Pulitzer winning poet of 1947 1974 / FRI 11-17-17 / Wrong Way Corrigan's wrong way / Wheels for rent in Big Apple / Model with Global Chic fashion line / Drum go-with

Friday, November 17, 2017

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Robert LOWELL (46D: Pulitzer-winning poet of 1947 and 1974) —
Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV (/ˈləl/; March 1, 1917 – September 12, 1977) was an American poet. He was born into a Boston Brahmin family that could trace its origins back to the Mayflower. His family, past and present, were important subjects in his poetry. Growing up in Boston also informed his poems, which were frequently set in Boston and the New England region. The literary scholar Paula Hayes believes that Lowell mythologized New England, particularly in his early work. [...] He was appointed the sixth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, where he served from 1947 until 1948. In addition to winning the National Book Award, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1947 and 1974, the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award in 1947. He is "widely considered one of the most important American poets of the postwar era." His biographer Paul Mariani called him "the poet-historian of our time" and "the last of [America's] influential public poets."
• • •

Not a sufficiently scintillating Friday. Longer answers weren't spiffy enough, and the short fill got pretty wonky in places. Not bad, just not good enough. I like "I" phrases just fine but I weirdly got tired by the third one (I FORGOT, I CAN WAIT, I NEED A RIDE). I, MAN—it grates on you after a while. FRET AT feels super-awkward. Don't you fret *over* something? Well, at least it's not as awkward as TESLA CARS (!?!?!?). Is that to distinguish them from TESLA DETERGENT or TESLA HAND PUPPETS. Teslas are cars. TESLA CARS ... are redundant. I found this whole puzzle very hard to move through, in general, and yet I ended up with a time in the mid-5s, which is actually (I think) slightly below normal. I lucked out, though, in that I knew Robert LOWELL and Chase UTLEY. Good luck to those who didn't, yikes.

CITIBIKES is a nice, fresh answer at 1A: Wheels for rent in the Big Apple, but nothing after that was nearly as appealing. I don't quite get the clue on CADS (1D: Bad catches?). Are you dating the CADS? I don't think of CADS as having anything (necessarily) to do with "catches"? Now that I look at it, I'm not even sure I understand how "catches" is being used here, or what the phrase "bad catches" is even punning on. When would you use the phrase "bad catch," in any context? I think "catches" here means, like, "dates" or "boyfriends" or something (as in "he's a good catch"), but ... CADS mostly describe guys you're *not* dating ... right? My biggest problems today were, first, in the SW, where hard clues on SCAN (52D: Emailable picture) and CANES (?) (59A: They may go on long walks) and NEWLY (65 ___ revised) (?!!) made the corner hard despite the sweet SMEW gimme (52A: Duck variety). And then I couldn't come up with ANALGESI*A* (61A: One effect of marijuana). Wanted ANALGESI*C*. That corner was particularly rough where short fill was concerned: ANNO, GRO, ISAO. I also wanted OH OH OH instead of OOH OOH, which is one hell of a silly trap to fall into (11D: Eager student's cry). I'm just glad I can move on now. Fridays are my favorite days, so it's always disappointing when they fall short.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:09 AM  

TESLA Ppowerwall batteries. TESLA solar panels.

Big Jim 12:14 AM  

Bad puzzle

alexa shortbush 12:27 AM  

I too hated TESLA CARS so looking for an explanation I Googled Tesla trucks. Seems something new is happening there. Or maybe it is a coink-e-dink. But I guess Tesla trucks need charging too?

puzzlehoarder 12:27 AM  

Other than the SW corner this puzzle came together rather quickly. However that one section really dragged out the solve.

I had that green paint TESLACARS along with REOPEN but an EXCON write over at 27A froze me out for a long time. FELON finally came to me but I briefly erased it due to a sudden brainstorm that 28D was PAPERMATE. When this didn't fit FELON went right back in and I hammered out the rest. LOWELL as clued is a Shortz era debut. My final step (in the SW) was changing SMEE to SMEW.

The "almost there" message forced me to hunt down PRO and change it to PRU. That was some bad spelling and shallow thinking. I liked the puzzle it's good well out weighed the bad.

Unknown 12:30 AM  

Also think TESLA CARS and FRET AT are awkward, and I don't get the clue on CANES. Folks who need canes take them on walks of any length, right?

jae 12:56 AM  

Medium works. The proper names gave me a foothold. I knew HAROLD, LIV, IMAN, TINO, LOWELL, UTLEY...liked the Horshack quote but this was on the meh side for me too, or what @Rex said.

Unknown 1:08 AM  

My first guess at 1 across was hansomcabs...and I guessed jpeg for 52 down. Just that kind of a day. But o gee I finished apace after watching the Cs grab #14.

Don From Accounting 1:12 AM  

What a nifty little puzzle! I enjoyed it because it had so many words. LETSSEENOW, ASIFICARE, ICANWAIT... It's like reading a short story!

Did you know that TESLACARS are really powered by coal? That's good new for folks in Appalachia! Get your pick axe Zeke there's work up to the mine! The other funny thing about self-driving cars is that they can't see CITIBIKES! Can you imagine! That's killing two birds with one stone!

Lot's of fun words today too. How about LIV Tyler's ASS! Wowza! Can you imagine picking her up for a date and her father answers the door and you look at him and accidentally say "Holy shit did a wax museum catch fire?" His musician friends would probably get a kick out of that one because they're all high. He was in Aerosmith and is now a judge on American Idol or something. He's the dead guy who sits on the end.

ATOLL is a good word because it can be two words if you know what you're doing, but here it's just one of those goofy islands that they occasionally blow up. Say what you will about the atom bomb, but man do they make cool explosions!

