One-named folk singer / FRI 4-27-18 / Mechanical calculator pioneer / Greek goddess of witchcraft underworld / Cat known as Shirazi in mideast / Showy ballet leap / Mine shaft borer / English industrial city described by Dickens as odious place

Friday, April 27, 2018

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Easy or Easy-Medium, not sure (5:08)

THEME: no, just that ill-advised 1A/1D nonsense

Word of the Day: ENTRECHAT (2D: Showy ballet leap) —
  1. a vertical jump during which the dancer repeatedly crosses the feet and beats them together. (Google)
• • •

OK, first things first, just *no* to the SEETHING / SEETHINGS crossing. I get it, you noticed a word thing and wanted to show it off, but unless you are using it in some kind of thematic capacity, it's just an eight-letter word and then that same eight-letter word again, with an S. A huge dupe. Ridiculous. And super-duper ridiculous, 'cause a huge chunk of solvers aren't even gonna notice anyway. There's clever, and then there's cute, and then there's too cute. This was too too. Which is too bad, as I liked most of this puzzle. Longer theme answers are interesting, and have a lot of room to breathe, though this grid was oddly heavy on the super-familiar stuff (TTOP KIR EDSEL ERMA EKE etc). ESTO was the only crosswordese that made me audibly gag, but this one just had more HAR INE IRE etc. than I'd expect in a Steinberg 70-worder (i.e. a high word-count themeless from a very experience constructor). Speaking of HAR, god I hate the [Laugh syllable] clue genre. At least four different plausible answers come to mind. I mean, if you can only give me a "syllable," maybe it's not a good answer to begin with and you should do something else.

I hung HEH (pfft) INE NCAA GELT right across the top of the grid to start things off, and that was enough to get ENTRANCE and ETHEREAL and zoom, off I went. First hold-up came trying to get up into the NE corner. Couldn't get PATNESS off the "P" (26A: Smooth talker's quality) and couldn't get either PARIAH (9D: Outcast) or AVANTI (10D: Classic Studebaker) from just their fourth and sixth letters. LAD / LEEDS rescued me from my floundering, and from up there, CABLE TELEVISION came straight down. Wouldn't have another hiccup until ELECTRO, which is not a "dance music subgenre" I'm familiar with. EDM, Electronica, Techno, those I know. ELECTRO sounds oddly made-up, or like it's a piece of some larger genre name. But no, it's a real, if niche, and largely bygone, thing. Anyway, I inferred it from --EC-RO, and that SW corner fell and I was done. I did an American Values Club crossword puzzle as a tune-up for this one, and I remain convinced that pre-solving other crosswords makes your NYT times faster. It's like warming up, but for your brain and eyes and fingers.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    P.S. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey there. What's up? So there's this collection of crosswords, edited by Patti Varol, called "Women of Letters." All-female constructor line-up, lots of familiar names. How do you get it? Screenshot your donation of > $10 to one of many "women-centric" charities (listed on the puzzle website), then send that in to and get the puzzle pack in return. All relevant information can be found here. Nice way to spotlight a wide array of pro-women organizations while also showcasing women crossword constructors. Twofer!

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    jae 12:33 AM  

    Easy-medium for me too. The NHL / ENTRECHAT cross was a WOE but the only N?L answer that made sense was Hockey.

    ELECTRO was also a WOE.

    Plenty of good stuff, liked it.

    Randall Clark 12:37 AM  

    ATEIN was my first, which gave me PARIAH, which gave me AVIATE, which gave me SIs, which gave me PASCAL, which gave me CABLETELEVISION. Filled clockwise from there, finally seeing my SIs error with RABBLE. Had never heard of GAD as a stand alone, but made sense thinking backwards from gadabout. Was unsure of the A in HECATE, but figured if trepanning is drilling through the skull, trepan might be a borer of other stuff besides bone. Last in was the P in EPA, couldn't suss the clue. Nothing else made sense across (fATNESS no, gATNESS no, etc), so entered it with fingers crossed. After, Google let me know that the EPA does auto mpg ratings. Enjoyed it, and finished faster than I expected when I began.

    Anonymous 12:50 AM  

    i started out with only a few answers and thought it was going to be hard but the answers kept on coming and it practically filled itself in after a few passes. the long downs and acrosses were excellent and friday-appropriate.

    when i saw hey, hey, hey, i immediately thought we were in for a cosby bashing. i guess "hey hey hey it's fat albert" has a whole new meaning now. what an incredible fall. as they say, keep it zipped.


    puzzlehoarder 12:54 AM  

    A smooth easy Friday. No Naticks today. I was still a little gun shy when checking my grid thanks to yesterday. I did this on paper and it almost felt too easy.

    I didn't notice the 1A/1D dupe while solving or the ELECTRO SADISM phrase down south. We recently had a detective convicted of that here in Chicago.

    It's only been of late that I have the cassis/KIR connection down PAT. Speaking of which PATNESS is rather weird looking. It was one of the things which initially kept me out of the NE. However EDSEL gave me LEEDS and I back filled off of that.

    ENTRECHAT is actually a debut. I have no idea what those Variety puzzles are. Still the crosses made it easy. An easy puzzle over all but never boring.

    bantam 1:19 AM  

    Apologies in advance for being "that guy," but electro isn't largely bygone. It's having quite a moment in the electronic music scene and continues to get more popular. It's most certainly niche, though.

    Great puzzle. Big fan of I CAN TAKE A HINT.

    Harryp 1:31 AM  

    I had enough short fill to get the long downs and crosses, which gave purchase to guess at others, and that led to a very satisfying solve. I liked the cluing for 13D ATLAS & 47D STONER.
    Medium Challenging for me.

    Ando 1:32 AM  

    I hesitated at the "NCAA" answer because it seemed to have been written by an NCAA exec. Yes they give billions in scholarships, but they also make gazillions on the backs of the best of those athletes while preventing them from having so much as a part-time job. At best, a complicated issue these days, and worthy of a more contemporary clue.

    JOHN X... 1:45 AM  

    This was a really great Friday puzzle! It was really kinda Saturday hard because there's just some nice clue/answer combos in there - man you gotta work this one. I liked it a lot.

    And I laughed at the NW corner because I didn't notice it at first and then I thought I was seeing things and I sure was seeing things because there were two of them. Four Krustys! Just now I noticed that there is also ENTRANCE/ENTRECHAT and ETHEREAL/ETHICALDILEMMAS up there.

    I had SIAMESE before PERSIAN and ADELLE before ODETTA. but I got AVANTI and EDSEL, two great old classic cars even though I think they're both pretty ugly. Jack WEBB was going to join the Ramones and become JACK RAMONE. He stood just behind Joey and played the tambourine and rocked his head to the beat, although he never did. SADISM is definitely on the opposite side of the spectrum than KINDNESS, that's for sure, although I imagine it's possible to be a polite sadist ("Sorry about the electrodes on your genitals, sir.").

