Marcel Marceau moniker / FRI 2-3-17 / Ned's adoptive son on Game of Thrones / App with envelope icon / What's exited in Brexit / Juan Peron's third wife / Roman-Parthian War figure / Lead-in to Luddite / Black Tulip novelist 1850 / Jazz devotee most likely / Superhero with foe Professor Von Gimmick

Friday, February 3, 2017

Constructor: Paolo Pasco

Relative difficulty: Medium (actually ATAD on the slow side for me, but I'm not myself this morning)


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: KEN'S (56A: Salad dressing brand) —
Ken's Foods is a privately held food manufacturing company located in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Ken's primary products are salad dressings, sauces, and marinades. The company's commercial food manufacturing divisions produce products both for retail sale and food service, including contract manufacturing for companies such as Newman's Own. (wikipedia)
• • •

I normally crush this kid's puzzles, but not today. Stumble stumble bumble. My first foray into that NW corner—total Bowling Green Massacre (look it up!). I feel like DRUNK DIAL shoulda been a gimme (1A: Call from a bar, maybe), but phone call never occurred to me. Even when I saw the first word could be DRUNK, I was like "DRUNKS ... OUT!"? Do bartenders say that? I doubt it. And then I just came up blank on everything. Thought gymnastics at 1D: Tumbling equipment (DRYERS). Had the "U" from SUCKS (a gimme!) (27A: "Your Movie ___" (Rober Ebert book)), and thus thought 2D: Tear into ended in UP (some equivalent of RIP UP). Couldn't see THEEU to save my life (31A: What's exited in Brexit). Man that is one ugly answer. Correct, but yipes. ___-Luddite. Even that stumped me. Considered NEO, but also considered PRE- (which now seems ... redundant). ISABEL? Uh, no idea (7D: Juan Per├▓n's third wife). Never saw "Thor" (sorry, RENE RUSSO) (15A: She played Odin's wife in "Thor"). So that corner alone destroyed me. I actually had to *finish* there, it was so bad. Luckily, the rest was less brutal.


Small corners were cake, big corners less so. I got handed some pretty useful answers (ZEVON, PAWNEE, THERON, SUCKS), but they never seemed to help that much. Well, that "Z" from ZEVON probably did. After the NW, there were really no Disasters except 63A: "Keep your pants on!" (IN A MOMENT). Did you know SECOND and MINUTE both fit in MOMENT's place!? I'm guessing at least a few of you do, in fact, know that. Now. I kept trying to get [Caregivers' org.] (which is not in a million years how I would describe the AMA) (I think of nurses as giving the actual "care"), but with SECOND in there, I was like "... ACA? I mean, I'm all for it, but it's ... not a caregivers' ... org. Is it?" It is not. But I *somehow* knew [Marcel Marceau moniker] was BIP, so I was able to power the other longer Acrosses across (BIKE LANES!) and fixed that corner way faster than its NW counterpart. Really good work overall, w/ clues that (initially) just baffled (solve-upon-waking-at-5am) me.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

167 comments:

mmbeitlermd 5:59 AM  

I didn't know bip and peek at can be peer at with fire lane replacing bike lane and Fip replacing Bip. I think fire lane is a more interesting answer than bike lane. Such is life.

Anonymous 6:15 AM  

First he refers to himself three times in the difficulty rating, then takes a non-sequitur drive by shot. Michael Sharp is a hateful person. Anyone not seeing that is self-delusional.

Moly Shu 6:29 AM  

Of course @Rex isn't himself this morning, he didn't even mention JON and his aversion to all things GoT. Maybe his incessant tweeting has finally got the better of him. To many gimmies to put up a challenge here. ZEVON SUCKS IMAMAN THEEU RENERUSSO ISABEL EVA ATOMANT, all in without crosses. UNHITCH and. UTAHAN, correct guesses. Liked MANKINI and DEATHRAY. Only mistakes were Isles before IVORY and like @mmbeitirmd, fIrE before BIKE. Liked it, good crunch.

Anonymous 6:41 AM  

In the words of Hillary "What difference at this point does it make?"

Canon Chasuble 6:43 AM  

The second Friday running with an easy puzzle. But then, why wouldn't it be? With at least 18 proper names, it's more like Trivial Pursuit than a real puzzle.

Anonymous 6:46 AM  

I really enjoyed this one. It was just tough enough for me (as opposed to last Friday). MANKINI was particularly enjoyable, even though I'm not quite sure what one looks like. I tweaked my neck yesterday otherwise I'd be at the gym this morning where, yes, I usually swim and, yes, there are several guys working out in their speedos. Do speedos = mankinis?

Tim Pierce 7:05 AM  

63A was a disaster for me, too, but because from ------ENT I went straight to BEPATIENT, which feels like a much better answer for that clue. Kept me scratching my head. Fun puzzle.

Lobster11 7:05 AM  

Easy for me, despite all the proper names that I didn't know (or at least didn't know as clued). I guess I'm not myself this morning either -- but in a good way.

Biggest gripe: I don't think a TOOT is a "road-rage sound." You TOOT your horn to say hello to someone or to gently alert the person in front of you that the light is now green. TOOTing is not what one does in a rage.

Distancia Horticrux 7:14 AM  

Normal Friday time for me. Overall enjoyable.

I didn't know that Yahoo had their own email app, but then I don't do Yahoo email. I have tried many email apps that can include Yahoo accounts.

The cluing was a little too cutesy for my taste with all of the cross cluing going on: two EU references, two shocker references, two actual "Somewhats," and two Juan Peron references. After a while I started looking for some kind of theme.

I had amES before IVES, sEwS before WETS, and oNeMOMENT before INAMOMENT. But nothing that couldn't be overcome by the crosses eventually.

I filled in ATOMANT like I knew what I was doing, but if you had pressed me at the time, I would have to admit that it was a shot in the dark.

Anonymous 7:18 AM  

@Lobster11: I tried to fit in "GETOUTOFMYWAYMOTHERF*CKER" or GUNSHOT for a road rage sound, but decided to go with TOOT instead.

kitshef 7:21 AM  

Well, looky there - a puzzle I found easy that @Rex didn't (happens, oh, twice a year). Like DRUNK DIAL opposite PITY PARTY.

Names were in my wheelhouse today, RENE RUSSO, Warren ZEVON, ATOM ANT. Slowdowns were TeEnxxx before TWEENER and difficulty figuring out xxxKINI. And I often mix up SLEW/SLue and what TO WIT to have an 'h'.

Absolutely great grid today. This is as fine as themelesses get.

Passing Shot 7:44 AM  

Not easy, with all the proper names fron shows/movies/genres I pay no attention to. I know the actresses RENERUSSO and THERON so I was able to get them from some crosses, and oddly, I've heard of ATOMANT, but this one was, shall we say, "not in my wheelhouse." Had UT____ and couldn't see UTAHAN to save my life. Like @Tim Pierce, had bepatiENT for the longest time. Agree with @Lobster11 that TOOT is an answer.

Questionable cluing, too many proper names. Did not enjoy this puzzle.

Marty 7:44 AM  

Whatever the Bechdel test equivalent for crosswords is, this comes really close to failing. A bunch of dudes, a few MANs, and most of the women are clued in terms of their relationships to men. THERON and Taylor Swift are the only exceptions.

John Child 7:47 AM  

MANKINI is worth the price of admission by itself. Beachwear that is unflattering on every man. Google it, or don't. You can't unsee things...

Six nine- and two eight-letter answers make up all the long fill in this puzzle, but they are well used. Even YAHOO MAIL could have been interesting with a different clue. Good fun Mr Pasco. The app timer says I was well under average Friday time, so rated easy here.

Passing Shot 8:00 AM  

Curse you, @John Child, for making me look up MANKINI. My eye are still burning.

Sir Hillary 8:01 AM  

Good puzzle and relatively easy, but whereas OFL bogged down in the NW, for me it was the SW. I would guess I spent as much time there as in the other three quadrants combined.

