"___ Dere" (jazz classic about a toddler's many questions) / WED 11-2-22 / Friedrich who created a scale of hardness / Nutmeg's "sister spice"

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Constructor: Ethan Zou and Tomas Spiers

Relative difficulty: ...easy?? (leisurely 9:17 while watching Iron Chef: America)

THEME: BOX "ER" — There are twelve (!!) boxes in the grid with the letters "ER," each of four long answers contains three rebuses (rebii), and then the intersecting answers also contain it.

Theme answers:
  • Italian confection brand known for its gold foil wrappers-- FERRERO ROCHER / IBERIA, AVER, SEER
  • Small dog originally bred for fox hunting-- BORDER TERRIER / AMBER, ERMA, ZEROS
  • First men’s tennis player to reach 10 consecutive Grand Slam singles finals-- ROGER FEDERER / BEER ME, FERRY, FIERCE
  • Shout that may accompany many arms waving-- WE'RE OVER HERE / ALERT, AVERSE, FRERE

Word of the Day: TESS Gerritsen (author of medical and crime thrillers) —
While on maternity leave, she submitted a short story to a statewide fiction contest in the magazine Honolulu. Her story, "On Choosing the Right Crack Seed," won first prize and she received $500. The story focused on a young male reflecting on a difficult relationship with his mother. Gerritsen claimed the story allowed her to deal with her own childhood turmoil.
• • •

Hey besties! It's Malaika and I'm back for another Malaika MWednesday. I hope you all enjoyed your Halloweekend-- currently I am feasting on Reese's cups. I liked this puzzle a lot, and I hope you did, too! Sometimes there is Discourse (TM) about whether rebus puzzles should only be on Thursdays. Idk. I hated the very first rebus puzzle I did (I still remember it lol), then felt fine about them, and now I like them because I think they are usually pretty easy-- I got this one as soon as I read the clue for FERRERO ROCHER, which, by the way, is an awesome entry.

I also loooved WE'RE OVER HERE, this is something I truly yell all the time as someone who does a lot of Park Hang Outs.

These write-ups are kind of boring when it's a good puzzle! What else is there to say? OH HELL YEAH is a stellar long answer, and I like BEER ME as well, with that super clever clue (Slangy command to someone arriving with a six-pack). I wish RUMI had been clued as Beyonce's daughter, but I guess she hasn't really done anything yet. I can't even find any bad fill to comment on!! (AVER, I guess? Maybe?) Many thanks to Ethan and Tomas for this lovely Wednesday treat!

  • TIDAL and FIERCE also could have gotten Beyonce clues (via the streaming app and Sasha Fierce)
  • What is your favorite Indian flatbread? For me, it doesn't get any better than bhatura, but I respect the hell out of puri
  • Deal breaker? for NARC!! Wow!!
xoxo Malaika

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


egsforbreakfast 1:18 AM  

I think most people are aware of 23A ASIAM (2007 Alicia Keys album). Many, however, probably overlooked her astounding 1985 album memorialized at 64A AMINO. Amazing stuff for a 4 year old.

After the 2nd appearance of DRNO in a six day span ending yesterday, it was surprising to see BEERME appearing today for the second time in six days. I’m not sure what a six day cycle would be called, but DRNO and I will BEER you if you tell us.

While looking at 17A F ER R ER OROCH ER, I became immediately aware that:
1. This was a rare Wednesday rebus for everyone except @Anoa Bob, for whom it’s not a rebus at all; and
2. The rebus trick was to put every instance of ER into a single square.

Nothing wrong with this, and every aspect of this puzzle was well executed. But it seemed awfully quick and easy to be getting POW from Jeff Chen. Makes me a tad nervous about the next three puzzles. But I did (briefly) enjoy it. So nice debut, Ethan Zou. And thanks to both you and Tomas Spiers for a good time.

