Kitchen drawers? / FRI 9-23-16 / Give a raise? / Film setting / Openings in the computer field?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Constructor: Andrew Zhou

Relative difficulty: Easy

Yup that's supposed to be a D but I'm not re-filling in this grid and taking another screen shot


Word of the Day: BOETHIUS (11D: "The Consulation of Philosophy" author) —

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius,[1][2] commonly called Boethius[3] (English: /bˈθiəs/; also Boetius /bˈʃəs/; c. 480–524 AD), was a Roman senator, consul, magister officiorum, and philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born four years after Odoacer deposed the last Roman Emperor and declared himself King of Italy, and entered public service under Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great, who later imprisoned and executed him in 524 on charges of conspiracy to overthrow him.[4] While jailed, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy, a philosophical treatise on fortune, death, and other issues, which became one of the most popular and influential works of the Middle Ages. (Wikipedia)
• • •

It seems Rex found himself staring into the inky void of a technological blackout last night (no, he didn't pass out and spill whiskey on his computer, into his USBPORT-- it's a cable outage), so it's Lena here to wish you a happy Friday.

And so it is. This was a fun solve for me, and a quick one too.  I scooted through the North and thought "hey hey slow down, puzzle, quit being so easy and intuitive." Remember my last sub-in post? So fun. But yeah that was also an Andrew Zhou puzzle! Maybe there are cosmic Crossworld forces afoot.

SHOCK JOCK (1A: One making waves over the waves) went in first, although I entertained SURF-something for a few seconds. SURFCELEB? "Shock jocks" were mentioned in a clue in Chris King's latest puzzle, so it was fresh in my brain on some level. WOMANIZING towering over INANIMATE OBJECT is pretty great, and the clue on the latter is both straightforward and clever: (17A: It has no life).

Lots and lots of good fill, which always makes a soupçon of classic crosswordese more obvious-- ERNE ZEES UTE IBAR. Now that that's out of the way, let's pack up the car and take a trip to Natick.

BOETHIUS (11D: "The Consolation of Philosophy" author) crossing ROCHE (23A: Company that makes Tamiflu) must have tripped some folks up. Speed-sovling darling Austin Burns wasn't sure of that H in their crossing but ultimately guessed correctly:

I knew ROCHE but that's because I ordered thousands of dollars worth of antibodies from them in grad school. My problem was entirely BOETHIUS. I ordered antibodies from ROCHE and in my spare time didn't read philosophy. I know the heavy-hitters well enough, but BOETHIUS seems awfully underground, awfully "indie," as Philosophers go. And if you're clueless like me, there's no real indication that "The Consulation of Philosophy might be the work of ANCIENTS like (12A: Aeschylus, Sophoclese and Aristophanes) so that you don't start getting nervous when a funky ancient name starts to appear. 

But the rest of the long fill really is very good: YOUVE BEEN SERVED, SCREENTIME, USB PORTS, AUTOTUNE

Oh, and FOAMCORE may be (34D: Material for mounting photos), but it is also now my new favorite rock genre.  

And speaking of music, enjoy some Joe Jackson-- this one goes out to Rex!

Signed, Lena Webb, Court Jester of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 6:49 AM  

Reporting pretty tough here. Because I had "notable" before CITABLE for 8D, I was thinking 1A would end in "_ _ phone." Dumb. So I was considering "disaster" for the movie setting.

And "Lasorda" before LARUSSA. Bet we're legion this morning.

I never associate STREISAND with Broadway. SCREENTIME, yes. Then I'm like, "Oh right. She did Hello Dolly." Oops. Sorry, Ms. Channing.

Liked AUTO crossing MOTOR.

I love the expression AUTOTUNE. It's not a stretch to ambiguize it. My go-to auto tunes are
1. Should I Stay or Should I Go (full volume)
2. Hotel California
3. Me and Bobby McGee (I sound just like her. Seriously)
4. Drop it Like it's Hot
5. Lone Ranger section of the William Tell Overture (full volume)
6. An Old Fashioned Wedding (Merman and Yarnell – hey, @ims dave)
7. If I Fell (Beatles)
8. Battle Hymn of the Republic (Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
9. Mockingbird (James Taylor and Carly Simon – I nail James' part.)
10. Closer to Fine (Indigo Girls)

Great clue for GOPRO. Thanks to these cameras, we can all now enjoy the bowel-loosening delight of skydiving.

Finally – I loved, loved, loved the brilliant SWINGS crossing NO HIT. Yer out, Buddy.

Good job, AZ.

George Barany 7:08 AM  

Thanks, @Lena, for stepping up in the face of @Rex's internet difficulties to provide an interesting review of @Andrew Zhou's puzzle, which I too found amusing and enjoyable, albeit not nearly as easy as you suggest. But before elaborating, a word to those rooting for the baseball team from Detroit ... the woeful Twins fully cooperated in your continued quest for postseason play ... you're welcome!

True story, a puzzle that I am currently co-constructing with @Martin Abresch has NONO in it, and we were going back-and-forth between a baseball clue and a taboo clue. Today, @Andrew Zhou gives us both NONO and NOHIT; his clue for the latter uses the word "pitched" in a way that cleverly echoes his clue for AUTOTUNE.

Overall, there were perhaps more proper names than I would have liked, but there were some fabulous clues including "Kitchen drawers" for AROMAS, "Cannon shot in Hollywood" for DYAN, and "Jazz combo" for ZEES (not a comprehensive list). I learned something interesting about OSLO, and am pleased to have concluded that of all the five-letter conductors out there, OZAWA was the one most likely to be associated with Tanglewood.

