Literary waiter / SAT 3-25-17 / Coffee in miltary slang / Locale in two James Bond films / Media inits since 1922 / Subject of 1942 film musical Yankee Doodle Dandy / Joey of children's literature

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Constructor: Sam Ezersky and David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: COHAN (51D: Subject of the 1942 film musical "Yankee Doodle Dandy") —
George Michael Cohan (July 3, 1878 – November 5, 1942), known professionally as George M. Cohan, was an American entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer. // Cohan began his career as a child, performing with his parents and sister in a vaudeville act known as "The Four Cohans." Beginning with Little Johnny Jones in 1904, he wrote, composed, produced, and appeared in more than three dozen Broadway musicals. Cohan published more than 300 songs during his lifetime, including the standards "Over There", "Give My Regards to Broadway", "The Yankee Doodle Boy" and "You're a Grand Old Flag". As a composer, he was one of the early members of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He displayed remarkable theatrical longevity, appearing in films until the 1930s, and continuing to perform as a headline artist until 1940. // Known in the decade before World War I as "the man who owned Broadway", he is considered the father of American musical comedy. His life and music were depicted in the Academy Award-winning film Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and the 1968 musical George M!. A statue of Cohan in Times Square in New York City commemorates his contributions to American musical theatre. (wikipedia)
• • •

I had FATHOMS for FETCHES (3D: Gets), and then didn't know two proper nouns that were placed like sentries right at the western entryways to the SE corner (COHAN, ENID). Other than that, there was literally nothing in this puzzle that presented a problem, nothing that took more than a little bit of puzzling, a little bit of cross-working. This was a very nook-and-crannyed 72-worder, so getting footholds was never ever a problem. The whole thing is footholds. Once again, a 1-Across gimme signaled smooth sailing ahead. I filled in "LIFE OF PABLO" without hesitation—it was one of the most talked-about albums of last year (1A: 2016 #1 Kanye West album, with "The"). There was this whole controversy involving some lyrics about Taylor Swift (to which she publicly took offense), and whether Swift did or did not know about them, and even OK them, ahead of time. I know you all are pop junkies ... read about it here and here if you like. Anyway, regardless of the Swift nonsense, the album was critically successful and I knew it. From there, I put down *seven* Downs in the NW corner, six of which were right (just that aforementioned FATHOMS error...). Grid opened right up.

Somewhat weird that I blanked on COHAN—I could see Cagney in my head very clearly, but I just couldn't for the life of me remember who he was playing. I don't remember who ENID is waiting for (47A: Literary waiter). Geraint? I think it's the Arthurian ENID, but I didn't know she was famous for waiting. That clue was hard. YEA (54A: ___ big) and GILT (30A: Finished elegantly) both slowed me down a bit, but whatever time they cost me was more than made up for when I no-looked *all* the short Acrosses in the NE corner. Just threw all the Downs up—and they all worked. With the exception of SEEPY :( I really liked this grid. Cluing was just OK—more trivia-ish, less clever than yesterday's—but it was good enough. Not sure I woulda gone with the cutesy "?" clue on an abortion-related answer (33A: Classic case of making life choices?). Struck me as slightly yucky and tone deaf. Plus you've got LIFE in the grid (1A) and in another clue besides (16A: Time of one's life, maybe), so maybe ... do something different here. But the ROE V. WADE clue is a minor ding on an otherwise appealing puzzle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Mike in Mountain View 2:31 AM  

Found the clue on Roe v. Wade offputting.

Found the puzzle much more difficult than Rex did, in no small part because I only vaguely knew of Life of Pablo (had to get it from crosses). COHAN was a gimme.

lAYoff before PAYCUT. mpeGS before VLOGS. mUddLED before JUMBLED. HORRORstory before hORRORMOVIE.

Wasn't sure I would finish it, but I did.

Carola 2:32 AM  

I found it very tough and was happy to finish. My way in was PIZARRO x ZEDS, and with the friendly AVA and DARCY in the immediate area, I thought I was off to a fine start. But after that, it became a struggle for just about every square, with pauses for alphabet runs (SEEPY, GILT), putting in and taking out (LEGWEAR, DELUGE), misspelling (COHeN), and wrong guesses (UPI, EndO, some kind of pop on a stick, genus). The NW was brutal: I had no idea about the coffee, the treat, or the Kanye West song. Finally getting AMATEUR allowed me to see ACID, and that was enough to unravel the rest. Last in: the B in PABLO. ...Nice cross of GOLD and GILT.

Dolgo 2:34 AM  

I wasn't even sure who Kanye West IS, get chrissakes, though I've certainly seen the name a lot. I guess I'm, like, supposed to care. I watched "Entourage" for about maybe 10 minutes before changing channels. Sometimes I think I'm getting too old! I DO know who Enid is, and about Pesach, even though I'm not Jewish."Battery acid"? "V logs"? "Seepy"? Even the auto-correct feature doesn't recognize it. I think maybe "nobody cares"!

jae 2:54 AM  

Yes, easy except for the NW which was tough. Unlike @Rex I did not know 1a off the top of my head (I did know COHAN@hi Mike in MV....geezer territory). Plus, I had lAY off before PAY CUT (@hi Mike again) and nBC before BBC which made 1a difficult to see. I also tried BoilER fluid before BATTERY ACID (it's been a while since I was in the military). Turns out I just assumed The LIFE OF PABLO was a WOE for me but as it filled in the recognition bell rang.

PESACH actually was a WOE.

