Screenplay abbr. indicating outside / TUE 1-4-22 / Kind of diagram that the Mastercard logo resembles / School where students learn to spell / Risqué costume for a holiday party / NBA team with a gorilla mascot strangely enough / Start of an optimistic quote by Margaret Farrar

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Constructor: David Bukszpan

Relative difficulty: Challenging (i.e. way slower than the typical Tuesday, mostly due to the nature of the theme)

THEME: a quotation from MARGARET FARRAR (57A: First puzzle editor of The New York Times) — 

(19A: Start of an optimistic quote by 57-Across
(quote extends through 29-, 35-, and 54-Across)

Word of the Day: MARGARET FARRAR (57A) —
Margaret Petherbridge Farrar (March 23, 1897 – June 11, 1984) was an American journalist and the first crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times (1942–1968). Creator of many of the rules of modern crossword design, she wrote* a long-running series of crossword puzzle books including the first-ever book of any kind published by Simon & Schuster. (wikipedia) *(I think "wrote" might be misleading here, in that, as I understand it, she was the compiler / editor of the S&S crossword book, not the actual "writer" of all the puzzles in it; she's editing, not "writing"; in crosswords, the terminology is important. I don't have any experience editing wikipedia entries, but someone should edit this one)
• • •

Well, maybe *you* can't think of your troubles while solving a crossword, but I write about the damn thing every day, so if the crossword is bad, then the crossword is my trouble? The very concept of this puzzle was nails on a chalkboard to me. 2x nails on chalkboard, actually, since first, it's a quote puzzle, and those are almost never fun—their very nature makes them hard to solve (clues don't give you any pertinent content info and it's very hard to imagine what a random sentence is going to be) and the quotation is almost never strong enough (i.e. funny or surprising or clever enough) to justify the whole enterprise. Usually you end up with some groaner pun or some Hallmark-level sentiment. Today's quotation leans more toward the latter—a completely banal and (worse) self-congratulatory statement that at best is going to elicit a smug "ah, yes, so true" or a wry half-chuckle. The only upside I can see to this puzzle at all is that it will teach those who didn't know already who the first editor of the New York Times Crossword Puzzle was. She was also the last woman to edit the puzzle. True story.

The grid is 14x16 instead of the usual 15x15 in order to accommodate MARGARET FARRAR's 14-letter span. They you've got mirror symmetry instead of the usual rotational symmetry, so the quotation parts are all an even number of letters long so they can all sit dead center in their respective rows. So the puzzle shape is interesting, that's another check in the Plus column. But the pluses largely end there. SEXY ELF is creepy and leering, the way most "sexy" costumes are (sure, theoretically the SEXY ELF could be a man, but come on). The bizarrely bigoted billionaire child's author gets a cutesy shoutout at 36D: School where students learn to spell? (HOGWARTS), so that's gross. The "OH" plague continues today with "OH, NEAT." It's like somebody, when making their Giant Word List, thought "how about we put 'OH' in front of literally everything a human being might say, thus instantly making our Giant Word List even gianter, which obviously means better!? Oh, and, hey, while we're at it, um, let's do the same thing with 'UM'..." I don't think constructors or editors yet understand how hard some of these "OH" expressions are to pick up, and what a letdown they can be when they are picked up. Anyway, SUNS (?) over "OH, NEAT" added time to an already slow solve. So did CROC, since I don't think of CROCs as either "foam" or "clog," though I can see the case for both. A STENCIL is a tool with a very specific use, not a "shortcut," what the hell? (10D: Artist's shortcut). STENCILs are no more "shortcuts" than any tools are "shortcuts." "Are you tired of pounding nails with your forehead!? So time-consuming, so painful! Well, now—there's a shortcut!" [audience gasps as host holds a hammer skyward]

The fill is mostly OK, though there's a lot of very short stuff, which occasionally gets gruesome (SBA, oof, that's down there on the governmental initialism list, which is saying something, as there aren't exactly that many good governmental initialisms). TALI STET ORA TOA EDY VSO ECARD ... these small repeaters start to pile up and clog the grid a little, but only a little. The problem today isn't the fill; it's the theme. I like remembering MARGARET FARRAR. Let's all imagine a puzzle future where a woman is at the helm again. Shall we? Yes, I think we shall. I shall, at any rate. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Ann Howell 6:32 AM  

Despite somehow having Margaret Farrar (did not know that she was the first and last NYT crossword editor, yikes!) in the nether-regions of my brain, and eventually parsing the quote, this was a very sloggy Tuesday. Got completely stuck in the SW on, of all things, MAC AND...

Lewis 6:36 AM  

Well, ain’t that the truth, David and Margaret! One of the great gifts of our magnificent pastime is that these puzzles bring you to a place I call Crosslandia, and you can’t be there without BEING there. You leave your baggage at the door, step in, and, like Dorothy at Oz, you are there and nowhere else. You become so totally involved in Crosslandia that all else in the world fades, including, yes, troubles.

You’re so involved there because you love what it offers – riddles to crack, glimpses of new knowledge, and peeks at the wit and personality of the puzzlemaker. And there, every day if you are lucky, you spend a bit of time, then re-enter the world edified, reset, and knowing that there is this haven to return to.

What a gift, and thank you, David, on your debut, no less, for underscoring the value of this brush with beauty that we encounter in crosswords.

chefwen 6:38 AM  

For a moment I thought I might have to cheat on a Tuesday, but I managed to get through it without. Pretty tough for this early in the week. Just kept chipping away. I don’t really care for quote puzzles, so not high on my list of favorites. Onward…

Joey 6:41 AM  

Rex, you've gotta get over the Harry Potter clues. Rowling's a jerk, but the property isn't going anywhere.

OffTheGrid 6:44 AM  

No, thank you. I nearly never pass but I'll leave this one to y'all. First, 1A is so lame, a huge turn off. When I saw that it was a quote puzzle I immediately clicked the red X in the upper right hand corner. I'll do the LATX today.

Trey 6:51 AM  

So, if I am struggling with 4-down, then I can no longer think of it? That seems antithetical to solving the puzzle....

I too found this more challenging than I would have expected for a Tuesday. Clean grid for the most part, but there was a relatively high percentage of 3-letter words that were abbreviations, and a lot of 3-leeter fill as well. ESC, TVS, REO, PBJ, SBA, EXT, CGI, RRS, VSO. Overall, I found it enjoyable - the best answers were HOGWARTS (as clued) and NAMEDROP

Anonymous 7:06 AM  

If it turns out that "David Bukszpan" is a pseudonym for Shortz and/or the NYTXW staff, please remember YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!

Son Volt 7:24 AM  

I count 31 3’s in this goofy grid - all for a quote puzzle? As quaint as this tried to be - I’ll take a hard pass. Unlike Rex - I found it TV Guide easy so it was over quick.

Do I see a little self-aggrandizing at the 57a x 45d cross?

Not my idea of a good time.

