Religious exodus / FRI 7-1-22 / By all means in old parlance / It's kneaded to make naan and roti / Song featuring up to 176 verses / Classic sketch comedy show from the '60s and '70s / Modern-day Brava! / Bygone Supreme Court inits / Quit slangily

Friday, July 1, 2022

Constructor: Christina Iverson and Caitlin Reid

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (though I made some awful dumb mistakes)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ATTA (1A: It's kneaded to make naan and roti) —
Atta/Ata (UrduآٹاHindiआटाBengali: আটা, romanized: Āṭā) or chakki atta is a wholemeal wheat flour, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used to make flatbreads such as chapatirotinaanparatha and puri. It is the most widespread flour in the Indian subcontinent. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was slowish for me. At first, it was the puzzle's fault. Later on, it was most definitely (mostly) my fault. Let's start with the puzzle's own, built-in difficulty, and for me, it came right away, first clue: 1A: It's kneaded to make naan and roti (ATTA). Four letters, Indian food, mental rolodex [whirrrrrrrr] well, two of those four-letter words are in the damn clue, so they're out. DAAL can be four letters, but it's usually three and anyway involves lentils ... what about DOSA?! But no, that's a finished food, not a dough or FLOUR. And that was that. Stumped. No hope for 1-Across. And I could not get a grip on anything in the NW without it. No idea which 3-letter tribe I was dealing with at 22A: Tribe known for ranching and oil and gas operations (UTE). Never use the term REFI or see it much out of crosswords, so I couldn't come up with anything much there besides ... I don't know, RENT? (26A: Take advantage of low A.P.R., perhaps). It was bad. Oh, worst of all, I had SAW IN instead of LED IN (16A: Brought through the door). Not sure how I can tell the difference without crosses. Nobel Prize winner, also a mystery for a bit (4D: Nobel Peace Prize winner from Ghana => ANNAN). And then there's TODIEFOR, which was always going to be hell to parse, but with everything else up there not working, it was nearly impossible (I wanted GOD-something (2D: Absolutely divine). I think I managed to claw my way toward clarity with the IN from the incorrect SAW IN, and then TWIG FLOWN ANNAN. In the end, ORIGAMI helped a lot, but FLOUR, yeesh, that clue—super hard (14D: Grocery bagful). Anyway, looks like if you knew ATTA right away, that corner was probably easy, but if not, uh, not. I'm not thrilled that the mystery answer ended up just being old-school crosswordese in new clothing, but if A(T)TA is indeed "the most widespread FLOUR in the Indian subcontinent" (as the wikipedia definition, above, claims), then I, and any of you who also didn't know that answer today, would be well advised to learn this definition of ATTA immediately. Hard to question the validity of a term with that kind of clout. 

My problems rolled on even after I got out of that section. I wanted GRAN for 28A: Many a nanny (GOAT), which had to be an intentional trap. That mistake made APRICOTS really hard to see, and this is where the puzzle started to annoy me. APRICOTS are just ... a fruit. You can find them in the produce section. Why are they being clued as a brand? [Sun-Maid snack]!? I'm sure they ... make them? Process them? Are these dried APRICOTS? Let APRICOTS just be APRICOTS. Sun-Maid, shmun-maid. Once I got into the NE, the puzzle finally got fun for a bit. ATE FOR TWO / POLAR BEAR / ROLL AGAIN is a nice stack, as is its counterpart in the SW—just lovely. But in the SW, I had a hell of a time because one little mistake of mine ended up snowballing and creating enormous havoc. Weird that in the beginning it was a four-letter word that did me in (ATTA), and the later on, the same thing happened. Only with ATTA, that was just pure ignorance, whereas with the next four-letter mistake, I just didn't read the clue right. See, at 42A: One of the six reaction buttons for a text on an iPhone, my brain just saw [blah blah blah blah iPhone], and the letter pattern -A-A. And so my brain went "DATA!" and I wrote that in and wow you would not think a tiny word like that could cause so much damage, but parsing "OH HELL NO!"?? Completely impossible ("OH TELL ... ME? ... TELL IT?") (34D: "Not on your life!"). And the [Religious exodus], HAHA, no. I had DE-I--. Incomprehensible. And then I went and spoiled it more by doing something stupid like completely misreading the clue at 50A: Give a little (SAG), which my brain (really off his game today) read as [Give a title], and so in went DUB (!?!?!). This meant that at 46D: Quit, slangily (BAG IT) I had BUG-- and I actually wrote in "BUGGA" (figuring ... I don't know ... it was some kind of Brit-inflected version of "bugger off" which somehow also meant "quit," I guess). So, HAHA, face-plant number two was self-inflicted. Clumsiness upon clumsiness. I did like those NE and SW corners, as I say, and RIDE SHOTGUN is sweet too. Those parts made bearable an otherwise painful gruesome solving experience.

[wikipedia: "Hijrah or Hijra (Arabicالهجرة) was the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. The year in which the Hijrah took place is also identified as the epoch of the Lunar Hijri and Solar Hijri calendars; its date equates to 16 July, 622 in the Julian calendar. The Arabic word hijra means "departure" or "migration", among other definitions. It has been also transliterated as Hegira in medieval Latin, a term still in occasional use in English." (my emph.)]

  • 25D: Nowheresville (PODUNK) — I think of the clue as a noun and the answer as an adjective, although I guess the clue *can* be an adjective or the answer a noun if you slang hard enough.
  • 54D: Org. whose history is profiled in the 2015 best seller "To Make Men Free" (GOP) — the book sounds great, actually, but at this fascist moment in time, turns out there are No circumstances, no clues that are going to make me happy to see GOP in the puzzle, or anywhere. It's largely a white supremacist death cult now. No values but "liberal tears." If you still have an "R" after your name ... I don't know what to say. You don't have to have a "D," that's for damn sure, but ... yeesh. Get out.
  • 39D: "By all means," in old parlance ("PRAY DO") — Wow they weren't kidding about "old parlance." I like that PRAY crosses PSALM (39A: Song featuring up to 176 verses). I also think that  PRAY-DOH would be a good name for a religious-themed Play-Doh. You could use it to sculpt cathedrals and Bible scenes and stuff. Surely someone has already beaten me to this idea. Ah, look. Urban dictionary, comin' through:

  • 40D: Sedan : U.S. :: ___ : U.K. (SALOON) — absolutely floored by this. Not sure how I got to be this old without ever learning this bit of Britishness. I guess when I've been in the U.K., I've hardly ever been in a car, let alone thought about purchasing one, so it hasn't come up, but still. Boot, lorry, lift, flat ... you absorb a lot of these over time. But I did not absorb SALOON. We drink in our SALOONs. I hope that Brits don't in theirs.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Gary Jugert 6:48 AM  

Happy July! Plenty of good ole fun with this li'l bugger. I'm usually afraid of Fridays. I know there'll be no theme to rage over, and even if I finish most of the puzzle, there's still a good chance I will still get stuck. This fear haunts me until the very last T in ATTA. (I had LET IN for LED IN leading to _OTIEFOR which I was convinced would be some kind of "absolutely divine" dessert I'd never encountered.)

