Floored / SAT 7-27-17 / First cover 1970 Dynamite Afros / 1984 Summer Olympics star / Ayn Rand hero / Rapper role 2015 film Dope / Dinar spenders / Fitness legend Jack / Eli Manning's team / 2015 NFL MVP / Sunset eg

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Constructor: Erik Agard

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (8:57)


Word of the Day: HOUR ANGLE (22D: Measurement in a celestial coordinate system) —
In astronomy and celestial navigation, the hour angle is one of the coordinates used in the equatorial coordinate system to give the direction of a point on the celestial sphere. The hour angle of a point is the angle between two planes: one containing the Earth's axis and the zenith (the meridian plane), and the other containing the Earth's axis and the given point (the hour circle passing through the point). The angle may be expressed as negative east of the meridian plane and positive west of the meridian plane, or as positive westward from 0° to 360°. The angle may be measured in degrees or in time, with 24h = 360° exactly. (Wikipedia)
• • •
Barbara Cheeseborough on the cover of the first issue of Essence, May 1970
I'm IN AWE (14A: Floored). What a fantastic themeless by my brilliant friend Erik Agard. So much fun stuff, great clues, entries that surprised me. My favorite: the $ in the name of A$AP ROCKY (7D: Rapper with a role in the 2015 film "Dope") crossing EA$Y MONEY (15A: Gain with little effort).

A$AP Rocky is (was?) dating Kendall Jenner, daughter of 34A: KRIS (First name on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians")

Favorite misdirection: 10D: Hackers' helpers for LOZENGES. I had the Z from MAGAZINE, and I'd thrown in the S for the plural (a solving tactic that helps most, but not all, of the time), and I kept thinking, BAZOOKAS? BUZZSAWS? either of those seem like overkill to get past a firewall ... you can't hack with MEZUZAHS ... or even GAZEBOES ... maybe GAZELLES would help? I also liked 13D: Hole near a tongue for EYELETS (which was prescient after yesterday's mortise and TENON controversy) -- I thought, GROOVE? Nah. And salivary DUCTS (1A: Heating system network) wasn't right. That whole NE section was the last bit I got. Overall, very little not to like in this grid; I guess it did have some CUTELY TWEEST EENY OWIE fill: your EFTS (53D: Pond juveniles), et ALIA (49A: Octavia's "others").

Writing for this blog on East Coast time is brutal; I get the puzzle on my iPad at 10pm, and since I'd rather stay up late than get up even earlier than I usually have to, this has made for a groggy week. What, then, does an intrepid blogger do to stay PRIMED (41D: Ready) for each night's puzzle? She TAKES A NAP (18A: "Rests ones eyes). So, NO BIG (47A: "Don't worry about it," slangily)

Here's a song from my days as a punk rock girl: "Bitchin' CAMARO" (6D: Firebird alternative)

  • 55D: Verizon purchase of 2006 (MCI) — Erik could've clued this as [1101, in Rome] or something else that you've seen 1,101 times. I'd rather have a fresh clue, even if it relies on knowledge of telecommunications mergers.
  • 30D: One lighting up the dance floor (DISCO BALL) — At first I had DISCO BOOT, then DISCO STU (but then I remembered that he doesn't advertise). 
  • 41A: "Close one!" (PHEW) — is what I'm still saying after what the SENS (5D: Political century: Abbr.) just put us through.
Signed, Laura Braunstein, Sorceress of CrossWorld

[Follow Laura on Twitter]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:08 AM  

Top half tough, bottom half easy, so medium?

ASAPROCKY was such a WOE that I INITIALly parsed it ASA PROCKY (Asa I've seen as a first name as in botanist Asa Gray). Google tells me its A$AP ROCKY...

AcES before AVES

Wanted EASY peasY but it would work with VENALLY.

CAN I LIVE is completely unfamiliar.

@Laura - It also took me a while to get passed computer hacker and go with chain smoker.

HOUR ANGLE was also a WOE.

I agree with @Laura, lots of fun stuff here.

Had to work a bit for this one, liked it!

Greg Charles 12:10 AM  

My best Saturday time ever, even though I'd never heard of ASAP Rocky. In fact, I read it as Asa Procky.

Trombone Tom 12:19 AM  

I work on paper so no Mr. Happy Pencil to help. I thought I finished, but guess it's a DNF because I missed the $ sign.

What a great puzzle from Mr. Agard! I felt I was really on the same wavelength until I hit the NE. I've never heard anyone use CAN I LIVE in this way and A$AP ROCKY was indeed a puzzlement (with or without the "$"). The other WOE was HOUR ANGLE.

Tried jAM before YAM and nil before 000. Not familiar with DAYSAILS but it sounds legitimate and what a great misdirect for a clue! And, since I'm just getting over a cold, the clue for LOZENGES was apropos and equally misleading.

Big props to Eric and Will for ending the week with one terrific puzzle and to Laura B. for keeping the home fires burning in such a pleasant way. Hope to see more of you.

Unknown 12:28 AM  

Intriguing puzzle by the talented @Erik Agard, and nice upbeat review by @Laura that clarified several of my points of uncertainty relating to some of the fill and/or clues. I entered ONE ON ONE DEFENSE with zero crossings, and kept toggling back and forth between that vs. the (ultimately correct) MAN TO MAN ... Another holdup was wHEW ahead of PHEW, which took a while to untangle; ditto for tDS ahead of YDS. OTOH ... TWEEST?! What are the rules on using the letter "O" to indicate the numeral "0" [see 26-Across; and note OOO is either a winning tic-tac-toe move, or a queen-side castle in chess]?

