Extremely excited in modern lingo / FRI 1-21-22 / Sister Outsider essayist/poet / Heard the confession of and absolved old-style / Food brand whose last letter is its company's stock symbol / Comics-based character played by Rosemary Harris, Sally Field and Marisa Tomei / Onetime member of the record industry's big four

Friday, January 21, 2022

Constructor: Kyle Dolan

Relative difficulty:  Medium to Medium-Challenging (the clues were really ... trying)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: AUDRE LORDE (11D: "Sister Outsider" essayist/poet) —

Audre Lorde (/ˈɔːdri lɔːrd/; born Audrey Geraldine Lorde; February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an American writer, feministwomanistlibrarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," who "dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racismsexismclassism, and homophobia."

As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery, and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. As a spoken word artist, her delivery has been called powerful, melodic, and intense by the Poetry Foundation. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity.

• • •

Honestly, I have no idea how hard this was. It felt like the clues were putting a lot of effort into being tricksy and cutesy and misleading, so I made a lot of confused faces and never really got a good flow going ... and yet I never really got *stuck* stuck, and the confused faces usually never lasted more than a few seconds, probably, so who knows? The clues were where most of the entertainment lay, because the fill, while solid, doesn't really get off the ground very far. Lots of ordinary phrases, nothing particularly striking. I am struck by the fact that somehow we got AUDRE LORDE's full name in the puzzle before we ever got AUDRE in the puzzle (that seems like it would be a useful five-letter answer, what with all those vowels and the "R" to boot). AUDRE LORDE was a household (or, I guess, "dorm room") name thirty years ago when I was in college, at least among the literary/feminist crowd. I think half my friends were Women's Studies majors, and AUDRE LORDE was a syllabus staple. So open the AUDRE gates! Why not? She's a very important and influential poet and writer. The rest of the grid, as I say, was just fine. No real complaints. But my main feeling during the solve was "man I'm having to deal with a lot of try-hard clues," not "whoa, what a cool answer!" When your clues on stuff like AMY (19A: Tan writing books) and MAGS (10A: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, in brief) and BIRDS (21A: Duck, duck, goose, e.g.) are upstaging your longer answers, well then your Friday priorities are a little different than mine.

The biggest "Aha!" / "D'oh!" moment of the solve for me was when I finally got SPECIAL K (39A: Food brand whose last letter is its company's stock symbol). Parsing that was ... an event. I had the -IALK and thought "well, you ****'d something up again, genius." Seriously considered pulling AIN'T (37D: The Beatles' "___ She Sweet") in favor of some weird variant like, I don't know, ARN'T (!?!), but -RALK didn't make any more sense than -IALK as an answer ending. Not a big fan (i.e. not a fan at all) of stock symbol clues (dull, don't care), but I do kinda like those parsing surprises when they finally come into view. (Note: if the recent Kellogg's strike / boycott were still happening, I wouldn't be giving this clue the time of day—the company, which makes Froot LOOPS, among other breakfast cereals, remains pretty labor-unfriendly). 

Why in the world would you clue ALIEN as a [Video game franchise based on a sci-fi film franchise]? If you're going to use a lot of ink on a clue, this is a ridiculous place to use it. It's a sci-fi film franchise. That's why it's famous. The video game thing ... adds nothing. Maybe it's supposed to make non-gamers think it's something they don't know, but then voila!? But that's weak. Such an odd use of cluing space (which is limited, as the puzzle still has to fit into a designated space in the newspaper). The only bit of ye olde fill was SHROVE, which I got easily (thank you, years of reading Middle English), but which is probably an odd word to most solvers (25A: Heard the confession of an absolved, old-style). Also, are people still saying TURNT? (43A: Extremely excited, in modern lingo). I feel like LIT survived the pandemic, but TURNT has quickly become bygone. But it was never my slang to begin with so for all I know, things are TURNT all over. That's the thing about very current slang—it risks becoming laughably dated very quickly. The clue leaves out the fact that TURNT is most commonly used to describe someone (or some party) that is heavily under the influence of alcohol/drugs. "Extremely excited" kinda sorta gets at that, but only obliquely.  

I had ACTS before BITS (22A: Routine parts), ALMAY (?) before ARDEN (38A: Big name in cosmetics), and ... well I didn't write in SWIT or ALDA, but those were the only four-letter "M*A*S*H" actor names I could come up with until I got the "F" for FARR (I FARR-got about FARR). Never heard of ADA Twist so the ADA / ATOP / is-it-YIKES-or-is-it-YIPES section was briefly dicey, but only briefly. Not sure anything needs explaining, clue-wise. BLACK HOLE has a strong gravitational "pull," you might see bears on camping trips so BEAR CLAW is "appropriate" for such an event, AMY Tan is the [Tan writing books], AUNT MAY is the aunt of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (38D: Comics-based film character played by Rosemary Harris, Sally Field and Marisa Tomei), "Kid" is a young goat that's slaughtered so you can have soft SUEDE shoes (20A: Kid in expensive shoes?) ... yeah, that should do it. Oh, a BRACE is a [Pair]—just a fancy semi-bygone word for a set of two. I never see it irl, but I know it. And while most of you all know it too, I am certain it's a new word to someone out there. That's all for me today. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


OffTheGrid 6:23 AM  

So, what kind of pasta relates to camping? Psssst...it's pastRY. Well that's very different. That was my only significant self inflicted wound. I didn't know the AUNTMAY character. I had _UNTMA_ and my brain invented a very silly, androgynous superhero name. Stupid brain....

Wordle td


(I can't get the "share" thing to work. I promise I won't do this again.)

yd SB, pg-5, should've's 3

Conrad 6:25 AM  

Medium-challenging. Sorry to have to admit to being so out of it, but Audre Lorde was a WOE. Got the AUNT part of 38D but apparently I'm as far out of it in Spideyland as I am generally. At one point even considered AUNTie "m", but we weren't in Kansas anymore. SCRAP value before SCRAP METAL. Major Aha moment with 39A, which I entered mostly left-to-right; "Golly, that's starting to look like SPECIAL something!"

Unknown 6:43 AM  

Brace should be fairly common for soccer fans - two goals in a game.

Joaquin 6:55 AM  

Today's puzzle prompted this heathen to look up SHROVE. Turns out, SHROVE Tuesday is just a budget Yom Kippur.

Different experience/wheelhouse than @Rex. Found this to be super-easy for a Friday.

Karl Grouch 7:05 AM  

This was so disappointing I think that even @Lewis will have trouble finding something positive to say.

Answers were totally unexciting, clues seemed arificial and trying too hard.

To make matters worse, there's the blatant and unexplicable proofing error in the clue for 54A.

SCUSAMI Will, but this is unforgivable.

cseft 7:05 AM  

Brace is still used in football (known quaintly in the US as soccer) to signify a player scoring two goals. Of course, if he/she scores one more it's considered a hat trick.

amyyanni 7:13 AM  

Having read both Audre and Amy, knew and appreciated seeing them this morning. Found this a bit smoother sailing than most Fridays, perhaps just my wheelhouse was stocked just so. Just one raised eyebrow at RAISE HAVOC. "The phrase “wreaking havoc” means that someone or something is causing a great deal of trouble or is causing a lot of damage. Before the 19th century, the word wreak was already used widely in literature and speech. ... The idiomatic phrase “wreaking havoc” was first used sometime during the 19th century."

Harryp 7:14 AM  

This played easier than most Fridays, but some of the clues were tricky. I really liked BLACK HOLE and SPECIALK. I had ahoy for 18 across until I saw it wouldn't work, but altogether it played in below average time.

