Magnetic flux unit / FRI 11-4-16 / Deadly vodka cockatil / Word from Greek for feigned ignorance / Bright orange seafood delicacy

Friday, November 4, 2016

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging for me, probably Medium in general

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: EILAT (9D: Israeli seaport) —
Eilat (/ˈlɑːt/; Hebrew: About this sound אֵילַת [eiˈlat]; Arabic: ايلات‎‎) is Israel's southernmost city, a busy port and popular resort at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aqaba. The city's beaches, coral reef, nightlife and desert landscapes make it a popular destination for domestic and international tourism. // Home to 49,734 people, Eilat is part of the Southern Negev Desert, at the southern end of the Arava, adjacent to the Egyptian village of Taba to the south, the Jordanian port city of Aqaba to the east, and within sight of Saudi Arabia to the south-east, across the gulf. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a nice grid. I frequently couldn't get a grip on the cluing—and I found all the "pot" nonsense up top juvenile and annoying—but the grid is pretty impressive. Solid stacks in the NE and SW, and lots of current, interesting answers. I can normally kill a Friday in like 6-7 minutes, but this took me 9, due almost entirely to the center grid, which I couldn't make any sense of until the very end. In fact, I ended up staring at SOU_UP and _EC and having to run the alphabet. Should've gotten SOUP UP without even needing a clue, but my brain was locked in on the _EC clue and for some reason "trunk" was making me think only of trees—both literal and diagrammatic (like, uh, a family tree or something). So DEC? Is the calendar a "tree"? Why would December be the "Top part"? Only DEC and REC were coming to mind. Sometimes your brain just gets stuck and you have to return to first principles, which in this case meant a. checking and rechecking all surrounding answers to make sure they were indisputable, and b. running the alphabet, methodically, from A to Z (well, in this case, A to P).

Here's where I came to a dead-stop (not a common occurrence for me on any day that is not Saturday):

Never heard of the BLACK WIDOW (in cocktail form) (25D: "Deadly" vodka cocktail). STOWAWAY? (36D: Nautical nuisance). No (a)way. I thought 37D: Bright orange seafood delicacy was asking for something sushi-esque, so SNOW CRAB wasn't on my radar at all. PAINT is not a program I've thought of in 30 years, and even then it was Mac. MacPaint. I didn't even know PAINT was a PC program, basic or otherwise. That answer was another reason the middle was rough for me. Fiscal CLIFF strikes me as (already) suuuuper dated. Like ... I can't even remember exactly when that was. Two years ago? Four? Has anyone used that phrase since we were allegedly about to fall off of it? I'm sure it'll come back, since Congress is terrible at everything, but today, Fiscal CLIFF seems like something from a million years ago. Aside from EILAT, everything else was familiar to me. So: nice grid, adequate cluing, fine time.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Unknown 6:02 AM  

What a nice surprise to see the byline of my friend @David Steinberg, because just earlier last evening I had received an e-mail from him alerting me to this remarkable interview with Thursday's New York Times constructor, @Mel Rosen. Notice that @Rosen wrote the first computer program to help create crossword puzzles, a precursor to Crossword Compiler (ccw) that so many of us are using nowadays. Talk about standing on the shoulders of giants!

As for @David's puzzle today, there is some standout cluing, starting with the word "pot" in four of the first five across clues (sorry to disagree with @Rex on that one). Supplementing the etymology of IRONY, I was struck last night watching MSNBC's coverage of Melania Trump's speech pledging that, were she to become First Lady, her top priority would be to combat cyberbullying.

Can't say I finished the puzzle, though ... my unfamiliarity with drinks led to BLoody_mary in the slot for BLACK_WIDOW, and some honest self-critic led to "nerd" in the slot for FOGY.

Loren Muse Smith 6:29 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 6:30 AM  

I came so close to a dnf because of the northwest. I went all "absorb…." for 3D solvent. And as Rex put it, I brain-locked on it. "Absorbiter"…hmm. Kept wondering if that was a thing. Lots of science terms I don't know (WEBER, I'm looking at you). Finally seeing MOVER cleared that all up.

I was kind of a STOW AWAY once. I really was. But I just had to hide when the owner or some other tattletale fishermen were around. My go-to hidey-hole was actually a BROOM closet.

David, David, David – you BAWDY college party animal, you. Four "pot" clues (and MARIJUANA), STOUT, BLACK WIDOW cocktail (what the heck is That?), TOGA, DEBTS…

@George – your “Bloody Mary” was a terrific guess. I was thinking "Black Russian" but it’s not deadly and it’s too long.

And I was thinking "How could you?" (too long) for WOW….. JUST. WOW

Like Rex, I also went straight to a sushisome "salmon…" or "sea urchin…" before SNOW CRAB. I've eaten all-you-can eat snow crab (read-eat an obscene amount to the point that it gets hard to even chew), and towards the end, a couple of my fingers were bleeding and I'm not making that up.

I've never said this before, but I don't think there are many women who can rock a SUNDRESS. Tricky business, especially if the bajillion tattoos compete with the bright roses and daisies. Usually makes my teeth hurt.

Hey – you can cut and paste clues and get "bright orange sleazeball."

David – you're a peach for 30D. Go Heels.

Terrific puzzle.

kitshef 7:33 AM  

Got off to a rocky start when I Schroedingered gauss and hEnry at 14A (turns out the former is magnetic flux density, and the latter electrical inductance).

Firenze friend also gave some trouble as I was expecting a Harry Potter character.

Other than that, a nice solid Wednesday. An incredible number of good, interesting long words (ICELANDIC, MARIJUANA, SLOW DANCE, TUNA STEAK, SNOW CRAB, DRY ROAST, BLACK WIDOW, etc etc etc), accompanied by almost painfully straightforward cluing.

So what was it doing on a Friday? Answer, the NYT tradition does not allow for an easy-moderate themeless or a hard themed puzzle, so a puzzle like this really has no good slot. I'd've stuck in on a Wednesday anyway, with 'pot' being the sort-of theme.

Still, it's a fantastic puzzle, fill-wise, and I'm glad Will found a spot for it.

Not a lot of options for M&A's favorite weeject - only five TLWs.

r.alphbunker 8:13 AM  

WOW JUST WOW. This was definitely an EGO BOOSTER for me. Details are here.

Anonymous 8:27 AM  

For future reference, Paint has been included in Windows since Version 1.0 in 1985.

Debra 8:30 AM  

Excellent solid puzzle. Thank you!

seanm 8:33 AM  

echoing most commentators so far (but not rex), this was pretty easy for a friday, one of my best friday times (22 and change). only real hitch was ELIAT. i imagine it's mostly a generational thing, as there were no real dated entries to hold me back (though there also weren't many young people answers either). just very clean.

