Climactic scene in Eminem film 8 mile / SAT 7-8-17 / Astrologer known for annual forecast books / Certain Confucian compilation / 1960s TV character who says Aw shucks

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (or deathly, I guess, if you couldn't get proper traction in one or both of those 4x9 corners)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: bear trap (21A: Bear trap fearer => CBER) —
[from wikipedia's "List of CB slang" page]
• • •

Not a full puzzle. More like half a puzzle. NW and SE corners are harmless diversions, unfilling appetizers, easily dispatched. The only challenge here are those 4x9 blocks of white space in the NE and SW. For me, those sections put up a little fight, but not that much. I can see how they might've buried a solver. I feel like I was just one RAP BATTLE away from disaster in the NE, with the Acrosses helping me hardly at all—had the HEAD but not the STAND (I thought TWIRL (?)); had PYLE for OPIE at first (18A: 1960s TV character who says "Aw, shucks"); had SLIGHTS (!?) instead of SLIDERS (39A: Little beefs?). Further, I had TOSSING instead of SLAYING (25D: Doing away with). And yet somehow I finagled the DARTS part of BEER DARTS (12D: Pub game), and switched PYLE to OPIE, and then decided to just force RAP BATTLE in there, since that was my memory of the movie (and it fit) (10D: Climactic scene in the Eminem film "8 Mile") (R.I.P. Curtis Hanson). And then everything shifted in my favor. SW corner threatened disaster as well—had only AMENITY thrown across that section for a bit. But then I guessed either TURPITUDE or REVILE, and OVERRULED followed, and then things really fell into place (with a brief interlude of errancy, wherein I had CRAFT FAIR at 29D: Outlet for artisans (CRAFT SHOW).

The rest of this puzzle was cake. MORPH for ADAPT (1D: Change into something else) was the only hold-up in either of those sections. Not nearly as much joy into today's offering, compared to yesterday's. I do like the symmetrical "I'LL PASS" / "YOU'RE ON" pairing. Nice touch. But the rest was kind of a shrug, both content- and clue-wise.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:18 AM  

NW and SE easy, NE and SW tough, so medium for me. My last entry was changing SHOp to SHOW in the SW corner (pEDS was just not doing it).

Alter before ADAPT and aone before HALE.

I've seen the TBILISI clue often enough so it would be a gimme if I could just remember how to spell it.

I thought the tens stacks were excellent, liked it a bunch.

WhoisMark 12:32 AM  

I had PODS where WEDS went in making a verb out of a space pod connecting to a bigger ship. CRAFTFAIR did not worK and CRAFTSHOP was a guess. My spelling for TURPITUDE was off as I had TERPITUDE leaving my food word as REMOELADO too far off to spot REMOULADE which I may have vaguely recognized.

Another error I was able to fix was having NRA shooting before the NBA.

Unknown 12:33 AM  

SunniER instead of SMARTER, "no clue" instead of "no PROB", and bannING instead of SLAYING ("confirmed" by the incorrect SunniER cross) did me in ... after googling RAPBATTLE (never seen the movie), I was able to finish the puzzle. Great workout for me!

puzzlehoarder 12:35 AM  

Once again I started in the NE. The NW filled in shortly thereafter. I was forced to go clockwise as I misread the 26A clue as "Midline bra parts" and put in SNAPS. I then compounded it with a TSBLISI misspelling. All this was cleared up when I came back around. That SE corner was by far the weakest part of the puzzle. Great stacks though. The cross of REMOULADE and SLUR cost me a few extra minutes "just to be sure." The first is a debut and completely unknown to me. Until after I solved and looked it up I thought the 50A clue referred to sports. One more thing. In the year and a half since it's last use I've completely forgotten what ISP stood for. Good grief.

Thomas 12:48 AM  

Pets before PROB; ShARpER before SMARTER; hand up for SHOp before SHOW to finish in below average time.
Liked it.

Unknown 1:20 AM  

I've never heard of a "cast-iron" alibi. Ironclad maybe.

chefwen 2:08 AM  

Had a couple of the same mistakes as @Mark Barrett had, NRA before NBA, CRAFT fair before SHOW. Pottery partner and I went to many CRAFT SHOWS to sell our creations. Tons of fun and we made some money, not enough to make us rich, but it was a lot of fun and we met some great people. He was better on the wheel, the guy could take a half bag of clay and produce an enormous pot or bowl in 15 minutes. I would take an eighth of the clay and produce, maybe a kitty dish. Oh well, I settled on sculpting, that didn't take as much strength.

Wanted Fife before OPIE, right show, wrong character.

Been on a Cheeseburger SLIDER binge lately. Gotta get over that one soon.

Mike in Mountain View 3:30 AM  

@Rex: pylE before OPIE. @JAE: SHOp pEDS before SHOW WEDS.

I'm usually not on Steinberg's wavelength, but this played on the easy side for a Saturday.

