Female adviser / FRI 8-30-13 / Comcast center hoopster / Player of bad teacher in bad teacher / Folman who directed 2013 film Congress / Big source for modern slang / 458 Spider F12 Berlinetta / Org with clenched fist logo / Hedin discoverer of Trans-Himalaya / Old oscilloscope part briefly

Friday, August 30, 2013

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: EGERIA (7D: Female adviser) —
Egeria (LatinĒgeria) was a nymph attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of the Sabine second king of RomeNuma Pompilius, to whom she imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female advisor or counselor. (wikipedia)
• • •

Today was my first day back teaching and I am not used to so much talking and it's hot and I have a headache so I won't take long. Speaking of not taking long—this puzzle! Under 6, pretty fast for a Friday. It seems a solid offering, better across the top than across the bottom. URBAN DICTIONARY is a nice entry—that thing is kind of useless, but it's definitely crossworthy—look, you can find a very garbled definition of "Natick" in there (61A: Big source for modern slang). PEER ASSESSMENTS, however, is laughable—ASSESSMENTS is one of those words that constructors joke about putting in puzzles because it's such an obvious crutch (62A: Some critical comments from co-workers). Had trouble at first because I spelled MICHELE BACHMANN's name wrong (two Ls, one N) (1A: First female candidate to win the Ames Straw Poll), but I just drifted down to the lower grid, which proved Much easier, and then eventually floated back up top, finishing with the "R" in EGERIA, I think (have seen that word several times in puzzles now, can Never remember it, perhaps because I call a "female adviser" an "adviser").

There was one letter that I was slightly unsure of—the "C" in NCO (21D: Top kick, for one: Abbr.). I don't understand that clue at all, but I do know that CAN can be a synonym for [Rear] (end), so the "C" seemed the only logical guess. It appears that "[i]n the Army and Marines, the first sergeant is often referred to as "Top," or "Top Kick."" (usmilitary.about.com). Never heard of SVEN Hedin, but it wasn't too hard to figure out his name once I had that "SV" intro (53A: ___ Hedin, discoverer of the Trans-Himalaya). I had no idea the TERPs played at The Comcast Center (56A: Comcast Center hoopster).  Rough clue, but again, the crosses were so easy that not knowing the answer didn't really matter. Same goes for that Homer clue (47D: Emulates Homer => PAINTS). Wasn't either of the Homers I was thinking of (epic poet, cartoon buffoon), but crosses took care of the answer (and it's Winslow Homer that the clue is referring to, in case you didn't know). I don't know much about cars but got FERRARIS off the "F" (35D: 458 Spider and F12 Berlinetta). DIAZ was a gimme, so that helped things along (24A: Player of the bad teacher in "Bad Teacher"). So, yeah, this is pretty good but not exactly memorable. There were a few little answers (and EGERIA) that maybe I'd throw back if I could, but otherwise it's a stout, modern puzzle. Pretty good. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. here's a Friday bonus for you: Neville Fogarty's most recent crossword—it's free and fun.


jackj 12:06 AM  

Back into the fray comes Crossworld’s most active teenager, David Steinberg, to challenge us with an imaginative gaggle of six clever 15’s, framing the puzzle’s top and bottom, with the final bottom entry containing enough esses to make a lisper holler “bingo”; PEERASSESSMENTS.

That entry’s counterpart at 1 across was unique for its subject, MICHELEBACHMANN, the soon to be ex-GOP Rep. from Minnesota, but always to be remembered as 2012’s flash-in-the-pan Presidential candidate who scored an Iowa straw poll victory but then proved unable to prevail in the larger arena and dropped out 6 months after her win at Ames.

Even knowing Ms. BACHMANN was the answer for 1 across, David’s clever (dastardly) cluing of 1 down raised doubts as “Yellowstone setting: Abbr.” was obviously WYO, but unless there was a trick to flip the W to produce an M, something wasn’t working.