Solid Sat., liked it!

Dolgo 3:25 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dolgo 3:36 AM  

PS if I hadn't Googled Kanye West, I never would have finished the puzzle. Oh. I forgot to mention that the Jimmy Cagney biopic of Cohan was on TV a lot in the 50's. I was also vaguely aware that after Japan playing baseball for decades, a North American team finally hired one of their players. I didn't know his name, but Hideo is pretty common.Needleed to say, I never heard of a diving goalie,but it was a fortuitous guess. How young and hip do you have to be to call this puzzle "easy"?

Johnny 4:38 AM  

The top half of this took the longest. For some reason I couldn't see ICECREAMBAR for the longest time, even though I had the MBAR part (wow that reminds me of the classic Simpsons episode where Moe transforms his dingy tavern into the upscale "M" bar).

Also, the answers in this puzzle seemed so aggressive and negative. NOBODYCARES. PAYCUT. LAIDANEGG. HORRORMOVIE. JACKEDUP. BATTERYACID (I'm a vet and I never heard this not once). UBER (the horrible company or part of the Nazi song). DEVOID. DELUGE. INEXILE. Jeez it's depressing; let's add hoarders, abortion, and a sleazy agent while we're at it. JUMBLED thoughts, reduced to ASH. The older solvers can hate the rappers because they are thugs and the younger solvers can hate George M COHAN because he is old and dead and was before they were born omigod. Actually everyone can hate LIFEOFPABLO because it was made by a Kardashian.

Unknown 4:45 AM  

That long baseball name crossing through a Jewish holiday and ENID were my undoing this morning....

puzzle hoarder 5:54 AM  

I don't know who was doing all this talking about 1A but I'm very much ok about not knowing them. That knowledge gap made the NW corner tough after an easy start in the NE. I completely fell for the ROEVWADE clue and the holiday and the ballplayer were unknowns so there was plenty to work around in this puzzle. Hesitating over the H of HIDEO by itself accounted for the extra time it took me to get a clean grid as compared to yesterday. Another unknown was the name of this little rectangle I'm always one finger texting in. I'd never heard of the term TEXT BOX before so as I said lots to work around. This was an excellent puzzle but far from easy.

Jim Finder 5:58 AM  

So, who's ENID and somebody please explain her waiting? Thanks.

Dolgo, it's easy FOR A SATURDAY. Look at Rex's FAQ for more info.

Ted 6:05 AM  

In German "hose" means "pants" and is a type of "kleider," i.e. clothes. Fit perfectly but I knew it couldn't possibly be right.

TrudyJ 6:14 AM  

I had to ask my son what Kanye's 2016 album was -- I feel like asking a family member or friend is acceptable while googling is making it too easy, which I guess is not really logical. After that it was smooth sailing till I got to that block where ENID, COHAN, and PIZARRO hung out together.

Herbert Hoover 7:43 AM  

Wall St. Lays An Egg.

Anonymous 7:44 AM  


Unknown 7:46 AM  

Nice to see the bylines of two young friends, @Sam Ezersky and @David Sternberg, teaming up on today's puzzle.

1-Across seems to be a generational Rohrschach test; good for @Rex to recognize it, but lost on my generation (as was, for that matter, 65-Across). For those not knowing the B of PABLO, it could just as well have been an A or an N. On the other hand, anyone who grew up in NYC will be familiar with the @George M. COHAN statue on Broadway (as in "Give my regards to Broadway") -- and that's even before the classic Cagney movie (as a trivia sidetone, the Hollywood actor was also an alumnus of Stuyvesant High School). I did not know the particulars for the NANETTE clue, but it is well-known lore of both baseball and Broadway that the original producer of that show was strapped for cash and sold @Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees to cover his finances.

Glad that @Sam and @David called our attention to PESACH, coming up next month (EXODUS also fits that slot). Nice timely clue for AVA, original timeless clue for TIN (element number 50, in my profession), tricky but gettable clue for GOALIE (think of diving stops in either hockey or soccer), and standard trickery in cluing EMS. CLIP seems like a carryover from the fill/clues of yesterday's puzzle. The V shared by ROEVWADE and VLOG was an interesting feature. BATTERY_ACID was quite a surprise answer. Did anyone else (particularly those unfamiliar with 1-Across) write LIFE ahead of CLUE for 24-Across?

Unknown 7:51 AM  

As a postscript to my post above, though maybe NOBODY CARES, I had GOTHIC NOVEL and HORROR NOVEL ahead of HORROR MOVIE. The aforementioned "Get a LIFE" slowed down finding the cleverly clued CYCLE and the discouraging PAYCUT. We did take an UBER yesterday to get around downtown Atlanta. YEA, the driver was very much human.

Trombone Tom 7:53 AM  

Count me among those who don't know or want to know much about Kanye West. Maybe it's because I come from the other end of the age spectrum.

In any case, without the toehold of 1A this played a lot tougher for me than it did for OFL. I see from previous comments that I'm not alone.

I also had a hard time making the leap from "running slowly" to SEEPY, although I do understand the concept (and definition) of oozing.

I thought the cluing was great on ROE V WADE and am not personally offended just by seeing the name of a classic court case. I do realize that the subject matter of that case can arouse strong feelings. I also liked the slightly misleading clue for FERAL.

Thank you Messrs. Ezersky, Steinberg, and Shortz for a sprightly start to the weekend.

