Mellow R&B track / FRI 3-25-16 / Acid alcohol compound / French border region / 500-pound bird hunted to extinction / Lost tapes rapper / Echos French daily / W competitor

Friday, March 25, 2016

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: RENÉ Préval (52A: ___ Préval, twice-elected president of Haiti) —
René Garcia Préval (French pronunciation: ​[ʁəne pʁeval]; born January 17, 1943) is a Haitian politician and agronomist who was twice President of the Republic of Haiti. He served from February 7, 1996, to February 7, 2001, and from May 14, 2006, to May 14, 2011. He was also Prime Minister from February 1991 to October 11, 1991. Préval was the first elected head of state in Haitian history to peacefully receive power from a predecessor in office, the first elected head of state in Haitian history since independence to serve a full term in office, the first to be elected to non-successive full terms in office, and the first former Prime Minister to be elected President. His presidencies were marked by domestic tumult and attempts at economic stabilization, with his latter presidency being marred through the destruction wrought by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. (wikipedia)
• • •

Wrote two exams and gave two exams and hiked in the woods for an hour and ate pizza and drank a Manhattan and had a chocolate-chocolate chip / walnut cookie my daughter made and Passed Out on the couch at like 9pm last night. Woke up (in bed, somehow) at 7am. Now it's 7:36 and I'm staring at this puzzle trying to recreate why it played so hard for me, given that so much of it—almost all of it—is fresh, up-to-date, familiar stuff. Stuff. You know, things, JUNK. Not PACK (1D: Stuff). Not PACK, Ian! Seriously, though, that was a nice misdirect, and 22% of the reason that I couldn't make the NW corner work for so long there at the end. But that corner was only the last in a series of roadblocks for me. In between the roadblocks was some lovely, vibrant scenery. I do like this puzzle. I think I was just having car problems, to continue this poor metaphor. So ... OK. I started in the NW and got absolutely nowhere. A French daily I've never heard of ... probably ends "-ES"; Probably LES but not sure, could be DES (?). Wanted JUNK / KNEEL (half right!). Tore that out. Wanted, amazingly, ARAL at 3D: Water source for 11 countries (NILE). ARAL is the one that is *disappearing*, Rex. Come on! So I just abandoned ship up there, to toggle to another metaphor. And then I found a much friendly, warm, laid-back reception in the NE, in the loving embrace of SLOW JAM (7A: Mellow R&B track), the first thing I put in the grid with any certainty.

Between that and "Glengarry Glen Ross," that whole corner was Mine (11D: "Glengarry Glen Ross" co-star, 1992). But one problem coming out of there—the biggest problem I had in the whole damn puzzle—was 7D: Pink property. I kept hacking away and getting letters, but it continued to make no sense. I sensed early it could be a Monopoly property, but, funny story, I have none, and I mean zero, recollection of there being a STATES AVENUE. I mean ... none. So I eventually had AVENUE (from crosses) and STATE (from crosses) and thought "Hmm, STATE blank AVENUE, what letter goes there? "S"? STATE S AVENUE ... what is that?" If I had to name all the Monopoly properties I could, I would never name STATES AVENUE, clearly. MARVIN GARDENS, BOARDWALK, ST JAMES PLACE, VERMONT AVENUE, PACIFIC AVENUE, see, I know a lot of them. Soooo. I got slowed right down. Also couldn't remember how to spell the DHABI part of ABU DHABI (seriously, even now I typed "DAHBI"), and that was the part I *needed* to get into that perilous little SE corner (38D: Where Etihad Airways is headquartered). But ESTER / SPA / ARISEN bailed me out.

Did you know HANGOVER CURE has exactly the same number of letters as HAIR OF THE DOG? (19D: Supposed morning remedy) And they both start with "H"! Fun! [faceplant].

HATERADE and HASHTAG already feel like dated slang your parents know and use wrong, but I still like them, perhaps because I'm actually the parent in this scenario. I tore up that SW corner (GARETH is a close personal friend of mine), and went right up to the NW corner, where I nearly died. That clue on 1A: Far and away one's favorite writer? is both ingenious and unfair. The "favorite" part really adds unnecessary and irrelevant information that even the "?" doesn't fully redeem. The "Far and away" part is perfect. Same with "writer." But "favorite"? Thought for sure it would be an actual writer's name. A writer who might be someone's actual favorite. A specific writer, anyway. Vague clue on EVEN (2D: Flush) and (as with PENPAL) general category of answer (rather than specific answer) for 5D: Snorkeling mecca (ATOLL) added to my woes. I think AVIATE eventually saved me (14A: Fly). Don't remember.

There's some great, great clues in here, including
  • 17A: Slice from a book? (PAPER CUT)
  • 12D: Chill in bed? (AGUE)
  • 26D: Statements for the record (LINER NOTES)
Overall, this was a fine puzzle that I was in no shape to handle effectively this morning.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 8:36 AM  

I imagine people will find this one easier than I did; I finished, but those POL/PITT/ARRANT crosses were guesses. If I've ever filled in ARRANT, I don't remember.

This one had some really great clues: STALE, POINT, LINER NOTES, PAPER CUT… especially the one for ODOR. Made me think, "Oh, right!"

A couple of years ago, I pestered GARETH Bain with a theme idea, and one of my themers was "loony teens." He gently corrected me that it had to be LOONEY. I was crushed. And there I had sat on the couch in Chattanooga all those Saturday mornings arguing with my sisters about who had the best "beep beep" imitation.

Liked STONE AGE and BONG. Anyone ever read Non Campus Mentis? There's a quote from a student essay, "Prehistoricle people spent all day banging rocks together so they could find food. This was the Stoned Age." My favorite is one where a student says that Germans had entertained themselves with cat berets. (I tell you, man – give a guy from Erlangen a colorful cat beret, put him in a corner, and he'll be content for hours.)

CELLOS took forever to see, even though I just watched this on Facebook.

And then there's this ODE TO JOY flash mob that is probably the best flash mob I've seen. Every time I watch, I get chills when the next bunch of musicians rolls out of the building. If you look carefully, you'll see that the violin section is short some players; three guys from Nuremburg were still inside playing Keep Away with a cat beret.

Fun solve, Ian. Bet there won't be a lot of commenters drinking from the HATERADE this morning. Hey, pass that Eau to Joy over this way. I'll have a big sip.

cwf 8:36 AM  

Kept getting stuck in this one and then saved by long gimmes: JACKLEMMON off of SLOWJAM; ODETOJOY; HANSOLO. ARRANT is a new word for me. Really wanted "ardent" to go in there but it just wouldn't!

jberg 8:37 AM  

Too long since I've played Monopoly, which made the NE corner not at all friendly for me -- finally figured it out when I was that PLACER was a better answer than brACEs. Meanwhile I'd gone through ARcANe and ARdeNT before arriving at the lovely word ARRANT. But spent way too much time thinking either it was some kind of VENUE, or else the equivalent of Jermyn Street (the original home of Thomas Pink the shirtmaker) in some other country. All the more satisfying when I finally got it. Beautiful Friday!

NCA President 8:40 AM  

This was a :ahem: good Friday for me. According to the applet, it's my best Friday time...basically half my average.

Breezed through with no problems at all. Admittedly, many of the answers were guesses at first (ALSACE, HAIROFTHEDOG, ODOR) and ODETOJOY was a gimme. But with those serendipitous guesses and a few other gimmes, I got a toe hold and never looked back.

NAS was the only ugh for me. Rapper names, no matter how famous they are to a broad cross-section of solvers, just seem like random letters to me. If you don't know the rapper, the name spelling could literally be anything. In fact, I think when those guys choose their name they intentionally make it quirky as possible. Which is probably the attraction most constructors have to them. But then, some constructors are attracted to random roman numerals or random geographical just because they are attractive "interesting" fill, doesn't mean you should use them.

That said, modern lingo like HATERADE...I like. I know, double standard...but I never said I was consistent in my taste.

I got ALSACE because I know they have some killer wines there. Pinot gris, Gewürtztraminer, and Riesling. Lots of mineral overtones and never cloyingly sweet. Some of the best white wines of those varietals in the world.

Speaking of BONG, I was in NYC last week and noticed some weed paraphernalia for sale on the street in Soho. NYC would probably mellow out a lot if they ever legalized weed in that state...

Lobster11 8:44 AM  

Liked this one a lot: The clever cluing and misdirects kept me on my toes throughout.

Like OFL, though, "Pink property" nearly did me in. In my case the Monopoly angle simply never dawned on me because, as many times as I've played that game in my life, it has never once occurred to me to refer to the color of that set of properties as "pink." It's not even freakin' close to pink. Go ahead, dig out your old Monopoly game -- surely you have one buried in a closet or up in the attic somewhere -- and just look at it. I mean, just look at it, and tell me that the word "pink" is a reasonably accurate name for that color. I don't know if the right color term is purple, or mauve, or grape, or mulberry, or.... but I am damn sure that it isn't pink. After a few moments with the Google Machine I now realize that in the game that this group of properties is in fact officially referred to as "pink" properties, so I guess I can't blame the puzzle constructor, but I really want to know who was in charge that day when the game makers chose those color names.

kitshef 8:46 AM  

POINTless, HOHUM ROT. There was not a single moment when I smiled, or thought about how clever a clue was, or liked an answer. Difficulty was Wednesdayish.

On the negative side of the ledger, we get EKES again, and a rapper crossing a knight not featured in Holy Grail, which seems likely to be Natick point, and the ridiculous HATERADE, and ELLE for the ninth day in a row. Nothing that terrible, but there is no fun or interest to balance things out.

In my edition STATESAVENUE is quite definitely purple, although pink seems to be more common.

GAwain before GARETH, HOstED before HOUSED, TiNt before TONE.

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

OFL is mistaken about the clue for PENPAL if you ask me. Far and away is adverbial, so it modifies favorite as an adjective--which then slips over into noun mode as a loose synonym for PAL. As in, "she's a favorite of mine." That block on the Monopoly board is much closer to magenta, no?

Z 9:01 AM  

Early morning schadenfreude was provided by HASHTAG CruzSexScandal (Hey - It's in The National Enquirer so its got to be true), so the HATERADE ODE TO JOY was more than timely. I'm sorry to say that we never had a VITAMIN BONG when I was young, but it seems like a nifty innovation. I also have to admit that a STONE AGE SLOW JAM with a grown up PEBBLEs sounds far more entertaining than hanging out with an ARRANT GARETH. Lots of great words today.

I solved anti-clockwise starting in the SW, finishing in the NW, but with less struggle than OFL. PALE ALES and LES gave me just enough to suss PENPAL, to PACK and then the rest seemed "why didn't I get these the first time" easy.

@LOREN MUSE SMITH - I thought we settled this. It is MEEP! MEEP!

Maruchka 9:05 AM  

HATER ADE is new to me. Is this The Donald's and the other DOG biters quaff d'annee?

Quick start with HAN SOLO and then - stared for a long, long time in a SLOW JAM sort of way. No HAIR pulling nor do-overs, one google. Nicely satisfying reveals.

Thanks, Mr. Livengood.

Fav of the day - LINER NOTES. Read them faithfully. Does any website provide them for tracks?

puzzle hoarder 9:08 AM  

I did the puzzle on my phone last night. I had to be up on watch anyway and figured why not. Good to know nothing bad came up. I thought my link to the blog was on the blink. My late comments from yesterday never showed up and Friday's blog seemed delayed.
I'm surprised at the rating this one would have been a pushover on paper. The HANGOVERCURE/HAIROFTHEDOG did slow me down after a quick start. The other write overs were GLO/SPA and GAROTH/GARETH. The O looked all wrong in the name but I was mostly going with the pun of 57A. I'm not familiar with it and just figured that must be how they spell it. My last entry was ARRANT. The online programming tells you there's a mistake. Now I don't know if I'd have gone back and found the GAROTH mistake on my own. This was a good puzzle with some excellent clueing I just found it much easier than yesterday's.

Hungry Mother 9:31 AM  

Easy for me, but I don't know why. Trapped inside the house by a thunderstorm, so not much else to do.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:36 AM  

Fine Friday; Med-Chall here, too.

My first two entries were HAIR OF THE DOG and ODE TO JOY, together a Great Big Help.

Very last entry, yup, STATES AVENUE.

One w/o, 48 A, HOSTED >> HOUSED.

Smitty 9:37 AM  

Easy for me - but then I struggle with days that are easy for you. Go figure.

archaeoprof 9:42 AM  

A fine Friday, delightfully difficult. NW was hardest for me too. FWIW I've always thought States Ave was a little more purple than pink.

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

I had the odd luck of knowing just enough factoids to sail through this at a record Friday time for me - still slower than what I imagine better solvers achieved. Loved PENPAL because my mother had a pen pal for about 60 years, and they were so close that the pen pal was the 1st person I called when mom died. Thanks to Rex for explaining STATESAVENUE. I got the entry correct from crosses, but had no idea about the Monopoly connection. Didn't know HATERADE - is that still a thing? This puzzle was the ideal level of difficulty for me - challenging enough to make me think, but still within my grasp.

Mohair Sam 9:46 AM  

Livengood and "did not finish" are synonyms in this household, but today proved that rare day when a late week puzzle that challenges OFL was easy for us. Each corner had a gimme that led to a key word going the other direction. NILE gave us AVIATE and CELLOS; JACKLEMMON gave us SLOWJAM; EBBS gave us PEBBLE, and ODETOJOY gave us GARETH (just reread "The Once and Future King"). Then we chanced HAIROFTHEDOG off JOY and we were essentially done.

Everything to love about this puzzle. Cluing delightful right from 1 Across (Far and away one's favorite writer?). Know only two four letter Brit PMs - Home the other, and he's probably 10 (Douglas-Home), was there a Hume - I'm sure I'll be corrected here.

oldbizmark 9:48 AM  

goddamn northwest corner. the rest was cheese. but, that northwest corner, where most people start, always seems to give me fits and again was no exceptions. Have no idea what "Pink Property" means, so that slowed me down. HATERADE is nonsense and shouldn't be allowed in any respectable CW puzzle, and if it is, it should be marked with a "?" That is all.

johnny stocker 9:52 AM  

Not sure what it was, but I just flew through this one (by my standards). Pretty sure that was the first time I ever broke 10 minutes on a Friday. Only hangup I really had was putting in HANGOVERCURE at first in place of HAIROFTHEDOG (loved that answer, by the way)

Airymom 9:53 AM  

After months of mostly drek, this puzzle was a welcome relief--just terrific.

Hartley70 10:05 AM  

This would be a very hard puzzle to HATE because there's not "too much" of anything as far as I can see. I suppose the youngsters could kvetch about JACKLEMMON but I enjoyed his obscurity at this POINT in time and he's nicely balanced by NAS.

I got hung up on "braces" and it took forever to remember those nasty SPACERS. It seemed to me that the whole kit and kaboodle must be 24k gold when the bill arrived every month....for years. That was the only painful spot in the puzzle. Nice one!

Malsdemare 10:18 AM  

I blew through this without a hiccup, well, except for ARRANT, brACEs. But fixed those quickly. I really liked this. HAIR OF THE DOG was my seed entry and I never slowed down, highly unusual (okay downright rare) for me on a Friday.

@LMS thanks for the link to Ode to Joy. I almost burst into song when the sopranos came storming in. I think I shall have to watch that every morning after reading the paper. My spirits need lifting after all the crap in the news. The editorial this morning, "Je suis sick of this" says it all.

Friends are hosting a dinner and a movie tonight to watch "Spotlight." On Good Friday. There's something creepily apropos about that.

George Barany 10:37 AM  

I can relate to @Rex about the hectic academic schedule. Therefore, permit me to offer a single comment about @Ian Livengood's tough puzzle: Bravo for the ESTER clue, which is almost good enough to be used in an organic chemistry textbook.

Evan Jordan 10:41 AM  

ARRANT instead ARDENT is either brilliantly misdirectional or bald-faced sadism given the cluing. Not sure, but all-in-all a fun, well-rounded solve. Came in several minutes under my usual time so shouldn't complain either way.

Evan Jordan 10:48 AM  

I'd also like to note that "arrant" is listed by the top two Google lexicon hits as "dated" and a variant of "errant" (which is not dated in the least). Can we banish it yet?

Nancy 10:56 AM  

This didn't wow me, but it did have it's moments in cluing: PENPAL (which I got right away) and PAPERCUT, which took me forever. Some major early mistakes: brACEs before SPACER at 15D; ARdeNT before ARRANT at 32A; heXES before NIXES at 33D; and COME ON before WERE ON at 10D. That's a lot of mistakes in one small area (NE) of the puzzle, and it slowed me down on a puzzle that I found easy and rather HOHUM everywhere else. I didn't play Monopoly much as a child and I certainly don't remember STATES AVENUE, or what color it was. I didn't know SLOWJAM, either. And I never heard the term HATERADE -- happily so, I might add. So there were some challenges here, but not an especially hard or memorable Friday.

jae 10:58 AM  

Pretty easy Fri. for me too, no erasures and no WOEs.

I'm with @Lobster 11 et. al., STATES AVENUE seems more purple than pink. Puce maybe???

Zippy NE and SW corners and extremely light on dreck...gotta like it.

Steve M 11:00 AM  

Not too hard surprisingly

DBlock 11:06 AM  

Braces before Spacer but luckily (sadly?) have Monopoly Board memorized. Nice clear good puzzle.

Joseph Michael 11:24 AM  

Excellent Friday puzzle. From HATERADE to HASHTAG to PALE ALES, so many great entries and clues.

Struggled with 7D because I ended up for a while with SEVEN UP iat the end and kept trying to figure out how to connect the soft drink with the singer PINK. Did she own shares in the company or something? Finally a Monopoly board emerged and everything made sense.

Glengarry Glen Ross is my favorite Mamet play, so it was nice to see it honored here, even though it was the film afaptation that was referenced. Kudos to JACK LEMMON. for a well-deserved Oscar.

Andrew Heinegg 11:35 AM  

A fine piece by Mr.Livengood, who, by the way, has one of the best surnames in English; The cluing was cleverly misdirective but fair. I thought 16a cellos was wonderful. Nice puzzle with proper level of difficulty for a Friday;

GILL I. 11:37 AM  

I never really knew what HAIR OF THE DOG meant. All I knew is that if you drink all night you might as well continue in the morning. I think there's a bite at the end. It also seems that lots of other countries have similar sayings. In China it's "the drink that brings back the soul!"
I like the puzzle but I needed some help. SLOW JAM to start with. LINER NOTES took forever because it doesn't make sense to me.
AGUE...If I had that, I'd probably stay in bed too.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

I too started off with HANGOVERCURE, and brACEs instead of SPACER which made for a lot of fun head scratching in the center. This puzzle played beautifully; excellent clueing made it open up at a very enjoyable pace!

John V 11:49 AM  

Easy, save for ARRANT/PITT as others have commented.

Joe 11:50 AM  

Once I figured out my biggest problem, @rex hangover cure having the same number of letters as hair of the dog, it was clear sailing... except Gawain has the same number of letters as Gareth.

Lewis 11:52 AM  

@rex -- Funny terrific writeup. And I too thought ARAL! I also agree on the ingenious/unfair clue for PENPAL, but when I got it, it was a marvelous aha.

I like the backward HOHO crossing ODETOJOY.

Just what I want from my Friday puzzle. Grit grit grit with the allowance of some openings here and there, then more and more. The NW was brutal for a long while and the SE fell quickly, and in between, work and reward. Loved the clues for TIES, STALE, VITAMIN, PAPERCUT and PALEALES. NYT debuts for HATERADE and PAPERCUT, two answers I liked.

I sometimes wonder, when I look at a completed puzzle, could my brain have done all this faster? I mean, I got it all, so it was all in my head, but why did it take so long???

P-ARISEN 11:53 AM  

@lms, that's Eau de Joy. You can often catch it around Easter time on Channel 5.

Patou le monde knows this, tant pis

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

I had ST--- for 7D, and I put STONEWALL INN. Ended up making this a rage quit.

Masked and Anonymous 12:09 PM  

My Monopoly game's States Avenue deed's color bar ain't pink (yo, @Lobster dude). Eye-ballin the Sherwin Williams color sampler, I'd say its color is somewheres between Dynamo (SW6841) and Forward Fuchsia (SW6842). Maybe Juneberry (SW6573), if you spill some coffee on it, like we did.

ARRANT sounds new-ish to m&e. Also, sounds sorta like somebody that might be foolin around with Our Uncle.

Ain't never drank the HATERADE. Must be a story behind that term? How does one actually use HATERADE in a sentence? Is it a Sherwin-Williams color, somewhat north of Forward Fuchsia? (SW6842)

10-D clue {"It's our time to go!"} absolutely hypnotized the M&A. Figured 7-A started with "SLOW…", so 10-D probably and ergo started with "WE…" WE'RE didn't occur to m&e, but these bullet dealies did…
* WE PASS (explorin deeper meanins of "to go")
* WE PEES (ditto)

@009: yep. JUNK before PACK. One can never have enough stuff. We just went on a trip, to gather more stuff. Didn't get any pink stuff, tho. Maybe some near-Juneberry stuff. (SW6573)

Other than the previous peccadillers, we had a fun, smooth, and har-moanious solvequest. And didn't feel the least bit ganged-up on. Thanx, Mr. Livengood. HATS off. Rate it 4 U's.



1820 Stone Colonial House 12:09 PM  

Don't get what is specific to an excited pupil about the shout OHOH.

nick 12:29 PM  

Loved this one. Had same struggle as @Rex with the opacity of the NW so wound up solving from SE up. Han Solo, nas, paper cut, looney, all an ode to joy. Thank you, Ian Livengood!

Arden 12:50 PM  

Fun puzzle. Missed out on the pol/Pitt cross. Loved the rest.

Chuck McGregor 1:23 PM  

16A “Items with decorative scrolls” – The accurate reading of the clue would refer to the purely decorative and so-named “scroll” at the top of the “peg box” portion of the neck which houses the tuning pegs. This has been and is a ubiquitous decorative “touch” for the entire violin family. As such, the clue is like asking for “Items with brass bells” with the answer being some brass instrument. Like the members of the violin family and their scrolls, all horns have their bells. FYI: If one is thinking about those scroll-shaped holes on the face of those instruments, they are so-called sound holes that create the resonances that are primary elements of the sound. That they add a decorative touch is very much beside the point for their existence. The fact that they are done decoratively is not.

Tough, puzzle but doable (with cheating to get 4 letters) with some good AHAs. In retrospect it should have been easier than I made it for myself. PENcil (could be so, but I suspect it’s ball points) and the ironic misspelling of KNEEL created a death KNELL for the NW for a while. HOstED for HOUSED didn’t help either. And who knew JACK’s name had two Ms? All the LEMONs I know of (exclusively the fruit) come with one of them. So, it was JACK who? for some time with that MOA an unknown until crosses yielded no other choice.

ARRANT was a bit extreme for my vocabulary range.

Don’t have a DOG so wondering if cat HAIRs are also remedial?

LOONEY Tunes are (IMHO) still among the best cartoon shorts ever produced.

My thoughts EBB so I’m going to AVIATE myself from this chair and work on something more productive but far less desirable to do - taxes,


pwoodfin 1:23 PM  

Would someone please explain why TIES are 20-20? Thanks! (I'm sure after I hit publish I'll see it.)

Old timer. 1:28 PM  

On vacation to Giants spring training in Scottsdale. So had to walk a ways to find a Times. Puzzle seemed easy for a Friday because of HAIR of the dog and ALSACE. And Abu Dhabi and Ode to Joy. Finished on the NW with AVIATE as a lucky guess. Had AVENUE but not STATES at first. That must be the most obscure property on the Monopoly board probably because you seldom land on it.

First rate puzzle and great review by OFL.

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

Didn't love this puzzle. I much prefer Fridays that are more open than a labyrinth of tricky short fill.

kitshef 2:12 PM  

Just now noticed the SciFi trio in the west: HAL, OBI and HAN. Doesn't make me like the puzzle, but I do like that stack.

Trombone Tom 2:24 PM  

Agree with pretty much all that has been said. This was challenging to me, mostly due to the cleverly put clues.

I never heard the term HATERADE.

With a huge collection of mainly jazz LP's I thought the clue for LINERNOTES was great.

I usually enjoy Ian Livingood's puzzles and this was no exception.

Carola 2:44 PM  

Loved this puzzle, with its one-treat-after-another progression of entries and clues. I'd have said "easy but with a few tough spots" - I had to run the alphabet at the STALE - ARRANT cross and guess at STATES AVENUE and SLOW JAM.

Some nice juxtapositions - I enjoyed PENPAL over AVIATE, as it reminded me of grade-school-years' excitement of receiving a blue air mail envelope from Newcastle-upon-Tyne with the exotic Par Avion on it. Loved OBI(E)-Wan over HAN SOLO and got a kick out of HATERADE over ODE TO JOY, both of which refer to drinks in a metaphorical (I think) way ("Freude trinken alle Wesen an den Brüsten der Natur" - All creatures drink joy from nature's breast).

Chaos344 3:01 PM  

Easy-medium for me. I really liked this puzzle. Acceptable PPP count and not too much garbage fill. Favorite answer/clue was PALEALES for Some blonds. HAIROFTHEDOG went right in. No letters required! After many bacchanalian evenings often spent in the company of my black friend Johnnie Walker, I consumed more than "A Hair" of that imaginary canine the following morning. I gulped down whole areas of his pelt. Had he actually existed as my faithful four-legged companion, and regardless of what I had actually named him, people would have called him Patches anyway!

@LMS: A thousand thanks for your link to the ODE TO JOY flash mob video. It made my morning! Also, Z is correct. It is definitely MEEP! MEEP! BTW, what is your favorite "Eau To Joy" and do they still consume copious amounts of ramp in West Virginie? I liked it with scrambled eggs!

@NCA President: Like yourself, I'm not too enamored of pop culture slang, but some of it is funny. Hands up for chuckling at HATERADE. More on that later.

As to your comment vis-a-vis Alsatian wines, my absolute favorite from that region,(Mosel Valley actually) is Bernkastler Doktor. Perhaps you have enjoyed it in the past? If not, I suggest that you add pursuit of the experience to your bucket list. Be prepared to part with an obscene amount of money if you locate some. I fell in love with the Doktor in my mid twenties, when I had unlimited access to an endless supply. None of it cost me a penny, and I consumed several bottles a week for nigh on to a year. 1972. What a great time I had in those twelve months!

@Maruchka: A word to the wise. Even though this blog is directly related to content that appears in the New York Times, it would behoove you to remember that its primary purpose is to discuss the puzzle and associated word play. I know that it is sometimes very difficult to avoid taking cheap shots at those whose politics or ideology you disagree with, and you are not alone by any stretch of the imagination. I've too have probably made some marginal political comments at times. Having said that, be prepared for someone like me to call you on a comment as blatant as yours. Do you really want to go there?

Your query about HATER ADE, "Is this The Donald's and the other DOG biters quaff d'annee?" seems to "beg" another question. LOL. Do you think that only one side has a lock on "HATERS"? Have you been paying any attention to what is happening on college campuses all over America? Are you not aware of the current Emory brouhaha? There is plenty of hate to go around. We used to say, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!" I prefer "A Fish doesn't know its wet!" In other words, when you are surrounded by an environment where everyone is (sometimes by dint of force) compelled to feel the same as you do, there is no basis for objective comparison. Is that really the environment you want to live in? Just Askin?

Dick Swart 3:14 PM  

Aaaargh ... States Avenue ... particularly since 'hosted' worked so well.

And 'pencil' for 'penpal'. So happy to see 'pencil' as first fill that I put down my Pelikan 140 (50's, not the later 70's) and picked up my Caren d' Ache Ecridor to do the rest of the puzzle. Came back to the NW last to correct my early mistake.

It is not easy being a fan of writing instruments.

foxaroni 3:21 PM  

"Haterade" and "slowjam" were completely unknown to me. Probably because I live in Kansas--you know, the "flyover"state. OTOH, we do have baseball's World Series champion ROYALS, and the Jayhawks are in the Elite 8, so it's not all bad. "HanSolo" and "OdetoJoy" were gimmies. Go figure....

Chronic dnfer 3:25 PM  

Dumb dnf at spaces/arsant. It was because I had braces in there first and only erased the b and r. Careless.

chefwen 4:03 PM  

I think I saw my mom get a wee bit more than tipsy once in her long life but she loved saying HAIR OF THE DOG, every evening around cocktail hour she would say "Hans, I think I need some hair of the dog", that was dad's cue for their daily Martini. I'm not sure she even knew what it meant.

I liked this one soooo much more than Thursday's brain strain (my new and improved mood might have had something to do with that). Didn't have to pour any HATER ADE last night. It wasn't exactly a stroll in the park, but a lot more fun was had with this one. Loved PAPER CUT and PEN PAL.

Juliahealy 4:28 PM  

I am an artist and the States color is Magenta. Not pink. Maybe red-violet, but not pink.

mac 4:32 PM  

Very good Friday, but medium-challenging for me, too. Never heard of Haterade, and Gatorade fit and confused me at Gareth. Thought it had to be a more unusual name.

I'm not sure if I ever played an American version of Monopoly; very different streets, avenues and squares in the Dutch game.

Hair of the dog was a gimme. Nice to have Obie and Han Solo close together.

Some great clues: for paper cut, pen pal and pale ales.

Anonymous 5:15 PM  

It's definitely NOT pink. It's magenta. That clue drove me crazy. I did love filling in "bong." Made me smile through the rest of the puzzle.

Bob Kerfuffle 5:49 PM  

@1820 Stone Colonial House- Think of the kid in the class who knows all the answers and is always raising his hand when the teacher wants to get participation from other students. He half-rises out of his seat, saying, "OH!, OH!" and implicitly, "please call on me!"

kitshef 5:59 PM  

@1820 Stone Colonial House - picture a know-it-all student (pupil), hand thrust in the air, pleading for teacher to call on her/him.

@pwoodfin - Think tie score in a game such as football.

Anonymous 6:07 PM  

Annoymous: Says : There are NO pink properties on Monopoly Board. Magenta or maroon . Very annoying!. I now have to Google Jack Klemman.

Mohair Sam 6:20 PM  

Amazon offers the following from Hasbro Corp:

Monopoly PURPLE Deeds - St. Charles PLace, STATES Avenue, Virginia Avenue. $4.99

Just Sayin'.

Mohair Sam 6:42 PM  

For those who don't know - Hasbro is the parent company of Parker Brothers, they produce Monopoly. They get to name the color. And it's not pink.

Angela 8:35 PM  

I had WEREIN and PIL, thinking it was short for pilgrim or something. *sigh*

Anonymous 9:56 PM  

I finished! But not within the second half of the UVA-Iowa State game, which was my goal.

phil phil 10:12 PM  

Finished which usually gets an easy rating from Rex so yes he was off a little.

Had STATEreVENUE thinkin it was some kind of booty collected from felons, caught drug dealers etc.
I don't know, maybe from collected pink cadillac pimpmobiles on vice convictions??

Got it right but had to ask my wife what it meant and she clued me in quickly.

Z 10:56 PM  

@Evan Jordan - errant is given as the "correct" term and ARRANT as the variant. But then I read the definitions and they don't seem to mean the same thing. An ARRANT error is afoot if you ask me. Where's a Knight-Errant when you need one? Oh, right in the puzzle.

Brian 11:37 PM  

I think this is the second Friday I've ever finished – and after finishing my first Thursday in a couple of months! Instead of feeling easy, it felt more like I was on exactly the right wavelength. Several of the longer answers like LINERNOTES and PEBBLE just popped into my head without any thought. The "scrolls" and "princess" clues both had an initial burst of familiarity, but each required a couple of additional letters before CELLOS and HANSOLO fell into place. I was close to DNFing before realizing that ERRANT/STELE were incorrect.

Overall, I'm just happy to finish a Friday puzzle that Rex didn't find embarrassingly easy.

Diana,LIW 10:05 PM  


Just adding to the responses to your Futureland post! Z said"

Z 6:26 PM
@rain forest - I wish I had thought of that. Makes his inclusion a bonus.

Regarding Moderation - It sure doesn't seem like Rex is apt to change anytime soon. I suspect (not that he's ever said, just by inference from things he has said) whatever discomfort it causes the Commentariat in no way outweighs the decrease in complaining emails he was getting. It has been harder to find a good spellcaster, though.

As for shouting into the void - I know I get follow-up emails most days (at least 50% of the reason I make late comments is to check off "email follow-ups" so I get your comments). I am pretty sure others do, too. And, of course, you have a pretty vibrant Commentariat of your own and Burma Shave. """

I concur. I believe Rex has been bombarded with email regarding the mice in the past.

However, I agree that there must be some other resolution. Late moderation? (with mice appearing for a few hours?) Other moderators? I dunno. Must be something!

Many (Lewis, Nancy, Z and others ) have expressed frustration. I do believe other have left. Please don't be one of those!

Diana, Waiting for a Brighter Future in Crosswordland!!!!!

spacecraft 10:50 AM  

Mayhap the "pinks" might have been called purple--if not for the "el cheapo" set Mediterranean and Baltic. THOSE are purple. I wouldn't call STATESAVENUE pink either--it's more, say, magenta--but by that time I had the AVENUE part along with the T of HATS, so STATES it was. I did not know that pink is the "official" color of it.

This one played medium for me; actually on the easy side for a Friday. HANSOLO gave me a nice kickoff. And today, at last, OFL shares my NW frustration. My SLOWJAM there was mainly due to a bunch of "could-be-anything" clues. Stuff, fly, items with decorative scrolls. Tons of possibilities for all those. But it was the "Some blonds" misdirect that took a while to see. I don't drink a lot.

The rest of the puzzle, aided by second gimme ODETOJOY, went down fairly quickly. Well, once I kicked GAwain off the Round Table, that is. I am not familiar with, and do not particularly like, any of the new expressions featuring "HATER." Please note that I carefully refrain from saying I "HATE" them. EKES, on the other hand...

For Damsel of the Day, old favorite ELLE McPherson will do nicely. Um, scratch that word "old," please. It was just a figure of speech. And her figure leaves me speechless. A-.

Burma Shave 11:39 AM  


then WEREON the dance floor, an ARRANT SLOWJAM never fails.
ELLE said, “HASHTAG ODETOJOY! Let’s MERGE hers and his’n.”
Her POINT was ABASE TEEN age REFLEX to what had ARISEN.


rondo 12:56 PM  

I see nary a write-over which usually means easy, but it took about a half-hour and didn’t exactly fill itself in. Hand up for doing the NW last. I did put a ? next to HATERADE. New ONE on me.

Big grin for BONG. Reminds me of the STONEAGEs.

Not a big fan of PALEALES, or most ALES for that matter. Too bitter, or STALE. Hmmm, STALE PALEALES.

@spacey is right. And I do believe that yeah baby ELLE Mac was first in SI as a TEEN.

I KNEEL in homage to @D,LIW and her Bloomsday event. Let us know where you place in that PACK of thousands.

Perfectly fine Fri-puz for me. EVEN if I was unfamiliar with ARRANT.

Waxy in Montreal 2:53 PM  

Agree with many that pink is certainly the wrong hue for STATESAVENUE - s/b magenta or EVEN purple. Otherwise an excellent solve. But certainly not HOHUM. Only gimmes were ALSACE, HANSOLO, RENÉ and JACKLEMMON. Didn't know HATERADE or SLOWJAM but they were certainly inferable from their crosses. Hung on to HOSTED for aeons before HOUSED became inevitable. And the long march from URGENT UNTO ARRANT took far many a step.

eastsacgirl 2:59 PM  

Officially a DNF because of my own not cross checking stupidity but was glad to see the "medium-challenging" rating. I confidently threw in HANGOVERCURE but luckily sussed out REFLEX pretty fast so easy fix. NW was last for me even though had NILE and PALEALES out of the gate. Had a major DOH moment for 20-20 clue even after looking at it for quite sometime. Hand up for agreeing STATESAVENUE is not pink. Magenta/fuchsia. Was thinking more along the lines of the Beverly Hilton or the hotel in Hawaii!

Fun Friday overall.

kitshef 3:00 PM  

@rain forest from the future (or the past, I get confused). I've no idea if this is possible technologically, but one thing that would work would be to open up the comment board - no moderation - after, say two weeks. Real-time solvers would be spared the flame wars, but Syndilanders would have more interaction.

Also, now that I know you exist, I will make a habit of checking back on puzzles once they are released here.

Marilyn 5:26 PM  

5 wks later re: OHOH: Think Horshak from Welcome Back Kotter, or is that too dated?
Agree: Ode to Joy flash mob brought tears of joy...!

leftcoastTAM 6:19 PM  

I found this very slow-going, but finally fun to solve on a Friday.

I hesitated a long time before filling in STATESAVENUE as a "pink property", but not connecting it with Monopoly until I checked it out elsewhere.

The other slow down was in digging up from deep in my cluttered brain that JACKLEMMON needed two M's.

I also paused over HATERADE. Seems like a strong drink for even a harsh critic, such as RP from time to time.

Other speed bumps: Had coral before ATOLL, HOstED before HOUSED, and the little-known knight, GARETH.

I liked this one, and glad that I have the spare time to wrestle with it.

leftcoastTAM 8:10 PM  

Thanks, @kitshef, but I think most of us (very few) would be on to other things.

Diana,LIW 8:38 PM  

Hand up for HOSTED slowing me down. Another 92% Friday - I'll take it.

Don't y'all think the STONEAGE is rather dated? How does that get into a "current" puzzle?

@Spacey - as I've mentioned, I don't hate the haters lingo, but very much understand why one would dis-enjoy it. I just think of it as relating to those peeps who have a critical word to say about EVERYTHING they encounter. BTW, I have a friend (who isn't a Friend!) who tries to eliminate all "war-like" terms from his vocabulary. Peace, out.

@Rondo - Stalepaleales - har! Thanks for the Bloomsday shout outs. I'm Number 44,109 if you're following along at ESPN. ;-) You may end up finding me in the "sweep up" wagon.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Teedmn 1:13 AM  

@Diana, LIW for any number of things: Har, as M&A would say; never thought of @Rex as a Time Lord!

Longbeachlee 4:20 PM  

Paper Cut clever? What am I missing?

Diana,LIW 7:59 PM  

Hey Longbeach

If you get a paper cut on your finger from a page of a book, it gave you a slice. Waah, Wahh...


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