Half of former sitcom duo / FRI 11-22-19 / Summa cum laude spoiler / Animals whose name is derived from Latin for little thief / Troubadour's accompaniment / Black Jeopardy show for short

Friday, November 22, 2019

Constructor: Emily Carroll

Relative difficulty: Easy (4:24)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: SITUATIONSHIP (32A: Romantic gray area) —
A situationship is essentially a relationship that hasn't been defined. So anything that precedes the DTR (define the relationship) conversation but follows the initial first few dates (Women's Health)
• • •

Solid B PLUS, though the clue on B PLUS is terrible—*any* grade that isn't "A" can be a [Summa cum laude spoiler] and also yuck to the whole aspirational quality of that clue. Nobody cares if you're summa. No one will remember but you and your mom. Stop. B PLUS is a good grade. Yeesh. Anyway, this puzzle was a B PLUS, as I was saying. It was also super duper easy. I fat-fingered my way across the keyboard, typoing nonstop, and still ended up just 12 seconds shy of my fastest Friday time in two years. If only I had ever (even once) heard of SITUATIONSHIP, which is one of those words ... ugh, look, I don't use Urban Dictionary, on principle, and without Urban Dictionary, there's nowhere to go for a formal definition of this term, which I guess is some millennial thing like "adulting" or whatever. Not sure why it needed a name, since being involved without formally being involved has been a thing since forever, but sure, wacky sad new words, knock yourselves out. I turn 50 next week, and I am really feeling my "kids these days!" energy right now. I've also been married for a long time, so it's not that shocking that relationship neologisms would've missed me. My favorite part about solving that answer was getting SITUATION- and thinking "... wait, is this the SITUATION ROOM ... is the SITUATION ROOM the new FRIEND ZONE ... or, like, a hotter FRIEND ZONE but still awkward ... and why would you name it after a Wolf Blitzer show!?!?" So please, youths of today, instead of "we're in a SITUATIONSHIP," say "we're ... in the SITUATION ROOM!" And then say "dum dum DUM!" and kind of tilt your head a little—a little news anchor flourish. Do it. You'll like it.

Some very bad clues today. 27D: Some of them are described as red and yellow, but not orange (SEAS), ugh, no, so messed up. "Some of them"??? No, precisely one of them is red and precisely one of them is yellow and actually it's captial-R Red and capital-Y Yellow. Some of them, yeesh. Sometimes you have to back off your cutesy clue 'cause the phrasing just doesn't work. Also, "gray area" seems like a really bad way to describe SITUATIONSHIP. A specific, named thing is almost by definition not a "gray area." You'd never refer to any relationship you were in as an "area." Tin. Ear. Don't like that 9D was PATÉS instead of PATES. Avoid diacritical marks if possible, unless you can make them work in the crosses—let that be your guiding philosophy. Enter into a SITUATIONSHIP with diacritical marks, if you will (I have no idea what I mean here). Let's see, what else? There were exactly four places I got slowed down today—trying to parse USE CARE (15A: Be cautious); figuring out tail end of SITUATIONSHIP; seeing SURER, for some reason (44D: Having fewer reservations); and getting the last part of GOOFUS—I had GOOBER (38D: Stupid person, in slang). Only things I really didn't like today, fill-wise, were LEOI and DUIS. Long answers are solid, shorts are largely inoffensive, so ... B PLUS. Sorry about your summa, but you should still hold your head high, little puzzle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


okanaganer 12:25 AM  

Rex, ditto on wanting something like FRIEND ZONE to fit. I found this a bit challenging, but I really enjoyed the long answers particularly. Also, who knew that KLINGON and ROMULAN had the same number of letters!

Funny anecdote: for DEMOLITION DERBY, I had D---------NDERBY, and because I often drive through the small town of Enderby BC, I could not get past DOWNTOWN ENDERBY. Of course the problem is, downtown Enderby, seen
here is an unlikely "Smashing good time", I guess unless you're realllllly drunk.

puzzlehoarder 12:36 AM  

This constructor is giving Robyn Weintraub a run for the money in winning the easiest Friday of the year award. Today's solve was Wednesday level for difficulty. Both grid spanners dropped in off of just the few first letters. This provided leverage on both sides of a puzzle that needed none to begin with.