RAD2626 8:09 AM  

Had DOC GOODEN instead of NOMO which fit and gave me the O for MONACO but realized I was a decade off and fixed it. Thought NE was easy and got me into the puzzle although briefly goofed with caN for TIN. Two down proper names were gimmes. Really liked SW. Only had MONACO and DEM for footholds and just pushed through which made me happy.

Good luck to everyone at ACPT this weekend. Sorry we won't get Rex photoblog but assume someone will give a full report.

Z 8:15 AM  

Here is the definitive post on Kanye West.* As part of that entire media zoo that gave us Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump I don't know how one can't at least know his name. As for LIFE OF PABLO, needed crosses to remember it. It's not as if I ever listened to it, just saw all the headlines about the Swift "controversy."

Hand up for giving the ROE V WADE clue the side eye. Perhaps the single most divisive court case of the late 20th century (maybe since the Dred Scott case) and you're going cutesy on the clue? Nah, bruh.

Liked this less than Rex, mostly because lots of other cluing also clanged. Exotic jerky? ____ big? Not going with the Dead Kennedys? What moms have? Just didn't tickle my funny bone this morning.

*And by "definitive" I mean mildly amusing take down of celebrity hubris in general.

John Child 8:33 AM  

Got it done and felt good to beat the odds, but there was a lot of puzzling and not a lot of "oh, I know that." Generational something. Say, does the AARP magazine have a puzzle? Wonder if I can get CENTRUM Silver to sponsor me.

Damn PACKRATs kept on chewing at the sump pump pipe 'til it got all SEEPY. DELUGE. LEGWEAR? HORROR MOVIE.


evil doug 8:52 AM  

For Kanye I went with PIECEOFSHIT. Him and his "music".

evil doug 8:54 AM  

And I spell it "Yay" big.

seanm 8:58 AM  

despite trying to avoid Kanye as much as possible, i was able to come up with 1A after a little thinking, which of course helped quite a bit up top. the whole puzzled flowed pretty quickly for me, almost my fastest Sat ever, and less than half of yesterday's time (18 vs 42). cohan and enid and dem were woes, but everything was gettable for me from crosses.

i'm honestly curious about why people were offended by the ROE clue. i guessed there would be some comments on it when i got it, but it kind of feels like something people might feel awkward about because they expect others to feel awkward about it. what specifically about the language is offensive, and who is supposed to be offended? genuinely curious

kitshef 9:10 AM  

Phew! That was just this side of impossible. Forty minutes, and still had a DNF at PIsARRO/sEDS. Probably would have caught that if I hadn’t spent so much energy just to get to that point.

Some of my wanderings:
Making life choices: lemonADE before ROE V WADE
“Get a …” room before lifE before CLUE
lAYoff before PAYCUT
pace before CLIP
Frankenstein: gOthic nOVel before HORROR MOVIE
AcER ________ before AMERICAN ELM
beMusED before JUMBLED
MexICO before MONACO
____ diABLO before LIFE OF PABLO

This was a great week for NYT puzzles.

Frayed Knot 9:12 AM  

After being almost totally stumped by Friday -- I'm talking about finishing maybe half the puzzle before resorting to cheating -- I sailed through this one easily and I am by no means an expert puzzler.
Yes, hitting on LIFE OF PABLO right off the bat helped a ton.

In the end my only snag was the center where the ROO (nice clue - I was looking for someone named Joey), VLOGS, and ROEVWADE section was the last to fall along with PUN / ENID

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

Wiz Khalifa? Kanye West? VLOG? I was going to write "I'm getting old," but I think I'm there already. Sigh. (But shouldn't "Finished elegantly" be GILDED?

Forsythia 9:16 AM  

Very challenging since no idea on 1a and 32d and 13d. Hands up for HORRORnoVel, get a life instead of CLUE, tried canteenACID for coffee, rEaCHES instead of FETCHES, lAYoff instead of PAYCUT. Happy to finish it!

Oren 9:18 AM  

Surprised no one else got caught by 38A/D, which is to me as bad of an edit fail as Wednesday's MINER/NSEC. "Mixed up" could be "rUMBLED", and "Increased sharply" could be "rACKED UP", as in someone who racks up a bunch of debt on their credit cards.

Nancy 9:19 AM  

If I'd ever served in the military, I could probably have solved this puzzle. (Even without knowing the all-important album at 1A, an album of which I've never heard.) The combo of "coffee in military slang" and the "two-striper" would have opened up the impossible (for me) NW. So would I have wanted to be in the military in order to solve this puzzle? You're kidding, right?

Other than LAID AN EGG (gotten off the 2 Gs), the NW of my puzzle looks like the Snows of Kilimanjaro. Pure white, that is. This was not a minor DNF. This was a crash and burn, or in the deathless phrase of yesterday's puzzle: I ATE IT. It wasn't remotely in my wheelhouse -- in fact it was IN EXILE from my wheelhouse. Rex can call it "easy" until he's blue in the face, but for me it was a HORROR MOVIE. And I also have a complaint about 39D: ABOUT ME is not an introduction to a bio; ABOUT ME is an introduction to an autobiography. I got the answer anyway because it was in one of the easier sections of this very difficult, not especially enjoyable puzzle.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

Oh, and I forgot: What in heaven's name are VLOGS? I had BLOGS, which meant getting ROE V WADE was impossible. Nor do I like TURN as an answer to "Move". Plus I hated the obscure criss-crossing names at 32D & 47A, though here I guessed correctly. In short, I found much to dislike in this puzzle.

