0121-24 NY Times Crossword 21 Jan 24, Sunday

Constructed by: John Westwig
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Funny Business

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted, in a FUNNY way, as reasons attempts to start a BUSINESS failed:

  • 23A “First, I founded an aerospace start-up, but I never …” : … GOT IT OFF THE GROUND
  • 39A “When that fell through, I tried my hand at fishmongering, but we …” : … DIDN’T SCALE WELL
  • 56A “Next, I pivoted into breakfast restaurants, but competitors …” : … POACHED OUR EMPLOYEES
  • 77A “When I tried candlemaking, all my workers …” : … SUFFERED FROM BURNOUT
  • 92A “I decided to try operating an airport, but just before launch we …” : … RAN OUT OF RUNWAY
  • 112A “Finally, I decided to buy a grocery store on an intersection, but a rival had …” : … CORNERED THE MARKET

Bill’s time: 22m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Neckwear provided at some restaurants : BIB

The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe a bib is less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …

19 Pikes Peak people : UTE

Zebulon Pike was an American Army officer and explorer. On his first expedition for the military he discovered a mountain in the Rockies that had been dubbed El Capitan by Spanish settlers. It was later renamed to Pike’s Peaks (now “Pikes Peak”) in honor of the explorer.

20 One-dish meal : CHILI

The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

22 Game night cry : UNO!

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that UNO is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

30 Bourne’s employer in “The Bourne Identity,” in brief : CIA

“The Bourne Identity” is a great spy novel written by Robert Ludlum, and first published in 1980. It has been ranked as the second best spy novel of all time, just behind the even more enjoyable “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” by John le Carré. Ludlum wrote two sequels, and all three parts of the Bourne Trilogy have been made into very successful movies now, starring Matt Damon in the title role. Ludlum died before he could write more than three novels featuring Jason Bourne, but five more titles in the series have been published, each written by Eric Van Lustbader. I must check them out …

33 Total revolution? : YEAR

A year is defined as the time it takes for the Earth to orbit the Sun. The other planets in our solar system take varying lengths of time to complete their orbits:

  1. Mercury: ~ 3 Earth months
  2. Venus: ~ 7 Earth months
  3. Earth: 1 Earth year
  4. Mars: ~ 2 Earth years
  5. Jupiter: ~ 12 Earth years
  6. Saturn: ~ 30 Earth years
  7. Uranus: ~ 84 Earth years
  8. Neptune: ~ 165 Earth years

34 Ardennes assent : OUI

The Forest of Arden is the setting for Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. Even though there is a Forest of Arden surrounding Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-on-Avon, as the play is set in France one has to assume that the “As You Like It” Arden is an anglicization of the forested “Ardennes” region that stretches from Belgium into France.

37 Daughter of Muhammad : FATIMA

Fatimah was the youngest daughter of the prophet Muhammad and his first wife Khadija.

39 “When that fell through, I tried my hand at fishmongering, but we …” : … DIDN’T SCALE WELL

The suffix “-monger” indicates a dealer or trader. For example, A fishmonger sells fish, an ironmonger sells hardware, a warmonger proposes military conflict, and an ideamonger deals in ideas …

47 Pop singer with noted bangs (and bangers!) : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. She is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler. Sia is a very private person, and even covers her face with a blond wig while performing.

51 J. M. Barrie, for one : SCOT

Author and dramatist J.M. Barrie is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. Barrie wrote a play in 1904 called “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”. He turned this into a novel called “Peter and Wendy” in 1911. The girl’s name “Wendy” was very uncommon before Barrie named his character, and he is given credit for making the name as popular as it is today.

53 What Ralph represents in a Freudian analysis of “Lord of the Flies” : EGO

“Lord of the Flies” is such a great story! William Golding wrote the novel as an allegory of society. The most famous screen adaptation was made in 1963, directed by Peter Brook.

62 Medal-earning mettle : VALOR

“Mettle” is such a lovely word. It means “courage, fortitude, spirit”. “Mettle” is simply a variant spelling of the word “metal”.

70 Behind : TUSHIE

“Tush”, a word meaning “backside”, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

84 Lead-in to zone : EURO-

The eurozone (also “euro area”) is a monetary and economic union within the European Union that uses the euro as a shared legal tender and sole currency.

90 Uncles, in Uruguay : TIOS

The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which reflects the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

100 Wrote, as a bad check : KITED

Check kiting is illegal. The idea behind kiting is to write a check, even though there are insufficient funds to cover the amount. The con artist then writes another check, also with insufficient funds, from another bank’s account to cover the original check. I am not sure it would work nowadays, but then I am as honest as the day is long! Oh, and I think the term “kiting” comes from the older phrase “go fly a kite”, the idea being that the bad check is floated on air (on non-existent funds).

102 Universal donor’s designation, informally : O-NEG

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

105 Bridge component : BID

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

108 Backdrop : LOCALE

We use the term “backdrop” figuratively to mean “background”. The original backdrop is a painted cloth that is hung across the rear of a stage as part of the scenery.

110 Exclamation before an ill-advised action, maybe : YOLO

You only live once (YOLO)

111 Creature that swallows its prey whole : BOA

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

115 “Wise” one : OWL

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

116 “Enjoyed” some humble pie : ATE CROW

The phrase “eat crow”, an alternative to “eat humble pie”, perhaps refers to the fact that cooked crow may be edible, but is not a great food choice.

117 Bolting Bolt : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

121 Full ___ : MONTY

Sheffield is a city in the north of England, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Sheffield is famous for its production of steel, for being the setting of the film “The Full Monty” and … for being home to my alma mater, the University of Sheffield!

Down

2 Heaven on earth : UTOPIA

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book “Utopia” published in 1516 to describe an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

5 Hammer wielder of myth : THOR

The hammer associated with the Norse god Thor is known as Mjölnir. The name “Mjölnir” translates as “crusher”.

7 ___ Butts, inventor of Scrabble : ALFRED

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, and is the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts was born on April 13th, and we now celebrate National Scrabble Day on April 13th each year in his honor.

11 Big name in jeans : STRAUSS

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

12 Quintessential : ICONIC

In ancient Greece, Aristotle believed that there was a fifth element, beyond the accepted four elements of earth, wind, fire and water. This fifth element he called aether, postulating it was the makeup of celestial bodies. In Middle French in the 14th century, the “fifth element” was called “quinte essence”, coming into English as “quintessence” in the early 15th century. In the late 1500s, “quintessence” came to mean “purest essence” in a more general sense, with “quintessential” meaning “at its finest”.

14 Spam holders : TINS

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”.

15 Health class subj. : STD

Sexually transmitted disease (STD)

16 Sloan or Wharton : BUSINESS SCHOOL

MIT’s School of Management is named for MIT graduate Alfred P. Sloan, a former chairman of General Motors.

Wharton is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. The school was established in 1881 largely due to a donation from industrialist Joseph Wharton, co-founder of Bethlehem Steel.

17 Opposite of relief, in printmaking : INTAGLIO

Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term “cameo” is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

18 ___ wonder : BOY

Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

24 Traditional makers of anoraks : INUIT

Anoraks really aren’t very popular over here in America. Everyone has one in Ireland! An anorak is a heavy jacket with a hood, often lined with fur (or fake fur), and is an invention of the Inuit people.

30 Call of a raven : CAW

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller and are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

34 Aid in getting a leg up? : OTTOMAN

The piece of furniture known as an ottoman can be a couch, usually one with a head but no back or sides. Here in the US, the term more commonly applies to a padded and upholstered seat or bench that can also be used as a footrest. The original ottoman couch came from the Ottoman Empire, hence the name.

36 Pizazz : ELAN

Pizazz (also “pizzazz”) is energy, vitality. There’s a kind of cool thing about the “pizzazz” spelling, namely that it is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

40 Desert bordering Sinai : NEGEV

The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel. The largest city in the Negev is Beersheba. The Negev covers about 4,700 square miles, which is about 55% of Israel’s landmass.

42 Harry Potter’s mother : LILY

In the world of “Harry Potter”, Harry’s mother was Lily Potter née Evans. Lily Evans had magical abilities even though she was born to Muggles, individuals with no magical powers. Lily married James Potter. Lily and James were murdered by Lord Voldemort, leaving their child Harry an orphan.

48 Disney theme park : EPCOT

EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.

49 Yankees manager Aaron : BOONE

Aaron Boone is a former MLB infielder who retired as a player in 2009, a few months after undergoing open-heart surgery to have a heart valve replaced. He then pursued a successful career in sports broadcasting, primarily with ESPN. In late 2017, Boone was hired as manager of the New York Yankees.

57 Portmanteau pastry : CRONUT

A cronut is a pastry that resembles a doughnut but is made using a croissant-like dough. It is filled with cream and deep-fried in grapeseed oil. It is a relatively new pastry, having been invented by New York bakery owner Dominique Ansel in 2013. The term “cronut” is a portmanteau of “croissant” and “doughnut”.

58 1972 Bill Withers hit whose title sounds like a command : USE ME

Bill Withers was working as an assembly operator while he was trying to make a name for himself in the music industry. Even as he found success with his glorious 1971 single “Ain’t No Sunshine”, he held onto his day job, worried that the music industry was unpredictable.

59 “Allegory of the cave” philosopher : PLATO

Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle. Plato wrote a series of about 30 Socratic dialogues, prose works that feature Socrates as the main character.

60 1956 Elvis hit whose title sounds like a command : LOVE ME

Elvis Presley was drafted into the US Army in 1958, as a private. Although he was only a couple of years into his recording career, he already had a fervent following. While in basic training, he was quite certain that his success would be short-lived, and maybe could not recover after his stint with the Army. He used his leave to record new tracks, keeping his name out there. Presley did basic training at Fort Hood, Texas and was then assigned to the 3rd Armored Division stationed in Friedberg, Germany. It was in Friedberg that he met 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he would marry after courting her for 7 1/2 years. After two years in the Army, he came back home, to a career that was still soaring.

74 Zac of “Baywatch” : EFRON

Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently, Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break came with the hit Disney movie “High School Musical”.

“Baywatch” is a 2017 comedy film that is based on the TV series of the same name that famously starred David Hasselhoff. The movie stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

82 Trendy treat of Brazilian origin : ACAI BOWL

Açaí na tigela is a dish made from the frozen, mashed fruit of the açaí palm and served as a smoothie. Often topped with granola, banana, other berries and syrup, the dish is a specialty in much of Brazil. There’s even a savory version of açaí na tigela (“açaí in the bowl”) that includes shrimp or dried fish and tapioca. Açaí bowls are becoming very popular in North America, especially as a health food.

88 Swiss cheese : GRUYERE

Gruyère is a hard cheese that is named for the medieval Swiss town of Gruyères. I had the pleasure of visiting Gruyères many years ago, and have very fond memories of stuffing myself with the most delicious fondue made from the local cheese mixed with wine …

89 Man cave, maybe : SANCTUM

A “sanctum” (plural “sancta”) is a private place where one can hide away without fear of intrusion. I love my sanctum …

91 Bacchanalian beast : SATYR

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

A bacchanalia is a drunken spree. The term “bacchanalia” derives from the ancient Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, the god of winemaking.

93 Ref. work that began as a Philological Society project : OED

The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was published in installments between 1884 and 1928. It was edited by James Murray and a team of lexicographers and linguists, who worked to collect and document the history and usage of English words from the earliest known written sources.

94 Swiss “cheese” : FRANCS

Not only is the Swiss Franc legal tender in Switzerland, it is also the money used in Liechtenstein and the Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia.

97 Cub or colt : ROOKIE

The term “rookie”, used for a raw recruit, first appeared in Rudyard Kipling’s collection of songs and poems called the “Barrack-Room Ballads”, which was originally published in 1892.

98 “Holy ___!” : TOLEDO

The origin of the term “Holy Toledo!” is much debated. My favorite story is that it comes from the days of Vaudeville. Back then, the week before Easter (Holy Week) was the worst week at the box office. Old Vaudeville entertainers used to quip that any week in Toledo was Holy Week, that ticket sales were always bad there. They referred to the city as “Holy Toledo”.

107 Talking horse of ’60s TV : MR ED

The sitcom “Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.

