German opera highlight / THU 5-12-22 / Fortune 500 company with heart in its logo / Diacritical mark resembling a dieresis / Tree under which Siddhartha attained enlightenment

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: UMLAUT (58A: Diacritical mark resembling a dieresis, both of which are represented in this puzzle) — a rebus puzzle where four double-O squares sit atop four letters that would (in their natural, non-crossword state) be spelled with an UMLAUT

Theme answers:
  • ÜBERMENSCH (18A: Nietzschean ideal) [UMLAUT from OOPS]
  • NAÏVETE (36A: Trait of a babe in the woods) [UMLAUT from SPOOR]
  • BRONTËS (38A: Noted literary sisters) [UMLAUT from IT'S COOL] 
  • HÄAGEN-DAZS (50A: Ice cream brand whose first storefront was in Brooklyn Heights) [UMLAUT from ATWOOD]
Word of the Day: dieresis (see 58A) —
1a mark ¨ placed over a vowel to indicate that the vowel is pronounced in a separate syllable (as in naïve or Brontë— compare UMLAUT (
[UMLAUT: a diacritical mark ¨ placed over a vowel to indicate a more central or front articulation 

— compare DIAERESIS (]

• • •

Well, I have now learned the difference between UMLAUT and dieresis, so that's something. Actually, I didn't just learn the difference—this is my first encounter with "dieresis" at all (that I can remember). I think of everything "over" a letter as a "diacritical mark" and if anyone has tried to press further information on my brain, my brain has apparently responded "nah, it's cool, we'll just leave it there." This puzzle was so easy that I no-looked UMLAUT ... which made understanding what the hell the theme was supposed to be something of a challenge. I eventually went looking for any revealer I might've missed, and there it was. I think the clue on UMLAUT is a convoluted jargony mess, but the concept here is very clever and neatly executed. Genuine aha when I saw that UMLAUT was the key to this otherwise mysterious "OO" puzzle. I guess the first and last "OO"s are UMLAUTs (appearing, as they do, in German words), whereas the middle two are diereses. The former changes pronunciation, the latter syllabic value or weight. It's slightly weird to have a theme centered around a diacritical mark, and then have one of the theme answers contain a different diacritical mark that doesn't get visually represented (the acute accent on the final "E" in NAIVETÉ), especially when that is the diacritical mark in NAIVETÉ more likely to actually get used (the dieresis over the "I" being largely ignored these days). But still, if we focus just on the double-Os in this theme: IT'S COOL.

I wish the solving experience had been more pleasant. ÜBERMENSCH is a highlight, as is SNARFDOWN, but this puzzle lost a lot of goodwill early with the wretched UNPC (1D: Not acceptable, in a way), which I can't believe hasn't been scrapped from all wordlists by now. "PC" has always been a reactionary concept weaponized against people who have wanted pretty modest things like You To Not Be Racist / Sexist / Homophobic. A way of legitimizing longstanding bigoted norms by blaming the target of bigotry for being offended. A dishonest, garbage concept from the get-go. The same people now using "woke" derisively (and haphazardly) were the ones blah blah blahing about PC this and PC that in the '90s. And that's the other wretched thing about UNPC (or NOTPC): it feels dated. Anyway, it's about as pleasant to encounter as SPOOR. Or NOOUTS / APBS / TSELIOT all in a row, or ADE APSO ISH D'OH clustered together, or ACTII OYE LOOIES ELMO MILA EMU AURAS NYE ARIE (!?) (52D: German opera highlight) ... again, some of this avalanche is fine, but there's just a lot. It's true that the theme is dense (pairs of stacked words rather than the usual freestanding words), but still, the fact is the only really fun part of this was the payoff: the revealer. Which is something. But it would be great if the trip were as enjoyable as the destination.

["OYE Como Va" / TITO Puente!]

And ugh, I forgot to mention ONEEAR. I don't know which is worse, the way ONEEAR looks in the grid or the way people look when they wear the bluetooth headsets in question. But hey, look—all you people who got run over (i.e. Naticked) by BODHI last week (or whenever it was) got rewarded today, as your newfound, hard-won knowledge had occasion to be put to use. LOL at clue on HAMPSHIRE (8D: One of the "Five Colleges" of Massachusetts). There are roughly 13 million colleges in Massachusetts. Also, I've never heard of this so-called "Five Colleges," though I've heard of them all individually: Amherst, HAMPSHIRE, Mount Holyoke, Smith, UM-Amherst. Anyway, the real Five Colleges are the Claremont Colleges, and don't let anyone tell you any different.
See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


DGresh 6:16 AM  

The Five Colleges supposedly correspond to the five young folks in Scooby Doo. Shaggy went to Hampshire.

