Longtime mike mike airer / FRI 6-17-16 / Lumia smartphone launcher / God with green skin / Where crossword is korsord

Friday, June 17, 2016

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Project Gutenberg (12D: Project Gutenberg  job) —
Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of 3 October 2015, Project Gutenberg reached 50,000 items in its collection.  // The releases are available in plain text but, wherever possible, other formats are included, such as HTML, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and Plucker. Most releases are in the English language, but many non-English works are also available. There are multiple affiliated projects that are providing additional content, including regional and language-specific works. Project Gutenberg is also closely affiliated with Distributed Proofreaders, an Internet-based community for proofreading scanned texts. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a wonderful themeless puzzle. Shimmering and clean. Feels like what you'd get if you crossed a robust word-list with a careful constructor. Careful human control of software can work wonders, especially if you aren't going for some bogus low-word-count record. Sweet and juicy 70-word themelesses! There's not much better. Today's also happened to be very very much in my wheelhouse, from 1A: Longtime "Mike & Mike" airer (ESPN RADIO). In fact, as soon as I'm done with this write-up, I'll head downstairs for coffee and oatmeal and sit on the couch with my dog at feet and watch "Mike & Mike" on ESPN 2 (which was my first guess, but obviously didn't fit). Being a sports fan, you'd think TIM / TEBOW would've popped right into my head (29A: With 10-Across, player that the Broncos replaced with Peyton Manning), and he did, but ... his name didn't. I could see him. I could see his face, and I could've told you about his Heismans and his improbably NFL playoff run a few years ago, etc., but ... TOM / BRADY kept running interference in my brain. Man, even when TIM / TEBOW gets his day in the crossword sun, some other, superior quarterback is there mucking it up. Sorry TIM. You seem nice. And I *did*, eventually, remember your name.

Even though I mostly blew right through this, there were some parts that made me work, or where I just fell over and had to get up and dust myself off. I was dropping Downs pretty easily in the NW, so I got overconfident and dropped in ONE at 9D: Matchless? If you are a sock without a match you are ... ONE ... sock ... I semi-reasoned. Those two wrong letters slowed down my ability to see both STONE COLD (excellent!) and TAKES HOLD. Despite having used Project Gutenberg before and knowing very well what it is, I needed a lot of crosses to get BOOK SCAN. BOOK wasn't too hard, but what came after—less clear. Also wasn't sure if maybe the Royal Opera House was in WEST ... some place. WEST L.A.? WESTEROS? Pretty dumb, in retrospect. But that's me for you. I had "ADD ME to the list" at 49D: "___ the list". Not only did I have it, I didn't even hesitate. Again, two wrong letters caused a temporary traffic jam, but PRIMATE and TORMÉ (48D: The "Velvet" half of jazz's Velvet & Brass") got me out of it, by creating highly improbably letter sequences, which made me pull the "ME" in ADD ME. I know LARD as "fat," and as a verb meaning "stock, as a cupboard," but not as a verb meaning "fatten." But now I see that "lard" does not mean "stock, as a cupboard" at all. My brain somehow confused "lade" (to load a ship) with "larder" (a place where food is stored). Fascinating (to me)! I ended, finally, fittingly, with WRAPS UP (38D: Finishes). Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 6:46 AM  

Delighted to see today's themeless puzzle by my Minnesota friend and colleague @Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel, and its favorable reception by @Rex. I couldn't help wondering, though, was there a theme after all, with NOKIA and WINDOWS_PHONE and VOICE_COMMAND and T_BARS (don't look at me, I still use a dumb phone)? Not to mention the sports buzz with TIM TEBOW, ASHE, OTTAWANS (tricky clue!) and ESPN_RADIO (as @Rex confirms, Mike & Mike can now be found on cable), and some culture/geography from the Orient with NNE, NARITA, and KIMONO.

Among my discoveries while solving: ALASKA and NEVADA are both 6-letter states ending in A, and KINKOS shares two K's with KITKAT. More ingenious cluing on TOMB and SENSED, among others.

On other fronts, today remains part of a relatively small window this year during which @Tim Croce's audaciously creative Look Both Ways is relevant, and the exciting ongoing NBA playoff finals reminds me of King James Version from two years ago.

Scott Thomas 6:46 AM  

Is anyone else bothered by the erosion of the distinction between "whom" and "that"? 29A should of course be "player whom the Broncos replaced." Or am I just being an old-fart pedant?

Loren Muse Smith 6:47 AM  

Well. My first entry was RASA, and I crossed that baby with "Alaska" boom boom. Checked the good-sized combo clue and erased "Alaska."

Rex – I knew TIBOW, but went all French on it and wrote in "Tibot."

I've never heard the expression "like A CAN of corn." I wanted "a row" there. It's simple to pick a row of corn after you've been picking green beans that haven't been staked.

And I put in "saying" for SENSED with spectacular disregard for the word "say" in the clue. Sheesh. But I dunno, that clue is a bit of a stretch for me. There's a huge difference between saying

I sense that he has brought along a ton of his vacation slides for us to look at. (There's still hope that he in fact did not bring any.)

