FRIDAY, Nov. 16, 2007 - Chuck Deodene

Friday, November 16, 2007

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

This puzzle was bland-to-unpleasant. It has almost none of the sizzle that I expect from FRI-SAT puzzles. Its "difficult" (quotation marks!) answers are few, and those are just obscurities - nothing you're terribly happy to see in a puzzle. I mean, SYOSSET (51A: Town on the Long Island Rail Road). Where the F---?! Gimme for locals, I imagine, but I had to get it all from crosses. And ENOUNCE (25D: Proclaim) makes me want to EGEST my breakfast. If I have to endure an an answer like ENOUNCE, I expect Payoff, and there is none. TRADE NAME (16A: Product identifier)? I would accept TRADEMARK or BRAND NAME, but not TRADE NAME, which well and truly sucks. STEERSMAN (6A: One at the helm) is also kinda crappy, in that you would call that guy a HELMSMAN, probably.

Add to weak fill the problem of seriously forced cluing. AUTOPILOT gets 18A: It maintains a proper attitude, Q AND A gets 1A: Back-and-forth, KID gets 54A: Sprout, and so on. The only way I got KID from [Sprout] was by thinking of the Jolly Green Giant commercials. For every great clue (e.g. YOGA = 49A: Poses in a studio?) there was some piece of tortured nonsense like 1D: Nitpicking (quibbles) - you have to squint So Hard to make those two words synonymous. I don't care for squinting.

Let's see, what else?

  • 19A: "Western Star" poet (Benet) - as of this very second, I couldn't tell you this person's first name, though I know I know it. Reforgetful!
  • 36A: First-class handouts? (syllabi) - I understand that the whole of the academic world uses this form of the plural, but the would-be classicist in me can't use a Latin plural for a word of Greek origin, even if the word did technically come down to us through Medieval Latin. I use "syllabuses."
  • 27A: Bbl. fraction (gal.) - I honestly have no idea what "Bbl." means
  • 44A: Time magazine Person of the Year, 2005 (Bono) - slow year, I guess
  • 50A: Photographer Goldin (Nan) - her photogs can be hawt. She was a gimme for me 'cause I've blogged her before, and I used a pretty racy photo, and I often get hits to this site because of that photo. Here's another one for you.
  • 67A: Common dog name (Sport) - I have never known a dog with this name
  • 11D: Scissor (snip) - had SWIM at one point ... the NE was a bit of a slog for me
  • 12D: Costa del Sol port (Malaga) - did not know; completely guessed on that "G" - I had at least heard of a place called MALAGA...
  • 29D: 1990s sitcom ("Ellen") - remember Jeremy Piven!? [I can't make that joke any more, as he is all pseudo-famous now because of "Entourage," which I would happily disparage if I had actually seen it.]
  • 41D: Cavalier evaluation? (road test) - so badly wanted this to have something to do with basketball - the Chevy frame of reference didn't occur to me 'til very late. I was angry with the clue at the time of solving, but now I kinda like it.
  • 30A: Bills are in it: Abbr. (AFC) - my second answer after NFL
  • 61D: It was deorbited in 2001 (Mir) - my favorite thing about this: "deorbited"; weird "DEO" beginning (just like puzzle author's name)
  • 20A: Mount _____, sacred Chinese site (Tai) - nope, never heard of it
  • 63A: Newswoman Poussaint (RenĂ©e) - almost rings a bell, but not quite
  • 4D: _____ City, seat of Pasco County, Fla. (Dade) - seems a rather ungainly clew for DADE. Seems like Florida is the puzzle's second-most referenced U.S. state after NY. Is that true or am I making stuff up? Anything to do with solver demographics? If statcounter is correct, I have a lot of Florida readers. Just wondering.

Off to recover from this puzzle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

68 comments:

Orange 8:41 AM  

Wow, grumpy this morning. I'm with you on SPORT, but the rest did not get my knickers in much of a twist.

California gets plenty of xword action with all the San towns and the Santa ___ towns. And who can forget OJAI?

Dude, I remember Jeremy Piven in Cupid, too. Anyone else?

STEERSMAN is a straight-up dictionary word. Maybe you have to be on a ship's crew to be really familiar with it?

Orange 8:43 AM  

And bbl. is the abbreviation for barrel, as in the unit of measure for oil that costs $90 now.

Rex Parker 8:48 AM  

How is STEERSMAN different from HELMSMAN?

Despite having apparently identical dictionary meanings (one who steers a ship), HELMSMAN out-Googles STEERSMAN 987K to 174K. I'm not saying STEERSMAN isn't a real word. I'm just saying 'ack.'

rp

Lauracs 8:56 AM  

Florida reader here (we used to call this place the sixth borough of New York), and I've never heard of Dade City or Pasco County. Google says it's out by Tampa. Whatever. Miami-Dade County, I've heard of, of course, but that would be too easy for a Friday.

pinky 9:49 AM  

THank you Rex,
The only joy in today's puzzle was coming here to where someone else thought it had a high "huh?" factor.

And wouldn't the answer for NITPICKING be QUIBBLING instead of QUIBBLES?

I've been sailing all my life without ever hearing the word STEERSMAN (sounds more like a cattle wrangler or a railroad porter)

Also been in advertising all my life without ever hearing TRADE NAME - a perfect example of an aha for the wrong answer turning into a huh? for the right one.

Add me to your "grumpy this morning" list, Orange.

dk 10:13 AM  

Rex,

I am with you on the steersman issue. Calling a helmsman a steersman is like calling a peak the point part of a mountain.

Pardon me, I am still fussing over yesterday as Jay Silverheels was/is Tonto.

I am reaading the Icelander and they use niggling instead of quibling. I like the idea of niggling.

Cheers,

lislepammysue 10:38 AM  

Knew SYOSSET from a line in my Senior Class play --Sabrina Fair. Loved TREERINGS and RUSTLER. STATEFAIR was my first fill in and so I sang the clue while working the puzzle. It was uplifting on this gloomy fall day. Agree that it should be QUIBBLING instead of QUIBBLES.

NJPhil 10:41 AM  

I also disliked this puzzle, and am surprised by the lack of vitriol regarding TREE RINGS. Probably because there are no such things, there are growth rings in trees.
Hated QUIBBLES, but my attempt to get an aha moment showed that NITPICKING and QUIBBLES are both nouns, whereas QUIBBLING is a verb, so I guess we have to accept QUIBBLES.

By the way, how does counting Google searches validate the relative validity of any two possible answers? Doing a search represents not knowing the answer, and as such is a measure of the guesses of unknowledgeable people. Not a real meaningful statistic.

marcie 10:53 AM  

This one was a struggle with a lot of "huh?" factors for me. Even when finished I was still not sure what AFC and ANC refer to. I got ANC from google, after the fact. Since I got State Fair early, I knew the AFC wasn't ATM... so what is it? (assuming a sports reference here, from the blog)

Even AKA took me a while.

I had no problem with tradename, which to me is interchangeable with brandname (i.e. vs. generic)

Newswoman Proussaint gave me fits, as the first three searches I tried with google only brought up Dr. Alvin. I finally did find her.

I started with I'll give you AHAND instead of AHINT, making that corner another slog.

I read way too much to have never seen/heard the word ENOUNCE.

Pretty much a day-early Saturday for me, with the obscurities (Syosset? and Mt. Tai?) and huh?'s. Not that that's a bad thing.

rick 11:01 AM  

The Steersmen were a late 60's rock group patterning themselves on the then popular Helmsmen.

Their only top ten hit was "Watch the Wheel, Renee, we're Getting Silted in".

They broke up shortly afterward and formed the Daytonas featuring Fast Stevie Benet on drums.

penny 11:03 AM  

Earth to Penny. Apparently I was on some other planet because I absolutely loved this one. Had I been aware of Nan Goldin's works perhaps I would have found the rest of the puzzle boring but I wasn't and I didn't. I think it had a great sense of humor and was a fun challenge from start to finish. AKA no quibbles here.

jae 11:04 AM  

This reminded me of a Leone movie.

The Good: Almost no crosswordese and IMMO some clever/interesting clues/answers e.g. ROADTEST, BASKING, TRANSACTS, AUTOPILOT.

The Bad: I'm still trying to figure out whether STEERSMAN is a step up or a step down from STEERER. TRADENAME, I had BRANDNAME at first. QUIBBLES just doesn't seem right. It takes a lot of SILT to block a channel. I started with BERG and then FLOE.

The Ugly: OATEN, maybe OATY or OATEY or even OATIC. IRONER, has anyone ever heard anyone called an IRONER? Presser maybe. See Rex's comment on SPORT.

Overall, not a pleasent experience.

jae 11:06 AM  

Sorry that should be IMOO.

Deschanel 11:12 AM  

I really hate AUTOPILOT, "maintains a proper attitude".

Only a living, sentient thing has an "attitude".
A machine or device, uh no.

Could it have been a misprint for "altitude"?

Uriah Jalopy 11:13 AM  

The thing about tree rings for me was that I was well past the Tree, since we were already at the trunk, so something (inductive? deductive?) in me wanted to move down (say, to ageRINGS or growthRINGS) rather than back up TREE.

A STEERSMAN, I'm pretty sure, is some sort of Centaur of the western world.

I liked RUSTLER. Trying to remember if anything besides cattle and grub get rustled...

I've long liked the word IDIOMATIC, and finally got to use it...not exactly in a sentence, but still.

I thought BONO was just 1/3 "Time magazine Person of the Year, 2005".

The NW and NE were both a challenge. Finally just started entering things I had little confidence in (e.g. PART and SNIP (NE) and DADE (NW)) and, surprisingly, they worked, and things started to fall fom there.

Robert 11:33 AM  

I did not like this puzzle either. Not much doing at all until I Googled a few clues, and then the rest fell more or less into place.

NJ Phil - the "Google validator" test doesn't look to the number of searches for a particular term, but the number of hits for that term. If one version of a word is featured on a million websites, and the other version is only on 100k, it's a relatively valid indicator that the second use is much less common (although still technically legitimate, I suppose).

Deschanel - "Attitude" in aeronautics refers to the orientation of the plane to the horizon.

Kumar 11:35 AM  

Hated this generally, as many of you did.

From my days flying a Cessnaas an amateur, I know attitude to be a perfectly correct term describing the position of the aircraft relative to the direction of motion. An autopilot is supposed to maintain the pitch and the attitude, as well as direction of flight and altitude.

Kumar 11:37 AM  

Correction: attitude describes whether the nose is pointed up or down relative to the direction of travel.

Deborah 11:40 AM  

Hated this puzzle. No art to it at all. Been thinking that a lot lately. Will has become an amoral xword editor.
Would someone please explain the AKA clue? I still don't get it.
Agree with most of the quibbles (sorry, couldn't resist). Forced, strained, just plain lyin' (Sport? - sez who?).
Since you asked, full name for 19 Across is Stephen Vincent Benet. Junior high syllabus finally comes in handy. But, isn't first-class an adjective?

Joaneee 11:41 AM  

Adding to chorus of boos for ENOUNCE. Also strenuously object to SENTIMENT as "counterpart of logic" (64A). My Concise OED says "person or thing that has the same function as another". Apart from that, thought it was interesting. Really liked AKA and AFC (for which I wanted ATM and it took me a while to get it). Hey, Deschanel, same Concise OED provides "the orientation of an aircraft or spacecraft" as definition 3 of attitude.

Joaneee 11:46 AM  

Deborah, think of street name as a moniker one has on the street. E.g. "John Doe, AKA John the Weird".

Deborah 11:53 AM  

Thanks, Joanee!

Rikki 12:19 PM  

Hi y'all. Friday's are always a challenge for me. It seems I can sail through the week, and then...boom... comes a Friday and I'm slogging away. So today was no different. I started last night and couldn't get anywhere, but hacked away at it this morning and was able to finish. The obscurities didn't seem any more obscure than usual for a Friday. I knew the geographical ones (Dade, Malaga, and Syosset), Tai I got from crosses, but I knew that there are five sacred mts. in China. Didn't know Nan or Benet or Renee, so had to get those from crosses as well, and they were hard-earned. The northwest gave me the most trouble with an aha for Q and A and Ipods, and a frown for quibbles. Steersman was the first fill for me and seemed perfectly fine and I liked autopilot, syllabi, rustler, yoga, a hint, idiomatic, sentiment, truancy... lots of good answers... and etal was about the only thing close to crosswordese. So, all in all, a good old time for me, even given the stretch for enounce, ironer and treerings (if it were just rings it wouldn't bug so much). Bbl was a new on one me, thanks Orange.

And since Chuck didn't say it, I will. TGIF.

Penny 12:22 PM  

STREET name John Doe, AKA John the Weird ...

Exactly! Exactly why this puzzle was such fun. Trunk accumulation invites the wrong answer. Tree rings works. Yes. I want to yell and scream but but but ... but it works. Friday is catch me if you can day. Yes they're screwing with my head. They're supposed to be screwing with my head. I learned long ago that I was either going to be pissed at everything that came between me and getting to my destination really really fast or I was going to enjoy the ride. I was deliberately led astray again and again in this puzzle. One dead end after another. It was deliberate. I was on the receiving end of one gotcha after the other. They're not supposed to play fair. They're supposed to PLAY. I think that's what the late week puzzle experience is all about. It's all about Jon Stewart yelling and flailing his arms in WordPlay. Bring it on!

Penny
respectfully submitting a dissenting opinion

Bring it on!

Rikki 12:32 PM  

Penny... I concur. It's all about the ride, and Friday and Saturday are the roller coasters! One person's gimme is another person's gotcha.

Marcie... ANC=African National Congress

Anonymous 12:48 PM  

Trade Name is just plain wrong. A Trademark is a product identifier; a trade name is a business identifier.

Doris 12:58 PM  

We opera buffs know "steersman" immediately, since he opens "The Flying Dutchman." Actually, he's the "Steuermann," but Anglophone opera nuts always know who the Steersman is! Got him immediately, of course. I miss Maleska's many operatic references. Once had to correct Will Shortz on the "Teatro Costanzi" (where "Tosca" was premiered in Rome). He had "Constanzi." He had used a reference book with an incorrect entry. Got a very sweet e-mail in which he apologized. Talk about quibbling or nitpicking!

rafaelthatmf 12:59 PM  

Post puzzle depression! I want Friday to consume my solving abilities. I had such high hopes from some of the clues potential (37d) Choppers has so many possibilities then to realize it gets only AXES – (3d) relating to babes and the staid NEONATAL pfft!!! I did like TRUANCY for cutting out (7d) and even EATIT at (8d) but mostly I liked the clues and hated the answers. I want to struggle more on Friday and hate myself for not getting the answer right off. I want to feel seriously conflicted when I get done on Friday. Ahhh disappointment after unmet expectations with satisfaction so close at hand. Alas.

Orange 1:14 PM  

Rick's comment at 11:01 wins my prize for best comment of the day.

Anonymous at 12:48 is just plain wrong. As used here and throughout the entire pharmaceutical industry, TRADE NAME is the preferred term for a brand name. That's just one example. The American Heritage Dictionary even lists trade name as a dictionary entry, and definition 1 is "A name used to identify a commercial product or service, which may or may not be registered as a trademark. Also called brand name." (The business name aspect is covered in definition 3.)

Really, I don't understand the habit of proclaiming something to be Wrong, Wrong, Wrong without even looking it up to see if you might be wrong instead.

Dick Swart 1:32 PM  

Well, I really liked the inclusion of 'asperity'! Right out of HMS Pinafore: "Go, Ribald, get you hence to your cabin with celerity. This is the consequence of ill-advised asperity". What a rhyme!