SouthsideJohnny 7:25 AM  

Not a fan of this one at all. It may be a type of “wheelhouse effect” (interest-wise) in that there is just too, too much stuff that I really don’t care about and it turned into a grueling slog. SEXY ELF is just an icky start to the NE, then you bump into a WTF clue for CROC (slogging through nonsense already). Similarly, the clue for SMITE (Strike from the Bible?) is trying way too hard to be cute.

The theme is not particularly noteworthy or otherwise interesting, add in a few meaningless “LOVE YA” and “OH NEAT” and their rudimentary clues and the whole thing starts to become a bit of a bore.

I think the biggest transgressions are in the south though - if your revealer is a proper name (unknown to many), why cross it with made up stuff like ORA and TOA. While non of these are capital offenses, in the end it does add up to a dull, uninteresting solve. That may just be a ramification of how difficult it is to pull off a tribute puzzle with a rather unknown tributee and a pretty insipid quote - great if it’s all in your “wheelhouse of interest” but all I can say is I admire the effort.

Unknown 7:29 AM  

A semordnilap feast today, with LEG, CAM, DNA, OER, PAR, ABS, POT, RIME, along with an Indiana shoutout, PACER, and a tribute to my once upon a time favorite beer, STROHS! Toss in the simple palindromes POP and, our old friend OXO, and you have a dozen examples of reversible!

The long quote lines made this a choppy grid for Hidden Diagonal Words (HDW), but the HDW of the day is WASP, which has nice options for misdirection cluing.

Puzzle was below my average Tuesday time, but we'll above my best--call it easy/medium, I suppose.

kitshef 7:37 AM  

Yep, almost never going to like a quote theme.

Other spotted wild cats of six letters:
Cougar (the young have spots)

Plus a couple of questionable cases like Pampas and Jungle, where you really need 'cat' at the end.

LHS 888 7:39 AM  

I, for one, really enjoyed solving this puzzle. Thanks!

Chavenet 7:40 AM  

I thought it amusing the current editor of the puzzle is also here, in slightly moderated form (a VAR., I guess) at 45-down.

Unknown 7:49 AM  

I loved this puzzle for a Tuesday. Delightful to have such an upbeat start to the day. Thank you, David!

TJS 7:54 AM  

My New Years Resolution for this blog was to cut down on negative comments - be more of an @lewis guy. It's not going well and Rex isn't helping.

"pounding nails with your forehead" is just about what I picture Rex doing with his comments today. Yay for women doing anything, unless they express an uncool opinion. Boo for anything that slows down solving by a millisecond, like having to think.

A better than average Tuesday, which is a low bar, but still.

Um, bye.

TJS 7:57 AM  

What the hell happened to all our 3 AM solvers and commenters ?

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

For the last time, SBA doesn't make loans, lending institutions make loans. The SBA guarantees the loans for the lending institution, allowing the bank to make pure profit with no risk.

Todd 8:19 AM  

Rex finds anyone who's politics he disagrees with being in a puzzle horrid, almost a personal affront to him. If the rest of us felt like him eventually you will have to check a box to get the version of the puzzle which fits your politics. Rex gets his woke puzzle, others can have conservative, libertarian, marxist, etc, etc. It is sad he doesn't see how bad that would be. I was excited to learn the name of the first editor, but given their have been only 3 editors since her in 53 years it doesn't seem particularly shocking that none was a woman. But it obviously doesn't take that much to shock Rex.

Anonymous 8:21 AM  

We could ask J. K. Rowling if she'd be interested to edit the NYT crossword. Just a thought. I van think of a few positives.
Oh, the puzzle today? Tough for a Tuesday. But fun.

DeeJay 8:21 AM  

What a grouch. The quote was unknown to me but easily inferable. The 14x16 grid showed solvers something they'd never seen before. And highlighting a past female editor is a negative??? And picking nits with a Wikipedia entry?

Amie Devero 8:22 AM  

I got 4D immediately-- but kicking and screaming all the way. Seriously, in what universe is rubber "foam"? Crocs are made of rubber.

And seriously, if we have to sanitize the entire language of any word or name that offends Rex' woke sensibilities, there will be a tedious amount of word repetition in every crossword. SMH.

Amie Devero 8:23 AM  

Nice observation? Had to go check... :-)

mmorgan 8:24 AM  

Rex’s scowling, sneering, not-picky rant/critique was an enjoyable hoot, but it did nothing to dampen my enjoyment of solving this puzzle.

Geoff H 8:31 AM  

Well I wasn’t thinking of all my troubles *before*…

JJK 8:31 AM  

Rex is being a curmudgeon today. I don’t love quote puzzles either but it was an ok ode to someone who deserves recognition. And I agree that Rex should get over his fixation about the whole Harry Potter thing just because he doesn’t like the author’s politics. How many authors, artists, film directors (think Woody Allen) do we know whose personal views or actions we deplore but whose work we can still enjoy?

Z 8:39 AM  

Can we please get an anagram puzzle. Please.

I enjoyed how Rex ended up with the Indigo Girls video, from complaint about STENCIL as a shortcut to Hammer and a Nail. Chefs kiss to the Rings of Saturn* stream of consciousness blogging.

There are occasions where knowing too much about the artist ruins the art. Rowling doesn’t cross that line for me. I keep hoping that people like Emma Watson will be listened to and Rowling will overcome her ignorance. I haven’t checked in with the offspring on her, but I suspect they may have stronger opinions closer to Rex.

@TJS7:57 - Since Rex posted at 6:13 a.m. making a comment at 3:00 a.m. would have been quite a trick.

*Rings of Saturn - played sometime around 3:00 am in a dorm room where players try to recreate how they ended up talking about the creature from the Black Lagoon when the conversation had begun on the merits of drum machines.

Frantic Sloth 8:41 AM  

I read 1D as "lead in to marina", and the passing thought I had, of course, was RYE. This blog has crept into my roomy head and taken up insidious residence. Ha! Jokes on it - just wait until it gets a load of what that neighborhood is like.

The puzz:

Ooooh! My favorite! I can spend an hour REGALE-ing you all about my deep affection for quote puzzles, but IAMB above that.


Just kidding. If only there were a letteral clue in here...we could have had a trifecta of quote, lookie-loo, and letteral. A QLL - or Q2L, like Y2K. Both heavy with dreadful anticipation.

It's one saving grace was that it was about crossword puzzles, what with the quote, MARGARETFARRAR, GRID, BOX(KITE), and...HOGWARTS? Sure. Why not?

Plus, plenty of -ese in threes for the Tuesdees.



Anonymous 8:42 AM  

@Amie Devero Crocs are made of closed-cell resin, i.e. a form of foam. They are way lighter than rubber.

Tom T 8:43 AM  

A palindrome/semordnilap feast with at least a dozen: POP, OXO, LEG, CAM. DNA, PAR, O'ER, ABS, POT, RIME, PACER (for the Indy crowd), and, best of all, my once upon a time favorite brewski--STROHS (see 45D, SHORTS).

The long quote/author crosses left a chopped up grid as far as Hidden Diagonal Word (HDW) searches; but there was a worthy HDW of the day: WASP, which offers very good options for misdirectional cluing.