LARUSSA was easy for me because of They Sure Managed, while GO_PRO should (IMHO) have been clued more toward what the dedicatee of RU Ready for Halloween? did straight out of high school, rather than some five-letter camera company.

Barbra STREISAND has had such a long and illustrious career that it was illuminating to recall that she had starring roles on Broadway, e.g. "Funny Girl," during the Johnson administration (Nixon was inaugurated in 1969 and his enemies list didn't become known until his second term, by which time Barbra had long moved on to Hollywood and beyond).

George Barany 7:14 AM  

More on Barbra STREISAND, who was the subject of a long profile in the New York Times in August of this year: click here.

Z 7:16 AM  

I read BOETHIUS for my History of Political Theory class. Sure, that was 1981, but it seems like yesterday. Went in off the B in IBAR and made me forget how bad IBAR as the second across answer is. The short fill is pretty icky, but there isn't much of it. Still, if you didn't have Dr. Presler making BOETHIUS' stint in prison interesting I can imagine a little 'picking your curse word' happening.

ROCHE - pharmaceuticals. RUCHE - Sewing. Got It.

LA RUSSA was subjected to a little puritanical opprobrium this past week. Free advice: If you are a white person who has led a more privileged than most people life, don't go on a national TV talk radio show (yes - that's a thing) and question a black athlete's sincerity in protesting against the shooting deaths of black men by police. It is never a good idea to question someone's sincerity in a public forum, but this is especially so when a subject is this emotionally charged. I heard the comment live and thought to myself, "What are you thinking!? Make some non-answer and go on!" Seriously, freedom of speech includes the freedom not to speak.

20 minutes, which I think is medium Friday for me.

optionsgeek 7:23 AM  

BOETHIUS was a gimme for anyone who had read John Kennedy Toole's masterpiece, Confederacy of Dunces. Somehow Toole managed to make an obscure early Medieval/late Roman poet a central element of this wonderful book.

Tim Pierce 7:32 AM  

Can we take a moment to appreciate the cluing on this one? "Head of Hogwarts", "Says 'Top o' the morning,' say," "Farm butter", "Very well-pitched" (sitting on top of "Get perfectly pitched, say"), "Cannon shot in Hollywood". Just beautiful stuff.

And I, like Lena, kept thinking that FOAMCORE must be some sort of alternative music genre that I'm too old to know about. Maybe it involves pool noodles and Silly String (q.v.).

mlm 7:52 AM  

Very good Friday, if a little on the easy side. Overall, I'll take it any day, especially given the BOETHIUS/ROCHE cross. The H seemed to fit best, and I got the happy sound first try. One of my faster Fridays for sure.

I was really hoping Bond femme was going to be OCTOPUSSY. That movie/title has been cracking me up since about 7th grade.

chefbea 8:01 AM  

Easy puzzle I agree. Why is the last letter on the grid an S??? Shouldn't it be Streisand and spaded??

Hungry Mother 8:13 AM  

Just a usual Friday for me, slowly coming into focus and then done.

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

Hello guys--I rarely post here but read the blog daily. Shouldn't the clue for 41A ("aromas") be "Kitchen DRAWS" not "Kitchen Drawers?" You don't "drawer" somebody in, you "draw" them in. Is that kind of wordplay acceptable or an editing mistake?

Hartley70 8:21 AM  

@LMS, I'm enjoying the playlist minus #2 and #3. They have me screaming NONO out the car window. At my age overexposure is an issue.

Easy? NONO again, but it was a satisfying solve because I eventually got BOETHIUS. ROCHE was a cinch in comparison. So no Natick trip for me today.

I started at the bottom and entered with OYEZ and SCREENTIME, but as I worked my way up to SHOCKJOCK, I found the difficulty level increased. Cesario who? I'm just now doing a delayed head-slap over LOO! The clues were really clever and there was very little junk fill. It was a pretty perfect Friday themeless and my time was a lot longer than @Z's!

Hartley70 8:31 AM  

Rant Alert.....Oh and Good Lord, now we have to know managers?!! ALOU and OTT aren't enough? I've got LaSorda and Joe Torre by osmosis. Those are my final answers and I refuse to learn one more. Sorry, @Nancy. I've reached my limit.

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

Antibiotics aren't still prescribed for BOETHIUS, are they?

Sir Hillary 8:43 AM  

Nifty puzzle, with a nice Scrabbly grid. Randomness:
-- Q short of a pangram.
-- Played easy here. SHOCKJOCK dropped right in, and today @Rex's "1A Theory" applied, which is usually not the case for me.
-- Totally agree with @Tim Pierce that there are some exceptional clues here. Clever, yet simple.
-- Tony LARUSSA went into the HOF with fellow managers Bobby Cox and crossword stalwart Joe Torre.
-- I could listen to McCoy TYNER forever.
-- Huge Bond fan here. 1983 was the year two Bond films came out at the same time -- "Octopussy" and "Never Say Never Again". Both were fun at the time; neither have aged well.
-- I miss Tim RUSSERT. Gone way too soon.

mac 8:48 AM  

Yes, easy Friday for me, too. Knowing Roche and vaguely knowing Boethius helped a lot, but I needed a whole lot of crosses for Streisand.

Lovely words and expressions in this ; voila, emboss, wax poetic, and "a far cry", which reminds me to reread Muriel Sparks' A Far Cry from Kensington.

Thanks for jumping in, Lena.

Charles Flaster 9:00 AM  

Very nice review from Lena. Also found it easy but a DNF as I had SPAyED for SPADED. Did change LAsordA to LARUSSA.
Creative cluing for KNIT, EMBOSS, AROMAS, and ZEES.
No CrosswordEASE .
Thanks AZ

Lewis 9:13 AM  

A very nice mix. Lovely answers (A_FAR_CRY, WAX_POETIC, YOU'VE_BEEN_SERVED, AUTOTUNE, GOPRO, GRUBS) and clues (EMBOSS, TEA, RAM, BOO, LOO); four double S's, four double E's, and words embedded in my brain that I haven't jogged in a while (LARUSSA, OCTOPUS, OZAWA, DYAN, RUSSET, K_NEX, TYNER). My only "hmmm" moment was with SENT_TO, where that TO seemed superfluous, unnecessary.

This puzzle felt easy for a Friday -- and MOTORing through a Friday puzzle waxed exuberant. I am a fan of Zhou-topia.

Lewis 9:15 AM  

@chefbea -- Yes, it should be a D -- good catch!
@anon 8:16 -- Welcome, lurker! It's crossword trickery. Something that lurks is a lurker, something that draws is a drawer, and something that butts is a butter.

Anonymous 9:27 AM  

Liked BOETHIUS next to ANCIENTS crossing WAXPOETIC; also SHOCKJOCK above WOMANIZING. The clue for ELIDES is AFARCRY. A SPADED field sounds like an awful lot of work. Not at all sure an ERNE is cousin to a kite.

evil doug 9:32 AM  

Octopussy Galore....

I'm always amused, Z, when someone explains free speech by telling us to restrict it as they deem fit....

mathgent 9:37 AM  

I thought that it was terrific. Plenty of crunch, some excellent cluing, several non-routine entries. I'm giving it an A.

When I came to the blog this morning, I was expecting Rex to be waxing indignant at WOMANIZING. Jeff Chen said that it left a bad taste in his mouth. I didn't think that Rex would allow Chen to out-PC him.

I didn't like "Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Aristophanes" as the clue for ANCIENTS. It's like "Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald" as a clue for "Americans." It's close to the line between confusing and unfair. I would definitely consider it an unfair clue for "Men."

Mohair Sam 9:43 AM  

Medium Friday for us, and fun too. As Lena pointed out this puzzle shows how a little -ese is easily forgiven when a puzzle has pizzazz.

Don't agree that the "H" crossing at ROCHE/BOETHIUS was a natick - folks in the business world or needing certain drugs know ROCHE, and BOETHIUS not totally obscure - I think we hit 25%. I always think procrastinator when I see prestidigitator - don't know why - threw in "later" at 57A and got laughed at. Funny how being on Nixon's enemies list has become a badge of honor.

WTF is FOAMCORE? - needed my solving partner for that one (and OCTOPUSSY). There is a huge hole is my Bond knowledge - I have not seen a Roger Moore Bond film, Roger Moore is "The Saint", I have never and will never accept him as James Bond.

@LMS - As I entered the "gimme-for-us" LARUSSA I said to Lady Mohair "Wonder how many will key in the ubiquitous Tommy Lasorda here?" - he's far more famous to casual fans."

@Z - Yeah, saw the LARUSSA comment. It's not what he said but how he said it - showed a complete lack of empathy for the players, be they right or wrong. I lost a lot of respect for the man.

Nancy 9:56 AM  

Some nifty clues to go with some nifty answers. I especially liked both for SHOCK JOCK and YOU'VE BEEN SERVED. Also liked the answers WOMANIZING and WAX POETIC. But it was pretty easy for a Friday. My big mistake was SZELL [off the Z] at 7D. But NAB forced me to quickly correct to OZAWA. My big guess was the S at the BOETHIUS/LARUSSA cross, since I'd never heard of either one. And I learned that STREISAND was on Nixon's enemies list -- which I either never knew or did know and have since forgotten.

My one hated clue -- not in the puzzle, but in real life: "c, in a text", for which the answer is SEE. To which I say UGH! And double UGH!

Z 9:57 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom 10:03 AM  

First gift was HONORE, as a longtime appreciator of the rococo artist who painted The Swing (and a lot of erotically charged scenes!). Unfortunately, couldn't get out of my head the idea of a SHOCKJOCK WOMANIZING an INANIMATE OBJECT. Brought up weird images involving Don Imus, probably because I studied too many of Fragonard’s works.

Along those lines, Ian Fleming must have had a chortle or two over the naming of his characters, from OCTOPUSSY and PUSSY GALORE from Goldfinger.

We could use a little more BOETHIUS these days. “…one’s virtue is all that one truly has, because it is not imperilled by the vicissitudes of fortune.” Take that any way you want given the atmosphere as we face November’s watershed.

In general enjoyed this offering from Mr. Zhou. Felt fairly GNU with SCREENTIME (a constant battle with kids) and LARUSSA’s recent induction and GOPRO. Some ANCIENTS though. Coltrane, The Long Goodbye, Shakespearean quotes and OYEZ!

Wm. C. 10:07 AM  


Z wasn't trying to restrict LaRussa's free speech. He was expressing his opinion that what he said was ill-advised under the circumstances,

LaRussa's opinion on Kaepernick's sincerity may be correct, and I see no problem --in general-- in calling someone a phoney if that's what you believe. But the subject and its timing Is explosive right now. So I agree that in this particular case that discretion would have been the greater part of valor. (And in doing so, I'm not trying to restrict LaRussa's right to free speech, just suggesting that certain CONTENT may not be wise. Nonetheless, if he wants to say it, OK, but be prepared for the consequences.)