Themeless means just words crossing other words with clues meant to trick you. Who would do such a thing?

SALOON = SEDAN? What the heck, England. Why would you do something so weird to a perfectly good word? On that note, even when I was young and pretending I could handle alcohol, I never met a bartender interesting enough to endure the humiliation of navigating a bar stool, or worse, standing up at the saloon rail. I am a sit-at-a-table and wait for a nice person to help me kinda person -- a regular table, not a tall table where your legs dangle and fall asleep and you have to hop down and hop up.

Growing up I was pro-ICICLE, now I am anti-ICICLE. You see how people can change when ridden down by the cares of the world.

I woke up at 3 am for no reason, so now I've written this endless entry on my phone without my glasses and I wait anxiously to see what topic takes over the Rex-scape for the day. Maybe everyone will pick a favorite psalm?


So many delightful words and phrases with fun clues: ATE FOR TWO, POLAR BEAR (who'll happily eat you), ORIGAMI, DOCENTS, RIDE SHOTGUN, LAUGH IN, YOU GO GIRL, DO NOT IRON, ONE POTATO, TO DIE FOR, BAG IT, APRICOTS, HASHTAG, OH HELL NO, and TEAPOT.


PODUNK is clued as a noun. I think it's an adjective.


It never occurred to me yesterday's puzzle was a Uniclue 2.0 puzzle until @albatross shell and @pabloinnh brought it up. Then I sat in humble admiration. I wish I was smarter. I did just read the entire Wikipedia article on nachos, so I'm ready to order lunch with some level of expertise.

1 Ursus maritimus attending the Cannes film festival.
2 Indigenous Utahan dedicated to iambifying her love of Mexican cuisine.
3 Masking tape circles on the floor, and your face.
4 "The cops are coming."
5 Transphobic's reaction to Page's new name.
6 Rude guy's call (who'll be drinking 7-up soon).


mathgent 6:50 AM  

Lot of fun. Eighteen red plus signs in the margins. Didn't have to sweat much.

Anonymous 7:01 AM  

Quite straightforward and a decent time for me for a Friday. But, being a old love of Joni Mitchell it was Hejira for me.

kitshef 7:10 AM  

I thought there was going to be some wild outside-the-grid stuff going on when we got APRICOTS instead of ‘dried apricots’ and FALLS instead of ‘Niagara Falls’. Nope.

Clue for RATE was a complete mystery, but crosses were easy enough.

CAT THRONES. Gotta be a market for those.

Unknown 7:15 AM  

I also had Hejira at first. And PODUNK can absolutely be a (proper) noun, or at least it could when I was growing up. "Some guy from West Podunk Ohio..."

Laura 7:24 AM  

Fun puzzle completely ruined for me by GOP clued "To make men free". Perhaps irony intended, this week of all weeks, after making women much less free. And crossed with "you go girl"! Horrible, and I didn't even get to hear Rex's rant. I can live without most gripes about offensive words..but this, this week is, too much.

Conrad 7:25 AM  

Lots of overwrites today. Didn't know the Indian flour at 1A, @Rex REnt before REFI at 26A (and shame on me because I did a REFI six months ago). My 28A nanny was a teen. Didn't know what to do with the 5D snack because all I could think of was Raisinets, which didn't fit. My messy snacks at 23A were smoreS. Didn't know the Britishism for Sedan at 40D, then thought it might be SALon, which didn't fit. My 59A choosing game started eeny meeny, which didn't help at all.

Happily, I went to a Catholic school for one year, and during that year I was taught HEGIRA. Unfortunately, I misremembered it at HEigRA, and that didn't help in the already troublesome SW.

SouthsideJohnny 7:29 AM  

I also thought the clue for APRICOTS was a real stretch. Triple-A at best, definitely not ready for the big leagues.

DOCENTS was new to me, although I suspect I’m an outlier there. I’ll bet HEGIRA got more than just a few of us though.

Wow, Rex admitted to floundering a bit yesterday and detailed some of his early struggles today as well - are the puzzles getting harder, or is it just a normal, expected statistical blip due to the small sample size . . . I guess we shall all have to stay tuned to find out.

Son Volt 7:31 AM  

This one filled itself in for the most part - none of the same roadblocks as Rex. Goofy looking grid. I liked both of the tri stacks - thought the shorter downs were a little off.

RIDE SHOTGUN and ONE POTATO were fun. TO DIE FOR and HASHTAG are examples of the strained mid length downs. Add APRICOTS and SPRITES etc - there was a lot of flat stuff here.

I grew up in a PODUNK town.

I’m like a MAGNET - you’re like a piece of wood

Enjoyable enough Friday solve.

Lewis 7:32 AM  

A smooth ride for me, with lots to like:
• The neighboring rhyme of ATTUNE and SALOON.
• That lively stacks in the NE and SW.
• Worplay in the clues for POET, GOAT, MAGNET, BEGETS, FLOUR.
• Remakably junk-free grid.
• The incredible cross of ANNAN and ATTA, as the latter was Kofi ANNAN’s middle name!
• My Libra penchant for balance was satisfied with ATE FOR TWO (mother) and BEGETS (father).
• The lovely PuzzPair© of BAG IT and FLOUR.

In the Shortz era, ATTA has been clued almost exclusively as a preceder to “girl” or “boy”, and has been clued only once as the Indian flour (last May). The few other alternative clues for ATTA have, IMO, been very obscure, but the flour clue shouldn’t be considered obscure, IMO, because ATTA is the most used flour in all of India. So I, who am getting a bit weary of the boy/girl clue for ATTA, am hoping to see more of the flour clues.

Anyway, a zippy solving experience for me today, with a nice share of sparkles. Thank you, C&C!

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

Slow start. Didn’t think I’d ever finish. Then… little by little, plugging away, one letter at a time…. Done! I feel like I can conquer anything today!

Ted 7:56 AM  

Medium-Challenging? Not for this boy. Crushed it in 8 minutes, which would be a more normal Wednesday time.

Sure, NW was tough. ATTA was the last thing I filled in for the whole grid. So why stay there and beat yourself up for Indian bread and Ghanan Nobels? Move on. ATEFORTWO dropped in easy, the whole NE followed, rode it down south and it was all smooth sailing.