113 Tobiko or masago : ROE

In Japanese cuisine, the roe of salmon is called “ikura” and the roe of flying fish is called “tobiko”.

The Japanese dish called “masago” is actually the roe of the capelin fish. Masago is often mixed with wasabi and served as “wasabi caviar”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Begin to flower : BUD
4 In conflict : AT WAR
9 Basketball stats category : ASSISTS
16 Neckwear provided at some restaurants : BIB
19 Pikes Peak people : UTE
20 One-dish meal : CHILI
21 “You’re playing with fire!” : WATCH IT!
22 Game night cry : UNO!
23 “First, I founded an aerospace start-up, but I never …” : … GOT IT OFF THE GROUND
26 Messy room : STY
27 Make the first bet : OPEN
28 Go back over : REREAD
29 Proverbial hard workers : ANTS
30 Bourne’s employer in “The Bourne Identity,” in brief : CIA
31 Popular indoor tree : FICUS
33 Total revolution? : YEAR
34 Ardennes assent : OUI
35 Singer’s asset : RANGE
37 Daughter of Muhammad : FATIMA
39 “When that fell through, I tried my hand at fishmongering, but we …” : … DIDN’T SCALE WELL
43 Sensitivity : TACT
45 Common resolutions : DIETS
46 Squat, so to speak : SIT
47 Pop singer with noted bangs (and bangers!) : SIA
48 Go back down : EBB
51 J. M. Barrie, for one : SCOT
53 What Ralph represents in a Freudian analysis of “Lord of the Flies” : EGO
54 Betrays : FLIPS ON
56 “Next, I pivoted into breakfast restaurants, but competitors …” : … POACHED OUR EMPLOYEES
61 Passages : CORRIDORS
62 Medal-earning mettle : VALOR
63 Purchase printout: Abbr. : RCPT
66 New Year’s Day : ONE/ONE
67 Place of prayer : PEW
69 Sat ___ (GPS system) : NAV
70 Behind : TUSHIE
72 Library section : TEEN
73 Broski : HOMIE
75 There are 768 of these in a gallon : TEASPOONS
77 “When I tried candlemaking, all my workers …” : … SUFFERED FROM BURNOUT
81 Section of the nosebleed seats : LAST ROW
83 Poetic preposition : ERE
84 Lead-in to zone : EURO-
85 Some music collectibles, for short : LPS
86 Whiz : ACE
87 Counterpart of science, they say : ART
88 Freight, e.g. : GOODS
90 Uncles, in Uruguay : TIOS
92 “I decided to try operating an airport, but just before launch we …” : … RAN OUT OF RUNWAY
96 Goes first : STARTS
100 Wrote, as a bad check : KITED
101 Moose’s mating season : RUT
102 Universal donor’s designation, informally : O-NEG
104 Betray one’s standards : STOOP
105 Bridge component : BID
106 “We’ll see” : I MAY
108 Backdrop : LOCALE
110 Exclamation before an ill-advised action, maybe : YOLO
111 Creature that swallows its prey whole : BOA
112 “Finally, I decided to buy a grocery store on an intersection, but a rival had …” : … CORNERED THE MARKET
115 “Wise” one : OWL
116 “Enjoyed” some humble pie : ATE CROW
117 Bolting Bolt : USAIN
118 Union contract? : I DO
119 Counterpart of “thx” : PLS
120 Corrupting influence : BAD SEED
121 Full ___ : MONTY
122 Over time period? : EON

Down

1 “Leave me alone!” : BUG OFF!
2 Heaven on earth : UTOPIA
3 Pick up on : DETECT
4 State lines? : ACT
5 Hammer wielder of myth : THOR
6 The missus : WIFEY
7 ___ Butts, inventor of Scrabble : ALFRED
8 CVS competitor : RITE AID
9 Thunderstruck : AWED
10 Slump : SAG
11 Big name in jeans : STRAUSS
12 Quintessential : ICONIC
13 Turn (off) : SHUT
14 Spam holders : TINS
15 Health class subj. : STD
16 Sloan or Wharton : BUSINESS SCHOOL
17 Opposite of relief, in printmaking : INTAGLIO
18 ___ wonder : BOY
24 Traditional makers of anoraks : INUIT
25 Like kale vis-à-vis lettuce : HARDIER
30 Call of a raven : CAW
32 Break, as a window : SMASH IN
34 Aid in getting a leg up? : OTTOMAN
35 Knot again! : RETIE!
36 Pizazz : ELAN
38 Bow (to) : ACCEDE
40 Desert bordering Sinai : NEGEV
41 Regarding : AS FOR
42 Harry Potter’s mother : LILY
44 Hubbub : TO-DO
48 Disney theme park : EPCOT
49 Yankees manager Aaron : BOONE
50 Absolute minimum required : BARE ESSENTIALS
52 Listlessness : TORPOR
55 Soul : PERSON
57 Portmanteau pastry : CRONUT
58 1972 Bill Withers hit whose title sounds like a command : USE ME
59 “Allegory of the cave” philosopher : PLATO
60 1956 Elvis hit whose title sounds like a command : LOVE ME
64 Centerfold, say : PINUP
65 Bits of troubleshooting : TESTS
68 Football receiver : WIDEOUT
70 Yiddish word meaning “woe” : TSURIS
71 Eradicates starting from the bottom : UPROOTS
73 Follow closely : HEW TO
74 Zac of “Baywatch” : EFRON
76 Share a side : ABUT
78 Identity theft, for one : FRAUD
79 Snow day project : FORT
80 The 380-foot-tall Hyperion, for one : REDWOOD
81 Bit of carefree fun : LARK
82 Trendy treat of Brazilian origin : ACAI BOWL
88 Swiss cheese : GRUYERE
89 Man cave, maybe : SANCTUM
91 Bacchanalian beast : SATYR
93 Ref. work that began as a Philological Society project : OED
94 Swiss “cheese” : FRANCS
95 “Whatcha gonna do about it?” : YEAH, SO?
97 Cub or colt : ROOKIE
98 “Holy ___!” : TOLEDO
99 Perfect in every way : SPOT-ON
103 Extract : GLEAN
106 Tiniest bit : IOTA
107 Talking horse of ’60s TV : MR ED
108 Apt rhyme of “nude” and “crude” : LEWD
109 Send off : EMIT
111 Catchy song, in slang : BOP
112 Thing to catch in a city : CAB
113 Tobiko or masago : ROE
114 ___ second : ANY

9 thoughts on “0121-24 NY Times Crossword 21 Jan 24, Sunday”

  1. 41:24, no errors. A little under my average (slow) time for a lazy Sunday. My favorite today: POACHEDOUREMPLOYEES.

  2. 36:54. This felt tougher than normal for a Sunday. I wouldn’t have finished without the help of the theme. A lot of missteps.

    “Allegory of the Cave” is maybe more relevant now in the age of the internet than it was back when PLATO wrote it. Highly recommend reading it if you haven’t.

    Good puzzle, but it wore me out.

    Best –

  3. 40:58 For some reason I “mental blocked” Lord Of The Flies” and kept reading it as “Lord Of The Rings”. That did not help. At all.

  4. The print edition in my paper had 51A clue as J? M Barrie which prompted me to enter TYPO but later figured that it was in fact a typo…also can anyone explain how moose mating season is RUT?
    Stay safe😀

    1. Jack –

      2nd definition of RUT: an annual period of sexual activity in deer and some other mammals, during which the males fight each other for access to the females.
      “a moose in rut”

      ..and oh by the way….

      The rut occurs between mid-September and mid-October, when cow moose come into estrus and bulls are laser-focused on breeding with them. Scientists believe daylength triggers a rise in hormones that stimulates reproductive behavior

      Full disclosure – I didn’t know it either. I just had to keep reading definitions of rut before I got to this.

      Sorry – no Ravens here in Las Vegas this week.

      Best –

  5. Easy and clever enough, but RANOUTOFRUNWAY, while it makes perfect sense, isn’t really a play-on-words like the other themed entries. Picky, Dave, picky.

  6. Did just fine but took too long.

    When I thought I was done,I realized I left a couple of squares blank .

    Too TSURIS? I’ll go get some GRUYERE and CRONUTs with my WIFEY.

    aarrggh!

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