Bygone sportscaster Hodges / FRI 4-15-16 / Styles lead character in Boyz N Hood / Plant seen on Sistine Chapel ceiling / Color whose name is French for mole / Gotham building-climbing tool / California's so-called island city / Yankee opposer

Friday, April 15, 2016

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: RUSS Hodges (10D: Bygone sportscaster Hodges) —
Russell Pleasant Hodges (June 18, 1910 – April 19, 1971) was an American broadcaster who did play-by-play for several baseball teams, most notably the New York and San Francisco Giants. (wikipedia)
• • •

The bro-tone of this grid put me off. First, I *guarantee* you the constructor's original clue for 1-Across involved tits. FALSIES (despite the attempt at a rescue clue) is leering and creepy, especially over GUY CODE (which really should be BRO CODE, 'cause that's the phrase). Horribly apt that I SAID NO stands between the bros and the FALSIES. All of that taking place next door to BAR TABS makes the whole NW corner seem like a very gross night at the club. The "modern" stuff in the grid feels dated already. See BELIEBER and CHILLAX, in particular. I like DUBSTEP best of all among the modern answers here. Feels freshest. Mostly, the grid shape doesn't allow for anything very splashy or spectacular or even innovative. No answers longer than 8? Hard to have any fun that way. I have a feeling the difficulty level here might be all over the map for different solvers of different ages. Who knows? I know I came in in the low 6s without really trying, so I think that's Easy. Easy or Easy-Medium. Faster than Thursday, actually.

Perspective here is super man/boy-oriented. Like ... DARLA and RUTH are the only female elements in the whole puzzle, and hilariously both of those are clued via male names. Pretty badly gender-imbalanced, this puzzle. We get LAYETTE for the second time this week, so that's ... improbable. I cannot relate to a puzzle that doesn't clue CHANDLER via Raymond. Nor can I relate to a puzzle that thinks repeat / echo clues are so awesome, they should appear not one not two but three times (keeping watch on (28-/23-Down), treat for dog (38-/39-Down), angel hair topper (46-Across/52-Down). If you are at all good at solving, you don't read the clues in order, so the whole sequential/identical clue conceit has always baffled me. It usually means compromising the precision of one or the other or both of the clues. SOEVER is not a thing. In no way SOEVER is SOEVER a thing (7D: In any way). Nor is BASSSSSSSAAAAX or however that's spelled (26D: Big wind). That looks nuts. 90% of you put BASSOON in there first because you are decent human beings who think decent normal thoughts. I had RAMP for RAIL (41D: Skate park fixture), but that and the BASSOON mistake were the only real missteps I had. Oh, one last thing: you do not clue specific human beings as "Bygone" (10D: Bygone sportscaster Hodges => RUSS). No, you don't. A. it feels dehumanizing and wrong, and B. a cursory check of the cruciverb database turns up zero, nil, none, nada, no instances of "Bygone" being used as a clue word when the answer was a specific human being. Oh, sorry—looks like poor Jack PAAR got clued that way once ([Bygone TV host]), though not by NYT. Despots and blades and car makes and map initials are "Bygone." People are afforded less objectifying clue words.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Jeff 12:09 AM  

The clue on GUY CODE feels incorrect to me. The Bro Code (yep, agree with Rex on that) is an entire document/statute/whatever of which "not flirting with your friend's girlfriend" is one element. The particular prohibition is not, on its own, a singular GUY CODE. This is like cluing TEN COMMANDMENTS as "Thou shalt not steal."

jae 12:11 AM  

Mostly easy for me too except for @Rex bro before GUY, RAmp before RAILS, and, as a decent human being, BASSoon before BASS SAX.

Also tried ECOtage before SIDE.

I'm afraid my granddaughter is a Bieber fan, although, to her credit, she was recently in an audience clip on The Ellen Show muffing a lyric from Sorry.

Lots to like here and I did (except for being a tad too easy), but I suspect this won't be everyone's cup of tea.

Austin 12:15 AM  

thought myself very clever when I put in COURSES (as in golf) at 8A


Anonymous 12:22 AM  

What's hilarious about Darla and Ruth being clued in reference to male names? What the hell is wrong with you?

Anonymous 12:29 AM  

Steinberg makes great, highly enjoyable puzzles when he stays away from esoterica. Berry should be looking over his shoulder.

Anonymous 12:31 AM  

I NEVER agree with Rex so it almost pains me to say it but Rex, you are right about "bygone". I did a mental spit-take when I read that clue. It would have been so much better to clue it as "Legendary Giants broadcaster" or something akin to that.

Pete 12:39 AM  

Oh Rex. Sometimes you just go overboard, thinking that the first thing that enters your head is the truth, the whole truth, the truth with a capital "T". I put in BASSOON, and I'm neither a decent person, nor do I think decent thoughts. Ask almost anyone.

David Krost 1:18 AM  

Gender imbalanced?? A crossword puzzle?? Good God you are an idiot. You are exactly the reason people look at academia and shake their heads.

"The bro-tone of this grid put me off. First, I *guarantee* you the constructor's original clue for 1-Across involved tits. FALSIES (despite the attempt at a rescue clue) is leering and creepy, especially over GUY CODE (which really should be BRO CODE, 'cause that's the phrase)." Other than agreeing with you about brocode, this is the stupidest thing you have ever written, and that is saying something. I heard of eyelash falsies before the breast kind, and unless you are claiming amazing mind reading powers, you should lay off the ultra PC accusations, if they are even PC. Actually they are just moronic. You made a perfectly correct clue and answer into something else entirely, so I guess it actually just shows us where your misogynistic mind is.

I'll be shocked if you publish this.

puzzle hoarder 1:47 AM  

Bro is more correct than guy? You mean there's rules for this? The way I figure out the clues for phrases like GUYCODE is to consider how a modern day idiot would express it and go from there. That's how I got LAMESTREAM yesterday. Someone mentioned that it was coined by Sarah Palin. If that's true it would explain a lot.
I started with FIGTREE(seemed logical) supported by TSE and RUTH. From there I worked steadily counter clockwise but was checked for awhile by _ _BIEBER. My big break through was making up BELIEBER (remember the young idiot thing.) I solved online late as I'm at work and have a lot to do tomorrow. This means I haven't scored the entries yet. My guess for debuts would be BELIEBER,GUYCODE and maybe even BASSSAX. This week came in like a lion and is going out like a lamb. At least this puzzle was fun. It didn't even register on the "creep" radar.

Clark 2:40 AM  

I'm part of the 90%. I failed to get South Carolina. Rats.

