Beverage mixed with tapioca pearls / TUE 1-24-23 / Distilled coal product used to preserve wood / Cataclysm in the lore of many world cultures / San Francisco neighborhood with the GLBT Historical Society Museum / Electronic device for a person with voice impairment, maybe / Journalist political analyst Nate

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Constructor: Aaron M. Rosenberg and Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium ("Medium" solely because of Nate COHN, whoever that is)

THEME: BUBBLE TEA (39D: Beverage mixed with tapioca pearls ... or a description of this puzzle's circled pearls?) — different kinds of "teas" appear in "bubbles" (i.e. circled squares) in a handful of long Down themers:

Theme answers:
  • SPEECH AID (3D: Electronic device for a person with voice impairment, maybe)
  • PASS A MILESTONE (18D: Go through one of life's significant moments)
  • "TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ" (7D: Response from someone who merely glanced at an online post, maybe)
  • WEATHER BALLOON (9D: What a U.F.O. might turn out to be)
Word of the Day: Nate COHN (22D: Journalist/political analyst) —
Nathan David Cohn (born August 16, 1988) is an American journalist and chief political analyst for "The Upshot" at The New York Times. His reporting focuses on electionspublic opinion, and demographics in the United States. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well I got to put my tea knowledge, which heavily overlaps with "crossword knowledge," to good use today. The biggest crossword assist I got was with ASSAM, an extremely crosswordesey tea back in the tea. One of those teas (and tea regions) you just knew, even if you never drank tea. You see CHAI a lot in crosswords too, although at this point CHAI is ubiquitous and requires no special insider crossword knowledge. OOLONG is better known as a tea than as a crossword answer (though I've seen it ... and maybe even used it in a puzzle ...) and HERBAL ... well, that's not a "tea" at all. It's also not nearly specific enough. The others are specific tea varieties, but HERBAL is a giant catch-all category of actually not-tea tea, i.e. tisane, made out of typically non-caffeinated plants. Speaking of TISANE, seems like it would make good crossword fodder, though I don't recall ever seeing it. Anyway, I'm fine with HERBAL being categorically different from the others, but less fine with its being so much more generic than the others. But back to the theme—the revealer makes it good. Working those damn circles right into the core thematic concept: great. Feels fresh, clever, original. 

I have just two complaints about the theme (beyond HERBAL being ... not like the others), and both complaints relate to "TOO LONG, DIDN'T READ." First, it's the only themer where the bubbles don't touch every word element in the answer (which is the elegant way to do it). CHAI touches SPEECH and AID, ASSAM (impressively) touches PASS and A *and* MILESTONE, HERBAL touches WEATHER and BALLOON, but OOLONG touches only words on the front end of "TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ," leaving the entirety of "DIDN'T READ" out to dry (and leaving the bottom half of the grid bubble-free, which is odd, since that's usually where the bubbles are in BUBBLE TEA) (see picture, above). Second, no one but no one writes out "TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ." If someone "merely glanced" at an online post, then there's no way they're typing all that out. Instead, they're going to write the super dickish / now-ye-olde-feeling "tl;dr." The expression *means* "TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ," but the whole point is abbreviation. tl;dr is just tl;dr. I'm pretty sure it's been in crosswords as such. Nobody Writes Out TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ," and the clue should acknowledge that fact (i.e. that it's the full meaning of something that exists exclusively as an abbr. irl) ("in real life," btw) ("by the way"...)

The grid is 16 rows tall in order to accommodate "TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ," so if your time seemed a little slow or the grid looked a little unusual (beyond the "bubbles"), that's why. I doubt your time was very far north of your usual Tuesday, as this puzzle played Very Easy (as so many puzzles seem to do these days).  The first themers were a little tough to parse, maybe, but once I got the "tea" concept, CHAI and ASSAM helped me make quick work of those first two themers, and beyond that, there's nothing tough, except (for me) COHN, which ... I don't know who that is. Tuesday-famous? Or just NYT self-hype. Whatever, the clue made me struggle to remember the one political analyst "NATE" I know, and that NATE ended up being NATE Silver, so ... that answer was marginal (fame-wise) and made me think of things I'd rather not think of. 0 for 2. I had ARYA for ANYA because "GOT," WTF (as in "who the f— cares not me"). But those "GOT" names (so ... many ...) are slowly becoming second nature, and anyway, the crosses are all fair. The rest of the grid is pretty good. IN INK and TAR OIL are ugly, and SODOI (like its equally evil twin SOAMI) is as always unwelcome, but it's hard not to like SLEAZY and GUMSUP and "I'M HERE!" and "OH, SURE..." I gotta run. "Unhappy tabbies" are mewing hungrily (if not yet CLAWing AT my door) and that coffee (not tea) is not gonna make itself. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. ESP isn't real and it's always jarring when the clue doesn't say as much (35D: Mind reader's ability). I wanted the answer to be NIL.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Bob Mills 5:33 AM  

Finished it in less than a half-hour. Most of the crosses were fair, and thankfully the puzzle was mostly free of hip-hop talk. I didn't check the circled letters until I finished.

Conrad 5:55 AM  

Yeah, Easy-Medium for me too. I knew Nate COHN, but until today I would've sworn his name was COHeN. My problems mostly arose in the SW, where I had uIe before ZIG at 63D and resisted MATZO at 62A because I insisted (incorrectly) that it had to be MATZOh, which didn't fit.

Loren Muse Smith 6:00 AM  

I think the first time I had BUBBLE TEA, I hadn’t been given a heads-up; when that first tapioca pearl made mouth contact, I was as startled as I was creeped out. Small ice cubes notwithstanding, something solid suddenly bumping around in your mouth when you’re expecting only liquid can be extremely off-putting, like Omigod I just sucked up a dead bug through this straw.

Here’s a case where even the circle haters have to accept these bubbles floating down to the bottom of the grid glass. Nice.

“Sounds of bliss” – (on the PA system] - Gloria M (Ja’Tonio D, Carmarion C or any other gifted, inventive, tireless class disrupter in my 5th block) please report to the office for early dismissal. Yessssss. Maybe I can actually teach how to write a standard 5-paragraph essay now.

Liked BASK crossing AAHS. Hellooo, hot bath on a cold winter’s night. But as I type this, I’m thinking that maybe you can’t bask in water? [Google check… There’s a lot about turtles basking in water, so ok.]