Anonymous 4:07 AM  

I hated this one to no end. Someone ought to explain to the NY Times that it's no longer the 1960s. OPIE? No PROB? Also, DDRIVE is not a PC concept; it's a Windows concept. And I react to Sydney OMARR (and any other such astrologist) the way Rex reacts to Nigel Farage.

Plus ADAMSAPPLE? The 1960s called. They wanted to explain they had female professors at universities then, too.

BarbieBarbie 5:03 AM  

Slights would be insults. Beefs in that part of lexicon-space would be complaints. Tsk, Rex.

Liked it, no problems, 30% off my average so must have been easy. @Mark, I had NRA for a bit too- sign of the times.

Could not figure out how to squeeze BEAVER into four squares so I had to come back around to get OPIE. Shicks. Anyone ever see that episode where Opie gets a bird with his slingshot and then tries to make it fly again? Poor Richie. I mean Winthrop. I mean Opie.

evil doug 5:22 AM  

Yeah, that P in PERP made me sure that morPh was correct.

"What "O" may symbolize": I wanted Oprah. Doesn't she own the copyright of that letter?

Had moniTORED for a while, and no 'more'. PROCTORED and PROB are neater answers.

Yeah, I went with CRAFTSHOp, and there's my one ERRor. A dam sapple...EYELET it SLIDErs. O, PIE!

B CUPS are fine. NO FAT. (That's for you, honey....)

Lewis 7:22 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 7:26 AM  

This made me work in a good way; enjoyed it immensely. Three random thoughts:
* The clue for ADAMS_APPLE was so out there it completely charmed me.
* What opened this puzzle for me was pulling ORIENTEER out of the fog in the nether reaches of my brain.
* HEADSTAND would look better as a down word.

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

B CUPS "medium?" - someone has low standards! (C is the average bra size)

Thomaso808 7:35 AM  

Three nine letter debuts side by side in the same 4x9 stack. PROCTORED, RAPBATTLE, and ORIENTEER. That's good.

I went through all the clues one time and had four maybe's penciled in with no crosses. Then went back through to work it, work it, work it and eventually got through it. That's a good Saturday. I agree with Rex a little on the easy side, and first had Pyle and CRAFTfair, too.

23D Capital of Georgia could have also been ATLANTA or DOLLARS. The usual misdirect for foreign currency didn't really work.

26A "Midsize bra parts" I think there's A, B, C, and D cups but I never heard of E cups so that seriously held me back on the first letter. What's the middle of four gradations of size? There's no E, right? Just asking.

Anon 4:07 the clue said "Aw shucks" so better get your 50's/60's on if you want to solve. Fife, Pyle, and OPIE all are legit. Any idea what a LEM is -- yeah, 1969. DECADESOLD is a NYT debut today, by a constructor who is still in college! Whaaat? How did you like that 500 BC reference to NEMEA, which was about the same time as the ODEON? Deal with it.

Good puzzle by David Steinberg., a constructor who put ASS in 1A!

evil doug 7:45 AM  

Frank: You know about the cup sizes and all? They have different cups.

George: I-I know about the cups.

Frank: You got the A, B, C the D. That's the biggest.

George: I know the D is the biggest. I've based my whole life on knowing that the D is the biggest.

Estelle: Here, here's the bra.

Frank: Let me see it.

Estelle: 100% lycra-spandex.

Frank: Let me see it.

Estelle: I told you. Here, think you know everything?

Frank: Hmm, that's surprising. All right, what else? You got the cups in the front, two loops in the back. All right, I guess that's about it.

George: I got it. Cups in the front, loops in the back.

Glimmerglass 7:47 AM  

SW got me. I put an A between the T and the B at the start of TBLISI. ACUP? What do I know? But the big problem was sticking with CRAFTfair. I remebered REMOULADE very late, but fair made nonsense of the last four acrosses in the SW. Good Saturday challenge for me.

Anonymous 7:52 AM  

I enjoyed this one. Amazing how often I make the same mistakes as Rex (morph, craft fair, etc). Last Saturday I finished in record time - fun in a way but I prefer a Saturday like this one. Today's took me twice as long as last week's.

Has anyone done today's acrostic? It didn't quite make me lol but it's a pretty funny quote.

FPBear 8:01 AM  

Installed a computer at Bali Bra in the 60's. Largest was DD. Joke was "what do you have if you cut 50 44DDs in half?" "100 yarmulkes with chin straps."

RAD2626 8:23 AM  

Sticking with morph for a bit slowed the NW down but agree with general assessment of difficulty. B CUPS and D DRIVE pretty random but crosses were pretty obvious so no complaint. Cluing pretty straightforward for a Saturday. Read clue as Last place for some reason so EYELET was my last entry. Hand up for NrA. Liked how few obscure proper nouns there were, or at least it seemed that way without counting. Went with DECADES ago and CRAFT Sale (had SLUR) but still managed to finish a couple of minutes below Saturday average. Fun puzzle - three in a row in my book.