Ass Watch: One HA (Hidden Ass) BASSET. One double ACG (Ass-Containing Garment) BOXER BRIEFS ( This could also be viewed as two single ACGs). (One could consider FLYOFF to be descriptive of the ACGs in certain instances, but this is being lethally disputed by some bloodthirsty insiders in the field, who are sometimes referred to as ASSASSins).

okanaganer 2:31 AM  

Neat theme; all the long themers have 3 ERs; two acrosses and two downs. In fact they form a big BOX.

My last square was the crossing of the Alicia Keys album "ASIA-" and the Persian mystic "RU-I", two unknown names. I put in an N but changed my mind... why would she name her album ASIAN?

Fun facts: La PAZ is officially "Nuestra Senora de la Paz". Similarly Los Angeles started out as "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles".

[Spelling Bee: Tues currently pg-1, missing an 8er!]

Anonymous 3:12 AM  

A personal best for Wednesday. Loved it. Not all puzzles have to be difficult to enjoy them!

Loren Muse Smith 4:35 AM  

A Wednesday rebus! That faint eau de funny business wafted up almost immediately, putting me on full ALERT. I did BRIEFly double check the day of the week, hoping maybe it was Friday Eve. But alas, no – still three days left of stress.

When I saw all the ERs, I was mystified as to what the reveal would be. I was thinking something about verbal stutters or some such. Like how I’d answer Mom’s question about where the last of the Biscoff cookies went. So when BOXER fell, I whooped. Perfect.

And, *AND*. . . BOXER crosses BLOODY NOSE. Shares the grid with BRIEFS (Hi, @egsforbreakfast). Man oh man.

Boxer also shares the grid with BORDER TERRIER (Hi, Deb Amlen – I adored the chronicles of Jade, the Extremely Spunky Border Terrier and still miss her.) And BOOP, what you say when you gently poke your good-natured PUP in the nose. I dunno, maybe you can BOOP a baby, too, but I associate the word with a dog’s nose. [see also floof (fluffy dog) and sploot (dog flat on floor with back legs splayed out.] The ultimate would be to boop a splooting floof.

NOOBS looks like it belongs in this lingo, too. Like on a pregnant dog who’s, you know, sprouting new boobs.

Loved the clue for LAY UP.

I didn’t know that Mace was Nutmeg’s sister, but I never really followed the Spice Girls.

I HOP could be the memoir of HARE.

While pedants may split HAIRS, they sure don’t split infinitives. But I guess they split hairs over split infinitives.

Malaika – I enjoyed your discourse on WE’RE OVER HERE! I’ma be on the lookout for this activity now, too.

PS - @egsforbreakfast – I thought about your funny ACG (Ass-Containing Garment) BOXER BRIEFS and would add that we could instead direct our focus to the front portion of the BRIEFS, wherein they would become junk drawers.

Conrad 5:14 AM  

@Malaika: Puri. Definitely Puri.

At 2D I knew the Spanish airline had to be IB[ER]IA, but it didn't fit. I thought briefly that there may be an IBizA airline that somehow became the nation's flagship. The penny dropped at 4D, AVER.

My trouble spot was ASIAM/RUMI/ICET. I managed to infer the latter from _CET, but the other two were a Natick. Like @okanaganer, I considered ASIAn for the album, but unlike @okanaganer I actually put it in. I changed it when I didn't get the happiness theme.

smalltowndoc 6:26 AM  

Great concept, well-executed.

Unfortunately, for me, I’m not familiar with either FERRERO ROCHER or RUMI, so that was a fatal Natick. I don’t eat candy or read poetry; what can I say? RUMI is how I affectionately referred to my College dorm mate.

JD 7:51 AM  

Figured out ER at Beer Me, but got Boxer on the crosses and just did as I was told and moved along without knowing the theme.

But then…

Had Ice-T in there for a sec, but thought no, he’s a rapper. So Ru_i/As_a_/_Cet.

However, We’re Over Here and Oh Hell Yeah, genius. Sht load of fun in this puzz with the men’s underpants (HeHe) theme. More genius was to be had if Basset had actually crossed Briefs (lookin’ at you @egs). @Muse Smith, junk drawers, absolutely brilliant potential reveal. If you’re gonna go, go big.

