Auxiliary propositions in math / FRI 12-1-17 / Popular Italian brew / Nickname of B-36 bomber, ironically / Italian born fashion model who became a US citizen in 2016

Friday, December 1, 2017

Constructor: Lily Silverstein

Relative difficulty: Easy (not for me, but apparently for everyone else)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: PERONI (44A: Popular Italian brew) —
Peroni Brewery is a brewing company, founded in Vigevano in Lombardy, Italy, in 1846. It has been based in Rome since 1864. The company's main brand in Italy is Peroni (4.7 ABV), a pale lager sometimes known as Peroni Red in export markets. However, it is probably best known worldwide for its premium lager, Nastro Azzurro (5.2% ABV), which was the 13th best-selling beer in the United Kingdom in 2010. (wikipedia)
• • •

I loved the grid, but man I fell into terrible holes in both the NW and SE corners, and so this ran about 1.5x my average solving time. I log on to Twitter and everyone's bragging about personal records, so ... I'm gonna go with the crowd here. Sometimes when I wake-and-solve, cobwebs have not quite cleared out, so I'm often slower than I would be at 10pm; thus, the difficulty level needs some adjusting. I had a sincere "Well, I'm stuck forever" moment right here:

Why didn't I consider that an AMP would go with a "receiver"? Don't know. It's a common 3-letter word. Shoulda come to me. But I was looking for a go-with *pair* like "pork & beans" or "mac & cheese," so "receiver & ....??!" Had ADIEUX (and then ADIEUS) for 1D: Hellos and goodbyes (ALOHAS in the plural is awful, btw). [Ballet technique]? Without more info, no. My brain just kept saying "PLIÉ?" Stupid brain. No idea cartoonist name would be Barbera go-with HANNA. I keep up appearances. MORALE? Sure, yeah, but that wasn't even on my radar. Thank god I successfully guessed LOOMED at 14A: Was a major, if invisible, presence at. I shreded every Down, in order, from CENAC to ORTIZ, and still couldn't finish off that corner. Rough.

Whole center of puzzle was easy, though I still do not get 36A: Parts played on classic sitcoms? (GENDER ROLES). No idea. None. How are "classic sitcoms" related to GENDER ROLES any more than your local bagel shop is related to GENDER ROLES? Everyone. Plays. Gender. Roles. Just because you're not Ward or June Cleaver, deep in your conventional gender rut, doesn't mean you aren't playing some kind of gender role. This clue needs to stop it.

I've never heard of PERONI. I know, I know, "How could you not have heard of the UK's 13th most popular beer!?!?!?!" My bad. Also, does the NYT know that ZILLIONAIRES are fictional? Like, that is not a specific term. There is no number one zillion. I hated that clue so much. Of course I put in BILLIONAIRES, which are *actually* 37A: Tiny top percent of one-percenters. Garbage clue. [The super-rich, slangily], I would accept. This idiotic fraudulent clue, no.

But anyway, I blew through most of NE, center, and SW. But then I hit 46: Shortly and went with ... IN A TRICE (sigh), which I was reluctant to put in because it's so old-fashioned, but (sigh, sigh) ... I Confirmed It With RIME (48D: Frozen dew). And that's the end of that. Took forever digging out of that one. Also had EON for ERA, since it obviously fits the clue so much better (58A: Long stretch). An era is a *kind* of long stretch, defined by .... something. It's not just "a lot of time." So the clues just sucked in places, but the grid is really nice, so I'm gonna blame the editor for the clues (as you always should), and congratulate the constructor. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Theodore Stamos 6:46 AM  

PINKOS, WANNABES, WIMPS, ZIPITUP....this puzzle had a "tough guy" tone to it that I kind of liked. Thought it was pretty easy, but I don't mind that - makes me feel good about myself for the day!

Two Ponies 6:53 AM  

I guess we are on a world tour. First Japan and now Italy.

We also have our obligatory Star Wars clue.

Zillionaires was silly.

Wyatt Cenac? If you say so.

B-36 nicknamed Peacemaker? I thought that was a Colt revolver.

Lemmas doesn't look like anything I recognize but I'm sure @ mathgent will fill us in and I'll learn something.

Anonymous 6:57 AM  

An Era of geological time is a period of between 400 million and 1900 million years. So there's that, RP.

American Liberal Elite 7:00 AM  

An AMP is a part of a receiver, which is a single piece of hifi equipment that takes the place of a preamp, amp, and tuner.

Suzie Q 7:06 AM  

Hands-on manager sure is a timely clue.
Is this a debut? Nice job Lily.
Ooo pinkos. Haven't heard that lately. That ties in with "All in the Family" well. I can hear Archie and Meathead now.

Lewis 7:18 AM  

This puzzle remarkably fit my wheelhouse; for me, an easy solve. "Easy" can be good or bad, and today it was good. The solve felt like an easy day at the gym where the ease is exhilarating -- not boring -- and you leave pumping your fist in the air.

kitshef 7:23 AM  

Easiest Friday in quite a while. Felt like a themeless Tuesday. Only two slowdowns. I, too, don’t understand the clue for GENDER ROLES, and CENAC really did not (and does not) feel like a name.

A competent puzzle, unimaginatively clued. Agree with Rex that ZILLIONAIRES is poor.

Paul Rippey 7:25 AM  

Super fast for me once my wife suggested ZILLIONAIRES instead of bILLIONAIRES. That’s despite falling into almost all the pits that Rex reported. Also should be noted that my “super fast” isn’t very fast.

Anonymous 7:27 AM's June Cleaver, not Beverly.
Favorite line: " Ward, you were pretty tough on the Beaver last night"

Ken R 7:38 AM  

Kinda has ARCHIE written all over it! Pinkos Astoria Control Freak Gender Role Zip It ! Only missing Meathead

Denise 7:38 AM  

Well, I like 'Never, Ever' agree with your comments, but I made all the same mistakes and was stuck in the same places as you on this one. Yikes!

