Old Spanish coins / THU 11-25-21 / Nabokov title character / Rapper who had an infamous rivalry with Tupac / Han Solo claims to have made the Kessel Run in less than 12 of these / Pygmalion author's monogram / Backsplash installer

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Constructor: Chase Dittrich

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: TRUE / FALSE (71A & 38D: One of two options in five squares in this puzzle) — five rebus squares sit inside ten answers, each of which is clued twice: once to work with "T" in the square and once to work with "F" in the square:

  • TREE SPIRIT / FREE SPIRIT (18A: Wood nymph / Independent person)
  • TAKE GOLD / FAKE GOLD (24A: Win at the Olympics / Cheap jewelry material)
  • TEED OFF / FEED OFF (40A: Drove a golf ball / Gain strength from)
  • TIRE SALE / FIRE SALE (54A: Goodyear blowout / "Everything must go" event)
  • TEAR GLANDS / FEAR GLANDS (60A: Waterworks parts / Amygdalae)
  • ALT / "ALF" (5D: PC key / Sitcom ET) 
  • TRAIL / FRAIL (24D: Lag behind / Weak)
  • TOLD / FOLD (40D: Snitched / Throw in the cards)
  • INTER / INFER (51D: Lay to rest / Deduce)
  • TANGS / FANGS (54D: Zesty flavors / Part of a Dracula costume)
Word of the Day: LESLIE Nielsen (48D: Nielsen of "The Naked Gun") —

Leslie William Nielsen OC (11 February 1926 – 28 November 2010) was a Canadian actor and comedian. With a career spanning 60 years, he appeared in more than 100 films and 150 television programs, portraying more than 220 characters.

Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. After high school, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 and served until the end of World War II. Upon his discharge, Nielsen worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to study theatre at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He made his acting debut in 1950, appearing in 46 live television programs a year. Nielsen made his film debut in 1956, with supporting roles in several dramas and western and romance films produced between the 1950s and the 1970s.

Although his notable performances in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure gave him standing as a serious actor, Nielsen later gained enduring recognition for his deadpan comedy roles during the 1980s, after being cast for the Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker comedy film Airplane!. In his comedy roles, Nielsen specialized in portraying characters oblivious to and complicit in their absurd surroundings. Nielsen's performance in Airplane! marked his turning point, which made him "the Olivierof spoofs" according to film critic Roger Ebert, and leading to further success in the genre with The Naked Gun film series, based on the earlier short-lived television series Police Squad!, in which Nielsen also starred. Nielsen received a variety of awards and was inducted into the Canada's Walk of Fame and Hollywood Walk of Fame. (wikipedia)

• • •

Bad timing on my part, as I got my Moderna booster yesterday, and so now, on Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, I feel like death warmed over. Death NUKEd in the microwave for like 20 seconds. Tepid death. I've definitely felt worse, everything is very low-grade, but yeah, achy sorta, fevery sorta, and worst of all: appetite gone. Arm hurts like hell. Slept awfully and just can't get comfortable. Blecch. *But* if it's anything like the last shots, I'll be feeling fine by tomorrow, my birthday, the holiest of days on the Me calendar. For now, I have this puzzle, which I poked through, trying to just take it easy and *really* trying to be generous-minded, since it's not the puzzle's fault I feel cruddy. And what I can say about the puzzle is: it's easy. It's simple. Maybe it's supposed to be a kind of rudimentary rebus—lots of folks are home, or otherwise off work, they got time to kill, so the crossword is gonna get a lot of attention today, a lot of it from people who don't do the crossword every single day like you weirdos. This is a gateway rebus. Nothing to figure out, nothing to INFER. The clues spell everything out, and in case the clues don't clue you in, you've got the revealers, which, for me, were spectacularly anticlimactic and just gave me two more gimmes to write instantly into the grid. But maybe they actually functioned as *revealers* to people who are new to rebus puzzles and so are baffled by the idea of two letters / one square. OK. On that level, I can accept this puzzle. But on every other level, it's not really up to snuff. Concept too basic, answers too easy, and without any real zing or zazz or fun to make the short trip through the grid seem at least a little worthwhile. And the fill, yeesh, this is not the stuff you want to be throwing down if your goal is to get newcomers or part-timers more interested in solving. The fill IS OLDE (51A: Wagner heroine). OLDE, I say (and the puzzle says) (26D: Renaissance Faire adjective). Pray for us, ORA pro nobis, tell EDY and EDNA to hide the REALES and close the ORIEL because GBS (God Blessed Sakes!) the fill in this grid is dangerously OLDE. Really hope no one gets Naticked by the ORA / ORIEL crossing, because that would be the most painfully crosswordese way to go down, truly.

The double cluing really was the thing that took this into remedial-ville. I got TRAIL, thought "why is there's a separate clue that doesn't work?" then got TAKE GOLD and could see plainly what the second clue was referring to (FAKE GOLD), and there, right there, inside three seconds, I had the entire premise worked out. "T and F work? Is this really just a T/F rebus?" And it was. I tripped over a lot of little things, which is not the way you want to experience difficulty in a puzzle. Give me the cleverly worded clue with the big Aha finish, not the deflating experience of "ugh is it LOLL or LOAF?" or "ugh is it DANG or DRAT?" (I guessed wrong both times). Had PAID before TIED (8D: All square) and "GLAD TO" before "GLADLY," which I still very much like better (27A: "I'd be delighted!"). I had trouble with BIGGIE, oddly, since I knew very well the person being asked for, but I had BIG POPPA in my head, as well as Notorious B.I.G., and it's also possible that the sound of "BIGGIE" was in there but my brain imagined his name was rendered BIG + middle initial + E. + SMALLS. I thought at first that the clue for BIGGIE should have "familiarly" in it, since the "Tupac" of the clue did not seem parallel to BIGGIE, but I guess BIGGIE is defensibly parallel in that both are technically first names (even if TUPAC Shakur was a legal name and BIGGIE Smalls was only a stage name—BIGGIE's legal name was Christopher Wallace). 

If I could just keep things focused on BIGGIE and Ida LUPINO, then I could stay in my happy place, but alas there's the rest of the grid that must be accounted for. Oh well, if nothing else, children will be delighted by this grid, as it gives them an excuse to run around the house disrupting the Thanksgiving celebration with cries of "HAS A TIT!" HAS A TIT! Whaaaat, I can say it! It's in the puzzle! Look. HAS! A! TIT! [Runs off for more shouting]" You gotta enjoy yourself somehow. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am indeed grateful for you.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. the clue on REDS is just wrong (33D: Traffic lights you can't go through). Or it's misleading. I turn right on red all the time, as do millions of other drivers. I guess if you're being super-strict about the meaning of "through," then maybe there's validity to this clue, but ... also, you can definitely go through a blinking red (after you stop). I just don't think the clue writer thought this one ... through. Also, anyone *can* go through REDS. It's not legal, but can you do it? Well, don't, but yes, you can.

