Merchant Samuel who lent name to historic island / FRI 12-22-17 / Abba who was born Aubrey / DC Comics supervillain group / Spongy toy going up in popularity / Something ported at portage

Friday, December 22, 2017

Constructor: Sam Trabucco

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: SWARDS (36D: Grasslands) —
noun
plural noun: swards
  1. an expanse of short grass.
    • Farming
      the upper layer of soil, especially when covered with grass. (google)
• • •
And so I'm back. From outer space. Actually, I just took a couple days off so I could finally and completely put the fall semester to bed. Also, Andrea (Wednesday) and Morgan (Thursday) were really excited to do their first stand-in write-ups, and far be it from me to say 'no.' Which reminds me—I'll be off Christmas Day, as my lovely non-Christmas-celebrating friend Laura Braunstein has graciously agreed to allow me to spend Christmas Eve / morning focused on food and family and possibly "Star Wars" instead of another crossword grid. But then I'll be back bright and early on Boxing Day, which isn't a thing here, but I still like to say it. It's nice when days have names.

[The second-greatest Christmas song, after "O Holy Night"]

I feel like we just saw ESCAPE ROOM, and I also feel like we had this *exact* clue for SHOPS, like, in the past week (24A: Bazaar makeup). . . well, almost: six days ago: [Bazaar parts]. The word "Bazaar" shows up an *awful* lot in SHOPS clues, despite the fact that I go to SHOPS all the time and have no idea when, if ever, I've been to a bazaar. Stop relying on bygone / musty cluing, folks. Whoa, weird: SHOPS has been clued as a verb only *twice* in the Shortz era (out of 16 appearances). And yet five clues have mentioned "bazaars" (???). OK, moving on—I liked this puzzle OK, but I think it gets pretty dull right through the middle, i.e. right through the part that would've been hardest to fill cleanly. I think he succeeded in achieving relative cleanness, but I don't want *just* clean. I'd like exciting, or at least unusual. TECH SCHOOLS feels mildly off (daughter's currently applying to a lot of [Engineer training schools], and we've never used that phrase). Unless TECH SCHOOLS are different from universities that train engineers. Is Caltech a "tech school"? It sure sounds like one. The category's a bit blurry. TALLAHASSEE is just a lot of favorable letters. See also STRESS EATER, which is at least a mildly interesting, if slightly depressing, answer. Middle just felt easy and bland, whereas the top and bottom felt suitably FREAKY (that may be overstating it, but, when compared to the center ... I stand by FREAKY).


Did you know AMPLIFIER and GUITAR AMP have the same number of letters? (1A: Piece of equipment at a rock concert) It is possible that now, you do, if you are like me and confidently plunked down AMPLIFIER. Crosswordese goddess Indie.ARIE got me out of that mistake pretty quickly, though. Who calls table tennis "PONG" (9D: Game with a 40-millimeter ball, informally)? PONG is an early Atari video game. That clue was rough. I did a very weird thing at 5D: "Great" one in Africa (APE). I was thinking "horn" (is the Horn of Africa "great" ... I think not, but ...). But HORN didn't fit, so I thought of some other "great" geographical feature and went with ... RIM (?). Now, there appears to be a Rim of Africa—in the Cape Mountains of South Africa. But I think somehow Pacific Rim / Ring of Fire (which of course has nothing whatsoever to do with Africa) was also dancing around my head. Anyway, FAME / IPASS / TALES / USHAPE got me going up there, and I didn't have many other problems after that except at the very end, where I threw ROOM TO NEGOTIATE across, but then couldn't get the first few Downs I looked at to work, then wrote in UH, SURE" at 44A: "Sure, I guess" (yes, I really did this) and then took out the NEGOTIATE part ... only to have to put it back in a few seconds later. Dumb dumb dumb. But still in under 6, and in the early morning no less, so this must've been a tad on the easy side.

Bullets:
  • GIRL CODE — I've heard of "bro code" but not GIRL CODE. It appears to be an MTV show (?). I tend to be suspicious of the exclusionary conformity imposed by "codes," but I'll leave GIRL CODE for not-men to comment on.
  • SWARDS (36D: Grasslands) — Had SW- and managed to put down not one but two wrong answers before I got SWARDS. Can you guess what they were?*
  • YPRES (41A: W.W. I battle site) — whoa, totally forgot about YPRES. Had the "Y" and was trying to decide between YALTA and YEMEN ... sometimes your Pattern Recognition Brain totally overrides your Reality-Based Brain
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*1. SWAMPS 2. SWALES—both of which are far, far marshier than SWARDS

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

152 comments:

Lewis 6:16 AM  

@rex - My first try before SWARDS was "prairie".

At "Sure, I guess" I was ready to plop in WHATEVS. My favorite answer was GALLIVANTED, and my favorite clue, which totally misdirected me, was "Way out" (for FREAKY), where I was stuck on looking for something like "egress". Impressive was the sub-theme of double O's, with eight. This puzzle felt like a Puzzle, where I had to do a lot of aha-producing clue cracking -- my favorite type of puzzle. Thank you Sam!

I have a slew of family coming in, beginning tonight, and so I will be away from here for a week, though I might try to sneak in a Favorite Clues Of Last Week on Monday. Wishing all a most wonderful end of the year!

TokyoRacer 6:37 AM  

Thanks for the Judy Garland song! And of course Flight of the Conchords are always great.

Loren Muse Smith 6:51 AM  

Ok. Dnf here because I didn’t remember the word SWARD. So I guessed an L there to get a reasonable “Lido” for DIDO. So I guess one of your letters was L, Rex?

@Lewis – I was sure you would point out the 8 sets of double O’s here. Two ROOMs. (And MOOR, a, well, a back room.) And there are three ASSes.

Loved the clue for TALLAHASSEE. I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Close.

I liked the AIRLINE FOOD, STRESS EATER, STALLS OUT area. I’m not really a stress eater, but I love airline food. Since I’m a sucker for gimmicks, I’m delighted with all the little compartments and packages; I break open every container, eat my whole meal and then wish I could have another one.

THE LEGION OF DOOM. This must exist in all our lives in some form, right? Mine would be my 6th period:

FarterMan
WhistlerMan
ChickenPopcornMan – long story
Desk-kickerMan
DecibelGirl
SnuffMan
Foul-mouthedMan – he’s been invited to sit in the office now and have his work sent down to him.

@Lise from a couple of days ago – I bet you’re listening to lectures from Great Courses? I’m gobbling them up.

