Ovid's foot / FRI 5-30-14 / DuPont development of 1935 / Midwest city named for Menominee chief / Imagine grammy winner of 2010 / Oscar nominee for playing Cal Trask / Any of three authors of Pull My Daisy / Novel title character called my sin my soul / Monomer of proteins informally

Friday, May 30, 2014

Constructor: James Mulhern

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: KIPS (20A: 1,000-pound weight units) —
kip is a non-SI unit of force. It equals 1000 pounds-force, used primarily by American architects and engineers to measure engineering loads. Although uncommon, it is occasionally also considered a unit of mass, equal to 1000 pounds, i.e., one half of a short ton. One use is as a unit ofdeadweight to compute shipping charges. (wikipedia)

• • •

Yeah. Yeah, this'll do. KIPS and PAH are absurd, but the rest of this just hums, though I repeat my contention that people simply don't say "I'M IT!" The way it works, see, is when you start, people shout "NOT IT!" and the last person to do so is, in fact, IT. Then, from there on out, whoever is IT is self-evident. Whoever is IT, upon tagging someone, might shout "YOU'RE IT!" but that person is never, ever going to shout "I'M IT." And that is your lesson in the official rules of tag. Side note, crossing an IT phrase with an IT phrase (ATE IT), not great. But back to the good stuff, which is most of it—it was a delight to see interesting phrases unfolding without also having to endure jarring, ugly stuff. This one was definitely on the easy side for me, but in those few cases where I hit a wall, it was nice to have the effort of breaking down that wall feel like it was worth it (IT!). Bottom much tougher than top for me. Even with JUDITH, ANISE and ESPY in place, I had trouble dropping those long Downs in the SW. Couldn't remember who Cal Trask was, couldn't think of anything appropriate for 29D: Very, very that began UN-S, and just couldn't see DISPERSAL at that early juncture. Had to dive down into that corner and climb my way out. Wish I'd looked at the DARLA clue first, because that was a gimme. But I managed. ELSIE and ALAMO turned out to be right, so I survived.

Wasn't sure about GRENADA and also wasn't sure I knew how to spell GRENADA (GRANADA?), so getting underneath it was tricky at first. Once I slung GALORE across there, I was able to guess NO JOKE, which immediately gave me FIJI, and once I broke through, that SE corner was over pretty quickly. Very geographical puzzle today, with three country all quite close to one another—the two above-named and then GHANA. Did you know Maya Angelou lived in GHANA for a time? I picked up All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes today in the public library (which had a nice display of her work out—pretty fast and thoughtful tribute, I thought). Her writing is so honest and compelling and emotional. I'd only read I Know Why… before today, but two pages into All God's Children… and I knew I had to check it out (despite being in the middle of four other books at the moment). Where was I? Oh, GHANA, yeah. The Angelou memoir begins in GHANA. I probably would've got that answer pretty quickly anyway, but it was nice that it was sitting on top of my brain. I had no idea FIJI was so HINDU (18A: Like about 30% of 51-Across, belief-wise). That was today's most interesting trivia bit.

Last thing. About HERSTORY (59A: Subject that includes women's suffrage and the Equal Rights Amendment). I have not heard someone use that term unironically in 20+ years. I mean, I know many, many ardent feminists (married one, even), and … no. It's called "women's history." HERSTORY is one of those things, like spelling "women" with a "y" ("yeomen") (that was a joke) (the parenthetical part, I mean), that belongs to another era. Amusingly, wikipedia wants me to believe that "hertory" is a viable option. Try using it in conversation and see how far you get before someone goes "what?" It's like grotesque collision of "uterus" and "ovary" (and "artery" and "hernia"). Bizarre.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:07 AM  

Easy Fri. for me.  Less resistance than yesterday's, but not as much zip.  My only real problem was forgetting that SAPPHIRE has two Ps.  A solid Fri. which might be tough if you didn't know most of the Grammy/movie/Broadway/literary/political/geographical names.  Seems like there were quite a few.   Liked it.

George Barany 12:27 AM  

Some fun fill and clues today from James Mulhern, of which I particularly liked JUDITH, OSHKOSH, ESPY, and NYLON. Having worked with amino acids, peptides, and proteins my entire career, I have never heard of the monomer referred to only as AMINO -- but I appreciate the shoutout anyhow. Most people, seeing the name Kennedy, won't think first of the frequent swing-vote Supreme Court Justice who provides a segue to his more reliably conservative (and crossword-friendly) colleague ALITO.

The above do allow me to segue, with your kind indulgence, to two themed puzzles that might appeal to some of this group: Too Soon? and Plastic Surgery, each accompanied by an extensive "midrash." My friends and I hope you like them.

Pete 12:29 AM  

LOLITA wasn't called "My sin, my soul", she was acknowledged as such. To take that one phrase out of the greatest opening paragraph in all of literature, where a list of things she was actually called, and mis-use it as such is unforgivable.

Anoa Bob 12:31 AM  

I was thinking HER STORY was the title of some MUST READ history of women's rights. No?

Plenty of good stuff all around in this SAPPHIRE (I remembered how to spell it!) of a puzzle.

I liked LADIES MAN chasing LOLITA and DELILAH. Cluing GRENADA, FIJI & GHANA with nutmeg and cocoa was a nice touch.

Never heard of INDIA ARIE and not sure I parsed it correctly. No matter. Very enjoyable solve.

wreck 12:33 AM  

The puzzle was solid - I too was chompin' at the bit to see if anyone was going to point out the "I'm It" fallacy! The new NYT app is probably going to be acceptable, but it looks like the MAGMIC APP will go from $19.99 to $39. I hope at least not until the next renewal period! Currently I can go back in the archives further than 1 year (but only on line at the NYT website). We'll see!

Pete 12:34 AM  

Oh, and if HERSTORY includes the Equal Rights Ammendment, it's a pretty sad story, what with it failing.

Interesting fact: A broad collection of Dixicrats who didn't have the balls to directly confront LBJ about his civil rights bill thought they had a perfect way of derailing it. They'd vote for the bill, even though giving equal rights to blacks was noxious to them, under one condition. That condition was that women get equal rights also, equal pay, equal opportunity, etc. They figured that that abomination would be enough to kill the bill.

No that's a piece of HERSTORY

Mark 2:19 AM  

The "upgrade" to the NYT app is, in every way I've been able to notice so far, slightly inferior to the old app: it's harder to read because of lessened contrast and lighter font, not as cleanly laid out with the clues too big in proportion to the too-small grid, overall not as comfortable.

retired_chemist 2:24 AM  

Glad George Barany brought the miscluing of AMINO up - I agree. AMINO is never used as shorthand for am amino acid or an amino acid residue.

I found this puzzle difficult, but it's late and maybe I am just slow-witted now. Enjoyed it a lot in any case. Many cool answers, a few quibbles. But with JUDITH, the challenging cluing of two midwest cities and three foreign nations, condensation polymers at 16A and 58A, a slightly impure aluminum oxide (31A), some names I knew but not from the clues, one total WTF (INDIA ARIE), and a few head-slaps along the way, the quibbles fade into obscurity.

Two head-slaps: (1) the TAR_ITS/KI_S cross, where I should have seen the P of PITS even though I had never heard of KIPS except as the monetary unit of Laos; and (2) had mAKE A STAB @ 57A and of course my checking started at 1A, with downs after acrosses, which made it a LONG time until ARAFAm appeared.

Thanks, Mr. Mulhern. More please.

chefwen 2:28 AM  

No easy medium for me. Like @jae, only wanted one P in 31A and ended up tossing an S on the end of SAPHIRE, still didn't look right, fixed that right away which helped. Hated changing my bAH to PAH at 25A, who says PAH, I never have! Had to Google a tad bit to get my foot in the door, after that it was fun. First run through offered little hope, husband didn't offer much more, but it all seemed to come together. A DNF, but after all was said and done, a good Friday puzzle.

Moly Shu 2:43 AM  

Easy, smooth Friday here. Got started with JUDITH, ESPY, DARLA, ELSIE, ALAMO and worked my way around from there. cHiNA before GHANA and Islam before HINDU (pure guess).

@RetiredChemist, ARAFAm for me too. I'll take yours and @GeorgeB's word on the monomer thingy.

Very good friday, really liked it.

Steve J 2:50 AM  

Really enjoyed this, and not just because a lot of the answers were in my wheelhouse, or at least wheelhouse adjacent. (I finished in near-record Friday time for me.)

Thought at first I was going to struggle, as I'd filled in absolutely nothing in the top half till I got to JUDITH. DISPERSALS came in off the D, and things started filling in from there. Every time I thought I was stuck, something would come to me, and I'd be able to make headway again. Exactly like a late-week puzzle should be.

Liked the mix of fresh and classic references, and fill like LADIES MAN, OVERSHARE, FINE PRINT and TAKE A STAB. A couple bumps (like PAH and I'M IT), and HERSTORY is a little tortured, but they didn't detract from a very fine Friday.

I skip M-W 3:50 AM  

At the risk of over sharing, may I mention, that the U in South Bend gave me Hindu, which I knew must refer to the Polynesian country , wher Hindus, originally from India, having been voted into office were overthrown by a coup in favor of th indigenous minority. In 4 letters? Had to be Fiji, which gave me No Joke, etc. South Bend itself came up from S .....,end. Bah to Pah though. On the whole, smooth puzzle. You're it!

ZenMonkey 5:27 AM  

@Mark, I agree about the new app. I know I'll get used to it but it doesn't feel great. And no more Mr. Happy Pencil theme??

Also, am I misremembering or did the old app or account provide access to a much bigger archive than this one? A year's archive is a useless perk if you do the puzzle every day.

At least the inaugural puzzle was very enjoyable.

JTHurst 5:29 AM  

Amazing, to listen to descriptions of the above posters one would assume this puzzle flowed like melted butter. Maybe when you start on the clues and absolutely nothing rings in your brain pan a 'huli hutu' (Chinese) feeling comes over you. Such that even clues which may become clear with a little nudging like 'one needing pressure to perform well' just don't come forth.

This puzzle was a tangled weed patch for me and maybe I let some of the tough clues 'cower' me.

I got 'Darla', and 'Old Brown Dog' (damn fine ale), felt frustrated on cumin and coriander because cardamon did not fit, and saw that even my 'Bah" answer wasn't right upon review. But I would look up an answer and see if it led to others and continued like that until the whole puzzle was completed.

I don't know if that will help me in the future but upon review it did point out many clues that I should have gotten with a little 'twerkin' (my paean to M&A) like: 'wheels of fortune', 'acu', 'pitcher of milk', and 'budget alt.'

I always associated portmanteau with baggage because of the David Niven film "Around The World in 80 Days" with his man servant Passepartout carrying his portmanteau. Looked it up and saw it can be used as a modifier meaning several qualities or uses.

dls 5:31 AM  

Not a fan of the PAH/INDIAARIE crossing. PSH seems just as good as PAH, and never having heard of India Arie, INDISARIE looked like a totally reasonable name for a band I hadn't heard of,

Loren Muse Smith 5:52 AM  

This was a Friday that had me panicked that I would get only one corner (southwest) and nothing else but FINEPRINT. Then little by little I was able to chip away and finish. As @Steve J said – "exactly like a late-week puzzle should be."

Several missteps along the way: "iron" before TIRE right off the bat. "As is" before I'M IT. And "lorelei" has the same number of letters as DELILAH. Nice. Then, I was going for some kind of tren for "Star of India" but resisted because I was pretty sure about FINE PRINT. Also, I headed down the path of "Sunni/Ira_" for FIJI/HINDU. Flags schmags. (shmags?) Who knows this stuff?

@jae, chefwen – somehow those two P's are never a problem for me. Is SAPPHIRE an eponym of Sappho or vice versa (and was she a BEAT POET writing about HERSTORY)? That _PPH_ group is interesting. No one can go APP hunting on a flip phone, I guess.

I always enjoy, turn up the volume and sit, rapt, when the speed talker reads the four pages of FINE PRINT at the end of the Singulair commercial. Seriously – does that recitation really save lives?

Steve Martin's version of FINEPRINT

The clue for LIMO was a highlight.

GALORE. Cool. Any other adjectives in English that have to go after the noun? There are some in fixed phrases: heir apparent, court martial, arms akimbo, attorney general. . . I just snooped around. We have incarnate, aplenty, and emeritus that I guess we can throw around some. Grammar extraordinaire indeed.


Yeah – I'M IT was clued recently the same way. I can hear a tag player saying it with resignation. Better, though, I can imagine some decidedly non super hero showing up to save the day, and the savees, incredulous, say, "*You* are going to rescue us??" "Yeah. I'M IT."

When my son was a toddler, his main playmate, Samantha, had a grand mom who lived in OSHKOSH and was always sending new, cute clothes her way. We would go to the park, and her mom wouldn't let her get all dirty lest she mess up those kicky overalls. I joked that Oprah could have a show with guests who grew up with grandparents in OSHKOSH and as young children were never allowed to play in the dirt. The mom saw the light and started frequenting the consignment stores with me. Sigh. Saving childhoods one toddler at a time.

James – really nice job today. I liked it!

GILL I. 6:02 AM  

This was hard!!!!
Didn't know INDIA ARIE, didn't know JUDITH Light, should have known JAMES DEAN but I got ADELE.
The only clue I got and stared at for about an hour was CEDAR. My dad was a cigar smoker and I loved to smell the box.
After several Googles for the above names I started to fill in a few here and there but names GALORE did me in. PAH!

John Child 6:07 AM  

I was greatly distressed that the goat didn't make the cut today. I tried really hard to get TAKE A go at to work at 57A. And in the NW dEAd POET stymied me for a while.

Fun puzzle, on the challenging side for me.

Danp 6:35 AM  

I loved "old pitcher of milk". Poor Elsie can't buy a compliment.

Anonymous 7:27 AM  

@Pete: That Dixiecrats tried to sabotage the Civil Rights Act by including women in it seems to be a myth. The actual intention appears to have been to ensure that white women enjoyed the same protections as black men.

Unknown 7:38 AM  

How can:

"Best New Artist Grammy winner of 2008"

be Adele when it was Amy Winehouse who won that year?

Hartley70 7:50 AM  

Melted butter was flowing here and it was a steady solve from bottom to top. Question: why is there a circle around the R in tire? I'm surprised India Arie is an unknown to so many. She's a "recent" Grammy winner, has a smooth jazzy sound, and a pro-feminist slant in "herstory". Love her.

Glimmerglass 8:01 AM  

Lots of stuff I didn't know. Also lots of very interesting stuff. I didn't find it easy--maybe a hard medium, which for me is a satisfying solve. My last letter was correcting GoAB and FINE PoINT.

Sir Hillary 8:09 AM  

Couldn't get any traction for quite a while. Then JUDITH, DARLA and ELSIE saved me -- they ended up being the three authors of Pull Me Out Of My Daze.

I don't think of Twitter, Facebook or Instagram as APPs, more as sites. Guess I am dating myself (USEBY five years ago).

Nice to see INDIAARIE with her whole name intact. She and Mr. Luyenduyk deserve more than simply being the crossword cousins of Esai Morales. Plus, her first name adds to the country list in today's puzzle.

Only writeover was asIs for IMIT (which I agree no one says).

Re: GRENADA vs. Granada...the Caribbean island is close to St. Vincent & the Grenadines. That's how I remember to spell it with an E.

LADIESMAN and HERSTORY in the same grid. Can't make this stuff up.

jberg 8:23 AM  

@chefwen - Who says PAH? Nero Wolfe; maybe Bertie Wooster, as well. As an avid reader of same, I put it in as my second entry, right after HINDU. But that was all I got for a while, and I wasn't too sure of either, nor of my next entry, MISSTEP. Only when an uncertain ESPY gave me DISPERSAL was I confident about any of my answers.

So no melted butter here, but the considerable struggle was worth it -- many good entries, like ELSIE, ALONGSIDE, etc.

What I learned: KITS.

What I didn't learn: what an ACUpoint is.

What I wonder about: how many here actually knew where Rugby was in relation to Reading?

The story (by Caroline Bird, among others) that sex got into the Civil Rights Act as a joke by Sam Ervin, Howard Smith, and others was pretty conclusively refuted by Jo Freeman in this chapter from her book WE WILL BE HEARD: WOMEN'S STRUGGLES FOR POLITICAL POWER IN THE UNITED STATES.

(Please excuse the pedantry, but I've got to uphold my discipline in the midst of all these chemists.)

Unknown 8:28 AM  

I thought several of these clues/answers crossed the line from being difficult to being wrong.

"Egg" is not the equivalent of "prod" the same way, for example, "cut" is not the equivalent of "joke". "Egg on" and "cut up" are the respective synonyms. And the "Adele" clue has the wrong year.

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

Goddammit ruined a heretofore perfect week on my stupid mental block of Karla/Darla that's been around forever and can't seem to be fixed. Maybe this rant will help?. For some reason I thought Carl Trask was one of those guys in a modern sci-fi movie like Kaiser Soze or Tony Stark so James Dean didn't come to mind. James Kean? Seems like a name. (Hits forehead and cries "idiot" a la Napoleon Dynamite.) Great Friday puzzle. I'm going back to bed.

JC66 8:42 AM  

For 10D, when asIs didn't work and I replaced it with IMIT, I thought it was an abbreviation for IMITation.

Anyone else?

jdv 8:56 AM  

Easy. Took me half as long as yesterday. What a difference a wheelhouse makes. Really liked the long down answers in NE and SW. Mulhern is becoming one of my favorite constructors.

Unknown 8:58 AM  

Maybe IM IT should be clued as "Line never heard when playing tag"...

Fun, fast Friday. After reading the interview with Anna yesterday, I find myself trying to guess what clues she may have contributed to.

Carola 9:03 AM  

Most enjoyable, delight upon delight. Began with LOLITA leading to LITER to ANISE to JAMES DEAN, soon joined by DARLA and ELSIE and then slowly, in a delicious way, the rest.

Smiled at ANISE after the recent comment (@retired_chemist, was it you?) that it's a good one to remember. With just the E in place, I first thought, "clovE?" but then, uh-uh, gotta be ANISE.

I liked the cross DELILAH: HER STORY.

Kim Scudera 9:03 AM  

India.Arie!! Wonderful songwriter. Here's one of my favorite songs, "I Am Not My Hair" on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_5jlt0f5Z4

Oh, and the puzzle was a fine solve! Loved the juxtaposition of LADIESMAN and OVERSHARE, DARLA was a total gimme (yes, I watched the Rascals when I was a kid, i.e., when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and, speaking of dinosaurs, there's nothing like TARPITS: the smell! The sound! The bones! Good very-not-clean fun.

Kim Scudera 9:05 AM  

@Susan McConnell: "Maybe IM IT should be clued as "Line never heard when playing tag"..."

Perfect -- thanks!

Z 9:13 AM  

The first thing I noticed upon opening the paper is the bifurcated nature of the puzzle. One little connector at SAPPHIRE and another at MUST READ, otherwise no crossing of words between the two halves.

It took me forever to get footholds. ACU/USE BY in the SE, DISPERSAL in the SW, OSH KOSH in the NW, and finally getting the Star of Bombay off the ocean in the NE were my toeholds in each corner.

Briefly thought a rebus might be in play since hiSTORY is too short and u.s. hiSTORY is too long. Other MISSTEPs included MUST hEAD (I put that H in thinking a piece of a rivet) and spOTS. Oh, as is before IM IT.

@Sherman Elliot and @Joseph Welling - Rex's FAQS (link at top of blog) explains why the clue isn't wrong. The answer is about Oscars if I'm remembering correctly, but I'm sure it applies to other awards as well.

Now to puzzle out why Supertramp at the top of the blog. Probably perfectly obvious, but I'm not seeing it.

Unknown 9:28 AM  

As a chemist by education as well, I want to support George Barney and retired chemist that Amino as a stand alone is never, ever used as a term, informally or otherwise. I understand that Thursday, Friday (as this one is) and Saturday puzzles use difficult cluing to make them more challenging, but the clues have to be real at some level. While I realize it would have made the clue very easy, would it have been so bad to just clue it as ____ acid? Then the solver would have to decide between amino, oleic, and probably a few others I am not thinking of right off.

Rex has complained of things that have changed recently in the quality of NYT puzzles, I have some things I would like to see different as well, but the most basic element of fairness in a crossword puzzle is that the clues have to be accurate. They can't be flat out wrong. This one is flat out wrong.

Questinia 9:36 AM  

I had "as Is" for tag statement forgetting for a time the never uttered I'M IT. So AMINO, clunker answer as it is, was even more difficult to suss as I had AS---. As it so happened INDIA ARIE saved me.

As it was "early morning in the universe" I pondered that East Village backdrop for Pull My Daisy thinking Ginsberg before BEAT POET. Kerouac, Frank, Corso, none of 'em fit. But those sour jazz strains of David Amram in my mind must have helped because the puzzle suddenly fell fast and furious. I didn't even need to read the clues anymore as I became the Dharma Bum puzzler. I'M IT, man, as is.

chefbea 9:40 AM  

Easier than yesterday but still DNF

Very spicy puzzle...and learned where some of them come from

another easy captcha...just 4 numbers

Z 9:43 AM  

@Chemists - Experts in the field are not actually the best source for how the informal ignoratti use terms. Just as a silly example, I haven't thrown an actual "frisbee" in 30 years, but had to listen to people on ESPN call the highlights they were showing from the college championships "ultimate frisbee." Wrong, sure, but enough in the vernacular to be cross-worthy.

BTW - yesterday's LAT was by Steinberg. It was the easiest Steinberg I have ever done, a great confidence booster for the next time I see his name on a Saturday.

Lewis 9:44 AM  

@rex -- your writeups this week have been terrific. You've pointed out the pluses and minuses with humor and insight.

Has anyone here ever said PAH in conversation?

This started slow, then gained momentum, like I was riding a sled downhill. An UNUSUALLY enjoyable solve.

Unknown 9:48 AM  

1:15 No googles. 3 errors at one compound Natick: JAMEScaAN cARLA aLSIE

Very smooth solve. Real confidence builder.

MuddY before MISTY. A senator elected in 2006 before ALITO. Uptil before USEBY. hertz before ALAMO. goodREAD before MUSTREAD. slamPOET before BEATPOET. toONeSIDE before ALONGSIDE.

Yes, as MISSTEPs go, that's a short list, so I call it a smooth solve.

I never saw the clue for IMIT, but it seems to be a good way to start a game of tag: IMIT YOUREIT. And the game begins with no question as to who just got tagged as so is involuntarily IT.

Thanks for the geography lesson!

@JTHurst, best advice I can give, and I'm the last one here qualified to offer advice, is to be willing to guess wrong, then be wiling to retract the right guesses ALONGSIDE the wrong guesses as you solve. Stasis is the enemy.

Unknown 9:54 AM  

Oh, and it wanted smilE as the old milk pitcher. But I guess it wasn't so much a smile as a milk mustache on a smiling person tha pitched the milk.

Nancy 9:59 AM  

Thought it too easy for a Friday until I got to the NE, Then got flummoxed. Had HAHA, but no clue as to HIFIS. INDIA AIRE was a Natick for me -- one that boasted a ridiculous combo of vowels. And having CHINA instead of GHANA was the last nail in my NE coffin. Came here, saw HIFIS, but nothing else, and then proceeded to solve, using that as a crutch. Otherwise, wouldn't have finished.

Michael Hanko 10:25 AM  

'Aminos' is a common term used by non-chemists to refer to amino acids as nutrients. There's a brand called Bragg's Liquid Aminos, for example.

chefbea 10:31 AM  

At 52 across...Did you know that beer is good for what ale's you??

Dan Ruby 10:40 AM  

I'm keeping the old app even if I have to repeatedly install it. I did that yesterday and it was overwritten, so I changed settings not to update apps automatically. There were about 2000 people who submitted times to Magmic today.

bigsteve46 10:43 AM  

What's wrong with "INDIAARIE" (who I admit I never heard of, but as a recent Grammy winner is, by my definition, legit fill)is the crossing with a totally made up "PAH" which could have been anything. The problem with an overuse of proper names is that they are often impossible to intuit. Also, they just show a laziness or lack of skill in the creator who isn't clever enough to invent or create something original; but like a David Steinberg, is just some teenage computer/google whiz kid - God knows we have enough of them!

Arlene 10:44 AM  

I got into this puzzle, but needed Googling to finish - and lots of write-overs. Got DARLA right away, which tells you my vintage. Never heard of PAH, knew IMIT doesn't exist but is still the answer, and groaned about HERSTORY, a term I'll never use. All in all, finishing a Friday is a good feeling!

tensace 10:44 AM  

So many truly awful answers. I'm a virologist by training and was active in life sciences for 30 years. No one, and I mean no one, used the word AMINO for protein monomer.

HIFIs maybe have been the cat's meow for minimal distortion when people used to say "cat's meow". But by today's standards they, well, suck.

Lastly only Time Magazine would have called ARAFAT, a peacemaker. He was a butcher and a terrorist to anyone paying attention. Maybe the peacemaker they had in mind was he gave so many their final "peace".

Steve J 10:45 AM  

Thing I learned today from the puzzle: The appendage "a-gogo" originated from French. When I saw 44A clued as À gogo, I figured there'd been some kind of error. Looked it up after solving, and lo and behold, it is an actual French phrase that was borrowed for the once-trendy, now-campy "a-gogo".

@Sherman Elliott and @Joseph Welling: As @Z alluded to, the Grammy Awards are given for the previous calendar year (just like the Oscars). So, while the most recent ceremony was held in January 2014, the awards were for 2013. So the year on ADELE is correct.

@Z: Interesting observation on the grid. At first I assumed you meant the top and bottom halves barely connect. But it's really the left and right halves that just have those two connection points. That would help explain why I essentially solved this one corner at a time.

@Michael Hanko: I noticed that usage when I was looking up AMINO (without acid) just before you posted. Thanks. I figured it was the typical trick of using a relatively unknown - but definitely out there - usage. Another case where domain knowledge can be a dangerous thing when doing crosswords.

@Magmic users: Odd, I haven't been prompted to update yet. Yet when I look up the app in the store, it says there's an update available. I may just keep going with the original for a bit. (I am disappointed that the deal we've been getting on the yearly subscription - half the price of what you pay directly to the NYT - is going away. At least I'm locked up through the end of the year.)

AliasZ 10:50 AM  

- I bet if James Mulhern worked a little harder, he could've changed TARPITS to EYEPITS.

- @Moly Shu, after @GB's cool, logical and scientific analysis of the AMINO clue, I almost spritzed coffee through my nose all over my laptop when I read your "monomer thingy."

- I can imagine a crowd gathering in the town square listening to a terrible poem recited from a soap box by its perpetrator. To show their displeasure, they start chanting: BEAT POET.

- This is an estrogen-rich puzzle with numerous women in it, as @LMS correctly pointed out. It beats too much testosterone, in my view. When male elephants experience an overabundance of the latter, it is called "musth" or "must." Testosterone levels in an elephant in must can be as much as 60 times greater than in the same elephant at other times, and is characterized by extreme aggression. They have been known to trample and gore other elephants, male or female, and rhinos, without any provocation. The herd's ability to detect must and avoid the inflicted male is what I would call a MUST READ.

Now I am going to have some PAH ALAMO. But ALITO music first here in the Khulture Khorner:

Erroll Garner plays his MISTY. You cannot but be totally mesmerized by this pianist's playing.

And for a weekend-friendly Khlassical offering, here is the Bacchanale from the opera Samson and DELILAH by Camille Saint-Saëns. Sorry I couldn't find one conducted by Neville MARINER.


Karl 10:52 AM  

I say, "Bah!" to PAH...

mac 10:58 AM  

Excellent Friday, just the kind of puzzle I enjoy.

Medium for me, since I got stuck in the NW wit spots instead of blots, and had iron too for a while.

Surprised myself by getting South Bend off the ND!

Wonderful, funny and lively write-up, Rex!

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

I don't think Rex went far enough in his condemnation of herstory. Of course the word is ludicrous; it's based on nothing but rank ignorance. The word history simply means account. There's nothing masculine about it. When knowing Greek was (ahem)the sine qua non of the educated, this affront to the language would have been impossible.

Wendy 11:16 AM  

The NE? I ATE IT, starting with HdtvS. Also, one flag logo/major crop was beyond me, let alone two. Maybe nutmeg IS grown in JamaicA. So DNF.
But the SW was my friend because JAMES DEAN, DARLA, JUDITH and ELSIE live there, but I must give a round of applause to any answer (LOLITA) I was able to score. You may think all I know are names (hi, ADELE!) but INDIA ARIE isn't one of them, so I'm memorizing it right now. You should too.

jae 11:19 AM  

@Carola -- I believe the ANISE comment was mine.

retired_chemist 11:51 AM  

@ Carola - the ANISE comment was not mine.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 12:07 PM  

@muse: ahar!
I just finally caught on to yer "sad butt" runtpuz clue.
U went rogue with a normal answer -- **Masterful**!!
Also, recently noticed that U used the ultra-rare "Runtpuz with a Growth" 7x8 grid size -- **Innovative**!! No wonder it took me 17:14; more territory to navigate than usual.

U have an awesome future in the runtpuz industry. Feel free to pester Jeff Chen with future entries, at any old time. Invite Jeff to do one of his own. And to tell all his constructioneer friends to catch a fever that only buildin a runtpuz can cure. Even PB1 will not be immune... Rex, I sense he may be resistant...


p.s. Primo NYT puz today, also. PAH is nuclear material. Atta boy, Jimbo.

JTHurst said: 12:22 PM  

@Carola - the ANISE comment was not mine either.

Chip Hilton 12:42 PM  

@mac..Getting SOUTHBEND from the ND. I'm guessing you were aware of the Notre Dame connection. Whatever, it got a smile from me.

Nice puzzle, excepting PAH. Ah, DARLA! We all understood Spanky and Alfalfa's battles for her affection.

mac 12:44 PM  

No clue, Chip, just coincidence!

RnRGhost57 1:15 PM  

A very fun puzzle. Have come across "PAH" a few times and it seems fair. Does it tend to be a Britishism?

@jberg, much thanks for the link to the Jo Freeman chapter on the '64 Civil Rights Act. I've read the "sex was inserted as joke by Southern Dems" in a number of places and apparently have been misinforming my students for years.

Leapfinger 1:19 PM  

@A-Z: You stole my PAH ALAMO, and have the notes to prove it. But thanks, I ATE IT already.
I also like to have Kh- as initial letters.

@ProteinShakers: Every AMINO acid abbreved in my notes was 'aa', but it's a puzzle.

@ jberg: Thanks! All that is fascinating history, when I dig it out.

@anyone: Alt suggestion
If you're looking for the right person for the job, I'M IT!

@mymuse: YesYes on the WimminNames, but you mighta coulda added ALES Bluegown, MARINER Morningstar and (Holy Mackerel!) SAPPHIRE.

@Any who hasn't heard INDIA ARIE: Try to fix that.

SAPPHIRE opened the NW for me, OSHKOSH [b'GOSH] the NW. It all looked like hard butter at first, but softened up as I kept patting it. Southern hemisphere spread real smooth.

Some averted MISSTEPs [If something's averted, does that make it an aversion? How come not?): PADUCAH for OSHKOSH
And Jason was *not* a MARImba
[HAHA, only the 1st one was NO JOKE]

After checking the LITERboard, I'm GHANA call a flag on the play. ANISE agglomeration of countries, FIJI ALONGSIDE GRENADA and HINDIA too; liked how the clues were flagged, and throwing in all that cocoa added Bang GALORE!! But if I have too many of those MINTed chocolates, I'm GHANA be ALAMOgordo...

No bones about it, I'm always happy to find something osseous in a puzzle, but when it rains on the diamond, ya gotta TARPIT.

Dante was the BEATricePOET, a grain lover, and quite that Lady's man.
Clare Quimby is another LADIESMAN; I MUST READ LOLITA: HER STORY again some time. Maybe. Btter yet, I'll just hum Bert Bacharach, hum Bert'n'Ernie tunes.

Sorry to TIRE the room with nonsense, but when you come to the party late, all that's left are the crumbs. Loved every minnit.

HIFI's all around.

Anonymous 1:28 PM  

Two errors--
3D: Adele won Best New Artist Grammy in 2009.
12D: India.Arie won a Grammy for "Imagine" in 2011.

Andrew Heinegg 1:32 PM  

Nice puzzle except for the ne. As noted by Rex and others, 'I'm it' is never said in tag so why mess up a well constructed puzzle with a' tag' line that does not exist in real life. I just do not get pah. Pooh or bah maybe but not pah; I also don't care for the face-plant /ate it. A face plant is the result of literally falling on your face or being put there by force. I have never seen or heard it used metaphorically. Thus, you do not eat dirt, the reference in the puzzle, as a result of the face-plant. You eat dirt when you are forced to as the result of an error in judgment/action taken you made.

These mis- clues, if you will, make the across cluing to a obscure musical artist not very well constructed and a despoliation of this nice effort.

ksquare 1:45 PM  

KIPS is not so unusual to anyone who has had to calculate stresses and strains on a beam. It's short for amounts expressed in thousand pound units. i.e. kilopounds, hence kips.

Carole Shmurak 2:01 PM  

This turned out to be relatively easy for me, although I started slowly. Didn't fill in a single answer till JUDITH at 28 Across,but immediately got JAMESDEAN as Cal Trask, and DARLA, and the whole southwest filled up. ALONGSIDE gave me the Southeast and NESTEA gave me the Northwest. But being a biochemist, I could not bring myself to write AMINO and I'd never heard of INDIA ARIE, so the Northast was the last to fall.

Wanted to mention that in doing the Boston Globe Crossword (as reprinted in Thursday's Hartford Courant), I came across a true "Natick." They actually had the word 'NATICK' in there (Boston suburb) as part of the phrase "NATICKFEVER" (Enthusism in a boston suburb) and it crossed with "SOBULE" (clued as "I Kissed a Girl" singer Jill). I got the Natick part but not the fever and never heard of singer Jill. So I was lost.

Anonymous 2:06 PM  

PAH? Bah.
I'M IT. With Rex on this.
Mulhern says HINDU. I say Hindi.

Leapfinger 2:06 PM  

Wonder whether Camille St-Sans felt like a boy named Sou.

His Tory doesn't like Her Whig, but he was AMINOld man.

PAH is acronymical for tons of biomed stuff, and also for PAducaH KY airport, so I'm feeling chuffed. My personal abbrev of choice is for PoobAH.

Got off on a BanGALORE kick, started seeing lots more Geography: NY LONdon, ADELEide, CEDAR Rapids, GAStonia NC, PEShawar, APPotomax, St Louis de HAHA in southern Quebec. NO JOKE.

All y'all let Carola know if you didn't write ANISE comment.

Fred Romagnolo 3:06 PM  

Big joke on me: figured IMIT was the abbr. used on orlon sweater "tags"
(for "imitation").otherwise finished after write-overs. never heard (of) INDIAARIE, JUDITH Light, "Pull My Daisy", KIPS, "T.M.I"; but got started with DARLA, ELSIE, and NYLON. @tensace:"cat's meow" goes a lot further back than the HiFi days; my mother used it in the 20's, and I still play my LP's. @JTHurst: I appreciated your disclosure on ANISE. @JBerg: if you learned "kits" today then you wound up with TARtITS (in the nyt!!!). @JC66 as above on IMIT.

Fred Romagnolo 3:10 PM  

HINDU is the belief (as per the clue); Hindi is the language.

Carola 3:12 PM  

@jae - Heck, I even thought, "Or jae?" and then didn't type it. Anyway, thanks for the handy tip - one I didn't have in my erte, erne, isao akoi, etc., arsenal.

@ksquare - Thanks for explaining KIPS.

GILL I. 3:14 PM  

@Fred R....TAR TITS!!! priceless...!!! Where's @Tita when you need her?

Melodious Funk 3:31 PM  

Should the estrogenic cognate of history be hertory?

Just sayin'.

sanfranman59 3:58 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 16:55, 21:06, 0.80, 16%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 11:24, 12:39, 0.90, 27%, Easy-Medium

ANON B 3:59 PM  

Can someone please explain why

ANON B 4:02 PM  


Benko 4:20 PM  

Sigh...so many people love to show off their ignorance (the clue is wrong! folks). No, you do not know more than the New York Times writers and editors.

@Z: My take was kips equals kippers equals Supertramp's Breakfast in America.

Ludyjynn 4:54 PM  

Lots to like here; very little to loathe. This one just kept going, like the Energizer bunny, one clue into the next into the next until it was done. A nice meaty, medium Fri. for me.

JUDITH was my opening gimme when I started the puzz. this morning. Had to put it down for six hours to fulfill obligations. When I picked it back up late afternoon to finish, there she was staring back at me from my tv in a vintage episode of "Who's The Boss?". Spooky!

Other than PAH and ARAFAT, for reasons already described by others, no complaints, NOJOKE. Thanks, JM and WS.

Anonymous 5:09 PM  

Sorry guys and gals. There is no Adele listed as a winner in any category of the 2008 Grammy Awards.
Best new artist that year was Amy Winehouse. Is there something I'm missing?

Z 5:10 PM  

@tensace - funny thing about "peacemakers" - they were engaged in activity that required peacemaking. Those activities oft have to be set aside/forgiven/glossed over by the other side if there is ever to be peace. Insisting on remembering the sins of the other side (and usually only the other side) is a recipe for everlasting war.

Really? 5:13 PM  

@Anon5:09 - Yes, the (at least) two previous comments that explained this.

Really? 5:13 PM  

@Anon5:09 - Yes, the (at least) two previous comments that explained this.

Dan Ruby 5:25 PM  

Year Grammy awarded is the year after the year honored. Winehouse won the 2007 Grammy in 2008. Adele won the 2008 in 2009.

Leapfinger 5:47 PM  

@ANON B re planted faces
A trick in freestyle sports (eg, skateboarding, snowboarding) in which the athlete contacts the ground face-first. In other tricks such as a foot-plant or hand-plant, the trick involves purposely putting the hand or foot on the ground first. Though wildly popular, the face plant is UNUSUALLY on purpose.

Used to work with Orthropods who replanted parts of upper extremities; those injuries were never on purpose.

KFC 6:03 PM  

Re: Grammys: I have no clue why people post ignorant comments on this blog with out reading the prior posts.

Re: Face Plant: It's exactly what it sounds like. Your face hits what ever surface you are performing on which means you have failed (only slap stick comics do this on purpose - e.g. Chevy Chase) i. e. ATE IT.

Re: The 3 posts per day and out rule: Has it been suspended?

Eat more chicken, now boneless!

allan 6:13 PM  

Very difficult for me. Had to come back three times before finishing, and had many overwrites as well. Blanking on DARLA doesn't help. Hated PAH, hope to never see it again.

@lms: Loved your list of ladies in the puz, but was most impressed that you worked in "lest". We need more lests in life.

adrenalinrunnoff 6:20 PM  

@magmic users: got a response to my feedback, essentially a reprint of the instructions on how to log in and "sorry your solving history is gone". It did say, however, that an update should include access to the full NYT cross archive, not just one year's worth.

Tita 7:00 PM  

@lms - when we were little, we had a great neighborhood full of kids. Next door neighbors had one kid for each of the three of us.
We played "Kryptonite". Tag, only you got to call which superhero you were, and instead of "It", you were Kryptonite.
Timmy & I were the youngest. That meant all the good superheroes were taken.
So one of us was usually Kryptonite, the other, Superdog.

We never said IMIT.

Thank you Mr. Mulhern. I liked it plenty. And, I finished! IMIT!

wreck 7:01 PM  


IF they restore the archives to be accessed through the APP - I could live with not having the rankings. The new interface will get some time to get used to, but it's ok. I'm not thrilled about the renewal being $39.00, but I have 10 more months at the old rate.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

The problem with India Arie was the terrible clue- she's a guest artist on a Herbie Hancock song. Bad cluing for an obscure answer.

Anonymous 7:28 PM  


Re: that 3 ppd and out rule
How is one to know the rules with_out they be posted? Lest we forget an' all...

Three packs per day does have a body blowin' a lotta smoke.

Y'r Anon Friend

Tita 8:26 PM  

Got around to @r.alph's and @lms' runtpuz's...

Thanks! These are fsbulous bite-size bits of wit. (I'm including yers too, @m&a...)

@lms - very great aha moment - thanks for cluing me in that the title is key...
@r.alph - yours reminds me of Click & Clack's bulleted lists...

Is there a way to find these puzzles from xword info? I can see becoming addicted, but I fear I am missing many of them. Tried searching by constructor - no dice... :(

("Help us OCR this word part of Captcha: Shakspeare - just finished watching Shakespeare in Love... I guess google autocorrect refuses to parse the incorrect spelling and needs my help.)

Mohair Sam 8:37 PM  

Got to this one after dinner, and we found it medium-challenging. One of those delightful late week puzzles where you scan the clues and feel a little annoyed that you know essentially nothing. Then . . . "wasn't she DARLA?, and wasn't that JAMESDEAN character named Cal?, and if 8d is a plural than the Star of Bombay must be a SAPPHIRE?" and before you know it you're rolling and enjoying the challenge.

Sure, you can pick, pick and find flaw . . but this was a fun Friday puzzle with little crosswordese - nicely done. Thanks James Mulhern.

Unknown 9:02 PM  

Loved "Pah", because it reminded me of Nero Wolfe, which was mentioned. But I was reminded of Nero Wolfe on this thread first when someone said "chomping at the bit" which became a pet peeve because Rex Stout used the originally correct "champing at the bit" throughout the series, so every time I hear someone say "chomping at the bit" it takes me back to Nero Wolfe. And I just read aloud the "greatest opening paragraph in literature" from Lolita to my wife last week, so today's postings were especially enjoyable, since someone said that earlier. :-)

Mette 9:35 PM  

Solve on my iPad with a NYT subscription and always tapped play, then play for fun. Recently had to ask for version 1.0 in order to get a keyboard. That is no longer available. My only option today was to solve in Across Lite. My apologies to any of you who enjoy this, but it makes me feel like a chicken pecking for kernals of corn. Never knew anything about Magmic. Any options?

Anonymous 9:38 PM  

Spent 2.5 hours or thereabouts on it, probably the longest time in which I've actually completed the puzzle.

Raced over here (I do the puzzle after work to unwind) *hoping* that Rex had rated it challenging, *believing* that it would be medium-challenging, and I'm disappointed--would be moreso, except I thought the clues were fun (for ladiesman, limo and tarpits, anyway) and left little doubt whether you had the right word in there or not ("Darla" not so easy for this thirtysomething guy, admittedly).

So it turns out I haven't made any great leap in my puzzle-solving ability, but I'm still pretty satisfied.

kms 9:43 PM  

this one flowed pretty well after finding my point of entry, CEDAR, TGISmoke cigars. ACU point didn't come to me from anywhere, but did fit in w/ ACU pressure. Loved "riveting piece", tried ??ROD, until JAMESDEAN et. al got me to the great MUSTREAD. Had suntea, until NESTEA...TMI know is some cybertalk, but OVERSHARE? INDIA ARIE, must great dustbin one hit wonder name Last love Emerson's take on PRIDE ruining the Angels, and pretty much everyone.

Anonymous 9:53 PM  

Enjoyed some of the @@@s in the comments today.

@whoever pointed to the LA Steinberg, thanks.

@whoever linked the Steve Martin FINEPRINT, that needed its own FINEPRINT warning.

@Alias re MUSTREAD: It must be terrible to fall into a rut like that. There've been no similar problems with the Durham Bulls.

Nice tie-in with the BacchanALES, also.


eepy 10:47 AM  

Agree with JC66.... IMIT is an abbreviation for Imitation on a price tag.

Charles Flaster 2:56 PM  

Medium with a DNF for Pah----like many others.Loved Judith and tar pits.Overall very enjoyable.

Unknown 3:19 PM  

@ Z:

I don't buy that explanation. (And it was a Grammy, not an Oscar.) The clue was "Best New Artist Grammy winner of 2008".

Adele was not the winner of 2008.

Anonymous 1:12 PM  


This is in rex's faqs, people. Will does not get this sort of thing wrong. It's confusing , but Adele was the winner of the 2008 best artist Grammy, at a ceremony hosted in 2009. There's nothing to buy

Bob Kerfuffle 5:54 PM  

28 A - JEREMY => JUDSON => JUDITH. No excuse comes to mind.

Dirigonzo 11:42 AM  

It's a little disconcerting being the first syndi-commenter - where's @spacy, I wonder.

Anyway, I managed to get through the puzzle but I wouldn't call it easy. INDIAARIE needed every single cross and I was a little dubious about PAH but it seemed the only likely choice.

Happy Independence Day, USA-ites (now if Hurricane Arthur will just take a little turn to the east we can go back to our regularly scheduled fireworks).

743 does not bode well, I think.

spacecraft 12:19 PM  

Right here, @Diri. You're early, I'm not late. Anyway, my experience was exactly opposite that of OFL; JAMESDEAN was the Gimme of Gimmes for me, my shoehorn into this tight-fitting grid. And NYLON was the Gimme runner-up, so the SW went in UNUSUALLY fast today.

Hand up for FIJI as a gateway to the SE, which fell as soon as I aha'ed "Oh, THAT Kennedy!" and came up with ALITO. I took a wild stab at INDIAARIE off just the RI and was right. Solving difficulty on this one was complicated by the fact that I never watch awards shows, save an occasional Oscars. Even if I did, naming a year is of no help to this timeline-challenged guy.

Making no MISSTEP, I entered the NW with EMAILS (finally: "Oh, THAT kind of virus!") and was left staring at (some kind of) POET, (some kind of) ESMAN, and (something) SHARE. I am so tired of directional clues (Rugby-to-Reading dir.) I could scream, especially when I have no geographical idea which way that is. But in this case, two plurals gave me a very likely SS_, now was it E or W? At this point I decided to try the literal meaning of 2d with EAVES (wow, a straight definition on a Friday? Ya fooled me by not fooling me!) and OVERSHARE--a real word? Oh, I suppose. It fits. Then at last, even this non-Grammy follower could come up with ADELE, and my spokESMAN or tradESMAN became instead a LADIESMAN. Ah, there's the Friday clue! And so to bed, without even a writeover. Still, I can't call it easier than a straight "medium." Nice puzzle, with minimal dreck, already noted, and impressive nine-stacks.

372. Need a card. HAHA.

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

Just a little thanks to Dirigonzo and Spacecraft and Seattle. Always enjoy your comments since I am a Syndie.
It took a while but finished with only 1 misstep. I didn't have the a for pah. Left it blank. Oh well. I'm no angel and it hurt my pride.

Ron Diego 12:Noon PST

DMG 4:01 PM  

Really, really slow start on this one. First trip through gave me ELSIE and DARLA, and a lot of black space. So many names! Then I managed to remember who played Cal Trask, and that the Star of India was a gem, tho the double P's held that up for a while. Finally worked my way through the countries and the ? clues, only to fail at bAH. Maybe someday!

2337=6. No prize for me this time.

Dirigonzo 4:21 PM  

@Ron Diego - right back at ya, big guy; your comments are always a welcome sight, too!

leftcoastTAM 4:39 PM  

PAH?? bah! FIE! phish! PisH!

Anonymous 4:45 PM  

To whomever in this thread called India.Arie an "obscure artist," I say, "Pah!"

Having endured the Maleska years, when it was assumed that anyone worthy of the NYT puzzle was, and had to be, an opera (yecch) cognoscente, I'm delighted to see that the puzzle now incorporates more wide-ranging musical tastes.

By the way, my late father-in-law, an American, said "pah," albeit with a somewhat exaggerated tone, as if it were a word he had picked up from a book.

Like Rex, I found this puzzle easy for a Friday, and had no idea what "kips" were.

leftcoastTAM 4:46 PM  

...and PsH! (my Natick).

Anonymous 6:12 PM  

Ate it on this one! It's no joke I'm it for missteps. I took a stab and did unusually badly!
Pah! Pooh! Bah! Boo!

spacecraft 7:35 PM  

TMI, dude.

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