Old red white you sloganeer / FRI 9-2-16 / Auto name discontinued in 1986 / Actor title role robin hood men in tights / Place for long run maybe

Friday, September 2, 2016

Constructor: David Liben-Nowell

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Foucault's "This Is Not A PIPE" (31A) —
This essay not only proposes a new understanding of Magritte; it also constitutes a perfect illustration and introduction to the thought of the philosopher himself, France's great wizard of paradox. Magritte's respectful fan letters to Mr. Foucault, which are included in this volume, the useful introduction and splendid translation by James Harkness and the handy (though hardly sumptuous) black-and-white reproductions of many of Magritte's works combine to make this a document of extraordinary interest. (from the NYT review, Jan. 23, 1983)
• • •

Really ragged. I guess THIRTY-TWO ACROSS is supposed to be cute ... or a joke. Maybe he started there, thought it was clever, and (clunkily) filled the (painfully segmented) grid around it. Did he build the grid *just* to get 32-Across in the right place? That would explain how ugly the grid is, I guess. I don't know. I do know that most of the time this was painful to solve. Completely sequestered NW and SE corners may as well be separate puzzles, and only the NW was up to snuff, and that one in particular was hilariously off-difficulty, i.e. played like a tough Saturday. So many one-word clues (boo!). And yet, weirdly, that ended up being the only part of the puzzle I really respected, in that the fill (and even some of the cluing) was actually pretty good, unlike most other places in the puzzle. BE SORE? IS NEAR? That is knee-bucklingly bad stuff. Come on. I'll give you one junk verb phrase, maybe, if the rest of your grid is tight, but no way I'm giving you two. And this puzzle should've be DQ'd for that little eastern part alone. ADAY over APIPE (!?) *crossing* APRS (blargh). Throw in the brutally Scrabble-****ed "Q" in the NE (what the hell is that? That "Q" makes *nothing* better) and then ANTIS TIGRE OISE ELWES RTS ILED, and you have not a lot of fun for me. For every oh-so-clever clue this one gets in, it trips over its laces twice. Like a BUS (21A), this is something I will take a pass on.

That is all.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


AliasZ 8:05 AM  

It is regrettable that segregation like we have today in the NW and SE sections is still allowed in NYT puzzles this day and age. These corners had no bearing on the rest of the grid. The one good thing: you get three, three, three puzzles in one.

I see no point at all in 32A. What is it doing in this themeless? In a Thursday trick puzzle it would have worked wonders, with three or four more entries like it, within the same family of tricks. As a lone 15 in this grid it made no sense to me.

The clue for CAR RADIO was so tortuous that it lost all its cleverness by the time I got through reading it and trying to make sense of it.

What the heck is "ultimate" about FRISBEE? Is it the last game I will ever play? I hope not. Then there is A PIPE / A DAY which keeps no doctor away. Then ISLET / I LED: I MISS YOU not. ISNEAR? I tried unsuccessfully to makes sense of what I-SNEAR meant in relation to "looms" -- you know, the weaving machine with warp, weft and shuttle.

But I still liked some of the puzzle: RIOT GEAR, AIR DROP, the KNEE CAPS that GOT LOOSE and a few more. Perhaps a B-, trending down to a C+.

What do BRAS TRAP anyway?

For a finale, let's hear the FROLICsome Finale of the Simple Symphony by Benjamin Britten.

Enjoy your Friday, and the long weekend ahead.

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Most unenjoyable puzzle in a very long time. I should have baked muffins instead. Ugh!

No BS 8:17 AM  

Met my criteria: seemed nearly impossible, esp. In NW. but I gradually figured it all out. I like answers that "couldn't be that dumb, could they"? when my dumb guess turns out right. It was silly, but challenging.

Anonymous 8:18 AM  

Quick but felt like work rather than play. Opened fast for me, due to having been an Ultimate Frisbee player in grad school. I agree with you that the 32 across clue and answer was just....whaaaaat? Only hesitation was Rooked. I had _ooked and still paused. I haven't used the word rooked since 1968ish.

Trey 8:26 AM  

BRAS TRAP is acrually BRA STRAP. Loved that clue. "Ultimate" is a game played with a Frisbee akin to soccer except that you score in an endzone like football.

I personally liked THIRTYTWOACROSS - was able to get it with the W and CR

Tough puzzle for me. About twice as long as my recent average for a Friday

mathgent 8:29 AM  

Rex posted late so I am one of the first to comment today. I am the first commenter so far to like the puzzle.

It did break into three almost-independent pieces: NW, SE, and the diagonal piece from squares 13 to 56. But BROADWAY was an easy connection from NW to the diagonal piece and AIRDROPS connecting SW to the diagonal was gettable because it broke cleanly into two words.

I counted nine extremely-cleverly-written clues. I got a kick out of THIRTYTWOACROSS. There were only eight three-letter entries. No problem here with ADAY and APIPE because they are parts of real things. The only bad fill was OHS.

I loved it. Both my thumbs are way up. A resounding A.

GeezerJackYale48 8:32 AM  

So I guess there's something wrong with me, because I enjoyed solving this puzzle. It was challenging enough for a Friday, and held my interest . Sorry, Rex et alii.

Tita A 8:34 AM  

Oh frabjous day. The fastest Friday of my life, and Rex rates it medium-challenging.