Rex. Seriously. REFI? You haven't heard REFI in normal conversation? Like, A LOT in the last few years, with mortgage rates flirting with 2% flat? DOCENTS was a gimme, and I've certainly read HEGIRA with that spelling many times (never seen the other spellings).

Lots of fresh, peppy answers! YOU GO GIRL, DO NOT IRON, ONE POTATO stack? Chef's kiss!

JD 7:57 AM  

Loooved this. Luved it. The Yin to yesterday’s yang. Struggled mightily with everything in the whole SW corner but finally saw One Potato, Sag, So To.

Took forever before I head-slapped Begat in there. Duh. The Joni Mitchell album was Hejira, which I unfortunately remembered as Hijira and was banking on.

Delightful stuff, I could retype the whole puzzle word for word and say that over and over again. Teapot. Awww. Near the Waiter. Awwwww. A tag if they’d had electric irons and polyester in olden times, “Pray Do Not Iron.”

“So why ‘saloon’ for the Brits? The word saloon was used for the luxury carriages on a train, and so suited the ideology of the early motor manufacturers.” If you care to know more about it, use link below. Agree with Rex here. How have I never heard this.,of%20the%20early%20motor%20manufacturers.

Anonymous 8:01 AM  

Not sure I’d want to be driving in the U.K., what with all the saloons cruising up and down the road. The wrong side of the road.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Amy: yes, the reference to the GQP (Q IS intended) was jarring. Otherwise loved this one. HEJIRA was easy as am a devoted Joni Mitchell fan and that's the name of an album of hers. Rabbit rabbit, July!

JJK 8:04 AM  

I liked this a lot. I didn’t know ATTA but FLOWN seemed a no-brainer, FLOUR a good guess, the rest fell into place, and now I learned ATTA! The SW was the hardest for me, although RATE My Professor was a gimme bc my hubby is one - college profs are all aware of this rating thing. So although SALOON was hard to come by, one of those weird British-isms that I’ve heard but didn’t remember, PRAYDO took awhile, and ATTUNE somehow didn’t seem quite right, I liked the long acrosses down there once I figured them out.

I loved ATEFORTWO and RIDESHOTGUN. A lovely, fun puzzle, and a great Friday!

bagelboy 8:23 AM  

All pretty straightforward and enjoyable. I ended up 30% faster than friday average. Lower left tough. HEGIRA or SALOON both mysteries. Confident on PSALM, RATE, HELLNO, BEGETS. Made a bunch of guesses that i wasnt sure of (SAG, GOP, ROT, ATTUNE). Finished on the first O and R in DONOTIRON, to get those mystery words.

R. Royce 8:28 AM  

Spending that much time in a saloon, it's no wonder the Brits drive on the wrong side of the road.

Phillyrad1999 8:29 AM  

Worked for a British company for 25 years. If you added up all of the trips I made and time spend - probably totals at least 2-3 years. Made many life long friends. NEVER EVER HEARN ANY ONE REFER TO THEIR SEDAN AS A SALOON. Not even on the way to the pub. Holy cow. Struggled with FLOUR and the clueing. Otherwise about average for a Friday.

OffTheGrid 8:37 AM  

This should clear things up. CLICK HERE

Suzy 8:43 AM  

Agree with @Lewis on all points. All the Sun-Maid products I’m aware of consist of dried fruits, so
apricots seemed fair to me, and fairly obvious. Very nice Friday! Thank you!!

OffTheGrid 8:45 AM  

No matter how many English and Australian TV shows I watch, seeing the steering wheel on the "SHOTGUN" side always looks wrong.

puzzlehoarder 8:49 AM  

A fairly easy Friday. It seemed like the little things caused delay. I'm not familiar with this professor RATE-ing thing and I didn't know ATTA. Many easy long answers today. ATEFORTWO being the prime example.

I erased the J of HEJIRA and replaced it with a G before I'd even read the clue for 50A. RAJ would be the only option I could think of and that's quite unlikely.

The SW had the most resistance and it went in last. I'm still convinced that someone left the word white out of the 54D clue

yd pg -3, I haven't looked them up yet

Joe Dipinto 8:59 AM  

So we get a Joni Mitchellish theme with the pick-a-spelling HEGIRA (I think that's how I learned it in school) and a lyric from "Woodstock"

And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky

Another too-easy Friday, iyam.

And btw, it's a noun, it's a town, it's PODUNK.

Nancy 9:01 AM  

So much trouble in the NW because the only foreign ??TA bread I know is piTA. ATTA is a bread??? To me, it's what you say in place of YOU GO GIRL. (Which is an expression I love, btw.)

But you try to find a pL?RTed word that means "made aware".

And, when you have iODIEFOs for "absolutely divine", that's about as DOOK-y a string of letters as you'll find anywhere. The incorrect "I" is from piTA and the incorrect "S" is from sIDE-something-or-other for "sit beside a driver". It's always the car and driving clues that get me. Every. Single. Time.

But TO DIE FOR is an absolutely divine answer. It's TO DIE FOR. So is ATE FOR TWO.

Because I had NULL instead of NOGO for "cancelled", I had muD instead of SOD for the building material. Don't ask. There was so much I needed to straighten out.

But this was a wonderfully chatty and lively puzzle that I found challenging and engrossing. So I won't spend time ranting about the perfectly revolting-sounding HAHA "reaction button" on the IPhone. I had absolutely no idea that such a thing existed. Sometimes ignorance can be truly blissful.

Gio 9:07 AM  

I've seen this SALOON as a sedan answer before. I remembered it because I asked a Brit friend at the time. I looked it up on WordXinfo and it was the clue, not answer, in Feb 2020, when I first started crosswordpuzzlin. It was a clue "what the Brits call a sedan". Of course I remember who I asked but not what the answer was. This was the fastest I've ever finished a Friday. I did the upper left last and the last entry was ATTA. I was surprised Rex called it medium challenging.

gaspode 9:16 AM  

We call them SALOONs in New Zealand as well.

hieutonthat 9:19 AM  

I’ve always used PODUNK as an adjective (I come from a podunk town, but we always made fun of places more podunk than us. True statement.) It’s surprising, though, how many places in the US are actually named Podunk. It comes from the Algonquin language.

thfenn 9:22 AM  

Rex's minor difficulties are usually my complete failures, but woohoos here for a Friday completion under 40 minutes. Definitely passed on ATTA, but ATEFORTWO and POLARBEAR went right in, and the NW eventually came together once LEtIN got fixed. ANNAN's meant a lot to me, so that was easy (and as pleasing as GOP was, well, irksome - and surely responsible for why I had HAte before HAHA, but was relieved HAte was wrong.). UTE's the only 3-letter tribe I could think of, REFI was plenty close to home. I know DOCENTS are a thing but just can never remember why I can't just call them guides.

