Necklace that can be made with kukui nuts / TUE 4-12-22 / Reddish-purple salad ingredient / Old-fashioned message carriers / Sch system with campuses in Buffalo and Binghamton

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: jobs? — Job categories are taken literally, as if they referred to specific jobs. It's wacky.

Theme answers:
  • METEOROLOGIST (19A: Temp job?)
  • WEDDING PLANNER (27A: Union job?)
  • YOGA INSTRUCTOR (44A: Flex job?)
  • PSYCHOANALYST (51A: Dream job?)
Word of the Day: Alice MUNRO (15A: Literature Nobelist Alice) —

Alice Ann Munro (/mənˈr/née Laidlaw /ˈldlɔː/; born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian short story writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. Munro's work has been described as revolutionizing the architecture of short stories, especially in its tendency to move forward and backward in time. Her stories have been said to "embed more than announce, reveal more than parade."

Munro's fiction is most often set in her native Huron County in southwestern Ontario. Her stories explore human complexities in an uncomplicated prose style. Munro's writing has established her as "one of our greatest contemporary writers of fiction", or, as Cynthia Ozick put it, "our Chekhov." Munro has received many literary accolades, including the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature for her work as "master of the contemporary short story", and the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work. She is also a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction, and received the Writers' Trust of Canada's 1996 Marian Engel Award and the 2004 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for Runaway. (wikipedia)

• • •

This one never really came together for me. I didn't even really grok the concept until I was three themers deep, and by that point the concept had atrophied a bit, which is to say the best clue/answer pair is at the top, and then they get weaker as the puzzle goes on. Actually, the first two are fine. I guess the third is fine too, but I hadn't heard of a "flex job" until just now. I know what "flextime" is, but I had not heard a job referred to as a "flex" job, so when I saw "flex" here I interpreted it as a really impressive job that is likely to intimidate other people—*that* meaning of "flex." But no, a "flex job" is just any job that allows you to be more "flexible" with your time than a standard (and mythical) 9-to-5 job would. And OK, you have to be "flexible" to be a YOGA INSTRUCTOR, that seems reasonable. What doesn't seem as reasonable is the clue on PSYCHOANALYST (51A: Dream job?). I know that Freud wrote "Interpretation of Dreams" but this does not seem to me to be definitively what PSYCHOANALYSTs do. Is it? Still? I'm reading definitions of "psychoanalysis" and sure enough, talking about dreams seems to be part of it ... This seems primitive and strange to me, but I've never been in "analysis" or known anyone who was. Therapy, sure. Like, 80% of people I know. But proper "analysis," no. Feels like a '70s phenomenon. Dreams, you say? OK. I see now that this theme felt tepid to me primarily because I didn't know "flex job" was a thing, and I didn't fully understand what PSYCHOANALYSTs (apparently) ... do. Anyway, I half liked it. The top half.

The grid was loaded with repeaters (PSAT IAGO AGAR ... and that's just one interlocking section) and didn't have any oomph in the longer answers besides OLD MEDIA, which is, ironically, fresh. Harder to get excited about TOFOLLOW and ARALSEA. Actually, HIT IT BIG is also strong, so that's at least two solid long Downs giving the grid a little bit of life. I think I'm realizing as I write that the puzzle is fine, structurally, but just not that interesting *to me*. 

I do have one question, though, about the grid construction. And it's a question I wouldn't have thought to ask if I hadn't run into the truly horrid, I-can't-believe-we're-still-doing-this answer NOT PC (30D: Likely to offend, in brief). The question is: why, when the grid was being built, didn't WEDDING PLANNER and YOGA INSTRUCTOR swap positions? When you make a grid for a themed puzzle, the themers are the first thing that go in and you build the grid around them. So why would you put yourself in a N---C position as opposed to (if you swap the theme answer positions) a T---N position? So many more possible answers, good solid answers, that you can get out of T---N. Whereas N---C leaves you with NYSNC and NOTPC and not a hell of a lot else. The same goes for D---G vs. A---D. I think DEFOG is a fine answer, which is why it didn't jar me and make me wonder about core construction principles the way NOTPC did. But D---G can't do nearly as many things as A---D can do. It all comes back to ... flex! Swapping these two answers would give a constructor more flexibility. Now, I said it was a question because it is. I mean, there must've been a reason not to swap these answers. You'd get T---G for that center Down, which is definitely *less* flexible than the current P---S. Anyway, these are the kinds of choices you have to make early on. The point is, I wouldn't put NOT PC or UNPC in my grid for any reason; they both reek of a kind of cruel, bigoted, "sorry you were offended" attitude (stop blaming people for not enjoying your racism). And NOT PC is particularly clunky-sounding to boot. I hate UNPC too, but at least it sounds like a coherent standalone answer. So ... I'd've swapped WEDDING PLANNER and YOGA INSTRUCTOR or gone with NSYNC at 30-Down. Either way, I'm saying bye (bye bye) to NOT PC.

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 5:51 AM  

Nice smooth Tuesday with a cute punny premise. Liked it a whole lot more than
@Rex did.

OffTheGrid 6:00 AM  

This felt easier than yesterday but that's OK. I figured it out early with temp, seeking a meaning other than temporary. I had a few crosses so METEOROLOGIST came to me. Same process with union. Then I looked at the other 2 themers and got YOGAINSTRUCTOR and PSYCHOANALYST with no crosses. I thought the fill was just fine. NOTPC? Can't get upset about that. Just another puzzle "word". This, along with my cereal and coffee, was a good start to the day. Time for some honey whole wheat toast and Wordle. Cheers!

Joaquin 6:05 AM  

Get thee to thy safe place! Something odd about being offended by NOT PC.

