Waxy biochemical compound / TUE 8-30-22 / Subtle signal that might accompany a wink / Major let-downs for Rapunzel / Club-wielding bogeywoman / Beginner's downhill challenge / Nonvegan pie crust ingredient

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Constructor: Emily Carroll

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: BUNNY / SLOPE (17A: With 69-Across, beginner's downhill challenge ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters) — four different "slopes" (downward diagonal answers formed by circled squares) contain types of "bunnies":

The Bunnies:
  • DUST
  • BUGS

Word of the Day:
STEROL (9D: Waxy biochemical compound) —

Sterol is an organic compound with formula C
, whose molecule is derived from that of gonane by replacement of a hydrogen atom in position 3 by a hydroxyl group. It is therefore an alcohol of gonane. More generally, any compounds that contain the gonane structure, additional functional groups, and/or modified ring systems derived from gonane are called steroids. Therefore, sterols are a subgroup of the steroids. They occur naturally in most eukaryotes, including plantsanimals, and fungi, and can also be produced by some bacteria (however likely with different functions). The most familiar type of animal sterol is cholesterol, which is vital to cell membrane structure, and functions as a precursor to fat-soluble vitamins and steroid hormones

While technically alcohols, sterols are classified by biochemists as lipids (fats in the broader sense of the term). (wikipedia)

• • •

No PLAYBOY Bunny today, but that's probably for the best. As Tuesday theme ideas go, I think this one's pretty cute. Hard to be mad at bunnies—cuteness is their greatest defense. I might've enjoyed the puzzle more if I hadn't been a fast solver—I never saw the bunnies. At all. The puzzle is so easy that I just zipped through it and then looked back to see what the SLOPEs said. So at the level of actual solving, for me, it was almost as if there were no theme; the revealer is the only proper theme answer. No Bunny Content! But the concept works well. There's something aesthetically pleasing about the arrangement of the SLOPEs in the grid. They're not symmetrical, exactly, and yet there is  a symmetry of sorts, with the NE and SW SLOPEs both extending from edge to edge, and the middle two SLOPEs both touching the edge on one side and then extending into the middle of the grid. I don't mind asymmetry in zany theme features like this (see also: rebus squares). I mind it more, however, in traditional theme answer alignment. That is, if you want / need to break symmetry, OK, but there had better be good reason. Which brings me to the one odd and somewhat ungainly feature of this theme: the placement of BUNNY. Or the placement of SLOPE, I guess. One of them really should move, so that they can be in sync with one another. Looks like there was no way to move SLOPE in this particular circled-square arrangement, so all I can guess is that the constructor just couldn't make BUNNY work in the 1-Across position, or else could make it work, but got a much cleaner result dropping BUNNY to the third row. There are no circled squares to make grid-filling difficult in that NW corner, so I don't know why BUNNY should've been so hard to put at 1-Across, but I'm also not going to tear down the NW corner and find out right now. Anyway, weird BUNNY placement, but it only detracted slightly from my overall enjoyment.

The fill was a bit rough at times, and this stood out more than it might've on other early-week themed puzzles because there were no proper theme answers or any notable longer answers to speak of at all. Nothing in the grid is longer than 8 letters, and there are only two of those, and they're solid, but neither one is terribly scintillating (ISRAELIS, BOASTFUL).  I think SLY NOD is my favorite thing in the grid (5D: Subtle signal that might accompany a wink). That and SPLURGE, which is remarkably ugly-sounding word that I somehow feel affection for (39A: Spend indulgently). There's something almost grotesque about it. It's great. The toughest bits for me were STEROL (just didn't know it–wanted STERNO) (9D: Waxy biochemical compound); OWNED IT (I wanted OWNED UP ...) (4D: Took responsibility for something); and RUST (with the "T" in place, the only "red" color I could think of was BEET) (31A: Reddish hue). GELID is familiar to me but absolutely exclusively from crosswords (it's crosswordese for "cold") (40D: Freezing). The semi-staleness of some of the fill extended to the clues on occasion as well. Two of the "?" clues are ultra-recycled (6A: Puts away, as the groceries? = EATS and 36D: A couple of bucks? = DEER). The other two are pretty good, though (53D: Ones not inclined to make sweeping gestures? = SLOBS and 43D: Major let-downs for Rapunzel? = TRESSES). I can forgive staler-than usual fill in a puzzle like this–it's incredibly hard to fill a grid with diagonal answers cleanly. I've tried. Those diagonals really really restrict you and gum things up. But that's no reason for your clues, esp. your "?" clues, to be out of a box. Still, overall, I was pretty happy with this (fittingly) easy early-week puzzle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Forgot to mention that I definitely cocked my head and looked quizzically at [Norwegian pie crust ingredient] ... only to realize (much later) that the clue actually read "Nonvegan..." (the answer is of course LARD) (thanks to Loren Muse Smith for making the same mistake and commenting on it and thus jogging my memory)

P.P.S. I am being told that the *E*LANTRA / ADRI*E*N crossing is annihilating some significant subset of solvers today. I know my Hyundai models reasonably well, but there's no reason everyone should. My condolences to those shipwrecked on the shoals of Natick today.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 6:28 AM  

I agree with Rex - cute theme! My solving experience was different, though; ENERGIZER and EASTER went in pretty fast, and I figured it out without looking at the reveal.