I originally had SLOWAHEAD, which gave me LIBER for the river. Can you imagine if I went to Italy and asked for directions? "Hey-a you-a know where I can-a find-a the Liber a-River?" The Italians would be so confused they would forget to steal something! I kid the Italians, some of them are not criminals and make pizza and meatballs. And that Sistine Chapel! If you like naked men that's the place for you.

Have you ever been to TRIBECA? Boy that's something! They sure have cleaned it up. I was there a few years ago and there was a dead guy on the sidewalk! Well, he might have been dead or just passed out, nobody stopped to find out so who knows! Come to think of it, that might have been the Bowery. You just don't see that anymore; today's junkies don't have the style and poise like the old ones did. I blame the internet.

Oh look at the clock it's time for church. Ciao!

Larry Gilstrap 1:44 AM  

Yeah, kinda what Rex said. This thing was Friday enough for me. I definitely scurried down some rabbit holes that were escapable via crosses. 63A morphs from sTeeL to ATOLL, resulting from some fair cluing. Commendable toughness, though not a long solve.

Much time was spent mopping up the NW corner. I'm certain I've seen a CITIBIKE stand in NYC, but that clue for 1D wasn't enough for me to seal the deal. Not exactly a rage quit on square 1. Still balking at CADS, for reasons stated above by OFL. Also, glimpsed peripherally are SKOR bars or whatever they are. I'm not averse to eating candy. What am I missing?

Still in the NW, "Emerges unscathed" prompted a short regular verb ending in the third person singular "s". Instead we get IS O.K., and our verb is irregular. TGIF!

Ask a teacher how many kids get SENT HOME in this day and age. First of all, the student must have a home, a responsible available adult, and a desire to leave the safety of the school. Ideally, Mom ditches the tennis lesson to jump in the minivan and drive a feverish child back to the warmth and comfort of bed. Maybe in some communities.

I've heard that one effect of marijuana is feeling ANALGELIC. Damn the crosses! Final answer.

I skip M-W 3:37 AM  

Not a great puzzle, but revealed to me a strange knowledge lacuna:Erasermate. I had never heard of it, though it's been around for nearly forty years. But who wants to use a pen and then erase? The good thing about pens is that you just have to cross out, producing a palimpsest if need be. If you plan to erase, why not use a pencil?

I skip,,,, 3:44 AM  

PS. I used to do the x-word in pen, but now do it on my iPhone. While I'm slightly nostalgic about fountain pens, I have only to remember all the clothes they've ruined to remind myself why I never carry a writing instrument if I can possibly help it. You can do just about everything with computer or phone these days. Yay!
Anyway, my handwriting is illegible and always has been.

evil doug 4:09 AM  

You're right, Skip. People who do crosswords with an Erasermate are wimps.

OOH, Don: You're trying too hard all of a sudden. Running out of material? And you're not going to score any points with Loren, belittling Zeke and the other hard working folks in Appalachia....

Anonymous 4:47 AM  

Tried SnoTnOsE first. @Rex is under/overthinking the clue for CADS.

BarbieBarbie 5:04 AM  

I always picked my kids up after leaving work, @Larry. What is this “tennis lesson” thing that parents do?

Conrad 5:26 AM  

OOH! OOH! @Nat Ehrlich! Me too for JPEG before SCAN (with TIFF in between). And JPEG gave me PERPS for the long walkers

keleng 5:58 AM  

CITI bikes was my downfall. We have BIXI bikes in Canada; which somehow fit in that corner....

Lewis 6:05 AM  

Super clean grid, a CC specialty. This dropped like hail right into my wheelhouse, with seven slap-it-down gimmes, and a slew that became clear with one letter filled in. The long answers seemed easier than the short, and I like that O trail in the NE. My only nit was TESLA CARS, as everyone says Teslas when referring to the cars. Well, another nit: Does anyone say GIRT?

Spark is icing for a Friday; what my brain wants more than that after a relatively smooth caneless hike through the week, is a gauntlet that forces my brain to get into high gear before continuing through the day. And, despite being friendly to my wheelhouse, this high-quality puzzle gave me that. Thumbs up, and thank you CC!

Arnold Horshack 6:20 AM  

Ooh ooh !

Katapult 6:42 AM  

I thought this was a lovely, pleasantly bewitching, plenty challenging Friday puzz -- which is to say I googled, I'm ashamed to say, once: for poet LOWELL whom I've never heard of. Without that cheat I'd probably still be squirming in the southwest. Life is short, and the cat wants my lap. I thought TESLA CARS was fine. "Tesla" is a modifier, to explain the type of car is electric.

I'm alternately amused and bemused about the male bafflement over CADS. ("These must be men you're not dating, right?") Actually, zillions of women, and many men, not only date but marry, and spend decades with, men who seem like a "great catch" at first, but soon show a darker side. By the time these unfortunates realize their mates aren't what they thought -- that they are in fact no-good CADS -- they've often experienced a Russian novel's worth of heartbreak and face a tough time getting out of their predicament. Or so I'm told.

I enjoyed this puzzle very much. Thanks, Zhoukin Burnikel!

Anonymous 7:26 AM  

NYU Law School is in Greenwich Village, NOT TriBeCa. If a puzzle based in NYC can get the relatively recent Citibikes right, I'd expect it to get the right neighborhood for the city's oldest law school.

Robert A. Simon 7:26 AM  

Here in Chicago, the Citibike equivalent is Divvy. The official corporate sponsor of Divvy is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, which I find more than a little ironic as thousands of Divvy users take not only to the remarkable bike paths throughout our parks and along the lakefront, but also to Michigan Avenue, LaSalle Street and the rest of the asphalt where they have no business being.

