Manhattan neighborhood next to SoHo / WED 1-11-23 / Oceanfront district of Los Angeles / Fulfill mundane but necessary responsibilities in modern lingo / Saffron-flavored dishes / Hawaiian island shaped like an apostrophe / Beauty pageant founded in 1959 as a mail-in photo contest / Bell Atlantic merger partner of 2000

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Constructor: Victor Barocas

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: LIES / UNDER / OATH (70A: With 71- and 72-Across, commits perjury ... or what can be found four times in this puzzle) — literally, the word "LIE" can be found directly underneath an "OATH" (i.e. a mild swear word) four times in this puzzle

The quote-unquote OATHS:
  • CAR GOSH IPS (18A: Vessels with large containers)
  • M EGAD EALS (37A: Front-page mergers and acquisitions, e.g.)
  • BON DRAT IO (44A: Investment guide calculation)
  • DANG ERSIGN (59A: Exclamation point inside a yellow triangle, for one)
Word of the Day: NOLITA (35A: Manhattan neighborhood next to SoHo) —
Nolita, sometimes written as NoLIta and deriving from "North of Little Italy", is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Nolita is situated in Lower Manhattan, bounded on the north by Houston Street, on the east by the Bowery, on the south roughly by Broome Street, and on the west by Lafayette Street. It lies east of SoHo, south of NoHo, west of the Lower East Side, and north of Little Italy and Chinatown. // The neighborhood was long regarded as part of Little Italy, but has lost its recognizable Italian character in recent decades because of rapidly rising rents. [...] In the second half of the 1990s, the neighborhood saw an influx of yuppies and an explosion of expensive retail boutiques and restaurants and bars. After unsuccessful tries to pitch it as part of SoHo, real estate promoters and others came up with several different names for consideration for this newly upscale neighborhood. The name that stuck, as documented in an article on May 5, 1996, in the New York Times city section debating various monikers for the newly trendy area, was Nolita, an abbreviation for North of Little Italy. This name follows the pattern started by SoHo (South of Houston Street) and TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal Street). (wikipedia)
• • •
***HELLO, READERS AND FELLOW SOLVERS*** How is the new year treating you? Well, I hope. Me, uh, not great so far (COVID, you know), but I'm 95% better, and was never terribly sick to begin with, so I have every reason to believe things will turn around for me shortly, thank God (and vaccines). Anyway, it's early January, which means it's time once again for my annual week-long pitch for financial contributions to the blog. Every year I ask readers to consider what the blog is worth to them on an annual basis and give accordingly. I'm not sure what to say about this past year. This will sound weird, or melodramatic—or maybe it won't—but every time I try to write about 2022, all I can think is "well, my cat died." She (Olive) died this past October, very young, of a stupid congenital heart problem that we just couldn't fix (thank you all for your kind words of condolence, by the way). I'm looking at the photo I used for last year's fundraising pitch, and it's a picture of me sitting at my desk (this desk, the one I'm typing at right now, the one I write at every day) with Olive sitting on my shoulder, staring at me, and making me laugh. It's a joyous picture. Here, I'm just gonna post it again:

I love the photo both because you can tell how goofy she is, and how goofy she made me. Her loss hurt for the obvious reasons, but also because she was so much a part of my daily routine, my daily rhythms and rituals. She was everyday. Quotidian. Just ... on me, near me, being a weirdo, especially in the (very) early mornings when I was writing this blog. She took me out of myself. She also made me aware of how much the quotidian matters, how daily rituals break up and organize the day, mark time, ground you. They're easy to trivialize, these rituals, precisely because they *aren't* special. Feed the cats again, make the coffee again, solve the crossword again, etc. But losing Olive made me reevaluate the daily, the quotidian, the apparently trivial. In a fundamental way, those small daily things *are* life. No one day is so important, or so different from the others, but cumulatively, they add up, and through the days upon days you develop a practice—a practice of love, care, and attention given to the things that matter. If you're reading this, then crossword puzzles are undoubtedly an important ritual for you, just as writing about crosswords for you all is an important ritual for me. It gives me so much. I hope that even at my most critical, my genuine love for crosswords—for the way my brain lights up on crosswords—comes through. I also hope that the blog brings you entertainment, insight, laughter ... even (especially) if you disagree with me much (most? all?) of the time. 

[man, I really wear the hell 
out of this red fleece...]
The blog began years ago as an experiment in treating the ephemeral—the here-today, gone-tomorrow—like it really mattered. I wanted to stop and look at this 15x15 (or 21x21 thing) and take it seriously, listen to it, see what it was trying to do, think about what I liked or didn't like about it. In short, I gave the puzzle my time and attention. And I continue to do that, every day (Every! Day!). And it is work. A lot of work. Asking for money once a year (and only once a year) is an acknowledgment of that fact. There is nothing to subscribe to here ... no Substack or Kickstarter or Patreon ... and there are no ads, ever. I prefer to keep financial matters simple and direct. I have no "hustle" in me beyond putting my ass in this chair every morning and writing.

How much should you give? Whatever you think the blog is worth to you on a yearly basis. Whatever that amount is is fantastic. Some people refuse to pay for what they can get for free. Others just don't have money to spare. All are welcome to read the blog—the site will always be open and free. But if you are able to express your appreciation monetarily, here are three options. First, a Paypal button (which you can also find in the blog sidebar):

Second, a mailing address (checks should be made out to "Rex Parker"):

Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905

The third, increasingly popular option is Venmo; if that's your preferred way of moving money around, my handle is @MichaelDavidSharp (the last four digits of my phone are 4878, in case Venmo asks you, which I guess it does sometimes, when it's not trying to push crypto on you, what the hell?!)

All Paypal contributions will be gratefully acknowledged by email. All snail mail contributions will be gratefully acknowledged with hand-written postcards. I. Love. Snail Mail. I love seeing your gorgeous handwriting and then sending you my awful handwriting. It's all so wonderful. My daughter (Ella Egan) has designed a cat-related thank-you postcard for 2023, just as she has for the past two years, but this year, there's a bonus. Because this year ... the postcard is also a crossword puzzle! Yes, I made a little 9x9 blog-themed crossword puzzle for you all. It's light and goofy and I hope you enjoy it. It looks like this (clues blurred for your protection):

I had fun making this puzzle (thanks to Rachel Fabi and Neville Fogarty for proofing it for me!). For non-snail-mailers who want to solve the puzzle, don't worry: I'll make the puzzle available for everyone some time next month. Please note: I don't keep a "mailing list" and don't share my contributor info with anyone. And if you give by snail mail and (for some reason) don't want a thank-you card, just indicate "NO CARD."  Again, as ever, I'm so grateful for your readership and support. Now on to today's puzzle...

