Titular Salinger girl / FRI 6-30-17 / Designer behind Dolly Girl perfume / Only word spoken in Mel Brooks silent movie / Tower of classic math puzzle / Coin introduced by Louis IX

Friday, June 30, 2017

Constructor: Damon Gulczynski

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: NADIA Petrova (33D: Tennis's Petrova)
Nadezhda Viktorovna Petrova (Russian: Надежда Викторовна Петрова; born 8 June 1982) is a Russian retired professional tennis player. // Overall, she has won 37 WTA Titles, 13 in singles and 24 in doubles. In singles, Petrova reached a career-high ranking of world no. 3 in May 2006, and reached the semifinals of the French Open in 2003 and 2005. In doubles, she won the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in 2004 with Meghann Shaughnessy, and in 2012 with Maria Kirilenko. With Kirilenko, she also won the bronze medal in the women's doubles at the 2012 Summer Olympics. (wikipedia)
• • •

Great long Downs on this one, but the rest is just OK. Heavy on the crosswordese for a Friday, for sure. Found it 75% easyish, but then I stalled out badly in the SE, for reasons both understandable and dumb. The dumb is what's bugging me. I seem to have this thing where I get "stuck" (at least my brain tells itself it's "stuck") before I've actually looked at every clue in a section. I get "stuck" feeling, and get frustrated, and keep banging my head against answers I think I *should* be able to get ... and then seconds or minutes later I look at a clue to a nearby four-letter answer, say (today, it was 29D: Feeling that everyone's having fun without you, in modern lingo (FOMO)), and it's a gimme and all of a sudden the section I've been "stuck" in opens right up. Sigh. This is a dumb and tenacious solving habit that I haven't quite figured out yet. I think it's pig-headedness. Like, if I feel like "I've got four of this answer's eight letters, how do I *not* have it yet!?" then I will dig in instead of leaving it and looking at everything else around it. I refuse to accept defeat ... and meanwhile just get more and more defeated by the puzzle. Anyway, FOMO made the SW suddenly far less hard than it had been, though SEA CALF was weird / unknown to me, and I still don't really know what [Noodge] means, and I never saw "Silent Movie," and SLIVER was clued hard (44D: Dieter's piece of cake?), etc. That *was* the toughest corner, but I shoulda brought it down faster. Still, all in all, I think the puzzle was pretty average in terms of difficulty.

SOPPY is blawful. Grawful. [Excessively sentimental] for sure 100% dead-on-the-money means SAPPY. SOPPY!? That's croppy. HAHA FUNNY isn't haha funny, but it's funny (20D: Humorous as opposed to strange). CHARM OFFENSIVE is the best thing in the grid by far (16D: Campaign of flattery). RAM HOME took me a long time—the RAM part I had to get all from crosses. Still to this day I have only ever see ANNA SUI in crosswords. Nowhere else. That clue on "I LOVE L.A." is for sure recycled (60A: 1983 song that begins "Hate New York City"). Total gimme. I thought the French coin was a SOU and that the phrase was ARS gratia, at first. There is a coin called the SOU (or an amount, anyway) and "ARS gratia artis" is the MGM motto, so I wasn't entirely wrong. Just wrong for this puzzle. Which, sadly, is all that counts. Flawed but OK puzzle, overall.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. just add an "of" and you've got the quite the movie title there...

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:24 AM  

I have a deep hatred for NANUNANU whenever it appears in a crossword, and AGRA was aggravating. But overall, pretty average Friday.

George Barany 12:26 AM  

@Damon Gulczynski's puzzles have a certain je ne sais quoi quality to them, certainly not TOO EASY, with much to enjoy but other words/clues that send me scurrying to Google. Good for @Rex to have responded relatively positively, and to consider FOMO a good entry point. Saving others of my generation the trouble, I've just now learned that it's text-speak for "fear of missing out."

We were in Chicago this past weekend for a family wedding, where a NIECE was a delightful flower girl. @Lindsey VONN is from Minnesota, well clued for her skiing exploits rather than for having once dated @Tiger Woods. Tower of HANOI was a great reference. Did anyone else have trouble with the crossing of @ANNA SUI with DEI? Spoiler alert, "Silent Movie" was directed by Mel Brooks, and includes the celebrated mime Marcel Marceau uttering that single French word referred to in 61-Across.

Johnny 12:27 AM  

I got SHAFTED by SHAFTED, as I had "cheated " there for quite a while.

Still have no idea what FOMO stands for. Can't even guess.

jae 12:32 AM  

Pretty easy for a Fri. No erasures and no WOEs.

My first thought for 1a was ScrewED but SHAFTED works just fine.

@George - I was really hoping that Tiger and Lindsey would work out.

Solid seed entry long downs and a fair amount of zip, liked it.

puzzlehoarder 12:36 AM  

This should have been under the usual Friday time but for misreading the 60A clue as the one for 61A. I wasted way too much time trying to make I_OVELA into a word. One that would appear in an otherwise silent movie no less. Beside from the plain stupidity of this I'm conditioned to expect the seemingly impossible from doing late week 90s puzzles. I forget how user friendly they've become. Luckily the SW was the easiest section so all was cleared up.

Patrick O'Connor 12:49 AM  

"Noodge" is both a noun and a verb. It's Yiddish or faux-Yiddish for to nag, to needle; and it can also refer to the person who noodges; e.g.: "Don't be such a noodge about bad fill, Rex."

Deej 1:19 AM  

@johnny "Fear Of Missing Out"

Gerry Kahle 2:55 AM  

All this time I thought his first name was ARCHDUKE.

chefwen 3:03 AM  

This wasn't TOO EASY for me, more medium to difficult, mostly by my misreading of clues and just downright silly mistakes. No clue on FOMO, and I thought I was kind of up to date with new stuff, guess not.

Sappy before SOPPY, Erin before EIRE, ANNA -UI, who? Had no idea who H&M was. House shower completely fooled me yet again by not thinking of the show but a shower you take at home. How many times am I going to fall into that trap?

Oh well, on to Saturday.

phil phil 3:16 AM  

FOMO left me in a dAZE hAZE mAZE

Larry Gilstrap 3:16 AM  

Strange routine for me. I print the puzzle then head out the door to my night on this little funky town. I have fun, then come home to a tough Friday effort. Some staring ensued.

ORGIES sound fun. Be sure to share your experiences, in another forum. Can't think of a bad thing to say about BIKINIS. It's not the garment's fault. As a young man, a trip to the beach was painful. Still is, well not as much.

The series "Mork and Mindy" was TV from that era. You know; that era. is it horrible or archival? Quibble amongst yourselves.

Shouldn't "Humorous as opposed to strange" be FUNNY HAHA? Have you ever been PLAYED? My birthday is April 1, so hand up here.

I read all the stuff that people write on this forum, keep it up! It galls me when people condemn a puzzle as being TOO EASY. Stop it! Good God! Did it not occur to you that maybe you just got smarter? That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Randy Newman wrote songs full of irony and truth. I LOVE L.A. began as irony and has become an anthem.

FOMO has become much more than a feeling. It's become like a psychosis. Bucket list of things to do before you die? Go ahead and die and save yourself lots of money. Be mindful and live in the moment! Geez! I just got SOPPY.

phil phil 3:17 AM  

Lot of porn innuendo here?

Anoa Bob 3:24 AM  

Since OFL got the ball rolling by highlighting the ORGIES ANAL VORACITY nexus, we might as well throw in SHAFTED, RAM HOME, NAILS and MOANS. If that's a BIT too much, then I hereby UNSAY the whole thing.

Thomaso808 4:27 AM  

On the tough side for me. Had dAZE/dOMO, although I admit FAZE is a way better answer to the clue "Disconcert". No idea as to FOMO. Had VONs/sON as neither VONN nor NON were known. ANNASUI was a WOE so I had ECi and DEo crossing, which looked good to me.

TASSEL is a word I never get right. I usually think of it in the hassle/rassle family, not a cousin of passel. Today I spelled it TASSaL as a foster child to vassal, so that PIZZaRIA would work. It's pizza, right -- Not! Let's not even mention castle or wassail.

The last few puzzles were on the easy side, so OK with me to get a crunchy challenge.

jae 4:45 AM  

@Larry - I'd buy the "just got smarter" explanation if I wasn't slowly working through late week puzzles from the mid '90s. They are harder!

That said, I ran across FOMO 2 or 3 years ago in something I read about the impact of social media...i. e. gimme. It pays to keep up with what's current if not out of curiosity then just to avoid DNFs (I'm talking to you @ Nancy although I know you honestly don't care).

@Larry again - "Funky Town" is one of my favorite songs. I was on a boat coming back across the bay from a snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta, drinking a cold one, when the guy running the thing put that on full blast...excellent moment!

Thomaso808 4:57 AM  

@Larry Gilstrap I get your point but I would say Randy Newman wrote a fair share of satire, not irony, e.g. his line in ILOVELA, "Sixth Street!" Ever been to 6th Steet? He still got recognized by the LA City Council and folks in LA "love it". Wow. It is a catchy tune. Randy Newman is way up there on my list of American song writers.

Z 4:59 AM  

@Larry Gilstrap - "Go ahead and die and save yourself lots of money." Nice one. Personally I'm more of the "money unspent is money wasted" mindset. Fortunately for my sons we like spending on them, too.

I generally like @Joe Pancake's puzzles and his own write-ups about them (none about today's yet, maybe by the time you read this there will be). Today's was solid, but I've come to expect more. I do wonder how much of my reaction is due to rewritten clues.

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

I think soppy is a Britishism.

kitshef 7:22 AM  

DNF at PIZZaRIA/TASSaL, so on the plus side I learned something today.

Did not like the puzzle otherwise. ANNA SUI crossing ECU and DEI? DEFAT? UNSAY?? And most of all, FOMO?

DG used to be one of my favorite constructors, but now it feels like he's trying too hard - like he HAS to include at least one thing you've never heard of and one ridiculous modern slang term.

Hand up for it should be funnyhaha not HAHAFUNNY. Language not is commutative.

Hungry Mother 7:29 AM  

Also don't know how to spell PIZZERIA, but I order from one weekly. Luckily, they don't screen their customers.

Glimmerglass 7:37 AM  

Interesting comment about getting fixated, Rex (FOMO). I think I sometimes do the same sort of thing, perhaps for different reasons. I just stupidly don't notice that there's a clue I haven't read. I think I'll pass on your movie. My error today was going with the familiar DEo, never having heard of ANNA SUI. (I also started with ars gratia.)

Gretchen 7:52 AM  

I liked the clues for 55A and 57A. When I figured out CSPAN and bikinis I had to chuckle.

QuasiMojo 7:57 AM  

Never heard of FOMO so that left me in a bind. I had TEA GARDEN which may be something I invented but I never thought of changing it. So I had a DNF today. Otherwise I enjoyed it. Some fun stuff. I misspelled Pizzaria of course. But corrected it. Didn't know NANU NANU never having seen the show but I get that it is used often now. I don't understand Hay Maker. Had SAPPY for too long. Maybe, upon second thought, I didn't like it. HAHA FUNNY.

Keith M 8:05 AM  

complete bummer that Dieter's piece of cake was not German for 'simple'

Robso 8:13 AM  

HAHA FUNNY? That's a funny way to phrase it. And I mean "Funny, crazy," not "Funny haha."

Sir Hillary 8:16 AM  

Fun puzzle. But TOOEASY -- e.g., the ARNAZ clue goes out of its way to be early-weekish.

Really liked the grid, for the most part (looking at you, SOPPY). Four ZEDs, none of them forced. Wonderful clues for CSPAN and HAYMAKER. In a CHARMOFFENSIVE, do you DE-MEAN your messaging?

As father of three girls, I know all about FOMO. And YOLO.

@Rex talks about self-inflicted wounds, so here's mine: oNNASis, as in Jackie. Not a designer, not the spelling. Fortunately, it was so egregious, I immediately fixed it.

Confused by the clue for AVER. Is "conjecture" a verb as well as a noun?

Teedmn 8:26 AM  

I had to solve online today. Trying to print the puzzle last night, I turned on my reliable HP laptop, only to find it was in a never-ending update download. So, print from my other laptop or from my iPad? I chose the latter. Twice I hit print, and the printer made printer noises for a long time, only to spit out a blank sheet of paper. Suddenly, the printer went into full bore print mode and it spit out a puzzle. Hurray! This morning I started filling it in and it seemed veeerrrryyy familiar. Looked at the date - last Saturday. Rats. Online it is.

SUI me, I had a double DNF there. ECU and DEo but ANNA SUo looked wrong - try ANNA Soo. Ah, ECU and DEI. So I didn't Google cheat but it's just too easy to hit the Mark Wrong Letters button when solving online.

I fell for 11A as ZEe and was wondering for a brief time if the pumas were DEMEANing themselves by going after eEls. The "Classic sitcom sign-off" had me wanting to cram in "Y'all come back now, ya hear" in there.

Having never seen "Do the Right Thing", I was thinking it was one of those military movies and was wracking my brain for what country __Z__RIA was. I finally guessed a tarboosh had a TunnEL, no a TASSEL and the NW was where I finished up and met my WaterSoo. This was mostly easy until it wasn't, but fun.

Wm.C. 8:27 AM  

@Quasi --


It's slang for a knockout punch in a boxing match. Though "Strong Connection" is a pretty obscure way of clueing it.

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

For the most part, I raced through this puzzle, until I came to a screeching halt in the NE. I confidently filled in "zee" for ZED (as I didn't catch the further implication of the British), missed the play on the Taj Mahal for the Indian burial ground, and, despite doing martial arts, did not see HAYMAKER as a solid connection. A HAYMAKER is a strong punch, but, to me, it's mostly characterized by being wild.

I didn't mind SOPPY. I first filled in SAPPY, but with a mental note that it could be SOPPY. It's much more British slang than American, though, and that perhaps should have been indicated.

I basically liked it, though.

Two Ponies 8:52 AM  

Such a rough start that for a brief moment I chuckled to myself wondering if I got the right grid for these clues. Fun challenging Friday. Just right.
Hand up for Funny Haha.
Marcel Marceau speaking the only word in the movie was genius.
I would never buy a perfume named Dolly Girl no matter how
wonderful it smelled.
I don't have a cell phone so any text clue leaves me...clueless.
Enough with the sphincter clues already.

Hartley70 9:04 AM  

At least I wasn't alone in misspelling PIZZaRIA (hi @kitchef and @Thomaso and Hungry Mother). I knew TASSaL was wrong but figured it was some alternate spelling. Boy, it's like stumbling over your own feet.

I got all the tough ones like ANNASUI and FOMO. Thanks @George for explaining the acronym. It's nice to know there's one problem I don't have.

Bill Feeney 9:09 AM  

Some trouble with 46D. I think of CRACKPOT as a noun and CUCKOO as an adjective. "He's a crackpot." "Yeah, a real cuckoo." Maybe just missing something here. Also, have heard only funnyhaha, not HAHAFUNNY. But, like all the NYT puzzles easy or hard, a fun solve.

Jennifer Freeman 9:22 AM  

Thank you for the last paragraph. Love your posts.

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

Too easy. If Nadia Petrov were on the men's tour she wouldn't rank in the top 1000.

Amie Devero 9:27 AM  

No doubt I'm just being dense, but "haymaker" for "strong connection"?? Got it through crosses, but still don't get it. Someone clue me in please? (Pun unintended).

Jay Apking 9:29 AM  

Fear of missing out

Michael Collins 9:44 AM  

Even better long downs if 11D one involved in monkey business? had been ZEPPOMARX. It fits.

Nancy 9:48 AM  

I couldn't wait to get to the blog today (hurry up and open up, computer, you are so damned slow!) to tell y'all how enjoyable I found this puzzle. The clues are so wonderfully tricky and misleading, including HAYMAKER; CAR RACE; BIKINIS; GLUCOSE (admit it, everyone, you also were thinking of some sort of gas or oil or wind power or solar power or something along that line); TUMMIES (admit it, everyone, you were thinking of some sort of person on a food assembly line); APNEA (And were you thinking more of a burglar or a car alarm or even a ghost?). Actually, I had the first A, so APNEA went right in for me. As for the fill, CHARM OFFENSIVE; HAHA FUNNY and even TUDE all provided great ELAN. And almost no proper names! The one biggie, FRANZ FERDINAND, is something everyone should know. Just about everything that has gone wrong with the 20th and 21st centuries can be traced directly to that cataclysmic, immensely tragic, and totally unnecessary war. A great puzzle. Thank you for it, DG.

DJG 9:57 AM  

For a tiny bit more on this puzzle and a lot on this year's Indie 500 crossword puzzle tournament, visit my blog: scrabbledamon.blogspot.com.

As for "ha-ha funny" vs. "funny ha-ha", I did an intensive Google deep dive while making this puzzle, and as best I can tell both are used with equal regularity. I've always known it to be the former, for what it's worth.

Nancy 10:04 AM  

HAHA FUNNY, @jae (4:45 a.m.) But the thing is: you're wrong. FOMO is one of the few text-y acronyms that I actually know. Even more astonishing, it's one of the few acronyms that I actually like. It's cute, and it expresses a state of mind that isn't covered by any other phrase that I can think of. So it fills a need. Fortunately, like Hartley (9:04), I don't suffer from FOMO either. Could it be because I'm not on any of the social media and have no idea what I'm MO on?

@OISK -- I sent you a "Hamilton"-related shoutout late last night on yesterday's blog.

Mohair Sam 10:06 AM  

DNF'd because we didn't know ANNASUI and had no idea that Louis IX was eight centuries ahead of his time in creating the European Currency Unit (ECU) - you learn something every day in the Times puzzle.

I'm with @Rex - it's SaPPY, but the payoff with CHARMOFFENSIVE makes SOPPY forgivable. Like @Sir Hilary I was confused by the verb form of conjecture and argued against AVER until Lady M filled in everything around it. Never heard of H&M, it was part of a lot that made SW really tough for us - puzzle partner did it all. Hand up with the gang that threw an "A" in for the "E" in PIZZERIA, why not? - the world has it wrong. FOMO new to this texter, great word though - have folks been enjoying it behind my back?

"Do the Right Thing" still Spike Lee's best. Briefly met Lee years ago at halftime of a Syracuse/Georgetown game not long after the movie came out. Asked him why Mookie took the money Sal threw at him at the end. "Wouldn't you?" he asked. "No" said I. "You and Mookie come from different directions" he smiled, then turned to the next person waiting to meet him.

Terrific Friday puzz. What Rex said about the long downs. Some great cluing (loved TUMMIES and FLUSH).

jberg 10:15 AM  

A little fuzzy on my history, I filled in 'archduke rudolf' (that fit) before remembering that he was FERDINAND, and eventually FRANZ. 'archduke' was confirmed by the sighS of the wine, so it took some time to get rid of. Then the VONN/NON crossing was almost a pure guess. And, like many, I should have said FUNNY HA-HA. Maybe this is one of those regional things?

I liked the puzzle a lot -- the long downs, plus the slightly shorer cdowns and acrosses. However, DNF, as I never heard of Ms. SUI and thought it was DEo GRATIA (I was wrong -- "thanks be to God" is DEO GRATIAS, so wouldn't fit), rather than DEI ("by the grace of God"). Now I'm moaning.

Oh, I almost forgot -- I must have spent 5 minutes trying to remember what part of Brooklyn or Queens that pizzeria was in. Astoria was too short, Bensonhurst too long..... ah, it's Bed-Stuy (too short unless you put in the hyphen), it's the owner's family that's from Bensonhurst.

RooMonster 10:21 AM  

Hey All !
Just read about that assassination that lead to WW1 yesterday, but with my infamous non-remembering brain, couldn't get answer until I had FRANZ. DEMEANing.

Found this to be a tougher-than-usual puz. I think I just wasn't into it for some reason. Agree with SaPPiness of SOPPY clue. How about - Like moist bread? or some such. Just sayin.



Joseph Michael 10:31 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle which was anything but TOO EASY. Lots of great clues and impressive downs. CHARM OFFENSIVE alone is worth the price of admission.

Discovered that I don't know how to spell PIZZERIA or TASSEL (I'm looking at you, A) and learned the meaning of FOMO, which is surely a sign of the times in this age of social media.

My last empty square was 61 as I ran through alphabet to figure out what word might have been spoken in Silent Movie. Not knowing Lindsey VONN, I unfortunately settled on "son."

Liked BIKINIS over I LOVE LA and the odd looking CARRACE which looks like the name of an Italian opera singer. Also liked the tude of TUDE crossing HAHA FUNNY.

Thanks, Damon, for a fun ride. I'm off now to put my food processor to work and have a bagel.

GHarris 10:49 AM  

Haymaker is a term used in boxing to mean a powerful punch. I would argue that a charm offensive is when you highlight your own better virtues to impress, not a resort to flattering the other.

QuasiMojo 11:08 AM  

Thank you @ Wm C. New to me.

Aketi 11:10 AM  

@Jberg, I was headed towards ASTORIA before I got to the PIZZaRIA with the TASSaL.

@Anon 8:45 am, I'm with you on thinking that a HAYMAKER is merely a wild punch, not necessarily a strong connection.

Not much for the ZOOKEEPER to keep, just a DEER, SEACALF, RAM, and CUCKOO.

Just came back from D.C. where the long walks from one end of the mall to the other triggered my sister and I to eat with a great deal of VORACITY. No DEFATted tiny little SLIVERS of desert for us. Our GLUCOSE levels were probably off the charts.

@M@A, the National Museum of the American Indian had the best cinnamon rolls I've ever eaten.

old timer 11:28 AM  

I thought it really was TOO EASY for a Friday. Except for ZED. Somehow I forgot the British term, wrote in ZEE, and ended with a DNF because of it. FRANZ FERDINAND was, for me, a gimme. FOMO I have never seen before, but the crosses made it obvious.

I listened to the radio a lot as a kid. On one of my shows, there was the following meme, often repeated: "That's Funny" says one character, and the other asks, "Funny peculiar or FUNNY HAHA?" Anyone remember what show that was? In any case, I was a little offended by HAHAFUNNY because of that.

OTOH my first thought was SOPPY, and "sappy" did not even come to mind. To me, SOPPY is "excessively sentimental" and "sappy" is more a synonym for dumb.

AZPETE 11:31 AM  

Me too for daze/domo.

Masked and Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Important stuff, first: @Aketi - It goes to the top of M&A's must see & try em list. In DC, I assume. M&A seems to get out to DC about once every 20 years or so. Might hafta go again now, to avoid FOMO-OCR.

Kinda extra-admired that {One may be straight} = FLUSH clue. This FriPuz had TUDE, btw. It also had some pretty weirdball seed answers, in U-less FRANZ F. and CHARM-O. Always interestin, what possesses some puzmakers. fave seedless puzanswer: PIZZERIA.

staff weeject wespect award: Grizzly pair and unlikely seed entries ECU & DEI. Rearranged a jot, U actually get words CUE+DIE. Honrable mention to NON, mainly becuz of its clue. As I recall it, the one word spoken in that entire "Silent Movie" flick was by mime Marcel Marceau, as he angrily slammed down his phone.

Thanx, Mr. G. (U know who yer other letters are.)

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Maruchka 11:43 AM  

@AnoaBob - HA-HA and FUN-NY! Chacun a son gooey.. merci.

Slog fest here. Don't know why. Perhaps I'm in a too-much-New-York state of mind. Subway derail, subway delays, trash on the tracks, Trump-itis, constant construction, mayor v. guv, ad.naus. What next?

Sigh. Going to CA (not LA) soon and hoping for a sanity break, pu-leez.

Ah. Some very good Fascati's PIZZa in the fridge. THAT'S what I like about the North(east).

Mr. and Mrs. Normal 12:07 PM  

Happy Heterosexual Pride Day!

Joe Bleaux 12:23 PM  

Agree with Rex's "medium" difficulty level. Changed SAPPY to weird SOPPY when CHARM OFFENSIVE became apparent. ZENGARDEN opened up lower SW, then C in obvious VORACITY forced my SEALION out of the harbor for SEACALF (?). Only other rewrite followed TUMMIES, whose U drained GLYCOSE as an energy source. All around, a satisfying Friday puz. Thanks, DG. (Re FUNNYHAHA, the first time I heard it was the lunch scene with John Ritter and Billy Bob Thornton in "Sling Blade." Classic. Never heard it as HAHAFUNNY, but that's OK.)

Trombone Tom 12:29 PM  

I've lived on the Pacific most of my life and seen my share of seals and sea lions, but SEACALF was a WOE. Wiktionary says it is "obs." but even that notation would not have helped. Fortunately the crosses did.

For me the puzzle was engaging and fun, until I hit the NE. Those very clever and far-out definitions brought me to a screeching halt. It was only after I took a long hiatus that I came back and GLUCOSE and RAM HOME suddenly stood out and I was able to finish. Certainly this puzzle was not TOO EASY.

Dick Swart 12:46 PM  


Joe Bleaux 12:51 PM  

Forgot to say this yesterday: Good for you, re your comment in defense of Rex, who's unfairly dissed sometimes.

PhiskPhan 1:36 PM  

In my family, we always said "funny haha, or funny peculiar?" So I filled it in as "funny haha," which didn't work. Then I thought maybe some answers were to be filled in upside down; that didn't work; then I thought some answers had to be filled in last word first -- then I figured out that some people say, I guess, "haha funny or peculiar funny."

Carola 2:00 PM  

Very nice puzzle! Lovely Downs, as you've all noted. For me it started out easy with the famiiar ARNAZ, FRANZ, and ANNA, but I soon moved into a booby-trapped area with ZEe, hit HOME, and SaPPY and finally into DNF territory where FeMO crossed eVER ("No more" as in "Don't you ever....!"). I especially enjoyed seeing TUMMIES, HAYMAKER, and CHARM OFFENSIVE materialize.

MOANS over PIZZERIA: that's me since going gluten-free a year ago....watching everyone else with those chewy, charred slices. Forget FOMO, I know I'm MO.

I also liked SLIVER x NEEDLE, which is Step one. Then reach for the tweezers in the Swiss Army Knife.

oldactor 2:04 PM  

I was IN "Silent Movie" and had to get NON from crosses. The scene was with Marty Feldman, Bernadette Peters, Sid Caesar, Dom Deluis and Mel Brooks, I was the movie theatre manager and I had a line: "Mr. Fun, Mr. Fun, the film has been stolen" but it was written on a dialog card which immediately blocked my close-up.

If you're ever in a silent movie, just hope you don't have a line.

Chip Hilton 2:25 PM  

I recall singing DEo Gratias in high school choir and stayed with that. Hence, ANNASoo was my utter and total guess. My only errors on a puzzle that seemed just about right for a Friday. I had never heard of FOMO and didn't care for the forced UNSAY and DEFAT, but enjoyed the overall challenge.

Nancy 3:31 PM  

@oldactor (2:04 p.m.) -- What an absolutely delicious recollection, and of course I'm wondering: Who, exactly, are you? (One of the most delightful aspects of this blog is knowing that there are possibly famous people here, shrouded in mystery. Who, for example, is @Aging Soprano? Would we know her if she revealed herself? And who is @Quasimojo. He revealed at one point that he's a published author, but which one? Questions like that abound, but I digress...) Anyway, charmed by your "Silent Movie" CHARM OFFENSIVE comment, I clicked on your name and found that your blog profile reveals...nothing about you at all. Bummer, but your post was delightful and interesting anyway.

Anoa Bob 3:52 PM  

Re HAYMAKER: In days of yore, hay was cut with a scythe. The hayer would swing the scythe in a long, sweeping arc, parallel to the ground, to maximize cutting efficiency. In fighting, the term haymaker was adopted to describe a long, sweeping, arm extended swing at the opponent's head. Because it was so easy to avoid and counter---you could see it coming a mile away---it was the mark of an amateur, someone not skilled in the fisticuff arts. So I agree with those who thought the "strong connection" clue was amiss. Or, as often happens with a haymaker, a miss.

Mohair Sam 4:06 PM  

@oldactor - What a group! You were surrounded by as much comic genius at that moment as anyone ever.

@Anoa Bob - I would argue that although HAYMAKERs might never have fooled Sugar Ray Robinson, they are generally thrown at drunks in barroom brawls where they are rarely seen coming and they make very strong connections.

Joe Dipinto 6:08 PM  

Enjoyed this puzzle immensely, except for soppy in lieu of sappy. But I can vouch for the constructor: I've only ever heard/seen "haha funny," never versa vice.

Anonymous 6:17 PM  

I've tried the Googlez but cannot find an explanation (crosswordese) for the presumed acronym "WOE."
In context, it seems like a variation of WAG--wild arse guess?


Nancy 6:21 PM  

@Giovanni -- What on earth?

RooMonster 7:03 PM  

Yes, as @Nancy said, WOE=What On Earth, a kinder WTF. But also works well because those answers are usually woes.


Slow Motion 7:08 PM  

I always heard it this way. Me: "Gee, that's funny." You: "Oh yeah? Funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?"

DNF because I got lost in the SW with TYKE instead of TYRO.

Rob 9:19 PM  

I got CAR RACE/ECU to finish the puzzle by typing letters in the one space I had left by typing letters until the NYT site informed me I had solved correctly. I then tried to google "define carrace," because I am an idiot. It was a solid 20 seconds later before I realized it was CAR RACE, two words.

HAHA FUNNY and FUNNY HAHA are both fine to my ear.

FOMO was easy for me, but I am still unconvinced that it is a thing any real person says or writes. I have only ever seen it in stupid ads, and I am nontrivially younger than the average crossword demographic. Although I am fast approaching the point where I can't say that anymore.

Mohair Sam 10:28 PM  

@Rob - "nontrivially" - awesome usage - I've never seen or heard it before. Love the carrace story, btw - I think we've all had it happen.

DESievers 9:13 AM  

I liked this puzzle, my only beef being with the skier and the Brooks film, as I was familiar with neither, which meant I was screwed. Good comments today!

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

"Whaddya mean I talk funny? Funny how?" Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.
Wife gave me Anna Sui. Sui generus.

Amie Devero 10:17 AM  

Thank you!!!

Amelia 12:46 PM  

How much do I love that someone named Patrick O'Connor provided the absolutely correct definition of the yiddish-y noodge with the perfect use of it? An awful lot.

Space Is Deep 10:13 PM  

At a family gathering I asked if anyone knew what FOMO was, fifteen people were there, no one had ever heard if it. WTF?

Mike 5:59 PM  

By the way, is anyone else tired of sweating over a crossword only to see it rated as easy and average? And the Austrian archduke as Franz Ferdinand? Really?

thefogman 11:04 AM  

I had to pause a few times, but the right thoughts lead to the right words which produced the right action: Solving the puzzle Franz Ferdinand style.


Burma Shave 11:17 AM  


TOOEASY to FLUSH, yet NON-apprehensive.
So in BIKINIS with TASSELs she PLAYED me with ‘TUDE,
and in our ORGIES got SHAFTED yet nothing was RUED.


rondo 12:18 PM  

Had a couple inkfest-ations of reasonable size with ZOOlogist and SEAlion which took some doing to correct. About a year ago a local sports-talk show was bemoaning the affliction of the millennials with FOMO, so that was a gimme. The last two holes filled were educated guesses for the U and I in ANNASUI, which I’ve never seen, and the missus drags me to perfumeries, and H&M and OLDNAVY. Knew OFL would post a link to the band FRANZFERDINAND; they get some airplay on The Current 89.3.

In one of those annual SI editions I buy, Minnesota native and super yeah baby Lindsey VONN posed in only body paint BIKINIS. [MOANS ensue]. What a SCAMP.

Did not find this puz too easy nor TOOHARD, about Friday right, NON?

thefogman 12:36 PM  

ANAL on Tuesday and then again today. This is becoming a habit...

Diana,LIW 1:29 PM  

Knew a bunch of folks would claim the puzzle not TOOEASY.

I had the same PISSaRIA/TASSaL Natick as Bill Butler. I guess I figured if a fez can be a tarboosh, they can spell it with an A. Sure. Dream on.

And I had the haze/faze daze - I'm so texty free that FOMO is not in the vocab - no TUDE there.

Great cluing on ZED, GLUCOSE, and my fav, CSPAN. Even after I had all the letters in place I had to go to Bill Butler to "get" the "shower" meaning. HAHAFUNNY

Peace Prize Out

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting 2 and FRO

leftcoastTAM 3:51 PM  

A tale of two puzzles, the East and the West. Cruised through the West and crashed in the West.

Did I it?


leftcoastTAM 4:30 PM  

Did I like it?

rain forest 6:32 PM  

Did the puzzle in three separate forays, wedging it in among several activities. Challenging. Just about DNF in the SE, but BIKINIS came to the rescue. Writeover at SaPPY, and much cogitating at various locations. Didn't like UNSAY, DEFAT, or SEA CALF, but the crosses brought them home.

Not a puzzle in my 'wheelhouse' (if I have one), but it had spunk, and proved to be gettable in the end.

Diana,LIW 6:59 PM  

@Rondo - Have I seen "inkfest-ations" before and skimmed (or scanned) right over it? Anyhoo - I like it.

Also liked "impressiveosity" by @Rainy the other day.

Let's all make new words - maybe they will be in the puzzle one day. One more thing to have FOMO about.

Lady Di

leftcoastTAM 7:33 PM  

A gratuitous excuse for my incoherence today--

Been working with tech support on computer problems--get this--for the last three days. About ready to recover, both me and the computer.


Anonymous 8:45 PM  

How do you count eliminating possible answers without actually looking it up? For instance,I had ZZS,checked and saw it was not in the crossword database,then tried ZEE and finally ZED. That would not count as a full hint would it?

rain forest 1:06 AM  

@Lady Di - I know and understand your frustration with the roofless contractors who take forever to finish the job, and charge the earth. They may, in the end, do a satisfactory job, but you are never totally certain.

@Rondo - a master of the bon mot, usually subtle, sometimes for which you try hard, but I would never call you a gofer.

@leftcoatTAM - as one who is frequently "incoherent", let me assure you that we always hear you, ie, you are "hearent".

Well, I tried. It's like when my son, 6 at the time, wrote in a note to me after he rode his bike into my car fender, "You shud be prowed". Come on, laugh.

wcutler 3:51 AM  

It's about time that a puzzle I can finish is rated above Easy. If I remember correctly, I dnf'd on Monday, so I'm very happy to have finished this Medium-rated puzzle, even if it did take me a long time to do it (off and on, all day).

I agree on FUNNYHAHA. But with a comma, I've heard it (or maybe used it) as given - Ha-ha, funny.

centralscrewtinizer 11:47 AM  

Had DEo. Guessed ECo, and thus had ANNA Soo, ergo dnf. Went to and fro with the e in PIZZERIA and TASSEL, but finally settled on the correct vowel.
The clue don't work because the vassals stole the tassel.

I'm in the funny strange that it's not funny ha ha camp, but the whole thing is just funny.

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