Got completely hung up in the SE tho. HEGI_A and PRAYsO made it impossible for me to see DONOTIRON, so once again slept on a DNF that was suddenly obvious after a night's sleep. Know there's a lesson there, age is somehow turning me into a morning person.

Carola 9:27 AM  

Very tough sledding on the way down to RIDE SHOTGUN, then the way smoothed out. LAUGHed at being rescued in the SW by ONE POTATO and smiled at its grid partner ATE FOR TWO. Being on a family text thread with tweens, I'm very familiar with the HAHA reaction; having spent some time in England, I remembered SALOON. Do-overs: HEjIRA, Shales. No idea: ATTA.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

@Gary Jugert -- I never thought I'd ever hear that thought from any other person and certainly not from a male person. The abject discomfort and complete misery of sitting on a bar stool with your legs dangling and painfully unsupported. (Not to mention your unsupported upper back and neck, too.) Then there's the combination of height, agility and courage needed to get on and off the bleeping bar stool. Bar stools have always been a complete NO-GO for me. I just won't do them.

(And this, btw, has probably kept me out of a whole lot of trouble over an entire lifetime.)

Anyway, Gary, I'll be delighted to join you for a drink or two at a civilized, low-to-the-ground table where my feet easily touch the ground, and featuring a couple of sturdy chairs with actual backs.

Ride the Reading 9:52 AM  

One of the easier Friday puzzles. Also had SAW IN before LED IN, but took that out pretty quickly. Thought of ORIGAMI quickly, but folded and shelved it as it seemed too on the nose.

Did puzzle after watching FP1 from Silverstone, so SALOON was a nice surprise. Go, Checo. Would love to RIDE SHOTGUN with him at the wheel.

RooMonster 10:00 AM  

Hey All !
Some nice entries, but sort of a Blah FriPuz for me. Or maybe it's me being Blah. I will say the Mini kicked my butt today.

Did get a chuckle out of ORIGAMI clue. No LAUGH IN screed from Rex about being old? Nice, although unusual. Thought of hotPOTATO first, but couldn't rationale that it starts a choosing game. DOCENTS and HEGIRA came out of some far reached space in the ole brain I didn't even know was there.

Wanted BUM F@©K for PODUNK. HAHA. And that city was always in Egypt. PRAY DO was new, know PRAY TELL.

Double E fest in SE. Double L fest in NE. Couple of boggled ROOs floating about. "Gee, Roo, ego much?" 😁

Now to deflate said ego...
yd -13, should'ves - a bunch

Three F's

Joe Dipinto 10:02 AM  

5a reminded me of the joke:

How did the dietician respond when her supermodel client told her she was pregnant?

"Congratulations! —and remember, you're eating for one now."

bocamp 10:10 AM  

Thx, Christina & Kaitlin; perfect Fri. offering! :)


Good start in the NW; proceeded down and around.

Stalled briefly at DON'T IRON & ONE POTATO.

Had to come back to finish up at LAUGH-IN. Took a while to see it, as I had STRATI & CEES, but eventually TWIGged.


Fun adventure! :)
yd 0 / 35 (one gaffe)

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

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

Yes! I was thinking it was Podunk, Egypt but I stand corrected: the term is, in fact, Bumf@@k Egypt. Nice pull.

pabloinnh 10:12 AM  

Agree wirh all those who-found this pretty easy, think Podunk is a noun, spell Hejira with a J, built off ATEFORTWO to start, and learned ATTA. Also learned about "reaction buttons" on an IPhone, as I've never used either one.

I think I first encountered SALOON as a type of vehicle when reading early James Bond novels, but that was, um, some time ago. It's the type of usage you don't forget when you first run into it, as in, they call it that??

Nice breezy Fridecito, CI and CR. Certainly Interesting but Could've Required a little more effort for a Friday. Thanks for all the fun.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Not being familiar with flours of the Indian subcontinent, 1A was left to fill itself out via the Down clues. Had a bit of a problem with 16A at first: LETIN vs. LEDIN, which delayed getting TODIEFOR.

The lengthy psalm is Psalm 118/119 (depending on whether you use the Greek or Hebrew numbering system), which is an acrostic poem: each of the 22 stanzas begins with a different Hebrew letter, in order.

REFI? I hear it all the time in radio ads for mortgage companies. But I realize fewer and fewer people listen to radio.

SALOON? I've lived in London for a total of 3 years, and when you add in business and personal travel over the decades, it probably adds another 8 or 9 months. I've seen it used in print (mostly print ads) more than anything else. I could probably say the same about SEDAN here. Unless they're car shopping, most people just say "car" on either side of the Atlantic. don't they?

Barbara S. 10:15 AM  

Great puzzle. It had such a friendly vibe that I felt it was chatting with me. I had no idea about ATTA either, and left it and most of the NW blank on first pass. Oh, and btw – Happy Canada Day! In that spirit, here’s your northern neighbours’ favourite coin-related POLAR BEAR joke:
Q: What’s a toonie?
A: It’s the Canadian two-dollar coin that features the Queen on the front with a bear behind.

My nanny was a “nana” at first, which I thought possibly dodgy but defensible with the right lawyer. PRAY DO was a giggle and reminded me of the character PRAY Tell (played by Billy Porter) in that extraordinary TV series “Pose.” I didn’t really know SALOON. That is, I didn’t know-know it, but when I had a few crosses I was able to fill it in easily – we harbour some Britishisms up here but not that one. My SPRITES started out as SPiritS, but LAUGHIN set me straight. I was positive the Sun-Maid answer was going to reference raisins somehow, despite its problematic length. I’ve never been sure what PODUNK meant, so thanks, puzzle, for teaching me. In a fit of art historical rebellion, I wanted to put in “rococo” for [Like Byzantine architecture]. Despite their respective periods’ lack of proximity, small-letter “rococo” and small-letter “byzantine” have somewhat similar meanings: gratuitously complex and over-elaborate to a fault. My fave answer by a mile: OH HELL NO!

[SB Summary Report: April: 12 QBs; May: 18 QBs; June: 14 QBs. Must really have been eating my Wheaties in May.
Here are some of the words I missed last month.

These are the words we lost in June…from whatever SB master list exists (in Sam Ezersky’s head). They used to be accepted but now they’re gone. (Imagine solemn but stirring music, and a photomontage of these words in their prime.)





