Eponym in frozen food aisle / FRI 8-21-15 / Paid purchaser perhaps / Most-cooked part of prime rib roast / Jerry of Dirty Dancing / Home to Sultan Qaboos University / Perfumery measure

Friday, August 21, 2015

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Eeeeeeeasy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: QUEEN ANNE (34A: English monarch after whom a brickwork building style is named) —
Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death. (wikipedia)
• • •

This puzzle is noteworthy for its exceptional cleanness and its exceptional easiness. Let's take cleanness first. This puzzle essentially makes my point about *most* NYT crosswords of late, which is to say that this puzzle demonstrates that it is really truly quite possible to polish your grid such that the USS (Unfortunate Short Stuff) stays mostly unnoticed. Also, it's possible for your USS to be completely inoffensive. There's literally nothing in the grid that makes me go "ugh," and only a handful of things I wouldn't be perfectly happy to have in any grid under any circumstances. Like, I don't *love* EDY or SRO or any of the 3s in the SW, and, you know, EKES gonna eke, but everything else, I'll take, anywhere, any time. Now to be fair it is somewhat harder to manage your short stuff in a themed puzzle, where simply by virtue of grid design (i.e. higher word count) there tends to be more of it, and the theme answers put real pressure on surrounding fill (theme answers are fixed, whereas nothing in a themeless is ever fixed—you can rotate out as many different long answers as you want until you get what you like in a themeless; not so much with long theme answers, which are strictly bound by theme criteria). Still, getting a 66-worder to come off this cleanly is a real accomplishment. That center stack is something else. No compromises. This takes care and craftsmanship. David is one of a handful of regular NYT constructors where, when I see his name, I expect to see a puzzle living up to the NYT's own self-description as "the best puzzle in the world."

Now the easiness. This puzzle needed speed bumps, badly. I finished in under 6 minutes, which is fast under any circumstances for me. Today, however, that 6 minutes included not only solving the puzzle, but stopping to take screenshots three different times, and checking my email once. I am almost certain that I would've been under 5 had I been trying, which would've been down near my Friday record. I can't fault the puzzle too much for being too easy, but I'll try to explain where the easiness today comes from, because it's not just the clues. It's also the grid construction. If you get the NW corner (and I did, fairly quickly, from BASE (1A: Place to lead a private life?) and BALLADE (1D: Verse with an envoi) as openers), then the longer Acrosses drop right in and you can just drill the short Downs in order. But the real source of overall easiness is that transition to the middle. You've got APPLE already in place, so dropping CIDER is a no-brainer (5D: Drink sometimes served hot). Then, though perhaps TOM/TSHIRTS might give you some attitude (11A: Daisy's husband in "The Great Gatsby" + 11D: Some cannon projectiles), once you handle that NE corner, you've got the front and back of what turns out (pretty obviously at that point) to be CLAM BROTH (25A: New England stock). And *then* you've got the first letters (i.e. the most crucial letters) of all those Downs in the middle of the grid. And bam bam bam bam everything just falls.

The only time I lost in the middle was with MAGNA, and even there I only lost a few seconds. Once I got DIANA ROSS, nothing in the center stood a chance. Wish I'd encountered more resistance there, if only so I could've appreciated the quality of the construction more. Note the placement of the flashy Scrabbly letters—upper left, at the beginning of answers, is where Js and Qs are most happy:

As you can see there, BRONX CHEER is basically the APPLE CIDER of the bottom half of the grid. Got the first half, drop the second half, enter all-new section with guns blazing. Also, those initial J and Q really made dropping those Downs a cinch. And again, once you figure out the front end of that long Across, it just shoots right to the other side of the grid.

First letters of all the short Downs in the south: locked in. Sitting ducks. Sad to end in the SE, which is the most crowded with Es and Rs and Ss and Ds and your less zippy letters. but prairie companions of GOPHER and COWPOKE are a nice escort into the sunset. Again, would've liked a greater challenge, but was happy I got what I got.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:08 AM  

A very easy Fri. for me too. My only problem was the ROUÉ/ RAKE malapop (thank you Andrea). 

Re: ALDRIN - We've been watching and enjoying  "The Astronaut Wives Club", but we suspect coming of age in the '60s and having seen all the astronauts/space missions on TV might prejudice our judgement.  Not sure Gen Xers and beyond would be as interested/entertained?

The puzzle was too easy and a tad meh.  Supreme Leader?/DIANA ROSS was the best clue/answer.   A smooth grid is a good thing but I'm looking for more on a Fri.

chefwen 12:23 AM  

Of course I moaned and groaned when I saw Mr. Steinberg as the constructor and automatically assumed I would not get very far. Got through the NW in record time and thought "YES, I can do this". And indeed I did! I was estatic. Got to Rex's rating and totally agreed with it. Probably the Eeeeesiest David Steinberg puzzle I have ever done. Next time I'll have to remember JUST RELAX!

James Edwin 12:25 AM  

This was a fun and exceptionally easy Friday. Much appreciated!

jp flanigan 12:42 AM  

Somehow I had the hardest time in the top half, sticking with ARMY for BASE way too long. Had KRAKEN instead of PIRATE, and just couldn't see TSHIRT until the very end. SW looks ugly with the 3's but didn't put up a fight, so no harm, no foul.

wreck 12:43 AM  

Yes, easy but entertaining. If not my fastest Friday ever, very close!

Anonymous 1:07 AM  

Agree a bit too easy for a Friday, but it was fun finding the answers to misdirecting clues.

Most obscure: 16A -- Most people are not from NYC and don't associate "angels" with those financing plays.

Second most: 56A -- Most people are not oenophiles and don't really care about such snobbery.

Just sayin'. ;-)


MDMA 1:55 AM  

Quintessentially New York puzzle, a bit eye-rollingly so if you're not from there. EDY'S instead of Dreyer's (or Amy's)... SRO instead of IPO ("letters that delight angels")... kale=MOOLA and deli NOVA... Jerry ORBACH, of Broadway and Law and Order... even BRONX CHEER.

Only somewhat easier than average, despite Rex's notsohumblebrag. And if not for prior NYT crosswordese experience, kale MOOLA and deli NOVA would be very much WoEs.

"Leer at" is a perfectly cromulent way to disrespect someone, surely. Or so I thought at first.

Just as I finished writing this, the light bulb finally went on for DIET = "Not down very much". Verb. Haha.

AliasZ 2:02 AM  

Lovely, lovely puzzle. Easy, but lovely. It was a pleasure working on it and finding one great entry after another as I progressed. Squeaky clean, too. It is rare that I don't find at least two or three objectionable words of phrases in a David Steinberg puzzle, when it seem he's trying too hard to be fresh and relevant. Today, not one. No made-up slang words or phrases that no one uses. The center 9-stack is solid and clean without any groan-inducing crosses to cast a shadow on it, as are both 15's and 11's.

Cleanliness inherently carries with it the danger of easiness, because there is not one entry at which you have to stop and think: "Can this be? Are you for real?" or something to that effect. Once you get a letter or two, and often even without any crosses, you know it can only be one thing, and you are right 80% of the time. This speeds up things a lot. The only way it could have been made harder is if Stan Newman clued it as his Saturday Stumper, but then what happens to Saturday? This way we know tomorrow will be (should be) tougher than today.

Loved LINCOLN MEMORIAL, BRONX CHEER, QUERIED, COWPOKE and APPLE CIDER. It was fun to see LOUDSPEAKER and MOBILE PHONE symmetrically placed. Many MOBILE PHONE users are LOUD SPEAKERs, especially on buses, trains and in other public places. It amazes me how unconcerned people are about their privacy, not to mention about the annoyance they cause to all within earshot.

The BALLADE is a from of medieval/Renaissance French poetry, and its corresponding musical chanson form, or chanson balladée (dancing song), consisting of three eight-line stanzas and a closing four-line envoi. It has evolved over the centuries to describe romantic narrative and folk poetry, often set to music. Chopin used the word as title to four of his large-scale piano pieces, essentially creating the instrumental ballade, which started a trend followed by many other composers. A rough cross section is found below for anyone interested:

Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300–1377)
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Franz Liszt (1811–1886)
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Happy Friday, everyone.

chefwen 3:04 AM  

Someday I will learn how to spell, that will mark these puzzles much easier. Let's try ECSTATIC, shall we?

Loren Muse Smith 4:33 AM  

Rex – When I first started, this whole thing was one big speedbump. I had a quick RAE and ORCA and then boom. Nothing.

@Mary Watts from earlier this week – I meant to post this the afternoon that you posted. Glad you're here! You're doing it right. Get a blue name and pull a chair up rather than post anonymously and then whine that this place is one big clique.

But I chipped away, finally erasing (Bucky) "Badger," "Anne Tudor" (along with thousands, I bet), and "reel" for SLUE. At one point I counted letters to confirm that "iced coffee" fit as that beverage sometimes served hot. Yeah, it does, but what a dumb thought.

@ED – I had blinders on for "Al Hirt" before I saw ALDRIN. Bet you didn't make that mistake. NERO set me straight, though.

Kept seeing CRAB BROTH crossing BANGA, Maine.

I have a LOUD SPEAKER in 7th period, and I've already tried him out in a couple of back corner desks. He's digging his heels in, though.

Almost every time I eat, it's a CHOW down kind of thing. Several times a month, though, I pretend I'm a famous movie star and try instead to eat more daintily - make myself put my fork down between bites rather than load it up for the next bite as I chew. . I've watched people on TV very carefully, and I'm convinced this is the first step. But it takes extreme focus and before no time I'm back loading that fork up before I've swallowed a bite. Hey, at least I rarely load the fork so much that I can't lift it.

About a year ago, we had a terrific puzzle by 12D's son and Patrick Blindauer.

This is a completed puzzle I would shamelessly leave out hoping that others would scan it and be impressed that I know/use things like REDRESS, SLUE, and ADDUCE. I mean, I recognize them, but they're not in the "go-to" part of my lexicon.

I agree that this is a fine example of a themeless.

Unknown 4:42 AM  

The international edition of the New York Times, at least as it appears as a supplement in the Japan Times newspaper, included a major misprint of this puzzle, including the extra 16th row from Thursday, with 71, 72, and 73 across, with no corresponding clues. What a disappointment.

George Barany 6:46 AM  

Thanks @Rex for taking the time to analyze the craft that @David Steinberg put into this puzzle, and for throwing in a Supremes clip to boot. I also admire the speed with which you solved it, since my experience wasn't nearly as smooth--but to compensate, this led to more opportunities to savor several aha moments. It did not help that halfway through my on-line solving experience, the hotel wifi gave up the ghost, but by the time I woke up, the internet was working again, and so was my brain.

It sure was nice to see GOPHER in this grid, especially since approximately 10 months ago, several of us criticized @David for UMINN (clued as "Golden Gophers' sch."). Seeing Armstrong in the clue for ALDRIN initially had me thinking Tour de France rather than Apollo 11. What eventually emerged as LOUDSPEAKER has me thinking of adjective-DUNCE, or trouble-MAKER, or some such, for a while. VALLI before LAINE, ENDLESS before REDRESS, and a few other missteps. BRONX_CHEER and JEER_AT seem kind of similar. Always a pleasure to see the father of constructor @Tony ORBACH in a grid.

Not sure I approve of the way AVON / NOVA were handled ... didn't we see something similar recently? (Answer, yes we did: ARE / ERA in @TOM McCoy's August 12 puzzle).

Glimmerglass 7:15 AM  

In my rearview mirror, this puzzle was on the easy side, but while driving. . .not. I wanted army for 1A. Couldn't remember which form had an envoi at the end (beginning with A?). And so on through other sections. My reward for stupidity was several lovely aha moments. At the end, I had REDS at 56A and shrugged ("must be a New York taxi company"). I don't drink wine, and if I did, I'd never be so affected as to call cabernet sauvignon "cab."

Susierah 7:39 AM  

I used to go, "oh no, a Friday. Steinberg!" I would really struggle, but the more I solved, the more tuned in to his style I became. Now, I look forward to his puzzles. Yes, this was easyish, my fastest Friday ever at 23 minutes, but I loved the cluing! I am 64 years old, and it surprises me how a young man can be so creative and relevant.

When I saw Aldrin, what a coincidence, we have loved watching The Astronauts Wives' Club, which was on last night.

joho 7:43 AM  

Who knew I could be a speed solver ... especially on a Friday?! Thank you, David for giving me a taste of what it feels like to be in the fast solving lane.

I loved seeing the GOPHER as he reminds me of the "Minnesota Mascot" puzzle I had the pleasure of doing for the Minnesota Crossword Puzzle Tournament (Hi, George!)

I always read REDRESS as RED DRESS!

What a lovely puzzle, David Steinberg! I ADDUCE that this is an example your constructing prowess! (Did I use that in a sentence correctly?)

Howard F 8:03 AM  

For me this was a perfect puzzle, right on par with my skill-set. It took me about an hour to complete. My favorite was 11D TSHIRTS, I've seen this at concerts before, it's hilarious!

Not sure what 56A REDS is referring to?! Communism?

Unknown 8:09 AM  

This puzzle was enjoyable, but like some others I solved it quickly - 2/3 my Friday average, albeit not anything close to 6 minutes. Spent some time trying to force DUDERELAX into 38A until I came to my senses with the crosses.

The easy 3s & 4s greased the wheels for my faster than average solving time. And I agree that the grid structure made a big difference.

Back in the day when I played Tetris, there was a satisfaction (aka relief) that happened when the colored shapes nested together in a perfect fit. I felt something akin to that satisfaction when solving this puzzle. The grid filled in such an organized progression that it satisfied the neurons who seek order.

No complaints. Happy, actually.

evil doug 8:12 AM  

Loren: You're right.

Rumor has it that GORE might take a STAB at another presidential run. One can only hope to see the ensuing Al-Hillary slugfest....

Top row:
Tranquility BASE-> ALDRIN-> Major TOM

AliasZ 8:13 AM  

Random bits:

- My two favorite words today: ADDUCE and REDRESS, become two different words if we swap their first two letters. Isn't that neat?
- When was the last time you went to a Saturday night SOC HOP?
- Amazing coincidence: the 1957 classic "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" is playing as I am writing this. Guess who sings the theme song? No, it wasn't DIANA ROSS, nor CLAMB ROTH.

As you were.

cwf 8:24 AM  

Agree with @Rex: sparkling, clean, easy. Got stuck in the center three squares at the very end because I had entered HIDdenOUT. So three ink-overs on a Friday, which is not too bad.

ORCAs might be a menace to their natural prey, but there are no records of fatal attacks on humans in the wild. The orcas in Sea World might be forgiven for having a bit of a grudge.

mathgent 8:36 AM  

Only ten three-letter entries and all legit. As Rex says, no USS (Unfortunate Short Stuff). Not the greatest coinage, but maybe it will catch on and become a three-letter (ironic) entry in some future puzzle.

Jeff Chen writes that Frankie LAINE may be too far in the past for most solvers. But not for a geezer like me. I still remember his thrilling rendition of Jezebel from around 1950.

As I zipped through the puzzle, I could hardly believe I was doing a David Steinberg. Very enjoyable.

r.alphbunker 8:42 AM  

Puzzle report

I was thinking Louis Armstrong.

Just got the {Not down very much} DIET clue. You chow down food. Nice. Was 41A {Ate, with "down"} CHOWED a hint to help the solver here?

Mke D 8:47 AM  

Rex's last sentence: "would've liked a greater challenge, but was happy I got what I got" applies equally to my marriage.

Jamie C 8:50 AM  

A "other answer spelled backwards" clue on a FRIDAY? I strongly object (I'm surprised Rex didn't).

Unknown 8:54 AM  

I breezed through the bottom half in no time, and then struggled a while with the top half, but I agree, very easy for a Friday.

Part of my problem was that I confidently slapped ARMY in 1A and left it there for way too long. BASE didn't occur to me because there are no privates on, for examples, Navy or Air Force bases.

Haiku Nerd 8:57 AM  


Bill C 8:58 AM  

There goes the liberal New York Times again, celebrating Al GORE.

Tita 9:04 AM  

Rex's write-up today was like Crossword Criticism 101. He not only opines, but he explains in detail the why's. It all mighta seemed incredibly basic and obvious to you constructors out there (of whom I am ceaselessly envious), and by virtue of brute force, some of it I know, but I like getting it spoon-fed the way these explanations were.

I finished this last night, which considering I started at about 11:30, is extremely unusual for me. So I guess it was easy. But I did need to jump around the grid... I still had to work at it.

Love BRONXCHEER... When I cared about Major League Baseball, I was a Yankee fan.
CLAMBROTH was a fun aha moment.
I am all for the gluten-free kick, as it has created a major surge in the availability of hard APPLECIDER, something I have always loved but could rarely find in restaurants. I also love buying unpasteurized cider from the orchard, then letting it sit for a coupla days. Develops that slight kick...yummmm.

@lms... Love your eating style. I'll leave you with the image of one of my aunts... She was just a little vain, and was particularly proud of her very petite mouth. She would bring attention to it by rolling a single pea onto the back of her fork... You see, her mouth was so dainty she could fit only a single pea at a time.

Thanks, David, for a Friday that let me sleep SOUNDLY.

Mohair Sam 9:05 AM  

Well we finished this quickly and smiled at each other and agreed that it was awfully easy and a lot of fun. Then came here and @rex behave the perfect critic and told us why it was easy and why it was fun. Thanks Rex.

Our solving started with the ALDRIN/NERO cross, but from there our experience mirrored Rex's almost exactly. Had a little hang-up in the SW because this baseball fanatic could not remember the ARIzona Diamondbacks - probably because they swept my Phillies about two weeks ago.

Hadn't noticed the New York City lilt to this one until @MDMA pointed it out.

Thanks for a great puzzle David Steinberg, and thanks for reminding me that I was supposed to purchase tickets for four to "The Fantasticks" a few days ago - friends woulda killed me if I forgot, hope the date is still available.

Z 9:06 AM  

Agree with the Eeeeeeeasy rating, although it was only Eeeeeasy for me because I didn't trust BASE at 1A and only wrote it in when I guessed BALLADE/EDY (really wanted AMY there) on my second pass. Also blanked on DIANA ROSS at first and wondered about King Herringbone for several seconds. Still, more Wednesday or even Tuesday to me.

One more sign of cleanliness - The dearth of POCs. There's REDS and T-SHIRTS (probably with a picture of Che on the front) and EKES (not really a plural, but still an S of convenience) and that is it. Well done.

@LMS - regarding your loud speaker. Front row center and only ever correct him (her?) by speaking in the left ear so quietly the right ear can't hear you. One week and you'll see a change.

@Rex yesterday - I think those two know the difference. I think you actually set a pretty good standard in today's write-up, "it is really truly quite possible to polish your grid such that the USS stays mostly unnoticed." That's my standard on fill, does the USS make me go "UGH" so much the overall gestalt of the puzzle is ruined. Where, exactly, the line between "unnoticed" and "noticed" is will vary.

CY 9:08 AM  

Insightful points about how the grid setup affected the easiness of the puzzle, Rex.

Arlene 9:09 AM  

Interesting comment @George - I really liked the NOVA/AVON clue - I guess because I have personal positive experience with both.
And I was thinking about AL HIRT with the Armstrong clue - but finally got to ALDRIN after staring into space.
Loved the puzzle - as it took some work to solve, but it all still seemed possible - which is a good feeling. And I didn't have to Google to finish.

Carola 9:19 AM  

Medium for me: a challenging onset balanced by an easy finish. I couldn't get started in the NW, where all I could think of for the private place was army or post, or the center, where my mind was annoyingly blank about who went to the moon with Armstrong. Moved on to the NE, where SRO confimed MOOLA and ORBACH reminded me of TOM. Eventually answers started snowing down, as @Rex described and I slalomed easily to the bottom.

@Brennan 1:07 and @MDMA - Maybe I'm the Midwestern exception that proves the rule, but SRO, ORBACH, and EDYS were three of my few "for sures" in trying to get a grip on the puzzle. Those and my neighboring GOPHER.

Unknown 9:20 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorothy Biggs 9:27 AM  

I thought the puzzle was easy as well. I finished in under 30 minutes...but that included getting some coffee, making some oatmeal, painting my living room, building a deck on the back of the house, and dropping off and picking up my dry cleaning. I'm sure I would have been done in under 30 minutes had I not watched the last two seasons of Arrested Development.

I agree with Rex with regard to a speed bump here and there. Maybe some cyrillic or mandarin answers crossing some names of Bollywood actors or minor Incan gods.

We get it, man. It was easy and you're fast. But maybe talk less about how easy it was and more about, you know, the puzzle, [see: JC at xwordinfo as an example].

Heh. It was easy and I did make oatmeal in the middle of solving.

evil doug 9:31 AM  

Nicely put on the "staring into space" thing.

Lewis 9:34 AM  

A hallmark of David's puzzles is wordplay which is one reason I like them so much, and here we see it in the clues for BASE, SRO, DIANAROSS, AVON, LINCOLNMEMORIAL, DIET, and HUSKS. I was sure that "Settle down for the night" was going to have something to do with pillows, but no. I like that we have a first BASE, and that HUSKS is so close to a backward EAR. There is nothing terribly contemporary in the answers, yet the puzzle feels fresh and lively, not musty at all. Good one!

Rex, thank you for breaking down why the puzzle felt easy (for a Friday). You and the commenters here have continually heightened my enjoyment and understanding of solving (and my approach to constructing).

chefbea 9:41 AM  

Did some of the puzzle but have a busy day so will finish it later. Love clam chowder (of course made with clam broth) and love prime rib. As I mentioned the other day...had to show Dianna Ross where the ice cream was at Food Emporium.

@JamieC from yesterday..I agree the blog isn't the same. I like to check it all day long and some times hours go by and there are no new posts. or answers to the question you asked that morning.

Katzzz 9:45 AM  

Howard Flax: "reds" as in wine (cab = cabernet)

Started out hard for me (neither "base" nor "ballade" came fast and easy). But "sro" and "hbo" led to "orbach" and "moola", which gave me "Tom" and the ridiculous t-s--h string which looked wrong but had to be right and then -- viola! -- tshirts.....and now I started to roll. In the end, medium, for me.

quilter1 9:50 AM  

Solved this one from the bottom up and enjoyed it very much. Surprised myself with stuff I knew. Got the AVON clue, but didn't understand NOVA relating to deli. Don't frequent delis much and usually get hot pastrami when I do. Going to get our basketball seats this a.m. Hope we can get the same ones. Go Drake.

RAD2626 9:52 AM  

Thought north was harder than the south. Like others, had Army and IPO first so that started things badly and then, like I am sure no one, thought Tarzan for a {Jack} Armstrong contemporary. Who knows what memory lobe that came from. Like a bad sequence from Inside Out.
Always have trouble with DS puzzles and clues so again, like everyone, was pleasantly surprised the puzzle was so manageable.

Satchmo 9:56 AM  

A great way to begin a Friday: a well-constructed puzzle and fine @Rex commentary.

Robso 10:03 AM  

Was pretty sure that The Supreme's lead singer's name was "Donna Ross." Can I really be blamed for that? Come on, Diana! Get your name back out there, damnit!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:04 AM  

Nice one.

One write-over, 37 D, "Square, in a way," ADDRESS before REDRESS. Contemplating how I could have made this mistake, I was reminded that way back in 1973, I was an Assistant Scoutmaster with the New Jersey provisional Troop attending the Boy Scout Jamboree in Idaho. One of my responsibilities was compiling the mailing list for this far-flung group. It struck me then and remains with me that of 36 people, with addresses on Avenues, Courts, Drives, Circles, etc., I was the only one whose address was a "Street"! (But I don't remember that anyone was on a Square.)

mathgent 10:09 AM  

Only ten three-letter entries and all legit. As Rex says, no USS (Unfortunate Short Stuff). Not the greatest coinage, but maybe it will catch on and become a three-letter (ironic) entry in some future puzzle.

Jeff Chen writes that Frankie LAINE may be too far in the past for most solvers. But not for a geezer like me. I still remember his thrilling rendition of Jezebel from around 1950.

As I zipped through the puzzle, I could hardly believe I was doing a David Steinberg. Very enjoyable.

JC66 10:13 AM  

@NCA President

Hilarious first paragraph!

GeezerJackYale48 10:21 AM  

Howard Flax: 56 across (Cabs and such) refers to red wines - such as Cabernets.

Young Turk 10:29 AM  

@Susierah said " it surprises me how a young man can be so creative and relevant." This strikes me as the sort of ageism that shoudn't be allowed on this comments board.

Nancy 10:29 AM  

Yes, it was easy, but I, too, found it delightful. Here's a constructor everyone associates with obscure proper names and pop culture and here, he gives us a puzzle full of interesting words and phrases, all nicely clued. I wanted ARMY before BASE, but BALLADE straightened me out.

Whoever said that you have to be a New Yorker to connect SRO with "angel" is wrong. You don't -- any more than you have to be Spanish to know ORO or a poet to know EEN. You just have to have done a lot of crossword puzzles. ALOT.

A very enjoyable Friday!

Unknown 10:31 AM  

I was sad to see this one come to an end. Most enjoyable puzzle in a long time. For a dyslexic Dane, I as usual had problems but got the job done in record time of 40 min.
Thanks for the write up Rex. Glad to see you happy for a change.

bwalker 10:35 AM  

Still on the streak, but I didn't think it was easy. I thought I was never going to get a toehold until the SW when I got CHOWED. But it was enough to get me going. I had army for BASE way too long. @Joseph Welling is right about bases not having privates (unless they are Marines). Loved LINCOLN MEMORIAL and COWPOKE. Had to get NOVA to see AVON. It took forty-five minutes, so easier than usual I suppose, but Rex's record six makes me sick. I don't think I could correctly type in answers that fast if I had them in front of my eyes.

@LMS -- I used to show my classes Empire of the Sun starring a very young Batman, Christian Bale. He was advised to chew each bite thirty times. I tried this, and it slowed me down considerably, but like you had to really focus to keep doing it and not just shovel it in. The school's thirty minute lunches didn't help.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

Felt sure this would be rated easy, but as some others have posted already, my toeholds were not in the NW, so I did not blow through this one left>right/top>down like @RP.

Still, I got enough of the longer answers from just a couple of crosses to get the bottom 2/3 fairly quickly.

Was not sure how REDS fit the clue, but now it makes total sense, and is certainly fair on Friday.

Guess being a life-long New Yorker really helped with this one.

As @Arlene says, always nice to finish without help from Uncle Google.


Rivers 10:45 AM  

I guess I'm the only dolt who thought first of George ARMSTRONG Custer and groaned that I'd have to drag American History out of my mental storeroom. Add confidently dropping in army, and wanting Nick for Daisy's poor spouse, you can see why I had a slow start. But I got DIANA instantly, found a couple other toeholds, saw IN in the extreme NE, flashed on Buzz, and then I too had my fastest Friday time, though considerably more than six minutes.

Said goodbye to my grands yesterday (10 and 8), sent them from our rural nest back to the big, bad city where there are no bats to watch at night, coyotes to sing them asleep, or horses and donkeys to visit BY THEMSELVES. I spent yesterday recuperating. At some point I'll catch up on all the puzzles that I never saw for two weeks.

Feels good to be back.

Hartley70 10:46 AM  

I really look forward to a David Steinberg, and this doesn't disappoint. I seem to be the only one who didn't find it easy. My time was good and I didn't cheat, but the cluing and word choice made me work for nearly every answer. Most of my off the cuff initial answers were wrong, although I did hit BASE and CLAMBROTH right away. I didn't understand TSHIRT and REDS until I got here. SRO makes perfect sense but it was my last entry because I just didn't think Broadway.

Yesterday I watched "Wordplay" for the first time and what a delight! I kept trying to imagine myself doing this puzzle under the ACPT constraints and going "Holy Crap!", but what fun to see how quickly the pros do it. I'm only 10 years late, but I can't recommend this flick enough, especially if you're in Jon Stewart withdrawal and would like a little fix!

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:48 AM  

It was quite a hard solve for me, because my newspaper arrived wet this morning, which meant I could write things in, very carefully, but I couldn't really read them afterwards. And there's things there that I don't really understand. Kale = moola? Cannon projectiles = tshirts? Loudspeaker in the corner of a classroom?

Mike D 10:48 AM  

It's ironic and strange that @NCA President@ 9:27 chose today, the day when Rex spent far more time discussing the puzzle than average, to criticize him for not talking enough about the puzzle.
I'd say Rex's posts have been significantly better--more entertaining, more insightful, more useful to solvers--since his vacation/taking control of this board. Having said that, I do miss some of his more trenchant critics (The Porker comes to mind) and I'm sad to see them screened put of existence.

Ludyjynn 10:50 AM  

A SLEw of clever clues led to a fun solve for me.

When "Dirty Dancing" premiered in 1987 at a special showing/reception in D.C. sponsored by the American Film Institute, my companion and I were underwhelmed by the movie and irritated that the A list actors, i.e., Jerry ORBACH and Patrick Swayze, were not in attendance! We figured this meh flick would quickly disappear into oblivion. Who knew that it would remain a cult favorite in the ANNALS of filmdom, even prompting a recent re-make? I guess no one puts Baby in a corner; but then, she was not a LOUDSPEAKER, after all.

DIANAROSS is performing here at Pier Six Pavillion on Sept. 13th. Talk about longevity! She and Cher will never retire. Two amazing divas.

My new mantra for doing a David Steinberg opus is JUSTRELAX and you will enjoy it. Thanks, DS and WS. Easy for Rex, medium for me.

fiddleneck 10:54 AM  

What Glimmerglass said, but I dnf. Got Diana because I'm reading The Secret Life of Wonderwoman. But Ross was easy then.

GILL I. 11:13 AM  

Really enjoyed @Rex today....NICE puzzle and its easinessss although I didn't understand half the answers. TSHIRTS [cannon projectiles]??? REDRESS [square]???
This has probably been explained but I never know when I will appear here...
Maybe the only thing I didn't like was the repeating of the clues...Playboys who disrespect.
Has anyone ever met Sultan Qaboos? That would be an interesting story.

Steve J 11:39 AM  

Clearly I'm an outlier today, as I didn't find this easy at all. That was largely due to a handful of crucial missteps on my part:

- I refused to give up mUffS at 33D.
- I had ROUE in the wrong spot (I figured with the R and E in place from ALDRIN and LINCOLN MEMORIAL, there couldn't be anything else that would go there)
- I had a typo I didn't spot, giving me a PERSONAL SNOPPER - more importantly, it made me unable to see BRONX CHEER

My problems aside, this was a really solid puzzle. Lots of great cluing, which is my favorite feature of a good puzzle. The clue for DIANA ROSS was fantastic, and the clue for MOBILE PHONE was such a nicely simple piece of misdirection (so was the clue for HUSKS, as it sent me stubbornly on the wrong path for a long time).

A couple clue quibbles: The clue for LOUDSPEAKER felt blandly off, and the clue for 23A felt unblandly wrong. There has never been a recorded fatal ORCA attack on humans in the wild, and the number of non-fatal attacks is incredibly tiny. The only fatal attacks have been in captivity, where the whales are kept in horrible conditions and treated very poorly just so they can be forced to entertain crowds of people. Humans are a huge menace to ORCAs, not the other way around.

Joseph Michael 11:43 AM  

Good puzzle and good critique.

Especially liked the clues for HUSKS, DIANA ROSS, DIET, and LOUDSPEAKER and the message to Al in the 10th row: JUST RELAX, GORE.

Slow Motion 12:13 PM  

@Howard Flax, some red wines are cabs, i.e., Cabernets.

Unknown 12:15 PM  

I jumped right in with [1A Place to lead a private life?] army (of course!) and the added got [2D Wanted nothing to do with] refusED (why not?) Easy Friday.

I finished 50 minutes later with the Hail Mary [19A Where to find "Girls"] _B_ -> HBO ?!?!?!, then the nonsensical [15A Letters that delight angels] SRO ?!?!?! (letters that delight theater producers, who've never, ever been compared to angels) and finally 11A TOM of Tom & Daisy, sounded familiar.

Leapfinger 12:18 PM  

Not nearly so easy for me.
BASElessly, my 'private life' was in the ARMY. My ROUE/RAKE went in backwards, and my security measure LIENed toward a LOCK. The ORCA sea menace came fast, but not its PIRATE double. (Argh) Armstrong contemporary? Lance?... Louis?... Jack? ... Oh, Neil! [btw, @jae, I agree about the TV show; I think it's different if you lived through it.)
QUEENANNE: Apparently, she's a Brick...house. I was working that center stagger-stack hind-end first, and was looking for something --eNcE or -ANcE. RegeNcE-y?

'Cannon projectiles' was kinda cute; I saw twould be TSHIRTS, but at first didn't connect it with that dealie of shooting TSHIRTS into the crowd. Did connect it with Cannon Mills, which manufactures all kinds of dry goods.

Thought this went heavy on the anatomic front. That brain vein? Many structures are paired (inferior/superior, inner/outer, maximi/minimi), and misfortunately, I went with MAjor/minor... Upper body muscle? There are 17 that attach to scapula alone! That fact was disconcerting when I had to learn them, a source of relish when I taught them.
HIDINGOUT: Uric acid crystals in joints (an aspiring rheumatology joke)

More droppings:
Seems ENDCUT is repetitive: Would you kids all start-open up on your chores? Yikes.
JUST RELAX, unjust contract.
There's just so much queer can be done with QUERIED -- EDY -- E.D. -- isn't there? I shan't start.

Tried to ID what it was about this particular Steinberg that kind of dissed my gruntle. It wasn't the fill, which I think really good. Rather, it's the cluing, which which I thought was all over the place: some of it misleading, some arcane, some broad. Then there's the one that does everything but cut up your meat and pre-masticate it for you. [Deli item that's 14A backward]?? On a Friday??? Again, SPARE me!! That could so easily have been 'Deli item found backward elsewhere in the grid'

All grumps aside, I enjoyed the struggle, DS, and thanks for dropping those long'uns.

ps, thanks for the ROOST, which reprised my chicken-SEXER comment of yesterday.

pps @Loren, my first summer job while in HS was with a fork-lift company. One of the managers used to say I had two speeds, Slow and Stop. Still remember that, still kinda rankles.

Masked and Anonymous 12:25 PM  

Primo clean fill. Nice job.

Six U's. Nice show of respect.

SOC. Nice weeject. Better clue: {Unending footwear??}

ARI/RAE/ETD. Great weeject stack. Thanx.

Agree with @r.alph: yep. And yawp. Put my money on ROUE, early-on. Lost valuable nanoseconds.

@muse: I always always eat my cinnamon rolls with a fork. Slows U down, cutting off the next bite, with a dull-edged instrument. Also only use the one hand, so have to set the fork down before sipping on the vodka OJ or "puzzle juice" (coffee). Or picking up the pencil, to write in the next crossword answer. Other hand is used mostly to keep the budgie away from the cinnamon roll.

Primo write-up by Rex, who is now publishing runtpuzs off at another site, btw. Commendable.


**gruntz, which includes RexRuntpuz site name**

oid timer 12:38 PM  

"How in the name of God," I was asking myself, "will Our Fabulous Leader find a way to trash this gem?" Of course y'all know the answer, he didn't, and acknowledged its merit. I thought it was Easy, too -- for a Friday. I solved top to bottom, which I can't do on a hard puzzle. BASE ENDCUT SOUNDLY leading to LINCOLN - something, LOUDSPEAKER; in the middle DIANAROSS below CLAM-something. My only WOE was forgetting the name of Daisy's husband, but I did have Jerry ORBACH, whom I knew from the Fantastiks, which I saw in Philadelphia for the first time in the spring of 1963 but had heard the album (with Orbach) not long after it came out.

Here's the point: After doing the puzzle for so many years, my first thought when I see a clue like "place to lead a private life?" is that the private is a noun and a soldier -- the question mark told me it is not an adjective, probably. Similarly, "Supreme leader?" and I think immediately of the musical group. "Range figure" even without a question mark makes me think of Home on the Range, not a pot of beans bubbling away on the range.

It did help that when I was listening to the Top 10 countdown as a child (was it the Lucky Lager countdown? I think so) Frankie LAINE had his place along with Elvis, Patti Page and Little Richard.

Only writeover: MAGNA, which I had as "major" at first. And, yeah, my first thought was that the Armstrong in question was Lance, and I was trying to remember how to spill the name of his great rival, Ullrich. NERO and ITEM provided the clue I needed.

OISK 12:43 PM  

Broke my losing streak! Like others, cringed a bit, when I saw David's name - saw the specter of the dreaded golden sombrero - 4 DNF in a row - but both David and I have evolved, and found this one easy and fun. In case it was not explained above, ( I looked but didn't see it, and someone asked...) A cab is a Cabernet, which is a red wine. It is a fine clue; even a casual wine drinker who dines out in fine restaurants occasionally, would get the "Aha" moment, (the real joy of solving) when filling in "red."

All in all, a fine, well clued, well constructed themeless,worthy of a Brookyn Bravo! (as opposed to a Bronx cheer...)

@AliasZ summed it up beautifully and elegantly. (as usual)

Steve O. 12:51 PM  

Yep, my time was below average as well.

NOVA/AVON is fun, but not really needed when the puzzle is pretty easy to begin with. That freebie got me in and out of the S and SE in a jiffy!

RooMonster 1:00 PM  

Hey All !
Well, let me tell ya... :-)
Puz started off for me like most Fri/Sat puzs, seemingly impossible to get a foot hold. First run through had like 3 answers, thinking, here goes another tough puz. Didn't have the Aha BASE right away, wanted army, then isle. Managed to get LINCOLN MEMORIAL, but still nothing was coming to light. Had Valli at first for LAINE, holding up the center. Then more nothing, more nothing...

Then it was like a switch was thrown in my head, and answers started appearing like crazy! Wow! I usually write in answers I'm not sure of lighty, but after so much time of nothingness, I started writing them in regularly, wrong answers be damned! Once that happened, puz turned easy! Yay me! :-) As a matter of fact, got puz 100% correct! Good feeling, as I usually give up, but decided to stick with this one.

Writeovers, vAlli->LAINE, wine->RiDe->REDS, cBs->HBO, irAN->OMAN. Wanted wolfED fr chowed, but didn't commit to it. Missing the F and Z for the pangram.

So thanks, DS, young puz maker. I want to be like you when I grow up!

HIDING OUT (in plain sight)

Anoa Bob 1:20 PM  

I think any Friday or Saturday puzzle I can finish without help is a good puzzle. This one was an enjoyable solve.

Nerd alert: r.alphbunker @8:42, I would have included SOUNDLY, QUERIED, CHOWED & AVOIDED as LCMs. By switching from an adjective to an adverb, from SOUND asleep to sleep SOUNDLY, there was a 40% increase in grid-filling power. Was there a commensurate 40% increase in value or interest? Judgement call, but I think not. Same with the three present tense to past tense examples, giving 40%, 50% & 40% increases in letter counts.

I would also include HIDINGOUT as an LCM with the base phrase being HIDEOUT.

Z @9:06, yeah, this grid is remarkably free of POCs, one of the lowest number I can recall, although I would add HUSKS (33D) to the list.

End nerd alert. As you were. Carry on.

oldbizmark 1:43 PM  

agree. easy and clean. after two DNFs on Tuesday and Wednesday and a tough Thursday (despite picking up on the rebus rather quickly) this was a breath of fresh air. only hiccup was with LOUDSPEAKER. I wanted something with "maker" at the end but "troublemaker" wasn't happening. In fact, the top 1/3 was much harder than the rest of the puzzle for me. anyway, really enjoyed the puzzle. not Friday difficulty, perhaps, but that was welcome.

Leapfinger 2:23 PM  

re Armstrong, see me: You weren't the only one who had Jack's hit.

t-dawg 2:31 PM  

I still don't understand SRO. Help.

mathgent 2:31 PM  

I start a puzzle by going through every clue beginning with 1A and filling in the gimmes. Then I try to connect up some of these letters. "Army" didn't occur to me on my first go-through but, if it had, I wouldn't have put it in because "Most cooked part of a prime rib roast" doesn't seem to be an entry beginning with a Y. I can be conservative because I don't time myself.

jberg 2:32 PM  

Not so easy for me, and ultimately finished with an error (EKEd instead of EKES, puzzlement at REDREDS, but not resolved puzzlement -- pure sloppiness on my part).

Why was it hard?

1. I saw "Gatsby" and wrote in Jay, and figured that cannon must be loaded with j-SHellS (a special kind of ammo used to demolish I-bars).

2. Thinking ears should be covered with mUffS, and then when I saw SEEK changing that to mUSKS -- as in perfume dabbed behind the ears.

3. Going with Frankie vAlle (or is it Valli?) before LAINE.

4. Just a general hard time getting a start -- the only answers I was sure of were GOPHER (Hi @George) and DIANA ROSS.

5. Getting the DE for 1D and figuring it must be some kind of ODE, but not seeing what kind it could be.

[Digression: @Loren, here's a theme idea I think you may like: clues like "poetic worm: NEMATODE; poetic character set: UNICODE; poetic stomach muscle: ABODE" Well, enough of that!]

6. Since I live in a Queen Anne style house, which has nothing to do with brickwork, wanting GEORGE III for the eponymous monarch. Turns out that American Queen Anne Style is completed unrelated to British Queen Anne Style, which is where the bricks come in.

At least I resisted the temptation to put in 'kraken' at 15A. And it only took me a few moments to see that NOVA/AVON was better than NOVy/yVON --which would have been very unfair to Mr. Chouinard.

Despite all that, and not finishing, it was an excellent puzzle -- and a very informative writeup from @Rex, helping me see why it should have been easy -- at least if I'd known what a BALLADE was.

Steve J 2:49 PM  

@Greater Fall River: Kale and MOOLA are both slang for money. Largely used in 1940s gangster fiction/film noir.

@GILL I & @ Greater Fall River: T-SHIRT cannon. Seen at stadiums and sports arenas nationwide during breaks in the game.

Charley 3:10 PM  

Do Marines call it a Base? Because in the Army, the only other service with Privates, it's called a Post, never a Base.

Gareth Bain 4:14 PM  

Agree it was clean and fun, but it played on the hard side for a Friday for me. 9:56 says average Friday time, but it felt harder. Specifically found both 15s very difficult to suss out, even with a lot of crossers. I'm still not 100% sure what a PERSONALSHOPPER is...

Something I get the impression is not done enough with themed puzzles is to design the black squares around the puzzle, instead of selecting a premade set of black squares. It sounds arbitrary, but I see many themed puzzles with a number of difficult letter patterns locked in. That limits the number of viable solutions from the get-go. This isn't always avoidable, but many times it is.

Fred Romagnolo 4:19 PM  

I disagree with most of you geniuses; it took me a helluva long time. @Old Timer: to this older timer it was called the Hit Parade. @Mathgent: totally with you on "Jezebel." @Alias Z: what about Brahms, huh? If GORE betrays the NYT's liberalism, then surely Spiro Agnew's NATTERing is a compensation. For those who consider cabs an affectation: not to wine-lovers. You don't have to be a NewYorker to get either SRO or angels. Either Steinberg is mellowing, or I am, his name as constructor doesn't frighten me as much anymore. I enjoyed the long time I worked on this one. @Nancy: took 2 mugs of tea, and 2 cinnamon covered bear-claws dripping with melted butter, yum!

Mike 5:00 PM  

@Anoa Bob: I everyone here paid attention to nerd alerts, this blog would cease to exist.

Teedmn 6:32 PM  

I went AWOL from the army pretty much right away, upon seeing the clue for 4D. Didn't know what the answer was but knew it wouldn't start with Y. The only gimme I could find in the top 2/3 was HBO so I CLAMBRed down to GOPHER (because Goldy didn't fit). But having that didn't prevent my biggest writeover. At 36D, I decided Combed was an adjective, and put cREstED and smiled to myself when I thought of all the complaints that would be here regarding Coxcomb-style not being necessary for the clue. Oh well...figured it out but there was no PREENing involved.

But easy, yeah. I finished in just,over 17 minutes and when done said "Humph, Friday and David S, can't be".

Can't JUST RELAX, we're going into town to see some friends perform music and spoken word. No TSHIRT cannons, for sure.

Thanks DS.

joho 6:49 PM  

Nova Scotia salmon sometimes called Nova lox is sold in delis ... Great on bagel with a schmear of cream cheese.

Tom 7:49 PM  

Easiest I've had in a while. "Call girl" confuses me though, seems out of date? Record quick time for me, 83 hours 42 mins.

Z 7:51 PM  

"Angel" is slang for a financial backer of a play. As an investor one would hope for "standing room only," hence SRO.

GILL I. 8:02 PM  

@Steve J...If you ever see this (maybe after a good whiskey at Rickhouse)...thanks! Good gravy - what rock have I been living under?
@Charley..Yes: Although the Marines include BASE, it's usually followed by Camps. i.e. 29 Palms Marine Corps Base Camp. Or Marine Corps Base Camp.
Semper Fidelis!

Leapfinger 9:01 PM  

@Mathgent, I had to hunt back to see it was you that mentioned "Jezebe-e-e-e-el". That's been running a loop off and on all day. 'If ever a pair of eyes -- promised Paradize -- It was you!'

Francesco Paolo LoVecchio: I pulled him up to remind myself, and there were Rawhide, Mule Train, High Noon ("Do not forsake me, oh my darling") -- classics of their day, every one, and I've been having a geezerly good time with them.

Hadn't realized till tonight how much Frankie Laine resembled Guy Lombardo.

C. Noteworthy 10:32 PM  

@Steve J, how anthropocentric! What metric did you use to formulate the idea that something is a menace only if it menaces humans? The entire ORCA food chain ries up in protest.

Nancy 10:40 PM  

@joho -- If it's called Nova lox, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction! Smoked salmon (cured with smoke), is delicate, subtle, not over-salty and tender as butter. It's one of life's great pleasures. Lox (salt cured) is as salty as swallowing the Atlantic ocean, tough and chewy and thoroughly unpalatable. I once bit into it by mistake, thinking it was smoked salmon, and almost didn't recover. I now subject every deli guy to the third degree before buying.

@Hartley70 -- So you DID, finally, see WORDPLAY! I'm so glad. Let me second her recommendation: Every crossword puzzle buff will absolutely adore it. It's aimed right between all our eyebrows. Don't miss it.

Unanimous 10:45 PM  

'Rex's last sentence: "would've liked a greater challenge, but was happy I got what I got" applies equally to my marriage.'

@Mike D, Mrs. Mike asked me to tell you just wait till she gets home, lol.

spacecraft 11:34 AM  

I thought my brain had returned from wherever the hell it's been, knocking off a Friday Steinberg with such ease--only to come here and find out that most of y'all did the same. Oh well, there's hope...

Started in the middle with the guy from my era. Frankie LAINE:

Up in the mornin', out on the job,
Work like the devil for my pay,
But that lucky old sun's got nothin' to do
But roll around heaven all day."

Aw man, they don't write songs like that any more.

Then when I saw "Supreme leader?" I just thought, if this isn't DIANAROSS I'm gonna be bummed out. It was, I wasn't, and they're off! Didn't start in the NW because I wasn't sure about 1a; thought it might be USMC or some such. And for the call girl employer I was torn between PIMP and JOHN. Shows you where MY mind was. Oh, THAT kind of "calling." So, NW speed bump, and another at TSHIRTS but not for very long, and done almost before I knew it. One thing though, I would never order NOVA at a deli, because I don't think I could CHOW down a cheap old Chevy or an exploding star. NOVA at a deli, ver-ry strange. Sounds like something ONLY a New Yorker would know.

I'm assuming "Cabs" refer to cabernets. This seems like an eleventh-hour attempt to inject some difficulty, but by that time it just looked silly. It's okay, though, David, you go right on making easy puzzles if they stay this smooth. A- (the - is for EKES).

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

So which playboy was going to be which? Fill in R__E for each and wait for the crosses.
We were HIDINGOUT on AVON AVENUE, just me and Carly RAE,
she removed her REDRESS, what could I do? JUSTRELAX and ROUE the day.
Minor nit with CLAMBROTH, seems a bit green-paintish.

rondo 12:13 PM  

Only one write-over, but it was at 1a with “army” instead of BASE, so a bad start to an otherwise smooth puz. This is an example of what a puz was meant to be.

Diva double-dose through my LOUDSPEAKERs today with Supreme yeah Baby Love DIANAROSS and Call Me Maybe yeah baby Carly RAE Jepsen. I would call on either and do my best impression of a RAKE or a ROUE. Do you like their music, ORBACH?

Nice nod to MN with the GOPHER reference. Doesn’t that name strike fear into an opponent?

Agree with @spacey re: NOVA. Big “Huh?” for me as clued.

No nabob today, but we still get to NATTER. Great puz after the opening blunder.

Torb 12:48 PM  

Wasn't easy for me. Early mistakes didn't help. Finally trudged through and finished. Friday morning and my brain is zipping along now.

eastsacgirl 3:06 PM  

Dropped in DIANAROSS first and worked my way down. Like others, had "army" instead of BASE for a while. All in all, a very easy Friday but thoroughly enjoyable.

Anonymous 3:35 PM  

I picked up the paper at noon and was finished by 12:20 but who's counting. I usually don't. Not one complaint from me and no look-ups, no cheating. A banner Friday.

Just found out today the Pope & I are the same age. He may be just a little tired, overwhelmed but I walk better than he and seem sprier. I made a pact. When he goes, I'll go.

The memorial service in NYC was simply the finest inter-faith celebration I've ever seen. There were plenty of tears in my eyes while watching all those beautiful young chorus members. God bless America.

Ron Diego, CA.

Anonymous 1:17 AM  

MOBILE PHONE is the most modern fill here. What a musty puzzle. Could have run this in 1979!

Anonymous 3:33 PM  

With the “a” in lower case, in clue 16 across, does that not restrict one from the obvious baseball team, to whom an SRO would be a good sign. Hung me up a bit, until I relented and entered what I knew would fly. I’m missing something, or it’s just wrong..

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