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

For me an unusually easy puzzle. Never do Fridays quickly but did this in 15 minutes. Lots of fin though

Sir Hillary 8:55 AM  

Aside from the irritating and contrived "pot" clues, I can't find anything remotely wrong with this puzzle. Very Scrabbly grid without feeling forced, good clues, no short junk -- what more could I want?

-- MCCAIN was my first entry, so I actually got the center section first, the opposite of @Rex.
-- Anyone know the names of the other Earp(s)? I sure don't.
-- Very much enjoyed the clues for STROP, BROOM, DEBTS (I was originally thinking snitS) and especially DUET.
-- I'm an amateur mixologist, but never heard of a BLACKWIDOW. Looks like something made with black vodka, whatever that is. Maybe it was clued as such given proximity to Halloween?
-- I would always spell it FOGEY, so I learned something today.
-- Brief mistakes were NOteS (must have Samsung on the brain) and JokES (guessing others did that too). Both quickly corrected.
-- Almost dropped in slouGh at 4D. Good thing I didn't -- I would have tried to build around that, given the correct G.

All in all, another example of why DS is one of my favorite constructors.

Hartley70 9:03 AM  

This went a little faster than my usual Friday, even though, like @George, I first tried Bloody Mary and nerd. A BLACKWIDOW was one of just two unfamiliar entries. I'm not much of a drinker, but I could guess the WIDOW after I had BLACK. WEBER needed the crosses because it's only a gas grill to me.

I call PEC as the Word of My Day because of the cluing misdirection. Nicely done.

I rate this an Easy Friday, although I enjoyed the solve. I always appreciate a Steinburg puzzle.

Tita 9:06 AM  

Once again, an opportunity to feel so so smart. Any Friday I finish on Thursday is an easy Friday. I'm guessing this took me ~20 'minutes?)
When I revealed the constructor after finishing, I was surprised to see David's name, as lots of you say you're not on his wavelength.

But... One Yuuuge disappointment. On the terminal ANA for the third "pot" clue, I slammed in cataplANA, and thought oh wow, this is gonna be fun! A themed Friday based upon lots of different styles of cookware!
An iconic Portuguese dish is Amêijoas an Cataplana, aka Porco Alentejano. Tiny Vongole clams with pork, cooked in the eponymous pot, which is itself a copper clamshell that acts almost like a pressure cooker.

Imagine my disappointment when I was forced to replace it with boring old MARIJUANA.

I call myself a CHEAPDATE, because if I drink without eating, I start SLOWDANCing on tables. Even if it's just a bowlful of those horrid kibbles and bits, please. Of course, there is a slightly trumpier etymology behind that phrase, but David and Will clued it innocently enough.
Oh...and just for the record, I'm cheap on the wining side. but far from it on the dining.

Also loved SOUPEDUP...does anyone soup their hot rods up anymore?

Thanks for a fun puzzle, Mr. Steinberg's, and for the EGOBOOSTER rating, Rex.

Ken 9:15 AM  

Thought it was a clean neat puzzle. Found it to be on the easy side once the crosses appeared. On the face though, I can see where it might be easy-medium. I only get the weekender so I only do Fri Sat Sun and, checking Rex's blog, it seems the rest of the week is much harder. I wonder if this is true and a NYT strategy to have puzzle enthusiasts go for a full weekly subscription?

jberg 9:19 AM  

Continuing my run of near misses -- I go to the Y to SlIM, and once 14A wasn't Gauss I figured it could be anything. Had I followed @Rex's advice, gone back to basics, and run the alphabet, I think I would have seen it.

I didn't know the drink either, but the BL gave me BLACK, which pretty much had to be maria, death, or WIDOW. I left it blank until I had WOW.

I too was tempted by sushi, but at 58A. I actually wrote in TUNA Sushi, even while hating it. But WYATT is the only Earp I can remember, so that fixed that.

But how can you not like the pot clues? Every one to a different meaning of the word. I wish there'd been more!

Nancy 9:34 AM  

It's amazing how quickly Steinberg has gone from being one of my least favorite constructors to one of my real favorites. Gone is virtually all the pop culture, replaced by really interesting and colorful words and phrases. Loved ABOVE WATER; EGO BOOSTER; CHEAP DATE; WOW JUST WOW; HOT STONE MASSAGE and ASK ANYONE. I didn't find it as easy as some did, but that's because I couldn't enter in the NW and had to begin elsewhere. And the cluing was sly enough to cause problems: all the pot clues meaning totally different things (I didn't see SHARD 'til the very end); the clues for MOVER; DUET; STOWAWAY. Much thinking required. And, therefore, I had a really good time.

mathgent 9:42 AM  

It reminded me a lot if a Patrick Berry: smooth, very few Terrible Twos, a lot of bright and fresh entries, smart cluing, only one unknown (EILAT). If it weren't for the weak "pot" mini-theme it would get my highest grade, but A minus.

Nancy 9:45 AM  

Did you mean to say "harder", @Ken R. (9:15)? The order of difficulty (supposedly) is Saturday (hardest), followed by Friday (next hardest) and going backwards toward the beginning of the week. Sunday is a mixed bag -- sometimes hard, sometimes easy, but seldom all that hard. Just long. For my money, you're missing only one good puzzle, and that's Thursday. Thursday is usually a "trick" puzzle with a gimmick and that sometimes makes it the hardest of all. Or not. For many of us, it's our favorite puzzle of the week. Other than Thurs, no reason to up your subscription. Unless what you really want are easier puzzles.

Carola 9:46 AM  

A pleasure of a puzzle. I'm with those who found it on the easy side: The little line-up in the NE of TADA, ON IT, and PACE gave me the crucial -ANA and then the rest of the grid.

I liked SWIM + ABOVE WATER along with the nautically related STOWAWAY and SWEARing pirate; also OO LA LA x BAWDY (at cross-purposes with FOGY).
Not so crazy about: the proximity of SOUP and SLOP...why can't I get lentil SOUP right?
Needed crosses for: BLACK WIDOW, IGGY, WEBER
One do-over: SHeRD
Serendipity Department: I turned to the puzzle just after catching up on yesterday's Style section in which HOT STONE MASSAGEs were extolled.

Mohair Sam 9:50 AM  

We enjoyed this Steinberg (don't we always?), but found it tougher than most of you. He had some nifty misdirects throughout, most of which caught us. Still trying to think of a chemical agent starting with ABOV. Pisan before AMICO, atree before TREES, Haifa before EILAT. Yikes.

Agree with most that the "pot" cluing was silly. Neat factoid on the meaning of IRONY, nice to learn. BLACKWIDOW new to us too, nifty name for a drink.

