Corn flour in Latin American cuisine / FRI 8-3-18 / Rock band with four self-titled albums / Fuze competitor / Bygone record giant / Skeleton vehicle in olympics / Channel that used to show a clip of 1969 moon landing every hour

Friday, August 3, 2018

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Medium (closer to "Medium-Challenging" for me because of a single answer, but you all probably didn't share my woe) (6:59)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: WEEZER (33A: Rock band with four(!) self-titled albums) —
Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992, consisting of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Matt Sharp (bass, backing vocals).
After signing to Geffen Records in 1993, Weezer released their debut self-titled album, also known as the "Blue Album", in 1994. Backed by successful music videos for the singles "Buddy Holly", "Undone – The Sweater Song" and "Say It Ain't So", the Blue Album became a quadruple-platinum success. Their second album, Pinkerton (1996), featuring a darker, more abrasive sound, was a commercial failure and initially received mixed reviews, but went on to achieve cult status and critical acclaim years later. Both the Blue Album and Pinkerton are now frequently cited among the best albums of the 1990s.  (wikipedia)
• • •

Well I was enjoying this one and humming right along with only a minor incident here and there ("Li'l Abner creature"? (5D); "POISON ... what? Not POISONOUS?" (45A: Scathing); etc.). But then I hit the bottom third and even though I thought I was still flying, and I was, it turns out I had some pretty bad engine trouble and ended up having to make an unscheduled stop with a very rough landing or some such aviation metaphor. The real damage came when I ran into 63A: Cab charge?). Yeah, sure, "?" clue, but I saw right through it because I had the "CO-" and "K" so I knew it was ... [drum roll] ... CORKING FEE. Which is the only term I've ever heard. My certainty was only more heavily cemented when the FEE part worked in the crosses. I was a little suspicious that I didn't know  what Arthurian knight (60D: Sir ___ of the Round Table) fit the pattern KI-, since I, uh, teach Arthurian literature, but I rationalized that maybe there was a Sir KIT I was forgetting and moved on to the SE, figuring I'd work out holes in the SW afterward. Only the SE was rough. Very rough. Whereas I didn't know I was in trouble with CORKING FEE, I knew I couldn't make anything in the SE work. LOL my knowing anything about ED SHEERAN except that I like to mock my daughter for liking him (55A: Singer whose "Thinking Out Loud" won the 2015 Grammy for Song of the Year). I do not know this song. Or any of his songs, I don't think. Maybe I've heard one at the gym. Anyway, no hope there (until I got a bunch of crosses). Also figured [Stir crazy?] had something to do with a madness that comes on when you've been locked up a long time. The idea that "crazy" should be a noun??? Yuck and ugh, that's awful. Or is it that PRISON RIOT is stir (prison) that has gone crazy? Either way, the grammar is terrible there.

Had DOG LEGS instead of DOG EARS (44D: Turns a corner?). Had no idea about NSFW (I know the term, but the "opening" part of the clue had me thinking a physical label on a physical object) (58D: You might be careful opening something with this label). Totally forgot what [Burgoo or callaloo] was. So yeah, the SE was a mess. And after I sorted that, I still had CORKING FEE to deal with. Didn't help that the short crosses I was missing had clues that were vague (61D: Back) and seemingly inaccurate (55D: Dreamland), respectively. Dreamland??? That's Nod. EDEN is a paradise, or a Barbara, but "Dreamland," barf. But no way ED-N was gonna be anything else, and AGO made sense, and there I was, done, with CORKAGE FEE staring at me. Looked it up and sure enough, I'd either been hearing it wrong all these years, or people do in fact say CORKING FEE regionally / wrongly. Also, honestly, the number of times where CORKAGEING FEE has applied to the place I was dining, I can count on one hand, so ... that was probably also part of the problem.

["I just want the summer ... to end ..."]

Wish I remembered most of the rest of the puzzzle. I remember liking it mostly. Though no one wants to remember "STAR TREK VI," do they? (3D: 1991 sci-fi film sequel)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. how is [Hamburger, maybe] a HERR? Like ... some dude ... lives in Hamburg? Why is he a he? Is that the "maybe"? Sometimes cutesy misdirection is bad.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:39 AM  

Hamburger is a German person from Hamburg

Charles Flaster 6:40 AM  

Liked it but did not finish at MTi.
Clue for PRISON RIOT was quite creative.
Starting to become familiar with twenty first century culture.
Thanks DS

Harryp 6:40 AM  

I liked the clues for 63Across Cab charge, 19Across Four finger gestures and 44Down Turns a corner. Lots of misdirects, plus I had doglegs before DOGEARS. staid before SWAMP, etc. Still played as average Friday time. I like it when David Steinberg is the constructor.

Anonymous 6:49 AM  

Re: the PS.

I had no trouble with the “Hamburger, maybe” clue. Hamburg is a city in Germany, a Hamburger is someone who lives in Hamburg. Roughly half of the Hamburgers are men, hence the German HERR.

I have never heard of CORKAGE FEE but was able to get it from crosses. I was surprised by the happy music when I filled in the last letter - I was sure there was a mistake somewhere.

- Jim C. in Maine

Loren Muse Smith 6:50 AM  

Rex – I guess it’s a regional thing ‘cause CORKAGE FEE is the only phrase I know. When I worked at a country club, that’s what we called it. Talk about a poorly-named deal. It causes a lot of snits because it sounds like it’s what you charge simply to open the bottle or some such. It should be called the We Make Our Money to Pay for Your Waiter, Linens, AC, Dishwasher, and a Ton of Other Things by Selling our Product fee. Imagine if you went to a restaurant and brought all your own food and drink – the restaurant still has to pay the waiter and overhead, but on your table, they receive no revenue.

Glad I could clear that up for you all.

I loved the clue for 59A: “Cancel on someone.” That little word on is huge. We use it to add the feeling that what you did affected someone negatively.