Sam – terrific fare here. I liked marrying 14A and 51A and imagining an ESCAPE ROOM TO NEGOTIATE.

Z 7:02 AM  

GALLIVANTED is a word I associate with my mom. It is just a great word to say, too. So A+ there. Agree with Rex on STRESS EATER, a sad thing and a combination of letters that almost feels like the constructor HOSED the solver.

GIRL CODE took awhile to see. It seems like there are all sorts of rules to live by with cutesy names around. It doesn’t seem all that complicated to me. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be truthful. Help those less fortunate than yourself. Don’t post anonymously on comment boards. See. Simple.

We had dinner last night at the Ottawa Beach Inn, known locally as OBI. No Japanese (or Dutch) sashes anywhere.

American Liberal Elite 7:03 AM  

I'm definitely an "um okay" person, not an "uh okay" person. The glottal stop breaks up the flow and requires too much effort. And "mon" sort of worked as a term of endearment.

BarbieBarbie 7:08 AM  

I agree with Rex for the most part today. Similar experience, except that my confidently-plunked wrong word was EGRESS for “way out.” And that really messed up the SE for awhile. And even so, average time. So, Easy-Medium, I guess? I’ve only been at this for a year in the modern era, so everything is fresh to me, no stale words or clues. I enjoyed this one.

Kodak Jenkins 7:19 AM  

Wow. Super easy Friday! I got it completely right (usually I have 1 or 2 mistakes) somewhere in my Tuesday/Wednesday time.

It wasn't that interesting but any reference to my late 70's Saturday morning cartoon ritual (LEGION OF DOOM) makes me happy and nostalgic. Where are my flame retardant (but low melting point) pajamas?



Mary Ambridge 7:21 AM  

No complaint about ROOM(TONEGOTIATE) and (ESCAPE)ROOM?

kitshef 7:32 AM  

I seem to be the outlier as I did not enjoy this one. PONG(?) and UHOKAY were the ones that pushed me over the edge, but I was already teetering based on NO MESS, BOOHOOED, and TARED.

Female resident of an Alaskan city: NOMESS
Little tushies: ASSETS
Informal wear at a debut: DEB TEE

Dshawmaine 7:35 AM  

Can someone explain the clue for MOOR (8D)? The crosses gave it to me but am still going “huh?”

QuasiMojo 7:47 AM  

Since it's a themeless, I'll take it. I wish it had been a bit more difficult but I did struggle over a few clues. I was thinking there might be a great ASP in Egypt that floats down the Nile. But I got APE pretty soon afterward. Isn't the phrase AIRPLANE FOOD? Last time I sampled some, I GALLIVANTED to the ESCAPE ROOM. (the repeated ROOM bothered me too.)

Wanted YSERE before YPRES. And isn't there an YQUEM? I imagined a lot of broken bottles of wine.

I also initially had UM OKAY, which I prefer. And MON does sound rather affectionate, at least among my hipster brahs. My only BOO HOO moment was not understanding "Black-ish" network. I guess I could google it but isn't that cheating? I don't want to HOSE myself.

UH OKAY, time to GET this holiday body FIT. Right now it's more of a U-SHAPE than a manly V. And I've got to finish my Yuletide shopping at the holiday BAZAAR. I hope to find a bottle of CANOE as a gift.

Marty 7:50 AM  

@Dshawmaine: it's fast as in fasten, to tie up, to make secure. Mooring is tying a boat up at a dock or using an an anchor so it doesn't move. There are probably more nautically minded folks who could explain it more accurately, but that's the gist of it.

Charles Flaster 7:54 AM  

Nice, easy solve.
However, two writeovers—ASSETS for eStErS and STRESS EATER for closet EATER.
Very much in agreement with Rex review and I would add YPRES to the CROSSWORDease jargon.
As far as TARED—a few years ago I saw a deli man have to weigh the waxed paper before the customer would purchase some Norwegian salmon at about $45 per pound.
Thanks ST.

Glimmerglass 8:00 AM  

SWATHS. EGRESS. SHUTS DOWN. All made this “medium” for me. The SE corner was pretty hard, too. Good write-up, @Rex. Welcome back. Have a great Christmas.

puzzlehoarder 8:02 AM  

This was an easy but entertaining solve. EBAN and ELD started things off. When BOOHOOED turned out to be correct I knew the puzzle would be strictly for fun and it was.

J. Blutarsky 8:03 AM  

I suspect we're not talking "ping pong" here; we're talking "beer pong" - something that the boys at tech school spend their time doing when not studying whatever it is they study at tech schools, and which they affectionately call "pong" since, as the game progresses, putting two word together becomes increasingly more difficult.

ghthree 8:06 AM  

Dshawmaine: You MOOR a boat when you tie it to a pier. This makes it FAST, a word that can mean "securely FASTened" or "rapidly moving." When I was growing up in suburban Chicago, the Tribune had a column called "A Line O'type or Two," where such words were called "autoantonyms." "Sanction" is another example.

mmorgan 8:18 AM  

I found out that AMPLIFIER and GUITARAMP have the same number of letters, the hard way -- I plunked down the former and it took forever for me to let go of it.

Pretty nice Friday, I'd say.

Anonymous 8:26 AM  

Negotiation room and ROOMTONEGOTIATE also have the same number of letters, which is something else I learned.

I also learned that I never actually knew how to spell GALLIVANTED, as I wanted another A in place of the I.

evil doug 8:35 AM  

Oh, Noooo, I'm so sorry. It's the MOOPS. The correct answer is, The MOOPS.

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

Barbara here.
@Lewis Have a wonderful time with your family. I come here everyday and when I see your name I relax and smile. Your entrees are always good natured, constructive and kind. Don’t be gone too long! :) We’ll see you when you get back!

Non 8:46 AM  

It's a shame that no one says Gallivants anymore (is it ever just gallivant and not past or present perfect progressive tense?). @Lewis's mother might have known mine.

When my brother and I were in elementary school, she got a job as a grocery checker, saved the money and bought herself a new Dodge something. After that, she was always out gallivanting around, as the saying went. I think it was code for "Why doesn't she just stay home and cook and clean like other wives."

Suzanne Hurel 8:46 AM  

Guessing “motor”? Ugh!

Teedmn 9:01 AM  

I can certainly agree with the "easy" rating today. I did have a very stupid error when I failed to re-read the clue for 34A and had GALLIVANTEr crossing BOOHOOEr. Ah well, no BOOHOOing here. Speaking of 34A, I tried to turn it into GuLLIVEr something since he went from place to place but 1) I have yet to see GuLLIVEr as a verb and 2) CANOE stopped that right in its tracks.