Anonymous 7:21 AM  

Since this is an anonymous forum I’m here to brag! I got a PR for a Friday, did wordlein 3 guesses, finished the cryptic without any hints and got to genius on Spelling Bee all before 7:30. The day can only go downhill from here.

puzzlehoarder 7:34 AM  

The NW was near Monday easy and I thought we were in for another pushover puzzle. Luckily when I tried to build off of PENSIVE and LOVEBEADS the resistance AMPedUP to normal Friday standards and stayed that way for the rest of the solve.

There were a couple of areas that gave special difficulty. In the east I thought 24D would be EDGY. I never wrote it in as I couldn't get it to work but for awhile I entertained the notion that 32A could somehow be drAgqueen due to the association of drag and pull. It wasn't until I spotted WEANS that BEARCLAW popped up.

In the west I had a SARGE/HRREP write over. Correcting that was how I finished the puzzle. SHROVE is an interesting word. Its unconjugated form seems to have been banished in the Shortz era. It doesn't even show up as a clue for absolve or any other similar word. Until today I never thought that the name Shriver could be associated with names like Cooper or Wainwright. Maybe my assumption is incorrect but it certainly looks like a name based on something that you do.

COATI is one of my favorite words and it has its own little picture in my Webster's.

TURNT is one of those entries that lost it's novelty the first time it was used. Today I easily recognized it off of it's last two letters.

This turned out to be an average Friday solve in the end.

yd -0

kitshef 7:36 AM  

Guessed correctly at 10A/11D cross, as I've never heard of two of the magazines, nor the author.

NW and SE fairly easy. The rest just chip away and chip away until you get there.

SW corner was awful (cues for TGIF and ISEE, very old actor, TURNT), but the rest was very good.

Christian Pulisic 7:37 AM  

BRACE has very common usage in soccer. You don't follow soccer?

Okay, then it doesn't exist irl.

Son Volt 7:40 AM  

This was an odd one - some mindlessly easy stuff combined with things I just couldn’t see at first. With Rex on the cluing being pushed to the limit - ended up finishing with RAT TERRIER - totally off my wavelength. Liked the BEAR CLAW - BLACK HOLE stack. Knew LORDE much the same as Rex. Didn’t like the SUEDE clue.

Grouse is a throwback clue - I guess better than maunder. SHROVE the harbinger of the approaching Mardi Gras.

Enjoyable Friday solve.

thfenn 7:41 AM  

Seems odd writing at 7:22 and seeing no comments.

TGIF indeed. I used to be scared of Fridays. Often dudnt even try. They always made me feel "not quite good enough". Now I'd say less than half the Saturdays make me feel like that. So early on I confidently threw in Spareparts for SCRAPMETAL and patted myself on the back for so easily coping with Friday's long answers. The letdown was crushing, and that mess took a long time to untangle. EATENALIVE went in easily as well, in both cases perhaps confirming my favorite form of learning is experiential.

I don't really get the complaints about the clues. Sure, a lot of ink for short answers that perhaps don't inspire, and maybe a little odd that lots of long answers were much easier than the short ones, but giving answers hard clues is what you do on Friday, no? Still puzzled by BRACE though. Only the downs gave me that, even with _RACE sitting there.

Wonder what everyone's talking about here. Will have to come back and see. Happy Friday all.

SouthsideJohnny 7:44 AM  

This was an absolutely surreal experience - it was almost as if the spaceship dropped me off from a different planet. I parsed together what appeared to be a GALES and I’m thinking “That can’t be right” - then I encounter BRACE (pair?) and SHROVE and it hit me that this isn’t just the usual foreign and made-up stuff, this is extraterrestrial quality gibberish today. Not having a clue who AUDREY LORDE or AUNT MAY are/were turned the entire eastern hemisphere into a vast intergalactic wasteland. So I took my hovercraft back to the western recesses where I encountered a RAT TERRIER and a RANGI.

Fortunately, being a well-trained and experienced inter-galactic traveler, I remained steady and continued my exploration as I was prepared for some weird encounters with alien life forms. I ended up visiting with a trio of characters named AFOOT (happening?), COATI and YETI. Strange, but interesting landscape you humans have here. One thing I will give you credit for - that was a great clue for BLACK HOLE !

Jim Spies 8:05 AM  

We would have been in college at the same time, roughly 30 years ago, but as a chemistry major that wasn't much help on Audre Lorde.

Speaking of things that were popular 30 years ago at college, sad news RIP Meatloaf. Paradise was a staple of every single party, it seemed.

recorders 8:07 AM  

Why are New York, Chicago and Los Angeles MAGS?

Eric NC 8:10 AM  

Set back with “spare parts” having the same number of letters as “scrap metal” as one of my earliest footholds. Unlike OFL didn’t mind the cute clues.

Adam 8:11 AM  

"Corporate Trainer" is a terrible clue for HRREP, in the sense that it's just not accurate (like, there are HR employees who do training, but the HR REP is the person who you contact for benefits or pay issues).

Both BRACE (in this context) and SHROVE felt like they were going for archaic/obscure fill in lieu of interesting fill/good cluing, which was disappointing, since we also had things like the AMY clue that were really good (and I really liked the Special K one, though much of my difficulty was from misreading and assuming the answer was the company name, not the product name).

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Decoding a clever clue is part of the pleasure of solving a good puzzle. For me, this one hit the sweet spot — clever but not cutesy. An excellent Friday.

bocamp 8:22 AM  

Thx Kyle, for a very challenging and worthwhile adventure! :)

Tough; finished with a fortunate correct guess for the win.

Had a great start in the NW, but it was all downhill after that.

The puz was made even tougher by at least a 5 min. debate at the cross of MAGS / AUDRE LORDE. I considered the possibility of MeGs (based on these cities being MeGalopolises (afaik, haven't heard of any of the MAGazines), and the, to me, unknown activist being eUDRE LORDE (who knows with names). The strange clue for BIRDS also made that section difficult. I was looking for some kind of Thurs. trick during the solve, so the seemingly obvious BIRD, didn't seem quite so obvious. lol

Bottom line: one more awesome individual I'm now aware of.

Also new for me: ADA, and SHROVE.

THAT'S AMORE ~ Dean Martin

"(In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here's what they say)
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella"

Anyhoo, fun workout! :)

@okanaganer (4:12 PM yd) 👍 for 0 yd

No, not giving up. Just cutting way back on time spent ("just when I thought I was out, [it] pulled me back in"). Going for pg (timed) might be the solution for me. We'll see. :)

@Barbara S. / @puzzlehoarder 👍 for 0's y
yd pg (8:17) / Wordle 4

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

jfpon 8:24 AM  

As much as I [greatly]enjoy fording the fascinating streams of consciousness and imaginative leaps that course through Michael's hyperactive terra incognita, when I come across something like "when your clues on stuff like AMY (Tan writing books) ... are upstaging your longer answers," I am puzzled a bit. Wouldn't such "stuff, which I enjoyed struggling with and then admiring, strike most people as brilliant, complementary asides rather than upstaging? As complexity/spice rather than irritating quirk?

Joel Palmer 8:42 AM  

When you are 100 percent sure that scrapvalue is the right answer, the SE corner gets ugly. Especially if youve never heard of Ada Twist or Aunt May

Unknown 8:46 AM  

If you hit “share” and select “copy” it goes into your clipboard and you can paste it into the comment box

TJS 8:53 AM  

"half my friends were Women's Studies majors"...