Craig Trueblood 7:50 AM  

Eve did NOT eat an apple. She ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I think the constructor just loved the idea of adjacent identical cluES too much to actually be correct.

evil doug 7:59 AM  

They've screwed up all the USAF commands, but there used to be the Strategic Air Command made up of all our ICBMs, bombers and tankers. The SAC logo was awesome - - an iron fist squeezing several lightning bolts and one olive branch--kind of, "We can do this the easy way or we can do it the hard way." SAC's slogan? "Peace is our profession." Somewhat ironic, perhaps, but that deterrent effect has held down nuclear war - - until the Korean goof came along, anyway....

Glimmerglass 8:07 AM  

Most of this was super easy, but I never saw ZIP IT UP (bI-ITUP). My bad. Never heard of PERONI, and I agree with @Rex that ZILLIONAIRES is very badly clued. So like others I had a DNF, but found the rest a good Friday puzzle, if a bit too easy for the day.

Mohair Sam 8:10 AM  

Well this played easy for us, felt just like @Lewis (7:18). But it's the rare day when we agree with @Rex - very nice grid with a few questionable clues.

I wanted to spell Katz's as "Katzes" so it would fit in 27A because I've had a few Reubens there (to die for), the hell with ZABARS. Betcha PEACEMAKER was a gimme for Evil Doug. Around here the PERONI umbrellas outnumber the Cinzano umbrellas at Italian restaurants, maybe the beer trucks haven't made it through the 50-year construction project on the Route 17/81 interchange in Binghamton - hang on Rex, it'll get there.

@George Roskos (Rex's Twitter buddy) - Thanks for clearing up GENDERROLES clue. Loved your analysis: "It's dopey". Now can you explain why Will put a question mark on the thing?

QuasiMojo 8:14 AM  

Way too easy for me. I like my Fridays to make me squirm. Also some of the answers and clueing as Rex noted well are iffy at best. "In a while" does not mean "shortly," for instance. And as stated, no one says "it took me an era to get my term paper finished..." A lot of clumsiness today, especially SEEMS OK which does not mean "looks fine." And I may be wrong (I often am) but I thought PINKOS meant you were lightly dusted with RED leanings. Wouldn't actual REDS be the FAR Lefties? And as for William TELL, wouldn't that be TWO in a story with an apple? It's his son wearing the fruit on his head, innit?

By the way, Rex, as you probably know, that is not the actual original theme song version for Bosom Buddies. It was sung by someone other than Billy Joel. Bob Garrett, I think. I loved Bosom Buddies when it first appeared. Tom Hanks was a hoot and Peter Scolari equally funny. I always preferred that early version of Tom Hanks as in Bachelor Party than his later too terribly earnest self (in movies, that is.) Speaking of GENDER ROLES, does anyone remember the somewhat similar "The Ugliest Girl in Town" sitcom?

Jamie C 8:21 AM  

This was super easy, especially ARSE for 18 across. I just stuck it right in there, didn't even have to think about it.

mmorgan 8:25 AM  

I also got held up in the NW and the SE, but overall I got through this quite rapidly FOR A FRIDAY. I found this to be an extremely enjoyable and fun puzzle. Since I had ZIPITUP in place, I didn't flinch over ZILLIONAIRES -- which I found to be much more lively than the run of the mill billionaires. I also raised my eyebrows over GENDERROLES as the answer for that clue, but I thought this was a great puzzle. Thanks, Lily!!!

(@anon 7:17 -- ha!)

Stuart Showalter 8:42 AM  

“I'm gonna blame the editor for the clues (as you always should).”

Ahem! No, Rex. You’re gonna blame the editor, AS YOU ALWAYS DO. You need to get over your resentment of Will Shortz.

Charles Flaster 8:50 AM  

Loved this one.
Much easier than yesterday but very well clued.
Really enjoyed Lily’s comments on “xword”.
ZABARS is always a treat.
Loved ZIP IT UP.
Thanks LS

Anonymous 9:01 AM  

LEMMAS? C'mon, man... that's as crappy as you can get for fill. I'd enjoy learning why LEMONS wasn't used instead. Sure, you end up with ERN replacing ERA, but at least I wouldn't feel like the editor and constructor were somewhat a bit silly. LEMMA... I'm having another beer to deal with this.

Stanley Hudson 9:10 AM  

Too easy for a Friday but while the clues were spotty there were some cool answers: LOOMED OVER, CONTROL FREAK, ERROR PRONE, ZIP IT UP.

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Some of these clues were ridiculously straightforward by Friday standards. “_____ Gray” is the sort of clue I would expect on a Friday. “The Picture of ______ Gray” makes it easy. With Oscar Wilde’s name in there it’s a Monday-level layup.

Wyatt CENAC’s Night Train is, by my estimation, the best-value night of comedy in NYC.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

This puzzle is extremely easy if you do the downs first.

Z 9:28 AM  

NOM was roi at first, and IN a sec before IN A WHILE, otherwise pretty easy. Monday easy coming out of the NW until the 12/11/12 middle and had to reboot in SW. ITALO Calvino is the Yoko Ono/Brian Eno/Oreo of Italian authors. I always feel a little like a fraud when ITALO goes right into a puzzle because if it weren't for his cross-friendly letters I would have never heard of the gentleman. Anyway, worked out the front ends of the long acrosses and gave a little arched eye-brow at GENDER ROLES.
Nothing wrong with the clue, and there can certainly be a lot of discussion on how evolving GENDER ROLES in sit-coms reflect the ERA of the shows, but there is nothing specific about sit-coms to GENDER ROLES. Law and Order has GENDER ROLES. NCIS has GENDER ROLES. Orange is the New Black has GENDER ROLES. So "Dopey" works for me. Just because they aren't played for laughs doesn't mean they are not there.

@StuartShowalter - We don't get many constructors stopping in, but when they do they will often brag about how many of their clues were kept and how many were changed by Shortz et alii. Editors don't seem to mess with the grid much, but they are CONTROL FREAKs about the clues. While Rex doesn't need much to take a shot at Shortz, this particular assertion is about crossword editors in general and I think is a general crossword truism. @LMS, @Lewis, @George Barany and others have more direct knowledge on this so maybe they will share their takes.

ggggg 9:28 AM  

I was confused by 1A: A receiver, I believe, includes and amp and a tuner.eliminating the need for two separate components .

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Right @Craig. Because you were there.

RooMonster 9:37 AM  

Hey All !
Also found puz to be fairly easy *for a Friday*. So far no one has said they put in Adam for TELL. C'mon now, fess up!

That Z for the B was just silly. Second to last letter in, as didn't want to change the B. And PETA as 10 to the 15th prefix? Oof. What about 'Paint throwers?' or a similar type clue? Just sayin.

Those few nits aside, puz was a nice non-brain drainer as some FriPuzs are. It SEEMS OK. :-) Agree with @Anony 9:01 with LEMMAS to LEMONS. And, isn't WANNABES missing an E?

Silly ERROR PRONE me had a mistyped W in 10D's TEA. Didn't get Happy Music, but if that happens while I solve online, I just hit Check Puz feature. I don't spend any time searching for it myself! If I did on paper, that mistype wouldn't have happened, so I'm taking this puz as a 100% completion. I RULE! :-)


John Fischer 9:37 AM  

I second the comment from American Liberal above...a receiver already has an amp within.

Unknown 9:40 AM  

Right down the fairway...broke 6 mins on a friday for the first time. Cenac = really talented with a great stand-up routine. Zabars, Astoria = nice NY touches. I'm assuming this constructor is on the younger side...good, fresh puzzle!

Rube 9:41 AM  

If you didn't finish, then how is it easy? It WAS easy even with the incorrect zillionaire and bizarre gender roles and some unknown comic named cenac Wyatt or Wyatt cenac

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Long time Tom and Jerry fan here. Thought I had a coup at 19A with (Tex) AVERY, because I can still see that name splashed on the credits screen, and that really cost me here.

Otherwise, a fairly smooth sail.

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

After having that beer I took a second look. To hell with LEMONS. LEMONY is even better. Gets rid of a plural. Makes WIMPS WIMPY.

John Child 9:43 AM  

Excellent puzzle full of fun words, but way too easy for a Friday. The app's stats tell me this went down faster than my average Monday! Tougher clues could have made it last longer...

Maruchka 9:44 AM  

Smooth from NE to SW (thanks, @Lily) then not so much. SE was a bear, due to IN AWHILE(?). See below..

Amen, @Quasi! Did anyone else have 'in a TRICE'? Seemed more en POINTE. And so right (so to speak) on PINKOS. A snarky 50s malmot for liberals. Real commies were Reds and proud of it, comrades.

ZABARS - where I learned to love lox. Mmm.

Nancy 9:46 AM  

Liked it, even though at first I thought I wasn't going to like it at all. Too many names, I thought -- but the "big name in Formula One" turned out to be a FERRARI, not an obscure race car driver and the "group of stars" turned out to be stars in the sky, not some obscure rock band. Whew!

ZIP IT UP gave me ZILLIONAIRES, not bILLIONAIRES. I was thinking too small, I guess. Some lovely answers: WANNABES; ERROR PRONE; CONTROL FREAK. With the world the way it is now, I hate the way PEACEMAKER (55A) was clued. I wish the constructor had found am actual peacemaker. But other than CENAC and SMS, I really liked pretty much everything about this puzzle. I found it hard at the beginning -- becoming much easier as I went along.

puzzlehoarder 9:46 AM  

The puzzle was easy but not boring. From the pattern it's what I expected. If a constructor puts interesting material in the long entries it's difficult to come up with challenging crosses. CENAC, LORCA and PERRONI were the lucky breaks especially CENAC. HANNA could be added to that group but if you were a kid in the 60s that name has been drilled into your head. Ironically that last A of HANNA was the last letter to go in. I've been dealing with names of obscure cartoonists for so long I didn't bother to read the clue very closely. Some clues I just automatically put them off for the crosses.

PETA was another unusual cross. I assume it's a prefix for 10 to the 15th power. I haven't looked anything up yet.

This was an easy but entertaining puzzle.

Rube 9:47 AM  

Lemmas was the easiest clue in this entire easy puzzle. Unless of course your high school and college had no math departments

pmdm 9:53 AM  

Mr. Sharp, you do look elsewhere before you post your write-up, as your reference to Twitter posts demonstrates. So you really should bite the bullet and read the constructors' comments before posting the write-up. (You know where to find them.) Today's constructor explains the rationale of how gender roles relates to sitcoms. And it also throws some light on how the clues were constructed. Often, the constructors con't say very much (and some, like Patrick Berry, say nothing at all.) But today was an exception.

Some of today's puzzle seemed to me to be at the difficulty level of about Wednesday. With so many "easy" Friday entries, I was able to ge the more difficult clues fairly easy because of the crosses. Seems like many others felt the puzzle was easier than normal. I wonder what that bodes for tomorrow?

TomAz 9:54 AM  

I liked this puzzle for a Weds or Thurs. Not a personal best but very easy for a Friday for me. Like many of you I too had bILLIONAIRES and struggled with 37D as a result.

Yes, the AMP clue is not accurate. Unless you think "Car go-with" would be a fair clue for "motor".

I don't get the carping about LEMMAS. I much prefer an answer like this over some B-list TV actor. But then again I was a math major...

Surprised to see something as commonly known as DORIAN Gray anchoring the middle of a Friday puzzle. That seems Monday-, or at least Tuesday-, level to me.

ghthree 10:00 AM  

Since mathgent hasn't weighed in yet, let me put in my two cents worth on LEMMA (62A):
A gimme for me (math major, computer engineer) but a dnf for most people).
Mathematicians classify mathematical statements into (at least) three subsets:
A theorem is a statement that can be proved (a proof exists).
A conjecture is a guess. (Maybe there's a proof, maybe not).
A lemma is a conjecture, which, if proved, would allow an easy proof of a more important theorem. Note that a value judgement is involved. What's important?
For more info, Google Taniyama-Shimura Conjecture."
You will get responses that will strike you as either "most of that was obvious" or "TMI!"
Does this clear up anything? ;-)

Nancy 10:02 AM  

@Quasi (8:14) -- IN A WHILE for "shortly" bothered me a lot too. If someone tells me "it'll be taken care of IN A WHILE," I don't hold my breath and I mentally prepare for the worst. Also @Quasi -- you must be a writer. Who but a writer could possibly come up with the inspired phrase "lightly dusted with red leanings" for PINKOS? Terrific!