Teedmn 9:30 AM  

A few distractions and a panic that my brain is going mushy made this another in a series of long solves where I cheated by marking my wrong turns. Currently there is a brass band playing outside the Stamford Marriott, which is not the solving circumstances I am used to :-). But it's all in fun - women's basketball related, I'm assuming.

It's a nice entry from Sam and David. It seems very fresh to me. A few long entries were WOEs (HIDEONOMO? LIFE OF PABLO?) and some went in with few crosses (PETUNIA off the ET). Then there was the bad news about the "lay off" (we all know that it's okay to repeat words now, like "lay", right?) and my British ISMS (though ZEDS came pretty swiftly behind that.)

I was smug at getting ROO from "Joey of children's literature" and GOALIE as the diving athlete and terrified that the waiter of literature would be one of the characters in Godot (not that I knew ENID from Vladimir or Estragon). And then there was the head slap of ROE V WADE when I was thinking "swim/WADE" might be one of life's choices.

So thanks, guys, no EMU jerky here.

And I'm so excited for the upcoming puzzle events and that I got to meet @mac, @Hartley70, @Tita, @LMS, @jen and renew my acquaintance with Tom Pepper and @BobKerfuffle, @Dave, and all of the other people I talked to last night. Great fun!

John V 9:30 AM  

1a was no gimme. Hard puz. 1a set the tone.

Chanin 9:33 AM  

I tried Rumbled/Rackedup and then Tumbled/Tackedup and then even Bumbled/Backedup (though the across clue didn't really work for that one...) could NOT see that J.

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

seanm - genuinely just use a little imagination.

dbud 9:43 AM  

The clue for YEA is terrible, just terrible.

TOCraig 9:49 AM  

It's interesting what some find easy, others find hard. What some find as oblique, others find a gimme. It must be age related. Puzzle was moderate for me. Kanye? All I know about him is that he should learn to keep his seat at awards ceremonies. Other than that, I couldn't care less. A jerk.

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

Liked the clue for YEA and realize I've only ever heard that idiom, never seen it in writing. Oh, rUMBLE as in street fight as in mixing it up. Much better clue for ROO than the tired "friend of Pooh." (Eeyore would be Pooh's tired friend.) Satisfying puzzle.

QuasiMojo 9:58 AM  

Easy? Perhaps if you are a tween. I've seen the name Kanye West and vaguely recall some incident at the Grammys (which I never watch) but I found this puzzle a slog, and about as interesting as a VLOG. If I hadn't pulled "pesach" out of my "gray matter" I would have had a DNF, but that saved me. Nothing really stands out in this one for me. "Battery Acid" as a euphemism for "coffee" was already stale by the time it became common knowledge. It's one of those groaners they put in old war movies with actors like Dane Clark uttering them. "Ice Cream Bar" is pretty weak. "Seepy" laid an egg. Resorting to "Are not!" is rather sad. I prefer "gilded" to "gilt" which always sounds cheesy to me. Sort of like the time Ivana Trump painted the Plaza with gold paint instead of using gold leaf. Oh and by the way, did you know that "swift" is a type of lizard? 'Nuff said.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:09 AM  

I got most of the bottom, was making gradual headway on the top, when I found myself staring at 26A running slowly, ___p_ , and I said 'I will look that up at REX, if it's aloPe I give up. And I looked it up, it was SEEPY. I gave up. But hey, could have been worse.

I do remember the story of ENID and Geraint from Idylls of the King vividly. They have a misunderstanding and he makes her go on a journey where he mostly ignores her and mistreats her horribly, but she quietly accepts it all because she does not want to lose him. It is wildly unpleasant. I didn't think of it as 'waiting'. Maybe there is anothert lierary ENID?

GILL I. 10:14 AM  

Puzzle comes out of printer and I glance at 1A and think oh good god, please let my eyes deceive me. I like @evil's POS.
@Rex's gimme was my obscuree. Like @Carola I had two entries: PIZARRO/ZEDS. That's it. So many possibilities - so nada - but I already finished a terrific book called "A Gentleman in Moscow" and I had nothing better to do than to Google that POS Kanye and find out what misogynistic album somebody produced for him.
Anyway, that gave me all the ammunition I needed to complete the upstairs.
ARI GOLD could have been HIDEO NOMO's twin for all I knew. COHAN doesn't have an E? Please define HORROR because the Frankenstein movie I saw was a COMEDY. And how do you pronounce Frankenstein?
So cute PETUNIA is related to Tobacco? That makes me UBER sad.
You make jerky out of an EMU? Isn't an EMU fowl? Wouldn't you prefer something more meaty like an ELK? NOBODY CARES.
Not my cuppa today. I have to find something else to read. Maybe I'll scan the OED.

Nancy 10:14 AM  

I forgot to thank @Aketi for posting yesterday that my computer was down, that I had no idea why, that I might never be heard from again, that I was panicky and threatening to hit the bottle hard. (Which, btw, I did, Dear Reader.) My support system was blooey, since the one staff member in my building who knows anything about computers was off until Monday. (Doesn't it always happen that way?) When I called Staples, where I bought my laptop, in a complete funk, they told me the one person who might be able to help me -- let's call him "Genius" -- was supposed to be in that afternoon, I should call back after 2:30.. At 2:45, he still wasn't back. He was off doing some "special assignment", I don't know what. I went out to take a walk and calm down. It was a somewhat drunken walk, but it was a walk. I finally reached "Genius" at 5:45 p.m. He was so nice and reassuring. He said he'd "walk me through the problem." Well, walking Nancy through a tech problem is sort of like asking Dumbo the Elephant to dance the minuet. BUT HE DID IT!!!! It was a simple procedure -- but he figured out over the phone exactly what needed to be done. Truly amazing. And so, everyone, I'm back! (Of course it may be that NOBODY CARES, but I am very relieved and completely indebted to Genius.)

