Boston exurb / SAT 11-6-21 / Bell Labs development of the 1970s / Prominent attire for Jr. Pac-Man / Reciprocal of a siemens / Creature whose male incubates the eggs, during which it won't eat, drink or defecate for 50+ days / Toni Morrison title character who lives in the Bottom / Furry creature that Wallace becomes during the full moon, in a "Wallace & Gromit" film

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Constructor: Brooke Husic and Will Nediger

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (could play lots of ways, depending on your specific type of pop culture knowledge)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Diane ARBUS (5D: Photographer Diane) —
Diane Arbus
 (/dˈæn ˈɑːrbəs/; née Nemerov; March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer. Arbus worked to normalize marginalized groups and highlight the importance of proper representation of all people. She worked with a wide range of subjects including; stripperscarnival performersnudistsdwarves, children, mothers, couples, elderly people, and middle-class families. She photographed her subjects in familiar settings: their homes, on the street, in the workplace, in the park. "She is noted for expanding notions of acceptable subject matter and violates canons of the appropriate distance between photographer and subject. By befriending, not objectifying her subjects, she was able to capture in her work a rare psychological intensity." In his 2003 New York Times Magazine article, "Arbus Reconsidered," Arthur Lubow states, "She was fascinated by people who were visibly creating their own identities—cross-dressers, nudists, sideshow performers, tattooed men, the nouveaux riches, the movie-star fans—and by those who were trapped in a uniform that no longer provided any security or comfort." Michael Kimmelman writes in his review of the exhibition Diane Arbus Revelations, that her work "transformed the art of photography (Arbus is everywhere, for better and worse, in the work of artists today who make photographs)". (wikipedia)
• • •

Much nicer, and weirdly easier (for me), than this week's Friday offering. This puzzle has the thing that I like in all puzzles but especially in more toughly clued puzzles and that is (a homonym of) FLOE. It FLOWS. Long answers flow into long answers flow into long answers flow into long answers flow into long answers. Clues stump you at first take, but the whoosh of answers all around you allows for crosses to build up and dislodge you from wherever you've gotten stuck, such that you're never stuck for very long. Or I wasn't, anyway. The worst parts of the solve by far were those teeny corners in the NE and SW. Harrowing, because they are sequestered, with only one tiny way in and no way out. Seemed like you might go into either one of them and never come out. In an early-week puzzle, I would not fear those corners, but on a Saturday, they're potential nightmares. So those corners not only seem like haunted spaces you might enter and never be heard from again, they also offer comparatively little upside. That is, if you're successful, the only really positive feeling you have is the feeling of having survived. It's all short fill in there—very little reward for the briefly harrowing experience of going in in the first place. And sure enough, they were toughish little sections where I felt like I was only ever one lucky guess or one "just happen to know that" away from failing. Guessed SALEM off the "M" and then knew "SULA" (9A: Toni Morrison title character who lives in the Bottom), so the NE was definitely the easier of the two wee corners. In the SW you've got two cross-referenced clues jammed in there together, which immediately makes things harder. Also, I don't know my animated films at all, really, so "IGOR" had to come together from crosses. But I didn't actually get stuck in that corner either. Those corners still seem potentially lethal, but I survived. And the rest of the grid, as I say, was a sparkling ODYSSEY, ending at the bottom with my favorite little section, the PLAZA HOTEL and "I OWE YOU ONE!"

There is a danger of alienation and exclusion when you rely so heavily on very specific, some might argue niche, pop culture fill. "IGOR" at least was gettable from crosses and is a name I already associate with "monsters," so it doesn't matter so much that I never saw or heard of the movie. It would've been a little more frustrating if I'd never heard of the WERERABBIT (16A: Furry creature that Wallace becomes during the full moon, in a "Wallace & Gromit" film). Again, you can pick it up from crosses, and eventually infer its parts from the clue. But my condolences to the non-Wallace & Gromit fans today. Don't get me wrong, it's a great answer and I loved seeing it (I feel like we have the DVD somewhere, though haven't watched it since our daughter was little). But that and PROPELLER BEANIE made me wonder whether there were solvers out there being baffled by stuff that was just not on their radar. Now that I think about it, though, even if I hadn't heard of Wallace & Gromit or Jr. Pac-Man (which I thought it was Pac-Man Jr. and honestly don't really remember well at all), I probably could've put WERERABBIT and PROPELLER BEANIE together. The latter is a thing you might associate with a "Jr." and is a reasonably familiar item that can ultimately be inferred from crosses if not from video game knowledge, and WERERABBIT has familiar parts to it that are tipped by the clue. So all's fair. Nothing particularly exclusionary about how proper nouns / pop culture went down today. Again, as with the small corners, there's horror potential, but ultimately there's a happy ending.

I don't think of TEXTS as being parts of threads—I think of threads as a Twitter thing—but that's just because I use Twitter a lot and I don't text often. Also, my texts ... I just don't think of them as separated into threads. The conversation just ... goes ... doesn't feel so much like a discrete unit. Maybe this is because I'm not in a bunch of different group texts. Whatever, I still like the clue a lot (20A: Thread count?). Harrowing to get a "?" clue right at the gate of one of the teeny corners, but I worked it out. Forgot what hush puppies were so was Surprised by PONE (not as Wordsworthian as being "Surprised by Joy," but I could maybe write an ODE about it: "Surprised by PONE [...] I turned to share the corn bread—Oh! with whom / But thee!" Etc.). I was picturing STEVE Harvey but still couldn't come up with STEVE 'til I got crosses (1D: Martin or Harvey). Wrote in Anouk AIMEÉ (!?) before Sophia LOREN (2D: Actress with an Academy Award for 1960's "Two Women"). ADHD before PTSD (30D: What cognitive behavioral therapy might treat, in brief). If you went to a Starbucks and tried to order just a "Grande," they'd be confused, I think, so I wanted the answer to be STARBUCKS SIZES, not ORDERS, but of course that didn't fit. [Pickup line?] is a pretty good clue for CABS—you always order cabernet if you wanna pick someone up at a bar. Trust me, I have picked up precisely zero people this way, or any way, it'll work!* Congrats to this puzzle for getting the word "defecate" into the clues (50A: Creature whose male incubates the eggs, during which it won't eat, drink or defecate for 50+ days). Now onward, into the grid! Let the defecation era commence!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