The clue for LOZENGES is very clever, as already noted, and appears adjacent to another very clever clue, for INITIAL. Though not previously familiar with DAYSAILS, it is somewhat inferable from its ? clue coupled with some of the crossing. "Adds to the pot" as a clue for STIRS IN might be asking the solver to think of the ANTES for poker games, but taken more literally, it works very well to an experimental chemist. Finally, @Erik's TIME clue reminds me of one I've used in my own puzzles, namely "Frequent flyer?" [Added in proof: speaking of fliers, I also had AcES ahead of AVES on 20-Across, as did @jae].

Unknown 12:29 AM  

Wow I can't believe you included bitchin camaro in this writeup, mad points there.

I finished with the NE as well.

William Mckenzie 1:00 AM  

Still don't get the sens thing. Is it because there's 100 of them?

Robin 1:29 AM  

No clue who ASAPROCKY might be but filled it in through crosses.

Ran into a bit of trouble because I entered CAMNEWmaN rather than CAMNEWTON. Lesser issues while finishing off because I had wHEW rather than PHEW.

Also a little bit of trouble because the rules for usage of ALIA vs. ALII are so confusing.

Nice enough Saturday puzzle. Except for ALIA, there was no crossword-ese to deal with. Maybe a couple clues that could have used a question mark at the end, such as DAYSAILS, or as Laura points out, on LOZENGES. But it's a Saturday, so maybe that misdirection is fair.

Kevin 1:41 AM  

William McKenzie - That's what I was thinking. But even though "century" can mean a group of 100 things, it does not make sense. The. SENATE is a century, not senators.

puzzlehoarder 1:43 AM  

It's back to the single letter dnf. I had ASAPRICKY. I've never heard of ROCKY either. That resetting clue completely fooled me. It's by no means a debut clue either. That Sunday puzzle from '07 I'm sure I didn't do. The 6/02/06 puzzle I did do. Those three Os are there in my own handwriting so yes I've seen the trick before. Those are the previous two times that clue has been used. Eleven years is awhile but common sense could have given me the answer irregardless. An interesting bit of trivia, Eric Galt was the alias that James Earl Ray used when he was stalking Dr. King.

Graham 1:52 AM  

Sub-average time, but still, some terrible stuff in here -- ASAP ROCKY, a non-famous rapper (two albums, Wikipedia tells me) crossing OOO (!?) and CAN I LIVE, which is not a thing. Not really sure about DAY SAILS, either -- it's apparently something yachters know about. And I don't know if TWEEST is the DEADEST superlative in the language, but it's close.

Cluing was fun, though (Orange side, indeed!).

Graham 1:55 AM  

Oh, almost forgot: HOUR ANGLE. If you're using obscure stuff you found in a crossword dictionary, gotta clue it so it's at least guessable. (Esp. given that it's the third O of the still-not-an-answer OOO.)

OOO, incidentally, would have been fine clued as queen-side castle.

Larry Gilstrap 1:59 AM  

Wow, yesterday we had those big stacks and today we get two grid spanners, and both with very little crappy fill. Saturday hard and fairly crossed; am I beating myself up about missing a crossing $? Not so much. I know basketball, but rarely get my hands on a MAGAZINE.

My haunted house had CobwEbS for the longest time. My parents generation were still into burial of the remains and I have been involved in the purchase of two CASKETS. Is that a dying industry? Ignore the pun, I mean, is really anybody of a later generation buying plots, crypts, etc.? Maybe, it's a cultural thing. I'm threatening to devise a mini Viking funeral: local lake, canoe, and Presto logs.

Too tired to research this, but doesn't the Old Testament contain verses of DIETARY laws? Which Christian denominations recognize them and to what degrees? I grew up in a Bible-centered church and we had ham every Easter. Early on we were not allowed to go to the movies, dance, mixed bathe, drink, or smoke, but I do not recollect one DIETARY restriction.

Speaking of "Dynamite Afros," the constructor hit a homer with the cluing of 32A: It can crawl or fly, but not walk. We're given crossing clues with darling orange Kardashian and I'm thinking a Madlibs mash up with Twitter. I did spend some TIME walking on the treadmill today. I'm more than willing to grind away at these tough puzzles, just make it worth my while and I'm very happy. Tempus fugit.

Thomaso808 2:23 AM  

This puzzle stretched my brain and I liked it! I got fooled by most of the same misdirects mentioned above and I don't care that I DNF with a wHEW/wRIMED. PHEW never occurred to me, but should have.

OK, ASAPROCKY is in fact a rapper, but in the movie "Dope" he is credited with his actor name Rakim Mayers, so that's a foul, right?

Also, DEADEST -- can there be a superlative of dead? Isn't it like "pregnant " as in you either are or you're not? Reminds me of Monty Python "I'm not dead yet!" I guess you could say "This bar is dead, but that last club was deader. Let's hope the next place is not the DEADEST." Seems weird.

The grid spanners were awesome. The 12, count 'em, 12 debut entries were all legit (except maybe ASAPROCKY).

In his comments on Xwordinfo, Erik Agard is a little tentative because of the the feedback on his July 6 "two birds with one stone " puzzle. I think he has nothing to fear from comments on this one. Nice job!

Robin 2:27 AM  

Can there be a superlative of DEADEST? Well, I was watching Princess Bride the other night and there was mention of being "mostly dead". So apparently there are degrees.

But yeah, I can remember being nailed in a high school class for "most unique". Should have countered with "more perfect", which appears in a fairly well-known document.

Anonymous 2:46 AM  

I'm having trouble finding anything to like about this puzzle. Never even heard of ESSENCE MAGAZINE or Dynamite Afros. I would wager nobody in the history of the world has said, "CAN I LIVE?". Setting after resetting is OOO? Sorry, but that's 0:00. Zero is not O. I'm flabbergasted that KRIS got clued with a Kardashian. I'm pretty sure Kristofferson is too young for this puzzle.