My only write overs were STATURE/STATION and AIRSICK/CARSICK both of which were quickly fixed. The only other hesitations were thinking 38D might be GOOBER and not being able to recall DANO. The rest of the puzzle was big SUR, big BEN, big meh, OSO meh.

jae 1:02 AM  

Easy. Only problems were WARt before WARP and @Rex GOOber before GOOFUS.
Solid with a tinge of zip, liked it.

...also, no idea about SITUATIONSHIP...I’ll ask my 21 yr. old granddaughter, I think she might have been in a few?

Ron 1:15 AM  

Not particularly hard, but very enjoyable! Very little eye-rolling fill, which seems like a nice change over the past few days where fill has felt really bad.

chefwen 1:49 AM  

Hand up with GOOber which I was positive was right, guess I have a lot of company there, that was the last corner filled.

So happy to finish a Friday with no cheats only to find that Rex rated it easy, that always takes the wind out of my sails. Oh well.

SITUATIONSHIP was a new one for me, but I’ve been married for so long any new terminology is lost on me. Some very clever misdirects like 1A, Slice, I’m thinking golf, 4D ACUPUNCTURE, I’m all over crewel and petite point. Loved the info on FERRETS, the little thieves.

Great puzzle, thank you Emily Carroll.

Loren Muse Smith 2:53 AM  

Lovely Friday, Emily. Loved BRITISH INVASION. I always stop everything to watch footage of the Beatles arriving at Kennedy, performing on Ed Sullivan, slaying interviews. I feel like my tv habits are experiencing a BRITISH INVASION of a sorts now that I’m obsessed with The Great British Baking Show and The Secret Life of the Zoo. I’ve added a trip to the Chester Zoo to my bucket list.

Me, too, for “goober” before DOOFUS. I kept looking at “goober” and imagining a goober booger. Then goonie noogie.

I liked the ACUPUNCTURE/USE CARE cross. Uh. Yeah.

I was surprised by Rex’s “summa” disdain. I’ve read it and reread it and will try to obediently add a desire to make good grades to the growing list of stuff I’m supposed to sneer at. By the way, a B PLUS absolutely does not prevent you from graduating summa cum laude.

As usual, a new kicky portmanteau just floats my boat. SITUATIONSHIP is new to me, and I love it. If you advance beyond just a situation to a not-yet-red-roses status, you’re in a carnationship. You and your drinking buddy enjoy a libationship. That guy you’re dating on the rebound to make your ex jealous? A retaliationship. The occasional hook-up partner – a copula. . . Ok. I’ll stop. (But Carnival cruises are vacationship vacation ships.)

DEMOLITION DERBY – my fourth period 6th- graders entering the classroom.

ONE TO GO – Thanksgiving break starts today at 3:30pm. Gentlemen, start your OVENs…

Solverinserbia 4:38 AM  

NW slowed me down a lot. I couldn't think of the three letter animal, couldn't figure out this Big _____, didn't have any crosses and thought maybe ACUPUNCTURE had two Cs at the beginning. I was thinking Slice was referring to a bad golf shot, but finally changed sty to PEN, put in ---Care, got PALES, saw OSO and SUR and the corner fell.

My absolute last letter was the cross of danO and mOranis. But I had kind of heard of MORANIS and it obviously had to be a vowel so I got it first guess.

Dave 6:02 AM  

Yeah, the clue leading to SEAS was awful. Otherwise, I found this to be a very solid and enjoyable Friday puzzle. Well, SITUATIONSHIP too . . . never heard of that one, which kinda makes me feel old (I guess)?

I'm 43 and have two kids (7.5 and almost 6) . . . pretty-sure anyone who says "situationship" is squarely between the vernacular I hear from my contemporaries (we still converse mainly through Ferris Bueller references), and what I pick up from my kids (which, these days, is any saying involving Disney characters or the word "poop").

