Aptly named ski town in Utah / THU 5-19-22 / Holy Roman emperor beginning in 973 / Potted ornamental / Fallopian tube traveler / City whose name is Siouan for good place to dig potatoes

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Constructor: Alex Rosen

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: phrases of omission — four pairs of answers (each pair appearing on the same line); for each pair, the first answer appears to have letters missing, and the second is a phrase describing (literally) why the letters in the first answer are missing, or "what to do as you enter the answer to the previous clue":

Theme answers:
  • DISCIPL[in]ES (17A: Punishes / CUT IN (19A: Interrupt ... or what to do as you enter the answer to the previous clue)
  • S[up]PORTED (29A: Backed financially) / SCRUB UP (31A: Prep for surgery ... or what to do etc.)
  • HOME [off]ICE (48A: Workplace with no commute / TAKE OFF (50A: Leave ... or what to do etc.)
  • FL[out]ING (64A: Brazenly disregard) / STRIKE OUT (66A: Flail at home plate ... or what to do etc.)
Word of the Day: pound cake (63A: One of the pounds in a pound cake) —
Pound cake is a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flourbuttereggs, and sugar. Pound cakes are generally baked in either a loaf pan or a Bundt mold. They are sometimes served either dusted with powdered sugar, lightly glazed, or with a coat of icing. (wikipedia)
• • •

A very familiar gimmick. Many a puzzle has been built around a single phrase like this, which acts as a revealer with each of the theme answers conforming to the instructions. In today's case, we get a kind of speed version, with four different "revealers" instead of the more typical lone, final revealer. The same act is involved every time—dropping letters—so there's a consistency there. In typical drop-a-letter / add-a-letter (or letters)-type puzzles, though, there's some wackiness, some attempt to at least try to make the "incorrect" answers funny by having the answers be obviously, zanily wrong, and having the clues be of the loopy "?" variety. Here, we just get single words. They don't fit the clue, but that failure to fit yields zero pleasure, which I guess also means zero cringing, but I'd rather a puzzle go for the joke and fail than not go for it at all. I guess the "joke" is in the second answer to each pair, the verb phrase that explains the first answer in the pair. But there wasn't much "aha" there, since I could clearly see that "IN" was missing from what should've been DISCIPLINES. I was just waiting to find out why. Then I hit CUT IN. Pretty straightforward, not at all amusing. I'd say that HOME ICE is the one first answer of the four that has something like sufficient zaniness—the new phrase is really, really new and different and completely reoriented. But DISCIPLES is just a thud (it's etymologically closely related to DISCIPLINES, so it hardly reorients the word at all). And FLING and SPORTED are just ... there. This is like four different ideas for a puzzle all crammed into one puzzle without much thought for how fun it would be to solve. The theme isn't bad, by any means; just flat. 

With the exception, possibly, of the theme answers with omitted letters, there was nothing at all challenging about this puzzle. No Thursday heat. I had one little area of trouble because I didn't realize that SPORTED was a themer. Combine that with a brutal (but brilliant) clue on MIRROR (23A: Compact disc?), and then my only 75% certainty about David CARR, and then, oof, an extremely random Holy Roman emperor with extremely random Holy Roman numerals in his name (easily the worst thing in the grid), and you've got Stucksville, population me. But even then, not so stuck. I just went down from the top through SCRUB UP and then went back and made sense of that whole lower NW area. The other bit of "difficulty" I had was just pure idiocy, a mistake I made that amused me more than anything in the puzzle did. I had -EKA at 36A: City whose name is Siouan for "good place to dig potatoes" (TOPEKAand my brain decided to completely disregard the "Siouan" part of the clue and focus instead on "potatoes" ("hmm ... near Idaho?") and the idea that you'd be thrilled to discover said potatoes; that is, I wrote in EUREKA! (which is a city in Washington). Sadly, the etymological origins of EUREKA have nothing to do with the Sioux, or North America at all:

Eureka (Ancient Greekεὕρηκα) is an interjection used to celebrate a discovery or invention. It is a transliteration of an exclamation attributed to Ancient Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes. (wikipedia)

The result of this mistake was mostly me being very angry at this alleged "abstract expressionist" who was somehow not ROTHKO but some guy named RUT- ... RUTLIN? RUTHIE? "Who the hell has ever heard of this RUT- guy!?" Well, no one, I made him up (32D: Abstract Expressionist Mark).

Yellow Over Purple (1956)

  • 23A: Compact disc? (MIRROR) — in case the wordplay eludes you, a "compact" is a small circular (or "disc"-shaped) case that flips open to reveal a MIRROR (as well as face powder, commonly).
  • 42D: "And ___ ..." (YET) — Had the YE- and wasn't sure I wasn't dealing with the beginning of some kind of admission. "And YES, technically, I did eat the last six brownies, but in my defense, they were delicious."
  • 63A: One of the pounds in a pound cake (EGGS) — absolutely 100% news to me that the "pound" in "pound cake" had to do with the (equal!) weight of all the ingredients. Seemed like an impossible rationale for a recipe, so I very much hesitated there.
  • 61D: Marty Feldman's role in "Young Frankenstein" (IGOR) — enjoy:

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:12 AM  

My only overwrite had a disproportionate impact: COke for COLA at 6D made it very hard to see DISCIPL[IN]ES (17A) and CALL TIME (21A). I didn't catch on to the theme until well into the solve -- at HOME [OFF]ICE (48A), but once I did it helped with the aforementioned 17A.

smalltowndoc 6:21 AM  

Thanks, Rex, for the bloopers from my most favorite comedy of all time (maybe a tie with Animal House and Ghostbusters; I have sophisticated tastes when it comes to cinema).