And, of course, what wasn’t working was my spidey sense that should have known that the “setting” could also be MST (Mountain Standard Time) and grrrrr, David, good one!

Favorite clue was the wonderful misdirect for “Formula one?” which, of course must be NEONATE!

Favorite “get” was writing in AFLUTTER with only the “A” showing and wondering what David’s inspiration for the entry could have been? (Hopefully, he has discovered Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites.)

Finally, thanks to David for taking the high road on the “Emulates Homer” clue by referencing Winslow for PAINTS and not Simpson for SCARFS.

Nice Friday palate cleanser after yesterday’s saucy jambalaya.

jae 12:34 AM  

...and it TAPES in the afternoon, ironically.  If you've never SEEN Ferguson's show it's worth DVRing a few to see what he's doing.  With a gay robot skeleton and a "horse" as side kicks he is truly deconstructing the late night talk show format. 

Speaking of TV, LEVAR is still working in the TNT show Perception.

Thought this was going to be easy when I put in Ms. B. right out of the printer.   And it was easy except for misspelling Ms. B @Rex and staring at the NE wondering WOE was going on.  My only other erasure was TOt for TOE.

A south of the border mini theme with SERAPE clad SRTAS dining on HUEVOS RANCHEROS in ACAPULCO. 

Fun Fri., liked it!

Questinia 1:18 AM  

I like PEER ASSESSMENTS not only because it looks so odd and misleading with all the e's and esses, but also because it's potentially a meme if given a creatively fleshed out definition in the URBAN DICTIONARY.

SERAPES crossing FERRARIS made me obliquely think of Isadora Duncan....

Only nail-biter was running the alphabet for the "R" in EGERIA simultaneously with it in RIP . That was all the drama needed after yesterday.

More about apperception than "interesting life" @ Rob C. Did this one quietly over cocoa and crickets.

August West 1:41 AM  

Buncha stuff I didn't know, offset by a buncha stuff I did and benificently located crosses permitting correct inferences resulted in about a normal Friday finishing time of 10:09. Since I have the apolitical blues, I had no idea what the Ames Straw Poll is, nor whom its female winner might be. Thankfully, 1-6 and 9-15D all went in like butter, so sussing out BACHMANN, EGERIA and BILIOUS (the latter two among those never-heard-ofs) became rather easy.

Was momentarily thrown by the clue for NCO, with the incorrect lower case "k" for Kick, but it had to be correct when CAN and ONSTAR came into view.

Liked the clue for ZED, which I needed, having not seen a Cameron Diaz movie since Gangs of New York more than a decade ago. Initially thought it must be somebody named DIAn that I'd never heard of. Reading the imdb plot summary of Bad Teacher, I realize why I haven't seen a Cameron Diaz movie in over a decade.

Red Cloud begat XEROXES -> XESOUT -> OVERRAN -> USBPORT -> HUEVOSRANCHEROS. Got URBANDICTIONARY from the U in HUP and the Y in SYS. From there it was a matter of typing in a slew of snap downs, which gave me SVEN without ever having to "see" him. Momentarily had CIa for CIS.

Overall, fun and a bit challenging. Good Friday. Good week.

Steve J 1:46 AM  

Filled in MICHELLEBACHMAN straight away, with a bit of trepidation, as I had a nagging question in the back of my mind that the double consonant was perhaps the N and not the L. When I couldn't get any downs to work, flipped things around thing crosses started to fall into place.

Top came together pretty quickly, as did much of the SE and top center. But I made a complete mess of the W and SW: LETMEBE for LEAVEBE, spurred by having OMAR rather than SVEN (I guess I read "Hadin" as an Arabic surname), spurred from my misspelling LEVAR Burton as LAVAR Burton. All of those worked in their places, and I was still able to piece together the bottom 15s, but much of the downs were a mess. Couldn't get the high sign that everything was correct. DNF for me.

Was also thrown by NCO for "Top kick". Never heard that term. Nor have I ever heard/seen EGERIA. Thankfully, that was all filled in with crosses.

Liked URBANDICTIONARY, THELATELATESHOW and AFLUTTER. "Formula one?" for NEONATE was an excellent clue.

Danp 5:35 AM  

Egeria and Rip were naticks to me. And how can anyone forget the image of Bachmann eating fried butter at the Iowa State Fair? Talk about pandering to the anti-Obamacare crowd.

Elle54 6:34 AM  

A very fast Friday for me! Had one mistake ZEE instead of ZED.

Mohair Sam 6:55 AM  

MICHELEBACHMANN. Not a political junky here so that was a tough one for me. I hear she's out of Congress so maybe she can be someone's political EGERIA.

Kudo's to Rex for pointing out that a female adviser is an adviser.

And kudos to David Steinberg for constructing puzzles that the older generations can work with. You can often guess the age of a puzzle's creator by the clues - but David's are usually understandable to all.

Medium-challenging for me, probably because of the age gap, but this was well-clued and fun.

Imfromjersey 7:21 AM  

Was slowed down a bit by having On PEER ASSESSMENTS by having HUT instead of HUP, but otherwise, an easy puzzle for a Friday, much easier than Thursday's eye of the storm.

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

Easy? Seemed more like medium compared to other Fridays to me, but we all have different wheelhouses.

dk 8:16 AM  

Michele is not out of congress yet but she is not running for reelection. Claims that polls showing she could not beat a dead horse have nothing to do with it. However, truth was never one of her STRATEGICROUTES.

Solid puzzle. Missteps were all mine and a function of spelling challenges -- whose fault is that I ask you?

🌟🌟🌟(3 Stars) Every time I see Homer in a clue I just go: DOH!

Glimmerglass 8:44 AM  

No comment about the puzzle itself, but if you think the time of the LATE LATE SHOW is ironic, how about EGERIA crossing MICHELE BACHMANN - purveyor of incorrect information and twisted logic.

Rob C 8:45 AM  

Med-Challenging Fri for me. A few very nice entries scattered among fairly solid fill. Liked URBAN DICTIONARY and HUEVOS RANCHEROS. Also struggled with the spelling on BACHMANN.

Originally thought the clue for 45A DOE (She may be fawning) needed a ?, but no, one of the definitions of fawn is to produce young (deer)

@Quest - Listening to the crickets or snacking on them? makes a difference on the "interesting scale"

Carola 8:48 AM  

As nice and solid as the puzzle is, after my whirlwiind romance with yesterday's, it just couldn't set my heart AFLUTTER. Still, I enjoyed the nicely misleading cluing (Formula one, knocks off), some of the apt (or not) crossings with MICHELE BACHMANN, and the Classics mini-theme: ITHACAN, EGERIA, ETAS, TAU, MUSE. Solving-wise, my experience was very similar to @Rex's in the various snags and unknowns.

@Rex - Happy back to class!

Z 9:18 AM  

South easy, north challenging, so medium. BACHMANN Turner Overdrive would have been okay, but the Honorable MICHELE BACHMANN gives me the Heebie Jeebies. @ ACME, what do you have to say for your home state?

I did a lot of meandering in the north. I wanted 'frisbee' for "Forerunner of discs." I wondered if SVEN and ARI are TERPs. Last letter in was the NCO/CAN cross. I'm to the point where I generally finish Fridays, but I'm still looking forward to the time where Friday times are only double my Monday times.

El Greco 9:19 AM  

This puzzle is the first instance of an ITHICAN nestled peaceably next to a CRETIN[S] in the history of greater Macedonia.

loren muse smith 9:19 AM  

Sheesh. Am I the only one who had “sarong” before SERAPE? OOPS.

Also – “stripes” (near “mapalop” with SPRITES) has the same number of letters as EPAULET. Hey – I didn’t write it in because of the lack of plural in the clue. Clever me.

The bottom half was easy, but I just couldn’t finish the NW. I had “The Late Nite Show” because I’m usually asleep by 9pm. @Mohair Sam - I’m not a political junkie, either, so I kept trying for Angela Merkel, with extra N’s or L’s to make it fit. My sister’s name and my daughter’s middle name is MICHELE with one L.

Nice fashion corner down in the SE with THOM, BEENE, and BEBE.

@jae – add BEBE to your Latino mini theme.

“One” before HUP because I thought David was being dastardly by cluing a Friday so obvious.

I kept thinking “ass” for CAN. And cheering The Grey (Gray?) Lady.

HOES – after a long walk yesterday, I showed up just in time to participate in the turning over of our plot – potatoes. We have a very kind friend who always plants a garden for us (corn, green beans, tomatoes, blackberries, onions, and potatoes). This year he planted a lot more potatoes than ever before. So yesterday he had a small tractor with a HOEesque thingy on the back that dug up the dirt and unearthed A. Ton. Of. Potatoes. I still haven’t gotten all the dirt from underneath my nails. Let me tell you – a rotten potato is BILIOUS, FOR SURE. Ick. Those you should just LEAVE BE.

Rex- I hope someday I can be PEERs with constructors who joke about ASSESSMENTS as a crutch. I guess with the two E’s and five S’s it’s perfect for a bottom entry? I’m off to consider it for a grid I’m working on. I’ll take any crutch!

@skua 76 – I can access the site again! How ‘bout you?

@Mohair Sam – I sure have been dogsledding, but you don’t have to be a musher or know anything about it to enjoy Winterdance by Gary Paulsen. That part about his first Iditarod start and his Wilson-led tour of Anchorage is hysterical. Dad and I have always shared an interest in the Iditarod, and I think that was the book that he dedicated to all the volunteers at the Iditarod, who make the race possible – so Dad and I went to Anchorage for a week a few years ago and volunteered. What a hoot! (And everyone tells me that the Reuben at Arby’s is delicious. I’ve never tried it.)

David – nice job, as usual.

Lindsay 9:39 AM  

@LMS, I too had SaRongs before SERAPES. Learned the word from the Lands' End catalogue, and it leads me astray. Also had a sOn bearing a ring before a TOE.

I fritter away too much time on politico.com, so MICHELE BACHMANN (spelled correctly) fell right in to place. Liked the puzzle.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

Nothing wrong with PEERASSESSMENTS. Just because it uses common letters does not make it any less of a quality entry. Good puzzle

chefbea 10:22 AM  

Had one before hup. Found the south easier than the north. Wanted Wolfgang for puck but it wouldn't fit

@M&A thought of you this morning when I saw a construction truck in front of me. The name of the company...zUzUn.

Aflutter Capulco aMused 10:48 AM  

@Z what can i say? It went downhill after I left!

oRgANizedsports is also a source of slang...
See I try and be sporty and end up a mess.

Never want to see MICHELEBACHMANN in any context, but learned a new word.

@LMS double shout out to you between EGERIA and MUSED

Only complaint is i had to pay 28 sek at the Stockholm airport to get an intl Herald Trib to do this puzzle and it was over too quickly!

I also had StOUt for Red Cloud so funny @rex used that word to describe this puzzle... Funny, Red Cloud doesn't look Siouxish.

Always proud of David Steinberg whatever he tackles and I thought this was smooth smooth smooth.

mac 10:57 AM  

Not so easy when I just looked at it and filled in a few stray words, then easy after an hour of Pilates.

Only write-over toe for tot, and I considered "stout" at 22A, thought Red Cloud might be a drink.

Huevos rancheros, yum.

Nice confidence building Friday puzzle!

Two Ponies 10:58 AM  

Just what I want on a Friday.
"Finished" with one blank square, the N at 21A. Military slang was too obscure and what TV show is NCIS? Don't ask me, I don't even have a TV. Good solve otherwise.

Ellen S 10:59 AM  

@El Greco, no CRETINs are not the same as Cretans, people from Crete, who would be odd nestled by an ITHACAN. The derivation isn't even related. See The Liar's Paradox for more.

I found @Rex's ASSESSMENT of this puzzle strange because it matched mine but opposite. He said it was easy, then went on to say he was having trouble on the top, so went to work on the bottom and then "floated back up." Yeah, me, too. I would call that something harder than Easy. On the other hand, compared to yesterday, anything I can get any kind of TOEhold on may be easy. (I spent several hours, getting nowhere, then found one clue that worked when written in backwards, and said, "Uh-uh, no more of this for me."

Thinking about the trouble people had with RIP, maybe it is an age thing. Except I'm 70 and I have RIPped music from CDs to mp3 format so I can save them to my iPhone and have them start randomly playing in my pocket (a "feature" of IOS 4 which I'm happy to say Apple fixed after about a year). That's about the only age-related clue there was, I think, except maybe Odysseus and EGERIA, we geezers are closer to than is young David.

Nice work, Mr. Steinberg. I enjoyed it.

Ellen S 11:03 AM  

p.s. Oh, it's true - you don't have to put in ANYTHING for the number in the Captcha. I missed that post the other day but saw a reference to it later. One of you nice folks clued me early on that the number didn't have to match (and that the word is not case-sensitive), but it's even easier that it doesn't have to be entered at all. I guess a robot would feel ethically bound to put in something, but a human can ignore the demand to "Type the two words."

unfortunately, on the Captcha for *this* entry, I can't read the word.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  


From Here to eternity uses top kick beautifully.

Montgomery Clift's character, bemaonaing his status, says
" I was first bugler for two years. The top-kick had a friend who transferred in from another outfit. The next day, he was made first bugler over me. I was a better bugler...Maybe it ain't sensible, but that's the reason."

Wonderful bit of character delineation and argo without being too cute, or inside baseball. I believe Daniel Taradesh won the Academy Award for the screenplay.

Sandy K 11:41 AM  

Easy for Rex, difficult for me!

Struggled with the top- almost naticked on EGERIA/RIP, but guessed right.

What really made me see the light was MICHELE BACHMANN- and I NEVER thought I'd EVER say that! NEVER. EVER.

LOL @Acme- Red Cloud doesn't look SIOUX-ish!!

Ray J 11:44 AM  

I’m sitting on the back porch and a Monarch just fluttered by. Cool.

The bottom half went in lickety-split. Up top I knew MB yet was had by the old time zone trick. I got taken worse than @jackj on that one because while Yellowstone is predominantly in Wyoming, it also sits partly in Montana and Idaho. So, just what kind of inane abbreviation of MT is this, says I.

Wanted SCRAMble for a while and the car monitor was last to go in.

Thanks for a good Friday workout, Mr. Steinberg.

(spell checker got religion and wants to capitalize “good”)

Lewis 11:54 AM  

OOPS crossing TAPES makes me think of Nixon.

When people overseas consider whether to have children or not, do they ask, "To BEBE or not to BEBE?" Sorry.

It wasn't easy, but was easy for a Friday for me. The bottom especially. My misspelling of Bachman made the top go slow for a while. Like most of David's puzzles I've done, fresh and bright.

M&A -- a U six-pack!

OISK 12:21 PM  

Agree with those peers who disagreed with Rex's "easy" assessment. A bit too much Espanol for me; never heard of Huevos rancheros, and originally had "Lamar" for actor Burton. Finished it correctly, though, and really enjoyed the struggle. Does Thom McCann (sp?) still exist? Thanks for the puzzle, David.

quilter1 12:22 PM  

As an Iowan, of course, MICHELE went in right away. The straw poll is a fake and they are thinking of doing away with it now as Ms. BACHMANN won by buying a bunch of the tickets and distributing them to attendees to drop in the box for her. I liked the puzzle, too.

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Re: Carmen Diaz--today is her birthday. Always a nice touch.

ahimsa 12:43 PM  

I finished without cheating so I was not surprised to see this rated easy (for a Friday, still plenty hard enough!). Since I was not one of those folks who knew MICHELE BACHMANN right off the bat it was slow going for me.

EGERIA is a new word for me so I liked seeing it as word of the day.

Fellow computer geeks may get a chuckle out of this story. When I was running the alphabet to get the R in EGERIA I briefly thought of PIP (copy utility I learned from CP/M but it's even older than that) before figuring out RIP. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peripheral_Interchange_Program

And the "Modern mouse hole?" clue for USB PORT made me smile.

@Lewis, "To BEBE or not to BEBE?"

A real groaner, FOR SURE, but it still made me laugh! :-)

Anonymous 12:54 PM  

Rex: "Top kick" is old Army and Marines slang for the highest-ranking enlisted person (NCO) on a military base.

"Egeria" was a new one on me, however.

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

Is it true that you can omit the number in the captcha? If you can read this, it's true, because I'm omitting it as a test.

Notsofast 1:06 PM  

Boy, David Steinberg never disappoints. What a great puzzle. Lots of "low-vocabulary" fill mixed with "high vocabulary." It's clever and fun. A little GEM!

Masked and Anonym007Us 1:21 PM  

Constructor started on this back in 2011 when he was 14, according to the xwordinfo puz bio. M&A is not suitably impressed. M&A coulda theoretically started a FriPuz grid back at age 14, too. Had the extra time, during detention class. Just didn't have a Shortzmeister to send the carved up desktop to.

007 U's. Now that impresses m&e. Only thing more impressive here woulda been a clue cross-referencing MICHELEBACHMAN and the URBANDICTIONARY, somehow.

fave fillins: FORSURE. NSW. Wonder if there is an East NSW? That'd be even cooler than EAST S.

fave clue: The THELATELATESHOW one one. Have a soft spot for irony.

fave weeject: HUP. Better clue: Short order cook lingo for hot dog with catsup.

Fun puz, btw.

M&A, zUzUn intern.

p.s. Them there numbers blew in from yesterday's top eleven list.
p.p.s.s. Agent 007U will return, in "From Egeria with Love"...

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

Talk about useless entries . . . How about 1A?

Bird 1:52 PM  

Liked the puzzle. Liked 16A, 17A, 57A and 61A. 1A and 62A not so much. Stuggled up north with speeling what's her name, and a few downs I didn't know or couldn't recall right away.

56A was tough because I was trying to think of an NBA team.


retired_chemist 2:57 PM  

Medium here, but DNF due to two sort-of-interacting errors.

The EGERIA/RIP cross was pretty much a Natick for me. After going through the alphabet, I decided that R was the most likely letter. Then fell afoul of the ZEe/ZED dichotomy at 25D. Wondered if SCRAMMEE was something out of the URBAN DICTIONARY. Never got Mr. Happy Pencil until I checked. Found the R was right, but the E needed to be D. Was sure that the R was my error, so I didn't think too much about the e/D matter. D'oh! (As one of the other Homers would say.)

Liked this one pretty well. Solid cluing, Friday the perfect level.

There is a Mexican restaurant that serves breakfast on weekends just up the street - HUEVOS RANCHEROS are very good there. Ditto the Migas.

GARMIN before ONSTAR. With a cross or two the latter became clear.

Thanks, David.

Anoa Bob 3:09 PM  

Nearly fell out of my chair when I read the clue "Old oscilloscope part, briefly" for 10D. I used one when I was an electronic maintenance tech many decades ago, so immediately threw down CRT for a nice toehold in the top.

I can't imagine, however, too many folks knowing what an oscilloscope is, let alone what distinguishes an old one from newer models. The old ones had vacuum tubes, including the cathode ray tube (CRT), and were as big and heavy as microwave ovens.

If one eats too many HUEVOS RANCHEROS in ACAPULCO, might one become BILIOUS?

Red Cloud looks SIOUXesque to me.

Anonymous 4:14 PM  

Didn't Red Cloud play lead guitar for SIOUXsie and the Banshees?

sanfranman59 4:17 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 19:50, 17:52, 1.11, 76%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Fri 11:13, 10:27, 1.07, 64%, Medium-Challenging

I generally prefer to avoid getting into politics here, but it would be just fine by me if I never see Ms. Bachmann's name again, let alone having it bannered across the top of my NYT crossword. Typing that name took some joy out of the solving experience for me. I now return you to you regularly scheduled crossword blog reading.

retired_chemist 4:42 PM  

@Anoa Bob - CRT isn't all that obscure. My iMac of 1997 vintage had a CRT display, and we used it until 2008.

Chemical terms which I know well seem even more obscure to me. Non-chemists need to grapple with these now and again in crosswords: ENOL, IMIDE, RNASE, and a few others. BTW CRT has been used nine times in this decade in the NYT.

David Steinberg 6:11 PM  

Thanks for the write-up, Rex, and for all the nice comments! EGERIA was a new word for me when I was building the puzzle as well, though I think I may have seen it in another puzzle at some point.

Anonymous 7:50 PM  

So much Bachmann hate and intolerance here! C'mon, guys.

North Beach 7:56 PM  

SHIRLEYCHISHOLM fit for 1A and Friday difficulty. Or so I thought... I didn't ralize it was just Republicans. I won't make any comparisons to the correct answer and just LEAVEBE. Suffice to say they were different times.

gifcan 9:10 PM  

I started with URBANDICTIONARY which is unusual for me, I mean being 15 letters and all. Southeast, southwest, central, then - stop.

I was racking my brain for 1A with everything from Hilary Clinton to Margaret Thatcher to RaCHeL Carson. I wasn't familiar with the Ames Straw Poll. Nothing fit. I googled it and then spelled it wrong, 2 Ls, 1 N. Pathetic.

Oh well, another DNF.

@Lewis - some of us are easily amused. Very funny. Har!

Ann Heil 9:29 PM  

I think Urban Dictionary is the only place that explains what Natick means as used in this blog.

This puzzle did seem rather tame after yesterday's tempest.

Ann Heil 9:30 PM  

Oh, and also I thought the Homer clue/ PAINTER answer had something to do with the Home Depot mascot Homer.

Z 9:47 PM  

@Ann Heil - except, of course, here.

skua76 10:32 PM  

@loren, I never had any access problems...perhaps because I didn't try until it seemed to have been fixed. Good easy puzzle...I can't finish all of the Fri/Sat puzzles before falling asleep as I was able to do with this one (and sometimes I can't finish them the next morning either). But one error. I didn't know top kick (I was in the Navy) so I put in vAN for 26A...that's the front, not the rear end of a military group.

Robert Landman 6:46 AM  

Not sure if you/ anyone addressed this in previous comments MSS? help please thanks easy for a fri, difficult for me, got about 60% before i needed to "Rex" it, ill take it...

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

It's hut, not hup,no?

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

I don't get MSS for 33 down. Messages? What am I missing?

Steve J 2:51 PM  

MSS is an abbreviation for manuscripts.

Doc John 7:22 PM  

For those who have difficulty remembering how many Ls are in MB's name, I offer this.

Jon 7:24 PM  

Yo! Loved it,this is the furthest I have ever gotten on a Saturday, needed only 2 googles to finish off the SE! YEP, I'm pumped, KUDU to me! If I had an Elise I would surely GUNIT and vegans don't eat bread so thought PBJ was ICK. What was KRIS Humphries thinking....? I deserve some PIE and ATOAST for my best Saturday to date!

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Anonymous 1:53 PM  

This puzzle, as with all DS's puzzles, is generational: easy for young people, impossible for boomers like me. I had almost nothing. David, crosswords are about using your brain, not about inside jokes to members of your own generation and social group! David, I could create a puzzle that you wouldn't get a single word -- that doesn't make it a good one. Don't ask me to watch your movies and TV shows, to share your personal interests, and to know whatever topics or phrases are hip this year. Patrick Berry doesn't force his readers to be members of his generation and social class, so neither should you. To me this was the epitome of an awful puzzle -- almost half the clues were pop culture knowledge, not brainpower.

spacecraft 10:43 AM  

DNF for the fatal natick at EGE_IA/_IP. The down word was 100% new to me no matter what letter went in there, so I thought, in my tech-impaired brain, that since I've heard of ZIP files, maybe that was the across.

[Cue the Price-is-Right trombones.]

@anon 1:53, I fully understand your frustration with the generation thing; I'm a septugenarian myself. But what would you expect a 16-year-old to put in his puzzles? That he should do endless research about stuff he probably doesn't care about? Give him some time; he's a diamond in the rough.

But rough or no, he's getting the yellow hankie from me, for XESOUT. That's just horrible. Otherwise a good, enjoyable puzzle.

Gad. EGERIA. Sounds like a disease. And BEENE??? Who the Sam Hill is that?

The breakthrough at the bottom I owe to a poker player named Rob Salaburu. He turned over his hand--at last year's Main Event final table--and declared "HUEVOSRANCHEROS!" He's been known for that ever since.

Solving in Seattle 2:34 PM  

@Spacecraft, have you tried the dating service yet?

No time to read real timers' posts, so I'll probably repeat a couple of obvious observations.

Liked ITHACAN next to CRETINS. Poor Cyclops.

Liked SERAPES covering SRTAS.

Loved the clue for 13D.

Can someone help me understand how the clue "Re-serve judgement?" produces LET?

Overall, this puzzle's quality is what we've come to expect from David Steinberg.

Got to run to meet my EGERIA. Have a great weekend, Syndies.

Solving in Seattle 2:35 PM  

Oh, yeah, tennis call. Head slap.

Dirigonzo 4:10 PM  

This Medicare-eligible boomer thought the puzzle fresh, fun and (relatively) easy, but had I not known RIP dear old EGERIA would have remained one square short of a full name. I briefly thought the Norwegian Start might make a stop at AnAPoLis, and I too misspelled the name of the tea-party darling whose name spans the top of the grid.

I had to look up NEONATE post-solve to understand how it fits the clue - now I get it!

Left over from yesterday: Fave clue was "Terre in the eau zone?" producing ILE (well, ELI in the grid, but you know what I mean). That right there is an @SiS-worthy groaner!

spacecraft 4:42 PM  

@SiS: Are you not the tennis buff? "LET...first service." Starting to ring a bell? And no, I have not felt the urge to get it on with a Tamil girl for, uh, quite a while. Trying my best to ignore it. :)

Anonymous 6:34 PM  

Beene is designer Geoffrey Beene, who doesn't get as much press as in years past.

Waxy in Montreal 7:13 PM  

HUEVOSRANCHIROS sound tasty but way out of my breakfast wheelhouse. Eliminated Ms BACHMANN from 1A consideration, obviously not knowing how to spell her name. NCO in this context unknown but was forced by its crosses. Same for NEONATE at 14D. HOMER Winslow never occurred to me so PAINTS never evolved - DOH.

Despite these problems, this pensioner loved young Mr. Steinberg's puzzle. Thanks!

Ginger 11:53 PM  

My usual Friday slow going with lots of googleing, and guessing. Same spelling mistake at 1-A, as so many others.

In spite of the DNF, I found this fresh and interesting. Like XEROXES, even if that necessitates SIOUX and XESOUT. Love HUEVOSRANCHEROS, both in the grid and on the table, though I suspect it's more regional than generational. I'm in my 70s, yet I didn't feel this skewed to younger solvers.

Thanks David, tough but fair.

midas woollahra 2:51 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
midas woollahra 6:30 AM  

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