Internet meme of star of Matrix looking sullen / FRI 8-18-17 / Birthplace of philosopher Parmenides / Fragrant prom present / So effective you can skip day sloganeer once / Frequent designation for Elizabeth Taylor / Jazz/samba fusion poularized in 1960s / Level connectors in Donkey Kong / Toy consisting of spool on string

Friday, August 18, 2017

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: TAMARA Taylor (46D: Actress Taylor of "Bones") —
Tamara Taylor (born September 27, 1970) is a Canadian actress. Her most notable role is that of Dr. Camille Saroyan, head of the Forensic Division, in the forensic crime drama Bones. [...] Taylor has made guest appearances on NCIS, Numb3rs, Lost, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, Party of Five and Dawson's Creek. In her feature film debut, Senseless, she played Marlon Wayan's love interest. She portrayed Debrah Simmons in the 2005 romantic-comedy Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Halle Berry's best friend in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and had a brief role in Serenity, the movie conclusion of the TV series Firefly by Joss Whedon. Through her part in Serenity, Taylor was able to audition for a show with actor David Boreanaz, who had previously worked with Whedon in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. She also appeared in the TV series Lost, as the former girlfriend of Michael and mother of Walt.(wikipedia)
• • •

A very pleasant experience. I have learned a lot about coffee from my local roasters, so the major coffee-producing islands are well known to me (they're mostly Indonesian, though coffee's grown all over the tropics from the Caribbean to Madagascar). First thought: JAVA. Obviously, far too short. Second thought: SUMATRA. You tend to find SUMATRA coffees as dark roasts. Anyway, having some sense of coffee terroir put the 1-Across Rule into effect. Maybe it's not a "rule." I just like the snappiness of the phrase "1-Across Rule." I finished well under 6, and while that's nowhere near a record, it is faster-than-normal for me. I didn't necessarily Love the fill in this one, but I definitely Liked it, and the wide-ranging frame of reference (from Donkey Kong to "Hamilton" to SAD KEANU) kept me entertained.


People are telling me the E and NE were the trouble spots. I can see how LADED (not my favorite word), with its ambiguous-verb-tense clue, might've thrown folks (it threw at least one of my friends). And the NE is slightly tough in that you have to remember a deodorant sloganeer (8A: "So effective you can skip a day" sloganeer, once). I don't know how anyone can have MITCHUM in their grid and not link it in some way to Robert. Seems like a huge waste. But the real trouble spot *for me* was the SW, where THE over THE seemed so improbable that I couldn't commit to it. Also, YINYANG took me a while to accept. To be clear, I do now accept it, but it's odd as a single unit clued 63A: Joined forces?. Also, 59D: Often-misused irregular verb (LAY) could easily have been LIE (since the very existence of LIE is the reason LAY is so "often misused." And ITTY is baloney since it's obviously ITSY (and both are baloney, tbh, without BITTY / BITSY). Proper noun arcana like "RIO RITA" wasn't that welcome (17A: 1942 Abbott and Costello musical comedy), and proper noun ??? like TAMARA was tough (for me), but even when I got stuck, there was always an amusing answer right around the corner to pick me back up and get me going again. Good fun.


Next three days I will be blogging from NYC, where I'm attending Lollapuzzoola 10, NYC's best (and now only) crossword tournament, on Saturday. Expect brief and weird write-ups until things return to normal on Tuesday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

101 comments:

jae 12:16 AM  

Easy-medium works for me. Did not know DIABOLO or TAMARA as clued even though I watched the show for a while.

SUMATRA was my first thought and NW went quickly.

"Pleasant" also works for me. Liked it, but the BEQ Thurs. themed puzzle was definitely tougher.

Anonymous 12:23 AM  

Crossing DIABOLO with ELEA seems cruel and crazy to me.

chefwen 12:25 AM  

This may have been the easiest BEQ puzzle I have tackled. Although, I have to fess up with a DNF on the ELEA/DIABOLO crossing, got everything but the L. Didn't know either one, wanted something yoyo at 60A, but that was not to be. Oh well, I thought it was a great puzzle.
Next time I see Brendan's byline I'll refrain from cringing in fear.

puzzlehoarder 12:43 AM  

This was a rather easy but very enjoyable puzzle. I had a better (and much longer) comment but my computer lost it. DIABOLO was an unknown but a CASABA is a CASABA so no problem (problemo?) I don't really know what a BOSSANOVA is so I thought it had to be a portmanteau of that word and something to do with jazz. That was probably the biggest single hold up but all was overcome. Shouldn't the clue for 51D be "Surprised to see you again." Lots of good entries and fun to solve.