P.P.S. why do you go with the biblical clues on both AMOS *and* ENOS. This is part of what gives the puzzle such a stuffy feeling. Come on, mix it up! It's not great fill, but you can at least move the cluing around to give us some sense of variety. (This is the editor's actual literal job)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:16 AM  

Super easy once I got ALT/ALF. But I have a complaint: The NYT Web site refused to accept the rebus [TF] in the five alternate squares. After I failed to get the happy music I carefully checked my answers and found no mistakes, so I tried entering just [T]. That worked. I assume just [F] would work as well, and maybe [T/F]. But [TF] should be accepted.

Happy birthday, @Rex! If it's any consolation, my Moderna booster kicked my butt too, and that was after minimal-to-no effects from the first two.

Lewis 6:24 AM  

I'm thinking there could have had a sixth theme set at 46D (HASATIT) crossing 63A (TEES).

46D: [Attacks a job with gusto / Erupts]

which makes for 63A: [Openings for "To Tell the Truth] / Charges]

OffTheGrid 6:32 AM  

Ditto @Conrad. I was sure I had it right. I hit check puzzle and was shocked, shocked I say, to see red slashes through my rebi. How dare they! (I liked the puzzle, even with a little head scratching in the SW. The rebus in the middle of 51D eluded me for a bit since the others were at the beginning)

Lewis 6:38 AM  

Breezy balmy solve, perfect for starting off a full and busy day happy and calm. Thank you Chase!

And here’s a Thanksgiving thought that I love, to a group of people I love, care of Bob Dylan's father: “Even if you don’t have all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don’t have that you don’t want.”

OffTheGrid 6:40 AM  

I reset the puzzle and played around with the rebus squares, turns out they wanted T/F or F/T, not TF FT. ANAL much?

Unknown 6:45 AM  

HAS A TIT was indeed disconcerting. Worse was that the amygdala is a brain structure and definitely not a gland.

jbh 7:04 AM  

Can somebody explain "Openings for 'To Tell the Truth'"/Tees? Is it that all the words begin with the letter "T"?

rjkennedy98 7:08 AM  

OffTheGrid - yeah this by definition wasn’t a rebus and didn’t show as a rebus on my phone. It was supposed to be one or the other: “True or False.”

Luckily on my phone they don’t even let you put in the rebus so I had no issues there :).

mmorgan 7:10 AM  

I was fine after my booster — I felt like Rex describes after my two shots. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Z 7:15 AM  

How do you publish a beginner’s rebus puzzle and end up with triple naticks - all of the Whac-a-Vowel variety? ADA/DANA and ORA/ORIEL/REALES. Ugh. Just plain Ugh. To review, a 1969 novel (and not the guy’s famous novel), a partial town name (pop. 33,000), a Latin partial, an unusual architectural term rarely seen anywhere but in crosswords, and a Spanish coin that was replaced in 1868 by the peseta. All intersecting at vowels. Good luck, newbies.

I figured out the theme about as quickly as Rex did. Only writeover was Esau to ENOS. I had pretty much the same reaction as Rex to the REDS clue. I have a niggling feeling that I’ve done a T/F rebus before. In short, an okay puzzle.

Z 7:17 AM  

@jbh - You got it.

Son Volt 7:17 AM  

Would it have killed them to run a holiday themed puzzle today? The king of crosswords and we get a technically fine but early week level effort - maybe the thought process is most won’t have the solving time today?

The theme trickery is neat - I’ll raise my forever 12 yo hand with Rex after fixating on HAS A TIT - there will be other breast jokes later with the turkey of course. Liked PARSECS and TREE SPIRIT.

Tried to read von Strassburg’s Tristan and ISOLDE years ago but didn’t get very far with it - saw Levine’s version at the Met in late 2000’s and was blown away.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Darren 7:17 AM  

I could not get my NYT crossword app to take the TF rebus. I thought I had made a mistake but after checking it 5 times (twice with Rex’s solve), I went back and just put “T” in all the rebus boxes and I got my “Puzzle complete” solve. I don’t know why it wouldn’t take TF in teh rebus box. Unless the comment above means you had to have the slash. Anyway, I got credit for a solve but it was a Gri acting and a slog.

AlsoBrien 7:21 AM  

Nice find!

Roberto 7:25 AM  


bocamp 7:25 AM  

Thx Chase; perfect Thurs. puz! :)


Got the idea at T/FAKE GOLD.

Breezed thru this one.

Partook of the occasional AMSTEL when living in The Netherlands.

The kids lived in TRAIL, BC for a few years.

The website version of the puz wouldn't accept TF, but did like just the T or F. Didn't try T/F.

Fast, but fun while it lasted, solve. :)

yd 0* (final word kept repeating itself in mind, but the correct spelling wouldn't come until after I'd gone to bed)

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

Anonymous 7:27 AM  

ORIEL shouldn't have been a problem except maybe for the newest solvers. It's a Xword classic.

Mickey Bell 7:35 AM  

I had to go back and insert the slashes in the rebus TF squares. That was annoying because I INFERred from the clues, which contained the slashes, that the answers should not. Annoying.

Mickey Bell 7:35 AM  

Same here. Sucked the fun out of it.

Raven Starkly 7:46 AM  

Ditto. I came here because I wasn’t getting happy music. Put T in all rebus solved the issue. Was easy but for that NE area. Couldn’t see hack except as a computer hack… not really a lop…not sure what are has to do with math. Didn’t know about peat and whiskey I don’t drink…tree fairies didn’t fit but it had me doubting arial anyway….and what’s a free fairy anyway. Yawn good morning happy tday.

Tom T 7:55 AM  

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Hidden Diagonal Clue:

What five identical rebus squares might produce (5 letters, answer below)

I stumbled, regrettably, as Rex thought some might, on the ORA/ORIEL intersection, but cleared it up quickly.

I didn't set any PARSECS records or TAKE GOLD, but it was a normal Thursday time, helped by the gimme identical rebus squares. Which leads us to ...

HDW answer (What five identical rebus squares might produce):

WINCE (begins with the W in SEESAW, 70A, and moves to NW)

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

I spent half as much time looking for a mistake, as I did on completing the puzzle. Thanks for this idea, changing all of the "TF"s to "T/F"s does indeed work.

Adam Lipkin 8:00 AM  

I was totally naticked by ORA / ORIEL (and hated that entire middle right area in general), which definitely undercut my enjoyment.

While you can't do much with ENOS, there are certainly ways to clue AMOS to make that clue slightly less stuffy ("'Famous' Man" is probably too Monday, but "'Crucify' Singer" would reward those of us with good musical taste).

Unknown 8:04 AM  

Like some exams, you have to answer true *or* false. Answering both gets you no credit, haha.

Trockmn 8:04 AM  

T/F works in the app (at least for iOS peeps).
OFL made my day by acknowledging and appreciating my/our weirdo-ness. Made my Thanksgiving.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

Early morning brain got stuck for a while trying to remember Bernard Shaw's middle name. Sigh.

Yeah, and "fear gland?" Seriously?

pabloinnh 8:13 AM  

First Moderna shot, OK, second Moderna shot, went to bed and got up the next day, Moderna booster, see second Moderna shot. All reactions preferable to the actual virus though.

Found this way easy but credit to OFL for allowing it as a "gateway" rebus. I'll be able to remember his b-day, because it's exactly a week after my wife's.

