City south of Kyiv / FRI 6-26-15 / Metadata collector for short / Patronizingly point out in modern lingo / Famous stutterer / Patron saint of chastity / Cherry plum relatives

Friday, June 26, 2015

Constructor: Erin Rhode

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ODESA (46A: City south of Kyiv) —
Odessa or Odesa (UkrainianОде́са[oˈdɛsɐ]RussianОде́ссаIPA: [ɐˈdʲesə]) is the third largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,003,705. The city is a major seaport and transportation hub located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. Odessa is also an administrative center of the Odessa Oblast and a multiethnic major cultural center. [So … just ODESSA … in Russianish … like Kyiv is "Kiev" in Russianish? … ugh]
• • •

This was a jarring mix of great and horrible. Thought the stacks in the NW and SE were mostly wonderful, even though I have no idea what SALT SPRAY is (55A: Product that puts waves in the hair)—I assume it's a thing. A thing I don't use, not least because I don't really have hair—certainly not hair you could put waves in. Elsewhere, though, things get a bit more wobbly. Don't love the 15s. Well, NASAL CONSONANTS is fine—not exciting, but certainly a real thing. "IS IT GOING TO RAIN?", on the other hand, is a question one might ask, but so is "DID YOU LEAVE THE STOVE ON?" or "WHEN IS DINNER?" and I don't think either of those (or most random questions) fly as crossword answers. It's a "green paint" question—i.e. it's something an English-speaking human might say, but it's Not A Thing. Then there's SORRY I'M NOT SORRY, which struck me as the Worst thing in the grid. Just derailed the puzzle for me. The expression … everyone who knows the expression (a fairly recent meme, in fact) knows it thusly: SORRYNOTSORRY. It's a damned hashtag. The formal "I'M" there just makes things ridiculous and odd and strange and weird. When something is so common in the real world as one thing, and then the NYT tries to get in on the act (belatedly) and steps all over it, man, that's irksome. Maybe most NYT solvers live in a world where ubiquitous memes never reach, and where all expressions must be grammatical or else. But the expression is "sorry not sorry." #sorrynotsorry. I ain't even the first sorry for pointing this out.

[WARNING: Profane as f***!]

Then there's the fill, which goes to hell in places. Seriously, constructors, take ALER(S) out of your damned databases. NLER(S) too, while you're at it. And one-S ODESA too. Just … delete it. I'll wait here. . . . OK, good. OYER, painful. ALTE, not much better. Most of the rest of it is tolerable. Certainly adequate. This is promising work, but you can't whiff on two out of three 15s. And your gutter fill, esp. in a themeless, has got to be RARE to non-existent. 

[I apologize for party rocking]

Loved MANSPLAIN, and the LUSITANIA / UBOAT cross-reference was pretty cool, if a bit morbid. But I faceplanted pretty badly right out of the gate when, presented with IM-T- at 15A: "You got me" ("I'M AT A LOSS") I went with I'M STUMPED. It fit. It was apt. It was wrong. Luckily I fixed it quick because NASAL CONSONANTS are my jam. First real hold-up came in the SW, where I couldn't make any sense of the divisible leap year clue (icky and forced way to get to the rather non-specific RARE—if we leap year every four years … wait, when do we *not* leap every fourth year? I can't remember ever not leaping on a divisible-by-four year … anyway, RARE seems like an understatement here). Real problems, though, were a. OLSON or OLSEN, and b. TACOS—which was the answer I knew had to be right for 48A: Food items in shells (TARTS). That is a deliberate and Not Very Apt trick clue. Don't TARTS have crusts? Do you ever call them "shells" w/o "pie" preceding? Blech. This was the issue I was having with the puzzle—it was just queasily off in places, both fill-wise and cluing-wise, so that many answers don't *land*. They just kind of … shuffle in and shrug at you.

As you can see in that screen grab, my brain could not accept ALERS (as all healthy brains cannot), so I had TEAMS in there. You can also see where I had AMID at 45A: About before PROTEAN forced the change. After I pushed through there, though, it was pretty much just a diagonal shot across the grid from SW to NE…

And then ran the terrible SORRY *I'M* [ugh] NOT SORRY down into the SE for the big finish.

The takeaway: know your memes, and get the phrasing right. Also, ALER and NLER got TO GO. Far away. To ODESA if need be.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Whirred Whacks 12:14 AM  

I liked this puzzle: nice 'n' zippy!

Learned that Dorothy's last name is GALE.

I remember February 29, 2000. That was a big deal because years ending in '00 usually don't have leap years (for example, no leap year in 1800 or 1900), but every 4th century does get the extra day -- and the year 2000 was the happy recipient. On that day, I was in Schaumberg, Illinois doing a seminar for Motorola. The CEO came in and announced a "3 for 1 stock split." Frothy times -- practically the top of the NASDAQ dot-com bubble. Of course, Motorola would crash and burn only a few years later.

Favorite clues:
--locale of some Swiss banks: RHINE
--Space race: EWOKS
--Low on the range: MOO
--pen without ink: STY

Brother Walter 12:14 AM  

My favorite thing about this puzzle was that it sent me back to listen to "It's Gonna Rain" again.

dmw 12:19 AM  

Agree with Rex on the fill, and add STERE (had CHORD first, then STACK), DANAE, BORON in Pyrex?, NEOLatin?, HANS, MILA. But the longs were easy.

Anonymous 12:19 AM  

I assume salt spray refers to an ocean wave...the spray gets in your hair if you're wading.

jae 12:33 AM  

Very easy for me except for the SW corner.  Had TAcoS but PROO wasn't working so it had to be TARTS, which took me a while to get...I'm with Rex, crust not shell...but it is Fri.

I had SORRY sorry SORRY at first.  Seemed pretty insincere to me.

I had no idea what Super-ULTRA is so I googled it.  I still have no idea other than perhaps an album by Charlie XCX?

Elizabeth OLSEN OTOH hit the talk shows, including The Daily Show, when the movie came out, so gimme. 

For me the good stuff outweighs the bland, liked it.

JFC 12:36 AM  

The puzzle did not evoke any particular reaction. Have no opinion on whether Rex is on point or not. My only reservation is that over time I have noticed Rex is harsh on NYT debuts, which this is.

@Mathguy, I did post a response to your question yesterday.


wreck 12:41 AM  

I had pretty much the same snags as jae! I sailed through most of the puzzle until the SW.It was just about what I expect on a Friday, doable - but somewhat challenging.

Morgan 12:57 AM  

Was this anyone else's easiest Friday ever? I plowed through it almost without stopping. Finished at 7:43, about 12 minutes below my Friday average (and two minutes faster than this Wednesday's puzzle). I enjoyed almost all of this, though Sorry I'm not Sorry is something my mother would say if she were trying to be cool.

thursdaysd 1:16 AM  

Any time I finish a Friday with no help (and in sixteen minutes this time) I figure it has to show up here as easy, so easy-medium was nice.

ODESA is the Ukrainian spelling, Odessa is the Russian spelling. I don't think demanding that it go away is going to work, and in the current situation could be seen as backing Putin...

Moly Shu 1:16 AM  

Agree with @JFC, no real opinion good or bad, just plowed through it. Did like the UBOAT cross reference, even if it is somewhat morbid. Yep, @Morgan, easiest Friday ever, by a mile.

MDMA 1:48 AM  

If you google "SORRY I'M NOT SORRY" (including the quotation marks), you get tons of hits. Doing an image search in particular shows a large number of T-shirts and signs that use this exact wording. Sorry Rex, the number one rule of ranting is: don't actually be wrong.

Nice to see STERE, which was historically one of the original metric units = one cubic meter. Nothing wrong with ODESA, it's the Ukrainian spelling of Odessa, clued in the usual hinting style with the Ukrainian Kyiv for Kiev. Loved the sneaky deceptive clue for TAcoS, I mean TARTS.

The only cringeworthy short fill is the usual ALERS baseball entry, but it's not like we've never seen that before, albeit usually in the singular. OYER was rarish but legit ("oyez" is probably better known).

I'm rolling my eyes codgerifically at the PC vocabulary we've been seeing: MANSPLAIN today, GENDERED last Saturday (the 20th) and MICROagression the Wednesday (the 17th) before that. I guess that's part of trying to stay relevant.

Lots of very nice long entries with minimal bad short fill tradeoff. I was surprised to read at that this is the constructor's debut NYT puzzle. Very nicely done.

Steve J 2:16 AM  

"A jarring mix of great and horrible" is a pretty good description of this one. Outside of the nearly-never-used-outside-of-crosswords junk that is ALERS, there's not much that I'd count as truly horrible, but there are definitely points where this puzzle swung and missed. Those points were almost perfectly balanced by the really good bits, like MANSPLAIN, HIT A NERVE and I'M AT A LOSS. The resulting equation gives us zero on the distinctiveness scale.

@Rex: SALT SPRAY = ocean spray. The ocean has waves. Which somehow get in your hair. Or the spray gets in your hair. Or something. One of the prime examples of where the puzzle swung for a homerun on a pitch that hit the dirt four feet in front of the plate.

Carola 2:34 AM  

Easy and enjoyable, getting off to a great start with MANSPLAIN. I liked the array of women represented: MILA, PAT, ELENA, AGNES, PAT, DANAE, and Dorothy GALE.
Nice cross of GALE with IS IT RAINING? and contrast of the chaste St. AGATHA with unchaste TARTS. Lots more to like: PUP TENT, SALT SPRAY, SWEET PEA, HIT A NERVE....
The "SORRY" phrase didn't bother me as I'd never heard of it. TART shells, on the other hand, are familiar.

Anonymous 2:35 AM  

@Steve J: Salt Spray is actually a hair product, meant to approximate the wavy effect you get when you hang out at the ocean all the time.

Here's a nice article about it.

Steve J 2:47 AM  

@Anon 2:35 a.m.: Thanks. I should have looked that up. I assumed it was a typical Friday too-cute-by half clue/answer. In part because I'm at a loss as to why someone would want to replicate the effect of salt water or sea spray in hair.

Anonymous 3:53 AM  

@Rex, the reason years divisible by four that are not leap years is RARE, is that any year divisible by 100 is not a leap year, unless it is also divisible by 400. So, they do exist, they're just RARE.

mac 3:59 AM  

Most of this puzzle seemed way too easy, then there was this swathe with Arness, boron, Binet, Agnes, to Danae that made it much harder. And those miserable alers....

Ukranian is actually quite different from Russian, and the official language in the country. The Eastern part used to speak Russian, but even that sounded different, foreign to the Russians. Very good clue with KiYv as a hint. Good point, @thursdaysd!

GILL I. 4:34 AM  

Easy Friday and I was AMUSEd.
Very femaleish with the exception of HANS crossing my least favorite entry - HAVE IT ALL. Thank you Helen Gurly Brown for that awful cliche 30 years ago. Every career woman I know strives for EQUAL PAY... I know,...MOO
Hey got your name in RHODE. Didn't like NEO nor EIN but I did like that YAP ILL MOO trio crossing TAKE A LOOK.
I guess I could look up why EWOKS is a space race, but I don't want to.
Had James Garner instead of ARNESS but sweet AGNES of Chastity fame took care of that.
Nicely done Erin...

Danp 5:15 AM  

I think tart SHELL usually refers to the cupcake sized crusts you find in the frozen food section and fill at home. But it is definitely a good term.

Shouldn't Pistols=BBGUNS have an "eg." or something since not all BB guns are pistols?

Anonymous 6:22 AM  

Filled in "Sorry I'm not sorry" without thinking twice. Used often by 20-30-year-olds in my office in Chicago. The hashtag may be one thing, but not the thing I hear most often.

Sir Hillary 6:50 AM  

I'm pretty much with OFL on this one. Mixed bag.

Still, an impressive NYT debut -- signed by the artist at 31A.

Loren Muse Smith 7:03 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 7:04 AM  

Erin – congratulations on your NYT debut! I always feel a little nervous when I see a name I don't recognize at the top of a Friday or Saturday. So I was suspicious and nervous and pulling for you all at the same time. My first entry was ALTE followed by a rapid-fire RAN, ON TAP, HIT A NERVE and then SORRY I'M NOT SORRY. The only bump I hit was considering "floe" and "berg" before SNOW.

Rex – I'm with @MDMA on your biggest complaint. "Maybe most NYT solvers live in a world where ubiquitous memes never reach." Must be me. I live in Burning Springs, WV, so, wow. I had no idea that SORRY NOT SORRY was an expression, let alone a hashtag. SORRY I'M NOT SORRY is firmly, completely, utterly in my language; SORRY NOT SORRY, on the other hand, feels really weird to me. I think reading your take on this has been the biggest surprise your write-up has ever dealt me.

Of course I loved NASAL CONSONANTS. We actually have three, but the third doesn't have just one letter from the alphabet to represent it. It's the last sound in ring. I think I read somewhere that Burmese has voiceless nasals, which always makes me stop and try to expel air through my nose articulating an m, n, or ng sound but without using my vocal cords. Probably look like an angry bull. Or a lunatic. Go ahead. Try it.

My first thought on the Erin Burnett show was ESPN, but that's actually Erin Andrews and four letters. Funny how all the games now have the requisite woman court-side now to give an injury update or to interview a coach before half time. Are they galsplainers?

The Dorothy clue stumped me, and I considered "pale" for the longest time. I did run the alphabet, but the GALE that, uh, blew past was a storm and not a name. Morning, @Carola.

I really enjoyed this one, and I learned three big things:

MANSPLAIN – I don't have a big feminist chip on my shoulder - I was a stay-at-home mom who apparently didn't strive to HAVE IT ALL - but this word brought me up short and made me feel sheepish. I can hear Ricky splaining something to Lucy just as clearly as I can hear my husband splain to me why we can't flush when our power goes out. Sheesh.

PROTEAN – just googled it, and apparently, you can use it in a non-science context. Cool, that.

SORRY I'M NOT SORRY – again, I'm stunned at hearing this isn't an expression for most. It sure is for me.

Congrats again, Erin! Enjoy your day in the spotlight and frame a copy ASAP.

Z 7:11 AM  

@MDMA - Loved your rant comment. Reminded me of Gilda Radner. In Rex's defense, the hashtag version is the hipper Twitterfication version of the original. Still, as we are constantly reminded, the NYTX is for old people, so I put it right in.

Rex. First sentence. My reaction, if maybe a little over the top. That middle 15, right in the middle no less, is the longest green paint answer I've ever seen. But how can I not like a puzzle that starts with MANSPLAIN. Someone said this is a debut. Ms. Rhode has a bright future. I hope we see more.

@MDMA - I wouldn't call any of those terms "politically correct." They are all politer versions of, "you're being an ass, please stop."

@Steve J. - I've noticed that perfectly tousled hair held rigidly in place is the fashion. I don't get it, but then no one asked me, either.

elitza 7:16 AM  

MANSPLAIN made me laugh hysterically (see also: life as a thirtysomething woman who is the youngest person and one of two women in the room at the office; it happens a lot. One wonders whether Justice ELENA Kagan gets it, too. (Assuming that sadly, yes.)

SORRYIMNOTSORRY was a little jarring but something I took as , well, gotta make it fit somehow and this isn't the worst way it could have gone.

Just read an excellent book about the LUSITANIA's last crossing.

SALTSPRAY is definitely a thing. Gives wavy hair lots of texture and curl without making it look crunchy and gelled. Lush makes a pretty good one.

Took me until reading the review to parse out ALERS. The Tigers are not so easily reduced to a single letter so I forget other teams do that. Do other teams do that? Oh well.

Overall fun for me and I finished about six minutes faster than a typical Friday. This sat squarely in my wheelhouse.

George Barany 7:30 AM  

Congratulations to @Erin (same first name as Ms. Burnett in 28-across clue) RHODE (31-across) on your NYT debut, and for debuting MANSPLAIN at 1-across. Constructor notes at are very interesting and enlightening.

While I would not describe the puzzle as easy, most of the more difficult material was either inferable or readily sorted out (like the TACOS vs. TARTS "trap" at 48-across already discussed by @Rex and other commentators). I ended in the NE corner by letting go of HAVE_A_LOOK (note HAVE already in 32-down) and changing to the correct TAKE_A_LOOK, which also gave me the stutterer and the earring parts. I'm with @Rex at wanting TEAMS for 36-down, and hoping against hope that it would not be ALERS (add NBAER and NHLER, along with their plurals, to the "please try to never use again" list).

Z 7:34 AM  

@elitza - I think the Orioles and the Athletics are the only two that get called by a single letter. Oakland is called "The A's" so much that I had to think a second to come up with the full name. As to Kagan, I was thinking of getting Alito, Scalia, and Thomas a tee shirt.

Matt 7:49 AM  

#sorrynotsorry might be the hashtag but "sorry I'm not sorry" is how it is most often spoken, imo. I've heard it countless times over the years. I would have found sorrynotsorry a more jarring answer.

dk 7:49 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

Learning the new speak is entertaining: MANSPLAIN indeed. The fill went in smoothly for me. spelled DANAE as Diana. Another pause on 55a till I remembered my sainted mother bemoaning her fate as the salt air made her hair wavy.

Just finished Dead Wake so 17a came easy.

PORKY made me think of Elmer Fudd and 44a has me singing: Kill the Wabbit

Other nits.

super-ULTRA = huh
I imagine there are BBGUNS that are pistols but as a former scout in a PUPTENT I know them as rifles that can put out ones eye.

All in all Erin nice one.

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

I went to look up SALTSPRAY post solve to see if it were a real thing, and as others mentioned, it is. Not only that, but many products seem to boast about using Himalayan Sea Salt as the basis for their product. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as Himalayan Sea Salt.

Norm 8:00 AM  

This was boring.

Young Turd 8:00 AM  

MDMA said...

"Nothing wrong with ODESA, it's the Ukrainian spelling of Odessa"

The Ukrainian language is written in the Cyrillic alphabet. "Odesa" is the romanization of the Ukrainian spelling. "Odesa" is not the Ukrainian spelling. Одеса is the Ukrainian spelling.

joho 8:02 AM  

Wow, Erin, nothing like starting your NYT crossword career with a Friday themeless ...congratulations! Pretty clever that you were able to sign your puzzle, too.

I'm not up on what's current or cool when it comes to hashtags so I had no problem with SORRYIMNOTSORRY but wondered for a sec where the "but" was.

"Pen without ink? (but with an oink) was cute.

Lots more to like than not so thumbs up!

@Rex, I did love your, "So that many answers don't *land.* They just kind of ... shuffle in and shrug at you."

Glimmerglass 8:06 AM  

Thanks to anonymous 2:35 for the link to hair products. I assumed that "product" meant the ocean "produces" spray (waves, boat rides, etc.) which tends to make hair frizzy. Proteus was a sea god who could change his form at will, hence the adjective. ULTRA- is a synonym for super-. Congrats to those who found this easy! For me it was definitely medium, about normal for a Friday.

Name that tune 8:07 AM  
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Elizabeth Warren 8:12 AM  

Host: There’s a guy, I dunno if you’ve heard of him, he works for a company called JPMorgan Chase. His name is Jamie Dimon, have you…?

Other host: He’s an obscure figure.

Elizabeth Warren: I have heard of him.

Host: He said some stuff this week about you, I’ll read you a quote: “I don’t know if she fully understands the global banking system.” Was he MANSPLAINing to you?

Mohair Sam 8:13 AM  

Liked the puzzle, but dnf'd on the very first square by knowing neither the actress nor the modern lingo (guessed "C", think it's better for both - have to talk to someone).

Had to battle through the SW not knowing DANAE or OLSEN and not considering TARTS as shells. PROTEAN a real vocabulary tester down there, loved it.

Discovered a new STERE, Dorothy's last name, and SALTSPRAY hair stuff today. And found out you can misspell Odessa legally.

Ever since my mother yelled "23 skidoo" at me several decades back I've made it a point to make sense out of lingo. It took me 50 years to discover where 23 skidoo came from. I suppose Google will make shorter work of MANSPLAIN. Should be cANSPLAIN dammit.

Nice debut Erin, clever signature at 28A and 31A.

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

Anyone else go with BED for "consummate?" I'm not proud...

Generic Solver 8:20 AM  

Is MILA Kunis a household name? Certainly not to me, but then again I seem to live on a different planet, so maybe it is. Crossing that with MANSPLAIN (which is cool because I learned a new word) is a broderline Natick, although given _ANSPLAIN, a run through the alphabet makes "M" the only reasonable choice as lansplain is nonsense, so I guess that's fair.

Unknown 8:23 AM  

Fun but frustrating and ultimately doomed solve today. I was brought down by a WTF in an area I know pretty well: wood heat. Allow me to MANSPLAIN: Every year I [Firewood unit] STack several [Firewood unit] cords (and a few face-cords) of [Firewood unit] STicks (we call bucked-and-split logs 'sticks') for my [Firewood unit] STovE. Arguably, I keep them in a [Firewood unit] SToRE (!?) where they are protected from the elements including the occasional [High wind] OBOo (?!) which sounds like a Melvillian invention that I haven't heard of but can infer from context.

Elsewhere SALTStRAp seemed like a fine product name for making wavy hair. No, I've never heard of it, but that shouldn't stop me. So OpER and Terminer became my [high criminal court], and SWEETtEA became my synonym for [Honey]. Perfectly reasonable guesswork.

So, an unassisted solve was not possible here today as I suffered from my regular ignorance and was too willing to infer entries with tenuous and distant rationalizations. Typical Friday. Medium/unsolvable.

Haiku Nerd 8:27 AM  


Anonymous 8:27 AM  

I like how PORKY was next to his STY.

Unknown 8:40 AM  

Wrongness: gale for [High wind] OBOE until the other GALE made it impossible.
gAb for YAP
Held off on ODESA based on my recollection of the spelling. Kyiv in the clue functioned as an alternative spelling indicator.
ARNEtt before ARNESS.
www, url for NSA, because who doesn't collect meta data on the web?
pig for NEO, because piglatin is a thing, and neolatin is an OYER or an OBOo -- a thing taken on faith in the crossworld.
"I'm sorry you were offended by what I said" is the typical non-apology apology, and I tried to work around that that theme.

Name that tune 8:46 AM  

I am out of control.
A new constructor makes an excellent puzzle which is accepted for publication in The Times, and I am jealous with rage. If that new constructor is a woman, I am likely to be doubly harsh. Watch as I MANSPLAIN to her how to make a good puzzle, and tell her which words are acceptable and which are not. It doesn't matter that I am dead wrong about SORRYIMNOTSORRY or RARE or TART. I am going to take this puzzle down no matter what. Of course there is some bad fill. There is no puzzle without bad fill. But today I'll focus on that rather than the beauty of the grid, the clever cluing, and what was overall an outstanding debut for Erin Rhode. Shame on me.

Nancy 8:57 AM  

Fell into the TAcoS trap and never recovered. So while I went zipping along in the West until I hit the bottom, I then met with disaster. What the hell was PROo-A- for "frequently changing"? Why were years divisible by four c-R-? Thought the Avengers lady was probably OLSEN or OLSON, but wasn't sure. Didn't know "the mother of Perseus." Guessed that the White Stripes was a DUO (from the U in ULTRA.

Wanted Demosthenes instead of PORKY for the famous stutterer. But he didn't fit. Loved MANSPLAIN and SORRY I'M NOT SORRY and HAVE IT ALL. On SALT SPRAY as a "product," I'm with @Steve J (Welcome back, btw!) I have never known anyone's hair to look better when subjected to real salt spray. Everyone's hair looks bloody awful, in fact. So why would a company make this product or a customer ever want to buy it? Just asking.

AliasZ 9:00 AM  

MANSPLAIN me this because I'M AT A LOSS: is MAN- prefixwise becoming as indispensable in "modern lingo" as the dreaded E-? Furthermore, is the trend of making up words by people who have no understanding of the difference between the nominative and accusative case as an example, or by people whose every third word is "like" and start their sentences with "Dude", going to continue? It sure sounds like it. I don't have to like it, do I?

Which is why this crossword constructor's brilliant seed entry is this crossword solver's main reason to strongly dislike her puzzle. SORRY, Ms RHODE, I'M NOT SORRY. "A" for effort though.

I'll leave the mansplaining of what ALERS (which, with an added O could have become AOLERS), ORSO TOGO, NNE and Der ALTE OYER are doing in a themeless puzzle to Rex and the commentariat, they are doing just well without my mantervention.

Is NEO-Latin a new baby born to a Cuban family in Miami? No, it is a modernized version of the language of ancient Rome that was used in literature, and in legal, scientific and other scholarly works, since the Italian Renaissance and into the 19th century, and is the basis of modern zoological-botanical taxonomy and the international scientific vocabulary.

Favorite entries: LUSITANIA, PROTEAN and DANAE. Too bad they were heavily outnumbered by the clunkers and green-paintish entries. I entered GALE as the high wind at 11D. Who would've thought that it will also be used at 24A? Not this boron.

Let me cheer things up a little with this beautiful motet by HANS Leo Hassler (1564-1612).

Is it Friday already?

McFly 9:02 AM  
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msue 9:07 AM  

I liked this puzzle - quite a bit, actually.

Count me among those living in an alternate universe where 'Sorry I'm not sorry' is used, not the meme version. Maybe it is due to age or region of the country. I loved MANSPLAIN. I had TACOS for TARTS originally, but fixed it when the crosses didn't work. (I use 'shell' when I'm cooking a tart, and either 'shell' or 'crust' when making a pie.)

Agree 100% that ALER and NLER need to go. Yuck.

If those are being dumped, can we consider alternate spellings too? I'm looking at you, ODESA.

Mohair Sam 9:11 AM  

Oh yeah, forgot these two:
Loved the high wind OBOE placed so close to GALE.
And glad I'm not the only one here trying to understand @Rex's problem with SORRYIMNOTSORRY? Perfectly fine by me.

Dorothy Biggs 9:12 AM  

Funny, I did the puzzle without looking at who the constructor was. I assumed (never assume) it was a male and when I came to "HAVEITALL" I thought the clue/answer was well, sexist. What does that even mean as it relates to women? I don't even know what it means as it relates to men. We all want it all, don't we? None of us can have it all...even the men. I felt it mocked women and their struggle to gain equality in the work place. They don't want it all (any more than the men do), unless by "all" you mean equality. But the way it's phrased, it doesn't sound like they want just equality...they WANTITALL, damn it. It has a ring of entitlement to it. I didn't like it clued that way.

The second thing is that I believe a non-apology is actually a thing these days, but it sounds like this: "I'm sorry you feel that way," or "I'm sorry you took it that way." It's a non-apology because the person (usually a politician or professional athlete) doesn't ever get around to apologizing for the action, just that someone took it the wrong way. That is, "Had I known you would be so sensitive, I wouldn't have done it. I'm sorry you're so sensitive."

THAT is a non-apology...not SORRY, I'M NOT SORRY. That's just being a cutesy (at least in the #sorrynotsorry form) way.

I agree with Rex on the use of a normal, every day sentence as fill. Maybe someone could create a themed puzzle based entirely on a conversation overheard at a local Starbucks. Boring conversation, "ISITGOINGTORAIN?" "TAKEALOOK."

I didn't care for the puzzle today. Lots of weird cluing and names I didn't not know...MILA Kunis, Elizabeth OLSEN, DANAE, Prince HANS, Alfred BINET, etc...and MANSPLAIN...which I have never, ever heard of. But then, I'm a guy. I probably do it more that I hear it said.

Dorothy Biggs 9:14 AM  

^^^ "...didn't not know." Nice double-negative. I meant either just "didn't know" or "did not know."


Steve M 9:19 AM  

Extremes work so was ez except nasal consonants

chefbea 9:32 AM  

Found this easier than most Fridays. Too many comments to read and have a lot to do today.Getting ready to head North for two weeks so probably will not have access to the puzzle unless I spring for the print version of the NYT. Maybe some one will send me the PDF version and in hopes that I can print it out. I'll be reading the blog even if I haven't done the puzzle.

Andrew Heinegg 9:37 AM  

After I woke up, I found this to be a fairly simple solve. As for an evaluation, I did not recognize the constructor's name and I am not certain whether her first published puzzle should be assessed with her lack of experience as a consideration.I thought everything Rex said about the puzzle was accurate.
Despite Rex Porker handing down his daily condemnation of everything Rex writes in his reviews, I believe that if the constructor took all of Rex's critcism as constructive, the next puzzle she produces should be an improvement on a good first effort.

Andrew Heinegg 9:38 AM  

After I woke up, I found this to be a fairly simple solve. As for an evaluation, I did not recognize the constructor's name and I am not certain whether her first published puzzle should be assessed with her lack of experience as a consideration.I thought everything Rex said about the puzzle was accurate.
Despite Rex Porker handing down his daily condemnation of everything Rex writes in his reviews, I believe that if the constructor took all of Rex's critcism as constructive, the next puzzle she produces should be an improvement on a good first effort.

Ludyjynn 9:39 AM  

@NCAPres, you beat me to the punch on the ultimate non-apology apology, which is "I'm SORRY that you feel that way". Brilliant on so many levels.

Before I forget, @FredR, thank you for your kind remark last night.

A masterpiece anti-war film from 1981 is "Das Boot", German for UBOAT, about WWII from the perspective of the crew and captain. In German w/ English subtitles.

Interesting tidbit: allegedly, L. Frank Baum, author of "The Wizard of Oz" series, read a newspaper account that Dorothy GALE was an 1879 Kansan tornado victim. He provided the last name in one of the later books in the series. It was not mentioned in the film. I have to admit those damn flying monkeys used to scare the hell out of me and still give me the creeps when I catch the movie on tv.

Can't say I have the same antipathy as some to the x-wordese ALERS as Rex, but that may be because my Os won yesterday!

Overall, an impressive grid by Ms. RHODE, despite the nits pointed to by Rex's YAPping. You GO, girl! Thanks for a SWEET debut.

Hartley70 9:43 AM  

I don't know, @Nancy, but I'm gonna get me some ASAP! I'd love to turn fine limp waves into coarse curly perfection! Amazon, here I come.

This was just about my average Friday time, and it behaved just as a Friday should...From I don't know any of this to I've got it! I especially like an impossible 1a, that slowly reveals itself like MANSPLAIN. Cool. One of my last answers was RHODE and then I wanted to slap myself. Very cool. This was fun!

Rhino 9:48 AM  

"NASAL CONSONANTS are my jam." Could this be the greatest five-word sequence in the English language? Maybe. Too soon to tell. Certainly the best I've ever come across.

The worst? 'Mansplain' plus any other combination of words. I hate that word. I hate the way it feels coming off the tongue. I hate the way the vowels sound collectively. I have little feeling about the meaning behind the word, but the word itself. Ugh. Ugly. Like, for many, 'moist' or 'orifice', I cringe whenever I hear or read it.

pmdm 9:55 AM  

Wouldn't it be nice if people refrain from going into a rage about something they don't know and ask for help before posting the criticism? For example, "I don't understand the clue for RARE. Could someone clarify." Most here do that. Why give The Porker ammunition?

If you are comfortable with proper nouns, this puzzle should have been a breeze. If not, much less so. My way of saying I though the puzzle had too many proper names.

Hartley70 9:59 AM  

@NCAPresident, let me MANSPLAIN a little bit to you. I'm loving this word. HAVEITALL as in "You can't have it all" came into usage in the 70's when women were really beginning to struggle with the possibility of climbing the corporate ladder or making partner, while still successfully raising children and getting them to their soccer games. Some women found ways to do it, others didn't. It's the perrenial push me, pull me that women experience and men don't.

Hartley70 10:00 AM  

Yikes, perennial!

Ludyjynn 10:02 AM  

Oops...before @GN notices my careless error, please delete the words "as Rex" in paragraph five, above. Thanks!

maruchka 10:07 AM  

What a mix! ILLness and AGNES and OYER, oh my! Loved the ODESA clue (thanks for the cyrillic, @YoungT***). Agree with @LMS on SORRY I'M NOT SORRY. Insert a q-mark and there's a "Badges? .. no stinking badges!" feel to it.

If one more person bangs into me and NASALly says, "sor-ry" ...

Tacos/TARTS, One person/ONE PLAYER, Baron(doh)/BORON.

DANAE was impregnated by Zeus via a golden shower. Hmm?

Fav of the day - MOO. Great clue, @ErinRhode. Looking forward to your next entry.

Tita 10:17 AM  

Well, handsdown my favorite thing about this puzzle is that it sent my on a wild google chase re: NASALCONSONANTS.
Spoiler alert - boredom ahead...

Google NASAL CONSONANTS. I dare ya.
The first line of Wiki says:
"This article is about nasal stop consonants. For nasal fricative consonants, see true nasal fricatives."
That is when I knew that I was in serious trouble.
But I couldn't tear myself away...the Contents particular, 4. Languages without nasals.

1st thought- in a serious twist of irony that only @loren could love, one of those mon-nasal languages is Pirahã - named by the Portuguese, no doubt, whose language is heavy in such sounds, to include a nasal consonant!

2nd thought - it's a language spoken in the Amazon region. By... umm... Piranhas? Fish have a language? Well, no wonder they have no NASALCONSONANTS. They have no noses...

In the context of agreeing with most of Rex today, I also agree with @Whirred and @Carola. It was easy-ish until it wasn't - like @jae, I was reading the Super clue as Super _____, not Super-. So I knew that it couldn't be ULTRA.
Together with TAcoS, I was near-dnf status, so I asked puzspouse. He immediately said ULTRA, and then I saw my mistake.
Then erased the CO, popped in RARE, and did the alphabet run to find TARTS.
I liked your debut, Ms, RHODE!

NeilD 10:20 AM  

SORRY IM NOT SORRY is definitely a thing outside of #sorrynotsorry. Also loved MANSPLAIN and I loved NASAL CONSONANTS although I wanted to use NASAL FRICATIVES not because it's true but because it would be cool

Alicia Stetson 10:23 AM  

@Andrew @9:37, thanks for MANSPLAINing this all to us. Maybe if you had similar words for other puzzles and constructors your views wouldn't appear so obviously condescending, and yes, sexist.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

@lms "...feminist chip on my shoulder."

What is this? Anyone?

Nancy 10:54 AM  

@Tita -- I find your 10:17 post, complete with boredom alert, a howl. I also had pretty much the same solving experience you had in the SW corner -- with one notable exception. You were able to correct and I wasn't.

@elitza & @Hartley 70. I can't wait to see you both with your very "now", very chic, unimaginably curly SALT-SPRAY-treated tresses. Well, maybe I CAN wait :)

NitPicker 10:57 AM  

There is. It's pink and available at good supermarkets. Remember many mountains started out as seabeds.

Loren Muse Smith 11:02 AM  

Ok. Those who aren't into linguistics and phonology – skip this.

I'm not a phonologist; I took a couple of classes, but that's it. I do know, though, that the way we form most consonants is by manipulating with tongue, teeth, lips, velum, the air that is expelled out of the mouth. And we can decide to make'em voiced or voiceless.

Stops, plosives, fricatives, affricates, sibilants, liquids, glides (approximants now, I guess)… these are some of the kinds of consonants whose articulation is possible because our mouths have lips, teeth, a tongue.

So now @Tita and @NeilD are mentioning that there are nasal fricatives and nasal stops??? Sweet Caroline!!! This is just so fun to imagine that I'm not going to google it yet. I'm going to picture speakers whose nostrils are impressively more equipped than mine. Nostrils with little teeth up in there. Little nostrilly tongue. A tendril. Oh, wow is this creepy.

I'm imagining a nasal stop or a nasal affricate. Or a nasal plosive. This last is probably messy. I dunno – maybe it is, maybe itsnot.

r.alphbunker 11:10 AM  

Unusual solve pattern for a Friday. Half the correct squares were filled in half the time.

Re: The leap year clue
A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time, or UT1. Without such a correction, time reckoned by Earth's rotation drifts away from atomic time because of irregularities in the Earth's rate of rotation. They are not RARE. Since this system of correction was implemented in 1972, 25 such leap seconds have been inserted.

The 26th leap second will occur at 23:59:60 UTC on June 30, 2015

M&A has told me that he has written a runt puzzle that commemorates this event. He will release it on June 30.

mathguy 11:14 AM  

Before coming here, I thought that it was an OK Friday. But, now that I've read Rex's brilliant essay and the dozens of informative and witty comments here, I'm thinking that it's terrific. If not, how could it have spawned such delight?

Don't like RARE and RAN. I knew that the years are divisible by 100. Going from the specific to the blandly general was pretty cheap. And I can't think of a sentence containing "led" which still makes sense when "ran" is substituted.

RooMonster 11:15 AM  

Hey All !
Interesting grid, 3 15's Down. Nice. Always jealous when I see a debut constructor. Someday...
Mustn't be hip cause never heard MANSPLAIN before. Hmm. Also don't see (or hear) how m and n are NASSL CONSONANTS. They sound regular when I say em. Jad a D for the N. MAdSPLAIN, could be yelling an explanation?? One other wrong letter, I for E in DANAE/PROTEAN. Two letter DNF. Ack!

Did think puz was on the easy side for a Fri. Knew MILA Kunis, she was on That 70's Show. Little cutie. Low on the range is a stretchy clue IMO. Guessing that will be M&A's favorite moo-cow answer! Like most, also wanted TAcos/teamS. @GillI, EWOKS! From Star Wars, c'mon, man! ~:-) (Or does that mean I like Sci-Fi stuff too much?)


DAS BOOT 11:21 AM  

@ =mathguy--last week I "ran" a conference on the sinking of the LUSITANIA.

Hartley70 11:25 AM  

@Mathguy. You led the meeting. You ran the meeting.

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

@r.alph @11:10: Interesting fact, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that a year that is divisible by 4 and is not a leap year is RARE.

old timer 11:29 AM  

@AliasZ, what an incredible, wonderful piece of music. I'm loving it.

@Rex, please stop making a fool of yourself so often. Though you are right about NLERS and the pukiest of green paint running right down the middle of an otherwise great puzzle.

It was a *hard* Friday for me, too. For one thing, I foolishly write in "Titanic" for LUSITANIA. Wrong disaster, wrong agent of death. Got it right when I figured that long down had to begin with NASAL. At the end, I really though I would DNF, because SORRYIMNOTSORRY just did not come to me. I've heard it. We've all heard it (except OFL, it seems). But it did not come to mind, nor did EWOKS. What finally broke me through to victory was realizing that "range"did not necessarily refer to a stove. Could "Low" be a cow sound? MOO!

Factoid of the day: Pyrex is made with BORON.

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

Today I can get gay married AND keep my Obamacare. It is a great week in America.

old timer 11:34 AM  

Oh. I certainly new about shells for TARTS. You can even buy them pre-made if you are not a good baker.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

I have an internet video game that involves wars over Asian cooking. I can ESTAB my enemies then cook them up in EWOKS.

Gene 11:40 AM  

Usually just shake my head at Rex's comments, had to chime in this time. SALTSPRAY? The punning seems obvious, and fun. ISITGOINGTORAIN? Why is that a problem, it's completely legit. Others have commented enough on why SORRYIMNOTSORRY is perfectly good. TARTS? I don't get the carping at all; big stretch. Kyiv made ODESA obvious, why is that possibly wrong? And ALER; well, OK, I'll give Rex that one. But ALTE, clued that way, is smart, not trite.

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

@pmdm - I would love to understand what the hell you're talking about, but if you're going to cite an example, in quotes at that, perhaps you should reference something that someone actually posted. You know, so it makes sense and all that.

Anonymous 11:46 AM  

@LMS, good one. If I'd been drinking my coffee when I read your comment, I would have done a "nasal plosive" all over my keyboard.

Nick 11:47 AM  

"SORRY I'M NOT SORRY" is as bad as if 1-across had been "GENTLEMANEXPLAIN."

jberg 11:54 AM  

Tough for me, because I really wanted those TAcoS, so I just sat there looking at PROo... at 39D for way too long. Finally got OLSoN, which was wrong but unlocked everything else and then corrected itself.

I didn't know who Perseus's mother was (nor Proteus's, either), but with that AN it pretty much had to be DANAE.

I love the term MANSPLAINING -- I'm not sure she coined the word, but I think it comes in some sense from Rebecca Solnit's biting and hilarious essay, now a book, "Men Explain Things to Me."

@LMS -- Velum? I'll have to look that up.

I spent a month in Ky'iv once. I didn't actually know the Ukrainian spelling of ODESA, but I couldn't think of another southern city, so that pretty much had to be it.

Anyway, this puzzle was worth my time just for giving me the knowledge that there is BORON in Pyrex!

Joseph Michael 12:03 PM  

Congrats on a great debut. Really enjoyed the solve except for the SW which relied too much on names.

Speaking of names, I like how you wove ERIN into the clues and RHODE into the grid.

Favorite answer: MANSPLAIN


Least favorite element: Rex's review. I think it
HIT A NERVE that this wasn't his puzzle in the NYT.

Fred Romagnolo 12:04 PM  

We have Pope Gregory XIII to thank for our seemingly confusing system of leap centuries. Therefore it's called the Gregorian Calendar. In his time it was noted that the Julian Calendar (instituted by You Know Who) was ten days off. This was significant because it was moving Eastertime to an unsuitable time of year. He assembled a great convocation of scholars to solve the problem; one of whom was Copernicus. The result Rex takes note of. We are now 13 days apart from the Julian Calendar (used by some Eastern Orthodox churches). It'll stay that way 'til 2100. One result: George Washington was born on (Old Style) February 11 (at that time 11 days difference), but England got over it's severe anti-Catholicism and eventually adopted the Gregorian Calendar which switched George's birthday to the 22nd. TrollAlert: personal anecdote: My father was Catholic and my mother Russian Orthodox, so I got to have 2 different Christmases every year! We traditionally took down our tree on "Little" Christmas (January 7th) each year.

Amelia 12:16 PM  

@ Rex Porker. You amuse me every day, and today you NAILED it. Nice work. By you and Ms. Rhode.

Masked and Anonymous 12:21 PM  

Not familiar with any of the SORRYxSORRY formats, but don't mind learnin all about it.

ALER and NLER do not have automatic Partick Berry usage immunity. Then again, neither does MOO. Only thing about banning words from crosswords: someone'll just challenge the ruling, and the Supreme Court is busy enough, already. Also, if someone ruled that certain words was henceforth banned from all of literature, how would authors keep track of it all, anyhoo? Wouldn't some author want to use one of em, just in protest? I say: constructioneers, show U are feisty, and don't accept censorship. Use them banned words. BEQ has already shown U the way, with an ENEMA.

Great debut puz. Always good to see more gals constructin. Gals are feisty. They use them banned words. MOO-yah.

Masked and Anonymo4Us

@r.alph: sure hope I did that leap second runtpuz dealie ok. The whole addin -by-leapin thing was confusin, to the M&A. Stay tuned...

Lewis 12:27 PM  

@rex -- Didn't agree with you on several points, but it was a very entertaining review to read.

My overall experience was that a couple of areas of the puzzle were tough (I'm weak at pop culture), and just finishing the puzzle left me feeling good. Also, it felt zippy. I loved the clues for ALERS, OBOE, MOO, and LLAMA, and regarding ALERS, it does look ugly, but I looked up some of the constructors that have used it (and ALER), and it is a who's who of constructors (though PB wasn't one of them). I think most every puzzle will have a couple of ugly answers -- sometimes they are the only things that will hold the rest of a beautiful puzzle together. So I'm more accepting of them than many here. If there are only a few in the puzzle.

There was a mini-theme of words with two O's only for vowels: BORON, MOO, ORSO, TOGO. I liked the crossing of IVS and PLUGS. Sometimes my opinion of a puzzle is just how I feel during and after solving it -- whether I can logically justify it or not -- and this one made me smile throughout.

Happy Pencil 12:33 PM  

I thought this was a great puzzle, full stop. Even better when you learn it's a debut. Yes, there are a few rough spots, and I agree with Rex on the taco/tarts issue. I got held up there for longer than I'd like to admit, even though I knew that's the area that was preventing my happy pencil from appearing. Didn't help that I had completely misspelled PROTEAN as well. But overall, a great puzzle with lots of lively answers, as others have said before me.

Not sure what to say about someone who claims not to understand what HAVEITALL and women could possibly have to do with each other, so I'll just let that lie.

@RexPorker, I thought you were in fine form today, and @Alicia Stetson, you are fast becoming my favourite poster on this board.

As a Canadian, I'll just say to all my American friends, "Welcome to 2015!" And may we all look forward to a healthier, more tolerant, and more compassionate future.

Happy Pencil 12:38 PM  

Oh, and the Lusitania book someone mentioned earlier is DEAD CALM by Erik Larson, and I absolutely agree that it's fantastic. Worth a read for those of you on this board who like books.

Lewis 1:06 PM  

Factoid: Daisy, one of the most popular makers of BBGUNS, started out as a windmill company. As a promotion, it would give away BB guns with the purchase of a windmill, and the guns were so popular, the company began producing them, and stopped selling windmills.

Quotoid: "The cow is of the bovine ilk; one end is MOO, the other milk." -- Ogden Nash

Anoa Bob 1:13 PM  

Homer: "Oh Marge, I'M SORRY...I got caught" (the last part said quickly and sotte voce).


Rug Crazy 1:15 PM  

Got caught in the TACO trick.
Bad: One S ODESA, ALERS trick

Good: most everything else.

Rug Crazy 1:15 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
RooMonster 1:20 PM  

Some Friday Random Nonsense:
MANS PLAIN - Pedestrian looking guys garment?
SALTS PRAY - Sailors at church?
GAL E - Serial daters fifth woman?
AM USE - One dial on the radio?
OL SEN - Long cong. members nickname?
AG AVE - Where Attorneys General hang out?
ME T - Cavemanish way orig. BA Baracus says who he is?
(Last one, may be controversial, Be warned!)
BI NET - Comp. site for the curious?


Moist Orifice 1:22 PM  

@Rhino. I hate the words 'slacks' and 'curds'.

Masked and Anonymous 1:35 PM  

Extensive research has shown that SORRYxSORRY is used in several popular formats,
none of which The Committee feels inclined to ban, at this time. Top versions:

* WellExcuUUUuseMe (my personal fave)

M & Also
"One-L Aller"


What a grouchy, infuriating review. Seek the joy of being alive.

OISK 1:44 PM  

I have been out of town, but have managed to get through the puzzles ever since the "mirror, mirror" personal disaster. I finished this one, the last box was realizing that "Consonants" has an "A", not an "E", saved from my misspelling because "Terts" made no sense.

Otherwise, too much I don't like, like Mansplain (???) Hans the Prince (???) Odesa with one "s", Elizabeth Olsen (?) ANY Hip-hop term (Ill??) Erin Burnett?? These were offset by the three full-length clues, which I liked.

Anyway, Erin didn't construct this to please folks like me...Congratulations on publication!


@ROO @ 1:20--they are excellent, but you missed an opportunity:

AG AVE--a road paved with silver.

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

BORON--an idiot with a cold.

A question for the ladies: Which is worse, MANSPLAINing or "manspreading?"

Carola 2:31 PM  

For anyone who's in the mood for a blast from the past and someone who really is SORRY.

@Anonymous 2:14 - Tough call. Then there's the combo: MANSPAINING manspreading (why a guy's just gotta).

Nancy 6:26 PM  

@jberg: I'm sure you're right: MANSPLAINING is from the Solnit book you cite. I hadn't heard of the word, just the book, but once it came in from the crosses, I said: YESSSSSS! What a WONDERFUL neologism!

@OISK (and welcome back!) -- Could it be that you don't see the sheer wonderfulness of this coinage because of your, er, gender? When we next all get together -- and I hope perhaps we will in the not-too-distant future -- I'll GALSPLAIN it to you.

@Anon 2:14 -- Unless the MANSPLAINer is one's boss, stopping MANSPLAINING, mid-sentence, if necessary, is not that hard. You can do it with charm and a smile or, when less tactful means are required, you can use them too. A MANSPREADER, on the other hand, can be a scary-looking guy in an enclosed, subterranean world. You can ask him nicely to unspread, but chances are he'll spread even wider. So, FWIW, I'll take the MANSPLAINER every time. (@Aketi might feel differently. Also, I peg @lms as being pretty physical and pretty feisty. And @Teedmn: She hikes amongst bears.) So, Anon 2:14, all we women are different and there probably isn't one right answer.

Z 8:07 PM  

@LMS - I've learned to be phlegmatic when reading your posts.

@nit picker - When I looked up "Himalyan Sea Salt" most of the hits were less than 100% believable. Himalyan Salt is a very specific thing, sea salt a very specific different thing. While Himalyan Salt may have originated in the sea (I didn't find anything to say it did or didn't), "sea salt" indicates salt separated from salt water more recently.

@JFC - Rex will never be accused of being an Easy A. He has been hard on debuts. But making xwords is hard so we shouldn't be that surprised that new constructors have room for improvement. What worries me is that her comments at suggests this might have been a one off for Rhode. Let's hope not.

@Rex Porker - You jumped the shark right from the start so I rarely bother, but wow. You do such a good job of demonstrating what you are, why remove the damning evidence? BTW - this followed by this and this.

Z 8:11 PM  

I didn't realize how Twitter links work, so I only really needed a single link. No need to waste time clicking on all three.

Anonymous 9:50 PM  

From Hong Kong...

Odesa is Ukrainian language, not "russianish" which is a description insulting to Ukrainians. The WOD definition is rather clear. Clued with Kyiv it is consistent with other frequent local language variants (like ALPE).

Help please: moving to Shanghai thus no more INYT so what is recommended source? I am paper and pen solver. Technologically challenged...hence the anonymous posting, sorry.


jae 11:34 PM  

@Tim - get a subscription to the NYT online puzzle $ 40 per year. When a new puzzle comes on line, click on print and solve away. This assumes you will have access to a printer. To get to the site where you can subscribe, google NTY Crosswords. Good Luck

Teedmn 11:38 PM  

Erin Rhode, nice debut, glad you met your goal (as stated at Wordplay).

I found this a very easy Friday, but had a couple of gimmes - GALE: I have no idea why I know that, though I always loved the built-in pun of the so-named Dorothy blowing away - and ARNESS. Erin Rhode mentions (in Wordplay) the 'two' MN references in the puzz: 56D and 23D, but since both Judy Garland and James ARNESS were born in MN, I call it four.

When someone tries MANSPLAINin' something to me, I have no problem rudely butting in saying "Oh, yeah, and it's so cool when you get to..." and jump to the logical conclusion, thus agreeing with said person that the subject is interesting while exhibiting my knowledge and also hopefully cutting off the redundant remainder of the explanation. If said person continues to 'SPLAIN, that person loses any chance of earning my respect. I've seen a couple cases of later redemption when the other shoe drops for them that I'm not an ignorant slut but most never come around and I'm just fine with that. (Thanks for the confidence, @Nancy :-) ).

Humidity makes my hair curl nicely, but add SALTSPRAY and it turns into a sticky mess. I think I'll pass.

kitshef 11:50 PM  

Well, we're now at Friday and Tuesday still ranks as the hardest puzzle this week by, and it's not close. More WoEs on Tuesday than the rest of the week combined.

MAkePLAIN before MANSPLAIN, Attn before ASAP, kArl before HANS, TAcoS before TARTS, ONEPerson before ONEPLAYER. Hmmm ... all on across clues, none on downs. Probably doesn't mean anything.

Ancient languages in German has to be the most obscure foreign word clue I've ever seen.

Had _HODE for ___ Island and still needed the last cross to get it.

Maybe I'm becoming a curmudgeon but I think @Rex has been spot on this week.

16A and 17A ... too soon.

paulsfo 1:03 AM  

MANSPLAINING: i think the classic example is when a guy is trying to explain a book to woman A, based on him having read an article *about* the book. Finally woman B can't stand it any more and says to him, " *wrote* that book."

This one is also great:
' I’m Asian American and was taking a plane back to my university to finish up my PhD in English Literature and teach a composition class. The man sitting next to me asked me why I was flying from the West Coast to the Midwest. I told him I was going to the University of ________.

He asked me why I was going to the university so I told him I teach English.

He says, “You mean you’re learning English.”

“No,” I say. “I’m teaching English.”

“You see,” he replies, “You are confusing the words ‘teach’ and 'learn.’ You are learning English.” '

My only defense in this regard is that I do it to men, too. ;)

My favorite non-apology apology:
Joe, to Steve: "You're an asshole."
Mary: "Joe, you apologize right now!"
Joe: "Okay."
Joe, to Steve: "I'm *sorry* you're an asshole."

@Nancy: Maybe I missed it; were you able to view the comments on Wordplay?

paulsfo 1:05 AM  

Hmmm, I lost a word in there. It should be:

Finally woman B can't stand it any more and says to him, "woman A *wrote* that book."

konberg 9:19 PM  

Loved the leap year clue, as well as MANSPLAIN. Just delightful. I'm slowly getting better: I'm proud of a Friday in 32:30 with 3 errors.

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Burma Shave 10:13 AM  


“TAKEALOOK at me SWEETPEA, see this MANSPLAIN intent,
IMATALOSS as why you won’t HAVEITALL in our PUPTENT.
“SLOES the way TOGO”, she said as she RHODE me. So RARE!


rondo 11:29 AM  

Despite OFL’s comments, I liked this puz. Maybe because of only one write-over, the quickly fixed YAk. Or maybe because of all the long and longish answers. And the constructor was clever enough to get her last name into her debut grid. Gotta like that.

SALTSPRAY is a real thing if you drive a MN road after a snowfall. Windshield washer fluid is highly valued all winter. And our cars will often rust out prematurely because of said SALTSPRAY. It’s tough on streetlights and traffic signals. Kills the grass, too, and trees sometimes.

Would have preferred the random direction to start in St. Paul rather than Mpls. We’re touchy about the other side of the Mississippi.

MILA Kunis and Elizabeth OLSEN, thespian yeah babies..

It’s spelled Одеса in Ukrainian, therefore correctly ODESA in English. And I’ve been there multiple times since 2001. There are more gorgeous women there than anywhere I’ve ever been (California girls don’t even come close, SORRYIMNOTSORRY). I’ve dated some of them from ages 20 to 45, including an ELENA and a couple of Natashas. They are generally well-educated and the nicest women I’ve ever met, and are also not afraid to go topless on the fantastic beaches there, and I’ve pics to prove it. And accommodating. AONE in my book.

I did not dislike the fill as much as OFL; this puz was quite zippy, IMHO.

spacecraft 12:07 PM  

Bunch of WOEs today for me:

--> MANSPLAIN. Never heard of it. Cue Ricky Ricardo.

--> GALE for Dorothy?? What, did GALE Storm take a hiatus from "My Little Margie" to go off-off-OFF-Broadway for a very little-known production of OZ? No. As I read here, GALE is the last name of her family. Now THERE's an obscure factoid for ya.

--> that 12-down thing. Totally clueless, I don't even recognize it sans the "I'M." Went in 100% on crosses.

--> DANAE. I thought I knew mythology; guess I don't.

How I completed this despite my abysmal ignorance is a matter of luck. ALER_ had to be one of three things only: ALERO, ALERS, ALERT. Clue seems to want a plural, so ALERS. A's and O's??? Ooooh. *GROAN* I wish I could boldface that groan. Fearless one, I foursquare agree: take those stupid ALERS, NLERS and all the other sport -ERS out of circulation permanently! I hate them! And in this case, though A's are a legitimate team, it's borderline unfair to include O's--the shorthand for Orioles but NOT their name. I'm just gonna flag the whole entry. Yes, my dear Ms. RHODE, you done HITANERVE there.

All over the place, it seemed I made guesses and they stuck. I recently complained about the too-easy clues; well, put that thought to bed. These were "consummate" with week-end fare. Med-chall.

The micro-theme of UBOAT/LUSITANIA helped. Ambitious debut. B.

P.S. I really do object to having my post examined for content, with the threat of censorship, while wading through all this spellcaster crap. Something is very wrong here. I invite the censor to MANSPLAIN it to me.

Longbeachlee 1:21 PM  

Easy-Hard. This category means I came up with several answers out of that twilight zone we all seem to develop, like the long answers from one or two letters, or words I don't know, but live in my subconcsious like Danae and Ewok.

BS2 1:34 PM  

@spacecraft: IMATALOSS, after all those POSTS it may have come to an END for me. In reference to your P.S. that is.

rondo 1:39 PM  

BTW - all of my grandparents arrived in this country aboard the LUSITANIA (not on the same voyage) before the time of the UBOATS.

Nelsa27 1:41 PM  

Kyiv is Ukrainian, Kiev is Russian.

MyanmarTrim 2:14 PM  

Oh, TAKEALOOK. MANSPLAIN it to me how it can appear later even though it was not earlier. PROTEAN I'd say. I am AMUSEd and will attempt future POSTS. Unless they are found to BORON you. Or maybe I needs to RENTS me a new computer. MOO.

moderniste 3:04 PM  

This is my first time commenting after simply ages of getting gleeful amounts of Schadenfreude from Rex's epic grumpiness.

I must point out that Salt Spray is, indeed, a "thing". For about 5 years now, many high-end, fancy-schmancy hair product lines have included saltwater-based spray-in products designed to give you what those in the glam biz call "beachy waves". These are the kinda tousled, kinda bedhead-y waves that approximate what one would get after a day at the beach, with the the damp ocean air, and the wind whipping through your hair (and then being attended to by a team of highly-paid stylists).

leftcoastTAMl 5:56 PM  

Glad to see, and presume to welcome, new syndiland posters.

@rondo: As a former Minnesotan, I would have expected you to be on the Minneapolis side of the river (hotter, livelier) instead of the St. Paul side (cooler, more refined). I like them both.

The puzzle: Found it Wednesdayish until I got to the far SW. A few tough crosses there, but got them mostly by luck and guess. Consequently, I really liked this one.

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