They better have Blue Cross cards because they ignore stop signs, laugh at red lights, and weave in and out between cars. They use bike lanes as a mere suggestion. We car drivers are supposed to yield to them--which is fine--but bike riders have taken this as carte blanche to do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it. Their holier-than-thou attitude is a lot more visible than they are. I drive a lot in my job, and I swear to God that now if I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I look over my right shoulder to see if there's a bike coming.

kitshef 7:30 AM  

A few nice misdirects where two letters ‘confirmed’ my first guess: duDS before CADS, weST before EAST, sTOre before ATOLL. But overall, an easy, fairly pleasant solve, marred by a couple of klugy longs (INEEDARIDE, TESLACARS).

OH OH and OOH OOH with clues involving eager students should both be added to the banned list.

QuasiMojo 7:31 AM  

The Lifetime Channel wouldn't exist without "cads." Of course people date them, Rex. That's how they find out they're cads. There are scads of cads out there with pitch-perfect PICKUP LINES.

This puzzle nearly did me in. I just couldn't grok the obtuseness of it. Which can be fun since I like puzzles that take a long time to figure out. Filling them in "apace" is not my goal. I like to linger and ponder and dream up incorrect answers (such as when I threw down PARKER BROS without thinking, although I half-expected the name of a famous FELON there or some BULL PEN celebrity.)

Robert Lowell was a gimme because I just read that exhausting new biography of him. I suspect many of the women he "dated" (while married) thought of him as a CAD.

Old Lady 7:34 AM  

Got outfoxed in the SW when JPEG crossed EMAIL, which is a chain unit, maybe. Hard to let go of that cross.

SteveCFL 7:34 AM  

You need to be current. Teslas are also trucks now.

Hungry Mother 7:43 AM  

I saw a lot of CITIBIKES when I ran the NYC Marathon almost two weeks ago. I found the puzzle rather easy today. Fridays usally make me sweat a lot more. For my thoughts on the marathon see http://capemaybeach.net/NYC_Marathon.pdf.

Glimmerglass 7:44 AM  

OOH OOH, @Rex: TESLA CARS *is* redundant, but it’s certainly foolish.

Trey 7:47 AM  

New words for me today - SMEW and palimpsest. I will probably forget both, but maybe not

NYLS Grad 7:49 AM  

New York Law School (they are not NYU) is located on Worth street in the Tribeca section.

Vincent Lima 7:53 AM  

Nat Ehrlich, you thought of hansomcabs; I was trying to remember that term, esp. with cARATS in place. Luckily, I remembered CITIBIKES before Hansoms.

Anonymous @7:26, it's NY Law School, in Tribeca, not NYU: http://www.nyls.edu/about_the_school/our_campus/

AS IF I CARE started with "I don't CARE," then "like I CARE," then "keep it blank until crosses CARE."

I've never thought, "Filled by database" before, but that was my sense with this puzzle. Beside CITIBIKES and possibly TOKYODOME (though the clue here was meh), the longer entries seemed singularly uninspired.

RavTom 8:12 AM  

Tough puzzle. @Randall Clark: CANES could mean walking sticks. You'd only take those on "long walks."

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

I guess Rex forgot about Elizabeth Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Al Franken's wife . . . .

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

Reply to anon @ 7:36. New York University Law School is in Greenwich Village. New York Law School is in Tribecca. They're not the same school.

Ted 8:28 AM  

West and Southwest were utterly deadly.

Don't know LOWELL, don't know SMEW, don't have near enough to get NEWLY, don't know what LAT means even now, don't get how Ninny = ASS, barely remember the brand ERASERMATE, agree that TESLACARS is not right, not enough clue or cross for FELON...

Dr. Haber 8:44 AM  

Big issue with Erasermate. It’s a pen, sure. But one of dozens of pen names. Hated it.

Nancy 8:45 AM  

Medium for me, too. Not all that hard for a Friday, but a lot crunchier than this constructor usually provides. Some good clue/answers: ERASERMATE; DO NOT IRON; ANALGESIA mixed in with many bad ones: OOH OOH; ISAO; PRU (who has ever called it that?) Some thoughts:

The people I've known who've used CANES can't, unfortunately, take "long walks". They're lucky if they can take short walks. And no, @RavTom, I have two friends who go walking in the UK in the energetic English manner and they call what they use "walking sticks", not CANES. If they use them at all, that is.

I'm so used to computerese in this puzzle that I initially had "DO NOT" IcON instead of DO NOT IRON at 17A. As in: a warning that you press.

Whether I stay at a hotel or as a guest in your home, please, please, please don't give me a DUVET (32D) in place of a top sheet and blanket. I hate those damn things. They're much too hot; they weigh down your feet and toes to the point of giving you a cramp if you're under them all night; and you can't tuck them in. And they can be scratchy, too, which a plain quilt without a DUVET never is. A horrible invention -- invented by lazy people who don't like to make beds.

evil doug 8:52 AM  

Dang. I guess I'll have to rescind that invitation to a sleepover, Nancy....

RooMonster 9:01 AM  

Hey All !
Found this fairly easy *for a FriPuz* (@Rex). CC might've mixed up her Monday and Friday puzs. :-)

Like some here, that SW corner was giving me fits. Odd clue on SLY, jpeg not wanting to go away, and LOWELL as a WOE (who waits 27 years twixt Pulitizers ;-) ) wracking the ole brain. Had to put puz down for a minute or two and come back to it.

Had my one letter DNF with PRo for PRU. Ugh. Progressive commercials are funnier.

So nothing too much to FRET AT in this kinda EASE puz, WARTs and all. Used LOGIC, didn't assume, cause that makes an ASS out of U and ME. (Oldie, but goodie.)


Sir Hillary 9:02 AM  

LOWELL and Natick aren't far apart, are they?

