Bespectacled chipmunk / FRI 3-6-15 / Actress Anna of Mom / Cozy lie per Susan Sontag / FiveThirtyEight owner / Schwarzenegger movie with oxymoronic title / Success is great deodorant speaker / Onetime 2600 Jr maker / Divine trees in book of dead / Washington's first secretary of war / Jazz fusion artist with Elektric band / Bassist Cook of Creedence Clearwater Revival

Friday, March 6, 2015

Constructor: David Phillips

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Anna FARIS (2D: Actress Anna of "Mom") —
Anna Kay Faris[1] (/ˈɑːnə ˈfærɨs/;[2] born November 29, 1976) is an American actress and singer. She is known for her comedic roles as Cindy Campbell in the Scary Movie film series (2000–2006), Kelly in Lost in Translation (2003), Shelley in The House Bunny(2008), Serena in Waiting... (2005), Hannah in My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), the voice of Sam Sparks in the animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) and its sequel Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013), Rachel Johnson in Yogi Bear (2010), Ally Darling in What's Your Number? (2011), Zoey in The Dictator (2012) and Chloe in I Give It a Year (2013).
On television, she has played the role of Christy Plunkett on the CBS sitcom Mom since 2013 and appeared as Erica in the final season of the NBC sitcom Friends (2004). (wikipedia)
• • •

Not interesting enough, not hard enough. The clusterf*ck of names in the NE (TOKLAS, KNOX, ATARI with a CORP somehow attached…) took me a little effort to put together, but otherwise, every corner's long answers fell one-two-three. Slightly ridiculous. Actually, I botched AFC SOUTH out of the gate (I had AFC NORTH because … I still can't accept Indianapolis as a Southern city …) but got AMPLE and FARIS and realized my mistake very quickly thereafter. Easy entree to the middle, and once EY- dropped into the front of 33-Across, I knew before looking at the clue that I was dealing with EYE-something. Clue made answer, and the cross-referenced answer, instantly obvious. I might have been aided there by *just* having read a 1980 Doonesbury collection entitled A Tad Overweight, But Violet Eyes to Die For (Trudeau did a run of strips making fun of Taylor's then-husband, Republican John Warner, during his bid for the Senate in Virginia in 1978), but I think I would've nailed that one regardless. So, very quickly, my grid looked like this:

The remaining corners were done with virtually no thought. We don't have DEL TACO out here, so that DE---CO took some thinking. That was virtually the only remaining answer that took some thinking. TWOS and DEL TACO gave me enough to get all the Acrosses along the top of the SW, and then all the Downs immediately thereafter. No struggle.

Junky fill down there made the remaining few squares tougher than the entire rest of the corner had been, but even LIGERS and COREA and SML and ANADEM and MEDI (frowny faces, all) weren't *that* tough. That left just the SE, where pretty much the same thing happened. Got front ends of long Acrosses, then *all* the long Acrosses in quick succession:

Ten seconds later, the puzzle was done. It's not just that the puzzle was easy—it simply wasn't that engaging. Entirely adequate, but also ho-hum. Nothing more to say. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. if any of you know the screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, please let him know I have mail for him. Someone sent something to him care of me, for reasons that remain Utterly Mysterious …


jae 12:20 AM  

Medium-tough over all with NW and SE easy-medium, SW medium, and NE super tough!   Unlike Rex, LIZ TAYLOR took a lot of crosses and although I know who TOKLAS  is the book was a WOE.  Plus KNOX and ATARI with CORP at the end were not on the tip of my tongue.  So, spent most of my time on this one sussing out that corner. 

Trivia Crack has finally paid off.  I missed a question the other day about Julien in the Madagascar movies and had a gimme today as a result.

This was a decent Fri. work out for me, liked it even though there wasn't much zip. 

Carola 12:21 AM  

I CONCUR with @Rex on its being easy. One do-over: vANITY before SANITY and a few slow spots at DELTACO, LIGERS, ANADEM, but otherwise, this was a fast Friday for me.

Plenty to like, though: SYCAMORES, TRITON, DOTARD over TENURE (some really should retire), SANITY over PROZAC, ONES over TWOS (and a misspelled TRESS).


David Phillips 12:41 AM  

@Carola: Thank you for finding the SANITY/PROZAC pairing (and others). I'm glad someone spotted my subliminal messages! =)

wreck 12:44 AM  

This was not my quickest Friday ever, but right up there! This just seemed to be right in my wheelhouse. A year ago, I would have never gotten UMAMI, now it went right in. I chalk it up to reading this blog everyday - live and learn!

Steve J 12:47 AM  

Pretty easy here, and decent overall. Agreed that some of the short fill is quite rough, and there wasn't anything I was wowed by, I thought the bulk of this was solid if unspectacular.

Only areas of slowness were the NW, where it took me a while to remember PROZAC (I had both Zantac and Zyrtec there at various points, never mind that neither heartburn nor allergies tend to by synonymous with depression) the center-left, where I dooked for a while on DELTA CO.

chefwen 1:22 AM  

Pretty easy Friday for me (a rare occurrence.). Avatar took umbrage at 46D. He is a Goldendoodle and very pround of his lineage. Maybe not accepted into the AKC quite yet, but hopefully soon.

I always want to spell TOKLAS as TOlkAS. I have no idea why, someday I'll remember, maybe.

Lee Coller 1:45 AM  

Easy except for the NE. Too many proper nouns that I didn't know or couldn't infer. I knew Atari was the maker of the 2600, but that corp on the end really threw me.

Moly Shu 2:00 AM  

vANITY first also like @carola and the exact same reaction to UMAMI as @wreck.

I like a LIGER it's pretty much my favorite animal, bred for it's skills in magic.

DebinSac 2:02 AM  

I didn't find this puzzle easy at all, mostly because I knew so few of the proper names. Ended two letters short of finishing. Also, just got around to looking at Thursday's write-up, so thanks for the picture of MadBum, Rex. I didn't think an East Coast person would know the nickname. You must be a baseball fan.

Thomas808 3:45 AM  

Normally, I don't like a puzzle that's too easy for the day of the week, and I finished this one 20 min below average so I guess I would have to call it easy. But I think it was just in my wheelhouse and I really enjoyed it. Started with 1A and 61A as gimmes, so had solid anchors in the NW and SE. From there I worked the rest out with a guess on DENIAL. The NE was the toughest. Really liked the clues for PUTTER and TENURE (is Rex fire-safe?). Wanted Europa for 7D, but yielded.