I see that he has brought along a ton of his vacation slides for us to look at. (You're doomed.)

Sure, sure, in its literal meaning, SENSED does mean "saw." Still…

The clue for RICOH made me laugh. I really get a kick out of clues that make it seem like a product is front and center on my radar screen. "Big name in brake calipers" – CARDONE. "Big name in wallboard joint compound" - DURABOND. Hah.

VOICE COMMAND. The last week of school, I went to the office to make two copies of a test. There was a sign on the machine stating that the repairman had been there and that it was now voice-activated. It said to just put the paper to be copied in place and tell it what to do. I put my test in, hesitated, yelled over at the secretary and a teacher, "Hey, do I hit the button for 'one-to-two side'?" Yes. Do that first. I did, and then stood back and assumed that weird official stance that I do at the airport when I'm being scanned. Leaned in and said, "I need two copies, please." Nothing. So I made my stance even more official, leaned in a little more, and said a little louder and more clearly, "Two copies, please." The secretary and teacher were laughing so hard they couldn't speak. Turns out it was the secretary's ninth grade daughter's idea. If anyone deserved that in the entire school, it was me. What an inspired prank. I'm totally stealing it for next year. When those kids get back, they'll find that the water fountain across from my room is now activated by VOICE COMMAND.

CC – nice Friday romp. Thanks.

Loren Muse Smith 6:51 AM  

From yesterday -

@DBlock – I read it as "celery" first, too.

@old timer – enjoyed your post yesterday. I had "laud" before honor, as in the name of a hymn I used to sing in church. Anyone who puts in "puce" first for a color is ok by me. What a train-wreck of a name for a color.

@Hungry Mother - if you solved this while waiting in a doctor's office, you certainly had plenty of time. I tell you, it always boils my blood. Two days ago, my appointment was for 1:20 but I had to get there 10 minutes early. So I got there at 1:00, and I didn't see the doctor until after 2pm. And that's probably not even too bad of a wait. And here's the thing – any doctors reading this, pay attention – NO ONE EVER EVER EVER APOLOGIZES. EVER. I'm so sorry your appointment was for such and such time and we told you to get here even earlier, and you had to sit in a room up on a table for over an hour. Hey - I learned the word chyme from the informative posters with all the duodenums, jejunums, and cecums in glorious relief.

Glimmerglass 6:58 AM  

Smooth puzzle. Smooth review. I'd rate it "medium" for me, as there were several places I needed every cross (TERIS, NARITA, TOMB as clued). Very fun puzzle.

NCA President 7:16 AM  

I found this easier than a normal Friday. No Googling, just methodical scanning with those crazy "Aha!" moments peppered in along the way. It's really why I love doing xword puzzles. Despite my dislike for puns and sometimes doing puzzles that I don't like (a couple of them from this past week), the thing that turns me on about puzzles is when I first read a clue and have absolutely no idea what it is...and then moments later, it's so blatantly obvious that I don't know how I could have ever missed it. Sometimes I'll go over a clue several times...a lot...and then *poof* the answer appears. Sometimes a single letter will do it, and sometimes it takes several, but sometimes no letters...just a different way of looking at it...a different place in the time/space continuum.

Today's puzzle was full of that. I'd scan through each pass and slowly but surely the puzzle filled itself in. And by "slowly" I mean faster than my "average" time.

I thought the clues were all fair, very few groans except for UTERI, BEETSALAD (as clued), WINDOWSPHONE (green paint?), and ATE (19A Got on a roll?...really weird way to put that).

I had nonET before OCTET...that's a better sized combo, I guess.

Can someone explain CARDIGANS as "halves of twinsets" to me, please?

Robso 7:21 AM  

I totally agree with Rex, though this was medium for me. Bravo, Zhouqin Burnikel, whoever you are!

Z 7:23 AM  

With the pace of technological change I have to wonder if this puzzle will feel dated quickly. Heck, I forgot there was. WINDOWS PHONE as it the iPhone and the Galaxy duking it out for smartphone supremacy these days. The puzzle is fresh and modern, but it also has a "fifteen minutes of fame" quality to it.

High Pop Culture, Product Name, and Proper Noun ratio today, 25/70 for 36%. I finally did Saturday's puzzle and read @Tita A asking for a mustiness factor. This puzzle has some of that, but I think it is far outweighed by things we will all soon forget. In my list I'm giving the musty one * and the ephemeral two **.

SON (Gods clue)

TERIS** (No extra * for proper name POCs, though)
BOOKSCAN (Project Gutenberg clue)
TORO (back to back "big name in" clues get a big MEH from me)
NOKIA** (I vaguely remember reading that the Lumia was going to make NOKIA relevant again. Has it?)
Mel TORMÉ* (The Velvet Fog is the best nickname ever)

This didn't put up much of a fight for me, but for people still using a landline this could be a real tussle.

