Money to Start Small Businesses

Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen run up a tab.

Comments: 133

  1. Nice work on the theme. The rebus fell quickly in the NW corner with the 1966 NL batting champ providing the keystone.

  2. Interesting! It was easy to see that there was a rebus--somewhere--with NOTORIOUS BIG and WHY I OUGHTA, but hard to know at first exactly where that rebus might be hiding. And then NOTORIOUS BIG and GRACIOUS ME crossed, and it became clear! So it was a rebus using interesting letters, but it seemed like an easy rebus to complete. I remembered POGs, but not what they were called until it filled in. And never heard the term ELUTE. So that and the formal name for CARACAS were what I learned tonight.

  3. ENVIOUS folk may say it's a DUBIOUS HONOR to finish this Thursday puzzle. I say to them: IMO, I'm a HERO!

  4. Solved the rebus fairly quickly with DUBIOUS HONOR/OUI OUI, so the rest weren't too difficult to figure out. Some of the other answers were a little bit of a reach for me, but I kept going and finished in about ⅔ my average for Thursday. Like the "Something to hold near a skunk" and "Parts of colons" clues.

  5. It is indicative of my intellectual level that the key for me was WHY I OUGHTA.

  6. @Patrick Whew, glad I wasn’t alone on that one! Definitely key.

  7. I was in with ODIOUS (Catch-22), but OUI, OUI, Moe's WHY I OUGHTA had the DUBIOUS HONOR of also being a gimme.

  8. Had to wait for a bunch of crosses to hear Moe talking. My brain having slid way down to the 'Fried' end of the spectrum, all it could offer was NYUK NYUK NYUK and SLOOOWLY I TURNED.

  9. Mostly pretty easy, but I blanked out on FEES/FEAT, which blew my average by the time I figured them out.

  10. I saw Moe Howard and thought of Moe Berg, so I kept trying to fit "SPY" in, someplace.

  11. Ahh. Went to a party school. Acted in odious fashion. It cracked open fast.

  12. It’s the N-O, T-O, R-I-O, U-S rebus take it slow. Birthdays was the worst days, now we solve puzz quick on a Thursday.

  13. Interesting puzzle. NW was last for me and I entered and removed ALOU several times. NOSE and ALOU were my first two gimmes but I kept running into problems in the NW. Am I remembering correctly that ELUTE was an obscure Bee word in the past week? If so, those are the only two times I’ve encountered it in my life.

  14. Good Thursday fare, IMO. After a few years of this it occurred to me solving a puzzle like this before IT HELP would have been a deep dive into several sections of a good library. I appreciate the lack of sneers and welcoming format of your blog, regardless of what constitutes ones “wheelhouse.” Thanks!

  15. @Michael Happy to have you here!

  16. This one had me scratching my Chen for a bit, and nearly got my goatee. I might have come up short, but the GRAC[IOU]S ME and NOTOR[IOU]S B.I.G. cross magically revealed itself and cracked the code. That imbedded MICROLOAN extended a much needed lifeline and kept me from going under. This was an enjoyable solve with lively clueing throughout. Highlights included "Certainement" for OU[IOU]I, Going green for ENVIOUS, and Strike zones for LANES. WHY I OUGHTA give a shoutout to Ms STEINEM for her decades-long leadership of a trend that has brought us our first ever Hundred Woman Congress. Seems that we now have a real shot at some much needed House cleaning. Thanks, Jeff and Ms Guizzo, for another of your PREC[IOU]S GEMS.

  17. Parsing OUI OUI held me up in the NW. Nothing ODIOUS in this collaboration. Since Jeff will not do it, I will give it a POW.

  18. @Paul I couldn't see OUI OUI, even after I had finished the puzzle - a total block. Had to come here to figure out what I was missing. Facepalm.

  19. This puzzle hit me like a themed Saturday, The theme came easily. OD ON and ESTA were gimmes, so 16A could only be OD[IOU]S, soI knew what to look for. Unfortunately, I was bowled over by lots of unfamiliar fill. The constructors are evidently bowlers (e,g, 36D and 38A). Did anyone else have NOTORIOUS RBG until disabused by ABUSE? I had a curious technical glitch. “Check puzzle” marked [IOU] at the 4D/17A crossing as incorrect. “Reveal square”” put it back and the puzzle was declared solved. My first O might conceivably have been typed in as the numeral 0, but I'll never know.

  20. Amitai, I'm glad to see you put down derivative NOTORIOUS RBG before the original NOTORIOUS BIG, even if RBG doesn't go with the clue. I would've been a little surprised if you got the dead rapper.

  21. @Amitai Halevi I'm right on your wavelength today, Amitai. OD ON and ESTA gave me ODIOUS, but though I don't know NOTORIOUS BIG, I do know that that was the source of NOTORIOUS RBG, so l got that. That sent me straight to all the themers, which were quite clever, especially OUIOUI and WHYIOUGHTA. Serendipity: MICROLOANS and Kiva coincided with my annual contribution today to the Israeli equivalent, named Ogen, which means anchor, a free loan association that is now helping small businesses in areas of unrest get back on their feet. Good cluing throughout. A very successful partnership.

  22. @Amitai Halevi "OD ON and ESTA were gimmes, so 16A could only be OD[IOU]S, soI knew what to look for." My "Aha moment" exactly.

  23. "Wha?" I went after my first pass yielded little due to a SEA of vague cluing and six answers outside my wheelhouse, but I had faith that Jeff and Mary Lou, who have teamed up for 10 puzzles before this, would make it fair through the crosses and scattered gimmes, and that persistence would prevail. So I plugged along, catching ahas as I went. Also catching that beautiful END crossing END right in the middle, the fractIOUs cross of PELOSI and a backwards GOP, and eventually, the clever clever theme, as my patience, endurance, and faith paid off. So, J&ML, THEE HADST me at the ONSET, but as I hoped, rewarded me with a terrific experience. Thank you!

  24. Had “mai oui” for the rebus in the NW. Made fitting “alou” difficult to fit (I even remembered this NYT crossword family of baseballers) Then tried the alternative.

  25. Goodness gracious, me oh my, that was quite a workout. Had very little (ALOU, STARR, maybe a couple of others) on first pass and decided to try and work out the reveal. Finally getting that and my first inclination for Moe Howard were what gave me the rebus and then it was just a matter of figuring out where they all went. Still a struggle in multiple areas - especially the north. There were some complete unknowns and honestly, I feel like I just had lucky guesses in a couple of squares. But much to my surprise I got the happy pencil when I filled in the last one. Side notes: The use of 'biblical' or 'biblically' in a clue. Interesting that in this day and age, the NYT evidently still regards the King James version as the one and only bible and, by implication, that bible as the only example of early modern English. Might be a tricky misdirection to use 'biblical' in a clue and have the answer be in Aramaic or Greek. Lastly, in regard to a couple of terms discussed in yesterday's blog. For those unfamiliar with the term, could IRL be a dook of earl? Later.

  26. When is rebus puzzle NOT a rebus puzzle? When it only works in one direction. So...only the "I" in "IOU" will be accepted in "autocheck."

  27. I love rebus puzzles, and especially 3 letter ones as they fit nicely and are accepted as correct. I thought something was up with Certainment, but wasn't sure what exactly until I got to treasure chest clue. Of course getting the IOU helped with the rest of them, but I did have to look up NOTORIOUS BIG, completely unknown to me. Caught most all of the tricky clues fairly quickly, liked the skunk one best. Perfect Thursday.

  28. Great job Mary Lou and Jeff! Knew it had to be a rebus immediately after reading the revealer, but proceded with caution anyway because hey, it's Thursday! First to fall was WHYIOUGHTA (as it was for many...ah those Stooges! Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk). Loved the fill. No clunkers IMO. I've learned to remember Elsa and SVEN of "Frozen" from other XWPs. Had one of those "Oh no you didn't" moments with the clue for 64A when I saw THEE appear from the crossings. The fact that the "F" in Friend was capitalized went right over my head, until my partner pointed it out to me ( he's a relatively new solver, but he's catching on fast)!

  29. So fun. IOU a big thanks for a great start to my day ! Now off to drive in the first winter weather of the season .

  30. I wonder if anyone else had this mistake - seeing Notorious B.I.G. as the answer, I jumped straight to the thought that "BIG" had to fit into the last square as a rebus (an inkling of a theme where "big" is made "small"). It wasn't long before the correct rebus came to mind, and the solution didn't take long from there. I also wonder if anybody else is nettled (not enough to complain, this is just an observation!) by the difference between a "micro loan" and an "iou": the loan is made by one person, the IOU is written by the other.

  31. @David Connell I love the distinction you make here David. :-) It's critical to understanding...

  32. @David Connell - Yup, I did the same thing with BIG, and since that allowed GRACIOUS to fit across, it took a while before I had my aha moment, after finding some other IOUs ... Very clever, this one!

  33. I kinda backed into the rebus by getting GRACIOUSME then looking at 60A and filling in LOANS. Then I started collecting the other IOUs. The MICRO part came later with a few more fills. Had an almost natick at 2D and 20A cross but guessed STEINEM and ELUTE fell out. Liked the musical clues 40D and 59A.

  34. From ouI OUi it was game on! This was ingenIOUs and devIOUs--in other words, a perfect Thursday.

  35. A right stout Thursday workout. Timely theme and consistently good fill: not a dead spot in there anywhere. GRAC*SME, that's a fine puzzle.

  36. Caught on right away with 4D but held off on how the rebus would work until ODIOUS. The rest fell quickly. I liked the cross of CADS and CHARMER and ODIOUS near the skunk answer. WHY I OUGHTA is the best execution of the theme, IMO.

  37. @CS, Yes, WHY I OUGHTA was especially clever.

  38. At first, I put in IBMAC as Cloned machine of old, which made the Party that often has an after party AROM. Well, in an AHA! moment, it was changed to PROM! OUI/OUI, a very entertaining puzzle!

  39. For my part, *I* was put out by the 'of old' designation. I recall when the PC was a new, impressive, amazing thing, (and I was a grown-up at the time.). When I said so, the DHubby replied, "Well, you're old." And, apparently, so is my PC. It has turned up its toes.

  40. When the IBM PC came out in 1982, the startup I worked for at the time decided to concentrate on producing software products for it. One of them, called R&R Report Writer, was reasonably successful. The original PC had a maximum memory capacity of 1 MB(!) of which about 1/3 was reserved for the operating system. (Bill Gates famously asked why anyone would ever need more than the 640 KB for application software.) Your smart phone probably has at least 64000 times as much memory. The original PC had up to 2 floppy disk drives, which, if memory serves, held 256 KB of data. Eventually, the IBM PC XT was released with a 10 MB hard drive. Those were the days! So yes, the IBM PC qualifies as “old”, as do I.

  41. @David Meyers My first computer (1986 I think) was an early IBM clone -- a Leading Edge. I loved it, and it wasn't nearly as expensive as the actual IBM. And I have no problem with being called "old."

  42. This one was cute. I have a friend who's in-house at Kiva so when I saw MICROLOANS at 60A and it was right above ENV(IOU)S at 63A, the rebus was, as they say, OBV(IOU)S. And TIL the full name for the city of CARACAS.

  43. Glad to have the rebus back after several (?) rebus-less Thursdays. Lots of good stuff here. Interesting how many of us now link NOTORIOUS to RBG. OUI OUI eluded me for too long; my eyes just didn't work vertically there. What held me up longest was ATONAL: I kept trying to find a word for a keyless lock. Yes, I'm the one who always falls for the red herring.

  44. Thanks, Deb, for the tip about Kiva

  45. @mark careaga You're welcome! It's great to make a difference in someone's life and it's so easy.

  46. Kiva is a terrific program. A few years ago, our extended family stopped exchanging holiday gifts & started pooling the same funds to invest in Kiva. It’s been so rewarding to see what’s come of our investments over the years. The teenagers in the family do the investing, which gives them great lessons in both philanthropy and finance.

  47. It's Thursday so I caught on with ODIOUS. That allowed me to change GRACIOUS to GRACIOUS ME. It also allowed me to condense NOTORIOUS_ into something needing a three-letter consequent. That was a BIG roadblock for a while. Last to fall was BIOME because I had guessed that ELbA was Zeno's birthplace. Ancient Greece is not my strong point. No ZINGERS today.

  48. What a great puzzle! Such wonderful rebus answers -- OU(IOU)I, being my favorite. Followed closely by the wonderful, and wonderfully clued DUB(IOU)S HONOR (17A). Changed pReCIOUS ME to GRACIOUS ME (28A) just in time to see that there was a PRECIOUS GEMS answer. I've never heard of a MICRO LOAN (you'd think to start a business you'd need a MACRO LOAN), but whatever. Unfortunately, after so much time and effort, I still couldn't finish this. I could blame the pop culture arcania that I didn't know: WHY I OUGHTA. But it's all on me, despite that. If I'd had... *CHARMERS, instead of either SCAMMERS or SPAMMERS for the con artists at 42D... *ZORA, instead of LORA at 53D... *Or thought of GEE at 45D... ...Then ZINGERS instead of LING-MS (whaaaa????)at 53A would have filled right in. Oh, well -- a terrific rebus that kept me challenged and engaged throughout. Good job!

  49. Let me brag! I knew the Notorious B.I.G.! Finished in well under Thursday time. That is WHYIOUGHTA accept (embrace?) change.

  50. @ADeNA Yay, you! :D

  51. always get agita with rebuses but I'm getting used to them. this was a nice one, great job to constructor! now where's my SB list?! :)

  52. Thinking that PARTS OF COLONS could produce WIND IN A PIT reminiscent of outdoor latrines and SKUNK, this whole puzzle was looking unpleasantly biological and odiferous if not ODIOUS at first. Then it clicked and all was well. This little solver went OUI OUI all the way home. ELUTE eluded me, and still does. Am I the only one who never saw this word before? Am I the only one who though maybe Eminem wrote a book? Who was SURE about CERTAINEMENT?

  53. @Charlie B Consider "dilute" and "solute". These words are connected with liquid or chemical (not crossword or math) solutions. ("-lute"music.....) One also has dissolute, probably from imbibing too much. Any Chomsky acolytes out there?

  54. I snagged on the rebus, but had figured out it was lurking before MICROLOAN jumped out at me with only a few letters. Then IOU came with a little fiddling with PRECIOUSGEMS and WHYIOUGHTA. I laughed out loud when I got OUIOUI. This was a fun puzzle, but took me a little over an hour--a little longer than my Thursday average.

  55. After numerous entries where I cannot think of words short enough to fit and keeping my eye on that "Thursday" atop the puzzle, I was on the lookout for the rebus. It was OD[IOU]S and NOTOR[IOU]S BIG that confirmed the rebus. Of the theme entries, I was impressed mainly with the ones where no -IOUS words were involved - WHY [I OU]GHTA, OU[I OU]I, S[IOU]AN. Somewhat more poignant the NOTORIOUS BIG was also known as Biggie Smalls - which makes David Connell's note about thinking the rebus might have making BIG small (into a rebus square, vs. making IOUs small as befitting MICROLOANS (well, sort of, Kiva's the one mediating a bunch of small IOUs, not the borrowers directly). TIL (and probably quickly forget): ELUTE, CARACAS full name, COR (because I'm unmusicked), ELEA. It is a sign of the times we are in and no doubt quite intentionally by constructors/editors that 31D "It may be rigged", I thought of, in order: - Election - Economy - System - Game - Contest - Sail and had to rely on crossings to arrive at MAST.

  56. Wen, But for the letter count, I added a BID.

  57. Jury

  58. @Mean Old Lady I've heard of jury-rigged but not rigged jury, though no doubt that happened. Jury-rig has quite a different meaning from a rigged jury, though, doesn't it?

  59. Tentatively enjoying measured progress, I had 4 of the 5 markers in their respective squares. But I stalled for good in the NW thus no solving FEAT. The dreaded rebus HADST me at its mercy. Four vertical squares (4d) in the NW did me in. That crippling six vowel run resulting in a foreign phrase parsed as a double affirmative had me stuck outside of Cruciverbia with the salvation blues again...I’m gonna dial up some classic music; Bobby Bland’s “I O U Blues” and Duane Allman’s “Loan Me A Dime.” I BET, IMO, IT HELPs ELUTE some of the the STUN from the ZINGERS that had me tied up in knots. WHY I OUGHTA........, Bru

  60. SPELLING BEE THREAD 35 Words, 186 points, 1 Pangram (should be at least 2) A -7 (4L-1, 5L-1, 6L-2, 7L-1, 9L-1, 10L-1) C-11 (4L-4, 6L-3, 7L-2, 8L-2) E-7 (4L-1, 5L-2, 6L-3, 9L-1) P-8 (4L-2, 5L-3, 7L-2, 8L-1) T-2 (4L-1, 5L-1) What a difference a day makes -- today is not 4 L overdose. Mild carps about a ton of missing words. First off, Beekeeper, did you have to start Mean Old Lady or me on CANNA again? Time to add that to the list! Among the other MIAs are: actant,appetant, appetance, a variation on an accepted 6 letter word that could be a 9L pangram with a suffix, attacca, captan, an accepted 6 letter word changed to an adjective, peccant, pecten, and cepe (as legitimate as the other food word that lost its accent and one I eat more often) .

  61. Thanks for the list. I’m really struggling with this one, after a fast start. I’ll add PACA and TENACE to the list of missing words.

  62. ...and nacent.

  63. What's nacent? The search engines and dictionaries keep correcting it to nascent. Sometimes I look at some of the words you guys say aren't accepted and I'm thinking, "I wouldn't accept them either, are those real words?" And then Googling to find that they are, indeed.

  64. Thanks to my limited knowledge of rap I got the rebus but spent a good 20 minutes on 19 across. What on earth is TOAT???

  65. @n duncan That needs to be parsed differently. Does TO A T look more familiar?

  66. @n duncan To a T. In case that’s an Americanism, it means “exactly”.

  67. Mixed bag on this one -- I got the rebus easily enough and had to look up the author. But I had ENIAC for 5A which is historically correct and since the clue had "of old" I left it there. This resulted in a horrible three-row Natick in upper left, of course. I don't think of the IBMPC as "old", and I believe "Genius Bar" applies only to Apple products. And 46A was something I did not know about. Eh bien ... c'est les pommes de terre.

  68. @Dr W I think it is a sign that we are the ones getting old. It is more than 30 years since the IBM PC clones were all the rage. I don't know if there were any ENIAC clones but unfortunately ABACUS had one too many letters...

  69. @Andrew More to the point, original personal computers were all IBMs, except for knockoffs, which were called clones because they worked the same and pretty much were just as good. ENIAC was older, but there were no clones in the same sense. ENIAC was never a consumer product, as far as I know.

  70. @Dr W 1. So what if "Genius Bar" applies only to Apple products? Don't they exist to provide I T HELP for their customers? 2. What on earth does "that's potatoes" mean?

  71. Great one today, oui oui. I thought the clues were really balanced for a Thursday - pretty clever and requiring a think, but no real stumpers.

  72. I absolutely loved this puzzle, even if I finished it super fast because I caught on from the first rebus clue (oui oui!). Almost went down a hole trying to stuff "mai oui" in for "man", but backed out fast. Hate the Three Stooges, love the quote. I too tried ENIAC at first, although it didn't make any sense to me. My father worked on it and it was far too big for anyone to ever clone! Down clue quickly straightened that out. Brava, Ms. Guizzo!

  73. @Liane, I was trying to remember Eniac. Luckily I never did.

  74. Gosh darn it! IPad crashed my comment in mid-type. Got the rebus early, raced through the puzzle except for the North-Central section....I've been to the Genius Bar, but I didn't consider them as offering IT HELP; they just SET UP the iPad. A TIARA is regalia? Hmm.... A sash with badges of office or a sword would be regalia; a tiara is just an accessory. But that's just my take on it. I was mainly mystified as to the identity of Moe Howard. DHubby was unable to help, but I got 'er done anyway. Thanks, Deb, for the tip-off. New word: ELUTE. If at first you can't dilute, get some solvent and ELUTE? On with the frosty day!

  75. @Mean Old Lady I happened on ELUTE the other day in the Bee, by typing in a bunch of letters that nobody anywhere would ever consider a word. Sometimes it pays off (to my continuing surprise)!

  76. @Gretchen Lets see now ... ELUTE, FLUTE, GLUTE, KLUTE, and my mind draws a blank after that.

  77. A nice, tricky Thursday puzzle. I appreciated the references to both Moe Howard and Gloria Steinem, two names not usually on the same page.

  78. @Andrew Thank you!

  79. What, please, is a notorious big?

  80. It would be nice to keep this a snark-free zone. One never knows the circumstances - age, language facility, tech savvy - that a commenter here is working under.

  81. @Hildy Johnson D'accord. And then there's Lewis Carroll's poem about snarks ....

  82. @Steve L So trolling this forum and using Google are OK by you? For shame.

  83. Winnebago what? I was doing ok without knowing it was a rebus. But still don’t see a few of the clues and answers making the slightest of sense.

  84. Wen, The Ho-Chunk language (Hoocąk, Hocąk), also known as Winnebago, is the traditional language of the Ho-Chunk (or Winnebago) nation of Native Americans in the United States. The language is part of the Siouan language family, and is closely related to the languages of the Iowa, Missouri, and Oto.

  85. I really, really wanted Len Cariou to show up in this puzzle somewhere. Alas.

  86. Agreed, that'd have been awesome.

  87. @Dag Ryen Wait a minute....yesterday you said you never watch TV or go to the movies. Are you going to tell me you knew of Len Cariou mainly from the theater?

  88. @Wen Yep. Spent 30 years as a freelance theater critic.

  89. Feeling smug about solving without hints or cheats. It was “certainement “ that showed me the way. Big fun!

  90. What the heck is toat?

  91. @Cindy Suet to a 'T'.

  92. @cindy sue. I was confused as well! Just got it. TO A T

  93. @Cindy Sue See earlier comments about parsing it as "to-a-t"

  94. Could I say this Thursday offering required an IOUJA board?

  95. @Dr W Earlier reply didn't go through -- too short? Oui! Ja!

  96. Nyuk nyuk nyuk! You both cracked me up!

  97. @Dr W Oui! Ja!

  98. A couple of stray thoughts... 1. In the mid 1980's, I was working in our company's Information Center which offered tech help to do-it-yourself computer users in various parts of the company. One of the services we offered was a pool of "luggable" clones that could be checked out for short term use. They were "luggable" as opposed to "portable," because if you tried to pick the thing up and carry it, you either had to be very fit, or would need to set it down frequently to rest. So we also issued a luggage cart with each unit. Portability has certainly improved drastically ever since. 2. Why do I keep thinking there should be a "you" in Moe's catch phrase? As in "Why you! I oughta...!" Thus it occurred to me some ages ago that an interesting name for a cartoon version of a playful water creature might be Yancey Uriah Ignatius, aka Y. U. I. Otter.

  99. The revealer clue gave me a hint that there -was- a rebus, I just had to find it. Got thrown off a bit (because GRACIOUS fits) until I noticed the crosses for NOTORIOUS BIG (and to a lesser extent WHYIOUGHTA, but I hadn't figured out where the rebus was when I deduced that answer). At that point I figured it out, tied it to the revealer, and the rest kinda solved itself. Fun one, and it reminded me that I owe a friend lunch.

  100. Started snowing NYC an hour ago ....!!!! Watch your step if you're "in the zone"

  101. @Dr W Wouldn't people who need to know this already know this?

  102. Lorne, I'm reading Dr W's first sentence as a general announcement to readers of the comments (many of whom will not know it), and the second sentence as a caution to those impacted (even if most do know it). Your editorial perspective may vary.

  103. @Barry Ancona TY and pray for clear corners.

  104. What does the answer to 19A (Precisely = TOAT) mean? I can't figure it out even after Googling it.

  105. @Ann Aldrich the term I am familiar with is, "That fits her to a T!"

  106. Ann, Read it "precisely" as "To a t."

  107. Nobody is perfect, and any one of us may at times annoy others, but no regular or semi-regular poster in these comments is a troll or engages in trolling as defined herein: In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion, whether for the troll's amusement or a specific gain.

  108. @Barry Ancona Thank you, Barry.

  109. @Barry Ancona Agreed. I was surprised that comment was approved. That said, I will venture forth to make a couple of observations as a relative noob here. (1) Since the technical department has improved the comment system (yes, we noticed!), perhaps some of the curmudgeonly snark reserved for them is seeping out elsewhere. (2) Folks who love the NYT XW are generally folks who know a lot, love to learn and like to be right (as in "correct"). This sometimes results in "lecturing" behaviors. Some commenters do this beautifully. E.g., Steve Connell's musical info fascinates me and I love his links. Some others can leave you feeling small. (3) Sometimes comments are very dismissive (like "why didn't you read the column first or read it closely enough?") Please recognize that some folks might (sorry Deb) go right to comments without reading the column, as I often do if the puzzle isn't a struggle. (4) Some folks here are particularly snarky. You get to know who by hanging out a while and try not to take it personally. But being "snarked" is off putting and can seem downright hostile to a new poster, so maybe we should all try to keep that in mind and play nice.

  110. @Liane I agree with everything you said. My impression is that long-time puzzlers are generally pretty cranky people, which makes it especially nice that Deb is an exception to that rule. Her column is 100% upbeat and welcoming, and thanks to that encouragement, I went in the past few months from someone who could scarcely complete a Monday to being able to do it seven days a week! Now, QBers are a different sort, kind of like a hippies communal effort, sharing all their wealth so very kindly. I don't think I've ever seen a discouraging word from them.

  111. Can I officially say that I no longer hate rebuses. Not my favorite but I thought today’s puzzle was clever

  112. @pmb They grow on you, eh? :-)

  113. @Steve Faiella I am (reluctantly) admitting that they do. :D

  114. Loved it! Great rebus! More later ...

  115. Loved it! Had LINES for strike zones, thinking of picket lines, but finally fixed it to complete the puzzle. Very clever!

  116. @Marci Swede Hand up for picket LINES!

  117. Union proud

  118. This was such a fun puzzle! Thursday is always fun, but this is the funnest so far for me. I really, really liked that it did not reveal which clues had answers that contained the IOUs.

  119. I've said (confessed) this before, but I'll repeat: I'm the one who can't bear the Three Stooges (maybe the only one on earth), and I've succeeded in avoiding them to the point that I don't know all their names and/or catchphrases. So 44A's clue made me think of a sports person (another area where I am pretty ignorant) -- either a player or an announcer or somesuch. Even after I got the entry, that seemed to make sense, and it was only a post-solve Google that corrected me. I remembered the word POG, but I don't think I ever knew exactly what it was (is?). Other no-knows were ELUTE, ELEA, and SVEN the reindeer. But I knew (well guessed actually) ALOU and REDS. Lots gimmes though, mostly names. ZORA and NOAM made SW a walk in the park, and I loved the careful wording of the clue for PELOSI. Is "Brenda STARR" still around? Overall a fun puzzle with a fun rebus-theme. Only disappointment was the missed opportunity of NOTORIOUS RGB.

  120. @Deadline I didn't miss the opportunity of NOTORIOUS RBG, I put it in, resulting in my being stuck for several crosses for the longest time.

  121. @Deadline Re The Stooges, you’re not alone

  122. Amen to that!

  123. So, my problem was that there weren't enough squares for all the letters for the correct words in some cases. I did figure out that the missing letters were usually the same... But still..

  124. (PIRATE)GEMS for waayyyyy too long. AAARRRGGGHHH! :-)

  125. OK, wrote earlier about how much I liked this puzzle. Discovered the rebus with ODIUS, but had trouble getting SIOUAN. (?) In fact, the A was my last entry. Started out slow wanting “hath” at 1D but didn’t fit and worried about too many vowels at 4D. Also had eniaC instead of IBMPC at 5A. The cross of BIOME and ELEA was a Natick. Lots of initial errors in the midwest: SNootS instead of SNEERS, hoP instead of PEP, SmARt instead of STARR, and SpAm instead of SLAW. WHYIOUGHTA took a while to suss out. The rest of the puzzle went OK. When I first saw that Jeff Chen was a co-constructor, I worried since I’ve had trouble with his puzzles. This one was difficult but enjoyable. I love rebuses!

  126. WHYIOtTA, not realizing I was dealing with a rebus. Finally got the IOU rebus theme with cross of ENVIOUS and VARIOUS. It took me a very, very long time to complete the puzzle. I really liked DUBIOUS HONOR and ODIOUS. The cluing didn’t strike me as particularly difficult, but with the tricky rebuses, I think it was kinda hard. GRACIOUS ME, such fine company with STEINEM, TED, PELOSI, NOAM, and NOTORIOUS BIG. One might think the crossword creators of the liberal ilk. Brava and bravo, y’all. ;-)

  127. Anyone else struggle with glitches on the mobile app when checking rebus squares? I discovered this week if I check a square that is a rebus, the app marked it as correct (regardless of what I entered) and, once marked correct, could not be changed without clearing the entire puzzle. E.G. ODIOUS was "correct" but so was "NOTORISBIG" lol!