90% of this was pretty easy, but the 10% down in the SW was a killer for me. jpeg begat pANtS (terrible, I know, but CANES ain't much better for that clue) which begat...a long, blank stare. Couldn't parse ATOLL to save my life. Last letter in was the SMEW / LOWELL cross -- a guess, albeit with few choices (LOvELL was the only semi-plausible alternative). Still don't know what SMEW is; will look it up.

Hand up for SlOwAHEAD.

Four first-person phrases in the grid. Gotta be a record.

I always want to spell it DUVEe.

I know GIRd but not GIRT, so learned something.

This constructor has done far better work, but this one kept my attention. I enjoyed it.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

@Don 1:12
Ha! You made my morning!

Ken 9:15 AM  

Living in NY (CitiBikes) and being a sports fan ( Utley, Isao, Tokyodome, Tino ) made the puzzle a breeze. Clean neat puzzle with no trouble areas

Mohair Sam 9:20 AM  

We liked it a lot. Fine with TESLACARS - led to rentACARS and tons of lost time in the SW, had fun working it out. Thinking SE corner must have been tough for non-sports fans with UTLEY/ISAO/TOKYODOME.

New York City has created so many neighborhood names in my lifetime that I hesitated to fill the erstwhile gimme TRIBECA at 38A. Surprised ETRADE is that old. Bought a walking stick once for hiking, not a CANE, and found the thing to be an encumbrance - but it looks cool in the corner behind the front door.

@NANCY - Maybe you've corrected things as I've typed, but I expected a fun rant on CITIBIKES. I've dodged a few in Manhattan. Don't let us down.

Nice Friday Zhouqin, thanks.

Maruchka 9:26 AM  

NY Law is in TriBeCa. NYU Law is in the Village.

Nancy 9:31 AM  

You're absolutely right, @Mohair (9:20)! I was so busy ranting about the DUVET, that I completely forgot to rant about CITIBIKES. Which was certainly putting the cart before the horse. Because that CITIBIKE *with my name on it* probably means that I'll be dead long before I'm required to sleep under my next DUVET. Of course I could also be in the hospital, but I don't think hospitals use DUVETS. (For one thing, you can't make hospital corners with a DUVET.)

@Evil (8:52) -- Awww, shucks. And I was so looking forward...

Two Ponies 9:43 AM  

@ Don from A, Glad you're back. Mostly hilarious but @ e.d. might be right about trying a bit too hard. Still the funniest guy in the office though!

Your post reminded me of seeing a group of Italianos in front of me in the lift line in the Alps. Right before my eyes they changed from their PJs to their ski outfits. Even in those conditions they all looked fabulously stylish when they were done. I watched all of this with great admiration and amazement. The epitome of cool.

Rube 9:51 AM  

This is the worst puzzle ever.
Isok, oohooh are just awful
Rssfeed. What is that?
Erasermate? There s eraserhead and papermate. But that's all
Teslacars? Like Cadillac cars or Porsche cars. No. Teslas. Period.
Lets see now? Please.
I need a ride? Come on.
Stop ahead? Maybe If the clue was overload the bowl.
As if I care? Sounds like will shortz when he was editing this puzzle.
Help us.

mathgent 9:53 AM  

I agree with @Lewis (6:20). Hard work with no spark. Vaguely pleased at having done it without cheating but didn't learn much.

I stalled for a long time in the NW because CADS didn't seem right for CA?S and DONOTIRON wouldn't come to me. The SW was also a major roadblock. Is "NEWLY revised" a common expression? It only faintly rings a bell. Do people say that they emailed a SCAN?

I wonder how many puzzles Ms. Burnikel cranks out a day. I saw her byline in both the LAT and WSJ this week. I didn't do either of them. I wish that I had skipped this one, too.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

@ mathgent, Cranks out. I think you might be onto something. That's a lot of puzzles and this one fell flat.

Maruchka 10:04 AM  

I love a good parsing challenge. Give this puzz a B+ for a mostly fun FEED. Thanks, ZB.

A CITIBIKES depot popped up in front of our building a few years past. Ticked us off, at first. Seems mild now compared with the movie/TV tractor trailers that idle incessantly, SpEWing exhaust and noise all night long. Argh.

@Nancy, @Mohair - BIKES on sidewalks: I'm old, fall averse and cranky. So I often yell at 'kids' who exceed the 10 years old limit. OOH, for a cudgel CANE!

JC66 10:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alpha-Data 10:08 AM  

I liked this one - easy for a Friday. I made a face at "fret at", but overall a fun solve.

puzzlehoarder 10:09 AM  

@Robert A. Simon, the city is always putting in new bike lanes. Where exactly do you live?

jackj 10:11 AM  

@Rex wrote--

"Well, at least it's not as awkward as TESLA CARS (!?!?!?). Is that to distinguish them from TESLA DETERGENT or TESLA HAND PUPPETS. Teslas are cars. TESLA CARS ... are redundant."

But, of course, a knowledgable solver, would realize that it is far from redundant since it could also be the TESLA SEMI.

jberg 10:14 AM  

I finished the puzzle early this morning, but then I had to hop in my Subaru car and drive my dog on the auto road to the animal vet, so I just got here now. I enjoyed the puzzle, if only for the Buddy Holly reference at 39D. (For those of you born too young, the clue is the first line of a song, the answer is the second.)

Here in Boston we call those low-quality rental bikes Hubway, and the city's second tallest building The PRU (@Nancy). I worked for the company for a few months after I'd been suspended from grad school (don't worry, I got back in), and would have said I was working for Prudential, but working at the Pru.

Hey, does anyone know if New York Law School and New York University Law School are the same?

JC66 10:14 AM  


Two good ones today. Thanks for the yuks.