RI guy 6:29 AM  

Rex may not have heard of the Five Colleges in Massachusetts, but that's what the consortium is called. Bus service connects all five in the Pioneer Valley so that students are easily able to attend classes at one of the other colleges.

As for the 13 million colleges in Massachusetts, Rex is rounding up. The exact number is 12,937,358.

Dr. Anonymous 6:38 AM  

Diuresis---Condition in which the kidneys filter too much bodily fluid, increasing urine production.

Anonymous 6:44 AM  

The Five College Consortium comprises four liberal arts colleges and one university in the Connecticut River Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, totaling approximately 38,000 students. (Wikipedia)

J.A. Prufrock 6:54 AM  

I was going to scream foul because BODHI was, in my mind, crossing some obscure Buddhist named TSE LIOT.

Gary Jugert 7:07 AM  

What an oo-ie mess:

Start your clickers for "Rebuses (rebii) make me feel ookie" commentary. Is a single rebus a REBU? Go ahead and BOO AT them.

How many oo's are hidden here?


HAWAII: Catch a wave BOOYAH.

OOPS: Ewps

UBER MENSCH: Required every cross. Phee-oo.

CREDITS LIP: Orator's source of success, sayeth they.

INSTA: Boo, just boo.

NAIVETE: Hoo-ee that's a tragic cloo.

BRONTES: On the moor.

SABRE: Dem dere Canadians spell ood (N.B. the Google Canadian to English translation is "odd").

AT WOOD: Lining up a fairway shot.

REF: Woo! Striped Lives Matter.

HÄAGEN-DAZS: (See Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally)

FLIRTATION: (As I said, see Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally)

UMLAUT: Egyptian spelling is OOMLOOT.

AURAS: Ghostly boooooooooo.

TS ELIOT: How'z this FOOL get his first initials used every time?

ORDAINS: The Pope in Canada is pronounced The Poop.

OREO: Better with YOOHOO.

"Things that look like an umlaut" seems like a dumb theme, but I liked the puzzle. I think Ross stopped trying when he arrived at the southeast corner, or at least it could be his EXQUOOSE. And who could blame him after a rack of yays like BRONTES, HÄAGEN-DAZS, FLIRTATION, UMLAUT, and ROASTS.

kitshef 7:14 AM  

I have to wonder if Ross Trudeau tried to work in This is Spin̈al Tap, which would have been a great grid-spanner. Nice puzzle theme.

NYTXW continues to get the scarf down/snarf up thing wrong, but that is more than offset by getting SABRE spelt correctly for a change.

But there is a heck of a lot of junky short fill. I was going to make a list, but Rex has covered it pretty well.

Anonymous 7:39 AM  

Additionally, one of the NPR stations in Western Massachusetts is WFCR, for Five College Radio. Ken Burns went to Hampshire.
This is an excellent puzzle. Really impressed at the oos over the words. Very cool.

Conrad 7:41 AM  

I guess I'm a bear of little brain. I didn't get the [OO]/UMLAUT connection until I got here. Started in the NW, got the rebus at SP[OO]R x L[OO]ies. Didn't know the Five Colleges of Massachusetts but HAMPSHIRE was easily inferable, which led to getting BODHI from crosses before reading the clue.

Zed 7:46 AM  

Alrighty then. Bad enough that PENN State is in the Big 10, which isn’t 10 but actually 12,937,358 schools, but then what we have actually in the grid is PENN which is an entirely different place altogether. I’m thinking Zed’s Placebo and Tentacle should branch out and start a college, ZPTU in Rye, NY. Our motto will be We have a marina, only in Latin so Habemus Navale, or maybe we will get fancy and go Habemus Navale In Siliginis

I thought we had an owl theme coming.

@Dr. Anonymous - Shouldn’t that be “diüresis?” The Diüresis Diæresis will be playing Friday at Zed’s Placebo and Tentacle for all fans of fluid dark metal rock.

@DGresh - But what about Scooby?

Oh, the puzzle. What I said yesterday.

bocamp 7:57 AM  

Thx, Ross, for a very smooth Thurs. puz! :)


Solved from top to bottom.