There's old friend ORIEL to go with ARIAL and AMOS and ENOS, which might have been a great radio show had another combination not prevailed.

Fun to see REALES, which I haven't thought of in a long time. It's part of a song I used to sing in Spain about drinking wine in which part of the chorus suggests that if you don't like wine, you don't have a REAL, i. e., you're just too poor to buy it.

Bunny slope rebus, CD, but a Clever Design. Thanks for all the fun.

Happy Thanksgiving to all here. I'm thankful for our little forum and look forward to it every day, so thanks to you too for all the fun.

Monty Montague 8:15 AM  

I'm with you. That cost me two minutes to figure out.

krk 8:17 AM  

We don't have TEAR GLANDS either.

krk 8:18 AM  

And there's no such thing as a TEAR GLAND either.

Andy 8:19 AM  


krk 8:19 AM  

Our friends in Australia are all yelling at is: a Koala is NOT a bear.

Andy 8:21 AM  

This just gets old-every time there is a rebus, it’s a guessing game-TF, TF, T/F.

Dan 8:22 AM  

Can confirm the times crossword does accept “T/F” in the rebus squares.

Joe 8:24 AM  

Ditto Conrad. I scanned the puzzle six times for typos, and decided to add the slash between TF. W/T/F N/Y/T???

Unknown 8:27 AM  

Like many of you, inserting TF and not getting the bells & whistles at the end was surprising.
I guess it's ok to gripe about how the booster made him feel, but I'd rather suffer the minor inconvenience of a booster than deal with Covid itself.
And for the record, and to counter rex's post-booster complaints, I got the J&J booster and only felt a bit tired afterwards. I'd take it (J&J) again in a heartbeat. Go boosters!! Happy Thanksgiving.

Ben 8:28 AM  

I had the same experience. Turns out that the app would accept “T/F” as well.

Trey 8:38 AM  

@Rex 1) Glad you had your booster. I have seen too many people sick and dying in the ICU of this virus. Only one has been vaccinated. The other 100 or so have not. While this vaccine may not be perfect, it saves lives. 2) hope you feel better soon. 3) Happy Birthday tomorrow. 4) In a sense you may be wrong about gateway puzzles - for a newer solver, finishing a late-week puzzle without looking up answers may be more important in bringing them back than having snap and sizzle in the puzzle. I occasionally hear from friends of mine when they have completed a day that was previously unattainable. Appreciation of Form and substance seem to be things that develop later (at least they did for me, and partly from reading this blog)

Probably would have been a PR for me if I did not have to go back and put the slashes in the rebuses to get the happy music. Only did that after rereading every answer to make sure there were no typos. It seems to me that earlier this year there was a rebus puzzle where the content of the rebus square was irrelevant to getting the happy music. I had filled in every square and got the music even though I had missed a rebus (had filled it in before figuring out it was a rebus puzzle)*. I much prefer some latitude on how they are completed because it is frustrating if the only thing holding up a solve is guessing how the program wants the answers formatted.

*BTW I solve on the NYT app on my phone. Not sure how the other programs handle rebus puzzles.

Karl Grouch 8:39 AM  

Here's a thanksgiving quiz.

Q: "Retsina" is greek for resinated wine, true or false?
A: True. You obtain it when you free the tree spirit.

Q: Retsina is a quality wine, true or false?
A: True. Especially high-end brands like "Oxymoron".

I better leave it at that, have a lotto do and my bier glands are shouting "Give us some Amstel, dam!"

I give my thanks to all.

Trey 8:42 AM  

Phone lets you put in a rebus. On the keyboard, hit “more” in lower left corner and then “Rebus” appears near the lower right. Hit that and enter your rebus

albatross shell 8:44 AM  

Well @bocamp was right and his missing Tuesday has appeared on Thursday.

Or easiest Friday ever as someone says every month here. And I would have had a record Friday time if I had not had a dnf. Almost. the one Rex mentioned.

FARRxREALES. Somehow I thought THe ancient French coinS started with an A and Jamie FARR was thus Jamie FAaR and never changed it as the rest filled in. Never noticed the unlikely triple vowel and no memory of REALES. And despite seeing M*A*S*H credits an uncountable number of times. Oh well, as the saying goes. Ignorance is never an excuse for natick crucifixion.

I (and others) talked about HAS A TIT last time it was in. Rex ignored it I think. Funny how the world goes round.

Ribeye steak mashed potatoes onions mushrooms and Brussel sprouts in a dinner for 2 here. Rhubarb pie apple pie and munchies for those who stop in to say hello. Happy Turkeys here. Have a good one wherever you are.

Unknown 8:55 AM  

A koala is nit a bear

Rug Crazy 8:57 AM  

One of my favorite Thursdays ever!

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

Even on Thanksgiving, my favorite day of the non-Me year, I still hate rebuses. (Rebi?)

Tim 9:01 AM  

My cousin Billie dove from the 3 meter board at the University of Miami. I always doubted that he had a fear gland.

Jonathan 9:03 AM  

Love you Rex! Wonderful, witty and enlightened person! So humane! Thank you for the JOY you bring daily to us word lovers!

Runs on Dunkin 9:04 AM  

I couldn’t be more annoyed at this.

amyyanni 9:07 AM  

In case you take tomorrow off, Happy Birthday Rex. Be sure to save a generous plate of leftovers, as your appetite will be back. Ibuprofen helped after getting a booster earlier this month.
The thing I like about rebuses is that stretch of time when you haven't figured it out yet but you know something is afoot. Makes me feel positively Sherlockian. So had a good time. Looking forward to the Broadway performances at the parade, except not right now because Annie is not on my favorites list, to be kind.
Happy Thanksgiving. Instead of green bean casserole, going with curried green beans.

SouthsideJohnny 9:10 AM  

It felt a bit like a Sunday stroll as I bobbed, weaved and parsed my way through most of the grid. I enjoyed the crossword components and having a simple and straightforward theme helped as well. I also got all tangled up in the wac-a-vowel Naticks that @Z-meister referenced. I don’t even bother to guess anymore when there is a blank space on two trivial entries crossing each other. Similarly, I don’t have any enthusiasm for trying to parse or piece together made-up stuff and quasi-words like REALES (similar to the way many have zero interest in sports figures long gone). Thus, pretty much a standard NYT Thursday for me - probably solved upwards of 85% of it unassisted then lost interest when the PPP refused to yield the floor.

Hartley70 9:12 AM  

Cute puzzle but the TF T/F snag was an annoying waste of time at the end when there are pies to be baked!

Mikey from El Prado 9:17 AM  

Yep, same issue as many others… App didn’t accept the rebus fill. So, that cost us all a bit of time on a very easy Thursday. Oh well, we should hall have something to be thankful for today….

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I’m especially thankful to Rex for all his efforts.

Joaquin 9:19 AM  

I enjoyed today's puzzle and just stopped by here for a moment to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. And a reminder: Don't sweat the small stuff - the Naticks, the less than perfect clues, etc. Life races by. Seems like yesterday I was at the kids' table; today I'm the family patriarch. So ... remember the important stuff!

