Lower leg woe, slangily / FRI-7-31-15 / Turn awkward, as a relationship / "reading room"

Friday, July 31, 2015

Constructors: James Mulhern and Ashton Anderson

Relative difficulty: Easy, I bet, but I was getting up and making martinis and drinking them so it took me an hour

(I do my puzzles on a clipboard, issued forth from a printer with chronically low toner)

Word of the Day: KATY (45A: "___ Bell" (Stephen Foster song)) —
             From http://www.3goodcats.com/katybell.htm:
   Stephen Foster wrote many of the popular songs* in 19th-century America.  I didn't know it when we named our cat, but Stephen Foster wrote the music for an 1863 song called "Katy Bell."  You can listen to it, and if you're as interested as I was, even find the lyrics as well.

* - The most famous:  Oh! Susanna; Camptown Races; Old Folks at Home [Swanee River]; My Old Kentucky Home; Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair; Beautiful Dreamer.

• • •
It's like someone rubbed deodorant all over my printer paper because this puzzle is so fresh. AUTOTUNE, GET WEIRD, ONLINE AD and... CANKLES. Look, I know everyone says something like this in their lifetime but I coined the term "cankles." In college. 2005. It was me; I was the first. I am both proud and ashamed because it's really not a nice thing to say at all, but apparently the term has made its way into one of our most prestigious publications. See, there was this girl who was pretty mean and I didn't like her and she had calves that just wouldn't quit in the downward direction. It was before we started Googling everything we think to make sure it's an original thought so I was almost certainly the first person to portmanteau that shit.

Hi, by the way. I'm Lena: the girl who coined cankles. OH HEY LOOK OVER THERE

It's a Hawk! It's a Pelican! No, it's a CAGER. Womp womp. Sports terms, especially ones like that, are not readily within my KEN, as you can see here at the point where both my glass and mental wellspring went dry:
HULA SKIRT was my first entry, leading to DRAG SHOW and all those goodies in the NW. Then onto the NE, where everything made a pleasing KERPLOP when dropped in-- except STAY DRY. Why? Because my brain parsed it as a noun, like a "lean-to" and I thought WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS? SOME BRITISH THING? "Let us all have a huddle under the stay-dry and sip Pimm's until this thundershower passes." I was still rankled by the time I got to 28A (a tyre may rub against one) and can only think of one word when it comes to Brits and rubbing and it's not KERB, it's "frot." Look it up, as my mother used to say to me. Still does.

Moving right along, I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed this puzzle. Even the little things, like STAB for (5D: Whack). Not that we served KETEL ONE at the fancypants bar (it was that fancy) I worked at a few years ago, but I should have known that way sooner than I did. It would have prevented me from putting in SEASONAL instead of the correct IN SEASON... wow I am getting boring or what?

 Bad fill that peppers you like... bullets!
  • KEPI (35A: Gendarme's topper) — Nrrrgh
  • TKTS (30A: Times Sq. bargain booth)  — Nrrrrrrrrrgh
  • OONA ( 27A: Donald Duck cartoon princess) -- Nrgh
But that's it in terms of what I consider nrrghable fill! A very good puzzle to ring in the weekend.

BONUS: if there's a SNO BALL that has a strong chance in hell...
    Signed, Lena Webb, Court Jester of CrossWorld


    Steve J 1:47 AM  

    Two puzzles for me. Top half: Quick and easy. Bottom half: Not quick and not easy.

    Didn't help myself in the bottom half by not considering anything other than NBAER at 48D. I've been doing crosswords too long when that seems like perfectly normal fill. Because of that, I couldn't see the fantastic CANKLES. Or anything else anywhere near there.

    Lots of fun, contemporary fill (in addition to CANKLES, I really liked DRAG SHOW, ARTISTE, LIP SYNC and KERPLOP). Minimal junk. Some nice misdirections (I couldn't shake the idea of strong-armed robbery at 36A, to the point that when AT LAST filled in, I still didn't get it for half a second).

    I always thought it was PArCHESI. (Turns out that was a brand name. With another E, for good measure.)

    paulsfo 2:07 AM  

    Nice writeup, Lena. I also looked at your (i think) LinkedIn profile. I like the "don't recruit me" feel of it (I personally list my profession as "astrolabist" -- I don't think there's been a big demand for them in about 400 years -- so i can relate).

    I liked the clues for ATLAST and HULASKIRT ( kept trying to fit poodleSKIRT in there).

    jae 2:13 AM  

    Mostly medium for me leaning slightly towards easy.  DRAGSHOW went in with no crosses but the rest of NW took a bit more effort.  Putting in sASserS before RASCALS didn't help. 

    This was delightful from CANKLES to ESCHER to TOODLES to.... just delightful.  Best Fri. in a while.  Liked it a bunch!

    Lena - not sure what to say...the twitter link was interesting...learned a new "word" frot which is tangentially related to thot (actually an acronym)...thanks for helping out.

    Anonymous 2:25 AM  

    Thank you, various horrids, for ruining something that so many good people enjoyed. I stopped commenting long ago and now, alas, can't read comments because RP has better things to do with his time than monitor the comments to weed out fools who get their kicks by pooping in the sandbox. You must be so proud.

    Music man 3:38 AM  

    Well it appears I'm the first to comment, but remembering that comments now get reviewed, I'm almost certain I am not, my guess is...8th? We'll see.

    I really liked this puzzle. It was. As Halle Berry put it on Conan (I believe in the NBC era), "fresh to death" or something of the sort. At least I think it was her, google isn't helping though.

    DAS BOOT was my first answer, and I was immediately hooked. Glad to see the spelling of AMOK has not RUN AMOK this week. GET WEIRD? I've heard that referenced more as some euphonism of partying. Couple things I had to google, such as the pip/CARD thing and tyre/KERB.

    Was really hoping there was a city near Tyre Lebanon called KERB. That would've made the clue pure gold to me, turns out it's just British for tire/cuRB.

    Not sure I like ROILS.

    CAGER was a gimme.

    CANKLES was by far my favorite answer in the grid. Man was I not expecting such a punchy (yet, by now, a little outdated) entry. I LOVED IT.

    We planted some strawberries this summer so I was hesitant and even had to ask my wife "are strawberries IN SEASON right now? Because I think this clue is telling me they are." Well I suppose they are, unfortunately ours were eaten by a groundhog.

    Yes AUTOTUNE is the worst, except when I like it, such as in Purity Ring's new album.

    Had to run the alphabet for the K in KATY/KEN. Googled it, archaic? Scottish? Brutal.


    Also loved the clue for CELEB, and never saw SEXY BEAST in a grid, but I thought it was fun. I must say I may be the only one who misses the rex-rants.

    Whirred Whacks 4:00 AM  

    Nice writeup. Fun puzzle, some great answers including the three beginning with K:

    Drawer of paradoxes [ESCHER] is also nice. That clue conjures up a nifty image.

    But the cherry on top is the wonderful CANKLES!
    (Photo of the world's most famous cankles' owner.)

    Enjoy your weekends!

    Court Minstrel 5:13 AM  

    This was fun. Thanks Lena!

    Susierah 5:43 AM  

    What a fun write up! A dnf (one error) but a good puzzle. Nice Saturday!

    Aketi 6:19 AM  

    KERPLOP and SLYDOGs that LIPSYNC struck me as giggle worthy.
    DAS BOOT beer steins might be fun to drink from, but I actually find thr beer glasses for KWAK beer more entertaining.
    I wanted HULA hoops, not SKIRTS

    A BOATRIDE in calm water might be fine, but in the open sea when the waves are ROILing you might need to visit the reading room.

    I am hanging my head in shame because I pride myself on the geography clues. Despite having lived for two years only 2.7 degrees away from the equator and having visited four other countries that cross the equator including ECUADOR, I needed more of the across clues than I dare to admit before getting that one, I always confuse ESCHER and Eichler trying to remember which did the infinite staircases and which designed the homes,.

    There seemed to be a high K and C count in this puzzle.
    SPEX from yesterday has transformed to SPEC today.

    Z 6:23 AM  

    Started this last night after the Tigers's game and too many beers. Got up early to walk the dog and finished lickety split. Amazing what a little sleep will do for you.

    My only complaint would be the proper names. EUDORA, OMAR, OONA, and IAN all with WhoDat clues. Otherwise, lots of fun.

    Unknown 7:17 AM  

    Wanted GAYREVUE before DRAGSHOW and GROWLER for the beer vessel even though I couldnt think of any movies by that name. I like GAYREVUE better but the punning clue on DASBOOT was a fun reward once I got it all straight. Lots of ( to me ) trivia oscura but still a neat puzzle. Dont think of KEPI or OONA as particularly bad fill

    Anonymous 7:36 AM  

    GNP changed to GDP nearly 30 yrs ago. Met Will Shortz 15 yrs ago and brought this up. He said he couldn't get GNP out og the pipeline. It isn't it about time?

    Jim Q 7:39 AM  

    Great write up Lena! So cool to see your name on the blog!! (and equally as nice to see a solving time that was more than 5 minutes...)

    gberg 7:45 AM  

    let me be the apparent first to say I really enjoyed your write-up, and I really enjoyed the puzzle...definitely agree with the nrghs too.

    dk 7:57 AM  

    🌕🌕 (2 mOOns)

    Happy to read Lena liked this one. I found the fill to be strained and the misclues.... Well missed.

    Anyway a reasonable solve. Resting up for next weeks puz klatch in Mpls with Acme and admirers.

    This week i am in OOB the poutine meca of Maine. Off to Bath today with a stop at Reds for the highest or most over rated lobster roll depending on your point of view.

    There is talk of making Whoopie Pies later today. We shall see.


    JFC 7:58 AM  

    What a satisfying Friday! I really struggled until the southeast, then it all started coming together. Loved CANKLES (yeah, Lena, and I invented beer pong), and entered that and DRAG SHOW with no crosses. Glad Rex isn't here, he'd be complaining about how HULA SKIRT James and Ashton were trying to be. This was the FRESHETS puzzle in a while.

    Leapfinger 8:02 AM  

    Hi, Ms Lena, that's a nice untangled webb you wove! Am so pleased to meet the originator of the CANKLE; I have one, left side only, a permanent sequela of the mandatory total-your-first-car-shortly-after-learning-to-drive syndrome. (Some fractures just heal lumpier than others.) Thanks a lot for giving it a name.

    Started with a suspicion of DRAGSHOW, doubted because, well, NYT, but it was supported by RUNAMOK and STAB. Big help when TKTS raised DASBOOT, but the rest of the corner demanded deep digging. That was the general tenor of the puzzle for me, everywhere the apparent alternating with the opaque; overall, kind of a bumpy ride, and definitely not a mind MELD. Sometimes it was obviously just me, like '___ Bell' coming up TINKER, but I'd say that OONA may as well have been unclued and I still find the BAITCAR hard to swallow. I hate when it happens in real life, but here I loved having the 'tyre' rub the KERB, It was a phun way of phoenician that section.

    Other meae culpae:
    Pips in the CORE before CARD
    Post hold-up cry (a glass) A TOAST
    Also, SLYfox and DR? DORA. With all those Zeligs, who remembers the psychiatrist's name??

    Noticed that yesterday's HAM is back without the LOX, and didn't SPEC SPEX back either. Isn't that SPECial? Maybe STACKS will be STAX tomorrow.

    Favourite spot was seeing KATY AT LAST come up against her SEXY BEAST. According to one KATY I know, what makes a SEXY BEAST is intelligence combined with humour, and if he can change the oil and a flat tire to boot, look no further.

    Overheard in the barracks:
    Epaulet: Do you want to goon leave tonight and party in town?
    Insignia: I'm afraid I can't doit. I'm on KEPI.

    On that note, I return you to your regular programming. Fridays, I love 'em!!

    ps. Almost forgot. Only one Whack in the 5D clue, but with 61A, you GET WEIRD Whack. Better than nothing eh, @Whirred?

    Glimmerglass 8:07 AM  

    I don't drink vodka (cold war prejudice, peraps?). The concept of an "Oranje" variety is repulsive (unless you'r 16 years old). Unfortunately, not knowing KETEL ONE (though I've seen the ads) was a disaster for me. I also missed KATY and CANKLES, which I might have got from crosses if I drank that underage bilge. Good puzzle, however. I make no excuses for my ignorance.

    Aketi 8:26 AM  

    I hope it doesn't violate the new rules or antyone's sensibilities to admit that I liked SEXYBEAST.

    AliasZ 8:33 AM  

    Lena, loved your write-up, funny and without a touch of mean-spiritedness. It was a pleasure to read.

    I was GOBsmacked to see GOB and whack next to each other, CANKLES at a DRAG SHOW, and hear KERPLOP out of a TOILET. Does all this SCUM pass Will's breakfast test?

    I'm glad OMAR was not Khayyam, Bradley or Vizquel, and EUDORA not the defunct email client, but PACHISI sounded a little parcheesi to me. M.C. ESCHER, that SLY DOG, surely knew how to draw mind-bending staircases better than a rap ARTISTE can LIPSYNC. Never heard of that adamant ATOMANT, but it sounds like one of the gigantic irradiated ants from the 1954 movie "Them!" makes good and becomes a superhero. Seems entirely logical and believable.

    Does anyone really say "GET WEIRD, willya?" or call you "You SEXY BEAST, you", or to a sot, "STAY DRY"? I dunno... TALK BIG stuck in my craw, too. Some of these phrases plus ONLINE AD may have been painted with broad brushstrokes containing a tint of green, or perhaps not more exciting than lukewarm water, but they seem to be reasonable, I guess.

    The HULASKI RT. is a lesser-known approach to the Pulaski Hwy.

    I won't bore you any longer, and I spare you Etta James' AT LAST. How about a little light music from ECUADOR instead by Enrique Espín Yépez (1926-1997) from Quito?

    See, it is possible to make an excellent puzzle without Naticky trivia garbage stinking up the grid.

    TOODLES for now. TGIF.

    joho 8:34 AM  

    I guess we have a bit of a delay due to Rex's moderation, but I am happy to wait if this means the blog is back to its wonderful self. Thank you, Rex!

    I thought this puzzle was terrific! I hereby kudize James and Ashton, a couple of SLYDOGs for sure.

    As Lena says, freshness abounds. Lots of entertaining answers creating a fun, fun Friday.

    Thanks, guys! Thanks, Lena!

    NCA President 8:36 AM  

    Kudize? Please, in the name of all that is honest and decent, tell me that no one uses this word. I looked it up and M-W only has it in its "paid" subscription definitions. What does that tell you? There is a kudize.net for wedding photogs. A great big UGH to "kudize." And yes, I'm going to put it in quotes because it isn't a word anyone uses and if you do, you're a pretentious twit.

    That said, (and a bit strongly, I would agree) that was really the only problem I had with the puzzle. I actually quite liked it. GETWEIRD, DRAGSHOW, TKTS, and AUTOTUNE were all current and/or interesting. ESCHER was a word I've never seen before...but unlike the aforementioned "kudize," Escher is an actual name of an actual person.

    Just my opinion, but Lena should do a lot more of these entries.

    Leapfinger 8:38 AM  

    Forgot to mention PACHISI. Wicked clever to use spelling more approximating the original pronunciation, and it was pure luck that I thought of parcheesi at all. Fortunate that it wasn't worked into something like MACBETHNPACHISI.

    One drawback to the current system: I can see where comments submitted in this black box environment may contain much more duplication than when we can see what others have already mentioned. My apologies for such transgressions out of my KEN

    Aketi 8:38 AM  

    Testing, is anyone awake yet? Did I violate the new rules? I know that the identity theft and disparagement that had RUNAMOK in the comments section desperately needed moderating. However I really enjoyed some of the hilarious comments that emerged from tangential discussions that were sparked by the words in the puzzle, Some of the commenters who GET a bit WEIRD are entertaining as well, I hope that at least a little frivolity, humor, and benign weirdness will still be permitted,

    Anonymous 8:41 AM  

    A dream has come true. A very good Friday puzzle and a fresh, well-written review. All the more satisfying after yesterday's puzzle and its sloppy, wet-kiss writeup. And don't start me with that LA screenwriter crapola from the other day. iPad one finger typing? Nano brag! At first glance I thought the puzzle was too hard. I kept at it and the answers slowly appeared, in much the same order as the blogger's.

    I loved the comment about the deodorant stick. I would have used "alcohol wipe" but that's a personal choice.

    Saw Rex's post about the new approval method. A long time coming. Goodbye Grammar Nazi, bye bye Billy C, and sayonara to the rest of the schmucks who troll.


    mathgent 9:10 AM  

    It's now 5:48 Pacific time and there are no postings. Rex and his minions are not available?

    Very tough for me. Nine entries I didn't know including AUTOTONE, CARBAIT, EUDORA, KATY, CANKLE plus I didn't know the clue KUDIZE. Other entries somehow emerged from the depths including KEPI, KERB, PACHISI, ATOMANT, SNOBALLS. I also learned that ECUADOR got its name from being on the equator. I love puzzles where I learn a lot.

    The first time through all the clues I had a blank grid. I suspected ESCHER but it didn't seem to fit the intersecting downs. I finally got a toehold in the SW and fought my way through from there. Great clue at 36A, ATLAST. Finished in the NW after The Closer got SNOBALLS.

    Ludyjynn 9:11 AM  

    Fun solve. The entire WESTERN hemisphere went in after INSEASON sat by itself in the East for way too long. I was thrown off by the spelling of PACHISI. We grew up playing Parker Bros. 'Parcheesi'. We were such devotees that we played by candlelight during a lengthy power outage one night at the kitchen table. My mother accidentally spilled tomato sauce on the board, which thereafter retained a pinkish hue to commemorate the event!

    Unlike our guest blogger, I didn't find TKTS grrr-worthy; rather, it served as an AID in opening that corner for me.

    The Weirdest answer for me was ECUADOR. I never think it is spelled correctly because it just looks off somehow.

    Thanks, JM, AA and WS. TOODLES! I'm off to meet some dear friends for brunch. No STEAK or STACKS on the menu.

    Sheila Bell 9:18 AM  

    Enjoyed this one for a change!

    Loren Muse Smith 9:19 AM  

    Yay! Our litter box has been cleaned! Thanks, Rex. You da man.

    Lena – you dispatched the corner that did me in. TOILET isn't a place in my lingo. In fact, I rarely use this word. If you sit on it, it's a commode. If you head into it with the latest copy of People, it's a bathroom. (My 10th graders would insert KERPLOP joke here.) I can't believe, though, that I didn't see that. I kept noticing that "reading room" appeared right under STACKS. But I guess you don't "read" in the stacks. Ahem. So anyway, with TOILET, the clue for CLOSE TO, the Stumperish clue for EUDORA, and the mystifying STAY DRY (I guess I was reading it kinda like "pleasantness" and kept wanting "tin roof")… well, I finally just threw in the towel up there.

    I got pretty close with "kahplow" (ick, I know) and then "kerplow." Then I realized a "kerplow" would happen in the air, but a KERPLOP would cause ripples.

    And boy, oh boy do I feel your pain on coming up with CANKLES first. I totally believe you. In high school, always on the latest diet, I ran around thinking I had coined the phrase "A waist is a terrible thing to mind" until I saw it on a bumper sticker. Sigh. And - I had the idea of a carbon filter insert for underwear – was planning to call it Thunderpants or Victor's Secret – and then my husband showed me an ad in some magazine for Under-Ease.

    SEXY BEAST is decidedly a man, right? Would we call Angelina Jolie a SEXY BEAST? I dunno – maybe, rather, a DRAG queen with CANKLES? I had a trainer once whose "lower leg woe" was just the opposite. Mike was built like an Adonis beefcake except for his ankles, which were all dainty and delicate and did in fact look birdlike under his developed calves. He fretted about them all the time. What could we call them? Womankles?

    Funny – Dad put salt in his beer, and I went through a phase when I added not oranje but pepper in my vodka. I was too cool for school, man.

    The rest was pretty tough for me, too, beginning with the misspelled "Adam ant," "pop" for GNP, and SNEAK's anagram "snake." Funny, that.

    Resisted BOAT RIDE forever because of DAS BOOT.

    I thought the clues for this were terrific, especially the spot on clue for BAM and the great twist on "turf" (spelt "terf" in England). Oh, and the "Bell," "hunk," and "rainy day" pairs – I like it when words are used twice in clues, but I know a lot of you don't.

    Tough but good challenge. Liked GET WEIRD, KER PLOP, SEXY BEAST, and the LIP SYNC- AUTOTUNE pair. C'mon, ARTISTES – be honest!

    Billy C 9:30 AM  

    @NCA Pres: I, for one, enjoy clever, new, and creative words, especially in later-week crosswords. "Kudize" was just such a neoligism--never heard of it, but easy to suss its meaning.

    Tom Swifty 9:33 AM  

    LOVED this puzzle, said Tom ATOMANTly.

    pmdm 9:42 AM  

    Noticed some comments above refer to new rules on posting comments. When I first started visiting this site, I think I remember that there was a link to the "rules for posting" somewhere on the page. I'd be interested in reading the new "rules" but can't seem to find a link to tham on the main page. Am I blind and missing the obvious, or is there no link, in which case how would I navigate to read them?

    Will the new rules prevent the type of posts that drove ACME away from here? If so, hopefully someone will tell her about them.

    I enjoyed the puzzle rather less than most who have already posted comments. Not that there was much wrong with it. I think that without any theme to entertain me, the difficulty of the puzzle isn't enough to elicit a smile when I'm done. At least for today.

    Anonymous 9:43 AM  

    Really liked the puzzle and REALLY loved the write-up!

    Unknown 9:44 AM  

    Went google- hunting and there actually is a movie, "the GROWLER story", a US Navy documentary about -- of all things -- a submarine. Just goes to show how all things are possible and many are even plausible but so few are actually correct...

    Mohair Sam 9:47 AM  

    Wickedly tough puzzle for us, but we enjoyed it thoroughly. Finally got the difficult NW when I remembered DASBOOT - had no idea the title had been usurped by Oktoberfesters.

    Terrific cluing throughout, some nifty misdirection - and we learned a little to: Parcheesi is really PACHISI, and CANKLES is a word (invented by Lena Webb, no less), and I've been misspelling KETELONE for 30 years.

    NBAer before CAGER, anybody else? Some new clued names for us: OONA, EUDORA, KATY - but the crosses were Friday fair, so no complaints.

    Great Puzzle Mulhern and Anderson - thank you.

    Maruchka 9:54 AM  

    Agree with @NCA Prez on 'kudize'. All else is crispy-crunchy clueing and solves. Took awhile for SNOBALLS (childhood block, p'haps - didn't like anything coconut) and wrote SLYfox too soon. Tee-heed like a RASCAL at the KERPLOP/TOILET cross. The KATY Bell didn't ring for me, but TEX and KETELONE indicated it. BTW - Tito's is a very respectable vodka made in - TEXas!

    Favs of the day - 1) KEPI. Always liked that it's almost a homonym for capi. 2) Great clue for ESCHER. Initial thought was, something tricky and hidden in a bureau.

    @Ludyjynn - Love the tomato sauce story. Parchesi was so addictive. Then I discovered backgammon - even more so! Had to cut myself off..

    Joseph Michael 10:28 AM  

    I would like to KUDIZE this puzzle as one of my favorite Fridays.

    Got DRAG SHOW right off the bat and enjoyed the subliminal theme that emerged with LIP SYNCH, CELEB, SEXY BEAST, GET WEIRD,
    AUTOTUNE, and KETEZl ONE, though not sure how SNOOPY got into this bar.

    This is a case where excellent construction added to, rather than detracted from, the fun of the solve.

    Thank you to Rex and his minions for ridding this blog of the SCUM who were ruining it. They are no longer IN SEASON.

    Lena Webb 10:39 AM  

    Hi everyone! This was so much fun and I swear to you I'm really not that nice of a person at all-- I just didn't want to make Rex look like a tiny baby kitty pie [PLEASE MODERATE]. No, this puzzle made me nice because it is nice. Fine, I'm also nice.

    Here is a wonderfully-written and hilarious article about the origins of CANKLES: http://www.the-beheld.com/2011/07/thoughts-on-portmanteau-cankles.html. I realize that I *graduated* from college in 2005, and would have made my incredible contribution to the lexicon sometime in late 2001, which puts it after "Shallow Hal" came out-- but do you really think Lena Webb went to a movie theater to see that movie? I know we've just met and all but... basically CANKLES is all me, people.

    I'm surprised there aren't some folks angry about CANKLES up in here! Why should they be woeful? I bet TOUGH NUT MEG rocked some canklege. Do men get self-conscious about a lack of ankle definition?

    You're right-- the real thing to be infuriated over here is "kudize." 100%. It's like a TED Talk and a food truck had a baby or something. I'm seriously remiss in not puking up hot sick all over that clue. See what I did there? I used "sick" as a noun to mean "vomit" like I'm standing under a STAY-DRY in Sandwich.

    AliasZ, Glimmerglass,and Leapfinger: your comments here are always as much fun (andmaybesometimesmorefun) [PLEASE MODERATE] as the posts themselves. I'm a lurker in these parts, but read through almost every day. And everyone else who has commented thus far, you are all making my day and are funny as heck.

    Oh yeah-- in terms of GET WEIRD, I absolutely say "it got weird" to mean that awkwardness ensued, but my new most very favorite descriptor of bumblesome times is FRAUGHT. Not "fraught with," just plain fraught. That was fraught, he joined the fraughternity, we need to defraughten this, etc. If you don't believe that I coined CANKLES because I basically didn't then help me spread the fraughtness. Say "that's fraught" in front of your children when you want to say "that's F-ed up". You'll find that it works well in a plenitude of situations.

    Steve M 10:42 AM  

    Good friday

    Lena Webb 10:45 AM  

    Oh man @LMS I just now saw your comment and I'm dying laughing. We need to Kickstart something very important together, obviously. Let's plan over some peppery popov (nah, Tito's is the way to go).

    Poor Birdlike Mike!!!

    I love your comments here in general too, by the way. Funny funny stuff!


    r.alphbunker 10:45 AM  

    meae culpae (thanks @Leapfinger!)
    {Obviously} DOH-->DUH
    {Hawk or Pelican} NHLER-->CAGER (Hey, I knew they weren't birds)
    {"Cheerio") TOOTLES-->TOODLES
    {Ziering of "Sharknado"} ANN-->IAN (Somebody should figure out the odds of a blank being a woman's name)
    {Plug in a browser} POPUPAAD-->ONLINEAD
    {Land at 0 degrees latitude} ICELAND-->ECUADOR (Not right even for longitude)
    {Country ___} INN-->HAM
    {Game named after the Hindi word for "twenty-five"} PACHESI-->PACHISI (Not UNO)
    {Country stat} GPA-->POP-->GNP

    In spite of these, I finished error free. I suspect that if I was solving on paper many of these would never have seen the light of day.

    @Anonymous 2:25AM
    Check out "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture" by Whitney Phillips

    mac 10:52 AM  

    Fun puzzle and funny write-up!

    Very good clues, and neat words.

    Whack//stab was iffy for me, the whack doesn't suggest a knife.

    Sorry, @Lena, never heard of your cankles. I call them boerenkoolstampers.

    Steve J 10:53 AM  

    @Lena: Your claim to CANKLES may have some issues, but you definitely get to claim originating "It's like a TED Talk and a food truck had a baby or something." Because I am absolutely stealing that and will do my best to propagate it into the wild. It's perfect.

    Forgot to add SEXY BEAST to my list of fill I liked last night. I liked it if for no other reason than it reminded me of the fantastic Ben Kingsley being fantastically unhinged and ranty in Sexy Beast (warning: bad language galore).

    The Rhino 11:08 AM  

    For a minute, I thought I was finally going to finish a Friday puzzle without cheating. But nope. Got stuck in the SW and never recovered. Still liked the puzzle a lot though.

    Watched a season 5 episode of Parks and Rec last night - Ron Swanson does crossword puzzles!

    Sir Hillary 11:22 AM  

    Great puzzle -- fresh, funny, clean. CANKLES is epically good for the NYT -- feels like a BEQ leftover from yesterday.

    Watch out for that Lena, though - her suggested Googling is frot with ickyness.

    Kind of a bummer not to see comments in real time, but I'm guessing @Rex will figure out a system that minimizes the nonsense while keeping this place vibrant and nimble.

    Anonymous 11:25 AM  

    Yesterday, we had a command to a dog: HEEL!
    Today we have a (completely unnecessary) command to Rex: STAY DRY! I don't think he'll have any trouble obeying.

    Roo Monster 11:32 AM  

    Hey All !
    Agree this was a cool FriPuz. However, had smirnOff in for KETEL ONE screwing up my SE corner. Had to Goog to get correct brand. Also, Kudize out of my KEN, so another Goog. After that, realized my BOAT RIDE was correct, and IN SEASON appeared. Then basically filled up the rest of the Jersey side of the puz.

    Stuck in the NW also, good ole Goog for OMAR and OONA. Also looked up AUTO TINE for good measure to see if that and my DRAG SHOW were right. Can't believe I missed DAS BOOT at first, as a big fan of Broken Lizard and Beerfest!

    So after 5 Googs, AT LAST was able to rassle this to the ground. Lots of nice entries. The PACHISI seemed off here, too. Oh, and I use SEXY BEAST all the time (to myself, at least!) when I see a smokin hottie! ;-)

    I COMMEND this RASCALly puz. I can RUN AMOK with some KETEL ONE and check out the TOPS STACKS SEXY BEASTs with the CANKLES and HULA SKIRTs! Did it just GET WEIRD? :-P


    Jamie C 11:37 AM  

    KERPLUNK (didn't fit) before KERPLOP.
    (You know, "One frog, two eyes, four legs, KERPLunk in the puddle,
    Two frogs, four eyes, eight legs, KERPLunk KERPLunk in the puddle in the puddle," etc., until you drive the counselors crazy and they give you a swirly in the TOILET.)

    Malsdemare 11:45 AM  

    I confidently popped in DRAGSHOW and then sank like a stone. If I listed all the correct answers that I replaced with errors, all the errors I was sure were right, and just my general loopiness, this post would be longer than one of Loren's (Hi @lms). Since I'm not as clever, i'll just bemoan my idiocy by myself, without the vodka. Oh, yeah, I did get KETELONE, Mr. Mal's libation of choice, after Tito's, of course.

    I don't know if it's the great puzzle, Lena's terrific writeup, or the knowledge that certain snails won't be about to poop (or slime) on the party, but this blog just got a whole lot more fun. Thanks again to everyone.

    Bob Kerfuffle 11:53 AM  

    Great puzzle; great write-up! Exposed to a new word: Kudize (won't say I learned it; time will tell.)

    Three write-overs: SEX SYMBOL >> SEXY BEAST (same number of letters); ADAM ANT >> ATOM ANT (same number of letters and sounds the same); and, TOOTLES (I have a relative of that nickname) >> TOODLES (same # letters, approximately same sound.)

    Always nice to see ROILS in a grid. When I was a high school sophomore I used the word in an English composition. The teacher flagged it because she had never heard of it! It was just a part of my vocabulary; I hadn't looked for an obscure word.

    Slim Keith 12:04 PM  

    @ Anon 11:57 AM Monday and others: @ ww, @ Z
    To Rex: Please post: I think solvers can take facts, and the haters have been unanswered for too long.

    Re OBAMA, “fawning”. If the frequency of OBAMA is a fact in the NYT crossword, and I doubt that it is, not quite as often as you claim, less than OTT for instance and I don’t see any objections to Mel, that would tend to make up for seven years of slanted coverage of the president by Peter Baker and company in The Times and for the weekly ad hominem attacks by NYT’s columnist M. Dowd. Re Bush not having been in the puzzle enough- Maybe when you 'win' two elections under questionable circumstances and start a bogus war that kills and injures a lot of people and gives rise to ISIL- no they haven’t been in the puzzle- you don’t get to appear as much as said “narcissist” – a non-moneyed skinny black guy with the middle name Hussein, who won election and reelection against billions of dollars and who singlehandedly broke the Republican Party. (That’s not true; he had help- the Republican Party.)
    Re your objection to the president’s putting the country on a leftist arc, tell that to the so-called progressives: the 2011 ‘pivot to Asia’ recently culminated in the TPP passed with Republicans. If attempting to address what is soon irrevocable in terms of climate change, getting China and India on board, is leftist, then yes. Same for protection of water and federal lands, for immigration reform, a woman’s body being her own, overtime pay and equal pay for equal work. (You try working at night, on holidays and on weekends without overtime pay and see how leftist that concept is.) Though the Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed in 2009, Repubs refuse to pass the Fair Pay Act. Tell women who earn 77 cents v. a man’s 100 cents that equality is a concept of political direction. (What one earns determines what one retires on, i.e. pension.) Barack gave the Generals everything they wanted in Afghanistan, and continues to do so, not exactly a lefty pacifist. (See drone war, a k a asymmetrical warfare.)
    So what to you is taking the country to the left, poor country? Could it be the Affordable Care Act, upheld, twice, by a conservative Supreme Court? This legislation- eat your heart out that more of your fellow Americans can get insured, I know it’s awful -but it also means that if you or your family get sick, your coverage can’t be denied by your insurance company; or if your best friend has a preexisting condition, she can still get insurance. Radical, huh? (The increase in annual medical costs has gone down, as well.) Then there’s the deficit: down by half! And Bush’s TARP? Repaid in full and now earning American taxpayers moulah.
    What is remarkable is not the frequency of the appearance of the name OBAMA in the NYT crossword puzzle, but the fact that every time it appears, you Pavlovian dogs come out reflexively.Calm down, only another 18 months of an effective presidency (See Iran nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, whereby Iran’s breakout time will move from 2-3 months to a breakout of one year, and take Iranian nukes off the table for fifteen years) and OBAMA will cease to appear in the puzzle. Not. For as @lms sorta pointed out, only two vowels.

    Martel Moopsbane 12:15 PM  

    KUDIZE(southern U.S.): to vandalize by surreptitiously planting kudzu on the property of unsuspecting vandalizees.

    JTHurst 12:41 PM  

    Boy, this puzzle went 'kerplop' on me. I 'under thunk' the hard ones and over thought the easy ones. I knew that diva impersonators were always in a revue. And I swear "Pip's Place' was at Miss Haversham's.

    I always wondered what that roll of fat above my sock was called. Now I know, its a 'scankle'. This coming weekend at Koh Samui I'll tell my masseuse, work hard on those 'scankles'. Maybe a mud scrub will help.

    When Pope Francis comes to Washington in September he can stand up and say, "I kudize you all, go in Peace."

    Lena Webb 12:46 PM  

    @SteveJ yeah I'm totally kidding about ye olde CANKLES :) Still, it's fun when you "invent" something without knowing it's been done. I think it says good things about the brainpan.

    @Sir Hillary I actually woke up in the night with anxiety that I had linked to frot's wikipedia entry without NSFWing it (there is a hilariously crude cartoon image of the act therein). Sincere apologies for telling everyone to Google British dry-humping :(

    @mac I too initially thought "whacking isn't knife-specific!" but liked it when I realized it was like "take a WHACK/STAB at something." I've been doing Peter Gordon's Fireball crosswords in preparation for Lollapuzzoola and basically every clue is evilly misdirecting.

    evil doug 1:15 PM  

    Well, we had one good day anyway....

    Rex Parker 1:15 PM  

    I delete all paranoid "I"m being censored!" comments. Reflexively. Also all "Where is my post?" "Why are things different?" and other such impatient / petulant comments. Trash city. It's fun.

    Thanks for the tons of support I've gotten in the past two days. Much appreciated.

    And thanks, Lena. Hand-filled and everything! Dang.


    Leapfinger 1:42 PM  

    @Anonym0736, I don't understand your point. As far as I know, the two economic measures, GDP and GNP, are different calculations. The GDP is a country's total domestic earnings (or expenditures), while GNP also considers total earnings from and payments to foreign entities. If its wrong to consider these to be different measures, we probably ought to let IMF and World Bank know.

    @Alias, too funny! Even though I usually take the Verrazano Narrows and (God help me) the Goethals Bridges, I also was hip to the Pulaski right away. Did you also eye-rhyme ONLINEAD on Sinead O'Connor?

    Somehow, I missed seeing Kudize, had to hunt it up to see what people are talking about. Can't say I recommend it.

    I wasgoing to tell @Lena I'd be happy todo what I couldfor her fraughtaderie, so long as the kiddies learned exactly hoew it was to be spelled, but @Sir Hillary beat me tothat ,and the @Martel the Moopsbane beat me to Kudzu. This place is fraught with 'You-snooze-you-lose'-erei.

    Haiku Nerd 1:43 PM  


    Hartley70 2:12 PM  

    Oh Lena, you're my kinda substitute Rex! Love the write-up. And I feel your CANKLES pain. In 1968, driving up Commonwealth Ave between BU and Allston in an MG, my then boyfriend and I invented "bodacious"! We used it at parties all over Beantown for the next two years. I was shocked to see it pop into slang sometime in the 80's! In my heart I've always known that Pat and I were the first. Sniff.

    Great current answers today. I was stumped at the end by PIP, which I think of as a seed or an amusing pal. I wanted at least core instead of card, which fouled up the browser clue of course. I think I fell for this once before, only to be told that a PIP is an icon on a playing card. I'm going with that!

    SEXYBEAST should put an end to the SEXKITTEN controversy once and for all. It's even stephen now. DRAGSHOW takes the puzzle into whole new territory. We're moving into 2015 guys and it may be past time. We're old, but we're not dead!

    Ludyjynn 2:53 PM  

    @AliasZ and @Leapy, speaking of the Pulaski Skyway, after Jimmy Hoffa's 1975 disappearance, every time we went over the Jersey City bridge on the way to NYC, we would say, "R.I.P., man" because it was rumored that he was buried in a Mob owned toxic waste dump in the 'meadowlands' under the bridge. Later, when Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison, the joke of the day was that they found Jimmy Hoffa inside of him when the ME did his autopsy! But...it turns out we were right all along...yesterday's NY Daily News ran a story that mobsters have confirmed Hoffa's body was dumped under the Pulaski Skyway all those years ago. WEIRD, huh?

    Andrea Ojeda 3:07 PM  

    Inre moderating the blog, I'm all for it! The Internet as it is, is so full of crap (literally) that coming here has always been a source of solace, in a communal kind of way. I hope, though, that we'll still see the likes of Evil Doug, and Rex Porker, and others whose dissenting, critical and humorous voice is very much appreciated.

    nemo paradise 3:12 PM  

    What on earth was that weird Obama rant all about? It was like reading a Gawker feature written by yet another mid-Atlantic junior college associate professor of political theater.

    Jean 3:17 PM  

    I got drag show and kerplop instantly and then . . . nada. Sigh. You're more fun to read than Rex, Lena, and you may tell him I said so. Thanks. Come back any time. I'm glad I now know "cankles"

    Elephant's Child 3:33 PM  

    Lovely bit of music, @Alias, and irresistible to dancing feet, but over much too quickly. It strikes me that that's music of a certain era rather than of a specific country.

    George Barany 4:19 PM  

    At the risk of restating the obvious, the majority of constructors who put OBAMA into a grid have no political agenda; it's just a particularly crossword-friendly combination of five letters, with three vowels in alternation. In terms of shorter words that are proper nouns, ditto with IDI, AMIN, OONA, ENO, ONO, NAS, OTT, ORR, BABE ... [spilling over from political to "music" to sports].

    The overwhelming majority of constructors and editors will draw a line at NAZI, ADOLF, and HITLER, although even those words, when clued with exquisite sensitivity, might be allowed under exceptional circumstances. More judgment must be exercised at the level of cluing, where there are more possibilities for letting bias seep in, even if unintentionally so.

    BTW, I think my own bias shows in the first paragraph, above, when I put the word "music" in quotes ...

    Mohair Sam 4:24 PM  

    @lms - BOATRIDE may have blocked DASBOOT for you, but it opened the entire NW for us. We were totally stymied up there and were working in the SE when BOATRIDE filled and it hit me: boat-vessel-German boat-DASBOOT! Saved us from a dnf.

    @rex - I trust that Slim Keith's political rant at 12:04 was in response to a right wing political rant that I missed (as he indicates) - I tend to skip all politics herein. I think I speak for a lot of folks in saying that I hope to see less political opinion from both the right and left now that these posts are monitored.

    GILL I. 4:43 PM  

    Hooboy...this lovely SEXY BEAST gave me the work-out sweats. Its taken me since 7 p.m. last night until just a while ago to complete. Why am I singing "CANKLES roasting on an open fire" ??? This TACO asked the PACHISI expert if KERB and TOODLES were really other side of the pond sans SCUM words and he said ESCHEReebob.
    Am I the only one that did not know that DAS BOOT is a humungous German mug? I'm a bit rusty with that particular language but I do know my KEPI and ARTISTE.
    FUN write-up Lena....Did you win best in handwriting at the ACPT?

    Nancy 4:57 PM  

    I know you coined the word CANKLES, Lena, but what on earth ARE they??? (I suppose it's one of those ailments that I'm lucky NOT to know, right?) It's not related to "restless leg syndrome", is it?

    This puzzle was really, really hard for me and I went out this morning with only half of it done. And much of the half I'd done was wrong and every wrong answer threw me off. SLAY instead of STAB. SASSERS instead of RASCALS. And GET instead of KEN. But I came home and finished -- with the exception of one letter: I had KETEi ONE crossing CANKiES. And I cheated to get TALK BIG. I had T-L-B-- and went to my handy-dandy Roget's to look up synonyms for "crow." I thought it probably was TALK something, but all I could think of was TALK trash. And TALK BIG was there and so I was able to almost finish this puzzle.

    Though very little was in my wheelhouse, but there were many clues I absolutely loved: the ones for HULA SKIRT, ONLINE AD, CELEB and STEAK. And some lovely answers, such as GET WEIRD and LIPSYNC. So I found it a nice challenge.

    jberg 6:04 PM  

    Start to finish, this took me 8-1/2 hours, although part of that was going out for lunch and then paddling a tandem kayak around Stonington for 2-1/2 hours. We did get to see a bald eagle, which lessened the frustration. Somehow it all came together -- changed seasonal to IN SEASON, realized that Hawks and Ravens weren't brands of pAGERs, figured out that if kudize meant COMMEND instead of COMMENt then GET WEIRD would work. Slowed down by knowing only Parcheesi, figuring TOODLE-U must be a misspelling of Toodle-oo, and of course wanting GDP. (Yes, GNP is a different thing, but not a thing that's ever used anymore).

    But came here to discover that this was a DNF, as I had AUTOlUNE AND SlAB in the NW. Sob.

    @leapy, the pattern would be for today's TEX to become the infamous TEC tomorrow. Let's hope not.

    Kudize? Does that mean 'give kudos to?' I'd been thinking it must come from somebody named Kud, but I guess not.

    jberg 6:34 PM  

    So what is an AUTO TUNE? Sounds like a piece by Edgar Varese where you thump old cars with mallets.

    OISK 6:41 PM  

    Wish we could keep out the politics. I didn't love this puzzle, although it is a perfectly fine Friday. Not up on my vodkas, so ketelone took forever. Oona below Omar was tough for me, but any New Yorker should know TKTS. My last square was lower left. Never heard of Escher. I had toodloo. Changed it to Toodle_ when I got tenure. "toodles," a perfectly fine answer, never crossed my mind, and had to go through the alphabet to get the "s". Country ham? I guess so, Cankles?? Wha??? But i did know "Kepi" .

    Eudora was another problem, as was autotune. But 3 product names, Taco, Snoballs, Ketelone, are too many for me... Cankles?????

    OISK 6:45 PM  

    Too many product names to keep me happy, and Omar over OONA was tough. Never heard of Eudora, and only got Escher after trying every letter. I had toodle_ and "Toodles" never crossed my mind until I got to "s". Knew kepi, TKTS, and Das Boot though. I actually had to change Paco Bell to Taco Bell.

    Still, a fine Friday puzzle that I managed to struggle through. But CANKLES???? Wha???

    Teedmn 7:52 PM  

    Great puzzle, faster than yesterday though I started slow.perfect amount of difficulty for my fave Friday solves.

    Didn't get the kudize to kudos relationship til I got here - thought it was a Yiddish term or some such..

    Ran to look at the game box in my closet from back in the '70s, it is PACHISI. But my mom always called it parcheesi - I dismissed it as one of those unwritten "r" words - "colonel" anyone?

    KETELONE tried to be ciTreONE vodka, the bad French version. And SNOOPY was ScOObY until I KERPLOPped in the P.

    AT LAST it is Friday; I think I'll slip on my HULA SKIRT, turn on the AUTO TUNE app and LIP SYNCH the night away. TOODLES til tomorrow.

    Thanks, JM, AA and Lena Webb.

    JFe 8:08 PM  

    Loved the puzzle.

    Mega-loved the write-up. Lena, wow.

    @evil doug, welcome back. You've been missed.

    @rex, thank you for your blog and all you do every day.

    @andrea ojeda, totally agree. Except, Rex Porker. Same old, same old, every day.

    old timer 10:50 PM  

    (1) Thank you Rex, and reserve as slot for me as "old timer" when you set up registration. I enjoy not being known by my real name on this blog, but I don't care if you know.

    (2) I'm hoping I get through. I spent the last 4 nights in a faraway hotel, and could not get through the captcha. (Actually, I did not do the T and W puzzles at all, but I know a few people expect to see me post most days, and wanted to explain why I was not here).

    (3) What a great series of Rex substitutes we have had, including today. But OFL, I do miss you and no more than for today's puzzle. Which I hated until I finished it, and then loved it! (In all seriousness, this strikes me as a great improvement over some previous Fridays, but I need you to say why I am wrong).

    (4) KEPI, TKTS and OONA I think are excellent Friday fill, and it is nice to see an OONA that did not marry Chaplin or have a father named Eugene.

    (5) HULASKIRT was definitely not my first guess, or my second. Nor was AUTOTUNE. I feared it was "autoharp" which would have made me sad. I like autoharps. AUTOTUNE gave my my last answer, BAITCAR, which, once I wrote it in, was definitely a DUH moment for me.

    old timer 11:00 PM  

    I think the rule regarding politics should be, no political opinions based on 21st Century politicians. One thing I like about this blog is that many who post have a good grounding in history, and I really don't mind if in the course of commenting on history as it relates to a puzzle answer the poster expresses disdain for Andrew Jackson, or either of the Roosevelts, or Truman, or even Nixon or Carter. Let's just leave out the folks that have made us mad in recent times.

    (Which, for those of you who read with pleasure Trevelyan's biography of Macaulay, will remind you are the rule at the Cambridge Union circa 1820, where debates were only allowed on topics that predated the 19th Century -- I'll leave you all to figure out how the clever students got around that rule, but in its way, it made sense.)

    eastsacgirl 9:48 AM  

    Nice crunchy Friday! Was about a medium. Had a little trouble in the SE but otherwise all else fell in at nice pace. Was so irked at myself for not getting CANKLES sooner since I've had my fair share after a bout of drinking or flying (or both)!

    Burma Shave 10:25 AM  


    If you see an ONLINEAD for a DRAGSHOW just know it will GETWEIRD,
    and don’t get CLOSETO the LIPSYNC ARTISTE – that SEXYBEAST has a beard.

    --- OMAR KEPI

    spacecraft 11:10 AM  

    Three subjects ought to be taboo here: religion, politics, spellcasting. Also the religion of politics--or the politics of religion (!)--or the religion of spellcasting--or, hey, how about the spellcasting of politics! Is The Donald listening?

    Anyway, to today's STAB. I had great trouble with that one; to me a "whack" could be a SlAp, a SlAm, or even a STuB. A STAB is not a whack. Then, way belatedly, I realized he was going for "Take a ____ at it." Now the two are synonymous. DUH! Yet my troubles in the NE (what IS it with me and NE's?) were far from over. Misremembering our slight hero as AdaMANT--you know, like the real word (!)--I stuck with it forever, refusing to change. I was...well, you know. I finally saw that the Twinkie sisters must be SNOBALLS (not in my neck of the woods), and that AU_OTUNE (???) could hardly be anything but AUTOTUNE (again, ???--it's not a word, and I have never heard of it). To even get that far, I had to suss out the "plug" in a browser. THAT also took a while. The whole NE was a big ol' grizzly bear!

    The rest of it was no walk in the park either, but easy by comparison. "Kudize," also not a word, was, I hoped, another way of saying "Give kudos to." That was a STAB in the dark off just the C of SPEC. The term SEXYBEAST feels made-up, not in the language. One of those Wheel-of-Fortune NON-phrases. Or NON-things. Whatever. Never heard of KATY Bell, along with I'm betting 99% of other solvers. Much of my efforts today were wild, unsubstantiated shots in the dark that turned out to be right. STACKS and KERPLOP (egad!) are examples.

    Mulhern and Anderson are a couple of SLYDOGs who force one's brain to GETWEIRD. But I finished it ATLAST and award it a B+. TOODLES!

    rondo 12:32 PM  

    For some reason I liked this puz, maybe more than I should have? Maybe because of CANKLES, a term which a local morning radio show has been using for decades regarding that phenomenon. One write-over at wELD.

    The wife DRAGged me to a DRAGSHOW in Key West a few years ago. Turned out to be a real hoot, even if it did GETWEIRD.

    Mia Farrow was certainly a yeah baby, but as EUDORA you might not think so.

    The trick to successfully drinking from DASBOOT is to keep the toe pointed to the side when you get near the bottom, or you might get a faceful when the air gets into that toe. I was made an example once at a party drinking game, those SLYDOGs. But now I do own an authentic one for home use and entertainment. Haha.

    I COMMEND the constructors for a decent puz.

    Anonymous 2:54 PM  

    Grrrrr, not happy with this one at all. The NE corner is almost blank and I gave up. Never heard of das boot. The film, yes, I have a copy and love it. Tkts? Is there really a BARGAIN booth in Times Sq. where you can get BARGAIN tickets? Whack was way misleading. And I'm not sure an online ad is on a BROWSER, even though I did write it in. I had rascals, but oona, omar, tkts??? Not nice Messrs M&A and I send two "noogies" to both of you.

    Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA (Where only Latin is spoken at all Town Hall meetings. Arrectus Auribus).

    leftcoastTAM 6:17 PM  

    I had many problems with this puzzle, so I'll mention only a few of the more them:

    STAB is a long, thin stretch from the use of "Whack."
    BAM? This is a WOE.
    CANKLES? Is this TALKBIG by the guest reviewer?
    ATOMANT? What or who was that?

    Okay, it was out of my KEN.

    wcutler 2:29 AM  

    @jberg asked "What is an auto tune?", and I don't see that anyone answered. In case the question wasn't meant as a joke, Auto Tune or Auto-Tune is a program that corrects intonation and timing problems in vocals or solo instruments. Singers who can't sing in tune can even have this thing running in real time so that by the time the sound gets to the audience, it's in tune.

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