Somewhere between my best Tuesday time and my Tuesday average, so we'll call it easy/medium, I suppose. Interesting introduction to Ms. FARRAR.

pabloinnh 8:49 AM  

Well hello @Ann Howell. I was cantering through this one when I got to MA_ next to AN_ and drew a complete blank. And of course I knew how lasers read CDS, but did I think of that? No. No I did not. Major Doh! there.

Otherwise fine, and quote puzzles are OK with me, since I like acrostics and this sort of falls into that category. Guessing words from the quote helps, at least occasionally, with filling in the crosses. Nothing wrong with that.

Oddly enough, STENCIL always makes me think of a character in Gravity's Rainbow, and that's about the extent of anything I remember from that one.

I did know MARGARETFARRAR. Advantages of age.

Nice De But, DB. Thanks for the fun.

Nancy 8:52 AM  

Normally I'm not all that fond of quotation puzzles -- but I loved this. So APT and so crunchy for a Tuesday. And I also love it that there were several curiosity-provoking clues -- clues that had me going: "What on earth could that be?" What was the risque costume? Why is it strange for a certain team to have a gorilla mascot? What would make Bill Gates "a broader guy"? What do lasers read "from the inside out" and why?

No wonder these clues provoked my curiosity since the answers are a bit off the wall. There's such a thing as a SEXY ELF costume? What on earth does that look like??? Is it any odder for the SUNS to have a gorilla mascot than for the Knicks, the Bulls or the Cavaliers to have one? I have no idea why a laser would read CDS from the inside out. In fact I don't know why it would want to read CDS at all. In the final analysis, only the Jobs/Gates ACID answer really made any sense.

But curiosity was provoked and isn't that all that really matters? A fun puzzle and an unusually enjoyable Tuesday.

amyyanni 8:53 AM  

Amusing challenge for a Tuesday. Don't mind quote puzzles. If you consider the Betty White challenge (donating to animal welfare group), the head of the ASPCA makes > $800,000. That's more than the Red Cross and other much larger non profits. Consider local shelters.

bocamp 8:55 AM  

Thx David; excellent Wednes. puz, which happened to run on a Tues. :)


This one would have been tough for me even on a Wednes.

Even tho I got the theme early on, I still had trouble in a number of spots, e.g., SBA, ELF, VENN, VSO, SULLY, LOVEYA, MAC, AND, and CDS.

The fill was fresh, clueing was fine, and I really enjoyed the challenge. I just wasn't on the right wavelength.

Liked it very much! :)


Another invigorating, and very challenging Croce. Had a one cell careless blunder at the cross of 'Come along' / Way for a feature to come'. Very pleased to have finished this one, in spite of the dnf. See you next Mon. :)

yd pg -1 (tb'd)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

There's only one person in the world that agrees with me on all matters all the time, and that's me. Except for the times when I argue with myself...

Rex will have to start solving his own puzzles and only his puzzles soon, at the rate he's going.

Badria 9:01 AM  

Rowling will always and forever deserve to be called out as bizarrely bigoted, every time she or her property get a mention.

TJS 9:02 AM  

@Z, so all those post midnight comments are available only when Rex posts earlier? I guess I never noticed that. I just thought they posted without reading Rex.

As I said, I am trying to be more positive here, so I am not going to comment about someone including a phrase so incomprehensible that it comes with its' own footnote.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

Rex, Rex, Rex. On your "woman" soapbox. I am So Sorry you are Male. Maybe have your wife (oops! Can I say that? Is Equal Partner in a Marriage the right way to say that now?) do this blog. Why do I have to listen to a Male here all the time?

Frantic Sloth 9:12 AM  

Rex, very funny schtick-nit STENCIL (not to be confused with styptic pencil. Oh, um, hell - go ahead and confuse them)

@Z 839am If I understand your "Rings of Saturn" scenario, pretty much every conversation I've ever had could put that trip to shame. I realize that's difficult to imagine, considering my laser focus and uber-disciplined mind, but I like ice cream.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

Well, I for one definitely don’t think about my problems while doing the crossword, but I do think about yours, Rex. Never hit a bad clue or answer without thinking, “Rex is gonna hate this…”

Joe Welling 9:22 AM  

Who says you can't put a tail on a BOX KITE?

GILL I. 9:28 AM  

ORA and TOA walked into the bar last night. The bartender, OXO, was serving up a very expensive VSO brandy. The local SEXY ELF, APTDES, was sitting in her usual corner and munching on a PBJ she had snuck in. Not to be outdone, EGO brought a MAC AND cheese and began sipping on his favorite DRY SODA (aka a martini)....
Lo and walks the local VIP, MARGARET FERRAR. The gentlemen at the bar all got up and offered her a seat. She politely said "No Thanks," then went on to explain that she didn't want to THINK of her TROUBLES WHILE SOLVING her favorite CROSSWORD. LOVE YA they all yelled in unison. She smiled and took her TALI with her to a comfy booth. SUAVE, CLOONEY happened to stop by to NAME DROP all the RAP people he knows. He was a bit of a PHONY but all was forgiven since he was wearing some bodacious green CROCs.
I usually don't like quote puzzles, but this one made me smile...A bit TOP heavy on the threes but to me, it didn't matter today.
@Lewis...great post, today.
LOVE YA.....

GregPC 9:30 AM  

Aside from initially coming up with "trousers" instead of "troubles," the quote came together pretty quickly for me. Not sure why?

Nancy 9:32 AM  

@Lewis -- I love the place you call "Crosslandia". Perhaps it will earn an important niche in the world of imaginary places -- right alongside of Oz, Neverland, Camelot, Xanadu and Shangri-la.

And maybe you and I can come up with a puzzle theme based in some way on "Crosslandia". I have no idea what that theme might be, mind you, but I'll put my unconscious to work on it and maybe something will "cross" my mind in the not-too-distant future.

A Sense of Justice 9:34 AM  

I much prefer SEXY NUN OR SEXY NURSE, so I needed crosses for ELF, creepy Elf is that stupid X-mas movie and all thinks WillFarrell.

A lot of you clearly don't understand the role of costumes for "adults" (lol) Halloween it what happens.

So if a puzzle is slower to solve and you're into speed, it's a bad puzzle?


Unknown 9:35 AM  

@ TJS 7:54 My thoughts exactly.

I'm neither a fan nor foe of "quote"-based puzzles, but I thought today's theme (message) was quite delightful, and was curious as to how rex would react, since his blog is almost always so negative. I took today's puz to be a Rorschach test of rex's personality, and he did not disappoint.

I found the NE corner to be curiously tough. I'd also never heard the term "sammie" -- is it common?

And I'm typically not a fan of Harry Potter-based clues, but today's was the best I've seen. So despite this being as tough a Tuesday puzzle as I've seen in a while, I liked it overall.

JD 9:45 AM  

What a delightful idea, a tribute to a woman who knew how important it was to give people a little pleasant diversion. The newspaper's very charge is to lay the world's horrors before you every day of the year, and Margaret Farrar thought let's give 'em a little break on this page.

