rule is that each square must be crossed. I couldn't finish because I thought "IDA" was "ISA" That one mistaken letter, which couldn't be corrected with any crossing clue, was the downfall of the whole puzzle for me, and that takes the fun out.

Billy 10:02 AM  

One day Lewis is going to crack and it is not going to be pretty

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

never mind, don't post previous comment; realized the D of "IDA" DID in fact cross, so it was just a bad day for me :).

pabloinnh 10:06 AM  

Somehow I got ROLLING and SKIPPING STONES and then went looking for other types of stones which were spaced out. Stoned stones. Anyway that was helpful.

DENTED for DINGED. Yep. Seinfield clues are still no help. BEANPATE looks to me like it's missing the S to make BEANPASTE. And if I have ever encountered EXARCH, it has escaped the memory bank. Not the kind of word I'm likely to forget, so I suspect it's my first time, and the only first time I'll have with this one.

Very happy to see ratATAT again. This used to be a frequent visitor and never strikes me as a very good excuse for a word, but SB likes it too, so what do I know?

Took a while to get into this one, some cluing I found a little tortured, but ultimately a very satisfying time. Thanks for the Themed Pulchritude, TP. More fun than I thought it would be.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

Ladle! I love it -- that's my favorite wrong fill of all time.

Exarch: I have listened to every single History of Byzantium podcast episode (Robin Pierson is a true legend) and I still didn't get this without any crosses.

jae 10:07 AM  

Easy, and easier than yesterday’s. EXARCH was a WOE but the rest was pretty straight forward. A very long time ago I Googled for the DEANE answer and found this blog. That was a few months after @Rex started it. I was just starting to get hooked on Xwords and the blog made me aware that these things could be done without Googling. Shortly after that I saw “Wordplay”. It’s been a fine ride.

Cute with a nice visual. Liked it.

Screw John McCrae 10:10 AM  

Ballade by the War Memorial.
(A Speech that would not be heard on Armistice Day).
By Alfred Evans-Jones.
Translated by Alan Llwyd.
From ghostly realms I come, a shade,
On your dead sons' behalf, to see
What honour, praise, or accolade:
We would return to, not that we
Would wish for your false eulogy.
But what is this? – the old, old lie
On stones to shame our memory:
"For one's own land, it's sweet to die."
When the wild heart of youth was made
Tame by the clumsy artistry
Of some rough blacksmith's bayonet blade
Or the hot bullet's ecstasy,
Or when the shells whined endlessly,
And then became a colder cry,
Would you still sing so joyously:
"For one's own land, it's sweet to die?
But it is sweet to be dismayed
On seeing those whom we made free
Through war grown wealthy, while, betrayed,
My friends who fought for victory
Now starve: I'd break these stones to be
Bread for old comrades of days gone by
While you still sing with so much glee:
"For one's own land it's sweet to die."
Friend, in the colours of the O.T.C.,
One day you will remember why
I challenged such hypocrisy:
"For one's own land, it's sweet to die."[150]

Liveprof 10:17 AM  

Hey! COSTANZA! -- Don't double dip in the BEAN PATE!

RooMonster 10:19 AM  

Hey All !
Who knew ANHEUSER wasn't spelled ANHEISER?

Nice puz. Had Rex's "off putting" "giant boxy white corners" because Timothy had to narrow down the Blocker count, as having to use said Blockers as part of the theme. Although, I think that rule of too many Blockers could've been broken for a theme such as this. But, nice job keeping them low.

Wanted 46D-Lose value quickly, to be "driving a new car off the lot", but it wouldn't fit.
Heck, you can't even get a new car nowadays.

In 'N' Out looks funny in the grid together. Would be a cool name for a motel, slso. The Inn Out. Or a campsite. They do have good food, that doesn't bother the digestive system like regular fast food joints.

@Blue Stater
It's Thursday. Unless you were saying today's and YesterPuz should have been switched. 😁

This puz was pretty tough for me. DNFed, as had to Reveal Puzzle to see my wrongness, which was a few. Agree with Rex's getting "Real cute with its clues" assessment.

No F's (again! Tis annoying, ASK ANYONE) 😋

Tom T 10:37 AM  

This one took less time than the Wednesday for me. Slowed down trying to figure out the theme words. Didn't help that I confidently entered SKImmING STONES across the bottom. SKImmINGSTONES is correct by the way--just Ask Sir Elton:

"Me and Susie had so much fun,
Holding hands and SKImmING STONES,
Had an old gold chevy and a place of my own."

