Feeling that can be caused by the final three letters of this answer / WED 6-5-24 / "Obsequy" and "exequy" are fancy terms for these rites / Their drawers might contain drawers

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Constructor: David Rockow

Relative difficulty: Easy (20:57 while teaching my boyfriend how to solve puzzles)

THEME: DUCKS IN A ROW — State of order that this puzzle fails to achieve? There are four types of ducks in this puzzle, whose names appear on two different lines-- i.e., they're not "in a row," because they're in two different rows.

Theme answers:
  • FLAT EARTHER for [One who might object to the phrase "around the globe"]
    • "TEA" combines with "L" on the line below to form TEAL
  • SMALL ARMS for [Easy-to-carry weapons]
    • "MALLAR" combines with "D" on the line above to form MALLARD
  • SPIDERWEB for [Collection of fine threads]
    • "E" on the line below combines with "IDER" to form EIDER
  • LAND LUBBERS for [Unlikely sailors]
    • "R" on the line above combines with "UBBER" to form RUBBER

Word of the Day: WESSEX (Bygone kingdom of ancient Britain) —
The Kingdom of the West Saxons, also known as the Kingdom of Wessex, was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from around 519 until England was unified in 927.
• • •

Hey folks, and happy Malaika MWednesday to all who celebrate! I found this puzzle to be very breezy, the slower time is because I solved it alongside my boyfriend who has been solving puzzles for only a couple of weeks now. I think it's very fun watch where he gets stuck and which clues are easy for him. Anyway, please let the record show that this is somehow the second Duck Puzzle that I have reviewed while subbing for Rex!!

I think this theme is very well-done and fitting-- sometimes it's hard to make the geometry of a theme answer line up with the wording of the revealer (a 15x15 crossword is soo constrained), but in this case the ducks quite literally are not in a row. My biggest complaint is that only two of terms are Known Ducks to me-- when I got TEAL early on, it didn't really help me figure out what was going on. (I was able to clock that EIDER is a bird because I'm familiar with "eiderdown" but didn't realize it was a duck til I got the central answer.) I also liked that RUBBER was saved for last because it's a little different than the others.

There was quite a lot of medium-length fill in here, and while most of it was fun (GRANDMA, PUFFIN, T-SHIRTS, ARMOIRES with the cute clue), I must call out DAIRYMAN because I simply refuse to believe that's a thing. When I go to the butcher, he is not my beefman!! When I get my produce, he is not my fruitman!! Am I totally off base here? Is this something that people know?? Maybe I'll ask my aunt who lives in Wisconsin.

I cannot believe puffins just look like this.... birds are crazy

Other tricky spots for me were HGT (a made up abbreviation, in my opinion), LYRA (I wanted "lyre," or at least a reference to His Dark Materials), and AER (I had no idea what AER Lingus is, although don't worry I did Google it after solving and... will probably immediately forget). It's impressive that in a grid so packed with theme material, there were only four entries that I wasn't a fan of! This is probably because David used a couple more black squares than average (themed puzzles tend to have around 38; this had 42), which is exactly what they're there for, in my opinion-- to make the rest of the entries smoother.

  • [Mine is ⬛️⬛️⬛️-⬛️⬛️-⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️: Abbr.] for SSN— This was a great new clue for a frequently-seen entry
  • [____-violence (really tearing into an Indian appetizer?)] for NAAN — Oh man I did not like this... so weird! Is it a pun? Is it trying to be a joke? Honestly I just think this is confusing and out of place.
  • [Judo rank] for DAN — This was one of my final entries. I'm very unfamiliar with judo, and was looking for the entry to be something I was unfamiliar with, rather than a term I know by a different meaning. 
xoxo Malaika

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


SharonAK 12:58 AM  

I agree, It was breezy. I half smiled, half grimaced at the "naan" pun.
I smiled big at the rubber ducky after three real ducks.

I was mentally complaining "That's not how eider is spelled " before I realized the off line letter was at the beginning rather than the end like the previous two.