Airymom 10:33 AM  

@jberg--10:14--NYU Law School (rated #6 by US News and World Report) and New York Law School (rated #112) are separate schools, the former on Broadway and the latter on Washington Square. You can check out NY Law School at nyls.edu

GILL I. 10:37 AM  

Thank you @Don from accounting for my morning laugh out loud cheer. @evil couldn't top that one.
CC is one of my all-time favorite constructors. She makes me work for my supper and I usually enjoy the four-course meal. Today just kinda felt like I only had a salad with dressing on the side.
There was lots to like and some not so great GIRT CADS. Didn't know UTLEY nor LOWELL so those were my two GOOGLEs. I don't mind since I usually can't finish a Friday without some sort of help.
Here in Sacramento we have the SAC BREW BIKE. Grab about 14 of your friends, pedal away and sip your Dos Equis. They're fun to watch going down the street weaving in and out of traffic and trying not to hit the homeless. Way to go.
Gee, @Nancy...I love my DUVET. Brought all the way from England - goose down and comfy as velvet slippers. American DUVETs are a lot thicker and do weigh you down. The Brits got it right.
I don't think I own a single piece of apparel that says DO NOT IRON. I don't anyway because I don't know how. The dry cleaners love me.
OGEE, time to walk my CANES.

Nancy 10:48 AM  

@Marushka (10:04) -- I'm also fall averse and, I suspect, a lot crankier than you, And while it plain kills me to think of myself or refer to myself as "old", I'm sure that actuaries wouldn't hesitate for a moment. But you are being much too nice in your complaints. 1) Why only rant at bikes on the sidewalk? Why not also rant when they go through red lights at intersections and go in the wrong direction? Just as dangerous, just as potentially deadly.

And 2) -- Why stop at bikes? If you were as cranky and fall averse as I am, you'd complain about all wheels on the sidewalk: skateboards, scooters, hoverboards, and those motorized unicycle thingies that look like something a circus clown would ride. I also complain about mothers with "baby joggers" on the sidewalk, who would happily mow you and me down without turning a hair. And even ordinary strollers can be turned into weapons by oblivious nannies on cell phones -- especially when they (the strollers, not necessarily the nannies) are the size of a small Honda. If you're going to complain, @Marushka, think big. May I also suggest the use of my favorite shout-out at kamikazi bike messengers: "Jail's too good for you." I'm happy to share it.

ChicagoMama 10:50 AM  

@Robert A. Simon, in my area of Chicago, it’s the non-Divvy bikers who need BCBS id cards. Divvy bikers are quite staid. The loop is just crazy, no matter what your form of transport. I agree bikers there are super aggressive, though

Stanley Hudson 10:57 AM  

Just not in my wheelhouse today, and normally I like this puzzle constructor a lot.

@Don from Accounting: some days you’re pretty funny but I wouldnt give up your trade if I were you.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

You're a idiot.

veganhater 11:05 AM  

Had the same issue until I finally realized it needed to be cleared and rethought

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Could you possibly take a break from whining for just one day, @Nancy?

Anonymous 11:09 AM  

I guess that would be a "no" on the whining...

jb129 11:10 AM  

I only enjoyed one ZB Friday puzzle & this one wasn't it. No fun at all - btw, why are you bloggers getting so nasty? Especially "Anonymous"?

Hartley70 11:11 AM  

GIRT annoyed the heck out of me. I've never heard of Mr. Utley. Those were my only two sticking points. I always enjoy a CC puzzle and this was no exception.

@Nancy, now that you've insulted most of those "lazy" Northern European duvet lovers, might I suggest that your hatred of duvets is the result of a lifetime in over-heated NYC apartments? In the dead of winter I found that one has to leave the bedroom window open to get the room to a tolerable temperature. Now that the winter is approaching, I was just thinking this morning that it was time to get the duvet out. A chill in the room and a fluffy duvet is a lovely feeling in itself, and especially for those with an oil tank to fill.

Mother Perpetua 11:12 AM  

For anyone who went to Catholic School in Boston before, say 1970, the answer to 11D is most certainly not OOH OOH. It is STA STA (as in Sister, Sister - elided by eagerness and R-less by region)

Hartley70 11:19 AM  

@Two Ponies, 9:43am, not to go all Seinfeld on you, but I wonder...was shrinkage an issue?

Hartley70 11:24 AM  

@jberg, I do, and they're not.

Maruchka 11:27 AM  

@Nancy - I'm in awe of your comprehensive cavils. You are the undisputed queen of sidewalk kvetch. I bow down - and LOL. Btw - it's MaruChka

Mona 11:32 AM  

I don’t live in NY so citibikes was a reach for me, and I had ‘I don’t care’ for the longest time instead of as if I care.
And “girt?”

Hartley70 11:37 AM  

@Maruchka, I love our @Nancy, but when Mohair egged her on this morning I thought, "Noo!", not her bike hobby-horse! She'll be riding so hard she'll be late for the Park. LOL!

Z 11:40 AM  

I just googled GIRT and the first definition to pop up is “to gird.” Well, bless my loins because that’s the only thing I’ve ever girded.

@TESLA CARS defenders - miss the point much? Technically correct but not in the language does not a good answer make.

Random annoyed musing - Is anything ever oldly revised?

Random annoyed musing II - Arch leads to SLY? I’m sure someone will give an example but this usage is escaping me.

Random annoyed musing III - Damn, ANNO deprives us of a good tilde rant so all we get are the usual cadre of rude anonymice.

old timer 11:51 AM  

I thought the NW corner was the hardest and the SE the easiest with its plug for medical marijuana. In the SW LOWELL was hard for me, but fortunately I forgot the computer term for e-mailable photos so I was happy when SCAN appeared. CANES seemed OK to me -- I think those high tech folding walking sticks are called CANES sometimes.

