Ex-Expo Rusty / FRI 4-6-18 / 14-line poem with only two rhymes / Eugene in labor history / Quick way through toll plaza / Sophomoric rejoinder

Friday, April 6, 2018

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: LEVANT (35A: Part of ISIL)
The Levant (/ləˈvænt/) is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. In its narrowest sense it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands, that is, it included all of the countries along the Eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica. (wikipedia)
• • •

O brave new world, that has such 16 stacks in't. Apparently we're just doing this now. The lid is off. The seal is broken. Bring out your 16s. Fine by me. Why not? I don't mind a super-sized puzzle. I think formal restrictions are good things, to a point. They can encourage amazing creativity. Having to execute your vision within severe limitations can push you to brilliance—or drive you to madness, I guess. If you could make the grid any shape, and symmetry weren't a consideration, and you could have unchecked squares and two-letter words whenever you wanted, etc. then no one puzzle would feel very special. Just a bunch of crossing words, like those stupid criss-cross puzzles that people continue to insist on calling "crosswords." Whoopee. But bending the rules here and there, especially when the payoffs are great, is just fine by me. And going to 16 wide on a themeless doesn't make the puzzle any easier to construct—it just opens up a whole new set of answers. So hurray. And today's are all really good, even the one with ONE'S in it (which is so commonplace and cliche in 15 stacks that just seeing it usually makes me want to throw the puzzle aside). A LOT ON ONE'S PLATE is the paradigmatic hack 15. It's a joke unto itself among constructors. Usually ONE'S is standing in for YOUR, which also usually sounds better coming out of your mouth. ONE'S always sounds oddly formal, like the YOUR version with the color drained out. But like I say, the other 16s in this puzzle. and most of the rest of the puzzle, so no biggie. A RUN FOR ONE'S MONEY? Sure, I can dig it.

ENDO sperm? OK, I'll trust you on that one. RONDEL was very rough—I teach 14-line poems regularly, and can't say as I've ever heard of a RONDEL (13D: 14-line poem with only two rhymes). I didn't really know WAR BABIES was a thing, but apparently my dad *is* one, so ... good to know (43A: Deliveries in the early 1940s). The title of the Freeman / Beach Boys / Ramones song really sounds like it should be "DO YOU WANNA DANCE?" so it took me a bit to succumb to the more formal (and apparently correct spelling). Hardest part of the puzzle for me was the whole middle section, north of SEVERE. [X] for DELETE was brutal, especially since I had the DE- and figured it was DEC- something (as in DECADE). Wanted LEVANT but did not at all trust that (mostly because I don't know what the *other* parts of ISIL stand for—I assume ... oh, is it the Islamic State In the LEVANT? Argh, no: The Islamic State of *Iraq* and the LEVANT. Oh well. Clue on MELEE was tough (wanted PUREE) (29D: Word from the French for "mixed"). ACNE / ZIT, very tough (thought "oil" the OPEC kind, and thus wanted the "unit" to be a "barrel," i.e. BBL). Trouble parsing STANDINGOODSTEAD, which I saw first as STANDING [space] OO-something, which just Had to be wrong. . . until it wasn't. PSI for PSF was an understandable error ("foot," not "inch"), and the last thing I fixed before finishing the puzzle. Would've been nice to have a kind of in memoriam clue for Rusty STAUB, who just died. Peter Gordon did just that in his recent Newsflash puzzle, with a clue that noted that STAUB's nickname when he played baseball in Montreal was "Le Grand Orange" (STAUB was a redhead).

Speaking of baseball, I sat < 20 yards from Tim Tebow earlier tonight when he did this with the very first pitch he saw in Double A ball:

[video courtesy of stunned me] [the idiot's voice you're hearing is my own]

Tebowmania has hit Binghamton, and it's actually kind of cool. We got to the ballpark super early because they were giving away fleece blankets to the first 1000 fans and I was *not* missing out.

I was not missing out because I like ballpark swag but *also* because it was blisteringly cold: 32 degrees at game time. We left in the 7th because I could no longer feel my toes. But we had a great time and my wife took some great pictures and none of this has anything to do with crosswords, but whatever. Mel OTT would've loved it.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


puzzlehoarder 12:31 AM  

I've been preparing for our daughter's wedding and this is the first puzzle this week worth taking some time out for. I'd rate this medium. It could have gone faster if I'd just looked around for easy answers but I was enjoying piecing together the grid spanners from the opposing ends. For both the north and south I put together the east first and then the west ends. In the north TYRO was a natural starting point. I then guessed some kind of TOURNEY for 17A and a type of SONAR for 18A. With DODO and the last 3 four space answers in place I switched to the west. EROS, PSAT and HASP came in that order and LUNARROVER was my first long entry. Changing SONAR to SONIC was the only real hurdle up north after that point.

I mostly skipped over the middle when EZPASSLANE led right into the southern tier. After that stack went in the middle was just mop up.

I'll spare any further minutae. The above is comment withdrawal induced. This was a fun solve.

Z 12:40 AM  

Did not notice the 16 wide grid. Liked the puzzle fine. EROS/ESME/ELMO/ENDO/ENTR seems a tad excessive in the “four letter answers starting with ‘E’” category.

TOPE? That’s a new one.

Questinia 12:43 AM  

Whenever you're eating coconut you're eating endosperm.

Harryp 1:15 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trombone Tom 1:16 AM  

Agree with OFL's review pretty much down the line.

I got a foothold in the SE corner and worked my way back up until I stalled out for a time in the northern stack. Finally got started again with the help of HASP, LUNAR*****, OODLES, PREEN, ENDO, and TYRO.

Held up further by cElebRATE before REHYDRATE.

Since I'm one of the pre-WAR BABIES, that was a gimme.

David Steinberg is usually good for a workout and today is no exception.

Beallthere 1:54 AM  

..Lately I've been solving a lot of old, old issues and came across a spelling error. Puzzle #0808 published 08/08/08, clue #39A in the newspaper states, 'Jed's first chief of staff on 'The West Wing'
..However, your blog post states, '39A: Jed's first chief of starr on "The West Wing" (Leo) - "The West Wing" - man, I must have seen that show, like ... twice.'
..I question the use of 'rr' in the place of 'ff.'

Larry Gilstrap 2:08 AM  

Truly daunting look to this puzzle as it crawled out of the printer. Those are some big old grid spanners stacked up right there, but some of the crosses came clear and I was done much sooner than I could have possibly imagined. That sophomoric rejoinder just had to be THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID and I had much more than a foothold.

I can't believe that Rusty STAUB appears this close to his death. Eerie coincidence, I assume. I have followed baseball most of my life and can't help noticing two great hitters in the line up today showing power and consistency from both sides of the plate. Imagine STAUB hitting behind TROUT.

I watched from afar the civil rights struggles in the South and the injustices that resulted. Medgar EVERS was assassinated outside of his home in Jackson, MS June 12, 1963. His widow Myrlie eventually relocated to Southern California and even ran for public office in my area. I was just a kid, but I will never forget seeing some folks celebrating another, more famous assassination just fifty years ago.

Baseball is a warm weather sport, for players and fans. I have to admire OFL for his fortitude and enthusiasm for Opening Day activities. I'm certain nobody said, "Let's play two."