Randomness:
-- If I never see another "Game of Thrones" reference, I'll be happy. Never seen the show, nor am I likely too. But that's just me -- I know others feel the same about sports-related clues.
-- I liked several of the "?" clues today, especially those for IVORY, DYNASTY and CABS. Also thought the DOVEBAR clue was excellent.
-- Is it really TWEENER? I thought it was TWEEN. I think of TWEENER in a SORTA "misfit" context (an in-beTWEENER) such as a football player who's too small to play linebacker but too big to play safety and thus doesn't have a place in the team.
-- What's often the only way to move a HEAP? TOWIT.
-- Mendes yesterday. Peron today. Longoria tomorrow?

Happy Friday all.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

Seriously, he's not. Not at all. Crabby sometimes, maybe a bit curmudgeonly -- though not today-- but never hateful. Actually, I find Rex rather lovable.

jason 8:12 AM  

@Marty, I think you can safely call it a Bechdel fail. RENE RUSSO clued by invoking the All-Father. THERON via the title that, by itself, dehumanizes it subject (not so much how the movie handles Aileen Wournos, but the title in isolation given a moments thought in a puzzle). And Taylor Swift's now very broad fan base infantilized as a bunch of awkward girls. kudos WS...

r.alphbunker 8:20 AM  

4 minute stall at 61D {Caregivers' org.} AMA/60A {Features of some city streets} BIKELANES. I too don't think of the AMA as an organization of caregivers and I wanted some kind of line for the city street feature. I also needed to give up NEWARK as {51A Town where "Parks and Recreation" is set}. I must have been thinking of Jersey Shore.

Details are here.


TonySaratoga 8:23 AM  

Fresh content, clever cluing, and overall just a really good, tight puzzle with very little crosswordese. Nice work. Crushed it until the SW where TAMALE killed me.

TonySaratoga 8:24 AM  

TAMALES actually.

dls 8:29 AM  

Speaking of 50A, what's up with cluing it in a maximally spoilery way?

Kdunk 8:30 AM  

TOOT isn't road rage. Perhaps chili rage.

puzzle hoarder 8:30 AM  

This was only slightly easier than last Friday's because I was at the firehouse last night and had to solve on the tablet. Otherwise this would have been well into the easy end. My biggest roadblock was a SUCKA/SUCKS write over. I misread The word movie as move and thought Ebert must have been involved with a blacksploitation satire(I know that's probably not how it's spelled.) I've been solving Fridays and Saturdays from 1995 and the contrast with the current puzzles is striking. WS seems to be grooming a group of young constructor who tend to serve up these pop culture softballs that while being fresher have lost lot of the old difficulty.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 8:35 AM  

I thoroughly enjoyed this . Solved last night without googling, but it wasn't easy .... and that's perfect for a weekend puzzle.

Suzy 8:43 AM  

We all get a little irritated at Rex now and again, but you seem to have a fetish. I wonder....
Perhaps you should find another blog to harass!

Hartley70 8:48 AM  

Today's puzzle played medium to me. My time was Friday average and I had a struggle but finished cleanly. ZEVON was the key to my NE but since he is a complete unknown, he was my last answer. It was a delight to skip the sports clues today. (Hi, Sir Hillary!) BIP made no sense to me. It must be a French anomaly. It reminded me of "Laugh-in" and betting your "bippy".

I didn't have to look up the MANKINI. I saw it years ago and it's seared in my memory. It will always be black to me. Colors or prints would be even worse.

I think this was a sterling themeless. It was just tough enough and the constructor played fair.

QuasiMojo 8:50 AM  

If you're on a "toot" you might not "honk" while in traffic. But you're hardly in a rage. And you might get arrested for a DUI and then have to "Drunk Dial" your lawyer.

I've avoided knowing Rene Russo for a long time (ever since she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair and it became clear that that magazine had completely sold out to publicists.) Never heard of Warren Zevon. Which surprises me since I was a "tweener" back in 1978 ("sorta").

I am old enough to remember Isabel Peron, who was also President of Argentina. Strikingly handsome woman. Although I shan't go into her politics. Not here in a crossword blog. I shudder at the thought.

Bike Lanes have ruined NYC. The bike riders rarely stop at a red light. You could be "reamed out" by one of them crossing the street even if you have the "Walk" sign.

Google Mail app also has an envelope.

Many of Roger Ebert's reviews sucked, IMHO.

I did not know Mars owns Dove Bar. Never heard of Ken's but then I don't eat salads. I get my greens from olives in martinis.

Last week "air hose." Now "air vent." STOP the madness.

I give this puzzle a single thumbs up (in honor of the late Ebert and even later Siskel), but only because it has "Atom Ant" in it.

Happy Pencil 8:58 AM  

This was medium for me, with so much that was not in my wheelhouse -- Games of Thrones, Parks and Recreation, Warren ZEVON. In hindsight, I see several really nice answers, including FACE PALM, DRUNK DIAL, and PITY PARTY, but they didn't really stand out for me during the solve. I did get a fair bit of satisfaction out of finishing with no cheats, but overall I didn't enjoy this as much as I think I have some of his other puzzles. C'est la vie!

@Lobster11, completely agree about TOOT. I resisted putting it in for so long, in fact.

I'm doing that archived puzzle from July 15, 1995, that someone (sorry, can't remember who!) mentioned the other day. Wow, talk about a challenge!

gruffed 9:01 AM  

Another puzzle where at first pass I think "I'll never solve this" and then, slowly but unsurely, I find some traction (in the South, in this case) and, mulling and rethinking, I finally break through and finish without having to Google. That makes it fun, not worrying whether it took longer than usual. In the memorable words of my 95-year-old stepfather, who in response to my suggestion that he could clip more coupons for his charity with a larger scissors rather than the tiny ones he was using, replied "What's my hurry?"

Nancy 9:06 AM  

All I've read of anyone here so far is Rex's line: "I normally crush this kid's puzzles." No surprise here that he's a "kid". This skewed so young to me that I thought the constructor was knee high to a TWEENER. There was much jargon that no one I know ever uses: PITY PARTY (and, anyway, how can you clue that noun answer with a verb?); DRUNK DIAL; and FACE PALM. There was PPP from two TV shows, one cartoon movie, and two product brands. The most imaginative cluing was in the NE with EROTICA and DYNASTY. I finished this, found it challenging (very young solvers won't, I suspect) but I didn't much like the kind of challenge it was. OISK will hate it, I imagine. BTW, where is OISK? Oh, and I forgot -- is Newman really Seinfeld's ENEMY? Isn't that awfully strong? Isn't he more like a NEMESIS or a BANE?

Hal 9:09 AM  

Ever been in doctor's care? Navigated as a Friday should.

evil doug 9:09 AM  

Bike lanes suck, and bike-riders are anarchists.

Nancy 9:14 AM  

I just realized I DNF, Read y'all, and realize I have MANzINI instead of MANKINI. I think I was thinking of the MANZIERE (sp?), i.e. male bra, that George Costanza's father invented on Seinfeld. As for zENS at 56A: well, it could have been the name of a salad dressing, couldn't it?

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Democrat Party now known as Fringe Party.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

Hate spewers like Rex are further marginalizing the Democrats. Let them rant away. Americans are becoming fatigued with all the vitriol and are embracing those who act like the grown ups in the room.

Z 9:24 AM  

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns as a percentage of the puzzle. Anything over 33% will cause some subset of solvers problems

At 25 of 72, 35%, this puzzle is already over the line so I expect some people to crash and burn because of the PPP. But that number doesn't tell the full story. Look at the NW (DRUNK DIAL to EMI - CABS). 34 letters, 27 of them are part of at least one PPP answer - a whopping 79%. Even OFL took a speed hit in that corner.

@Whoever disagreed the other day about wordplay > than PPP (sorry, I was going to respond then but it was late) - I feel like I should explain. It is not that PPP is bad, it is just that word play is better from a puzzle solving perspective. Wordplay one can suss out, have an Aha! moment, solve. With trivia, if you don't know it and the name isn't inferable one is left with Uncle Google. For me, I prefer my trivia on Jeopardy, not too much in my puzzle (too much being 33% or above). I agree, though, that learning new things is good and if an answer points me in an interesting direction so much the better.

-------
@Lobster11 - I tried honk, which weirdly gave me DEAhtRAY, which then led me to TOOT.
@Anon7:18 - GOOMWMF is also too long, but far better than TOOT.

@Passing Shot - Well, @John Child did warn you. I continue to resist.

@marty and @jason - Yep.

-------
@Mohair Sam late last night - Seriously? you ask. Did Fox correct it's Quebec shooting reporting to emphasize that he was a Le Pen/Trump supporter and not a Muslim extremist? No? As serious as Fox, then. I take issue with all the "Free Speech" garbage associated with this. This was an asshole that UC-Berkeley bent over backwards to allow on their campus. If you go through life as an asshole, though, don't act surprise when someone wants to punch you in the face. The RWNJ hasn't been denied any rights. Hell, he's been crowing about this non-stop. And, most importantly, we know next to nothing about the "masked group" that started the violence, least of all their actual motives. For all we know they are the same people behind the Bowling Green massacre.

Z 9:44 AM  

@Evil Doug - I have several anti-car pro-bike friends and they would all preen at being called "anarchists." Of course, that's more style than substance. As for BIKE LANES, Detroit is trying this new thing where the BIKE LANES are curbside, with the parking spots between the BIKE LANES and the right lane for cars. When I first noticed the new markings I was befuddled, then fully expected anarchy to ensue, but so far they seem to be working.

Laurence Katz 9:45 AM  

In defense of Rex (not that he can't be irksome at times):
1. His perceived negativity stems from his deep love of crossword puzzles, hence his offense when they fail to meet his high expectations. This is what makes him such a constructive critic (pun intended). Which is to say, he is a critic, not a cheerleader.
2. His disdain for our current president -- a disdain shared by so many -- stems from his (and our) love of country.
That is all.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Look up the word preen before misusing it next time.

jberg 9:55 AM  

I'm surprised I got this one, as I knew very few of the proper names. I even put dEVON before ZEVON -- and I did know that, just misremembered it. But most of them were kind of recognizable with enough crosses, so I guess I did SORTA know them, just not know where they were.

ANTES looks like it should be the fourth member of the Summer Triangle.

@ED, as a bike rider who stops for all traffic lights, I know what you mean -- but car drivers are just as bad, at least here in Massachusetts.

I'd remind commenters to be nice to each other -- after all, we all share our love of crosswords. We could have an interesting discussion of the metaphorical use of "preen," for example.

But I don't suppose it would do any good.

Tita A 9:56 AM  

Medium for me...the NE and SW resisted the most.

@Quasi...while I agree that nyc bikers can be as obnoxious and aggressive as NYC drivers, I disagree with you.
BIKELANES are wildly successful in THEEU where I have been lucky enough to ride.

But they work not because of the many dedicated lanes, the separate traffic signals, the ample parking...
They work because it is engrained culturally. That truck driver or bus driver behind you is not going to squeeze you into the gutter, or TOOT loudly at you, because he either commuted to work on his bike, or uses his bike for errands, or for fun.
Motorists are also bikers, and they will wait the 6 nanoseconds that it takes to let a couple of bikes through.
Sheesh.

And roadragers everywhere are leaning on their horns in protest of 34D. What a weird clue!

I did like post-googling to read up on NEO Luddites. Had not heard of that as a thing. Interesting, though futile idea. I think it is much more likely that we unintentionally self-inflict it upon ourselves once the apocalypse happens.

In spite of the PPP that I don't care about, I enjoyed a Friday that put up a fight that I won fair and square.


GHarris 9:58 AM  

Too many names I did not know as clued and required frequent trips to Google. Agree honk would be truer than toot to accompany rage. Still, working through the balance of the grid was enjoyable and satisfying. Anyone who can describe our current leader as " a grownup " has a lot of growing up to do.

GILL I. 9:59 AM  

This was SORTA on the easy side but A TAD too much trivia with a HEAP of names and a SLEW of TWEENER talk. Nevertheless, I rather enjoyed it.
The MANKINI in exited in Brexit. Even if he's a handsome god, no man can walk the sunny beaches of Devon sporting one. Yay Brits..
ISABEL Peron was jailed in Madrid after she left Argentina for horrendous human rights abuses and yet she was called ISABELita. The ita at the end of a name gives it an endearing quality. On the other hand, EVA (also called Evita) was a saint compared to her husband's third. Everyone loved EVA and so did Madonna.
Cluing was super fun today and a bit fiendish. Like OFL, DRUNK DIAL took me the longest. I had fun trying all kinds of things like misspelling MISS TRIAL or something with ladies or last drink and imagining the bartender yelling for everyone to hurry up and get out. Anyway, KROC looked about right and so did NEO ....that helped.
Why do clues like Blue prints and Jazz devotees get me every time. I must commit jazz to Utah and blue prints to smut.
Theron was incredible in Monster. She gained about 50 lbs. in order to play the part. She lost it all (in probably a month) after her role and looked better than ever. My husband calls her a beautiful chameleon.
TOOT suit.

Tita A 10:02 AM  

@Whoa...@Everyone...please recognize a grenade when its lobbed...anarchist bikers was just that...thrown to watch the reaction. Please stop feeding ED's evil twin. (and I don't mean faux ED. Though I admit I don't care enough to confirm which one it is.

evil doug 10:03 AM  

Z,

Cincinnati's latest genius traffic jammer is streetcars. You know, those tracked dinosaurs we got rid of in the 50's? Here's a good idea: Let's naively accept low-ball bids that end up being multiplied, tear up the streets, lay new tracks to nowhere useful, watch 'em fall behind schedule because they get blocked by accidents or Lyft drivers picking up riders, and lose huge sums of taxpayer money due to low ridership. I say, lay bike lanes in the center of streetcar tracks, and pay the drivers a bounty for crushed bikers.

phil phil 10:24 AM  

Visiting NurseS
Some of my other first tries
appleMAIL also envelope
LEVON forgets the Z too often.
Islet, key ingredient?
turnLANES

Nice looking puzzle, thank you PP

Charles Flaster 10:27 AM  

Enjoyed this easy one although it was a DNF as I also kept fIrE LANE and thought it was definitely correct.
Writeovers were EROTICA for x mOvIes and UNHITCH for UNHInge.
Creative cluing for DOVE BAR , PARSE, and PITY PARTY.
THE E U is difficult for me to believe is a worthy answer.
Thanks PP and always like your offerings.

phil phil 10:27 AM  

Oh and
DRUNKScap DRUNKtaxi had a few issues

Robert B. Sloan, President Houston Baptist University 10:39 AM  

The Bowling Green Massacre was a real thing, and it was horrible. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers beat us 50-3 at their home stadium in Bowling Green - it was a brutal, humiliating event. I think they ran up the score because we're Christians and they're, well, they're not (if you know what I mean).

seanm 10:40 AM  

over my normal friday time by a little. had the most trouble in the top right where my age hurt me (most of the young stuff was in my wheelhouse). IVES and ZEVON are total blanks for me, and it took me forever to get the DOVE part of the bar, even though i knew it would be an ice cream bar, i just couldn't think of it. BIP was a woe. don't like the clue for TOOT. toot implies soft horn, not loud blast horn.

QuasiMojo 10:56 AM  

@Tita A -- true, in Europe and in many cities. But not in Manhattan. I've not been to Brooklyn in a while but I imagine bike lanes work well there. I wish more of Manhattan was pedestrian only. Like so much of Europe, which I adore. Ciao!

AZPETE 10:56 AM  

Got 'er done! No googles. Wanted Peoria for Pawnee, Adam Ant for Atom Ant and Bic for Bip. Someone please make a meme for face palm!

