Title mankini wearer in 2006 film / FRI 2-24-17 / It is never too late to mend novelist 1856 / Celebrity astrologer Sydney / Bavaria per part of its official name / It's between Navarre and Catalonia / Once-ler's opponent in children's literature / Where Linear A script was unearthed

Friday, February 24, 2017

Constructor: Andrew Zhou

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Charles READE (16A: "It Is Never Too Late to Mend" novelist, 1856) —
Charles Reade (8 June 1814 – 11 April 1884) was an English novelist and dramatist, best known for The Cloister and the Hearth.
• • •

Very short write-up this morning, as I have to drive family members hither and yon, and *then* drive myself to the gym at 7:30am. Third day in a row of 60+-degree temperatures in the middle of winter, though, so I can't complain. I just gotta type kinda fast.


I loved this from (literally) square one. Part of that love was from a good first guess at 1A: Take a while to wear off (LAST), which I was able to confirm with the great and (today) heartening and defiant-seeming answer, LGBTQ (1D: Orientation letters?). And then, well, give me the "Q" in the pole position on a 15 and odds are I'm going to take off at good clip. Which is what happened. I had just woken up and was sitting here at my desk, creaky and still bleary-eyed, and still: zing bam pow. Done in under 5. Hummed along so easily I didn't even have to look at clue for DESI ARNAZ (10D: Co-star of a #1 TV show for four seasons in the 1950s); and (as with the "Q," above), plunking that "Z" down did wonders for helping me whip into and through the middle of the grid. I'm just gonna do some bullet points containing the only parts of the puzzle that even tried to block me.


  • WENDY (8D: Darling of literature) — this is "Peter Pan," right. Because baseball season is *right* around the corner, my only thought upon seeing "Darling" was "Ron" (he solves crosswords, look him up).
  • "DIG IN" (20A: What often follows grace) — had the "DI-" and couldn't come up with anything but "DI ... NER?" The gluttonous colloquialism "DIG IN" doesn't seem quite in the same register as the proper-sounding "grace," but the clue's accurate enough.
  • READE (16A: "It Is Never Too Late to Mend" novelist, 1856) — one of the crosswordesiest novelists there is. Get to know him. Or his name, at any rate; I've never read his stuff.
  • DODOS (25D: Pinheads) — as usual, I dropped the wrong DO- answer here at first (DOLTS). I also can never remember if the supplement store in the mall is GMC or GNC (40D: Co. with the longtime slogan "Live well").
  • OBESE (29D: Like cartoondom's Peter Griffin or Chief Wiggum) — Got the "O" and wrote in OVATE and was quite happy with that answer for a few seconds.
  • STIFF (45D: Joe Blow) — this was harder than any other answer by far. I think we get here by way of "working STIFF," but .... I don't know. "Joe Blow" makes me think of Snoopy, even though Snoopy's alter ego was, in fact, Joe Cool.
  • EXERCISE SCIENCE (44A: Workout area?) — Needed the LORAX (30D: Once-ler's opponent, in children's literature) to convince me that this was a thing. This means that almost all the high-value Scrabble letters contributed significantly to my speed-solving today. For that, I thank them.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Episode 002 of "On the Grid," my crossword podcast w/ Lena Webb, out now.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:04 AM  

This puzzle was pretty good.

evil doug 6:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
evil doug 6:31 AM  

I'll bet many solvers saw the Q start to 59A and threw in a presumed U next to it....

As for me, I threw in a presumed SmIth for Joe Blow and never crosschecked it. I don't Tweet, so 'heed' could be a feature, right? And Bavaria looks like a Tree State to me....

Aketi 6:42 AM  

@Evil Doug, not this one because the ARROW went in first which made it east to suspect that it was a QWERTY something and KEYBOARD was the most logical choice. Which then made it easier to suspect a W after the next Q I entered.

@Rex, it's easy to rememer the N in GNC if you realize it stands for General NUTRITION Center. I find the inclusion of nutrition in their brand name ironic that you can't find any unprocessed food in their stores, just giant tubs of powdered whey and bottles of supplements.

puzzle hoarder 6:42 AM  

This is quite a contrast with yesterday's review. 1D must have triggered a Pavlovian response. That was one of the clues that took me a little while to understand. Mostly this was easy to me. ANI was where I started. GREAT DANE went in just off the N. 17A was a gimmie just off it's clue. Once the LGBTQ lightbulb went off 21A was obvious. The high value letters due tend to be weak points. This was slow but steady work as I was one finger typing on my tablet. We just had ARAGON on Monday and DESI was just a clue for TVGUIDE on Saturday. This is a great looking puzzle however it's composed of familiar material. Whatever was unknown was easily worked around. @Nancy how did MASERATIS go?

evil doug 6:49 AM  

Oooh, I'd forgotten that, Aketi. Probably not a lot of puzzles with 2 QW--- answers, but the first does prime the mind for a second....

BarbieBarbie 7:09 AM  

Ashamed to say that when I saw QWERTY I assumed it was a, ummm, don't know the word, not rebus but a collection of letters standing in for part of an answer. Loooong time later... KEYBOARDS. Duh. I don't get that clue though. Can someone explain why power?
I'm new at this daily crossword stuff so a long streak feels good to me and maybe someday I'll try for time. But reading Rex's blog gave me an AHA. I do acrostics and I've long suspected that there must be some language mathematics that tells us that filling in a wrong answer that fits gets us closer to the crosses than leaving a word blank. Rex seems to support this. He fills in whatever seems to fit without reading the clues, and then it's obvious what needs correction. Is that what others do? Does it work for you?