One slight hold up: had NAIVETy, and couldn't make sense of BEy. Took a few precious nanoseconds to suss it out.

Couldn't grok the OO theme. :(

Enjoyable adventure! :)
yd Duo: 36/37 (two blunders)

Phrazle 46: 2/6
🟩🟪 🟨⬜🟪🟪 🟪⬜⬜ 🟨⬜🟩🟨⬜🟪
🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

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

pabloinnh 8:05 AM  

Caught the OO thing way early and went rolling along. I happen to know what a dieresis is as it's used in Spanish too, so I filled in UMLAUT after reading half the clue, and missed the fun of discovering that the OO thing was also a dieresis. Speed kills.

Haven't seen UBERMENSCH since Philosophy 130 in college, but somehow I had it on speed dial. Now how does that happen?

Briefly had KENT instead of PENN State, which was not horrible, as neither belongs in the Big Ten.

I generally like RT's offerings but I was looking forward to something a little tougher on a Thursday. Reasonably Tasty, but hardly scrumptious. Thanks for some fun at least.

SouthsideJohnny 8:06 AM  

The theme felt forced and gimmicky - almost like there are not enough natural "OO" words to go around, so we get things that sound contrived - BOO AT, SPOOR, NO OUTS, LOOIES, etc. They all just seem so . . . uninteresting. The revealer just kind of lays there as well.

Very ironic the way that OFL rails at pretty much anything and everything that is remotely UN PC, and then rails about the word itself. The word (phrase) just doesn't generate that type of emotion for me - poor Rex gets all worked up about something as benign as the name of a cabinet official from like the Regan administration appearing in a crossword puzzle. He does seem quaintly amusing in his NAIVETE.

JD 8:08 AM  

J.A. Prufrock, Ha! Are you sure you aren't The Joker?

Wouldn't it be great if there'd been a band around the time Spinal Tap* was released called The ÜmlÄuts.

In retirement I rely on the puzzle difficulty to tell me what day of the week it is. Now I'll keep forgetting all day long that it's not Wednesday. But I won't fulminate. Fun was had.

Which brings to mind another good band name that didn't happen in the '70s, FÜlminated Mercury. Wonder if they've cleared all the Bhodi puzzles out of the hopper yet?

Nietzsche has a lot to answer for with his Ubermensch. As do the American eugenics pushers of the 1920s. A disgusting answer. Read Daniel Okrent's the Unguarded Gate.

*Oh @kitshef thank you. I know what to stream this evening. Just thinking of the tiny Stonehenge scene is making me laugh.

mmorgan 8:17 AM  

Um, the Five Colleges is a thing here, Rex. A real thing. A big thing. And at the risk of going all Sarah Palin on you all, I can see Hampshire from my house. Really and truly!

Enjoyed the puzzle, got all the oo’s and knew they resembled an UMLAUT, but I actually didn’t notice they were all placed in appropriate places over appropriate words until I got here. Nice trick, that!

And I really and truly can see Hampshire from my house!

Lewis 8:19 AM  

Sehr schön, Herr Trudeau.

This was a sweet piece of construction on top of a clever idea. Getting those double-O’s in the right place when they go over differently placed letters in the theme answers required great skill, and I’m guessing much trial-and-error. And yet the answer set is clean. Ross is a pro at the nuts and bolts as well as the ideas.

I wondered if, because of the theme, there would be an unusually high number of double letters, as the theme adds eight, but, as your resident alphadoppeltotter, I’m reporting that the answer is no. By my rubric, 20 or above double letters is unusually high, and today’s grid has 15.

My learning today consisted of the difference between the umlaut and dieresis. My brain is already glazing over, so I’m not sure if this new learning will stick.

But this uber-lovely rebus-and-visual-element combo puzzle certainly will. It was artistic, or even better, “arty”, in its best sense, since those are your initials, Ross. Thank you for a delightful journey!

Nancy 8:31 AM  

I've had my Thursday dinner plans tonight for a couple of weeks, so that's how I knew it couldn't be Wednesday. But this puzzle f[OO]led me too, @JD. If it had run yesterday it would have been...adequate. On a Thursday, I thought it was a big disppointment. The entire puzzle was easy and the rebus aspect was a slam-dunk and less than thrilling.

The biggest excitement for me was: Would I ever be able to spell HAAGEN DAZS? The second biggest excitment for me was remembering the "B" enlightenment tree that we had just a few weeks ago. (Never ever bet on my remembering stuff like that. I needed crosses, natch.)

Oh, well -- tomorrow's Friday. I hope someone at the NYT is paying attention.

Son Volt 8:44 AM  

Cute theme - loaded with some unfortunate fill. Liked HAND CARVE and ORDAINS - but thinks like BODHI and all the short glue really glom this up. Expect a little more bite on a Thursday.

Could have dropped two with the Hüskers

Cool theme - a little let down with the overall solve.

JD 8:50 AM  

Correction to myself, Daniel Okrent's the Guarded Gate. Typing too fast.

andrew 9:19 AM  

Echo @Nancy - way too easy to be Thursday, Haagan Dazs spelling the only challenge.

Didn’t get/care to get the revealer. A few double OOs does not a fun Thursday make…

Rachel 9:24 AM  

I thought this puzzle was hard. I didn't know what an umlaut was, so I couldn't appreciate the rebus OOs over the vowels until after reading this blog. Have never heard of SPOOR. I don't like ubermensch because it just makes me think of nazis. And I don't like UNPC, for the reasons Rex said and also because if anything people say "not PC," not "unPC." I don't like snarf down because who says that? I've heard and used, or misused I guess, "scarf down." But not snarf down. And I didn't like one ear, because to match the clue shouldn't it be one-eared? And I'd never heard of a bodhi tree. Yeah this was hard!

JJK 9:35 AM  

I just want to take this opportunity to say that I really dislike Ross Trudeaus’s puzzles because his clues are always so opaque to me. I appreciate clues that are tricky or that one has to think about to “crack” - I find his cluing just off, hard in a not-fun way. And isn’t an umlaut over a double-o supposed to change the pronunciation (as in “cooperate”)? So the theme was confusing to me as well.

I live in the Five College area of Massachusetts, but would recognize that most people who don’t might have no idea that it even exists.

This puzzle just made me grouchy.

Joe Dipinto 9:40 AM  

"Häagen-Dazs" isn't German.

In business, much rides on the right name. The husband-and-wife ice cream entrepreneurs Reuben and Rose Mattus knew as much when they decided to start their own confection company in the Bronx in 1959...Both Jews of Polish descent, Reuben and Rose were drawn to the Danish language (“The only country which saved the Jews during World War II was Denmark,” Reuben said). And so he cobbled together a name: Häagen-Dazs. A fine, Danish-sounding name that means…

Absolutely nothing.

"Häagen-Dazs doesn’t mean anything,” Mattus said. “[But] it would attract attention, especially with the umlaut.”

So, functionally, the thing above the a in Häagen-Dasz is just...two dots.

Phrazle 47: 2/6
⬜🟩 ⬜⬜🟩⬜⬜

🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

jberg 9:40 AM  

Like @mmorgan, I didn't understand that the theme included the placement of the o-o rebus squares, which is why I had floor before TIER. I got UBERMENSCH from HAMPSHIRE, but was not completely sure because there was nothing German about the clue (unlike 52D, e.g.). For a few nanos I even thought that the theme was going to be words in other languages (treating NAIVETE as French). The revealer made it a little clearer, but I still didn't see how the OOs fit in, and wondered why the themers were not quite symmetrical. What were CREDIT SLIP and FLIRTATION doing in there? (Answer: if there'd been theme answers directly under other theme answers, it would have been too hard to put the OO in the correct place.)

Fun fact: the BODHI tree is the individual tree under which Siddhartha obtained enlightenment (aka BODHI). In my youth, it was generally called a Bo tree. But I've learned to change with the times.

My biggest probblem was putting in SNARFed up (Hi @kitshef!) Since the idea of baking a cake and then strewing bits of store-bought cookies over it never occurred to me, I was saved only by the SOPS/WISP crossing.

RooMonster 9:46 AM  

Hey All !
BOO AT = Boo! Didn't know that author (unread me...), so Googed for that. BOO At, harumph.
And a DNF with a Y at NAIVETy/BEy, even though I couldn't get BEY to fit the clue. B(OO)H(OO).

C(OO)L concept, which wasn't a "Aha! Neat!" one for me, as the ole brain doesn't seem to slant that way to have caught the full theme effect. Ah well.

The NYTXW always used SNARF when the clue refers to eating. SCARF is neck wear. BOO?(AT)


yd -0!!!
Duo -1 (awwww) missed 1-2-8-24(stupid, missed a yellow letter)-30-34(those last two were mixed up remaining letters)

Two F's

Nancy 9:55 AM  

I'm predicting some pars and bogeys for today's first Phrazle. I had a birdie, but I had a real chance at a phreagle -- which I blew. I won't post my results until much later, because even without letters it would give away Something Important.