Nobody says "NO BIG" to mean "Don't worry". That's not a thing. "Not backed up" doesn't mean UNSAVED. Those are different things. TWEEST isn't even on urban dictionary. Nevermind the ancient RETTON and LALANNE. Ugh.

chefwen 2:53 AM  

Wowie, Friday and Saturday without a look up. That's got to be a first for us. Thank the puzzle Gods for filling in ASAP ROCKY without my input, totally unknown to me.

Puzzle partner looked at 59A and penciled in pissed underneath. I guess he didn't care for the puzzle. I did.

Anonymous 3:02 AM  

Also, any puzzle with an Ayn Rand clue can get stuffed.

Anonymous 3:32 AM  

Stop trying to make CAN I LIVE? a thing!

Lotsa fun. Surprised commenters don't know ESSENCE.

Laura the kiwi 3:55 AM  

Hmmm - mixed feelings about this one. I agree with others that a few clues were not really a thing... CANILIVE was a bit ridiculous. I thought that OOO was clever.

Perhaps redeemed by the fuzzy fruit??? :P

Laura the Kiwi :P

Loren Muse Smith 4:44 AM  

It feels like I haven’t finished a Saturday in a long time. My death blow was that when you reset something, you’re back to “one.” Never thought to question that. (“Heurangle” looked perfectly reasonable to me.) No bother that the rap guy didn’t have a vowel in the last part of his name; seems that all bets are off for what you want to call yourself if you wake up and notice you’re a famous rapper.

I kept trying to figure out how “get a life” would work for CAN I LIVE. VENALLY is not a word I keep in my back pocket. And I’ve never heard someone say CAN I LIVE. But, BUT…to me complaining about something not being a phrase because you’ve never heard it is like trying to prove platypodes don’t lay eggs by showing everyone pictures of platypodes not laying eggs.

@Larry – me, too, for “cobwebs” first. CASKETS are rectangular. Coffins have that skinny bottom end and wider top end, and they feel more haunted house-some to me. But I guess I’d hesitate to approach either in a haunted house. I’ll just strip down to my flimsy tank top and non-granny-panties-underwear, grab a weak flashlight, and head on down the basement stairs instead. (#whatarethesepeoplethinkinginhorrormovies?)

Loved the riddle clue for TIME.

Maybe @Tita, our resident sailor, will weigh in on DAY SAILS.

So a KIWI and three KUWAITIS walk into a bar dragging a big chain….

Two clues with parts of speech that are not what they seem at first glance.
1. “crashes into” – T BONES. Yup, all you ESL guys – TBONES can be a verb.
2. “gain with little effort” – gain is a noun here, not a verb.

STIR SIN: dumping the entire ¼ cup of cornstarch all at once into the pot of chili. Gotta make your slurry first, folks. (ESL students – slurry.)

@George – You may not remember, but we met over a comment I made to you here about how someone peeing would be a peeer. Remember that? So the superlative of TWEE would be TWEEEST. To bad some humorless language bossy pants decided we should vamoose an E there. We could have had freeer and freeest, but, @Thomaso808 and @Robin, you could argue that that’s one of those adjectives you can’t qualify. (I think when DEAD is used to describe a party or something, it feels fine to qualify it. And it seems that pregnant is completely qualifiable these days in reasonable language. You’re a little pregnant if you’re only 12 weeks but very pregnant if you’re 39 weeks. It’s just how people talk.)

Erik (you occasional dynamite afro sporter, you) – I crashed and burned in the northeast (hi, @Trombone Tom), but I’m happy to have learned CAN I LIVE and ASAP ROCKY. So I’m not all pissed off and stuff. Just the weeest bit miffed at myself that I had a dnf.

Johnny 6:17 AM  

CAN I LIVE is probably heard on death row all the time but no place else and the clue makes it even dumber.

AS A PROCKY is a thing I guess. Oh it has a dollar sign you say? Maybe the "O" should be a smiley face.

CASKETS are found in funeral homes and Dracula's basement in the dude's castle but are not found in haunted houses. This rule is written down somewhere.

When I was in college I shot a student film where the director had somehow managed to rent a casket from a funeral home to use as a prop in his apartment. We actually broke a hinge on it because they apparently aren't built to to open and shut more than a few times. At the end of the shoot the crew all got together and carried the empty casket on our shoulders up and down Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC on a Saturday afternoon, jaywalking across the busy street and looking very serious. We were probably all high.

You should watch this scene from the movie "The Loved One" (1965) with Liberace as a casket salesman. https://youtu.be/uoZ5dTQa_2E

Lewis 6:22 AM  
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Lewis 6:25 AM  

Yesterday I mentioned my dog Chester, and I'm going back to him today to make a point about this puzzle.

When Chester catches a whiff of something, he roots and rustles, working hard, zeroing in on it. And while there is great effort, there is no hint of tiring, just focus and interest, because it's a very good scent. That's how I was during today's solve, enticed mainly by excellent cluing -- DAYSAILS, BOULEVARD, STIRSIN, LOZENGES, DIETARY -- working hard with great and unflagging interest. Thank you, Eric. This was a great puzzle solving experience!

By the way, Chester can sniff out a Ritz Cracker at 50 yards. He actually did this once, and I like the idea of a Ritz Cracker test for gauging the acuity of a dog's sense of smell...

BarbieBarbie 7:36 AM  

First of all, @Laura, DISCO STU... Remembered he doesn't advertise... Hahaha, great morning laugh, thanks. Still smiling.

I'm a bad judge of easy/hard on Saturdays. I had to go around several times, but my time was quick (never solve for time, but the app gives it to me, so I mull its meaning).. Maybe I should start tracking number of laps To assess difficulty, so that falling asleep or drinking coffee doesnt tilt the average.