Dolgo 3:04 AM  

Rondels, like sestinas, pantoums and villanelles, are specialized verse forms that poets use to show off. You would not reslly have ever heard of them unless you were a PREENing poet or, like me, an academic literary type. But those outré forms are kinda fun and worth looking into. Most people know what a limerick is, but how about a clerihew?

I've been doing these puzzles long enough to be able to figure out things like HELICOPTER PARENT, even though I've never seen it. Maybe I just missed it, though, since the spell checker seemed to know it.

Never heard someone called a "toper" @Z? Perhaps a "back formation."

Obama used to call them ISIL instead of ISIS. I was puzzled, so I looked it up when I first heard it. I knew about LEVANT. It's kind of an old geographic term not used very much. You'd know it if you read enough British novels. I recommend Olivia Manning's "The LEVANT Trilogy," her sequel to "The Balkan Trilogy." I read them back when we were reading those multi-novel series--Lawrence Durrell, Simon Raven, Anthony Powell.

I appreciate Rex's extended riffs on new words. If you love words it's nice to do some research and savor them a bit. Etymologies. Even Indo-European roots to find other words that are distant cousins.

jae 3:14 AM  

Medium for me too and just delightful. @Rex - I agree that the center was the toughest part.

The Mamas and Papas did my favorite version of DO YOU WANT TO DANCE.


Dolgo 3:25 AM  

Further riffs on LEVANT. You do see still see it sometimes as an adjective-- levantine. My first brush was in high school. We had "art" theaters in Kansas City. Among the Bergman and Fellini films were early skin flicks. "The Isle of LEVANT" was pseudo tavelogue about a nudist camp. The only chance to see nudity apart from ERPI Classroom Films about Africa or Australian aboriginals. By the '70's, those theatres were showing X-rated films!

Anoa Bob 3:50 AM  

@Z, had you presolved this one, you might have noticed that 16 sticking out in the top right square.

Like @puzzlehoarder, I tried SONAR something or the other at first for 18A "It sends waves through waves". SONIC DEPTH FINDER was new to this former sonar tech. We called the DEPTH FINDER a "fathometer".

Dolgo 4:23 AM  

As for Rex's comment about "one" seeming a bit old fashioned. I'm old enough to remember teachers who thought it was better style to use that word in place of "I," "we," or "you" in formal writing. Gone the way of the dinosaurs and "it is I."

Harryp 5:12 AM  

When I saw the name of the constructor I knew it was going to be a workout, and that was confirmed to be true. The long triple stacks helped immensely, and there were a lot of aha's in between, like WAR BABIES and EZPASSLANE. Medgar EVERS, then 46Across could have been clued Bus Parks? for ROSA Parks. Altogether a great Friday. Thanks David Steinberg. p.s., I slipped up on his name earlier and had to wait this long for the correction. Sorry.

Charles Flaster 5:12 AM  

Liked this straightforward stack exercise.
HASP led to the first two 16’s and smooth running after that.
Always thought it was wanna and not WANT TO DANCE. Bobby Freeman was a one hit wonder but his song is still popular in my social circles.
Liked cluing for WAR BABIES and WW1.
MERCILESS still conjures up Flash Gordon memories—Only 65 or so years ago.
Thanks DS.

Brandon 5:16 AM  

I came here to get on to you about your cinematography choice of portrait mode vs landscape mode, but then I realized that you were going to be busy going back and editing typos from a 2008 blog post so i’ll just leave you to that and we’ll discuss those wasteful black bars later.

Lewis 6:27 AM  

I came to the puzzle thinking, "Aaah, Friday at the desk with David." Usually what strikes my fancy about David's puzzles is the clever cluing, but today it was OODLES of lovely answers: LEVIATHAN, MERCILESS, REHYDRATE, HELICOPTER PARENT, LUNAR ROVER, and MELEE. The bottom stack is outstanding. The top stack gave me the brain-stimulating fight I hope for, where persistence paid off, defeating the urge to look something up, and resulting in a sweet ego-PREEN.

A David-Friday, like a Berry-Friday, is becoming a thing to anticipate and savor.

Loren Muse Smith 6:42 AM  

Do I agree with the “medium” rating? Hah. Beastly tough for me. Like Rex and @ said – the center was the hardest.

Not really proud of it, but I think I was a bit of a HELICOPTER PARENT with my first one. Extreme hand-washing, pacifier sterilizing, monitor monitoring, measuring, fretting, staring, studying, hovering… With my second, hah. Pacifier fell on the floor of the Seven Eleven? Just wipe that puppy on my pants, and it’s good to go. How much did she weigh? Umm. She was a little bigger than our dust-buster.

Go figure that I like Rex’s description of ONE’S draining the color out of a your statement. You bet your sweet bippy is colorful. One bets one’s sweet bippy… well – save that version for the colorless grammar snobs. Me and Rex are gonna go with colorful.

Gentle cluing is not something I associate with David. Biggest goof before I had to tangle with the center – “spool” before SCREW, so “orgy” before RAVE. And again, I was marveling that “orgy” could be a verb.

Into the abyss of the center, I had a ridiculous “goliathan” for LEVIATHAN, thinking who knew that was a word. Huh. Right. SEVERE finally cleared all that mess up.

That misparsing by Rex of STANDING OOD STEAD made me laugh. I pictured all the big Oods running around helicopter parenting their little OODLES.

Good Golly, Miss @Questinia! You don’t comment a lot, but when you do, your pithy observations are poster-worthy.

Night always has me announcing I’m SHOT. Mornings, though, all GUSTO.

PS - @Dolgo – would you consider removing villanelle from your list of show-offy poem types? Asking for a friend. A Welsh friend. Whose first name is Dylan. Ok. I’ve said too much.

Matthew G. 7:01 AM  

Rex is spot on. I fear a world in which the 15x15 convention falls away, because that will probably lead to cats and dogs living together and mass hysteria. But this one was so good I didn't mind living in sin for a few minutes.

The short fill was kind to my wheelhouse today, with weird things like HASP and ENDO and TOPE leaping out at me. I also somehow knew RONDEL despite not being able to tell you what one is. I slowed myself down with DDT instead of CFC, though.

My parents used to argue over my father's generation. He would refer to himself as a baby boomer, but then my mother would sweetly remind him that he was born a couple of months before V-E Day and was therefore one of the WAR BABIES.

kitshef 7:13 AM  

OODLES of fun. About as good a themeless as you’re likely to see. I hope dumb clue for ZEE was Will’s, not David’s. That’s the one flaw, despite which I am in awe of this puzzle’s beauty.

Rusty STAUB died just last week; seeing his name in the puzzle was bittersweet. Great hitter. Generally recognized as one of the slowest players ever. Not Ernie Lombardi/Gus Triandos slow, but slow.

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

Helicopter parent doesn't just mean overly cautious or overly solicitous parenting style. It is a term for the kind of parents that appeared in the late 1990s and early 2000s, who not only drove the kid with all of its stuff to move-in day at college, but stayed overnight in the dorm room, met the RA and all the hallmates, came back a day later to check on the kid's cereal supplies, called every teacher before, during and after every test or paper, argued with every teacher for upgrading that A minus to an A plus...Helicopter parent was (and probably still is) a very real thing experienced by us who taught college, amazed that millenials were being raised as permanent kindergartners.

