Mindless followers in slang / FRI 12-7-18 / Transformers technology for short / Roth of cinematic gore / Quipster's delivery / Event for enumerator / Base of some aqualculture farms / Viral fear of 2010s / Mythical shooter / Eight english kings

Friday, December 7, 2018

Constructor: Sam Trabucco

Relative difficulty: Challenging (8:50 w/ an error)


THEME: none

Word of the Day: ASHCAKE (45A: Southern corn bread) —
(n.) A bread (cake), usually specifically of cornmeal (thus, a cornbread), baked in hot ashes. (wiktionary)


• • •

Much more a Saturday than a Friday for me, in every way. Saturdays tend to be more punishing, less joyful Fridays, and this one was definitely more punishing and less joyful than last Friday. There's something wholly self-absorbed about this puzzle ... something ... it's like ... two "Transformers" clues? Crossing each other? Who even likes or cares about that? And then two more video game clues? On top of each other? In the same section? Of course "Transformers" and video games have their place in the world, and puzzles, but when you just cram a bunch of answers from your *particular* hobbies or obsessions into a corner, this means that people who don't share your demographic or definition of fun just get locked out. You have to take into consideration the solver, including solvers who aren't like you. In short, any field of interest is fair game. But when computergeekboydom gets OVERZEALOUS and has no sense of measure or balance ... ALAS. Just Look Up From Your Wordlist And Consider Solver Experience. SEED OYSTERS? Yeah, it's in your wordlist, congrats, but it's really just a bunch of Es and Ss and it's a technical term no one cares about. There is much to like, fill-wise, in this grid. But it's got that show-offy, "?"-y, look-at-my-wordlist, difficulty-porn vibe that makes me so depressed with puzzbro output these days.


Most of my difficulty was in that NE corner. Worst part was that for all the glitzy answers in this puzzle, I was ultimately undone by ... REOS, the cheapest, dumbest, oldest bit of crosswordese in this thing. That clue, 22D: Some antique buses (???? "buses" ????) meant zero to me. Nothing. None. "Buses." I keep thinking about "buses." I don't even know what image is supposed to be evoked there. I had R--S and no idea. The WII answer I just couldn't come up with (28A: Hand-held game devices). "Oh, it's WII-something ... sigh, I think it's a pun ... ugh, to people even play WII any more?" Had WIIM-TES and *still* didn't get it. WIIMATES? Also, I spelled it SHEOPLE (24A: Mindless followers, in slang). So though I ultimately got WIIMOTES, I had ROOS as the answer to the "buses" clue. Because SHEOPLE. Look, y'all can spell that dumb word (that I've only heard and not seen) however you want, I'm sticking with SHEOPLE. Oh, yeah, that corner also had REGALEMENT ... ... ... ... [sound of wind blowing] [a tumbleweed rolls by] [somewhere in the distance, a coyote howls] ... Interesting.


For once in my life, I spelled UZO ADUBA correctly, straight out of the gate ... but then continued to erase parts of it because the crosses seemed wonky. Hated cutesiness of [You might make one in your lap]. If you're going to torture English like that, at least give me a "?". Huge trouble with 29A: Trinity test subject because I thought it was some religious thing. Also, I very confidently had ISH for 23D: Real close? which made A-BOMB end -HB ... which is one of the reasons I kept doubting ADUBA. When it comes to proper nouns from pop culture with odd spellings (WIIMOTE, UZO ADUBA, DECEPTICON) you really should be careful with your adjacent fill. Less aren't-I-clever sadism, please! LOL, I just noticed BATE. "Come the weekend, I shall party, forsooth! Nay, I shall ne'er BATE my REGALEMENT!" Come on, BATE. How do you not go TATE there??? Enough.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

119 comments:

Loren Muse Smith 7:24 AM  

Oh, heck yeah. This was beastly hard and served me up a Big. Fat. Dnf. I missed the plural for 53A AIDES DE CAMP, so I was mystified down there. Never, ever ever would have figured out SEED OYSTERS. To add insult to injury, I had spelled CATALOG as “catelog.” Oops. I always do that.

Almost didn’t get the northeast, either, because, as Rex noted, of the antique buses thing. When I finally saw WIIMOTES and was able to make a reasonable guess for DECEPTICON. Cool to learn that you can regale someone with more than just good stories. It never occurred to me that I could regale someone with roast pheasant and an impressive Barolo. I’ll get right on that.

Fell hook, line, and sinker for the lap clue misdirect. That was early on, and I was so lost I actually considered “tent.” First day of school I tell the kids their phones are not allowed to cross the threshold into my room. Tell them I know they’ll “forget” from time to time, so if I look out and see a guy grinning delightedly down at his lap, I’m gonna assume (hope against hope) he’s just got his phone down there, and I’ll hold it (phone) for him until class is over.

[Stop and try to think how detrimental, nay ruinous, phones are to a school setting. Come up with some kind of number, like on a scale of one to whatever. Got that? Now multiply that number by 100,000.]

GRUNTS/GYM DAY – hah. Not at Planet Fitness, buddy. If you grunt overzealously, the Lunk Alarm will sound, and they’ll ask you to leave ‘cause you’re making the non-grunting wiimpy guys feel intimidated and embarrassed and ashamed just kidding. Ok – but you really are not supposed to grunt, I think, because it can be a bit show-offy and thus put-offy for regular people. To be inclusive, if you’re a woman with a killer body, you’re not supposed to wear outfits that may make shy, body-conscious women feel even worse. It seems like I’m making fun of them, but I used to work out there, and it felt much more muffin-top friendly than other places I’ve used. So good on them. Stop the gymtimidation.

And…. speaking of portmanteaux, the highlight of the grid was the intersection of three (3!) portmanteaux: SHEEPLE, WIIMOTES, and DECEPTICON. (I’m assuming that last one is a combination of deception and con man? Icon? Convention? As in an Amway gathering is truly a DECEPTICON?) I know I get overzealous on these, but they’re just so fun. Road Runner fans could be beep-beeple. Fans who’ll watch Meryl in She-Devil and still rave could be Streeple. And fans who join the Streeple guys with no thought could be Streeple sheeple. Ooh, ooh! And if these fans insist on driving only jeeps… Okay I’ll stop.

@Joe Bleaux, @Z – I responded to your posts at the end of yesterday’s thread.

