1943 Churchill conference site / FRI 3-4-16 / Worker on London's Savile Row / Shoshone relatives / Harmless slitherer

Friday, March 4, 2016

Constructor: Evans Clinchy

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ADANA (49D: 1943 Churchill conference site) —
Adana (pronounced [aˈda.na]) is a major city in southern Turkey. The city is situated on the Seyhan river, 35 km (22 mi) inland from the Mediterranean Sea, in south-central Anatolia. It is the administrative seat of the Adana Province and has a population of 1.71 million, making it the fifth most populous city in Turkey. Adana-Mersin polycentric metropolitan area, with a population of 3 million, stretches over 70 km (43 mi) east-west and 25 km (16 mi) north-south; encompassing the cities of Mersin, Tarsus and Adana. (wikipedia)
• • •

At first I thought this might be one of those themed Fridays—something about the grid shape just didn't look right. But nope, it's a 72-word themeless. Nothing tricky about it. Played very easy for me. I thought the longer answers really held up, even as the 5-letter-and-under stuff got pretty wobbly in places. This solid without being too tasty. Like a big slab of nourishment paste. It will help me survive, and get me through to the next meal, but it's not particularly delicious. Asking me to know MARTA (23A: Atlanta train system) *and* SEPTA (!?) (35A: Philadelphia train system) seemed a bit much, and why you go to the "end of Hemingway titles" well that often, god only knows. Also, I pretty much guessed at the EDOM / ADANA crossing. I was 89% sure I was right, as EDOM was definitely an [Old Testament kingdom], but I figure there must be dozens of such kingdoms I'm not familiar with at all, and ADANA means nothing to me. Commander ADAMA from "Battlestar Galactaca," that means something to me. ADANA, not so much. I misremembered AKELA (13D: "The Jungle Book" wolf) as AKETA ... so I mixed the wolf from "Jungle Book" with the dog from Japan. Interesting crossbreeding.

Weirdly, the thing that slowed me down the most was writing in GIFS instead of PDFS at 28D: Some email pics. I think of PDFS as being more for documents, or at least multi-paged documents. People share pix in jpeg and gif form, largely, not PDF. The answer is valid, of course. I'm just trying to explain why "email pics" led me astray. Lastly, FYI, ACC. stands for "accusative." Screw the athletic conference, I guess.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:04 AM  

Easy except for the SE. That took almost as long as the rest of the puzzle mostly because I held on to TITLE girl for way too long. Hey, it almost worked with BEngal which I tried to misspell to fit 32d.

@Rex -me too for gifs at first.

Nice public transportation mini theme.

Possible tough cross ADANA/EDOM

If you have Netflix streaming Louis C.K.'s series Louie is worth watchIng.

Pretty good Fri. With folks as DISPARATE as Kareem, BELA Fleck, and LOUIS C.K., I gotta like it.

Anonymous 12:13 AM  

Was the blatantly obvious dup of TWOSTEP and ONETWOPUNCH just a distraction? Perhaps they were meant to take our attention away from the awful PERIWIGS and KAROL? Or maybe a sleight so we look past R_CA crossing IB_? Does it matter that the nonsense answer AKE_A crosses BE_A even though [already forgotten clue] takes the place of “Actor Lugosi”? And will Z_C and E_OM crossing __ANA replace Natick as the worst crossing ever? As Rex says, creators need to put some spit and polish in their work. How this puzzle, with any of the aforementioned, was thought good enough to submit - let alone pass editing and be published - eludes me. A tough and sometimes interesting puzzle ruined by too many execrable crosses.

Mike in DC 12:17 AM  

Hands up for giFS before PDFS.

Agreed with Rex that this was pretty easy, although PERIWIGS wasn't. I had GARdEn SNAKE before GARTER SNAKE, but fortunately that slitherer didn't come back to bite me.

Charles Flaster 12:21 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyed this easy one although it was a DNF in SW with a naticking of ADANA and ZAC.
Cutesy use of WEPT/SLEPT and SEPTA/MARTA.
First entry was JOLSON followed by JordAN.
When JABBAR arrived the entire solve was finalized.
Tried YaltA and never got to ADANA.
CrosswordEASE--EDOM and NAN.
BTW- JABBAR was a a perfect straight man in the "Airplane" farce.
Thanks EC

Warren Howie Hughes 12:44 AM  

"I'm singing in BAHRAIN, what a glorious feeling, I'm happy again" TAILOR made by Evans Clinchy, MITT THE SAHIB, Will Shortz!

John Child 12:54 AM  

I was glad to solve on paper today to see the rare pictorial clue for 5-D. Lots of nice words like EPHEMERAL and DISPARATE and DRACO IAN here, though CARTOON-LIKE felt a bit off. ROCA, EDOM, and ADANA were WOEs, and the latter two made a perfect Natick for me. I eventually left the crossing square blank since nothing seemed reasonable on running the alphabet twice. Fun puzzle despite the DNF.

lg 12:55 AM  

I agree that PDFS should have had a different clue as a nobody outside of Photoshop and Illustrator users remotely count them as pictures. pngs, jpgs, gifs would have all fit too, or just change the damn clue.

Also, I don't think the USAIR clue is all that factual either, technically, given that USAIR didn't exist under that name until the late 70's and Boeing was selling planes decades before that. A better answer for that clue would be usnavy. Or again, change the damn clue. Not a hard answer to get, but still.

Liked DRACONIAN, ONETWOPUNCH, CHEERLEADER (cute clue), LOUISCK and others. Didn't hate any answers, just some clues as I mentioned, though ADANA was new for me today and like Rex I guessed on the D.

Warren Howie Hughes 12:55 AM  

"IRANI all the way home, just to tell you that I'm sorry" THE ONETWOPUNCH of Clinchy and Shortz GIFTed us with a TOLERABLE Friday offering!

Alby 3:40 AM  

Pretty easy or guessable long answers with the exception of ABDULJABBAR. Wasn't expecting a single surname, given the number of letters. Plus the Scrabble letters (two Bs far apart, egad!) threw me off. Liked LOUISCK. Strange use of last words of Hemingway titles. When did RPI become crosswordese? Was it with the rise of Hinman?

Anoa Bob 3:46 AM  

Nina Simone

Loren Muse Smith 5:02 AM  

Tough for me, but I hoped I had finished successfully only to see that I had two mistakes: "Bera/Akera" and "Septo/Karor" thinking that "ores" could be described with a percentage. What. You consider the percentage of alcohol when choosing an ALE? Didn't know that. I did consider ALES several times but dismissed it. Yeah, KAROL looks a heckuva lot better than Karor. Oh well.

Like Rex, I just took a stab at the EDOM/ADANA cross and was right.

After ROCA, my next two entries were MARTA/EPHEMERAL, but I lived in metro Atlanta.

Some things I considered but didn't write in:

"buffoonlike" off "abl" (was going for a case we don't have in English)
"Bengal" – too short
"blemishes" – too long
"dish" for BLAB
"redon" (feeling really bad for Evans) for RERAN

Oh, I did have "paletable" for a while 'til I realized it was misspelled.

I actually got a kick out of the three Hemingway clues. I also noticed the MITT/ONE-TWO PUNCH cross.

And for the second or third time, I was flummoxed for a while by the _ _ _ISCK-ending comic.

ZEROG looks like the name of some Cro-Magnon guy. Zerog, you and Nog get over here and clear away your saber tooth tiger bones from dinner and sweep out your part of the cave. I swear you two live like Neanderthals.

I thought the longs were more than tolerable; what’s not to love about EPHEMERAL, CARTOONLIKE, CHEERLEADER, ONE-TWO PUNCH, and GARTER SNAKE? Nice one, Evans.

George Barany 6:33 AM  

I still remember @Lew Alcindor as a schoolboy in New York City, before his days at UCLA in the Wooden era, and then his NBA dominance with his Muslim surname ABDUL-JABBAR. So that was a welcome New York Times debut word in @Evans Clinchy's Friday puzzle. It was also fun to see LOUIS_CK emerge where it did in the grid.

Much of what @Rex said, and the first wave of the commentariat (especially @John Child, @Loren Muse Smith, and Anonymous at 12:13 AM) have noted, echo my own observations, so no need to pile it on.

I do want to give a shout-out to my Minnesota friends Tom Pepper and Marcia Brott for today's themed Los Angeles Times puzzle. Click on the links for more about them personally, and for lists of their puzzles--both mainstream media (MSM) and on our website.

Unknown 7:13 AM  

I never want to see TBAR as an answer again. I've skied since I was 4 (I'm 62) and can think of only TWO resorts in the dozens, and I mean dozens (coast to coast and international), that has one. So they are not USUAL. They are RARE. And frankly a pain in the ass (literally). It's why you almost never see them. The clue or editing of the clue is clearer by a non-skier.

David B 7:49 AM  

As a self-and-other proclaimed computer geek, I agree that PDF was a stretch. It's rare when PDF's contain pictures only. GIF, JPG, etc. are the far more natural answers.

Dorothy Biggs 7:51 AM  

I don't know what Almond ROCA is. Or who Chinua Achebe is. So I just ran some vowels there until I got the jingle.

Don't judge, but for some reason, maybe it was a sun spot or blotch or something, but I wanted Bill La(i)mbeer at 4A. In fairness (apart from clearly not knowing how to spell it), I saw the ending was an R, and I knew of only Laimbeer (misspelled version) who might fit a first and last name in there. JABBAR didn't come to mind until it was clear Laimbeer didn't fit.

I had GARdEnSNAKE to start. I agree that PDFS are mostly documents...I've never sent nor received a pic via PDF.

@lg: I was wondering about USAIR. I put in PANAM to start trying to think of an airline around at that time.

Knowing JOLSON and LOREN makes me feel old. I didn't really even know that these two were famous for what they were clued for, I just picked an actress of old that started with L and ended with N, and an singer who sang a really old song that became a hit that ended in ON. JOLSON helped me get ABDULJABBAR.

::rant alert::

I don't agree that "Perfect Pitch" is a gift, much less a thing. The tuning system we currently have is only a few hundred years old. If perfect pitch is a thing, then there were lots and lots of people prior to that tuning system that must have gone mad. Viols were tuned to 415 (not 440) for example. Never mind that there are parts of the world that use quartal tuning that in no way resembles the tuning system we have today.

People who claim to have perfect pitch probably have really great ears and a good memory. i don't know of any studies that have proven it one way or the other, but to claim perfect pitch as a "gift" you'd have to believe that this was a new gift...something the gods made up once Bach released the WTC.

I wouldn't be so nitpicky about it, but many people equate perfect pitch to some super power...but at the end of the day, perfect pitch does nothing to improve muscianship. Even if you are able to flukishly pick out a "B" from the sound of a block of wood slapping together, it doesn't mean that you are able to sit down and make Beethoven sound like music.

And completely apart from that, a "gift" or "talent" is a terrible way to describe a person's ability to do anything. Intelligence grows through trial and error...most people you know that have a "gift" are people who have worked hard and have a proclivity for the thing they do. If there is any mystery at all it is in this "proclivity." But the tendency to love music (or art or dance or sales) is no guarantee that you'll be good at it.


Lobster11 7:56 AM  

Typical Friday for me these days, which means (1) I found it mostly smooth and enjoyable, but (2) my half-dozen WOEs all cross each other (in this case, EDOM/ADANA, AKELA/NAN, and IBO/ROCA). I'm getting rather frustrated with this pattern of weekly Natickfests; those empty squares at the end just suck the joy out of the solve. I often can't decide if I'm just unlucky that my personal WOEs happen to interlock, or whether I should blame the constructor and/or editor for unfair crosses. Today, given how many other people have noted the same problems, and the fact that none of those DNF squares seem the least bit inferable, I'm going to cry "Foul!"

Sir Hillary 8:27 AM  

@Rex captured my overall feelings perfectly. The longs really sparkle, which is a good thing, because the EDOM/ADANA cross is borderline unfair, and the amount of proper nouns among the shorts (MARTA, SEPTA, USAIR, KAROL, IBO, AKELA, BIDEN, RPI, BELA, NAN, FHA, ZAC) seems a bit much. For me, the good outweighed the bad.

-- Almost wrote in LeBron James at 4A. Interesting that ABDULJABBAR, LeBron James, Chamberlain, Bill Russell and George Mikan all have 11 letters. Would it have been shocking to learn that any of them were 6-time MVPs?
-- The set of 9s and 11s really is good. Well-clued, interesting (if not sparkling) and with Kareem as the only proper noun.
-- Favorite clue was "Trio abroad". Simple but effective -- had me thinking musical groups.
-- Just realized there is a trio of "trio" clues.
-- Don't like TWOSTEP and ONETWOPUNCH in the same grid.
-- Agree the USAIR clue is a stretch.
-- Bahrain's flag is similar to that of its neighbor Qatar. Same jagged pattern, but Qatar's is maroon. No other national flags have that pattern.
-- Write-over: laO for IBO.
-- AGUN is atrocious. The partial, the song, the object.

GILL I. 8:35 AM  

ACC means accusative...? not Apple Computer Co.?
I started with BED and decided I'd probably like this puzzle. MARTA and SEPTA were a bit DRACONIAN as was LOUISCK (Is that his full name?) but I menaged a troi or is it DREI, and figured those three PERIWIGS out. When I got to the clue for Aida I wanted to stick slave in there somewhere.
So many books to choose from Hemingway but I do like THE SEA RISES without the old man and the sun.
I enjoyed the romp Evan Clinchy...Are you related to Maeve Binchy?

Unknown 8:44 AM  

This took more than a few cheats, thus BLOTCHES on a successful solve. These included Kareem’s name which just didn’t surface, though I knew it once Ms. Google “reminded” me. Several other mis-filled fills, most the same as others have already confessed to.

Who cares “athlete” is singular? “Bengals” went right in. Who cares “headpieces” is plural? With the “W” it had to be “straw hat.” Reading way too quickly, I worked on Ivy vs. Liberty League for a while (note to self: clean glasses). Try as I might, I could not make “ethereal” work for 2d nor “distinctive” work for 3d. And so it went.

While PDFs (Portable Document Format) are most often text documents, “some” times I use this format as a way to email “pics.” (i.e. images) of graphic art. These fall within the definition of “document.”

Wait a mo/sec!! @LOREN MS played Cleo? Who knew? For obvious reasons, a GARTERSNAKE would be a good casting choice to play the ROLE of the Asp on stage.

Nothing much RISES to the level of fun stuff that I could to parse out of the grid. Maybe the likes of @Roo, @M&A, or @Leapy will have better luck with that.

However, there is 66a/1a SEA BED nicely anchoring (see what I did there?) the SE/NW corners.

I thought this was definitely a more than TOLERABLE (couldn’t make “good enough” or “acceptable” work though I tried) puzzle.


kitshef 8:49 AM  

The state of Virginia has just made the GARTERSNAKE the official state snake, so who says government can't get things done?

Flying start with ABDULJABBAR crossing BAHRAIN, and blew through most of the puzzle, slowed a bit by cAROL before KAROL and thinking I must have something wrong with my comedian ending in ISCK. But still, very fast for a Friday

Ultimately, though, lucky to finish given the multiple Natick opportunities of BELA/AKELA, ROCA/IBO, and EDOM/ADANA. Paper solver, so was not sure I had any of those right until coming here.


Counting the week as starting on Monday, I think that's three loves, one like and one dog this week. Let's hope the overall quality lasts through the weekend.

Mr. Benson 8:52 AM  

Pretty easy. My only hangup was putting in muSKETS (they can be blown, right?) at 26D, which led to rum at 25D (three-letter drink ending in M, what else could it be?). After taking a while to straighten that out and also guessing at the ADANA/EDOM crossing (D looked right, but I wouldn't have been surprised if it were L), I finished in pretty good time.

Wm. C. 8:54 AM  

Another ridiculous puzzle from Shortz and Co. Yesterday, they wanted me to know something about music. Today, they want me to know about Shoshones, actresses from the 50's, and singers from the 20's, all in a row. Not Fair!

Austin 9:00 AM  

wasn't until I read the comments that I realized it wasn't LOU ISCK.

Steve M 9:11 AM  

Top quality doable Friday thank you!

Hungry Mother 9:11 AM  

ADANA crossed with EDOM got me. So, I asked for and should receive a D today.

Z 9:20 AM  

Tough one here. Things just weren't clicking for me and there is a larger than usual number of WOEs for me, PERIWIG, SEPTA, IBO, ADANA, LOREN and JOLSON as clued. I fell into the GIFS trap. I could think of four of the seven Latin cases (fortunately ACCusative is one I remembered). Just a tussle everywhere for me.

I don't much like the mass transit clues. It turns the answers into random letter strings, not any better than random Rappers no one has ever heard. KAROL clued through a Pope isn't much better. OHS for "understanding responses" still doesn't work for me (I get it, I don't like it). And I'm trying to imagine when one would use a T-BAR any time other than winter.

There were some gimmes, Spouse and I were having a "what is a BEARCAT" discussion the last time we drove past their billboard in Cincinnati. I have several BELA Fleck albums, I got the Hemingway clues. And I really like BLOTCHES in my grid.

PPP Analysis
It's well distributed (Al JOLSON to ZAC Brown) but that's the highest yet in my sample.
The Sun Also RISES
The Old Man and THE SEA (that's two answers)
Janie's got A GUN

(this explains why the NE was so tough for me)

Maruchka 9:21 AM  

Liked it mucho. It's reassuring to be able to intuit most of the fill before setting pen to paper. Ain't dead yet!

Fav of the day - ABDUL JABBAR (hi, @GB). When he was at UCLA - ah, tall poetry in motion..

RAD2626 9:30 AM  

Put in Bill Russell before JABBAR but that corrected itself quickly. NE was very hard because of giFS and no toehold in the entire section. Considered BEe for King and Queen but never really felt comfortable in the whole section. Thought a Bone might knit itself. Agree that words there - DISPARATE, DRACONIAN and EPHEMERAL - were lovely but none jumped out despite having the ONIAN filled in early. Very nice Friday puzzle.

Pete 9:46 AM  

While I agree that PDFs do not shout pictures, as one who recently spent time doing patent searches on the USPTO all the while screaming in my head "why the @#$#@ are these patents presented as pictures, not searchable documents" I had no problem with the clue/answer.

jberg 9:46 AM  

Thank God I was a Cub Scout, so I knew that "The Cub Scout follows AKELA." I'd never have remembered it just from many readings of The Jungle Book. I mean, the beat -- is it Baroom, Barsoom, Baram? Something like that, and he's in there a lot more.

Like everybody says,t he long downs are great. I went back and forth so much over EDOM or ElOM as the Biblical kingdom that I can't read that square any more. I think it was a DNF though -- i certainly had no idea about that conference.

I knew there was a MARTA, but was thinking that M was for Maryland (that's actually MARC), so I was real slow to write it in.

@NCA_president, I don't think perfect pitch means that you come out of the womb able to hear a sound and say, "ah, B-flat" -- it means that you can remember the pitches, so that once you learn that a particular pitch is called B-flat, you can recognize it every time. More important, you can recognize the intervals, (which would have helped in yesterday's puzzle.)

I think it can be learned, however. Me, I can get exactly one, the C below middle C. But singing that note, and then going up a fifth -- not so much.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:06 AM  

Nice Friday, Easy-Medium.

First entry: BELA Fleck.


Tita 10:22 AM  

Ditto @anon @12:13...with a tad less dislike.

Yup...PDFS are just never for pics...infographics, docs, sure. One of those "technically defendable" clues, but shows no cleverness, twist, or misdirection.

Agree with @JohnC re: the Natick-fest. Sussed all but BE_A/AKE_A for the DNF.

And as long as I'm being agreeable, @lms' summary fits me to a TBAR...right on down to REdoN.
@PaulJ...if you are a marginal skier, and/or go to the smaller mountains, like me, you see plenty of those. And you see plenty in Europe. One great memory is my goddaughter and I going up the mountain on either side of the T while she taught me a song in French ( Automne)https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kh0-P2-e7uo somewhere in the Pyrenees.

Thanks Mr. Clinchy.

Nancy 10:29 AM  

Finished with one Natick: the AKELA/BELA cross. Though, actually, I had AKETA/BETU, because I also had RERUN and not RERAN. But as I was taking my wild stab at this cross, I asked myself: "Do I really care if I get this wrong?" And my answer was: "Not in the least."

The NW, from BED down to SET, came in fast and easily. I saw BROW, EPHEMERAL and DRACONIAN immediately. In the NE, I got ABDUL JABBAR off the J in JOLSON and the B in BIDEN.

I had YALTA before ADANA at 49D. But the SW was my favorite corner of the puzzle. I liked ZERO G; ONE TWO PUNCH and RADIOLOGIST. No love for the CHEERLEADER clue at 18A: I think it's off the mark. A formation or position does not equal a "scheme". And the names of the train systems of not one but two cities I don't live in? Give me a break! Give us all a break!

More of a challenge for me than it was for Rex, and I haven't read anyone else yet. Too many names, I feel, including the ones I knew, but basically I liked this puzzle well enough.

robber 10:31 AM  

Hated 20D.....muscle is singular yet answer is plural
'tricep'?....in facts the tri's are not used much at all in a press, its the pec's and the lat's.....thus singular 'LATERAL" fit and caused me great frustration.....not to press the point to far

AliasZ 10:38 AM  

This puzzle was good, bad and ugly.

The good:

The bad:

The ugly:
the cluster of proper names in the NE alone, starting with ABDUL-JABBAR and LOREN (with apologies to Kareem and Sophia), then BAHRAIN, JOLSON, BIDEN, AKELA, BELA, and NAN. Plus ACC, UTES and ANE. Seriously? The rest of the grid was also loaded with names and trivia: KAROL, LOUIS CK, ADANA, EDOM, IBO, ROCA, IRANIan, etc. One Hemingway title clue would've been plenty, not to mention that words in the grid should not be repeated in clues, and today they were, twice for "TITLE". I also thought the TITLE ROLE clue was inane, simply 'Aida, e.g.' would have sufficed. The "tri-" concept in TRICEPS, 'TRIo abroad' and 'historical TRIo' seemed repetitive as well. CARTOONish is a thing, CARTOONLIKE not so much. Etcetera.

I feel that the repeated appearance of LOUIS CK (born Louis Székely) in NYT puzzles is entirely disproportionate to his fame or relevance.

Sorry, this one did nothing for me -- a good Friday opportunity wasted.

For those who cared: banjoist BÉLA Antonín Leoš Fleck was named after composers Béla Bartók, Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček).

Hartley70 10:41 AM  

I looked at the grid and spied the two mini-stacks in opposing corners and that made me wish for a MAS stack masterpiece. It's been a while and I'm hoping WS will throw us stack lovers a bone in the near future. Arf!

My toehold was GARTERSNAKE. Those babies can grow to be astonishingly large in my yard. Snakes are not my thing even when they're "friendly".

I had to guess at AKELA/BELA/NAN and EDOM/ADANA, and I guessed correctly. I balked at the PERI part of WIGS and the two transit authorities, but the crosses made them fair game. This was a bit more than typical Friday difficulty.

I had forgotten about Lew Alcindor @GeorgeBarany. That would make a great clue.

gifcan 10:44 AM  

Yes, easier than usual but very enjoyable. Almond ROCA is my mother's favorite and the ZAC Brown Band is one of my daughter's favorites. Loved ABDUL-JABBAR on the court and across the top.

Robso 10:45 AM  

This one had a Hemingway/Public Transportation feel to it, which is remarkable since I was rereading "The Sun Also Rises" on the subway when I stopped to do the puzzle. Not Easy for me--this played medium. Mixed up the muses and the fates, misspelled "Triceps" and "Karol." Had the most trouble in the NE.
"Akela" is a term used in Cub Scouts. Any leader is referred to as "Akela." I think Baden-Powell was a big fan of "The Jungle Book" and used some names from it for Cub Scouts. Not sure what copyright issues were at stake there, but I think it breaks one or two of the Scout Laws: maybe Trustworthy and Courteous. On the other hand, if he got out of paying any fees, it is Thrifty.

Unknown 10:49 AM  

@ NCA President 7:51 AM /rant/ -- “If perfect pitch is a thing, then there were lots and lots of people prior to that tuning system that must have gone mad.”

Identifying what any particular note, pitch, or frequency (basically synonyms) without a reference pitch is “perfect’ or “absolute.” pitch. It has nothing at all to do with any particular musical “tuning system,” let alone a specific frequency like 440 Hz = “Concert A.” It also has nothing to do with musical ability. Rest assured, no one went mad.

Some audio pros I know (decidedly non-musicians) are quite adept at identifying frequencies of interest, such as the frequency of a feedback squeal from a microphone or the frequency of a note on an instrument. This can be directly translated to a musical note and some do in the process (from a chart or memory of same).

This ability, capability, gift, or whatever one wants to call it, is supposedly found in only 0.01% of the general population. It is not likely the result of a “good memory” or “golden ears.” Relative pitch, the ability to identify a different note with relation to another, is quite common. Musicians, particularly string players, usually have this ability, as I do.

“I don't know of any studies that have proven it one way or the other.”

Then read this from someone I know who actually has such done such studies (also many references to others). Diana’s focus of research is largely on how the brain processes the sounds we hear.


She has some brain twisting sonic illusions elsewhere on her website, some of which demonstrate how the brain can be completely mistaken about the pitches of sounds.

Some years ago, she completely flummoxed a bunch of audio pros (including me), some with REALLY “great ears,” by proving what we thought we heard wasn‘t. Her first demo caught everyone’s attention. We put headphones on and heard low tones in one ear and high tones in the other. We switched ears and the perception remained unchanged. Low and high tones were still heard in the same ear as before. Not one among the hundred or so there claimed to hear the contrary.



Aketi 11:06 AM  

Count me on on wanting GIF and Captain ADAMA, especially since he would have been right next to ZERO G. Just binge watched the original Battlestar Galactica and it was as campy as the original StarTrek. I'll take Christopher Pine and Edward James Olmos any day of the week over William Shatner and LOREN (oops Google informed me its Lorne) Greene.

Of course given the obvious ONE TWO PUNCH lead in I couldnt help but notice all the hidden Martial Arts themes and BLABbing about them. I got the DREI because when we are punching and kicking the PADS during drills, one of my instructors counts out our reps in German instead of the more typical Korean (for Tae Kwan Do) or Portuguese (for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). Who knew that Martial Arts would help me with foreign words in crossword puzzles? He also trains us to fake a JAB as a SET up for other attacks. Some of the attacks can be used to DROP your opponent to the ground. And once there, you can work your way towards using an arm BAR to finish your opponent off. In fact, there is another hidden BAR in the puzzle not just the JAB connected to the BAR.

By the way, how did Evans Clinchy know to hide my favorite silver, black and red TITLE gloves In the middle of the puzzle?

Z 11:30 AM  

@robber - TRICEPS is singular. I put that as only slightly better than the "misdirection" at PDFS; Too technically correct by half.

Lewis 11:42 AM  

@ rex -- "... big slab of nourishment paste." Perfect!

Some terrific long answers: DISPARATE, EPHEMERAL, DRACONIAN, ONETWOPUNCH, and TITLEROLE. But there were 12 answers out of my knowledge base (some I have heard of but not as clued), and I needed a couple of lookups. AKELA/BELA was a have-to-guess Natick. The other words I didn't know, for me, were fairly crossed. I had "garden snake" at first. This puzzle has a low double letter count (5). This is something I inexplicably follow, and I usually don't bring it up unless it is less than five, but we haven't had this low a double letter count in many months. (A high double letter count is over 20.)

The solve went smoothly except for a couple of rough patches, which went anything but. I leave the puzzle having learned a few things and with a few proud moments of figuring some things out. On balance, definitely a plus.

I'm feeling like when I come to a puzzle that totally wins me over, instead of calling it a "wow", I might start calling it "yooge!". Where did that come from?

kozmikvoid 11:44 AM  

Didn't really care for this one. I don't like having to guess at things to complete a puzzle. I "finished" this by guessing at EDOM and AKELA. I can think of a number of consonants that could have replaced the 'D' in EDOM or the 'L' or 'A' in AKELA. Obviously that's ignorance on my part, but those crossings have Natick written all over them.

Very much disagree with NCA President's rant. There is certainly a debate over the actual existence of "perfect pitch" and "photographic memory," but the people who claim to have the traits would never say that they had to practice or learn them. I am often asked if I have a photographic memory, and my response is always the same: "I don't know what that means." I remember things in great detail. Colors, conversations, settings, numbers. Is it photographic? I don't know. I just remember stuff. But it's certainly not because I practice remembering anything. It's just there.

There are those who use spatial patterns to remember names, numbers or the order of a deck of cards. That is a different animal. That takes practice, and anyone who employs the device would readily agree that it can be used by anyone who takes the time to learn it (look up Dominic O'Brien if you're interested in more).

But photographic memory, whatever that might mean, is something that just happens. The real question is whether it's truly a gift or a curse.

nick 11:54 AM  

Jammed with random trivia -- my least fave kind of puzzle. This was a hate-solve from start to (not that easy for me) finish.

Fingers crossed for Saturday.

old timer 11:54 AM  

Now you see, BELA was my first answer (though I sure didn't know the story behind his name), Followed by MARTA and SEPTA.

The entire SE was Easy. ZAC Brown is well known in some circles. GARTER SNAKE went right in. For a moment, I was asking what a RADIO LOGIST could be, then I grinned -- clever clue I thought.

My real problem was in the NE. Got CARTOONLIKE right away, but could not for the life of me remember Kareem ABDUL-JABBAR. A good friend of mine bought many a ticket to see him when he moved to LA while Lew Alcindor was their star. Probably saw a few LA Lakers games, too, in later years. It took some luck to get BAHRAIN, which gave me CHEERLEADER, but really, I got the ABDUL part on crosses. "ABDUL JABBAR" strikes me as some sort of Britishism, like "Bernard Shaw" or "Conan Doyle" where the middle name somehow becomes a first name.

Unknown 11:54 AM  

@ NCA President 7:51 AM -- "A 'gift' or 'talent' is a terrible way to describe a person's ability to do anything. Intelligence grows through trial and error."

I must have done a lot of trial and error to "grow" my intelligence before my perfect pitch was discovered when I was about 4-years old.

I'm not sure this "gift" is better called a proclivity: "an inclination or predisposition toward something; especially: a strong inherent inclination toward something objectionable. (M-W) It's hard to imagine I had an inclination to have or predisposition towards having perfect pitch before or by that age. I was far more inclined to play with my Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, or just watch the grass grow, though I did like music. Hands up for anyone who doesn't.

Also, I am not the the world's best musician by a long shot, but people usually don't say my musical proclivity is especially objectionable :>)


RooMonster 12:06 PM  

Hey All !
Well, I feel stupid. This was not an easy FriPuz as most of you said! My puz has many BLOTCHES of black ink. Did manage to suss out everything except that darn NW corner. Couldn't for the life of me see BED. Unreal, especially seeing as how I was recently shopping for one! Also the MARTA, which I didn't know, had gARTA in thinking the GA was for Georgia. And RPI never would've happened. So took the DNF with 5 empty squares. Really wanted to put in BROW, but with the clue saying Knitted, couldn't get there.

And shouldn't the TRICEPS clue be plural? MuscleS used...

Had LOhaN for LOREN first, wondering if Lindsay actually played Cleopatra and I just didn't know!


puzzle hoarder 12:26 PM  

This was an even longer struggle than yesterday. This time I came away with two mistakes. I've never heard of Bela Fleck. The clue could be implying something a fly left on a banjo for all I knew. BELU is something of a homonym of Baloo the bear character from "The Jungle Book". I just conflated that character with those banjo playing animatronic figures in Disney's " The Bear Jamboree". This just goes to show you how clueless I was and how much exposure to Disney can rot your brain.
The other disaster was ROMA for ROCA. I've never seen Almond Roca. Sure The Learning Channel is familiar to me and I feel really dumb for not seeing that. I completely rejected the C thinking it only looked familiar because of tender loving care. I've never subscribed to cable so all the acronyms are vague to me. Only recently have I learned to distinguish TCM and TMC.
EDOM was hard for me to put in. This is the fourth time I've seen it in the NYTP. ADANA I've only seen once back on 11/12/11 so that was as good as unknown.
MARTA I've only seen once 4/27/12(may as well be never.) SEPTA never. The SE section was the hardest. 26D could be GAMBITS. It was that T which allowed me to see BLOTCHES and get the ball rolling. BEARCAT was just in a puzzle on 1/29/16 they're a college team. The clue for 53A is bogus. I don't know why it took me so long to see role instead of name for 434A. KAROL doesn't even look like a man's name.
Two mistakes was bad enough but seeing so many people found this easy makes it worse. It feels like a crossword batting slump.
@Rex I noticed you haven't mentioned the cold.

Martel Moopsbane 12:33 PM  

BELA was a total lay-up for me, as I just saw him perform last night. Worth seeing, if he (and his wife, Abigail Washburn) come to a town near you.

Agree that USAIR is wrong. Wasn't that Allegheny (aka Agony) Airlines back in the day?

Joe Bleaux 12:33 PM  

It's nit-pickin' time down in MARTA country: If I remember my Latin correctly, ACC ain't the only case abbreviation starting with A. As I recall, the ablative (abbr. ABL?) case came next. No matter, as it put me onto ABDUL right away :)

Mike Rees 12:57 PM  

I'm a little disappointed at the "easy" rating on this one. I mean sure, if you like listening to the banjo while you're taking public transit to a basketball game twenty years ago, yeah. This stuff would be in your wheelhouse. But to a Canadian metalhead hockey fan who hasn't read the Jungle Book in thirty years, a lot of this was a stretch. So coming here and seeing "easy" makes me feel like I should know more of this stuff when really, I shouldn't. I'll never remember those two train systems as long as I live, no matter how many times they show up in puzzles.

Masked and Anonymous 1:04 PM  

Bullets, without a theme:

* Two words: EDOM. ADANA. EDOM has triple Patrick Berry Usage Immunity. So, ok, grudgingly.
* Cool flag, BAHRAIN. Just real glad they didn't ask what color it was; M&A ain't refreshed the color print cartridge in quite a spell. Those dern gray-box crosswords, designed to save on yer black ink, use up the reds and especially blues to make their grays. (yo, @BEQ)
* KAROL. First guess: PAVOL.
* ADANA would be a real tongue-twister to run thru the "Name Game" song's shtick.
* Primo CHEERLEADER clue.
* IBO. With a downward runtroll(™), becomes IBOCA = {Veggieburger bio??}.
* 3 U's. Kinda disparately low. But only this dude's second NYTPuz, so, ok. Anticipating imprUvment, tho.
* Nice weeject nests, in NW and SE.
* ZAC. Bad news, for disparate alphabet runners, in the EDOM/ADANA corner. Numerous precious nanoseconds swirled down the earth-worm-hole, allowin @009 to beat me on solvetime.

Thanx, Evans Clinchy dude. (Hey --U could maybe be clued as {Like Roy Rogers??} !!) I had a fun time, except for the EDaM-gone-bad area.



ugly stepclone version

Fred Romagnolo 1:13 PM  

Never heard of Fleck, but I'm impressed with his parent's good taste in whom he was named after. Thanks, @Alias Z. I got hung up on CHEops' pyramid so I couldn't get the CHEERLEADER clue; also it gave me oToS instead of UTES; and LOpEz instead of LOREN. GophERSnake at first, before MITT and EDOM saved my SW corner. I know BART, not MARTA and SEPTA, but the crosses were fair.

Teedmn 1:22 PM  

Heh, was congratulating myself for avoiding a DNF in the NE when I realized I had left a square blank while waiting for inspiration at 25A. For some reason I couldn't come up with 26D and had bASKETS so 25A was going to be caB? But no one chills their Cabernet so that had to be wrong. Got JOLSON so _OB is served chilled? Ack. But I would never drink chilled NOG so the clue was never going to make sense for me.

I decided this puzzle was going to play very hard for me due to many unknowns but it actually went quite quickly. My biggest hang up was the first in - BED crossed knitting Bones. But EPHEMERAL was easy which saved me there. A brief flirtation with "bark" before ROCA and a mess in the NE from my REdon caused the rest of any trouble excepting the aforementioned NOG.

Crazy with the PPP, as @Z has pointed out but ultimately doable.

Nancy 1:37 PM  

@jberg (9:46) -- I thought that relative pitch could perhaps be learned by someone with a very good ear, but that perfect pitch was, indeed a gift. It interests me a lot that you say you have perfect pitch for one note, but that you can't go up a fifth from that note. My brother is just the opposite. He doesn't have perfect pitch, but he does have relative pitch. He's always described it as the lesser ability of the two. As for me, I'd settle for either one.

Which brings me to NCA Pres (7:51) -- You're so right: a great love of music does not make one greatly musical. Although I have to think, what with all the tone-deaf people I've known, that if you rated me on a musical distribution curve, I'd probably be at at around the 65th-70th percentile. (My brother might be as high as the 90th.) Meaning that I'm well able to sing, even if you don't necessarily want to hear me :)

RooMonster 1:37 PM  

And now for some Random Nonsense: (Prefaced warning, not the best!:-) )

Second rate experiment site? B LAB
Statement by a precipitation hater? BAH RAIN
Smear posters of Guevara? BLOT CHES
Plump vowels? FAT ES
Army chant? WE PT
Delaney, e.g.? A DANA
Not having a thousand dollars? ZERO G

Feel free to throw your tomatoes.


Greg 1:52 PM  

Joining the PDF protest. Cluing is either too cute, or gives lie to the constructor's tech ignorance. PDF format is first and foremost a document format, which may or may not contain graphic elements, or "pics". JPG, GIF, PNG, etc are all graphic-specific formats (note the G!)


Masked and Anonymous 1:53 PM  



* {Inadvertent Hillary campaign ad spot producer??}.
* {The Donaldmeister: "Keep yer day-um ___s offa my nomination!"}.
* {Famed no-trump strategist??}
* {Dude with this flag: [insert pic of all-white lace elephant-shaped hanky here]??}.
* {Possible political opportunist (with a hint of: MINT) ??}.
* {"Dump Drumpf!" sloganeer??}.

har. They really oughta sell tickets.


Mohair Sam 2:02 PM  

Managed to avoid what was for us a minefield of naticks and finish this one - although it played easy medium otherwise for this NBA and Hemingway lover. Nice head start.

I'm with @Alias Z - I'm convinced here's a constructor conspiracy out there to get LOUIS CK into NY Times crosswords. Probably the same cabal that gets Obama and Che in so many puzzles.

Hand up with the gang thinking the USAIR clue was odd at best. Wanted to fit BEngal before BEARCAT. EPHEMERAL and DISPARATE were so neat side by side, words you just don't often see in crossword puzzles.

Before our wedding day my puzzle partner and I had picked a house in the lovely little town of Chittenango, NY on which to put a bid. She loved the interior and the yard, which backed a small wood. On our last inspection of the place a GARTER SNAKE slithered past her on the rear deck. End of bid, house, and idyllic Chittenango for us. But honey, they don't bite!

A family member who spent 10 years of her life working in Africa with African villagers jumped all over me when I mentioned that I read about IBO life in a Chinua Achebe's book. She said I had read about Igbo life, and that IBO might be taken as a slur by some in Nigeria. Just sayin'.

kozmikvoid 2:16 PM  

@AliasZ: I would make two points: 1) Is there a correlation between fame/relevance and appearances in the NYT? If there is I've never noticed (see: Cheri Oteri); and b) Like him or not, Louis CK is becoming quite famous and relevant. Emmy nominations, Oscar appearances, etc., back me up on this.

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

Ah yes, a lower case g for God only knows. You're so edgy, Rex. I'll bet you use BCE too.

Tim Pierce 2:51 PM  

Agreed about PDFS: this is just a poor clue. I've been emailed images encapsulated in file formats ranging from PDF to Word documents to PowerPoint to Excel, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to characterize any of those general file types as "some email pics." It's not an interesting misdirection, either -- it's just a sloppy definition.

Chronic dnfer 3:03 PM  

Dnf'd. Had ades for ales (careless). Also had Aketa for akela. Never heard of belu. Neither does spell check and lastly agree with anonymous about the Adana/zac/edom thing. Had X-ray machine for a while. Left the pdfs periwig fates thing open. At least I've heard of pdf files. All in all a victory for moi.

Chip Hilton 3:03 PM  

I, too, loved the long answers. Beautifully constructed, mostly free of proper nouns. I'd love to watch a constructor figure out that three eleven letter words can stack so fluidly.

Surprised at how many NBA stars I ran before getting to Kareem. For an all-time great, his style wasn't spectacular, more steady (in a spectacular way).

No idea on IBO/ROCA and EDOM/ADANA. I went with AmANA thinking that Winnie might have paid a visit to Iowa.

Nifty work, Evans Clinchy! Thanks.

oldbizmark 3:12 PM  

totally with Lobster11 on this one. I had a DNF due to the ADANA/EDOM cross. Hate naticks like that cause DNFs. Guessed on the AKEL[A]/N[A]N cross and got that one but two many obscure proper names crossing hurt this puzzle.

Jlb 3:18 PM  

@robber. The triceps is one muscle with three attachment points, or heads. In fact, the name is Latin for "three heads".So it's singular. And while I'm pontificating the biceps is also one muscle with two heads, so it's singular also. Tricep and bicep are just not.

Unknown 3:28 PM  

@Z, please explain your rating system. Thanks.

OISK 3:28 PM  

Agree with just about all the criticisms already stated, although I did finish correctly. Never heard of Bela Fleck, (would have preferred Bartok or Lagosi) or China Achebe, and wouldn't like that clue for IBO even if I had heard of him/her; is a boa constrictor "harmless,"? It is, to humans. So is a garter snake, but both of them are carnivores; try putting a garter snake near a goldfish bowl to see how harmless it is...

Guessed right on ZAC and Adana, but knew Edom. Bela and Akela? Bela just seemed a more likely first name than any other choice I could think of. I don't like "train system" clues, because they could be just about any sequence of letters, but both were pretty easy from the crosses. I know LouisCK only from the crosswords, and have never heard an "Aerosmith hit." Almond Roca is just one more product clue that means nothing to me.

Still, I was able to finish, which is satisfying after having failed miserably LAST Friday.


robber 5:54 PM  

tx Z and JiB for the singular clarification on triceps......i guess iv'e used most muscle terminology incorrectly for quite a time (and frankly it still sounds wrong to me ;-))

i'm still not im'press'ed but since i'm wrong i will accept your onetwopunch

Z 6:12 PM  

@Nick Danger - PPP are clue/answer pairs involving Pop Culture, Product Names, or other Proper nouns. The math is simply the number of these types of answers divided the word count of the puzzle. So far it seems that anything in the 25% range is not going to generate much hate. At 33%+ there is a high likelihood that some subset of solvers are going to dislike the puzzle. Which subset will depend on lots of other factors. Also, early week (easier) puzzles seem less likely to generate hard feelings.

@Anon2:43 - Wow. That you noticed this and found it worthy of commenting on says a whole hell of a lot about you. I can certainly understand why you'd want to remain anonymous. Now, who was it who said ""Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"...

old timer 6:49 PM  

I thought maybe there was an old-time USAIR. Not so: they were Allegheny, so a major goof there. I'd like to see "Alleghany" clued in an xword as this: "Across the Blue Mountain to the ________). You who know your folk music or love Robin and Linda Williams will appreciate that. One of the best songs ever written, IMO.

And I know BELA Fleck because I know Django's music, and therefore all the current musicians who try to do what Django could do. Not that Fleck talks about this, but you can take it as given that any Fleck fan is also a Django fan, and it is amusing to tease you all about this, because half of you will know Django's last name, and half won't. But isn't that why we love crosswords? A good puzzle will have stuff people like me have no clue about, along with stuff that, for instance, fans of public transit will know at once. Like SEPTA and MARTA, and, coming soon, SMART.

John Child 7:58 PM  

@Oisk, you might like Bela Fleck. Give him a minute or two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQfaNzrQz4M

Aketi 8:53 PM  

@Mohair Sam, great point about IBO/IGBO. I emjoyed Things Fall Apart which had relevance beyond Nigeria.

Aketi 9:00 PM  

@Nancy, you know very well that I do not have anywhere near perfect pitch and definitely would never expose anyone to my singing, but I can now recognize the A SHARP an octave above the ASHARp just above middle C because one of my clients was an opera singer. When I weighed her baby on my electronic weighing scale she said that the batteries emitted a barely whine that was exactly that note. I has never noticed it before but now every time I turn on my sake I hear that whine. I am confident that I would be able to pass a test that played that note, nothing like the repetitive irritating nois to have it forever engrained on your brain.

Anonymous 9:04 PM  

Two Fridays in a row with zero wrong squares, a streak! This week, it took me less than an hour (last week, closer to three).

Alysia 9:22 PM  

I hope I'm not the only one who know that "No Gentlemen Date Accusing Abigail."

Wm. C. 8:43 AM  

@Aketi from last night, in re "two-toned 1957 Chevy Bel Air:"

Funny, just last week I was across the road from the entry gate to our community, getting gasoline for my car. Beside me at the pump was an elderly guy filling his 1956 Bel Air convertible. It was completely restored, inside and out, mint condition, coulda been right off the showroom.

The owner said that this was the same model as the new vehicle that he and his bride drove on their cross-country honeymoon 60 years ago. When he located it, it needed lots of work, which he had done. He said that rechroming the accent trim pieces alone cost more than he paid for the Chevy in '56.

But it was obviously worth it to him, and --like you-- it was nostalgic for me.

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

What does my comment say about me?
I don't understand your ad hominem attack on me. I was merely pointing out that using a lower case g for God is provactive, needlessly so, in my opinion.
My identity has nothing to do with that belief or the comment.
Further, I fail to see how signing a post with a single letter counts as providing an identity. But I'm game.
(signed) e

Z 12:03 PM  

@Anonymous9:51 - I'm sorry you don't understand, but I'm not your confessor so you'll just have to figure it out. Also, I don't think ad hominem means what you think it means. Specifically, I never said anything about your observation, just amazement that you chose to make it.

paulsfo 6:56 PM  

PDF is not a misdirection; it is wrong. A PDF is a document which might contain images. It is never an image.

I also thought that the clue for DREI was wrong, because I've never seen DREI as a noun, but I stand corrected. E.G., "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" is a movie, "the three from the gas station."

Burma Shave 11:58 AM  


It took TWOSTEPs to feed her, like a ONETWOPUNCH,
I SLEPT with THE CHEERLEADER, now I OWE her lunch.


spacecraft 12:24 PM  

Yes, easy with "Natickal" pockets in three corners. I'm ashamed to say I can't name you a single banjoist. Not one. I guess LUGOSI (Mon-Tue) or BARTOK (Wed-Thu) weren't good enough for today. But I did guess BELA because "a Cub Scout follows AKELA" (he's a wolf), and it sounded more believable than BELU (there's that verb "put" again, same in present and past tenses, in the clue for RERAN/RERUN). I didn't know either ADANA or EDOM; the D was a guess just because it "looked right." And IBO??? Wha??? Ya got me. For the candy, I picked out the vowel that sounded like...I dunno, candy. Three guesses, all correct: a ONETWO(THREE)PUNCH!

Speaking of, just what is and is not allowed re duplication in a grid? The two TWO's seem a clear violation, unless there really is no rule, in which case anything goes. I wish somebody would clear that up. Again today no babes, though plenty of CHEERLEADERS qualify. There was this green-skinned girl in a STTOS episode called MARTA, but her time on screen was all too brief. Garth (that's LORD Garth to you!) sent her to the unbreathable outdoors. Meanie.

Lots of nice, long, REAL WORDS (!) for a change made this a TOLERABLE solve. Liked the Papa and subway mini-themes. But IBO?? Yikes! B.

leftcoastTAM 3:02 PM  

I could be a CHEERLEADER for this puzzle, and liked that entry and its clue the most. ONETWOPUNCH was good, too.

Two potential Naticks (for me) were the AKELA/BELA and ADANA/EDOM crossings, but they became apparent in due time.

A friendly FRIDAY.

rondo 4:06 PM  

Sorry @Anon 12:13 five weeks ago, but this puz was about as easy as a Friday can get. So your use of THE word “execrable” fails to impress. Not a hint of a write-over for me, in part due to some restraint in order to check some crosses.

I’ve been on both of those train systems. MARTA in Atlanta saved me at least fifty bucks that would have gone on a one-way cab ride.

I’ve also been on Savile Row in London. Couldn’t afford those TAILORs’ items on my salary. Especially when THE pound was worth TWO bucks.

Apparently, all-time yeah bay Sophia LOREN had a hard time remaining clothed in THE TITLEROLE of THE movie as clued. Yeah baby!!

This was a nice easy Fri-puz, exactly when I needed one. $10M worth of work out the door before noon. On a hectic day like today this puz was a GIFT. And thank you Ms. LOREN.

rain forest 4:42 PM  

Just a quick twofer as opposed to a TWO STEP, for yesterday's puzzle as well as today's. I had no time to attempt yesterday's until the evening, and I struggled with it until CARD SHARP/DEFLATEGATE appeared, having already thought FLAT was involved (GOT A FLAT). ENHARMONIC and FANGIRL were unknowns which only came from crosses. Otherwise, I thought it was a good, creative puzzle.

Today's was pretty easy as the long downs just came to me, sort of like an analog of perfect pitch, or some such. Couldn't believe that Bill Russell didn't also win 6 MVPs. Robbery.

Strange back and forth about perfect pitch today. Some people have it-most don't. If that isn't a gift, I don't know what is. Good clue.

As a former cub scout, AKELA was a gimme as were ROCA (mystified why that caused problems), and EDOM. Liked it.

Diana,LIW 8:52 PM  

The puzzle. Oh. So. Close. That's great for a Friday. Just a few blank squares at the end.

So - tho I haven't read the comments yet, I'll just say I enjoyed this.

And, I'm seriously considering the Minn Tourney in June. Sounds like @Rondo and @Teedmn are as well. Anyone else.?

Lady Di

crabby 6:45 AM  

2 awards for LOREN for that film - Golden Globes

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