It turns red litmus paper blue / TUES 1-24-22 / Baltimore's seafood specialty / Highbrow tower material? / Miso soup cubes

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Hi, everyone! Clare here for the last Tuesday of January. I had such a fun time watching what was quite possibly the most exciting weekend of football; I just couldn’t believe what I was watching! So much last-second drama, and so many incredible passes. I swear Liverpool is going to pull it off and overtake Man City to win the English Premier League title this year. Ooh, did you think I was talking about the super close and intense American football games this weekend? Nah, my Steelers are out of the playoffs now, so what do I care?! European football is where it’s at.

Anywho, on to the puzzle!

Ray Brunsberg and Ellen Brunsberg

Relative difficulty: Fairly challenging
THEME:  Games — each theme answer combines two games whose names are treated as a phrase and given a punny clue.

Theme answers:
  • WAR OPERATION (20A: General's responsibility?) 
  • SORRY OTHELLO (29A: Apology from Iago?) 
  • MONOPOLY RISK (44A: Antitrust concern?) 
  • CLUE CHECKERS (53: Editors of crossword puzzles, e.g.?)
Word of the Day: HIGGS (19A: ___ boson (the so-called "God particle"))
The Higgs boson, sometimes called the Higgs particle, is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics produced by the quantum excitation of the Higgs field, one of the fields in particle physics theory. In the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a massive scalar boson with zero spin, even (positive) parity, no electric charge, and no color charge, that couples to (interacts with) mass. It is also very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately. In the mainstream media, the Higgs boson has often been called the "God particle" from the 1993 book “The God Particle” by Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman, although the nickname is not endorsed by many physicists. (Wiki)
• • •

I thought the theme was clever, and the rest of the puzzle was pretty decent. I did find the puzzle to be on the hard side (whether that’s because I was in a bad mood or the puzzle wasn’t on my wavelength or I just couldn’t get a foothold — who knows!), so that might have colored my overall opinion of the puzzle. Looking back a bit later, though, I can appreciate the idea of two games making up each theme answer. It’s interesting and imaginative, and it’s particularly cool considering this is husband-and-wife Ray and Ellen Brunsberg’s debut as constructors. 

While I was solving, the theme answers seemed a bit disjointed to me. But then I had a big aha! moment with the final theme answer — CLUE CHECKERS — at which point I realized what was going on and went up and filled in some missing letters for the other themers. I think my main issue with the theme is that, once you got one theme answer, you couldn’t necessarily get the others. Usually, once you get one theme answer, you can reason something about the others. But, here, the theme answers were two separate things kind of slammed together, and having WAR OPERATION as the first one didn’t trigger any thoughts for me. 

Some other places I got lost were: I put in Holy “Toledo” instead of Holy TERROR (6D); I reflexively wrote“SAT” instead of ACT for 38A: University entrance exam, for short; and I tried putting in “reel” for 37A: Lure (in) instead of ROPE. I also had never heard of LOW (58D: Make oneself heard in a herd) as a sound a cow makes before, so I tried to put in “moo,” instead. I also have a bone to pick with 25A: In which head shots can be taken for SOCCER. I get that the clue was a misdirection designed to make you think “head shots” was referring to portraits being taken, but as someone who played the sport for many years and watches a lot of soccer (or “football” — Go, Liverpool!), I can tell you that the term is “header” — definitely not a head shot. 

KLEPTOS makes sense for 5D: Thieving condors of Mario games and wasn’t particularly hard, but it wasn’t a term I knew off the bat. Coming out of that NW corner, you can usually get some momentum with either the theme answer going across or with the long(ish) down, but I needed another cross to get KLEPTOS and several to get WAR OPERATION, so I was a bit slow to really get going. 

27D: Part of a horror film address, for short with ELM ST was a bit ugly. ELMST? What’s an ELMST? I especially had trouble because the answer crossed 36A: Millennium, at the beginning and end? for EMS. That M was my last square, and I must’ve stared at it for 20 seconds. So, I found that section to be challenging. 

I know that all sounds like a lot of gripes, and I suppose it is, but I did enjoy the puzzle — almost entirely because I thought the theme was clever. The fill of the puzzle was mostly clean (not a ton of crosswordese), and the theme just didn’t leave a lot of room for many fun non-theme answers because of how much space it took up.

  • Seeing Bert and ERNIE (51D) in the puzzle reminded me of the moment that went viral on Twitter last week between Elmo and Zoe over Rocco. (You can watch it here.) Seeing Elmo that unhinged was hilarious. 
  • I recently got into watching “The Great British Bake Off” and am mildly obsessed. The show is mainly about baking, but I still feel tempted to now try all of these supposed 100 ways to cook an EGG (11D). 
  • In my soccer carpool when I was younger, there were five of us who had to find a way to entertain ourselves during the 30-minute drive to practice — and back — so we would bring Nintendo DSs and play, primarily, Super Mario Bros against each other. (Yes, we’d get a tad competitive with each other!) I guess we were playing the wrong type of Mario game, so I missed out on ever seeing KLEPTOS (5D). 
  • I’ve got everyone’s newest obsession, Wordle, on the brain, so when I first opened up the app, this puzzle just looked like one really big Wordle grid! 
Signed, Clare Carroll, a fan of (real) football

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:50 AM  

Medium. KLEPTOS as clued was a WOE and no idea on Pellucid. Fun clues, reasonably smooth grid, liked it. A fine debut!

Harry 1:18 AM  

This came in as a solid medium for me. It was an unusual slog for a Tuesday, but nothing obscure or excessively witty. I fully anticipated that Rex would once again rate this an "EASY" (to my frustration). I respect Clare's solving experience, but don't anticipate many here will chime in with her "challenging".

I agree that the theme was relatively clever, yet it didn't enhance my solving experience much. No "lights" went on when the first themer was filled, and when I ultimately grasped the concept upon review of the completed grid, my reaction was a modest "oh".

If the crosses didn't pretty much give up the themer letters on their own, I wonder how much I might have struggled to catch on.

chefwen 1:39 AM  

Tough Tuesday starting out until I hit my AHA moment with CLUE CHECKERS, then it became easy.

Never heard of the EGG toque connection and no mention of it in my Food Lovers Companion book. Further research required.

Very clever puzzle, enjoyed it.

egsforbreakfast 1:44 AM  

Thanks for a nice write up, Clare.

Funny that we have 34D SPANK the day after @Nancy’s delectable ode to SPANX.. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to thank you yesterday, @Nancy. Slap my ass and call me Sally!

And thanks for a really nice debut Tuesday, Ellen and Ray Brunsberg.