TJS 10:47 AM  

I used to think of "Cutesy" as mildly amusing, but I have personally re-defined it to "Wanna puke".

Y'all know who you are, right?

Terri 10:50 AM  

I don’t know why it took me forever to see ATEATON . I got it from crosses but couldn’t figure how “ate at on” made any sense until about my third time checking after I finished.

Whatsername 10:52 AM  

I’ll join the chorus of those who liked this better after it was finished. Must admit it is a very clever theme and visually quite appealing. However the rest of the fill seemed like a slog to me and heavy on the trivia.

I don’t even own an appliance that would AIR POP popcorn. I mean the salt won’t even stick to it. What’s the point? You might as well eat a rice cake. Or a piece of cardboard.

Is BEAN PATE just a fancy word for bean dip? Sounds like something George COSTANZA would’ve ATE A TON of at the free buffet. Don’t believe me?  ASK ANYONE.

A 11:01 AM  

Printed this one out last night and went to bed in dread of what all those isolated black squares were up to. This morning started out slow, but getting DEWARS and DEMERIT off the bat encouraged me. Even seeing my SAAB (with the top down) out the window didn’t speed me along - had S—B before the duh moment. But things literally got ROLLING midway through, and I got to the finish without further DINGs. A fine Thursday offering.

Hand up for DeNtED, but only for three seconds. I was held up more by ASKArouNd.

Do kids still read Black Beauty? I think that’s where I learned SHAY - that or Sherlock Holmes.

Wanted something French for “Dispensable young beau.” BOY TOY got a snicker.

Ooh, Yo Yo Ma and I share a birthday. He’s one special human. Found this intriguing video, The Walls, which premiers in a few hours.

Casarussell 11:03 AM  

I liked this puzzle, but after the solve I was sure Rex would point out the "looseness" of the theme: The first themer is figurative (ROLLING) while the next two are actual stones (ROSETTA, BLARNEY).

Is it just me?

Canon Chasuble 11:05 AM  

I have never replied to others’ replies to this blog, but I must take exception to those writers who by their glib comments deride and denigrate what they do not know or do not want to know or just plain do not understand. War is often of course, dreadful. But why would you mock anyone who died fighting in a cause they thought to be just, let alone honorable? War poets such Brooke, Owen, Nicholls, Sassoon and even McCrae (who wrote just that one poem as far as I know) experienced battle, tragedy, loss and death. If you think that is funny, then you are more to be pitied than laughed at.

JD 11:06 AM  

Tough for me and really tough at Deane, Dry, A Lister (B Listers are "celebs" too), Goths (did the lack of Vis really cripple me, yes), Mare. All sour grapes there because I had to cheat. Still admire the artistry of the thing.

English lit covered the WW I poets so I could puzzle it out, but I'd never heard of War Poet as a category. The wiki page covers everything from the Old Testament to the war on terror.

@Canon Chasuble, Thanks. Moving writeup.

Nancy 11:19 AM  

@thfenn (9:58) -- You consider DEWARS a "budget blend"???!!! Not in my experience. How much do those single malts cost, anyway? Oh, and by the way, I prefer a great [full-bodied] blend like DEWARS to most single malts I've tried -- because it's less rough and much smoother.

While I think "Flanders Field" is a beautifully written poem, I agree with Anon 10:10 when he cites a powerful antiwar poem from WWI to rebut its sentiments. Here's another memorable WWI antiwar poem from Wilfred Owen. Some of you may already know it.

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Joseph Michael 11:26 AM  

Thought the grid was a maze when I first saw it and wondered what I was in for. Then after much struggling and SAABing, I finally realized why I had spelled out R-O-L-L-I-N-G in the fifth row. Timothy Pollin strikes again.

Great workout with many terrifically devious clues. (I finally just got the twist on MARACA) Even though I TANKed in the NW and had to ask Dr. Google for help with EXARCH, I loved the puzzle.

Like Rex’s term “letteral clues” for the likes of 20D and share his annoyance with them. Also like his take on DRY EYES as a medical condition and not a reaction.

Watching “Season 2 of “Ted LASSO” on Apple TV and loving it.

mathgent 11:28 AM  

Timothy Polin never disappoints. Cute theme, clever cluing, challenging crunch, clean grid. And only five threes. Bravo!

"In Flanders Fields" may be the first adult poem I ever read. Growing up in the forties, veteran's groups would raise money around Armistice Day (since 1954, Veteran's Day) by offering an artificial poppy to those who made a contribution. Stores would display a placard with the poem written on it in their windows. There was a poppy attached.