I also liked REIGNITED crossing GAS. When a gas burner refuses to light with the switch, old-school starting it with one of those long lighters scares the crap out of me. Like, I stand there wondering if a ton of gas has already been released and is forming an invisible sinister miasma around my head that will all ignite, and I’ll lose my eyebrows and most of my hair. I usually end up leaving the room and waiting a few minutes. Hey, we all have our Things. (On a side note, could you reconsider REIGNITE as someone who enjoys royal watching? As opposed to, say, a laborite? Asking for a friend.)

IDIOM’s clue reminded me of those lists of words in other languages that we don’t have in English:

Sobremesa (Spanish) - The time spent at a table after eating. The food is gone, but everyone is still sitting around chatting. (When I worked at Quinn’s Mill in Atlanta and some patrons were sobremesa-ing at closing time, we’d turn up the AC to make it really cold.)
Kummerspeck (German) - Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, "grief bacon."
Shemomedjamo (Georgian) - When you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it? This word means, “I accidentally ate the whole thing." This is pretty much me with any order of homemade potato chips and some ranch dressing. I’m powerless to stop.
Tartle (Scottish) - That panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can't quite remember.

EQUUS – I recently for some reason had written vacuum on the board. Before I went on with whatever it was, I said to the kids, Can we pause and admire this word? Can you think of any other word in English with two U’s next to each other? Darned if they didn’t actually join me in my admiration. I swear.

I kind of winced at the TOO LONG; DIDN’T READ. If I consider the continuum of my comments over the years here I would have hoped to grow less long-winded. My first tentative contributions were really short because I was so afraid that people would wonder if I’m stupid. Now I write treatises that remove all doubt. Mea culpa.

JC66 6:21 AM  

Blogger JC66 said...
I did he puzzle last night and woke up really earky this morning so I could kvell loudy to everyone that my full last name appears at 22D.

And for the icing on the cage, @Res made it Word of the Day.

This doesn't happen but rarely, so pkease pardon my excitement.

Wanderlust 6:27 AM  

TOO LONG DIDN’T READ - you’re probably thinking it on some of my posts, but you’re too nice to say it.

I had a fatal error today because I put meH for “not feeling it” instead of NAH. That gave me MCIS and ELDO for the TV show and designer. Plausible. Took me quite a while to find the error.

I also had hippo before EQUUS - but it turns out that’s Greek. It seemed right, though, because Rome had hippodromes for horse racing. But anyway, that one was EASILY fixed.

I can’t stand coffee and love tea, so I liked this one. CHAI, ASSAM and OOLONG are all good (though, of course, “CHAI tea” means “tea tea”) but I am not into HERBAL pseudo teas. I agree with Rex that that one is a bit of an outlier. (Couldn’t you make Darjeeling work, guys?)

I think of AZURE as the color of the sea, not the sky. That’s cerulean.

Interesting that many cultures have FLOODs in their lore. I wonder what stories about FLOODs the survivors of climate change will write about in their version of the Bible in a century or so.

Anonymous 6:37 AM  

@JC66. One question, do you like ice cream, COHN?

Anonymous 6:42 AM  

Continuum…two u’s!

SouthsideJohnny 6:57 AM  

Way too much tedium for a Tuesday. Latin horses ? COHN, ARYA, NCIS, ALDO, SELA, CASTRO . . . all household words and common knowledge to some I’m sure, but they sure GUM UP what could have been a pleasant solving experience. Too bad, could have been a fun one.

JJK 6:59 AM  

I solved this as a themeless, not seeing or paying attention to the circles till I was done. COHN was the only problem for me, I have not heard of the man.

I’m a coffee drinker but do like an occasional CHAI, especially if it’s spicy, like the Bakti CHAI they have in Boulder, CO (and probably other places too). CHAI is a generic word for tea, but in the US means something pretty specific.

@LMS, thanks for that list of very apt foreign words that we don’t have in English. Language is a wonderful thing.

Wanderlust 7:01 AM  

I’m sure I will be one of many to tell you that your delightful posts are never tl;dr.

Anonymous 7:14 AM  

@Wanderlust: hand up for meH and hippo.
I’m with Rex 100% regarding GOT names. Just yesterday I saw a film & media professor precede an in-class analysis of the shower scene in Psycho by giving a roomful of college students the obligatory trigger warning, adding, “It’s not nearly as gory as Game of Thrones.” At which point I reminded my squeamish self, “Never, ever, watch Game of Thrones.” Not my cup of oolong.

Aaron M. Rosenberg 7:17 AM  

Hi folks, constructor here.

Hope you enjoyed today's puzzle! A couple of margin notes for the Rexosphere:

*Can confirm that I was the one who proposed cluing 22D to Nate COHN, who may be best known as the creator of the Upshot's anxiety-inducing election night needle. I'm a big fan of his reporting and analysis, and I thought it would be a nice change of pace from giving the shine to Roy COHN.

*Agree that the clue for TOO LONG, DIDN'T READ doesn't really hit the mark, but I figured this was a concession for Tuesday solvers. My original clue was [Online comment betraying a short attention span], which is also a little lacking. Would love to hear some clever alts from you readers!

kitshef 7:17 AM  

Lots of unpleasant cluing (14A, 26A, 28A, 42A, 6D, 35D) and of course the outright error at 2D where the clue indicates AhHS but AAHS is the answer given.

@LMS muumuu

kitshef 7:21 AM  

Ooh! and continuum.

Bob Mills 7:27 AM  

For Aaron M. Rosenberg: I might suggest the following clue:

"Student's excuse for flunking pop-quiz about 'Crime and Punishment'"

Lewis 7:28 AM  

I like my tea in leisurely sips, and that’s how I approached this puzzle.

I ambled through it, catching sights along the way, like the lovely answers PASS A MILESTONE, BASK, AZURE, and TOO LONG DIDN’T READ (which wasn’t and I did). There was also the EDGE on the low border, and a sizeable animal presence: WAGS and WOOFER, EQUUS, CLAW AT, BABAR, BAT, KOALA, SEAL, and, to hint at all these animals together, FLOOD.

Afterward, a leisurely scan caught a backward ALES to go with STEIN, a DIP in the middle to go with a backward SAG, and, with the theme triggering “leaves”, KALE and that eucalyptus-eating KOALA popped out.

So, for me, a smooth outing, with lovely sidelights – a tasty Tuesday, and thank you for this, gentlemen!

pabloinnh 7:40 AM  

Not a tea drinker and I don't really remember seeing ASSAM in crosswords, but CHAI and OOLONG gave the game away, and I was ready for HERBAL. I'm with LMS in not being a BUBBLETEA fan, I think it's a texture thing.