My fastest Thursday ever. 40% off my average! My only slow spots were several proper names that I never heard of before. It’s difficult to solve a crossword puzzle when you’re clueless (see what I did there).

Archimedes, Jr. 6:42 AM  

Eureka is in California

There are other Eurekas, but they don't really exist.

Anonymous 7:07 AM  

When I lived in Eureka it was in a Eureka tent which I cleaned with a Eureka vacuum. So there!

Zed 7:12 AM  

At last, I agree with Rex. “Flat” is exactly my reaction. Without some zany cluing this type of puzzle becomes “letters can be used to make different words.” This discovery wasn’t scintillating in first grade, it’s not scintillating now. OTTOII notwithstanding, it is executed well enough, but in the end this is a mehty effort.

LIMOsInE before LIMO RIDE slowed me down. Otherwise nothing particularly noteworthy. Well, I did notice lots of women in the puzzle, NAOMI, OLIVIA, BETH, and SOPHIA. I was mildly bemused that we got a Little Women clue rather than Kiss. Can anyone seriously believe that a 19th century novel is more timeless than four mediocre musicians in clown make-up? C’mon man. (There may be better videos that explain the 1970’s, but if I only have 2:51 and I want a teenager to understand what being a teenager in 1976 was all about, this is the video)

kitshef 7:12 AM  

Weird little cascade of errors when my things that form circles were ARmS, and for the clock I had teLL TIME (which I did not understand but figured I'd work it out later), and my RAP CREW was a RAP tRIO, which meant that my rum mixer was 'mole', which I have to admit sounds interesting.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  


Dr. Shaber 7:42 AM  

Anyone else try spotted instead of sported. As in—Can you spot me a 20 til payday?

bocamp 7:59 AM  

Thx, Alex, for this challenging Thurs. masterpiece! :)


Had all kinds of trouble with this one, mainly bc I didn't pay attention to the themer clues. Still smh for missing those. 🤔

There were also a number of things I just didn't know. Thank goodness for fair crosses.

Hurt my cause with LIMOsInE (which I obviously don't know how to sp anyway). lol

Very happy to have eventually got it all worked out. :)

Fun and invigorating adventure.
yd pg: 33.11 (-5) / W: 3* / WH: 3 / Sed: 18 / Duo: 35

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

JD 8:02 AM  

I'm sorry. I had something to say but I watched @Zed's Kiss video and I'm ⚡🤣 (shocked into tears of hilarity and awfulness).

Oh yeah, the puzzle (wait, I still have a mental picture) ... breathe.

OK, Rum and Cola, there's no such thing. Google, it comes up Rum and Coke. Coke, which was to be my toehold up yonder, held me up a long time. That, and in my usual dense way it took a full night's sleep to get back to it and get the theme.

Clever and I liked it.

But like Coke, ICU specialists was a bit off. This would suggest that all RNs are ICU specialists. Or is there an RN out there I don't know of who just specializes in intensive care? Would a Douche specialist be a DR? Of course not since they don't recommend it, but still.

One more off thing, Limo Ride. You don't book a Limo Ride. You book a Limo. Unless it's 1976, you're 18, just rented your powder blue tux, saved up your lawn mowing money and you're making the reservation instead of your mom doing it for you.

Anonymous 8:09 AM  

Lewis would love the compact disc clue. He's on vacation, isn't he?

Anonymous 8:13 AM  

Disappointing for a Thursday, but generally I liked it, I knew the bit of trivia about Topeka, so that was satisfying (though I did want Keokuk first... I knew there was something like a K sound in there). Ended up guessing at ALTe, ALTo, ALTa, to have all of them be wrong, so tried replacing SPOTTED UP with SPORTED UP, as they seem equally valid to me, and voila.

Airymom 8:15 AM  

Nobody scrubs up for surgery. It's scrubs in. I expected a paragraph about this from Rex.

SouthsideJohnny 8:17 AM  

The wheelhouse effect grabbed me today and just would not let go - some of this stuff was so far out for me that I was pretty much DOA. The jewelry brand, the Utah ski town (does ALTA mean "snow" or "ski" in a random foreign language?), we're back to Roman emperors I see, the Hugo dude crossing an actress that I don't know, the Art Deco whatever it is, and the worst of them all - someone named ROTHKO crossing something in Istanbul.

Obviously I pretty much detest trivia (especially the dead Roman-type and other arcane stuff like that) - so on a day like today I just go along for the ride and try to absorb as much as I can.

Son Volt 8:38 AM  

Agree with Rex and @Z here that this is on the short side of going big. It was not a proper Thursday puzzle. Hand up also for quickly inserting LIMOsine - the crosses fixed that.

Did you know about his suicide?

Light theme + loaded with trivia = not my jam.

pabloinnh 8:42 AM  

Kind of a let down as I always look forward to Thursdays and hope for a real workout, but I caught on to this at the DISCIPLES CUTIN intersection and that just made for a walk in the park.

It was nice to see a couple of things pop out of the memory bank, like the Hagia SOPHIA and Mark ROTHKO. I learned Ms. Munn's first name and that Prince PHILIP is missing an L. Also I had the TO for the city name and briefly considered Toledo, which I knew was ridiculous, and TOPEKA was fairly obvious anyway. Also learned about the EGGS in pound cake. Who knew?

So a nicely constructed Thursdecito, AK. All Kidding aside, fun enough, just not rewarding enough. Thanks for some fun.

