Turn follower in Texas Hold Em / SAT 2-25-23 / Slangy catchphrase of encouragement / Dessert portmanteau / Fictional student of the Lowood School / Nickname that's an alternative to Pat

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Constructor: Trent H. Evans

Relative difficulty: Easy (seemed like it should've been hard and yet I never got stuck even a little)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Jennie GARTH (41D: Jennie ___, co-star of "Beverly Hills, 90210") —
Jennifer Eve Garth (born April 3, 1972) is an American actress. She is known for starring as Kelly Taylorthroughout the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise and Val Tyler on the sitcom What I Like About You (2002–06). In 2012, she starred in her own reality show, Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country on CMT. Her memoir titled Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde was published by New American Library on April 1, 2014. (wikipedia)
• • •

[the canonical spelling]
I liked this puzzle fine even though it was actively trying to make me not like it. And I thought *yesterday's* puzzle was not my vibe! Turns out that, as far as "out of my wheelhouse" goes, Millennial/Gen-Z Woman (i.e. Friday's puzzle) is way way Way closer to where I live (or want to live) than Conservative Middle-Aged White Man (today's puzzle). I mean, this puzzle's throwing all the "Things Guys Like That I Do Not Care About" stuff at me—stocks & bonds (YIELDS, RATE), welding (ARCING), poker (RIVER CARD), cars (CAR ENGINE), right-wing white-guy catchphrases ("GET 'ER DONE!"). It's a puzzle for the FRAT BOY-turned-suburban DAD. It's even got cruelty (MEANEST) and denial of responsibility ("IT WASN'T ME!"). And the LOL cherry on top: ROGAINE. Yes. This puzzle would use ROGAINE. I do believe that. Me, I just shaved my head. Anyway, this was a CERTAIN kind of man's puzzle and that man was not me. Plus, it has the grid structure I typically hate, i.e. highly segmented, deeply quadranted, such that it feels like you're doing four separate puzzles (five if you count the middle), and you can easily get well and truly stuck in every corner. Whatever the opposite of flow is, that is what grids like this have. It's dead end after dead end and good luck to you... 

And yet! Despite the "not my vibe" content, despite the deliberately unfun grid structure, I enjoyed the solve, largely because it felt like the puzzle was really trying to fight me but I was knocking down everything it could throw at me—all the junk I don't really care for, all the potential traps and dead-ends, and *alllll* of the "look at my tricky clue"s! I felt immortal walking through this one. Like Keanu at the end of "The Matrix"—nothing could touch me. I could feel that it was probably a "hard" puzzle—lots of tricky clues, lots (and lots and lots and lots) of names—but there was just no stopping me. And—the most important part—the fill was actually strong and clean. Not my thing, but not groan- or cringe-inducing either. Nothing forced or ugly (well, "GET 'ER DONE" is ugly, but it's unfortunately a very real thing). So this was a rare experience where I thought like the puzzle hated me, like it was saying "OH, IT'S ON!" the way some dumb fake tough guy might, but I managed not only to defeat it, but to make friends with it as well. This puzzle definitely voted for Trump, but we're still gonna have a beer later. It's fine.

My first thought for 1A: Dessert portmanteau was FRO-YO, but I discarded the thought because ... well because I somehow reasoned that a "portmanteau" needed to have the tail end of one of the words as part of its ... manteau? Skirt + shorts = SKORT. Turkey + Duck + Chicken = TURDUCKEN. But with FRO-YO ... where's the -zen!? Where's the -gurt, man!? Apparently my understanding of "portmanteau" was way too limited. But that corner was still easy to get into from ON TOE + ROBIN + AGLET + OBLIGES etc.

This was the part where I thought things were going to toughen up considerably, but I actually got one of those Downs to dip into the middle of the grid and whaddyaknow, I hooked something. RAN OVER went in, and then I kind of reasoned out the LOW (of LOW END) and the HOW (of "HOW ARE YOU?"), and then HIRE and bam, one of the long Acrosses bit:

[not pictured: GOAD before PROD (25D: Spur)]

The center came together from there. The path into the NE was easy because of THOREAU (not that I knew it, but there are only so many writer names ending in -EAU), and the SE was easy because I had GS- already in place and didn't even need to look at the clue (42A: Bit of attire that shares its name with part of a musical instrument) to know that it was G-STRING. SW looked like it might be harder to get into, but I knew GERE and GARTH, and we just had the word GENERA in the puzzle some time in the past couple weeks, so no problems there either:

[“Digital” refers to fingers here]

Mistakes? Well, I had SIDE before WIDE (8D: Far left or far right, maybe), of course, and GOAD before PROD (25D: Spur), but that's really it. Nothing I loved about this puzzle, but nothing I hated either, and it definitely provided that antagonistic Saturday energy, even if it didn't put up much resistance in the end. I think the NE and SW corners are probably the nicest parts of the grid—solid, bright stacks, without a cringey short cross in sight. Sometimes you can actually enjoy things that weren't meant for you at all. If the craftsmanship is there. Which it was. Time for coffee. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:13 AM  

Medium-ish for a Saturday, with some help from Sergey and Larry for the PPP. GiT before GET at 39A and READbydaD at 50A (before encountering DAD by itself at 51D) led to problems in the SW. Other writeovers: eTc before NTH at 11D and uRge before PROD at 25D.

Lewis 6:38 AM  

Lots of bite for me today. Made my brain sit up, sequester, and scuffle while maintaining pacific CALM, just where it loves and wants to be on Saturday. Funny how letters in a box can throw me into a certain state.

I chipped away in some places; cruised after throwing in an answer in a few others, and the highlight of the outing was the northeast corner, a family of beautiful answers: SO I GATHER, IT WASN’T ME, HIDEY HOLE, MELEES, and dear Mr. THOREAU.

Two crosses hit my happy button. TWITS crossing TWITTY, as, I guess, twits will be twitty. And CAR ENGINE crossing CAR GO, because the former makes the latter.

Such a clean grid, especially at 68 words (quite low, and difficult to execute without junky answers), and two great misdirect/wordplay clues, IMO: [Something that guarantees you’ll come out on top?] for ROGAINE, and [Pro with digital photography?] for HAND MODEL.

Also, seven NYT crossword answer debuts, terrific additions to the oeuvre: CAR ENGINE, DOG YEAR, GET ‘ER DONE, HAND MODEL, HOW ARE YOU, RIVER CARD, and SO I GATHER (how has this never been in a NYT puzzle before?).

A fine Saturday, marvelous actually. You’ve got the touch, Trent, and thank you for making this!

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

As Rex said, it was like solving multiple puzzles… when you finished one quadrant, you had to start from scratch in the next. This made it REALLY hard for me in the north-east… anyone else get stuck there? Finally got a toe hold and finished.

Uhh it’s “git ‘er done”. No one says get er done. Maybe city folk just don’t know?

P. Enske 7:37 AM  

This just needed STEAM IRON at 6A to make this a George Costanza tribute puzzle.

Anonymous 7:41 AM  

Reading you, Rexy, I oft say to myself, "this 'Middle-Aged White Man' doth protest too much, methinks." Today I, and perhaps clinical-psychologist constructor Trent, might inquire as to whether your ease in solving today's puzzle is indicative of where you--unconsciously--actually live despite "where [you consciously] want to live."

Lobster11 7:42 AM  

Couldn't get a start in the NW, having no idea about FROYO or this particular ROBIN and not being able to retrieve AGLET from my mental crosswordese dictionary. So I ditched the NW and wound up solving the whole puzzle "backwards," bottom-to-top and right-to-left, from SE to NW. Weird.