QuasiMojo 8:29 AM  

I was congratulating myself for being so devilishly clever in mastering this devious David Steinberg puzzler. But then I got stuck in the top right corner due to a few misdeeds. I had SHARPER before SMARTER. PYLE before OPIE. IBEX before CBER. SKY BATTLE before RAP BATTLE (whatever that is!) In short, I was flummoxed and flailing. But I cheated with one tiny letter (the C in CBER) and then finished it off in a few frenzied seconds. Here where I live, HOVERBOARDs are commonplace, not Sci-Fi. All in all a challenge, but a fun one.

SouthsideJohnny 8:44 AM  

Thomas - LEM stands for Lunar Excursion Module, which landed on the moon.

More Whit 8:45 AM  

Exactly. I cook eggs in a cast iron skillet, not alibis.

More Whit 8:49 AM  

I've tried the ADAMSAPPLE scenario six ways to Sunday and none of them work. I agree 100%.

More Whit 8:52 AM  

And you wanna be my latex salesman. I'd say more but I need to get back to the Penske file.

More Whit 9:08 AM  

I had many of the same misteps as above: morph/Aone/NRA/ and others. Solved the puzzle eventually but alibi, Adam's apple, and slur added up to a thumbs down on this one.

Nancy 9:21 AM  

Loved it! Like @Lewis, I had to work, but in a most enjoyable way. I've said it before and I'll say it again: DS has gone from being one of my least favorite constructors to one of my absolute faves. I believe that's because he listened to his critics -- solvers like me who wanted a lot less contemporary arcane trivia and a lot more wordplay and the chance to genuinely "puzzle" things out -- and now he's giving it to us. He can do it all, and I think he has a chance to become his generation's premium constructor.

I, too, was put off by the gender-specific ADAM'S APPLE, and think it should have been clued differently. I would say a B CUP is most definitely a "midsize" bra measurement and am thinking that perhaps the males protesting here have been watching too much Internet porn. I didn't know break dancing was quite that...strenuous. I don't know any CBER slang, so that was a surprise when it came in. I had RA_BATTLE, a WOE, but then I did know that Eminem is a RAP singer. I was happy that SMARTER remained SMARTER; I had worried that it might turn out to be SHINIER. I've never heard of a "competitor" called an ORIENTEER. So plenty here for me to contend with, but I managed to figure it all out. Much fun.

Teedmn 9:25 AM  

I was CROWING to myself how easy this puzzle was, atarting in the NW; avoiding "morph" by seeing SEDER in time and correcting my DECADES ago, swinging down to TBILISI as if I knew geography, coming up with REVILE and AMENITY off the L and I...but then I stopped. Stymied by not knowing how to finish HEAD-, taking out both IRE and NrA in the SE, having ERat in place of ERGO, all worked to put the brakes on my D DRIVE through the grid.

In fact, a sudden inspiration at 42D's D DRIVE (after DVR ROM, etc. etc. didn't work) led me to TURPITUDE and that wrapped the SW. I don't remember how I finally came to finish the NE. I think 33A was my entry. I had been thinking ShiniER (MELO, a Knicks clue? That wasn't happening!) But somewhere along the line, SMARTER appeared, leading to BATTLE. Changing my LOTsA to LOTTA was the last crack in the wall of white.

_BER - bear trap and uBER didn't work, so I didn't put it in. But that and NrA were my only real ERRors in thinking.

Thanks, David Steinberg, for the welcome Saturday workout!

Teedmn 9:28 AM  

PS: Did anyone else consider "geo-cacher" for 11D? I see from Google, post-solve, that cachers use GPS, not a map and compass, but that's what I thought of first there.

Birchbark 9:29 AM  

CRAFTFAIR --> CRAFTSHOP --> CRAFTSHOW. THUS -->ERGO. ACTS --> AMPS. PERT --> PERK. TREPITUDE (my bad) --> TURPITUDE. NBA -->NRA. AONE (crossing CRAFTFAIR) --> HALE. I would say this puzzle's theme was ADAPT.

RooMonster 9:40 AM  

Hey All !
SW harder than NE here. Clue/answer Vituperate/REVILE a big ole WOE. SLUR/HALE/ODES also tough to get, and crossing REMOULADE?? Wow. Do they even sell that sauce anymore?

Agree with rest of puz being mediumish. Hang up on S NEMEA/LEM. I think LEM is trying to claw its way into the ole brain, but still not sure. A space vehicle? Anyone?

Clever (read: ASS-ish [no offense DS!]) misdirect on NBA. Had NrA at first. Also SEDER with a C, giving me AcS for ASS. Big question mark in my head on that. Duh! But I never claimed to be LOTTA SMARTER than y'all. Hey, to ERR is No PROB, or something.


Kdunk 10:11 AM  

ALLOY for ALIBI made for a big old mess in the NW for me. The second L made LAN for ISP, the Y for YOU WISH and it was down down down the rabbit hole. I'd feel worse about it if iron-clad wasn't so much more prevalent a usage.