Also -- as pointed out by Loren above -- why the hate for summa cum laude aspirations, Rex? Should we not encourage and recognize those who do really, really well in college or grad school? How about letter grades . . . is there also a "yucky aspirational quality" to encouraging my kids to get the best grades they can get? Or should I just hope they do well enough to get into Brown, where they can "choose which grading system they are participating in"? (See https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/colleges-without-letter-grades/).

Anyway, regardless on the merit of using merit-based systems versus one of "I feel I did well on this test so that's all that matters," this puzzle worked for me. Chiefly because of ROMULAN. I had KLINGON in there for a while (which also works for the clue), but ROMULAN made me smile once I discovered the correct answer.

The puzzle behind me, I can now go take my kids to soccer today and encourage them not to win, but to vie for that participation trophy ;)

Rainbow 6:18 AM  

Don't let Rex define your pleasure.

Lewis 6:20 AM  

Fan as I am of the feint -- call me feint of heart -- this puzzle overjoyed me with its bounty of misdirects (clues for FANS, OPEN BAR, CAR SICK, SURER, OUTS, ELDEST, DEMOLITION DERBY, and ACUPUNCTURE). Add the zest of the five longest answers and I was hip-hopping with happiness. Truly, this puzzle was a buzz and a high and a hi-yo Silver for me. Brava and thank you, Emily!

Anonymoose 6:26 AM  

We have a new elude/evade/avoid conundrum. GOOFUS, dOOFUS, GOOber,

J.M. Bergoglio 6:33 AM  

'Pope" clues (unless referring to Alexander) are almost always looking for a LEO. Then it just becomes a matter of sussing out which number and whether he gets the honorific "ST" before his name. We can be grateful, I suppose, that there was only one ORR and only one OTT, and that neither was canonized (though a strong case could certainly be made for canonizing ORR).

Anonymous 6:41 AM  

First thought was that Beatles didn’t land at Kennedy because it hadn’t yet been renamed. But turns out they did. JFK was killed Nov. 22, 1963 (56 years ago today as it happens) and Beatles landed on Feb. 7, 1964, just two months later. But in between, New York City renamed the airport.

Abby Friedman 6:46 AM  

Rex, you can't have it both ways, complaining that the puzzle so often skews too old and then complaining about the new young people words in it. It comes off as sounding like what you want is a puzzle skewed exactly towards you, which is understandable but also to some extent invalidates all of your past critiques of the puzzle.

(I say this as someone who is 40, and who also struggles with the new hip slang and the old folks' slang.)

Anon 6:59 AM  

Very fast Friday. smiled when I erased ONCRACK and replaced with CARSICK,

GILL I. 7:05 AM  

MASS SASH SNIP SHIP. Which Big do I enter first.
I've never had a SITUATIONSHIP. It was always black or white. You either know or you don't. The minute he coughs in your face...you know. Or when he doesn't bother to put the toilet seat down. If our young generation can't figure that out then we're all damned to hell.
I've been to France a million times but I couldn't tell you where RENNES is even if you plied me with the PATES of NOTRE Dame. Loved CUISINES sitting on top of the OVEN.
Yes, this was an easy Friday for me. My only meh was getting to the end. I felt like Emily ran out of steam at the DANO/MORANIS/CGI/KOS corner. It felt like desperately trying to find something to close up the puzzle. Choose something - anything. Otherwise, an OK puzzle.

kitshef 7:19 AM  

SITUATIONSHIP is new to me, and I hope never to see it again. Someone commented recently that Will Shortz seeks to make NYT puzzles “timeless” in order to preserve reprint value. Including newly coined words of questionable STATION does the opposite. Maybe SITUATIONSHIP will take off. Much more likely, it will disappear and future solvers will by stymied. Remember “compfusion”, “heaven-o” and “kablokeys”?

Never particularly liked Ghostbusters, but Rick Moranis was perfect in his role.

SJ Austin 7:22 AM  

Probably a Friday PR (can't tell for sure because my Friday stats are tainted by a mistaken log of a 2-minute time, which I know never happened). I think it was due to crushing those long down after only a few crosses. Got lucky there.

As for SITUATIONSHIP, I am all for it. Even as a fellow cynical Gen-Xer, I am "here for" these millennial neologisms. I'd never heard it, but it was gettable from the crosses, which is a lot more than I can say for some of the great-grandpa-centric answers the NYT often assumes are common knowledge. (1930s Oscar winners, obsolete horseless carriage models, neighbors of Little Orphan Annie, etc.)

If you want fresh New Yorker-y fill, Rex, you gotta be ready to embrace it when it appears.

Mr. Grumpypants 7:26 AM  

It's DOOFUS everywhere I've lived; I'll accept GOOFUS, but I don;t have to like it.

Dawn Urban 7:37 AM  

I can think of someone else who will remember a graduate's "Summa Status". Their future employer.

Great puzzle! I like SITUATIONSHIP better than "Friends with Benefits".

@LorenMuseSmith: hilarious as always. "Carnationship" ROFL. The Bachelor enterprise should make note of this!! In my high school, valentine carnations were sold. White for friendship, yellow for like, and red for love. I was an unliked-unloved "nerd" and got none. Husband remembered this story and gave me all three color roses on our first Valentines Day.

Hungry Mother 7:39 AM  

I love the actor, but I can never spell MORANIS correctly.I mispronounce the name and then misspell it.

Suzie Q 7:44 AM  

Nice solid puzzle with lots of lovely long answers. It sounds snobbish to say "Too easy for a ____" but this was. If this had run on a Wed. I would have given it an A Plus.
@ Dave 6:02 beat me to it re: participation awards. Being in an educational setting, Rex surprised me with his reaction.
Speaking of education, Loren is in top form today. I can clearly envision her sixth grade demolition derby. Love retaliationship!

Hungry Mother 7:58 AM  

On November 22, 1963, I heard the news on a short wave radio receiver in my hooch in the jungle near Korat, Thailand. Two months later, I watched the Beatles on TV in Giulianis Bar in Narberth, PA while on a weekend pass from Fort Dix, NJ. Both memorable in different ways.

oopsydeb 8:05 AM  

Before I got to the puzzle this morning, two friends texted me with some version of, "Well now we know what to call your thing with T." That thing is a 3+ year...thing. Never DTRed. Most definitely not coupled. So...thanks puzzle.

Why the hate on urban dictionary, Rex? What principle keeps you from it?

As to concern about aspiring to summa, and particularly with this clue/answer suggesting anything but all As would prevent it, I think its the aspiring for "perfection" rather than learning that might be of concern. Aspiring to perfection can actually be a barrier to learning, I think. And certainly can be a cause of anxiety.

I had AYEs before PROs for all those in favor, and that error screwed me up and slowed me down quite a bit. But I liked the spanners and most of the long answers here. Agree with Rex that the clue for SEAS was off.

QuasiMojo 8:08 AM  

This was over way too fast. It felt like a Monday to me. I was annoyed by the lack of a space between "needle" and "work" in the Acupuncture clue. Perhaps a question mark would have fixed it but I am not Pro misusing the language to mislead, however playfully. It seems to be happening more and more. Bending the rules. Perhaps it needed an emoji. 😘

@Joe, I would add "atta" and "itsa" (boy/girl) to your list if conundrums. Although it is becoming obsolete as most parents already know what sex the child is. For the moment, at least. But in Crossword World (that would make a cool TV show with old school constructors using their brains to make a puzzle and new-fangled upstarts using AI), it is still common parlance.

mmorgan 8:19 AM  

Never heard of SITUATIONSHIP but I really enjoyed getting it and think it’s a lovely word. Unlike Rex who had SITUATION... to work with, I stared at S.....TIONSHIP for a while. Even with grade inflation, I’m much closer to an A minus than a B PLUS on this one.

Donovan 8:33 AM  

Millennial whose never heard of SITUATIONSHIP here, but I don't mind it. It's fun to learn something new that isn't obscure 40s baseball trivia. I ended up solving the right side of the grid first and spent a while baffled at -----TIONSHIP. Very enjoyable solve all around. NYT needs more young constructors.

RavTom 8:39 AM  

As usual, LMS is spot on. Beyond that, this was a toughie for me. I was sure that 7D was sty, and that made the NE tough. “Slice” for SODA POP was also a nice misdirection. Good Friday puzzle.

mathgent 8:41 AM  

The comments about SITUATIONSHIP made me think about the milestones in a love relationship. First kiss, first sex, first x. X is the beginning of the time when making her happy is as important as making yourself happy. I've only gotten to milestone three once. We're still together. Lucky me.

I liked the puzzle very much. Smart cluing, sparkly, no junk, learned a couple of things.

pabloinnh 8:42 AM  

Did this one counter clockwise, with DEMOLITIONDERBY being the base for many accrosses in the (not wild) west. Years and years ago our softball team entered a clunker in a derby of this nature and nearly won. This one had heats (really) and we made it to the finals. By then many adult beverages had been consumed so when I was in the men's and the guy next to me said excitedly that Nixon had just resigned, all I could say was "So what? We're in the finals!". Sorry if I've told this one before but how many demolition stories do I have? One.

Nice Fridecito from EA, and always a good day when LMS is in top form. Maybe Saturday will flatten us all.

Z 9:00 AM  

When a puzzle is this easy (Jesus, Rex, 4:24? That’d be a damn good Monday here) I try to check the PPP to see if it’s a Wheelhouse/Outhouse thing. This came in at 22 of 72, 30.5%. That’s getting mighty close to the 33% standard, so we may see a little bit of the wheelhouse/outhouse effect today.* Definitely Wheelhouse here. Saw through the Slice clue right away and thought Klingon was too obvious and went with ROMULAN. Boom, the west coast fell like a Jenga Tower smacked by my Lab’s tail.

My eyebrows always arch a little bit when I read something like “growing list of stuff I’m supposed to sneer at.” Sure, we call him OFL, but I’m always wondering if it’s pronounced “offal” or “awful,” and I’m the official “most likely to agree with Rex” person here. I’ll decide for myself if I agree with him or not.

Speaking of which - I absolutely agree with Rex on this. First story, back in my Assistant Principal days we had this kid obsessed with being valedictorian. So obsessed that he did nothing else while in High School. He was shocked to discover that colleges did not find this to be much of an achievement and that more well rounded kids with lower GPAs were getting accepted into schools that didn’t accept him. Second observation, @Dawn Urban - Nope. The military and police departments are the only employers that ever ask about grades. Any employer that is basing hiring decisions on grades needs a new HR department.
In this same vein, @Dave, Let me suggest that you worry more about what the offspring learn and that they do their best and less about their grades. Both you and they will be happier in the long run. Yes, I have stories.

Can we stop with the gnashing of teeth over millennials? Please? Pretty Please? No? Whenever anyone uses “millennial” in the “kids these days” way you look exactly like the olds we used to make fun of. Just. Stop. Be. Better.

*PPP are Pop Culture, Product Names and other Proper Nouns. When those are above one third of the clues/answers we tend to see some people with very fast solves (in their wheelhouse) and others who struggle (in their outhouse).

Sir Hillary 9:01 AM  

Loved @Rex's review today. Not for its content (with which, as usual, I disagree at least as much as I agree) but because it felt like he wrote it exactly the way he solved the puzzle -- as a one-take stream of consciousness. Maybe he even held his breath the whole time. Awesome.

Yeah, SITUATIONSHIP is new to me, but no big deal. Besides, anything that gets @LMS riffing the way she did this morning is FINE by me. Let's just say I feel like I'm in an admirationship with her, even if it's only one-way.

@Lewis nailed in calling out the fun clues. To his list I would add the one for PATES.

Yes, a bit too easy, but lots of Friday fun today. Thank you, Emily!

Bubbabythebay 9:09 AM  

@jmbergogio: Throw XII PIUS's, V Paul's and XXIII JOHN's into the mix

Completely agree about STBOBBYORR

Nancy 9:18 AM  

So I didn't Natick in one place where I feared I would, and I did Natick in a different place where I feared I would -- but for a much more complicated reason. I'll explain.

