Satirical 1968 hit for The Turtles / FRI 6-1-18 / Hall of Fame cornerback Herb / Former fort named for Union general / Intuition jocularly / Booker's title abbr / Opportunity for lesson that wasn't planned / Counterpart of tannins in wine-tasting / Hirsute character in Addams Family / Old TV's ___ Club

Friday, June 1, 2018

Constructor: Andrew J. Ries

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (5:05)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Herb ADDERLEY (3D: Hall-of-Fame cornerback Herb) —
Herbert Allen Adderley (born June 8, 1939) is a former American football cornerbackwho played for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL), and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Adderley played college football at Michigan State University and was an All-Big Tenoffensive star as a halfback.[1] He is the only player to appear in four of the first six Super Bowls. (wikipedia)
• • •

Do people really put their GPA on their résumés?? Awards I get, but GPA?? Ugh, I just googled this, and all the advice is so smarmy and bad and desperate. I advise no, kids (and definitely no, adults over 25). I only got GPA because of GO TIME, which somehow I got first, and instantly (1D: Crucial hour, informally). ADDERLEY was totally unknown to me, so I worked it out from crosses and inference. Remembered (for once) that it's aunt ELLER, not aunt ELLIE, and after I got out of that NW corner, I screamed through the rest of the grid (figuratively—no occasion for actual screaming), missing a turn and veering off course here and there, but mostly just cruising ... until went over one of those tire puncture dealies at the very end trying to figure out what the hell was going on in the SE. Three answers there (well, one, and then two of its crosses) cost me a good 20 to 30 seconds, I think. Oh, the screwed-up spelling of ELENORE didn't help, either. How many damn ways are they to spell that name? ELENORE, gee your folks can't spell!

["You're my pride and joy, et cetera..."]

So the offending answer was LEGMEN (44D: Errand runners), which I know exclusively as a term for ... men who are into legs (as opposed to breasts, or butts). I looked up "legman," though, and it's definitely a thing. But trying to see it when you (confidently!) wrote in NOD at 56A: Academy recognition, informally (NOM) and had no idea what 62A: Booker's title: Abbr. (SEN) was after ... not so easy (Cory Booker is, of course, a SEN. from NJ). I was at a dead stop. Not sure how I finally understood that NOD was (improbably!) wrong, but I guess I have enough experience to start pulling out "correct" answers when you hit a complete impasse. LEGMEN! NOM SEN! Blargh. Not a pleasant way to end an otherwise very pleasant solve. Tiny stumble when I wanted YOU NAILED IT instead of YOU CALLED IT at 35A: "Spot-on prediction!" and bigger stumble when I had ACRID, and then considered ACERB, before ever thinking of ACUTE. Ugh to the five-letter, starts w/ A, [Sharp]-clued answer. But the long Downs were Super easy and the long Acrosses ... were largely taken care of by the longer Downs. I could've tolerated more difficulty here, and more difficulty evenness in particular, but overall I had a good time with this one.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Pete 12:08 AM  

LEGMEN didn't phase me so much as STEVE Madden of fashion fame. Maybe the sweat suit segment of fashion, but someone named STEVE Madden being big in the wider fashion world? Nah. STELE maybe, STEKE sure, just not STEVE.

I nominate Sally Fields to be the school marm in the world's next TEACHABLE MOMENT. If we don't all end up actually learning something, then at least we all have a good laugh.

jae 12:14 AM  

Medium for me. Delightful center stack and some fine long downs.

Me @Rex too for NOd and nAiLED IT, which took a while to sort out. Also, TROPHY did not come easily.

Liked it.

puzzlehoarder 12:37 AM  

This was mostly a very easy puzzle. With the exception of the SE corner it had Wednesday level resistance.

The main obstacle in the SE was an IMITATION/IMITATING write over. That represents a real green paint triumph. The G made LEGMEN obvious. The SE then became as easy as the rest of the puzzle.

NOM, as clued, sets a new low point in clues. It's like cluing is a game of verbal limbo to see how low you can go. What's next, cluing it as an alternate spelling of NAM?

NIALL and ELENORE I didn't mind. Any name is fair play.

BroJo 12:46 AM  

Yup. Nod, acrid, younailedit, I stared at ledges as an answer for errand runners for 5 minutes before calling it a night. Did not finish.

Unknown 12:50 AM  

Also initially had naiLEDIT and NOd, so I'm just like Rex, except for finishing under 30 minutes as opposed to under 6. BTW, I'm 53, and I wonder if anyone younger has any idea there was a PTL Club. All I really recall about it is SNL making fun of Tammy Faye.

Harryp 1:11 AM  

38D ELENORE and 43A NIALL were the only real holdups, mostly because 51A could have been IMITATION as clued. Otherwise very easy for a Friday; about 2/3 average Fri. time. There were a lot of clues and answers I liked. CEREAL BOXES and SPIDEY SENSE opened up the middle, TEACHABLE MOMENT dropped right in. SCRUBS was another fun answer with a great clue. Didn't BMOC show up just lately? THX Mr. Ries.

Mark 1:17 AM  

I found the puzzle challenging, especially the southeast. “Elenore “ is basically obscure puzzle trivia, but the rest of the corner was reasonable but hard. I enjoyed the mental workout.

Larry Gilstrap 2:29 AM  

This thing fell pretty quickly, for a Friday. Just tough enough, especially some of that weirdness in the SE, and I knew the Turtles' music, and that ELENORE was their "pride and joy, etc."

Cluing ADDERLEY as Cannonball may have been a better editorial choice. I was a huge fan of the NFL, before color on the TV, so no problem for me, but how about the normal solver?

TEACHABLE MOMENT came without crosses. It is a real thing, but happens too rarely, in my experience. I know SPIDEY SENSE only from puzzles, and what I know of Spider Man is from my nephews' PJs and bed linens.

Pet peeve: Folks cite a line of verse and credit Shakespeare. Sure he wrote it, well somebody did, but in the plays it is scripted dialogue and a character in a play said it. "To thine own self be true," was a line spoken by Polonius who was essentially babbling. My first guess for the source of 34D was Prince Hal in Henry IV, I or II. I should have known better, especially since the clue references Richard II, duh! It's John of Gaunt's deathbed warning about a troubling future under a troubled leader. "Demi-paradise," indeed.