Never heard of ANADEM. In Hawaii a head wreath is called a haku lei. It makes anyone who wears one on a special occasion, man or woman, look particularly distinguished. A very nice cultural practice that whatever culture gave us the word ANADEM must have understood.

pfb 6:57 AM  

Not that easy for me, and the NE corner (particularly TOKLAS) drove me nuts. PROZAC should have been a gimme, but it is one of things I know but can never recall when I need to.

Had some time to get this done since my normal morning activities (swimming and then work) were cancelled and delayed, respectively.

Elle54 7:04 AM  

I liked it! Not too easy , not too hard. Only one person with violet eyes--Liz!

RAD2626 7:12 AM  

Very fast Friday. Clues just all fit for some reason. Like @chefwen have trouble spelling TOlkAS, and like @Thomas808 never heard of ANADEM. Final letter was my last entry and had to go through alphabet to fill in S_L. Had trouble sizing up found in racks clue.

Sir Hillary 8:07 AM  

NW and SE were leading me to my easiest Friday solve ever, but the NE and SW proved harder. I made some dumb errors in the NE -- zantAC, dYECOLOR, TWEenS -- which hurt. In the SW, it just took me a while to get on the right wavelength. SIDESALAD and PRICELINE took far longer than they should have, and I kept wanting alfRankeN for 31D (thankfully, I never wrote it in). Like @RAD2626, my last letter in was the ANADEM/SML cross, with M being a somewhat inferable but ultimately lucky guess.

Nice grid. I wish it had been clued harder and more cleverly.

Pac-Man 8:13 AM  

I know ATARI CORP., but is DELTA CO. the airline's or the faucet manufacturer's official name?

joho 8:18 AM  

Loved the clues for EXTRA and PETNAMES.

I thought NARY meant none not "Hardly" so I learned something there.

Definitely easy for a Friday but I'll take easy now and again.

Am I looking forward to a beast of a Saturday? ITSADATE!

Horace S. Patoot 8:23 AM  

A couple of the clues poked me in the ribs. First my deliberate cross breed Zoe is now a MUTT (They didn't mean it, girl.)

Then there's the doubly skeptical clue, "Supposed 'fifth taste'", with fifth taste in quotes. Common usage may dictate language, but not science. UMAMI. Our new sensory friend.

Horace S. Patoot 8:23 AM  

A couple of the clues poked me in the ribs. First my deliberate cross breed Zoe is now a MUTT (They didn't mean it, girl.)

Then there's the doubly skeptical clue, "Supposed 'fifth taste'", with fifth taste in quotes. Common usage may dictate language, but not science. UMAMI. Our new sensory friend.

NCA President 8:25 AM  

Since we now know David is reading these comments, TOME this puzzle was {insert hyperbole here}!

But seriously, it was good.

I had zoloft before PROZAC. I got almost the entire NW just by filling in the smugness gave way when it came time to work in the NE thanks to zoloft and then prozac and then zoloft and then prozac...after a while I felt like I need one or two of each.

I knew COREA or otherwise I might have gone with hertz at 50A and done the same thing in that corner as I did in the NE.

I was going to complain about the clue to REENTER but I just now got the "joke."

I do not know what a TOKLAS is or what an ANADEM is.

That is all.

Apropos of nothing...with all due respect and reverence to those poor souls in the actual NE and the amount of snow they've received (Thanks, Obama!), I am so sad to announce the parting of a longtime Nashville, TN friend, #snowdome. We had gone four years and almost a month without a snow accumulation over 1". Yesterday we got 2.7". #snowdome is dead, long live #snowdome.

I hope you all put down your coffee, or your bourbon, or your half-caf chais, and take moment of silence to remember our dear friend. He was loved by all northern transplants, but reviled by school children everywhere.

SaratogaRusty 8:34 AM  

I'm sure my labradoodle, Murray, would also have been a little put off by 46 across. Fortunately, he's been busy binge watching the lost episodes of Lassie on Netflix, so hasn't had time for the puzzle lately. Dogs are people too!

Rhino 8:41 AM  

I was well on my way to my second cheat-less Friday (since the November update of the iPad app) until the NE ruined me. Had Zoloft, thought violet was someone's daughter. Knew Atari, but didn't put it in because it's not 9 letters.

So I finished the morning a big fat cheater without a streak. Dammit. It's absurd how excited/disappointed this makes me.

L 8:42 AM  

I had APPETIZER PRICELINE ALFRANKEN and I couldn't break out of that mess. I should've cracked this one. DNF.

Leapfinger 8:55 AM  

Even worse, SANITY riding on EXTRA PROZAC! Being leery of Big Pharma as I am, "Paxil vobiscum", sez I. In truth, a SIDE from all the yummy edibles, I thought the best grouping was SEE MUTT CON_CUR.

Despite getting PROZAC and SANITY in short order, NE was toughest for me too, mostly for thinking the 'success-deodorant ' quote sounded like dIZzydean. I figured that _NO_ had to be either Enos or Knox, and once I focused on the K, I saw Alice B TOKLAS and that did it. I never thought @Rex and I had very much in common, but I also have that "Violet Eyes to Die For". Have been a fan of Garry T's since Mike Doonesbury and Wm Sloane Coffin were mere squiggles in the Yalie Daily.

Harking back to yesterday (no spoilage, @Tita, I promise!), I saw a California MARINARABITUE (ouch, that must have hurt). Also, it seems that the buzz among Cariocas is about the JEFENEK Kid on the Ipanema beach.

Really, NO MORE TWERPS is a great rallying cry, and I liked all the 6's, 8's and 9's. The only 3 that bothered me was 20A: you can't see what's inside a TIN, so I'm convinced the best fancy foods come in glass containers. SAURy,

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, thus CREPES this petty pace. Hope you all enjoy it, and the snow and ice hasn't been too fierce.

Thnx, DP!

Anonymous 8:58 AM  

Sorry, your "designer dog" *is* a mutt. Pure breeding is a cruel practice and not something to aspire to anyways.

Gregor Mendel 9:19 AM  

Right. Selecting for purely cosmetic traits brings on all sorts of secondary anatomic problems, and inbreeding allows deleterious alleles to be expressed. Here's to hybrid vigor!!

Loren Muse Smith 9:30 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 9:31 AM  

A lot harder for me than most.

"sync up" for CONCUR (off the CU in RECEIPT and PUTTER)

"Zoloft" for PROZAC and didn't even question it until the bitter end (mornin', @NCA President, @Rhino). Actually my first thought was Wellbutrin. How do I know all these names for SSRIs????