Malaika, I have not commonly heard dairyman, but it sounds right to me. In the grocery store you commonly see signs for Produce , Bakery , Meats and Dairy areas, so why not dairyman? Anyway what would you suggest instead? Milkman's too limited.
I lubbed" landlubbers" and "flatearthers" and noticed a cluster of adverbs in the east "tensest", "overly", "rarest".

Had No idea about obsequy and exequy but crosses filled in funerals easily

okanaganer 1:03 AM  

Well I thought it was a fine theme for a Wednesday. Reminds me of when we were sitting on our deck looking at the lake, and a whole bunch of ducks jumped up onto our neighbor's wharf. I commented "They've got all their ducks in a row", and my great niece, who is very bright and hard to impress, actually broke out laughing. Good day.

Seems to me Joel really like clues like 14 across... overly meta stuff where the clue talks about letters in the answer. I'm not saying it's bad, but...

Agree HGT is dumb. Was there really no better option for that corner?

[Spelling Bee: Tues 0, streak 10.]

jae 1:53 AM  

Easy-medium. SPECIES and CARLOS were WOEs and alt before HGT was it for erasures.

For me this was one of those “ignore the circles and solve like a themeless” puzzles.

Kinda smooth and cute with some fun “theme answers”, liked it.

WinthorpeIII 3:06 AM  

Yeah, I'm not high on HGT, either. I first read this as being about Rex and his boyfriend. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Thanks for the entertaining write-up.

Smith 3:32 AM  

Another week where Wednesday whooshes by faster than Tuesday. Also another where the answers were often obvious even before reading the clue. I thought it was absurdly easy. Oh well.

Conrad 4:56 AM  

An Easy, breezy Wednesday -- pardon me, Mwednesday -- to go with yesterday's romp. I solved "Downs-Only Lite," not reading the themer clues until I had finished. One overwrite: alt[itude] before the much-maligned HGT at 10A.

BenM 5:12 AM  

FUNERALS should not be plural

Anonymous 5:15 AM  

Just sayin'...
Grew up in Cleveland, OH, where Dairymens (no apostrophe now, don't know if there ever was one) is an old dairy company. Like back when the "milkMAN" delivered to the milk chute. Could have been a surname, too; don't know that either. (Of course, at one time, the baker was named Baker, the butcher Butcher, etc.)
More specically, I was from one of the burbs that sit at a slightly higher altitude than Cleveland proper, beyond the ancient lakeshore prior to glacial retreat. The burbs are called "X Heights," usually abbreviated Hts (e.g., Cleveland Hts.), but I think I've also seen Hgts. At any rate, it seemed perfectly in the local language to me, and I figure that's why.
Lastly, I suppose naan can accompany an app (e.g., if dal can be considered an appetizer), but isn't it primarily torn and used to grab up the entree much as one might use silverware (only tastier!)?

Liveprof 5:26 AM  

The Wikipedia entry for Tevye refers to him as Tevye the DAIRYMAN and only secondly as the Milkman. He's the lead character in what my brother used to call Fiddler on a Hot Tin Roof (Fiddler on the Roof).

When Fiddler first came out it was impossible to get tickets. Yet for one afternoon performance a man in the audience noticed that an entire row of seats was empty except for one woman sitting in the middle. He went up to her and said "Madam, it's impossible to get tickets for this show. Do you have any idea how all of the seats in this row could be empty?" And she said, "Well, sadly, this seat next to me was my husband's. And since we got our tickets months ago he passed away." And the man said -- but all these other seats? The rest of the row?" And she said -- "Oh, those are our friends. They're all at the funeral."

Natasha 5:33 AM  

This theme was really clever and I would've really enjoyed it had it not been for the neutral cluing on FLATEARTHER as the first themer. I was pretty horrified by that and couldn't really shake it for the rest of the puzzle.