Two Ponies 10:12 AM  

Had to pause, walk the dogs, pour a fresh coffee and then I finally got it. David Steinberg usually defeats me badly.
O = Hug. Great clue. So was bear trap fearer. More real bears than state troopers where I live so it was difficult to shake a more literal answer from my thinking.
If you geo cache you are cheating. Orienteering is a real challenge and the skills are valuable - no batteries required.
B cups will be your friends for life. C and D will end up at your knees. Gravity always wins.
Anon 4:07, Are you implying that female lecturers do not have adam's apples?
Thanks for the Seinfeld @ evil doug, great episode.

DBlock 10:27 AM  

Never having seen 8 Mile, linking Eminem to violence against women and the Adam's Apple answer putting me in a mood, I put deer into the bear trap answer which set up some sort of rape experience in the NE
So I finished the rest of the puzzle which was appropriately Saturday good and kept tinkering in the NE
shinier?? Lotsa?? But eventually the clouds parted
And evil Doug -- so glad you invoke appropriate Seinfeld scene

DBlock 10:29 AM  

And yes thought both geocachers and craft fare at first

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

I am a woman. I know a single woman did not look at or approve that clue for BCUPS. I know I only got it on the cross, because B is not midsize in the least.

B is on the small side of the spectrum, which goes way beyond D. You have J, K, and even more, though people tend to look into breast reductions at that point because of back pain.

In addition, cup size isn't fixed. It is always relative to band size, so, say, a 28E is not the same size cup as a 38E.

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

Bear trap fearer was a great clue--best in puzzle. I also thought of geocacher but couldn't remember the whole word. I just couldn't get geo to fit well. I struggled and didn't think I would finish but finally overcame. YEAH!

jberg 10:44 AM  

This felt tough, almost entirely because of the cluing, so I enjoyed it a lot, like @Nancy. HOVER craft, CRAFT mart/fair/show/SHOP, and having no idea about Knicks nicknames didn't help. And even though I knew 9A couldn't be the obvious SH__, that kept me from seeing anything else. Also putting in TBlisi and wondering where the extra letter went.

I didn't think Confucius wrote ODES, but it turns out he didn't -- he compiled them into a book. Everyone else knew that, right?

TrudyJ 10:46 AM  

Tragic DNF for me. Because I had CRAFT SHOP instead of CRAFT SHOW, everything was off in that corner. Could not grasp the clue for SLUR and tried to make SPUR work. The whole mess involved convincing myself that PODS could mean "Links" (how??) and, best of all, making up a name for something similar to tartar sauce. Having never heard of REMOULADE, I got buried under a huge pile of REMOUPADO in that corner and could not dig myself out.

Diana,LIW 10:47 AM  

@LMS - just in case you didn't catch my late-in-the-day entreaty to you yesterday, please do all of us a favor and sit down and write that book that's clearly lurking inside you. I want to come to your first book signing! You, Loren, are a writer.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting (from syndieland) for Crosswords

TrudyJ 10:50 AM  

Oh and I agree with Anonymous about bra size. Anyone who thinks D is the biggest doesn't have bog ones -- or if she does, she's never been to a quality bra shop.

Mohair Sam 10:58 AM  

@Teedmn - YES! You have no idea how much time "geocacher" cost us in the NE. It was our first entry - such an obvious gimme. Then we threw in the obvious CRAFTfair in the SW, our second gimme. Jesus, I'm surprised we ever finished.

There was some TURPITUDE in this puppy for sure. What a BATTLE, we loved it. Great misdirects for SLIDERS, CBER, and EYELETS. Spent ten minutes trying to get Naples down to five letters - GENOA, who knew? You learn something every day in the NYT puzz. Thinking about that "Storage Wars" show - anybody else remember when A&E took that "Arts" in their name seriously? Lady M got TRYST off just the second T, hmmm.

Hand up for morph before ADAPT. In fact hand up for falling for every freaking misdirect in the puzzle.

Nice work Steinberg, you fiend.

Churlish Nabob 11:05 AM  

Anything more than a good handful is a waste of ... er, never mind.

Carola 11:14 AM  

Enjoyed it. For me, it was 3 parts easy to one part challenging: three crosses got me three of the quadrants - ADAPT x PERP, FORES x REMOULADE, GENOA x ERGO, but I had to scale the NE from base camp at SLIDERS.

Milestone: spelling TBILISI correctly on the first try. Found out I didn't know: what "vituperate" means. Liked BO PEEP and her LEA.

AW 11:16 AM  

Sank me without a trace. ADAMSAPPLE? Do women's bob like men's? Don't think so. Didn't realize ORIENTEERS were part of a competitive sport. Don't think so. Who uses citizens band radios anymore so would know what a BEARTRAP was? And since I get hives even thinking about rap, I'd rather put an eye out than see 8 Mile and don't give a ...'s a... about RAPBATTLEs. Ditto all sports references, like the unguessable MELO. Phooey! Bah! Ruined my day.