*I know it's the vehicle kind of cab here, please don't email

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:38 AM  

Just a minute and a half longer than my Saturday PR. IGOR was a WOE but, as @Rex points out, inferrable. I don't know Wallace & Grommit but I was able to type in the WERE part of 16A from the clue, and then got enough crosses for RABBIT. Didn't know SULA but the rest of the NE corner was fair. Lost most of my time in the SW but ultimately IT'S ME and the guessed-at IGOR delivered the rest. Only overwrite that took any time at all was uggs for the Hush Puppies alternative at 25A. Until I noticed that "puppies" wasn't capitalized in the clue.

SouthsideJohnny 7:09 AM  

Found it to be a little on the easy side and actually pretty enjoyable. I can be dead in the water on more difficult Saturdays, but I probably struggled my way through about two-thirds of this one unassisted. Major roadblocks would be the usual suspects such as SULA and ARBUS, and just not strong enough in the SE to parse together PLAZA HOTEL. I’ll take one like this every Saturday, please !

Lewis 7:17 AM  

‘twas a good week for Will N, with a LAT puzzle two days ago made with our Nancy, and now today’s. He and Brooke created a worthy Saturday ODYSSEY for me, with plenty of mini-ahas that came when finally enough crosses tripped off answers, several FLOWS, and notable rub in the NE and SW islands. And hello, where’s the junk in this 72-worder? Gone, maybe scarfed up by that poor hungry and thirsty EMU.

The puzzle left me with some lovely images – the [Response at the door] of a SLAM from the WIND, the line of CABS at the PLAZA HOTEL, the […private party] that OOZED with GLITZ and GLAM, and someone taking a SWIG at STARBUCKS. I also liked I OWE YOU ONE and the PuzzPair© of CRUST and PONE.

I want to whack my way through a Saturday puzzle, not have it be a breezy walk on the PIER, and Brook and Will, you provided sweet resistance, which made for sweet satisfaction. Thank you for all the work you put into this!

Trey 7:17 AM  

As with @Rex, NE and SW were the hardest and last to fall. SW was a bit easier for me and I finished that before going to bed, needing a break as the NE was going nowhere. Even with ANEW and AWES filled in, I was stuck. Easily spent 10-15 minutes on the last 3 words. Guessed on SALEM (it is somewhere in Mass., but is it an exurb? Seems so now). Never heard of SULA and like @Rex, I was thinking of Twitter or maybe a long meandering story for Thread count. Guessed at UNIX off of the N, and then it all fell into place.

From Wallace and Grommit (excellent shows BTW), I knew WERE and then had to try to remember which animal began to terrorize the garden (or was it a farm?). Definitely a niche answer, and I bet it would be next to impossible if you have not seen the movie unless you get all the crosses exactly correctly. One error and it may be a huge WOE

Now, I liked this puzzle but I cannot figure out how @Rex liked this one but hated so many others that I thought had just as good fill and cluing.

Yd - 0 (first time!)

Trey 7:20 AM  

Best hush puppies in the world (IMO) are in Calabash NC - small restaurant that puts some honey in the batter

Son Volt 7:42 AM  

Lots of good stuff here but funky grid layout did result in a disjoint puzzle although today’s Stumper also features a highly segmented grid. Center stack was solid - with only STARBUCKS ORDERS as a marginal entry. Liked the SE with ODYSSEY FLOWing into I OWE YOU ONE.

Nice to see siemens clued as the unit of conductance instead of mho. Susan DEY as Laurie Partidge was my jam in the early 70s. Didn’t know THE EARLY SHOW.

Still love the elevation view of the PLAZA from 5th and 59th coming out of the N train - do miss the Oak Room.

Enjoyable Saturday solve.

Mike R. 7:47 AM  


Tom T 7:47 AM  

My HDW (hidden diagonal word) clue for today:

Buffett, and others, briefly (4 letters, answer below)

Although OFL solves at light speed compared to moi, his description of this puzzle rang true with my experience. I was forever getting a toehold, white space all over the place. Then suddenly (I think the breakthrough was a non-confident, vaguely remembered 5D ARBUS), the NW fell into place and led me down where the central stack fell and the puzzle turned into that joyous flow described by Rex.

Love Wallace and Grommit, so great to see WERE RABBIT (even though it took a while, because I was stuck on sheep!). Like Rex, wanted something else for the end of 36A, STARBUCKS ------; had the O and wanted Option, which fit but was not plural.

Speaking of that O and being a lover of BROADWAY, two appropriate diagonal words intersect at that location on the grid: LOGE (trending up) and EGO (trending down)!

Here's your answer to the clue, "Buffett, and others, briefly." It doesn't take us, sadly, to Margaritaville. The answer is:

CEOS (that other famous Buffett, found in the NW corner of the puzz)

pabloinnh 7:59 AM  

First glance at this one produced an "oh oh" but hacking away for just about the right amount of time on a Saturday lead to an "oh boy", and there I was with a done puzzle and a feeling of accomplishment, which is why I like these things.