    Speaking of STONER, this is the second night in a row I did the puzzle after a hit of perfectly legal weed. 20:54 with no errors. Never have the words had such meaning.

    Martin AshwoodSmith 2:14 AM  

    Re ELECTRO: it’s still very current. There are many electro producers/DJs today.

    It’s usually considered a sub-genre of “House”. But the dance/electronic/DJ scene is so huge, that a general genre such a “House” (started in Chicago around 1987) is often catagorized by its sub-genres: electro being one of them. The largest probably being “Electro House”.

    (FYI: I have produced several, as recently as last year)


    chefwen 3:20 AM  

    Medium here. Did fairly well until I hit the SW, ELECTRO and RAMONE were unknown. STONER finally came to me and brought a chuckle, half of this island can fit into that category.

    Never noticed SEETHING SEETHINGS dupe. You were right Rex.

    Master Steinberg’s puzzles usually intimidate me, I think I’m over it now, I enjoyed this one.

    Anonymous 3:43 AM  

    Does the NCAA award “billions” in scholarships, or do the member institutions grant them? I’ve always thought it was the latter.

    Charles Flaster 4:04 AM  

    Enjoyed this easy one and never noticed the dupe until Rex.
    Only writeovers were STOoge ( think Curly)
    morphing into STOgie and finally STONER.
    That opened up the SW and puzzle was completed.
    My parents told me I was too young to watch Jack WEBB in “Dragnet “ so I had to watch reruns a few years later. Always liked his tough exterior with a hint of sarcasm.
    Thanks DS

    Loren Muse Smith 4:18 AM  

    Rex – I can say that creamed corn and Harvard beets are disgusting, nasty foods that should never be served, and people understand that it’s really just my opinion and not a blanket statement full of Truth. That’s how I try to take your blanketine statements about stuff that you find objectionable. Not to *your* taste. When I saw the SEE THINGS/SEETHING cross, I was delighted. High point of my solve.

    Bet I wasn’t the only one playing around with some kind of landline phone for CABLE TELEVISION. I’ll remind you that the reason we decided to bite the bulled and actually pay for tv through a cable was the idea that we’d pay up front and be done with the &^%$ commercials. Remember? Yeah. Right. Even now when I think about it, it enrages me. Bet satellite radio is headed that way, but I don’t have it, so I'm not sure.

    The clue for 34D is quite ambiguous, given today’s climate.

    Rex – how else to clue the useful HAR, though. “Boring leader?” “Saharan center?” “Vest opening?”

    I CAN TAKE A HINT. I guess we all think we can, but man oh man some people I don’t manage to EVADE at school sure can’t. I have to stand there and listen for the bajillionth time to this guy’s experience in the army band or that guy’s experience teaching and coaching in Florida or look at this other guy’s pictures on his laptop of his arbor in his backyard when I got to school extra early to grade papers and not to spend thirty minutes feigning interest in his damn trees. I can look at my watch, squirm blah blah, and they’re oblivious. When I finally escape, I fret about all the times I do the same thing.

    Ok. So that fancy jump ends in French for cat. CHAT. I’m not googling it ‘cause I don’t have time. Sue me. And then there’s PERSIAN. My newest game is to to up to a student with a picture of a cat on her binder and say, You like cats? Of course she does. I say, I do. I just can’t eat a whole one by myself. And then walk on off.

    When EYE CANDY agrees to be your date to the prom, he becomes ARM CANDY. Looking forward to showing my husband off tomorrow night. Since I’m a faculty sponsor, I have to chaperone. Seems most of the teachers go all in and wear gowns. The only long dress in the entire mall happened to fit me. It’s not that pretty, but it’s pageanteous. I’ma feel dumb. But I secretly hope people gasp and whisper that I look ETHEREAL.

    @Gill I – (from a couple of days ago) – I was horrified to read about your fire. How fortunate that you still had important things in boxes. Wow.

    @jberg (from yesterday) – I tracked down your heads-up about that @anonymous comment. I would have missed it. Once school starts, I have to cherry pick the comments I read because there’s no time. Once I get home at night, I’m catatonic and just want to sit on the couch and stare. Anyway, I choose to read comments by people who at least go to the trouble of creating a name or something. That nifty little trick someone taught us here about clicking on the anonymous comments and they just disappear was huge. I probably miss some good stuff, but I surely avoid a lot of yellow-bellied snark.

    So, yeah – my heart sang when I saw the New York Times put a singular they in a clue.

    Had a dnf with “rubble/Avunti.” Pfft. Terrific puzzle, though, David. BEER MONEY, EYE CANDY, CABLE TELEVISION, I CAN TAKE A HINT, ETHICAL DILEMMAS, BIKE STAND… and SEETHING/SEE THINGS cross. Good stuff.

    sanfranman59 5:19 AM  

    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 4:57 4:24 1.13 79.7% Medium-Challenging
    Tue 4:45 5:31 0.86 20.3% Easy-Medium
    Wed 5:42 6:00 0.95 40.5% Medium
    Thu 11:34 10:01 1.15 73.0% Medium-Challenging
    Fru 10:53 13:01 0.84 28.9% Easy-Medium

    Unlike DS's Friday puzzle of three weeks ago, I felt as though I was thinking right along with this one. It was my 4th fastest of 23 of his Fridays. I wasn't really sure from where I was pulling some of the answers, but I did have to stand up once or twice while solving (ENTRECHAT, TREPAN).

    I had a feeling that Rex would lambaste the 1A/1D crossing. I loved it! Aren't words fun? Heh before HAR (5D) up there created a small headache and I had to reset in the SW.

    Unfortunately, I bogged down again as EVADES was EluDES for me at first (64A). I never seem to guess right on that one. Another reset up in the NE led to a bit of a slog but I made some good guesses, cobbled it together and shot CABLE TELEVISION down into the SE.

    I was only able to fill in a few letters down there before seeing Aunt ERMA in the midlands. I knocked out the middle pretty well and that gave me enough to get the rest of the NW.

    Then it was back down to the SW where AMES finally came to mind and I then proceeded to rip through the remainder of that quadrant and backed my way into the SW to finish up.

    I was 4:52 for the second half of my solve, a decidedly Easy Friday pace for me. Even the hated geographic direction answer made me go, "huh." I can never seem to picture how far east LA is. A delightful TRIP. Thanks DS.

    BarbieBarbie 6:02 AM  

    Had GRANDJETE for the ballet move, which definitely slowed me down. Loved the 1A/1D play and love finding Easter Eggs in aThemeless. CROATIAN made me think of/miss Gilda Radner

    ETHEREAL is a lovely word to use to cross a ballet clue.

    Lewis 6:18 AM  

    This was full-bore quality time for me. EDSEL/LEEDS got me in, followed by a grid of scattershot letters, that, like droplets of water on paper, spread into islands, then continents.

    With Steinberg staples:
    * Something new to learn -- TREPAN.
    * Brilliant clues -- ATLAS ("Book of legends"), STONER ("One getting hit after hit").
    * Wordplays -- EDSEL/LEEDS, SEETHING/SEETHINGS ("Cool!" was my reaction here), "Was off"/Be off" back-to-back clues.