Gary Jugert 8:57 AM  

Most of the puzzle grokked itself, but I spent more time Googling than usual for a Thursday, so I ask myself, "Was it worth it?"

I met OLIVIA Munn (another pretty actor). I should probably show more interest in stars, but I just don't care who any of them are in real life.

Frederik POHL seems like he had a good career. I used to read a fair bit of sci-fi, but never heard of him.

I wish there was a way to never hear about the British monarchy. I would way rather delve into the Kardashians.

Pretty sure David CARR isn't someone I needed to know.

I've never seen an Alex and Ani store, but this is the second time recently ANI has been clued this way. I'd still prefer Young Darth.

I couldn't remember OTTO II, but always happy to linger in Wikipedia over anything Roman.

Mark ROTHKO appears to be famous for painting beach towel patterns.

The clue and answer for RAP CREW was created entirely by people who don't listen to the music.

Theme seemed ___ (without MERIT). But it made sense.

Mr. Cheese 9:10 AM  

I read somewhere that the filming of “Young Frankenstein” took weeks longer than planned. Mainly because of the number of times that Marty Feldman cracked up the crew.
I can see how that could happen.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

100% agree. I’ve been in medicine for 14 years, in countless ORs, and done 1000s of sterile procedures. I’ve never once heard somebody say “SCRUBS UP.”

Blue Stater 9:26 AM  

Thursday, the day of cheap tricks. Again.

kitshef 9:41 AM  

@Arymom 8:15 - possibly there is a regional or international variance here. My sister - who is a doctor - says "scrub up". She practices in the southeast and went to med school in Scotland.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

You made me smile. It's 1976 and I'm 21. Powder blue tuxes for the ushers at my wedding to high school sweetheart. Still together. 46 years next week.

RooMonster 9:53 AM  

Hey All !
Interesting. Easy puz with a tougher theme. Hardest Ior me was SPORTED, the ole brain couldn't see SUPPORTED. Silly brain.

Also had COke for COLA, giving me yeLLTiME for CALLTIME. Har, you do yeLL TIME a lot, no?

SWEAR under GODNO was apt. RAISINET? Isn't it RAISINETTE,? If not, it's been a while since I've seen/eaten them.

Can't decide how to count the F's today. Technically there are two in TAKEOFF, but if you literally TAKE OFF from HOME OFFICE, should there be four F's there, or no F's? 😁🤪

Yes LIMOUSINE has that U in there, good for @M&A, but unneeded, as CHOCOLATE has an unneeded O. English...

yd -3, should'ves 3 (Argh! Easy ones...)
Duo -1, missed 1-2-3-9-20-22 oof

Three F's

Carola 10:10 AM  

Bewilderment up top: not only was I sure of COke - which obscured both caLL TIME and DISCIPLES, but I also wrote in SPOnsor for "Backed financially," thinking that the missing "-ed" would be part of the theme. I understood how CUT IN and SCRUB UP were supposed to work, but couldn't FIGURE OUT (nice cross in the SE corning) how to do it. My AHA moment finally came at FL[OUT]ING; then I worked my way back up to the top, ending with ANI and the DISCIPLES. So, yes, a simple concept, but still a Thursday challenge for me.

Pretty good yield on luck-of-the-draw on the names today - ELI and CARR were my only unknowns; OLIVIA Munn I know only as one of Aaron Rodgers's ex-girlfriends. Help from previous puzzles: having learned that LIMOusine has a "u" so wouldn't fit here.

Amy 10:13 AM  

Easy peasy, except agree with the Scrub In crowd, nobody scrubs up in this context, maybe you scrub up after painting a house or before dinner, or otherwise getting your hands dirty, but not prepping for surgery. It’s more of an after than a prep.

600 10:18 AM  

@Dr. Shaber--yep. SPORTED/CARR Naticked me. Never having heard of David Carr, spotting some cash until payday felt like it had to work--even if I couldn't figure out where the UP should go. There's some comfort in knowing it happened to someone else too. Not much, but some.

Joseph Michael 10:21 AM  

Easy? Not for me. I struggled through much of this, especially in the NW and SW corners, and thought I was going to STRIKE OUT. Then a satisfying AHA emerged as I finally grokked the theme and the rest fell into place. I appreciate how the themers spell real words with and without their removed parts. Nicely done, Mr. Rosen.

Also liked the pairing of OH GOOD and GOD NO, the clue for MIRROR, and the culinary lesson about pound cake.

beverly c 10:23 AM  

Another voice for Eureka California. The place in Washington is unincorporated, has no post office, and it’s population is less than 2000. Hardly a city.

BTW, the puzzle had some clever clues, and the them wasn’t too challenging but pleasant. I’m unfamiliar with HOMEICE.

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

This one solved pretty easily for me, and I liked the gimmick. I must agree that the answers could have been more snappy, but it worked. Also, too, no rebuses! Rebii? Glad not to see them.

Gary Jugert 10:29 AM  

@SouthsideJohnny Everything in your list of "trivia" is real knowledge worth learning, and almost everything in your list appears regularly in puzzles. I've learned to move the indignation in my noggin over so I have room for curiosity.

Nancy 10:31 AM  

First of all, there was the completely baffling M.C.s Death Row Records clue and the unknown names like ANI, OLIVIA and SOPHIA.

Following that was some really peculiar cluing -- cluing that made me feel I was on a different EXOplanet than Alex Rosen. I don't get TWIN for "multiple of one". EXIST for "just be yourself" is really pushing the envelope. MADAMS may or may not be "sophisticated ladies" -- it's what they're called and not necessarily who they are. And if they're bordello MADAMS -- well, I wouldn't think of them as sophisticated. Think of every Western you've ever seen.