Didn't know SULA or UNIX, so that was a guess. I haven't ordered a Grande, or anything else for that matter, at STARBUCKS, so that took a while. When I see "Grande" I'm thinking of Ariana or Rio. Jr. Pac-Man's attire became apparent as I had most of PROPELLER--, which of course needs to be followed by BEANIE.

Only nit for me was OKAY for "capisce?", which to me means "got that?" or "you understand?", but that's not much of a flaw in such a fine experience.Hey BH and WN, Boy Howdy, Whatta Nice job. And what a great week for puzzles in the NYT. Wow and whew.

puzzlehoarder 8:00 AM  

It's unusual for me to do a Saturday on my phone but I had no access to a printer. My wife and I were at our daughter's house baby sitting our grandson last night. We became grandparents in April.

While grandma slept with little Wes I had time to kill so I did the puzzle on my phone. Boy did this thing kill time.
It took me a bit over an hour all thanks to that SW corner. My "bonded" entry was REAM because paper can be bonded. I knew the paired entries couldn't be HARD and HERTZ because they aren't related. If "maman" was slang I thought that bottom entry could be DUDE. I even considered BABE with the animated character being AHAB. For trails my best guess was ARCS. As for "Behind" I tried OWES. Nothing would click.

ITTSME always stayed in but I had to take out the rest of REAM and stare at that blank 3x4 space. I knew one of the remaining 7 clues would crack it open for me and eventually it was IGOR. With that break the whole section snapped into place like it was Monday easy.

That's the closest I've come to being skunked by an entire section in years. The rest of the puzzle was high quality but just average Saturday level solving. The SW could have been the same way but it was nice to really have to struggle for awhile.

yd -0

JNKMD 8:12 AM  

Blitz and Blam worked for me.

Mike Herlihy 8:14 AM  

Great Mike's (7:47) think alike. BARRELFULS shows in Merriam Webster's online dictionary, but I call a foul.

TJS 8:16 AM  

Wow. I agree 100 % with everything Rex has to say about this great puzzle. Had the same experience, and his description of "flow" is spot on, imo. Great start to the day, (although I'm starting to worry about the puzzle setting an early tone for my day).

kitshef 8:20 AM  

Happy to fill in WERERABBIT with no crosses, and the entire NW fell about a minute.

Then, things got hard. Some of my wrong turns were not so bad: xmas and noel before YULE, monte before SETON, with thanks a ton “confirming” monte.

But what really killed me was being wedded to adhD before PTSD, appearing at the beginnings of all those long acrosses. I even had RATE and OKAY and took them out when they didn’t work with adhD.

Only one STAR today.

58 GENDERS on Facebook, but only three sets of pronoun choices. Phooey, I say.

burtonkd 8:22 AM  

I missed the party yesterday, so here goes:

Best wrong answer: "Sound investment in the '80s" CASSiokeyboard had to wrested from my fingers.

My favorite NYC walking experience is to go through Inwood Hill Park and Ft Tryon, where you could forget entirely that you are in a city, past the Cloisters Museum, then finish with a trip across Dyckman Street (illegal U-turn & double parking capital of the world) and up Broadway, which is as Nancy described plus a thriving now legal weed business at a historical register site.

Karen Carpenter singing "Your gui-tar...but you're not really here" is so vivid and the longing palpable. Just devastatingly wrenching.

I was much more camp Lewis yesterday (as usual).

Now onto what wonders the Saturday puzzle will bring!

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Spare me Starbucks, but facebook is unforgivable.

Paul 8:28 AM  

Remarkable how similar my experience was to that of Rex and others. Just wanted to confirm that without any clues falling into the old wheelhouse, this puzzle could be solved with a little persistence.

John Daniel Edward "Jack" Torrance 8:32 AM  

There is a nice temporary tribute to Diane Arbbus at Central Park (60th Street and 5th Avenue.)

From wiki:

When the film The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick, was released to cinemas worldwide in 1980 and became hugely successful, millions of moviegoers experienced Diane Arbus’ legacy without realizing it. The movie’s recurring characters of identical twin girls who are wearing identical dresses appear on-screen as a result of a suggestion Kubrick received from crew member Leon Vitali

bocamp 8:41 AM  

Thx Brooke & Will, for this crunchy Sat. puz! :)


Got a decent start in the NW, but the rest was hit and miss all the way. Once again, fair crosses come to the rescue. :)

Eventually got everything to my liking except for bLITZ / bLAM. Had to think of another letter that would work in place of the 'b', and finally twigged on GLITZ / GLAM. I guess that's a 'rock' music genre. Looked it up; it is.

Also, came across this from

"If someone talks about the "glitz and glamour" of a party, the guests' clothes were probably pretty flashy. In Yiddish, glitz means "glitter," from the German root glitzern, "sparkle" or "glittering." In English, glitzy came first, probably influenced by the word ritzy."

Was introduced to some new stuff; how much sticks, time will tell. 🤞

So, another fun, challenging and successful Sat. adventure! :)

@Trey 👍 for -1 dbyd / @TTrimble 👍 for your latest three 0's

yd 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

amyyanni 8:45 AM  

Agree with @TJS and Rex, adding that while WERERABBIT and PROPELLERBEANIE were both new to me, they were gettable from the downs. Spent too much time thinking of ways to describe Ariana Grande, especially after the STAR appeared, along with the O in ORDERS,so thought of Soprano. (She and Cynthia Erivo were just cast in the movie version of "Wicked.")
Nice recounting of your evening, @puzzlehoader, and congrats on your grandchild. Like @SouthsideJohnny, more Saturdays like this, please. Have a good day, all. Going for a long walk this morning and scuffle through some autumn leaves. Having lived in FL for the past 10 years, this is a Big Deal. 🤗

Trockmn 8:50 AM  

PEDS? What is that?