And like Rex, I wound up enjoying the puzzle despite its best efforts to make me hate it.

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

Decent puzzle. Too many names but mostly gettable from crosses.

The clueing difficulty seemed really inconsistent which made the puzzle more difficult - answers like CAR ENGINE for “something found under the hood” was so dry, same with HOW ARE YOU? Both lacked any cleverness or bite which I guess is the balance you strike. Do that once and it seems totally out of place and so do it a few times and suddenly the solver can’t rely on a certain tone of consistent difficulty which makes it harder.

Still not sure I understand the “Pro with digital photography?” clue fully since if it’s just a HAND MODEL, why is there a “?”? I mean yes, professional hand models work with digital photographers using digital photography. Again, maybe I’m looking for cleverness that isn’t there intentionally but it’s a dang “?” clue which I think OBLIGES the constructor to be clever.

Eater of Sole 7:52 AM  

Took me forever to remember AGLET. I knew that I knew it, but the only thing that came to mind was Adit, another word that I don't use every day.

My clumsy fingers started to write bRATBOY for 1D, which in my experience isn't wrong.

10D, a four letter word preceding "you?" Yeah, couldn't shake that one for a long time either.

SouthsideJohnny 7:56 AM  

Agree with OFL that the segmented grid amps up the degree of difficulty (and really cuts down on any potential flow, especially on a Saturday where it can be a struggle to get a toehold basically anywhere). Agree that “GET” ER DONE is a total flub (probably self-inflicted, knowing that the NYT doesn’t mind coloring outside the lines, or maybe they just don’t care). I’d argue that OH ITS ON is an even bigger cop out - not really a phrase, it’s just a convenient way for the constructor/editor to fill up space.

I totally get the clue for HAND MODEL - that is definitely one clue/answer combination that never should have made it any further than the cutting room floor.

Although I detest PPP, I’ll take THOREAU and Jane EYRE over creepy misogynistic rap “artists” any day of the week, but that’s probably just because I’m older than dirt (and yes, I still occasionally hold the door open for my lady friends).

Unknown 8:03 AM  

It was hard, so I was thrilled that I eventually aced it. Took 30 minutes, but I got 'er done!

DSM 8:06 AM  

Can someone explain DOG YEAR to me? I understand that it is based on the idea of dogs aging 7 times faster than humans. But that should make a DOG YEAR equivalent to 1/7 of a human year, not 7 human years (I.e. more than 2500 human days), right?

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

Yup, it’s “git,” not “get.”

Those were four tough little puzzles today. I really struggled, and I suppose much of this was more in my wheelhouse than in Rex’s. Grateful to Thoreau (not Rousseau) for breaking up the Trumpiness of it all.

Son Volt 8:29 AM  

I find it interesting when folks on the far left and far right try to categorize everything into their own insular views. Must be exhausting always being in the know.

Immediately saw the same ultra segmented grid as the big guy and assumed it was going to be tough - then proceeded to fill in the opening NW without a hitch. Then came the center five stack and things slowed. Don’t know anything about Texas Hold ‘em, refuse to watch any Richard GERE movie and no idea on PEET or THORA. Overall clean and nicely clued.


We get the correct spelling of ROBIN today. Liked the clue on G STRING and HAND MODEL. Cape Cod was THOREAU’s HIDEY HOLE. GiT in lieu of GET and a little side eye to the TWITTY x TWITS cross.

Linda On My Mind

Agree with Rex - this ended up being an enjoyable Saturday solve. Lester Ruff’s Stumper is a completely different experience.

Howe and Squire

Anonymous 8:33 AM  


puzzlehoarder 8:33 AM  

This puzzle had everything yesterday's didn't. Big white corners, a central stair stack and difficult resistance throughout. This would have fit in perfectly back in the 90s and for a solid hour that's where I felt I was only I didn't have to go to work the next day. That truly is old white guy heaven.

The easy rating doesn't surprise me when I got done everything was clear as a bell so I had to wonder if this was one of those cases where I was just solving with my stupid hat on or if it was really that difficult.

The unknown names were a big part of it. GARTH because it was the first letters for the SW and EYRE because I filled the NE first and I came into the stair stack from the east. PEET was the only one I flat out knew and I have no idea why. GERE was just a good guess. THEO was clued as a prefix maybe that was to give us a break.

ISH and it's clue belong in a shallow grave.

Time to do the SB speaking of which....

yd -0

Laura 8:52 AM  

The PPP were tough but I loved the tricky clues. Just read in Shorte's interview that these were generally not used. Thank you Will Shorte for my best aha moments.

So I liked this puzzle a lot, though the segmented structure made it tough.

kitshef 8:54 AM  

Much easier than yesterday’s (10 of the last 14 Fridays have been somewhat to much harder than the ensuing Saturday).

Not my style of puzzle at all. IT WASN’T ME, SO I GATHER, GET ER DONE, OH ITS ON, HOW ARE YOU … just the kind of ‘conversational’ fill that drives me up the wall.

Also, that GERE/GARTH crossing is terrible.

Only overwrites were footMODEL and goaD (for PROD).

Given the number of posts to the contrary today it's probably regional, but GET 'ER DONE sounds right to my ear, while GIT sounds wrong.

Christopher 8:58 AM  

Absolutely hated how solving one section did absolutely nothing to help with the others.

Never encountered the phrase rec league. Nor anyone named Peet or Eyre.

No idea what a river card is, aside form the context from the clue.

Never heard of a hidey hole either.

Zero joy with this one; glad to have put it behind me.

mmorgan 9:00 AM  

Easy? Easy?? Easy?!?!?! Hoo boy, this thing chewed me up and spit me out and kicked me around for a long long time. So many keloas for me, I had 4 or 5 plausible answers with the right number of letters for numerous clues, and the highly segmented structure sure didn’t help. But letter by letter by letter it fell, though it was filled with so much I didn’t know. GARTH, THORA, RIVERCARD, sheesh. I didn’t see it as a “certain type of man’s puzzle” while I was solving, but get Rex’s point.

HANDMODEL was fiendishly clever.

Camilita 9:03 AM  


Camilita 9:06 AM  

@anon 7:41 meh I'm terrible and new and this was very easy for me. Close to a personal best. Then again for me crosswords are more about letter combining than the meanings of the words.

William 9:08 AM  

Two of the long central answers are of a type I find incredibly clunky.
Both have a very specific clue, tied to a precise object/category an automobile/poker which leads to a common usage in which one would just say engine, or the river and then the answer reiterates the specificity in a way no one ever would once the field is defined.
This type of answer can work with a vague clue that misleads or teases at the specific, i.e. not cluing river with a card focused clue but when done as in this puzzle it lands with a thud, losing any fun or elegance.

Anonymous 9:11 AM  

Hidey hole? Never saw that clue answer before. Who ever says that anyway?

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

Think of digits as fingers

Trent Evans 9:18 AM  

I never comment on my own puzzles. If people dislike them, that's just the cost of doing business. But I absolutely had to come here to make EXTREMELY clear that if this puzzle voted for Trump, its constructor would vote for whatever is the exact opposite of Trump and everything he represents. People can say my puzzle was not enjoyable if they like, but it's a pretty serious thing to be associated with that person in any way. Just had to make sure that was crystal clear.

ShΓ© di Felina 9:20 AM  

The clue for HANDMODEL is because hands have digits (fingers), so it's photography of digits rather than digitally created photographs.

I have no idea what ROGAINE is (a US brand perhaps?) so that screwed me up a little bit and overall found some areas (NE and SW) pretty tricky. Solving experience was ok but none of the answers really gave me much joy for the reasons Rex outlines.