And then there's the "compact disc" clue for MIRROR. The compact I carried back in the days one actually carried compacts had a MIRROR that was square and looked nothing like a disc. Revlon, I think. Square MIRRORs are better for viewing your face-- they don't cut off both sides of your neck and maybe the lobes of your ears too.

Enter the theme answers. They're mostly quite nice, but with one glaring exception. TAKE does not mean "remove". The answer for 50A should be TAKE OFF OFF if you want to remove OFF from HOME OFFICE.

It took me forever to figure out the theme since I was so busy wrestling with my problems everywhere else. If those stumbling blocks could have been eliminated, I would have enjoyed this puzzle a lot more.

This 'n' That 10:33 AM  

SPOtTED doesn't work with the theme or the cross, CARR

Last time I looked COke was a COLA(it's even in the name) so RUM and COLA is ACES with me.

Yes, you book a LIMO but not to look at. You book it to RIDE in. Plenty close enough.

Clue for RNS should've been "Some are ICU specialists".

If I ever need surgery I sure hope everyone involved SCRUB(s) UP!

Maybe . . . 10:37 AM  

I liked the puzzle and the fact that there were four different, and clean, solid, revealer entries. Had trouble with the southwest knot where I entered LIMOsInE (it looks OK going down), then was thinking only of outdoor, country fair-type concession stand morsels, which didn't include boxed candy, and never in my life have thought or uttered "ACES". But I hung in there and enjoyed the -RIDE.

Sane guy 10:37 AM  

A bit of a struggle and not much fun. Never understood the theme until I read the blog. To many weird pop type references. Slightly faster than average, but no joy.

bocamp 10:40 AM  

"Scrub in: To wash the hands and forearms very thoroughly, as for surgery. To scrub in implies the use of a brush (and often an implement to clean under the nails). To scrub in, to scrub up, and to scrub are synonymous." (MedicineNet)

SCRUB UP / SCRUB in: almost a toss UP on Ngram

On the Atchison, TOPEKA and the Santa Fe (Harvey Girls, 1946) ~ Judy Garland
td pg: 10.12 (0 in 30 give or take) / W: 4*

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

Gordie 10:43 AM  

@beverly c. HOME ICE refers to a hockey arena. If the Detroit Red Wings are playing a game in Detroit they are on their HOME ICE.

jberg 10:43 AM  

Almost DNF today; I had no idea about David CARR, and had SPOtTED before I knew about the theme. Once I did know the theme, I couldn't see how to put the UP in. By then I'd realized he might be CARR (my third choice, with CARd second), but I kept thinking of things like 'SPUPORTED.' Finally gave up, sat down at my computer to come here, and suddenly I saw SUPPORTED. Whew.

Put me among the millions who put in LIMOsInE; I had a vague idea there should be a U someplace, but couldn't recall where. Fortunately, while I've never ever eaten a RAISINET, I knew them anyway, so got my RIDE. I also spent a few nanoseconds amazed at the strange coincidence that TOLEDO was a Siouan word as well as a city in Spain. UPI quickly saved me from that one.

I'm left with two questions, though:

1. Do you weigh the EGGS with or without the shells?
2. Yellow pages???

But I'm just appalled that so many people don't know the dates of the various Emperors Otto. Our educational system is failing.

sf27shirley 10:48 AM  

EUREKA California. It translates to "I have found it."

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

Exactly! Who orders a rum and cola?

Clay 10:49 AM  

Rothko + Sophia = trivia Natick. If you don’t know one or the other (hand up), it’s just a guess, and “e” works as well as “o” or any other vowel.

And I’m with jberg on SPOtTED, which is a perfect answer to the clue, but also eventually sussed it out.

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

Unreal. Simply unreal. Rex, a native Californian, apparently didn't know what Eureka meant. How any educated person doesn't know the Archimedes bathtub story and his excited utterance is beyond me. But for a son of the golden state not to know it is frankly embarrassing. Eureka is California's state motto.

Whatsername 10:59 AM  

Oh GOD NO! I take a few days off and come back to a puzzle that ticked me off worse than any in recent memory. I SWEAR I actually like this type of trick but I just wanted to FLING this one against Nancy’s Wall.

BETH walked into a bar with ALTA and NAOMI and ordered a rum and COLA. “Don’t be a dork” said Naomi, “everybody knows it’s rum and COKE.” So this schmo only booked a RIDE to the prom instead of the whole LIMO? What happened when it was time to go home? Did he have to book another RIDE or did his poor date SCRUB UP for the big night only to end up walking all the way from Manhattan to TOPEKA in her slingback peep-toe pumps?

Four proper names crossing the first themer which IMO was the weakest one but the starting point for your theme. Not GOOD. And did it occur to anyone that a perfectly valid answer to 29A was SPOTTED which stands alone? Maybe I’m cranky and just need to CALL TIME after vacation but this one was a big STRIKE OUT with me.

GILL I. 11:06 AM  

It's Thursday. I wanted a dramatic DIP while doing my fandango tango. Instead, I wobbled on greasy tables...I tripped with some COke....There were so many names being written on my RAISINET menu and I, like our friend @Z, misspelled LIMOsINE. I like our answer better than any RIDE. I wish SPOTTED were followed by Dick.
Should I be meeting with someone famous in a RAP CREW? Did POHL and ROTHKO get unceremoniously tossed out with the MADAMS? Should I TAKE OFF or FLING my TWIN WATERBED into oblivion?
What...pray tell is HOME ICE? Is this supposed to be different than bar ICE?
My feet hurt at the end of the day. OH GOOD...it's over and I think I'll waddle UP to the bar and order EGGS over easy.

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

Just saw your tweet celebrating the 7th anniversary of your little tempest in a teapot. I've known for a while that you are petty, but just how small had eluded me until just now. You sir are reprehensible.

JC66 11:14 AM  

When I was kid going tom the movies on Saturday afternoons, I always bought Goobers, not RAISINETS.

Nancy 11:17 AM  

Oh, yes, @Whatsername -- I knew there was one awful clue/answer I'd forgotten to mention. "What is this SPORTED thing where SPOTTED should be?" I asked myself just as you did. You "spot" someone money; you don't "sport" him money. Fortunately I knew David CARR -- but what if I hadn't?

I'm always happy to share my Wall, @Whatsername, though perhaps you should have a dedicated one of your own:) This puzzle really annoyed me too.

jae 11:20 AM  

Easy-medium . Me too SPOtTed before SPORTED and LIMOsinE before LIMORIDE. Okay Thursday, liked it.

Somehow I knew PERU, could be a previous puzzle?

Part of “Cloud Cuckoo Land” was set in 1453 Constantinople so Hagia SOPHIA was still floating around in memory.

egsforbreakfast 11:20 AM  

Surprised that no one has excoriated Will Shortz for the obvious and grievous no-no of allowing “disc” in the clue for. 23A (MIRROR) just below 17A DISCIPLES.

Are OTTOII residents of OTTAVA?

GODNO right on top of SWEAR!!!!

The puzzle worked. It solved fast. I wouldn’t write home about it, but I would write here. Thanks, Alex Rosen.

Nancy 11:21 AM  

Oops. Thanks, @jberg. I just SPOTTED the whole S[UP]PORTED thing. Mea culpa.

Barbara S. 11:28 AM  

Mark ROTHKO is one of those artists whose work doesn't reproduce worth beans. I had to laugh at @Gary Jugert's (8:57) beach towel comment, but the experience of being in the same room with the glow of a ROTHKO transcends terrycloth. He most commonly juxtaposes colors close together on the color wheel (rather than complementaries) and together they create synergies of light and air and space. His work has a meditative quality -- it draws you in -- and suggests something of the infinite, certainly the realm beyond the everyday, and maybe the divine, if you're that way inclined. Paintings like the one in Rex's review combine the serene and the dazzling. And, at the other end of the emotional spectrum, I defy the hardest of hearts or the most skeptical of contemporary art viewers to be unmoved in the ROTHKO Chapel in Houston.

Do you find you don't know how to look at works like these? Here's ROTHKO from the early 1940s:

"In painting, plasticity is achieved by a sensation of movement both into the canvas and out from the space anterior to the surface of the canvas. Actually, the artist invites the spectator to take a journey within the realm of the canvas. The spectator must move with the artist’s shapes in and out, under and above, diagonally and horizontally; he must curve around spheres, pass through tunnels, glide down inclines, at times perform an aerial feat of flying from point to point, attracted by some irresistible magnet across space, entering into mysterious recesses — and, if the painting is felicitous, do so at varying and related intervals. This journey is the skeleton, the framework of the idea. In itself it must be sufficiently interesting, robust, and invigorating. That the artist will have the spectator pause at certain points and will regale him with especial seductions at others is an additional factor helping to maintain interest. In fact, the journey might not be undertaken at all were it not for the promise of these especial favors… It is these movements that constitute the special essentialness of the plastic experience. Without taking the journey, the spectator has really missed the essential experience of the picture."

Anonymous 11:29 AM  

most definitely. i’d maintain that “spotted” even fits the clue better than “supported”.

Mike in Bed-Stuy 11:29 AM  

FWIW, "Eureka" is the first person singular, perfect indicative active of the Ancient Greek verb heurískō, "to find."

Nancy 11:30 AM  

Phrazle 61: 2/6
⬜⬜🟨⬜🟩⬜🟩 🟩🟩 🟨⬜🟪⬜🟨

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Anonymous 11:32 AM  

hear hear. it was only when i wondered what nike and snas were doing in my grid that caused me to change to “up”

Mike in Bed-Stuy 11:35 AM  

I agree with all the comments about SCRUB UP, LIMO RIDE, COLA, and all the other disconnects between clues and entries in this puzzle. Have not read *all* the comments, so apologies if somebody already made this point, but to me, the basic formula of the theme clues was off. The operation in question (CUT IN, SCRUB UP, TAKE OFF, STRIKE OUT) always relates to the D-entry that crosses the A-entry referred to in the clue. So, for example, you do not in fact cut "in" when you are entering the answer to 19A; rather, you cut "in" when you are entering in answer to 6D—That's how those of us who started with COke (I plead guilty) were able to correct to COLA.

Masked and Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Kinda neat theme. The leadin words are still legit words, even with the letters cut, scrubbed, taken, or struck. Trailer words use up all the remainin space in each theme row. Self-contained lil puzzler rows. Different. Like.
Theme mcguffin got easier, as we went along. Needed the first two theme samplins, to catch on.

Coulda also alternatively had the second theme parts tell U to add stuff, instead of remove stuff:
… or somesuch.