H. Gunn 8:58 AM  


Aelurus 9:00 AM  

This puzzle had me at WERERABBIT! I adore Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit stop-motion animated series, this 2005 offering being his first feature-length movie. Park also created Chicken Run, another audience favorite.

I could have stopped right there and been happy but then encountered PROPELLERBEANIE and was tickled anew! Add PLAZAHOTEL clued to the Eloise books, and it was a triple play of awesomeness.

Amazingly for a Saturday I got cross after cross and glided along until hitting a wall in the SW. Had LAGS, ATOM, and _ _ ITZ, finally added the L in LATE for _LITZ, but spent many minutes staring at the empty squares until I saw the fabulous connected answers GLITZ and GLAM.

Thank you, Brooke and Will, for the surprise, the fun, and what, for me, is the best puzzle of the week.

burtonkd 9:07 AM  

Great Saturday solving experience

Love Wallace and Grommit, so that went right in.

I stared at the NE, thinking it was one big WOE. Didn't know that I knew SULA, and the crossing exurb being another Proper noun getting us into the corner. "Floors" and "Took off" are pretty vague. I guessed AWES, the W led to ANEW, then UNIX and a blank quadrant filled in in seconds. TEXTS had a great clue, but not obvious enough to get us in there.

In the SW, MERE was 100% correct in my mind, so GLAM and GLITZ went in from that and the rest were pretty obvious after that.

thanks 8:32, The Shining was the first thing I thought of in Rex's writeup.

manythanks fit in the space for IOWEYOUONE, which is more interesting.

W & Y are used as consonants but are made with vowel sounds, so IOWEYOUONE is an interestingly long string with only one true consonant.

Unfortunately, the Plaza reminds me of all those tabloid pieces about Ivana T being put in charge of redecorating. OTOH, Kudos to the foreign Trump wives doing the work no Americans want to take.

JD 9:10 AM  

Fell for the rock misdirect on Glitz and Glam thinking it had to be some rock with a spelling like quarTZ, but then what would be its 4-letter friend. Oh schist. Tuff stuff. DNF because of it.

The rest of the thing is perfection. Sula and Arbus kept me going but I had to dig deep into the attic for those two, maybe 35 years back or more. I doff my Propeller Beanie to the center stack, a work of art.

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Capisce does not mean OKAY. Guard does not mean TEND. There has got to be a better clue for IGOR than bringing up an obscure movie no one has seen or heard of. Rubbish cluing. Worse editing. Rubbish puzzle.

albatross shell 9:14 AM  

I think Rex pretty much nails this one. Of course, his easy is my an hour and a half of hard labor.

STOREBRAND was an easy start and WERERABBIT was pretty quick despite having never seen the show but somehow knowing one of them was a rabbit plus the clue produced the answer with just a couple crosses. IGOR worked in a similar way. No idea of the movie but the clue suggested Frakenstein and thus IGOR. In the movie not the book if memory serves. Otherwise a happy coincidence of ignorace giving the right answer.

SLAg for SLAM had me wondering why General Motors has an extra letter until -ERCED-S appeared. GM seemed wrong anyway.

STARBUCKSORDER THEEARLYSHOW ANDES PLAZAHOTEL all gave off a happy vibe as they slowly went from huh? to aha.


FLOE-FLOW took way too long and was a glittery echo of GLITZ-GLAM and their clues. And the latter, in a fairly consistent N to S solve, was my DNF corner of cheat despite having IGOR in. I would curse the lookyloo clue but I actually liked it anyway.

**Latimes thursday spoiler** alert
Old business.
Yes I realized one of two Wills was responsible the clue and answer. The clue was Actress __ Gurira who plays Okoye in recent Marvel films. The answer was danai. The military leader and master strategist in The Black Panther movie. I couldn't resist pulling your chain a bit. It was a wee bit ironic and it was fun picturing you reading 60 years of comic books and enjoying it.
But since you did remind me what the part of the puzzle was completely yours. The theme worked pretty much as you like them. A bit of a mystery with the revealer being an aha moment. It was a bit marred in my case because it took some nanoseconds to realize whether both of the words of the themers were involved or it was just a bland hair style theme. But yes all the non-hairstyle words do have a negative meaning just not in a hairstyle way. And I can see how that was intentional.

I was pulling your chain a bit too. Changing two letters a word is pretty much spelling based clues. And despite speed reading the comments I thought I correctly read what you were not saying. I do believe I now often catch on to that trick of yours.

Carola 9:46 AM  

Totally in Kvetcher's Korner today, so I"ll be brief. The good thing: very easy and over quickly. Otherwise, way too much real estate devoted to PPP, perhaps not in the number of entries but definitely in the number of squares.

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

A good one today. Momentarily confused SULA with SeLA Ward, an actress I know exclusively from crossword puzzles.

Nancy 9:53 AM  

Am not familiar with the film and therefore don't know if it's a horror movie or a comedy. But the very idea of a WERERABBIT really cracks me up.

Facebook allows for what???????????, you say (21A)? In, I don't know, 35-40 years of puzzle-solving, I have never so resisted writing in an answer as I resisted writing in GENDERS. Never. To tell the truth, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

I thought "capisce?" meant "understand?" or "see?", not OKAY. But whatever this language is (Italian? Spanish?) I don't speak it.

ODYSSEY (41A): What a clue!!! My fave.