I watched the latest Royal Wedding, so HOLY SPIRIT was a gimme.

Graham Blake 2:41 AM  

I did end up dying - and burning an 81 day streak - on LEGMEN/NOM. I didn't have the good sense to give up on NOD and I gave up on the puzzle. Argh.

Greg Charles 2:43 AM  

Legmen do legwork. That doesn't seem obscure to me at all. The southeast was pretty brutal though. I didn't know Niall, NOM, or Elenore, and getting from Booker to Sen was a leap. That made legmen hard to see in there. I still don't know what NOM is, so I'm just guessing on the capitalization.

chefwen 3:56 AM  

@Gregen Charles - NOM short for nomination.

I also had NOd in first, I like that better than NOM. Had trouble with the IMITATING IMITATION quandry. That was my tough corner.

Green Bay born husband was appalled that I didn’t remember ADDERLEY. Hey, that was before I met my future husband who got me addicted to football and “ DA PACK”.

Good Friday puzzle that I finished with a little help from my friend.

Anonymous 3:57 AM  

Obscure proper noun ADDERLEY crossing obscure proper noun ELLER *and* obscure proper noun ORD got off easy in this review. Not fun.

Howard Kaylan 3:59 AM  

Elenore was a parody of "Happy Together." It was never intended to be a straight-forward song. It was meant as an anti-love letter to White Whale [Records], who were constantly on our backs to bring them another "Happy Together." So I gave them a very skewed version. Not only with the chords changed, but with all these bizarre words. It was my feeling that they would listen to how strange and stupid the song was and leave us alone. But they didn't get the joke. They thought it sounded good. Truthfully, though, the production on "Elenore" WAS so damn good. Lyrically or not, the sound of the thing was so positive that it worked. It certainly surprised me.

Mark 4:16 AM  

Nom is nomination. But I can’t imagine anyone saying such and such got a mom.

Anonymous 4:44 AM  

ORD / ADDERLEY was a bit of a Natick for me but otherwise a quick and enjoyable solve.

joebloggs 5:02 AM  

NOM is completely unsatisfactory. NO ONE ever said, and for Meryl Streep this is her nth Oscar nom”. I’ve only been solving since about 2010 but that is literally the worst I’ve seen yet. Shame on the NYT for not editing that.

LHS 888 5:34 AM  

Technical (and typical) DNF Friday for me. I could get no traction until Mr. Google was called to the rescue. Fortunately it only took 4 of them to show me the many errors of my ways and set me on a path to finally finish. Whew!


dix > ORD
tate > MOMA
shop > MART
tOPhat (as in Tennessee top hat) > MOPTOP
tiedown > MANACLE
bug (thinking car grille which was stupid, of course) > ASH
ole > BOO
corneA > SCLERA
else > IFNO
gofers > LEGMEN

Favorite clues were for TUXES & SCRUBS. SPIDEYSENSE is just a flat-out fun word.

Thanks for a good Friday workout!

BarbieBarbie 6:06 AM  

ADDERLEY crossing both ELLER And MART which could have been MAll is a special kind of Natick. Or was for me. DNF.

Corners are pinched-off but OFL doesn’t seem to mind today. The long ones were all fun.

Roaring off to Reunions! Bye!

Lewis 6:12 AM  

It always feels good to hike through a Friday, with the only solving ruts for me in the SE, and it felt good to negotiate them. That's a good staggered stack in the middle, and MANACLE is a cool word. Two spinoff observations:

1. I Googled "Turtles Elenore" to listen to the song, which I didn't know from the title, but easily recognized upon hearing. The Google took me to the YouTube recording, which brought up a picture of the group, and talk about MOPTOP, there is a worth-seeing memorable do crowning the band member on the left.

2. ADDERLY reminded me of saxophone player Cannonball Adderly, and I wondered how he got that nickname, then found out on . According to the musician, “When I was going to school I used to eat anything, so the kids called me Cannibal. Older people didn’t get the connection so they called me Cannonball.” Then, the article goes on to say, in 1955, when an old friend saw Adderly perform in New York City, he called him by his hometown nickname and it remained with the saxophonist the rest of his life.

So, it turns out, this puzzle provided a sweet little TEACHABLE MOMENT.

DeeJay 6:41 AM  

I appreciate your background on this. I've put Elenore in many party playlist because, yes, the production was so damned good. Thank you!

Anonymous 7:05 AM  

ABBR would have been better than INFORMALLY as a condition

Anonymous 7:06 AM  

Praise The Lord and pass the makeup!

kitshef 7:15 AM  

If I had not known ADDERLY, don’t think I would have finished this as the NW was touch and go.

I do love me a PINA COLADA. If ever a pill is invented that lets you drink anything with no health consequences, I’m drinking them morning, noon and night.

Actual lyrics:
“ELENORE, gee I think you're swell,
And you really do me well”

RJ 7:18 AM  

A real mixed bag today. The SE corner finally had me with ELENORE/LEGMEN but NOM was the worst. All it says to me is that you can abbreviate just about any word - whether or not its actually used ever - to make it fit. Like most, I initially had NOD which is actually a thing.

ACRID instead of ACUTE
ELEANOR (my sisters middle name) instead of ELENORE
NOD instead of NOM

Some nice long gimmes - PINACOLADA, TEACHABLEMOMENT, COUSINITT (who could forget Itt?) and TSARINAS (is this official crosswordese?)

My habit of filling in the nearest real name that fits, such as NIALL when you have the NIA, works sometimes. Not today for ELLIE instead of ELLER.

Happy weekend everyone

kitshef 7:27 AM  

NOM is pretty common in headlines.
See here, for example.

crackblind 7:35 AM  

Holy crap!!! Eddie himself, Howard Kalyan, THE Captain Cloud, commented! (Just for those who don't know what I'm referring to, the comment at 3:59 AM is from the Turtles' lead singer, the one not sporting the fabulous Jewfro, who is Mark Volman, AKA, Flo). I'm damn honored to be in your company.