Pleased to make it through with no Googles though - it wasn't that long ago I just wouldn't even bother with puzzles beyond Thursday so I'm still at the 'exceptionally pleased to finish a weekend puzzle, even more so if under an hour' phase of my solving career.

bocamp 9:22 AM  

Thx, Trent; just right for a Sat! :)

Med (seemed a bit tougher bc of the NW & SW).

Got AGLETS right off, then AgEntS before YIELDS caused big probs.

IdEO before THEO.

Had a hard time grokking WIDE; wanted sIDE. Best I could come up with was a football term where a receiver lines up WIDE right or left.

Unknowns/hazies/learnings: FROYO; ROBIN; RIVER CARD; GERE; TWITTY; GARTH; ROGAINE; 'pointe'; ALDO; LUTE (or LyrE); DEL; EYRE; THOREAU.

Once again, fair crosses come to the rescue! :)

Very enjoyable battle! :)
Joining @Son Volt et al on Lester Ruff's Sat. Stumper. 🀞
Peace πŸ•Š πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ™

Anonymous 9:32 AM  

Amy: hoo boy and boy howdy! Rang the bell and knocked on the door, but this puzzle did not want me in it. Limped through only with help.
Good to see YES getting some love.

RooMonster 9:41 AM  

Hey All !
"___you!" Har.
I initially put it ISEE.

Brain shut down and just flat refused to cooperate with me down at HAND MODEL. Dang. Last section to go, got it down to HAND__DE_. Really wanted DEn for DEL (ala Denmark), and CALi for CALM. I even ran the alphabet at CAL_, hit on the M, and said, "Hmm, CALM is a word, how is that Pacific?" Deciding twixt the shoe company being ALDa, ALDi, or ALDo, and Still couldn't see HAND MODEL. Wrote in HANDIODEN, whatever the hell that is, and got the Almost There message, hit Check Puzzle, crossed out my wrongness, and was finally able to see the correct answer. I hate when I can't see the answer while I'm doing the puz, but am able to see it after confirmation of wrong letters. Silly brain.

Finally an F, and it's the first letter! My solve went NW (which doesn't happen often, the NW section actually solved first), SE, Center, SW, NE And then again, back to SW and the "digital " photography (great clue, BTW.) You won this round, Trent. I'll GETERDONE next time!

I've heard of all the things in here that some of y'all say you never have, ala HIDEYHOLE. I'm guessing because of my unsophisticationness, I have an upper hand in nonsensicalness. Work that sentence into your conversation today! 😁 Some times, it's good to be TWITTY.

Happy Weekend All!

One F

Carola 9:46 AM  

It's not unusual for me to have a different assessment of the puzzle than @Rex, so I wasn't surprised to see hIs "easy," while for me it was anything but. However, I was astonished to read his seeing it as a "Man" puzzle; it didn't seem gendered to me.

Anyway, it was very challenging for me at the start: after going through all of the Acrosses, I had only AGLET, PEET, GERE, and THORA. In the NW the Downs provided no help, but in the NE the meeting of THOREAU and PEET gave me what I needed to get going. The AS from THOREAU and MELEES suggested NO CAMERAS, and THOREAU's U had to be the end of YOU. So around the grid I went, ending in the NW with FRATBOY x YES.

Favorite entry: HIDEY HOLE. Biggest surprise: G-STRING. No idea: ROBIN, GARTH. RIVER CARD.

Visho 9:49 AM  

I do!

Wanderlust 9:49 AM  


I actually thought Rex’s comment on your puzzle’s political proclivities was pretty funny, and he did say he’d still have a drink with it.

But if I were you, I’d also want to make crystal clear that I did not willfully create a MAGA puzzle. Enjoyed it, by the way!

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

surprised there's no complaining about REC crossing ERECT, and TWITTY crossing TWITS

Nancy 10:08 AM  

Had to cheat a bit to finish. But less than I thought I would have to. By cheating on ROBIN and TWITTY, I avoided having to cheat on GARTH, GERE (as clued) and THORA. I knew THOREAU, but then he's not a pop singer or on TV, is he?

Lots of writeovers. DOLTS before TWITS (the cheated-on TWITTY got me TWITS; how appropriate). DOLTS took me to LET GO instead of ISSUE for "release". And so I couldn't get to DENTURE, TRISHA and DOG YEAR -- all of which I so desperately wanted to put in. What a helpful cheat TWITTY turned out to be!

Also sIDE before WIDE (8D) and orES before AGES (9D).

Favorite clues: ROGAINE; TRIAL DATE; HAND MODEL; G STRING; READ ALOUD; and DOG YEAR. All quite wonderful. OTOH, "NOW you've crossed the line!" = OH IT'S ON is one of the most egregious examples of a clue/answer type I tend to hate under the best of circumstances.

This was a really, really hard "keep the faith" puzzle for me. Unfortunately, I lost the faith somewhere along the way -- and that's why I cheated.

Harry 10:11 AM  

A pretty straightforward Saturday; chewy throughout. I steadily pushed through the grid, but stalled out in the NE. Just couldn't really get a foothold. Set it aside and returned to it upon waking this morning and swept smoothly through that which had originally stumped me.

pabloinnh 10:13 AM  

Not easy here, as the only proper name I knew as clued was THORUEAU. The clue for Mr. TWITTY made me want Hank Williams. Nope. Is TWIT crossing TWITTY a feature or a bug? Didn't care for the GERE GARTH cross, and CARENGINE? Really?

I did like seeing THEO, who is our remaining cat.

Thanks for checking in, TE. Truly Enlightening, and amen to your Trump take. This was slow going but ultimately very rewarding, so thanks for all the fun.

H. Gunn 10:20 AM  

@Trent Evans (9:18) I think Michael sometimes says things to be clever, without realizing how it might come across as a cheap shot.

I had a devil of a time finding an entry point for the puzzle. When I finally did, I thought "OK, off we go!"....until I faced the hard reality that traction in one quadrant didn't easily translate into traction in another. Enjoyed the challenge; enjoyed the solve. Thanks.

And it never occurred to me that this puzzle was voting for Trump. I was thinking more like Wendell Wilkie, actually. lol

Gen 10:25 AM  

I struggled some with this one (came over here to cheat bc I just didn’t care about the fill I couldn’t figure out). So stoked to see ya toss out a Gang of Four song! Made me feel like I still belong in the cross world kindom- thank you!

Weezie 10:27 AM  

Yep, even I, proud denizen of the far left, was surprised that Rex thought the constructor was skewing conservative and it seems like a weird take. Being into cars or welding or using a term common among working class rural white folks of all political persuasions doesn’t make you right-wing. I grew up in a snobbishly intellectual NYC family and am a 4th generation socialist. And while yes I love the NYT crossword and botany, I also have just gotten into Formula 1, I’m about to embark on a roofing project, I own chainsaw chaps, and the hardware store guys know me by name. Enjoying things that are typically associated with a certain kind of American masculinity does not have an inherent political stance. Also, ROGAINE is used by people of all genders (loved that clue), and I though we lefties supported bodily autonomy, anyway? Thank you for coming to clarify Trent, but I’m disappointed that you had to.

Absolutely agree re: GIT ER DONE; another fan of this puzzle otherwise. Pretty solidly medium for me, had a harder time with the NE than made sense to me once I’d solved it. Not much to share beyond what’s already been said. Thanks Trent.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

Pablo, I keep meaning to share my condolences on the recent loss of your feline companion. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope Theo’s helping making it a bit easier for you. πŸ’•

Nancy 10:33 AM  

So I'm wondering why the musical "Bye, Bye Birdie," which everyone knows was a parody of the Elvis Presley craze, would then spoof a quite different singer by calling the protagonist "Conrad Birdie"?