This was a very, very absorbing puzzle to solve. Because I got hung up on more than a few names, I had to rely on the long answers to give me the most help. And the help always came in the nick of time -- though I did have to pull SULA out of my you-know-where to finish the NE corner.

It's a very polished, very well-clued puzzle. Well, it's co-constructed by my talented collaborator, Will Nediger, so of course it is! Today he's collaborating with someone else, and on a themeless, no less. I'll have t ask him how one collaborates on a themeless, since I have no idea how that would work.

Teedmn 10:03 AM  

WERERABBIT, definitely a gimme. I even felt a twinge of guilt throwing it in, thinking of all those solvers who hadn't seen that delightful film (two or three times) while I breezed through the NW due to that door opening for me automatically.

The NE was similarly easy - OHM gave me ONBROADWAY and SALEM/SULA.

The bottom half got a tad trickier. By the time I had _DYS____ in place at 41A, I was feeling apprehensive, not being able to see any phrase with those letters in a a row but Homer finally came through for me.

As for the SW, I had Rex's experience of the closed off section. I certainly considered @puzzlehoarder's reaM, as bonded paper came to mind. IT'S ME crossing MERE sat there while I was trying to come up with an "X and Y" phrase that meant "rock" (the word "partner" in 45A's clue made me think such a phrase was called for) but it was an aha moment at LATE that broke the dam.

Post-solve, I was still wondering if GLITZ and GLAM was a phrase like salt-and-pepper or dine-and-dash. Googling it found a bunch of nail salons and a poorly (in my opinion) named line of nail products, GLAM and GLITS (shudder). Alrighty then...

Brooke and Will, I liked your puzzle very much, thanks.

oceanjeremy 10:05 AM  

Fiancée and I raced through this one. This is the first Saturday I thought to time us, and it was under thirteen minutes. On paper. While taking breaks to eat our bagels (fresh bagels from around the corner, still warm! with lox cream cheese and tomatoes).

I feel I should announce that soon she will no longer be my fiancée. We are going to shop for wedding dresses today. We are going to elope (a ceremony with just the two of us, an officiant, a photographer and a witness).

So three weeks from today I will be solving the Saturday puzzle with my wife.

bocamp 10:08 AM  

Used to wear 'Hush Puppies", but the lower case 'p' lead me to think food (hi @Conrad (6:38 AM). Not really knowing 'hush puppies', my thinking was, corn dogs or Pronto Pups (which I used make when working for PET Milk). Eventually got PONE.

Hush puppies:

• In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk the egg, milk and onion; add to dry ingredients just until combined.

• In a cast-iron Dutch oven or an electric skillet, heat oil to 365°. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm. (Taste of Home)

@Trey (7:17 AM) / @puzzlehoarder (8:00 AM) 👍 for -0's yd

td pg -10 (tough sledding w/1/2 hr. remaining on the clock)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Blue Stater 10:10 AM  

Once again, surprisingly, I find myself on the opposite side from OFL. I found this brutally hard and no fun at all, a response enhanced by what I see as either errors or stretchers. "current" = WIND? Nope. "fresh" = ANEW? Nope; NEW yes (or, alternatively, "afresh" = NEW), but ANEW nope. "capisce" = OKAY? Nope. My command of Italian, except for musical terms, is shaky, but I believe "capisce" means "do you understand?" And there are others.

RooMonster 10:11 AM  

Hey All !
Easy!? Hah! This was a toughie for me. That SE corner, wowza. Almost got me to cheat, as that was last section, and was starting to get impatient. Finally saw ODYSSEY from _DYS___, which didn't look like it could be anything to me for quite a while. Put back in FLOWS, which was in, but then took out, and figured out the rest, ending with one square, PI_/_ENs. Notice that pesky S, which was from OOZEs. Ran the alphabet on both words, not coming up with anything. Reread clue for 57A, and said, "Wait a tic, if it's OOZED, then it could be TEND!" Splatzed in the T (Hi @M&A!) and got the Happy Music! WooHoo! 42 minutes of exercising the brain. (Exorcising it?)

Also had adhD for PTSD, thoroughly mucking up the 15's. Threw in SALEM on a wing and a prayer, as didn't know SULA or OHM as clued. Luckily, figured out most of Rex's harrowing little corner, and saw OHM as a thing, so it worked out.

Kudos to the construction. Man, tough to get so many long words crossing, and for them all to be real things. You got a three-stack of 15's, crossed by a 12 and a 10 on both ends. Plus, the 4's and 5's which were all things. Yikes. Hats off, Brooke and Will! (Dang, Will, co-construction two puzs in a row!)

Very SatPuzish clues today. Needed many SWIGs of coffee to get through. Maybe a hit of ACID. 🤪😂

Three F's

Tom Pedulla 10:29 AM  

Agree with Rex that this was easier and more fun than yesterday's puzzle. And even though the long answers aren't in my pop cultural wheelhouse, I was able to suss them out pretty quickly thanks to the helpful crosses. I also had trouble with the NE and SW corners and would probably still be struggling with the NE if my wife hadn't helped me with SULA. Finally, as a resident of Eastern Massachusetts, I don't think of SALEM as a "Boston exurb" because it's a city and it has its own distinct identity. But that's a minor complaint. Thanks to Brooke and Will for a pleasant way to start my Saturday.

chuck w 10:30 AM  

I was very proud of myself for having finished this, and I thought, "if Rex says this is easy, I'll be furious." And of course, he did!
Didn't know Jr. Pac-Man or Wallace and Gromit. Had the r and the t for the inner planets, but knew "orbit" would apply to all the planets. My favorite answer was Odyssey for "What a trip!"
Nice puzzle, but NOT easy!