The In-N-Out near us is by far the most successful fast food restaurant in the area. I went there a couple of weeks ago in the late afternoon. There were at least twenty cars lined up at the takeout window and most of the tables inside occupied. I had the double-patty double-cheese with crunchy lettuce and tomato. Very good for about six dollars.

GILL I. 11:29 AM  

You know...I'm sure if I sat down with Timothy and had an ANHOUSER (even though I hate beer) and ate some BEAN PATE (even though I also hate that stuff)...we'd get along just fine. The problem is that we just don't see eye to eye. I NEVER understand his puzzles. Words like EXARCH and BOOER and ATAT give me the heebie jeebies and that is one word I'd love to see in my crossword.
I got to 1A (my favorite way to start) and I got up and looked at our liquor cabinet. Hmmmm. We have Macallan, Talisker and some DEWARS. (Just to be clear, folks, and I don't want you to go around thinking I'm the town drunk....we have a bunch of people over for drinky-poos and everyone likes to drink scotch.). that off my CHESS.
Back to puzzle....Not much else to say other than IN N OUT. I love hamburgers. I rarely ever finish a whole one.... When I got my COVID vaccination I was starved. I went to IN N OUT and ordered a double double animal style with chopped chiles and a pink lemonade. I ate every single bite. I belched my way home and sang "You Are My Sunshine."

Blue Stater 11:30 AM  

Uh, let's make that Thursday.... Still horrible.

thfenn 11:40 AM  

@Nancy, smiles, I sounded much snobbier than I meant to. LOL, glad I didn't wax on about loving SAABs (though cut my teeth on their early 3 cylinder models which weren't exactly for the same market as their later models). Am very happy easily pouring a Dewar's. But yeah, I do think Scotch heaven has Lagavullin and Laphroaig in it, among others.

Unknown 11:53 AM  

1 Across suggests a related theme, with HOPSCOTCH as the revealer.
I also tried EELS, perhaps because the Brits are crazy enough to eat eel jelly.

Nancy 11:53 AM  

And here's a poem that both validates the soldier and his sacrifice (hi, Canon Chasuble) while at the same time giving voice to the folly and jingoism and tragedy of war. It's a "barroom ballad" by one of my all-time faves, Rudyard Kipling, and I do think that Kipling nails it:

From "Tommy"

...Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

If you're not a Scotch connoisseur and your knowledge of central Asian geography is decent but not great, Ural can seem like just as good a choice as Aral...

Unknown 12:10 PM  

Ugh. Not one but two comments from blue stater.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

c'mon @OFL!!! Silas DEANE is a really, really famous Patriot. They even named a two lane road in shithole counties of CT after him: The Silas Deane Highway. Now, of course, it's just a two lane country road, but way back when, it was a big deal.

Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Yay!! no rebus.

bocamp 12:17 PM  

Hands up for ANHEiSER.

@Joseph Michael (11:26 AM)

Ditto for Ted LASSO. Great series! :)

td pg -1 (after 1st OT)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Whatsername 12:18 PM  

@Liveprof (10:17) I thought of that too. 😄

@GILL (11:29) Your IN-N-OUT story had me ROLLING this morning. I don’t do Scotch, even DEWARS, but I would really love to have a drinky-poo with you someday.

Douglas 12:22 PM  

@zuzz 6:53. The clue for 42A is movie snack , not movie theater snack. I would guess that far more people watch movies in their home now than in the theaters.

Maybe . . . 12:27 PM  

Blarney Castle may be made of stone, but there is only one Blarney Stone. No one refers to "Blarney stones".

jb129 12:31 PM  

Got the theme right away. This was hard but kept me going. I had DENTED & ANHEISER for so long.

Finally finished.

Marc 12:32 PM  

My rock skipping excursions were limited to rivers. The clue carries no association for me.

GILL I. 12:33 PM  

@Whatsername. You, @Frantic, @AJ, @Nancy...hell, everybody on this blog is welcome to my house for drinky-poos. I'll even provide the ice and chips..... ;-)

Rolling Stoner 12:35 PM  

@12:10 Attack the post all you want, but not the poster. Your comment says a lot more about you than it does about blue stater.

Zwhatever 12:35 PM  

@Anon10:02/10:03 - There is a magical power imbued in the “Publish Your Comment” button. You are not the first nor will you be the last to feel it’s power. Been there. Done that.