Only three writeovers...BEmOan>>BESORE, SNeer>>SNORT, AIRcover>>AIRDROPS.
Funny how that works...I don't think it's particularly in my wheelhouse...I never heard of BGAME. I did know OISE, having spent lots of time near the confluence of those two rivers. But everything, even the loopy ones,was so inferrable. Despite my initial dismay at all those one-letter clues.

Loved clue for BRASTRAP. Liked learning what sesamoid bones are...and yes, most of them are the size of sesame seeds.
Didn't like ASPIRANT, and yeah, the clue for CARRADIO was trying too hard.
But overall, thank you Mr. L-N for a wonderful ego boost,

Guck 8:35 AM  

Mikey--you gotta start enjoying life. Hyper critical every day gets a little old. Maybe a few Brady Bunch reruns...

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

rex is like the nasty old school teacher who ruins your day by pointing out the bad with glee and downplaying the good. He sucks the joy out of it sometimes.

GILL I. 8:46 AM  

Well, I did like the clue for JANET. We're taking the train to Reno in a couple of weeks.
HEMIS always gets me. I wanted VTEN and I didn't know THEO (or a lot of names in this puzzle). HEMIS is what my husband calls hemorrhoids and then there is this cream called HemAway that will take care of your BESORE area.
OOOF. Had a hell of a time even getting started. After a looky loo first round I only had A DAY and EYES. Had to cheat on the FRISBEE just to get started. That helped a lot and I finished that first little puzzle. PREREQ? yikes. Moved on down to the SE for the third little puzzle. Had BORNrich instead of INTO. Went over to the west and HER HONOR helped me finish that section. I love Judge Judy, also love the Jamaicans that come on and call her MY HONOR.

Dan Murphy 9:08 AM  

Is "Valuable Diamond" supposed to refer to a literal diamond, or is it a baseball reference? If it's a baseball reference I think it was clued incorrectly and have never heard an actual diamond being called an ACE. I'm a baseball fan fwiw. Thanks.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

There is a game called "Ultimate Frisbee" hence the answer

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Ace of Diamonds. Valuable in most card games.

George Barany 9:21 AM  

Delighted to see the byline of @David Liben-Nowell, who teaches computer science at Carleton College not that far from the University of Minnesota. Respect @Rex's review, and the first round from the commentariat. My favorite answer in the puzzle: PREREQ.

Saint Olaf College is geographically close to Carleton, both being in Northfield, Minnesota. Another friend, on the Saint Olaf music and theater faculty, celebrates a birthday today. Find out who by solving this puzzle.

Junief 9:25 AM  

Very satisfying Friday. Liked it a lot. Sorry Rex was unable to enjoy it, and that his trashing of the NYTimes puzzles is so predictably joyless. I find they make for a pleasant beginning to my day.

Z 9:39 AM  

My USAU number is in the low five digits. I started playing Ultimate in college in the 80's. I will play in six leagues in two different states this year. I have played in tournaments in New Orleans, Versailles, OH, and Joliet already, coordinated another one in Versailles, and plan to play in Sarasota Halloween weekend. When I travel I look for games on PickUpUltimate.com, where I can find a game on six of seven continents. I haven't touched a Frisbee™ in 30 years. Yeah, we'll use the word when talking to the unenlightened, but we use a disc, and for competition the approved disc is the DISCRAFT Ultra-Star, the 175g Wixom mold to be exact. I am loath to ever suggest that a clue is wrong, they usually just need to be parsed differently. Nevertheless, the clue for 1 across is wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

Otherwise I liked the puzzle fine. The NW was tough because I was looking for something in my car to hold my traveling coffee mug.

Jamie C 9:40 AM  

Couldn't disagree more with Rex. I mean, breaking barriers regarding LGBTQ issues, a la yesterday, is one thing, but finally, after years of struggle and oppression, the best sport in the world got some NYT love today: ultimate FRISBEE!!!!! Next, the olympics:

The Ultimate Debate

Other than that, I found this puzzle fresh, creative, and a fun and satisfying solve.

Trombone Tom 9:43 AM  

Whew, this one was really a toughie with some very vague cluing. As others have pointed out it was three puzzles. I finally got some traction in the SW to NE area after a total fail in the NW. I clawed my way square by square and finally arrived at THIRTY_TWO_ACROSS.

As usual, I enjoyed the trip much more than @Rex did. I had a really tough time finding my way to PREREQ from the Q in et SEQ. And the clue for CAR_RADIO didn't help me at all.

I had aHS before OHS, but THEa didn't seem likely. I guessed on KNEECAPS based on the N and the first E. Had no idea what sesamoid bones were.

I tried working into the SE and was slowed down by AIR_cover before AIR_DROPS and SNeer before SNORT.

I finally came back to the NW and GOT_LOOSE and ALIENATE fell into place, finally giving me some traction there. I never would have arrived at FRISBEE without the crosses. I see that Deb thinks the capital U on the clue should have helped, but the first letter of all clues are capitalized.

This was a challenging workout, but doable (over at least ninety minutes). I think OFL's review is not off-point, but overly harsh.