Be safe, stuff your face, and give thanks. See you tomorrow.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

@krk https://www.mayoclinic.org/tear-glands-and-tear-ducts/img-20008059

Kevin 9:22 AM  

I like rebus gimmicks, and this one was fine albeit a simple one to figure out. However, the app always bugs me. Today, I entered TF as a rebus in each box and was told there was a mistake somewhere with my answer. I then went through every answer very carefully to look for typos but found nothing. Eventually, I switched all the TFs to just Ts and bingo! Answer accepted! I get frustrated when that sort of thing happens.

As to the clue about traffic lights, something just seems off about that. "33D: Traffic lights you can't go through" is a weird phrasing that seemed to be making some sort of pun or something. It seems like a far better clue might have been "Lights you can't run." That would at least suggest a possible second meaning of "lights that you cannot operate" like a dead bulb or something.

puzzlehoarder 9:23 AM  

This may have been my fastest Thursday ever. I always do the Thursday on paper to avoid the rebus issues.

yd pg-2 a couple of very "un"

kitshef 9:25 AM  

Way easy for a Thursday. Run it on a Tuesday and it’s an OK puzzle. I can't imagine that it was intentionally geared for new solvers; not with ADA and ORIEL in there. Neither of those is automatic for me, and I've been solving for years.

Grid is littered with extra Ts, but no extra Fs. That feels inelegant, but probably unavoidable without really killing your fill.

Teedmn 9:26 AM  

Easy as pumpkin pie here. I would have preferred to (somehow) not have the rebi squares telegraphed so obviously but it is a nice puzzle.

I loved the pause “Cold-blooded killer” gave me when I had AS_ in place. Great clue.

Thanks, Chase Dittrich, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

That was like getting up expecting a Thanksgiving feast and getting a Happy Meal...

DrDeb 9:28 AM  

Finished this one without too much difficulty. As others have said, it's annoying that the NYT app won't accept a rebus, but I've encountered that before. What really bugged me were two technical inaccuracies: the amygdala is not a gland; it's brain tissue. And a koala is not a bear; it's a marsupial.

Georgia 9:28 AM  

Get your boosters! My husband tested positive Tuesday but, triple vaxxed, he only has mild cold symptoms. No Thanksgiving here (sniff!) but a year ago this would been terrorizing at 76.

Nancy 9:32 AM  

Pretty terrific! The constructor had to come up with ten (10!) T/F words and phrases that would 1)interlock with another T/F word or phrase and 2)do so in a manner that would create perfect puzzle symmetry.

You think that's easy? All I can say is that if you want to construct this kind of puzzle, be prepared to lie in bed sleepless for weeks or maybe months -- trying to come up with T/F words and phrases and counting the number of letters in your head and then wondering if you can cross different sets of them in the same places. Why I have insomnia just thinking about it.

The good news is that this inspired bit of construction is also fun for the solver. TRUE, there are diminishing returns after you get the first one because now you know the trick and they will all work the same way. Also, the slashes in the clues tell you exactly where to look. So it ends up being a fairly easy puzzle. TRAIL/FRAIL was my tip-off and after that everything fell into place. But it's very enjoyable all the same. I congratulate Chase on his accomplishment and wish him many nights of unbroken sleep from now on.

TJS 9:34 AM  

Just a thought : If you solved the paper-version on a daily basis, as I did for about 50+ years, you had to wait until the next day to see if you were error free. What's wrong with just giving the puzzle your best shot, lap-top or phone-wise, and just go to Rex to see if you were right? Takes all the rebus aggravation out of it. Is some artifical "streak" really part of the fun ? Do you need confirmation from a machine ?

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to all, even Rex, who drives me nuts but still has me coming back every day.

td 9:41 AM  

I started looking for an error, thought oh wait, really, how fussy is that, replaced TF with T/F, success. Have had this issue before with letter split rebuses.

Newboy 9:43 AM  

Thanks for any puzzle, of course, and we ARE blessed with a Thursday rebus with training wheels; Chase’s grid was indeed 🍰

All that Rex said, but DRAT on those OLDE ORA ORIEL AMOS &ENOS clues? Is it too much to ASK OF a constructor, “more KOALA BEAR please!”?

And on Turkey Thursday I’ll certainly go with seconds of @Trey (8:38). Just being able to be with family without fear is a HAIL worthy blessing.

Richardf8 9:45 AM  

The big difference between my experience and Rex’s is that the refusal to accept TF moved me from “Meh, not really a Thursday” to “HATE! HATE! HATE” when I had to re-enter all the rebus squares to get the music.

Joe Welling 9:50 AM  

I'm surprised Rex didn't point out that the theme doesn't actually work. The theme answers are T or F, not TRUE or FALSE. 5D for example is not ALFALSE or ALTRUE.

pmdm 9:54 AM  

Maybe it's a little easy for a Thursday puzzle, but I thought the puzzle was one that is close to the top my my "I enjoyed that" list. Even with the whac-a-mole vowel square, which I just did not bother to fill in. Odd how if I enjoy most of the puzzle (which I did today) stuff which normally bothers the hell out of me gets a pass.

I like the idea of calling this a slash puzzle more than a rebus puzzle. (See Jeff's comment at XWordInfo.com.) And as I solve on paper, I could care less about how to enter the letters into the square.

When I got my booster shot, my arm was sore for a few days. Maybe annoying, but not aggravating. I blamed the person who gave me the shot, but I guess I was wrong. Certainly better than dying.

Around NYC I've seen too many vehicles go through red lights. Especially motorized scooters. Perhaps the clue should have been worded "lights you shouldn't go straight through." Sigh.

Nancy 9:58 AM  

There are many, many important things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and I am indeed thankful. But I'm also thankful for a very minor one. While so many of you were grappling with how to "enter" your "T"s and your "F"s into your assorted gadgets -- TF? T/F? -- I had no such concern. I wrote "T/F" neatly and elegantly into my grid and that was that. No app or gadget had to "approve" of my method. (Is it the hardware or the software that sets the rules, btw? I've never really understood the process.)

@TJS (9:34) is the epitome of sanity as he counsels solvers how to deal (or not deal) with their various puzzle-solving gadgets. You'll be doing yourselves a huge favor by reading him and taking his advice to heart.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

GILL I. 9:58 AM  

First and foremost. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, @Rex.....We're at my daughters house and I'm waiting for my cakes to cool because I'm making a chocolate mousse cake but when we get back home and I find my postage stamps, I'll be sending you a little sumpin' for your birthday. My Moderna booster only had me aching for an In-N-Out Burger....My husband, though, slept for days after his.......
Oh...the puzzle. Well, holy frijoles with feta cheese. I thought for sure the T/F would be a Thanksgiving Food thingie. DRAT....it turns out to be TRUE/FALSE.... Is is true that you like Turkey? False. We are heathens and like salmon and chocolate and eating non-traditional food because none of us like gravy on our mashed potatoes. But we sure like to talk and eat and have fun.
Oh...back to the puzzle. It sure was easy. @pablito....Were you singing the "arriba/abajo" song?
Oh...back to the puzzle. Can someone please explain how a school board is a SEE SAW?
I'm a White Anglo Saxon Protestant...does that make me a builder of a papery nest?
Happy and safe day to all. AND....Thank you, @Rex. You make my day....truly, you do.

addisondewitt 10:00 AM  

I would hazard to guess that the reason “TF” doesn’t work is because, since it’s a rebus, you would be adding T AND F to each square, which wouldn’t work (e.g. ALT or ALF both work but ALTF does not work).