• • •

I liked the placement of the revealer on this one, as it is really lying under ... well everything else in the grid. Just hanging out there at the bottom taking up the whole row. And that SW corner must hold some kind of record for Most Theme-Dense 3x4 section in NYTXW history, with the first "E" in ELIE being the only one of a dozen letters down there *not* involved in thematic material. So structurally, the puzzle is interesting, in at least a couple of ways. But overall, despite being (once again) very easy, this was something of a SLOG. Maybe the whole premise was just too quaint for me, or too repetitive. GOSH? I get that all these "oaths," in fact the very word "oath" in this since, is old-fashioned, and so we were never gonna see something like F*** or SH** over LIE, but ... GOSH? Wow. That is ... mild. I think the problem here is that GOSH EGAD DRAT and DANG aren't just "oaths"—they are specifically "minced oaths," i.e. "euphemistic expression(s) formed by deliberately misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profaneblasphemous, or taboo word or phrase to reduce the original term's objectionable characteristics" (wikipedia) (emph. mine). "Oaths" are out-and-out coarse or blasphemous words—"minced oaths" are the stupid things people do when they're pretending they're not actually swearing (like saying "frickin'" or "friggin'" or "a-hole"). So what you've really got here in this puzzle is LIES UNDER (MINCED) OATHS, and their ... mincedness ... was a little cloying. And, as I say, repetitive. LIE LIE LIE LIE sigh. And there are no proper "theme answers," since nothing thematic is going on in the answers themselves, or their clues. There's just something both cutesy and dreary about the whole endeavor.

Also, the fill was off-putting, over and over. BOND RATIO was like watching paint dry. MISS TEEN USA, ew, very high creep factor (29D: Beauty pageant founded in 1959 as a mail-in photo contest). Wasn't that the pageant where a certain former president walked in on a bunch of the contestants while they were changing and when they scrambled to cover up imperiously told them, "don't worry ladies, I've seen it all before"? ... [Fires up Google] ...  Yup, that's the one alright. Ugh. Shoot that answer into outer space and explode it. On a somewhat less objectionable note, I think I would just take TONTO out of my wordlist. There isn't really a way to come at it that doesn't evoke the history of condescending / sentimentalized representation of Native Americans in US popular culture. As for ADULT as a verb, ugh, always repulsive, this self-infantilizing baby-talk about how being a gwown-up is hawd (15A: Fulfill mundane but necessary responsibilities in modern lingo). Yeah, it's hard, and if you're under 40, I get that everyone older than you helped destroy the economy and the planet and made the assumption of ADULT responsibilities even harder, but please talk normal, please. I beg. The theme is already dripping with euphemism, I don't need naive-sounding neologisms thrown in on top of it all. I think the thing that put me off the most in this puzzle (OK, second-most after that pageant, yikes) is the clue on ATHEIST (30D: One who doesn't have a prayer?). I see what you're doing there with the word play, i.e. ATHEISTs don't pray because they don't believe in God, so they don't "have a prayer," and maybe that seems clever, but the way it *reads* is that ATHEISTs are doomed because they don't believe in God. It seems to be oddly celebrating their presumed future demise. I'm not offended, I just think the puzzle has a tin ear when it comes to atheism, and this is another example. (They've been clued as ones without "belief" in the past, which is just ... inaccurate, frankly)

"Get Lost!" sounds absolutely ridiculous in anything but the imperative voice. GETTING LOST? I'm trying to imagine using that in a (realistic) sentence. "Why are you still here!? When will you be GETTING LOST!? I told you to get lost and yet here you still are, not GETTING LOST, it's maddening!" I can imagine "Scramming" much more easily than GETTING LOST because "scramming" doesn't have another literal meaning to make things confusing. "Get lost!" is what you tell someone you want to go away. GETTING LOST is what used to happen when you traveled through rural Wisconsin without a map (not that that ever happened to me and my friend Kathy on our cross-country trip in 1992, no sir, just a random example involving me, my friend, the non-existence of cellphones, and a few cows). No one says USH, why does the puzzle keep saying USH? It's nuts. But again, the puzzle was easy easy easy. I didn't know who Lil REL Howery was (28A: Actor/comedian Lil ___ Howery), and I briefly thought 9D: Lifted (STOLEN) was ARISEN (???), so that created a hold-up of, what, a few seconds there up near the top of the grid? And I guess BOND RA...zzzzzz.... sorry, where was I? Oh, BOND RATIO took me some crosses to figure out. And I didn't really know NOLITA because it is some made-up yuppie real estate term that didn't even exist before the rents started rising in the '90s (you really wanna live in a neighborhood that rhymes with LOLITA?). But none of these problems constituted real problems. Most of the puzzle was just read clue / write answer, without much of anything to make you pause and think, let alone struggle. Hoping for better luck tomorrow. Take care.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:19 AM  

@Rex: would you feel better about TONTO if it were clued as "Silly (Spanish)"?

Bob Mills 6:36 AM  

Took me a while before I figured out OSMOSED. Is that really a word? I liked the puzzle, even if the circled letters didn't help. I also took a long time to get SAC (short for sacrifice fly), even though I'm a baseball fan (and author). I was sure it was BAR, not SAC.

I'd say it was "medium" difficulty, not really easy, because of the tricky cluing.

Richard 6:38 AM  

Natick at 8D/28A for me. Did not enjoy this one. Lost me at “osmosed”.

Loren Muse Smith 6:41 AM  

I like themes like this where things are geographically placed under other things. Honestly, I think I would have preferred having to scrutinize the stacks sans circles; the aha moment would have been that much better. But no biggie.

I agree with Rex on the OATHs dealie; as OATHs go, these are mild. (And for me, GOSH isn’t an oath – it’s an interjection that expresses surprise.) I’ve sat here thinking about this and realized I have different bags of OATH tricks particular to the situation. In front of students or with Mom – crap, heck, shoot. . . Alone in the car behind someone suddenly turning without the courtesy of a blinker. . . man oh man I can unleash a blistering string of untype-ables.

@Richard - me, too. I forget even to go back and guess the letter.