FLAC 7:23 AM  

Rex Parker
Has been getting darker
In his critiques
The past few weeks.

Glimmerglass 7:32 AM  

Nice Friday — challenging for me and lots of fun. Like almost everyone I know, we were helicopter parents for our first child. After that, it wasn't that we cared less; we had just been around that block and knew how much parenting was needed. Our first child helped raise the next two. I write sonnets, but not rondels — it’s too hard to hide all those rhymes.

RJ 7:35 AM  

I always misspell EVERS as EVARS so had lots of trouble in the center....and the top stack...dropped in PCB and PSI in the beginning. Did not remember TOPE or TYRO (although I remember looking up the definition of TYRO a few months back).

One of those days when the ones I find easy OFL doesn't - WARBABIES, ENDOSPERM, ACNE, AND ZIT. But so many mistakes that this was a DNF - ZOEY (mispelled and wrong!) instead of ESME, SPOOL instead of SCREW, no idea about LEVANT....

Opening day was freezing in MA - 35 and very windy. One of those days like a football games but without the tailgating.

FLAC 7:37 AM  

Yeah, that Elizabeth Bishop was a real show-off as well. But then, some of us post just to show how smart we are.

Kris in ABCA 7:40 AM  

I work with pressure data for a living, and I'm not sure what you'd measure in PSF. Psi -yes. Also atmospheres, Pascals, hydraulic head. But PSF? No.

Birchbark 7:55 AM  

TOPE o' the morning. The wind chill is 0 degrees. The Twins won their home opener.

LEVANT has the sort of hazy definition that I always figured it meant. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.

Anonymous 7:57 AM  

This was an easy Friday. Glad to know that Rex is now enthralled by right wing Christian Tim Tebow.

JJ 7:58 AM  

I went to an all boys catholic high school in NY. We had Brother OTTO for social studies. On the first day he said "My name is easy to remember because it's the same forwards as backwards." Within seconds someone realized that inside out his name was TOOT. Whenever he turned around to write on the blackboard the guys would start yelling out "Toot" from all directions. Looking back I feel bad for the poor guy, but it was OODLES of fun when we were 14.

Stanley Hudson 8:09 AM  

One does like these Steinberg puzzles. A workout but if one finishes one, one feels darn proud.

Have to go with the Ramones for best version of “Do You Want to Dance,” although I seem to recall Los Lobos doing a fine cover at a live show.

pabloinnh 8:32 AM  

Fun puzzle indeed. Filling in all those white squares is extremely satisfying.

TOPE is easy enough if you're familiar with The Jolly Toper, Hals painting. Our subject is clearly enjoying himself.

Thanks to OFL for all the baseball-related ramblings. For me, baseball=fun.

Too much fun? That's news to me
Too much fun? There must be
A whole lotta things I ain't never done
I ain't never had too much fun.

(Thanks to Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen)

Two Ponies 8:32 AM  

Good workout, learned a few things, mission accomplished.

@ Questinia 12:43, I'm not sure what you're talking about but my mind went straight to the gutter trying to think of something clever to say that involved a tropical happy ending.

Dolgo 8:36 AM  

A clerihew!!! Thanks, @FLAC!

Dolgo 8:38 AM  

Request noted, but villanelles still listed.

Dolgo 8:40 AM  

You have to remember that ESME is one of those crossword puzzle words.

Sir Hillary 8:43 AM  

Yes yes yes, more of this, please! Great fun on a Friday -- Steinberg at his best. I remember he went with 16-wide stacks a couple years ago, and @Rex had a similar open-minded reaction. I solved this after a run, and it was the perfect way to REHYDRATE, along with the water I drank.

Symmetrical pairs:
-- Enjoying the visual of a LUNARROVER in the EZPASSLANE.

A couple errors. I guess wrong on hAZE/DAZE every single time, and had TYke for a spell. Both easily fixed.

The clue for THATSWHATSHESAID was apt, because during my sophomore year in college, a buddy and I said it constantly. Actually, that continued through my junior and senior years too. You can guess at the quality of the humor, but at the time we thought we were oh-so clever.

This place has gone baseball crazy in the last week or so. I know it's not everyone's bag, but I am loving it.

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

My biggest complaint is the cluing for 27D; a screw does not "hold" a thread, the thread is a part of the screw. I would argue that there is no screw without a thread! A tough workout with so much white space, but a good effort.

ghthree 9:00 AM  

Loved the clues for 58D and 59D. I remember Rusty Staub (Le Grand Orange"), but had to Google Bobby Freeman to get 61A. Sheer coincidence that both men died recently.

But no more surprising (to me) than the fact that I had in front of me Joanne Lipman's book "THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID." Copyright 2018. Published by HarperCollins. A scholarly study of sexual discrimination in the workplace. Well worth reading, and not at all sophomoric. It was staring me in the face during the entire solve. Didn't notice it until finished.

QuasiMojo 9:00 AM  

This was my favorite puzzle of the week so far. It almost felt like one of the great Friday puzzles of yore. I found it a tad too easy in my book. Or perhaps it was just dab smack in the center of my wheelhouse. I do agree with Rex though that the "unsquare" grid is off-putting.

I love how David Steinberg's mind works. He's like a fine pianist, tinkling subtly rather than showily. Which reminds me, @Dolgo, there is nothing pretentious or showy or preening about pantoums, rondels, sestinas and villanelles. I have been taking a couple of weekly poetry classes for the past few years and attend lectures each month at which one or two Poet Laureates came to speak. You'd be surprised how many of the young poets of today, and some of the seasoned stars in the field, write OODLES of them. When was the last time you picked up a poetry journal? Yes, free verse is still popular, but the old forms have made a startling comeback and are frequently taught in creative writing classes today.

I'm sure REX will recall that Peter Lorre's character, Joel Cairo, in "The Maltese Falcon" is described as "Levantine."

Knowing "mélange" helped me to see "mêlée" right off the bat.

As for the puzzle, I had MEAGRE before MEASLY. Other than that, I found it quibbleless, a piece of cake, or perhaps a slice of pizza!

No Name 9:01 AM  

@Steinberg, since the kids stayed in SF and SD after graduating, you're my main sources of words to use that make be sound cooler than I am. So thanks for tope.

Sonic Depth Finder, Lunar Rover. Omagosh. Poetry.

But a Run for Ones Money is stupid beyond belief.

Bob Mills 9:08 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle. Maybe that's because I finished it quickly, especially compared to a normal Friday, when I struggle.

QuasiMojo 9:13 AM  

P.S. I forgot to say that I was a big fan of Rusty Staub. I used to go to his bar Rusty’s in Manhattan often when I lived there. A lot of baseball stars hung out there. Rusty was always a gracious host.

Sydney 9:30 AM  

I knew rondel because Sylvia Plath wrote rondels and villanelles, although what those were exactly, other than some kind of poem, I couldn’t have said. Endosperm...high school biology. On the other hand, I had to get Staub through the crosses. I am always in trouble when we get near sports or rappers. This was a beautiful puzzle. I was finally able to get everything, but it was a long slow struggle. Luckily I was a war baby who loved loved loved Do You Want to Dance when it first came out...and played it yesterday on Spotify.