Larry Gilstrap 1:05 AM  

Oddly, I am not a coffee drinker, but everybody else is, so I knew SUMATRA, at least from my perusing the aisles at Albertson's. I like grocery store.

I solved on the laptop again. Yikes!
BOO! on MITCHUM as an answer and I even knew it from way back in the day, barely.

Speaking of old stuff, I remember hearing the BOSSA NOVA tune The Girl from Ipanema on my clock radio.

LAY, Lady LAY... across my irregular verb. AIR WOMEN is a thing, of course. MOHS/ohmS reared their ugly heads.

I know folks who comment on this blog know a lot about language, especially English. I have little experience with deaf people, but now I know lots of people who are losing their hearing. Sad, but true. I first became aware of ASL due to its use in primate language studies. You know, Koko, etc. My point: Gallaudet University is a hot bed of language activism and the center of a movement. Well worth a bit of research.

The Raven clues POE.

Casimir 2:09 AM  

More on the medium side for me with several bits I simply didn't know, but found relatively easy to infer.

One small quibble with OFL. I do not consider "Donkey Kong, Hamilton and Sad Keanu" to be wide ranging content. They seem to me to be cultural touchstones of a narrow proportion of the population, kinda like opera which I love. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this very fine puzzle!

Good luck to all tournament crossword fans!

MaharajaMack 2:16 AM  

That's what I came here to say. Natick!

MaharajaMack 2:17 AM  

CASABA? Isn't it CASSAVA?

jae 2:36 AM  

@Maharaja - Jeff at Xwordinfo had the same problem.

Cassava is a woody shrub native to South America of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates.

Casaba is a variety of the winter melon, Cucumis meloinodorus, having a wrinkled, yellow rind andsweet, juicy, greenish flesh.

Mike in Mountain View 2:51 AM  

Just read about DIABOLO in McCullough's The Wright Brothers biography. It was very popular in Paris at the turn of the century, and not the turn of the 21st century, either. The Wright brothers got good at it. I think I would have gotten the answer from crosses, but I'm still happy about the coincidence. Thanks, Wilbur and Orville. Thanks, David McCullough. Thanks, Brendan.

Anoa Bob 3:18 AM  

Thought "Clotheshorse" was a dandy clue for DANDY (47A). GIZMO is a fun word to say. I try to use it as often as possible.

I was put off by the THE THE stack at 58A & 61A, but underwriting it with YIN YANG smoothed any ruffled feathers.

Glimmerglass 7:26 AM  

Good fun indeed. Difficult (because arcane) answers crossed with easy ones. Good review, @Rex.

QuasiMojo 7:33 AM  

Took me a long time to finish this one so I liked it. AIR WOMEN was a dull answer for someone as fascinating as Amelia Earhart. Never heard of Tamara Taylor. Or is it Taylor Tamara? Am amused that Rex thought Robert Mitchum was a better use of the name. We don't necessarily want obvious answers here, do we? I was tickled to recall the old ad campaign for that deodorant. I think I even bought some once. Stained my tee shirt. RIO RITA was a gimme for me but then I like old movies. Ex-wife for Liz Taylor made me chuckle. So did the handlebar clue. Well done, Mr. Quigley.

Jeffrey 7:45 AM  

My first guess for the 1A island was jaMAicA, which is known for its Blue Mountain coffee. That slowed down the northwest considerably. I also hesitated to believe the US mint would use the metric system to set the standard weight for American currency.

Anonymous 7:47 AM  

Great puzzle. Finished even with Diabolo (never heard of it) and my putting Jamaica in place of Sumatra right off the bat.

George 8:00 AM  

How the heck was I supposed to know that a casava melon is really a CASABA melon? Who the heck eats those anyway? And, it turns out, that 'cassava' is a real thing, otherwise known as manioc, which I love eating whenever I go to Brazil.

Once again Rex, you ace it with an awesome music video!

Joe Welling 8:02 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Welling 8:04 AM  

Two answers that seemed too much in my wheelhouse to be correct:
LAWCLERKS (I just ended a clerkship a couple of weeks ago) and DIABOLO (before going to law school in my 50s, I was a professional juggler, and DIABOLO -- or the "Chinese yo-yo"--is one of the tools of the trade).

