Jan 23, 2021

Saturday, January 23, 2020, Stella Zawistowski

 Themeless Saturday by Stella Zawistowski

Our self-proclaimed "brawny brain" is back with another fun Saturday entry. Stella is a Brooklyn-based copywriter at a pharmaceutical advertising agency. This picture is of Stella and a fellow alto who sings with her in the Oratorio Society of New York.

Here is what Stella had to say about this puzzle: If you guessed that STRUGGLE BUS was one of my seed entries, you're right. I do hope when people are solving my themelesses that they have to ride the struggle bus just enough for a satisfying solve, and not so much that they decide the grid is better used as a dartboard. My other seed was ORNITHOLOGY, and I'm pleased that Rich left my clue in place tying the word to Charlie Parker. I am not a bird fancier, but I have been getting a midlife education in jazz. I enjoy celebrating these classic but new-to-me albums in puzzles, as I did with my 6/20/20 NYT themeless: 

(What I also love about both ORNITHOLOGY (hg - my grandson was named Parker by his professional musician father in honor of The Bird Man) and SKETCHES OF SPAIN is that they can be clued in ways that allow the solver to go "yep, that's right" after getting the crossings even if she has never heard of the albums.)

I boarded the STRUGGLE BUS (fun learning for me) quite a few times but even the Chinese pianist and the president of Ghana seemed very fair in the end.

Perhaps you'd like to let 52. Self-described "non-musician" Brian: ENO's ambient/airport music play while you read


1. Epithet: LABEL - An EPITHET is a nickname or descriptive term that's added to someone's name that becomes part of common usage

6. Econ. indicators: GNPS - Gross National ProductS

10. Sp. title: SRTA.

14. Loud item in a closet: ALOHA SHIRT - Decisions, decisions 

16. Easily manipulated type: TOOL - Yeah, I'm the only one who put FOOL first

17. Study buddies, often: CLASSMATES.

18. Natl. law group whose "M" is largely obsolete: RCMP - Women have been serving as members of the Royal Canadian (Mounted) Police for over 40 years

19. Picnic serving: EAR.

20. Prandial pokers: TINES - It would appear an explanation of the clue is in order
21. Cool veggies?: CUKES - Cool as a...

22. Café de __: Mexican drink brewed in a pot: OLLA 
Mexican ground coffee, cinnamon, and raw dark sugar in our favorite Mexican cwd pot

23. Arduous tasks: SLOGS - What Stella's puzzles are for me but in a good way!

25. Like some premium services: AD FREE - I'm a NETFLIX fan 

28. Scrapped: WRANGLED - I WRANGLED WRESTLED out of the way

31. On the offensive, legally: SUING.

32. It's not a side road: TRUNK LINE  Railroad TRUNK LINES enter and leave the Bailey Yards in North Platte, NE. Cars can then be put on side tracks

33. Skin lotion brand: KERI - Their ad tagline stays with me

34. Stopping at a KOA, say: RVING - RVING in the Tetons

35. Fall place: EDEN - Some believe that is why God now 36. Doubts: MISTRUSTS us all

38. Some shared rides: UBERS.

39. Excites: ENTHUSES.

40. Fictitious 18th-century autobiographer: CRUSOE - First editions of all three of DeFoe's tales of Robinson Crusoe, who many mistakenly thought was the author, for sale

41. Mighty Dump Truck maker: TONKA - A rare 1960's version

42. Hold-up group?: BRAS - On January 2nd, Toronto constructor Craig Stowe chose less, uh, intimate cluing 27. Hood accessory: BRA

43. Like some milk, alas: SPILT.

45. Watch with a webcam, perhaps: SPY ON - Our webcam caught an image of a backyard visitor at 3am

47. Impromptu speech fillers: UHS.

50. Italy's Lake __: COMO - It is about a 4hr drive from Lake COMO to Lake Constance where my grandfather was born

51. "How many licks does it take ... ?" treat: TOOTSIE POP  - The answer, sort of

53. Jackie's designer: OLEG - Cassini. Here Jackie is wearing a Chez Ninon gown at Buckingham Palace in 1961

54. Overwhelms: SNOWS UNDER.

55. Lean and muscular: WIRY.

56. Capital on a fjord: OSLO - On 1/9/21 we learned OSLO has over 325 lakes from the puzzle by two Assistant Attorneys General of Iowa

57. Up one day, down the next: MOODY.


1. Spike: LACE - Street drugs can be LACED with most anything

2. Ragù __ Bolognese: ALLA Recipe - Over 20 ingredients!

3. Leaner alternative to pork: BOAR - Leaner than domestic pork. A leaner alternative to beef is bison (NOT BUFFALO!)

4. "What?" utterances: EHS.

5. Anchor's responsibility: LAST LEG.

6. Akufo-Addo's land: GHANA - I wondered if it was a city, a dish or a man. Turns out it is the President of GHANA.

7. Marquee evening: NITE.

8. Continuous newsroom operations: PRESS RUNS - Lindberg landed!

9. Familiar gp. of 50: STS - States. STS also stood for Shuttle Transport System. STS-51-L was the Challenger Mission

10. Facetious metaphor for a difficult situation: STRUGGLE BUS - This campus bus driver has a great sense of humor

11. Mountain dangers: ROCK SLIDES.

12. Big volume: TOME.

13. They didn't stop Hannibal: ALPS.

15. Alfred E. Neuman feature: SMILE - A childhood companion

21. Bop on the bean: CONK.

22. Aptly named jazz work co-written by Charlie "Bird" Parker: ORNITHOLOGY.

24. When repeated, acclaimed Chinese pianist: LANG.

25. "I'm here to help": ASK ME.

26. Expected: DUE IN.

27. Inexperienced one: FIRST TIMER.

28. Legal orders: WRITS - Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The privilege of the WRIT of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” The Great Emancipator suspended it in 1861 just weeks after Fort Sumter citing the last part of the text.

29. Two before marzo: ENERO - In Mexico January comes two months before March

30. Fog word: DENSE.

32. Pilots start them: TV SEASONS - In the pilot for M*A*S*H, Hawkeye raffles off a date with a nurse and Fr. Mulcahy wins the rigged drawing 

34. Twice-baked bread: RUSK - RUSK is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread    

37. Squirt: RUNT.

38. Metal named for a planet: URANIUM - Also Mercury, Plutonium and Neptunium 

40. Not pleased: CROSS.

42. In half: BY TWO - Divide BY TWO

43. Shallows craft: SCOW - They don't just haul garbage

44. Social science course, briefly: POLI - POLI Sci

46. Gene __: POOL.

47. Prom style, often: UPDO - Audrey did it as well as anyone. I wonder how Audrey wore her hair to her prom. The picture on the right is of her at 16 yrs old in Belgium
48. Turned some ground: HOED.

49. Active: SPRY.

51. Ontario-based music gp.: TSO - Appropriate for a member of the 
Oratorio Society of New York 

By the way, if you are wondering why this talented, brilliant woman refers to herself as a "brawny brain", here is a picture of her setting her personal record of 325 pounds in the dead lift.


Wilbur Charles said...

This certainly was a SLOG for me, particularly the NW where for epithet I wanted SWEAR. I also was thinking of a News Anchor. And I thought *legally" needed a Latin word like sui bono.

Yes, I immediately INKed fOOL. And, naturally, STRUGGLE BUS seemed like somebody struggled to fill a XW.

Fortunately we just had COMO and I actually remembered OLEG. And, I knew Alfred E from Playboy* but needed perps for his enigmatic SMILE

A satisfying FIR, I await the diss-cussion.


*Oops, is that Mad magazine? I only read Playboy for the articles anyway

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Double-letters could've been a mini-theme this morning: CLASSMATES, STRUGGLEBUS, FIRSTTIMER, and TOOTSIEPOP. TV SEASONS, because SERIES was too short. Spent too much time thinking that "Watch with a webcam" was a wrist device. As a result, BRAS, BY TWO, and SPY ON were my final fills. Thanx, Stella (I could give a whole new meaning to "325-pound dead lift.") and Husker. (I saw how you intentionally misspelled the headline in your PRESS RUN?)

Making Cute Puzzles said...


too clever and arcane, by a half.
I could make a puzzle like this with a thesaurus.

Lemonade714 said...

I very much enjoyed this puzzle by a skilled and successful non-male constructor. I mention that not as an indication of any prejudice or preference of constructors but as a product of having just read this ARTICLE ABOUT NYT PUZZLES . If you love crosswords and equality, I believe this is a must-read.

I did not know STRUGGLE BUS nor RUSK ; I enjoyed OLLA and ALLA in the same puzzle. Is that your closet Gary? Thank you and Stella for a fun start to a foggy day here in paradise.

Lemonade714 said...

Bill G., I am finally getting caught up in my puzzle and write-up reading and had to return to extend my personal condolences to you for the loss of Barbara. I am sure we all will be here if you need anything.

I also learned former Miami D.J and controversial host LARRY KING has passed on today. The older I get the more these headlines mean. They are suggesting a COVID-related cause.

Stay safe all

Anonymous said...

I was pleased to get most of this, but the NW defeated me. Fun regardless.
Part of the problem was the clever ORNITHOLOGY, my favorite fill. I didn't get the top half of the word.
Fool before tool.
I was basically unpacked and set up in a few days. Now I am adding finishing decorative touches. Some I brought with me. Some I ordered online. For the rest I need to go to a store to buy. Online colors often are not true to real life. I am leery of going to stores due to the virus. I buy several weeks worth of groceries at one time. We do get our dinners included here and they are very good. I am happy not to cook every day, but I do miss cooking sometimes, especially when I see new recipes.

Anonymous said...

That was YR at 8:49

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Thumper and I choose to remain silent.

HG, you never disappoint. 😉

Have a great day.

Moodnuck said...

Does this constructor every read anything other than a thesaurus?? Next time I wrangle cattle I’ll try not to scrap them. Only one example. There were many. Grrr.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Stella, STRUGGLEBUS was a struggle, never heard the term till now plus I thought an epithet was a curse word so LABEL took awhile.

An Indirect CSO university reference even if culinary. Prandial related to pranzo "dinner". RUSK? Huh?

Lots of inkovers. Land/ROCKSLIDES ..un/ADFREE...use/ASKME...fool/TOOL (no Husker, just you and I)..scuttled/wrestled/WRANGLED (wrong kind of scrapping).

Two before marzo, gennaio wouldn't fit nor would iceberg lettuce as a "cool veggie"...did a double take on group.(BRAS) Isn't a group more than two? 🤭🤭🤭🤭.

Always leery of obvious simple answers on held off on CLASSMATES for a tad. OTOH: EAR for picnic serving is typical end of the week misdirection 🌽

Alfred E"s gap-toothed SMILE. When I first filled Ornithology (Charley "Bird") figured as a jazz title it had to be wrong.

Have seen Polysci but just POLI?

Sorry Canada eh, TSO is an unknown. I thought the m meant "men" at first, Husker, until I completed the answer. Eventually parsed RCM(ounted)P!!!...But offficer why are you unhorsed, singing and not chasing criminals?...... Akufo-addo? huh?wha?who?where? 🙄 Kenya? No perpwaited for GHANA

FINALLY changed plows to SNOWSUNDER and FIR 😄

Iniquity sites.....DENSE
Chicago arsonist, Mrs. O'Leary ____ SCOW
Denim aggregation.....GENEPOOL
Berlin composer...RVING
Take-out result...EDEN

It hasn't stopped ❄❄snowing❄❄ for days....not my thing but the Adirondacks is filled with snowmobilers. One fairly virus free endeavor.

Big Easy said...

A DNF for the Big Easy today. The NW wouldn't come out of the ether even with ALOHA SHIRT, CLASSMATES, ALLA, & LAST LEG in place. My brain was stuck on HAM so LACE for 'spike' never came to mind. BOAR- no way since it IS Pork. The rest was a SLOG. I've never heard the term STRUGGLE BUS and this FOOL also had fool and kept trying to think of some Sp. title that didn't exist. But I gave up and filled STRUGGLE .

EHS & UHS in the same puzzle? Could've been EMS, ERS...etc.

Prandial- new word for me. LANG,TSO, RUSK- unknowns perped.
KERI- I'm familiar with it since I used to sell a lot of it, along with Alpha-Keri bath oil. Westwood Labs, Div of Bristol Myers. Only changes I made today were OLAY to KERI and USE ME to ASK ME.

Dead Lifts? After a knee replacement 12 years ago, I was advised not to lift any item over 40lbs. I don't try.

Anonymous said...

21:34 to finish. Never heard of the struggle bus until today, when it ran me over.
Wrangled, Lang, rusk, and several others weren't what I'd call sparkly fill. Ehs and uhs in the same puzzle with several abbreviations (GNPs, RCMPs, Srta) didn't help.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Hard to get a good start anywhere but slowly SLOGged along. Much of the cluing seemed alternate or mis-directional. Just took some wilder educated guesses and I managed to move along. Ultimately got it all, and STRUGGLE BUS seemed very apt. The "bird' clue helped with ORNITHOLOGY. BRAS was the last to fill. FIR.
I think Stella offered up a wonderful Saturday challenge. BZ
BRAS - (A quiet chortle when the penny dropped.)
TINE - Seems to be a cognate of German for 'tooth', Zahn; and L. German, Tähn. One of my chores as a teen was to use an 8-tined ensilage fork to move corn silage down the chute for twice-daily cow snacks. Yummers. See 8-Tine Ensilage Fork
Both ALLA and OLLA in the puzzle.
WRANGLE - - To argue or bicker. To 'scrap' means the same. (Wrangel is an island in the Arctic off NE Siberia.)
ALPS - - I liked Huskers map. It reminded me that Cartagena is named after Carthage which controlled it for a while. Also a CSO to Ray-O and moi, showing Utica as a 'suburb' to Carthage (in Tunisia).

inanehiker said...

This was a slow challenge for me - but expected with Stella being the constructor - she is now in the Julian Lim club for challenging puzzles in my mind!
I also had PLOWS UNDER before SNOWS.

20A - Prandial in the clue made that a gimme for me, but sort of like the word couth which I only hear of with the prefix uncouth, in medical terms we often think of preprandial or postprandial - such as when to check blood sugars or e.g. gallbladder colicky pain occurs postprandial- before or after a meal.

CSO to my hometown of Kansas City with Charlie "Bird" Parker who grew up there.

Thanks HG and Stella!

ATLGranny said...

The NW almost got me today. LABEL was my last fill and it took me a while to see why LACE was the right fill for spike. Until I read Husker Gary I didn't get the connection with relay races for LAST LEG. I had mulled over TV anchors and ship's anchors for the longest time. STRUGGLE BUS was new to me too and count me in for trying fOOL. The top half of the puzzle is an inky mess but in the end I FIR! Thanks, Stella, for the Saturday challenge. And thanks, HG, for your heroic effort in clearing up my questions.

Bill G, thanks for updating us about Barbara. We will be with you and share your grief as time passes. We all know loss, too.

We got our first COVID shots yesterday and the process went quickly and smoothly. A sore arm now but that's expected. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Unknown said...

I am having trouble making sense of the puzzle called “Color Spectrum” published in today’s Dallas Morning News. The riddle to the starred clues didn’t make sense. “Alan of Federal Reserve fame, or a home by to the hues that bookend the starred answers”. The answers were “LOCAL TIME, SECRET SANTA, PEPSI COLA and OLIVIA WILDE. What am I not getting here?! So lost! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

FIR.I struggled all over with this one, but not in a way that would be fun to recount. Too many clues seemed too clever for their own good. Perhaps some like the challenge of a preposterously awkward clue. Can't say that I do.

desper-otto said...

Unknown you're looking for a "Greenspan": LocaltIME, SEcret santA, PEpsi colA, OLIVia wildeE

Alice said...

I liked Gary’s write-up, starting with a sample of Brian Eno’s ambient non-music. Clever intro.

Like others, I found this puzzle was a challenge. I wanted sport shirt or Hawaiian shirt, but finally saw ALOHA. It was hard to reconcile WRANGLED with the clue. SNOWSunder took a while. Overall, FIW and welcomed the blog’s help.

The pictures of Audrey Hepburn were interesting.

I’m glad to hear that some are receiving the vaccine. I haven’t made it yet and look forward to the broadening of categories so I can qualify. Have a nice weekend.

Shankers said...

While I was struggling mightily with every quadrant of this beast, I thought that my entry here today was going to say how much I admire and bow down to any and all fellow Cornerites who were able to FIR. Well, ladidah, a minor miracle took place after spending way too much thought, energy and effort--FIR for Shankers. Yay me. The answer for 23A was certainly apropos for this puzzle. Strugglebus? New one for me. I got label and lace right off the bat at 1A and 1D, yet the NW was the last to fall along with the "o" crossing at 22A and 22D. Favorite clue was for the bras answer at 42A. Well, much needed rain is on the way to Phoenix metro for the next couple days. So rare that I should take a picture of it. Tata for now.

JB2 said...

Great write up Husker, as always. I fir but what a chore. The effort made the result satisfying but in a "ha - thought you'd get me!" way rather than a pleasant way.

Cold and snow on the way here in Chicago. Stay safe and well everyone.


Misty said...

Tricky but clever Friday puzzle, many thanks, Stella. And your pictures were great, Husker Gary.

I got the East section pretty readily, but had trouble with the West. ROCK SLIDING made sense, but STRUGGLE BUS? Never heard of that one--but across words got it. I put in EDEN and wondered about the clue, but I guess Adam and Eve did "fall" pretty seriously. And OLEG was no problem--I remembered Jackie Kennedy's great designer.

Have a good weekend coming up, everybody.

Lucina said...


STRUGGLEBUS of which I've never heard, is the apt description for this puzzle. My grid is dotted with wite-out as a testament to my many mis-attributes but TOOL was not one of them. With SRTA and RCMP in place I knew only T or H would fit and T won.

RUSK is another unknown for me but it emerged without effort, one of a few. ENERO of course was easy but not OLLA which I hesitated to fill until the last minute as LASTLEG didn't make sense. Oh, that.

TOOTSIEPOP was fun fill and I'm so glad I never experience SNOWSUNDER.

It's also a joy to think of Jackie Kennedy and see her in an OLEG Cassini dress. She and Audrey Hepburn were both unique stars in the 20th century orbit.

I can't say I liked this puzzle but I always like a challenge and this one definitely provided one. Thank you, Stella, for the brain strain and Gary for the sparkling review.

Have a spectacular Saturday, everyone!

Wilbur Charles said...

Glad to see more "discuss" than dissing and cussing. Ironically I finished the week with three straight FIR's after 2 FIW's M-W.

I actually thought of going out and buying wite-out for the NW mess. Spike can mean so many things as a noun,verb or adjective. "Did you spike your hair, Marilyn?". Leslie's Spike at 20-20 was the key to the Husker VB win.

Took me forever to come up with the right THOLOGY for birds.


CrossEyedDave said...

Tough puzzle,

rusk was a learning moment...


Becky said...

You're right, that was a great article Lemony. All that stuff never would have occurred to me' even though it was my father that got me into crossword puzzles. He didn't do it on purpose he was just always doing them. And it seemed like a good challenge.


PedantTheBrit said...

Somehow I managed to reach the age of 68 without encountering "Struggle Bus", and it seems from the above comments that I'm not alone. Stella, are you sure this isn't an "in-family" term?

SwampCat said...

IM, may I join you and Thumper on the bench? HG, thanks.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Afternoon.

Thanks for a grand challenge, Stella. I had a rough time with this one. I had an easy time with GNPS, SRTA, EAR, CUKES, EDEN, TONKA, OLEG, WIRY, OSLO, and MOODY. They did hold, but didn't help me with the downs. I wanted camps for RVING, but I knew the clue had to agree with the answer, so I just plopped in the -ING. I remembered the TOOTSIE POP slogan but thought it belonged to Slow Poke. I didn't know STRUGGLE BUS. Yes, this was a SLOG for me, but I left it brew for a couple of hours, and I did much better when I returned--even FIR'd it.

Gary, this was a great tour today. I'll never forget Struggle Bus now that I have an image! Thank you.

LUCINA: Good news. You can easily get ink from Pendemonium. ( Don't let your spellcheck correct the spelling. They were in Fort Madison, Iowa the original home of Schaefer pens. They are now in Kingman AZ. Nice Mom and Pop operation. I get all my ink and cartridges there. I have been very happy with them. Sign up for their weekly Monday email. Ink is often on special. See, knitting is not my only vice. [I also have too many fountain pens.]

Also, as many of us fountain pen people know, today is National Handwriting Day--on the birthday of our most famous cursive writer, John Handcock. I have already handwritten a personal note today (In Palmer Method cursive with Pacific Blue ink and the 1948 Parker 51 my aunt left me.) How about you?

Have a sunny day. Stay safe.

Hungry Mother said...

I had started this grid early this morning and then went for a walk on the beach. When I got back, I thought I had done the puzzle. Then, this afternoon I noticed that about a third of it was empty and finished it up. ADFREE took me a while even though most of our cable-cutting apps have this property. Nothing much hard, but it was one of those crosswords where I need a letter or two in most answers to complete them.

Picard said...

Wilbur Charles Thank you for the shout out yesterday regarding the Mass PIKE. Yes, I agree about the tolls and transit. Way cool that you also used VAX-VMS. That is what we used at UC Santa Barbara Physics. It was a scary moment when I ran cables from my instrument up the core of the building to connect to the Great VAX. But it all worked!

Today's puzzle was very challenging even for a Saturday. Mostly due to clever clues. Hand up never heard of STRUGGLE BUS but it is a thing. Likewise with RUSK. Learning moments. POLI seems just wrong. But I am OK with it all since there were no impossible proper name crosses. FIR. We had tickets for LANG LANG in 2017 but he had to cancel due to an injury.

Husker Gary thank you for the Licking Machine link regarding TOOTSIE POP. There is another kind of Licking Machine at the Prague Sex Museum. You can Google it.

From Yesterday:
My father introduced me to KAFKA when I was a child. He was a biologist but his first love was literature.

Here my Czech friend Petr took me to visit the KAFKA house in the Jewish Quarter of Prague.

Hoping we have entered saner times with less censorship here.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Where to begin? Well, first off, HG and WC cautioned me that this would be a toughie. They weren’t incorrect:

As were others, HAM stayed waaay too long @ 19-Across, as did SPAM for 3-Down. So the incomplete NW caused me to FIW. The humorous mistake was SPAM, as it caused 14-Across to be ALPHA SHIRT!

RUSK? I recall Dean Rusk - Sec’y of State IIRC

STRUGGLE BUS? Well, all aboard CMoe! I had to look up more than two clues to even have a chance of solving

Some of these answers makes me want to dust off a crossword puzzle I constructed, and submit it for a Saturday. Even though a couple of my mentors said “no”!

Positives: TOOTSIE POP, FIRST TIMER, and ROCKSLIDES. As Lucina and shankers would attest, our state has a famous ROCKSLIDE in Sedona ...

Gary thanks for the recap. That was far more entertaining than the solving of the puzzle ...

Happy weekend all

Irish Miss said...

SwampCat @ 1:26 ~ Thumper and I would be delighted to share our bench with you. 🤗 🐇

Anonymous said...

Between the difficult cluing and things I didn't know, I flopped!

Lucina said...

It has been years since I've thought about that ROCKSLIDE. We would take the children (my daughter and sister's children) in the summer. It was a wonderful getaway.

I hope that Bill G posts and lets us know how he is doing. It is such a lonely and sad time when one's spouse dies. It took me at least two years, maybe a bit more, for the weight of sadness to finally dispel.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Stella is obviously a gluten for punishment as a weight lifter. I'm a wimp which is why I SLOGged thru this puzzle feeling like I had been CONKed in the head. I thought epithet was a curse--I wanted to do that a lot when so many of the words didn't mean what I thought they did. After trying to do both acrosses and downs, I had only SMILE. Didn't do that much.

Gary, you are a sweetheart to take on such a STRUGGLE BUS (hand up for never hearing of that.)

I did get enough right answers to keep going and it kept my mind off some real-life problems.

We got a slab of BOAR once which was fatty, tough and so full of testosterone it tasted nasty. One bite for each of us and we threw it out to the dogs. They sniffed it and wouldn't eat it either.

My son hauled a lot of sand in that TONKA. Still have it in a box somewhere.

YR: you moved? Good luck in your new home

Lemonade714 said...

Becks, thank you for reading the article. After I posted the link here, I received an email from one of my constructor friends that I have gotten to know through the Corner. He is an older white male and he expressed some frustration that the author lists so many varieties of selective discrimination but does not address "ageism."
He also mentioned that Amy at the CROSSWORD FIEND had linked the same article. Amy is very vocal about needing more female and LGTBQ constructors, but as I told my friend, I believe the article really was more focused on attacking Will Shortz who appears to embody self-promotion and other arrogant traits. Will has done much for the genre, and yet he found it necessary to respond to her link and comment about the 4 Saturday male constructors. If you want it is in the link above.

desper-otto said...

PK, good to see you back here at the ole pop stand. I enjoyed your "gluten for punishment" -- you haven't lost your way with words.

CrossEyedDave said...

Yeah, struggle bus was a new one for me too.
I looked it up, and it appears to be some kind of regional slang,
But from where I have no idea...

Being a visual sort of guy,
I am struggling with posting
this pic

And this pic to explain it...

Where I come from,
We ride subways and just deal with it...
Like this pic.
hey, it's still ok, it never really touched the floor!

Malodorous Manatee said...

STRUGGLEBUS !? TVS SEASONS rarely start with pilots. Most of the rest (ultimately) made sense. Several clues had to be solved though the process of deduction. E.G., it was going to be GNPS or GDPS so the crossing answer was going to start with either DRESS or PRESS and PRESS made much more sense. I did not realize that BOAR was leaner than pork. I thought it was pork. It was a bit of a slog but FIR. No dart board today.

CanadianEh! said...

Saturday STRUGGLEBUS (no, I have not heard that word either!). Thanks for the fun, Stella and HuskerG. I worked my way slowly through this CW with only two Google helps for LANG and ORNITHOLOGY. But I arrived here to discover that I FIWed. I forgot to go back and fix my GDPS giving Dite (I was thinking of a Date being a Marquee evening! but then SHIRT gave the I.) Ok it should be Gross National instead of Domestic products. Initially I filled in the French Soir for the "Marquee evening".

I will take three! CSOs with EHS (not UHS!), RCMP and TSO. I had the O and thought of BTO but they were out of Manitoba (and ELO is out of Britain). Sorry AnonT, Rush had too many letters.

TSO was timely since the CBC News last night had as Moment of the Day, 9 year old Chelsea Gu playing her violin virtually with TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow, performing Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins. I found this link but you need Instagram to hear the performance. It is phenomenal.

I thought of Alfred E. Neuman's EARs (but clue was singular) and settled for SMILE. We needed the EAR for the picnic.
My doubts were MISgivings before MISTRUSTS fit the spot.
"Some ground" is the right description for HOED. A lot of ground is turned with a Plow. (Yes inanehiker, I had plOWS UNDER before SNOWS UNDER. Perhaps I was steered astray by HOED, since this Canadian is quite familiar with SNOW.)

I have a very slight nit with "In half=BY TWO". I can multiply BY TWO or divide BY TWO and the answer will be very different. I would have preferred IN TWO.

Wishing you all a good evening.

Michael said...

I'm with Swamp Cat, IM, and the bunny, on this one.

I'm sorry, but TSO would make sense if I had ever visited Toronto, but to my lack (and Toronto's gain?) the closest ever was Montreal or Yonkers.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A truly tough Saturday owl from Ms. Zawistowski! Yow-zah!

Lotsa obscure or arcane words/phrases. I am a fan of The Great British Baking Show but have still never heard of RUSK.
LANG and GHANA were EZ-PZ by contrast.
We have 3 diagonals on the far side today.
The central diagonal offers a strange anagram (using 12 of the 15 letters).
I think it answers the unasked question, "In this day of ever-increasing complexities for sexual identification, what do you call someone who identifies with the gender listed on their birth certificate,
doesn't question it,
but is nevertheless unhappy about it?"
This diagonal proposes...

Yellowrocks said...

He is a scrappy fellow, always ready to fight. Scrapping is fighting verbally or physically. Wrangling is fighting, especially verbally.

waseeley said...

Thank you Stella for one of the cleverest puzzles to come to the Corner in quite a while. 10D was a metaphor for my experience with it, which I DNF. It really was a STRUGGLE BUS, which I fell off of immediately, finally ending up UNDER THE BUS!

Stella’s choice of “Epithet” for her first clue 1A was a masterpiece of indirection. The word apparently has two completely different meanings and I was only familiar with the second, that of “a term of abuse”. I wanted CURSE, but nothing perped with it, so I circled round and round, sketching out most of the other answers, always returning to the NW and hoping that big patch of WHITE SPACE would go away, but it never did. The cluing throughout was impressive and thoroughly enjoyable.

And thank you Gary. When I saw the grid several flashbulbs went off and my eyes were opened.


Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Stella but NaGaDa... Didn't help that I shot myself bigly - MERCURY lead to YOYOs (for MOODY). OLSO led to ELO even though I knew TOOTSIE POP (LOLLIES?). And, like BigE, I had a picnic ham.

Not knowing what Prandial meant, I went with PIKES. UHs (4d), also, I was on a Marquee DATE (see: GdPs -- Hi C, Eh!). Never heard of STUGGLE BUS nor RUSK.

1a - I kept reading/thinking epitaphs.

Thanks HG for bailing me out so I could get some extra play. Fun expo too!

Fav - I had a TONKA dump truck at Grands' house; I'd haul beer out to the patio for them when I wasn't moving rocks in the driveway.

CED - Groan with a SMILE at TINE cartoon...

For those with Netflix, may I recommend Lupin. DW and I just finished series one. If you liked Catch Me if You Can* and the bad French->English dubbing doesn't bother you, you'll like this. Warning - if you hate cliffhangers, wait for SEASON 2 before starting; we're on pins & needles.

Have a great evening!

Cheers, -T
*If you've never heard of Frank Abagnale, he's worth it. Sure he got caught and served time but a social-engineer extraordinaire.

Anonymous said...

d-o, thanks for explaining GREENSPAN. I couldn't figure that either!

I agree with the comments above that too many of the clues seemed to be focused on cleverness. There's a fine line between an enjoyable level of challenging and a slog, and for me, the puzzle became a slog.

In addition, I had never heard of STRUGGLEBUS or TRUNKLINE, which crossed each other, and I also had trouble figuring out WRANGLING (had WRASSLING instead) so ended up with a DNF. Never heard of RUSK, either.

Jayce said...

Slog indeed. No way I was able to complete this puzzle without a lot of help from Google and Bing. Sorry to say I got very little satisfaction when I finally filled in the last cell.

Anonymous T said...

@5:52 - TRUNK LINE, for me, elicits Telco Lines.

I remember the lineman's class I took while an engineer w/ DOD. I had to splice 100-pair trunk lines. They made us do that so we knew what it really meant to call out specs for the poor guy in the manhole.

Also had us splice fibreoptic cables (much easier) and climb a telephone pole with boot-spurs just for giggles :-)

Since we're into nostalgia (well, me anyway), I do remember the VAX terminals we used on their way out while the Sun boxes came in [this was at LA Tech in the late '80s/early 90's; we still had a 370 mainframe for our FORTRAN work]. This was right before the World Wide Web / HTML was adopted. Anyone remember GOPHER?

Cheers, -T

Unknown said...

Agree with many of the above! Long ago I coined the word "cutesy" for clues that tried to be too clever. This entry had a ton of them. Had to make too many twists of my mental mechanics to solve this entry!! This puzzle and trying to get an appointment for a Covid vax today we're both busts for me today!!

Misty said...

Oops, just realized it's already Saturday. Well, will look forward to a wonderful C.C. puzzle tomorrow then!

Wilbur Charles said...

-T, I remember Archie and Veronica file transfers.

Anonymous T said...

WC - Archie was an Archiver for GOPHER sites. Veronica == “Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computer Archives [Archie]” :-) -T

Husker Gary said...

How ‘bout Fetch?