I fell for the Yalta idiocy at 41A but once I came around from underneath, that all cleared up nicely.

My husband attended MIT - the Missouri Institute of Technology, which was a TECH SCHOOL in, you got it, MO (Kansas City to be exact). The name has changed since then but my husband got his two years of training in electronics there and off he went into the working world. Three years later, his brother did the same thing. Cheaper than a four year degree and he wasn't burdened with all of those "elective" classes that didn't interest him. Let's hear it for 27A!

Thanks Sam, for a fun themeless.

SouthsideJohnny 9:19 AM  

I usually have trouble even finishing on Thursdays, and I enjoyed this one. I was able to make progress due to the lack of arcane answers and the dreaded PPP's. I wish the puzzles every day were more like this one !

KRMunson 9:29 AM  

@MaryAmbridge - I, too, was bothered by the use of the word “ROOM” twice in the puzz.

Anonymous 9:32 AM  

What is @evil doug on about today?
Or, what is @evil doug on today?

Anonymous 9:32 AM  

Surely BEER PONG. TECH SCHOOLS usually called Institutes. TARED didn't leap to mind. Enjoyed this - very easy.

Hey Shortz! 28D: "A(N) historic island". Because it's grammatical because it's easy to say that way.

Andrea Avery 9:34 AM  

I also put in AMPLIFIER right away. And I also struggled with SWARDS. YPRES I got immediately, probably because of the History Channel special “The Christmas Truce,” which I have seen a hundred times and often airs this time of year. Overall, I am
on the same page with you about this puzzle.

JOHN X 9:35 AM  

I had wALLAwAlla_ there for a bit, trying to figure out the clever rebus even though it didn't quite fit the clue.

I also had the OFDOOM part and was reasonably certain it was a LEGION but took awhile to figure out there was a THE at the beginning.

My last letter was at SWARDS/DIDO and I just guessed "D" and was amazed when the puzzle app congratulated me for finishing. I guess I've heard of SWARDS but I couldn't remember it then and I've never heard of this DIDO person even though that seems like a very xword clue/answer.

mathgent 9:35 AM  

I enjoyed Rex a lot today. I especially liked his noting the conflict between his pattern-recognition brain and his reality-based brain. They are sort of the id and the ego of cross-wording. These two brains are especially active when I do a cryptic. My pattern-recognition usually suggests a word and then I see if it fits the cryptic clue.

@Non (8:46): I think that it was Z (7:02) who posted about his mother using GALLIVANTING. My mother used to love to say that word. I haven't heard it used in decades. It's fun to say.

@BarbieBarbie (7:08): I'm getting better at having the courage to cross out entries which I had "confidently plunked."

@S. Blutarski (8:03): Thanks for pointing out that PONG refers to beer pong, not table tennis.

An excellent puzzle. Warmly welcomed after some of the duds we've had this week. Outstanding cluing. "Low throw" for SNAKEEYES was my favorite.

Arden 9:36 AM  

Nice easy puzzle free of usual crosswordese. One Natick: the sward/dido cross, where I put an L for Lido.

Nancy 9:40 AM  

I came here to rant -- but the joke's on me. The rant was going to be: What the bleep is GETNIT? (1D) (I had nAME for celebrity (19A), instead of FAME, and it never occurred to me it was wrong.) So GETNIT sounded to me like some of the awful textspeak we've seen so much of late in the puzzle -- standing for "gettin' it". And my rant was going to be: I come to the Times puzzle for real words, not lazy, made-up words like ADORBS and WHATEVS and GETNIT. But I was wrong, and I apologize, Sam. Despite the comic supervillain group, the Grammy winner, and the toy, it was a pretty swell puzzle and I loved almost all of it. Except for the NW corner, where I struggled and struggled -- until I finally came here and realized that I was an idiot. Nice job.

pabloinnh 9:47 AM  

Being close to a college town, "pong" went right in as a back formation from beer pong. Also have visions of cows gallivanting on the swards, thanks to the clues.

Hey LMS--one of my best friends here in the wilds of NH grew up on Lookout Mountain. Small world indeed.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:51 AM  

Didn't much like this, except that it was fun to drop in TALLAHASSEE with no crosses. I'm just posting because I tried to post a bunch of interesting TSARINA material yesterday, since I'm reading Orlando Figes' History of the Russian Revolution, and Google made me jump through a bunch of hoops and then it never showed up. What will happen todfay? [dives in]

Bob Mills 9:51 AM  

Nice puzzle. On the easy side for a Friday. I agree with Rex that PONG is not an informal name for table tennis. Otherwise AOK.

Uncle Alvarez 9:53 AM  

Anyone else sick and tired of hearing about his daughter applying to university? Good Christ give it a rest dude.

Two Ponies 9:58 AM  

Morning solving seems to agree with Rex.

I can only picture U-shaped magnets from cartoons.
My favorite magnets are those little dogs, one black and one white, that your parents bought to occupy you on long road trips.

My first thought on the sisterhood clue was something about nuns.

Was pong a blatant suck-up to Will's ping pong hobby? No, I'll bet beer pong is right.

Gallivant is such a great word. I'm going to find an excuse to use it today.

Evan Jordan 9:59 AM  

To tie a watercraft to a dock or pier. That’s called mooring. Fast is a synonym for permanent or holding steadily. “It held fast to the side of the...”

Paul Berg 10:02 AM  

Abba Eban - new to me, seems kinda obscure, but maybe that’s just my age showing.

Stanley Hudson 10:06 AM  

Not in my wheelhouse but I successfully slugged through it.
S
@Lewis, have a wonderful holiday with your family.

BlackaMOOR 10:10 AM  

“until I finally came here and realized that I was an idiot”

Oh the irony, Iago, the irony.

Suzie Q 10:12 AM  

Boy was I off base so many times today.
The Lee I had in mind was Sara.
Where I grew up Tech School was code for "where to send the unruly boys who might like to make stuff".
There's a show on ABC called "Black-ish"?
I think of PTA fund-raisers as bazaars or at least an outdoor flea market with booths and tents. Shops have walls and doors.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Please go back into your bubble you piece of shit.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

@uncle Alvarez, So weird that someone forces you to read this blog. Idiot.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

@evil doug please go back into your bubble you piece of shit.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

@Nancy because your two default settings are "ranting" and "whining." You must be a joy to be around.

Dick Sward 10:20 AM  

I swarded all over this puzzle.