Jamie C 9:46 AM  

PS--just read @Z's comments on ultimate @0939 (we reached almost simultaneous post, a rarity in this world). He is correct. Nobody calls the sport "ultimate FRISBEE," and nobody who knows anything about the sport calls a disc a FRISBEE. Of course, I have been playing since the days of the actual Wham-O FRISBEE and still have a place in my heart for the flaccid original flying disc. Still thrilled to have the sport recognized in the xword. Perhaps we need an ultimate themed puzzle?

Numinous 9:47 AM  

I found the NW really, Really, REALLY hard. The rest was a piece of pie. I enjoy wonky cluing even if @Rex doesn't. Once I got it, I liked the clue for BRASTRAP. FRISBEE kept me puzzled for the longest time and I kind of wanted GAMBOL instead of FROLIC.

Now I have to go hang out with my soon to be ensign step-daughter who I won't be seeing for a while, she starts OCS on the eleventh. Have a good long weekend, y'all.

Carola 9:49 AM  

I enjoyed this one a lot..."just right" is my RATING in the puzzling-out category. The ACROSSes proving impenetrable, I had to rely on the Downs in the NE to get started (ST PAUL, TURNS, I LED). The I-can't-believe-it THIRTY-TWO ACROSS made it easy to go on a diagonal to the SW. Then to tackle the SE ISLET: I couldn't decide if its bridge to the rest of the puzzle was AIRlifts or AIR DROPS, but MUTANT and SNORT reminded me of the intersecting DATSUN, so that was that. On to the NW. Once I figured out what 1A could "BEE," the rest went quickly. BRA STRAP GOT LOOSE - tell me about it.
GRAILS: isn't the point that there's one? The idea of a bunch of GRAILS seems to cheapen the concept.
My valuable diamond started out as "iCE"...like in a jewelry heist movie. Loved the lightbulb moment of understanding how it was ACE.

Dan Murphy 10:00 AM  

I think he was joking.

Z 10:01 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Rees 10:01 AM  

Genuinely surprised by @Rex's writeup today.

Finished just under average Friday time, so this was a spot-on Friday puzz for me. While I agree with the complaints about verb partials, there are only two; aside from APRS and ECG, there's zero typical crosswordese; clues are fun and challenging.

Yeah, it was a tough solve. It's Friday. It's supposed to be challenging. Great long stacks like in the NW and SE are gonna cost you something on the down fill, usually. Here, the only sacrifice in those two areas is ISNEAR. Bravo, DLN. No small feat.

And how could anyone complain about a puzzle with FROLIC in it? Nobody frolics anymore. Get out there and have some damn fun. Frolic in the fields of Friday.

Dan Murphy 10:01 AM  

Wow, duh. Thanks lol.

Z 10:05 AM  

@George Barany - Carleton College? I will bet real money (25¢) that Liben-Nowell didn't write that clue. Carleton is a college Ultimate powerhouse, fielding nationally competitive teams in D-1 Men's, D-3 Men's, and D-1 Women's. And I see over at xwordinfo.com that he is a player, too. I might just double my usual bet and put down 50¢ that he didn't write that clue.

There are many ways to correctly clue FRISBEE with an Ultimate reference. I can't come up with one as pithy as the one used. I like pithy, but a FRISBEE is still not a necessity. Also, the name... I don't know if the inventors were being ironic or self-aggrandizing (I tend to think ironically self-aggrandizing) but it is the name the game is stuck with now.

@Jamie C - I just saw your post. Great link.

Robert Rothschild 10:16 AM  

Friday fun! Enjoyed working this..

Jamie C 10:23 AM  

And another thing. For those of you (you know who you are) who are complaining about the obscurity of ultimate FRISBEE: If the clue had said "fencing need," and the answer had been EPEE, you wouldn't have batted an eye. Now consider that the number of people who play ultimate in this country likely eclipses the number of people who fence by a factor of at least 100. Ubiquity in the crossworld does not equal ubiquity in the real world.

QuasiMojo 10:28 AM  

Definitely not a pip! Drudged my way through it (albeit with alacrity). I wonder if there is a sport for procrastinators called Penultimate Frisbee? Janet, in case you were wondering, was not a member of the farflung Reno (originally French Huguenot) clan. Her father's birth name was Rasmussen. People need to lay off Rex. He's entitled to his Q status. i.e. "querulous." Plus he's right most of the time. As he was today. "I Led"??? That is pretty lousy fill.

Aketi 10:29 AM  

Hahaha@Alias Z, your BRAS TRAP made me day. Just now threw a giant pile of the sports variety of those darned TRAPs into the wash. Not only do they trap the obvious, if they have hooks on the back than can TRAP each other and turn the STRAPs into a twisted up knot harder to untangle than solving a Rubiks Cube.

@Z, I looked at that ultimate clue, thought of your passion for the sport, and happily put in FRISBEE. Then I read your post and thought see fiddle STICKS. Next time I'll know it's like one of those trick questions on the standardized tests written by those that have no depth of knowledge in the subject matter and I'll think disc first and still write in FRISBEE.

FROLIC is a great retro word, I have a partner in Martial Arts who is so joyous when we start our warmup that she literally FROLICs skipping and grinning, while the rest of us are morning and groaning as our stiff joints start to unstuffed.

I like BUS above WHEEL, but now the "WHEELs on the BUS go round and round" song is gong to STICK in my head all day.

Jean 10:36 AM  

Tough one for me. I take issue with "ECG," though. Every one I've ever had was called an "EKG."

Charles Flaster 10:37 AM  

Easy and the great cluing outweighed the fill-
Write overs---SNORT for SNeer and AIR DROPS for AIR liftS.
Liked this one a lot.
Thanks DLN

Jamie C 10:37 AM  

And finally, for those of you who are curious, here's some footage of a few great ultimate plays:

Ultimte Highlight Reel

Try to ignore the porn film music and focus on the play.

And now I'm done for the day.

Maruchka 10:38 AM  

C'est ne pas un OSCAR pour M. Liben-Nowell. Sorta/kinda liked it. Agree with @Rex, ET. SEQ. re: junky stuff. But I don't see a dirty grid once its filled.

NW and SE were bears. I just went ahead and cheated. Ganymede/BRA STRAP sums up where my and D-LN's heads seem to diverge. Liked the clue, tho.

Remember, no CROSS WORDs before bedtime..

Mohair Sam 10:39 AM  

Couldn't we have had, say, an American Lit clue for PREREQ? We're doing crosswords here, not cross algorithms. Or are we anymore? A little bugged by the "three, three, three puzzles in one" as noted by @Alias Z. And found THIRTYTWOACROSS easy, and downright silly at best. But did have some fun with the clever cluing and nifty misdirection.

NW gave us the most worry - we had BROAD sitting there and all else blank for the longest time. I may have attended more Big EAST basketball games than anyone here and for reasons unknown could not come up with EAST - finally Lady M did, and then EPEE and BRASTRAP. And then the delightful FRISBEE aha'd itself. That corner was fun. Applying logic to make TULANE a gimme was fun too, so was getting STPAUL off that. An auto engineer once told me that the clue for HEMIS would be accurate without the comma.

@Quasimojo from yesterday - It's my understanding that the convent in Water Mill is a convent no longer. Hence that beautiful landmark privacy hedge was no longer needed. I haven't seen the change yet. My sister-in-law lives a few blocks from the convent - we're planning to spend a few days with her in October. Walking by that hedge on the eastern side has always been part of my morning "constitutional" when we visit, I guess my view will be Route 27 traffic now. Yuck.

AZPETE 10:40 AM  

Thx. And thx for the 2 recently chem-related puzzles u linked to. Liked them both better than the recent NYT of the same theme. Had to do much googling to finish "seeking chemistry at a singles bar. Finished today's puz so liked it!

AZPETE 10:42 AM  

Huh? U don't need a frisbee to play?

Nancy 10:51 AM  

Very, very hard and very, very rewarding. I started in the NW, as per usual, and could fill in absolutely nothing. TURNS (at 9D) was my first answer in. I was despairing of ever finishing this and then I got to 32A. Could I really be this lucky??? Yay! Thank heavens for THIRTY-TWO ACROSS: it was my first real toehold. Still, I continued to struggle everywhere and the NW was my last section in. LOOSENED instead of GOT LOOSE didn't help. Nor did speedWAY instead of BROADWAY. I thought of EPEE from the get-go, but it never seemed like it would work, so I never wrote it in. My first answer in that section was FROLIC and it took me forever to see it. I am so proud of myself for sticking with this and not giving up.

Although I mostly loved the puzzle, I am not a fan of staccato clues. Especially very vague ones with a zillion possible meanings. So that The first four down clues made me very unhappy. Nevertheless, a good workout.

Off to the park now on the first beautiful day in a l-o-o-n-n-n-g time. Read you all later.

jae 10:59 AM  

Easy-medium for me. I read the 1a clue as it was coming off the printer and said to my bride "if the answer is FRISBEE I'll be very surprised." After that surprise I was off and running except for NE which took a bit of effort. Did not know the Foucault quote or the Kiss Me, Kate song, was looking for a technical bone name (patella anyone), did not remember where Prairie Home was broadcast from...hence the medium part.

Also had ASPIRing before ANT, @GILL I v tenS before HEMIS, THEa before THEO, and BORN rich before INTO.

Nice non Princess Bride clue for ELWES.

@Rex - At Xwordinfo David said he built the grid around 32a. Something about self imposed constraints inspired by the Oulipo group of mostly French writers.

Add me to the liked it contingent.

puzzle hoarder 11:20 AM  

@Rex's review is all bassackwards. This puzzle had some uneveness but it was entertaining yet also easy. If you've never heard of BROADWAY,AIRDROP or DATSUN the NW and SE could have been tough and a really young solver may well have never heard of DATSUN.
As for ULTIMATE FRISBEE sorry aficionados but myself and the rest of the world are going to keep right on calling it that.

Joseph Michael 11:25 AM  

My first pass through the grid yielded nothing until I got to the SE corner and finally found BORN INTO across and BRAD down. Then slowly but surely I was able to work my way back up, with the NE corner the last to fall. In the end, I was amazed I was able to solve this without an error since it seemed so impossible at first.

Unlike Rex, I enjoyed this process a lot and felt proud of myself for STICKing it out and not resorting to Google, as I often do on Fridays.

Thought the cluing was clever throughout and especially liked the misdirections for BRA STRAP, THIRTY-TWO ACROSS, BROADWAY, and DESSERT. Haven't heard the term ROOKED in a long time, but remember hearing it a lot in high school.

So, all in all, I couldn't dusagree with Rex more. This was a fun Friday!

old timer 11:34 AM  

Incredibly difficult and in fact a DNF for me because I never guessed FRISBEE, FROLIC, RATING, ISLET or BRASTRAP. I did get DATSUN though not without first looking up "DeSoto". Groucho Marx had DeSoto as a sponsor. I owned a DATSUN once -- cost S2000 new. I replaced it after a few years with a Honda, which cost $4000.

Silly for OFL to complain that a Friday puzzle is harder than a Saturday. In my experience, Fridays are always the toughest puzzle of the week. Strange, too, to criticize ADAY over APIPE. I was glad to see them, because that's where I finally got my start. Now APRS are worth carping about. So is the inept clue for CAR RADIO

I am mystified by ANDRE. In what sense is he a Giant in sports entertainment?

Joshua Meisel 11:36 AM  

Can someone explain minted as the answer for Made new? to me. I guess I don't see why the question mark is there.

Wayne Rhodes 11:42 AM  

to add to JAE's comment: Yes...Elwes AND Andre! Two Princess Bride references!

Jocasta Guyon 11:47 AM  

DNF. The Northwest killed me. Among other mistakes, I had inlet instead of islet for key, and the existence of EKGs, EEGs, and ECGs always gives me agita.

Ellen S 11:48 AM  

@AliasZ, your link to the Simple Symphony isn't a link, and nobody so far has mentioned that. Maybe they're afraid of being Rickrolled, so they never click on them. Or, maybe they're afraid it's really a link to a classical piece, heaven forbid. I enjoy your musical suggestions.

@Jean - I wondered about ECG also. Is there a difference, like between a Bobcat and a Lynx, or a yam and a sweet potato? Something else I'll never get straight?

Didn't Puff, The Magic Dragon frolic in the laundromat? I saw the clue for 1D and thought FROLIC, but I had EkG and it took forever to realize that if I changed it to ECG it would be FROLIC after all.

@AZPETE - apparently "Ultimate" players don't use the brand-name "FRISBEE" product, which is a kid's toy. Or a dog toy, I guess, or do dogs also prefer the professional-grade versions?

As to the puzzle, I liked it. I was scared when I saw there was only one way in to the NW and SE, but I also panic at full-length quad stacks. I consider that anxiety a flaw in me, not in the puzzle, but what do I know? (I know "AIRlifts" sure didn't help me break into that sequestered SE.).

jberg 11:48 AM  

What, ultimate FRISBEE doesn't involve frisbees? Next you'll be telling me that frisbee golf is really Disc Golf, and that my copier does not xerox things. Or that an epee is really a short sharp stick.

I enjoyed all three puzzles, and found each one challenging. At the single gateway to the SE I was looking for something military: air strike, air support, etc. Ironically, I only solved that corner by writing in leonE instead of TIGRE, and tack for BRAD. At least I knew BRAD was an alternative, so once I saw the gimme OISE, I went right to BORN with and ASPIRiNg, which borke the corner open for me. So I guess the moral is that a wrong answer is better than no answer at all.

I loved 32A, and loved its being echoed by Foucault and Magritte at 31A.

I also loved PREREQ. Unlike @Mohair Sam, I particularly liked the clue, which misdirected me to want C PLUS + or something like that. So to see that the answer was completely unrelated to computers was a nice aha moment.

And of course, and similarly, the shield made me think of the other kind of mace, and look for some armor-related word. Nice.

Lewis 11:56 AM  

@oldtimer -- Andre the Giant is (was?) a famous wrestler, I believe.

So, it all comes down to the experience. So many commenters today have said that they thought it was going to be a DNF early on, then plodded through to victory, and felt great about figuring it all out. I flirted with thinking DNF early on, but after the NW fell, I felt I was on the right wavelength and the rest would come, with patience and a hard-working brain. And it did. And I greatly enjoyed the experience.

And how did the constructor do it? Not with the answers in the grid. None of them, to me, anyway, were particularly noteworthy. He did it with his clever and tough cluing. Great witty clues for FRISBEE, BRASTRAP, ACE, OSCAR, DESSERT, BUS, and ANDRE. Figuring each of those out brought an inner smile and kept me motivated. I love that stuff.

I had AHS for OHS for too long, and I wanted "stocking" for BROADWAY.

And something else. Everyone complains about partials, like ADAY and APIPE. They don't bother me. They never have, no matter how many times I hear "experts" tell me they are mud ugly.

Great experience for me, David, and I look forward to your next one!

Ellen S 12:03 PM  

@Jean and @Jocasta (don't we have a bunch of doctors on this blog? Why are they not bothering to answer this? Tsk.). I looked it up -- there is no difference between ECG and EKG. (Unlike, maybe, yam and sweet potato, which I didn't look up because I WILL NEVER REMEMBER THE ANSWER.). Apparently the procedure was developed by a German, and "cardio--" in German is "kardio--". The newer spelling is ECG. That's our way of pretending we won the war.

Then there's "Echocardiogram". ECG/EKG measure electrical activity and make a little graph. The Echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart and gives you a picture, and if you're like me, you won't be able to tell if it's a boy or a girl or my thyroid.
My endocrinologist: "Look! That's a nodule!"
Me: "Uh-huh. Are you sure that's not my liver?"

In both procedures, your chest gets all slimed with gel.

Z 12:14 PM  

@AZ Pete and @puzzle hoarder - Ever order a "Coke" and get asked, "Is Pepsi okay?" FRISBEE™ is a specific brand, made by Wham-o, and their 175g disc is not approved for sanctioned tournament use. If you watch @Jaime C's highlight reel every disc in it is an Ultra-Star.

@puzzle hoarder - You know how people get tribal over things? It perfectly okay to call it Ultimate FRISBEE. It's like wearing the mark of Cain, lets us know you are one of "them."*

Watching an Ultimate highlight reel is a little like watching all the homer highlights on ESPN. It gives you a warped sense of the game. Here is a game between two of the best teams in the world if you're curious. The first nine minutes is talking heads. It's two hours long, but watch any random five minutes and you'll get a good sense of what the game is really like.

*If you can't tell that I'm joking here, please have your funny bone checked.

Aketi 12:36 PM  

Hahaha, who knew when I was a kid that FRISBEE would join the ranks of KLEENEX and Q-TIPS and XEROX.

Undomiel 12:43 PM  

As a Carleton grad myself, that's pretty cool. I think I actually had him for Intro to CS, although that wasn't my best class and I don't remember it terribly well. That would have been his first year at the school if I'm right. Had I realized, 1A would have been much easier given how prominent Ultimate is on campus.

BC 1:11 PM  

At least I got BRAD

OISK 1:13 PM  

Really liked this puzzle. Liked @jberg's comment on the Frisbee controversy. Maybe it's an age thing? I first started playing with one of those Wham-O products in the late 1950's. We actually called it a Pluto Platter! But a historical note...A company designer named Ed Headrick ( responsible for adding the raised ridges for stability) is said to have INVENTED Frisbee golf! So if that's the original name of the sport, I don't see how it can be objectionable. Ultimate become popular after I finished college, but we played "Frisbee football," which was similar to the touch football game we played in our concrete schoolyards.

If someone says "Anyone have a Kleenex?", I don't say "will some other brand of tissue do?"

But, back to the puzzle, for me it was a nice, smooth, suitably difficult Friday, Loved the Kiss Me Kate reference as well. "And Carolina, where are you Lina, still peddling your pizza in the streets-a Taormina." Some of Cole Porter's most brilliant lyrics are in that song.

Alex 1:33 PM  

Fridays are always a challenge for me, AND this was no exception. I found the NW impenetrable. When I filled in FRISBEE as my first answer, I thought I was going to triumph today. I did not.

Teedmn 1:39 PM  

I sense a mini-Princess Bride theme today, with ANDRE the Giant and Cary ELWES both making an appearance (but no Mandy Patinkin or Robin Wright :-(. )

I'll take that Medium Challenging RATING, myself. Congrats to @Tita A on her record time, but this took a lot of brain power for me. I had to stop and eat lunch for a boost.

Part of it was the segregation of the sections. I was en-ILED on the NW ISLET and the NE caused many moments of woe also - even with knowing ST. PAUL. My OHS at 9D TURNS and 5D BROADWAY were the best ahas I've had recently.

I left 24A at E_G deliberately, thank goodness because I was not expecting the C in place of E or K. Lots of things to like in this puzzle, and luckily I knew the PRE-REQ of EPEE.

Nice job, DL-N!

Hungry Mother 1:54 PM  

Tough one for me, especially in the SE. I thought it would be a DNF, but I just banged away at it until it gave up.

Joe Bleaux 2:21 PM  

(The late, I think) wrestler, billed as Andre the Giant.

Masked and Anonymous 2:28 PM  

@RP: har. Well, good mornin, Sunshine. Could sorta feel yer pain, as I felt strongly, both ways, about this FriPuz. But, in any case, did U catch the great "Princess Bride" subtheme?
To wit…
1. Cary ELWES starred in it.
2. ANDRE the Giant co-starred in it.
3. The villain was a MUTANT (Had six fingers on his hand).
4. Loads of EPEE-fights, throughout.
5. 32-A answer was "Inconceivable!"
6. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father; prepare to die!" = OSCAR-worthy.
7. Flick was pretty TRUETO the book (by William Goldman)

weeject staff pick: ECG. Better clue: {Mal-formed egg??}.
fave brief alphabet run: APIPE, BGAME. Better APIPE clue: {Monkey that always eats 3.14 bananas??}.

At first i gasped, believin that this puz might have been constructed by Donald "Build a Wall" Trump, usin an assumed name. The cute NW and SE corners were just like individual (mal-formed) runtpuzs (lil darlins), only the stuffins weren't near as desperate.

re:EPEE: Was hard to think of this, as a summer Olympic sport event. They could certainly do epee-fights in the winter, indoors. Or maybe do epee-fights on an ice rink! … Now, there's yer fun rodeo. Must write down on a post-it. Right after I finish up my Data Structures class homework.

Thanx, Mr. Liben-Nowell. Is U related to Mr. Liven-good?

Masked & Anonymo4Us

Masked and Anonymous 2:40 PM  

Ahar! I see @Teedmn scooped m&e a bit, on the "Princess Bride" story. M&A took way too looong (a BROAD WAY), to write up his comment. Well spotted, darlin. I'da been faster, except I had to help out the PuzEatinSpouse in the middle, and also auto-correct really put up a fight. Also, the dog ate my Data Structures homework.

While I'm here: I got no problem with partials and other desperate phrases like BESORE. But, THIRTYTWOACROSS? "Inconceivable!"



Tom 2:49 PM  

@Masked and Anonymous, this puzzle wuz worth doing just to read your entertaining entry (very entrytaining!). Loved the sub-theme acknowledgment.

Started with yeRHONOR, since she's from Brooklyn, right? Fugheddaboutit. Got it right soon after.

Warhol got me ART, which gave me ANYONE, then I got a COKE Zero and romped through the SW. DESSERT was a giveaway for the SE, especially seeing 35d and 46d were plurals. finished the section quickly, and knowing Magritte gave me APIPE. The clue for 28a was too easy for a Friday because of the (multivitamin) hint.

Agree with Rex that it was like doing four separate puzzles, esp. the NW and SE. But had some chuckles along the way like 32a. Had fun and thanks again to M&A!

Michael 3:03 PM  

I liked the puzzle, did not find it particularly hard, and -as is often the case - am puzzled by Rex's harsh critiques.

Roo Monster 3:37 PM  

Hey All !
Think we've all been ROOKED on this puz.


Hartley70 3:41 PM  

I had a faster than usual Friday time, although I got held up in the NW because I just wasn't thinking FRISBEE. It was a head slapper but I'm forgiving myself because it was something my kids played in college, not I.

I got cheesed off by one of my early answers ISNEAR. I think of that as a two word cheat and there were others here, namely BESORE and GOTLOOSE. I just don't get any satisfaction with these because I like a crossword puzzle to challenge my vocabulary. Likewise THIRTYTWOACROSS was a big zero as far as I was concerned. Granted there was some misdirection, but it just wasn't sufficiently rewarding for the solver.

Favorite answer in the puzzle and in life: DESSERT!

Joaquin 3:47 PM  

Sometimes I wonder why Rex bothers to even do these puzzles, let alone blog about it. It would be like me ordering cauliflower at every meal (yeah - I hate the stuff).

mac 4:04 PM  

Not bad, with some areas that were hard for me. Gettable though.
The NW was the last, I couldn't get "body bag" out of my mind for the ultimate necessity....

Gaurawalla 4:32 PM  

Frisbee is the Wham-O registered trademark for their disc. Hence Z's reference to the generic term disc.

Martín Abresch 4:34 PM  

This struck me as being a shaggy dog puzzle, with THIRTY TWO ACROSS as the anticlimactic joke.

I'm completely on board with Rex's review today. Negatives: ragged puzzle, isolated corners, vague one-word clues in NW. Positives: fill in the NW, some clever clues.

I liked the clue for BROADWAY (Place for a long run, maybe), which took me way too long to figure out. FRISBEE was a fun 1-across answer.

My sister was born in LAREDO. In my college years I wore a mustache and I was frequently told that I looked liked "that guy from The Princess Bride," Cary ELWES. This led to my family and I rewatching the movie. Naturally, the part where ELWES and I looked most alike was the torture scene in the Pit of Despair, and, naturally, this delighted my siblings.

mooretep 4:53 PM  

EKG vs. ECG bothered me.
Kardio has a greek root.
in the ER, they use EKG, not ECG.
Because in the heat of the moment, EEG and ECG sound too similar.
EKG for the heart, EEG for the brain.

phil phil 5:36 PM  

Natnicked on name THEa and I thought a more appropriate aHS.

But DNF, misspelling aspirant crossing I thought was ANTeS. But ante is latin for 'before' like antebellum, right? so ..my bad.

Uncle John C 5:37 PM  

Am I the only one who was confident that NOV was the month with two Nat'l holidays?

Mohair Sam 5:47 PM  

@Uncle John C - Probably, November used to have Veteran's Day - but the "good" wars are far behind us and they've lost favor.

dm3000 6:33 PM  

To me, Friday should always be medium challenging, and Saturday should always be challenging. And they rarely are these days. Otherwise why bother?

Anonymous 6:51 PM  

Hey, it's dinner time and I can't find my Taco Truck! I was promised a Taco Truck!

pussinboots 7:37 PM  

Raced through most of it, on track for a personal Friday best, then utterly foundered in the brutal NW.

Wanted FUNERAL for [ultimate necessity], CHAMPION for [cup holder], GOLF for [summer Olympics event], MENDED for [made new]. Ended up being my slowest Friday ever. :(

Mohair Sam 8:03 PM  

@pussinboots - We had Golf for while too, and the "B" in BROADWAY so we went with BODYBAG for a while, not far from your funeral. Great minds . . . .

Nancy 8:57 PM  

@OISK (1:13 p.m.) -- I agree that "Where Is the Life That Late I Led" has some of the wittiest lyrics that Porter ever wrote -- hell, that anyone ever wrote! In fact, with the possible exception of "Adelaide's Lament", it has my vote for the funniest theater song ever written. Some of my favorite lines:

..."What scandalous doin's in the ruins of Pompei?"
..."Still there in your pretty, itty-bitty Pitti Palace?"
..."You gave a new meaning to the Leaning Tower of Pisa."

For anyone who's never heard this priceless song from "Kiss Me Kate, run, don't walk, to YouTube right now!

wgh 8:24 AM  

When I try to say "knee bucklingly" my knees buckle.

Clark Vann Griffith 9:55 AM  

It was worth doing just to discover "a no one" and "anyone" can both cover "Nobody special."

Clark Vann Griffith 9:55 AM  

It was worth doing just to discover "a no one" and "anyone" can both cover "Nobody special."

Gregory Schmidt 1:27 PM  

It was a bit ragged, but I enjoyed it. I appreciated the dearth of arcane literary references (sorry Mr P). Just enough bite to have to do some mental scrounging, but all gettable in the end.

Joan 7:31 PM  

Bra strap, not bras trap

kitshef 8:43 AM  

As I begin the long catch-up following a three-week absence, this was a nice one to start with. Agree with those who thought there might be a DNF in the works, but stuck at it and eventually it all worked. In a themeless (Princess Bride notwithstanding(, that's as good as it gets.

spacecraft 11:36 AM  

Well, folks, this is the second day in a row for me leaving huge sections undone. This time I was disinclined to put very much solving effort into a puzzle whose banner entry is the spelled-out number of the clue. I mean, how dumb can you get?

Did the NE/SW corridor handily enough, noticing that the NW and SE were choked off save for a single square each: a severely restricted "AIR...WAY." Okay, BROADWAY...but after that what? I see in the comments that "Ultimate" is the name of some game, who in the hell knew, and that apparently you need a FRISBEE to play it. Having never heard of such a thing, my getting 1-across was rendered 100% impossible. Look at 1- through 4-down. Four clues in a row that could literally be ANYthing. Ridiculous, totally unsolvable if you don't know "Ultimate." So, I just junked it. Which is what Will should have done. I haven't seen this constructor's name before--and I'd just as soon not see it again. I don't think much of hyphenated names anyway. Project it down the line: your grandkids could be dealing with eight surnames! Makes no sense. Bah, humbug. What's the worst...I know: a pick six when you were on the other team's five-yard line.

rain forest 2:02 PM  

This was "medium" for me. Getting ISLET, STONE, EAST, and EPEE, made it easy to see FRISBEE, a word I will always use for the disc, purists notwithstanding.

I actually found the SE pretty easy, and I liked the self-referential 32A.

The area that gave me the most trouble was the NE, with the Q being my last letter. Only because I had enough crosses could I get KNEECAPS, thinking that the sesamoid bones (on a horse's leg, right?) were in the ankle area, if a horse is considered to have an ankle.

Rarely do I get @Rex's disdain for just about every puzzle, and this is especially true for today's. It has become tedious reading his posts-well, today I didn't even try. What's the point?

Burma Shave 2:14 PM  


HERHONOR and MERITS don’t phase her.
JAN’s not TRUETO her ASPIRANT men,


leftcoastTAM 3:05 PM  

I liked this one, in part of course, because I finished it without too much trouble--except in the isolated SE, which was the last section to go.

Equally isolated NW was also a bit slow to come. There, FRISBEE was a head-scratcher and ECG an alternative spelling of EkG. Elsewhere, ELWES was unknown and APIPE part of a very obscure title.

As for 32A, I'll just appreciate it as a gift.

Did I say I liked this one?

rondo 3:21 PM  

Went through all the across clues down to 32a, at which point I had E_G (wasn’t sure which test) and ADAY, which got me 28d APRS, which got me THIRTYTWOACROSS from the R and CARRADIO from the D_O. Then finished the NE to SW swath ala @spacey leaving two separate sections in the NW and SE.

Then I had to transfer my mother from the hospital to a nursing home.

During the second sitting BROADWAY occurred to me, that and Big EAST got me FRISBEE and the NW was conquered. In the SE I was thinking of some rarely prepared steak before – doh!- DESSERT showed up and it was finished. Odd to see the different color of ink in the NW and SW.

Total gimme for STPAUL as I work only blocks away from the home of PHC. Went to see it numerous times. A new season is starting with a new host. Check it out. I guess you could take I-35 all the way from STPAUL to LAREDO and they’re about in position in this puz.

I wouldn’t mind to FROLIC with that yeah baby gem Sharon STONE. HERHONOR not withstanding.

Maybe THIRTYTWOACROSS has no particular MERITS, but I had to do a lot of brainwork for the rest of this puz. Kinda liked it. Don’t know what to give it for a RATING.

BS2 4:00 PM  


on EAST BROADWAY - he’ll BESORE and hurt -
devouring the CARRADIO and each WHEEL for fun,
and with a GRIN gorged on a BUS for DESSERT.


leftcoastTAM 6:15 PM  

@Burma Shave--

Two hits in your double feature today; one erotic, rated R if not X, the other sci-fi, rated PG. Maybe OSCAR nominees.

Diana,LIW 7:49 PM  

You can call me late to the table, but don't call me late to dinner.

Spectacular dnf in the NW. Just awesome.

And - my cat, Quincy, loves to play FRISBEE with our little ponytail hairbands. If he can't find one on the floor, he has learned that Mr. W "stores" them in his jeans' pocket. So Q goes to a pair on the bed, reaches into a pocket, and retrieves a hairband. Hours of fun ensue.

Not much else to say that hasn't been said.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting to Post Today

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