You shaved your head! (Looks nice)
You shaved your head on me! (We had agreed to wait until three months and do it together.)

You went out for cheerleading! (Great. Hope you make it!)
You went out for cheerleading on me! (We had agreed to take a stand against against this institution.)

I also noticed the noun POISON PEN’s being clued as an adjective. But it works paradigmatically:

The Trump White House
The current White House

I thought the clue was fine for a Friday. But I do agree that the part-of-speech issue with PRISON RIOT’s clue is a stretch.

Finally, I don’t understand the snark about HERR’s clue. At all. If you’re a guy and from the town of Hamburg, du bist Hamburger - HERR. If you’re a woman, du bist Hamburgerin. So, yeah, the clue is gendered, but I don’t think it slights women. I guess. I’m not good at spotting when I’m supposed to get all upset and stuff over gender equality issues; my dismaydar is usually asleep on the job.

David - excellent puzzle. Those two big corners were terrific. Well done!

Lewis 6:58 AM  

The cluing was so in my wavelength that this fell in a relative-to-Friday blur and for that reason I was thinking this was disappointing for a DS puzzle, or, to reparse one of the answers -- I'M A C.

But then, upon a deeper look:
* PESTO clue, which is *so* Steinberg, where he finds something interesting about the actual letters of an answer.
* Terrific DOGEAR and PRISON RIOT clues.
* HEAD TO TAIL after yesterday's "Coin Flip" puzzle, and last month's NOSE TO TAIL (Robyn Weintraub).
* Lovely crosses of SPRAY ON TAN and SHEEN, as well as PECAN PIE and POOCH (what may happen to one's paunch after too much p.p.).

And I realize that my initial judgement was simply premature. This is a solid, strong, creative, sparkling offering, and I need to change that I'M A C, to a reparsed Spanish word -- MAN, AN A! -- and I'm looking forward to many mananas with David.

Smitty 6:59 AM  

Technically DOG EARS would be "folds a corner". no?

Robso 7:14 AM  

I thought this was a very strong puzzle—few proper names, interesting trivia, good misdirects. My only bone to pick was RUE used as a noun. I have only rued saying something stupid at a party. I don’t think I have ever felt rue about it. Am I missing something?

kitshef 7:19 AM  

At the beach the other day we had a period of rain. It was frustrating because we could look in every direction and see blue sky, but there was one cloud perched over us and it just wasn’t moving. I thought to myself, “wasn’t there a comic strip character that always had a cloud over his head?”

While googling around post-solve looking at SHMOO, I came across it -- Joe Btfsplk. 1) how could I forget? 2) Come on Steinberg, work that name into a puzzle.

Another really nice puzzle, though again too easy for the day.

JJ 7:21 AM  

Wow, I just loved this one. The clue for DOG EARS may be my favorite this year. So many fun misdirects. When I see his picture I wonder how someone so young knows what he knows. What a clever mind.

FLAC 7:21 AM  

Minor gripe: Otis Redding recorded on Volt, which was a sister label of Stax. As clued, it's a little like saying the Temptations and the Miracles recorded on Motown, rather than, respectively, on Gordy and Tamla.

That nit aside, I agree this was a wonderful puzzle. "Corkage fee" is a common term -- even in the Northeast -- and "Hamburger" was fairly, and cleverly, clued. What's not fair is to judge a puzzle's quality by what you don't know.

Unknown 7:31 AM  

Wait— you make fun of your daughter for liking Ed Sheeran but you have never heard one of his songs?

'mericans in Paris 7:35 AM  

Aaaaaaaah. What a satisfying puzzle. Worth that pesky CORKAGE FEE (which is the term I've always heard). RIEN à redire, MON ami.

Mrs. 'mericans (just back from 2 weeks states-side) and I did this one as a tag team, with me doing 1/3, then her the next third, then me finishing up. Took us about average time for a Friday.

Always nice to guess right at 1A. But I had AIR kissES before M'm erased the latter word in order to enter the crosses of TEATRO, RAKE and IDES. And so it went.

WEEZER's one of my favorite rock bands from the 1990s, not far below Guided by Voices (which is still going strong). Wilco's another good one from that era.

Loved the clever cluing for PESTO, which one serves on PaSTa.

Hot as blue blazes again here in Paris: supposed to reach a high of 36C (97F) today. I think I'll go and quaff more than a DROP of DrAFT beer.

Thanks, David Steinberg!

Suzie Q 7:44 AM  

So many clever clues today!
I'll bet a lot of us thought "et tu" was going to be Act (insert a number) but it was the Ides of March. Just one of several funs clues.
There does seem to be a musical theme with some recording clues and Teatro thrown in there.
D.S. used to frustrate me but now I really like his work.
I like the way he manipulates his words. Is it a verb or a noun? You can't assume and really need to think creatively. I love that.

'mericans in Paris 7:47 AM  

As for the HERR from Hamburg clue, it reminded me of all the take-offs on JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner!" ("I am a donut!") moment. I think I recall some cartoonist drawing one of Jimmy Carter proclaiming "Ich bin ein Hamburger!" Certainly I've seen the same spoofs on Presidents Obama and Trump. In the one for Trump, the words above his speech bubble are "Trump tries to calm Merkel".

Vincent Lima 7:57 AM  

Obviously Hamburger is HERR. For FRAU the clue would have to be Hamburgess.

Pete S 7:59 AM  

Just about made it to the end, thanks to a litany of self-misdirections. I was temporarily derailed by the same POISONOUS/POISONPEN mistake, and got some PEP in my step when I figured it out. More comically, I wondered if the four fingered gestures might have been AIR GUITAR, the plural mismatch offset somewhat by the appearance of WEEZER, ED SHEERAN and (the delightfully clued) MTV. The last letter to drop was the E of ESIGN, where I had imagined a question mark and decided the digital endorsement was the fingers and thumb forming an A-okay SIGN. Mercifully, the wtf feeling around PRISON RIOT turned out a-okay.

