Listed obsolescently / SUN 6-19-22 / Cocktail with an energy boost / Prankster's smug shout / Avenger who stepped into the role of Captain America / Like one of Michael Jackson's hands when performing / Inapplicable stat for electric cars / Beast slain by Hercules in his fourth labor / Actor in much-publicized 2022 defamation case / Marijuana strains said to be more invigorating / Two-player board game with spies and bombs / Roman god often depicted with a radiant crown

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Constructor: Jeremy Newton

Relative difficulty: No idea ... let's say ... Easy to Easy-Medium?

THEME: "Some Light Reading" — grid depicts seven different stoplights, in various states of coloration (red, green, or yellow); the colors stand for colors in the Acrosses that run through them and for STOP or GO (or, in the case of yellow, either STOP *or* GO) in the Downs:

Theme answers:
  • INFRARED SPECTRUM / STOPGAPS (7A: Range of light that's invisible to the human eye)
  • WINTERGREEN MINTS / GO STALE (23A: Strong breath fresheners / 27D: Lose its spark, as a relationship)
  • VODKA RED BULL / HEART-STOPPING (60A: Cocktail with an energy boost / 35D: Thrilling)
  • IN THE YELLOWPAGES / "I'LL (GO [or] STOP) NOW" (63A: Listed, obsolescently / 43D: "It's my turn" [or] Comment after rambling on)
  • EVERGREEN STATE / "DON'T GO THERE" (66A: Washington, with "the" / 37D: "That's a touchy subject")
  • CATCH RED-HANDED / MAKE A STOP (103A: Bust mid-crime / 77D: Pull off the road for gas or snacks, say)
  • THE JOLLY GREEN GIANT / HAS A GO (109A: Mascot who made his Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in 2017 / 80D: Tries)
Word of the Day: FALCON (85D: Avenger who stepped into the role of Captain America) —

Falcon (Samuel Thomas "SamWilson) is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was introduced by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan in Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969), and was the first African-American superhero in mainstream comic books.

As the superhero Falcon, Wilson uses mechanical wings to fly, and has limited telepathic and empathic control over birds. After Steve Rogers retires, Wilson becomes Captain America in All-New Captain America #1 (Jan. 2015) and leader of the Avengers. Wilson's deceased nephew was the Incredible Hulk's sometime-sidekick Jim Wilson, one of the first openly HIV-positive comic-book characters. Jim Wilson's father Gideon Wilson would go on to join the Gamma Corps.

Sam Wilson as Falcon and Captain America has made several media appearances, including in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the character is portrayed by Anthony Mackie in the films Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019); and the television miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021). (wikipedia)

• • •

I was just thinking "three very good puzzles in a row, that's an extraordinary and anomalous run, I wonder how long the puzzle can keep it up?" So I jinxed it, I guess, because the streak stops hard at three. I should've known Sunday would let me down, again. I'm like Charlie Brown and the football with Sundays. "Maybe this time..." But then no. Everything good about this puzzle is in its look—really impressive to get those black square formations looking exactly like traffic lights, and maintaining symmetry with the light placement was a nice added touch. Beyond that, this puzzle had nothing to offer except one very creative answer (VODKA RED BULL). The rest was easy, humorless, surpriseless, and too often awkward, clunky, or downright ugly. The gimmick was a cinch to uncover, and once you know it, it has no gifts left to give. Actually, there was one "gift," and it was the most baffling and inexcusable part of the theme: the Down clue running through the yellow light. So if green means GO and red means STOP, yellow means ... SLOW? WAIT? CAUTION? Like, I had no ideas. Finished the puzzle with no ideas. Couldn't even really make sense of the way the clue was worded, with that strange bracketed [or] in the middle of it. Do you really expect me to believe, and to have understood, as I was solving, that the yellow light there meant STOP *or* GO. "I'LL STOP NOW" & "I'LL GO NOW"!? It is true that you can choose to stop when you see yellow or you can choose to go when you see yellow but you can choose to do a lot of things and none of this has anything to do with what the color formally means, which is "proceed with caution." Admittedly, that is a phrase that would be hard to rebus. But the fact that the yellow was both words (STOP and GO), or either word, I guess, oof, that was awkward. Also, HASAGO and MAKEASTOP feel like a theme idea running on fumes, and the last thing this puzzle needed was two more ___ A ___ answers when it already had two "EAT A SANDWICH" representatives in play with LOSE A GAME and HIRE A DJ, LOL, that second one is so bad it's almost good. Almost. After you admire the puzzle's look and grasp the theme, it's just a boring walk to the end. There's very little to entertain you along the way, unless you are entertained by ACIDHEAD, in which case, what is wrong with you? Who says that? What year is it?

The fill really is dreary. I kinda like VPPICK (60D: Major political announcement before a convention, informally). That's a very showy and unexpected string of letters. But too often I was dealing with stuff like ADES and BAAED and ILIE and RETAP and TEEHEE and OREIDA, or else Johnny f***ing DEPP (please, cancel culture, can't you be real, just once!?), or else UNGLOVED, what in the world? So the architecture gets high marks, but as for the actual feel of living inside and moving through the architecture ... that was less satisfying. Nice to look at, not so nice to solve. You should probably trust a puzzle when it tells you straight off that IT'S BAD (1A: "In a word ... awful!"). I will admit that my mood was soured right away by the fact that I couldn't (or wasn't willing to) solve the puzzle in my normal solving software, which doesn't do the cutesy visual stuff that the NYTXW seems to find increasingly integral to the solving experience. I got a legit WARNING as soon as I started in:

My instinct was, of course, "I'll show you who can solve what" and then I bumbled around and finally figured out the gimmick, but found it so dull so quickly that I decided "I'm not doing this blind solving stuff any more" and switched over to the puzzle page so I could see the colored grid. And then that made everything dramatically easier, though no less pleasant. Again, the grid looks sweet. But people gotta solve the thing. 

["Should I be reading STOP or GO / I don't know!"]

  • 85D: Avenger who stepped into the role of Captain America (FALCON) — just as BATWOMAN was right up my alley yesterday, so FALCON, today ... isn't. I couldn't care less about the MCU. I tried, Lord knows I tried. But that was hours and hours and hours of my life lost to forgettable mediocrity. I can't believe how many damn movies there have been and I don't believe for one second that twenty years from now anyone will be able to keep any of them straight or even remember them as discrete movies. It'll just be ... a haze of brands. Annnnnyway, FALCON. I was not aware. Or I was, and I forgot. I might be interested in reading those early comics, though. I thought Marvel's Luke Cage (aka Power Man) was the earliest mainstream Black superhero, with DC's Black Lightning shortly thereafter, so now I'm intrigued. But only from a strictly historical, and strictly comics perspective. The MCU can, as I say, BITE ME (4D: "Oh, shove it!").
  • 45D: Marijuana strains said to be more invigorating (SATIVAS) — more invigorating ... than what? TWO PAIR? Your MEDS? PAULINE Kael? Help me out here.
  • 92D: Prankster's smug shout ("GOT YA!") — there is no font big enough or italicized enough to capture how loudly I want to say "That Is Not How You Spell That!" The word is GOTCHA. There is a singer named GOTYE. Maybe you were thinking of him. You remember him. He's somebody that you used to know.