I know baritone saxes but not bass. Makes sense that there must be such a thing, but bassoon looked so right. Rats. I hate to dnf on a Thursday.

Anonymous 4:17 AM  

I mostly agree with you here, except that a bass sax is a real instrument.

George Barany 6:48 AM  

All sorts of thoughts about this Ides of April puzzle ... and thanks @Rex for your enlightening perspective. @David Steinberg has been a friend and sometime collaborator for several years now, so keep that in mind when reading what follows. Compare today's grid with this one by our friend @AliasZ (in general, ALIASES get a shout-out here). The challenges of building something interesting with medium-length words!

@RUSS Hodges made one of the most famous calls in baseball history; listen to it here (and by the way, the sound is from the radio, and not from the shown video footage. As the wonderful Ken Burns documentary shown earlier this week on PBS reminded us, the Dodgers #42, @Jackie Robinson stayed on the field, making sure that Bobby Thomson actually touched all the bases. On deck for the Giants was rookie #24, @Willie Mays.

I was rather pleased to deduce BELIEBER based on my almost-zero familiarity with that whole part of teen IDOL culture. TSE was a gimme for my generation, XRAY as clued was fun, Quickens Loans Arena (in the clue for CAVS) was in the news recently due to the suggestion that delegates at the upcoming GOP convention should be allowed to open-carry guns. Other parts of the puzzle, not so much in my wheelhouse, and I had to hit the "check" and "reveal" buttons several times.

In addition to being the anniversary of @Jackie Robinson's major league debut in 1947 (all players in the MLB schedule will be wearing #42, without names on their uniforms), today marks a somber three-year anniversary, and another somber 151-year anniversary [see also this]. That's not even mentioning a certain annual deadline, that I understand is being pushed back until Monday this year, due to a Federal holiday today.

Loren Muse Smith 6:56 AM  

Man, oh man did I get crushed by this one. Usually my dnfs can be chalked up to a couple of squares. Not this morning. I had a mystifying "exorban" crossing "Ross,' to begin with, but then I just threw in the towel on the southeast. Rex – yeah, my "bassoon" coupled with having no earthly idea about DUBSTEP just crushed me. That, plus the fact that I never considered any kind of RE anything for the Ziplock clue. I kept erasing and writing back in "seal up."

And my first honourable sort was "Tis." Sheesh. I actually convinced myself that that was a name. Finally accepting that it had to be DESISTED, I was then playing around with "Sis" and the honourable sort.

So anyway, in addition to the "bassoon," I did have "brocode" first and ALW for the Cats monogram. Heck, just figuring out AS USUAL took time. "As a rule" and “usually" came first.

TRIOS crossing THREE was a nice touch. And the REYES/EYED cross is, well, cross-EYED.

Rex – good point on not solving in order, but those echoed clues actually please me and are always on my radar screen regardless of how I'm solving. I especially liked the dog treat pair as they are side by side in the grid as well as in the clues. I liked the other two pairs of echo clues because they each refer to very different things. (David could’ve even had a trio of the “keep watch on” ones if he had clued EYED that way.)

Davie – you kicked my derriere this morning. Oh, well. You still have my absolut respect as a swell guy and a terrific constructor.

Aketi 7:25 AM  

I liked X-RAY and XBOX kissing at the corner.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

And it's a Friday.

George Barany 7:41 AM  

@David Krost -- are you shocked yet? @Rex tends to be very laissez faire about publishing comments, so long as they are not outright trolls.

Also, whether @Rex was clairvoyant or not, we have @David Steinberg's own words, in the constructor notes over at, to wit: "Looking through the clues, the 17-year-old within me was sorely disappointed that FALSIES was changed to refer to fake eyelashes instead of fake boobs! I was so proud of the clue "They fill their cups"; also, I've never even heard of falsie eyelashes. Now that I'm almost 20, though, I have more of an appreciation for why Will/Joel made this change. 1-Across tends to set the tone for a whole crossword, as well as its constructor; I wouldn't want anyone to view me as misogynistic (definitely not true!) or immature (well, that one has some grounding, but hey, I'm still a teenager for 8 more months!)."

To clarify the timeline, @David built the puzzle in May 2014, when he was 17 1/2 years old. We celebrated @David's 19th birthday late this past fall, as shown here.

P.S. to @Loren Muse Smith ... your comments are fantastic, as always!

Andrew Goodridge 7:53 AM  

i got majorly snagged with DEparTED / BAriSAX. That, and I was surprised to find "batrope" to be correct. Always thought of it as a grappling hook. Also wanted Ramp vs Rail. Finally, took a shot in the dark and assumed some sports hero at some point was named LEE and wore #3. So I had a lot of sticking points today.

Sir Hillary 8:01 AM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle. Fun, relatively contemporary, fairly Scrabbly letter mix (4 Xs), hardly any junky answers. I'm sure the pop-culture references will put some people off, which is fair enough, but it worked for me.

Sorry @Rex, that's an absurd write-up. When your personal hot buttons or political orientation or whatever so dominate the way you comment on something as innocuous as a crossword puzzle, it's time to take a break. DERRIERE must have jarred you too -- after all, clearly it must mean a woman's. I'm sure it's indulgent and fun to invent motives for other people and cast yourself as offended, but just stop.

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

There is being good at solving and having fun solving and being obsessed with speed solving and all manner of other solving styles. Those of us who dont mind a leisurely pace do enjoy the occasional echo clue as a sort of CHEWYTOY.

jberg 8:13 AM  

Isn't that what the "e.g." is there for?

NCA President 8:19 AM  

I agree with ANON 12:29AM...when DS keeps it straight, it is far more enjoyable.

What's more, I think I'm getting the hang of his wit and M.O. Lots of answers fell early because I knew it was a DS puzzle and his clues/answers are one or two steps removed from the usual. Too many to mention, and at face value they don't appear too difficult, but there were several clues and answers that required a DS filter. BASSSAX, EXURBAN, DESISTED are examples.

I have been a working musician for a long time. I orchestrate and have played in all kinds of ensembles with reed players. A bass sax is all but extinct. I know, one of you will probably chime in and say you've seen them lots of times...well, you're weird...or at least your experience is unusual. A bass sax ranks up there with a bass harmonica in that it is likely used as an effect more than anything else. And I guarantee that most of you have heard a bass harmonica many more times than a bass sax (Fool on the Hill and the theme song from Green Acres both use bass harmonica). I can't think of one song that uses a bass sax.

SOEVER...agree with not a thing. Whatsoever is a word, right? You don't say, "There are no bass saxes used in music what so ever." It's whatsoever.