Also, regarding LEGMAN, it is very much a thing. They are in fact the counterpart to Bodymen who stick right by their person, Charlie on The West Wing and Gary on VEEP are prime examples of bodymen.

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

Thanks for the info on the Turtles, Howard Kaylan.

And re: 59A, doesn't "es" = "is" not "are" in French?

The Hermit Philosopher 7:50 AM  

“I had a good time with this one.” Wow! Rex liked it. ��
So did I, and for once I “had a good time” reading his write-up. Thanks Rex, and thanks to Mr. Ries for an enjoyable romp on this Friday morning.

Hungry Mother 7:53 AM  

Breezed through it until I hit the SE. I stared and stared and stared and then made a wag and tada. I was only as satisfied as if I had won a coin flip. Names I’ll only see ONCE in my life are better unseen.

Birchbark 7:55 AM  

This royal throne of kings, this scept'red isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other EDEN, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in a silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this England ...

It goes on from there. The "Hollow Crown" version of Richard II is well worth the price on Amazon streaming video, if you have it. Patrick Stewart as the dying John of Gaunt executes this dying ode very nicely -- love, remorse and bitter warning set the stage for all that follows.

TJS 7:57 AM  

Rex' time-solver bias on full display here. No moments of indecision equals an enjoyable puzzle. Bah ! This was a Tuesday at best.

rgards 7:59 AM  

Holy Smokes seemed plausible in a Rastafarian sort of way. Nigel for Niall also slowed me down. Enjoyable puzzle.

Rex Parker 8:05 AM  

@Howard Kaylan (3:59)—Wait, *actual* Howard Kaylan, *actual* lead singer of the Turtles?! OMG this is the greatest thing to happen to this blog since David Noone yelled at me because he thought I had criticized his music (I hadn't). Thanks, Howard.


Mike Rees 8:05 AM  

DNF because of 56A. It’s clearly “nod”. Who calls is a NOM??? Bad clue here. Couldn’t suss out wtf was LEGDE_.

Suzie Q 8:14 AM  

Great puzzle today.
I figured the clue "Life preservers" was a misdirection but I was thinking the magazine for a long while.
I misread the clue for tsarinas as "bygone souvenirs" and then the initial "ts" had me wondering about a T-shirt. Geez, what a mess.
I can hum the melody of Elenore but had no idea it was a satire.
If that really is @Howard Kaylan (which I doubt) thanks for the inside scoop.

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

For those critiquing the use of "nom" for nomination, you haven't read enough headlines in "Variety." I smiled after solving "cereal boxes" for Life preservers. A very clever puzzle today, makes up for some of the clunkers earlier in the week.

QuasiMojo 8:41 AM  

ACUTEly hard for me today. I put in MULLET before MOP TOP. MADDERLEY before ADDERLEY. Never heard of GO TIME. ACERB before ACUTE, etc. And since I've never seen "Saturday Night Live" I had no idea the stars of it were known for IMITATION. From the few snippets I've seen on news shows over the years, however, this strikes me as false advertising.

I was sure the Fort clue was a trick since FT LEE is in New Jersey and could be named for a Union general? Har har. But eventually I got GPA and then ORD and all the rest. It felt like I was doing the puzzle with MANACLEs on! The fact that I managed to finish the whole thing without cheating and then got the celebratory chime at the end was my own personal TROPHY.

It does break my heart though that Rex chose to post the ELENORE video rather than the one for Escape, the PINA COLADA song, a pop hit that was so ROTTEN that it seemed like a satire even back then.

TGIF. Happy weekend everybody.

Dan Murphy 8:47 AM  

I respectfully disagree. I think NOM is extremely common and the clue even tells you it's short for something.

pabloinnh 8:48 AM  

SE was indeed thorny. Knew the Turtles song but didn't know the funky spelling. And the NOM/NOD confusion is not too hard to suss out when you have "...runners" ending in _EN. What's a plural that ends in EN, I said to myself, and having no room for "women", put in the M for "men", problem solved.

Fun puzzle. And good stuff about The Turtles (If I should call you up, invest a dime...). Simpler times.

kitshef 8:48 AM  

The quote from @'Howard Kaylan' is taken word for word from the Wikipedia page on ELENORE ... so I'm guessing not the real McCoy.

Dan Murphy 8:48 AM  

That's what's threw me at first too.

Sir Hillary 8:51 AM  

Good puzzle, but wish it had more crunch. Can't remember sailing through a Friday this fast in quite some time. I subscribe to Andrew Ries's weekly puzzle set, and his freestyles often have cascading central stacks, so this felt familiar.

LEGMEN and NOM are fine; not sure I get all the commotion. In my company, the Nominating Committee of the Board is known as the NOM Com. What hurt me more down there (albeit not for long) was IMITATIon.

Only entry I really crinkled my nose at was IFNO.

Agree with @Larry Gilstrap that Cannonball is more cross-worthy ADDERLEY than Herb, the latter's HOF credentials notwithstanding. However, old-school NFL fans will enjoy Herb ADDERLEY of the Pack crossing Carl ELLER of the Vikings. Ries is a Minnesotan, so I'm a little surprised ELLER wasn't clued as such. Maybe that was a Shortz clue.

COUSINITT is the ultimate MOPTOP.

For @mathgent, @Nancy and @Lewis: Roman à clef ends without restraint (7) ;-)

Mohair Sam 8:59 AM  

Easy, clean, and fun puzzle. Knew ADDERLY, ORD, and ELLER so NW no problem. And NOM made sense off the near gimme LEGMEN, so SE popped right in - hence we have no complaints (something about wheelhouse I guess).

Blog is full of TEACHABLE MOMENTS this morning. @LEWIS on ADDERLY.
@Birchbark (7:55) on Richard II and "This blessed plot, this earth, this England". And Howard Kaylan (Wow indeed Rex) telling us a great story about ELENORE.

@Rex (8:05) - Actually, Howard Kaylan's post is the biggest thing to happen to this blog since Anne Hathaway mentioned it in a Tweet. Btw, your "Elenore, gee your folks can't spell!" may have been the puzzle's highlight.

@LHS888 (5:34) - Clue called for "Former Fort" - Fort Dix is alive and well and living in New Jersey.

