Samuel of English history / FRI 10-27-17 / Facepalm inducer / Letters for the detail-averse / Titaness in Greek myth / English car with winged logo / 1960s pop trie in Rock Roll Hall of Fame / Allen onetime US poet laureate

Friday, October 27, 2017

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Bob IGER (11A: Disney exec Bob) —
Robert Allen Iger (/ˈɡər/; born February 10, 1951) is an American businessman who is chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company. Before Disney, Iger served as the president of ABC Television from 1994 to 1995 and the president and chief operating officer (COO) of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. from 1995 until Disney's acquisition of the company in 1996. He was named president and COO of Disney in 2000, and later succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005, after a successful effort by Roy E. Disney to shake up the management of the company. (wikipedia)
• • •

A fine Friday effort. I had no idea there was a PINK VIAGRA (17A: Sex drive enhancer introduced in 2015), but everything else was reasonably familiar, and the grid was solid, balanced, and entertaining. LINKEDIN PROFILE (3D: It might list your accomplishments) is an original answer, but somehow also a depressing one. I associate LinkedIn with people who want to connect with me and I don't know why. With desperate self-promotion and "networking." With sadness. I'm sure it's nice, but the LINKEDIN PROFILE is a dystopian thing to me.  There were no answers I Loved and there were no real trouble spots, so it's hard to know what exactly to write about. The main thing I learned is that ILER and IGER are both crosswordese and apparently I don't know the difference. Actually, as I wrote in ILER, I sorta knew that was the "Sopranos" actor, but honestly I completely forgot IGER existed, so I just waited for GET AN A FOR EFFORT to take care of things. Oh, and I learned that [Evidence of disuse] fits not one not two but three different answers that fit the pattern _UST. Weird (24D).

  • 27D: Wonderful, in old slang (ACES) — I use this expression all the time. Finally, I am old. Will the crossword start to feel like a comfy cardigan now? I can't wait.
  • 1D: Samuel of English history (PEPYS) — had trouble with this one despite the fact that I *teach* PEPYS every year. I am an English *literature* teacher. Therein lay the problem, I think. I know I rag on cross-referenced clues all the time, but I have no idea how you can have PEPYS in the same grid as DIARY ENTRY and *not* link them. PEPYS's incredibly important diary is the only reason anyone knows him at all.
  • 21A: Steal (PIRATE) — had the "PI-", went with PILFER
  • 49D: TV clown name (KRUSTY) — was looking for a live-action clown like BOZO or BOBO or something like that; so yet again, as with PEPYS, I get held up on an answer that is *very* familiar to me.
  • 53A: French Christian (DIOR) — nice (non-DIRTY) TRICK clue. I had the "DI-" and wanted ... something related to DIEU.
  • 1A: Line judge? (PALM READER) — this is the best clue of the day, appropriately positioned in the 1-Across position. That's what you do with your best stuff: showcase it!
  • 51D: Quidditch position (SEEKER) — I wrote in KEEPER. Please tell me that is also correct.
  • 18A: Heaps (A TON) — always fun to play the "ATON v. ALOT" game. At least this time, this annoying little phrase had an opposing counterpart in AFEW (54A: Not many)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:08 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. Yes, for PIlfer before PIRATE. A plethora of fine stuff. Liked it!

puzzlehoarder 12:18 AM  

An easy Friday after a difficult Thursday. EVILEMPIRE gave me EMIGRE and APATHY. From RHEA I went clockwise steadily. My only write overs were ACEY/ACES and YEY/YES. I have no idea what a LIKNKEDINPROFILE is. STEM is back without a day off.

Charles Flaster 12:20 AM  

My feelings are congruent to Rex.
Loved cluing for PALM READER and EYE CONTACT.
Not willing to change PIlfer really slowed me
DIARY ENTRY was also a nice misdirect and very necessary for the whole south.
DIRTY TRICK crossing TROLLS was hopefully intended.
Excellent puzzle and thanks DS.

Lee Coller 12:33 AM  

Can we ban Harry Potter clues from crosswords?

Dane 12:47 AM  

Can someone please explain "Something that's had its head turned?" for EMOTICON?


Dane 12:51 AM  

Turned as in changed I guess.

Theodore Stamos 12:52 AM  

I always thought the phrase GET AN A FOR EFFORT was a backhanded compliment. As in: "your output kind of sucks but you tried really hard, so you get an A for effort." I think the way it is clued in this puzzle misses that, no? Otherwise, it's a good Friday puzzle. On the easy side for me.

Mr. Fitch 1:17 AM  


Sallie (FullTime-Life) 1:43 AM  

:>(...face is turned sideways :>(

Clark 1:50 AM  

Must -- Mustiness, dampness, or mould.
‘a pervasive smell of must’
Origin: Early 17th century: back-formation from musty.

I ran the alphabet on that one and came up with nothing.
400 years makes it legit I guess.

Brett 2:25 AM  

Shouldn’t the “Alternative to .net” be .edu? in other words with the dot?

As clued it doesn’t jive.

chefwen 2:57 AM  

Not easy/ medium here, but Friday’s and Saturday’s puzzles rarely are for me. Thankful that those long downs filled in nicely with just a few letters in place, that helped A TON, which I had AlOt in first. Hand up for Pilfer.
My fruit throwaway was rind, off of dUST at 24 D. Never heard of PINK VIAGRA.
Had cel before NUT for Loony Toon thinking of the cartoons.

