Wheelchair-bound Glee character / FRI 9-8-17 / Comics character seen on gum wrappers / First principal character encountered by Ishmael in Moby-Dick / Hit sci-fi video game set around 26th century

Friday, September 8, 2017

Constructor: Sam Trabucco

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: SCAR (22A: Bare place on the side of a mountain) —

Definition of scar

  1. 1 :  an isolated or protruding rock
  2. 2 :  a steep rocky eminence :  a bare place on the side of a mountain (M-W)
• • •

Didn't feel that great about my opening—felt like I was cheating my way into the grid with crosswordese (TAFT to TATAR to ALIA). But once I got going, things started feeling a little better. Answers got more interesting, clues provided a little more resistance. Then I dropped the double-Q QUEEQUEG (off the initial "Q," of course), and realized "oh, it's gonna be one of *those* puzzle (meaning "those puzzles that throw All The Scrabble Tiles at you). And then immediately came the confirmation, with BUZZFEED QUIZZES and MIKE PIAZZA. Often *those* puzzles go south, buckling under the weight of their own misguided ambition, but today's actually ended up kinda nice. Lots of unusual fill—modern phrases and items, slang and colloquialisms. Things stayed varied and interesting throughout, and the gruesome fill was pretty minimal (though I'm never gonna forget FIDOS, which becomes the new paradigmatic example of Absurd Plural Names).

"Wheelchair-bound" is a pretty shitty way to refer to someone in a wheelchair (33A: Wheelchair-bopund "Glee" character), mostly because it reinforces a lot of stupid, negative stereotypes. People in wheelchairs aren't tragic figures. The chair is enabling, not stigmatizing. Just google "wheelchair bound" and you'll see—It's a term that's been flagged as ableist for many years now. So stop it. Once again, maybe a *teeny* bit of diversity in the editing corps would help prevent tin-eared stuff like this from slipping through. I'm not *terribly* offended (I mean ... like ... I'm not FIDOS-offended), but some will be, and I don't blame them.

  • 3D: Trading hub (PORT) — I had MART. Only other misstep was SQFT for SQIN (19A: Abbr. in many an area measure)
  • 22A: Bare place on the side of a mountain (SCAR) — wow, I just do not know this word. Kind of embarrassing, but ... nope, it just missed me, somehow.
  • 5D: Hit sci-fi video game set around the 26th century (STARCRAFT) — also don't know this, but don't feel that bad about it. You can't know everything.
  • 49A: "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" detective Diaz (ROSA) — Like this. Don't know this. Shrug. You work in out from crosses, move along.
  • 61A: "D'oh!" ("I'M A MORON") — this borders on contrived, but ... I'll accept it, I guess. 
  • 25A: Live, in a way (UNTAPED) — this seems even more contrived ... :(
  • 54D: Not a candidate for the invoking of the 25th Amendment, say (SANE) — too soon, NYT! Or maybe not soon enough, I'm not sure. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. probably not the greatest idea to have "buzzkill" in a clue (41A) and BUZZFEED in the grid

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


El Amor . . . Prohibido 12:05 AM  

Was I the only one who saw in 54D and 58D some latent anti-Trump sentiment?

jae 12:26 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. Scrabblely in a good way. Liked it!

Gregory Nuttle 12:40 AM  

Just one little 'V' short of a pangram. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Quo Vadis 12:47 AM  

So proud to have dwelt peacefully for sixty four years on this blessèd earth and never encountered a cakepop.

Ron Painter 12:48 AM  

The puzzle was about medium for me until the SE corner, which took as much time as the rest of the puzzle did for me. Great puzzle though!

Mark 1:00 AM  

I found the puzzle quite hard, but I liked it a lot

puzzlehoarder 1:35 AM  

STAR_what?, SQFT and not knowing how to spell QUEEQUEG made getting out of that easy NW a bit of a challenge. The biggest slowdown was that our printer's out of ink and I had to solve on the computer. However the puzzle became easy after the halfway point.