Dr.A 7:56 AM  

I just bristle when anyone calls a child a “BRAT”. I know it’s a valid word and it’s often used but that is generally a bad parenting issue.

mathgent 8:08 AM  

Nice puzzle. Didn't like HEHE and the clue for BOXER, though.

I don't get Malaika's joke with "Discourse (TM)." Does she mean that "discourse" is obscure? And why is it capitalized?

Malaika likes BEERME. I kind of do, too. But some of us here hate it, I seem to remember.

Son Volt 8:09 AM  

I’m with Malaika here - fantastic puzzle. Clear enough where the trick fell with the IBERIA cross - you can keep the hazelnut candy. Odd to see BEER ME again so soon. Thought the revealer was concise and perfectly set. The dog subtheme was cool.

FLY OFF, FIERCE, BLOODY NOSE, MOOLA etc - the fill here was slick all around. I guess Fall Out Boy - but here’s a real EMO BAND. HELL YEAH is fun - but a little strained. I always thought that MACE and nutmeg were the same thing.

Lol @LMS - NOOBS yes. An overly jolly - let’s say portly friend of mine makes reference to his dOOBS - dad boobs.


Thoroughly enjoyable Wednesday solve.

Diane Joan 8:17 AM  

Hi Malaika,
I love your cheery reviews! Anyway I “rue” the day when I didn’t pay attention as we watched French language instruction in elementary school. I had to get a lifeline to get the RUE/ALUM cross. It drives me crazy to figure out the trick and get stumped by a 3 or 4 letter word! Fun puzzle otherwise!

Joaquin 8:19 AM  

My favorite thing in this puzzle was 37A, "DAT Dere" which took me back to my college days. I've loved that "jazz classic" since seeing it performed in 1964. My then girlfriend/now wife and I saw it performed by Oscar Brown, Jr. in one of San Francisco's many coffee houses.

I still have a vinyl copy of his album "Sin & Soul" which features "DAT Dere".

American Liberal Elite 8:22 AM  

I hate rebus puzzles.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Amy: Hi Malaika. Fun write up. Thanks. I did manage to score a tiny tube of malted milk balls (Whoppers) Monday and discovered there are only 3 inside. Used to be 5 back in Olden Days. Liked this puzzle once I realized it was a rebus. Well done.

Laura 8:23 AM  

Lovely they ran this on Wednesday, sine it is far too easy for Thursday. I knew right away something was up, with so many answers being too long. Remarkably clean fill for a puzzle with so much theme.

And, Malalaika, the column was not boring because you had no whining to add. I'm sure with sufficient dedication to trashing puzzles, you could have found something, but I I'm glad you didn't.

JD 8:33 AM  

Just read Ice-T's wiki. Fascinating, "He is a long time practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and (wait for it) boxing..."

Gary Jugert 8:38 AM  

Well that was a lotta fun, but did anybody else notice that a whole buncha words have "er" in them? Like a weird amount of them.

We've been seeing BEER ME oddly often of late and I realized our lonely NYTXW editors probably can't afford to go to those swanky Manhattan speakeasies for Manhattans with their crossword editing gig pay, so their social life is likely sitting in the park, sipping Pabst wrapped in Jets koozies, agreeing the next puzzle they find with juvenalia like OH HELL YEAH in it is going straight to Will's desk, and then sharing passionate opinions on Dryden. Hopefully the result of such PBR summits are BOOP FIESTAS, but our giggling gate keepers don't seem like the type who spent time in DORMS coyly saying WE'RE OVER HEEEERE so they're probably going home alone to watch foreign films and PBS.

I just read Malaika and she loved virtually everything I mocked so now I have to go hire a BOXER to give her a BLOODY NOSE... not really. She's too feisty to fall for that.