If it took a few 3-letter words to get the thought out there, so what?

Poor Ms. Farrar couldn't envision someone who would go through the thing with a microscope and needle nose pliers to pull all the troubles out of a grid so we don't forget them, and yet still be someone who provides a space that's a pleasant diversion. Michael Sharp, doing the crossword Gof's work.

Crocs was really tricky. Turns out they're made of a foam resin called Croslite. Sexy Elf next to Clooney, in the eventual remake he replaces Will Ferrell. Outside is Ext? Who knew. Good chance we'll see it again soon.

A fun little puzz. Regale, Love Ya, Oh Neat, A Crossword. All I thought about when I was doing it was what I was doing.

@Frantic, There's a chance I'll internalize this phrase and eventually think I wrote it, "and taken up insidious residence." It's just too good. Feel free to remind me.

@Gill, Ditto on "LOVE YA they all yelled in unison."

You two are my pleasant diversion.

jberg 9:46 AM  

My memory's a little foggy, but I think it was the V in SUAVE that gave me the quote -- then I just had to count squares to see if it would be CROSSWORD or puzzle at the end. Someone was talking about MARGARET FARRAR just the other day (something about a clue so hoary it went back before Maleska), though I didn't know she was the first editor.

@Anonuymous 8:10 -- the clue just says "loan agency," not loaning or loan-making, so it works.

@Nancy, it's not a good idea to take apart a CD player, but if you did you'd see a little laser in there, ready to read the data from a CD. But don't do it, really.

So how about 21D, IAMB? It's true of poetry written in Latin, but in English it's a stressed and an unstressed syllable, not a long and short one.

Z 9:47 AM  

@amyyanni 8:53 - The ASPCA is a charity with a budget of nearly a half billion dollars. If it were private industry its CEO would be making far more than $800K. That salary sounds like a lot of money, but it’s really not in the context of large charities. For example, the Red Cross CEO makes $700,000 and the St. Judes Children’s Hospital CEO makes $900,000. One of the things the ASPCA funds is taking pets like Stanley from Alabama where there was a glut of unwanted animals, and moved him to a shelter in Detroit, where a certain Mrs. Z saw him. Stanley is now Zeke and happy as can be because he found a tennis ball on our morning walk. Local shelters don’t always have the capacity to do that sort of thing. While I agree that giving to the local shelter is a good idea (usually- they occasionally fall prey to shady characters), giving to the ASPCA is also a good idea. It never hurts to check out a charity before you give, but the CEO salary by itself is not a good indicator.

Hey Science types - isn’t “Foam” a very specific thing in the physical sciences? I have this niggle that lay-people think of it as something like the head on a pint of beer or what soap forms but that it can be quite a bit more solid and still be a “foam.” A CROC is quite a bit lighter than a rubber shoe would be, but I don’t think it is just a matter of weight.

Masked and Anonymous 9:59 AM  

A crossword about crossword puzs. I can dig it.
I find it is also kinda hard to think about yer troubles, when U are constructin a runtpuz. Or to hear the last thing yer PuzEatinSpouse just said to U. Or to remember to mute the TV drug ads, and unmute the news/weather/sports coverage sandwiched between all the ads.

Can also dig the bonanza of 30 weejects. And the E/W puzgrid symmetry. And the slightly adjusted puzgrid dimensions. And the LOVEYA splatzed into the middle.

staff weeject picks: MAC & AND (with cheese).


Learned some new stuff: Bigotry at HOGWARTS. SEXYELF costumes. That NYTPuz still does quote puzthemes. That there's a whole new world of cute desperation openin up, with them OH-words like OHNEAT. Sorta like a new covid variation. [p.s. Altho ... OHNO already has Patrick Berry Usage Immunity.]

Thanx for the fun and PBJ and toast to Ms. Farrar darlin, Mr. Buckzpan dude. And congratz on yer debut.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


GILL I. 10:01 AM  

@Nancy...I think it would be wonderful if you and @Lewis co-authored a puzzle with the theme being "Crosslandia."
There are a ton of "cross" words you could incorporate. Some that come to mind:
Crisscross (10)
Crosswalk (9)
Crossover (9)
Uncrossed (9)
Just to name a few. I'm not really good at these but I know you and @Lewsi could do a bang-up job.

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

JK Rowling gets a bad rap. Her opinion is her opinion. She is entitled to it - get over it. She created an amazing story that got children to read again. Both my children read the series, twice each. My wife and I read the series as well and were able to discuss intelligently with the kids. She is a Titan in our household

Z 10:13 AM  

@TJS - 🤣😂🤣 - It’s self-explanatory to me, but yeah, pretty niche. I almost took it out but I love it as very descriptive of that moment we’ve all had, that “how did we end up at the Indigo Girls?” moment.

@Frantic Sloth - 😂🤣😂

The PuzzAzz app comes with at least three sets of quote puzzles (with one to three puzzles free and then the option to buy the rest). I always wonder why, then I see a person or three enjoyed the quote puzzle. De gustibus and all that.

@jberg - What you said about the SBA clue. As for IAMB, Merriam-Webster says “or.” I didn’t even see the clue or it would have thrown me because unstressed/stressed seems like the preferred definition to me, too.

Nancy 10:17 AM  

@GregPC (9:30)


Leading to...what, exactly? Behave, oh my imagination! Funniest comment of the day.

jae 10:18 AM  

Top half easy, bottom half very tough, so medium-tough. I’m not usually fond of quote puzzles but this one @Nancy was APT. Liked it more than @Rex did.

mathgent 10:24 AM  

There are a few quote crosswords that I've liked. Those with a clever or funny saying. Today's wasn't one of those, but I still enjoyed it. Not crunchy and way too many threes, but good sparkle.

My hope for the new year is that the smart and creative people who come here would ignore what Rex writes and riff on the puzzle. Its cluing, its fill, some curious facts about the entries.

bocamp 10:28 AM  

@Rex: Speaking of OH and UM, I hear 'SO' more often these days as a starter. 🤔
td pg -13 (lucky to reach pg before timing out, whew and phew!)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

"The bizarrely bigoted billionaire child's author gets a cutesy shoutout at 36D: School where students learn to spell? (HOGWARTS), so that's gross."

So nobody is allowed to mention Harry Potter, likely the most beloved series of books in human history, anymore? Give me a break. The word is fine, the clue was great, get over it everyone. And if you'd bother to read her actual comments instead of outraged tweets and breathless think pieces you'd see that she's far from the raging transphobe she's made out to be.

Whatsername 10:39 AM  

What a fitting way to honor MARGARET FARRAR. I love the tribute, the sentiment and the quotation … but OH how I loathe quote puzzles. They really set my JAW on edge. If I could, I’d SMITE every one with ACID WHILE enjoying a treat from EDY. Take away the ADO about that though, and I guess it was pretty NEAT debut even though I’m not going to REGALE my friends about how much I liked it.