Larry Gilstrap 1:50 AM  

The struggle was real. Maybe, I'M A MORON, but I had the feeling of hanging on by my fingernails, looking for my next foothold. Is that a mixed metaphor? Even if it is, I don't care because I felt like a one armed paper hanger during the solve. Is that ok to say?

Glad to see that Afros and apples mad it through unscathed, though both are thoroughly PICKED. I once sported a hairstyle that required a pick which barely fit in the pocket of my tight jeans. I kept my wallet in the car. Fashion is weird.

Elevator pitch: a movie based on the early chapters of Moby-Dick before the Pequod sails. Ishmael falls in love with QUEEQUEG, as do we all in the prelude to the voyage. He prefers to sleep with a sober cannibal than with a drunken Christian. And that whole episode on the packet boat when QUEEQUEG saves the racist bastard that gets thrown off board. Smoke that hatchet-pipe and worship your little Yojo, Prince of Kokovoko. What a love story!

Speaking of a bromance, my friend Sam and I were crazy for MIKE PIAZZA in the early 90s. When he appeared on the TV screen at the Black Angus, we both would do the hands bowing I'm not worthy salaam to his image. Silly, of course, but his career was Hall of Fame worthy.

If you are ever in Riverside CA, I highly recommend a visit to the Mission Inn. In the Presidential Lounge, you too can sit in the TAFT Chair. By all accounts, he was a large man.

Trombone Tom 1:59 AM  

Even though there was a big unknown here I was enough on Sam Trabucco's wavelength to get through this quickly.

Tried SQft before SQIN.

Not familiar with the term BUZZFEED QUIZZES despite having seen them on Facebook.

It was nice to REJOIN our old friend QUEEQUEG in a TAPAS BAR.

MaharajaMack 2:53 AM  

I loved it because of how many new words and phrases were used without feeling forced. And I blew through this until ROSA crossing ASIF. Not impossible to figure out, but couldn't get my mind in the right place for the latter. I don't think AS IF is questioning; I think it is knowing some is absurd. All in all, I'm mostly grumpy because I thought I would hit a record time and then had to use a check puzzle to finish.

Anonymous 3:18 AM  

Poison Yma SUMAC. Har. For once I'm not taking offense at OFL's taking offense. But maybe some will find him patronizing. Can't please everyone.

Thomaso808 4:22 AM  


QUEEQUEG is a NYTP debut? Wow! That's some bragging rights for Mr. Trabucco.

Mike Piazza is an amazing story. He was the 1,390th player drafted in 1988, mainly as a favor from manager Tommy Lasorda to Piazza's father. His likelihood to succeed was zero. But four years later he made it to the majors and was Rookie of the Year in 1992. To date he is the only member of that 1988 draft, and by far the lowest ever draft pick, that has made it to the Hall of Fame. Got to give him credit.

Carola 5:17 AM  

Agree with @Rex all the way on this one, including his comments on wheelchairs: it's my awesome all-terrain chair (and my husband who provides the pushing power) that's enabling me to tool all around Amsterdam this week.

TAPAS BAR was an easy entry to the grid, but in the drop-downs I couldn't get past STARC???, so ended up going down the right side and thus needing to wait to find out what kind of CAFES and what kind of QUIZZES. Guilty literary conscience prod: QUEEQUEG - why can't I ever get past page whatever it is where they're in bed together?

@El Amor...- Re: similar thought on 54D. I wonder how many of us previously knew anything about the 25th Amendment.
@MaharajaMack - I liked the old as well as the new. I found writing in HASPS very pleasing - not a word I get to use in real life often.

DeeJay 5:51 AM  

Nice shout out to Steely Dan and Walter Becker, RIP.

Lewis 6:05 AM  
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Lewis 6:06 AM  

I wanted POST for the trading hub and TAQUERIA for the sangria place. Neither worked alone or with each other, so the NW was tough and the last to fall.

That frustration was easily balanced by the fun in the SE. 54D (SANE) -- Hah! And then I saw that if you changed HASPS to HARPS you could have the delicious combination there of FAKE NEWS, I'M A MORON, and SAYONARA. If only!