Anonymous 10:06 AM  

ha ha. three Moderna shots and nothing more than a mild soreness the next day. ha ha.

Mr. Benson 10:07 AM  

Another hand up for the app rejecting rebus entries, adding a few full minutes to my time in search of a typo and, finally, when I gave up and asked it to reveal where I went wrong, breaking my “streak” (not that I particularly care about the latter).

RooMonster 10:09 AM  

Hey All !
Disappointed that today is just a regular puz. I know, First World problems. But c'mon man! It's Thanksgiving, at least through in a Turkey or something. I call Balderdash on Rex's "the crossword is gonna get a lot of attention today". There's 974,681 Regular weirdo (LOL Rex!) solvers out there. Don't we deserve a Thanksgiving theme?

OK, rant aside (but maybe more complaining). I personally don't think rappers like BIGGIE, et.al. should be idolized. All they do is talk about fellow N___ and being big and bad and shooting MFers. Yeah, good clean music. I know you want to be woke, but sometimes you have to draw a line.

RED lights and stopping. It's apparently just a suggestion out here in Las Vegas (the City, but it happens on The Strip also). The light turns RED, and not an exaggeration, 5 more cars go through. If you're first in line at your own RED light and it turns Green, you literally have to wait until someone eventually decides to stop. I always try to flip them off.

Well, not in a good mood this morning, Roo. What's happening? Why are you TEED OFF?
Ya know, not sure. Puz is good, and I wasn't expecting a Thanksgiving puz, just because. But some days, you just feel like venting. Sorry everybody!

Never knew FEAR GLANDS are a thing. Is that something in the ole brain, or a FEAR of GLANDS?

Fun stuff, to get me out of my snit, thought SNEAKS OUT was going to be SNEAKS IN, but it was too short. And KOALA BEAR. I was just a wee lad (well, maybe 6 or 7), and that Christmas my sister got a teddy bear, amongst other stuff, which for some reason, made me sad that I didn't get something similar. Regardless of the other presets I got. I was apparently in a funk, so my dad went to a toy store on the 27th, and just grabbed the first stuffed animal he saw. It was a KOALA BEAR. And Holy Moly, I lit up like our Christmas tree, and loved the hell out of that bear. I named him Wally. I carried that bear around the house constantly.
Strange how little things like that happen. I still have Wally. (Although I don't carry him around the house!)

What a SEESAW day!

yd p ng -12 (ouch!)

Happy Thanksgiving All !

Eight F's (5 in T/F, 3 regular) Nice!

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Only two nits

GLADto -- GLADLY both make sense
teeth -- FANGS ditto

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Best line on the blog so far comes from @TJS (9:34).

"Do you need confirmation from a machine?"


Anonymous 10:26 AM  

@krk. The Mayo Clinic wants to weigh in.

The tear glands (lacrimal glands), located above each eyeball, continuously supply tear fluid that's wiped across the surface of your eye each time you blink your eyelids. Excess fluid drains through the tear ducts into the nose.

jberg 10:27 AM  

Happy Birthday, Rex! And Happy Thanksgiving, too, though you may not be feeling that yet.

I would have liked a zingier revealer, but I take @Nancy's point about the difficulty of the construction. It's an acquired taste; once you think about it, it makes a puzzle more enjoyable (or not), but it's easy not to notice it. Sort of like admiring how a painter uses the palette knife.

@Nancy, I have your same reaction to the frustrations of those who can't get the app to confirm that they have solved the puzzle. All I can think of is that the music you get must be really good. Actually, my wife does the NYT mini every day in ink in the paper, then types it into the online version just to get the little tune.

As for the RED light, I was thinking along the same lines as Rex, but more strongly. You certainly CAN go through a red light -- people in my neighborhood frequently do; sometimes they'll honk at me because I'm blocking their way. The clue needs to say 'shouldn't' or maybe add the word 'legally.'

And a bit of pedanticism: @Z, as clued, I think ORA is a Latin verb, not a plural: "pray for us."

And if that's what Han Solo claims then that's what he claims -- but a PARSEC is a unit of distance, not of time.

@Adam Lipkin, there's always ENOS Slaughter, a Hall of Famer, though he hasn't played since 1959.

Whatsername 10:28 AM  

I’ll GLADLY give thanks for this fun and entertaining theme on the year’s BIGGIE Thursday. Thank you, Chase. This one would TAKE GOLD in my crossword contest.

@Lewis (6:38) Thanks for that apt Bob Dylan quote. Certainly apropos in these crazy times.

Wishing you all a very peaceful and pleasant holiday.

jberg 10:30 AM  

@Nancy from yesterday, I take your point about Annabelle Lee; I've been reading Baudelaire and have come to realize that it's better if I don't even look at the translations, let alone look up words, but just read it aloud and enjoy the sound. Too bad my accent is so bad.

Carola 10:37 AM  

TREE/FREE was an early theme tip-off for me, so this one whizzed by; it definitely helped that the puzzle happened to draw on my personal storehouse of names and ye OLDE crosswordese. DANA and FARR were my only unknowns.

@Sun Volt 7:17 - I was interested to read that you'd had a go at Tristan and wondered if it had been a prose translation. The original is written in short (3 or 4 beat) rhyming couplets that often "recycle" the same concepts line after line (love, longing, virtue, honor, constancy, which lends a kind of mesmerizing quality and pulls you on to the next verse - but a nightmare for a translator, I'd guess. Lucky you to see it at the Met!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

mathgent 10:38 AM  

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I read all of your comments every day. Very happy to be part of this talented group.

Cute gimmick, but once you see it, there's not much else.

If you're a Soprano's fan, you'll enjoy this book I just got, Woke Up This Morning. It's by the actors who played Christopher and Bobby. I think that it is basically a transcript of a podcast they did a year or so ago. They interview all the principals and share a lot of inside stuff.

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

Someone asked about School board/SEESAW. A SEESAW (also called teeter totter) is a piece of playground equipment. It's basically a plank. IMAGE HERE

Wanderlust 10:40 AM  

Probably would have been a record Thursday for me if not for first having to check to see if I made any mistakes (no), and then having to change all the rebuses to non-rebuses (just Ts). Grrr. Hope someone at the NYT is reading this.

Masked and Anonymous 10:41 AM  

80-worder! More for yer moneybucks. Actually, 90-worder, in a themey sense.

Like @Lewis, immediately latched onto the HASA(T/F)IT/(T/F)EES possibility, while solvin in that zone. This would dovetail nicely with the renown @RP HAS A TIT Theory.

staff weeject pick: GBS. Monogram meat. M&A personal fave is AEP, tho. Woulda been mighty cool, if AEP had written "King Kong".