BTW, do you believe that telling people not to cry "Fire!!!" In a crowded theater is a restriction on free speech?

Z 10:08 AM  

@Chefbea and @Lewis - OFSL actually posted a $ in that last square. I hear OFSL is money. (It seems she's also posted a caption indicating that a D belongs there - I don't think that was there this morning but I could have missed it)

@Anon9:27 - I just looked them up in wikipedia. ERNEs and kites are both birds of prey, so I guess that's close enough to be considered "cousins." And here is a perfect example of the difference between novice and veteran solver - five years ago I would have been looking for a toy, today crossbird ERNE went in after making sure it wasn't crossbird tern. Terns are closer to pewits than kites, but all I know is "four-letter bird" is almost always ERNE or tern.

@Evil - There's a big difference between not being allowed to say something and choosing not to say something. I had the same feeling watching him I get when I see someone slam on their brakes on slick roads, "Oh no! This isn't going to turn out well for you," all the while knowing that the person I'm watching probably has no clue why the world is suddenly spinning around them.

QuasiMojo 10:20 AM  

Started out loving this one but then things turned south. Literally. The fill deteriorated as I descended the grid. From Boethius to Streisand. That about sums it up. I don't think of inanimate objects as not having life. You should see me in the morning. And "you've been served" is dull fill and not particularly accurate. And most MLK eponyms are "Avenues" not "streets." Bah Humbug. Great seeing you Lena. Thanks for filling in for the Rex today.

Maruchka 10:21 AM  

Really, really liked this. Mostly worked it out intuitively, with some bumps -Merck/ROCHE, gros/GRAS (yummy foie), Orsino/OLIVIA (hey, Shakespeare fans - Cesario/Viola loved Orsino; OLIVIA loved Cesario, not Viola nor Orsino - what larks!). If music be the food of love..

Favs of the day - OYEZ and YOU"VE BEEN SERVED. I'm likely on a jury panel next week.

@chefbea re: STREISANs - @Lena did mention on the site that she goofed, but didn't have time to go back in and correct it to a D..

Happy Autumn, everyone!

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

Foam core (paper adhered to both sides of a thin sheet of foam) is usually used to make temporary signs or for presentations in the pre-PowerPoint days. Picture that thing sitting on an easel outside a conference room.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Foam core (paper adhered to both sides of a thin sheet of foam) is usually used to make temporary signs or for presentations in the pre-PowerPoint days. Picture that thing sitting on an easel outside a conference room.

Maruchka 10:23 AM  

@chefbea - That's a $, not an s.. oops.

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

Now I see why people double post. It tricks you (just want to let ya know I'm not proud enough knowing what foam core is to want to say it twice)

JHHESQ 10:25 AM  

Haven't posted in years, and I don;t always check the blog, but given that I solved this one in record Friday time, I was hoping to see a rating other than "easy" That said, the only thing that motivated me to go through the effort to post was that Joe Jackson's Night and Day is one of my top 10 Albums. Great Choice!

Carola 10:33 AM  

Agree with all about the delights of the puzzle - the nifty entries and their felicitous placement in the grid, the witty cluing. First in for me: confirming NONO with BOETHIUS, an example of a little learning being a handy thing (memorized in college history 101, in 1964, yikes). Also loved FOAM CORE, on which I had many a poster mounted before I could afford to buy actual art. Liked the combo of WAX POETIC, ELIDES, OPE. Went wrong for a while on LARoSSA, even while having the nagging thought that I was conflating him with Julius LaRosa.

Audrey Williams 10:42 AM  

Why is farm butter RAM?

r.alphbunker 10:47 AM  

I had an unusual solve pattern today. My avatar shows the grid at about 7 min when it was half full with correct letters. Then I stalled for 5 minutes. After that it was mainly a question of how fast I could type. Details are here

@LMS I am so glad that LASORDA did not occur to me. I was trying to recall the Dodger manager who ran out onto the field after Kirk Gibson hit his World Series homerun but fortunately the crosses led to LARUSSA.

No Comment 10:50 AM  

Looks like I'm the only one who feels lukewarm about this one, even though it was a typical Friday for me. Maybe it's just that I'm not especially enthusiastic about names, as answers--i just don't find them very interesting in a puzzle. This one had a lot, and they all skewed oldish:

Russert, b. 1950 (d. 2008)
Ozawa, b. 1935
Dyan, b. 1937
Tyner, b. 1938
Streisand, b. 1942
Larussa, b. 1944
(And, of course, Honore, Boethius & Ancients, but they don't really count)

G.Harris 10:53 AM  

Spelled Russert as Russett at first and that slowed me in the SE. Didn't get iou and that cost me the letters needed to complete foamcore and auto tune, two expressions I never heard of and dnf. Aromas are phenomena that can draw one in and therefore can be described as drawers.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

This site should contain instructions for what to do in an emergency (ie, Rex can't or won't post for some reason). First, remain calm. Quietly gather at this site and await instructions from (I nominate) @Martin and @Ralph, who have the writing and technical skills to construct a temporary blog shelter. I only bring this up because of last night's mishap. Better safe than sorry. Btw, great puzzle.

jae 11:00 AM  

Easy-medium for me. Started to put in @lms LAsordA until I hit the downs I already had in place.


Solid with a hint of zip, liked it.