Mohair Sam 8:21 AM  

Well we had a ball with this one - yet dnf'd on the ELEA/DIABOLO cross. She said "L", I said "Y" (thinking yoyo derivative) and carried the day to a natick. I'll be hearing about it all day. Except for that this played Friday easy in an odd way. We've never played Donkey Kong, but seen so many screen shots of it that LADDERS was a gimme. Then the clue for 38D was so descriptive that the unknown SADKEANU meme was an easy guess off the "S".

Lotsa fun clues, and the PPP covered generations. SUMATRA and RIORITA had to fill for us, but the downs were all fair. We spelled TAMARA with a final "i" for the longest time and that made YINYANG difficult. Her Ladyship finally saw it, or we would still be solving.

I heard the tease on the network news, and then sat through that entire History Channel special that theorized Amelia Earhart had been prisoner of the Japanese prior to WWII. Then about a week later found out that the photo showing her and her navigator in Japanese hands supposedly in 1937 had actually been published in a book in 1935, two years before her her aircraft disappeared. It was a photo of participants in a local schooner race.

Another "Hamilton" clue. The book's too thick, so we've been saving a dollar a day since the show opened to make the trip to New York to see it. We checked the kitty and we've got enough now to cover tolls and parking in Manhattan. Are tickets expensive?

tkincher 8:28 AM  

MITCHUM and LADED gummed up the works for me, otherwise this was fairly smooth sailing. "AIR WOMEN" and "SANDWICH BAG" seem a bit green paint, but all was redeemed by the first answer I dropped in the quiz (SAD KEANU).

Tita A 8:39 AM  

Or was it the moon? No, no, the BOSSANOVA...

Never ever heard THELAMB on its own... needs "of God" to be a thing.

I do like DIABOLO and THELAMB next to each other. Things are getting HEATED in the grid!
And speaking of the devil, isn't he also known as "He whomshall be UNNAMED?
Oh...and the BEDE ABOVEALL. Seems like BEQ was going for a themed Friday?

Stupid mistake at LADEn gave me DANnY. Oh well.


Sir Hillary 8:40 AM  

Fun, lively puzzle. Gotta love BEQ. So great that he publishes two free crosswords per week, yet still has time to submit to the NYT.

For me, the SE was definitely the hardest, and I resorted to guessing on the DIABOLO / ELEA cross. I'm also unfamiliar with the term HOUSEAD, although it makes sense now that I see it.

I agree that cluing MITCHUM as such MADENOSENSE, and maybe LADEn / DANnY would have been better, but the hoot of seeing AGRIBIZ and SADKEANU in a NYT puzzle more than compensated.

When I was in college, we used YINYANG as a euphemism for...um...posterior canal.
-- How'd you do on that chem final?
-- I took it up the YINYANG.

Ross Willits 8:45 AM  

I was really hoping for a DIyyOyO. Never heard of the other thing.

GHarris 8:48 AM  

Rex's 1-across rule never works for me. I often quickly solve the first clue,as I did today, and still get bogged down elsewhere. Today's challenge was the NE until I got cig which compelled me to change ewes to hens and was able to achieve success.

Tim Aurthur 8:48 AM  

Was so clueless about MITCHUM as a product that even after filling it in I thought that Robert Mitchum must have once done deodorant commercials (maybe for 5-Day Antiperspirant?). Which is kind of ridiculous when you think about it.

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

Z said:
"If you don't like this kind of playing with words and assumptions crossword puzzles may not be your cup of tea."

I do understand misdirection. My comment meant to imply that SHOD and OTC are lousy fill and the clueing was weak.

Your comment however is personal and obnoxious!!!!

Stanley Hudson 9:01 AM  

Another fine puzzle by BEQ.

@Tita A, I see what you did there. :) Or the stars above?

Teedmn 9:05 AM  

I had to use the @LMS solving method today to get started - look for the _____ clue. Ten years ago, the name of a bill (DODD Frank) would not have been a gimme for me. How things change!

I thought 60A was going to end in YOYO as many here did so CASABAS was briefly pApAyAS but EyEA looked more like a UVEA (it's weird not to use "an" as the article before a vowel) counterpart than a place, which helped me change that to DIABOLO.