Suzie Q 9:31 AM  

Tope raises it's head every few months so I'm surprised at the number of people who have forgotten. Maybe they are topers themselves!
I'm also surprised at the show of baseball passion here.
If you're not a fan the chatter gets tedious but hey, it really seems to make a lot of you happy.
Seeing D.S. on a Friday made me happy (and a little anxious) but two cups of coffee and success!

Nancy 9:36 AM  

Very crunchy, fiendishly clued puzzle, especially at the top. So I started at the bottom and worked my way up. Took me forever. Loved it. Especially the devious clues for HELICOPTER PARENT (1A) and WAR BABIES (43A). Couldn't finish the puzzle until I changed Spool to SCREW at 27D. Until then, I had L-- BABIES at 43A and was completely baffled. What on earth were they?

I don't understand SPOT as the answer to "help in a gym (39A). Anyone?

Also, THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID doesn't seem especially "sophomoric". "The teacher said the exam is going to be next Thursday?" "Yep, THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID." Perfectly swell response in a great many instances, it seems to me.

Mohair Sam 9:41 AM  

I'm a sucker for stacks, so I flat out loved this one. Great long downs too - thanks David.

Going to build a 16 wide stacked puzzle with 1 Across being clued about "cashing out" and the answer "counting ones ones" - just to read @Rex's reaction.

@M&A - I'm sure you started off with the gimme DOYOUWANTTODANCE as we did. But did you think of the RONDELles at 13D? Speaking of which . . . . . . .

@Stanley Hudson (8:09) - Puhleeze, Bobby Freeman's version is the only one worth listening to. The Beach Boys and Ramones embarrassed themselves even trying to match Bobby.

@Rex - When we were kids WARBABIES was as common a term as "post war baby boom" has been for decades now. Hall & Oates made an album called WAR BABIES back in the '70s. And if I remember correctly, one might assume the baby was the result of that last night before a G.I. headed off to war.

mathgent 9:47 AM  

Excellent comment by Rex today. I especially enjoyed his going through the crossword conventions.

The top triple stack nearly defeated me. I called The Closer in but she was couldn't get anyone out. Somehow filling in TYRO gave me HELICOPTERPARENT and I managed to finish after she was in bed for half an hour.

@LMS (6:42): Enjoyed reading about how your parenting evolved. From sterilizing the dropped pacifier to wiping it off on your pants.

I'm a little bitter about ARUNFORONESMONEY but thumbs up for me. Most of it was relief that I was able to finish without cheating.

Mohair Sam 9:49 AM  

@Rex - Thanks for sharing your joy at the Tebow fest - put a smile on all our faces. Standing out in that weather for a cheesy giveaway makes total sense to us. Our otherwise staid daughter-in-law dragged us all out to Lakeland, NJ to see Tim play against the Phillies Class A team last year - what is it with you Tebowmaniacs? And ain't minor league baseball the best?

kitshef 9:49 AM  

@Nancy - when ONE is lifting free weights at the gym, ONE needs a 'spotter', often shortened to 'SPOT', in case ONE gets in trouble and needs assistance. Also applies in gymnastics - the person who stands under the rings so you don't break your neck when your grip slips and you hurtle headfirst towards the ground - not that that would ever happen ... no, not ever.

ghthree 9:56 AM  

Loved the clues for 58D and 59D.
I remember Rusty Staub (Le Grand Orange), but had to Google Bobby Freeman to get 61 Across.
Sheer coincidence that both men died recently.

But it was no more surprising (to me) than the fact that I happened to be have Joanne Lipman's book "THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID" staring me in the face on the breakfast table throughout the solve, and never noticed it until I was done.

It's a scholarly study of gender discrimination in the workplace, published by HarperCollins in 2108,
and I recommend it highly. Not at all sophomoric! Check it out at

Maruchka 9:57 AM  

Hi @Nancy - when performing certain gym exercises, it is wise to have a partner who will SPOT for you. That is: catch, rescue, prevent bodily harm, correct dumb moves, etc. S/he is ONE'S SPOTter.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  


FrankStein 10:21 AM  

@Nancy, "that's what she said" is a commonly used retort nowadays that involves a lot of sophomoric size-related sexual innuendo, titters, guffawing, eye-rolling, and knee-slapping.

Maruchka 10:22 AM  

Hurrah! Made my cold, wet, cloudy morning into one filled with warm sunshine. Well, not yet, but surely this puzz is an auger for a lovely Spring yet to come. Batter up!

Meager/MEASLY only do over. Didn't know TO(t)PE. Nicely done, Mr. Steinberg.

Oscar LEVANT. Lest we forget..

SF Bay Area 60s R&B scene: My fav was listening to then d.j. Sly Stone via 'KDIA Lucky 13 - Hits are Happenin':

Ring, ring: 'Sly Stone on the Soul Line - you wanna dedicate?' 'Hi Sly!' Melt. Oh, that deep, deep basso profundo. Shivers.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Hah! Entered this puzzle at ACNE and ZIT. Awfully easy Friday.

GILL I. 10:23 AM  

@Nancy: "Hey, Bruce, after you oil up my muscles can you SPOT me while I lift?"
Steinberg Friday. He's like cheese. I love them both.
Had some head scratchers but I expect that. Starting with LEVANT, continuing on with EVERS and DEBS. LEVANT wanted to be Iraq, Syria or something Islamic. Dang..need to Google. LEVIATHAN is a huge sea monster in my neck of the brain. Wasn't he in Moby Dick or something? I know it also as a biblical reference but never in a million years would I clue it as just plain old "Giant." I think that ONE needed some more coloring.
OK, so now I see that I was the stupid one at 43A because I had WAR BRIDES. Weren't they around in the early 40's. I don't like seeing BABIES right next to WAR, besides, it's too close to WWI.
The hardest stack for me was getting HELICOPTER PARENT. I really did not know the phrase or if I did, I've forgotten. From reading all the posts, the parent sounds straight out of hell. My Nana always told me germs and dirt were good for you.
ELMO 54A is a Monster? I thought the monster was Cookie....
@JJ TOOT made me laugh
@Questinia...So is popcorn!!!!!
I will never remember RONDEL and I don't care because I enjoyed the 16's.
TOPE of the mornin to ye David...

Tiger 10:25 AM  

@Nancy 9:36. “That’s what she said” is a sophomoric response to an innocuous comment, such as after a math test: “That was really hard.” “That’s what she said.”

Nancy 10:27 AM  

@Quasi (9:00) says "Yes, free verse is still popular, but the old forms have made a startling comeback and are frequently taught in creative writing classes today."

Oh, Quasi, my heart truly
beats mightily at such wonderful
words. Be true, Oh words! I plead, Oh,
please be true! For I
Have often felt
Deeply, deeply
That free verse (free tho' it might be) is
Not "verse" in
Any sense of
the word Verse and
Is merely Prose broken
Into arbitrary little
Pieces. Often
By someone with absolutely no
At all. And so, to the
Return of the RONDEL I say:
Welcome back! Missed ya bigly!

It's Do You Wanna Dance 10:28 AM  

I sing today in praise of the badly educated or lower class, or possibly just those who know that there is a time and place to deviate from the proper to convey what is considered to be improper. You know, people with poor articulation of the English language. Them.