Conrad 5:18 AM  

Yeah, that's right @Clare, it's a "header," not a "head shot" and that's why I confidently wrote in Studio instead of SOCCER at 25A. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

OffTheGrid 6:30 AM  

I really like that there was no revealer. I just had to keep at it until something clicked. CLUECHECKERS was the moment. Good Tuesday fun.

The grid offered several choices for a Wordle start, some with three vowels. I picked a word with 2 vowels and had a real chance for a birdie.

MarthaCatherine 6:52 AM  

I worked straight through the puzzle and grokked the theme at 29A. So clever, although I'm pretty sure Iago never apologized to Mr O. (right?) Then when I hit 53A and had CLUEC I said please, please let it be CHECKERS. I let out a little "HAH!" I wonder if that
clue/answer was the Brunsbergs inspiration for the puzzle.

Phillyrad1999 7:14 AM  

I owe you one Claire. Overall this puzzle was on the easy side of medium and until I read your write up I still hadn’t figured out the theme. Which is why I did not enjoy the choppiness of the layout. Guess I am a little slow on the uptake this morning and won’t make any important decisions. As for football, my home team is on the other side of PA and so I scan relate.

kitshef 7:25 AM  

Had safeS before HORNS (they can be locked or blown), which seemed so right ...

Found this unusually easy. I feel like even on a Monday, I'd be saying that. The (very clever) theme definitely helped, as after the first two I was primed for game names.

OOH OOH is stooping pretty low, and overall the crosswordese factor is high (NEE, OBI, EDY, ERA, RES), but I really dug the theme so will let that all slide.

thfenn 7:33 AM  

Kind of felt like the reveal was missing. I know we've had plenty of themed puzzles with no reveal, I just kept feeling like this theme could use one. Nice tight cluing with a little twist here and there, tho also seemed to be a lot of short answer gimmes. Thought ANS had a pretty SORRYCLUE. But the puzzle was a nice wake up call this AM.

SouthsideJohnny 7:37 AM  

Enjoyed it - pretty standard Monday/Tuesday fare, with a nice theme and not much dreck. As usual, I had no problem with the HIGGS Boson and no clue about KLEPTOS (WAR OF) looked like a valid start to the first theme entry, so that cross was the only real difficulty for me.

Others have commented on LOW, Holy Terror and a couple of other speed bumps - but a very fair, moderately challenging well-done Tuesday in my opinion.

puzzlehoarder 7:47 AM  

@jae, was that a pellucid wasn't CLEAR to me joke?

bocamp 7:53 AM  

Thx Ray & Ellen; excellent Tues. offering. I was definitely 'game' for this one! :)

Hi Clare, nice to see you again; thx for your write-up! :)


Just the right amt of resistance to make for a bit of a struggle up and down the east coast.

ELM ST wasn't easy to parse.

Enjoyed the trip! :)


Worked all day yd on the Croce puz. Down to the lower right quad and spinning wheels. 🀞
yd pg (10:29) / Wordle 4

⬜⬜🟩🟨⬜ ⬜⬜🟨⬜🟨 STARE
⬜🟩🟩⬜⬜ 🟨⬜🟨⬜⬜ GRAIL
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 ⬜⬜🟨⬜🟩 PRAWN
⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 VEGAN

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

Tom T 7:54 AM  

Hidden Diagonal Word (HDW) clue:

Bills partner?

Enjoyable puzzle; like others I didn't grasp the "pair of games" device until I was mostly done, but it did help me finish off WAR OPERATION. I had the first part, but wasn't seeing the latter part in my first trip through the North.

Speaking of the upper region of the grid, that awkward tiny AREA in the North Central was big enough to be home to two AREAs (7D and a diagonal AREA that connects at the E).

Other than the way they used wordplay with game titles, I don't consider the theme clues/answers "punny," especially not MONOPOLY RISK, which is literally an Antitrust concern--no "?" needed.

Answer to the HDW for today:

COOS (Beginning in the extreme SW corner, in the 65A square, and moving diagonally to the NE, you get this excellent string of letters:
S O O C O O S. It spells COOS in either direction. And it makes me think of Couscous and Cuckoo clocks, which appear to be advertised as Coo-coo clocks on some websites.)

Ok, I'm done. Have a diagonal day--moving up and to the right.

puzzlehoarder 7:58 AM  

The top two thirds went in like a Tuesday and I got the theme with MONOPOLY RISK. I thought for sure I'd guess the second game on the fourth themer. CLUE went in and I choked. I am so not a theme person. This and an ERODES/SPORTS write over pushed this solve to near Wednesday time.

yd -0, dbyd -0, I probably have -0 td but I have to wait for my wife to wake up and have a turn at it.

Trey 8:03 AM  

Nice review @Clare - I chuckled with the opening paragraph. My Vikings too are out of the playoffs (or more correctly, were never in), but the games still have been exciting.

KLEPTO is not only a shorter version of kleptomaniac, it is also the name of the condor that does the stealing.

LOW was something we had seen here about a month or two ago, and it was news to me at that time. This time, it went straight in.

I always thought of a POLKA as a musical style, and not the name of the dance that is done to that music. Learn something new every day.

The theme was OK. CLUE CHECKERS was the most solid, and WAR OPERATION was the weakest. WAR is also the only game that does not use a board (or board-like playing area for OPERATION)

Enjoyable puzzle, and somewhat harder than average

mmorgan 8:06 AM  

Slightly crunchy fun Tuesday but even when I was finished I couldn’t see the theme. The first one I got was CLUE CHECKERS and I was sure that I was somehow supposed to change LUE to hubby and get Chubby CHECKERS. That certainly didn’t help with the other themers, though I got them all. I was just utterly baffled as to the theme. Okay, I get it now, nice, I guess, but I wish it had been part of my solving experience.

Kevin 8:18 AM  

Only gripe with the theme was WAROPERATION. All the games were played on a board except WAR, so it felt out of place to me. Also, I've played Mario games for over 30 years, and never knew the KLEPTO thing. Got it in the crosses, but that's reaching deep into Mario knowledge.

Georgia 8:20 AM  

I came here expecting a rant that we've seen this theme before.

Son Volt 8:20 AM  

Never really a board game guy but a cute little theme either way with solid fill. WAR is the outlier here that doesn’t seem to belong. Liked SORRY OTHELLO.

Backed into KLEPTOS - side eye to REHEMS. I read certain passages from Walden quite often when I was younger so PELLUCID was a gimme.

Any self respecting physicist won’t use the God particle descriptor. In undergrad quantum mechanics we referred to it as the scalar boson.

Pleasant enough Tuesday solve.

Fran1r 8:22 AM  

Hi. I'm a first time commenter. When I stated to do this puzzle, I thought it seemed familiar. Sometimes when I'm killing time I do old puzzles in the app. I went back and checked, and sure enough, October 23, 2013 used the same theme, but with a revealer, back to back games. Sorryothello was one of the answers.