Mohair Sam 10:27 AM  

It's clear that if you knew the album at 1A this was an easy puzzle, if not - Wow!..... Put us in the Wow group. But we finished - and on the whole we liked the thing.

Chuckled biggly at @Rex's "I know you all are pop junkies" - he knows his crowd. And like him I took a while to remember COHAN. This veteran never connected BATTER ACID with the military. My father would perk a pot of coffee before going to bed, then reperk the same juice with fresh ground beans in the morning - I went to school JACKEDUP, let me tell ya. Teachers complained that I talked too fast, wonder why?

If you were a Jewish veteran into Bond, botany, old Broadway and modern rap this puzzle had to be a lark. So I'm looking for something exotic at GNC at 40D, but CENTRUM? Nice misdirect. Something about ARIGOLD being stuck between PETUNIA and NANETTE just tickles my funny bone.

Good Saturday workout.

QuasiMojo 10:50 AM  

@Nancy, we care! Funny story. Glad you're back with us. :)

BarbieBarbie 11:09 AM  

@Nancy, TURN is a syonym for MOVE if you think of a chess game. Your turn. Your move.
Kanye's stuff doesnt often appeal to me but I completely respect his take on the frustrating hypocrisy of the business he's in. Always thankful to be a STEMer. It has its own issues, but at least there's some component that's objective.

Passing Shot 11:11 AM  

Sorry, but I hated this puzzle. DNF for too many reasons (which is not why I hated it). WTF is a "YEABIG"?

mathgent 11:14 AM  

They got me at "Joey of children's literature." The capital J. I shouldn't have fallen for that trick.

So I couldn't see 29D where I had R?O. Getting that O would have given me ROEVWADE and finished the puzzle for me. But that's where I quit.

I like hard puzzles that I solve because they are ego-boosters. Hard puzzles that defeat me put me in a funk. That's why what follows can be dismissed as sour grapes.

This was not an enjoyable puzzle. I only wrote ten red plusses in the margins. Typical Saturdays have fifteen or more. It wasn't about LIFEOFPABLO -- I didn't know it, but I got it from the crosses. It suffered from a severe lack of wit.

Gorelick 11:19 AM  

I kept thinking I had entered MARIGOLD for the flower at 12D.

I too liked the YEA clue.

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

Nah bruh? That's about the saddest two words I've ever read.
Go throw your frisbee or whatever, but leave the slang to folks who weren't born when you were voting for Jimmy Carter.

D 11:25 AM  

i wanted ems to be pms soooo bad, but overall excruciatingly easy

Maruchka 11:39 AM  

Had to look up Kanye's album, 'cause I'm in the NOBODY CARES camp. What a jerk. Also, not an Entourage follower, so looked ARI up too.

A favorite early-on nonsense verse - 'I CAN SEE! said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw..'

These two constructers make a nice team. It feels smart, without being too smarty-pants. VLOGS is new to me - like it! VLOG the Retailer? Thanks, Messrs Ezersky & Steinberg.

Fav of the day - HORSE VOICE. Neigh, couldn't see it for thinking.

@Gill - COHAN is an Irish name. There's a pub in 'The Quiet Man' called COHAN's, which is how I sorted out the Cohen/COHAN confusion. Erin go bris!

jberg 11:50 AM  

C'mon, folks, this is a crossword, crosswords include things that are well known, and Kanye West is well known. I've heard of him, and I'm 73. As for morally objectionable, who is worse, Mr. West or Idi Amin?

That doesn't mean I knew LIFE OF PABLO, so this took me quite a while. And unlike @George Barany, I confidently wrote in 'get a ROOM.'

I did get ENID, but I don't get the waiting part -- she doesn't wait for Geraint, she is forced to follow him around until he is convinced of her chastity. Is there another Enid out there, literarily waiting?

I got SEEPY, but question it makes me weepy to think it's a real word.

@Nancy, I told my wife -- a flaming Trump-hater -- your reaction to Gorsuch, and she agrees with you. Time will tell, I guess!

Lewis 11:52 AM  

@m&a -- Respectable U-count (6), no?

I expect on Saturday for there to be a few answers out of my wheelhouse, but I also expect them to be fairly crossed, and they were today, except, IMO, square 9. Because it was a rap title (that I didn't know), that square could have been, besides a BBC B, an A, N, or T, or maybe others. B was the most logical guess, but it was a guess nonetheless. Aside from that iffiness, the puzzle did fall in, despite my not knowing ENID, BATTERYACID (in this sense), AMERICANELM, and ARIGOLD.

Has anyone here ever used the word SEEPY or heard anyone use it? I_CAN_SEE feels like it needs a "THAT" at the end.

But don't think I didn't enjoy doing this puzzle, with some excellent clues (ROO, FERAL, ASH) and answers (NOBODY_CARES, LAID-AN-EGG, PACK_RAT. It solved quicker than most Saturdays for me, and put my brain into the best quality high-alert place, the solving mode I treasure. When I saw who the constructors were, I expected flak to be thrown before me all the way through, flak that required the kind of problem solving that nourishes my brain, and I sorted my way through it all with pleasure. Thanks, guys!