One of the joys of SOLVING a CROSSWORD is usually learning something new, and I learned (to my surprise) that it I CANT THINK OF many things creepier than a SEXY ELF or booty SHORTS. Eeewww!

Not to NAME DROP but I know people. You know who you are. LOVE YA!

pmdm 10:41 AM  

I enjoy solving acrostic puzzle, so I liked this puzzle. Especially since I was familiar with Margaret's name. In my opinion, this was a good puzzle.

Speaking of opinions. Every now and then a person (presumably) posts a comment here claiming that it is Sharp's blog and therefore he is entitled to say whatever he wants. By that logic, it was OK for Hitler to say whatever he did. No, somethings are plain wrong to say and incite. It was wrong to promote killing others by saying that is what you promote. Mike Sharp has the right to react to a puzzle as he does (his words hurt no one) but his right to communicate them does not derive from his owning the blog. I have said it before: owning a blog does not give you the right to bully a person into commiting suicide. If this concept were accepted, I suspect we would live in a happier world.

Joseph Michael 10:47 AM  

Not usually a fan of quote puzzles, but I found the meta theme quaintly charming. Didn’t know that it was a woman who first introduced the NYT readership to Crosslandia (great name, @Lewis). Also liked the slightly-disguised Hitchcockian cameo of Will SHORTS crossing the foremother’s name.

The solve was surprisingly difficult for a Tuesday right down to my final entries in the SW corner where lasers, movie fixes, and words that precede cheese had me *almost* turn to Dr. Google for help.

The only popular sammie that came to mind was Davis Jr. and I know nothing about cranberry farms, so that section was also a bit challenging. Knew HOGWARTS only from crosswords, having never otherwise stepped foot into the world of Harry Potter. (Isn’t he a SEXY ELF or something?)

I do think that if YOU already have YOU and YOUR in YOUR grid, YOU shoulda found something better than YA to add to the mix.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

saw the 'start of optimistic quote...' and wanted to toss this carp aside. but we didn't get a paper yesterday, so going 2 days without a fix was too much. decided to just ignore the quote/author and consider myself done if I got the rest. turns out, as it should on a Tuesday for pity's sake, that the crosses filled in enough to make that other carp readable. OFL is right about this one. didn't know he hated quote puzzles as much as I do. separated at birth?

The Swedish Chef 10:56 AM  

I hear 'SO' more often these days as a starter.

Alton Brown of 'Good Eats' fame, has been doing some 'Reloads' of original episodes, which offer up new commentary, and occasionally revised recipes. there are also, no surprise, lots of snarky asides. one of which went something like, "in the first year of the shows, I said 'now' so often that the crew would make bets on how many in the episode."

Joaquin 10:57 AM  

I agree with @mathgent (10:24) that the crossword world would be a better place if "the smart and creative people who come here would ignore what Rex writes and riff on the puzzle."

However, it is Rex who provides us this opportunity to riff on the puzzle and it would be wrong (maybe even rude) to ignore his opinions. He is, after all, our host.

That said, I do usually enjoy the commentariat - including @mathgent - more than I enjoy Rex. But let's not ignore the man who, on a daily basis, provides us this forum.

albatross shell 11:02 AM  

Wonderful puzzle. I know most of you have an automatic revulsion with quote puzzles. I agree with you about the inherent difficulties and deficiencies involved in the format. This one worked perfectly for me because I did not know the editor, it was a difficult tuesday and I couldn't solve it until I got enough crosses to fill in the words of the quote and that let me get the crossing downs which got me enough info to fill in the name of the editor and the remaining downs.

A fun solve echoed by the clues for APT and HOGWARTS. The latter a nice pun and interesting as a Potter clue that does not need to tell you it's a Potter clue. The flood of 3's plus some crosswordese actually added to the enjoyment of solving because it was a tip of the hat to olden times.

I wasn't going to comment today because I'm down in Maryland with my son's family. We went to the Eagles game Sunday in 60+ degree weather and got snowed in Monday. Grandkids have 2 snow days in a row tacked on to holiday vacation. Hot Damn. SO NEAT!

Canon Chasuble 11:12 AM  

Will someone, anyone please explain why the connection between the Suns and a gorilla Should be thought of as being unusual? Perhaps they Are disconnected ideas, but why should that even matter? That said, the puzzle today was just uninteresting and underwhelming. But it does show howTimes puzzle has sunk since the year Dot.

Masked and Anonymous 11:15 AM  

First of all, apologies to Mr. Bukszpan. Left the "s" out of his name, put an extra "c" in, in the first msg.

The OH-Word phenomenon actually has evidently been under way for some time now.
Some great examples from the NYTPuzs of the past:

M&A OH-History Desk

Tim Carey 11:22 AM  

Yeah, but it is a CROSSWORD and for some reason CROSSWORD clues are allowed to be WRONG. Somebody's Dictum they say...

Tim Carey 11:24 AM  

Question: How many authors, artists, film directors (think Woody Allen) do we know whose personal views or actions we deplore but whose work we can still enjoy?

Answer: None.

paige worthy 11:24 AM  

I thought this was a cute puzzle! Enjoyed the solve.

Newboy 11:27 AM  

Typical Tuesday: DRY w/ aPOP aSODA for that SEXY ELF! LOVE YA a homage to MF whose quote resonates.

Anonymous 11:28 AM  


you're judged by the company you keep

birds of a feather, flock together

Trump has managed to convince those without higher-level thinking that his lies are truths

A 11:30 AM  

MARGARET FARRAR has my number. I started this one last night trying to not THINK ABOUT my TROUBLES, and it worked - went to bed after nodding off a few times. Woke up after a few hours and staved off said troubles a bit longer.

After getting the phrase I thought, “Sounds like something a woman would think of.” Uncharacteristic of me to be genderist but, OH well.

Is 45a a little NAMEDROP, or just a SHORTS DROP?

Happy Birthday, Grace Bumbry! Met Auditions of the Air (1958ish)

And Happy Eleven Pipers Piping Day! (Hey, at least they’re not wearing SEXY ELF costumes.)

Steve O. 11:33 AM  

I missed a line and thought the quote was "YOU CAN'T THINK WHILE SOLVING A CROSSWORD" and was like A+, Margaret, so true.

Harry Nilsson 11:42 AM  

On the other hand, you could take this approach to thinking about your troubles:

Sit beside the breakfast table
Think about your troubles
Pour yourself a cup of tea
Then think about the bubbles
You can take your teardrops
And drop them in a teacup
Take them down to the riverside
And throw them over the side
To be swept up by a current
Then taken to the ocean
To be eaten by some fishes
Who were eaten by some fishes
And swallowed by a whale
Who grew so old
He decomposed, ooh
He died and left his body
To the bottom of the ocean
Now everybody knows
That when a body decomposes
The basic elements
Are given back to the ocean
And the sea does what it oughta
And soon there's salty water (not too good for drinking)
'Cause it tastes just like a teardrop (so they run it through a filter)
And it comes out from a faucet (and it pours into a teapot)
Which is just about to bubble
Think about your troubles
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah

RooMonster 11:43 AM  

Dang, had a good comment, lost to the ether. 30 threes, 42 Blockers, saw the 14 x 16 grid. Liked the puz.