@Tita A - Lady Mohair is normally a CHEAPDATE much like yourself. She enjoys an appetizer as a main dish with a glass or two of wine. A few weeks ago we met friends who were staying at the St. Regis in Manhattan and elected to eat there. Now we normally eat at falafel joints in New York so we were more than a bit taken aback by the prices. Lady M. ordered an appetizer and a glass of cabernet.
"Any in particular Madame?"
"House is fine."
She had a second glass.
I'll be pumping gas weekends at the Sunoco at 7th and Main in Allentown until 2018 to pay the bill. Be sure to say Hi if you fill up there.

@Rex - So I googled Obama and Fiscal CLIFF and got a first page full of the January 2013 battle in which Congress wanted to avoid the erstwhile CLIFF by raiding the current accounts through retaining the Bush tax cuts. But Obama wanted to avoid the CLIFF by raiding Social Security through reducing payroll taxes. The sides compromised by agreeing to raid both funds. We're going to solve this madness next Tuesday by putting another Democrat in the White House and keeping the same Republicans in Congress. WOW JUST WOW.

kitshef 10:03 AM  

@Ken R, @Nancy - FWIW, I normally find Thursday to be harder than Friday (this week being no exception). Puzzles you remember for a long time also tend to be Thursdays.

GILL I. 10:03 AM  

I'm going to echo @Nancy. I really used to dread David's puzzles; I was never on his wave length. No so much anymore. I sorta breezed through this and enjoying it all.
I've had a BLACK WIDOW but it was made with tequila. Our daughter bar tends when she needs extra money and she uses me for bait...! Kinda like "Give it to mommy, she'll try anything." Cocktails are back now - all kinds and all yummy except for maybe Jagermeister and mayonnaise. Oh, in case you didn't know, most bartenders hate to make anything with a tini in it...
I love all things Monet. The father of Impressionism and one of the best caricaturist in the world. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the New Yorker cartoonist were inspired by him.
I used to be a CHEAP DATE because most of the men I went out with were CHEAP.
NACHO AMICO. ole ole. Good job master David.

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

50 a: It's not only ME who thinks this"
Should that not be I?

kitshef 10:11 AM  

Morgan, Virgil, and Wyatt Earp. And that's my three.

Ω 10:16 AM  

What? No Random Roman Numerals?

I'm with Rex on Fiscal CLIFF feeling dated, and yet it is from this decade. Constructors take note the next time Ederle seems like a reasonable answer to you.

@Sir Hillary - Me: WYATT had brothers?

The problem with BLoody mary is that it is "confirmed" by ipad and oAf. SPED clued me in to the error of my ways, but then I still had to fix nerd. So medium or even medium challenging here.

I loved this puzzle, very fresh and lively. The pot thing was more feature than bug to me. Three letter word used four different ways is more neat word play than juvenile drug reference, but I can understand how it might grate for others. I did a quick check and was not surprised to find a low PPP* count, 15 (or 16 if I count PH.D) out of 68. That's 22% or 24%. For me, that is the appropriate level. Room for IGGY Azalea, but not so overwhelming that naticks are inevitable. Puzzle of the Week by far in my opinion.

*Pop Culture, Product names, and other Proper nouns as a percentage of answers. 33% and higher is going to cause some subset of solvers problems.

imsdave 10:17 AM  

Was I really the only one who tried ROACH at 1A? First DS I can remember that I didn't struggle through. Good stuff.

Bud 10:21 AM  

DNF. By the time I got to 17A, I was too high to go any further.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

I had Tesla instead of Weber but Tesla is a unit of magnetic flux density. I was stuck on solvent being some kind of acid so did not see it as an adjective. Finally had to have one google in that corner. Nice puzzle.

QuasiMojo 10:36 AM  

I'm of two minds over this one. Agree with Rex. Fiscal Cliff seems like just two words strung together. Some nice stuff but also a lot of off-kilter stuff. "Ooh la la" usually has an h. Agree with Rex. Fiscal Cliff seems like two random words strung together tossed off by some pundit on CNBC dissing liberal spending policies. Fiscal Chief; Fiscal Constraint; Fiscal Coifs? Also I always thought it was "Suped up" as a shortening of "Super" -- specifically when relating to cars. Anyone know more about that? And if you're going to ask for one of two Earp brothers it seems "beside" the point to have the answer be "Wyatt."

Steinberg's puzzles often have that added layer of being too-clever-by-half. Not yet a full-fledged fan. Plus I'm still enough of a "fogy" to think all this talk of POT is unsavory. But then the members of the "hip stoner" generation are now the ones waiting for their social security checks. And marijuana is all over the news and the ballot boxes. Which reminds me I was thinking of a UPS Store clerk or department store employee for that clue about "professional boxing." Having moved six times in the last five years, I can tell you that most of the things movers move are NOT boxes but hefty bags full of junk.

One question for you crossword fanatics and sorry to go on so long. Perhaps the loquacious Mr. Barany knows the answer. I was watching a great Brit TV show called "Endeavour" the other day, a prequel of sorts to Inspector Morse, and it was set in 1965. But Morse said he was a "cruciverbalist." Wasn't that word a more recent invention?

Happy weekend everyone.

Nancy 10:41 AM  

@Mohair (9:50) and @Tita -- Considering the truly ridiculous prices that top NYC restaurants (or even not-so-top) charge for drinks or wine, as well as for appetizers, it may be that @Tita, with her no drinks and one entree order, is a CHEAPer DATE than Lady Mohair, with her one appetizer and two glasses of wine order. That of course, should not be true, but, alas, it sometimes is. I, because I am notoriously CHEAP (as a DATE and at all other times), will not have that second drink, come hell or high water, no matter how much I crave it. And, Mohair, speaking of the St. Regis:

Back in the mid-1960s, a woman I knew from work and I decided, on a really beautiful early summer evening, to have a drink after work at the St Regis's outdoor sidewalk cafe, We were never given a menu. The maitre'd charged outside and said: "Sorry, ladies, but two unescorted women may not sit at these outdoor tables." I think I said something like: "You've got to be kidding!" He was adamant and his manner was officious and unpleasant. (May I take this opportunity to assure all of you that neither my friend nor I looked remotely like streetwalkers, high-end or otherwise.) I was furious beyond measure. He offered to escort us to a table inside. I think I said something like: "Not on your life!" That was more than 50 years ago, and while I'm sure the St. Regis has changed its policy in the interim, I have never set foot in that hotel since. I'm even sorry they got your patronage, @Mohair, though I do hope you and Lady M enjoyed the outing.

JC66 10:46 AM  


me, too for roach before SHARD.

