Scanned smartphone graphics / SAT 9-15-18 / Early major-league game setting / Literary character likened to mute maned sea-lion / Fricassee relative / Cousins of garters

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Constructor: David Liben-Nowell 

Relative difficulty: Easy, leaning Easy-Medium (6:14)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: "onboarding" (46A: Those needing onboarding => HIREES) —
  1. the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organization or familiarizing a new customer or client with one's products or services.

    "after the initial onboarding is complete, continue to offer new hires relevant training and development opportunities" (google)
• • •

This is a solid grid, though it had a weirdly football-techbro-bizspeak vibe that I did not entirely groove on. Three (!) college football (-related) answers? (OHIO STATE, SCH. AGGIE). SELF-DRIVING CARS and QR CODES, the CEO and his HIREES ... these aren't bad things (well, not bad, crossword-wise), they just aren't things I'm particularly interested in. I do think QRCODES is a pretty great-looking answer, and SAME-SEX MARRIAGE is nice (though not as bold now as it would've been, say, a decade ago) (sidenote: it was the revealer of a Wednesday puzzle back in 2012).   I think my favorite thing in this grid is PIPSQUEAK (39A: Squirt). I just like the way the word sounds and looks, and I like that both the clue and answer have a "Q" in them. The puzzle feels very current, with ERIK Spoelstra instead of Satie, POE Dameron instead of Edgar Allan, and a nice "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018) clue for Michelle YEOH (28A: Actress Michelle of "Crazy Rich Asians"). I'm more of a Satie and Edgar Allan man, myself, but I appreciate the whole living-in-the-present thing. Not so much a fan of ININK, OFFIT, SCH (one of my most hated abbrs.) and COSA, which was the first clue I looked at, and the main reason (I think) that I didn't have a much faster time (1D: Thing: Sp.). Didn't know it, and so the NW was a mess for a bit. Didn't help that I had REY where POE was supposed to go. I also got hung up at 13D: Senate coverage? because I had --G- and I thought the answer was ... [drum roll] ... PAGE. I feel like I could defend my answer in a crossword court of law, but I can accept that TOGA is apter.

Since when are [Howls at night] OMENS? I think you could've used something like "full moon" instead of a wolf howl if you absolutely positively *had* to link successive Down clues there. I don't really like when a month is referred to as a "setting," e.g. 33A: Early major-league game setting (APRIL). I was like "Where did they used to play baseball in the olden days?" Symmetrically replicated my initial trouble in the NW at the very end, in the SE, where none of the short answers in that far corner were making any sense. Totally forgot EWR was the Newark airport code. Looked like  initials of British royalty to me. Edward William ... maybe Randolph or something, I don't know. [Purchase] for GRIP is apt but brutal, and the deception continued right next door with 55D: Cousins of garters for ASPS. So garter *snakes*. "D'oh"! I'M A FOOL! But the far NW and far SE were really the only problem spots for me. Only place I've got serious ink on this printed-out, annotated grid in front of me. Oof, I just saw TAE, which is at least as bad as SCH. ISMS is rough too. But great clue on MEOW (49D: "Got milk?"). Did you know Edison invented TAE Bo? Well, he didn't, but that would've been cool. OK, goodnight.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Marc 12:08 AM  

Average to little longer for me, but the college football clues definitely helped me get started.

Can someone tell me what EWR alternative is and why LGA is the answer?

Brian 12:12 AM  

Purchase GRIP?

Anonymous 12:18 AM  

@ Rex - I know you were just making a joke about TAE Bo, but you stumbled onto a portion of the truth there. Tesla was more than just Edison's top scientist turned nemesis, he was for years Edison's lover. This was well known throughout the lab, and Tesla was known as Edison's boy and was frequently called just 'Beau'. He truly hated that. Their professional split was about way more that the AC / DC argument (have you never wondered where the current AC/DC slang came from?) there was a lover's dominance play underlying that argument. Their fights were epic, loud, crude and physical, ever so physical. The lab staff used to mock them by re-creating their fights in a highly stylized and somewhat satirical gay-phobic manner. Billy Banks is the grandson of one of the lab-assistants at the Edison Labs in Menlo Park, and based his exercise routine on the TAE-Beau fights his grandfather used to recreate for the grandkids' amusement at the holidays.

