Winners of a 1932 Australian "war" / THU 1-12-23 / Gossip, slangily / Fancy summer home / When doubled mouse-bopping bunny in a children's song / Winners of a 1932 Australian war / Passes but not with flying colors

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Constructor: Grant Thackray

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: blankING blankER(S) — familiar phrases following the "blankING blankER(S)" pattern have the blanks reversed, creating wacky phrase:

Theme answers:
  • STUFFING STOCKER (16A: Grocery store worker on the days leading up to Thanksgiving?) ("stocking stuffer")
  • SAUCING FLYERS (25A: Pamphlets on how to use marinara?) ("flying saucer")
  • BETTING GETTER (45A: Bookie?) ("getting better)
  • NUMBING TRACKERS (60A: Devices that help dentists monitor anesthesia?) ("tracking number")
Word of the Day: LEE Shubert (59A: Shubert of Broadway's Shubert Theatre) —
Lee Shubert
 (born Levi Schubart; March 25, 1871– December 25, 1953) was a Lithuanian-born American theatre owner/operator and producer and the eldest of seven siblings of the theatrical Shubert family. [...] Shubert was 11 years old when the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Syracuse, New York, where a number of Jewish families from their hometown already were living. His father's alcoholism kept the family in difficult financial circumstances, and Lee Shubert went to work selling newspapers on a street corner. With borrowed money, he and younger brothers Sam and Jacob eventually embarked on a business venture that led to them to become the successful operators of several theaters in upstate New York. // The Shubert brothers decided to expand to the huge market in New York City, and at the end of March 1900 they leased the Herald Square Theatre at the corner of Broadway and 35th Street in Manhattan. Leaving younger brother Jacob at home to manage their existing theatres, Lee and Sam Shubert moved to New York City, where they laid the foundations for what was to become the largest theatre empire in the 20th century, including the Winter Garden and Shubert Theatres.
• • •
***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...

• • •

Whatever humor is available in this theme concept remains largely untapped. When your "wacky" phrases have to resort to "words" like SAUCING and GETTER, you're straining too hard, and what you get are groaners instead of laughers. Is "laugher" not a word? Would you prefer "GETTER of laughs?" Ugh, GETTER. That is not a word you're going to see, ever, unless it's preceded by GO-, which means it's at best a word part. And "self-SAUCING pudding" is the only thing that comes to mind when I try to think of a case where someone might use SAUCING, which makes SAUCING, like GETTER, something you (I) only ever encounter after a hyphen. The first and last themers work fine—they aren't laughers, but they're solid, they work, I can imagine the wackiness they are asking me to imagine. But BETTING GETTER, no, I can't imagine that. Am I really SAUCING my PASTA every time I put ... sauce on it? Sigh, I suppose. But SAUCING FLYERS just feels sooooo awkward, as if the flyers themselves were putting sauce on your PASTA. I just found the execution here terribly awkward. 


BETTING GETTER, in addition to being the worst of the bunch, was also the hardest of the bunch, with its one-word clue ([Bookie?]), and the answer itself cutting through the top of a big chunk of open space at the bottom, which made the Downs in that space hard to see. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I ask the question: Since when is TULANE "prestigious"? I've been in higher ed. for my whole adult life and I've never heard such an attribution / allegation. It's a fine school, for sure, but ... I just think you're stretching the concept of "prestige" a little thin. Please keep in mind that I think the concept of "prestige" in higher ed is almost complete bull****. That is, prestige exists, but there's no direct correspondence between prestige and quality of (undergraduate) education. Anyway, I teach at the "Crown Jewel of the SUNY System" and I would never call my own university "prestigious" either, so I just don't know what compelled anyone to put "Prestigious" in this clue for TULANE. It's patently unnecessary and face-scrunchingly / head-tiltingly inaccurate. "Prestigious" also made it somehow harder to get, as did the fact that it was cross-referenced to an answer in its own section, one that it actually crossed (NOLA). I thought I was dealing with a university in PISA for a bit, and so was trying to think of some "prestigious" old Italian university. This section also contains the ugliness of GETS A C (I just have "oof" written in the margin) and the outright ridiculousness of AGENTRY, which was my final answer. AGENTRY!? Now that's a laugher. As in, I literally laughed at how dumb a word it is as I wrote it in. Quite a way to finish up.

So the top half ended up being much more enjoyable, and easier, than the bottom half. And while I think SAUCING FLYERS is a ridiculous phrase, I have some fondness for it because it's soooo ridiculous, because it makes me think of ETS throwing PASTA sauce out of their UFO, and because it's the first themer that I got. I had STUFFING and SAUCING early and no idea what was supposed to come after. I actually wrote in STOCKING or something like that early on, but it didn't fit. And then I got the back end of FLYERS and all of a sudden made the "pamphlets" / FLYERS connection *and* saw the "flying saucers" inversion. It was a good "aha" moment, even if SAUCING FLYERS itself is just nuts. After that, I finally "got" the first themer, and from then on, I was in business.

It wasn't a ROUGH START, by any means, but it was a little slow. Trouble getting started coupled with trouble in the aforementioned BETTING GETTER / TULANE area meant that the puzzle almost felt like it rose to what I'd consider normal Thursday-level difficulty. Oh, that clue on LEE was brutal for me, but the crosses were EFFORTLESS (literally, one of the crosses is EFFORTLESS), so I survived. Any other tough stuff? Not really. I thought the [Maker of the first portable music player] was ZUNE for a bit, so that was fun. LOL at that KIA slogan, "The power to surprise" (62D). Recently they "surprised" the world with a logo that no one can make any sense of.