Chaos344 10:49 AM  

Great Wednesday puzzle. Top half went like lightning, but the bottom was a little crunchier. I agree with what @kitchef said, and I had GAUSS initially as well.

@George Barany: So, you were "struck" by Melania Trump's pledge to combat cyber-bullying? Is that statement your "bait" for today? Do tell!

I loved the clue and answer at 8D. The following is for Larry Gilstrap, who will undoubtedly show up later. Still drinking 16 ounce Busch beers Larry?

I Think That I Shall Never Hear,
A Poem As Lovely As A Beer.

The Brew That Moe's Bar Has On Tap,
With Golden Base And Snowy Cap.

The Foamy Stuff I Drink All Day,
Until My Memry Melts Away!

Poems Are Made By Fools I Fear,
But Only Busch Can Make A Beer!

jae 10:51 AM  

Easy-medium for me. Originally wanted Spin for 1d but never put it in because the crosses weren't working. Finally remembered that Ys have pools which triggered WEBER and I was off and printing.

Nit: You only RENEGE if you don't follow suit but could have, right?

WOW JUST WOW does not quite describe this one, but it comes close. Liked it a bunch!

Leapfinger 11:02 AM  

My usual NW start didn't work out too well for me: had HERO and RENEGE, but I couldn't get 'roach' off the tip of my tongue. Besides which, WEBER is first and foremost "Chris" for me, on account of that infamous time-out he called. Tough flux that was...for Michigan. Great for UNC, though. ASK ANYONE around Chapel Hill.

More trouble with having my pirates GROWL instead of SWEAR, and also with Italian endings. Years ago, I had to STROP the microtome blade when I made slides of cleft palates in wee mousie embryos, so I'm pretty sure that error was A MICE issue. Did it again with ASTE, where an EBAY cross would've worked. Is IGGY Azalea's Pop? Oh, well.

Only 5 3s, yes, but clued on the tough side, though PEC was not a problem for me: I taught that anatomy stuff for years, and could probably still dredge up some details. (Adductor and internal rotator of the humerus, funny what you remember. The underlying  brachial plexus, not so much.)

Liked seeing SPED TO GAS up by the CAD I lack, and the cross of BROOM (BROOM) with SOUP UP. Best, though, was back-filling   ____WATER in the NW: clue [Solvent] had me wondering 'what kind of WATER'? Oh... ABOVE? Pure evil, there.

Agree with all the WOWJUSTWOW EGOBOOSTERism noted about the puzzle, as well as the strong college-boy vibe. I'm just grateful DS left well alone with NOOKS. Guess he couldn't help boasting a little: BAWDY'S UNDRESS, BAWDY'S HARD.

Good Friday, y'all

Mohair Sam 11:08 AM  

@Nancy - What a coincidence. I remember visiting the St. Regis with the very same friend back in the '60s, for lunch that day, and him slipping the maitre'd a twenty and saying we absolutely had to have a table on the sidewalk cafe. The souffle was marvelous, you should have eaten inside.

AliasZ 11:21 AM  

Surprisingly, I liked this puzzle despite David's obsession with pot -- I'd hoped he would have grown out of it by now. But today he created an all-around solid puzzle, if a little on the easy side for Friday.


Besides Wilhelm Eduard WEBER (1804–1891) after whom the magnetic flux unit (Wb, denoted as Φ) is named, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) and Michael Faraday (1791-1867) did extensive work on electromagnetism. I learned about WEBERs (mostly milli- and micro-Weber, mWb and µWb respectively) in my youth by reading specs of tape recorder heads.

The two questionable and perhaps avoidable entries were EILAT, and UNCAP (mostly because of UNC).

Speaking of WEBER, enjoy this lovely incidental music to the Schiller play Turandot by Carl Maria von WEBER (1786–1826). As a bonus, here is the same music reworked by neoclassicist Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) in his Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes by WEBER, with a touch of jazz added (about 3:50).


Molson 11:32 AM  

What killed me today was I had BL to start 25D and confidently wrote in "BLOODY MARY."

Pushed my time above 10, which it hasn't been on a Friday in quite awhile.

QuasiMojo 11:38 AM  

@Nancy -- what an hilarious anecdote about the St Regis! I recall going there in the gogo 80s for high tea and nearly fainting when I got the check. It was something like $100 for two. I have since switched to low coffee. :)

Chim cham 11:51 AM  

Ummm, to all the "pot" clue haters: didn't you get the self-depricating joke in the clue "Anagram of pots"?
This puzzle was hilarious and fluid and in some spots quite tricky. Most enjoyable NYT puzzle in while for me.

AZPETE 12:02 PM  

Had to google deadly vodka drinks until black widow finally emerged.

Tita 12:02 PM  

@Nancy, @Mohair - no - my food bill would kill a puzspouse likes to say - I eat like a bird - twice my body weight each day. Thank god for a high metabolism...

Funny St. Regis stories.

@imsDave - me too for roAch.
@Bud - lol!

Hey - let's ask @George B questions today...
Watched the Nature about rocks... I knew I had to ask you - how, in the 1600's, was a blue diamond like the Hope dubbed a diamond, as opposed to a sapphire? Without lab equipment to analyze a stone, how was that determination made? Based on where it was discovered?

As to @QuaiMojo's question, I checked google NGram viewer - that word has a blip in the mid 60s, but really took off mid 80s.

old timer 12:02 PM  

Slow but steady wins the race. Yes, Easy for a Friday, but not super-fast as a solve. Mr. Steinberg made me think and ponder in every segment, except at the beginning, where SHARD SWIM HERO DRYROAST went right in. Part of my difficulty was that some of the clues seemed wrong. Not only RENEGE but also TSPS. For some reason I thought that a teaspoon is more than an ounce. (it isn't, it's 1/6 of an ounce, and really I should have known that since a tablespoon is a half-ounce). And like others, I think of AHI in connection with sushi, and certainly did not think of it as being as big as a TUNA STEAK. Though come to think of it, anyone who has sat at a sushi bar will see the chef cutting small slices off such a STEAK.

Only writeover: "joked" before JAPED. ICELANDIC cured me of that mistake.

Verdict: WOW JUST WOW. Doubly so because the puzzle was on the very back page of the section. No messy folding required.

QuasiMojo 12:12 PM  

Thank you @Tita! For your response.

Bookin' the Cooks 12:23 PM  

Agree mostly with Rex, but my rocky start began in the NW corner when I had ROACH in 1A. 😳 Seeing that MARIJUANA was definitely a correct answer elsewhere further threw me off. I thought, "Interesting theme here," and I ran with it, but not before heading to the fridge for a snack.