Liked this puzzle a lot, had to wrestle with the NE but emerged victorious. Like a few others I cry ick on TWEEST. And there is in fact quite a bit of junk fill. But the clever cluing makes up for it.

I kept tring to fit EBONY MAGAZINE into the long across and finally remembered ESSENCE. Which then unlocked the top half of the puzzle for me. Very satisfying! Yes, @Lewis, great scent!

Phil 7:52 AM  

Kardashians and Trump, will america ever resist its craving of egomaniacs.

sAMNEWTON got me. Missed the misspellded mag

QuasiMojo 7:54 AM  

Never heard of the rap "star" so I had ASAP ROCKJ (and Jam for orange side.) I guess that counts as a DNF, but it seems like an unfair Natick to me.

"Can I live"? is more how I felt after doing this one rather than "spent."

But, hey, it's the NYT. "No Big."

Anonymous 7:55 AM  

I also had a dnf and unlike others did not really like the puzzle. I did not know the rapper, the magazine and had never heard of the movie dope. Daysails sounds like a made-up word and I am not sure a Brit would actually use the word "tweeest". I have never heard of "can I live". After I googled 3-4 times, I did complete the puzzle. However, the answers were a big yawn and things that I don't really care about. Of course, being over 50 may have a lot to do with it :)

Whitey 7:56 AM  

I have a friend from NYC who often said "CAN I LIVE?" That was 14 years ago. "I gotta do me," she would say.
I have no problem with that answer.

Blue Stater 8:41 AM  

Murderously difficult.

Annette 9:03 AM  

Though I finished in faster than average time, I was surprised to see the easy-medium rating. I was indeed SPENT after solving it, which gave me a chuckle. Didn't know ASAP ROCKY or CAN I LIVE at all.

A daysailer is a sailboat with no accommodations below decks, like sleeping bunks, a galley, or a head. You sail it for a few hours or a day, then return to port.

Exubesq 9:07 AM  

My daughters (early 20's) introduced me to "Can I live" several years ago, unironically at first, now not so much. I've heard -and said - no biggie, but not "no big." It was readily inferable here.

George 9:14 AM  

OOO does not equal 000

Got DAYSAILS off the L from DISCOBALL, but I don't think that is really a thing for shipping. I mean, no shippers are going to DAYSAIL, ever. I DAYSAIL in my sailboat all the time, but I've never heard of any maritime operators who only sail during the day.

Still, quite an enjoyable Saturday, despite not know any Kardashians.

Teedmn 9:15 AM  

Although I started in the NE, that's also where I left most of the black ink today. I had a "narnIAn" piece (I was reading it "peace", oops) off the Grammy vinyL category. This became "NarnIAs" peace after I came up with CUTEsY.

That was NO BIG (I used to say "NO BIGgy" all the time) to clean up and other than the wHEW and the tDS and wondering if I was remembering how to spell LALANNE correctly this time, this Saturday walked by, 25:16, not bad for me on a Saturday.

After tomorrow's puzzle, we will reset the week to 000 once again (I kind of liked that answer). Thanks, Erik.

gzodik 9:25 AM  

Well yes, Annette, but a DAY SAIL is when you don't spend the night on the boat.

LisaG 9:25 AM  

@Larry--the Old Testament (Torah) has many dietary restrictions...they are found in Leviticus and Deutermonomy. That's where the kosher laws come from. Not mixing milk with meat. Not eating pork. Not eating shellfish.

FWIW, there are three types of Jewish laws: ones that commemorate an event (the Exodus from Egypt is remembered on Passover), ones that are civil (no murder, no stealing) and ones that we just do because they are commanded. Keeping kosher is a good example of that. It is often said that people keep kosher because it is cleaner or healthier, but the truth of the matter is, we keep kosher because it is commanded.

I really hope this helps.

Long time lurker. First time commenter.

Happy Pencil 9:26 AM  

I see the "I didn't know it, therefore it's wrong/stupid/not a thing" crowd is out in full force this morning. I thought this was a great puzzle that certainly wasn't easy for me. More like medium to hard.

Took a few wrong turns with EASY peasy, euro for RIGA, and Ryan for GALT (kidding). But the crosses helped me get sorted. Never heard of ASAP ROCKY (which I also read as ASA PROCKY), but it was easily inferable. Loved the clues for LOZENGES and DISCO BALL, and the awesome trivia on ESSENCE MAGAZINE. I think my initial answer of Staples would have been a much better answer for INITIAL, though.

Liked it!

LisaG 9:27 AM  

Geez. Deuteronomy not Deutermonomy...although the latter sounds much more fun.

Brian 9:34 AM  

• PHEW=that stinks
• WHEW=what a relief

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

Thanks for the run down, @LisaG.

Different topic: I'm always slightly perturbed when the literal-minded seem to insist that there's no room for ambiguity in wordplay.

Robert A. Simon 9:42 AM  

CAN I LIVE aside, this is my favorite puzzle in months. It is how I remember NYT puzzles used to be: extremely clever, while containing one or two facts I didn't know, but could hopefully get from crosses. Also, very few layups, probably due to the MAN TO MAN DEFENSE Mr. Agard deployed.

Tom4 9:49 AM  

Only quibble is the clue for SPENT. No need for the self-referential unless in a more interesting context. CAN I LIVE also - never heard that before. Can I Live My Life? Yes. Can I Live sounds bleak.

Otherwise great puzzle to round out a week of great puzzles. Really consistently good lately.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Hmm. Google's trying to tell me that CAN I LIVE may be, like ESSENCE MAGAZINE, some sorta black thing.