"ELENORE" was used brilliantly in the movie "Pirate Radio" to accompany January Jones (playing ELENORE) out to the ship for her faux-marriage. Jones went on to play Don Dryer's first wife in "Mad Men".

My only lesson from the Times puzzle today was that CONNIVE has two N's. On the other hand, I got lots of lessons from the blog.

Nancy 9:12 AM  

Some great clues here: CEREAL BOXES (32A); ORALS (5D); BMOC (46D); TROPHY (26A). I certainly didn't find this easy, and had to begin somewhere other than the NW, where I could figure out neither GPA nor GO TIME (is that like D Day?), a term I've never heard used. I also had ---CALC and was wondering if that was PRE CALC or ONE CALC. (I've only taken plain CALC.)

There wasn't much PPP, happily, and some of what there was was my friend today. I'm looking at you, Aunt ELLER and RON Chernow.

My big erasure was IF sO instead of IF NO at 51D. I don't like it. The correct USAGE is IF NOT. And thus I had -OsNIVE at 58A. WHAT DAT? Took a while to straighten it out.

This gave me a run for my money, and I enjoyed it.

Warren 9:14 AM  

You OK @Stuart? What day is this? Who is president of the United States (no scrub that one). :D

RooMonster 9:22 AM  

Hey All !
Same Rex hang-ups. Left YOUnAiLEDIT in, so had a TEACHABIE MOMENT, whatever the hell that is. And AnIDS sounded Wine-y to me. Plus that blasted LEGMEN, ugh. Tried LEGgEr, LEGdEr, LEGgEe, LEGges, finally saw after an mini alphabet run the MEN.

This puz had it's hard spots, then easy spots, I think the ole brain was fluxing in and out. Yea, that's it.

So to sum, a ROTTEN ACUTE CONNIVE GEM of a puz. :-)

It's GO TIME, as in, TIME to GO

Molson 9:24 AM  

It was fine except for the terrible double natick from Adderley, at both Ord and Eller. I had Orr, and Elmer could be equally fine as a last name for an Aunt, and Arderley or Ardermey or Aldermey are all plausible. If any of those were more famous it's fine, but they're all pretty obscure.

Z 9:27 AM  

Both the NW and SE are brutal for my least favorite reason, PPP. ADDERLEY crossing ELLER‽ NIALL crossing ELENORE‽ So much for complaining about randomly spelt rap artists. Obscure people/characters with atypically spelt or unusual names. I’m swooning here. The SE especially, with its NOd misdirect, TREE trivia, not bagMEN, and IMITATING instead of the better noun IMITATion, caused me major waste of precious nanoseconds.

GPA on your résumé? Résumé with two accent aigus? First, NO NO NO. Nobody but a college admissions office gives a rat’s ptui about your GPA. As for “résumé,” it appears to be correct, but I’ve never heard anyone pronounce the word “ray sue may,” so have only ever used the second accent. TEACHABLE MOMENT indeed.

@kitshef8:48 - Killjoy.

Nancy 9:33 AM  

18A, @Sir Hillary. Another nice one! (I tried to email you off-blog, so I wouldn't spoil this for anyone else, but there's no email on your profile.) For those looking to solve this, just don't peek to see what 18A is.

I'd like to propose a Contest for those of us who are into such things. Someone here who's not a Cryptics-lover chooses three interesting words from a given puzzle that day and challenges fellow Rexites to come up with a Cryptic clue for each one. If she herself doesn't do Cryptics, @Loren would be an excellent choice as Chooser. Or ACME. Anyway, we'd have at least 5 competitors: @Sir Hillary (who would probably win), @mathgent, @Sir Hillary, @Lewis, and me. Wondering how many others would give it a whirl? Does it sound like A Plan?

Charles Flaster 9:34 AM  

In total, and I mean total agreement with Rex. I enjoyed it a bit more although it was a DNF at yEsMEN.
I originally thought Life preservers? meant Life magazine.
Thanks AJR

Unknown 9:38 AM  

Re: GPA on your resume: It's a pretty common practice for law students and lawyers, especially when applying to big law firms and clerkships.

Solved the majority of this puzzle in about half my usual Friday time. The SE then took forever. Same issues as Rex with nod v NOM and LEGMEN.

mathgent 9:42 AM  

Did it while watching the Warriors get lucky last night. What a treat to see LeBron at the peak of his powers.

Nice crossword despite the ugly SE.

@Sir Hillary (8:51): Another winner! YOUNAILEDIT!

mac 9:43 AM  

Nice puzzle, on the easy side. I only got stuck a little in the SW.

After Howard Kaylan's comment I listened to the words in "Elenore", what a hoot!

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

Once you're sold on IMITATIon and NOd (the far better answers, IMHO), the combination of LEGMEN (a new one on me) with ELENORE (???) is an absolute killer. Even S__ for title was not jumping out of the page for Booker.

Buck Dharmody 9:57 AM  

“David” Noone or “Peter” Noone of Herman’s Hermits?

GHarris 10:00 AM  

Dnf because putting cornea for eyeball cover prevented completion of SW and imitation sank me in the SE. I have two quibbles with the clueing; imitation is the skill of imitating which is a verb; #MeToo movement has just surfaced. How can it already have become an Era?

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Yes, CONNIVE HAS 2 N's, just like in the puzzle.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

plausible schmausible

needlescape 10:06 AM  

I would like to challenge a crossword puzzle creator to make a puzzle without a single sport clue

JC66 10:11 AM  

why not clue 56A E.Macron, for one.

Bob Mills 10:21 AM  

On the easy side for a Friday, but well done. Only objection: Since when does the USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) set the prime rate? That's a bank rate, controlled by the Federal Reserve System.

Z 10:23 AM  

LOL - Scandal Serendipity.

Nancy 10:35 AM  

@Bob Mills -- The USDA provides the rating as to whether a piece of beef is Prime or Choice. It's meant to mislead us and is a great clue!!!

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

I would like one without Rap clues. Everyone would like one without something. So what?