In California bikes can use bike lanes and of course usually do where available. But they are allowed to take up a full lane on any street, and cars must yield to them.

Joseph Michael 12:06 PM  

@Robert A. Simon. I agree about the BIKE menace. Half of Milwaukee Ave is now a bike lane for aggressive snarlers in spandex who expect you to know that they're not going to stop at the stop sign or the red light.

And, oh yeah, the puzzle was OK, I guess, Feels a little narcissistic with all of those "I's" and the clue for NEWLY feels like Kelly green paint. And who said you could put PRU in a puzzle and get away with it?

But the construction is pretty solid. Liked AS IF I CARE and the clue for FELON.

In the chain referenced for 63A, is an ATOLL followed by a BTOLL and CTOLL?

ArtO 12:16 PM  

Fridays are always a bit tough for me and seeing ZB's name atop caused concern. Was pleasantly surprised to find it went pretty smoothly until the SW.

Agree with criticism of TESLACARS. Vis a vis most brands, they are always described as Teslas, whereas you do see reference to Ford cars or Ford trucks, etc,

Adam 12:16 PM  

I needed ANALGESIA after the terribly clued SW corner.

Carola 12:18 PM  

Beginning with CITIBIKES, I cruised clockwise around the block, not anticipating that STOP AHEAD was going to apply to me when I got to the SW, where I faced a vast expanse of impenetrable terrain between ???ON in the north and NEWLY in the south. LOGIC eventually got me to FELON, but I didn't trust FRET or TESLA...until I had to. SMEW's W finally reminded me of LOWELL and got me to the end.

Others have already responded to @Rex's wondering if anyone would date a CAD. Count me in: as a small-town Midwestern naif off to college in the east, I confused CADdishness with sophistication. Took me a while to figure out.

@Lewis, it's possible that someone might regularly be singing "GIRT" in church - I recall a hymn in which a celestial being is described with the phrase "GIRT with stars." I wish I could cite the entire line, but it's been too long since I became unchurched.

Nancy 12:19 PM  

@Maruchka -- I do apologize for the misspelling of your name. And thanks for the (I think) compliment.

Did you know, Anon 11:08, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Three of my favorite writers, Nora Ephron, Dorothy Parker, and Fran Lebowitz, made whole careers out of what you call "whining". I prefer to refer to it as a sardonic, hopefully amusing take on the many absurdities of the Universe. I can only aspire to their brilliance, but I try. In the meantime, Anon 11:08, rest assured that you are not the audience I'm writing for. The people in the audience that I'm writing for here all have names. And yes, @John Child, I know you keep saying DON'T FEED THE TROLLS, but trolls are all bullies, and all bullies have to be stood up to. Always.

The Clerk 12:28 PM  

First DNF in ages. SW seemed like a very naticky min-puzzle.

Anne 12:34 PM  

If someone would be so kind... What is LAT ("many legal terms are in it")?

RodeoToad 12:42 PM  

FYI, be it known that I bestowed Evil Doug his name in this comment section June 6, 2008.


Trombone Tom 12:55 PM  

CC here, CC there. CC everywhere. I am a fan of hers, but agree that the editors might have moved this one up a couple of days in the week.

I nominate for Outstanding Clue "Chain units, maybe" It sure had me guessing for a time. Neither links nor stores worked.

Long gone are the days when only bike messengers rode with attitude. Around here stop signs are honored mainly in the breach.

JC66 12:57 PM  


Missed you. Where you been?

Arden 1:00 PM  

Lat is short for Latin

Two Ponies 1:00 PM  

Wade!! Where the hell have you been?

Trombone Tom 1:02 PM  

@Anne Meilof, don't omit the Abbr. in the clue. LAT for Latin. Res ipsa loquitor.

evil doug 1:06 PM  

June 6? (Evil) D Day!

Mohair Sam 1:07 PM  

@Hartley70 (11:37) Apologies, I couldn't help myself. But she was in great form, wasn't she?

Hartley70 1:11 PM  

@Mohair, always! She never disappoints.

Teedmn 1:20 PM  

Another 20 minute puzzle for me. The SW was my toughie spot, like others here, because my schoolkids were kEpT HOME and my second chain was a sTore before it was an ATOLL, and I had Mr. SMEe as a duck until LOEe_L reminded me of SMEW. And when I'm staunch, I stand Fast.

I really liked the two "chain" clues - neither answer was obvious, as a KARAT or an ATOLL. With _ACE in place at 42A, I wondered if the presidential pACE was a common gait. Over all, I liked this Friday offering by CC.

And it plays once again into my theory that Will Shortz tends to publish constructors 5 weeks apart. The Syndilanders will be solving their own CC puzzle from back then.

Anne 1:22 PM  

Thanks! All I could think of was LATitude or LATvia.

RodeoToad 1:37 PM  

6/6 is an appropriate Evil Doug Day--the sign of the beast (almost). Also my birthday, which is why I remembered.

Fred Romagnolo 2:05 PM  

I'm with all the anti-bike people; here, in San Francisco, they are in control, and we continually lose car lanes to bike lanes. Since we are a very hilly city, it's preposterous. We are told, "if you don't like @Nancy, don't read her," and "don't enable trolls by responding to them." BUT, they do, to both! To me, @Nancy's kinda fun, but I don't really see why trolls do what they do. I see them as smirky smart-asses who should be practicing law. There are some in this blog who appear to know that Zhouqin Burnikel is a female whose initials are C. C.; I'm not in on that. Nobody has yet explained RSSFEED. I got it, but only through crosses. DUZET was a new word to me.

Fred Romagnolo 2:09 PM  

Res ipsa loquitor: the thing speaks for itself.

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

6/6/08 also notable for being the first and only time that TRYGOOGLINGTHIS appeared in the NYT xword.

