Bret Harte/Mark Twain collaboration / FRI 10-3-14 / Combined Latin Jamaican Hip-hop genre / Onetime Minnesota governor who ran for GOP presidential nomination nine times / Urban Dictionary fodder / Pfizer cold flu medicine / Muslim name that means successor to Muhammad / Hebrew Hammer of Major League Baseball

Friday, October 3, 2014

Constructor: Tracy Bennett

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Ronald NEAME (23D: Ronald who directed "The Poseidon Adventure") —
Ronald Elwin Neame[1] CBE BSC (23 April 1911 – 16 June 2010) was an English filmcinematographerproducerscreenwriter and director. As cinematographer for the British war filmOne of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1943), he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects. During a partnership with director David Lean, he produced Brief Encounter (1945), Great Expectations (1946), and Oliver Twist (1948), receiving two Academy Award nominations for writing.
Neame then moved into directing, and some notable films included, I Could Go On Singing (1963),Judy Garland's last film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), which won Maggie Smith her first Oscar, Scrooge (1970), starring Alec Guinness, and the action-adventure disaster film The Poseidon Adventure (1972).
For his contributions to the film industry, Neame was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Elizabeth II, and received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the highest award the British Film Academy can give a filmmaker. (wikipedia)
• • •

There were highs, there were lows. Some of the longer answers are really lovely, but a lot of the rest of the puzzle was overly common shorter stuff or mid-range names with convenient letters—names that just weren't that interesting (STASSEN?) (NEAME!?!?!). For every I'LL TRADE YOU, there was a TSETSES or ISDUETO to undercut it. I want to like GOAT RODEO, but I've never heard of it. Ever. I had G-AT RODEO and honest-to-god thought the answer was GNAT RODEO (come on, doesn't that sound like a good name for a Situation that's gone absurdly out of control? Much easier to control goats than gnats. I'd imagine. Never heard of ROOT ROT (2D: Horticultural problem caused by overwatering), so no help there. In the end, despite my affection for stuff like ALPHA FEMALE, I have to give this one a mild thumbs-down—the deciding factor being a super duper rough patch that includes a bevy of adjacent clunkers: NEAME (again, !?!?!?!), NROTC (dear lord that's bad fill) (looks like the vanity plate of a neurotic), and KHALIF (whose name is that? I get that it's *a* name, but … yikes).

  • DIMETAPP (38A: Pfizer cold and flu medicine) — I haven't seen or thought of this brand in forever, so when my brain wanted it, my Other brain was like "Are you sure that's a thing?" And because the horrific NEAME / NROTC / KHALIF runs right through it, I kept doubting it 'til the bitter end.
  • "D.C. CAB" (10A: 1983 action comedy with the tagline "When these guys hit the streets, guess what hits the fan") — One of my least favorite 5-letter answers. A movie that time would've long forgotten had it not been for the weird letter combinations that make it (occasionally) convenient in crosswords. Every time I see it, I think "crutch." See also (moreso) "AH, SIN" (51D: Bret Harte/Mark Twain collaboration).
  • EARLE (16A: Band-Aid inventor Dickson)EARLE is the NEAME of the NE corner (except slightly more inferable).
  • REGGAETON (65A: Combined Latin/Jamaican/hip-hop genre) — Approved! This gives the grid some contemporary flavor, some life, some sparkle.
[REGGAETON … plus a new clue for ORA]
  • YENTE (29D: Musical matchmaker) — ugh, my least favorite YENT-. How many damn endings are there for that letter string? YENTL, YENTA, YENTE … YENTI (the Jewish Abominable Snowman?)
  • STADIUM (3D: Kind of rock) — first of all, again, it's ARENA rock. Second of all, this clue (the whole clue type, actually) is absurd. It's a word that can precede "rock," but it's not a "kind" of rock any more than SEA is a [Kind of anemone] or HOT is a [Kind of dog] (to steal two example friends of mine came up with earlier in the day before this puzzle came out because yes we talk about this **** all the time…). [Kind of rot] = ROOT? I think not.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Pete 12:25 AM  


Anonymous 12:27 AM  

NROTC (vanity plate for a neurotic)...LOL! Rex, you should be writing for Jon Stewart!
That's exactly what it looks like.

Anonymous 12:28 AM  

Are you sure it's not GO AT RODEO, a party where you just pick someone at random and GO AT them? You could lasso them, ride them bare-back, hog tie them. Sounds like fun.

Charles Flaster 12:44 AM  

Medium in 27 minutes.Loved I FOLD and ILL TRADE YOU.
Never heard of STADIUM rock.
AL ROSEN was the enemy growing up in NYC but he had some fabulous stats(" you could look it up").
Hoped Bobby Thompson would be mentioned today.
These baseball post season games will be some of the greatest of all time IMO.
Thanks TB.

Moly Shu 12:49 AM  

Somehow made it through the pitfalls @Rex mentioned but DNFed at WIES? and A?CO. I genuinely thought her name was Wiess, but now looking at it, I realize it's Wiest. The record company was never gonna help.

DC CAB an action comedy? I've seen it, and I wouldn't use those two words to describe it. What's the opposite of an action comedy? A DEAD SADLOT ? Yea, that's a better description.

ONAJAG? Never heard and don't understand.

On the plus side there was CALEB Carr and the Alienist, a great read. IMHO.

Anonymous 1:05 AM  

Yente was weak, as was NROTC, the goat-thing and the reggae whatsit. No problem with Stassen, perhaps because I'm old.

AliasZ 1:25 AM  

This wasn't fun for me.

EARLE, AL ROSEN, CALEB, STASSEN, WIEST, NEAME, ERNST, YENTE, KHALIF, DIMETAPP, MOHS, ATCO, NROTC? And what the heck a GOAT RODEO and a REGGAETON is I do not know and don't much care to find out. IS DUE TO, IN A LINE, ON A JAG, SNARL AT, TSETSES, RUS, OST etc. are not Fri-themeless-worthy on my MOH'S scale. One or two perhaps acceptable, but the multitude of them here turned me off early in the game. Too bad, because I liked ALPHA FEMALE, NOT SO FAST, I'LL TRADE YOU, AT ANY RATE, PROMOTE, ROOT ROT and a few others. They are not all that interesting, but solid.