Malsdemare 10:37 AM  

DNF here due to Herbert who?, NOd instead od NOM, and IMITATIon instead od IMITATING, which made the SE impossible to see. After a while, I gave up, even after Googling the Oklahoma aunt, and the author of "The Ascent of Money." I also had MA ll rather than MART and never saw my error because, again, Herbert who? ORD is the code of for Ohare airport, not an old fort. I emjoy hard puzzles, but this one ate my lunch.

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

@Bob. Prime is a grade of meat.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

@ Bob Mills, Think of prime beef.

Maruchka 10:41 AM  

Three do-overs and much head scratching inspired a plausible 80s theme party line:
Mullet Imitation Nailed!

Sweet to revisit Fort ORD on beautiful Monterey Bay. Here's to Barak Obama,who acted to protect our heritage sites from the greed-heads.

Normal Norm 10:45 AM  

Ha! Rex got punked by a fake Howard Kaylan.
Yeah, it's a drag when you trip on your own ego.

It couldn't be Ft. Lee because the clue said Union.
Best clue for Eden I've seen. Always glad to see the Bard.

Z 10:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
TubaDon 10:56 AM  

Somehow I flashed on ADDERLEY and proceeded to zip through the rest of the puzzle contiguously until I hit the SE quagmire. Toyed with NOD and IMITATION for a while, but never having heard of the Turtles, I was stuck until my wife told me to put an L at the 43A 38D intersection. Except for the ugly NOM, this was an enjoyable puzzle.

Ellen S 11:01 AM  

Amazing day: @Rex liked a puzzle better than I did. Actually, most amazing is that he liked a puzzle. I’m glad I’ve lived to see this. I had the same NOd/NOM as everybody, but many other writeovers (typeovers) to numerous and dumb to mention.

Here’s something I”ve noticed in about the last year: my cheating hardly ever requires Google. I flagrantly “Clear Errors” for the word I’m wondering about, but with the correct letters remaining I eventually dredge up the correct answer.

I think this means the puzzles are getting easier. (Except I never finished — or couldn’t even find a way to start — saturday May 26. That may be what I think of as a “traditional” Saturday, i.e., beyond me.

GILL I. 11:06 AM  

Five WOWS this week so far. It wasn't a WOW, I'm a mazed, as a WOW, I really enjoyed this.
One lousy foul-up at not know NIALL at 43A and causing a bit of a crash and dent in the SE. IMITATIon/TSARINists and forgetting how to spell ELENORE.
I love me some Turtles. I don't care if Howard Kaylon is a fake and that @Rex might have been punked....Howard was my favorite turtle.
Only dislike was NOM. Why not NOM de Plume or even NOM Wah Tea Parlor?
In my second coming life, I was an Ass't Admissions Counselor in an all women's college. You better bet your bippy that the GPA played a huge part in getting admitted. Looks didn't count.
Cluing was primo. Prime rater was my favorite. STEVE is so generic that I decided I didn't like that clue. Wanted HOLY GHOSTS for God's manifestation followed by the son and father...AMEN Andrew Ries.

jberg 11:06 AM  

Herb ADDERLEY played for the Packers at the time I was a big fan, and I'm sure I knew the name then, but I didn't now. And I was sure there was a Fort ORr, but no. So DNF.

Otherwise, a great puzzle. Or, anyway, a great puzzle. (Though if I hadn't actually been to Hanauma Bay, I might be complaining.)

@Anonymous 7:45, you're thinking of "est." Es is second person singular, something we no longer use in English unless we're Quakers. So technically, it would be "art" -- but one could argue that we say "you are" meaning singular, so it's OK.

USAGES? Worst POC ever.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

It was the etc. that nailed the irony in those lyrics.
Whether the real HK or not - the irony is so clear as soon as they sing
et cet'ra...

I had a student named Elanor. I said, "Your parents are Tolkien freaks, aren't they?" "Yes," she said, hanging her head in shame.

apack 11:20 AM  

Academy recog., or Acad. recognition are appropriate clues for NOM. Heck, even academy recognition, shortened. An academy recognition, informally is NOD all day long.

Anonymous 11:32 AM  

I'm a little surprised Adderley is giving so many folks trouble.'
I guess it's getting to be a long time ago, but he was a key component to one the NFL's all-time great dynasties.
He is a Hall of famer--first by alphabetical order, I think---.

particularly surprised by your surprise. You would've been young when he was finishing his career, but I always thought Adderley was something of a Michigan State legend.....

H. Bob 11:38 AM  

My favorite version of "Elenore" is by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, who do punk covers of rock/easy listening classics.

Hartley70 11:40 AM  

Like so many, IMITATIon and NOd set me up for failure with LEGMAN. It was still a superior puzzle with lots of misdirection and vernacular answers like TEACHABLEMOMENT and SPIDEYSENSE which I loved.

Chris 11:47 AM  

Had exactly the same experience as OFL and others: sped through the very enjoyable puzzle until the SE. Fixing IMITATION finally broke the jam.

NIALL was a gimme for me. Coincidentally, he's in the (higher ed-ish) news today, and not in a particularly good way.

Masked and Anonymous 12:18 PM  

Real good puz, for a themeless.

* SCH. staff weeject pick, mainly becuz it's crossin TEACHABLEMOMENT.
* PRECALC. Never bumped into this course at my schs, and M&A was sorta a math majorette. Sounds like a good idea, tho. When I taught calculus, students seemed weighed down by all the course n-1 stuff they'd forgotten, plus all the new strange, almost metaphysical, concepts like limits and derivatives and e and such. First couple of calc classes was M&A just re-hashin all the course n-1 "greatest hits". Had students go to the boards and draw a "log", f'rinstance; that got lotsa groans.
* PTEROSAUR. Only previously re-called PTERODACTYL, so went in with PTERODACT. Sorta like DRAC for DRACULA. Wrong again, M&A breath.
* COUSINITT. "Hirsute"! That word of mysteries [of Mr. Ries?] made the clue hairier than itt needed to be. har
* ORALS. Primo {They're all talk} clue. Also crossin SCH, btw.
* GOTIME. Debut word meat. Usually about an hour after breakfast, for M&A.
* @RP: yep. That NW corner was kinda ornery. Nanosecond gobbler. M&A had to GOROAM over to MOMA/MANACLE/PTL to get to splatz somethin in.
* @Nancy: M&A has published several sorta-cryptic runtpuzs. They were a numbered series, called "Galaxy of the Guardian" runtz*. Purists were not impressed.
* Ft. ORD. California. Were M&A reported, to get flown out to NaM.

