Greek locale once described as the island of overmastering passions / FRI 11-12-21 / Units equivalent to 1/6 of an inch / Home to Mayan ruins like Caracol and Lamanai / Subscripts on Scrabble tiles / Focus of 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Act / Leviticus calls it unclean and not fit for consumption

Friday, November 12, 2021

Constructor: Patrick John Duggan

Relative difficulty: Medium 

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Test cricket (50A: International cricket matches => TESTS) —

Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national representative teams that have been granted Test status, as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council(ICC). It is called Test because the long, gruelling matches are mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days (or more in the past). It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability.

The first officially recognised Test match took place between 15 and 19 March 1877 and was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). In October 2012, the ICC recast the playing conditions for Test matches, permitting day/night Test matches. The first day/night game took place between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide OvalAdelaide, on 27 November – 1 December 2015. (wikipedia)

• • •

Well if you're just gonna hand it to me...

From this auspicious beginning I ran nearly all the Down crosses in a row (couldn't manage the last one, ADRIFT, off just the "A"), and really thought I'd sail through this thing no problem, but then immediately ran into the one Very thorny part of the grid (which on its own took the puzzle to "Easy" to "Medium" for me). Now the first misstep is entirely my fault. I had the PI- at 20A: Units equivalent to 1/6 of an inch (PICAS), but my eyes only bothered to take in the first part of the clue, through about "1/6," and then my brain went, "well, you want 'units' that start PI-, in five letters, so that's definitely PINTS." So I wrote in PINTS. Hard, hard ouch. Worse than that, though, were my attempts to make *any* sense of LETF- at 23A: Throw or shoot (LET FLY). Basically, all attempts were fruitless and my brain just kept flashing "Error! Error!" Then I couldn't make any sense of 21D: Arcade game feature (CLAWbecause nearly all the ones I've ever seen in an actual "arcade" are stand-up video games or pinball machines, so after (coin) SLOT my brain had no offerings. And then there was "IF comma SAY...", by far the hardest thing to parse, even after I'd sorted the whole PICAS/PINTS fiasco. The only expression (I thought) I knew was "I'D SAY..." and that did Not seem a good match for the clue. Because I couldn't get that one, I couldn't get into the NE corner very easily, so ... yeah, the LET FLY / "IF, SAY..." nexus really laid me out there for a bit. But then I recovered and the puzzle reverted to Easy.

The grid is solid and often bright. One-Across helped set an upbeat tone, and the party kept going with BIKINIS and BEER KOOZIEs in BELIZE over there in the eastern portion of the grid. I thought the beer went in a cosy (cozy?), like a "tea cosy" ... was it that American dudes just couldn't ABIDE having their drink of choice being associated with anything as unmanly as "tea" (or the word "cosy"), and had to trick out the spelling with wacky spelling, thus creating an ironic buffer between themselves and utter feminization? Is that it? That sounds like it? Or else KOOZIE is a brand, like XEROX, and I'm all turned around on the subject. Just as I didn't like the clue on LET FLY (which implies something more specific, more long-distance / effortful / long-shot than merely [Throw or shoot]), I didn't care for the one one on SKATE either (48D: Be found not guilty, shockingly). It's the word "shockingly" that feels out of place and misdirective in non-clever ways. I don't think you need it at all, but I guess SKATE implies that the party is probably / definitely guilty, so there's something unjust about the verdict, but that is not (at all) necessarily something that is "shocking." I am never, ever shocked when obviously guilty parties SKATE, especially if they are white guys with guns or or white guys who abuse women or people of color etc. Not shocked by the skating. Stand by for me to be not shocked by the Not Guilty verdict in the [white-right Wisconsin murderer-teen] trial. I thought "shockingly" mean that the word seemed paradoxical. Like it looked like it would suggest guiltiness, but instead it refers to non-guiltiness, that kind of "shocking." That, or I thought the word maybe could also mean something punnily related to "shock" (like ... I dunno, TASE or GASP or something). "Shockingly" just ruins that clue. Also, KEMPT (in the cross) is a dumb word without the UN- prefix. So not happy there. But happy most everywhere else. Good Friday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Hey there, ELIEL ... long (long) time, no see (5D: Architect Saarinen). How's your boy, EERO? He doesn't come around much anymore, either...

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Liz1508 6:11 AM  


JD 6:48 AM  

Brutal. Gay Mecca, Overlord, Forced, Screed, Wart Hog.

Some diabolical cluing. Rustle Up some Maalox and Imbibe. Never spent enough time around the hotel ice machine to think, "This thing hums." A Black Eye comes with a Fat Lip? Skate was really great. Tests? Are you kidding. Onandon sounds like something from the Jurassic period.

Was trying to remember Eero Saarinen who designed the bizarro TWA hotel at JFK because his name is all over the place there, but it wasn't even him. The elevator near my room made clunking sounds all night. No humming ice machines though.

Really enjoyed this.

Conrad 6:51 AM  

Medium-Challenging for me, mostly due to a total WOE, the KOOZIE part of 13D. Never heard of such a thing, coupled with nARwhal for the tusked beast at 38A. I had to get BIKINIS entirely from crosses because it didn't seem related to the clue (and one of those crosses was the aforementioned KOOZIE).

Lewis 6:52 AM  

Some of solving is remembering, some is untangling wordplay; these parts are logical. But there’s a poetic can’t-put-my-finger-on aspect of solving as well, where somehow you come up with an answer, but aren’t quite sure how you did, where your brain goes to places on its own without any tinkering on your part. I love when that happens, and it happened several times today, where I said, “How the heck did that answer come to me?”

It reminds me that there is so much mystery in our lives; it keeps me alert and filled with wonder. And it comes from crosswords!

Today’s puzzle, for me, was riddle after riddle after riddle, with the thorniest area being the SE. I loved the answers BRUSQUE, KEMPT, and yes, BEER KOOZIE, because BEER KOOZIE. I loved the breadth of the palette of answers, from ICE MACHINE to MATRIX, to GEST, ETRADE, cricket, and ON AND ON. I loved the clues with a wink, such as those for LAB, MBAS, ICE MACHINE, and that terrific one for BIKINIS.