@TJS - Or, you know, just don’t read comments that you think are going to annoy you.

@Canon Chasuble11:05 - War is often of course, dreadful. And you felt moved to chastise others for being glib?

@Douglas - Sure. I can’t argue. Still a sin against all that is good and buttery.

@Maybe - I understood the revealer to refer to the three SKIPPING STONES in the puzzle. One ROLLING stone, one ROSETTA Stone, and one BLARNEY stone gave us three SKIPPING STONES.

I know many of you don’t do Twitter and most, like me, don’t follow many authors. But poor Joyce Carol Oates getting dragged and pummeled for coming out against the singular they breeched my timeline. My favorite was an image posted of a singular they spelt “þei” (that’s a “thorn” the old English/Middle English glyph we have replaced with “th”). The person sharing the image of that manuscript was pointing out that singular they is older than singular you and we get along just fine without “thou.” As I’ve said here before, before proclaiming something wrong it is never a bad idea to spend 42 seconds with Uncle Google. This is true for peons like me, it is even more true when you have a reputation to protect.

Charles Young 12:39 PM  

Liked it more! Not liked it better!

JC66 12:41 PM  


Blarney Castle may be made of stone, but there is only one Blarney Stone. No one refers to "Blarney stones".

R O L L I N G, R O S E T T A and B L A R N E Y; three different SKIPPING STONES.

JD 12:45 PM  

@Whatsername (the salt won't stick), @Gill (heebie jeebies and every surrounding word), @Nancy (Wilford Owen makes me cry), @Frantic (you write purdy and make me laugh), @A (in dread of what those isolated black squares were up to) I love you all and your posts today were especially rewarding. All of them.

CDilly52 12:47 PM  

@Frantic: you and I may have been separated at birth. (Ditto the dirty snicker). Although my maturity may not be as elevated as yours as it rarely rises to the PB&J heights.

mathgent 12:48 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

Canon Chasuble (6:46)
Nancy (9:11)
Canon Chasuble (11:05)

Bad Mouse 12:49 PM  

Ugh. Not one but two comments from blue stater.

yeah, well, without the Blue States, the Red States wouldn't be second world shitholes, but third world shitholes.

"An Associated Press Fact Check finds it’s actually the other way around. High-tax, traditionally Democratic states (blue), subsidize low-tax, traditionally Republican states (red) — in a big way."
"In fact, most high-tax states send more money to Washington than they get back in federal spending. Most low-tax states make a profit from the federal government’s system of taxing and spending."
"Mississippi received $2.13 for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington in 2015, according to the Rockefeller study. West Virginia received $2.07, Kentucky got $1.90 and South Carolina got $1.71."

and , of course, Mississippi has about the worst Covid response in the country.

and it's been that way for decades.

Wanderlust 12:52 PM  

Agree with you on the clever clues, which is always one of my favorite parts of solving. But I would add the clues for LASSO (One way to prevent stock losses) and especially TYRANNY (Rule that should be broken), which Rex hated but I loved.

CDilly52 12:54 PM  

Thank you @Canon Chasuble, and well said. I couldn’t agree more.

Teedmn 12:54 PM  

ANHEiSER certainly made SPLIT UP hard to see but I made this harder on myself in the other bottom corner with ATE A lOt. And somehow my brain SKIPPed right over the ROSETTA split. If I had seen that, the BLARNEY would have been obvious from B_ARNE_ but with only ROLLING to compare it to, I was a bit at SEAS.

I loved DRY EYES when I finally saw it.

Super Thursday puzzle, Timothy Polin. ASK ANYONE!

johnk 12:55 PM  

Done, and nicely satisfied. Time to get stoned?

old timer 12:56 PM  

I predicted we would get another rebus today -- but is this truly a rebus? It certainly is a puzzle I only would expect to see on a Thursday, or perhaps on a very ambitious Sunday.

I found it almost too Easy, and liked it a little less than yesterday's.

I see I am not the first to have immediately thought of O.W. Holmes's One Hoss Shay. Holmes is best known today as the father of the famous Supreme Court justice. But in his own day, he was America's most famous essayist, with a little light poetry thrown in. Poor Poe might have done well financially, had he led a more sober life. But Holmes, I think, was the first American author to actually make enough from copyright royalties to settle down and enjoy the fruits of his labor, while coming from humble beginnings (his father was a respected minister, but not wealthy). James F. Cooper also did well as an author, but his father had some serious money, and was the founder of Cooperstown, N.Y.