    Remember those early Steinberg wild and crazy puzzles? Credit Will for spotting talent and ably bringing it along. Look at the result.

    I came into this like one entering a cherished restaurant and left just as satisfied. I love my Fridays in the grid with David.

    Jonathan Alexander 7:02 AM  

    Okay, just a random question...who here was taught the dilemma spelling as dilemNa? I know I sure was.

    Hungry Mother 7:13 AM  

    For some reason, I thought it was spelled “dilemna”; thinking of some other word I guess. The perp fixed it up right away, but it was strange. Sluggish today, but no real problem.

    kitshef 7:16 AM  

    Really fun puzzle (sorry, M&A). Great longs – especially the NW and SE stacks. Difficulty achieved by vague cluing, rather than obscurity.

    Admittedly PATNESS is bad, and the ODETTA/ESTO cross was a doubly-educated guess (E was my first choice for both crossing words).

    Loved the cleverness (and utter cheek) of the SEETHING/SEE THINGS cross – changing the meaning by adding an ‘s’. The only similar crossing I could come up with is crossing ‘their’ with ‘the IRS’.

    Hungry Mother 7:40 AM  

    I found that I’m not alone: There are some other theories about alternate universes; I think maybe left-handers occupy one of them.

    Anonymous 7:41 AM  

    I won’t say anything to spoil it, but do this week’s acrostic!

    Hungry Mother 7:46 AM  

    Since my Ph.D. thesis contained many lemmas (of the lemma, theorem, corollary triumvirate), the correct spelling of dilemma shouldn’t look weird, but it does.

    QuasiMojo 7:51 AM  

    Thank you David Steinberg for a seethingly entrancing Friday puzzle. You're a TRIP! But I do take issue with your contrasting NICENESS with SADISM since they really aren't opposites. Sadism is finding sexual pleasure in inflicting pain. It does not necessarily mean cruelty (Freudian pun there.) Although it certainly can include it. Think of Hannibal Lecter in his eponymous sequel in which he TREPANned one of his victims. A scene that was almost as horrific as Loren Muse Smith's quip about eating a cat! Hardy har har indeed! (seriousl, LOL.) But then Hannibal had other qualities, among them enjoying a NICE chianti.

    All that said, this was a blast. Over too soon. I always seem to solve puzzles three times slower than OFL. But then again I won't LOSE SLEEP OVER it. Great ODETTA clip, Rex. I remember when I used to see her on WNET in the good old days before there were ads even on public television! What's next? Ads on our telephones? Har har.

    Birchbark 7:55 AM  

    Why the @Rex SEETHING about SEETHING/SEETHINGS in a themeless puzzle? It's "lagniappe," in the New Orleans sense. A little taste of something you didn't order -- fun and tasty. Here, it's literally an hors-d'oeuvre (outside the main work) to start things off. Excellent.

    Moot Point 8:16 AM  

    @ Jonathan Alexander & Hungry Mother

    Anonymous 8:18 AM  

    How does the NCAA award sports scholarships? They only set the rules that allow the member institutions to award the scholarships.

    Foldyfish 8:19 AM  

    Not easy for me. I was on a totally different wavelength. Several answers were completely foreign to me.

    mmorgan 8:24 AM  

    Great puzzle, lots of fun, with some good crunch and clever clues. Somehow got ETHICALDILEMMAS off the first L and an M. Woo hoo! But I also had ANALOGELEVISION for awhile before I realized there was no T (perhaps easier to miss on a Down). Somehow didn't trust PATNESS but it couldn't have been anything else. Things I didn't know (TREPAN, RAMONE) came easily from crosses. Didn't notice SEETHING/SEETHINGS but to me it's kinda cute (not too).

    Two Ponies 8:26 AM  

    Easy but still great fun.
    Avantis were cool and seemed ahead of their time in style. I have no idea if they ran well.
    I thought of JOHN X (or XXX) when I saw stoner and, sure enough you came through.
    Everything else was covered quite eloquently by @ Lewis who is quite poetic this morning.
    I used to frown when I saw David S. at the top of my page but not anymore.

    Mohair Sam 8:27 AM  

    Remind me to add "snarky" to my long list of complaints about @M&A.

    Always enjoy a DS puzzle and this was no exception. TREPAN in the neighborhood of ENTRECHAT (begin talking?) caused us some pain, and I had to convince myself that PATNESS was a smooth talkers ace. Neither loved nor hated the SEETHING(S) trick - never saw it. Did the @LMS thing and tried to fit some derivation of Landline at 12D. I never dance, but at weddings you'll get me up with the kids for ELECTRO music (otherwise I'm a regular Elaine Benes on the dance floor). Surprised OFL didn't know ELECTRO.

    We joined the cord cutting crowd a few months back. Easy for us because our apartment complex gives free basic cable (essentially the networks, PBS, and about 10 oldies channels - "Mr. Ed" anyone?) and we needed only the cheapest version of Sling TV to match what we wanted. We got Amazon's Fire TV to make it all go - she comes with the Alexa feature. We have trouble with that however - keep forgetting her name (Alice, Andrea, Althea?). Yes I stole that from the wonderful SNL ad for Amazon Echo Silver. Google it.

    ghthree 8:29 AM  

    Can somebody explain why "I CAN TAKE A HINT" is a response to a tactful remark? The only commenter who gave an example (so far) is Loren Muse Smith, whose example looks more like a response to a *self-important* remark than to a tactful one.

    Other than that, I agree with Loren on "creamed corn and Harvard beets" (i.e. Rex tries to elevate his personal preferences to the level of holy writ). I also enjoyed the crossing of 1A and 1D. I hoped that it would be part of the theme, but when that hope was dashed, I didn't get my knickers in a twist. And Loren also provided three excellent answers to Rex's complaint about clueing HAR. Not bad for one post!

    Matthew G. 8:31 AM  

    I loved the SEETHING/SEE THINGS trick. I also knew that Rex would hate it and would lead his review with how much he hated it. I thought it sparkled and I wouldn't mind a little more flexibility on the no-dupes rule when it induces a grin.

    Maybe I don't what I'm talking about; I CAN TAKE A HINT. But I won't LOSE SLEEP OVER IT. So be it.

    Hartley70 8:31 AM  

    My last entry in was the P in PATNESS and I just didn't like it. Despite my antipathy for P in that spot, I'd already begun to whisper "Hooray!" whenever I saw a David Steinberg puzzle. After ENTRECHAT, I'll now be cheering in full voice. It more than makes up for little NCAA and AFC representing the sporty clues that overrun so many puzzles by other constructors. Rex's complaint about 1across and down was a bit of charming fun as far as I am concerned.

    My personal triangle of construction greatness has found it's third leg. PB, MAS, and DS.

    kitshef 8:37 AM  

    @Anon 8:18 - from the NCAA website:
    "As part of its commitment to providing a pathway to opportunity, the NCAA awards scholarships and grants for further education to college athletes who demonstrate outstanding academic and athletic achievement...