The first time in my life that I "danced" was the night after a college social some 57 years ago. My long time girlfriend and I were healthy youths who both knew that we had a long life together ahead of us, though nothing had been discussed. The must have played Do You Want to Dance a dozen times that night, and boy did I, and did I even more each time they played it and we danced to it. The name of the song may have been "Do you want to dance" but neither I nor any other attendee that night heard it that way, it was do you wanna dance. Everyone there knew what it meant, except possibly one of the ancient, deaf chaperones. Do you want to dance is something you ask a lady before you dance, do you wanna dance is something you ask after you've danced. What some would decry as poor articulation is merely the conveyance of a different concept, and one has to have been an ignorant fool not to know the difference.

My girlfriend and I "danced" later that night. She and I have "danced" on a regular basis for the past 57 years, though for the past few years "dancing" is just dancing. All this dancing has produced 4 kids, 12 grandkids and a great-grandkid on the way.

TubaDon 10:32 AM  

Opened the newspaper and cringed when I saw those stacks. Got started with EVERS and HAZE and I MERCILESSly attacked the south side of the puzzle. The north was much harder. I eventually guessed DEPTHFINDER but it took quite a while to realize it was SONIC, not SONAR. Liked the vision of a HELICOPTER parent hovering over their kids, but hadn't heard the phrase before. Guessed WARBABIES early, but kept wanting to put the threads on a SPOOL, so I took a short nap before finishing up the west side. Only thing that bothered me about the 16 wide was that it was only 15 high. Should be HEX both ways!

puzzlehoarder 10:33 AM  

Just a few more things from reading the comments. I was one of those people who didn't realize this was a 16 wide puzzle. 16D was my first entry buy it just didn't register.

17A really should have THE in it. The switch to ONES is simply a way to pad it out to 16 characters but it helped make a good puzzle. The 15 character version has surprisingly been used only once before.

I was slow to put in 62A as I read it as STANDING something until I was forced to break it up correctly. A big part of the problem is I'm not really familiar with that aspect of the word STEAD, as in to mean advantage or service. I got this from my Webster's after solving. Interestingly in light of the use of ONES in 27A, Webster's gives the phrase as being "to stand one in good stead". That's the phrase I was a little fuzzy on so I confused 62A with the phrase "in good standing." It's much more familiar but the meaning is totally different.

@lms, GOLIATHAN is a great word. Who cares if it doesn't exist? Pun of the day. Does using the word GOLIATHAN make one a Philistine?

Carola 10:34 AM  

Lovely puzzle, from the gigantic LEVIATHEN to the MEASLY SCRAPS. It might try to be SEVERE, even MERCILESS, but for me the overall mood was DO YOU WANT TO DANCE? Loved dancing to that song. And speaking of the teen years, on the ACNE front, I liked the American ZIT paired with the British SPOT.
My sprinkling of stepping stones along the top line: ..L...P.E.P..E.. got me HELICOPTER PARENT, and from there the remaining crosses started me on a top-to-bottom solve. Briefly entertained gamETE for X but DEBS saved me.

Tiger 10:36 AM  

One problem of comment moderation is that the blog is needlessly cluttered. I wouldn’t have posted at 10:25 had I seen Frank’s post at 10:21.

Gretchen 10:45 AM  

Just difficult enough for two cups of coffee and a self-satisfied Ah ha when finished. I wish everyday's puzzle could be this much fun. BTW: I always say I am a war baby even though I was born in 1940.

Masked and Anonymous 10:52 AM  

@RP: "If you could make the grid any shape, and symmetry weren't a consideration, and you could have unchecked squares and two-letter words whenever you wanted, etc. then no one puzzle would feel very special. Just a bunch of crossing words, like those stupid criss-cross puzzles that people continue to insist on calling 'crosswords.' Whoopee."
… It's like I have a runty puz twin! Whoopee!

Top reasons to attend a sub-freezin Rumble Ponies baseball game:

1. Walk-off limp-home frozen extremities.
2. Two out in the bottom of the index glove fingers [see blog pic].
3. Lots of primo downfront seats available [see blog pic]. Only catch is they are too cold to sit on.
4. One degree of separation from Tim Tebow.
5. No degrees of separation from iced-over swag-immune cups of beer.
6. -32 degrees of separation from caring what the score is, after 7 innings of shiverin.
7. First 1000 fans get fleeced.
8. First 32 fans get these real nerdy-lookin matchin stockin caps, knitted by Tim Tebow's second cousin.
9. Complimentary bonfires provided in men's and women's restrooms.
10. Rumble Ponies = RP = Rex Parker.

Go Twins, btw.

Primo FriPuz, but man oh man did M&A get off to a false start. Everyone's openin missteps intersected with mine: PSI for PSF, SPOOL for SCREW. OER for ERE. ORGY for RAVE. OCEANS for OODLES. etc. Lost oodles of precious nanoseconds.
The good news: Did get EROS, ENDO, TYRO, ENTR, PPS [there are better, sextape-related clues for this one, tho] -- all off of nuthin. Also nailed DOYOUWANNADANCE, when I finally got up the nerve to read its clue. [All them 16-long gridspanners looked sooo intimidatinly ornery--scared the M&A] (yo, @Mohair Sam)

fave fillins: MERCILESS. ACNE+ZIT. DOYOUWANNADANCE. EROS/ROSA one clue degree of separation. LEVIATHAN.

staff weeject pick: CFC. I for one am in favor of bannin this stuff, *whatever* it is. Betcha @RP's snot darn near turned to CFC, by that there "no mas" 7th inning. har

Thanx, Steinbergmeister.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

Whoopee time:

Steve Goldberg 11:19 AM  

Bette Midler did a great version of Do you want to Dance?

Hartley70 11:36 AM  

Oh Heavenly Day! A marvelous stack, David Steinberg constructing, and a lovely review by Rex with charming baseball photos, audio and a nod to Mel Ott. I sure missed Mr. Ott yesterday.

Warren Howie Hughes 11:37 AM  

Rex, Most folks bitterly object to being Fleeced. but evidently, not you! :-)

Blackbird 11:55 AM  

Fun puzzle. I'm a war baby, and I knew the phrase war babies. I'm a poet, tried my hand at many forms, courtesy of Babette Deutsch and others, taught poetry workshops for many years, and certainly knew rondel. Knew Levant. The stacks were fun. Helicopter parent, a run for one's money, really rock. Got the sonic, but was stuck, couldn't figure out the depth finder part, because I didn't know the "f" in psf, and didn't catch on to rehydrate, so I didn't have the h. Agree with Rex, "Do You Wanna Dance" is the song title, not "Do You Want to Dance", but the want to fell into place anyway. The Beach Boys and the Ramones use the title "Do You Wanna Dance", but Bobby Freeman's song is titled "Do You Want to Dance", even though, when you listen, he sure is singing wanna, not want to. Anyway, fine puzzle. Kudos to David Steinberg.

Lauren Case 11:57 AM  

I think seeing baseball affected your mood! My beloved Orioles beat the Yankees last night, so baseball has affected my mood as well.

Lauren Case 11:57 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ellen S 12:02 PM  

I liked the puzzle a lot except for 31D/36A. I guess it’s an EZPASSLANE in New York, on Law&Order they’re always checking people’s alibis by looking at the usage on their _____ [something I never pay attention to). Out here in California it’s a FasTrak pass, and in Florida I guess they’re managed by county; in Lee County where my daughter used to live, it’s a LeeWay pass, which I thought had some cleverness.