Would it be OSO/ROMULAN or OSA/RAMULAN? I don't know any Star Trek characters and the Spanish bear is often spelled both ways in xwords, but I guessed "O" and guessed right.

Was it DINO/LORANIS or DINA/LARANIS? I didn't know either proper pop name. But I never questioned the fill around it: I had AIRSICK instead of CARSICK for the "having a bad trip", giving me AOL instead of COM for the "dot follower". Meaning the two proper pop names were actually DANO and MORANIS -- neither of which I knew or considered.

Though marred by what I consider unfair crosses, this puzzle had a lot of really superb clues and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite my 4-letter DNF. In this one, the long fill helped me out with the short fill -- which is most unusual. But I do wish those two areas had been cleaned up.

Jay 9:20 AM  

This was a delightfully pleasant solve. As someone who almost never quite finishes a Friday or a Saturday, I came very close to a "legitimate" finish.

I had a natick at the intersection DANa and MaRANIS. Amazingly, I could not see CARSICK. Had instead CAR SInK. Don't ask me why. Other than that, all fell in place gradually, with many aha moments in between.

Never heard of SITUATIONSHIP but that does not make the term less legitimate. While solving I had initially SITUATION STOP. What do I know about modern relationship? Then I settled on SITUATION SHIP. Parsing the answer as two separate words made me wonder how a "situation" in a "ship" describes a romantic gray area. I was simply too busy savoring the rest of the puzzle and celebrating my near perfect success.

Thank you Emily and don't pay attention to those complaining that the puzzle was to easy.

TJS 9:26 AM  

Anyone else notice that Rex does not give one example of a good clue/answer combo in his entire review ? He likes the puzzle enough for a B-Plus grade, but devotes his entire review to negatives. This puzzle had great fill throughout, and while it did not provide a lot of resistance for a Friday, I thought it was excellent with regard to inclusion of words not frequently seen in puzzles these days. Maybe Rex was triggered by not ever being Summa-anything.

oldbizmark 9:31 AM  

I don't mind cluing SODAPOP with Slice. However, it should have said "Slice, once" or something like that since it doesn't exist anymore and hasn't existed for some years (like the NEHI's of the world). That said, I figured it out early (after I changed STY to PEN). My issue was with the rest of the NW. ROMULAN is a bit of a stretch for many people (including me), BIG SUR is a beautiful place (I've been) but not the exactly something that pops out at you when you are struggling with ROMULAN and USECARE. OSO (Bear) is not really an attraction at a Zoo. Maybe a Panda OSO. Enjoyed the other 85% of the puzzle and found it easy and breezy. But the NW almost ruined it for me.

Anonymous 9:32 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stand Up Guy 9:37 AM  

@Gill. Why should a man be responsible for the position of the toilet seat? Maybe women should leave it up.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

@ Stand Up Guy, Because everyone needs the seat down at some point and a lady should never have to touch one.

Joaquin 10:10 AM  

In my world, one has either a SODA or a POP (or more often a soft drink). SODAPOP is a redundancy. And slice is a golf shot. A bad one, sorta like the old soda(pop).

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Waiting for @Z to definitively resolve the toilet seat conundrum.

Carola 10:23 AM  

An enjoyable romp...if you can romp your way to a DNF (see below). Add me to the fans of SITUATIONSHIP and to the I've-done-too-many-crosswords fillers-in of GOOber. I liked learning the etymology of FERRET (which in my grid started out as a gERbil, which seemed like an unlikely little thief even as I wrote it in.)

@Jay - Me, too, for MaRANIS. In my case, interference from home-town author David Maraniss.

RooMonster 10:30 AM  

Hey All !
Flew through the West side of puz, but slowly plodded through the East. Why? I DUNNO. Odd.

Liked this puz. Nice 15's Down with a 13/9 cross in the middle. Had some writeovers, sty-PEN, SunS-SEAS, FiNS-FANS, and for some weird reason, englISH INVASION first. Lightly wrote in skip for WARP, but didn't commit, so not a real writeover.