Conrad Birdie. Conway Twitty. It can hardly be a coincidence, can it? Leave the poor guy alone -- it's bad enough having to go through life with a moniker like Conway Twitty.

But actually, the 1963 musical came first. Conway Twitty began performing around 1970. And Conway Twitty was actually a made-up name that Conway Twitty chose for himself, if you can imagine such a thing. And it had nothing to do with "Bye, Bye Birdie." Here's the explanation from Google:

"The singer was looking at a road map when he spotted Conway, Arkansas, and Twitty, Texas, and chose the name Conway Twitty."

Too bad he didn't have a different road map.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

What does PPP refer to?

Harry 10:34 AM  

Just read the comments. I'm astounded that of all the combinations that when through for _____ you!, "f-" never came to mind. I'm stunned. ;) I spent over 20 minutes in that section and, like @RooMonster, landed on "isee". Had the former option hit my brain, the grid would have been DNF, for sure!

burtonkd 10:35 AM  

Trent, nice to see you here! Thanks for the tough workouts over the years. I certainly understand (git?) why you'd want to disassociate yourself, but I and I hope most know that Rex's commentary says more about him than about the puzzle.

I found this much tougher than yesterday, maybe it's foggy Saturday morning brain. Common phrases clued uncommonly crossing clues vague enough to be any number of things made it tough to get a foothold, particularly in NE for me.

27A sign at some exhibits: I played around with no touching, no photographs, no flashes - so close that it was frustrating so see that NOCAMERAS was sitting there the whole time.

Fun to see the LUTE played by the recent TINE adjacent quill.

@DSM - I think you are right, "dognabit". If one human year = 7 dog years and 2500 days = 7 human years, the answer should be 49 dog years. Sometimes best not to think too hard in xworld.

31D fictional resident of Lowood school reminded me of my LOWEND lowbrow taste when I guessed EllE, as in Woods from Legally Blonde. Thought association tree: ELLE from LB played by Reese Witherspoon, who also starred in Clueless, based on Emma by Jane Austin, who shares a first name with Jane EYRE. I guess that's justifiable confusion on my part?

mathgent 10:42 AM  

I think GETERDONE is fine. The junk is OHITSON.

My wife and I have started doing the late-week puzzles together. We sit next to each other and call out answers. So I can't really tell how hard this one was. We solved it clean without any major holdups.

I also thought of George Costanza.

Hilarious. Rex said that the puzzle voted for Trump because it said GETERDONE. Rex's sophisticated friends don't say that. And yet Rex's ridiculous claim hurt the constructor's feelings.

Bob Mills 10:43 AM  

The NW was impossible. What in the world does FROYO mean? And GETERDONE is meaningless...GETHERDONE might be what was intended, but even that is street talk at best. Also, TRISHA is usually spelled "Tricia." And what is a HIDEYHOLE? Has that word ever been spoken by an actual human?

Can't we have a Saturday puzzle with correct English?

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

It was so refreshing to see the clue for ROBIN.

As an ardent follower of the Howard Stern Show and a crossword aficionado, I oft lament how infrequently the twain doth meet.

I know there are many in my same boat, and I hope we may see show references more frequently. There certainly are many other suitable ways to achieve that in both clues and answers. And dare I suggest… a theme!

Whatsername 10:49 AM  

Good morning. HOW ARE YOU? Seemed like I went thru this pretty quickly but even an easy Saturday is still a challenge. Proper names weren't bad either, at least for my wheelhouse. I'm way more likely to come up with literary figures than rappers. And thankfully no video games, Harry Potter or GOT.

I loved starting out with FRO YO and FRAT BOY which always makes me snicker at mental images from Animal House. Then moving on, IT WASNT ME was timely since I just finished reading an article about the Georgia special grand jury and the prospect of seeing a potential TRIAL DATE looming.

Thanks Trent. For me this was as good as it gets on a Saturday.

Anonymous 10:59 AM  

Just boarded a plane to Richmond, where my brother-in-law succumbed to leukemia yesterday. So quickly—really tough for me due to ambiguous clueing and reading 90210 as “Hillbillies.” Pro tip: 4-letter Amanda is PEET, whoever that may be.

If you’re going to clue “Bond feature(s) twice, one of the answers should be about glue, or Ian Fleming, not both about finance. Otherwise a fine puzzle. I’m @jberg

andrew 11:08 AM  

“This puzzle definitely voted for Trump, but we're still gonna have a beer later. It's fine.“. - Rex

“But I absolutely had to come here to make EXTREMELY clear that if this puzzle voted for Trump, its constructor would vote for whatever is the exact opposite of Trump and everything he represents“ - Puzzle constructor (aka content creator).

If you don’t see the Long Trump Derangement Syndrome taking place here (not to mention all things JK Rowling and Kirk Cameron - KIRK CAMERON, for gods sake!), you’ll never see how corrupt and warmongering our current (p)resident is. Because Lunchpail Joe is just a regular guy and NOT TRUMP! This puzzle had NOTHING AT ALL to do with Trump and yet, he’s Topic A B & C yet again.

Trump should never have won. He’s a self-enriching carny - but still more cogent and slightly less crooked than Hillary and Hunter’s dad. They’re ALL terrible, at least those that are allowed to be installed as figurehead leaders.

But liberal trains of thought have been as derailed as the East Palestine disaster by intolerant leftist fascism that screams diversity in anything but thought, speech and voting. (And I was solidly D up till 2012 when the emptiness of Saint Barack became too obvious to ignore.)

Just my opinion. Different people have different ones, you know…

Daveyhead 11:08 AM  

I did one pass through and thought I’d have no luck. I don’t remember what opened the floodgates but 27 minutes later (fast for me) I was done! I had GITERDONE for awhile and think that’s how it’s supposed to be spelled, but oh, well.

Weezie 11:10 AM  

Erm, that was me πŸ™ƒ

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

Yeah this confused me for the same reason. I think they have it backward.

Liveprof 11:14 AM  

What do you get when you combine Rogaine and Viagra?

Don King!

Beezer 11:20 AM  

This puzzle was HARD for me but ultimately fun! I did NOT crash and burn only due to my PPP knowledge, notably ROBIN Quivers, YES, Amanda PEET, Jennie GARTH and Richard GERE. Great misdirect on Bond figure/s clues which temporarily had my NW screwed up with fIEnDS instead of YIELDS…bravo on that!

Minor nits: Does anyone else think of a MELEE as being quite a bit more than a “scrap”? Also, doesn’t ROGAINE “guarantee” it (hair) DOESN’T come out on top? Or, maybe it’s intending to continue to make the hair grow out!

Also, am I the only one that thought of Seinfeld and the HANDMODEL episode?

Thanks for the fun Trent!

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

DSM got it right: the DOGYEAR math is wrong. Spent 10 minutes refusing to put it in because it's totally backward. If one human year is 7 dog years (as the saying goes), then one dog year is 365 / 7 = 52 days. So the clue should have read "It's equivalent to about 52 human days". Instead of dividing by 7, the clue incorrectly multiplied by 7.

Upstate George 11:24 AM  

Nancy at 10.33am, you're wrong about Conway Twitty. I bought his first hit, "It's Only Make Believe", when it was released back in 1959. So he definitely preceded "Bye Bye Birdie". And I thought the poker clue was unfair. It's either "the turn" and "the river", or "the turn card" and "the river card". You can't mix them up.

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

Really enjoyed this puzzle - or at least I did once I conquered it. It was one of those puzzles that I would look at every clue in a quadrant and walk away empty. And that happened in multiple sections of this one. (Definitely felt like four separate puzzles.)