Mary McCarty 10:16 AM  

For anyone rankled by GOP, the book referenced, by historian Heather Cox Richardson is enlightening: “In To Make Men Free, celebrated historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, revealing the insidious cycle of boom and bust that has characterized the Party since its inception.” (Amazon blurb)
Her bi-weekly politics and history chats are also interesting, and daily Letters from an American (subscription on email or FB) are well-researched and timely.

other david 10:31 AM  

I still tend to go across, then down, then go back and think. So, originally, for 37 across, I had "jurybox" which is incorrect, but still a way, way better answer than "thrones."

Somebody should use it.

Whatsername 10:31 AM  

Did I enjoy this slick Friday crossword? You bet your sweet bippy I did. A puzzle featuring that old classic LAUGH IN plus favorites such as ORIGAMI and NACHOS, then RIDEs SHOTGUN and says DO NOT dare IRON that is a winner in the MELEE of my life. Seems like we have seen these two constructors before and they never fail to knock our socks off. This was ONE well done POTATO ladies. YOU GO GIRLS!

54D made me cringe at the irony. The GOP - “To Make Men Free.” I wonder what RBG would say about some of their men today. One thing’s for certain: WE NEED HELP.

Beezer 10:31 AM  

TIL: ATTA and SALOON. The puzzle got off to a rocky start for me with 1A but I found it truly delightful and ultimately finished without a cheat! Kofi ANNAN is a Nobel winner but I tend to forget he was from Ghana and tend to remember him as UN Secretary-General…no matter, the puzzle was constructed in such a way that the bumps were smoothed out.

I know a PSALM is a song but I think of it as a poem so it took a bit of time for the old noggin to compute with only the ___LM.

@Nancy and @Gary Jugert 🤣 on the bar stools! Ok, I take it that you might be shorter than average but usually the bar has a foot rail OR the bar stool has a rung high enough to put your feet. I just don’t like sitting or standing belly up to a bar. I will say I don’t get the popularity of the tall table and chairs at many bar/restaurants today but I suspect it’s tied in to being able to see the ubiquitous sports channels from anywhere you sit. Ugh.

@Laura, I get you…hey, today MY state had a new law that went into effect that removed the requirement for a permit to buy a handgun. Oh…the proponents say it will be illegal for certain folks to OWN the gun they bought, but the enforcement will have to be on the back end, presumably after something bad has happened. Great. Just…great.

CT2Napa 10:40 AM  

from wikipedia -- Podunk is a hamlet located along Taughannock Creek in the town of Ulysses, Tompkins County, New York, United States, just south of Trumansburg.[1]

And just NORTH of Rex

beverly c 10:41 AM  

Another enjoyable puzzle day, Hurrah!
I wasn’t confident enough to enter anything until I came to DOCENTS. Then RIDESHOTGUN! Wow!
I put in APRICOTS and took it out, thinking they might want currants, but the word “currants” wasn't coming to my sleepy brain.

BTW - I suspect, since it's mostly guys objecting to APRICOTS that they aren’t ones who shop for raisins at the grocery store.
When we were young and our grocery budget was $40-50 a week, my husband and I shopped together- it took the place of date night.
I was often embarrassed by his hugging me in the canned goods.
Later grocery shopping became my job, until he retired - now it’s a couples event again. Even so, odds are I'd have to give him a heads up on where to look for dried APRICOTS.

For PRAYDO I wrote and removed Please 3 times. HEGIRA was hanging out with currants but it surfaced when I wrote in SAG. If you read enough British mysteries you'll have heard of SALOON cars. Liked the clues for ASPS, and learned ATTA. That whole NW corner -Whew!

Unknown 10:41 AM  

Anyone who has watched even a single episode of Top Gear has heard a Brit refer to a sedan as a saloon.

Podunk is absolutely a noun AND an adjective where I come from. "He's from a Podunk town" and "I'm off to east Podunk, you need me to bring you anything?"

I knew RBG but my fingers always type RGB every time, so I wanted some kind of DEER on the back of a toonie coin. D'oh!

Had no issues with FLOUR for some reason, nor GOAT. Almost naticked at the A in ATTA/ANNAN - unfamiliar with either of these words and that could've been most any vowel there.

jae 10:58 AM  

Easy-medium. Solid with a touch of sparkle, liked it. My most costly misstep was @Rex Gran before GOAT. Fortunately, I’ve seen ELLIOT Page in a recent puzzle.

Me too for ATTA and SALOON (as clued) as WOEs.

Joseph Michael 11:07 AM  

Fun Friday with great fill, such as RIDE SHOTGuN, YOU GO GIRL and ONE POTATO.

The NW was a BEAR thanks to ATTA and the elusive TO DIE FOR, but it was the SW that ultimately did me in. Until Dr. Google ALERTED me that the religious exodus was a HEGIRA and not a hegita, I had come to the conclusion that 57A referred to the game of Tag and that the line was “Do not It on me,” as in “Do not make me It.” I wondered how such a bad answer could end up in such a good puzzle and was relieved to discover that the problem wasn’t the puzzle but me.

Whatsername 11:08 AM  

@Gary J and @Nancy: I’ll join you in boycotting those damn barstools. Nothing I hate more. The foot rails are never in the right spot for me (hi @Beezer) and I’m too short not to use them at all.

@Barbara (10:15) I finally gave up on Sam and his Gestapo tactics. Having too much fun doing all the different versions of Wordle.

@Mary McCarty (10:16) Thanks for the info on Ms. Richardson. Sounds fascinating. I’m going to look her up.

Bible trivia: Anyone know which scriptural song goes on for 176 verses? PSALM 119, also the longest chapter in the Bible, preceded by Psalm 117, the shortest chapter. That leaves Psalm 118 smack dab in the middle with 594 chapters before and 594 chapters after it. When you add the number of chapters before Psalms 118 and those after, the sum is 1,118. And the verse at the very center of the Bible is Psalms 118:8 - “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” Considering the MELEE humans have created, probably not a bad idea.

beverly c 11:20 AM  

@whatsername -Sweet Bippy!!! Thanks for the chuckle. I used to hide in the doorway to watch LAUGHIN when I was supposed to be in bed. Later, of course, I used felt marking pens and covered my body with pithy slogans!

As far as the “freedom” of the GOP - it looks like democracy in the US is all over but the crying. What comes next?

I'm reading a page-turner of a book called Influence by Robert Cialdini. Apparently when we don’t know for sure what’s going on or what to do, we stand around maintaining a calm exterior and look for cues in everyone around us who is doing the same. So that’s why we don’t take urgently needed action. Who wants to be the one who acts excitable?

Peter P 11:37 AM  

I got lucky knowing ATTA, as I have a bag of it in the cupboard. I was initially thinking "gram" (as there is gram flour -- made from chickpeas),but it's not used to make those breads, as far as I know. There's also Indian maida flour, which can be used for those, but too many letters.

