Cey Darling of baseball / FRI 9-18-15 / Some tiltyard paraphernalia / Like Blofeld in Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice / Protest song on Pink Floyed's Dark Side of Moon / Yellow-skinned fruit / Scandinavian coin with hole in it / Source of some political gaffes

Friday, September 18, 2015

Constructor: Gareth Bain and Brad Wilber

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: IONOSPHERE (20A: Bouncer of radio signals) —
noun: ionosphere
  1. the layer of the earth's atmosphere that contains a high concentration of ions and free electrons and is able to reflect radio waves. It lies above the mesosphere and extends from about 50 to 600 miles (80 to 1,000 km) above the earth's surface.
    • a region similar to an ionosphere above the surface of another planet. (google)
• • •

Feelings mixed on this one. It felt sufficiently solid, but there wasn't much zing. Not much to excite me. Sure, there was that one moment of guilty pleasure when my Lansbury love shone forth from my soul as I giddily wrote in CABOT COVE (though my brain kind of wanted CABOT'S COVE and even CABOT'S GROVE), and there was that pat-self-on-the-back moment when I managed to remember what MARTINETS were, nailing it with just the back end in place (57A: Disciplinarians). And the longer Downs are really nice in places (esp. MAKE NICE and SPREAD 'EM ... really like the clue on RED EYES, too). But a lot of the rest was just fill. OK stuff, not interestingly clued. And a bunch of suboptimal stuff. Not terrible, but there really is a good amount of it: OBSOLESCE as a verb is ... well, it's real, but no one ever uses it. DNALAB always makes me cringe, not because it's not a real thing. It's a crossword staple now. But I see that answer, from a constructor's standpoint, as something that software really overpromotes. I think of it as that answer that my computer always tells me could go somewhere, and I'm like, "no, computer, I'm ignoring you for now. No thanks." Actually, it's probably been in one of my puzzles; and may be again. But I just don't like it. Personal taste. More objectively unideal are ETCETC UTILS RECTO NEURO STENO MOHS ROSH RONS REA AMENS AGAPE GOAPE ATP ADAR ACTII. None of this is godawful on its own. But the cumulative dross feels excessive. It kind of drags the delightful parts down a bit. [full disclosure: my GOAPE prejudice rivals, if not exceeds, my DNALAB prejudice]

Whole thing felt pretty easy. Had one struggle + breakthrough moment that was pretty satisfying: HOT MIC. I had the terminal -IC and ... couldn't imagine what could go there (30D: Source of some political gaffes). Was imagining a single word (never a good assumption, esp. late week). Most of the rest of this puzzle fell without much struggle. I went from the NW (here you can see my "Murder, She Wrote" superpowers taking over...):

Then went across the grid and down until MARTINETS opened up the SE:

From there it was a matter of just squeezing that SW corner from both sides, which the (to-me transparent) clue for DANCE CRAZE (50A: Chicken or mashed potato) helped along.

From there, only HOTMIC stood between me and glory.

I need sleep. And so to bed.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. the Wall St. Journal started a daily puzzle this week. I've done all of them this week, and they're pretty good. They're skewing easier and somewhat less ambitious than NYT puzzles right now, but only one answer has made me howl and throw things all week—that's pretty good. Today's puzzle is a contest puzzle (and an easy one at that) by Matt Gaffney. Here's a link to the .PDF. Maybe someday (fingers crosses) the puzzle becomes available in .jpz or .puz format... but for now, I'll print it out. Bookmark the WSJ puzzle page. It'll be a nice addition to your solving day.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:13 AM  

Way too easy for a Fri.  Makes me feel bad for complaining about yesterday's being too easy.  Other than that a pretty smooth grid with a smattering of zip, nothing not to like except finishing in Tues. time.

I'm not a "Murder She Wrote" fan (in fact I've never watched it)  but I have been to Mendocino, so CABOT COVE was a gimme. 

Would have preferred  KIRSTIE to be "Cheers" clued..."She followed Shelley."

Are GEEZERS by definition grumpy??...eccentric, elderly...yes...

mathgent 12:34 AM  

It was pretty easy. I knew everything except USANDTHEM. But even though the entries were familiar, they were mostly unusual and fun to find popping into my head. And the cluing was fresh.

Only six Terrible Threes, the least since I started counting them a couple of months ago.

Quite enjoyable.

chefwen 12:47 AM  

A Friday with no outside help = easy in my book.

Messed up royally by putting bAnAnA in at 2D, even though that seemed too obvious, ABE corrected me, MARTINETS was a learning moment, gotta have at least one of those per puzzle. 1D was cute, wanted SCout at first and really like the word OBSOLESCE.

A fine puzzle, thanks Gareth bad Brad.

Unknown 1:01 AM  

I liked this one. For some reason I totally forgot Us and Them and of course had no clue at RONS so was thinking I must have somehow missed Floyd's big anti-American anthem. Pretty smooth though. Was happy to see ionosphere off a just a couple letters. That cracked it for me.

Loren Muse Smith 6:15 AM  

I tell you what – you see those two names at the top of the grid, and you know you're in expert hands. It's a good feeling to sit down with a cup of coffee, Gareth, and Brad. Cool.

I finished the bottom half bam bam bam. Agreed that SPREAD'EM is nice. Was going for "rat racer" or some such for SARDINE, even though I witnessed first-hand the employees in a Tokyo subway station whose job it was to shove people all the way in the cars so that the doors could close. Once, just to see, I lifted both feet off the floor of the train And. I. Did. Not. Move.

I watched "Murder, She Wrote" some, but kept wanting "Nantucket" off the A and second C.

COHORT is a great word. "Associate" is one thing, but the minute someone introduces me as his COHORT, I'm doing a quick mental review to see what kind of mischief we did. Kinda feels like a partner in crime, no?

One of my favorite Fridays in a while. Thanks, guys!

Hungry Mother 6:55 AM  

For some reason, the E in SPINETS was my last entry. Typical Friday for me.

optionsgeek 7:08 AM  

Beg to differ on the clue to REDEYE. A red-eye flight, by definition, flies during the night. But there's nothing in particular that days the flight must necessarily "leave" at night. Many (most?) red-eyes I've flown to Europe leave during daylight hours, particularly in summer. Seems like an editing error.

Old Lady 7:09 AM  

Easiest Friday in memory. Finished the puzzle before the first cup of coffee. More Wednesday than Friday. Filled in most of the longer a crosses with only a couple or three letters. Glorious weather in the Northeast for weeks. Still summer in the middle of September.

Z 7:18 AM  

Learned that MARTINETS are not the same thing as marionettes. Fortunately, I've been to SAN REMO (3 decades ago), have seen DNA LAB a time or fifty in puzzles, and finally got ETC. ETC, so didn't need to know the actual definition of MARTINETS.

CABOT COVE and KIRSTIE Alley? Is that 80's music I hear playing?

If I lead a Gym Class in Western India am I a GOA PE teacher? Magnificent Beasts everywhere want to know.

joho 7:58 AM  

You know what's nuTS? nuTS to BATS was my only write-over on a Friday. So, yes, this was definitely on the easy side.

Both the word, SCUBA, and it's clever clue tickled me and got this puzzle off to a great start.


It's really nice getting a Friday puzzle that doesn't make me feel like a SCHMO ... thanks, Gareth and Brad!

Gubdude 8:08 AM  

Very easy Friday. Only real holdup was the SE where I couldn't see RECTO or ETCETC or DNALAB. Kept wanting a city for the CSI but neither Las Vegas, Miami nor New York fit. Kept thinking "is there a CSI: Dallas that I don't know about?"

CABOTCOVE was definitely a nice foothold as I have watched Murder, She Wrote many a time.

I thought the fill was pretty good overall. Nothing stood out to me as bad. Thanks for a fun Friday solve!

RAD2626 8:17 AM  

Agree with sentiment that it was easy for a Friday but cannot figure out exactly why. Lots of good words - COHORTS, CABOT COVE, US AND THEM, SCARFACED (I started with archenemy), IONOSPHERE, OBSOLESCE. Nothing gimme about those. Real tribute to cluing and clever fill that those all fell fairly readily. Started with GRipers for GEEZERS so lost some time in the SE. Just a really well constructed puzzle.

Mohair Sam 8:18 AM  

Could have written @Rex's comments today. Agree with him from the guilty joy of good old CABOTCOVE (Angela was on TCM in "Gaslight" the other night Rex), to getting MARTINETS off NETS and having no idea why - I'm sure I've never spoken the word.

Didn't know KIRSTIE Alley had a reality show, but how many seven letter Alley's are floating around out there? Didn't consider the chicken as a DANCECRAZE, I thought it was something drunk people did at weddings.

Someday I'll remember that MIC is the abbreviation for microphone, not mike - it'll save us a ton of time on crosswords.

Lobster11 8:18 AM  

Maybe my fastest Friday ever, but I can't say for sure because I solve on paper and never time myself. Ordinarily I'd be a little disappointed that a Friday puzzle didn't last longer, but given my schedule today a fast solve was a good thing.

I'm always amused by the diversity of knowledge people bring to the table. The first answer I wrote in, without hesitation, was USANDTHEM. My opinion that "Dark Side of the Moon" is (by far) the greatest rock album ever made has not changed 40 years. But CABOTCOVE might just as well have been a random string of letters as far as I was concerned; I only got that after nailing nearly all of the crosses, and even then it was a guess. Diversity is good, right?

r.alphbunker 8:27 AM  

Puzzle report

Had only one significant stall (3:30 near the beginning of puzzle) between KIRSTIE and AMENS. After that it was smooth sailing.

The puzzle report now will show all unique clues for an answer when you click the underlined answer in the first table. The date given is the first occurrence of the clue.

What do you think of these clues?
1951.04.01 TIL {Portuguese diacritical mark} Today: {To}
1951.08.12 SARDINE {Import from Portugal} Today: {Rush-hour subway rider, figuratively}

Porker 8:33 AM  

Cabot Cove is ridiculously dated and doesn't belong in a crossword puzzle that calls itself the best in the world. But somehow this doesn't apply to Angela Lansbury (or anything from "Bewitched.")

Sir Hillary 8:59 AM  

Super easy for a Friday. The whole thing fell so fast I barely noticed the entries that bugged @Rex.

Interesting pop culture timeline in the NW:
-- 1960s - "You Only Live Twice"
-- 1970s - "Dark Side of the Moon"
-- 1980s/90s - "Murder She Wrote"

Glenn Patton 9:00 AM  

Thanks for mentioning that you'd like the WSJ puzzles in .puz format. I sent an email to puzzles@ask.com earlier in the week but haven't had a response.

jberg 9:05 AM  

nuTS! That's what held me up in the NW, since confirmed and was confirmed by ABATED. On the other hand, I got MARTINETS with no crosses, so I was feeling proud of myself there. Steep back before SPREAD 'EM, and I still don't see how adenine tri-phosphate is a "court organization," and didn't know CABOT COVE so wrote in the real place Cobbs COVE. So this played a bit hard for me; I think I got it all in the end, though.

IONS twice this week, and now IONOSPHERE! Fortunately, "Heaviside" was one letter short, or I'd never have finished.

Tita 9:23 AM  

Do telephone 0s still say OPERATOR? My sister was one. Imagine, kids...GEEZERS could pick up a phone, press one button, and a real person could find and connect you to anyone... Kinda like a smart Siri.

Speaking of smart, imagine my shock when I picked up the puzzle this morning, to see that I had filled in SOLID the entire top half before nodding off last night.
I don't even do that on Mondays...
Brat pack name broke my streak...The SE was a minor speed bump... but I do think this was the easiest Friday for me ever.

I liked the puzzle just fine, in spite of the easiness. (is that pronounced like business?)

Thanks GB. & BW.

Nancy 9:30 AM  

Very easy for a Friday until, suddenly, it wasn't. Spent 90% of my solving time in the NE, as far down as LOWE. What a problem my lack of pop culture knowledge caused me today! I had KIRSTen FOR 23A, which I didn't change and didn't change. So I couldn't see SISTER for 21D, as the E was making me think BESTIE instead. (Is that a modern term for best friend? I had no idea.) The false N kept me from seeing AGAPE at 10D. I had ASHEN instead. I was also thinking AREA for venue, instead of SITE, though I didn't write it in because it wasn't working for me. I could not for the life of me think of any other IONO- other than IONOSPHERE, but that wasn't working either. Finally I thought: No, not KIRSTen. KIRSTey!!!! No help. That was wrong, too. Only when I came up with KIRSTIE and changed BESTIE to SISTER and ASHEN to AGAPE, was I able to complete this. I bet few of you made this mistake. And if I'd been willing to Google, I could have saved myself a lot of sturm and drang. But, as I've said, I am much too proud and much too stubborn to ever Google. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, btw. I'm glad it played hard for me in that one section and offered some resistance.

RooMonster 9:35 AM  

Hey All !
Seemed easy-med for a themeless FriPuz. Also sussed out IONOSPHERE with just the IO_O in place. Didn't fall for the bAnAnA trap, as that was too easy a clue for a Friday, more like a MonPuz clue. Faltered at ETC ETC, bit of a stretch, to me. Was stuck in SE and SW, then looked at the partial_AR_INE_S, and said, "That looks like SARDINEs, heh", then had a laugh when I sussed out 36D! There's the SARDINE! Once I got that, already having the Z in GEEZERS made DANCE CRAZE come into view. Great clue on that one.

A couple of wrong letters, so a DNF. Oh well, not the first time, certainly not the last time!


Bob Kerfuffle 9:47 AM  

Nice Medium Friday for me, easy up North, bit more difficult in the South.

Had a little smile at the crosses of BATS/ABATES and AGAPE/GOAPE, for no good reason.

John V 10:03 AM  

Fun but, save for NW, pretty easy, indeed. CABOTCOVE/USANDTHEM was a hard cross for me, as I have neither Christie nor Pink Floyd in my rep.

mathgent 10:13 AM  

Some words caught my attention. I'm wondering if STUCCO is used much on the East Coast. it's common out here -- we don't have many brick buildings. If "mashed potato" is the title of a dance it should be capitalized. Not a fair misdirect. When I make my list of words I learned from the puzzles and haven't seen out of that context, MOHS will be there

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

I would have thought RECTO is the even number page. Though as I pick up a book I"m reading I see it is not. And DEMOS are, in fact, routinely sold. Been to a car dealership Will?

Carola 10:34 AM  

Hmmm, seems like I might be the first one not finding this easy. Medium for me, verging on challenging in the NW as I had no idea about the three long Acrosses and I had to work away at the Downs before I had any chance of seeing CABOT COVE or US AND THEM or what kind of -FACED Blofeld was (I did consider aCne-)

I liked the school-visiting SCUBA diver hovering over one lone SARDINE.

Leapfinger 10:41 AM  

Thinking epidemiologically, I wanted COHORT to stay in the singular, but Dang if Byron's Sennacherib didn't prove me wrong.

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his COHORTS were gleaming in purple and gold

Ready to attack Jerusalem in the early morning light, apparently most of the Assyrian army died mysteriously while asleep.

The might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.

Byron's poem gives the same account as the Bible, but somehow Sennacherib's Assyrian chronicles of the event don't note any major loss of life, and state that Jerusalem ultimately paid tribute. Can you believe His Story?

Great Friday colLABoration, and I really like the way it corners.

Back later/ Enjoy the day!

Lobster11 10:43 AM  

Thanks for the link to the WSJ crossword, Rex. I really enjoyed it: on the easy side, but 100% dreck-free!

Andrew Heinegg 11:13 AM  

I am in complete agreement with RP on this one. This was a mostly entertaining and interesting puzzle slightly damaged by some crosswordese tripe. The other 'issue' is the ease of a solve for a Friday. But, the blame for that lies at the feet of Mr. Shortz. A solid effort here;

Karen 11:15 AM  

Was this a joke, or a mistake? This puzzle doesn't belong on a Friday, way too easy. I've done Wednesday puzzles that were more difficult.

dramawritcomp 11:28 AM  

MARTINET is a word that has stayed with me for some reason since high school. I don't remember ever seeing it in a crossword before, so it was a NICE surprise along with great entries like SPREAD EM, HOT MIC, and SCAR FACED among others. Lots of fun cluing, too, such as that for 1D, 14D, and 46A. Thanks, Gareth and Brad, for a good start to my Friday.

mac 11:51 AM  

I completely agree with @Loren, except: I got sardine completely from the crosses. Had to hunt for it when I read her post!

This is my favorite kind of Friday puzzle: some gorgeous words, and the lesser ones clued in a fun way.

Thanks, Brad and Gareth.

old timer 11:51 AM  

Never heard "US AND THEM" so that was a total guess. Fortunately had heard of Ron CEY. Kind of easy for a Friday, but far from simple. As OFL write, "workmanlike". But not a gem.

For some reason, I put down the cringe-worthy "obsoleted" at the bottom right. Then I remembered OBSOLESCE. I think it is a fine word to use on a Friday or Saturday, even though what you hear -- if you hear it at all, is "become obsolete". Looking it up in the dictionary, it seems "obsolesce" is a better match for PASSE, because "obsolete" implies no longer used at all, while "obsolesce"is the process of becoming disused. Fashions or phrases can be PASSE but still be in occasional use.

To my mind, COHORT is the most misused word in the English language. It originally meant a unit in the Roman armies. It can be used figuratively to refer to a group of people constantly seen together -- for instance, the Rat Pack, from today's puzzle. It should never be used to refer to a single person, in place of "friend" or "pal" or "associate". I'm surprised our favorite English prof did not protest.

I agree with OFL, though, GOAPE should just GOAWAY.

OISK 11:52 AM  

This geezer doesn't know Pink Floyd from Black Sabbath, from Purple Haze, from Blue Cheese! So I was annoyed, at first. The rest was really fine, even if I forgot what ATP stands for outside of biology. Clever cluing, suitable difficulty, very little crosswordese. Just a solid, professional puzzle. Make nice.

Didn't get to post yesterday, but Mr. Polin deserves a mention; I really enjoyed the Thursday puzzle this week.

AliasZ 11:57 AM  

Very easy Friday, due to the lack of dreck and MUWOCs [made-up words of convenience]. Seemed like a themeless Wednesday to me. The two trip-stack 9s were solid, clean and pleasant. I take solid, clean and pleasant over edgy, hip or cool any day of the week.

Lovely word, OBSOLESCE (from the Latin obsolescere), which should be used more often, as should acquiesce, coalesce, evanesce or opalesce. I also loved IONOSPHERE, COHORTS, CABOT COVE, MAKE NICE and SAN REMO. Come to think of it, there was very little I didn't like in this one.

Speaking of words, why do the two verbs conspire and inspire become conspiracy and inspiration in their noun forms? Why not conspiration and inspiracy? Wondering minds need to know.

DANCE CRAZE reminded me of the Dança movement of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Enjoy your Friday.

Lewis 12:14 PM  

I like the MOHS/TOES/STUCCOS conglomeration in the middle, that DEMOTES goes down, and the mini-theme of words ending in o (6). One can find tepid fill, but there are some stellar words too: COHORT, MARTINETS, OBSOLESCE, REDEYES, PASSE, MAKENICE, and HOTMIC. And some good cluing: DINNERS, TOES, SCUBA, REDEYES, and ETHER.

It didn't start easy for me, then some things fell, then the puzzle said "grandpa". I'm saying grandpa instead of "uncle" because I just found out this week that for the first time, I'm going to become one. So there!

Dan 12:24 PM  

I'm pretty familiar with the Ian Fleming oeuvre and I don't get "scar-faced" for Blofeld. In YOLT he is masquerading in Japan as Dr. Shatterhand tempting people to suicide. I don't recall any description of his face, period.

Anoa Bob 12:33 PM  

Never read---or is it saw---Murder She Wrote, so didn't know CABOTCOVE. Other than that, like a lot of others, thought it was a pretty easy Friday. One thing that stood out for me was the number of words that needed a one-letter-count bump to fit their respective slots, including several of the longer, marquee entries. I'm calling this one POC assisted.

Pink Floyd

Martel Moopsbane 12:38 PM  

We should all keep an ION tomorrow's puzzle to see if variations on that answer continue for a fourth consecutive day.

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

I happily wrote in CASTINEME for CABOTCOVE,-- remembering that the show had been partly filmed in Castine, Maine -- which worked for while, but obv not for long

nick 12:58 PM  

Finished w/o google so yeah, easy for a Friday. Liked this puzzl a lot. Loved finding beautiful words like ionosphere, martinets, mica and obsolescence. Loved that the obsolescence here was minor (cabot cove, rob lowe) loved seeing cory booker. Fun way to start Friday.

Paul Statt 1:29 PM  

SCUBA is not a verb, so it shouldn't be clued as "Do..." I had REUNE, which was a real mess.

Leapfinger 1:44 PM  

@jberg, adenosine triphosphate, but who's quibbling? I figured ATP had to stand for American Tennis Psomething. I too noticed we went from a bad-clued ION to a well-clued ION to a ballooning ION. There seems to be some sort of quest ION involved, doesn't there?

Nice to see the nod to @GEEZER Jack with a nearby KRONE to keep him company, and to have the straphanging subway-rider turn into a SARDINE. Perhaps going out for DINNER, to DINE at Sardi's? I may have heard MARTINET first on SCUBA's Radio Marti Network, but more likely I read it in Little Women or Mary Poppins.

A few things I need to remember:
Think ecumenical, for fill like ROSH and ADAR
The difference between CASABA and Cassava.
The difference between SAN REMO and Salerno. Different seas.
The third Musketeer was Not ADAR-TOES.
Sometimes I can be such an IDIOM...

SPREAD 'EM? Okay... EEEeeemmmMMM. A nice lead-in to the crossing MEEE... uh, EMMYS.

Only quibble: 44D is short by a third. Everyone knows the phrase is ETC, ETC, ETC. Just ask the King of Siam.

Bottom line: I recommend many more Bain-Wilbur collaborations.

Happy Friday and AMENS sana in corpore sano, all y'all.

Charles Flaster 1:56 PM  

Love the construction and the constructors but this played like a Tuesday for me.
Very EZ.
Aren't demos eventually sold?
Favorite answers were DANCE CRAZE and ETHER.
EMMYS-- two consecutive days.
My old "grand pappy" liked to say "COHORTS are in cahoots" and English was his fourth language.
Thanks GB and BW.

quilter1 1:57 PM  

Stop and go solve for me due to necessary errands and other life demands. I knew when I saw the constructors' names it would be good fun and it was.

Teedmn 2:01 PM  

Rhetorical question - why can I never bring to mind who is on any given piece of currency? Perhaps because everything gets spent as soon as I break my ATM-procured 20s. My husband always has change but I'm always saying "All I have is twenties". Sometimes this works in my favor, sometimes it means I pay more than my share. As you may have guessed, I couldn't bring to mind ABE off the E, especially since, a la @joho, I had nuTS. Finally getting the 9s in the NW cleared that up.

Had some trouble in the LOWE/SCHMO area, wanting GRay in the GRIM spot but figured that out too. Trying to speed solve over my lunch hour meant that my head felt stuffy when I finally came for air after 25 minutes. Close to a typical Friday, not easy for me.

Said oooh when I saw IONOSPHERE. And DANCE CRAZE was only a gimme once I had the Z in GEEZERS. 33A clue was nice but wasted on an occupation that I would guess doesn't exist anymore. I was looking for a music genre for "Club metal" ( maybe it is?) and the misdirection at 58A misdirected me successfully.

Nice Friday, Gareth and Brad.

GILL I. 3:12 PM  

About once a month my husband and I meet up with friends at Panera's for coffee and intellectual conversation... i.e. Whose turn was it to bring the damn dog treats?
Anyway, my friend John, who thinks doing the NYT puzzle is something only a pseudo Aristotelian wannabe would attempt, is a sixty something or other hippie. He has long, wild white hair (but doesn't wear it in a pony tail thank you very much) and knows a lot about nothing and even more about lots. No surprise, he's a Pink Floyd junkie... I told him that one clue was keeping me from finishing my puzzle and it had to do with PF. He lit up like a Christmas tree..."Go ahead, hit me with it... USANDTHEM!!!!!Hah! Not so hard after all, is it? Ha Ha." Then I hit him with MARTINETS...
SAN REMO is plain awful...Go to Nice and eat Ratatouille...

Anonymous 4:32 PM  

Has ADAR been clued this way before? my first guess was LEAP

Carola 5:27 PM  

@Lewis - Congratulations! There's nuthin' like it!

Anonymous 5:31 PM  

Anony 4:32, it's been a while since LEAP saw 29 in the rear-view mirror, but thanks for ADAR-ling thought.


Mohair Sam 5:40 PM  

@GILL I - Loved your Panera story. Sooner or later there's something in the puzzle for everyone. Today's may have covered the planet.

Tita 6:40 PM  

@r.alph...cool data points!!
"What do you think of these clues?
1951.04.01 TIL {Portuguese diacritical mark} Today: {To}"
Wow - I think most of us would have hated that clue - but it is more interesting than "To".

"1951.08.12 SARDINE {Import from Portugal} Today: {Rush-hour subway rider, figuratively}"
Ha - I didn't look at the date on this - and said to myself - "now that's a throwback". 1951 indeed - Portugal probably was one of the top producers/exporters back then.
Odd - I hate anchovies, but love sardines.

@Gill - I've been making ratatouille regularly since the abundance of tomatoes, peppers, zuchs, yellow squash, eggplant, leek, and all the herbs are in either the local farm markets or my own garden. A subset of all those things can go into mine depending on what's available.
Never put sardines in it, but that is a thing...a quick google led me to a recipe that includes as an ingredient marrow...hmmm...

Tony Montana 7:46 PM  

Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Teedmn 8:36 PM  

@Lewis, congrats on the upcoming 'grandpahood'. Is this the beginning of GEEZERdom? I'm guessing not :-).

@Tita, the first night my husband and I were in Lisbon, we walked down to the plaza by the bay and ate dinner at a sidewalk cafe. My husband wanted something authentically Portuguese so the waiter recommended the grilled SARDINEs. I don't remember what I had but he certainly remembers his meal!

Carola 8:55 PM  

@Tita - Re: the recipe - could it have been British, with the marrow referring to vegetable marrow, a zucchini-like summer squash?

mac 10:11 PM  

@Lewis: congratulations!

GILL I. 10:20 PM  

@Tita....I think it's called the courgette's overgrown cousin...

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

@Gill, I thought the Courgette was this classic sleek American sports car.

Burma Shave 9:06 AM  


The GEEZER’S attempt to MAKENICE shows he’s no OPERATOR,
it’s PASSE to cry, ”SPREADEM, SISTER.” as an IDIOM to date her.


rondo 10:15 AM  

Easy, fast, and fun puz. I don’t really mark time, but this puz took about 15 minutes, which is lightning fast for me on a Fri-puz. Saw the Pink Floyd clue right off and USANDTHEM (only heard it a bajillion times) was in and then the downs and off to the races. The H in SCHMO was the very last.

@Ron Diego, yeah I still read previous day posts, and here we are today as RONS!

Shout out to the KRONE (Swedish for crown). The Swedish KRONE features 3 crowns on it, symbolizing the 3 merged kingdoms that created Sverige (Swedish for Sweden). Enough trivia.

KIRSTIE Alley, former yeah baby in Cheers days and before, saw her some time ago on one of those DANCECRAZE shows, kinda big now, but EVENSO . . .

Always appreciate a Bond clue, I’ve got all the Bond movies on video up TIL Daniel Craig and saw them in theater, looks like another coming up in a couple weeks!

Even though OFL had a list of soso fill, there’s not that much to complain about, in my book.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

Everything has been said except that for a neophyte the puzzle could have been difficult. We old-timers have seen plenty of adars, actII, go ape, steno, idiom, mohs, etc. But I do agree, for a Friday, this was easy/peasy.

Thanks, Rondo, for looking back. I don't know about your name's origin but mine was because good ole mom was infatuated with Ronald Coleman. I overheard her in my teens when talking with her sister.

I say Bain and Wilber should start a brokerage firm. It sounds familiar somehow.

Anyway, it was a fun puzzle. It sorta lacked zip and spice for a Friday, though.

Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA (Where Dear Abby writes to our little village for advice).

rondo 8:56 PM  

Hey! Where's the rest of today's posts? Must be an emergency in the Parker world. Or alot of cocktails?

spacecraft 9:03 PM  

Easy peasy. Got started in the SE with PASSE, MICA, MINE, ETCETC. Some less than ideal fill, but SPREADEM and MAKENICE...makes me think of "Baby make sweet, can't you see I'm on a losing streak?" from that Stones anthem "Satisfaction..." these are gold. This GEEZER liked it. B.

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