Thanx for the feisty fun, Mr. Ries. Nice jaws of themelessness black square dealies.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


* sample cryptic for @Nancy:

Lewis 12:28 PM  

@sirhillary -- You've got the knack!
@Nancy -- I am a cryptic tyro, with hardly any experience, but I'm quite intrigued. I've loved what I've seen from @sirhillary.

Z 12:48 PM  

@Anon11:32 - I went to a real college, not MSU or UM, nor am I a football fan, so was surprised to see that ADDERLEY was an MSU legend. Which points out the inherent flaw of Proper Names in puzzles, if a legend from this homer's home state is a WOE, how is it a fair clue/answer pair in a crossword puzzle. For Trivia Night in the bar, sure, but names, especially, are too random. Heck, my Dutch surname has two separate spellings in west Michigan. Fortunately for solvers, I'll never be crossworthy.

G. Weissman 12:51 PM  

I’d add that “Life preservers?” Is a shabby clue for “cereal boxes.” Too clever by half, as the saying goes. There is no sense is which the box “preserves” the cereal. Also, IMITATING as a skill of comedians is a stretch, though I see that “doing impressions” would not fit. Who would say “you should see her imitation of Sean Spicer”?

Nancy 12:51 PM  

What the hell? Why not? Here's a cryptic clue I came up with decades ago -- much too long, of course and somewhat flawed. I'm no Sondheim or Maltby or Sir Hillary. But if it gives anyone here a bit of solving pleasure and an "Aha" moment, then it's worth posting. Do me a favor, though. If you guess the answer and want to post it, can you put a *spoiler alert* and bury it down at the bottom of the comment box and out of sight? Thanks.

Clue: It's useless to do the latter to a horse that is the former. Bummer! (8 letters).

Teedmn 12:57 PM  

DNF today? YOU CALLED IT. I crashed and burned badly yesterday in the SE and my comment got erased when I tried to confess to it, totally via user error. So I was hoping to succeed today, only to totally mess up the NW. Certainly, I tried to screw up in the SE but finally changed ELiNORE to ELENORE after staring every which way at the mango/persimmon TRiE, sheesh.

But ORr/ArDElLEY/MAll/PlEROSAUR mess ticked me off greatly. Should have guessed the PT start to PTEROSAUR and that would have given me MART. ORr vs. ORD, which I considered as well, might have fallen a different way if the other one hadn't gone SAUR.

Mullet before MOP TOP and TEACHing before TEACHABLE. Tried to COsNIVE with IF SO at 51D but even I was able to fix that one.

Nice Friday, Andrew.

Mohair Sam 1:03 PM  

@Z - Not arguing that ADDERLY wasn't a tough entry, but the fact that you don't know him does not make him unworthy of Cruciverbia. I've never lived anywhere near Michigan but as an NFL fan (the country's most popular sport) ADDERLY was a gimme - he was arguably the best defensive player on a legendary team. (until today I never even knew where he went to college or that he is a Philadelphia native)

It's a legitimate end of the week clue and answer - and I'll bet more people got it off a letter or two than did NIALL.

LHS 888 1:15 PM  

@Mohair Sam - Thanks for the pointer on Fort Dix not being “former”. I was more caught up in the 3-letter Union general & I was pretty sure it couldn’t be Lee. Didn’t know about ORD before today. I do now, though!

Anonymous 1:23 PM  

I like your style, but Adderley was only the third best player on those Packers defenses. Willie Wood edges him out and Ray Nitschke flat out beats him. Adderley is indeed better than some of His hall of Fame teammates like Henry Jordan, Willie Davis and Dave Robinson. I just realized the Packers had 6 HOFers on the field at the same time. Holy smokes!!!
FWIW, Adderley lives in Philly to this very day, and Dave Robinson is just across the bridge in Moorestown, NJ.

QuasiMojo 1:26 PM  

Count me in @Nancy... I love cryptics. And word play.

jae 1:26 PM  

@Normal Norm - I'm almost positive Rex was being sarcastic

nyc_lo 1:28 PM  

I call foul on the whole SE corner. Two obscure proper name spellings, weird archaic term for errand runners, and IMO a deliberately misleading clue for Academy recognition (should have been “in short” not “informally”) — if you’re going to use crappy fill, at least throw us a friggin bone, here. Sheesh.

kitshef 1:30 PM  

@M&A - loved the cryptic, but really, really loved the Runtpuz collection 'ad'.

Canon chasuble 1:37 PM  

Tu es = you ARE.

Matthew G. 1:39 PM  

I was on track for a record time until I got to the SE corner, which wrecked me. I know the song ELENORE well, can sing it from front to back, and had no clue it was spelled that weird way. Like Rex, I have only heard LEGMEN used in the prurient sense he cites.

But other than that corner, this was as breezy as a NYT themeless gets.

Matthew G. 1:39 PM  

Oh yeah, and having NOD instead of NOM made LEGMEN impossible to see for a long time. Curse you, SE corner!

Anonymous 1:40 PM  

within the last couple of weeks there was a discussion about GTO. Anyway, the Ferrari GTO that won the Tour de France in 1964 just sold for $70 million.
3 and out

Bullcrap Connor 1:52 PM  


So what does that do to my GPA?

I want to marry Samantha Bee 1:54 PM  

Does anyone remember George Barany?

Joe Bleaux 2:03 PM  

(And speaking of, I'm as big a fan of Sam Bee as anyone, but she did cross a line ... "feckless" was unnecessarily crude.)

Raymond Chandler 2:11 PM  

You want to know what, in real live, LEGMEN are called? baGMEN. That's right, they're baGMEN

Ross Macdonald 2:13 PM  

What @Raymond Chandler & @Dashiell Hammett just said.

James M Cain 2:15 PM  

Normally I'd advise not listening to Ross Macdonald (he's a hack), but this time he's right. What @Raymond Chandler & @Dashiell Hammett just said.

Joe Bleaux 2:26 PM  

Wasn't it Don Draper (not Dryer)?

Mohair Sam 2:44 PM  

@Joe Bleaux (2:26) - Hey, you talking to me? (don't blog off a smart phone so I'm never sure) Yeah, Draper - I was so sure of Dryer I didn't bother to check.

@Anon (1:23) - I did say "arguably" - but I won't argue about Nitschke. ADDERLEY seemed to be the guy picking off passes from the team I was rooting for, so he's the worst memory for me. I see Wood and Adderley both had 48 career interceptions - That was one hell of a defense.

Joe Bleaux 2:50 PM  

Great Friday so far -- a typically fine Andrew Ries puzzle, and lively blog comments to go with it. @Rex's snags uncannily (and uncommonly) mirrored, in order, those I encountered. I managed to stifle my grousing 'til I mired in that SE, with its NOM and its NIALL. (BTW, were the tsar and TSARINA's kids tsardines?). Thanks, @Lewis, for sharing the "Cannibal" story; he's who came to mind as soon as I got the last name (with the extra e) from the crosses. I hope the Howard Kaylan who dropped in was a real Turtle. Before I go, an honest-to-God (I heard it) Jim Bakker quote from the PTL's, um, glory days: "Jesus was the original Jew -- Jesus HAD money!" Gotta love those evangelicals and their "prosperity gospel," huh? Happy weekend, all!

White Rushin 3:18 PM  

You think that the Real Howard Kaylan posted that? LOL, I have farmland here in Russia for sale. Cheap.
Vladimir Putin

Knitwit 3:49 PM  

OMG. Loved this!! Filling in ELENORE brought back many good memories! Thanks for sharing the back story.

JOHN X 3:57 PM  

I looked up The Turtles right after watching the embedded "Elinore" video just to see who the prancing singer with the Jewfro was (BEST tambourine player since Tracy Partridge). The quote by "Howard Kaylan" here in the comments is a quote by singer Howard Kaylan on the liner notes of The Turtles 2002 anthology album "Solid Zinc." So it's probably not the real Howard, unless he comments by quoting himself verbatim. But the quote is accurate and Howard Kaylan DID say that.


1) That video led to me learning about Howard Kaylen & Mark Volman, who I did not know are also "Flo & Eddie." A contract dispute prevented them from using their real names professionally in a musical context. Dang! They're pretty interesting, and they might get a record sale out of this.

2) Rex reads the comments. He says he doesn't but I know he does. He has to. He must.

As for the puzzle, yes yes it's all a rich tapestry blah blah blah

Anonymous 4:39 PM  

Fair point. But you know that your team is the only one to ever beat Lombardi in a postseason game, right? At none other than Franklin Field.
Thats on Penn's campus Wm.C .

Unknown 4:51 PM  

Dollars to donuts that our PhD put his college GPA on his resume applying for grad school.

kitshef 4:56 PM  

@ Sir Hillary: Li’l Abner’s Daisy takes in salt to build a bond. (7)

sanfranman59 5:04 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 4:43 4:30 1.05 60.8% Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:54 5:26 1.09 67.7% Medium-Challenging
Wed 5:50 6:39 0.88 29.1% Easy-Medium
Thu 11:28 9:51 1.16 75.2% Medium-Challenging
Fri 11:19 13:05 0.86 32.5% Easy-Medium

I found this to be mostly very easy, but I jammed myself up in the NE (~9% of my time) and struggled to finish in the SE (~45% of my time ... ouch!). In fact, my solving experience seems very similar to Rex's and I'm (somewhat unusually) in agreement with OFL's assessment today. Bottom line: about 80% Very Easy and 20% Challenging.

In the SW, the culprits were misspelling NIALL Ferguson's name as NaiaL(??), wavering back and forth between IMITATion and IMITATING, NOd for NOM at first and entering 's' at the end of 44D (I wanted gofers for "Errand runners", but knew the 'f' couldn't work at the end of IMITAT___).

In the NE, it was ACrid and ACerb before ACUTE and HubbYS before HONEYS that gave me pause.

I also had an ICE PArAdE(?) before building an ICE PALACE on Interstate 90 linking the NW to the Northern Plains, but that was remedied in due time by the cleverly clued ORALS. I wonder how many comments there are out here today about good ol' Aunt ELLER?

I found lots to like here (pretty much all of the long answers) and not much to BOO about (though ELENORE tempts me). It was a little uneven difficulty-wise and overall less of a challenge than I'd like on Friday, but I give it two thumbs up.

Mohair Sam 5:20 PM  

@Anon (4:39) - Of course I knew that - Until a few months ago it was the Eagle's only championship. The following year the Packers drafted ADDERLEY and the Eagles were dog meat for nearly 60 years.

Good old Franklin Field, opened in 1895 and still busy - what a wonderful history.

Preferred Customer 5:22 PM  

Esis informal you. You are.

Anonymous 6:02 PM  

Mohair, I knew you knew. Two small quibbles though. The Birds went back to back in `48 and `49.
Fly Eagles fly...

Johnny Rotten 6:17 PM  

@H. Bob 11:38 a.m. Fat Mike, who is the head Gimme, is also the leader of the punk band NOFX and he was banned from a musical festival yesterday for opining that at least it were country fans who were massacred in Vegas last year and not punk fans. Hey, he’s a punk what do you expect ? Kind of like Roseanne. It seems that SJWs are on both ends of the spectrum.

Mohair Sam 7:13 PM  

@Anon - Ooops! Please don't tell Ray Didinger about my goof - besides, anything before Tommy MacDonald doesn't really count.

JC66 7:56 PM  

Go Giants!

sanfranman59 8:06 PM  

Good heavens! Is the world going to start spinning in the opposite direction? @Stuart Showalter didn't savage OFL today!

@Lewis ... thanks for the very cool Cannonball trivia

I was just feeling somewhat sad that the internet has so hardened me, that I can't trust my hope that @Howard Kaylan actually visited our happy little message board community. Then @kitshef & @John X go and justify my cynicism. There you people go letting facts get in the way of a good story. Never run for office.