But eventually, you throw down a few guesses and you’re lucky they are correct and things fall into place. A big boost to my confidence today after completing this one.

egsforbreakfast 11:28 AM  

I initially had finALDATE for “When some arguments may begin”. Makes a lot of sense to me.

I heard there’s a hot new band in Austin called Elon Musk and the TWITTY TWITS.

BTW, Rex, ARCING (as clued) has nothing to do with welding, although arc welding utilizes the same phenomenon in a controlled manner. Also, you should lay off the notion that anything having to do with math or money (like YIELDS and RATE) are exclusively manly man stuff. This sort of attitude, exhibited throughout our culture, leads many girls who love and excel at technical subjects to abandon them during high school.

@DSM 8:06. You’re right. A dog ages by a year every 52 days in the dog-year hypothesis. Nice catch on that one.

This was a hard one for me, but I enjoyed it a lot, Trent H. Evans. I don’t know why, but as a regular commenter on this blog, I somehow feel like I have to apologize to you for Rex. An example of his faulty reasoning about many things is on exhibit today. It goes:
1. I don’t like Trump
2. I don’t like math (for example)
3. You like math.
4. Ergo, you have been demonstrated to be a Trump liker.

GILL I. 11:31 AM  

This Saturday felt like Trent treated me to a five star restaurant. The food was recognizable and delicious. The menu wasn't difficult to read and everything offered was mouth watering delicious.
It took me a couple of hours to finish. I didn't want to finish. I wasn't sure I would have room for dessert. I did. TWITTY TWITS with a little red cherry on top.
FROYO FRAT BOY was the appetizer. It paved the way; I was looking forward to my second course.
IT WASN'T ME, SO I GATHER and HIDEY HOLE were served up nicely and there wasn't any fancy parsley trying to make eye candy.
A little rest between courses. I was getting full and I wanted to continue savoring. I did.
I came to a halt in the middle section ...I thought Grumpy might've been the neatest. Erase, erase. He was the MEANEST. HOW ARE YOU RIVER CARD? You took some thinking on my part. I was finally able to eat you and you were cooked to perfection. I'm having fun. I'm struggling in parts. I wanted to be able to figure out what the side dishes were; I didn't know them and had to ask my waiter for help. He told me all about PEET, GARTH and THORA. There always seems to be names I don't know...just eat them anyway and enjoy the rest of your meal....I did.
My ODD moments were trying to figure out what REC league is. Did I spell ThOREAU correctly....? And was it really EYRE who went to Lowood? It was. My appetite was satisfied.
I haven't read @Rex nor anybody else yet....I have to walk my pups first. I'm hoping some of you enjoyed this fine meal as much as I did.

Nancy 11:31 AM  

Thanks for stopping by here, Trent -- you poor, poor man, you. You should know that your comment drove me to do what I pretty much never do, which is read Rex. I had to know why in the world you would need to say that you're not a Trumpist. Why, from this puzzle, would anyone think you were?

But OMG it's even worse than that. This is a "man" puzzle? And not only a man puzzle but the worst kind of man puzzle evidencing the interests of the worst kinds of men? Did Rex and I solve the same puzzle?

This, Trent, is why -- although I've been on this blog since 2014 -- I don't read Rex. Pretty much never. Even today, when I went there voluntarily to see what your baffling (to me) comment was all about, I could do no better than to skim him. The fevered rants and the self-righteous (and predictable) soapboxes. His constantly being "offended" on behalf of other people who don't themselves feel offended at all and don't need or want his patronizing solicitousness. (As a woman, I can speak of this from personal experience: Oh, how he loves to champion us poor, downtrodden, "marginalized" people.)

Let's not ignore his over-the-top sledge-hammer-y writing-- have I mentioned that yet?

No, Trent, I don't read him and neither should you. It was a tough, interesting puzzle you gave us today-- but even if it weren't, it surely did not deserve the completely off-the-wall bile it engendered from Rex.

Newboy 11:32 AM  

“ It's a puzzle for the FRAT BOY-turned-suburban DAD.” so saith OFL & I 100% agree. The segments fell easily except for the SE that took half the solve time. That TRISHA/THORA cross was a true HIDEY HOLE for roiling stomach acid TOIL, but beavering away f—I—n—a—l—l—y brought the last limb into place and the dam(n) thing was holding water at last. Like Rex I liked not liking TRENT’s grid until I did, yet it is Saturday & that wandering around quizzical grimace is what keeps me coming back for future mental abuse; if that makes me go stand in the corner with the ODD ONES, I’m okay with that. Quite a growth from my FRAT BOY days that were AGES ago—well, only decades, but in DOG YEARs…….

Joe Dipinto 11:46 AM  

Yes, the dog year clue is exactly backwards, or the term is not being used in a way that makes sense. One HUMAN year (365 human days) translates to seven DOG "years" (2500+ dog "days").

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

After a human lives 2500 days, he's 7 years old and the dog is also 7. In another 2500 days, the human is 14 and so is the dog but the dog is near the end of its natural life. I think a dog year is a bit more than 50 human days.

Teedmn 11:53 AM  

I was on neither Trent's nor Rex's wavelength today. This took longer than it's taken me to solve a Saturday in ages. I blame the pop culture - seemed like wherever I turned, there was another name taunting me. I either didn't know the name or not as clued. (See 41D as the former, 41A as the latter.)

A very desultory solve where SANER held down the SE for a long time. The kealoa TRI__A eventually filled in as TRISHA. Ms. Birch's name wasn't at the top of my brain but _H___ was ARCING across my neurons more than _i____ did if it were crossing TRIciA.

Wandered to the SW and splatzed down DAD but left him lonely for the NW, nada but ON TOE there, and then the very unhelpful "gnaw" for "Beaver away" in the NE.

Finally, of all things, CARGO broke open the center and I was off, albeit in more of an ooze than a whoosh.

Gnaw made the Diogenes quote seem like he wanted Alexander to stand a little 'ways' between him and the sun. I couldn't make it work with crosses, luckily.

When I finally had 19A's OR in place, I confidently put in doctOR for modify and was very happy with my choice but a niggling doubt about 1D gave me FRAT and TAILOR came to the fore, whew!

Does anyone actually say, "Everything good?" "Everything okay?" I can buy, but you're only going to ask that if someone looks about to burst into tears, whereas HOW ARE YOU? seems like a standard greeting. Maybe that's just me.

LOW END seems higher class than cheap and/or tawdry - it might not be haute couture but still could stand the test of time.

I succumbed to the urge to say aloud, GET 'ER DONE (should that be GiT?") after I filled it in.

I seem to have many complaints about this crossword but because I successfully solved it (unlike yesterday's puzzle), I'm feeling quite fond of it and grateful for the workout. Thanks, Trent!

Michelle Turner 11:55 AM  

@Andrew 11:08 - I agree with you wholeheartedly although I did hold out longer before I turned in my D credentials. I kept hoping that the people who professed an all embracing acceptance of all kinds of people would extend that inclusivity to those who have differing opinions. And at the risk of stirring up more trouble I’m going to suggest that that’s what Jesus did.

pabloinnh 12:00 PM  

@Anon 10:33-Thnaks for your kind thoughts. Theo abides, as they say, and his compensation for the loss of his brother has been the reopening of our bedroom door, where I found him this morning in his old favorite place, under the covers.