CDilly52 11:56 AM  

Again, the ? issue (for me) on ROE V WADE. Without the ?, the clue is slightly less off-putting to me, but still, meh- could have been done better. Hated SEEPY, know Kanye's name but not his repertoire. Very very difficult for me. Theee tries between 11 last night and now. Barely finished. Thank goodness for the ICECREAMBAR up top and for my dear roomie, Lila freshman year, who invited me to PESACH with her family in Skokie. COHAN and HIDEO NOMO were also helpful gimmies, so that puts me in the older not so familiar with current music group. Hard but ok.

Forsythia 11:56 AM  

@Nancy - I think TURN for clue move is like in a board game, your "turn", your move.
And yes, down computers are disastrous! Feeling your frustration and anxiety, and so glad you got good help quickly. I enjoy your posts.

OTOH I just started getting the NYT digital 3 weeks ago and am still doing the syndicated ones until I catch up. My daughter and I did the Saturday Feb 18 puzzle which Rex rated "medium challenging" and we had flew through it, whereas today's was one of the hardest ever. It is all in what you know, or how you read a clue, or if you take yourself down the wrong path.

Robso 12:00 PM  

For me, harder today than yesterday. I liked the "ROE V WADE" clue. This was full of challenging clues that didn't make me groan. Nice.

pmdm 12:12 PM  

Nancy: a VLOG is essentially the same as a BLOG but with a "V"ideo component added to the blog. Instead of typing in entries, you film them. Understand now?

RooMonster 12:19 PM  

Hey All !
Tpugh one for me. Did online today, Check Puz feature used quite a bit. PESACH a WOE. Always spell it PIZzaro first.

Here is a fun pic :-)


old timer 12:26 PM  

LIFE OF PABLO is why God created Wikipedia, IMO. As so often happens to me, I got traction at the bottom, with COHAN and PIZARRO going right in and of course the proud Mr. DARCY. On the other side, I wanted "elk" before EMU but I did get MONACO, so when I guessed CENTRUM I was home free. I had no idea who ARIGOLD was, but PETUNIA was easy enough to guess. So was NANETTE, though all I know about her is that the title begins with "No No".

Finished in the NW by looking up Mr. K. West, after which BATTERYACID and the rest fell quickly.

ABOUTME strikes me as perfectly legit. You more often see something like that in the third person, as in "about the author". But if the star of a one-man show wanted to write the theater program himself, he certainly could write ABOUTME as a title and follow it with a brief bio.

Writeover: Went with "Pizzaro" before figuring out the correct spelling of that evil, lying conqueror of Peru. I've always despised him, while I admire stout Cortez. Who had the good sense to convince the subject peoples en route from Veracruz to Mexico that the Spaniards would liberate them from the cruel Aztecs. Bernal Diaz tells the story well, and the horrifying scene of human sacrifice, as practiced by the Aztec rulers, will never leave your mind once you have read it. (Needless to say, it was the conquered peoples who provided the victims).

Larry Tate 12:38 PM  

News flash: in 2021 Aunt Clara finally figures out that by using Google one can actually discover the meaning of words such as VLOG.

Tom 12:39 PM  

For the second time in my life, my streak has made it to 7 days! If I'm really, really lucky, maybe I'll match my record of 13.

Of course, I knew Rex would rate this as super-easy if I was able to solve a Saturday.

Tim Pierce 12:46 PM  

DNF after putting MARKED UP and MUDDLED in 38A/38D. I suspected I'd done something wrong, but that corner is so proper-noun heavy (DEM, CENTRUM, HIDEONOMO, COHAN, MONACO) that I couldn't for the life of me find a way out.

Also got held up in the north, after entering LIFE / LAYOFF for CLUE / PAYCUT, but thankfully getting CYCLE at 24D helped me unwind that mess.

Lots of fun answers here. I loved NOBODY CARES, LAID AN EGG and BATTERY ACID. ROE V WADE gave me pause. After a while I decided that I liked the moxie of the clue. I agree it's still kind of tone deaf, but I want the NYT to push its traditional boundaries a little more.

nick 1:27 PM  

Liked this one a lot. Way easier than yesterday's, which I'm still chipping away at.

LAID AN EGG made me laugh out loud on this particular morning of repeal-and-replace fail. Agree with the discomfort on Roe v Wade.

GHarris 1:38 PM  

Could only finish after googling K West album. As to speculation about Gorsuch, my prediction: he will tilt the balance further right than ever for many years and write smarmy opinions lacking the panache of Scalia. He will likely be the undoing of Roe v. Wade, gay rights and of the other advances made in recent years. Hope I 'm wrong.

Joe Bleaux 2:14 PM  

@quasi has already posted for me (thanks, Quas!). This was a killer for me, a veritable slog FEST. Only joy came in wearing the sumbitch down. After finallly getting a toe-hold with the PUN/CLIP crossing, I began a suss marathon and somehow never hit the wall. By solving without help, despite some ornery cluing, I feel I earned every moment of the aforementioned joy. Happy spring weekend, all.

Masked and Anonymous 2:37 PM  

MonPuz, TuesPuz, FriPuz, SatPuz were collabs of two constructioneers. So … 10 constructioneers in six puzdays. This SatPuz was pretty good, but had problems at our house with a coupla crossins …

* ROEVWADE/VLOGS. Had to get most of the other letters, before we could nail that V.
* DARCY/AVA. Would done about as good, if both their clues had been: {Somebody's name}.
* PESACH/HIDEONOMO/ENID. The baseball dude sounded everso slightly familiar, so survived this intersection. Was ENID one of them lady-in-waitin gals in some legend? Or somesuch?

SEEPY. har.
YEA big. yeehar.
LIFEOFPABLO. Not on the M&A radar. Not even a blip. Coulda been WIFEOFPABLO, or LIFEOFPESACH, and U woulda fooled m&e. There's a lot I dunno, about music that didn't come out on 45rpms. Got MONACO offa just the C, tho. Got a CLUE, after the usual other three prelim guesses.

Thanx for gangin up on us [and U's], SE and DS. Fun and feisty solve.

Masked & Anonym007Us

@Tita: I left U a chocolate chippuz, with @r.alph.
All friendly crossin wishes, to U ACPT solvers today. Hope U can be a contender.

OISK 2:38 PM  

When the first clue included Kanye West, I just wanted to throw the newspaper across the room. Life of Pablo? We ___Boyz? Wiz Khalifa? I'd better remember that name - sure to pop up in a clue for "Wiz" one day. Yea big?? Never heard of it! So many ways to clue "Yea," how about a biblical reference? Ava DuVarnay? Is a corporal an NCO? I don't like the clue for goalie either; yes, they occasionally "dive." but there are many better ways to clue that. Crease denizen?

I did finish without errors, which normally pleases me on a Saturday, But the pop culture, and what I thought was some unnecessarily twisted cluing " Got it" = I can see", the clue for Roe V Wade...the annoyance trumped the satisfaction.

A Bronx cheer from the Brooklyn guy...

Tom4 2:51 PM  

Not a fan of the Roe v Wade question mark.

Tom4 2:53 PM  

What a surprise that it's almost always a female-oriented, not male-, gender issue that puts me off in the NYT...

QuasiMojo 2:57 PM  

@Joe Bleaux. You're welcome "bruh"!

Big Steve 46 3:13 PM  

Keep in mind that to Rex, a gimme is something he knows and a bad/unfair/you-get-the-idea clue is something he doesn't know. Its really as simple as that. I think he's trying to hang on to his fading youth with his rap and comic book fixation. (Clue "39 and Holding" by Jerry Lee Lewis.)

Aketi 4:21 PM  

I for one loved BATTERY ACID and had no idea that it was a military term. I have no idea where I learned that term for sludgy nasty coffee that has been sitting around in the pot far too long.

@George Barany, I desperately wanted to put LIFE in for "Get a" but I already had LIFE OF from the downs.

Even though my son wrote an article in his high school newspaper about Kanye West I still don't listen to his music and PABLO took a while to emerge.

@Nancy, glad you're back online. One example of a use of VLOGs is the ZEEME website. High school students upload videos of themselves doing activities that they think will impress the colleges. SUNY Binghampton and other colleges offer as an alternative to submitting a resume and/or an essay as part of the college application process. Some of the kids who are talented in the performing arts had very impressive VLOGs.

Happy Pencil 4:45 PM  

@Aketi, me too for LIFE before CLUE, although I think CLUE is a much better answer. Tried to put in ICE CREAM pop and cross it with UPI. Was convinced that the Kanye clue was LIFE OF Yeezus and that I just wasn't spelling it right. So yes, problems galore up in that corner, and I'm very pleased that I was able to get myself sorted out. Yet another thing I learned from CascoKid: If something doesn't seem to be working, rip it out and start again. Don't hang on to answers unless you're sure, sure, sure.

@Robso, every time you pop up I mean to tell you how much I love your Houdini avatar! Maybe one day we'll get a Houdini-themed puzzle in the shape of handcuffs. How awesome would that be?

kitshef 4:56 PM  

A lot of discussion today about Kanye and age, but think its more taste than age. Like many of you, I've heard of Kanye West but could not name anything he has done.

But the same is true for Chick Webb, The Ink Spots, Borodin, Gene Pitney, Poison, Garth Brooks, and Nickleback. Yet each of those acts will have contemporaries that I know and listen to.

If you hear something and you like it, you tune in and pay attention; if you don't like it, you ignore it - whether it was made in 1917 or 2017.

evil doug 5:05 PM  

Compare his lyrics, and life, to Gene Pitney,and tell me it's the same thing....

OISK 5:13 PM  

@Kitshef.... Is there some new rock group called "Borodin"? Or did you mean the composer? "Each of these acts..."

Michael 6:00 PM  

I got this one all right, but the only way I can understand the "easy" rating is that it means "easy for Rex." That's probably because Rex knows stuff like Kanye's songs and the baseball pitcher. I know the baseball pitcher, know Kanye, but not his songs and imagine that there are lots of people who know neither. Now if the puzzle had clues about people such as the equally well-known (but not, I bet, to Rex) Max Planck, I doubt that we'd see an "easy" rating here. I'll just add that I've never heard of Wiz Khalifa, but Wiz seems to me to belong in the puzzle at least as much or little as Cohan.

I don't understand why people are unhappy with the Roe v Wade answer. I must be missing something. Is it the word "life" applied to a fetus? I interpreted "life" as referring to the choice of the mother.

Michael 6:02 PM  

Maybe I shoud have said "equally prominent" instead of equally well-known.

Anonymous 6:32 PM  

My wife is as elegant woman as has ever been, and when she "finishes" she goes "OOOH".
Who goes GILT!?

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

When did you be on each as big an idiot as Joe and Z?

Mohair Sam 7:34 PM  

@Michael - I doubt if anyone has a problem with ROEVWADE in the puzzle. They mostly seemed to cringe at the question mark in the clue which normally is meant to inject a bit of levity. I'm pro-choice, but will agree with any pro-lifer that abortion is no laughing matter. I think Will Shortz was tone deaf in letting that one through, there are many ways to clue that particular court ruling.

kitshef 7:49 PM  

@OISK - I meant the composer, using 'acts' overly broadly. Glad to see your head did not explode from today's puzzle.

Robin 9:39 PM  

@Happy Pencil said... "Was convinced that the Kanye clue was LIFE OF Yeezus and that I just wasn't spelling it right." So I'm not the only one. And that was only after I wrote in FETCHES to replace CATCHES.

I breezed through the lower half of this one, but struggled with the upper. Aside from the NW issues, also had trouble with the NE due to writing CAN rather than TIN.

Finishing time was just over double my Saturday average.

Anonymous 3:57 PM  

SW got me, not sure why. I had MUDDLED for JUMBLED and somehow MONACO didn't strike me even though I was thinking of Monte Carlo. Just a bad day for me I guess.

If you want to complain about generation gaps in pop culture I feel like Kanye West is the most innocent choice, since he's one of the most famous / infamous currently active musicians. I'd think that would be a gimme for anyone who pays attention to pop culture, he won his first Grammy over a decade ago and has been in the news pretty constantly since, he isn't exactly a new phenomenon. I doubt I know anyone under 50 who isn't at least passingly familiar with him. Wiz Khalifa I'll grant you, but I'm not gonna complain about all the 50s / 60s pop culture references, which definitely fall in the realm of trivia for me.

Tuppenz 11:13 PM  

Would someone explain the EMS answer?

Tuppenz 12:39 AM  

Never mind...I thought it through.

Whitey 11:15 PM  

Agree with you: I consider asking someone nearby a way to include others in the fun, while I would not Google as it seems like cheating.

My girlfriend is not a native English speaker, but is good with food and world geography-related clues. I enjoy asking for her help now and then.

Whitey 11:19 PM  

I, too, had GOTHIC NOVEL -- and also THATS ENOUGH instead of NOBODY CARES, and COTTON CANDY in place of ICE CREAM BAR.

Fun puzzle with a good bit of erasing. I finished, but it took me three or four sessions over two days.

Burma Shave 11:53 AM  


ICANSEE we ARENOT from the same ERA, so,


rondo 12:21 PM  

Once more I say easy my @$$. Inkfests abound from San Diego to Duluth, if the grid was a map; "Pace" for CLIP and "cpl" for NCO were the worst. Vaguely recall hearing of LIFEOFPABLO, but certainly not top-of-mind. COHAN and PIZARRO saved this puz for me and actually Maine to Arizona is spotlessly clean.

Did not mind the ROEVWADE clue at all, don't understand getting all JACKEDUP about it.

Gotta stretch it for a yeah baby today. How about the one-time Princess of MONACO, or Kelly MONACO for that matter. With all the traveling to different scenes in the Bond MOVIEs, hafta believe there are plenty of double-ups.

Well, as the ego-centric guy said, "That's enough ABOUTME, now what do YOU think ABOUTME."

rick 12:27 PM  

Went with WEEPY on 26A. Works both ways since. AWP makes hoodies which they sell online. I consider this a tossup.

spacecraft 1:37 PM  

DNF. If you're going to insist on leading off with Kanye West album titles I have no chance. That is all. Next!

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

From Syndication Land:

I remember the days when you bought albums and actually looked at the cover while the songs played. Often they had the lyrics on them. These days you download only the songs you like, and who knows what the album is called?

Anyway, 1 across was a total mystery to me, but I got a toehold in the NE and worked around from there back to the NW, which took me as long to do as the rest of the puzzle. Also, I was Naticked at the Pablo, BBC cross even though I suppose i should have intuited it.

This was a good challenge for a Saturday, but a DNF for me.

Diana,LIW 2:25 PM  

Knew textBOX because I'm typing in one right now.

Glad to see @Teedmn's post about the Duck's marching band outside our hotel in Stamford. I met a few Lady Ducks there the night before, and they were excited about the crossword tourney - once a competitor, always... I wasn't competing, of course, but @Teed did very well.

Met one of today's constructors at ACPT and got to ride to Grand Central with him after the contest. Nice guy - obviously, smart as a whip.

1A is a prime example of why I tend not to begin at 1A. One's heart just sinks 'cause one thinks, "uh oh, another trivia fest." But this wasn't - 'twas fair and made me think, think, think. bLOGS messed me up for a while, too.

"pace" instead of CLIP led to ED'S horse's voice. Hah! (Of course, of course)

Just read about an AMERICANELM Liberty Tree.

Got 95% - there should be some category above a dnf for that kind of near-solve situation. It's like getting a big, fat F on a test when you answered 95% correctly. If a teacher did that, a DELUGE of rebellion would ensue.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 4:25 PM  

Came here thinking I had solved a very tough puzzle only to be totally deflated by Rex's "Easy" rating.

There seems to be no end of PPPs, potential Naticks, misdirection, cleverness, and obscurity. A JUMBLED mix of easy, difficult, and nearly impossible.

None of which means this isn't an impressive piece of work and a worthy Saturday work-out. It is. But I didn't get through it unscathed.

Had tUMBLED/tACKEDUP instead of J/J (thought "sharp", like a tack), HIDiONOMO/ibID/PUb instead of the correct E and N.

So, a bit more than scathed by this one.

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