Just an all-over terrific experience, this one, for me. Makes me want more from you, Patrick. A sparkling gem, and thank you!

albatross shell 7:03 AM  

GAYMECCA to LESBOS. A long trip there with several cheats. The hardest for nme being the NW.

Another nice-looking grid. And such a wonderful clean vocabulary. And imaginative clues abound.





The stories write themselves in thus one. Have fun y'all.

Anonymous 7:04 AM  

@Liz. Recheck 47A & 47D.

albatross shell 7:07 AM  


Anonymous 7:07 AM  

Puzzle needs a J

albatross shell 7:24 AM  

J-less in BELIZE, I believe, so to speak.

Son Volt 7:26 AM  

It’s not a good harbinger of things to come when your best entry is 1a. Looking for crunchy longs on Friday - the few here like INACCURATE and ICE MACHINE are rough - in fact the overall clueing is ADRIFT and FORCED.

I was able to make the connection to early week Buddy Ebsen when he used to ask Granny to RUSTLE UP some vittles.

Not down with this one.

Schuly 7:46 AM  

It's all so simple
Relax, let go, LETFLY
So someone tell me
Why can't I?
(Sondheim, Anyone Can Whistle)

TJS 8:17 AM  

Rex, I know you don't read us, but I hope you were drunk when you wrote this.

thfenn 8:23 AM  

Thank God, a fun rebound from yesterday, with a sparkling Friday that fell together nicely. @Lewis, today I just nodded my head reading yours.

I refused to let fLAp go for CLAW, so took me awhile to get to PICAS and WARTHOG, also because I didn't know GEST, and stuck with tEST, but got there in the end. Nice way to start a wet dreary Friday.

Nancy 8:31 AM  

Well, I solved it without cheats -- so there's that. But, I mean, really:

There are two "E" Saarinens?

YETI has to be clued by some monster movie?

Someone has a name spelled MRAZ? (Yes, I know he's been here in puzzleland before and I probably should remember him, but I don't, and I doubt I ever will.)

CON is a "fan gathering, informally"? I can think of a zillion ways to clue CON, but that's not one of them.

What on earth is a BEER KOOZIE?

Where would you find a CLAW in an arcade? I can think of a zillion ways to clue CLAW, but that's not one of them.

Okay, so I did like the clues for BRR, ACRONYM, CAMEL and PATROL CARS. And RUSTLE UP (61A) was tricky, because I wanted RUSh-something-or-other for "prepare on short notice." But how was to "be found not guilty, shockingly" going to be S-AH-? Aha! KEMPT! A word I absolutely love. (If it's not Yiddish, it should be.)

A big wrestling match for me today -- sometimes fun and sometimes not so much.

bocamp 8:38 AM  

Thx Patrick, for this fantastic Fri. puz! :)

Tough; could have run on a Sat.

The NYT xwords seem to be getting more and more crunchy and challenging (which is just fine with me).

Was all over the place on this one, and frankly, wasn't sure I'd finish it, let alone get it right (which was a pleasant surprise).

What a testament to fair crosses. Didn't really need to guess anywhere.

A most satisfying and fun adventure! :)

@TTrimble 馃憤 / pabloinnh for latest 0's

yd 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 馃晩

Z 8:43 AM  

Well, KOOZIES and “cosy” have different vowels, one is to keep the liquid warm, the other to keep the liquid cold, and drunks can’t spell. So take your pick. Heck, even in the rarefied cosy air Uncle Google suggests we can’t agree on the spelling. Which is what made my eyebrows arch when I realized it was going to be BEER KOOZIE, I’ve seen many spellings and have absolutely no idea which is preferred or more common or “correct,” so I was mildly surprised and happy when my first guess worked.

Are GAY MECCAs still a thing? Were they ever actually a thing? That is, were there ever actually all that many more GAY people living in those GAY MECCAs or were they just not marginalized as much so could be more open about it. I mean, I grew up in one of the most conservative communities in America and had four GAY high school teachers. One of them had managed to get fired three previous times and got a better paying teaching job every time. Anyway, if an insulated teenage Hollander actually knew four gay teachers it seems likely that we had quite a few more in town who I just didn’t know. Does that make Holland a GAY MECCA? Seems unlikely. At any rate, GAY MECCA needed four letters from the crosses before I saw it.

PITA! Our four-letter-flat-bread buffet is finally complete. I cannot believe our wait staff made us wait an extra day for our PITA.

@Nancy yesterday - to beat an, ahem, dead horse, I have no problem with the late famous being in a puzzle. It’s just nice to occasionally see a Jason MRAZ or Alfonso Cuar贸n or Amanda PEET in the puzzle, too. Contrast going Johnny Carson for an Iowa clue to Cuar贸n for a ROMA clue. Both are not really necessary for the answers, but one makes the puzzle fresh and current, the other brings the puzzle back to the 1960’s and 70’s.

Pete 9:03 AM  

When I first heard someone mention them, I just assumed that KOOZIES were cases of oozing clap and wondered why people were mentioning that in public, not that there's anything too personal to not be shouted out in public theses days. Now I find out they're what I call beer condoms which, ironically, prevent cases of oozing clap. The world's a funny place.

I can't look over the puzzle and not read 32A as the head of the masturbators mafia. Who never get the KOOZIES. It's self control, not self abuse people - use it and stay safe.

Otto 9:06 AM  


Google tells me it's just trail mix, but you know what trail mix is? It's TRAILMIX. No real human calls it GORP.

Didn't care for ONANDON but no real problems on the rest.

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

Some fresh answers and imaginative clueing for the few old standbys. I love Fridays, and this one is right up there. Thanks, Patrick!

amyyanni 9:10 AM  

Sayhey @Schuly, thank you for the Sondheim quote. Caused me to revisit the show and songs, There won't be Trumpets, Everybody Says Don't, With So Little to be Sure Of, etc. One of my favorites. Retirement is lovely, allowing for such spur of the moment side trips.
And for fiddling with Friday puzzles. The westside was daunting. Good stuff!

Whatsername 9:10 AM  

Really a nice entertaining Friday with some scintillating clues and answers. I loved the NE corner with all of its food and drink and AMANDA PEET wearing a BIKINI in BELIZE. Hubba hubba.

And speaking of bubbas Rex, what makes you think only dudes like to keep their BEER cold? I seldom watch a game without my Patrick Mahomes KOOZIE.