ToFurky Day puz hi-lites, at our house: KOALABEAR. BIGGIE. GLADLY [after tryin GLADTO for a while]. SNEAKSOUT. Amygdalae.

Solvequest was pretty kind to our precious nanoseconds, other than in the ORA/ORIEL/REALES realm of mystery.

Thanx for givin us a (T/F)op-notch ThursPuz, Mr. Dittrich dude. Good job.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

The PARSECS answer shows a disgraceful misunderstanding of physics by someone. Either the moviemaker or the clue writer or both; I don't know.

The clue (and maybe also the movie) makes it sound like a PARSEC is a unit of time. It isn't.

When the earth is on one side of the sun it is in an ever so slightly different position in the galaxy than when it is on the other side of the sun. So nearby stars look like they are in a slightly different position relative to distant stars if you make two observations 6 months apart.

One parsec (parallax second) is the distance a star would be if that difference in position were one second (one 3600th of a degree) of arc. It's a practical measurement of distance. If one second of arc was the best your equipment could measure accurately, then a star one parsec away was the farthest distance you could accurately measure optically. Nothing to do with time.

1 parsec = (diameter of earth's orbit) x (number of seconds of arc in a radian)

= 2 x (93 million miles) x 3600 x (180/pi) = 38 trillion miles.

In comparison, a light year (also not a time measurement) is the distance light can travel in a year, which is about 6 trillion miles.


Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Correction on parsec. Where I said diameter of the earth's orbit, it's actually the radius. So a parsec is half the length I said it was.


misterarthur 10:51 AM  

Had to spell check it - NY Times doesn't recognize its own rebuses (rebi?)

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

Grow a pair.

chuck w 10:52 AM  

Anonymous. My brother and I used to watch the old TV show "Captain Video." At one point the captain declared he saw a space ship "100 parsecs away." We used to laugh and laugh

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

No music for me either because of this rebus. I tried TF and FT for all five and it wouldn’t accept either. Didn’t think to put just T or F until I consulted this very reliable blog. Seems like the problem is lazy coding.

Masked and Anonymous 11:02 AM  

doh -- That's EAP, not AEP. I blame tryptophan deficiency.

And feel much better real soon, @RP dude.


jae 11:05 AM  

Easy. Yesterday’s was tougher. No real problems with this one other than wondering about FEAR GLANDS. Mostly liked it but the fill could use some work, or pretty much what @Rex said.

The second Moderna shot wiped me out for a day. The booster was only mildly inconveniencing.

Happy birthday @Rex.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

If one goes to the wiki (some abstain, I realize), Kessel Run has an entry, and the long and short of the 'answer' comes down to: travelling in hyperspace requires various zigs and zags to avoid stars, planets, and such, so, unlike flying here on earth, there's no 'as the crow flies' between origin and destination, and thus a brilliant navigator in a good ship can win a race by travelling the least distance by plotting shortest course that doesn't run into such an obstacle. Presumably, that is also the least time, but it is science fiction. In truth, nobody needs more than 640K. Ever.

Joseph Michael 11:15 AM  

For me, this was quite hard at first. Nothing seemed to work. Then suddenly I saw the trick and it became quite easy. In other words, it was hard enough to be interesting and easy enough not to be frustrating. So thanks, Chase, for the good time.

Favorite themer was T/FREE SPIRIT. Also loved the clues for ASP and KOALA BEAR. Earlier this week, we learned that chess originated in INDIA. Now we learn that’s also where the most vegetarians can be found. Does that imply that an absence of meat leads to strategic thinking, or vice versa?

For “Darn!” I tried to write in “Oh, bleah!” but it wouldn’t fit. Meanwhile, my inner 12-year-old must still be asleep because I didn’t see HAS A TIT until I came here.

JC66 11:16 AM  

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Anonymoose 11:21 AM  

My pfirst pfizer shot caused only short lived arm soreness. The second added about 24 hrs of feeling less than tip-top but not really sick. My booster was like the pfirst.

Tom Turkey 11:26 AM  

Ridiculous. I stared at this puz for an hour, never thinking the rebus required a slash.

albatross shell 11:33 AM  

Both Fridays should be Thursdays in my post. And French should be Spanish. Certainly they were my mental lapses, but I put the blame on bocamp.

From Wordplay:
Or, should you feel like it, you can enter both. (T/F, F/T, T or F are all accepted.)

I don't if both refers to TF but I think it does. And I guess that is for the NYT site which is not the NYT CW APP.
On the CWAPP T/F works cause I used it.

Ciclista21 11:34 AM  

I saw the TF gambit early on at ALT/ALF. As others have noted, though, if you solve on nytimes.com, the puzzle software wouldn’t accept either TF or FT as correct. You had to write one or the other, or include the slash. Why is that? I’ve never encountered a rebus where you had to include the slash before.

This ticks me off because checking and rechecking my answers ran my solve time way up, and I had to run the “check the grid” option to figure this out, which is a lousy way to blow a streak. I’m calling foul on this one.

P.S.: ORIEL is not crosswordese. It’s a lovely English word for a lovely architectural feature. See an illustration of a beautifully corbelled one at https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oriel . OK, the word reeks of Sir Walter Scott and later romance novelists, and perhaps I too much admired those authors as a teen. But the word still exists, the windows still exist, and people still read romance novels. That's current enough for me.

Space helmet on, Captain Video. 11:42 AM  

Loved that show, although like most early (and even recent) sci-fi, they play fast and loose with the facts. I enjoyed the Twilight Zone more because Serling was into that stuff and tried to remain true to what was known or suspected with some degree of confidence at the time.

BEE-ER 11:45 AM  

Having fun with SB today. I had 24 points all with 4-lettter words. Then I jumped to 56 points with three additional words. **SPOILER?**--The three words have the same root and include a pg. Well, back to it.

Joe Dipinto 11:48 AM  

Oh, a ThanksFive-ing puzzle. I was hoping there would be one. ThanksFive-ing is when you give someone a high five while saying, for example, "Thanks for making the Parsecs a la Isolde this year, bro. I just didn't have the time, what with having to debone the Koala bear and whip up my signature Chocolate Lab for dessert. Amos, Enos, Edna, Ada, Ora, Andi and Altalf are here already. Arial and Oriel are running late. Would you like to have a tit? Dana is in charge of those."

Happy ThanksFive-ing to all. If this were 1968, the radio would be playing this.

johnk 11:52 AM  

I have to wonder if Chase D included HASATIT/HASAFIT TEES/FEES in the theme but the ed. put the kabosh on it.

burtonkd 11:54 AM  

I love Rex's IS OLDE OLDE! paragraph.

Doesn't a "Natick" need to be 2 proper nouns crossing? Not just 2 things you don't know? I guess if the coiner calls Natick involving ORA, I should change my mind.

I am thankful for having this fun community (of weirdos) to visit almost daily!

I'm thankful I didn't get around to hitting the Rebus button today, just filling in whichever T/F came first.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

This was a breeze … but as others have noted, the app wouldn’t accept the “TF” rebus answers. I kept getting that annoying “so close” message, even though I could find nothing wrong in the fill. I hate to use the reveal answers function and — when I finally did so — it was frustrating to see that it didn’t accept my rebus answers. I see in comments that you had to put a slash between the T and F. I guess they want us all to feel like T/Fools today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Beezer 12:01 PM  

This was the first time I laughed out loud at @Rex when he referred to the commentariat as “you weirdos” and it is indeed true!

