Friday, October 3, 2014

NYT 5:19 (Amy) 
LAT 3:44 (Amy) 
CS 8:48 (Ade) 
CHE 5:33 (pannonica) 
WSJ (Friday) 10:23 (pannonica) 
Blindauer about 9 minutes (Matt) 

Tracy Bennett’s New York Times crossword

NY Times crossword solution, 10 3 14, no. 1003

NY Times crossword solution, 10 3 14, no. 1003

Whoa! Am I the last one to learn GOAT RODEO? 17a. [Situation that’s gone absurdly out of control], okay, that’s cute. As are baby goats. You could do worse than to Google up some videos of spry baby goats bounding around like darling little maniacs.

Favorite fill and clues:

  • 15a. [“Hold on one cotton-pickin’ minute!”], NOT SO FAST. Like the answer, dislike the clue. While “cotton-pickin'” apparently comes to us via Bugs Bunny, you probably want to steer clear of using the term in reference to an African-American. I grew up with the term but stopped using it years ago. Whether the term originated to give offense is irrelevant—if it can give offense, I’d rather avoid using it. (Nobody dare bring up niggardly here. Heard it, don’t care.)
  • 20a. [Exchange words], I’LL TRADE YOU. The playground, the school lunch table—familiar words. (Could do without I FOLD and NOR I crossing this, though. Would have preferred the seafood NORI here.)
  • 38a. [Pfizer cold and flu medicine], DIMETAPP. An old classic.
  • 55a. [Leading lady?], ALPHA FEMALE. Who’s the alpha female of crosswords these days?
  • 60a. [Musical “Mr.”] BOJANGLES.
  • 65a. [Combined Latin/Jamaican/hip-hop genre], REGGAETON.
  • 1d. [Casting directors?], ANGLERS, aka people who fish. Cute clue.
  • 12d. [Company that makes Silly Putty], CRAYOLA. Good all around.
  • 40d. [Children], MOPPETS. Such a great word.


  • 23d. [Ronald who directed “The Poseidon Adventure”], NEAME. Not sure I’ve ever seen this name before.
  • 32d. [Muslim name that means “successor to Muhammad”], KHALIF. I know Khalil, Khalid, Khadija, and Khan, but I don’t know that I’ve encountered KHALIF before.
  • 16a. [Band-Aid inventor Dickson], EARLE. Don’t know this guy either, but at least I’ve seen other EARLEs before.

And now, four more things:

  • 3d. [Kind of rock], STADIUM. Sigh. Was just having a discussion elsewhere about these “kind of” clues where the answer is a word that can precede X and not remotely “a kind of X.” The “kind of” clues bug a good number of folks. The Puzzlewright practice is to use [Word with __] rather than [Kind of __], and I don’t know that I’d say the “kind of” clues are a broadly accepted crossword convention.
  • 57d. [“And Winter Came …” singer, 2008], ENYA. Aaaah! Make it go away! Not ready for fall or winter just yet.
  • 29d. [Musical matchmaker], YENTE. All right, let me nail this down once and for all. YENTL is the Barbra Streisand character and movie.  A YENTA is a woman (hmph) who’s a gossip or busybody. And YENTE is the name of a Fiddler on the Roof character, a matchmaker. I’m often waiting for the crossing to reveal whether the ending is an A or E, but I see that these are distinct.
  • 46a. [Number of African countries with español as an official language], UNO. Filled in ONE and then deleted the vowels, waiting for the crossings to confirm I needed the Spanish word. It’s Equatorial Guinea.

3.75 stars for the puzzle. Nice to see Tracy venturing into themelessland!

Todd McClary’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Campus Talent Show” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 10/3/14 • "Campus Talent Show" • McClary • solution

CHE • 10/3/14 • “Campus Talent Show” • McClary • solution

Departmentalization run amok! In punny scholasto-scenarioistic form.

  • 20a. [The ethics faculty kicked things off with some … ] SONG STANDARDS. Phrasing awkward, or even phrasing awkward very. Isn’t it typically just standards, or perhaps standard songs? Getting a bad feeling about the rest of the show.
  • 34a. [ … then several art majors presented a … ] COMEDY SKETCH. Ah, that’s better, ha-ha.
  • 41a. [ … a few computer-programming students tapped out a … ] DANCE ROUTINE. Hmm. That one’s a bit on thin ice, but ok.
  • 56a. [ … and the math department brought it home with a … ] CLOSING NUMBER. Whew, and not a moment too soon. QED.

Can’t say I was wildly entertained by the acts on display here, but the good news is that my supply of tomatoes remains unflung. So, polite applause for the theme.

Elsewhere, the three longest down answers are SKI TEAM, ICE SKATE, SNOW CONES, and … IVANHOE?

<unnecessary digression>

  • WS_Ivanhoe“The splendid armour of the combatants was now defaced with dust and blood, and gave way at every stroke of the sword and battle-axe. The gay plumage, shorn from the crests, drifted upon the breeze like snow-flakes. All that was beautiful and graceful in the martial array had disappeared, and what was now visible was only calculated to awake terror or compassion.” (ch. 12)
  • “Seest thou her locks, whose sunny glow
    Half shows, half shades, her neck of snow?
    Twines not of them one golden thread,
    But for its sake a Paynim bled.” (ch. 17)
  • “And what news from York, brave Earl?” said Ivanhoe; “will the rebels bide us there?”
    “No more than December’s snow will bide July’s sun,” said the Earl; “they are dispersing; and who should come posting to bring us the news, but John himself!” (ch. 44)

Also, wintersports are available in both Ivanhoe, Minnesota and Ivanhoe, Victoria (Australia), though probably not at the same point in the calendar year.

</unnecessary digression>

Fill/clue highlights:

  • 29a [Hawaiian flower?] LAVA.
  • 43d [Feature of some potatoes] RED SKIN. How easy was that?
  • Between 55d [Famously enigmatic signature on Marchel Duchamp’s “Fountain”] R. MUTT and 42d [Shortening in a Rachael Ray recipe?] EVOO (extra-virgin oolive ooil), I wonder if LHOOQ has appeared in any crosswords. Also, the idea of M Duchamp and R Ray collaborating is very upsetting. Nevertheless, following that tangent a suppose a better partner would be Sandra Lee of “semi-homemade” fame … and that’s far, far more upsetting than the previous hypothetical partnership.
  • 68a [Opening of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”?] NOOSE.
  • 7d [Picnic spoiler] RAIN. Or possibly ANTS. Even worse when it rains ants. Or acid rain with ants secreting formic acid.
  • Names new to me: 34d [Crisp in the outfield] COCO, 58d [Pulitzer-winning playwright Cruz] NILO.
  • 60d [Golf-resort amenity] SPA. Why ‘golf’, here?
  • 25a [Seoul-based automaker] KIA, who also offer a model called the Soul. Coincidence?

Average puzzle, I guess. Not sticking around for the encore.

Patrick Blindauer’s October website puzzle, “Come ON In” — Matt’s review


It’s not surprising when the letters don’t fit on a Blindauer, and that’s what happened here. 5-D [Tatted] had to be INKED, and 17-A [Athletic supporters only seen when their team is winning] had to be FAIR WEATHER FANS. But they crossed at the K/W, so something Blindaueresque was clearly afoot.

It turns out there are seven such letters in the grid, so I entered them as two-way squares, which turned out to be the right idea. The other six were:

10-D [Acting teacher Hagen] is of course UTA, whose A crosses the second R in FAIR WEATHER FANS.

41-A [Angelic 1980s show] is HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, which crosses 27-D [Wonder Woman’s ___ of Truth] at the I/first S.

18-D [Sir Barton was its first winner] is TRIPLE CROWN, whose E crosses HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN at its T.

34-D [Like some divorces] is MESSY, whose second S crosses HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN at its second E.

66-A [Song written for the 1988 Summer Olympics] = ONE MOMENT IN TIME, whose second O crosses 67-D at its A (the answer is ATE, cleverly clued as [Took sides?].

55-D [Paces at races] = TROTS, whose O crosses ONE MOMENT IN TIME at its third N.

So now what? The next logical step seemed to be to write down the two-way squares, going with acrosses first. Lo and behold, a pattern emerged:


Considering the puzzle’s title, it could’ve have been coincidental that the first letters spell “write on,” a play on “Right on!”. There’s always one more layer in a Blindauer, and notice what happens here if we write the letters ON in between those two-way square letters:


All of which are cluable crossword entries, Rona being the novelist Rona Jaffe or gossip columnist Rona Barrett.

So that’s intricate and amusing, though perhaps not quite the aha power moment we’ve seen in some other Blindauers. In fact I wasn’t even 100% sure I was done and spent a few minutes looking for other patterns (SAFIRE/SAFE and A-TEAM/ATE took me 30 seconds to reject as coincidence).


***I dig it when constructors put the effort in to clue a common entry in an amusing or informative way. Like YAO clued as [“The Year of the ___” (basketball documentary)], [Product once hawked by Jeff Goldblum] for IMAC, and [Fish with no pelvic fins] for EELS.

***Personalized clue: [What Sam Byck is dressed as, in the musical “Assassins”] = SANTA. As his Facebook friends know, Patrick has recently been acting in a production of this play in St. Louis, I believe playing Sam Byck. Whom did he assassinate? I’ll have to look it up. Attempted to kill Nixon, but wound up killing three innocent people. Wonderful. Puzzling why puzzle person Stephen Sondheim would choose to glorify this awful person.

Good stuff. 4.25 stars.

Alan Arbesfeld’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Baseball Closers”—Ade’s write-up  

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 10.03.14: "Baseball Closers"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 10.03.14: “Baseball Closers”

And finally, Friday has come!!

I hope everyone is doing great heading into the first weekend in October.  Speaking of October, baseball heroes (and goats) are made in this month, as the baseball playoffs take center stage.  In almost an homage to the closing of baseball season, today’s crossword puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Alan Arbesfeld, features four famous people whose last names also happen to contain words at the end of their last name that are also nicknames of baseball teams.  In one little twist, even though this is the time when baseball’s best square off in the postseason, each of the teams alluded to in this puzzle had either a bad season or a really bad season in 2014. 

  • FIDEL CASTRO: (17A: [Bay of Pigs figure]) – Houston Astros record in 2014: 70-92.
  • NANETTE FABRAY: (24A: [Grandma Katherine Romano portrayer on “One Day at a Time”]) – Tampa Bay Rays record in 2014: 77-85.
  • FARLEY GRANGER: (48A: [“Strangers on a Train” star (1951)]) – Texas Rangers record in 2014: 67-95.
  • SIDNEY LUMET: (58A: [Four-time Oscar nominee for Best Director]) – New York Mets record in 2014: 79-83.

First of all, can we talk about the presence of IGNORAMUS in the grid (33D: [Not your Mensa candidate])?  It’s awesome to look at, it’s an awesome word to use and the clue is pretty cheeky as well. I know there are so many people in the crossword world are big into gardening and botany, so if anyone has an OXLIP story that they wouldn’t mind sharing, please do so (45A: [Primrose family member]).  I am far from an expert in that area, but definitely willing to learn from you guys. Initially had “ate out” instead of EAT OUT as I was a little too reckless in trying to finish as fast as possible (46A: [Decide not to cook, say]). Loved the math intersection with ABACI (5A: [Counters with beads]) crossing BASE TEN (6D: [Like our numeral system]).  Oh, and I can honestly say that I’ve never had any of the TV DINNERS out there to choose from ever in my lifetime, even with the countless ads on television (especially in the ’80s and early ’90s) that pedaled them enough to make you pull your hair out (3D: [Swanson products]).  I remember a few professional football players back in the day being spokespeople for Swanson TV dinners.  In fact, here’s a classic Swanson commercial from 1990, with former Washington (nickname withheld) defensive end and four-time Pro Bowler/three-time Super Bowl champion Charles Mann…

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: SEAU (34D: [NFL linebacker Junior]) – Sad to say that this is a melancholy sports moment of the day.  Before his untimely passing, Future Pro Football Hall of Famer Junior Seau (1969-2012) was one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the game, as he made the Pro Bowl 12 times and was an eight-time NFL All-Pro selection.  He spent his first 13 seasons of his career with his hometown team, the San Diego Chargers, before ending his career with stints with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, retiring after the 2009 season. A study of his brain after his passing discovered the presence of CTE (chronic trauma encephalopathy), a degenerative brain disease found in many other deceased former NFL players. The cause of CTE developing in the brains of these players is believed to be from repeated concussions while playing football. Seau was 43. Seau’s story, as well as CTE, the doctors who have researched the disorder and the NFL’s role in the concussion problem and the longterm health of its former players is documented in a great story by Frontline in the documentary called “League of Denial.” It’s more than an interesting watch, in my opinion.

Sorry to end on such a sour note, but I definitely hope you all have a great weekend coming up. See you all on Saturday!

Take care!


Pancho Harrison’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Think Out Allowed” — pannonica’s write-up

WSJ • 10/3/14 • "Thinking Out Allowed" • Fri • Harrison • solution

WSJ • 10/3/14 • “Thinking Out Allowed” • Fri • Harrison • solution

What’s actually condoned is prefixing an A to a word in each theme entry, significantly altering both the spelling of the word and meaning of the phrase.

  • 27a. [Bring pets up on charges?] ARRAIGN CATS AND DOGS (rain …).
  • 41a. [Result of all in favor saying “aye”?] VOCAL ACCORD (…cord),
  • 49a. [Barrels piling up in Saudi Arabia, say?] ACCRUED OIL (crude …).
  • 68a. [Alien invaders’ intent in many sci-fi films?] ASSAULT OF THE EARTH (salt …). See also 36d [Outer limits] EDGES?
  • 87a. [Tryst carried out in cabs?] TAXI AFFAIR (… fare).
  • 96a. [What a lousy car has that makes you want to buy it anyway?] LEMON APPEAL (… peel).
  • 108a. [Like proposals in the Politburo that have zero support?] NOT WORTH A RED ASSENT (… cent). Counterbalance of a sort to 41-across. Was going to say that I feel the past participle would have been a better choice here, as the capitalized Politburo was specific to the erstwhile Soviet Union, but I’ve learned that the name is formally applied to the analogous committee in China, which is still ostensibly Communist (i.e., “red”). At least in official translations.

Just seven themers here—three of them very long—but all are very strong and entertaining. Plus there’s the spelling-change consistency.

  • 56a [Shad yield] ROE, 30d [Fertility clinic stock] OVA; 12d [Toyota pickup] TUNDRA, 29d [Tahoe and Acadia] SUVS;
  • 114d [Cab alternative]. Probably primed by themer 87a, with ZI– in place I figured this was ZIP, as in Zipcar (not knowing the particulars of the name). Ah, but it was ZIN, zinfandel to the clue’s shortened cabernet[(sauvignon]. See also 77d [Hackneyed] STALE.
  • 13d [“Water Music” composer] HANDEL, 100d [Some Schubert works] LIEDER, 92a [Composer Berg] ALBAN (this is a particularly nice recording) … hmm, felt as if there were more. Oh well, how about: see also 24a [Jessica of “Sin City”] ALBA?
  • Cavalcade of misfills: 22a [Four-time Stallone role] ROCKY ere RAMBO; 40a [“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” band, for short] ELO reflexively prior to BTO, though I knew it; 44a [HBO alternative] AMC instead of TMC, which made 37d [Desolate] SAARK (not STARK), which in context sounds like a collaboration between Eero Saarinen and Philippe Starck.
  • Favorite clues: 25a [Mystic place: Abbr.] CONN; 5d [Pitcher of milk?] ELSIE.

Low CAP Quotient™, solid theme and fill, varied cluing, adding up to an enjoyable crossword. Okay, I did drag a bit during the latter stages of the solve, but I ascribe that entirely to not being awake enough to sustain my energy through a 21×21 grid.


nb: No obvious transgressions in this crossword.

Mark McClain’s Los Angeles Times crossword

LA Times crossword solution, 10 3 14

LA Times crossword solution, 10 3 14

The theme entries insert a DD into (variably) familiar phrases to create goofy new phrases:

  • 17a. [Duck royalty?], PRINCE OF WADDLES. Charles is the Prince of Wales, which seems bogus given that he’s English and not Welsh. (This is an indictment of the British monarchy and not this puzzle.)
  • 26a. [Heck of a pop?], ONE FINE DADDY. One Fine Day is, among other things, the name of a Clooney/Pfeiffer rom-com.
  • 48a. [Trader who doesn’t take the market seriously?], STOCK PIDDLER. Stockpiler is fine (though of course the verb form gets much more use than this inflected noun), but I haven’t heard someone called an anything-piddler to mean “one who piddles around with {anything}.” STOCK PIDDLER suggests that the stock is being piddled, but the only thing that can be piddled, really, is urine.
  • 63a. [Classified instrument?], TOP-SECRET FIDDLE. Is “top-secret file” a lexical chunk unto itself, or is it akin to “blue shirt”?

It’s Friday in LAT-land, so you get a puzzle with no theme revealer. Doesn’t need one, really. Many of the ones with revealers don’t need them, either.

Five more things:

  • 38a. [Army post merged with McGuire AFB and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst], FT. DIX, N.J. That’s a lot of abbreviating to be signaled by one little “AFB” in a long clue. Good old Fort 509.
  • I wonder if the constructor originally clued both EDGE and BONO as the members of U2, rather than 35d. [Do lawn work] and 57a. [His epitaph reads “And the beat goes on”] (that one’s about Sonny Bono, Cher’s ex).
  • 69a. [Caustic cleaners], LYES. At least one dictionary doesn’t support this pluralization.
  • 10d. [Vital pair], KIDNEYS. Go drink a tall glass of water and hydrate your kidneys. Keep ’em happy.
  • There’s a fair amount of quasi-crosswordese in here: TAM, ADU (no longer much of a current name stateside—he’s now playing for a Serbian team), OAST, OVATE, ERSE, TSETSES, ADEN, ISLIP, ADZE, and RUHR. I think this puzzle might be a debut—I hope Mr. McClain continues making puzzles and honing his skills, bringing livelier fill in crosswords future.

Three stars from me.

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24 Responses to Friday, October 3, 2014

  1. clam says:

    Loved it. Medium difficulty and done in 27 minutes. Guessed Caleb after only having the B and also stasis after having first and last S.Loved ILL TRADE YOU And I FOLD.Thanks TB

  2. Tracy B says:

    Yes, thank you Amy. I wasn’t going to dis that clue unless a blogger brought it up, and I knew you would. I also removed that adjective in 15A from my vocabulary many, many years ago. I winced when I saw it appear in my preview copy, and I wrote to the editor to voice my concerns about it. Will also came up with some of the best clues in the grid, though, in my opinion, and was gracious and considerate in response to my fairly stressed-out communication. Your overall assessment is spot-on. It’s a novice effort on my part, with some really fine elements, some unusual choices, and some fill elements I’d probably eschew 10 months later (now, I mean). Feels like progress, and that feels good. Funny that TSETSES is also in today’s LAT, that crosswordese that only Gareth Bain is allowed to use. Sorry, Gareth!

  3. HH says:

    “…if it can give offense, I’d rather avoid using it.”