QuasiMojo 8:14 AM  

I'm CRAZY for Steinberg puzzles. They are usually a laff RIOT, and this one was no exception. Yes, there were odd moments that threw me POISONOUS before POISON PEN (which makes sense when you think of the term "poison pen letter") but my big goof was thinking "Doctor Who" was a TV show about hospitals! So I kept fiddling with ERS, EMS, RNS, etc. Otherwise I had only a couple of stumbles (MAIZ before MASA; STRIP MINES before STRIPMALLS) and breezed along EDENically. The MONET clue was worth the price of admission.

PPS, is hideous bright orange the equivalent of BRONZE, though?

pabloinnh 8:24 AM  

Hand up for really liking this one. DS is becoming a real favorite. All I needed was a toehold, which I found in the SE, of all places, and then climbed up through the rest of it like a kid going up his favorite tree. Hiccup at the "four finger" clue as I kept thinking all four fingers were on the same hand, which is the kind of thing I like about DS puzzles.

Oh, and "corkage fee" is what you see on menus in this part of the country, if you happen to have the kind of disposable income that makes that possible.

Sir Hillary 8:27 AM  

Not my favorite Steinberg puzzle. It's fine, but a little boring compared to what we usually get from him.

Agree with @Rex that there is some weird grammar in here. I guess the adjective is POISON-PEN? PRISONRIOT also seems grammatically off. But the oddest one for me is RUE -- is it really a noun, other than a French street?

Like how DOGEARS crosses POOCH.

"Cab charge?" is a fantastic clue for CORKAGEFEE, but some of the clues feel forced. STRIPMALLS, DOGEARS and LAIT are all clued quite clunkily in my view.

Had no idea the Neil SEDAKA wrote that song, but it totally makes sense. Schmaltz from a Schmaltzmeister.

@LMS nails it with her take on a CORKAGEFEE. Just last week I was at a restaurant where the CORKAGEFEE was $30 each for the first two bottles, $60 each for bottles #3 and above. Translation: the first two annoy us; anything beyond that, we're seriously pissed. (FWIW, I ordered a bottle off the menu.)

Lewis 8:33 AM  

@lms: "Dismaydar" -- Hah!

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

Paintings {Monet, e.g.) have copies not REPLICAS. Some weird clueing here.

puzzlehoarder 8:53 AM  

This puzzle had me at AIRQUOTES. That was a perfect example of the entertaining cluing and entries to be found throughout.

@lms, thanks for the CORKAGEFEE explanation. It sounds like something you'd pay to have the cork put back in. "We'd like to take this wine home, what does it cost to get that cork back in there?"

My only problem causing write over was when I entered STARGATEII at 3D. I just make these things up so when it fit perfectly I thought I'd hit pay dirt. 22A was going to be some non-existent GUVNR.

Where the puzzle really opened up was from PPS on south. I wound up back filling the crosses from the east.

Very nice to start the weekend with a fun puzzle.

MickMcMick 8:59 AM  

Couldn’t agree more. Corkage fee? NSFW? Still don’t know what that is. Loved air quotes, because I hate when people use them.

mmorgan 9:08 AM  

Wow, I loved this -- it really made me think. The stuff I didn't know (WEEZER, ED SHEERAN) I could get from crosses. I loved the misdirects -- all fair and aha!-producing. A very satisfying solving experience and a joy to get the Happy Pencil! I do hate paying a CORKAGE FEE, though. If you don't have a liquor license and I'm bringing my own wine, I shouldn't have to pay you to open it -- especially if it's a screw cap!!

ChrisM 9:20 AM  

Actually, a corkage fee is what you have to pay in some restaurants to bring your own bottle of wine with you to dinner.

Brian 9:21 AM  

Many answers start or end with 3 letter words. Kind of a theme or pattern? I
Long answers are 2 or 3 words.

The Hermit Philosopher 9:27 AM  

Loved it! Rex must have too, judging by the low whine level in his writeup.

Hartley70 9:32 AM  

I had trouble getting a solid start today until I got to the SW. ADHD, ABCS and SEDAKA got the engine humming and I was able to finish the bottom half before starting on the top. I too really like a DS puzzle on a Friday. They are fresh and quirky and make me think young. WEEZER brought me right back to my kids’ teen years. EDSHEERAN to today’s.

What made this puzzle sing for me were the long colloquial answers. I expected HEADTOfoot. I was expecting unCORKingFEE. How did I not know that about the MTV moon landing segment? How cool. Why did they stop? Do artists make music videos anymore? And SEXQUIZ? If you’re reading Cosmopolitan, and who has since the seventies, you probably can ace the test. I hope.

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

David Steinberg,
Bravo. Simply superb!!! NSFW, dog ear, air quotes. Wow. Winners all.
I'm enjoying the schadenfreude of having gotten corkage fee in a flash while our fearless leader struggled with it.

Bruce R 9:50 AM  

I'm surprised that so many people are unfamiliar with a CORKAGEFEE. Having said that I have never heard of EDSHEERAN so what do I know.

Nancy 10:05 AM  

Oh, David. I thought we had a deal. You weren't going to shove all that PPP down our throats anymore. And for a really long while, you didn't. But today: STAX; WEEZER; SHMOO; ED SHEERAN; Fuze (to know NESTEA, you gotta know Fuze); SEDAKA (Yes, I've heard of him, but not as clued). Who knows all this trivia?

And there's so much in this puzzle that's so good, so Steinberg-esque. SWAMP; HERR; AIR QUOTES; CORKAGE FEE; PRISON RIOT; SPRAY ON TAN. But you so mired me in pop ephemera, that I was sure I wasn't going to finish. That I did finish is a tribute to pure stubbornness on my part.