Believe it or not I was once a party in a class action suit seeking EQUAL PAY from Uncle Sam under the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Unfortunately it floundered ADRIFT for years and finally died a natural death. In that case it was true, you can’t fight City Hall.

Can’t wait to read @GILL today and find out who’s going to walk into her bar. There’s a treasure trove of fuel for it here. I’m guessing maybe it’ll start with a BARD, a WARTHOG and EDDIE Bauer . . .

burtonkd 9:16 AM  

Okay, someone has to say it. How did hummer in a hotel pass the breakfast test? Guess I'm 13...

2 days in a row of tough but fair, really stretch you out, then bring you home puzzles.

E????Saarinen had me wondering if there is such a thing as reverse rebusses where you expand a short word into extra squares. Nice to learn something new.

1A reminds me of when I took the family to P-town, somehow not having received the memo despite making a career in NYC in the arts. After a night of camping (the pup tent kind, actually hammock) leading to perhaps a less than stellar night of sleep, it took a couple of hours of wandering around the shops and cafes to put together that something was distinctive:)

Hands up for the tusked NARWHAL

We usually get SEAEAGLE as a clue for ERN, fun to see it get top billing today.

Loved Rex's TikToker problem yesterday.

I wonder why he felt the need to explain the CAPTCHA to anyone here yesterday:) Where I'm headed now..

Trey 9:17 AM  

@Nancy 8:31 CON - think COMIC-CON. There are many others, but I cannot think of other popular ones at the moment.

Really liked the puzzle. Wrong entries (mike for YETI, for one) slowed my seeing the solutions for awhile. (Aside - @Nancy - not really a monster movie, despite its name) Had scattered answers throughout, but once I had OVERLORD then I was able to move through the grid and correct errors.

Only 6 3-letter words, and only BRR was crosswordese in my opinion. Clues for CON and LAB were good, and clue for USA was educational.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

Really disappointed that “hotel hummer” turned out to be an ice machine.

Trey 9:20 AM  

@Otto 9:06 - I have called it GORP (mainly in the days when you had to buy the ingredients separately from bulk food bins and make it yourself, and I consider myself human (although my wife and kids may disagree)

Z 9:24 AM  

@Pete - ONAN DON - 馃ぃ馃槀馃ぃ馃槀馃ぃ - I thought @JD seeing a dinosaur was pretty good, but good ol’ ONAN for the win. I really really want the ONAN DON to be played by Marlon Brando, now.

BTW - Amanda PEET is great in Brockmire. Just be forewarned that the humor can be very “adult” (i.e. incredibly juvenile and raunchy).

RooMonster 9:27 AM  

Hey All !
Let's all gather some bail money, find out where @JOHN X is, and get him home! We really really need him for the clue "Hotel Hummer."

That funness aside, tough puz for me. Neat timer end, 44:44. Like I planned it. Got hung up in NCenter area of ADRIFT/PICAS/IFSAY/LETFLY. And SE not knowing ELLA, plus wanting EQUALity.

Googed for ELLA, so automatic DNF in my solve (to me). But was able to get the rest of the SE after that. Also had to "Check Puzzle" in that NCenter, had ADRoiT/PoChS/IFShe/LETiLe. What in tarhooties LETILE is is anyone's guess. But the IF SAY was tough. Wanted IF SOS for a bit, but clue wasn't plural. At least it garnered an F.

What is with the left out J lately? It's across the room sobbing, wanting to be included with all the 25 other letters. Let the poor thing in!

BIKINIS as spare clothes? Is spare being used as "sparse" there? Only thing the ole brain can think of. Fun clue on BRR, but seems to need more R's. Zero degrees=BRRRRRRRRRR.

Had sPeXs before EPOXY. You know, have to magnify miniatures just so one can see them.

Princess Bride line:
"... and I'll use small words so you'll be sure to understand, you WARTHOG faced buffoon."

Three F's

Carola 9:28 AM  

Pleasingly challenging and very enjoyable to fill in. I found my way in with IMBIBE and its 6 helpful Downs, but the ICE MACHINE and BEER KOOZIE didn't live up to the promise of their many crossing opportunities due to a badly misjudged fEaT instead of a proper GEST: that gave me a tusked beast ending in HOf and spare clothes ending in NIa. I abandoned the area. Thank goodness for Lilly Ledbetter and her fight for EQUAL PAY; from that completed corner VALUES took me to VEXES and the aptly crossed MAALOX. Then onward and upward to OVERLORD and his RETAINER fight under him. A really good Friday puzzle, I thought.

Help from previous puzzles: MRAZ; shoulda-coulda but didn't: GAY MECCA. No idea: ELIEL, ELLA. Nano-moment of triumph: RUSTLE UP from no crosses.

ScottSalka 9:41 AM  

Over the years, I’ve become an expert at unplugging hotel ice machines, so really enjoyed the “hotel hummer” clue!
Hotel ice machines are best located in the kitchen and should definitely not be a self-service item. Yuck!!

GILL I. 9:42 AM  

This had a bunch of spit and shine. In the end, it had a nice polish on my boots.
I'll start with the shine:
ROMA. I've watched that movie about three times. Yalitza Aparicio plays the maid Cleo. She is brilliant. Plucked out of nowhere in Mexico and acts like it was her God Given Right....Watch it; it's a PRIZE.
Loved the clue for IMBIBE. I had to think about lifting ones spirits.....Was a poltergeist involved? No...just some dude walking around with a BEERKOOZIE humming next to the ICE MACHINE.
The first time I heard GAY MECCA was in NY. My brother told me a bunch of his musician friends were off to Fire Island for some R&R. I didn't know what Fire Island was and he told me it was a GAY MECCA. I thought about that because I always seemed to have too much time on my hands. I kept wondering why it was called MECCA. Mecca is the so-called birth place of Muhammad and, well, homosexuals in the Islamic societies are/were stoned or given some sort of death penalty. Has anything changed?
The first time I heard the word GORP was here in a puzzle. I had fun coming up with a GORP story that involved my grandmother and the aftermath of some rabbit stew she made.
I suppose the spit was what I didn't know.....I have trouble with formats and profiles and dot-com thingies. I despise the word KEMPT because I always misused it. I always thought it was unkept.
All in all, the shine crept through and I had no need for any MAALOX.....