Doc John 6:18 AM  

Easy puzzle.
Makes me think of this.

BarbieBarbie 6:23 AM  

@El Amor, and 56D, I guess. But no.
Easy puzzle. Themeless, so no meta joy, just the flashcards.
Biggest disappointment was that when I filled in MIKE PIAZZA I thought, hooray, Evil Doug will give us a Seinfeld post! Only to realizethis morning that I was thinking of Keith Hernandez.

Anonymous 6:56 AM  

I once did a puzzle for Buzzfeed.

Michael Petrie 7:12 AM  

I am a trivia buff and I thank you for that tidbit... Gonna store that one in the files for a rainy day.

Michael Petrie 7:18 AM  
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kitshef 7:18 AM  

BAZOOKA JOE was phased out about five years ago, to the detriment of children everywhere.

Don’t know if M&A is still travelling, but SQIN deserves some kind of desperation award.

CARBS crossing CAKE POP is cool.

ROSS clue is most likely wrong.

Michael Petrie 7:22 AM  

Aw man!! Had no idea Walter Becker died. Anytime I throw in Steely Dan, it seems to take this screwed up world and turn it beautiful again, if only for the briefest of moments.

Hungry Mother 7:36 AM  

Enjoyed this quick solve on a Friday morning. BAZOOKAJOE reminded me of a summer job in a true sweatshop at the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Company. I usually worked on the exgtruder line, sweaty and covered with powdered sugar icing. One day I had a chance to work in the superheated gum room where I raked and sweated over the gum being made. Some of that salty gum had my sweat in it.

More Whit 7:53 AM  

No...saw those two as well as sayonara in the same SE corner. Then there was "I'm a moron". Hilarious.

QuasiMojo 7:54 AM  

As a fan of YMA SUMAC which was the FAKE NAME of AMY CAMUS, or so legend has it, I enjoyed this puzzle. I also loved BAZOOKA JOE, one of my favorite cartoons as a kid (not to mention the gum). I bet A LOT of desks in schools still bear the SCARs of his presence underneath.

Anyone else pop in STAN LEE before SARA LEE?

Fun puzzle even if it was a bit like the conversation you might hear at a PROM... (YOU'RE A JERK, I'M A MORON.)

More Whit 7:58 AM  

Many great childhood memories regarding Bazooka Joe and sandlot baseball games with no adults in sight that lasted for hours. Not something one sees much of these days. Loved the puzzle and the SE corner is priceless.

Alicia Stetson 8:04 AM  

Of course 58d could have been AMA, ANA, AHA, AAP, HMO, or any other group that cares about Americans' access to health care.

Anonymous 8:09 AM  


Two Ponies 8:14 AM  

After yesterday's unpleasant solve I was easy to please today and just about anything short of a placemat maze and a crayon was going to make me happy.
Best part was the moron/jerk pairing, not far behind was bar/café.
Bazooka Joe brought up some fun memories.
Then I realized I had no idea how to spell Queequeg.

mmorgan 8:23 AM  

Agree on buzzkill/BUZZFEED, but how can you not love a puzzle with both I'M A MORON and YOU'RE A JERK?

mathgent 8:33 AM  

Very nice puzzle. The SE sent me to bed. I finished up this morning. Like @QuasiMojo, I had STAN instead of SARA.

Where do they have CAKEPOPs? It doesn't seem like a good idea. I would eat the piece of cake in one or two bites. Unlike the several minutes it takes to finish a lollipop.

What would be a more sensitive way to refer to ARTIE? My wife suggests "physically-challenged." Not as descriptive, of course.

Sir Hillary 8:43 AM  

Great puzzle. Loved the high-value-Scrabble tile factor. Played easy for me until the SE, where SITAround and Stan Lee (hi, @QuasiMojo) bogged me down. When IMAMORON finally appeared, it was a very meta moment.

