LA Times Crossword 1 Aug 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Kevin Salat
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 24s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • YLEM (elem)
  • TAUROMACHY (tauromache)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cajun staple : OKRA

Cajun cuisine is named for the French-speaking Acadian people who were deported from Acadia in Canada to Louisiana in the 18th century.

5 Rhyme $yndicate Records founder : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

9 Pooch living in 2062 : ASTRO

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it debuted in 1963 on ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” is like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are their household robot Rosie and pet dog Astro.

16 Fine fiddle : STRAD

Generations of the Stradivari family produced violins and other stringed instruments, the most famous of which were constructed by Antonio Stradivari.

19 Red state verb : OWE

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

20 Boston song whose title lyric precedes “We’re cookin’ tonight” : SMOKIN’

Boston is a rock band from … Boston. Boston’s biggest hit was “Amanda”, released in 1986.

23 Goose that may nest on volcanic ash : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

25 Donkey Kong or King Kong : APE

The first video game featuring the ape called Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That same game introduced the world to the character known as Mario, four years before the game Super Mario Bros became such a big hit.

“King Kong” really is a classic movie. It stars Fay Wray as the young woman (Ann Darrow) with whom Kong falls in love. Wray was very interested in the role as she was told that she would be playing opposite the “tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood”. She thought it might be Clark Gable. At least that’s how the story goes …

26 Blue side: Abbr. : DEMS

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

27 Sound that gets an exam proctor’s attention : PSST!

A proctor is a supervisor, and especially a person overseeing a school examination or a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, and is a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

31 Jan. honoree : MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”). It was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

33 Pop singer Brenda : LEE

Brenda Lee is a country and rockabilly singer who had 37 songs that made the charts in the sixties. Lee’s biggest hits are probably “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” from 1958, and “I’m Sorry” from 1960. Lee was only 13 years old when she recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.

38 Teaching where to go in England? : HOUSE-TRAINING

“Housebreaking” is known as “house-training” in British English.

39 Wine label abbr. : ALC

Alcohol (alc.)

40 Airport near OAK : SFO

The San Francisco Bay Area is served by three major airports: San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC).

42 De Matteo of “The Sopranos” : DREA

Drea de Matteo is an actress who is most familiar to me for playing Adriana la Cerva on HBO’s wonderful series “The Sopranos”. De Matteo also played Joey’s sister on the short-lived “Friends” spin-off called “Joey”, and the character Angie Bolen on “Desperate Housewives”.

44 “!!!” : OMG!

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

46 Judicial order : WRIT

A writ is an order issued by some formal body (these days, usually a court) with the order being in “written” form. Warrants and subpoenas are examples of writs.

50 Bubble Up sister brand : DAD’S

Dad’s root beer was developed by Ely Klapman and Barney Berns in 1937, and was given the name “Dad’s” in honor of Klapman’s father who used to make root beer for his family at home.

51 Wyndham-owned chain : RAMADA

The Ramada Inn hotel chain takes its name from the Spanish word for a shady resting place. A ramada is a shelter with a roof and no walls, mainly found in the American southwest. Nowadays a ramada can be temporary or permanent, but originally ramadas were makeshift shelters constructed by aboriginal Indians from branches or bushes.

55 Kerfuffle : ADO

“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

58 Spam-revealing aid? : CAN OPENER

Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”. Spam is particularly popular in Hawaii, so popular that it is sometimes referred to as “the Hawaiian steak”.

60 Hitchcock menace : BIRDS

“The Birds” is a 1963 film made by Alfred Hitchcock based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve read the story and seen the film and find them both strangely disturbing (it’s probably just me!). I can’t stand the ending of either version, as nothing resolves itself!

62 Toothed whale’s technique : SONAR

The cetaceans are aquatic mammals, or which there are two groups: the toothed whales and the baleen whales. Most toothed whale species (e.g. dolphins and porpoises) feed on fish and squid, although killer whales feed on mammals such as seals. Baleen whales sieve plankton and other organisms from the seawater.

63 Proto-matter of the universe : YLEM

Back in the 1940s, cosmologists George Gamow and Ralph Alpher used the term “ylem” to describe the primordial plasma that was presumed to exist right after the Big Bang.

Down

1 Indulges in to an extreme degree : ODS ON

Overdose (OD)

2 Mardi Gras parade-organizing group : KREWE

“Krewe” is the name given to an organization responsible for putting on parades and balls during Carnival celebrations. The most famous is the krewe that pulls together Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

4 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

7 Alexander of “Living Single” : ERIKA

Erika Alexander is the actress that played Pam Tucker, a cousin that came to live with the Huxtable household in “The Cosby Show”. Alexander also won many awards for playing Maxine Shaw on the Fox sitcom “Living Single”.

8 17th-century craze involving bulbs : TULIP MANIA

The world’s first ever speculative “bubble” in the financial markets took place in 1637, when the price of tulip bulbs skyrocketed out of control. The tulip had been introduced into Europe a few years earlier and demand for tulips was so high that single bulbs were selling for ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. The climb in prices was followed quickly by a collapse in the market that was so striking that the forces at play were given the term “tulip mania”. To this day, any large economic bubble may be referred to as “tulip mania”.

9 Puerto Rico hrs. : AST

Atlantic Standard Time (AST) is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. The list of locations that use AST includes Puerto Rico, Bermuda and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

10 Medieval Times ride : STEED

Medieval Times is a dinner theater show featuring medieval games such as jousting and sword-fighting. The first show opened in a purpose-built building in Orland, Florida.

11 Commuter’s convenience : TRAVEL MUG

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

13 Quite a journey : ODYSSEY

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

15 Mushroom ends? : EMS

There is a letter M (em) at either end of the word “mushroom”.

21 ’50s-’60s TV family : NELSONS

“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” originally ran from 1952 to 1966, and has been running continuously in syndication ever since. It still holds the record for the longest-running, non-animated sitcom ever seen on US television.

24 Pentathlon equipment : EPEES

The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the “modern pentathlon”. First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:

  1. pistol shooting
  2. épée fencing
  3. 200m freestyle swimming
  4. show jumping
  5. 3km cross-country running

28 Lid problems : STYES

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

30 Matador’s art : TAUROMACHY

The practice of bullfighting is known formally as “tauromachy”, a term that comes from the Greek “tauromakhia”, which in turn comes from “tauros” (bull) and “-machy” (battle, fighting).

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

32 Beer order at a sushi bar : KIRIN

Kirin lager is the oldest brand of beer in Japan. The “Kirin” name comes from the Japanese word for a mythical Chinese creature.

34 “Nebraska” Best Actor nominee : BRUCE DERN

Bruce Dern is a Hollywood actor with quite a pedigree. Dern is the grandchild of former Utah governor and Secretary of War, George Henry Dern. Bruce’s godparents were Adlai Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt!

“Nebraska” is a really interesting 2013 movie starring Bruce Dern as an elderly man who heads to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that is clearly a scam. This one is filmed in black & white, which adds to the mood nicely. I noticed that a local movie theater here did a one-day showing of a color version.

35 Padre’s hermana : TIA

In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “padre” (father) is your “tia” (aunt).

37 Music service pioneer that merged with Slacker in 2017 : AOL RADIO

AOL Radio was an online service offering over 200 free Internet radio stations. The service was available online, and as an app for smartphones.

38 Staked a claim (on) : HAD DIBS

The phrase “to have dibs on” expresses a claim on something. Apparently, the term “dibs” is a contraction of “dibstone”, which was a knucklebone or jack used in a children’s game.

43 Adjective on taco truck menus : ASADA

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

45 Outlook alternative : GMAIL

Gmail is a free webmail service provided by Google, and my favorite of the free email services. Gmail made a big splash when it was introduced because it offered a whopping 1GB of storage whereas other services offered a measly 2-4MB on average.

48 Latin clarifier : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

49 Where the heart is : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

54 National Poetry Mo. : APR

April was chosen as National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

57 Ukr. or Est., once : SSR

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English, we often call the country “the Ukraine”, but I am told that we should say just “Ukraine”.

Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cajun staple : OKRA
5 Rhyme $yndicate Records founder : ICE-T
9 Pooch living in 2062 : ASTRO
14 Fast-food option : DRIVE-THRU
16 Fine fiddle : STRAD
17 Asian cooking ingredient : SESAME OIL
18 Sad : TEARY
19 Red state verb : OWE
20 Boston song whose title lyric precedes “We’re cookin’ tonight” : SMOKIN’
22 Preceding periods : EVES
23 Goose that may nest on volcanic ash : NENE
25 Donkey Kong or King Kong : APE
26 Blue side: Abbr. : DEMS
27 Sound that gets an exam proctor’s attention : PSST!
31 Jan. honoree : MLK
33 Pop singer Brenda : LEE
34 “Nevertheless … ” : BE THAT AS IT MAY …
37 Dealer’s question : ARE YOU IN OR OUT?
38 Teaching where to go in England? : HOUSE-TRAINING
39 Wine label abbr. : ALC
40 Airport near OAK : SFO
41 “This comes __ surprise” : AS NO
42 De Matteo of “The Sopranos” : DREA
44 “!!!” : OMG!
46 Judicial order : WRIT
50 Bubble Up sister brand : DADS
51 Wyndham-owned chain : RAMADA
55 Kerfuffle : ADO
56 “Don’t get any __” : IDEAS
58 Spam-revealing aid? : CAN OPENER
60 Hitchcock menace : BIRDS
61 Erratic : HIT-OR-MISS
62 Toothed whale’s technique : SONAR
63 Proto-matter of the universe : YLEM
64 Wary of : ONTO

Down

1 Indulges in to an extreme degree : ODS ON
2 Mardi Gras parade-organizing group : KREWE
3 Up and at ’em : RISEN
4 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
5 Thing : ITEM
6 End of an allergic reaction : -CHOO
7 Alexander of “Living Single” : ERIKA
8 17th-century craze involving bulbs : TULIP MANIA
9 Puerto Rico hrs. : AST
10 Medieval Times ride : STEED
11 Commuter’s convenience : TRAVEL MUG
12 What’s just not done, to some diners? : RARE MEAT
13 Quite a journey : ODYSSEY
15 Mushroom ends? : EMS
21 ’50s-’60s TV family : NELSONS
24 Pentathlon equipment : EPEES
28 Lid problems : STYES
29 Strove to achieve : SHOT FOR
30 Matador’s art : TAUROMACHY
32 Beer order at a sushi bar : KIRIN
34 “Nebraska” Best Actor nominee : BRUCE DERN
35 Padre’s hermana : TIA
36 Thus far : TO NOW
37 Music service pioneer that merged with Slacker in 2017 : AOL RADIO
38 Staked a claim (on) : HAD DIBS
43 Adjective on taco truck menus : ASADA
45 Outlook alternative : GMAIL
47 Arrested : RAN IN
48 Latin clarifier : ID EST
49 Where the heart is : TORSO
52 Penultimate prefix : ANTE-
53 Dire prophecy : DOOM
54 National Poetry Mo. : APR
57 Ukr. or Est., once : SSR
59 Moody genre : EMO

39 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Aug 20, Saturday”

  1. 14:15, Bill’s errors. Can’t say I’ve had a real good last couple of days when it comes to crosswords between the dailies yesterday and today and the Fireball book. Gonna rest for most part – just got another book on crosswords I’ve been reading.

  2. No errors but this is more Google knowledge than mine, at least
    for proper and proprietary names. When I tumbled to
    “be that as it may”….it helped a lot

  3. Typical Saturday grind. Never heard of tauromachy. Didn’t know krewe. Can you get any more obscure than ylem? In fact it was autocorrected to helm just now! Not an enjoyable puzzle to do.

  4. Two words: YLEM and TAUROMACHY. What? 🙂 Pretty obscure words, but I found YLEM to have an interesting history. As Bill pointed out, it was coined in the 1940s by theoretical physicists, but what I found interesting was that its meaning eventually morphed into the subatomic particles we all know and love today like hadrons, bosons, quarks, and leptons. TUROMACHY, on the other hand, should be the poster child for the word “obscure”. The first 30 or so hits on Google are all dictionary hits for the definition of the word. Interesting but not like ylem.

    @Glenn, what books on crosswords have you been reading?

    Be safe, everyone.

    1. @Kent
      I’ve picked up a few different books about crosswords since I started in this. They’re mainly more about history and things that go on. The last book I picked up is “Thinking Inside The Box” by Adrienne Raphel. The current chapter I’m on is the obligatory ACPT reference. Most of these books seem to have their obligatory notes (Aurthur Wynne, Bletchley Park, et al), but there’s a few on mildly different topics. Of course, some are better than others (the referenced one is pretty meandering, unfocused, and offers no real insight on most of its topics). I can always provide a bigger list and some suggestions if you do want to look into reading some of this stuff.

  5. LAT: Very hard, more than an hour and then threw in the towel. Made same two mistakes as Bill plus a few more of my own. Never heard of Drea De Matteo or Bubble Up; should have guessed at asada though.

  6. Left one letter out because I didn’t have a clue and was too paralyzed to even guess at the y ending of “tauromachy”. So, two errors.

  7. Way, way too obscure for me – – either because of the clue itself or because of the answer to that clue. It is unfortunate that crosswords seem to devolving into obscure trivia for clues and answers.

  8. Wow, so many odd words… KREWE YLEM TAUROMACHY. ALC for me too! AOL has a radio channel?? Odd combination of bizarre words and hipsy slang as if the author actually uses all of these words.. It’s like he pulled a bunch of words , letters and phrases out of a jar and crammed them into a puzzle.. Wow, just when I thought I had traction then I skidded off the road.. Took an hour..

  9. Everything that has been said from everyone is true. And besides that it was not fun and boring. Waste of time. Going to do the silly jumble, actually getting pretty good at it. Uall stay safe.

  10. Why am I always the odd man out? (Okay … don’t answer that! 😜)

    At about the ten-minute mark, I had “finished” this puzzle, but with seven (!) squares either unfilled or incorrectly filled. KREWE and YLEM were gimmes and I got TAUROMACHY from crosses (but it made perfect sense). What caused my solve to go off the rails was the clue for 38-Across (“Teaching where to go in England?”). The obvious answer was HOUSE-TRAINING, but I thought, “There’s nothing particularly English about that, so the question mark must mean it’s a punny answer.” (Actually, as it turns out, the US equivalent is more likely to be HOUSE-BREAKING, but I guess I’m familiar with both.) In any case, I cleverly put in WC-USE TRAINING! (Water Closet! Get it?) So that gave me WON DIBS (and yes, that’s very odd) instead of HAD DIBS for 38-Down. Then, I guessed that 37-Down (something that, like “Slacker”, I’d never heard of) must end in AUDIO, rather than RADIO. So there I sat until 20:12, when I gave up and began Googling to work out what I had done wrong. DREA was easy to find, but AOL RADIO was not: what kept coming up was DASH RADIO (which, of course, didn’t fit) instead of AOL RADIO. Eventually, I did straighten out the whole mess without resorting to looking at an answer key for the puzzle, but only after great damage had been done to my ego … 😜.

    In my own defense, let me say that I did this after finishing yesterday’s Tim Croce puzzle (which I got, with no errors, after 3 hours and 15 minutes), so I walked into this one with a certain degree of brain damage at the outset … 😜.

    1. And, actually, that’s not all! 😜 Today’s “Stumper” was curiously easy, except for one corner that I broke into only by using Google to look up the name of the (artificially created) element with atomic number 117 (TENNESINE rather than TENNESIUM), after which I handled the rest of it with no trouble.

      The conclusion is clear: Google is paying cruciverbalists to make use of obscure words to drum up business and increase their ad revenues! Spread the word! This evil scheme must be nipped in the bud! … 😜

      1. Oddly enough, the Stumper was IMO the best constructed one of the Saturday lot, at least in terms of how cleanly written it is, at least compared to this one, the NYT, and the Croce with the usual miscommunication and fallaciousness. Only real enjoyable one out of the pile (though I will admit I was stuck on the same thing on the Stumper).

        1. @Glenn … Thank you for that “IMO”. Can’t argue with you when you include that … 😜.

          And the puzzle was a pleasant gift, with the exception of that one sticking point (and even with that, it went pretty smoothly once I allowed myself to visit Dr. Google). It must be said, though, that the Croce puzzle gave me a much greater sense of accomplishment.

  11. That’s one of the beauties of crosswords — especially Saturday ones — that we can still learn new words when school for most of us is a distant memory. Today it’s TELEMACHY, which as Bill has noted comes from the Greek for bull and battle. A quick internet check revealed a few other obscure -machy words: logomachy, sciamachy, and theomachy. Sciamachy refers to a fight with an imaginary enemy, theomachy is contention among the gods, and logomachy is just what us commenters are doing now — arguing about words!

      1. @ A Nonny Muss

        Thanks for the support but for some stupid reason I wrote TELEMACHY when it should have been TAUROMACHY. (As everybody knows, Telemachy refers to the first four books of Homer’s Odyssey.)

  12. Yup and ditto to Rick, Steve, Anon Mike, and Cathy (and probably others, by the time I post this). I suspect their comments on this hot mess of a puzzle would put a smug smile on the face of constructor Kevin Salat, who obviously fancies himself a very clever fellow.

  13. 18:51 1 error HASDIBS/SREA
    I’ve only watched maybe three episodes of The Sopranos, so SREA makes as much sense as DREA to me.

    I vaguely remember YLEM, but forgot that Gamow coined the word.

    Now I want to know if there’s such a thing as tauromancy.

    @A Nonny Muss – thanks for the CHUM/CHUB explanation yesterday.
    @Dirk – all bees are largely misunderstood. The fear of black and yellow stripey things is deeply ingrained.

    1. @ Pam in MA

      I’m no expert but I’d guess tauromancy was once practised, where “-mancy” means “magic performed on or by means of something” as in necromancy — magic involving the dead. Bulls were certainly sacrificed and reading the entrails of sacrificial animals to divine the future was a common practice. But can you imagine the smell? Call me picky but I’m sticking with bird entrails.

  14. This puzzle started out looking like an embarrassing DNF, but eventually I got it all in, with one error – TAUROMANCHe and eLEM. Elementary seemed a good fit with anything as basic as proto-matter.

    If it weren’t for crossword puzzles I would be able to completely ignore hip/hop and rap.

    I love references to Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. I grew up near Bodega and Bodega Bay. My brother still lives near there and knows a few locals who
    appeared in it, mostly as the school children. They’ve mostly aged out now, though, so it’s people whose parents were in it. I have a watercolor of the old school.

  15. Eventually finished with no errors, but I credit Google as much as myself, as I used it four times to get names of people that I did not know of or had forgotten. The Hitchcock reference reminded me of walking home in the dark, in terror, after seeing that movie as a young lad. This was not a particularly enjoyable puzzle, and I can agree with many of the prior comments.

  16. 46:00 no errors…what everybody (except Nonny) said …hard is one thing but completely obscure is something else 👎👎👎👎👎👎👎.
    Stay safe.

  17. For those here who also work the daily WSJ crossword I found the 21X21 grid a good stiff challenge today. I finally finished without final error and felt good about it. So between the LAT’s and the WSJ my crossword brain cells are pretty much worn to a nub.

    1. @Tony … I found the WSJ pretty thoughtful, as well. In fact, every puzzle I tackled last night seemed harder than usual. (I assumed it was just me, but … maybe not … 🙂.)

    2. I found the WSJ to be pretty much standard fare. 1 dumb error, 1 Natick (36A-37D). Actually better than most I’ve done/checked over the weekend – errors by the truckload…when I think I can do crosswords, I get reminded that I really can’t.

    3. FWIW, I just checked and found that my time on the WSJ was about the same as ever and I finished with no final errors, but with many more overwrites, than usual (and it definitely felt harder).

    1. @Anonymous …

      Take a look at this:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housebreaking

      The opening sentence is as follows:

      “Housebreaking (American English) or house-training (British English) is the process of training a domesticated animal that lives with its human owners in a house or other residence to excrete (urinate and defecate) outdoors, or in a designated indoor area (such as an absorbent pad or a litter box), rather than randomly inside the house following its instinctive behaviour.”

      Oh, who am I kidding? You won’t look at it … 😳.

  18. Clever little Saturday puzzle for me; took 42 minutes with the same error(s) as Bill. I actually blazed through most of this and then bogged for 15 minutes down in the major complaint areas, which for me was the SW.

    Fortunately I knew DREA from watching “Sons of Anarchy” and after finally switching Amt to ALC, I saw the crosswordese lovable AOL (I still don’t understand this) and then filled in …RADIO, which allowed me to spot BRUCE DERN (great actor). I also had to do an alphabet roll to get the W in OWE/KREWE and still wasn’t quite sure.

    @Pam – Too true, regarding little yellow and black buzzy things. I also googled your “Tauromancy” which “is an artificially created system for performing ‘psychic’ readings. I made it up from scratch so there was no chance of any factors other than pure science.”

    re Tauromache – Given it’s Greek roots, I seem to remember reading that as part of transitioning to manhood, Cretan youth were required to face a charging, or at least moving, bull and grab him by the horns and vault over the top of it. I recall thinking at the time that I would have never made it.

  19. Greetings!🦆

    I liked this puzzle and actually thought it was a bit easy for a Saturday!🤔 Had one error – same as Bill and others – did not know TAUROMACHY or YLEM so I left the Y square blank. I count one wrong square as one error, FWIW. The rest of the puzzle went pretty smoothly. I coulda done without the Boston reference tho – some things should just STAY in my college years, buried and forgotten. 🤗

    Be well~~⚾️

  20. 19 mins 23 sec, and the same 4 errors everyone else had. The clue for “OWE” was a masterfully duplicitous one. TAUROMACHY …. well, there’s no defending that one, is there…?

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