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

GORP, YETI, MRAZ and ELIEL made that NE section about as tough as you can get a section to be. A lot of potential for trouble with LESBOS, BIKINIS and Hotel hummer - definitely bring along copious quantities of MAALOX for the morning after on that one.

Beezer 9:47 AM  

I pretty much had the same experience that @Rex did. Immediately plopped in GAYMECCA, worked the downs, the NW was done, and thought for a brief moment I would whiz through the whole puzzle. Not so fast the puzzle sez…I then got my reality check. Even so I loved every time the lightbulb went off. I guess my only beef was KEMPT. Not sure it’s a beef but I guess my thoughts go to “well-kept” and “unkempt.”

@Nancy, I think you might like Jason Mraz.

@Otto, count me as a human that says GORP and @Trey’s explanation sounds reasonable. I have kind of switched off to referring to it as trail mix these days. As per @Z I should probably Google it before I dare to make any more GORPY comments.

puzzlehoarder 9:48 AM  

A bit harder than your average Friday. The only square that gave me the willies was the final L of ELIEL. Not sure why LETFLY doesn't feel as rock solid as the rest of the crosses. Maybe because it's the one cross that's an initial letter. I really hoped 5D would have looked more familiar when it finally went in.

My only write overs we're in the SE. I had JPEG/MPEG (fixed by KEMPT). That gave me SKATE which then fixed my RUSSLEUP/RUSTLEUP write over (my usual spelling idiocy.)

I almost had a WALRUS/WARTHOG write over. However by the time I wrote in the U I noticed WALRUS was a letter short (sharp aren't I.)

This had enough resistance to make a clean grid feel satisfying.

I haven't commented since Monday as it's been a busy week.

yd -0, dbyd pg-4, Wed pg-3,
Tue pg-3, Mon pg-1

albatross shell 9:48 AM  

Hikers scouts backpackers are among those familiar with GORP. I've been using it since the late 60's or early 70's. I actually thought I made it up. But I guess I heard it somewhere because that is about the time it got popular. GORP was my trailmix and glop was my one-pan beef sour cream garlic onion egg or whatever meals over potatoes rice noodles toast or whatever.

GORP is an acronym of various ingredients depending on who you listen to. Maybe a recto-nym?

RooMonster 9:51 AM  

You are in "blue", ala Blogger already knows you're not a robot. So skip CAPTCHA, and just hit "Publish" when you're done.

*Infinite humor alert*
Hotel Hummer would be a great name for a place in a GAY MECCA.
(Disclaimer: Filling in for @JOHN X) 馃お馃槀

RooMonster Corny Guy

bocamp 9:52 AM  

Jason MRAZ was one of the few I knew offhand; learned from eldest granddaughter a few years ago.

Wasted too many tokens on the CLAW machine at the arcade in Seaside, OR in the '50s.

"A claw crane, claw machine, toy crane or skill crane is a type of arcade game known as a merchandiser, commonly found in video arcades, supermarkets, restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, and bowling alleys." (Wikipedia)

The History of KOOZIEs: Who Invented These Can Holders?

td 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 馃晩

pabloinnh 9:57 AM  

In went GORP right away, and I thought GAY____MECCA, maybe? Didn't write it in. Looked at the O from GORP and thought, OVERLORD, maybe? Didn't write that in either. In fact, after bouncing around the grid and actually entering some guesses that turned out OK, I eventually returned to square one, filled in the NW using pervious guesses, and finished without looking anything up, which was looking more and more necessary. I'd rather have a DNF than look stuff up so really not much chance of that, but still....

I went to my 50th college reunion, where we were treated royally, and among the gifts we received were some nice fluffy bath towels with the college logo, but more importantly, two BEERKOOZIES, also with the college logo. This is a college that knows its alumni (and alumnae).

PICAS I remembered from typing class in HS, MRAZ and MPEG, news to me, and really was hoping for PAUL, for obvious reasons. Lots of tough-but-fair stuff, which is what I like.

Thought this was a great Friday/Saturday effort, PJD. Perfectly Justifiably Demanding, and thanks for all the fun.

R Duke 9:59 AM  

I was once told that GORP meant “good old raisins & peanuts.” It wasn’t quite as fancy back then.

As for CLAW, think of the machine where you move a lever in an attempt to grab a small toy or stuffed animal. Looks easy, but rarely works.

Beezer 10:07 AM  

@Z, I think you are on the right track with GAYMECCA, that is, I hope the term becomes a thing of the past. Whether the tag on MECCA was ever appropriate could be debated and maybe the term associated with safe (HAVEN) would have been more appropriate.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  


What does a closeted lumberjack drive? You guessed it. I hear ice cubes on one's nipples raises the humming an octave or two.

thfenn 10:18 AM  

Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. Been calling it GORP since I was a (human) kid. LOL, maybe it's another New England thing. LoL, but now I'm sure we'll hear it's not called that in Western Massachusetts.

pmdm 10:20 AM  

I don't care. If I don't care about the entries, I really don't care about the puzzle. And I don't care to cry about the puzzle. This was just one of the puzzles I can put up with but one that I just don't care about.

Here's an example. I don't care for certain styles of music. it one is famous enough, it doesn't bother me to come across their names in an entry. ICET fits the bill. Perhaps MRAZ should, but for me it doesn't. And I just don't care. I guess if too many puzzles elicit such a response, I won't care to continue to solve them. But that hasn't happened yet. Johnny Carson was famous enough that he should be known to young solvers as well as old. If youngsters ignore the past, I disapprove. Youngsters unaware of Hitchcock? Seems not good to me. Youngster unaware of Joachim Raff? Understandable and not so important. For me, it's not when. It's a matter of importance. Outside of that, I don't care. (Did i repeat myself? I don't care.)

jae 10:24 AM  

Top half very easy, bottom half slightly tougher, so easy over all. I put in GAY MECCA with no crosses and just kept going. Smooth with a fair amount of sparkle, liked it a bunch!

Jason MRAZ is from San Diego so not a problem.

I was iffy on spelling KOOZIE.

Z 10:26 AM  

@albatross shell - I don’t even want to know what a recto-nym is…

Of course GORP has a Wikipedia page. It says that the OED entry has a 1913 citation, so hardly a new term.