    In addition to the $3.2 billion schools award in athletics scholarships each year, the NCAA funds more than $10 million in scholarships and grants annually to graduate student-athletes and member schools."

    Z 8:58 AM  

    ENTRANCE didn’t yield any downs beyond HAR, so it was really the NESS of PATNESS that got me started. The NE fell quickly, CABLETELEVISION provided more than enough to finish the SE, LOSE SLEEP OVER then opened the SW for me, and HECATE, I CAN TAKE A HINT, and ETHICAL DILEMMAS provided enough to finish the NW. A little slow to start, but after that a smooth solve with not a single write over, so definitely easy for a Friday.

    Hand up for missing the dupe and hand up for thinking it too cute by half. @LMS - regarding Rex, I think 90% of the visceral anti-Rex comments are from people who mistake his opinions as something more. He’s a guy with opinions who has a talent for expressing them in a way that we can all (mostly) understand. He is not now nor has he ever been the literal “King of Crossworld.”

    I get the nit about the NCAA, it is the member colleges that award the scholarships, not the NCAA directly. Still, the members make up the NCAA, so I think the clue is fine. This is no Tycho Brahe sized error. As far as the whole notion of college “amateurism,” I’ve been persuaded that it is a farce at best, an unethical remnant of a racist culture at worst. Soccer world-wide does just fine. Baseball has managed for over a hundred years with a minor league system. Basketball and football need to extricate themselves from the NCAA operating as their feeder system.

    Stanley Hudson 8:58 AM  

    @John X, genuine LOL @JACK RAMONE.

    Why did the President come to mind when I noticed the SEETHING/SEETHINGS crossing?

    Barry Frain 9:01 AM  

    “Basketball and football need to extricate themselves from the NCAA operating as their feeder system.”

    Oh hell yes.

    Barry Frain
    East Biggs, CA

    Z 9:03 AM  

    @kitshef - “7 Awarder of billions in sports scholarships, in brief” (emphasis added)
    So the nit has merit, although I think the clue is fine.

    Jyqm 9:14 AM  

    No complaints about BIKESTAND? I spent several minutes trying to figure out what else this answer might be - it couldn’t possibly be BIKESTAND! Not with the I coming from LIE, clued in such a way so as to include the word “stand” not once, but twice!

    MsCarrera 9:27 AM  

    Thank you for your response from yesterday.

    Carola 9:30 AM  

    Easy and filled with treats. First in for me was AVIATE x SIB --> RABBLE, PARIAH, PASCAL-->CABLE TELEVISION and one thing leading to another. I'm in the camp that loved the 1A/1D "same but different" entries, in a fun-with-English way (different "th" sounds, different stress pattern). I also liked the BEER MONEY - EYE CANDY cross - fun with metaphors, I guess. One do-over: BIKE racks before STAND. Favorite clue: "Set off" for TRIP.

    GeezerJackYale48 9:36 AM  

    Am I the only one who wanted “abacus” to be the answer for 9 across? After “cable television” gave me the “c”, I filled it right in - and was disappointed to have to take it out!

    Rob 10:04 AM  

    Thought this puzzle was top notch. One of those where I got almost nothing on my first pass, but slowly but steadily filled it in. Nothing stood out to me as bad fill.

    Anonymous 10:12 AM  

    @Mohair Sam, regarding your comment late yesterday about the bailout of the big investment houses, it was Paulson who let Lehman Bros fail. Everyone had expected he'd bail them out but for reasons he only knows, perhaps, he refused. Although some suspect bad blood between him and the head of Lehman. There's an entire movie out there based on these incidents.

    GILL I. 10:19 AM  

    Gee, @Rex. Just add an S to a word and get a completely different meaning? That's not too too. That's ham and Swiss on rye.
    Always love me a DS on a Friday. It often happens that with just one letter or two, I get a whole phrase. I really enjoy David's clues - they make me smile. Swillbilly is my new favorite word.
    Didn't know that Dickens described LEEDS as an odious place. It's quite lovely. If you like good wool and shopping, that's the place to go. You better take your BEER MONEY along and enjoy the pubs.
    My favorite ETHICAL DILEMMA is the one where your best friend has just told you that she met the man she's going to finally marry. She's been dating him for a while and he wants to take her to Paris (Hi @Hartley). She finally brings him around to meet you and when you do, you let out this audible gasp because you know his wife! What to do? Tell you best friend that he's a SADIStic SOB or do you keep your mouth closed and hope she finds out soon that he's married?
    I like starting my puzzle with SEETHING and ending it with EYE CANDY.

    JC66 10:21 AM  

    Disagree with @Rex re: 1A/1D but wholeheartedly agree with @Jyqm (9:14) that BIKESTAND (34D) crossing the clue for 41A "STAND's opposite" is awful. Surprised @Rex didn't jump all over that one.

    Banya 10:22 AM  

    Hey Rex:

    michiganman 10:35 AM  

    OH NO! Three meanings of STAND in two crossing answers. The rapture is nigh.

    pmdm 10:43 AM  

    Z: To quote the write up, "There's clever, and then there's cute, and then there's too cute. Tis was too too." That crosses the line from stating an opinion (which is valid) and pronouncing an unfounded judgment. That many of those commenting here liked the crossing (as did Mr. Chen at XWordInfo), it implies that Mr. Sharp thinks poorly of those who disagree with him. And they take notice and lash back at him. No surprise there. Perhaps Mr. Sharp expresses himself as he does because he wants to stir up the pot. Regardless, as long as he crosses the line from expressing an opinion to seemingly assert its infallibility, people will continue to justifiably complain about his statements. As LMS pointed out, it's very much how you say things. Smoe days Mr. Chen complains about the puzzle as much (or even more) than Mr. Sharp does, but in a much different way. I myself just shrug my shoulders, but I think it is very unfortunate that Mr. Sharp, who one has to recognize often writes insightful comments about the puzzle, does so in a way that has convinced some to ignore his comments. Too bad.

    By the way, I usually do not respond that positively to David's puzzles. I enjoyed this one, though. Perhaps he has gotten over the desire to include esoteric hip entries in his puzzles. Time will tell. But I hope he continues to move away from the contemporary slang (and so forth) stuff he often includes in his puzzles. Nice one, Dave.

    Bob Mills 10:46 AM  

    "Very EXPERIENCED," Rex, not "Very experience." If you're going to carp at a wordsmith, make sure of your own words first.

    Reality Intrudes 10:47 AM  

    @Jyqm - Where I live the notion that kids actually ride bikes to school is laughable. Around here, if you live more that 100' from the school you get bussed, and if you don't get bussed your mommy drives you there in the Merc G-Box. If you do get bussed, your mommy and every other mommy in the block waits with you in their G-Boxes or Q7s at the corner for the bus to come to a full stop and open the door. Then, and only then, do the kids one by one gather their things together, get out of the car and walk that last stretch to climb on the bus.