I hated every second of this solve.

"Aint She Sweet" written in 1927.

Trey 8:57 AM  

Challenging puzzle. The best clue was for BLACK HOLE. I appreciated the aha moment with SPECIAL K. I too thought that I had made an error when I saw the IALK at the end, especially when below ALLAS - I was sure there was an error.

Somehow I was able to get footholds in the NW and SE corners and then work to the middle. I was not a fan of HR REP, especially crossing with SHROVE - it became a "guess a letter" game. I have never heard the word RANGY. lANkY felt like a better answer for this clue, but the crosses made this impossible.

Agree with @Rex that the clue to ALIEN did not need to include the video game franchise. If it was intentional misdirection to get us to consider another answer, it is semi-OK. If it was just trying to clue the answer in a different way, there must have been better options.

Liveprof 8:57 AM  

Love the budget Yom Kippur (@Joaquin 6:55). Got me thinking -- what would a budget Chanukah be? Seven candles? A budget Passover? --- they don't move out of Egypt permanently -- they just rent a condo in Boca for the season?

Frantic Sloth 9:13 AM  

Waaay off this wavelength. Some of it was the cluing, some the answers, but all if it made for just an okay solving experience.
No love, no hate, but it was a challenge, so there's that.


Wordle 216 3/6


Tried the "start with a word from today's crossword" approach. Hmmm....

Aguilas 9:13 AM  

That was not my preferred xword !

IMPALA was the green part today :)

albatross shell 9:16 AM  

I loved the YETI clue whether it was clever or cutsey.

Rex hit most of my solving impressions. The difficult by being too obvious grouping: MAGS BIRDS AMY.

RAISE Cain, wreak HAVOC, or mix and match?

YIPES-yikes, wasn't asia-ursa the old-fashion k--l--?

Tore through most of the NW, then the SE. Needed to look up AUDRE. Could only think of the singer from New Zealand LORDE who is first nameless.

SHROVE RANGY TURNT HRREP all were slow-downs. Finally got RATTERRIER and BODYSCANNER and the rest was mop-up.

Are BODYSCANNERS to stop terrorism or smuggling or both?

One google but faster than yesterday with no googles.

sixtyni yogini 9:22 AM  

Agree, 🦖, It was all about the (clever IMHO) clues.
And today instead of being annoyed, took time to let answers come.
And they did.
Enjoyable. Fast. (For me.j
It’s all about mood, head space (haha, I got a slight concussion), and maybe for YT beginning to get the hang of the game?

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

You had too look up Shrove Tuesday and then have the gall to denigrate it?
A friemd of mone, aless generous soulf than me,would make short shrift of you--shrift is the nominative form of shrove--- if he ever heard you belitttling Shrove Tuesday.

Adam L,
You don't do any wing shooting do you? A brace of pheasants, grouse, quail is used all the time by upland hunters.

NOLA Dude 9:31 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thfenn 9:32 AM  

Wordle 216 3/6


Fun one today. Though obviously am not in hard mode.

bocamp 9:32 AM  

"You might have heard of a brace of pheasant, grouse, or ducks, and you will also be familiar with the expression of a magician’s hat trick whereby he or she produces a rabbit from a top hat. But how did these expressions come to be adopted by the football fraternity, and what they mean?

When a football pundit, player or fan talks about a brace, they are referring to the scoring of two goals in one match. So, for example, when Edinson Cavani scored his two goals against Southampton recently, you could say that he scored a brace.

It doesn’t matter in what sequence the goals come. They could be the first and third, the second and third, the second and fourth, whatever. What it boils down to is that they do not have to have been score one after the other, in other words, consecutively.

'Brace,' the word itself, has its roots in Old English. It was used by hunters when they shot down a pair of something. Scoring a brace of goals is not particularly special, except of course to the player, him or herself. If you search for records of braces, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any. But that is not the case when it comes to hat tricks." (PFSA)

@Anonymous (7:21 AM) 👍

You rule! :)

Looking forward to tackling the cryptic this weekend.
td pg (11:18) / Wordle 4

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

pabloinnh 9:38 AM  

NW, piece of cake, down to SE, with its THATSAMORE gimme, and then the puzzle started to fight back at a Friday level, and I said, well, good.

SHORVE appeared from somewhere. BRACE always makes me think of Sam Gamgee and his "brace of conies". In the BLEALK Midwinter is a favorite Christmas song, when "frosty winds made moan", which along with "no crying he makes" always sound to me like bad translations.

Thanks to @TJS for the date on "AINT She Sweet", which I heard long before I heard of The Beatles.

Learned AUDRELORDE, my college days preceded her by a a few (ahem) years.

And RIP Meatloaf. Somewhere there's a video of a friend and me acting out "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". It's actually pretty funny. No, actually it's a classic.

Thanks for a fine Friday, KD. I thought this one Kicked Derriere.

thfenn 9:46 AM  

Lol, well one thing I learned is I'm stupid for not knowing BRACE. Neither soccer nor bird hunting are unfamiliar to me, and still didnt gel. But ok.

Whatsername 9:52 AM  

Seems it’s Ladies’ Day in the NYTX grid. I only wish I knew a few more of them personally. There’s my old friend Elizabeth ARDEN singing an ARIA under the BLACK HOLE but Tan AMY, ADA Twist, AUNT MAY, AUDRE LORDE? Who are these people?

So Jamie FARR was a costar of MASH? No I don’t think so, but his supporting role as a cross-dressing character was something of a trailblazer in the military I suppose. I knew THATS AMORE because Moonstruck is one of my favorite films and that song plays about every five minutes.

Didn’t know either the “old style” term SHROVE or the “modern lingo” TURNT … which apparently has been around so long it’s no longer considered modern … at least by OFL. YIPES! I really need to get out more.


Zed 9:56 AM  

Even with SPECIAL K being a flat out gimme here (Battle Creek is one town over from Kalamazoo where I went to undergrad) I really didn’t get any sort of flow going until I got GRIN in the SW. I needed to change lANkY to RANGY, but RAT TERRIER helped, and that gave me BELLYACHE and access to the SE. THAT’S AMORE helped the SE be the easiest section, although it took MAY in place to realize we were talking Spider-man.
At one point I had BL- - - H - LE and considered the towing capacity of a BLue wHaLE. BEADS helped me see the gravity of my mistake. BRACE was hiding not because I don’t know it (first from LOTR and now from watching too many Premier League matches) but because I was reading it as a verb not a noun. D’Oh. The other precious nanoseconds suck was ahoy before G’DAY. Fixed it all but still had a zip east of PENSIVE.
Thanks @amyyanni for explaining why HAVOC was so opaque to me. RAISE cain is too short as is RAISE hell. It was realizing that the hippies were wearing LOVE BEADS like an ACE, and that OC combo that finally flipped the switch on.
I finally finished to GALES of laughter.

A Fine Friday tussle. 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

If you don’t know the origins of Corn Flakes, it’s a fascinating slice of Americana. Basically Kellogg was a 1900 Dr. Oz and corn flakes (and bland foods) were meant to dampen peoples’ sex drive because, you know, sex = bad. No LOVE BEADS for Kellogg.

Wordle Alert - Today I had nothing with my first word and still managed to get it in three. This is because my second guess gave me three consonants and eliminated a third vowel, meaning not a lot of possibilities for a third guess. My guess distribution is 0,1,6,4,3,2. My lucky early guess streak has to end sometime.

bennys 10:01 AM  

“Grad” for “One being asked for donations”? I’m sure I’m missing something easy, but I don’t get it. Can somebody explain? Thanks!

GILL I. 10:04 AM  

YIPES...I don't even know where to begin....
Parts were easy (NW). Parts were eenie, meenie, miney and my dog, mo. and parts were "what in tarhootie (Hi @Roo) is that?!"
My two favorite days are Monday (always a story to be found in them) and I really look forward to a good Friday where I can do my AHA fandango tango. Not today....
I'll start with YIPES # 1. AUDRE LORDE was a humungous woe. 30 years ago I was too busy flying around everywhere and trying to be a mommy to my young son and daughter. I was sorta familiar with the name but it didn't click. For some reason, I wanted to try and fit Maya Angelou in there by misspelling her name.
YIPES # 2 & 3 was in the SHROVE and BRACE AREA. I know the word SHROVE but only as the Tuesday the Brits celebrate by eating a lot of pancakes and eating a lot of spotted dick just before Lent. Never imagined it was a confession type thing. I stared at BRACE for way too long. Then I thought maybe it's what the Brits call those two straps that hold up your knickers? Are we all Brits, or what?
I get to TURNT (which I guessed) and thought "Oh good gravy on a flaccid hot dog....!!!" What next?
I did like MAGIC CHARM and LOVE BEADS. I was into a lot of voodoo as a child and my housekeeper gave me one to ward off evil. I was never into the hippie movement but boy oh boy did we have them in San Francisco. They danced and sang a lot and were nasty to returning Vietnam vets.
So my Friday was a groan and a moan. I save those for more important things.
I Hope I struggle (HAPPILY) with Saturday...We'll see!

Zed 10:05 AM  

The reason BRACE makes me think of potatoes.

Carola 10:06 AM  

I thought this was a terrific puzzle, like a box of assorted chocolates with all the creme and caramel centers you want and none of those dreaded coconut ones. For me the longer answers amounted to one treat after another, plus we got PENSIVE x the wonderful ye olde SHROVE (@Anonymous 9:22, thank you for reminding me of "short shrift"). For me, perfectly engaging in difficulty, clues, and entries. The only thing that gave me pause was the shift in meaning of EATEN ALIVE with that menacing BEAR CLAW nearby.

Do-overs: ahoY before GDAY, estEe before ARDEN. Help from previous puzzles: TURNT. No idea: FARR, ADA, AUNT MAY.

Zed 10:07 AM  

@bennys - College GRADuates get asked for donations by their alma maters.

mathgent 10:12 AM  

Catholics in San Francisco barely notice Shrove Tuesday while all around the world it's a day of partying and eating rich food. Mardi Gras, for example. I guess our archbishops haven't found that appropriate. How un-San Francisco.

I see that RAISEHAVOC is a legitimate phrase but it's much more fun to say WREAKHAVOC.

Nothing wrong with it but themelesses should have more zip.

CDilly52 10:12 AM  

My solve was cery much like OFL’s today. I blasted through the NW little “cu e” amd moved a bit leas quickly across the rest of the top. I slowed down but picked up momentum moving diagonally down to the extreme SW.

My biggest problems were being pretty sure SCRAP value rather than METAL was correct. This may be due to the fact that I have had many occasions to advise my elected official clients how properly to dispose of various inventory items at SCRAP value. Oh well.

Next, although I know AUDRE LORDE, I perpetually think that her “U” belongs in LOuRDE. That corrected fairly easily and I will hope to remember it In the future.

Agree that the clues were trying too hard occasionally. Case in point: I see no specific relation to a BEAR CLAW and a camping trip, but perhaps I am being too picky.

Overall pretty easy according to my time, but very much like @Rex, I felt as though this solve
took longer than it did.

MarthaCatherine 10:20 AM  

My four-year-old grandson is a Spidey aficionado. He spends most days in his Spider-Man costume, complete with white-eyed mask, assuming the spidey pose whenever he gets out of his chair or leaps from room to room. Insists we all call him Peter Parker. Insists I should answer only to Aunt May. Otherwise I'd'a never gotten 38D. And come to think of it, I've been told I look a little like Sally Field. In her later years.

Srsly. He's the cutest Spider-Man in the whole franchise.

Nancy 10:22 AM  

Clever, clever clues for AMY and SUEDE, but I got everything quickly in the NW and thought today would be a cream puff* of a Friday. I was wrong. The puzzle kept getting harder and harder.

*I know my cream puffs, but what's a BEAR CLAW? It seems I have almost as much trouble with sweets in puzzles as I have with rappers and cars. They always stump me. I've never heard of most of them, especially the candy brands.

LANKY before RANGY. Didn't realize the cities were MAGS. Never heard of AUDRE LORDE. But today, I actually had help from a song clue. THAT'S AMORE was a gimme. (How many didn't know it, I wonder?)

Some really nice cluing and some colorful fill: BELLYACHE; BLACK HOLE; SCRAP METAL; LOVE BEADS; MAGIC CHARMS; BODY SCANNER. Liked it a lot.

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

If you're going to use Brit speak as it pertains to braces, knickers is not the word you want. To the Brits, knicers aren't pants but undies. No braces there. And it isnt just the British who calle the Tuesday before Lent starts shrove tuesday, lots of countries do. But you're right about the pancakes. In fact pancake Tuesday is yet another moniker for that day as is Fat Tuesday, better known as Mardi Gras.

JD 10:25 AM  

Amp Up! Cry Havoc! Brace you Seedy Cons to be torn to Bits, Be Eaten Alive, the Bear Claw at your throat, and Turnt to the Black Hole of death.

My, my. Exciting puzzle. Turnt would sound stupid if it weren't so slightly Shakespearean.

Some answers came through the fog slowly. Per @Bo, "Oh yeah … a brace of geese." And "Maybe that's what Shrove Tuesday is all about." Oddly, Turnt went right in. No idea why I knew it until Xword Info showed it's been in the NYT puzz three times before this since 2019. Wanted Lanky for Rangy, Spare Parts for the old car, Lucky Charms.

Thought the cluing was great. Tan Writing Books, One With Lots Of Pull, Finished A Nursing Program. Very fine cluing for Friday. Loved learning about Audre Lorde. Got her on the crosses.

This stairs step grid configuration is my favorite. Except for the segregated NE and SW corners it just flowed together.

That's Amore.

Joe Dipinto 10:27 AM  

@Karl Grouch 7:05 – They took the non-word "Scuzzami" from the first lyric site that pops up on Google. This puzzle has become the biggest laughing stock imaginable. At least one howler of a mistake per week, usually more. Absolutely pathetic.

jae 10:35 AM  

Medium. Just the right amount of push back for a Friday. AUDRE was a WOE as was ADA as clued. HRREP was my last entry. Very smooth with some fine long downs, liked it.

bennys 10:43 AM  

@Z: Thanks! I don’t know why my brain didn’t go there, lol. Maybe it’s trying to protect my bank account.

JD 10:48 AM  

@Anon 10:25, Thanks for the undies thing! Worked my way through senior year of college writing radio commercials. A Brit wanted to advertise a laundromat he'd bought, with "exciting" commercials, but he was rejecting everything I sent him until he finally called and yelled, "Give me something like 'Come in and watch your knickers go round!" Har! Over 40 years later I finally get it.

Hockey Nerd 10:51 AM  

A few decades back, fans of the Boston Bruins began to throw their hats onto the ice in celebration when a player scored 3 goals. The term "hat trick" caught on though hat throwing did not.