I thought the puzzle was fun and I cared not that I didn’t trip the complete screen by not putting in the slash. Also I don’t care if Star Wars didn’t use the term PARSEC correctly.

This weirdo is grateful to be able to read comments here (almost every day). Thanks @Rex and feel better soon!

JD 12:06 PM  

Visited my an elderly aunt and uncle a few years ago. When my uncle came out of the living room I asked what he was up to and he said, "I found an Ida Lupino movie!" Thank you, may your soul rest in peace.

In my usual obtuse way, I put in Free Spirit and just thought OK, makes no sense. Same with Teed Off. The light went on at Tire Sale, which might have been because I thought Firestone. Did anyone else jingle Double A M C O Honk Honk! mentally as they typed it in? Another wrinkle the brain didn't need that persists.

Issue with a Fear Gland, it's not. But overall, a lot of a fun.

Nancy 12:14 PM  

@albatross shell (10:33) writes: "On the CWAPP, T/F works cause I used it."

So the NYT crossword app is known as "the CWAPP"? From what I've been weading here today, all I can say is "how twue, how twue!"

Tim Carey 12:16 PM  

I did! I did get Naticked at the O_A/O_RIEL cross!

bocamp 12:21 PM  

It's been a wacky xword week (hi @Albie). A short time ago, I put a slash in a rebus and was rebuffed. Took the slash out and it worked; this time just the opposite. I think from now on I'll go with @burtonkd's (11:54 AM) idea and just input one letter, then go from there, if needs be.

So much to be thankful for, including Rex's blog and all of you. πŸ™

pg -3

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

What? 12:23 PM  

Yea well I had the Pfizer, so there.

Unknown 12:32 PM  

Not sure if someone has answered your question yet, but think of a teeter totter on a school playground. Essentially a board atop a fulcrum.

Peter P 12:33 PM  

Happy Thanksgiving to all and theirs! Easy-Medium for me -- got the gimmick almost immediately with the ALT/ALF -- was looking for something Thanksgiving themed today, so was trying to fit the T/F into that puzzle schema to no avail. Had the same issue as everyone with the rebus TF not working, but remembered the trick of just entering the first letter of a rebus from an older puzzle (not sure if it works with all rebuses or just ones that have separate letters across and down.) I'm not sure why they couldn't program it to accept all logical variants like TF, T F, T-F, etc. in addition to T/F or just T (question. Does just F work?)

But another question I've had for awhile that I'm sure I can look up but would rather ask the crossword enthusiasts here: why are these answers called rebuses, and have they always had that name? How recent is this term in the cruciverbalist community? They're not what I think of as a classic rebus, which involve pictures and letters. Was their an original puzzle that used an actual rebus and the name stuck as a general term?

Gotta go. My hapless Bears are about to kickoff against the even more hapless Lions. Kinda want the Monsters of the Midway to blow this one in style and hopefully seal Nagy's fate ....

Lori 12:47 PM  

Could someone explain the make, as math clue to me? thank you

FrostMo 12:47 PM  

Simple rebus with zero pleasure in the reveal, on top of that finishing all the themed/middle areas left me with bad corners. A mayock (for me) at DANA/FARR. And then when I guess the A it still doesn’t give me the gold because I’ve got TF??? Very unpleasant experience. Going to see if I can have some more fun with American values. SMDH.

Anonymous 12:48 PM  

@Nancy 12:14. Good one!

@JD. Yes I did, but my brain's version was Double A, beep beep, M C O.

pabloinnh 1:07 PM  


Wasn't the arriba/abajo song, it was a song about liking to drink wine from a bota.

The end of the chorus is:

A el que no le guste el vino es un animal, es un animal (o no tiene un real).

Helps to have mucho vino tinto en el estomago if you want to do it properly.

Feliz pavo dia.

Peter P 1:10 PM  

@Lori - I think it's just "two and two make four" = "two and two ARE four." I'm pretty sure I've seen this clue a few times before. I don't much like it, but cluing for "ARE" is a bit tough to keep from being too repetitive.

mathgent 1:34 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

RooMonster (10:09)
Nancy (12:14)

Fowl Protector 1:39 PM  

@Tom Turkey (11:26) is sitting around doing crosswords??!! Get your shoes on, man, and RUN!!

okanaganer 1:53 PM  

Good old Across Lite accepted TF in the rebus squares.

When I lived in Winnipeg about 35 years ago they had a very odd traffic light system. Basically, the top RED light was always on. However, if the green light at the bottom was also on, you could proceed straight through but not turn. I am not making this up.

[Spelling Bee yd: pg -1; missed this word. Which is perverse, because I got all these goofy ones.]

Trey 1:55 PM  

Until I read your post, I was thinking this was an easy Friday puzzle. Don’t ask. Brain is turned off today

JD 2:08 PM  

@Anon 12:48, I think you're right. Even more annoying, it persists in error!

Jin 2:19 PM  

Got me too. I doubled my time looking for a mistake that wasn't there. To be fair to the puzzler, tho, they did put a / in the clues. Something to watch for next time I suppose.

okanaganer 2:19 PM  

Blogger ate my link to the SB goofy words so I will:
try again.

emily 2:26 PM  

Thanks guys, couldn’t figure out why I ‘didn’t hear the music’ ! I did not enjoy the puzzle, but did finish!

Michiganman 2:27 PM  

@Peter P. Against my better judgement I am watching Lions/Bears. Calling myself a Lions fan doesn't sound quite right but it is what it is. 2nd half just starting. The Lions have plenty of time to take the lead and then ultimately blow it.

Unknown 2:32 PM  

Although worth nothing: I dislike intensely that in the NYT digital interface you must guess the proper form of the rebus entries. I entered "TF" not "T/F". I wouldn't mind it so much if that [deleted] interface didn't remind you that, with such a "mistake", your "streak" is now toast. With this sort of inane entry precision requirement, at least let me turn off the options like: "Ready to get started?" and the streak tracking nonsense. Kills Joy

albatross shell 2:52 PM  

I did the same thing probably on the same puzzles. But I went back to using the slash because overall it has worked more consistently than the other options. The suggestion above about using only one letter is potentially the biggest time saver. But really what else do we have to do? Practice pencil flipping? Look up PARASEC? Drugs in Altered States? @Ghost- very impressive late yesterday.

They like random abbreviations. So I gave them some. The puzzle made me want to find some F T swicheroos that could both be defined with a single clue. No luck. I did notice f and t look alike. And just rotating the vertical element turns one into the other. The structure of letters. Hey @Z, I found something worse than spelling.

Sarah 3:08 PM  

Why do a rebus puzzle and not accept rebus answers? Really dumb way to destroy a streak

egsforbreakfast 3:27 PM  

I noticed a story in the paper yesterday headlined “ Prospects Dim for Turkey.” Today’s not looking any better for them.

Happy Thanksgiving from one proud weirdo to a whole bunch of others.