I liked NOSTRIlS as clued. THIEVE has been clued like 10D too many times lately to have thrown me off. But "minute" in 50D had me wanting "eons" to a tot - only being rock-solid certain about IOS kept me from putting that in. AGRIBIZ is big BIZ in THE AREA I came from.

I did BEQ's Thursday puzzle on his website yesterday which was much more challenging than this one (more of a Saturday) and that one was from the Boswords tourney whose puzzle package I recommend to all.

Nancy 9:15 AM  

Enjoyed it a lot, with the exception of the ridiculous SADKEANNU/DIABOLO cross. (I had already guessed at ELEA over the only other possibility, ErEA.) I've never heard of DIABOLO, and as for SADKEANNU, I didn't even understand the clue much less the answer. Nevertheless, I guessed right and finished.

The clue for Liz Taylor intrigued me the most. What on earth would the answer be??? Most Beautiful Woman in the World wasn't going to fit. When I saw EXWIFE, I chuckled. I would say I chuckled right along with @Quasi, except that he chuckled an hour and a half earlier (7:33).

My biggest nit is DANDY as the answer to clotheshorse. To me, a clotheshorse has always been 1) a woman. 2) Someone who wears clothes extremely well, not someone who simply enjoys dressing to the nines. So the gender of the DANDY is wrong to begin with. Then add to that the fact that the DANDY may look absolutely awful in that expensive suit from Armani. You know who's a male clotheshorse? Roger Federer, that's who. Whatever that man puts on his body -- from tennis garb to sports jacket to formal attire -- he makes the clothes look good. And that's what a real clotheshorse does. I've known women like that, and hated them all.

Craig Percy 9:15 AM  

A fine puzzle. Thank you BEQ.

Z 9:38 AM  

Like many others, I didn't know my Magna Graecia towns. Heck, I didn't even remember that Magna Graecia included southern Italy. El DIABOLO indeed. I also put down Aviatrix but realized quickly that the X caused both a number problem and a word construction problem (how many words have a single letter after the X?).

@Casimir - Point taken. If we were to do a Venn Diagram of people who know all three items the overlapping section would be large, mostly men born between 1960 and 1980 I would guess.

I was hoping that Wikipedia might have some leads on the source of the name, but instead got a chuckle out of This article is about a deodorant. For the actor, see Robert Mitchum.

Robert A. Simon 9:39 AM  

A quick story about 21A, SAS which stands for Scandanavian Airlines System. Years ago in New York, I was listening to the radio one morning--probably WINS--and a radio commercial for SAS came on. I have forgotten what the spot was about, but I will always remember the tag line: "SAS. Navigators of the world since it was flat."

I wrote advertising for forty years. Lots of stuff you'd know. But I never came close to that.

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

@Anon

Obnoxoius would be an upgrade for @Z. He's a choad. A poseur. A blowhard. And in my book a bit of a liar. Last night, apart from his usual inane bloviating, he began a post with a quote from Aristotle's Rhetoric. Get this, it was in Greek. As if. That's a clown's move. I still have a paper from my freshman year of college, where I whipped out an Aristotelian gem and wrote it in (Attic) Greek. Trouble was, the class was in the English dept. I happened to be a classics major and was pretty full of myself. Of course the prof rightly chided me. My defense is that I was 18. And that I could, or least was beginning to be able to, read and write Greek. Z? He's pushing 60 (or past it) and still thinks he smart. he also can't read or write Attic Greek. Probably modern Greek either. Maybe I'm wrong. maybe he's a scholar. maybe he'll treat us the lost
bits of Parmenides On Nature. Can't wait for it!!!!!

Until then, I say @Z is a prick of the first order.

Steve M 9:52 AM  

DIYYOYO was the hang up 😉

jberg 10:00 AM  

OHHI, @anonymous, nice to see you there in the clues -- and I've gotta love any puzzle with DEIGNED and GIZMO, even if its ADZ has lost a letter.

But, blame it on the you-know-what, I DNF because of a stupid error: I knew really well that cassava was not the same as the melon, and I knew very well that DIAvOLO was a spicy sauce, not a spool on a string -- but the latter looked so word-like that I put it in anyway, and didn't notice the error until I got here and read @Rex. Doh!

Also, what's a MOHS scale? (Rhetorical question, I'll look it up in a moment.)

jberg 10:01 AM  

Ah, it measures hardness! Let's use it to rate puzzles!