I was doing acrosses and missed COHN altogether. Oh well.

AQUI is a nice Spanish word ("here") AQI is a WTF. See also ARYA, who I don't think is related to @Nancy.

Back in my teaching days when I used to solve the NYTXW while I was having lunch, someone would always come look over my shoulder for a while and eventually say "My (friend, wife, mother someone I know) always solves those ININK!).I think I was supposed to be ashamed of my pencil. One upsmanship will never die.

But I did get through the Croce and the New Yorker Monday without huge problems, so there's that.

Very nice Tuesday, AMR and JC. And My Request--Just Could you not include OILTAR as an answer ever again? Thank you, and thanks for all the fun.

Areawoman 7:43 AM  

@LMS, please never doubt your priceless contribution to this blog. I often find myself short on time in the morning so will skim Rex's often vitriol (tldnr) and skip right to your post to share the joy of being able to manipulate our complicated language in surprising ways. I do go back and read Rex more carefully if you've commented on something interesting he said but your posts are a breath of fresh air in a very critical world and your self deprecating honesty is hilarious and its comforting to feel that we are all just trying to hang on to this crazy ride.I often do find the time to cut and paste your comments to forward to a good friend who had to retire early (in her late 30s)from teaching due to her stupid advanced MS. Your combined love and abhorrence of a teaching career is something she truly gets and I can only imagine. And as a veterinarian I love hearing about Sage and truly hope she doesn't struggle with some of heavy burdens we face in that career choice. I'm hoping to run into you at the ACPT this year and be able to thank you in person for your rays of sunshine, ingenious wordplay and especially for sharing your epic fails. I always feel more human after reading your posts. Keep on trucking!

Danny 7:43 AM  

I’m not a GOT fan, and there are a lot of names in the books and in the show. But only two have shown up in crossword frequently and one infrequently: ARYA and NED, and then sometimes HODOR. Just commit them to memory, Rex, and stop the griping. It’s as easy as memorizing the names of sports teams from DC.

Or maybe keeping griping until some famous ARYA actor/singer/author/whatever comes around. Should be about 15 more years or so, because they were probably named after the GOT character. Ha.

Son Volt 7:45 AM  

Elegantly constructed theme - I’m usually not a grid circle guy but I like the BUBBLE tie-in and like @LMS love the way the vertical themers fall from top to bottom. SPEECH AID was weak and I’m sure we’ll hear plenty about how unfortunate TL;DR is.

Early week fill was apt - some bite but overall smooth. Whiffed on CASTRO and NEIL. Creosote is a common TAR OIL. Nice to see CAPO not clued with a Mafia reference.

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

This is the day the fisherman likes - and SO DO I

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Loving kummerspeck and what's the opposite of a REIGN-ITE, because that's me.

mmorgan 8:18 AM  

Rex has been very cheery and generous about the puzzle lately. Maybe the new cat has put him in an extra pleasant mood.

Not a fan of Bubble Tea. My little town has like 5 or 6 Bubble Tea places, I don’t get it. I wanted the theme to be a DROP of tea (the teas are “dropping”?), as in “Please come over for a drop of tea,” but I guess that’s spot, not drop.

I knew Nate COHN.

imsdave 8:21 AM  

Re: P.S. ESP isn't real and it's always jarring when the clue doesn't say as much (35D: Mind reader's ability). I wanted the answer to be NIL.

I knew you were going to say that.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Great examples of idiom!

Anon 8:25 AM  

Could have avoided NATE or ROY with Marc Cohn, grammy award winning artist (Walking in Memphis)

Barbara S. 8:32 AM  

I solved this last night on my tablet in the “darken-the-display-so-the-weird-blue-light-from-the-screen-doesn’t-keep-you-awake” mode, so I couldn’t see the bubbles. And I must have solved the revealer as if in a dream (maybe I was asleep already), because after I’d finished the puzzle, I thought, “Wow, a rare Tuesday themeless.” Thanks, Rex, for setting me straight (and making me wonder about my ever-diminishing brain power).

So, right, teas, yes, indeed. I have an incredibly odd relationship with tea. Whenever I’m in a store with fancy teas (or tisanes – I make no distinction), I end up buying one or two or three packages because they appeal to me in either their elegant boxes or their mix of ingredients. I find the descriptions of tea extremely evocative – I can actually picture the spread of perfect leafy plants climbing the Nyambene Hills of Kenya, or imagine myself sitting in comfort with a warm lap rug and a steaming cuppa while the melodious strains of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” suffuse the room. But I get the tea home and reality bites. I try it and think “meh.” Or I try it and think “Right, I remember now – I prefer coffee.” But then, the next time I’m in the premises of a purveyor of interesting teas, I do it all again. My tea shelf in the cupboard got so full that I removed all the tea and, out of desperation, hit on displaying it in all its glory across the top of the piano (which is in the kitchen). If you were to come to my house, you could peruse this astonishing array and select among the great and humble teas and tisanes of the world. (Or just tell me that you’d rather have coffee. Or wine!)

Right, the puzzle. Well, I kind of liked it even though I missed the whole point. PASS A MILESTONE and WEATHER BALLOON are fun long downs and I liked I’M HERE, GUMS UP, SLEAZY and the canine-sounding WOOFER. A few write-overs: the only San Francisco neighborhood I know is “The Haight” (do they even call it that? With “the”?), which has the same number of letters as “The Castro.” I had “zero” before ONES [Roughly half of binary code] and REkiNdled before REIGNITED [On again, as a flame or romance]. I wanted “orbiters” rather than FLYBYS [Space missions that collect data without landing] and “creosote” rather than TAR OIL [Distilled coal product used to preserve wood], but both were too long. And speaking of “long,” I really hate the expression TOO LONG; DIDN’T READ or tl;dr or however you want to write it. It sounds lazy to me – lazy and arrogant, like “I didn’t read this and I was right not to be bothered because even though I don’t know what it said, I just KNOW that it wasn’t worth reading. Now hear this: *I* have spoken.” That, and because I’m sensitive like @LMS and @Wanderlust about the extreme length of my posts. (Gulp.)

@Wanderlust (6:27) said: "I think of AZURE as the color of the sea, not the sky. That’s cerulean." @Wanderlust, I think that sentence has made me fall in love.

[SB: yd, 0. Redemption after the -4 of Sunday. Last word was the longer of these two. But why did it take me a while to get the longer one when I already had the shorter? Ah, the mysteries of the Spelling Bee brain.]

Barbara S. 8:46 AM  


1. Services performed by Noah’s raven and dove.
2. What happened during Seder prep when the kitchen fire proved difficult to douse.
3. Alice B. Toklas’s shindig for Gertrude gets ever closer.
4. Possible answer to “I just heard Fidel’s not dead after all!”
5. “Ms. Ward, for heaven’s sake, pick the hoagie already!”


Anonymous 9:01 AM  

Amy: @LMS & @kitshef: there's a Catholic thing, Easter Triduum, going from Holy Thursday to Easter. (I was born on Holy, or Maundy Thursday.)
I like muumuu, great word and fun to use in the Spelling Bee.
Another really solid puzzle. REIGNITED sprawling across the bottom is making my brain sing the old song REUNITED...and it feels so good, using REIGNITED. Makes it a little more firey.๐ŸŽผ๐Ÿ’ƒ

pmdm 9:12 AM  

A very pleasant puzzle. Not because of the difficulty level. I just found it pleasant. Happy that Sharp did not aim bullets at Chen today like he sometimes does.

LMS: Stupid you are not. Humorous? I think so. Thank you for posting. You often bring a smile to my face.

RooMonster 9:14 AM  

Hey All !
Looking for ROOIBOS, naturally...

Pretty neat theme. The ole brain picked up on the 16 Long grid, as it did look slightly bigger. Yay brain!

Went looking for the Pangram after seeing the Q and the Z's, alas no J's or X's.

Themers sans the teas : SPEED, PILESTONE, TDIDNTREAD, WEATLOON. I feel WEATLOON should be something.

Had AQI in a puz I made once, didn't think it was widely known, now, pow!, here it is.

Didn't Hyundai come out with an EQUUS? It was a (way) overpriced attempt to compete with Mercedes and other luxury type cars.

Gonna try to make "What in the TAR OIL is happening?" a thing...

That's enough ADO out of me.

Two F's

Pete 9:16 AM  

Well, this puzzle was designed to upset me, specifically at 9A/12D. One of my dogs WAGS his tail a lot. Constantly, as he was the happiest dog ever. Unfortunately, he managed to severely damage the tip of his tail in doing so, banging it against walls, chair legs, pretty much everything in the house. Sprayed blood all over the walls. One trip to the vet, an official diagnosis of "happy tail", a month of bandages / cone of shame later and if you took off the bandage / cone of shame, there was blood all over the wall again. Another trip to the vet, and an appointment for amputation of half the tail. That is, after a $275 blood test to see if he was ok for anesthesia. I went under anesthesia last year, and they didn't do $275 of blood work to see if I was ok for anesthesia, they just asked me if I ever had a problem. They were ok with the fact that I survived having my tonsils taken out, I don't see why the vet wouldn't be ok with my dog's having survived having his testicles taken out. I guess the dog's more important that I am, because I'm sure testicles are more important than tonsils. So- surgery, bandages & cone of shame. They said leave the bandage on for 3-5 days, I took it off at 7. The SUTUREs had opened up. Another trip to the vet, more SUTUREs, another 10 days of bandages and cone of shame.

Stubby's (his new name) handling this well, but I'm out about $1,500, so I don't need the damned puzzle taunting me with WAGS / SUTURES first thing in the morning.

GAC 9:32 AM  

TOO LONG DIDN'T READ made me think of LAUREN MUSE SMITH. Just sayin'.

If you do a search for this (Just sayin') you will find:
Just Sayin' Saying, "I'm just saying," puts a fire escape onto the end of a sentence. It lets you express a stern, even rude, opinion, but not really: You're just saying. It invites the listeners to discount what they've just heard, even as they're reeling from it.

And that's all I'm saying.

Nancy 9:36 AM  

"I did he puzzle last night and woke up really earky this morning so I could kvell loudy to everyone that my full last name appears at 22D." --@JC66

Well, first of all, the typos show that it was really, really "earky" in the morning when you did "he puzzle". Much too "earky", I would venture to say:)

Second, you're obviously a lot more easily excited than I am:) Why my own full last name was in one of the clues (hi, @pabloinnh) and I'm not excited at all. Certainly not excited enough to get up earky.

A better puzzle might have excited me. But the only thing less exciting to me than tiny little circles are tiny little circles with TEA in them. I imagine that OOLONG in particular was a very exciting find for Aaron and Jeff, but it was a great big yawn for me. I would have liked TOO LONG DIDN'T READ (my favorite answer, btw) just as much if there had been no OOLONG in at at all.

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

TISANE is also the highest-ranking Scrabble "bingo stem". That is, it combines with nearly any other letter (all but Q and Y) to make at least one valid 7-letter word.

Trina 9:48 AM  

@pete - that is one hell of a tale :)

Alan F. 9:53 AM  

So "zig" and "zag" apparently have the same meaning, and are derived from "zigzag." And are never written alone. Curious.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

As someone who works in lumber treating, no one EVER says TAROIL. And I though Nate Silver was the journalist that the NYT xword wants you to know?

Alice Pollard 9:55 AM  

Had asDOI before SODOI - my only writeover...I do the puzzle ININK. 63D ZIG? ZaG? Zee? other than that no real resistance and very easy. I liked the theme and I like BUBBLETEA

Rachel 10:01 AM  

I thought this was hard for a Tuesday! I didn't know what assam was. I was looking for black, white, green, English breakfast, etc. Didn't know assam. And PASSING A MILESTONE was so hard for some reason. I kept thinking the answer would be an example of a milestone, so I was like, PASS ... a car for the first time on the highway?

JC66 10:11 AM  


Now I know how to get you to respond to my posts...just include a typo or to.

BTW my first mistake this year. ;-)

jberg 10:11 AM  

I guess if you're going to have bubbles, you might as well make them the theme. How about a puzzle with shaded squares containing such things as "alley" "byway" "passage" "place" etc? Revealer: Where the naughty lady could be found (SHADY LANE). Here it isin case you're too young.

My solving experience got me to OOLONG first, so I knew the circled squares had to be teas--but that didn't help all that much. I tried to guess the teas from the number of circles, but all I could come up with was pekoe, and that was wrong.

In fact, what I really liked about the theme is that every answer is a different kind of tea in a different way. ASSAM is a region where tea is grown, but we don't have Darjeeling, Nepal, or Formosa. OOLONG is a tea whose leaves have been processed in a certain way, but we don't have Pekoe. CHAI is, if I've got it right, a way of brewing tea; and HERBAL is not tea at all, but we don't have rooibos or pine needle. I thought that was elegant.

Rex's complaint about TOOLONGDIDNTREAD is not that it's clued badly, but that a) the bubbles don't touch all the words and b) nobody ever spells it out (except all of us here). It would take some reconfiguring, but you could solve both those problems by making the answer simply TOO LONG. You could put in 6 cheater squares and have another 7-letter theme answer below it, for example (not that I can think of one).

@Barbara S., whatever you do, don't ever look at the Upton's Tea catalog. Doing so was my downfall.

Quick poll: when pronouncing VACUUM do you:

a) pronounce both Us, as you do in continuum?

b) say "vacyoom," but think that you should say it with both Us?

c) Just say 'vacyoom' without thinking about it?

Oh wait, d) say "vacyoom" because you think the second U is there only to make the first one long?

Any other alternatives gratefully received.

Gary Jugert 10:13 AM  

Hey guys, guys, check it out, the names of teas are written in bubbles, you know like bubble tea. Get it?

I tried boba tea once. It didn't capture my spirit. Still on coffee.

Fun puzzle. I like the long downs and they mostly went in with only a few crosses. I am from Colorado, home of the flying saucer balloon boy hoax, so weather balloons are near and dear to me. The governor pardoned the parents a couple years back, but I am ever hopeful another delusional chapter in the saga can be written. Maybe Balloon Boy on the Bachelor?

SLEEZY (tee-hee).

@Aaron M. Rosenberg7:17 AM
Thanks for stopping by. I think it's a brave and delightful thing for authors to do on the day of their puzzles. How about Tuesday level [TLDR, aptly]?

1 "No, don't put the apple on your head, put it in your mouth."
2 Assumption and answer detailing the neighborhood where shirtless young man wrapped in a fuchsia feather boa lives.
3 George Bush handling Katrina.
4 Apt description of one hating railroad ties.
5 When you add ham and Cheeze-Whiz.
6 A flask in the glove compartment.
7 ASL translator.
8 Public relations expert's recommendation to wear a dress made from bologna when media cameras will be present.


JonB3 10:21 AM  

@LMS - You are a national treasure.

@Areawoman - A beautiful tribute.

Evan 10:33 AM  

My issue with the puzzle is that the bubbles should have been at the bottom, if we were trying to go with an actual BUBBLETEA drink.

My strictly anecdotal hunch is that "bubble tea" is more of an east coast USA usage. Here in the west coast, it's only ever just "boba," even if you aren't getting the tapioca pearls in your drink. I wonder if a BOBA answer would throw people off and would lead to a lot of "well that's not what I call it!" complaints.

I don't think I've ever used the expression PASS A MILESTONE. I always think of a milestone as something you hit or reach, but not pass, but I see how that makes more sense--a marker you pass along the road.

egsforbreakfast 10:39 AM  

Who knew that when you blend speed and chai you get a SPEECHAID? A cuppa that’ll getcha REIGNITED.

I hit that big Palooka so hard that I left him GUMSUP and still flappin’.

I guess the king of the clamps that transpose a guitar’s pitch would be the CAPO di tutti capi.

If an unhappy tabby should CLAWAT a WOOFER as he WAGS his tail, you’d for sure have an ADO on your hands.

Please keep in mind, AZURE reading AVERSE of mine, that poetry is merely a FLOOD of IDIOM.

@LMS. You were fairly recently absent from this blog for a good while. I felt that, during this period, I for TOOLONGDIDNTREAD your wonderful, self deprecating musings on life, language, relationships, aging and more. Please keep it coming.

It seems like many have missed that the bubbles are going up a straw, not sinking down. I liked the puzzle and I like BUBBLETEA. Thanks, Aaron M. Rosenberg and Jeff Chen.

Masked and Anonymous 10:40 AM  

Nice golden teadrops. Lotsa good puzstuff, here:

* 15x16 extra-large puzgrid. More puz for yer moneybucks.

* The Circles [aka The Bubbles].

* A real teas-er of a theme mcguffin.

* Outstandin NE corner fillins, what with GUMSUP & SUTURE.

staff weeject pick: AQI. Air Quality Index. Been a year or two since we've seen AQI last. Even longer, since we had decent AQIs, in the real atmospheric world.

no-knows: COHN. ARYA. Nothin pronounced enough to seriously gum up the solvequest. Seemed like an unusually smoooth nanosecond-friendly cruise, for a ThursPuz. If there were any ?-marker clues, I sure don't recall em.

Thanx for the nice tea break, Rosenberg & Chenmeister dudes.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

p.s. Keep it up, @Muse darlin. U R toogoodnottoread.


Anonymous 10:41 AM  

LMS, correct your posts are never TLDR. they are interesting and you are never full of yourself. For those who do the “uni-clues” - those are definitely TLDR. do not waste your time .

beverly c 10:57 AM  

@Pete Oh no for poor Stubby!, and you, of course. I hate to be the cone villain. Happy Tail - what a diagnosis!
@areawoman - Do vets sometimes omit the anesthesia when neutering dogs? I can’t imagine. But I have, apparently…

The puzzle - I got a warm smile when I saw the teas and BUBBLETEA and enjoyed it thoroughly. I only wanted more. I once had a post-piano-lesson routine of walking to the BUBBLETEA shop to write my lesson notes in a journal. It was fun to explore all the flavors, get to know the shop owners, and have some quiet time to look forward to. Isn't that quiet time the point of tea?
I think coffee is more about the revving up, which can take some doing lately.

Right, the puzzle. EQUUS was a gimme because back in my lost youth I was a sound assistant on a production of the play (in Santa Cruz) that was a big hit for a small town.

EDYS is crosswordese for me. Sometimes you just have to suuck (vacuum) it up. AQI is familiar since forest fire smoke has become a regular summer concern. I liked BABAR, GUMSUP, FLYBYS. Too bad about the absent Rooibos (! Roo) green, and Pu-erh.

Re “ESP isn’t real.” Probably many mind-readers are fakes, but I wouldn’t categorically say ESP isn’t real. I've had a few very eerie experiences and I'm sure others have as well. I'd say we don’t know what it is, and what we think about it is probably wrong. Like the original meaning of LEVITY from yesterday. Something(s) makes some things go up.

@LorenMuseSmith - I enjoy your posts - they will never be TL;DR and besides, I agree with
@BarbaraS about that phrase and its uses.

GEEZED 10:58 AM  

Constantly harping about GOT names is akin to an old man yelling at the kids playing stick-ball in the street in front of his house. Shake your fist at "Game of" if you must....but don't forget to yell at the Harry Potters and various Rap stars when they show up.

Whatsername 10:59 AM  

While I love the leafy beverages and have imbibed each of the ONES here, I was totally unfamiliar with the term BUBBLE TEA. Googled to learn more and subsequently wondered why anyone would ever voluntarily drink it. OH SURE, I’d want to be all cool about it but seriously doubt I could manage without a NEAR gag reflex kicking in. Then there I’d be, with CHAI dribbling all over my RENTED AZURE GALA gown and into my DIP of EDYS. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about it dripping into my KALE because I would’ve already EASILY pushed that off the EDGE of the plate and onto the floor where it belongs.

AVIATE and FLYBYS were timely entries in light of the headline this morning that both Tom Cruise and his Top Gun sequel were snubbed in the Oscar nominations. The article was TOO LONG so I DIDNT READ it all but those in the know seemed to think it was a pretty big CHEAP SHOT. Not that I care all that much but CMON now, the cinematography alone was spectacular.

Good puzzle though.

Beezer 11:00 AM  

Very solid and fun Tuesday puzzle, and thanks @Aaron M Rosenberg for the puzzle AND for stopping by! I especially liked the long down answers which provided a bit more crunch to the Tuesday experience. I agree with @LMS that even folks who don’t like circles/bubbles (lookin’ at you @Nancy) have to admit THIS should be an exception.

I couldn’t presume to know a better clue for TOOLONGDIDNTREAD but I WILL say that recently I’ve seen it online by the “author” of a story or situation…whereby at the end the author puts tl;dr and provides a short summary of what they just said. I’m sure the term was spawned by pure rudeness by some online readers but seems like it has morphed…I dunno. At any rate, I don’t feel that anyone’s contributions on this blog are too long!

kitshef 11:01 AM  

@jberg - c), but now I'm thinkin of adopting a) as an affectation.

@Barbara S. - I'm with you on the specialty tea thing. There is a shop in Rehoboth Md. That I can't walk past, and once inside I can't walk out without buying, but I'm always disappointed and wind up drinking cheap bag tea from the supermarket most of the time.

Beezer 11:02 AM  

@Roo…good one on ROOIBOS! ๐Ÿคฃ

tea73 11:05 AM  

Growing up we always called tapioca pudding "Fish eggs in glue". My Mom didn't inflict it on us, but other relatives did. I feel pretty much the same way about Bubble Tea. Nevertheless I loved the puzzle. TOOLONGDIDNTREAD was one of my favorite answers and FWIW I liked Rosenberg's original clue better.

Ah tea, we have a house full of tea. My DIL is from Hong Kong and whenever she visits or her parents visit we always get a present of tea. I like tea in theory, but in practice, I nearly always actually prefer coffee. The one time it is superior is with cinnamon toast cooked in the oven so the sugar gets all crackly and caramelized. Sadly the days of being able to eat it regularly without consequences are long gone. Thankfully my husband has switched from being a coffee drinker to a tea drinker so he almost keeps up with the tea supply.

mathgent 11:07 AM  

San Francisco is about one-third Asian and here, in the Sunset District, it's even higher. We have bubble-tea joints everywhere. Cold tea with pellets of starch. I've never been tempted to try one. Does the tapioca melt into the tea making the drink thick like a milkshake?

bocamp 11:12 AM  

Thx, Aaron & Jeff; it was a lovely TEA party! :)


Loved the BUBBLEs; fun solve! :)

Thx, @Aaron, for stopping by. ๐Ÿ˜Š


Success! (just s. of 3x Sat.). SE & NE were the toughest. Guessed right @kits's bane. See y'all next week! :)

On to Natan Last's New Yorker Mon. ๐Ÿคž
Peace ๐Ÿ•Š ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all ๐Ÿ™

Anonymous 11:27 AM  

Grief bacon! The best word ever. Also, I love the Polish idiomatic phrase not my circus not my monkeys which seems to be very much on social media right now —

GILL I. 11:35 AM  

Ay Dios mรญo, @Rex...We should do a little of @Loren's sobremesa over dessert and mention that you wrote "TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ five times.....
I had a lot of fun with this puzzle. I think Tuesdays are getting more perky. Maybe I had my little smile fest because I drink tea in the afternoon with my husband. BUT....BUBBLE TEA? Sounds like a fancy invention by some bored coffee maker at Starbucks. Should I try it?
I'll have to check out the person who said it's always" I before E except after C." I honestly looked at STEIN and wondered if it was STIEN. That stupid analogy was drilled into my head at school and it strangles me every time. Feisty, foreign and heifer walked into my bar....
@Pete: Hah...Maybe you could you name your little pup "Wags the Dog?"
I'l take these Tuesdays any time.
Yours truly, Dr. WAGS EQUUS

CAK 11:37 AM  

What a pleasant surprise to hear from one of the constructors! I especially enjoyed your puzzle because I'm an avid tea drinker, but I have to agree with RP - if it Isn't brewed from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, then it's not "tea" to this purist ๐Ÿ˜‰

Joe Dipinto 11:41 AM  


There's a local dumpling place I go to that offers bubble tea as a beverage. They have lychee-flavored, mango-favored and "regular". I always order the last one, but I since I never need to look at the menu I forget that it's called "regular", and I ask for "plain bubble tea". The server never understands what I mean, so we always have a little clarifying conversation. "I'm sorry, which tea?" "The plain bubble tea. [Quizzical look from server] You know– not a flavored one. [Quizzical look continues] The one with no flavor." "We have...regular bubble tea...?" "That one! I couldn't think of the name."

@Aaron Rosenfeld – best that you didn't go with the more colorful entry for 3d.

Here are Peach & Herbal Tea to sing REIGNITED.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

AQI = Air Quality Index (which is well clued!)

MKM 11:43 AM  

I may live in a BUBBLE but the only times I've run into the word TISANE (see Rex) is as Hercule Poirot's favourite drink.

Whatsername 11:50 AM  

@Pete (9:16) Despite the fact that I am a well known pet aficionado and would never ever find humor in any animal suffering, your post had me howling with laughter. But seriously, bless you for your devotion to your canine charges, and I sincerely hope Stubby gets well soon. Poor guy.

Joe Dipinto 12:25 PM  

Btw, I feel I should point out:

Today, the Mystery Country in "Globle" and the Secret Country in "Worldle" are...

The same country.

This won't occur again for 50,000,000 years, so take advantage while you can.

GILL I. 12:53 PM  

I will add that I ALWAYS look forward to reading @Gary Jug and @Barbara S' uniclues. I've tried to come up with some but my brain says "OH, STOP." I have enough trouble making any sense of Monday crosswords words.

jae 12:57 PM  

Medium. meH before NAH caused me to try to come up with a 4 letter police drama starting with M (couldn’t do it, lost nanoseconds). TL;DR was worth the price of admission, liked it.

@kitshef - re:Croce - that cross was a textbook Natick, luckily I’d seen the TV show.

Anonymous 12:59 PM  


Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Snarky response to War and Peace essay question

Teedmn 1:11 PM  

I got some fancy HERBAL tea for Christmas this year. I'm not usually a tea drinker but I was looking forward to experiencing some caffeine in a manner other than my usual diet soda. Alas, the box of tea bags states "No Caffeine" quite plainly. The "tea" tasted rather nice but, NAH.

No one is complaining about SPEECH AID as being rather green-paintish. Is this a common way to describe such things that I just don't know about?


Thanks, Aaron and Jeff, I liked the theme with its revealer.

andrew 1:13 PM  

Never watched Game of Thrones. Made that comment one time when I was still on Facebook and a female friend endorsed the series, saying “besides, it has boobies”.

“That’s it? Why I should watch? There’s another genre I go to when that’s what I’m looking for. A little unheralded but readily-available category called PORN!”

Besides, I always like simple plots, even when the story arc is repetitive and predictable…

Brian Canes 1:18 PM  

Excuse from the easily bored

Joe Dipinto 1:19 PM  

@Roo – I tried to come up with a ROOIBOS themer. The best I could do was the suboptimal

Marsupial that works for me?

okanaganer 1:24 PM  

All I can say is, I'd rather pass a milestone than a kidney stone.

The only tea I really enjoy without sugar is licorice. Naturally it seems to be hard to find now, because as soon as corporations discover I like something, they stop making it.

Typeover: MEH before NAH.

I have to ask: what does LMS's avatar today mean? Chips pie cop clip?

[Spelling Bee: yd 0, last word this 7er.]

Wanderlust 1:27 PM  

Haha! I’m delighted to hear it. You are another one whose posts are never tl;dr.

TTrimble 1:36 PM  

I normally see tl;dr written not by the one who didn't read (and saying in effect "I can't be bothered"), but by the OP (original poster) as a kind of public service: "for those of you in a hurry, which may be most of you, and I understand because this is a long post anyway, here's the gist of what I was saying".

See how I spelled out OP? There's a time in everyone's life when they don't know what an internet acronym or initialism stands for. And so it may have happened to many of us, as happened to me once, that you ask innocently "what does tl;dr mean?". And then you get the answer back from a helpful somebody TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ. Apparently that helpful someone will not be Rex Parker, because he says no one ever writes that out.

(But if that someone wants to add snark, they may write hlmegtfy (here, let me google that for you) and link to the internet meaning, but with the clear implication that you could have googled that yourself, you know.)

Actually, a lot of posts are for me, right now, tl;dr because I'm in the middle of my school day and I should be doing something else right now. I'll get back to y'all later though. I agree: BUBBLE TEA is a little weird.

SB: 0 yd. AAHS from all around. We'll see what today's brings. By the way, someone said above that zig and zag are never written alone. Tell that to Sam Ezersky on a day when you can find ZIGGED, ZAGGED, ZIGZAG, and ZIGZAGGED.

Carola 1:53 PM  

What a stroke of constructing genius to turn the usually ho-hum grid circles into BUBBLEs! There they are, bubbling up to the top - I know, more carbonation than true to bubble tea, but still. I got OOLONG from the early TL:DR cross with PITA, and guessed that, given the descending direction of the letters, the reveal might be "Spill the tea."

@Lewis, thanks for pointing out those delightful correspondences.
@ jberg, thanks for pointing out the four different categories of tea.
@Wanderlust, I also went first with "hippo," thinking "hippodrome."

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

Is waking up "earky" the opposite of waking up "perky"? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

PASSING A kidneySTONE is a lot harder! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Gary Jugert 2:39 PM  

@Barbara S. 8:46 AM Niiiiiice! Particularly love 2 & 3.

Barbara S. 2:47 PM  

@jberg (10:11) said ”@Barbara S., whatever you do, don't ever look at the Upton's Tea catalog. Doing so was my downfall.”.

So, being perverse, I’ve just come from the Upton website but, you know, I was OK. The online experience didn’t affect me like being in a shop(pe) and handling the boxes of tea (wouldn’t you agree, @kitshef?). But Upton did introduce me to a kind of tea I’ve never heard of: PU-ERH (hi, @beverly c!). That would be tricky to work into your grid, especially if you want to pass the breakfast test. I found two words that end in PUER: one involves vomiting and the other dog dung.

From healthline: “Pu-erh tea — or pu’er tea — is a unique type of fermented tea that’s traditionally made in the Yunnan Province of China. It’s made from the leaves of a tree known as the “wild old tree,” which grows in the region. Although there are other types of fermented tea like kombucha, pu-erh tea is different because the leaves themselves are fermented rather than the brewed tea. Pu-erh is usually sold in compressed “cakes” of tea leaves but can be sold as loose tea also. Many people drink pu-erh tea because it not only provides the health benefits of tea but also those of fermented food.”

@beverly c (10:57) RE: tl;dr: glad I’m not alone.

@Gill I. (12:53 PM) Thanks, and I’m sure I look forward to your stories just as much!

Made in Japan 3:02 PM  

The COHN / OH SURE cross seemed at least Natick-adjacent. I saw C_HN and thought that CaHN made sense. When I filled in "ah, sure" I didn't like it, but it looked OK, if only marginally. When I finished the puzzle and got the error message, my mistake didn't take long to find.

bigsteve46 3:22 PM  

TL;DR (?) Too long, didn't read,maybe? Please correct or confirm, somebody.

Barbara S. 3:36 PM  

@Gary Jugert (10:13 and 2:39)
Your #3 gave me a chill, and your #5 warmed me up! I do so love it when we clue the same ones.

JJK 3:38 PM  

@mathgent (11:07) The bubbles don’t melt into the tea, they stay intact and you eat them when/if they come up the extra fat straw that BUBBLETEA always has, or eat them when you get to the bottom of the drink. Or leave them at the bottom of the drink. I think they’re pretty yummy, but don’t usually want all of them.

Nancy 4:04 PM  

Here's the thing, @Beezer (11:00)-- I'm always looking for something for me to do. Some degree of cleverness or imagination or smarts that I need to bring to the table in order to solve. When you give me tiny little circles with embedded answers that will fill in perfectly well on their own whether I notice them or not, it doesn't satisfy that itch.

All the embedded TEAS are nicely embedded. But there they are and I had nothing to do with either putting them there or with finding them.

Supposing that OOLONG, CHAI, ASSAM and HERBAL were rebus squares and I had to figure that out. Or that they all dropped down in the grid like a teabag being submerged in water and I had to figure that out. Something. Anything. Find a way to bring me into the solving process -- otherwise I'm just sitting on the sidelines admiring the constructor's cleverness. And that kind of puzzle never does much of anything for me.

CWT 4:25 PM  

ร always get in late on this blog, must be my unusual sleeping/waking pattern plus my time zone (Pacific), so there’s a good chance I’m TL:DR territory. But anyway, about BASK: lovely comforting word for sure (LMS), but as language lovers you should all be interested to learn that it actually literally means “to bathe oneself”, and does not derive from Old English but from the Old Norse reflexive verb “baรฐask” , an unusual loan word because it is grammatically complex, being composed of the verb “baรฐa” and the accusative form of the reflexive pronoun “sik” which means “self”. Nor often that you get loan words that come with a different grammar! So that’s today’s lesson in Old Norse (which I used to teach), and anyone who is still reading this gets a gold star.

albatross shell 7:32 PM  

A few old but rarely seen friends and I were sobremesa-ing at a Chinatown restaurant and 2 workers with brooms started sweeping up under our table. We looked around to see we were the only ones left and the rest of the place had been cleaned up and put to rest for the night. Quite politely done and quicker than waiting for a temperature change. Not a word needed.

Football quiz:
Philadelphia Cincinnati Kansas City San Franciso the four teams still alive in the NFL. List them in order from southernmost to northernmost.

I failed this geography test.

Joe Dipinto 7:58 PM  

@albatross shell – that is tough. They can't be too far apart in latitude. Without looking at a map, I will guess southernmost is Kansas City, then San Francisco, then Cincinnati, then Philadelphia.

Anoa Bob 8:00 PM  

I'm a tea drinker and enjoyed this tea themed puzzle. This grid comes about as close to having "grid art" as any I've seen. Those circles look just like BUBBLEs, right? And they are floating up, just like BUBBLEs do. Unless they are BUBBLEs in BUBBLE TEA, judging from OFL's posted image. They seem to be hovering above the bottom in a most un-BUBBLy fashion. Kind of a fly, maybe more of a nit, in the theme-consistency ointment there, don't yous think?

I drink mostly green tea. All tea, the stuff with caffeine in it, comes from only a single plant, camellia sinensis. All the other stuff is no more "tea" than almond milk is "milk".

I started drinking green tea in the 90s when I began to see reports that it is high in compounds that have health benefits including protection from heart disease and cancer.

I use Lipton tea bags from the box that says "100% NATURAL GREEN TEA" and "INGREDIENTS: GREEN TEA". After much experimentation I use water heated to 170° F. If it's much hotter the tea starts to taste bitter to me. I just leave the tea bag in the water to slowly steep until I have finished the cup.

Just saying.

Joe Dipinto 8:10 PM  

D'oh! I should have switched the bottom two. You actually listed them in reverse order.

Anonymous 8:35 PM  

As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. You can rely on me, friend.

Beezer 8:59 PM  

@TTrimble…you explained it much better than I did, but I’m guessing you didn’t see MY take…which is the same as yours. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ And yes, having worked with young folks (and socialize/text with) I found out early that you can Google ANY internet initialize, etc. It’s really human nature to do this. Even folks in this blog say DNF and whatnot.

@Nancy, I was just giving you the business. Clever themes are great and we all have our likes/dislikes. For instance, I personally could live without themes 4 days a week. Btw…I’m late responding tonight because…I PLAYED TENNIS…yay!

Newboy 9:11 PM  

Ah shucks @LMS you never need any mea culpas for the delightful treatises on Rex blog. I’m an old dog who appreciates the new tricks I learn from you almost weekly. Today’s list of foreign idioms is the most recent๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

Newboy 9:12 PM  

Oh, and the puzzle was Tuesday.

TTrimble 10:12 PM  

Sorry, I didn't see your earlier entry until after I posted mine. I skimmed a few posts really quickly before commenting, but I was sort of in a hurry because my class was to start soon and I should have been spending more time thinking about what I was going to say, instead of goofing off here.

I did see your post after coming home, but didn't think to acknowledge its priority -- sorry for that.

Goofing off here is mildly therapeutic, I think. I'd be surprised if the bursts of creativity from @LMS weren't therapeutic in her case, with her extremely stressful job -- some of her descriptions are hair-raising.

TTrimble 10:16 PM  

I've never seen the tapioca balls melt -- bubble tea is served cold in my experience. Seems that any meltage would create a sludgy mess.

Yes, confirmed. Rex even wrote that in his review.

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

You’re never tl;dr for me. If I don’t have time to read all the comments on any given day, I at least search for and read yours.

I didn’t know sobremesa. My family calls it DADC, for Deadly After Dinner Conversation. As delightful to linger within as it is deadly to any hope of getting homework done.

Anonymous 5:52 AM  

Vacuum, of course! :)

spacecraft 12:40 PM  

My first impression was "Circles? Really, Jeff?" But then I saw that the circles WERE the "BUBBLEs" and so they earn a PASS.

I get the problem with 7-down, but at least the clue points straight to the answer. The violation of logic pointed out by OFF is jarring, but as I see it unavoidable.

Four U's in that little NE corner; @M&A's sweet spot. Now I wonder what @rondo will say about 55-across?

I did this EASILY, ININK, as befits a Tuesday. With my secret love SELA Ward as DOD, this has to be at least a birdie.

Birdie also at Wordle--third in a row. Putter is heating up.

Burma Shave 12:52 PM  


ARYA gonna AVIATE or not?
ELECT TO do FLYBYS real soon?


Diana, LIW 2:13 PM  

Well TEA-hee for a Tuesday.

No wonder I like coffee - BUBBLETEA sounds like a bad dream someone had at Starbucks.

But at least the BUBBLE does give the circles an excuse for their existence.

Who would do a puzzle in ink? Why? Ask @Rondo, and he'll supply a Pink PEARL for when your crossword GUMSUP.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 7:54 PM  

As long as the TAR is not purported to be in your road or on your roof I'm OK with it. TAR does not come from petroleum. From coal or pine trees, fine. And yes, I saw that pink Pearl recently.
Wordle birdie, dance to it.

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