    This is where we differ. My work is incomplete if there’s still someone I haven’t offended.

  4. Matt says:

    A bunch of one-letter corrections at the end before Mr. Pencil appeared: NOTI/NORI, WIESS/WIEST, ARNST/ERNST and the various crossings. Good puzzle in spite of that.

  5. Mark says:

    As a modern cultural reference, “The Goat Rodeo Sessions” is a recent (2013) album released by a collaboration of musicians headlined by Yo-Yo Ma. It won the grammy for best folk album in that year. They named the album as such because they felt the creative & recording processes were somewhat disorganized. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys bluegrass, folk, etc.

  6. susanb says:

    I must – well, want to – take issue with the clue to 13D – The Hebrew Hammer of Major League Baseball. The puzzle answer is Al Rosen, but he was not the first, nor last, ballplayer known as The Hebrew Hammer. Thus ‘The’ is misleading/inaccurate. Hank Greenberg preceded Rosen on the field and in the record books. Greenberg played 1B for the Detroit Tigers from 1930-46, with stellar service in WWII, and ended his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947; he was elected to the HOF in 1956. Rosen played his entire career (1947-56) for the Cleveland Indians. Both players endured ugly incidents of antisemitism on and off the field. A current player is also nicknamed ‘The Hebrew Hammer.’ Ryan Braun plays LF/RF/3B for the Milwaukee Brewers (and a former teammate of Gabe Kapler, also called ‘The Hebrew Hammer’), considers himself Jewish but, as his mother is Catholic, is not considered so under Jewish law. The ‘Hammer’ part is right, as (some contend) Braun’s hitting power derived from his use of PEDs, for which he served a 65-game suspension last year.

  7. ArtLvr says:

    re Seau’s CTE — a doctor who examines donated brains of deceased football players reports that of her collection of 79 to date, 76 had CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

  8. Brucenm says:

    Congrats Tracy. I liked your puzzle a lot, and rated it more highly than the consensus. I liked all the things Amy did, plus some others. Of course I don’t like “reggaeton,” but we know that. I’ve heard the expression “Stadium rock,” but have no idea what it means.

    Huda can confirm this, but I think the name Khalif is the same word as “caliph”, or the leader of an Islamic state, (i.e. a successor to Mohammed.)

    Doesn’t the word “Español” signal that the answer is in Spanish?

    The Goat Rodeo session includes music by the wonderful bassist and interesting composer Eugene Meyer, with whom Yoyo has often collaborated. It’s a great album. But I think the Goat Rodeo clue is misleading and misses the intended meaning of the term, at least according to Yoyo. I was interested in the funny name too. I did not speak directly to him about this question, but I have talked to others who did, and what he meant by the title was essentially the *opposite* of the clue. It was a situation which was fraught with peril and stumbling blocks, which *could* have gone absurdly out of control, but didn’t; which worked out very well; where the potential dangers were averted. In other words, the emphasis is on the “successful” herding of the goats.

    • Papa John says:

      GOAT RODEO got me curious, so I did an online search and came up, more or less, empty-handed. The first entry that actually dealt with the phrase was in regards to today’s puzzle. Neither Wikipedia nor Urban Dictionary had entries for it. I didn’t find any dictionary entries, except this one: “A slang term for a bad meeting. For example, if shareholders spend most of the annual meeting criticizing management and attempting to remove the board of directors, the meeting may be described as a goat rodeo.” Perhaps someone better at searching can come up with more, but at this point, I’m baffled by it.

      Mind you, there are plenty of images of actual goat rodeos and it’s easy to see how they could become chaotic (poor goats) but this is not the idiomatic sense of the phrase – it’s the real deal; kids roping kids.

      I’m just sayin”…

      • Papa John says:

        By the way, goats make terrific pets.

      • Gary R says:


        Try googling “goat rodeo” with the quotation marks. First hit I got was an Urban Dictionary entry which reflects the clue/answer in the puzzle. Second was a Wikipedia entry for the Goat Rodeo Sessions album discussed above, which also cross-references the meaning from the puzzle.

    • pannonica says:

      That’s Edgar Meyer, of course. Among others, he’s also collaborated often with Béla Fleck.

  9. Avg Solvr says:

    WSJ “Okay, I did drag a bit during the latter stages of the solve, but I ascribe that entirely to not being awake enough to sustain my energy through a 21×21 grid.”

    I’d attribute that to the SEish being a traffic jam of trivia.

  10. CY Hollander says:

    The bottom-left corner of the NYT had far too many proper nouns, IMO; at any rate, it flattened me. Not knowing DIMETAPP, NEAME, NAPA, WIEST, or ATCO, and having only a vague sense of AH SIN, I don’t actually see a way I could have guessed myself to the solution here. STASSEN/REGGAETON was also problematic.

    I wondered if the AP in NAPA referred to auto parts, but I thought that might run afoul of the rule against using parts of the answer in the clue. Apparently it does not, but at any rate, cluing N(ational)A(utomotive)P(arts)Association with “Auto parts giant” is at the least an infelicity, IMO.

    The world would be a better place if people didn’t bend over backwards to take offense where none is meant.

  11. Martin says:

    A religious friend uses “cotton pickin'” because “gosh darned” is a transparent euphemism for “God damned.” As near as I can tell, our current sensitivity to this less transparent euphemism as being racist started with a politician trying to make points in a debate. Before that, there doesn’t seem to be any record of the origin being other than a reference to a loathsome job and not any cotton pickers themselves. My friend would be baffled and horrified to hear that her substitution is considered racist.

    I was once officially reprimanded by management for using the phrase “Rube Goldberg” in a sales presentation. I was told it was anti-Semitic. My explanation that Rube Goldberg was an actual cartoonist wasn’t an adequate defense. That opened my eyes to the unintended consequences of trying to root out every offensive phrase, even where offense was not intended in the coinage. And yes, Amy knows that. in my opinion, banning “niggardly” is not that different from banning “Huck Finn.” Actually, it’s worse because “Huck Finn” really does contain offensive language.

    Of course, I’d have liked to see the clue changed because Tracy would have liked to see it changed. That should be her right even if I disagree with the reason.

  12. Howard B says:

    Never heard of GOAT RODEO, but it’s too funny an image invoked not to like. Enjoyable puzzle all around.

    Strange thing in the Times app, submitted the puzzle around 3:20, and the app just froze. Upon reloading the app, the puzzle was accepted as solved, with my time listed as 3:55. Times notwithstanding, is that a common thing in general in the Times app (the freezing upon submission thing, then an acceptance well after submission)?

  13. Brucenm says:

    Liked the wsj. Excellent write-up, Pannonica, with one typo — vocal *cord*.

    • pannonica says:

      Thanks. Fixed. Spent the day wondering and worrying if I’d mistyped ‘[red] cent’ as ‘[red] scent’.

  14. Gareth says:

    Thanks to Amy for doing my blogging duties!

    NYT: Mostly very easy, very fun puzzle! Bottom-left was a Saturday+ corner for me: I had DIMETAPP (medicine that tastes like cooldrink! Had no idea it was available in America. Most medicine here seems unknown your side and vice-versa!) and ALPHAFEMALE and couldn’t get much further: YESNO, INALINE/INPLACE and then stuck. Had oNe which seems like a deliberate trap! The contex was not nearly enough for me to get DUNAWAY easily (although eventually guessing finally closed the corner). Didn’t know crossing WIEST and AHSIN is only vaguely familiar. Clue for ANTIC still makes no sense at all! And NAPA clue means nothing to me here.

    BOJANGLES, REGGAETON, GOATRODEO (no idea here either, but it’s hilarious!) were all great. ALROSEN is a rare baseballer I can fill in without crossers, thanks to an unsuccessful puzzle of mine burning it into my skull!

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