Haven't heard of RENNES, not up on my French cities. Could've tied in the ROMULAN and WARP clues. WORSTS is kinda bad. SITUATIONSHIP a new one here, too. Liked @LMS's SHIPs. She always brings the goods.

Always thought ACUPUNCTURE had two C's. It does have three U's, great for vacationing @M&A. We also got two F's today. Yes SIRS.


Anonymous 10:30 AM  

What high school/college/uni awards summa *only* for straight A's? Don't think that's true.

xyz 10:35 AM  

Why I now prefer Friday

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

@Stand Up Guy:

well... because Guys, in the age of Trump, are no longer held responsible for anything else. if they're old, white, rich or rural anyway. have you no decency?

No Dead-Eye Duke here 10:40 AM  

@Gill - I've never understood the importance of leaving the seat down. I understand a lady not wanting to handle it all the time, and to the horror of not checking that it is down in the middle of the night. I get that. What I don't get is why women don't get that if it's up, they can be sure that the last guy to use the toilet didn't trust his aim. I would think that assurance would be worth quite a lot.

Logan 10:40 AM  

Because copular verbs “hook-up” subjects and their compliments? I think I get it. 🤔

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

@Anon 10:04 - How is it ever going to get cleaned then? Huh? How?

Logan 10:42 AM  

If he did he’d only ever read Beowulf.

Logan 10:43 AM  

I’m not a huge fan of feints, but ELDEST and OPEN BAR were just too good to not appreciate.

jb129 10:43 AM  

LOVED this puzzle & it was over way too soon! Thank you Emily.

bigsteve46 10:45 AM  

Rex's hypocrisy hit a new high (or low, depending on your observation point) in the B-Plus comment. He teaches at a very admission-competitive university in the NY system, where the difference between a B-plus and an A-minus or two on an application might mean the difference between admission or wait-list or outright rejection. While missing out on one of Rex's comic-book appreciation courses is not such a big deal, the importance of a college degree and what college it came from is still a big deal in this country - and Rex knows it!

jberg 10:47 AM  

I'm with @Loren in that I delight in learning new words, especially if they really fit, viz., SITUATIONSHIP. It such a joy to finally see it and fill it in.

And I'm with @Nancy in struggling unsuccessfully with the DANO/MORANIS crossing, but in a different place. Around here people sometimes say O (for operating) instead of D. The highway department has LED signs along the major highways that usually warn you about traffic jams ahead, but every once in a while they read "OUI COSTS LIVES." It took me about a year to figure it out; at first I thought it was some anti-French thing, like freedom fries. But I got the AN from crosses, so figured it must be DANa, and therefore MaRANIS. I'd never heard of either one.

@Rex goes overboard (but isn't that what we pay him for?) on the summa thing, but I think I know where he's coming from. While I was teaching I'd occasionally give a student a well-earned lower grade and find said student in my office begging to give an extra credit project to raise the grade because "it will keep me from getting a summa." That really shouldn't be the point.

@Loren, wait --- you get a week off for Thanksgiving?

Newboy 10:51 AM  

Again @Lewis said it all, so I’ll just pop down here before reading others. Hope that Rex can calm himself with a healthy dose of tryptophan as that would B (a) PLUS for his hypertension.

kitshef 10:56 AM  

@oldbizmark - slice has been un-discontinued and is available again. I recommend the CranApple.

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

I liked this a little more than Rex, and I found it mildly challenging--though I guess it was a little easier than most Fridays. I guessed right on Moranis/Dano, though worried that Dana sounded more like a name.

I'm with Rex and some others on the summa cum laude thing. I've been on departmental admission committees for graduate school and am surprised at number of otherwise respectable professors who gush over a straight-A record. I see a straight-A record as evidence of, though not proof of, a sort of toadyism--liberals are as bad as conservatives here, even if liberals claim they respect outliers. I've seen people gush over the straight-A record, and I have remarked: you mean this person went through FOUR years of college and did not have enough initiative to blow off ONE SINGLE course? My remarks fell on deaf ears.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Music Man 11:01 AM  

Good point, Abby. I’ll also add that, as a 50+ person myself, I like being exposed to hip, slang terms in the puzzles that I wouldn’t otherwise have ever heard of.