@Sir Hillary ... Good catch on the ADDERLEY/ELLER crossing. I was a youth when these two roamed the icy tundras of Lambeau Field and Metropolitan Stadium. I could hear John Facenda's voice as I read your comment.

@GHarris ... I, too, looked askance at #MeToo achieving ERA status so soon

Unknown 10:51 PM  

90 day streak hit. I almost didn't finish due to the SE. Went well over my average Friday time trying to find the error. IMITATING not INITATIon. Bad TYPO in ELEonRE which I just cold not see. LE??EN was totally impenetrable.

Sheila 12:12 AM  

Wow, an actual Turtle sharing the backstory with us?!!! That's pretty cool! Thanks! What's it like for you to come across references to yourself?

Anonymous 2:08 AM  

You got pranked.

RocketScientist 2:19 AM  

Saw Flo and Eddie as frontmen For frank Zappa band in 70s in Boston. From Zappa weirdness to “So Happy together” in a flash. Great show. Thanks to Flo fir posting

wgh 6:25 PM  

I give this a solid B. Uprating for Flo & Eddie clue.

joebloggs 4:58 AM  

I don’t watch a ton of entertainment news but literally have never heard NOM. Heard Oscar NOD lots of times but never heard or seen in print. Maybe I need more E network in my life but honestly it’s rubbish to me.

thefogman 10:50 AM  

Classic Rex! He proceeds to eviscerate the constructor and the puzzle yet ends ABRUPTly with "but overall I had a good time with this one." Don't you just love his little DRAMAS?
I found this one to be very easy for the most part up until I hit the SW corner. Everything crystallized when the light clicked on for that dreaded BMOC. I hate when that comes up. In a previous TEACHABLEMOMENT it's cost me a DNF, but not this time. My SPIDEYSENSE saved the day. There were plenty of tricky misdirects. I had yeoMEN before yesMEN before LEGMEM; chAR before SEAR; roMA before MOMA and IfSO before IFNO. That last one was key to finally getting the SW corner and the puzzle done. Overall, a decent puzzle - albeit a bit too easy for a Friday. Another misfile by Mr. Shortz?

PS - I still don't get why 38D (ELENORE) is clued as "satirical".

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Niall, really??? And a nod is an informal recognition. A nom. is an abbreviation! The southeast corner should have been reworked before publishing in my humble opinion.

spacecraft 11:27 AM  

Hand up for ACerb--and also ACrid!--before ACUTE, also for YOUnAiLEDIT instead of YOUCALLEDIT. Definitely NOT a hand up for "easy," or anything close. This baby fought me tooth and nail (ha1), kicking and screaming all the way. Thank goodness for the shoehorn that got me in: UTES/COUSINITT. The clues seem to WANT you not to solve. Life preservers? = CEREALBOXES?? I get it [groan] but really, what a clue! He likes it! Hey Mikey!

Hand also up for the devilish SE. And here again we have NOd vs. NOM, and "informally" vs. "abbr." Let's clear this up, shall we? No one says "NOM." If NOM exists at all, it does so as an abbreviation. Be devious cluing--but be FAIR. For the second time, this gets the yellow hankie. And an ejection. NOM shall never again appear as "informally." You guys got that?

I find no HONEYS to hang the DOD sash on; just TED, STEVE and COUSINITT. Sires aplenty but no DAMS. ELLER and ELENORE aren't real. So be it. TEACHABLEMOMENTs galore in this one. Birdie, for the triumph factor alone.

Burma Shave 1:14 PM  


the GPA DRAMAS OFFERED ARE impeachable:


rainforest 3:02 PM  

A surprisingly easy Friday puzzle today - I guess easy-medium to be accurate.

Starting with PRECALC and ADDERLEY, I tobogganed though this, top to bottom pretty effortlessly, writing over ELLEn en route, and fighting with NIALL in the SE. We've seen NOM before, so I just waited for the cross there.

I've rarely used the term, but "wheelhouse" would seem to apply here. I appreciated the cluing and the clean fill, and it all clicked with me. I'm glad I don't time myself, and this may have been a Friday record, but the fun in regular solving is much more rewarding.

Diana,LIW 4:51 PM  

ELENORE was satirical? Who knew?

Once again...very cigar...good thing I quit smoking...

Lady Di

Diana,LIW 6:39 PM  

Hmmm - I wrote a comment, but it be gone.

I only mentioned that I wondered about ELENORE being satirical.. really?

another close, but no cigar for me

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, and for my post to post

leftcoastTAM 6:56 PM  

Last and probably least [false humility].

Had much the same solving experience as Rex today--though relatively in very slow motion--with the long downs, middle acrosses, and a scattering of things elsewhere.

My own special hang-ups included GOTIME in the NW and IMITATIon before IMITATING in the SE.

Felt good to finish, even if late in the day. [Will not list excuses.]

rondo 8:24 PM  

Ole and Sven and others are deep in the forest logging. Lars dies. Since they are so far into the forest they dig a grave:
Ole: Don't ya spose vee otta say a few verds, den?
Sven: Vell, I ain't very religious, but I tink I remember sum verds.
Ole: Okay, den, haff at it.
Sven: In da name of da Fodder, and da Sun, [pushes Lars' corpse with his foot] and in da hole he goes.

That's as close as I can get to a HOLYSPIRIT joke.

Thought I remembered Herb ADDERLEY on the offensive side rather than at cornerback. So I waited for a cross. Ah, the passage of time.

Any puz with RON in it is OK.

Unknown 8:51 PM  

Well, my earlier post apparently didn't make the cut. Or am I getting increasingly paranoid as I age?

Anonymous 6:07 AM  

Never heard spidey sense used in print or conversation. Maybe I don't venture out enough. And wouldn't prospective employers wonder about you if your gpa was part of your resume ? Otherwise a good challenging puzzle.

nina 6:24 AM  

Mercy Mercy Mercy Mercy. is a great tune by Cannonball ADDERLEY. NOM is bad. Here's an equally bad clue for NOM [Two characters from a James Bond movie] This puzzle is pitched rather old. Kinda musty fill. Could have run it in 1985!

Jeff Langenderfer 11:33 AM  

I doubt that Howard Kaylan actually commented. The comment is verbatim from a Turtles greatest hits album liner notes.

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