Photomatte 10:52 AM  

Still not sure how 10 Across is MAGS. Yes, there are magazine titles with those names in them, but the magazine titles for two of them (New York and Los Angeles) aren't JUST the city names; they have the word Magazine after them. Only Chicago has a magazine simply called Chicago. The clue was technically incorrect, which shouldn't happen in the vaunted NYT puzzle.
Aside from that, it was still a fairly hard Friday. I didn't know BRACE was a pair. Did anyone used to say "a brace of scissors" or "a brace of trousers?" One wonders ...

jberg 10:52 AM  

I got off on the wrong foot with 'wreak HAVOC' (Hi @amyyanni), but fixed that easily enough. My real problem was that I got THAT'S AMORE from the clue, but then wrote it in at 51A rather than 54A, making a huge writeover that I had trouble deciphering for the rest of the puzzle. Also, I forgot that there was no Y in AUDRE LORDE, so decided it must be someone else.

And until I came here I didn't see that MAGS were magazines (we have one for Boston, too) -- so I interpreted as some ridiculous word for really big.

Fortunately, as an old man SHROVE and BRACE were no problem, and AFOOT always reminds me of Sherlock Holmes (Come, Watson, the game is AFOOT!). And the clue for AMY Tan doesn't seem all that tricky to me--it's just a reversal of "book-writing Tan."

I did pause to think at 34A, 'One-star, say' for SEEDY. I mean I got it, but I found myself pondering why a single star from Michelin means your place is really good, but it's degenerated to a low rating from so many other sources. I guess once you eliminate the no-star possibility, everything is inflated.

I've done a lot of camping, and always tried to stay away from BEAR CLAW, even in the singular. We did hear a bear snuffling around our tent one night, and immediately regretted having taken a bag of cookies in there to snack on, but I much prefer to keep those animals and their claws at a distance. They usually feel the same way, so it works out OK.

AIN'T SHE SWEET was written in 1927, recorded by at least 50 different singers or groups, so it seems very odd to clue it as "The Beatles'" -- it's the use of the possessive that gets me. Oh well.

Wikipedia says churches ring bells on SHROVE Tuesday to remind you to repent your sins before midnight. There's something a little comical about that.

Nancy 10:54 AM  

This is about yesterday's Wordle, and I why I thought it was unfair, Mods. And I won't even use yesterday's secret word. I'll make up an equivalent situation.

Let's say that yesterday's Wordle was STATE. And let's say that my first guess was ITCHY. The "T" appeared to me in green. Yes, one"T" was in the right place -- but what about the 2nd "T" that was in the wrong place? Shouldn't my "T" have appeared half in green and half in yellow? To let me know that at least one "T" was in the wrong place. Isn't it completely arbitrary to only supply half the info and to choose which half you'll deign to supply?

I couldn't solve the thing without a 2nd T -- by that time I'd used up all the letters to all possible words other than STATE. But for the above reasons I refused to even consider STATE.

Wordle devotees -- what think you about the morality of this? Any thoughts at all? I'm thinking that if you can't play fair and square, maybe you shouldn't use repeated letters at all.

R Duke 10:59 AM  

I was at the Shedd Aquarium recently and noticed an odd creature in the Caribbean Reef exhibit. I asked a nearby guide about it, and she said “that’s a moray”.

RooMonster 11:05 AM  

Hey All !
Tough puz today. Ouch. Lookups and cheating abounded! Lots of stuff I hadn't heard of. Oh well, it's good to get your butt kicked by a puz occasionally. 😁

One RANGY dangy. Har.

yd -6 should'ves 5

Two F's

GILL I. 11:06 AM  

@Anony 10:25... Since we were doing oldie moldy, I referred to knickers as the old fashioned style of these ugly baggy pants the Brits use to wear.... If you want to get all savvy you can always say "why don't you stop getting your knickers in a twist?" Then I'll know you're referring to undies.
@JD 10:48 Hah! Now was the Brit talking about baggy pants or baggy undies?

600 11:07 AM  

I'm with @Photomatte. Unless there are a couple of magazines (New York and Los Angeles) that I'm unfamiliar with, that clue for MAGS is technically incorrect, and I don't expect that from the Times puzzles. Hard, tricky, misdirecting--clues can be those things, but I don't like just plain wrong. Unless I'm wrong. Do such magazines exist?

pmdm 11:19 AM  

Today, one of my favorite puzzles perhaps because I thought the amount of PPP was perfect (a bit low?). I enjoy figuring out the non-PPP entries. Perhaps after filling in the PPP entries that were in my wheelhouse, there seemed to be only about three PPP entries left. I do hope the rest of you enjoyed this puzzle as much as I did.

Phillyrad1999 11:22 AM  

Cruised thru most of this but then toiled thru the NE corner. I don’t “BRACE” but if you say its a think its a thing. And didn’t like GDAY one bit.
Also wanted Magic Charms to be Lucky Charms after all they are magically delicious. Nor did I like the clue for “MAGS”. Dido’s lament. Had me trolling thru my Latin Schor days (Carter was president then) instead of my slightly below average Opera knowledge.

Love the shout out to the AUNT MAYS of the Marvel Universe. My tingles told me this was a Wednesday puzzle with a Saturday NE corner.

SouthsideJohnny 11:26 AM  

**Wordle Alert**

Careful @Nancy, that's a slippery slope. Your idea sounds perfect for a Monday Wordle, however the more experienced solvers will yearn for more crunch. Then on Wednesdays and Thursdays, half of us will be wondering why they are running the easy puzzles on the wrong days. By Friday's, foreign and made-up words will be acceptable, and Saturdays will be nearly impossible for mere mortals to solve. We have plenty of that here in RexWorld to keep us occupied. Let's keep Wordle as a pristine oasis of virginal purity, at least for the time being.

Anonymous 11:27 AM  

Nothing oldie moldy about Brits uing knockers for (women's) underwear. It's the current usage. The british use trousers exclusively for what we americans call pants. Pants, like Knockers is a britishism for underwaer ( agin , specically ladies underwear). My point is that you were conflating an american word for a type of trouser with a word nebver used by the brits for a type of trouser.

what is comical about a church calling its congregation--or anyone for that matter--to repentance?

Anonymous 11:28 AM  

There may have been isolated incidents but the idea of widespread abuse of Vietnam Veterans by hippies or anyone else is a myth.

Jamie Farr was certainly a costar of MASH.

JD 11:28 AM  

@Gill, Now I think he was saying undies 😀. It IS funnier than pants.

Anonymous 11:32 AM  

Found this oddly challenging-yet-easy; finished in 17 minutes which is a tad below Friday average for me. And enjoyed it. Yes, lots of weird stuff I was never going to know (Audre Lorde? WTF! As the English Professor would say.) But everything weird was gettable.
However, didn't anyone think HRREP was a lousy bit of fill? Sales Rep, sure. Ad Rep, maybe. But HR Rep? Nobody says that.

kitshef 11:34 AM  

@Nancy 10:54. IMO Wordle should avoid words with two or more or the same letter, full stop. Some day "mamma" is going to be the word and heads will explode.

@jfpon 8:24. Todays' writeup made clear to me why sometimes Rex loves a puzzle I dislike, and vice versa. He prioritizes fill, while I prioritize clues (and themes, when there is one). I like that there is more than one way to enjoy a puzzle.

@Trey 8:57. I think your practice of posting your Wordle as your avatar is brilliant. I would do it myself if I were not so lazy.

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Nancy: As Will Munny (Clint Eastwood) said to Little Bill (Gene Hackman) in Unforgiven, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it!" This was shortly before he blew his head off from close range, if memory serves. To put things another way: It's called a rule. Just learn to live with it.

Joseph Michael 11:49 AM  

Rex is complaining because the clues are tricksy and misleading? Hello, mate. It’s a *puzzle.* And a damn good one at that. GETS ALL A’S from me, especially in the cluing department.

Had a great time working my way through the forest of this grid and enjoyed the sights along the way. From BLACK HOLE to EATEN ALIVE, this felt like dangerous territory full of challenges and surprises. My only downfall was that cross between SHROVE and HR REP where I wrote my last and fatally incorrect letter. But now at least I know that the ancients did not SPROVE each other and that PR REPS are not whom to call when you corp. training.

@TJS, your “Um…never mind” made me laugh out loud.

Newboy 11:53 AM  

Today @puzzlehoarder wrote my post; perhaps we live in parallel universes? Did have an ahoy moment and an aversion to letting go of lithe before RANGY. Otherwise an enjoyable Friday.

beverly c 11:54 AM  

I had a good time with this puzzle until all that was left was the NE corner. Never heard of Audre, was drawing a blank with ahoY and kept thinking runICCHARMS. Aargh! And I kept waffling over AURA. First time in a while to use reveal. Once I had AUDRE it was fill in the blanks. D'oh for MAGIC and GDAY.

Also never heard of TURNT, That R could have been anything until the dog showed up.
Fun to see BLACKHOLE from that clue.

MichiganWoman 11:54 AM  

Grads, graduates, get asked to donate to their educational institutions. A lot.

Unknown 11:54 AM  

@ Nancy I will agree with you that the double letters greatly increase the level of difficulty. You just need to be aware that they can lurk out there. My wife & I were discussing this just last night, and thinking that a word with two sets of doubles would be a killer - - - - or what about GEESE?!!!!
Where I think the true "unfairness" lies is if you're down to one letter, but there are multiple possibilities, so you're just running through the alphabet . . . .
As an example, STOR[ ] comes to mind.

As for the puz? What a joy! What rex complains about I thought were clever clues, perfect for a Friday. What hung me up were the proper names. While there were very few in number, they occupied key portions of the real estate and made the puzzle a bit more difficult. Still, an enjoyable battle. Loved MAGS; that was brilliant.

PS: I don't think BRACE is that unusual a term. If a hunter bags two ducks, he brings home a BRACE of birds. And given that most folks who attempt the Friday puz are pretty good w/ vocabulary, it seemed pretty fair.

Unknown 12:05 PM  

Dear Nancy, Re: "I'm thinking that if you can't play fair and square, maybe you shouldn't use repeated letters at all." Here I'm going to gently disagree. They are playing "fair and square," i.e., by the rules, it's just that there was a tweak to the rules that you were unaware of. And now you know. To me, if we avoided double letters, that would kind of dumb the game down unnecessarily. Do you really want to do super easy Monday NYT puzzles all the time? Knowing you, hell no!

And now, since I know how much you all care about my WORDLE prowess (you do, right? That's why folks post this stuff!!!):
Wordle 216 4/6


Nancy 12:06 PM  

Perhaps not tricky for you, @jberg, but I parsed "Tan writing books" as something like college test essay "Blue books". And I'm wondering: Have I ever written in a tan book, and if so, when and where? So for me it was a tricky clue.

Anon 11:32 -- I don't like HRREP much either.

egsforbreakfast 12:07 PM  

I liked the cluing on this puzzle a lot, but don’t have any great insights or witticisms to add, so I thought I’d relate a BEARCLAW story that, fortunately, didn’t end with me being EATENALIVE.. In our small town in the mountains of Idaho, bears were just a fact of life. They’d always visit dumpsters that weren’t locked, and even used our neighbors hot tub if they forgot to put the top on. We went through a period while remodeling a house where we simply had no place to stash our trash can. So a bear would come over, triggering a sensor on an outdoor light, and I would watch him take a bag of trash out of the can and take it about 50 feet over to the neighbors yard, where he would rip it apart. He’d eat whatever appealed and leave the rest strewn about for me to pick up. After suffering through this for some weeks, I impulsively jumped up when the outside light was triggered one night, grabbed the handiest piece of clothing, which was my wife’s pink terry cloth bathrobe, put it on and ran to the back door, which was on the established route to the neighbors. There, I encountered the bear with an in tact bag of garbage in his mouth. I jumped into his path and screamed “Don’t do that!” He had dropped the bag when I came out the door, but he now picked it up again, turned around and went and deposited it back in the garbage can. And he never bothered us again.

bocamp 12:08 PM  

@Nancy (10:54 AM)

I had the same question, so I went to a different browser to experiment with the double letters and got the same result as you did. Since the letter is not 'blacked' out on the keyboard below, it's still in play for a second or third possibility. I suppose it could be programmed as you suggested, which could then include easy/med/hard levels.
Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Masked and Anonymous 12:10 PM  

Really cruised fast thru the NW corner area, but then couldn't escape into the other puzparts for many many nanoseconds (manoseconds).

That BRACE of GALES and SHROVE didn't help the cause much.
But … the theme of this FriPuz was: Harder than snot clues.

Liked BLACKHOLE crossin ALIEN the most. Schlocky.
staff weeject pick (of a meagre+ 6 choices): ADA. Another No-Know, at our house.

HRREP. harr

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Dolan dude.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Ellen 12:10 PM  


jb129 12:21 PM  

As much as I tried, I couldn't enjoy or finish this. "Afoot" played with my head, I don't know soccer & I should have hung out to get Special K and Gets all As but I didn't. No interest.

Zed 12:21 PM  

Regarding FARR, he and William Christopher both went from end credits to opening credits over the 11 years the Korean War lasted, so I was fine with the clue.

Also, isn’t the HR REP leading a perfunctory and ineffective training session on something like sexual harassment or diversity almost cliché? I was surprised it RAISEd HAVOC for some.

I’m not sure what the issue is with the Beatles clue. It’s a misdirect. Maybe an example of Rex’s the clues were putting a lot of effort into being tricksy and cutesy and misleading, but I personally thought it was fine to try to put us off the otherwise obvious AIN’T.

I disagree @600 and @Photomatte. The closest I can come up with on the fly is “weekly Reader” for “Utne.” I am sure there are other examples of clue/answer BRACEs where full titles are chopped and we barely blink an eye. Again, if you want to say what Rex said about the cluing today I’m right with you. But “wrong” looks wrong to me..

@Joe Dipinto & @Karl Grouch - Are the lyrics in Italian? Or Italglish? In keeping with today’s theme, the lyrics were written by a Liverpudlian so who knows. What I did notice is that several lyric sites using “Scuzza me” list their source (That's Amore lyrics © FOUR JAYS MUSIC PUB, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC) while the lyric sites using “Scusami” that I saw did not list a source.

@jberg - To be rated at all by Michelin means you’re pretty good. But the clue is more Yelp! than Michelin.

**Wordle Alert**

@Nancy - If you had managed to look at my upside down hint yesterday you might have gotten the answer in your own. I had a strong suspicion it was the double letter thing because the first time I saw a double letter word Twitter was atwitter with plaints like yours. But it’s a one time thing. Now you know that if a letter isn’t eliminated it might appear twice, or even thrice (if eerie is ever the answer I’m predicting a Twitter Shit Storm) you just factor that in as you solve.

Wordle 216 3/6*


Joe Dipinto 12:26 PM  

Re Wordle – I think having repeat letters is perfectly legit. Now that you know they are possible, just factor that into your guesses. Yesterday the info I had after guess 2 made me suspect one or possibly two repeat letters, so I used guess 3 to confirm/refute, and knew the answer by guess 4.

emily 12:27 PM  

Yay!!! Misery loves company!

mathgent 12:28 PM  

My favorite comments this morning.

Karl Grouch (7:05)
Adam Lipkin (8:11)
NOLA Dude (9:31)

Tasteless Joker 12:39 PM  

@anonymous 11:27 Do the Brits use knockers for women's underwear or do they use underwear for women's knockers?

Malsdemare 12:47 PM  

Wordle 216 4/6
I loved this puzzle. I did get held up by lANky, which really obscured RAT TERRIER. A serious Catholic education gave me SHROVE right off the bat. My only hangup was AUDRE LORDE; I'm not much into poetry so she's not on my radar screen. I don't have a problem with MAGS; I just don't get my knickers in a twist over small flaws. I wanted lucky CHARMS before MAGIC.

I enjoyed this a lot.


I'm fine with the way double letters are handled. It ups the difficulty and since it's just one a day, I like the challenge. Nancy et al., try SWEARDLE; I found it too easy since you're limited to swear words rather than the universe of five letter words. But as a novelty, it’s fun.

Michael Moroney 12:51 PM  

They did record it in Germany before they hit it big, but Ain’t She Sweet ain’t really a Beatles’ song.

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

Am a middling solver with no pretense of being a wordsmith or ever getting to speed solving capabilities. Usually happy to complete Friday/ Saturday puzzles in 30-45 mins without Googling and in my 3+ years of solving, this has to rank among the top of the turgid puzzles ever published by the NYT. When I saw that MAGS is the answer for "10A: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, in brief" (WTF?), felt glad I did not persist in solving.

Nancy 12:54 PM  

Re: Wordle -- It's not that there will be double letters that I needed to know yesterday. It's this (apparent) rule: If there are two or more of one letter and one of them is in the right spot and the other(s) aren't, you will only be prompted with the one that is in the correct spot -- while the ones that aren't will be completely ignored.

If I'd known that yesterday, I could have solved. In fact I had previously solved a double letter Wordle without incident. Because both my letters were in the wrong spot, I got a yellow prompt. Which was accurate for both letters in my guesses and therefore didn't throw me off.

JC66 12:56 PM  

I went from a fast to an average Friday by sticking with ahoY for far too long.


My ex-wife to-be reacted the same way when I put on her bathrobe. 😂

Wordle 216 3/6*


Chip Hilton 12:58 PM  

I also got BRACE because of its use in soccer/football commentary. As a Tottenham Hotspur fan, I feel it’s my duty to report that Steven Bergwijn of Spurs recorded a stunning BRACE this Wednesday. Spurs trailed 2-1 when the game with Leicester went into a minimum of five added minutes. Bergwijn tied the score in the 95th minute and won it with his second goal in the 97th. Never has a Premier League team turned defeat to victory so late.

Tough but doable Friday. TURNT was new to me - woke, I’m not. SCRAPMETAL replaced an early Spareparts.

Anonymous 1:00 PM  


JC66 1:01 PM  


"Now you know" is still true.

Anonymous 1:06 PM  

The Korean war lasted 3 years.
The tv show was on for 11.

Another Anon 1:19 PM  

@Anon 1:06

@Z was joking. Where's your sense of humor?

BTW, how often do you scan the comments so you can attack what @Z posts?

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Anon 11:41
As David Webb Peoples said....
It's a hell of a lot harder to write a great a line than deliver one. Though in fairness, Clint surely nailed it.

NOLA Dude 1:23 PM  

@Mods Why spike my comment? It was pretty tame, and insulting to precisely no one.

JD 1:29 PM  

@Z, Some states require harassment and diversity training. Sometimes companies will hire law firms to do the training or to train the trainers (usually someone from HR). It's real and mandatory, and yet there are still lunkheads who don't get the message.

okanaganer 1:29 PM  

Wow, hardest puzzle in ages for me. What with Traci LORD[E] (wrong person), I SAY for GDAY (Brits say "mate" too), BRAID for BRACE, SCRAP VALUE, and looking at ---SALLAS while thinking 4.0 average... wt?????

Also had GMAS (greater metropolitan areas!) for the NY/Chi/LA clue, which is actually the right letters in the wrong order and would have been colored yellow/yellow/yellow/green in Wordle.

[Spelling Bee: yd 0 as mentioned here yd. Bocamp, I actually meant to ask if you were giving up on trying for QB but I must have typed SB instead!! Yes, trying for QB can take a lot of time if you let it!]

Anoa Bob 1:49 PM  

A friend was on a trip in Guatemala when he saw this cute COATI in a cage. He reached in to pet the animal and was rewarded for his act of kindness by being bit. Since he couldn't stay around long enough to see if the COATI might have rabies, he had to undergo a series of rabies shots when he returned stateside. Moral: No matter how cute it might be, don't pet the COATI.

Years back I had a collection of woodworking tools stolen. Among them was a BRACE with BITS. It's a hand tool for boring large holes in wood. So an opportunity to cross clue 22A BITS with 23A BRACE was missed. Since childhood I've heard BRACE and BIT and a quick peek shows that they are also called BIT and BRACE.

This grid got significant help from the plural of convenience POC. There are five (!) of the two for one variety where a Down and an Across share a final S. Each of those five Ss could be changed to a black square, the clues slightly tweaked and nothing of value would be lost. The black square count would go from a respectable-for-a-themeless 30 to a much less impressive 35.

The first two-for-one POC occurs early at the ends of GALE/BIT and continues at the ends of SAY/BIRD, WEAN/LUMEN, MAGIC CHARM/CON and end where a two-for-one POC is most likely to happen, in the lower rightmost square at ALE/YIPE. The POC committee is debating whether the puzzle deserves a POC assisted or a POC marked rating.

Old hippie here (who has found his port in the storm) and neither I nor any of my hippie friends ever wear LOVE BEADS. A beard, long hair and granny glasses, yes, LOVE BEADS no.

Deb Sweeney 1:51 PM  

Add me to the list of WREAK fans. IMO you wreak havoc and raise hell. I wreaking love that word.

Tom in Nashville 2:10 PM  

Challenging for me. Just a grind all the way through. Couldn’t finish fill in NE and SE corners and ultimately gave up (had to move on with my day). I didn’t know Audre Lorde and couldn’t figure out MAGS and BIRDS answers. At the bottom I didn’t understand COATI and YETI answers.
Felt like an average Saturday based on clueing with answers I simply didn’t know.
All that said, I didn’t hate the puzzle. I like a good slog occasionally. Just wish I could have finished it.

Zed 2:11 PM  

@JD - Be careful - I have an “adult learning is done poorly” rant always at the ready. States can require training. They cannot require good training.

@AA 1:19 - TBF, they will make weird attacks on others on occasion. See 9:22.

@NOLA dude - If I remember correctly it wasn’t any worse than some things @John X or I or others have written. I wonder if they meant to take down 9:22 and got you by mistake.

Unknown 2:57 PM  


DigitalDan 3:21 PM  

The only RAT TERRIER I ever SHROVE was in NATICK, MA.
If I come back next week, I might be able to see this appear in the list.

bmv 3:25 PM  

grads are asked for donations for the REST of THEIR LIVES!

Anonymous 3:30 PM  

@Nancy. I'll bet that if you asked real nice, Mr. Wardle would change the format of Wordle for you.