GILL I. 10:30 AM  

Favorite puzzle this week. Nothing was easy, though. I had to work my away around answer by answer. The old "get up an walk away" trick helped me. I'm always amazed at how my brain works. If I'm sitting in my favorite chair and I just can't see a clue, I'll move to the kitchen or the bathroom and suddenly a word or phrase comes to mind. "To GALLIVANT I offer this thanks, when needing something like meander. When I'm writing and drawing blanks, I almost settle using wander."
Two things brought some memories to mind and I always like that in a puzzle.
The best AIRLINE FOOD I ever had was, believe it or not, was on TWA flying first class from JFK to MAD. It was a long time ago and the only reason I was in first class was because I worked in the industry and the airlines up-graded you. Now I've flown lots of airlines and the likes of Philippine Air and JAL and Singapore - all who have incredible first-class fare, but only TWA stands out. I was flying on a 747 and the upstairs was the bar/salon area. French champagne and Beluga caviar freely served. Then the Steward comes up the stairs and tells us that dinner will be served. He brings a cart around and right on top is this chateaubriand. Rare. Juicy. Gorgeous...with roasted potatoes and I forget what vegetable. Anyway, he cuts it right in front of you. Asks how thick and how rare you like it. All the while, someone else is pouring you some red wine. It's a long flight and they never stopped serving you food. It would have made a STRESS EATER happy as a clam sauted in butter.
I never STRESS EAT when I have to cope. I usually forego eating all together. I eat like a pig when the food is served to me and it's delicious. Where have all the airlines gone? Long time passing. I don't fly anymore.
Loved the clue for FREAKY. We usually see a Friday after the word. Don't get 46D ONUS. Easy things to dial on a rotary phone? Love me some good Patsy CLINE and some Ol Man Riverer. Nary a BOO HOO in sight.
MOE MOW TEN TOE kudos on this fine Friday, Sam. Please play it again.

pmdm 10:32 AM  

This puzzle makes a liar out of me. Yesterday I commented that most of the late week comments center on complaining about the high number of proper nouns in a grid. So I am here doing just the opposite. Today's puzzles had very few proper names and I loved the puzzle (even though I found it very hard for me to do). As Jeff Chen recognized, it truly is a Puzzle of the Week.

Yesterday, Nancy replied to a comment made by QuasiModo, which inspires the following.

The Times used to include email links to it's employees, but that feature seems to have disappeared. Before that happened, I sent email messages to a number of employees, including Will Shortz who replied to me. So I know his email although I won't divulge it here because I would never do something like that without permission. I sent him Nancy's comment and he sent me this reply.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your nice email forwarding the message. I appreciate it.

I must get my answering machine at the Times fixed!

--Will

I suspect the appreciation is more aimed at Nancy's comment than what I added.

By the way, if you have any corrections to the crossword puzzle, you can send them to

nytnews@nytimes.com

and they will be forward your message to Mr. Shortz who in all likelihood will send you a reply.

Why don't you try it out, Nancy.

Sir Hillary 10:34 AM  

Bad DNF here. SWARlS and lIDO, as well as ayAN, aLD (lang syne) and yOOHOOED.

I’ll have to Google Abba Eban because, to paraphrase the opening line of The Eagles’ Christmas song, “bells are not ringing.”

The central stacks are the best part of this puzzle — none feel forced. By contrast, ROOMTONEGOTIATE seems green paint-ish. But overall, this is remarkably clean for a 62-worder — only HAVEA is truly bad.

@kitchef — Love the reparsings, especially DEB TEE. Very nice work.

Safe and happy holidays to all.

Nancy 10:36 AM  

Anon 10:18 -- I've decided to gift you for the holidays with a sense of humor transplant. It's my treat. I hear they've made great strides in the procedure, and I really hope it works out well for you.

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

Abba Evan obscure? Only if you live in a bubble and never do the Times crossword.

Laurence Katz 10:44 AM  

"Tared" not worthy of noting? Somehow I managed to reach age 69 without ever seeing/hearing/reading the word "tare."

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Eban

Nancy 10:45 AM  

I didn't see your comment, @pmdm (10:32) because we were typing at the same time. But I thank you for the info you provided and will use it to call Will's attention to the misprint in the Sunday Puzzle Section of last week. It's handy to have and I'll write it down in my analog address book. Thanks so much.

Anoa Bob 10:52 AM  

Ahoy landlubbers. Although they are usually conflated in crossword puzzles, to MOOR, to anchor or to tie up (to a dock, pier or slip) are three distinctly different ways to "make fast" a water craft, i.e., secure the ship or boat or CANOE so that it stays put. Do I hear any AYS?

Are lovers who are entwined ACOUPLE AT ABOIL?

Tom Gilson 10:53 AM  

Anyone else know "sword" from Monty Python? Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, galloping through the sword. Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, and his horse Concorde.

Tom Gilson 10:54 AM  

*Sward

puzzlehoarder 10:58 AM  

Glad to see that I'm not the only one to put an A in place of the I in GALLIVANTED. Knowing that there's no such name as CLANE I had a brief moment of panic that I was in for another dnf on an easy puzzle if I didn't know who the 29D celebrity was. Then I reread the clue and all was well.

As I suspected the I of GALLIVANTED is phonetically represented by an inverted lower case "e". That's the same one that got me this Wednesday with my SONENT/SONANT dnf. Once again this gets my vote for the vaguest vowel sound in English.

Speaking of vowel sounds. SWARL is not a grassland. It's when you poke a stick in the water and twarl it around. That makes a SWARL.

p 11:02 AM  

Mr. Moore, lupine donor, extra-or
dinary.

Two Ponies 11:13 AM  

@ GILL I. 10:30, Wow, what a wonderful travel story. What a shame that those days are gone forever. I've stopped flying as well.
Are you sure you weren't on the Orient Express?

mbr 11:17 AM  

@Anon 9:32: Evil Doug is referring to George Costanza's insistance that the correct answer to a Trivial Pursuit question was the misprinted MOOPS answer (instead of MOORS).

Johnny 11:21 AM  

@Laurence Katz 10:44AM

TARE refers to the net weight calculation of a product, the gross weight minus the packaging. It is used in every grocery store and deli counter. If the deli scoops up some potato salad and puts it into a medium sized container and puts it on the scale, they enter the TARE value for that container into the scale to get the net weight price.

Numinous 11:23 AM  

I seem to have enjoyed this puzzle more than any other in the past six months. When I saw Sam Trabucco’s name affixed to this, I thought, oh crap, one more of the Steinberg generation, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Most of my life, I have been a GALLIVANTer. Alas, no longer, no wheels except for the better half’s wheel chair. I threw in ROOM TO NEGOTIATE with practically no thought. I didn’t want to believe YPRES because it seemed too easy and didn’t want to fit my thinking about the downs in that corner. I’ve never heard of THE LEAGUE OF DOOM. I’ve seen a couple of the Marvel blockbusters but realized they didn’t tickle my fancy. There is fantasy and then there is Fantasy. I’ll take Terry Pratchett over Stan Lee (whom I did not consider for “Lee side”) any day. THE LEAGUE OF DOOM was easy enough to figure out after some of the top row downs dawned on me though and finished this one a couple of minutes under par.

I don’t believe it was the electives that deterred TECHNICAL SCHOOL students in the past. I think it was the general education requirements of regular university like English, Math, History, and Foriegn Language that got in the way. When my mother was in college, it seems like a “classical” education was the goal. These days, it seems that Universites are merely vocational SCHOOLs and the idea of a classical education has gone by the board.

@Uncle Alvarez, my stepdaughter, who graduated from UGA with two degrees in four years a few years ago just received early acceptance to Penn State Law School (another form of TECHNICAL SCHOOL). Between a thousand and fifteen hundred apply annually though they only accept a hundred and fifty students and only twenty five or so get early acceptance. Penn State is also giving her scholarships that will cover 75% of the cost of her education and there are more for which she can apply. When the Navy OCS didn’t work out for her, she had to take some time off to decide what to do. Since middle school I’ve been telling her she should be a lawyer. In fourth grade she was voted “most likely to become a lawyer.” Now she has decided she wants to be a prosecutor. So SHAFT you, Uncle Alvarez. I’m proud and I believe righteously so.

cfj 11:24 AM  

Mr. Moore can hit that tree. No the other one.

RobT 11:26 AM  

Subtle theme? Lots of double letters, often crossing?

old timer 11:33 AM  

Easy for a Friday. Never heard of a NERFROCKET though. And certainly never heard of anyone being called a DEBTEE,

My writeovers were entirely due to TALLAHASSEE.

Masked and Anonymous 11:33 AM  

U-SHAPE. Up top. Mic drop.

themelessthUmbsUp. Found it feistier than did @RP.
staff weeject pick: TEN. On account of …

On the TENth Day of Christmas, my true luv gave to m&e…

TEN U-SHAPEs PONG-ing. [Better: On-count again, @Shortzmeister]

Eight Y-FORKs TUNING,
NINE NINES a-FUELING,
Seven LOREes LAI-ing,
Six AYS a-SOAPING.

Five. Gold. U's.*
… Four POT SHOPS,
Three ENTREPRENEUR do-OEUVREs,
Two Tiny Feys,
And a SIRENE in a FERRITE tree.

Thanx, Mr. Trabucco. U are a constructioneer of few words (64).

Masked & Anonymo3Us


**gruntz**

Malsdemare 11:39 AM  

I had to do this one from the bottom up. I plopped in amplifier in 1A and then screeched to a halt. I think my first correct answer was — don't laugh — HUE. Yeah, that's how far I slogged before I got one right. In frustration, I headed south and slowly worked my way north and east. Since amplifier was a nonstarter, I just didn't have a toehold until IPASS (that's the gizmo we use in Illinois on the tollroad), put in Tat for beauty mark (not my idea of beauty but we know that's in the eye of the beholder). The IT gave me —-FIT, which gave me FAME, and then the rest fell with relative ease. I smiled at the reappearance of ESCAPEROOM; family will be here in two days and we hope to do an ESCAPE ROOM as a group. I had SWARtS before SWARDS and wondered who the hell was tIDO.

SHOPS doesn't work for me as the makeup of bazaars; bazaars have stalls or venders; malls have shops. I'm another one who just didn't see APE until he stared me in the face. I liked ROOMTONEGOTIATE, but I'm developing a real antipathy to these things like UHOKAY. Generic phrases just don't float my boat. I'd rather see THELEGIONOFDOOM, which is totally outside my ken, than vague, pretty meaningless fill.

But, hey, the puzzle was fun. @LMS once again, I'm nominating you for sainthood. Your passel of challenges would have me running down the halls and pounding on the door to get out.

GHarris 11:42 AM  

Had a double for not many (bases or drinks?) and so messed up bats (had dodo) and never heard of eld though I can see the logic. Otherwise an enjoyable workout, although at first I put down llanos, which means grassy plains,until I got room to negotiate which set me straight. Can’t believe how quickly Abba Eban has been swallowed by history, he was once the face of Israel to the world and spoke with an Etonian accent.

AW 11:47 AM  

TARED is not a word. TARE is a noun, not an adjective, not a verb. Phooey! And UH OKAY? Ugh.

Hartley70 11:47 AM  

Thank goodness for India ARIE, MOE and Jerome KERN. Without them this would have taken me a lot longer. I had never heard of THELEGIONOFDOOM so that was no help in the solve. although I like the moniker. I could probably suggest a few new members.

I tried prairie and pampas before SWARDS and I wanted an African Great Rift before APE.

This wasn't that easy but I like any puzzle that stacks so I'm a happy camper today.

@TwoPonies, I too loved my little Scottie dog magnets, simpler but just as entertaining as a NERFROCKET.

Carola 11:50 AM  

Tough for me, and very enjoyable to figure out. Early entries were sparse: SERGEI, HUE, SHOPS, DIDO, and a guess at NERF-something. From there (NERF...), I backed into the SW corner and clambered line by line to the top, the central Acrosses made much easier by having the first letter (AIRLINE FOOD, TALLAHASSEE, etc.). I had to pick my way square by square through the NW, the FAME of THE LEGION OF DOOM having ESCAPEd me. I liked FISH STORY next to HOSED. Had to erase Pippi with her striped socks.

Re: SWARDS - many years ago my dad, in introducing me to NY Times crosswords, gave me some words to know that were essentials. The ones I remember are ort, SWARD, and swale. Random musing: it seems that these days it's handier to remember proper names than terms for, say Polynesian CANOEs, e.g., India ARIE, who exists for me only in puzzle world along with MOE, Epps, Esai, Yma, Ceelo....

@Charles Flaster - I loved your TARED story.

Birchbark 11:51 AM  

Learned how to spell GALLIVANTED, which describes the romp through the middle of the puzzle today.

@Puzzlehoarder, I thought SWARL was a kind of cactus, whose shape was represented by the black squares of yesterday's puzzle.