1 Hopping on a plane wearing my flip-flops, pajama bottoms, a t-shirt that says "The Bangles 1984 World Tour," and carrying a paper sack from Popeyes.
2 Older brother prepares to end his parent's obsession with the new baby.
3 Rockers playing only ballads about losing you.
4 Trips to Moab.
5 Life preserver you're unlikely to use as you'll already be an hors d'oeuvre.
6 Result of the French toast fighting back.


pabloinnh 8:53 AM  

Caught on at IBERIA and then the only question was, "will it always be an ER in the box?", and yes, yes it will.

Naan or ROTI, that was the question. Didn't know the TESS as clued but easy from crosses. I have a granddaughter named TESSa. Don't call her TESS.

Speaking of young ladies, our guest performer at the Ella Fitzgerald class yesterday sang six wonderful standards virtually flawlessly. She's 12. Sometimes I just shake my head in disbelief.

Really great Wednesday, EZ and TS. Extra Zippy and over Too Soon. Thanks for all the fun.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

Didn’t really like the rebus that tried to be easy (and was very well disciplined) on non rebus day.

Gary Jugert 9:00 AM  

@egsforbreakfast 1:18 AM
B"ASS"ET (tee-hee).

beverly c 9:04 AM  

@LMS Junk drawers! πŸ˜€
Our floof, little Miss Rikki, only sploots at the park when she's trying to make maximum contact with cold damp earth. She maintains possession of the ball during those fetch-breaks so a BOOP would be a real achievement!

NYDenizen 9:32 AM  

Wordle 500 3/6*

⬜R⬜A🟨 I ⬜S🟨E
⬜G🟩 I ⬜V🟩E🟨N
🟩P🟩 I 🟩N🟩E🟩Y


Smith 9:35 AM  

Nice puzz! Took a shade over avg as I wrestled with spelling FERREROROCHER.
Knew it had to be a rebus because of IBERIA. Is that how they respond to BEERME in Spanish? Sure, IBERIA.

RooMonster 9:44 AM  

Hey All !
Wow! Today's post even better than your normal fun posts, and that's saying something!

Double checked the day of the week... Yep, it's Wednesday. Surprise "Multi-Letters In A Square" puz. Once I read Revealer clue, I thought, "Rebus? Wednesday? Well, alrighty then. I wonder what TomorrowPuz will be?", then continued solving. Got the "ER" at BEER ME/ROGER FEDERER, and thought, "Do the four long Themers each have three ERs?", and lo and behold, they did. Felt smart.

No ROO's today (or Pablo's), but there's my French equivalent RUE. On the Double-O watch, we get BOO, two LOOs, MOO, NOO.

Fun puz, an easy Mulit-squar(er), for which the ole brain thanks you.

Seven F's (FIERY!)

Diego 9:46 AM  

I enjoyed this spirited romp!
It played very young and exuberant but without a lotta pop trivia.
My faves: NARC and JUNK DRAWER ( I know but it shares the puzz’s vibe.)

Banya 9:59 AM  

I feel the same way about Rebus puzzles. I hated them at first, but once I got used to them, I started looking forward to Thursdays. Weird that this one's on a Wednesday, but the concept was easy enough to figure out.

jae 10:00 AM  

On the tough side for me partly because I wasn’t expecting a rebus on Wednesday and partly because it a rebus (tracking down a typo also didn’t help). This was fun, clever cluing with some fine long downs, liked it a bunch. A fine debut for Ethan and a well deserved POW.

Nancy 10:03 AM  

Oops. Just went to look at my ASIAn/RUnI cross and it's wrong. But no matter. I had already decided that, right or wrong, this PPP-laden puzzle that I loved anyway for its lovely rebus and revealer, was going to be a "Solved!" whether I missed one or more Naticky PPP answers or not.

So this is a "Solved!" -- and I'm proud that I didn't look anything up. Considering that I didn't know a single PPP name, this puzzle played harder for me than for many of you. And I usually consider "harder" to be a plus.

With a lot of crosses, I pulled FERRERO ROCHE out of my you-know-where. It's very expensive, very delicious, and very, very bad for me; thus I haven't bought any in years and years. But I glimpse it out of the corner of my eye from time to time in one Italian gourmet shop in my nabe.