Z 10:06 AM  

"Tweedy Pop Prescriptivist" being the best phrase I've ever stolen from the interwebs held me up on TWEEST. CAN I LIVE is new here, but that humans would shorten "CAN I LIVE my own life, please?" is hardly surprising. Still, crossing a double dose of Kardashian World gets a yellow card from me for being a dangerous slide tackle. I won't bore you with a rant about people famous for being famous are not crossworthy, fame being oft inexplicable. I am sure, though, that I am not alone in actively avoiding all things Kardashian, so I feel like my solving legs were taken out from under me unfairly there.

If you liked this (and many of you do) you really should be solving Agard's Glutton for Pun puzzles.

@LMS - Nice platypodes.

@William Mackenzie and @Kevin - The Senate is a group of 100 SENS. Yeah, a stretch, but file it for future reference. You will see clues like this for SEN, SENS, SENATE, and SENATORS again.

@Larry Gilstrap - Yah. Is there a better argument for religion being more about cultural upbringing than actual religious belief than people's relationship to DIETARY Laws?

Mohair Sam 10:11 AM  
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Two Ponies 10:11 AM  

Lots of fun moments from clever misdirection today.
Learned hour angle, not sure I'll ever need to know it though.
Odd that time can fly, crawl, even march, but not walk.
Starting with Esquire Magazine certainly slowed the NW.
Nice clues for lozenges and T-bones.

Tom R 10:11 AM  

I know no one who says "Phew!" Took me forever to get rid of the correct (IMO) answer "Whew!" NW to deep S was fun, but SW and NE both insanely hard for me.

Tim Aurthur 10:12 AM  

5D makes SENSe to me. An early use of century is a body of a hundred people. Roman legions were divided into centuries of 100 soldiers, commanded by a centurion. So 100 SENatorS can make up a century.

mathgent 10:18 AM  

Fifteen red plusses in the margins, average for a Saturday. And good crunch. I had to call in The Closer for CASKET and KRIS. But I was put off by CANILIVE, DAYSAILS, INITIAL, ASAPROCKY (after I learned here that S represents $). I don't mind the letter 0 representing the number 0 -- that's a crossword convention of long standing.

It was an enjoyable solve. That's good enough.

kitshef 10:30 AM  

Very, very, very hard, plus a DNF at ASAPROCKs. Lots of fun trying to get there, though.

Hand up for absolutely hating CAN I LIVE.

Mohair Sam 10:32 AM  

Well we thought it was fun. It played medium/challenging for us, had to battle all the way through - but that's what Saturdays are supposed be about.

Easy start with LALANNE/LSD and risked MANTOMANDEFENSE off that. Then the gimme CAMNEWTON - thought we were gonna ace this one. But the rapper next to a celestial coordinate next to a riddle, and we hit the brakes. And the only Kardashian we know is Kim, we were in trouble. We gradually built around all that and won the war. Tried shoehorning in something NarnIAL for C.S. Lewis at 11D - cost us tons.

Like several of you I've often said "NO BIGgie", but I guess modern times have texted it down to BIG. No prob here with OOO - it went right in, I see it ferdorkeled many. LOZENGES clue a beauty - puzzle partner finally got it. Liked the YAM clue too, had IRA for a while. Unlike @Teedmn I continue to misspell LALANNE (LALANdE) but was bailed out when I realized there was no city name TUdIS.

@Thomaso808 - I went to IMDB - they have "Rakim Myers" cast as "Dom (as A$ap Rocky)" - that would be a role, the clue is fine.

Fun puzz Erik Agard, thanks.

Hartley70 10:34 AM  

We had a 30 ft DAYSAILER for 35 years. It was a racing boat and accommodations just slow you down. The manufacturer of our one design installed a small marine toilet under the deck and during a a close race in the 1970s it was thrown overboard by a three man crew. I was not there to object.

This was an excellent Saturday puzzle and I ended up in the NE. I was unaware of the rapper and luckily I didn't need to use a dollar sign to make the app happy. I could never have guessed that.

I don't see CRUETS on the table at "nice" restaurants unless we're talking about "nice" diners with Formica tables. I expect the salad to arrive dressed unless requested otherwise, but don't get me wrong. I love a nice diner too.

It was interesting to see CHICANA used for the two entertainers. I would have thought it wasn't very polite. It's not a term I hear in the Northeast.

The HOURANGLE was a new concept for me. Thanks, Laura, for the clear explanation and your delightful reviewing all week.

JJ_Rural_MO 10:36 AM  

Why was 18A ("Rests one's eyes") in quotes?
Not my fave; got stuck in the NW, partly because I thought the quotes were significant and so didn't trust takesanap. And went through pipes and steam before ducts for 1A.
Like others, never heard of Can I Live or the apparently not-quite-so-famous rapper.

nunya 10:38 AM  

Having a senior moment here. Can someone please explain "aves" for the Class of fliers" clue?

thewritegirl 10:42 AM  

So glad you started putting the time at the top. (Me: 20). The only one that had me was "orange side," although it filled itself in.

Paul Rippey 10:54 AM  

I have a big question mark around the question mark convention. When I got that 10D "Hackers' helpers" was LOZENGES, I had the little rush of discovery that most of you probably had. That rush would have been reduced if it were clued with a question mark, like "Hackers' helpers?"

Maybe one of the reasons so many people liked this puzzle was that the constructor didn't flag all the misdirections. But what if he had flagged none of them? What if the clue for INITIAL had been "C.S.Lewis piece" instead of "C.S. Lewis piece?"?

Where did the question mark thing start? Is this a Will Shortz policy, or something else? What would you think about NOT having them? Who decides this stuff?

Nancy 10:54 AM  

ASA PROCKY? ASA PROCKY???? That's a person? And then there's the textspeak abomination. "You're not going to be NO BIG, are you? Please tell me you're not," I grumbled to 47A. I also wondered why "Dynamite Afros" were being discussed in sciENCE MAGAZINE. But once I figured out DIETARY laws at 1D, I corrected. I don't know any stupid cars, so I had CAnARy for "Firebird alternative" instead of CAMARO (6D). I wasn't thinking of a car, I was thinking of a bird!