Ron Palillo 8:23 AM  

Ooh, ooh !

TJS 8:27 AM  

Good Tuesday. Liked that "war operation" felt like a bogus entry and you had to get further into the solve to give it absolution. I should have got the conceit at "Sorry Othello", but have to admit it took "Clue Checkers" for the light to go on. My only excuse is I usually ignore any theme questions until after the solve or when I get stuck, which never happened here.

Pretty clean fill, "rehems" might make the "desperation" list though.

Waiting to see if anyone is scandalized by "Soros".

Fran1r 8:31 AM  

And I'm a bit embarrassed about that typo ��

thfenn 8:32 AM  

Thought I had my first double bogey in sight and then slipped all the way to par:
Wordle 220 4/6

A RISKWAR combo would've been as timely as yesterday's...

Zed 8:52 AM  

Old board games you might play with the kids. Meh. PPP theme. Meh. Best thing about this puzzle was the notion of a TOFU, COBRA, and SWISS sandwich with a trio of SLAWS on the side.

**Wordle Dordle Alert**
Finally got another birdie after a couple of days of pars. 20 holes played and sitting at 2 under par.

Dordle 4&5/7 SATIN&SEGUE
⬜⬜⬜🟨🟨 ⬜🟨🟨🟨⬜ QUEST
🟩🟨⬜🟨⬜ 🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜ STRAP
🟩⬜🟨🟨⬜ 🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜ SLATY
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜ SATIN
⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 SEGUE

Liveprof 8:56 AM  

How nice that a puzzle constructed by a couple has so many double letters in it -- thirteen(!), including two each in OOH OOH, ASSESS, and SORRY OTHELLO. Also glad to see Iago finally apologized. Too little too late, tho. SRSLY.

amyyanni 9:08 AM  

Hi Clare, good to hear from you. Also had SAT instead of ACT. Point well taken on header. Agree this was breezy and fun. Don't mind that the theme was a repeat from 9 years ago. As an occasional crossword creator, the themes are tough to devise.

***on Wordle, I'm a fan, too. Don't like how it's fast becoming part of this blog. Perhaps someone wants to start a Wordle Blog? Hoping we can agree to refrain from posting results, spoilers.*****

SouthsideJohnny 9:09 AM  

**Wordle Dordle Alert**

Wordle 220 3/6


Rolled in a nice birdie today as well. 3-over after 11.

Haven’t settled on a Dordle strategy yet - don’t know whether to attempt to make progress on both grids, or go full steam ahead on one side and hope for the best when it is time to clean up the other one.

Rug Crazy 9:12 AM  

Never growled so much on a Tuesday before. Yuck!

Unknown 9:16 AM  

Nice debut, folks!

pabloinnh 9:20 AM  

Rocky start here as I wanted WAROF something and good old PST for TAP wasn't much help. Had EARS, wasn't helping, tried COBS, even worse, back to EARS as KLEPTOS was an unknown but certainly made sense for birds that were "thieving".

Caught the theme at SORRY OTHELLO but agree with those that see WAR as an outlier here.

Also agree with Clare about the term being HEADER. Played for years, coached for more years, never took or told a player to take a HEADSHOT. Another Premier League fan here. Liked Arsenal for a while as we went to game at The Emirates Stadium when my son got married in England, then switched briefly to Chelsea because of Pulisic, and am now leaning, like Clare, to Liverpool because they're fun to watch.

No complaints about George SOROS, who controls so much of our politics? How sane of everyone.

Very nice Tuesday, R & EB Required an Early Battle but turned into a fun run, for which thanks.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Clare - quite right on the "head shot". And of course its football, not soccer. And while we're at it, it definitely was a penalty for Liverpool this past weekend. YNWA. Mark

Nancy 9:32 AM  

(Note to @GILL -- I need to know how old they're about to be!!!)

Wanderlust 9:32 AM  

Perfect Tuesday. The themers are nice, with WAR OPERATION a little less satisfying than the others because it’s a little green paintish. SORRY OTHELLO made me smile, thinking of the villain just sort of shrugging at the bloodbath he caused. Although he’d probably say, “I’m sorry if you took offense, Othello.” And of course, the final themer was quite appropriate.

“Tongue but not cheek” and “Make oneself heard in a herd” are nice clues for CHEEK and LOW. And sorry, Clare, but I liked the misdirection on the SOCCER clue even if “head shot” isn’t what people call it. It’s a shot taken with the head, so I say “Goal!!”

I knew right away that INDIA would be the country with the highest percentage of vegetarians. When I went there, an Indian work colleague in Bangalore invited me to dinner at his house and asked if I preferred “veg” or non-veg.” I wanted to say a mix, but that’s not an option. If you say “non-veg” you’ll get nothing but meat dishes. I chose “veg” and it was delicious. India would be an easy country to be a vegetarian in.

Frustrated not to get happy music. Scouring the puzzle I saw that I wrote in SAT (as probably 95% did) and never even looked at those downs.

RooMonster 9:38 AM  

Hey All !
How about GAMESSMASHEDTOGETHERTOMAKEWACKYPHRASES as the Revealer? Or maybe that's a tad too long?

Fun puz, seemed like a lot of threes, let me count them ... Got 25 of them, yep, high. @mathgent might say that is YUCKY, whilst @M&A might SMIRK at all the weejects.

Confession time: didn't figure out that the theme was two games together, caught that the first words were games, but the ole brain just elided over the fact of the second part being games also. Stupid brain.

Gonna name my kid ELMST. Har.

My grandfather was a big POLKAS listener. Every time you walked into his house, POLKAS were playing. Each song sounded the same to me. 😁

TOFU cubes, yummy!

Off topic, I can't get to Dordle with the provided site on your answer thingies. Is there another way to get it? I tried to Google it, still nothing. Although, not sure if I need another game...

yd -4, should'ves 2

Two F's

Beezer 9:39 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle even though I didn’t grok the theme until, well…after I was done. I tend to do across clues for a little bit, then downs, so I really didn’t need the theme. I dunno. I get why Clare called it “challenging”…crunchier than usual Tuesday fare.

@Jae…yeah, I tended to think that pellucid was just a fancy way of saying lucid and still felt compelled to look them up after I saw your comment. Pretty much the same for one use and distinctively different for another. At any rate I doubt I’ll be sticking pellucid into any of my convos the rest of my life.

Also, after looking at Clare’s comment with respect to the LOWING/LOW of cows, I’m pretty sure the only time I hear this term is in the song Away in the Manger but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the commentariat will pull out a line from Shakespeare that uses it. Sounds much better than “group mooing.”

And @Nancy, I was a bit behind in my puzzle solving…I enjoyed your Sunday puzzle.