Of course the self-made man who made a fortune as an American author was Sam Clemens, aka Mark Twain. He managed to lose a lot of it -- but then, those royalties never stopped coming in.

CDilly52 1:05 PM  

The unchecked square conundrum had me head-scratching this morning as well. I am saying hat’s off to our able constructor who may have created a new category of crossword square, the “clued by the reveal to avoid a truly unchecked square” clue.

Although our “stones” have no numbered clues, if the solver is still struggling to finish and makes it down to the very last Across, she finds a clue to those lines. I say credit where credit is due. Congratulations Mr. Polin for a very cleverly and creatively crafted grid.

Screw John McCrae 1:10 PM  

@Canon Chasuble - Synopsis of In Flanders Fields

Stanza 1: There's a cemetery in Flanders, with larks & poppies
Stanza 2: The people buried there died in war, but previously had friends and were loved
Stanza 3: Keep sending the cannon fodder.

Oh, as @Z said, War is often of course, dreadful!!???

Speaking of @Z: I don't know how you make pop-corn, but however you pop it, melted butter then the salt comes after it's been popped.

CDilly52 1:17 PM  

I had a bit of a like/not so much relationship with this puzzle. First of all the grid drove my astigmatism nuts. I need new lenses and this just pointed up that fact. Happily, I do see the eye doc in a couple weeks.

Grids with the “islands of doom” as I call them which provide no easy transit between them. The solver is stranded looking for a way out. Fortunately, the SKIPPING STONES’ names gave enough extra real estate to “Wade” carefully from place to place. And the journey was full of fun.

Very Thursday puzzle and very, very Timothy Polin. Can I have an AMEN?!

Carola 1:21 PM  

Terrific puzzle - a delightful theme, some challenging cluing - and the goofy gap-toothed-grin look of the grid that had me smiling before I had anything tilled in. I breezed through the top, needed to work at the bottom, and had a blind spot for the theme until the very end. When I read the clue for the reveal, ROLLING was the only complete theme answer I had, and the "lakeside activity" I came up with had to do with logs. Admittedly, log-ROLLING takes place in a lake, but I counted close to shore as close enough. The blind spot thus concealed ROSETTA and BLARNEY until I finally had the last row of SKIPPING STONES filled in. I give the puzzle an "Aces!' and me a dunce cap for clinging to logs when I'd had almost all of the last two STONES right in front of me. But being faked-out is part of the fun.

@Conrad 5:30 - Another Flanders and Swann fan here. It's hard to pick out favorites in their wordplay, but this one has to be right up there (Me,Too issues notwithstanding).

@Anonymous 8:04 - No, there are at least three of us; my husband has a copy of one of Howard Pyle's original illustrations.

@commenters - Thank you to all who have posted poems. I offer "Grodek" (1914) by the German Expressionist poet Georg Trakl (the translator here is not credited). Trakl served as a medic with the Austro-Hungarian army, which suffered a crushing defeat by Russia at this site on the Eastern Front.

At evening the autumn woodlands ring
With deadly weapons. Over the golden plains
And lakes of blue, the sun
More darkly rolls. The night surrounds
Warriors dying and the wild lament
Of their fragmented mouths.
Yet silently there gather in the willow combe
Red clouds inhabited by an angry god,
Shed blood, and the chill of the moon.
All roads lead to black decay.

Under golden branching of the night and stars
A sister's shadow sways through the still grove
To greet the heroes' spirits, the bloodied heads.
And softly in the reeds Autumn's dark flutes resound.

O prouder mourning! - You brazen altars,
The spirit's hot flame is fed now by a tremendous pain:
The grandsons, unborn.

(For those who read German: "Grodek")

Pistachio Rib Relish 1:26 PM  

Maybe it says too much about family history, but I had Memory CARE which crosses at EMPLOYEE, whose clue, to my dismay, I never really read. Almost DNF, but kept searching and found the offender one letter off from what it should have been .

Unknown 1:33 PM  

Enjoyed this one, because (1) it seemed hard, but (2) I was able to finish it in like 25 minutes with no googling! Ditto to dented before dinged. I got the revealer before I got any of the themers, and the revealer helped me a lot with getting Rosetta and rolling. That got me going in the middle and the upper sections of the grid. Great puzzle, timothy! Really loved it

VancouverNana 2:14 PM  

A Lister as in “A List”. Confused me too at first. 😇

okanaganer 2:16 PM  

Finished with ANHAUSER crossing SHAP. I have never heard of SHEP whashisname; I have seen the Busch company mentioned before but ANHAUSER looked and still looks correct. I aced the whole tricky center part, but goofed on that. Wahh.