@Z (9:28) -- Of course editors mess with the clues and leave the grid alone. The clues are the fun part of puzzle-making. The grid is the I-wanna-go-and-stick-my-head-in-a-hot-oven part of puzzle-making.

tkincher 10:02 AM  

Yeah, LEMMA is a high-school geometry proof word. It should be lodged somewhere in most people’s heads.

Mohair Sam 10:15 AM  

In what world does "shortly" = "IN A WHILE". IN A WHILE is a tested and proven stall technique. You can "WHILE" away the minutes or the hours conversing with the flowers, days if it comes down to it. Somebody WHILEs me and I'm kinda pissed.

Impatient you to waiter, "When will our pizza be served?"
Waiter: "Shortly"
You: "Thanks."

Impatient you to waiter, "When will our pizza be served?"
Waiter: "IN A little WHILE"
You: "Is there a problem?"

Impatient you to waiter, "When will our pizza be served?"
Waiter: "IN A WHILE"
You: "@%&*#@!"

RooMonster 10:20 AM  

Only LEMManything I heard of is the Dentist from Month Python.


Amelia 10:21 AM  

I don't know what's going on at the NY Times, but this puzzle was ridiculously easy. The only SQUARE I had trouble with was the obviously idiotic one. Z for B. Wednesday's WSJ puzzle is harder than this Friday one. I guess it was okay as puzzles go, grid and all, but I expect more from a Friday. And will stop doing it if this is the challenge I'm offered.

Zabars isn't really a deli, which is why someone put in Katz's. I mean it's okay for a clue, because they have a "deli" counter, but it's not what I call a deli. (Full disclosure: Lived here my whole life.) Google them both. Only one says deli.

mathgent 10:25 AM  

Enjoyable but a little lacking in zip. Only twelve red plusses in the margin, below average for a Friday.

On Jeff Chen's blog, the constructor gives a good explanation of LEMMAS. Sounds like she knows quite a bit of mathematics.

We have lots of Italian restaurants here in town and many of them have Peroni on tap. A very fine light lager.

I guess I knew that All In The Family was set in Queens but not specifically Astoria. Archie and Edith mostly stayed in the house. When I think of Astoria, I think of lemon potatoes at Papa George's and Greek music being piped out of second story windows.

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

Plenty of receivers have pre-amp outputs and are connected to power amps.

Two Ponies 10:33 AM  

The last time I had a quality high-end stereo all of the components were separate. Not all receivers have amps.

@ Roo, You're just asking for it!

Thanks to all for the lemmas definition. Beyond possibly recognizing it in a future crossword I don't see any need for that knowledge in my present everyday life.

GILL I. 10:34 AM  

@Anony 7:27...Thanks for the morning spit of coffee on my computer laugh.
I thought this was a smooth and enjoyable puzzle. Loved it all. From AMP to ZABARS. Made a few changes that drove me crazy. I had LORDED instead of LOOMED and left it that way. My FERRARI was Andreti (sp?) My razor was Atra and those mistakes were easily changed. Just a one DNF for a Friday SEEMS OK by me.
Haven't seen PINKOS in a while. My uncle had a tendency to call anyone he didn't like a PINKO. I was young and thought it meant something nice since I liked anything pink. Then I watched "All In The Family" and learned what it meant to Meathead. Another phrase bandied about in the family was my dad giving the stink eye to me and my brother whenever we hid out peas in our napkins during grace.
FABIO...Now wasn't he the poster child for the mullet?
Don't understand PETA since I equate it with animals and LEMMAS sounded like some sort of animal.
Who might be a ZILLIONAIRE now? Bill Gates? or that Amazon owner? What do you do with it all except maybe eradicate all the hunger from Somalia.
This was very nice Lily and I love your name.

JC66 10:38 AM  

@ kitshef

Thumbs up on the new moose.

GHarris 10:38 AM  

Not easy but satisfying. Can someone explain how peta is a prefix for 10:15?

QuasiMojo 10:40 AM  

@Maruchka, thanks. Yes, I also first put in TRICE. @Mohair Sam, very funny. @Nancy, thank you! I like to think of myself as one, a starving one. @Amelia, agreed. I used to live across from Zabar's, in a building owned by them, in fact, and no one called it a deli. It is a market. I don't think of delis as selling imported coffee makers and overpriced soaps. :) Now Katz's is indeed another story.

Arden 10:46 AM  

Way too easy for Friday. Last to fall was zillionaires crossed with zip it up. Had billionaires for the longest time, as that is an actual thing. Zillionaires is a made up word.

Laurence Katz 10:48 AM  

Can anyone cite a single example of "hoar" used without its companion "frost"? I don't think "hoar" by itself is a thing.

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

@Laurence You are wrong and just a tad hoary.

oldbizmark 11:12 AM  

fastest Friday ever. while i did enjoy it, i do prefer a more challenging puzzle on Fridays.

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

@Two Ponies; I think you're wrong. All receivers do have an integrated power amplifier, by definition. Your separate component set-up probably had a tuner (not a receiver) and a separate power amplifier.

semioticus (shelbyl) 11:20 AM  

CONTROLFREAKs, ZILLIONAIRES and GENDERROLES. Worst nightmare for presumably most of us, a dream world for others.

Fill: I liked it. Mostly. I would rather not SEE SMS SSE SERE IRE in a Friday puzzle. But the proper nouns were indeed proper, which doesn't happen sometimes on Fridays and Saturdays. So that compensated to an extent for the lack of freshness. 20/25

Theme/long answers: Nice, but not zesty enough. Maybe not for NYT, but it felt like I filled in those answers recently somehow. I don't know, maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. It might the be low Scrabble score of the long answers that makes me feel that way. Alas. 18/25

Clues: Some sparks, but otherwise meh. "Green or red things from the garden," "Henri or Guillaume", "One taking a bow at a concert?" were cute. But the rest felt more straightforward than it should on a Friday. 17/25

Pleasurability: Now, this was definitely fun to solve. Maybe too easy for a Friday (except for Rex apparently), but I would rather have a breeze than slog. It didn't feel too easy while doing it (well, except for the aforementioned crosswordese) 21/25

GRADE: B+, 4/5 stars.

P.S.: Guys and gals, let's rejoice once again over the fact that most of us beat Rex's cobwebbed brain today.

Carola 11:26 AM  

Pleasantly easy. I had a "you've been doing crosswords too long" moment when I confirmed IMPEL with the L which had to be for LEMMAS, known to me only from previous puzzles.

old timer 11:28 AM  

I was really hoping Prof. Barany would have chimed in. My one area of great difficulty was the SE where I wanted jumps/jiffy and when jiffy did not work wanted those bonds to be munis, not IONIC. I never took a chemistry class in my life, so IONIC hardly leapt to mind, I also wrote in "stared at" before GLARED AT and never thought of GENDER ROLES though the clue is IMO a reasonable one.

OTOH, CENAC was easy for me, because he was a regular on the Daily Show in the era when I watched it every night and went to bed at midnight instead of 10 p.m. LORCA was easy too -- my favorite poet in high school. For a Friday, I rank this as medium -- the ones that are really difficult I cannot finish without help. Today, my iPhone stayed on the charger.

We tourists think of ZABARS as a deli. When my wife and I spent a couple of nights of our honeymoon in NYC the place I most wanted to go was ZABARS. Probably did buy lox and all sorts of good stuff which we took back to our suite at the Plaza. But we did not drink PERONI, instead we bought I nice bottle of French red wine. Suite? Yes, complete with a dining room. When I told the check-in person we were there on our honeymoon, we got a free upgrade.

SJ Austin 11:30 AM  

I flew through this entire puzzle at Wednesday speed. I loved many of the clues. Really, really well done.

Until I got completely hung up on ZILLIONAIRES. I can't say it better than Rex. Completely froze me because I also didn't know IMALO or PIRONI. Bummer.

semioticus (shelbyl) 11:30 AM  

Oh, and by the way, I really don't understand why Rex had a problem with GENDERROLES. I mean, I've been reading this blog for a few months only but from what I've gathered he seemed like a "woke" person as kids today say (even too nitpicky at times for my taste). Almost all classical sitcoms are based on gender roles.

AWS 11:31 AM  

This comment was lovely, as was the puzzle as a whole. Delightfully wide-ranging (though I admit I may have felt that way because the constructor's range matches my own). I agree w/ the majority re: difficulty--this would have made a wonderful themeless Wednesday, were such a thing allowed.

OISK 11:43 AM  

Zillionaire is not acceptable. It does not suggest any real amount. Boo. Puzzle was easy except for one square which I missed. Never heard of Cenac - I think it has been in the puzzle before, but I didn't remember it, and still have no idea who that is. And cartoonist HANN_ was no help...Perhaps had it been clued ___Barbara I'd have had a shot. One box DNF, as I decided on Hanny and Cenyc.

But I can't complain, despite my objections to an undiscernable cross of two obscure (to me) proper names, because yesterday I could not solve the WSJ puzzle at all. Left one third of it blank, and just gave up. That hasn't happened in the NYT since an April Fools puzzle YEARS ago, involving traffic lanes. Anyone else try the WSJ yesterday?

So after that dismal failure, missing just one square today in the Times felt good!

GILL I. 11:45 AM  

@oldtimer...We've always agreed on Federico Garcia LORCA. There wasn't anything I didn't like about him. Here's one of my favorite quotes by him:
"The only thing that the United States has given to the world are skyscrapers, jazz and cocktails. That is all. And in Cuba, they make much better cocktails."
There is a story behind that.
I Think of ZABARS as an overpriced market filled with rude people that happens to have a deli with lox. I remember my first visit as if it were yesterday. My husband, our infant daughter and I stopped by after the urging of my brother who lived in NYC for 30 years. We had a small pram for our daughter and as we entered, some AH asked if we were entering with "THAT" - meaning the pram ( I think), or maybe he meant my daughter!!! I asked him what planet - besides New York - did he live in. He yelled that there was no room and that I'd better park the pram over by the entrance. I looked at him and smiled and told him to fuck off. It turnS out he was the manager. I only knew this because after MNY words left my sweet mouth, some other dude said "DO YOU KNOW WHO THAT IS?"
Where are you now LORCA?

Masked and Anonymous 12:03 PM  

This FriPuz was neither too hard nor too easy, at our house.

staff weeject pick: AMP. Mostly on account of all the funny controversy, about its clue. Not that it will settle any zillion-buck wagers, but when I looked up "receiver" on a Wikipedium-search, it took me to "Tuner", where it said this:
"The tuner can also refer to a radio receiver or standalone audio component that are part of an audio system, to be connected to a separate amplifier."

The Official M&A Research Dictionary said this about "receiver":
"[dot] a piece of radio or television apparatus that detects broadcast signals and converts them into visible or audible form …"


Primo weeject stacks, in the N&S-central zones. Also, cool pudgy hunks of shady squares, in the E&W-central zones.

Fun, perfecto FriPuz pinko-ish meat with O-NIONS. [A couple more U-nions woulda been real ok, tho] Thanx, Ms. Silverstein, darlin.
Well-done write-up without bullets tho, @RP.
PEACE on earth, goodwill to the puzzleMAKERS and blogMAKERS.

Masked & Anonymo1U


Fred Romagnolo 12:05 PM  

Lo & Behold! I did exactly as Rex did, and pretty much back up his comments. Hand up for Pinko definitely not far left. I'm a Left Coastie, with no knowledge of ZABARS. I agree with just about everybody on ZILLIONAIRES & GENDER ROLES; gotta fault Shortz for that. I'm guessing LEMMAS is the basis for "dilemmas."

That Other Guy 12:07 PM  

I solved todays puzzle like an R-4360 28 cylinder turbocharged engine:

I was on fire!

Hungry Mother 12:14 PM  

DNF on proper names again!

jberg 12:17 PM  

I don't mind ZILLIONAIRES, I just didn't happen to think of it. That would have been ok if I'd known PERONI, but not knowing it I went with nERONI and bIn IT UP. So DNF.

We've had LEMMAS within the week, so I'm sort of surprised about the hue and cry over it.

I absolutely refuse to get involved in an argument about the definitions of 'tuner' and 'receiver,' but who uses either one any more? It's all Spotify and YouTube. There's some loss in sound quality, but that's where the music is. That, together with MONO, PAD, and All in the Family gave this an old feeling -- not that I minded, I loved those classic sitcoms.

@Craig, you're right about the tree of knowledge, I had the same thought -- but the clue says 'in a story,' and that's certainly the story that is told to many people, so I think it's OK.

Mariela 12:31 PM  

The exterior shots of the All in the Family house were actually of a house in Glendale, Queens - which is quite a distance from Astoria, although I assume the clue is still correct in that it was supposed to be Astoria

cwf 12:35 PM  

Very nice puzzle.
@GHarris: the clue is 10^15, which is 1000000000000000. "Peta" as in "petabyte".

AW 12:40 PM  

Agree wholeheartedly with @QuasiMojo: the cluing was poor. "In a while" means almost the exact opposite of 46A: Shortly. 37D: "Shush!" is "Zip it" not "zip it up" (says no one, ever). "Zillionaires," as Rex correctly points out, is a made-up entity so you shouldn't clue it as 37A: Tiny top percent of one-percenters, which implies an actual entity. And 13D: "Looks fine to me" is connotatively distinct from "Seems OK."

Master Melvin 12:52 PM  

One of my favorite cartoons of all time:

Calvin: Dad, what's a CONTROL FREAK?

Calvin's Dad: That's what lazy, slipshod, cut-corner workers call anyone who cares enough to do something right.

Calvin: Am I in the presence of their king? Should I kneel?

Dad: If anything works in this world, it's because one of us took charge.

Trombone Tom 12:58 PM  

From my 50's memories of tuners, preamps and amps, it took me a long time to accept the receiver/AMP connection.

The rest flowed smoothly until that darned Z. I resisted ZILLIONAIRES for way too long, but finally capitulated.

Don't recall that name for B-36's, but remember watching (and hearing} them slowly push their way through the skies over the Bay Area.

Except for the hang-ups it was enjoyable, even if a tad on the easy side.

Davis 1:08 PM  

@Two Ponies - Lemma is a pretty common term once you get into a math class that’s advanced enough where you start having to learn and understand (and prove) theorems. There’s not really a technical rule as to when you call a result a lemma, but basically any result that serves primarily to help prove a more important theorem (and doesn’t get used again) is typically called a lemma.

Teedmn 1:15 PM  

Congrats to Lily on her second NYT puzzle! I remember liking her first puzzle, a Sunday debut. I later corresponded with her, inspired to reach out to her by a blog she wrote about a very interesting bicycle trip she made from CA to Canada. She very graciously replied to my email. Coincidentally, today I will reach my annual biking mileage goal (I have 3 more miles to go, no problem). Conspiracy theory? :-).

I'm with @Rex on difficulty, for many of the same reasons though not in the NW. There, I had the same entries as @Rex but had considered AMP, saw POINTE would work and that filled in nicely.

Of course, I had bILLIONAIRES, along with a ZILLION other people. But how many other people had ocTave in at 25D to make a mess in the middle? That was also easy to fix.

But in the SE, I had rime before reason told me that HOAR might make a better answer for 48D. PINKOS crossing PAD was all that finally broke the rest of the SE open - on the other end, I had no idea what S__ texting format (50A) was. Arid before SERE at 51D didn't help.

So thanks, Ms. Silverstein, for a nicely tough Friday and I'm sure I'll be envious of everyone who found this easy. (Hey, the NE was, anyway).

Kate O'Neill 1:30 PM  

Kinda like a ‘gimme’?

Dick Swart 1:32 PM  

Hurrah! An xword report from Rex in which he reveals his character may be human and not some meta concoction living in up-state NY!

Anonymous 2:06 PM  

No, this is just a bad clue. Tuner go-with would have avoided any ambiguity.

Larry Gilstrap 2:21 PM  

Ever see an image of EVE holding an apple, or of the Three Magi riding camels? Of course you have. Insisting on Biblical accuracy is a slippery slope, thus, we have a different church on every corner.

If it's Italian, it's either Moretti or PERONI as the options on the beer list, neither of which is beefy enough to stand up to decent fare. I guess that's why we drink wine. Same with sushi. Japanese beer is yellow and fizzy and sake leaves me flat. Feel free to enjoy any or all beverages, despite my misgivings.

I tried to cram in gaZILLIONAIRES, but ran out of room. Let's say I have a billion dollars and you ask me to give you a million dollars, referencing our common interest in this blog. How could I resist? I give you one and I keep the other $999 million. My point, a multi-billionaire has a sh*tload of money, call it what you may.

I know the night sky, but have never heard ORION'S BELT called the Three Kings. The constellation predominately looms over the southern horizon this time of year and Christmas season is here. Have you noticed? Anyway, look for Orion and its companion Sirius, the Dog Star, and the nearby Pleiades. Looking at the Belt, the fuzzy diffuse form of Orion's Nebula is easily found with binoculars. If you have access to a clear, dark sky, that is. Big if for most folks.

Happy Pencil 2:52 PM  

I was really enjoying this puzzle until I got to the bILLIONAIRES/ZILLIONAIRES corner, and then I got grumpy. It didn't help that I also didn't know PERONI or PETA (as clued). Unfortunately, that left a bad taste in my mouth, although I'm sure I'll recover.

@QuasiMojo, I see your point about "in a while," but my immediate thought was: "I'll be there in a while" = "I'll be there shortly." Or put another way, "I'll be there in a short period of time, otherwise known as a 'while.'" I think it's fine for a Friday.

@Stuart Showalter, I would really love it if you came here even just once and told us what you think of the puzzle.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Phil Schifley 2:56 PM  

There is no such thing as a zillionaire. I should know. I have a zillion dollars.

- The Monopoly Guy

Lewis 3:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 3:25 PM  

@z -- I've thought that Will et al took as much care with my grids as well as clues. There were puzzles in which they liked the theme but were dissatisfied with the fill, and when that happened, they emailed me with the words they were dissatisfied with, giving me the impression they looked at the grid with a fine tooth comb (and they gave me the opportunity to improve the grid). It's clear they look at every clue as well. But I see it as a drive for excellence rather than a need to control. Truly, I don't see how they are able to get everything that they do done and still have a life.

Joy2u 3:53 PM  

Not being in (or from or familiar with) NYC, the bar and neighborhood might as well have been in Zanzibar.
I'm in New Mexico, and with supreme confidence (and a big ol' grin) I penned in 'chIles' for 'green or red from the garden' at 34D. It is our official state 'question' (statement? saying?).
Two major 'math' clues across the bottom was the pits.
As I tried to post last Thursday, I am a word nerd, not a 'math' anything. I do not now and never have spoken a word of math. So, totally flummoxed by not only one, but TWO in a row? Ohhhhh noooooo
It really IS Friday ...

Anonymous 3:58 PM  

Zillionaire was ugly, unfair, and stupid. But that's where we are in the USA right now.

Mohair Sam 4:12 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohair Sam 4:14 PM  

IN A WHILE is "shortly" only for CONTROL FREAKS

Roscoe88 4:20 PM  

5 years of math at Stuyvesant HS and never heard the word “lemmas”.

iamjess 4:37 PM  

Hand up for starting with bILLIONAIRE.

Also, am I the only one who didn't know whether to put EXTEND or EXTENt?? Both fit the clue, and I have never heard of DRAC, soooooo DNF there.

Overall good impressions, though.

David in CA 4:41 PM  

1A clue is just fine - everyone complaining about it is acting as if it read "Home stereo receiver". "Receiver" is a very generic term - some receivers have to be hooked up to amplifiers, e.g. wireless microphone systems. Now if this were Monday or Tuesday the clue would be a little questionable, but ambiguity is what it is all about late in the week.

Anonymous 4:43 PM  

Finished puzzle with not a single mistake and without any help. If I can do this for a Friday then the puzzle should rate as easy. The beginning was quite intimidating at first. Slowly but surely I managed to get anchors. Few places for possible natiks but all my guesses turned right. Friday's are becoming my favorite puzzles of the week.
Top left corner was the last bastion to hoist a white flag. For the longest time I had difficulty sussing out AMP and MORALE. Not sure why but in the end I got everything right.
Very competent construction. Thanks, Lily

Joe Dipinto 4:56 PM  

This was pretty easy thanks to some initial gimmes (LORCA, DORIAN, ITALO, PERONI, ASTORIA and a few others) -- until I hit the SE corner, which was brutal. I made the same errors as Rex: IN A TRICE, RIME, EON; and then all I could see at 60a for the longest time was ERRONEOUS, which has one too few letters. Aargh. Took me forever to fix that section.

One of the answers in that little minefield brought this Stephen Sondheim lyric from "Follies" to mind:

I've been through Reno,
I've been through Beverly Hills,
And I'm here.
Reefers and vino,
rest cures, religion and pills,
and I'm here.
Been called a 'pinko' commie tool,
Got through it stinko by my pool.
I should've gone to an acting school,
That seems clear.
Still someone said, "She's sincere",
So I'm here.

Anonymous 5:45 PM  

This was a Friday puzzle, really?


Nancy 6:49 PM  

@GILL (11:45)-- Love your description of ZABAR'S. Nothing's changed since you were last in NYC. Still a market, not a deli; still overpriced (although plenty of other places have caught up to them); and if you're a small female person like me, shoulderpads would be highly advisable. The ZABAR shoppers always seemed like the city's most aggressive -- until they opened a Fairway's on the East 86th a couple of years ago.

I too made the bILLIONAIRE mistake, as I said earlier. But I'm surprised at the IRE it's raised here. I would have thought that ZIP IT UP would have straightened everyone out, just as it did me.

Enjoyed a lovely afternoon with @Aketi -- first in the park and then in a restaurant on 97th and Madison. A very nice day in NY. It gets colder tomorrow.

George Roskos 7:10 PM  

@Mohair Sam - I wish! No explanation there...!

Joe Dipinto 8:31 PM  

BTW, count me among those who do not think IN A WHILE means "shortly". A while is an indefinite amount of time that could be longer or shorter than a person is anticipating; whereas shortly implies as soon as is practicable -- two different things. And the clue for ERA... well, I understand why Rex hates Will Shortz these days.

t-dawg 9:08 PM  

I often disagree with your opinions about puzzles, but that's OK, people can disagree, and SO many things about solving are SO subjective ... but this review really seems like one where you were just looking for things to criticize. (But then again... I'm one of the ones in the "personal record" camp soooo... subjectivity rides again!)

August West 12:03 AM  

Nice Tuesday.

Georgia 7:39 AM  

Haaaaaaa!! Thanks for the a.m. laugh.

Jeremy 1:02 PM  

I guess if you’ve never traveled to Italy or eaten at an Italian restaurant you wouldn’t know Peroni, but that was a gimme for me. It’s a super popular Italian beer, almost the Budweiser of Italy. How popular it is in England is kind of beside the point, isn’t it? That’s like measuring how popular Fat Tire is by asking how well it sells in Panama.

ShortShrift 5:48 PM  

Agree that [Shortly] is a stretch for INAWHILE. But it misdirects nicely to INnotImE, which is why I had emails at 42D for a while...a timely answer to [Subjects of some conspiracy theories] and somehow pleasing next to PINKOS. Alas, the writeovers were less pleasing but enjoyed the puzzle anyway.

The Well Rounded Philistine 11:27 AM  

Absolutely agree. Obviously Lily didn’t go to university in the late 70s.

Go Democrats 9:54 PM  

I have only heard the term in a philosophy context

Unknown 12:09 PM  

A receiver is a combination tuner,amp and preamp. A tuner is the stand alone radio reception device. So receiver isnt combined with a seperate amp. I thought BUG was the answer for receiver which mired me in the Nw.

thefogman 10:04 AM  

I was ERRORPRONE in the NW corner like Rex was but I got out of it intact. I also had adieu before ALOHAS, rime before HOAR and considered bassCLEF before ALTOCLEF. So there were many traps to fall into which might annoy a CONTROLFREAK. Once bitten, I wisely left the first square on ZILLIONAIRE blank until I could confirm the Z or B and of course it was Z that won out when I finally solved ZIPITUP. To some EXTENT things are back on TRAC for me. Some days I'm even finishing puzzles that BAFFLE OFL. It sure is good for my MORALE.

spacecraft 10:42 AM  

The clue for 61-across in my paper read "1015: prefix." There was no ^ or any other mark to indicate power. Didn't know this one, as I can't count that high. Maybe the 37-across guys shoulda been "PETALLIONAIRES--" if more than one could be found! I didn't have the slightest clue what 1015: prefix meant, so that was crosses only. So was ZABARS--again with the NYC provincialism--and SMS. No one even mentioned this. Does everybody know SMS but me?? Wait, I just have to Google this...

Okay, so it's Short Message Service. So, like Twitter, I guess, with 20 more characters to play with. If you say so.

One more WOE: CENAC. I don't even know whether it's supposed to be Wyatt CENAC or CENAC Wyatt. Either makes as much sense to me.

Hopped right into the NE and killed that, forcing in ZABARS via Big Popi ORTIZ. The NW was a little harder, but once I recalled that Tom & Jerry were HANNA-Barbera creations, that area broke open. The only other hangup was square 37, as with a Zillion other solvers. I agree, the clue should have fairly included a slang reference. Strange, though: BIP IT UP could possibly refer to the famous Marceau character, thus making sense! But I did change to the Z.

There's a ton of hunks in this one: FABIO, LANDO, FERRARI--hell, for all I know, maybe even Mr. CENAC (or Mr. Wyatt). But there IS a girl here--and what a girl! EVE Torres, you could win DOD even in a crowd!

A fun Friday; a little easier than usual overall but with sticking POINTEs as well. I do not SEE this constructor's name often enough. Keep 'em coming, Lily! Birdie.

rondo 12:05 PM  

Zero on the write-over count, but the finish of my grid looked exactly like the start of OFL’s. What is it about the NW in puzzles? MONO and LOOMED CAMETO me and got me to the finish. I left it at _ILLIONAIRES due to the B M Z options available.

Has OFL ever eaten at an Italian restaurant? PERONI is on the beer list in literally every Italian restaurant in existence. And PERONI is always what I order. If I were to order an ITALO-car it would be a FERRARI. And for the gals maybe FABIO is the ITALO-yeah baby? All of a sudden I’m hungry for spaghetti.

Pretty good Fri-puz I will DECREE.

Burma Shave 1:04 PM  


she GLAREDAT ORIONSBELT, then BARES the unknown,


thefogman 1:48 PM  

I hope everybody is doing fine during this Polar Vortex/Snowmageddon/Bomb Cyclone/Bombogenesis/End-of-the-World. I'm okay - but my snowblower decided to die on me. What great timing...

rainforest 2:40 PM  

What a nice puzzle, even though a little easy *for a Friday*!

Of course I had a "B" first (who didn't?), but I had no problem when it had to
be a "Z", pronounced Zed in these parts, parts where the temperature is currently 7 Celsius, no bomb cyclone in sight. Bit of rain, though.

I thought there were many excellent entries, both down and across, as well as very good fill. I suppose it could have been clued a little harder, but I liked it just fine as is.

Diana, LIW 3:32 PM  

Only had one little (accidental) hint - I happened to see AMP during my solve. The rest took a while, but fell into place.

But all those names - don't constructors know good words anymore? Frustrating when every time I wanted a cross it was a WOEey name. I really must become more hip. Well...a little bit hip. (Thos PERONI was a given, and I don't even drink beer. Mr. W must have had it.)

Anonymous 7:01 PM  

Rex,you actually had look up answers? That is not like you. Or did I misunderstand what was written? I am not being sarcastic. Honestly. Only curious.

sdcheezhd 8:48 PM  

Very easy. A lot of Italian restaurants have PERONI. Agree that ERA isn't the best.

Scott McLean 9:08 PM  

I am of two minds on this puzzle.
It was certainly very nicely constructed and an overall pleasant solving experience.
There was slightly more junky fill than you hope for in a Friday themeless (I’m looking at you, SSE) - but not enough to kill the puzzle. As others have pointed out, there was some flat-out bad clueing - but not enough to kill the puzzle.

So in the end, I pretty much liked it, but I wish I could have liked it a lot more.

Rating: SEEMS OK.

Italo Calvino 2:36 AM  

If on a winter's night a crossword clue befuddles you............................ 47d.Chickens (out) By normal crossword cluing standards this seems wrong. CHICKENS OUT is the synonym for WIMPS OUT. I thought that parentheses around a word in the clue meant that it went with the answer—not the clue. This would make the clue a noun - CHICKENS and the answer a verb WIMPS OUT. ANYWAY, Why use (out) when CHICKENS alone could clue WIMPS. Anyone with some insight on this? I've been doing crosswords for 10+ years. I'm a pretty good solver (I always finish the Saturday in under 30 minutes) I thought I understood the conventions of cluing. What am I missing here? thanks...

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