Primo trivia-clues for PERU & TOPEKA.
Great MIRROR clue, too boot, of course.

some no-knows: ROTHKO/SOPHIA (guessed the common O, after a brief takeoff of nanoseconds). OLIVIA. NAOMI (as a model -- knew her name as an actress, tho). CARR. RAPCREW (inferable enough to survive). ANI.
Did know Frederik POHL, from M&A's teenage sci-fi short story binge-readin years.

Clue for WATERBED nicely included the ironic "no springs".

staff weeject pick: EXO. Almost sounds like it wants U to put an O into its precedin LEO, to get OLEO.

Thanx for the MOO-DISH fun, Mr. Rosen dude. [Just add HAR.]

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Anonymous 11:54 AM  

63A: One of the pounds in a pound cake (EGGS) — absolutely 100% news to me that the "pound" in "pound cake" had to do with the (equal!) weight of all the ingredients. Seemed like an impossible rationale for a recipe, so I very much hesitated there.

thereby revealing a background level of male chauvinist piggery. only wimins know about making food. for shame.

CT2Napa 11:59 AM  

Bartender, I'll have a rum and coke.

I have only Pepsi.

Then, I'll have something else.

Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Exactly! Who orders a rum and cola?

well, the Coke Folk do send out spies to find out establishments that use some generic cola (or, heaven forbid, Pepsi), but vend "rum and Coke" anyway. don't know how much they get per violation. protecting copyright and trademark and all that; the owner has to show that it's done so. I think, but not certain, that not doing so turned Kleenex into 'just another facial tissue name'.

TJS 12:14 PM  

So you have to bring the scale into the kitchen to make pound cake ? Who knew ? A pound of flour and a pound of sugar sounds like you're making a lot more than one pound cake. I think I'll stick with Sara Lee.

Rex : "I'd rather a puzzle go for the joke and fail than not go for it at all." Oh, really ???

@Southside, you might as well add Alta and Erte to your list because there is no avoiding them. And maybe the names of the "Little Women".

I'm with the ladies (Nancy, Gill and Whatsername) on this one, but with one quibble. @Nancy, you don't remember the outfits Miss Kitty wore in the Long Branch ? She didn't look like no farm girl !

Beezer 12:20 PM  

Given the fact I made all the initial mistakes many have cited, I got through the puzzle in close to record time (according to the timer thingie) and then thought “where was my Thursday crunch”?

Early mistakes were: SPOtTED, COkE, and of course, the misspelled LIMOsInE. BUT I did figure out the “trick” early on with DISIPLES/CUTIN so I was off to the races. I didn’t even bother to guess TOPEKA and just let it reveal itself with the downs but I also thought it must be in or near Idaho…

Next week if all goes well I will actually visit the Haggia SOPHIA so THAT clue/answer was very timely for me!

Lol…@Nancy, you seemed a little puzzle grumpy today…c’mon now…square compacts may be better but “back in the day” when face powder was de rigeur I think most of the compacts were round. But then I think most of my teenage friends thought Cover Girl was a splurge and Revlon…well…out of the question! Then I got older and snooted into the realm of Clinique, etc.

Newboy 12:32 PM  

Interesting responses today. As @Clay noted above, one’s experience either helps or hinders. His crossing problem area was my principal area bringing delight. Hagia SOPHIA once visited remains an unforgettable experience and Turkey remains our GOAT travel from an earlier, less-Covid tainted era before the Erdogan fundamentalist swing. And being able to sit in contemplation of a Frank Stella “Black on Black” changed my scorn for Abstract Expressionism to a budding awareness. Still not a fan, but like today’s puzzle there is something in a ROTHKO if we are willing to appreciate the creator’s intent as well as the execution. Wheel house indeed! The grid was almost as much fun as the expected Thursday rebus, and Rex tossed in a lovely Young Frankenstein clip as icing on the EGGS, flour, butter & sugar: sweet day on the ��.

Deb Sweeney 12:33 PM  

Hah. Somehow my brain saw potatoes and thought Siouan must be a form of Irish, probably pronounced something like Siobhan, which I painfully but quickly learned to pronounce when I was a teacher. But soon enough I did the head slap. I'm used to seeing the names of more specific communities, like Dakota or Lakota, where I live.

Nancy 12:50 PM  

Phrazle 62: 2/6
🟩 ⬜🟪⬜🟩🟪 🟩🟩🟩 ⬜🟪⬜⬜ 🟨🟪⬜⬜⬜⬜🟪🟨

🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

bookmark 1:03 PM  

@Barbara S. Thank you for your comments on Rothko, one of my favorite artists. I've seen many of his paintings and hope to visit the Rothko Chapel soon.

Here's my favorite quote from Rothko:

Famed Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko believed that art was a powerful form of communication. “The fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions,” he said in an interview in 1956. “The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”

Gary Jugert 1:16 PM  

@Anon 11:13 AM Just checking, but you do know you're not required to follow Rex on Twitter, right? Nor use Twitter at all, right? Nor read this blog, right? Nor read the comments in this blog, right? Nor comment on this blog, right? Especially, when someone so virtuous as yourself could write your own morally correct crossword puzzle blog for free on this very same platform, and you could do your own tweeting of a higher ethical standard, and get this, {careful we don't want to panic the Anonym-oti}, but you are in fact allowed on the internet to use your real name, have fun, and enjoy your time here. I'm sure you know this, so please ignore this post (as I know you will).

Whatsername 1:18 PM  

@Nancy (11:17) I suppose I could designate a Wall but it’s ever so much more fun to use yours. I imagine myself a sophisticated New Yorker stopping by for cocktails while we kvetch about the crossword and wait for @GILL and @TJS to arrive. :-]

bocamp 1:27 PM  

Wanted SPOnsoRED (then later SPORTED); didn't know CARR, and conflated emperor OThO with OTTO, so that was just one of my woeful areas.

@jae (11:20 AM)

Have had 'Cloud Cuckoo Land' on hold for some time. Looking forward to reading about Anna and the story of Aethon.

Learned PERU (oldest university in the Americas) from previous xwords, as perhaps you did.

"The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is a public research university in Lima, the capital of Peru. Also known as the University of Peru and the "Dean University of the Americas", it is the first officially established (privilege by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) and the oldest continuously operating university in the Americas.[6] Since its foundation, it was commonly referred as the "Royal and Pontifical University of the City of the Kings of Lima" until the Viceroyalty period and as of now, it is referred to as Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos or La Decana de América." (Wikipedia)

@Barbara S. (11:28 AM) / @bookmark (1:03 PM)

Thx for the quotes from ROTHKO; what eyeopeners! :)

@Beezer (12:20 PM)

I hope your trip to Istanbul (and the Hagia SOPHIA) works out! 🤞
Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

EV 1:52 PM  

@Southside, you’re hilarious. Along with many others here, you dismiss “stuff I don’t know” as trivia. If Rothko and the Hagia Sophia are trivial, what do you consider important, culturally? I’m honestly curious.
Is it just “stuff I like”? American stuff?
Or do you have a genuine principle of what is included and what is not?

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

Gary Jurgert,
Are you ok? Want me to call 911? I think you may be having a stroke.

Anoa Bob 1:59 PM  

This former bartender thinks all yous are wrong. It's neither Rum and COke (unless you want to get really, really high) nor Rum and COLA. Here, let the Andrew Sisters set things straight.

Utah ski resort with four letters? It's been ALTA 105 times during the Shortz era. Means "high" or "tall" in Spanish (I live next to the ALTA Vista apartments) but apparently no one knows for sure if that's the origin of ALTA, Utah. I see there is an ALTA PERUvian Ski Lodge there, so that seems to point to a Spanish origin for the resort's name.

I thought the theme was clever except that the missing letter entries were kind of left hanging out there, slowly twisting in the wind, with no discernible connections to the rest of the puzzle. Oh, and while HOME ICE and FLING were up to the task of filling their slots, DISCIPLE and SPORT both needed letter count boosts to get the job done. As yous can see, there are easy, convenient shortcuts to fix those kinds of problems but that's two nits in this puzzle's ointment if you ask me.

luddite says.... 2:06 PM  

These Mark ROTHKO quotes crack me up.

For the '40s quote, all the work seems to be up to the observer and the same process could be applied to looking at Gary Jugert's beach towel. Also, why is plasticity the desirable quality; Is he the father in law from The Graduate?

For the '50s quote, I think people might break down and cry because they didn't figure out how to be rich and famous for putting 2 colors on a piece of canvas.

One of my favorite Mystery Science Theater bits was a Rothko paint-by-numbers kit that was a piece of canvas with the number 1 in the middle and a single paint cup.

relicofthe60s 2:13 PM  

So Rex didn’t know that a pound cake was originally made from a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of butter, and a pound of EGGS, but he had no problem with a clue about MC and Death Row Records. No surprise there.

And why did he not call out SCRUBSUP, which is patently wrong, as several people have pointed out?

okanaganer 2:20 PM  

Like bocamp, faced with SPO--ED for "Backed financially" it just had to be SPONS(OR)ED, with the OR part "scrubbed up" to the line above. Get it? I was quite disappointed it was actually S(UP)PORTED which is not as spot on the clue.

In Stephen Baxter's science fiction novel "Flood", the oceans keep rising until ALTA is the last remaining town in the US still above water. Near the end, survivors on an ark watch the tip of Everest get submerged.

[Spelling Bee: yd pg in 6 min; QB maybe 25 min later. The 9ers were entertaining yd.]

faber 2:26 PM  

ALTA means high. Gorgeous place to ski.

Rick Walker 2:45 PM  

Yeah. That was before I realized I needed to make sense of the following clue of course. I also got really stuck on cola. That was a bad clue because almost no one orders a rum and cola. There are so many better ways to clue cola.

SouthsideJohnny 2:55 PM  

@EV - I would consider the name of an impressionist (expressionist ? - I don't even know the difference) from a century ago and the name of a historical museum or ancient temple in Istanbul to be examples of "trivia". Whether they are "arcane" or not is in the eye of the beholder. In my post I commented on how the "wheelhouse effect" (which is basically a term for trivia that one does not recognize) jumped up and bit me today.

I'm not going to attempt to define an acceptable level of "arcania" for a crossword puzzle, since (as you alluded to) one person's arcane is another's common knowledge. I would suggest that there are extremes though - as OTTO II is less well known than Napoleon and the Hagia SOPHIA is less well known than the Eifel Tower for example.

The key is to strike the appropriate balance - which is Shortz's job and that's why he gets paid the big bucks.

CT2Napa 3:02 PM  

The clue is Rum mixer not Rum and _____

The mixer is cola of which Coke is one of many.

Anonymoose 3:05 PM  

I don't remember seeing a day when so many didn't get the theme, as evidenced by all the support for SPOTTED.

Anonymous 3:47 PM  


I have never heard anyone call the Hagia Sofia and ancient temple.
It is a marvel of engineering and heart-achingly beautiful. It was also the de facto seat of the Byzantine Church for more than half a millennium.
If that weren't enough to rescue it from arcana, it has been much in the news recently owing to Erdogan's decision to turn what had been a major UNESCO site open and available to all into a mosque.

Oh what mischief the fall of Constantinople loosed on the world. Coming up on the 569th anniversary of that catastrophe week after next.

Last, thanks for the gratuitous vocabulary lesson. I mean who here what have known what wheelhouse meant?

kitshef 4:04 PM  

@Anoa Bob - my first thought was also Rum and Coca-cola, but from a different song, by Pulp.

Experienced Solver 5:25 PM  

@SouthsideJohnny 2:55PM

No, you are wrong. It’s not the editor’s job to pander down to your comfort level in late week puzzles. It’s the editor’s job to provide late week puzzles that challenge experienced solvers. If you can’t keep up don’t blame the puzzle or the editor.

Anonymous 5:26 PM  

People with stock in Pepsi?

Zed 6:47 PM  

@Gary Jugert - 🤣😂🤣 - I thought the anonymice (or is it just one mouse? who knows) were in fine form today. Belittling academic integrity, misreading Rex not once but twice, and tossing in the usual misogyny seasoning. I’m sure we’ll get a little racism tossed in before the day is done.

@Anon9:50 - OMG! Baby blue tux with a ruffled shirt was my 1979 prom outfit. Brother-in-law did the same tux for his wedding, with a curly perm to top off the ensemble. Almost makes the clown makeup make sense.

@JD - At least BETH got a name. In the overwrought 70’s ballad genre Styx went with the oh so romantic Babe. Me, I was more into bicycle races.

okanaganer 6:54 PM  

@kitshef have you ever heard William Shatner's cover of that excellent song? It's so bad it's actually good. Plus a real singer joins in at about 1:30.

Mr. Benson 7:33 PM  

I’ve always assumed that Eureka, CA is named for its gold rush roots. (Looks it up) Indeed, it is. And yet I was briefly tempted to enter that as an answer, briefly rationalizing to myself that the name came from something different and then the phrase “Eureka!” took on a new meaning after the gold rush. The only thing that prevented me from entering it was the realization that Siouans were nowhere near California. One goes through weird mental gymnastics while trying to solve crosswords, is what I’m saying.

Also, I’m from Washington and have never heard of a Eureka there, so another vote here for California.

kitshef 10:08 PM  

Thank you @okanaganer! I knew Shatner had done a cover version, but had never heard it.

Anonymous 10:12 PM  

These "art" people crack me up. They find "meaning" in paintings that look like they were done by two-year olds. Hell, I can paint a line, label it "Line: An Existential Look Into The Souls of Man", write a blurb that I had inspiration from nature and God, and the "Arty folk" would fawn over it, and pay $1,000,000 for it.

RooMonster 10:26 PM  

There's also a Yreka, CA.

RooMonster Want To Visit Pie Town, NM Guy (if you look on a map, it sits directly on the Continental Divide. I wonder which Ocean their water rolls to.)

Anonymous 11:28 PM  

EPEE is surely the sword used for the sport of fencing, no? I’ve never heard ‘epee’ as a sport. Feel the clue should be “pointers used in sport.” COLA and SCRUBUP were irksome to me too. Never heard “scrub up” only “scrub in.” Oh well, another puzzle to look forward to tomorrow!

albatross shell 1:17 AM  

I have heard docrors and nurses say scrub up including the nurse I share a home with. Scrub in is for when you are joining an operation already occurring. But some make no such distinction.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

When a hockey team is playing in its own city they are on home ice.

crazyloon 9:41 PM  

The Turks took over, get over it. It's Istanbul now has been for a century.
Why is it a catastrophe?
Are you a Christian right wing nutjob,?

spacecraft 11:04 AM  

"Easy," huh? "Nothing AT ALL [emphasis mine] challenging," huh? "No Thursday heat," huh? Oh sure. Who doesn't know RAPCREW, Alex and ANI, ROTHKE, SEPHIA and OTTOII? Answer: me. In addition, we have Saturday cluing throughout. I SO hate when he does that. No way in hell this was easy.

The only way to solve it was to do the east first. Right away that 4/9 thing confused me. After managing to get the corner, all it gave me was a huge groan: oh OK, the nine-digit SSN. *GROAN*

It went on like this. I did think the theme was very clever, with all the "previous" answers being real words/phrases on their own, just not clued. (Note, however, the above-mentioned closeness of DISCIPLES and disciplines.) But just filling things in: yikes! It was misplaced, all right--but not too late in the week--too early! I was all set to give this one a birdie, but OFF's rating pissed me off and it's now a par.

OCTAVIA Munn was another "Who??" but after a post-solve Google, she won DOD.

I will not bore you with my third bogey in a row. Yuck.

Burma Shave 11:24 AM  


We FIGUREd OUT what SOPHIA said,
she CALLed OUT, "OHGOOD GODNO, stop!"


thefogman 2:50 PM  

The gimmick is an OK idea but the themers don’t relate to each other in any way and they are not all zingers. So, a bit of a STRIKEOUT compared to yesterday’s which touched all the bases.

Diana, LIW 6:58 PM  

Yes @Spacey, this is a Saturday if ever there was! Of course, I have a terrific head cold and even reading OFL's explanation made me want to take a long nap. So my uptake is a bit slooooow.

I kinda got the trick while solving - not quite, but I did get the answers. And no, I don't know those *%^! names. Some were vague shadows that crept out of the back of my mind, like ROTHKO. OTTO has shown up in crosswords before.

Anyway, I'll come back tomorrow and read the notes again. Just call me PALEO woman.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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