Anyone looking for a more challenging themeless should check out this week's AVCX.

Wm. C. 11:04 AM  

@Audrey10:42 --

A RAM (male goat) butts other males head-to-head, to maintain his dominance on the farm.

Arden 11:15 AM  

Played like a Wednesday for me. Easy but enjoyable.

ArtO 11:21 AM  

Anyone else try to go with SEMAPHORE for 1a. Seemed to work with SWING as 1d until it didn't. DNF but doing 80% on Friday counts as moral victory in this corner.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

@Audrey,@Wm C - Male sheep (Rams) are likely to butt you, hence are butters. Male goats are bucks, not rams. - Hey, I just reclued GOAT = Buck up at the farm.

bookmark 11:31 AM  

Architect husband uses foam core to make lightweight models of his buildings.

Joseph Michael 11:32 AM  

What stands out for me in this puzzle is the imaginative cluing throughout. Lots of great misdirection and mischief. Also liked the mix of old and new in the answers. Well done.

Roo Monster 11:39 AM  

Hey All !
Cracked up when I saw the Easy rating! Wasn't quite that easy for me. Only had a few writeovers, though. Managed to suss everything out, but took quite a bit to wrestle to the ground. Haven't heard of BOETHIUS or ROCHE, so a Natick at the H, but managed to put the H in, as BOETHIUS sounded the best.

Had some cool words and clues. Actually finished with no errors! YAY ME! :-)


Anoa Bob 11:46 AM  

My first thought when I read the clue for 1 Across about someone making waves over waves was SIGNALMAN, an old, and discontinued, rating in the Navy for one who communicates between ships using signal flags via a Semaphore system. (We called them "skivvy wavers", "skivvies" being slang for underwear.) Right number of letters, too. Further trivia, in my favorite Jack Nicholson movie, The Last Detail, he plays a very salty Signalman 1st Class.

Thought I knew my philosophers, but BOETHIUS showed me I was wrong.

My grandfather was a bridge inspector and would take me along when I was a wee lad. Never saw an IBAR ("Bridge support") then nor since. And I've lived near the sea for much of my life and ERNE also falls into the "never seen" category. So BOO to those two.

But both are grid fill gold, and I would probably use them if they facilitated completing an otherwise high quality puzzle, as happens here.

Anoa Bob 11:55 AM  

@ArtO, was putting together my comment while yours posted.

By the way, Nicholson's character in "The Last Detail" (1973) was named Billy "Badass" Buddusky.

AliasZ 11:56 AM  

Lucky that Miss OCTOPUSSY
Wasn't sculpted by Brancusi.
She was surely more beauteous
Than philosopher BOETHIUS,
Whose statements are quite CITABLE --
His followers, excitable.

A WOMANIZING lothario?
NO-NO, not in this scenario.
But The Swing artist, Jean-HONORÉ
Fragonard, he knew of SWINGS, OYEZ!
He kept his brush in a CANISTER
So he could slide down the banister.

Numinous 11:57 AM  

Almost NONO fun AHA moments for me. OCTOPUSSY was a mild surprise and seeing my daugheter's name, OLIVIA, got a smile. I don't like the term SHOCK JOCK for some reason. I expected a bit of A FAR outCRY over WOMANIZING.

I used to work with a sound engineer who had worked with STREISAND. According to him, she would record a song across several 24 track tapes then select word by word, sillable by sillable from all possibilities to get the best rendition for her albums. Talk about tedious. I have no patience for that sort of thing.

I guess this was fairly easy without being ESEy – At least not very. I have to admit I drew a complete blank on Mardi GRAS so I went to Translator and then felt completely stupid. Down at the very end, I felt EVENER stupider to realize that I had spelt OZAWA with an "S". That foolishness cost me over ten minutes. Still, the cluing was fair for a Friday and everything was eventually solvable without any googling. I never watched Meet The Press so RUSSERT was getable only from crosses. BOETHIUS too was cross given. ANCIENTS was a sort of, "Well, duh!" answer.

Ultimately, this puzzle inspired nothing in me. I wish I could say better but . . . .

Masked and Anonymous 12:04 PM  

Didn't know BOETHIUS, so had to kinda build it from scratch.

fave weeject: UTE.
fave mistakes: LASORDA, pre-LARUSSO, pre-LASRUSSA. BOY, pre-BOO. TOM, pre-JIM. IZAWA, pre-OZAWA. AUTOPUSSY, pre-OCTOPUSSY [doh]. Speakin of which…

@muse. Nice AUTOTUNES. I'd list a top ten, but I'd think of a different set, every day-um time I listed em. Only constant: "Things Have Changed" by Bob Dylan.

Thanx, Mr. Zhou.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Andrew Heinegg 12:06 PM  

A reasonable Friday because of the many misdirected clues, two of which seem to be upsetting some folks, i.e., butter and drawer; While I am not a grammar expert by any measure, words such as those have been used as crossword clues for many years by way of 'see if you can think through this double or triple entendre clue to come up with an answer'. It may not be proper English, as has been pointed out in earlier posts, but it is standard usage for crosswords.

Andrew Heinegg 12:07 PM  

A reasonable Friday because of the many misdirected clues, two of which seem to be upsetting some folks, i.e., butter and drawer; While I am not a grammar expert by any measure, words such as those have been used as crossword clues for many years by way of 'see if you can think through this double or triple entendre clue to come up with an answer'. It may not be proper English, as has been pointed out in earlier posts, but it is standard usage for crosswords.

old timer 12:08 PM  

I agree about the clever cluing. The clues for TEA and ELIDE were especially good. But for me this puzzle was A FAR CRY from being Easy. If I had known ROCHE and GOPRO I guess I could have gotten that philosopher on crosses, but I didn't and ended up Googling for Mr. B.

I think ANCIENTS is just wrong. It's in the dictionary, but I have never seen it used as a noun except in Shakespeare.

I also think anyone who solves by putting in the easy answers first as I do is unlikely to think "Lasorda" instead of LARUSSA. RAM was obvious, and so, really, was USB PORTS.

I wonder how many people still use the kind of textspeak that would substitute "c" for "see". A huge percentage of the population owns an iPhone or one of its smartphone rivals, and therefore can easily spell out whole words when writing a text.

r.alphbunker 12:25 PM  

@Anonymous 10:54

When Rex started monitoring posts I created the blog (I added a "2" to the real URL) so that people could post in both places. I emailed him about it but got no response. I suppose it could be used for what you are suggesting.

Leapfinger 12:29 PM  

So. A classic continuation of Thursday's puzzle: it jumped right past  UNI, BI, TRI,  QUAD, QUINT, SEXI and SEPTA to OCTOPUSSY. We also got the ODES of SOLEMN.

I guess this would have been easier had INANIMATE OBJECT not been the first quick entry. Not everything that followed came that fast, but the ride was more white water than deep paddling. Only one redo with FOAMtape, and I ascribe that to my  demoralizingly large collection of unalbumed photos. At least I now have the 3 boxfuls culled of duplicates and sorted by category (family by branch, friends, travel, who the hell is this person and what are they doing?).

My one unknown filled via crosses: I suspected BOadicea, but she didn't console her prisoners with philosophy, she just kilt 'em. Thought CITABLE a CITAdel of unfortunate proportions, but generally liked the clever misleadingness of the cluing.[Occasionally, I thought it had gone a cry too far.] Otoh,I liked the look of AFARCRY  out of focus, kind of sounds like it could be maybe the okrug for Alma Aty.

Seems LARUSSA stole the LA from ROCHE; no idea what happened to Hoffman.

And now I have the earworm of Groucho singing "OLIVIA the Tattooed Lady"...

Overall, more WAX POETIC than WANE PROSAIC. Thanks, A-Z

ps: I WOMANIZED sometime during the summer I turned 13, IIRC.

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Thought 1 across might be TALKRADIO and wasn't shocked when it turned out to be SHOCKJOCK which is pretty much the same in the eyes of the NYTimes. And should'nt Babs been every sane person's watch list? The woman is a lunatic. Why can't she just shut and sing?

Joe Bleaux 1:29 PM  

And introduced me to the wonderful word "doxy"😉

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

Loved the upbeat analysis and commentary. A pleasure to read it.

Teedmn 1:36 PM  

rene rUSSo was a Bond femme fatale, did you know? That's because the court command at 56D was 'all "rise"' in case you were curious. But I cleaned that all up and got Mr. McCoy TYNER out of the copier ToNER I had inked in.

Yea, LA sordA kinda sorta got in my way but ANCIENTS TEA got me out of that spot.

6D flip-flopped from JIM to toM to JIM again, adding to my black splotches. But this puzzle gives me nothing to OBJECT to so thanks, AZ.

puzzle hoarder 2:07 PM  

Did anyone else guess SEMAPHORE at 1A? SWINGS and OZAWA support it which makes it very tempting. However the strength of JIM blew SEMAPHORE out of the water. This put me off the upper half initially. The middle and lower half were early week easy. Just by it's structure I expected that of the middle. I thought it would be a trade-off for very difficult material in the upper and lower tiers. The only area that materialized was the ROCHE /BOETHIUS crossing. I wasted time running the alphabet to nail down that H. After two days in a row of single letter dnfs I thought I'd come away with a clean grid. However I'd misread the 18D clue as being a response to surprise and initially entered MOI. When 17A changed the first letter to a B I changed the 18D to BOY and never reread the clue. ROCHE does look more likely than RYCHE but neither one is familiar. That makes three single letter dnfs in a row. The slop goes in before the name goes on.

Leapfinger 2:16 PM  

What would Ogden Nash say about bANISTERs? The one-N banister is an upright; in general, so is the two-N Bannister, but moves a lot faster. Funny how some people have a knack for being Banist-er than Zhou.

Can't think when I last saw one of those "Do Not Walk on the GRAS" signs. Used to see them alot on lawns of public spaces. In post-separatist Quebec,  "Ne passez-pas sur le gazon" would be above the English. So I remembered Charlie Brown's saying "Beagles on the GRAS, alas", which led to my finding
and therein seeing the word Gasamtkunstwerk

I now want to hide in bed with my head under a pillow.

Gregory Schmidt 2:21 PM  

I liked it.

Elephant's Child 2:29 PM  

Liked that holy part in the South with ST REIS AND ST OVES, but they misspelled both ST REgIS AND ST iVES.

Hartley70 2:47 PM  

I'm having a good chuckle. I just came upon a mention of STEPH Curry in a newspaper article. I was pretty chuffed to "know" that athlete after seeing the entry twice last week in the puzzle. Go STEPH Go! Women's basketball rules! Imagine my shock to discover today that old STEPH is a man! Who woulda thunk it?

Mohair Sam 3:17 PM  

@LMS - Regarding your go-to AUTOTUNEs: I think if I search a thousand years I will never find "If I Fell" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" side by side on a song list again. A great list nonetheless.

Martín Abresch 3:31 PM  

I thought that BOETHIUS was a gimme. He may not be much read these days, but he's probably the most famous medieval philosopher after Augustine.

What is KNEX? Oh, it's K'NEX as in "connects."

I do like all the Scrabbly consonants in SHOCK JOCK and WOMANIZING, and I like the clue for SHOCK JOCK (One making waves over the waves), and I do like how well they fit together—especially the KNIT and K'NEX duo—but, ugh, shock jocks and womanizers. And then OCTOPUSSY too? Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I liked how this puzzle pursued Scrabbly letters while not following the primrose path to a pangram (no Q). In this regard, I especially liked WAX POETIC.

As @Tim Pierce points out, this puzzle has some very clever clues. Count me among those who liked ELIDES (Says 'Top o' the morning," say), RAM (Farm butter), and AROMAS (Kitchen drawers?). I also enjoyed the trivia of STREISAND (Broadway star who was on Nixon's list of enemies) and the use of fancy-schmancy "prestidigitator" in the clue for VOILA (Prestidigitator's word).

@Loren Muse Smith - I always enjoy reading your comments as you nearly always catch some felicity that I missed. Today, it's the crossing of SWINGS and NO-HIT. Ha!

wgh 3:41 PM  


paul408 4:57 PM  

Easiest Friday puzzle in a long time for me. Very smooth.

I knew BOETHIUS in a general way, but wasn't sure how to spell it.

ROCHE should be easy for people - one of the top pharma companies globally.

Put in Lasorda before LARUSSA.

Only hold-up was in the West, mostly due to writing in "greets" before ELIDES upon encountering "Top o' the morning".

Z 5:28 PM  

My AUTO TUNEs today included the newest Band of Horses album which got me wondering how we know the difference between "drawer" and "drawer."

Aketi 5:53 PM  

@leapfinger, leave it to you to redefine WOMANIZING. definitely absconding with that one.

I wanted KNEX to be MINE CRAFT but it clearly wouldn't fit. MIne Craft might even be more popular than Legos now. It certainly leaves more room for the imagination than the Legos kits that are sold these days with instructions that are so complex that Even parents give up.
@Nancy, you can even build a virtual tennis court in Mine Craft.

FOAM CORE was used in our household for any number of school projects.

Aketi 5:58 PM  

Haha, it just dawned on me that you could actually construct a crossword puzzle in Mine Craft. Someone has already constructed a working Tic Tac Toe game in Mine Craft. Neither KNEX nor Legos can do tthat.

Düdie 6:25 PM  

I'd expect a Friday to be without errors however EMBOSS refers to lowering, not raising. Think of when you EMBOSS leather... You're pushing down. Raising actually refers to a little known word: deboss. For shame.

jae 7:05 PM  

@lms - A fine list. You also might want to consider Low Riders and Funky Town, good travelin tunes.

Teedmn 7:08 PM  

@Leapfinger, looks like the beagles chased all the pigeons off the GRAS, alas. And are the "lesser saints" the lesser of two goods? Finally, if you end up sneezing from hiding under the bed rather than just 'in' bed, I give such blessing as Gesamtkunstwerk can convey.

Z 7:32 PM  

@Düdie - Um, no.

Kitty Hawk 8:29 PM  


The ERNE's (sea eagle) closest relatives are the fishing eagles..., very similar to the tropical species. The relationships to other genera in the family are less clear; they have long been considered closer to the kites than to the true eagles... on the basis of their morphology and display behavior; more recent genetic evidence agrees with this, but points to them being related to the buzzards/hawks as well, a relationship not previously thought close.[Wiki]

Y'r welcome

Nancy 9:44 PM  

@Aketi (5:53 pm) -- I haven't the foggiest idea what Mine Craft is, but I do know a red clay tennis court when I see one. So there's that.

Anonymous 10:59 PM  

For those fans of sports and sport broadcasters who wrote today and over the last 10 days or so, and even those who are not fans, Vin's Dodger farewell went off well. He is just beginning the call tonight. Find it if you can if you want to see how a true poet uses basic vocabulary to reach the inner kid in all of us.

As for the tribute, Koufax was good. Gibson was taped, but ok. Kershaw is still young, so I'll cut him a break. But "Tin Cup" should have stopped a few minutes earlier. Vin was still exceptional.

Nancy 11:11 PM  

@Hartley (2:47 p.m.) -- So you thought STEPH Curry was...a woman! I know that by now you're braced for this bad news (since I broke it to you by phone this afternoon), but I feel I must let the rest of the blog know too: @Hartley 70 will not, I repeat not, be taking over for Mary Carillo as a sports analyst any time soon. @Hartley 70, contrary to what I deeply and fervently believed a mere two days ago, is simply not yet ready for Prime Time sportscasting. So sad, but, alas, so true.

Anonymous 11:14 PM  

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela said on Wednesday, in an interview with, that the no-hitter he threw on June 29, 1990, will remain forever in his memory, immortalized by the legendary Vin Scully's play-by-play on the game. Now, as Scully's retirement and final game nears, the Mexican pitcher who inspired the call also spoke on how Scully inspired him.

"Maybe I'll forget who my last out was, or how many walks I gave up in my career, but his quote, 'If anyone has a sombrero, throw it to the sky,' it's something I'll never forget. That will remain forever." That call was recently voted by fans as No. 5 in the top 20 greatest moments in Vin Scully's 67 years as the voice of the Dodgers.

"It's something that comes from someone who has great experience calling baseball. To hear it from someone like him, it's a really nice memory," added the "Bull of Etchohuaquila," who currently serves as a color analyst on Spanish-language telecasts of Dodgers games.

Düdie 8:04 PM  

Um, yeah. Check wikipedia etc. I'm in the business.
"Embossing and debossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the surface of the material (but might protrude somewhat on the reverse, back side)."

kitshef 8:44 AM  

Amazing to me that the board in general did so well with the BOETHIUS/ROCHE cross. I figured Lena would be correct that that would be a problem area. It was for me, although guessed correctly. Other WoEs include OZAWA, OLIVIA, FOAMCORE, all with solid crosses.

This was a really good puzzle. All those longs (9+) are fantastic.

Burma Shave 12:22 PM  


for WOMANIZING, as he ELIDES when he “KNEX”.
O,YEZ his AMES INJECT a GNU paradigm,
you SEE, with OCTOPUSSY he’s ERNEd some SECS.


spacecraft 12:46 PM  

EASY???? I can't believe this. Not only the lead, but several contributors. BOETHIUS, really? I mean, those are the letters that crossed into 11-down, but man! Raise your hand if you have EVER encountered this guy before. Oh, and that painter? Ever heard of him? Yeah, me neither. Come on, this is impossible. Do Balzac, and give us half a chance. But those two? Neither one is..."CITABLE." Are you KIDDiNG me, CITABLE? And you call this EASY????????

More weird stuff: FOAMCORE. Wha? And of course, everyone in the WORLD knows who Coltrane's pianist was. Sure. I guess AUTOTUNE is some new tech gadget built into modern instruments. No more pitch pipes, eh?

How I got this done is beyond me. I took wild stabs (such as WAXPOETIC off just the C) and somehow was right. But easy? Hardly. I can tell you I was at it for the best part of two hours. Thank goodness for Tony LARUSSA and Tim RUSSERT, or this baby would have ended up on the DNF pile.

You can have your OCTOPUSSY; give me DOD DYAN Cannon any day. Triumph factor huge in this one, and minimal junk. Big pass play, forced out of bounds at the five; first and goal.

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

NOT easy, or a fair puzzle. Seven answers absolutely detestable. REJECTED.

rondo 2:01 PM  

Nope, AFARCRY from easy. Especially with Tommy LAsordA where I placed him. No other w/os, but I sure had to get stuff by crosses, and it took a while to get ‘em.

Nit with IBAR. In a bridge, depending on if it’s a concrete or steel structure, you might find re-bar and/or I-beams, but I’ll guarantee there’s no IBAR in a bridge. Maybe on a woodworking clamp. Not a bridge.

FOAMCORE usually shows up more in presentations or on notices on the lobby easel. Photos?

Recently we had yeah baby Maud Adams who played the title role in OCTOPUSSY, but today we have DYAN Cannon who’s one of those that has looked really, really god for a really, really long time. Yeah baby.

Tough but satisfying. Just kept at it and et VOILA!

Diana,LIW 4:22 PM  

My first clue that many would call this "easy" was that I got 99% of it. Only the teeniest bit of help. Tho, at first, I only had about a dozen answers on my first go-thru.

Mr. W took art and music history courses and now lectures me on the greats, so FRAGONARD was actually in my wheelhouse. Who knew GNU was a game - now we all do.

Have no idea why I know the name of McCoy TYNER.

For a moment, just a moment, I thought the quote was, "Run! Fire!" Didn't you? No, your AIM was true.

What lotsa people said about the great misdirecting clues. Butter. Head. Har.

Saw OZAWA conduct the Boston in Paris. Bocelli sang. The Eiffel Tower provided a suitable background. Seigi looks a lot younger than his years - a lot. Didn't think he could be old enough to have a Tanglewood hall named after him. Live and learn. Or, as I said recently, lie and learn. Thanks, @Teed, for noticing.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 4:57 PM  

Great puzzle - yes!
Easy - No!

If you don't know BOETHIUS, TYNER, RUSSERT, KNEX, then you have a problem, but if you do know LARUSSA, OCTOPUSSY, OZAWA, JIM, DYAN, and ROCHE, then you have the possibility of a solution which, eventually after a break of two hours to do some wine work, I did. Yay, me. I rule.

I appreciated the many deceptive clues, and the sense of accomplishment upon finishing. Can't say anything negative about this puzzle.

wcutler 6:18 PM  

Well, I didn't see anyone else off in boats at 1A - motorboat, then speedboat (which gave me SWINGS, which I got to keep). I forgot about the word shockjocks, never heard of K'Nex, had banister instead of CANISTER, so had to come here to find out what the heck 1A was. And I missed the O and H of ROCHE. Still, I got the rest, so considered it easy for a Friday. I was feeling very proud of myself that my first entry was NONO.

leftcoastTAM 8:30 PM  

Not easy, especially the NE. BOETHIUS and ANCIENTS were toughest. BOETHIUS was both a spelling and an exact name problem, and ANCIENTS just seemed too generic an answer for these famous Greek playwrights.

Walked away and came back several times, and had much else to keep me moving today. (Good at least for my Fitbit steps count.) NE DNF, mainly because couldn't come up with GOPRO which woulda, coulda, shoulda opened up that NE corner.

Anonymous 12:06 PM  

Can someone please explain to me how the heck "Head of Hogwarts" is LOO?

Z 12:08 PM  

Head=Loo=Toilet. "Head" of something British -> LOO is a common crossword misdirect

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