It is curious how an entry like GOAT RODEO, considered a great seed in the puzzle constructor's mind, can have the entirely unmeant opposite effect on the potential consumer of said puzzle.

Still, as a second NYT-published puzzle, it's a great achievement for Ms. Bennett. I am sure (and hope) we will see more of her puzzles, and with a little more experience the improvements will be clearly noticeable.

This chorus from the ST. MARK Passion by J.S. Bach will make everything better.

Davidph 1:29 AM  

@Moly Shu: I had the same DNF at Wiess/Asco.

wreck 1:33 AM  

What A-Z said!
STADIUM rock IS a thing. The Super-Super Groups (i.e. The Stones, Bruce, U2 etc.) fill 80,000 seat venues -- "popular" groups play 20,000 seat ARENAS.

Steve J 1:52 AM  

I must be on a roll. Second straight day Rex rated the puzzle as medium-challenging, and my experience was that it was quite easy. Actually finished this up a bit faster than I did yesterdays. The long answers all fell with minimal crosses, so I didn't even notice a lot of the clunkier shorter fill, which left me with a more positive impression of this.

Liked I'LL TRADE YOU, ALPHA FEMALE, ARSONISTS' clue and realizing that after 40ish years since I first played with it as a kid, I had no idea that CRAYOLA made Silly Putty.

GOAT RODEO tickles some faint memory in the back of my mind, but not enough to actually jar it loose.

@wreck: While you're right that STADIUM rock is a thing (it's just another name for arena rock), the examples you provide aren't stadium rock. The term doesn't refer simply to bands that can fill huge venues. It's a style associated with late 70s prog/light-metal/hard rock. Think Foreigner, Styx, Journey, Steve Miller, Kiss, etc.

wreck 2:03 AM  

@ Steve
There is a difference (although slight) and the clue in the puzzle is correct. I think you are one of the main proponents here that the NYT is always 99.9% correct.
See this link:

wreck 2:09 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric 2:26 AM  

Goat Rodeo is enough of a thing for Yo Yo Ma to have named a band after it. Awesome answer.

Anoa Bob 2:34 AM  

In spite of a DNF in the SW, I thought this was a very fine puzzle. There are only 25 black squares/blocks, and, unless I'm mistaken, that's on the low side for themelesses. So I expected some rough spots here and there and waited to see if the good stuff would make up for it. It did.

GOAT RODEO is priceless. Never heard that one before, but I've spent some time in the presence of goats, so I'd put that in with "Herding cats" as an example of a hopeless situation.

If you like indoor plants, don't put succulents in a bathroom window. The moisture there will lead to ROOT ROT. I know.

Liked ON A JAG crossing BOJANGLES and then REGGAETON's insane letter combo underneath those jewels made that section really shine for me.

Long-time fan of Faye DUNAWAY. Both she and her name call to mind Melville's Fayaway in Typee. Not sure if she would qualify as an ALPHA FEMALE, though.

AT ANY RATE, I don't see much to SNARL AT in this puzz. Hey, I even knew AL ROSEN.

jae 2:38 AM  

I'm with Steve J, it was on the easy side for me and I had a more positive impression.

Erasures:  I pass before I FOLD and KALId before KALIF

Let's see, why easy?:  STASSEN, ARSONISTS, ROOT ROT, DUNAWAY,  DCCAB, PONE, LEE, TSETSE, AL ROSEN, ASTROS, AH SIN, WEIST, CALEB, NAPA...all gimmes.  Many of these are gimmes from doing a boat load of crosswords. 

The seed entries had some zip and the fill was mostly OK.  Liked it.  And, hey...the first themeless by an ALPHA FEMALE in how long...?

retired_chemist 2:39 AM  

Medium but DNF - started with STAntoN for 45D and couldn't recover even though I should easily have got Harold STASSEN. Jack Stanton was the name of the candidate in Primary Colors, which I guess is where THAT came from.

Got ROOT ROT easily - REGGAE TON, GOAT RODEO, and NEAME were new ones. AL ROSEN was not - I was an Indians fan in the fifties. Rosen is probably better remembered than JimHegan but not by much. I expect you youngsters might have needed a lot of crosses to get 13D, even if you are baseball fans.

I found this a zippy and enjoyable puzzle. Thanks, Ms.Bennett.

jae 3:52 AM  

Meant to mention that EARLE (as clued)', NEAME, and KALIF were WOEs.

Gill I. P. 5:12 AM  

FEMME FATALE didn't make the cut?
Ooh boy, thought this was a WIEST of time for a while but I kept on goin...Isn't GOAT RODEO the same as flaming donkey?
I want to SNARL AT my ignorance for not knowing EARLE, DC CAB, AL ROSEN and the never heard of REGGAETON - but then Tracy came up with MOPPETS and BO JANGLES so there were at least two smiles and I was BEMUSED.
I wonder what may have tickled Will's funny bone about this puzzle.....

John Child 5:42 AM  

I had more that one GO AT this one during the morning. Quite pleasurable IMO. I did have a GOAT over a couple of the answers, but there was so much fun(ny) to this!

AH SIN and ATCO did me in though. Without them and firmly wedded to KHALId, I couldn't see ALPHA FEMALE. (BTW, Khalid means "immortal.")

Anonymous 6:44 AM  


CBCD 7:14 AM  

Goat rodeo was an expression we often used at work when we really wanted to say Clusterf***" but didn't want to use such explicit language.

LHS 888 7:52 AM  

Back to my normal DNF on a Friday. Started off well in the NW dropping in long answers and worked my way 2/3 down toward the SE. Then I hit a stone wall. I couldn't break into NE or SW. I had KHALIF, but I couldn't come up with DIMETAPP. Started googling after an hour: DUNAWAY (d'oh), WIEST (spellcheck), ERNST, STASSEN, CRAYOLA (should have inferred).

Writeovers: linedup > INALINE
kiddieS > MOPPETS
ornot > YESNO


Tough puzzle for me, but I enjoyed the challenge. When I look at the completed grid, it all looks obvious. Thanks TB for the workout.

Generic Solver 8:14 AM  

I've seen people in the baseball media, in particular Mark Zuckerman who covers the Washington Nationals, use "goat rodeo" to describe a play where the ball gets thrown all over the place, typically with multiple errors committed, as if you were watching you kid's Little League game. (How's Strasburg going to fare today?)

BTW, for a Friday, this one fell kind of easily for me. I have several old vinyl LP's with the Atco label in my closet.

Sir Hillary 8:19 AM  

Jeez, our site BOSS is TESTY. Not sure what his YENTE SNARLAT this puzzle ISDUETO, but he sure STORESUP the bile. ATANYRATE, I am BEMUSED, and he didn't ROUEN my fun.

I have never heard of ROOTROT, GOATRODEO or Ron NEAME, and barely remembered STASSEN. freaking what?

Nothing wrong with this one - lots of nice long answers, and the fill was good, especially for a 68-worder. Odd how DCCAB can provoke such a reaction, but no one would bat an eye at, say, FCC. Not only is STADIUM rock legit, but the clue is excellent, particularly if you had ----IUM like I did and were thinking minerals. I liked the clue for IFOLD as well.

Solving-wise, I blew through the bottom with no problems, but the top was a lot harder. Definitely a tale of two cities.

I don't give this on the absolute higheST MARK, but it's a strong Friday puzzle. KudOS Tracy!

Glimmerglass 8:21 AM  

This was hard for me. When I broke for breakfast, I told my wife that I was pretty sure I wouldn't come close to finishing. But fortified with a couple of poached eggs on jalapeno cornbread, I got most of it. One wrong square (WEISe crossing AeCO). Never heard of the TON in REGGAETON, but I *remember* Harold STASSEN.

Mohair Sam 8:33 AM  

Liked this one a lot is spite of naticking on the "L" cross with the cigar and the Muslim name. Not a lot of junk fill imo. GOATRODEO and REGGAETON new words to us, but hey - it's a Friday, things are supposed to be tough.

Good old Harold STASSEN a gimme here. ALPHAFEMALE kinda cool, and lucky I know how to spell WIEST's name - I think it stopped me on another puzzle and the unusual spelling stuck.

What's the everybody's problem with NROTC? With "sailor" in the clue it was easy to suss - it is a thing and used to be common on college campuses, not bad fill at all.

With Rex on the YENTE thing, the last letter is essentially random in crosswords.

Didn't we have the STADIUM rock argument a few weeks ago? Oh well.

And yes, @Moly Shu, Carr's "The Alienist" is a great read.

evil doug 8:49 AM  

In USAF, we called it a "goat rope".


Anonymous 9:01 AM  

Labors under the weight of too many proper nouns. Weak.

jberg 9:08 AM  

Is KHALIF/Caliph really a name? It's the title claimed by that guy who's leading the force we're bombing in Syria and Iraq, but is it a name too? I guess if people can be named EARL(E) or Duke, they can be named Khalif, but that slowed me down as I tried to put Khaled or Khalid in there. That D at the end led me to try Venus De Milo, which fit nicely even though it didn't make any sense.

On the other hand the guy in the dorm room next to mine was in NROTC - a sweet deal, it paid all his expenses in college; he's also the guy who taught me the whole Alpha, Bravo thing, which helps in a lot of puzzles. Eire before ERIN, dos before UNO, Inc. before LTD, and YENTe before YENTA, leading me to want some variant of ARP for the dada person. Slow going all over -- but Mr. BO JANGLES makes up for a lot!

ROOT ROT is all too real, indoor gardeners know it well.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

Super sexy layout of a puzzle. Started with ARSONISTS and NOT SO FAST right of the bat and filled the NW corner. But then absolutely nothing. Had to do to a lot of googling (normal for me for a Friday) to get at all the crazy trivia questions. DDCAB, EARLE, ERNST, WIEST, REGGAETON, DUNAWAY, STASSEN, ENYA, ATCO, AL ROSEN, CALEB.
Just too many of these.
Not very enjoyable.

Maruchka 9:18 AM  

So many possibilities, too little crunch, alas. Agree with @Rex's take.

GOAT RODEO - Is this akin to herding cats?


(I'm leaving lots of white space here, in memory of what I hoped today's puzzle would have been..)

Fav of the day - ON A JAG.

@ Moly Shu - Haha! JAGs can be crying, drinking, hiccuping, Hours of fun.

@ Glimmerglass - Haha! A tastier breakfast than PONE, surely.

All in all, more BEMUSED by the blog today than by the puzz.

Hartley70 9:18 AM  

DNF on the YENTE/ERNST cross. I insisted on the A. It was tough and no giggles here, but Friday fair. Sure wishing I had a bite of @glimmerglass' breakfast this morning to give me some oomph.

Whirred Whacks 9:22 AM  

Tough puzzle for me. 3 Googles (but I knew Neame -- I dug it out of some deep mental recess).

Agree with @Jberg about KHALIF being a title rather than a name.

I didn't like clue for ARSONISTS. Perhaps I'll like it better in the winter when fire danger has passed.

Twice this week for the MOHS scale.

I kept thinking of that goofy 2009 George Clooney movie "The Men Who Stare at Goats."

Leapfinger 9:46 AM  

A ho-ho-ho. Yestiddy I thought I'd have a little innocent late fun with roux, maybe catch the attention of the RouxMonser or @Marouxshka. Instead, it seems I set the pot a-b'iling, or at least got it to a slow szimmer. What's that they say? Zeke and ye shall find? Well done, e-Zekiel!

And no, none of that helped me see ROUEN right away today.

Today, was bemused as much as amused by the plethora of fill that came only via crosses, often with some pane [ie, through a glass, and darkly]. Got ARSONISTS and STASSEN off the bat, *finally* recalled DIMETAPP, but agree with the many others on @A-Z's list. Ran through The Hanks (Greenberg and Aaron), Saudy Koufax and all the other MoTs before getting to AL ROSEN. I thought the Hebrew Hammer was Samson, Joshua, Gideon or some such.

Did like BOJANGLES (not the Chikin), but my version of 'herding cats has been teaching squirrels the quadrille rather than a GOAT RODEO.

Wound up, as did many others, apparently, running a perfectly good family name from WIESs to WIESz to WIESe. Go WIEST, young man!

Oh yes, meant to tell @Rex there's no comma in AH, SIN...It's the name of the Chinaman in a Samuel Clemens story I read long ago; never knew of any collaboration.