This was very hard and very crunchy for me, and you're right, Eric Agard, I am indeed SPENT after finishing. I didn't think I would finish, but I did. Interestingly enough, one of your trickiest and best clues saved me: I got the DAYSAILS pun immediately (58A), checked that there would be an S where I wanted one, and wrote it in. It got me back to the NW, where I was completely flummoxed until the end. I also loved your clues for LOZENGES; ICE IN; and BOULEVARD. Thanks for the workout. Mentally speaking, I feel like Jack LALANNE.

Carola 11:05 AM  

I chugged along through this one on the slow train, enjoying a circuitous route from DUCTS to TUNIS. Ran into trouble at Oops for OWIE and IraS as a family planning option (I'm obviously beyond child-bearing years).

@Loren, re: parts of speech - Af a restaurant recently, responding to a question to the waitstaff regarding a couple of food allergies I have, the manager came to our table and said to me, "I understand you have some DIETARies."

Kevin 11:15 AM  

Right, but the problem is that the answer (individual senators) is not an equivalent of the collective century. It would be like have a clue of "battalion" and an answer of "soldiers." I can live with it for the word play value.

old imer 11:29 AM  

If I'm expected to know the name of some obscure fake rapper character in a movie I never saw and never will see, then I feel entitled to find the answer on the Internet, which I did. The rest was a normal Saturday, tough but fair. I had YAM right away. Got DAYSAILS on crosses but I agree, recreational sailing has nada to do with shipping.

@Nunya, AVES is the class name for birds, from the Latin name for birds.

@Larry. What a strange church you went to. I am surprised Acts (of the apostles) was not required reading and the subect of many a sermon. I recommend that book, where you will find the explanation for the lack of dietary laws in Christianity, though Peter and the others were Jewish by birth and raised to think pork was unclean. As was rare meat, and any meal that contained both meat and dairy.

Nancy 11:30 AM  

@Thomoso808 (2:23 a.m.) and @Robin (2:27) -- DEADEST in the sense of nothing happening. "This is the deadest joint I've ever been to. No one's dancing. No one's drinking. And the three couples sitting morosely in the middle of the room aren't even talking."

@nunya (10:38) AVES is the class that birds belong to. Think "avian".

@Hartley (10:34) -- If anyone had thrown my one DAYSAILER toilet over the side during a race, they would have ended up the absolute DEADEST. Who knows -- maybe even in CASKETS.

Lewis 11:32 AM  

@lisaG -- Welcome, and thanks for the information!
@johnny -- Great post!

Stanley Hudson 11:32 AM  

As a university prof, have heard my students say "NO BIG" and " CAN I LIVE."

Really enjoyed this fine Saturday puzzle.

#Resist the YAM

Hungry Mother 11:40 AM  

Took me 121 minutes, but I slogged through it. I almost gave up twice.

Stanley Hudson 11:54 AM  

Forgot to mention: thanks Laura for the Dead Milkmen video. Eons ago they put on one of the best punk rock shows I've ever seen.

jberg 12:04 PM  

I loved this one! I didn't know most of the proper nouns, and those that I did know I couldn't remember -- spent a long time trying to get past Howard Roarke, or however he spells it, before the LT made me remember GALT. Similarly, I'd hear of CAM NEWTON and Mary Lou RETTON, but couldn't dredge them up until I almost had them from crosses. Qnd for a while I thought Eli Manning played for Denver.

@nunya, biologists, who all speak Latin, call birds "AVES." They are a class of the animal kingdom, aka fauna.

tDS before Y and, more seriously, from the wHEW,warM up before PRIMED. I've never heard CAN I LIVE?, but I love it! I just hope it doesn't break up my marriage.

@Loren, I've never said TWEEST, but like you wanted an additional E there. I've said freeest and weeest (good one, I hadn't thought of that), but never written them out -- if I had, it would have looked like this. But just now I typed 'freest' by mistake, and the Chrome spell check said that was OK, but underlined it in red when I added the other E. But what does it know? It has the brain of a LOZENGE, after all.

I like HeUR ANGLE. That a measure of the star's happiness.

Z 12:21 PM  

@Paul Rippey - "Who decides this stuff?" The editor. And the later in the week you get the more likely it is that wordplay will not be highlighted by a question mark clue.

@Those troubled by the clue for SENS - There are 100 U.S. SENS, so they collectively constitute a "political century." There really isn't anything wrong with pair even if our natural response to the collective noun "century" is to want the collective noun "Senate." That more natural response is what we'd see earlier in the week, but this is Saturday so we have to be prepared to look at other ways the clue might work. It was this insight that got my Saturday solve times under an hour. In fact, I won't put in an "obvious" answer on a Saturday without at least two crosses.

JC66 12:31 PM  

@Quasi & @old timer

I think SHIPping is a pun.

@ Hartley70

Think Nice, not nice.

nunya 12:32 PM  

@nancy and @jberg- Thank you!

boomer54 12:33 PM  

The proper response to anyone who pleads ..." Can I live " ...to the clued

question should be ... " No " ... followed by a gunshot ...

Jamie C 12:51 PM  

"Come on let's TWEEST again, like we did last summer..."

Joe Bleaux 12:55 PM  

OOOh, Erik Agard on Saturday morning! I knew it wouldn't be a cakewalk, and sure enough ... A slow but steady solve, though, until that NE corner, where the groaner CANILIVE (and yet another precious rapper) kept this from being the most nearly perfect puzzle I've seen in awhile. @Brian. Whew! I kept hoping someone would flag this, and you did. Thanks. @Z. Hand up on all things K-clannish.