Joe Bleaux 3:12 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ani 3:13 PM  


GILL I. 3:24 PM  

@Wade also coined the dreaded Tuesday puzzles as "The Red-headed stepchild."
Hand up for missing your wit....

Teedmn 3:33 PM  

Ah, @Nancy, the image of you calling out imprecations at heedless bikers is wonderful. The only thing missing would be you shaking your walking CANES at them :-).

kitshef 3:38 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo - If you Google RSSFEED, you will get a bunch of jargon and gobbledygook that makes everything as clear as mud.

But this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20rxIEALJk4 may help. Ignore the incredibly irritating intro - once she drops the surfer 'tude it becomes less obnoxious.

Mohair Sam 3:41 PM  

@jberg - I join @Joe Bleaux with a tip of the cap on the Buddy Holly reference. I went to YouTube and found the tune, vaguely remembered it. But this Holly fan could have never pulled it out of the clue/answer sequence. Impressive.

G 3:45 PM  

You make me feel like dancing.

Robert A. Simon 3:56 PM  

@puzzlehoarder: I live as far north in Chicago as you can without being in Evanston and as far east as you can without being wet. It's good that the city is adding bike lanes. I only wish the riders would stay in them and obey the rules of the road. They should pretend they are driving a car instead of pretending they're leading the Tour de France.

@ChicagoMama: You're right. Most Divvy riders are out for a stroll--except the ones who are riding a Divvy because their personal bike was totaled after they ran a red light and got hit by some poor guy just trying to get home.

What bothers me most is the pretense that Chicago is a "bike-friendly city" just because we do have lots of bike lanes and great parks with beautiful paths. We are not the Copenhagen of the Midwest; instead, we are a city with overcrowded main thoroughfares, too many streets in disrepair, buses the size of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, taxi drivers who operate like they're still in their home countries, and too many jerks in BMW's, Jaguars and (especially) Range Rovers who think they're just as important on the road as they are in the office.

At least winter's coming...

Joe Dipinto 4:56 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Dipinto 5:01 PM  

Poor, naive, out-of-it Rex can't connect the dots that, in order to find out a guy is a cad, you kind of have to date him at least once. Or you have to know someone who's dated him and can warn you that "he's a cad, definitely not a good catch if you're dating with an eye toward marriage." It's really not that difficult a concept to grasp.

I too am baffled by the CANES clue. And I had GIRD for GIRT originally, as well as OH OH OH. Never heard of RSS FEED but it couldn't be anything else, so...yeah, whatever! AS IF I CARE.

@Mohair Sam and @Joe Bleaux -- I didn't remember the Buddy Holly tune either, though I see it's on a collection I have. This might be a good weekend to pull it out and give a listen.

(Reposted to correct "printer's errors.")

Bax'N'Nex 5:50 PM  

No offense (seriously) to our beloved Nancy...but am I the only one who hates the term "crunchy" to describe a puzzle? If so, I can get over it.

I could not finish the southwest. Micheal referred to smew as a gimme, but maybe I haven't been fully indoctrinated to crosswordese yet.

Liked the rest of it, though.

Happy weekend, all.


clk 6:05 PM  

There was very little I actually liked here, but CAD made me smile. A good catch is a handsome, charming guy who will never cheat on you. A CAD just checks the handsome and charming boxes.

Thanks to whoever explained LAT. Now that I get it, that's a pretty good one too.

I thought the word was SHOD, not SHOED. When I looked it up, I found the following joke:
An Irishman applied for a job working with the local blacksmith.

“Have you ever shoed horses?” the blacksmith asked him.

“No,” replied the Irishman, “but I did tell a donkey to f... off once.”

Mona 6:28 PM  

@clk - great joke!

jae 6:44 PM  

@Wade - Nice to hear from you.

Joe Dipinto 8:06 PM  

Almost forgot: FRET AT is simply unconscionable. So now we are accepting constructions that sound sort of plausible but don't actually exist. Ptui.

warrenjay 8:37 PM  

I kind of liked this even though I made mistakes. Unlike just about everyone else in my generation (I'm 63), I've never tried marijuana (seriously), so didn't get "analgesia." Got "anurgeria", a nonsense word I was willing to believe meant something like the lack of urge to do anything. Also, didn't know ISAO and UTLEY, so the south east was a disaster for me. Got the rest of it though, which I'm pretty happy with overall since I didn't really "know" much and had to suss most of the rest of the puzzle out. While not really a great solver, I've gotten to the point where I mostly don't bother until Wednesday, and am able to solve Thursdays through Saturdays about 90-95% of the time. Congratulations (sincerely) to all of you who are really good at this. I'm just having great fun seeing what I can do, having taken up crosswords in the last couple of years. Cheers!

Nancy 8:49 PM  

@David Schinnerer (5:05) -- You remind me how really far -- sob -- I've fallen. When I first arrived on the blog, I wouldn't have been caught dead using the word "crunchy" to describe a puzzle. I thought it was a ridiculous adjective for a crossword. I even posted a comment saying that "crunchy" should be reserved for cereals. (I just went searching for that comment in the Rex archive, but can't find it.) Then I moved to Phase 2: I used "crunchy" once in a while, but I always put it in quotation marks. That phase may have lasted a year or two. Then I just, well, succumbed: it was a convenient shorthand that everyone on the blog seemed to fully "get", and putting it in quotes every time began to feel like an affectation. But, David, please be a better, stronger person than I am and don't succumb! Because you're absolutely right, of course.

@Robert A. Simon -- I love, love, love your colorful and mordantly funny take on the Chicago bike scene. It sounds as appalling in every aspect as the NYC bike scene.

Michelle Turner 9:29 PM  

Something could have been previously revised and is now newly revised.

Arch can be used as an adjective meaning mischievous, knowing, roguish, tongue-in-cheek.

nick strauss 1:02 AM  

I quit on the west side of this puzzle, on my ebay bikes, ha do i care. SKOR. TWIX? But I did get TESLA CARS. Better luck next Friday.

Chuck Chagrin 1:23 AM  

Smew...an effing, one-of-a-kind, fancy-pants duck. What's wrong with teal, a nice little brace of cinnamon teal. There's an excellent Trois Gros recipe for teal roasted with peaches. As for Lowell, I so wanted that answer to be Merwin. Ah well...

kitshef 12:41 PM  

So ... what did Evil Doug post as before June 6, 2008? Good Doug? Morally ambiguous Doug?

Anonymous 1:25 PM  

Forty-plus years in the classical music business and I have not seen, heard or used F-flat more than, what?, three times. Musically speaking, that clue is a sour note.

Girish 6:55 PM  

@Anonymous 1:25 40 years! Then, F-flat should have been a gimme, like smew. @David Schinnerer 5:50 PM A smew is closely akin to a merganser. Please apply yourself rather than taking aimless potshots at poor Rex. @Joe Dipinto 8:06 PM And I thought Archie and I were the only ones who knew what "ptui" meant.

Burma Shave 10:30 AM  




BS2 10:32 AM  

must proof

BS3 10:38 AM  

must proof the proof

spacecraft 11:18 AM  

Yeah, CITIBIKES is a "nice, fresh answer"--IF you happen to be a New Yorker. OK, so this IS a NYT puzzle, but that doesn't help people elsewhere. I got that one--and TRIBECA--by crosses. But she moves from provincial to techie, and it's that crap that laid me low in the SW. Literally, the entire SW, from the long downs on down. I have NOTHING there. Couldn't think of what -A CARS were charged; thought of TESLA but like OFL rejected that for the green paint factor. (Tell me where I can pick up a set of TESLA HAND PUPPETS; I'm jonesin' to own them)

Now I see that "E equivalent" wasn't techie at all: it was even worse. It was a RMK--and at that a made-up one. NO ONE EVER refers to FFLAT; it's E. Bah humbug! Flagged and rejected. Now I don't even feel bad about the DNF. Very disappointing output from CCB.

WTF is RSSFEED? Geez. Get me TF outa here.

spacecraft 11:21 AM  

P.S. I did comment yesterday, but the Ghost in the Machine ate it. DNFed that one too, on account of BADDEAL and EDIT. Tomorrow I go for the DNF hat trick.

thefogman 12:02 PM  

LETSSEENOW, I have to agree with most of what Rex said even if it makes me feel like a bit of an ASS.
C.C. is usually better than this. But even the great ones have an off day. Finish I did, but not with EASE. The most stubborn part of all was the SW corner which now looks like a flurry of whiteout tape hit it. Overall, it had a few WARTS but wasn't all that bad. Just a little FFLAT and lacking in OOHOOH moments.

thefogman 12:21 PM  

@Spacey: The theoretical musical scales of C-flat major / A-flat minor are the key signature where all notes are flats including F flat. In the C-flat major scale the fourth tone is F-flat while in the A-flat minor scale it's the sixth note which is F-flat. These scales are theoretical and rarely used but they do in fact exist.

rondo 12:30 PM  

Pretty sure that I mentioned before that CC has become the queen of the short phrases and this puz is proof. Had an opportunity to meet her recently, but couldn’t make the get-together. The SW of this puz took ATOLL on the gray matter and FFLAT took forever to get. rEntACARS wanted sooooo to be correct.

Last time I RANATAB at a bar I got royally screwed, so I vow to never do it again.

What to do if you want some weed for ANALGESIA reasons? STOPAHEAD and ask for some.

LETSSEENOW, looks like yeah baby LIV Tyler is here today. OOHOOH!

Got through this puz, but in a way that seemed not to flow and with no particular EASE. All in all maybe it ISOK.

r 2:54 PM  

DNF here, even with SMEW, NEWLY, FFLAT, REOPEN, and SLY in place. Never heard of an ERASERMATE pen, and was never going to get FRET AT.

Had I gone with my gut, I would have entered ASS, but that wouldn't have helped at all. I doubt I would have ever got ATOLL (I had "email") or CANES (long walks, really?).

I usually like CC's puzzles, and this was mostly very enjoyable, but what you don't know, or get, rules. DNF, dagnabbit.

eastsacgirl 3:56 PM  

Was pretty easy for me except for southwest corner like a lot of other people. Ugh in the last two days I've learned to new words so not too bad.

leftcoastTAM 7:39 PM  

Away most of the day, so my comments are irrelevant. None the less....

Let me join the SW corner crowd, bordered by SMEW and SCAN. Just couldn't break into it. Otherwise a satisfying solve.

Elsewhere, quite apparent (again) that it helps to live in NYC or know it well. Fair enough.

thefogman 7:57 PM  

I just did the GOOGLE for ERASERMATE and discovered they are indeed erasable pens with their own built-in erasers. They available at a box store - $3 for a package of three. Perfect for puzzlers who love to puz with ink. I wonder if C.C. or the NYT got a kickback for this product placement?

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

I thought this was a terrible puzzle...because I "DNF", and I always, always finish. And it was the constructor's and cluing errors. As many have pointed out, unacceptable answers included: SCAN, GIRT, and PRU. Oh, and CANE, the absolute worst, and wrong, it's not synonymous with "walking stick", at all.
PRU (apparently a very local, exceedingly rare usage -- I got it within the grid, but of course never have heard it). SCAN and GIRT...just fake-word "fill-ins"...I mean, they're real words, but never used in the way they're clued.
Finally, "AS IF I CARE" should have been "LIKE I CARE", which is what everyone actually says.

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