French shipyard city / FRI 6-19-15 / Cosmetician Adrien / Seasons lithographer / Fictional Sicilian town of literature / Former Toyota model for 36 years / Jazz saxophonist Buddy / Chantilly's department / Nixon Brezhnev signed it 1972

Friday, June 19, 2015

Constructor: Martin Ashwood-Smith

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium



THEME: none

Word of the Day: BREST (51D: French shipyard city) —
Brest (French pronunciation: ​[bʁɛst]Breton[bʀest]) is a city in the Finistèredépartement in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area (with a population of 300,300 in total), ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, and the 22nd most populous city in France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture (regional capital) of the department is the much smaller Quimper. (wikipedia)
• • •

A summer cold has made its way through our entire house. I am its ultimate victim. Because I would not stop for the cold, it kindly stopped for me. I'm awkwardly alluding to Dickinson, so you know something's wrong. Anyway, summer colds suck (Yeah, I know it's not "summer" yet, but give it a minute). So I did this puzzle after waking from a three-hour nap—gotta love those naps you have *right* before bedtime; exquisite timing. Still, I walked right through this thing, even with foggy post-nap summer cold head, so it must've been easy. What are my thoughts? Well, there's weirdly a lot of crosswordese, and not only where you'd expect it (i.e. crossing that quad stack). OISE ADANO ARPEL REPOS ERTE KNAR. All quite familiar, none hard to get. Just felt throwbacky, and not in a great way. But the marquee event up top is the double-author stack, which is pretty sweet. I also love the repackaging of vintage crosswordese ARLENE Dahl as full-named ARLENEDAHL. Somehow that uncrosswordeses (™) her name.  Eventually it came time to do the stack at the bottom and it wasn't hard. Also, that's an excellent stack. The crosses, predictably, hurt a little, but there aren't any howlers. So, mixed feelings.

[from "SATCHMO Serenades"]

Things got off to a fast start—CHOCOHOLIC off a single letter (and I'm not sure I even needed that)—the clue was transparent to me) (4D: One who might steal a kiss).


From here I pounded into the center of the grid pretty easily, but had weird bit of trouble trying to get JOHN STEINBECK, even after I had JOHN STE- … I think JON (no "H") Stewart was running interference in my head. But I dropped OPALESCENT like it was hot.


ANGELINA was a total gimme (8D: Brad's partner in 2005's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"), so JOHN STEINBECK and then the rest of the top of the grid fell into place pretty easily. I emerged from the top via ARLENE DAHL and then set to work on the quadstack.


I got the back ends of the quad first, but they didn't do much for me, so I went after other Downs, and found RAMIS AREI and COWGIRL just waiting for me. Made the stack very easy to see and take down.


About five seconds after this, I was done. I ended in the iffiest part of the grid (i.e. the no-"UE" MONOLOG MISADAPTed INAPEN), which often happens, actually—you end up at the place that you've been consciously or unconsciously avoiding, often for good reason. And so to bed. Or, rather, to Jon Stewart, which is apparently remarkable tonight—or so Twitter tells me. It's been a pretty terrible day, nationally, historically … I STILL DON'T GET IT seems apt, somehow.

Take care,
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]

    128 comments:

    jae 12:15 AM  

    Easy-medium for me too although I had to get rid of tIdE to make the NW work.  Also KNot before KNAR (which I only know from crosswords)  and Mal before MISADAPT. 

    Nice to have CELICA come up so frequently yesterday. 

    Loved the quad stack!

    I STILL DON'T GET IT sounds  like the tail end of yesterday's blog comments.

    French mini theme: CAFE AU LAIT, OISE, BREST, LESE

    Plenty of zip plus a quad stack.  Liked it a lot!

    Brett Chappell 12:39 AM  

    Brest should have been in the upper left corner to make it geographically accurate.
    (I think it is further from Brest to Strasbourg then from Lille to Toulon.)

    << Tonnere de Brest ! >> - Cap. Haddock

    Allez, pause café (au lait) car après tout il est 6h30.

    Unknown 1:32 AM  

    The "Again, but slower" clue killed me because of my music lessons. All I could hear was the voice of my many teachers telling me to play slower as a child. Didn't think about the possibility that it meant to speak slower because you didn't understand someone until I already had "I STILL DIDNT ___ IT"

    The four stack was easier than expected when I first saw the puzzle, and the ORWELL/STEINBECK up top is great too. I typically don't enjoy non-themers as much as I did this one, so cheers to Martin Ashwood-Smith.

    -MT

    George Barany 1:42 AM  

    Quick hello from Santa Barbara, where my daughter gets married on Saturday. I didn't solve the puzzle tonight, since @Martin Ashwood-Smith shared it with me a couple of weeks ago, and asked me to help him with an "easy clue" version (it may be found by clicking here).

    Moreover, we decided to release today a "sister" puzzle called Upon Reflection, that also has left-right symmetry but this time the quad stack is on the top of the puzzle. If you look carefully, you'll note there are two versions, with a different 9-Down. Which one do you like better?

    Finally, @Martin is proud to have the puzzles appear coincident to his father's 83rd birthday ... you can see a photo at the same site.

    John Child 1:50 AM  

    I apologize to the newspaper gods for complaining yesterday that my paper had the puzzle grid wrong. (The 16th row from Thursday was stuck on the bottom of Friday's puzzle.) Today there was no puzzle at all! Instead of page 15 there was another copy of page 13.

    What a fun puzzle from MAS! "Puzzle of the Week" from Jeff Chen, and deservedly so. The constructor notes at xwordinfo are worth reading: MAS discusses the alternate puzzle and the bonus puzzle as mentioned by @George Barany.

    I really like the conceit of clueing the puzzle for early-week difficulty as well as for a Friday. In fact, I wish I had done the easy clues instead! If you know an early-week-only solver, recommend the easy-clues version of this to them. I’ve tucked the PDF of the easy version away where I’ll find it in a year or so. At that point, having forgotten the original answers for the most part, I can enjoy it a second time.

    chefwen 1:53 AM  

    I am on cloud nine. MAS/Friday/quad stack (which I hate) and we finished unassisted. Whoo Hoo! Happy dance!

    Favorite, which brought a hearty laugh was CHOCOHOLIC, I can relate. 31A clue was pretty cute too, I can remember my teens out in the sun with baby oil. Thinking back, pretty dumb, but that TAN was very important.

    Good one MAS, In the future I will not dispair when I see your name.

    Anoa Bob 1:58 AM  

    Liked the top more than the bottom quad stacks, with the higher scrabble score up there making for some more interesting fill. The ORWELLIAN over JOHN STEINBECK double stack was especially nice.

    Tried KNot at first for 29D "Bump on a log." Don't recall seeing KNAR before, even in crossword grids. KNARL yes, KNAR no. Pretty gnarly.

    ANOX at 2D? Oooh, that was close.

    MDMA 3:00 AM  

    According to xwordinfo.com, ARLENEDAHL was used twice in 1957... and never before or since in the NYT, until today.

    Anonymous 3:08 AM  

    Thanks for your kind comments ( so far) folks). Not that this means much but this the fist time time I've ever used the word KNAR in a s puzzle to my memory especially in the New York Times or I can easily check. Essentially it was a product of the OREWELLIAN/STEINBECK stack in the middle center. The "k" of STEINBECK forced KNAR into that area
    Of the grid.... and I can show you it bugged the hell out of me because I thought that may be an easy, but never was I so completely and actually wrong! I so all I can say is sorry about KNAR,, .and tell you that it was a complete trade-off! (BYW, just in case there any doubts out there KNAR , legitimate word, but it doesn't look like it's missing a lesser doesn't it?