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

can everyone stop with the WORDLE bragging. Taking up bandwidth, storage and patience

bocamp 9:45 AM  

Found the clue for SOCCER covered by 'Joaquin's Dictum': "'Clues' are just that - clues. They are not definitions, they are not synonyms. They are hints. And we are solving a crossword 'puzzle', not a cross-Thesaurus." Dropped it right in without a second thot, but then I did have the 'S' from IS TO in place. πŸ˜‰

@Fran1r (8:22 AM) / (8:31 AM)

Welcome! 😊

Btw, typos happen; no worries. :)

Looks like you may have done a 'preview' on your 8:31 post. Emojis look fine in the preview, but morph to �� after you publish. Remedy: just add them after you preview, and/or publish from below, not in the 'Preview' window.

@puzzlehoarder πŸ‘ for 0's

SouthsideJohnny (9:09 AM)

I'm having fun with Dordle, experimenting and using it to enhance Wordle strategy, e.g., I've abandoned ADIEU for what I believe to be a better starting word. (can't say, as it would be a spoiler for today's.)
td pg (3:57) / Wordle 220 3/6 (even par after 20)


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

Nancy 9:45 AM  

A cute, pleasant theme -- with games that are very well known, even if some are only known (by me) from the NYT crossword puzzle. I'm pretty sure that Iago never said SORRY OTHELLO at any point in the play and it wouldn't have done much good if he had. But other than that, the themers are pretty much in the language and work well.

I thought IVORY (3D) was a great clue -- worthy of a Thursday. And I thought the clue for ASL (38D) was especially colorful. It reminded me of that great line in "Children of a Lesser God" where the rebellious deaf student angrily signs at her teacher during a quarrel: "...and your signing is boring!!"

Into every puzzle, an OOH OOH may occasionally fall -- but mostly this is a pretty smooth job.

Anonymous 9:53 AM  

Second verse of Away in a Manger:

The cattle are LOWing
The poor baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying he makes
I love thee Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle
'Til morning is nigh

tea73 9:58 AM  

I got the them early because I am positive I've seen it before. Not only is WAR the only card game, it's the only one that isn't copyrighted.

I'd never heard of the KLEPTOS either, but they were easy to guess. Had SAT before ACT. Silly me.

Unknown 10:04 AM  

LIke many of you, I had SAT first instead of ACT . . . . .
But this skewed very slightly on the easy side for me, and I adored the theme.
Bravo to the constructors! ! ! !

Unknown 10:08 AM  

Wordle 220 3/6


When I look @ the distribution of my scores, it definitely feels like 4 is par for the course.
I am currently 2 over par after 8 rounds. Not that anyone should care.

Zed 10:09 AM  

@amyyanni and @anon9:42 - Please don't try to be the Fun Police.

mathgent 10:11 AM  

I hadn't heard of a board game named WAR, so I looked it up. It's similar to RISK and popular in Brazil.

I seem to remember that this theme was used before, a few years ago. It didn't thrill me then, it doesn't thrill me now.

Joaquin's Dictum has to be stretched to the breaking point to permit the clue to 7D. It's a formula for area, not an area.

Shortz doesn't care about cluttering his grids with threes anymore. Twenty-five of the little pests today.

Do I seem to be in a bad mood? Maybe because I bogeyed on Wordle.

jberg 10:13 AM  

Like @Roo, I never noticed the second games. But I've got an excuse -- I'd never heard of the game OPERATION. Too recent for my own childhood, but somehow my kids didn't have it, either. Maybe we were too busy playing Uno with them.

The toughest part for me was OOH! OOH! I wanted Oh! oh! OH! first. Maybe the clued, which repeated "pick me" exactly twice, was supposed to be a hint that it was two words, but if so I didn't pick it up.

OTOH, I loved the clue for HORNS.

@Beezer--Not Shakespeare, but Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

It goes on for another 31 stanzas, which I won't paste here.

Wanderlust 10:15 AM  

Oops, I meant “Tongue but not cheek” as a great clue for ORGAN!

GILL I. 10:16 AM  

OOH...OOH...And here I thought it was @Rex saying he was a soccer fan. I thought he was a baseball fanatic. OOH...It's Clare and, and, and, she's a Liverpudlian fan. My husband is a scouser and we both love SOCCER - especially if its Liverpool. FYI, Liverpool is the most successful English team in European tournament history....
Onward forward march to the puzzle. Although the only board game we ever played was MONOPOLY and CHECKERS with my grandad, I didn't care. I smelled the AROMA wafting and CLUE CHECKER confirmed it.
Speaking of AROMA...@Carola from yesterday and quick breads...I made the chocolate banana loaf you posted and it was DELICIOUS. So easy and so good. Thanks for posting the recipe.
Back to our regular programming.
So I got to the word Pellucid and then did my hmmmm dance. I don't ever think I have EVER uttered that unfortunate word, EVER. I thought it had something to do with Spanish hair (pelo)...I got CLEAR from the acrosses and then I was curious, so I looked up the word. I would never say "Hey, HIGGS, look at that sky...It's pellucid, don't you think?".....
I thought this was a clever Tuesday. Congratulations of your debut, Ray and Ellen.
Just so everybody knows, I make EGGs 8 different ways. But then, I don't wear a toque with a hundred folds.

WavesandBeaches 10:27 AM  

I thought clue checkers was snappy, but that war operation was clunky. I felt that sorry othello was clunky as well, but I suppose it does have some redeeming value.

It was one of those puzzles that flows along through overly easy clues past the dead dogs and broken carts on Elm Street.

Great clue for horns.

Whatsername 10:28 AM  

HELLO. A perfectly good Tuesday although I felt a little lukewarm on the theme. I liked CLUE CHECKERS and learning that the tongue is considered an ORGAN, a digestive organ to be exact. A debut OPERATION so congrats to the constructor duo.

@Fran (8:22) Welcome to the commentariat! Good catch on the 2013 puzz. I’m going to go to the Archives and do that one just for fun. Hope you’ll return soon and don’t worry about typos. Snit happens.

To Wordle or not to Wordle. And should we discuss it on this here blog? That is the question. But I have another one for you. Am I the only one who wakes up in the morning with five letter words going through my mind?? I hope not.

KnittyContessa 10:37 AM  

What is Dordle???

TJS 10:41 AM  

@Z, two "meh" reactions on the puzzle ... and then a doodle report. How ironic.

Joseph Michael 10:51 AM  

Had a double aha. As I filled in MONOPOLY, I realized that the first word in each themer so far was a game name. Then, as I filled in CHECKERS, I realized that the second word in each themer was also a game name. Two for the price of one. Would have liked a revealer of some kind to seal the deal.