Photomatte 12:01 PM  

Who clued 34-Across (turn follower, in Texas hold'em)? First of all, it's Texas Hold'em, not Texas hold'em. Mostly it's just called Hold'em. Secondly, the turn is also known as 4th Street but mostly it's just called the turn. What follows the turn is THE RIVER or FIFTH STREET. Anyone who's played the game knows this. Nobody says "river card." The only way that answer could've been correct is if the clue had been written "turn card follower, in Texas Hold'em." This error in today's puzzle caused me no end of headache. 'The River' was too short and 'Fifth Street' was too long. Was there a rebus, I wondered? This error is as egregious as GRANDAD was a few days ago. Come on, Mr Shortz...

ReeseW 12:09 PM  

@burtonkd: Sorry to admit it, but it was Alicia Silverstone who starred in CLUELESS, not me.

Anonymous 12:09 PM  


TTrimble 12:14 PM  

I really take ISSUE with Rex's review. The first half of the narrative felt really forced, and case exhibit A in psychological projection. For example, the bit about ROGAINE. Let me see if I have this right: taking ROGAINE is specifically a conservative middle-aging FRATBOY response to alopecia? SO, I GATHER then, your own skull-shaving response is morally superior, putting you in the company of such liberal stalwarts as Bruce Willis and Joe Rogan? Interest in bond YIELDS or a BOND RATE is a symptom of the same disorder? Liberals don't do financial planning? Activities that require a CERTAIN degree of analysis, like CAR ENGINE repair or how to play the RIVER CARD, indicate regressive political thinking? Women have never been known to say, "OH, IT'S ON!"? (Which btw is totally in the language.)

"IT WASN'T ME" isn't a province of responsibility-dodging Republicans. For example, it could be a feeling Biden has, as his administration is being blamed for the recent toxic train derailment but argues it's an outcome of the deregulation policies of the former guy.

I'd think an English professor could transcend some of this LOW END political tribalism by taking refuge in the company of THOREAU and Jane EYRE.

The second half of Rex's write-up is such an orgy of self-celebration that I could barely READ through it. Honestly, we're already impressed by your crossword-solving prowess. I SURE AM, and I mean that sincerely. The way you always seem to GET 'ER DONE in the NW right away, like it's no BIG DEAL, is something I can only aspire to. (And yeah, that's not quite the right-wing comedian phrase, is it?)

Anyway. TWITS crossing TWITTY. I wonder what it was like growing up as Conway, with that last name. Kids can be the MEANEST.

Air on a G STRING: how a sexy-time undergarment dries on the clothesline?

Missteps: WIng before WIDE. TRIAL timE before TRIAL DATE.

Yes to YES! It took waaaay too long before they were inducted. It made me sad, seeing those accomplished musicians so long in the tooth up there (and Chris Squire, whose bass was such a signal feature of the band, had already died by then).

I like how both "Quivers" and "quill" get in on the cluing act.

DOG YEAR: same proportion of a dog's life as 2500 days is of a human's. Not that hard to lawyer.

Felt slightly north of medium for Saturday. I liked it okay, except for the segmented grid layout, as described by Rex and @Southside and others.

SB: I've kept yd's tab open, one 5-er to go. I think I'm pg -8 on today's.

mathgent 12:22 PM  

The English majors here are better at doing word problems than the English majors in Shortz's crew.

Michelle Turner 12:24 PM  

Re clue on DOGYEAR - It’s equivalent to over 2,500 human days. Clue is correct. If 1 dog year = 7 human years, and 7 human years = 2,555 human days, then 1 dog year = more than 2500 human days. Simple math folks.

Jim mcdougall 12:31 PM  

Oops...degenerating into political oped!!! Be nice to each other...Jim (canadian eh!)

Beezer 12:37 PM  

@burtonkd…your thought association reminds me of how my thoughts can race through my brain. I just noticed, however, your ONE flaw…Alicia Silverstone starred in Clueless. Interestingly, Reese Witherspoon DID audition for the role, so they obviously both had “Cher-like” qualities!

@Andrew and @Michelle Turner…bravo at making your points. Although I still cling to my D card and still think hold Obama near and dear (his book revealed he is very capable of admitting his mistakes and, quite frankly, had a ton of things crop up that distracted him from his stated agenda) BUT I do believe that the Ds are alienating folks (with Rex-like talk) as much as the 24/7 carnival barker/agitator did for four years. At any rate, I don’t LOOK for so-called non-PC triggers in puzzles nor was there anything about this puzzle that struck me as “Trump-like.” For instance…I know nothing about Texas Hold’em but I don’t associate that with men or Trump lovers. Hmmm. I just again looked through the puzzle and absolutely NOTHING strikes me as manly or Trumpish! 🀣

jae 12:45 PM  

Easy and easier than yesterday’s. The NW was a whoosh. The “hold ‘em” gimme opened up the center. The NE was slightly tougher because the cluing was more ambiguous, however, the THOREAU clue helped.

Very smooth with a fair amount of sparkle, liked it.

...and now I have a song by Shaggy running through my head - hi @Son Volt

Nancy 12:48 PM  

@Teedmn -- I, too, initially thought of WAYS (21A) leading to GNAW (7D) -- but, like you, couldn't make any of the other crosses work and therefore, happily, didn't write it in.

And LESS is such a wonderful answer to 21A! Those ancients had a very special way with words, didn't they? What an interesting, unusual, and educational way to clue LESS, Trent! Why, it almost makes me forgive you for OH IT'S ON and GET ER DONE:)

Anoa Bob 12:49 PM  

Hello AGLET, my old friend. You've come to help my solve again. Where the heck have you been? AGLET is one of those words from olde timey puzzles that are rarely seen in the wild but for the seasoned crossworder can open up a grid section, as it did for me today.

The "Simplify, simplify" clue for 12 Down had me thinking EMERSON at first but when crosses didn't confirm that I knew it would be THOREAU. Useless factoid of the day: Both EMERSON and THOREAU share that fourth R. I believe 55A actress THORA Birch is a great, great, great second cousin of THOREAU, twice removed.

Enjoyed the overall solve but I thought there was a bit too much in the way of random conversational snippets such as IT WASNT ME, SO I GATHER, HOW ARE YOU, GET ER DONE and OH ITS ON (Hah!). RIVER CARD is from the Department of Redundancy Department. And is that CAR ENGINE covered in GREEN PAINT?

johnk 1:00 PM  

Not a puzzle for me. I flunked out in all 5 mini-puzzles. Unfamiliar to me, to major and minor, extents, were: FROYO, ROBIN, HIDEY HOLE (I would never use that term), RIVER CARD (never have nor will played TX holdem), RAN OVER (went long? Huh?), GARTH, ALDO, THORA. And my bad guesses ruined me: GNAW for beaver away. LOOP, and I'm a retired software developer. TRICIA.

thfenn 1:10 PM  

Well, definitely wasn't easy. Didn't like what all the separate quadrants did to the flow, and thought it was hard to hit a rhythm with the cluing, but one by one it fell into place and an hour later I was really happy to finish it and thought it was a great Saturday puzzle. .

Didn't feel the vibe Rex felt, at all, and why I can't be a middle aged white guy, like the puzzle, and be a liberal, escapes me. And the fact we're even discussing the topic makes me sad and tired. So I'm off to find fun and inspiration elsewhere today.

Masked and Anonymous 1:10 PM  

Kinda cool (but SatPuz tough at our house) puz, for one without a theme.

M&A no-knows: ROBIN. GARTH. ALDO. Not too awful bad. Lost only a few nanoseconds, on those 3.

staff weeject picks: ISH & NTH. Early in the solvequest, M&A was gettin nowhere fast, so he of course went to the nearly-always-dependable 3-letter entries, for some help. 6-D's {Thereabouts} clue didn't help. 11-D's {Last in a long line} clue didn't help much, either. "Sadistic!", M&A gasped. Finally discovered AGLET, and then calmed down and got started.

Had HOWGOESIT before HOWAREYOU. Also watched a few precious nanoseconds go down the river at RIVERCARD -- been too long, since M&A watched one of them TV hold'em poker tournaments. I blame Netflix.

Thanx for the challenge, Mr. Evans dude. And thanx for droppin by, to de-Trumpify this rodeo.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Joe Dipinto 1:26 PM  

@Nancy 10:33 – as @Upstate George pointed out, Conway Twitty was performing since the late 1950's, though not as a country singer until later. In his first big hit "It's Only Make Believe" (1958) he sounded quite a bit like Elvis. The Conrad Birdie character was loosely based on Elvis— in real life Elvis had gotten drafted in 1957, to the consternation of his fans. Wikipedia says this:

After brainstorming, Stewart and Adams "came up with the idea of a rock-and-roll singer going off to the Army and its effect on a group of teenagers in a small town in Ohio. The name of the singer initially was 'Ellsworth', which was soon changed to 'Conway Twitty' before we discovered there was already a Conway Twitty who was threatening to sue us, and then, finally, 'Conrad Birdie'".[3]

That last part is cited as from a memoir by composer Charles Strouse, but something sounds amiss there. They thought of the name "Conway Twitty" on their own without ever having heard of the singer? B.S. It would be more likely that Elvis Presley's management threatened to sue for the Ellsworth name, so they changed it to parody one of Elvis's soundalikes.

GILL I. 1:39 PM  

Well... I'm back from walking the pups, and with my hot Peet's and vanilla creamer in hand, I read @Rex.
First thought : Gee, I'm a liberal white woman. I never consider what age I am but it's not "middle." I did not vote for Trump and didn't feel a bit like this was a man's puzzle. I savored a Saturday.
May I take a seat next to @Weezie at 10:23? While I don't own chainsaw chaps, hardware stores and formula 1 are forever joyful memories. I would/could spend hours at a hardware store staring at nuts and bolts and wondering why screws come in so many sizes. I fell in love with formula 1 car racing while at Brands Hatch in Kent watching the British Grand Prix. My then scouser boyfriend had a mini and he drove it like his cloned brother, Jim Clark. No oddness involved. I could also out-run all boys during my youth and I could throw a hard ball further than most. I hate the word tom-boy; I just liked doing anything better than my brilliant brother. I also hate labels of any kind. @Rex doesn't speak for me.
By the way, Weezie....You write beautifully. I may try to emulate your flair for words; a sentence that I actually can understand. Won't happen on my part, but I can at least enjoy reading you.....

SFR 1:44 PM  

Our shoe repair guy said he never uses the word AGLET when I asked him recently.

Whatsername 1:48 PM  

@pablo: Belated condolences on the loss of your kitty. I must have missed it at the time.

@Anonymous (10:34) PPP in general means People, Places and Pop culture.

@jberg/anonymous (10:59) Terribly sorry to hear the news about your brother-in-law. Those are sorrowful journeys but they have to be made. Lost my own BIL a few years ago and made the trip to Myrtle Beach feeling the heaviness of loss mixed with joy at seeing far distanced family again. Such bittersweet reunions. Travel safely.

okanaganer 2:09 PM  

Challenging puzzle for me! I also ended up solving from the bottom up. Once again, too many names that I don't know... ROBIN, GARTH, THORA, PEET. Isn't it weird we had both THOREAU and THORA?

Typeover: ELO before YES. And hands up for GIT before GET.

[Spelling Bee: yd 0, last word this odd 5er. QB streak 15 days, tying my record!]

Anonymous 2:09 PM  

all of these trump-y comments are classist as hell

Boodleheimer 2:11 PM  

Hi all. First-time commenter.

Enjoyed this puzzle immensely, although agree with Rex about the lack of flow. Some good aha! moments like HANDMODEL and ANT ("farm denizen"). I had an "A" before "I" in TWITS since my vulgar British friends use that word a lot. And HIDEYHOLE did not register with me at all.

On the Trumpiness kerfuffle, I think the pushback on Rex's take is a bit too angry (though not constructor Trent's comment clarifying his views). Rex's observation is astute -- there is a lot of traditionally masculine stuff in here. BIG DEAL!

Also, hello Reese Witherspoon!

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

Yes, this one was easy, but it was a whole lot easier for me than it was for the rest of you because I'm a whole lot smarter than the rest of you. Not smart enough, however to stop wasting my time like the rest of you posting nonsense here. My advice for the rest of you posting nonsense here and for myself as well: follow the example of senile nanny goats and stop kidding yourselves. (Just kidding)

TTrimble 2:49 PM  

Hi @okanaganer. Congrats on your continued success -- your last word was the same as the one I finally got (I thought it was relatively easy, except for that last!).

Anonymous 3:18 PM  

@Mr. THOREAU - Wouldn't one 'simplify' rather than two have been, in a word, simpler?

Joe Dipinto 3:24 PM  

@Michelle Turner 12:24 – Okay yes, if you're starting with the premise that the calendar year of 365 days is one "dog year". Then one "human year" becomes 1/7 of a calendar year and one "human day" becomes 1/7 of a calendar day. So you need 2500 "human days" to make up a "dog year".

I just don't think most people would say DOG YEAR to mean a calendar year's amount of time. The calendar year is for humans, the species that actually uses calendars. :-)

Anonymous 3:51 PM  

Hidey Hole? Really?

Who on earth is Robin Quivers? Couldn’t come up with someone even more obscure?

Knight Girl 3:57 PM  

Nancy, I’ve never commented before - but I have to give you an all hands up for your disgust at Rex! I never bring myself so low as to read him either!

Anonymous 4:01 PM  

Nw easy the rest nastiest Saturday in a while

JC66 4:12 PM  

Tomorrow's Acrostic is still available online...and it's one of the easiest I've done in a long while.

Nancy 4:30 PM  

@Joe Dipinto and @Upstate George:

Someone on the Wordplay Blog provided me with the same information about Twitty. I saw it there first and the apologetic comment I posted there will be equally appropriate here:

"@jbesen -- Many thanks for that very colorful and interesting explanation. Proving that people -- far more than Google or Wikipedia or wherever I went to search for info on Conway Twitty -- are always the best sources of all.

My search was cursory and slapdash, so it's probably my own fault. But I'm now going to surf the internet to see if I can find a reference -- any reference at all -- to the fact that the "Bye Bye Birdie" creative team employed a deliberate play on Conway Twitty's name as an inside joke."

(I guess I don't have to now, Joe, since you already provided that reference.)

PS -- Thanks for the shoutout, @Knight Girl.

pabloinnh 4:40 PM  

@Whatserhame-Hey thanks. All the support from our little group has meant a lot.

pmdm 4:47 PM  

I don't think anyone has answered the question yet (I could be wrong s I'm skimming). PPP was popularized by AliasZ a while back. He observed that when it exceeds about 30% of the clues, many complaints are generated here in the comments. He explained what it means many times. For those who prefer not to serach through past comments, it stands for Pop Culture/Product Names/Proper Nouns.

I find getting annoyed at how the puzzle allegedly skews says more about the person complaining than the puzzle itself. I reacted to the puzzle pretty much with neutral reaction. Didn't like it, didn't hate it, and would maybe have preferred a different puzzle. Solved tomorrow's puzzle first. More about that tomorrow.

Joseph Michael 5:06 PM  

Late to the party, but liked the puzzle a lot, especially the clue for ROGAINE.

Congrats to Trent.

Amen to @Nancy (11:31)

Anonymous 6:09 PM  

Hey Trent will you clarify this DOG YEAR controversy for us?

burtonkd 6:23 PM  

Thanks to those of you who pointed out my CLUELESS error, esp. Ms Witherspoon. As I was saying, things were pretty foggy this morning...

burtonkd 6:29 PM  

Nancy, your writing skills really came through today regarding Rex at his worst. I keep reading him, though, knowing that I will come across some gems when he is at his best.

Anonymous 6:33 PM  

Seriously?! She’s only the most important and most famous sidekick in the history of radio. She’s been by Howard Stern’s side for about 40 years now and is a bona fide celebrity. (Having even appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy!). Long live the great Robin Quivers.

DavidinDC 6:44 PM  


Anonymous 6:50 PM  

Anyone listening to Howard (Ms. Quivers) is not a fan of 45

Whatsername 7:11 PM  

@Boodleheimer (2:11) Welcome to the commentariat! I agree with you reference the trumpiness. Seems like much ado about very little. And FWIW, at least in my neck of the woods, the HIDEY HOLE is a place in your house where you go to ride out a storm.

Shecky Wormwood 7:17 PM  

I wasn't put off by the puzzles's overall sensibility, didn't really come acroos to me any certain way, really. Despite the segmented grid, I actually found this easier than yesterday and even Thursday if I'm being honest.

Joe Dipinto 8:03 PM  

@Anon 3:18 – Excellent point, lol. Actually he said it *three* times.

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.

kitshef 8:04 PM  

@pmdm: 4:47 - I think you may be confusing Z with AliasZ, who I'm pretty sure were two different commenters.

@JC66 4:12 - definitely agree it was an easy Acrostic. Bit of a disappointment as I had hoped my last one would be a dilly.

Gary Jugert 9:13 PM  

Had to do real life today so I am posting after y'all have moved on to tomorrow.

Very nice... you know, for a Saturday. Actually a pretty impressive puzzle way beyond my abilities to do it.

I am pro-FroYo despite the insinuation powering the uniclue below. I have done a dive through Go-ogle to determine if the Y is capitalized and apparently the jury is still out.

Our cat-tower has a HIDEY HOLE and occasionally the cat actually goes in it. Super cute.

May I just take this moment to say how lucky we all are that we can finally speak openly of G-STRINGS. I am old enough to make the G-STRING joke in intro to ukulele classes without irony. I can also say THOREAU (and Hawthorne) are among my top 10 favorites thanks to a Survey of American Lit professor who loved the oldies.


1 Response to the comment, "Boy this frozen dessert is yummy."
2 Gym with sloppily dressed athletes.
3 Poorly prepared spies.
4 Richard's really-really unmentionable.
5 Any publication trashing your least favorite politician.
6 Photographer's request of the casting department after the whole foot-fetish debacle.
7 The new ballerina is peaceful.
8 Walmart delivery.
9 Box of CDs featuring 17th century pop tunes.
10 Thirteen and ninety-six.
11 Those fools speaking of the best BrontΓ« novel.
12 Emerson's thought on hearing of David's publication.
13 Each morning before breakfast for grampa.


J.W. 9:25 PM  

Late to this party but several things to say anyway.

1) It's "git'r done". And the first vowel is somewhere between a short I and a long E. Also, Larry the Cable Guy isn't even a real redneck. His real name is Dan Whitney and he was a run-of-the-mill early-90s observational comic straight out of the Seinfeld mold who languished in obscurity until he started doing that voice on radio call-in shows. Is he a god-tier grifter, bilking dunces out of their money by performing a funhouse-mirror version of themselves, or does he have genuine affection for the South? My answer: yes.

2) I don't think using what may or may not be conservative shibboleths to make a grid work necessarily says anything about the constructor. I compare the mindset to when I play Scrabble. If I lay down, for instance, the words VAGINA or WELDER, it's not because I'm trying to be crass or show off what a manly man I am. I simply believe it's what is going to get me the most points. If a clue says like "Supreme Court Justice Samuel" or "Former Bush advisor Karl ____", even though those dudes are shit-sucking scumbags, I'm not likely to care that much. All crossword puzzles need some glue, and I'm just trying to solve it. That said, Harry Potter clues can burn in hell.

3) I usually enjoy Rex and do believe his best qualities are his intolerance for bad-faith actors and how he takes up for people with a long history of oppression, but this particular entry was largely incoherent and at worst kind of unhinged.

4) How have so many not heard HIDEY HOLE?

5) FROYO is not a portmanteau. That would be "frogurt".

6) Michelle Turner @11:55 — "I kept hoping that the people who professed an all embracing [sic] acceptance of all kinds of people would extend that inclusivity to those who have differing opinions." A difference of opinion would be about, say, pizza toppings. Human rights do not fall under the umbrella of opinion. You are either right or wrong about them. No one is under any obligation to extend acceptance to people who literally want LGBTQIA+ people dead.

7) If you're the kind of person who says "I was on the left until...", don't kid yourself: you were never on the left. You were also never on the left if you jumped from Democrat to Republican—you just went from right to more right.

TTrimble 9:27 PM  

Yeah, I think I set a PR with that Acrostic. The book looks like it could be interesting though.

dgd 9:29 PM  

I found it difficult also. The same solving experience as you mentioned.I was happy I finished!
Liked it over all.

CDilly52 9:37 PM  

Not my wheelhouse and the saying for those in the wheelhouse described by @Rex today isn’t GET ‘ER DONE, its GiT ‘ER DONE. Names were tough and some of the clues were not quite . . . I do know but not quite something. Tough Saturday for me.

Anonymous 9:54 PM  


Anonymous 11:03 PM  

@J.W. 9:25

Joe Dipinto 11:09 PM  

I will third the Breezy Acrostic meme.

Joe Dipinto 11:47 PM  

Actually I guess I fourthed it.

albatross shell 1:00 AM  

Bye Bye Birdie was based on Elvis but the name as derived from Conway Twitty who was part of the 50s rockabilly scene.

THOREAU I knew from simplify simplify but I briefly doubted because I remembered the other part of the quote incorrectly. The second simplify is necessary because you never simplify enough the first time. Kind of like packing your backpack for a month long hike.

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Anonymous 9:29 AM  

You betcha HIDEYHOLE is a word - and fun to say to boot. Could be regional, but is certainly "correct English," whatever that means!

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

I agree re: MELEE. It's way more than scrap!

Stu299 11:05 AM  

Am I the only one who entered "honeyhole" (18A) and then couldn't figure out how "tool" was Beaver Away (7D) and "wine" Far left or far right, maybe (8D)?

Anonymous 12:59 PM  

πŸ˜‚ Good one!

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

Hard but fair. Was in a fog in spots but managed to GETERDONE via the crosses.

Diana, LIW 6:37 PM  

OK. DOGYEAR was my last entry, and it made me laugh. What more could you ask of a puzzle?

My beaver was GNAWing before TOILing, so that took a while too.

Diana, LIW

spacecraft 7:15 PM  

ALDO is a shoe chain? If you say so. The rest seemed easyish for the day. Fantastic all-time gimme: RIVERCARD. Kinda sewed up the middle. Birdie.

Wordle eagle!

Burma Shave 8:46 PM  


with a BIG HAND LOW in your GSTRING.


rondo 9:00 PM  

Papers were late today due to 10" of snow overnight here. SO who's the April fool? But able to GETERDONE.
Wordle birdie, appropriate for Madness, not for April.

Anonymous 9:46 PM  

GREAT review! Points off for “GET” vs “GIT” tho but overall a fun solve

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