Amy Yanni 7:29 AM  

Well, I learned something about video games and transformers today. Also seed oysters and regalement. Pshew! On the other hand, racing bibs (see avatar) and running ovals are firmly in my wheelhouse. Crossed myself up by plugging in Ebola virus instead of scare, so had to untangle that mess. Happily out of there, finally. Happy Friday, everyone.

Hungry Mother 7:30 AM  

Needed the red letters in the sticky region. Definitely Saturdayish for me. Very solid puzzle, a bit beyond me today.

kitshef 7:31 AM  

Hey! I just posted that Missing Persons video a couple of weeks ago in the blog comments!

The second “Saturday-tough” puzzle so far this week, and we haven’t hit Saturday yet.

DNF at WIIMaTES/REaS, which if you don’t know gaming or cars, was a wild guess.

Wasted a lot of time trying to rebus “fitness center day” into 44D.

Jimmy 7:32 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith - "if you’re a woman with a killer body, you’re not supposed to wear outfits that may make shy, body-conscious women feel even worse" ... but that's half my motivation for going to the gym!

A bit tougher than a typical Friday for me, I got OVAL via the crossers but took me a long time before I understood the clue.

DeeJay 7:35 AM  

Brutal. DNF. Still don't get OVAL. Still don't get REOS. Had WIIMINIS, which killed me.

Norm 7:37 AM  

Tough, but fun for this camper. Wanted a DI reference for 1A in retrospect, 'cuz it's not a simple question; it's a stentorian order in the form of a question: DO YOU HEAR ME? YES SIR! [even louder]

Music Man 7:40 AM  

A difficult and joyless puzzle for me. No fun.

OffTheGrid 7:44 AM  

Which other puzzle this week was even remotely as hard as a Saturday?

michiganman 7:45 AM  

DNF, in fact, barely started. Filled in the NW then almost nothing. I tapped out and used "puzzle reveal" so I could take a look. Lots of obscure stuff along with tough trivia. This was just way hard and over my head. Not blaming puzzle or constructors or complaining at all. I simply got whacked. Happens now and then.

Anonymous 7:49 AM  

Can someone explain the clue/answer for 2D?

James McEvoy 7:53 AM  

Had pun instead of MOT for a while, which hosed me in the SW.

Lewis 7:56 AM  

@kitshef -- Hah! Great last sentence!

I came into the grid with great anticipation, because I've loved Sam's recent puzzles. And yes, I loved an eclectic assortment of answers today (REGALEMENT, ASHCAKE, ADIESDECAMP, and even HALE and CUD), and wicked good clues (OVAL, DISCO, ISM, CEREAL, RACEBIBS), and even a mini-theme of double E's (6).

But the thrill today for me was the solve itself, where white gradually caved (with accompanying ahas), where Sir Google beckoned and cajoled but I staved him off, and then came the moment of triumph when I changed WII MaTES to its correct form, to successfully complete the puzzle. It felt like crossword GYM DAY after a workout that left me feeling vibrant and happy.

And once again, my anticipation will be high as ever when Sam plays it again.

Seth 8:01 AM  

Constructor: *uses boring words*
Rex: Make puzzles less boring!
Constructor: *uses fresh interesting words*
Rex: Stop showing off!

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Real close? = ISM... ???

Breanna Stewart 8:05 AM  

Agree that you have to throw the penalty flag on two Transformers (whatever that is ) clues crossing each other. Never heard of this Uzo person. Sheeple and Wii Motes also new to me. DNF. Not a chance. Mwah,

Ken R 8:08 AM  

My sexist proclivity had me with RNS in the ER and UCLAN in NE. Once I changed to UCONN (women's NCAA Hoops powerhouse) and DRS the NE fell. Haven't had the munchies in years but certainly recalled them !!
Got REOS only from the antique auto past reference. Otherwise I reluctantly agree with Rex this time (air kiss). Seemed more like a Saturday trudge than a brisk Friday delight. Gonna hit the treadmill now as today is my gym day.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

@DeeJay - OVAL is the typical shape of a lap one runs in track. REO is a legendary vehicle company, founded by Ransom E Olds (of Oldsmobile fame).

Jamie C 8:22 AM  

This was a wonderful puzzle. Great fill, minimal crosswordese. Fun, edgy, current, clever deception and misdirection. Rex has never been more wrong, and the sore loser schtick is really ugly.

QuasiMojo 8:25 AM  

How on earth did I manage to finish this one sans erreur? Amaze balls! I just kept slogging away like a lowly GRUNT. So many initial issues: DO YOU READ before HEAR, CRY for EEK, MODES for MOTES, BIG kiss before AIR, (which I think was just wrong because you don’t make a sound when you air kiss), ESOS before ELAS, etc ad infinitum. Never having heard of The Transformers made it quadruply hard for me to wrap this baby up. But luckily I sussed out REGALEMENT and guessed at CGI because that’s all I see these days at the movies, making me beg for an old Ray Harryhausen flick. Release the Kraken! Please!! And Decepticon at least looked right. I had CREEP DEMON first. Haha. Can someone explain LIMB? Thanks! Despite the wheelhouse gaps, I actually really enjoyed tackling this!

pabloinnh 8:36 AM  

WIIMOTES? Where have I been? Also did not have REGALEMENT in my extensive (ahem) vocabulary. I do now. Somewhere I had heard of SEEDOYSTERS, ditto for ASHCAKE, which started out as HOECAKE, which I guess is more of a RI thing, maybe.

Agree 100,000% with @LMS about phones in the classroom. Rules help and enforcement needs to be strict but these things are so ingrained that kids don't realize they are looking at them. Retired just as the plague was in its early stages, thank goodness. Don't get me started on translation programs, another nightmare.

So now we get a Friday that knows how to Saturday, but with pop culture and technology. Eek.

kitshef 8:38 AM  

@Off the Grid - Wednesday's was even harder than today's.

@Anon 8:04. -ISM is a suffix (aka 'close') that can be attached to 'Real' to form the word 'realism'.

@QuasiMojo - the word LIMB is the 'partner' of the word life in the expression "life and limb".

Z 8:42 AM  

I thought I was heading for an ignoble DNF with barely half the grid filled, but refilled my coffee mug, kept plugging along, and finally changed ISh to ABOMB and got the whole thing right (even if I didn’t understand that ISM is the “close” of realISM until @Anon8:04 asked and it finally clicked). W00T W00T. Why is it that someone else asking the question makes the reason click into place?

I’m pretty much with Rex on his plaints. DECEPTICON, WIIMOTES, SIMS is pretty dense PPP, and PPP all of the same type. It’s all crossworthy, but please spread it out and vary it. And agree on both SEED OYSTERS and REGALEMENT. Ugly short fill disguised by length.

Anyone else fail at the S placement in AIDES DE CAMP? Fixing that helped me find the Fitness Center.*

Anyone else have DI in place for “Ball club” and wonder if the NYTX dared go there?

Early week puzzle we get Boston Bruin #4 Bobby. Late week we get dated (i.e. 60 year-old over-rated-novel character) ORR. Too bad J.K. didn’t name a Death-Eater ORR.

*@kitshef - Way to make me laugh!

@LMS - Agree with your early morning yesterday post. My point is Chile, he dun lef is English, too.

The future is always now 8:47 AM  

@anon 8:04am: "RealISM" ISM is at the "close" (or end) of "Real."

Maybe we are seeing in the puzzle the future of xwords. Xwords have been talked about, vis a vis "keeping your brain young," as being not very good in that department. The trick, as Rex points out time and time again, is knowing what the patterns are the actually very limited choices there are for lots of words. Which means, once you figure out the general conceit, things are relatively made easy. New solvers have a rough time with NYT xwords, whereas veterans understand what to expect. Maybe new constructors, (and that ever forward-thinking WS...or, maybe one of his assistants), are starting to see that there is nothing new under the sun.

Instead of avoiding criticism like Rex's, where old fill is maligned and new fill is regarded as "showboating," they resort to more and more wordplay in the clues. Maybe what we see as "tortured" today will be the norm in a couple of years.

I like Rex's blog and what he has to say, but I would love to have a beer with him one day and ask him how he doesn't know if he is "old skool" and really being the curmudgeon who yells at the kids to stay off his lawn...and meanwhile the kids are laughing at him, doing whatever they want.

Face it, xwords are going to have to evolve somehow. There are only just so many combinations and themes that you can cram into a grid this size. For most of us who have been doing these things for a while, there isn't much anyone can do these days that we haven't seen before. So what's left to do? I don't think anyone's landed on it quite yet, but puzzles like today are popping up a whole lot more than they used to.

And the difference is, it seems to me, to be the cluing. It's far more twisted, whereas, if you go back to the earlier days and pre WS era, there were just a ton of words that were rescued from the dustbin of the OED or arcane terms for plant life or capitals of countries no one has ever visited or authors/books that we saw in our high school libraries.

I could be wrong, but I think we're just going to continue seeing more puzzles like this...probably to Rex's chagrin.

Aketi 8:53 AM  

Well that was an interesting mix of old stuff from my son’s childhood (WII MOTES, DECPTICON and SIMS) and my teen years (MUNCHIES, SITIN and DISCO). I finally tossed out the WII MOTES (and traded in the WII) last year when our son went off to college. Charlie our cat was disappointed because the WII MOTE was his favorite chew toy. I’m a little sad that the WII technology didn’t take off enough to inspire the game developers. Doing yoga on the Wii board was far preferable than doing it in the competitive yoga studios in Manhattan and it was far less critical than the instructors who futilely tried to get my body to bend into proper downward facing dog position.

@LMS, GRUNTS are allowed at Planet Fitness in Harlem where I did my post surgery knee rehab. The wide spectrum of humanity in that GYM was heartwarming. There were the ultrafit guys dangling from one hand doing chin ups to those who had never set foot in a GYM before. There was even a old homeless guy named George who had been a boxer who hung out in the GYM with the cart containing his worldly belongings. He was a great source of encouragement to all the GYM goers and gave better advice than some of the young fit guys that wanted to be hired as personal trainers.

Liked the trio of IKEs under the octuplet HENRYS.

Dantheman 8:58 AM  

Found this one fairly straightforward. I was wondering why that seems quite different to the experience of most commenting... I think it's due to the lack of names here, just Uzo Aduba that I remember. There are usually several names / US sports references that many of us international solvers who aren't American never have a clue on in each puzzle so have to get purely through crosses - the fact that wasn't the case here meant I always had just enough letters in place to make progress and get a 10 minute solve, which is a quick Friday for me.

Unknown 9:04 AM  

I don't see how "cereal"= "total taken in?" Help please.

QuasiMojo 9:09 AM  

Thank you @kitshef, big DOH, I was thinking MATE, and I just got your joke too. Good one!

What She Saiid 9:09 AM  

Going forward, can we now use DECEPTICON to refer to a Natick that crosses with a reference the exact same subject matter? Yikes.

When this old lady says, “Where’s the beef?”, I sure as #&#*%! don’t mean a serving of Shia LeBeouf. Ugh.


Z 9:18 AM  

@Dantheman - I think this puzzle’s PPP is just in your wheelhouse. The PPP isn’t excessive, but it is fairly high, 22 of 70 for 31%, where 33% is considered excessive (well, by me, although nobody has ever disagreed with my somewhat arbitrary cut-off). The source of my counting PPP was a puzzle where I thought there wasn’t much because it was in my wheelhouse while others struggled mightily. It turned out to be a puzzle of about 40% PPP.

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names and other Proper Nouns as a percentage of puzzle answers. Anything over 33% will give some subset of solvers problems

Pushing the line, and several are long answers, so I’m not surprised this plays challenging for many.

The List

Joseph the PATRON SAINT
CGI
ELI Roth
ARES
WIIMOTES
A-BOMB (clued by the Trinity Test)
SIMS
UCONN
HAN Solo
Dungeons and Dragon ORC
IKEA CATALOG
PEE (DEE)

ORR
UZO ADUBA
Eight King HENRYS
DECEPTICON
EBOLA SCARE
I LIKE IKE
Mennonite SECT
BAHAIS
AMOR
(PEE) DEE

Calman Snoffelevich 9:21 AM  

Agree with Rex on this one. NE corner was unsolvable, given the double Transformers nonsense.

Z 9:24 AM  

@unknown9:04 - Total is a brand of CEREAL that you would “take in,” or eat.

“Total” is a PPP I did not initially count, so the PPP is 23 of 70, 32.8%. So I’m changing my assessment of the PPP from high to Excessive.

John Child 9:27 AM  

DECEPTICON squarely in my outhouse, SKI LESSONS nastily clued and the unwelcome REGALEMENT made for a very tough corner. GYM DAY and RACE BIBS were both unfamiliar but manageable. Yes, very hard but what a brilliant opening corner: DO YOU HEAR ME, OVERZEALOUS and PATRON SAINT!

If Saturday is much harder than this, NOT A CHANCE.

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

The 2D answer--oval--is something you make with your lap if you're running that lap on an oval track.

GILL I. 9:50 AM  

Oooof. This was hard...but in a good way. So much I didn't know. Patience was my friend. I had some good coffee to sip so I took my time. Paid off with good guesses. Yay me.
When I first saw UZO ADUBA I knew she'd make it in a crossword puzzle. With a fantastic name like that, how could she not be included?
RACE BIBS was my last entry. Thank you @Amy Yanni for the visual. I actually did a 5K run back in the day and yet could not remember what those t-shirts were called. The only thing I was given was a number I slung over my head.
Had lots of write-overs. WII Modes for MOTES. Ease for BATE. BATE, Really? What happened to the A? Dance instead of DISCO. Changing the PEE where the DEE should have been. Rather than give up on my mistakes, I took a breath and stared. Final AHA. It worked.
@Loren....Ebonics has been around forever. The Oakland School Board tried to incorporate it into its curriculum sometime back in the 80's, I believe. Might have been earlier. The uproar was awful and it didn't even come up for discussion other than getting a scathing op ed piece in The Chronicle. I find it bootylicious in more ways than one. Whether we like it or not, Black vernacular is here to stay. Yep...it's English. The ironic part is that it takes someone like a "white" Miley Cyrus to copy the slang and use it in her lyrics before it becomes part of every day usage.
I'm still watching the Orange County HW and wincing every time nasty Vicky says I instead of me. I can't wait to get to Atlanta and find a phrase I can use in casual conversation. Judge Judy would be proud....
Bye Felicia.......

Travis 9:53 AM  

CGI is just a generic movie thing. I'm not sure if actual knowledge of the transformers would be a help or a hindrance. My knowledge of the transformers was just the cartoons from when I was a kid thirty years ago. Was no one else a kid?

jberg 9:56 AM  

Out of time, i'll just say challenging but satisfying for me. Aquaculture is growing in New England, so I got SEED OYSTERS from the YST. I needed all the crosses for UZO ADUBA though -- I have to get out more. And I always think of REGALEMENT as telling someone amusing stories, so I groaned when I put that in.

I avoided ISh, but had tIMe before LIMB for Life's partner, and hoeCAKE before ASHCAKE.

OK, I'm outta here.

p.s. @Loren, your avatar is getting all political on you!

Sir Hillary 9:59 AM  

The combination of tough cluing and outside-my-wheelhouse entries made this play like a tough Saturday for me. Lots of write-overs and long periods of just staring, but dammit, I eventually finished.

UZOADOBA is fantastic in a puzzle, although I needed every cross to get her. Wonderful clues for TOTAL and HAN, but the one for SKILESSONS tried too hard for my liking. SHEEPLE is funny, irrespective of its spelling.

Not digging the green-paintISM of GYMDAY.

Still don't get how AMOR is a mythical shooter.

I wouldn't want a puzzle like this all the time, but the NYT has been in my comfort zone every single day for quite a while, so this was probably healthy in the long run.

Eric Rosenblum 10:27 AM  

Hard. Took me an hour and 8 minutes. Enjoyed it though!

Nancy 10:41 AM  

Today, I feel like lifting Rex up on my shoulders and personally carrying him to the podium, where he will be made the PATRON SAINT of puzzle-critics. You really nailed it today, Rex. By mentioning the two crossing Transformers clues and daring to say "Who cares?". By calling the puzzle incredibly self-indulgent. I agree with every word Rex said, Sam Trabucco. DO YOU HEAR ME?

There's only one thing worse than a pop culture clue you didn't know yesterday and you won't know tomorrow. And that's a pop culture clue with an absolutely ridiculous spelling that you don't know. UZOADUBA???? DECEPTICON????

And then there are the plethora of computer clues. The WII MOTES and the SIMS and the CGIs. You're hearing a loud hissing sound from me, Sam, and it's not an AIR KISS.

And yet there was so much in this puzzle that was really, really good. All those triple stacks -- both the Acrosses and the Downs. The great clues for CEREAL (21A), A BOMB (29A), and CEO (36A). The delightful fill: MUNCHIES and SHEEPLE. So why did you ruin this puzzle, Sam, with the gobbledy-gook junk? Why?

DrBB 10:43 AM  

I didn't find this that challenging, except the NE thanks to the WII and Transformer stuff. But "Higher education" was well clued, and REOS was a gimme (c'mon Rex!). REGALEMENT was the arrghh yuck I don't-even-wanna-fill-it-in moment for me. I'd thought REGALING very early on though obviously it didn't fit the letter count, so it wasn't hard to see once I got the bottom crosses for that section but I hated it even if it did give me the quadrant.

But seriously, Rex, the Trinity reference was obscure for you? UZOADUBA might as well have been GIBBERISH to me, but Trinity was a gimme.

TubaDon 10:47 AM  

Timely appearance of the UCONN women in a NYT puzzle, since they just became the unanimous #1 ranking this week. Took me an hour to puzzle this one out. Had to start from the bottom up beginning with AIDES DE CAMP a gimmie.. I had never heard of the Orange actress and the two game answers but figured them out from crosses. REO not only made buses but fire engines (I drove one once!). One clue offends me, though. Why is DOPE considered "Really Cool"? Even if there is some harmless meaning, the depressing reality of the drug epidemic would make me think twice about pairing this answer and clue.

Chris 10:53 AM  

@Sir Hilary: AMOR is the Latin name for Cupid.
Played a little hard for me--just over my Friday average. AIDESDECAMP was a gimme and IKEACATALOG fell early too, but SEEDOYSTERS took a while.
Didn't get the LIMN reference before coming here. Agree that CGI is a generic movie term and the cross reference was nice. I put it in early even though I have no knowledge of the details of Trasformers.
I liked the cluing for OVAL and CEREAL. Nice puzzle.

Tim Aurthur 11:00 AM  

Like some others, I thought a peripheral for a video game would be a mate, not a speck of dust, and didn't see the pun for remote control. DOH!

AMOR is another name for Cupid, with his bow and arrows.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

I agree with Sir Hillary about the green-paintism of Gymday. I think Amor is the Greek name for Cupid. Or the other way around.

Kieran Kramer 11:07 AM  

Dang, I live in South Carolina, and I've never heard of ASHCAKE. I thought it was HOECAKE.

Thanks for explaining that lap clue. It went right over my head.

Roy Rogers 11:11 AM  

Uzo reminds me of uzi which triggers Rex though he doesn’t bat an eye at A-Bomb for some reason. Uzo has only appeared twice as a stand alone answer in the Times Xword while uzi has appeared countless times. I expect we’ll be seeing more of Uzo and less of uzi in the future. Get to know her.

JOHN X 11:21 AM  

Ha ha Rex oh you keep being you! I guess there weren't enough answers about bubble-gum music or the gheys or so forth.

This was a great Friday puzzle. It was spread out in a lot of areas with some good and hard clueing. This is what Friday and Saturday NYT puzzles are supposed to be. I don't know any Transformers but I've heard of it, and I had to figure it out, which I did. Same with the TV star with the crazy name (Emmy winner is fair game) and the video games.

Rex complaining about REOS is hysterical. REOS is about as basic a Monday-level crossword staple as you'll ever see, and the Greatest Crossword Solver in the World got smoked by a clever (and easy) clue. ABOMB is pretty basic too (along with its cousins ATEST & NTEST) and the Trinity Test (and site) is major American and world history. Oh wait, it happened before 1975! No fair!

I had to fight for every yard of ground in this puzzle but that's why I do them. Huzzah!

P.S. Whiny and indignant Rex is my favorite Rex!

The guy in Nampa 11:22 AM  

I was thinking "man... this is a Saturday" but when I finally finished the time was a couple minutes south of my average time (oh yes, quite a bit longer than most, here.)
Interesting.
Still not a fan of "regalement"...

impjb 11:25 AM  

Simple Math:

REX STRUGGLE = POOR CONSTRUCTION and/or BAD EDITING

The puzzle was awesome, and i'm pretty sure that i'm older than Rex. I hadn't heard of some of these things but so what?

Ellen S 11:26 AM  

I took a look at the two Transformers clues and decided the blog would be more fun. So far, so good.

Anonymous 11:29 AM  

Mr. Trabucco,
I like your puzzle very much. Been a good while since I couldn't finish one. Thank you for the fine workout.

S. Green 11:30 AM  

This was a great puzzle. Rex is either pretending to be an overly critical jerk or has problems facing the fact that there are scores of constructors with talent he can only aspire to.

Malsdemare 11:33 AM  

Hand up for DNF at DECPTICON and the Orange person. I could not break into either area without my AIDE DE CAMP, Mr. Google. But otherwise, I thought this was a great workout, a very slow, steady wending through challenge after challenge, which, when I got each one unlocked, led me to the next. Great fun. There were many places where I was hesitant to plunk in an answer without crosses: Tax Loss before LIEN, Life Long before LIMB, rns, then mds before DRS, and so on. Really enjoyed WIIREMOTES, MUNCHIES. But I will quibble with the St. Joseph clue. Just about any saint out there is a PATRONSAINT. I'm a very lapsed Catholic, but I don't recall that Joe was the church,s patron saint. Or am I showing my ignorance?
@lms, I'm horrified by the Planet Fitness behavior toward that fit woman. It reminded me of an recent article about fashion designing for the very overweight, and the absolute firestorm that resulted. Maybe someone posted that here? I can't find it to post a link.

I will happily take more like this, but maybe just a little less PPP. Thanks, Sam.

Masked and Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Started out pretty easy in the NW, at our house. Didn't know UZOADUBA, but everything else was friendly, especially MUNCHIES. Agree with @RP: OVAL clue coulda used a "?", tho. Keep it civil.

Then things went off the rails a bit, in the NE. Wanted THEBASE for the SHEEPLE clue. WIIMOTES wasn't gonna happen for m&e, either. Had to put in the extra nanoseconds, to survive on the kindness of crosses, and walk away from the NE.
Then things settled down a bit, after that. {Grease} = BRIBE was a bit mysterious, crossin RACEBIBS, for a while. But, hey -- it's a FriPuz, after all.

staff weeject pick: ISM. DOPE-y {Real close?} clue made the gemday, for ISM.

Thanks for the feisty fun, Mr. Trabucco. Best long-ball: NOTACHANCE. That puppy shoulda been in the NE, tho. snort

Masked & Anonymo5Us


**gruntz**

Alexander 11:43 AM  

This went pretty quicklu for me up until the The SE aides de camp and seed oysters

Growing up with 80s-90s cartoons made DECEPTICON a gimme

Anoa Bob 11:47 AM  

IKE's '52 running mate was none other than Richard "Dick" Nixon. So not only were there "I LIKE IKE" buttons and posters, there was also the occasional "I LIKE DICK" version. And at some political rallies chants of "WE LIKE IKE" would alternate with "WE LIKE DICK".

I was never a big fan of Mr. Nixon, but my ESTEEM for him took an upward turn when I read that he financed his first political campaign with money he won playing poker while he was still in the U.S. Navy.

emily 11:57 AM  

Yes please, don’t get it... wanted it to be seat...

mmorgan 12:06 PM  

Well. I got the three long answers in the NW right off and thought, now this will be easy. Then I stared at a lot of white space for quite awhile until I got the three long answers in the SE (also fairly quickly). Most (most) of the rest sloooowly filled in, and the long downs in the SW were pleasant.

But then I hit some impenetrable brick walls, knowing less than nothing about video games or Transformers (whatever they are) or RACEBIBS or SHEEPLE and more.

Way, way, WAY out of my wheelhouse. And it made me feel really old. Not a complaint, just a statement of fact.

MickMcMick 12:09 PM  

Brutal. A “Do you know what I’m thinking” puzzle. 1d & 2d? Never having seen a Transformer movie was a handicap
Loved I Like Ike!

GHarris 12:15 PM  

Only got through this by using auto check which let me know when I entered a wrong letter. Still got much totally on my own including answers that befuddled others. Had to run the alphabet in NE to get sims which enabled me to come up with decepticon. Have to agree with much that Rex had to say.

jb129 12:18 PM  

Can tomorrow be harder than today? C'mon Sam.

Z 12:28 PM  

@S. Green - LOL. Sure, some people like all the trivia, but this is not a “great” puzzle. This is somewhere near average. I did three better puzzles this week, yesterday’s NYTX, this week’s Fireball, and this week’s AVCX. Just a quick guess that when I get around to the BEQ’s they will both be better, too. That’s not to say this is an awful puzzle; I like the word play like the cluing for OVAL, SKI LESSONS, CEREAL, and LIMB. But there are serious flaws beyond all the PPP. That REOS clue is not clever, it is just piling obscurity on top of crosswordese. I’m guessing “Lessen” was meant to be cute with SKI LESSONS in the grid, but, c’mon man, you’re trying too hard. And as I said earlier, that NE corner is all crossworthy, but please don’t cram it all together. In short, I enjoyed solving this puzzle, I enjoyed the tussle, but I will wait for an actual great puzzle before I call a puzzle great.

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

Faster than Friday average by about 25%, but I'm not a particularly quick solver (i.e., I've plenty of room for improvement.) Anyway, tending to easy for me based on solve time, but still had to work hard for that Gold Star.

Anonymous 12:54 PM  

Difficult for me. Lots of trip wires, but fun nonetheless. Thanks Mr. Trabucco.

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

@Mal - yep, you musta not paid attention before you lapsed : Joseph is "Patron and Protector of the Catholic Church" per Pope Pius IX (which, I'm fairly certain, was before your time).

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

I agree. Saturday-tough but fair, and very satisfying to have solved. Just about all answers were “gettable”. WIIMOTES would be tough for folks not familiar. DECEPTACONS seems common enough, and I’d think the majority of people ages 10-45 would get this without too much trouble and for a good chunk it’s a gimme. CGI was completely fair. SEED OYSTER and REOS could be gotten based on the cluung with the help of some crosses.

TJS 1:05 PM  

What a workout ! When I had only the two West sides done, I thought this was going to be a total washout. When I got the keep trying box at the end, I just gave in and hit reveal. Turns out that seed system was too close to a fit that I could not catch it. Amom looked as good as Amor to me. Turns out , via the Google, that Amors' parents were Mars and Venus, and his kids were known as Voluptas. Family dinners must have been a riot.
Hey, @Z, would this be another case where you advise all newcomers to ignore any comments critical of Rex ? Just askin.

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Z's posts include the words, I'm with Rex. The question remains, why does he write anything else?
Things that make you go "hmmm..."

Gregory Schmidt 1:11 PM  

Finished in under average Friday time. I guess I'm one of the nerds this puzzle was written for. I had to lol while reading the review.

"...but when you just cram a bunch of answers from your *particular* hobbies or obsessions into a corner, this means that people who don't share your demographic or definition of fun just get locked out."

I don't think I've ever seen Rex make this comment when a puzzle is chock-full of obscure literary references! :) Cheers.

Teedmn 1:25 PM  

I have an ice cream headache, the effect of going from a Robyn Weintraub easy to Sam Trabucco impossible in the space of one week. I got up from this puzzle at the 22 minute mark with a big hole in the NE. When I sat down again several minutes later, I finally came up with EEK at 16A, which let me finish, albeit with another layer of black ink. I had Sega in at 31A for a long, long time, leading me to think of some sort of agENT wining and dining clients. EEK. I even resorted to putting MD, RN, DR above my grid for guesses of 12A in order to spark something for 12D, 13D and 14D. EEK let me imagine DECEPTICON was possible.

I had started out so smoothly. I had the entire NW filled in fast, over to ESTEEM and down to IDYL when I first noticed my momentum begin to BATE. But besides hoeCAKE in place of ASH CAKE, nothing came close to the NE in holding me up.

I finished successfully though no one besides me would be able to tell because the SIMS line is so black, letters are barely discernible.

Way to make me stretch, Sam. Ouch, I'm going to have to skip GYM DAY now, I've had my workout.

Richard 1:35 PM  

I liked it a lot and came in a few minutes under my normal Friday time, even after losing a minute on WIIMOTES. Of the 12 clues that ran 11 letters, only two were in the "no, I don't think so" category -- REGALEMENT and SEEDOYSTERS. (It took me awhile to find DECEPTICON in the memory bank.)

SIDESHOW RAHEEM 2:21 PM  

Anyone who thinks this puzzle was loaded with "trivia" should go out in the world and learn something, or else stick to the AVCX and other children's puzzles (including yesterday's NYTX trainee grid).

This was a great puzzle! Right on!

Roo Monster 2:31 PM  

Hey All !
In case you've missed me, (doubtful 😋) it's because my computer has been out of service. I have this company called Tech Intel that monitors my computer. They called me and said someone hacked my IP Address, and I need a new one. Well, I haven't had problems with this company before, but now it seems they're scamming me. Anyone have any information on them? The money they want seems not right. But now my computer is tied up, and I can't do anything.

So I'm angry, frustrated, worried, and all that. Suggestions from anyone?

Sorry this isn't puz related.


RooMonster
DarrinV

MinorThreat 2:49 PM  

Did anyone else have REGALEVENT for 13d? I know little about computer games, so I didn't question SIVS. NE was the toughest section for me.

chris b 2:52 PM  

I fell asleep with the laptop open trying to solve this. So my time was 3:47:13. And that is after looking up about 10 clues, then coming over here to fill in the rest.

WORST PUZZLE EVAR

okanaganer 2:57 PM  

I finished the puzzle but didn't see the happy pencil, which is not unusual. Scoured the grid but could not find my error. Clicked "Check all letters" and was shocked: I had SEED SYSTEMS which even with the incorrect crosses (DISCS and AMOM) seemed plausible, if bland.

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

You and Rex both commented on the obscurity of SEED OYSTERS, so I accept that it may be, um, obscure. For me, though, it went in nicely once I had enough crosses, and I liked its freshness. This could be regional: I live in Boston, and oyster tech talk is part of the local argot. That’s probably less likely in WV and Rec’s stomping grounds.

Seth 3:39 PM  

Reading through the comments here, I'm struck by the dichotomy between the group that got the Transformers references and others and loved it, and the group that felt those references were too niche to enjoy. Admittedly, I'm firmly in the former camp; I finished in a very fast 13:30, about a third faster than my average for Friday. But this leads me to thinking that maybe we should be judging puzzles in a different way.

Instead of expecting every puzzle to have everything (old and new references, pop culture and history and science, proper nouns and fun phrases, etc.), maybe we should expect the suite of puzzles that a particular outlet is producing to have those things, when taken as a whole. The size of weekday puzzles (15x15) isn't huge, so it's hard for EVERY puzzle to have EVERYTHING. Some puzzles will be heavy on pop culture. Some will be heavy on a certain decade. Some will be heavy on modern phrases. Some will be heavy on proper nouns. And that's kind of unavoidable. But if, say, the COLLECTION of Fridays coming from the New York Times is, in general, varied, I think THAT'S what we're striving for.

Every puzzle can't please everyone. It's just not possible. And honestly, I don't WANT every puzzle to strive for that, because then no puzzle will ever push boundaries in ANY direction. But if, say, one or two months of Fridays have a little bit of everything, then I think we can be happy.

Rex (and everyone else), I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

Anonymous 3:48 PM  

[Mwah!]

Anoa Bob 4:17 PM  

@Roo, my old computer was attacked a couple of times and I had to resort to a restart option where you basically go back to where your computer was when it was new and then start adding apps, downloads, etc., all over again. It was a real pain and took quite a bit of time to go through, but it got rid of the virus/bug that caused the problem.

That was on a Windows XP computer and the restart had to be selected when the PC first powered up by hitting one of the numbered F buttons. The options were at the bottom of the screen very briefly before Windows kicked in.

So the "restart from scratch" is one option if it will work on your device.

BTW, both times my PC got infected, I had full coverage with one of the top security providers. Didn't help. Cancelled it.

Canook 4:22 PM  

Ripped through this one last night when it got posted online (PST), and decided to wait for the comments to roll in. Lol at Rex trying to be a hip curmudgeon. Pop culture seemed evenly spread and middle of the road to me, even though I have never seen the Transformers (movie or show), "Orange is the New Black," or played games on any of these contemporary Nintendo systems. Thanks Sam, fun puzz.

Blue Stater 4:24 PM  

Music Man @7:40 AM got it for me: difficult, joyless, no fun. Also boring. If ever a puzzle epitomized what has gone wrong with the NYT puzzles, it's this one. I know I've written this before, but the situation continues to deteriorate.

Anonymous 4:28 PM  

What @john x said. [Mwah!]

What? 4:34 PM  

NE corner - ugh. DNF.

Hercule 4:51 PM  

@roo monster is it these guys at the same address in Princeton NJ but with a different name? https://www.bbb.org/us/nj/princeton/profile/information-technology-services/protectera-llc-0221-90183358

Anonymous 5:21 PM  

I’m 61 and confess to only a vague awareness of the Transformers (toys? A movie?) and Wii devices, but I managed to finish the puzzle without cheating. Out of my wheelhouse doesn’t mean unfair, especially if the crosses help. Of course, I don’t track my solve times. I like hard puzzles, and I don’t care if others finish them faster than I do. The pleasure (for me) is in the gradual conquest of the grid.

Brent Langford 5:28 PM  

Running a lap around a track. An oval track.

Brian 5:38 PM  

Total is a brand of breakfast cereal

jae 5:53 PM  

Add me to the minority that found this one on the easy side. SHEEPLE and DECEPTICON were WOEs but were inferable from the crosses. Plenty of zip, liked it.

Joe Bleaux 6:02 PM  

Three words, surely to go unread:
ASH CAKE? Bullshit!

(I will remember this, Trabucco! You, one of my favorite constructors, have *stained,* your good name, sir.)

Lynx 6:03 PM  

Always fun to read the many comments criticizing Rex for writing his opinion on his blog. Always wonder why they keep returning if they hold so little regard for those opinions. Curious behavior.

Art Wholeflaffer 6:10 PM  

I wonder how Ransom Eli Olds (REO) would feel about his afterlife as filler in crossword puzzles.

Joe Bleaux 6:16 PM  

Rex AND you on my shoulders! Thank you, ditto, yes ma'am, me too, et cetera. Don't wanna play it again, Sam!

Joe Bleaux 6:18 PM  

Dang, I've lived in KY, TN, and GA, and I know my Southern, and I ain't never even *heard* of any damned ASH CAKE!

Anonymous 6:43 PM  

Maybe you need to read more.

Suzie Q 7:48 PM  

When this puzzle was good, it was very good but when it was bad, unlike Mae West, it was very bad. I'm OK with a wide span of interests but this had too many things that seemed pointed toward twelve year old boys. Star Wars, D&D, Wii, and Transformers?
The good parts were great though.
@ Joe Bleaux, I'm still laughing about that raccoon story!

Roo Monster 7:49 PM  

@Hercule
I believe it is.

RooMonster

OISK 8:19 PM  

A joyless slog, most of the way, loaded with answers that I "got," but had no idea what they referred to. After a very long time I finally tried "sheeple" - is that an actual slang??? - and guessed on decepticon ?? with WIIMOTES (????) and sims. Happily surprised when I came here and got it right. Less happy when I saw that I had blown it with UZO ADURA. Did not know the Trinity reference, although I came up with a very "inventive" answer there. I had "ABO __". Uzo Adu_a. "Real close' could be "ism" "ist" or "ise" (British spelling?) Unfortunately, I never thought of "ism." So I tried "ise" even though I knew a British spelling was unlikely. Now I had ABOE_ for "Trinity test subject." And I came up with "ABOER," and "Adura." In terms of blood type, "ABO" is the trinity, right?

Actually, despite the obscurity of "Azuba", there was nothing wrong with that section. Had I even tried "Ism" I am sure I would have gotten it. DNF. But would not have liked this puzzle had I not erred. CGI, Decepticon, wiimotes, sims, can't appear in the same sector. In the same puzzle - OK - I wouldn't enjoy it, but OK. But not in the same place. A Bronx cheer from Brooklyn.

Canook 8:30 PM  

@Lynx: Not criticizing him for writing his opinions, criticizing him for having them, because of disagreement. That's how discourse works. I come here because he's a catalyst for discussion of the puzzle. Do you only go to places where you agree with everything?

Laurence Katz 9:23 PM  

Seems this puzzle resulted in the most DNFs in a long time. Me included. Pretty cool.

Unknown 9:57 PM  

40A would be clued better as women’s ncaa hoops powerhouse

Big Jim 10:58 PM  

I hated this puzzle!

Outside The Box 1:21 AM  

How come no reference to the crossing “Ikes”—34D and 57A?

Lynx 2:47 AM  

@canook: absolutely, I remain only in places where everyone agrees with me, therefore, I spend my days holed up in my bedroom with my dog. ;) To elaborate, I'm fine with debate, but I object to comments containing personal insults. Cheap shots are inconsistent with rational discourse.

Paul Plotnick 6:11 AM  

This old guy - age 85 - actually breezed through this thing even though I knew nothing of decepticon or uzo (uzi?) adobo or aduba or whatever. Ish is much better than ism. Also tried Sega before sims.

dm3000 10:29 AM  

I had to sleep on the northeast...then I got it.

Jamie C 8:48 PM  

Amen.

Jamie C 8:50 PM  

If by "better" you mean "easier".

Sallie 11:19 PM  

Still want to know what CGI stands for.

spacecraft 10:53 AM  

Oh, oh: THAT kind of lap! Thank you, @anon 8:11. I too was perplexed by the 2-down clue. Truth, I was perplexed by lots of this, most especially the NE with its techiness. SKILESSONS, difficult to parse, finally slalomed into my brain and much of the rest was educated guesses.

This was one of those puzzles where even after filling everything in, I wonder, could all this be right? SEED = plant kingdom; OYSTERS = animal. How do these two go together?? I do get RACEBIBS, having gone to the track and seen them, but ASHCAKE? Sure doesn't sound appetizing to me. Um, can I have some water with that?

But withal, when I got to this page, I discovered I was indeed correct, and with only one blot: I had Life's partner as tIMe--you know, like the TIME-LIFE corp.--off the M in GYMDAY (which for me is today: work the brain, work the bod). So gigantic triumph points apply. Another total unknown was the improbable collection of letters spelling UZOADUBA, but after a bit of post-solve research I immediately installed her as DOD. Now she has two trophies.

Too tech-filled to earn more than a birdie, so birdie it is.

centralscrewtinizer 11:55 AM  

Had ___ALiMENT going for wining and dining, thinking it was a food thing. Could not remember CGI so NE corner did me in even though I had EEK and SKILESSONS, which got the fish eye from me. Also, WIIMOdiS did not help.

Burma Shave 12:20 PM  

OVERZEALOUS CAT

SHEEPLE DOYOUHEARME?
DECEPTICON I ain’t.
There’s NOTACHANCE to fear me,
just ESTEEM your PATRONSAINT.

--- PEE DEE “DISCO” SIMS

rondo 12:48 PM  

Too many write-overs to mention them all. Notably ‘chart’ for EASEL and SUpErmen for SUREBETS. Didn’t read one comment, not even OFL. Did anyone mention the IKE/IKEA and CAT/CATALOG crossings?

I LIEN towards yeah baby Molly SIMS.

Gotta run and see about buying a car. Fun puz when finally done.

thefogman 3:09 PM  

So crunchy I broke a tooth on this one. I usually begin in the NE corner but got stuck in IDYL and moved on. When I went back to that corner to finish, it took a pile of whiteout, but I wrestled it into the ground. ALAS, I DISCOvered my happy dance was premature. I took the BATE and had the same error as Rex did with 23D - ISh instead of ISM And since I don't know UZO ADUBA I had NOTACHANCE at that crossing. I went out on a LIMB and went with ABOhr for 29A. My OVERZEALOUS logic was that this was the name of some person involved in a famous scientific test ORR experiment. Wrong! This is where I DYED. In spite of my DNF, I actually enjoyed this puzzle. There was plenty of sly, clever cluing 42A (RACEBIBS), 2D (OVAL,) 30D (GREASE) and tons of nice long answers. OK. Some clues provoked GRUNTS, but others were SUREBETS. Rex might think this one was ABOMB, but I thought it was DOPE with a capital DEE. All HALE Sam Trabuco!

In other news, ever since I got my IKEACATALOG, ILIKEIKEa more than ever. It is truly a delight to the CENSUS and UCONN quote me on that.

Diana, LIW 3:57 PM  

The Beetles laid claim to 8 days in a week - this one was a Saturday+++.

When is an ox not an ox? When it's flummoxed. As I was. In the NE. I'm not a computer gamer, so major dnf thereabouts. I enjoyed working, and I do mean working, out the rest. But when clue after clue might as well say "What is the Urdu name for the Nose-Picking Goddess of Video Boogers?" - I can sit and stare till the cows come home. (Hint - I don't own any cows.)

@Rondo - good luck with the car, but it won't match up to my Bella Bayla - a lovely blue Civic that purrs when it rolls.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rainforest 5:21 PM  

Okay, so I'm temporarily going back on my word (sue me), but I had to because of how much fun I had with this puzzle despite the fact it took two sittings three hours apart. During the hiatus, I "got" the pun on WIIMOTES, har, and was disabused of the thought that my thighs make an OVAL shape when I sit, which is too much btw, but that's another story. I must establish a GYM DAY or at least a stationary bike DAY. At least I went for a short walk while taking a break from solving. Not on an OVAL, though.

My grandson has a toy DECEPTICON transformer, so that helped a bunch. Went from Sega, to SIth to SIMS thanks to finally figuring out REGALEMENT. PEE DEE took a little time (had TEE DEE for awhile) and that whole LIMB/DISCO area was a toughISM, 'nother har. Like @M&A, early in the solve I contemplated thE basE briefly, and BRIBE/BATE was opaque for a bit. The bulk of the puzzle was delightful, however, and all those stacks were great. I've seen how SEED OYSTERS are used on an OYSTER farm, though the term was slow to come. I've watched Orange is the new Black, and knew the actress' name started with OZU- so the NW was easiest for me to fill. Triumph factor- huge.

PS I went to last Sunday/Monday and read the Syndies' comments, and though I thought I was firm in my resolve to cease commenting, I'm probably relenting. As the Great Narcissist says, "we'll see", but thanks, all.

PPS Who names a river PEE DEE?



leftcoastTAM 7:13 PM  

@rainforest --Good to see you changed your mind (and that you're not too old or too proud to do it).

I found this a tough one, and did not finish. Needed DO YOU HEAR ME to get going and to get out of the NW. Wouldn't have gotten UZOADUBA, and maybe DOPE or ORR without it. ALAS, "Ah well, we tried".

DECEPTICON was and is an unknown and SKI LESSON a bit vague.BATE and abate are the same thing? Okay.

Another fairly rare lesson in Portuguese: ELAS. May or may not try to remember that one. Too old to learn much of that language here.

ASHCAKE? Surely that's not served in Asheville. Or is it?

PEEDEE River: Remembered it after getting it. The South is different.

Rally laiked it, y'all, et.al.


Diana, LIW 10:19 PM  

Hooray - it's a @Rainy da!

Lady Di

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