I hated the answer FALLS, and, like @kitshef, I was wondering if there was some extra-grid stuff going on with that. Besides, shouldn't it be "the FALLS' or the clue should contain, "with 'the'"? That was really stretching it for me.

DONOTIRON took me a while to get. I kept thinking of the game tag, not a tag on clothing, so wanted to have some variation of "you're it!" fit in there.

ONEPOTATO also had me stumped, with my mind on "eenie meenie miney mo." I actually had no idea one potato was a choosing game. I only knew it as a silly rhyme -- I feel like with jumprope -- not as a game in and of itself. Wikipedia describes the game, and I'm completely unfamiliar with it.

HERGIRA was my other sticky spot. Never heard of it, either. Guessed the right context and religion, just never heard that word.

Otherwise, finished in 75% of average Friday time, after a blazing start in the top half. Also, for you SALOON folks, you might be interested to hear that station wagons are called "estate cars" in the UK (not that there's many station wagons around, but I've been watching Stranger Things so I've been reminded of them.)

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

Just watch "Top Gear", original version.

P. Smart 11:56 AM  

I recommend dropping everything your are doing right now and watching Nicole Kidman, a maturing Matt Dillon, and very very young Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For," screenplay by Buck Henry. Seriously. No, seriously.

Masked and Anonymous 11:57 AM  

yep. Got taught a new word, right ouATTA the chute. But, hey -- it's a FriPuz, and it's good for us to suffer.

Customary M&A salute to the Jaws of Themelessness blocks, in the far middle east & west.
staff weeject pick: RBG. Miss her, a bunch.

no-knows: ATTA. SALOON on wheels. Spellin HEGIRA. ELLIOT. Not too bad a list -- but day-um, the puz sure seemed feisty. Perhaps them five ?-marker clues contributed.

some of the many faves: That whole YOUGOGIRL+DONOTIRON+ONEPOTATO stack in the SW. MAGNET clue [it's these here rascals with no ?-mark that can really nibble up the nanoseconds]. DOCENTS [We know a docent that works at the Dali Museum]. OHHELLNO. TODIEFOR. RIDESHOTGUN [Got it off just the RI+, which really helped the solvequest cause].

Thanx for gangin up on us, Mlles. Iverson & Reid darlins. Toughie, but M&A is still LAUGHIN, as The Jaws continue to snarl at m&e from the sofa.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

themeless, no jaws:

RooMonster 12:23 PM  

@Barbara S 10:15
And one today which is definitely a word, starts with IN.

RooMonster Getting Beat Up By SB Lately Guy

sixtyni yogini 12:38 PM  

So many clever, fun answers!
And one answer which I had never heard before — HEGIRA, and that’s on me. 😜
AANNAN - no idea. But I usually don’t consider obscure names as being on me 😂😜😂

This was the best non-themer I can recall… (in my relatively short daily solving experience.)

Joseph Michael 12:38 PM  

To Anon 11:02 yesterday re Actor's Equity cards, there are both Equity and non-Equity productions. The latter is for non-Equity actors and there are no cards involved. For an actor, the difference between Equity and non-Equity is mainly pay scale and benefits.

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

I recall hearing the expression “East Podunk” - clearly a noun in that case.

GILL I. 1:01 PM stool stories in a SALOON...HAHA. Now i'll say OH HELL NO. Why? you ask. Well, here's my reason and it didn't end well:
We were filming a movie in Almeria, Spain called "The Valley of Gwangi." It was Harryhausen who gave us all the dramatic effects of the Allosaurus or maybe it was the TRex killing and maiming and eating fruit vendors in the main plaza. was overcast and he needed the sun to shine. So... we did like anybody with any kind of good sense would do and headed for the nearest "SALOON." The movie stunt man asked me to join him at the bar. I did. He asked me if I had ever had "anise." I told him I only drank red wine but that I'd try anything once. It was a long day and still no sunshine. The first sip had me thinking how smooth and sweet and fun it was to gulp about 6 of these little gems that slid down my throat like a silk gown with a tag that said DONT IRON.
After about an hour, the sun started peeking out and it was time to go. I got off the bar stool and fell flat on my face . It took about four strong "amigos" to get me off me arse. I was sick as a dog, missed the filming of Gwangi strolling into the Cathedral, and decided that if I ever drank another anise and sat at a bar stool again, I would end up being a LAUGH IN stock for all to see in horror. Boy was I ILL.
I recovered after sleeping for hours and enduring the worse hangover this side of PODUNK.
Moral of the story: Don't drink anise sitting on a bar stool in a place called Almeria while a dinosaur is being burned alive. HELL NO...Never again.
Wow...I actually got ATTA. I've used it. It's a bit like wheat FLOUR. I also got HEGIRA because I just knew it.

Loved the puzzle. It was pretty easy for me. I feel like eating some GOAT NACHOS with maybe ONE POTATO stuffed with APRICOTS.

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

I do not like to see ATTA in the puzzle, no matter how it is clued. Think 9/11. Just can’t separate the two.

jberg 1:19 PM  

Mohammed ATTA was one of the World Trade Center terrorists. I prefer the Indian flour in my puzzles.

I read Heather Cox Richardson's substack every day, and can assure you that she pretty much shares @Rex's opinion of the GOP today. But it did originate as an anti-slavery party, and the thesis of her book was that the true spirit of the party was embodied in Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, and (wait for it...) Eisenhower (who beat out the more conservative R. Taft and kept the New Deal going). She has since been disappointed.

Old British pubs had a SALOON bar, a room where the furniture was more comfortable (@Nancy, @Gary J) and it was quieter, but the drinks cost more. Part of the class system. I think SALOON car is called that by analogy -- more room inside, so more comfort. I know both mainly from novels, in which it is always "saloon car" not just saloon.

I always thought PODUNK was an actual town in New Jersey (as Oshkosh, used in the same derogatory way, is a city in Wisconsin); but Google Maps can't locate it, so I guess not. Another illusion gone.

I've always said HEGIRA; until today I thought that was correct. But then I tend to say Chou En-lai and Mao Tse-tung, too.

CDilly52 1:25 PM  

First of all, Hijrah killed me. Got the entire puzzle fairly easily except that piece where I was certain about Hijrah and refused to change it because there was no indication of VAR or alternate or any other hint that we are using some alternate spelling. And to me, this was beyond alternate. Good news (eventually) was BEGETS, YOU GO GIRL and ONE POTATO. And despite all the other exceptional clues and word play, when I filled in DO NOT IRON, admittedly from downs, I didn’t get it. At all. Even with the ?; head smack.

This was fun. Liked it lots.

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

Long time readers here know that PODUNK is famously a noun.

DigitalDan 1:40 PM  

First "Challenging" puzzle I ever found to be "Easy," with a sub-thirteen minute solve, great for me. Differnt strokes, I guess.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

around here West Podunk is where the Scopes Trial Goobers live.

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

(Not the offensive Joe Bleaux here) Sma handful of states states named Podunk. They’re real … and they’re spectacular.

Liveprof 2:09 PM  

Jackie Mason's rant on Starbucks includes the following on stools:

And there’re no chairs in those Starbucks. Instead, they have these high stools. You ever see these stools? You haven’t been on a chair that high since you were two. Seventy-three year old Jews are climbing and climbing to get to the top of the chair. And when they get to the top, they can’t even drink the coffee because there’s 12 people around one little table, and everybody’s saying, “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me…..

“Then they can’t get off the chair. Old Jews are begging Gentiles, “Mister, could you get me off this?”

okanaganer 2:13 PM  

This was a really great tough puzzle. Lots of good in the language phrases. Nice to see LAUGH IN after all these years. Goldie!


[Spelling Bee: yd 0, my last word.
@Barbara S, nice summary of your SB spring!
My QB totals: April 21, May 17, June 15. (missing 3 or 4 days each month at the cabin with no internet.)]

LorrieJJ 2:24 PM  

Happy Canada Day!

bookmark 2:37 PM  

I, too, read Heather Cox Richardson's newsletter every day. She's a 19th century American historian at Boston College. Her comments are on the events of the day, with facts from American history. Today she writes about the Supreme Court of this past week.

Aelurus 2:39 PM  

Lovely, fairly easy Friday jaunt around the grid.

For 36A, CAT, right?, but OH HELL NO, that’s a Monday clue/answer, and I resisted it till it filled itself in by crosses. I guess adding maybe gives one pause.

YOU GO GIRL, ORIGAMI (am learning to make a crane), TEAPOT, and DOCENTS (am one) went right in. So did LAUGH-IN, and I just had a nostalgic time suck by Googling the joke wall because it was fun to see Goldie Hawn, Jo Anne Worley, Arte Johnson, Lily Tomlin, and the rest of the regulars and guests obviously having such a silly time. And I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that Lorne Michaels of SNL even had an early producing credit.

Same thought as Rex mentioned about HEGIRA. Lots of variants. I always think of Joni Mitchell’s Hejira album (hi, @Joe D) but at least got started there with a few letters. Like Rex and @JD 7:57 am, I wonder how I'd never heard that SALOON Britishism, and thanks, JD, for the link.

@Lewis 7:32 am – Wow, how amazing the ATTA cross was Kofi ANNAN’s middle name!

@Nancy 9:01 – Agree about those “reaction buttons” on iPhones.

@Joe D 10:02 – Big smile for the dietician's reply!

@Barbara S 10:15 – Another big smile for the toonie joke. Happy Canada Day! And a solemn silent moment for the SB words lost in June.

Joe Dipinto 3:11 PM  

Apropos of nothing, it's time for the
Friday Anecdote

So I was at the farmers market earlier, and one of the orchards, instead of having all their peaches laid out on a table where you could examine them and take as many or as few as you wanted, had them sorted into little cartons with a sign that said "$9.00 a box – no handling or switching."

A woman standing there said to me in a disappointed tone, "They only have them by the box."

"I know. They never used to do it like this," I said.

There was a pause. Then she said:

"Everything is like a funeral these days."

And she walked away. I totally cracked up. I'm still laughing hours later.

Eniale 3:55 PM  

I started in the NE and thought this must be Wednesday; drew a blank for 1A - in fact ATTA was the last word I filled in today.But the whole top half was pretty easy. Unlike the South - got through SE but had to come to lRex for PRAYDO and DONOTIRON. but I don't mind a dnf like this at all.

Rob 3:58 PM  

Well, learning this definition of SALOON certainly helps me make better sense of the lyrics to Queen's "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy" ("Driving back in style in my saloon"...)

HEGIRA is completely new to me. Between that and PRAY DO, that was a very rough corner for me, though I got it eventually.

Pdxrains 4:20 PM  

Indeed. Made me frown big-time. Can't believe rex didn't mention this nastiness

Anonymous 4:20 PM  

Joe DiPinto,
Thank you! Keep the anecdotes coming, please.

Trinch 4:33 PM  

I’ll admit that I was not familiar with ATTA, but I do know that there is no kneading involved in making roti. It’s a liquid batter spread onto a hot pan, like a crepe.

albatross shell 5:30 PM  

ATTA FLOUR ATE FOR TWO. Basically whole wheat flour but bread baking flours are so technical I get a headache reading about them. I only make no-knead breads. Color me lazy.

Broke in with REFI ICICLE. Without REFI I might have gone for tinsel. tinsel might not have needed the singular-indicating
"Bit of". Somewhat ironically for a major kids' holiday, the only good ICICLEs for trimming were lead laden. Fun for kneading too. I imagine chewing too but never tried that one. But did they ever hang well. After they disappeared I found some at a flea market. Rehung them for several years until I dispensed with the dead tree festivities.

Turned out the NE was the easiest break-in with ATEFORTWO (no crosses) TEAPOT WAITER ORNATE ROLLAGAIN POLARBEAR.


Still having ASPS in mind when I read tried the Nanny clue led me to GOAT right away.

The SW and the NW had high resistance and I needed google twice.

Good for a Friday for me.

Very good puzzle. Smart sasy fun.

Newboy 5:32 PM  

Nice Friday today. Learning new Indian cookery and Muslim history is always worthy of the effort to uncover them & Rex saved an afternoon with Dr. Google. Gotta say YOU GO GIRLs seemed a perfectly apt rating for this construction!

Beeer 5:42 PM  

@anonymous 4:31, I for one, can get on board with that. Every little bit helps. But I hail from well between the coasts. Sanity, even if I disagree on some things…will out.

Anonymous 6:08 PM  

To those unclear about the sedan/saloon thing; 4-door passenger cars are called sedans in the US and saloons in England/anglophone countries. Two-door cars with 2 rows of seats are called coupes by both. Coupes usually have tilting front seats to let rear passengers in and out, and the sportier style is generally marketed to the youth crowd.

Beezer 6:22 PM  

Oops. @Beezer was 5:42

Anoa Bob 6:35 PM  

I had a 1962 Austin Healey 3000 and was interested in all things related to British sports cars so I recalled SALOON being a larger car than my Healey.

I'm glad to join the other Joni Mitchell fans here in Commentaristan. I have most if not all of her vinyl LPs so thought of HEJRA for 42D but I've seen the G spelling before so no issue there.