I chuckled at the thought of pedants splitting one HAIR. Loved that clue/answer.

If I didn't do xwords, I would have lived my entire life never having once heard the revolting phrase "BEER ME". Now I live with it almost daily.

Someone will explain to me why DECAF = "unleaded". Yes?

A very enjoyable rebus with a great revealer.

Tom T 10:10 AM  

Had decided the revealer would concern multiple trips to the Emergency Room, but liked BOXER much better.

As previously stated, @LMS, you're in fine form today!

That small hunting dog is one E short of a DERRIERE.

Photomatte 10:16 AM  

I did this on my iPad and got the happy music (puzzle solved), even though I only had eleven ER squares. For 9 Down (Oracle), I had SEE, which made 17 Across FERREROCHE. Somehow, even though I missed a rebus at the ends of those words, the app says I solved the puzzle. I went back and counted my ER squares at least a dozen times and kept coming up with 11. It wasn't til I got to this forum that I saw the 12th one. I figured Oracle could be the Holy SEE (isn't that a thing?), and Ferrerroche sounded French enough to me that I never looked at it again.
So does this count as a DNF, even though the app treated it as solved? πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

Newboy 10:22 AM  

Thanks to Rex for passing off to Malaika MWednesday. I suspect he would have ripped this grid FI?CEly, so the gentle response to an ov?ly easy puzzle seems an appropriate AL?T. Kinda liked it, especially the clues like FIESTAS/sIESTAS. Ethan & Tomas can BE?ME on any day of the week they choose….well maybe not Monday.

MkB 10:27 AM  

Someone will explain to me why DECAF = "unleaded". Yes?

There was a time when you had a choice between leaded and unleaded gasoline, so if you were at a full-service station, you'd be asked if you wanted it with or without lead, similar to a server asking if you want regular or decaf. Some people started asking "regular or unleaded" for coffee.

It's embedded well enough in my brain that it didn't give me any trouble, but it does occur to me that I haven't heard it in years.

Joseph Michael 10:30 AM  

Great job, Ethan and Tomas. Fun surprise to get a rebus on Wednesday. Did not find it easy, but did manage to complete it in spite of many names I had to guess at.

Favorite themer: WE’RE OVER HERE
Favorite fill: OH HELL YEAH

Command I’m most likely to give: PINOT NOIR ME

lodsf 10:30 AM  

Had I more confidence in my own knowledge (ibERia & the crosswordese -to me - beERme for example) I would have figured this out at the beginning of the puzzle instead of having a mostly blank grid until the SE where ERma and her tERriER showed me the way.

Yesterday Rex called a Tuesday a Monday and today we have a Wednesday looking like a Thursday. Oh well, it is Halloween week so not surprising that things are, as noted yesterday, EERIE.

Happy Day if the Dead today.

Carola 10:44 AM  

Easy, a treat to solve, and a construction gem with those 4 long answers and their 3 ERs apiece + the central BOXER flanked by 2 of them. FERRARRO x IBERIA told the tale of the rebus, which helped me get WE'RE OVER HERE and especially the unknown to me BORDER TERRIER. Hardest for me to see: BLOODY NOSE, easiest: FERRARRO, revered in our household as the maker of Nutella.

@Gary Jugert, I loved your LEOPARD MACE - a niche product of the Acme Corp.?

Nancy 10:50 AM  

Command I’m most likely to give: PINOT NOIR ME

Love DAT, @Joseph Michael!!!

Bob Mills 10:52 AM  

I finished it by cheating. But when I left all the "ER" spaces blank, I didn't get credit for solving it. Somebody screwed up, i assume.

Joe Dipinto 10:58 AM  


I hate the revealer clue with its dumb ? component. As usual, WS can't leave well enough alone, so there's a cutesy (non-existent) pun to reinterpret and then you have to "reparse" that to get the gimmick, which turns out to be a garden-variety rebus. Way to trip all over yourselves, guys.

jberg 11:08 AM  

Fast and fun! I think Shortz announced some time ago that rebuses needn't be Thursdays, and Thursdays needn't be rebuses. I did toy with the idea of an airline names IBanA, but that was too silly, and pretty soon I thought of the candy company. The rest was pretty easy.