And, just for fun:
Boring job / WELL DIGGER
Entry-level job / DOORMAN
Non-union job / DIVORCE LAWYER

American Liberal Elite 7:14 AM  

The first rule of PC is you do not talk about PC.

kitshef 7:22 AM  

SEX over PSYCHOANALYST seemed so apt that I went looking for similar gems for the others. None fit beautifully, but FWIW:

BTW, YOGA is traditionally about meditation and control of the mind, and has almost nothing to do with flexibility. If you take a yoga class at your local Rec. Center, you are getting a tiny sliver of a tiny slice of the cake.

kitshef 7:28 AM  

Nice ones, Joaquin. My contributions (only one of which really fits the theme):
Summer job: ACCOUNTANT
Hatchet job: LUMBERJACK

BobL 7:37 AM  

Wow. Graf, Piaf, Munro, Toni, even She. Yet, not a gripe about skewing feminine.

Pretty nervy from this white male.

Lewis 7:37 AM  

One thing that stood out to me was [Spanish, for foolish] for TONTO. In the more than 150 times this answer has appeared in the NYT (including once by me as [Scout leader?]), and the many times in other venues, it has only been clued in a non-Lone-Ranger way twice before today. Now that I’ve learned its pejorative meaning, I’d like to see its cluing veer away from the name of a famous fictional Native American.

Son Volt 7:39 AM  

Another example of the go big or go home pun puzzle. This one had promise - Temp job is solid but as Rex said the theme peaked early. Overall it was fine. Fill was extremely straightforward - not much pushback.

Really liked the literary slant with the two George’s, IAGO and MUNRO. I see OY VEY quite a bit on the city bound Williamsburg.

I prefer Satch’s take

Enjoyable enough Tuesday solve.

SouthsideJohnny 8:08 AM  

I didn't groke the theme until I was in the southern hemisphere, and I didn't get how METEOROLOGIST got us to "Temp job?" until after I finished. I kept thing 'temporary" and was worried about a meteor plowing into the earth and pushing us all into the sun.

I know Hulu is very well-known. It might be time to ease up a bit on the TV Channels, TV shows, and "what network?" type clues a bit. Aren't there like over 100 viable channels now, and the different streaming services probably number in the dozens. That whole generic pool of clues/answers has drifted away from popular culture and/or common knowledge and is now floating in the Pond of Archanum.

Very interesting to see Rex pan rather than praise NON PC, since he bitches, moans, whines and rants about pretty much anything and everything that is NON PC. It must be really unusual to live inside your own bubble and create your own reality. In that regard, he and the Trumpster are kindred spirits.

Anonymous 8:15 AM  

NOT PC was a beautiful meta answer. It was likely to offend. RP walked right into the trap. Lol.

kenji 8:22 AM  

Didn't become one, but I attended a psychoanalytic institute. Dreams are a fascinating but optional window into the psyche. We entirely create them out of the "residues" of our waking life memories and disguise them so as to work them through but remain asleep (so the theory goes). Also fascinating: There are 3 quite different versions of the dream: 1) The dream as it's dreamed, 2) the recollection of the dream, 3) the presentation of the dream in words to the analyst, all of which is "grist for the mill," as they say (indications of how your mind works).

king_yeti 8:24 AM  

Beet is literally the epitome of redness in idiom, so it’s still clued as “reddish-purple”!???!

Lewis 8:33 AM  

I liked seeing the puzzle lead off with side-by-side palindromes, plus a backward PAWS to go with nearby PAW, and the lovely PuzzPair© of THIN and LEAN.

Dan, your punny theme was that glorious type that makes people come up with more theme answers, as has already happened here. My contribution is a bit obscure, but what the heck: BASKETMAKER for [Rush job?].

Your vocation-based theme made me smile, Dan. Thank you for that bit of occupational therapy, and for this fun puzzle!

Anonymous 8:38 AM  

But of course he panned it! From within the righteous bubble of all-lovingness and inclusion, you hate anyone and anything outside the bubble (including any name given to the bubble from outside). Inside, bigotry replaces self-reflection.

Tom T 8:39 AM  

I enjoyed this one, moving through it steadily, but not swiftly.

I give credit to Dan S for coming up with four jobs with four different endings (-IST, -ER, -OR, -YST).

I also liked Rex's musing about the options the constructor faced by the placement of theme answers in this grid. "Funny Rex" and "Constructor ANALYST Rex" are my favorite Rex personae.

Had SOur before SODA for Many a cocktail mixer (54D); easily corrected.

Favorite Hidden Diagonal Word today (which I would clue as Freebie): COMP (begins at 48A, moves SE)

bocamp 8:47 AM  

Thx Dan; enjoyed your creation! :)


Ideal Tues. offering.

Got the theme early on, which definitely aided the solve.

Side eye: TRACERS.

New: Alice MUNRO.

Had Oh VEY, which hid the YACHT from me. OY VEY! lol

Love Edith PIAF & TONI Morrison.

Had fun with this one. :)


Another excellent battle; this time with Croce's 697. Three hrs of brain-racking gets the job done! Very much enjoyed the challenge! See you next Mon. :)

@Nancy 👍 for your eagle yd! :)
dbyd 0 (last word; whew!)

Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

burtonkd 8:51 AM  

Didn't get temp job = METEOROLOGIST solving or reading Rex. Somehow Southside, without stating it, helped me see it - ah tempERATURE!

@king_yeti - interesting take. If I want to think of quintessential red, I'd go with fire engine red. I associate "beet red" with someone being embarrassed; their face goes to that blood-rich artery/vein reddish-purple version of red. At any rate, pickled BEETS are a must on a salad in this household.

A Lewis, I can't remember where I learned that unfortunate tidbit about TONTO, I would have assumed here. Was it on purpose, did nobody ever check in with a Spanish speaker? This clue does pretty much call out any other type of clue for those letters.

I couldn't decide how to interpret "competitor" for MSNBC, and had FOX, since that would be the opposite POV, although in terms of viewing numbers, not much competition there. CNN could be seen to compete for the same viewers. I quit watching all of those news channels, having pulled the plug 20 years ago.

Nice to see our friend Steffi GRAF again so soon; doing better these days than German tennis compatriot Boris Becker, fighting to hang on to his Wimbledon trophies in bankruptcy court, which seems just cruel.

2 recent entries (CERA/SERA)make me think there is a theme in there somewhere.

Nancy 9:01 AM  

Delightful. If I had a memory like everyone else, I'd know if this is my favorite Tuesday ever. It has to be way up there, though, whatever the competition might turn out to be.

I loved everything about this puzzle.

The theme -- the punny way of looking at job descriptions -- is very clever and provides some nice "Aha" moments.

Then look at the proper names in this puzzle. There aren't many and what there are are "cherce" as Spencer Tracy once put it. Lots of serious writers: Shakespeare; TONI Morrison; Alice MUNRO; George Eliot and George Orwell. Some serious musicians: Yo Yo Ma; Mahler; and Edith PIAF. You might call this The Educated Person's Puzzle.

Some most un-Tuesday clues: ERASER (11D); THIN (35A); ODDS (16A); and the lovely and unfamiliar IDEAS quote (60).

Best of all, it plays somewhat hard for a Tuesday -- always a plus in my book. I enjoyed it a lot.

Missy 9:01 AM  

Beautiful! Thank you...

amyyanni 9:09 AM  

Really like this, and I am in the midst of a good book (Cloud Cuckoo Land). Put it aside reluctantly to do the puzzle, so I was a bit of a tough audience.
Yes, as has been mentioned, lovely to see Alice, Edith, and Toni. The theme is clever and amusing. And so are the contributions of additional themers by earlier commentators, thanks!
Thought Rex might appreciate SUNY. Hope everyone has a sunny day; best to those coping with spring snow. 😎🌄🌇

RAD2626 9:11 AM  

I thought this was just about a perfect Tuesday puzzle. Some crunch, gettable theme, interesting and not rote fill. I liked it a lot. My bad additions:

Part time job. - Barber
Auto worker - Bodybuilder
Remote job - Couch potato

pmdm 9:16 AM  

This strikes me as a good example of a puzzle for which there can be a disconnect between whether you liked or disliked the puzzle and whether the puzzle would be judged objectively good or bad. On my account, I thought the puzzle was a fine puzzle for a Tuesday, and I felt quite positive about the theme.

Is it correct that most of the complaints about Sharp derive from some generalization growing from reading him on a daily basis rather than a specific nit he picks aimed at a specific puzzle? It may be early today (only 16 comments as I compose my own), but some take issue with his complaint about today's puzzle while other comments seem to center on some combination of his comment made over a period of time. Just wondering.

Rachel 9:28 AM  

This was the easiest Tuesday I think I've ever done. I didn't really get the themers, but also didn't really pay attention to them. They filled themselves in from the downs.

I'm also not a fan of Not PC. The phrase implies that whatever message it refers to is "true" and to make it PC would alter the truth of it in some way. The only people who care about this are people who don't really believe in systemic inequities or don't know how to say something in a nuanced and respectful way. So yeah, when I see it I have a little "ew" reaction because it makes me think of people who want to say "Not PC" things.

RooMonster 9:36 AM  

Hey All !
I happen to work a 9-5 job right now. First time in my life! One year in, still sorta kinda not used to the hours before and after work. I do have to commute 20 miles each way, passing through a large two-highwsy interchange which usually has traffic either way you go, but now there's construction in both directions, leading to traffic nightmares. I can get off the highway and go through town, which I do sometimes. I still get up roughly 5am to do the puz and properly wake up. But I'm falling asleep on the couch anywhere from 8-9pm, actually going to bed at 10pm. I'm seriously thinking about cancelling TV, as I am a couch potato who gets nothing done after work. It makes me mad when the day is over and nothing accomplished again.

Whoa, TMI there Roo. This is a puz blog, talk about the puz, Knucklehead.

Liked the concept, Reimagined Jobs. Not up on my English intricacies (and haven't read anyone yet, the answer I seek is probably in the comments), is the theme going for Nounified Verbs? Old friend EPEE is back. Still waiting for OMOO. Kept parsing the YOGA one as YOGAINsomething. Then thought it might be rOGAIN, as in the hair grower. Har. I've got a nice bald spot that the PIGEONS can see LIGHT reflected off of. 😁

Hey, got a three in Wordle today, I think first time ever. Got a four on WordHurdle. Kicking butt today. On to Duotrigordle to get My butt kicked! Computer illiterate when it comes to Sharing results (which is probably for the better), every time I hit "Share", the computer tells me it's been copied to some mysterious file that I can never find. Ah well, no one cares anyway.

Agree on non-thing NOTPC. If anything, it should be NONPC, no? Had a Ford ASPIRE once, great little car. Drove the heck out of it. Fun three-rows of SHE WON LEI NEO and SEX CNN RAN IND. Like to see what y'all can come up for those. YES I DO.

yd -1, should'ves 1 (whah-whah, an easy four)(Did it after work yesterday, since that glitch thing)

Two F's

Nancy 9:58 AM  

@burtonkd -- Boris Becker's in bankruptcy court and may have to sell all his tennis trophies???!!! Good grief, how sad! I'm off to read up on it now.

Anonymous 9:59 AM  

I’m joining the chorus of folks who thought this was just about a perfect Tuesday puzzle. Hats off to the constructor!

Whatsername 10:02 AM  

Do I like this PLAYful theme? Why YES I DO. If yesterday was the perfect Monday - as @CDilly so eloquently christened it - then I’d say this comes close to perfect for a Tuesday. I’m not usually a fan of question marks in the clues but this not only worked, it was also a lot of fun.

So we’re debating which is the proper term to imply poor taste? Non PC or NOT PC? That seems a little UNPC to me.

jberg 10:14 AM  

19A was obviously going to be a theme answer, so "Temp job?" had to be some kind of trick wording; but I was looking for a thermostat installer, or something of the sort, and needed most of the crosses to see METEOROLOGIST. After that things got a little easier--I could see the pun right away, but sometimes couldn't think of the right answer. I kept coming up short: PSYCHiatrist, PSYCHologist, YOGA teacher? East one letter too few. I knew those answers, they just didn't come to mind until I had a cross or two.

I thought it was brilliantly done, with the sole exception being the clue "South Asian wrap." That would be a sari, right? The SARONG is South Seas/Southeast Asian. (Oops! Wikipedia says I'm wrong. Crosswords are so educational!)

pabloinnh 10:16 AM  

Well I didn't like NOTPC either because I wrote in NONPC, and then I had to go back and erase it. Nearly spoiled the whole puzzle. I agree with @amyyanni that I thought having SUNY in the puzzle might cheer up our grumpy primate, but no such luck.

Caught on to this one with "temp job" and had most of WEDDINGPLANNER before I read the clue. I thought the others were fun enough. I liked the dual sense of MACS for Apples/apples and PLAYS for "works in a theater".Of course I knew the Spanish meaning of TONTO. There's a great expression--"no seas tonto" meaning "don't be foolish". If the Lone Ranger said 'no seas Tonto" to his friend, I'm not sure what his friend could do.

Thought this was a very nice Tuesday which definitely Didn't Suck, so thanks for all the fun, DS.

jae 10:38 AM  

Medium. Right on the mark for a Tuesday, liked it.g

bocamp 10:40 AM  

@Joaquin (6:05 AM) / @kitshef (7:28 AM) / @Lewis (8:33 AM)

Great job on the after hours jobs! :)

@RooMonster (9:36 AM)

Not TMI; your new 'job' qualifies vis-à-vis today's theme. Besides, a 9-5 job could be an ODDSmaker. :)

Copy/cut & paste works for me, provided the paste is done immediately into any text area. I use Quicksilver on my mac, which keeps track of a large number of clipboard items, so even if I don't paste immediately, the item is there for future use.
td pg: 15:29

Wordle 297 2/6*


Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

GILL I. 10:55 AM  

@Joaquin and @kitshef win the "Fancy My Tickle" award.
My first thought on completing this puzzle was "This is puzzling." It took me a while to see the hahahahah job descriptions. But then I looked at it some more because I don't feel like going outside, and I actually said something that would make the PC patrol nod in agreement: Hey, not bad, Dan. Kudos for coming up with the idea.
Speaking of NOT PC. I was talking to some friends some time ago and mentioned something like, "I love Oriental food and the people." I might've mentioned the Orientals in Chinatown and a specific store where I buy little silk purses. I got the stink eye. I also got a big lecture on how terrible it is to even say that word unless you're buying a rug. I kinda turned BEET red because no one wants to be NON PC, right? Not even TONTO. Anyway, I have a Korean friend and I asked her about this dilemma and she laughed. She said the word is not offensive to her nor anyone in her family. She said "Oriental simply means people of the Orient." I then asked her if I should keep calling Asians Orientals and she yelled NO..Even if I were wearing a SARONG and sipping CHAI? No!
@kenji 8:22:
Interesting post about dreams. I've never been to a psychoanalytic institute but maybe you can help me....I have a recurring dream (in color) where I'm in desperate need for a bathroom. I finally find one and it always looks like the cleaning person hadn't been in there for 27 years. I finally enter a stall and I really have to go but the toilet is stopped up and there's no paper because it's all over the floor and I ask myself if I should just squat and do it on the floor. I always wake up before I do the dirty deed. Then I can't go back to sleep for fear that I'll find out what I did. Am I normal? Does anybody else have these kinds of dreams? Help.

Joseph Michael 11:05 AM  

Congratulations, Rex. You’ve outdone yourself. Being offended by NOT PC is about as meta as you can get.

Thank you to @burtonkd for explaining the trickery related to METEOROLOGIST as a “temp job.” Even though I had solved the puzzle, I had no idea what that was about. I guess I was thinking too much about meteors in outer space and not enough about the weather on earth.

Fun puzzle overall with some nifty fill, such as PEN NAMES, OY VEY, and HIT IT BIG.

Other employment opportunities:
* Green job - caddy
* Snow job - cocaine dealer
* Dead-end job - proctologist

TJS 11:06 AM  

With you all the way @Nancy. If this wasn't POW then we have something special coming our way.

I'm not seeing NotPC (or Non) equating with "Poor Taste", @ Whatsername. The PC part for Politically Correct seems to seems to imply more of a "Cancl Crowd" vibe, while "Poor taste" seem more like a word or phrase that might offend your Mom. Like "hand job", which I thought was hysterical.

So we're throwing poor old Tonto on the book-burning pile with Pepe. While we're at it Steffi Graf could remind someone of the Graf Spee warship of Nazi Germany, so let's have no more mention of her. And now that we have been clued in about Peanut gallery, what do we do with "Peanuts" references in the puzzle?

One thing I do know : The word is "Grok". past tense is "Grokked". Jeezuz.

Carola 11:06 AM  

Puzzle + comments = a great Tuesday. Thank you to all who contributed bonus jobs and to Tom T 8:39 for pointing out the four different professional endings. I caught on with METEOROLOGIST, wrote WEDDING PLANNER right in, got stalled out on YOGA INSTRUCTOR, regained traction with PSYCHOANALYST. I enjoyed the female cast of characters, especially the terrific Alice MUNRO.

@RooMonster 9:36 - I also pondered how the theme concept worked. I don't think the four examples all change in the same way: it seems to me that "temp" (short for "temporary") and "dream" go from adjective to noun; "flex" (for "flexible") goes from adjective to verb; and "union" stays a noun but changes its meaning. At any rate, a great theme for showing the "flex" possibilities in English.

Beezer 11:25 AM  

Count me on the “liked the puzzle” category but as it may have become clear over time, I pretty much like EVERY puzzle whether I fill it in in record time or gnash my teeth in frustration.

@American Liberal Elite…🤣🤣

@Tom T…You kind of nailed my sentiments with your comment on “funny @Rex and constructor analyst @Rex.” But let me add.. I am always amazed at how some of the commentariat (too many to name names) are SO good at coming up with other theme examples. This of course throws me into a bout of self-flagellation for having such a lazy brain. J.K. (Kind of)

@burtonkd…maybe the lack of thought with respect to TONTO is not so surprising when a certain General Motors (Chevrolet division) failed to realize that NO VA meant “not going/doesn’t work”…at any rate, no excuse in today’s world with so many
translation sites…if you sell your product in a country you should dang well check out if your product name translates well.

@amyyanni…I liked Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See but have hesitated on Cloud Cuckoo Land as I had heard it was a bit too “convoluted.” I may go ahead and give it try though.

Joe Dipinto 11:28 AM  

See, this is where


would have worked nicely.

Also, PENN AMES would be a good pen name.

@Rex, I think you should ditch therapy. It isn't working.

← No. 8

Nancy 11:44 AM  

Great additional themers from @Joaquin, @kitshef, @RAD2626 and @Joseph Michael. I was especially taken with the "hand job" and "entry-level job" puns.

As someone with all the physical flexibility of a Greek column, I also chuckled at @kitshef's OY VEY over YOGA INSTRUCTOR. As far as yoga "not being about physical flexibility", @kitshef: When someone lets me do my meditating seated comfortably in a padded easy chair, then we'll talk.

Thanks for the shoutout about my eagle yesterday, @bocamp.

Masked and Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Funny themers and funny joblist extras from the Commentz Gallery. Like.
Especially good ahar moment, for the METEOROLOGIST clue.

fave entry: MOOING. Runner-up: HULU.

Well, that NOTPC clue seems pretty apt. Sure offended @RP, evidently. Better clue: {Like a Mac??}.

staff weeject pick: LEI made from nuts. Especially kUkUi nUts. Learned new stuff, there. Garlands made by nutty lei-people that are kinda lei-ed off, or somesuch?

TONTO gets no respect. From what I recall from ye olde TV showe he was a great and wise companion for The Masked Dude. Mostly properly presented as an equal. And talk about loyal -- Tonto dude tried his best to humor an eccentric partner wantin to wear a party mask, collect weird silver bullets, dress up as old prospectors, and needin to holler Hi-Yo Silver a lot. [Coulda been worse … mighta wanted to holler Hi-Yo Nonfungible Tokens, or somesuch.]
TONTO'd make a terrible openin Wordle guess, tho.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Schoenholz dude. Real good job(s).

Masked & Anonymo4Us

sorta inspired by yesterday's NYTPuz, which was better than this is gonna be:

kenji 11:46 AM  

Hahaha. First of all, everyone's dreams look nutso, so you're in good company there. Secondly, the only true "help" anyone ever needs is the will and curiosity to explore ("know thyself"). We're all puzzles that can be pieced together (anyone here should be able to appreciate that!), only, unlike crosswords, we're never fully "solved." Inquiry can be endless (we're complicated!).
Anyhow, dream elements are "cloaked." The usual entry into uncloaking/piecing is to brainstorm associations to all the dream elements and associations to the associations. (So associate to all the "nouns," "verbs," "adjectives," etc. in your recollection and/or how you describe it, as well as, importantly, any feeling tones present). Note if you get any pop(s) of insight. For example, what are your associations with feeling desperate, cleaning persons, toilet paper, dirty bathrooms, the number 27, the word "stall," etc.?

The Joker 11:48 AM  

@Gill. I guess the language has become DisOrientaled.

The Cleaver 11:57 AM  

ARAL SEA drying up is so OLD MEDIA. let's talk about LAKE MEAD and LAKE POWELL. talk about timely. and a new way to kill off Blue state snowflakes. oh, wait... much of that water and electricity goes to Ruby Red Real American states.

Lake Powell:
California (very Blue)
Arizona (very Red)
Nevada (meh)
Mexico (dirty immigrants)

Lake Mead:


Lake Powell:
Wyoming (ruby Red)
Utah (ruby Red)
Colorado (meh)
New Mexico (meh)
Arizona (ruby Red)
Nevada (meh)
Nebraska (ruby Red)

Lake Mead:
California (very Blue)
Arizona (very Red)
Nevada (meh)

Make America White Again!! We won, and you know it.

Wordler 11:58 AM  

Wordle 297 2/6


Well, a useful starter for sure. My second guess was the first possibility I thought of. I studied it a bit. There were other ways this could have gone. So Lady Luck (is that PC?) was with me. Only my third eagle out of 91 played.

old timer 12:02 PM  

I remember the Free Speech Movement, though I was not present to hear Mario Savio deliver his famous speech. I also spent the summer of 1969 in a house near The Arlington in North Berkeley, and attended meetings of people planning the next big antiwar demonstration. It was either in that summer or in the FSM era that I heard the question, "Is it politically correct?" In other words, can a person loyal to the CPUSA or other left-wing parties and movements of the day square a proposed action with the tenets passed down to the organizers by their mentors, some of whom were prominent Communists of an earlier era.

That question was taken very seriously, indeed. It was, as I recall, also discussed on the left wing radio station of the day, KPFA. I never heard the PC initialism until years later. So I am not opposed to NOTPC or its equivalents, but I knew immediately that OFL would have something to say about it. I say, "It's life and life only" or "Live it, or live with it", to quote the Firesigns. Or maybe, "Let a thousand flowers bloom." If it is or was in the language, it belongs in an NYT puzzle.

I think the only thing wrong with this puzzle is it should have run on a Monday. Way easier than yesterday, which I finished with some difficulty. Today, I probably set a personal time record.

johnk 12:28 PM  

I just filled it out counter-clockwise NW/SW/SE/NE, without complaining. It's a Tuesday.

Liveprof 12:32 PM  



Anonymous 12:33 PM  

once the world's fourth largest lake? Aral sea??? is a sea a lake?

Lyn 12:34 PM  

I did not know the meaning of the word 'Tonto.' Now, I'm just sad.

Whatsername 12:46 PM  

TJS (11:06) Yes I see your point and yet in either case, the point is not to be improper/inappropriate. For that reason, the two seem synonymous to me. But I suppose it really comes down to a matter of taste. 😉

Whatsername 12:51 PM  

I just read on the news about the shooting at the Brooklyn subway station. Thoughts with our NYC friends here and hoping none were affected by it.

cmurthi 12:58 PM  

Difficult to credit that Rex couldn’t decipher flexjob, as obvious a construct as flextime!

And why the hate for NOTPC? I’m not PC on some subjects and that neither makes me a racist nor insulting. Just like many emerging concepts, PC-ism has its extremes which rational people may not agree with. (Spoken as a technical POC)

jae 12:59 PM  

@amyyanni - I just finished Lincoln Highway and Cloud Cuckoo Land was on my list of possible next reads. Thanks for the nudge.

Anonymous 1:11 PM  


the wiki is your saviour.

CDilly52 1:23 PM  

Wow, @Lewis! You and @LMS never, ever fail to impress with your unique takes and observations on puzzle language and (especially @LMS) language in general. I have learned lots from reading your posts.

CDilly52 1:27 PM  

@Namcy, I couldn’t say it any better. Spot on. And “cherce” made me chuckle. Added bonus.

CDilly52 1:28 PM  

@RAD2626 Fabulous theme additions, especially “Remote job”. LOL!

CDilly52 1:31 PM  

Hang in there @Roo! And don’t forsake your solving. I’d miss your humor.

Anoa Bob 1:33 PM  

It's amazing to me that PSYCHOANALYSis has been around for over 100 years and there isn't a shred of evidence that it is now or has ever been an effective treatment for any psychological problem. The only ones who demonstrably benefit from it are the PSYCHOANALYST$. This was succinctly expressed in an episode of the sitcom "Cheers" when psychoanalyst Dr. Frazier Crane told the bartender Woody that there were many quicker and more effective therapies than psychoanalysis for his phobia but none quite so lucrative. In another episode Frazier remarked how analysis can take years of expensive twice weekly sessions and then he beamed "God, how I love this business!"

Freud thought that his Interpretation of Dreams was his greatest work and that dreams were the "royal road to the subconscious". Over a century later there's no empirical support for that claim. Its validity is right in there with other forms of divining and fortune telling. It looks like the NYTXW is one of the last bastions of Freud's mythos; see yesterday's clue for ANAL, for example.

bocamp 1:42 PM  

@Beezer (11:25 AM)

Thx for the shoutout to 'All the Light We Cannot See' (Goodreads 4.32); got the audiobook on hold.

Goodreads gives 'Cloud Cuckoo Land' a very high rating (4.30), but a few of the contributors echo your concern. Nevertheless, I'm #132 in line for the audiobook. (hi @amyyanni; thx for the rec)

@Nancy (11:44 AM) yw :)

And, I got my 1st one today! Serendipitous? 🤔

@Wordler (11:58 AM) 👍 for your eagle! :)

Nothing wrong with a bit o' 🍀

@Liveprof (12:32 PM)

Good work! :)

@Whatsername (12:51 PM)

Echoing your compassionate sentiments re: the subway tragedy. 🙏
WordHurdle 167 2/6 #wordhurdle


Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

CDilly52 1:47 PM  

Such creative folks here in the neighborhood! All the theme additions bode well for this theme to repeat some day.

I am amazed ever day at the power of the puzzle to generate an opportunity for such a rich and colorful fabric of folks to gather each day to share observations, insights, humor, and a bit of their time and of themselves. Would that the world would find such common ground for discourse.

Today’s analysis (the whininess about NOT PC aside it being oh so ‘pot/kettle’) is for me @Rex at his professorial best. As an absolute non-constructor he along with so many of you have truly enlightened me about the artistry and craft of crossword construction. His observation about the theme placement is absolutely on point.

This one gave a nice touch of resistance to a Tuesday. Liked it a lot.

And finally, thank you all for your kind words on yesterday’s post. I am constantly amazed at the memories that my daily NYT solve triggers.

East Coaster 2:06 PM  

@Gill I I don't have any training in psychiatry or psychoanalysis. I understand that there are certain types of "generic" dreams, which may re-occur in various permutations. I pulled the definitions below from a couple of websites.

Yours sounds like a version of the "Obstacles Dream": To dream of an obstacle in your path represents feelings of being unable to make progress or move forward in a situation until a problem has been dealt with. Feeling thwarted. Feelings about needing to overcome something. Negatively, you may be experiencing self-doubt. Feeling the potential to lose an opportunity or important chance. A fear of losing out on something. Frustrations.

Alternatively, experiencing obstacles in a dream may reflect your feelings about other people intentionally making your life harder than it needs to be.

To dream of overcoming represents your ability to use your skills to cope with a problem you felt was thwarting you.

Another common one is the "Unprepared for a test" dream: Some people dream about turning up for an examination unprepared. Now, what does this indicate? If we were to put this subject into perspective, then it means that we aren't prepared to face the challenges or the hardships that might come our way. Some people believe it is a dream about performance anxiety.

Beezer 2:07 PM  

@anonymous 12:33, I just looked it up and apparently the ARAL Sea is/or was an endorheic lake. Quite often they are salty so maybe THAT is why it was called SEA. Apparently though Lake Tahoe is also an endorheic lake BUT I don’t think the Great Salt Lake is. Not confusing at all….🤔

Joe Dipinto 2:14 PM  

@Anon 12:33 – The Aral Sea is landlocked, as is the Caspian Sea, which is generally referenced as the world's largest lake if you define lake as any inland body of water.

okanaganer 2:16 PM  

@Joaquin 6:05am & Kitshef: like your suggestions better than the puzzle ones.

Nice to see Rex feature Alice MUNRO. She and her husband started an incredible bookstore in Victoria BC, Munro's Books.

Re dreams: I often have lucid dreams, where I am fully aware that I'm dreaming. And often the realization awakens me; one time it did, then I closed my eyes again and immediately was back in the dream. However... I was still wide awake! No sound; just vision, in brilliant 8k ultra HD, vivid color. Only lasted a couple of minutes, but a stunning experience.

[Spelling Bee: td (Tue) pg in 7 min flat.
@bocamp dbyd last word, I've been wondering which one it was.]

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle thoroughly.
There were aha moments for each of the theme words.
And the theme answers helped with other clues that I was struggling with.
Bottom line: a good puzzle that activated my brain and gave me pleasure.

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

@Anoa Bob:
psychoanalyst Dr. Frazier Crane told the bartender Woody that there were many quicker and more effective therapies than psychoanalysis for his phobia but none quite so lucrative.

you do understand that 'Dr. Crane' is a figment of the writers' imagination and that the Entertainment Industry is populated by the most insecure and phobic humans on the planet? anything 'Dr. Crane' says should be taken with a ton of salt.

kind of an odd comment, given that most of the medical profession, not just the psych- branches, have railed against chemical treatments for those maladies.

Scientology©, naturally, has all those answers.

Liveprof 3:47 PM  

NEEDLE WORK -- Phlebotomist

Beezer 4:04 PM  

@East Coaster. Both my husband and I have experienced the “not prepared for a test” dream intermittently during our life. Omg, it is the worst! Usually MY dream has me realizing I was signed up for a class but (for whatever reason) never attended it but circumstances are such that I STILL have to take the test. I very much prefer my dreams when I am involved in some “secret agent” intrigue…and I usually come through it very well! Perhaps my subconscious allows me in the “secret agent” dream to know it’s just a dream and just enjoy…I really don’t know but I just go with the flow.
For any other dream ANALYSTS, I have also dreamed that my house is some BIG house…I wander through it and see potential AND also think…why do I have this huge house and why should I fix it? (It usually needs some kind of work) Hmmmm. I DID downsize 8 years ago (my real house was not as big as dream big house)…I THINK I’ve had this dream after we down-sized. It’s not a bad dream, per se, but I always wonder why it pops up from time to time…

GILL I. 4:11 PM  

East Coaster 2:06
Why thanks for the interesting information. And all this time I was worried that my "Obstacles" might be a prelude to me becoming incontinent. Instead, I'm feeling thwarted.....Imagine that....

Anonymous 4:13 PM  

Please note that all 4 theme clues are 2 short words with the second being "job". The answers are 13 or 14 letters. Just sayin'.

egsforbreakfast 4:22 PM  

Very late today. Some great additional themers from youse commenters.

If a person who predicts the weather is a METEOROLOGIST, what is a person who studies meteors?

Like the concept and the puzzle. Thanks, Dan Schoenholz.

Anonymous 5:04 PM  

what is a person who studies meteors?

serious question?

serious answers:
- cosmologist
- astrophysicist
- astronomer

egsforbreakfast 5:51 PM  

@Anonymous 5:04 pm. If you are a frequent reader of my comments, then you obviously know that I am never anything but dead serious. Sometime in the future, you’ll be able to drop the “serious” part ‘cuz I’ll just be dead. Thanks for your light-hearted and hilarious response to my very, very serious question.

Nancy 6:31 PM  

@Beezer -- I've had the what-am-I-doing-in-this-classroom-that-I-never-once-attended-or-even-opened-a-book-for? dream too. It's truly stressful!

What's more amazing is that I never learned from it. Every time I dreamed it, it was like the very first time. Upon waking, I wouldn't remember it. I had that dream for decades -- and long, long after I'd finished with all my schooling. But I didn't realize that it was a repeating dream. I never thought about it in my waking life.

Then maybe about 8-10 years ago I read an article talking about what a common, even universal anxiety dream it was. I thought: OMG, I've been having that dream for years!!! And here's the funny part: once I discovered it was a common recurring anxiety dream for millions of people, I completely stopped having it.

pabloinnh 7:00 PM  

There's a teacher's version of the "didn't study for the test" dream that I have three or four times a year. I'm late to class, I don't have a key to the door, I don't know where anything is, and I can't recognize most of the students. And then I have to stand in front of 25 or so kids with no idea of what I'm going to do. I always enjoy waking up from that one.

I bet other teachers have this one too.

PS-i never have the student version of this one. Interesting, at least to me.

CDilly52 7:03 PM  

@Beezer. ROFL re: “a bout of self-flagellation for having such a lazy brain.” Honestly, that sums up my own amazement and admiration for the wicked clever folks among the “commentariat” (man, I wish I had created that one!) which warm and fuzzy feelings quickly turn to laments of my own sluggish grey matter.

Anonymous 7:18 PM  


just trying to help. may haps a reader or two will be puzzled enough by the answers to go to the wiki to see what those folks really do. and become, may haps, regular viewers of "How the Universe Works". I guaraaaaaohohnteeee that anyone who watches that show will never fall into MAGAmania. and that is "Good Eats" (even though Brown was/is a rabid evangelical).

Joe Dipinto 8:05 PM  

The never-attended-a-class dream is very common. I used to have it occasionally, and just about everyone I knew had had it too.

About a year after I quit smoking, I started having a recurring dream. The first time I had it, I was climbing up an outdoor walkway that adjoined a brick apartment building, and I looked down and saw that I was holding a lit cigarette in my hand, and I thought, "Oh, I guess I started smoking again. I don't remember doing that." The subsequent occurrences were all similar, except that I would also think (in the dream) "The last time this happened it was a dream, but this time it's for real." Of course I was always relieved to wake up. The dream recurred at irregular intervals – sometimes I would have it two months apart, sometimes a year or two might go by in between. Now it's been fifteen years and I don't remember when I last had it.

I can still picture the stairway and building from the first dream. I don't recognize it as anywhere I've ever been though.

Hartley70 8:17 PM  

I’m almost relieved that I’m not tormented by the classroom dream. Almost, because my recurring nightmare is that I am supposed to be caring for an animal in my barn, usually a horse and I totally forget the responsibility to the animal’s demise. When I discover this in horror. I awaken. I’d much rather go back to school.

CDilly52 8:37 PM  

From one old timer to another, @old timer, well said! I remember those long discussions during which, our ignorant, youthful exuberance allowed us to believe wholeheartedly in world peace. What gives me hope is my daughter and her large group of mid-forties friends are raising their children to continue to believe. And to live the important messages of our (yours and my) youth.

My daughter’s favorite bedtime song was “Sweet Survivor” by Peter, Paul and Mary. She includes Peter Yarrow’s “Don’t Laugh at Me” curriculum in her special needs class of 4th - 6th graders. She, her beautiful husband, Jonathan and their brilliantly eclectic family of friends scattered worldwide continue to live the message of “love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land,” and she and Jonathan sing “Sweet Survivor with their own adopted 9 year old daughter (my beautiful granddaughter), a true fighter and survivor of a sad, chaotic early life.

You’re right, @old timer, “political correctness” is worth discussion and its relegation to its often snarky initials demeans the importance of its hopeful and sincere beginnings. Thanks for the memories.

Anoa Bob 8:58 PM  

I'm with you folks on having recurring dreams. The one that I've had the most times over the years is where I'm back in the Navy because of a clerical error of some sort. I don't think we need any dream interpretation on these, they're self explanatory. A Freudian PSYCHOANALYST would say, however, that our recurring dreams are only the surface content and hidden below in the subconscious is the true content. And, for a fee, that PSYCHOANALYST will reveal to you what your dreams really mean. I'm sticking with they are self explanatory.

RooMonster 10:49 PM  

@Joe D 8:05
If you can't remember when you last had that dream, how do you know it's been 15 years? 🤔🤯🤪😂

@Anoa Bob
I've had dreams of being back in Basic Training wondering how I got there!

I've also had dreams where I know I'm dreaming, so I know I can do whatever I want with no consequences. I have some that whist dreaming, I wish are dreams because something bad is happening, and let out a *Phew* upon waking. Others, if I'm doing something I know I can't really do, then again, I know I'm dreaming. I chalk it up to my silly brain. 😁

Three left again in Duotrigordle. Not too shabby.

RooMonster 🎶 Dream A Little Dream Of Me🎶 Guy

Teedmn 11:12 PM  

@Gill I, I have had the “can’t get to the bathroom” dream many times, with myriad scenarios. Every time, I wake up and find I urgently need to get out of bed and find the bathroom. To me, they seem to be unconscious manifestations of my physical need.

I have had many dreams about finding previously unknown rooms in my house, finding coins and money in the grass, having my teeth falling out, being late for a test or work or..., all common dreams. My most interesting recurring dream involved tornados. They seemed to be anxiety-related. One night, when I was in my late thirties, I had a tornado dream and instead of feeling fear, I gleefully started chasing the tornado and it started moving away from me; I never had another tornado dream.

Dreams are weird and the fact that there are universal dream subjects is even weirder.

CDilly52 11:50 PM  

Re flex job. I just checked with the son of one of my closest friends about this. He is a junior exec in the US for Indeed. He says (and especially as a result of COVID) that at least internally, they categorize requests from employers as flex jobs or regular jobs with full or part time sub categories. Even if it were simply a “relative” of flex time, @Rex hit a new nit picky low with this one. Sometimes I wonder if his vast experience teaching constructing and constructing himself inadvertently causes his brain to put on the “What Would Professor Sharp Do” blinders which in turn cause these types of (to me) knee jerk “this is just wrong” reactions. Other times, I get a chuckle out of a mini-rant over something he simply doesn’t know.

Anoa Bob 11:59 PM  

@Joe D., I too had recurring dreams for many years after I quit smoking that I was back sucking on a cigarette again. At first I was crestfallen, thinking "Oh no, here I go with relapse again!" After many repetitions though, I realized what was going on and I learned to enjoy the smoke, even if only in my dreams!

Joe Dipinto 12:13 AM  

@Roo – well yes, that was awkwardly worded. It's been 15 years since I stopped smoking and 14 years since the first time I had the dream. I don't remember when I last had the dream but it's been quite a while. I'd estimate I've had it 8-10 times in all.

I've never had a dream and been aware that I'm dreaming while it's going on. That must be weird.

spacecraft 10:03 AM  

I object to NOTPC for a different reason: the in-language expression is "NOnPC." And that's what I inked in, super-confident that it had to be right. This of course led to a big stall in the SE and time wasted. When I finally hit HITITBIG big, it was easy to see that 35a couldn't be "NHIN." Please do not do that to me any more: if you HAVE to use NO_PC kindly put the N in there where it belongs.

That, plus the dreaded LONGO (hey, isn't that somebody's name? Anything's better than cluing it this way) and the equally dreaded RMK (IND), another entry that could have been better clued, say "Voter designation: abbr." are the only sore spots. Everything else is fine. Edith PIAF, take a DOD bow. Par.

thefogman 10:16 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Burma Shave 11:20 AM  


SHE had IDEAS of what FOLLOWs next,
"OHO, a RUSE! Seems I WON a LEI,
no WEDDINGPLAN, but what SARONG with SEX?"


Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Clued in about the Peanut Gallery? What does that mean?

Diana, LIW 1:04 PM  

Absolutely fine for a Tuesday morning. Made me glad to not have any of those particular jobs at the moment, too!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

thefogman 2:37 PM  

LIGHT and easy stuff. Didn’t use the ERASER once. Rex’s IDEA to SWAP 27A to 44A’s spot would expunge NOTPC. But it didn’t bother me that much. THIN in some spots, this one didn’t make me go OHO! but it isn’t a DUD either.

Anonymous 4:36 PM  

On my local news, during golf season, once a week, Peter Longo did a golf tip segment.

Anonymous 5:47 PM  

It was only mentioned a couple of times today, but every time it's an answer in the puzzle, people (Rex included) will comment that it's an old-fashioned invalid concept . Could we please stop being so anal about anal!
Now I'll have to get out my yoga mat, sit down in the lotus position, and stare at my navel.

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