The entire NE and SW corners came quickly and easily, along with much of the middle, but having IPAD instead of NOOK threw a wrench in things. I'm not familiar with the BLACKWIDOW cocktail, fiscal CLIFF was a bit obscure, and I, too, kept trying to think of skme kind of bright orange sushi delicacy like salmon or something that ended in ROE. Isn't it shad roe that's bright orange? Not enough letters.

All in all a nice challenge.

tkincher 12:24 PM  

Anyone unfamiliar with WYATT's brothers should really go watch Tombstone: Kurt Russell plays Wyatt, and Bill Paxton and Sam Elliott play his brothers, Morgan and Virgil, respectively. Great movie.

I got tripped up in a couple of places on this (the first letter of JONES, most notably) but my only real complaint was OOLALA. I've seen it most often as "ooh-la-la" and, occasionally (in crosswords) as "OHLALA", but this spelling seemed off to me. Good puzzle though!

Hartley70 12:48 PM  

@Nancy, great story and impossible to comprehend. Seriously?

@Mohair, you need to get an act together and do stand-up. Marvelous response.

I was there is the early 70's, tipped a Fifty and was treated royally because I am emphatically NOT a cheap date. Keep the good champagne flowing, please!

@Quasimojo, I agree that Endeavor is great television, but then I've mourned the death of Morse for years. The music and the crosswords made him irresistible.

@Gill I What a terrific occupation, cocktail taster! Way more fun than a perfume sniffer.

@Tita, keep telling us about your bird metabolism and the portion sizes you can enjoy and you're going to get smacked!

Masked and Anonymous 12:50 PM  

Pothead puz! I can dig it.

@RP: U are just plumb too hard on everything. Now you're dis-in The Walking Brain Dead series (aka Congress)? They are about to be renewed for another season, dude.

Pot. Pot. Scrambled pot. WEBER grill pot. Pot. BOOSTER. STONE. DRYROAST. JONES. WOWJUSTWOW. TADA! har. This comment just almost writes itself.

If I were a seed (or stem) entry in this primo FriPuz blend, I'd for sure wanna be WOWJUSTWOW. I kinda also like how today's litter of weejects sorta PONDS, in mid-puz. Blazinly cute little UNC+PEC+UMA stack, there (yo, @kitshef). [staff pick = UNC … @muse was honorary staff picker, today. She has a tolerable good eye for U-weejecta.]

But, as temptin as UNC PECUMA is, if I were entitlin the whole bodacious dog-and-pony-rodeo, I'd hafta go with: "Marijuana: Icelandic Cheap Date". Altho, there is an underground "I'm Melting!" subtheme in there, with: SNOWcrab. SUNdress, SOUPup, SUNdress, aboveWATER, SUNdress, DRYroast.

fave entry: KONG. M&A is a sucker for schlock flicks. fave clue: {Talk like a pirate, say} = SWEAR; pretty hard on the whole piracy industry, tho; better answer to fave clue: SWAR. fave sea pot: EILAT.

Thanx, Steinbergmeister. Fun and far out.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Purzelbaum 1:13 PM  

They who don't remember 'fiscal cliff' are doomed to repeat it. Fiscal cliff.

You want a deadly vodka drink? I'll give you a deadly vodka drink: the Velvet Hammer. Equal parts vodka, white crème de cacao, triple sec and heavy cream, so it's white, not black. It sounded intriguing, so I made up a pitcherful for a party. It's pretty much like drinking melted ice cream, so everyone SWIGged it far too quickly; in no time a tall, half the party was dozing peacefully in comfy corners.

OO LA LA (no haitch) is French.

DeeJay 1:20 PM  

Having carried the last name WEBER for 57+ years, I was crushed that I got 14A only through the crosses.

My daughter, tho, got it much more quickly.

Phil 1:26 PM  

Short people don't have DEpTh
hIED for hastened
but got it fixed thank god.

Teedmn 1:44 PM  

Any Friday where I come in under 15 minutes is an Easy puzzle and so it went today, where I came in only 9 seconds later than @r.alphbunker. Though I had to laugh to see his first toehold was at ANTE, whereas that E for EILAT was my last entry, making me sweat that I would have my third-in-a-row DNF. My alphabet run there didn't take long but it did earn the forehead slap for this poker player for missing the crossword-ese.

I said WOWJUSTWOW when I plopped it in off the end TWOW. Never considered BLoody mary at 25D because, having TOGAS and SPED, a quick glance at the clue for 35A let me put in MASSAGE, thus blocking the spicy tomato drink in favor of the coffee-anise cocktail.

I turn out to be a CHEAP DATE only because I tend to not want a lot of food. But if the drinks turn out to be expensive, this works against me - I usually opt for wine glass #2. And @Nancy can confirm that the first sentence does not hold true when the cuisine choice is sushi - then I'll eat a la @Tita and double my weight in rolls and wasabi.

Thanks, David Steinberg, a fun, clean Friday.

Numinous 1:55 PM  

@kitshef, you missed out James and Warren. Interestingly, most of Nicholas Earp's offspring, including daughters, survived into the 20th century.

I believe Mel Rosen says that Father Edward J. O'Brien coined the word cruciverbalist several years before their use of the word in his interview with David Steinberg.

Sadly, I had to google to get EILAT and IGGY. I had thought of roAch before SHARD, stupidly didn't see ANTE or I'd have had EILAT. The NE was so easy I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. Wrong! I had beefUP before SOUP UP. I also considered Shore before SOUP which is a term I remember well from the 50s and early 60s. There weren't many SOUPed UP hot rods around the Bay Area in those days, you had to go the LA, the home of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth to find real hot rods.

I'm liking David Steinberg's work more and more these days. I remember a few years ago not liking him at all but predicting that he would become an excellent constructor. He is proving me correct.

Hungry Mother 1:58 PM  

The only exercise that I do at the Y is SWIM, so why was I looking at "spin" and "step?" Doh! Solved it faster than a usual Friday due to some good guessing. Wanted "Henry" instead of WEBER, because I knew it was some sort of electro-magnetic unit. Very nice puzzle.

Bubba 2:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Masked and Anonymous 2:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Gilstrap 2:06 PM  

Nothing much more to add to this discussion of a fine Friday effort replete with interesting fill. Congratulations to Cubs pitcher Pedro STROP on his team's World Series title. Ever hear the acronym for PHD "Piled Higher and Deeper."?

Memories come wafting back of a School Dance in the eighth grade, something about a SLOW DANCE and a SUN DRESS. WOW, JUST WOW! I'm certain it was the first time I had ever held a girl that way, and I liked it. An earlier memory involves a large granite boulder that had been crafted into a base for a drinking fountain that sat behind the backstop of the baseball diamond at the Rec Park. My young mind marveled at the technology required to drill a hole through solid rock for the plumbing fixture. Affixed to the side of boulder was a metal plaque inscribed with TREES by Joyce Kilmer. "A tree whose hungry mouth is prest, Against the earth's sweet flowing breast." I wonder if that monument to Nature and thirst still stands? Next time I'm in Glendora, I will look.

@Chaos, Is Busch beer still available anywhere? I see that it is, but not in these parts.

Masked and Anonymous 2:10 PM  

Fun With Letters Dept.

* There were five G's in this puz. Only one of em deigned to form an AG. Made the day seem a bit brighter, somehow.
* Trickiest double letter stunt, today: cliFF. (yo, @Roo) Previous feat: double-ZZ. World's trickiest double letter combo: QQ -- but but … it **has** been done! Believe It, Or Not.
* Vowel winners: A (22). O(19). E(17). I(8). U(6). U was in a real strong race with I, until the FB"I" (or maybe the Russians -- one of them two now equally-suspect groups) released ICELANDIC. snort. Double IC.
* Staff pick, best suspect random arrangement of letters that includes a MIC-drop: AMICO. Single IC.


Bubba 2:16 PM  

Greetings all - you'll have to excuse my comments by the fact that I'm having a bad day today. My new owners were supposed to pick me up today, but all my siblings have kennel cough, so not only is my adoption put off for a week, but I'm in solitary (though outside, which is good). I'm lonely and as bored as hell, but glad to have found this place. The idiot who owns my mom (an idiot because he doesn't believe in neutering dogs) is an avid NY Times puzzle solver, so I've been pissing on crossword puzzles all my life. Literally, I piss on them. I'll feel at home here.

SNOWCRAB is not a delicacy. It's a cheap cardboard-like substitute for blue point crab, served by the pound at Red Lobster. It's the cheap stuff at Red Lobster. That's a delicacy?

Sandy McCroskey 2:24 PM  

I couldn't believe it was a Friday. Worked in ink, as always, and didn't have to artfully change any letters.

wgh 2:25 PM  

Liked it. Solid puz

okanaganer 2:29 PM  

@tkincher... another classic: John Ford's "My Darling Clementine" with Henry Fonda as Wyatt. Some wonderful scenes of quiet humor revolve around Wyatt's odor (huh?!).

Unknown 2:55 PM  

I loved this puzzle.

If it seemed like the grid was laboring to incorporate "pot" answers, I would be angry, but this seems more like a case of being handed SHARD, ANTE, and MARIJUANA—three answers that scream "pot"—moreover, different senses of "pot"—and so you kinda gotta take what fate hands you there. The only clue worth arguing about, in my opinion, is the clue for STOP (Anagram of "pots"), but I'm with @Evan Jordan in reading this as being self-depricating.

I think that the location of the four "pot" clues affects our response to them. By hitting at the top of the lineup, they inspire anxiety. Will the rest of the puzzle continue to indulge in cute repetition? Once I passed them, I soon forgot about them and enjoyed the puzzle. In retrospect, there was nothing to worry about. Had they been in their symmetrical positions, at the bottom, they would have been correctly interpreted on the first read as a serendipitous bit of wordplay.

I loved all the wonderful long answers. There are, let's see, 15 answers of eight or more letters, and each and every one of them is solid. TUNA STEAK and SNOW CRAB (and MARIJUANA?) are making me hungry. My favorite clue and answer combination was WOW JUST WOW (Words from the speechless).

I liked the trick clues for DUET (Something no one can sing?) and MOVER (Professional boxer?). I liked the clue for PEC (Top part of a trunk, for short): it might have given me fits like Rex, but I got that one from the crosses. I always welcome an etymological clue, as with IRONY (Word from the Greek for "feigned ignorance"). Etymological clues are underused.

Minor League Baseball update. The Binghamton Mets have officially changed their name to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, a reference to the city being the "Carousel Capital of the World." I approve. Names like this are why I like minor league team names: local reference and a unique, silly name. Plus "ponies" is appropriate for young ball players. This is so much better than generic, alpha-male team names like Jaguars. On the other hand, the new Rumble Ponies logo tries too hard to look tough. Embrace your silly name and have fun, guys!

Spellcheck 3:05 PM  

Dammit. It's 'self-deprEcating', dammit!

Chronic dnfer 3:12 PM  

Dnf'd at climb/mind/bogy. Not a bad effort for a Friday.

kitshef 3:30 PM  

@Quasimojo - just realized no one answered your other question - it is indeed 'souped up'. Soup variously declared to be slang for nitro used to make cars go faster or concoctions injected into racehorses for the same purpose.

Ω 3:43 PM  

@jae - "when you could have" is implied. Not following suit because you can't is trumping or sloughing. You are technically accurate, but the clue is okay by me.

@Mohair Sam - Hey, a presidential candidate called half my family tree rapists and murderers so no need for extra stories about how people are mean to people.

Unknown 4:08 PM  

@Spellcheck — D'oh!

Airymom 4:31 PM  

Puzzle was terrific. Random thoughts:

I would like my daughter to marry David Steinberg. Speaking of my daughter--4 college applications were done by 11/1--all early action. 4 left to do. Yesterday she got an acceptance from Indiana. Go Hoosiers.

For 1A I had resin, roach and something else. "Shard" never occurred to me, so DNF.

So happy to see my girl Uma in the puzzle, yet again. Uma seems to have replaced Pia Zadora.


RooMonster 4:59 PM  

Hey All !
Late, everything's been said. Enjoyed the long Downs crossed with long Acrosses, and they were all great actual words. One or two dreck (if that).

I can't be the only one who wrote in ipadS for NOOKS? NE corner, had SpOT/timE first for STOP/PACE. BLoodymary here also.

Nice FF catch, @M&A, though you can't tell us about a QQ word and then leave us in suspense! Spill!



RooMonster 5:02 PM  

Let's try it again, last tine though! Irony


Irish Miss 5:23 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Masked and Anonymous 5:23 PM  

@Roo: Yer wish is the M&A Help Desk's command … but, I'd tend to call these "entries", rather than "words".

* ETSEQQ = {And those following: Abbr.} BEQ, 15 Nov 2002. [Also something similar by an unknown author, back in 1966.]

* QQQQ = {Signals} Ashish Vengsarkar, 30 Jul 2009. Pun on "cues".

* IQQUESTION = {Item on a Binet-Simon test?} Peggy Devlin, 16 Jul 1989.

* SQQ = similar clue to BEQ's, by Vaughn Keith, 5 Aug 1984.

M&A Help Desk

Chaos344 5:26 PM  

@Larry Gilstrap: Yep, Busch beer is indeed still available in larger beverage stores. They used to have some great commercials that were shown nationally. NASCAR's junior circuit used to be sponsored by Busch beer, and the series was called the Busch Cup. Nowadays, most of the Busch advertising is regional, owing to a steep decline in market share.

@ tkincher: Yes, Tombstone was an excellent movie! What a great cast. Val Kilmer was awesome as Doc Holliday, and Dana Delany rocked as Wyatt's love interest. Exactly one year later, Kevin Costner played Wyatt Earp in the movie of the same name. In my opinion, that movie wasn't nearly as good as Tombstone. Would you agree?

@Z: Does that mean the other half of your family tree is a basket of deplorables?

puzzle hoarder 5:26 PM  

Late commenting as I'm at work today. The bottom third at least doubled the difficulty of today's puzzle. 33D is a debut clue for that entry. I'm ignorant of all things computer so I was thinking just random acronym letters for those last two unknown squares. It figures it's just a common word. I also thought the whole point of 46D was that it isn't WYATT. Missing that the 42D clue was plural had me thinking PARIS or PAREE. Since RUSSIAN didn't fit at 25D I was blocked there too. Getting SLOWDANCE off of STOW AWAY is what got the bottom section moving.
Great puzzle with very little ese n

RooMonster 5:33 PM  

@M&A, Ashish Vengsarkar --Geshundheit!

But Thanks for those cool entries!

My unsuccessful imbeddments were of an older 7-up commercial with a truck full of tires with a flat. Maybe a someone can put it on for me?


Nancy 5:49 PM  

@Hartley (12:48) -- You tipped the maitre d' a what????? In the 1970s yet????? (Was that before or after the "Jimmy Carter" inflation?) Why didn't you just buy the maitre d' a sports car, while you were at it? Let's have lunch soon, @Hartley -- I just know we'll get the best table!

Seriously, @Hartley, I was completely serious, and the reason you find my story so hard to fathom is the 6-year age difference between us. My consciousness hadn't been "raised" yet. So much happened in the years between the mid-'60s and the decade of the 70s. Once the women's movement was underway, it would have been much harder for a restaurant to get away with the treatment my friend and I endured. And, it would have been much less likely that my friend and I would have felt obliged to slink off into the sunset. Who knows, we might have threatened a lawsuit or dared the maitre d' to call the police to force us to abandon our table. On the one hand, you could say I was a victim of the accepted culture of the era, but on the other hand perhaps I shouldn't have been. Not really. Gloria Steinem is considerably older than I am, and she saw the problem as it really was. She saw the Big Picture. Not: I am being treated outrageously and I'll never patronize this whatever-it-is again but rather: All women are being treated outrageously and we have to start a movement to put an end to it. So while I've always been somewhat feisty and have always stood up for myself, I've also never had the "revolutionary gene", as it were. Which is why Gloria is Gloria and I'm not.

beinsane 6:12 PM  

I've been to EILAT. For various reasons I don't want to get into here, I don't recommend it.

Still, for people who've done the synagogue tour of Israel (who are very much overrepresented among Times readers) it's a gimme.

Annette 6:27 PM  

Happy to see Steinberg's byline; even as I have trouble with his "brattier" works they do make me laugh. But today's entry is simply a wonderful. Loved the pot series, loved WOWJUSTWOW, loved CHEAPDATE (which my husband has always called me since I can never remember where we've been, so we can return again and again and it's all new to me). Hell, I loved everything about this.


QuasiMojo 6:54 PM  

@Kitshef -- thank you for your following up on my query. I googled "suped up" on that NGram site Tita mentioned and it registered as dating back to the 40s but it could have had a separate meaning. See ya tomorrow.

Ω 7:35 PM  

@Chaos - Not half, but a few of my nephews especially could use some time away from Holland.

Ken 8:18 PM  

@ Nancy ...I know the supposed order and I agree that they get progressively more difficult as the week goes on. But I check Rex's blog daily and he has been rating some Tuesdays and Wednesdays as medium-challenging...hope I'm not missing some fun. That being said the Newsday Saturday Stumper is still the best and most satisfying !!
Like your movie list

Ω 8:48 PM  

@Ken R - Rex's difficultly ratings are relative to the day of the week. A medium Wednesday would be an easy Friday.

Lojman 9:17 PM  

...and, it's really useful for some basic cropping and scaling functions of screen grabs.

Really enjoyed the puzzle. Had SmeltRoe for SNOWCRAB - definitely orange, not exactly a delicacy (it's the orange roe that a lot of sushi is rolled in). Then again, if Loren Muse Smith is bleeding from the fingers, I'm not sure SNOWCRAB qualifies as a delicacy either!

Still at the point that I solve ~50% of Fridays, so seeing a 'Med/Challenging' score from OFL is encouraging!


OISK 9:46 PM  

@ Beinsane, I am planning to visit Eilat (which was Elath when I visited in 1968 ) in May. If you have any advice to offer, I'd appreciate it. It was stifling hot when I was there, and my hotel had a swamp cooler, not an air conditioner. But it shouldn't be as bad in mid May.

Great, smooth, puzzle. What @ Nancy said. I commented after one of David's early works that the puzzle belonged in "teen" magazine, not The Times. Not nice of me, although I was referring to the content, not the age of the constructor. But now I look forward to seeing his name... WTG, Mr. Steinberg!

jae 10:07 PM  

@Z - I hear you, but SLOUGHED would also have been a correct answer to that clue if it had fit.

jae 10:10 PM would have TRUMPED...

Anonymous 10:52 PM  

It's probably too late for you to see this but, your story should remind everyone how close in time we are to some outrageous happenings. In the NYT Arts section today is the story of a interracial couple in 1958 who went from Virginia to D.C. to get married and then got arrested in Virginia for violating the law forbidding such marriages.

When this kind of 'thinking' was the law, can we now believe that we are so far removed from the time of such events that we believe that it is not in the thought processes of many people?

Johnny Vagabond 11:23 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
foxaroni 2:17 AM  

@Chaos344...thanks for the pleasant memory of MAD magazine, where the "beer" parody first appeared. I remember it with a couple of differences--Joe's bar, instead of Moe's bar, and I thought it ended with "...only Schlitz can make a beer." Paraphrasing @M&A, more research needed....

Chaos344 10:48 AM  


LOL! Good catch! You are blessed with an excellent memory and a keen eye. Either that, or Google managed to find that ancient bit of doggerel? ;>) I changed Joe's to Moe's as a 'shout-out' to The Simpsons, and Schlitz to Busch in deference to Larry Gilstrap's early introduction to that particular brew.

Anonymous 12:45 PM  

The puzzles are rated based on their relative days. A Monday (easiest) that puts up a good fight(thus longer solve) will get "Hard for a Monday" rating whereas Saturday(hardest) that falls easily will be rated "Easy for a Saturday"

spacecraft 11:25 AM  

This kid is destined for the constructor hall of fame. It's always a fun challenge to finish a Steinberg grid, and today was no exception.

Right away for 1-across I wanted ROACH! But no, it turned out to be SHARD--filled via crosses. I don't quite get that one, unless you're talking about a glass pot. So I started in the NE, which I did pretty handily. Working back across, I too was held up trying to think of one of thousands of solvents that might fit--not seeing the word as an adjective. Headslap #1.

Had to change my female Firenze friend to a male one: #2. Sussing "short" to mean "owing" was #3. My head was starting to sting. This is a common ailment in Steinberg-solving.

Yet in the middle of all this chicanery there was this way overdone clue for TREES. Yipes, "Kilmer classic" would be enough of a gimme any day of the week; why waste all that space?

I tumbled to that PEC clue; by that time I was getting used to those kinds of clues. Only then did MCCAIN occur to me: headslap #4. Ow!

Soon, if not already, we'll be reacting to this guy the same as we do toPB1: WOWJUSTWOW! Or, "He's great; ASKANYONE."

That darling of crosswordese UMA Thurman reprises her role as DOD. Who loves ya, darling? Talk about JONES! Eagle.

Burma Shave 11:37 AM  


The BLACKWIDOW wore a SUNDRESS, WOWJUSTWOW, she was naughty,


BS2 12:10 PM  


DRYROAST ‘em on the WEBER if you wanna,
and SLOP some SOUPUP ONIT while baked


leftcoastTAM 12:34 PM  

Not a fun, smooth, relatively easy Barry Silk or Patrick Berry as it could well have been, but a David Steinberg who progressively reflects their best characteristics.

The usually pesky NW was that again with the obscure WEBER and the clever ABOVEWATER, but it was quite gettable. FOGY did not especially strike me as a "square type", but there it was.

Thwarting a clean solve was EILAT. Had EaLAT instead, which meant I misspelled MARaJUANA, so maybe I am a bit on the square side after all (though I would vigorously deny it).

Whatever, I liked this one a lot. Thanks, Mr. Steinberg.

leftcoastTAM 12:49 PM  

Ah...really meant to say that this definitely was fun, smooth, and relatively easy, and that D. Steinberg is right up there with B. Silk and P. Barry. Probably didn't come across that way.

rondo 2:27 PM  

I don’t see any write-overs, so either this puz was on the easy side or I was playing it really careful before filling in the answer, due to some of those clues. Did pretty much the whole eastern half before John MCCAIN headed me westerly. One thing bothering me, always thought it was spelled FOGeY, like bogey. Maybe should have had a “var.” there?

Back when I didn’t worry about my diet at all, I used up a lot of PACE on my NACHO chips. Nowadays I prefer a TUNASTEAK. Or HERO sandwich.

It’ll be a long time before my house is ABOVEWATER, mortgage-wise. Lost about 50% of the value in the Great Recession. Hazard of living in ex-exurbia.

IGGY Pop woulda been a better clue/answer IMHO. He had a hit last year with “Gardenia” and has 10, nay 100, times the talent of IGGY Azalea, who is a Nicki Minaj (also lacking talent) wannabe. IGGY Pop goes all the way back to the 60s and the Stooges, when he sounded a lot like Mick Jagger instead of Tom Waits or Nick Cave. He’s no old FOGeY. Just wish he’d keep his shirt on.

UMA, UMA, UMA. What would constructors do without such a yeah baby’s name?

Always like a DS puz. If/when he’s old enough I’d like to buy him a STOUT.

Diana,LIW 2:56 PM  

A couple of wrong answers, well, maybe more like half a dozen wrong answers, left me staring blankly at the unfinished puzzle. So I did a check - automatic dnf.

But post check the solve was smooth and fun - and punny. Surprised Rex didn't gripe about the puns. Short and solvent were my faves.

Resisted TADA for a long time - is it really "one" word?

Didn't notice DS until I was done, but knew a punster was in the works from all the pot clues up top.

We've been choosing materials for a kitchen remodel - boy does that test a relationship. Had some fancy wining and dining when we finally agreed on the new countertop. Maybe go out for TUNASTEAK and SNOWCRAB during the demo and remo.

ASTI always reminds me of the movie, Moonstruck.

Tasty treat!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 3:49 PM  

As everyone who reads my comments (both of you) knows, I like pretty well every puzzle. Once in a while though, one comes along that I just love. This is one of those. It has many delightful features, all of which have been described above.

Of course "roach" was my first thought for 1A, but the 'r' wasn't going anywhere for 1D. For 3D I wanted "in the black", but again the 'i' didn't signal anything. I had ---AR for the pirate clue, and I thought it *had* to be Say"AR". Woulda been a winner, in a puz that had tons of winners. I thought the riffing on "pot" was nifty. Actually, 1A reminded me of a colleague who grew orchids as a hobby. He would shatter a clay or ceramic pot and place the SHARDs in the bottom of an intact pot, to absorb and radiate heat to the flower.

Lots of fun, a ton of competence displayed, a puzzle that hangs together so well. May I mention that my initials are also DS?

rondo 5:08 PM  

@rainy - there's gotta be more than D, LIW and I who read your comments. I enjoy all of 'em, BTW. And those of all others who show up in syndie-time.

Kevin 5:59 PM  

At first read I wondered what a "tree rapist" was. :-D

Ω 6:31 PM  

>3 for sure.

Diana,LIW 8:56 PM  

Hey - z and rainey and rondo

more than 3?

Of course

Which brings me to another issue.

The annual "lift a glass of SHARD" for BS is less than 4 weeks away. Let's start planning the party.

BS 1 and 2 - have you remained constant for the past year? Your poetic realm should be a niche - like odes or rap!

Lady Di

spacecraft 9:18 PM  

@rain: I read ya too. So, unglove that other hand and continue counting.

BS3 9:45 PM  

@Diana LIW - I know the Delorean is a bit tricky. The two year anniversary is actually a little further away (in syndi-time). Early February 2017, coinciding with the "real-time" New Year will make 2 years, every day, even on vacation, at least once a day, occasionally twice, a few times thrice a day. So it's been +/- 670 consecutive days and over 700 verses. I think Orthodox Christmas Day will be 700 consecutive days.

This is not original, but my form is probably idiotic pentameter. At best DOG R.L., sometimes DAWG R.L. If you can think of a better name, please do.

BS4 9:54 PM  

By the way, nobody has contacted me yet re: the book rights,

sdcheezhd 2:42 AM  

ASKANYONE should have been ask around

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