[SB yd 0; QB for 9 straight days now! Haven't started today's yet..]

jberg 2:33 PM  

I hated the grid when I first saw it, but loved the puzzle once I figured out what was going on. What a lovely puzzle! And with my name in it! (Yes, I don't look like much on the surface, but take an MRI and you'll be amazed.)

Despite my not being able to remember George COSTANZA's surname, and wanting DeNtED, ATE A lOt, and some nice Swedish lAmB, this one was mostly on my wavelength. I didn't know what an EXARCH was, but knew the word from fantasy novels. Back in school, when holidays were about remembering things rather than shopping, we had class on Armistice Day and all trooped into the auditorium to hear a dramatic reading of "In Flanders Fields." And my mother used to read us The Deacon's Masterpiece. My kids used to go to a school where if you got too many DEMERITs it would lower your grade in "deportment." So "BATTEN down the hatches and get solving," I told myself.

And great fill, given the constraings of the grid, with all those mentioned, plus BOY TOY.

My only slight quibble -- since cars actually have parts called "rods," it seems off to use the word to clue REAR AXLE.

Fun fact: if you get one of those stand alone gadgets to AIR POP your popcorn, you can also use it to do a pretty good job of roasting green coffee beans.

kitshef 2:35 PM  

@Tom T 10:37 - Skimming stones is a different activity, aiming for maximum distance. Skipping stones the aim is most 'skips'.

bigsteve46 2:36 PM  

re. anonymous 12:11 - Connecticut doesn't have any "shithole" counties; in fact the state has only 8 counties in all, most of them quite nice, thank you. If it is shithole counties you seek, try Georgia (159) or better yet, Texas (254): shitholes, galore!

Joe Dipinto 2:38 PM  

Thank you, @Tom T 10:37, I kept remembering "something something and skipping stones" as the lyric to a major Top 10 hit but wasn't coming up with anything and Google wasn't helping. That's because I was actually thinking of Crocodile Rock's "skimming stones".

Some jazz with your burger?

egsforbreakfast 2:44 PM  

Unchecked squares? Maybe I’ll submit one with a single clue: In 225 characters, describe why you love the NYTXW.

I finished it easily. I enjoyed it. But….. I guess I’m just too much of a stickler for the basic rules.

albatross shell 2:44 PM  

@blue stater, Roo
I mentioned yesterday that a Wednesday rebus would cause this confusion. But maybe it was too much DEWARS.

I almost always enjoy weird grids. And some wonderful clues. ATEATON caused me none because my first entry was ATE A lOt. But now I can see AT EAT ON, ATE AT ON, A TEAT ON, A TEA TON. Might be a record for nonsense DOOKs of 7 letters.

HAND ELLS DRYEYES AWAYTEAM (My first thought was visitors) CHESSGAME REARAXLE BERG MARACA BOYTOY all had good clues. My favorite was TYRANNY.

My second favorite was incorrect: scratch for Mark on one's record. At least I did not start thinking of musicians named Mark. I was also wavering between GPA and GeN for 2.0 for one. Then NEXTGEN showed up.

Don't most phones have memory CARDs these days? Or are iphones different or is my terminology imprecise?

I guess some asteroids may be BALLS but most are irregular I think. Not sure many have water either.

Silliest question raised today: How to you get salt to stick on air popped popcorn. You put butter on it. Besides some salt will stay on it anyway. You could salt the butter too. Oh. My local movie theater used an air popper for a while. Not sure if they still do. Art Deco built in 1941. The theater not the popcorn.

Masked and Anonymous 2:51 PM  

So, this is what a rebus after-party looks like, theme-wise! Very different. Maybe even weird. Cool.

Mighty tough sleddin, in the early solvequest, at our house. Long, almost themeless-like word stacks in the NW & NE. Then U also got the "let's say temporarily" unchecked letters in some of the crossin answers. Yikes. Lost many precious nanoseconds.
Things got somewhat easier, once I didn't have to "skip" over knowin what the themers were up to, anymore. Pretty brutal, tho, that U didn't get the revealer bone tossed out until row 15. woof.

staff weeject pick: Of only 5 choices, unless U count the 1-letter words. Guess we'll go with Hurricane IDA, becuz the "I" of the hurricane was caught in a dreaded Skippy Area, for a while.

M&A's gettin here kinda late, today. Was off to the doc's office earlier, to get our annual flu shots. M&A, upon leavin the house: "Let's give it a shot." M&A at the doc's check-in counter: "We're the flu crew."
yep. M&A's life is like a series of runtpuz clues.
Then "after a few shots", we rewarded ourselves, by stoppin at the local donut shop. Several donuts flu off the shelves and shot into our mouths.
But, I digress. Will skip the details, and roll along ...

Thanx for the downright weird fun, Mr. Polin dude. Weird is one rung above different, in M&A's puz-ratin system, btw. Sooo … primo job.

Masked & AnonymoUUs

more rollin stuff:

Him 2:56 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard Stanford 2:56 PM  

Had TOkE instead of TOPE which didn’t make much sense (luckily EUROPE fixed it) but I still don’t know TOPE.

Him 2:57 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
albatross shell 2:57 PM  

Not passing the breakfast test war poem:

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

Legume 3:07 PM  

@Richard Stanford:
but I still don’t know TOPE

well, another round of 'Have Some Madeira, M'Dear' - Flanders and Swann

She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice
She was fair, she was sweet seventeen.
He was old, he was vile, and no stranger to vice
He was base, he was bad, he was mean.
He had slyly inveigled her up to his flat
To view his collection of stamps,
And he said as he hastened to put out the cat,
The wine, his cigar and the lamps:


Unaware of the wiles of the snake-in-the-grass
And the fate of the maiden who topes,
She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
Her courage, her eyes and his hopes.
She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did!
He promptly refilled it again,
And he said as he secretly carved one more notch
On the butt of his gold-headed cane:

[the rest of the stuff]

Hartley70 3:09 PM  

Another fantastic puzzle. Woohoo! I agree it was a medium and I loved the grid. One glance and I was ready for a unique Thursday. Thank you, Mr. Polin.
EXARCH was the only complete in known to me. I got it from the crosses. Everything else was fair and square. BEANPATE does not sound inviting although it’’s probably and sadly very good for me. I could probably find it at Whole Foods but I won’t. The revealer was clever and unexpected. I saw the SK and thought waterSKiing or SKidoo but I fear the latter won’t float. SKIPPINGSTONES worked perfectly. No special skills required.
Hello, whoever you are…CT is pretty uniformly lovely if I do say so myself.

bocamp 4:45 PM  

Becca's Mexican BEAN 'vegetarian' PÂTÉ:

"My go to base for vegetarian pâté is always walnuts with some kind of bean or chickpeas. It gives a fantastic thick, spreadable texture that’s full of protein. I suppose you could experiment with different kinds of nuts too if you fancy it, but for this spicy Mexican bean vegetarian pâté I stuck with my tried and tested combination. This time I used kidney beans, which gave the pâté a slightly pink colour."

(Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian)

td 0 (in 2nd OT)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

bookmark 4:55 PM  

Love Masked and Anonymous's posts!

albatross shell 5:06 PM  

Sorry you couldn't get a touchdown in your 2nd overtime. Better luck next game.

Georgia 5:41 PM  

"A Lister." Celebrities are on "A lists" for the most exclusive events.

Georgia 5:42 PM  

Whoops. Never mind my response. :)

pabloinnh 5:49 PM  

Forgot to say.

Went to Ireland.

Kissed the Blarney Stone.

Didn't work.

Wellmet 5:56 PM  

Great puzzle. Very unusual grid that prevented a lot of crosses for aid. Did the heavy lifting late last night. Filled in the the finishing touches this afternoon.

Barbara S. 6:34 PM  

No time to comment today. Loved the puzzle for its original and unexpected grid arrangement, and some fine and tricksy clueing. Can't stay out of the war poetry discussion. Poems with compassion for the people who have to fight and die are always moving to me, even though I'm at heart a pacifist. This Wilfred Owen takes a different tack and has, I feel, the power of a punch to the gut.

"The Parable of the Old Man and the Young"

pabloinnh 7:36 PM  

Plenty of anti-war songs, for sure, but one of the most moving for me is Eric Bogle's "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", as sung by Liam Clancy.

Highly recommended.

Enough out of me for today, as I have a baseball game to watch.

Richard Stanford 7:51 PM  

@Legume and I actually have that album too! Guess I never paid that much attention.

Anonymous 8:42 PM  

How embarrassing that I got stuck on GPA. I guess that’s because if someone had ever said 2.0 to me in the same sentence as GPA back when I was in school, I probably would have had a heart attack. I guess if you tope too much, you might get a 2.0.

Chris P. 9:04 PM  

Boy did I have fun in the Northwest corner.

At various times, I had DEWARS, ARAL, EXARCH and SHAY, but never all at the same time - until the end.

Before that, I had STAN (completing kazakh-- and uzbeki-- (don't ask)), URAL and ELAL (really? ELAL?), STAY and SWAY (because I had no idea what an informal light carriage could possibly be).

And my favorite mistake: DEWeRS... which I stayed with for a really long time until ARAL finally gave me DEWARS. I drink Scotch but not DEWARS (or even Dewers).

Oh yeah, also BLEMISH occupied 1-down until I could not come up with a 6 letter Scotch, and then I went back to DEWeRS and thought of DEMERIT.

I even suspected that TEST might be the proctored event for some time.

Phew ! ...but victory at last, and a good mental workout today.

Unknown 9:38 PM  

The sheer brilliance of this puzzle survived TOPE . . . .

sixtyni yogini 10:08 PM  

❤️❤️❤️ this 🧩
Two aces in a row this week

Noreen 10:26 PM  

Among the war poets of World War I, Wilfred Owen stands out for his bitter appraisal in "Dulce et Decorum." Tragic then and tragic now.

Anonymous 11:43 PM  

I finally figured out ALISTER - it's A-lister, which is barely a word, but at least is a somewhat sensible answer.

stephanie 11:51 PM  

i really liked this one. a classic thought-i-was-doomed-but-i-worked-hard-and-it-paid-off experience which i always enjoy. the theme was good too. as usual, i got SKIPPING STONES first and then worked backwards on that front. saw BLARNEY right away, but then looking at what i had left i thought, there's no way ROSETTA isn't one of the answers. so i had to give up some of my fills. had FENCE before LASSO, and HATER before BOOER. also had LEAS before SEAS, CRUDITES before BEAN PATE, and DENTED before DINGED...but actually i "realized" it "must be" DINTED and thought "ugh, that's stupid." didn't know GOTHS in this context so TOTHS seemed plausible enough. also misspelled DEWERS and again thought, ERAL? sure.

so, a DNF with those two little squares but i don't care, i really worked the ol' brain and it was satisfying. googled my good guesses after i filled them in: TOPE, MARE, EXARCH, TITO. didn't care to learn about today: DEANE, SHAY.

stephanie 11:54 PM  

@anon 8:42pm i had GPA early on, but then the longer the puzzle went on, the more the voice in the back of my brain said "it's gonna be VER. you're gonna have to change it...come on...version 2.0 is way better...change it!" thankfully i resisted but it easily could have gone the other way and really gummed up the works. as an honors kid, a 2.0 GPA definitely wouldn't have been acceptable or even possible in my world.

stephanie 12:04 AM  

@albatross shell they're referred to as SIM cards. a memory card would be in like, a digital camera for example. still, and although they look different, they certainly have overlapping functions.

from wiki:
"A SIM card, also known as subscriber identity module or subscriber identification module (SIM), is an integrated circuit running a card operating system (COS) that is intended to securely store the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key, which are used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers). It is also possible to store contact information on many SIM cards. SIM cards are always used on GSM phones; for CDMA phones, they are needed only for LTE-capable handsets. SIM cards can also be used in satellite phones, smart watches, computers, or cameras."

smartphones these days store stuff like photos, apps, etc in the cloud, which is great because i remember back when you'd have to manually re-enter your entire contacts list upon getting a new phone. now i can just sync to the cloud and everything from my contacts to my photos to my apps and the way i have them organized, to even the lockscreen/homescreen pix and volume levels and notifications, is taken care of automatically.

Eldreth 12:22 AM  

Can anyone tell me what dbyd means in this blog?

Eldreth 12:23 AM  

Can anyone tell me what dbyd means in this blog?

cindylkaplan 8:47 AM  

Nice observation 👍

cindylkaplan 8:57 AM  

Thank you. Your brief nutshell description words touched me deeply, and although I plan to read more on this subject that I never knew much about, I already know from your account all I really need to know - the horrors of war and all violence and of Man’s inhumanity to Man (and to beast , planet, atmosphere, as well).

Ben 2:32 PM  

Oh, and also -- a TIGON is not a mythical creature, but the very real offspring of a male tiger and a female lion. A female tiger and a male lion will produce a liger, which more people are probably familiar with due to Napoleon Dynamite.

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