FRIDAY, Mar. 28, 2008 - Barry C. Silk (MAG FOUNDER OF 1953)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

We're having some kind of weather event here this morning, with wife having to go in to work but daughter on a two-hour delay, so she's home with me for the first part of the morning. Thankfully, she is self-amusing enough to allow me time to do my write-up. I think she is downstairs now reading a 25 year old book from the library called "The Computer that Said 'Steal Me'" or something like that, complete with the hilariously dated picture of a circa 1982 "computer" on the cover, and a kid who looks suspiciously like I looked circa 1982. At any rate, I can't neglect her completely, so I am going to dash this off a bit faster than I might normally.

There's a solidity, consistency, and professionalism to a Barry Silk puzzle that I really admire. His name on a puzzle is a virtual guarantee of no crap (craplessness?). His puzzles aren't as flashy as some of his late-week counterparts, but they are smooth in a way that few other constructors can match. Today's puzzle was not particularly challenging, but it's lovely nonetheless. I especially like that the alliteration in the long answers that weren't part of the NW or SE blocks:

  • SOFT PRETZEL (20A: Stadium snack) crosses
  • SWAP MEET (8D: Cousin of a flea market)

while, in symmetrical positions...

  • SOUTH PHILLY (51A: Where to order a cheesesteak "wit" or "witout") crosses
  • SIXTH MAN (38D: Best substitute on the court)

And those crosses are separated by the twin sentinels of ...

  • NEED A NAP (34A: Drag during the day?) and
  • NEUROSIS (40A: Part of some complexes)

NEED A NAP is perhaps my least favorite entry of the day, though its daring almost makes up for its nuttiness. The only other answer I grumbled at was AT THE SCENE (1D: Where it's happening). I wanted AT THE ZOO. At what SCENE? A "SCENE" can be said to be "happening," but ... something about this just seems off.

This puzzle began very easily. Put in the -ER on 8A: Not as consequential (smaller) right away, which provided the first "E" in ETTE (13D: Major conclusion?), which gave me the only letter ("T") I needed to get WEBSITE (16A: A mouse may help you get there). ATLANTA (18A: Setting for TV's "Matlock") was a gimme because of an earlier, much searched clue about "Matlock" from over a year ago that forever etched in my brain the fact that that show was set in ATLANTA. The whole NE fell from there. Needed a bit of help rounding the corner into the SE (with NEED A NAP being the main stumbling block), but once I got around, it was smooth sailing all the way, counterclockwise, around to the SW, where I hit my first little spot of trouble. Had ROSARIO where ROSALIA (60A: Patron saint of Palermo) was supposed to be, and thus was sure that 47D: Whippersnapper (whelp) was TWERP. Eventually SOUTH PHILLY became undeniable, and I corrected my mistakes, somehow blowing right through EPPIE (48D: "Silas Marner" girl), which could easily have given me trouble in other contexts.

My last stand was in the NW, where, ironically, my trouble lay not with the insane-looking QUONSET HUT (3D: W.W. II shelter), but with the very basic COMES LATER (2D: Follows). I pulled QUONSET HUT out of my ... god knows where. Had the QUON- part and despite my being unable to picture the HUT in question, that term came leaping forth from the back of my head (though I spelled it QUONSIT at first). But I had COMES AFTER instead of COMES LATER. Needed ADHERE (23D: Be glued (to)) to give me the "H" that made CATHAY (32A: _____ Pacific) obvious, which in turn invalidated COMES AFTER. Then, despite the ugly / wrong-looking ETHENES (37A: Petroleum gases), I finished off the NW with little sweat.