Don't revert, David. Please don't revert. Do you remember that wonderful line from the movie "Charly", based on the short story "Flowers for Algernon"? At the end, Charly, who has gone from having the intellectual capacity of a child to someone who's stupendously brilliant, due to some drug or other first tried on a mouse, has seen what's happened to the mouse. He addresses a room full of scientists" "The secret of Charly?" he tells them. "Charly will be what he was."

Z 10:19 AM  

If you’re going to have PPP (Pop Culture, Product names, and other Proper nouns) in your puzzle, and you are, look at this puzzle. Steinberg provides a primer on how to do PPP in a way that makes a puzzle solvable. First, 23 out of 72 so below the 33% threshold. More importantly, he draws from such a wide breadth of PPP that even is one is stymied by a particular genre of PPP one doesn’t feel mired. Look at this subject area list:
60’s soul
90’s rock
TV sports
TV Sci Fi
Current pop music

Sci Fi movie
Women’s magazine
Last Century comics
Opera house so famous even I have heard of it
Children’s lit
Music label
70’s pop music
Arthurian lit

Looking back at the puzzle, I note that when the PPP does cross, the letters are inferrable. The most dense PPP section is the NW, but that is mitigated by almost all the PPP being actual words that one could suss out, QUIZ, TREK, SWAMP. This puzzle does PPP in the fairest way, not too much, not to dense, and from a wide variety of subject areas. I approve.

@LMS - I read Rex’s HERR comment more as a stream of concious working out of how the clue works. In this case “bad” means “tricked me.” I certainly felt like the “maybe” was specifically a nod to the fact that not all “Hamburgers” are HERRs. The whole German gender issue came up, in of all places, Analog’s “Science Fiction and Fact” column in a 2010 issue. This is also where I learned that some languages have more than three genders. I’d post a link to the actual column but I couldn’t find it online. Anyway, your dismaydar was spot on today IMHO.

@‘mericans - Thumbs up on Wilco and GBV.

RooMonster 10:24 AM  

Hey All !
Had to cheat for STAX. Wasn't gonna happen. Did anyone notice the NW? MASS/MASA - ANTE/ANTI. And very Scrabbly SEXQUIZ. Nice. Also there's a REINS/RIEN cross.

Did online today, and since I don't have the stubbornness and patience of @Nancy, the Check Puz feature um, featured greatly in my solve to speed things along.

I do remember the MTV thing, it was a little 5 second (or so) clip twixt music videos, like a station break. When MTV still played music videos. They seem to have DROPped it. ENDSIT, as it were.

Really surprised no one has griped about the 2015 Grammy clue. We always get someone who says, "That award was won in 2016." And then I have to explain the whole "Awards-are-given-the-next-year-for-the-actual-year-thing".

Disappointed that DS didn't sneak a J in here for the pangram. C'mon man! :-) Two F's today. And NSFW we've had before, surprised some don't know it. It means Not Safe For Work. As if, you're watching porn and your boss catches you, as opposed to watching a video of your kids. You'd get in trouble for the first, probably not the latter.


TubaDon 10:33 AM  

     Though pooped from lawn mowing when I started this, I was surprised to zoom through the top 2/3, despite being temporarily sidetracked by DOGLEGS and a band this gEEZER never heard of. The SW stack seemed impenetrable until I finally saw CAB and started running through all possible wine-related charges. Thanks to David S. for a puzzle that while containing a lot of stuff I didn't know (NSFW?), was ultimately deducible.

Unknown 10:36 AM  

I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle.

I'm only commenting to say that this grandmother and former HS English teacher adores ED SHEERAN's music. His songwriting is really strong. I urge you to give him a listen if you haven't. I have two of his albums, "Divide" and "Multiply," and I think almost every song on both of them is a gem.

jberg 10:38 AM  

@Rex, I think you've just been hearing it wrong; a CORKING FEE would be a charge for putting the cork in the bottle in the first place.

@Pete S., me too for AIR guiTar -- I figured it involves more than one strumming gesture, so the plural clue was OK. IDES was undeniable, though, so I worked it out.

On the other hand, I put in II for the STAR TREK rrn, and forgot to check the crosses on this one, so it was DNF for me -- entirely my fault.

@Mick, I don't think anyone's answered you -- NSFW is Not Safe (or Suitable) for Work--files you shouldn't open if your boss might see it.

Now I have to go make some 26D before the basil wilts.

Nancy 10:43 AM  

I just read the constructor's comment on the Wordplay Blog. David Steinberg created this puzzle almost three full years ago. It's early Steinberg, not late Steinberg. Meaning he hasn't "reverted" at all (see my 10:05 comment). I'm so relieved! Yay!!!!!!

ColoradoCog 10:50 AM  

@‘mericans, it seems we share musical tastes in a big way, but I would take minor issue with “from that era”. Weezer and Wilco are both still going very strong, releasing good new music regularly. (GBV keeps going too, but seem to have lost a step.) Why, I was at a Weezer show just this past week and most of the people there probably were toddlers in the 90s but they knew every word to every song, old and new. Some bands transcend era.

Malsdemare 10:51 AM  

Well, I got tripped up at WEEZER/SEXQUIZ. I haven't read Cosmo in centuries, and the rock band was awol, so I ran the alphabet. P comes before Z; okay, dumb, but that's my sad story and I'm sticking to it.

Otherwise, it was lots of fun. HERR was pretty easy, tho I don't know why (Jah, Ich spreche ein bischen Deutsch, aber jetze . . . please ignore my spelling), and those long ones that look like I'll never get them fell pretty easily once I got a few crosses. I don't know EDSHEEHEN or, obviously, WEEZER, but in general it came together. My Monet was a forgery initially, and here in the boonies of Illinois, it’s a CORKingFEE. I giggled at DOGEARS, verboten in my house growing up and, like elbows on the table, causes tons of guilt when I do it. Just a great puzzle.

Thanks, DS!