Liked SORRY OTHELLO the best. (But come on, Iago. The guy killed his wife and himself because of you. Is that the best you can do?)

Thought the cluing in general was strong and appreciated the fact that it added some crunch to the Tuesday solve. Especially liked the clues for EGG, HORNS, and ASL. Nice debut.

Yes, the afterglow of the puzzle is somewhat dulled by it’s similarity to the 2013 NYT puzzle with the same theme, but since I didn’t remember that one, the duplication didn’t affect my enjoyment of this one. Given that there are 365 puzzles published every year and that there have been thousands published since all this began, it must be a bear to come up with something completely new each and every day.

Alex 11:01 AM  

I easily went through this, a few write-overs, I was on the same wave length it seems as Claire. Like to fill around the theme clues to enjoy a big reveal at the end- Sorry Othello, loved it. As a cook the hundreds of folds- how charming. Pellucid, filled but went to check the definition afterwards- not going to add it to my vocab, so many lovelier synonyms.
Also really late this week with the puzzles, just caching up-- yes, to Nancy and friend- really like the theme, fun to 'know' the creators. Thanks!

Tom P 11:03 AM  

Thanks, Clare. I agree that this was tougher than your typical Tuesday, but I finished it without too much trouble, except for the understanding theme, which remained a mystery to me until I read your review.

Carola 11:06 AM  

Nice one! Starting out, it seemed to me that WAR OPERATION was a pretty low-wattage theme answer, until I got to SORRY OTHELLO, with its double pleasure of getting the theme + the terrific joke of an apologetic Iago (@Nancy 9:45 - my thought was that the "apology" was more like to be "SORRY not SORRY OTHELLO"). I still had to puzzle out the other two theme answers, though - MONOPOLY...what? And CLUE CHE...I'm afraid I also needed the C. Anyway, lots of fun. Agree on the great clue for HORNS.

OPERA over ORGAN brought to mind the "Te Deum" from Tosca. So, for anyone who could use a mid-morning Puccini pick-me-up, here's Baron Scarpia, a villain who vies with Iago for evil intentions and deeds.

@GILL I. 10:16 - I'm so glad, and thank you for letting me know! I'm much more a cook than a baker - so many ways to go wrong - but this one never fails me.

JD 11:09 AM  

On my first past through, I felt almost Thursday'ed. On the third pass, got Clue Checkers and the game was up.

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

@Knitty. See @Z 8:52 post with a copy of the web site name. Similar in concept to Wordle.

Smith 11:34 AM  

Harder then usual Tuesday here. Solved as themeless and was surprised to see that there *was* a theme! Ok, then.

Not familiar with the Mario birds and like others had WAROf... but even after realizing that particular error I never fixed lAO because the birds could be KLEPlOS, why not?

Overall the SMIRK LEVEL is LOW but the CRAB AROMA is YUCKY.

Wordle 220 3/6


Anonymous 11:35 AM  

@anon 9:42
Amen! Why the mods allow the off-topic posts continue is puzzling.
I thought the tacit rule was posts about the day's puzzle or rex's write-up.
Sure, comments about comments are allowed. This is one. But if they are all fruit of the pioson tree, well, they should be memory holed.

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Well, some of us show up just for the tangents. The puzzle, Rex, Rexites, and anti-Rexites aren't nearly enough to make the exercise fun. More hearty arguments on abortion, voting rights, climate change, Trump, Sleepy Joe.

JD 11:59 AM  

I think the don't-want-to-see-Wordle people have been very polite in their protest for the most part, but still it's Rex's blog. If he didn't, and should he not in the future, want the Wordle comments, they would go.

Some little thing came by that has given a lot of people a minute of fun. It's fun that they share their enjoyment. It's a moment.

old timer 12:18 PM  

Good going, Claire! Well written and clever. Perhaps a little more so than the puzzle. I got WAR and OPERATIONS but had no idea the latter is a game. It really wasn't until I reached the easiest part (so often this is towards the bottom) that I got CLUE CHECKERS and said to myself, "These are both games", at which point I wrote in the missing letters for MONOPOLY, knowing that RISK is a game too.

SORRY was a favorite game of my childhood. But OTHELLO was not, though I know it is a game. I thought, however, it was a word game you can play on a tour bus. It's not, and I have been wracking my brain to see what that game was, and finally remembered it was Botticelli. Which would not have fit in this puzzle, but when I was 19 I went on a summer tour of Europe with college students, led by some professors, and some of the longer and more boring stretches on the tour but were made more interesting when we all played Botticelli. Good game, and if I ever go on another bus tour I will suggest it. I'm thinking of a college professor and has last name begins with an S....

Appropriately, today was harder than yesterday. I hope the trend continues.

mathgent 12:19 PM  

My favorite comments this morning.

Anon (9:53)

GILL I. 12:22 PM  

Re Wordle: I don't play it - only because I don't have time during my day to get hooked on another game. It looks like fun. Anyway, and because I don't play, I simply skip over those posts. It was Rex who brought up this thing and he mentioned how enjoyable it was. The Wordle took off.
@JD is's still Rex's blog and if he wants to allow comments, so be it.

Geezer 12:25 PM  

The puzzle's theme is not board games.

It isn't patented games.

The theme is games. That's it. No need to pick on WAR.

Newboy 12:26 PM  

Cute puzzle by appropriately a couple it would seem. Have to check their constructors note to clarify the actual relationship later. Also I’m going to have to ponder that 16A clue since I never took an A&P course….when does a body part graduate to ORGAN status? Need to play that one by ear at the moment and without a score (head shot — or not). Always fun to see a different perspective on the blog, so fun again to have the fill-in by Clare (and thanks for sharing that Sesame Street lesson ; appropriate on any LEVEL).

Prof 12:31 PM  

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

Anoan 11:58.
I too come here for the tangents. But my point was that Wordle posts arent tangential to nayhing ralted to the puzzle or the write-up. They are extaneous. That a lot of people here enjoy them doesnt change that fact. I have little doubt that if you had a daily meme which tweaked, say fox News, a lot of people, likely a healtyh majority would find it not only amusing but wholly welcome. But it would not be realted to the puzzle or the writeup. so it doesnt belong.
the charming tangents occur, as they say these days, organically. There's an answer or clue which sparks someone's memory, or tackles their fance or even makes angry. from thence wonderful discussion often flows.
But to start a discussion out of whole cloth simply beacuse it's something yo enjoy is, well, selfish. That others indulge in the same pasttime is not sufficient to warrant its posting. If the whole community--or the blogs aowners or its proxies-- assent that suffices as well.
Which brings me bacjkto my question: mods why do you allow the off-topic Word;e and Dortle stuff?

JC66 12:50 PM  

@Anon 12:43

I read the first sentences and a half of your post and then skipped to the last.

It's easy. Try it.

Newboy 12:53 PM  

Awww, sweet! A follow up.
Today’s duo are in fact married triathletes who commented “ Here's to teamwork and 27 years of marriage, a love of games, puns, and each other.” Looking forward to their long run of future gridsπŸ‘πŸΌ

An organ, by the way appears to be a “specialized structure” in which tissues perform a specific function. Apparently heart, lungs, kidney, brain, etc. would clearly qualify, but other undifferentiated tissues—like EGG?—are just sloppy leftovers.

jae 12:56 PM  

@puzzlehoarder - My Pellucid comment was not a joke, it really wasn’t CLEAR to me and after looking it up I’m with those who won’t be using it.

@bocamp - the SE corner of Croce’s #677 has a couple of jargon answers that are tough if you don’t know the lingo. I kinda knew one and was able to sort the other one out from the crosses. Again, good luck!

Anonymous 12:59 PM  

JC 66.
No thanks.I'd rather engage in a reasoned discussion. Not as easy as not reading I'll grant you, but far more worthwhile. Try it, you may learn soemething.

Masked and Anonymous 1:01 PM  

Luv them old board games. BATTLESHIPCABBY or CABBYCAREERS, anyone? Also, there was an old game called GUSHER, where U drilled for oil or somesuch, so that oughta have some possibilities. BOGGLEGUSHER, etc. Fun stuff to contemplate.

fave Ow de Sperations: OOHOOH. ELMST. REHEMS. ANS.

staff weeject pick: ANS. Better clue: {You can't pay Vanna to uncover this}.
Primo weeject stacks in the NE & SW. Also in the N & S pole areas.

Kinda a shame this theme mcguffin has been done before, as per @Fran1r, 8:22am. But it's a cute idea, and was probably worth revisitin, especially since most of the themers were different ones.

Thanx to the Brunsbergs for gangin up on us, and congratz on their debuts.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


East Coaster 1:06 PM  

Lots of grumpy people here today. It's a Tuesday, How many comments declaring that there is no such thing as a HEADSHOT, or definitively declaring that SOCCER is FOOTBALL, or verses of poetry utilizing the word LOW do you want to read?

Seriously, if you are that enthralled by the discussion as to whether the theme police should have banned WAR because it can be played without a board, you could try just not reading the posts with the big green (for the most part) pictures.

Another alternative would be to spend your time reading and posting on another blog where the topics of allowable discourse are censored more in line with your liking. Of course, you are free to hang here and contribute to the cacophony. It's only fair that the number of off-topic complaints about off-topic comments rival the number of alleged off-topic comments.

JD 1:13 PM  

Anon @12:43, (and I won't comment on this issue again), the connection to Wordle is that it's a word game. A Fox meme would have nothing to do with that. And if anyone dragged in a Fox meme it would likely be an Anon.

You have a very identifiable writing style. Did you enjoy the puzzle today?

CDilly52 1:19 PM  

@Carola, thanks for thinking if Tosca and the mid-morning oick-me-up! That is an unforgettable and favorite Puccini interlude.

Unknown 1:24 PM  

Trouble with the Wordle is that its just bragging. Not really any comments.

okanaganer 1:36 PM  

I was wondering what the heck is the theme? until I hit MONOPOLY RISK. Now those are games I've actually played!! Ah, those Risk marathons at university.

[Spelling Bee: yd pg -1, missed this new word which I will try to remember in the future.
td: pg in 4 minutes!!]

Joe Dipinto 1:48 PM  

Now, so long after that time,
I keep the spirit of it throbbing still.
The ideas are still the same, and they expand
to fill vast, antique cubes.

My daughter was reading one just the other day.
She said, “How like pellucid statues, Daddy. Or like a…
an engine.”

– from "No Longer Very Clear" by John Ashbery


If no one else has bitched about this, allow me. The Wicked Witch's home in TWOO was THE EAST. Her sister's home was THE WEST. Glinda was the Good Witch of THE NORTH. This is an occasion where the definite article should be in the answer. They're place names, not general compass directions. (I realize "The" is already in the clue but then reword it; or go with an altogether different clue, one for which EAST *is* the appropriate answer.)

CDilly52 1:51 PM  

Thanks for the excellent comment today Clare! And for noting the amazing football (not that American football this last weekend wasn’t also exciting). After seeing a documentary about Man City (and like many others, I usually think of Manchester United first), I am also hoping Man City can pull off a Premier League championship. Fingers crossed.

A much crunchier Tuesday than last week, and a good one st that! My only nit was all the three letter “usual suspects” which I forgive because of the grid design and the fact that the early week aim of the puzzle further constrained our constructors.

I also admit I plopped my metaphorical ball right in the “sat”sand trap because the ACT just never crossed my mind. I will blame it on the fact that my 13 year old neighbor is about to take his first SAT. With a stratospheric intellect and bounding curiosity, he has been chosen to participate in a study at the U that has the chosen 8th grade student group begin to take the SAT twice a year through high school. No idea the goal of the study (I do have some obvious assumptions) I but because I have been reviewing grammar with him, the test has been on my mind.

The theme did not register until CLUE CHECKERS probably because until then, I did not notice that both words in the long across answers are games. Starting with WAR OPERATION was a stroke of genius. It is a meaningful phrase on its own that is responsive to the clue and because of that, I failed to notice the “?”.

This puzzle bodes well fir the week. Congrats to our constructors. I’m eager to verify the ‘100 folds in the toque’ assertion and am surprised I have never come across it before.

In other local news, for those of us who enjoyed @Catola’s chocolate banana loaf (sooooo delicious, thank you @Carola!) I have a pumpkin Nutella quick bread that I developed for my soon-to-be-(if this dang pandemic ever allows us to finish the process) adopted granddaughter whose two favorite foods are pumpkin pie and anything Nutella. Alas, Ludite that I am, I tried and failed to figure out on my own how to embed a link to the recipe here. I will ask my brilliant 13 tear old neighbor.

This week looks excellent. Peace out.

Anoa Bob 1:51 PM  

The only ones in the theme that I've played (long ago) are MONOPLY and CHECKERS so I didn't recognize the others as games and had to rely on Clare's writeup to get the theme. Go ahead and hate me if you like but I'd rather sit in a corner and stare at the wall than play board (bored?) games.

Not too long ago I had a puzzle that wasn't accepted for publication because they said there was one with a similar theme on file so I was taken aback a bit on reading that today's theme was also similar to a previous puzzle.

I got 64A INDIA right away as the "Country with the highest percentage of vegetarians". I know some regular commenters who would be unhappy there because one of the staple vegetables they use in their cuisine is OKRA.

Having 40 black squares doesn't leave much room for interesting fill and results in a plethora of 3 and 4 letter entries. Not much fun to be had with those.

I think one indicator of how well a puzzle is received by solvers is how soon and too what degree those green, yellow, black and white, low pixel number works of art begin to overshadow comments about the puzzle. They began showing up relatively early today. I'm thinking one of the lures to those and the spelling thingies is the opportunity to be called a "magnificent genius" on a regular basis by such a prestigious institution as The New York Times.

Joaquin 1:55 PM  

@JD (1:13 p.m.) said, “A Fox meme would have nothing to do with (word games).”

I beg to differ. IMO, Fox News is nothing but word games.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

First, so what? Is this blog devoted to word games or crossword puzzles-- specificcaly one crossword puzzle? Put another way why is the connection to words sufficient in and of itself for inclusion? Would notes from my philology classes be alright? What about those classes which included form sof rhetoric and word play? They cut the muster?
Second, I do have a style. The idea that I'm anonymous--a ridiculous charge made hundreds of times-- because I dont have some silly tag like Z or Frantic Sloth is disproven by your post of 1:13. Herzlichne dank. But even if I didn't have a style, the fact that all posts are time-stamped is more than enough to identify any poster. I did enjoy the puzzle. What's not to like? Yeah, it's header ( made JV as a freshman a million yeras ago. And before anyone pounces, varsity soon thereafter) not head shot. But come on, it's misdirection not a mistake. And frankly I find using football when you mean soccer far more aggravating. It's pretentious enough to make me sick. Not as much as plaint ( what is?) but surely nauseating.

Zed 2:11 PM  

I’ve mentioned this before but it seems timely to mention it again. Once upon a time @Lewis would create little puzzlers from the puzzle. He called them something like “Post Puzzle Puzzlers.” He did one just about every day. Somebody emailed Rex to complain about these puzzles and Rex asked @Lewis to stop. I’m still pissed at Rex for asking @Lewis to stop. I don’t do the spelling bee, but it’s easy enough for me to recognize others here like it and enjoy discussing it and for me to elide past their comments. I put the Wordle/Dordle posts in the same category. Tangentially related to the puzzle at best, but not harming anyone who’s not interested. Here’s my question, what is worse? Discussions about other word puzzles or being upset that others have interests that do not overlap your own? You know my answer.

Anonymous 2:15 PM  

What is the tangent?

Anonymous 2:18 PM  

Who's upset? I dont have to be upset not to want to wade through spelling bee posts or wordle posts.
I think ultimate is inane, right down to its name. But I begrudge no one his interest in it. Frankly I dont give a fig if some boomer plays it. I do howver care if he pollutes this blog with piffle about his pursuits unrelated to the puzzle or the blog itslef.

egsforbreakfast 2:29 PM  

@Anoa Bob. If you think of them as “bored” games, it’s probably because you played CHECKER to avoid the dreaded POC. With just the one piece, I’d be bored too.

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

the first derivative

But, sometimes, they manage insurrections. Tough work, but someone's got to do it.

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

You're "still pissed at Rex" for something he did years ago? Hmm, maybe get over it. Chalk it up to a lover's quarrel. ;)

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

Anon 2:15 Mathematically, it's the point of intersection of a line and an arc or curved surface when the line does not cross the curve.

In lay terms a tangent is when one goes off in a completely different or unusual direction, either conceptually or in actual practice.

Smith 3:00 PM  


*SB Alert* (she wrote tentatively).

Considering prior comments, Anons, please avert your eyes.

Ahem. QBABM. 1st time, and been doing for over a year. Yd remarked (@roo) that pg genius is enough, but for some reason kept going today.

*end SB Alert*

Smith 3:02 PM  

@Anon 1:58


Anonymous 3:02 PM  

anon 2:32,
es!!! Wordplay on a crossword blog introduced organically by the discussion.
Z, see how that's not only different but superior to somone droning on about his streak of pars on Wordle?

Anonymous 3:29 PM  

Cut the mustard does not pass muster. Sheesh. Normally I'd be chagrinned but that seems like a very minor error today. Still, error has no rights. My apologies.

Anonymous 3:36 PM  

SOROS - "philanathropist"?
/s/ Not so sane

GILL I. 3:38 PM  

@Carola... (sorry, you worldle and SB nerds, I'm stealing a bit of your thunder). I'm not much of a baker either but that QUICK BREAD answer yesterday made me look for easy and delicious recipes...
I just made this one to go along with the banana chocolate cake:
I'm like @CDilly in that I don't know how to embed...but if you go to Google, type in "French Apple Cake" by "Once Upon a Chef" with Jenn Segal. It's incredibly easy. My neighbor gave me a basket full of apples and I decided to try this recipe. I used a Granny Smith and a Fuji. It calls for dark rum but I didn't have any so instead I used cognac. It worked. I'm eating desserts for breakfast and lunch. Maybe I'll gain a few pounds.....

JD 3:38 PM  

Anon@1:58, I only read your first sentence and I agree with that part.

Anonymous 3:47 PM  

You seem on the ball. You'd agree withh rest of my post had you bothered to read it.

Karl Grouch 3:58 PM  

Post n° 100:
@Anoa Bob, Your POC statistics are a real trove and so is "bored games".
@Z 2:51, Interesting story about @Lewis, didn't know. I guess I'm not as old as you guys.

Anonymous 4:01 PM  

owing to the talk aboy American football not -we all understand-- true fooball, I offer this tangent especially for Z.

For the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, the four games averaged 38.2 million viewers (TV+Digital) which resulted in a duplicated total of over 152 million*.

The 38.2 million average ranks as the highest Divisional Round average on record (dates back to 1988).

Additionally, nearly half of all Americans using television in NFL windows during the Divisional Round were watching NFL games with a share of 49.3%. Half of all Americans with a TV!!

Digitally, the Divisional Round produced an average minute audience of 1.6 million across NFL, Yahoo Sports and broadcaster platforms – ranking as the highest digital AMA on record for the Divisional Round.

To date, the NFL playoffs are averaging 33.6 million viewers (TV+Digital) per game. There have been a total of 63.3 billion minutes of Super Wild Card Weekend and Divisional Round coverage consumed across TV+Digital.

Everyone knows the sectret of the game's success. Afterall he announces often enough--sometimes underscoring it w ith yawn. Yep, football is boring. those 33 million Americans aren't smart enough to get it. Not like some people.

CDilly52 4:09 PM  

Thanks for the excellent comment today Clare! And for noting the amazing football (not that American football this last weekend wasn’t also exciting). After seeing a documentary about Man City (and like many others, I usually think of Manchester United first), I am also hoping Man City can pull off a Premier League championship. Fingers crossed.

A much crunchier Tuesday than last week, and a good one st that! My only nit was all the three letter “usual suspects” which I forgive because of the grid design and the fact that the early week aim of the puzzle further constrained our constructors.

I also admit I plopped my metaphorical ball right in the “sat”sand trap because the ACT just never crossed my mind. I will blame it on the fact that my 13 year old neighbor is about to take his first SAT. With a stratospheric intellect and bounding curiosity, he has been chosen to participate in a study at the U that has the chosen 8th grade student group begin to take the SAT twice a year through high school. No idea the goal of the study (I do have some obvious assumptions) I but because I have been reviewing grammar with him, the test has been on my mind.

The theme did not register until CLUE CHECKERS probably because until then, I did not notice that both words in the long across answers are games. Starting with WAR OPERATION was a stroke of genius. It is a meaningful phrase on its own that is responsive to the clue and because of that, I failed to notice the “?”.

This puzzle bodes well fir the week. Congrats to our constructors. I’m eager to verify the ‘100 folds in the toque’ assertion and am surprised I have never come across it before.

In other local news, for those of us who enjoyed @Catola’s chocolate banana loaf (sooooo delicious, thank you @Carola!) I have a pumpkin Nutella quick bread that I developed for my soon-to-be-(if this dang pandemic ever allows us to finish the process) adopted granddaughter whose two favorite foods are pumpkin pie and anything Nutella. Alas, Ludite that I am, I tried and failed to figure out on my own how to embed a link to the recipe here. I will ask my brilliant 13 tear old neighbor.

This week looks excellent. Peace out.

pabloinnh 4:14 PM  


Thanks to your inspiring post, I returned to today's SB after having stopped at the pg stage, and was able to come up with my first QB in quite a while.

So congrats to us both, but especially to you. You can only do something the first time once, so enjoy.

Anonymous 5:00 PM  

"Second, I do have a style. The idea that I'm anonymous--a ridiculous charge made hundreds of times-- because I dont have some silly tag like Z or Frantic Sloth is disproven by your post of 1:13. Herzlichne dank. But even if I didn't have a style, the fact that all posts are time-stamped is more than enough to identify any poster." --Anon 1:58

Wrong. You could also be Anon 12:43/12:59/2:15/2:18/2:39/3:36. Any of them, all of them, none of them. You're as unknown to us as one drop of milk in a spilt bottle curdling on the floor.

Smith 5:13 PM  


Thank you!

jaymar 6:09 PM  

Northwest was a problem so started in southeast and it all slid in fairly nicely. I never heard of Operation game so that was a surprise

Bad Mouse 6:57 PM  


j'accuse. it does take some gonads to carp about another mouse's preference for cloaking. for myself, I studiously vary my vocab, syntax, and semantics from time to time. a careful scrutineer could, if s/he so chooses, link one mouse comment to another, even across days. but what's the point? unless you've commented with your real name and e-mail, your a mouse. there's nothing inherently wrong with be a mouse. esp. one that roared.

Anonymous 6:59 PM  

Anon 5:00,
I could be none of them? Hmm, I’d love to hear the ontology of that statement.
Setting that aside, the larger point is so what? What does the identity of the poster matte4? Isn’t the content of the post the thing that should be under discussion?
Your position is dependent, by definition, of ad hominem. And that’s a non starter when it comes to argument.
I’m confident you won’t understand this. I hope others will.

Anonymous 7:04 PM  

CDilly, Carola, Gill et al,
I invite you to read CS Lewis’s Inner rings. If after having read it you can still post with glee about chocolate banana loaf, I’ll not post again.

Anonymous 8:18 PM  

I thought today's was easy - not fast, but easy; i.e, no stumbles. I guess for a Tuesday that would be a medium, then.

Wordle 220 3/6*


GILL I. 8:38 PM  

@Anony 7:04...
Oh, my...aren't certain rings unavoidable? Are you maybe choosing virtue or vice?
Come join our inner just may find satisfaction and, as far as I'm concerned, it may not lead to fame or fortune but your tummy will thank you.
Feel free to post away......

Anonymous 8:46 PM  

You are a doll. Clearly.
Did you read the Lewis piece?

GILL I. 10:08 PM  

@Anony 8:46....About a thousand years ago. BUT and a big one...I had to refresh. Thanks for the reminder. My French apple cake is the bomb....

Anonymous 10:37 PM  

Apropos of a recent conflict:
"This system is not a slam dunk by any means," the office in Baltimore said Tuesday morning. "Nonetheless, the overall pattern for the event seems to be honing in on a snowy solution for much of the area."


Or, to put it another way, those of us in Northern Appalachia could be up to our butts in snow. And not the kind one sniffs.

Zed 12:31 AM  

First, we had our local ultimate club’s town hall tonight at a local tap room. The tap room had a paper “Brewdle” to play. The bartender marked guesses in green and yellow highlighter.
Second, I just printed out this week’s AVCX puzzle, a BEQ. You will never ever ever guess the theme.
Third - So close to an eagle tonight
Wordle 221 3/6*

Fourth - I’ve changed my first word strategy to having at least one 4 point or more letter in the guess. It was a good strategy tonight.

albatross shell 7:19 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben 1:16 PM  

KLEPTOS I believe made their debut in Super Mario 64, a game I played several times in my misspent youth, but I was unable to pull that name out without several crosses

thefogman 9:42 AM  

This one could have been a contender but it fell short. WAR is not a board game and it isn’t iconic like the other themers. Alas, that weak link broke what was a very solid chain. Also, a revealer would have been nice.
Something like: The ——— People Play, 1968 Joe South hit or a clue to 20, 29, 44 and 53 across.

spacecraft 11:20 AM  

If the Europeans call SOCCER "football," then what does the word SOCCER mean to them? An outside-the-theme lagniappe.

I'm a gamester, though not from Triskelion, so this was an enjoyable little puzzle for me. Not nearly challenging, but cool enough. Rita ORA reprises as DOD. Birdie.

Diana, LIW 1:48 PM  

I'm always GAME for a puzzle, so this filled the bill - no RISK.

Every time, EVERY time I see MONOPOLY I think of my childhood friend who taught me the meaning of cheating at a game. I think that's part of why I don't like to compete, tho I'll play a puzzle any day.

Happy Mardi Gras to all SyndieCats!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Burma Shave 1:51 PM  


First CLUE the SWISS PRINCE IS a jerk:
It's CLEAR how LOW and SORRY he spoke.
with that OPERATION under his CLOAK.


Red Valerian 5:06 PM  

What is with all the Wordle spoilers? I'm going to have to stop visiting...

leftcoaster 6:28 PM  

This doubled up theme came together quite well --- though I’m not familiar with all of the games. My error was an F instead of a P in the KLEPTO / WAROPERATION cross.

Nice work by the Brunsbergs/

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