  • 15A: What seeds may be found in (tourney) - love it. It's NCAA TOURNEY time, so this answer may have been more obvious today than it would have been, say, two months ago.
  • 19A: Layer that scratches (hen) - weirdly, whenever I see "layer" the first thing I think of is HEN. It's a crossword thing, kind of like how when I see "flower" I think RIVER.
  • 22A: She, overseas (essa) - it was that or ELLA.
  • 27A: _____ Highway, old auto route from New York City to San Francisco (Lee) - neeeeever heard of it. Does it still exist? If so, I want to drive it. Hmm, seems it was named after Robert E. Lee and is now only semi-reenactable via major US routes.
  • 39A: Legalese adverb (thereto) - wanted THEREBY, but it didn't feel legalesey enough.
  • 42A: Person lifting (swiper) - "SWIPER! No swiping!"
  • 43A: "Symphony in Black" artist (Erte) - I will forever associate this with ... my optometrist's office. A bunch of ERTE prints, including this one, hang on the wall in the exam room.
  • 46A: Comics canine (Snert) - from "Hagar the Horrible" - third-string comics crossword dog, behind ODIE and OTTO.
  • 47A: Symbol of limpness (wet rag) - wanted only DISH RAG, so those first three letters proved elusive. For a few seconds, anyway.
  • 57A: Six bells, nautically (three pm) - crosswords have taught me that "bells" = manner of time-telling, nautically. For that, I thank them, though I cannot see said knowledge ever coming in handy in any non-crossword situation I might find myself in.
  • 58A: Reprimand lead-in ("See here..."). Here's what I hear in my head when I hear think of this phrase: "Now SEE HERE my good man ..." Yes, in my brain, it's always spoken by an uptight Englishman. Not sure why.
  • 9D: Reading rhythm (metre) - Reading = place in England (and a Monopoly railroad, btw).
  • 11D: Its scores range from 120 to 180: Abbr. (LSAT) - yeah, OK, if you're going to force LSAT on us yet again, why not tell us something about it. Good job.
  • 12D: Capital of Upper Austria (Linz) - me: "There's an Upper Austria now...?"
  • 14D: Coin on the Spanish main (real) - I really want to put an accent on top of that "e" ...
  • 21D: Ringleaders' nemeses (T-men) - from the time that Elliott Ness et al cracked down on corrupt circuses ...
  • 26D: Not loco (sano) - the "O" here threw me, as LOCO is very much in the English slang language, so I wasn't expecting Spanish parity in the answer. That is to say, I had SANE.
  • 28D: His #13 was retired in 2000 by the Miami Dolphins (Marino) - supergimme, especially for a Friday. That's a Monday clue. The number, year, and the team? For one of the most famous football players of the past quarter century?
  • 29D: How much of genius is inspiration, according to Edison (one percent) - super easy, but very nice cluing nonetheless.
  • 30D: Like typhoid bacteria (water borne) - yuck. Had the WATER part, so the rest was easy.
  • 35D: Lukewarm reviews (ehs) - yes, that is my exact review for this answer, coincidentally. EH is what an old codger says to someone he can't hear.
  • 41D: Bandar _____ Begawan, capital of Brunei (Seri) - no way in heckfire. Needed all the crosses.
  • 51D: Orch. sections (strs) - ooh, eek, ack. No. I mean, yes, it's legal, but no. Why the "s" on the end? Is STR going to be confused with something else?
  • 59D: Mag founder of 1953 (Hef) - naked ladies! I mean ... good clue (seriously, "Mag" in the clue for HEF in the answer is a nice equivalency)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Orange 8:41 AM  

I beg to differ on EHS. Throw in an indifferent shrug and drag out the syllable, and you have my husband's most frequent review of...just about anything he wasn't crazy about.

The SOFT PRETZEL is a traditional SOUTH PHILLY snack, it turns out. How cute is that? A mini-theme.

arb 8:58 AM  

I shall call him...... Mini-Theme.

Hmm, needs work.

PhillySolver 9:15 AM  

Nothing mini about Philly! The real commonality is that in South Philly the gloriously colored (taste being a different matter) concoction called chez whiz is used on both your sandwich (wit or witout refers to grilled onions) and your soft pretzel. Mr. Silk saved us from anothere California geography lesson and gave me my fastest Friday puzzle ever.

I had sane for SANO, also and it was about one minute of my solving time to determine that a NEUROUSIS plural couldn't be spelled that way. Brunei's capital is known as either BSB or Brunei city to most business travelers. The city is about the only thing in the entire (tiny) country.

jannieb 9:22 AM  

Anytime I can get the NW corner done first, I feel I've already conquered a puzzle. Loved quonset hut - but like RP, kept insisting on "comes after" for a tad too long. I also kept trying sane instead of sano. Did the rest of the puzzle clockwise with the Rosalia/Whelp crossing the last to fall. Got trapped on whelp - another verb masquerading as a noun in my ken. This puzzle had something for everyone - sports, geography, science, the arts - save for a lack of pop culture. True to his name, I found this puzzle Silky smooth and quite an enjoyable start to the weekend.

bflohl 9:27 AM  

I don't have much to say about the puzzle, but wanted to note that I still have a Kaypro like the one in Rex's picture somewhere in my basement. Wrote my MA thesis on it years ago.

Had a pretty easy time except the combination of "sane" and "yea" instead of "yes" made neurosis difficult.

Wade 9:30 AM  

I woke up at 3:30 this morning for no reason and flew through this puzzle in record time until . . . S_ _ [T/G]PRETZEL. I wanted it to be SALT pretzel, God only knows why. Even though I knew it had to be RELOS and not RELAS, I couldn't come up with SOFT as a pretzel modifier. We just don't eat those things down here in God's country. Pretzels come in a bag and are crunchy and you give them to babies to chew on. Sometimes they're curled up and sometimes they're little sticks. They're decidedly non-food, made for people who just need to be eating something. The first time I came across a soft pretzel (which was foisted on my by a northeasterner as some kind of delicacy), I thought, "Bread? Salty bread? With mustard? You mean salty bread with mustard is what you've been going on about for the last fifteen minutes?" The EYE_U_ finally broke it for me, though I had SIMMER instead of SUMMER for a while, making me want EYELID (which would have made SALT work except for RELOS.)

Really, I could go on.

A note about the LSAT. The testers have claimed that it's almost a study-proof test and that your score is pretty much hard-wired from birth. I took it twice, once under the old 48 point scale and, five years later, under the new 120-180 scale. Five years of acquired wisdom and street smarts and studying (which I didn't do for the first one) resulted in my winding up in the exact same percentile as the first time I took the test.

SethG 9:37 AM  

I went as Mini-Theme one year for Halloween. Er, yeah.

Just before doing the puzzle last night I read PHILLYSolver's comment about "hoping for a fun puzzle to unwind in just a bit", and I was grinning while thinking of him the whole way through.

"Soft Pretzels With Mustard", a memoir by Philly comedian David Brenner, still sits on the bookshelf in my boyhood home. And though Mom's from NE, we'd still head to SOUTH for steaks when we visited her childhood home. On the way back to granny's we'd get some SOFT PRETZELS, which were sold by street vendors on the median to drivers waiting at red lights.

I (want to) think I'm too young to truly feel nostalgia, but warm fuzzies were enough for my fastest Friday too.

Ulrich 9:39 AM  

I concur with everyone about the puzzle. Things I pondered: How come a bird famous for its stupidity (hen) causes constructors to come up repeatedly with the cleverest clues? And if you can get it wit or witout there, why isn't it called Sout Philly?

Karen 9:50 AM  

Wade, I'm with you on the SALT thing. Even Rex's picture has big old NaCl crystals on it.

SIXTH MAN...oh, basketball court. I kept thinking of alternate jurors.

I was hoping PERC could take over the orchestra duties today. I was trying to jam in Philadelphia for the cheesesteaks, maybe wit'out an 'h'. And EIGHT PM fits in just as well as THREE.

I've heard of QUONSET HUTS from tales of curling in the far north, where no air-compressors or electricity are needed to keep the ice frozen--just a windbreak to keep the snow out. It fell for me once I ditched ELLA for the foreign female, and CATHAY bubbled up from the recessses of my mind.

I like puzzles like this where I get stuck for a while, but eventually get the answers.

treedweller 9:53 AM  

I never really expect to complete Fridays, though sometimes I do, but I got on a roll and was sure this would be a great time, even. Then I got stuck in NW. Hopelessly Stuck. I stared at E_E_U_ and got nothing. I had INIT and that made the SOFT part of PRETZEL opaque (seems so obvious now . . .). Couldn't commit to TMEN over GMEN. Never heard of ESSA, somehow. I dozed off in front of the screen. Woke up, saw EYEFUL, and finally ground out the last few squares.

Submitted, and my solution was incorrect. Oh, the humanity. I couldn't find my error. I started googling ever answer I had doubts about. Finally, over an hour after starting, I remembered that little niggle when I saw COG as an answer to "Bully." Ah, shoes are sports Wear, not Gear. Painful to see my time listed as dead last, even though I know I'm a long way from any meaningful ranking.

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

I actually found the Tribune Media Services puzzle harder today then this one (though I thoroughly enjoyed both). That Kaypro picture brought back memories. I had one of those at work and remember it's clunky word processing program, WordStar. That was supposedly a portable computer, but as I recall, it weighed something like 35 pounds.

imsdave - the inept blogger

ArtLvr 10:23 AM  

Tootled along just fine in the NW to start with, continued fine on the NE and SE, plus half the SW but then cut short the pain, South ___? OK, Philly and Eppie. Darn!

I think a few more minutes might have brought the light, but we already had one power outage this a.m., and I didn't want to sit through another without a solution! Thick heavy snow one last time (?), mind like a WET RAG -- SUMMER COMES LATER!

QUONSET HUTS were still being used for married grad students' housing at Princeton in the early sixties! Maybe they thought it was a fad that would go away if they put off upgrading... I was writing sections of the LSAT, SAT and other tests at the nearby "campus" of Educational Testing Service.


Anonymous 10:34 AM  

anybody else have sportsgear instead of sportswear?

Wade 10:48 AM  

anonymous 10:34, yes, treedweller did.

Re: my LSAT experience, I did the NYSun puzzle after the Times puzzle and had pretty much the same time on both of them (22:30). Maybe Friday puzzles are also hardwired.

Idiot me, I confess I've been coming to this board for about a year and just now figured out why some people have pretty orange and blue color schemes in their postings and the rest of us have men's room symbols. Gotta get me one of them blogs, I guess.

barrywep 10:48 AM  

The Westchester (NY) County airport used a Quonset hot for its terminal until about fifteen years ago so that came easily to me.

Margaret 11:08 AM  

Hi, all. This is my first posting. Ever since I saw Wordplay about 9 months ago, I've gotten increasingly addicted to all things xword. Then I found this site (thanks, Rex!) Now I HAVE to start my morning with the puzzle and the blog.

Anyone else have a problem with "adhere" for "be glued (to)?" I saw it there but refused for the longest time to put it in because the usage seemed wrong. To me, to glue and to adhere are synonyms, not active and passive versions of each other.

imsdave 11:34 AM  

Margaret - I definitely had problems with adhere - not the clue, but the cross of ethene (felt like that should have been ethane)

RP - finally starting to get the blog thing

formerly known as imsdave, the inept blogger

PhillySolver 11:41 AM  

Hey, imsdave, (former inept blogger)

Welcome to the orange and blue world. Nice to have some background on you and (pardon me, but I am older) prove you can teach old dogs new tricks.

On my way to SOuth Philly for lunch...really. If the site supported it I would post a video from my Small Wonder camera. Ordering witout, btw.

Soybomb 11:58 AM  

This is Wade (now Soybomb, I guess), trying to figure out if I'm now out of the men's room. I signed up with Google but it didn't ask me to put in my favorite movie, etc., so I may not have done it right.

Orange 12:01 PM  

Wade, as you can see from imsdave's new colors, all you need to do is set up a Blogger account (using your Google ID if you have one already). Having a blog, even a placeholder one like imsdave's is right now, is optional. You can leave most of the Blogger profile empty if you feel like it, too.

"The toilet paper will adhere to your shoe" = "The toilet paper will be glued to your shoe." That's one example of equivalency/substitution, and all the crossword editor/constructor needs is one such pairing. Works for me.

parshutr 12:07 PM  

This was Friday? More like Tuesday for me, although I also had COMESAFTER in for a nanosecond. Thought of Sports Illustrated instead of Playboy, but that was founded a year later, so it had to be HEF. Got ATLANTA from crosses.
And I did learn that EYEFUL is the correct spelling.
Always a Good Thing to learn something new.

Joseph 12:11 PM  

I freaked out when i saw "wit or witout", living in South Philly I wanted PATSORGENOS (Pat's or Geno's, being the two most infamous cheesesteak places. When Kerry was running for president he asked for swiss cheese at Pat's and was mocked on the cover of the paper. Maybe if he got Whiz he would've won.

SteveB 12:29 PM  

Anyone else sense a March Madness theme running through this puzzle? TOURNEY, SIXTH MAN, SPORTSWEAR and THREE (pm), plus SOFT PRETZEL and YES! for the couch potatoes. Not to mention majorETTE and URSA major (UCLA?).

miriam b 12:36 PM  

This puzzle was tasty, what with HEN, SOFTPRETZEL, SALSAS, COW and SNERT (pea soup, that is), and of course the reference to cheesesteak. I don't find URSA appetizing, though.

imsdave 12:45 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
PuzzleGirl 12:46 PM  

Loved the puzzle. So proud of myself to finish it Google-free in less than 30 minutes. But then I read Rex this morning and saw LEE highway. Argh! I missed the plural cluing on 21D so had TMAN instead of TMEN, leaving me with LAE highway, which seemed a little off but okay to me. Darn. Pretty sure there's reference to Lee Highway in some classic rock song (with emphasis on LEE and WAY). Anyone? doc john? Since I can't place it, I now have "Ventura Highway" going through my head.

I started out with DEWS and SNERT and it all went pretty smoothly from there. I had COMES AFTER for much longer than a nano-second, but the Northern California/Oregon section finally fell. I had the QUON- and knew it was some type of HUT but kept thinking QUONSA? QUONZA? QUONSSA? Mixing up World War II housing with an African-American holiday. Way to go, PuzzleGirl!

I believe my first home was a version of a Quonset hut. It was student housing at North Dakota State University and we just called the neighborhood "The Tin Huts." My dad tells a story about changing a lightbulb or for some other reason being up in the rafters of the place and seeing a beam stamped with "Temporary Tropical Housing." Yeah, Fargo is the perfect place for that!

One more little ramble and I'll stop. I knew there would be readers here who immediately went to Dora the Explorer for 42A, SWIPER. Once I was shopping at Target and a woman went by with a little girl in her cart. They were talking together and I heard the girl say, "Swiper, no swiping! Swiper, no swiping! Swiper, no swipping!" So, of course, I responded "Oh man!" Her mom got a kick out of it.

Anonymous 12:52 PM  

The scoring of the LSAT correlates quickly and easily to the old scoring method: Chop off the "1" and add a "0" at the end. A score of 167 is the same as 670 under the old scoring method.

I tutor students for the SAT primarily, but also the LSAT and GMAT. The LSAT is by far the hardest of all the standardized tests and if there is no there there, all the tutoring in the world is not going to help. In that sense, I agree with the earlier comments. I disagree strongly in another sense, however, and believe that coaching can help for those with some talent. The way it helps is in helping the student to work more expeditiously. Time is a huge issue on the LSAT.

Steve M.

PuzzleGirl 12:52 PM  

Unless Rex says otherwise, I would just like to say again that I would appreciate not having other puzzles spoiled for me here. (If you want to thank Orange for something you got from her blog, how about ... ? I don't know, thanking her over there?) (Sorry, I'm a little snippy today.)

imsdave 1:00 PM  

My bad Puzzlegirl - I didn't think that one through - hope it didn't spoil the whole puzzle for you, and you're definitely right - should have posted on her site not Rex's. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa - very new (and bad) at this whole blog thing and hope we can still be friends.


pinky 1:05 PM  

No one (except Rex) mentioned the only one that kept me from finishing today...WET RAG.

Had W...AG and was stuck on "limp" as in LEG or NAG.

Maybe I'm having an OLD HAG moment

ronathan 1:05 PM  


I also saw the clue and, when I realized that PHILADELPHIA would not fit, wanted to put down GINO's and PAT's, or some combination of the two. Obviously I could not get that to work. Thankfully I worked out SOUTHPHILLY on crosses.

Really didn't like ETHENE as an answer, because even though its technically a gas, it is most commonly used/seen as a solid in its polymer form, more commonly known as polyethylene. I was really trying to get BUTANE to work, but it didn't fit the crosses.

Also had trouble in the NW because the first clue I put down was VERIZON for 17A (Sprint competitor) instead of T-MOBILE. Quickly discovered that didn't work when I tried to fit in the "Z" from VERIZON into 5D. Besides LAZY, there are not too many 4 letter words with the 3rd letter being a "Z", and "Last one lazy" didn't make sense.

Speaking of 5D, shouldn't the clue have continued with the end of the sentence? If you're going to have a fill-in-the-blank clue, you can't have the answer end with an unqualified verb (not sure if that's the right grammatical term, but I think you know what I mean). The clue should have read something like: "Last one _____ a rotten egg". I resisted filling in that answer for a long time because I just didn't want the sentence to end with the verb "IS". It made me keep asking "is WHAT"?

ronathan :-)

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

As an old Philadelphian in the Northwest, I list my missed faves:

1. Cheese steaks (Pat's)

2. Soft Pretzels from the stand under City Halls' north arch

3. Hoagies!! (Drexel Hill Hoagie Shop)

4. Italian water ice

5. Scrappel (Habbersett's) served with cottage cheese - maple syrup on the cottage cheese and Heinz Ketchup on the scrappel = scrappel und schmearkase, a Penna Dutch sweet 'n' sour treat.

Drooling in Hood River, Oregon!

dk 1:18 PM  

There is an orange and blue world?

Syracuse U (whose colors are blue and orange) had quonset huts for student housing until the 70's. They were built for returning GIs and just hung on.

A number of friends lived in the huts and all were very sad when they came down. I guess that is why I have a fondness for the Butler Buildings that dot the landscape here in the mighty mid-west.

I had nursery for where seeds may be found and Sportsgear as I did not think a bully could be a COW... or a COG for that matter.

Also I tried to spell NEUROSIS with an e to make Sane work instead of SANO... and those two make a cute couple.

puzzlegirl, you could have started your comment with SEEHERE :):)

chefbea 1:18 PM  

I remember quonset huts at washington University in St. Louis when I was growing up. Also remember picking up luggage at a quonset hut at westchester county airport in White Plaines. Now they have a very nice airport. You can probably get a soft pretzel there at one of the snack bars while waiting for your flight to philly

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

Lots of fun, and fairly easy for a Friday. Wanted "NOODLE" for "WETRAG," "NOWLOOK" for "SEEHERE," and "VERIZON" for "TMOBILE," but none of those held up under crosses.

It's a measure of my sports blindness that I've never, ever heard of the man Rex describes as the most famous football player of the last 25 years.

Anonymous 1:30 PM  

Breezy and delightful to solve.

My Spanish dictionary says that sano/sana means healthy, not sane.

Frances 1:32 PM  


I, too, put VERIZON in for 17A, and thought it was a real gimme. Actually, there are quite a few 4-letter words with Z as the third one (daze, faze, gaze, and so on down the alphabet, besides several with _oze), but nary a one would answer 5D!

chefbea1 1:33 PM  

this is a test to see if I figured out how to be blue and orange

PhillySolver 1:38 PM  

@ chefbea1

We have a movement! Any recipes for pretzels or cheesesteks there?

PuzzleGirl 1:47 PM  

@imsdave: You were so nice about everything that now I feel like an even bigger creep for being so snotty. Sorry about that and, yes, let's be friends.

Brian Davisson 2:09 PM  

Major mistake in the puzzle- sano does mean healthy (false cognate with the English. cuerdo means "sane." I put sane, but obviously with the cross with neurosis that was the only possible answer.

Brian D 2:09 PM  

Major mistake in the puzzle- sano does mean healthy (false cognate with the English. cuerdo means "sane." I put sane, but obviously with the cross with neurosis that was the only possible answer.

Soybomb 2:40 PM  

Thanks for the google/blogger thing tips, Orange. Now that I'm out of the men's room and in the blue/orange world, the toilet paper will no longer adhere to my shoe.

chefbea1 2:43 PM  

hooray!! i figured it out. I am now blue and orange. Now - how do I get a picture like rex, orange and all the others?
And sorry phillysolver I dont have a recipe for the two foods in todays puzzle

imsdave 2:59 PM  

More junior blogger stuff - trying to figure out how to withdraw my spoiler post on another puzzle - any help? Thanks for the nice follow up puzzlegirl - I think we'll get along fine.

Ladel 3:01 PM  

@chefbea1 took me a while to get the colors too, and I already had a Google account, want a picture, just go back to your profile and see the button for picture, I think you can put anything on your hard drive there, that's how I did the turtle. BTW chef I had noodle for a short time where I should have the wet rag, I too cook.

PhillySolver 3:01 PM  

@ imsdave

go to your the bottom, left under the time stamp is a trash can on it and you will be asked to confirm the deletion.

jae 3:03 PM  

I also found this pretty easy. Like puzzlegirl I started with DEWS/SNERT (also MARINO) and worked clock wise pretty quickly. Got LATER first so AFTER was not a problem but also had SANE for a sec (my Dictionary of Spoken Spanish lists both cuerdo and sano for sane). The only place I got bogged down was SOFT. I wanted SALT and 7d to be some sort of EYE piece. It took a few minutes to finally see SOFT. A smooth and very enjoyable Friday!

I've been to a couple of conferences at the ETS complex at Princeton. There are major bucks in multiple choice tests. That place was muy plush with its own gourmet dinning facility.

Ladel 3:03 PM  

@chefbea1, er make that photo it you want some color.

jae 3:16 PM  

Ok, I've been resisting doing this but you've all shamed me into it (I tend to be a bit lazy). BTW how do you open up a second blogger window again? I know someone explained it recently but committing ANI and ROSALIA to memory pretty much wiped it out.

chalkdusted 3:22 PM  


A bully isn't a cow, but to bully someone is to cow them (or him or her, if that's the way you grammatically roll). That one took me a minute to get my brain around ... guess I'm not over my jetlag from recent flights on CATHAY Pacific.

miriam b 3:27 PM  

That SANO problem could have been averted with this Friday-worthy clue: "Mens sana in corpore _".

fergus 4:15 PM  

Wondering whether it could have been WET BAG, as in wet paper bag, after tossing out my NOODLE. Also considered GOSALIA for Palermo's saint, so I had two Asok's Beak situations going on, but otherwise this puzzle fell a bit too quickly for the indoor, by the fire, day where it's actually snowing on the shores of Puget Sound.

Trying to remember where the ORBS operate as symbols of authority, and a situation where OH, OH might be an Eager cry? Alongside Dan Marino, the Mountain DEWS was a bit too obvious, too. Thought the Edison clue was TEN PERCENT, but quickly had to amend that to ONE.

Nice picture of Grampa Simpson wailing "Matlooooock!"

Just recently got back from a coffee shop, where they featured a LINZer Torte.

xwd_fiend 4:40 PM  

Made a rash decision to try this in the IHT today. Got all except SWAP MEET / TMEN / NEED A NAP in about 35 mins and thought that was pretty good for a Limey, and enjoyed this puzzle.

Ulrich 4:55 PM  

Everyone want to get fancy, it seems--high time to add a picture also for me.

jannieb 5:16 PM  

Didn't realize Lee Hwy once ran from NY to SF. It is very much in use here in SW Virginia - Hyw #11 - sort of replaced by I-81 in parts.

jannieb 5:23 PM  

Ok - trying to get fancy here - this is only a test.

ArtLvr 5:33 PM  

@ jae -- Interesting to hear that ETS is surviving plushly (haven't been back in ages). Always thought naming each building "Somebody Hall" was a tad much! They did run in-house courses on statistics and other subjects to show how they justified their raison d'ĂȘtre, but it was mainly like any corporation, ups and downs, ins and outs.

The summer I left for more grad school the newest contract had proved to have a major hitch -- someone had omitted earmarking funds for machine-scoring the pre-tests! This meant that everyone in Test Development was required to spend hours doing tedious hand-scoring every day for weeks... Is "FUBAR" applicable in such a case?

Love all the helpful comments here on more efficient use of the computer, as well as language and personal sidelights. Many thanks to all.


arby 6:05 PM  

SANO got me - I had no inkling that "SANE" wasn't right and couldn't change NEUREALS into something that parses.

Stuck VERIZON in right away, since the ampersandwich ATANDT was too short.

My first thought on "Symbol of limpness", which fit the grid, was (forgive me) VIAGRA.

Michael 7:00 PM  

I zoomed through this and was about to make a smug comment about how easy it was for a Friday until I made four mistakes in the SW. The cross of Rosalia and Eppie was never going to happen for me, especially when I wrote "stgs" for 51D. It didn't help that I though six bells was three a.m. I'm going to have to learn nautical time.

Anonymous 7:09 PM  

Didn't know about Lee Highway. There was a better known NYC to SF route named after Robert E's counterpart's boss, old Abe. The Lincoln highway left from Times square and ended at Lincoln Park in the City-by-the-Bay. Tough to squeeze LINCOLN into that little space...

SFCarole 8:00 PM  

I also wanted LINCOLN Highway, or at least Hwy 40 (which it tracks west of Salt Lake City). LEE goes to LA and then up the coast to San Francisco. Kind of a long way from NY to SF, I think, but leave it to Lee to take the southern route.

chris 8:27 PM  

The "computer" in your pic is an Osborn, the bomb in its day circa 1982. I still have mine in the basement, runs CP/M.....

mac 8:28 PM  

A slightly easy but quite elegant Friday puzzle - I had some of the same problems Rex and a lot of you had, but none of them lasted very long.
@miriam b: I was startled to see you use the word "snert" for pea soup - that's a sort of oldfashioned, country way to call Dutch pea soup (biggest difference with other pea soups is the celery root).

miriam b 8:45 PM  

@mac: Don't be startled! I'm a pretty serious foodie with an obsessive interest in world cuisines and the terminology and trivia thereof. By the way, I've always wondeed why an alleged Viking would name his dog after a Dutch soup.

I learned recently that the tea glass holder called "podstakannik*" in Russian is known in Arabic as a "zarf". Now there's a natural for a crossword puzzle.


mac 9:06 PM  

How do I add the picture that I've chosen to this comment site, to appear with my newly orange/blue name?

mac 9:07 PM  

This computer has a mind of its own....

mac 9:07 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joon 10:52 PM  

don't have much to say about the puzzle; i was just hoping to see a profanity-laced post by noam elkies, but i'm sadly disappointed.

never heard the expression RELOS before. QUONSETHUT was nice. and SIXTHMAN. NEEDANAP seemed awfully forced. i liked the clues for TOURNEY, ANTENNA, and ATTHESCENE. i don't really like the clue for SUMMER; it seems a bit weak even for a ?.

doc John 11:50 PM  

As usual for a weekend puzzle, I picked my way through it until I was done. Took a multi hour break to do errands (we're going to redo part of our back patio with a water feature and toured all the DIY stores for ideas) and then came back to finish off the NE. Was stuck for a while there trying to fit in a corresponding "south___" for the pretzel clue. Finally gave up on that, though.

All in all, I'd say it was a fun puzzle. CATHAY was my first fill. Being a huge Dolphins fan (Miami native, here), MARINO was my second fill (I do jump around a lot on the weekends). I was not happy with DEWS, OH OH or XES, though. Having a personal stake in it, I tried desperately to make "wnds" fit for 51D. BTW, folks, a reminder of my band's concert at 7:30PM tomorrow night (would that be 15 bells?).

Can someone please explain the ORBS clue to me, though?

On the Warren campus of UCSD (my alma mater, although I was a "Revelle-nerd" not a "Warrenite"), a lot of the administration buildings are QUONSET HUTS (and are referred to as such) so that one was practically a gimme, too.

As for the whole NW, IMHO there were a lot of forced fills- URB, IN IS, and RELOS.

For [Drag during the day] I wanted something like "sundress". I did like NEED A NAP, though (which, actually, is my fave pick of the puzzle).

@ puzzlegirl- all I can think of off the top of my head is a lyric from the B52s' song "Love Shack": "... I'm headin' down the Atlanta Highway..." And speaking of music, it's too bad that Rosalita wasn't the patron saint in question!

Joon 12:11 AM  

@doc john: speaking of rosalia and music, i believe there is a better than ezra song called "rosalia" from the "friction, baby" album. i can't remember more than about two seconds of it, though, so it can't have been that great a song.

chefbea1 6:59 AM  

@jae to open a link in a new tab: hold down the control button while clicking on the comments link. And I still cant get a picture. Keep getting a message that my pictures arent formatted right. What should I do

Ladel 7:56 AM  


I just changed my picture from the sea turtle to the toucan by browsing public pictures that came with my Dell running Vista. Or you might trying browsing the internet, perhaps the photos/color you are trying to use are unreadable by Google and something it "sees" will work. Good luck!

chefbea1 8:08 AM  


thanks for the info. I have a mac but I'll see what I can find

CarenNH 1:39 PM  

Love the Kaypro picture. I brought one of those to college in 1984. At the time I was one of the (very) few students with their own computer. Dialed up at 300 baud through my dorm room's phone line -- no ethernet yet of course, wi-fi wasn't even a twinkle in ANYONE's eye. When I upgraded to 1200 baud, I though I was in speed heaven.

Anonymous 1:34 PM  

Thanks, Rex...but if that's an Erte picture, we're talking about a different Erte. Did I miss something?
(Didn't read all the comments here, so sorry if this was already asked & answered!)

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

42 Days later.....

I had "is it" at 5D and refused to let it go even in the face of all logic to the contrary. That gave me the unappetizing possibility of tofu pretzel at 20A. Came to my senses when I realized that U men couldn't be right at 21D.

Aviatrix 12:42 AM  

My standard of limpness is the wet NOODLE, but I knew GLENN, so WETRAG was acceptable.

Tried to spell Philadelphia some way that would fit in 51A, decided it must be some other state that had cheesesteaks and then saw the ILLY at the end. The SW was the end of the puzzle for me, as I finally figured out the modifier for PHILLY.

I almost left "referendum choice" until I had a letter to tell me whether it was OUI or NON, but then I realized that it must be YES.

I'm okay on "last one in is ..." without an ending, because most of the time it doesn't. Everyone jumps in before the challenger can come up with an appropriate epithet.

Never heard anyone call relocation a RELO, nor the city an URB.

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