Anyway, I agree with @Carola -SANITY over PROZAC does look cool. So, David, nice one! (Fwiw, I kept resisting TRUE LIES for 61A because of the clue for SANITY, "cozy lie.") And PRICELINE/ALAMO cross was good.

COW as a verb was interesting. Makes you revisit "cower." Is one who cowers a cow? Or a cowee? And I always thought CRIMP meant more like you pinch something into waves, not ringlets, so the northwest gave me a fit.

Another eye-opener for me: TIN is fancy. Yep. I bet I would happily pay a lot more for a TIN of tuna than a can of tuna. I wonder if TIN just feels British and hence fancier?

Along the same lines, MUTT - I know people who own these designer crosses. (I've shared here before that I have a friend with a shih tzu/poodle cross, which she says is a shiht-poo.) @Chefwen, @Horace S. Patoot, @SaratogaRusty - five'll get you ten that most of these owners go to great extremes not to use MUTT, cur, mongrel when referring to their hybrids. You pay $10 dollars for a thing of tuna and it's a TIN. You pay over $1000 for a mixed breed, and it's definitely not a MUTT. (My daughter and I made sure never to let our cat know he was just a Domestic Short Hair whenever he was within earshot.)

TWERP, like "dweeb," is just a fun word. Are they fun because of what they represent or because of how they sound? Must be the former because words like "tweed," "twist," "dwell," and "dwindle" aren't really knee-slappers.

All in all, an enjoyable Friday fill. I had a dnf owing to the COREA/ANADEM cross. I guessed "Coria/anadim. Ah me.

Maruchka 9:32 AM  

God bless LIZ. The NE was looking pretty bare until violet EYECOLOR - who else? - put her in the mix.

NE is TOp KLAS, TOME. 3 top girls, too (thanks, David!). Like that the Sontag borders Alice and crosses LIZ, altho first guess for her title was fAmIlY. Many cozy, unTRUE LIES, often.

Fav of the day - ANADEM. Only knew of laurel and diadem. Does it pop up in any poetry?

@chefwen - Tolkas is ringing a vague bell. A Tolkien character? Love your puppy pic.

Nancy 9:35 AM  

Who knew that TOKLAS wrote murder mysteries?

Calling all chefs (bea and wen): I ran the alphabet to find the SIDE in SIDE SALAD, but I don't like it as an "alternative to soup." Soup is a starter and a salad that's a starter is not a side of any kind. A side is served with, and to the side of, the main course.

EYE COLOR led me to LIZ TAYLOR (she is the only person ever with violet eyes!), but beyond her and RON REAGAN, which came in on just a few letters, I didn't know most of the proper names and they really annoyed me. Found this puzzle tough because of those names and a slog.

Nancy 9:39 AM  

@lms -- Oh, I hadn't read your post. I also had SYNC UP in place of CONCUR (and therefore DELTACY for the company.) I thought I was the only one and I felt too ashamed to mention it!!!!

Maruchka 9:41 AM  

BTW @chefs - I had a copy of the Alice B. TOKLAS cookbook for years and, once, made the famous 'fudge' recipe. Sticky fingers, and boy did it work!

Ludyjynn 9:42 AM  

My so-called MUTT, Honey the cockapoo, sat contentedly on my lap as I solved this pleasant puzz. There is an excellent book by Norma Bennett Woolf entitled "Hot Dogs! Fourteen of the Top Designer Dogs", in which she thoroughly profiles the most popular crossbred dogs. She writes: "Today's purebred dogs are most often the result of early combinations of breeds crossed to produce dogs of particular temperament, aptitude, size, coat type, bone structure and skill." So have faith, @ChefWen et al. that sooner or later, our precious "hybrids" will be seen traipsing around the ring at Westminster or Crupps!

The entire South fell quickly, starting w/ UMAMI and DENIAL. Had to spend more time in the NW, but like others have said, the NE
took the longest to crack. La LIZ and her gorgeous EYEs opened it up at last.

New word for me: ANADEM.

Uh oh, I'm getting THE STARE and THE DANCE. A certain MUTT is now demanding to go out and romp in the fresh foot of snow. But its 10 degrees and I am warm and toasty inside. Guess who wins this battle of wills...gotta run.

Thanks, DP and WS.

chefbea 9:45 AM  

Yummy puzzle although I had a tough time with liger.

Crepes, mozzarella sticks dunked in marinara sauce, with a side salad. Will have to wash it down with some Mateus (from the other day)!!

Rex Porker 10:08 AM  

I am Rex Porker. I am a spoiled, cocky jerk who thinks constructors and editors should TAYLOR their puzzles to my every need. I have very rigid criteria for how a puzzle should be constructed and presented to my perfect palate, and any puzzle that doesn't meet them makes me rant like a TWERP. This one was too boring, too easy, too many brand names, sloppy grid, a reach, weak fill. It offended my oh-so-perfect crossword sensibilities. And I think it is so clever to. type. with. a lot. of. periods. Just. no. And to repeat myself ad nauseum. Now bring me a perfect puzzle or I'm going to hold my breath!

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

@Nancy, I guess you've never had a choice of "soup or (SIDE)SALAD" as an accompaniment to your meal? You must eat at finer establishments than the rest of us.

John Child 10:12 AM  

I've got a jar full of UMAMI in the fridge - little fermented tofu cubes preserved in chili oil. Among other things we make baking powder biscuits with one of these flavor bombs in the center.

Another easy puzzle like everything this week. I was up before the electronic puzzle was released (07:45 here), so I did it on paper with no writeovers.

ANADEM and diadem are both from Greek, with the root of "around," but diadem is apparently specifically about a crown or royal wear. Hmmm. Any linguists want to enlighten us?

Ludyjynn 10:20 AM  

We're back! Oops, earlier, I meant to write CRUFTS for the British dog show. Bad dog!

@LMS, my DSH cat, Felix, has such a finely developed sense of self worth that he doesn't care what he's called, as long as its not 'late for dinner'.

I have officially thrown in the snow shoveling towel and have bribed the neighbor's teen to do the heavy lifting/cleanup. Of course, he probably won't get around to it til late afternoon, since he's most likely still asleep as I write this. Beggars can't be choosers.

Tita 10:23 AM  

Level 2 dnf. Guessed right at ANAD_M/COR_A, but had to reveal a coupla letters to get the NW. Only could remember alviN, and was wanting phobOs or deimOs for TRITON.

Agree re: TIN...I tried buN...thought I was clever...

Not wanting to sound like a reverse snob, but MUTT has a far better ring to it in my book.

@Maruchka...bless Liz indeed...I had absolutely nothing but ECRU when I saw the Violet clue...that opened up the entire east, but it stayed a struggle throughout.

I also liked EXTRA clue, but not the over-abundance of proper names.

Overall, a good Friday fight.
Thanks, Mr. Philips.

mathguy 10:44 AM  

@Nancy: I agree with you. A SIDESALAD is not an alternative to soup. A salad which would be a first dish (and therefore an alternative to soup) would appear in the "Salad" section of the menu. Side salads aren't listed independently on the menu. At least in my neck of the woods.

Not easy for me. I had to call in The Closer early to get me over the hump. TWOS gave me SPRAWL and opened up the lower left.

Things I learned. Liz Taylor is famous for her violet eyes. Alice B. Toklas wrote a mystery.

John Madden does a segment on local radio. When talking about the locker room discord of teams which are not doing well, he often says "Winning is the best deodorant."

I liked it very much.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:46 AM  

It seems Happy Birthday wishes are due to Crossworld's favorite cookie! According to Trivia Today, "Today in History -
March 6, 1912 -
OREO sandwich cookies were first introduced by the National Biscuit Co., which later became Nabisco."

Oh, yeah, today's puzzle: Started with SE, then NW, than SW, with slight problem at 45 D, had SUN RA, fit so well with 45 A as SYNC UP (hi, lms!), neither correct. But the NE was a total DNF. Got as far as EXTRA and KNOX; complete blank from there. One of those days when Rex and a majority of others say EASY and I say WHA??? But I just that I had spent enough time on this and it just wasn't going to open up to me.

AZPETE 10:52 AM  

Agree. NE made it difficult. Also Anadem. Who or WTF is that?

jberg 10:52 AM  

Yeah, @Tita, who is this SIMON chipmunk? Alvin in that space held me up for a long time, especially as it worked with a lineup of taxiS outside the premier. Hertz didn't last as long, but eff for "Fire starter" did. Also aweS before COWS (admittedly better).

So, all in all, I found this pretty hard -- combination of ambiguous cluing and proper names. And, I have to admit, thinking the football divisions were all East or West, even though that obviously wouldn't fit. And that that moon must be Phobos or Deimos.

I'm with @Nancy on the SIDE SALAD -- if you get it instead of your soup, it's not a side, it's an appetizer; and I go to a bistro for rongeons de veau or rillettes, not for CREPES. Those are fine points, though.

Searching for Murder in the Kitchen is interesting -- the Toklas memoir is pretty low on the list, but you also get a teen-oriented murder mystery and an except by the Zen philosopher Alan Watts.

LIGERS and the clue for MUTT went together well, although if zoos really exhibit the former it's kind of horrifying-- hard to see a valid purpose in that. As a certified DOTARD, however, I'm more appalled that people now think MUTT is a pejorative term. Back when, it was pretty universally believed that the mutt was the All-American dog, much to be preferred over those silly purebreds, which were likely to be unhealthy and temperamental. But then, everybody knew about Alice B. Toklas back then, as well.

I think I did enjoy this one, once I got it -- but so many rabbit holes!

Leapfinger 10:54 AM  


I knew I had seen it somewhere, and just minutes ago found ANADEM in Shelley's Adonais; An Elegy on the Death of John Keats:

XI One from a lucid urn of starry dew
Wash'd his light limbs as if embalming them;
Another clipp'd her profuse locks, and threw
The wreath upon him, like an ANADEM,
Which frozen tears instead of pearls begem;
Another in her wilful grief would break
Her bow and winged reeds, as if to stem
A greater loss with one which was more weak;
And dull the barbed fire against his frozen cheek.

I'm lucky it cropped up in the 11th stanza: the durn thing runs through 55.

I assume that feeling like chopped liver will pass in a little while,

Roo Monster 11:02 AM  

Hey All !
Thought this was going to be easy, got the NW and SE quickly, but then bogged down in the SW, and thoroughly flummoxed in the NE. I threw in the towel with many empty squares. Turns out, much wrongness, even in the SW, S center, had syNCUp for CONCUR, not letting me see TACOBELL, even though the slogan was familiar. N center also empty, it's like my brain turned off.

So, went from easy to impossible to quit and major DNF. So it goes. Did like AMPLE FARIS! She is sexy!


Tita 11:03 AM  

@AnonyAnarchist from yesterday...spoiler alert...I am a time traveler...I answered you today on yesterday's blog!!!

(Did I really just spend 5 minutes of my life on that? Sheesh.)

Gregor Mendel 11:06 AM  

It's legitimate to say that Liz Taylor is the only person currentlytouted -- in the Western world -- to have violet eyes, but it's absolutely ridiculous to say that she's the only person ever to have them. (a) It's absolutely impossible to know that for a fact and (b) it's highly unlikely to be true, given the laws of genetic inheritance and the lack of evidence that either of her parents were exposed to significant amounts of mutagens

Lindsay 11:11 AM  

I haven't been posting (or lurking) here lately, but having just mailed my ACPT entry was inspired to check in. For my effort I have gained the very important reminder to CHECK YOUR CROSSES.

The NE got off on a bad foot when I put "liz" at 9D instead of LIZ TAYLOR at 12D, an error that led to "Zoloft" at 18A. Eventually straightened that out, but finished at 16A with ?A?ITY and surmised that Susan Sontag might think that (gender) pArITY was a cozy lie. 'Cuz how am I supposed to remember Secretary Krox from way back when?


Not letting my little dog Hester read today's comments. She's a shepherd mix (aka MUTT) from the shelter.

Wendy the Snowperson 11:17 AM  

Al Franken, appetizer. Guessed the Colts' division had to be East or West. Never heard of Del Taco. Anadem?
I understand why some clues end in question marks, but I don't see the need for them.
Finished, but a big dnf for me. Sigh.

nick 11:18 AM  

Not easy here as the slew of random trivia clogging the puzzle wasn't familiar. For me, it's the waste of a Friday puzzle in the service of a sub-par quiz. (Cranky.)

Nancy 11:26 AM  

@Anon 10:10 a.m. Seems I eat at the sorts of places where mathguy and jberg eat. These restaurants have much to recommend them. You should try one sometime.

AnonyAnarchist 11:34 AM  

@Ms Tita,

I matched your 5 with my 3, which I consider equivalence. Shall gently suggest that commenting on yesterday's blog is no more "time travel" than writing in next month's Dear Diary, and is more nuisance than the exchange warrants. I doubt I'll dance to your tune again.

Numinous 11:35 AM  

I messed around with orbitz and kayak before Capt. Kirk whispered PRICELINE in my ear. Well, maybe having IROBOT and ECRU helped a little. I never heard of the ATARI 2600 or the 2600 jr but I did once own an ATARI st for its MIDI capabilities. Even so, I entered commodore first. That made the NE difficult but thinking TWEen before TWERP made me erase commocore. I got _YECOLOR and was thinking dYE but finally HABIT UE gave me EYE and TENURE. I was thinking Christie or J. D. Robb–I know that's a title from the first half of the 20th century–and was casting about for other early mystery writers until Alice B. came to mind. Who knew? But that gave me Clio. To my inner 14 y/o, violet ORBS just weren't as prominent as other ORBS associated with LIZ.

To summarize, I bounced around this one with a lot of false starts but in the end all of the answers gave way to mental gymnastics and I finished with no errors.

Hartley70 11:36 AM  

This was like a "transformer" to me, two toys in one. The bottom half gets an easy rating, but the top half was a bear. I struggled all morning to get the top corners. MARINARA sat alone all by itself for a long time. I had elavil for PROZAC. The number clues for ATARI and ESPN meant nothing to me. Who's heard of DELTACO? I kept trying chef's names instead of TOKLAS, and I had never thought of the SYCAMORE as biblical. Like many, I also fell for the syncup trap.

This was a very long Friday but I liked the cluing a lot! TENURE, AIM, LIMOS to name a few. They added to the pleasure/pain factor.

Leapfinger 11:39 AM  

Have people been hitting the Jimson weed again?

Perhaps some brownies would help.

Benko 11:40 AM  

Often at lunch places, cafés, bistros, etc., you get a choice of side which may be either soup or salad. Just the other day I got a baked potato and the choice of side was a cup of soup or a small salad. Not every meal is a multi-course extravaganza, right?
I agree with @jberg re: MUTT. I have never paid for a dog beyond the processing fees at the local shelter. Give me a MUTT any day!

Maruchka 11:47 AM  

@Leapy - Ah, in an elegy to Keats - perfect. ANADEM bones, dem bones.. tanks!

@LMS, Leapy, Tita - TIN was bothering me, but now I think I see. Have a TIN pudding mold, but never think of it as fancy. Toxic, maybe..

old timer 11:49 AM  

I had *nothing* up top. But STU in the SE and PUTTER, UMAMI and TRESS solved that corner pretty quickly. As did ALAMO, IROBOT, and DENIAL, making it clear there was some sort of SALAD going on. In the NW I had UAR and therefore AFCSOUTH, so that came in at last. But I admit, I had to Google for the author of "murder in the kitchen". I had wanted either "rowed" or OARED, so that solved the rest of the puzzle, except for DIADE-. Once I realized we were not dealing with a rack of Scrabble tiles, SML made it clear there were clothes on that rack, so the puzzle was done.

SIDESALAD is just fine. When I was younger I ate more often in coffee shops, where with your meat loaf or even PRIMERIB, you had a choice of soup or salad. What you get is a "side" salad, a much smaller portion than a salad ordered as an entree.

wreck 11:51 AM  

Best dogs I have ever had were 1/2 Golden/Lab mixes. Closely related breeds, but the bad genes are bred out.

Nancy 11:55 AM  

Hi, Benko,
I wonder if this is a variant depending on what part of the country you happen to live in. I don't always go to fancy restaurants; I often eat at the neighborhood pub or café. But soup has never, EVER been described on any menu I've ever seen as a "side," whether it is-- or isn't-- included in the price of the entrée. Doesn't even matter if it's a bowl or just a cup. It's always described as an Appetizer or a Starter. I live in NYC; it may be different in other parts of the country.

Questinia 11:59 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 11:59 AM  

So, @Tita – I just spent over 10 minutes trying to understand the flap between you and anonyguy. I've read and reread the posts and still can't figure it out.

This sums it up for me - "it maybe (sic) clear to you but looks like mud to me."

I always look for and enjoy your comments and will certainly continue to dance to your tune!

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

My mom calls me poddlesque when queried re my heritage. Though gently pre owned when acquired from someone who paid big bucks for something called a pomipoo, mom says that like her I arrived on the scene as the result of a quest for love. While no enduring relationship prevailed, the product was a no less wonderful and deserving of love.

Okay, I've reached the limit of my paw typing,
Lovable Lulu, a mutt extraordinaire

AliasZ 12:00 PM  

(Last one is almost, but not quite a diadem)
What is the feature that ties them together then?
That they are dactyls, like DINOSAUR. Give a demn?

Likewise, the ALAMO, lest we forget...
'Nother may be a surprise to the intellect,
Only if said in original dialect:
Otherwise: playground retort that will violet
Your mommy.

Stick Mozzarella met Sue MARINARA,
'Twas love at first dip.
Looked at each other and said: IT'S A
DATE. Don't be

Let's listen to the orgiastic dance from Belkis, Queen of Sheba by Ottorino Respighi, conducted here by the bespectacled non-chipmunk Geoffrey SIMON.


Questinia 12:01 PM  

What @ jae said + the indignity of having the puzzle clock mysteriously add ten minutes to my time putting me in 2000th place or something.

Phillip and Will, boys, crimping hair yields waves not ringlets. Crimping occurs perpendicularly to the hair whereas ringlets occur along the hair's axes.

I would write out the calculus but I's gotta do my hair...

GILL I. 12:12 PM  

My first entry...TOKLAS yay Hashish Fudge!
SIMON came in second because I know my chipmunks.
Then I got up, walked the two MUTTs, had a drink and went to work on this lovely Friday puzzle full of food and animals. What's not to love...?
In Italy and France, your salad is served at the end of your fancy meal. I, personally, like to heap it on my dinner plate. Pile that piece of green onto your filet and plop that sucker right in the mouth.
I stared at LIZ TAYLOR pictures and never really saw violet eyes. They looked more like ECRU CREPES.
David....I really liked your puzzle because it made me think and smile.
I want to ask though....If you forget to take your PROZAC does that make you a DOTARD?

Lewis 12:23 PM  

I like TWOS under ONES. Loved the clues for TENURE, TRESS, LIMOS, and REENTER, and I like the pop of HABITUE, LIGERS, and ITSADATE. It solved medium for me, and I was rewarded for sticking with it rather than cheating.

Very enjoyable Friday -- thank you D&W!

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

Here we go again with @ Nancy: just because you haven't seen a thing doesn't mean it's not a thing. I realize you have learned your whining ways from @ rex and you have other members of the rex cult to back you up, but maybe, just maybe, try to learn something rather that complaining about bad clues and answers. Guess what? There are many, many restaurants that offer a choice of soup or salad with your entree. Sometimes the salad is served before the meal, sometimes it is a SIDESALAD. That doesn't mean it happens all the time at every restaurant on the planet, or even that it's "proper." It means it sometimes happens, despite your sense of etiquette. The fact that you've never heard of this reveals your ignorance. The fact that you're unwilling to accept that it does, in fact, happen reveals your stubbornness. The fact that you think your ideas about crossword clues and answers are better than those who construct, publish, and edit them reveals your arrogance.

Steve J 12:28 PM  

@Nancy: Perhaps the choice of soup or salad as a side with a sandwich or meal is regional, but if it is I suspect that New York is an outlier. It's a common choice I've experienced most everywhere in the country, especially for lunch. A standard lunch feature at many places in the Midwest and West is half a sandwich with soup or salad, served as a side, and I velieve I've seen the same in the South.

Masked and Anonym8Us 12:30 PM  

Excedinly easy, but fair.

Brief tussle at S?L and ANADE? in the SW. Lost a coupla nanoseconds. Otherwise, pretty steady progress, for someone who can neither spellcast nor spell. Examples: TYKO. MARANARA. TRITAN.

Eye doc Sahl says M&A has a very rare EYECOLOR*. Please hold yer applause, until the end.

thUmbsUp for LIGERS. Didn't Napoleon Dynamite draw a primo LIGER, in his class notebook? Luv that flick. Speakin of which...

Bro-in-law & me lost valuable FriSchlockfest hours last week, due to poor weather. So yesterday we attended "Jupiter Ascending" at the local bijou, as a makeup session. Outstandin. The Beaurocracy Center of the Universe scenes were especially do-not-miss, with a cool cameo. But, I digress.

Anyhoo, few cinnamon rolls were harmed, in the solvin of this puz. So I am still one unsatisfied customer. Sure did admire UAR and STU, tho...


** gruntz, in a jugular vein **

M and Not Ecru 12:32 PM  

*rare eyecolor = MUTT, btw.


GILL I. 12:36 PM  

@Nancy....Ignore @Anony 12:27...I think he is the same person that called me an ignorant slut.
You know, I just read all the comments carefully and I see that only I (so far) had FAT NAMES for that love handles clue.
@Leapy. I went back and read yesterday's comments. Your Dick CHEINIE made me giggle.
@Tita....You go girl!

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

Blogger joho said...
Loved the clues for EXTRA and PETNAMES.

I thought NARY meant none not "Hardly" so I learned something there.


It does mean "none" according to Webster

Benko 12:37 PM  

@steve, @nancy: I can only really speak from the South (and/or Florida) and we definitely have soup and salad as a side down here. Although the last ACPT in Brooklyn was next to a Panera bread franchise, and they have it there too.

Fred Romagnolo 12:43 PM  

I'm from the same locale as @Mathguy, and somewhat older, but I have NEVER heard the expression "soup or SIDESALAD," it's always "soup, or salad." Sorry, @Benko. I've had many dogs in my life, but only 1 thoroughbred; although totally loveable, he was the least intelligent dog I ever had (an Afghan, my son named him Basil Rathbone because of his aquilene nose). Long live mutts of every kind! KNOX was the military stratagest who managed to get the cannon, in mid-winter, to overlook Boston, and force the British evacuation early in the war. He weighed well over 300 lbs. You can figure what fort is named after him. I, too, thought that NARY meant none. Hi, @Joho. TYCO crossing ATARICORP? The CORP makes it a Natick, and @Oisk aint gonna like it, anyway.

Anonymous 1:16 PM  

Regarding the Utterly Mysterious...
Clue: _____ Goldsman, producer of 35 across.

Leapfinger 1:26 PM  

Rhymed DACTYLic tetrameter couplets? With the occasional spondee thrown in? If that;s so, it's certainly above our pay-grade... There's only one nice way to violet yore mommy and @AliasZ found it.

It occurs to me that the dactylic rhythm is an S4 or atrial gallop, while the anapest is the S3 or ventricular gallop. Either that, or vice versa, or maybe not at all. Just seemed interesting that maybe poetic meter mimics heart rhythms.

@Gill, most of your posts make me giggle. I see 'ignorant slut'as a Jane Curtin compliment.

@FredRom, I've only known one Afghan [hound], but he ate siding. Not chewed; ate. Processed completely through the alimentary canal.

Agree with @Q about crimping hair, but I didn't want to fuss. If I'm going to start taking stands, it'll be for a 1/2 sandwich with soup or salad on lunch menus. Salad can be one of the choices offered as a side. I also don't mind references to other days' puzzles as they relate to the current one, but I'll not take up arms over this.

Speaking of other days' blogs, I left a late reply, @Numinous, to your 'whatever' comment. Nothing earthshaking.

Has everyone shaken out their wiggles now?

Mette 1:30 PM  

Enjoyed it though the NE was a tussle. Didn't anyone else want Truman as the mystery author?

@Leapfinger, LMS and Maruchka - isn't Fancy a brand name for cat food? If so, that explains TIN. On the other hand, I don't get the joke at REENTER.

@Rex - Trudeau once called the 1970's "a kidney stone of a decade".

MDMA 1:36 PM  

One of the toughest for me, was OK until the NE corner, just couldn't get traction until PROZAC, had to set it aside twice and only finished now.

Last though was the ANADE_ cross with S_L in the SW, took a while to grok the clue.

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

Hey look at the choices under "Dumplin's Favoorites:"

Dumplins Menu

But this is a thing that doesn't exist...

Numinous 1:44 PM  

The fact that the ATARI 2600 jr was marketed by ATARI CORP is a fairly arcane bit of knowledge. The 2600 and the 2600 jr were designed by ATARI Inc but in 1984 Jack Tramiel bought the home computing and game console divisions renaming it ATARI CORPoration. He marketed the 2600 jr. He also produced the ST series of computers.

Atari has had a rocky history, changing hands frequently and posting huge losses. What remains of the company now has a staff of 10 focusing on the LGBT community, social casinos, real money gambling and youtube.

I've seen a Russian dressing 1:48 PM  

Huh. Looks like a SIDESALAD IS in fact an "alternative to soup at a restaurant." Seems we have some pretty snooty people commenting around here.

Anonymous 1:49 PM  

Not the best video quality, but still ligerlicious:

Napoleon Dynamite liger

Oh where oh where has my little mutt gone? 1:49 PM  

Where are you @Casco? Are you playing? It's the only way to make progress and I enjoy watching yours.

@Rex - good one!

Fancy Feast cat food comes in a tin.

Lewis 1:55 PM  

Factoid: A study by Scott and Fuller found that cross-bred dogs -- that is, MUTTs -- were superior mothers compared to purebred mothers, producing more milk and giving better care.

Quotoid: "Remember you are just an extra in everyone else's play." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Laurie Peterson 1:58 PM  

Dinosaurs are actually incredibly adaptable and ruled the planet from about 220 million years ago to their extinction (except for birds)about 65 million years ago. Let's give them the credit they deserve.

Numinous 2:02 PM  

@Mette, Fancy Food is a brand of "gourmet" cat food. It seems that some inner 14 y/os took the clue, "Come again?" and the answer, RE ENTER, in a certain way that wouldn't pass the "Breakfast Test". We are, presumably, all adults here.

@Leapy, I no longer recall the phrases though there were several that the step-kids (aged 7 and 11) would use because they thought they sounded cool without realizing their meanings. They learned them from cartoons on TV. One example comes to mind: addressing their mother as "Hey, Lady!" While their mom accepted it, I was appalled. They wound up getting a variety of lectures on appropriate diction and phraseology which I assume they found terribly boring but they did gradually clean up their language.

LaneB 2:05 PM  

Sure as hell not "easy" what with LIGERS and ANADEM on top of one another (had not heard of either) and other odd stuff likeUMAMI, TIN and DOTARD. But with a couple of Googlrs I managed to finish. Not bad for Friday googling notwithstanding. No purist I.

chefbea 2:16 PM  

Then there is a side salad with dressing on the side...What would you call that?? I'll have a side salad with a side of dressing.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

I must have been off my game, to judge from the rest of you. I knew the Sontag quote, Toklas too, and it had to be either prozac or Zoloft, so I guessed Prozac, and that was that except for AIM, which came last.

NW--HARD. Sports are my weakness--I'm an old ladt egghead. I tried spare rib before prime rib, I somehow thought that the Times owned FiveThirtyEight and that didn't fit I got DENIAL off the bat. (Denial, Prozac, Sontag, you see a pattern emerging.)

But a series of atypical fumbles, if I must say so, screwed me up. FRITES instead of CREPES, NIKNAMES (sic) instead of PETNAMES, STOP IT instead of NO MORE, so it took me a while to unravel the errors and correct them.

But once I did, it all fell into place.

I think you are being too hard on Dave Phillips.
Anadem is lovely, Tenure and Aim too.

And it left a very pleasant UNAMI taste in my mouth.

Ludyjynn 2:40 PM  

Regarding the ongoing TIN discourse, my take on it is that "fancy", as in gourmet, food is often packaged in decorative/collectible tins (v. tuna fish or cat food cans), which justifies a higher price. In London, there is a high end retailer, Fortnum & Mason,(blessed by the Royal Family), which devotes almost the entire first floor of the establishment to rows of candies, condiments, teas, jellies and jams in very attractive tins, actually manufactured in England (v. China). They are irresistible, esp. to the tourist trade. If you go, don't miss their High Tea served daily in the afternoon on another level. Delish and veddy, veddy British.

OISK 2:52 PM  

How about a few product or corporate names? Tyco, ESPN Atari, Prozac, Priceline, Alamo Del Taco- they really crimp my style. Of course, I have also never heard of "Corea," nor Stu Cook, nor Anna Faris. I finished the puzzle correctly, but surely 7 product-corporate names are too many? Lucky guess at Corea and Anadem, (the spellcheck here is rejecting anadem!) Nice puzzle for some, who like this kind of fill, but not for me.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it, but "crimping" hair does not form ringlets. Just saying.

John V 3:25 PM  

Agree with @Rex re: CF in NE. Disagree about difficulty. DNF, too much arcane stuff. See NE

Ross 3:29 PM  

Famously, Caviar comes in tins.

Z 3:35 PM  

Hand up for syNCUp and AFC nOrTH. We have a few DELTA COs in metro Detroit. "Unfreshing" is so appropriate that it took me forever to change the Y from syNCUp to the O in CONCUR. As I recall they have 39¢ tacos, but neither soup nor SIDE SALADs. They do have great Shakes, though.

@LMS - may be I missed something but I think the "argument" was "please no spoilers, not everyone does the puzzles and blogs in order" which received (and I'm loosely paraphrasing here) "I'm a narcissist, I don't care if I what I do bothers others."

In my experience, soup is often an alternative to a SIDE SALAD but a SIDE SALAD is only occasionally an alternative to soup. If your soup is served as a side with your meal your server is probably new. My initial reaction was the same as @Nancy's, but I realized the clue is fine before finishing.

Z 3:38 PM  


CRIMPed hair

wreck 3:55 PM  

If "crimping" CAN form ringlets, the clue and answer are correct in the Crossword realm. Same with "side orders" of soup or salad.

Cheerio 4:32 PM  

I don't think crimping can form ringlets. You get ringlets by rolling the hair around tiny rollers. This oddness made that corner hard for me. I did not know the two sports clues and the one clue aimed at the feminine gender was off.

I loved the Liz Taylor / violet eyes bit though!

Groucho 4:52 PM  

Is there a SANITY clause in your contract?

Nancy 5:01 PM  

I continue to post on this site because there are so many nice, supportive people -- all of them with names -- who rush to a solver's defense when one of the various unpleasant and seemingly troubled Anonymi vents his inexplicable rage at something you've written. In this instance, many thanks to @GILL I, but there have been others, equally thoughtful and kind in the past. I think this is, by and large, a very nice community, and I wish I could meet many of you in person. I'm sure that today's Anonymous 12:27 spends his days being unpleasant in MANY venues -- not just this one. But he's not the only one; the Anonymous who earlier attacked the extremely nice-seeming @Tita seems equally nasty.

At any rate, I'm in a very good mood, having just returned from a Restaurant Week $25 3-course lunch at one of NY's premier restaurants. Check out this special prix-fixe menu:

Lindsay 5:38 PM  

@Anon2:24 --- The Times used to own FiveThirtyEight so your "somehow thought" was right, just outdated.

Charles Flaster 5:46 PM  

Enjoyable but had Farig for FARIS.
Liked a lot but mucho proper names that were mostly unfamiliar but gettable.
Loved clues for TENURE,AIM, and RECEIPT.
Thanks DP.
BTW my wife just(just) was invited to her 50th high school reunion . Overbrook High School in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Rhino 6:19 PM  

I've been quiet long enough and it is time to take a stand: Side salads are not replacements for soup!
#imwithnancy #anonymous1227sucks #cheforcobbmaybe

Steve M 7:15 PM  


Teedmn 7:22 PM  

I just finished my first jog (one mile) of 2015 (hack, ack) and am feeling guilty for basking in our relatively balmy weather here in MN while others are snowed in. I had to stave off becoming a DOTARD and also the (redacted theme revealer "here" from yesterday so as not to provide a spoiler) anatomy issue. For those of you with cabin fever, keep your SANITY, perhaps by SPRAWLing in front of a warm fire and eating fancy biscuits from a TIN and drinking from a fiasco.

This was pretty easy for a Friday with the usual NE caveats. I was actually stymied with all the NW, SE and SW filled but not knowing my DEL TACO from taco hell, I was getting worried but NARY a hitch once I got 21D (NARY as clued, not as "none").

Had forgotten about Alice Toklas so I went to Wikipedia. Sounds like she lived like an EXTRA in her own life ( :-) @Lewis). And the references to her cookies/brownies in "Bewitched" definitely went over
my head in the sixties.

Thanks, David Phillips, a fine puzzle.

Kerry 8:56 PM  

Got burned in the SW. Because, never heard of ANADEM or COREA, and SEL = "Letters on some racks". French spice racks!

I know, I know... "letters". It didn't feel right, but I missed the M in my alphabet run. Sigh.

Anonymous 9:26 PM  

@Nancy, I'm with you on the points about soup.

@jberg, Thanks for the observation about bistro orders.

I do not think of daunt and cow as synonyms. To find a task daunting is not to be cowed by it.


(Last one is almost, but not quite a diadem)
What is the feature that ties them together then?
That they are dactyls, like DINOSAUR. Give a demn?

Likewise, the ALAMO, lest we forget...
'Nother may be a surprise to the intellect,
Only if said in original dialect:

Only EYE COLOR is a dactyl. The quantity of vowels in the other words are the same. Stresses are debatable. UMAMI certainly does not have a stress on the first syllable.

michael 9:33 PM  

I did not find this easy at all but eventually got it all.

Soup or side salad is a common choice here in the Midwest.

Tita 1:05 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tita 1:05 AM  

Ha ha - who woulda thunk. Such ados - Spoilers, Sides - we are all so lucky these are our only problems.

Thanks @Gill, @Z, @lms (for dancing to my tune even if you don't get it...)...
@Nancy - I aspire to your eloquence. I love it here too!
Re: Le Perigord - forget sides - did you have the Floating Island? One of my favorites.
I'm so bummed I missed restaurant week :(

paulsfo 2:22 AM  

NARY does not mean "hardly." Really. Never does; in no sense of the word; not even as a minor definition. It just never means hardly.

Had Dizzy Dean before Liz Taylor.

Chick Corea: Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea (born June 12, 1941)[3] is an American jazz and fusion pianist, keyboardist, and composer.
Many of his compositions are considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis' band in the 1960s, he participated in the birth of the electric jazz fusion movement.... Along with Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Keith Jarrett, he has been described as one of the major jazz piano voices to emerge in the post–John Coltrane era.

Corea has been nominated for sixty-three Grammy Awards, out of which he has won 22."

So he's not *that* obscure. :P

spacecraft 12:53 PM  

Hand up for thinking--even for a moment-- that Indianapolis could POSSIBLY be considered "north." Silly me. I should know by now that divisional gerrymandering in pro sports makes the political variety look sick. But again, quickly fixed, and in a flash the NW was done.

What's this? An easy Friday? Well, it helps that I saw a DELTACO ad while I was doing the puzzle. Talk about unfreshing, etc. CONCUR always makes me think of that scene in "Catch Me If You Can" when Abignale is pretending to be a doctor:

"Do you concur?" (intern hedges) "Do you CONCUR??"
"Um, yes, I concur." And after he leaves, "Was I supposed to concur?"
"I don't know."

Priceless stuff.

So the SE fell even faster than its counterpart. In the SW I was a bit unsure about ANADEM, but it seemed to fit. "Crosses in a zoo" had me cogitatin' for a bit, but LIGERS came to the rescue. Hardest was the NE, where I mistakenly thought that comic Rip was the TAYLOR they were looking for. I never knew LIZ had that much of a wit. Or violet eyes, for that matter. But despite the proper name SPRAWL there, it all came together when I hit on EXTRA for "Part of the Hollywood crowd?" Clever. The "?" almost led me astray. Sometimes you just have to say to yourself, "Don't overthink!"

All in all, though, I liked it. Not that PRIMERIB and MARINARA go together, but the puzz sure started me salivating. Kinda fun, and not too brain-torturing, for a Friday. I'd call it easy-medium; for the day, maybe the easiest ever. B.

Burma Shave 3:35 PM  


I’m in DENIAL NOMORE and won’t CRIMP my vanity,
I AIM to EAT EXTRA PROZAC to maintain my SANITY.


rondo 3:45 PM  

Didn’t think it was that easy. I had some trouble up in the NE; zantAC wasn’t helpful. Most of the drugs I’m more familiar with aren’t prescription. Had no idea about LIZ’s eyes. Elsewhere had duOS for TWOS, MErit for MEDAL. So there was some write over ink spilled.

Too busy following the Masters to post earlier. Don’t have too many KNOX on this puz. Back to golf, oh yeah, and work.

rain forest 5:14 PM  

Likewise watching the Masters while trying to solve, and this was challenging for me. The NW and SE fell relatively quickly, but the rest came square by square, and sooo slowly. Was RON REAGAN the ex-prez? I guess a LIGER is a lion/tiger cross, but ANADEM(?) made the SW difficult.

The NE was just plain tough for me, with TOKLAS my last entry.

Overall, very tough, but a good feeling to finish. Back to golf.

Food again. Sushi.

leftcoastTAM 5:56 PM  

I stubbornly refused to put the Colts in the SOUTH, so I crashed in the NW.

Anonymous 8:28 PM  

This was a Medium for me and I left "Vanity" intact. But I really enjoyed the quest. All in all the little grey cells had to stretch. Oh well, who cares.

Ron Diego, preparing to self-flagellate with barbed wire so it doesn't happen again.

These puzzles must be taken very seriously.

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