I stayed up very late last night, looking at the tree from different angles, etc. I fell asleep in a chair and slept for a long time, then eventually headed up to bed. This morning, I couldn't find my glasses. They were by the fireplace, blending in with the stone.

"Suspicious of exclusionary conformity imposed by 'codes'" = What the heck?



Joseph Michael 11:55 AM  

After a mostly disappointing NYT week, this puzzle was a welcome change. Fresh fill. Tricky clues. A COUPLE of surprises, such as ESCAPE ROOM and SNAKE EYES.

Congrats, Sam. Great job. With all of those stacks, it must have been a bear to construct.

In Illinois, I-PASS is the electronic payment system for tollroads.

In Japan, UHOKAY is something you eat with rice.

In Eugene O'Neill's world, the ICEMAN is the one who cometh.

CDilly52 11:57 AM  

Easy/hard and not much in between for me. Like OFL, I proudly threw in AMPLIFIER thinking “oh the cleverness of me” only to realize my error when the great APE steered me straight.

Had to laugh at the poor STRESSEATER relegated to AIRLINEFOOD, and I started with a bingeEATER which may be a worse experience - who’s to say?

To me, TECHSCHOOLS makes perfect sense but the clue did not. Here, high school juniors and seniors seeking a jump start on engineering training can “major” in pre-engineering and many have gotten scholarships to premier “engineering” universities by attending these programs. CareerTech, as it is called is probably the only thing in which Oklahoma can justifiably take pride


CDilly52 12:09 PM  

I dis exactly the same thing and my brain simply would not think of anything else the answer could possibly be until I re-read WW I (not II) on 41A and knew that YPRES had to be right. Erase, erase, erase. . .

Anonymous 12:15 PM  

Tared was usd as an adjective not a verb. Wiktionary says it’s a word. Webster’s agrees with AW at 11:47.

CDilly52 12:18 PM  

My retired-teacher-husband loved your LEGIONOFDOOM and said it reminded him of every single sixth grade band he ever taught!

Alas, mine is the Oklahoma Legislature that would rather close down critical public health facilities than pass a revenue generating state budget. Second expensive extraordinary session and still no desire to work together for the people that elected them. The great APES are smarter.

Anonymous 12:42 PM  

Why no complaints about the two "rooms" in the puzzle? I thought that was a crossword faux pas

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

"Great" one in Africa---I was stuck on ALI for a minute...

dls 12:55 PM  

imho even if you might normally give a pass to the repeated ROOM, in this puzzle it's poor form because it is part of the mini-OO theme. you shouldn't repeat, but you really can't repeat theme entries.

PcrestBob 12:58 PM  

Thanks for edifying evil Doug’s MOOPS anon 9:32 (I think) Not nearly diehard enough to get reference w/o help

Masked and Anonymous 1:01 PM  

@muse - har. Primo class line-up. All U lack, for completeness, is a MaskedDude.
Do U ever get a domino effect, outta that bunch? …

FarterMan does his thing,
WhistlerMan whistles in response to the colossal stink,
ChickenPopcornMan tells a long borin story about the dangers of a methane/sharp whistlin mix,
Desk-kickerMan kicks the DecibelGirl's desk, frustrated by havin to inhale lethal doses of methane,
DecibelGirl screams, as the kick misses her desk and hits her in the butt,
SnuffMan turns around and strangles both WhistlerMan & DecibelGirl before they can finish shatterin his eardrums,
Foul-mouthedMan cusses a blue streak, in hopes of settin up shop in the (relatively safe) office and thereby escape any strangulation attempts and/or methane toxicity,
MaskedDude writes previous tale in his secret classroom diary.
QED.

M&Also

Joe Bleaux 1:16 PM  

"AN historical" something? Because it's in "AN history" book?

Susan Ross 1:19 PM  

Evil Doug is trying to KILL the Bubble Boy! Who's NEXT on his list?

kitshef 1:24 PM  

@Gill I - unless you were being wry in a fashion over my head, you may want to check your 46D/55A cross.

@pmdm - thank you for the public service.

Joe Bleaux 1:29 PM  

Liked it much, as I always do Sam Trabucco puzzles, which I usually look over, think I'm in for a CEGS (can't even get started), then find a toehold (Patsy CLINE at 29D today), and start sussing out answers. Only big prob was finally realizing I'd put in LEGEND of doom instead of LEGION. That held up the SW (where I finished) til I fixed the logjam. Good Friday puz, agree with Jeff Chen on POW.

Joe Bleaux 1:31 PM  

That anonymouse asshole who keeps calling him an asshole, I hope.

Joe Bleaux 1:33 PM  

Wups - NW, of course, adds the guy who had legend for legion.

deerseason87 1:55 PM  

Girl Code: don’t date your friends’ exes or crushes. I’ll just leave this here: https://youtu.be/m6QDZIG64ZE

Anonymous 1:56 PM  

Not a big comics guy but I’ve heard of The Legion of Boom, which is the nickname of the Seattle Seahawks defense. I never realized it was playing off something else.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

FWIW, the twelve days of Christmas START on Dec. 25, the first day of Christmas. FWIW.

Lewis 2:05 PM  

@numinous -- Good to see you!
@barbara 8:41 and @Stanleyhudson -- Thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes!

QuasiMojo 2:44 PM  

Paul @pmdm, it's QuasiMojo not Modo. I don't have a humpback. I agree with others, I enjoyed teedmn's list. I'm a bit sad no one chirped in to tell me what "black-ish" is. Happy Pink Friday, everyone. I made that up. But I like the idea of a name for the Friday before Christmas.

GILL I. 2:49 PM  

@Two Ponies: I've actually taken the Venice Simplon Orient Express from Paris to Venice. This was a couple of years after they started this luxury service. I think it was around 1985 that I and my travel friend were fortunate to be invited (at a great discount) aboard this incredible train. The food was outrageously good! The only problem is that they served lobster everything and I'm not a lobster fan [sigh]. I still drool over chateaubriand!
@kitshef....Major oops. Spelled NERF wrong. No wry but I did contemplate anus.
@Numi....! Where have you been? I miss your stories. Welcome back!

jannielouise 2:50 PM  

Gleefully slapped down mOneyONtheTablE for ROOMTONEGOTIATE (What opening offers often leave). Agree with others that GALLIVANTED was fun to see.

JC66 2:51 PM  

@ QuasiMojo

Black-ish is a sitcom on ABC-TV.

John Child 2:56 PM  

Seconded, nice to hear from @numinous!

Excellent puzzle today. no ROOM TO NEGOTIATE.

Uncle Alvarez 3:06 PM  

Omigod! Does anyone over the age of 50 know how to Google?

Ezekiel 3:08 PM  

Is there no balm in Gilead?

Zwarte Piet 3:12 PM  

Does anyone remember Krampus?

Candy Darling 3:14 PM  

Does anyone know if @evil doug was in the USAF?

Uncle Alvarez 3:18 PM  

@Anonymous 10:15, go drink your afternoon milk while your mommy ties your shoelaces Fauntleroy.

Chris Ott 3:22 PM  

I needed my son to help with PONG. College freshman seem to know that PONG = BEER PONG. :-)

Carolynne 3:32 PM  

This week Tuesday took me longer than Friday! What is up with that?

Maruchka 3:40 PM  

LOL! My stepdaughter-in-law moaned last night about her students: Bully Babe, Garble Girl, Nasty Not-Me-Teach, and her sister Hellion Heat-My-Lunch-NOW-Teach. The principal is in hiding..

Trombone Tom 3:51 PM  

@numinous, good to hear from you.

Nice workout from Sam T.

On our first trip to Europe back in the 60's we got to the SAS counter in LA and the agent said, "Oh, I'm sorry but coach is full . . . (our hearts dropped!) and we're going to fly you first class at our cost." We were "pestered" constantly with hot towels, Champagne, fine food, and attentive service all the way to Amsterdam. Those were the days!

Tried valiantly to fit horror into the Lovecraft clue. Graduates of MIT, RPI, and Caltech might not buy TECHSCHOOLS. And PONG definitely points to Atari.

QuasiMojo 4:00 PM  

Thanks JC!

clue seeker 4:03 PM  

Is there really a word Tared? Tearing paper? Don’t get it??

Roo Monster 4:16 PM  

Hey All !
This gave me a bit of a fight, but I managed to get it 100% correct. wOOHOOED!

Had A COUPLE of problem areas. STALLS OUT started as ___Off, then ___dOwn, then back to ___Off, before finally changing to ___OUT at which point I couldn't read the letters! Off the wrong W had wHynot for UHOKAY, messing up my ONES I already had in. AIRLINEseat-AIRINEFOOD (FOOD above STRESSEATER, which I'm sure has been pointed out by someone, haven't read comments). cHeat-SHAFT, deAr-EBAN (read clue as ABBY, DEAR ABBY, get it?), and wanted SinKEr(something) for SNAKEEYES.

Remembered YPRES from a Monty Python skit! FREAKY was Freaking clued. USHAPE! (M&A) Wanted something about nuns before GIRLCODE.

FAME! I PASS this ONES! :-) And that's no FISH STORY.

PONG PEGS
RooMonster
DarrinV

DavidL 4:23 PM  

So I had a funny error. Instead of "UH OKAY" I had "UM OKAY", which made my answer for 45D "Term of endearment": "MON". So I thought, well I guess in Jamaica, "MON" could be a term of endearment.

Joe Dipinto 4:26 PM  

Hated the clue for TALLAHASSEE. Fridays are supposed to be challenging; that clue gives away the answer in like 3 seconds. And I didn't like ROOM being in there twice. Otherwise it was uh, okay. Bonus points for U-SHAPE (after yesterday's Y-shape), SERGEI, BOO-HOED and FREAKY.

There was a TV series a couple of years back called GALAVANT (sic), a sort of medieval musical comedy with music by Alan Menken. What I saw of it was very funny. I wish it would come out on DVD so I can watch all of it.

Roo Monster 4:28 PM  

OK, Here is the sketch. Enjoy.

RooMonster

Joe Dipinto 4:29 PM  

Dear Autocorrect: BOO-HOOED is what I typed. Stop changing everything around.

Hartley70 4:29 PM  

It's great to hear from you @Numinous and wonderful to hear of your step-daughter's admission to law school. I send my heartfelt congratulations

BarbieBarbie 4:53 PM  

You learn the word "tare," both as noun and verb, in high school chemistry class, when you learn to use a balance.

Anonymous 5:15 PM  

What is 10 Down ELD? Help!

Joe Dipinto 5:23 PM  

@Anon 5:15 -- An old form of OLD. ELDER/OLDER, ELD/OLD.

Nancy 5:23 PM  

@Trombone Tom (3:51) -- Just emailed @GILL that I had a similar experience back in the '60s. My friend and I were flying from JFK to London -- excited, nervous, very young. No sooner had we sat down in our coach seats then a lovely stewardess (that's what they were called back then) came by and asked us if we'd like to sit in first class. No idea why. Maybe because we were young and excited and nervous -- who knows? Such a lovely, lovely treat -- especially on a long transatlantic flight. We got to see how the other half lives. (Spoiler alert ahead)*


*They live better. Much, much better!

And welcome back, @Numinous. Your stepdaughter sounds very, very special. Hearty congratulations.

Anonymous 5:53 PM  

My Webster says TARE is a noun and a transitive verb. It's used as a verb in the puzzle.

@Joe Bleaux 1:16
Yes!

David Schinnerer 5:57 PM  

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy..."anonymous" = "ignore" you answering is just feeding it's ego. When it reads that you were affected by it's post, it gets the adolescent pleasure it craves.

Anonymous 6:30 PM  

David Schinnerer

Don't use an apostrophe in the possessive pronoun form of its

I'm pretty sure Nancy doesn't need your help, she's taking care of business just fine.

Unknown 6:52 PM  

@Laurence Katz 10:44AM


Yo tare a scale when measuring cooking ingredients. In my 43 years of life, I have come across this word all the time. Perhaps you don't cook or shop for groceries?

Shelby Glidden 7:00 PM  

@Uncle Alvarez 9:53 AM. Did you even do the puzzle? I see no mention of anything pertaining to it. For instance, if you had looked up the founder of Carthage (Dido), you might have pondered her relation to GBS’s play, Pygmalion. We could even explore your psychological relationship to Allie Doolittle, at great profit. 😀 Regardless, have a happy holiday season.

Shelby Glidden 7:01 PM  

*Alfie

OISK 7:15 PM  

Glad someone else remembered that chemists frequently use "tare" as a verb. Enjoyed the puzzle, which was a bit easy for a Friday. Legion of Doom was one of those answers that while completely unfamiliar to me, made sense, and so was discernible. For some reason, YPRES was my immediate thought for WW I battle site. Recently got my grandnephew a nerfrocket, and Sergei and Eban were right up my classical, Hebrew alley...