Anonymous 1:06 PM  

"otherS" = ALII not alia. I didn't feel spent. Why should I? Bit arrogant that.

Bob Mills 1:06 PM  

I disagree with those who liked this puzzle. Awful. I finished it, but don't know whether to brag or apologize. "OWIE" for booboo? "DAYSAILS" for eschews overnight shipping? "CANALIVE?" for Jeez, why don't you mind your own business? "TWEEST" for Most affectedly dainty, to a Brit? And worst of all, "SENS" for political century (get it, 100 senators?). Just awful.

I guess people like puzzles with a lot of made-up crosswordese. I'd prefer to use my brain instead of my imagination.

GHarris 1:07 PM  

It's the pits when you work out an answer (Asaprocky) and then have to Google it because you can't believe it's right. Coupled with can I live, I had a dnf by reason of cheating and that seems a shame to me given all the other good work I did. I would have blamed the puzzle and exonerated myself until I read the success so many others enjoyed so I accept it was me.

Anonymous 1:16 PM  

I'm puzzled about some of the Latin, in puzzle and some of the posts. For 49A, Octavia's feminine, and I thought that deliberate, so that her "others" would be feminine too. But the feminine plural nominative would be aliae. Alia is the feminine singular nominative, or the neuter plural (latter commonly used in puzzles, or alii, the masculine plural nominative; et alii = and other men; et alia = and other things; and other women would be et aliae). For 20A, aves is the plural for bird, and a class designation for birds would be avis, no? As for 32D, time crawling and flying, there is a late ancient proverbial expression, "tu dormis et tempus ambulate," attributed to St. Ambrose (4th-c. AD), which means "you sleep while time walks [on]".
Anon. i.e. Poggius

Hartley70 1:22 PM  

@JC66, Ha ha! Nice one, but I'm not buying it. I've dined there and nary a cruet to be seen.

@Nancy, I know, right? Long Island Sound in August has barely a breeze and no motors allowed. You can spend hours before the class is towed in. It's definitely a guy's thing.

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

A$AP Rocky crossing Yam is where the Money is!!

Chim cham 2:00 PM  

Super fun puzzle. DAY SAILS seems either made up or something only 1%ers say, but it made sense. Plus, I loved that all the WASPy stuff like that (and GALT, TWEEST, NORA, CRUET) was snuggled amongst an even larger dose of black culture. Felt a little playfully satirical.


Dave McNamara 2:12 PM  

I had IPRANGES for "Hacker's helpers" and I thought it was clever even then. Gave me LATIN for "Grammy category" which plagued me until the end. I also did not want to believe the S in DAYSAILS. DAYMAILS would have fit the clue perfectly.

kitshef 2:27 PM  

Further to @LMS's qualified adjectives, from The Big Bang Theory:
Stuart: Oooh Sheldon, I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong.
Sheldon: More wrong? Wrong is an absolute state and not subject to gradation.
Stuart: Of course it is. It is a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it is very wrong to say it is a suspension bridge.

Lurker Librarian 2:38 PM  

Nearly DNF on tDS because DIETART seemed like a possible religious term. Agree on CAN I LIVE being suspect. Thought NYG was a Hail Mary for the constructor.

Put me in the anti-Kardashian camp, but it's helpful to remember that their first names all start with a K. That made the crossing with the unknown rapper possible for me to solve.

RooMonster 3:08 PM  

Hey All ! Late puzsolve today. DNF cause I couldn't take out cAtchANAP. Never would've gotten AVES, so Reveal Worded that, and finally took out the catch.

Puz was easy, for a SatPuz. Some nice alternate meaning clues. Surprised myself at spelling MYRRH correctly!

Like @Lauras writeup with the answers in her post. Wondering if SPENT clue was Wills.

CAMARO, it's funny, some people who have that car, never know how to spell it. I seen CAMeRO all the time. One of those irk you things.


TartanCalf 3:17 PM  

In college, we had a "coffin table in a very identifiable shape. It had been constructed for a Hallowe'en party. Lot's of great storage!

american glasser 3:25 PM  

Guess this a generational thing? At 39, I've known who Asap Rocky is and taken for granted that a large selection of my peers know who he is for quite some time. The top half of ths puzzle was much easier for me. ICEIN, REGENCY, CHICANA (considered CHILEAN for a while), STIRSIN ("STEWSIN???," I kept thinking), and especially BOULEVARD were all really tough ones for me. Got the south east corner last.

OISK 5:12 PM  

Finished it correctly despite asaprocky. It isn't just that I have never heard of him. I don't like rap or hip-hop clues, but others don't like opera clues ( which are very infrequent), and that's fine. The problem with rappers isn't my complete ignorance of and utter disdain for the genre. It is that there is often no discernable pattern of letters. ASAP??? However, in this case, all four letters were gettable from reasonable across clues, which is how it ought to be. Fine Saturday puzzle, as far as I am concerned.

Mohair Sam 5:37 PM  

Jesus folks - DAYSAILS and its attendant clue was a fun little misdirect - why in hell are ya'll so mad at it?

Anonymous 5:46 PM  

Inferable obviously. I did solve it. That doesn't excuse this horror of a puzzle.

Anonymous 7:28 PM  

Century is a collective noun? You really are a moron.

Alton 8:43 PM  

Saved the puzzle for my flight to LA. Finished kinda quick but had a problem in the NE corner like others. CAN I LIVE was odd and held me up. Got A$AP ROCKY easily; pays to work in fashion and remember that thing he did with Rod Stewart. DAYSAILS?

Joe Dipinto 8:54 PM  

Agree with those who found the clue for "spent" obnoxious. I hardly felt that way afterward, having fairly breezed through it; my only error was putting in "Whew" at first, which was quickly fixed.

old timer 9:05 PM  

Century is cricket slang for 100 runs I think. Fair enough to transfer that to the 100-person Senate.

I still don't understand what a day sail has to do with avoiding overnight shipping because a day sail has nothing to do with any kind of shipping, and a ship that might be used only during the day hardly exists.

BOULEVARD was a delight to figure out. Especially because most of my chilhood was spent half a block from Sunset BOULEVARD. I rode my bike to Paul Revere, then a Junior high school and crossed Sunset at the light there.

JC66 9:23 PM  

@ Hartley70

They were there when I was, but I think I'm older than you.😉

Joe Dipinto 9:52 PM  

@old timer 9:05 -- think of the clue this way: "Eschews staying on a ship (boat) overnight." (It's IS a rather weak attempt at wordplay, I'll admit.)

Norm 10:35 PM  

Biking = being on a bike so I guess shipping = being on a ship. Weak.

Adam 11:11 PM  

ASAP ROCKY? Really? That completely ruined it for me - that Y could have been J and I would have been none the wiser. CAN I LIVE - never heard it used in that way. The NE was poor, although the rest of the puzzle wasn't bad. But man.

Hartley70 3:11 AM  

@JC66 A woman of a certain age never tells, but it may depend on whether 66 is your age or your nursery school graduation year. Young at heart is all that matters, anyway. N'est pas?

Anonymous 2:29 PM  

Just spent 5 minutes saying "phew" and "whew" to see how they made me feel. Almost hyper-ventilated. Phew ( with an f sound), "That was hard work". Whew, "They missed me".

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

"O" should never equal "0" ever. No way that gets glossed over so blithely.

Anonymous 1:04 PM  

1 ritz = 50 yards, 2 ritz = 100 yards. 2 ritzy for me. I'm drinking. Sorry.

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kathy of the tower 11:36 AM  

I couldn't finish, had to check Rex for a few answers. My first answer in was MYRRH. I thought I'd succeed when I got a couple of the long answers, but I was never going to get HOURANGLE and ASAPROCKY.
I'm a bit ashamed I didn't get BOULEVARD, it's one of my favorite movies. It's character building to feel humble occasionally.

spacecraft 12:19 PM  

Are you kidding me with TWEEST?? That entire NW was finished 100 (not "century!")% courtesy of the across answers. Come on, you can't say "century" to mean 100 of just any old thing; that's unfair. When I saw "Political century" it made absolutely no sense to me. It's football season, so I'm donning the stripes and here's where I throw my first hankie of the season. It might have squeaked by were it not next to TWEEST. There is simply no DEFENSE, MANTOMAN or otherwise, for that entry, so the two of them get fifteen YDS.

Many other WOES hindered the solve--it's a wonder I finished. Lotta guesswork.

-->CANILIVE? Never heard that one. Ask that around here and some idiot is likely to pull out a gun and say "No." Blam! Stupid expression.

-->HOURANGLE. Okay, I learned something new. Props there.

-->DAYSAILS. Can that possibly be a thing? Oh, I only DAYSAIL; I'm afraid to take the boat out after dark. Or, don't be late: the Titanic DAYSAILS at noon today. DAYSAIL; night sink. Oh well.

-->and then there's DEADEST. "He's dead, Jim." "How dead is he?" "He's the DEADEST body I've ever seen." Oh, I get it all right: the clue seems to refer to a lifeless party or other social gathering. But come on now, seriously, have you EVER used that word? A body--or a party--is either dead or it isn't. CANILIVE?

-->I almost hate to even mention the 9-letter rapper that had to be filled in on crosses. Last letter of the solve was running the alphabet all the way to Y for YAM.

Despite these difficulties, and wHEW before PHEW, I got this one done. Still not exactly sure how. The puzzle is not without some lively entries amid tough cluing, but there's stuff that shouldn't be there. Let's give the DOD nod to the equally lively Mary Lou RETTON. Maybe not a "10," but at least she scored one. Par. (That means it would've been a birdie but for 4&5 down.}

Diana,LIW 12:57 PM  

I'm with Kathy and Spacey on the multiple WOES that led to a dnf. Big time, but NOBIG. My mind is too missing in action to guess as well as Spacey did.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

Wow. This turned out to be the poster child of a pisser infestation. Absolutely atrocious in parts, and easy in others. Rejected.

leftcoastTAM 4:06 PM  

This was half on the easy side (South), half very challenging.

Consolation: Knew and was able to spell MYRRH correctly, but didn't get HOUR or that ROCKY rapper. After that, the North became virtually impenetrable.

A few of the clues/answers up there were particularly irksome: CASKETS, TWEEST, EENY, SENS, and CANILIVE.

But will I live? Yeah, I'll get over it.

Unknown 7:12 PM  

Laura's review is excellent.

Anonymous 2:06 PM  

I thought Selena Gomez was Canadian.

thefogman 2:58 PM  

DNF for me. Nothing seemed to be in my wheelhouse. Dead, deader, deadest puzzle I've tried to solve in a while. Epic fail.

Anonymous 10:14 PM  

My bad. Selena was born in Grande Prairie, Texas (not Canada).

thefogman 8:26 AM  

@Anonymous 10:14 PM - It's Selena's ex Justin Biever who is Canadian.

Bananafish 10:50 AM  

I consider myself the anti-Rex Parker ... I rarely rarely rarely complain about a puzzle. But I agree with just about every complaint registered already.

In addition, if A$APROCKY is indeed spelled with a dollar sign (and it is), then the clue for EA$YMONEY is just plain wrong, because the English phrase "Easy money" as clued by "Gain with little effort" does not include a dollar sign -- it's part of the English language and not subject to cuteness like that. Had the clue referred to the 1983 movie "EA$Y MONEY" with Rodney Dangerfield, then it would have been valid.

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