Why, Damme, it's not bad!

flightdoc40 1:38 PM  

Orange, well said. As a pilot and physician, the tradename and autopilot comments were killing me.

I do have to quibble with the poor cluing of 1 Down, though. Agree with everyone on that.

Leon 1:56 PM  

I too hated the attitude clue but there are attitude gyros included in autopilot systems. You learn something new every day.
Jay Gatsby is the only one I know who calls people or dogs - sport.

rick 2:15 PM  

Just had a thought: if you look at the clue and answer for 1D it may be a Chuck Deodene joke on us.

BlueStater 2:18 PM  

Geez, for once I'm with the majority opinion (even though I got this without googling or other prostheses).

And that opinion is:

Ick.

dk 2:30 PM  

I wanted choppers to be Hogs, forgetting for a momment that it would not work.

Thank you all for the attitude info. I hope to work it into a conversation soon. I like the concept of nose up or down relative to direction traveled.

Agree with Orange on the wrong, wrong, wrong stuff (except in the case of steersman that I may recast as bad, bad, bad). But I niggle.

As always this blog makes my day.

penny 2:53 PM  

"Rick's comment at 11:01 wins my prize for best comment of the day."

I agree with Amy.

I would have mentioned it sooner but was so taken aback by Rick's referencing Fast Stevie Benet. Well, you know, such a sad sad end to an otherwise promising career. At least he could use the other hand, though. For a while anyway.

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

Anyone who has been on the bridge of a naval vessel at sea knows the man at the helm (wheel) is called the STEERSMAN, even though he is told to "mind the helm". I think the differentiation is due to the size of the vessel. On boats, the helmsman steers much more directly. On ships, the steersman can be hundreds of feet from the rudder.

Complainers about today's NYT puzzle might like today's NY Sun puzzle. Much more enjoyable, with lots of tricky defs.

jae 3:16 PM  

Penny -- I absolutely concur with you're expectations about weekend puzzles. I definately expect to struggle. The problem with this one is that there were too many clunkers. You wouldn't get a puzzle like this form MN, DQ, or even BEQ.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

SPOT/SPORT

I think the person who clued it thought they were clueing SPOT.
Sport is not a doggy name, obviously.

jae 3:22 PM  

BTW I got bogged down in SW because I had INTUITION for 64a (which caused me to momentarily erase IDIOMATIC) and I still think its a better answer than SENTIMENT.

rick 3:24 PM  

jae,

Not if it doesn't fit.

Fergus 3:25 PM  

Rex, in your commentary you have "Cavalier Execution" instead of Evaluation -- and though the gist is not confused it does bring up a whole new set of answers.

I'm with Penny on this one, thinking it was a pretty good language stretching test. Several grammar issues come up though. Nitpicking (how appropriate) is a noun as well as a gerund form of the verb, so the plural noun QUIBBLES is perfectly OK to match the (collective) noun Nitpicking. What is less straightforward, as Deborah noted, in 36A the hyphen in First-class turns it into an adjective, which does screw up the parts of speech symmetry there. Even if we are playing around at the periphery, this heads out of bounds, I would say.

Regarding Joaneee's comment about Logic's counterpart: while I sort of share her annoyance, a counterpart can also be a complement. One of those irritating English words where the fine distinctions have been lost. When I was policing financial trading desks we used to make the distinction between Counterpart or Counterparty, the latter being the institution you were trading with, and the former the actual chap you were arranging the deal with. (Just to confuse the issue, each counterpart was surely using both Logic and Sentiment to try to obtain an edge.)

While I can think of a number of Street names that also go by another, I would love to see a sign for Sixth Avenue, AKA, Avenue of the Americas. Yeah, that requirement isn't stipulated in the Clue, but I would say it's implied. What about 8th Street when it turns into St. Mark's Place? Do they share the name there, or is there a clear-cut distinction that might deny the appropriate use of AKA?

Finally, I was looking to drop in SEROTONIN for 18A, the Attitude question. But thinking along those lines I did get to AUTOPILOT, considering that the right attitude could be Indifference, which in some instances is the only proper affect to display.

Rikki 3:56 PM  

Fergus... even though the hyphen makes first-class an adjective, it describes the handouts given out at the first class, which would be the syllabi. Like last-class exams could describe finals. I thought the first-class was a good misdirector, but cloth napkins didn't fit in.

jae 4:00 PM  

Rick -- Unfortunately true.

Fergus 4:30 PM  

Rikki, I could only properly agree with you if indeed the SYLLABI were really top-notch. Or if the clue were simply Class hand-outs?, which muddies the adjective/noun distinction. Your last-class exams would be real stinkers, or of the lowest order, in my blue book; but maybe there are legitimate disagreements in Manuals of Style? I now recall a surprisingly long time spent with a number of teachers discussing the use of a hyphen in some missive to the Parents. And that it ain't always as precise as one might like ...

penny 4:33 PM  

And I thought the use of the question mark made hyphen quibbles off-limits. I could be wrong?

Hobbyist 4:34 PM  

My father used to call me "Sport" and I was no canine.
Puzzle a cinch for a Friday but kind of goofy too.

Anonymous 4:57 PM  

Fergus, one last clarification: "street name" isn't referring to the name of a street or avenue, but to a person's 'street name,' which is what he's called in the 'hood.

green mantis 5:51 PM  

Yeah Fergus-- "John Smith, AKA Shorty McShortypants." Although I wandered the streets for quite some time myself while trying to make sense of that one.

Yay for Renee Poussaint. I'm from D.C., and I think she was a local newsperson when I was growing up, so I felt special when she was a gimme. Weird the things we remember from when we were ten, like a best friend's phone number, while these days I can hardly remember my own.

David 6:49 PM  

dk:
> Thank you all for the attitude info. I hope to work it into a conversation soon. I like the concept of nose up or down relative to direction traveled.

That is actually the "angle of attack", not the attitude (which is measured relative to the horizon as someone said). Should be even more fun to work into your conversation, I would think. "JR Peabody III's nose attained a high angle of attack as he stomped from the room after exchanging quibbles with head waiter".

Jim in NYC 6:50 PM  

A lot of Nattering Nabobs of Negativism on the blog today.

Today's puzzle was within the normal range for a weekend puzzle, as others have said.

The comments, however, are a bit over the top. Is the moon full tonight or what?

Fergus 6:55 PM  

Aha on AKA! Thanks. Got no street cred no mo.

And I goofed while pontificating above: I didn't mean to put that extra hyphen in 'hand-out'. Even if my point were to be definitely correct, in the discussion of hyphens I ought not be tossing the stray one in.

Jim in NYC 6:56 PM  

And Dick Swart, "I'll teach you all ere long to refrain from language strong ...."

rick 8:27 PM  

Jim in NYC

Where's that from?

Michael 9:15 PM  

I thought this puzzle was just fine -- some cleaver clues and about the right level of difficulty for a Friday. I don't understand (and am not convinced by) the negative comments. And I completely agree with orange's suggestion that one should check out a clue-answer combo by looking it up before complaining about alleged inaccuracies.

Rex Parker 10:09 PM  

Frankly, I don't care what you're convinced by. Saying you're not convinced is itself about as far from convincing as a comment could be. I'm surprised by the smug, condescending tone of a lot of the pro-puzzle messages today. Penny seems to be the only one with an idea of how to dissent forcefully but gracefully.

rp

Michael 10:28 PM  

Rex:

Just an opinion, that's all -- not meant to be convincing or smug or anything else. Surely people of good will can differ over the quality of a crossword puzzle...

Rikki 10:32 PM  

Fergus... I wasn't thinking of the quality of the handouts. Just that they were given out at the first class, as syllabi would be, rather than, say, the second class. They could actually be lousy syllabi and still be first-class syllabi. Thus the ?

Jim in NYC 10:36 PM  

Rick,
That's sung by Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore ... I was following up Dick Swart's 1:32 p.m. quotations from Sir Joseph and the Captain from the same scene. A Gilbert & Sullivan fan can't resist an opening for a quotation .... Thanks for asking.

Aaron 10:51 PM  

I didn't much care for this one. And I really, really wanted "66A: Trunk accumulation" to be SPARE TIRE.

Fergus 12:51 AM  

Rikki,

First let me point out that I don't pretend to be an expert on grammar or punctuation. However, from the Style and Usage books I'm familiar with, a First class handout is fine if you want to refer to the handout distributed at the first class, but First-class handout must show that that handout is described by the adjective, first-class. If we allow First-class to describe all things pertaining to that which occurs in the first class session, then there's no issue to dispute since that handout definitely falls into this description. Even with the question mark and it being Friday, that construction still seems too much of a contortion. I'm only carrying on here because I'm not sure we've thoroughly understood each other with respect to the implications of the hyphen in this case. [My dictionary also allows first-class to be an adverb, as in travel first-class, so maybe if we push handouts into verb territory (even more unlikely) then it might find a way to work to our satisfaction?] Sorry if I've made this tedious, but when one can locate the exact point of contention, there's often nothing further to dispute. Did I finally make my point clear, even if you may not agree with it?

Fergus

Rikki 2:09 AM  

Fergus,

I wasn't actually disputing your take on the clue. Just letting you know how I was looking at it. The clue was awkward and the hyphen made it more so. But I like a good grammatical puzzle!

Rex, if you liked Penny here, she was hilarious on Orange's blog. Thanks for the yucks, Penny.

Six Weeks Later Cathy 12:48 PM  

I've been reading this blog daily for several months now, and thought that there might be enough of us in syndication to have our own set of comments. Today, I actually have something to add (not just a rehash of what everyone else said):

www.extremeironing.com

Check it out - it is a sport, but i don't see anyone calling themselves "ironers" :-)

also, a note to green mantis who said...
"John Smith, AKA Shorty McShortypants."
All the men that I have seen in the hood would be more likely to be AKA "Saggy McBaggypants" rather than Shorty.

Cathy

calady 5:32 PM  

This is to second Cathy-a way for us six-week-outers to communicate would be super. You might be surprised to find we actually have something to add. Wonder if Rex ever reads these after day one?

Rex Parker 6:00 PM  

Rex Reads All.

rp

Aviatrix 12:52 AM  

I loved this puzzle. One of my favourite Fridays in a long time. I didn't even have to Google anything because there was no obscure US celebrity crossing an obscure mammal genus.

As a commercial pilot and former flight instructor, I can tell you that I would use the exact phrase "it maintains a proper attitude" to describe an autopilot. It's not even the least forced. It was the first thing I filled in confidently, although I was afraid that it was too easy and I must have been tricked, as I was when I put NAVIGATOR instead of STEERSMAN, but I easily accept the latter. My profession steered me wrong for "first-class handouts," but I was delighted with the answer. I loved QANDA, thought Bbl fraction was an excellent clue, giggled at the clue for BRA, and groaned in appreciation at TREERINGS and ONLINE.

Cavalier evaluation? had me wondering what kind of tests knights take, so I was all over Rode and ride before I got to ROAD. It didn't help that I had guessed BUSH for the man of the year, either.

It was good to see ANC: if you don't know that one you are young and missed a very important chapter in the history of South Africa.
I still don't get TARPS. Do you use tarpaulins to keep rain off the baseball field?

I have to agree with Rex on SPORT and ENOUNCE. I've never heard anyone enounce that his dog was named Sport.

Rex, do you even read the six week late comments from those who get the crossword in syndication in the hinterlands?

Rex Parker 7:36 AM  

@Aviatrix: The question is: do you? Please see the comment immediately preceding yours.

rp

Aviatrix 8:11 PM  

Oh I do. That's why I asked, and my reason for the "even". I figured you might simply move on and ignore those of us who only do the crossword in syndication. And I only get the paper on Fridays, so I never get to do theme crosswords.

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