Whatsername 12:06 PM  

@mathgent (10:24) Let’s “ignore what Rex writes and riff on the puzzle.“
@Joaquin (10:57) “But let’s not ignore the man who, on a daily basis, provides us this forum.”

Appreciate both sentiments. It is his blog and he drives the vehicle which brings us here. But whether we agree or disagree with him, no need for that factor to become the main focus of our commentary.

Carola 12:13 PM  

Like @pabloinnm and @pmdm, I'm a veteran acrostic solver, so I have nothing against this close relative. The quote and author I found easy to get but had trouble with, among others, the SEXY???, the artist's shortcut (tracing?), and especially the two words before cheese - which got a laugh when I finally understood.

@GregPC - Love the "trousers" alternative.

@A - Re: Grace Bumbry...21 years old?! What a sound! Thank you.

egsforbreakfast 12:14 PM  

I think everyone missed the point here. The remainder of the quote goes: YOU CAN THINK OF YOUR TROUBLES WHILE SOLVING DOWN WORD.

Feel free to not invite me to the next Quote Puzzle Palooza.

mathgent 12:21 PM  

My favorite comments this morning.

TJS (7:54)
JJK (8:51)
Nancy (8:52)
Gill I. (9:28)
Z (9:47)
Joaquin (10:57)
Whatsername (12:06)

Joe Dipinto 12:37 PM  

@Harry Nilsson – thanks for stopping by, perhaps the commentariat would like some audiovisuals to go with your splendid lyrics.

Trivia: Bukszpan means "box plant" in Polish. Interesting that BOX KITE shows up in the grid.

@bocamp 10:28 – I remember noticing during the last Dem primary that Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg both started sentences with "So..." all the time. I found it very annoying. "So" is an acceptable introductory word to use —once in awhile— when you're about to entertain an audience with an anecdote. Not when when you're about to spout a list of facts and figures.

@Canon Chasuble – I hate when the puzzle editorializes, like with "strangely enough" in the SUNS clue today.

johnk 12:42 PM  

Easy. This puzzle would have been more appropriately run on Farrar's birthday. Why today?
SEXYELF seems necessary to join the Y and F, but I agree that the clue was creepy.
Both of these problems could have been fixed by a good editor.

Anonymous 12:45 PM  


isn't the heart of story telling conflict? OFL, is after all, something of a literaturist. and a critic. why should anyone be surprised that kicks up every day? if all he wrote was, "cool puzzle", there wouldn't by much to the whole enterprise.

Mike 12:46 PM  

Namely uses stencils all the time as a shortcut, so he can get in and out quickly.

RooMonster 12:47 PM  

@Harry Nilsson
Awesome. The Point is a not oft known, but totally awesome record. I have the Disc, and the LP with the whole story/book thing. Haven't brought it out in quite some time.

RooMonster Point Me Guy

Anonymous 12:55 PM  


bocamp 1:05 PM  

@Joe Dipinto (12:37 PM)

Re: 'so'

Exactly my sentiments!
td pg -3*

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Frantic Sloth 1:13 PM  

@Anonymous 1052am There's something fishy about your comment. 😉

@Harry Nilsson 1142am What's your point? 😉

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

So let me guess - a word ladder tomorrow since we've knocked off the anagrams, circles and quote puzzles already? I joke - I enjoyed the puzzles so far this week, but the inner groan when I saw 19A's clue could not be suppressed.

I didn't read all of the way to the end of 24A's clue because I had the CI in place and dropped in ACID, but I did wonder who the heck should have taken ACID until I finished the solve and re-read the clue. The Jobs/Gates rivalry, hmm.

Post-solve Google at least answers the question of why the SUNS have a gorilla mascot. Though it brought up the question of how a singing telegram deliverer gets into the game - does the person who arranged for the telegram have to buy a ticket for the telegram singer? Or is there a get-in-free clause for those people?

Congratulations, David Bukszpan, on your debut.

Thanks, Rex, for the laugh-out-loud moment re: the stencil rant.

GILL I. 1:30 PM  

@Rex....As an artist - or at least a wannabe artist most of my life, I can assure you that using STENCILs is indeed a shortcut for those that use them. I know artists that do. Most will cut their own designs and it becomes a finished product of their own. Muralists and Street artists use them all the time. It is a shortcut but not a "cheat;" they becomes your own creation that you can do rapidly.
I don't use them because I have lots of time on my hands...Remember they aren't just for painting wall borders.
Any time.....

TTrimble 1:55 PM  

Yeah, maybe slightly above-average hardness for a Tuesday. Probably 30% over my usual Tuesday time.

Slight dooks of hazard experience at 2D: I put in SEX and was waiting for the second word, but when the Y seemed inescapable, wondered briefly what YELF could be... oh. Can't say the answer SEXY ELF bothers me as it does Rex: I assume women don SEXY ELF outfits voluntarily (mostly anyway), and likely ironically at that. When they do: try to be cool about it. Don't leer, and don't get all in a huff.

Pretty awesome misdirection with CROC (Foam clog). Just generally, since someone asked: foam products are formed by injecting some sort of gas, as in styrofoam. (If you don't have one already, do yourself a favor and get a foam roller: great for getting the kinks out, deep tissue massage, etc. Hurts so good!)

Thanks for providing the end of that quote! OH NEAT, says I. Would have been nice to work that into the puzzle (whereupon Rex's critique "a completely banal and (worse) self-congratulatory statement [blah blah blah]" vanishes just like that).

"Mike Sharp has the right to react to a puzzle as he does (his words hurt no one) but his right to communicate them does not derive from his owning the blog. I have said it before: owning a blog does not give you the right to bully a person into commiting suicide."

Re the second sentence: I agree, but you're not saying that something Mike Sharp said drove someone to suicide, are you?

(Just generally, I'm tired of HOGWARTS references not because of who the author is and her opinions, but just the sheer inundation, in Crosslandia among other things, of Harry Potter stuff. Really not interested myself, and it seems like lazy go-to material for a crossword constructor.)

SB: yd 0; my final word has probably never been uttered by yours truly and sounds both quaintly old-fashioned and British. In America it might earn you a smack. td: pg -2. The other day (it's probably safe to say now): WAHINE was new to me.

Z 1:58 PM  

The clue for SUNS is an example of the difference between a Tuesday clue and a Friday clue. It signals that the answer is unrelated to the mascot. On Friday you leave out the “editorializing” and some solvers are going to waste precious nanoseconds trying to think of a primate team name. On Saturday the clue would omit “NBA,” too, meaning all sports and levels are in play.

okanaganer 2:21 PM  

I would swear I have seen this quote in a crossword before! Since no one else has mentioned it, I assume it must have been a non NYT puzzle, of which I don't do very many. Anyone?