'mericans in Paris 10:55 AM  

@Z: Interesting list of PPPs. BTW, I played ultimate Frisbee yesterday -- first time in months. Was tough in the heat (and at the age of 64), but fun.

Does anybody know whether TV's "Doctor Who" bark "STAT!"?

nyc_lo 10:55 AM  

Perfectly fun Friday foe me, slightly above average time. Knew SEDAKA and KAY right off, then tripped myself up figuring “Cab charge?” had to start with HACK—not so much. But CORKAGE FEE was a solid reveal, once I backtracked a bit.

And Nicholas Meyer’s even-numbered STARTREKVI is one of the more fondly remembered ones, mainly for erasing the stench left by Star Trek V.

Symbolic M'ass 11:05 AM  

Object to the question mark in "Symbols of control." These are actual items of control. The insertion of a question mark to add Friday level difficulty is kinda pissy.

So much good stuff in this puzzle (except for Stax/Sexquiz).

Carola 11:09 AM  

Medium here, fun to solve. First in: MASS x MASA (pleasing for the echo), last in: SWAMP x POISON PEN (pleasing - I guess - for the description of Washington D.C.'s Tweet discourse).
I couldn't say how STAX and CORKAGE FEE were ever deposited in my memory bank, but there they were, ready for immediate withdrawal. WEEZER is there, too, looking at me balefully, for never listening to the CD my well-meaning son gave me in an effort of pop music enlightenment. But ED SHEERAN? He and the SHMOO were complete unknowns.
Liked the cross of SEX QUIZ and TUTOR.

@'mericans - It's really hard to drive a stake through the heart of the Kennedy jelly donut myth, but see here, for a good effort.

B. Shakes 11:11 AM  

Like you, I found this difficult at the start but then I started humming. Logged on here to see if anyone else noticed the NW corner (seems only Roo Monster noted it). MASA/MASS, ANTI/ANTE, STAX/STAR(trekvi). I hadn't solved the SE so hoped I might find a similar case there but to no avail.

Got down to the final bits on the bottom of the puzzle. Being a nautical man, I had AFT for 61D. Back. That left me wanting SPRAYT---N. Had NESTLE for NESTEA so that confused things. I thought of EDEN for Dreamland but also found that clue too uncomfortable to commit to it. Thought it was some literary cultural reference that I was missing.

OMELETPAN and POISONPEN provided some nice symmetry and did anyone else notice the NE with STRIP.....HEADTOTAIL?

Bree140 11:18 AM  

Some godawful cluing here. Besides the aforementioned
PRISON RIOT and REPLICA, wouldn't a complete skeleton
(16A) be HEAD TO TOES, not HEAD TO TAIL? (Interesting
meta-reference to yesterday's puzzle in the answer as given.)

And one doesn't always MAKE(S) NOISE when one complains
vocally (18A). Little Ricky MAKES NOISE when he plays the
drums. But "vocally" doesn't necessarily mean "noisily"; it can
mean "outspoken", but one can be outspoken without making
noise (and sometimes it's more effective to do so).

old timer 11:26 AM  

Here in Wine Country, it is always CORKAGE FEE, and it is essential to some restaurants to impose that fee. When you go to one of those finer restaurants for a special occasion, those who have been storing our local wines (or indeed making those wines) are often moved to bring a fine old bottle from their cellar. And in any such restaurant, the profits from wine sales are what keeps the place open. Some establishments will comp the CORKAGE FEE if you also buy one of their bottles.

I was led astray by putting in "air guitar" instead of AIRQUOTES. And I needed to check WEEZER, because I did not figure out SWAMP, though I should have for sure.

jb129 11:27 AM  

Great puzzle! Corkage Fee kept me going & I still don't know what NSFW is???

GILL I. 11:28 AM  

Thanks, Nancy on the DS info. I was going to PEN that I thought David was taking a backslide. I wasn't at all crazy about the PPP's today. So much I had to guess.
Did like lots of things, though. I think the last time I read Cosmopolitan was at my OBGYN's office. If I remember correctly, the SEX QUIZ's were about phrases used for having Fenorking Boinking, Shaboinking, mattress mambo and the favorite roll in the hay. Boy, you could probably construct a puzzle around those.
CORKAGE FEE is what I say. Here in Sacramento, it's not that expensive. You can probably get away with $20.00 per bottle. No bad at all if you happen to have a lovely bottle of Carneros Haire Pinot Noir that someone gave you and you're eating in a lovely Italian restaurant that only serves that awful Chianti. I'm all for it.
Speaking of food....Burgoo! I made it once and it was delicious. I love making STEW in the winter. Smell up the house something good.
So SHMOO is a creature in Li'l Abner? If you call someone a SHMOO, you're saying he's lovely and saucy and nothing can ever beat him. Pretty cute. I'll call someone a SHMOO today.
A TOAST to all from HEAD TO TAIL.

katherine catmull 11:28 AM  

AIRKISSES for AIRQUOTES threw me the way CORKING FEE threw you. DOGEARS enraged me for not being DOGLEGS until I realized it meant pages, ohhhhhhhhh. I think you are too hard on the HERR clue, that was hilariously tricky.

Also worth mentioning the loveliness of the RIEN/REIN cross, and DOGEARS/POOCH. I love little gracenotes like that.

Agree about EDEN though -- the one bit of unfair/wrong cluing.

P(P)S: > I don’t think I have ever felt rue about it. Am I missing something?
yes! "with rue my heart is laden" for example. Ruse is def. a noun.

jb129 11:29 AM  

Read the comments - got it - NSFW - not safe for work.

Mike Herlihy 11:32 AM  

@lms - As others have mentioned, "dismaydar" is a great word. When it's googled within quotation marks it comes up with only seven hits, two of which are prior citations by you from this forum back in May and June. This one hadn't been caught by their spiders yet.

Love the word, hoping to use it soon to spread the joy you brought me!

