Add british style / FRI 4-21-17 / Jazz on sports tickers / Thin layer of foam at top of espresso / Shark-jumping sitcom character / Alternative nickname for Liz / Iconic part of Nancy Sinatra's early attire / toon who wears red hair bow

Friday, April 21, 2017

Constructor: Damon Gulczynski

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: TOTAL BASES (29D: A batter receives four for a grand slam) —
In baseball statistics, total bases (TBs) is the number of bases a player has gained with hits. It is a weighted sum for which the weight value is 1 for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple and 4 for a home run. Only bases attained from hits count toward this total. Reaching base by other means (such as a base on balls) or advancing further after the hit (such as when a subsequent batter gets a hit) does not increase the player's total bases. // The total bases divided by the number of at bats is the player's slugging average. // Hank Aaron is the career leader in total bases with 6,856. Stan Musial (6,134) and Willie Mays (6,066) are the only other players with at least 6,000 career total bases. (wikipedia)
• • •

This one played pretty easy; except for one failed initial [Foray] into the INROAD section of the grid, I moved through this one without much hesitation. Grid is mostly sparkly, with a ton of mid-range to long answers of good to great quality. Things get a little rough, fill-wise, in the (surprise) aforementioned INROAD section of the puzzle, and the S/SW in general, but that assortment of cruddy short stuff down there does very little to affect the overall quality of the fill. Cluing felt *on* today. Low on "?" clues, high on squint / tilt head / ponder-the-multiple-possible-meanings clues. [Get down, in a way] for LIE, [Bull, essentially] for OPTIMIST, [Kennedy colleague] for ALITO—all clever misdirects. Got initial propulsion from CREMA (14A: Thin layer of foam at the top of an espresso)—my dad is verrrrrry precise in his espresso-making, as are the folks at my local cafe / roasteria, so CREMA is a phenomenon I know well. That answer gave me enough momentum to get most of the way through the first half of the grid. And then THE FONZ took it from there (30D: Shark-jumping sitcom character), hurtling me down into the bottom of the grid, and then, via the precious "Z," over into that pesky SW corner. Those two key gimmes were all I needed.

[Classified] for PEGGED was just hard. Accurate enough, but yikes. And I had PURSUE for 46D: Hound at first, so you can see why the SW was the roughest area for me. I don't really like the French answer at 61A: Café freebie (EAU). Cheap cluing move. Yes, "café" is a French word, but it's also an English one (was the accent supposed to indicate something to me?—it didn't). Also, I wanted DDE at 64A: Pres. whose given birth name was David but didn't write it in because I knew one of those "D"s *stood* for "David," and, well, the clue can't refer to an initial via the name it stands for ... :( ... but apparently it can. So the SW corner strikes yet again. "I'M BAD"!—yes you are, SW corner. Yes you are. I had ACES for 54D: Super (A-ONE) but beyond that no other significant missteps (that I haven't already mentioned). The GRAMMAR NAZI clue is cute (53A: Type for who this clue will be annoying?), though I'm honestly never that thrilled to see NAZI in my puzzle, in any context. Not nearly bygone enough for my taste.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:05 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 12:06 AM  

Medium-tough for me. My biggest problem was maNTEL before LINTEL, which obscured HELLO KITTY and made the SE a struggle. Plus, I'll bet I'm not the only one who misread Beldam as Bedlam.

Also, sEcrEt before PEGGED.

Finally a Fri. with a bunch of good stuff and some crunch, liked it a lot, nice one Damon!

Charles Flaster 12:16 AM  

Loved this easyish puzzle. Snagglepuss's exclamations brought back some fun memories.
Writeovers slowed me down--GAS CAN for GAS mAN, OM I GOSH for OM y GOSH, and BETSY for BETtY.
Very clever cluing for PAUSE , ALITO, PLAGUE, and OIL.
The PAPER CHASE, movie, was a triumph for John Houseman who really "knew his stuff". Great movie.
Thanks DG

Robin 12:34 AM  

Ended up working this from SW up to NE, then SE and finally NW. Basically the ENLAI, GRANNARNAZI, GOGOBOOTS trio were the foundation I worked off of.

Errors that slowed me down just a bit were TONE rather than PIPE, EYES rather than LIDS, and MASK rather than MARK.

Nevertheless, finished in 2/3 my average Friday time, so yeah, it seemed relatively easy.

Anonymous 12:35 AM  

Alito clued without peroration not cool. Also Kennedy is gonna retire soon and Trump will appoint another white Ivy League male. So much for diversity. The real fun will start when RBG Sor Breyer steps down. Y'all can thank Harry Reid.

Chim cham 1:40 AM  

@Rex, thanks for the Snagglepuss! How is that not the most underrated, underrepresented cartoon pink lion of all time? Hannah Barbara's best creation by far.

Larry Gilstrap 1:54 AM  

No romp in the park for this solver. First time around the horn, very little lead hit the paper. Second lap I took a chance on AFRO POP and GOGO BOOTS and squares began to fill, but still I was left with the Great White North. I never got the coffee habit, so I asked my wife about 14A. She loves to help late in the week. Something about Spume or fume, so no help. But I began to SETTLE IN and that disaster became an ACT OF GOD and I have an ear for Shak. so I was stuck in the NE. Staring and drumming of fingers ensued. Finally it fell. GAS CAN was hiding in plain sight.

A modest proposal: I'm not certain that any person who is annoyingly insistent on correcting people's GRAMMAR or regimenting their soup selections meets the criteria necessary to be deemed a NAZI. They are sticklers, or perfectionists, or pedants, or purists, or whatever other synonym my phone suggests. Sorry OFL, but nothing cute about it. Let's make NAZI abhorrent again.

chefwen 3:20 AM  

Nazi should never be bygone, it should always be forefront in our minds so that it never happens again. My Grandfather was sent to Dachau, fortunately at that time it was a work camp. Grandmother pulled a lot of strings and got him out before it turned into a death camp.
Dad escaped Austria by the skin of his teeth, came to America, joined the service to fight the SOB's. Very interesting story.

Puzzle was a little difficult for me. High BOOTS before GOGO didn't help a bit.

Loren Muse Smith 4:15 AM  

This was not so easy for me. I slowly got the bottom half but “Abu” for IBN messed me up. I finally saw THE FONZ but never changed the A to I for the Arabic name, so I had a dnf with “lantel/abn.” Oof.

Yeah - @jae. I saw “bedlam” forever. Wanted “zoo” there. So my 11D hurry was gonna begin with some kind of “zip _ _.” Dumb. (P.S. I liked your “secret” for PEGGED mistake.)

I bet I’m not alone either on wanting “disaster” for the hurricane or flood. So I kept telling myself that clerics would sit at “desks.”

Early on, I went straight to “rack” for SAPS. Sue me. (Speaking of which, “tit” before EMU.)

So many other goofs.
“eyes” before LIDS (Hi, @Robin)
“euro” before AFRO
“teen” before USER

The northwest was really, really tough to crack. I had no idea that that film was CREMA. PRO FORMA finally led the way. I always feel smart and superior when I know a Latin phrase. I like putting it in italics when I write so, ipso facto, I’m to be admired.

Rex – I was troubled by the clue for EAU, too, but only because I was trying to remember if water was indeed free at cafes in France.

@Larry G – I’ll suggest Prig for your purist synonym GRAMMAR NAZI list. As John McIntyre puts it – “what is at work here is an effort to establish social status through what is imagined to be superior or “correct” English.” I like his suggestion that they “would be better advised to resort to the traditional methods: joining country clubs, wearing clothing bearing designer logos, purchasing large, vulgar automobiles, and the like.” Or just use a bunch of Latin. In italics.

Very nice puz, Damon. I agree with Rex on the fine cluing.

joebloggs 6:07 AM  

Does anyone else here find asiago to be a truly pungent cheese? Huge misdirect IMHO and was one of my last fills. I think it's incredibly mild in smell relative to other truly pungent cheeses.

Lewis 6:40 AM  

One of those strap-on-the-brain shut-out-the-world solves where you, in fits and starts, crack deliciously difficult cluing, until, by the end, you, weary and elated, acknowledge gratefully that the puzzle was fair and square with you, and that you beat it fair and square.

Eric NC 6:57 AM  

@joebloggs agree. If cheeses were rated like chile peppers asiago would be low on the scale of pungency, nowhere near, for example, a scotch bonnet.
@lms. Love your comments. Re " eau " in France was also surprised on vac in Italy to find they charge for the bread they automatically place at your table. Wouldn't be at all surprised if they charged for plain water in France.

Glimmerglass 7:04 AM  

This one was hard but in my wheelhouse. I was feeling unusually smug about solving it -- until I came here to read that @Rex thought it was easy/medium. Oh well, Rex concedes that several clues were clever misdirections (I agree), and that some were really hard. I don' t disagree with any of Rex's analysis -- just the top rating. I especially liked the SW, which made me sweat.

kitshef 7:40 AM  

Loved it. PIE CHARTS/SMEAR TACTIC/GREAT SCOTT/ACT OF GOD/PRO FORMA/OPTIMIST and, especially PAPER CHASE, GO GO BOOTS and TOTAL BASES. I gratefully overlook a UTA and a SPY STORY for all that good stuff.

Wicked hard to get started. Had nothing at all until 25A (ERG – thank God for physics), then nothing else until 31A (DEAN). That still did not get me any correct crosses.

Next in was 33A (OHMS - thank God for physics), which gave me TOTAL BASES, and finally I was able to get some traction.

Went pretty well after that though the NW took a lot of trial and error:
- tom before joN before ted before tAd before DAN
- CREam before CREMe before CREMA.
- cuddLE up before SETTLE IN
- Never actually wrote in disaster before ACT OF GOD, but I sure thought about it a lot.

GREAT SCOTT made me want to throw toilet paper at the screen.

Anonymous 7:41 AM  

Tough but finished! Just how I like to start a Friday! Thankful for gimmes DAG and IBN and ERG and ENLAI and RONA since getting a toehold was tough. Thought it was Utah Jazz but don't get UTA? Took forever to get NILLA since had ACheS for "eating things." My AChes are certainly eating at me. But perfect for a Friday!

Forsythia 7:42 AM  

ooops, that shouldn't be Anonymous but Forsythia. The comment didn't take the first time.

r.alphbunker 8:02 AM  

Had Nancy SInatra wearing a GOGO skirt instead of GOGOBOOTS for a while.

Details are here

Mel Torme 8:14 AM  

Love it when OHMS and ERGs are in the same puzzle.

Mel Torme 8:15 AM  

Liked OHMS and OHS in the same puzzle much less.

DJG 8:24 AM  

For more on today's puzzle and a scintillating commentary on clue writing in general, visit my blog.

evil doug 8:27 AM  

"One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you...."

A couple of pretty prominent Jews had no problem creating the Soup Nazi, so I think GRAMMAR NAZI is fine....

Even better than the movie was the PAPER CHASE TV series, also featuring John Houseman. I doubt it's easy to track down, but the "Scavenger Hunt" episode is brilliant.

"Grand slam" was a good misdirect when home run would have worked. I wanted something to do with runs or ribbies....

Names like those, and you wanted Euro Pop, Loren? Now *that* would have been some misdirect....

Love that Fonzie's literal shark jump became a commonly employed modern term for Deus ex machina--and appropriately marked the end for that burned out TV show....

pmdm 8:40 AM  

Chefwan: Amen. To put out of your mind is to forget. Considering some of today's politicians who are doing well enough, I fear in general the public has forgotten (or those younger are blissfully unaware).

Quasi modo: addundum to yesterday's comment. Do you know that, even though they replaced the cars, they still use the same grease on the Dragon Coaster specifically to keep the smell when you get on the coaster the same? Soon to have new management, I hope they keep up the tradition.

I was surprised at how the pieces of today's puzzle fell into place for me. That's always a plus when I'm going to an 11 AM NY Philharmonic concert. as I can finish the puzzle before the concert. Enjoyable.

QuasiMojo 8:55 AM  

I like the idea of clerics sitting in their apses, as opposed to on their asses.

I can attest to the accuracy of the category "Act of God" since I was a victim of a devastating flood during Hurricane Irene that hit NY and the insurance company refused to cough up a nickel for it.

Like Steve I did not think much of Ohms and Ohs so close to each other.

I'm annoyed by the constant "pegging" in the NYT puzzle of the legendary Miriam Makeba as an "AfroPop" star. She was much more than that whether you liked her or not and I did. At least her singing. She's becoming a go-to figure like Yoko Ono or Brian Eno or even Enya just so some constructor can fit in some silly letters. It's insulting and demeaning.

As for the Nazi issue, I never understood the logic of using that term for strict grammarians. The Nazis were anal about some things but they broke the rules so often on so many levels it hardly seems apt.

Which reminds me I wanted "Great Caesar's Ghost" instead of "Great Scott." I was a big fan of the Superman TV show growing up.

I had "I'm Big" before "I'm Bad." I'm not sure Michael Jackson was "boasting" when he sang about being 'bad.' He was just stating a fact in an attempt to seduce. Apparently the opening lyric to that "song" is "Your butt is mine..." which brings us back to clerics in their apses.

Z 9:24 AM  

Me yesterday: "What's with the pie charts parts? There's a trope (not a meme) on Twitter of abusive misuse of pie charts. I laugh every time."
Me today at seeing, finally, the answer to 18A : Har!

@Quasimojo - "The Nazis were {perfectionists} about some things but they broke the rules on so many levels..." is such an apt description for so many that it is hard not to use it. I'm with @LMS here, even as noting the missing M grated on my very soul.

Hartley70 9:43 AM  

This was an excellent Friday puzzle that finished a little faster than some. I love "Heavens to Murgatroyd" but Snagglepuss is after my time and I could happily smack him to make him stop talking.

I fell for BEdlAM for a while and had "ado" because I'm unaware of BELDAM who might have use for Snagglepuss as a familiar.

Nancy 9:52 AM  

This ranged from very easy to very hard for me, and everything in between. Another hand up for EYES before LIDS. Also PursUED before PLAGUED; BEsSY before BETSY and my Casco masterpiece: pEnSIon before MESSIAH (22D). On the other hand, unlike Loren, I saw ACT OF GOD (1D) right off the bat. All of this proving, of course, that I am not an OPTIMIST.

"Heavens to Murgatroyd" is such a great clue that they used it twice???!!!

HELLO KITTY is the name of a kitty? A kitty that you say "hello" to? A kitty who says "hello" to you?

If you think ASIAGO is a pungent cheese, you've never had camembert or gorgonzola.

I'm wondering if AFROPOP is anachronistic for Miriam Makeba. Was that even a term back when she was performing? I haven't checked it, so I could be wrong. But back when I listened to her (I loved her), I just thought of her as performing a lot of terrific and exciting African music.

Enough challenge in this puzzle to make it enjoyable for me.

Robert A. Simon 10:23 AM  

Did not like clue for TOTAL BASES. Sure, you get 4 for hitting a grand slam, but also for hitting any ol' homer. "Grand slam" implies strongly to me a very specific result, not a more generic one. Terrible clue. Don't agree on EAU. The "é" was there on purpose, intended to get us to French words. Agree on praise for ALITO. For the longest time, since I had the O from SPYSTORY, I was wondering, gee, I wouldn't describe TITO as a colleague for JFK, and what's more, why the hell are there five squares for a four-letter answer?

John Child 10:26 AM  

Oh yes, I liked this a lot. Sparkly answers with enough drek (aka Jeff Chen "glue") to make the sparkly stuff possible. That's the right tradeoff for me. Just over Friday time here. It seemed like forever before I had enough skeleton to start filling in the longer answers. Thank goodness for the short stuff today. Getting started took so long that I wondered if there was a rebus or other trick at play.

Clues. As @OFL said, clever and misdirected without being cute. {Bull} ... Nonsense? Animal? Force, with "in"? Nope, a Wall Street reference. Sweet.

@Quasi, keep on doing what you do. Very amusing. @Loren, you can have boobs in your puzzle or tits, but perhaps not both! But apparently @evil, boobs and boots are fine. Worked well for Ms Sinatra too.

GILL I. 10:27 AM  

A good puzzle should almost immediately get your sweet spot to start salivating. This one did it for me.
I did have some trouble getting started. I so wanted my foam on my espresso to be FROTH. I heat my milk up and then use a little twirly thingy to make it all foamy then I draw a little smiley face on my coffee. {I'm a liar] ACT OF GOD got me the C I needed for CREMA and I couldn't stop after that.
I paused at ASIAGO. Knew it had to be because of the ERG business. I'm with @joebloggs. It ain't pungent in my book - nor is gorgonzola (hi @Nancy)...You want pungent, disgusting cheese, try some Stinking Bishop.
Middle section was a breeze through. Love Heavens to Murgatroyd and everything related to it. I could do a whole puzzle with GREAT SCOTTs.
I practically lived in France and I don't ever remember getting any water unless I asked for it. That little EAU held me up because I couldn't see PEGGED. Finally got it with GOGO BOOTS and then the "Oh, shouldn't it be whom?" GRAMMAR NAZI. We had one on this blog but he got booed off.
Loved the cluing, loved that this put me in a good mood, loved that I finished sans Google and glad that Damon didn't put a YO in front of TE AMO.
PS...@Leapster. Guess what I'm going to buy at "Total Wines?"

Nancy 11:09 AM  

@GILL -- Mountain gorgonzola is salty, not pungent -- more like blue cheese than camembert. But dolce gorgonzola, the one I like, is not that salty and quite pungent. The less blue and the more white it is in color, the better. If it's too old, though, it becomes too pungent -- at least for me. Perhaps not for you :)

@Loren -- I thought we were on the same page, re correct grammar. Not as a way to "establish superiority" as your source contends, but just because it's chalk on a blackboard when you hear something egregious. I never correct anyone, because people hate being corrected and I want to hang on to my friends. But I can't make myself unhear it. BTW, I went to the John McIntire link you embedded. I found it muddled and disjointed. It was a short excerpt, and yet it was hard to figure out exactly what he was trying to say. A very clumsy writer, I would argue.

GHarris 11:24 AM  

Got all the hard stuff but undone and plagued by the sw corner; had robot boots, secret etc, couldn't see ear. Put in tori but have never seen that word used as ring.

GHarris 11:27 AM  

Sorry plagued again by autocorrect. Wrote robo boots, not robot boots and eau not ear..

Sir Hillary 11:40 AM  

More like this, please. Absolutely loved it.

And to top it off, a Snagglepuss link from @Rex -- "a video e-vuhn!"

Joseph Michael 11:41 AM  

Lots of great fill, from THE FONZ to HELLO KITTY to GOGO BOOTS, SPY STORY, and HOT DATES. A little something for everyone.

Had "grammarians" before GRAMMAR NAZI, "disaster" before ACT OF GOD, "Betty" before BETSY, and "ends" before OHMS. So I traveled all over the place in many wrong directions before I finally reached the solve.

OFT found the cluing challenging but clever. Having just finished proofreading a book, I especially enjoyed the clue for 53A.

Warren Howie Hughes 11:49 AM  

"OMIGOSH! APSES make the heart grow ALITO fonder"

Pete 11:53 AM  

@Evil Doug - Methinks you don't really know what Deus ex machina means - certainly The Fonz's jumping of the shark doesn't fit.

When I was just getting started in business I was a consultant in telecom and my job was to forecast demand for new business products / services. In nearly every case the proposed new offering was untenable - replacing a $25/month service with a $200/month service with no increase in quality or performance. I pretty quickly became a pariah, as all I ever delivered was bad news. When I had to incorporate and name my company I chose The Cassandra Group for its Greek mythological allusion, and I was quite proud of myself for adding an air of pomposity to my endeavors. This continued until I was forced by my client to partner with the owner of another consulting group. We got along quite well until I found out that he had named his company Deus Ex Machina, and I realized I was bested.

Mohair Sam 11:54 AM  

DNF'd today because I tried my first and last cup of espresso in a dive on London's East End about fifty years ago, thought I was gonna die. CREMo. Guessed SoPS would do for 5D. Lifetime Mr. Coffee at home/Dunkin Donuts on the road folks here. What's this CREMA stuff? We never had a prayer.

Speaking of Dunkin. About a decade and a half back they enlisted a marketing firm to study their customers and Starbucks' customers so as to suggest changes to let them steal Starbucks' customer base. The marketing company came back and told them don't bother - there are Dunkin' people and there are Starbucks people and never the twain. Shore up your base, find out what your existing customers want, and pour it on - don't worry about the competition. I've noticed that in the last year or so Dunkin' has finally given in and added espresso. CREMA at Dunkin Donuts - what is this world coming to?

Like @Gill and @NANCY we hesitated at ASIAGO - you call that pungent? Hah! Worked for years as a commercial lender and PROFORMA was used differently (projected financial statement), I struggled to put it in. I'm with @Doug wondering how anyone could think EuroPOP for Black Mambazo and Miriam Makeba based on names alone. And I will always want OMIGOSH to be spelled OMyGOSH because that is how it is spelled word by word. Shut up.

Grammar Nazi 11:55 AM  

Todays puzzle was one of the best Friday's ever!

old timer 12:01 PM  

I finished it, always a good thing on a Friday, and like OFL the SW corner was the last to fall. I had no idea what kind of boots Nancy was singing about -- and I wanted "Ike" instead of DDE, though the abbr. should have told me to put in initials.

My dictionary says "pungent" refers to odors. Now before you bite into a strong tasting cheese you often don't smell anything in particular. But ASIAGO, like it's big brother Parmesan, is presented to you already grated, and the pungent odor is the first thing you notice. So the clue is more precise than some of y'all are giving Damon credit for.

If NAZI was so taboo we never would have had the Soup NAZI, and our lives would be the poorer for it. Anyhow, Trump is far from a NAZI, and in Berkeley and places like that, it is the leftists that seem to be fond of NAZI tactics and antisemitic behavior. If you get upset about all things Trumpian, you could be upset about SMEARTACTIC. He got elected by SMEARing Hillary, and got nominated by SMEARing his opponents -- or at least calling them names: "Little Marco", "Lyin' Ted" etc.

Nancy 12:08 PM  

@"Grammar Nazi" (11:55) -- Your both to funny and two subtle to be the real one. I loved your post! Forgive me for stealing your thunder, but your comment shouldnt be missed.

evil doug 12:08 PM  

'The term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object. Depending on how it is done, it can be intended to allow a story to continue when the writer has "painted himself into a corner" and sees no other means to progress the plot, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or as a comedic device'

Eat me.

mathgent 12:19 PM  

Great puzzle! Crunchy, sparkly, informative.

If you haven't read Rex's comments today, don't bother.

@Nancy: My daughter and her friends loved Hello Kitty products. They had a shop in our mall. I think that it was a Japanese company. They made notebooks, backpacks, not clothes. A darling little girl with a red hair bow was their logo. (My first thought for 47 A was LITTLELULU, a comic from my youth.)

@Lewis (6:40): Loved your assessment.

@Evil Doug (8:27): Excellent comment on the use of "nazi." Jumping the shark was an attempt to revitalize the Fonz series which worked. It continued for a three or four more seasons after that episode.

Savage Love 12:32 PM  

Amazing this snuck into the NYT. I am surprised that no one noticed PEGGED next to DAN (Savage). Mr. Savage is the coiner of the term for the sex act of "pegging".

Joe Bleaux 12:36 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Bleaux 12:40 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJG 12:40 PM  

Nice catch, Savage Love. I'm a big fan of the "Savage Lovecast" and was inspired to include Mr. Savage in my puzzle once I noticed DAN's proximity to PEGGED.

Masked and Anonymous 12:53 PM  

Sooo … themelessthUmbsUp. Especially becuz I luved the 4-Down clue, which was different, dependin on yer puz source:

* Printed newspaper version: {Bird that leaves this print: W}. Only, where the W is, substitute in an **illustrated** three-toed footprint that kinda looks like a stubby arrow pointin downward. [Since M&A gained puz-entry in the SEW (SE/SW) first, his initial wiseguy reaction was: Answer = some sort of nickname for LIZard. Or monogram for Nancy Sinatra.]

* Online 4-D clue version: {Producer of a deep drumming call}. This here clue seems harder. Less of a surefire take-it-to-the-bank hint that we're talkin birddom, there. This could easily cost online solvers precious nanoseconds. Especially since the print-ed clue clearly shows three toes, which immediately rules out many bird specieses. Take yer budgies, f'rinstance … They've got 4 toes, two goin north and two headed sorta south. Great for grippin perches while snoozin, but not so great for achievin topnotch land speeds. [M&A Research Dept. achieved a minor bite wound, in verifyin this info, btw. Made me holler "heavens to murgatroyd!". Twice.]
But, I digress …

TOTUP + TOTALBASES. har: TOT-al DES-peration.

staff weeject pick: IBN. Better clue: {Hacked IBM??}.

Lots of fave fillins, but liked GOGOBOOTS the best. Ok … off to salve-up that wound, now.

Thanx, Mr. Gulckz … day-um … mind if I just call U "GLIZ"? …
Anyhoo -- primo job.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Joe Bleaux 12:55 PM  

@Nancy, thanks and thanks, first for your reply to LMS re McIntyre, and then for your reply to Grammar Nazi. There are now two deletions where once were posts that would have left me red-faced if I hadn't yanked them after a second look at the 11:55 post (which I, in my apparent dotage, at first took seriously, fer Chrissake). I thoroughly enjoyed solving DG's excellent Friday puzzle, for all the reasons @Lewis always says best.
PS -- Why is it that I take neo-Nazi at face value and think Soup Nazi is hilarious, yet find Grammar Nazi (the term, not the poster) offensive, since I don't consider myself one?

RooMonster 1:00 PM  

Hey All !
So, my printer is running low on ink, and it decided to make the usually difficult FriPuz even harder by printing some of the bottom-of-the-page clues illegible. Fun. Amazingly enough, I did manage to finish puz, although with wrong answers. But only one because of the ink situation. That was Dyr for DAN. Got IAMB through crosses, even though clue wasn't seeable. (Pat myself on the back :-P)

Other DNF causes, FaLl for FOLD, so along with the wrong Dyr, gave me at 2D & 3D, PROFaRMy, SETTLEIr. Har. Also, beAGlE for PLAUGE.
Had disaster first like some of y'all for ACTOFGOD, but ended up with it correct. Other downfall was ATTIcA for ATILLA, so NILLA was un-seeable. HURTLE a WOE as clued.


So, tougher tha should've been FriPuz, but overall not too shabby. Liked TEAM O crossing GO GO. (I know it's TE AMO, no need to correct me! :-D )

Can't quite grasp THE FONZ clue. Someone let me know so I can feel dumb?


QuasiMojo 1:13 PM  

@Nancy, nice one! Loved the "to" and "two" you snuck in there. I agree with you about that piece in the Baltimore Sun. The deterioration of plain speaking and clear communication is not something to be glib or snide about.

I'm so out-of-touch with pop culture I thought Dan Savage was Doc Savage's real name.

Deus-ex-machina has been misused for as long as I've been alive. It was a gimmick the ancient Greek playwrights used.

@Mohair Sam, I'm sorry, but Dunkin' Donuts (sic) has been selling espresso for years.

Masked and Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Suggestion for a future NYTPuz **illustrated** clue:

{Bird that leaves this kind of dropping: [insert splatz drawing here] }

(Not exactly a debut clue idea tho, as there was this runtpuz long ago, that featured pics of lots of different animal splatzes. But, it was mighty well received by test solvers. Sniff it out sometime, in @r.alph's archives, if interested.)

M&A Think Tank

Teedmn 1:25 PM  

For a puzzle I found hard to make INROADs on initially, this solved up pretty smoothly. I gave up early up top after APSES (thanks for the laugh, @Quasimojo) and made my start at RONA. PIPE and ENLAI made the rest of the SW fill in nicely, though I left Nancy's BOOTS blank for a while (hi @Ralph).

I thought 9D's clue for SECT was very nice. I gave @Z mental credit for yesterday's precognition on PIE CHARTS. And I smiled in memory of the GRAMMARNAZI's comments in days of yore (plus that one-time "GlamorNazi"; you know who you are and so do I, but it's "classified" :-). )

GREAT SCOTT puzzle, Damon Gulczynski!

Happy Pencil 1:52 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. It was worth the price of admission for "Heavens to Murgatroyd" alone (and then to get it twice!).

@chefwen, I'm with you on the Nazi issue. I can understand complaining that expressions like "grammar nazi" trivialize the horrific acts of the actual Nazis, but we certainly should not be forgetting that the Nazis existed. This is how we end up with official WH spokespeople making ignorant declarations about Hitler and poison gas.

@Nancy, thanks for your comments about LMS's original post. Not trying to start an argument here, but it seems like a crossword blog is a place to celebrate English and appreciate the value of precision in language. I haven't clicked on the link, so perhaps the post is mostly talking about people who take pleasure in correcting other people's mistakes. But I think trying to paint as elitist people who are interested in being careful about how they use the language is a form of elitism itself.

Apologies, Loren, if I've misunderstood your post. But the people I know who are most passionate about precision in language are teachers, editors, writers, poets -- hardly the country club/designer handbag set.

evil doug 2:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohair Sam 2:30 PM  

@Quasi - Eh, that's my Dunkin' that just got the machine. If they'v had it nationwide for years I stand corrected.

evil doug 2:45 PM  

"Deus-ex-machina has been misused for as long as I've been alive."

Or, like much of language, it's gradually evolved to adapt to the times--at least, for those of us who aren't Deus ex machiNazis...

RooMonster 2:50 PM  

Have to fix my misspelling of AFRPOO in my last post. It's AFROPOP. (Although you're mileage may vary.)
Har. :-)

Wanted BURNIKLE for Zhou ___ , but wouldn't fit!

And for all the GRAMMARians out there, here is a funny song for ya.


Canon Chasuble 3:15 PM  

Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy and Bess
Went to the forest to find a bird's nest.
They all found a nest with five eggs in it,
And each took one and left four eggs in it.

There are a number of variations of this rhyme,
but this is the one I learned

Pete 3:15 PM  

@Evil: 'The term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object.' Great, you know how to get to Wikipedia. What you haven't done is explain how this concept translates to some idiotic three part story arch at the tail end of a series long past its prime. The "jumping the shark" did nothing to resolve a seemingly unsolvable (plot - the part that's missing from your selective quote) problem, it was just, pure and simply, particularly idiotic stunt series of shows. That's what "jumping the shark" means, which is entirely different from what Deus ex machina means.

Teedmn 3:18 PM  

RE: Jumping the shark - the first time I can recall seeing a "jump the shark" moment actually predated the airing of the "jump the shark" episode of Happy Days though it did involve the The Fonz's co-star, Ron Howard.

I'm going from a 40 year old memory here; I did a Google search on the movie and couldn't find confirmation of the scene I remember. But in the movie, "Eat My Dust!" which came out in 1976 and starred Ron Howard, most of the action involves high speed car chases. At one point, Ron Howard and his co-star/love interest drive over a cliff. As I recall, the film stops the action in mid-flight while the audience gasps in horror, whereupon the action resumes, Ron Howard puts the car in reverse and they go back onto the road and continue on their merry way.

Does anyone else remember this? Because for me, that totally ruined the movie. My belief was fully suspended just watching these teens drive crazily all over and that scene burst the bubble with that totally over the top clip. A year later, Fonz jumped the shark and the rest is history.

GILL I. 3:42 PM  

So, I looked up ASIAGO to see how it's defined. The young cheese is defined as semi-sweet while the aged is described as pungent. Makes sense?
Because I felt like it, I started looking up some cheese phrases made by people tasting pungent varieties. I got "rotten eggs," "sulphur ahoy," "fire in the hole," "silage" and my favorite "Sweetness on the edge of decay."
There is a Sardinian cheese called Casu Marzu that's a type of Pecorino that's made with maggots. You eat the maggots two to too. Then a French cheese I know of called Epoisse that smells so bad, you can't take it on the subway with you. ISIS uses it as a weapon of mass destruction. I think it's banned in the States. The Stinking Bishop I mentioned before, has a rind smell that will make you go blind but it doesn't taste bad with some pears...
I love cheese.

I am Glamour Nazi 3:44 PM  

Thanks, @Teedmn (1:25) for your loyalty and devotion to protecting my identity. But you remind me that perhaps the time has come to unmask myself -- after all it's been almost two full years since I abruptly appeared and then just as abruptly disappeared from the blog. It was June 18, 2015, and I thought my satiric post might deter @Grammar Nazi from her endless tsk-tsking. (I'm sure it was a woman and I have a pretty good idea who it was.) But no such luck. It took blog moderation to get rid of both her and her alter-ego, and that happened much later.

But I won't do the big Reveal until tomorrow (if I remember; I'd better write myself a note, since I remember nothing). Let me give you some (more) hints. I hid my identity in much the same way that my mystery novelist heroine Agatha Christie hid the culprits in two of her most notable mysteries. In AND THEN THERE WERE NONE: If you're a victim, you can't also be the murderer. And in THE ABC MURDERS: Where better to hide a tree than in a forest? Where better to hide a murder than in a series of murders?

How good a sleuth are you, Dear Reader? You shouldn't have to wait until tomorrow to find out my identity. I've played much fairer with you than Agatha played with her readers. The answer should be obvious if you've been paying attention. But I'll let you know for sure tomorrow. I'm over the limit in blog posts today, anyway. And thanks again @Teedmn. I bet they could have pulled out your fingernails and not gotten the truth out of you!

I am Glamour Nazi 3:57 PM  

Oh, and I forgot to say that my post was at 9:42 a.m. on 6/18/15.

Robin Thicke Rules 4:03 PM  

@Roo Monster:

Very funny song, and the beat is pleasing to the ear. Having said that, Robin Thicke's original version called Blurred Lines is much more pleasing to the eye. Emily Ratajkowski tops Weird Al any day!

Warning= NSFW!

Hartley70 4:15 PM  

I just got a heads up from the ACPT site that NBC Nightly News tonight will have a segment on Will, the NYT anniversary and the ACPT.

Hungry Mother 4:32 PM  

No shark jumping hee on the Freedom of the Seas. This one was another long slog, a usual Friday for me. Luckily I had plenty of time today.

Babs of Hollywood 4:46 PM  

Ironically, I'm in Paris right now, and was just this afternoon served a free carafe of eau in a cafe. And it still took me awhile to get that answer...

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

Haven't heard Sharp denounce term Nazi whenever tied to Trump or any Republican for that matter. Stereotypical liberal hypocrite. You seriously cannot make this stuff up.

Warren Howie Hughes 6:47 PM  

Here I thought that it was the old time actor Bert Lahr, as the Cowardly Lion in TWOO, who was the first to say, "Heavens to Murgatroyd?"

Rob 7:09 PM  

I found this incredibly hard, particularly in the southeast corner. It took me almost an hour and a half to finish up. The clue for IAMB is downright fiendish. I've heard of a bull market or being bullish, but I've never actually heard of a person with that attitude being called a bull, so OPTIMIST took me forever because I wasn't entirely sure what the constructor was looking for. Once I got that, ALITO was easy, but when I just had ---TO or ---T- (SPY STORY was pretty weird to me, since that's not a usual phrase, I don't think, so I got that late) I had no idea what Kennedy they were talking about. I even entertained the possibility that it was about the Kennedy Center and was looking for some kind of slang for actor/actress/singer.

I can't say it's badly made, but this puzzle and I were clearly on different pages the entire time.

Z 8:07 PM  

It took some effort, but I tracked down Tom Chivers' blog post where he coins tweedy pop prescriptivist. It is such a better turn of phrase than GRAMMAR NAZI.

Anonymous 10:17 PM  

No one will see this late a post but, no one cares about your identity. See ya.

Leapfinger 11:26 PM  

Pretty cool that Snagglepuss would say "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" and "Heavens to BETSY!" as well. Exit, stage left, laughing. Guess you wouldn't say HELLO KITTY to your average pink mountain lion.

I wouldn't say this was easy for me, as I mostly needed some letters in place for most entries to jog the brain. Good thing there were some like Zhou "I still say Chou" ENLAI, DAG and HAG to get started. Had HASTEN till UTA said to make that HURTLE, and I totally thought 18A had to be PIECEsomething. Most of my bruising were happened in the SE, where I was thinking of the Hyannis Port Kennedy, wanted 39D to be somethingDANCE and wrote in 40D as SPYSTUFF yesIdid.

Not going to worry about 53A since Seinfeld didn't catch grief for the Soup NAZI, so a xwp should get a pass also. My cousin never mentioned anything about the camps for 60 years, and then only really spoke of two incidents. His mother never said a word about it for the rest of her life, so obviously this is all managed in a very personal way. As it should be. I'm just bemused at the fact of Phil GRAMM and Desi ARNAZ I (ie, Sr) being snugged up together. I don't spose a little Babalu would hurt old Phil.

Anyway, if you're not up for full-blown character assassination yet, you might hold off on the SMEAR TACTIC and start off slow with a little SMEAR TICTAC.

TGIF, Boys 'n' Berries

Leapfinger 12:09 AM  

I see that @Evil (and maybe others) saw the Seinfeld angle. I firmly believe that anyone who can walk and chew gum at the same time can realize and maintain that kind of distinction... if they choose to.

@Gill, cool!! Let me know what you think.

Just wanted to check that you-all know that floods and hurricanes aren't really an ACT OF GOD? 'Vengeance is mine' notwithstanding, that term is just an insurance industry wiggle-word.

ps. I should've had HELLOKITTY sooner, but I had letters in place at beginning and end and kept seeing HEnny pennY in thatslot.

Elephant's Child 12:36 AM  

@GrammarNazi, too funny!

Time was, I couldn't read the Martha Grimes mysteries fast enough, back when she was writing the Richard Jury books where all the titles are names of British pubs. She'd weave these wonderfully complex plots and you'd suddenly realize there were only 3 pages left and how will all this be resolved, then poof! something happened and everything fell into place and was explained in two paragraphs. That's deus ex machina. Annoyed the peace out of me.

She improved by several orders of magnitude and stopped doing that when her defectives turned transatlantic and started coming over to Baltimore.

Loren Muse Smith 6:18 AM  

@Happy Pencil - I looked for your email address, but none is listed, so I’ll just say this here – what people call a dumbing down of English is just language change. It’s as inevitable, inescapable, as evolution. Well, heck - it is evolution. To hear people say that this is a bad thing is like hearing people complain that humans are evolving away their appendixes. If there were no language change, we’d still be running around speaking one of the very few original languages. You and I would be speaking Indo-European. There’d be no Latin phrases to throw around. No French. No Hindi.

So purists want to stop this inevitability. What. We take a snapshot of English in 2017 and say ENOUGH! Stop with the change already! We like the “value and precision” of English right now; let’s just settle with this version. Ok. So whose snapshot do we use? The guy who still insists on I shall instead of I will? Or maybe we’ll use the version of the guy who says With whom did you go? instead of the guy who says Who did you go with? We could choose the English of a chap in the UK who still says I hadn’t a thing to eat last night and ditch the version that allows I didn’t have a thing to eat last night. Do we allow in the words google and app?

To argue that the desire to stanch language change is a desire for precise, clear language makes no sense to me. How is

A. With whom did you dance last night?

any more precise than

B. Who did you dance with last night?

Is there more “value and precision” in A?

You said, “But I think trying to paint as elitist people who are interested in being careful about how they use the language is a form of elitism itself.” Guilty. You’re absolutely right, but I’m not backing down from my position. My goal is not to make anyone feel stupid. So it’s a far superior elitism. Hah.

Sure, there are people out there who try to Do the “Right” Thing with their speech who are not elitist meanies. But the ones who correct other people’s language in a public way should be chased down the street with a baseball bat because 1) it embarrasses the speaker and 2) it’s done in order to let everyone know how educated and hence superior the corrector is. A bajillion people can respond to this and tell me I’m wrong, but I’ll never be convinced otherwise. Ever.

Every now and then my husband and I go at it about this because his stand is more in line with yours. And I always fall for it, think maybe this time it’ll go differently. But then he uses words like “clear” and “precise” and it’s like we’re playing chess, he’s white, and his opening move is to push his rook pawn.

evil doug 7:55 AM  

I'm coming around, Loren. But is there a limit? When Frank (on American Pickers) says "I seen a big Nehi sign",I know what he means. But I just can't accept that degree of language degradation....

Not a grammar Nazi, but maybe a grammar tory....

Johnny Vagabond 2:45 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny Vagabond 2:47 PM  

What is connection between tori and rings?

Loren Muse Smith 4:44 PM  

@ED - there's no limit. The "mistake" in

A. I seen a big ole possum last night down the holler.

is no more egregious, grammatically, than

B. Niles asked Dobson and I to help him tie his ascot.

It's just that B is a mistake educated people make, so it's "acceptable."

I think why it's so black and white for me is that I approach this from a purely linguistic standpoint: language is communication, and as such sentence A is fine. But when you understand that your words and the way you say them have that second layer of communication, namely they communicate where you're from, whether you're book smart... that's where the rub comes in, and that's why people get their nose all out of joint about this stuff. And that's what I need to bear in mind when I get all high and mighty.

My students cheerfully speak like sentence A, and I don't make them say it over "correctly." I do tell them that if they dig their heels in and speak that way, at some point, somewhere outside of Calhoun County, WV, someone's gonna crane their neck to see what ignorant redneck just said that. It's their choice. I've made similar choices - I use y'all, the singular they, who and not whom, lay low and I'm ok with people underestimating me, too.

That you're "coming around" pleases me enormously!

Z 11:26 AM  

@Muse and @ E.D. - I think there is a limit, understanding. There is another factor to consider, appropriateness to setting. It can be wrong to use "correct" English in some settings. I'm thinking of Henry with the soldiers before the Battle of Agincourt. Not the time for him to be courtly in his speech. That Shakespeare was a descriptivist is all the convincing I need.

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

This was tougher than the last few Friday puzzles. It took a little over seven hints. All of them were in the lower half of the puzzle. And most of them were on the lower leftmost corner. Rona was another one. OHS also stumped me. Any thoughts?


Burma Shave 11:12 AM  


for each SPYSTORY the news PAPERCHASEs,
to use SMEARTACTICs about the HOTDATES he got,


rondo 12:03 PM  

So glad I didn’t plunk in “disaster” in 1d, imagine that inkfest. Really took hold at the unlikely crossing of THEFONZ and AFROPOP. An artist known as Jain has a Current song out called Makeba and who could forget Ladysmith with Paul Simon?(or on their own on a former MPR Morning Show). Spread out from that area and it fell rather smartly. At least BETSY wasn’t clued Devos.

GREATSCOTT and OMIGOSH and heavens to BETSY and a nod to OFL for the Snagglepuss bit, the only place I have ever heard Heavens to Murgatroyd.

GOGOBOOTS is a fine album by Drive BY Truckers; I keep the CD at work, so I just put it on in honor of the mention of GOGOBOOTSin the puz. “Used to be a Cop” is a great tune.

I suppose RONA Jaffe passed as a yeah baby back in the day.

It will take an ACTOFGOD or the MESSIAH to keep me from working at least one day on this holiday weekend. Another puz like this one with no write-overs will esae the sting; I’d say today’s was AONE.

rondo 12:06 PM  

From the album GOGOBOOTS:

spacecraft 1:06 PM  

Fairly hard for a while, then not so bad--in other words, medium for a Friday. Did the N/NE, but ends petered out; started up again in the S/SW, finally sussed GRAMMARNAZI which with IBN made my sitcom character end in -NZ. A-a-ay, who else? But "shark-jumping??" I must've missed that episode. Also don't know HELLOKITTY's costume, but inferred it from the OK in the middle.

Couple of inkblots: in my "rush" I HUsTLEd before I HURTLEd, and my AFRO genre was raP before POP. I'm trying to imagine HAT DATES. Do the milliner's wares get hinky after closing?

I have mentioned Nancy's (lack of) talent previously; that extends to her couture. No DOD there. How about TORI? We could do Spelling, or Amos...but give me poetic license to change it to TORY, and I give you TORY Burch: A-ONE DOD. Birdie.

leftcoastTAM 3:04 PM  

This one looked and played harder than it was.

The hard part was the HELLOKITTY span and the crossing OIL, clued as "One may be essential." Really, how does that follow? The EMU clue was not at all helpful either. That claw print did nothing.

OMIGOSH? Okay. May be a bit picky about spelling as well as GRAMMAR. (Also, always cringe a bit on seeing the word NAZI used in a make-fun way.)

Does a biblical PLAGUE qualify as an ACTOFGOD? Seems it would.

Finally, a dumb mistake: at the LINTaL/ANNaE crossing.

Otherwise, a pretty good experience and a good Friday puzzle.

Diana,LIW 3:26 PM  

Yesterday, when I discovered a part of one 9of 8) temporary crown was no longer in my mouth, I called the "on call" dentist for my dentist's office. She was my dentist for many years, so I was glad to know she would be able to help me - we made an appt. to meet at the office. When she was late, I knew something was wrong. She just is not a late person. Her car wouldn't start. But she was able to fix it! Don't you just love her? A dentist who can open the hood of a car and make it work! Amazing. I would electrocute myself.

So I wish she had been here this morning to re-wire my brain. I had an epic failure to connect with so many clues. Like Bull. Duuuhhhhh! I could see OPTIMIST was emerging, but why? Oh, right...

Putting in DISASTER crossed with SUMUP did not make for a clean start. Had the BOOTS but not the GOGO, if you get my drift. Never heard the terms "beldam" or CREMA.

HELLOKITTY is EVERYWHERE, so I'm surprised so many didn't know it. I mean they plastered that d@^^ cat on everything a little girl might want to possess. Those who didn't know this clue will see one in the wild soon. Aren't wheelhouses funny? One person's gimmee....What is the proper way to spell gimmee?

The only time grammar really gets to me is in the newspaper, especially if AP was connected to the article. Where are the editors? It's like Mr. Trump was making the corrections some days. Believe me. Sad.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for AP to respect the Oxford comma

rondo 3:43 PM  

@D,LIW - funniest thing I ever saw about the use of commas:
The panda eats, shoots, and leaves.

Diana,LIW 5:24 PM  

My favorite? "I dedicate this book to my parents, the Pope and Mother Teresa."

Or - commas save lives. "Let's eat Grandma," is soooo different when punctuated: "Let's eat, Grandma."

There are two punctuation guides that begin their titles with "Eats, Shoots and Leaves."

"Lapsing Into a Comma" and "Woe is I" were two favorite grammar guides I used with my students. Here's a poem from "Woe is I." (I don't know how to activate the underline or italics functions on the blog. Hence, the quotes around titles. Said the Luddite.)

"Comma Sense"
Commas, which cut out the fat,
Go with which, never with that

Diana, LIW, not a robot

rain forest 12:35 AM  

Time flies like an arrow. Play around with that, folks.

It's probably not worth commenting about, but those who cringe at the word "nazi" are too precious by half. What about ISIS?

People can adhere to acceptable English, or just say whatever they want to. Where do you stand on that? No comment.

I found the puzzle easy. Can you say "wheelhouse", whatever that really means? Really nice cluing with which I had a clue every time.

Anyway, way late, as so often happens, babysitting and island-hopping as I was, but this was a good one.

Diana,LIW 11:05 AM  

Fruit flies like a banana.

Diana, LIW

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