GILL I. 11:17 AM  

I'm loving Saturday David Steinberg. Like @Nancy, he's grown on me. Can't have his puzzle without an ASS and a bra reference. Speaking of ASS, I had RAT at first. I thought an ASS was just a jerk - a big jerk. While a rat is pretty contemptible. Bra's are bad for you. Just let them all hang out. Sag is the new "in."
@Anony 4:07 Both sexes have a goozle. Some bigger than others.
REMOULADE just with the R from CROWING. I love that stuff. Store bought tartar sauce is awful. I make REMOULADE for just about anything - especially for dipping your french fries and some bodacious crab cakes.
I had just a few PROB areas but otherwise this was just plain fun. It took the same coffee break and dog walk as @Two Ponies, but I had fun with this.
We need more TURPITUDE ORIENTEER's in our puzzles.

Z 11:19 AM  

I put "cast-iron alibi" into my search engine and got lots of hits, this IMDB listing and this NPR book review for example. "Iron clad" strikes me as more common, but cast iron ALIBIs are the rum raisin of popular ALIBIs.

LaurieG in Connecticut 11:19 AM  

we got a kick out of it since my BIL and SIL both work there.

Z 11:30 AM  

Oh yeah - CUP sizes. "Mid size" is a descriptor for cars, not clothing or body parts, so awkward.

Trombone Tom 11:35 AM  

Mr. Steinberg is often a challenge for me and this was no exception. I print the puzzle out and had so many write-overs in the NE that the entire section was barely readable.

Eminem's film was an unknown.


That wonderful CBER was the last to fall.

Out here in NorCal we are experiencing daily fires. Thinking positive thoughts for those affected and first responders. It's going to be a long fire season.

Malsdemare 11:53 AM  

DNF here. I worked my way solidly through the NW, SW, and SE and then screeched to a halt. I really wanted geocachER for 11D and just wouldn't let go. That prevented me from seeing anything else. There didn't seem to be anyplace I could get a toehold. I was thinking fyfE or OPIE for 18A but that wasn't working with my map/compass gamer, I have no idea who the Knicks player is/was (still don't), wanted ShiniER for SMARTER. What a mess! But it still was an agreeable way to dawdle away time on this hot morning, with editing and window washing waiting in the wings.

Took forever for me to understand EYELET for lace place. My brain was stubbornly on the Alençon/bodice/antimacassar highway with no exit in sight. Sheesh!

Nice puzzle, DS. I have no PROB swallowing defeat when the puz is this fair.

mathgent 11:59 AM  

I liked it because I learned a lot. But no wordplay. The closest was "Little beefs?" for sliders.

Learned what ties and slurs are in music. Also that Confucius compiled a set of ancient Chinese poems which are called the Confucian Odes. And TBILISI (I was trying to remember Russian money not rubles). And REMOULADE.

More admiration (for the cleanness of the entries and the intelligent non-routine cluing) than love.

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

Women have ADAMS APPLEs, they're just less prominent than men's. They are attached to the larynx, so whenever one speaks their Adams Apple moves, regardless of gender. Nothing at all wrong with the clue.

fiddleneck 12:24 PM  

Why is a perp a kind of walk?

GHarris 12:46 PM  

When cops parade arrestees before the press it's called a perp (perpetrator) walk. CBers don't fear bear traps, speeders do.

Wick 12:55 PM  

A "perp walk" is when the police bring in a suspect as a publicity stunt.

Wick 12:56 PM  

Death by SW: CRAFTFARE / AONE (instead of HALE)

Trombone Tom 1:04 PM  

@Wick, hand up for CRAFTfair-->CRAFTSHOW and aone-->HALE, among the contributions to my messy printout.

old timer 1:04 PM  

I Googled for RAPBATTLE and still had a DNF. Because CRAFT sale with "aone" seemed wrong, so a then had CRAFT shop and HALE and, down there, "peds". Simply could not see WEDS and "links" is a horrible clue for WEDS. Surely the trickiest clue though was "little beefs" for SLIDERS. Bravo there, Mr. Steinberg!

I admired GENOA over ROMA. Never knew GENOA was the #1 port though. Thought it might be Liverno (Leghorn to the Brits) or La Spezia.

Two Ponies 1:21 PM  

Christopher Columbus was from Genoa. So I figured that might be the port in the clue. I had no idea of its ranking in size.

Joe Bleaux 1:24 PM  

Another great Steinberg toughie. NE was a beast (hand up on Opie's not being the best answer for the clue). I groused about a couple of clues til I thought about them (the sci-fi hoverboard, for example ... ah, yes, Back to the Future). This one made me glad I don't time my solves -- very satisfied with just finishing this Saturday special.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  


Har har! You got me with your beaver comment!! Really funny. Great stuff.
But the best part is I can think of a four letter word that would fit. It's sometimes used as a synonym for beaver. I'm guessing you and @Aketi know it well. Probably been used to describe you. And your boyfriend @Z.