    However, let's deal now with the possibility that kids do actually ride their bikes to school, however quaint that notion may be. As every kids bike comes with a bike-stand built in, what possible problem would you have that one would see a BIKESTAND at a school?

    Nancy 10:58 AM  

    Knowing the line from Hamlet" "What's HECUBA to him or he to HECUBA, that he should weep for her" killed me in this puzzle. Because while I knew it must be TREPAN and not TREPuN and while I knew it must be EAVE and not aAVE and that therefore 23A couldn't be HECUBA, I made her HECAbE instead -- thinking that that was a variant of HECUBA. So I never changed bTOP to TTOP at 24D.

    Well why couldn't a B TOP be a thing? It might be the Next Big Thing in cars. Who knows?

    If someone's really been tactful, you wouldn't be driven to say: I CAN TAKE A HINT. That's what you say when someone hasn't been tactful at all.

    And btw, I liked the SEETHING/SEE THINGS thing. Fun. Playful.

    I won't LOSE SLEEP OVER my one-letter DNF. The puzzle was challenging and enjoyable.

    paperandink 11:02 AM  

    loved the 1a/1d word play... i used to work at turks head on beacon hill and odetta would sing to a packed house (tiny room)... she was powerful for sure..we would all be so happy at night's end to use our beer money and have a real drink other than coffee house offerings... the beer would often inspire a turn around boston on the back of a friend's harley.. i can still feel the pipe burns on my leg! enjoyed the puzzle and the memories

    Airymom 11:06 AM  

    @LMS----worst date ever--guy wanted to impress me (I guess) by cooking dinner. He made underdone tuna steak and beets. Luckily he had a big dog who hovered around the table and was my willing accomplice.

    Have fun at the dance.

    Anonymous 11:10 AM  

    @Anon 10:58, I didn’t say that Lehman didn’t deserve to fail, only that Paulson appeared to wash his hands of it. I was responding specifically to Mohair’s claim that Paulson felt bad about it and created TARP so it wouldn’t happen again. That seemed way off to me. BTW has there ever been a full accounting of where all the TARP money went or the billions spent on the stimulus plan?

    Anonymous 11:28 AM  

    oops. Sorry anon. I wasn't digging at you. quite the contrary. I was just expounding on why Lehman died.
    As for TARP. Yes, there has been an accounting. Believe it or not. The government made money. People don't like to hear; they don't even believe it, but we the people did ok.

    Wall street is a hive of scum and villainy like no other. I'll never defend it or its denizens. But money they make. And because there's been a machine for creating wealth like the US economy, in time, all boats rise.

    For real fun, google Maurice Greenberg. he's the douche that headed AIG. in the all-time example of gall, he sued the US! Yes, he sued the government after his mismanaged company was bailed out. I'm not making this up

    Masked and Anonymous 11:28 AM  

    staff weeject pick was a no-brainer, today-- but … "snarky?" Hurts M&A bad. Plus, zip-a-dee-doo-dah U's in this puz, too boot. M&A plans to lose sleep over this … will set the alarm.

    Highlight of this puppy was SEETHING/SEE THINGS. [Seed entries.]
    Also admired the companion CAB LET ELEVIS ION, other than they obviously misspelt ELVIS.
    And the whole LEEDS+EDSEL anagram thingy was sorta cool.

    Lotsa primo long balls makes this a near rodeo themelessthUmbsUp, except for the no U's. Snarkzamples: ETHIC ALDI LEMMAS. BEERMONEY. ICANTAKEAHINT. LOSESLEEPOVER. EYECANDY.

    Thanx, Steinbergmeister.

    Masked & Anonymo s


    Anonymous 11:30 AM  

    I shouldn't waste my third but...

    I think the profit from TARP was pegged at between 15 and 20 Billion dollars.

    (sorry for high-jacking the board)

    See everyone tomorrow

    Kitty 11:38 AM  

    Me too !

    Kitty 11:41 AM  

    Absolutely excellent that Antarctica and Shackleton clues intersect.

    Maruchka 11:51 AM  

    1A and 1B are nicely positioned, so there. I truly enjoyed the hidden 'off's. Was, be, set? Hmm. Our DS by our OFL... oh I hope not.

    As always, thanks Mr. Steinberg.

    ODETTA - I cherish her. Still play the one album left. Here's a story from the mid-60s: Bob Dylan, uncomfortably famous and famously uncomfortable, is interviewed on one of the pre-cable TV talk shows. He begins staring seraphically up toward the balcony. The interviewer asks, Whatcha looking at, Bob? Bob sweetly replies, Odetta.

    Love it.

    @Gill - oh no! So sorry to hear. Wishing you a speedy redo and recovery.

    Nancy 12:02 PM  

    Aw, c'mon. @Quasi (7:57). "SADISM is finding sexual pleasure in inflicting pain. It does not necessarily mean cruelty." [Italics supplied]. Inflicting pain is the very definition of cruelty and who gives a damn what the perpetrator's motivation is. Here's a conversation that I don't expect to ever take place:

    He (as he performs acts of unspeakable torture that cannot be detailed on a family blog): "I have nothing against you, btw. But inflicting this unspeakable pain on you is the only way I ever can find any sexual pleasure in this world."

    She: "Oh, well, then, that's fine. I understand completely. Don't worry your pretty little head about it."

    QuasiMojo 12:03 PM  

    Hey @Nancy, a B-TOP sounds like the next size up from an A-CUP, a clue we had the other day here. lol. Loved the link you provided yesterday, and for your quoting from Hamlet today. HECATE appears in Macbeth, although there are some "ethical dilemmas" whether or not she was added in later by others.

    Banana Diaquiri 12:12 PM  

    Basketball and football need to extricate themselves from the NCAA operating as their feeder system.

    fact is, NCAA was created to stop colleges from fielding paid teams.

    "More than a century ago, before there was a true professional league, cash payments were made to “amateur” college
    athletes. "

    another view:

    Masked and Anonymous 12:19 PM  

    @muse: Have a great time at the ball. Be sure to take pictures of that there dress, to use as an avatar.
    For what it's worth, U get a presupposed sincere "gasp", from m&e. [No snarkin.]

    OK, sooo … while I'm here, let's now shift into "jump the snark" gear:
    Today's Best Ow de Speration Moments…

    * INE. Luvly. The essence of delightful desperation. Right up there with the recent -ESE incident. Anagramlischkeit of NIE.
    * ESTO. Latin lives to daze. Anagram of … of … of …
    * TREPAN. Last used in the NYTPuz by a dentist, btw. Anagram of PARENT.
    * NNW. Not so much desperation as just "I surrender, crossword gods". Sorta like the recent CCV incident. Anagrams out of the question.
    * ELECTRO. M&A sees **absolutely nuthin** wrong with this entry, but has to recuse hisself.

    Thanx again, David [SEEd things] Steinberg.


    Cokie Mason 12:19 PM  

    Got thrown off for a bit because once I got _____CHAT, I remembered from reading The Baby-sitters Club twenty years ago that the ballet dancer character mentioned a step called pas de chat, meaning "jump of the cat." (And Googling now confirms that I didn't make that up.) So it took me a little while to figure out that pasdeCHAT couldn't be right after all, but I still feel good about it.

    bantam 12:26 PM  

    @Martin AshwoodSmith

    My apologies for pedantry, but electro isn't a subgenre of house. Electro and house both developed around the same time (early 80s) but they are distinct genres from different scenes (not to say they didn't influence each other). And electro house isn't really a subgenre of electro; listen to some tracks released by Drexciya or Radioactive Man and compare it to stuff like Steve Aoki and Hardwell.

    Anonymous 12:32 PM

    Roo Monster 12:42 PM  

    Hey All !





    These puzzle-isms brought to you by the HALF-tone deaf PATNESS SADISts, or some such.


    Whatsername 12:44 PM  

    @GILL I at 07:28 Responding to your post from late yesterday: Thanks, that's a compliment. Funny, I thought the same thing about you. What a hoot you must be. My name is Connie. I live in the Midwest and divorced many years so loved your story about the fireman and the wedding album. After the initial trauma, drama and general BS, I eventually came to the realization that life had just begun. Free at last indeed. The best years of my life. So far. LOL. I can also unfortunately relate to the the best friend's man/someone else's husband scenario. If that is a true life situation and you really do face that ethical dilemma, I can tell you that if "friends" who knew what my ex was up to had not helped him hide it, things might have turned out differently. Not that I'm complaining but for what it's worth.

    @jyqm at 09:14 I wasn't crazy about BIKESTAND either but for a different reason. Where I come from, a bike has a KICK stand, but the place where you park it at school is called a bike RACK. I tried RACKS, then RIDER because like you just couldn't get my head around the term.

    Wishing you both a lovely spring weekend.

    Pete 12:50 PM  

    @pmdm Seriously? You're questioning that a phrase of the form "..There's clever, and then there's cute, and then there's too cute. This was too too." is to be interpreted not as opinion but verifiable fact? The identification of something as clever isn't an opinion? That the difference between clever and cute isn't an opinion? That the difference between cute and too cute isn't an opinion? Does the cascade of three opinions in a row make it a statement of fact in your mind?

    I didn't specifically notice the dupe, but when I typed in 1D shortly after typing in 1A muttered to myself that damn, there's nothing here but a whole bunch of Ts Es and Ss, i.e. the dupe made a portion of my solve noticeably boring.

    Maruchka 12:51 PM  

    That's 1D..oops.

    Anonymous 12:54 PM  

    Dilemma is dilemma, and has always been dilemma, and all the teachers and students who have ever thought otherwise need to line up behind Betsy DeVos and wait to take over her job.

    Whatsername 12:56 PM  

    @KITTY at 11:41 I too loved the ANTARTICA/SHACKLETON combo but darn if I could think of his first name. I first entered ROBERT, thinking of his fellow explorer Robert Scott. It appears few others noticed but it was, as you said, absolutely excellent!

    Joseph Michael 1:03 PM  

    Cool puzzle with some excellent entries like EYE CANDY, BEER MONEY, PARIAH. and ETHICAL DILEMMAS.

    Fun to see what a difference an "S" can make in SEETHING and to discover an EDSEL in LEEDS.

    But the STONER's reply to a tactful remark might have been "I CAN TAKE A HIT."

    Teedmn 1:15 PM  

    Personal record time today, perhaps? I was shocked but gratified, apres-solve, to see it was a Steinberg composition.

    @Nancy, one of my favorite jokes goes:

    Masochist says to the sadist: "Hurt me, hurt me!"

    Sadist replies in a menacing voice: "NO."

    With SO_ in the grid, I decided a "swillbelly" was a sow (they eat swill?) HAR, my last entry was the ON TAP fix to that ERRor. And I'm one of the people @Rex figured wouldn't notice the SEE THINGS SEETHING dupe - SEE THINGS was my first entry and by the time I circled back around to SEETHING, 1D was long forgotten. But I like the reimagining so I'm glad it was pointed out to me.

    Nice one, David.

    QuasiMojo 1:29 PM  

    @Nancy, missed your earlier post. But Seriously, there are many kind-hearted practitioners of S/M if it is consensual between adults. I once attended a convention of these folks at the Grand Hyatt in NYC (yeah the one Trump built) — as an observer only. :)

    Mohair Sam 1:34 PM  

    @Kitty (11:41) - Nice catch on Shakckleton. I read "Endurance" about his incredible crew's escape from the Antarctic not long ago. One of my favorite non-fiction reads ever. If that had been fiction no publisher would have accepted - too impossible to imagine.

    @Z - Amen to your NCAA comments. European clubs typically sign prospects before they are teenagers. The youngest I've seen is 5 years old. They think universities are for educating. Silly folks.

    Sheeze Anons (10:12, 11:10, et al) - Read my quip from yesterday again. I said Paulson felt bad for Wall Street types (they were all in danger) not for Lehman specifically, Lehman was gone - he was rescuing his buddies. It was a quip for Heaven's sake, not an analysis of the crash.

    @anon (11:30) Yeah, TARP profits are a big secret - the Feds forced banks to take huge losses on all that paper without looking at it closely - it wasn't 100% junk.

    10:12 - Your movie better be 2010's "Inside Job"
    And you can read "The Big Short" and "Reckless Endangerment" to really get your dander up about what was done to the American people.

    AIG essentially went under because of its credit insurance, one of the benefactors actually said he was shocked that the taxpayers were forced to pay 100 cents on the dollar. Me too.

    Bring back Glass-Steagall!

    Joe Bleaux 1:38 PM  

    And I! It was so long ago, I thought I might have imagined it. So glad I saw your post.

    jberg 1:41 PM  

    @Nancy, I thought of Shakespeare too, but luckily it was Macbeth, so I evaded that problem. OTOH, I was really set on the ILIAD for the book of legends, which messed up everything up there.

    I guess “S & M” implies that the M party is enjoying themselves (or should it be themself?). I wouldn’t know.

    @Loren—good point (in her avatar) that 2D could have been ENTRANCED (or ENTRANCES), with some clue adjustment. I didn’t have time to work out all the crosses, but 42a could be some plural acronym of convenience (PAOC), 36a “Legiin protagonist,”
    31 “paddlers’ org” (you know, National Canoeists League). You’d lose ICAN TAKE A HINT, though.

    Kristin 1:52 PM  

    I got totally fouled up by a confident no-crosses-yet entry of desktopcomputer in 12D. Took a while to dig out of that.

    DrBB 1:56 PM  

    I got a chuckle out of SEETHING/SEETHINGS, thought it might signal a theme but when it didn't it didn't bother me. You wanna get peeved at something, go with PATNESS. Sure, you can add -ness to any adjective and make it a noun, but that doesn't make it a real word. Ugh. Other than that, fun but a little fast for a Friday (10 minutes).

    Two Ponies 2:11 PM  

    @ Nancy, I did the same which witch is which.

    For me, bike stands are those things that look like horizontal ladders and bike racks are the things you carry your bike on the car with.
    Apologies to Winston Churchill for that last sentence.

    Reasonablewoman 2:13 PM  

    Regarding the 1A,1D discussion. It's not a matter of adding an "S" (though someone will probably pluralize seething some day). SEE THINGS, 2 words, not SEETHING with an "S". Also, it's time to let Lehman Bros go peacefully.

    MickMcMick 2:33 PM  

    1D,1A “thing” was one of those moments when you say to yourself, is it possible that the same word appears twice in the same puzzle??? Nah. That made the NW the only tough part for me.

    Z 3:08 PM  

    @pmdm - What @Pete said. Saying an opinion firmly does not make it a fact. For example, “The Tigers entered the 2018 season with the lowest aggregate WAR for the roster of any team in MLB” is a fact. “The Tigers suck and are going to finish last,” is an opinion.

    Hey - I know less about electronica and it’s various sub genres than I do about rap, but I can use Wikipedia to find out way more than I want to know about ELECTRO, HOUSE, and ELECTRO house. One thing I did know about electronica is that constructor Martin Ashwood Smith’s Twitter feed is full of EDM links.

    @Mohair Sam - Yep. If Bill Gates wants to drop out of Harvard and found Microsoft no one has an issue. But some 17 year old freak of nature can’t sign a multi-million dollar deal basketball deal or a shoe endorsement deal until he attends college? Capital Bull Capital Shit.

    Banana Diaquiri 3:36 PM  

    Yep. If Bill Gates wants to drop out of Harvard and found Microsoft no one has an issue.

    likely because he wasn't risking anything. he already had a multi-million dollar trust fund to fall back on. at the same time, the NBA and NFL have rope a doped colleges. esp. Red state university. fun fact: the average career of an NFL player no more than 4 years. and they expect to live for the next 40 or 50 years on the earnings.

    but yes, the MLB model should be universal among pro sports. that's fair. although... colleges spending more on baseball and sending more to MLB than in years past.
    "I found there were 733 players drafted in the first round. Of those, 382 were out of college (either junior college or a four-year school), 350 were out of high school, and Ariel Prieto was drafted out of Cuba at the age of 25. I excluded him from all calculations as he didn't necessarily fall under either category."

    didn't used to be that way. no how.

    KRMunson 4:28 PM  

    You are not alone. I wanted abacus, too!

    Blue Stater 4:34 PM  

    "Wild grp." = NHL? Huh? There were other items nearly this bad, but this one took the cake.

    BocaBoy 5:56 PM  

    The northeast corner just killed me. Pariah took me forever and pascal still doesn't really resonate with me. I was thinking mechanical calculators, prior to the first electronic calculators. (OK, ok, I'm an older guy. Lighten up!)

    Very challenging Friday for me.

    Joe Dipinto 6:02 PM  

    "You should start going to the gym." "Well. That was a sadistic remark."

    The opposite of kindness is unkindness, thoughtlessness, perhaps selfishness, or even cruelty. But SADISM has too much intensity to be equivalent in tone. Imo.

    I got Hallucinate/SEE THINGS first, and immediately thought, "Oh, how clever, it could also have been clued as 'Rantings'! And then as if on cue the anvil of 1-across dropped. What a downer, so to speak.

    There was one other thing...what was it?...Oh yes. I CAN TAKE A HINT is in no universe a response to a tactful remark, as has already been noted.

    So, my answer to this puzzle is: No.

    Some Cole Porter to close out:

    It's delightful,
    It's delicious,
    It's delectable,
    It's delirious,
    It's DILEMMA, it's de limit, it's deluxe,
    It's De-Lovely

    Robert A. Simon 6:04 PM  

    SEETHINGS/SEETHINGS were my first entries, and I thought, "Nah...this can't be," and then I remembered who the constructor was. Some crosses and downs soon proved it to be real, and I immediately went down to the mirror-image SE corner thinking there might be a similar pairing, but ti wasn't meant to be. How even cooler would that have been?

    I tried to appreciate fresh cluing for tired words like ODE and REM, but "strophe" is a word I'd never seen, and I had AD HOC i in there until it proved to be extremely wrong. I got AD REM from crosses, and it, too, was something new to me.

    Great puzzle, and I finished well within my target time for Fridays and Saturdays, which Is UAD--Under a Day.

    Anonymous 6:05 PM  

    The Minnesota Wild is (are?)an NHL team. The clue was not a description.

    Z 6:14 PM  

    @Blue Stater. - The Minnesota Wild play in the NHL. but you probably knew that.

    @Banana Diaquiri - The increase in college players getting drafted in baseball is relatively recent. Still, there’s no “one and done” like in basketball so the choice is still with the athlete. I’m okay with that. The NFL at least has the legitimate issue of physical maturation being a real concern, but I want the NFL paying their minor leaguers. I’m a big believer in sports being a part of a well rounded education, even in college, but I am not a believer that sports should be a money maker for universities. What I find especially troubling is the (mostly) men making millions off the current system defending not paying the athletes.

    Anonymous 6:45 PM  

    I don't generally like puzzles by this constructor, but today was ok, even if I wasn't always confident. Had i been, I could have brought my time down a bit. I'm not sure why you think only esto is crossswordese, Rex, when there are so many other things that qualify. Is it only Latin that attracts your IRE?

    I did like the musical cross of Ramone and ode, but only choral odes had strophes, although I may be off about that Anyway it's the responsion of strophe and antistrophe in choral odes that attracts attention.

    @jberg The Iliad is not really a book of legends. It's all about the anger of Achilleus.

    pmdm 7:14 PM  

    Z and Pete: My comment reflects upon what I have read in all the write-ups over the years. I don't have the time right now to compile a list of examples that reflect what I include in my comment today.lLet me clarify what I meant to say.

    "I thought this was too too" is a statement that communicates the writer's opinion. "This is too too" is a statement that conveys what the writer holds to be a fact. There is a difference in the two statements and a difference in the idea they convey.. Anyone who reads Mr. Sharp's write-ups probably understands that often he may write something that reads like a fact when he is actually stating his opinion. If he wrote " I find that a huge dupe" everything following that would have read as an opinion. But that is not what he wrote. And that is sometimes why people complain about what he writes. LMS may correct me if I am wrong, but her comment reflects that she is interpreting the write-up exactly as it is written, which crosses the line from a simple opinion, whether intended or not. While I sometimes cringe at those comments that harp onMr. Sharp's opinions of the puzzles, I think it inappropriate to come down hard on those who read the comments literally (if that's the right word).

    I suspect this is not the best forum for hashing out this question of semantics. , I know we previously communicated by email. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, that is probably how we should communicate.

    Banana Diaquiri 7:25 PM  

    @Z, et al

    the rules for entry into the various pro leagues is controlled by the leagues and the players' unions not NCAA. should MLB figure out that drafting college players means they can cut back on minor league expense (if so), they'll take the action which puts more money in owners' pockets.

    what the NCAA could do is change the rules dealing with participation. IOW, mandate that student-athletes devote more time to student than athlete. if you're playing a money generating sport, you can no longer have unlimited directed or even undirected sport time. proctored study hall X hours/week. sport time Y hours/week in season and Z (<Y) hours/week off-season. and so on. yes, school/athletic dept. have to spend some moolah to do that, but so what? the goal, of course, is to shift focus. if NFL and NBA want kids with more sport skill, put 'em in their minor league.

    GILL I. 7:32 PM  

    @Whatshername aka Connie....Don't be like @Nancy and wait about 13 years before you get a little anony'll be easier to identify with. I'm working on @pablofromnh. I've given up on @Quasi but we all know who they are!!!
    The best friend/someone else's scenario is a Dear Abby conundrum. I believe we've all been there. Just change the name and the faces and et voila.
    Glad you joined this fun, smart, and VERY opinionated group. Please come often and bring some scotch. @JC66 insists on it.

    JC66 7:37 PM  


    Thanks for the shout out!

    Stephen Minehart 7:44 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Stephen Minehart 7:47 PM  

    Me: Can't be trepan, too close to trephine, and means the same thing. Oh, it is trepan. OMG, have I been using the wrong word all these years at work, with coworkers snickering behind my back? Better google it.
    Oh, trepan and trephine mean the exact same thing. F*#% English.

    Nancy 8:36 PM  

    @Airymom (11:06) -- Actually, I prefer my tuna undercooked. And while beets are not an exciting vegetable, they are, I would maintain, a perfectly pleasant vegetable. Moreover, men who want to cook dinner for you aren't exactly falling out of the trees, are they? You wouldn't happen to still have that guy's phone number, would you @Airymom?

    Abu Afakski 8:42 PM  

    Me: noob
    But I liked Seething/seethings but even noob me thought that meant there might be more like it, but no
    Anyway yeah, nice puzzle
    Was hard hard hard for noob me/us

    Karl Bradley 11:36 PM  

    Is BIKESTAND a regional term? I had never heard of it. Here in California, we have bike racks and kickstands, not bike stands...

    Michael5000 11:47 PM  

    I liked seething/seethings... and, the whole northwest corner has a sort of magic-box quality to it that I thought was kinda elegant. Was hoping for a mirrored construction in the southeast, but alas.

    Whatsername 12:57 AM  

    @Karl Bradley. Same here in Missouri. When you stop, you set your bike on the kickstand. You park it at a bike rack. Actually never heard the term bike stand before.

    pcardout 2:56 PM  

    JohnX -- Glad you live in an enlightened state. (No pun intended). I thought seethings seething was cute. I have just graduated to Fridays so this was perfect for me. I got PATNESS while at same time thinking it was a really contrived answer. Had I been Rex I'd have bitched about that rather than the cleverness of the #1s.

    Burma Shave 10:39 AM  




    spacecraft 11:25 AM  

    Looked at 1a/1d and immediately thought: nah, it can't be. But, turns out, it was. I don't consider this a dupe because of the different parse. I do consider it a cheap come-on that I believed was beneath this constructor. More fill uncharacteristic of DS: EKE (EEK!), the RCD,'s just not clean. Not enough to LOSESLEEPOVER, but don't get sloppy on us, David.

    I agree with many: how "tactful" could a remark be if it elicits 28a? Two things helped me a lot in the solve: knowing gimme PARIAH, which prevented any 9a confusion, and recognizing that Antarctica is a DESERT, which made the SW easy.

    Sadly, there's no EYECANDY to hang the DOD sash on, so we'll give it to ERMA Bombeck. (I thought I heard her say "ICANTAKEAHINT.") Par. And this guy usually shoots birdies.

    Diana,LIW 1:24 PM  

    First I got about half a dozen entries.

    Then I sat there.

    Then, bam, bam -- I got the NW and the SE. Just kept falling into place.

    Then I got beaten up.

    But I wanted to give y'all a laugh - thought the perfect beginning of "sthrophie" would be "apo." ' ' ' ;-)

    Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords at the crossing of Ventnor and Atory County Road

    Anonymous 2:07 PM  

    From Syndication Land:

    I don't post here often, but when Rex is so wrong, I have to speak up. The seething see things cross made my day. How clever of David Steinberg to include a bit of wordplay in a crossword puzzle!

    centralscrewtinizer 2:09 PM  

    DNF. Wondered what a HALeTONE and the AeC were, but left them alone. I know TREPAN from ancient civilizations that drilled holes in skulls, but in mineshaft context did not correct TREPeN as HECeTE looked ok to me.
    Otherwise, nice struggle that tap-danced all over my wheelhouse.

    rainforest 2:30 PM  

    OK. I got an error message with my comment. I'm not going to repeat the whole thing.

    To summarize: medium difficulty; NW almost a breeze with HAh, INE, NCAA, GELT in place;
    lots of good clues, answers.

    Got it. Liked it.

    rondo 3:27 PM  

    First entry was 1a SEETHING and by the time I got around to completing SEETHINGS I had completely forgot about it. Nothing to LOSESLEEPOVER. PATNESS, however . . . And would it be Ad hoc or lib? Nope. REM.

    Nice little acknowledgment to the MN WILD. OLE would be proud.

    I gave up CABLETELEVISION back in ’91 since they had continually raised their rates and priced me right out of the market. I think I got by alright.

    ELECTRO coulda been clued “lead-in to lux”, the kind of vacuum that mom had before the Kirby (with all the attachments) that she didn’t like and which has resided in my basement for the last 30 years.

    A guy from the next town over, who became good friends with my best man, has been married to ERMA for decades. I still remember her as a cheerleader for the opposing basketball team back in H.S. Hottest cheerleader in the whole conference, was ERMA. Yeah baby.

    Gotta go. Plenty ONTAP tonight.

    thefogman 4:19 PM  

    Very crunchy for me. But I (eventually) got 'er done. Well done as usual Mr. Steinberg.

    leftcoastTAM 6:57 PM  

    Very much a Steinberg: clever, smooth, tough in places, enjoyable, and fair.

    Long acrosses and downs are very good and quite helpful in breaking it all open, except, once again, the NW.

    The SEETHING/SEETHINGS thing was maybe a bit too much for me to absorb. GAD without "about" or something like that in the clue, and HAR , though I've seen it often enough here, didn't register as necessarily a "snarky" laugh.

    Another stumble: ad hoc and ad lib before ad REM legalese.

    Enjoyed it but for the dreaded NW.

    Anonymous 4:08 PM  

    Just another one of those Friday puzzles that takes forever (for me) to get going on and then in an instant all falls into place. Good puzzle, and think it deserves a challenging rating.... but then again I'm not in Rex's league.

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