Sure hope Saturday’s Puzz is a little kinder to me.

Safe trip home @Gill IP.

Hartley70 3:13 AM  

This puzzle reminded me of a Patrick Berry crossword in that I picked it up and tried to work it with minimal success. After a few minutes, I nodded off and after a brief nap, I tried again and now the answers jumped right to mind. Both these constructor have the knack of creating a grid that looks impossible at first glance, isn't. Thanks for the entertainment, David. It's a pleasure to see you get better and better.

Diywriter 3:21 AM  

Sorta semi interesting that there are five four-letter things you can throw away from fruit: stem, peel, rind, seed, pith.

phil phil 3:35 AM  

Squinting you can come up with some relationships in a few of the symmetrical entries

don't PIRATE you can AFFORD it
and of course there’s quite a FEE to get that .EDU

Dane 3:55 AM  

Thanks, Sallie and Fitch. Didn't think of keyboard emoticons; haven't seen those in years.

Loren Muse Smith 4:15 AM  

Ok. Two huge mistakes kept this one pretty hard: “epiphany” for EPIC FAIL and “ice breaker” for EYE CONTACT.

Rex – nice observation on the dust, rust, MUST trio.

After a DIRTY TRICK, the IT WAS A JOKE explanation just might not cut it.


@phil phil – nice connections. I rather saw a little marriage-IN-A-RUT vignette: she’s suffering from APATHY. He’s in his little ONE PLAYER PALM READER reality, IGNOREd. Enter PINK VIAGRA… YES! SCORE! (The commercial could be “Turn that MUST into lust!”)

Unknown 4:15 AM  

I went through rUST, then dUST (when 23A was rind), finally MUST

Thomaso808 4:24 AM  

Really fun puzzle - a typical David Steinberg jewel.

My first write-in was CURRICULUMVITAE for 3D, which fit perfectly, but alas it did not last long. Then I had rUST, followed by dUST, before MUST. I expect most solvers will have a similar story there.

Out of the six answers in the NW and SE three stacks, four were debuts: EVILEMPIRE, PINKVIAGRA, ITWASAJOKE, and DIARYENTRY. In the long history of the NYT crossword, how can a 20 year old constructor have a debut for DIARYENTRY. That is amazing. This should have been a Jeff Chen POW.

Well done, young man!

Thomaso808 4:31 AM  

@Dane, keyboard emoticons are pretty common on this site. Your comment made me look at my own iPad keys, and by golly I have an emoticon button! 👍 Thanks! 🖖

Thomaso808 4:45 AM  

OK, I went back to Tues and I gotta say that Damon Gulczynski themer was really good, so I think Jeff Chen got it right, but dammit, this was a good puzzle today.

Lewis 6:24 AM  

EVIL EMPIRE got me in, and I moseyed steadily through the puzzle until the SE, where I couldn't think of the clown, appliance name, wanted "jig" for "Loony tune", and didn't know JEN or TATE. What got me in was a great "aha" at seeing DIOR (that and the clue for PALM READER were first-rate clues). Until that DIOR moment I almost gave up, so the aha, being a life saver, was especially powerful.

"Peel" to STEM.
"Movie" to SCORE.
"Some" to AFEW.

A puzzle that built to a climax -- the DIOR moment -- followed by the denouement (the finish). Puzzle as classic story. Terrific experience for me.

AlexP 6:39 AM  

I thought that too!

kitshef 7:16 AM  

Excellent puzzle if you can ignore MII, although super-easy, in my case aided a lot by LINKEDINPROFILE off of the first I from EVIL EMPIRE, which was my entry.

Did have a few hiccups, most notably cOasTerS before RONETTES (hall of fame yes, '60s check, trio no). Possibly presence of YAK had me heading down that path.


Anonymous 7:38 AM  

I called NYT to cancel my xword subscription, which was $39.95 per year, and they offered 4 weeks free plus $19.95 for an additional year.

Birchbark 7:41 AM  

I walked though this park counterclockwise, steadily, and never really slowed down. Everything fell without effort. Under 15 is rare on a Friday, and today it was just under 11.

I would think PEPYS and DIARY ENTRY have an intended (if unspoken) harmony. Leaving their connection on the down-low avoids the clunkiness that sometimes goes along with cross-referenced clues.

Hungry Mother 7:47 AM  

A bit slower than average for me today I ate my oatmeal and drank two cups of coffee while watching “Morning Joe” at the same time. Some very entertaining answers.

Anonymous 7:50 AM  

Why so embittered? If you don’t want people to connect with you on linked in then don’t join it. Oh, and don’t feed the forum annoyances.

Sir Hillary 8:04 AM  

Quite easy for me, and while it's an excellent puzzle, it lacks the typical Steinbergian "edge". If it weren't for PINKVIAGRA, I would have thought he created this at least five years ago. Of course, he would have been, like, 10 years old. [EMOTICON]

Yes, PIlfer and rUST here as well. Also ONE/Person for solitaire.

Gotta love GUNIT and REVS in the same grid.