[Spelling Bee yd 0. My last word.]

emily 2:27 PM  

I know no one will ever read nor respond to my comment. But come on you guys, chill, relax! We all enjoy doing these & we don’t need to be so mean or POLITICAL, about EVERYTHING. I happened to agree w/ OFL about the last 3-4 puzzles. I have been solving for a long time & can usually do well until Thursday, but the last few days made me think I should try something else. Yes, I am a ‘boomer’ on the young side of that era, but have sailed, traveled & had my nYT x word to keep me attached to home. It has started to feel more alien to me, then reading the comments can make me feel alienated. C’mon. Let’s tolerate each other & be able to disagree w/o demeaning. But the puzzles have been rather, um-questionable, not enjoyable lately.

bigsteve46 2:36 PM  

@Joe Dipinto 12:37 PM: Just curious ... what's being "editorialized" in the "Phoenix Suns" cue? I am sure I'm missing something obvious.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

Let’s tolerate each other & be able to disagree w/o demeaning.

Well, if there is a God, the source of the plunging of the level of discourse into the toilet (I'm talkin to you 'Mr. Sh!thole Country') will permanently depart the scene. By any means necessary.

Whatsername 3:00 PM  

@Anonymous (12:45) I agree OFL can be labeled a critic and yes, he’s sometimes negative in his opinions. But whether he praises or criticizes, either can generate conflict in the blog discussion. I’m not saying no one should comment on his review, just that there’s no need to make it the focal point of discussion. He shares his assessment of The NY Times Crossword and generously provides this outlet for us to do the same. So let’s focus on that, the puzzle. And feel free to say whether or not you agree with him, but let Rex Parker’s critique stand for what it is - one person’s opinion.

Camilita 4:02 PM  

That took me more than twice as long as a typical Tuesday. Like Chefwen, I almost had to cheat on a Tuesday. I managed it but I really struggled. I did Friday and Saturday this week faster.
I had SAY for Say Cheese which got me no where. I never heard of old Marge.
I thought the clues were purposely hard, like the fx clue I didn't understand, the Loan agency, screenplay abbreviation, the laser CDS. I just stared at those like WTF are they asking? The clues for the 3 letter words just seemed tough.
I knew Rex was going to hate it. I finished last night so I read the comments on Wordplay and most people totally loved this puzzle and found it easy. They jumped down the throat of someone giving it a negative review.
Thank God for Rex!

Smith 5:03 PM  

@ Gill, Nancy

Hot cross bun (or not)
Crosstown (bus)

Now I want to hear Downtown Train, nevermind.


Well, lots of possibilities.

Puzzle under average time, so, medium. Knew FARRAR (over here with Pablo in the "of a certain age" group) and found the quote easily inferrable [haha, whatever spellchecker this thing has it changed that last word to "infertile"].

Smith 5:14 PM  

👋 for Oblio...

WordSleuth 5:17 PM  

What's the difference between CrossWorld and Crosslandia? I guess @Lewis needs to answer this but...hmm, maybe I can answer my own question. If Rex is the "King of CrossWorld," then CW must be the world of this blog. I wonder if that's Rex's understanding of the term. Whereas @Lewis's Crosslandia is the blissful state the solver enters when immersing *self* in *puzzle*. Okay, question withdrawn.

kitshef 5:41 PM  

@Todd 8:19 - there have been four editors since Farrar.
Mel Taub was the interim editor between Maleska and Shortz.

Photomatte 6:10 PM  

I've seen plenty of Crocs footwear but none have ever been made of foam. (4 Down). Am I missing something here? Crocs are made of rubber or a rubber synthetic. Do they really have foam ones? Doesn't seem like they'd last more than a couple days, at best.

That's all!

JD 6:36 PM  

@SB folks, Has anyone noticed there's a pangram today that isn't being accepted.

JC66 6:46 PM  



Joe Dipinto 6:49 PM  

@bigsteve46 – just that it seems to be opining that anything other than a sun as a mascot is "strange". But plenty of sports teams have a mascot unrelated to the team name, so it's not particularly strange. It comes off to me like an arbitrary, pointless aside.

(Now if the Suns' mascot were a Man-In-The-Moon, I'd say that "strangely enough" would be fitting since the mascot is not only not the team name, it's the total opposite of the team name. It would still be "editorializing", but it would make more sense.)

And if @Z's contention is correct, I say write a better Tuesday clue instead of a Friday clue that you feel has to be watered down after the fact.

Cory Calhoun 6:50 PM  

From the Wikipedia page for Crocs (emphasis mine):

"Crocs, Inc. is an American company based in Broomfield, Colorado that manufactures and markets the Crocs brand of foam clogs."

smalltowndoc 7:38 PM  

Regarding today’s sb, can someone tell me why neither "naphtha" nor "phonate" is accepted?

Anonymous 8:08 PM  

I'd like to apologize to David Bukszpan for my comment this morning:

Anonymous said...
If it turns out that "David Bukszpan" is
a pseudonym for Shortz and/or the
NYTXW staff, please remember

In my shaky defense, I'd like to point out that JChen does not
mention David's name AT ALL in his column today!

GILL I. 8:25 PM  

@Smith 5:03....Your crosses are good. What I was looking for, though, were crosses that might have something to do with a road well travelled ... Kinda like a Crosslandia?
@Nancy hasn't replied to my suggestions yet nor has @Lewis so maybe they think I'm too full of burritos?

JC66 8:36 PM  


Same reason @JD's pangram, teehee and her little sister tehee aren't accepted, either. Sam is just arbitrary.

Euclid 9:02 PM  

Boy howdy!!!
"This 2-part expanding pour foam from US Composites is as strong as concrete. "

so, I guess, it's strong enough to support Mario Batali?

PhotoAde 9:12 PM  

Was also wondering about gorillas "strangely enough" being a mascot. It should have a counterintuitive connection, not total lack of a connection.

But the other one bothering me is 5D Make a long story short? = RECAP. That is the literal answer, why the question mark (?) ??

Lewis 9:23 PM  

@GILL I -- It's a terrific collection of "cross" words, but I don't see how they connect with "Crosslandia". I'm having trouble coming up with a theme set with that word, but maybe Nancy will have more success... Thank you, though, for your encouragement!

Anonymous 9:34 PM  

JK Rowling is a bigot? How so?
Z, how do you define a woman? Can a woman have a penis?

egsforbreakfast 9:35 PM  

@JD and @ JC66. Did you also notice that Sam doesn’t accept “hoopoe”, which is about like not accepting kestrel or puffin?

GILL I. 9:36 PM  

@Lewis...I know. I sometimes have a brain that jumps with a rope and trips. I guess I thought of "landia" as a peaceful little parcel in some sort of Eden where you could sit and do a little crossword I was thinking of things you do to get to la la land. was fun to let my imagination sorta run away.
I will now go pour myself a stiff drink

Ian 10:23 PM  

Me too. Mac and stumped me.

ghostoflectricity 10:53 PM  

Rex, of course, has his cavils, mostly predictable. I thought it was an annoying puzzle, even if the subject, Margaret Farrar, was worthy of honoring.