A bit of a Natick at the ADRIEN/ELANTRA cross. I had an A there at first.

“Snobs” before SLOBS. I dated a guy in college who stood to receive a significant amount of his inheritance if he had a job by a certain birthday. He refused to accept any manual labor job because he was a snob.

Misread 10A as “Norwegian pie crust ingredient.” I thought, Seriously? On a Tuesday?

I can count the number of times I’ve been skiing, but I remember the humiliation of being consigned to the BUNNY SLOPE. What was worse was walking around on those short little fat skis when I wasn’t on the slope. Nothing screams beginner ski TWERP like those short little fat skis you have to wear, neon signs broadcasting your ineptness. They’re the equivalent of the short little fat pencils you have to use as a kindergartener.

BROTH/brother. Moth/mother. Both/bother. Ah, the peculiarities of English pronunciation.

****Breakfast test warning***** Now that you point it out, SPLURGE is suspect. Like a portmanteau of SPLASH and PURGE. Like it could be the name of an emetic: Splurge of Ipecac. I’m reminded of the time I brought my mother-in-law’s dog, Tucker, to our farm to live and within two minutes of being in the cabin, he had dispatched an entire bowl of rat poison I had not known was there. Call to the vet. . . hydrogen peroxide poured down his throat. . .and, well, you do the math.

Anonymous 6:33 AM  

@LMS — Norwegian pie crust ingredient, yes, same. Glad I’m not alone. —RP

mathgent 7:09 AM  

Really liked the the theme. The four bunnies sliding down the grid. Even though it didn't help with the solve -- I went back afterwards to see what all the little circles had to do with a BUNNY SLOPE.

Only three of those infernal three-letter words in the grid today, the fewest in a long time. Brava!

SPLURGE. Love that word. We're going to Maui in a couple of weeks and we're going to SPLURGE on lunch at Mama's Fish House, that elegant restaurant on the beach at Paia.

kitshef 7:11 AM  

A bona fide Tuesday DNF at the ADRI_N/_LANTRA cross. Went with ADRIaN/aLANTRA, and never questioned it. I know both answers, but clearly not the spelling of either one.

Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes.

Conrad 7:24 AM  

I didn't know ADRIEN Brody, but fortunately my one-car-ago was an ELANTRA so that was a gimme. Hand up for @LMS SnOBS before SLOBS. Both fit the clue.

Anonymous 7:24 AM  

Hard to be mad at bunnies? You are clearly not a gardener. I'm with Mr. McGregor. The only positive think about them is that they're not chipmunks or voles.

I'm going to slope off now and see what those naughty bunnies have been eating while I've been abed.

Lewis 7:33 AM  

Bright and fun, and so skillfully made.

Those diagonal words strongly restrict what words a puzzlemaker can put in the grid, but look at what Emily got in: BRAWL, SPLURGE, DON’T BE, RANGY, SLY NOD, GELID, DRUB, and DOWSE! Wow. Adding to the solving experience was a theme that actually helped with filling in the boxes.

None of this is a surprise. Emily has proven in her 15 NYT puzzles that she has the chops.

She also thinks like a constructer. Here’s how I imagine it. She comes across the phrase “bunny slope” and doesn’t just relive skiing memories or think “What a cute phrase”, no, she thinks – probably immediately – “Bunny phrases angling down a grid. Write that down!”

I also liked the eight double E’s and the mini theme of food related answers: LARD, BITE, EATS, BROTH, BUNS, ROTIS, and GOUDA. Not to mention smile-inducing clues for DREIDEL, GOUDA, and EATS.

A sterling puzzle packed with goodness. You do crosswords proud, Emily. Thank you for this splendid jewel!

chefwen 7:37 AM  

My Austrian father, Hans, was nicknamed Hasi which Is German for rabbit and his nickname for me while I was young was BUNNY. Loved this puzzle and all bunny related items. My favorite get away spot is the Rabbit Hill Inn in Vermont, they’ve got BUNNY stuff all over the place.

Liked the REAM/SHEET crossing.

Cute puzzle. Only downfall is that I now have have the DREIDEL song running nonstop in my head.

Sir Hillary 7:51 AM  

This is an excellent Tuesday puzzle. Yes, the fill is strained at times (e.g., the POCs YAYS, TEES, IANS, ROTIS and AHS) but that's a small price to pay for the theme. I solved this as a themeless, hoping for a nice payoff when I looked at the diagonals -- and the puzzle delivered. The fact that she got ENERGIZER in there is really impressive.

Agree with Rex that SPLURGE is a great central entry. Enjoyed SHEET crossing REAM with similar clues.

Not sure how I feel about BUNNY/BUNS and ECO/ECON.

Same "Norwegian" misread as others had.

Always fun to see my initials (62D).

Michael Page 7:53 AM  

Anyone else having iOS app accept correct solution?