Now it's time for this week's

Letter to the Editor

This week's letter comes from Ellie Gottlieb, a teenager from Massachusetts, who has a special request. Ellie writes:
My name is Ellie and I'm a teenager from Massachusetts (near Natick!). I've grown up doing the NYT crossword with my dad, who is an avid reader of your blog. He does the crossword almost every day and then reads your blog (he agrees with you most of the time). I was wondering if you could give my dad a shout-out on your blog post for the crossword on Father's Day? His name is Daniel. I totally understand if it isn't possible, but I thought it was worth a try. 

I replied (and this is verbatim): "100% yes." Then I said maybe she should do the shout-out herself. And she agreed. And here it is:

Shout-out to Daniel, crossword enthusiast and the best dad ever! Happy Father's Day! We love you! 

Hope that brightens your day, Daniel. You seem pretty lucky :)

Take care, everyone.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Hey if you wanted to get Dad a belated Father's Day gift, or anyone a belated Any Day gift, you could do worse than this (I have nothing to do with this creative endeavor; I just think it's cool, for obvious reasons):

[You can order the shirt here]

P.P.S. I'm always accepting Letters to the Editor about any crossword-related subject. Just email me at rexparker at icloud dot com and try to keep it under 300 words. Thanks!

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:08 AM  

Easy-medium. Mostly breezy solve with a few rough spots in the center. This was fun, unlike @ Rex I liked it a bunch!

The yellow light reminded me of the movie “Starman” where the alien character (Jeff Bridges) learns to drive by riding with Jenny (Karen Allen). When he finally takes the wheel he accelerates at a yellow light. When Jenny yells at him he says it was clear to him that yellow means “speed up”.

Melrose 12:18 AM  

Some of us don't have color printers.

First time i ever figured out a theme after just one entry (wintergreen mints), or so I thought. Didn't realize how the down intersections worked, and when I did the whole puzzle seemed much more interesting. Biggest blip: I had scaled heights instead of soared to heights, couldn't,make that area work. All else pretty easy.

Ken Freeland 12:24 AM  

Nyaah, Rex, The NYT Sunday puzzle is on a roll. I n this one, the PPP quotient was tolerably moderate, and there were no real naticks (though arguably SLUING/UNGLOVED qualifies, who ever heard of "slu?") As you point out, the parsing of gimmick/theme was not self-evident, so this kept it a bit challenging. On the whole I liked this puzzle..... It's about as good as NYT Sunday puzzles get anymore, so no complaints from me.

Joaquin 12:38 AM  

What @Rex said ... except just the opposite.

Cool construction and a fun solve. Much better than the average Sunday puzzle.

Zed 1:17 AM  

Yeah, I’m more team Rex. There’s the pretty colors and the theme conceit and then there’s a whole lot of not much. At least there’s a Neko Case reference.

Laura 1:18 AM  


Harry 1:33 AM  

I've never been more disappointed with a Rex take on a grid.

I was unfamiliar with SLUING (pres participle of SLEW). Am I mistaken that the clue would be better written w/ PIVOT rather than AXIS? In any case, appreciated the vocab augment.

Harry 1:35 AM  

oh ... loved everything about the LETTERS / Dad Day shout out!

chipperj 1:45 AM  

I'm so dumb.
I thought the answer was "I'll Yield Now".

Joe Dipinto 1:48 AM  

First of all: this.

Have to mostly agree with Rex here. On seeing the traffic lights I thought, cool! I started at the bottom and got JOLLY GREEN GIANT pretty quick and thought, okay, well, I see where this is going. Figuring out that there was also a down-clue element didn't add much since, as Rex noted, the dullest ones are at the bottom.

I also couldn't figure out what the intent of the center-down answer was. PAUSE, as an alternative to stop or go? (I had briefly wondered if it was an amber light, what with DEPP over to the side.) I had ENGLOVED at 25a at first, wondering why it wasn't just GLOVED. Also, SIGNER at 45a — I never heard of SIGNEES of the Declaration Of Independence. I did like seeing PAINT CANS right under the green light.

So: Didn't hate it, but didn't love it either.

Jake Morris 1:49 AM  

I was under the impression the yellow light just meant..."Slow down"

okanaganer 2:24 AM  

Bonus points for a novel theme. I was a bit confused; then most confused at 43/72 down. I parsed it as I'LL [pause] NOW, but I see it could be [stop] or [go]. And now that I think about it, you don't actually pause at a yellow, do you?

"In the valley of the Jolly, (ho-ho-ho), Green Giant!"

48 down EIGHTS is (or was) definitely a thing for many Chinese. In the 1980s/90s I was an architect in Vancouver, and a lot of our clients were Chinese (mostly Hong Kong, at that time). And they all were quite concerned with Feng Shui, and the numbers 8 and 4. 8 was good, 4 was bad. Often they would only buy a property if they thought they could change an unfortunate street number, and they often did, eg 3842 to 3838. And then came the Feng Shui; if there was a Prosperity Point inside a particular bedroom closet, we had to install self closers on the doors so the good luck would not escape (I'm not making this up).

[Spelling Bee: Sat stalled at pg-2 at 11pm PDT. Missing 2 7ers!]

chefwen 2:44 AM  

Got it early on with WINTER (green) and thought “this is going to be fun” and it was. Had a JOLLY good time with it. The only difficulty was getting amber out of my head and changing it to yellow, then it all fell into place.

More like this please.

Anonymous 2:48 AM  

Pretty sure what it actually means is stop unless you are already too close to the junction to stop safely.

That said most people think this...

MexGirl 2:58 AM  

I was so confused about the yellow light and its proper meaning, because you’re not supposed to GO on a yellow light but rather, slow down or…what’s that word? Oh yes, YIELD; but it doesn’t make sense with the clue or reading it out loud.
Anyway, I thought it not right to have GO being used with both green and yellow.

My Name 3:01 AM  

Could anyone please point me to a reliable source explicitly confirning or denying the fact that Mark Twain was a deist? (Please do not answer with the definition of deism, I do know how to Google, believe it or not.)

Joel 3:04 AM  

Sativas are more invigorating, so the conventional wisdom goes, than their counterparts, indicas. Whether your average pot smoker can tell the difference or not is a matter of debate. But indicas are generally associated with that lazy high where you want to sit on the couch, eat Oreos, and laugh at a dumb movie (indica = IN DA COUCH).

Jasper C. 4:02 AM  

SLUING looks strange, but U is still the most plausible consonant crossing UNGLOVED. More than can be said for TBIRD/BARRIE—THIRD/HARRIE looked fine in my grid, and it took a while to hunt down the mistake at the end.

Also, RBIMAN?? Absolutely not. A crossword invention of the worst sort.

Conrad 4:59 AM  

@Joe Dipinto: Thank you! I thought I might be the only one who thought eNGLOVED for 25A. I couldn't make sense of SLUING; wanted it to be a rebus, SL[ew]ING but ewNGLOVED made absolutely no sense.