My own cavil has to do with the quotation from Steve Jobs. We can certainly fault Bill Gates over his known extramarital affair and the allegations surrounding his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, but we can't minimize Gates's philanthropic work in the years since he stepped away from day-to-day management of Microsoft. Back in the 1990s before Apple became the $3T+ corporation it is today and was seen as the David to Microsoft's then-Goliath, Apple (and by extension Jobs) was seen as "cool" and iconoclastic, while Microsoft (and by extension Gates) was (somewhat justifiably) seen as monopolistic and malevolent, but that image is about as dated now as Blackberries and Al Gore jokes. Apple has become one of the monopolistic Big Tech companies, impervious to user complaints, the public welfare at large, and federal regulators, along with Facebook, Alphabet (parent of Google), and Amazon. And all that we have come to learn about Steve Jobs in the slightly more than one decade since his untimely death- he was competitive, tough on his employees, ruthlessly demanding, and often downright nasty. All these things are in contrast to his well-tended self-image as the cool, iconoclastic hippie facing off against Gates's uncool nerd.

Jobs's use of LSD in his youth is well-known, especially since he rarely shut up about it, as his rather mean-spirited quote directed at Gates (factually untrue, anyway: Gates did take acid back in the day, he just never talked- or more accurately, bragged- incessantly about it) indicated.

I grew up in the '60s and '70s (I'm an exact contemporary of Jobs and Gates- four months older than Gates and four months younger than Jobs, all of us 1955-born baby boomers) and I knew a lot of people who took acid. Some of them took a lot of it. A good number of these people would talk on and on about their LSD experiences and how- oh, wow, man- profound these experiences were, with the strong implication that they were somehow cooler and hipper than people who hadn't been "there," or at least to the extent that they had been. But there were also a large number of people who had taken it and didn't go around broadcasting the frequency and intensity of their psychedelic journeys, and only discussed these things quietly, among a few friend and confidants, if at all. They certainly didn't go around bragging about all the acid they had taken or implying that they were better or more "deep" people than others, or saying things about the frequency of acid use as a measure of coolness or virtue.

In the end, however, look how much Gates has done in philanthropic work over the past couple of decades- you can cavil about "white savior syndrome" and other sideliner critiques about Gates's work- and look at how much Jobs contributed- money or time- to such efforts before his death. Should I- or anyone- care a damn about what Jobs said about his and Gates's relative acid use?

albatross shell 11:01 PM  

Crosslandia is a strange and magical place not dangerous but not for the weak of heart nor for the unadventurous nor the faint of heart nor weak of stomach.

Today you are born trapped by your own EGO, find the ESC button only to discover CLOONEY is with the SEXYELF and he kicks you down to where YOUCANTTHINK.
You see the escape route to the east. You run until you hit MALTA. You swim up past the OCELOT until until you get CRAMPS. You convulse into Mr. Rogen who asks you questions until again you can't think once more. You follow the escape route east once more, hitching a ride on a BOXKITE. You slip down to become the missing tail only to find a sea OFYOURTROUBLES. You race east to find the source but can't resist taking the REO. You head it west WHILESOLVING (happily) until you hit the ICE, slide into a NAMEDROP, drop down to grab a SODA, lean back to take a sip, get sucked into an ADO, and a bust a rhyme.

Then POP! You get thrown over and land breaking ankle bones. UNSEATED you almost get deleted but someone notices your label.

Your day in Crosslandia has only just begun. Maybe you should enjoy a day without a cross word.

Argy 11:20 PM  

Then you shouldn’t watch any movie at all. You can always find some director, producer, actor, etc. whose politics you dislike be associated with most movies ever made. Get real.

Teedmn 11:43 PM  

@SBers, phaeton didn’t work either. :-(

JC66 11:53 PM  


I think that's JD's pangram.

Paul Shoemaker 4:19 AM  

Can anyone explain why “whoa” is the answer to the clue “Mind. Blown.”?

Z 5:55 AM  

@Paul Shoemaker - Both are expressions of amazement. Or sarcastic amazement. Think of Matthew McConaughey saying “WHOA,” or “Mind. Blown.” Preferably Dazed and Confused Matthew McConaughey.

Round robin 11:54 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FeFyFoFum 4:06 PM  

"Are you tired of pounding nails with your forehead!? So time-consuming, so painful! Well, now---there's a shortcut!"

count me in with the group that laughed out loud at this. And totally agree about quote-themed crosswords; sorry constructors but if your quote isn't at least as good as Lester Moore's epitaph then it's probably not worth it.

Sandra Davis 9:47 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thefogman 10:02 AM  

I loved this one. There were a few minor flaws but Rex is making it out to be a disaster. It isn’t. I guess he really doesn’t like themers so ironically the quote just aggravated him even more. Plus this is the constructor’s debut. So Bravo to David Bukszpan.

spacecraft 11:17 AM  

UN-welcome back spellcasters! We thought we were rid of you. There IS a blog monitor...right?

To the puzz. For one who doesn't particularly like quote puzzles, or "weejects," I actually enjoyed solving a q.p. with 30 of the "lil darlins."

The most severe outlier was SEXYELF; David, could you provide photos of that one? Hard to imagine, but good for a laugh.

The shout-out at 45 down was not lost on me; too bad there's no edit command called "ZTET." I agree that a STENCIL is hardly an ARTIST'S shortcut. No DOD today--except for MARGARETFARRAR herself. Birdie.

A Moderator 11:23 AM  

Mistakes were made. Sorry about that.

Diana, LIW 11:31 AM  

Had an error in the NE that cost me a dnf. Who knew about the ACID quote? Not I. On a Tuesday!! Oh well...onward.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Not a Tuesday puzzle, but workable except for an unknown woman and B-Ball team.

Burma Shave 1:35 PM  


AND RECAP the PLOTS yourself
WHILE that witch DROPs her SHORTS


BS2 1:38 PM  

BTW - tomorrow marks 7 years of verse

rondo 1:47 PM  

More than a coupla dozen 3s is far too many. Is there a word that sounds like Maleska? Obviously there's one for SHORTS.

PACE or CAPE in the corners.

A self-serving NAMEDROP.

Diana, LIW 5:34 PM  

@Rondo - ALASKA friend.

Lady Di

leftcoaster 7:16 PM  

My spouse and I cooperated WHILE SOLVING through theme and fill (without cheats or lookups). Wow and WHOA for us!

Thank you, David Budszpan, for the solid and challenging grid.

And special regard for MARGARET FARRAR for her legacy.

leftcoaster 10:13 PM  

Spouse and I plowed through this one, in our own good time, with no lookups or cheats. WHOA for us !
This was a tough and clever puzzle from theme to fill.

Thanks for the challenge, David Bukszpan.

And BS2, 7 is a lucky number. Nice going.

Anonymous 2:42 PM  

Hand up if your local paper did not include a clue for 55 down. No number, no clue just a bold x where that belonged. That kept MARGARET at bay for a while.

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