Your old prudish pal

Hungry Mother 1:47 PM  

Had "C" instead of "B" at first.

Aketi 1:55 PM  

@Two Ponies, in my line of work, I look at breasts all the time and the variation is amazing, but a I have to disagree about the size of the breast determining the degree of future descent. It is all about the genes for skin elasticity. I've worked with women who have had babies into their fifties who still have pert breasts that are much larger than B CUPS, just as I have seen much younger women who have B cup or smaller breasts that are what we call in my line of work "elastic". One French scientist created controversy when the unpublished results of his study suggested that breasts sag less if you don't wear a bra, but even he admitted his results are not yet definitive. I'm not sure that I trust this particular source, but I have read other articles also claiming that breast sizes have increased over the years independent of breast augmentations.

Masked and Anonymous 1:59 PM  

Primo stuff.

Solvequest by puzzone:

NW - Coulda been a contender, but the top black un-stack-er square enabled the easy ASS, and this zone became pretty straightforward in a matter of nanoseconds. Nice, smooth fill, tho, thanx U.

SE - Same story, on the un-stacker square. DDRIVE was a nice ddesperate ddiversion. Didn't know OMARR, but hate to call him desperrate fill, since I don't know how big he is in the mysterious (to m&e) astrology biz. Still: next easiest zone, after the NW. Contains staff weejecta pick of: TRE.

NE - Got SEE/ODEON on the edge real quick. This led to the -ING starter for SLAYING. Splatzed in MESSA, but traded it in for LOTTA, pronto. Figured on a -DARTS ending for the BEERDARTS entry. Then thought of SLIDERS. Then thought of SHARPER where SMARTER went. Anyhoo, messa ups and downs -- but survived this zone by just tryin lotsa different stuff, til the corner was filled and my cinnamon roll was covered in eraser dust.

SW - Hardest zone by far, at our house. Couldn't spell TBILISI right, even if @jae's (yo!) life depended on it. "Vituperate" clue was nasty, since I didn't know what that meant, other than it gave me a sorta "do bad" vibe, for some reason. Eventually, PuzEatinSpouse mentioned she vaguely knew of a REMOLADE sauce … and numerous humorous expanded permutations ensued. Budgie was covered in eraser dust, at puz end, but M&A got the best of this fighter griddemon varmint, and then re-righted all the furniture.

Thanx for the feistfun, Steinbergmeister. DDEMONIC, ddude.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Ando 2:43 PM  

Is someone who goes orienteering really an 'orienteer'? I have that merit badge (or, had it decades ago) so I should probably know, but it held me up for a while thinking 'orienteer' was the verb and so probably incorrect.

Phil 3:11 PM  

And CEILINGFAN didn't bring any fresh air to it so HOVERBOARD took some time to transport in?

Aketi 4:14 PM  

I went from the CRAFT fair to the SHop to the SHOW.

@Trombone Tom, sorry about the fires and since my brother was a firefighter in Northern California I appreciate the sentiment.

@Phil Phil, isn't a CEILING FAN made up of HOVERIng BOARDS? Our BAD ASS FAT CAT once tried to leap from the top of the bunk bed to the CEILING FAN, fortunately not when the BOARDS were hovering.

I was incapable of saying I'LL PASS to Rex's dare yesterday. It was YOU'RE ON. The West Side Emack and Bolio's had the flavor of my quest listed on the menu, but they were out of stock. The server declared it "a classic". On the East Side, the flavor was not listed on the board but it was in stock and the server declared it his favorite. The infusion of the alcoholic beverage in the key ingredient was perfect. Just enough to get the flavor without making the key ingredient too mushy. It was well worth the trip across town.

Babs of Hollywood 5:37 PM  

With eyelet and sliders in place, I worked under the assumption that 11D would be "scavenger," as in scavenger hunt. Ugh. Held me up forever...

Anonymous 6:11 PM  

FAKE NEWS FLASH - Haagen Daz stock hits record high driven by unexpected skyrocketing demand for its popular flavor RUM RAISIN.

Anonymous 6:24 PM  

I've played darts in plenty of bars but I've never played BEER DARTS so that tripped me up. Also never heard of ORIENTEERing as a competitive sport. PROCTOR slipped my mind, never heard of a "bear trap" in the context of driving, so that corner took me a very long time.

I'm surprised RAP BATTLE gave so many people difficulty. It was a critically acclaimed movie and it won an Oscar for its music. I figured everyone at least knew it was about rap competitions. Great performance by Brittany Murphy too.

Questinia 7:53 PM  

Like @jae, change from peds to weds finished it.

Joe Dipinto 10:24 PM  

The 4x4 block in the northeast was the toughest part for me. With everything else filled in, all I could see was MONITORED for 9d, but I was also sure that 10d had to be RAP BATTLE. So ultimately I went through the alphabet to figure out what letter might precede R in "No ___!", came up with PROB, and then the rest clicked into place. It had been a very smooth solve before I hit that corner

Aside from that, I think this is a great puzzle. Loved RÉMOULADE, TURPITUDE, AMENITY and OVERRULED in the bottom left section. Really good stuff. Young Mr. Steinberg has, um, a way with words!

Larry Gilstrap 1:48 AM  

Way late to the party, but here goes: if a person of any gender has an ADAM'S APPLE and that person is lecturing, then that appendage is moving. Read the clue literally! On to Sunday.

Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Always last and a day late. SW slow to develop because of Craft Fair confirmed by flam, as in flam and paradiddle. I thought, " That clever DS for knowing arcane drum terms."

Kate 1:29 PM  

Rum raisin is a Hagen Daas flavor and is my husband's favorite.

Anonymous 4:42 PM  

I am not seeing how O = hug

Anonymous 8:56 PM  

I'm sure this is not the first time you've heard this, but your I'm-smarter-than-everyone-else commentary of the clues is so irritating. If these are the things that you find "rage-inducing" then I wonder how you feel about the reports of atrocities in Syria. I supposed this what you consider "writing with passion" by why you think that means acting like everything is stupid and beneath you is beyond me. As an English teacher, you should know better: criticism does not equal snarky and egocentric.

Anonymous 12:48 AM  

XOXO = hugs & kisses

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Without a clue 8:39 PM  

Is it just me or does anyone else get a kick out of DS including a female undergarment reference in nearly every puzzle submitted to NYT. Of course, he is a teenage boy, so easy enough to understand and excuse the fixation. Never fails to bring a smile to my wife and me as we search for, and inevitably find, the clue to his obsession.

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rondo 10:18 AM  

Like some other folks I fell into the morPh trap and had an aonE CRAFTSale before the tasty REMOULADE saved that. My little beefs started as heIfERS until the NBA's (not NrA) CarMELO Anthony saved them. Also had a cast iron Anvil, shoulda known better because Anvils are made of steel, cast iron being too brittle for that work. That's my ALIBI and I'm sticking to it. ORIENTEER a gimme.

DS seems to sparingly use yeah babies so I'll refer to the 8 Mile clue for yeah baby Kim Basinger who played Eminem's mother. Decidedly larger than BCUPS there.

+/- 35 minute workout. Very fair clues/answers IMHO. Regardless of the scattered little inkfests, I have nothing to REVILE here.

Burma Shave 10:43 AM  


It's RARE I'LLPASS on a TRYST with a whole LOTTA grapple,
YOU SEE BOPEEP won't get kissed, ERGO her ADAMSAPPLE.


thefogman 11:33 AM  
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thefogman 11:41 AM  

Let's TRYST again. Like we did last summer...

Oy vey! That was a tough one. Went though a few feet of whiteout tape but finally managed to muddle my way to the finish. The NE corner had a higher concentration of the white stuff than the rest of the grid thanks in large part to Eminem's RAPBATTLE.

I don't mean to say this in a braggadocious way, but did David Steinberg have Trump in mind when he constructed the puzzle? ASS, ALIBI, CROWING, TURPITUDE, SLUR, REVILE, IRE, PROB, PERP and SLIDERS(in the polls)...

I had IRK before IRE because IRK is the more accurate connotation of DUDGEON in my opinion. The cluing should have evoked a word relating to anger as the solution (not resentment) as DUDGEON does.

kathy of the tower 11:46 AM  

Love the word TURPITUDE. I was hoping that would be the answer.
I needed to ask my husband about MELO.

My first answer didn't come until TRE. I was a bit worried about getting the puzzle finished, but I soldiered on and ultimately did it.

After the prompt of CRAFTSHOW I'm going to spend the rest of the morning quilting.

spacecraft 12:37 PM  

DNF on account of the NE. Couldn't let go of mOre for "No____!" and moniTORED. The bear trap fearer I never did suss; CBER just didn't come--and was but one of several letter-added entries. I never heard of BEERDARTS--it's simply darts. Yeah, you play for beers, but...really green green paint on that one. And PROB?? Come on, let's be fair. Nobody's going to get that. ORIENTEER?? What's that, an Asian who works for free?? Ne. Ver. Heardofit. And the coup de grace: a scene from a movie I have never seen and have no desire EVER to see.

Not that failing to finish was disappointing. Those above-mentioned extra letter items impart no joy--not even BCUPS. DDRIVE is worse, and even David doesn't have immunity for 49-down. Our young virtuoso usually takes more care with the fill; I'm dismayed. Bogey.

P.S. A belated welcome to a new, and apparently steady, syndicated contributor: @thefogman. Nice to see fresh bloo--I mean, hi there!

Diana,LIW 2:09 PM  

The NW and SE were easiER, but not easy for me - several erasures.

But my judge declared "innocence" crossed with "a-one" condition and left me with naught to crow about. Got the bottom half of the NE, but couldn't get "No sh**" outta my head. Yeah. CBER - cleaver way with words there. (Hi Smokey)

Had to laugh at the "skews old" comments from some, considering the constructor. It's all fair...and fun.

Good to see the @ToweringKathy again.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 2:37 PM  

@thefogman and @kathy of the tower. Welcome to syndiland. Hope you hang around.

@Rondo - I'd say that 35 minutes is quick on this baby. More than an hour here.

The NW and SE were quite a bit easier (less difficult) for me. DDRIVE is an unknown to me and made me doubt ODEON for awhile. Getting SEE and MELO got me into the NE where the bottom part filled in sort of easily, but the top was plain challenging. I know about ORIENTEERing, but I waited because I thought ORIENTEER was a verb. Once I accepted it, I got rid of "more" and "Pyle".

Is BEER DARTS different from DARTS? Hi @Spacey. CBER was wicked. Speaking of which TURPITUDE was the key to the SW, but I went from faiR to Sail to SHOp to, finally SHOW before claiming victory.

Tough, but fair, I say.

thefogman 3:18 PM  

Big (((((hugs!))))) to everyone who sent me such kind words on this crossword blog.

leftcoastTAM 4:06 PM  

Clever, fair, and mostly fun and current as DS's puzzles usually are.

It was on the up side of medium for me. In SW corner, went from CRAFT fair to shop and stayed there, unfortunately, which left pEDS instead of WEDS at bottom.

Dumbly stayed with NrA, not even considering NBA, in the SE. Also didn't know OMARR, which left me with HOVER something. HOVERBOARD doesn't sound very sci-fi to me.

SLUR as "score symbol..."? Left it in, but an unknown.

thefogman 4:21 PM  

To Lefty above - The clue to 50A refers to a musical score and is not sports related. In music a slur is when two notes are played together without separation i.e. legato style.
A tie is a curved line connecting the heads of two notes of the same pitch and name, indicating that they are to be played as a single note with a duration equal to the sum of the individual notes' values. A slur is indicated by a curvy line that begins at the first note of the slur group and continues to the last note. ... A "tie" is a similar curved line that joins two notes of the same pitch.

leftcoastTAM 4:33 PM  

@thefogman-- Thanks; good, clear definition. Saved me the trouble of looking it up.

Diana,LIW 7:23 PM  

The Syndies play together so well. No sniping like, well, you know who. At ACPT someone asked me if I'd ever be getting a subscription and switching to Futureland. No, no, no. I'll stick with the Synders!

Lady Di

leftcoastTAM 8:33 PM  

I, too, want to say welcome to @thefogman and @kathy. Hope you two stay with us. We're a small group at the end of the blog and date lines, but as @Lady Di says, we're pretty friendly.

centralscrewtinizer 9:08 PM  

So then is syndieland what you call when people post after a month, or is it something else?

Tough puzzle. NE was toughest, mostly because I did not expect 'getting rid of' to involve murder, yikes. Even had ORIENTEERING and RAP BATTLE and still had to give up. Never heard of BEER DARTS.

Diana,LIW 9:45 PM  

Dear @Centralia

We "Syndies" are in "Syndieland" because we solve the puzzle when it is "syndicated" 5 weeks later than the original NYT puzzle (and folks who pay for the puzzle on line!) We are intrepid, and wait our turn, and solve with the best of them!

Lady Di, Waiting

thefogman 10:49 PM  

@centralscrewtinizer - BEERDARTS > BEERFARTS

Gloucester de la Vegas 4:19 PM  

Finished this, but took way too long because of "off" clues. I guess I'm just a believer in the crossword-concept that you can't just make things up or get them wrong.
The obvious ones:
4-across, "cast-iron" alibi...maybe there are a few usages, somewhere, versus "iron-clad"...but therefore, could I use "titanium","teflon" or "stainless steel" in a clue just because I think I thought I saw that usage somewhere?
9-down, "proctored" for the clue "Supervised". Proctoring is actually "administering" a test, not supervising it.
26-across, "midsize bra parts"...I won't belabor that "B" is not the middle of the range of bra sizes available (nor, it seems, the middle of breast sizes, in America anyway). But I've never heard a woman sizing up her bra as "compact, midsize..." and so on.
I didn't mind the misdirections this puzzler is obviously fond of. Nor even questionable usages like "fores" (really is never pluralized.) Nor "beer darts"...though, could I use "beer Scrabble", "beer tennis" or "beer poker" (versus "strip poker") as answers if I make a puzzle?
I guess in conclusion, sure, there can be fun in puzzles...but the fun shouldn't violate proper, thoughtful, genuine linguistic issues. Surely anyone could use endless "clever misdirections" and close-but-not-really synonyms/definitions/phrases to create a "valid" puzzle that no one could solve.

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