Anonymous 7:17 AM  

@BarbieBarbie: The "top" tow of a QWERTY Keyboard can be used to type the words "power output."

Punctuated equilibrium 7:31 AM  

Easiest Friday I've solved in a long time. I enjoyed it, wish it had a little more oomph to it though.

Mr. Grumpypants 7:45 AM  

Bah humbug. I thought this puzzle was boring and no fun at all. I mean, EXERCISE SCIENCE? Why kind of junk is that?

Glimmerglass 7:48 AM  

Nice puzzle, good review. Maybe shorter is better, @Rex, at least for some puzzles. I blew it, big time! AvAlON instead of ARAGON [head slap], but never suspected Avalon might be wrong [wrong on so many levels -- wong country? "Dinin"? "Veade"? ].

Manjil 7:50 AM  

I Have Many solves is Good for this time i am Manjil i am sorry my English -Manjil

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 7:51 AM  

Loved this. it was easy for a Friday, but it was fun, made me think and made me happy. Especially because 1D turned out to be what I first thought of after I guessed 1A, but didn't believe it could possibly be until I it obviously was. (Glad it was there, sad for the reason it was so timely.). That Reade guy and 'dig in' were the only two things that gave me a tiny trouble. People I know (used to know) who said grace were not the ones who said 'dig in'. Just imagining my prim and proper grandmother telling us to do that made me smile.

Anonymous 8:03 AM  

BRITISH INVASION got me going, but the NW was tricky without intuiting 1A like Rex was able to. I was expected something much cleverer for 14A: Big dog. Tried out TOP BANANA and BIG KAHUNA, but those generated ugly letter combos with BRITISH. Not until I got the CRAW/CDS cross did the more prosaic GREAT DANE emerge.

Outside The Box 8:15 AM  

OMG, Rex actually liked a puzzle for once!!

evil doug 8:23 AM  

M&A: Manjil appears to speak your language. Perhaps you can help him out....

QuasiMojo 8:34 AM  

I am surprised by Rex's positive take on this rather humdrum affair. But I'm all for positive "vibes" these days. We need 'em.

I have no idea who "Borat" is and I need a "refresher" course on Dr. Seuss because I forgot how to spell "Lorax." So a stumble there.

Yes, believe it or not, people are getting advance degrees in "Exercise Science." Although you don't have to be a Rocket Scientist to know that doing squats is good for your glutes.

Happy weekend everyone.

bucktail 8:36 AM  

Good puzzle......Not too many whiners today.

Mohair Sam 8:38 AM  

Clean and fun puzzle, maybe a little too easy for a Friday. BRITISHINVASION went right in and then LGBTQ and ARROW and that made the clever QWERTY the only possibility and off we went.

Great day in that I finally spelled ARNAZ right on the first go - a milestone here. So mulled wine is kinda like Blue Moon beer? Is that Catherine's ARAGON? People can be immoral on purpose, have they therefore ERRED? It's a matter of opinion.

KITER - White collar crime confession: The tellers at a bank I worked for years ago in Utica, NY knew that a small market about thirty miles north of the city brought the week's checks to the bank once a week on Friday - payday at the bank. We'd drive up there when things were tight and become KITERs beginning about Tuesday or Wednesday knowing the checks wouldn't hit the bank until payday. There's a little Madoff in all of us.

Irene 8:40 AM  

Qwerty keyboard! British invasion! Yes it was easy--or must have been since I filled it all in on a Friday--but it was also fun. I started with Renes, a gimmee, which led to Eve, which led to Nude and I was off.

Z 8:41 AM  

Not sub five here. Solved this in reverse. Usually the short fill gives me toe holds to figure out the long answers. Today three of the four grid-scanners went right in, but the crosses were posers.SEINE, WENDY, ARAGON, I DO, YOS, KITER, SENIORS, NATAL, ERRED (uh, what?), OSIER, ELEVATE, STIFF, that's quite a long list of answers that needed multiple crosses. Just one WOE, OSIER on the list.

I guess ERRED works, but it sounds like spin to me. "Please forgive me, when I slept with your best friend I ERRED." Bull with a capital shit. Crossing OMARR made that R my penultimate letter. Completing the change of AbAlON to ARAGON made the G my last letter in.

@Aketi - My thought on GNC exactly.

Mr. Grumpypants - EXERCISE SCIENCE is definitely a thing. Follow sports of any kind and you will eventually run into discussions on how to work out to optimize game day performance. Sometimes it seems closer to superstition than science to me (chocolate milk immediately after working out - color me skeptical), but definitely a thing.

Z 8:54 AM  

@Evil Doug late last night - I know, right? People think it is "liberal."

Lewis 9:15 AM  

Unusual for me -- a Friday with no sticky areas, and especially with Andrew, who often gives me trouble. Everything seemed to be in my wavelength. The bigs fell fast and things spread from there. LAST CRAW in the top line makes me think of "last straw". I would like OLD MASTERS be a definition for SENIORS, thank you. A couple of nice pairs: DEW/WED, EVE/NUDE. No answers or clues that stood out for me, but an overall pleasing bounce from a constructor whose puzzles often feel heavy and dense to me.

For Friday, for me, remarkably quick and easy, and anything but queasy. Thank you much, Andrew!