That said, I also really enjoyed the clue on SSN (and a lot of the other cluing as well). And even with the bad taste of FLATEARTHER, DUCKSINAROW did make me go "Ohh, clever!" in my head.

nalpac 5:50 AM  

At 8 mins this was more of a Monday/Tuesday level difficulty time for me. Dairyman is not at all arcane and hgt is a normal abbreviation. I saw teal and mallard and knew the revealer before reading it.

Gary Jugert 5:58 AM  

Heh. FLAT EARTHER. Some people are sooo silly. It's round, ya know? Like a disc, riding on some elephants, floating on a turtle.

I think it's clever to say: Here's the theme, but not really. Funny. Lots of funny stuff in this one including the OMG-so-funny NAAN-violence. And a RUBBER DUCK. Woot.

I love it when somebody warns you they're going to use a "fancy term." Obsequy and exequy aside, they could've warned us about the fancy crossword word that makes one cross in INANER.

Growing up, we had a DAIRYMAN and he brought us half-gallon square glass jars with metal lids straight from the farm. We had a box on our front stoop where he left it. Such luxury.

Propers: 4
Places: 5
Products: 7
Partials: 7
Foreignisms: 3
Gary's Grid Gunk Gauge: 26 (34%)


1 Why grandma's room at the home smells funny.
2 The beach.
3 The lousy things grandma brought me from Iceland.
4 What the serfs do when the boss wants to eat lots of something that tastes just like chicken.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: A sock in the backseat. ALT AUTO PUPPET.


Bob Mills 6:16 AM  

Easy, yes...but only after realizing the farm female is a SOW instead of a "ewe" (a common crossword answer). I liked the theme, which helped solve the puzzle after I got EIDER.

I guessed right on CARLOS after only having the last two letters. CHAFF was clued as a plural, so it was a lucky break.

JJK 6:24 AM  

Nice write-up, Malaika, and I’m glad your boyfriend is learning how to do crosswords!

I liked the theme and I also liked learning that EIDER is a duck, not a goose (apparently - although I have to say that I’ve always thought EIDERdown was a type of feather that you would find in your comforter.) DAIRYMAN is a thing, but these days there are probably as many DAIRYwomen as men.

I liked the clues for MOON, STYX and ACME. AER Lingus is a well-known Irish budget airline to Europe.

David Grenier 6:30 AM  

Once again I only got half the theme! I recognized the circled letters formed ducks (well, I assumed, since I also only knew MALLARD and RUBBER). I did not connect the fact that all of the ducks had a single letter above or below the others to the IN A ROW part of the revealer.

Nice theme!

SouthsideJohnny 6:46 AM  

Another one here who ignores the circles while solving. I’ll occasionally take a stab at figuring it out after finishing, but If nothing jumps out I just RtR (Resort to Rex) for enlightenment. I groaned at the same stuff as most of the rest of us have mentioned thus far (NAAN, HGT, DAIRYMAN).

Since I didn’t bother with the theme I had to parse “DUCKS IN A ROW” from the crosses, which is fine since it’s a common phrase. Kind of a middle of the road effort today - no spectacular highlights, but it avoided a lot of the usual NYT lowlights as well (which is no small achievement, btw).

Burghman 6:48 AM  

AER is one of those crossword staples that you’ll definitely want to memorize… it appears every few weeks, or so it seems.

Anonymous 6:51 AM  

ROW x/w ROW = No

DavidF 6:55 AM  

Yup - DAIRYMAN definitely a thing. AER Lingus has shown up a lot as well, I feel (although I don't have the stats).

And I actually *loved* the clue for NAAN - what was normally annoying generic crossword fill actually made me laugh out loud.

Not, however, a fan of HGT - or INANER. Would anyone actually say INANER? I would say "more inane".

Bruce Borchardt 7:01 AM  

Dairymaid was immortalized in the A.A. Milne poem, The King's Breakfast. "The King asked the Queen and the Queen asked the Dairymaid..."

Anonymous 7:08 AM  

Just gotta say (as a geographer) re: the HGT answer, that technically height is *not* the same as elevation. Two things can have the same height and be at completely different elevations

kitshef 7:23 AM  

Okay, we found Tuesday's puzzle. And with a good Tuesday theme, too.

Species names should always be italicized. You'd think with all the dumb bells and whistles the Times has been adding, italics would be easy for them.

Terrible clue for NAAN. Inaner than any clue I can recall.

AER has appeared fourteen times since the start of 2023, so almost once per month, with thirteen of those using today's exact clue.

@Liveprof 5:26 - good one!

EasyEd 7:25 AM  

How can one not like a puzzle that features a RUBBER ducky? Or NAAN violence? Good silly fun. Maybe a regional thing but I filled in HGT instinctively without a second thought. Or not enough imagination to consider alt…

Lewis 7:39 AM  

Big “Hah!” on the rubber duck, both for its surprise and vibe. What is it about those little yellow bath toys that just makes everyone feel good?

And much more to like:
• Learning about WESSEX, including that the Danes were its persistent enemy, bringing another “Hah!”, with DEIGNS in the grid.
• The zing that the main theme answers (those with the most circles) brought to the box, as none of them have appeared in the NYT puzzle more than five times, not to mention that the gorgeous revealer DUCKS IN A ROW is a NYT answer debut.
• That backward ROKS crossing MOON.
• A good number of entertaining clues, such as [Collection of fine threads] for SPIDER WEB, and the zany [___ violence (really tearing into an Indian appetizer?] for NAAN.
• A third “Hah!” when SMALL ARMS elicited the image of a T-rex.

Plus, a bit of suspense, as this is David’s third NYT puzzle, with his first two being a Tuesday and Monday. He's on track to hit the cycle (a puzzle for every day of the week) in his first seven puzzles, a feat accomplished by only one constructor, Andrew Reis.

Go for it, David! And thank you for a puzzle whose never-done-before theme wowed me and whose fill-in was highly entertaining. Bravo, sir!

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

HGT at 10A caused me grief. I had ALT, and I spent 'way too much time trying to figure out that corner with ALT in place. HGT for "Elev" didn't occur to me. Big grimace also to INANER.

But the rest of the puzzle was a delight, and the big payoff was RUBBER as the last duck. Got a good chuckle out of that one, and later I got to like it all over again when one of the two know-it-all showoffs who post regularly on the NYT page hated it! Double joy! Clever cluing for the theme answers!

And yes, DAIRYM[E]N are a thing.

Dr.A 8:08 AM  

I have seen Hgt. I think medical people use it, so that’s probably why. Not a great abbrev though. And Naan-violence I did not like at all. The poor Naan. Very unfair. Anyway, otherwise cute theme. Agree w/Malaika! And also loved His Dark Materials. That would have been a great clue for Lyra.

mmorgan 8:18 AM  

Alt before HGT, and I’ve flown on AER Lingus like a zillion times, and NAAN was so bad that it’s really, really good!

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

dairy·​man ˈder-ē-mən -ˌman
: one who operates a dairy farm or works in a dairy

cat·​tle·​man ˈka-tᵊl-mən -ˌman
Synonyms of cattleman
: one who tends or raises cattle

yes, they are real.
perhaps you should use a dictionary before making silly comments?

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

First heard the naan violence pun in Key & Peele’s MLK v Gandhi rap - “Like the H in your name, you ought to remain silent; flatten your style like bread, naan violence”

Ben 8:44 AM  

Same general thoughts as others. I liked the theme and was mostly amused by the humorous clues.

HGT didn't aggravate me as much as others given that's the abbreviation they use on my Driver's License.

pabloinnh 8:47 AM  

Easy enough, but to me RUBBER is an outlier. A TEAL is a duck, an EIDER is a duck, a MALLARD is a duck, but a RUBBBER is not a duck. Maybe I'm way off base somehow, but I found that one a stretch.

Knew the thing about MAINE, ALT before HGT (!), and I have never heard anyone say either INANER or TENSEST. but no real snags. A cursory reading of the IBIS clue led to ISIS because of "Egyptian", but that got fixed in a hurry.

Nice enough Wednesdecito, DR. Didn't Really sing my song, but thanks for a fair amount of fun.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

Not the biggest thing, but isn’t it a no-no to clue the word ULNA using an abbreviation — UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) — that basically contains the answer?

RooMonster 8:52 AM  

Hey All !
Gonna sub a minute for Rex ...
The term is GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW, not just standalone DUCKS IN A ROW. And why is it only one letter in each Themer that's out of the ROW?
Har. Would've liked to have read Rex's take on this puz.

Funny how Malaika has gotten Two Duck puzs. What's the odds?

This puz wasn't too bad. We get four DUCKS, not in the same ROW, with the RUBBER one getting a chuckle. Like Malaika said, the Blocker count is 42, but the extras arrive from the center 11. Nine times out of ten, if you have a 13 entry, or put your 11 in the center, you get those big chunks of Blockers there. One Blocker short of an @M&A Jaw.

That NAAN clue got an OMG from me. Quirky, weird, odd, whatevs. Should be on a TSHIRT.

Nice NW F fest. N Center chimed in also.

Thanks for the kind words YesterComments! Even if my comments are often INANE(R).

Happy Wednesday!

Five F's

Kurt 8:54 AM  

re: NAAN. It's not an appetizer. Per the internet, it's "eaten as an accompaniment to main dishes such as curries, stews, and kebabs. It is used to scoop up the main dish or to wrap around pieces of meat or vegetables."

Liveprof 9:35 AM  

Yogi Berra: You should go to people's funerals -- otherwise they won't come to yours.

Gary Jugert 9:48 AM  

@pabloinnh 8:47 AM
So if I look at a rubber really hard, and then I look at a duck really hard, and then I look at a rubber duck with the same level of ferocity, I am going to conclude it's more duck than rubber, all the while assuming a chemical analysis would prove it's more rubber than duck. So the question is philosophical: Are you what you are (a series of chemical compounds), or are you what you appear to be (a good looking fellow that makes the corset-wearing ladies swoon), or are you what you function as (an entertaining crossword enthusiast and commentator)? A rubber duck often functions here in Colorado as a creek racing vessel for charitable endeavors which feels like it tilts the argument toward ducks, since rubbers are used for different purposes around rivers.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Dairyman being a real word does not make it's inclusion in this puzzle suck any less

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:51 AM  

My grandfather was a dairyman. He started out as a milkman when he first came to America. He had to get up at 3:30 in the morning to drive the truck to the farms and pick up the milk to deliver by dawn. In winter my grandmother also had to get up at 3:30, because in order to start the truck, boiling water had to be poured into it, and only women could boil water at that time, I am told. By the time my grandfather retired and moved to Florida (where the trucks start in the morning all year) he was running an operation that not only bottled the milk and cream, it churned the butter, made buttermilk and sour cream and ice cream and cottage cheese and even flirted with things like kefir.

SusanA 9:52 AM  

Can an ARMOIRE really be personified with a “their” as clued? Should it not be an “its”?
However, I loved seeing LANDLUBBER and thought the theme was fun.
Had a lot of trouble with the SW for some reason. Starting with thinking it was the WWE that bans bowling pins and pool cues, which led me to learn that golf banned the use of pool cues at one point. (But not bowling pins, AFAIK)

For those asking, EIDERdown in your comforter does of course come from EIDER ducks.

I also enjoyed the entertaining write-up.

Whatsername 10:12 AM  

After skimming comments, agree with someone else who said we found Tuesday’s puzzle. No resistance whatsoever other than the NE which was caused by having ALT in 10A which is of course the most logical answer there. It was an OK theme, but seemed a little tame. Maybe if the circled letters had been scrambled out of order or if every other letter had been in a different ROW . . . something like that might have made it more challenging.

Interesting fact on the grain production. I would have guessed that the OAT would’ve far outranked BARLEY but perhaps people eat more soup than cereal.

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

Naan is not an appetizer!! It’s a bread.

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

This is the third appearance of Aer Lingus clued as ___ Lingus this year, and there were 10 more last year. It shouldn’t be unknown to a regular solver (or anyone who regularly visits airports, for that matter).

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

Tevye was a dairyman in the pale of settlement

jberg 10:34 AM  

Nifty puzzle, although I had so many writeovers in the SE that I failed to notice the RUBBER duck until I came here. Rid before ROB, which for some reason led me to vaMpIRES before ARMOIRES. (@aSusan.A--the answer is plural, so their is appropriate, it seems to be. English doesn't have a distinct neuter gender in the plural).

I often use HGT as an abbreviation for height, especially if the context does not make it clear what I'm abbreviating. I don't know if it's officially correct or not.

Just for the record, Achilles didn't take a dip, he was dipped by his mother.

@Anonymous 8:19 AM perhaps you could not hide behind a mask when making snide comments; or better yet, not make them at all. They make the discussion less pleasant for the rest of us.

I won't be solving again until next Wednesday, as we will be driving to Chicago and back for a grandson's commencement.

Nancy 10:47 AM  

Clued with so much verve, wit, imagination and freshness, this puzzle was an absolute joy to solve. Get busy, Lewis-- there's an awful lot here to choose from.

Where to begin with the smile-inducing clues? DATE, NAUSEA, NAAN, FLAT EARTHER, FUNERALS, ULNA, TSA. Even SSN is a hoot.

And the theme is playful and adorable too. I picked it up at MALLARD with its wayward "D". What an interesting and unusual idea for a theme! Who thinks of such a thing?

I bet you'd be fun to have lunch with, David. Funny and unpredictable. I absolutely LOVED this puzzle!

Newboy 10:55 AM  

Thanks Malaika for another DUCKy Mwednesday. I like Rex just fine as his moments of IRE GROW to be expected and the alternative guests who back him up have their DUCKS IN A ROW — usually. EIDER way works for my blog enjoyment. Didn’t experience the usual midweek flow filling in David’s grid, but thought the H2O entries were SASSY enough to raise some LANDLUBBERS IRE. Guess I’d say we’re ICYHOT on today’s gimmick.

egsforbreakfast 11:01 AM  

As a native of Eugene, Oregon, I was initially disappointed not to see the Fighting Ducks in the puzzle. But then I realized that since a "row" is synonymous with "a serious dispute", DUCKSINAROW could indeed be the future Big 28 Champs.

Someone previously pointed out that NAAN isn't an appetizer. But picking a fight about when to eat bread is itself a NAAN starter.

I like that the constructor kept the clue for 46D a long distance from the answer to 5A. He really separated the wheat from the CHAFF.

I thought this puzzle was just ducky. Thanks, David Rockow.

johnk 11:05 AM  

Easy solve as a themeless.

I try to ignore these INANE little bubbles in the grid. What could be more INANE? Ooh, ooh, I know -- INANER!

Clue: "___-violence (sinister sister's punishments?)"
Answer: NUN

Masked and Anonymous 11:08 AM  

The rare themer failures puztheme. Like. Fave failure: FLATEARTHER FUNERALS.
fave duck: RUBBER. rates a har.

some other faves: CARLOS [a la the current French Open]. NAUSEA & NAAN clues. The Circles.
Very few no-knows today. Only WESSEX, completely. DAIRYMAN, partly.

PEDE? Primo Ow de Speration whiff.
Had ALT instead of HGT, for waaay to long. imPEDEd my nanoseconds.

staff weeject pick: SSN. Like Malaika darlin, luved its redacted clue.

Thanx for almost duckin the WedPuz, Mr. Rockow dude. Good job.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


mathgent 11:12 AM  

I just read Nancy's comment. Yes, indeed! It was a ball.

How good? I've forgiven the 24 threes and AHN.

Malaika hasn't been doing the puzzle as long as I have. AER is in the crosswordese hall of fame. But I haven't seen it lately.

Carola 11:29 AM  

A treat of a Wednesday - such a cute theme, especially with the RUBBER ducky rounding things off, and so many other pleasures. It was more a "medium" for me, as clinging to "alt" made getting the rest of the NE impossible. Thank goodness for the central reveal, which allowed me to see MALLARD and correct alt to HGT. I loved the parallel FLATEARTHER and LANDLUBBER and rather old-fashiondy HEDGEROW and DAIRYMAN (which delighted this Wisconsinite). CHAFF, DEIGNS, WESSEX, SPIDER WEB, ARMOIRES - fun from top to bottom.

Do-overs: alt before HGT, idaho before MAINE, open before LOAD. Wish I'd seen: the clue for SSN.

GILL I. 11:30 AM  

Ooh, I loved this witty puzzle....From PUFFIN to STYX. TEAL, you were my first! I smelled some DUCKS in this here puzzle. Oh, look!...There's a MALLARD and the IDER and my favorite (laugh in youR face) RUBBBER... Can a RUBBER ducky be anything but yellow?

Some little huh's here and there. Hand up for HGT sending me off kilter. I want to know why NAAN is violent and does anyone you know say they are going to an obsequy exequy to say goodbye? Then I want to know why you can't take a a bowling ball onboard. a flight. I suppose if you have it in the overhead bin and it comes flying out and hits the person sitting in the seat next to you and kills him, that might be a reason to go to his obsequy.....?

DAIRYMAN. My brother and his mate bought an incredible small farmhouse in upstate New York that my sister and I would visit. The first time we went my 4 year old son felt he was in hog heaven. We'd get in a dilapidated red truck and down the hill we'd go the "Cow Man" (as he called him) to get fresh milk. He later changed his named to Mr. Milk Can. "He is a DAIRYMAN" we'd tell him. He'd then brilliantly asked if he had diarrhea ....And the beat goes on.

I'll take more of these puzzle because I really had some fun here. Speaking of fun....@Liveprof 5:26. Thanks for a morning laugh!

Anoa Bob 11:51 AM  

If there's any question about the NYTXW editorial policy regarding word duplication in a grid, today should make it clear that they are perfectly okay. We not only get two ROWs, they even share their final W at the end of 10 Down and 37 Across.

Black-bellied whistling-DUCKS are showing up more frequently here in Tex-Mex Land. They are mostly found in Mexico and points south but with climate change, they are, like many SPECIES, moving further and further north. They do have a loud whistle as part of their call and have brightly colored plumage but nothing quite so flamboyant as the PUFFIN.

Penna Resident 12:24 PM  

why all the problems over HGT? its very common. everyone with a pennsylvania drivers license has it in their pocket - as well as many other states. i do agree that elev is not the right clue for it tho.

Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Not bad, but if I engage with the theme *as it was intended*, where the solver is supposed to think it's cool that the letters don't line up, and then feel gratified by that revealer .. yeah, just one of the flimsiest themes I've seen in awhile. It mostly worked, the puzzle was good enough to get past an editor, and all that, but really, it's a bit of a stretch.

Curmudgeonly Cur 1:22 PM  


Anonymous 1:22 PM  

That's the problem!

pabloinnh 1:26 PM  

@Gary Jugert 9:48-Yikes. I was only trying point out that RUBBER as it appears is an adjective, not a noun.

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy, I'm afraid.

oldactor 1:32 PM  

@Anoa Bob: Hi neighbor, for several years a pair of whistling ducks made a nest in an old ash tree in my front yard. They raised a family every year in a hollowed out part of the tree. Eventually I had the old tree cut down. The next spring I saw the poor ducks wandering around my yard looking for their tree. It broke my heart.

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

The first rebus I remember seeing the crossword was a DUCKS IN A ROW Sunday puzzle, probably late 90's. I could not for the life of me figure out why I couldn't get any traction in the middle of the grid. A week later (ask your parents), I checked the answer key and it showed little pictures of ducks across the middle row.

andrew 3:12 PM  

DNF for me - kept trying to force rebus in CUNNI for 52A.