RUMI has been big for the last 20 years ago, but if Sufi poetry isn't your thing, he's also been in like 500 crosswords (Lewis will probably know the exact count).

@Nancy, I think it's barista slang -- or maybe lingo? -- the basic idea being that you have taken a substance and removed something from it.

It was really refreshing to see AS I AM instead of the usual as am I; can AS I DO be far away?

GILL I. 11:16 AM  

Que fun...
IB[ER]IA had me jumping around looking for an ER. Could a BOXER with SORES and a BOOP on his NOSE end up holding his BLODDY BRIEFS in the ER? HE HE...only if the NOOBS see it that way.
I was wrong in my wandering imagination state. All the ER's were nestled in little cubby holes hiding in anticipation. It got my attention. I love surprises that don't involve Thursday.
All these days and weeks and months and years of meeting up with EMO. Just now I learned that EMO is a hard core punk band characterized by EMOTION. I also learned that if you are a fan of EMO you are overly sensitive and full of angst that makes your agita dye your HAIR black. ICE T should be jealous.
Hump Day has a new meaning.....POW....

TTrimble 11:34 AM  

Today is my wife's birthday, and I brought her FERRERO ROCHER, one of her favorites, together with flowers and a few other things.

I don't think I've heard "unleaded" for DECAF. Doesn't sound quite apt. I do tend to brew my coffee strong, or high-octane as I call it.

Yes, you're right, @mathgent: I loathe BEER ME. If anyone said that to me, well, as much as I might want to, I wouldn't go into BOXER mode and give them a BLOODY NOSE. But I might say "go beer yourself". OTOH if they said, "BEER ME please," I would probably soften my stance, but I think I'd still hate it. Come to think of it, I've never actually heard this -- is it really a thing?

I'm so glad I found this crossword crowd with their high ASS alerts! My puerile sensibilities have found a home at last. My mom would BLANCH if she knew.

FLY OFF next to BEER: in Radical Chic, there's a Native American dude named Flying Deer who gives a "spirit talk" to usher in the money-raising event that is being held at Leonard Bernstein's apartment (for the Black Panthers). Only trouble was he arrived stinking drunk, and during his talk wound up puking all over the apartment. Flying Deer? someone asked. Flying Beer, more like.

Have a good day, y'all.

Masked and Anonymous 11:40 AM  

M&A kinda feels like an old grouch today, cuz he didn't see much special about the puztheme. I mean … ERs in a BOX? After I solved the puz, I just sat there wonderin what I'd missed. Ah well, debusta gut.

Genrally, I did like the fillins a lot. So it was still an entertainin solvequest. Did have a little trouble gettin up to speed in the NW, as had never heard tell of FERREROROCHER [also RUMI was a no-know, so had a nat-tick problem there].

fave of the faves: {"Amen!"} = OHHELLYEAH. har. Kinda a nice Heavenly Hellacious mash-up, there. The Vatican solvers mighta had a nat-tick here, with the crossin FERRERO-suchandsuch.

fave ER patient: ROG(ER)FED(ER)(ER). All the themers were actually pretty cool, except maybe for that candy of mystery one, at our house.
fave Ow de Speration moment: VORE. honrable mention to BOOP.

staff weeject pick, out of only 6 candidates: DAT. Too bad we didn't get an OER today -- coulda been the (homophonic) revealer, then.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Mr.s Zou & Spiers dudes. And congratz to Mr. Zou on his …er… half-debut.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Anonymous 11:48 AM  

Regular coffee has caffeine, decaf doesn't.

bocamp 12:02 PM  

Thx, Ethan & Tomas, for a crunchy creation; well done! :)

Hi Malaika; good to see you again; thx for your write-up! :)

Very tough; (would have been a hard Thurs. pour moi).

Not at all on the wavelength for this one. :(

Guessed right at 'R'UMI.

Spent many hours practicing my reverse LAYUPs back in the day (both right & left handed).

Fond memories of DORM life at Eastern Washington. Buddy and I would go to his parent's farm to chop up firewood for our DORM fireplace.

Loved today's challenge; fun adventure! :)

@jae / pablo

Croce's 756 came in at just under 3 hrs., so med-hard. See y'all next Mon. :)
Peace πŸ•Š πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ™

Masked and Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Correction, from first msg:

Gen(ER)ally … not Genrally. I reckon Otto-correct didn't fix it, cuz it was capitalized upon.

What can M&A say, other than …
To not ER is human, to forgive, devine.


Anonymous 12:45 PM  

All I have to say is thank God for erma bombeck! That’s when I realized it was a rebus

okanaganer 1:12 PM  

[SB update... I went to bed last night missing an 8er and not a clue what it was. This morning, turned on the monitor, had a hazy vision of a word... tried these "words". The last one was correct, so I'm counting it as yd 0* (with an asterisk cuz after midnight).]

Aelurus 1:12 PM  

Saw something was up at ROG, and that looked like BEER ME again over there in the NE. Was a rebus possible on a Wednesday? OH HELL YEAH. What fun searching out all of them.

Four long seeds and another 12 crosses using the BOXed ERs. Pretty cool. (Hi, Malaika; I counted too – welcome back!)

As Tomas says at xwordinfo, it turns out to be a wonderful shout-out to ROGER FEDERERER on his retirement. Not sure about a “literal” (scare quotes redux) tribute puzzle, but maybe Roger also has a BORDER TERRIER, loves FERRERO ROCHER, and is known for waving to his pals: WE’RE OVER HERE. Nice to think so.

Jeff Chen gives it his weekly POW and includes in his write-up two more lovely BOXed ERs of his own.

Thanks, Ethan and Tomas, for making a POWerfully entertaining puzzle!

Aelurus 1:17 PM  

OMG!I got carried away with ERs for RogER! Please mentally correct for me and remove the ERrant one. Thanks.

johnk 1:59 PM  

ER...um...uh... Please give us a break with BE*ME -- for a few weeks, anyway, AS I AM liable to FLY OFF the handle. Oth*wise, this was a decent Wednesday puzzle.

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

Am I the only one who hears ROCHER in Jeremy Irons’ voice?

Anoa Bob 2:15 PM  

Like some of yous, at first I didn't care for xwords with multiple letters in single grid squares---litteris* puzzles---but in my case I still don't care for them. What's the point? The rote letter combo search exercise detracts more than adds interest and pleasure to the solve experience for me. Seems like extra work without much of a payoff.

*Latin for "by way of or with letters".

Wikipedia's Rebus

clairer 2:21 PM  

bestie!!! Wow I did not know how much I needed a Malaika MWednesday until I opened the blog today :)

Personally felt underwhelmed when I got to the revealer, but I agree the puzzle was still delightful, and a nice little Rebus RWednesday!

Anonymous 3:32 PM  

How does anyone do this “gimmick” of two letters in one square online???

Gary Jugert 5:17 PM  

@Carola 10:44 AM
Acme LeopardMace® is available in three varieties. Mild to perfume overly aggressive drag queens dressed in leopard skin tights and looking fabulous. Medium to scare away furniture salesmen who swear leopard prints are back in fashion. And heavy duty for those on safari, but it no longer comes with a sprayer because Acme company settled its product design liability suits with Wile E. Coyote, and you'll be eaten by the time you realize what's happening.

LateSolver 7:51 PM  

A lot of short fill made this tedious. Not hard, just tedious. A couple PPP I had to rely on crosses for.

I like bhatura, too, but never really considered it flatbread since it tends to be so puffy - almost balloon like. That being said, my go to at home is naan (and make it myself on occasion, and it puffs similarly before deflating) so I am always tripped up by ROTI in the puzzles. My local Indian place does not have that.

Carola 9:05 PM  

@Gary Jugert - Perhaps the only time W.E.C. has prevailed anywhere, in or out of court!

Anonymous 9:31 PM  

Fun puzzle, until we crashed at the AS_AM / _CET Natick. Thought it might be somehow a tribute puzzle to the late Queen, but the theme BOX ER on the Day of the Dead is in poor taste!

Anonymous 10:32 PM  

I am so over puzzles with 2 letters in one square. I refuse to do them any more.

Sara 12:13 AM  

Just wanted to point out that rumi is a Persian poet only in the sense that he wrote in the Persian language. He was born in what is now Afghanistan, but lived in Konya, Turkey!!

kitshef 10:25 AM  

Definitely not easy. Even getting the gimmick right off the bet due to Ferrero Rocher, took me a while. Lots of clues outside my wheelhouse.

Layups need not be underarm. I'd argue that 85% of them are not.

thefogman 10:51 AM  

DNF because I had AerIAL for 23A. It sure sounded like a title for an album to me. Maybe it is, but not one by Alicia Keys. Consequently, I had DORMer for 3D, which is a word. Alas, it just isn’t the right word. I counted all the ER boxes after solving and noticed I had 13 - not 12. I thought that was odd but figured maybe it’s a pun I’m missing. Something to do with a baker’s dozen maybe? Nope. I should have hemmed and HAWED a bit longer before putting my pen down. Aside that, it was a pretty enjoyable solve.

thefogman 10:57 AM  

PS - RUMI was a complete unknown to me - which didn’t help me solve my AerIAl ASIAM booboo. I’ve got to bone up on 13th-century Persian poets now…

spacecraft 11:45 AM  

OHHELLYEAH, that RUMI guy is one known to vERy few of us--make that you. Let's fair up those crosses, people. Except for a tiny handful of truly famous ones, like ThrillER, I am at a loss for album titles. Had ASIA_ and almost put in N for ASIAN. But then I thought, that's a dumb title for an album. But then I thought, lots of albums [alba?] have dumb titles. But THEN I thought, hey, what about AS I AM? That at least sounds catchy, so I went with it. *Whew!*

Hardly a LAYUP. The rest of the puzzle, though, laid down rathER nicely. A short & sweet revealER that points us directly to the rebus feature: Watch out, folks, you have to BOX ER! Slang will have its way (VACAYS, NOOBS, maybe even EMOBAND), but by and large the fill is fine. Give it a birdie.

Wordle par.

Diana, LIW 1:31 PM  

If you have to have a rebus, having a consistent one makes up for a lot. I guess. And I guessed this all correctly. Now, the rebi family can take a long, long VACAY.

Diana, LIW

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

Did this on the Seattle Times (syndicated feed) web page. They put the wrong grid up, but it was so close to the real grid that it wasn't at all obvious (exact same number of across and down clues, and many of the correct answers just plugged straight in). However, the plethora of 2-letter answers suggested something was up, and we even figured out from Ferrero Rocher and Roger Federer that there was something going on with ER. But we couldn't make it work. After a looooooooong time we gave up and Rex Parkered it. Nearly threw the laptop across the room ....

Burma Shave 2:48 PM  


TESS and TIM WERE RUMI friends,
BUT not AVERSE to BORDER the norms,
“WE’RE not NOOBS, our CRIB depends
that OVERHERE we LAYUP in our DORMS.”


Anonymous 7:57 PM  

@ Anon 1:50 PM: I also was flummoxed by the Seattle Times mis-grid. Luckily I punted and went back to it after work. They had fixed it and it was an easy solve except for RUMI and that Italian confection cross. Got all of it except that lonely R that did not have an E with it. I need to visit more Italian restaurants, or maybe visit Italy.

Anonymous 4:00 AM  

@Anon at 1:50 PM

I did it on the Seattle Times page as well, my experience was just like yours -- knew something was up with ER but couldn't make it work with an incorrect grid so gave up and came here.

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

@mathgent 8:08am:
Discourse is an online site where people who have similar interests, can form communities to discuss said interest. Things like: birding, gardening, sewing, cemeteries, etc., etc.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP