"For real," in modern parlance / SUN 11-19-23 / Fruit in the custard apple family / German candy with a caramel center / Inspiration for the tribute band A*Teens / Hairstyle that the Brits call "fringe" / Philanthropist Pratt for whom th Baltimore public library system is named / Certain recyclable, in the Midwest / City on the Kenai Peninsula / Alex's partner in the jewelry industry / Loch Ness monster apparently / Catchy tune, in slang

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Constructor: Rebecca Goldstein and Rachel Fabi

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Thanksgiving Meal Prep" — Thanksgiving menu wordplay, with clues suggesting meal preparation:

Theme answers:
  • BANK ROLLS (22A: Stockpile bread?)
  • GOOGLE APPS (24A: Research hors d'oeuvres online?)
  • CHOOSES SIDES (38A: Selects green bean casserole, candied yams and mashed potatoes?)
  • TALK TURKEY (65A: Debate roasting versus deep-frying?)
  • SHEPHERDS PIE (91A: Steers the dessert cart?)
  • KICK THE CAN (108A: Make cranberry sauce from scratch?)
  • TABLE WINE (112A: Reserve the chardonnay for later?)
  • SAGE ADVICE (52D: Pro tip about seasoning stuffing?)
  • GRAVY TRAIN (37D: Work on one's whisking technique?)
Word of the Day: ELISHA Gray (79A: Inventor Gray who had a patent war with Alexander Graham Bell) —

Elisha Gray (August 2, 1835 – January 21, 1901) was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 in Highland Park, Illinois. Some recent authors have argued that Gray should be considered the true inventor of the telephone because Alexander Graham Bell allegedly stole the idea of the liquid transmitter from him. Although Gray had been using liquid transmitters in his telephone experiments for more than two years previously, Bell's telephone patent was upheld in numerous court decisions.

Gray is also considered to be the father of the modern music synthesizer, and was granted over 70 patents for his inventions. He was one of the founders of Graybar, purchasing a controlling interest in the company shortly after its inception. (wikipedia)

• • •

A perfect puzzle for Thanksgiving Week, and for me in particular, as I'ma leavin' on a jet plane today for Colorado, where I'll spend Thanksgiving Week (also known as Birthday Week) with my mother, sister, and associated family. It is a known fact that Thanksgiving dinner is the best meal of the year, so it would take a lot to make me mad at a Thanksgiving food-themed puzzle. And sure enough, nothing here bugged me at all. It's a pretty straightforward food-pun theme, but it's well built, well organized (TALK TURKEY centerpiece!), and has only a few answers that kinda sorta rankle. KICK THE CAN is kinda funny but you don't eat CAN, whereas you *do* eat all the other theme answer elements, so that was weird. Further, all the edible elements are repurposed (i.e. directed *away* from their comestible identities) in their answers ... except WINE, which remains regular old drinkable alcoholic WINE, whaddyagonnado (PIE also remains PIE, but since its surface meaning is savory, whereas Thanksgiving pies are sweet, I'm giving it a pass). The least on-the-nose of these, though, is GOOGLE APPS, "apps" being no part of a Thanksgiving dinner I've ever heard of, and not nearly evocative of Thanksgiving for a theme like this. As for (CHOOSES) SIDES ... yeah, OK, SIDES, I guess there are SIDES, but not "apps." SAGE is more seasoning than standalone dish, so maybe that's an outlier too. But I liked a lot of the wordplay today, esp. SHEPHERDS PIE as a verb phrase, and GRAVY TRAIN as a straight-up verb. Mainly, this is a pleasant, light-hearted affair—an endearing rendition of a common theme type, with a structurally sound and occasionally sparkly grid overall. SUPERHERO, RIMSHOTS, PLAYDATE, "HELL NO!" ... heck, yes. It all works fine, and there's very little in the way of unappetizing fill. More than tolerable, as Sunday efforts go.

It was not just a clean puzzle, it was an easy puzzle—an uncommonly easy puzzle—except for one notable patch, in which I managed to enter three to four wrong answers, many of them crossing, such that the works got gummed up Very badly. Sincerely had a few moments where I wasn't sure how I was going to finish. I'm talking about the entire area around PH SCALE (87D: Measurer of acidity), which I had written in as PH STRIP—and that was only the start of my wrongness. I crossed PH STRIP with OPEN (120A: Bid first, say => LEAD) ... and then I crossed that with SON! (113D: Boyo => LAD). And this was all on top of my initial wrong guess of OKRA at 102A: Part of some pods (ORCA). I had the WINE part of TABLE WINE but nothing about that clue was leading me toward TABLE (112A: Reserve the Chardonnay for later?). "Reserve" absolutely confused me. I think of "tabling" as "postponing til later," not reserving, so TABLE? Nope. It was only after much flailing that I decided to pull Everything in this section and try again, starting with ... PORTAL (92D: Entrance). And that did the trick. If I'd just started with PORTAL, all of the above wrong answers would never have materialized. I would've seen ALBA (earlier wanted BIEL) (116A: Actress Jessica) and ORCA and LEAD and everything. When in doubt, pull Everything out. Worked like a charm.

No idea how I remembered ELISHA Gray. Was just thinking that the only ELISHA I know is actress ELISHA Cuthbert (who was in the puzzle earlier this week), but then here comes this ELISHA to prove me wrong. Also got SEWARD much faster than I should have, esp. since I have never heard of the Kenai Peninsula (81A: City on the Kenai Peninsula). All other trivia was familiar to me, even RV LOT, which I didn't get right away, but was able to infer after a while (55A: Setting in "Nomadland"). I'm more familiar with the term RV PARK, but yeah, I'm pretty sure in "Nomadland" it was in fact just a lot. Did you know that SHORT and STEVE both work very well for 80A: Martin of Hollywood? It's true. Luckily, I had RIESEN in place (71D: German candy with a caramel center) so SHORT was out. I think of the phrase as ALL TIED UP, but ALL TIED computes, so OK (57D: Having an even score). Uh, anything else? Nope, I don't think so. Oh, "NO CAP!" (95D: "For real," in modern parlance). I learned that from some other puzzle just last month, and then went into my class and asked my students if they knew the term and they just looked at me pityingly. "Of course." OK, I think that is, in fact, it. As I say, I'm taking off for the week. I don't have subs lined up, so I'll probably be filing mini reviews from Colorado ... or else I'll just end up doing the same-sized reviews I always do because I can't help myself. We'll see. Take care, have a lovely day, see you next time.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


egsforbreakfast 12:44 AM  

62D (SUPERHERO) could have been a near-themer clued as "humongous leftover Turkey sandwich."

Soil nutritionist's pickup line: Let's get PHSCALE.

I bray like a donkey.
But you look and act like a donkey.

It looks like the FEDS want to TALKTURKEY with Eric Adams. I hope he doesn't just wing it.

EAGLES sitting alongside LOTTA makes me smile while imagining them covering Led Zeppelin. I also liked SHEPHERDS(PIE) crossing EWERS. I guess that as competition intensified in the sheep herding world, the practitioners gradually specialized as Rammers, Lambers and EWERS. "Hi. We'll be your shepherding team. Work with us and we'll throw in some sheep's milk cheese at no extra cost."

I guess my wife wants me to become a TODOL, 'cuz she's always leaving me with TODOLISTS.

Have a good trip, @Rex. And a big thanks to Rebecca Goldstein and Rachel Fabi for a scumtious FRIENDSGIVING.

Anonymous 12:50 AM  

“Kick the can” refers to kicking out canned cranberry in favor of making it from scratch.

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

You don’t have appetizers as part of Thanksgiving dinner ? We do, in the living room before we move into the dining room for the next!

okanaganer 12:59 AM  

It's funny, a Thanksgiving theme 6.5 weeks after we celebrated it in Canada, Oct. 9! Ah, it was great, out at the lake cabin, it was warm and sunny. Not now!

I think Rex went rather easy on this, I cringed at a lot of the theme answers. GOOGLE APPS? KICK THE CAN? Okay, fine.

Re the A*Teens video... I have always regarded Super Trouper as being quite a sad song. The singer is sad, then she imagines being together with her guy... but: to me, the song's undertone somehow implies they don't actually get together, which is extra sad. I have to admit, this view is due to visiting Sweden and meeting many Swedes.

[Spelling Bee: Sat 0; by some coincidence my last word was one of the words from Connections Saturday! (Honest!) Although I'm kind of sick of the flightiness of the Connections groups.)

jae 1:32 AM  

Easy, a very whooshy solve. I got off to a slow start with moss and mint before BARK and BOBA. But I breezed through the rest and went back and sorted out the NW. Fun turkey week puzzle, liked it a bunch or what @Rex said.

Sixthstone 3:20 AM  

Very easy and a bit uninspired. I can't blame Rex for going easy on a good friend, but this puzzle left me flat. Sure, it's got Thanksgiving foods in it. That's about it. Nothing memorable. In any case, hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Gary Jugert 3:22 AM  

Welcome to Colorado πŸ¦–! I wish we weren't quite so embarrassing.

Enjoyed the bajeebers out of this one. The comedy worked, the Thanksgivingness was a hoot, the cluing felt like somebody really cared about making this good.

I did spend a third of my time on about 10 squares in the southwest because I would not let go of NEWSDESKS. When I finally pulled the DES I could see RENOWN and the jig was up with KICK THE CAN.

Here's my cranberry story: Like many, we grew up with cranberry from the can and it was served in the shape of the can. Nobody thought this was weird. When I brought my future wife to her first Thanksgiving with us, she was helping with meal prep and took a fork to the cranberry cylinder, ya know, to make it look not like it came out of a can, and mom flipped out. We got through the incident, I got married to her, she's by far the best cook I've ever met, and we have homemade cranberries with orange in it these days.

PAPAW is winning lately.

Tee-Hee: He-Double Toothpicks-NO. Those crazy cats down at crossword central. Melpomene leaves such tragedy in the souls of our lonely editors. So funny you might PEE yer pants.


1 Finances the end of human thought.
2 Potatoes, peas, some dough.
3 Bald ones explained why Mamma Mia wasn't as stupid as it seemed.
4 Hockey players see how high up the tree they can go.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: Probably two, piratewise. MACAW LIMIT.


Melrose 3:50 AM  

Easy except for SE corner, where I did exactly what Rex did, i.e. PHSTRIP and OPEN, took a while to move on from that.

Anonymous 4:21 AM  

Thx, efb ~RP

Anonymous 4:23 AM  

CO is no more embarrassing than anywhere else, man 😊 and it’s got mountains! ~RP

Lewis 6:05 AM  

@rex -- I had the exact same PHSTRIP / OPEN / SON jam-up, followed by a bail of same, then quickly redone with PORTAL.

Conrad 6:09 AM  

@Rex: Safe trip, good reunion and happy birthday!

I had all the same problems in the South as OFL: PH strip before SCALE, open before LEAD, etc. All of them, plus a few of my own. Aside from that a nice Turkey Day romp. Or for @okanaganer and our other Canadian friends, a nice month-and-a-half-after-Thanksgiving romp.

But I do have a couple of nits to pick with the theme, namely SAGE ADVICE (52D). In all the other themers the noun in a familiar phrase is reimagined as a verb (BANK ROLLS, TABLE WINE). But in that one the adjective SAGE is reincarnated as a noun, referring to the herb.

Also KICK THE CAN is nit-adjacent because no part of speech is reimagined as another, just the verb KICK reused as one of its own alternate meanings.

Adam 6:33 AM  

I also had the same PHSTRIP/OPEN/SON problem, same solution except I started with Jessica ALBA. As soon as I dropped EWERS I anticipated a complaint about crosswordese, but nothing? You're mellowing, @Rex. Easy, light Sunday.

Anonymous 6:54 AM  

Great minds … ❤️ ~RP

Anonymous 6:54 AM  

Thx Conrad ~ RP

Lewis 7:17 AM  

So, in my pun hierarchy, there are eyerollers that I endure and quickly move forth from, then there are those that land, really land, and my whole being resonates with a “Yes!” and a “Bravo!”.

Today’s theme clue/answer set, taken as a whole, are of the latter variety – charming and witty, just right. Left me with a warm feeling, perfect for the upcoming holiday.

R&R have had one other NYT collaboration (9/20/22) where again, the theme clues/answers made the whole puzzle special. The theme answers were phrases consisting of a word repeated three times. Here’s one example: [Glutes developed while dancing at the Moulin Rouge?] for CANCANCAN. So, for me, they have a way with puns that make me glad that puns exist.

An R&R pun is a no-wince situation.

Also, just right in today’s puzzle, IMO, is the perfect-for-Sunday mix of clues. Plenty of easy footholds, but also plenty of can’t-slap-downs, like the is-it-a-verb-or-noun {Pluck] and [Entrance].

This puzzle left me with a done-just-right feeling, like the best Thanksgiving dinners. Rachel and Rebecca, your pairing produces puzzles with spark, puzzles made with a wink in the eye, and puzzles made with high craftsmanship. What a combo! Thank you for a sumptuous Sunday!

Son Volt 7:31 AM  

Very easy oversized grid. Straightforward theme - but an apt revealer and honoring my favorite holiday so I’ll take it. Some mid level trivia that fell flat and short on wordplay - musty crossword darlings EWERS and NASCENT show up. I liked SAGE ADVICE best - even though it strays thematically as the big guy points out.

The Feelies

Filled this one in without a hitch - but a pleasant Sunday morning solve nonetheless.

Have a wonderful week with your family Rex.


sf27shirley 7:33 AM  

Why is enter a bear market SAG?

SouthsideJohnny 7:40 AM  

Nice to sit down to an easy, breezy holiday-themed puzzle with accessible cluing - thanks to Rachel and Rebecca for a fine effort.

My mess came in the SW where ENOCH and NOCAP were DoA based on the clues and unfortunately KICK THE CAN just didn’t come together for me. I also fouled up the ENYA and ANYA section (that DEAL or no DEAL clue-thing didn’t help either).

I would really have enjoyed closing this one out unassisted - as I admire the R and R girls’ work so it would have been a privilege. Rebecca has been busy lately - I think she subbed for Evan Birnholz at WaPo last Sunday and this week she’s in the NYT with Rachel - so congratulations on that as well.

NYTom 7:47 AM  

Happy Birth-Giving, Rex! Glad you had a great puzzle for your sendoff.

Burghman 7:54 AM  

Maybe showing my age, but Sheen was my first Martin guess. Also had EPCOT first instead of RVLOT

mmorgan 8:09 AM  

Yes, crazy easy, and I was blasting through this at about 100 MPH, until I hit the bottom of the puzzle and came to a dead stop. It was right around the same area where Rex got held up. I just couldn’t, couldn’t get SHEPHERDS PIE but when it finally came, it was the biggest AHA! I had in the puzzle and is therefore my favorite themer. The others all came very quickly and I was like, okay, cute, fine. But SHEPHERDS PIE was great, maybe because it made me think of Sweeney Todd

“NO CAP”?? Okay, whatever, I’ll try to file that away but it’ll probably be passΓ© soon enough.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bob Mills 8:18 AM  

Got everything except the NE, because of two misdirects...PEE for "letter after cue," and GOOGLEAPPS for "research hors d'ouvres online.'"

The PEE clue is just awful, but the other one is worse. How are "apps" hors d'ouvves? Because "apps" is short for appetizers? `If so, that gets the award for dumbest clue of the year. If I went to a restaurant and asked a waiter to tell me what apps were recommended, I'd get a blank stare in return.

Otherwise, an enjoyable and well constructed puzzle

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

'SAG' is bear market because the graphical indexes (S&P 500, Dow, NASDAQ) turn down. They sag.
Easy puzzle for the most part. 20 minutes.

kitshef 8:23 AM  

Easy, but dull. An old theme type populated with crosswordese (ORCA, PANAM, ENYA, OVA, HEH, ALPO, ODES, SILO etc., etc.) and uninspired clueing.

A dull Sunday is always particularly disappointing, as it is rare for a Monday puzzle to really shine and turn things around.

While living near DC, I was once on vacation driving through Seward, AK, when a fireworks display started going off (it was July 4), so we pulled over to watch. There were people on the other side of the road watching from their hotel balconies and cheering. I turned around and looked at them, and recognized the brother of the man who was best man at our wedding, who lived in Massachusetts at the time. It remains one of the most unlikely things that’s ever happened to me.

Noamberg 8:44 AM  

Good luck on your trip to Colo.I got back from Denver Nov. 4th and got COVID. Just now starting to recover! Had a COVID Vaccine one month ago.

Joe Dipinto 8:46 AM  

Any self-professed film noir fan should know ELISHA Cook Jr., who played memorable secondary characters in "The Maltese Falcon", "The Big Sleep", and a number of other examples of the genre.

@Gary Jugert – we too always served the 0cean Spray cranberry sauce cylinder intact, and I always demanded to get the end slice which had the ripple impression made by the can lid. I thought it looked cool.

No cause for complaints about the puzzle. I don't think the themers needed to be entirely consistent in format, they all relate nicely to the "meal prep" idea.

The Little Shepherd

Colin 9:24 AM  

Wow, ALL great minds... SE corner with exactly what everyone else had (initially) held me up. Agree this was an easy, very pleasant solve. I thought Rex would be harsher about the "groaner"-type themers.

It's been an incredibly busy couple of weeks (e.g., out of town, etc.), hence my absence. I'm heading into Thanksgiving week with my first-ever case of COVID... Feels like a moderate cold, but it's lingering AND I've lost some sense of taste. Which would be nice to regain later this week!

pabloinnh 9:26 AM  

This was my kind of puzzle, with cool mellow puns, which is to say, no hot cross puns.


I'm feeling wicked smart because I wrote in PHSCALE right away and never thought of strip at all, which now that I think about it, maybe is more a sign of ignorance.

Thanksgiving always makes me wonder how my mother, working from a tiny kitchen, could produce such a great dinner. We always got a couple of folding tables and extra chairs from the church next door and often would have about twenty people and yet there was more than enough food and three kinds of pie and cookies for dessert. I think back and shake my head in awe.

Very nice and timely Sunday indeed, RG and RF. Really Got me Remembering Favorite Thanksgivings of days gone by, so thanks for that and all the pun fun.

Pete 9:44 AM  

CBS News Sunday Morning is now showing an extensive segment on PA[s]PAWs, and every sign, banner, any reference attest to the fact that it's PAW PAW not PAPAW. Apparently Jane Pauley is trolling Will Shortz. So much for Ross ever getting a puzzle published in the Times again. I had a paw paw recently, just because xwords made me want to actually taste one, and it was horrible mush. A medium sized $5.00 Paw Paw bunch of mush.

I'm calling the whole PHSCALE/ORCA/ fiasco that caught me too a White Gladis the ORCA who invented destruction.

Anonymous 9:49 AM  


Hellish corner, the NE. Those blanks could have been anything. Otherwise, fun and fair.

bocamp 9:50 AM  

THANKS, Rebecca & Rachel, BLESS you for this holiday feast! πŸ¦ƒ


Slow and steady got the job done.

Very enjoyable romp! :)

And, speaking of 'enjoy', have a wonderful time in Colorado with your fam @Rex! ⛰
Steve Mossberg's Sat. Stumper is a work in progress (prob the toughest one yet!). Balton & Stewart's NYT acrostic on the back burner.
Loving the NYT Connections game which, along with Duotrigordle, are my first two early morning puz challenges.
Peace πŸ•Š πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude & a DAP to all πŸ‘Š πŸ™

RooMonster 9:53 AM  

Hey All !
After completing the self-gratifying feat of last week's Sun-Sat all-puzs-correct sweep (albeit with some Googs in there...), got hit today with a FWE. Argh! In NE corner, where I was deciding twixt ECOLI and EbOLa, seeing as how both AbA, ACA, WaSP, WISP all seemed like they could've been correct. At least give me a clearer clue for WISP. Tendril? Oof.

Did anyone notice grid is only 20 wide? Guess too much Thanksgiving food is not that good. 😁

Nice puz. Enjoyed figuring out the puns. Neat grid layout, getting two Down Themers snuck in there to go with the Acrosses. Could have sneaked the two Long Downs in at 28, TO DO LISTS, and 62, SUPERHERO, as part of the theme in reference to Black Friday. You make the LIST, then have to fight mightily to get the deals.

UNSTOP quite the unusual word. Fell into the Short-STEVE trap, saying to myself as I wrote in Short, "Ha! That could be either one! I'll just wait and see." Also, oHos for AHAS, I know better by now to commit to either one.

I actually get a day off work Thursday! YAY ME! No pay, but hey, what ya gonna do?

Only 68 Blockers, light, even for a one-row-less grid.

Happy Sunday

One F (More Z's today!)

Nancy 9:55 AM  

Pleasantly unstressful -- leaving anyone who's beginning Thanksgiving prep early plenty of time to get on with it. The density of the theme answers, which go in both directions, is quite impressive. But no solver's brain is likely to be unduly taxed, I should think.

This means of course (pun intended) that the theme clues are very fair.

But there were two big "Huh??"s for me. One is NO CAP. Can the NYT please stop with the self-consciously youth-y, trying-too-hard-to-be-"with-it" slang? You are the Gray Lady and you will be thus until the end of time. DEAL with it. Have some dignity.

Which brings me to my second "Huh?" What are those strange markings at 121A that produce an answer of DEAL? Beats me.

Though easy, this puzzle produced some write-overs for me. UNclog before UNSTOP. PH SCore before PH SCALE. And I tried both TAiwan and TAipei before TAHITI -- but that's completely on me. My knowledge of geography sucks.

A capable, well-made puzzle that fit the occasion very well.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

I just have to put my irk on record: To “Bid first” is to “open”. To play the first card is to “lead”. That clue is simply wrong.

Beezer 10:05 AM  

Nice puzzle and spent most of the time at the end sorting out the mess I made with POPtoptab before I finally figured out POPBOTTLE. I LAWAYS get messed up when they relate POP to the Midwest because I live in the Midwest and rarely hear people say POP…at least in my neck of the woods.

@Gary Jugert, I laughed out loud at your wife’s cranberry faux pas! The first Thanksgiving I hosted for my husbands family I made real cranberries AND giblet gravy. Neither were touched. I got the message and just decided there were two less things I had to worry about for future Thanksgivings.

Susan Kendrat 10:09 AM  

I enjoyed it! Yes, it was easy but I giggled over the themes. Plus, it left me plenty of time to plan my Thanksgiving APPS and make my cranberry sauce from scratch. Never heard of NOCAP but I am old. I notice I tend to enjoy the puzzles constructed by women the most. Keep 'em coming ladies!

Sam 10:11 AM  

If you were in a restaurant and asked about the apps they would immediately tell you about the appetizers without a second thought

Willy Nilly 10:27 AM  

@Nancy 9:55
The " ___?" " ___!" thing is DEAL because after negotiating with someone about buying/doing/being allowed, you ask "DEAL?", and they say "DEAL!", usually with a handshake

And it's hard to imagine you never having heard of the Hamburger from yesterday's puzzle. Did you never have a TV as a kid?

Anonymous 10:42 AM  

Yup, dnf because of that same area.

kitshef 11:06 AM  

@Willy Nilly 10:27-

The Hamburglar debuted in 1971, well past 'kid'-hood for fair number of our contributors.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Shepherds Pie is made from meat so clearly not a dessert

Niallhost 11:12 AM  

Done in 20. Way too easy. Had Biel before ALBA, aLSo before ELSE, Sheen before STEVE but all very fixable with crosses. Miss the days when Sunday was a challenge.

Jim in Canada 11:14 AM  

APPS are short for APPetizers, and I have no doubt that there are places that call them that. Or maybe they did before it became the go-to- short form of APPLications.

In Canada, we call them "appies" but APPS wasn't to far off-base.

Jim mcdougall 11:22 AM  

My wife has 9 siblings good Irish Catholic family of Murphys. They love cranberry with turkey..has to be Oceanspray whole berry except for one bro in law..his has to OSpray jellied..hence both kinds at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.. very discerning palates!! Happy Thanksgiving you all from Prince Edward Island!

Eh Steve! 11:56 AM  

Had the same problems with PHSTRIP and OPEN, but other than that this was a nice easy Sunday puzzle to accompany my coffee.

BIEL and ALBA are always a kealoa to me because I have no idea what either has been in.

Ken Freeland 11:59 AM  

Ditto... absolutely unworkable in "PPP corner".. PHStrip a much more satisfying answer than PHSCALE

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

LOL Ive seen roughly two dozen EC Jr movies. No idea how he slipped my mind! ~RP

Teedmn 12:00 PM  

My trouble spot also came at the PH SCALE area, mostly due to misremembering the candy as REISEr, making RENOWN impossible and blocking everything else. (NO CAP? Wha?). I don't even remember what finally gave me the answer to finish down there but I laughed when KICK THE CAN showed up. My family also served the cranberry sauce in the can shape, with a couple of slices pre-sliced before bringing it to the table. I've shown a couple of people the cool hack of how to get the sauce out in one piece by putting a hole in one end before opening the other end. Works like a charm.

Except for TABLE WINE, which I found ho-hum, I loved these puns and smiled as each filled in. Thanks, Rebecca and Rachel, nice job!

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

If anyone feels like getting worked up over Naticky things, head on over to the Sunday WaPo puzzle by Kate Chin Park.

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

If you steer the dessert cart (which carries pies) you’re shepherding the pies

jb129 12:17 PM  

I'm sure there will be those who will say "it was too easy." But I really enjoyed it & thought it was totally appropriate for the holiday.

Thank you ladies for this fun, enjoyable Sunday & have a great Thanksgiving!

You too Rex!

Anonymous 12:18 PM  

Anyone cross RENOWN with newsROOMS?

Anonymous 12:30 PM  

πŸ™ ~RP

Sandy McCroskey 12:33 PM  

Didj'all know there are also towns named Dublin and Toledo in… IOWA?
Finished the top left last!

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Wow. I expected Rex to be brutal with this one. So quick, so uninspired. I guess you never know.

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

NOCAP is fine if someone would explain what it actually stands for. Please?

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

I saw Rachel Fabi and thought oh how he will gush…but truth is for the first time you did not gush ENOUGH ! i don’t read constructor name till it is over and then I read you…I can honestly say I have never enjoyed a puzzle more! EVER ! Just excellent! So Rachel and friend…many thanks and Happy Turkey , just excellent ! (Sorry I forgot the friends name )

Anonymous 12:39 PM  

Rebecca Goldstein !!! Sorry my bad…excellent job !

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

@Anon 10:05 - Maybe, just maybe, they're not referring to bridge here. By being the first one to bid at an auction you LEAD the bidding.

A PHSCALE measures precisely nothing while a PHSTRIP does. That's like saying Fahrenheit measures temperature. A thermometer measures temperature, in can be expressed in Fahrenheit or Celsius or Kelvin, but none of those things measure anything.

nyciita 12:56 PM  

Thoroughly enjoy that, but NOCAP killed me. Even after I filled it in, I was staring at it thinking "That's not a word." Still confused after reading Rex's write up, I finally swallowed my pride and asked my teenager to explain it to me. In between his peels of laughter at my rather antiquated association with modern culture, I finally kinda, sorta, vaguely got it. I'm glad I could make his day. I feel old!

Masked and Anonymous 1:16 PM  

20x21 Thanksgivin mealtheme puz. Nice job, except for the crucial ...

… missin essential DRESSINGFORDINNER.

Fairly smoooth solvequest, other than it put up a fight, when U wanted to build on yer filled-in NW stuff, transitionin over next-door to the NE. Really had to either big-loop around, or [as M&A did] re-boot with PEE.

staff weeject pick ergo = PEE = {Letter before cue and after lotsa TABLEWINE}.

some fave stuff: LILNASX + NASCENT. POPBOTTLE/BOP. ODES's {Love lines?} clue, which sucked M&A into writin in IDOS there. Lost precious nanoseconds.

Thanx for the fun givins, Ms. Goldstein & Fabi darlins. And for gangin up on us again, of course. And please don't forget the dressin. Yams is optional, tho.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Alice Pollard 1:20 PM  

I have to get REkNOWN out of my mind. it is not a word. RENOWN is. I get up early to do the hardcopy Sunday puzzle, before anyone is up and leisurely take my time solving with a cup of coffee or two. I am not a speed demon and never try to be but especially on Sundays. This puzzle was falling so easily I stopped for a while and read the paper. It was just too quick. Spelled SHEPERDSPIE and VISE wrong initially... those were my only write overs. I did enjoy the puzzle though. was just going too quickly

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

Didn’t know ANYA or ENYA,and didn’t help that I had zest instead of ZEAL

Georgia 2:36 PM  

SW almost did me in and I knew Enoch Pratt .... cause I live in Baltimore.

Anonymous 2:58 PM  

Not sure that I agree with the clueing for 19 across. "Bris" is a Yiddishism to refer to the Hebrew "Brit Milah" ceremony and while the term "brit" means covenant in Hebrew, I'm not so sure that one can say the same for "bris" in Yiddish. Rather than meaning just "covenant", I think that "bris" implies more than that, i.e. it refers to ritual of circumsion itself.

Anonymous 3:24 PM  

ENYA is in there alot. ANYA Is too, I thought ANnA at first.

Anonymous 3:42 PM  

I don't understand why NO CAP was clued that way. We need to stop clueing AAVE words and phrases as "slang" or with any generational reference. It is AAVE and should be clued as such.

thefogman 4:50 PM  

What have they done with the real Rex? I thought this one had one or two good themers but the rest were groaners at best.

Carola 5:58 PM  

I wish making Thanksgiving dinner were as easy and fun as this puzzle and could also be accomplished while sitting comfortably in an armchair. TALK TURKEY as the centerpiece was great, especially as it was flanked by the other TWO essentials, the SAGE-associated dressing and the GRAVY. I liked the ROLLS and the non-CANned cranberries on the edge of the plate. Re: APPS - why take up space that will later be needed for PIE?

@bocamp, good luck finishing the Stumper!

Anonymous 6:04 PM  

Thank you!

Social Media Glossary 6:41 PM  

"Cap" and "no cap" originated in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and are used to indicate when someone is lying or telling the truth, respectively. The term "cap" refers to a lie or falsehood, while "no cap" means "no lie" or "for real." The origins of the term are uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in hip-hop culture and then spread to other aspects of African American culture before being adopted by mainstream culture.

In modern-day usage, "cap" is often used as a verb or an adjective to describe something as fake or dishonest. For example, someone might say "He's capping" to mean "He's lying" or "That story is cap" to mean "That story is fake".

Conversely, "no cap" is used to indicate that someone is being truthful or sincere. For example, someone might say "No cap, that's the best burger I've ever had" to mean "I'm being serious, that's the best burger I've ever had."

Anonymous 7:33 PM  

I think Rex meant the contemporary abbreviation “apps”
was not used for Thanksgiving dinner (?).
I don’t use it for food but I am sure many now use it all the time

Anonymous 7:41 PM  

The DOW sagged and is in a bear market.

dgd 7:43 PM  

Sheen was my first guess also!

Anonymous 7:44 PM  

Yep. Most restaurant workers know this is what they are referred to. No cap.

Anonymous 7:45 PM  

It’s fairly recent but app for food is in common use now.

Anonymous 8:27 PM  

Clearly CAP and no CAP meaning lie and no lie arose among African Americans. A source below says that cap arose among rappers spread to Black Americans in general and then to most (young) Americans as a whole. This is a very common pattern for contemporary slang. Once the term went beyond AAVE speakers, it became slang also. A word can be labeled both AAVE and slang. If the clue used the term AAVE that would make it more difficult because most people don’t know the term.
Example. When the English borrowed a French word “palais” years ago and used it as an old slang term for dance hall the word was both standard French and English slang.

Anonymous 9:28 PM  

Can anyone explain the "nail biters, for short" clue? Originally went with "OCD" but I'm struggling to understand the intended anwer.

Anonymous 10:56 PM  

OTS = Short for OverTimeS, when a fan might bite their nails in anticipation of a win/loss.

Anonymous 11:36 PM  

Apps= appetizers!

Anonymous 11:39 PM  

Completely agree about the Times trying to use modern slang to appeal to Gen X, Z etc. and pop hip hop references as well.

Anonymous 11:39 PM  

It’s very APT that you bring up the 9/20/22 puzzle, because it included another mention of Alexander Graham Bell. The clue for APT was “Like the name Bell for the inventor of the telephone.”

Anonymous 11:43 PM  

Overtime, in sports

jae 12:12 AM  

@anon 9:28 - When a football game, for example, goes into OverTime (OT) it is pretty tense, hence a nail biter. So OTS are nail biters.

johnk 10:26 AM  

Took the day off yesterday and solved this morning. For once, my experience closely echoed Rex's. Started with OPEN instead of LEAD. That lead to PH STRIP and...

Zev Waldman 11:56 AM  

Choppy 16x15 grid but easy-medium solve, came in about 15 seconds under average. Saw the theme only at the end, and it didn't do much for me during the solve. Didn't know the greek letter ordering but luckily saved by crosses so not slowed too much.

LorrieJJ 3:18 PM  

I give up ... in 111d, why is "Nye" the answer to "It ends when 1/1 begins"?

Anonymous 3:19 PM  

I am certain is was PEALS of laughter

Anonymous 6:43 PM  

New year's eve

Anonymous 6:59 PM  

New Year's Eve ends

spacecraft 11:35 AM  

I'm so full of turkey by now that this thing did not appeal. It was a good puzzle, as far as it goes, but I'm beginning to gag. The curse of the Syndilander. But hey, give the girls a birdie.

wordle birdie.

Anonymous 2:11 PM  

@Bob Mills 8:18am :
In fact some restaurants use the word apps instead of appetizers on their menus.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

@Anonymous 12:18pm :

Diana, LIW 5:16 PM  

As always, I said yippie for EPEE when it appeared. What would a week be without several EPEEs, EWERs, or ETUIs? Eh?

Fairly smooth sailing - only a few times I even had to change an answer (ie CHOOSES or ASDOI from metoo.

Good way to end the week and start a Sunday morn.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 10:39 PM  

Jessica ALBA, YES.
Wordle par.

Beatie O' Connell 1:09 PM  

Hi, Rex Parker: In Google APPS, "Apps" is short for appetizers, I think!

lynnoo 12:13 AM  

Elisha Cook Jr is a clue we used to see in the TV Guide crossword all the time.

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