RooMonster 3:32 PM  

I got a favorite post from @mathgent! My life is now complete. πŸ™‚

RooMonster Smiling Guy

jae 3:39 PM  

I used the crossword scraper @okanganer to create a .puz (Acrosslite) version of the puzzle and it was fine with TF in the rebus cells.

Michiganman 3:42 PM  

@Peter P. Well, the Lions are following the script. Just 2 things left. Bears score. Lions fail on their last possession. I write this at the 2-minute WARNING!

-----moments later. Well I guess I gave the Lions too much credit. I was only half right.

P.S. If Nagy is as bad as you suggest, the Lions may be interested.

Barbara S. 4:38 PM  

Happy Holiday, all you quaint American people, who persist -- every single year -- in eating turkey six and a half weeks late. FARR be it from me to call you weirdos, or any other name suggesting craziness (but...). Go, fill your plates and watch your strange four-down-ridden football games. Your northern neighbours, pre-tryptophaned since October 11, salute you on your Day of Thanksgiving and say, in a spirit of friendliness tinged with perplexity -- vive la diffΓ©rence!

Z 5:33 PM  

πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ - I stopped watching American football in 2013 or so. Haven’t missed it. It does crack me up that the Lions fired the best coach they’ve had this century because they wanted to go to the next level. They didn’t explain that the elevator was going down (is there any doubt that if that coach had been white he wouldn’t have gotten fired?).

@jberg - “Latin partial, not “plural.” Although I think it was actually a Latin fill-in-the-blank, not a partial.

@Anon/Villager - Bad script writing, although they came up with a weak explanation after the fact.

@burtonkd - According to Rex, an unguessable cross, esp. where the cross involves two proper nouns, neither of which is exceedingly well known. This is from the main Rex page and differs from the original definition on his FAQ page:
NATICK PRINCIPLE — "If you include a proper noun in your grid that you cannot reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of, you must cross that noun with reasonably common words and phrases or very common names."

@TJS & @Nancy - Some people also keep meticulous track of their time. Whatever blows their skirts up, as far as I’m concerned. Or as Rex puts it on his FAQ page: I don't care if you are faster / slower than I am, or if you don't care about timing at all. More power to you. Everyone does the puzzle differently. There are solvers of all different speeds who read this site. There's no reason for anyone to feel defensive / self-conscious. Same applies to caring about your streak.

@Everyone who DNFed with “TF” in the grid - I think there’s a certain logic that may apply here. Having TF in the square suggests that the answer for 5D is ALTF. It’s not. the answers are ALT/ALF. We’ve seen other times where the answer needs a different letter for across and down answers. There, too, a slash makes sense. So, if you need all the letters to make answers work then no slash. But if there are two answers made by the letters in the square then a slash is needed. Again, I’m not certain about this, but I think it might be the logic that applies.

Pfizer for all three. Nothing more than a sore arm from any of them. We’re actually the most common reaction I think, but not having a side effect doesn’t seem important to mention.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Your not so friendly neighbour 6:31 PM  

I am surprised at how little chatter there is on KOALA being misnamed KOALABEAR.

Anonymous 7:14 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Smith 7:44 PM  

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Unknown 7:45 PM  

Thank you!! I was going out of my mind, even had a friend cross check. Why does the app not count rebus if that’s how the puzzle was intended to be solved? Dumb.

Smith 7:47 PM  

I guessed right at T/F for the rebus, but had to go back and change a few, nanoseconds there, but previous rebi have made it, um, clear that you need to do that. Except it's different every time, haha.

American Utopia at the St. James tomorrow night with kids (thankful!)

Smith 7:49 PM  

Late to the party, but @ Nancy hahaha CWAPP!

Smith 7:59 PM  

@Joe D

See saw! ThQ

Smith 8:07 PM  

@ Lori 12:47

Probably someone has answered this, but it's as in an equation: two and two are four. It struck me, tho, because in English we usually use "is", two and two is four. So I'm seriously studying German, and it's definitely "ist" in German, *but* in my practice group I said "font", as I'm way more comfortable in French, that's "are" in French. My father, who spoke many languages, introduced me to the concept of "generalized foreign language", by which he meant that you grope in the brain for a word and if you aren't fluent enough in the instant language you get something from *another* language you know of well. So, I don't come up with "are" or "sind", but "font".

Probably TMI. Must be getting old, kinda like said Papa.

Anonymous 8:13 PM  

Covid vaccine reactions are highly variable. Mine was 5 days of serious fatigue for the first, dropping down to 2 days by the third.


albatross shell 9:15 PM  

Jealous of that. Brother-in-law and hu
Is wife just saw it. I watched some internet videos. Looks great. Have fun and report back.

Smith 10:30 PM  

@Albie 9:15

Will do!

Peter P 10:38 PM  

@MichiganMan -- well, my condolences to Detroit fans. I was rooting for you guys, anyway, but my Bears just couldn't find that last bit of inspiration to blow it. I was really hoping for some angry sports talk radio. I'm sure they'll still be plenty of anger in Chicago, but it would have been more fun with a muffed kick or bad snap. Oh well. Now to root on the Bills!

Dan 10:56 PM  

The good news, brother, is that you’ll be right tomorrow…. well, as long as your brain stays turned off.

JimmyQ 6:48 AM  

This annoyed me to no end as well! AND, it broke my record streak bc “TF” didn’t work whereas every other rebus allows two letters like that, and never have I been rejected for NOT using the “/“. Ugh- thanks a lot, NYT! Should have consulted this blog 😳

JimmyQ 6:49 AM  

So agree!

DrBB 7:37 AM  

Late to the party, but the very first comment is mine too. I hate hate hate hate HATE it when there's a rebus and part of the challenge is just figuring out which of the perfectly acceptable and correct fills is the one the stupid NYT software will accept. I went with TF, as that's the order the clues indicated. Somehow I was supposed to figure out that it wasn't actually a rebus even though it gives all the conventional indicators for same, but instead "T" is supposed to stand for "TF"???? All I can say is:


Unknown 1:06 PM  

A koala isn't a bear. It is a marsupial

RatGMAN 1:27 PM  

You are wrong about no tear glands. From the Mayo Clinic:
The tear glands (lacrimal glands), located above each eyeball, continuously supply tear fluid that's wiped across the surface of your eye each time you blink your eyelids. Excess fluid drains through the tear ducts into the nose.

Joshua K. 3:04 AM  

@Anonymous 10:41 AM:

There is nothing wrong with the PARSECS clue. Yes, it's true that parsecs are a measure of distance rather than time. However, in Star Wars, Han Solo does brag that his ship made the Kessel Run (which is not otherwise described in that film) in "less than 12 parsecs." He says this while negotiating with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, who are looking for a pilot with a fast ship to hire.

In 2018, Solo: A Star Wars Story was released, with Han doing the Kessel Run as a major part of the plot. The official explanation is that hyperspace travel in the Star Wars-universe requires one to travel the shortest distance, rather than the fastest speed, and thus Han completing the Kessel Run in the shortest distance ever was an actual achievement, although the film says that it took him 12 parsecs rounding down, not less than 12 parsecs.

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