Also making no sense: 45A. John Hancock was a SIGNEr. The Declaration of Independence was the SIGNEE. I have a similar problem when unseated bus passengers are called "standees." I hope they're almost always "standers."

Anonymous 5:55 AM  

SATIVA,as opposed to Indica, two "strains" of cannabis, the former being euphoric, the latter soporific. A theory that I debunked in the same magazine that runs the crossword.

JD 6:02 AM  

@Rex, I guess you could stop at a yellow light if it’s on the brink of turning red and you live in a town with cameras above EVERY SINGLE LIGHT (no, uh huh, I’m not bitter) that will capture your offense.

Held up a little while by Begloved/Slubing (not words but they should be). Would the hand be Two Pairs or is Two Pair the standard? Gotcha or Got Ya?

Anonymous 6:09 AM  

Me too.

Anonymous 6:22 AM  

On a lighter note, there’s a joke about stoplights from one of Billy Edd Wheeler’s books of Appalachian humor. A guy is a passenger in a car and he notices something odd. The driver ignores red lights and drives right through them. “What are you doing! Why are you driving through red lights,” he asks. The driver says “That’s how my brother does it.” Then they come to a green light and the driver stops. “Why did you stop now?” the passenger asks. “Because my brother might be coming through”

C. Rogers 6:34 AM  

The "Opposite of a superstar" (84D) is definitely and decided not NOBODY. It is "a person who is more likely well-adjusted and has a healthy ego."

A more accurate answer for 25A would be "reaching out for one of the prepubescent boys he's groomed and brought on stage with him." But given that that doesn't fit into the grid, it would have been better not to include this serial child molester in the puzzle in the first place.

Anonymous 6:38 AM  

Least enjoyable Sunday of the year for me. We get sluing which isn’t a word, slewing is. Then the yellow square in the down clue that no one can agree what it is supposed to represent, drug references, awkward answers, lots of crosswordese… looks like the puzzle could only get accepted because the grid looks good but sacrificing the solving experience in the process.

Anonymous 6:43 AM  

This was a good one; a little on the easy side. Theme was clever. Liked it.

Anonymous 6:58 AM  

@joedipinto thank you for that “Taxi” clip. Made my day!

Gary Jugert 7:07 AM  

Easy and delightful puzzle, but it sure took a long time to finish. I think it is bigger than usual. Those traffic lights are quite a visual feat.

With straight cluing and tons of short fill I didn't consult with Uncle G once... on a Sunday! It'll strike many as a huge letdown, or a ginormous Monday, but I liked it.

THESPIANS: say it with a lisp.
DYED HAIR: lots o' wacky colors these days.
SANDTRAPS: favorite gotcha clue.
DISCORD: great idea, great spelling, just great.

Clunkers didn't ruin the fun, but they tried:

1 Boxing Altoids fear only these.
2 Kindly gramma's name for her painting blog.
3 Advice to tennis star needing a plumber.
4 Sleepy falconer quote during early morning feeding.


kitshef 7:07 AM  

Brilliant puzzle. An example of a puzzle that must have been a bear to construct but was still enjoyable. I do think the visuals made things a bit too easy. Maybe have just the circles there initially and the red/yellow/green fill in after you finish.

Wanted “glued to his groin” for one of Michal Jackson’s hands while performing. More seriously, I had ‘beGLOVED’, then ‘eNGLOVED’ before finally getting to UNGLOVED.

Would have been more realistic if the yellow light had “speed up” as the down part.

And I learned the middle light as ‘amber’, but have heard ‘yellow’ often enough – and I have one friend who insists on ‘orange’.

Colin 7:07 AM  

I have to agree with Rex on this one. The construction was interesting with the traffic lights, but many of the clues and answers were meh.

Hints of a busy family life in this puzzle: APTESTS and PSATs; wolfing down OREIDA and THEJOLLYGREENGIANT, and drinking ADES; family night of STRATEGO but you LOSEAGAME, while during family movie night, one is watched that PAULINE Kael PANS.

Loved the Letter to the Editor today! Happy Father's Day!

Lewis 7:16 AM  

Oh yes, this is brilliant and entertaining. It gave me, and I hope it gave anyone reading this, two blazing ahas. On top of that, the theme answers, traffic lights, and even the “lit” colors are symmetrical, the grid junk-lite, and the yellow light, with its dichotomy of answers, is perfect. This puzzle is sweet to look at and satisfying to solve.

But this is what Jeremy does. His puzzles are remarkably inventive, playful, exciting, and wow-inducing. He’s a “can’t miss” constructor, IMO. Let me introduce you to two jaw-droppers. If you’ve never done them before, and want to try them, you can find the empty grids in the archives. But if you’d rather just look at the finished grid and drink in the brilliance, I suggest you go to, click on his picture in today’s opening page, then click on the puzzles. There you will also find any explanations you need in Jeff Chen’s comments, plus Jeremy’s notes. The puzzles are 5/29/11 and 3/22/15. Give yourself a gift.

Oh, I like the cross of BOAR and DONKEY, because it raises the riddle: What do you get when you cross a boar and a donkey? I know there’s a clever answer out there, but I haven’t been able to come up with one. Anyone?

Jeremy, this falls right into place as an addition to the parade of your sterling creations, and I greatly hope for more down the pike. Thank you so much!

kitshef 7:18 AM  

I have to wonder how Rex passed his driver's exam. A yellow light means either stop (if you can do so safely) or go (otherwise). "Proceed with caution" is specifically a flashing yellow.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  


SouthsideJohnny 7:40 AM  

I realized right away that solving this as a themeless wasn’t going to be practical - so I embraced it and for the most part enjoyed working my way through the grid. Unfortunately, it seems like the constructor ran out of energy down by the SE where it really devolved into a big nothingburger - that section with the Avenger (FALCON) crossing a Roman SOL crossing a Japanese beverage (ASAHI) along with two nonsense entries (GOTYA) and (OHYOU) leading to the “Incredibles” (more cartoons I think) PARR and what I believe is a French math question TRENTE and it was like “WTF just happened to this pretty cool grid” - oh, well - it was nice while it lasted.

Sioux Falls 7:47 AM  

I thought YELLOW light means "drive as fast as you can so you can get through the intersection before the light turns red" but couldn't fit that in rebus square.

Gunner 8:00 AM  

As did I.

Anonymous 8:05 AM  

Agree with you on this one … but the stop light construction was clever. Also, like you, I didn’t quite figure out the “yellow” downs … and then stopped trying and hit the accelerator to blow right through them.

Ellie's dad 8:06 AM  

What a wonderful Father's Day surprise and gift! Thanks so much for being my crossword partner, Ellie! And thanks to Rex for the shout out! Great way to stay the day (along with a speedy crossword).

Son Volt 8:12 AM  

I thought this was fine for a Sunday - obviously it took chops to build but also neat to fill. My old iPad couldn’t display the artwork so had to solve on my phone. Got the trick early with WINTERGREEN - and it did help the rest of the way out.

I’ve heard the kids talk about VODKA RED BULLs - not for me - I’m more of a FAKE GOLD guy. SAND TRAPS is timely. A lot of us took ACID and other hallucinogenics in college but I did have a good friend who proudly carried the ACID HEAD moniker.

