Old townhouse feature / FRI 11-6-15 / Myers 24 character / Stable character of old TV / Weighted weapon used by Inca army / Leader of battle of Alesia / Word derived from another that has related meaning like wisdom from wise

Friday, November 6, 2015

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Easy (PARONYM nearly raised it to Easy-Medium, but not quite)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: PARONYM (49A: Word derived from another that has a related meaning, like "wisdom" from "wise") —
• • •

Well this was just lovely. I kept pausing to admire it because I could tell early that it was going to be too easy, and thus over too quickly. There's a real Patrick Berry-like smoothness to the grid, though this one has a ton of life and bounce and currency (unlike some of Patrick Berry's recent offerings, which have felt a little staid). The highlights here are the colloquialisms—scads of them, long ones, traipsing all over the grid [side note: I just looked up "traipsing" to make sure I was using it right, and it's a Weird word. The first definitions of "traipse" relate to walking "wearily" or "casually," and "traipse" has synonyms like "trudge," "trek," "tramp," "tromp" ... BUT "traipsing" also appears to shade toward "gallivanting" or "gadding," words with far lighter, springier, bouncier implications, ... suggesting aimless pursuit of entertainment more than slogging. Anyway, I imagine the colloquialisms in this puzzle skipping hither and yon ... not trudging. Just to be clear]. I got "THAT SAID ..." instantly, and then ran a bunch of the Downs from there. Loved finding "SAME HERE!" right underneath, and then, under that, the jarring commercial juxtaposition of PRILOSEC SPEEDOS. Swooped into the middle of the puzzle and made my first (and only) big mistake—though it was one that was very easily fixable:

I don't mind falling into traps I can easily crawl out of. Traps where I get out of them going "Ha ... you got me ... good one," as opposed to those in which I just lay at the bottom, groaning. MR. ED (34D: Stable character of old TV) got me out of this particular trap, allowing me to change "I'M UP FOR ANYTHING" to "I'M UP FOR WHATEVER," and then the creamy center of the puzzle practically filled itself in. Another great colloquialism ("NO BIG DEAL") took me up to the NE, which went down pretty easily (though those sequestered corners—dead ends! no way out!—always feel dicey to me). Then I rode "The LEGO MOVIE" down into the SE, where I finally had to do a little Work. I had issues after getting to here:

Couldn't see DARKLY (and wasn't sure whether I could trust the "-LY" ending there, since we already had one in HARSHLY). Couldn't remember my 1977 AL baseball players (which is slightly embarrassing, considering that's an iconic year for me—the first year I collected baseball cards as a kid). Couldn't think only of EXIT VISA at 54A: Something an alien may have ... and couldn't figure out how a [Time for a party] could be (apparently) plural. Then, literally as soon as I took the above screenshot, I got NEW YEAR'S, CAREW, etc. until we reached the heart of the problem in the SW: PARONYM, which I didn't know at all.

I then eyeballed the SW corner and thought, "Narrow entrance, no exit .... deep breath." You never know what you're going to find in these little rooms. But this one proved more bunny than bear. I sent FOREIGNER down there, and then its neighbors IOTA and SARIS. I somehow went with EXCITE over INCITE, but that was the only hiccup. Puzzle finished when CAESAR called a TRUCE.

  • 16A: Mark on a golf course (O'MEARA) — very nice clue. Had the "O" and thought "One ... something ...?"
  • 41A: 2015 Super Bowl winners, familiarly (PATS) — I read the clue as [2015 Super Bowl winners, finally], and thought, "Jeez ... partisan much?"
  • 13D: Old townhouse feature (ORIEL) — bay windows that project from the walls of buildings but do not reach the ground. I get these confused with another kind of window ... something about an "eye" ...  that is also crosswordese ... it's slipping my mind right now. Aha: OXEYE, also known as "oeil-de-boeuf."
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 6:42 AM  

I have nothing but admiration for @Rex, who found this @Ian Livengood offering easy. I eventually made it to the end, but it was a schlep, starting with the confident way I filled in I'M_DOUBLE-JOINTED, based on zero crossings, for 35-Across.

Not too unexpectedly, @Ian brought a sports vibe to the puzzle with the fill and/or clues for PATS, O'MEARA, BERLIN, and (most fun to me) CAREW (though @Ian went Nixon on us with ARENA). Now, I've got @Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song running through my head; go to the 2 minute point where he makes a claim about Rod Carew; but then check here for the definitive debunking.

I was also pleased to see science fill and/or clues with GENE (therapy) and NEURON, but @Ian missed another one with GDP. [Note, I never took Econ. 101, but read the newspapers enough to be aware of gross national product (GNP); took some scrambling to switch to D for domestic.] Was the clue for NERDY a wink to one of @Rex's scholarly interests?

Finally, it was nice to learn a new word, PARONYM, but to me, the crossing with NINA was very hard. Then again, how many solvers would have responded kindly to an alternate clue featuring Al Hirschfeld's daughter, whose name was meticulously hidden at least once, and often multiple times, in each of his cartoon drawings.

Z 6:57 AM  

Stubbed my toe pretty hard on the PARONYM/DARKLY/DOSED trifecta. If not for that I would have finished in a Tuesday time.

PRILOSEC over SPEEDOS seems oddly, appropriately, nauseating.

@Alias Z - I tried to mention this yesterday (either I muffed the post or got moderated out by Rex), but I nearly did a spit take of some very good beer over your one l question.

Anonymous 7:03 AM  

Excellent Friday puzzle. Could have been a bossa nova song, words and music by Ian LIvengood, crossworld's Tom Jobim. Great melody and beautiful lyrics.

John Child 7:11 AM  

I found it quick too, though I ultimately DNF with bOxED and bAldLY at 40 across and down, respectively. As I wrote those in I somehow convinced myself that AVEx, PAlONYM, and WORdVISA were just things I didn't know, and I and never checked them again.

Lots of lovely answers, but I would have liked a more connected grid. But to all @Rex's praise, SAME HERE. Good one Mr Livengood.

Hartley70 7:29 AM  

No! Say it isn't "Easy"! I took a first quick pass at this and all I got was BERLIN and a choice between bikini/SPEEDO. So..I threw in the towel for 5 or 10 minutes before I had another peek. It still seemed impenetrable, but then I got CURDS and tried corn for PONE. I went with Prevacid before PRILOSEC, GnP before GDP, and BOLo before BOLA. In other words, I came to accept that my initial answer was inevitably wrong. @GeorgeBarany I would have loved the Hirshfeld NINA clue! It was my favorite part of the paper when I was young. The sports clues were a loss. I didn't even remember the PATS after all the Brady kerfuffle. Sigh.

But the brilliant thing about this puzzle is that after dragging out the mat and wrestling for a while, it was all do-able, either by crosses or looking at the clue askew. It rewarded persistence and that's exactly how a perfect Friday should roll. Thanks Ian!

Jamie C 8:01 AM  

Nice puzzle!
One small quibble: I disagree with the NEURON clue. A NEURON is not a "cell transmitter," it is a "transmitter cell." A "cell transmitter" would be a neurotransmitter like acetylcholine or norepinephrine.

Pete 8:14 AM  

Nearly flawless, and excellent in most places. My eyebrows only twitched when IRK proved correct at 45A after IRES was solidly in place at 7D - they're cognate and was too much a dupe.

Unknown 8:24 AM  

George, I far prefer your NINA clue to Ian's. I went with dINA (and oSER, hence PARAdoM) to my demise. Al deserves the props!

Medium hard FriPuz here. 1:05. Lots and lots of wrongness. reno for NOME. Peso for PONE. chemo for MANGE. sigN for OMEN.

I object to [Cell transmitter] NEURON, which is a transmitter cell. Based on the clue, I was searching for an organelle.

I guessed that 40D had to end with LY, the remembered that Spirit landed on Mars (not some provincial balloon port in Nantes) and so gathered ONELINER off the L and the R. That was my entry into the SE. Not an easy puzzle!

Jamie C 8:29 AM  

The Incans tried many types of BOLA before settling on the best. "A. BOLA" was soft and inflicted no harm. "B. Bola" would not fly straight and often injured the thrower. "C. Bola" was basically a cantaloupe on a string. "D. Bola" had potential, for it was the severed head of the Incas' worst enemy. However it rotted quickly. Finally, the Incas came up with the perfect "E. BOLA." It proved to be deadly for centuries to come.

Jamie C 8:45 AM  

@Casco: jinx! (regarding NEURON.)

Unknown 8:45 AM  

I loved this puzzle. I had to cheat to win which made it a medium Friday for me, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I thought the colloquial phrases were delicious. Thought TETHERBALL was a great answer, can't remember seeing that in a crossword before. I tried my best to fit Led Zeppelin into the grid (tried Led zeplin but it obviously didn't look right), but I was happy to find FOREIGNER there.

Mike D 8:55 AM  

I am offended by the reference to 1936 BERLIN. Clearly The New York Times is antisemitic.