AT ANY Road or RATE, it's nice to have an ALPHA FEMALE added to the late-week roster. Maybe we've DUNAWAY with the dearth.

Now this incipient ANTIC has to get ready for some Atoning, aka Ruing, tonight. YES/NO?

RooMonster 9:50 AM  

Hey All!
Thankfully did this on the computer today, because if I didn't have the "Check puzzle" option, it would have been a tremendous DNF! I am definately not in the 'easy' camp here, this was challenging! Very liberal use of the previously mentioned "check" feature. I did finish it without googling, just kept plugging awat with various letters until they were accepted! Finally was able to see the answers. Man.

The gospel clue, thought of the 4, of course, none fit, but after finally getting the K in KHALIF, figured out the ST part. I cry foul on ONAJAG. What in the hell is that? Also, REGGAETON, ??, what's with the TON? Somehow dredged up DCCAB, not sure where that was STOREdup! :-) Natick, Natick at ROUEN, NEAME. Throw in the KHALIF, NROTC, CLARO part also, and my brain tweeked. The red-white-blue flag ws a chore, thought ITA, GER, AUS, UKsomething, SPA, finally got it from crosses.

iNane for ANTIC, oNe for UNO, sCOtS for ICONS, done for TADA, naSTY for TESTY, rEtD for DEAD

Also, I think a bad clue for STASIS.

@AliasZ, you said a little experience for her will show. As an experienced sender-in-er of puzzles to Will, none of which have been accepted (read: 13 so far rejected), this might be the more experienced puz, I know mine have improved (but as said before, none accepted {No, I'm not bitter! :-)})


Steve J 9:54 AM  

@wreck: Even after reading the link, I still hold there's no meaningful distinction between stadium rock and arena rock. Maybe bigger stage props. As a sound, it's the same. And I did agree that it's a real thing.

@Sir Hillary: I also started thinking mineral when I had -IUM at the end (after I had been thinking music from the clue). That makes it a smart little bit of puzzlecraft, in my opinion.

@retired_chemist: AL ROSEN was before my time, but I'm familiar with him. But you're right it took most of the crosses for his name to jar loose from my memory banks. Based on the clue, I wanted to cram Hank GREENBERG in there, but obviously he didn't fit.

@Eric: Thanks for the reminder of the Yo Yo Ma connection to GOAT RODEO. That must have been where that memory tickle was coming from.

Jim Finder 10:01 AM  

I agree with those who enjoyed this puzzle. It didn't roll over and play dead and gave me a workout, but the gimmes and especially GOAT RODEO made it an overall pleasure.

Not a big deal, but why are Pope Francis and others (52A) considered ICONS? He is a famous guy for sure, but why an icon? He'll be out of office after awhile and then he'll fade away like all the past popes.

I'd attempt to define an ICON as someone known and referred to frequently by lots and lots of people, whose meaning transcends the details of their own lives. Think Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein or Nelson Mandela. (YMMV on these examples, but maybe you'll see what I'm getting at.)

Z 10:02 AM  

Here's your GOAT RODEO. Friendly, indeed.

I know lots of KHALIds, I don't recall ever meeting a KHALIF. Those terminal sounds are close enough, though, that it could just be a transliteration variance.

Natick at the WEIST/ATCO crossing. I got everything else, but pretty much what Rex said, the proper names and fill outweighed the good answers.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

For the record, an anemone can be a flower. So "sea" is, in fact, a type of anemone.

wreck 10:14 AM  

@Steve J

I will concede your point that they are essentially the same, but I think you would agree that BOTH are valid terms for a type of rock, which negates Rex's whole argument that there is no such thing as "STADIUM rock."

Leapfinger 10:16 AM  

UNO, duo, tre more.
Only Matthew out in the first elimination; had to consider STMARK, Luke and John.
I pass/FOLD, and prefer a SORRY LOT to a SAD one.
Also want a BOSS with a RIGHT MIND rather than a SURE HAND.
One of our chiefs from Egypt was named El Kouzy; that helped not at all with KHALIF, but is my present today to the Evil One.
In this neck of the woods, a PONE can be a 'rising', ie, a boil or b'ile, if you will. No nearly as appetizing, with or without jalapenos.

Now leaving you with an ERNST HEART. No more RU'S, I promise.

Fred Romagnolo 10:18 AM  

Harold Stassen was a laughing matter back in the 40's, usually described as the "perennial" Republican candidate, he was actually quite a bright guy with a sense of humor. Yes, we've hashed out the STADIUM rock thing before. BOJANGLES dancing down the steps with Shirley Temple was one of the iconic scenes from 30's movies. ROUEN is a charming city with a great Gothic cathedral, I' m still embarr assed to remember that I suggested we look for the grave of Joan of Ark there! Not only is STMARK Gospel, he was Gospel to the other Gospels, being the first. We know that the others relied on his. GOATRODEO and REGGAETON were new to me, but inferable. I'm not sure that Pope Francis has been around long enough to be considered an ICON just yet.

RooMonster 10:24 AM  

Make that 15 rejected puzzles from Will, as I just checked my e-mail, and there was a rejection mail for both of the last two I sent in! Mailed in at different times, but got the dual rejection in one mail! Ouch! Os he streamlined his rejections...?

I heard it took 20 times before Will accepted a Jeff Chen puz, so at this point is the onlt thing I am holding on to...


Z 10:35 AM  

Mayhap Rex doesn't know STADIUM rock because it is a '70's thing. I could argue that STADIUM and arena rock are different, with the key feature of the STADIUM variety being the anthemic quality, whereas the arena variety is any rock act popular enough to fill 20,000 seats. I say "could" because I think that distinction is sometimes made, but I won't because I think more often the terms are used interchangeably. However, I have to agree with @Steve J and @wreck that Rex is wrong.

Hartley70 10:39 AM  

You'll get there @RooMonster! Think of Susan Lucci and keep plugging away. Victory will be all the sweeter for the wait and we'll be cheering.

mac 10:45 AM  

Nice Friday work-out. The top half went very fast, the grid looks strangely pristine. We discusses stadium rock/Queen, and I remembered. Nice to have the Reggaeton at the other end of the puzzle.

Goat rodea was new to me, but made sense, and also made me think of herding cats, a great expression.

The SW was the hardest for me, maybe because I had nippers for moppets for a while. Then I remembered Wiest and Dunaway, and it fell together.

I ended up with a mistake: Neamu/Dimutapp, plus I have to admit my husband remembered Stassen. He interviewed him once for The Dartmouth.

Maruchka 11:07 AM  

@Leapy - Ah, you wear your ROUX with a difference - food fight!

Fav JAG - XKE.

Sorry to have missed yesterday's puzz, looks yummy.

Ludyjynn 11:08 AM  

Got stymied in the SW for a while, so took an hour's hiatus and came back w/ fresh eyes for a quick finish. I felt the outcome more satisfying than the process; unlike yesterday's totally energizing experience. Overall, agree w/ Rex on this one, but NOTSOFAST, I liked the clueing for the most part.

Thanks, TB and WS

On a side note, 'how'd you like them Os?!' (Baltimore speak for our beloved Orioles baseball team).

Martin 11:32 AM  

In a crossword clue "kind of" means "word that can precede." It's a convention, like abbreviation or foreign language signals.

I've been registering my distaste for "sea anemone clues" for years for the simple reason that American crosswords are not supposed to presuppose any knowledge of cluing rules on the part of the solver (unlike British cryptic puzzles). Sometimes arcane facts, yes. Ability to avoid witty traps, yes. Random conventions, no. "Kind of" clues seem a throwback and subtly un-American.

That said, there's a difference between saying a clue style should be abandoned and saying its examples are "wrong." It's a well-established thing, it's been documented by generations of editors and refusing to recognize it as a signal is like banging your head against the wall.

The sane thing to do is to complain that "kind of" clues violate the philosophy of American crossword cluing ("a clue shall never lie") but for Pete's sake recognize the signal when it's given.

Maruchka 11:32 AM  

@Ludyjynn - If the Giants don't make it and the Os do, I'll ROOT for 'em. Was lucky to be at Yankee STADIUM for Jeter's last week v. Orioles - 5-0 night. A Pyrrhic victory, alas.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 11:34 AM  

STASSEN, ROOTROT and GOAT RODEO were gimmes. Actually, a lot of the long downs caved, once I had a letter or two to build on.

But there was still plenty of mystery meat answers, to slow old M&A down to his usual one hour FriPuz solve jag. So, de busta gut.

Trouble spots:
* DCCAB. Never seen it. Still, I can probably guess what hits the fan.
* DIMETAPP. Sounds vaguely familiar. But if told the answer was DINEOCAPS, i'da had the same response.
* REGGAETON. Gettable from crossers, but absolutely no help in getting the crossers.
* NROTC. Lordy. There's multiple kinds of ROTC? Then what's just plain ROTC? I smell an N of convenience, here...
* YENTx. Similar probs as for @63. My yentometer is permanently busted.

fave weejects: OST. RUS. CIE (the alpha-rare Clue Weeject).

themelessthUmbsUp. Good to see a gal out there tryin to get our goat on a Friday. Thanx, Tracy B.


andy 11:37 AM  

Always makes me chuckle when a puzzle is weak because Rex hadn't heard of something, as if that should have any bearing on anything. Is calculus a useless field because Rex teaches English? GOAT RODEO (which I not only have heard and used, but also really liked), KHALIF, etc., are perfectly legit, NROTC came immediately to mind when USNA didn't fit.

Talk about someone needing vanity plates!

old timer 11:37 AM  

I remember Stassen well. He was a very serious candidate in the 1940's, and became a bit of a joke when he threw his hat in the ring in every election after that, or almost every one (hard to imagine him running against Ike in 1956).

Loved Bojangles. And goat rodeo, which I've definitely heard. Nice to be reminded of the sexy Dunaway.

I would have been a DNF, though, were it not for the Wikipedia app.

evil doug 11:46 AM  

ROTC is the collective. My school offered only the AFROTC variety, but many colleges offer NROTC, AROTC, so forth, so the differentiation is both necessary and valid.


Casco Kid 11:52 AM  

Tough puz. After 40 minutes I had to take a deep breath and delete everything. Some faves
[No longer working] Done
[Steadiness in leadership] StalwArt
[Children] pOPPETS
[No of African countries with Espinoza as off lanf] oNe
[Luxembourg to Nurnburg dir] sSe
[Land of that Irish poet] Eire
[Victor at Gaines Mill . . .] csa

[Musical matchmaker] YENTl

The instinct that gave me all that wrongness also delivered, with equally dubious credibility, STASSEN, ERNST, STASIS, NROTC, PONE, TSETSES, though not all at the same time.

So I started fresh and Googled everything I wasn't absolutely sure about. 16 googles and another 40 minutes later, I finished with one error STMARa/aHALIF. Of course, St Jerome was decided what was Gospel and what was Auf Wiedersehen.
Maybe, STMARa helped? Moreover, I thought for sure the actual gospel writers weren't actually sainted as the Apostle John is always distict from St. John. My priest friend confirms the apostles were in fact canonized. Whew.

Over all experience was good. The puzzle was unsussable with my best guesses, but google able, and that's all I every really need.

evil doug 11:55 AM  

... and in the midst of the latest mess at Michigan, Florida State, ad nauseum, if you want to watch some true student athletes check out the Air Force-Navy game Saturday.

Go Air Force, squish the squids!


Zeke 11:59 AM  

I dislike the "kind of" cluing as much as anyone else. [Insert lengthy discourse about how well I know the conventions, blah, blah blah, lest Martin come and mansplain what he knows I know to me]. One, it's just a cheap avoidance of "____ Rock". FITBs are no-no's, so how does "kind of" make any significant difference, when though it's doing exactly the same thing? Further, since "kind of" actually has a real meaning, why not create an actual clue? If you can't create a real clue, why create an essentially false one simply to avoid a FITB?

I basically enjoyed the puzzle, Naticks aside. The absurdity of GOATRODEO amused me.

Carola 12:00 PM  

Tough, happy to finish. I was ready to say "I FOLD" in the NE - I'd guessed at ErRol crossing CRAYOLA, but then erased it, saw ALARM and got the rest. Liked it!

With the geraniums in my window boxes, I'm always treading the fine line between desiccation and ROOT ROT, so that one was easy. Liked the cross of Faye DUNAWAY and Dianne WIEST (who as movie stars seem like they qualify as ALPHA FEMALES) and HAND x HEART.. I knew ATCO from some ancient 45s I own and STASSEN just from being old.

As a MOPPET, my daughter would have happily gone ON A JAG swilling extra DOSES of grape-flavored DIMETAPP cough syrup, as I discovered when I caught her sneaking nips.

crossvine 12:00 PM  

I don't usually finish Friday puzzles, but found this one pretty easy. I've had some farming experience so I got ROOT ROT easily and can attest that it is definitely a thing.

I was looking for some type of lengthening of Jean Arp's name for the Dadaist clue because I had YENTa. Didn't even know there was a YENTE. Will store that in my hopper for another time.

For a while I had REGGAEdON. In the verb sense. Like someone reggaed on through the night. Got a laugh out of that. But still don't know what REGGAETON is. What does the -TON mean or add?

I've never heard of GOAT RODEO but I like it and will use it to describe my experience on a future Friday puzzle that doesn't go so well.

Lewis 12:00 PM  

Just the opposite of @mac. For me the bottom fell fast -- boom! It was filled. But then I was hunt and peck on top. Didn't know DCCAB, EARLE (is this a crossword standard?), or ALROSEN. Like @rex, I thought of GnatRODEO, and laughed, imagining the quagmire of such an event.

I wonder if KHALIF and CALEB stem from the same ROOT. Looking at the finished puzzle, I started making this loop, with IFOLD going down, and then IRON going up right next to it. IFOLD, IRON, IFOLD, IRON, creases, smoothed out. Yes, I need to get a life.

Lewis 12:22 PM  

Factoid: In Britain, TSETSE is pronounced "tee-tsee". The word itself means "fly" in Tswana, a South African language, and more and more in English "tsetse" without the "fly" is being used, especially in scientific communities.

Quotoid: "I'm SO FAST that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark." -- Muhammad Ali

Martel Moopsbane 12:40 PM  

Don't agree that "relative of Cie." is "LTD" To me, the clue implies a French abbreviation, "LTEE" (which of course doesn't fit).


r.alphbunker 12:43 PM  

@Casco Kid
"The instinct that gave me all that wrongness also delivered, with equally dubious credibility, STASSEN, ERNST, STASIS, NROTC, PONE, TSETSES, though not all at the same time."

Nice observation!!

It brings to mind the scene in "Little Big Man" where the chief goes to the top of the mountain to die, lies there for a while and then gets up and tells Dustin Hoffman, "Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't".

Today the magic worked for me and I broke 20, unusual for a Friday.

Elephant's Child 12:44 PM  

M&A, really liked your N of convenience. Hard on the heels of the P/SOC, we've failed to call out all the frontal EOCs there's been a plague of. Adds up to an L of a LotOC!

Evil, I'd dearly love to see what you look like in an AFRO-TC.

okanaganer 12:44 PM  

Yet again, STADIUM ROCK vs ARENA ROCK dominates the comments. Such a seemingly mundane term spurring such a debate!

Fred Smith 1:43 PM  

Martel M.

I agree that a "relative of Cie." should also be French. I was thinking SARL.

Anonymous 1:51 PM  

PLEEZE! No more about STADIUM, Arena, Pop, Rock, Garage, Grundge or Glam!! Hasn't EVerything been said??

Ogden Nash wrote:
Do you like your Tedium
Rare or Medium?

To paraphrase:
Do you like your STADIUM
Rare or Madium.

Stick a fork in me; I'm DUNAWAY.

AZPETE 2:02 PM  

How is that not cheating?

M and Also 2:36 PM  

@evil... thanx for the inside ROTC info. Woulda been cool if regular collective ROTC got a classier name, too... ROOTROTC?

FYI. Top GOAT RODEO events:
* Goat Rope. Several attendees see this event, alone, and will exclaim "well, there's yer rodeo". Hence the equivalent meaning aspect.
* Goat Bloat. Mentos n Coke. Goats'll eat dern near anything.
* Goat Cheese Cutting. Goat Bloat follow-up. Do not try this at home.
* Brahma Goat Busting. These critters are so mean, that even their nannies hate em.
* Goat Kidding. A goat will only stand so much taunting. Entertainment then ensues.
* Goat Selfies. Rear end versions are surprisingly popular.
* Best Goat Crossspecies Breeding. Last year's winner: Pan.
* Most Pixilated Old Goat. Last year's first runnerup: M&A, btw.
* Goat Derby Race. Last year's winner: Betsy Bob. Ate its derby hat in a world record 11.6 seconds. The Dan F. of yer derby competitors.

Constantly high plains reporter,

Arlene 2:40 PM  

I threw in the towel too fast yesterday so was determined to stick with this one. All those white boxes on a Friday give me the heebie jeebies but I persisted.
And I finished! Yay!
Not perfect - had the same Weist, etc errors others had, but I'm glad I persevered. Must be an ALPHA FEMALE!

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

Couldn't have been medium-challenging -- I finished it. There was some real junk in there, but also some very interesting stuff to balance it off.

The only real problem was at 51-D. I didn't know that Twain and Harte had collaborated on anything, but by running the alphabet I decided the only thing that made sense was AHSIN, and that proved to be correct.

evil doug 2:51 PM  

After graduating from the AFRO Training Corps, my hat didn't fit as well, but I could dance a lot better.

Z 3:06 PM  

I'm not sure 13 comments out of 70 is "dominating." Even this much commentary is mostly a result of Rex's comment. Nevertheless - I agree that this dead horse has been flogged enough.

@AZPETE - Which "this?" Whichever, there is a wide range of solving ability commenting here. I now consider googling a DNF for me, for example. But when I first started reading and commenting here there were many Fridays and Saturdays where getting the right letter in every square by any means at my disposal was a "finish." It's sort of like the Royals and Tigers right now. For the Royals they have already succeeded just by getting this far. For the Tigers and their fans, anything less than a championship will be considered a failure. I'd rather be a Royals fan right now, just because the second guessing and worrying around town is driving me nuts.

As for the "cie" clue - I took it as "not-American" rather than "French" and immediately dropped in LTD while thinking, "yay - not a 'Ford' clue."