George 10:32 AM  

I had to look up "Sula" to crack the Northeast. I couldn't get in there. Yes, ANEW and AWES look pretty obvious to me *NOW*, but I couldn't get in there.

Folks, what exactly is a WOE? What is the etymology?

Thanks all! Have a lovely weekend.

Teedmn 10:34 AM  

@oceanjeremy, congrats to you and your fiancée!

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:35 AM  

I see that the people like me who did not find this easy at all are starting to show up. I had NOTHING before I started looking things up. Well, whoever Sharon Olds is, I thought she might have written an ODE to dirt, and I threw in LOREN off nothing, but neither of those, while correct, got me anywhere. Sometimes I can get going from the 3's, but not this times. Does anyone call appetizers APPs?

jberg 10:41 AM  

@pablo @Nancy: I have to leave in two minutes, OKAY?, so I’ll be brief.

Didn’t know Jr. but figured it’d be like Ms.’s hair ribbon, saw the potential for BEANIE, checked the length, and there it was.

I’d have got GLAM/GLITZ a lot faster if I’d noticed I had SLAM already.

Almost foundered on BARREL FULL, though. And I put in oGre from the G. That was tough to resolve.

And though I of course wanted my name for the Barents Sea sight , the FLOW/FLOE crossing made me forgive them.

jae 10:44 AM  

Mostly easy except for the SW which pushed this into mediumish range. No idea what MERE is given the clue but it turned out to be right. OK, I just checked (42 seconds)...French. Me too for ADHD before PTSD.

Solid and smooth with a fair amount of sparkle, liked it.

mathgent 10:55 AM  

I had everything except the two corners. I don't know much biology so I thought that I was dead at17A, "Bio subject." But wait! Biography? LIFE? Yes! That left the SE.

All I had there was ITSME. I stared at that damned corner for minutes. I had to call in The Closer who was watching a BBC mystery. She also had a good long stare before coming up with ATOM. Yes! I had LAGS in the back of my mind and it worked perfectly. Bingo!

Absolutely wonderful puzzle. All the crunch I can handle. Not because of mystery clue/entries (I knew everything except SULA and IGOR) but because of the devious cluing. And lots of sparkle.

WERERABBIT tickles me. It conjures up a terrifying little ball of fur with pink ears.

kitshef 11:08 AM  

@George 10:32 WOE (or WoE, as I prefer it) = 'what on earth?', used for something in a puzzle that sends you to Wikipedia to find out what the heck you just entered.

@oceanjeremy 10:05 - mazel!

Trey 11:12 AM  

Capisce? Could be OKAY? Taking either as someone asking if everything is good. Agree that the guard/TEND is a stretch, but I consider it a reasonable clue.

Trey 11:15 AM  

@Albatross shell 9:14 - neither Wallace (a human) nor Grommit (a dog) is a rabbit. Sheep play big in their shows (hence Shaun the Sheep). Rabbits do make regular appearances though, as far as I can recall

sixtyni yogini 11:18 AM  

Exactly, 🦖!
Puzzle and critique: 🤩👍🏽🤩

Whatsername 11:18 AM  

I agree that this had a nice FLOW to it. Very obvious there were a couple of real PROs at work. Easyish for a Saturday but not a SLAM dunk. Like a well made PIE, just the right CRUST to it.

I’ve never been to the PLAZA HOTEL but it conjures images of GLAM where one TAKES GLITZ FOR GRANTED. NO BEANIES allowed.

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Malone, would not be OKAY with the answer to 14D. I know it’s perfectly acceptable according to Merriam-Webster but she would strongly contend that the proper plural of said filled containers is BARRELSFUL.

Trey 11:25 AM  

WOE = what on earth (as far as I know). It is both a woe in terms of being a sticking point to solving the puzzle and a WOE in germs of being unknown/unfamiliar to the solver

Trey 11:29 AM  

Yes. - my wife uses the term APPS all the time referring to appetizers

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Mike R.
Hard to know whether barrelfuls or fifty genders is more objectionable. One is the result of ignorance, the other the result of a willful refusal to acknowledge realty. Of course, only one of those problems leads to a sexual assault in the girl’s bathroom of a Loudon County public school.

Ray Yuen 12:11 PM  

I didn't know Sula, so I was a goner. Between Sula and texts, and a wrong entry with "went" instead of "left," I'm left with a fail.

Sula: Pfft.

SouthsideJohnny 12:25 PM  

APPS is also a popular term in the restaurant industry (both front and back of house). The APP station in the kitchen will frequently be set up exclusively for appetizers and may we’ll have a dedicated line chef (or chefs). Servers routinely say things like “check on my apps” as well.

albatross shell 12:26 PM  

Thanks. I guess I just heard about a rabbit or wererabbit connection. Might have been on this site. I guess this was the case of of error-filled memory giving the correct answer. Of course I haven't checked on IGOR yet.

Hanedawg 12:28 PM  

Would someone please explain GENDERS, the answer to 21 Across? What other genders (up to 50 according to the clue) exist besides male, female, trans, gender-neutral (perhaps) that Facebook deems necessary to allow for?

jb129 12:33 PM  

A great Saturday puzzle that I wasn't going to give up on & I'm glad I didn't.