Enjoyed this puzzle... ( The WSJ puzzle today is very cute, by the way)

phil phil 7:50 PM  

Negotiating room went right down

Had a hard long time looking for a typo because couldn't believe two rooms were kosher

Uncle Alvarez 9:15 PM  

@shelby glidden, funny thing. Don’t recall asking you for your opinion Gramps.

chefwen 9:38 PM  

@Numi - Ricey was getting worried. Welcome back.

Shelby Glidden 12:20 AM  

@Anonymous 6:30 PM And your favorite part of the puzzles was...? Hosed...? Fish story...? Smart phones add the apostrophe, categorically. And by the way, a semi-colon, rather than a comma, is
appropriate with the two complete sentences of your compound sentence. Don’t lead with your chin, ya big ape. 🦍 I thought it was Ali, at firdt, too. Happy holidays. 😀

Shelby Glidden 12:21 AM  

*first

Shelby Glidden 12:29 AM  

@Uncle Alvarez 9:15 PM Was that a nerf rocket? 🚀 You weren’t soliciting opinions?

WA 12:44 AM  

It is answers like these that want me to give up puzzles and take up knitting.

semioticus (shelbyl) 1:10 AM  

In a nutshell, southern section killed all the joy I had while solving the Northern section.

Fill:ELD, AGFA, ARIE, EBAN, KERN, REBS&REGS oh God no please stop. I understand that we need to sacrifice certain things for the rewarding entries but that was just too much on a Friday puzzle. Some longer entries had problems too. HAVEA shouldn't belong here. I guess not knowing what a SWARD is is my problem (same with FISH STORY), but I'm pretty sure most people had never heard of GIRLCODE (and of course it exists and it was an MTV show etc.) I really want to be impressed with how fresh this puzzle is, but some entries are just so yucky.

Theme/long answers: Hit or miss. TECHSCHOOLS and TALLAHASSEE doesn't do anything for me. The rest are OK, I guess. If I were a huge comic book fan and I had Nerf rocket memories, I could have been more excited about those entries, so I understand Jeff Chen's exuberance.

Clues: "Low throw" was really cool. I didn't like the clue for FISHSTORY. When your answer is already a rare word, give me a more straightforward clue please. There were some good puns and I won't list them all, but yeah, generally I felt like the puzzle was out there to get me at certain points.

Pleasurability: Top 1/3, perfect. Middle part, meh. Bottom 1/3 I wanted to kill myself. So average, I guess.

GRADE: B-, 3.1 stars.

Hungry Mother 1:20 AM  

WAG at SWARD/DIDO cross; otherwise, simple enough.

Space Is Deep 7:26 AM  

Fun, easy puzzle. Still haven't finished the Thursday puzzle.

spacecraft 11:29 AM  

Yeah, TARED is kinda far out when you're talking the wrapping paper. Wow, must be a whole 1/4 ounce! The word (although listed as a verb, too) is much more common as a noun, and in industry a good deal heavier than the deli. Crappy entry. And SWARDS is old, ELD SCHOOL. Has a piece of ground been called a SWARD since medieval times? OH, OKAY. Thankfully, I remembered Aeneas and DIDO from mythology so no harm there. Is there really a DEBTEE? Ugh.

No harm anywhere, in fact. As Fridays go, this one was pretty soft. CLINE (a gimme since she's my wife's favorite singer and today's DOD), CANOE and TALLAHASSEE got things jump-started in the middle, and it didn't take many letters to get THELEGIONOFDOOM.

(Mini-OOM theme, with the DOOM and ACOUPLE of ROOMS.) No violation there? Maybe there's Sam-munity. "Papa disapproved; mama BOOHOOED..." from Stevie Wonder's hit "I Was Made To Love Her" came to mind.

A clean solve; NOMESS. Some weirdness in the bottom half, but easy for the day. Par.

Thus endeth this FREAKY Friday.

thefogman 11:51 AM  

I did not find it easy at all as Rex did. About right for a Friday - which is not easy - most of the time. 35A (AIRLINEFOOD) is that what they call green paint in xword lingo? Also 36A (STRESSEATER). Lots of challenging outside the box cluing here. Not bad, but it could have used a theme to add a bit of sparkle it was lacking.

Steven J. Wangsness 2:09 PM  

Tare refers to scale weight

Steven J. Wangsness 2:10 PM  

I’ll complain about ESCAPE ROOM. I don’t get how the clue relates to it at all.

rainforest 2:48 PM  

This was a nice Friday romp, and not too FREAKY. I managed the North fairly easily by popping in GET FIT which gave up GUITAR AMP which had me wondering "is it POol, POlo, or PONG?" Is the latter short for ping-pong? Nevah hoid that said, @Spacey.

The "major American city" had me briefly wondering if it was spelled Kallamazzoo, but that just looked silly as well as wrong, but I once had a gal from there.

Enjoyable, easy-medium, and well-clued. My grandson has a NERF ROCKET which I hide whenever I look after him because it's all fun until someone loses an eye. Oy!

Burma Shave 3:17 PM  

FREAKY GIRLCODE

ACOUPLE of guys from the LEGIONOFDOOM wail,
“I HAVEA thing for DIDO’s LOCO vice.”
“UH,OKAY”, she said, “my ASS,ETS for sale,
go to the ESCAPEROOMTONEGOTIATE PRICE.”

--- WALDO ELLIS CLINE

Teedmn 5:19 PM  

Ooh, classic Burma Shave. Nice use of the comma!

Diana, LIW 7:10 PM  

Simply, thoroughly, thumpingly, flummoxed. That's all. NW did me in. The rest, fairly easy.

Diana, Looking forward to Saturday

strayling 7:50 PM  

I held on to KEEPER (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnet_keeper) for 2D way too long. Once I managed to let go, the rest was not bad at all. A good, solid meat-and-potatoes puzzle.

101LombardSt 11:41 AM  

Me, too. Are we the only ones? I'm actually just reading through these comments to find someine else who wuestions that.

101LombardSt 11:43 AM  

Black-ish is a popular TV sitcom on ABC

101LombardSt 11:47 AM  

You'll see the word "tare" weight often on the back of ten-wheelers hurtling down the freeway.

101LombardSt 12:05 PM  

David, please dont use run-on sentences.

G.G. 2:07 AM  

At first I was afraid, but this played like a Wednesday. The 15s went in with but a few crosses. Hope there's a tough as nails puzzle tomorrow!

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