Anonymous 7:59 AM  

I’m with @Loren and @kitchef today. Took me forever to spot that Natick. Must be my slowest Tuesday on record.

Imfromjersey 8:05 AM  

A nice breeze Tuesday did not Tuezz! I also had AdriAn until I got to the cross. My daughter got a job teaching English in S Korea, and her Hyundai ELANTRA is sitting in my driveway just a few feet from where I’m solving on my screened porch this morning.

Whatsername 8:06 AM  

Not to be BOASTFUL but if I timed my solves, I believe I might’ve set a record today. Just breezy and fun and DON’T BE afraid to admit it - yes everyone loves a fluffy BUNNY. Well, maybe not the DUST ones but all the others.

LMS’ and RP’s takes on the “Norwegian” pie crust made me laugh. These days I’m a big fan of the Pillsbury ready-made ones, but for the flakiest crust, LARD is the shortening to use.

My first attempt at skiing was on the beginner SLOPES at Vail and a rather flaky friend to guide me. Thankfully there were no cell phones or social media back then. Otherwise there might be humiliating video of me trying to slow myself down by snow plowing (a technique which screams “BEGINNER” much like LMS’ short skis) into a picnic table full of people who were not thrilled with me literally crashing their lunch party. It was a painful and frustrating experience to put it mildly. However, the next weekend I signed up for a couple of professional lessons which made all the difference in the world. I learned the proper techniques like how to use the EDGEs to turn, gained a lot of confidence and eventually became AGILE enough to DARE an occasional expert run. I don’t remember the price of that first lesson but it was worth every penny. And the instructor looked like he could be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That part wasn’t bad either.

But if someone asked me today to ride a lift to the top of a mountain and then slide to the bottom in the freezing cold on a couple of narrow strips while navigating around trees and rocks and zillions of other people who ski like they drive? NAH! Not happening.

SouthsideJohnny 8:06 AM  

Definitely my favorite part was the tribute to SLOBS who don't sweep. Excellent clue.

Probably a wheelhouse thing, but I found this one more difficult that a standard Tuesday. ELANTRA takes up a fair amount of space in the grid, with GELID and the Oscar lady as a touchy crosses (and I can never remember the name of the Taj city, even though I bump into it in CrossWorld about once a month - note: Ditto for DREIDEL).

I liked SHEET crossing REAM for some strange reason. Surprised we don't see that type of convention more frequently (sort of opposites crossing, with the same clue convention). Or maybe we would tire of that sort of thing pretty quickly, lol.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

BUtt before BUNS. OWNEDup before OWNEDIT . I had the Norwegian problem too, had LARD ok and only discovered it was nonvegan when I read Rex. STEROL? GELID? Not easy, I'd say medium.

Z 8:13 AM  

A ski theme in late August? Right as the ski resorts are hawking their season ski passes? I detect PPP*

Har! Spelt ADRIEN and ELANTRA correctly!

@kitshef - Hmmmm - I was expecting this.

Not easy (for a Tuesday) here. Ran about average for me. And I solved it as a themeless. I saw the revealer early, but waited until after I finished to go rabbit hunting,

Hand up for Norwegian.

Anyone else pause at the DRIER/DRyER kealoa? Sometimes you just have to wait for the cross. I’d love it if the Y was the machine and only the machine, but alas. M-W does at least assert that the Y version is only a noun and usually the machine.

A perfectly cromulent Tuesday puzzle.

That’s Paid Product Placement today.

Len 8:17 AM  

"I Dream of Jeannie, she's a light brown hare"

Bugs Bunny

Only sticking point was the sterol/ ogres cross. A fun Tuesday.

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

I also was trying to figure out what Norwegian pie I was supposed to know about.

KateA 8:23 AM  

I solved the puzzle and then thought the letters would be about skiing. But no… rabbits!

NYDenizen 8:31 AM  

Wordle 437 2/6*


Luck or skill??

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

I read “Norwegian” also and immediately wrote LARD.

Son Volt 8:48 AM  

The big guy nailed it today - cute theme but the overall fill suffered from the grid constraints. The triple D And E from the diagonals are so restrictive. ABBEY again - like others SPLURGE is a cool word to see and I love OGRESS. GELID and DOWSE are classic crossword. Her hair fell down on TRESSES tied back with a blue velvet band

The ISRAELIS - DREIDEL pair popped. I liked the BOASTFUL x SLOBS cross.

I was on skis at three - it’s been awhile for the BUNNY SLOPE.

Congrats to @pablo for staying the course.

Who doesn’t like Priest covering Joan Baez? and if you’re offering me diamonds and RUST - I’ll take the diamonds

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

Gio 8:50 AM  

I drive an ELANTRA Touring, which is a small wagon that they don't make anymore. I love it! This is my second Hyundai. My son totalled the first one.
He was at a party an a girl he didn't know offered him $10 to drive her home. He got hit by a drunk driver. No one was hurt except my lovely Hyundai Santa Fe.

I got stuck at OGEE and ANGIE. I knew the molding was crosswordese 101 that I had learned but I kept thinking it was OCEE. I guess the name as Annie and then Andie. ANCIE looked wrong but who knows? I should have ran the alphabet.
This is good though because now OGEE is seared into my brain forever.

thfenn 8:54 AM  

Does seem like the clues for two parts of the reveal (17A and 69A) could've at least been inverted. Filled in SLOPE right after BUNNY, had enough of ENER at the top of the slope to fill in that bunny, looked for 6 circles and filled in EASTER, then went back to the march through the clues. But certainly entertaining. Couldn't get DUST in the West for a long time, what with the common OWNEDup problem, and too much confidence that stOck was correct before BROTH fell into place. Lots of fond skiing memories, and neat having the puzzle go from bunny slopes to SLALOM. Lots of memories of LIBERIA too, some less fond than others. Fun start to the day.

Nancy 9:02 AM  

What a playful and thoroughly delightful puzzle! The playfulness of the adorable theme is nicely matched by the playfulness of many of the clues. GOUDA (51D) is irresistable. Also loved the clues for TRESSES (43D); SLOBS (53D); EATS (6A) (Yes, that's certainly the most fun way to put away one's groceries); and UCLA (55D) (They really did that??!!)

I was waiting for BUGS, of course, but ENERGIZER took me by surprise and made me chuckle. DUST bunnies go nicely with the SLOBS who "are not inclined to make sweeping gestures". Everywhere there is care and thought and most emphatically humor to be found in both the grid and the clues.

I can't always "read" the personalities of constructors from their puzzles the way certain other solvers sometimes clim to do. But I think I can read Emily's. Funny, imaginative and irreverent -- someone I bet I'd enjoy having lunch with.

Carola 9:07 AM  

Add me to the Norwegians who wrote LARD right in, in my case with a mix of gratified validation (my culinary culture is in a puzzle!) and wonder (will people really know that? Hi, @Loren). Nonvegan! Well, it adds to the fun of this very cute puzzle. Unlike @Rex, I used the slopes to help me solve: after ENERGIZER, I took the 6-letter DARE and put EASTER in with no crosses. The two remaining bunnies eluded me until I had a couple of letters to help. Loved ending the series with BUGS. And SPLURGE, BOASTFUL, SLALOM, BRAWL, LIBERIA x ISRAELIS and UNSNARL parallel with TRESSES made for an unusually lively Tuesday, I thought.

Another "add me to": ADRIaN x aLANTRA, never doubted it.

RooMonster 9:48 AM  

Hey All !
Hand up for 'Norwegian' first. Why do our brains fill in words that aren't there? It's like Brain Auto-Correct. I thought, "Don't other places use LARD, why just Norway in the clue? Good stuff.

Add me also to the list of the A for the E of ELANTRA. ADRIAN just looked so right.

Neat puz. I'm betting @Tom T got a kick out of this one, as he of the always looking for diagonals mindset. Plus, it has two complete diagonal lines from corner to corner.

Idris ELBA is everywhere. I just saw a commercial with him in it. Dang dude.


One F

Nancy 9:57 AM  

Today's puzzle provides the perfect opportunity to respond to the comments of @Beezer and others yesterday who thought that my critique of yesterday's puzzle -- basically I called it a "non-grownup" puzzle displaying a devotion to living life in front of one sort of screen or another -- was harsh.

Perhaps it was. I was headed off to one of those throroughly unpleasant imaging tests that women are obliged to subject themselves to from time to time and so I was even less in the mood for "Wonder Woman", "Pac-Man" et al than I usually am. But creating puzzles is always a matter of making choices, and let's look at one choice that Emily Carroll made-- and didn't make -- today.

She has USER in her grid. In today's real world and puzzleworld both, USER usually refers to someone involved in some sort of cyberspace pursuit. Emily chooses the clue "Manipulative type". This is a clue that could have been used back when all of life was analog life and I applaud it.

What might yesterday's constructors have done with USER? They probably would have begun the clue with "Someone who can be found on..." and then put in the name of some obscure social media platform...or some video game...or some arcade game...or some smartphone app. I can't be sure of it, but based on yesterday's fill I think it's a reasonable guess.

It's all a matter of choices and I like Emily's vastly more than I liked those of yesterday.

Pete 9:58 AM  

Who doesn't like a rabbit? I don't. I was mauled by a rabbit once - My kid sister hadn't locked her rabbit up, and she and all her kits were romping in the backyard one morning. I had gotten up early, looked at the back window to see them. I pulled on a pair of pants, and started rounding them up. When I picked up the big doe and held her to my chest, she started thrashing with her hind legs, which are incredibly strong, and her toes have long nails. Multiple instances of 8" long, 4 nails wide gashes on my chest. I thought I had staunched the bleeding enough to go to school, but once I got there it was pointed out that my shirt was soaked in blood. I at least got the day off from school.

I too died at the Brody/Hyundai intersection.

@Anon 9:32 Exactly how do you go from "No PLAYBOY Bunny today, but that's probably for the best." to "wishing there was[sic] Playboy Bunnies" ? The man flat out and said it was for the best that there weren't. Noting that something is an obvious choice doesn't imply approval.

Joe Dipinto 10:11 AM  

She had a glass eye,
Loved to drink rye with
Norwegian pie

My bugbear was 52d, which morphed from LITHE to LEGGY to REEDY to finally RANGY. But I thought this was an excellent puzzle.

johnk 10:13 AM  


egsforbreakfast 10:24 AM  

When I got UCLA my mind jumped (or probably hopped) to Carnac the Magnificent. For youse yoots, this was a routine performed frequently by Johnny Carson wherein Ed McMahon would hand him a sealed envelope containing a question. Carnac would hold the envelope against his turbaned head and answer the question. Upon opening the envelope, Carnac’s answer was always arguably responsive to the question in a groan-worthy way. For some reason I still remember Carnac providing the answer “UCLA” and the question being something like “What happens when the smog lifts in Southern California?”

I hear that arrest warrants for the Gray Lady have now been issued in Texas and Idaho for including (33D) IUD in the puzzle.

If you’re going to the BUNNY SLOPE, take your poles (anagrams to SLOPE).

Are none of you nitpickers going to side eye BUNS and BUNNY in the same puzzle?

Really sweet and enjoyable puzzle today. Thanks, Emily Carroll.

JC66 10:31 AM  


If PLAYBOY BUNNY shouldn't be in the puzzle (@Rex's POV), should it lead off the write up?

bocamp 10:36 AM  

Thx, Emily; good Tues. puz, and a smooth SLALOM until I bumped into the 'car of the year'. 🤕


Dnfed at the ADRIEN / ELANTRA cross. Took forever to find and replace the 'a' with an 'E'.

Otherwise, a fun run down the SLOPE. ⛷


Agreed that Croce's 739 was pretty easy (just north of 1 hr.). The NE was a bit tricky. Good workout, as always. See you next Mon.! :)
Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

And further kea/loa -- the real term is OWNED up, not OWNED IT. The latter more often means dominance.

jae 10:45 AM  

Easy-medium. Cute and clever, liked it. Me too for having to fix ADRIEN.

GILL I. 10:49 AM  

What do you call a rabbit with fleas? BUGS BUNNY.....
Please reserve the LARD throwing for another day...Thank you in advance.
This was tres darling. I love a good Tuesday. I miss @Frantic...she'd like this one.
Not to be BOASTFUL, but I actually did a SLOLEM run once...in Tahoe. I left my 10 foot wooden skis behind and because I can do anything I want, I rented some Alpine Redster's and flew down a Super G on my BUNS.
I looked like the Ugly OGRESS on STEROL's. To be fair...I had had some nog before my daredevil dos.
@Pete 9:58....YIKES....My grandmother's bunnies were all sweet and I named them Thumper. I loved them to bits. When one went missing, I could count on us eating chicken dinner that tasted a tad hareish.
@pablito...En hora buena or if you want..enhorabuena, amigito.... We're in our forties and hope to be still counting.
@Nancy 9:57. Terrific post. But then again, yours always are!

pabloinnh 11:05 AM  

I'm with the Norwegians. How DOES that happen?

Pretty easy today, STEROL an unknown and I got it through crosses and never went back to see what the clued answer was. SHEAF before SHEET, the return of the elusive OGEE, and the old-fashioned sounding DAREI which should be answered by "You dassn't!".

@chefwen-Nice to see another BUNNY used as a nickname. My father's name was Norman, but no one ever called him that. He was always BUNNY, an appellation that seems to have disappeared over the years.

Fun to see a skiing theme. My wife the expert taught our boys to ski and is now starting on the granddaughter. I still enjoy it but stick to the cruisers. When they have been groomed just right, the result is what we call "ego snow", and the skis nearly turn themselves. My kind of ski day.

Great and sincere thanks for all the anniversary wishes from @'s Joaquin, JC66,Whatsername, bocamp, Lewis, albatross shell, and Son Volt. Much appreciated, and further evidence of the attraction of this particular blog.

Wicked nice Tuesday, EC. Entertaining, Charming, and a joy to solve. Thanks for all the fun.

Joseph Michael 11:09 AM  

Except for the ADRIEN / ELANTRA cross, i enjoyed the puzzle and the downward-facing BUNNY (sounds like a yoga pose) theme.

andrew 11:15 AM  

I too read it as Norwegian.

Then got out my Rubber Soul lp - sure enough, Beatles were singing Nonvegan Wood (This Bird Has Flown) all along!

“So I lit a fire.
Isn’t it good?
Nonvegan Wood”

Laruen 11:19 AM  

I knew how to spell Adrien but was dismayed to see him used in a puzzle. He forcefully kissed Halle Berry on stage in an unplanned stunt and she has since expressed her discomfort with it, and also wore fake hair and appropriated Jamaican Patois when introducing Sean Paul on SNL. But of course we all know worse people have shown up in these puzzles!

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

Plurals of convenience

Masked and Anonymous 11:27 AM  

Hard to beat circled cockeyed bunnies. thUmbsUp. Nice bonus uncircled GAS BUNNY, startin at 51-Across/Down, btw.

Had the popular problem of goin with ADRIAN/ALANTRA. Also, more M&A-uniquely, had SIBERIA before LIBERIA. Didn't know what the resultin SARD quartz was doin there, but, hey -- U never can tell what Norwegian nonvegans might splatz into their pie crusts.

staff weeject pick (of a sadly thin 5 choices): EEG. Backward cousin of OGEE.

Pretty easy-ish TuesPuz solvequest, other than got hung up for some precious nanoseconds in the CNET/STEROL/OGEE area. I blame the ENERGIZER BUNNY.
BUNNY in the third row is plenty ok by m&e. Clean fillins trumps symmetry, in M&A's book ... Plus, this way U get SLYNOD as a bonus.

Thanx for the excellent fun, Ms. Carrol darlin. Good job. Liked the DUST BUNNY landin in the BROTH, too boot.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

illustrated - recommend usin DownHome app to solve:

Beezer 11:31 AM  

I thought this was a delightful puzzle with very little PPP but thank goodness I knew how to spell ELANTRA because ADRIEN/Adrian is a kea loa for me. @Nancy you were spot on with your analysis as to the difference between the puzzle yesterday and the one today.

Also @Nancy, I kind of suspected you were in a sub-optimal mood yesterday but didn’t say that. The reason I suspected that is because I didn’t think of yesterday’s puzzle to emphasize screen dependence and that there have been many puzzles in the past that DID have the emphasis. I do think most of the commentariat would agree that we don’t want to miss life being fixated on a screen and that today it is more prevalent than in the past. Ha! I remember when I was in my early 30s my husband and I would quibble over who got to play Sid Meier’s Civilization on our very first home computer after the kids went to bed. We got over the fixation but dang it I actually learned a lot playing that game!

pabloinnh 11:41 AM  

Oye @GILL I-Mil gracias! No te habia visto.

American Liberal Elite 12:07 PM  

I, too, puzzled over the Norwegian Pie Crust.

Pete 12:08 PM  

@JD - Not my point (I hate people posting their faux umbrage by misrepresenting what @Rex said), but why not? If you complain when the offensive makes its way into the puzzle, why not a tip of the cap when the second most obvious BUNNY is excluded?

@Gill I - I was going to add "dinner that night was especially delicious", but that would have been a false innuendo.

This 'n' That 12:09 PM  

I can't see a world where SnOBS fits "Ones not inclined to make sweeping gestures?" It's a play on sweeping, as with a broom. ergo SLOB

OWNED IT and OWNED up are both good answers. Only one is right today.

If I know something but can't spell it I figure I only 90% know it. 10 pts. off for spelling. Happens fairly often when solving.

@egs. Impressed that you remember a specific CARNAC joke. Ed's intro went like this...I hold in my hand the envelopes. As a child of four can plainly see, these envelopes have been hermetically sealed. They've been kept in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall's porch since noon today. No one knows the contents of these envelopes, but you, in your borderline divine and mystical way, will ascertain the answers having never before seen the questions.

Elizabeth Sandifer 12:17 PM  

My Natick was STEROL/OGEE. Two bits of niche knowledge crossing at a vowel? On a Tuesday? Yuck.

Anonymous 12:19 PM  

Me too for Norwegian -- are you sure that wasn't what it said? The thing is, Norwegians are much more likely to use LARD than Americans, so it made sense!

@jberg (i'm logged in on Google, but I still can't use my name!)

albatross shell 12:29 PM  

The longest word in the grid is on a diagonal.

I had many slow-ups. SHEAf for SHEET
BUtt for BUNS - I was looking for a non-plural answer because of the clue was singular. BUt BUNS is used that way. Kinky Friedman's jocular sexism: "...get your biscuits in the oven and your BUNS in the bed". Yes @Roo, BUNS is correct. And yes @me SHEAf wasn't very good as clued.
Also had IANkY for RANGY. Did you know RANGY means tall lean and graceful while lanky means tall lean and awkward? I didn't. AGREED synching with TRESSES showed me the errors of my ways.

And so it went.

I never skied, except cross-country, so BUNNY and SLOPE had no connection in my mind. I got the theme with ENERGIZER but suspected ENERGYBAR at first.

In retrospect much easier than it played for me. An amusing theme done well.

JC66 12:37 PM  


camilof 12:40 PM  

Today I Learned that Rex actually reads the comments– but of course, who else would be approving them, the resident editorial team?

I really, really thought BUTT was going to make its first (?) appearance in the NYT puzzle specifically in reference to a derrière, but sadly RATGY is not a thing.

Like many above, not at all happy with OGEE making ANGIE & STEROL almost ungettable.

Gary Jugert 12:41 PM  

I like this puzzle and I like the idea of bunnies, but what a scary life. You are food. Nice to know we're honoring their contribution to the planet's ecosystem with so many folksy phrases.

Apparently I was put into the "advanced" class on my first day on the bunny slope. Probably my dad's fault. I obediently took the rope-tow (might have been a poma lift) to the top of the hill (basically a big field with a tiny bit of incline) and immediately panicked. I didn't know to do anything yet and my instructor wasn't happy. He managed to help me get off that harrowing Kilimanjaro and gave me to the beginning teacher. Spent the rest of the day quite happily at the bottom. This was before the french-fries and pizza instructional program, so we did straight and wedge. In all of the years that came after, I don't think I ever developed a love for the activity, and only remember one time when it was snowing heavily late in the day when I noticed how poetic and beautiful it can be when you own the mountain on your own.

As usual, I didn't know any of the people in the puzzle, but the crosses did. Nice work by the construction team.


LARD. When we lived in Albuquerque, we discovered an entire section of lard in every grocery. There's a cookie called a biscochito everyone makes there and it requires the glop.

DOWSE: Didn't know that's what divining rods do.

DARE I: Last spoken in a college theater-writing workshop, and nowhere else.

SASHes should mainly be on beauty queens.

RANGY is new to me.

AHS, EEG, ECO and IUD. I guess we can live with that few.


1 Tapas party attendee's exit and subsequent actions to find something more filling.
2 Non-Zionists.
3 Apt reminder you'll end up dying alone having spent a lifetime failing to accomplish anything that won't be forgotten immediately upon your demise.
4 Those hair-dos you see younger cooler people sporting you can't even begin to imagine how many hours it took to create such beauty.


egsforbreakfast 12:41 PM  

This ‘n’ That 12:09 pm. OMG. It’s a lot more impressive for you to remember Ed’s entire Carnac opener than for me to remember one Carnac joke. I gotta know if you actually remembered it or had to Google it.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Should be a hyphen in Non-vegan to avoid a quick mis-reading

CDilly52 1:04 PM  

Darn it all; I totally missed the bunnies!! This was just so easy that I blazed through with not even a hint of a thought that it might have a theme. In fact, when I finished in almost less than Monday time, I got confused and asked myself whether it is Monday today. No criticism of the puzzle at all. Easy and clever and fun works for me and once I saw the theme, I felt the warm fuzzies of cute little bunny rabbits! This was just pure fun.

Teedmn 1:22 PM  

Ah, the bunny slopes. When I first learned to ski, I was 29 and past the age of fearlessness. We were at the largest ski resort in MN - not very big but very icy. The one or two green runs involved very flat areas I was unable to negotiate so I learned on a couple of blue runs. I hated it. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was trying to coach me. At one point, I asked, in tears, how to turn and he said, "I don't know, you just do." To this day, we sometimes trot that answer out, to laughs.

A few years later, I got my revenge. I bought him a snowboard for Christmas. We went skiing and he spent the entire day on the tow rope bunny hill. At the end of the day, the camo pants he was wearing had lost most of the pattern on the butt, he had fallen so many times. He ended up getting really good at snowboarding, though I still wish I had a video of his belly ride down a mogul run in Breckenridge.

I've now skied Colorado, Big Sky, MT, Whistler/Blackcomb, the French, Swiss, Italian and Austrian alps plus Hemavan in Sweden. I'm still not very good. I can negotiate a non-mogul black run most of the time, with the worst stick-your-butt-out form imaginable. Do not try to get me into powder, I can't do it. But when all your friends are good skiers, you go along for the party.

I went in some silly directions today. I had OWNED at 4D and waited to see if it would be UP or TO. I got DREIDEL but with RoSe at 31A, couldn't suss OWNED IT for longer than it should have taken. "Nosh" before BITE. SLoLuM before SLALOM (it didn't even look weird!) ADRIEl before ADRIEN. I managed to UNSNARL all of this and I appreciated the BUNNY SLOPEs when I went back to admire them.

Nice Tuesday, Emily Carroll.

I did get a snicker from the thought that a predator (besides man) might hesitate because the bunny is so cute, (per Rex).

okanaganer 1:25 PM  

@Egs and @This n That... thanks for the Carnac memories.

I had to correct a few sloppy errors: I somehow thought Monrovia could be in SIBERIA. And STEREL crossing EGRESS (read the clue, dummy!). Soup STOCK before BROTH. And of course, OWNED UP.

[Spelling Bee: yd pg-1, missed this 7er yet again!]

SharonAK 2:58 PM  

What a fun puzzle!
Once Icaught on to the bunnies going down the slopes i was eager to see what the next bunny would be. Had a hard time with Bugs because I had 60a and 64a wrong.
Then there were playful clues throughout
So some were corny(51 D I'm looking at you) It still made me smile a bit.
I got a good smile from 36D " couple of bucks" and 43D "Major let downs for Rapunzel"
Yep, Fun!

This 'n' That 3:53 PM  

@egs. Copy & paste from the Google. I knew bits and pieces but not all of it.

Anoa Bob 5:29 PM  

When I was growing up in rural Tennessee in mid last century my paternal grandparents still had a working farm. Among other animals, they raised pigs (we called them hogs) and each year, usually on a very cold day in January, a fattened hog would be slaughtered.

The solid fat parts were cut into cubes and rendered/melted in a large cast iron cauldron. After cooling, the pig fat became LARD. Of course my grandmother used LARD in her cooking and I learned at an early age the truth to one of chef Emeril Lagasse's catch phrases "Pig fat rules!". Seemed like everything cooked with LARD tasted heavenly, including and especially pie crust.

We also hunted and trapped game, including rabbits, to put extra meat on the table. I never cared for the taste of rabbit, maybe because I was a big fan of BUGS BUNNY!

Count me among the SLOBS when it comes to DUST. I wait for the DUST BUNNies to get to the size of tumbleweeds and then pick them up and put them in the trash. Anything else just seems to stir up and redistribute the DUST.

Also count me among those who think it would have better to have BUNNY as the first Across to match having SLOPE as the last Across.

johnk @10:15, POC or plural of convenience.

Beezer 5:37 PM  

@Teedmn, I really enjoyed your talk about skiing as it paralleled mine UNTIL you mentioned you ski BLACKS without moguls! Um. I think most folks would say that’s pretty, pretty, pretty good (channeling my inner Larry David). I think I must be a weenie extraordinaire because I feel like I’m pushing the envelope with my fear factor on some blue slopes AND every time I THOUGHT I might try a black, I’d go to “the precipice,” look down, and think “I think I could actually kill myself if I try this”! I’d normally say, “well, I didn’t learn to ski until I was an adult,” but NOW I can’t even use THAT excuse due to you! 🤣🤣

Anonymous 6:24 PM  

Got foiled by both Naticks.


Anonymous 6:40 PM  

I didn't know whether to roll my eyes or smile at OGRESS. It's so bad it's almost good.

NYDenizen 8:15 PM  

#1. There’s not a direct link between Israelis and Zionists. Please be careful.
#2. I don’t care much for bunnies and l absolutely loathe rabbits. Except in zoos and those revolting ‘petting farms’.
#3. ‘User’ immediately connotes drug taker. What’s everybody sublimating here?
#4. As someone whose only experience with snow is slip-sliding through piles of it on NYC streets. Get my drift?

Anonymous 8:53 PM  


your #3 is a bit off. the most used terms: 'user experience', aka UX and Graphical User Interface, aka GUI.

NYDenizen 9:00 PM  

Anonym, not sure what your sources are, but l guarantee you that any layperson older than 40 whom you might ask, is not going to come up with either of those.

WordSleuth 10:50 PM  

Anybody notice you can spell BARACK OBAMA with the letters in today's SB and it's a pangram. What a hoot.

B Right There 11:28 PM  

Little late here tonight. Long day. Glad everyone seems to have covered the important stuff. Though I never saw the 'Norwegian' misread myself. My real nit was that it was a BUNNY hill that I learned downhill skiing on. It didn't even get the respect of being called a ski SLOPE, I guess. Of course, after early childhood in cross country skiing, and then moving to one of the flattest parts of Illinois, I'm not sure that I would have wondered about them calling the one and only elevation in the county a hill versus a SLOPE. That is all.

Peter 11:53 PM  

Long time, first time.

I'm flabbergasted. I came here eager for Rex to lambast this one for dated fill. This was a glossary of stock answers from when I first started doing crosswords in the late 90's. Ogee. Alai. Odie. Ruhr. Esso. Elba (second life in a post-Idris world), Eire.

In regard to theme, to me this felt like one of those unfun, "feats of construction" often lamented by OFL. No relevance to completing the puzzle and a meek internal "thunk" upon landing.

Aside: "bunny hill" is definitely the preferred nomenclature over "bunny slope" in my corner of the Midwest, dude.

Feel a little bad about my first post here being so negative and I don't want to infringe upon the blogmaster's raison d'etre. But, as I was doing this puzzle, I felt like I knew exactly what OFL would feel about this one. And I was way off.

Anonymous 12:38 AM  

I seem to be the odd person out here. I found this very unfun and weirdly hard. Huh.

spacecraft 10:16 AM  

When I opened the page, I shuddered. The dreaded Circles! But this time they were on diagonals, which evoked a second shudder: with all that theme involvement--every single across AND down along the string--the fill was bound to suffer.

But then: no, not so much. Hey, this is pretty simple and straightforward, not bad at all. Well, there was OGRESS, but come on, what SHOULD we call Fiona?

When it was all done--Tuesday-easily--I thought, this constructor ought to be BOASTFUL. What she did is FAR from easy to do. I give kudos. ANGIE Harmon is DOD, but Ms. Carroll must have an honorable mention. Birdie.

Barely escaped with a Wordle double-bogey today: PHEW!

thefogman 10:41 AM  

Cute and fun to solve. A decent Tuesday puzzle.

Diana, LIW 12:05 PM  

May fave word of the day - GOUDA. To which I say ABBA DRABa ABBY.

Any solver would be glad to HOP onto this puzzle. A hare raising experience.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Burma Shave 12:07 PM  


NAH, BOASTFUL, SLY and wiser
when ABSENT from a DRESS,


rondo 12:27 PM  

Well I for one would have liked to see PLAYBOY in the mix. ANGIE Harmon, yeah baby.
Wordle birdie due to a lousy start followed by doubt.

Sonam Singh 1:21 AM  
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