@Roo - I assume the clue was referencing 0° C to get BRR. 0°F would have needed to be BRRrrrrrrr.

@Gill I - Wikipedia has a nice synopsis. Such hate has nothing to do with Islam. Much as murdering doctors in our country has nothing to do with Christianity. Make no mistake, we have the same cultural attitudes in our own country and people who love to drape their hatred in scripture. It even appears here on occasion.

GILL I. 10:27 AM  

@Whatsername: Good gravy on my TACO. Can you imagine that bar? LESBOS, the bart tendress would have a conniption. Imagine GORP sitting next to WART HOG. Those two would LET FLY some RIPE TYPE BEER fumes. She'd have pull out her MAALOX from her hidden stash of ACRONYM and that wouldn't be pretty.....

Barbara S. 10:28 AM  

I enjoyed this one for its toughness, and the sense of accomplishment I got for persevering, despite being sorely tempted to look up a few things. I started by going through the acrosses in order, and got absolutely nothing until MRI at 22A, then more droughts until MATRIX at 37A and Amanda PEET at 45A. Sometimes PPP is indispensable to get you started in a difficult puzzle. With that inauspicious beginning I’m not sure how I managed to fill in the rest – I think the night’s sleep at halftime helped a lot. Didn’t know PICAS as clued, YETI as clued, ELLA Baker or BEER KOOZIE. I made the feaT/GEST mistake (hi @Carola), so was convinced that the tusked beast must be mythological. GORP is a word I know from Spelling Bee. I like PRIZE as the opposite of “take for granted.” Didn’t know that RUSTLE UP implies “short notice.”

The two Saarinens are firmly in my wheelhouse. ELIEL was a designer of furniture and household items as well as an architect. Here’s his tea/coffee urn, since we get “urn” so often in puzzles. I’ve always thought it looks like an adorable miniature robot.

I may not be around much for a while. We’re back in our newly repaired house – exactly 3 months, 1 week and 5 days after a plumbing breach and subsequent flood drove us out. But while settling back in, I’ve been slammed with other work as well, so my blogging time is likely to be severely curtailed. I’ll read you guys, though, and stick my oar in as often as I can.

SB: I’ve had a run of pg-5 days, until yesterday when I got 0!

mathgent 10:31 AM  

I hate it when I miss a sexual reference, which I'm guessing "Hotel hummer" is. Something to do with a vibrator? In a hotel?

I think that San Francisco is no longer a major magnet for gays. Here on the west coast, I hear more about Portland. I just found a website ranking best cities for meeting gays. San Francisco was #13 behind cities like Cleveland and Detroit, New Orleans was on top.

I liked the puzzle but I think that Mr. Duggan tried a little too hard in his cluing.

Tom T 10:37 AM  

Clue for Hidden Diagonal Word in today's grid:

"Don't be that _______" (Three letters, answer below)

Wow! What an epic, delightful struggle to get this one done!

Hands up, @bocamp, "wasn't sure I'd finish it." Had almost nothing at first pass, but had my first inroad at the Vexes/Values cross. The south slowly fell, which then led to success, first up the west, then up the east to the top. ("Why does the hotel ice machine hum?" "Because it can't get all those Sondheim lyrics in order." Sorry.)

Still left with the NW, where I had tried GAY haven (duh) and removed it, and had OVERLORD in place and erased at least twice. Went back to GAY, took a gamble on YETI and CON, and boom--in came REATAINER and ADRIFT and all the rest. Very pleased for the happy sound of the happy music. Great fun!

Answer to HDW:

GUY (This "guy" is in the extreme SE, beginning with the G in MPEG and moving up)

Onthelam 10:42 AM  

Hi everyone,

Millliner here, chiming in on the cartwheel clue from yesterday. I got to the blog late in the day, so thought i'd jump in today.

Cartwheel hats were indeed most popular in the 40's and 50's, but the term is still used in the millinery industry today. When a hat maker orders hat bodies - the raw materials used to block a hat shape, generally straw or felt - they come in several standard sizes. "Hoods" are just mound shaped and are used for blocking brimless hats, like berets, cloches and toques. "Brims" are standard for hats with average size brims, think of the shapeless "hippie" style floppy hat from the 60's as an example of a raw brim; those are used to block a fedora or tyrollean. "Cartwheels" are hat bodies that are extra large, at least 24" diameter. You need them not only for cartwheell hats but to block a brim that might have folds or pleating that uses more material, or has a large upturned edge. So there is your archane millinery information for the day!

And if it makes anyone feel better, it was the last clue I got too!

Victoria DiNardo

Anonymous 10:42 AM  

we'll hear it's not called that in Western Massachusetts.

Yes it is. We have real mountains (Eastern division) out here, not those nobs around the Big City on the Haabaa. We do a lot of hiking. Go to school. Get firewood. Get groceries. Those Appalachian Redneck kind of activities. And, of course, we invented the Real Milkshake™.

JC66 10:44 AM  


FYI, since you're blue, you can skip the "I'm not a robot" box & just hit "Publish Your Comment."

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

I really enjoyed this one, and it had some tough spots. For those asking about GORP, here's a link:

Just kidding 10:50 AM  

@pabloinnh: "I eventually returned to square one, filled in the NW using pervious guesses, and finished without looking anything up..."<

Just wondering, @pabloinnh: Were those "pervious" guesses by any chance GAY MECCA, LESBOS and BEER KOOZIES?

(I'm just having some fun with the typo here. Don't yell at me.)

JC66 11:14 AM  

One write-over not yet mentioned: Points before VALUES (47a).

Hey @Roo

Great minds...

I replied to @burtonkd before reading the rest of the comments.


I think hummer refers to oral sex given to a male.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  


... but not a gay reference. an equal opportunity enjoyment.

egsforbreakfast 11:17 AM  

Me call it GORP


Newboy 11:18 AM  

With BRR up top nARwHal seemed obvious. I could go ON AND ON with how today’s tricks led me astray, but just the fun of working through those mental cul-desac moments prevents whining. Nice job Patrick!

And another great prompt for commentariat from @albatross to @Z每g枚t毛’s “@Pete - ONAN DON - 馃ぃ馃槀馃ぃ馃槀馃ぃ - I thought @JD seeing a dinosaur was pretty good, but good ol’ ONAN for the win. I really really want the ONAN DON to be played by Marlon Brando, now.”

TJS 11:20 AM  

"Such hate has nothing to do with Islam". Hey @Z, you might want to check your sources on that statement.

Northwest Runner 11:37 AM  

I enjoyed this one. I could feel the constructor trying to squeeze in a j to get a pangram. Somewhat glad that didn’t happen because I think the puzzle would have been worse for the success.

Missy 11:41 AM  

The lady doth protest too much!馃

egsforbreakfast 11:43 AM  

Though she tried and tried, the bride still cried as she cried during her screed.

Like Barbara S. I won’t likely be around much over the next few days. Liked this puzzle.

pabloinnh 11:45 AM  

@Just Kidding--Actually, yes.


Unknown 11:46 AM  

Otto 9:06 "Good old raisins & peanuts" = GORP
pretty much all my hiking friends eat GORP

Re: rex'x rant: I am never, ever shocked when obviously guilty parties SKATE, especially if they are white guys with guns or or white guys who abuse women or people of color etc.
I'm guessing rex hasn't ever watched an actual real trial in person. White folks are found Guilty every day of the week. You only hear about the 0.1% of the cases which are egregious. And yes, I'm a trial attorney.

I had POINTS instead of VALUES, which held me up for the longest time. A perfect Friday puz!

johnk 12:01 PM  

Happy to be able to solve a Friday without having to google a rap star or Simpsons character.

Joseph Michael 12:02 PM  

Just noticed there’s another compass in the center of the grid.

Anyone know where I can get a Pinot Noir koozie?

thfenn 12:15 PM  

@Anonymous 10:42, LOL, right on cue, thank you. And glad to hear it. Still not sure what makes you think I didn't go to school, get firewood, or get groceries, or how I'd somehow associate those with Appalachian Redneckticity, or how I strike you as Bostonian, but have at it. Always a pleasure.

Uh 12:22 PM  

How did people know what skate means in the sense clued? I couldn't find it online or by googling.

jb129 12:23 PM  

Loved Bikinis - hated Let fly - second day in a row I had to cheat.

Z 12:26 PM  

@TJS - check your sources - You mean like that Wikipedia article that points out the anti-LGBT+ stuff is primarily a 19th and 20th century development amongst fundamentalist schools (like in the US)? Or maybe the work of Resa Aslan, who does a fine job writing about the history of religion and does a good job of explaining the difference between that which is religion and that which is cultural? Or maybe you mean Edward Said and his work on how otherizing leads to faulty understanding? Or maybe you mean I should ask the Hajji I worked with for 15 years? Or maybe the Doctor of Sociology who worked as my community liaison and translator? Or maybe my other community liaison who once had the audacity/bravery/stupidity to tell Yasir Arafat that he needed to spend less money on guns and more money on teachers? Or maybe I should ask the (primarily Muslim) School Social Workers who developed an anti-bullying program and Gay support groups in our schools (at the very same time the “Christians” in my state were passing anti-gay marriage laws and a colleague in a different district (attended by primarily white conservative Christians) lost her job because a student group flew a Rainbow Flag at the school Open House)? Yeah, let me check with them and see if any of them think anti-LGBT+ hate is rooted in Islam.

Uh 12:26 PM  

How did people know what skate means in the clued sense? I couldn't find that meaning online, in an online dictionary or elsewhere.

jb129 12:27 PM  

Oh & I agree with you BC Camp @ 8:38 - they are getting more challenging (when I'm not familiar with the constructor) - I thought it was just me!

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

@ZZZZZZZZZ. When atrocities are committed in the name or religion, religion has EVERYTHING to do with it.

okanaganer 12:32 PM  

The humming thing in my hotel room was a MASSAGE BED. But only briefly.

Hands up for COZY and never seen the spelling COOZIE. I remember in the 1980s my new girlfriend was a little bit more of a rebel than I. At the beach she produced cans of beer, and little COZIES to slip them in. The cozies had Pepsi and 7 Up labels... except they were fake of course, probably "Peqsi" and "7 Uq" or something like that. So the cops wouldn't hassle us. Feels good to be a gangsta!

This was a pretty good puzzle which seemed to take ages but actually didn't. I guess my brain was just working extra hard.

[Spelling Bee: yd 0, my final word was one that I often struggle to get, even though it's pretty common.]

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

Hey @Roo! I found the "J"! It's in the Spelling Bee.

GILL I. 12:38 PM  

I mentioned the word MECCA and not understanding why it would ever be considered a"magnet" - (for lack of a better word) for gays.
I've mentioned plenty of times here that all types of religion interest me. The Koran, the Muslims holy book, tells the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom. Men having sex with each other should be punished according to the Koran. From what I've read, the death penalty comes from the saying of the Prophet Muhammad...he from MECCA. Methods of killing....well, take your pick.
I know there are Muslims in some countries that support LGBT rights, same sex marriage, etc. Now....go talk to ISIS. They believe all gays should be tossed from high buildings.

egsforbreakfast 12:40 PM  

My entry above was supposed to read: Though she tried and tried, the bride still cried as she scried during her screed.

mathgent 12:48 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

schuly (7:46)
TJS (8:17)
JC66 (11:14)

Z 12:49 PM  

@Uh - Maybe it’s a generational thing? SKATE in this sense was pretty easy here. I think “surprisingly” or “even though everyone knows they are guilty” is closer than “shockingly,” but the word didn’t make me rant like it did Rex.

@12:27 - You mean like Dylann Roof? I know I now keep a close eye on all Christians because terrorism is a part of the religion. The Bible even requires stoning children to death.*

*Yes, but I know I’m being absurd. Americans saying the same sort of things about a billion Muslims do not seem to know how absurd what they are saying is.

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Z is right. Look at all those rainbow flags in Riyadh, Tehran, Jakarta!! And hey, full disclosure, my Parish has thrown several people with same sex attraction from the steeple just like ISIS. And remember kids the I in Isis stands for Islamic. But yeah, in no way is Islam a religion of the sword and barbarism.

Crimson Devil 12:58 PM  

Quite a fine Fri. Good seein old pal ELIEL, and SKATE.

Gio 1:00 PM  

Talk about a gay mecca, I'll never forget that foam party in Ibiza.

CuppaJoe 1:01 PM  

I’d like to stop seeing MRI in grids, it slows me down and freaks me out. It puts me right in there, fighting claustrophobia and horrible loud noises, for 45-ish minutes, that’s longer than it took to complete this puzzle.

bocamp 1:24 PM  

@Onthelam (10:42 AM)

Thx for the 'cartwheel' HATS info. Better late than never! :)

@Uh (12:26 PM) re: SKATE

I've heard it before in this context: SKATEd on the charge

"Kendall Jenner's feeling pretty safe ... despite the fact her alleged stalker SKATEd on the charge." (TMZ)

Haven't found any dictionary defs/syns that are specifically related to legal matters, e.g., being found innocent or let off.

The closest I could find is from Lexico: "(skate through) Make quick and easy progress through." "‘he admits he had expected to skate through the system’"

@puzzlehoarder 9:48 AM / @Barbara S. (10:28 AM) / @okanaganer (12:32 PM) 馃憤 for 0's yd

td 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 馃晩

Teedmn 1:26 PM  

Rex's write-up just goes to show how differently a puzzle can go for different people. I had GORP and OVERLORD in place, with CON a gimme but I didn't remember a YETI in "Monsters, Inc." or Jason's weird last name and I was convinced that 8D was going to be a word rooted in idleness. The nail in the NW's coffin was deciding rIce was served with shawarma. That held me up for a long time. It wasn't until I had solved all the way down the east side, turned the corner and came back up to __OXY that EPOXY went in and showed me the way to PITA.

Last letter in today was the Z of MRAZ. 19A's clue was just so subtle. Subtle is good.

Mr. Duggan, thanks for the struggle on a Friday. Very nice.

jberg 1:46 PM  

I heard it called gorp before it was called trail mix (and before it became retrofitted as an acronym); but according to that REI article both terms have been around for a long time. Anyway, that was my first entry -- I saw GAY MECCA first, but was too shy to write it down without at least one cross.

Thanks to @JD for letting me know that the famous TWA terminal is now a hotel. If only I'd known about Eero's father the puzzle would have been easier.

The thing about a KOOZIE is that you can use it either for a can of beer or a can of soda, and it's still the same KOOZIE, so I thought that part was a little FORCED.

Pretty good puzzle, even if I dislike clued like that for 60A which require one to have memorized a corporate logo.

TTrimble 1:51 PM  

TACO, KOOZIE (either of which might be RIPE, er, "primed"), hummer, GAY, LESBOS, the mind reels! Even CAMEL seems suggestive. It's Scrabble third base, at the very least.

Despite all the excitement, I fell asleep doing this last night, when it seemed noticeably harder than this morning. Even so, I had a great deal of trouble remembering MAALOX (not XW good: better than KEMPT which annoyed Rex) and MRAZ (I was going "something like Mzar"), PiUs instead of PAUL, and I'm sorry, unlike Rex's, my mind didn't immediately go to GAY MECCA (that came toward the end). And boy howdy -- I've never seen ELIEL. (Eero I know from way back in the day.)

Still, a pretty impressive puzzle. Pleasant grid, only six 3-letter answers that I saw. Fairly low on the POC. A good way to start the weekend.

Speaking of which: Happy Friday, all!

td pg -1

Anonymous 1:55 PM  


whether your from Boston or Mars or etc. is of no significance. wasn't talking about YOU. only that those of us from Western Mass. still call it GORP as it is called in Boston or Cambridge or (shutter) Somerville. and we need it for our many trips shanksmare, you know, school, groceries and the likes. lived both places. called it the same both places.

Anonymous 1:56 PM  


I dare you to go to Plaza Senayan waring this sign and repeating the word out loud:
The Prophet is pleased with homosexuality.

Better yet,
Head over to the Islamic center of Ashville and wave a rainbow flag. Put your money where your mouth is.

okanaganer 2:12 PM  

[SB: td 0; final word. All very valid words; the toughest might have been this shortie. I think this is the quickest I've ever got to QB!]

Smith 2:36 PM  

馃憦馃憦 to @Z枚毛y I think it was who called PITA!

Wanderlust 2:48 PM  

Fun fact about ELIEL and Eero Saarinen: Both submitted designs for a contest to build a monument to western expansion on the St. Louis riverfront. Eero won, of course, by the person in charge of notifying the winner mistakenly send the telegram to Eliel, the father. The family broke out champagne to toast his victory, and then the telegram correcting the mistake came. Eliel was gracious, and toasted his son.

St. Louis native here, and as I wrote that, it occurred to me that in the same way we are re-examining "Columbus Day" and other celebrations of the genocide of Indigenous people in the Americas, maybe we shouldn't be holding up "westward expansion" as an ideal either.

That said, some other fun facts about the Arch:
- It's now a National Park. Proud to have one in my native city, but it's not exactly what I think of as a National Park.
- You ride to the top up one of the curved legs (and down the other) in a little pod that feels like a space capsule. It jerks between vertical and horizontal to make the climb and descent.
- On a windy day, you can feel it sway when you're in the observation deck at the top.

GAY MECCAs -- I love some of the lesser known ones in the US, like Eureka Springs, Arkansas (where "not even the streets are straight"); Saugatuck, Michigan; or Asheville, North Carolina -- places where those high school teachers in the Midwest and the South that someone mentioned above can go and be comfortably open about who they are.

Great puzzle with some very fun answers and clues.

burtonkd 2:58 PM  

@roo and JC66 - I'm glad your great minds could come together to let me know I've been unnecessarily checking that I'm not a robot all this time. Doing a 2nd post basically to test out my new non-CAPTCHA existence!

While I'm here...

@Z - while I think there are more places in this country that are tolerant toward homosexuality than perhaps 40 years ago (see David Sedaris on witnessing a flamboyant nephew in NC), I believe there is still a demographic move toward gay meccas for more easy acceptance, community, and jobs in fields the gay population tends to work in, i.e. the arts. It applies especially well for a Mecca in the sense of a pilgrimage site such as Fire Island, Provincetown, Greek Islands, etc.

GORP is not the acronym for Great Outdoor Recreation Page (site for outdoor exploring interests) by accident.

Thanks to all the posts today, "ice machine in the kitchen" now has a whole new meaning:)

KnittyContessa 3:04 PM  

Everything you said, @Lewis!

Loved loved loved everything about this puzzle. So clever.

Anonymous 3:22 PM  


a New York photographer made a coffee-table book (I have/had, don't recall, a copy) about the arch. what makes the book special is that the photos were made on color film in an 8 X 10 view camera. let's see..."St. Louis and the Arch. New York: New York Graphic Society, 1980."

you can still buy it, used, on Amazon:

the comments in the listing tells you something about how it came to be.

MichGirl 3:37 PM  

LOVED this puzzle! I picked it up, said "gay mecca" and I was off to the races. This might be my fastest Friday ever. Everything about it seemed not stodgy.

Steve M 3:42 PM  

Best Friday in many moons and doable to boot 馃憤馃檹馃憢

Nigel Pottle 4:05 PM  

One more thought about how liberal this puzzle appears.

1: GAYMECCA, (yes, Rex some of us older gay men still think of places as GAYMECCAs. I don’t know about younger gay men. I’ve never been to Fire Island, or Provincetown but I have been to San Francisco, Puerto Vallarta, Sitges in Spain, and other places considered as most welcoming to gay men, and there is no dearth of gay men still travelling to those places to be with their tribe.
2: LESBOS, a GAYMECCA for lesbians, thanks to Sappho.
3.ONAN(DON), the sin of masturbation, spilling your seed without attempting to impregnate.

JD 4:14 PM  

@jberg, And thank you for letting me know it was once the TWA terminal, which explains the bizarreness! The titanic, cavernous lobby, the quarter-mile-long, 20-foot-wide spiraling ramp to the elevator, the oddly shortened room with the Purposeless alcove. There was a pencil cup with about 35 perfectly sharpened pencils and no wastewater basket (just a long, narrow shelf with a placemat that said Throw Away on one half and Recycle on the other. The shelf wasn't wide enough to serve as a desk and there was no chair anyway (also no closet).

@@Z每g枚t毛’s, @New Boy, @Pete, I'm humbled and honored to be first runner up (sure thing I wouldn't get Miss Congeniality) but I gotta know what's funny about ONAN DON.

Lyn 4:48 PM  

Gorgeous was what we called it a thousand years ago when we mixed our own before prepackaged.

deb 5:14 PM  

Did anyone have policecars before patrolcars?

JD 5:20 PM  

Thank you @Nigel. @Z每 et al. Never mind!

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

When I used to go hiking in organized groups, lots of people referred to GORP.

But that was 40 years ago. Not sure about now. There is however still a hiking-related site called


patsypalooza 5:41 PM  

Same. Good Old Raisins & Peanuts sounds like exactly the right genesis of this acronym. Imagine your grizzled grandpa setting out in the early 70s with his wooden staff, ancient hiking boots, and wool socks. He’d say it and mean it.

TJS 6:29 PM  

Arriving late to the party, but :

@Z, my "check your sources" comment referred to one specific statement you made : "such hate has nothing to do with Islam". I'm having a hard time seeing where any of your personal interactions with people of that faith, or studies you have encountered relating to it, has anything to do with the reality of the situation. You cite Wikipedia. Heres another mention from that source :

In Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, parts of Somalia,[note 1], United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, homosexual activity carries the death penalty or prison sentences.

I personally was indoctrinated with Catholicism from 8 years of grammar school, 4 years of high school and my first 2 years of college I no longer practice, and I certainly don't deny all the evidence of mis-guided wrong doing in Christianitys' history. Facts are facts.

TJS 6:43 PM  

Late to the party, but...

@Z, here's a wiki quote for you :

In Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, parts of Somalia,[note 1], United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, homosexual activity carries the death penalty or prison sentences.

And, same article,

Homosexual acts are forbidden in traditional Islamic jurisprudence and are liable to different punishments, including stoning and the death penalty,[5][11] depending on the situation and legal school.

No one is denying that there are wonderful people associated with all religions, but "Such hate has nothing to do with Islam". Uh-uh.

albatross shell 7:48 PM  

Well retronym was already taken. Reversonym just doesn't sound right. Backwardnym which I guess is used is weak tea and don't you want some Latin or Greek? And it should sound like acronym as much as possible. Recto- is for some a gay Mecca? So suitable for the day. A phrase made up from an existing word instead of a word made from an existing phrase. Backasswards in existing terminology. But I am sure everyone figured that out.

You also pointed out GORP was a word meaning eat greedily. Doubtfully having anything to do with trailmix even with M&Ms. Adding peanut M&Ms to granola was something I thought up on my own. Me and thousands of others I would wager. I experimented with regular M&Ms first. Not nearly as good.

albatross shell 8:03 PM  

Islam is 500 years younger than Christianity. So give it 500 more years and it will be as namby-pamby in its judgment of homosexuality as Christianity is today. On average, say.

Anonymous 8:12 PM  

". . . never, ever shocked when obviously guilty parties SKATE, especially white guys. . . " and, maybe O.J. Simpson. Good day.

Anonymous 9:05 PM  

More than medium to me. Punted halfway. Ugh.

TK Baltimore 8:48 AM  

Did no one else notice the alternate clueing for ETrade? On my mobile app, it said it had an asterisk, but on the web it said it had two arrows. Both are true! But I’ve never seen two alternating clues for one fill.

OISK 1:30 PM  

Gave up, and left it for today. Gave up. NW is impossible for me.An overlord is brutish? Monsters inc? Jason Mraz? My worst finish in years. Gorp??? Just too much 'Hip" obscurity for me... Bad.

Uh 2:48 PM  

@bokamp 1:24 pm:

Thanks! (Also to Zygote—tho how could skate be a generational thing? Most geezers being born after the invention of the wheel…)

Liz1508 5:59 PM  


Unknown 9:23 PM  

The TWA terminal, no hotel there, at least when I was a million mile flyer

kitshef 9:43 PM  

Very, very challenging for me. Saturday + level.

Flew through the NE, then slowed to a 'normal' Saturday pace, then completely ground to a halt in the SE corner. Thought I might have to give up with that entire section blank.

Did not know the answer to a single clue, so here were some of my guesses:
SEA otter
otto (for the pope)
eYes (for Tinder)

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