    Oh , And by the way if anybody's interested here is the link to the easy clued version of the same puzzle: same answers, same grid except easy to medium clues, answers, same grid except easy to medium clues


    http://www.xwordinfo.com/images/bonus/20150619easy.jpg


    -Martin Ashwood-Smith

    Roy Leban 3:41 AM  

    I really like this puzzle. Great, smooth fill. I'm not loving KNAR either but it's a Friday and the rest of the puzzle more than makes up for it.

    George mentions that Martin did an easier (Monday/Tuesday) set of clues and Wordplay also links to a jpg of the easier puzzle. We've made both sets of clues available in Puzzazz. When you open the puzzle up in Puzzazz, you'll get a choice of either the as-published Friday or the Monday/Tuesday clues. You can switch back and forth if you want to compare them. If you already solved the puzzle, go back if you want to see both sets of clues.

    Anonymous 3:51 AM  

    I STILL DON'T GET IT, as far as Jon Stewart's faux comedy goes.

    -Brennan

    MDMA 4:39 AM  

    Lemme try this haiku thing

    I'M HERE, AS AM I
    MANIACAL MONOLOG?
    I STILL DON'T GET IT

    Thomaso808 5:58 AM  

    Hey, Martin! It's always a pleasure to have the constructor chime in with the commentariat!

    Thanks for apologizing for the KNAR. It did throw me for quite a while. I had to reluctantly put it in after multiple fails on my iPad. I have only been doing the NYT puz seriously for a couple of years, so unlike Rex, ARLENEDAHL, ADANO, ERTE, OISE, and ARPEL were not familiar crosswordese for me.

    Great job on the quad stack. On one side crossed by OSWALD, MANIACAL, and COWGIRL, and on the other INAPEN, MISADAPT, and MONOLOG. Amazing!

    Anonymous 6:37 AM  

    as a non-American (one of those Canucks) the Saca-whatever dollar was a tough clue.

    dk 7:22 AM  

    🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

    Did not know (so they became a KNAR) 28d and 44a.

    LOL moment was figuring out there is a T in SATCHMO.

    Finally I just knew adagio was part of of 58a until…..

    All in all this one got the little gray cells in gear.

    I presented once at a conference (yes I bore people elsewhere) and my firm had a booth. I arranged for us to have a puzzle (related to the aforementioned prevention) and if you solved it you got a 52a. Much better swag than the squishy fish and pens offered up by our booth mates IMHO.

    dk 7:22 AM  

    presentation

    Carola 7:27 AM  

    I have to leave the "easy" part off the rating of this lovely puzzle - a slow but steady solve, with time to savor the CAFE AU LAIT and other fine grid offerings. I especially enjoyed today's array of names, ARLENE DAHL, ANGELINA, SACAGEWEA, SATCHMO, NAIROBI...

    Trouble spots for me: thinking the Wave creater was Bose (the AM [and FM] RADIO) and reading "Dumb as a [three-letter word]" - bOX? or the ironic "fOX"? Yeah. Also IM HomE before HERE.

    There's another author stacked with ORWELL and JOHN STEINBECK: Amy TAN.

    @MAS - I think this was one of your finest - a real treat for this crosswordOHOLIC.

    Rex Porker 7:39 AM  

    I have a cold today, so this puzzle took me 47.6 seconds to do, twice as long as my average Friday. Also, I fail to mention the interesting thing about this grid, that being that it's got horizontal but not vertical symmetry. I suppose in my fog of NyQuil and booze I didn't notice that.
    OK, back to bed--I'll solve a few more in my sleep.

    Anonymous 7:41 AM  

    Should "Kiss" be capitalized? Liked the clue a lot, but I thought it was a brand name...

    Loren Muse Smith 7:50 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Loren Muse Smith 7:52 AM  

    Rex – sorry about your cold. Stinks, man.

    Hey, Martin - I knew two things fo sho as I was solving: that that DOLLAR would be Canadian and there would be nary a ONES in the quad stack. Nice job.

    @George – conrats on your daughter's wedding! Gonna do a father/daughter dance? Bet you do a snazzy Foxtrot.

    CHOCOHOLIC had me wondering which HOLIC I am. I think I'd be a Fritohololic. Here in Rexville I'm a talkaholic.

    After I changed "aged" to AFAR and "so am I" to AS AM I, everything fell into place.

    @Carola – I always say "dumb as dirt." Hello, Molly (one of my dogs).

    ORWELL's "doublethink" describes yesterday's mind bender, right?

    ANGELINA was a gimme for me, too, of course. (Hey, P. Collins – we can watch Mr. and Mrs. Smith after our long walk on the beach. I know you're a math teacher, and I could make a joke about a hall pass now, but that would be in poor taste.)

    I loved CAFÉ AU LAIT (it's TAN, btw) and was gobsmacked the first time I saw everyone in Paris drinking theirs from what looked like bowls you would knead baguette dough in.

    I guess if your pigs are IN A PEN, all's right with the world, but if they're IN A PEN IN A HEAP, check for empty AMERICAN PALE ALE bottles. Can't trust them damn pigs.

    I think my favorite thing today was the STEINBECK quote. I absolutely do not have the heart of an artist, but once in a while I'll get this nostalgic pull or see something beautiful that results in a deep kind of yearning to capture this ineffable feeling, but it's so fleeting that it disappears almost as quickly as it appears. And then I'm back happily wondering why the heck it's inexplicable rather than unexplainable.

    MASterstroke, Martin. Thanks!

    Haiku Nerd 7:53 AM  

    PLEAD ORWELLIAN
    DOUR MONOLOG I BET
    OSWALD IN A PEN

    Haiku Nerd 7:54 AM  

    PS: (MDMA--Outstanding! The more haiku the better!)

    Sir Hillary 8:00 AM  

    Enjoyed this one a lot. Played easy for Friday. The long entries (both across and down) are really good, so the shorter dreck is palatable.

    So, would ADANA be an ISOLA?

    I had the same question as @Anon 7:41 -- capitalize "kiss"?

    What do you call yesterday's 1-Down? ASAMI.

    Directors of two of my favorite movies are here: Harold RAMIS ("Caddyshack") and Martin BREST ("Midnight Run").

    NE was last to fall for me. With 18A partially complete, I almost convinced myself that Elvis did a Thanksgiving-themed film called GIBLetS.

    joho 8:00 AM  

    What a lovely puzzle, MAS ... your father must be very proud.

    I especially loved the cast of characters you managed to gather together: SATCHMO,
    a CHOCOHOLIC, Elvis singing GIBLUES on AMRADIO, Adrien ARPEL, ERTE, ORWELL, JOHNSTEINBECK, OSWALD, RAMIS, ANGELINA, ARLENEDAHL and Dale Evans the COWGIRL crossing SACAGAWEA!

    OPALESCENT and CAFEAULAIT are beautiful downs.

    You can be forgiven one tiny KNAR.

    Oh, and ISTILLDONTGETIT is one of the best phrases ever to show up in a quad stack.

    Bravo!!!

    Rhino 8:01 AM  

    I spent way too long after this puzzle was done trying to figure out what A NOX was. Thought for a bit it was a Dr. Seuss reference (wasn't there a NOX in Fox in Socks?). Finally said it out loud and enjoyed that pleasant 'tumbling into place' feeling in my brain.

    Z 8:15 AM  

    Excellent puzzle, with nice wordplay and a modicum of trivia to keep us on our toes. Regarding kiss v. Kiss - maybe @chefbea or @chefwen can weigh in, but I think kiss is a generic term for any confection that has that shape and the term was appropriated by Hershey's.