I'll post this Wordle 2 instead. (It's almost as long as today's first Phrazle.)

WordHurdle 227 2/6 #wordhurdle

Pete 9:58 AM  

I did the puzzle later than usual yesterday evening, so I wasn't trying to multi-task solving and (pretending to listen) listening to my wife. I was doing it as any civilized human being would, sitting in the kitchen with the pups, jointly finishing a half+ pint of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean ice cream. We all agreed that that was the way to solve the puzzle, and a fine puzzle it was.

C. Coolidge 10:04 AM  

Four of the "Five Colleges" of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts were founded decades before every single one of the Claremont five undergraduate colleges. Legions had already graduated from four of these schools long before the barest glimmer of even the wisp of an idea of any of the California colleges was in anyone's mind. The gap between the founding of some of these Massachusetts colleges exceeds the founding of some of the Claremont colleges by more than 100 years. Generations had lived contemporaneously with the existence some of the Massachusetts schools long before even a spade was put in the ground to begin construction of the California schools.

But, to hell with facts. Rex has spoken: the Massachusetts Pioneer Valley "Five Colleges" are bogus. Fakes. Frauds. A Ross Trudeau creation out of whole cloth.

Take THAT Emily Dickinson.!

N. Tufnel 10:12 AM  

@ kitshef (7:14)

A spanner? That would be fifteen

These go to eleven.

Unknown 10:24 AM  

As someone living in the Pioneer Valley, the "Five Colleges" was a real no brainer. Surprised that rex had never heard this term before, but perhaps I'm the provincial one?

Great concept - - -

If I had one nit to pick with the puz, there seemed to be a ton of 3 letter answers, which are never a favorite of mine.
But loved SNARFEDDOWN and HAAGENDAZS, and as a whole, the fill was pretty good. Maybe not ARIE.

Carola 10:27 AM  

Today's party animals get a Punctuation Party, which this attendee thought was a lot of fun. A very clever idea, and a fine array of examples. I needed the reveal in order to understand what was going on: having become inured to UBER lacking its UMLAUT in grids for so long, I didn't notice the prominent oo right where it belonged. Hidden in plain sight - a tip of the hat to you, @Ross Trudeau.

Help from previous puzzles: BODHI. Do-over: FLIRT-A-Thon.

Re: PENN State as a member of the Big Ten - that was one thing, but then the addition of Maryland and Rutgers.? Television revenue über alles.

Whatsername 10:29 AM  

Well the eraser got a workout today. The theme or at least the clue for the revealer, was somewhat above my pay grade, as the 44th President born in HAWAII once said. After a little clarification I began to understand but then I looked over at NAÏVETÉ and thought now just hold on there a minute. I know dieresis and I know UMLAUT but WTH is that?? * S*I*G*H*. What’s a babe in the WOOD like me to do?

I never met an OREO I liked, so the thought of them crumbled on an already sugary sweet cake didn’t pass the breakfast test for me. However my ZEST for life was completely restored when I saw the US VPOTUS clue for MEN. Love love love love! That alone was worth slogging through the rest of it.

Mr. Grumpypants 10:34 AM  

Brilliant puzzle ... although I had no idea there was a layer in addition to the rebus while I was solving.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

I will never post another "....LE" result. The plethora of 2-try phrazle results has taught me how annoying it is.

CT2Napa 10:37 AM  

So a phrase that is found in multiple English language books should not be used in crossword puzzles because it is not used as frequently as another similar phrase?

Visit snarf down

bocamp 10:38 AM  

Anne Brontë:

"Anne's second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, was published in the last week of June 1848.[72]

It is easy to underestimate the extent to which the novel challenged the social and legal structures. In 1913 May Sinclair said that the slamming of Helen Huntingdon's bedroom door against her husband reverberated throughout Victorian England.[73]

In the book Helen has left her husband to protect their son from his influence. She supports herself and her son in hiding by painting. She has violated social conventions and English law. Until the Married Women's Property Act 1870 was passed, a married woman had no legal existence independent from her husband and could not own property nor sue for divorce nor control the custody of her children. Helen's husband had a right to reclaim her and charge her with kidnapping. By subsisting on her own income she was stealing her husband's property since this income was legally his.[57]" (Wikipedia)

@Roo 👍 for 0 yd! :)

SB pg: 6.37 (-2) / Wordle: 3*

Phrazle 47: 2/6
⬜🟨 ⬜⬜🟩⬜⬜
🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

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

TJS 10:42 AM  

Who's been keeping track of that "No Out" stat at MLB ? I wonder how many innings in a row have started with "No Outs".

Is it possible there is no POW this week ? It's sure looking that way.

There's a new contributor here who has made my skip over list in record time. Congratulations.

And I'm giving props to Rex for waiting a whole paragraph to savage this Trudeau offerring. Even though it is richly deserved.

A 10:47 AM  

Once I finally got the trick this perked up a lot/ton and the pesky imps/elfs were transformed intoold stooped (not stoop-ed, @LMS!) friends. Some of the puzzle may have felt cut-and-paste, not HAND CARVED, but Mr. Troudeau did not disappoint in the end.

Had no trouble seeing through the PANE clue, but the “lab coat” clue for FUR is starting to wear thin.

The “sit for a spell” BEE clue was cute, although now that I think about it, while you’re actually spelling, you aren’t sitting. Still cute.

Kind of liked ONEEAR as it echoed the OOs.

@Joe, congrats on PHRAZLE #46 (mine was another phreagle) and thanks for the Fats! Check out Mary Lou’s version from Montreux '78.

Joseph Michael 10:53 AM  

The two highlights of this puzzle for me were remembering the word UMLAUT and figuring out how to spell HÄAGEN-DAZS. As usual with Ross Trudeau puzzles, there were too many names, though I will say that most were fairly crossed. I didn’t remember BODHI from a recent puzzle and am not familiar with HAMPSHIRE (sorry, Hampshire alums) so that cross required a lucky guess.

I liked the theme and the delayed discovery that the umlaut rebuses were strategically placed over the word below them. So that actually was a third highlight. I would, however, like to BOO AT both NOOUTS and ONEEAR.

57A gives us another entry for the O.E.D. (Oreo English Dictionary)

jae 10:57 AM  

Medium. My only problems were getting the rebus on the late side and spelling HAAGENDAZS. Very clever, liked it a bunch!

Tom T 11:03 AM  

Alternative clue: How a sasser explains success.


I struggled with this one more than Rex and most of the cohort. I think a good bit of the short crossword-ese fill just didn't register for me today, and once I got the first double-O rebus, I kept expecting there to be a) more than 4 rebus locations and b) other double letter options (AA, for instance--hello, HAAGEN DAZS). So I suppose I over-thought it.

But I finally dropped in that M to complete the EMU/MILA intersection (had never heard of MILA, and did not know that EMUs had 6 feet!), and the "happy music" commenced.

Beezer 11:06 AM  

Yes, the puzzle was easy “for a Thursday” but I thought it was fun. I started in a bit of a “spaced out” frame of mind so I didn’t get the OO rebus until ATWOOD, then the puzzle was easy peasy. In my usual fashion I did not get that the umlauts, etc were actually placed above the appropriate letters until I came here…DOH!

@Rachel, since “mensch” means “a person of integrity and honor” I would say that UBERMENSCH should in no way make you think of Nazis.

Also, SNARFINGDOWN is a word I’ve used and have heard. I think of SCARFINGDOWN as eating enthusiastically with the SNARF being closer to an animalistic inhalation of one’s food. But that’s just me and it’s kealoa-worthy.

Speaking of kealoas, I initially left LOOIES blank (except for the L) because I can NEVER remember whether it is looie, looey, Louie, or louey. Ok. Maybe that’s not a kealoa problem but a spelling problem.

Unknown 11:08 AM  

It is a non-feature of this website that so many clues and answers are politically triggering for the author. Words are words, man, relax, it's the world we live in, good and bad! That said, still an amazing site I have enjoyed for many years. Grateful.

Smith 11:09 AM  

Aha, a puzzle sorta for the alt German Student*in. Daily we are reminded how to pronounce... everything. Go ahead, say kochen, die Kuchen and die Küche correctly. Thank you!

Other than that, how did you like the puzzle? Too easy for Thursday, even with tired Germanlearningbrain (that's how German words are constructed).

Hartley70 11:20 AM  

I came here today to feel like an idiot. The puzzle was easy enough and the theme was googley eyes to me.

egsforbreakfast 11:35 AM  

SNARFDOWN crossing HÄAGENDAZS. Yummers!!!