Anyway, I had _______LANE but EZPASS was a long time coming, not helped by the small slice of pizza that I figured was one of the letters, but it migh as well have been pEE for all I know. A classic Natick, I think. I mean, Bostonians aren’t stumped by a Stations of the Marathon clue, but foreigners who don’t marathon will not be familiar with the surrounding cities. And those of us who don’t drive in New York, what do we know? Whose rye bread is it you don’t have to be Jewish to like? It ain’t sold around here. We have a real Jewish deli going to open up here in Sacramento, any year now, still shrouded behind construction barriers; maybe they’ll import whatever it is.

Whatsername 12:08 PM  

I bow to all the superior intellects who found this puzzle to be of "medium" difficulty. I knew I was in for it when I saw the grid, but my final rating has to be "Brutal," and with a definite capital B. After wearing my eraser down a nub, I admitted defeat and started googling. Yes it's cheating, but my primary motivation for crosswords is the opportunity to increase my knowledge/vocabulary and keep my retired brain from rusting as much as nature and genetics will allow. Even after completion, I still had to go to the dictionary and get the definition of a few answers. GUess I was a bit spoiled after two consecutive fun themers. Oh well, maybe this means Saturday will be an actual Medium for me in comparison. Wishing all a happy weekend, despite the "S" words in many weather forecasts.

old timer old timer 12:08 PM  

An easy Friday = rare

A medium Friday = hard but doable in the end

A hard Friday = DNF.

So I agree with OFL here, this was medium, and first-rate. Even though none of the gridspanners came quickly to my mins.

i see the chorus of praise for DS, which is well deserved. Let me add some praise to you all. Something about this puzzle brought out the best in the commentariat. Some days, my only high point in reading the comments is whatever @LMS wrote, and maybe @'merican(s). Today @LMS was excellent as always, but so many of you added to my enjoyment and knowledge.

Born in Feb 45 I may be technically a war baby but since I was too young to remember VJ Day I have always thought of myself as a Boomer.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

@it’s do you wanna dance

Just wow...

Ellen S 12:25 PM  

Big potential consequences to giving a dog table SCRAPS. My son-in-law’s dog used to get fed from the table (as well as too much in his bowl) for a few years until this past week he got sick, wouldn’t eat, but somehow found it in him to, well, leak massively from every orifice. The treatment was only a few hundred dollars but the son-in-law (out-law, i guess, as they’re divorced) is now a believer.

Man and dog both got off lucky — 20 years ago my mom’s schnauzer got pancreatitis, really painfully ill, twice in one month, hospitalized a week each time, totaled $3000. And she had been fed carefully, not fatty meat SCRAPS. (She had been sick often, with various things, when my mom was alive, and this was the culmination, right after mom died; my theory is that the dog knew how sick mom was, and her own illnesses were from stress.)

Okay in crossword puzzles, but in real life I advise against it. They don’t all get sick from eating SCRAPS but when they do, you have to hire a hazmat team to clean up.

Stuartwm 12:36 PM  

Fun puzzle except I have never encountered TOPE before today. LEVANT is familiar to anyone who reads about the Crusades.

Blue Stater 1:00 PM  

Excellent, enjoyable puzzle. Tough, fair cluing, and some inventiveness, as OFL has pointed out. And no gimmicks. Let's have more like this!

TJS 1:03 PM  

@LMS, following up on your "helicopter parents" comments, I am reminded of a classic James Thurber cartoon. First panel couple holding baby are describing how they wash, sterilize and basically overdo all there baby-tending efforts. It's titled' First Baby" Second panel , titled "Second Baby" shows baby crawling on floor dragging a ragged doll behind. Mother says to other couple, "Is'nt it cute, we found it in the alley."

Amelia 1:14 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teedmn 1:15 PM  

This certainly had some bite to it. I felt it was going well - started with ZEE and had everything done below DAZE (except I had hAZE). I looked at my watch, I was 12 minutes into it. I started building off WAR BABIES and ran into a bunch of CLOTS. (And that was the first one, with CLOgS.)

I wish I had solved using @r.alphbunker's program because then I could tell how long I STAREd at INaTIAgE at 4D before I started removing the parts I wasn't sure of. Too bad I was really sure about SONar and didn't think of CFC (CFr, why not?) But I finally came out of my DAZE and cleaned that up.

My other fun SPOT was 16D. I put in TYRO. At that point, I had the P in for 11D and was considering 1A would end in Person. And that would make 16D the very Steinberg-esque NEWB. I finally dug into my crossword brain and pulled RONDEL out of some cranium cranny - hey, I ain't no TYRO at this game!

I love that David makes stacks safe for ONE'S again. This was one LEVIATHAN of a Friday puzzle, thanks, DS!

jberg 1:17 PM  

@Nancy, it’s more like “Matilda said you smell!” “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID,”

you emphasize the she when saying it.

TJS 1:18 PM  

I forgot to add to my last post, I only saw one other entry mentioning Oscar Levant. Since I am approaching seventy, I still remember his strange, eccentric appearences on the Tonight Show when Jack Paar was the host. Possibly the oddest guest ever to appear on TV. If you are a fan of one liners, check out his Wikipedia page. My favorite has always been "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin".

GHarris 1:22 PM  

Once I changed spool to screw, sonar to sonic and gave in to psf from psi I was home free. Since I’m from the Tennessee Waltz generation I had to get Do You Want to Dance from crosses and a sound guess. Lots of fun and satisfaction. As far as intellectual snobism goes, many of us know those great villanelles by Dylan and Bishop. So there.

QuasiMojo 1:27 PM  

@Nancy, you made my day with that ingenious and clever poem. 10:27AM. Keep em coming!

Kimberly 1:29 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn 1:32 PM  

Came in a little under my usual Friday time, which was a pleasant surprise for a daunting start. Beautiful puzzle, so many interesting answers.

THATSWHATSHESAID always makes me think of Michael from The Office. Great show, but the usage here is tone deaf.

PSF? Pfff.

Off to look up Michael’s blogs from pre-2007 to spot any typos. ������

Roo Monster 1:36 PM  

Hey All !
Nice themeless. Lively, scrabbly-ish. Thought @M&A would get a kick out of the ZEE clue.

@LMS, here ya go!

Stand in good stead,
It's the way to be.
That's what she said.

Do not astray be led
Let each other be free,
Stand in good stead.

We should look to the future ahead,
This I do decree.
That's what she said.

Do not take others for granted,
We should all agree.
Stand in good stead.

Act like you're alive, not dead
It's my solemn plea.
That's what she said.

And try not to live in dread,
Get out in the world and see.
Stand in good stead.
That's what she said.

Might not be the best Villanelle out there, but for my first one ever, I think it's not too shabby! :-)


jberg 1:36 PM  

Lots of trouble with those lady saints— Rita and Anita before ROSA and CLARA. Also DDT before CFC. But what a fun puzzle.

You could complete STANDING OO with VATION , if you can accept some redundancy.

I’m a WAR BABY by chronology, but my father was a civilian. He was exempt because he worked in a Seagram’s distillery, considered an essential war industry.