@Joe D - one of the funniest moments in TV history.

When we design traffic signals - the YELLOW is always difficult as it creates a dilemma zone. The MUTCD defines it as alerting the driver that the phase is changing from GREEN to RED and proceed with caution. The duration is timed based on approach speeds and sight distance. I have no issue with the I’LL GO/STOP NOW entry.

The FALCON cannot hear the FALCONer - taken from Yeats Joni really elevates it

Enjoyable Sunday solve.

Eric NC 8:15 AM  

@rex. I failed my drivers test in the uk because I answered his question “what does a yellow light mean?” twice. Once with “Slow” and a second try with “be prepared to stop”. The correct answer is STOP.

pmdm 8:20 AM  

Got the across theme concept quite early on while the down theme concept was much more difficult for me to understand. The result: a pleasant enough romp of a puzzle. Wish more puzzles were like this one.

More than the usual number of comments at this time of the morning. I guess that means (a) the puzzle was easier to solve than most, and (b) the theme elicits a fairly strong reaction from solvers. That signals that the puzzle is a success. At least that's the signal I get.

Now to enjoy the most pleasant weather we are having in my neck of the woods. Happy father's day. And happy emancipation day to those who combat racism. And even to those who don't.

Anonymous 8:29 AM  

Happy Father’s Day, Daniel! And well done, Ellie.

dan 8:41 AM  

Am I the only one who doesn’t watch superhero movies and thought it was the PAIR family, not the PARR family? AIMING isn’t as good as ARMIN for that clue, but I really didn’t se the error there.

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

Amy: Rex, the letter reminds me of the boy who wrote to Walter Cronkite, explaining he had to go to bed once Walter said: "And that's the way it is." The boy asked Cronkite not to say it some night so he could stay up later. Walter read the letter, then said Good Night.
Happy Father's Day to you and all the dads.

Peter Pan.ic 8:42 AM  

The traffic engineer in me has to say that the definition of the "amber" light means 'Stop, unless unsafe to do so'. It's not "punch it".

Anonymous 8:52 AM  

Is no one watching 1/6 hearings? I'll yield now. (I yield my time...)

Ellie's dad 9:00 AM  

Reminds me of the classic bit from the sitcom Taxi, when Jim asks "what does a yellow light mean?" Slow down!

Birchbark 9:12 AM  

@Lewis (7:16) re your riddle:

"What do you get when you cross a BOAR and a DONKEY?"

Bacon with a kick.

(As in spicy, or maybe bourbon-glazed). That's about as good as I can do on your intriguing riddle -- but fun to ponder. Thanks for the "bonus puzzle."

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I like this one. No, it wasn't super hard. But, it had some really nice touches. Some that you left out rex. For example, 37 down. " DONT GO THERE" , and 43 D "I'LL YIELD NOW",
and l liked "IN THE YELLOW PAGES".

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Actually, yellow is yield. Hence, for the 43d congressman I imagined monopolizing the debate: "I'll yield now".

Anonymous 9:27 AM  

Agree on “Slow down”. And RBIMAN.

Nancy 9:29 AM  

I had a blast! This is one of the best puzzles I've ever done -- fun from left to right and from top to bottom. In fact, what made it so consistently interesting and involving is that the trick was different in both directions.

The Across color answers were the easy part. But I kept failing to see the Down light-signal answers in their entirety. So, for example, needing a verb to answer "Lose its spark, as a relationship" and missing the "GO", I wanted STALL, a verb, instead of STALE, which is't a verb. "That's a touchy subject" could have produced a stand-alone DON'T, but DON'T GO THERE is light-years better. I finally picked up the trick -- though I forget exactly where.

My biggest writeover was INFRA-RED finally replacing ULTRA-RED. Was I confusing a light SPECTRUM with a sound SPECTRUM? I don't know, but ULTRA-RED was an idee fixe for a while and I couldn't figure out why it wasn't working.

The puzzle sparkled in places outside the theme. "Stars of the Old West" is such a great clue for BADGES. I also really like the clues for SAND TRAPS, FAKE GOLD and HARE.

It was a learning experience too. I found out that there's only a 4.75 percent chance of getting TWO PAIR in poker(!) I would have thought those were the odds of getting a Full House or a Flush. I would have bet (pun intended) that the odds of getting TWO PAIR were much, much higher.

I don't play poker because I 1) don't have a "poker face" and 2) I hate losing money too much. I realize now that that it's a very good thing that I don't.

Wonderful puzzle, Jeremy! Look forward to more from you in the future.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Fun puzzle. As to the whole “what does a yellow light mean?” question, I refer you to this classic scene from Taxi:

Gio 9:32 AM  

@okaganer My parents had a home built in a brand new community. It turned out their lot was number 13. My father went crazy and insisted the builder change it to 15. Somehow the builder agreed. Maybe he had to check with the postal service, I'm not sure, but it's 15.

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

@Eric NC: And in the UK, most traffic signals simultaneously light up amber with green (if about to turn red), or amber with red (if about to turn green). So it's obvious, especially with the red/amber combo, that amber is doing more work than simply telling you to stop, since the light is red already, and presumably you've stopped. It's also signaling that you're about to get a green light. Most drivers shift into first gear and get ready to go when they see that red/amber combo.

Here in Texas, most lights are mounted horizontally. I've seen that in parts of New Mexico, but rarely anyplace else.

There was one very small town in Oklahoma when I was a kid that was literally a one stop-light town. It was an old fashioned four-sided signal than hung in the middle of the intersection by wires. There were three bulbs total in the signal. In two directions (say N/S) the lights were standard red/amber/green, top to bottom. In the other two directions (E/W), the lights were reversed: green/amber/red, top to bottom. I'm guessing it was a Depression-era fixture, and was a way to save on bulbs and electricity. They finally replaced it sometime in the early 1970s. Would be very confusing for someone with red/green color-blindness.

andrew 9:47 AM  

Would have liked the down to be LYING AMBER HEARD, with (as noted above) a side of DEPP. JD was the abused, not the abuser as audio tapes and witness testimony showed. Moving on.

Is the NYTXW iOS app not accepting the correct fill? Usually it’s on me when I don’t get the SUCCESS notification, but having checked thoroughly (and seeing the warning for Rex), think the color scheme has thrown the code of. Oh well, time for a new streak, I guess.

Ps - RBIMAN? Has there ever been a worse XW sports term?

RooMonster 9:53 AM  

Hey All !
Here in Las Vegas, not even a Red light means stop. We have sooooooo many Red light runners, that if you're first at the light and it changes to Green, you have to wait and look both ways twice to make sure no one is going through the Red. Many, many accidents are caused by this. Impatience at its finest.

I got a kick out of this puz. Pretty neat theme idea. Let out an '"Oho, it also works in the Downs" once I discovered that. If YA hadn't noticed, the lights are in order, ala top is GREEN - RED, middle is GREEN - YELLOW - RED, bottom is GREEN - RED. Consistency.