GILL I. 12:50 PM  

So I pull out the puzzle from my printer when Jeopardy comes on during a commercial.....I have this little scowl on my face and my husband says: "Toughie heh?"....I yell out "How on this semi green planet am I supposed to know what Jr. Pac-Man's prominent attire is?" He yells out PROPELLER BEANIE......
And so my ODYSSEY began.
This was a put it down...pick it up....pour a drinky poo for husband and me.....go to bed....wake up and try again....see how the GLITZ FLOWS....cheat on that RABBIT one....get TAKES FOR GRANTED and do the fandango tango.
But did you like this? you ask. I Loved Every Single STOREBRAND PONE CRUST ACID GLAM PERKS you threw at me...OUI, I did. You made me work hard...yes you did....but I'd yell out aha here, ooh there, yipeekayay, there, you can't fool me and so it went.
You can give me a Saturday like this, Brooke and Will, and you will make me thank the stars I wasn't born an EMU.

albatross shell 1:07 PM  

@Trockman 850am
If anyone answered you on PEDS i missed it. They are disposable shoe linings the shoe stores have so you can try on shoes in your nearly bare feet. It is a contagion conscious world. I was going to post a dictionary quote but gave up after trying two online ones. But here is a link from Ebay.

Anonymoose 1:12 PM  

This was satisfying over all. As I worked the puzzle, entries came frequently enough to keep me engaged. Then I got kinda stuck. I decided to go to the Google lifeline to get Sula. Then, talk about FLOW, I cascaded down the east side. Speaking of FLOW, I tried it early on for 58A (current). Other false starts were STARBUCKoptionS, STARBUCKchoiceS, (Apparently my brain thought the second S of STARBUCKS could be ignored) sod for ALE (sold by the yard), and SluG for SWIG. No complaint about Guard/TEND or "Capisce?"/"OKAY(?)".

mathgent 1:14 PM  

My favorite post this morning.

oceanjeremy (10:05)

Masked and Anonymous 1:20 PM  

Seemed slightly easy for a SatPuz, at our house. Did have some minor troubles with nanosecond conservation in the SW, due to MERE's still-mysterious clue. Also, didn't know Jr. Pac-Man's headwear preferences [PROPELLERBEANIE] or anything about Wallace & Gromit WERERABBITs, but those last two kinda fleshed out, due to crosses.

staff weeject pick of a MERE [maman?] 12 choices: APP. Admired its non-online-oriented clue.


Interestin CRUST clue. Evidently pizza is made different, out on Uranus.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Ms. Husic & Mr. Nediger folks. Nice one.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


D’Qwellner 1:54 PM  

Peds line the feet themselves, not the shoes. Which is odd I will admit since glove liners line the hands not the gloves.

TTrimble 2:07 PM  

A pretty quick puzzle for me, considering it's Saturday. And rather a good puzzle, with those luscious 15-letter answers coursing through the middle, and those long downs were quite alright by me, too, despite the griping in comments.

ON BROADWAY brought to my mind one of the more memorable PSAs from the late 60's/early 70's, for Radio Free Europe. A dashing young man with blond hair emerges from a NYC subway to street level*, then bounds up the stairs to the radio station where he is a DJ for RFE, broadcasting Western music and news to Hungary. To me as a young boy, he seemed terribly cool and sophisticated, doing his intro "[rapid Hungarian speech] The Drifters [more Hungarian] On Broad-vaaay". (For what it's worth, Another RFE PSA indelibly impressed on my memory is with a young boy with chains wrapped around his head, repeating whatever indoctrination is being barked at him from a male voice offscreen. It used to scare me a little, these reminders of the Cold War. One of the Youtube comments asserts that the language is Bulgarian.)

[Back to the Hungarian: the young broadcaster was none other than the late Peter Záboji, who later as an angel investor became something of a hero in Hungary. In the words of Steely Dan: a major dude. I don't know why it makes me so happy to learn such things. Little piece from my childhood, updated.]

Anyway, back to the puzzle and comments. BARRELFULS or Barrelsful? Either sounds okay, but the latter sounds almost hyper-correct, like people who say "three gins and tonic" instead of "three gin and tonics".

I don't why people are belly-aching about OKAY. Said with the proper rising intonation, you can certainly make "OKAY?" sound unmistakably like "You hear me? You get what I'm saying?" -- and that is quite obviously the intent of the clue. (Cough cough Joaquin's Dictum cough cough.)

WERERABBIT and I OWE YOU ONE: mwah. So nice.

Got a good chuckle from Rex riffing on Surprised by PONE.

I hadn't even seen GENDERS until I read the commentary (it filled itself in through crosses). Wow. Don't really feel like touching the politicization in comments, not with a ten-foot pole.

td pg -1

*Perhaps not far from the GLITZ and GLAM of the PLAZA HOTEL.

GILL I. 2:37 PM  

@oceajeremy 10:05....En hora buena.....An elopement is the perfect marriage. My husband of 37 years and I sorta did it. We went to Minden, Nevada. I had bought a really pretty green silk dress and wanted to wear it for a special occasion. So guess what we did?
Happines to you and your bride....

okanaganer 3:06 PM  

Whenever I hear PLAZA HOTEL I think of the one in my hometown. Not quite as grand as the NY one, but quite nice for what was only a town of 5000 when it was built.

In architecture school the department head, who was a twit, once gave me a crit on my project and ended with an arrogant "Capisce?" Since I had studied Italian, I replied "Si, capisco!" and he reacted as if I'd slapped him. I know I was being a twit too, but it was fun.

[Spelling Bee: yd 0; my final word was unfamiliar. I got it by slapping together random letters, thinking "could this be a word?"]

Newboy 3:15 PM  

No defecation, that SW quad took enough head scratching to draw blood! Mainly surprised that this dynamic duo haven’t tag teamed the NYT grid before today. Individually brilliant; together they are indeed a force to be reckoned with — SULA, PROPELLER BEANIE, WERE RABBIT and on and on. Hope that there will be many happy returns for solvers to enjoy. Now to see if commentariat above were equally thrilled.

Hartley70 3:49 PM  

This was a wonderful Saturday solve. My experience was much like Rex’s in that I found myself with two teeny, diagonal, empty corners after the rest of the puzzle was completed. Remembering SULA let me finish off the NE, but the SW hung me up. I had GLAM and the Z I needed, but GLITZ took hours to fall, and hence the delayed post. I totally enjoyed the whole experience, especially learning there is a WERERABBIT in the world.

Eniale 4:05 PM  

Happy to hear your news, Oceanjeremy, congratulations to you both!

I really enjoyed today's puz, despite my DNF - badly needed help of granddaughter but she wasn't available so had to forge on alone. I was a fellow-traveller with ADHD for the longest time till PTSD made its presence known. HouseBRAND seemed a possibility but then I figured that might just be wine in a restaurant and got to STOREBRAND quickly enough.

yd pg -2
td p, no genius, -12 so far and who knows if I'll get any further.

Nigel Pottle 4:57 PM  

Yes, I wanted BARRELSFUL. And of course even though it’s really not correct it appears in the dictionary because so many people say it and other compound words like it even though it’s just wrong. (Lol). Similar to Governors-General (Canadian, you know).

Anonymous 6:28 PM  

@Ocean Jeremy: Disappointed I wasn’t invited but congratulations anyway.

Margaret 6:30 PM  

As Mike R. said hours ago, "Barrelfuls! WTF?" I buy things by the barrel. to begin with, and figure the barrel will be full. But if you want to say barrelfull, don't you need two 'll's? Incidentally, my computer does not like either spelling. Hmmmm

Bad Mouse 6:42 PM  

WERERABBIT tickles me. It conjures up a terrifying little ball of fur with pink ears.

well... TCM, around Halloween I recall, ran a movie about giant killer rabbits...

unintentionally funny, naturally.

DGD 6:44 PM  

Mamma means mom
and mere means mother

jb129 6:57 PM  

Congrats Ocean Jeremy - I grew up on Ocean Parkway - 295 to be precise :)

Anonymous 7:23 PM  

I am unable to open puzzles I’m my NYT app, I have tried everything I can think of, but nothing is solving the problem, in spite of being fully paid until 2022. Any suggestions for this 80 year old non techie?

Nancy 7:42 PM  

@Hanedawg (12:28) -- Don't say you didn't ask for it! :)

Because of my own comment on the subject, someone on Wordplay "gifted" me today with THIS LIST OF THE 58 FACEBOOK GENDERS. Read it and laugh or read it and weep. Whichever, the mind boggles.

Escalator 8:23 PM  

Come out, come out LMS wherever you are……we miss you

TTrimble 8:32 PM  

@Margaret 6:30PM
What can I say. Barrelful is listed as a noun by a reputable source. Its plural is BARRELFULS.

@Nancy 7:42PM, @Hanedawg
Now that I see the list, it doesn't look all that remarkable (in the sense of anything like shocking); in fact it's pretty repetitive.

Look at Cis/Cisgender (the category where gender matches biological sex as ascertained at birth), which is the "society norm" for even the most conservative among us. There are 10 in that category along, and the breakdown (male, female, man, woman) is completely logical and expected.

Look at Trans/Trans*/Transgender/Transgender. There's a whopping 26 under that heading. Again the breakdown is totally prosaic (male, man, female, woman, person).

There are a few other categories, which to my (I wouldn't say woke) eyes look completely unsurprising.

In brief, the 58 is no big deal, once you actually examine what's there.

Z 9:20 PM  

13:30 using an APP I despise and it would have been <10:00 if not for the SW mini puzzle. Speaking of dupes, I didn’t like the duplicate clues both resulting in subgenres of rock music. I think it would have been much more interesting if it had been a different rock meaning altogether. Otherwise, easy easy easy. For comparison, I don’t think I’ve ever broken 10:00 on a Saturday puzzle.

@albatross shell - re: yesterday - For a spelling based puzzle, that was better than most. The eye roll was barely noticeable. I actually was quite pleased that you noticed.

I’m right with @TTrimble on the 58 Genders. I will always remember being in the birthing class for our first child and the nurse/instructor stressing that “there’s a wide range of ‘normal.’” Yep. Very true. I always just shake my head at people who think the world is binary.

- Zÿgötë who played too many points today.

Please help 10:20 PM  

Oh come on. Most of those "58" genders are the same. There are five, of which I've seen pics/videos of all.
Male, female, man with vagina, woman with penis, hermaphrodite.
That's it.

Unknown 11:18 PM  

GLITZ pointlessly clued as alliterative to GLAM when the first letter was already shared in the grid.

Smith 11:27 PM  

@Nancy 7:42

Wow, not on FB Metaverse so thanks for the list.

TTrimble 5:01 AM  

@Please help said
Thus proving you don't know what GENDER means here. It has more to do with psychology, society and culture than anatomy.

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

Usually agree with Rex but not here. Found it dreary and flat. Voluntary dnf. Also, ‘barrelfuls’? Just no.

Hushpuppy212 10:43 AM  

Having owned a basset hound (actually, they own you) I naturally starting thinking shoes and/or dogs before I got PONE. The SW was for me the most difficult as well, but any time I can finish a Saturday with no errors or corrections, it's a rare day so I'm feeling pretty proud of myself, even though I only got 8 out of 11 on the weekly news quiz.

Tim Carey 12:19 PM  

Don't be afraid to customize with some seasoning... perhaps a hint of garlic or onion powder and a touch of cayenne pepper!

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