I WANDA APSO I could solve this on my phone. The Mrs. asks, “What FUR ya want this APBS? Just solve it on paper.” At that point I’m thinking, like, “BEE ITCH.” But I don’t say it ‘cuz she CREDITSLIP from me for all our fighting’. So I just say “ITSCOOL.”

Great theme idea with Rebi repurposed. Thanks Ross Trudeau.

Anonymous 11:55 AM  


well, except that they've been in Amherst, and environs, since the early 70s (at least).


I guess you didn't get the memo from QAnon - 45 was the ubermensch, well along with Putin, Erdogan, and such. and started with kENt as well... at least it's in the Midwest.

@Joe Dipinto:

since American language doesn't have an Academy, and has for all time been anarchic wrt vocab and syntax, a bit of chutzpah is OK by me.

@C. Coolidge:

(nice umlaut, there too) Hampshire is the only 'modern' school in the bunch. initially, IIRC, sort of a Montessori college.

puzzlehoarder 11:56 AM  

A little easier than the average Thursday. Caught on to the double Os quickly thanks to 5D. They mostly were written in vertically as I discovered the reason for them after the fact. Always good to brush up on diacritical marks.

M-W -0

Anonymous 12:03 PM  
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Anonymous 12:14 PM  

This is wrong on many levels. Umlaut is a German word adopted in English, but one of the chosen words “Naiivete” is a french word and the “umlaut” would be a “tréma”.

Grandmother of a boy named Gael, tréma on the e.

Masked and Anonymous 12:22 PM  

oomlauts! Different. Like.

This has to be the world record for runty-est rebus. Only two letters, and they're kinda used as just dots, in part of the theme mcguffin. staff weeject pick: OO.
M&A was kinda confused/hesitant for a while: Seemed like a OO-rebus would solve my NOOUTS/OOPS solvequest needs, but couldn't believe they'd have a rebus so runty. Lost precious nanoseconds, but finally went with it. The revealer (which M&A shamelessly peeked ahead at) soon made things clearer.

fave themer: HAAGENDAZS [neat spellin challenge].

no-knows: BODHI/HAMPSHIRE [a moana crossin!]. ATWOOD. ARIE. Guessed em all correct, tho. But, lost more precious nanoseconds.

ONEEAR. har. Well, hey -- better than ONENOSE, I reckon.

Thanx for the foon, Mr. Troodeau dood. Great little theme idea.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Perry 12:32 PM  

As usual, the Thursday theme was neither interesting nor helpful. Had to come here after completing the puzzle so that I could find out what the double Os were supposed to represent. Knowing gives me no pleasure or insight.

ggannawa 12:47 PM  

I liked your comment on PC and 'woke' so much that I shared on FB. Hope that's okay with you.

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

Entertaining! Looking forward to your posts now.

Teedmn 1:00 PM  

Not easy for me today. I was dazed for too long by HAAGEN DAas and I did not relish aES_ at 53D.

And I always want LOOIES to be LOuIES. And at my workplace, we write CREDIT memos.

The New Yorker uses a dieresis with words like coöperate, which I find COOL.

I don't remember seeing BODHI from a recent crossword but I ran into BO trees in an Andrew Ries Rows Gardens puzzle this week and Googling that gave me BODHI so serendipity, thou art a jewel.

The few times I've run into ROASTS, I've had to turn the TV off. Ugh, so nasty.

Thanks, Ross, nice Thursday!

Anonymous 1:03 PM  

@ Perry
Did you read the clue to 58a. ? It tells you what the oo is all about.
That was a real aha moment for me (I went back and wrote them in side by side rather diagonally as I had been doing.)

Anonymous 1:16 PM  


Alas, the Nazis specifically labelled themselves 'The Master Race'. In German, ubermenschen.

Joe Dipinto 1:18 PM  

Some music to put you in a mellow mood this afternoon.

Phrazle 48: 2/6
🟪🟩 🟪⬜⬜⬜ 🟪🟪 ⬜⬜🟩🟩🟨

🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

SNARF or SCARF? Must be regional.

Anonymous 1:37 PM  

"ariE" caused me to fail this one. A bit too clever by half, imho. And I agree with OFL; this puzzle was not a fun solve.

Nancy 1:58 PM  

This is the 2nd Phrazle today -- which doesn't give anything away. And in which I also did better.

Phrazle 48: 2/6
⬜🟪 ⬜🟪⬜🟪 🟪⬜ 🟪🟪⬜🟩⬜

🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Anonymous 2:56 PM  

All the umlaut jokes! What a motley crew.

okanaganer 3:06 PM  

At first I thought the theme was pretty lame... double OO looks like an umlaut? Then I realized they actually formed umlauts for the across answer on the next line... that's pretty c OO l.

I have a dislike for diacritics in general; English can get by just fine without them. ASCII is all you need: the ASCII character set has only 127 characters, basically what you see on a US English keyboard, and that's it.

English has its drawbacks (so many vowel sounds, unpredictable spelling/pronunciation), and advantages (no genders, and no diacritics). Well mostly; I love reading the New Yorker but it's quite irritating that they insist on using the umlaut (or whatever it's properly called) for words like cooperate and preeminent. To me, it's just pretentious.

[Spelling Bee: yd 3 min to pg then only another 5 min to QB. Very quick!]

sixtyni yogini 5:42 PM  

Not a fan of German but UBERMENSCH is a nice word with a nice sound (for German).
Very Germanic, this one. Nice to know aria is ARIE and so on.
Very tight 🧩. Fast. Easy.
Good one!

sixtyni yogini 5:50 PM  

@anonymous 1:24. I knew there was some Nazi connection to UBERMENSCH (en) and almost mentioned (menschen-ed) it. Thanks for reminding me … maybe not such a fun word after all.

sixtyni yogini 5:51 PM  

Meant @anonymous 1:16.

Sasha 5:56 PM  

As a not-particularly-proud alum of HAMPSHIRE, that was the easiest answer for me to get. Everything in the Happy Valley, it seems, is branded “Five Colleges”, so it soaks into all of us who’ve spent any time there since the early 1970s (I started at Hampshire when we were both relatively young, although I am slightly older than it). I lived in California for a while, and never heard the Claremont Colleges called “The Five Colleges”, so I am not buying what Rex is selling there.

Anonymous 7:31 PM  

So a member of a university English department has never heard of either a dieresis or the Five Colleges? Hmm.

Beezer 7:33 PM  

@anonymous 1:16, I could see your point but an organization ((Nazi) can appropriate/misappropriate many things. Here is something I found from Wikipedia:

“The most disheartening tendency common among readers is to tear out one sentence from a work, as a criterion of the writer's ideas or personality. Friedrich Nietzsche, for instance, is decried as a hater of the weak because he believed in the Übermensch. It does not occur to the shallow interpreters of that giant mind that this vision of the Übermensch also called for a state of society which will not give birth to a race of weaklings and slaves.”

My point, I guess is that any individual or organization can misuse the term but we can’t allow common language usage (of a positive nature) to take over due to that misuse.

albatross shell 7:57 PM  

Easy fun clever with some thought involved.

Germanic, and offensive to those still boycotting Wagner Pound and Heidegger.

Why doesn't OOPS work? Then why doesn't LOOIES work? Oh! or is it ooh!? Do I have to rebus the second O in? Or do I get to be lazy?

So that 4th A in Brooklyn Heights Dutch ice cream is a Z? I had to sit on that for a spell. TUT TUT.

Total fail on wordle. First 3 letters and then 3 incorrect words and 2 still to go. TUT TUT again.

Roscoe 8:13 PM  

@DGresh, @Zed: Scooby himself corresponds to UMass Amherst.

mmorgan 8:26 PM  

In case anyone missed my earth-shattering proclamation (pace Sarah Palin) — I can see Hampshire from my house!

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

Give me Santana, please. And the guy playing air flute while whistling? No words.

Anonymous 11:30 PM  

Testing …

Anonymous 11:38 PM  

No, Shaggy is Pitzer. Daphne is Scripps, Velma is Mudd, Fred is CMC, and Scooby is Pomona.

Anonymous 11:41 PM  

In Claremont, they’re all together, so one only need cross the street. It is extremely easy to take a class at any college.

Joel R. 5:08 PM  

Rex, I don't know if you were intending to say that the name Häagen Dazs was German in origin. Actually it was Danish, or rather an American's stylization of Danish words, with spellings and DIACRITICAL MARKINGS (!) that don't exist in Danish. Their authors were Reuben and Rose Mattes, Polish Jews who had migrated to Brooklyn, NY after World War One. Interviewed about it in later years, Reuben explained that the name was a tribute to Denmark for having protected its Jews and Jewish refugees during WW2.

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