GILL I. 8:55 AM  

These are the kinds of puzzles I love. I live for colloquialisms (well, that and a good glass of Pinot)...
Ian makes this puzzle gettable, even if you've never heard of PARONYM nor NINA Myers. That little basement section did me in. My aliens all had a WORn VISA because I made up wARNly and the people who gave shots WoOed me. I guess I would have gotten a C minus on this test.
Loved seeing TETHER BALL. I used to be the meanest player on the playground and by gum no one could beat me. The trick was to hit the BALL high and hard. When you're the tallest player, you can do that easily. After a while no one played with me. Every one was ANGRY and WEARY of me because I IRKed them all! Those were DARKLY days...
Good fun Ian Livengood because I am.

Horace S. Patoot 9:00 AM  

I really wanted "Gave shots?" to be POSED, and had to run through all the answers to find PARKLY.

Lobster11 9:09 AM  

OK, this is starting to get a little too weird. This is the third day in a row that Rex's comments have been, in almost every detail, exactly what I would have written. Today the only differences were that I'd rate it "medium" rather than "easy/medium," and I finished SW-then-SE rather than vice-versa.

I'm really not sure I'm comfortable with this. I'm pretty sure that at least one of us ought to be concerned.

Unknown 9:09 AM  

Doesn't THAT SAID mean "despite the aforementioned" rather than "given the aforementioned"?

Unknown 9:12 AM  

Like @George Barany and @ Hartley et al, SAMEHERE. it was a schlep (not tedious, but difficult), but a good one. Also admiration for @Rex's "easy" rating. Also, would have loved the alternate Hirschfeld clue for NINA -- because I would have known that!

I have ABIT of the granite used for the exterior "grid" (seen in the link below) for the correctly named Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. I watched the final year of its construction and culled it from the construction debris. So 23a was WHATEVER a gimme is that's more than a gimme.

ABIT of an odd clue for 4a. Not only dotted but dashed as well, as in the Morse Code. Or maybe a line dotted with telegraph poles? Just as odd. Seemed a weak clue primarily to create misdirection. THATSAID, NOBIGDEAL.

Charles Flaster 9:17 AM  

Agreed with Rex on the easy.
Liked cluing for OMEARA ,TETHERBALL( a wonderful game)and HIND LEG.
Write over GENE for BoNE(therapy).
CrosswordEASE--ORIEL, MR ED, and YSER,
There is a terrific HBO movie concerning the 1936 Olympics entitled GLICKMAN. It is quite well done .
Thanks IL.

Charles Flaster 9:18 AM  

Very creative.

Tita 9:21 AM  

@GeorgeB - as a kid, a Sunday highlight was to search for those NINAs. Thanks for the memory jog.

Highly segmented grid - I thought Rex hates those... I always thought they were appropriate for Fri/Sat. THis one did me in - the SE puzzle was a dnf. CAREW kept shouting into my NEURONs, but I didn't know he was Panamanian, so didn't enter it.
Peso for PONE worked against me (Hi @CK), and I just gave up.

Loved playing TETHERBALL - a good punch could wrap that puppy all the way around the pole.

I am a NONCOMic Con - that is, I don't know from the event except for Rex, and also thought that clueing NERDY as such was a mild swipe at OFL.

An easy-to-medium-to-medium challenging-to-dnf for the different mini puzzles in this grid.
In other words, a normal Friday experience.
Thanks Mr. L.

Nancy 9:26 AM  

I had such a good time with this one and I was so sorry when it was over. What makes one puzzle so much more entertaining than another? This was so lively and conversational, involved inspired guesses, rather than arcane knowledge and said some delightful cluing: SPEEDOS, OMEARA, TELEGRAPH. I certainly didn't find it easy; it offered more than enough resistence, but it rewarded imagination. MR ED enabled me to avoid the UP FOR anyThing trap, so I wrote in UP FOR WHATEVER at the outset. (Lovely answer.) I almost never remember constructors' names, so tell me: Is Ian Livengood always this good? A treat.

Mohair Sam 9:30 AM  

Fun and medium/challenging Friday for this team, as clean a puzzle as we've seen in a while. And it took a team to beat this one too - what she knew I didn't, and what I knew she didn't.

Very much agree with OFL's assessment today. Although we thought that Rex'd have no trouble with the SE that drove us nuts given his passion for baseball (CAREW) and his vocation (PARONYM) - we chuckled when we got here to see that he had suffered along with us.

@John Child - Wanted bAldLY and bOxED too (makes perfect sense to me), but Mrs. M. talked me out of it. And like @Casco we lost time with PesO for PONE.

Mrs. Mohair just told me that I may have been the only kid who thought the Muffet brat was eating her "CURDS away". Anybody else?

Great Friday, a real treat. Thank you Ian Livengood.

Nancy 9:37 AM  

@Gill (8:55 am)-- Oh, I never thought of you as mean before, but it was someone very like you, in both competitiveness and height, who caused me to badly sprain my ankle playing TETHERBALL at Camp Pinecliffe all those decades ago. Because I am NOT very tall, I was compelled to jump up very high to block one of her extremely aggressive shots (and because jumping high may not be my strong suit) I came down all wrong on my right ankle. It happened fairly early in the summer and I spent most of the rest of it on crutches. Needless to say, I never played TETHERBALL again.

It would be wonderful, even though we live on opposite coasts, to meet you sometime, @Gill. But you must promise me that we will never play TETHERBALL.

jberg 9:45 AM  

Everybody's said it already -- transmitter cell, 'anything' before WHATEVER, and smooth and easy until hitting the PARONYM/GINA cross. I almost came here with PAROgYM/gINA (I only watched that show once, at my brother's house, and don't really remember anything about it). I even began to doubt the Y in YSER. But I took one last look and realized that NYM was a better ending, and there it was.

I think the easy/medium break was whether THAT SAID popped into one's head immediately or not. It did, and T_PS at 1D confirmed it. Then my only problem was not knowing if it was PRIvOSEC or PRILOSEC.

@George Barany, thanks for evoking the memories of those Hirshfeld drawings. For you young 'uns, they ran on the first page of the arts section of the Sunday Times, relating to a new theatrical production, and he would put a little number down near his signature so that you would know whether you had found all the NINAs. Many a happy hour (I had more time back then!)

Unknown 9:48 AM  

Sorry. My link appeared OK in preview but not online. so, a copy and paste version:


Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:51 AM  

MR ED again. My dog Orion is suddenly thinking his crown, for the number of times HE gets into the puzzle, a bit less of an honor.

Unknown 9:58 AM  

Or (after refreshing - hopefully- my memory of how to do this):

Beinecke Library Building

Carola 10:01 AM  

Medium, then challenging (SE) for me. While @Rex was merrily traipsing, I was enjoying a slow meander through a fresh crossword landscape. Somewhat sadly, my entry to the puzzle was via PRILOSEC, with which I have, alas, too great a familiarity. From there TELEGRAPH brought me to TETHERBALL, and I was able to branch out from there.

In the SE, guessing -NYM got me YSER and Moon; from the C, I guessed CAREW, the only baseball name I know that starts with that letter. After erasing the -oon from MOON, I was able to see ONE-LINER, then MARS, then got the rest. I'd considered Peso (hi, @Casco) and "saw" for "Got."

Loved HIND LEG, BULWARK, CAR BARN, MANGE. Didn't know FOREIGNER, NINA, PARONYM. Somewhat surprised to look back and see the negativity in such a lovely puzzle: IRES, IRK, ANGRY, HARSHLY, DARKLY, PANIC.

Arlene 10:06 AM  

I agree about a Hirschfeld clue for NINA. I just attended a booksigning for the latest tome on the topic "The Hirschfeld Century". Well worth looking into!

Leapfinger 10:08 AM  

@Jamie C and @CascoK, SAMEHERE, that's what I CALLA NEURON also. @Jamie, I was gritting my teeth as you ran the alphabet A-E. As a former New Havenite, my line for that fill is "BOLA, BOLA, class of '43!"

And now for a quick peek back at yesterday (minimal Spoiler Lerts):
Apparently there's an irresistible force within this solving community that compels an explanation of ELS, despite the stated observation that likely many other such have already been on offer. (Approx 17, as a rough estimate.) And that in the face of there not being many ways to add further insights to the explanation ... It really was a quite excellent illustration of 'LogicaL extremes'.

So then I was at the hair salon for an afternoon shearing, and during a lull in the action revelling in such as made it through for the morning cut in comments, when up pops a one-liner requesting an explanation for ONE_L. This was
a. A perfect tie-in with the previous day's run-on Q&A winner
b. A perfect tie-in with Ogden Nash's favourite Andean beast
c. A perfect bit of timing and wording
d. A perfect incentive to splat a mouthful of ice-water flavoured with cucumber slices.

For all the above, my sincere thanks to @Gill, @AliasZ and a cast of DOZens.

I can't be as terse as @Z.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:16 AM  

Happy to be in almost complete agreement with Rex for once. Easy and fun.

Just one write-over, NERDS >> NERDY.

If there had been one or two colloquial phrases in the bottom third of the puzzle, would have qualified as a theme.

jae 10:18 AM  

I agree with @Rex, easy for a Fri.  No erasures and PAROMYN was my only WOE.  I put in THAT SAID with no crosses and just kept going.

The puzzle was fine. Plenty of zip and very smooth.  So, liked it except for being too easy.  Does it seem like Friday's have been easier lately?  I mean the Wed. AVCX was much tougher and was billed as like a Fri. themeless.  Maybe it should have been?

mac 10:29 AM  

What a beautiful puzzle, Ian Livengood! A delight.

Paronym was the last cue to go in, but Nerds instead of Nerdy caused some trouble up North. Oriel had to be it, though.

Steve M 10:31 AM  

Best nyt puzzle in ages loved it and was doable

Andrew Heinegg 10:42 AM  

I am in complete agreement with lobster11. I also concur with Mr. Welling's comment about the clue for 1a. I made the whatever error in 35a but, like Rex, corrected it easily. I am a bit surprised that Rex allowed the shot over the bow at him by MikeD. I sometimes wonder if the only way to be politically correct is a variation on the 'better to be quiet and thought a fool then to speak and remove all doubt' saying. I would not want to be a movie star, professional athlete or a politician in the world we live in now. You get asked about everything and, no matter what your response is, you can rest assured that there will be some condemnation from someone for what you said. A big part of this is controversy gets attention. If you are a writer/reporter and need attention to be marketable, it will serve you well to assert controversy about what was said or done.

AliasZ 10:58 AM  

I always liked Ian Livengood puzzles, and this one was no exception. Jeff Chen however made an excellent observation: if you add one black square at four strategic locations, the grid would become 5 non-interlocking minipuzzles. This type of grid design does not bode well for unimpeded flow in the solving process. Otherwise there wasn't much not to like about it, except perhaps HARSHLY and DARKLY. I am filing PARONYM under "Neat New Words", to access it and use it when appropriate.

THAT SAID is one of those useless phrases without which the English language would be much better. It is a silence filler, not unlike starting a sentence with "So..." or "The bottom line is", "At the end of the day" or "In the real world", or adding the word "guys" to the end of every sentence while addressing a mixed-gender group of people. I prefer silence. Yes, they are all colloquial and everyone uses them, but so is "bullshit."

THAT SAID (or its variants, "having said that", "that having been said" or "that being said") is the definition of imprecision, confused logic, indecision, and more often than not it betrays disingenuousness or fuzziness as to exactly what one's honest opinion is. It is a license to not take a stance on an issue, or being on both sides of it at the same time -- much like texting or talking on the phone while getting served at a busy coffee shop counter is a license to be rude.

Crossword blog posters are all a bunch of morons. Having said that, I am honored and delighted to be a member of this community.

That being said, at the end of the day it is what it is. Just saying. And this is my bottom line.

Ludyjynn 11:13 AM  

First pass through yielded SARIS and ANGRY and one stupid writeover, 'Munich' for BERLIN. I could visualize Jesse Owens in the stadium ARENA, but mixed up the two Olympic sites til NONCOM set me straight.

This was not 'Easy' for me. Hand up, @Hartley, for the struggle which ensued. But MR ED got me on the constructor's wavelength and stuff started to fall, finally, all over the grid, making for a solid Medium, meaty Friday.

Hand up, @GeorgeB et al. for Herschfeld's NINA being a preferable clue. I so looked forward every week to Page One of the Sunday NYT Arts section to see one of his brilliant caricatures and count the Ninas.

Thanks, IL and WS, for a fab Friday. Thanks, Rex, for the FOREIGNER earworm.

cwf 11:38 AM  

@Joseph Welling makes a good point! Also agreed with @Jamie C and @Casco. "Transmitter cell", not "cell transmitter". "Cellular transmitter" would have worked though.

Otherwise a joy to solve on my Brooklyn stoop in a tee shirt and shorts an a November morning.

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Remarkable how similar my solving experience was to Rex's, right down to the IMUPFORANYTHING and EXCITE errors.

jp flanigan 12:16 PM  

Had a few mistakes off the bat. IMUPFORanything was there. Then NOproblem fit. That all worked itself out fine. Where i really shot myself in the foot was SE. first answer i put in was CORN (southern bread) then off of that WRYHUMOR fit for the Mitch Hedberg joke. OWN instead of WON made me think i was right. Thankfully CAREW saved me from a DNF, and i erased everything and started again.

Good puzzle.

Lewis 12:21 PM  

@rex -- "... proved more bunny than bear" -- great line!

I loved all the colloquialisms Rex mentioned plus FALSEALARM, as well as the answers ARRAIGN and ONELINER (and I loved the one liner in the clue). Terrific clues for OMEARA and SPEEDOS, and very nice that the puzzle had PATS down. I learned CARBARN. At some point in the solve I had to muster faith that if I stuck with it, it would fall, and I did, and it did. Smooth, lively, and lovely. Memorably good.

Teedmn 12:39 PM  

Can it be considered easy if it took 19 minutes and had multiple writeovers? Yet it seemed to flow pretty smoothly with BERLIN and ANGRY being my footholds.

Hand up for @Rex's "anything" before WHATEVER and exCITE but before I could PANIC, I fixed that one. net>nAb>BAG made the center a bit squishy but BULWARK supported me there. Considered OMErtA at 16A but recall any mob executions on a golf course, so the crosses filled that in.

The SE was hardest for me because the LE of 31D wasn't bringing LEGOMOVIE to mind. But MARS gave me NYM, what I thought was going to be a WOE at 46D turned out to be the Twins' Rod CAREW and all was well.

So a nice Friday offering, Mr. Live good, thanks.

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

When I was in law school, I got in serious trouble for saying that the Loyola symbol looked like two squirrels playing tetherball, rather than two wolves surrounding a cooking pot, so I have a fondness for tetherball as a clue in any crossword puzzle.

My new pet peeve, since I am not a baby boomer, is this growing trend of using medications in crossword puzzles. By my count, we've now had treatment for parkinsons, treatment for alzheimers and treatment for peptic ulcers in rapid fire. Really? I mean, these medications are made up words, so are they really fair? And are speedos really that risque anymore?

I don't like the modern pop culture and I've complained about that, but I'm thrilled with the AARP medicine cabinet either.

Anoa Bob 12:48 PM  

Good workout. Couple of nuggets for the wordy-NERDY amongst us with BULWARK (22D) & PARONYM (49A). Those got many a NEURON to light up in my cruciverbal cortex.

THATSAID, I do agree with @Jamie C & @Casco Kid that the clue for NEURON, "Cell transmitter" is off. "Transmitter cell" would work, methinks, but "Cell transmitter" suggests something more like "synapse, "axon", "serotonin", or some such.

No GLUT of POCs in this one. The frequency of the uber-useful S "tile" in the grid, about 6%, is the same as in standard English text (Cornell.edu). Gives the fill a heartier, more-grain-less-chaff feel.

Z 12:56 PM  

@Joseph Welling - Either, depending on context, I think.

@Lobster11 - don't worry, he'll say something that you disagree with soon.

@Casco Kid and @ Jaime C - Sometimes in xword clues the modifier comes after the noun just to f&$( with us. These instances seem especially designed to IRK people who know too much. Congratulations.

Maruchka 12:57 PM  

A BIT PB-ish, yes, but less of an "Aha! Hee-Hee!" payoff. Liked the smoothness.

Corn/PONE, doped/DOSED (avep?).

I once knew a lovely, intellectually challenged cat named Wendell. He'd get lost between the back stairs and the kitchen door, meowing pitifully. A friend observed: "If you look deeply into Wendell's eyes, you can actually see the NEURONs misfiring".

Masked and Anonymous 1:27 PM  

Only 9 of 70 words in this FriPuz have M&A Runtpuz Usage Immunity. No wonder @009 thought it was "lovely".

On the plus side, this FriPuz has old @009 fave IRES, which has Triple Patrick Berry Immunity.
Which of these lil jewels used today do y'all suppose does **not** have PB1 Immunity?
(answer down at the end)

Frankly, I don't know how Livengood built this grid. Its too good to be true. Only thing keepin M&A from being real suspicious of Livengood's home planet is IRES. IRES has just that faint bouquet of desperation needed, to avoid total flag-raising perfection. YSER.

fave weeject: BAG. (Non-controversial, on account of it not bein OLD.)

fave clue: {Dotted line?} at 4-D. That clue almost rates a double-??, whose first use is way long overdo in the Gray Lady. Shoot, Runtpuz earlier this week had its inaugural 3-?? clue. So, NYTPuz is really laggin behind, now. Very low-energy ... It's huge. But, I digress.

Had no big problems solvin this puppy. The long stuff was so dang smooth, I would usually nail em off two or so letters. Example: Got the grid-spanner off ?MU??…?V?R. SE's PARONYM/NINA/YSER might been the trickiest real estate to conquer, as M&A had DIRELY instead of DARKLY for a few tense, nanosecond beats. Caused extra cinnamon rolls to be harmed during this solve. But, I digested.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


(answer to multiple choice PB1 quiz: trick question. All four has the PB1 Immunity! har)

Tita 1:49 PM  

@Gil, @Teedmn, @Beatrice...from Wednesday...
I've sent your kind ACORN compliments to my mom. She's not shy about receiving accolades! I do help her out these days (she's 92!), but the creative spark that inspires us all comes from her.

If you find yourselves in Kent, CT, stop in at the Basket Shop - mention my name - you'll get the "for special friends of Tita..." price...lol!

@Chuck M - now that must be a real conversation piece of a paperweight... I always admired the idea of thin marble "panes" as windows at the Beinecke.

Mark Trevor Smith 2:43 PM  

Good point by Joseph Welling at 9:09: THATSAID, having recently become extremely popular along with its longer cousins, HAVINGSAIDTHAT and THATHAVINGBEENSAID, usually does introduce a contradiction or qualification. What a surprising re-emergence of Latin's ablative absolute!

RooMonster 2:51 PM  

Hey All!
Easy-medium over here also. First pass through yielded about four answers! But, kept at it, and the corners started to fall. Hardest for me was NE. Took a second to see NON COM, and had NERDs in making YALE hard to suss. Also, HIND LEG, was hung up on LEG part. Odd. But, finished with no errors! For 41A, PATS, wanted No-Good Cheating Pieces of Shit, but wouldn't fit. And that's not even how HARSHLY I feel about them. I mean, how many times can you get accused/caught doing something til people start to believe it? IRKed and IREd. Just sayin.

THAT SAID, nice clean fill, couple of nice misdirectional clues, like MARS. Wanted a City there. Mixed up my EA of OMEARA, and the EU of NEURON, only two writeovers.

Hope my ANGRY HARP on the PATS doesn't INCITE hatred. We all have our teams we love, and teams we hate, right? YSER!


Anonymous 2:54 PM  

Deeply offended (on behalf of the X community, natch) to see the obviously useful THAT SAID tarred with the same brush as the no-exceptions always fatuous "at the end of the day."

Tita 2:55 PM  

@Charles Flaster - My parents bought their house in New Rochelle from Marty Glickman - we knew him at the time as the sportscaster - only learned recently that he was pushed out of the '36 olympics for being Jewish, and replaced with Jesse Owens. Maybe our house will be in the movie...!

@Alias Z - I worked with a sales guy who would occasionally start sentences with "Honestly..." or "But frankly..." Hmmm - yu mean everything you've said up till now is a lie?
I guess he wanted to emphasize the old saw- "How do you know when a salesman is lying" ... His lips are moving."


Carola 5:08 PM  

@Roo Monster - Your rant against those NFL no-goodniks really made me laugh. Also, re: where the Spirit landed - rather than a city, I wondered, "Maui"?

@Alias Z - Loved your rant, too. It reminded me of a colleague I had who drove me wild by ending every memo with "'Nuff said."

NeilD 5:16 PM  

Great great puzzle, but two misclues for me.

The first, as others have noted, is NEURON, which is a transmitter cell rather than a cell transmitter.

The second is GDP. In general, Econ 101 is microeconomics and Econ 102 is macroeconomics. GDP is a macroeconomic term, so it should be clued using Econ 102.

Mohair Sam 5:30 PM  

@Roo Monster - Yes, yes, a thousand times yes on your answer for 41A - maybe it can fit as a Thursday rebus some day.

@Anon 2:54 - Yup, I too was shocked that my favorite sentence starter "so" was lumped in with the hideous "at the end of the day". So is an invaluable attention-getter, and is badly needed at the start of conversations to draw minds from computer screens, TVs, and day dreams.

Charles Flaster 5:40 PM  

Tita--would not be surprised if the home is there. My high school basketball team (New Utrecht) is flashed by but I cannot see if i am in the picture.
He announced some of our games and graduated Madison High Schhool with my mom in 193?.
A wonderful, caring man. Get the movie.

GILL I. 6:07 PM  

@Nancy...I promise you, I'm a pussycat. If I played TETHER BALL now, I'd most likely get bonked on the head several times.
Someday soon I will go back to visit the city and of course, I'd love to meet you...The Park? A deli? a concert? Lincoln Center? Yikes, I miss the city.
@AliasZ...Truth be told, I don't know anyone now who uses the useless phrases you mentioned, but they're fun to see in a crossword, no?
@Tita. Had I known you'd show your mamacita the blog, I would have heaped even higher praise on her. Es encantada.

Tim Pierce 6:58 PM  

Enjoyed it a lot. Easier than a typical Friday for me and I didn't run into _too_ much trouble.

But am I really the only person who considered OMEARA / ORIEL to be a straight-up Natick?

Wm. C. 8:12 PM  

Hey, @Roo --

Lighten up on my Super Bowl Champion NE Patriots! Brady and Belichick are the best!

Mscharlie 8:47 PM  

Thank you! I am getting so turned off by all this politically correct bullshit. PEOPLE - THIS IS A GAME- A PUZZLE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Jeeesh! Yuck!

Mscharlie 8:52 PM  

This is supposed to be fun, not a political statement. I just can't... get you all. It's creepy.

Nancy 10:13 PM  

@Gill. Any or all of the above would be delightful. With all the places you've lived, I had no idea that one of them was NYC!

Unknown 8:19 AM  

@Roo re: Patriots

Had a really good laugh at the way you put it, but do consider this (and not at all trying to throw AGNRY...CURDS at you):

It's clear the PATS...IRK you (ya think?) So, I SAT...DARKLY pondering your rant, but didn't PANIC…ABIT :>)

Stating the obvious: cheat (Merriam-Wester): "To break a rule... usually to gain an advantage at something"

So far for 2015, the Patriots rank #3 in the number of penalties their opponents are assessed per game. They are #1 for this in away games. (For the non-footall folk, there are 32 FL teams.)

As for penalties against the Patriots, they rank around the middle of all teams.

Judge ye not too HARSHLY.

However, there is this Russia proverb (not my translation): “Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.” It could apply.

THAT SAID is worthy of a TRUCE.

(One of the SHODDY…FEW)

rondo 10:45 AM  

Wednesday called and wants its puzzle back. A piece of cake except for IMUPFORanyThing.

A shoot-em-up or action type yeah baby character NINA Myers. I don't know any real law enforcement that looks like the TV kind.

Classic rock band in FORIEGNER, dang big in the day, doing casinos and fairs now.

THATSAID this puz was NOBIGDEAL, difficulty-wise.

Burma Shave 12:03 PM  


The lady FOREIGNER said, ”O,MEN it’s NOBIGDEAL
for what you CALLA NEWYEARS endeavor,
when no-one’s INCITE give me PATS and a feel,


spacecraft 12:21 PM  

Cheaters? Well, maybe not; I'd use the term "angle shooters." A cheater just ignores/flaunts the rules, while an angle-shooter creeps around the edges of the rulebook like the poet's fog: "on little cat feet." Belichik is constantly on the lookout for any kind of advantage as long as it's pseudo-legal. Ethical? No comment. But I'll say it made my YEAR--perhaps even my DECADE--when my Eagles gave them only their second beatdown of the season. Couldn't happen to a nicer coach.

To the puzzle. Exactly opposite OFL, I found this pretty hard, yet my entry point was: the SE! With YSER and MARS, I knew my 49-across must be a *something*-NYM. Took a moment, but I did recall PARONYM and that helped a heap. Mr. @Rex, if you're a teacher of literature or language, how would you NOT know PARONYM?

I kept trying to squeeze LEDZEPPELIN--whose #4 album certainly sold a TON--into 36-down. Oop; FALSEALARM. It was FOREIGNER, a disappointment but only slightly. The Zep was a BULWARK of the era.

I did not consider POSED for 40-across, because that word is in the clues (for 23-down, SAT). So that left DOSED.

I can't criticize this HARSHLY. I dislike IRES even though the word has a verb listing. To me, IRK is the verb and IRE is the noun, but NOBIGDEAL. And if that's the worst, we're in great shape. A-.

rain forest 2:01 PM  

There is a group of people who absolutely hate the Patriots, and always will, for the simple reason that they win, have always won, and will continue to win as long as their qb and coach remain on the job. That this group can get so bent out of shape over a football team makes me wonder where their priorities are. Unless you were being ironic, @Roo, I worry.

Very nice, easy, and oh-so smooth puzzle today. Like many I had -anything before -WHATEVER, and had to puzzle out PARONYM, which I can't think of other examples than the one given.

Just a really good puzzle.

rain forest 4:08 PM  

Thanks to @rondo, @lefty, and @Spacey for the explanation of yesterday's HRS. Huge head slap for me, a baseball fan.
I do hate the fact that this is the third day in a row where I get an answer to a question or comment the day after. This moderation is an abomination. I miss the Spellcasters and @Spacey's retorts, and we could actually have the occasional conversation. We are doubly second-class citizens as syndi-ites. We are no longer in the garage: we are in a wood shed two streets over.

leftcoastTAM 6:13 PM  

Strolled through this one slowly, especially in the NW, but did make it through with no cheats.

Good cluing answers for TETHERBALL, NOBIGDEAL, and IMUPFORWHATEVER. Dealt with FOREIGNER and PARONYM for the first time.

@rain forest: I agree with you about what's happened to the blog due to moderation.

leftcoastTAM 6:59 PM  

@10:58 a.m. Alias Z: Yes indeed, I'm with you.

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