Brookboy 12:18 AM  

Enjoyable puzzle for me. Fell into some of the same traps as Rex, but the crosses got me on the right track. Got EWR as Newark Airport right away, but I thought LaGuardia was LAG instead of LGA, which slowed me up a bit. I managed to finish in under a half hour, which makes me feel pretty good for a Saturday puzzle.

Nice write-up from OFL.

puzzlehoarder 12:39 AM  

I went through this in less than 24 minutes, which for me is a good time on a Saturday. Unfortunately I had a PESTA dnf at 10A. That's the kind of sloppy mistake I often make on early week puzzles. It's fitting as this often felt early week.

Maybe PESTA appealed to me because I was hoping it was some kind of unknown. For debuts wev'e got the bland CAMPUSMAP up north and a very topical grid spanner down south. Otherwise that xwordinfo list is pretty much wall to wall blue.

This makes for some very breezy solving. I started with ABE. We just had a certain Japanese PM so the xwordinfo ABE clue list was fresh in my memory. That confirmed COSA and AHAB. USSTEEL and ATM we're gimmies. With four letters now in place 1A became a sitting duck. That's how the whole puzzle went, except for PESTA.

jae 12:39 AM  

Easy-medium seems right. Solid with a couple of fine 15s, liked it.

eXing before AXING.

Harryp 12:40 AM  

It took me ten minutes to find 11Down AXING instead of eXING, but was a reasonable Saturday puzzle.

Unknown 1:48 AM  

They’re airport codes! EWR is in Newark, NJ, and LGA is the nearby Laguardia airport in NY.

Dolgo 1:59 AM  

I read a few Thomas McGuane novels and kind of liked him. I gave up when I read one in which he overused the phrase "struggling for purchase." It took me a long time to get it out of my head. Of course it means trying not to slip. I got the clue right away, but I can't remember the name of the novel. Probably just as well!

Robin 2:57 AM  

Blew through this so quickly that I was startled to see OFL call it "medium". Not my quickest Saturday NYT xword solve of the year, but within 10 sec of it. I have no clue how OFL comes up with his solve times, but when I break 10 min on a Saturday, it's a noteworthy event.

That (bragging) said, this was another one like ahem just yesterday where I had to fill in what I knew and for up to the NW and fill in the start.

Agree the the clueing for OMENS was a bit off, but got ASPS with just with the starting A.

The football playoff clueing for 15A confused me since CFB levels lower than 1-A have had plays for decades. Seriously, my alma mater ran through the 1-AA playoffs and won the championship back in the mid 1980s.

Mark 3:04 AM  

Newark and LaGuardia

Frog Prince Kisser 3:19 AM  

@Marc 12:08 AM
alternative airport
EWR = Newark
LGA = LaGuardia

Carola 3:38 AM  

A pleasing puzzle, with OHIO STATE paired with CAMPUS MAP and two parallel reminders of earlier SCHool days, MIMEOGRAPH and CLEAN SLATE. I also liked the PARIAHS and ROGUES, the eye-echo of YEOH and CEO, the EERIE OMENS, and STEEL by STEALS.

I went through a stage of fascinatiion with airport CODES (I think it began with wondering why ORD = Chicago O'Hare [Orchard Field]), so LGA went right in as EWR's neighbor. Favorite clues: Print source and Cousins of garters. Most fun to write in: EYELASH. One do-over: Above before AGAIN.

Unknown 3:46 AM  

EWR is Newark airport, LGA and JFK are in New York City, all three within an hour (traffic willing) of Manhattan, and hence considered NY airports

Unknown 3:47 AM  

EWR is Newark airport, LGA and JFK are in New York City, all three within an hour (traffic willing) of Manhattan, and hence considered NY airports

JOHN X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes (1963) 3:56 AM  

Anonymous 12:18 AM
I've always heard about this, but the grandson brings an almost eyewitness account. Thanks for sharing.

As for meeeeee
I did a big bong-hit of legal weed and then did the puzzle. I can do the NY Times puzzle stoned, plus the mini too (0:58m mini, 25:21 main). Ha ha the puzzle is much funnier when you're high.

My first pass through the puzzle I had next to nothing, then I found purchase in Virginia. And I just branched out from there, word by word. At one point I thought maybe that admissions might give away a FAMOUSMAN, which was pretty funny at the time. I don't even know how they'd do that. So what I'm saying is I liked all the words. They really give you something to think about, they do. Those words. Yes.

Space Is Deep 6:22 AM  

Very easy, despite the fact I have no idea what QRCODES are.

Anonymous 6:43 AM  

Too many GD "?"!! So condescending.

S. Jackson 6:57 AM  

Yes, it would never occur to me while lying under the covers in bed alone on a dark night with only candles as a source of light in an unfamiliar old gothic mansion that the howls that startle me out of a restless sleep in any way might be an omen for the terror that is to come. So silly. No author would ever use howls in the night to induce such suspense.

Anonymous 7:06 AM  

Surprising as the easiest Saturday in memory.

BarbieBarbie 7:31 AM  

Hey, you can now follow the comment threads on Deb Amlen’s blog. But I still like this gang better.

I really enjoyed this puzzle. Easy side of Medium for me, but it felt hard (all Saturdays do). Loved the Got Milk clue. PhonOGRAPH before MINEOGRAPH, plus about a zillion other do-overs, and a completely blank NE for a loooong time, but managed to creep in from below. Very satisfying, thanks and more please!

JJ 7:36 AM  

I tried to squeeze in SCHOLARSHIP, the GRANT IN AID, etc retc for 1A. Thank God none of them fit, or I would still be in that NW corner. The clue for ASPS is spectacular! There are a few great misdirections-esp liked the cluing for FINGERTIPS. I'm sure those clever clues drive speed solvers nuts, and this usually leads to a lot of whining from Rex. Today he pretty much took in in stride. Trump must be mellowing him! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle. Great job by the constructor

Chico Bidwell 7:41 AM  

Where are Barany and Two Ponies?

Z 8:06 AM  

Isn’t it The OHIO STATE University? I used to think pretentiousness in academia was reserved for the Ivies. Silly me.

Anyone else think ON-BOARDING is some wry HR Person’s intentional allusion to water-boarding and she is in the back corner, hiding her chortles, whenever the CEO uses the term seriously?

Hand up for taking way too long to grok the clues for FINGERTIP/GRIP. Got purchase on that meaning of “purchase,” put in the I and then realized we were talking about all the president’s men. Only other slow down was knowing it was Q something CODES, but having to run the alphabet to suss out the meaning of “fixes.” Otherwise, easy for a Saturday. Enjoyed it. Totally unfair, but the cutesy clues for CrossWorld Snake ASPS was charming today. I guess this is in part because there is so little ese, so calling attention to what there is wasn’t particularly off-putting. There have certainly been other puzzles where that clue would have caused me to grumble.

Anonymous 8:18 AM  

Pro tip regarding airports, use NYC as your destination code when searching for flights, and you’ll see combined results for EWR, JFK, and LGA.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

I don’t think Conference member and College Station player refer to just football but all sports and even other activities in the case of Conference member. The only football related question was the Ohio St. one.

QuasiMojo 8:23 AM  

Again a ton of stuff I have never heard of, mostly sports and Star Bores-related cosas, but the puzzle was fairly conceived and I managed to finish it sans erreur. Anon @12:08 this morning had me “howling” like a wolf. “Oh man!” I did not know TAE invented the mimeograph. I used to love inhaling those in grade school. Much better than carbon copies. More of a rancid PEAR flavor.

I’m no fan of these misdirecty “setting” clues either. I put in AKRON before APRIL. Everything started in Akron. Except perhaps US STEEL. That answer disappointed me since I wanted LEGO INC. Imagine a HQ made out of tiny plastic blocks. Coolios!

La Guardia is not really close to Newark, if driving. I’d recommend a helicopter to avoid traffic on the Cross Bronx. Which reminds me. My Mom used to live near PURCHASE, New York. Lovely town. I went to see “Marat/Sade” there once at the PepsiCo theatre. It was GRIPping.

Unknown 8:54 AM  

Fastest Saturday time ever for me. Faster than both Thursday and Friday of this week, so not sure what that means. I'll take it, though!

Suzie Q 8:55 AM  

So much of this was outside my area but I got it done anyway. Star Wars, cell phones, sports, video games, sheesh!
Pretty much the same experience as Rex for once.
That is a broad family tree to include harmless little garter snakes with a cobra as cousins.
I'm glad meow wasn't teat (as it started out to be).
Grip/purchase reminded me of a great line from Raising Arizona. The couple were childless because (to paraphrase) her womb was a rocky ledge where his sperm could find no purchase. Priceless!
The Pulitzer Prize for fiction today goes to @Anon.12:18.
I'm glad you spoke up @ JOHN X because I thought it was you.

Hungry Mother 8:57 AM  

Very quick and easy for me today. I slept-in today, so maybe my brain was working better than usual, when I’m up at a wee hour getting ready for a running race. Anyhoo, I’ll take it.

GILL I. 9:04 AM  

Gracias español. 1D COSA. That little thing opened the top flood gate. I was on fire. Nothing was slowing me down until.......everything else.
Like @Barbie B, I had do-overs up the wazoo.
Let's start with Michele in "Crazy Rich Asians." I just saw the movie and it was cute. I wouldn't know one single actors name, though. I ran the alphabet - boy did I run it. 24D narrow margin was EYE LESS at one point because I can't spell my favorite PIP SQUEeK. THEN...those needing on boarding became sirees. I made up a word. My biggest hang-up was SlApS instead of SWATS for 61A and taking forever to see LIFT 51D for the ride.
Took a break and recuperated. Although I didn't know about half of those football clues and the QR CODES or OCT and guessing at so many clues, I managed to get this really nice puzzle done. After a CLEAN SLATE, I looked back at my erasures and did a happy feet dance. I kept saying to myself am I getting smarter or are these getting easier...?
Loved the clue for ORANGE. Went WHAAAAT? at the ASP clue. The little garter snake is such a nice sweet snake and doesn't bother anybody and the ASPS kill people like Cleopatra.
LGA didn't fool me because I had to learn every single airport clue invented by god. MIMEOGRAPH and blue stained blouses and fingers was as easy as remembering the good old CRT.
Thank you DLN for some good memories and an enjoyable Sat.

mmbeitlermd 9:05 AM  

It's long past time to stop using "same sex marriage" and the NYT should know better. Marriage is just marriage, so clue marriage equality not same sex marriage.

RooMonster 9:09 AM  

Hey All !
Leave it up to Rex to move in an opposite direction than what you'd think. PIPSQUEAK. I thought he'd tear that apart as a demoralizing insult. Nope, he liked it.

"M" or "Z" was a way wicked clue. Liked FINGERTIP clue. And STEALS clue. Auto-mated is off. Was thinking something mated (as "with") an auto. MATCHING CAR MATS?

RAG OUT, wha? Explain please.

For those who asked, QRCODES are those square computery things found on various products you scan with your phone. They have "snow" (like on an old TV, when there wasn't a show on a channel), with usually three mini squares in the corners. (Why not 4 is a mystery to me.) You've seen them, even if you didn't realize it.

How many ways is there to clue ABE! YEOH! (I believe it's pronounced YEOW. Anyone?) Or is it that IM A FOOL. (Likely)


David 9:15 AM  

A time may be part of a "setting", but is not in itself a setting.

Love Anon's little story above, presumably he worked backwards from his folk etymology explanation of AC/DC.

Gretchen 9:38 AM  

Perfect Saturday puzzle. Finished just as I took my last swig of coffee. Feeling satisfied.

Nancy 9:56 AM  

I've skimmed enough of the blog comments to know that I'm the outlier today. I found this puzzle beyond hard, was actually tempted to cheat (something I just about never do), didn't cheat, and ended up solving. But it was a struggle from beginning to end. Loved the challenge.

In the NW: Never would have guessed CAMPUS MAP in a million years. I got the 3D pun immediately, but XEROX MACHINE didn't fit. Wasn't sure enough of my guesses on AHAB and US STEEL to write them in, though perhaps I should have. I went elsewhere with only ATM filled in in the NW. Wasn't sure I'd ever finish that section.

Was flummoxed in the NE by having written in dOme instead of TOGA for "Senate coverage". Thought I was being so clever. Much later, RAINMAN straightened me out. That was one of the answers I was tempted to cheat on, along with OHIO STATE and the Star Wars answer. (What a way to clue POE -- the only thing in the puzzle I really didn't like. No, I take that back: I also didn't like QR CODES.)

Wonderful clues for AXIOM; SUITOR; MOVIE and FINGERTIP. Wonderful answers: PIPSQUEAK; CLEAN SLATE; and EYELASH. A really good workout. But disappointed to see how many of you found it easy.

Marc 10:05 AM  

Thanks, all.

Mohair Sam 10:13 AM  

@anon (12:18) - Great stuff. Five'll get ya ten that somebody will "edit" it into Edison's Wikipedia page and by six o'clock tonight it will become fact.

krazykat 10:14 AM  

I couldn't finish it due to the L_A/_RIPS intersection

Unknown 10:15 AM  

Why is Dr. T and the Women featured in so many puzzles?? It’s an ick movie and Richard Gere has other roles?

Airymom 10:21 AM  

I want to write that I really liked this puzzle, but my daughter is a sophomore at, Go Blue!

Nancy 10:31 AM  

I thought @Anon 12:18 might have been @JOHN X also, @Suzie Q. Maybe it's @Don from Accounting? Anyway, it wins my award for Best Anonymous Comment of the Year. (That's a really low bar, btw, but still, attention must be paid.) A wealth of fascinating information I didn't know. I don't think it's fiction, @Suzie Q; it has the ring of truth.

Chuckled over your garters/ASPS observation, @GILL. Your posts always make me laugh. Always.

Nancy 10:36 AM  

We were typing at the same time, @Mohair, so I didn't see your comment before I clicked "Send". But now two of you -- you and Suzie Q -- seem to think that Anon 12:18 made the whole thing up. Am I just naive and easily fooled? In any event: Welcome back, @Mohair! I've missed you like crazy!!!

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

I used to read Alistair McClain books and being British, he always used the word purchase. So the word is firmly stuck in my vocabulary now. I used to live out in horse country and was frequently awoken by the coyotes howling. I never considered it an omen----just a nuisance.

TubaDon 10:40 AM  

     Zoomed through the top 2/3rds but despite the inroads of SUITOR and CLEAN SLATE I stalled on the lower end until ISMS and SELFDRIVING CARS rescued me. I could have done without Anonymous's eew-inducing invention about inventors.

nunya 10:42 AM  

Senior moment. Still don't understand Purchase = Grip

Casarussell 10:48 AM  

I'm a relative newbie to crosswords, but getting better slowly. Record time today of forty-five minutes, and didn't have to "cheat" by looking up anything. For me, an accomplishment.

Had to look through the comments to understand the GRIP (Purchase) relationship-- Thank you, kind folks.

Thanks also for the TAE-beau story, and in general to the thoughtfulness of the commenters on this blog.


QuasiMojo 10:48 AM  

Apologies to Mark at 12:08. Of course I meant anon at 12:18.

Mo Pariser 10:50 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jberg 10:59 AM  

I didn’t get any urchase = couldn’t get a grip.

I solved this puzzle PERMANENTLY!

JC66 11:06 AM  

@MO Pariser
I think your second question answers your first.

The pun is AUTO=CAR.

Welcome back, Mohair. You were missed.

Paul Rippey 11:49 AM  

Wonderful. Thanks for that!

jb129 12:19 PM  

I surprisingly flew through the top of this puzzle, but got stuck at "Meow" & "I'm a fool" - but I enjoyed this a lot a kept me going through the morning.

Masked and Anonymous 1:31 PM  

Got ABE/AHAB real fast. Then musta passed out, or somethin.
Finally tried TOGA. Then, somehow desperately/correctly splatzed in SAMESEXMARRIAGE off the visible A and the G. Then didn't pass out, nomore.

staff weeject pick: SCH. Better clue: {Borscht ingredient in cooking school??}.

CAMPUS MAP over OHIO STATE was cool. CLEANS LATE sounds like a goofy themer in a theme that never was.

SELF DRIVING CARS. har. What could possibly go wrong, there? Recommend they start out on somethin less impactive … like, SELF WASHING DUDS. or SELF BAKING CINNAMON ROLLS or SELF INVESTIGATING SENATORS or SELF WATCHING TVS. If all those work out perfect, then maybe move on to CARS that can cut each other off when approachin work zones. Or decide who goes first at close-call 4-way stops. Or figure out traffic circles, since humans sure can't.

Thanx for the feisty fun, Mr. Liben-Nowell. Not no well done, as our prez would say.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

p.s. yo, @Mohair!


puzzlehoarder 1:42 PM  

After every solve I review the xwordinfo solution list to brush up on what I found unfamiliar. For an easy puzzle this had its share. As often is the case the unknowns were in the clues. The terms .png, FiOS, EWR and of course osteria, were all news to me.

Some people seem to think @Johnx is the source of the 12:18 am comment. That might be but my take was @Johnx should lay off that "legal weed" he's been smoking and use what ever it is that @anon12:18 is on. There's no way it's legal.

Bob Mills 1:58 PM  

"GRIP" is the answer for "purchase?" Since when?

Mr. Cheese 2:03 PM  

I don’t time myself but I’m certain this was my faster Saturday solve ever!

Joe Bleaux 2:30 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Purple Reign 2:34 PM  

Ah, MIMEOGRAPH! Does anyone remember chief alternative to it, the “Ditto” spirit duplicator machines with the purple ink? Permit me to wax nostalgic about the astonishing cloud of vaporous fumes that accompanied every crank of those old babies. It was Airplane Glue Lite! Way back in the wayback, we didn’t photocopy jack in the schools.

Those were the good old days, *snff*!

Barry Frain 2:46 PM  

Thank the gods that weed is legal here in the Golden State.

To hell with Barany and Two Ponies, where is Lewis and Stanley Hudson?

Barry Frain
East Biggs, CA

Joe Bleaux 2:55 PM  

This puzzle brought back memories. In my youth, I worked at a Dayton art museum the locals called OHIO'S TATE, because it was modeled after a London gallery. My buddy, a janitor there, got fired ("He CLEANS LATE," the boss said. "He doesn't get a RAG OUT unless I yell at him." My pal said the best part of the job was not having to wear a SUIT OR uniform). To avoid getting drafted, we signed up. I joined the Army, and was stationed at CAMP USMAP and he went in the Navy, serving aboard the USS TEEL. There's more, but I guess I've bored you enough already.

mmorgan 3:20 PM  

I really liked this puzzle and found it very much on the easy side for a Saturday, but did not realize that EWR was the Newark code and just could not figure out how _RIP could be an answer for Purchase. Still not sure I get it. So a DNF with that single mysterious square left.

JC66 3:23 PM  


I don't know about the others, but @Lewis is away for a couple of weeks attending his kid's wedding.

ZenMonkey 3:34 PM  


Relative newbie, 45 minutes on a Saturday, finished without looking anything up? That is definitely an accomplishment! Fantastic job. :-)

RK Beatrice 3:43 PM  

New Saturday record for me, and Thursday was also my best. I’m not sure if the puzzles are getting easier or if I’m getting better, but considering those are often the two hardest days, I’m all a-��

Mo Pariser 4:00 PM  

Oh wow that went directly over my head!!!

Anonymous 4:37 PM  

@RooMonster (9:15)
RAGOUT - all one word - is a french term for a stew-like dish.

Joe Dipinto 4:45 PM  

...these aren't bad things (well, not bad, crossword-wise), they just aren't things I'm particularly interested in.

I, for one, always rely on the ever-more-juvenile NY Times puzzle to provide the items of interest that I shall muse on for the rest of the day. The daily Star Wars entry always sets me a-tingle with goosebumps.

Z 5:48 PM  

Purchase - See the second definition of it as a noun.

Phil 7:43 PM  

I’ve flown into India,Myanmar,Thailand, Europe, and the only pilfering I’ve ever experienced was in good old EWR. Broke into the checked bags and stole my pair of shoes. Nice TSA note left behind telling me how my bags were randomly selected for inspection.

Of course they had a long time to be tempted as an american based airline, maybe Delta or AA not sure both are the pits, completely botched my flight to eurooe and I had to take away the ticket and let British Air resume my itinerary. They put me in first class and had me bide my wait time in the first class lounge, where, Btw, they serve an excellent sitdown meal.

Harryp 8:07 PM  

Do the people who question purchase for grip have a dictionary or access to online word defenitions? Get a grip!

roydcw 9:33 PM  

Tae Bo comes from Tae Kwan Do and boxing, and Tesla had a strange affinity for a pigeon, but there is no indication that he had a relationship with Edison. Cute story though.

JC66 10:11 PM  


Maybe they don't have the $$$ to purchase one. ;-)

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

Don’t quit your day job. I’m sure it’s not Writer. Lol

kitshef 8:34 PM  

Some particularly bad clues sorta ruined the fun of this for me. Auto-mated things and EWR alternative spring to mind, but that's just 'coz that's where I finished. There were other irritants along the way.

Yam Erez 12:23 PM  

First-time commenter here. I filled out nearly the entire grid, and that's a first for me for a Saturday. I actually enjoyed this one. Challenging, but not to the frustration zone of most Saturdays. Thanks, Rex, for all you do! And I'm with ya on the no-longer-PCness of "mama's partner" = "papa"! Words are important; they affect our thoughts. They're not trivial.

spacecraft 11:32 AM  

EASY?!??? I HATE it when he does that! "Maybe leaning toward easy-medium??" Yeah. Maybe leaning toward impossible. When QRCODES forced their way in on crosses, I couldn't see anything to change, so I just hoped the first two letters were some kind of abbr. and left it in. I'm being teched to death here! JPEG: I have seen that one before--in previous crosswords.

Line by line I struggled. Had to fight for almost every answer. No WAY you could call this easy. Finished with only PeSTo written over, which produced uncountable triumph points. Since YEOH is so close to "yeah" (baby), I will make her DOD. RAINMAN is in my top five all-time; a tremendous film. Honorable DOD mention to Susanna in that story, the uber-hot Valeris Golino.

@M&A: Hilarious "self-***ing" list! Especially self-investigating senators!! (Or, presidents!) Eagle. It's the triumph points.

Burma Shave 12:32 PM  


I'MAFOOL for that FINGERTIP tap.


rondo 1:02 PM  

Finished in 4X Rex and no write-overs, ININK, so a deliberate solve, ORELSE fairly easy. 25 minutes is decent for me for a Sat-puz.

Remember the smell of that purple ink from the MIMEOGRAPH? Probably not if you're under 50 or so. And do they even have to CLEANSLATE boards any more? Isn't it all whiteboards and markers?

One-time Bond girl Michelle YEOH baby. MEOW.

Nice puz. I gotta SPLIT.

rainforest 2:30 PM  

Pretty easy for a Saturday, I'd say. I got lucky at 17A by just writing in SAME SEX MARRIAGE off the first A. I seem to be getting better at that sort of thing. Anyway the NW came down quickly and I moved rather smartly through the rest of it.

I had my only slowdown in the EYELASH/SPLIT/ERIK area. Had to write over ScooT and marK there, but other than that it was very smooth.

I don't know why LGA popped into my head, but EWR just looked like an airport code, and GRIP was perfect for "purchase".

Hilarious account by Anonymous up there about Edison and Tesla. Like others, when in Elementary school, the smell of mimeo'd or ditto'd paper was rapturous to me.

Finally, RIG was the answer for "fix" after so many puzzles have had different answers.

Good clean puzzle.

centralscrewtinizer 3:27 PM  

Had to erase 'fresh start' for a CLEAN SLATE.
@Chico Bidwell....lots of posters have disappeared w/o a trace, such as Retired Chemist, although we did get a cameo from Mohair Sam today.
Love your handle, having lived in Chico for ten years decades ago.

leftcoastTAM 3:46 PM  

Well, yes, on the easy side of medium for Saturday, easier than yesterday. Though, AGAIN, the NW was the most troublesome part.

Was stuck on the phonoGRAPH, TAE's invention for reproducing sound in this case, but it didn't work. So it had to be the relatively obscure MIMEOGRAPH because the crosses demanded it. POE and COSA didn't help much, the latter because I thought COSA, as in COSA nostra, was Italian, not Spanish as it is clued.

Four other sticklers: GAG reel, LGA/GRIP (almost Naticked it) and QRCODES.

Liked the two grid-spanning acrosses which helped firm up the top and bottom areas.

Nice work by Mr. Liben-Nowel.

Anonymous 3:54 PM  


Believe correct grammar is "more apt".

Anonymous 4:42 PM  

I think I might be able to move it, if I can get a good purchase.

Anonymous 5:10 PM  

Easiest Saturday in memory. One basketball question, one unknown actress, and a foreign restaurant derailed me.

strayling 6:25 PM  

Almost a Halloween thing going on in the east there. The EERIE howling of a banshee is ominous, for sure, or it might just be that hound again (must have a word with the Baskervilles). I never can keep these OMENS straight.

Diana, LIW 7:37 PM  

Another 90% Saturday - good enuf for me for now. (Hey, I'm still in Crosswords Junior High School.)

I, too, remember the mimeographs and their aroma.

Diana, Lady I W

Joe in Newfoundland 8:22 AM  

Syndicationland, and a day late. The printed clue was "Auto-mated things?". That hyphen threw me off. With "L.C.D. forerunner" and "EWT alternative" (no idea for either) a DNF.
ps I don't like "cousins of garters" for ASPS. We say "garter snakes" but we don't say "asp snakes".

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