Teddi and Teddy 11:47 AM  

Really wanted yolk for French vanilla ice cream ingredient. Once we finally caved in and put in LAIT things became easier.
Love D. S.'s work.

Jim in Chicago 12:07 PM  

Corkage Fee was a no-brainer for me. That's the term I've always heard. It applied in two situations. In some restaurants you're allowed to bring in your own wine even though they have a liquor license but they charge the fee since, as others have pointed out, the restaurant makes lots of money off booze. In other cases the restaurant doesn't have a license but allows BYOB, and charges a small fee when to bring a bottle. In most of these cases when I'm a regular customer they don't charge me. One place we go to waves the fee if the bottle you bring is over 10 years old.

My Natick today was a combination of WEEZER and MTV, leaving me with SxAxP for the "Washington establishment" clue. I must have been tired because once I finally figure out MTV (which shouldn't have been hard" the whole thing fell into place.

i have major writovers in the NE as I chose EGGS and LUGE. I really don't like the LAIT answer, since all ice cream contains milk. If it didn't it wouldn't be ice cream!!

Banana Diaquiri 12:15 PM  

But ED SHEERAN? He and the SHMOO were complete unknowns.

the first: the original 'Top Gear' on BBCAmerica had him on
the second: old enough to have read Li'l Abner religiously

so, if your an olde gal who likes cars, no problem.

JC66 12:27 PM  


Me, too..kudos for "didmaydar."

@Nancy & GILL I

You might find @Z's 10:19 post on PPP's interesting.

@ Symbolic M'ass

When the CEO "takes the reins" at the board meeting, it's symbolic.

JC66 12:29 PM  

@ Jim in Chicago

It's FRENCH ice-cream.

Joe Bleaux 12:51 PM  

David Steinberg is as good as they get. Great Friday puz, daunting challenge but stellar cluing. big fun. Only stumble was TOMMY ROT (anyone else -- a regional thing, maybe?) before UTTER ROT. Happy weekend, all.

Georgia 12:56 PM  


Trombone Tom 12:56 PM  

Not too long ago David Steinberg's puzzles always flummoxed me. Not so much these days. There was some PPP but it was fairly clued and discoverable. 5A is a good example of the superb cluing.

Had the same problem as others with the clue relationship in PRISON RIOT.

Maybe @Rex needs to eat in better restaurants if he's not familiar with CORKAGE FEE. We had a fine dinner the other night at one of Napa's better chop houses. Since we started with a bottle of their Champagne, they waived the corkage on a Pinot Noir our guests brought.

WEEZER is playing on Tuesday at the Shoreline Amphitheater Near SF.

This is my idea of a nearly perfect Friday puzzle.

Joseph Michael 12:58 PM  

Excellent puzzle, David. Challenging but inferrable entries with some great misdirection in the clues.


Alas, poor AURIC, I knew him well.

ED SHEERAN is hard to miss. He seems to be on every pop radio station every other minute. I do like his songs, but enough already. Make room for WEEZER and Neil SEDAKA.

NSFW is a term I know only from crosswords. Since I work out of a home office, I can open anything, as long as it’s not malware. Even a SEX QUIZ.

Aitch 1:05 PM  

Weezer clue will very shortly become outdated, with the "black" album nearing completion. Thought it might have been their debut, turns out they last appeared in 2011 with a similar clue (only 3 self-titled releases at that time)

Teedmn 1:15 PM  

Yep, DOGlegS just about did me in. Having seen the name ED SHEERAN before did not mean it came to mind when I needed it. When I finally had DOG_ARS, I was very creative in what I tried to add in there but finally I pricked up my EARS and was able to move onto the SW.

TEATRe had me starting 27A with "egg" and going first with the stupid and wrong PsS at 23A gave me a sEC something holiday dessert. Nothing really held me up all that long though - a 13 minute Friday for me is perfectly fine.

My two circled clues for today are for PESTO and the popular DOGEARS - nice.

Thanks, DS.

Masked and Anonymous 1:36 PM  

STARTREKII. EDSHEEHAN. Both boo-boos eventually straightened themselves out, and M&A had a successful solvetrek.

As I recall (yo, @A.G.J.Sessions), most of the even-numbered Star Treks were pretty good, but not so much the odd-numbered ones. As I recall, EDSHEERAN did some song with a much-repeated "I'm in love with your body [groans, groans]" lyric, that was pretty ok.

Best themeless desperation: REINS/RIEN. Oh, and also MASS/MASA.
staff weeject pick: PPS. M&A can not ever recall if it's PPS or PSS, so always goes with P.P.S.S. Must think "makes a tape", to help remember …

Last section standin: The NE strip. Got SHMOO off just one of the O's. And ATOAST off its final -ST. Then ran into some French & Italian nanosecond gobblers. Breakthru moment: MAKESNOISE.

The only cafe we take bottles of wine to just gives us some mismatched glasses and says "have at it!" We use our own opener. No fee on the age of the cork. Owner is real nice and funny -- likes to bet thousands of his moneybucks on the sportin events. Great chow. Just stay away from the "Monkey Balls". We always worry that the menu prices will go way up, if he has a bad wager week with the bookies.

Thanx for the oldie & cute non theme puz, Mr. Steinbergmeister.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

JC66 1:52 PM  


What helps me get PPS instead of PSS is remembering that PS stands for post script, so post, post script makes more sense than post script, script.

JC's want desk

Masked and Anonymous 2:31 PM  

Mucho thanx.
Makes more sense than my assumed P.S. the Sequel.

M&A Helped Desk

Larry Gilstrap 2:58 PM  

For years, I've enjoyed hanging out in restaurants. Work fascinates me; I could watch it for hours. If you're carrying in a bottle of wine, it had better be pretty special, particularly in a fine restaurant. If it's good enough to interest the server, offer a taste. So much for CORKAGE FEE. Lately, I've noticed people strolling into the bar holding the ubiquitous water bottle. ABC frowns on that practice, for obvious reasons.

My wife listens to Pop Music, probably the same set list as OFL's daughter. I play it on the radio when we drive together. It distracts her from helping me drive. Much of it sounds like warbling, but even I appreciate ED SHEERAN, especially that very sexy song. Shape of You. Have you seen his Carpool Karaoke episode? It won me over.

Rock guitar anthems and goofy lyrics typify WEEZER and I like that combination. Say it Ain't So and Undone, for example.

Friday enough for me with lots of misdirection and lively fill. Well done!

Crimson Devil 3:01 PM  

Much enjoyed corkage fee, never heard of corking fee; air quotes; sprayon tan; and dog ears, after duhscovery that it’s likely meant as page markers. Dismaydar best of the day!

Nancy 3:05 PM  

@GILL (11:28) -- The CORKAGE FEE in Sacramento is "not that expensive," you say? "You can probably get away with $20 a bottle," you say? The day I'll spend $20 for the privilege of drinking my own wine -- that'll be the day! What incredible chutzpah for an establishment to charge such a price! (Of course I suppose you could say that takes incredible chutzpah to bring your own wine to a place that serves wine, so there's that.)

I don't have any "great" bottles in my modest collection. But it I did, I'd drink it at home. I certainly wouldn't want to pay for it twice! And I don't need a wine steward to either open it or pour it for me. I've become quite experienced at both. Hic.

Hungry Mother 3:23 PM  

I really liked this one and had a ball solving it. My wife and I are finishing up a great week in Cape May with our daughter and family. We did a before breakfast walk to the lighthouse this morning to hit low tide, so I didn;t have my early morning puzzling. I finally got around to it this afternoon as I drank a cup of coffee and awaited the Murph Mile, an annual straight up the beach street race. Some nice answers.

JOHN X 3:27 PM  

If anyone wants a challenge, try the Friday August 14 1998 NYT puzzle in the archive. All the August '98 Fridays are good and challenging for that matter.

Doing these archive puzzles you can really see how the NYT puzzle is much much easier. There's nothing in the '98 puzzles that you shouldn't be able to get today, I think it's the clueing that's much more challenging. Give it a shot and see what you think.

Charley 3:32 PM  

Terrible clueing. Objectionable answer in Swamp-unless you are of the TrumpCult. And pesto isn’t only served on pasta.
All in all a typically bad Steinberg puzzle.

ArtO 3:33 PM  

A trifecta for me. A Friday finish rated more than Easy and DS to boot.

CORKAGEFEE works for me. Never heard it any other way. And happy to pay it to enjoy my own wine and not pay $100 or more on the wine list for a wine that cost me less than $30.

GILL I. 3:40 PM  

Story alert. If you don't like wine...please skip!

Well, OK, @Nancy...There's a story behind that CORKAGE FEE. You see, it was my birthday and some very dear friends of ours invited us out to dinner. Another dear friend of mine had given me a VERY expensive bottle of the Carneros. I knew it was expensive because I love Pinot Noir and we were in BevMo one day and there it was and the wine guy kept saying it was the best thing in the whole world and then I looked at the price and did a very audible gasp and headed for the Thunder wine aisle.
When I got this lovely present, I wanted to share it (but only with four people because I wanted at least two glasses and maybe squeeze a third in). When our friends invited us to dinner I told them about the Pinot. We all agreed that paying $20.00 for something that cost a lot more than that, was worth taking with us. The waiters don't mind at all. Some, will wave the fee hoping you will tip up the quazoo. I always do.
So now you know and that's the truth!
Cheers, Salud and as they say in Spain (Hi @pablo)...Arriba, abajo, al centro, adentro.

Anonymous 4:03 PM  

John X,
I think you're right about the puzzles getting easier. I remember working on Saturday puzzles--off and on-- for several hours. And I didn't finish them all. I like the satisfaction of completing a Friday or Saturday, but if you're lurking Will, could we ratchet late-in-the-week puzzles a notch or two?

Chip Hilton 4:33 PM  

Great Friday, IMO. Clever clueing all over the place. No problem with CORKAGEFEE - got it without crosses, so it appears CORKing never entered my mind.

@‘mericans: I was in Paris last month and, before that, in Soissons. We stayed at a beautiful, modern hotel (with tiny windows) there which, go figure, was not air-conditioned. The room was a hot box even during beautiful, temperate days. I can only imagine it now. Hope your game of Ulimate was shaded.

Carola 5:03 PM  

Banana Diaquiri - Olde enough to have danced to SEDAKA's 1962 "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" in high school :)…

jae 5:54 PM  

Easy-medium. I had to sort out the spelling ED’s (@m&a - me too for SHEEhAN) last name, otherwise easy. I did know who he was, however, having seen him in a Bridget Jones movie and on The Graham Norton show.

Solid Fri., liked it. @JOHN X & Anon 4:03 I agree, the late week puzzles I were quite a bit more difficult a decade or two ago, it would be nice to encounter some more like those on occasion.

QuasiMojo 6:24 PM  

@JohnX — I took up your challenge and did the Aug 14, 1998 puzzle. I found it nostalgically engaging but not at all difficult. Took me twice the time of today’s, however. Funny to see SHEA clues as extant. I miss it.

chefwen 7:14 PM  

@jim in chi town, Milk in French is LAIT, ice cream is Creme Glacee.

Great puzzle for me with many laugh out loud answers to go with excellent Cluing.

No problem with CORKAGE FEE or MR. SHEERAN, he’s all over People Magazine, one of my guilty pleasures.

JOHN X 7:14 PM  

@QuasiMojo - ASHE has replaced SHEA as constructors' favorite four-letter Queens stadium that uses A, E, H, and S.

Speaking of SHEA, I think you did the 8/21/98 puzzle, which has two grid-spanners that I think open up a puzzle because they're easy to get. The 8/14 has my favorite kind of grid pattern: no isolated sectors yet no wide open areas either, and theres a bunch of long ¾-length long answers that tie it all together.

Brill-o Building 7:40 PM  

If you listen closely to the Captain & Tennille version of “Love Will Keep Us Together,” you’ll hear the words “Sedaka is back” being sung in the background during the outro.

Nod to that @rexparker RT today: the C&T version is actually a cover. The song first appeared as a cut on a Sedaka album that was released a couple of years prior to Toni’s pipes tearing up the airwaves. Cover > original, for sure.

Harryp 8:14 PM  

To David Steinberg. It is not too often that even the people that had DNF's praised a puzzle. This happened today. Congratulations.

justme 8:47 PM  

I may be wrong but I think Hamburger can be a last name.

Nancy 9:18 PM  

Just for you, @just me (8:47) -- Of course Hamburger can be a last name. It was the family name of the founders of Camp Pinecliffe in Maine -- a camp I attended in the 1950s and which my mother attended before me. (This really is just for @justme; it will bore everyone else to tears. Trust me.) Read all about the Pinecliffe-founding Hamburgers!

QuasiMojo 10:23 PM  

Late reply to @John X, yes I did. Lol. My bad. I’ll try the other tomorrow. Thx!

Jim in Chicago 10:32 PM  

I get that. But you can’t make Creme Glac√© without Laut.

Jim in Chicago 10:44 PM  

All ice cream by definition includes milk/lait. “French vanilla” is a specific type that includes eggs/ouif.

Monty Boy 11:57 PM  

Anyone else notice that SPRAYONTAN had the same number of letters as thirdplace? 65 A Bronze producer. Lots of lookups after doing about a third of the puzzle. Needed to boost to keep going. Some stuff I just don't know (yet). A few more years of puzzles, current music and French I guess.

CDilly52 12:17 AM  


Burma Shave 10:25 AM  


if she ASKs for a SEXQUIZ by Braille.
If she MAKESNOISE, DROP the debate,
make ATOAST, and change HEADTOTAIL.


thefogman 10:26 AM  

Very clever and challenging. I was going along at a good clip until I hit the SE corner. DNF because I had to look up callaloo to get STEW then the rest fell into place. I had plOt before ROOF and STARwarsVI before STARTREKVI. The SEXQUIZ/STAX/AIRQUOTES crossing was cunning, but I finally got it. Another gem from David Steinberg. More please!

thefogman 12:45 PM  

PS - A senior administration official expressed concern over the president's unnatural orange glow as a result of his frequent SPRAYONTAN treatments

spacecraft 12:55 PM  

DNF: half of the NW and the entire south. RUE as a noun??? And PRISONRIOT as an adjective???? Ya got me. But I don't care: my E!A!G!L!E!S! kicked off the season with a W, albeit a sloppy one, over Atlanta. WTG boys!

rondo 2:45 PM  

I found this one fairly easy although relatively slow as compared to earlier in the week at about 3X OFL’s time. Maybe because of toast and tea. The ANTI ANTE STAX gimmes cleared up the NW in a hurry. The DJs on The Current 89.3 (streaming at are always talking about which color WEEZER’s albums are when they play one of their tunes. Fortunately they are not big EDSHEERAN fans.

I’ve heard of the CORKAGEFEE, but when you’re a beer drinker it doesn’t come into play.

Funny we didn’t get an *old* comment about SHMOO.

As per usual in a DS puz, not a clued yeah baby in sight, so dig up Barb EDEN or KAY Lenz.

Not tough nor anything to STEW about.

Diana,LIW 3:00 PM  

As with yesterday, I haven't yet looked at the answer or comments. I'm 4 squares away from a solve - I think. I've wrestled with the DS puzzle for a while, getting ADHD, CORKAGE FEE, TUTOR, NEATH, STAX, TEATRO - you name it. I hope all those are correct.

What to do? If I look, I fear that I'll hit my forehead into next week. Arrgghhhh!

Lady Di (aka Cathy, the cartoon)

Diana,LIW 3:10 PM  

Ouch. Just got out of the deLorean, having slapped self into next week.

The SEXQUIZ/AIRQUOTES cross gave me the dnf. And tho I don't know WEE?ER, I would have gotten the Z. Jeez loueeze.

Another good one from DS - good Friday workout.

Diana, LadyinWaiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

This seemed like one of the toughest Friday puzzles they published in awhile. Either there or we are on a different wavelength. Not sure. Anyone else?

rainforest 5:07 PM  

This was one of those easy/challenging puzzles, and the challenging parts contributed to a giant triumph factor, a la @Spacey. WEEZER was my daughter's favourite band for years. Sir KAY, OMELET PAN, CORKAGE FEE, PRISON RIOT, SPRIT, and PRISON RIOT all fell easily, but the rest put up a fight

My grandson sitting gig caused me to have two takes on the puzzle, and I think that helped.

Really liked this one.

leftcoastTAM 7:43 PM  

Steinberg is typically current and very clever, as he is today,

Who knew that STAR TREK went for VI sequels? Or that Cosmopolitan featured s SEX QUIZ? Or that a diagonal sail supports a SPRIT? Or have heard of the rock band WEEZER? Not me.

Didn't know ED SHEERAN or Sir KAY, either, but for the crosses.

Had hopes for getting all of this one, but I'm not enough up-to-date, it appears.

Anonymous 8:10 PM  

Six movies? That is just with the original cast. The Next generation had 4 movies and the reboot has so far produced another 3. So that is 13 Star Trek movies all together.

Johnny Laguna 12:39 PM  

Just completed this fine puzzle — had to go back this far in the archives to find a Friday grid I haven’t done. Re HAMBURGER, the clue works particularly well if you take it to be in German — ein Hamburger is a boy or man from Hamburg, so a HERR, maybe. A girl/woman from Hamburg is eine Hamburgerin.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP