Pioneer in Nevada gaming industry / FRI 9-12-14 / Tamid ever burning synagogue lamp / Inits of Thoreau's mentor / Musician with 2012 album lux / artistic friend of zola / Rival of Captain Morgan /

Friday, September 12, 2014

Constructor: Michael Wiesenberg

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: NER Tamid (39D: ___ Tamid (ever-burning synagogue lamp)) —
In Judaism, the sanctuary lamp is known by its Hebrew name, ner tamid (Hebrewנֵר תָּמִיד), which is usually translated as "eternal flame" or "eternal light". Hanging or standing in front of theark in every Jewish synagogue, it is meant to represent the menorah of the Temple in Jerusalemas well as the continuously burning fire on the altar of burnt offerings in front of the Temple. It also symbolizes God's eternal presence and is therefore never extinguished. It is also intended to draw parallels between God and fire, or light, which is emphasized throughout the book of Exodus in the Torah. Additionally, it is often used to symbolize the light released from the shards of the receptacles that God used to create light and goodness.[citation needed]
These lights are never allowed to dim or go out, and in the case of electric problems, alternative emergency energy sources are used to prevent it from diminishing.
Though once fueled by oil, most today are electric lights, including some that are solar-powered. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is definitely solid enough to pass muster on a Friday, but I did find it a bit of a BORE. There were some nice colorful bits here and there, like I'M OUTTA HERE and DEAR READER… and HOW ON EARTH!? But there was also a lot of blah, including longer phrase (BE NICE TO, DRIVE TO WORK) that seem more like random excerpts of human speech than strong, self-standing phrases. The threes in this one are Particularly rough. NER is about as low as it gets, partial-wise, and RWE, EHS, SITU, AOKI … not a ton better. FURL is a funny word I believe to be real (by inference from its UN-prefixed cousin) but have never heard. Oh, look, "Secure neatly" is the first definition you see when you google "FURL"—and umbrella is mentioned there as well. We all appear to be furling all the time and yet Never calling it that. What's wrong with us?

It's ARENA ROCK. It's not STADIUM ROCK (1A: Queen's music). Just 'cause google tells you something's a thing doesn't mean it's *really* a thing. If you know in your heart of hearts that the *real* phrase is actually different, don't settle for the knock-off.  OVERSTRESS and ENSNARED and INTERSPERSE just look like reasons to hurl a lot of common letters at me all at once. I liked ROMA TOMATO less for the answer itself than for the hole it made me fall into, namely thinking the answer *started* TOMATO. I had -OMAT- at the front end of that answer, and instinctively wrote in TOMATO-, figuring the rest of the answer would work itself out somehow. Didn't know what DIT was supposed to stand for at 12A: Film developer?: Abbr., but I let it ride for a while. ROMATOMATO now looks awesomely ridiculous to me, and I am amusing myself by saying ROMATO-MATO over and over. Domo arigato, ROMA TOMATO!

Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:02 AM  

Pretty easy for a Fri.  I don't think we'll be pushing 200 comments on this one.  As this came out of the printer I told my bride that 1a was going to be something like ROCK ANTHEMS and I was in the right ball park.  It went very smoothly from there.  My only erasures were CedE before CAVE and starting off 14d with @Rex  tOMATO.

I'd still be staring at YTTRIA if I hadn't seen it before in crosswords.

A fair amount of zip but not nearly enough crunch for a Fri.  After yesterday's maybe that's a good thing.  Liked it.

John Child 12:19 AM  

I was on Mr Weisenberg's wavelength for this one. Nice long answers but it was so smooth it felt like Wednesday. Good for the ego after getting thrashed yesterday.

Anonymous 12:25 AM  

NER (tamid) may not be the greatest fill, but the simple fact that it is a prominent part of (from what I understand) any synagogue, then I think it's fair game for a Friday-Saturday puzzle.

Anyway, it beats the old Maleska standby for NER: "Saul's grandfather". Which leads me to my fave piece of Preshortzian bad cluing and fill: NERS "Saul's grandfather and namesakes".


Whirred Whacks 12:43 AM  

[in] SITU. Archeologists often find what they're looking for in this.

I liked this clue and answer very much.

Nice puzzle; all the across clues worked today. Lesson from yesterday: don't even take that for granted. ;-)

Questinia 12:46 AM  

Back to the missionary position.

okanaganer 12:46 AM  

Like Rex said about 14D: I was sold on TOMATO PATE for quite a while. Or TOMATO MATS (crossing QUARTS, which seemed plausible).

But what doomed me eventually was DVD / VCRS, for which I just could not get that crossing letter. "Ah, the old crossing-acronyms trick" (said in Maxwell Smart voice). I had DSD / SCRS, which I reasoned must be some new form of dual-stream movie... say, "Double Stream Delivery / SCReenS". Sometimes a vivid imagination leads one astray.

About yesterday: in retrospect, I now think I didn't hate it. It just scared me. It broke the rules and threw them into the ditch.

Steve J 1:07 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 1:08 AM  

YTTRRIA not the word of the day? Definitely the weirdest thing I've seen in crosswords, and I did yesterday's puzzle.
Never heard of "Arena rock", but have definitely heard of STADIUMROCK. I guess a thing is a thing is a thing, even if you haven't heard of it.


Steve J 1:08 AM  

@Questinia: I came precariously close to an actual spit-take upon reading your comment.

I was extremely underwhelmed throughout this (it wasn't even good missionary position). No zip (maybe I'M OUTTA HERE and WHAT ON EARTH - sorry, Rex, DEAR READER was dull as dirt from here), no cleverness, excessive dreck. Just nothing that grabbed my attention. Solving was a perfunctory experience, salvaged only slightly by closing my eyes and thinking of England.

Anonymous 1:09 AM  

(sorry for the extra "R")

wreck 1:15 AM  

Pretty pedestrian, but maybe a nice respite from yesterday. I agree with jae -- highly unlikely we hit 190+ posts today!

chefwen 2:50 AM  

Ahhh, back to some semblance of order, not that it was easy for me, Fridays rarely are. YTTRIA???I got it done without the frustrations of yesterday, so it was a good day for me. Loved 15 and 17A. 28A BE NICE TO - not so much.

Thomas808 3:42 AM  

Nice return to normalcy. Maybe a little too easy for a Friday, but I'll take that as recompense for yesterday's chaotic anarchy. I'm still second guessing myself if URK is a species of tree!

Danp 6:33 AM  

Like @jae, ANTHEM was the first word I thought of for Queen. What'd they do? Like two anthems? We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions? And actually, they are both one song.

I expected an Easy rating today. Not a lot of obscure stuff (except Yttria and ner), and the clues seemed early-weekish.

Robso 6:34 AM  

This puzzle had it all, from EL AL (zzzzzz) to YTTRIA (??!?). I think you need to spend time on a sailboat to hear FURL. I liked the DVD/VCRS link. There has to be a better G-rated clue for TIT . . .

GILL I. 6:43 AM  

Queen isn't CLASSIC ROCK??
This wasn't that difficult but I couldn't seem to get on MW's mission position, er, wavelength at all. I had to keep pulling answers out of brain matter little by little...Bit of a slog in the end.
BE NICE TO HOW ON EARTH BACARDI were smile inducing but nothing else made me want to PHONE HOME.
I like the clue for DIOR. I remember being on a Diorissimo kick back when it was important to smell successful. I'd go to Macy's for a refill and the newest rage was Poison. I got an unwanted spritz of it on my neck and ended up smelling like a jar of Smuckers grape jelly.

optionsgeek 6:59 AM  

"UN-prefixed" is a self- contradictory word.

Doris 7:09 AM  

In the Britain of bowler hats, striped trousers, and carefully FURLED expensive black umbrellas, you used to be able to take a top-class umbrella back to the shop where you purchased it and have it RE-FURLED. Don't know if this is the case anymore.

Sir Hillary 7:23 AM  


I DETECTS some fatigue among this crowd after yesterday, and Michael Wiesenberg unwittingly TAKESTHERAP.

HOWONEARTH a grid this clean can be deemed INDISTINCT or a BORE is OER my head. Au contraire -- ITSCOOL. I won't OVERSTRESS its merits, but I like when good long answers INTERSPERSE with pretty clean short fill. BENICETO Mr. Wiesenberg and give him his DUE -- he ENSNARED me in fun, which was surely his AIM.


Dorothy Biggs 7:37 AM  

In the amount of time it took me to abandon yesterday's clusterf@#$k of a puzzle, I completed this one.

Agree with Rex on arenaROCK. Arenas ≠ Stadiums. I initially thought Queen would fall under Glam Rock. Too lazy to look it up, but I think Glam Rock was probably more 80s than 70s. Didn't we just have Prog Rock recently?

Normal struggle for me, but slightly on the easy-ish side. No ridiculous names, not too much literature, maybe a little too much Hebrew, but pretty balanced overall.

Glimmerglass 7:59 AM  

FURL is a common word in my universe. AOKI is a bit stale (all those lovely vowels), but I don't find anything wrong with SITU, RWE, or EHS (it's an unusual plural, but crosswords don't usually allow two-letter answers). I got NER from crosses. The weirdness for me was YTTRIA. Turns out it's a plural. I've never heard of even one! I enjoy weirdness in xwords, but that second T could've also been an H (hIC), and my guess was wrong. No complaint from me.

Anonymous 8:25 AM  

Queen is GLAM ROCK. Period.

Arlene 8:27 AM  

My idea of Queen's music was more in the realm of the Horse Guards and British Royalty regalia. But I eventually came around to the pop culture answer.
And since I usually do the fill-ins first, NER was my first entry.
And, as per yesterday's puzzle comment, I did view the light beams emanating from the WTC site in lower Manhattan last night - a poignant reminder of friends lost.

Mohair Sam 8:30 AM  

Queen = Arena Rock. Like @NCA President I tried to do something with Glam (glamour? - where are you Marc Bolan?) until the nicely clued SITU made me give in to the ridiculous STADIUM.

I make the best marinara on earth (apologies to the two chefs who post here) and always start with ROMATOMATOes - and a little chianti. But I still did the Rex thing and started tOMATO on 14d.

FURL is fine, wtf is YTTRIA, NER had to fill, and very clever and sussable clue for the ubiquitous ELAL.

Fairly easy for a Friday, but we enjoyed.

dk 8:59 AM  

☂☂☂ (3 Umbrellas unFURLed)

Charming little romp. Site for SUTU was my Waterloo.

Grew ROMATOMATOs last year as my nemesis (aka the squirrels) do not seem to care for them. Coupled with cherry tomatoes they made a great base that needed none of the offending sugar. Cherry toms were sweet enough.

joho 9:11 AM  

@-MAS, Anyway, it beats the old Maleska standby for NER: "Saul's grandfather". Which leads me to my fave piece of Preshortzian bad cluing and fill: NERS "Saul's grandfather and namesakes". Thank you!

I actually went the sports route with STADIUMROar for a few seconds. Queen once drove up in a white limo to a restaurant I was in and they made a grand entrance into the room, Freddie Mercury a vision in white ... definitely GLAM!

I thought this was pretty easy for a Friday, but after yesterday's challenge this was a welcome relief.

The hardest part for me was that I had cDr instead of ADM for a while. DEARREADER (great entry) fixed that and also got me ROMATOMATO.

I enjoyed it, thank you, Michael!

Unknown 9:23 AM  

I enjoyed this, and found many of the long downs fun and/or interesting.We say STADIUM ROCK around here, so yes, it is a thing. NER tamid wasn't nearly as offensive to me as EHS.

Maruchka 9:32 AM  

Kinda liked it, no big whoop, tho. Had BEFIRST, which led to BONES, which messed up CRAYONED. Sorted it out and finished. 2 do-overs, 3 googles.

Queen always makes me think of another great UK (then) soloist, Jimmy Somerville. Check out "Orlando" by Sally Potter, if you haven't already..

My grandparents went to Reno quite often and would send us kids naughty postcards from HARRAH's Club.

Fav of the day - FURL.

@ Gill - Oh, those mad perfume sprayers of yore! Getting off a first floor was like running a bad smells gauntlet. Now, it's a bad loud music..

@ Mohair Sam - Love Roma. Have you made Pasta Amatriciana? Yum.

Z 9:40 AM  

I have to disagree with Rex. STADIUM ROCK ≠ arena rock (≠ glam rock). Arena rock tops out at 20,000 screaming fans or so. Wembley would look empty with only 20,000 fans in attendance. Lots of bands can fill arenas, only a few can fill stadiums. Queen could fill stadiums. For future reference, I don't think anyone ever called Queen a "glam rock" band. However, I believe they are the only band with a lead guitarist who has a PhD in astrophysics - now there's a potential clue for you.

Lewis 9:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
mac 9:41 AM  

Nice peaceful little puzzle.

I always make sauce with PLUM tomatoes. Just made a batch after a visit to Maple Farm. I don't bother to peel them anymore, just grind them up after cooking.

I will need to look up Yttria.

Milford 9:42 AM  

Yikes, it's been ages since I've visited and commented, but yesterday's unusual puzzle made me come here to check out the 200+ (hello!)comments. FWIW, I tanked on that one.

Today's puzzle, on the other hand, felt rather easy for a Friday. Only natick-y square for me was the HARRAH/NAR cross, but the R seemed like the best guess.

I liked the SITU clue, never knew CRAYONED was a real word. I love the confusion over tOMATOMATO/ROMATOMATO/ROMATOrOtA, I hadn't noticed the overlap of letters before. I think unFURLed is a word I would maybe use, but not so much FURL. But it's a good word.

Isao AOKI has finally committed itself to my memory. I partly credit this to the fact that I've been regularly hearing a Steve AOKI song, Delirious, on satellite radio recently.

Speaking of music, I'm heading down to Detroit (hi, @Z)later today to go to the Black Keys concert. My first time seeing them live, I'm pretty excited.

Lewis 9:43 AM  

A lot of fun for me until I got stuck in the NE, where I started the long down with TOMATO and had Ytrium. I love when I see a long answer with just a few letters filled it, and that happened several times here.

Factoid: BACARDI also makes a beer that was mentioned in The Old Man and the Sea, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Quotoid: "BE NICE TO whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity." - Desmond Tutu

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Extremely dull for a themeless crossword.

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

He Mac: Roma tomatoes ARE plum tomatoes. Duh.

chefbea 9:45 AM  

So much easier than yesterday....with a shout out to @Quilter.

My two Italian grandchildren attended the UNI. One has graduated the other is in hr last year.

Yummy marinara sauce and potato chips...I too thought yttria would be WOD

Fred Smith 9:49 AM  

Furl is part of my universe here in Concord (home of HDT and RWE, not to mention LMA and now DKG).

As in ....

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
The flag to April's breeze unFURLed,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

This first stanza of RWE's "Concord Hymn" is inscribed on the base of Daniel Chester French's Minuteman Statue adjacent to the North Bridge.

Now, don't you feel edified for today?

Mr. Grumpypants 9:49 AM  

Rex, surely they FURL the sails at some point in Moby Dick or Mutiny on the Bounty or ... You get my point.

Ludyjynn 9:55 AM  

My organic ROMATOMATO crop is still producing for me, as well as the cherry and early girl varieties. The Romas (a/k/a plum tomatoes) are meatier than the others, so I grow them specifically to make tomato soup. I've created a terrific recipe which I've been told is tastier than store-bought or restaurant versions (no offense to @Chefs here!).

Enjoyed this puzz. more than Rex. An easy-med. Fri. outing for me, w/ some crunch INTERSPERSED w/ gettable phrases.

Yesterday, we had the honor of displaying the 9/11 flag recovered from the WTC at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore. Today is Defenders Day, a State holiday in Maryland, celebrated every year, but w/ special significance on the Bicentennial of the battle. It has been a week's worth of activities, culminating in the fireworks display over the Fort and Inner Harbor tomorrow eve. Should be spectacular.

Thanks, MW and WS.

Maruchka 10:00 AM  

@ Fred Smith - Indeed I do. BTW - Who's DKG? THX.

Fred Romagnolo 10:04 AM  

Being totally removed from modern pop music, I had no idea that "Queen" was a performer (s?), ignoring the apostrophe, I thought it referred to the borough. STADIUMRO__led me to "ar" as the last two letters. totally threw me until the very end till KEPT FIT occurred to me! It happened just as I was about to Google, so I barely missed a DNF. But I was so happy to do a puzzle whose clues were correct on the acrosses, I never minded.

Fred 10:05 AM  

@Maruchka --

Hint: She's a contemporary Pulitzer Prize winner and die-hard Red Sox fan.

Charles Flaster 10:06 AM  

Easy but took a little longer so a dash of medium.
Loved the whole puzzle and do not understand why yesterday affects today. INDEPENDENT EVENTS.
Thoroughly enjoyed clues for Naked,Boxes and El Al.
CrosswordEASE ---Aoki and Eno.
Thank you very large to MW.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:13 AM  

Nice, if easy, Friday.

Started by tossing in 32 A, Poet Wilfred OWEN, then working every which way from there.

Hand up for 44D, CEDE before CAVE, my one write-over.

I'm not Jewish, but knew NER Tamid from the Boy Scout award.

Good old English language had me chuckling at the cross of the differently pronounced 28 D and 33 A, BAKED and NAKED.

Maruchka 10:13 AM  

@ Fred Smith - Ah, got it, and a good one it is.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Did "Z" actually say "nobody ever called Queen a 'glam rock' band??!? WHAT ON EARTH is he/she talking about??!? Does He/she NOT have google? Queen is THE glam rock band. They define the genre.

Steve J 10:42 AM  

I wouldn't say Queen defines glam rock - to me, its originators, such as T. Rex, David Bowie and New York Dolls are the essential examples - but they absolutely are covered under its umbrella. While their later stuff moved into more straightforward arena rock fare, their showy performance sense is squarely in the glam rock style.

Z 10:43 AM  

Anonymous 10:16 - So wrong. Queen does get a mention, but no, they aren't "glam" and I think David Bowie is the one who defines the genre. Maybe I'm over-interpreting people's confusion, but sexual preferences aren't defining for this genre of music.

@Milford - I have tickets to the arena tonight, but I'm not sure I can make it. Anyway, glad to see your byline.

jberg 10:46 AM  

OK, it's nice to learn that Zola's friend was MANET and not Monet (makes sense when you think of the politics), and that there's someone named EDNA Buchanan-- but the MAHRE/CERA crossing was a total guess for me. A correct guess, but I came very close to N in that square.

GO ahead before FIRST, CRAYOlaD before CRAYONED, and back and forth, ADM => CPT => ADM again as I finally figured out those tomatoes (I'd use San Marzano, myself).

One big problem with this puzzle, though. A TIT is not a warbler; completely different kind of a bird. Chickadees are tits, Titmice are tits, but warblers are not.

Oh yeah, who knew yttrium oxide was called YTTRIA? A bunch of people, probably, but not me.

Steve J 10:53 AM  

@Z: Don't rely on Wikipedia as your sole source. Glam rock.

Chip Hilton 10:57 AM  

Super fast Friday. I got into a counter-clockwise flow and it never hit a snag. I agree with Rex on DRIVETOWORK and BENICETO et al. Pretty boring. But, after yesterday, a pleasant romp.

Ellen S 11:02 AM  

@Fred Smith, I managed to figure out what RWE was without completely humiliating myself by asking, it's just that unlike Eliot (who I guess didn't even spell his own name out), Poe and Stevenson, I never see Ralph Waldo Emerson's name monogramatized, alway spelled completely out. But his is the first name I should think of in connection with HDT, so I'm properly ashamed.

I had to look up all the Pulitzer Prize winners to figure out DKG. Wikipedia's iPad app is kind of stingy, not just listing them by year but rather by category, so I had to look up the "Gs" in each category until I came to the right one. The first woman ever to be allowed in the Red Sox locker room. That research project took longer than the puzzle!

But my brain is still not firing on all cylinders, if it ever did. Gimme a hint about LMA? Oh, never mind, brain cell flickered back to life -- got it.

That's kinda how I did the puzzle. About half the clues, I had no clue, then the answer appeared in my brain. Even YTTRIA, which I thought was YTTRIum but it didn't fit, I have no idea what it is, but with YT____ I somewhere had seen a substance spelled that way. Wikipedia says YTTRIA is the name for Yttrium Oxide. The clue was "Oxide used in picture tubes", so, yeah, I guess.

Good comment, @Questinia, but sometimes the old ways are the best ways.

Jim Finder 11:08 AM  

Glimmerglass, YTTRIA is not a plural.

AliasZ 11:14 AM  

Did everyone have lots of fun yesterday? Me too. Let's do it again real soon.

Today is another day, and time for an entirely average Friday themeless.

I wouldn't quite call it a BORE, but nothing stands out as an exceptional entry, except maybe YTTRIA or yttrium oxide (Y2O3). NER Tamid was unknown to me, but got it easily enough from the crosses. Two stumbling blocks: the RHEA/CERA/MAHRE crossings and the TOMATO MATO corner. The latter made me want to pronounce BENICETO with an Italian accent like Benedetto: beni-CHE-tow which I just could not comprehend HOW ON EARTH meant "coddle."

The painter Tintoretto
Whose real name was Jacopo
[His mom called him: Jacopo,
Comin from the rain, presto!]
Lived in the Cinquecento
As did Tasso, Torquato,
Who was born in Sorrento,
His poems printed on QUARTO
On the Via Veneto,

But never CRAYONED.

They all have consumed copious
Amounts of ROMA TOMATO
At the foot of Vesuvius
With Marcello, Benedetto
Composer of great genius,
And his brother Alessandro,
Of the Seicento Italiano.
Aria e Presto
by Benedetto Marcello.

BENICETO, domo arigiato.

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

So in the Wikipedia reference Z sends, Queen is listed as a glam rock band but Z thinks this proves Queen is not a glam rock band. What a bonehead.

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

If this sin't glam, I don't know what is:

Z 11:48 AM  

@Steve J - Did you notice that the article never mentions Queen? Calling Queen "Glam Rock" is akin to calling The Rolling Stones a Disco Band because they released Miss You. Compare the google images page of Queen and David Bowie. Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Elephant's Child 12:03 PM  

@Questia: back to the missionary position in the shadow of the cross of BAKED and NAKED [hm, @beakerfuffle]
@Gilly: sounds good enough to lick.
@cluster@#k, nuts to you!
@FredROMA, Welcome back, with or without your TOMATO!
@MohairS, I'd love to hear about your Bolognese and Putanesca.
@SteveJ, I almost forgot! I was wanting to hear more about men closing their eyes and thinking of England. Always interested in learning something new.

Back soon

Fred Smith 12:15 PM  

@EllenS --

Shame on you, RWE was the fill today at 51D, clued "Inits. of Thoreau's mentor."

Masked and Anonymo5Us 12:41 PM  

@Q: har. Yep -- The wonderful Blindauer Beast really scared the sheets out of our little daily affair. Today, we at least get QUILTS.

BAKED = my favorite kind of potato chip (in bed).
NAKED = my favorite kind of baked potato chip (in bed).

NER = fave grunted weeject. Surely NER is a lowland turndown, somewhere in Middle Earth...
"Opposite of yurp, to an orc"?



New captcha rule: must change middle letters to something else, thereby making equally recognizable gibberish.


Leapfinger 12:46 PM  

So enjoyed this nice Friday romp after yesterday' kerfuffle! A perfect little cool-down. Considering the Canadian constructor, those NORTHERN EHS made perfect sense.

Nice to have a Kulture Korner with FURLenghetti and BENICETO Cellini near EDNA St. Vincent MANET. Buona CERA to all of 'em.

WENO that ET PHONED HOME, but apparently the call was rerouted to CRAYONED, NJ. I heard he tried to IM, but DETECTS weren't going through either.

@Whirred Whacks, I like in vivo, in vitro, in loco parentis and esp in situ, but unfortunately I left that as SITe. I used to have a very nice archeologist neighbour who went on numeous SITe digs, recovered lots of tesserae but no YTTRIA ATRIA at all.

Now, for a good time, UTTER YTTRIA three times quickly. That'll have your lips 'n' tongue KEPT FIT.

For summer's last HARRAH, we can get a QUARTO BACARDI and whip up some mai-tais.

Closing down with something sort of entirely different:My HOVELcraft is full of ELECTS

"The best defense against the offensive is a better offense"

Happy Friday, DIR people. Never pay RETAIL PRICE unless you have to

Carola 12:50 PM  

I dedided that Will Shortz's watchword must have been "BE NICE TO" after yesterday's braincrusher. I found it a very pleasant Friday.

Liked the musical ROCK, RAP, POP genre trio. As a compulsive neatnik umbrella FURLer, that one went right in.

@MAS - re NERS: lol!
@Questinia - Now I understand your diagram from yesterday :)

Atlantasolver 12:51 PM  

In the South, the Confederate flag is "furled but not forgotten."

Martel 12:51 PM  

@Leapfinger: Surely you meant to close with IMOUTTAHERE! (?)

retired_chemist 12:59 PM  

Way preferable to yesterday - everything made sense, even YTTRIA to this chemist (though it wasn't my first answer, which was cerium oxide, which is flat wrong). NER - crosses gave it to me and I didn't even know it was there.

Lots of white space - 6 11's and 6 10's. Those were easier than I usually find them. The crosses gave me a word in each and they all fell routinely after that. Did not fall into the TOMATO???? trap since I had ?????OMATO first.

Nice one, Mr. Wiesenberg.

old timer 1:02 PM  

There's a BBC series on the seven ages of rock music. "Stadium" rock is one of them, and Queen is featured.

I thought this was a perfect Friday puzzle. Fresh, a little slangy, not easy to get but not impossible either.

I *did* confidently write "tomato" at the top of that long Down, only to find it had somehow migrated to the bottom.

Questinia 1:11 PM  

My take on the Queen clue was more how their music, in particular We Will Rock You is a staple intermezzo for sports stadiums and arenas. As a group their genre is as Glam as Diorissimo .

Leapfinger 1:27 PM  

In a more perfect world, or with a more perfect typist, that would have read 'say UTTER YTTRIA ATRIA' three times quickly.

Does it lose a lot in the repetition?

ANON B 1:47 PM  

@Rex or Michael Wiesenberg:

Please clarify.
Was the clue supposed to
be Queens or Queen's.
I assumed it was the former since
the Mets stadium is in Queens.

Slow Motion 2:19 PM  

Pretty easy for a Friday, I thought, in that I finished it all with no mistakes and no Googles. Yttria is a mineral -- a mixture of compounds, actually, all discovered in a quarry on the little Swedish island of Ytterby. Four elements were first identified there: Yttrium, Erbium, Terbium, and Ytterbium. No other location on Earth can lay claim to more than two, unless you count labs where artificial elements were synthesized.

Martel 2:31 PM  

@Anon B, I believe the Mets' stadium is in Queens.

Leapfinger 2:55 PM  

Um, in proper Italian, wouldn't that be BENICETTO, Duomo Arigato?

@BobKerfuffle, that's an impressive list of requirements!
@Martel, you know what Chanel said: 'Before leaving the house, remove one piece of jewelry.' My version of that is, before publishing, to delete one punny comment... Perhaps I could do more.
[btw, is it Jon Martel, by chance?]

Bill from FL 3:26 PM  

I stared at the CLIO/FLIER cross. Never heard of the Clio awards for some reason. Worse, I still don't quite get FLIER for "Ace on a base." Is the flier a fast baserunner? But an ace in baseball is pitcher. Is the flier a pilot on an airbase? But a flier nowadays usually means a passenger, who is never an ace, and pilots are not aces unless they shoot down five enemy planes.

the redanman 3:27 PM  

Better'n yesterday. Very inoffensive. AOKI is classically pure crosswordese, Rex is just in a foul mood

RooMonster 3:27 PM  

Hey All!
Nice Fri themeless. Got through fairly easy. Brain growth after yesterday puz? :-) Admit had to "Reveal" two works, DIR, not sure how it fits clue, will read comments in a bit, as I'm sure someone has explained it, and ADM, which, I admit was a nice misdirect.

Had pilot for FLIER,
DRIVETOWaRd first,
SITe, then SITa, then SITo, then SITU!,
classicROCK for STADIUM,
Fold for FURL,
Tug for TIC.

Overall, not too shabby. Till tomorrow...


Milford 4:12 PM  

I agree, Queen is not Glam Rock, regardless of how Freddie strikes folks. They are Wembley-filling STADIUM ROCK. Some of their songs are Arena Rock songs, as is Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes for soccer games.

@Z - aw, come on, come to the Joe tonight! We are in section 122, row 1. We can go to Green Dot Stables afterwards!

My captcha is "313". I think it's a sign.

Z 4:50 PM  

@Milford - I've seen The Black Keys at The Majestic, the Fox, and at Joe Louis. Maybe when they graduate to Comerica or Ford Field. Unfortunately, all my Black Keys loving sons are off (in case you missed it - dropped #3 off at K on Wednesday) and I already dragged my better half to Elvis Costello this week. They are not her cuppa. Enjoy.

Anonymous 4:53 PM  

Queen is "Suck Rock."

Virginia 5:48 PM  

I feel stupid asking this, but could someone please explain how "deke" is the answer to "rink fooler"? The only Deke I know about is the astronaut.

Also, the conjunction of Queen and Abba in this puzzle made me smile.

M and A Help Desk 6:00 PM  

Yes, @Virginia!* -- deke is like a feint, or false move, by a hockey player, who skates on an ice rink.


* har. I've always wanted to say that.

Virginia 6:07 PM  

Thank you, @M&A! You can "yes, Virginia" me anytime. :-)

jae 6:08 PM  


In case you don't trust M&A.

Hartley70 6:40 PM  

I solved from the bottom up and found it a breeze until the top third. I wanted SITU (a great clue) to be tomb for a while and was flummoxed by YYTRIA. NER and DEKE were unknowns that I got from crosses. It was a little beige otherwise for me, but I might still be driving under the influence of yesterday.

Leapfinger 7:53 PM  

@NCA Pres, 2/90 Hebrew is just over 2%, so in the ballpark for US population. Hey, you could be looking at up to 20% Spanish crosswords!

@jae, thanks for the extra DEKE. Turns out the etymol is Canadian, from 'decoy', which I did not know. Seems our Canadian constructor managed to INTERSPERSE a few MAHRE NORTHERNisms throughout the grid, EH?

Steve J 9:29 PM  

@Z: We're relying on pictures? Well, if that's the case, here's Queen looking very glam.

Of course, that proves nothing (nor does your comparison of Bowie and Queen photos). Queen's not the quintessential glam band by any means - as I said earlier, that title goes to acts like T. Rex, New York Dolls and early Bowie - but there's definitely more than a little glam to Queen ("Bohemian Rhapsody" comes to mind). There's also a lot of prog rock in Queen, some psychedelic rock, some proto-metal, and a lot of straight-up arena rock.

In reality, glam is to Queen what blues is to Zeppelin. "Blues band" may not be the best descriptor of Zeppelin, but there's no question there's a hell of a lot of blues in their music (substitute the Stones if you prefer).

(And, yeah, I'm somewhat arguing for the sake of argument. I wouldn't shoehorn Queen into being strictly a glam band. But neither would I say that there's no glam to Queen. There's a lot.)

mac 9:56 PM  

Forgot to mention it, but I had Rodin instead of Manet. Nobody else?

Anonymous 10:00 PM  

"Stadium Rock", as easy as it was to infer, is really a bad answer! Even Arena Rock - which should be the right answer isn't all that good either - Back in the 70's Queen was Progressive Rock.

Z 10:04 PM  

@Steve J - The link you posted - I agree with everything it said. What it said doesn't apply to Queen. The point of Glam was to get everyone in the audience, male or female, thinking, "I want to sleep with the band." Freddy was only interested in half of that equation.

@Anonymice - what @Steve J and I are doing is disagreeing. You'll notice that we aren't calling each other names and if we impugn anything, it is the other poster's evidence. What too many of you are doing is being disagreeable. Feel free to continue, but don't expect too much in the way of a response (well, there is actually quite a bit of response, but we try to refrain from being insulting in our posts around here).

GILL I. 10:11 PM  

@Z and @Steve J...What???? not CLASSIC ROCK??? I'm crushed.

jae 2:13 AM  

@Steve J & Z et. al. -- As part of the "It's all rock and roll to me" generation I want to elaborate on my conversation with my bride in my opening post. I actually read her the clue and asked her to venture a guess (I can be a tad smug at times). The first word she said was STADIUM.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

I'm very surprised at Rex's conclusion that this puzzle is "medium" difficulty" and good enough for a Friday (albeit boring). I blew through it with barely any need for thinking, and it was done 100%. Felt like it was a Tuesday, can't imagine what held up Rex. But definitely agree on the boring conclusion.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  


what do you think you make pasta sauce with?? not big boys or beefstakes - the two most common kind of paste (read, for making sauce) tomatoes are san marzanos or romas
roma tomatoes

LHS 888 8:08 PM  

I decided this puzzle was either an easy Friday or, by some strange twist of fate, in my wheelhouse for once. I finished with no googles & only a few write overs: tomb before SITU, tOMATOMash before ROMATOMATO. Didn't know NER, but it was gettable from the crosses.

Thanks MW & WS!

LHS 888 11:19 AM  

Oh, yeah. STADIUMROCK works just fine for me since I believe that is a term commonly used in Great Britan, and Queen is a British band.

Z 6:42 PM  

@Spacecraft - your comments weren't disappearing yesterday, they were on page 2 of the comments.

spacecraft 11:27 AM  

There's a page 2? Where do you access it? Is it Newer Post?

Anyway, today we are "back to the missionary position," as @Questina says. Have to laugh at that one. It strikes me as just about medium, once I got into it in the SW with gimme HARRAH and, off only the H, PHONEHOME. Anybody have a bag of Reese's Pieces?

MAXES in the center threw me; had to run the ABC's to get it. A non-intellectual, I don't know from Zola's friends.

Working counterclockwise from SW, I ended in the tougher NW and almost tripped over SITe--but couldn't make sense of eNI. UNI is at least short for university, so I went with the U. But really, Oxonians, do you actually call it the UNI??

I've heard the term STADIUMROCK before, so 1a wasn't too tough to get after a few crosses. Myself, I call Queen's music "Julliard rock." RIP Freddy, you left us way too soon.

I didn't know YTTRIA, but remember the twin improbably-spelled elements Yttrium and Ytterbium from chem class. I had originally imagined SCRAWLED for the kids' cards thing.

As to content, pretty pedestrian, with a few colorful talksy phrases INTERSPERSED. OK by me, B.


Anonymous 1:17 PM  

Thanks M.W. for an easy/medium puzzle. It took a while to suss out stadiumrock but I finished with a DNF because I left in site.
Uni makes more sense but I thought eni might be a British thing.

Like Spacecraft my comments disappeared yesterday and as far as I know there is no page 2.

My main comment was: "Hey Syndicators, lets form a posse, hunt down this constructor and string em up. Hohum, you hadda be there.
Ron Diego 4526

rondo 1:20 PM  

I saw Queen c. 1975 on a double-bill with Kansas at the St. Paul Auditorium, which at most held 5000 fans; neither group was quite yet big enough for STADIUMROCK. Several clues remind me of after that concert - BACARDI,NAKED, TIT. Thank you Grace R. wherever you are!

136 - bust

rondo 1:27 PM  

BTW Spacecraft and Ron Diego - I saw your posts yesterday after mine also didn't appear. You have to click on "newest posts"; apparently there is a page 2, after 200 posts.

155 - bust again

eastsacgirl 1:51 PM  

After getting my butt kicked pretty much yesterday, sailed through this one. Feeling smug (until tomorrow).

Z 1:54 PM  

More than 200 comments happens so rarely - Here's what happens. On the main blog page (with the comments appearing) there is apparently a cap of 200 comments. When you click on "Post a Comment" and scroll to the top it will say "1 - x of y comments" where x usually equals y. But when y > 200 you will also see the blue link "newer" that will take you "201 - y of y comments." I was wondering why I got so many repeats from @spacecraft yesterday in my email, so I went and played around with it. Most days (like today) if I look at the main blog page I can see all the syndicated comments, but for yesterday you all are relegated to the comment page only. And, yes, @Ron Diego, you are there.

DMG 2:24 PM  

I didn't find this as easy as apparently everyone else. My initial IlldefINed took a ton of reworking until INDISTINCT appeared. Also, the center refused to budge until MoNET became MANET. The rest of it I pretty much managed, unknown Hebrew and all, only to end with a Natick when I thought I remembered the ski twins as MAHlE. Not too bad considering I had no idea what or who Queen referenced, and YTTERIA looked like a total mess-up.

I also had to work through the "next page" thing. I think I found everything, but no comment from @Diri? Maybe he's away for awhile.

Captcha needs help. Cycled through several INDISTINCT ones before getting another loser: 104

Anonymous 4:57 PM  

Thanks very much Rondo and Z. This clears everything up. I wrongly suspected it was erased because perhaps someone didn't have a sense of humor.

Ron Diego


Solving in Seattle 7:59 PM  

Did yesterday's Patrick Blindauer puz last night after getting home and caught on to the gimmick pretty quickly in the NW given the "Change of Heart" title and the soft ball write up. ELsIE, AVrIL and TAKEaPART had to be correct, so eventually sussed out that the middle letter of all the crosses changed the word the clue meant to something totally different. How very clever to construct this beauty of a puzzle with every cross changing to a different meaning.

I haven't read yesterday's posts, but somebody had to have mentioned the irony of TRYST and TRuST being one letter different.

Liked today's also. Did anyone else have Tug instead of TIC to start?

118 - rats.

spacecraft 8:05 PM  

???? I still don't get it. When I click on Newer Post it takes me to the next day. HOW HOW HOW can one access Page 2???? WHERE????

DMG 8:29 PM  

@Spacecraft: The "newer" you want is not the one on Rex's page. It's in little letters at the end of the comments page, and says something like 1of x comments. Usually all the comments fit, but of there are more than 200, it apparently pushes them to a new page, and then says , as I recall,,something like "1 to 200 posts, newer posts (in blue, I think)" At any rate hit the "newer" and you should get there. I think @Z explained this much more clearly somewhere above, so maybe you'll want to,scroll back there. Luck!

None here 106

Anonymous 8:39 PM  

Lol! Whew! Yesterday was so terrible!

Nomad UK 1:32 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laptops wholesalers 7:56 AM  

Nice Blog Post !

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