DrBB 1:46 PM  

Nice just-hard-enough Friday for me. I actually finished the top stacks last, due to the overabundance of possible line-ending solves in the NE. I held out for a while hoping 16D was going to end up being the more current NEWB rather than the musty old TYRO, but it was not to be, alas.

Didn't have so much trouble with the middle section. The brilliant ACNE and ZIT pair gave me MERCILESS, and EVERS and DEBS (any other John Dos Passos "USA" fans here?) were both gimmes, so that whole section fell really easily.

Steven Eady 1:48 PM  

Rex, Rex, Rex: Please don't film video with your phone held vertically. Turn that sucker sideways so that the picture doesn't get letterboxed on the sides. You'll fill the whole screen, and those of us watching might actually be able to see what it is you're filming.

Am I crazy, or isn't a HASP part of a lock, not a locker?

Amelia 2:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Slow Motion 2:13 PM  

Someone more clever than I, spoofing the Kentucky Derby, once said that the most exciting two minutes in sports was Rusty Staub hitting a triple.

Wonderful puzzle, everything you could ask for on a Friday.

Wm. C. 2:15 PM  

@EllenS12:02 --

I'm a seasonal Lee County, FL, resident, and was confused about your reference to a "LeeWay Pass," since I have no recollection of any toll roads here.

However, Mr. Google reminded me that they are good for the bridges over the bay and the one out to Sanibel and Captiva. DOH!!!

Wm. C. 2:24 PM  

@StEady1:48 --

A HASP is a hinged and slotted plate, typically mounted on the outside edge of a door, that, when the door is closed, rotates over a U-shaped fastener on the door frame (sill). Then a fastener or padlock can be also inserted into the u-shaped devise above the HASP, thereby fastening it in place, so that the door remains closed (and locked, if a padlock is used).

Patricia Hughes 2:37 PM  

War babies are the boomers who showed up post war. The early 1940s were prewar babies (as someone else noted). Other than that great puzzle.

Anonymous 2:46 PM  

So I was ACPT a few weeks ago. I saw Rex. Hard to miss him. But his stats weren't entered on on-line scoring post like everyone else's. I know Rex isn't real name, but they weren't listed under real name either. What gives? Is Rex/Michael afraid of showing his real solve times? That's weak.

Anonymous 2:55 PM  

@Patricia - WAR BABIES are babies born while their father was away fighting the war (apologies to female soldiers who are parents of babies born using a surrogate mother, we're talking WWII here) In the early '40s there were many war babies, as lots of fathers to be were out there fighting. Boomers are babies who were conceived when the fathers came home (at least that's what she said).

Fred Romagnolo 3:30 PM  

When two millionaires were competing for the New York senatorship, Averil Harriman said of Nelson Rockefeller, "I'll give him a run for his money." That's when there weren't too many Billionaires.

Unknown 3:32 PM  

That sounds like OCR not being OCD enough.

Fred Romagnolo 3:35 PM  

In the Book of Job, leviathan stood for a whale.

Whatsername 3:50 PM  

Thank you @Fred Romagnolo. I knew I had seen that word in The Bible but could not remember where.

Outside The Box 4:12 PM  

Great write-up! Rex is obviously in a good mood because baseball season is here. Me too!

jberg 4:20 PM  

@Ellen S., @Wm.C.--

I'm just back from three weeks in Captiva recently and can attest that there is now a statewide SunPass. Florida is the only state where my EZPass wouldn't work as we drove down from Boston. Meanwhile, the EXPass has taken over most of the East -- as far north as Maine, as far west as Illinois; it replaced our native FastLane years ago. It's very convenient as you drive from state to state. There are negotiations about Florida's accepting EZPass, but they won't do it unless the EZPass states agree to take the SunPass, but they won't do it, clainiming they don't have the technical capability. I didn't know CA had its own system -- probably there will be a transpondageddon somewhere in Kansas as the two battle for supremacy.

On another note, I was too embarrassed to mention this earlier, but my first thought for early '40s deliveries was 'buzz bombs.' I did wonder if that wasn't a little too macabre for the NYT.

Three and out.

Hungry Mother 4:27 PM  

Very nice one today. I pulled TOPE out of my wherever and had clear sailing from there. Played more like a Wednesday here at the edge of the Mojave Desert.

Hungry Mother 4:28 PM  

As a Snowbird, I have an EZPass and a SunPass.

Charles Flaster 5:18 PM  

Met Staub once. A true gentleman!,

Joe Dipinto 5:35 PM  

The Bobby Freeman recording is apparently the only one that showed the title as "Do You Want To Dance", and even he sang it as "wanna" dance. So that threw me for a second. My favorite version is the one by The Mamas & The Papas. Also like Bette Midler's slo-o-ow treatment.

So: ACNE, ZIT, sperm and sophomoric rejoinders. I guess I should just be grateful there's no reference to *that movie* today.

Banana Diaquiri 5:45 PM  

@Patricia Hughes:
The early 1940s were prewar babies (as someone else noted).

well, NO. WWII started 1941, remember??? that's "early". so is 1942 and 1943 and, one might argue, 1944 (when the War was nearly over). whether war babies were, mostly, illegitimate is another question.

moreover, according to the wiki:
"A war baby is a child born in a country at war.[1] Sometimes it used more narrowly, applying to a native parent and a parent belonging to a foreign military force (occupying or stationed)."

so, by that definition, American forces in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War produced bunches. not so much during WWII.

Ando 6:13 PM  

What about the clue on HELICOPTER PARENT? I would have thought the "?" would indicate a play on the word cares. Something on the lines of "One who hovers too much?" would be easy but deserve the ? more. Why the "?" in this case?

Off the grid 6:35 PM  

You're very clever and no one cares.

Carolynne 6:59 PM  

Lots of write overs, but finished it eventually! LSAT for PSAT, PLUGS and then CLOGS for CLOTS and HAZE for DAZE.

Stephen Minehart 7:01 PM  

@jberg 1:17

"@Nancy, it’s more like “Matilda said you smell!” “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID,”

you emphasize the she when saying it."

No, that's not quite right. "That's what she said" is used to turn a obviously non-sexual comment into something sexual.

ie. I'm at a work lunch and the waiter brings me my food and there is a lot less than I expected.
Me: "This is a lot smaller than I expected. It won't fill me up."
Obnoxious Co-worker: "That's what she said!"

michiganman 7:13 PM  

Someone may have already cited this but it is delightful and strange.


michiganman 7:35 PM  

Sorry, guess that doesn't work

Joe Dipinto 7:46 PM  

Yep. There's even an "adult" card-game-in-a-box called "That's What She Said", played in a manner similar to "Apples To Apples". Whatever the judge deems the most salacious answer wins the hand. Of course DS would include it.

Anonymous 9:54 PM  

Depthfinder? Tope? PSF? Yuck.

sanfranman59 10:31 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 4:21 4:18 1.01 53.3% Medium
Tue 6:17 5:37 1.12 72.0% Medium-Challenging
Wed 5:29 6:00 0.91 36.0% Easy-Medium
Thu 7:59 10:01 0.80 22.1% Easy-Medium
Fri 23:07 13:23 1.73 95.3% Very Challenging

This is what I get for my recent confidence in solving DS creations. I think I'd go with Medium for the bottom 3/4, but those 16 stacks up top ate me alive (particularly SONIC DEPTH FINDER). That's at least partly because I was fully committed to PSi at 11D and didn't even think about those three squares until the very end after entering them into a completely blank grid at 39 seconds. I estimate that I worked on those top 4 rows for about 13:30 of my 23:07 solve time. Crazy. DS can still kick my ass.

Adam Frank 11:23 PM  

I enjoyed this. DDT for CFC; LSAT for PSAT; BOOB for DODO (the B would have ended NOOB or NEWB, but that was obviously wrong); MEAGER for MEASLY; GHOST for GUSTO and ETAS instead of ETDS. Fixed them all, but wow. Tough but fair cluing.

snowmaiden 11:59 PM  

Forgive me, but I think it’s a bit raunchier than that.

Andrew Levis 12:14 AM  

Grin at 2d killed me like a ring on the finger.
Will conquer Friday some week...

semioticus (shelbyl) 1:01 AM  

Not a bad one, but the top stack had too much crosswordese for my taste, and perhaps not surprisingly for a Steinberg puzzle, some clues were too much for me to handle.

I wholeheartedly agree with Jeff Chen, Someone who cares too much? does not need a question mark. This is the definition of a HELICOPTERPARENT: "a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children." I mean, if that clue gets a question mark, then every clue can get one. It sends waves through waves? Why not? I just don't get it.

Also, that top stack had these downs: HASP CFC TOPE ENTR PSF AMI RONDEL ENDO TYRO. This is not the most elegant collection of words. It's hard to make such triple stacks, and I get it, but the bottom stack had a good balance of words that one hears on a regular basis and doesn't.

Anyway, above average construction, but just like yesterday's, I was overwhelmed by certain clues to truly enjoy this. Not bad, but not great either.

GRADE: B, 3.45 stars.

Jenskis70 11:29 AM  

My experience exactly down to the celebrate before rehydrate.

Anonymous 9:20 PM  

Here’s a clerihew:

Brave Sally Yates

Manhandled by the fates

She said Trump’s edict was “not required”

And the groper-in-chief replied “you’re fired.”

Glad 1:20 PM  

I agree that the Rusty Staub clue was very cold. They missed an opportunity to pay tribute to him.

Kelis Anna 1:00 AM  

My name is Kelis anna. Out of respect for you and your spells I must make this testimony know to all. I've been to other spell casters without seeing any result,all they want was after my money. I just wished I came to you earlier,i got the best from you. My ex husband was gone for a year and I went everywhere and other spell casters for help but no result until my friend introduce me to Dr. Bello. After the Love Spell was done, I finally got a calls from him.His spells worked wonders and my husband is back with full of love. It was like a miracle! He suddenly came back with flowers saying that i should for give him,i was truly flabbergasted and shocked when my husband kneel down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back..I'm really short of words and joyful,you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again.Thank you so much Dr. Bello. To everyone who is looking for a real spell caster contact Dr.Bello bellospelltemple@gmail.com or you call him +1 (917) 979-6387

Burma Shave 10:26 AM  


her NEED to RAVE is SEVERE and apparent,


spacecraft 11:54 AM  

Oh come on now. Out of all these 100+ posters only ONE wrote in Ghost when presented with a five-letter word for spirit starting with G? That misdirect nearly cost me a DNF! Of COURSE a spirit is a ghost. What else would you put in there? I can't believe EVERYBODY didn't trip over that one.

Finally, though, I had to throw it out because of the Freeman classic. Started in the east with SEOUL, ZEE and EZPASSLANE; the north was just EROS and ENTR and nothing else. Unraveled the snag in the south, then LEVIATHAN was an inspiration. North was the last to go. Cluing problems: why does the clue for INITIATE include the word kick-? Also, I can think of many things to call ELMO; "monster" is NOT one of them.

A SEVERE test, with sometimes-MERCILESS clues. Oil surplus indeed! Co-holders of today's DOD title are two African-American women whose contributions to American history are legendary: MAYA Angelou and ROSA Parks. You go, girls!

Stratospheric triumph factor, as expected with a DS. Birdie.

BS2 12:00 PM  


He STARESAT her askance, ERE he INITIATEs this cue,


rondo 12:22 PM  

@spacey – I will join you having Ghost gumming up the works, along with a sONnET for a RONDEL and a pcb for a CFC. And other ink blots before a successful finish. That clue for EROS has gotta be from Will. Rusty STAUB actually got me the best toehold and I worked it from there.

Did the RONDELls ever perform DOYOUWANTTODANCE?

I’m gonna jump into the waaaay-back machine for the “IT Girl” and yeah baby CLARA Bow.

This DODO was in a SEVERE DAZE for a while, but I must RAVE about this puz.

5wksltr 1:58 PM  

Nice smooth puzzle til sonic depth finder. Try working that one into a conversation.

Diana,LIW 2:23 PM  

My name is Diana and the spellcaster did not help at all with this puzzle. Dirty rotten caster...

Oh what a tangled web I wove. Ghost was the least of my worries.

I admit defeat - gracefully.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Saturday

rainforest 2:28 PM  

"Medium" works for me re this very enjoyable puzzle. I had the same two entries in the top stack as @Spacey when I risked REHYDRATE which totally opened up the centre for me, and which I dispatched with alacrity, har. LEVIATHAN off the first L led to the South stack which was much easier than the North.

Up there, completing that gave a RUN FOR ONE'S MONEY, er, completion.

I avoided the Spool mistake since I could not see what kind of BABIES began with L.

The clue for WWI was clever/cute, as were the ACNE/ZIT duo.

Lots of nice words throughout, some excellent clues, and the sheen of competence throughout.

leftcoastTAM 6:33 PM  

Has all the earmarks of a David Steinberg puzzle: clever, fun, smooth, easy in some places and challenging but fair in others, adding up to a medium.

Felt intimidated at first by the long stacks, but got an early foothold in the middle. Worked North, which turned out relatively easy, while the South (SUD) was more resistant.

The short downs helped a lot in both North and South as did the longer downs cutting through the stacks.


Anonymous 8:40 PM  

Great puzzle Mr Steinberg. Very challenging and enlightening on some of the clues/answers.

And even though I'm on the left coast and so my puzzle is a about a month late I still was excited to see Tim Tebow hit that home run. No matter what their religions or politics it's great to see Tim's and Rex's enthusiasm for the sport. We don't need politically correct baseball, or football, or anything for that matter. Go Rex, Go Tim, and Go Binghamton. Thanks Rex for the video.

thefogman 1:30 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 12:51 PM  

I was searching for advise on what to do to get back my EX Husband, My story is about a woman who used to work with my husband in the same office, they were having secrete affair and i caught them, for that reason my we had to split, but i still love him but it seems he was deeply in lover with the other lady and he left me useless, after few weeks of searching for help, I came across Dr.Alli who can help me, i contacted Dr.Alli for help due to the fact that i needed my EX lover desperately because he is my everything and my life. To God be the glory, my EX husband came back to me within 12 hours and he swore never to cheat on me again and promised to love me forever, Viewers reading my article that also need his help should contact him with his email : ( allispellhelp1@gmail.com ) call or Whatsapp +2348100772528 he will solve your relationship problem.....

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP