FRIDAY, Apr. 10, 2009 - M Nosowsky (Subject of "Toots" Bob Considine 1969 / Dries as hay / So-so poker holding / Kitchen device first patented 1921)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Relative difficulty: Medium/Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: TED - tr.v. Chiefly New England., ted·ded, ted·ding, teds.

To strew or spread (newly mown grass, for example) for drying.

[Middle English tedden.]

REGIONAL NOTE In 15th-century England the verb ted meant to spread newly cut hay to facilitate its drying. In the mid-19th century an American inventor produced a machine to ted the hay automatically and called it a tedder. Since modern English is inclined to make verbs out of nouns meaning implements or machines, the noun tedder became a verb with the same meaning as the original word ted. Tedder, a New England verb, also turns up in those parts of the Midwest that received settlers from New England. (

Wow, a Manny Nosowsky puzzle. Haven't seen one of his in (what feels like ages). He's rightly legendary for lively open grids and tough, tough puzzles. Dude's even got his own Wikipedia page (although I guess I could have my own if I just built it - still, cool). He was once one of the more prolific puzzle constructors published in the NYT. I'm glad he's still constructing. It has been a year, almost to the day (April 11, 2008), since a Nosowsky puzzle's been in the NYT, so it was a great pleasure to see his name at the top of the puzzle today. I knew that what followed might be amusing, might be brutal, but would at least be interesting. And competent.

I've spoken before about 15's making a puzzle easier by virtue of their ability to open up entire regions of the puzzle where you might yet have nothing. Today's 15's were actually very tough for me to get into, for two reasons. First, the way in was through a narrow middle passage, which, even when I crossed it, gave me very little indication of what the 15-letter Acrosses might be. Which brings me to the second reason I had trouble. Every 15 is a four-word phrase! The more words in a phrase, the harder it is to parse correctly. I had to work the west side of the puzzle, off the good but educated guess of IPO (23A: News on the bus. page), in order to get the front ends of those 15's and eventually bring them toppling down. INGAS and POETE ended up being gimmes, and throwing all three 15's across left just WRY (40A: Twisted) and SHISH (27A: Spit for a kebab) to get on the east side. So that's what "SHISH" means. Good to know.

My favorite answer in the puzzle, by a mile, is FAT LOT. It rarely happens that the area that gives me the most trouble and makes me feel the most panic ends up being my favorite, but that was the case here. I finally worked 49A: Not much, with "a" down to FATL, but neither of the missing Downs, ODER (51D: _____-Neisse Line) or TEDS (52D: Dries, as hay) was familiar enough to me to be easy. I knew it was ODER or EDER, but neither vowel seemed to make a recognizable word out of FATL--. Started saying FAT phrases, beginning with FAT LIP (some idiomatic phrase I'd never heard of?) and then hit on FAT LOT and I knew it was right. Also knew that I'd seen both ODER-Neisse Line and even TEDS before. The clue doesn't tip you to the irony of "FAT LOT," and the "F" just kept making me want FEW ... something. Excellent.

Awesome coincidence of the day. You may not have seen my late post last night about In-Flight Crosswords. Even if you did, you may not have read all the comments later that night. Well I read them. And because I read them, the SE region was Way Way easier than it would have been otherwise. See, I know SLOE gin fizz, but I do not (or else forgot I did) know RAMOS gin fizz (42D). But because my write-up was about insane fill I'd seen in an in-flight magazine, commenter SethG chimed in with his own set of crazy fill, which included RAMOSE. I said I knew RAMOSE (means "having many branches"), but I typoed RAMOS in my comment, then corrected it. At that point, commenter dk made a comment that began with one simple line: "RAMOS fizz: yum." As is usual with half of what dk writes, I had no idea what he was talking about :) A few minutes later I did today's puzzle. dk's like Yoda or the Sibyl or something. Sounds insane, but is actually prophetic.


  • 8A: So-so poker holding (two pair) - I had no idea TWO PAIR was considered "so-so." I went with ONE PAIR, which is certainly more "so-s0" - at least the PAIR part was right.
  • 19A: Swallow (engulf) - went with INGEST. How in the !@#@ am I supposed to know 1D: Wife in "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (Cate)? That has to be one of the more obscure pop culture clues in recent memory. I bet there are people who actually watched that show who couldn't remember her name. FYI, CATE Hennessy was played by KATEY Segal.
  • 26A: Ingredient in many toothpastes (mint) - I had the "M" and promptly entered MICA, which happens to be true in some cases. I just looked it up, thinking it would be hilariously wrong. Instead, it's just wrong for this puzzle.
  • 38A: Maestro Koussevitzky (Serge) - no idea, but had the "SER-" and made a reasonable guess. The "G" gave me SMOG (33D: Gray blanket), and then bye-bye 15's.
  • 57A: Kitchen device first patented in 1921 (toaster) - seems late for some reason.
  • 41A: Court figures (centers) - had Ridiculous trouble here. Actually ended up staring at -ENTERS wondering what the answer was. Ran through alphabet. Oh, *that* court. Had legal court and tennis court stuck in head.
  • 3D: Chinese dynasty during which trade with Portugal began (Ming) - guess of the "M"; I don't know my dynasties by chronology (yet? ever?)
  • 6D: Like the pop group the Pussycat Dolls (all-female) - sadly, super-easy. So many other, puzzle-worthier things are ALL-FEMALE. The Go-Go's. Sleater-Kinney. What was the name of Pinky Tuscadero's gang? The Pinkettes? See. So many.

  • 9D: Where to wear in armilla (wrist) - no idea. Weird (appropriate? coincidental?) that "armilla" has "ARM" in it.
  • 10D: Platte River tribe (otos) - total crosswordese, but I went with OTOE, making LESS SALT (20A: Food label for the health-conscious) harder to get than it might have otherwise been.
  • 25D: Burrow : rabbit :: holt : _____ (otter) - I know "holt" only from the opening of "Canterbury Tales," but I don't remember OTTERs being involved.
  • 27D: Subject of "Toots" by Bob Considine, 1969 (Shor) - a gimme if you do a lot puzzles, but possibly torture if you don't. I learned Toots SHOR from crosswords, and the acquaintance has paid off.
  • 41D: Slinkys or Magic 8 Balls, once (craze) - went looking for FAD and got a near equivalent. Tricky thing here is *not* to assume a plural.

I am leaving town today and will be out of the country for about a week. Starting tomorrow, you will have an array of guest bloggers providing your commentary, including a very special (and brand new) guest host on Wednesday. I think there is "internet" where I'm going, so I will probably check in from time to time. PuzzleGirl is basically in charge while I'm gone. Enjoy your puzzles and your spring and I'll talk to you again soon.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS I recently joined Twitter, and I have no idea what possible good use I can put it to besides telling people what my dogs are up to at any given moment, but if you are the kind of person who follows people on Twitter, you can "Follow" me via a link in the sidebar. Thanks.

PPS Today's LAT write-up is here.


joho 8:04 AM  

@dk: who knew you were a prophet? Oh, I know, you did!

Like Rex I loved FAT LOT, but SHISH was my word of the day. I had no idea a SHISH existed. Of course, the only way to use it in a sentence will be when I'm talking about Kebabs.

It's been a while since OTOS was plural with an "S" instead of the usual "E." So that tripped me up for a bit.

I thought PITA or GYRO first for OREO. Round sandwich was a nice new way to clue the cookie.

I really liked this puzzle with its interesting words and phrases. Thank you Manny Nosowsky for a great Good Friday!

Megan P 8:10 AM  

I learned about 40 things doing this puzzle, but could still do it! All by myself!

A good-looking grid, cool words - my friend in CA who loves Manny N will be so happy when she wakes up and sees this puzzle.

My favorite all-female band: Cibo Matto.

Have fun in the mysterious place to which you're going, Rex.

JannieB 8:47 AM  

Really really good puzzle, but more medium for me. "Ted" popped right into my frontal lobe from the old Maleska era. Funny what stuff just sits in your head waiting to be useful. Only quadrant to slow me down was the NW - had Open and Fever and then nothing. Moved east and solved everything else in clockwise fashion. When I took out fever and tried "tensile" it was done. Took about 12 minutes - a very good Friday time for me.

Safe travels, Rex.

imsdave 8:48 AM  

Excellent way to start the day! I struggled for a long time with the center stack until I changed meaty to HEFTY, got SCOUR and INTOW. Something about the 3-letter endings of the 15's made them much easier to find.

I also wish I'd read Rex's second post from yesterday before doing the puzzle. I had RAMOS and just stared at it forever before deciding it had to be right.

Don't you just love Z's? Plopped in LAZE/CRAZE and that made their crosses a breeze.

Too nice of a day here in sunny CT to work - off to the golf course!

ArtLvr 8:58 AM  

Elegant grid, looking daunting at first but falling okay without too much strain! I started with the end of the So-so poker holding -PAIR and worked around the edges until the long answers emerged.

I really didn't like 39A WANS, but the rest was so good I could understand not rejecting the whole thing because of that!


Kurt 9:06 AM  

I'm pretty much in sync with Rex on this one. I thought that it was a great puzzle with great clues and great answers. I loved the "Eureka moment" when I put the "S" on HISH and thought "So that's what that means!"

My only problem was FAT LOT. I finally intuited it from the crosses. But I had never heard of the term/phrase and it made no sense. It still doesn't make any sense. But now I know so the next time will be a snap. Unless I forget....

Thanks Manny. It's good to see you back.

bigredanalyst 9:06 AM  

An enjoyable Friday puzzle but I'd rate it more "medium" than "challenging."

I didn't read the blog yesterday so RAMOS was a pure guess for me.

The SW was the last to fall for me. It took a while to recognize OREO was being clued cleverly but that opened up the final quadrant.

I never heard of TEDS but was forced to stick with it although FATLOT caused some angst until I checked it here.

All in all a pretty Good Friday.

PlantieBea 9:12 AM  

Good puzzle that seemed to fall smoothly but a bit slowly. I got lucky with the FAT LOT/ODER guess--never heard of either.

Somehow I knew the RAMOS gin fizz; A long time ago, I took a trip to New Orleans and enjoyed some gin fizz concoction made orange flower water. I had a bunch of RAMOS gin fizz recipes as a result. According to Wiki, "a Ramos Gin Fizz (also known as a Ramos Fizz or New Orleans Fizz) contains gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water, and soda water." Hmmm, it doesn't sound good now, but I remember the orange flower water giving it an exotic note.

Have a good trip Rex.

Parshutr 9:27 AM  

Ramos gin fizz appeared in MoDo's column on Wednesday, odd for an Irish lass.
I'd have to say this was quite easy for me, although my first guess was ingest instead of engulf, as was Rex's.
But I remember Maestro Koussevitzky, Lennie Bernstein's mentor in Boston.
Also tried HASNTACHANCE and CRYONESHEARTOUT, but the crosses came quickly. Doing a Friday in <10 minutes is rare for me.

Deborah 9:27 AM  

What court?? Got it, but still don't get it.

Anonymous 9:36 AM  

@Deborah - There are CENTERS on a Basketball court (during games that is).

twangster 9:37 AM  

Deborah--a basketball court (center is one of the positions on a basketball team).

I found this puzzle pretty easy. I initially had TRITELY for APISHLY but worked that out pretty quickly. I guessed a bit on FATLOT, TEDS, and RAMOS, but I guess I guessed right.

Hugh 9:54 AM  

The crossing of TEDS and BRONZED caught me. Not quite a natick but I thought TEES, TERS, TEDS and TESS all could fit and none of them would give a word that truly meant "nicely tan."
Wouldn't BRONZED be "nicely tanned?"

Bob Kerfuffle 10:14 AM  

A fun puzzle, solved successfully, but quite a few noteworthy words.

As one who has complained in the past about the word APER, I must say 15 A, APISHLY, is indeed cross-worthy.

My word of the day would be in the clue to 25D, "holt." Never heard of it in any context; hope it stays in my vocabulary. RAMOS gin fizz also new to me.

Had heard of TEDS, but not often. Didn't like WANS very much.

Is there an EE in the group who can clarify 21 A, Electric device with terminals, ELEMENT?

twangster 10:27 AM  

Bronzed and nicely tan are synonymous, e.g., "after sitting in the sun all day, she was ____."

billy 10:31 AM  

I don't think i've ever seen eat your heart out in anything but the imperative so that was tough. I had a lot of trouble w/ thisn but I always do w/ mn puzzles. Do other young (early 20s) people feel the same?

Ps iphone keyboard sucks.

fikink 10:39 AM  

Really enjoyed this one. I will watch for you again, Mr. N!
I also do not accept WANS yet, but I will read further.
Learned HOLT.
Didn't see dk's vision, so had to work to get RAMOS.
A great way to start the day!

HudsonHawk 10:42 AM  

Loved this one, and had a fairly smooth solving experience. The terminal T in FAT LOT was my last square--delighted to see that it was correct. I'm with Kurt--it's a new term for me.

Rex, TWO PAIR can be a very good hand, but it depends on the game. In Hold 'Em, it's strong. In Omaha, Draw or some of the kooky wild card games some of my friends play (like Baseball), it would definitely be so-so.

INGAS like to roll in zee hay, maybe with TEDS...

davidb 10:48 AM  

Medium/Challenging? I thought it was pretty breezy and it keeps my perfect week intact for one more day (which is no small accomplishment for me and almost certain to be ENGULFed by tomorrow’s solving experience). I think it’s a sign of progress that I have thought that the difficulty levels of most recent NYT puzzles correspond to at least one day antecedent.

The value of a poker hand is of course entirely dependent on the particular game and situation, but I agree that in the majority of cases TWOPAIR is far better than so-so; I had ACEHIGH at first.

My other minor qualm is that LIMEADE seems a somewhat dubious source of vitamin C. According to Minute Maid, an 8 oz serving has only 10% RDA. Given that the average multivitamin has like 1000% or so, I don't think I'll be stocking up on LIMEADE to avert that next cold.

All in all, this was quite a bit more than a FATLOT of fun.

retired_chemist 10:54 AM  

I did the puzzle and had RAMOS early yesterday evening, before I saw the blog. Never heard of it. Hats off to dk's prescience!

Very enjoyable. Thanks, Mr. Nosowsky! This was one of my easiest Fridays. Still haven't broken the 15 minute barrier though.

I think Manny N. should get extra credit for the 15's all being predicates. Intentional?

Didn't like WANS (39A) even though WAN is a verb in some online dictionaries. An odd usage even if understandable.

45D started as PITA, quickly ruled out by crosses. Blind guesses that turned out right: TWO PAIR (8A - more so-so than ACE HIGH), MING (3D), STENT (43D - the S was odds-on since 41A is a plural), LIONELS (18A).

My wife and I sometimes play Boggle, and TED (52D) is a favorite word.

Rex recommends getting the long answers as early as possible, and I tried it. Wasn't as hard as I had thought/feared. I now am a believer that it's the way to go.

I update the puppies' blog periodically. Won't mention them again since it's off-topic. Bookmark it if you are interested.

edith b 11:00 AM  

Whenever my mother found out something that could have been of help if it arrived sooner would say, "Well, a fat lot of good that does me now." I've always remembered that.

Like PlantieBea, my husband and I discovered the Ramos Fizz in New Orleans. What I recall was the disquisition we received from the bartender about the need to use real egg whites for the meringue-like foam that topped the drink.

I generally agree with Rex about long 15s making the puzzle easier but today they were among the last to fall because, like Rex, I found them difficult to parse.

I had 3 of the 4 corners built before I could deal with Flyover Country.

A solid medium for me and like JannieB, TEDS was a neon, a refugé from Mr Maleska.

PuzzleGirl 11:08 AM  

I, too, was pleased to see Manny's name again after such a long absence. Speaking of long absences -- what ever happened to David Quarfoot? Is he still around?

Really liked this smooth puzzle and am so amazed at you Speedy Gonzalezes around here. It's only been in the last six months or so that I've been able to complete a Fri-Sat NYT at all and when I finish around 30 minutes I feel pretty good about myself! (To be honest, I'd even feel good about myself if it took an hour!)

Glitch 11:14 AM  

@Bob K --- Re 21A

Not an EE, but to me an Element is usually a heater of some sort (eg electric stove burner, the part of a vacuum tube or lightbulb that lights up --- and gets hot).

To make it work, you apply power to the "terminals", there's one at each end.

This due to the high resistance of the element.


dk 11:19 AM  

Darn, outed by Rex.

I saw the gin fizz clue and laughed out loud (lol for you hipsters).

I am reminded by a comment made in 1967 by my dear departed father: " I do not know why you kids do drugs when there is gin."

I have found that to be true as after a few Ramos Fizzes I can see for miles and miles.

We may hit 60 here in Frostbite Falls and the geese have returned, all it right with the world.

ps. for us psychologists Sybil has a special meaning.

Rex, safe travels and take a NYT x-word book. I will work on making my posts more obscure whilst you are away: grasshopper (watch old Kung Fu TV shows and this will make a little sense).

oh yeah the puzzle. This was very easy for me. No land speed record but the 15s came to me in the rest fell into place. Growing up in upstate NY and New England I actually knew TEDS. APISHLY was my last fill.

retired_chemist 11:29 AM  

@ Bob K and Glitch: just don't speak ill of the clue, because an ELEMENT never forgets. (A pun which usually got boos when used in General Chem. lectures)

davidb 11:36 AM  

I don’t recall ever seeing 3 stacked 15-letter answers where not a single one of the crossing downs is just a 3-letter answer. Is this as uncommon (and as impressive a feat) as it seems to me?

Lisa in Kingston 11:48 AM  

Wrote in Ramos for 42D and thought: why do I know this?? I'd completely forgotten that I'd read dk's comment last night.
After lurking for ages, 5 weeks back, I finally subscribed to the puzzle. I really get a kick out of your blog, Rex. Love the commenters, too. Tough puzzle today, whew!

Rex Parker 11:50 AM  

Lisa, welcome to the future. Glad you could make it.


John 11:58 AM  

The only time I've heard the term FATLOT was in the
phrase "...A FATLOT of good that did!"

obertb 11:59 AM  

@JannieB: Yes! TED used to be crosswordese 101 in the Maleska era. So did GAM [herd of whales]--whatever happened to that?

Sadly, had to google RAMOS gin fizz. And I've spent a lot of time in NOLA, too; how did I miss that?

Frieda 12:12 PM  

I'm with PuzzleGirl, delighted to have been solving Fridays and Saturdays at all, and this one was a nice combination of "I'll never get that" and "oh but that's exactly what it is!"--TENSILE, ELEMENT, those lovely 15s, REGLAZE, things that seemed iffy. OREO was too good not to try...

Crashed on FATLOT/TEDS. Had wanted AIRS for drying hay, or FATLIP for no good reason. Oh well. Not likely to forget TEDS now.

Loved your in-flight Xword reflections Rex. Safe travels.

Cheryl 12:30 PM  

@puzzlegirl, I am with you on the 'still happy to finish in one sitting' for Fri/Sat.

I don't usually get on line until the evening so too late to post, but am taking advantage of the day off.

This was my first Manny Nosowsky and I enjoyed it very much. I had 5 or 6 consecutive downs in the middle of the 15's and still it took a while. Mileage came first since I had everything but the m and then it all came together.

I groaned when I saw not one but two 'court figure' clues because of the number of different courts and that figures can mean people or statistics.

A perfect puzzle experience, now preparing for an afternoon D&D session.

Clark 12:32 PM  

@hugh (and @twangster) -- bronze and tan are adjectives, bronzed and tanned are adjectives by way of the past participle. One indicating the mere property of something, the other bringing in the nuance that the property was arrived at by the completion of some process (past participle - completed aspect, not something we pay much attention to in English). So tan/bronzed is a close enough parallel for x-word-ese, though it is not exact. (This comment makes me sound geekier than i am (I think). Verbal aspect just happens to be something I am interested in.)

jae 12:34 PM  

I wrote easy in the margin after I finished last night. Only hiccups were OTOE, MEATY, and APINGLY all easily fixable. Oh, and I tried ALTO (sp.) for HAUT at first. Knew RAMOS even though I didn't read the comments. For some reason this one just clicked for me. Good fun puzzle and not as intimidating for me as most MNs.

@Glitch -- thanks for the ELEMENT explanation, it makes sense.

mccoll 12:59 PM  

I did it in the tub and didn't get wrinkles.That would be about 25 minutes. An enjoyable puzzle and easy for a Friday. I needed no help at all and ground through it with few hang-ups. I liked FATLOT, LIONELS and MINESWEEPER because I haven't heard them for a while.
@Clark I heard this the other day,"I'm not a geek, I'm a pedant. Let me tell you why."

DSM 1:14 PM  

Am I the only one who can't get today's puzzle? The NYT link is showing yesterday's puzzle. Much teeth gnashing and cookie cleansing is ensuing, and yet puzzle is staying hidden.

Chip Hilton 1:30 PM  

Great puzzle which flowed thanks to the neat stack of 15's. FATLOT held me up a bit, as did the obscure CATE, but a fair, entertaining Friday, to me.

Safe trip, Rex.

Z.J. Mugildny 1:37 PM  

Whipped through this one but I put in CATI/INGULF. Considering it's a Friday puzzle, I don't know anything about "8 Simple Rules", and ingulf is an acceptable variant spelling it's not a completely dumb mistake.

I'm with Rex et al. about the TWOPAIR clue. "Good poker holding" seems much more appropriate.

Stan 1:42 PM  

Great words today, throughout.

Got FATLOT only after pretty much giving up, doing errands, and coming back to stare at it multiple times. Finally, on my way out to the mailbox... Ta-Da

chefbea 1:42 PM  

Tough puzzle. Top part was fairly easy. Had jurrors for jesters and then finaly realized my mistake. the 15 letter middle just couldnt get til I came here.

Welcome Lisa

Doug 1:47 PM  

Finished it just now at 10:30am, thought "Cool, finished a Saturday puzzle." Then thought, it's Good Friday you idiot.

Poker: ACEHIGH then ONEPAIR then TWOPAIR. The probability of having two pairs in a 5-card hand is just under 5%, so don't agree with the clue.

Clark 1:51 PM  

@mccoll --

I'd rather be a geek than a pedant. Yes I would.

"O, tis a precious apothegmaticall [terse] Pedant, who will finde matter inough to dilate a whole daye of the first inuention [invention] of Fy, fa, fum". -- Thomas Nashe, Have with you to Saffron-walden (1596) [via Wikipedia]

fergus 1:55 PM  

Couldn't remember which MN (the other being Mike Nothnagel) I find devilishly difficult and the other fairly compliant. Didn't take long to get on the Nosowsky wavelength though, with immediate guesses on TENSILE and LIONELS. Same symmetrically with AREA MAP and LIMEADE. ALL FEMALE and CEASEFIRE dropping right away, and I was feeling as if I had some special DK-like perceptive power. Just another one of the cool mysteries of Crosswords, how the same package of seemingly unrelated information seems to flow between constructor and solver.

imsdave 1:58 PM  

@Z.J. - all depends on the game, doesn't it? Two pair in a 5 card stud game is a great hand, seven card stud, it's decent (with a high one), and I'd be scared to death with it in a hold'em game.

@jae - I tried ALTE for HAUT at first - the E just sounded a little more French to me then the O.

Great minds...

Campesite 2:15 PM  

For Angelenos, there's a whiskey bar in Downtown LA called 7 Grand (at 7th and Grand) that serves a Ramos Gin Fizz the proper N.O. style, with about 3 minutes dedicated to shakin' the egg.

[I work at Univision and have met Jorge Ramos (pictured) many times and he is a true gentleman and an old-school reporter.]

Lisa in Kingston 2:23 PM  

I had fever (4D), render aid (20D), and Olgas (23D) for far too long. I finally won the staredown with this puzzle, though, and learned many new words. Thanks, Mr. Nosowsky!
PS: I was a jester (58A) in my college madrigal.

Chorister 2:23 PM  

Did this one on paper while getting new tires with the guy in the next chair looking on intently. He never said a word though.

Using the Staring At Blank Squares method, I finished in time to walk to *$$ & back before the car was done, so I also had a fast Saturday that turned out to be a Friday.

Didn't care much for WANS, and totally agree with Rex re cluing of ALLFEMALE. Wanted to put REALLYBAD, but that's just my opinion.

TED belongs in my category of Crosswordese My Mother Taught Me. But she won't touch a NYT puzzle and is slightly alarmed that she spawned three offspring who do, every day.

twangster 2:36 PM  

DSM -- When I first tried to access it last night I got an error message, which had never happened before. A half hour later it worked fine.

Maybe try refreshing your browser and see if that helps.

twangster 2:56 PM  

Sorry, that won't help. Apparently it was working before but now there is a problem.

treedweller 3:22 PM  

I did not see last night's discussion, and RAMOS almost tripped me up. Coupled with a mistake (rets for TEDS), it really blocked me out of that corner. Finally, I picked up on FATLOT, then BRONZED, and RAMOS dropped in without me having to question it.

My last two letters were the initial SH in SHISH. SHOR should be a gimme by now, but I still stared at it a long time without recognition. It was only after I saw SHISH that I remembered who Toots was (well, I remembered what name goes with Toots--still don't really know who he is).

I found the long answers rather oddly phrased, but it all fell into place nicely. After the previous couple of Fridays, I was pleased to finish smoothly, yet still didn't think it was too easy. I think that does not bode well for tomorrow, but I won't worry about that now.

archaeoprof 4:19 PM  

@Rex: bon voyage! If by chance you're headed to the Arab world, be sure to enjoy some SHISH kebab and SHISH taouq.

jae 4:47 PM  

Just to tie last weekend's puzzle with this one, Toots Shor is mentioned in the prologue of DeLillo's Underworld. The prologue stands by itself and is an amazing account of the 1951 Giants-Dodgers pennant game. Well worth reading!

chefwen 6:09 PM  

This was possibly my fastest Friday ever. Stared at the long answers and they just came to me without too much thought, loved this puzzle. My only corrections were otoe for OTOS and browned for BRONZED, misread not do one thing as not one thing so filled in none for LAZE; all easily fixed.

Have a safe trip Rex, we'll miss you.

Bill from NJ 6:26 PM  


It is ironic, I guess, that there are 3 other members of this Comments section who are fans of Don DeLillo. If you want to discuss this further, please contact me at my email address listed in my Profile.

Bill from NJ 6:26 PM  


It is ironic, I guess, that there are 3 other members of this Comments section who are fans of Don DeLillo. If you want to discuss this further, please contact me at my email address listed in my Profile.

Glitch 6:27 PM  

@twangster @DSM

Been having problems with getting "Today's puzzle Today" on line too.

As a home dead tree subscriber, get "free" access to the site. Could get puzzle via News reader.

Then N-Reader started being a day behind,but could get correct puzzle from "Premium" site.

Now News Reader links to the the premium site and that that has become a day behind.

Tried emailing complaint, but the site refuses to complete the send.

Not a major issue yet, as get dead tree daily, but do use the on line access as a backup and when traveling. Hope NYT not heading for additional charges for what is now included.


PS: Also did the techie stuff, flushed cache, checked .Net versions, checked browser, rebooted, etc.

MichaelBlake 7:10 PM  

As one of Manny's biggest fans, I'll jump in to say (1) he's not "one of the" most prolific NYT constructors, he's THE most prolific, by a long shot; and (2) I am the primary author of Manny's Wikipedia page, and although he responded (tersely but politely) to my questions when I was writing the first draft, he certainly didn't post his own page (and Rex, I know you didn't say he did, but some might read it that way); and (3) as far as I know, there are no compilations of solely Manny puzzles. A list of his 243 NYT puzzles, giving the dates for each, can be found at

andrea carla michaels 7:58 PM  

and if you want to read more about Manny, there was a cover story about him and a few others in the jewish weekly in 2006:

scary! Even more prescient, Manny is going to New Orleans next week for his son's wedding! (And I thought Ramos was the guy who left Moses in the basket...)

retired_chemist 9:36 PM  

Read this interview with Manny N.:

fergus 9:49 PM  

Lots of referents. May we have some choice lines?

miriam b 10:28 PM  

TEDS launched an earworm: Hilaire Belloc's poem, Tarantella.

Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteeers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the Din?
And the Hip! Hop! Hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the twirl and the swirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of a clapper to the spin
Out and in --
And the Ting, Tong, Tang, of the Guitar.
Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;


Never more.

Only the high peaks hoar:

And Aragon a torrent at the door.

No sound

In the walls of the Halls where falls

The tread

Of the feet of the dead to the ground

No sound:

But the boom

Of the far Waterfall like Doom.

I was having trouble exorcising my former earworm, Auprès de ma Blonde, but this did the trick. FATLOT of good that does me.

fikink 10:30 PM  

@fergus: "Oh, mosES, mOSES, MOSES!"
(Ann Baxter in The Ten Commandments)

fergus 10:56 PM  

Gracias, Miriam, for some invigoration.

Bronzed Jesters brought to mind King Lear's faithful servant, who comes up every once in a while, in a sad yet truer guise than Polonious managed in Hamlet:

Mark it, nuncle.
Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest;
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep in-a-door,
And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to a score.

liquid el lay 1:09 AM  

What electric device doesn't have terminals?

Also, I think an element is smaller than a device. Elements go into devices. An element is a one-trick-pony that does one thing, within a device that performs an integrated function... or something.

I would not give up on, or, rather, revisit, APINGLY.. and I still want to see it clued as "acting like Mcdowel". CGILL is a piscene borne flu symptom, I figure..

Also I will not retreat from FATLIP. Like the kid who finally stood up to the bully I'm proud of it. It aint no big thing.

Bronzed tans are freakoid- not nice. Inland tans- caught in the dry river beds and strip malls of the american wastelands.

Toasters have been around for a while. My guess is he's talking about then new devices known as electric toasters, with heating ELEMENTs. My want was OSTERIZER.

I wanted REENAMEL for the tub. Maybe people say REGLAZE.

Like the OTTER in his holt.

Who doesn't know about RAMOS gin fizz?


fergus 1:34 AM  

I first filled in APINGLY and thought similarly about electricity. Toaster elements were obvious.

Delighted that we think alike.

kathy d. 3:54 AM  

Liked the puzzle much, had no problems with it (except for a minute or so, with "fatlot". No
complaints at all.

It was one I finished rather quickly with no googling. Getting the 15-letter answers early on helped a lot.

Hope for more puzzles like this one!

It made sense; nothing was trite or cutesy or unsolvable.

Kathy D.

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

@Andrea Carla Michaels - that was quite some misdirection. I checked into the article on Manny and turned out it had a lot more to do with you. And some Herbach and Glickstein guys. And not so much about Mr. Nosowsky, one of my favorite themeless constructors. He seems to be a well-settled guy with nothing to prove, while the others seem to be craving for attention.

Not surprising how true talent doesn't care, while the wannabes crave all the attention.

Just my two cents.

- Jim Deloro

Orange 1:28 PM  

@DavidB wrote: I don’t recall ever seeing 3 stacked 15-letter answers where not a single one of the crossing downs is just a 3-letter answer. Is this as uncommon (and as impressive a feat) as it seems to me? Yes, indeed. It is a rare and impressive feat. Reason #102 why Manny is one of the masters.

@Jim Deloro: Andrea said the article was about Manny and some others—where's the misdirection? You know Andrea is likely to read your "wannabes" remark, but Martin and Lee might also read it. You do know they're real people? With feelings? I don't understand the reason for the slap at "the wannabes." Who are they? Other constructors? The other people in the article (who I believe are all friends with Manny)?

Dang, I didn't know I should have a RAMOS gin fizz when I was in New Orleans this week. Too late now.

@Rex, I don't think you can write or edit your own Wiki article. If the site editors suspect a bio was written by its subject, don't they delete it?

Anonymous 2:41 PM  

a day late; been re-doing porch.

I too wanted slow gin fizz until
I remembered a lovely liquid afternoon at the Alta Mira in
Sausalito known for their Ramos
GIn Fizzes.

Crosscan 11:27 PM  

Back after two days in a computer free zone (ok Vancouver has computers, but I didn't bring mine).

All I can say is great puzzle and nobody mentioned the Bangles?

Charly 6:35 PM  

You know a blogger is so thoroughly immersed in crosswordese that APISHLY doesn't even bat an eye.

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