I was in Auckland when I first noticed this logo and figured I was dealing with some overseas brand of car that we just don't have in the States. But no. That "KN" is actually "KIA," somehow. What a (k)nightmare, design-wise. And the original oval logo was so nice (and clear). It's OK not to change things that don't need changing, it really is. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. what the hell "war" did the EMUS win!?!? (51A: Winners of a 1932 Australian "war") ... [Fires up Google] ... Wow, this is awful.
The Emu War, also known as the Great Emu Warwas a nuisance wildlife management military operation undertaken in Australia over the later part of 1932 to address public concern over the number of emussaid to be running amok and destroying crops in the Campion district within the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. The unsuccessful attempts to curb the population of emus, a large flightless bird indigenous to Australia, employed Royal Australian Artillery soldiers armed with Lewis guns—leading the media to adopt the name "Emu War" when referring to the incident. While a number of the birds were killed, the emu population persisted and continued to cause crop destruction." (wikipedia)
Not how I'd clue EMUS, but if you like cutesy clues about the attempted slaughter of indigenous bird species, well, it's your lucky day, I guess.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:15 AM  

Easier than the usual Thursday. I got the theme right away and my only overwrite was AGENcY (which didn't fit) before AGENTRY at 43D. I wasn't bothered at all by SAUCING or GETTER.

amy 6:16 AM  

the tuna/bass combo cluing really annoyed me

Bob Mills 6:17 AM  

I guess I was the first solver, at 1:30 am (had trouble sleeping). I struggled with the puzzle at first, because I was sure the first theme answer was STUFFINGATURKEY. But when I got SAUCINGFLYERS, I realized what the constructor was going for.

A question for Rex or anyone: Is AGENTRY a real word?

DeeJay 6:27 AM  


Loren Muse Smith 6:42 AM  

When I figured out STUFFING STOCKER, I whooped. I love me some spoonerismery. Rex – I have to disagree on the “laugher” deal. All of these tickled me, especially the GETTER and the SAUCING (Morning, @Conrad). In fact, BETTING GETTER and SAUCING FLYERS were my favorites ‘cause they were so outrageous.

You’d think there would be a ton of possibilities, but I tell ya – there aren’t a lot of other contenders. Singing wedder (officiant who croons the service), mowing rider (gruesome), flowing squirter (is there some river with geysers?) , rubbing burner (just can’t clue this), modifying dangler (that prosthetic vets can attach to neutered male dogs to help with their self-esteem). . . Grant figured out a great symmetrical set. (My avatar absolutely does not fit Grant’s pattern, but, hey, I had CNN on while solving.)

I don’t know why I’m so taken by suffixes these days, but NICETY had me staring off thinking. Surety, sobriety. . . wonder why we don’t pronounce safety as /SAY * fΙ™ * tee/. Then I played around with things like nicence, niceage, niceship, nicement.

Yeah, and agent – AGENTRY. The word does look weird. Like PE called and wants its pants back.

Think there’s a warning on the STERNO can not to eat the jelly? (I mean, we get the helpful admonishment not to eat that packet of powder in a shoe box, right? Like you’d open the box, see that stuff and think, Oh! They included a little snack for me!) I’m a MEGAFAN of buffets. That delicious anticipation waiting to be released to get in line, wondering what goodies await, willing people to keep it moving. . . this is where, truly, the eyes are bigger than the stomach. I can load my plate like nobody’s business. Hurry back to my table to put it down so I can go ahead and grab that massive piece of red-velvet cake that I had already staked out. I get that buffets aren’t for the discerning epicure, and that’s fine. I don’t practice epicurety. I just like a crap ton of food when I go out. Chalk it up to my PIGMENT.

Anonymous 6:48 AM  

Agentry was worse word in my opinion than any of the themers. And in "saucing" defense, sauce is turned into verb all the time including "saucing" with cooks/while cooking, particularly restaurants.

Anonymous 7:02 AM  

Graduated cylinders aren't labeled in "mls". Metric abbreviations are never plural.

Sony did not make the first portable music player.

The Joker 7:11 AM  

Years ago professional athletes played and got paid. Then they started hiring advocates. Thus began the AGENTRification of sports.

Anonymous 7:14 AM  

Had ccS before MLS. BTW, one CC is equal to one ML.

Anonymous 7:15 AM  

The hatred for saucing flyer is unfounded. Fantastic answer, and a great aha moment since it was the first of the themers to go down. Saucing is commonly a verb and one of the better culinary verbs (certainly better than grating or garnishing)

Lewis 7:20 AM  

Man, did I love this, this Riddle City. Four theme answers to crack with as few crosses as possible. Four wow/ahas. Combined with “Holy moly, what a great theme idea”, and “Oh, great theme answers!”.

And just enough help in cracking those riddles, without making them too easy. All combining to tantalize, exercise, and whee!-ize my brain.

And the hits kept coming. Three answers with double double-letters. Animals – NAGS, saucingFLYers, backward BATS, EMUS echoed by fEMUrs, sTERNo, BASS, TUNA, ROAN, and PIGment. A wonderful riddle-clue: [Inedible jelly on a buffet table]. And the moment BETTING GETTER made me think of Eddie Vedder, and when I said them together, it made me think of the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire”. But that’s just me.

Grant, you were already on my can’t-miss list before this puzzle, and today was another confirmation of your skill and power to entertain. I promise I’m not whopping a teller here. Thank you for such a fun outing!

Anonymous 7:23 AM  

I’m with @Loren on this one — clever, enjoyable theme. And Thursday is usually my least favorite day of the week — too cutesy, ordinarily. Today I was zipping along, having a blast . . . Then, like Rex, I finished with the T in AGENTRY. @#$& Thursday!

SouthsideJohnny 7:31 AM  

A bit of a faith solve for me in places - fortunately most of my guesses panned out ok. I don’t know who Ms. Parr is, sounds like an accomplished British actress or perhaps someone in the entertainment industry. I also didn’t know what the heck TOG meant - you would think I would have stumbled upon that one in CrossWorld a time or two by now. Thus, PASTA (which had a cool clue) was the last to drop (there’s another restaurant term for you - to go along with SAUCING, which is not at all uncommon).

I got TULANE and NOLA right of the bat. The clue for AMPM seems like it’s trying too hard to be cute and/or difficult. I’m not too shook up about farmers protecting their crops from wildlife - I get way more angst from rappers advocating beating up women and shooting people, especially police officers - which Rex has no issues with, so I disagree with him on that one.

Shirley F 7:40 AM  

Liked your comment a lot, LMS, and really liked this puzzle, too. Best Thursday in years, IMO. (Extra "likes" for no Simpsons references.) Saucing Flyers - Stuffing Stocker -- very clever and entertaining, thanks Grant Thackray.

Todd 7:41 AM  

I was excited to see Rabbit Foo Foo mentioned. I grew up with that story but didn't think it was common.

Anonymous 7:41 AM  

Liked it. First puzzle in recent memory where the theme helped me solve the puzzle. Too often I finish the puzzle and then look for the theme afterwards. Liked learning agentry, which, according to my dictionary, is a real word.

GAC 7:46 AM  

Liked this puzzle very much. Nice concept for the theme, and nice four themers. Rex, as always, seems to me to be too intent on being critical. But that's his schtick and we must live with it. Agree that TULANE being prestigious is a stretch. Could have been clued as "Green Wave". Maybe the constructor is a Tulane graduate. Don't like AGENTRY, but it's a word according to Webster.

Taylor Slow 7:52 AM  

@Anonymous 7:02: I double-checked your claim because...wasn't it the Walkman? And you're right: "Though the probably the most recognizable personal portable music player of the decades of old, it was definitely not the first one. That honor goes instead to the Stereobelt. Like the Walkman, the Stereobelt played cassettes and was more or less what you might be imagining." ("Decades of old?" Sounds medieval!)

The Era of Shortz Sloppiness continues.

I found this puzzle nice and crunchy and a pleasant Thursday brain-twister.
I liked it. Tricky theme, fun to work out. I don't get Rex's apoplexy at BETTING GETTER or why he was so upset about the "emu war." I do agree about TULANE, however. Even being able to copyright THE at the start of your college name doesn't make the school "prestigious." We took the once-useful word "iconic" and watered it down to the point that it's now entirely meaningless. Let's not do the same with "prestigious."

Joaquin 7:53 AM  

Clever, fun, and mostly in my wheelhouse. What could be better?
I did stumble at 1A as I forgot (or maybe never knew) about Jack's great, great, great, great, great grandma. This was, of course, before the family changed the spelling of their name because it looked too ethnic to them and they were trying to blend in.

JonB3 7:54 AM  

Flyer or Flier?

Bob Mills 7:56 AM  

For Southside Johnny: Catherine Parr was married to Henry VIII (the last of his seven wives).

TTrimble 8:02 AM  

I could have sworn we'd been over this SAUCING business before, and even recently. "Sauce this pasta, will ya?" before the dish comes to the pass: this type of utterance can be heard in restaurant kitchens everywhere. "Heeey, I'm saucin' it already, whaddya think I was gonna forget?"

AGENTRY, hm. Welp, it's a Scrabble word. Suggested usage, courtesy of "one of the cleverest spies in the history of foreign agentry". I'm not kidding, that's what it says.

Actually, I liked the theme whackery, once I got it. I wouldn't say it was a ROUGH START because the western half fell readily, but you could say it was a ROUGH middle because it's as if I had to START again, beginning at some random spots in the east, before things gelled.

Duplicate GET though. (There's also GIT.) Did anyone else try "GETS A d" before GETS A C? A dook of hazard would have been reading GETS A d as "get sad", which seems a propos. Correspondingly, the mind boggles at "get sac".

The mind also boggles at consuming STERNO gel. They actually denature the stuff, ethanol (that's alcohol in the usual sense) denatured by methanol which makes it toxic. I shudder at the thought of someone jonesing so bad for alcohol that they would turn to a STERNO can, and wind up in the hospital. Yeah, that'll learn ya.

I guess SATYR gets a pass for now, as an improvement on "ogler". But for how long.

SB: the tab for yd remains open, 3 to go.

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

Tulane prestigious? I had enough letters where I could have guessed Tulane without a clue, yet the clue led me to believe it COULDN'T be Tulane!

Son Volt 8:14 AM  

Cute theme - agree that it could have been a little whackier but no issues. Like Rex I finished with AGENTRY - looking at it side-eyed for a moment. Normally we see 1a clued as Jack etc. Don’t like GETS A C or AM-PM. Rest of the fill was solid. This Mortal COIL.

I have some ink but never thought of getting a band name - guess I’m not a MEGAFAN. Lol at LMS’ buffet discussion. Didn’t recall the IRANian flag until I googled it. Wishbone ASH.

Enjoyable Thursday solve.

Rest in power

Dr.A 8:18 AM  

Tulane is very hard t get into so maybe that makes it “prestigious”? Idk. Anyway, I did not like the theme here, it worked for a couple of the themers and then it feel flat . And Agentry? Is that really a thing? Ok, I love my AVCX puzzles thanks again for that rec.

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

Had ROCKY start to this puzzle…(3D)…but after that, it all came together.

Jennielap 8:22 AM  

Got a kick out of the shout out to Little Bunny Foo Foo. That was always one of my favorites of the kiddy songs (and after 3 kids I think I know them all!).

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

did i miss any mention of spoonerisms?

Gary Jugert 8:32 AM  

Felt like a lot tougher puzzle than it was. Bamboozling me into Catherine the TSAR instead of PARR (whoever she is) meant the northwest was unsolvable until the end.

The first two theme answers were great and helped the solve. The second two were beyond iffy.

I looked up to see if is available as a domain name and it is. A great site for posting extraterrestrial recipes.

AGENTRY is yucko. That's made-up-ishness, isn't it?

GETS A C on the same line as VOCAL reminds me of my aural skills classes in music school where you only care about getting a C so they don't boot you from the program.


1 Catherine's always a crank.
2 Mullet man.
3 "Oh, so you bought these noodles... in a plastic bag?"
4 The CPR-class dummy didn't make it.
5 "You're my friend Ms. Ryan, but you gotta go."


Anonymous 8:34 AM  

1000 years ago I use a getter to clean up the gas inside lightbulbs

egsforbreakfast 8:36 AM  

When I saw “Prestigious university, I figured we had to be talking Harvard, Stanford, Oxford or TULANE. But none of them is Riga or Pisa. I guess my effort here GETSAC. “Procures a home cooling device” would be another route to GETSAC.

It’s helpful to have a peasantry if you’re going to have AGENTRY.

I feel that my recent monetary contribution to the blog entitles me to call out @Rex on his misplaced disappointment in this theme. Spoonerisms are funny because they kinda seem like real phrases but really aren’t. Just like these. I thought the theme was great. Thanks, Grant Thackray.

Alice Pollard 8:38 AM  

Catherine PARR should be common knowledge. AGENTRY not so much

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

I thought this puzzle was fine; fun. All the themers worked for me. All amusing. Fairly tough. The puzzle sure gave me a mun for my runny.

SLG 8:44 AM  

Tea for gossip?

DCDeb 8:46 AM  

Wacky challenge, I thought it was a lot of fun. Yes to little Bunny Foo Foo, don’t forget the hand signs that go with the song.

pabloinnh 8:50 AM  

Had me at STUFFINGSTOCKER and I was eagerly awaiting what might come next. Sailed through with very few snags, but that whooshing sound you're hearing is NUMBINGTRACKERS going completely over my head. It makes no sense to me and any explanation from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

As far as prestigious universities, I went to a pretty well-regarded liberal arts school but three of the best professors I ever had were in graduate studies at SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh. And now I discover from OFL that SUNY Binghamton is the crown jewel of the system. Things you learn. I just know it as Tony Kornheiser's alma mater.

Nice whacky Thursday, GT. Good Times, Good Times, and thanks for all the fun.

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

Agree with most of what Rex said, except the new KIA logo is great! The letters are all there.
Also I found the first two themers here quite entertaining and fair in that STOCKING STUFFERs and FLYING SAUCERs have real pop as self-contained concepts. “Getting better” and “tracking numbers,” on the other hand . . . Yes these are real phrases, bet they are wholly random ones.
i was also stuck for a long tome with GETS BY over GETS A C.

Karl Grouch 8:54 AM  

My kind of spooner-fun puzzle:
Punny themers, original but not stretched clues, few proper names, almost abbr-free.
[Only nit: effortless is not necessarily easy-peasy; think of Roger Federer, effortlessly graceful shots that were far from easy].
Thanks Mr. Thackray for the fun, I certainly Grant you that.

MarkK 8:55 AM  

This puzzle GETSAC from me. JK, I liked it a lot except for AGENTRY. Not a word in my working vocabulary, nor does it even look familiar and as a result I struggled in the south. Debating if it was TEe or TEA (in my head the etymology being short for Truth led me to believe it was TEe), theorizing if there was such a genre of EMORAP, and considering which of the multiple options of passing GETSAb/GETSAC/GETSAd it could be - all added up to make that section a bowl of alphabet soup for a little while.

I liked and smirked at the spoonerism theme for STUFFINGSTOCKER and SAUCINGFLYERS even if I was slow on the uptake seeing the connection between them. BETTINGGETTER however, just really clunks as phrase and as a description of what a bookie is. And as for NUMBINGTRACKERS, tracking numbers has got to be perhaps the most mundane two word phrase I could think of as a starting point for a spoonerism.

Eater of Sole 8:56 AM  

Not a fan of BETTING GETTER for sure. GETTER is ugly, and a bookie could be said to get bets... but does she get betting? Big stretch.

Confidently put in "cold" for 66-Across, had to erase that when EMTS came along, then put COLD a bit less confidently at 56-Down. What, another fish? Oh well.

Speaking of EMTS, seems like they often get clued in relation to the specific act of CPR. I guess that's because CPR is a convenient abbr. but doesn't calling them "CPR specialists" rather trivialize the large and important skill set these folks have?

Gary Jugert 8:58 AM  

@Todd 7:41 AM This is gonna bother me all day if I don't say something; it's Bunny Foo Foo.

Anonymous 9:01 AM  

Amy: really fun solve, found the theme humourous. Even smiled at the TUNA/BASS cross, once I got it. You know, India.Arie is a Xword staple, but she's really good. Try listening to her if you've the time. Enjoy Friday Eve.

Smith 9:01 AM  

Easy, sigh. Liked the spoonerisms. My father's favorite was "windwild sheepers".
It seemed to me a large NUMBER of PsOC; @Pablo, someone else TRACKs those usually. I only think that today because I thought it while solving, which I normally don't.

MarkK 9:03 AM  

(comes back from googling) According to Urban Dictionary (so basically the OED, amirite?), TEA comes from "the custom in the South of women who gather in the afternoon to drink tea and gossip." Cause, hahaha, you know women! Ick.

Anonymous 9:14 AM  


Sam Ross 9:27 AM  

AGENTRY was also my last answer. Gross.

Weezie 9:34 AM  

I love spoonerisms and I loved this puzzle! For once I was actually motivated to suss out the theme answers rather than just fill them in with crosses, and beat my best time for a Thursday by a good margin. Maybe I should try actually doing the theme more often?

The fact that it took me a while to remember STERNO is a sign that it’s been 3+ years since I planned an in-person event. While clearly not fit for ingesting, there was something so satisfying about setting up those little tins, setting them gently ablaze, and then capping them at the end of the meal…

I really enjoyed the gently clever/cute cluing (PASTA and the TUNA/BASS cross) but I’m a cheeseball. I’m surprised by how much I liked the cluing overall given the number of “well, actually’s”, that all of you smart folks have named already.

Also, totally with the commenters on SAUCING. Not only is it common with more ambitious home cooks and universal in restaurants, but if you’re one of the many millions of people who watch Master Chef or any other cooking competitions, you would have encountered this usage. Rex really seems to dislike verbing of nouns, huh? Consider this a belated vote in favor of ADULTING.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

I liked BETTING GETTER precisely because it was so ridiculous.

RooMonster 9:40 AM  

Hey All !
Going to join in the chorus of the "what in tarhooties is AGENTRY?" group. Plus, next to EMORAP. Is that really a thing? I thought all RAP was angsty. Can we just stick EMO in front of any genre now? EMOEASY LISTENING?

Neat theme. Got a chuckle out of the first two. The last two were OK, but blander in their chuckliness. At first the silly brain thought they were just swapped words, but then I actually read it that way, and said, "Wait a tic, STOCKER STUFFING isn't anything!", and realized you only had to swap the beginnings of the words, keeping the INGs and ERs where they were. Fun.

Props *fist bumps chest twice* to Grant for three sets of double F's. Way to up the F game. 😁

Neat symmetrical long Downs with ROUGH START and EFFORTLESS.

Installs the cooling system? GETS AC.
Is MONAMI the French cousin of Konami?

Six F's

Stuart 9:48 AM  

For future reference, in the unlikely event it ever comes up, a getter is a type of a material that absorbs (or adsorbs) gasses in a vacuum system. See:

The use of it here is cromulent, in the sense that I know what they're getting at, but the only time I've ever heard the word actually used is in the above sense.

bocamp 9:49 AM  

Thx, Grant; fun solve! :)


Pretty smooth until the TULANE AGENTRY area.

Just tracked down an ebook copy of AYN Rand's 'We The Living' yd.

Overall, an enjoyable trip. :)
Peace πŸ•Š πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ™

Beezer 10:00 AM  

Cute puzzle which had very little “dreck” imho. My only complaint is that it was over too soon.

My only “nit” was AGENTRY but I could live with its oddness. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll actually look it up.

Yeah, Catherine PARR was the last of Henry VIII’s six wives and outlived him. She was apparently a decent step-mother to Elizabeth and Mary. Am I the only blogger that had Rick Wakeman’s album The Six Wives of Henry VIII?

pmdm 10:05 AM  

I am a fan of wordplay (and so apparently is Shortz) so I liked this puzzle. Hate clues like 33A Dislake approximate clues like 30D (which some believe is good enough for crosswords. But very much dislike those who complain but don't provide counter examples. All in all, a mixed bag today. Not to take away from the puzzle construction.

And a thank you to Nancy for yesterday's Gill update. I know some houses are built in NJ too close to rivers and periodic flooding is pretty much guaranteed. But the problem out west is on a whole different level. I live in a fairly safe locality, on the second highest hill in Yonkers. (Safe as long as the water tower doesn't collapse, which it once did when it was brick rather than steel. Before my time.) So my thoughts and prayers (possibly annoying all you atheists) go out to Gill.

Nancy 10:36 AM  

Not exactly Spoonerisms in the strictest sense, though BETTING GETTER is one. But very similar in wordplay style and loads of fun. You could give me this kind of puzzle every day of the week and I'd be happy.

I wouldn't have gotten a single one of these without crosses -- and I didn't try to. From that standpoint it wasn't "too easy for a Thursday" though it wasn't the hardest Thursday either. The test of a good pun is Did you laugh? and indeed I did -- especially over SAUCING FLYERS, my favorite.

I had a hiccup at 39D where I wrote in GETS BY instead of GETS A C. You try to find a city called ??LB. But NUMBING TRACKERS straightened me out.

I'll go back and read the blog now to see who, if anyone, has explained what a STERNO has to do with "jelly". If no one has, can someone explain it now please?

Beezer 10:41 AM  

@Roo, you cracked me up with EMO easy listening!

As for TULANE, I’m not a big fan of the term “prestigious” when it comes to schools but when I googled I found out it belongs to a group of schools called “hidden Ivies.”

pabloinnh 10:41 AM  

@ Smith-Thank you. I guess I would recognize TRACKING NUMBERS if I saw them in the wild, but it's not a term I encounter very much and would use, probably, never.

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

This delightful podcast episode gives the emu war the treatment it deserves, it's a great way to spend an hour - helped me with that clue!

TTrimble 11:02 AM  

"Jelly" is a term that applies broadly to certain types of semi-solid substances that have a gelatinous consistency (broadly construed). Think "gelling". Nothing to do with fruits necessarily. Napalm is jellied. There is petroleum jelly.

Whatsername 11:03 AM  

Seemed a little odd for a Thursday at first but then by the time I finished I was totally GETTING it. STUFFING STOCKER was the best of the lot I thought. Gave me a chuckle and then helped with figuring out the others. NICE fun Tuesday - thanks Grant!

I liked BASS crossing TUNA, the sheep-clued SERTA next to AESOP, and NOLA/TULANE although I do agree with Rex that I would never use that adjective to describe that particular university - and certainly not that city. My first response was BOST, even though MEGA prestigious Hahvahd didn’t fit the down. That’s probably because I just watched the movie Spotlight yesterday. Excellent, excellent film starring Michael Keaton in a fact-based account of the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church abuse scandal.

Joseph Michael 11:05 AM  

They’re spoonerisms, Rex. They’re not meant to be actual phrases. The first two in particular are brilliant. Count me in as a MEGAFAN of this type of wordplay.

Rounding up people who sneak into line in front of you


OffTheGrid 11:07 AM  

This is the best Thursday in a very long time. POW? I'll check. (later) Nope. I'm guessing it'll be Sunday. JC rarely picks a Fri or Sat.

Liveprof 11:11 AM  

Does anyone know the meaning of the "dot" in India.Arie? I can't find anything on it online.

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

That sounds like some fake etymology. Afaik it comes from drag culture, a la "spill the tea".

jae 11:13 AM  

Easy (4 in a row). It would have been even easier if I hadn’t started off with SAUCe for 25a. A cute take on Spoonerisms, liked it.

I’ve been working my way through the Thursday puzzles from 1994, the year Shortz took over. As of September there have been no “rebus” puzzles, however there have been quite a few themeless ones (unless I’m missing something) with the occasional quote puzzle tossed in. An odd year of Thursday’s so far.

BlueStater 11:14 AM  

I was *very* surprised when I was able to finish this without cheating; never happens for me on Thursday because of excessive metagimmickry (gimmicks atop gimmicks). I do agree that a lot of the word-swiveling was over the top, but somehow I managed to get it. I have a higher opinion of Tulane than OFL, but I agree with him about SUNY Binghamton. Great school, great people (I'm a retired academic).

Beezer 11:28 AM  

@Nancy…the Sterno IS a jelly that you light to keep the food farm under the buffet “tureens”

Diego 11:30 AM  

I ENJOYED this one, preferring out-and-out silly stuff to rebuses and other architectural gunk.
I also like the KIA logo, eye-catching as hell and predictably prompting non-designers to voice their preferences for the literal.
Does RP usually pan Thackray’s work?
Today’s rant reminds me of OFL’s tendency to be much rougher on some constructors than others.

Joe Dipinto 11:33 AM  

Betting Getter

GETSAC is the only answer here that I didn't like. Really, a *just* passing grade is D, so GETSAD would be a getter answer for the clue. Or you could clue it:
"Become melancholy, as after passing a test but not with flying colors, or colors of any sort, actually"

a Gentry.

Nancy 11:35 AM  

@TTrimble -- Isn't a STERNO some sort of chafing or serving dish? How can a dish be made of jelly?

P.S. I really do know what jelly is :)

Joe Dipinto 11:37 AM  

@Liveprof 11:11 – Anderson .Paak might.

Nancy 11:38 AM  

I wrote my last comment before seeing @Beezer's post. Thanks, Beezer, for understanding what my question was and answering it.

mathgent 11:47 AM  

NUMBINGTRACKERS isn't a real Spoonerism. The "b" in "numb" is silent. Reversing gives "Tracking nummers" not "Tracking numbers."

But my definition of Spoonerism may be too tight. I didn't get most of Loren's creations.

Chip Hilton 11:53 AM  

First things I filled in were TULANE and NOLA. So, I guess I regard the school as prestigious. In my mind, Tulane, Rice, and Vanderbilt are the Big Three of the Deep South. I love spoonerisms so this puzzle was somewhat appealing. Here’s my favorite: The coolest baseball name ever turns out to be Baltimore centerfielder Paul Blair. Flip flop his first initials and you’ll see why.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

Hidden Ivies, TULANE is included.
Amherst College Barnard College Bates College Boston College Bowdoin College Brandeis University
Bryn Mawr College Bucknell University Carleton College Case Western Reserve University Claremont McKenna College Colby College
Colgate University College of the Holy Cross Colorado College Davidson College Denison University Dickinson College
Duke University Emory University Fordham University Franklin and Marshall College Georgetown University Grinnell College
Hamilton College Haverford College Johns Hopkins University Kenyon College Lafayette College Lehigh University
Macalester College Middlebury College Mount Holyoke College Northwestern University Oberlin College Pomona College
Reed College Rice University Skidmore College Smith College Southern Methodist University Stanford University
Swarthmore College Trinity College Tufts University Tulane University Union College University of Chicago
University of Notre Dame University of Richmond University of Rochester University of Southern California University of the South Vanderbilt University
Vassar College Villanova University Wake Forest University Washington and Lee University Washington University in St. Louis Wellesley College
Wesleyan University Williams College

Anoa Bob 12:01 PM  

I think that there's a fine line between wackiness and silliness. A couple of these themers crossed way over that line for me, going well into gobbledygook territory. It didn't help that two of the themers were one letter short of their symmetrically placed themers, STUFFING STOCKER vs NUMBING TRACKER and SAUCING FLYER vs BETTING GETTER, and needed quick-fix Ss to match up.

Maybe it's that I'm not much of a fan of Spoonerisms except for those times when the switcheroo uses equally plausible words to make equally plausible phrases, like "Our Queer Old Dean" for "Our Dear Old Queen". That didn't happen with this bunch; goofy, yes, plausible, no. Judging by the comments of most of yous, I'm definitely in the minority but this one was not for me.

Trina 12:02 PM  

@Nancy, no, “sterno” is the flame unit that you place under the serving dish to keep it warm. It’s a little can with some jelly/petroleum substance and a candle wick. I can see how some might refer to the whole set up as “sterno” though.

LOVED “little bunny foo foo” reference! It turns out I apparently still know all the words even though I probably have not sung it since Sleepaway camp many, many decades ago :-)

I *wish* Tuna was a common catch. I’ve never managed to catch even a single one with deep-sea fishing. Bass, on the other hand…

Liveprof 12:03 PM  

Thanks Joe! I remember now that the dot in Anderson .Paak stands for "detail," as in attention to detail. Maybe that's it for India.Arie too.

beverly c 12:06 PM  

Sterno is a brand of jellied alcohol folks burn to keep food warm at the table. I use it under our New Year's Eve fondue pot.

Tracking numbers - I was torn that maybe it was cracking numbers - but I guess that's books. AGENTRY was no help.

I liked the puzzle. I got a laugh when I saw what was going on. Saucing is a familiar term. And I agree with Rex re the Emu War - a distressing action, probably made “necessary” by the eradication of natural predators. More consequences of us ignorantly disrupting the environment.

CT2Napa 12:35 PM  

NGRAM-ing AGENTRY yields a sharp increase in the 20th century, mostly with the word PRESS in front. A 1937 book is titled "Press Agentry"

Carola 12:41 PM  

Spoonerisms delight me, too - have done so since I encountered, many years ago, a fractured fairy tale in which Cinderella went to the ball in a dragnificent mess. I thought STUFFING STOCKER was genius, and balanced out the (to me) weaker ones that followed. Overall, a Thursday on the tough side and very enjoyable to puzzle out. Very nice pairing of ROUGH START and EFFORTLESS.

Do-overs: tsaR before PARR (oof, I know); Arcane before ACIDIC, GETS by. Help from previous puzzles: ARIE.

Anonymous 12:42 PM  

I believe Henry only had 6 wives.

Hence the new Bdway Show SIX.

PARR outlived him.

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Tulane is #44 on US News and World Report's ranking of "National Universities," out of I think 443 schools in that category. So about Top 10%. That sounds about right to me. Whether or not you think that's prestigious depends on your definition of prestigious. Top 10% is good enough for "prestigious" for me.

pabloinnh 1:03 PM  

Around here, the things over the little cans of Sterno that keeps the food in them warm are called "chafing dishes". We used several at our Sunday night buffets down by the lake. I'm wondering if "chafing dish" is regional. I'm kind of wondering how "chafing" got used in this sense.

Also, I think those of us who take delight in things like SAUCINGFLYERS are doing some commendable childing.

Anonymous 1:06 PM  

Yes, but never applied to pasta sauce.

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

In current parlance, Spilling the Tea is synonymous with gossiping.

Beezer 1:15 PM  

@pabloinnh…lol…I don’t think “chafing dish” is regional, I just couldn’t for the life of me think of the word!

Anonymous 1:17 PM  

I really wanted SANKA instead of PASTA.

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

55 across— Says who?

Anonymous 2:11 PM  

This old timer thinks Tulane is the most prestigious university between Texas and Georgia. Oddly it’s one of two in that city.

Anonymous 2:11 PM  

Tulane graduate here. I never knew I went to a prestigious school and was trying to think of a university in Roma.

When I first saw the new KIA logo, I thought Nine Inch Nails was making cars now.

Bonnie Sue 2:17 PM  

Tulane is definitely prestigious, though it probably ranks behind Vanderbilt and Duke and maybe Emory among southern schools.

okanaganer 2:24 PM  

Rex a bit grumpy today! I quite liked the theme; it would have been great if they were all as good as STUFFING STOCKERS.

I will add another quite legitimate use of the word GETTER: in programming, it's a function used to get the value of something. Its opposite is a SETTER.

Typeover: GETS BY before GETS A C.

[Spelling Bee: yd 0, had this 8er for my last word, which is odd cuz it's a very common one for SB. QB streak at 8 days!]

Clay 2:24 PM  

Rex, despite having been fully vaccinated and boosted, I too got Covid in September. And it wasn't that bad, actually, but the slight cough hung on, and I was REALLY tired for a month.

SO, that being said, I agree with those commenters who thought puzzle this was easy, and I attribute YOUR struggles (medium??) as being due to your brain still recovering from Covid. I know mine took a while to get "back to speed." Once I got stuffing stocker (which was easy), the rest just fell into place, because I was looking for answers which were SILLY, and not necessarily logical or grammatically correct. So, get well soon, and those are my 2 cents.

Liveprof 2:26 PM  

Did someone mention Paul Blair? (Hi Chip Hilton!)

Blair hit an inside-the-park home run one game, and in the post-game interview one reporter said, "Some people thought the center fielder should have caught it." Blair's perfect response was: "There's only one man could've caught that ball, and he was running the bases."

Luddite 2:32 PM  

“Agentry” is a perfectly cromulent word.

Anonymous 3:04 PM  

A heck of a baul plair.

Masked and Anonymous 3:23 PM  

Pretty friendly ThursPuz theme mcguffin, since you could kinda depend on the INGs and ERs bein there.
fave themer: SAUCINGFLYERS. Schlocky.

staff weeject pick: FOO(FOO?). New obvious band name, then: FOOFOO FIGHTERS.

Kinda neat symmetric(al) longballs: ROUGHSTART. EFFORTLESS. Like.

@Muse darlin: Primo set of suggested themers. I can't think of any more good ones. I reckon RINGFINGER would be real mind-bendin to re-parse, also.

Thanx for the moving groaners/ groaning movers, Mr. Thackray dude, Nice job.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Anonymous 3:56 PM  

I totally agree - these themers are all clever and a lot of fun.

Anonymous 4:20 PM  

Ditto. Love the new logo especially on that new e v 6 car. Stunning design, gorgeous detail.

chipperj 4:42 PM  

When I was much younger, I used to wear a T-shirt that read:
Harvard- The TULANE of the north
Prestigious, to be sure!

abalani500 4:45 PM  

I read “marinara” as “marijuana” which had me all sorts of confused. I think I prefer it that way

Trina 5:10 PM  

2pablphnh -

CHAFING DISH is the the name (and not regional) for a dish/container with a little built in area underneath meant specifically for placing a heat source such as a STERNO.

As to the Mrs Henry, we learned this ditty in school “ divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived“. That makes 6. Ms Parr was the lucky 6th.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

Facts! Team Bunny here too!

Anonymous 5:40 PM  

Just to note: the FEMUR does not connect to the patella.


Carola 5:59 PM  

@pabloinnh 1:03 - Your comment made me curious about the etymology of "chafing." The OED derives it from French "chauffer" (to warm). I was surprised at how far back the citations for "chafing dish" go - with the earliest being fro the 15th century. A 16th c. will included a bequest of a "chaffyndyche." Speaking of bequests, I inherited a beautifully elaborate round sterling silver chafing dish from my mother-in-law. Would that I had occasion to use it!

Anonymous 6:16 PM  

Aaannd... there were portable transistor radios long before the walkman or any other portable cassette player. While they had other capabilities (i.e. newscast player, sportscast player, etc.), they were very often used as music players.

pabloinnh 6:38 PM  

@Carola-I did a little digging too, but not OED level. "Chafe" can be a noun (news to me) and means "heat caused by friction", which makes sense This is also one of these words that keeps sounding less and less like a word the more you say it.

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous 7:03 PM  

I went to high school
in Florida (a long time ago), and Tulane was quite prestigious.

B-money 7:20 PM  

I liked the word play.

I've been avoiding rex's blog for several weeks b/c I get turned off by the constant harping/nit picking.

I guess I'll donate exactly what I gave last year and the year before that.
I know, I'm a free rider on this forum, but it's hard for me to support daily negativity.

Joe Dipinto 9:28 PM  

They would be in alpha order if Jane Seymour hadn't cut in ahead at #3: ARAGON, BOLEYN, (SEYMOUR), CLEVES, HOWARD, PARR

Jon 9:52 PM  

Emu war. No! I grew up in Australua and this was never part of our history lessons. Just no! This clue needs to be retired.

albatross shell 10:42 PM  

Loved each and every theme answer. Each answer was perfectly silly and fun and derived from a perfectly common phrase
Got STOCKER from STUFFING, confirmed and was off to the races. Maybe you can go the other way so that feather bedding becomes bedder feathing. Better living becomes liver betting. Living better becomes betting liver. Parking meter becomes meting parker, meter parking... .

AGENTRY made me think of how pretentious the use of having AGENCY strikes me. It also made me think of Pageantry and pagan-try. And do agents form agencies to improve their agentry? But it is a word. Ridicule if you want but it will persist.

Historica 10:44 PM  

@Joe D
Jane Seymour "cut in ahead"? No, no, she died of natural causes!

albatross shell 12:26 AM  

Stays cool in August


Anonymous 2:45 AM  

My first response was Bunny Poo Poo! Knew that wasn't quite it - then remembered Foo Foo 🐰

Anonymous 2:48 AM  

Thanks for explaining what Tulane's logo/mascot represents! I was thinking Smurf Squid!

Anonymous 3:21 AM  

Tracking numbers allow you to track a package once it has been shipped from Amazon, USPS, etc.

David Grenier 8:19 AM  

I've been doing the Crossword almost daily for a few years now and I've come to realize.... I absolutely hate the "wacky phrases clued wackily" puzzles. They give me zero joy, are frustrating to solve, and never lead to any kind of "oh that's funny" moment after getting it. They might as well just be a row of random letters with no clue to me.

Give me a rebus or a 'black square means something else' or a themers switch directions puzzle or anything but another one of these "Wacky phrase clued wackily" puzzles, please.

That said I recognize different people like different things and there are folks out there who probably love this type of puzzle and think rebuses are a sin against crosswords.

Brian Rom 8:32 AM  

Isn’t it Fridays the Thirteenth?
Just asking

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

I worked in an Italian restaurant and we had someone on saucing pasta dishes as a station.

Anonymous 4:49 PM  

Am I the only one having trouble with finding Rex under his listed Venmo? What am I doing wronggggg?

kitshef 9:14 PM  

Hand up for Rabbit Foo Foo, NOT Bunny.

Okay puzzle, I guess. Combo of too easy and theme not used in the solve, though.

spacecraft 10:35 AM  

The first time I ever rented a car in Las Vegas, the guy said, "It's right outside in the lot. You can't miss it: it's the white one." We go out, there are seventeen cars parked there. Seventeen white cars. But, a valet pulls one up and says this one's ours. I take one look and say, "I don't want THIS car; the maker didn't even finish his A! What else is half done here?" Till that moment I had never heard of a KIA.

PS. They talked me into it, and it was fine.

So, it's Spoonerism Day at the NYT. So be it. They are cutesy, but that last one was a bugger because of that brutal south central section. I went from GETSby to GETSon and finally to that horrible letter add-on GETSAC. A pox on all your add-ons! And right there is AGENTRY; are you kidding me? OMG, it's an actual word! Will wonders never cease?

For me it was an EFFORTLESS START and a ROUGH ending. Bogey.

Slowly returning to Wordle form; par.

Burma Shave 12:15 PM  


I'll TUNA STOCK car TO GIT enough heart


Anonymous 12:29 PM  


rondo 12:31 PM  

Well, I certainly liked it a lot more than OFL. Actually, I thought it was the wackiest puz in years, as far as NYT humor goes. Yes, the south took a little extra time to GIT, but that ISTO be expected every now and then. My only bit of side-eye was GETSAC crossing GETTER near GIT.
Wordle PARR after BBBBB start.

Diana, LIW 1:17 PM  

I didn't like AGENTRY (really?) but I went with it, and that finished this off perfectly.

OTOH, I did like this trick/theme for a Thursday. No rebi! Yea!!! Funny punny - that's me.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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