Other thoughts:
-- Definitely felt a political vibe to the clues for AMA and SANE.
-- The ARTIE clue didn't strike me, but the PICKED Afro clue did. Probably unnecessarily so.
-- Only entries I winced at were NOA and FIDOS.
-- I can't read or hear AREWECLEAR without picturing Jack Nicholson yelling it from the witness chair and Tom Cruise responding, "Crystal."
-- I read not long ago that MIKEPIAZZA is a majority owner of a lower-division Italian soccer club. I'm jealous.
-- I'm not a big cake guy, but a nice, moist CAKEPOP can be quite a treat.

Matthew G. 8:50 AM  

CAKE POP is a new one on me. Though now that I google the term, I know I've seen them; just didn't know what they were called.

I think today's SE corner is as close to political as Will will ever let the puzzle get.

Arlene 8:50 AM  

Thanks for pointing out the wheelchair clue as being insensitive and totally inappropriate in today's day and age. As someone who is deaf and uses cochlear implants, I'm very much involved in disability access advocacy. Regarding an appropriate alternative - "Wheelchair-using 'Glee' character" would work.

Unknown 9:09 AM  

Could someone explain how receipts = GATE? 47A. Thanks!

evil doug 9:12 AM  

Yeah, the clue should have been "Wheelchair-lucky 'Glee character....

Here you go, Barbie:


[at Surgical Appliances]

Salesman: This is our best model. The Cougar 9000. It's the Rolls Royce of wheelchairs. This is like... you're almost glad to be handicapped!

Kramer: So now, what's this got?

Salesman: Inductive joystick, dynamic braking, flip-up arms, it's fully loaded. I put Stephen Hawking in one of these two months ago, he's lovin' it! It's rated number one by Hospital Supply and
Prosthetic Magazine.

George: How much?

Salesman: $6200.

George: Do you have something a little more... less expensive?

Salesman: Alright, this one is about 8 years old. Not a scratch on it, it was owned by some lady who only used it to go from the bathroom to the kitchen and to feed her cat.

Kramer: But this'll get you around?

Salesman: Oh sure, it just doesn't have any of the frills of the Cougar.

George: Like what?

Salesman: For example, your tremor-damping.

Kramer: Now what's that?

Salesman: It helps to control the direction regardless of the operator's tremors or spasticity.

Kramer: Well, is it alright if I try it?

Salesman: Hop in!

(Kramer sits down, and likes it)

Kramer: Oh yeah!

(Salesman is laughing)

Salesman: I tell ya...

(Kramer crashes into wheelchairs while trying to control his)

Salesman: When I see someone enjoying themselves like that, it reminds me why I got into this business in the first place!

George: How much?

(Kramer crashes into some more wheelchairs)

Salesman: How about $240?

George & Kramer: We'll take it!

felix fortinbras 9:17 AM  

Changing FAKENAME to FAKENEWS wouldn't be hard, making the crosses SARE, PROW, and SANS. Not the greatest selection of words but still funny.

felix fortinbras 9:19 AM  

Hold out for three more months and the fad will be long dead.

Unknown 9:36 AM  
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William Lassiter 9:39 AM  

I was confused by this as well. Maybe this is the answer though https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gate_receipts

GHarris 9:47 AM  

Was buzzing along, having fun, until I hit 24D crossing cake pop and Artie. Somehow came up with race cars and justified it by thinking a loan agreement might prohibit the borrower from engaging in risky activities. I guess I 'm a moron.

Nancy 9:50 AM  

Thought SCAR (22A) was SCAg, which gave me gATECAPS for the loan specifications. Well, they could have been, so far as I knew, having never either taken out a loan or given out a loan. What's more, gATECAPS could also have been gAmECAPS, since I didn't know the "Glee" character at 33A, but ARTIE sounded a lot better than ARmIE.

At least the BUZZFEED answer helped me change pAlOOKA JOE to BAZOOKA JOE.

Why solving in pen is such a help: At 19A, I wrote in SQFT. I knew it also could be inches or yards, and I wanted to see that easily if the F and T didn't work. They didn't and I changed them easily. I offer that as a helpful hint to novice solvers.

Great clue for EWE (21A). Didn't like PORT at 3D. Wanted MART. A PORT is where you ship things, not where you trade things.

All in all, a good lively puzzle that I enjoyed. I found it medium to hard, hard being where various names reared their obscure little heads.

Stanley Hudson 9:51 AM  

Most of the time he's funny. Today, not so much.

Maruchka 10:04 AM  

QUEEQUEG was a gimme and the ZZ QQ crosses were fun (what, no ZZ Top?). I love Moby Dick, especially the early chapters, especially QQ. Stream on..

CAKE POP sounds very crumbly to me..speaking of:

@Rex - thanks for the R.Crumb Zap cover shot (for some reason, I still have a copy of his naughty/nasty Jiz) and for the Yma SUMAC collage. Back to the 60s!

And thanks to you, Mr. Trabucco.

Ken R 10:13 AM  

Receipts from tickets sold at a sporting or concert event are called the "gate". Off to a slow start in the NW but after spotting Billy Zane and CNBC the puzzle fell rather quickly. Neat and professional and a nice Friday exercise. Capisce ?? I hope so :)Again the PC Police are censoring !! PULLLEEEZE

Joseph Michael 10:15 AM  

While there were times this puzzle made me feel like I'M A MORON, I enjoyed it overall.

Liked learning a new meaning for SCAR and remembering the smell of bubble gum while reading BAZOOKA JOE.

Just saw a great stage adaptation of "Moby Dick," but still couldn't recall QUEEQUEG clearly enough to spell it. Had "salsa bar" before TAPAS BAR and "sap" before ZAP.

My biggest quibble is not with FIDOS but with UNTAPED as a definition for "live." Does this mean that life is an untaping?

Stuart Showalter 10:25 AM  

Wow! Rex almost praised this puzz. The only thing he whined much about was "wheel-chair bound," but of course he had to find *something* to use as an excuse to get a dig in at Will Shortz. Congrats, Rex. You did it again! Waa, waa, waa! Yada yada!

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

Door is used similarly to GATE in certain contexts.

Nancy 10:45 AM  

Bravo, @Joseph Michael (10:15) -- UNTAPED for "live" was my biggest quibble, too. Somehow it seems indicative of the *virtual reality* world we're forced to live in nowadays. Sorry, but I prefer actual reality to virtual reality any day of the week. And I think I can still tell the difference. Likewise for being alive, rather than simply not being taped. I definitely prefer the former. And I think I can still tell the difference.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

TAFT and TATAR are crosswordese now? The things one learns here.

Anon 11:14 AM  

also had STAN before SARA. and had MINECRAFT before STARCRAFT. I know my daughter plays the former and never heard of the later in a gaming context.

GILL I. 11:17 AM  

My husband calls his wheelchair his "differently-abled motor scooter" or DAMS for short. Just don't ask him to pop a wheelie...
Speaking of...ARTIE was my downfall. Didn't know him. Didn't know STAR CRAFT and if you name your dog FIDO(S) I will not like you. So...I didn't finish. Even so, I love me some ZZZZZZZ's and the Q's aren't bad either.
IM A MORON and YOURE A JERK. Had my apples and afros SPIKED but the ubiquitous hourly political SPINS gave me the necessary P for the correct PICKED a peck of pickled peppers.
Yeah...BAZOOKA JOE was my sister's favorite. It inevitably ended up in her long blonde hair. My last dance wasn't at the PROM, though. Or is that a song? By the way, if you're in SPAIN at a TAPAS BAR, you'll get sardinas aplenty but you won't see many drinking sangria with them. You need a "chato" or some Rioja to down those succulent little fish. Drink Sangria with your paella as you sit outside enjoying the sun.
Hey, I thought SKEET was a sport not a game. I bet SARA Lee makes CAKE POP.

More Whit 11:40 AM  

Receipts = money you collect at the gate for a game etc...collectively often just called "gate"

old timer 11:47 AM  

You see, I left my iPhone on the charger in the other room. So I would have had to leave my comfy chair to look anything up. Result: finished the puzzle with no help, though it took nearly an hour to do so. I wondered what OFL would say about it. Seems he liked it at least kinda, though he had to go all PC on that wheelchair clue. My wife used to worry about being "wheelchair bound" -- her words, and she has been unable to walk for 60 years (polio). She has a fine electric one these days, but still can get around with braces and crutches when we visit our grandchildren.

@Gill I., you took the words right out of my mouth. We spent three nights in Madrid a few years ago, and as is my wont, I found a bar to hang out at part of each night. Free tapas on Calle Lavapies ("wash your feet street", literally). But no one drank sangria. Almost everyone drank that good but cheap red wine from La Mancha.

For me, the hardest part was the SW. Took forever to get BUZZFEED before QUIZZES.

Writeovers: "sqft" before SQIN. I doubt that is often used as an abbreviation. And of course "Queequog" before QUEEQUEG. I have never got all the way through Moby-Dick but it is amazing how much I seem to know about it.

Lewis 11:50 AM  

@nancy -- Hand up for pAlOOKA JOE.

Hartley70 12:13 PM  

I loved this puzzle! The SE made my day. Thank you for the levity, Sam.

However, fond as I am of CAKE, the POPS are already passé, and "Stan" is the man, not SARA. All the other entries were right up my alley and trended delightfully young. I never expected to see BUZZFEED in a NYT puzzle and got a chuckle when I did.

boomer54 12:27 PM  

Anyone catch the connection between QUEEQUEG and PIAZZA ?

Ishmael woke up with Queequeg's arn around him " ...in aloving and affection manner "

Same thing happened with the Hall-of-Famer and a lot of other guys ...

jberg 12:39 PM  

Always thought there were more Es in QUEEQUEG, then had to decide which one to drop and guessed wrong the whole thing was a struggle, 4 or 5 restarts, until I finally got BUZZFEED QUIZZES.

It's a SCAR because it was a wound caused by an avalanche, or maybe a fire--so it isn't really a new meaning of the word.

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Yeah, it's really a great benefit to be in a wheelchair. It should be celebrated.

Joe Bleaux 12:52 PM  

Excellent puzzle (and not just in comparison to that slogger of a Thursday). After finding very few toe-holds, I broke it open with BAZOOKA JOE and the hits just kept on happening. Thanks, Sam Trabucco. The commentariat is refreshingly short on vitriol today, too. @Lewis. Your imaginary SE would've been a treat (and try to imagine the comments it would've generated). @Quo Vadis. I've got a couple of years on you, and CAKEPOP was a first for me, too. @evil doug. You never let us down, bud.

BarbieBarbie 1:15 PM  

@evilDoug, thanks! Got my fix even without Keith Hernandez

Junior mint...?

jazzmanchgo 1:17 PM  

"Moron" is a slur against mentally-challenged people. I'M OFFENDED!!

"Jerk" is a slur against people of different ethical/cultural persuasion. I'M OFFENDED!!

"Apple" is a racial slur against Native Americans who "act white" (the equivalent of calling an African-American an "Oreo"), and it's juxtaposed alongside an ethnically insensitive term for natural hair. I'M OFFENDED!!

To assume that a "EWE" is a "Rams fan" is heterosexist. I'M OFFENDED!!

"Shooting game"/"SKEET" normalizes the used of guns. I'M OFFENDED!!

"STARCRAFT" is a game that glorifies war, aggression, and patriarchal male violence. I'M OFFENDED!!

Sheesh . . .

Teedmn 1:25 PM  

This was a pretty easy Friday that I managed to make harder due to early assumptions. Like many here, SQft held up the NE, which was the last area I solved. And hand up for Stan Lee. And off the Y of ESPY, I threw in "paY" and had to get the BASE before I changed it to SALARY.

I thought the BUZZFEED buzzkill dupe would have @Rex's head in SPINS but he was pretty mild about it. And since the buzzkill/ZAP combo was one of the better clue/answer pairs, I'm glad it was kept in. But the repetition had me shaking my head during the solve.

The bedroom scene in Moby Dick with Ishmael and QUEEQUEG is what convinced me early on that the book was definitely supposed to be comedic. The whole tome seemed tongue-in-cheek to me but I never hear it described as a comedy. Granted, it is rife with tragic occurrences but overall...

Thanks Sam, nice themeless.

Alpha-Data 1:42 PM  

I liked this one, especially after yesterday. I quite enjoyed all the Zs, and laughed out loud at I'm a Moran!

Bob Mills 1:53 PM  

RAMS FAN clue should have been RAM'S FAN, if the answer is EWE.

Two Ponies 1:56 PM  

Thumbs up @ jazzmanchgo.

ghostoflectricity 2:05 PM  

So, let me get this straight, Rex: you lecture The Times at length about "wheelchair-bound" but you're fine with "IMAMORON"?

Kim Jamul 2:57 PM  

Glee freewheeler?

Joe Dipinto 2:58 PM  

@felix fortinbras 9:17 - you could additionally change HASPS to HARPS, making RARE, PROW and SANS the down crosses.

Mohair Sam 3:08 PM  

@Teedmn - Love your take on "Moby Dick" - "So a Priest, a Rabbi, and a harpoonist walk into a bar . . . . . . ."

@jazzmanchgo (1:17) - Good stuff - sad commentary.

Excellent puzz - we labored on the new-to-us PPP (cakepop?), but muddled through.

oldbizmark 3:26 PM  

one of my fastest solves for a Friday, so I'd say this was VERY easy. But, that is not a bad thing. I found the fill smooth and enjoyable. A lot better than yesterday and Wednesday, I'd say.

OISK 3:40 PM  

A DNF for me, but really can't complain about the puzzle. I had wrong answers that made enough sense for me not to examine them more closely. It would have helped had I ever watched Brooklyn nine-nine. I had "Is it" which I think is better than "as if." (an expression I have never used myself). So I had Rosi, instead of "Rosa". And I had "Yap," instead of "Yak,", which is certainly just as good. That left "Tape name," which seemed wrong, but I didn't see how to fix it. Don't know who Steely Dan is outside of puzzles, but AJA has been there so many times, and never watched "Glee," but Artie fit in. I don't like "No a" thousand times either.

Still, a well conceived Friday puzzle. Shoulda had it.

Passing Shot 4:17 PM  

What an enjoyable palate-cleanser after yesterday's mess. Thank you, Mr. Trabucco.

Joe Dipinto 4:43 PM  

I think it's admirable of Rex to stand up for the rights of a fictional television character that he feels has been demeaned in a newspaper crossword puzzle. Not many of us would have such courage...

Anonymous 6:11 PM  

Why do people object to "wheelchair bound" and not "moron?" One is descriptive but patronizing. The other is demeaning. Interesting that people who use wheelchairs themselves don't speak up about both.

Evan Jordan 7:00 PM  

Ditto. For real.

Steve Goldberg 7:30 PM  

Can someone explain 8 down

clk 7:35 PM  

Anybody else try BHO as the ACA supporter?
I also had Stan Lee before SARA, making the SE the toughest corner for me.

JC66 7:40 PM  

Betsy ROSS

Steve Goldberg 8:03 PM  

Duh, thanks

Anonymous 12:01 AM  

For those of us who watch The Late Show (at least on the west coast), the announcer always says "and now, live on tape, it's Stephen Colbert!"

Anonymous 1:48 AM  

It was hard for me but I enjoyed the heck out of solving it.

And the proper term for someone who uses a wheelchair is "wheelchair user." Rex is correct in that "wheelchair-bound" is wrong, sounds like people are tied to it. It is enabling.

Famous Positive Quotes 7:27 AM  

Amazing game

Ken R 9:11 AM  

Exactly !! Choose your offensive speech and then censor it . A very slippery slope that millennials and liberal academia fail to understand. Freedom of speech and expression is far more desirable than puzzle censorship. Wake up Rex!

RickLevenson 4:46 PM  

Mmm... one can be perfectly sane, and still be a candidate for the 25th amendment. The clue is not actually valid logic. Mind you SCROTUS is not sane, and is a candidate for a host of issues, but the clue is incorrect as written.

Juanita Melanie 7:26 AM  

Hello every one out here
I'm Juanita Melanie, I'm from USA, I have be married for nine years my husband and i where living happily and just two months ago my husband meant his ex girl friend whom he had in school days and all of a sudden he started dating her again and he never cared about his family again all he does is to stay late at night and when he come's back he will just lie to me that he hard some fault with his car,there was this faithful day i caught the both of them in a shop,i walked to them and told the girl to stay of my husband and when he came home that evening he beat me up even despite the fact that i was pregnant he was just kicking and warning me to never point a finger on his girlfriend again,i have suffered too much in the hand of a cheating husband but thank to Dr iayaryi whom i got from a blog site after a long search for a real spell caster i was so happy that he fulfilled all what he said in just less than three days after the spell was cast they quarreled and he broke up with the girl and his senses are fully back and he now care and love me like he have never done before and if you are their suffering from a broken marriage or your husband or ex cheats? you can email (driayaryi2012@hotmail.com) his spells are pure and very powerful without any doubt. And also Reach him on WhatsApp Number: +2349057915709 Thanks Dr. Iyaryi (driayaryi2012@hotmail.com)

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Blogger 11:45 PM  

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spacecraft 11:45 AM  

I had one of my hugest aha! moments ever in this one: finishing in the SE, I could not let go of Stan Lee for the longest time--and could make no sense of anything else down there. I knew one (at least) of those downs had to be wrong, but which? Spike is too long, R.E. too short...and then it hit. And once I plugged in SARA, SAYONARA came along, and it was history: just like the Carolina Panthers were last night. E!A!G!L!E!S!

Great grid. Gimme QUEEQUEG helped immeasurably--more than just SQIN. More like ACRE. Despite never having heard of CAKEPOP, or BUZZFEED-etc., or BAZOOKAJOE, I nailed this one. IM [not!] AMORON, and YOURE [not] AJERK, either. Nice pair, that. I like it. More like this, please. Yma SUMAC, with her other name in the grid for a refreshing change, is DOD. Bird--oh, what the heck, since they won: EAGLE!

Burma Shave 12:08 PM  


like SITATHOME and COURT a sleaze.


Steve 12:18 PM  

Loved the Bazooka Joe inclusion.

rondo 12:29 PM  

There was ALOTTODO in this puz and gimme MIKEPIAZZA really helped over there in the east. Write-over down south with youMORON (that’s what I’d say to myself) slowed that area for a brief time.

Used to read those tiny BAZOOKAJOE comics that came with the bubblegum. Speaking of comix, I have that very first issue of ZAP Comix that OFL posted, and some later issues; illustrated by R. Crumb, all collector’s items.

I have PICKED Detective ROSA Diaz as portrayed by yeah baby Stephanie Beatriz. And, yes, odd to see SUMAC without Yma in the mix.

Best puz of the week. SAYONARA.

BS2 12:34 PM  

BTW - that's A_TEASE

leftcoastTAM 3:25 PM  

Lots to like here today, aka Friendly Friday, where the crosses were very helpful in flushing out the unknowns, like the lengthy BUZZFEEDQUIZZES and the short AJA. All the Zees were a bonus.

Loved YOUREAJERK and IMAMORON for correctly sorting out the Duh and D'OH distinction, which was in controversy a few days ago.

"Receipts" clue prompted tAke before GATE.


thefogman 7:40 PM  

I found this one to be relatively tough for a Friday. Note to Dear Leader (the Donald, not OFL): You must be in trouble when the crossword constructors are making fun of you... IAMAMORON, FAKEnews, YOUREAJERK, inSANE (25th Amendment) etc.

I'm a bit surprised Burma did not exploit the delightfully erotic phonetic innuendo contained in TAPASsBar... But I digress.

Good puz. A lot of outside-the-BOX stuff. Don't know if Rex agrees with me, and frankly I don't give a damn because I have ALOTTODO. SAYONARA!

Longbeachlee 5:33 PM  

Terrible pu,zzle. No fun. BUZZFEEDQUIZZES, QUEEQUEG, BAZOOKAJOE, and MIKEPIAZZA??????????????????? Well, I know Mike Piazza

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