I'm sure it was difficult to fill cleanly, with A LOT of space taken up by the Themers. So I let iffy fill slide occasionally for a cool Theme. I know some of yous would rather clean fill first, but hey, to each their own. Having said that about iffy fill, I do have a NIT, though, with MAINER. Is that a thing? "I'm from Augusta, so I'm a MAINER" I was a Pennsylvanian, then a Connecticuter, now a Nevadan. (Har, Connecticuter. Connecticutian? Connection?)

Also, cool title to this puz. Some Light Reading. Har, literal stuff.

Wondering how many 20 (maybe even 30)-somethings will say, "what are YELLOW PAGES?" I remember first time I got my own phone number, and looking myself up IN THE YELLOW PAGES. It's the simple things in life!

yd (fail!) -19, should'ves - lots
Duo 36, missed 1-2-3-4 (rough starts continuing...)

Nancy 10:05 AM  

I never watched "Taxi", and now I see that was my loss. What a great clip. Thanks, Joe.

TTrimble 10:11 AM  

I'm not on team Rex this morning. (Nor am I on team Heard, if that is what Rex is implying is the right side we to be on with this "cancel culture" talk. I'm not gonna pick sides; that whole unholy business is for the birds.) I thought the yellow going down was actually pretty DECENT; when you see a yellow light, you invariably have to decide "stop or go?", and so it totally works for me.

[Picking nits: "proceed with caution" is somewhat inaccurate, unless it means "proceed only if you dare". I take its primary meaning as, "go ahead, but be aware of what you're getting yourself into", which is not exactly what they teach you in Driver's Ed. Nor does a yellow light mean "yield" exactly -- you may be thinking of one of those yellow signs. Nor does it mean "slow down", not to me it doesn't, because frequently my own reaction is to speed up so that I don't run a red. In other words: do as thou willst, but so as not to be a danger to others.]

Rex PANS the puzzle; the constructor may be thinking, BITE ME.

One of my nicknames in middle school was JOLLY GREEN, a very ironical reference to my height. (Never said meanly; I actually kinda liked it.) What's that called, a schenectady?

Yeah, they say that Indica strains are more for a body high, whereas SATIVAS are for a more cerebral high, or for concentration. Just don't overdo it, kids.

I also fell into the eNGLOVED/UNGLOVED trap. Do you see his hands as half clothed, or half nude? (Hey, wait a minute: what's the smart thinking these days on canceling Michael Jackson? Inquiring minds want to know.)

Happy Father's Day!

Anonymous 10:13 AM  

@Anonymous 8:52
No, we're too worried about how to pay for gas, groceries, ...

Marcy 10:20 AM  

Unlike Rex, I thought UNGLOVED was very clever misdirection because the vast majority of people would think of the gloved hand. Therefore, like some other solvers, I had engloved – which I’m not even sure is a word. It never occurred to me to think of the other hand - exactly what the constructor intended!

Sixthstone 10:25 AM  

I agree with Rex for the most part, but I enjoyed the fill a bit more (and I really enjoyed the MCU!).

Mainly I wanted to call out the wild Father's Day party in this one: VODKA RED BULLs and SATIVAS and ASAHI with some ACIDHEADS and THESPIANS.

GOT YA - really shouldn't this be GOTCHA?
PAINT CANS - does it get more boring?

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

You're supposed to make a judgement call about whether to stop ( so you don't cross on red) or go ( so you cross before the light turns so you don't slam on the brakes/stop in an unsafe way )

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

Surely it ought to be ".. If you can do so safely"? You can't be expected to slam on the brakes if it turns yellow inside your safe stopping distance.

Finbarr 10:35 AM  

To Harry et al.:

SLUE is a verb, meaning to "turn or slide violently or uncontrollably in a particular direction."

SLEW, totally unrelated, is a noun meaning "lots," as in slew of cattle, or slew of religion..

Mike G 10:40 AM  

I don't know if anyone from the NYT takes these comments to heart, but this was awful. So. much. choppy. fill. I could have tolerated it if the themers were any good, but they were just kind of meh (not even going to discuss 43/72 Down because as far as I'm concerned it doesn't exist). Maybe I'm in the minority, but I get my enjoyment from the interplay of words in a puzzle, not a layout gimmick.

The only good news is that my streak is at 362 now. My goal is 365, which means that I can just walk away next Sunday if that puzzle is as bad as this one.

bocamp 10:44 AM  

Thx, Jeremy, for the 'enlightening' Sun. challenge! :)


Despite a good start on top, and more or less catching on to the theme early on, I still struggled with this one in a number of places.

Had BaLL before BULL, but PAULINE came to the rescue.

Had rEADIN before LEADIN, so FAKE GOLD was hard to see.

Seem to have trouble remembering ASAHI, and didn't know SOL is a god, but what else could fit there.

Loved the cluing for SAND TRAPS.

Overall, an invigorating early morning solve; liked it a lot! :)
yd pg -1 / W: 4* / WH: 5 / Duo: 34

Peace πŸ™ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Lewis 10:48 AM  

@Birchbank -- Very nice! And I just though of ... boaro.

Photomatte 10:52 AM  

As a professional photographer, I have an issue with 2-Down ("Stand for a photograph"). The puzzle's answer was TRIPOD, which is simply incorrect. A tripod is a stand for a photographer, not a photograph. If you love a photo so much you decide to print it out and display it, you'd either hang it up or put it on an easel, not a tripod. So the noun version of "stand" simply doesn't work here. Nor does the verb version: you can stand (or sit) for a photograph, but you can't tripod for a photograph. Who edited this one?? I can't stand it!

Also, whenever I see a yellow light at an intersection, I speed up. Doesn't everyone?

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

To your first note: giant eyeroll. To your second: allegedly.

Teedmn 10:59 AM  

I thought this was a great puzzle but the solving-software experience colored my opinion of the puzzle - it's bad!

One thing - the scroll on the clues kept jumping so the clue to the answer I was working on was hidden in both directions which probably added five minutes to my solve time while mousing back up to my clue. And when the grid was completely filled in, the timer kept going. I don't normally use the NYT format to solve so I had no streak to defend so I hit "Check" to find out why I wasn't getting the "Congratulations" - never did figure it out. The timer would still be going if I hadn't decided to bomb out of it. Hmmph.

Like @Nancy, I had trouble seeing the alternative meaning to the down "lights". I noticed the answers that didn't match their clues were near the lights but HEART red made no sense, nor did green STALE. I think I finally got it with DON'T GO THERE. Very nice!

Jeremy Newton, thanks for a very innovative Sunday puzzle!

@Lewis, BOARD ON KEY (right, makes no sense at all)

Madelyn 10:59 AM  

I soured on this puzzle as soon as I saw the Johnny Depp clue, and GOTYA didn't help. Could not figure out the center yellow-light clue. Usually I'm ambivalent at worst about puzzles, but this one was both frustrating and not very clever.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

I’m enjoying the fact that we probably have 50,000 years of driving experience among us, and we are debating what a yellow traffic light means.

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

I think Black Panther might be the first Black superhero. ( Fantastic Four #52. July 1966) at least in the modern era/ marvel era.)

Tom T 11:12 AM  

Liked this puzzle ALOT.

