Eponymous bacteriologist Julius / FRI 6-3-16 / 2000s retro Chrysler / Under lilacs writer 1878 / Eastern border of Manhattan's Tompkins Square Park / Nickname for Francisco

Friday, June 3, 2016

Constructor: Josh Knapp

Relative difficulty: Easy (Very)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: T-BEAM (14D: Building bar with one flange) —
A T-beam (or tee beam), used in construction, is a load-bearing structure of reinforced concrete, wood or metal, with a t-shaped cross section. The top of the t-shaped cross section serves as a flange or compression member in resisting compressive stresses. The web (vertical section) of the beam below the compression flange serves to resist shear stress and to provide greater separation for the coupled forces of bending. (wikipedia)
• • •

Tall thin puzzle (16x14), which feels like a cheating kind of way to handle 14s, but I guess it's OK. It's certainly quite clean for a fairly low word-count puzzle, but once again, Friday ends up being a ridiculous breeze. I meandered through this, not at all on High Speed setting, and still finished in 4:19. That's a Wednesday time. Fridays should be minimally 50% harder for me. But look at the NW. 1-Across? Gimme (1A: Singer with the 1977 hit "Lido Shuffle"). 13-Across? Gimme (13A: House of Tybalt and Juliet). From there, you're lined up to take down all the Downs up there. I had real, serious trouble with AVENUE B (?) crossing T-BEAM (???). "B" was a total guess, even though I was 99% sure it was right. I mostly had to convince my self that a. a T-BEAM is a thing (never seen it, in crosswords or elsewhere) and b. other T_EAM possibilities were not possible. I also had to crawl out of the nakedly intentional YOLK trap at 22A: The so-called "sunny side" (YANG). If all you've got is the "Y"—and maybe even if you've got nothing—YOLK is clearly the better answer to this clue. YANG shmang.

Had a couple other missteps: COHORT for COEVAL (31D: Agemate) ("ONE LOVE" fixed that—Marley was playing in the cafe where I was working today ... I want to say that helped, but it probably didn't help at all) (39A: 1977 reggae classic). And then LIAR! for LIES! (50A: "I deny all that!"). But that's it. Everything else went in easy. The NE and SW corners were particularly unchallenging. I spent maybe a minute (maybe) on both of them combined. Once you lock in SHERLOCK HOLMES and COLONEL SANDERS, building up (in the NE) and down (in the SW) is a Snap. Good clean fun, for the most part, but Fridays should put up at least a little resistance, and lately, that hasn't been happening.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:06 AM  

Easy-medium only because I held on to @Rex Yolk before YANG for too long. Finally remembered Katharine GRAHAM and got it worked out. Otherwise easy. COEVAL was a WOE but the crosses were solid and delightful. Very nice center double stack, liked it, except I agree with @Rex about the too easy part.

...she got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends...

Charles Flaster 12:15 AM  

Again very straightforward especially with knowing SHERLOCK HOLMES and the clever clue for COLONEL SANDERS.
Been to Tompkins Square Park in early sixties--played b ball there.
Other clues I liked were SCALPS and CABOOSE.
No crosswordEASE .
Rock candy inside a steaming hot bagel is a must --IMHO. 61 across refreshed my memory.
Thanks JK

RAD2626 12:25 AM  

Liked it a lot but agree it was easy. Loved the 14's. Liked the vertical long fill GUN CONTROL and OLD HICKORY although latter could have been given some kind of more difficult clue. SnUb before SHUN and SALUt before SALUD. Otherwise pretty smooth sailing. Did not get how clue for SINEW fit but easy from crosses.

All in all pretty problem free week with well constructed and fun puzzles.

Dolgo 2:22 AM  

WAY too easy for a Friday!!!

Anonymous 3:45 AM  

I thought it was nice and crunchy, Had a Natick WOE at the APERCU/PACO cross,but I should have known better as we called a HS buddy named Frank PACO. My bad.


Carola 4:28 AM  

NO PROB, indeed - very nice but very easy. Confirmed SCAMPS with CAPULET and went for a romp.

Brett Hendrickson 6:44 AM  

Rex: Maybe you've hit a new stage--gotten over a hurdle you didn't know was there--and now Fridays are like this for you.

Beagelover 7:15 AM  

That part of Manhattan is called "Alphabet City".

QuasiMojo 7:34 AM  

A breeze, for sure, but one with a bite. I got stuck in the top right corner for a spell. Enjoyed seeing "scofflaw" in the puzzle. If I remember my H. L. Mencken correctly, "scofflaw" was a neologism created during a contest back during Prohibition. Fun Friday.

Trombone Tom 7:41 AM  

No surprise. This was a lot easier for OFL than it was for me. My first run at this got me most of the NE and then I hit a roadblock. Like @Rex I tried COhort and got nowhere. In fact, COEVAL was the last to fall.

Even though I volunteer at a railroad museum CABOOSE was slow to reveal itself due to the tricky cluing. These are a rarity in modern times except for railfan consists or museums.

Really enjoyed the vertical nines. LOATHSOME SCOFFLAWS ELEGANTLY racing along in their PTCRUISERS!

Thank you JOSH and WILL for an enjoyable workout.

Glimmerglass 7:58 AM  

Luckily for me, I found parts of this pretty hard. Lots of stuff I didn't know (PETRI, SCAGGS, ALCOTT, SIL, ONE LOVE, WARS, PACO, CLERIC, etc.) Even SHERLOCK HOLMES and COLONEL SANDERS were not gimmes and came out of the fog only with several crosses. So I had fun doing what I usually do on a Friday--drawing inferences and making lucky guesses. So rate this "medium" for me, not "easy" (and certainly not "very easy"). If I had had the experience of @Rex's or you smart solvers, I would not have found any satisfaction at all in solving the puzzle. So I was lucky in my ignorance.

purplepol 8:01 AM  

After I replaced Remington with stainless it was clear sailing. An ok Friday, much easier than expected.

Sir Hillary 8:09 AM  

Yep, a great grid, but I wish the cluing was more tougher. Only problem I ran into was self-inflicted -- SnUb in the NE, which slowed me up there for a while. Clue for CABOOSE made me laugh out loud. Love the positive, can-do vibe -- SAYYES, WILLDO, NOPROB.

Zwhatever 8:19 AM  

APERÇU is missing its cedilla.

Romeo and Juliet is my favorite Dire Straits song from my favorite Dire Straits album. Is there a better line about lost love than, "And all I do is kiss you, through the bars of a rhyme." I saw the video and had had to pause to listen. If you hear Dire Straits playing in metro Detroit today blame Knapp and Parker for setting me on a binge listening session.

Anyone else notice the political over and undertones in the puzzle today? My personal favorite? The wry wink in the clue for FRAT.

Dorothy Biggs 8:19 AM  

Easy-ish. I got the same fast acrosses in !A and 13A and figured this was going to be done in record time. But no, I got hung up all over the place. Some clues were wonky...

There are 100s of instruments I could name as "staples" for Caribbean music...a (singular?) maraca is not one of them. I associate (plural) maracas with Mexican music and Davey Jones in the Monkees. Caribbean music uses shakers and cabasas and a host of other instruments to get that sound. I'm probably wrong on that. But even so, if you're going to call this a "staple" (read: stereotypical), then it should be one of those instruments you think of when you picture Bob Marley singing "ONELOVE." I don't.

FRAT, PACO, GLUE, and WETTED had clues that were also weird to me.

I'm guessing that the thing that keeps constructors awake most nights is coming up with clues. To me, a puzzle lives and dies by the clues...the fill, usually in English, is mostly words we all already know (mostly) and so, in order to mix things up a bit, constructors come up with clues that keep us from just filling in the blanks. (Unlike speed solvers who just...um...fill in the blanks). I've often said that the personality of the puzzle comes from those clues and just like Mr. Romney once said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Crossword puzzles are people, my friend."

And so, if puzzles are people, then there are some you like and others you don't. Nobody likes everybody, and not everybody likes you. It's just a preference thing.

So, nothing personal, "Same-sex house" puzzle...but I doubt we'd ever have a beer together.

Loan Me A Dime 8:25 AM  

Enjoyable in a leisurely sort of way.

kitshef 8:31 AM  

Oddly, it did play easy, which is funny given some of the ridiculous clues:
- Eastern border of Manhattan's Tompkins Square Park
- Nickname for Francisco
- Steven Van Zandt's role on "The Sopranos," informally
- Artist Thomas ___, founder of the Hudson River School
- 2000s retro Chrysler

Give me 100 guesses, and I would not get any of these, meaning they all needed a lot of crosses to get done.

SADE is a singer deSADE is the author. Would you call our 8th president "Buren"?

Not fond of TBONES and TBEAM in the same puzzle - really close to each other, too.

@Rex thanks for the Dire Straits video. Arguably the best DS song off unarguably their best album.

RooMonster 8:41 AM  

Hey All !
Funkified grid today, 14 across, 16 down. Tres bizzare. With two center grid spanners, you have to go 16 down, but still could've gone 15 across by adding a block at start of 34A/end of 38A (or vice-versa). Hmm, maybe not, as you'd have to adjust the blocks on the W and E edges. Oh well, let's just call it neat.

Anyway, agree with easy-ness of puz. NE was first, then SE. Both rate Easy. SW next, easy-medium, actually had my famous one letter DNF there. (L at HONORAlIA/AlTLAB, ARGH!) NW put up a little fight, CAVEAT and APERCU in the ole brain from previous crosswords, thankfully, as PACO and even SEEDY somehow hard to see. Had no writeovers!

Some nice clues, CABOOSE, FRAT, LANES, GUNCONTROL. And MARACA and ELOISE fresh in the mind from this weeks previous puzs.

Overall, works for me FriPuz.


Chaos344 8:53 AM  

Agree with Rex and just about all the posters so far. Way too easy for an NYT Friday! Hard Wednesday at best. Some cluing was a little on the "iffy" side, but the crosses made most of the Friday level cluing moot. Seems like these Friday and Saturday puzzles have been getting progressively easier for quite some time now? Pretty soon, "The Saturday Stumper" will be the only game in town?

gharris 9:12 AM  

Well, I got it done without googling so I guess it was easy, though I was disappointed to learn that everybody else found it so. I thought gun control was cleverly clued.

Hungry Mother 9:16 AM  

Surprised how fast I got it. APERCU came out of a dim remembrance.

Nancy 9:20 AM  

I also fell into the YOLK before YANG trap and was thinking: Now how can I not remember that Washington Post publisher whose last name begins with a K? Say, what? Her name, the G, and YANG finally came to me. It's so mean to play those tricks on people who sometimes have Senior Moments. (I'll never refer to them as BRAINOS!)

Nyah, nyah, you stupid singer (1A) and car make (11D)! You didn't make me natick today. GOTCHA, this time, in both senses of the word.

Loved the clues for FRAT; SCALPS; LANES; TELLY; COLONEL SANDERS; SHERLOCK HOLMES; and especially GUN CONTROL. A lovely puzzle -- and medium, not easy, for me.

Maruchka 9:30 AM  

Easy peasy, and not a MEH. Nice. Same 2 do-overs as @Rex and that was all she wrote.

Fav of the day - LOATHSOME. When last came up in conversation, SHERLOCKs?

**Anecdote alert! The Wailers at the Matrix in 1973: I got comped and sat at the bar. All the reggae I then knew was from 'The Harder They Come' and Mungo Jerry. So, expecting a bouncy but rather sedate set, I got deliciously gobsmacked. An amazing, kinetic, mind-expanding evening. Tanks, Mr. Marley et.al.

Loren Muse Smith 9:33 AM  

My go-to fill- in- the- blank toe-holds failed me this morning and now I can't for the life of me remember where I entered this one. How do y'all Do it? Remember your progression. So I'll just make it up. Ok not really.

I think my first entry was COEVAL. Right.

STUNT, I think, was my first one. Then I was on a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of collie dust, rising up through the air, at which point I lost the patience necessary to see what kind of damn car the damn girl had. Mazerati. Nah. Looks weird. MERCEDES never occurred to me.

Yeah – that one-flanged building bar – hah! We're more used to T BAR and I BEAM, right? But T BEAM… b-team fill definitely. (Hey, someone had to do it.)

Briefly wondered if the guy's name was Julius Ecoli. I really did.
Rex, @jae – I love your "yolk" mistake.

DAYBEDs mystify me. What. It's a twin bed that you shift the pillows on during the day to pretend it's a couch? Then you sit on it the way you're supposed to and feel like Edith Ann? I had one once and dutifully switched the pillows every morning. It sat there day after day, un-lounged upon, not fooling anyone, until I finally just gave up the pretense and left the pillows at the end.

And, yes, I had ripped off the mattress tag under penalty of the mother of all SCOFFLAWS.

JB 9:35 AM  

Totally easy. But better than a slog followed by seeing Rex calling it easy - that's the worst. Overthought Paco, had papa as in il papa. Also a question: how do they coordinate to get the same clue across days (Eloise)?

xyz 9:37 AM  

Easy? Yeah, but another 100% Friday for me, reasonably quick

Tita 9:38 AM  

As @Brett says...puzzles aren't getting easier - we're getting smarter...

The NW Gave me some fits...thought I wasn't going to finish. Inexplicable, looking back at it now. I guess crystal instead of SUCROSE made it harder.

Good puzzle. Thanks Mr. K.

Doug 9:59 AM  

"Building bar" = ?BEAM. IBEAM is the usual suspect, but "only one flange" means it's different than the usual suspect. How? Instead of top and bottom flanges that make the (serifed) letter I, only one flange is a T. It can be deduced.

GILL I. 10:03 AM  

Easy? I didn't think so. I had to friggin Google 1A because I wasnt seeing SCAGGS at all. Damn! I've never seen MARACA (again) as a noun. It always has an S in my little world. Could not remember CAPULET never heard of COEVAL, wanted to throw in the towel but I just put the thing down last night and this morning the FOG had lifted somewhat.
What a difference a day makes, I guess. I finished but I still needed help with SADE because I thought his full last name had a DE in it. Never heard of rockcandy but SUCROSE sounded about right. Just kept plucking away. My biggest smile was getting SHERLOCKHOLMES.
I don't know why, but WETTED looks all wrong to me.

deerfencer 10:05 AM  

Very smooth seamless puzzle
With some excellent creative cluing. 4 stars!

Zwhatever 10:07 AM  

@QuasiMojo - Who knew? Well, besides you, obviously.

Nancy 10:17 AM  

@NCA Pres (8:19)-- "Crossword puzzles are people, my friend." @NCA Pres, you are too funny!

@kitshef (8:31) -- Amen to your comment on deSADE.

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

Shouldn't wireness be sinewy? Had to Google 2x but then it went down smoothly.i don't care if you say easy, I am happy to finish even with a little help.

Mike Rees 10:33 AM  

I'm sure that one day, when I've been doing crosswords for a dog's age and have learned all the little crosswordisms that no one else cares to remember, this type of puzzle will play easy for me too.

High side of medium for me, lots of things I didn't know and/or had never heard of, so it was a challenging, satisfying solve.

Minor irritation with the clue for SINEW. I feel like wiriness and sinew are different parts of speech, but I could be wrong.

I fear the day when I can solve this in four minutes. Where would be the fun anymore?

Unknown 10:39 AM  

You guys make me feel dumb! I just don't get how one can really evaluate objectively the difficulty of a puzzle like this, especially regarding pop-culture related answers (1A is a "gimme"? Sure, if you know the answer). Anyway I am fairly new to this and happy to have eventually gotten through today's, and it certainly wasn't as hard as some I've come across, but still...

puzzle hoarder 10:41 AM  

Very easy Friday but also unique and interesting. I misspelled 1A SKAGGS at first. Striking out on the downs I restarted in the NE by guessing ACRES and SHUN. Knowing SIL gave me PTCRUISER etc etc.
@lms I like your lyrics interpretation. Years ago the ask me anything expert in our local freebie wrote a whole column concerning that line. My memory of his explanation was "warm smell of colitas". He said colitas is Spanish for little tails and it's a reference to a marijuana joint. Sounds plausible to me.

old timer 10:41 AM  

Let me be the first, then, to say SALUD to Señor Knapp. I thought this was a delightful puzzle. Only two names I never heard of: SCAGGS and COLE. And when I had S-AGGS I realized I had heard of him. COLE was my only Google, and I really did that to verify that ELOISE was making another appearance.

I got PACO at once and wanted SCAMPS, and it had to be AVENUE A or B bordering Tompkins Square. Only B fit. Tompkins Square was big in the hippie days, and I see part of it today, usually, if I go to McSorley's for a pair of brews and some liverwurst. Of course I wanted SCOFFLAWS but had actually written Charles instead of SHERLOCK. Note that HONORARIA and GUNCONTROL fit both names. Mr. HOLMES came to mind and had to be right. Even so, "Cohort" and COEVAL both seemed to fit what I had, and cohort is indeed the technical term for agemates.

I guessed ALCOTT right away, and SAM, of course, so the NE really was "very easy" But since the SE was tough, I rate this Easy (but not very easy) for a Friday.

I do miss cabeese. I always wanted to be a railroad conductor, who back in the good old days used the CABOOSE as his office and took care of the paperwork, leaving the brakeman to do most of the hard work. I don't know if they even have conductors on freight trains anymore, though they do on Amtrak trains.

Hartley70 10:42 AM  

I'd give this a medium even though I finished in an average time without cheating. There were few gimmes for me and I was dependent on the crosses more than usual to see long answers that then became obvious. I'm not sure why it was a medium. It just feels like one to me. It reminds me of an English professor my freshman year who gave me a B in his course even though I'd gotten an A on every paper and aced the exams. When I inquired about the possible grade error, he explained that when he was doing the grades, I just "felt" like a B. I wanted to smack him.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:57 AM  

I had SCALES for things with roots, sort of has harmony mixed up with melody but it sort of works. That gave me ET CRUISER for my retro Chrysler. I thought ET rode a bicycle? Were the police cars chasing him Chryslers, I wondered? No. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR1-UFrcZ0k

Howard B 11:16 AM  

Rex, I think you have transcended to a deeper level of solving, where you may now be able to intuit certain clues (such as wordplay tricks). I found there was a point in which Friday-level puzzles became significantly easier; this was a feeling more like you are translating the language of the clues, opposed to trying to more actively figure out the tricks or the relations to the answer.
It's a much less conscious process, it seems to kick in after a large amount of solving time, and it greatly reduces solve time.

That's the best I can explain it; I don't think Fridays have become that much significantly easier, but your solving has apparently made a quantum leap over a certain period of time.

AliasZ 11:53 AM  

I agree, this was on the easy side. I did enjoy the "sunny side" misdirection. I had YOLK at first, as did 98% of the solvers, I'm guessing. Well OK, maybe 97%.

-- Considering we had ELOISE a few days ago (Sat.?), it came easily, but I didn't know Katharine from crackers.
-- It was good to rediscover Thomas COLE. You couldn't get much more romantic.
-- What's the wiggly tail under the Ç in APERÇU called again? I forget.
-- Who knew pop singer SADE had a song titled "The 120 Days of Sodom"? Not me.

There was a cantankerous goose
Who often elicited boos.
He chased after kids
At end of his wits,
Kept pecking at every CABOOSE.

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

Had CHARLIECHAPLIN off the RL in SHERLOCKHOLMES. Also had COHORT instead of COEVAL. APERCU and COEVAL were new words for me. Pretty nice puzzle, even if I had to be reminded that PTCRUISERs exist.

Kimberly 12:06 PM  

Is it me, or were there a ridiculous amount of "..., informally" clues? It started to feel like a theme.

I'm not a fast solver, and my times are far slower than many people's, but even I whizzed through this. I'm ok with that, though,..at least today. There a power tools melting my brains from all the house remodeling happening around me. So if they want to stay easy for, say, 4-6 weeks I won't cry.

Lewis 12:09 PM  

TBONES and TBEAM and SCAMPS and SCALPS, oh my!

SCALPS is on top, where it should be. I am far more likely to say WET than WETTED. I liked the clues for SCALPS, CLAP, and TBONES especially, and answers that appealed to me were TELLY and LOATHSOME.

My "solver's intuition" really kicked in on this one, where the brain barks out an answer, even when it's a word you swear you've never heard of. It gave me APERCU, COEVAL, ONELOVE, and WARS (as clued) and CLERIC (as clued). The more that intuition kicks in the more meta the puzzle feels, and to honor that, I wish all out there...

Metta World Peace!

Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Frankly I think "wiriness" a bad clue for sinew. "Muscle" perhaps?

Master Melvin 12:17 PM  

@Charles Flaster: The main game at Tompkins Square Park used to be chess. I wonder if that's still true. I remember the old Russian guys standing around kibitzing the chess games and arguing about the Tsar. (Hmm. Spellcheck doesn't like Tsar.) I imagine all or most of them are long gone, like my wife's grandparents who lived there for decades.

Joe Bleaux 12:34 PM  

They say you learn something every day, so "aperçu" is today's gain for me -- never in my life saw it, never heard it, far as I know. Maybe tomorrow I'll learn of someone having ever said or written "wetted." Otherwise, a fun run with a few really nice clues. Yes, a little easy for a Friday -- but not (for me anyway) a snap, Mr. Knapp. Thank you.

Aketi 12:44 PM  

Wow, a puzzle full of SEEDY LOATHSOME SCAMPS, SCALAWAGS, SERFS, and SIL today without XENA to protect ELOISE. ALCOTT's Jo seemed to have a way of reforming the SCAMPS and SCALAWAGS in her school for boys, but could she handle SIL?

Of course two if my son's faves, SHERLOCK HOLMES and OLD HICKORY, made their appearance. I actually tried my son's nickname for the latter, OLD BAD ASS, but a letter was lacking. My son was given a picture of Major General Henry Dearborn's portrait and told to write a term paper based on that. His term paper was appropriatele serious and slightly dry. His verbal rendition of the politics of the WAR of 1812 and the failings of Dearborn compared to OLD HICKORY was highly entertaining. If my son had been my teacher, I might have actually learned something about Ameican history in school.

Kind of liked that FOG was included next to WARS.

@M&A, I'm recuperating from a cough that has lasted for three weeks. This morning I read your TMI post about the special sauce I had forgotten about. It caused me to laugh so hard that it triggered a coughing fit and I almost WETTED the DAY BED. Don't think I can handle thinking about what might go on in COLONEL SANDERS' establishment.

Masked and Anonymous 12:48 PM  

U eazy-E-peazy solve folks are givin M&A a day-um complex. Took forever for me to get a decent clamp-down bite on this puppy. Started out with only a few real scatter-shot entries, and a lot of loose fur in my mouth …

* IBEAM. Which didn't help M&A's crossing Shakespearean name game recall. "CRAPOLI?!?" he said, with an exasperated shriek.
* MEH. Usually the weejects are M&A's most confident guesses.
* SNUB. Which turned out to be SHUN.
* SAM. Luv me that "Casablanca" flick.
* MART. Felt like throwin a party, at this point -- had actually scored a crossing answer.
* TIC. Wanted OILYNOSE, but wouldn't fit, so tried this. Which then helped turn on the TILNOW lightbulb.
* BOS Celtics. Gimme.
* ANDYET. In semi-desperate response to the 2-D {But} clue.

And there U have it. M&A's prescription for FriPuz Flameout. Fortunately -- after a pregnant multi-nanosecond pause -- SHERLOCKHOLMES popped out of almost thin air, and along with COLONELSANDERS and OLDHICKORY, eventually saved M&A's bacon.

COEVAL? So-evil.

CLERIC? In D&D? Sounds more like an Naves & Apses game creature.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

runtpuz nat'l anthem...

D. Snell 12:59 PM  

Don't see the the connection between "archivist" and GLUE. Most glues are not archival materials. Just what do they glue together? (Didn't seem to bother anyone else too much.)

Teedmn 1:11 PM  

I managed to handicap myself on this one enough to make it medium for me. 7D had to be SAM but 8D, "roar" made sense even with the giveaway of "thunderous" in the clue and since "sons" was too short for 9D, I figured "ranch" would make sense. So I had to get both grid-spanner a before I cracked the NE and SE.

Speaking of the SE, "de nada" messed that up for long minutes until the K of OLD HICKORY gave me CRACKPOT. This puzzle was totally solvable but at my average Friday speed.

Nice puzzle, Josh Knapp.

Thanks, @LMS, for the mondegreen link. I always heard " warm smell of calyptus" and thought it was a California version of eucalyptus. Google tells me it is a reference to marijuana buds which makes sense, but I think my ears will still hear "calyptus" even knowing it is "colitas".

D Snell 1:24 PM  

You want harder puzzles? Be careful what you ask for...

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

Have a listen to Caribbean smash "ONE LOVE" you'll hear not a single MARACA. You'd have to go to Mexico for that. Or tune in Carlos Santana. Both are very different genres.

Leapfinger 2:55 PM  

What this puzzle needs is More MARACAs.

One commenter on WordPlay pointed out all the 'nooks and crannies' filled with S's,but mentioned it rather as a feature than as a drawback. Based on that, I looked a little further and ended up surprised that @LMS didn't have a riff on CABEESE.

Yolk YANG, COhort COEVAL were some common errors that I think we ALCOTT, though I wonder whether anyone else did their lounging in a GAYBAR. But the best clue as I have it...

... shaggs Pico de gallo

ELEGANTLY done Knapp-time.

Here Ominous Bosh 3:10 PM  

That be Remington Steele, @purplepol, but I don't mind being reminded of Pierce Brosnan.

@NCAPrez, you got over it for a while, but lately you've reverted to primarily pointing out the negatives. I liked the interim NCAPrez better.

Especially in the context of a daily PPP rundown...

okanaganer 3:22 PM  

Re the use of "Jaywalkers, eg" to clue SCOFFLAWS: the term was supposedly promoted by early automobile manufacturers to shift the blame for accidents from drivers to pedestrians. It's quite wonderful to watch films of city streets before cars showed up:
New York Trolley Ride, early 1900s.

Scofflaws everywhere!!

Chaos344 3:33 PM  

Hmmm? After reading a few more comments:

@ RAD2626: Agreed! The opinion and solving experience set forth in your post, could have easily been interchangeable with mine. OLDHICKORY reminds me of a favorite Bourbon whiskey, and I always thought of GUNCONTROL as the ability to put six rounds directly "center mass!"

@Beagelover said:

"That part of Manhattan is called "Alphabet City"."

When it comes to crosswordese, 16A was one of the better clues I've seen for parts of Manhattan. I wanted to fire TRIBECA in there immediately, (TRiangle BElow CAn but the B in TBEAM scotched that. Solvers should note the following:

SOHO= refers to the area known as "South Of Houston."

NOHO obviously refers to North Of Same.

Houston is pronounced HOW-STEN, and not HEW-STEN.

BTW, are you a Beagle lover or a Bagel lover? Dough or dogs?

@Glimmerglass: Loved the sentiment of your last two sentences. If the old adage that states "Ignorance Is Bliss" is valid, than "Satisfaction Surpasses Smugness" should hold equal weight. If you enjoyed the puzzle, everything else is moot.

@kitshef: Semi-agree with you about SADE, but remember that its Friday. Look at the subject matter in the clue,(SODOM) and the time frame. The clue said author. Would a "relatively" current pop singer be likely to compose a song as clued?

@Z: Yeah, I'm plenty familiar with Dire Straits, but this one will always be my nostalgic favorite:


Caught the wink in the FRAT clue too!

@NANCY: Never fell into the YOLK trap because I thought it was clued too easy for a Friday. Thought it might be an intentional double feint, but GRAHAM killed that.

@LMS: I'm really tired of giving you kudos. Not exactly tired, but it seems redundant? I'm not saying that you don't deserve them, but it's becoming readily apparent that you're the resident wit on this blog. Leapy could challenge you if she wanted to, but I don't think her heart is really into it? Perhaps too much allegiance to Wordplay?

At any rate, I knew you would enter COEVAL immediately! Also,it's my belief that anyone between 16 and 66 who doesn't know 90% of the lyrics to the Eagles "Hotel California", has been living on a different planet for the last half century? They probably don't know the words to the Star Spangled Banner either?

Loren! I'm somewhat ashamed of you! You thought of Mazerati, which you spelled wrong,(Maserati) but you never thought of a California (Mercedes) Volkswagen? TSK, TSK, TSK!

DAYBEDS? FUTONS? You can fool around on any one of them. Just have enough class not to leave a WETTED spot on either! K?

joebloggs 4:53 PM  

Agree 1000% that maracas should not be considered a "staple" of Caribbean music. Steel drums perhaps...

kitshef 6:23 PM  

@Z - Tunnel of Love is my other candidate for best song (off the same album, of course).

Anonymous 10:12 PM  

I am so much smarter than all of you that it's impossible to measure. I find it really gratifying to lord that over you each day: Why else would I do this? The only thing better than parading my superiority is the pleasure of thinking about your distress as you wait for four or eight or 12 hours for your pathetically ignorant comments to post. Did I mention that I am much smarter than all of you?

KC 11:25 PM  

Capulet? Lido Shuffle? Never heard of 'em.

Dragonlady65 9:39 AM  

Not easy but doable without cheating or help even on the sports clue. I thought it was a nice Friday level challenge (which I always save for Saturday since I don't get Saturday paper). Had the same problems as the rest of you except luckily I did know apercu and daybed which helped. Maybe I was just not in the zone this morning so it took me a little longer.

Alex 10:28 AM  

I could tell that the rest of you would rate this as "easy" because I was able to complete the puzzle correctly without cheating. So it was fun for me!

Zwhatever 4:40 PM  

@D Snell - Or we just didn't think about it much. I was thinking of archivist as in myself when I'm putting pictures into albums. I'm not at all sure that is right, though.

Burma Shave 10:36 AM  


Up TILNOW I’ve been the SEEDY CRACKPOT who said,
“I’m ELEGANTLY crafting these LOATHSOME poems.”
So there’s ONELOVE up the CABOOSE in the DAYBED,


spacecraft 11:37 AM  

Hand up for far-better answer Yolk. Had to change for gimme GRAHAM, but for a while I was hog-tied around there. You're old if you can remember those sing-alongs in the movie theater with the bouncing ball: "Stand up on your legs; be like two fried eggs: keep your sunny side up!" Also I kept trying to fit MARIMBA into six squares. Surely more common to Caribbean music than MARACAs (?). Learned a new word: COEVAL, luckily crossed in. Another WWNAU?

Despite these hangups, which took it out of the "easy" realm for me, I did this fairly quickly. For me. So I guess, medium with a side of easy-ish-ness. Enough to afford a triumph factor. The side nines were ELEGANTLY filled, and a dearth of short entries made for a pretty clean grid. There's a lingering aftertaste of New Yorkishness (AVENUEB and that Hudson River guy), but we still have a birdie.

I'd like to be the "smooth operator" for DOD SADE. BTW, does the Marquis' name ever appear sans the "de?"

rain forest 2:47 PM  

Overall medium, I guess. There were areas that came quickly (@BS), and other areas where it was slow going. One hang-up for me was the clue for LANES. Is this a clue for "bowling"? If not, what does it mean? If so, ??

Actual names of American politicians are mostly opaque to me (except for current ones), so nicknames are total WOEs. Had to get just about every cross for OLD HICKORY. Weird nickname. Is there an "Old Oak", "Old Sycamore", etc.?

I would say there are a number of COEVALS of me on this blog, and I know I'll remember that word. Nice to learn a new word.

Nice downs, and I'd like to say something about GUN CONTROL, but it isn't my country, so I'll shut up.

I liked this puzzle a lot.

rondo 4:38 PM  

Well, the Yolk was on me too, and SEamY before SEEDY and SnUb before SHUN. Also thought COhort, but didn’t go past the CO. It all got fixed eventually, but cost a lot of time.

@spacey – you couldn’t be more correct about yeah baby SADE. I would SAYYES if asked.

Didn’t even notice the grid dimensions until OFL pointed that out. It matters not to me. Pretty good Fri-puz I’d say. I’ll be SINEW later.

Wooody2004 7:35 PM  

DNF'd because I had WETTEn for 47D. I looked at DAYBEN at 63A an thought maybe it was DAYdEN. I've only seen WETTED in "wetted the bed". 32A CABOOSE reminds me of that Cat Stevens song "Ride On The Pee Stain".

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