Dolgo 9:21 AM  

Dolgoruky the anti-whiner here! I skeptically looked up ENROOT (OK). SEMI related to QUARTER? Well, I'm still not so sure. But I didn't have any trouble getting them right away because they made sense. I'm a retired Brit lit prof and never heard of READE, but 19th century is my weak point. Is he any good? Maybe I should should add him to the stack beside my bed. Any of his fans out there?
Yes, I agree. All in all pretty easy for a Friday. QUERTYKEYBOARD came right up and gave away QWEST, despite my complete lack of sports info.

Hartley70 9:27 AM  

This is a way too easy Friday puzzle. It may be my fastest time ever, and yet I thought it was a smoothly elegant composition. The clueing and the entries were interesting to me. There was no dreck as far as I was concerned. I can't find anything to complain about but I wish it had lasted longer or that today was Wednesday. This has been a week of puzzles with easy ratings that still satisfy.

Moly Shu 9:27 AM  

Slow but continuous progress. Had lumet before OMARR and thought I'd learned an interesting bit of trivia. Also ClAW before CRAW and I never get LBGTQ in the correct order. Liked the clue for DEW. Fine Friday in my book.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

After a while it got easier, but this was initially (pun intended on 1D) very hard for me. Especially the NW. I had to begin elsewhere. It was the V of VIBES and the N of WENDY that got me BRITISH INVASION and then it all began to come together. Happily I didn't write in alpha MALE -- WTF is a "GREAT MALE"? Does anyone ever say that? I'm sure others will have complained about this answer by now; I'll go back and look. And there's such a thing as EXERCISE SCIENCE? It's a science? Is that what physical trainers study? And I don't understand why the tops of QWERTY KEYBOARDS produce a "power output." Isn't the source of power somewhere inside a computer? Oh, well...

Hey, everyone -- you're all helping -- both on-blog and off -- to make me a car expert! Moi! It was, of all things, MASERATIS that got me OLD MASTERS; SAVE AS; and ERIS. Who would have thunk? I can't remember who it was who discussed MASERATIS with me fairly recently, but someone did. Thank you. A very crunchy puzzle -- at least for me.

Maruchka 9:47 AM  

sWERTY KEYBOARDS (?) made for a DNF, here. This is my lesson for today - see the obvious. Like the purloined letter. QWERT YUIOP, Mr. Zhou! (tho I did like 'sweaty' for a nano-sec).

Fav of the day - The LORAX. Dr. Seuss's delightfully subversive book. He knew how to deliver a message.

Andrew 9:47 AM  

All in all easy, peasy, lenmon-squeezy.

@Mohair - Agree on the 49D Was Immoral = ERRED is a weak pairing.

And a nitpick, 21A Their tops can produce "power output" is a pretty clunky clue. Keyboards have tops? Not in my mind. Anyhow, I think a more elegant clue is out there.

Katzzz 9:52 AM  

Qwerty and Qwest in the same puzzle, in parallel position. Sweet!

Nancy 9:53 AM  

@puzzle hoarder (6:42) -- Amazing. I answered your question before I even saw it. And I'm so proud of myself for MASERATIS! Soon I may even master the names of ugly Korean cars! Thanks for thinking of me, @puzzle hoarder.

Teedmn 10:02 AM  

This is the second day in a row where I thought the puzzle was quite easy and then was surprised that my time didn't indicate how easy it felt, so "smooth" is the word I'm looking for, I guess.

BRITISH INVASION - such a gimme that I held off putting it in for a moment until confirming with crosses. Like @Aketi, at 21A I had the QW so no "U" assumptions were made. I shrugged off the "power output" of that clue, thinking the top row would be the function buttons and maybe "power keyboardists" were using them for shortcuts?

LAS_ at 1A was briefly LASe (picturing a laser "wearing off" tissue) but last I checked, the Golden Horde did not consist of eATARs so that answer didn't LAST long.

57D was "vow" before WED and with _EN_____ at 37D, my "Upper class" was going to be "gENtry" but it didn't fit.

Two of my friends had kids who studied kinesiology in college, an EXERCISE SCIENCE, but I'm still not sure how they plan to use that degree.

The clue/answer I liked the best was CRAW for "Bird food holder". I was wondering if there was a special word for the little trough in a bird cage (and Cage occurred to me after CDS filled in). I liked guessing MASERATIS off the M and lifted an eyebrow at STIFF for "Joe Blow", a la @Rex. And now I understand why I'm always tempted to put in "Xena" for ERIS when Pluto's rival mini-planet makes it into the puzzle - I didn't realize they had changed the name.

george 10:05 AM  

@Nancy 9:42...such foul language. Why not "WOE" is GREATmAlE? And the QWERTY answer was explained at 7:17.

Numinous 10:09 AM  

This is the first @Andrew Zhou puzzle I've completed without googling. I'm usually never on his wavelength at all. Less than five minutes? Ha hah hah hah hah haaaaaaaah. Like there is zero chance of that here in this house. I confess, I had to work at this. So, it would seem I had a better time than many of you who breezed through this. I stared at EI for the longest time thinking about rivers everywhere but in France. The only river that came to mind was from Heart of Darkness and that was doing me no good at all. The Danube occurred to me briefly but that obviously didn't fit. I once owned a book about Indo-European and recal that Danu meant water or river or both.

The QWs tricked me. QWEST was forced by the downs but I had a hard time believing it. QWERTY KEYBOARD was a long time coming because i misread the clue for 1A. I read it as "takeS a while to wear off" Overall, I found the lower half the easiest and had the toughest time in the NW. Today's puzzle actually supported my notion that a puzzle's difficulty, for me, is in inverse proportion to the difficulty of the mini. I got the mini today in 38 seconds (usually I hover around a minute) so . . . .

Since we had children's literature and the LORAX, I thought I'd share this earworm with you again, how many of y'all remember:

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,
That's my name too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout,
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,
Da da, da da, da da daa.
John Jacob Jingleheim . . .


GHarris 10:14 AM  

Took the same wrong turns as evil doug, put in Smith which led to tree state and heed and left it at that. Never heard of a qwerty keyboard but the crosses dictated that so I lucked out there.

GHarris 10:18 AM  

Numinous yeh sang that song at camp but the second line was That's my name too God forbid

Nancy 10:27 AM  

@Anon 7:17 and @"george" 10:05 -- OK, so the top row of the QWERTY KEYBOARD can be used to spell out POWER OUTPUT. It can also be used to spell out RUDE POUTER. Or WIRY TERRIER. Or PETTY QUIP. So what???

Trombone Tom 10:30 AM  

Not so easy for me at first glance. It took a long while for me to get traction, but once things started flowing it was not too difficult.

I'm on the side of those who say WOE to EXERCISE SCIENCE. I'm not familiar with the term. Probably says something about my body shape, too.

BRITISH INVASION did jump out at me. The cluing for QWERTY KEYBOARDS was very clever. I couldn't have made it from Joe Blow to STIFF without the crosses.

Charles Flaster 10:35 AM  

Agree wholeheartedly with Rex although we took different routes.
Took a while before I changed to DESI ARNAZ from art cARNey. Carney still keeps me in stitches in reruns but he was also a very accomplished dramatic actor.
READE is a great piece of CROSSWORDease -- easy to remember via its cluing.
Many likeable answers from creative cluing--
How about MASERATIS along side DRIVE TIME?
Alas I had a DNF as I never changed ClAW to CRAW. Actually I like my answer better.
Beautiful puzzle.
Thanks AZ.

RooMonster 10:39 AM  

Hey All !
Happy to say I completed this in Rex's time... well, 7x Rex's time! 34 minutes here, which is good for a FriPuz. Hsd to cheat for OSIER though (:-( ), as that was what I thought, but didn't put in. Had artMASTERS forever, mucking up the Downs there. Almost put in travelTIME in some sort of rebus off the T in art. ERIS was a WOE. So hit Check Puzzle and saw my mistakes.

Writeovers, ClAW-CRAW, letIn-ADMIT, YeS-YOS, also put the whole QWERTYuiop in at first!


newspaperguy 10:41 AM  

I read the first sentence of Rex's blog and immediately scrolled down to see if we had a guest writer today. Surprise!

Unknown 10:43 AM  

Am I the only one who found the E in OSIER/TACET to be a big fat Natick?

JC66 10:48 AM  

@ Nancy

I love reading your comments, but it would be great if you could read what's already been posted before you make yours.

Carola 11:13 AM  

I'm clinging to the back end of the "Easy" wagon: if I can finish a puzzle on a Friday or Saturday without skipping around the grid, I count it as easy, even if it takes me a while, as this one did. ADMIT was my suitable entry point, confirmed with its ARAGON cross. Solving down the right side meant that I had to back into the grid-spanning answers (what kind of BOARD, SCIENCE, WRITER? Those kept me quessing).

I liked the little chain of DEW, I mean DO, droplets at 12Dand 25D as well as MASERATIS next to DRIVE TIME and KITE(R) next to ELEVATE. I lived in Munich for a while, so Freistaat Bayern should have come right to mind, but it didn't. I actually considered bluE STATE (its state colors are blue and white) - I guess I was looking abroad, since they seem to have gone missing here.

jae 11:17 AM  

Easy for me too with two hang ups. I had Diner before DIG IN forgetting that there are 2 Ns in Dinner, and @Moly Shu et. al. ClAW before CRAW giving me lAH for "match noise" which made no sense.

Solid and smooth but a tad too easy. Liked it.

oldactor 11:35 AM  

Does anyone remember Candy Darling? Gorgeous trans lady of Warhol's posse?
Close to the LGBTQ answer. Neat. Had one date with her back in the day.
It's a shame it didn't work with CRAW.

Linda 11:36 AM  

@Nancy - No need to be upset about 14A. It's GREAT DANE, not great male. Similar to @JC66, I really enjoy reading your comments, but why not take a look at Rex's solved puzzle first?

r.alphbunker 11:42 AM  

Quantitatively it was easy, qualitatively it was challenging which appears to be the same experience that @Teedmn had. Appropriately 1A {Take a while to wear off} LAST was the last thing to go in.

Details are here.

GILL I. 11:51 AM  

God is great
God is good
Let us thank him for this food.
DIG IN and then my brother would always, and I mean always, add:
Through the teeth
Past the gums
Look out stomach, here it comes.
Well, I rather enjoyed this Friday. I didn't find it easy, though. It took a few look arounds before I plopped in RENES ARAGON. I Love Lucy only lasted 4 seasons? I thought it went on for about 10 years. I got DESI because NUDE had to be right, right?
I always get the orientation letters wrong. I want the Q before the T. I can't picture an OBESE STIFF in a mankini.
Did anyone else have tray instead of CRAW?

mathgent 12:16 PM  

Not at all easy for me. Feel good about getting it. I put sixteen plus signs on the margin. That's high.

My iPad has a new keyboard display. Half on the left side of the screen, half on the right. And smaller keys. I suppose that I'll get used to it.

Joseph Michael 12:37 PM  

Liked this from the first LAST to the departing SLED. Lots of fun misdirection throughout the clues, such as "Spike in direction" for LEE.

@old actor, yes, I DO remember Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, and Jackie Curtis among others from the days of Andy Warhol's Factory. Also remember the film Women in Revolt and the newspaper marketing campaign that highlighted the quote "REVOLTING!" from a critic's review as if it were a rave.

old timer 12:42 PM  

Amazing! Two PAEANS in a row from OFL. (He did like yesterday's, but observed it was very Easy for a Thursday). Like him, I wanted LAST from the start. Which gave me SEINE and the tragically wrong "Bantu", GREAT DANE and TILTSAT set me straight.

STIFF gave me pause, still does. And who knew Bavaria calls itself a FREE STATE? If I learn one new thing doing the xword I am a happy camper. QWEST was delightful to find. This may be the first puzzle to use QW twice,

BTW ARAGON is indeed where Katharine of A came from, or at least got her title. The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella created a unitary Spanish state of Castile and Leon, ARAGON and Catalonia and Valencia. The remaining little provinces were soon added on, and in 1492, not only did Columbus sail the ocean blue, but the last Moorish kingdom, Granada, was overrun. The Moors were expelled, the Jews forced into exile (many went to Holland), and those who remained were required to convert to Catholicism. This led to the Spanish Inquisition, designed to make sure the converts were not secret Jews or Muslims. But nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

mac 12:52 PM  

Excellent Friday puzzle! Especially liked the 1D clue and answer, clever.

Andrew Heinegg 12:57 PM  

I thought the same as you with respect to the erred answer, which was the only blemish on a lovely puzzle. But, it is consistent with the public statements of many celebrities and athletes who, after committing some morally indefensible act, e.g., brutally assaulting their romantic partner, come before the cameras and 'apologize' for the 'mistake' they made. Apparently, they just erred?!

Joe Bleaux 1:15 PM  

Trivia re 21A: Why are keyboard letters so arranged? One story is that "their tops can (also) produce" TYPEWRITER -- which salesmen of the first machines could tap out in just a couple of seconds to demonstrate how easy they were to use. Good Friday puzzle, says this "stiff"😏.

Anonymous 1:18 PM  

It was 1478 or 14 years before Columbus sailed to America that the Spanish Inquisition was started by Ferdinand and Isabella. One can only assume that Columbus and his crew were devout enough Catholics to convince the Spanish royals to finance the venture.

It also reminds you of the courage that it took to make that voyage. Those sailors had no idea what they were going to up against and how long they were going to be sailing West before they hit land again, if ever. And, they needed to carefully trace the longitude and latitude on the trip over because they didn't have a chart to get back!

Stanley Hudson 1:25 PM  

"Candy came from out on the island; in the back room she was everybody's darling"

This has been a pretty good week for puzzles and today was no exception.

@Nancy, you've been a welcome addition to this motley crew, so please don't be offended when I suggest that you take the advice of @JC66 and @Linda.

@Numinous, was the Congo the river in Heart of Darkness? a long while since I read Conrad's masterpiece.

Masked and Anonymous 1:37 PM  

@evil dude: har. Shoot. Looks like Manjil (and @RP) had a lot easier time with the FriPuz than M&A did. Also had TREESTATE, for quite a few nanosecs. Had LGBTI for a while up top, so wasn't suckered in so much on a U where that Q's W went; was just generally puzzled by the 21-A clue. Did sucker for the U on yer lower Q, tho.

@RP: Primo write-up; nice bullets. Good luck with all yer errands.

Today's other non-evil yet nanosec-eatin encounters of the dumbest kind:

* For some weirdball reason, became fixated on misreadin 36-A's clue-ending as "…by 29-Down". This gave m&e: EVE depicted as NUDE by OBESE, which made very limited sense.

* Never heard of DRIVETIME and couldn't come close to spellin MASERATI. Also could not dredge up OSIER or QWEST, DEW to temp addled brain condition. Wanted OIST? and QU???. Also there was ERIS and EXERCISESCIENCE unknowns. Soo … SW was awful slow-goin.

* Do not know my astrology celebs (yo, @OMARR). Nor my health pill store abbrs. (yo, @GNC). Nor my Auberjonoises (yo, @Manjil -- U knew that?!?) Speakin of which …

staff weeject pick: YOS.

Cool clue: {Darling of literature} = WENDY.

Thanx, Mr. Zhou. themeless thUmbsUp. U are a man of few words (68).

Masked & AnonymoUs [and with two Q's in there? Oh, man … U coulda been a contender...]


Teedmn 1:37 PM  

@Old timer, you might expect the Spanish Inquisition if there's a dead bishop on the landing!

Numinous 2:20 PM  

@Anon 1:18, in the fifteenth century latitude was reasonably easy to discern using a quadrant but it would be another three hundred years before longitude could be accurately determined.

@Stanley Hudson, yeah, I had to read that over fifty years ago in high school but, as memory serves, it was the Congo. Odd how I can't remember dinner yesterday but can remember the name of someone I haven't seen or thought about in fifty or more years. Actually we had Bratwurst and roasted potatos.

Numinous 2:33 PM  

The first time I looked at Auberjonoise I thought eggplant knowing that wasn't it. Second time I looked René popped straight into my head.

@M&A, DRIVE TIME is the week once or twice a year when all the networks competed for top Neilsen ratings by putting their best content on the air. Often regular series would be interrupted to make room for especially attractive shows.