Roo Monster 11:03 AM  

Hey All !
For some reason, could not get traction in the West of puz. Got the whole East, fairly easily, but kust couldn't get a toe hold in that West. Had bepatiENT for INAMOMENT way too long. And my UNHITCH was UNlaTCH for a while. Had to come here to cheat! :-( Looked up 1D, cause the ole brain would not get off Acrobat Mats. That got me NW. Then looked at 64A, cause with the K in MEEK couldn't stop seeing risKs. So once I shamelessly cheated there, got rest of SW. Clue for UTAHAN not helping anything either. Ha! Just figured it out right this second when I looked again... NBA.

Only that one writeover, everything else correct, but of course the two cheats. Take it as a 95% win!

PITY PARTY for myself. :-)

MEEK BEEF
RooMonster
DarrinV

Nancy 11:04 AM  

@Quasi (8:50) -- Amen, amen, amen, amen! I share your deep fear and loathing of bikes and bikers in NYC. They are a scourge and a plague and I just know that some time, somewhere, there will be one with my name on it. On BIKE LANES or off BIKE LANES, they are reckless and lawless and clueless and, worst of all, soundless, which makes them the most dangerous vehicle on (and off!) the street. The ill-conceived free Citi bike program has only made it worse. Curses to all the NYC mayors who encourage and foster more bikes in the city. Curses to the local stores that employ bike messengers and then turn a blind eye when they ride in the wrong direction, jump up on the sidewalk, and barrel through red lights. Curses to the Yuppies who race in Central Park as though they're competing in the Tour de France. Curses to the police who have never once, so far as I know, policed a single biker. NYC is fast turning into Amsterdam where, as rumor has it, no pedestrian over 38 is still alive.

Anonymous 11:22 AM  

227K jobs added to payrolls last month and it's only been two weeks. This is how it's done folks.

evil doug 11:23 AM  

You kids get off my lawn! ::shaking fist::

Joe Bleaux 11:32 AM  

(Worse: It was air PIPE ... but, yeah)

jae 11:37 AM  

This was easy for me. I had none of the problems @Rex did, so no erasures, no WOEs except for maybe ISABEL as clued, and not much resistance.

@puzzle hoarder, happy pencil, et. al.? - I'm also doing archived puzzles from '95 and I agree that there is a significant difference in difficulty between those and what we are getting these days.

@Z - that was me who disagreed with you about trivia in puzzles. I still do. If the trivia is fairly crossed it is a chance to enrich your font of knowledge. The problem I'm having with the '90s puzzles is that every now and then the crosses are pure evil.

jae 11:39 AM  

Oh, and this one had plenty of zip all the way from DRUNK DIAL to PITY PARTY, liked it.

Maruchka 11:41 AM  

DNF due to PPP stuff. Sigh. FACE PALM (isn't it FACE slap?) really delayed my exit. Took too long to suss U--HAN, not cool cats (hi @Nancy - I'll try to follow your wise advice. I'm also with you and @Quasi re: NYC bikers. The motorized ones on sidewalks are even scarier).

MANKINI I did not know. TaNKINI, yes. A swimmer friend had problems wearing a one piece after shoulder surgery. I recommended a tankini, and it worked!

Fave of the day - ANTE and STAKE crossing CANASTA. My sweet grandmother and her sweet sisters were ruthless Canasta players. Never involved much moolah - mostly one-up-man-ship.

Anonymous 11:43 AM  

I loathe the burgeoning BIKELANEs the latest craze of urban planners and city councilmen. They take from car lanes and decrease traffic flow. And in Michigan between rain and snow they are useless for 10 months of the year. And btw I bike. But as I bike or drive on an average day I see ZERO bikers in the bike lanes. Even worse are, and I'm not making this up, SHARROWS. In the infinite wisdom of traffic planners you merely paint a stencil of bicyclist on the pavement and hope drivers don't take out riders, often, and I've seen this, on roads with speed limits of 45mph and above. Dumb, really dumb. You won't ever catch me in that lane.

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Disallusionment at its finest! The clueless Anon who said Dow Jones at 20K, thanks Rump. Did you not see it steadily rise throughout the years? You only see and think things how you want them. If something doesn't fit in your narrow thinking, it isn't real. Boggles the minds that knoe better.

Trombone Tom 11:48 AM  

Lots of names I didn't know (Devon before ZEVON) but the crosses made it doable.

@lobster11 I'm totally with you on not connecting TOOT with road rage.

And how does "creep out" give us SEEP?

I didn't get any traction in the NW, but the NE got me going. Why were EROTICA and DOVE BAR so evident to me?

I am not tempted to investigate MANKINI.

Enjoyable, but on the easy side for a Friday.

Cassieopia 11:48 AM  

Oh, man, brutal anti-bike comments today. As an avid biker, I am extra cautious, friendly, and courteous simply because I know I am an ambassador for the sport. We don't get a lot of love out there. And today, not a lot of love in here either. We're not all awful and inconsiderate, please don't tar us with generalizations based on limited sampling evidence. (And I think that comment applies to generalizations in general.)

Joe Bleaux 11:52 AM  

Good barely-still-morning, all! Pretty ggod Friday puzzle, I thought. Cluing was exceptionally good in a couple of places, weak in others: @Lobster, et al -- hand up on TOOTS. @Nancy -- Yup! ENEMY is way too stout. @Laurence Katz -- Hear, hear! Rex knows and loves crosswords, and opens the door to all for the best show in town every morning. Even if I didn't agree with his politics, I'd have no problem with his commenting on them; hell, it's HIS BLOG! While it's still morning: I'm taken aback by all the posts about not knowing Zevon. Ohh-woooo, Cruciverbalists of London­čśĆ!

Questinia 11:57 AM  

If *toot* is your idea of road rage you must live in Twinkletown.

Odd cluing with too many, @Z ,proper names etc...

To me it SUCKS and ROTS <= PITY PARTY.

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

McConaughey and Damon. Two Hollywood adults in the room.

1820 Stone Colonial House 12:02 PM  

Well, MANKINI is better than banana hammock, as such swimwear is called in these parts.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

Think these "not my president" geniuses will give back the money they'll get with Trump's tax breaks? Not bloody likely.

Masked and Anonymous 12:12 PM  

Newman! (yo, @Evil Doug)

Peseta! day-um. Really danced around on that one: PESATA --> PESADA --> PESADO --> [more desperate spellins ensued].

PuzEatinSpouse entered DEADBODY for 33-A {Sci-fi shocker}. har. Kinda cool, but shoot -- the only shocker would hafta be if there weren't a bunch of dead bodies, in most space oaters.

Fun and fairly easy FriPuz, at our house. Maybe a few nanoseconds off, to piece together DRYERS/DRUNKDIAL and BIP/PITYPARTY. And the KENS/MANKINI area.

Saw a little old lady the other day, sweepin the BIKELANES in her Ford sedan. Speakin of which …

{Pickup line?} = CABS? Makes only limited sense. Wanted FORD.

Thanx, Mr. Pasco.

Masked & Anonymo4Us
"Of THEE, U, I Sing"


**gruntz**

Lewis 12:25 PM  

I'm with @Q -- TOOT is too light and quaint for a road rage sound. But I disagree with those who didn't like THEEU. I was thinking that was one of Paolo's seed answers; it's current, and while it looks ugly, it has a strong upstanding sound. This puzzle had for me the rare and wonderful perfect balance of resistance and encouragement. Enough gettable to keep me from giving up while providing flak to the very end. Great solving experience!

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

TOOT is what my daughter did when she was three.

old timer 12:34 PM  

Total DNF here even though I had googled for ATOMANT, I just could not see INAMOMENT and ended up with INAMOdEsT.

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Pelosi is cementing Dems' defeat in 2018 midterms.

old timer 12:36 PM  

BTW streetcars are a huge success in Portland Oregon. Sorry they are not working out in Cincy.

mathgent 12:37 PM  

Usually @Nancy and I struggle in the same places, but not today. She finished (with an overlooked mistake) and I had to cheat to get Burl IVES in the NE. I remember that song as Ghost Riders in the Sky sung by Vaughan Monroe but I don't think that I ever heard anyone else sing it. Does anyone else remember the lovely deep voice of Mr. Monroe?

Don't mind too much being defeated by such a high-quality creation. There were 16 plusses there for me.

Masked and Anonymous 12:39 PM  

p.s.
@Q and @Lewis: yep. TOOT ain't very road-ragey. More sorta BIKELANES-ragey. Or maybe even more like tricycle sidewalk-ragey.

Or mucous canal clog-ragey.

Or post-baked beans-ragey.

M&Also
"I TUUT when U-ragey"

Anonymous 12:39 PM  

Obama: Aloof

Trump: Engaged

Nancy 12:40 PM  

@Cassieopia (11:48) -- Oh, no, I'm sure it's not you of the fair and gentle sex! Every once in a great, great while, there has been a female biker whom I considered to actually be dangerous, but my complaints apply almost exclusively to men. Nevertheless, @Cassie, I must admit something: If you rode up behind me and I didn't see you, I would flinch and cower and perhaps curse as you went by because, you see, I wouldn't know it was gentle, courteous, friendly you. My amygdala would simply scream out OMG, OMG, BIKE!!!!!!! I once actually flinched and then fiercely glared at a bike passing me from behind in the park -- ridden, as it turned out, by my most cherished male friend. "How could you think for a moment that I would hit you?" he said. "Me? You don't trust me? "But, Steve," I said. "How on earth could I have possibly known it was you?"

Unknown 12:46 PM  

Thank you for the nod to nurses as caregivers!

Warren Howie Hughes 12:46 PM  

I go to the local gym to check out the BEEF, and because IVES got eyes for the BIS, and the thighs of the guys! LOL

Wednesday's Child 1:05 PM  

@Lobster11 said it well. I avoided TOOT for the longest time. I can handle that degree of road rage.

I loved @John Child''s comment about the inability to "unsee things" and so have resisted looking up MANKINI.

@Z, I liked your spiel on word play vs. PPP.

Now I have to look up GILF and neo-LUDDITE.

I thought the puzzle was really good, very sussable.

Let's hope Trump doesn't DRUNK DIAL Putin. Let''s hope the Democratic PITY PARTY ends soon.

Hate TOOT, love DOVE BARS.

Wednesday's Child 1:05 PM  

@Lobster11 said it well. I avoided TOOT for the longest time. I can handle that degree of road rage.

I loved @John Child''s comment about the inability to "unsee things" and so have resisted looking up MANKINI.

@Z, I liked your spiel on word play vs. PPP.

Now I have to look up GILF and neo-LUDDITE.

I thought the puzzle was really good, very sussable.

Let's hope Trump doesn't DRUNK DIAL Putin. Let''s hope the Democratic PITY PARTY ends soon.

Hate TOOT, love DOVE BARS.

QuasiMojo 1:12 PM  

@Nancy and @Cassieopia -- you both win the LOL award from me today. And on opposite sides of the bike lane no less. thank you both. :)

Anonymous 1:15 PM  

You can argue all you like about what wonderful things you think Trump is doing but, when you refer to him as a grown-up well, you better get your eyes and ears checked and have your medication adjusted.

Teedmn 1:18 PM  

ZEVON went in first and this puzzle was TOASTY 11 1/2 minutes later so possibly a Friday record. My only "wha?" was 32D (hi @Gill I) - I got SUCKed into the Jazz misdirection but what else could a word starting with UT lead to, other than UTility (too long).

I'm with @Cassieopia on the biking subject, for riding courteously, as a diplomat for the activity - I live far enough out of the Twin Cities metro that I never get to enjoy the BIKE LANES for which they are famous and I'm guessing most of the car drivers passing me haven't been on a bicycle since their training wheels came off. Mpls already tried the type of lane @Z described and gave them up for lanes with posts at intervals. No cars allowed at all.

@M&A, I thought those DEATH RAYS were good at zapping the DEAd bodies into oblivion, a la Star Trek, so perhaps Mrs. M&A was on the right track as far as a "shocker" goes.

Thanks, Paolo, for a nice Friday diversion.

Malsdemare 1:29 PM  

This was one of those days when the answers were beamed down to me from Planet URGENIUS. I got stuff off the first letter, off middle letters, off NO letters. YAHOOMAIL off the H and the L, IVORY off the V, SEABED off the B, THEEU off nothing. And then all those fun things just dropped: DRUNKDIAL, PITYPARTY, FACEPALM. I wanted cocksock (can I say that here?) before MANKINI, but when PITYPARTY fell, I saw INI and that was that.

Feeling brilliant today. Bet tomorrow flattens me.

I made six phone calls today to D.C.; much better use of my energy than venting here or on Facebook or Twitter. Just sayin'......

foxaroni 1:30 PM  

Here's what did me in: "faceslap" for "facepalm,"onemoment" for "inamoment," and "fourlanes" for "bikelanes."

Add to that "Kens" (never heard of it, tried "Otts"), and the Parks and Recreation city. Never saw a single episode, so how am I to know a fictional city? I wanted either Halle or Berry for the "Monsters" clue, but both were too short. Then I remembered she got her award for Monster's Ball. I finally had enough letters to figure out Theron. Good thing she was in the latest "Mad Max" movie, or I wouldn't have a clue.

Still, enjoyed it a lot. Thanks, PP.

Mohair Sam 1:35 PM  

@Z - I don't know a thing about this guy, you're not going to trap me into defending him. But I'll always defend the exchange of ideas, even from assholes. You might want to rethink assault and battery being justified in the case of assholes - you think the Twinkie defense is ridiculous?

William Coddington 1:39 PM  

That is funny! Even in laid-back Lalaland we lay on our horns, we don't toot.

Roo Monster 1:40 PM  

@Malsdemare 1:29,
Geniune, complete, (and embarrassing, as others were looking at me) LOL at your Cocksock!! Holy cow, that was funny!

RooMonster

Anonymous 1:56 PM  

Good crunchy puzzle. Finishing a Friday without even having to Google to confirm something I was unsure of, which strikes the right balance between obscurity and Natick-y IMHO.

@trombone tom

If something is 'oozing out', perhaps from a crack in the wall, you could also say 'seeping out'. Certainly fair on Friday, but I admit I had SE_P before I got it. WETS being clued with 'e.g' had me trying to find an abbreviation for the longest time.

RT

Cassieopia 1:59 PM  

@Quasimojo: thank you for kind words...I see @Nancy as the gracious and funny one today, I was merely playing straight man to her "...no pedestrian over 38 is still alive" As they say here on this blog, lOlz!

@malsdemare: omg your alternate to MANKINI is one for the ages. I have govtrack.us bookmarked and my Rep's number on speed dial. I'm with you on Less Talk (posts), More Action. It's where my time is going.

Andrew Heinegg 2:03 PM  

This puzzle kicked my posterior in the NW. Everything after that was either easy or reasonable. I kept trying to make something out of 1a like 'bruskies' which did not fit and didn't answer the clue as given. But, I didn't let that bother me. I just kept trying to work something around that bad idea.

The troll keeps on going here and he is mostly being ignored, as he should be. But, let's talk for a minute about what needs to be done to push back on the wonderful things the POTUS is doing to this country.

In order to figure out what to do, you have to figure out what he wants to do. Fortunately, that is not hard. He wants to make himself mostly and his other millionaire/billionaire supporters wealthier while giving useless sops to his supporters like the wall or stopping people who have been vetted for entry into this country in the form of college professors and doctors and tell them they might be terrorists so they have to get out or they cannot come to this country.

The way is to hit him in his wallet. He is the kind of President that goes to a national prayer meeting and suggests praying for ratings for a show he still receives producer fees for.

I live in the Pacific Northwest so I am aware of two examples of how to do this.

The City of Seattle is on the verge of withdrawing all the funds on deposit with Wells Fargo Bank. Why? Because Trump did away with the Obama stoppage of the Dakota pipeline and Wells Fargo is the chief financier of the pipeline. So, the City of Seattle is telling WF, ok, you want to make money that way, it's gonna cost you several billion. Sorry.

Another example is Nordstrom, which announced that they are withdrawing from selling the Ivanka Trump line because of so many people telling them they are going to boycott Nordstrom entirely if they didn't get rid of the brand.

It is not enough to boycott stores, businesses and brands that have any association with Trump or a family member. Tell that business you will not do business with them and you will urge everyone you know not to do business with him. We need to hit him in his wallet. That is the only thing he understands.

Malsdemare 2:19 PM  

Hey, all, the term isn't original to me; I know I heard it somewhere in reference to one of those pictures that you can't get out of your brain. I can't help it, every time I hear "put a sock in it," I get the giggles. Probably can't use the word in a puzzle though, more's the pity. That would certainly liven up the day.

To add to @Andrew's post. We all have cell phones so calls to D.C. don't cost us. Staffers are super nice if you are, and they really do listen. The Democrats need the "attaboys and attagirls," and if you're calling Republicans, you can take solace in the fact that you are taking up their staff's time. Think about what you want to say, be direct, speak with knowledge, give information about who you are. Word is that Thom Tillis R of NC is on the fence about DeVos and the Committee for Homeland Security is inviting calls regarding Bannon on the NSC. If you want phone numbers, feel free to contact me off blog. Don't vent, act. By the way, money I get back in my taxes will go to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

I'm now going to find the July 15, 1995 puzzle.

Andrea Ojeda 2:41 PM  

What is up with these Anonymous trolls? How bad are things in their hating cowardly world, that they have to come and spray their ignorant attacks in, of all things, a PUZZLES blog?
Zap'em out of here! Go hate from your own effing platform and show your faces, at least.
If you guy(s) think we liberals are as dumb as you and cannot engage in critical dialogue, then get out of your house and start talking to real people out there. You'd be surprised.

Crane Poole 2:43 PM  

SKEWED young, didn't it? Would've been fun if 'young' appeared in the grid as well. Knew several would be displeased because of it. Clues for SEEP, WETS, SLOP, and especially TOOT detracted from a nice solve. If Floyd is checking his damn phone when the light turns green and proceeds to sit there, Doris may TOOT her horn. Rage don't enter the picture.

UNHITCH is a descriptive for 'The Trouble With Harry' when compared to 'North By Northwest' and 'Psycho'.

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

"A fool and his money . . . "

Happy Pencil 2:47 PM  

@Z, I missed something there, so I'm only now understanding your references to the Bowling Green massacre. Not just alternative facts but an alternative reality. LOL(Z).

@Jae, I have to say that one reason why those 1995 puzzles are hard is because, sadly, it's not 1995 anymore. Asking me in 2017 who won Wimbledon in 1993 is verging on the ridiculous (even though I actually got that one from one crucial letter). It's a fun exercise, but it does go to the point someone (maybe Quasimojo?) keeps making about the longevity of these puzzles. It's interesting to see which clues/answers have staying power and which do not.

Loved your post, Malsdemare!

Airvent Cabs Mankini 2:48 PM  

Loved this!
Tho many misreadings... Starting with the constructor's name I thought PABLO PICASSO! How cool!

Had I seen the numbers more clearly (printer is streaky for this semi-Luddite so unchanged) I'd not have spent 20 minutes on wondering how "bastes"= DEATHRAY!!!

But loved the 5 Ks and all those midword Ys
(DYNASTY)

MANKINI, FACEPALM, PITYPARTY, ZEVON, DEATHRAY made for extremely lively puzzle!

Hand up for stuck in the fIrELANES till the notso bitter end, as I didn't know BIP
(Had fuP in there at one point desperately trying uNoMOMENT(o?) and thought FuP would be a terrible name for even a mime!

Admit 90% of my South American knowledge is from pop culture like "Evita" so that part was easy, so no cry for me, Isabella!

And musically I liked how this SKEWED all the way from IVES to ZEVON to IMAMAN to TWEENERS... That's good construction + good cluing :)

GILL I. 2:52 PM  

@Malsdemare....HaHa....Why not? I think they're called groin scruchie's.....!

Mr. Benson 2:54 PM  

Super-easy for me. Of course, when I call it "easy," my solving time is still probably longer than Rex's time for one he calls "medium." But I do think I'm catching up.

kitshef 3:00 PM  

@mathgent - you have reminded me that Johnny Cash did a wonderful cover of Ghost Riders in the Sky. I'll have to dig that out tonight

Nice to see an Acme appearance.

Larry Gilstrap 3:02 PM  

Well, it's pretty much all been said, about the puzzle I mean. Negotiating my way through previous comments, such as they were, I failed to see the mention of the very prolific and talented performer, Burl IVES. I guess he had a hit in 1949 with "Riders in the Sky and, come to think of it, I'm assuming the constructor was referring to him. Anyway, he was an Academy Award winning actor and a principal voice in the animated Christmas special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", which debuted in 1964 and has been aired annually since. He had a career as a folk singer back in the days of the Hootenanny. My phone tells me he made more than 100 albums. Seemed like a nice man who often appeared on television.

evil doug 3:13 PM  

"By the way, money I get back in my taxes will go to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood."

I 100% support that, Mals. The more private citizens donate, the fewer of my tax dollars will be required. Eventually it might help the argument to totally sever PP from public funding since private money is supporting it so strongly....

And Andrea O: While I agree with you about the unfortunate deluge of grim anonymous posts, I can't remember a greater outpouring of outright hatred in my 65 years than liberals are demonstrating against Trump, his cabinet, and now a justice nominee who received 100% support from dems in his last appointment--our anonymous friends here included....

Anonymous 3:38 PM  

I just can't deal with this right now. Gonna binge watch me some TCM.

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

I was surprised you did no comment on facepalm as the answer to 38 across. Perhaps this is some recent expression that I am too old to be familiar with.

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

Obama: Beer Summit

Trump: CEO Council

Mohair Sam 3:47 PM  

TCM is probably showing "Nixon" or "All the President's Men" - There's no escape.

Roscoe88 4:03 PM  

I totally agree. Fri and Sat puzzles using new style clues are much easier than they used to be when I could never finish fri and sat.

Hungry Mother 4:08 PM  

I found this one to be pretty hard. I had "firelanes" and "peerat" and "fip". I had no idea if "fip" was right. Somehow some mime's monider shouldn't make or break a crossword puzzle. I'd play Trivial Pursuit if I want to get into that kind of contest. Not happy today.

Roscoe88 4:19 PM  

No. What do you mean?

Anonymous 4:22 PM  

Hi folks. Even though kens is headquartered in Marlboro, the original restaurant is in Natick, ma! Btw, I'm from Utah, and I missed utahan as jazz devotee. Really?

Anonymous 4:24 PM  

Rex throws chum to the trolls and leaves it for us to clean up the mess. Not cool dude.

Slow Motion 4:31 PM  

TOOT is not Road Rage. TOOT is Road Politeness. TOOT is Hey, the light changed, let's go, please. HONK HONK HONK HOOOOOOOOOONNNNNKKKK SWERVE DRAMATICALLY FINGER FINGER DOUBLE FIST FINGER HOOOONNNNNKKK is the bare beginning of Road Rage.

Pete 4:41 PM  

@Evil Doug

Yes some people, I included, hate Trump. I hate racists, men who assault women, religious bigots, people who are actively and aggressively anti-intelligence. I hate liars. I hate 70 year old pathological narcissists who can't let any perceived slight go unanswered.

Had Romney defeated Obama in 2012 I would have been disappointed, as I disagree with Romney on many social and political issues. I wouldn't have been in dread fear of what's to become of our country as I am now, because Romney is a decent human being, a man of principal and intelligence. He's a man with whom I disagree, not one I fear.

Several of Trump's nominees have inspired significant opposition, several none. I can't think of one who has inspired a high level of opposition who doesn't merit it. DeVos embarrassed herself in her hearings, only got a passing grade on her answers to the questionnaire because she didn't get demerits for plagiarism. The incoming head of the EPA hates the EPA, the incoming Labor Secretary hates labor, the incoming head of Health and Human Services's only positions on health or human services seem to be a) How can he make money off of it, and b) How can he help doctors make more money. These are men and women to be put in charge of agencies of the Federal Government, the people who are supposed serve us, who's goals and experiences are antithetical to the job they are supposed to perform. The EPA is supposed to protect the environment for all of us, Labor is supposed to advocate for fair labor practices for working men and women, etc.

You are right, much of the anger at Gorsuch is misplaced. The real anger is that there is an open spot on the Supreme Court due to the Republicans abnegating their constitutional duties to have confirmed Obama's nominee.

Andrew Heinegg 4:46 PM  

OK Doug, accepting your allegation about liberals attacking Trump, his cabinet and his Supreme Court, please explain to me why it was okay for the Republicans to not even give a hearing for a very qualified (and conservative) nominee for the Supreme Court put forward by Obama almost a year before his term was over? Why was it okay for Mitch McConnell to publicly announce that the Republicans would essentially try to stop Obama from doing everything and anything while he is in office.

With respect to his cabinet nominees, the attacks have been on a combination of lack of qualifications and/or conflict of interest that they brought to the table. How is someone who barely graduates from college and announces that he wants to abolish the Department of Energy a reasonable choice to head that agency? And so on.

While I agree that some of the attacks from the left are not justifiable, it is no more or no less than what the Republicans have been doing. So, should the liberals just say 'ok, they played dirty but, we'll play nice so that we look good even if we accomplish nothing'. There are no easy answers nowadays.

Anonymous 4:52 PM  

Spew that hate brother. Spew that hate.

Pete 4:54 PM  

Abdicatting

Anonymous 5:33 PM  

@Anonymous 4:52
Is it just you that is that fucking stupid, or are all Republicans that way? Pete gave precise and accurate facts as to why Trump is NOT the President anyone wants. Even his party is going against him. And yet, you have the brainless response to say Spew that Hate. Seriously? How about you take your gun, and put yourself out of all of our miseries. Obviously your mind is not worth saving. Point and shoot. It's what Trump wants.

Anonymous 5:42 PM  

Record high for the Nasdaq today and near records for Dow and S&P. It's like our economy has just taken a laxative.

Babs of Hollywood 5:47 PM  

Second time this week for "stake," with a completely different meaning from previous.

And people, I know it is difficult, but don't take the bait from the troll(s). It's a disservice to this escapist space.

Anonymous 5:47 PM  

@Anonymous 5:33

Please just ignore him. Soon Mr. Trump will be so busy alienating more allies and handing out more money to his Goldman Sachs friends that he won't have time to keep posting here.

Anonymous 5:53 PM  

Be careful not to take your hatred our on your families or pets. Go for a walk, have a beer, whatever it takes to keep from hurting those you love.

QuasiMojo 6:11 PM  

@Happy Pencil, yes, that was me. Now you've got me curious about this 1995 puzzle. I'll have to dig it up from the archive. Thanks!

Anonymous 6:11 PM  

Is JON right? I think he's Ned's bastard son, not his adopted one...

Anonymous 6:13 PM  

"No puppet. You're the puppet." Yeah. Real grown up.

Cassieopia 7:10 PM  

@happypencil - also headed to 7/15/95. As a relative newcomer to xword, your intro has me a bit trepidatious...

Malsdemare 7:21 PM  

@ Happy pencil total, abysmal fail on July 15, 1995 puzzle. It'd be easier to list what I DID get than all my errors and ignorance. If you finished it, you are amazing.

Anonymous 7:25 PM  

Who thinks if Harry Reid had been in McConnell's place he would have allowed a vote on Republican President's nominee . If your answer is that he would have you are a partisan hack.

Nancy 7:39 PM  

How does one get a copy of the 7/15/95 puzzle that everyone on the blog is talking about today? I feel like I'm missing out. (Though I'm sure I either solved it or failed to solve it back when it first appeared.) But it does sound as though everyone here who wants it is getting their hands on it with no problem.

Anonymous 7:43 PM  

The IPad app has an archive that goes back to 1993. That's how I see it. Not sure if there are other ways.

Anonymous 7:55 PM  

Tell you what: why don't you get back to us when a tax break is given to someone with an annual income under 6 or 7 figures? That is assuming, of course, that we aren't in nuclear bunkers by then.

Sherm Reinhardt 7:57 PM  

@Nancy-- I had RIVAL before ENEMY.

JM 8:17 PM  

Hey anonymice there are plenty of alt-right blogs to comment on where you'll feel quite at home. Actually I think there are 88 of them (wink-wink). Dasvidaniya.

Z 9:09 PM  

@jae - Okay, but no complaining about randomly spelled Rap stars. ;)

@Mohair Sam - A short story. The kids in 7th grade got fed up with the class bully, so one half day dared him to meet off campus and then beat the snot out of him. Some of those parents went to my boss to complain when I suspended their kids from school. I do remember one father trying to hide his pride that his son was the "muscle" for the group. Yes, my boss supported that even the class bully is protected from physical violence. The "victim" also got a vacation, he did willing go to the park to fight, so no mercy from me just for losing. In short, violence isn't defensible just because someone's an asshole or bully, but go around being an asshole and at some point someone is going to punch you. True in middle school. True in politics.

@anon9:46 - Uh, you might want to crack a dictionary or ask uncle google before preening.

@TeedMn - I've seen those. They make more sense to me, Detroit's new bike lanes are in business districts with a shortage of car parking, so I suspect preserving parking was a major factor. We do have other new bike lanes on routes with less car traffic and some fully separated paths (more for exercise than commuting), so Detroit is far more bike friendly than it was a decade ago. Still not like Boulder or Albuquerque, though.

jae 9:20 PM  

@Nancy - you need to have a subscription to the online NYT puzzle site. There you will find an Achive link that allows you to access decades of past puzzles. The subscription runs about $40 per year. I'm not sure if this is something you would like to do?

jae 9:25 PM  

@Z - No complaints from me. I have teenage grandkids and try to keep up with what they listen to. That said, they would not have known NWA without the recent movie.

MaharajaMack 10:04 PM  

Somebody likes Tru-ump, somebody likes Tru-ump...

Numinous 10:06 PM  

I'm very late today, I had a lot of stuff to do, dying was not amongst them. Poor poor @Rex, pour him another. I finished this in 20 minutes under my average for the day. None of the answers actually stumped me. MANKINI made me throw up in my mouth a little. I have an image, cold it be of Borat wearing a flurescent green one and nothing else.

I used to know Suie Marceau. She was Marcel's daughter-in-law. BIP was a gimmie. Suzie, BTW, was a tight rope walker. She had a twenty foot cable tensioned and strung between two four by fours about a foot above the ground. Watching her dance along that was a true treat. I once asked her and she said there is virtually no difference between one foot off the ground and twenty.

I read the article @Z linked to last eveninng and I will admit it appears there were outside agitators there. But who were they? I got to contemplating the concept of Trumpolini's Black Shirts. In looking up Black Shirts I discovered that the '30s abounded with fascist movements named for the color of thier shirts. There was even a group of up to 15,000 Silver Shirts around Los Angeles who acquired Will Rogers's ranch and were building an enclave for Hitler to come and rule the United States from. They spent millions of dollars on it. The Feds finally shut them down shortly after the begining of the war. It now stands deserted, covered in garish grafitti somewhere in the Hollywood Hills.

I liked this puzzle but can't think of much else to say about it. Seems like I did it a day ago. Oh, yeah, I did it around nine AM.

MaharajaMack 10:13 PM  

Loved the puzzle, finished fast. Two beefs: a resident of the Beehive State is a Utahn, and Jon Snow was not adopted; he was Ned's bastard son. It is not necessary to adopt one's bastard.

Numinous 10:15 PM  

One summer long ago I drove a logging truck in Northern California. Between the landing, where I picked up logs and either of the two mills where I dropped them off, California Highway 1 went through three cuts. In the summer up there, there was a lot of bicycle traffic along the edges of the highway and there were no bike lanes. The cuts were just wide enough for two trucks to pass each other safely but there wasn't enough room for a pedestrian as well. I often wondered what would happen if there was a bicyclist in one of those cuts and I had to pass an oncoming truck. I didn't like any of the possible outcomes.

Nancy 10:19 PM  

Thanks, @jae, but no thanks. I feel I'm already singlehandedly supporting the NYT, what with my home delivery subscription that I've had over many decades. However, maybe I'll Google "NYT crossword archive" and see if anything pops up.

Z 10:27 PM  
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Z 10:33 PM  
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Z 10:35 PM  


@Numinous - I'd add a "seemingly" to the outside agitator descriptor. Last I read none were arrested or IDed, so we really don't know anything about them. I also doubt the reported number. It may have seemed like 150, but have 150 people ever been able to keep a secret? I never believe reported counts during chaos. Having seen the damage a handful of rowdy seniors meaning no harm can cause, even 50 people intent on mayhem would have caused more damage, I think. I have no idea how many there really were, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the actual count were* as low as 10 masked rioters.

Three and out.





If I were wiser I'd stay away from the subjunctive, wouldn't I? Of course, worrying about the subjunctive has been known to lead to overlooking other errors.

andrea carla michaels 11:53 PM  

Thanks! And I forgot to mention it's interesting (to me!) that look at can be PEER PEEK and PEEP, all of which I tried!

andrea carla michaels 12:47 AM  

Thanks @kitshef!
I also wanted to mention it's interesting that PEER PEEP PEEK all mean to look at! I tried 'me all!

Anonymous 3:35 AM  

That jobs report cutoff was Jan 12. Thanks, Obama.

evil doug 7:41 AM  
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Andrea Ojeda 8:03 AM  

Thank you for such a clear and intelligent response. :-)

AZPETE 11:18 AM  

You can add "I don't like bullies", guess some do.

Autrement 10:20 AM  

@dls
"Speaking of 50A, what's up with cluing it in a maximally spoilery way?"
Yup, I got a good laugh at this.
Also knowingly chuckling at the "This is wrong! It's his bastard son!" protests.

spacecraft 11:20 AM  

I agree with @Lobster11 et al that TOOT doesn't connote to road rage very well at all. BLARE, or at least HONK, okay. TOOT? N-no. Much more likely: "Hey, a******, watch where the f*** you're going!" But in this town, watch out. The average Las Vegan is liable to pull out a piece and start shooting.

On to pleasanter subjects, such as the EROTICA vying for DOD today. Should the beautiful and talented RENERUSSO win? On most days, she surely would. But there's hottie Charlize THERON, at least as b&t as RENE. What to do? In the words of Ed Norton, flip a kern. And the winnah is: THERON! Yes, many named EVA contend, and get honorable mention--even Ms. Peron. Hey, I wonder: will @BS rhyme Peron and THERON? Signs point to yes. The man is all about EROTICA.

whenever I see the phrase IMAMAN, I want to continue: "...and so is Lola, L-O-L-A Lola..." etc. My 63-across had MOMENT all right, but the problem came at the beginning. I had oNeMOMENT right up until noticing that PEEKeT made no sense. Forgot the Marceau character; shoulda had that down as a gimme. No matter, it was caught and corrected. This was yet another late-week puzzle that looked very daunting at first but yielded to some brain-work. I like those "?" clues that make your mind turn a corner. No shortage of those today. OFL has it rated about the same, medium but SORTA on the slow side, maybe medium-medium-challenging. This is a "kid" who did this? Now that's scary. Birdie.

Diana,LIW 11:36 AM  

At first glance this seemed daunting to me, too. Uh oh, lots of woes. But tiny toeholds lead to ahas, and soon I had a string from the NW to the SE. I was determined, and finally finished. Note that I didn't say solved. uNAMOMENT remained, giving me my dnf, as I didn't know Marcel's moniker.

I should know by now that if I finish a Friday there well be a lot of talk about "easy" from the commentariat.

Funny punny clues - served whoppers, key ingredient. Thanks!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Burma Shave 12:20 PM  

YAHOO!MAIL BEEF STAKE

EROTICA, ASISAID, is SKEWED ATAD, a thing a TWEENER may SORTA freak at.
but RENERUSSO says IMAMAN - if in a MANKINI – INAMOMENT she’ll PEEKAT.

--- NERO ZEVON

BS2 12:24 PM  

@spacecraft - good idea!

BS3 12:40 PM  

TO_WIT:

TOASTY EVA Peron? A NEO-DYNASTY, ASISAID.
But MEEK Charlize THERON? I only SEABED.

--- IVES DUMAS

Anonymous 1:18 PM  

Quite the stinking pile. Riddled with pissers, an aggressively repulsive puzzle. Totally unenjoyable.

Rejected.

rain forest 2:24 PM  

I DRUNK DIALed once, but I think I got away with it.

Lotsa fun with this somewhat young-SKEWED puzzle, even though it had IVES and DUMAS in it. My last entry was MANKINI at which I paused because IMAMAN was already in the grid, and I was thinking of that stupid rule. Don't ask what other options I considered.

Excellent cluing throughout this gem, plus there's Charlize THERON, so OK.

What's a DOVE BAR (soap?) and why is it cold?

@BS you continue to amaze.

Regarding TOOT, when I honk my horn, regardless of whether I'm "gently" urging someone to do something, or when I'm genuinely miffed, it sounds the same. Perhaps your horns are different.

Good puzzle.

rondo 2:25 PM  

Started down the east, went mostly up in the west, and finished with THEEU/UTAHAN. Looks SORTA funny since I did the east side in red ink at home and the west in green at coffee break. Christmas-like.

Seeing DUMAS always reminds me of Beevis & Butthead.

ZEVON’s Excitable Boy album was tremendous

ASISAID before, quite a while back I think, in 2008 I was the subject in a reasonably popular calendar, aimed at the regional female populous, including semi-EROTICA, if you will. In several poses I was sporting a MANKINI (Speedo) and in a SLEW of others . . . not. Just holding the right SIZED prop; you know how MEEK I am. Still have the month by month originals if you’d like to PEEKAT them. “April Showers” was voted favorite. August a close second. IMAMAN of few secrets.

So, the fully spelled RENERUSSO or Ms. THERON for, to borrow from earlier this week, today’s yeah BAE BAE. SORTA can’t lose, only a DUMAS could choose, one over the other. There’s a picture.

Perfect Fri-puz. Just the right difficulty that no FACEPALM was required.

leftcoastTAM 3:41 PM  

After all his agonizing over this one, why in the hell didn't Rex say this one was challenging?? Beats me.

As ultimately did the puzzle. Stubbornly insisted on "be patient" as answer to "hold your pants on" clue. Getting nowhere, looked up (i.e., cheated to get) the correct answer, INAMOMENT, opening up the rest of the SE corner, but leaving me with a DNF.

Actually, struggled most of the way through this one, from 1A and 1D on.

It was CHALLENGING, Rex, a small one for you, a big one for me.

centralscrewtinizer 5:44 PM  

OFL's disposition will no doubt improve when everyone buys his new book, "Your Puzzle Sucks".
MANKINI? Keep your pants on. Please.
Skewed old with Dumas, Zevon, Yardbirds, Renee Russo, EMI, peseta, Marcel Marceau, Canasta, deathray, Kroc, etc.
Skewed current with Yahoo mail, The EU, facepalm, Taser, neo Luddite, etc. More old overall.
Penguin's perch is at peril.
Hope Trump and family get what they deserve.....to DYNASTY.

Anonymous 6:58 PM  

Looked up one answer that was unclear. That was the Yardbird song. As for the rest made errors on three answers. Two were off by one letter and another by two letters.

wcutler 11:27 PM  

Thank you @Roo Monster for the explanation for utahan - I've never heard of the Utah Jazz team, had to look it up just now. @Slow Motion's description of road rage is similar to mine. Toot? Maybe that's a Canadian definition. And @centralscrewtinizer's title for the new book is perfect. I hope Rex uses it. So funny.

I didn't finish the SW, am glad I gave up. I was never going to get it. Still, I got a lot closer than I usually do on Friday, which is to fill in the four clues I can get and then close the paper.

Chelonia 3:53 AM  

Burned through this like a wild Feyer. Way too easy! Friday and Saturday puzzles need to hurt a little.

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