I watched "Zero Dark Thirty" again recently. What the CIA did for most of that film was IGNORE MAYA.

Two Ponies 8:12 AM  

There was a time when seeing David Steinberg's name made me certain I was in for an Epic Fail. Not today. I came away feeling pretty smug at not having my ass kicked.

One little nit - Palm as part of a clue 37A and also part of that excellent 1A answer.

Now time to step up on my soapbox for a moment.
Lately so many new voices have shown up on the blog to carp about Rex's style of reviewing. As someone who has been coming here for many years I feel these folks have invaded a place that I feel somewhat possessive about.
There was a time when coming here was an education in good solving and my skills have improved greatly because of this blog. I credit this to Rex and the other faithful commenters. Today the grid reminded me of this.
I also have seen the reviews change over time so if you just joined the group all I can say is that you missed some good tutoring from the early days of Rex.
If you are new to this site please stay to enjoy the fun but if all you have to contribute is complaints then just read without chiming in and you might learn something. Otherwise it spoils the fun for me.
I certainly can't speak for all of the old timers but I hope that some of them agree.

BarbieBarbie 8:14 AM  

@mathgent: oct 23. Https//
Loved this puzzle but knew I would becausethis is my favorite constructor. Went round and round and round, and then there it was!

GHarris 8:19 AM  

Undone in the SE. Didn’t know Jen or Seeker so I ended up with it was a bore.

Mary Ambridge 8:33 AM  

Which one did you miss? MUST, dust, fust, rust.

Robso 8:54 AM  


Old Lady 8:57 AM  

I have been doing to this blog for several years and post only occasionally and never as Anonymous. I support OFL financially and will continue to do so. I come here for Rex and the community of solvers. The intrusion of trolls and carpers isn't welcome. I learn from and enjoy everyone else.

That said, today's puzzle made me feel great. I finished in a reasonable time for a Friday with no errors. I too could do without the Harry Potter clues. But, hey - that's why I post as Old Lady.

Nancy 9:00 AM  

PIlfer instead of PIRATE at 21A almost killed me in the NE. KRamer instead of KRUSTY (who dat?) at 49D almost killed me in the SE. ISP instead of APP at 32A almost killed me in the SW. (I know all these computer abbrevs, but I have no idea what they represent). But the gimme EVIL EMPIRE (15A) made the NW a piece of cake -- despite the fact that I didn't know there was PINK VIAGRA as opposed to just plain old regular VIAGRA. PINK is better???

IGER crossing RONETTES was the only DIRTY TRICK that EMBITTERED me. I had IGET/TONETTES, thinking that I remembered a pop singer named Toni who must have led the TONETTES. There was such a singer, even if she didn't lead the "Tonettes"? Yes? No?

This puzzle wasn't so LINKED IN to my wheelhouse that I found it especially easy. Medium, I'd say. And enjoyable.

"Like, man" = DIG??? Really??? I don't dig. Maybe IT WAS A JOKE.

Mohair Sam 9:08 AM  

That rare day when I could have pretty much written OFL's comments. Enjoyed this one. And loved PALMREADER clue like most of y'all.

Did you know the MINI has a winged logo, is English, and its third letter is "N"? There is and/or was the Mini Cooper, the Morris Mini, Austin Mini, Mini Minor, and probably more. I went nuts trying to squeeze one of these into 36A. We never even see a freakin' BENTLEY around here.

@Thomas808 - Yup, I counted out Curriculum vitae too - but EVILEMPIRE was just more of a gimme so I ditched it.

David Steinberg just gets better and better at this crossword thing.

Nancy 9:15 AM  

I had the same reaction to GET AN A FOR EFFORT that @Theodore Stamos had (12:52 a.m.) It's definitely a left-handed compliment, and the clue for it (12D) is bass-ackwards. I reacted at the time, but forgot to include it in my comment.

The most beautiful car I ever saw in my life was a metallic-gold BENTLEY convertible that was parked in the lot of the Carleton Hotel in Cannes. (We were staying in a lovely pension a block-and-a-half behind the Carleton and we passed the car every evening.) It changed color depending on the light. As you know, I'm not a "car person", but I was completely smitten with that one -- and can still remember it vividly a half-century later.

Arden 9:17 AM  

Easy for Friday although I enjoyed solving it. The ones I didn’t know took care of themselves in the crosses.

Two Ponies 9:36 AM  

Bentley story. Skip if you want.

My old job in Vegas required me to drive my gazillionaire boss's cars from time to time. One of his fleet was a huge black Bentley sedan that was as big and heavy as a locomotive. One time a flashy Jag convertible pulled up beside me and revved the engine in a challenging way. I hit the big red Turbo button as we took off and the last I saw of the Jag was in my rearview mirror. I couldn't stop grinning.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Supremes before Ronettes crossed with Pilfer before Pirate. Subsequent conversation with self:

"Talk about embittered!"
"Pipe down ya nut. It was a joke!"
"Nah, it was just a dirty trick."
"Yak, yak, yak. Quit bendin' my ear. I'm sick o' these mental sermons. Win a few, lose a few."
"Yes, you're right. Quick diary entry'll get it outta my system."
"That's right! Settle the score. And think of what you learned!"
"Oh yeah, pink viagra. Hmmmm."

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:00 AM  

I couldn't help connecting the RONETTES to the EVIL EMPIRE clue. I know only the name, not the music.

Anent* the carping about the new-blogger grumblers, it's like how Orion the Wonder dog excuses his recent grumpiness at the dog park. He's been going there every day for 3 years, he figures he owns the place. He has appointed himself enforcer. If anybody new shows up and tries to growl or snap he puts them in their place. That he is also growling and snapping he does not notice. I am the moderator of his movements and I have banned him from the dog park for the moment.

*(crosswerdese I think I have never before used in a sentence)

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Hm. How many words for "steal" are there in the English language and what does that tell us? Pilfer, pirate, purloin, pickup ,,,,,,,,

Don't understand NUT.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

Hey! Who you callin' a nut?
I am merely rationally challenged.

Maruchka 10:11 AM  

Well, seems I forgot that DS is a TRICKy, yet ultimately rewarding, PLAYER. Such good advice, @Hartley. MUST dust the rust off the old beaner more often (shout out to Blake's 'fUSTy old nut', too).

Could PINK VIAGRA be a friend of PINK Pussyhat's? I can see a new 'toon in town.

IT WAS A JOKE is definitive snark. GET AN A FOR EFFORT isn't. Don't care to hear either, tho.

Thanks, Mr. Steinberg. And thanks for your kind lesson, @TwoPonies. Hope they GET it.

Z 10:12 AM  

“PEPYS’s”? I’d have gone with “PEPYS’.”

Quickie PPP
Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns
I toted up 27 PPP answers/clues out of 72, 38%. Definitely on the high side. I’m not going to bother to go back and check, but my gut is telling me that Steinberg consistently is high on PPP. What is most interesting to me is that different cluing could have brought the PPP rate down into the fair range. RHEA, APP, SCORE, ALES, EDT, and SEEKER all have non-PPP cluing possibilities. 24/72 is 33%, so changing 4 of those 6 gets the PPP into the fair range.


Started with rind/dUST. STEM got me to MUST.

@Theodore Stamos - Huh. I never considered that “Have one’s hard work recognized” would necessarily be a compliment so I wasn’t tricked by 12 down. Yes, I have a serious cynical streak.

@Two Ponies - The nattering nabobs of negativity have been here since the beginning, long before the commentariat came into being. Whatcha going to do? Me, I tend to shake my fist at the sky mixed in with laughing at their obvious self-loathing. Both largely futile gestures, I know, but the commentariat didn’t like it when OFL took to moderating the trolls out so they aren’t going away. They do help me appreciate the people of good will with whom I often disagree, though.

Kevin 10:12 AM  

Core also

Joe Dipinto 10:13 AM  

A bit hard to get going on this one. For awhile all I had in place was PEPYS with the YAK cross. I was trying to figure out what 60's pop trio could be in the R&R Hall Of Fame, and then kind of remembered the Disney guy was either IGER/ILER/IYER, giving me the initial R, so RA...RE...RI...RO...? Of course, the Ronettes! Smooth sailing after that.

Very satisfying Friday EFFORT from Mr. Steinberg.

Teedmn 10:13 AM  

EPIC FAIL here today, possibly due to APATHY. I fell for the rUST and never changed it. As per usual, I was able to shrug off the STEr, justifying it as some suffix thingy. Will I ever learn?

Otherwise, this was a very smooth puzzle. I think we're going to have to add "Steinberg smooth" as a description, similar to PB1 smooth but slightly edgier. I glided around the grid without looking at the constructor and was in no way surprised when I saw David's name, post-solve. Nice job.

When I was a kid and ERRed, my Dad would give excruciatingly long SERMONS. It got to the point that Mom, coming upon one of my brother's or my transgressions, would scold us soundly and then say, "Now if you promise you'll never do this again, I won't tell your Dad", thus saving us the long, squirm-inducing lecture. Thanks, Mom.

First snowfall today here so start thinking BAD SANTA!

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

Late comment re BarbieBarbie yesterday. A SUITE is indeed a piece of music. Bach wrote English Suites, French Suites, Cello Suites, etc.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

@Old Lady, it recently occurred to me that a critic as virulent as Rex, whose comments are sometimes so personally aimed, is going to make enemies of some of the constructors he covers and maybe of their friends and families. I used to think it was just some forum hopping nuts who enjoy attacking other people. Now I'm considering the thought that it could be counter attacks. And really can you blame them.

This was a great puzzle.

Tita A 10:28 AM  

@Theodore...yes, I agree completely.

Clown names KRUSTY?! Way t make clowns even kreepier. Ick.

@Mohair...I've owned MINI Coopers for 14 years...that never occurred time. Probably because I had dUST to give me the NT, which made it a gimme.
@Two Pones...great story.

And extremely well put request to the grumblers. I've been trying really hard to ignore them, which I feel is the only recourse, even if that means not defending my friend Nancy or even my non-friends when attacked by the ineffective provocateurs.

@Oisk from yesterday. I've been to Iguacu. It was a brilliant sunny day, but there had been very heavy rains the day before. The silt from the red earth in the region turned the falls red against that blue sky. Stunning.

This ouzzle was easy/crunchy until the SE. Had no idea what lLooney tune could be...TRA? A nut is a looneytoon, no??? Didn't know the clown. KRafty? KRAken? KRazey? Nor the poet. Nor Harry Potter. Nor JEN. Hell...that was just o total disaster. Finally cheated by googling JEN, and even then, it took plenty of hitting head against wall to finish.

A good Saturday, I'd say!

Masked and Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Crazy good themeless crossword. pUzthUmbsUp.
@RP: Crazy primo bullets. blogthUmbsUp.

M&A started down a poorly thought out path, with:
1-D = ADAMS. I think, after the cloud of nanoseconds has settled, that this dude was actually more part of American history than English history. Also, ADAM showed up at 43-A.
23-A = SEED.
24-D = DUST.
29-A = EDU. Well, that one was right, at least.

Nice balance of puzstuffins that was almost a gimme (yo, @KRUSTY) and stuff that was hard as nails (yo, @LINKEDINPROFILE).

fave no-? clue: {Looney tune} = NUT.
fave ?-clue: {Line judge?} = PALMREADER.

staff weeject pick: YAK. "Gab" is Gambian for that there "yak" critter, U see.

Thanx, Steinbergmeister. Surely there's a themed puz U could build, from an EVILUMPIRE seed entry?

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Anonymous 10:34 AM  

Jen Psaki "The White House knows more about Bo Bergdahl's case than his fellow soldiers."

Good riddance arrogant Obama admin.

mathgent 10:43 AM  

My hat's off to those who found it easy. You must be bored stiff early in the week.

I started it last night after coming back from a dinner and having had quite a bit of wine. Didn't make a dent. Got up early this morning and after some time was still staring at a sea of white. Went into panic mode, picking a square and trying different letters which made sense both ways. That produced ITWASAJOKE (very nice clue) and led me to guessing that 12D ended in EFFORT. After quite a long time, over an hour, I finished without cheating.

I don't mind spending a long time on a puzzle if there's a payoff. There were some nice entries and just a little junk (like MII) but I didn't really enjoy it. Twenty Terrible Threes was part of it.

QuasiMojo 10:44 AM  

Loved the "loony tune" answer but had no idea who Krusty the Clown was so I kept putting in an I for Kristy. Never saw the Simpsons. I guess I'm a NUT.

Steinberg is ingenious but his puzzles lately are skewing way too easy.

Maybe I'll try that anonymous guy's DIRTY TRICK and call the Times to cancel my subscription and get the new, cheaper rate. haha. I was originally paying something like $60 a year then read on here that the yearly rate was $39.95, so I called to complain about mine and they gave me a four month bonus.

Foldyfish 10:50 AM  

I guess I'm in the minority. I got off to a poor start and continued to struggle. DUST in place of MUST really hurt me. It's always good to see a friend like KRUSTY in the puzzle. I'm also a big Potter fan, so SEEKER was a gimme... Happy Friday, All

CDilly52 10:54 AM  

Thank you! I just learned what “emoticon” means this week (yes, I am old and tech-challenged) and your explanation furthered my education. Perhaps, though not the brightest bulb on the marquee, I should GET AN A FOR EFFORT?

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

Poor @Z, Never happy but always a legend in his own mind.

CDilly52 11:08 AM  

I also had to “sleep on” this one. Looked much better this morning. Was certain “one handed” was right and very reluctantly gave it up.. Also got stuck in the “dust rust” vortex. Fave was PALM READER until @Sallie graciously explained the old-style EMOTICON answer and now that I get it, that’s my favorite clue/answer. I’m a big PEPYS fan and like OFL, desperately wanted a link to DIARY ENTRY, especially since it closed out the puzzle; would have been a nice little piece of symmetry to open and close with PEPYS-related clues. Lots to like and very little dreck (notably MII).

Phil Schifley 11:09 AM  

I always thought the phrase was "get an E for effort" since I must have misheard it early and assumed the e was for the first letter of effort. Learn something new every day I guess.

DanimateIt 11:14 AM  

No, as in rotated.

Trombone Tom 11:16 AM  

Like many of you I wobbled my way along to STEM and MUST and got stuck on for a while. I had not heard of PINK VIAGRA.

Either David Steinberg is mellowing or I have caught on to some of his wiles. In any case I did not experience that same daunting feeling that his puzzles usually inspire in me.

As I noted yesterday there is a certain charm to OFL's rants and raves and I certainly have learned a lot about crosswords from him (and from all of you). I can understand how the seemingly endless negativity can get to some people, but there are enough pearls here that I keep returning.

Trombone Tom 11:19 AM  

Got stuck on PIlfer for a while,

And I always heard an E for EFFORT.

Kodak Jenkins 11:20 AM  

If not for LENO/EEL I might have had an extremely bad Friday

DUST was a better answer than MUST until it wasn't

I never doubted you until the end, PILFER


I got to know Samuel PEPYS through The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists- a book I borrowed, fell in love with, failed to return and as of yet have failed to uncover two years after a move.

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

I understand emoticons and use them all the time ;-)
What I don't get is how that word relates to something that has its head turned. I had 'golfclub' for that answer and it made the NW more difficult than it needed to be. Emoticon? Cmon....

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

It's nattering nabobs of negativism, you boob.
Written, by the way, by the staunchest republican the Times has ever employed to be spoken by another republican ( a crook, but hey, whatcha gonna do).

Bob Mills 11:35 AM  

There are a thousand better clues for "MUST" than the one given. Somehow I finished this very hard puzzle.

Joseph Michael 11:46 AM  

This puzzle is ACES :-)

Clever, current, and just challenging enough with a little something for everyone. Even the TROLLS got a shout out.

Really liked the stacks and long downs, especially EVIL EMPIRE, IT WAS A JOKE, and BAD SANTA.

My only complaint is the DIRTY TRICK of using so many names in the SE: KRUSTY (who?), CONAIR, TATE, JEN, WBA, MAYA, DIOR. plus a QUIDDITCH clue.

Otherwise A TON of fun.

Carola 11:49 AM  

PEPYS, AVIATE, EVIL EMPIRE, and one thing led to another (including the incorrect Pilfer) clockwise around the grid. I thought it was on the easy side for a Friday but so enjoyable to solve.

For a blast from the past, here are the RONETTES with "Be My Baby"."

@Teedmn, yikes, that means we're next.

Kristin 11:54 AM  

Confidently wrote in EnemystatE to start off, so the northwest proved more difficult than it should have.

Teedmn 11:59 AM  

@Carola, you're probably right. My weather radar shows Eau Claire just turned from green (rain) to blue (snow).

Suzie Q 12:00 PM  

@ Carola, The original lead singer, Ronnie I think, sings that tag line wonderfully in an Eddie Money song.
Eddie: "Just like Ronnie said."
Ronnie: "Be My Little Baby."

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

Lack of transparency and the stupidity of the American voter helped Congress pass Obamacare.

Jonathan Gruber

Fred Romagnolo 12:22 PM  

I'm with @Phil Shifley & @Trombone Tom: I've always heard "E" for effort. It's made-up grade for work that can't really be graded, even though it was difficult to do. No self-respecting teacher would ever give an "A" for work that doesn't merit an "A." I see that @Z's anon is fuming again; I suspect that his negativity towards a vet may stem from his being one of those anti-war people from the 70's who spat on returning vets ( who were drafted, and didn't volunteer). I think that TATE & JEN being side by side was unnecessarily mean. And what in Hell does a 20 year-old know about PINK VIAGRA!

CY 12:30 PM  

No self-respecting teacher would ever give an "A" for work that doesn't merit an "A."

In the early stages of school, "effort" often receives a grade of its own, independent of the grade for "achievement". That is the source of the oft-misheard expression, which indeed is usually uttered with a degree of irony, when spoken to adults.

hankster65 12:32 PM  

I second this motion! Throw in Star Wars clues and life is good.

Austenlover 12:34 PM  

I, too, have always said E for EFFORT.

I guess I don’t know much about clowns. Never heard of Krusty, or Bobo for that matter.

But this was a great puzzle.

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

A lot of “Krusty who?” people out there. I guess crossword puzzlers are still busy working the Sunday puzzle when The Simpsons comes on.

Geophany 1:29 PM  

What number did you call?!

old timer 1:41 PM  

I guess i'm the only person who confidently wrote in "Rondells" before the crosses made me think of the RONETTES. Only writeover, though. The puzzle was Friday-tough but fair, and about halfway through I glanced up to see if it was by Patrick Berry. Surprised to find it wasn't.

PEPYS! I bought the University of California Press version of the Diary as it came out. It makes great reading. PEPYS is our best and most vivid source for the Great Fire of London and the Great Plague too. Plus he was brutally honest with himself, describing his ambitious pursuit of money and power and, famously, his inability to keep his paws off the female servants. After the diary he rose to become what you might call the COO of the Navy. Too bad he was no longer diarizing in the pivotal year of 1688.

So I think of him as belonging as much to History as to Literature.

Shelby Glidden 2:06 PM  

Thanks, Two Ponies 😀

Shelby Glidden 2:08 PM  

Old Lady who?
(i didn't know you could yodel)

Shelby Glidden 2:18 PM  

what does this have to do with the puzzle?

Shelby Glidden 2:20 PM  

it's true, I've never switched over... Moe always throws me... as for Krusty... 🤔😬

Shelby Glidden 2:28 PM  

nitpicking exactly whom is the nattering nabob of negativism will turn this place into a booby hatch

Joe Dipinto 2:42 PM  

When I was in grade school it was "A for Effort." And it applied, if given, to one's work across the spectrum, not just one particular subject. "E" is not a grade for anything; if it were it would fall between "D" (extremely poor) and "F" (failing), and wouldn't be a compliment of any sort.

But now everyone seems to say, or write, "E for Effort," presumably because "effort" starts with "e", which I find ludicrous. Dave S. got it right in the puzzle.

kitshef 2:51 PM  

@Joe Dipinto-

Your post reminded me of the Cockney alphabet, which includes:

A fer 'orses
B fer lamb
D fer ential
E fer brick
F fer vescent

C was C for th'highlanders, which makes a lot more sense in England.

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

Iger doing a great job at ESPN. Just look at those ratings. . . . oops, never mind.

Emilia Poster 3:29 PM  

@ Shelby Glidden,
This is not Twitter so if you please
go back to yesterday when your repeated comments were
noted to be bunched together and not seeming to relate
to....anything because of how they are posted.
Again today it is happening and your messages are not
clear due to disjointed commenting.
This may be the result of whatever device you are using.
Feel free to join the conversation but please be advised
that there is an unwritten rule of etiquette which we
have chosen to respect. That is to limit ourselves to three comments per day.
Respectfully Yours,
Unofficial Manners Police and Self Appointed Royal Pain in the Ass

BarbieBarbie 3:56 PM  

Big Easter tradition at my house to put PEPYS in the microwave and watch them swell up and collapse. Try it,

Huh, SUITE can be a single piece of music? I always learned it was a set of related pieces of music, like the Nutcracker Suite. Learned something new. Thanks Anon@10:15.

Anonymous 4:03 PM  

Show of hands please. How many of you snowflakes took Paul Krugman's advice last Fall and dumped all your stocks to avoid Trump's disastrous effect on the markets?

Austenlover 4:17 PM  

I think the point of E for EFFORT is that you don’t get a regular grade but at least you made an effort. That certainly shouldn’t get you an A.

Anonymous 4:44 PM  

@Anon 4:03,
Not me. I had faith and my annuities fund never looked better.

Joe Dipinto 5:15 PM  

@kitshef -- that's very cute, I'd never heard of the Cockney alphabet before.

Jon from Saint Paul 6:21 PM  

Harder for me: I'd call it medium-challenging. 20 minutes. I liked all the longer answers, though I agree that Pepys and diaries must be linked. Also, speaking of KRUSTY Simpsons references, that diarist's name always makes me think of Homer's "lil' brother."

Jon from Saint Paul 6:24 PM  

Emoticons are faces "turned" on their sides.

Joe Dipinto 6:56 PM  

@Barbie 3:56 -- the Bach Suites enumerated by Anon 10:15 *are* sets of related pieces, as you describe (i.e. there is a pause between each of the sections).

But a "suite" in latter-day music often describes a truncated instrumental arrangement of themes from a longer work such as an opera or ballet (e.g. there are several "Carmen Suites" based on themes from the opera, and Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" and "Billy The Kid" suites, reduced from the full ballets). So yes a suite can refer to a composition played continuously from beginning to end.

Anonymous 7:06 PM  

Blogger Geophany said...
What number did you call?!

(regarding getting 50% off the subscription rate)

800-698-4637. If you access your account, and go to the page to cancel, it'll ask you to call this number. Find your account number online first.

Anonymous 7:11 PM  

@Anon. 4:44, own lots of Whitefish stock, do you?

Anonymous 8:06 PM  

Are they a public company with shares to trade? Burn.

Anonymous 8:28 PM  

David Steinberg is my favorite NY Times Crossword constructor. I am usually on the same wave length (despite being 40 years older!) Great Friday puzzle.

Abu Afakski 8:38 PM  

the perfect answer!

Anonymous 10:56 PM  

@two ponies You've got some nerve criticizing carping and complaining. I've seen you blow up and go all profane on this blog. And for no valid reason. Today you sound somewhat reasonable. Did you finally take your meds?

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

I liked this puzzle more than any other puzzle in a long time.

Blogger 8:13 AM  

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Burma Shave 10:51 AM  


she thought ITWASAJOKE to report she gave ADAM PINKVIAGRA.


spacecraft 10:59 AM  

Started: PEPYS, YAK, SeEd, dUST. Didn't almost everybody? Never noticed the -AeE ending for 2-down till much later. I printed the first E of SEED a bit hastily and deformed; when I went back over it for the down it looked like a g. So that was a while getting fixed.

A number of entries--including DIARYENTRY--were guessed at rather frivolously when I first saw the clues--and they turned out to be right! Example: "Bad thing to do when you see a yellow light?" --> GUNIT?? Yeah, GUNIT. Another: "Opposite of drive" --> APATHY? Sure. I love it when that stuff happens.

My other inkblot was the letter grade FOREFFORT. I'm in the "E" camp. As to pilfer, I had 12-down filled in already--well, except for that grade--so pilfer wouldn't go. But it was the first word I thought of. I also like PURLOIN, but that's seven.

A typically tough DS; solving his always makes for a high triumph factor. Great throughout but for that RRN. But that's like the mole on Cindy Crawford's face. And speaking of DOD's, in light (?) of the recent demise of her insane killer, I nominate Sharon TATE. Birdie.

Diana, LIW 11:54 AM  

Survey to Synders

How many of you have had trouble posting? (Disappearing posts or late arrivals making for double postings, etc.) Have you gotten the Google message "that's an error - that's all we know"?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Answers

rondo 12:13 PM  

TookONE look at the grid design and thought, “This is a DS puz.” Correctomundo.
Multiple inkfests, more than AFEW. Sin before ERR, rUNIT, rUST/mUST/DUST, Person for PLAYER, DailYENTRY. Hard to IGNORE the mess. But no EPICFAIL.

Choices abound for any of the yeah baby JENnifers, hows about I SCORE one for sporty JEN Sterger?

YES, a really good Friday, even the inkfests do not have me EMBITTERED.

thefogman 12:15 PM  

I MUST say I am not EMBITTERED, but *meh* is how I feel about this one. I finished with ATON of write overs, but finished I did. I too had rUST and dUST before finally MUST and I also had rind, then SeEd before finally STEM. I do not like the tech lingo (LINKEDINPROFILE, TMI, ISP, EDU). They can make the grid look rather WEEDY. Much of felt like a DIRTYTRICK, which is fine but once solved there was no big reward. Again, not an EPICFAIL just lacking in pizzazz. I think Rex summed it up well this time.

rondo 12:18 PM  

@D,LIW - My first response to you got hung up and seems to have disappeared.
My earlier post today did not.

thefogman 12:28 PM  

To D,LIW: I am still getting the same snarky message from Google - i.e. "That's all we know" - when a message doesn't load. At first I thought ITWASAJOKE - but it's happening all the time now. When it goes wonky, sometimes I get a double post - or nothing at all. is an EPICFAIL. For now, I would suggest people take the time to copy their message before hitting the "publish" button. That way you will be able to save your message if it vanishes into thin cyber air.

rainforest 1:50 PM  

@D,LIW - I'll try hitting the "publish" button twice today. We'll see. How come we syndies seem to be the only ones hit by the network?

Anyway, today, David Steinberg (I love all David Steinbergs) - great stuff.
Because of the threat of deletion, I'll just say that this was such fun to solve.

r.alphbunker 2:16 PM  

Some cascos:

37D. {Facepalm inducer} EPIPHANY-->EPICFAIL

68A. {Flanders red and others} DYES-->ALES

21A. {Steal} PILFER-->PIRATE

45A. {Part of a jug} END-->EAR

41D. {People encountered by the conquistadors} INCA-->MAYA

Details are here: here.

r.alphbunker 2:18 PM  

Solutions details are here

r.alphbunker 2:25 PM  

Got a 502 server error on the previous two attempts to comment. Will try again and refresh the Rex Parker page (not the comments form) to see if it shows up.

Solution details are here

r.alphbunker 2:26 PM  

This time it worked.

Diana, LIW 2:31 PM  

Love a DS puzzle, too. A few unknown names gave me a hard time, but I loved the wordplay on those crosses.

SYNDERS - I emailed @Rex about our blog woes. He wrote back and said of the (thousands) who read him I was the only one to mention this. Told him I think it's a Synder-only problem. @Teedmn asked @Ralphbunker to look into it, as he is a techie type. I think tha's why @Ralph posted - testing?

Anyway, I'd suggest emailing if you're having problems - maybe if we can pinpoint it to Synderlanders we may be able to find a solution. As far as I can see, the delays vs. disappearances are random. Getting the "that's all we know" message from Google doesn't mean your post won't show

Diana, Waiting

centralscrewtinizer 3:00 PM  

Dang it, failed to correct rUST to MUST. Also badly hung up due to ONE Person before ONE PLAYER. I did not ace this ACES puzzle. Hand up for pilfer, etc.

Rex Parker 3:12 PM  


Rex Parker 3:17 PM  

Please don't email me about this. I am aware you are having issues, although I don't have them myself and I don't fully understand them. I'll make some inquiries, but you may just have to be patient for now.

Also: consider joining real-time solvers. Treat yourself. Things are lively and current there. It's nice. Mostly nice.


Diana, LIW 4:04 PM  

Thanks @Rex for looking into this.

And sorry - I didn't want to deluge you with emails.

A Futurelander checked us out and got the same error message (that was Ralph) - and then his posts showed up later. He thinks it's the Synder portal, and suggests to refresh the Rex page - I've done that and sometimes the magic works...

The best advice from many is to copy your post before hitting publish, making it easier to recreate a post. But give the internet a bit of time. My theory is someone isn't feeding the gerbil that makes the internet run.

And Synders rock! I find that there are more @Rex defenders in our merry band - we appreciate you!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 4:31 PM  

Well, I'll try again.

Rex, prefer syndies to realtimers. Posting problems are discouraging but not enough to want to transfer to the future.

leftcoastTAM 4:53 PM  

@Lady Di survey:

All of the above, including disappearance of my witty and wonderful comments of today. Did get a brief follow up in to Rex though.


thefogman 5:08 PM  

It took a while, but I too like Rex. As many of you will attest that appreciation is an acquired taste - like scotch and/or scotch eggs. As for joining the Futureland gang, that is fine if you subscribe to the NYT or have a subscription to the NYT online puzzle, but for many of us our only source is our small town daily newspapers which publish the month-old puzzle. Wouldn't it be nice if the NYT syndicated TODAY'S puzzle so we would all be on the same page?

Anonymous 8:20 PM  

The only thing tripping this up was the Queidditch clue. Having never read Harry Potter the word was totally new. Sad to say but it did not occur to me that YES would work has as cry. After I knew it was either Seeder or Seeker. The second guess was right so that meant IT*ASA**OKE is ITWASAJOKE.

How does you count it two hints? Seeker or Seeder were the few choices to SEE*ER I thought of and the second was correct. One and half hints? Or two letters from a perfect solve?


rondo 9:10 PM  

@Mark - I'd call it a pretty good Friday when you get it down to one or two squares.
Considering the inkfests I had, you're right in there if you filled in +99%.

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