But I throw another hand up in protest of RBIMAN--IT'S BAD.

I knew there would be much discussion around the meaning of the YELLOW/amber light. My take is that there is a distinction to be made between its definition in the Driver's Ed manual and its application in real time. There are many, many times when a driver, faced with a yellow light, has to make a decision that evokes "I'LL GO/STOP NOW." So it works for me.

If we're willing to deal in bad puns (and I know many of us are), an answer to the @Lewis BOAR?DONKEY riddle might be Shrek the Third, or any of the entries in that franchise after the original.

Banya 11:13 AM  

Totally thought it was I'LL [Wait] Now.

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

Sluing is the Gerund or Present Paticiple of slew so yes it is a word.

Ψ§Ω„Ψ«Ω‚Ω‡ Ω„Ω„Ψ―ΩŠΩƒΩˆΨ± 11:26 AM  
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Ψ§Ω„Ψ«Ω‚Ω‡ Ω„Ω„Ψ―ΩŠΩƒΩˆΨ± 11:27 AM  
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Carole Shmurak 11:27 AM  

Can someone explain how “small knocks”= NITS?
Also, had no idea Chloe had a nickname of COCO. Any examples of this?

drdrowsy 11:30 AM  

Cluing for NOBODY was a uniquely depressing experience.

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

According to the early 80s movie “Starman” where Jeff Bridges plays an alien who crash lands on Earth, “Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means go very fast.”

I recall learning in Drivers Ed that yellow actually means “stop if it is safe to do so,” a rule no driver ever follows.

Aside from yellow (which was awful) I thought the theme was a cute idea and mostly well executed. Some of the fill killed me. Like that SLUING/UNGLOVED cross. But that happens a lot with sundays for me. I get the theme and most of the puzzle but get stuck on one or two final pieces of fill.

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

I thought of that too! In my memory of it, after she yells at him for almost killing them, he says he learned by watching her that “red means stop, green means go, and yellow means go very fast.”

Finbarr 11:46 AM  

Carole Shumarak:
I took 'knocks' as 'criticism'. Therefore nit, as in nit picking, is a small knock.

Mr. Grumpypants 11:56 AM  

Who on earth thought it was a good idea to print the lights in the blank grid at at the NYT app? Goodness, I'm so glad I ignored the Notepad entry until I was done and solved in AcrossLite. Where's the challenge if those lights are staring you in the face before you even begin? And that yellow light thing is just wrong. Nice concept; poor execution.

sixtyni yogini 11:56 AM  

Happy Father’s Day Daniel! ( What a cool daughter you have!)

Got my love for crosswords from my dad! ❤️ Happy Fathers Day to all the great dads!

Agree with πŸ¦– on the 🧩.
That intermittent reinforcement thing!
One of these days, Sunday 🧩, Imma gonna give you up! (Haha that will be the rare day of a brilliant one…)

Well, always do love a little color play in a 🧩, so did enjoy this one - while thinking… kinda clever but hope to get it done ✅ soon.

Birchbark 11:59 AM  

@Lewis (10:48) -- I may BOARO that one.

Joseph Michael 12:09 PM  

I wasn’t planning to comment today but after seeing Rex’s PAN of this puzzle, I feel compelled to come to the defense of this brilliant constructor and say that this was one DEADASS fun crossword. Loved the way the themers worked in different directions and enjoyed the process of filling in the grid.

It’s interesting that there is only one YELLOW light in the puzzle and that it has generated so much discussion. It got me to wondering what busy intersections would be like if traffic signals had only RED and GREEN lights. Thank you to William Potts, the Detroit policeman who invented the yellow light in 1920. Without that simple warning, our streets could be piled up with head-on collisions.

Happy Father’s Day, Daniel.

puzzlehoarder 12:13 PM  

ITSBAD and YAWN define this puzzle. I did it in the actual magazine section of the paper and the theme was childishly obvious. The highlight of this underwhelming snooze-fest was figuring out that the yellow just stood for STOP/GO. You can't get much more boring than that but the fill tried. DYED HAIR, PAINTCAN, LOSAGAME,
and MAINER are prime examples of the mind numbing green paint and idiocy I had to slog through.

This brought me no joy on Father's Day. The editors' blurb says the constructor thought of this while driving. I say it's grounds for revoking his license.

yd pg -1, td -0

Anonymous 12:16 PM  


Eddie 12:27 PM  

Could someone please explain the answer to 33D, “Opening words?”

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

I’ve been watching every hearing and the first thing that came to my mind was also I’ll yield now. But yellow doesn’t really mean yield on a traffic light though, does it? More like proceed slowly with caution.

Leftie 12:34 PM  

What do you get when you cross a BOAR (pig) with a DONKEY (a$$)? A Republican?

I'm still working on a Democrat version.

Yellow (in the puzzle) clearly means "slow down."

Chicago Chica 12:43 PM  

Delightfully clever. Can’t believe Rex sh## all over it. Sigh.

Anonymous 12:59 PM  


Masked and Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Weird. When the PDF file was displayed on the screen, I could observe them little colored circles. But when M&A printed off the PDF, all I got was yer regular black squares, instead. Made the solve a little extra-challengin, but at least I knew about the traffic light theme mcguffin dealy, in advance.

Got WINTER(GREEN)MINTS pretty early. (GO)STALE crosser weren't as obvious, cuz at first I sorta decided just plain STALE was a verb for goin sour, and moved on none the wiser. Until I hit the DONT(GO)THERE one, that is.

Still was never quite sure what the Downer version of YELLOW was supposed to be. Decided in my M&A brainpan that it was "SPEEDUPANDRUNTHATSUCKER", based on local traffic-flow observations.

staff weeject pick: I-dunno. Nuthin stands out. Will go with HIS on account of 1) Its funky clue, 2) Father's Day honoree meat.


Thanx stoppin & goin by, and for the fun, Mr. Newton dude.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

biter alert:

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

It's the plural of "hi", which you might use to open a conversation.

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

Plural of "hi" as in the greeting.

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

A yellow light signals a driver to decide if they can safely STOP, or GO if they are already too close to do so - you can't just slam the brakes if you are too close to actually stop before you enter the intersection.

GILL I. 1:41 PM  

WOW....c'est magnifique. they say in my parts : This was one bad ASS puzzle.
Put me smack dab in the @Nancy camp. I'm going to go over to her place and cover up the holes in her wall with a Duchamp RED, GREEN and YELLOW drawing. I promise a HEART STOPPING get up and GO lookie loo. We can all have some ASAHI VODKA after the showing. It'll be one fun FEST.
Where did you UNcover the theme? you ask...It came after WINTER. (there has to be a GREEN lurking somewhere)...there was! and so...I went sniffing for some others. Yes, they were a bit easy to sort out but my oh my did I enjoy finding them.
I had a few stops and starts. I also had some fun errors. Did anyone else want 9D's Gargoyle depiction to be PENIS? No? Just me? Maybe I should take some SATIVAS. A few winces here and there: RBI MAN. Meh. COCO should have a Chanel. GITS needs an R. (maybe that VP PICK does as well) and SLUING is a word I've never heard before....And that's all...The rest was playful and fun. in my neck of the SAND TRAPS, a YELLOW light means haul ASS and keep going. A RED light means just keep going because there isn't a cop around for miles. A GREEN light will get the ASS behind you honking non-STOP because YOU...the good driver...waits to make sure it's safe to proceed.
I thought about switching to bike riding but I'd get squished like a cockroach in one fell swoop.
Good job, Jeremy. This must've been very hard to construct. It worked out to be a fun and enjoyable Sunday.

johnk 1:59 PM  

His writings reflect Deist thoughts, but he doesn't seem to have ever used the term.The constructer or editor could have better used George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Ethan Allen, Thomas Paine...