    Stewart haters? Really?

    ORWELLIAN? Too timely as this was the exact word I said to my wife as I watched a clip of Lindsay Graham on Fox yesterday.

    Mike D. 8:18 AM  

    @Loren Muse Smith: "The dollar would be Canadian?" What on god's green earth are you talking about? Do you just wake up, drink a bottle of tequila, do the crossword, then come here and drivel?

    Z 8:20 AM  

    Origin of "kiss." The weird things that tickle the edges of my brain....

    Nancy 8:21 AM  

    Thought this was a graceful and enjoyable puzzle with some nice answers. CHOCOHOLIC, ORWELLIAN and CAFE AU LAIT stand out in particular. Also liked JOHN STEINBECK quote and the cluing for TAN and EXEC. The only problem is that it was over much too quickly, as I found it unusually easy for a Friday. My only (slight) stumbling block was the clue: "Again, but slower." I also was looking for a music-themed answer. But loads of crosses enabled me to figure it out quickly. Other than CELICA, everything here was in my wheelhouse.

    Rude People Suck 8:22 AM  

    @Mike D. - @LMS's comment makes perfect sense if you know more.

    Mohair Sam 8:26 AM  

    Because some idiot (might have been me) put the gimme bosE in 1d (Wave creator) we finished the NW last. after much solving pain Mrs. Sam wandered from the breakfast table and I finally erased bosE and threw in SINE, SATCHMO, ANOX, TATE and proudly showed her the completed puzzle. She frowned and asked, "What the hell is a nox?" A great crossword moment.

    Good ol' MAS never disappoints, another great one. Forgot ARLENEDAHL and GIBLUES, and had Jennifer before ANGELINA - I guess pop culture of all ages beats us. Loved the clue for CHOCOHOLIC - surprised ofl got it off one letter.

    Big STEINBECK fan here, the quote pretty much a gimme - opened up much of the grid, especially with ORWELLIAN above.

    Does SACAGAWUA hold the record for the most available phonetic spellings?

    Casco Kid 8:29 AM  

    KNAR??? I had KcAR (and thereby ADAcO) because anyone who drives a KcAR is a "bump on a log." Oh, you're saying there would have been a question mark for that kind of clue? Naw. I think you are giving Friday too much credit. Within MA-S's very, very, very broad latitude of cluing, KcAR was clued. Now, all I have to do is prove the existence in literature of a nonexistent city called ADAcO, Sicily.

    DNF++. Today's consolation prize: KNAR is now in my vocabulary.

    Mike D. 8:30 AM  

    I see, so it is some sort of inside joke that LMS uses to show off, allowing those of you in the Rexword circle of jerks to increase your feelings of self-importance. We are all impressed with how much you know.

    Carola 8:30 AM  

    @Rhino - Yes, but it's "Knox" (like "nar" is KNAR :) ).

    Mohair Sam 8:32 AM  

    @Mike D - your comment to Loren "Do you just wake up, drink a bottle of tequila, do the crossword . . . . . ?"

    Sounds like a life well spent to me.

    Generic Solver 8:40 AM  

    As mentioned, this puzzle is not totally symmetric, and while this is far from the first puzzle Shortz has allowed that departs from the traditional rules, the more I see of these "variant" puzzles, the more I feel the great tradition and legacy of the New York Times Crossword is gradually being lost. I don't know, maybe I'm just a sentimental old-timer, but there is something to be said for a venerated tradition.

    Nancy 8:41 AM  

    @Mohair -- Your 8:32 comment is an absolute hoot! (Or maybe an ABSOLUT hoot, if @lms ever tires of tequila.)

    AliasZ 8:44 AM  


    This was one of those puzzles that seemed daunting when I first looked at the wide-open grid, but as I started slowly in the NW corner, it kept offering more and more surprises, which pasted a wider and wider smile on my face as I progressed. It turned out to be a real pleasure to solve from SATCHMO to BREST. It held my interest throughout, NOT ONCE did I doze off.

    The Kafkaesque ORWELLIAN/JOHN STEINBECK stack, and the MANIACAL OPALESCENT CAFÉ AU LAIT formed an amalgam of scrumptious building blocks that would satisfy even the most avid CHOCOHOLIC like moi. From this angle even KNAR looked gnarly. Scrumptious also brought to mind ARLENE DAHL, as James Mason ripped off her oh-so proper but motion-restricting outer garment deep inside the bowels of the earth. On the other hand, Brangelina don't seem to be aging so well... but then, who is?

    @MAS, thanks for the fun. I actually thought ANOX and AREI were worse than KNAR. ASAMI? Umami, en ami. MISADAPT sparkled as the MUWOC of the day (made-up word of convenience).

    What would be better than a Mozart symphony conducted by Jeffrey TATE. This noteworthy English conductor was born with spina bifida and suffers from kyphosis, yet it doesn't stop him from making beautiful music.

    Whatever ills in your life, try to make music.

    Happy Friday all!

    Casco Kid 8:50 AM  

    @Z I second that Jon Stewart link. Thanks for posting it. "Sorry for no jokes . . . "

    NCA President 8:55 AM  

    To all who referenced yesterday's puzzle, I can't even remember yesterday's puzzle.

    To anon in the 6am hour from Canada, it took me a very long time to know how to pronounce SACA-whatever much (much) less spell it.

    Just one note about Rex's solve, while he may humble brag about the CHOCOHOLIC entry, he surely can't forget all of those times he did the same...throw in an answer with only one letter...and it was wrong. It's a little like Pete Carroll's call to pass on 2nd down in the SB last February...if you make the play, you're a hero...if not, you're an idiot. So, for any that would be "impressed" with Rex's amazing abilities to slap in the right answer, keep in mind that in spite of how cocksure he is, it's still ultimately a guess.

    For instance, today I put in "chAotic" for "INAHEAP." If I'd been right, I'd be gloating. Otherwise, it was just an educated stab in the dark. The trick, no matter what, is to be flexible. That, to me, is what makes a solver great.

    That said, no Googling, no spell checks, no cheats...so I call it relatively easy. I was afraid of that quad stack in the bottom, but the crosses made it really easier than expected.

    KNAR...I knew that word (from xwords) but couldn't remember if it was gN or KN. Knarled v. gnarled...interesting what one letter can do.

    jberg 9:16 AM  

    I struggled with this one, but I can't blame the puzzle. I ran through the list of capitals in the general vicinity of the Rift Valley (one of those places of which I know the general location, but not the precise boundaries), and confidently wrote in Kampala at 18A. Only much, much later, after much gnashing of teeth, did ANGELINA force me to realize that I not only had the wrong answer but had written it in the wrong space. After that AM RADIO, GI BLUES, and ERTE got a lot easier.

    It didn't help that I never heard of Buddy TATE and for some reason went with the drummer Buddy RICH instead. But that was easier to fix, as it was at least in the right place.

    @George_Barany, my daughter's getting married tomorrow as well. I guess it's June -- but anyway, I have things to do, so have to sign off now. Nice puzzle!

    Aketi 9:18 AM  

    @Mohair, ditto what Nancy said.

    It seems I missed a lot yesterday or maybe not, but I think one of the anonymice needs to watch the first couple of seasons of Dexter and pay attention to Debra for some hints on creative profanity.

    The My BREST Friend pillow is actually a real thing used by breastfeeding mothers.

    @Glamour Nazi, I don't wear lycra, I wear Gis. I wear dry fit under my Gis. Since the dojo requires that we wear their Gis for the MMA classes, my only choices are black or black with white stripes. So, the only arena for creativity is my hair and my toes. I received the most complements about my hair from the BJJ guys when I had OPALECENT fairy hair strands put into my hair at a lactation conference. My sensei for the MMA classes is still joking about the glitter on the floor when some of the strands were pulled out during rolling. Last night there was a debate over whether I should now change the streaks of red (to match my prior belt) in my white hair to black. My sensei has been nagging me that I'm not a proper black belt. One of my sparring partners thought that might be a little too Cruella DeVille. As for the toes, my big toes are now black instead of red and black. My little toenails are white with black french tips for my White Belt in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu.

    I'm not sure you would get very far trying to convince Ronda Roussey's followers that sweaty women in lycra are not glamourous.

    http://www.rondamma.com/

    By the way, if you want to put your talents into upgrading Martial Arts gear, you could work on gis for women which are often ill fitting. Merely dying a gi pink doesn't necessarily make it suitable for women if the fit is still designed for a man's body.


    Anonymous 9:19 AM  

    Martin@3:08AM-

    If you insist on posting by dictating into your iPhone, you had best edit or apologize in advance, lest we think you have run off the track.

    Dept. of superfluous words 9:42 AM  

    Do we really need the "supporting" in the clue for RIB? Why not just "Part of a cage?"

    Not Lewis 9:44 AM  

    Factoid: The Lamprey is the only vertebrate without a RIB cage.

    Billy C 9:51 AM  


    Never heard of KNAR.

    @Barany's self-promoting again.

    @Brett -- it's " ...FARTHER from Brest ..." BTW: isn't 6:30 in the morning a bit early for a coffee breah?


    Whirred Whacks 9:52 AM  

    After yesterday's bout of NYM-mania, today's was straight-forward and fun.

    Like many of you, I was initially a bit intimidated to see a bottom-feeding quad-stack, but the clues and crosses made them fairly easy to work out. SACAGAWEA DOLLAR and ARLENE DAHL came early for me. "Out-lying result" was a nifty clue for TAN.

    And, I'm a big fan of ORWELLIAN -- especially the clue "double-think," of which there is much these days.

    My son is getting married in Healdsburg in August, and tomorrow we're having about 16 members of his wedding party over to our house for a relaxing get-together to pick blue-berries and walk in the redwoods.

    Enjoy your weekends!

    Horace S. Patoot 10:01 AM  

    I don't think we should try to use KNAR less. We should use it more! i would like to see it acquire new meanings so that became a part of everyday speach. It's so solid and substantial sounding. I for one plan to use it as an expletive from now on. "No more coffee? KNAR!!"

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:04 AM  

    Fine puzzle.

    In addition to MALADAPT before MISADAPT, I had 48 A as the author GAY Talese before his wife, the editor and publisher NAN A. Talese. Should have paid more attention to that middle initial.

    I'm going on vacation, off the grid. See you in two weeks or so.

    Billy C's troll 10:08 AM  


    @Billy C is an asshole again.

    RnRGhost57 10:09 AM  

    @Whirred Whacks: will be in your neck of the redwoods tomorrow and will look for a party of happy perambulators with blue-stained hands.

    As a longtime resident of Chico, CA, the home of the Sierra Nevada brewing company, I loved the AMERICAN PALE ALE answer.

    Andrew Heinegg 10:10 AM  

    I enjoyed this. While I thought it was much more Wednesday-ish than Friday, it was a fun solve. Who knew Nairobi is in the Great Rift Valley? Not I, said the pig. Or should I say whose world geography knowledge has the name of that Valley in its storage unit.

    Masked and AnonymoUUs 10:14 AM  

    @muse, mohair, michael d: Recommend vodka and cinnamon rolls with the morning NYTPuz. Takes the edge off just the straight bug juice.
    Huh - Didn't think MAS bein from Canada was such a well-kept secret, by now. Happy b-day to MAS's dad, btw.

    Like the grid layout. Looks like the bottom third was soaked in paint remover (or Canadian vodka) overnight.

    fave entry: KNAR. Have a young nephew livin in Poland, who has a new kid; claimed that the kid's first word (at age six months) was GLAR. Probably was tryin for KNAR, of course.

    Got ORWELLIAN off the W in MACAWS. Had to kinda piece together ARPEL (faulty brain wanted to start out with ARLEN, so work needed to be done). Top half was pretty breezy. More trouble down below, becuz the paint fumes were still kinda strong. Liked how all the I's at the bottom got to be standalone words or word lifeforms. Helped, somehow.

    themelessthUmbsUp.

    M&A

    **gruntz**

    Ludyjynn 10:15 AM  

    Add ERTE to the French mini-theme of this puzzle. Although born in St. Petersburg, Russia, as Romain de Tirtoff, he became a French national, adopting the pseudonym ERTE from the French pronunciation of his given name. Clever, huh?

    So much to like about this solve, which I POSIT is an homage to the arts: literature, poetry, jazz, brewing, film, decorative, ETAL. All in my wheelhouse, a rare event on a Friday!

    This CHOCOHOLIC thanks you, MAS and WS, for a POSitive experience.

    Billy C 10:16 AM  

    @MyTroll --

    Your language shows you up for what you are. Have a nice day.

    Ellen S 10:18 AM  

    Drat - I never get to comment - have to be dressed and out with the dogs before it gets too hot (I'm in the Sacramento Desert, here), and then the day gets away from me. So I'll pipe in without reading all the comments and try to read more over breakfast. I do the puzzle in Puzzazz and saw the choice of Friday or Monday-Tuesday, and with some misgivings, I chose Friday. Super-easy but I was struck by the plethora of ancientness. Hardly a proper name that wasn't older than Martin (calculating back from his father's 83rd). 1952. 1960. Oh, 1972, that's pretty modern, about when my then-soon-to-be-ex-husband bought a CELICA (the car wasn't the problem, btw). I think USB is about the newest thing in the puzzle.

    Hand up for bose rather than SINE -- Bose corporation was founded in 1964, too new for this puzzle?

    Okay, gotta get out of here. Just wanted to check in. Re-reading what I've written I sound grumpier than I feel: thank you, @MAS, for a fun puuzzle.

    Roo Monster 10:26 AM  

    Hey All !
    Nice FriPuz that started Challenging, but as I was about to give up and resort to Goog, something in the ole brain kicked in and started getting a bunch of answers! Yay me! But still had a DNF because of the KNAR area. :-( Had MalADAPT, and really wanted to change it to MISADAPT, but didn't. Didn't know ARLENEs last name, and couldn't come up with CAFE (had Crem, thinking creme), so I left those 4 squares blank. Actually did want either IM HERE or IM HomE for 40A, and thought 44A was ISOLA, but couldn't come up with a word to replace my KNot. Sigh. But good for me for a Friday!

    Liked the quad stack, always fascinates me how someone gets such clean fill with areas like that. Especially with the crossing long Downs. Good job MAS.

    Writeovers, dirt for AN OX, CoronA for CELICA. Wasn't sure on the T or E for OPALESCENT for a bit.

    @Sir Hillary - GIBletS! Ha! That was awesome! And @LMS, on your post yesterday, the best wad Does Does. How do you think of stuff like that? :-) (Using a word from this post, I couldn't get my regular hotel, so I had to resort to a different resort.) Learning from the master? :-)

    AFAR
    RooMonster
    DarrinV

    Tita 10:45 AM  

    Within my mom's extensive dessert répertoire is the elegant ****Paris-BREST, which includes many dollops of crème Chantilly.
    Actually very easy to make - it's basically a cream puff. It always brings oohs and aahs, followed by yums.

    Congrats for all the birthdays/weddings...

    I liked this puzzle immensely, for all the reasons mentioned above. But mostly, because a Friday that I can complete with no cheating makes me oh so superior, and finishing one this fast makes me vastly so. The very rare times when that happens, I spend a few seconds feeling cheated out of a Friday struggle, but egotistically, that feeling doesn't last.

    Oh - and a 1990 CELICA GT was the second in a line of Arrest-me red cars that I have owned.

    Lewis 10:50 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Lewis 10:52 AM  

    Rex used to castigate MAS; today he found little in the puzzle to complain about. Nor did I. Great clues for TAN, HEN, MACAWS, SINE, AFAR, and ISTILLDONTGETIT, and some beautiful answers: ORWELLIAN, OPALESCENT, CAFEAULAIT, and MANIACAL. What an enjoyable solve!

    I'm thinking about how hard it must be to come up with a quad stack like that, with nary a GNAR in the crosses. As your resident alphadoppeltotter, I need to report that this puzzle has a very unusually low double letter count -- 4 (anything under five is rare, and we haven't had anything this low in many months) -- and three of them are double L's. If anyone can come up with a no-double-letter puzzle, I believe MAS can. Come on, Martin, make a little history here!

    Z 11:02 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Z 11:03 AM  

    @Lewis - @MAS might disagree but I always took it as Rex castigating "stunts."

    @Mike D - In case you missed the Mighty Masked One's post, MAS is a Canuck. Also, Gareth Bain is a South African veterinarian, Vic Fleming is a judge, John Child lives in Nepal, Mac in the Netherlands, and I think the letter Z is resplendent in timeless beauty. Hang around for a little while and you too can know all the secretive, hidden codes of the Royal Order of the Commentariat.

    @Yesterday's Anonymouse - I thought of you as I read the last paragraph here. I've now added being cited in the OED to my unattainable life goals list.

    Roo Monster 11:07 AM  

    Couple of additional thingies,
    @Generic Solver, you said puz not symmetrical. It is, except is is left-right symmetry, not top-bottom. With left-right, the diagonal-ness doesn't come into play, just fold in the middle lentgh wise, and all blocks line up.

    @Haiku Nerd, thought I'd give it a go (since you did say the more the merrier!)

    I BET AN OX RIB
    CHOCOHOLIC MONOLOG
    MANIACAL PLEAD

    RooMonster

    GILL I. 11:14 AM  

    I got SATCHMO likety split then JOHN STEINBECK off of JETE. (Hi Leapy!) SACAGAWEA DOLLAR went in smooth as silk pajamas. Then, my happy feet started doing the Samba and I was feeling mighty fine. I now want to have a Margarita with Loren and anybody else who cares to join.
    Martin, I'd say this was one of your best - although I've liked all of your puzzles. I'm a stackOHOLIC so I squeal with delight when you appear.
    MONOLOG was actually the hardest for me because I thought it's GUE is the ending...Also wanted caramalize but CAFEAULAIT is so much nicer.
    @George - enjoy your daughter's special day and be thankful you'll be in beautiful Santa Barbara enjoying balmy weather....
    @Martin - a happy birthday to your father. I bet he loved this puzzle as much as the rest of us...

    Nancy 11:22 AM  

    @Lewis -- I've never been aware of a plethora of double letters in crossword puzzles. Nor am I aware of when the count is being kept low. Nor do I have any idea why that's considered an achievement for a constructor. (But then, I'm not a constructor.) Can you explain WHY a lot of double letters tend to occur and WHY it's hard to keep the count down? I'm not being coy; I'm really, really curious.

    I won't pick this up till later, since I'm going out now. But if you answer, I will read with interest. Thanks, Lewis. (Or anyone else who can answer this question.)

    mathguy 11:34 AM  

    Excellent puzzle, excellent comments!

    @Nancy: I was feeling proud that I had solved it rather easily and then I read your comment. Back to earth.

    I am also a great admirer of John Steinbeck but I have tried to get through East of Eden twice without success.

    I'm all for having less symmetry when it results in a winner like today.

    My daughter was so appalled at my dancing ability that she made me take two dancing lessons before her wedding. My foxtrot in the father-bride dance was deemed acceptable.

    Lewis 11:37 AM  

    Just noticed the cross of BREST and TIT...

    @nancy -- The thing with double letters is an inexplicable obsession of mine; there is nothing important about it. But I have been monitoring double letter counts for many moons now, enough to determine that anything over 15 or under 5 is extremely rare. In the NYT there has never been a zero (@R.alph found two that have zero, but it was due to the nature of the theme, which forced it) and the highest has been in the low 20s. As to the why, I'm sure it has to do with frequencies in the language, probabilities, and even possibly SINES, all areas well beyond my ken. But if a zero puzzle came along, that would be a notable achievement, and MAS is the one who likes to push the envelope. My advice, Nancy -- don't even think about it! I repeat, it is not important. And yet, inexplicably, I will continue to report on it.

    Loren Muse Smith 11:39 AM  

    @Mohair Sam, @Z, @Gill… I'm giving you loppy, slopsided smiles.

    @Mike D – ouch! Bagels are my usual brkfstw faeir , but *&^% Cuervo was whyspring my nammme , dorfk drink driven drivel dwrokem,d mels.ls Lewis anmed clark 's girrlle. htttow.

    r.alphbunker 11:40 AM  

    This was a very enjoyable puzzle for me to solve. I got off to a slow start and there were several speed bumps encountered along the way but there were glorious stretches of filling in answers rapidly between the speed bumps.

    My avatar shows this. Each line represents the amount of time that elapsed between entering correct answers. The longest line near the top represents the 3 minutes between entering the answer EXEC and entering SINE.

    Lewis 11:50 AM  
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    Lewis 11:52 AM  

    Factoid: As a child, Louis Armstrong's wide smile earned him nicknames like "Dippermouth," "Gatemouth" and "Satchelmouth." The latter became "SATCHMO" in the 1930s when a London writer mistakenly contracted the words.

    Quotoid: "Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass." -- JOHN STEINBECK

    Arlene 11:56 AM  

    Quad stack - Friday puzzle. Did it! YAY!
    Nice to have everything fall into place!

    Leapfinger 12:03 PM  

    The Elvis GIBLetS movie is @SirHillarious.

    This may be the loveliest puzzle I ever solved; beautifully clued* and just about every second entry brought up some fun association. I read Cannery Row when I was still a young and impressionable Leapfinger, and loved how JOHNSTEINBECK headed each chapter with some poetic thought. One I remember is 'The stars are holes torn in the sky, through which we may peer if we wish'; deeply thought-provoking then, kind of heavy on the whimsy now. Brest of all was being reminded of Ernie Kovacs NAIROBI Trio; almost everything he ever did makes me swallow my tongue. I mean that in a good way.

    I did knot have a big problem with KNAR, but thought (like others) of I'M HomE before I'M HERE, which would be the answer to "Where are you?". The difference between the two is somewhat entrancing. *(That's the reason I asterisked above.)

    OSWALD and the Book REPOSitory added some bite, but finishing up with I STILL DONT GET IT was a lovely bit of cognitive dissonance... or maybe just irony.

    MA-S, working in the SACAGEWEA DOLLAR was kinda loonie, but overall, this was AFAR FAR better solve than I have ever (well, almost ever) done. Thanks so much for the good time.


    "Even COWGIRLS Get the GIBLUES"

    Steven M. O'Neill 12:24 PM  

    KNAR + ADANO + "easy clues" = still a NATICK.

    (I'll get you next time, KNAR!)

    Haiku Nerd 12:33 PM  

    You made a haiku
    It is too good to be true
    Very well done Roo!

    Hartley70 12:50 PM  

    Being so far down on the comments reminds me that I really do need to wake up earlier on sunny days. As soon as I saw MAS as the constructor, I did a mental happy dance. And a stack! I love stacks as much as I love a good rebus. Thanks for chiming in Martin!

    I got into this with JOHNSTEINBECK and ARLENEDAHL...what a pleasant surprise to see her. It's been a while since "What's My Line?" was on the air. KNAR was completely new to me as a daily puzzle relative newbie. The NW was the last to fall until suddenly SATCHMO came to mind and I could correct my earlier guesses of tide, dirt, chaos, etc. CHOCOHOLIC pleased me to no end because my addiction was validated this morning by yet another study from Oxford telling me how beneficial it is to my health. Too good and it's true!

    @Mohair, Mrs. Sam Is a lucky woman. Who doesn't want a man who can make you laugh?

    @GeorgeBarany, @jberg, @WhirredWhacks etc. Love is in the air this year. I too am in the midst of wedding planning for my daughter whose big day is Oct. 3rd. I think my checkbook is on fire. I'm impressed that you're here. I imagine my brain will also have burst into flames on October 2nd.

    @Aketi, whaaaa? I can't wrap my head around that look, especially the fairy extensions. Personally, I think it would look better with a pair of Birkenstocks, but that's just me. Nancy you may be forced to start running around the resevoir if you spy Aketi coming your way straight from class!

    @Tita, while you are delightfully charming and clever, the person I really need to get to know is your MOTHER! I can oooh and aaah and yum with the best of them!

    @HoracePatoot I like your idea of expanding the KNAR usage. Perhaps an occasional verb? I'll KNAR you later, kiddo!

    Fred Romagnolo 1:35 PM  

    @Leapfinger: Only thing better than the Nairobi Trio was the Gorilla of my dreams Swan Lake. Like others I had fixated on music for 58A, and tried to work Italian in! Nobody's mentioned HEN 2 days in a row. @Billy C can defend himself, but he still has that MANIACAL thing about the good prof. It was good to be reminded that marches weren't the only thing Sousa wrote. My first thoughts, Opalesque and monologue indicate my age (also 83) as does my familiarity with SATCHMO and ARLENE DAHL, but ANGELINA and CAFE AU LAIT as a color were harder. I made it without references, but tomorrow's Saturday, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Roo Monster 2:43 PM  

    One more :-) (Sorry, these things are addictive!)

    COWGIRL NAN ET AL
    ORWELLIAN AS AM I
    NOT ONCE IN A HEAP

    Thanks @Haiku Nerd, you got me going!

    KNAR!
    Roo

    mathguy 2:51 PM  

    @Hartley 70: I think that you are thinking about Arlene Francis. I read her memoirs at one time. Entertaining reading.

    @Lewis: Thanks for the lovely Steinbeck quote.

    JFC 2:53 PM  

    Alas, Rex, I'm sorry to hear you have a summer cold. They are absolutely the worst in that it's very hard to get rid of them. But you have the blessing of being young and being young helps heal the body if not the soul....

    JFC

    Anonymous 3:05 PM  

    Folks I lost sleep over KNAR, seriously I did. KPAX, KCAR, etc. I tried 'em all.

    -MAS

    Anonymous 3:17 PM  

    @JFC: I'm going to cry. That was beautiful. Jesus has a special place in his heart for you, and for Rex.

    Anonymous 3:22 PM  

    @MAS (if that's really you), for what it's worth, I think KNAR is an excellent word. It feels poetic and ancient, and light years better than overused and typical crosswordese. No shame necessary.

    Anonymous 3:34 PM  

    It's me!

    -MAS

    evil doug 3:39 PM  

    "Again, but slower." That's what she said.

    Anonymous 3:48 PM  

    OK, I realize that this is how puzzles are made, but I still find it amazing when two answers (SACAGAWEADOLLAR and AMERICANPALEALE) exactly match consonants and vowels, letter for letter, for their entire length.

    Pablo Picasso 3:49 PM  

    Brett Chappelle said: "Brest should have been in the upper left corner to make it geographically accurate. " He must be looking at one of my paintings. .

    evil doug 4:08 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Leapfinger 4:15 PM  

    And she was right.

    @Hartley, the best kind of man is ONE who can make you both laugh and think. And if he can change a tire, don't let him get away.

    @FredRom, oh! I could reel off some dozens of Kovacs' beauties! The man had a very inventive sensayuma. And not bad-looking... for a Hungarian.

    Thanks for the Tate a Tate, @Alias, and the interesting factoid; that could make you go to The Kyphotic of Notre Dame.

    Did y'all know that unicorn thingy that knarwhals have is really a tooth?

    Ludyjynn 4:29 PM  

    @Hartley, the lovely ARLENEDAHL was formerly married to suave actor Fernando Lamas (who Billy Crystal satirized on SNL with the tagline, "You look MAHVELOUS!"). Their hunky offspring is Lorenzo Lamas, who hit his career peak on TV's soap/drama "Falcon Crest". Like his mother, he is a serial monogamist. Can't believe I know this shit.

    foxaroni 5:01 PM  

    @Lewis--I second @mathguy. The Steinbeck quote was exquisite.

    AliasZ 5:10 PM  


    @Leapy,

    Yes I knew that about the knarwhales.

    And just what exactly do you mean by "...not bad-looking for a Hungarian"? Are we all kyphotics? I resemble that remark.

    Here's a little Percy Dovetonsils.

    AZPETE 5:27 PM  

    Bet u also struggle with Mark Twain.

    KFC 5:30 PM  

    @MAS - Another fine quad and you shouldn't feel bad about KNAR dude. After all it's a Friday puz and this was already too easy.

    AZPETE 5:34 PM  

    Good one.

    Anonymous 6:16 PM  

    SACAGAWEA made me wonder what other name or word has a "g" followed by an "a" and the g is a soft g...

    So I consulted her Wikipedia entry and it turns out that the pronunciation of her name is an iffy, complicated subject and so is its spelling.

    That may be a soft "g" or a hard "g," it's arguable either way.

    Teedmn 8:02 PM  

    Since I seem to be on a roll this week for posting links to strange articles, let me give you this one in response to @LMS's query from yesterday as to whether deer go on RANTS:

    Deer Attacks Farmer

    @Martin Ashwood-Smith, thanks for the very nice quad stack Friday. Like @Gill I, I am a stackOHOLIC. I found it easy "for a Friday" with my time coming in at only two minutes longer than yesterday. This means 24 minutes so we aren't talking speed of light here. There were a few places I was sure were going to do me in. I had ARdElE first but ORWELLIAN made me decide ARLENE was more likely and then GI BLUES made sense rather GIB DUES ( GIBletS would have made more sense than DUES but hey). Hand up for Mal before MISADAPT. But I did get JOHN STEINBECK with only the J and I, and NAIROBI from NA. So my solve probably would have graphed out similarly to @r.alph bunker's.

    @Leapfinger, liked your Loonie reference. When I was skiing with friends in Whistler-Black Comb, we were looking at a Toonie coin. It had a very strange image on it, like a robot or astronaut. Couldn't make heads or tails of it. We asked the waitress, pointing at the coin, "What is this?" She launched into an explanation of the two dollar coin concept. I guess there are a lot of dumb questions from Americans. When she finally understood what we were really asking, she had to claim ignorance so I'm still wondering what it was. Anybody?

    jae 8:25 PM  

    @Teedmn - Not sure what you saw. When we were in Banff last year the Toonie had Elizabeth on one side and a polar bear on the other.

    Happy Pencil 8:34 PM  

    Two great puzzles in a row. What a treat! Yesterday's was clever and today's was smooth as silk. Thanks, MAS -- always a pleasure to solve a puzzle with a quad stack.

    @Teedmn, the toonie has a picture of a polar bear on it, assuming you didn't somehow mistake the Queen for a robot. I think the image is pretty clear. Occasionally, though, they do swap out the image in favour of a significant event or to mark an anniversary, like the War of 1812. Maybe you saw a special coin?

    Oddly, despite being Canadian, I plopped in SACAGEWEA DOLLAR easily and that made all the difference to my solve. Different strokes for different folks, eh?

    @CascoKid, I continue to love the way your mind works. Your KCar comment won the day for me!

    Z 8:42 PM  

    @teedmn - Is this what you saw? {scroll down}

    Anonymous 8:53 PM  

    @teedm-Is this what you saw?

    Teedmn 8:59 PM  

    @Z and @Anon 8:53, yes, indeed. Thank you, now I can Google it. We were there in January 2000 so that's the right time period.

    Teedmn 9:07 PM  


    And here's a description of the image from wiki dot. No wonder we were confused - that's a lot of symbolism to try to fit onto a coin:

    "The reverse, designed by Germaine Arnaktauyok, features an Inuit drum dancer with his drum bearing an outline map of Nunavut. A stone lamp is depicted inside the map, serving as a source of warmth, providing a sense of security and representing a beacon of hope for the future of Nunavut."

    Leapfinger 9:39 PM  

    @Teedmn, curiosity about what you saw on the Toonie made me look it up. Most have a single polar bear on the reverse, and the 2000 minting had a mother bear with two cubs to represent the 'Transfer of Knowledge" to the upcoming generation. It sounds asif what you saw (that @Z showed) was the 1999 design: 'Nunavut First Nations artist Germaine Amaktauyok created a special design to commemorate the founding of Nanavut, Canada's newest territory'. That's all the site I found had on it, so I can't say anything more about the significance the design. Just be ready for MA-S to use NUNAVUT or AMAKTAUYOK in a future grid.
    (@Z, I don't think you're s'posed to say "Canuck" unless you are one.)

    @Alias, always the victor, you go, man!. When we stumble in the dark, may the on-key losing spondee light us. You do realize that 'for a Hungarian' referred to me?
    PS: Percy Dovetonsils is probably my least favourite Kovacs character, yet I was in stitches.

    re @LMS 11:39: Someone get the lady a bib and a towel before she drowns. She has my vote for MIS ADePT for the day.

    Also seconding all those who want to see more of KNAR. As can plainly be seen, I'm always in favour of a little more KNARischkeit.

    Hey, hey, it's almost Saturday!

    Nancy 9:55 PM  

    @Lewis -- Thanks for telling me I don't have to think about double letters ever again. What a huge relief! You've taken a load off my mind.

    Much luck and happiness to all the people planning weddings. I'm sure they'll all be wonderful.

    After being in the park all day, I just caught up with all the comments. I thought today's blog was particularly interesting, funny, and gemutlich. (Is that the spelling? I didn't study German and spellcheck doesn't do foreign languages.) Anyway, it was fun to read everyone's posts.

    MDMA 10:03 PM  

    Anonymous @6:16,

    algae, gaol, judgment, margarine, mortgagor

    Hartley70 10:31 PM  

    @MathGuy ET AL, my girl ARLENE was both a mystery guest and a panelist on "What's My Line?". I mean, could Wikipedia be wrong? And there's no comparison with Arlene Francis, no slouch but in a completely different way. I'm not too far from her home in Sparkill. I'll whip on over there for Saturday tea and ask her.

    Anonymous 10:50 PM  

    MDMA:

    Thanks, that's three at least. (Don't know why you included judgment and mortgagor...)

    MDMA 10:53 PM  

    Also,

    acknowledgment, fledgling, Reg (for Reginald), veg

    Gaea, according to some. As opposed to Gaia, which has a hard g.

    Margarie as a variant of Marjorie

    Anonymous 11:01 PM  

    MDMA:

    Wait, stop, I was only curious about the "ga" combination, not any example at all of a soft g.

    I notice that several of these valid examples you cite are "g" followed by a Greek-type dipthong. The only exceptions so far are "margarine" and "Margarie" (the latter I'll have to take your word for).

    Z 11:23 PM  

    @Leapy - No worse than "Yankee" - sports team and all.

    kitshef 11:42 PM  

    Aside from a few spelling quandaries, had a pretty easy time of if (for a Friday). SAC(A/E)G(E/A)WEA, AN(G/J)ELINA, CHOC(O/A)HOLIC.

    What a great 4-stack. The downs really didn't suffer at all. MalADAPT would have been better than MISADAPT, but can't blame that on the acrosses.

    ANOX was fun. I wondered how long it would have hung me up if I had 'A' followed by a three-letter word in my head. A FOX? A COX? A LOX?

    cwf 12:27 AM  

    No one is ever going to read this but I just wanted to say, MAS, that that was beautiful, tight puzzle without much dreck and it unfolded itself elegantly. Thanks.

    Elephant's Child 8:57 AM  

    It isn't only the diphthong that disqualifies 'algae' (pour moi); it's the fact that that singukar 'alga' comes with a hard G. Makes me think that 'algae' evolved into a soft G simply to clarify the distinction between sing. and plural forms. Not that this would be a wide-spread problem inthe English-speaking world; I just happen to know someone who specializes in algal study. And yes, he is rather a tiny person.

    That leaves only magarine, and something abaht it strikes me as ersatz.

    @cwf, one never knows.

    Kate Mark 2:38 PM  



    Am here to testify what this great spell caster done for me. i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my husband have been having a lot of problem living together, he will always not make me happy because he have fallen in love with another lady outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my husband leave this woman but the more i talk to him the more he makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my husband again. this spell caster who was a woman told me that my husband is really under a great spell that he have been charm by some magic, so she told me that she was going to make all things normal back. she did the spell on my husband and after 5 days my husband changed completely he even apologize with the way he treated me that he was not him self, i really thank this woman her name is Dr Aluta she have bring back my husband back to me i want you all to contact her who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem she will solve it for you. her email is traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com she is a woman and she is great. wish you good time.

    Scott Bayer 5:44 PM  

    American is changing for the best i can say this because the gay community just literally got liberated i mean we can officially get married and be part of the the American society. When i heard the news i was filled with joy i mean me and my fiance the man i have always can finally own our marriage certificate in Georgia.It was not always right for us if you know what i mean. Before we got married in California ,he was not in love with me or i would say he was in love with me and lost for another guy and it was frustrating.We were off and on and mostly times our break up was always bad it always ends with huge fight. I loved him and wanted to be all his for the rest of my life but he did not see that he wanted to have me to himself and still see other guy i mean who does that? He was the queen of heart breaker and also was perfect when he wants to mend the heart. This was why i also went back to him no matter what always led to our ugly break up. But this madness just kept going on over and over with us and like i said i was sick of it. You can't hurt me over and over again and still come back to me i mean i am not a play thing you use and drop when you tired. Judge me if you will it not like i care because all my life people have always said trash about me but if i had paid their attentions i would not have been this happy. After searching for means to make him commit to me even taking him with me to couple counseling i decide i contact a spell caster called Obudun Magonata it was just an arbitrary choice i mean, i told myself if he can't help me i will move on with my life maybe the one i clam to be the love of my life was not the one after all. Obudun Magonata is an angel sent from a place i don't know.He save me and made me he happiest man on earth or more preferable the happiest gay man on earth . I don't know how he did it just after he help me cast a love spell, every pain that i was going through was lifted of my shoulder like magic my lover became the queen of hearts i would say he became mine and loved me like his life depended on it.When i first contacted Obudun Magonata, he told me to come down to his temple so i may witness the greatness of his work we got the materials we used for the spell together and just after four day i say the greatness of his power.But i spent a lot Because i had to travel all the way to Africa.It will be cheaper for me to have had him get the materials form me but i was foolish. But its amazing i still got my heart desire. He also told me that the gay community will soon be free and in just two months his prophecy has come to pass. Who wants to tell me he is not great contact i you will here you will not regret your decision use thus address spiritsofobudunmagonata@yahoo.com

    Kim Ray 3:12 PM  

    What do i stand for in this world without my lover by my side?, This was the taught that was running through my mind when my lover departed from me. You know one thing i believe in is that once you are having problems that are bringing you down God always use people to raise you up. In my case it was Dr.Zadson that was used in helping me get my lover back, Since the help of Dr.Zadson i must say that my relationship has been filled with more love and as a matter of fact my lover never does a thing without me. So you see this is the more reason why i must thank Dr.Zadson and the more reason why i must put his details on this site to enable other people contact him via email
    eduduzadsontemple@yahoo.com

    Burma Shave 10:42 AM  

    ENDO GIBLUES?

    NOTONCE did that COWGIRL let me touch her BREST,
    though I PLEAD, it looks DOUR and IBET it
    is a SINE that I won’t feel that OPALSCENT chest
    whether IMHERE or AFAR ISTILLDONTGETIT.

    --- OSWALD RAMIS

    spacecraft 10:49 AM  

    Easy for a Friday. Save for a couple of tricky places it practically laid itself down. Curiously, one of those was OFL's gimme CHOCOHOLIC, which I finally sussed by realizing "Oh, THAT kind of (Hershey's) Kiss." Another was the fact that, somehow, CAFEAULAIT is actually the name of a color. I'm not familiar; I drink mine black.

    Then there was 36d. For a while I thought MAS had MISADAPTed the prefix MIS- to make up a word--but no, that's a real word. I don't think I'll ever use it, lest I, um, MISADAPT it. Ugh! The only other point to give me pause was the Elvis flick; with GI_L___ in place, I of course tried to make it GIRL something. Wasn't there a GIRLSGIRLSGIRLS? Way too long, though. But GIBLUES hit soon after.

    And that's it; the rest was an antoNYM of the bottom line. I wonder what Charley's traveling companion would think of being top-billed by good old George. Both doubleplusgood authors. One was quoted; here's a favorite of mine from the other:

    "And they looked from pig to man, man to pig, and it was already becoming difficult to tell which was which."

    Plusgood, Martin.

    rondo 12:33 PM  

    I had a couple of trouble spots that held up progress for a while. Right out of the gate I was dumb as “dirt” in an “Eton” business suit instead of ANOX and EXEC. Doubleplusbad. And libRETTo for OPERETTA; so the whole NW was worse than INAHEAP for a long time. Finally assembled it correctly, but what a mess. Awol for AFAR was unhelpful over there.

    I hope everyone here has read the major works of our two authors who are, today, stacked, not unlike:

    ARLENEDAHL who was quite the yeah baby of her time, and from MN! ANGELINA, too; yeah baby that is, not from MN. And Dale was quite the COWGIRL.

    ADANO rings a bell.

    Why were the magi wearing red suspenders? They had come from AFAR.

    I really enjoyed this puz. It sure covered a lot of territory.

    Anonymous 2:20 PM  

    First off to @DMG, I am sorry but I have to stay anon. My first name is Ron and I live in San Diego, ergo: Ron Diego. There is too much personal info on the internet as it is. Awhile back I had a bout with identity theft and I don't want to go through that mess again. You can always find my comments usually after Spacecraft as he is the early bird. I really like the Syndies and I also scroll down thru the nasty remarks and have my favorites.

    Now, to the puzzle. If it weren't for my book on movies I would never have finished. Yes, I cheat. I've never seen any of Elvis's movies and have long forgotten "Journey to the center." And I remember Groundhog Day but the Director????? I don't know who remembers that kind of stuff. Other than the Classics, I don't know Mamet from the Coen Bros. And Ramis is new to me.

    I'll call this one a Medium because of the research. Other than the proper nouns, this was a great fun puzzle and thank you Mr. Ashwood, who is one of my favorite constructors.

    Goodnight, fearless in Seattle, wherever you are. inka, dinka do.

    Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA (Home of fat heads, small minds but perfect Roman noses with no bodily warts).

    DMG 3:26 PM  

    This one took awhile. Lots of stuff I had to walk around until enough crosses gave me an inkling of the word. Like others I had KNot, which reluctantly turned int KNAR (thought that was spelled gNAR) when the odd IMHERE made itself known. Worse of all was the bottom line. Wanted something music related. It wasn't until I finally went off-grid and spelled it out on paper that the ball fell. Gee, how obvious!? Last letter was the R in ARS- thought Cato was a poet and didn't know the director. But a good guess earned the (unseen in print life) happy pencil!

    @mathguy: I too am a Steinbeck fan. Had a spell where I read everything of his I could find.. AND, I too shelved East of Eden unfinished. Just too dark, and the coat hanger thing spelled time to find something else!

    @Ron Diego: It's easy to sign in with your name. Just open the box labeled "Name/URL, put your name in the "Name" slot, and skip the URL thingie. I don't even know what that is or how to become the owner of one!
    P

    Anonymous 3:29 PM  

    Hey, is anyone paying attention? Anyone run this blog?? Is there just one lonely soul who is aware that we Syndies have to wade thru a week of comments in order to file our timely and scholarly words of wisdom, which will be passed down from generation to generation????

    I feel as though we Syndies are being ignored and treated as the Ebony Black Sheep or Internetdom. PLEASE, S.O.S. HELP. Fix it!!!

    Ron Diego

    leftcoastTAM 5:48 PM  

    This took more time than easy-medium. I had some aha moments at the long ones on the bottom, and opened up the SE by finally seeing CAFEAULAIT, which I had trouble associating with the clue. But my downfall was in the NW where I ran the alphabet for the ANOX/EXEC crossing, but stopped short of the X-Y-Z (which one should never do!) and ended DNF-ing with ANOb(?) crossing EbEC(!?). I really don't think oxen are quite as dumb as that.

    leftcoastTAM 6:17 PM  

    @Burma Shave: You are an X-word Poet Laureate. Take a bow.

    Waxy in Montreal 8:14 PM  

    Mrs. Waxy never lets me forget the day in 1972 I went out to buy our new family sedan and came home with a CELICA - totally impractical but loved that car!

    Was dumb as DIRT for far too long and can never spell SACA... properly which slowed things down. KNOT before KNAR as well. But what a great Friday puzzle!

    spacecraft 9:50 PM  

    @Ron Diego: If you've ever seen "Stripes" you've seen Harold Ramis, Bill Murray's longhaired sidekick. He sat in the director's chair for "Groundhog Day," and did a bangup job.

    @DMG: Ron's been around for a while, and surely knows how to sign in with a name--if he wanted to. He doesn't. No matter; we like his comments anyway. Yours too. :)

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