Carola 10:27 AM  

For me, this was one of those rare Fridays when each answer linked directly to another with no hesitation. From SUMATRA, I sailed down the left side and then scampered back up the other to MITCHUM. It was over in two shakes of a LAMB's tail.

DIABOLO, thanks to my son and his high-school wizardry with it. ELIZA, thanks to my husband listening to our Hamilton CD 24/7 (seems like).

@jae, thanks for the reference to the Thursday BEQ puzzle. I'm on my way.



Anonymous 10:28 AM  

Cassava is the source of tapioca. Casaba is a melon.

Joe Bleaux 10:31 AM  

AND a music producer in Gnashville! Impressive.

mathgent 10:35 AM  

Wonderful, wonderful! I've complained here before about puzzles made by two or more people -- no personality. This is what I mean by a puzzle with personality. It's as if BEQ was right there saying the clues.

21 red plus signs in the margins, almost a record for a Friday.

I don't think that I've ever seen a CASABA in a market, but sportswriters in the old days used that word to mean a basketball.

I hadn't heard the term HOUSEAD before. I guess it's when a network runs an ad for one of its own shows.

I've never been a big Elizabeth Taylor fan. Whenever I hear her name, I think of the Joan Rivers line. Joan said that Elizabeth was standing in front of a microwave, saying "Faster, faster!"

Paul Rippey 10:39 AM  

JAMAICA is also known for its Blue Mountain coffee which messed me up for a while. And I always assumed that MITCHUM deodorant was already a reference to actor Robert. Great puzzle!

TonySaratoga 10:40 AM  

Agree 100%. DIYYOYO working in the DIABOLO slot made it even worse for me.

Lewis 10:42 AM  

@nancy -- Great take on DANDY!
@rex -- ITTY fell right in for me; ITSY never crossed my mind.

I started with lots of white, and then the zone kicked in, where answers started popping in left and right. So much of solving, for me, anyway, is coming into a puzzle with faith and confidence that it will fall if I do it with patience and alertness. Today was a case in point. I didn't know MITCHUM (as clued), DIABOLO, RIORITA or TAMARA, but the crosses worked for me. Great clues for NOSTRILS and TOME, and a nice mix of answers, my favorites being DEIGNED, ABOVE ALL, and LAW CLERK.

Brendan Emmett Quigley is a great name. Would've been cool if he had a brother named Queequeg.

Joseph Michael 10:48 AM  

Took a long time to crack the ICE and get into the grid which, at first, seemed almost impossible. Then the crafty clue for NOSTRILS appeared and I was in my way.

The rest fell into place except for the LADED/DANDY cross which I SADly left as laden/danny (hello, @Tita, you are not alone).

Otherwise I enjoyed this a lot, with the Elizabeth Taylor designation being the highlight.

Have a friend with a cat named GIZMO so that plus the MEOW above it was a nice bonus.

Have no recollection of a product called MITCHUM, though its slogan sounds vaguely familiar. Didn't know TAMARA or DIABOLO either but they were gettable from the crosses.

Overall this puzzle MADE SENSE and was fun to solve. Thanks, BEQ, for bringing us to the week's end on a high note.

Nancy 10:51 AM  

@mathgent (10:35)-- Your enthusiasm for this puzzle is infectious, and I loved reading your comment. But I guess I'm really slow today because I don't understand the Joan Rivers joke about Elizabeth Taylor that you cite. Was Joan saying that Liz was an impatient person? A spoiled person? A demanding person? If not, what exactly was she saying?

RAD2626 10:56 AM  

Thought this was just about a perfect themeless. Did not know DIABOLO or RIO RITA and made early same mistake as @Jeffrey with JaMAicA so NW went slowly but overall normal Friday time. Loved THE THE stack and thought LOGIC/MADE NO SENSE was great and appropriate cross-reference. Only small nits would be LADED and HOUSE AD, which seemed to me to be a stretch as clued. Would have preferred Zillow reference. But really fun solve and puzzle overall.

Tita A 10:56 AM  

@Joseph M...GIZMO reminds me...
I thought that was an odd clue for MEOW.
Around here, we hear MEOWs nearly incessantly - our 2 cats are the opposite of finicky. It's always mealtime to them.

The older cat has gone deaf as a doorpost.
Interestingly, just like people, she speaks VERY loudly now. Her MEOWs are even more heart-rendingly pathetic, convincing us that it's been hours or days since she's last eaten.

I blame it on the BOSSANOVA, @Stanley...

Hartley70 10:59 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hartley70 11:01 AM  

I think I fell for every trick in the book here. I started with Jamaica, then aviatrix, ewes, RXes and CASAvA. I was ignorant of DIABOLO, SADKEANU, ELEA, ELIZA, and RIORITA, and any LADDERS in Donkey Kong. And still, I had a super fast Friday. Woohoo! This is my kind of puzzle.

YINYANG was very well clued.

MOHS creeps me out. Not fun.

@Joe Welling. Law school and clerking in your 50's is no mean feat. Your stamina for late nights and stress is impressive. Congrats!

@Robert A. Simon, I got a chuckle from the SAS tag line, thanks. It seems to me that the Europeans make better use of humor in their advertising.

RAD2626 11:05 AM  

Also very glad 20D was clued as toys and not pajamas. One small (ITTY) step...

GILL I. 11:07 AM  

Just love me a BEQ. He's one of the best when it comes to cluing. So much misdirection like his bucket of bolts, HEAP and his cry around mealtime, MEOW. I live for these goodies in a puzzle.
Had quite a time getting started, though. He always scares me at first but I've cottoned to his wily ways. Where he got me good was at the AIRWOMEN/LAW CLERKS and the CASAvA crossing. Damn. Like @jberg, I know full and well the difference. In my neck of the woods a cassava is called yuca or manioca and I eat it at least once a month. Anyway, that gave me a DNF since DIAvOLO looked perfectly fine.
Like @Tita, THE LAMB looks naked without his OF GOD.
BABY DOLLS with eyes that opened and closed ended up tossed in the toy box heap. I hated those things. I also hated the ones that said MAMA. And then someone comes along and invents one that actually pees. What a world.
@Mohair...My husband and I also watched the Amelia special. So many
theories. Paul is convinced she fell in love with a native somewhere in the Pacific and rode out the war and after having two children, decided never to return to THE AREA.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

if i can finish it in 45 mins it's easy.this was easy ELEA is very common
answer for a four letter greek city. 61A seemed like hood or nabe before area. today's best clue was above a handlebar. Friday puzzles on the whole seem much much easier than they used to.

roscoe 88

Two Ponies 11:09 AM  

Why such an odd clue for sandwich bag? Am I missing an inside joke? Sad Keanu makes me feel the same way. Should I know this?
Seems like we had Oh Hi as an answer recently and it felt a little off both times.
Enjoyed this BEQ puzzle more than I usually do.

I remember tearing apart a baby doll once to see how those eyes worked. Interesting to this curious child but also a bit creepy.

The double THE in the SW gave me pause. Unusual.

Joe Bleaux 11:13 AM  

Another fine Friday puz from BQE, whose MO hasn't changed: Intimidate the toe-hold hunter, then reward him with good/clever cluing and above-average answers, making for a steady, fun solve. @GILL I. (yesterday). I'm glad I didn't say you were wrong about the Four Tops doing "Walk Away Renee." If you read replies, you know that Joe Dipinto educated me: the Tops indeed covered the Left Banke hit. (And @Joe D. Thanks.)

jb129 11:13 AM  

I think you have to redefine your "EASY" for the masses, Rex... ie, the rest of us. It's misleading.

Adam 11:19 AM  

DIABOLO + ELEA = NATICK

Joe Welling 11:22 AM  

Thanks, Hartley70! It sounds like you speak from knowledge!

hankster65 11:35 AM  

Yeah, it always kills me to a puzzle described as easy after I've just spent an hour and a half of bashing my head into the wall.

Anonymous 11:45 AM  

@jb129, @hankster65 - Easy for a Friday, which are difficult. On the easy side for a Friday is still difficult.

RooMonster 11:45 AM  

Hey All !
While I thought it a decent FriPuz, I gotta say, SAD KEANU? THE on top of THE?? Holy MOHS. That should've been an automatic send back to BEQ as to redo that corner. Liked YINYANG without the 'and', but THE THE? No No. And DIABOLO(?) crossing ELEA? Oof. Plus HOUSE AD, which sounds like a non-thing.

Here's a different (maybe not better, but gets rid of the THEs) corner:
STL
THELAMB
ERITREA
MUSSANG

Anyway, ABOVE ALL it was good. ACHIEVEd what it was suppose-ta.

ITTY GIZMO
RooMonster
DarrinV

Trombone Tom 12:34 PM  

My experience was nearly identical to OFL's, right down to thinking ITsY before ITTY. Was also looking for the missing OF GOD.

I marvel at the cluing ability of BEQ. It's what creates the "crunch."

Didn't know DIABOLO but it was easily inferable.

This might have been on the easy side for a Friday BEQ but it was very rewarding.

old timer 12:56 PM  

The last thing I did was to change my V to a B. Never heard of a DIABOLO before but it seemed apter than Diavolo.

I agree with OFL. ITTY should probably be itsy, followed by bitsy (and then followed by spider). I have never met a small child who did not like that song. The Myth of Sisyphus is an early lesson for many of us.

I wonder when the last time was that I heard "Blame it on the BOSSANOVA"?

Mr. Benson 1:55 PM  

Somehow I missed out on the SAD KEANU meme, and I consider myself fairly meme-savvy. Looks like it peaked a few years ago. Still, the clue pretty much gave it away, and with the K in place there was only one possible answer, so I plopped that right in.

kitshef 4:19 PM  

People are misleading Rex. It is the NW that was the difficult area.

Not familiar with SAD KEANU, but inferable from the clue. Let’s be honest, they’d be hard put to find a meme I am familiar with. There was the one involving McKayla Maroney a few years back that was popular enough that it made it into my world. And one involving Philip J. Fry that I know solely because I love Futurama.

Loved the YINYANG clue.

Joe Dipinto 4:20 PM  

@Nancy 10:51 -- as I recall, Joan Rivers perpetually made jokes about Liz being fat. I assume the joke here was supposed to be that she couldn't pig out fast enough.

kitshef 4:29 PM  

@Tita A - your cat story reminded me of a phenomenon I see often at work. We are a small non-profit with quite a few members whose hearing is not too great. When they are on the phone with one of our young staff, they speak loudly. The staff person thinks the phone is acting up - making it too loud - so they speak more softly. Then the caller thinks it's a bad line and speaks even more loudly. So, my advice to everyone ... if you are on the phone with someone and they keep getting louder and louder, instead of speaking more and more softly, speak up! They will then hear you and will reduce their volume accordingly.

kitshef 4:30 PM  

... and I can't believe we are deprived of a LMS post on a day with the clue and answer for 59D

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Hungry Mother 4:41 PM  

Easy one today. When I was a kid in the Bay Area of California, my Dad used to bring all sorts of melons home. I remembered the names.

Joe Dipinto 5:43 PM  

@Joe Bleaux 11:13 -- Hey no prob! I think a lot of people may remember it by the Four Tops because they are a well-known group with many hits, whereas the Left Banke were essentially a one-hit wonder.

Joe Dipinto 6:04 PM  

I always enjoy BEQ's puzzles. This one seemed relatively easy. I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't BEQ's usual quotient of music references, BOSSA NOVA (my first entry) being the only one.

Wayne 6:48 PM  

+1

Anonymous 7:13 PM  

Am I the only one who got stuck because I had "ROSE" instead of "POSY" for "Fragrant prom present?"

koi seo 7:13 PM  

I love all of your post
thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this thread.


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mac 8:30 PM  

Not easy, with a lot of unknown expressions, but got it all. See you at Lolla!

Nancy 9:37 PM  

Thanks, @Joe DiPinto.

Elvin Jules 1:35 AM  

put DOS instead of IOS ugh

Joel Blashka 3:04 AM  

Joe Dipinto You are essentially correct about the Left Banke. They did have a pretty follow-up song called Pretty Ballerina that made it to the top 15 in 1966.

Joel Blashka 3:17 AM  

Nancy 9:15 PM Keeping with my mid 60's music memories, may I suggest you listen to another song from 1966, the Kinks' Dedicated Follower of Fashion. Just might change your perception of "dandy".

Joe Bleaux 12:03 PM  

And the curse of ANAL FISSURE VIRUS (hi,@Dam Gapoo) continues to plague crossword blogs throughout the country.

yaakovm 6:41 PM  

The puzzle wasn't too hard, but it seemed to violate what I thought was a rule: no repeating of words in the answer. I couldn't believe that the SW contained two answers that started with the word "the". Still seems kind of weak to me.