Rex, I can’t share your hatred of the verb to ADULT. I’ve tried, I really have, to pick up on the “repulsive, this self-infantilizing baby-talk” vibe you describe, but it’s just not there for me. Indeed, I think it’s a terrific lexical repurposing that in one simple word encompasses those rites of passage like getting your oil changed, paying for car insurance, changing the ac filter in the ceiling, watching your cholesterol blah blah. Sure, it implies that being grown up is hard, but being a grown-up *is* hard. If Matt Damon can “science the sh%$ out of this” up on Mars, then my kids can ADULT the sh%$ out of their lives. Which they’re doing beautifully I’m proud to report.

My sloggiest of SLOGs is I think emptying the dishwasher. I don’t like changing sheets, either, but the payoff is much greater. Spending a few hours in pristine, unwrinkled, clean sheets at the end of the day is so much more enjoyable than spending them in an empty dishwasher. Just kidding.

Liked SCALIEST and ASHY sharing the grid. This dry, cold weather tends to reptile my skin.

Here is another MISS TEEN USA pageant clip.

I recently made a “saffron-flavored” dish for my weekly lunch prep. Yeah. I bought the $20 saffron and then hid it from Mom ‘cause she would have been horrified at the cost. But a few days later, I came home, and she said, I found this empty spice bottle above the stove. Were you saving it? Since she’s losing her eyesight, she couldn’t see the three remaining tiny little vials inside. I had to come clean and have the conversation anyway. Actually, I tried to casually say it was saffron and keep it moving, but she was all over that. How much did you pay? Isn’t it really expensive?Ah me.

I’ve said before - that “exclamation point inside of a yellow triangle” on my dashboard is the icon equivalent of James Earl Jones’s voice, You are about to die. I wish I knew more about cars so I could calm down.

Vic – I’m a big fan of clues for 48D, but ya got me today!

Wanderlust 6:49 AM  

Victor should do another one with the same theme for an edgier site that uses the real OATHs, f-word and all. I liked this one fine. I solved as a themeless and went back later to look at the LIEs and OATHs and it was a nice aha. When I saw the revealer clue, I thought it would be LIES onthe stand, but it didn’t quite fit.

PAELLAS. I’ll take three please.

I am an ATHEIST and I am not at all bothered by the clue here or clues that say “without belief.” I don’t believe in any god, I don’t pray. It’s wordplay, enjoy it.

In addition to the ATHEIST clue, I liked the “canine” misdirection for ADA.

EASELS were props for presentations in the ‘50s maybe. I suffer from Powerpoint envy when I make presentations. Someone else always has a really captivating Powerpoint with GIFs and animated graphics and funny pictures. I just have substance. Sigh.

I wanted snakIEST before SCALIEST. I kind if liked SCALIEST above EYE. My eyes were so scaly that the scales never fell from them, so I remained an unenlightened ATHEIST.

SouthsideJohnny 6:54 AM  

It’s not worth having a theme anymore. In fact, it’s getting to the point that the NYT puzzle is becoming closer to a joke than a serious crossword puzzle. Start with ELGAR crossing REL - yeah, right. Make it worse by stuffing it in near NOLITA and a talking Dora Explorer character and you’re off to the races (again). You may want to throw in a an ARLES crossing an ANSEL and add in a NIE just for good measure. Good grief.

Lewis 7:11 AM  

What an impressive grid-build, to get a set of words and phrases that embedded oaths and could work in a symmetrical design, then placing LIE underneath the oaths – this greatly limits what words can go into the puzzle. And to do it minus junk and make it feel as if it were effortlessly made, well, that’s bravo material. I found inspiring Victor’s description (in his notes) of the work that went into making this.

I tried like heck to guess the theme, to no avail. I actually thought that it had to do with “over” or “under” something, but just didn’t make the connection, and I’m glad, actually, because my brain loves to sweat.

Part of it, I think, was that the oaths here are so mild (see “heck” above) that the word “oath” just didn’t occur to me. I think of oaths as being more ADULT, that is, swear words. Like, say, what the letters in the most SE four squares can spell, or put another way, having over LIE answers such as SAYS HI TO, or GETS HITCHED. But, of course, such oaths would never fly under the Gray Lady’s watchful eyes.

My two loveliest moments were a) When I read “commits perjury” in the clue to the reveal, and was knocked over by a huge “Aha!” at grokking the theme, and b) at being able to actually taste and smell PAELLA – an ambrosial dish to me – in my imagination, when that answer filled in.

One terrific outing, Victor. Between your outstanding construction, the smashing aha, and the divine paella, I left this puzzle high on life. Thank you so much for this!

Anonymous 7:22 AM  

Easy XW, but fun. Without the circles, it might be moderate…? No quibbles with any clues or answers.

JJK 7:35 AM  

I agree with Rex 100% today, including and especially his rant about ADULT. In general the trend toward using nouns as verbs drives me crazy (the other one I really hate is the use of “gift” for “give” - the verb is “to give”, you give a gift to someone, the use of gift as a verb is stupid financial market-, investment-, ad-speak ).

The oaths here are not only mild, they’re very old fashioned. Does anyone under the age of 110 say EGAD?

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

I liked this one. At first, thought I wouldn’t like the grid layout because the NW corner seemed like an isolated mini puzzle. But that perception didn’t last. NOLITA was new to me but the crosses came through.

Anonymous 7:52 AM  

Any one do the hard copy from the newspaper ? 19D read “Stprage tower” Don’t they proofread anymore?

Son Volt 7:53 AM  

This wasn’t difficult - but it was an unfun chore. Can we please stop with the circles in these puzzles. GETTING LOST, OSMOSED, USH, MISS TEEN etc dug the grave here. NOLITA was always just Little Italy - but the gentrification changed that.

I always thought the big guy was being overdramatic in his criticism of the editor - given the trend lately I may be falling in line. If this was the best Wednesday you could come up with - we have problems.


Anonymous 7:55 AM  

JLK - I don’t mind when XWD constructors mine pop culture for a word now and then. I do mind too many rappers I’ve never heard of, or too many references to Harry Potter or Star Wars. Ha. My real rants are reserved for crosswordese - letter combination not seen anywhere in the wild, and appearing only in XWD puzzles.

Eater of Sole 7:59 AM  

@Bob Mills. OSMOSE is a word, another backformation (I believe [even though I'm atheist]) from OSMOSIS. I was going to say that I don't think that the clue is accurate, but I guess as a colloquialism maybe it'll do.

Anonymous 8:01 AM  

I used to be a professional theatre house manager, in charge of the ushers. What did the ushers do? They "USHed". We said "USH", "USHing", etc. on a daily basis. It may be a backronym from "USHer", but it's definitely a word, at least in theatre argot.

egsforbreakfast 8:04 AM  

Um …. Excuse me … But for the revealer to work correctly with the themers, it should either be LIE UNDER OATH or LIES UNDER OATHs. But it still works pretty well, and I’m not distraught or calling for resignations. OTOH, I admire that each of the OATHs is pronounced differently than it is pronounced within the larger phrase.

Shouldn’t the clue for 58D reference THE Dennison University?

I’m not sure if it’s a sin or not to have “mergers” in one clue (37A) and “merger” in another (62D).

Personally, I pray every day that there is no God.

Fun puzzle. Thanks, Victor Barocas.

TTrimble 8:08 AM  

Well, minced OATHs do serve a purpose. If I'm around a family with small children and my arms are full and piping hot coffee spills out of the mouth hole on the lid of the cup I'm trying to hold, onto my hand, a little dag-gone-it is helpful for me and thoughtful for them. It's the ADULT thing to do in the situation.

No Naticks to report? Anyone? For me, NOLITA crossing LANAI. A LANAI to me is a porch; maybe it's Hawaiian in origin, but I don't know my apostrophic islands. A close runner-up might be ELGAR crossing REL. I kinda know about ELGAR, but it might be a little tough for a Wednesday. Not intersecting a Natick, and I'm sure that he was great, but Satchel PAIGE could also be obscure for some like me.

Yes, OSMOSED is most definitely a word.

Why won't SB accept AROAR? Sam Ezersky, AROAR is most definitely a word. You know it, I know it.

I think Rex has a point about GETTING LOST: it certainly could have been clued less clunkily. "Emergent DANGER in a vast forest", perhaps. You professionals out there would know what to do.

Also agree with Rex about USH.

Anybody remember Trump and MISS TEEN USA? Here's a refresher. I mean, this isn't even a he-said, she-said: Trump was bragging about his sliminess on Howard Stern's show. Source.

SB: Tab crashes prevent me from verifying how many short I was on yd's. Maybe 4 or 5, ugh.

Joaquin 8:17 AM  

Well, I'll be *%^@#$. Those are some of the mildest oaths I've ever &$%!)& seen. Lots of fun tho quite easy for a Wednesday.

mmorgan 8:19 AM  

Yes, a bit cutesy and dreary, but not too bad and a fine Rex write-up. But Rex, people actually do say USH…. And I kinda liked the ATHEIST clue.

Taylor Slow 8:20 AM  

I'm with @SouthsideJohnny this morning. I often wish for themeless puzzles on days other than Friday and Saturday, because so many themes are awkward and strained and a theme often dominates the wordplay. When did themes become de rigeur? Was it Shortz or...? Anyone know? I find it tiresome.

Or maybe the constructor and I just live in different worlds. BOND RATIO, MEGADEALS: OK, whatever, but one would have been enough. Is PAYLOT a word? Couldn't find it in any dictionary, and most references to it were business names. I'd love a nice Valencian PAELLA; PAELLAS is a stretch and a clunk. OSMOSE is a legitimate word, but it grates--another example, along with ADULTS and gifts, of the trend toward using nouns as verbs willy-nilly.

I'm with Rex on MISS TEEN USA. Seeing it gave me a bad case of the skeeves, and then @LMS provides a link to it?? Gross. Not with Rex on his ATHEIST complaint: I'm with @Wanderlust there.

Anonymous 8:26 AM  

Nolita is North of Little Itslyy

andrew 8:29 AM  

Where did they get the oaths from? Napoleon Dynamite?

For sure Napoleon said gosh and Kip and others said dang (one of the many quirky elements of the film was the use of these mild declarations rather than the f-bombs typically heard. Don’t think anyone used drat or egad.

Agreed with Rex on some points. But MISSTEENUSA is a pageant, like it or not - why get your thongs in a bundle over its inclusion (and * sigh * another obligatory Trump mini-screed).

I’m an atheist and wasn’t offended by the clue (but why they clue it “critical thinkers who have debunked religion”.) We have ADULTed past the Sunday School indoctrinations).

And TONTO was portrayed as a “faithful companion” on an old TV western actually portrayed by an Indigenous Canadian (Mohawk), Jay Silverheels. In the era of Mickey Rooney playing a Japanese goofball, the casting was ahead of its time!

HIyo Silver - AWAY!

Taylor Slow 8:33 AM  

Oh--and USH. Forgot to mention this. Truly unforgivable. Take any word, shorten it in some way, describe it in the clue as "informal" or "informally" or "in current slang" and you're good to go?


Dr.A 8:34 AM  

I love how you hold puzzle construction to a higher standard. “No, TONTO is not just a word, it’s a stereotype of a group of people that we should not have ever had and now should not speak of again in a fun puzzle. Maybe in an historic thesis about oppression of Native Americans, but not in a fun puzzle”. Great job making us all think twice about words we are used to hearing and about which we should think more deeply.

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

As there is little other consequence faced, I think the use of a word that annoys people who destroyed the economy and the planet should actually be encouraged but maybe I’m just built different.

Anonymous 8:49 AM  

SINCE does not mean “because”!!!!!

J.W. 9:01 AM  

I found this one, like, offensively bland, with atrocious fill. I could probably go full drunk-Christopher on it, but there's no purpose to being that mean.

Putting SLOG in your grid is a major risk. I wouldn't want parts of my grid so easily weaponized against me.

I would count USH toward this grids unusually high churchy-ness quotient. It was always the go-to jokey reply to the obvious question: "Are you the usher today?" "Yep, I'm ushin'." I'm not horribly opposed to it in a grid—it rates at least a wry smirk—but I would never side with it being an actual word.

So as long as you're willing to admit that the older generations trashed the world for the younger ones: can you not just let them have one word? "Hey, sorry not sorry about climate change and housing unaffordability, but also, we hate the way you talk." There's just no slack in the rope, for even a little bit, ever. Also, in the immortal words of Bill Watterson, "verbing weirds language." Though he also complained in one strip about "access" becoming a verb, and that was through the mouthpiece of the dad, to whom he always was closer in terms of temperament and sympathies, so it doesn't seem he had consistent internal feelings about it. While we're on the topic, however, I would submit that having "Lil" (or Li'l) in your stage name is much more infantilizing than using "adult" as a verb.

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

Amy: ppl who "do lunch" prolly also "adult" as they age. Do theatre ppl who USH also say whatevs and adorbs? This puzzle is mildly amusing, yet there is an undertone of frustration for reasons mentioned. Happy Hump Day.

TTrimble 9:22 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 9:25 AM  

NYT typo (19 Down). Should read “Storage,” not “Stprage”. Sloppy!

Rachel 9:28 AM  

I agree with most of what Rex said. These oaths were boring and don't even qualify as oaths. I don't like ADULT as a verb. Miss Teen USA sounds gross for the reasons Rex said, and also because it has the word "teen" in it.

But I'm fine with NOLITA as a neighborhood of NYC. I think the 90s is long ago enough for it to count as a real neighborhood name. Also my sister and I each lived there over 10 years ago, and it really does seem, or seemed at the time, to have a defined geographic space and vibe, so I feel like that counts as a mini-neighborhood.

mathgent 9:33 AM  

I liked the theme but it took 27 Terrible Threes to put it together. Too bad.

Reading Rex today reminds me that I don't send him money because of the quality of his comments.

One of my father's chores when he was growing up on a ranch in northern Spain was to collect the saffron threads from the
crocus plants.

I've seen maps of the Hawaiian islands many times but have never noticed that Lanai is shaped like an apostrophe. It sure is.

Smith 9:34 AM  

Natick at ELGA_ _EL. Plunked in an N and never looked back. Could not find it when I got ... "not quite" ... oh, well.

I used to schedule USHers at church and we did use USH as a verb, but sorta kidding SINCE we all know the verb is really USHer. It was more that the one syllable went better with the other responsibility, greeting.
Greeters greet, ushers USH.

Solved down the west side, so hit the revealer early, then put the LIEs in where needed and proceeded apace. No probs except the above mentioned natick. Did have a moment there with TONTO, like, hmm. But I'm willing to say, "it's a word in a puzzle. Go to".

This 'n' That 9:35 AM  

In defense of TONTO in the puzzle. He played a hero in saving the life of the "Lone Ranger" and became his partner in crime solving adventures. And, as already pointed out, the character was played by an actual native. The stereotyped broken English was regrettable, however.

49A has an "S" following the circled LIE. The other 3 do not. Kinda inconsistent.

Some parking lots are free. Some are PAY LOTS.

LEI-LIE anagram

Jef 9:36 AM  

Am I the only one who had trouble with fury/spleen? I have never heard the word "spleen" used as anything other than the organ. The 3rd or 4th dictionary definition, "melancholy", didn't exactly scream "fury".

RooMonster 9:37 AM  

Hey All !

Jiminy Christmas, that whole South area was tough to get clean fill in. Probably why the SW/SCenter section was closed off. Surprised Rex didn't kvetch about that. You only get into it from EASELS. Got a chuckle out of AROAR. I try that every single time in SB. One day it'll take.

Rex back to his curmudgeonness. Shut the front door! Nice while his vacation buzz lasted.

Let out a "Well, fudge!" at my one-letter DNF. Had EdGAR for ELGAR, regardless that ADUdT made no sense. Just couldn't see that L. Dagnabbit.

OK, enough Oaths outta me. Have a good Hump Day.

One F

pabloinnh 9:39 AM  

I'm with OFL on the revealer placement today, it doesn't get any better. Could see all the LIES, of course, but none of the words above them struck me as OATHS, so that was a stretch Had a little trouble in the SE trying to think of a four-letter city starting with O for the location of Dennison. Oops. It actually took me OATH to come up with OHIO.

Never saw PAELLA in the plural in all my time in Spain. Also, there is no word "toreador" in Spanish, which uses "torero". How this became a famous ARIA is beyond me. Also, thinking of Spain reminds me that we haven't heard from GILL I in some time. Anyone know anything?

Today was the day I learned NOLITA, which may be second nature to NYer's but was news to me. But, ho trala, it was also the day I knew OPI right away.

I guess ADULT as a verb is a thing. I know that even in my seventies I tend to CHILD a lot.

Nice Wednesday, VB. Not the Very Best Wednesday ever, but perfectly serviceable. Thanks for mostly fun.

Whatsername 9:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
chuck w 9:42 AM  

From Wikipedia: "Trendle gained the name "Tonto" from the local Potawatomi, who told him it meant "wild one" in their language."

Camilita 9:45 AM  

I beg to differ Rex, my crackpot family says USH. My father was an usher at church and he'd say I Gotta Go USH! And we'd say -Don't you have to USH today? SCRAM, go USH!
We gotta kick out of that.
Then again we call a Collander a SCOONGEROON and a hose nozzle a SCOTCHYMOTO. The family vocabulary has mostly been passed down 4 generations, but I was a little annoyed with my Milennial son when I told him the scotchymoto broke and he said: what's a scotchymoto again?
There are also NICKLEGLYSHERS. That's snacks before a meal, like cheese and crackers, or charcuterie board. My son thought it was a real German word. He was working at a German company and one day they put out some nickleglyshers in the office and he thought it was German word and said Ah Nickleglyshers!! and he was pretty embarrassed, the Germans had not a clue. I had to tell him, no it's not German, it's your nutty wordsmith great grandfather.

Whatsername 9:50 AM  

Nice Wednesday which I enjoyed and I’m sure there are all sorts of praiseworthy things to say about the grid, but I’ll leave that to the constructors to MAP out. Enjoyed the theme but felt frustration a number of times with the fill. Agree with Rex on scramming as a clue for GETTING LOST and USH (ugh). I would then add OSMOSED, spleen/FURY, and upstart/SHORT U as things that caused me to mutter an OATH or two.

AKC before ADA, POUT before ACHE, SUN before DAY, MISS AMERICA before TEEN USA, ORECK before ORALB.

I agree these are what would be called mild oaths but they also seem pretty antiquated. If you’re talking modern lingo, words like rats, nuts, crap, shoot and oh snap seem more likely.

Smolney Institute 9:50 AM  

Agree with those above in that OSMOSED is definitely not a thing/word. As someone who has taught biology for the past 15+ years, no one every says this.

Theme was tight, well thought out but I agree with ofl that there was not a lot of joy (although not a brutal slog either). Learned about ELGAR and appreciated the SANPEDRO reference as I am a Minutemen fan.

TTrimble 9:59 AM  

Check here. It's commonly heard in the expression "vent (one's) spleen".

TTrimble 10:03 AM  

@Smolney Institute
Oh yeah?

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

Being a baseball nut I thought you'd spend some time on Satchel Paige. Definitely an old timer worth knowing from a baseball perspective.

Eater of Sole 10:07 AM  

While we're being pedantic, I'll just point out that BETA software releases are, with a few regrettable exceptions, far beyond the prototype stage.

OffTheGrid 10:14 AM  

19D clue for SILO is "Skyline feature in farm country" in the e-edition NYT

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

So pleased to see my alma mater Denison U in the NYTXW!

Nancy 10:19 AM  

As always in this kind of puzzle, the tiny little circles got filled in through all the regular answers with absolutely no thought or input from me. Which left me with nothing to do but guess the revealer without crosses -- which I did quickly and without a moment's hesitation.

Gee, I bet this grid was fun to construct. Wish there'd been some fun for me too. Also, the whole thing was Monday-easy. A big Wednesday disappointment.

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

USH might be one of the worst things i've ever seen in a crossword

Whatsername 10:22 AM  

@pablo (9:39) I’ve been missing @GILL too. She hasn’t been on Facebook for several days either. I’ve posted a note and hopefully will hear from her.

Sluggo 10:31 AM  

Natick at 8D/28A for me as well.

@JJK, "gift" as a verb goes back to the 1500s.

@This 'n' That, I get what you're saying about the broken English, but don't you think that might be how natives in the mid 1800's might speak. English was probably Tonto's second language. Going by my immigrant family, they've been in the US for quite a while, and still sometimes speak "broken" English. And going by my stint living overseas, I'd say my Portuguese, German and Spanish is very broken. I probably sound to natives of those countries what Tonto sounds like to us. Worse even.

John Hoffman 10:40 AM  

Never heard that use of Spleen before. Webster’s dictionary: “The bill's failure to pass in the legislature was due to nothing more than partisan spleen.”

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

Not always, but it can do:

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

Growing up on a farm we were protected from those ‘vile’ oaths. So the farmers and the boys would say ‘gosh darn’ if girls or women were nearby but they really meant God damn. I heard that once when the cow kicked over the milk bucket.

Liveprof 11:00 AM  

No one from NJ has ever won the MISS TEEN USA pageant.

Joseph Michael 11:00 AM  

Thank God Rhett Butler didn’t turn to Scarlett O’Hara and say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a DANG.”

bocamp 11:01 AM  

Thx, Victor; golly gee whiz, really like this one; no LIE! :)


BOND RATes caused a major traffic jam on the East Coast.

Otherwise, normal Wednes. dif.

Enjoyed the adventure! :)
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🙏

Nancy 11:02 AM  

Re GILL -- I do know, sort of -- or at least I knew pre-California floods. I emailed GILL yesterday, let her know that people on the blog were concerned about her, and entreated her to respond to the blog's concerns herself directly. She hasn't done so and she hasn't gotten back to me either.

Sometime within the last month, she indicated to me off-blog that she was taking a "hiatus" from the blog. She didn't specify for how long, but promised it would be "temporary". She said she had a lot on her plate right now, some "good", some "tedious". Again, she didn't specify. I tried to talk her out of leaving, but couldn't.

Two Rexites emailed me in the last week to ask about GILL and I answered them each in separate emails -- saying more or less exactly what I'm saying here. I'm getting a little concerned myself since taking a hiatus one week doesn't preclude getting hit by a storm the next. If she answers my email of yesterday and she's OK, I'll come back here and let you know.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

The name NoLita is nothing more than a real-estate brokerage white-washing of gentrification. Enough of the 'right' people started moving into Little Italy to start driving up prices, and the real-estate cartel recognized they had to re-brand the area to complete the process. NoLita - It's NoLita, not Little Italy, so you don't have to worry about the mobsters, but good pasta is still within walking distance. That's worth another $200/sf

pabloinnh 11:05 AM  

@Whatsername=OK. glad you're doing that, and hope everything esta bien.

Newboy 11:15 AM  

Yep, Rex is right. Only regret that R for 8d/28a when an “n” OSMOSED from ASHY areas of brain cells. Hand up for Victor raising (lowering?) the bar on this oath concept by using ADULT swearing and synonyms for LIE. Besides fib, guile, libel, whopper there are prevarication & mendacity as well as more marginal falsies out there. Probably hard, but worthy of a Saturday?

Nancy 11:16 AM  

@John Hoffman (10:40)-- "Vent one's SPLEEN" is a quite common phrase and can be readily replaced by "vent one's fury."

FWIW, I would have clued SPLEEN as "Something you can vent".

jae 11:18 AM  

Yep, easy (that’s three in a row). BOND yield before RATIO was it for erasures. Impressive feat of construction, but I agree with @Rex on the solve. Didn’t hate it.

Mary McCarty 11:29 AM  

Re: 3D
Me: what are we doing?
Sis: we’re GETTING LOST ‘cause Rex is on a rampage!
Please, Rex, when you start saying “I’m trying to imagine...” try harder.

TJS 11:32 AM  

Dear NYTXWORD, Take your osmosed and bondratio and paylots and gettinglost and little rel and nolita and ashy and ada,oralb,del,nie,gte,opi,dst,and tps and shove it. I'm getting ready to bail. This is embarrassing.

albatross shell 11:37 AM  

I thought of OSMOSED and was unsurprised it was right but delayed entering it a bit. I thought of USH quickly and entered it quickly but found it quite surprising. Oddly different reactions. Found OSMOSED first.

Theme as mild as the the oaths.

pmdm 11:54 AM  

I did not find this puzzle dreary. It may have characteristics that bother some people, but I gave all of them a pass and have to say I enjoyed it.

I can't believe I missed the type at 19D. The letters O and P are adjacent on a QWERTY keyboard, so I understand how it happened. But yes, it is not saying much for those proofing the clues.

After reading one comment, which seemed very wrong to me, I had to go to the Free Dictionary and look up SINCE. One of the definitions is BECAUSE. Since I acknowledge colloquial use of language, there's no problem there.

Interesting back and forth about NOLITA. Reminds me of a person I know who became very angry about breaking off part of Washington Heights (upper Manhattan) and renaming it Hudson Heights, something he declaring was very racist. I don't think one has to be a racist to protect one's investments, but sadly there can be a correlation to find there. Anyway, I though the area originally defined by Washington Heights was much larger than what I would call a neighborhood, so the new name never bothered me.

With pets dying and weather problems surfacing with extensive damage, I should have no complaints. But the prostate biopsy procedure on Monday resulted in perhaps more than just minced oaths. How I ever played the organ after the same procedure was done a while back is beyond me. Hope everyone (especially Gill) is safe and sound.

Masked and Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Hello Kitty-level oaths? Apt follow-up puztheme then.

Pretty smoooth-goin, on the solvequest at our house. That there ADULT + REL + ELGAR + YALIE + NOLITA neighborhood was probably the toughest.

staff weeject pick: REL. No-know weejects always stand out. honrable mention to LIE, of course.
Primo weeject stacks, in the NE & SW.

faves: HULU. SHORTU. PAELLAS. Startin the puz up with a "J".
Interestin pick of HULU/USH over HULA/ASH. Works for m&e, tho.
Enjoyed the light wisp of Ow de Speration emanation from OLEOS/SCALIEST.

TONTO has 4-time Patrick Berry Usage Immunity. Just sayin.

Thanx for the Utah Circle clumps of perjury, Mr. Barocas dude. (Always an @RP-pleaser, btw.)

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Dick Shanary 12:08 PM  

From Collins:

osmose in American English

verb transitive, verb intransitive Word forms: ˈosˌmosed or ˈosˌmosing

to subject to, or undergo, osmosis

Anonymous 12:17 PM  

The budget’s overstretched, paying for tiresome out-of-touch pundits to rile up the masses with their stinky op-ed columns

Anonymous 12:42 PM  

Rex’s difficulty scale is insane to me. 90% of puzzles are marked as “easy”. I don’t think he’s the best judge of puzzle difficulty at this point.

Eater of Sole 12:50 PM  

@Taylor Slow: "usher" is not "just any word," it is a word that ends in -er that denotes a person doing a particular activity. Just as "to lase" was derived from "laser," USH is a backformation from "usher," though I'll admit it is not nearly as prevalent in the language. I will confirm that I've heard/seen it used outside of crosswords. I'm generally in favor of slang in crosswords when I've heard of it, and am happy to sneer dismissively at slang that I haven't heard of. The latter category grows every year, of course.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

On top of Sunday's "RIGMSROLE" blunder INSIDE one of the specialty puzzles... guess Will Shortz has hit the wall.

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Yup 1:09 PM  

Say what you will about Rex Parker’s comments but he maintains this blog day after day (either personally or with subs) so you — and all the rest of us — can comment (and agree or NOT).

Anoa Bob 1:10 PM  

I was a big Lone Ranger and TONTO fan and always thought TONTO was especially cool and that his "broken" English suggested he was wise in mysterious ways not immediately accessible to the pale faces. It never occurred to me that he was a negative stereotype.

Did yous hear about the dyslexic, insomniac ATHEIST? He LIES awake at night wondering if there really is a Dog.

There was quite a bit of what could be called "letter count inflation" (LCI) on display. A couple of the themers, CARGO SHIP and MEGA DEAL needed help from the plural of convenience (POC) letter S to fill their slots. The adjective SCALY had to be expanded to superlative SCALIEST to do its job. GET LOST was woefully short and needed the -ING expansion.

All those along with a plethora of other POCs---JOGS, SAFES, ABS, PAELLAS, EASELS, OLEOS, PAYLOTS, ETS and AGES---may have contributed to a "less taste and less filling" solve experience some of us seem to have had. And I second @egs opinion that "it should either be LIE UNDER OATH or LIES UNDER OATHs".

okanaganer 1:11 PM  

The theme was okay, but the revealer was right on target. Nice to finish with your best stuff!

[Spelling Bee: yd 0; my last word was this 9er, whew! Note that M-W's entry is for the plural noun form. #TTrimble, I too shook my head that AROAR is not accepted. So arbitrary.
My QB streak now at 7 days. Yay!]

Anonymous 1:11 PM  

My paper has a typo at 19 across--"stprage tower."

Donna 1:15 PM  

Wow, Rex, do a poll of your readers. How many are atheists?! I was impressed with the number who raised their hands today, in affirmation.

Sam Ross 1:19 PM  

Found the puzzle easy. That said, USH? Ugh.

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Same. Just two proper names I simply did not know.

Carola 1:22 PM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, in part because it was the rare day when I knew the reveal before looking at its clue. I see @Rex's point about the less-than-sparkling entries, but much was redeemed by the laugh I got out of SCALIEST. I also appreciated learning from @Rex about minced oaths.

Do-over: MISS america. No idea: REL

JJK 1:44 PM  

@Sluggo, thanks for the info, I didn’t know the ancient timeline of gift as a verb. I’m slightly mollified, but I still don’t like it and don’t remember hearing people use it that way until this century.

Joe Dipinto 1:51 PM  

Lil' Rel Howery played Daniel Kaluuya's friend who was helping him on the phone in "Get Out", and had a memorably creepy scene toward the end of "Judas and The Black Messiah". I'm sort of surprised @Rex didn't know him. It is a tough clue for midweek though.

tea73 1:58 PM  

I've lived in the City (NYC tht would be) and now in its outskirts. No trouble coming up with NOLITA, but it nagged at me that I could not remember what it stood for. My professors when I was in school there all lived in TRIBECA which stands for the triangle below Canal Street. SOHO (South of Houston) was already to rich for them. No one lived in Alphabet City in those days because it was too dangerous.

This atheist loved the atheist clue.

I really enjoyed this one trying to figure out what the revealer would be. I swear it wasn't a lie?

lodsf 2:44 PM  

Loved this puzzle and had fun with it. Ok, yea it was easy. Theme helped me immensely as, after filling in the bottom row I went back and filled in LIE in all of the 3-circle spaces and then completed the [quaint] oaths in the circles above them where I had enough letters to discern the answer.

Loved the atheist clue - it was my favorite in the puzzle. (And another hand up here for adhering to this non/belief system.)

Didn’t see it at first but have to agree with the “ew” factor for 29D. And ugh to USH. But otherwise thought it was a great way to start Wednesday.

Off to make my annual donation. Thank Rex/ Michael for being sure we have this blog EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Gene 2:46 PM  

Rex, the PC king, is at it again! 😆

Joe Dipinto 2:52 PM  

NYC neighborhood-name aficionados, take note:

Since 2010, a Little Australia has emerged and is growing in Nolita on Mulberry Street and Mott Street. In addition, the neighborhood also boasts a large number of new and longstanding Israeli restaurants, including Jack's Wife Freda, Shoo Shoo, 19 Cleveland, and others.

I vote that the name of the whole area be changed to:
Little Italaustralisraelia.

Nancy 3:06 PM  

Just heard from @Gill. She has had a LOT on her plate recently --even before the storms -- but most of those problems seem to have resolved. Since then she's been negatively impacted by the storms and the flooding, but it's a matter of quality of life that's been adversely affected and not of actual danger. Right now she has power back and was able to respond to my email. So I'm relieved and I hope you all will be too.

JC66 3:45 PM  


Thanks! Thatt's great to hear.

Gary Jugert 3:46 PM  

As usual I am writing about my experience with the puzzle prior to heading to the blog, but I am already fearing an avalanche of raspberries.

I predict:

-Too easy.

-Those infernal circles.

-How are GOSH, EGAD, DRAT and DANG oaths?

-Scramming is barely a word and is definitely not GETTING LOST.

-Using ADULT as a verb, because god knows we don't do that with any other nouns, except thousands of them.

-OHM isn't an electrical unit. It's a measure of resistance (I think).

-If you had a contest encouraging others to mail in pictures of teen girls these days you'd get a visit from the local constable.

-Li'l REL Howery (who?) on a Wednesday?

-SCALIEST? C'mon. Edit this puzzle.

-You're gonna waste LOLITA using NOLITA? Especially crossing the pageant? How did the slush pile editor let that slip?

-How about just [Baseball great Satchel.]?

-Sooooo many boring longer answers.

Pretty unpretty today.

@Smith [University on a few acres not far from Home Depot.] DENISON


1 It now comes with no teeth owing to your lack of follicles.
2 New boats filled with air.
3 Treats law school grad better than xi deserves.
4 Male not getting his way.
5 Hee b'dure hyoban yah.
6 Le tube grande en la farme.
7 Drunk, annoying and in disbelief.


Anonymous 3:48 PM  

Love your story - and the family vocab! 😂

Lyn 3:58 PM  

I do and spent time wondering if all silos were made by one company named Stprage. Is this some bit of knowledge I missed? No, just an increasingly common occurrence.

dgd 4:23 PM  

Possibly generational issue. But Elgar himself was wildly known for
Pomp and Circumstance. Also his name often appears in crosswords I just assumed 5 letters must be Elgar. His name w I ll show up again.
It was fortunate for me because about Rel I didn't have a clue (Autocorrect doesn't like Rel either!)

dgd 4:47 PM  

I happen to like most of the columnists but the Times like all newspapers have cut back on copy editors and proof readers. And it does show. My local paper is part of a chain owned by a hedge fund and it is 10 times worse in this area. But the Times is better than average because the family trust controls the paper and their only goal is to stay in existence long term and to continue to be a real newspaper. The hedge funds demand 20% return per year so they turn papers into shadows of their former selves.
BTW If one doesn't like the columnists at Times there is a wonderful collection of Trump, DeSantis etc lapdogs available on Fox News and in the New York Post.

pabloinnh 4:58 PM  

@Nancy-Gracias. Me alegro.

Terra Schaller 5:05 PM  

I just read the crosswords for the news, and now that I think about kudos to you guys for figuring out what words go where from scratch. I couldn't imagine the time it takes to do them then maybe do some cryptic work on them. I also do a daily crosswords app which features 8 puzzles from newspapers, and if I'm feeling like the day needs I I read best crosswords. I learn so much though, reading them.

jae 5:58 PM  

@Nancy - thanks for the @Gill update

Anonymous 6:28 PM  

There’s a neighborhood in San Francisco that real estate types want to call SoMissPo - at the intersection of SoMa (itself a contraction of South of Market), Mission, and Potrero Hill - and every time I see it I want to scream. So I get the NOLITA hate.

Whatsername 6:53 PM  

@Nancy (3:06) Thanks for sharing the news on @GILL. Sounds like she’s had her hands full.

Anonymous 7:02 PM  

@Gary Jugert

"-OHM isn't an electrical unit. It's a measure of resistance (I think)."

It is a measure of electrical resistance, so calling it an electrical unit works for me (retired EE).

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

So sorry to hear about Olive and thank you for your vigilant care of the crossword. Check to follow, merci

Anonymous 11:14 PM  

Me too. I take the paper version of the Times; do you as well? Is that my punishment for using paper?

Camilita 11:18 PM  

@joe dipinto 2:52 Flight of the Conchords New Zealand Town! That's what Little Australia sounds like!

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

My paper clued NOLITA as “Manhattan neighborhood” without the “next to SoHo” part. A bit more challenging.

Terra Schaller 3:15 PM  

"Tonka Compton" written outside a gas station in Gallup New mexico made me smile thew

Anonymous 8:17 PM  

The NYT online version shares the typo

kitshef 7:11 PM  

Two examples today of how culture shifts over time.
Once the very worst things you could say in public were perceived blasphemies, like 'damn' and 'hell'. So we invented things like 'dang' and 'heck' to avoid them. Later, those words became OK and words pertaining to private parts and functions like 'cock' and 'fuck' became the taboo words. Now, those are on the way out, and words that demean groups of people like 'wop' and 'spic' are the worst words you can say.

And then roles like TONTO and Charlie Chan were once perceived as positive presentations of groups that had always been presented negatively. Both native peoples and Chinese people were consistently cast as villains, and TONTO and Chan were attempts to change that. But what was evolved and forward at the time seems backwards to us now.

Oh, and I liked the puzzle though it was too easy.

spacecraft 11:28 AM  

Nope, doesn't work. Those are not "oaths." Curious, that dual meaning. On the one hand, it is a most solemn statement affirming truth; on the other a cuss word. And as for LIE:

All LIES in jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. LIE LIE LIE, LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE, etc.

I love Paul Simon. Where was I? Oh. The theme. Not the greatest idea, and it sullies the grid with ugly circles. Then there's the fill. Even worse. Take your SHORTU and GETLOST. Double bogey.

Same in Wordle, limping to a *phew!* 6. But with double repeated letters, they're really toughening up the course.

Burma Shave 12:22 PM  




Diana, LIW 12:40 PM  

My favorites today were @Spacey's tribute to Paul Simon and @Rondo's to the Syndie CATs yesterday.

Hey - I wouldn't LIE about that.


rondo 3:20 PM  

GOSH that was easy.
Wordle par.

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