Bladderball players, historically / FRI 1-19-24 / World capital since 1971 / What U.P.S. routes tend to avoid / Subjects of the 2019 Pulitzer-winning novel "The Overstory" / Launchpad for many comics, in brief

Friday, January 19, 2024

Constructor: Jacob McDermott

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Thomas Campion (44D: "Follow THY Fair Sun" (Thomas Campion poem)) —
[Perfect, thanks, Google]
Thomas Campion
 (sometimes spelled Campian; 12 February 1567 – 1 March 1620) was an English composer, poet, and physician. He was born in London, educated at Cambridge, studied law in Gray's inn. He wrote over a hundred lute songsmasques for dancing, and an authoritative technical treatise on music. [...] While Campion had attained a considerable reputation in his own day, in the years that followed his death his works sank into complete oblivion. No doubt this was due to the nature of the media in which he mainly worked, the masque and the song-book. The masque was an amusement at any time too costly to be popular, and during the Commonwealth period it was practically extinguished. The vogue of the song-books was even more ephemeral, and, as in the case of the masque, the Puritan ascendancy, with its distaste for all secular music, effectively put an end to the madrigal. Its loss involved that of many hundreds of dainty lyrics, including those of Campion, and it was due to the work of A. H. Bullen (see bibliography), who first published a collection of the poet's works in 1889, that his genius was recognised and his place among the foremost rank of Elizabethan lyric poets restored. (wikipedia)

• • •

This one got off to a very bad start with me, as I cannot adequately express how much I do not care about and am not curious about the lore and practice and general behavior of YALIES, who have, historically, been overrepresented in the crossword, compared to other institutions of higher learning, to an absolutely absurd degree. YALIE YALIES ELI ELIS ELIHU OLDELI BOOLA LUX (et Veritas) and on and on, seemingly. So ... Bladderball? I have no &^$%ing clue. I assume it's something embarrassing like Quidditch. The name itself is something someone should've changed a long time ago. I know and admire and even love many people who have attended Yale, but dear god please stop making me know things about Yale. So, right from 1-Across (1A: Bladderball players, historically), it's a NO(-NO) from me. OK OK? No, it is not OK (OK)? But then things got better. I do not know if that is how I would spell "LOOKIE HERE!" or if I could spell "LOOKIE HERE!" at all, but I like the bounce of the phrase, and I also like that it feels like a rejected revealer for *yesterday's* puzzle (LOOK! "IE" HERE!). Also recalling yesterday's puzzle: HIHOS, LOL! Ask for the bygone cracker spelling, get the bygone cracker spelling! The next day! Maybe OOXTEPLERNON (the God of Short Bad Fill) actually does answer prayers. Oh Great One, please, hear me out about the Yale stuff, for god's (your?) sake! Amen.

Follow Thy Fair Sun

Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow, 
Though thou be black as night 
And she made all of light, 
Yet follow thy fair sun unhappy shadow. 

Follow her whose light thy light depriveth, 
Though here thou liv’st disgraced, 
And she in heaven is placed, 
Yet follow her whose light the world reviveth. 

Follow those pure beams whose beauty burneth, 
That so have scorched thee, 
As thou still black must be, 
Till Her kind beams thy black to brightness turneth. 

Follow her while yet her glory shineth, 
There comes a luckless night, 
That will dim all her light, 
And this the black unhappy shade divineth. 

Follow still since so thy fates ordained, 
The Sun must have his shade, 
Till both at once do fade, 
The Sun still proved, the shadow still disdained. (1601) (
Once I got out of the NW (the ELIS to ERTES (ugh) stretch). Things were noticeably more pleasant. I like the juxtaposition of AHAMOMENT and "DUH!" although I do call foul on the clue for "DUH!" which very much screams "D'OH!" (25D: Cry that might accompany a forehead slap). If headslaps are involved, I assume "D'OH!" not "DUH." "D'OH" is much more self-accusatory. "DUH!" might be as well, but unlike "D'OH!" it's often turned outward, toward another dummy besides yourself. I had "D'OH!" there, locked in, and that created the one real sticking point in the puzzle (didn't help that it was located right at the passageway into the entire SE section—had to go all the way around from and come at that section from below. MULCH "DUH" LIBRA was the last set of answers to go in. My favorite section was probably the SW, because the longer answers both had something special going for them. KINDA SORTA is just fun, so that one's got fun going for it. And STAYCATION, while it doesn't move me as much as an answer, per se, does have a fantastic clue today (59A: Break in?). If you take a "break" "in" your own home ... STAYCATION! Nice, clean, compact misdirection there. STAYCATION also makes a nice echo of its near-symmetrical counterpart, "HOME AT LAST!" If the couch is your favorite place, this is the puzzle for you!

Beyond the "DUH" / "D'OH" confusion, I didn't have any mistakes besides AGED for FIRM (57D: Like cheddar, but not brie, an error I made because I couldn't get the help I needed from the first-letter cross, 56A: What U.P.S. routes tend to avoid (LEFTS). I had no idea!. I was like "... LEAFS? LEDGE? LEAKS?" Do they "avoid" them or just "minimize" them? Can you really have an entire U.P.S. route with no LEFTS? Are the brown trucks really that cumbersome? I'm much more curious about U.P.S. lore and practice than I am about Yale, that's for sure.

  • 17A: World capital since 1971 (DOHA) — I had no idea its capital status was so young. Admittedly, I don't think a lot about DOHA. In fact, it's possible I wouldn't think about it at all, or even know of its existence, were it not for crosswords. This is true of much of the world. Is OSLO even real?
  • 23A: Grand ___, town in Nova Scotia that's a UNESCO World Heritage Site (PRÉ) — biggest "???" in the grid for me, by far. This is a prefix dressed up in geographical costume. The name translates to "Great Meadow," and wikipedia has it as hyphenated ("Grand-PRÉ"). 

During the French and Indian War (the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War), the Acadians were expelled from Grand-Pré during the Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755). There were various British soldiers who kept a journal of the deportation from Grand-Pré such as Lt. Col. John Winslow and Jeremiah Bancroft. The site of Grand-Pré during the expulsion was later immortalized by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with his epic poem Evangeline.

Acadians from Grand Pré were dispersed in many locations and some eventually returned to other parts of the Canadian Maritimes such as Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. Many Acadians expelled from the Grand-Pré area eventually settled in the New England States and travelling overland to South Louisiana in the United States after being dropped on the Atlantic coast. In Louisiana, the term Cajun evolved from the name Acadian. (wikipedia) (my emph.)

  • 41A: Subjects of the 2019 Pulitzer-winning novel "The Overstory" (TREES) — my wife really loved this book and keeps telling me to read it. I keep putting it off. I don't know why. Maybe it's the pre-existing mountain of books that is my To Be Read Pile.
  • 16D: Antlered animals (ELKS) — never budging from my contention that the plural of ELK is ELK.
  • 11D: Good speller? (MAGE) — because a mage casts spells...
  • 29A: Galactic scale? (LIBRA) — because LIBRA is the "scales" sign of the zodiac, and also a constellation (hence part of the "galaxy"?) 
  • 64A: Brews (STEEPS) — I'm a coffee drinker, as I believe I've (frequently) mentioned, but I just subscribed to a newsletter about tea called "Leafhopper" by Max Falkowitz, and I love it. It is beautifully, nerdily, warmly obsessive about all aspects of the tea world, from cultivation to drinking. Highly recommended (by me as well as Helen Rosner, the New Yorker food writer from whom I found out about it). Now it's time for my coffee...
See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Howard Schubiner 5:45 AM  

Loved the long answers today. U.P.S. routes are designed to save tons of gas by avoiding left hand turns with require more waiting time due red lights.

Sam 5:47 AM  

Also DOH before DUH

Anonymous 5:48 AM  

Was fully expecting ENDOFRANT after the discussion of the NW corner. :) But thank you for sharing the poem, a nice palate cleanser. I too enjoyed the rest of the puzzle much more.

Bob Mills 6:00 AM  

Finished it without cheating, using trial-and-err0r in the SW. STAYCATION sounds like the opposite of VACATION, but it doesn't seem to fit the clue.

I didn't know the Honda model was a FIT (I own a CIVIC), but I guessed right on LOOKIEHERE and that gave it to me. A lot of hard work, but worth it.

Conrad 6:01 AM  

On the easy side of Easy-Medium for a Friday.

Had no idea about bladderball, got ELIS from crosses.
shea before ASHE for the stadium at 12D (at least they're anagrams; I shouldda picked up on the lack of "bygone" in the clue)
cr-v before FIT for the Honda at 22A
@Rex D'oH before DUH at 25D
THe before THY for the Campion quote at 44D (thinking "How else do you clue 'the' on a Friday?"

YTT 6:05 AM  

I went to Yale and I have no idea about "bladderball." Never heard of it. But I wasn't very BOOLA BOOLA about the whole experience.

I was wondering if there was a bit of a tea theme - INHOTWATER, STEEPS, SOAK. But I guess it's a stretch.

Not only did I also like STAYCATION but I knew you would like it and was pleased I was right.

Got HARD instead of FIRM for the cheddar and I call foul on that clue - HARD cheese is an actual thing, while FIRM, as applied to cheese, is merely a description.

Thank you for posting the Thomas Campion poem!

Danny 7:09 AM  

“The Overstory” is always one of my recommendations to others. I’ve read it many times. Richard Powers is a brilliant author, though some of his other works are less user-friendly.

kitshef 7:13 AM  

I took an extra minute to think about LOBRA, checking every cross and mentally running the alphabet for each one, and still missed LIBRA for the DNF.

Once again, a tough Friday which will likely be followed by an easy Saturday. In addition to the hard cluing, this one also had a very segmented grid so that there was no flow from one region to the next. Played like 4 1/2 separate puzzles.

Son Volt 7:19 AM  

Similar to the big guy - other than 1a liked this one fine. A couple of AHA MOMENTS parsing the colloquial phrases - always love HOME AT LAST and BALSAM.

One of Canada’s finest

A few oddball plurals with ERTES, OINKS and HI HOS. Don’t like SMELL TEST or KINDA SORTA. TMI again - it’s becoming lazy fill but at least it’s crossed with THEOREMS.

Enjoyable Friday morning solve to go with the cold snow and hot Peet’s.

This is the SEA

SouthsideJohnny 7:25 AM  

As easy-breezy a Friday as I have ever solved (except of course for stuff like ERTES, which I will always need crosses for). Nice to have most everything be in my (admittedly undersized) wheelhouse for a change.

I pierced together CHAIN STORE from the crosses, and I get that a CHAIN STORE can be a David vs. a Goliath (thank you, Meg Ryan) - although I don’t understand why there is a blank space in the clue. Sorry, but David:: CHAIN STORE: Goliath just doesn’t register with me. Also, does anyone have any thoughts as to why there are two colons (“::”) after David in the clue ? If that is a crossword convention of which I am unaware, I would welcome being enlightened so I can add that to my “things I need to look out for” list.

I feel bad for Rex, who has his solving experience deteriorate due to the presence of a college (and it wasn’t even Harvard , for heaven’s sake). My solving experience tends to go south when I bump into cryptic themes, arcane answers, trivia, foreign crap that’s not “common usage” like Shortz alleges, and of course the pure gibberish that the NYT so frequently invites to the party. I just can not imagine living in the rarefied air of RexWorld where ELI is any cause for consternation.

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

Anyone else raise an eyebrow at the IMSET/IMIN repeat? ATIT/LETITRIDE?

JJK 7:33 AM  

I agree with Rex’s assessment of the puzzle, including his little RANT about all things Yale. I went to Wesleyan and although much smaller, believe me we looked down our noses at Yale - a bunch of stuffy preppies.

A breezy Friday for me, with a few sticking points. I got tangled up in the NW, with crv before FIT (my parents had a FIT, basically a tin can on wheels, but reliable!) and both LOOKIEHERE and INHOTWATER being hard to come by. Also had some initial trouble in the SE since I also had DoH, then HIyaS, and HangONASEC. So, a muddle, but I managed to extricate myself. And quite enjoyed the puzzle. Oh, also HARD before firm for the cheddar. One says hard cheese.

JustJim 7:54 AM  

Never commented before, always lurked. Feel compelled to explain Bladderball. I graduated Yale in 78, by which time Bladderball was banned. But it was happening in 76, and consisted of a large leathery inflated ball of roughly six feet in diameter being released in the Old Campus quadrangle whereupon loosely grouped teams representing the residential colleges commenced a scrum to bounce/lift the ball skywards.
Bladderball took place on a Saturday of a home football game, and participants began the day with “Bladderdrivers” (read screwdrivers) to lubricate the proceedings. Unfortunately, the Bladderball was bounced over the High Street gate and made its way down Elm, where in chasing it some overly enthusiastic Elis swarmed over the parked cars lining the street, denting hoods and roofs. Yale shut it down and there was no contest the next year…or ever.
I know that’s TMI for you, Rex, but there you have it.

W.B Waddell 8:01 AM  

It is true that UPS claims to save more that a million gallons of fuel per year by ensuring that up to 90% of the turns taken by trucks are right turns, dramatically reducing the inefficiency of sitting in traffic while waiting to take left turns.

Of course, what UPS doesn't tell you is the increased consumption of gas by other vehicles as they negotiate their way around UPS trucks live-parked in the street, often closing an entire lane, and sometimes temporarily turning two-way streets into one-way streets.

So at least some of those savings are offset by the transfer of increased fuel consumption and cost to others through the very common practice of "live-parking" delivery trucks in the middle of traffic.

Twangster 8:01 AM  

Missed opportunity to reference Steely Dan's "Home at Last."

thfenn 8:03 AM  

Even with WATER and RANT I couldn't wrap up the NW until the very end, mainly because I was sure it was the Inca playing bladderball and thought nowseeHERE worked just fine. That was tough. Like @YTT (and am sure others), haRd before FIRM needed a fix late in the game. I also HITASNAG going with Boughs before BALSAM and superSTORE before CHAIN. Would add LETITRIDE crossing SMELLTEST to some of the fun juxtapositions. But mainly it's Friday and I wrapped up the puzzle having fun instead of cheating, so all good. Plus it's snowing again!

Dr.A 8:05 AM  

@Rex you did it again, Full on belly laughs over the whole DOHA thing.
Anyhoo, what is up with that David ____ Goliath clue? I got it, but I don’t get it.
And yes DUH was supposed to be DOH. Agree 100%

Rug Crazy 8:06 AM  

Galactic scale? (LIBRA) -great
End of Rant - no so much

Lewis 8:08 AM  

Sweet question-mark clues, my two favorites being [Break-in?] for STAYCATION and [Galactic scale?] for LIBRA

Sweet first-time NYT answers, bringing freshness, my three favorites being HOME AT LAST, LOOKIE HERE, and MOVIE DEAL. (By the way, HOME AT LAST has appeared in other venues, and a terrific clue for it, from Cameron Austin Collins, was [Return address?]).


Sweet book, “The Overstory” – a rich slice of life and the world, beautifully written.

Sweet solve for me, a lovely mix of pauses and Mazda moments (Zoom-Zoom).

A puzzle I left with an “Ahh” and a contented smile, that is, a splendid outing. Thank you for this, Jacob.

Mark 8:13 AM  

Bladderball must have made a comeback, as I played (very briefly—it was terrifying) in the last sanctioned game in 1982.

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

Objecting to clue for 63A - ‘God in the Marvel Universe’. Google tells me that Ares has appeared as a character
in Marvel comics, but is much better known to me as a major antagonist in Wonder Woman comics (and movies) and thus the clue, unless it was meant to deliberately obfuscate, should be ‘God in the DC Universe’. Apologies for nerdiness in advance.

mmorgan 8:18 AM  

I’m all for DUH and have never been a fan of D’OH, though I know it has some pop culture cachet. I’ve been to Doha, at least the airport. (Oslo too! They’re both real.) I had underWATER for a long time, which messed me up until I got to IN HOT. Also top for CAP, ditto. Bladder ball sounds gross. But I really liked this puzzle.

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

Easiest Friday in a while. Wednesdayish.

Chris 8:23 AM  

"Galactic scale" is a fantastic clue for LIBRA!

The question about UPS routes was a complete head-scratcher for me as well, until I had filled in enough crosses to make it fall into place -- which was a forehead-slapping DUH moment. I didn't realize that UPS planned things that way, but in retrospect, it makes sense and is one of those fascinating bits of trivia that makes crossword puzzles rewarding.

All in all, a very enjoyable outing.

Jim in Canada 8:33 AM  

About that UPS clue involving LEFTS, two things to know (and the second one is something that the NYT and Rex should remember)...
[1] it's true that UPS did a study to see if eliminating left turns would save time/money/fuel. It's true that they they shared the results of that study with the drivers and asked us (I was a driver for 30 yrs) to reduce the number of lefts we did every day. It's absolutely NOT true that routes were designed or re-designed to avoid them. There are no "routes" there are just "areas". Drivers don't go to the same places every day like mail carriers do, since not everyone gets a package every day. There are no set routes, you have a section of town and you deliver it how you see fit (although tech coming up after I retired limits the driver's choices now, I believe)
[2] UPS never, ever, ever should be spelled "U.P.S." with periods. Ever. The name of the company used to be United Parcel Service, but in 2003 they had a big push to highlight other services they offer beyond package delivery, so they changed the name to UPS which (according to them) doesn't stand for anything. Legally, they are listed as "UPS dba United Parcel Service" because reasons, but the name of the company is just UPS.

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

Took far too long in the ENE because I had BOUGHS for “Christmas wreath material” and SUPERSTORE for the analogy.

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

Eli here (cringing at this term I've never used outside puzzles, certainly not for myself.) Bladderball was way before my time but did persist in memory. The wikipedia article about the sport is awesome, and also cites a "bladderball historian" which is not a field of study I was aware of. Worth a read if you're not allergic to undergrad hijinks.

DrBB 8:42 AM  

I think I learned about the UPS LEFTS thing from Myth Busters a while back. Left turns frequently involve waiting for traffic to clear, no right-on-red at traffic lights, etc. Apparently they did some studies and found it was more efficient in time and gas mileage to take a longer route in order to avoid them. I assume this is a statistical thing that only works at scale, not so much for the individual driver? Got to go google that episode.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

“Follow Thy Fair Sun” sounds like a quick synopsis of Professor Snape’s unrequited love of Lily Potter.

SarahP 8:51 AM  

And it's yet another puzzle by a male constructor. It's becoming egregious.

There was an excellent puzzle by Wyna Liu in the New Yorker this week. Why not in the NYT--one might wonder.

Scott White 8:55 AM  

Honda no longer makes the Fit.

RooMonster 9:00 AM  

Hey All !
C'mon Rex, you missed a perfect opportunity to end your Yale screed with END OF RANT! 😁

Had MAGi until the very end, got down to SLU_/_iED. Said, "Unsure about SLUR, but MAGi could be MAGE, which would make REED, which seems right", so I threw in the RE, and got the Happy Music!

Good Themeless. I'm more a Themed puz guy. But, a good Themeless is still OKOK to solve.

NONO and OKOK close in NW corner. Feature, or bug?

Today's fill seems ripe for a @Gill story. I know she usually only does MonPuzs, but...

Happy Friday everybody!

Two F's

JonnyZ 9:01 AM  

On the whole I loved this puzzle. But maybe only KINDASORTA. Looked at MAGE for a good long time. It’s the singular of Magi? Is that the trick? Had HOLDONESEC for HOLDONASEC just because I can never remember that STAT thing. People actually say that?

egsforbreakfast 9:10 AM  

My new leather bondage jacket is a mess, ever since the CHAINSTORE it.

I got rejected by the army. My vision and hearing were fine, but I didn't pass the SMELLTEST.

I just glad for @Anoa Bob's sake that ARES wasn't clued as "First person plurals of is".

Fun enough. Thanks, Jacob McDermott.

Nancy 9:19 AM  

This has been my DOH HO HO week.

A day or two ago I wrote in HOHOHO instead of HEIGHHO.

Today I wrote in HOHO instead of HIHO.

This meant that I HIT A SNAG at 29D where I had LOBRA and couldn't make any sense of it.


And then -- ACK!!! -- I also had ACh. And I had no idea what the 4-letter diet beginning with "H" was.

HOLD ON A SEC. No EVIL LAUGHS, please. We all have our DOH days.

I did learn that UPS tends to avoid LEFTS -- a clue that baffled me for the longest time. Question: How on earth do they do that?

Also: I do not recognize TATER TOTS as something worthy of being called a "side dish". I consider "hash browns" or "baked stuffed" as worthy of being called a side dish.

Conclusion: For a fairly easy Friday, I made this puzzle harder for myself than it needed to be. Enjoyed it.

Anonymous 9:19 AM  

Yeah that bothered me too.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

The colons are conventional for expressing analogy. Mom-n-pop is to David as CHAIN STORE is to Goliath.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Two people have expressed confusion about the 30D clue — is the “Mom-and-pop shop” portion missing on some platforms maybe?

pabloinnh 9:25 AM  

Short (wrong) answers can certainly make long delays. Besides the DOH/DUH mix up, TOP for CAP in the SW rendered that indecipherable for far too long. See also LETIITRIDE. PRE, however, occurred to me instantly, from whence I know not.

I have ridden a fair distance in the back seat of a FIT, but advise against it. As for the Mercedes clue, I can never keep the classes straight. Have to check my garage.

The UPS discussion reminds me that they went on strike and achieved, among other things, air conditioning in their vans. Last summer I was talking to a USPS driver about how hot it was in his (white) delivery van, and he said that the UPS trucks were the absolute worst, "like driving a big oven on wheels".

Are TAERTOTS really fried? I always take them out of the freezer and bake them.

Really enjoyed your Friday offering, JMD. Jumpstarted My Day, and thanks for all the fun.

andrew 9:32 AM  

My mom, who died 2 years ago at age 97, always would call the local shipping store UPS. Not the initials (with or without periods) but UPS as in “I have had my UPS and DOWNS and ALL-AROUNDS” (P. Revere and Raiders)

After correcting her the first dozen times, just started calling it UPS myself (to her at least). Her UPS saves two syllables and has positive connotations.

Big UPS to her for creating such a time-saving pronunciation. But glad she didn’t ever call the post office USPS: distinguishing whether she said UPS or USPS when she wanted me to send something would have caused mass (mail) confusion.

Speaking of “mass male”, I now check to see likely gender of each day’s constructor. Apparently, Rex is now living rent-free in my head. (Fortunately, it’s a tiny space with many views he won’t like so I won’t charge him).

Sutsy 9:35 AM  

DNF. As an average joe, there was just too much fill I'd never heard of. ELIS, ERTES, DOHA, UTA, (Grand)PRE? My wife was born in Nova Scotia and had never heard of it.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

Devil ray was new for me, or at least I can’t remember it coming up in fill before. Not a hard fit so I just put it in with a shrug, but had to look it up afterwards. (It’s ray as in manta or sting)

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

It's not crossword-exclusive, but the format of "A : B :: C : D" is a kind of shorthand for "A is to B as C is to D"

Smith 9:48 AM  

Joining w/Mrs @Rex to highly recommend The Overstory! Still thinking differently about trees...

Easy side of medium for the puzzle. Briefly thought bigboxSTORE but of course it didn't fit. Mentally tried justASEC, waitASEC and gimmeASEC, not fitting, then HOLDitASEC before HOLDONASEC. Whew.
Like others DoH before DUH, but Mo___ took care of that.

Otherwise very whooshy.

burtonkd 9:51 AM  

Wyna Liu creates the NYT Connections puzzle every single day.

Anonymous 9:53 AM  

Stuck for a long time in the SE — I had THOR instead of ARES and ASAP instead of STAT almost the whole time. Once I realized that 58D could only be SPAS it still took me a while, since I’ve seen almost none by of the Marvel movies. BTW I’m a former ELI (1989) and had no idea that bladderball was even a thing — it had totally evaporated from student memory by the time I arrived in 1985.

Adrienne 9:55 AM  

I had ELKS at 1A (I don't know what those wild kids get up to in their lodges) before getting a chance to properly place it at 16D.

Tried SUEYS before getting OINKS from crosses. Turns out it's SOOEY or SOOIE...who knew-ie?

Also briefly dated a UPS driver so I know ALL ABOUT the lack of LEFTS in their routes.

Anonymous 9:56 AM  

1A ruined this for me. Right in the garbage

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

finding out bladderball ceased to be a thing in 1982 makes this even worse

Gary Jugert 10:13 AM  

I had a lovely time working on this one.


1 Pulling off your pants, flopping in your Archie Bunker chair, and yelling, "Get me a beer, woman."
2 Qatar cackles.
3 Fine, Lou's a loser.
4 Jubilation, for one with bipolarism.
5 January 18, 2024 at 7:37 am when I learned they're spelled with HEIGHs.
6 Courageous Quakers in a casino.
7 How to explain his obsession with skinny girls and dalmatians.
8 The fetal position covered in a blanket next to a bag of Cheetos and a warm beer.
9 Mars.
10 Members of a cult who like their tea to give them a hangover.
11 Judgy sounds from an audience to one being overly emotive.
12 Hollywood strategy to demonize the carb.
13 Potatoes for buglers.
14 "You might as well be massaged by a Scorpio."
15 One finding quarters in the ears of K-mart shoppers.
16 When her perfume reminds you of your ill-fated dalliance with her psycho roommate.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: Admired A-list academic. POSH PET PHD.


Son Volt 10:22 AM  

@Sarah 8:51a - perhaps she’s been too busy as the editor of the Connections puzzle for the Times.

Cliff 10:23 AM  

Like Rex, I wrote in DOH for the forehead slap clue, a better answer than DUH for sure. So, like Rex, I solved the SE from the bottom. But unlike Rex, I did not "lock it in" I wrote in DOH tentatively, bearing in mind that it could be DUH. So as soon as I got the H of 31D, I immediately saw MULCH. Fun solve today. Lots of bounce and colloquialisms.

Druid 10:28 AM  

Yes, Ares is in the DC World. The second mistake after d’uh.

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

Missed opportunity to reference "Let It Ride" by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Cliff 10:32 AM  

LEFTS came easy for me. I did not know this about UPS drivers, but it makes sense. When I did route work in a city dissected by a busy highway, left turns onto or off of the highway could consume several minutes in a day (not to mention the stress and frustration!!). So I always planned out my route avoiding left turns.

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Wouldn’t a better clue for “let it ride” be ‘Double a bet at the roulette table’? In my (perhaps upside down) mind, the answer to ‘Not be bothered by something’ should be “let it slide.”

Ray Yuen 10:39 AM  

Keto diets encourage eating lots of eggs. Fasting? That's is completely wrong. That's a shameful error.

bocamp 10:43 AM  

Thx Jacob for what looks to be an excellent challenge! 😊

Downs-o in progress; looking formidable, as none of the long downs seem inferable. 🤞
Also working on Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon's NYT cryptic.
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude & a DAP to all 👊 🙏

GILL I. 10:49 AM  

Bladderball? Is it so named because ELIS ELIminated waste... or did they have some sort of drainage problem?
Que strange for a name......
Moving on.
I really enjoyed this puzzle. In fact, I loved the puzzle. It was over too soon. I tried taking my time while watching "Doc Martin." It worked.
My difficulty only came to the SLUR and MAGE entry. The connecting REED made sense but MAGE? Isn't he/she a MAGi? The symbol on a score is a SLUR? Would the bladderball folks put in a SLUT? Leave that area and go fill in your MULCH.
I did.
END OF RANT? No RANT today. The fill was easy and fun.
I did stare at TATER TOTS. They would never grace my table as a side dish. A while back, a neighbor screamed at his wife (very loudly) because she forgot to buy her husband TATER TOTS for his Mac and Cheese dinner. I thought I'd try them and see if they were so good that a human being could scream for them. My thoughts were "How can you do this to the fantastic potato?" ACK. Even chef boyardee would have a conniption.
All of you are talking about UPS so I thought I'd just say that I make the best potato au gratin you'd ever want to eat.

Joe Dipinto 10:49 AM  

1A: Brazilian singer Regina

I liked this puzzle well enough, though it wasn't really a challenge. LOOKIE HERE was my first entry. DUH does not accompany a slapped forehead; it seems to me it's usually closer to deadpan than to dramatic.

8D: Actor Martin

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

Nice Friday puzzle with lots of wordplay possibilities and fresh answers, with not-too-hard clues. That's a good puzzle, even if not whooshie

We have a FIT in the family and if @pabloinnh can ride fair distances in back, he is a hobbit

Ando 11:05 AM  

I think the format of the analogy is wrong. In high school we learned that those questions are in the form of two relationships, each joined by a colon; you divined the first, then figured out the similar relationship for the second. A mom and pop store has no relationship to David; Goliath has the relationship to David. It should have been David:Goliath::Mom-and-pop store::________.

SusanA 11:19 AM  

Your column really made me laugh, thank you!

Stuart 11:20 AM  

Shouldn’t 30D be David : Goliath :: Mom-and-Pop : ____?

58A: “pronto” is more like ASAP. “Stat” means INSTANTLY, RIGHT THIS SECOND, not just “soon.”

Newboy 11:27 AM  

Nice Friday Jacob: UTA & ASHE almost did me in before I got started.

Hand up for the Simpson homage error of course. Also adding a vote for making The Overstory a required read for Rex. Others might enjoy it too.

Didn’t know about the UPS LEFT to turn right, but had heard stories about J. Edgar Hoover’s aversion to the practice, so it was an easy choice.

KINDA SORTA liked the homey BALM of this grid.

jberg 11:31 AM  

I was wily enough to leave 35-A at HI__S and wait for crosses, but I had no doubt about DoH at all, so I found myself wondering what a bed of MoLes would be like. A bed of mole would be some kind of dish in Oaxacan cuisine, but it doesn't really work with the plural. Finally I got HOLD ON A SEC and it all became clear.

I have come to accept that the puzzle thinks we should know car model names, but two in one puzzle is a bit much, IMO.

The founders of Harvard failed to think carefully when they picked names. Sure, you can get the occasional 'Harvard' or 'crimson' in, but those words are nowhere near as useful as ELIS, Yale, etc., plus any of the 3- or 4- letter Us.

Re: DOHA, Qatar became a sovereign nation in 1971, so it didn't have a 'world capital.' I actually tried euro first.

Rex's suggestion of LOOK IE HERE for yesterday's revealer is really brilliant.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

I used to drive a delivery truck in rural coastal northern California. There were few stoplights (like 7 in a hundred miles) and sometimes lots of traffic. Delivery trucks are typically larger and slower to accelerate than car traffic and left turns make them vulnerable to more collision scenarios. I quickly learned to avoid crossing traffic as much as possible. This not only saved fuel, but time as well. Also, consider that most delivery drivers (and weekly errand runners) begin and end their route at the same location so most lefts become rights anyway.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

I will die on the hill of ELK. Only man club members are ELKS.

jb129 11:40 AM  

I thought it would be harder than it was (even though I can never get DOH/DUH straight) & I enjoyed it.

Nice puzzle, Jacob & thanks :)

Tom T 11:49 AM  

What does one say at a "forehead slap" moment in DOHA? Asking for a friend.

The bladder ball thing was confusing until a distant memory surfaced of my older brother describing it to me from his freshman experience at that New Haven bastion in the 60s. As I recall, the goal of the game was to be the team that managed without the use of hands to propel the weather-balloon-ish ball over the walls of an enclosed courtyard.

Puzzle played a bit on the easy side for me--perhaps Rex's easy-medium is apt.

Havana Man 11:50 AM  

The "HIHOS" is a really ironic coincidence (does WS read Rex?!) As the former driver noted, UPS gets no periods--I figured the answer was surely an acronym--but cool bit of trivia. I also vote enough with the Yalie stuff already...

Masked and Anonymous 11:51 AM  

@RP: ELIS don't bother m&e a whole lot, but I gotta grant that BLADDERBALL would be a much neater entry than ELIS. Possible new clue for ELIS = {Lies awkwardly??}. Better, then?

Mighty smoooth solvequest, at our house. Very few no-no names, which always helps.
Also, lotsa cool folksy longball fillins, includin: HOMEATLAST. AHAMOMENT. LETITRIDE. STAYCATION. KINDASORTA [staff longball pick]. LOOKIEHERE. HOLDONASEC. HITASNAG.

Like lotsa U nice Comment Gallery folks, M&A found LIBRA's clue to be awesome good.
The MULCH clue of {Bed material} was also interestin, as it was a great example of M&A thought progression. I had MU+…, and kept tryin to think of alternate words for FOAM/FEATHERS/COTTON/SHEETS/SPRINGS, etc. Many precious nanosecs flew by. Then I finally decided it was time to think different, maybe more along the lines of garden/sea beds. Then … bingo!

The Honda folks are no longer havin FITs in the USA … replacin em with HRVs. Don't they also make a vaccine now for HRV?
Did really like FIT crossin ENDOFRANT, tho.

Thanx, Mr. McDermott dude. Nice job.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Whatsername 11:51 AM  

Great Friday with so many entries I could identify with. A STAYCATION has become my favorite thing since I retired and KINDA SORTA is an expression I use often. And we all love that delicious AHA MOMENT- well LOOKIE HERE! - when the puzzle finally comes together. But I did raise an eyebrow at LET IT RIDE. To not be bothered by something is to let it SLIDE. Letting it ride suggests a gambling bet or something to do with money.

I was curious about bladderball so decided to Google IT and ran across this from the Urban Dictionary: “An obnoxious and totally inane string of emails, usually comprised of a first inane email sent out to a large list by accident and followed by many brilliant ‘reply all’ responses requesting to be taken off said list, then followed by ‘reply all’ responses to those responses explaining to everyone on the list that they should not reply all.”

Who among us has not experienced that fiasco? Cue the EVIL LAUGHS.

Havana Man 11:53 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
andrew 12:23 PM  

UTA used to be a crossword staple but I never heard of otherwise. Turns out Ms. Hagen was quite an accomplished woman!

Uta byWiki

Carola 12:25 PM  

Just-right resistant for me, and fun to solve. I started out at BUS MAP x BALSAM and went around clockwise, to end at LOOKIE x FIT (which seemed more likely than FeT). Like others, I HIT A SNAG at DoH, making me wonder what kind of bed started with MO.... - an alternative spelling of MOsse? CHAIN and HOLD straightened me out...and I put in LIBRA's L without looking at the clue - so, thanks to @Rex for mentioning the "Galactic scale"! I liked the sound effects: NO, NO! OK, OK! LAUGHS, OINKS, DUH, HIHOS, AH, ACK!

How a Midwesterner might use TATER TOTS: TATER TOT Chicken Pot Pie Hotdish. It's better if you pre-bake the TOTS for 10-15 minutes to crisp them up.

Whatsername 12:27 PM  

@JustJim (7:54) Unlike Rex, I have no objection to ELIS and genuinely enjoyed your bladderball story. Welcome to the commentariat; long-time lurkers are always welcome.

@Ray Yuen (10:39) The KETO egg fast It's a short term diet where you eat lots of eggs and cheese. It’s supposed to be effective in kickstarting a weight loss program. The clue is accurate.

jae 12:30 PM  

Easy-medium. Me too for DoH before DUH which ate a bunch of nanoseconds and moved this more towards medium, the rest was pretty easy.

Me too for not knowing ELIS as clued and not particularly caring.

Pretty smooth with some fine long downs. liked it.

I enjoyed “The Overstory” but it’s a bit depressing.

Nancy 12:38 PM  

A query to @pabloinnh, @burtonkd, @Joe D, @A -- and to anyone else on this blog who's especially musical:

There's a piece in the NYT today about the musicals due to open in NYC in months ahead. I've found that sometimes, when they're transfers from somewhere else, you can go to YouTube and get a sneak preview -- often helpful in deciding whether or not to buy an advance ticket, especially in the case of a new musical you don't know.

"Cabaret" with Eddie Redmayne debuted in London where it won the Olivier Award. I've seen it twice -- once with Joel Grey and once with Alan Cumming, but I was curious about this production, which got raves. When I went to YouTube I couldn't find Eddie Redmayne singing anything -- but I found the actress playing Sally Bowles singing the title song.

It seemed to me that very single note she belted (she wasn't singing, she was belting, of that I'm quite sure) was either sharp or flat. I couldn't discern much of anything that was actually on pitch. To all you musicians out there: am I crazy?

SarahK 12:51 PM  

DOH before DUH, LIFTS before LEFTS. CRV for FIT.

I had to look up bladderball. I thought maybe med students? After anatomy class they steal a bladder and fill it with air and bounce it around? It actually looks like fun (for all, not just Yalies). NE corner was a major hold up for me, but otherwise enjoyed it!

Andy Freude 1:00 PM  

@Nancy — Thanks for the link. You’re right: her singing is atrociously off key. Now, you can argue that doing so makes dramatic sense, since the character, at that moment in the story, is undergoing great psychological stress. But I agree with Mozart, who said (of similar moments in opera, and I paraphrase loosely) that even when the emotions are ugly, the music shouldn’t be ugly. We should be able to appreciate the character’s pain without ourselves being subjected to a painful experience.

Nancy 1:23 PM  

And we agree on TATER TOTS too!!! Once again, @GILL and I are on the exact same page when it comes to good food and drink. We just must dine together at least once, @GILL. We just absolutely have to. And, btw, potatoes au gratin is probably my favorite of all the potato dishes.

@JustJim -- For heaven's sake, don't lurk. Join in our sparkling conversation. Yalies are always welcome. Or at least they are to me -- who wishes that, back in the day, there'd been more Yalies congregating around the Smith College campus during those long, cold Northampton winters.

Nancy 1:28 PM  

@Andy Freude -- Amen to Mozart, and to you!

Peamut 1:33 PM  

Didn’t like the IMIN/IMSET combo.

tea73 1:50 PM  

@Nancy You are right that was painful, BUT if you read the original novella, Sally Bowles isn't actually supposed to be a very good performer.

Beezer 1:50 PM  

Oh oh oh! @Nancy! A comment in YOUR link says this:

8 months ago
Without a doubt the greatest interpretation of Sally Bowles I have ever seen, and I've seem most all. Christopher Isherwood, who wrote the source material, famously disliked the most famous Sally, Liza Minelli, because she was too polished. Amy Lenox shows us the desperation, the self-delusion, and the mediocre talent of the literary Sally Bowles. This rendition floors me.

Late to the game today. Liked the puzzle a lot but agreed with most of @Rex’s observations.

@Rex…The Overstory is VERY good! It is quite a tome though so I started out reading it through an agreement with my daughter that SHE would read a book I recommended (also very long). We turned out to BOTH be winners with that.

tea73 1:55 PM  

@Nancy yes that was painful, BUT if you read the novella Sally is not supposed to be a very accomplished performer.

okanaganer 2:11 PM  

Oh jeez... I just posted 2 comments that somehow ended up on YESTERDAY'S rexwordpuzzle page. What the heck?... anyway, here they are:

Thanks @JustJim for the info on Bladderball. Doing my architecture degree at U of Manitoba in the mid 1980s, the faculty had a unique sport called Ditchball. You see, the snow really piles up in Winnipeg (simply because it doesn't melt for 6 months) and some students had a bright idea to bribe the snow clearing staff to pile it all up to make a giant snow ditch, in which they would play a game with a big ball. It was quite a highlight of the year, if a bit violent. Here is a Youtube video.

And re Ditchball.. part of the fun was creating your team name and identity. My friend Ann was tall, slender, and dark haired, so we dressed her up as Boy George, and we called ourselves Boy Gorge and the Culvert Club (this was 1984).

[Spelling Bee: Thu 0. News flash... OPAH was rejected yd, dbyd it was VIAND. Is Sam finally cleaning up the word list?]

Joe Dipinto 2:13 PM  

@Nancy – I don't think every single note is off-pitch in that performance of "Cabaret", but clearly she's trying to act what she thinks the character is feeling at that point in the show. As many YouTube commenters note, Sally Bowles was supposed to be a mediocre singer at best, and she's having to put this over while in a frazzled state of mind. So the performance probably works within the production. It's a little weird to hear the song performed this way out of context at an awards show, though.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

Uta, slur, and mage, and the payoff is bus map? Ok ok, no no, I'm in, at it, ack, tsk, duh. There's a fine line between clever and annoying clueing. This was a slog.

johnk 2:26 PM  

Thanks, @Jim in Canada, for the interesting info about UPS. I KINDA SORTA knew that, which is why I assumed the clue referred to Uninterruptable Power Supply. That was compounded by my misreading "routes" as "routers" and AGED for cheddar, leaving me wondering if LEAKS were what U.P.S. routers avoid (and cursing the puzzle for such a bad clue). Finally, I was saved by building TATER TOTS and HIT A SNAG up from MSG.
I quite enjoyed today's puzzle, even the ELIS and my LEAKS.

Anonymous 2:34 PM  

Dictionaries have elks as an alternate plural form, but I'm sure it's one of those situations where they added it because enough morons continued to use it.

Oldbizmark 2:50 PM  

Is it Tuesday already?!

pabloinnh 3:01 PM  

@Anon 10:53-It was not a long trip, maybe 60 miles round trip, but in the winter and over roads in NH suffering from frost heaves, so it felt longer. At times I have used the quote from LOTR, "if (such and such) is true, then I'm a hobbit", but I am not, although riding in the back seat of a Fit made me wish I were.

@Nancy-For me, just painful. If her intention was to make us feel her pain, she succeeded, but it's nothing I enjoy listening to.

Anonymous 3:13 PM  

And that clue for LETITRIDE would better fit LETITSLIDE

Alice Pollard 3:21 PM  

if you are unfamiliar w UTA Hagen, check out her version of All That Jazz on YouTube, she's fantastic

Anonymous 3:31 PM  

Two wrongs don’t make a right but three rights make a left.

Anonymous 3:31 PM  

Having recently learned what a dreadful human being Eli Yale was, I like all these Eli/ Yalie clues even less.

Anoa Bob 3:43 PM  

I'm thinking about doing a Go Fund Me campaign to start a delivery service company. To save energy it will avoid LEFT turns and always go downhill, never up.

I put in FIRM for the cheddar vs brie clue and didn't consider "hard" because one of my favorite expression for a sarcastic "Oh, that's too bad you poor thing" is "Yeah, that's hard cheese in the big city". Cheese that's been sitting out too long becomes dry and hard and all but inedible.

@egs 9:10 I'm guessing they didn't go for "First person plurals of is" for 63A ARES because ELI, OINK, THEOREM, HI HO, NET, TREE, ERTE. LEFT, TSK, SPA, et al., already use a plural of convenience (POC) to fill their slots.

Here's my PSA (public service announcement) for today: Want your potted plants, flower beds, vegetable gardens, trees, shrubs, etc. to look healthier, happier and well cared for? Use lots of MULCH. It helps stabilize soil temps, retain moisture and prevent weeds. Shredded hardwood bark is the best but there are lots of other options. You're welcome.

TristanO 4:37 PM  

Just want to say I agree with you completely, especially given that it seems to be a rare take today, including people saying it's the easiest Friday they've ever done. Guess for a certain person it was, but I wouldn't even rate it top half of easiest and that corner in particular was not pleasant for me. :) dsfdf!

kitshef 4:37 PM  

@M&A - getting this message on the runtpuz: "Sorry. Runtpuz links posted in the comments section of Rex Parker by Masked & Anonymous prior to June 1, 2020 are no longer available. Wait for his blog entries for the June 1, 2020 puzzle or later; the links will work in those blogs."

Anonymous 4:42 PM  

Tater tots are baked, not fried

Masked and Anonymous 5:20 PM  

@kitshef: Real sorry U are havin trouble. I just tried to access today's runtpuz again on a coupla different computers, and had no trouble gettin to it.

It is true, that older runtz are no longer available, due to some sorta catastrophic incident involvin @r.alphbunker's puzzle server, back in 2020. Non quite sure exactly what happened, there.

I'd say keep tryin. Should be workin ok, for today's puz. And … no refunds.

M&A Help Desk

p.s. And forgot to mention: staff weeject pick today was FIT.

Anonymous 5:52 PM  

Didn't they have it the wrong way around though? I thought normally you would put it like "David : Goliath :: Mom and pop store : chain store", because the analogy is saying the way David relates to Goliath is like how a mom and pop store related to a chain store. You wouldn't say there's any real relation between a mom and pop store and David.

Maybe it works fine either way and I'm just being picky, but it had me questioning if the answer was actually going to be something along the lines of a big box retailer, or if there was some other tricky thing happening

JC66 5:53 PM  

@kitshef & @M&A

FYI, I had no problem accessing today's runtpuz on my Mac laptop.

JonP 5:56 PM  

The package in my freezer gives directions for both. So...

EasyEd 6:06 PM  

Just so it doesn’t go unmentioned, when I first came across the UPS preference for right turns, I heard the drive was for safety more than fuel savings, to avoid making turns across oncoming traffic. Going right every time, while it avoids sitting at intersections, can add distance to a route.

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

Lighten up Francis. And the next time you get a UPS or Fed Ex delivery don’t forget to thank (or better yet, tip) the delivery driver, they work hard.

dgd 7:06 PM  

YTT 6:05 AM
Liked your comments except :
This was a fairly easy puzzle for a Friday. They were trying to toughen up the puzzle with the cheese clue. The clues are called that for a reason. They are hints, not definitions. Being merely descriptive is standard operating procedure in crosswords in any event. Finally, the “best “ answer is not required and on Friday unlikely even.
I thought it was a fine clue/answer.

Anonymous 7:12 PM  

Son Volt
I refused to put it in at first because I said to myself
“Not on a Friday!” But yes on a Friday.
I am not a crossword constructor, but there must be a better clue than that!
I wasn’t bothered by the plural (though Anoa Bob probably was).

dgd 7:26 PM  

Liked the puzzle
Thought it was easy.
Some have commented about the UPS rule limiting left turns for its trucks. What the answer reminded me of was a biography of J. Edgar Hoover with a great title “No Left Turn “. Yes indeed, Hoover always had his driver (Hoover never learned to drive) map out a route with no left turn, but for safety reasons, not to save gas. Apparently someone he knew got in an accident on a left turn. Of course the title was a great allusion to his politics.
I think UPS is probably also thinking about accident avoidance.

Anonymous 7:36 PM  

Know nothing about the Marvel or DC “universe” so won’t comment on that
But duh is certainly an acceptable answer. Rex admitted it is sometimes directed at oneself. Remember the clue is a hint not a definition. The “best” answer is not required in crosswords. Especially later in the week. Duh wasn’t an error to me.
Remember also d’oh didn’t exist before the Simpsons, so duh was once the only expression available.

bocamp 7:38 PM  

Checking in.

Downs-o (work in progress; 4 hrs in).

I think I've got all but the NW & NoCal. Can't settle on anything solid for 1, 2 & 3 D. Have SOAK for 4D, but unsure of it. IM SET for 27D seems reasonable.

Will work on it throughout the week. 🤞
Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon's NYT cryptic was med-hard; still trying to fully grok 11D.
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude & a DAP to all 👊 🙏

Anonymous 7:45 PM  

Johnny Z 9:05 AM
Magus, singular, Magi, plural are from Latin For whatever reason, in English, you usually see only MAGi. for plural. But mage, which comes from the Latin is the word usually used in the singular.
An O’Henry story has a title the Gift of the Magi.

Mary Jean Babic 8:58 PM  

Really enjoyed this one!

I really did *not* enjoy "The Overstory," other than learning some fascinating history of the decimation of the American chestnut.

Andrew R 9:35 PM  

As tater tots are southern and served in fast food restaurants, they must, by law, be fried.

Andrew R 9:39 PM  

I believe doh to be a modernism arising from The Simpsons. When I was growing up in the 60s, it was always spelled with a ewe [he said sheepishly]

Anonymous 10:16 PM  

Tater tots are 100% fried. Maybe you bake frozen tots the same way you might bake frozen french fries. But they are absolutely fried when made fresh.

Anonymous 10:18 PM  

You could do it either way. All that matter is that the two things to the left of the :: share the same relationship as the two things on the right.

Mom-and-pop is to David and CHAIN STORE is to Goliath

Mom-and-pop is to CHAIN STORE as David is to Goliath

ChE Dave 11:41 PM  

Had dinner tonight at a friend’s house, he’s a driver for UPS. He confirmed the “no left turn” plan. He said many routes are preplanned by computer to accomplish as much as possible.

Anonymous 11:59 PM  

I figured it was a play on words, as in you quickly eat eggs on a keto diet? Might be reaching but thought the clue was too.

Anonymous 12:02 AM  

I assumed the UPS clue/answer was a joke on how they try to avoid leaving items? Like not delivering them? I don’t know, I’ve gotten confused too much on these Friday ones…

Ando 11:41 AM  

Anonymous writes: "You could do it either way. All that matter is that the two things to the left of the :: share the same relationship as the two things on the right. Mom-and-pop is to David and CHAIN STORE is to Goliath.."

I can see how this is possible, but at the same time Mom-and-pop actually has NO relationship to David; the pairing depends entirely on Goliath. A normal analogy puzzle is like sock:foot::glove:?. A sock goes on a foot. There are lots of things that could go on the other side of the ::. With David/Goliath, there's nothing else that could go on the right side but Goliath. If it were David:Goliath::, lots of imbalanced fights could go on the right side (1980 US Hockey Team:). As structured, you're figuring out that both items on the left side are underdogs, which is a similarity, not a relationship.


Anonymous 7:23 PM  

I graduated from Yale and absolutely concur with Rex. I also had never heard of bladderball, but learning about it only makes me loathe the twee self-satisfaction of the place more. Gross.

Anonymous 3:39 PM  


Anonymous 3:46 PM  

I live in Edmonton, Alberta where our pro football club just changed its name to the "Edmonton Elks". Hate the name. And Grand-pre must be the first time I've known something Rex hasn't. There's hope for me yet!

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

Can someone help me with the Got Hitched clue at 39 down? The only definitions I've ever seen are marriage related.

Burma Shave 11:57 AM  


"LOOKIEHERE I caught her", with an EVILLAUGH RAY cried,


rondo 12:22 PM  

Tuesday called and wants this puz to not POSE as Friday-difficult. Very easy except I did write over DoH. And yes, this is how I imagine HIHOS is spelled. STEP on your PET'S PEST in the corners.
Wordle par even with 3 shots at BBGGG.

Diana, LIW 1:08 PM  

Long sigh of relief, after yesterday.

No, it might not be "Friday difficult," but it was crunchy enough for me. A few areas where I had to erase or weigh my options - then all fell into place.

Anon 8:16 - a "hitch" can be a "glitch," or in this case, a SNAG, as in HITA.

Diana, LIW

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

Challenging. Rex always says the puzzle is easier than it actually is for “normal” people.

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