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Burma Shave 10:35 AM  

LEARN & ACHIEVE

IWON the hearts of AIRWOMEN UNNAMED,
they’re SEEN as real BABYDOLLS,
it MADENOSENSE to HEAP shame
they’re DEIGNED to LAY ABOVEALL.

--- “DANDY” DODD MITCHUM, SAS

spacecraft 12:54 PM  

For me it was the NE. "Thought fit" is one HELL of a wha? clue for DEIGNED. That's not even...I'm gonna throw the flag on that one. The clue MADENOSENSE.

I too shuddered at the THE THE in the SW. Not sure how one can still "like" this after seeing double; maybe he needs TRIFOCALs. The handlebar misdirect slowed me a little; I should know better by now.

DOD is that Bones hottie TAMARA Taylor. This puzzle skewed a mite too techie for me, but I was able to work everything out and finish. Triumph factor fairly high, but I didn't enjoy it that much. OHHI, there you are again! If you MUST bleed something over, PLEASE don't make it OHHI. That BABYDOLL should have been axed the first time. It certainly doesn't deserve an encore. Bogey.

rondo 2:23 PM  

I had a w/o at ITsY and didn’t even realize the THE THE thing. Blame it on the BOSSANOVA baby. Mighta gone for “rose” over on the POSY place, but my old HEAP prevented that.

I’m supposed to remember Donkey Kong’s LADDERS? That’s an OLDEN game from half a lifetime ago. I wasn’t much of a gamer unless you count foosball.

May be soon time for TRIFOCALs. Gotta get in soon.

TAMARA Taylor is indeed today’s yeah BABYDOLL. Or a different ELIZA, as in musician Gilkyson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uluecFJ8yI

Seemed like a nice Fri-puz TO_ME.

thefogman 2:38 PM  

OHHI (again!) Puz was challenging to ACHIEVE with several write-overs. I agree with much of what OFL said and I too finished only after wrestling with the SW corner until it finally gave in. With the exception of TAhARA instead of TAMARA which crossed the Naticky MOHS. Who knows what MOHS is anyways?
There was a certain YINYANG quality to it. DIABOLIC when it made no sense, and just DANDY when LOGIC prevailed.
HOUSEAD is it that I DNF'd only because of the cruel TAMARA? How sad indeed... Live and LEARN!

thefogman 2:44 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 2:52 PM  

Serious question. Do spell casters have their own blog, and if so could we rustle up a posse and go over there to spread the Syndie gospel?

Diana,LIW 3:13 PM  

Of course, the spellcaster's blog. Must reading.

Started slowly with just a few words, then whole areas fell. Unfortunately, I had MADE NOnSENSE, and didn't know KEANU. No.

Agree that DEIGNED was odd. Odd.

NOSTRILS was immediate. Had "was" (was/were) before LAY. Couldn't think of a Jesus W name.

Much fun. Later.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 4:17 PM  

Kind of a funky puzzle, both in the cluing and in the answers. 18A had to be DEIGNED, but it took awhile to see how/why. Eventually, I reasoned that it works in the sense of "He was DEIGNED to be acceptable." Does that work?

I first thought Jamaica for the coffee island (Blue Mountain is wonderful), but a few crosses solved that one.

I kind of liked the two THEs. Cute.

Never heard of the meme, but when I got SAD and there were 5 spaces left, it had to be KEANU, whose acting skills run the gamut from A to B.

Hard to construct, but fun to do, cha cha cha.

rondo 4:42 PM  

BTW don't look for me this weekend as I will be in NW WI for a golf outing with the rest of our 2017 league championship team.

rondo 4:44 PM  

That's 2 trophies for me this year, if only our softball team hadn't lost the championship game it coulda been 3.

Anonymous 6:04 PM  

This seemed much harder than the last Friday puzzle. Did anyone else get that sense?

leftcoastTAM 6:22 PM  

Way up at the top, @jae speaks for me.

Started early, took long break for pool games (lost) and beer, came back to finish (IWON).

Diana,LIW 9:14 PM  

@Rondo - best of luck on getting your triple crown!

Lady Di

Scott McLean 2:19 PM  

Had LOGIn before LOGIC and girDERS before LADDERS.
Every corner put up a fight, but only just enough to make this a fun and challenging solve, without being frustratingly difficult.
Guessed right on the final L in the SE to avoid the Natick.

While there may not have been any really great, sparkling entries here, it was nevertheless a near-perfect Friday puzzle for me! Bravo, Brendan!

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