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

Man, you have been doing this for tooooooooo long. . . A Sunday puzzle, first and foremost, should be FUN!. . . This was FUN!!!!. . . Very nice job, Jeremy.

Ando 2:05 PM  

I was a little tripped up by one answer at the end -- wasn't sure if "Michael Jackson's one hand while performing" was ENGLOVED or UNGLOVED.

Anonymous 2:10 PM  

Two cents more on a solid (not blinking) yellow light:

- If you're close to it, and can get through before it turns red, GO like hell.

- If you're still a ways away, and it might easily turn red before you get through, STOP.

So, GO [or] STOP makes total sense.


Anonymous 2:14 PM  

Loved this ! So much fun like a Sunday should be…I hope the constructor sees this comment and ignores crabby Rex…keep up the good work and thank you !

Anonymous 2:28 PM  

On the road, stopped for lunch. Just to say, @Rex, cancel culture was going strong, but perhaps directed at the wrong party.


Anonymous 2:49 PM  

Have to say we’re on Team NotRex today, although we (my wife and I) love your column. This puzzle was fun and to us - novel.

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

Sluing also got me because I spell it slewing. Judging by the fact that Google autocorrected the former to the latter, I think most people do.

Anonymous 3:05 PM  

I operate telescopes and we use the word slewing (notice the spelling we use) with turning on an axis. I believe cranes and sails also use the word slewing with something turning on an axis. Would be interested if any other field uses a different word though!
Basically turning on an axis means something moving back/forward up/down, etc. while a pivot has a full range of motion. Think your knee movement vs your hip movement.

Barbara S. 3:12 PM  

Aw shucks, DNF for me – and a one-square DNF at that, *and* over stuff I’ve vowed to remember. It was the IOWAN/ORE-IDA cross at the O. Are all non-IOWA-based Americans brought up from childhood to know about The Hawkeye State populated by Hawkeyes? I know the IOWA-Hawkeye connection has come up in puzzles before now so being a non-American is no excuse, but Dang. And to think I was once involved with a guy from IOWA. He’d been living in Canada for a long time when I knew him and he didn’t talk much about his home state, but Dang. And then, compounding the problem today, is the ORE-IDA trap that I always fall into. I don’t know whether their products are in Canadian grocery stores or not, but I never seem to see them. So, when I find a clue like [Brand in the frozen food aisle] and see _REIDA, I always, always think it’s going to be fREIDA, conveniently forgetting that Frieda is usually spelled I-before-E. It’s like my brain falls into a muddy rut from which it can’t escape. This resulted in fREIDA for 20A and IfWAN for 1D. IfWAN made absolutely no sense but I didn’t know how to fix it. So – here I am, in front of witnesses, renewing my solemn vow to the crossword god (whose multi-syllabic name I also always forget): From now on I *will* remember both IOWA/Hawkeye and ORE-IDA frozen foods!

Apart from all that, I liked the puzzle. Got a kick out of the dangling traffic lights, and the across/down green/go and red/stop business. I thought 43D, the yellow light down-answer, was completely straightforward. It didn’t occur to me that it could be anything but “go” to answer the first part of the clue and “stop” to answer the second. Which I guess proves the law of the conservation of brain power: in a closed system, solving stupidly in one area of the grid ensures cleverness in another.

thefogman 3:12 PM  

This puzzle is a gift to all of the bad drivers out there who think that a yellow light is an option to speed through the intersection. The gimmick was so-so until I got to the central yellow spot, which made me conclude ITSBAD.

Anonymous 3:21 PM  

So, 43 Down could have been, “Comment before trying something risky” (I’ll proceed with caution now)

egsforbreakfast 3:30 PM  

@Lewis. Cross of a BOAR and a DONKEY might be a Pork Butt (Butt=Ass=Donkey, the transitive property of similes).

I thought the puzzle was wonderful. Yes, it was easy, but it was a fresh and interesting concept, executed nicely. Thank you, Jeremy Newton.

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

A very easy puzzle. A little harsh critique on Rex's part, but he's not entirely wrong. Clever, fun concept and good design, but not at all challanging.

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

Ok Danielle’s shout out to her dad brought a tear to my eye. Thank you on behalf of Dad’s everywhere. Wasn’t a fan of yellow = stop or go but I get it. Nobody spells it GOTYA! And UNGOVED puhleeeaassse. But other than that was maybe about right for a lazy Father’s Day morning.

snowmaiden 4:29 PM  

Yield for sure. Driver's ed was a requirement in the days when public school taught life skills like typing and writing a check or hard-boiling an egg rather than test taking. The course was an entire quarter with text books, a simulation booth and several hours of driving with an instructor who had an extra brake in the passenger's side. There was no other way to interpret a yellow light but to "yield" to another driver. In that process, one must slow and either stop or go, but the word was, "yield" and the process is yielding. The clue clearly asks for, "I'll yield now."

Suzy 4:45 PM  

Well, Rex, as probably the last to comment today, I agree with at least 90% of your readers. I enjoyed this puzzle very much. No obvious naticks, and for once, no rap folks to identify! Very fun construction, no quibbles except possibly signee and sluing, Otherwise a very fun way to while away an hour on a Sunday afternoon.
Wish you would lighten up a bit!

Unknown 5:21 PM  

Did anyone else interpret "It's My Turn" as a literal "turn"? I'm about to make a turn, so "I'll slow down now." Turn as in turn while driving?

Works with "Comment after rambling": I'll slow down now. "I'm rambling, so I'll slow down now."


CrossMom 5:39 PM  

Surprised to see HEART in 14A clue and 35D answer
as well as HAWK In 1D clue and 80A answer.
Both seem like sloppy oversights in a sometimes sloppy but mostly enjoyable puzzle.

Zed 5:56 PM  

@Yield Defenders - Think about how your behavior at a Yield Sign differs from your behavior at a solid yellow light. At a yellow light the crossing traffic is already stopped. You are not yielding to them. All you are doing at a solid yellow light is deciding whether you can safely stop or not, not yielding like you would at a Yield Sign.

@JD - Personally, I prefer the delayed green light to the police state cameras. But I get why some communities might legitimately go to the cameras. But their implementation should be justified by data, first that there is an actual problem and then later that the cameras actually helped solve the problem.

Hand up for thinking of Starman not Taxi.

Anonymous 6:12 PM  

It is “I’ll yield now” lol, you’re correct

A 6:15 PM  

Nice letter, Ellie! And welcome to the party, @Ellie’s dad at 8:05!

My first thought on the traffic signals was that they were going to provide some kind of instruction for the solve. Happy it turned out the way it did. Yes, some of the fill was less than stellar but the overall result was certainly better than most Sundays. Lucy only let some air out of the ball instead of pulling it away.

Boy is my face RED. Sometime long ago I started thinking that French for thirty was 'teinte'. Plopped it in feeling all smug and then things went awry. Changed it to tiente, which looked wrong (and was) but it made OPEN ME work. PARR, as clued, was a WOE. Another one-letter dnf. Mon Dieu! All these years watching the French Open and I never heard the difference. Wonder what else I’ve been getting wrong.

Classic Taxi clip, @Joe D! I also enjoyed some Freddie Hubbard thanks to your avatar.

@Roo, I think people from Maine are Mainiacs.

Something foreign in your hard liquor: SPECT RUM.

@Barbara S, Rich Little can help you remember ORE-IDA.

Deborah Landers 6:27 PM  

Rex---Did you miss "Ill YIELD now" ???

JC66 6:39 PM  

A YELLOW light doesn't mean YIELD.

Anonymous 6:49 PM  

It absolutely means yield, and it means other things, like proceed with caution. But a yellow flashing light at a crosswalk 100% means yield to pedestrians. In just about any country I've driven in

Anonymous 6:54 PM  

The kindergarten/pre-k song is: “Green means go; yellow means slow; red means stop, stop, stop!”:-)

Barbara S. 7:08 PM  

You have no idea how perfect that tutorial from the Duke, Durante, Paul Lynde, Boris Karloff and Bogart is for me. I've lived for many years in Ottawa and Rich Little is one of this city's most beloved sons.

Anoa Bob 7:10 PM  

Looks like this puzzle provides built-in ratings for both options with IT'S BAD at 1 Across and I LOVE IT at 46 Down.

The clue for 16D TWO PAIR "There's a 4.75% chance of getting this in poker" is incomplete. The 4.75% odds applies to games where each player only gets five cards, such as Five Card Stud. In those games TWO PAIR is a strong hand and will win much of the time. In games where seven cards are in play such as Texas Hold'em or Seven Card Stud, the odds of getting TWO PAIR increases but the odds of it being the wining hand decreases . And in games like Omaha, where nine cards can be used to make the best five card hand, TWO PAIR happen so often that it is considered a weak hand and will rarely win.

Got a bit of a TEE HEE moment seeing I LOVE IT snuggled up next to SATIVAS. Tried to read the Anon @5:55 article on the SATIVA vs Indica myth but the NYT pay wall said no dice. Here's an article with an authoritative debunking of the myth.

Anonymous 7:21 PM  

So did I; I still think we’re correct ~

Anonymous 7:35 PM  

I actually think YIELD works too — in a formal debate such as in the House of Representatives, you say “I yield the floor now” when you’re done.

Anonymous 7:41 PM  

Not if it's a solid yellow on a red yellow green traffic light, that's not yield, that's "the light will turn red, stop unless unsafe to do so"

Anonymous 8:46 PM  

Actually “flashing” yellows mean yield. A yellow light on a traffic light is anything but yield. You are not expected to stop and let someone else through (i.e. yield). It simply means “I’m about to turn red. It’s unlawful to enter the intersection unless you cannot stop safely. And since you should’ve started hovering over the brake as you approached an intersection whose green light phase is unknown to you, then, short of your having seen the light turn green just prior to your arriving at the intersection, there really isn’t a situation where you can’t stop safely. So really, yellow effectively means ‘stop’ a lot more than it means ‘go’. Yielding isn’t really my jam.”

But that doesn’t hang well with “I’ll ___ now”

Anonymous 9:07 PM  


Nancy 9:41 PM  

This whole yellow?/flashing yellow?/amber? light thing is going to get everyone on the blog killed -- except for me, of course, because I don't drive. But I mean really, people. Your advice is all over the map. You should stop, then go. You should go, then stop. You should just plain go. You should just plain stop. You should speed up when you approach. You should slow down when you approach. You should yield. You should never yield. You should proceed with caution. You should step on the gas and go like a bat out of hell.

I have never in my life been so happy and relieved that I don't drive.

Paul Mazur 10:22 PM  

I'll slow down now. Fits the clue best

My Name 10:46 PM  

Thanks, that's what I basically thought, although with a different set of examples. 11:01 PM  

Disagree with Rex on this one — liked it (despite some flaws). Do agree that the correct spelling of 92D is absolutely GOTCHA.

Was flummoxed, like so many others, at 43/72D. The 2nd part of the clue easily made sense to me: I’ll SLOW DOWN now. From reading some posters here I guess YIELD makes sense for the first part of the clue: Please YIELD the floor to me. I still don’t understand Rex’s interpretation using ‘stop’ and ‘go’.

lodsf 11:21 PM  

@Carole Shmurak: I originally wrote in NONE for the Chloe nickname answer, but crosses didn’t work. When one is finding fault with something they are ‘knocking it’, hence niggling fault finding — nits — are “small knocks”.

lodsf 11:51 PM  

Actually, the double clue at 43/72D makes perfect sense after thinking about it. There are two kinds of yellow lights - blinking & stationary. The former means YIELD (hence “It’s my turn” or “please YIELD the floor to me) and the latter means SLOW DOWN (as in “I’ve been rambling on so I’ll SLOW DOWN now). Although I do acknowledge that it seems — from reading the comments — that there are differing opinions on what yellow lights mean.

Anonymous 12:34 AM  

A small nit to pick. To my knowledge, sequencing DNA does not involve splicing—that is a different process. So why is someone sequencing DNA a splicer? Do we have a geneticist to confirm my nit?

Anonymous 12:41 AM  

The clue has two mutually opposed statements - "it's my turn" and "something you say after rambling on"

At the solid yellow light that precedes a red light at a intersection a driver must STOP unless they are unable to safely do so - in that case they GO. Any driver in such a situation must decide on one or the other( you can't just roll into the intersection slowly- the other side is going to get a green after all, so you have to continue on and clear the intersection on yellow before the light turns red)

Anonymous 6:08 PM  

Jim’s driving test may have been the funniest thing ever in TV.

Anonymous 10:19 PM  

I think yellow is yield

Unknown 10:30 AM  

Got ya is very common, gotcha more cutesy. Decent so to speak = clothed, exc clue. Fun puzzle, hard to put down, should not have been put down.

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

Not a geneticist, but someone who sequences DNA almost every day for my job (biochemistry researcher). Anonymous, also I took issue with the clue / answer combo suggesting that DNA sequencers are splicers. Sure, someone who has "spliced" sequences of DNA together would often want to sequence the product to ensure its correctness... However, your average tech at 23 and me is not (or at least shouldn't be!) splicing DNA prior to sequencing it.

Huy HOΓ€NG 3:25 AM  
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Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Exactly! “I’ll YIELD now”

Anonymous 12:04 PM  


Anonymous 12:09 PM  

I’ll YIELD now. (A political phrase?)

Anonymous 6:07 PM  

Is it a yellow, amber or orange light?

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