CDilly52 2:45 PM  

Oh dear. A tale of two puzzles for me. Should not have pushed myself to do the normal late night solve on a day when I was too tired to read the clues (following a week of justifying the values of miles of gas pipe of varying age, diameter and size)! Fell asleep trying to get a toehold and left the puzzle open. Woke up 2 hours later and once again was very happy that I am not overly concerned with my solve times(at least compared to all the pros here) but admit to some consternation when the clock on the puzz told me I had burned 2:3:07 with only Desi Arnaz to show for it! This morning was an enjoyable "second" solve. Clever clues, light dreck and thankfully just enough in my wheelhouse to unlock the outhouse door..finally.

Unknown 2:49 PM  

I'm a new to the NYT Xword but I have a question about tactics. I completed the puzzle today, but not completely, I had a letter wrong somewhere on the grid. What approaches do you recommend for finding something like that? I looked into all the trouble spots I thought I had and found nothing - in the end I had to reveal puzzle and break my streak - turns out I don't know how to spell Arnaz. JFYI, I solve on the iPhone app.

Carola 3:11 PM  

@mathgent - if you don't care for the split keyboard on your iPad, this tutorial, How to Enable and Disable the iPad Split Keyboard in iOS might help you to reunite the halves.

Anonymous 3:23 PM  

OMG. I solved the entire puzzle. That means it was easy. Also quite elegant. No junk.

Dellawinda 3:34 PM  

Numinous: DRIVE TIME was when all the commuters were stuck in traffic going to or from work. Radios were on, had to be, usually tuned to AM. Anyone remember Jack Bogutt in Pittsburgh doing talk radio in the morning talking about his "roomie" and how she had made him a jumpsuit out of Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law tags?

I think it's Sweeps week you're thinking of when Nielsen surveyed TV viewers to calculate which shows/ networks were the most popular.

Chip Hilton 3:36 PM  

@Jim Powers - I'm with you. That crossing E was a happy guess on my part.

I regard ERRED as being oceans away from immoral.

@Darren Carpenter - I'm no expert, but I do find that you really can't fall in love with an answer to the degree that you overlook the crossing word. If it doesn't make sense, you'd best go back and check.

Highly enjoyable puzzle for me, but not as easy as many claimed. A good Friday challenge.

Z 4:11 PM  

@dolgo - In a single elimination bracket tourney the Finals are preceded by SEMIfinals which are preceded by quarterfinals.

@Jim Powers - I only fixed TACiT because I don't know of any language with double i's.

@JC66 - At least Nancy writes original stuff. How many times have seen people posting repetitious drivel?

@oldtimer - Thanks.

@Joe Bleaux - What I've read suggests that the mechanical actions of early typewriters were susceptible to jamming, so the keyboard was designed to slow down typing. I've never bothered to investigate further.

@Mighty Masked One and @Numinous - DRIVE TIME here refers to 6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m., the hours a great number of Americans spend in their cars driving to and from work, so listening to the radio.

@Darren Carpenter - Buy an iPad. maybe it is that my eyes are old or that I'm old, but solving on any smartphone sounds awful. As for your real question, I do tend to focus on vowels first. I avoided your trap by leaving that second vowel blank until the cross told me whether it was an E or an A. If I'm at the point of not caring I will use PuzzAzz's "clear errors" function. If it wasn't a typo it is almost always a vowel issue for me.

foxaroni 4:22 PM  

Radio drive time is usually considered to be 6-10 am and 3-7 pm, the highest listening times for stations. They are the most profitable hours for stations. Drive time spots cost more, and more are aired, during drive time. The higher the ratings, the more can be charged.

As an old (very!) radio guy, ratings have always fascinated me. Neilson and Arbitron (if it's still in business) did the ratings. Ratings are very arcane, with their own language. Average quarter hour (AQH) listeners, listener shares, day parts, audience age groups, etc. Stations that pay to get the ratings books often recalculate and tweak the numbers to make themselves more attractive to advertisers. "We're #1 in listener share 6-10 am in the 18-24 age group!"

Sorry to be giving you waaaay more information than you wanted to know about drive time and ratings. ;-D

I found the puzzle to be challenging, but I did complete it without Googling. Hooray!

evil doug 4:31 PM  


Hawaiian i's?

"At least Nancy writes original stuff. How many times have seen people posting repetitious drivel?"

We've all given her credit where it's due. But there's nothing more repetitious than her questions that have already been addressed by Michael and previous posters.

JC66 4:37 PM  


I agree with you about @Nancy's comments. In fact, I began my post by saying how much I loved reading her's (as I do yours and most others).

Since it's obvious she reads the comments, I just suggested it would be better if she did so before posting.

Numinous 4:39 PM  

Y'all are quite right though my memory of DRIVE TIMEs were usually referred to as the morning DRIVE or the afternoon DRIVE. I vaguely recall Sweeps Week but I'm sure there was another name for it too.

Mohair Sam 4:55 PM  

@Nancy - "Illegitimi non carborundum" - We love you just the way you are.

Z 5:13 PM  

@Evil Doug - Would it be argumentative of me to point out that it is actually "Hawai`i?" Fortunately for me OSIER comes from middle English and not modern American English. Also fortunately for me I don't count getting the right answer for the wrong reason a DNF.

@JC66 and @Evil Doug - I find the 111th answer to a question more repetitious than any regular's post. I've also seen people post before reading so that their reactions aren't influenced by Rex or the commentariat. For me whether or not someone reads Rex and comments first isn't an issue. I get what you are saying, it just doesn't bother me.

evil doug 5:27 PM  

"I've also seen people post before reading so that their reactions aren't influenced by Rex or the commentariat."

I see an arrogance in that. I often intend to present my clever, unique, compelling twist on the puzzle, only to discover that a previous poster beat me to it (guess I'm not the only genius, doggone it). So I swallow my comment rather than clog the blog by repeating it.

Hungry Mother 5:29 PM  

Nailed by the mistake I make every time and can't remember to get it right: "Arnez" instead of ARNAZ. I pronounce it wrong, even though I watched most of the shows live.

Ulysses G. Rant 5:54 PM  

I agree that it's annoying when people don't try to answer their own questions by checking their solutions, reading what Rex and others say, or even checking Google. Example from today: EXERCISE SCIENCE. Google it and you will see that it's a degree program offered by many colleges.

Also annoying: Several people post daily, even though they sometimes have nothing to say about the puzzle. ("Didn't like it, will read comments later, loved (insert food item found in the puzzle), gotta go cook something.")

One more gripe: The political discussions are ridiculous. Some of us have crossword books and are reading posts from years ago. We don't want to read dozens of comments about Carlos Danger's 2013 exploits. Likewise, people doing today's puzzles in 2022 certainly don't want to read about Trump's EOs in today's posts.

Nancy 6:15 PM  

Thank you, thank you, @Mohair! It's been May in February in NYC, so I've been in the park for almost 6 hours and I just got home to see that I've caused a kerfuffle that I wasn't remotely aware of. First of all, Re: GREAT DANE. I didn't check the completed puzzle on the blog because I only check it when I'm having a problem with the solution and I wasn't aware that there was a problem with my solution. I never thought to check the completed grid; I only check it perhaps 10-15% of the time. Now to what's causing so many of you such enormous angst, I make you a promise. When I 1) move to CA and 2) solve on a gadget of some sort, I'll take the time to read the 1-6 comments that have preceded me. Right now, in NYC, waiting for the NYT to be delivered, sleeping the amount of sleep I need to sleep, and having breakfast and coffee before even thinking of tackling the puzzle, there are 30-50 comments before I ever go to the blog to write my own. It would take me quite a bit of time to read them all -- even more time if I have to not only read them, but actually make notes as to everything that's already been said so as not to repeat it. And then, assuming everyone discusses at least three different aspects of the puzzle and multiplying 3 times the 30-50 people who have already commented, that would make a minimum of 90 to 150 comments that would be "off-limits" to me. In which case, I wouldn't bother to comment at all. Which would make some of you exceedingly happy, I'm sure. But, fortunately, not everyone. So I shall continue to come to this blog uninfluenced by anyone here until I've given you my very own take. For those of you to whom that's not satisfactory, you are welcome not to read me. I won't know and if I did know, I wouldn't care in the slightest. Fair enough?

JC66 6:40 PM  


Thanks for you response.

Let me see if I got you right. You can spend 6 hrs in Central Park, but are so anxious to publish your comments that you can't take the time to do your fellow bloggers the courtesy of reading their previously posted comments to see if your question(s) have already been answered.

You also see no reason to check answers you're railing about to see if you got them right (i.e. GREATDANE).

Not surprising, since you don't care in the slightest.

just curious 7:03 PM  

@Nancy, I'd really like to know why you didn't think the answer CMS for the clue "They may be stored in towers" was a problem with your solution?

GILL I. 7:36 PM  

I thought GREAT MALE was an absolute hoot. Made my morning. @Nancy...be careful with @JC66.... he lives in New York and might run you over at the park with his tandem.

Nancy 7:43 PM  

I probably should have questioned it, @just curious (7:03). But I have no idea what "towers" are, and after running the alphabet on C-S, there wasn't any letter that made any sense to me. I own CDS, but I don't have any "towers" that I store them in. And then, after running the alphabet, I completely forgot about it when I went to the blog. (I forget many things, these days.) Plus the fact that the beautiful day was calling to me. And I had to iron out a mistake with a pharmacy delivery which took a ridiculous amount of time. And then I had a phone call from a friend. I guess I have a non-cyber life that supersedes the Rexblog, even though @JC66 doesn't seem to think I'm entitled to one. But I do agree, @just curious, that I should have checked that one answer. Mea culpa. I'll try and do better tomorrow.

old timer 8:00 PM  

@Nancy I always love reading what you have to say, and @Z and @Evil Doug, because I tend to comment around noon Eastern time ( I do the puzzle pen and ink in the morning, Pacific time), you will never know how many brilliant observations I have to suppress because someone got there first. Today, since I happen to know something about the history of Spain I designed a post that could let me mention the Spanish Inquisition, and for those of you in the know, a reference to Monty Python.

Mohair Sam 8:07 PM  

@Gill I - You nailed it - Lady M and I loved @Nancy's ruminations on the mythical GREATMALE. Why would anyone want her to change?

Z 8:14 PM  

@oldtimer - Did you click on my link in my 4:11pm comment? Yours was my 2nd LLOL moment today.*

*Literal Laugh Out Loud.

GILL I. 8:30 PM  

@old timer...Dang, I know what you mean! I do the puzzle California time in the morning. As I'm doing the puzzle, I'm writing all these brilliant comments. When I get to the blog, I'm crossing out my brilliant dissertation - one comment at a time. I end up trying to find a poem!

Starfighter 8:40 PM  

That was my last square too, had no idea.

JC66 8:56 PM  

I've been following @RP on this bog for many, many years. I read it and the comments daily but only comment sporadically.

I find @Nancy's posts to be cogent, insightful and entertaining 90/95% of the time.

But they're irksome when, like today she states:

*And I don't understand why the tops of QWERTY KEYBOARDS produce a "power output." Isn't the source of power somewhere inside a computer? Oh, well...*

which has been discussed and answered ad nauseam, previously.

How do I know this? Because I read, or skimmed over all the previous comments (which took about 20 minutes).

So I thought I'd point this out to @Nancy in order to make her aware that some people are annoyed by this and in the hope she'd take note and act accordingly.

I guess she is.

Aragon Crete Maseratis 9:03 PM  

Found it exciting that the first answer I put in was LGBTQ, it felt all fresh and modern and inclusive.
OK, I wrote LGBQT, which would be an easier mnemonic, that it would end in a cutie (of undetermined sex)
Bi might cover Questioning, making Q slightly redundant, but if it leads to QWERTY in the puzzle, I'm all for it!

Maybe we can drop LGBTQ which is a bit unwieldy, and can somehow combine it with QWERTY
Questioning, Wondering, Esexual (Only has sex on line these days), Rational (no sex), Teasing, Young.
I think that would still cover almost everyone!
I'm going to start using QWERTY here in San Fran and see if anyone notices...

As for whether to read everyone first or not, I still try...
but either get so depressed, exhausted, suicidal for every joyous, elucidating comment that most days, I just decide to forget it altogether.
Skip over a few folks who are responsible for the former feelings, But it does seem rude not to at least read Rex, it's still his party that we're crashing.

(Plus we still have shockingly similar experiences, from DOlt/DODOS to considering DIGIN sort of a contrast to saying Grace, The whole DI...NER? to having to make the extended Tinkers to Evers to Chance connection to get (working) STIFF = JOEBLOW)

Found it all Scrabbly and fun and fresh. Don't even know if it's a pangram, but feels like one.

And BRITISHINVASION! I tried BEATLEMANIA first, too short.

Anonymous 9:32 PM  

Jeez people, if Nancy offends you that much, either 1-Don't read her comments, or 2-get a life.

Mjddon 6:05 AM  

Re immoral and err. "Long lay the world in sin and error pining" in O Holy Night always puzzled me and made me think it meant sin and error were synonyms. Later it seemed to be changed to "sin and sorrow".

spacecraft 11:23 AM  

I knew OFL was going to like this one. Nice and tech-laden and oh-so-contemporary. It's not that I object to LGBTQ; we all have the right to do our own thing. But in a crossword grid, it's just more alphabet soup instead of REAL WORDS! As to 21-across, to me that was the green-paintiest answer ever. There's another KIND of keyboard?? See, the fact that that answer is legitimate puts it in the tech-savvy category.

I wouldn't call it easy. I of course fell into the pRImETIME trap. I now see that there is actually a show CALLED "DRIVE TIME." I guess they feature MASERATIS. 52-across bothered me, because although editorials usually don't carry an actual byline, the editor is clearly implied as the author--and he or she would not be anonymous. IMHO, that's a poor clue for the answer.

For all the scrabble f***ing, what, no J? Likes: GREATDANEs, the BRITISHINVASION, old-school DOD LEE Remick. Fill reject: ENROOT. Yeah, it's a word. Unfortunately. Intense dislike: BORAT. How that a****** ever became a star is beyond me. If that's humor, sign me up for the garbage can; I'll move in with Oscar. Overall: par.

Diana,LIW 11:51 AM  

Hey - anytime I get a Friday this quickly - I'll take it! Makes me feel all smart and sassy.

Agree with @Spacey on ENROOT and that editors are not anonymous - their byline is in the masthead (isn't that the place where they list all the big shots?)

90% easy for me until the cross of OSIER and ORANGEZEST. Finally got the O, and the rest was history. Have you ever heard anyone say OSIER? Really?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

centralscrewtinizer 2:16 PM  

Well, am I the only one to have wanted paperbackWRITER? Seems apropos after BRITISH INVASION.
Also, no one connected orientation letters to ORANGE ZEST, who is going to FEED off the FREE STATE, but I guess TACET to that, though it sticks in my CRAW.
Confessing to a certain age when artery as a clue and STENT as an answer cause a cringe.
Had to change vow to WED, ambush to ACCOST, and suss out OLD MASTERS, who liked EVE NUDE, and maybe Xena too.

Sailor 3:16 PM  

@Diana, Osier is a quite common landscaping shrub, valued mainly for its winter color. It comes in a variety of colors, chiefly yellow and red. It's also really popular with the hand-crafts crowd.

Sailor 3:27 PM  

Sorry, those dead links should have been yellow and red.

So, anyway, if plants or crafts are an interest, you do hear OSIER a fair bit.

leftcoastTAM 3:33 PM  

Medium for me, meaning it took some time and effort and afforded some satisfaction at the finish.

LAST to go was the NW, which is often a hold-out.

On EDITORIAL WRITER: The Oregonian, our regional paper, has a Board of Editors, and its editorials are signed that way. I assume that most or all of those on the board participate in writing them. Not a unique arrangement, I think.

Burma Shave 3:42 PM  


Some SENIORS ARE OLDMASTERS then, in their QWEST to be lewd –


rondo 4:47 PM  

No write-overs, but, IDO ADMIT, surely not much of a time, if I kept track. Checked for crosses at the QWs and everywhere else, it seemed.

Golden Horde child? TATAR Tot.

Not much for an actual yeah baby today, but everybody’s seen the movie TEN. ANI coulda been Difranco. And WENDY Williams, or O. Williams.

Nice clean finished grid, but timewise, it came at ACCOST.

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