Maybe some synchronicity here but just yesterday after being I stung by the "Obsolescent music holder" clue for CD CASE---I have several---I was over at YouTube and for some reason decided to listen to a cut from Joni's Hejira Album. (The sound quality there is noticeably inferior to the LP.)

One of the things I noticed early on about much of Joni's music is that if I read the lyrics, they come across like free verse poetry, with no discernible meter, rhyme or symmetry. But when she sings them, they are beautifully lyrical. Did I mention I'm a big Joni Mitchell fan?

I was a bartender back in grad school daze so have thoroughly enjoyed all the bar stool comments. By the way, there was many an early morning coming off a loooonnng bartending shift when I would put on one of Joni's LPs and let her sing the cares of the day away.

Zed 6:49 PM  

Well, whatever enlightening things I wrote at 6:00 a.m. never got posted. C’est la guerre.

FWIW - Easy here because I just skipped 1A and plunked down ATE FOR TWO and it was basically clear sailing from there.

No issue with HEGIRA here. However the original is transliterated from the Arabic now, HEGIRA is a well established English word. Indeed, I know there is a major counseling practice in Metro Detroit named HEGIRA. Yes, I think they chose the name for the “exodus from a difficult place” connotation.

I’m not familiar with Heather Cox Richardson but if you’ve read my occasional comments here you can see she’s not alone. I’ve said more than once that Barack and Bill have been the best Republican presidents since Dwight. That book I recently recommended, Jesus and John Wayne speaks to the cultural phenomenon that has engulfed the GOP. I don’t think there is a single “Republican” in federal office today who could have won a Republican primary in 1972. They are the actual RINOs.

Chicago lawyer 8:41 PM  

Rex, your paragraph on Saloon alone was worth the price of admission. Thanks for continuing to do this “every goddamned day.” Can I say that word?

Joel R. 12:55 AM  

HEGIRA, based on the Latin, has long been, rightly or wrongly, in general use for Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina. I, who can read Arabic, have only rarely seen the Arabic term in use among Anglophones, but I can't claim any expert overview on this.

I mostly associate the term, whether Latin or Arabic, with the biblical figure Hagar, the handmaiden of Abraham's wife Sarah, who, at a time when she was barren, proposed that her husband cohabit with Hagar, who was expected to serve as a surrogate mother, by whom Abraham (then called Abram) begot Ishmael, eventual ancestor of the Arab peoples. Fearing a rise in Hagar's status, Sarah treated Hagar harshly, and eventually Hagar, at Sarah's insistence, was driven from their household with Ishmael into the wilderness, where Ishmael nearly perished. But they were rescued by an angel of God, who promised that Ishmael would himself become a great nation.

A "Hegira," then, or Hijrah, meant, in effect, "a Hagar-like journey," a good metaphor for the historically fateful detour taken by her descendant Muhammad. Our word "migrate," I should add, is derived from the same root.

There's more to this tale, an intriguing outcome related to Ishmael's younger half-brother Isaac, but I'll simply refer the reader to Genesis 22, where events are vividly told. (In effect, Abraham is divinely commanded to make a similar journey into the wilderness and, for a time, to face the extreme endangerment of Isaac. But things basically turn out all right, and eventually the brothers, when last seen together [see Gen. 25:9] seem to be at peace.)

brandsinger 5:59 PM  

The Republican Party was founded to thwart the expansion of slavery championed by the Democrats... and thereafter the GOP strongly supported extending civil rights to African Americans kept oppressed primarily by racist Democrat governments. Knowing this, the answer to 54 down was a snap for me.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

re: anisette - - The little town of Chinchón in greater Madrid is notable for its three flavors of eponymous brand anisette, and its plaza mayor that slopes downhill. There is nothing better than to sit outside a cafe, sipping anisette, until the plaza becomes level.

BTW, most people are righthanded, so the guard riding shotgun on a stagecoach sat on the right, avoiding interference with the gun if it was needed. The phrase is inapt in a saloon car.


Laura 11:40 AM  

Not so much any more. Published right after such a load of rights for women, I found this clue painful. "Fai" but horrible. Guess my original comment on the topic was too angry to publish. Kind of funny given the history of this blog.

nevake27 11:08 AM  

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DriverEasy Pro Crack

spacecraft 10:40 AM  

Circle this day and make it a holiday! OFF was challenged; I found it TOO EASY for a Friday!

Yes, the NW did not immediately fall, but ATEFORTWO was a gigantic gimme that gave me 9 down starts. I wound up backing into the NW via ICICLE, which yielded a strange-looking -I ending for 26a. What else could that be but REFI? Clue could really have used ",for short" but I guess it was too late in the week for that. Anyway that gave me TODIEFOR, and I very reluctantly forced in 1-across.

I am dismayed to learn that 1a is a real thing (though NOT an acceptable Scrabble word!) to go along with the horrid "-boy/girl" clue. It is also a name associated with 9/11, and it just raises the hair on my neck every time I see it. If you want to make me happy, keep this abomination out of your grid.

The SW was a tad stubborn, because of DONOTIRON being so hard to parse. The TIRON ending was a forehead-wrinkler. But other than that, the puzzle went down rather smoothly. Center gimmes DOCENTS and RIDESHOTGUN (nice!) were huge helps. Friday-easy.

Lots to like in this one, some lively in-the-language expressions. Eagle - too easy - 1a = par.

A rare Wordle birdie when starting 0/5:


thefogman 11:10 AM  

Easy until I hit the SW corner. Then things got a little TENSE. PRAYDO, DONOTIRON and HEGIRA made it hard to get any traction. But I KEPT at it and I was on a good ROLLAGAIN. Tricky but inferable via the crosses so I didn’t NEEDHELP via the Google.Never heard of SALOON being a UK sedan. But I like it when you learn new words or new meanings of words like that. Bravo to Caitlin and Christina. YOUGOGIRLS!!!

thefogman 12:21 PM  

EDIT - Brava, not Bravo…

Burma Shave 1:20 PM  


YOU are TODIEFOR say men,
a SHOTGUN wedding AGAIN.


rondo 8:29 PM  

I thought this puz to be easy for Friday.
Wordle par after blue start.

Diana, LIW 9:13 PM  

ATTA an unknown. Otherwise, I could suss most of it quite well.

Lady Di

Unknown 12:34 PM  

“Your contributions help keep this site strong, independent, ……” perhaps with your desire to make $$ you will accept money from GOP . All political crap is unnecessary and only makes you less money. And appear petty. I I throughly enjoy your blog but
Keep your politics to yourself. I’m sure 1/2 of readers would agree.

Fultech 12:24 PM  
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