Trombone Tom 7:29 AM  

The clues here were misleading in some places but the puzzle slowly yielded itself up. ACAN of corn is common baseball slang for an easy catch. I tried the downs and ESTADO worked better than sauce, while STATIC and POKE AT were gimmes.

TIM TEBOW was one of the last to fall (how quickly we forget). I never knew or had forgotten that OSIRIS was green.

Kept looking in vain for the theme. Really liked ATMINSIDE and BEETSALAD.

As usual, I found this to be more challenging than did OFL. A well-constructed gem. Thank you Ms. Burnikel and Mr. Shortz.

Jamie C 7:39 AM  

I'm not much of a sports fan, so I quickly came up with Dan Fouts and Jon Elway for the Denver QB's with 3 and 5 letters in their names.. Of course, Jon is John and Dan played for a different team...

chefbea 7:57 AM  

Haven't finished the puzzle but just had to comment...cuz y'all know why...the very last answer !!! Beets haven't been mentioned in a long time

I'll be back later

optionsgeek 8:21 AM  

The Samsung Galaxy is a line of mobile phones. WINDOWS PHONE is a mobile version of an operating system. An operating system is simply not a rival to a line of mobile phones, another mobile phone line would be. One correct answer to 38A is Lumia, the clue to 47D. Seems like a huge goof.

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

A rare puzzle that fits within a lot of different wheelhouses. Record time for a Friday! Can't say much more than that, or what has already been said here. A great way to finish the week.

orangeblossomspecial 8:51 AM  

There was a definite phone theme to the puzzle. Here are some songs about telephones from different generations:

Al Jolson sings Irving Berlin's ALL ALONE

Trini Lopez does CALL ME

From the days when it was necessary to dial a long distance operator, Chuck Berry's MEMPHIS

And another about 15A: STONE COLD dead in the market. It originally was a hit for Louis Jordan and was featured in his Broadway tribute.

Hartley70 8:54 AM  

Despite never having heard of Mike and Mike, this puzzle fell like a ton of bricks last night. The E in ESTADO got me going on 1A and I didn't find a stumper anywhere. ATMINSIDE came easily from the crosses, but it took me a minute of scratching my head and trying to pronounce it before I got the Aha! And unlike Rex I could see TIM's face AND remember his name which made me feel oh so sporty. Aren't you proud, Dad?

I don't like to be reminded of that b----, Siri, because VOICE COMMAND would be a dream if she could understand a word I say. She also pipes up at the most inconvenient times, like traveling around with a cranky three year old. I may change her to a man today.

Finally, my fav of the day has to be the exquisitely delicious KITKAT. This is the year of no chocolate to prove that I am stronger than my base desires, but to end today's repast with a BEETSALAD is just too dispiriting. Even roasted, they're just not a match for that KITKAT bar. Break me off a piece, will ya?

Thanks for a fun Friday, Ms. Burnikel!

kitshef 9:00 AM  

Was ready to pooh-pooh this as easier than any of this week's puzzles except for Sunday, 'til I hit the SW and slowed dramatically. So much so that I actually backed off on NEVADA, despite having the N_V___A. andrOidPHONE was so tempting, and OCTET could have easily been OCTad, so I started wondering if 'state' was used in the sense of a nation, or possibly an Australian state or some such.

Still a bit on the easy side for a Friday, but so lovely.

@George Barany, the them is clearly dinner: I ATE STEAK and ONIONS WRAPS, BEETSALAD, CIABATTA, A CAN of LARD, MINT, accompanied by nice CAB, and a sundae from COLDSTONE Creamery with KITKAT mix-ins for dessert.

Hartley70 9:01 AM  

In re: @Nancy

In case she's an absentee again today, I thought you might like to know she has NOT fallen off a cliff into the HUDSON. All her communication devices have been hijacked by a troll this week and Verizon has so far been unable to sort it out. If you are very quiet, you might be able to hear her screaming wherever you are!

I liked using INRE for the commenters who claimed they'd never seen it used.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

I am NOT buying 53A.

Compare these scenarios:

A: I’m starting to hear people say “mods” as a short version of “moderators.” That’s an interesting new usage. I’ll have to fit it into a crossword one of these days.

B: Okay, I have MODS in my grid. Now, what could be a clue for that? Huh. Well, I suppose it could be a shortened version of something that can be plural. Models? Modems? Modules? Something longer would be good. Modifiers? Modernizations? Moderators? Yeah, let’s go with moderators.

Actually, I have heard MOD as a short version of Modification, which can be pluralized, so I would have been okay with that. But the only definition that strikes me as really legitimate is “1960s followers of London fashion.”

Carola 9:10 AM  

There were pleasures indeed in solving the puzzle, but I can't wax as enthusiastic as @Rex, given the number of PPP entries (see @Z. 7:23). On the other hand, they did help me quite a bit: TIM TEBOW, VOICE COMMAND, NARITA, WEST END, although I went wrong with DIAN and entered "gorillas." For the Senators' supporters, the first thing that flashed into my mind was OTTomANS (they put their feet up more then anyone else?), fortunately only fleetingly.

WINDOWS PHONE is nicely positioned right over EAR and has an apt cross with ON SCREEN. I also liked the chilling STONE COLD x DOOMS x TOMB cluster.

Charles Flaster 9:16 AM  

Agree wholeheartedly with Rex and others I have just read. Really enjoyed the puzzle although my first run through produced very little.
Is it time to add TERI and POLO to the world of CrosswordEASE ? Who is she?
One write over was ADD IT for ADDed.
Creative cluing for TOMB, EMOTE, ONIONS, ATM INSIDE( fabulous),
and UTERI.
VOICE COMMAND opened up the entire puzzle for me and the 9 stacks were brilliant.
Thanks Z B

Unknown 9:17 AM  

NCA President, a twinset refers to a matching combination of an underlayer and a cardigan, thusly: http://media.peterhahn.co.uk/is/image/peterhahn/F/peter-hahn-twin-set-grey-melange-811422_CAT_M_240413_120649.jpg

I wondered how many men would get that clue!

tb 9:25 AM  

It took me forever to parse "ATM INSIDE." I even googled atminside to exclude "atm inside." A true face-palm moment.

@George Barany: Are you from Minnesota?! I didn't know that. How fascinating!!!!!!

cwf 9:32 AM  

@optionsgeek Then why does it say "WINDOWSPHONEs" at the top of Microsoft's own page?

Hungry Mother 9:35 AM  

Easy for me too, except where I wanted TEEBO even though I was a fan of Tim's when he played for the Gators. Once I came to my senses, the NE fell quickly.

Tita A 9:35 AM  

Didn't Microsoft buy Nokia? and then "restructure" it, laying off thousands? And writing off about 8 billion... If you google windows phone, you get results for LUMIA.

@lms...that is so funny! My favorite part of that story is that on both attempts, you made sure to say "please" to the machine... @Folks who aren't lucky enough to have met Loren, that gives you a tiny glimpse into the kind of person she is...!

Wow...I thought Rex was gonna rip this puzzle...
I especially thought so at the awful ADDIT partial.

@Z...thanks!! I thought about mustiness on his puzzle when I hit STATIC. As clued, that is if not musty now, then it is ephemeral, as Radio and tv over the airwaves are rapidly. Becoming antiques. (I like your distinction, btw.)

Loved the clue for ACHOO. Was one of my few early toeholds. Though I dnf'd with tIAN/ESTAdO, stupidly.

Liked the puzzle. It was hard enough for me to satisfy the Friday crunches. Thanks Ms. B.

Lemonade714 9:36 AM  

Unknown, than you for the beautiful example of a twinset SEEING
but my familiarty with the concept, as a male, comes from British cozy mysteries.
Martha Grimes' Richard Jury novels often have Vivian in a twinset.

Congratulations C.C. on your first NYT Friday

Mohair Sam 9:44 AM  

Anyone who simply scans these comments - you gotta go back and read @Loren Muse Smith's VOICE COMMAND (6.47 AM). We can't stop laughing here.

Unlike @Rex I take my Mike & Mike and oatmeal (yup, really) over the Bose most mornings so ESPNRADIO went right in. As did Kyl Orten - my misspelling of the Denver QB who preceded TEBOW - that cost more than a little time. Erstwhile low-tech Lady Mohair gave me WINDOWSPHONE (I was after Apple somethin') and NOKIA. Beyond that the puzzle flowed with enough resistance to call it medium, and just a ton of fun. Great cluing, lots of aha moments. Unknown words (it was a Friday after all) were all fairly crossed. In a nutshell - what Rex said.

For you non-sports folks - "ACAN of corn" refers to an easy catch on fly ball in baseball. Its genesis is in the days when cans were piled high in food markets and clerks used things called "grabbers" or "grippers" (poles with claws on the end that closed on a can when you squeezed a large trigger at the bottom of the pole). Pull out the can, release the trigger and the can fell easily from the claw to your hand. ACAN of corn. Caught a thousand of them when I worked in my big sister's deli as a kid. Fun.

crabsofsteel 9:48 AM  

DNF because the answer to 1 Across could have just as easily been ESPN CABLE. Answers should not be ambiguous.

Z 9:50 AM  

Heck, I forgot there was. WINDOWS PHONE as it the iPhone and the Galaxy duking it out for smartphone supremacy these days. Should have been, "Heck, I forgot there was a WINDOWS PHONE as it is the iPhone and the Galaxy duking it out for smartphone supremacy these days." I blame the iPad and the lack of coffee (I never drink coffee when I have a head cold)

@Scott Thomas - We prefer "Tweedy Pop Prescriptivist" to "old-fart pedant." I would have thought that the Stodgy NYT would have used "whom."

@optionsgeek - I beg to differ. Are WINDOWS PHONEs rivals of Samsung Galaxies? Yes. For a shopper the choices might very well be presented as iPhones, Galaxies, other Android phones, or a WINDOWS PHONE.

Let us hope there are no more meaning obscuring typos today.

Tita A 9:50 AM  

Ugh...I really hate pecking on an iPad. Swype is soooo much better of a man-machine interface. That is, until VOICECOMMAND improves.
I won't even try too fix all the punctuation and typos in my post. I'll simply issue a blanket apology.

GILL I. 10:00 AM  

I would say clean and easy does describe this puzzle. Despite not knowing Gutenberg and his project or actress Polo, the answers were quite doable.... The only clue I didn't like was 19A - Got on a roll? = ATE. A bit too cutesy for me. I usually cross my eyes whenever I see a ? clue and try to figure out if it's a noun, a verb, a preposition, a euphemism and so on. I've found the best? clues are the ones that don't try too hard.
@Hartley 70....I've been known to cry with Siri. My husband cringes every time I ask her for directions, and I actually speak English. I end up yelling at the phone because she never understands me. My husband who has a distinct Liverpool accent, loves her because she understands him!

jberg 10:03 AM  

Hey, @unknown, I knew what a twinset was -- but only because I once read something in the paper that cited them as an example of old-timey stodginess. i notice that I still see them all the time,though, so they can't be that passé. (I hope you appreciate all the effort it took to get that accented e into the comment box!)

I don't follow sports that much, mostly heard of Tim Tebow for his religiosity. Still, my experience was like @Rex's -- I couldn't think of him at all until I got TIM; then I knew what it was, only not his surname, which I needed the W to get (and that took a long time of running through possibly non-English monarchic capitals to see if any of them ended in D).

My iPhone uses "Hey, Siri!" to activate the VOICE COMMAND -- but if I programmed it to replace "hey" with "Oh," I could use 24A to turn on several phones at once.

Not only Citizens United, but a long history of constitutional law dating back to the 19th Century maintains that a person need not be a PRIMATE, but could be a corporate entity instead.

@Loren, I had a wonderful doctor who sadly (for me) retired last year. He was famous for spending as much time as was needed with each patient, so that he always ran late after he'd seen the first few. I once sat for over an hour, wearing a Johnny and my underpants, in a cold room, while I could hear him in the next room, on the phone, trying to locate a guy who had been given the wrong and potentially hazardous prescription. That one I understood; but I did walk out of the appointment on one occasion when it had got so late that I had to be somewhere else. He did always apologize -- always -- but I didn't usually mind because what I was getting in return was ample time to raise any questions i might have.

I also once looked at his computer screen and saw that "It was a pleasure to see you today" was preprogrammed into the letter he gave you at the end; I asked if he deleted that for really nasty patients, which led to 5 minutes of laughter while we imagined alternative phrasings. (Years later, I got a similar opening in a letter from the guy who'd administered my colonoscopy; made me wonder about him.)

@George Barany -- I know there are a lot of folks from SWE up there in MN; do they really say 'korsord?'

G.Harris 10:08 AM  

Made it through without google after first being totally flummoxed. How deflating to find most found it easy.I guess it was if I finished in one sitting without error.

Roo Monster 10:15 AM  

Hey All !
Well, I'm certainly humbled by you all. Seems most found this easy. Not me, I'm beginning to think my crossword-solving-chops are deteriorating fast. (If I even ever had some!) I was going to start my post as saying, "Did someone piss off CC?" because I found this quite confounding. I'm used to easy Monday or Tuesday puzs from CC, and thought she broke this one out as a punishment! But y'all still found it easy! Where's my Ginkgo Biloba?

Some good clues in here. After seeing the finished product (after cheating a bit...), it's very nicely filled with some nice misdirectional clues. I just need to find the "ON" switch to the ole brain. :-)


Unknown 10:23 AM  

TEBOW, not Tibie

mac 10:29 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot, in fact this is my favorite C.C. Burnikel puzzle ever.
1A took me a while, saw Esperanto after a few crosses...

Now I've got the Kit Kat earworm firmly installed.

AskGina 10:31 AM  

Sometimes, my own obtuseness astounds me. My thought process on 60D kept riffing off "aroma" but that took me nowhere. Stone cold stuck. The easier downs eventually filled it in but I couldn't understand what it meant. Internal dialogue: At-min-side? Atmin-side? Atm-inside (still not getting it). A side of bread? Huh?" No, I'm not kidding. Is there a name for this phenomena? I remember the first time it happened, 30 years ago for a nanosecond with the word bedroom (be-droom). About two or three times since then. Situational dyslexia? Or one defective neural pathway that suffers some kind of brain erectile dysfunction. Another part of my brain sometimes comes up with really bad analogies

Joseph Welling 10:42 AM  

@ Scott Thomas:

I don't think there ever was a rule in English that you must use who or whom rather than that to refer to person.

Just a few examples:

Geoffrey Chaucer: "Ther nas no man that Theseus hath derre." The Knight's Tale, l. 590
"a man that is Ioyous and glad in herte . . . ." Tale of Melibee, l. 2185

William Shakespeare: "The man that hath no music n himself. . . ." The Merchant of Venice, Act. v. sc. i.
Edgar Allen Poe: "The Man That Was Used Up" short story title
Mark Twain: "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" short story title

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Back in the day 50's? Twin sets were all the rage. A matching short sleeved sweater and cardigan.

AZPETE 10:53 AM  

A can of corn is a common expression used in baseball to describe an easy play.

jae 11:01 AM  

Yes, on the easy side for me too. A sprinkling of gimmes....OTTAWANS, ESTADO, TERIS, RHONDA, CESAR, CIABATTA, VOICE COMMAND, TIM TEBOW...opened this one up nicely.

I had TAKES root before HOLD and tried some alternate spellings of AMOEBA, but that was it for erasures.

Very solid Fri., nice one CC, liked it.

Gene 11:05 AM  

Much like Rex, ESPNRADIO was a gimme, ADDME went in first and I knew TIM TEBOW but couldn't immediately call up the name. Had DIA_ for 22A, knew who it had to be, but put HOMINID in confidently for 39D..

AliasZ 11:12 AM  

I went through this puzzle without much resistance, with RASA (like @LMS) as my first foothold. My one hangup was that I could not remember DIAN Fossey's first name. I had JEAN at first, for some unknown reason conflating her name with Jane Goodall's.

I liked Zhouqin Burnikel first foray into themeless territory, except for the large percentage of proper nouns (people, brands, places, etc.). When these account for more than about 15-20% of all entries, the crossword becomes a trivial pursuit game rather than wordplay or vocabulary exercise. I personally prefer a tough vocabulary exercise and wordplay.

Aside from TERIS, SWE, NNE, ACAN and MODS (pluralized abbr. never seen in the wild) this was a squeaky clean puzzle indeed. I wish the junk count for all themelesses was kept this low.

-- A tsetse fly's sting could be called an ILL BITE.
-- They should invent an EMOTE control to stop bad acting ONSCREEN.
-- Speaking of which, whatever happened to STONECOLD Steve Austin?

POKEAT looks like it should rhyme with caveat:

This is a serious caveat:
Sleeping dogs you shouldn't POKEAT.
Neither should you bother Chewbacca
While dining on his tasty CIABATTA.

Mozart composed his Serenade in C minor, K388 for wind OCTET: 2 each of (yesterday's) OBOES, clarinets, bassoons and horns. Lovely performance here, except for the the horn player's sour note in the last chord of the first movement (7:50). The expression on her face is priceless.

Enjoy your Friday.

Jamie C 11:26 AM  

@LMS--If you entered TIM TIBOW then I suppose your entry at 11D was the answer to the "what you say after being tagged" clue?!

JIM Murphy 11:30 AM  

Can anyone explain today's WSJ puzzle? Solved easily but can't figure out the theme. Is there a blog that reviews WSJ, or other major crosswords, ala Rex?

the redanman 11:42 AM  

As an MD, surgeon no less - I always apologized for being late, but I'm retiring in six weeks, so there went your best chance of an apo-polly-loggie .... Haha. Yes, doctors do duck and NEC to be single payor salaried. I'll be a lobbyist next

the redanman 11:44 AM  

Easy yes, but I got hung up in the mid east and had to come here to find my waywardness. Dann!

Lewis 11:47 AM  

Not so easy for me, with about ten answers (as clued) outside my wheelhouse. But plugging away brings flashes and headslaps and bravos (oh my!), rewards on their own. I loved the clues for ODD, TOMB, EMOTE, and CAB, and answers that appealed to me were ILLBITE, STONECOLD, ISWEAR, WRAPSUP. Not bothered in the least that WESTEND was in the east. Siri, by the way, can be amusingly evasive. Ask her sometime what the model of your phone is.

Masked and Anonymous 12:01 PM  

Primo (but rare) themeless, from one of my fave constructioneers. Congratz, C.C.

Wasn't real familiar with CIABATTA, but the crosses around it were all neighborly gettable. Everything else was pretty darn smooth, solve-quest-wise.

fave weeject: SWE. Better clue: {Start to sweat??}

Kool korsord. Would give it a themelessthUmbsUp, but only had one U to work with. ;)
Thanx, ZB/CC.

Masked & AnonymoUs


Anonymous 12:04 PM  

Can someone explain STONE COLD? I don't understand what that has to do with "Utterly".

kitshef 12:13 PM  

@Hartley70 - thank you for the Nancy update - I figured vacation. Sorry the truth is so much worse.

Master Melvin 12:24 PM  

Don't know whether he originated the phrase "can of corn", but Dizzy Dean used it regularly during his brief announcing career. "There's a tall can of corn to left field." Meaning a lazy fly ball that the outfielder should have no trouble handling.

Tita A 12:28 PM  

I missed my appointment with my car's doctor...i kept him waiting, so he left!

That put me into a bad mood, and gave me some time in my hands waiting for his return, so I'll cite the other nit... BOOKSCAN is not a thing.

old timer 12:31 PM  

I did not find this Easy at all, and surely less satisfying than yesterday's amazing puzzle. Still, only a few writeovers: "add me" before ADDIT and "Tom" [Brady] before TIM TEBOW. That was my last entry. I was stymied up there in the NE, before KITKAT occurred to me. I first had a KITKAT in my semester in England. I am still sad that while KITKATs became popular in the USA, the delectable Crunchies never took hold.

OTTAWANS took a while because of course there used to be the Washington Senators. Washington: First in war. first in peace, and last in the American League.

CESAR I knew. And I thought it was named after the great Pagnol film. No, Wiki says it was named after the man who sculpted the award. But the film trilogy that includes CESAR is great. Greater still: the pair of films set in the hills north of Marseille, Manon des Sources and Jean de Florette. These are I think the two greatest films in the French language, and Pagnol's novel adaptations of the films tell one of the great tales ever crafted. I strongly recommend you see the films, and check the books (translated into English if you don't read French) out of your local library.

Ellen S 12:56 PM  

Aside from the problem of comparing apples to operating systems, so to speak, I don't see any WINDOWS PHONE as being a rival to the Samsung Galaxy line. Wouldn't it have to be a threat to be a rival?

@Roo Monster, I am here late because it took me all morning to finish the puzzle, after starting last night. All that sports stuff was beyond me. I've heard of Peyton Manning, and in retrospect, TIM TEBOW, but only as names in headlines as I remove the sports section on the way to finding the crossword puzzle, but now that I solve electronically I don't have to touch the sports pages, and never knew (or cared) about Manning and TEBOW in relation to each other. (Perhaps of no interest, the iPad automagically changed "Tebow" to all caps the second time I typed it. And the third, but I squelched it.)

@LMS: Funny story, but I had pranks like that.

C.C.; thanks for a challenging Friday. I only had to Google twice (looked up All Nippon Airways and went through their destinations until I found the right one; and of course read Peyton Manning's life story to no avail, then the official history of the Denver Broncos to come up with TIM TEBOW) and of course had to "check word" about a couple dozen times. -- without that I'd be STONE COLD DOOMed.

Teedmn 1:30 PM  

Nice Friday from CC - as I was solving, I was trying to remember if I had ever seen one of her creations on a Friday, and Jeff Chen confirms this is her themeless debut. I found it smooth but not easy. I was so proud that I, one of the least sports-knowledgeable people here, came up with TEBOW off the TE. He wasn't around long but he created a lot of buzz while he was.

KITKAT was my first "break" into the grid and now I have their annoying jingle in my head, worse than a normal EARworm. I suppose I should cue up some Mel TORMÉ by VOICE COMMAND (oh yeah, forgot I have Siri turned off on my iPAD; I'm not ready for AI time, I'm sticking with PRIMATE power!).

@jberg, while many here in MN can claim Scandinavian ancestry, not too much Swedish is heard in the wild. But I looked up crossword in my SWE/Eng dictionary and "korsord" is correct.

Teedmn 1:31 PM  

And @Hartley, thanks for the update on @Nancy, glad she didn't fall off a cliff, though being hacked is no fun either.

Warren Howie Hughes 3:09 PM  

MY,MY,Rex, You cannot be OSIRIS, by doing Zhouqin Burnikel a great disservice by rating this Friday Xword Puz as Easy! I would've given it a Medium Challenging for this truly PLUM and versatile offering.In Fact it TORME apart as 6D alone made it super special and 7D wasn't too shabby either!

Mohair Sam 5:28 PM  

Computer problems again? @Nancy seems to have more hackers than Hillary.

Anonymous 5:28 PM  

With both "Nokia" and "Windows Phone", I was beginning to think this puzzle was sponsored by Microsoft.

OISK 6:34 PM  

I miss @ Nancy. Too many phone-y clues to please me. I don't like brand name clues of any kind, (including Kitkat) but at least I have heard of Siri and Nokia. That minor, very minor objection aside, I enjoyed this puzzle. Balanced, well clued, one of those puzzles which is challenging, but every answer makes sense once you find it.


Wm. C. 7:47 PM  

@Anon12:04 --

On "Utterly" being "stone-cold.:".

I've heard of a "stone-cold killer," and a politician being a "stone-cold shoo-in," and in this use as an adjective it has the sense of absolute. But "utterly" is an adverb, of course, and if this is the connection it's certainly a bit off-key. Maybe someone else has a better explanation...

Anonymous 11:16 PM  

Jeff Chen is so right. This puzzle makes one feel like you being set up to fail.

Virginia 11:27 PM  

This one took me a really long time. I was down to four blank spaces, just staring at them and seeing nothing. Finally I broke down, went to the freezer and got out the New York Super Fudge Chunk -- and the letters for those last four spaces fell right into place. It's finally time to acknowledge the truth: Ben and Jerry are my personal crossword gods. I'll never try to solve without ice cream again.

Seriously, although in retrospect I can see the elegance, I had to chew too hard on this one to really enjoy it. Maybe I needed more ice cream.

Teedmn 11:51 PM  


jae 1:40 AM  

The season finale of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was stone cold adorkable.

Z 11:15 AM  

@Virginia - MORE ICE CREAM! I think there is far too little ice cream in the world. When's the last time someone sat down to a bowl of Hudsonville's Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream and then went out and did something mean?

ShortShrift 4:11 PM  

Thanks to Unknown @9:17am for the link to the twinset image—didn't know those had a name and was wondering about the CARDIGANS answer.

Sheryl 8:10 PM  

E.g. "stone cold" sober = "utterly" sober

Sheryl 8:12 PM  

Stone cold sober = Utterly sober

Sheryl 8:15 PM  

I had a lot of trouble with this puzzle, but I have anxiety about all Friday and Saturday puzzles and expect I won't be able to to do them. I think I psych myself out and that affects my solving.

Anne Lake Prescott 5:13 PM  

I agree--and pedantry can matter to meaning, as my lawyer would agree!

rondo 11:43 AM  

A few days without TV or wifi will set your mind right, Luke. Fortunately the "nearby" general store sold newspapers, with the correct "korsord". And yes, I have done them in Swedish, though they are more of the criss-cross type, and some answers only two letters. And those 3 extra vowels must be correct, unlike the NYT and other puzzles. In SWE the corrrect answer would be SVE (for Sverige).

Any one of a number of TERIS could be a yeah baby.

@teedMN might appreciate that 100+ miles have been put on the bikes this week. Lakefront trail in Chi-town today, despite the heat warning that everyone will die if outdoors.

Easier than yesterday's puz methinks. Very nice.

Burma Shave 11:56 AM  


so now she WRAPSUP in CARDIGANS before she TAKESHOLD.


spacecraft 12:15 PM  

Not easy for this reporter. Not quite as tough as yesterday, but pretty close. I shared OFL's brain freeze vis-a-vis Mr. TEBOW for a while; goes to show you how forgettable he is, talent-wise.

I was searching for a way in, thinking "Give me a break!" Appropriately, that's exactly what happened. KITKAT went in--then I saw *headslap* that I had put it in the down squares. So fearing a perhaps fatal confusion, I wrote over KIMONO and hoped like hell that was it. The other derailer was at 31-across; gimme NEVADA (where I live) led to VIDEO-something instead of VOICE. This in turn led to DOTELL for "Really!" I was a while getting that mess sorted out. And right there, in the midst of all these long tech-based answers, there was the ORIGINAL "Audio receiver:" the EAR. I roared. I suspect Ms. B. planned that; I wouldn't put it past her sense of humor. Absolutely loved it.

I despair of getting anything fashion-related. Me? 1. Does it fit? 2. Wear it. I could not name you the other half of that twin set for love or money. Silly me, I was thinking beds.

DOD is one of the TERIS: namely Hatcher. Isn't there a wrestler called STONECOLD something? Please, I see ads, that's all. ONSCREEN evokes a Capt. Picard VOICECOMMAND. I don't know if any pro golfer has ever gotten two eagles on consecutive holes (I tried to find out on Ask.com but that site is totally worthless), but the NYT has achieved the feat this week.

rain forest 3:09 PM  

An excellent puzzle to finish off a banner week, in my opinion. I did not find it easy, though. Didn't know there was ESPN RADIO, so that area took a lot of time. I also struggled in the SE, even though I immediately entered ASSAIL and RHONDA (maybe a yeah baby for @Rondo? Rhonda and Rondo go well together, I'd think).

The only easy part of the puzzle for me was the NE which pretty well went right in, and provided enough letters to eventually get the middle section. The whole idea of talking to a robot on a phone is repulsive to me, however.
I like to just yell at my phone (which has no such thing). Also, what is a WINDOWS PHONE? Is that different from Android?

Nice puzzle, CC.

Longbeachlee 6:57 PM  

I'm with Rondo on this one, and I too am on Old Timer. All Old Timers aren't alike.

Teedmn 8:41 PM  

@rondo, way to put the death-by-heat to the test. I rode to work the last three days in the 90+ temps but today's 97 nearly did me in. TGIF is very heartfelt this week. Glad you'll be joining us on the blog while on vacation, if only occasionally

spacecraft 10:06 PM  

Hmph! 97? Geez, did ya bring a sweater? Try an AVERAGE 108 over a month's time. You guys can't even SPELL hot.

rondo 10:44 PM  

@spacey - yes, there used to be a grappler called STONECOLD Steve Austin. Back when, or just after, Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan were peaking. I suspect he's way too old for it now. (I stopped watching after, or maybe before, those two bolted from the MN produced All-Star Wrestling to some national, more glitzy cable TV "Assn.")

@teedMN - a couple of dips in the 69 degree Lake Michigan up on the north end of the trail helped. Nonesuch on your commute, I'm sure.
There's a "real" grocery store a block or two down. If I think of it I'll look for @D,LIW's Nova.

Teedmn 11:45 PM  

@spacecraft, as the saying (aka joke) goes, "it's not the heat, it's the humidity".

Anonymous 3:21 AM  

I spend a lot of time on bulletin board type discussion sites and served as a MOD for a forum on one of them. In that environment, "MODS" is used frequently. An example: "If this type of post is not allowed, Mods please remove."

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