@Evil - Your ROTC explanation had me wondering why I didn't know that already. Of course each branch would need it's own version. As for college football - even before the latest escapades with domestic violence and concussions I had vowed not to watch another down of football. With ESPN suspending a guy for calling Goodell a "liar" (along with a few choice words and daring the bosses to do something about the commentary) I'm now on a minimum 3 week hiatus from watching ESPN. Thankfully I lucked out on which network is carrying the AL playoffs, although I do enjoy listening to baseball on the radio.

ZenMonkey 3:18 PM  

I'm always confused by comments that go "I've never heard of this name so this clue must be questionable." Off the top of my head there are two KHALIFs in pro sports; one's an Oakland Raider and I think the other plays in the NBA. I'm sure a Google search would turn up other people.

I got it because I was thinking of Wiz Khalifa, though.

Numinous 3:28 PM  

REGGAETON? A more preferred spelling might be reguetón according to the Puerto Rican Academy of the Spanish Language. There is a wiki article on Reggaeton here and some examples here and here, the latter being a 2004 worldwide hit for Daddy Yankee. The former has some pretty hot dancing if you're into that sort of thing.

I had to google WEIST, NEAME, and EARLE. Otherwise, I finished in about the same time as M&A. I enjoyed the struggle nevertheless. There was a lot of staring going on and the googles only helped marginally. Eventually everything else gave itself up, even STASSEN which gave me REGGAETON, a total personal NATICK before today. So I learned something.

I sure hope we see more of Tracy Bennett's work in the not too distant future.

Anonymous 3:34 PM  

TBS is nothing to write home about!
Tuesday night they "taught" me that the shortstop plays "somewhere between second base and third base" and the right field is "on my right."

Brilliant stuff!

Ludyjynn 4:35 PM  

@Maruchka, I was hoping for an Orioles v. Giants World Series match-up so that we'd be watching both teams attired in orange and black for Halloween!

RnRGhost57 6:05 PM  

@Lewis, I believe Satchel Paige said that quotoid before Muhammad Ali did. But could be wrong.

@andy: every now and then OFL gets on a jag where if he hasn't heard of a word or term, then "it doesn't exist"/"it's not a thing" yadda yadda yadda. It's embarrassing for all concerned.
Sorry to say, but "goat rodeo," "stadium rock" (I first heard it in the 1970s--both the music and the term), and "NROTC" simply are not that arcane.

The irony is that many of us do crossword puzzles in part because we enjoy learning new words and terms.

Anonymous 6:26 PM  

@CascoK, am thoroughly impressed with your working in Espinoza.
@Lewis, terrific to combine laundry with puzzling: IFOLD, IRON, lol. But in Crown Heights, TSETSE is pronounced 'tsitsis...
@M&A, you're kidding with us, right

El-Efant's Child

Yvette 6:33 PM  

Yentl is the name of the Streisand movie--how is Yente "a musical matchmaker" then?

Anonymous 6:49 PM  

@Yvette - YENTE was the name of a Yenta (a matchmaker) in Fiddler on The Roor.

Lewis 6:55 PM  

@yvette -- Yenta is the matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof.

Anonymous 12:54 AM  

Like many others, I stuck with YENTa for 29D because I never heard of YENTE. I suppose we all probably should have remembered ERNST from the September 7 puzzle (clued as "Noted Dadaist").

35A MOHS was familiar only because we saw it last Tuesday on September 30, otherwise "Neale" would have seemed like a more reasonable cross than NEAME.

Guessed right in the SW for 59D WIE__, 51D AH_IN, 56D A_CO only because "sin" and "Atlantic Records" were the least unreasonable choices.

Too many Naticks on this one. I think Will Shortz gave a relatively new contributor a break in accepting this one, which fell a bit short of the mark. There is always a tradeoff between satisfyingly long answers and the obscure fill you sometimes have to cross them with, but the obscure fill shouldn't cluster together or cross with itself.

Anonymous 6:21 AM  

Three wrong squares, but still proud.

I spent about three-and-a-half hours on the puzzle.

Didn't get Neale, Wiest, nor Ernst.

Proud to have had Alterna before figuring out Stadium (Kind of rock).

It's hard to imagine anyone under 40 who listens to music that doesn't know Reggaeton. This was inescapable in the early 2000s.

I'll Trade You is really clever. Arsonists not so much (I expect a lot out of crime clues).

My miracle was getting Dunaway. Never seen the movie, but knew (roughly) the movie's era and had the D.

In hindsight, I was a bit dense to stick with Arnst, but I feel proud of a DNF when I don't have that I-should-have-gotten-that feeling.

Amelia 5:05 PM  

@rex If you've watched THE WIRE and if you haven't, why not, then you know who Isiah Whitlock, Jr is. He has a mannerism that is prevalent in that and probably other films and other TV shows. Here it is: Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit. You could look it up. Wait. Here's a whole article about it:

Yvette 1:03 AM  


Jeffrey Dowling 4:05 AM  

I am here to give testimony on how i got my wife back

My name is Benjamin Michael , my family and i live in United States.It was after seven years i got to discover that my wife was unfaithful to me.I didn’t know what was going on at first but as she got deep in the affair with her new lover, i felt that our marriage was on the rocks.I notice that she no longer light up when i touch her or kiss her in her neck and her chest cos she really liked it when i did that, she also usually get naked in front of me but when she started seeing that guy she stopped it.I remember asking her if i have done anything that makes her feel irritated when i am around her then she gives silly excuses that she has been feeling stressed up and that she need space for a while.I know when you are been asked for space its usually because there is something fishy is going on.I hired a private investigator to help find out what was going on.And in a week time he brought me prove that my wife that i have lived with for seven straight year is cheating on me with her high school lover.I had picture of her walking out a of a restaurant with him and many other photo of them kissing in public like she will never be caught by someone that knows she is my wife.I asked myself, even when we had a daughter together she could this to me.That same night i showed her the pictures that i got from my private investigator.She didn’t look at it before saying, that she is seeing someone and she know that i just found out about it.Then she said that she is in love with him.At that moment, i didn’t know if to kill myself or to kill her but the button line is that if i was going to kill anyone it was going to be me cos i was so much in love with her to even think of thinking to hurt her.As time when on she asked for a divorce and got it and even got custody of our daughter and i was all alone by myself.For a year i tried all i could to get her back with the help of my seven year old daughter.Even at that all effect was in vain, i used the help of her friend but turned out all bad.I know most people don’t believe in spell casting but believe me this was my last option and the result i most say was impressive.And i know it difficult to believe but A SPELL CASTER Dr brave really made my life much better cos he gave me my family back.He didn’t ask me to pay for what he did for me all i was to do, was to provide the materials for the spell and believe that he had the power to help me.Like he said, he was going to do something that will make her reset her love and affection for me just as it has always been.My wife told me she woke up and realized that she should have never left me that i am all she needs.To make thing clear, her life with her high school lover was great before Dr brave castled the spell they had no disagreement on anything.The guy said it himself that why she broke up with him is unexplainable.Only Dr brave can do such a thing contact him to solve your problem with his EMAIL:, or kindly visit he website . .He is real. CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS

Jeffrey Dowling 8:36 PM  

I want to testify that my wife is back after a Divorce !!!

Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in Texas,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{} , Thanks.

james mack 9:08 AM  

My name is carol williams ,from U.S.A,in 2014 May precisely marked our 4 years of marriage without a baby or fruit of the worm, my husband wasn't happy with this problem we encounter in the family, he went out and decide to live with his colleague in office,since them my life turn down.after 5 month not seeing my husband a lady l shared apartment with introduce a Man to me DR.Ogboni.I explained my problem to him.he posted some powerful spiritual item to my Home through carrier service.he instructed me on how to use the spiritual item,without paying any Money,to my surprise after 3days he did and my husband came back to me,both of us cry our eye out 2 months later when we moved back together when i told him i was pregnant for him that we are going to have a baby l promise to share my experience because I strongly believe someone may also be in the position. you can contact him via email;(

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

Some of this puzz was good. and the other? Meh. I couldn't finish snarlat and reggaeton and I don't care. If it weren't for Leonard Maltin's film book I wouldn't have known the proper nouns. And, Khalif, are you kidding me? Goat Rodeo?? C'mon.

Ron Diego, La Mesa CA 1149=6

OK, Syndies, you're turn

spacecraft 11:34 AM  

This syndie liked it. C'mon, how can you not ike a grid with BOJANGLES in it?

First run-through, I had nada. Then I noticed DUNAWAY, and wormed in there; soon the SW was done. No clue what went after REGGAE on the last across, but good ol' Harold STASSEN came to the rescue. Sometimes it pays to be old.

My TESTY guy was at first naSTY, and that caused a near-halt to things. Took a while to see ANGLERS and ARSONISTS (ha!), but ROOTROT I knew. Was pleased that YARD (Yet Another Random Direction) turned out to be: not ENE or SSE or such, but OST. No flag there.

Yeah, DCCAB and TSETSES and STASSEN are crutchy, but there's nothing here that is gonna make me TESTY. Another puzzle that I finished despite a huh?? start, I give it an A-.

1423, can I behead it?

Old Texan 12:33 PM  

Agree with Evil Doug re Goat Rope. Down here we have a saying: "I've been to three county fairs and a Goat Ropin' and I've never seen anything like this!"

rondo 12:38 PM  

Lots and lots and lots of write-over ink on the grid today. Basically solved from the bottom up with toeholds at DUNAWAY and STASSEN. (Went to the former "boy wonder" STASSEN's visitation at the MN capitol rotunda some years ago.) igneoUs rock; so certain, so wrong. But I'll take this kind of puzzle over some of what we've seen lately; thumbs up for Mr. Bennet's offering.

3702 - IFOLD

DMG 1:53 PM  

Struggled with this one! Eventually got the North, but the SW was hampered by dosing with DeMiTAPP, (only remembered from long gone commercials) and no idea about Dianne or the record label. The SE was victim to YENTa and wanting Arp. Did get STASSEN, but not before toying with HUMPHREY, which, fortunately, wouldn't fit. Liked the clue for ARSONISTS, and smiled at memories of BOJANGLES.

Hey, 4014!!!

rain forest 1:54 PM  

I liked the puzzle despite a DNF in the NE (feel stupid that CRAYOLA wouldn't come to me), but I also didn't know the movie or CALEB Carr.

Even as a Canadian, I remember Harold Stassen's name, though I couldn't tell you what he looked like.

Not much to grumble about in this one, although of course there was much grumbling over minutiae, as always, as well as too much "Look at me and how I play with words", which only gives me a reason to scroll on by. It's OK, I guess, though.

2535. 6. Tied with Ron Diego, so far.

Anonymous 3:53 PM  

To me this was a goat f___! I'm not going to let it Rouen my Friday, though! I'm going to pretend it never happened!

Waxy in Montreal 4:41 PM  

Tale of two puzzles. One was all gimmes: ANGLERS, DUNAWAY, STASSEN, STASIS, DIMETAPP. The other was all huhs?: GOATRODEO, REGGAETON, CLARO, STADIUM (rock), NEAME.

Saved by great clueing such as for ARSONISTS and STMARK.

Big fan of ALROSEN in the early '50s but never heard him called that! Hope it was meant as a compliment.

433. UNO!

Dirigonzo 4:46 PM  

I like ? clues and when I saw "Ones who get lighter sentences?" at 1a I wrote in ARSONISTS and knew it would be right. ROOTROT confirmed it and everything above the diagonal line just kind of flowed in. Another ? gave me ALPHAFEMALE to open up the SW that diagonal half of the grid. Sadly WEISs/AsCO caused the effort to end in a DNF, but it was a fun DNF.

SRenne 5:32 PM  

Is goat rodeo regional? I grew up in southeastern Indiana and am familiar with the expression.

Anonymous 11:21 PM  

Hey, Syndies!
If anyone is still here, what are the numbers for at the end of some of your comments?
I was happy to have a sub-hour DNF, due to Ah Sin and Ernst. AT ANY RATE, I liked the big grid even if I'm NOT SO FAST.

Waxy in Montreal 1:40 AM  

@Anonymous 11:21 PM: they're our captchas which for the last several months have mostly been strings of numbers. Then in some variant of baccarat, I think the numbers get tallied as follows -
Captcha is 1562. Adding the digits gives 1+5+6+2=14. Then 1+4=5. Winner is the person with the highest final number. (Many in syndiland have far too much time on their hands!)

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