LOSESTO =/= "Gets crushed by, say." When you get "crushed," losing is the least of your worries. Just ask the Oklahoma basketball team.

One last nit...a REB is an "opposer" to a "Yank." A REBel is an opposer to a Yankee. And now that I think of it, the use of "opposer" is definitely a DSism.

jberg 8:20 AM  

Total failure. BASSoon had to be right, so I changed RESEAL to REopen and went downhill from there. Finally worked out MEXICAN, ECOCIDE, and DUBSpin (why not?) down below which worked with PRIAPIC (well, it fit) but there I gave up. Sigh.

Seth 8:24 AM  

A few scattered comments. The third one is a genuine question.

1. I put MANCODE first. And I checked the Google-ability of MAN, BRO, and GUY CODE, and they all Google about the same. BRO CODE is very slightly more than the other two, but not by much.

2. According to David's notes on xwordinfo, he DID have a fake boobs clue for FALSIES first! But I also agree that FALSIES can easily be fake eyelashes, so whatever.

3. He wrote this puzzle in 2014, which, from what I understand, is fairly typical of the NYT: publishing puzzles that were written years ago. What do people think about this? It makes for an interesting balance between wanting to deal with a backlog of puzzles vs. wanting keep the puzzles current and fresh. Personally, I think puzzles should be publishes closer to their dates of writing.

Z 8:36 AM  

I didn't catch the Bro-ness of this as I solved, but Rex nailed it (@David Krost - Why would Rex not publish someone who disagrees? Mostly, you just prove his point, anyway.). Even the FIG TREE is a probably unintended shout out to the "male gaze" and the implicitly misogynistic Garden of ENID story.

My Little Rascals ignorance combined with my being a decent human being thinking normal thoughts led to a DNF in the SE. I did a quick PPP count and it is only 19/72, so not high, but it does skew young male with Star Wars, hockey, golf, baseball, and poker all included. I'll do a fuller PPP later today since my avatar and I have visit to make.

Tim 9:03 AM  

"Guy Code" is legit, e.g.

Sir Hillary 9:04 AM  

Given that I ripped @Rex light of @George Barany's revelation about DS's feelings about the FALSIES clue, I concede that @Rex had a better handle on DS's mindset than I gave him credit for. Still think the overall tone of the write-up is OTT, but my reaction probably is as well. Fair's fair.

Nancy 9:18 AM  

Never have I so agreed with you, Rex. Yes, there is no SOEVER! There's a WHATSOEVER and a WHOMSOEVER. but not a SOEVER. I also had BASSOON first, and was sure of it. Like, I think you said "a normal person"? But BASSOON left me with REO--- for the Ziplock thing, and you're not REOPENING it, are you? You're closing it. And when I finally had the Y of XRAY (53A), I was able to change to BASS SAX and come up with RESEAL.

When I was growing up, the word FALSIES was also used to denote something "artificial." Only it wasn't the eyelashes.

I sailed through most of this -- until I got to the BASSoon-infected SE. Then I struggled. I finally had to use a dead-tree cheat: I looked up "Disclosure" in my handy-dandy Roget's to fill in -----EN for "Make public" at 45D. Ah. LAY OPEN. That laid open the last section of the puzzle for me. So I found this mostly pretty easy, until it wasn't. And I liked it a lot. It was lively and breezy -- GUY CODE; FALSIES; HAVE-NOT; CHEW TOY and HAM BONE; DERRIERE. And almost no PPP! A very enjoyable puzzle.

Hobbyist 9:25 AM  

Mexican food is not very spicy, especially in Mexico.

Nancy 9:45 AM  

I just read Rex's comment in its entirety, and it never occurred to me that FALSIES had probably had a different clue initially, and was changed by the editor. This is because I think like a solver, not like a constructor, and basically react to exactly what's been put in front of me. But the comment makes sense, because I have never SOEVER heard of fake eyelashes referred to that way.

Yes, I'm one of the people who well remembers RUSS Hodges. I have a challenge for the blog: I'm one of the very few people who watched IN REAL TIME the Bobby Thompson home run that won the Giants the pennant in the bottom of the 9th and who heard RUSS Hodges announcing it IN REAL TIME. I got home from grade school -- must have been around 3:30-3:45 p.m. -- and my mother was glued to our small Zenith black-and-white TV. It was the bottom of the 8th inning and the Dodgers were leading -- either 4-1 or 4-2, I forget. What transpired -- forever thereafter known as "The Miracle of Coogan's Bluff" -- was something I'll never forget. Simply the most memorable moment in all of sports history, by most accounts. Adding to the excitement was the fact that my whole family were rabid Giants fans. Did anyone else here see it IN REAL TIME? If you did, please share your memories, even if they're dark. (I'm looking at you, OISK.)

Maruchka 9:46 AM  

I liked it OK, even with all the PPP content. DS has always thrown out curve balls (or, in this case, golf and base).

Speaking of RUSS Hodges - I remember a silly song from early SF Giants days: "When the Giants come to baseball, it's bye, bye, baby!" Or something like that, on KSFO.

The GUY stuff doesn't bother me, as long as it's not nasty.

Fav of the day - TAUPE. Handy that I went to midnight "El Topo" screenings. Same era as the (fill in the blank)-INs in SF and elsewhere.

Laurence Katz 9:49 AM  

"Bro-tone"? I'd say Rex is overly sensitive. And off base in his critique as well. Dubstep has been around longer than Beiber and chillax. Bass sax is a real instrument. And some folks some times read clues sequentially, because some folks are just solving for fun and not in a race against the clock.

Masked and Anonymous 10:28 AM  

Rat fudge. M&A had really, really, really wanted to be first to have a NYTPuz with an @009 review whose opener paragraph had all these here descriptive phrases:

HARdy congrats, Steinbergmeister. I guess M&A can be comforted that U took a bullet for m&e.

This puppy played about Medium-hard, a la the M&A solvequest. Lots of new stuff or new concepts to digest. Bullets:
* GUYCODE. Is there an Official set of rules out there? Also then for GALCODE? Intriguin. Must research.
* DUBSTEP. This is a concept known of only in M&A's golfin style: DUB a shot; take a STEP. DUB a shot; take a STEP. Card the sucker as ONEOVER.
* CHILLAX. BATROPE. LAYETTE. ABSOLUT. Well, shoot -- there's yer RODEO weekend kit.
* DERRIERE. Here's the thing... M&A can barely spell in English, let alone French. Hell, could barely spell FALSIES.
* BELIEBER/REB. Note that a normal ("non-creepy?") alternative here would be: BELIEVER/REV.
* SOEVER. Har. Desperation bingo. Looks kinda outta its dresscode, without its WHO/WHAT/WHERE upfront.
* POI. fave weeject, mainly becuz of its {Pounded paste} clue. Someone in this puz's sphere of authorship ain't hardly a big POI fan. Yum! Dude. Cut me off a slab of that pounded paste! (LUAUCODE.)

Re: echo clue code. Only works good, when they are consecutive clues in the list. Then solvers get real confused, as to whethersoever they are lookin in the right spot.

Thanx, SSSteinbergmeiSSSter. Had all them 3 SSS's early on, so no falsiebassoon probs, here.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

the circles!

Hartley70 10:29 AM  

Note to self: Never read clues in order or you won't be "at all good at solving". Ignore the lovely little app button that lets you do just that.

I went around this grid counterclockwise and it got tougher as I ambled. If we have GirlCODE, why not GUYCODE? I popped that right in. I'm always happy with dog clues, but a HAMBONE wouldn't be my first choice for a pooch. A pig's ear is less salty.
Darla was easy for me but how much longer can we expect solvers to know the names of the "Our Gang" characters? It's almost 100 years since they were created and the shorts felt dated in the 1950's. The NE was last and it took a while to see ABSOLUT and BARTABS. I was thinking "Row Row Row Your Boat" or dance "rounds".

I suppose I'm relatively insensitive to crossword gender bias. I pay more attention to wage inequality and kidnapped girls. Good thing we have Rex looking out for us!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:30 AM  

The entire West side felt easy (for a Friday), didn't know GUY CODE but filled from crosses. (Hand up for RAMP >> RAIL.)

Fought my way through NE. -- great clue for ABSOLUT!

But like many others, died in the SE. Had RIMS and everything north and AMO and everything south exactly right. Even had ALAMEDA, a pure guess. But with BASSOON in place and obviously unquestionably right (!), I Did Not Finish. I've got taxes to pay! (Actually we all have until Monday, some til Tuesday, but I'm a traditionalist.)

(P.S. To @George Barany - You of all people! Please accept a gentle correction from a friend: The Ides of April occurred on the 13th! Years ago, federal income taxes were due on March 15th, leading to jokes about the Ides of March etc. But March is one of the minority of months in which the Ides falls on the 15th. In April and most other months, the Ides falls on the 13th. There was some bleed-over of jokes about the Ides of April when the tax date was changed, but it is calendrically incorrect.)

Mohair Sam 10:32 AM  

@Rex - Any puzzle that references "Cats" and Justin Bieber cannot be accused of having too much of a "bro-tone", sorry.

Hand up with the throng that lost what seemed like an hour because of the erstwhile gimme BASSoon. Good old DARLA saved the day on that one. Thanks David Steinberg for ruining the color TAUPE for me for the rest of my life. Had ALW before TSE on the "Cats" clue - who knew? Wish someone would do a musical based on dogs for chrissake.

Held up for a while on XBOX because the thing seems to me to have been around for at least a decade. It's broCODE, btw - don't care what your research says.

@George Barany - Thanks for the RUSS Hodges link. A brother-in-law 20 years my elder (and a Giants fan) had a 45 rpm recording of that which he played non-stop in the presence of this 7-year-old Dodger fan all that long winter. I hated him until the day he died, longer.

I think the only things I have in common with OFL is a love for big dogs and Raymond CHANDLER.

Mohair Sam 10:34 AM  

Forgot: Unless Whatsoever is a question there is no SOEVER, is there? We fought that answer forever here.

Carola 10:35 AM  

Tough for me, and I got through it only on a combination of crossword experience (TSE, ORR, ENID, DARLA, CHILLAX, EAT AT, IDOL, XBOX) and some lucky guesses (EXURBAN, ALAMEDA). Old and crusty as I am, BELIEBER, GUY CODE, and DUBSTEP made me nostalgic for AEOLUS, AMARNA, and SCHERZO.

Z 10:39 AM  

@Fellow possessors of XY genes - let me suggest that when someone observes, "hey, this thing is kinda sexist/misogynistic/male creepy" that you count to 100 before you make the defensive "you're PC, overly sensitive, wrong" knee jerk reaction. Even if the "bro-tone" of this puzzle didn't put you off, how do you argue with "the bro-tone of this grid put me off." Personally, I did a "really? Let me take a closer look and see how Rex is wrong." And you know what? I couldn't find anything in the puzzle to counter Rex's contention.

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names, and Proper Nouns as a percentage of of the answers. 33% and up makes a puzzle unfair to someone.

19/72, 26%
Not the lowest we've seen, but definitely on the safe side.

Point REYES, CA.
Odi et AMO

FIG TREE (Sistine Chapel clue)
RUSS Hodges
TRE Styles

Calman Snoffelevich 10:41 AM  

Can someone explain the wordplay behind BAR TABS?

Chuck McGregor 10:44 AM  

Several wild guesses with one or no letters - ENDOR, CHANDLER, HALOS, SAUCE, TAUPE, LAYETTE, HOLDEM, ENID – got me somewhere, but I didn’t quite know where,

Some really odd stuff to me: DUBSTEP, CHILLAX, BELIEBER, SOEVER, TSE, (who? OK, just realized who), SIR, REB (as clued? - Yankee : Rebel; Yank : Reb), and EXURBAN, I live “far out” from Augusta and Portland , ME (about equidistant from both) so I guess this is EXURBAN territory. Having lived in NYC, I’m an EXURBANite.

There were things to like. The adjacent dog treats, ECOSIDE, ABSOLUT, AMO (still have a book of his works with this poem from high school Latin class), the golf answers (ONE OVER crossing THREE), BASS SAX, ALIASES, BARTABS, and NIL.

FALSIES: I guess that’s OK. However, (hi @ Nancy) that had another meaning in my youth. Just sayin’.

If there are LOVE INS, are there LOVE outs? I TENDS to think NOT

I never considered “bassoon.” I used to play in a Dixieland band, standing right next to the BASS SAX player, and THAT is a BIG wind instrument. It is most definitely a thing. @NCA Prez: “Well, you're weird...or at least your experience is unusual.” So be it.

Only one meh juxtaposition: ELEVEN DESISTED (football team on strike)

The other day I watched a reality crime show where two guys robbed a bank in ALEMEDA. Of course the cops immediately closed off all the egresses from the island. The get-away driver freaked out and got pulled over for speeding (dumb). The cops quickly discovered the actual perp hiding in the trunk with all his ill-begotten cash. They were $4,000 richer -- for all of some 10 minutes.

All in all it was a tough, ERRATIC solve. I DESISTED for a while but finally needed some letter/word checks (all but ONE correct) and a couple of letter/word cheats to get it all.

I think it’s a lovely looking grid with the (almost) X in the BOX, though XBOX was a woe requiring one of my cheats.

@ Hobbyist 9:25 AM: The hottest food, save one*, I ever ate was in Mexico. I attribute that experience to my subsequent tolerance of “hot” foods. Wasabi by the spoonful is now always a treat.

* The hottest was some type of Jalapeno pepper I ate raw that actually caused a blister on my lip!!

TGIF AS USUAL for a Friday.


Roo Monster 10:44 AM  

Hey All !
Wow, y'all are harsh on the Rexmeister today. CHIILAX :-)

Seemed a typical earlier DS puz, with youthful clues and answers. Didn't find it easy like Rex, bit was able to complete, albeit a DNF at 40D/55A/58A. Had WBc, and a Natick at the S of ALIASES/TOSPARE. Didn't know TOSPARE, but should've got ALIASES. :-(

Got into NW by remembering LAYETTE from a recent puz. Thought that was cool! EXURBAN a WOE, is it an actual thing? Also agree with OFL on SOEVER. Huh? If anything, it's IF EVER. No problem with GUY CODE, in the language as much as BRO CODE.

Three writeovers, skip-BLOT (thinking LPs), tko-WBc, AtOmS-AXONS.

Was able to get ALAMEDA from remembering Star Trek 4!


Chuck McGregor 10:48 AM  

@ NCA Prez: ""I can't think of one song that uses a bass sax." I can - It's used in Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" score. I'm sure you've heard of it :>)

pmdm 10:49 AM  

I had the same reaction as NCA President to LOSES TO, but, since according to Short clues do not have to be 100% accurate, it's close enough to pass muster.

Anyone who has listened to the Richard Strauss tone poem Symphonia Domestica has heard the sound of a bass saxophone. Surprisingly, a conrabass saxophone also exists.

Tim 10:52 AM  

All y'all who are getting your nipples in a twist over Rex's critique of this puzzle need to CHILLAX a little. It's on point. You may not care if the puzzle relies on problematic aspects of bro culture, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't.

I did have exactly the same reaction to FALSIES, and in some ways I think the change in clue may have made it worse (not just because the original clue, "They fill their cups", really is quite clever.) And I SAID NO left me with an uneasy twinge in my stomach, but not until Rex's write-up did I put all the pieces together. It's not great. I enjoyed the puzzle a lot overall, but that's a pretty unfortunate confluence of imagery up there.

Disagree with Rex on the adjacent repeater clues. If you're not the 9th Greatest Crossword Solver in the Universe, you sometimes glance over the clues to look for an easy in, and the repeaters pop out there. I do often enjoy them and don't always find them strained.

Loved the misdirection on BASSSAX. I fell for that one and it took me quite a while to unwind myself in the SE. I also entered RAmp for RAIL and had some backtracking to do.

Chuck McGregor 10:53 AM  

The bass sax also appears in scores for "The Music Man" (which I'll e performing in June) and "The Boyfriend."

Karen Coyle 11:21 AM  

"Loveins" as "Peaceful protests" -- oh, we weren't protesting anything. Those were parties, our generation's version of a Rave. Sex and drugs and Rock'n' Roll. BTW, if you are in the San Francisco area there is an excellent exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum on Mission on the life of Bill Graham, with posters, music, and a lot of history that pulls out all the stops on nostalgia.

Charles Flaster 11:26 AM  

Great comments so far.
DS is becoming another PB and that is a "bonanza "as Russ Hodges would say.
I always tell my PA/NJ cohorts how lucky I was to grow up amid the baseball elite of Russ Hodges, Vin Scully( still active -- started in 1950, when Connie Mack retired), and Mel Allen. Now that's an announcing trifecta that will never be beat!!
The puzzle ran medium for me and SO EVER was difficult to enter, like many others.
Write overs--TAUPE for mAUve and TSE for
Creative cluing --BAR TABS, HALOS, ORR , and TIMED.
I thought this would be a DNF as any clue past the eighties is modern for me, but the genius of DS guided me to a fun solve.
Thanks DS

Greendale Mona 11:31 AM  

Rex, you are a dreamboat

AliasZ 11:36 AM  

Any crossword puzzle that start with FALSIES can't be entirely honest. It would be akin to starting it with TOUPEE or NOSE JOB. TAUPE doesn't count.

SOEVER -- the worst entry in recent memory. This section should have been ripped out for a do-over. FALSIES and GUYCODE weren't worth saving.
TRE Styles -- who? Could have been "Low par in Parma" to continue the echoed clues.
BELIEBER -- you kidding me? Why not BELIEVER/REV? Pandering to XBOX users much?
DUBSTEP -- I am told by Wikipedia that it originated in South London and picked up some steam since the late '90s. Is the over-24 crowd supposed to know this?

One of my favorite things coming from there is London DERRIERE.

Tue. LAYETTE, Thu. ONESIE, Fri. LAYETTE. I'd lay a bet THREE to TRE that there will be a ONESIE tomorrow.

David Steinberg is one of the most talented crossword constructors, except when he tries too hard to be oh-so-fresh-hip-modern. There were a few nice touches with the clues and some good vocab that made me like parts of it, but on the whole for me this one failed.

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

Soever is definitely a real word. It appears in the OED, American Heritage, etc.

Joseph Michael 12:05 PM  

From FALSIES to DERRIERE to GUYCODE, this does have a horny young dude vibe, but I thought it was mostly good work. Lots of great cluing and fresh entries like ECOCIDE, DUBSTEP,,CHEW TOY, and BAT ROPE.

So I say CHILLAX, Rex, you're overthinking again in your quest to be offended.

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

Thought the puzzle was tough, but not impossible. Had man code for guy code, which slowed down the northeast. Xray gave me bass sax, though my first thought was bassoon. I'm not looking for gender balance in my crossword puzzle, not so ever, which is not a thing. Bobby Orr lives forever; the only thing that changes is his clue. Belieb it.

Lewis 12:15 PM  

@NCA -- Exactly my sentiments re REB as clued.
@M&A -- I'm sure you noticed that backward HAR.

Right in David's teen wheelhouse -- ABSOLUT, BATROPE, CHILLAX, BARTABS, BELIEBER, GUYCODE, XBOX, DUBSTEP (I knew this because I have a son who is an electronic music journalist), and FALSIES (which looked good in the same quadrant as a backwards TATAE, which I think can pass as a classy version of "tatas"). These answers gave an energetic lift to the puzzle (though maybe not adding heft) making for a fun solve, that is, lively.

I had RESEAL before the instrument, so the gorgeous BASSSAX fell right in (okay, I am a bygone saxophonist). I have not heard of LAYOPEN defined this way, I don't think, nor SOEVER. I did like seeing DESISTED, and the clues for ALIASES, BARTABS, and BLOT. Persistence paid off for me on this one; a well earned post-solve giddy moment.

Keep them youthful puzzles in the mix, Will, and even some of those dusty ones. The old and young need to keep up with each's jargon. Someone once said, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

Anonymous 12:17 PM  

@Seth It takes Shortz months to reply to a submission, and often a year or two or three to print a puzzle he's accepted. Why that's so is a complete mystery to everyone but him.

old timer 12:19 PM  

Mexican food really is very spicy, but not always heavy on the jalapenos and other peppers. At least that is true of the soft tacos you can find sold out of a taco truck, or at most places frequented by Mexicans, where I live. In other words, the tastes are piquant, but not always "picante." (Though if you order a *plato* you get rice and beans, which aren't spicy at all.)

The puzzle started out easy enough. I had pretty much the whole W side done in a few minutes, with CHANDLER being the Seinfeld character I didn't know. In the NE, RUSS went right in -- from my college days listening to the Giants. Today we have the Hall-of-Fame announcer Jon Miller on the radio side and BFFs Kruk and Kuyp on the TV side. Miller is usually assisted by young David B. Fleming, but Dave is often "on assignment" to do TV coverage of all sorts of sporting events.

Had "skip" before BLOT. Also had the truly lame LOSES TO, so BLOT gave me the obvious ABSOLUT. But seriously, does it *matter* what sort of vodka you put in a screwdriver? When my family is home, we break out the Korbel and make mimosas, anyhow -- never screwdrivers.

The SE was the Corner from Hell. Never heard of DARLA. Had BASSoon because BASS SAX makes no sense. Finally decided it was "Odi et AMO (I hate and I love", And I spent a lot of time thinking about Southern California places that are island cities, more or less, such as Newport and Coronado and Balboa, before moving my mind north to ALAMEDA.

Because of that, I hardly thought the puzzle was Easy. Was in some parts, but not in others.

P.S. Do girls wear FALSIES these days to improve their busts? They did when I was a kid. But I don't think they did when my own daughters were teenagers. And certainly didn't in the hippie era -- small-breasted girls just went braless, and if they wanted a little more attention from the boys, left a button or two undone on their blouse.

phil phil 12:35 PM  

How would something women would choose to wear to flatter their figure be considered nonPC or misogynistic if acknowledged by a male?


MattG 12:38 PM  

I think GUYCODE is just fine... it seems like a generalized set of ideas (analogous to Girl Code) rather than Bro Code, which I've never really heard but seems like a more specific and set of fake rules. Agreed that CHILLAX seems very two-thousand-and-late. However, I'm 33 years old now and it's just beginning to sink in that I'm not hip to trendy things anymore, as evidenced by my Black Eyed Peas reference.

phil phil 12:39 PM  

But Rex didn't imply that, he just said it had a creepy bar night tone. And i have to say it comes off a little sophomoric but not putoffish sleezy, IMO.

GILL I. 12:59 PM  

Felt no LOVE for this puzzle. It was hard for me because of so many words that I thought were made up just to be trendy.
FALSIES are artificial eyelashes? I liked David's cluing better.
I agree 100% with @Rex today. I even put a question mark under 1, 15 and 17 across....OK, I see the cuteness....
CHANDLER, my dad's name, although he was born in ENID.
@Hobbyist...Mexican cuisine always has spices. Even if you order grilled huachinango, you will get a side of some sort of salsa. It does depend on where you are, but I've yet to eat a meal in Mexico that didn't have a spice or three. It's why I hate it when people mix up Spanish cuisine with Mexican. Two so very different and both delicious.

Teedmn 1:24 PM  

The irony of having lots of black Ink in 26A, BLOT. I started with "skip", though I was having trouble picturing a screwdriver ending in "k_T".

DESISTED, RIMS and RESEAL gave me BASSSA_ which was enough for me to scratch my head and take out SEAL and put in BASSoon. A brilliant ploy which accounted for a good chunk of my 23 minutes of solving, rather high for Friday. And I briefly had ALAMEsA for the CA town at 44D. Running the alphabet to confirm what 61D was, I was about to give up when suddenly ECOCIDE popped out and I avoided a DNF.

Does anyone really use "bagel" to mean NIL? Other than that and the EYED-roll I gave FALSIES, this was a fun puzzle.

kitshef 1:31 PM  

Quite the laugh when I came here after almost giving up not once but twice, finally wrestling this beast to the ground after a solid hour, and seeing it rated as 'easy'.

The entire right side was monstrous. So much so that I put in, then took out, then put back in BATROPE, LOSESTO and REASEAL, becuase I could not get anything off them. The NE finally fell when I hit on BARTABS. Key to the SE was, yes, getting rid of BASSSOON (note: BASS SAX is a real thing, and not all that rare, and SOEVER is in the OED so OK by me). Oh, XRAY is another one that was in, then out, then in.

A lot of woes: DARLA, Odi et ____, DUBSTEP, sportscaster Hodges, TRE, SCI (as clued), ALAMEDA (as clued).

2D went from plainly to ASarUle to ASUSUAL 54A went from Wwe to WBC to WBA.63A went with ECOtage.

FWIW, GUYCODE destroys broCODE in Google Fight. I went first with manCODE, which also beats broCODE.

Overall, I enjoyed the solve, though hatedhatedhated the clue for YESISEE (and the answer, too). But I loved the clue for ABSOLUT.

Kimberly 1:42 PM  

I actually agreed with Rex about the mysogynistic tone, and I'm a broad (irony intended).

My first introduction to FALSIES was in the 70s when folks were referring to padded bras.

Over all the puzzle felt like it was written by someone who probably frequently says "whaddya mean that's sexist? Sheesh, chicks are so sensy."

Fred Romagnolo 2:58 PM  

Agreed: Tex-Mex is spicier; in fact Calif-Mex is spicier! Won't even mention South Asian. One hesitates to criticize teen-agers for being teen-agers, but Shortz was right to change FALSIES clue. Steinberg seems to be a little less show-offy as he continues with his chronological brain development, so he might become a good constructor in time. I really wanted ERRAncy, so that led to a DNF, especially since I have no idea about DUBSTEP. I also wanted AXIOMxx for ALIASES, but crosses ruled that out. Point REYES and ALAMEDA weere welcome to this Bay Arean, makes up for all the New York stuff in so many NYT Xwords. (Even Ted Cruz might agree, heh heh).

dbud 3:13 PM  

Nerd alert....

ENDOR is not a moon. It is a planet. The Second Death Star was orbiting the FOREST MOON OF ENDOR. Not ENDOR

Dolgo 3:20 PM  

I "got crushed by" the NW today. I knew that Bieber was involved with the 8D, but couldn't make the full word. If I hadn't been so dumb (here I slap my forehead) I could have gotten "bar tabs"--it was the only one of many puns I didn't consider. I'm always lame on sports, so I never heard of Russ What's-his-name, and I never saw the Lee film (I've GOT to see it, I know, since I'm a fan).I enjoyed the puzzle, though. Sometimes it's more fun to be stumped!

MetroGnome 4:16 PM  

Living in Chicago, where free-jazz pioneer Hamiet Bluiett often performs on his bass sax (as well as his bari) when he's not touring the world with other members of the World Saxophone Quartet, I don't feel too "weird" for having identified that instrument.

On the other hand. . . I figured out "trios" from the crosses, but what the hell is a "band fun."???

beatrice 4:56 PM  

SOEVER - 'archaic literary'; apparently first appeared about 500 years ago, enjoyed peak usage about 200 years ago, declined steeply after about 1840, experiencing virtual non-use after 1900, perhaps having a minor resurgeance this century

[1] The prayer of the poor man, when he was anxious, and poured out his supplication before the Lord. [2] Hear, O Lord, my prayer: and let my cry come to thee. [3] Turn not away thy face from me: in the day when I am in trouble, incline thy ear to me. *In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me speedily.* [4] For my days are vanished like smoke: and my bones are grown dry like fuel for the fire. [5] I am smitten as grass, and my heart is withered: because I forgot to eat my bread.
(Psalm 138, v. 3, Douay-Rheims Version)

'And even to know this last again required all the eyes of love, soever sharp and vigilant.'
Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore

And the Bard weighs in, having Hamlet utter the variant 'somever, in Act 3, Scene 2':

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood
And do such bitter business as the bitter day
Would quake to look on. Soft, now to my mother.—
O heart, lose not thy nature, let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom.
Let me be cruel, not unnatural
I will speak daggers to her but use none.
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites.
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!

Da Bears 6:04 PM  

I think Trump held a rally in Binghamton which might explain a spike in Rex's energy level. But I thought this review was almost worth framing. I don't recall seeing Rex turn on one of his favorites in the way he did this time. Since DS is not one of my favorites, I really enjoyed the review. In fact, I've become so numb to DS's style that I don't bother critiquing him anymore. I just accept his clues are far out and his answers so obscure. It never occurred to me that they might even be wrong.

Mohair Sam 6:09 PM  

@Tim - With you on repeater clues - they add to the fun.

@Nancy - Yes, this Brooklyn Dodger fan saw that miserable moment and heard the half-wit Hodges brain-freeze on "The Giants win the pennant" in real time. On a 10 inch Dumont with snowy reception, mercifully.

Masked and Anonymous 6:17 PM  

@Calman Snoffelevich:

{Things with round numbers} = BARTABS. Pretty cool wordplay, actually. Glad U brought
this pup up.
Rounds = orders of drinks. So, the bar tab keeps track of the number of drinks ordered.

M&A Help Desk.

Man, there's a lot of GUYCODE versions out there. Confusin, to the M&A.
Best GUYCODE I can offer to the younger crossword dudes out there is:
-… . -. .. -.-. .

jae 6:44 PM  

@Nancy - If you haven't already read it you might enjoy DeLillio's Underworld, especially the prologue.

beatrice 6:46 PM  

The composer Giaches de Wert (or de Vuert) (1535-1596), was a direct link between two of my favorites, his teacher de Rore and his student Monteverdi. His life was rather...interesting, and anyone here who is fond of this kind of music - or of Renaissance Italy, for that matter - might like to check out the Wiki article. His impressive number of madrigals were published in sixteen books; 'O primavera gioventu' is from Book ELEVEN: https:/ du printemps/

'Primavera' reminds me of a piece I tried to post back at the beginning of Spring, Le Jeune's popular 'Revecy venir du printans'. Perhaps some of you here not living in the southern South are enjoying an early Spring day today!

Nancy 6:48 PM  

@Hartley (10:29) -- Loved your last sentence! To which I say: Amen! And also: Right on, girl!

Z 6:56 PM  

@dbud - An honest mistake, but The Forest Moon of Endor and ENDOR are the same place.

@beatrice - Thanks for the research.

@mohair Sam - That's how it is done. The Biebs strikes me as the epitome of "broness," but BIELEBERS are not. TS Eliot seems little better than the Biebs, except his brohood was more the cultural norm so seems little highlighted today. Cats, of course, is a different story.

@Calman Snoffelevich - BAR TABS would include a listing of the rounds of drinks you ordered.

Anonymous 7:06 PM  

Clearly rypto-racist of Rex to get his panties wadded up about Buckwheat's and Darla's friendship.

kitshef 8:21 PM  

@MetroGnome: 'Fun' is the name of a band.

OISK 9:01 PM  

Too much of this was, for me," absolut" garbage. Easy for you, difficult for me! This reminded me of the early Steinberg puzzles I hated, loaded with hip-hop pop slop.
I saw chillax once before in a puzzle. I STILL don't think it's a word. Dubstep??? Guy code? Xbox, Endor, soever, made the NW and SE very tough. The answer to capisce? is capisco. Who answers Italian with "I see"?

And Russ Hodges. Most depressing of all, as @ Nancy knows. I was just a month short of six years old, and I cried all afternoon. I still hate to even see a replay. You want a clue for Russ? Brooklyn pitcher Meyer.

But I finished it.

David Krost 9:51 PM  

But the clue in fact did not refer to tits, so I am still mystified by what Rex is complaining about. It gets pretty bad when you have to complain about what they might have done or might have meant to get all riled up and sound so self-righteous and politically correct. It just has no place in something as mundane and otherwise meaningless as the NYT crosswords. They are not setting social thought, nor are they barometers of it. I mean even if he is right that a boy who was 17 when he made the puzzle meant padded bras, so freakin' what? Are you so much of a man that you are going to unleash your feminist anger on a hormonal boy? AND IT WAS CHANGED TO A MORE REGULAR CLUE. So who are you yelling at? Why bring it up at all?

My whole point, although I am sure Rex will never take it, is that when people go this overboard and make every little thing into a cause celebre, it actually hurts the real issues. Save it for your lit classes or whatever it is you teach at Binghamton. This is not the place to insert your delusional attributions into people's casual enjoyment.

Leapfinger 8:05 AM  

Ach, du Lieber!


Kimberly 10:58 AM  

Revoici Venir du Printemps

The American/British phonetic misspelling is ubiquitous but it drives me batty.

Chronic dnfer 10:33 AM  

Can someone explain TSE?

Bob Kerfuffle 12:42 PM  

@Chronic dnfer -- It must have been a while since I posted this last, but the best reference for straightforward answers to the meaning of any NYT crossword entry is Bill Butler's blog:

Try it; you'll like it.

(In this case, the answer is T. S. Eliot, but look at Bill's blog anyway.)

dbud 11:28 AM  


and yet there is a planet called Endor!


Eric Weber 4:07 AM  

I mentioned to my wife, which I rarely do, how much I enjoyed doing last Friday's puzzle. Lots of fun, I said, tricky, clever, satisfying, a bit hipper than the usual. I wondered if David Steinberg was the same as the comedian I used to see on TV all the time in the 70s. So I'm surprised, Rex, you found it too "male," the usage off and lowbrow. Bit pedantic and fussy, I'd say.

Unknown 2:05 AM  

when you run a tab at a bar, the bartender keeps a tally of how many rounds you have had. as a bartender i was irritated by how long it took me to figure this one out, but at the same time pretty amused when i did.

Burma Shave 10:46 AM  


“OK, I’ll LAYOPEN my dress, HOLDEM with no time TOSPARE.”


Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Haters gonna hate, Rex. I bow to your ability to not only solve a puzzle every freaking day, but to come up with an editorial about said puzzle every day is an impressive skill and accomplishment. Kudos.

rondo 12:32 PM  

Sometimes OFL just needs to CHILLAX. If an imagined tone of a xword puz can put him off, then his skin is far too thin. The word self-righteous comes to mind. And I am very good at solving (probably >95% M-Sa), just not for speed, and I often read the clues in order. And I consider myself to be a “decent normal person with decent normal thoughts” and put in BASS before looking ahead for the n or the X at the end in order to avoid an inkfest; going ahead and filling the –OON would have been rash, not decent. So BASSSAX is indeed a thing. And SOEVER is too; it’s in all the dictionaries. And “bygone” means past or former, so no prob there for any rational thinker. Too highbrow for friend CHANDLER? And even though Will sits on puzzles for years, you just must be the freshest and hippest person on earth because everything “new” seems dated; get over it. Rex, come out of your ivory tower and live with the plebes for a while; there’s a great big world out here. You’re missing it. And you must have the time to see the world, since you solve every puz in nanoseconds.

There’s an old joke where Ms. Crabapple asks Buckwheat to use the word “dictate” in a sentence. Buckwheat recounts his date with DARLA.

@teedMN – a variant of “bagel” for NIL can often be heard locally. Dan Barreiro on KFAN refers to that Vikings’ 41 – 0 loss to the Giants (back at the turn of the century) as “Forty-one Donut”.

It can be hard to find a yeah baby in a DS puz. Gotta believe that DARLA Hood grew into a charming woman.

So I don’t agree with OFL on anything today, and I find that I still appreciate a DS puz ASUSUAL, no matter the content.

rondo 12:48 PM  

But however insufferable OFL can be sometimes, I still appreciate Rex for hosting this forum.

spacecraft 1:20 PM  

DNF. Fatal errors with BASSoon and REopen made the SE undoable, and no way could I get XRAY from "Look through?" Didn't know DUBSTEP or ALAMEDA either. Hopeless. Rest of it was OK, very Steinbergian. The golf grade? Match play; lost two and one. Never got to play the last hole. FALSIES and a DERRIERE, but no DOD today. :(

5wksltr 2:54 PM  

I don't care what anybody says. There's something musty about a lot of David Steinberg puzzles. It's like stepping into your great-aunt's house for the first time when you're nine years old. The air just isn't quite right.

leftcoastTAM 3:14 PM  

David Steinberg is a master constructor. He's also favors contemporary pop, and today I got almost all of it. Good stuff, like CHILLAX and DUBSTEP.

But cheated to get most of the NE corner east of BELIEBER, west of SNORTED, and north of LOVEINS and ORR. And the cheating was for answers that were non-pop and gettable. LOSESTO, though, seems pretty weak as an answer for the "Gets crushed by" clue.

This has been a week of good puzzles with bite and crunch. Today's was one of them, and not feeling crushed by it, just smarting a little.

LongBeachLee 3:38 PM  

@Nancy. Count me in. In Berkeley at a friend's fraternity house. He's gone now, but whenever we got tigether it came up.

Diana,LIW 3:44 PM  

The quote "Odi et __" had me stumped until I read (Catullus poem) - you too? Not.

I read an article about Eric Clapton yesterday that said he's becoming a BELIEBER so I dumped that right in, right? Not

Zymurgy was a gimmee. Not (was DS going for a pangram in the clues?)

That's how the East side went for me today. The West didn't give me much trouble.

Learned bagel is a term for 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 in tennis. Guessed the NIL first.

Enjoyed the watch, dog, and angel clues/answers. Sure we have FALSIES, but we also get HALOS. BS will now juxtapose them in a poem.

Was proud I guessed BATROPE off the r, and was thrilled to find it correct. Total guess. ENDOR too. Guessed ALAMEDA, but then didn't put it in. Coronado, Catalina - those are islands.

Agree that the answer to "capisce" should be in Italian.

An enjoyable Friday. Happy weekend, all.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 1:34 AM  

Way late today. Spent several hours with some friends discussing the GUYCODE.

Hard to believe 009's (really 059's) rant about something that wasn't even there. Want to talk leering? Just read his diatribe. Good God.

Toughest puzzle of a tough week, so far. I think you could tell this was an early Steinberg because it didn't have the smoothness I've become accustomed to with his recent efforts.

SO EVER is unknown to me, but it was a gift of the crosses. Other than that, this was was a puzzle where I had to fight for many entries, which I actually appreciate. Perhaps not a memorable puzzle, but a worthy one.

@Lady Di - I too thought of Coronado, but I don't think it is a city.

@ Rondo - you said it all for me.

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