JK - a dumb joke for my fellow cunning linguists. Still, AER LINGUS does seem like some deviation of the Mile High Club…

Anonymous 4:48 PM  

Dairyman is a common term, though less so now because so many family farms have disappeared. Perhaps that’s why it sounded so strange to Maleska.
I always thought a milkman delivered the milk, but the farm which produced the milk was owned by a dairyman. Are you saying milkman is also a non word? In any event
dairyman is neither obscure nor made up. You are making me feel very old!

About naan. It isn’t the word people are complaining about it is the pun. Your post was not clear about that. That’s because it is standard crosswordese.

Anonymous 4:57 PM  

Anonymous: 8:48 AM
About the clue for ULNA
The Times does this type of clue ALL THE TIME !
So it most definitely not a violation at least here. Early in the week usually because the clue gives away a letter.

Anonymous 5:00 PM  

Anonymous 9:50
About dairyman
Definitely a matter of opinion.
Most people here clearly weren’t bothered by it

dgd 5:18 PM  

I am reminded how old I am by Malaika’s dislike of dairyman I know see that to her generation it is a made up word!
In the 1920’s my father when still a little boy would bring the milk from his family’s one cow to neighbors and collect the payment, I think 12 cents a quart. My grandfather was not a dairyman ( only one cow after all) but my dad definitely knew the word!
I was surprised that she didn’t recognize AER as very common crosswordese.
Easy puzzle. Liked it

Blog Goliard 5:26 PM  

I'm pretty sure I remember Chris de Burgh warning me in song that, whatever I do, don't pay the DAIRYMAN--don't even fix a price--until he gets you to the other side (of the STYX).

Anonymous 5:49 PM  

Thank you…I was convinced *I* had somehow made a mistake there, wasted a good few seconds trying to figure out if there was some way to make one of those a different word?! Am I an old man shaking my fist at the sky?!

Anonymous 12:20 AM  

Are you saying you can’t have more than one funeral? Or that they are funerii?

Anonymous 12:36 AM  

@Anonymous 5:00 PM this is your second take; kind of defensive of the DAIRYMAN, are we?

gregmark 2:58 AM  

Bona fide DNF. Ended a 23-game streak. Flew through most of this then hit a brick wall at TSA, TSHIRTS, HERO, RIM and SPECIES. Cannot explain it. Cannot remember the last time I DNFd a Wednesday.

Anonymous 1:23 PM  

shouldn't "janeiro" be capitalized?

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

A good, beginner-friendly puzzle with a cute theme.

Brianlas 10:39 AM  

Wow! lol

spacecraft 4:17 PM  

DAN is part of a ranking system used in judo and several other martial arts, as well as the board game "go." The word DAN indicates a professional level, and the number preceding represents the participant's relative skill. The amateur level is called KYU, and their numbers are reversed in order of skill. Thus a 15 KYU would be a rank beginner, and a 1 KYU is ready to turn pro. 10 DAN is top of the heap, best in the world.

There's always one, isn't there? That little duckling who just won't get in line. Cute to a fault, but a great idea for a theme, executed brilliantly. The little guy who won't get in line must be a LANDLUBBER.

In all the discussion about DAIRYMAN, I don't see anything about the sexist angle. Who says the owner of a dairy has to be male?? This term, therefore, is decidedly old-fashioned, and would nowadays certainly be considered non-PC. Speaking of non (NAAN), that clue is a tasteless pun. It spurs one, ironically, to violence.

Not much else to complain about; TSHIRTS is a letter add-on but passes for being in-the-language. No NAUSEA here. Birdie.

Incredibly for the third day INAROW, Wordle par off a wrong either-or guess.

wcutler 4:41 PM  

@Liveprof 5:26 AM, your delivery of that Fiddler joke was perfect.

Anonymous 7:20 PM  

Very fun puzzle. Very easy puzzle. But laugh out loud humorous. If a joke doesn't make you groan, then it's not punny!

Anonymous 11:21 PM  

@Gary Jugert

The Terry Pratchett reference made me laugh out loud. Thanks for making my day!

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