JD 3:33 PM  

@Z, I wouldn't dream of taking that on!

Nigel Pottle 3:40 PM  

To me SHROVE and BRACE are perfectly ordinary words. Hunters might come home with a BRACE of partridge or GROUSE, and we looked forward to SHROVE Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day; my mother hid things in the pancakes for us to find - a dime, a broom straw, a button, a ring (we had to give it back to Mom, lol). The dime was a big deal because you could get a bag of 30 penny candy (3 for a penny) at the Boy’s Club tuck shop. Faster than my average.

Zed 3:58 PM  

Merriam-Webster is awesome. The "Did You Know" is good stuff.

@unknown3:25pm - I get "include us in your estate planning" requests so not just for "the REST of THEIR LIVES!"

Rieds 4:01 PM  

You can have a 4.0 GPA without GETSALLAS. Just get equal number of B+ and A+.

Newboy 4:54 PM  

Love the musing on POC by @Anoa Bob almost much as @egs in the robe yarn & @JC66 addendum! Also finding the Wordle exchanges instructive rather than intrusive, but “warnings” do seem in order.

Thus, a Wordle Warning since I wouldn’t want to be seen as one
Wordle 216 3/6


Smith 5:10 PM  

EATENALIVE by this puzzle.

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

Ada Twist, Scientist is a part of a series of books that are simply delightful. It's a good, modern clue. If anyone is shopping for books for kids, check out the whole series, including Iggy Peck, Architect, and Rosie Revere, Engineer.

Tom T 6:10 PM  

One of those drew too many blanks days. Tried and tried but just couldn't come up with RAT TERRIER or BODY SCANNER without dnf help.

Barbara S. 6:17 PM  

Only one crossword solving adventure to report today. For 32D “Grouse” I shot in “ptarmigan,” absolutely delighted that such a wonderful word was one of the marquee long downs and in a central position. I said to myself, “I’m not going to take the lovely “ptarmigan” out, even if it proves to be wrong. I’m sticking with it.” Well, in less than two minutes it was out and BELLYACHE was starting to take shape. But I’ve been in mourning for “ptarmigan” all day. Sigh.

And lest you think I know not of what I speak, consider the following, which I cribbed from Wiki:

“Lagopus is a small genus of birds in the grouse subfamily commonly known as ptarmigans…The English name ptarmigan comes from the Scottish Gaelic name for the bird, tarmachan, whose origin is unknown. The p- was added due to a mistaken belief in a Greek origin, as if the word were related to the Greek word πτερόν (pterón), 'wing'.”

Until now I've resisted posting my Wordle results graphically and have stuck with verbal reporting. But I was rather proud of this.

Wordle 216 3/6


[SB: td pg-6, so far]

PAJ 6:30 PM  


Shortz did his research on this one. The magazines you're thinking of are officially named "New York" and "Los Angeles," without the word "Magazine." You can confirm this on Wikipedia or in the "About Us" section of either publication's website. From nymag.com: "...the groundbreaking magazine New York is published biweekly..." and from lamag.com: "Los Angeles has covered the people, food, [etc. etc.], that define Southern California since 1961."

JC66 6:47 PM  

@PAJ & @Photomatte

Just like Playboy.

pabloinnh 6:52 PM  

Joe Srgeant, American, notched a Brace for Norwich City today.

Hope all the Wordlers saw the "Donald Trump does Wordle" cartoon in today's New Yorker.

RooMonster 7:23 PM  

You can play Wordle in Spanish and French.

RooMonster Word! Guy

Barbara S. 7:32 PM  

Obviously I should have stuck with verbal accounts of my Wordling activity. I don't know why the graphic didn't work -- it looked fine in preview mode. Anyone know where it might have gone wrong?

JC66 7:43 PM  

@Barbara S

Just preview before pasting the graphic into your post and it'll look fine.

bocamp 7:47 PM  

@Barbara S. (7:32 PM)

I think it was @Z who explained that preview mode ruins the graphics. Try it again without using preview, or do a preview, then don't publish from the preview box, but go down and publish as you normally would. 🤞
Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Barbara S. 7:50 PM  


Thanks for the tip. Trying again...

Wordle 216 3/6


Barbara S. 8:00 PM  

Yay! Success. Thanks to @bocamp, too.

Anonymous 9:14 PM  

After going through the As and Ds and not getting many starts, I looked at Rex's opening rating just to make sure he didn't call this easy. I continued on my own only to get no farther than 50% before I cried uncle. There's Friday challenging that's solvable with a chance, and then there's this. Major gripes:
Donations is more appropriately ALUM, not GRAD
Pair = BRACE???, Rex explained it, but still obsolete
SHROVE??? again, obsolete
RATTERRIER as pest control?? No one spends $$ for a purebreed for pest control!
They just discovered a BLACKHOLE emitting new stars, so not all pull
Had SPAREPARTS for SCRAPMETAL, think reuse!
Never see any COATIs on my back deck with their cousins raiding my bird feeder

Pablo 10:19 PM  

Yesterday I left a comment about this week being entirely too easy. I guess today made up for it. So many wrong guesses I was fairly sure of, and crosses that didn't tip me off right away either.

wALk --> GALA
Stunk --> SEEDY
estEe --> ARDEN (okay this one I caught on very quick)
lANkY --> RANGY (still hate this clue)
alum --> GRAD
lewd --> RACY
buckS --> STAGS

Still, I can't complain. I did eventually make my way through it, even if it was pulling teeth for single entries. It was hard, but it was fair. Way over my usual Friday time, about 30% longer than usual.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

“There’s only one way to eat a brace of coneys” - Samwise Gamgee, The Two Towers (film adaptation)
Saved me.

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

It wasn't an "attack." I scan the comments every day. Lighten up. And btw, my family has already informed me that I have no sense of humor!

JeffE 2:07 PM  

Let's hear it for the Rat Terrier! They are a smart, friendly breed. Big in the South, but we have two of them in NYC. They'd clean up in the subway stations

Emily Thall 5:49 PM  

Horrible clue and answer.

thefogman 11:31 AM  

Crunchy. Good in some areas, but too cutesy with the cluing in too many spots. The NE corner was particularly bad. I don’t mean to BELLYACHE but there were way too many WTF? moments and not enough Aha! moments.

Diana, LIW 12:37 PM  

I'll admit that I did check a couple of my answers, and found a couple errors. So officially this would be a DNF. But I'm happy with the result. Tho I may not GET ALLAS, I can still GRIN.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords
Hey @Foggy - thanks for the B&B info - too bad they don't still exist

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

Could have been a fun, workable puzzle but for the inclusion of 8 pissers.

BlatantOctopusHouse 3:07 PM  

Thanks for the Audre Lorde audio. I'm sorry I've never heard of Audre, but I found this audio section to be especially riveting:
"As a black person, I know who my enemies are. And when the KKK goes to court in Detroit to try and force the Board of Education to remove books the Klan believes hint at homosexuality, then I know I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only."

Unfortunately, school book removal is still being done, but this time by elected officials.

Burma Shave 4:39 PM  


‘THAT’SAMORE’ SAYS these words:
“Make LOVE like bees and BIRDS.”
If you AIN’T gonna have a G’DAY,


leftcoaster 5:17 PM  

Must admit I’m a pretty BLEAK FrI-Sat solver, more or less on the “miserable” if not the “cold" side.

Got the long downs in the NE, but not their symmetricals in the SW.

Wasn’t EATENALIVE, but was gnawed at by GALES, MAGS, SHROVE, and HRREP.


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