GHarris 11:05 AM  

Ok, so once again I wrestled with the puzzle on paper and, after a slow start, filled it all in without cheating. Not certain how long it took because I don’t time myself but it was reasonably fast for a Friday. Then, to learn whether I had it all right I redid it online to see if I got “Congratulations “ Mind you, I had already doped it all out and was merely typing it in. I got the fanfare and the time shown was 4 minutes and 24 seconds, yes the exact same time it took Rex to figure it all out, correct his mistakes and type it in. How can that be?

Katzzz 11:07 AM  

Rex: "I don't use Urban Dictionary," on principle....."
What's wrong with Urban Dictionary (other than that some prudes may object to its often highly sexual content)? What principle is Rex evoking?

Whatsername 11:12 AM  

This was a really nice Friday, a little challenging but not hard, some brilliant misdirects and the perfect level of difficulty. What’s not to love? Thank you, Ms. Carroll.

With the knowledge of a former solid BPLUS student, my ruling on the goofus/goober debate is that it’s not either one. It’s DOOFUS. Also being a child of the sixties - where no one ever heard of a FASHIONISTA or a SITUATIONSHIP - I loved the flavor of that era with SIRs Paul and Elton, LAVERNE and Shirley, the BRITISHINVASION and DEMOLITIONDERBY. In fact, I was so into the 60s vibe that I misread 28D and tried to use Monster MASH before Midnight MASS. “He did the mash, he did the monster mash.”

I’d bet my entire collection of rare coins that I’m not the only one who did not know what a numismatist is, much less his rating system.

@Anonymous at 10:04 - Good answer! At my house, we even put the lid down too. It’s just much more pleasant to look at.

xyz 11:13 AM  

Geography en France:

RENNES (Bretagne)

REIMS (Champagne) (It's not REEMS as the Brits say)

PHV 11:22 AM  

"Not clear" This an abuse of the freedom to have answers be phrases since 'not clear' is not a thing.

jb129 11:47 AM  

Re: Toilet seat posts...

We have sunk to a new level of low.

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

@Anon 10:04 - How is it ever going to get cleaned then? Huh? How?

Now wait. A show of hands: how many think Stand Up Guy has ever, in his whole life, ever cleaned a toilet??? That's wimin's work.

Ethan Taliesin 11:57 AM  

@Stand Up Guy
I am a man. The main reason I sit to pee (at home) has everything to do with cleanliness, plus it's easy -- perhaps easier, really.

Unless you like being able to detect piss odor and enjoy cleaning the toilet rim and behind the toilet a lot, I don't understand why any man wouldn't. Maybe you think that job should also be a woman's responsibility???

In your defense, here is one man's reasoning why men should stand while peeing.

As far as the puzzle goes. It was like a hard-sh Tuesday... which leads me to the summa cum laude clue. If an ambitious undergrad always seeks out the most challenging classes, an occasional B+ might not be completely unexpected; if another student takes the minimum required for the same degree, well that's hardly commensurate even though they both get diplomas.

I'm not going to pat myself on the back because I finished FRIDAY with zero difficulty. I'd rather get a B- for a brutally hard puzzle than an A+ for an easy one any day of the week.

That said, "summa cum laude spoiler" is a great clue. My point is that all summa cum laudes are not created equal

Drew Hardy 12:11 PM  

@Hungry 07:58. Thank you for sharing those juxtaposed SLICEs of history. Nicely put.

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

OK, I need some help. Why are most pop-ups OUTS? Hoping I don't feel too dumb when the answer is revealed.

corscorpionis 12:21 PM  

I wanted it to be suns, not seas.

JC66 12:31 PM  

@Anon 12:20

I didn't get it at first either, but in baseball, most pop-ups are caught for OUTS.

@corscorpionis and others

Aren't suns sometimes orange at sunset?

Dorothy Biggs 12:34 PM  

I've never tried to research why some made up words make it into the vernacular and others don't, but I find it fascinating. SITUATIONSHIP v. FASHIONISTA is a good example. Not pictured: INTELLIGENTSIA

So, yeah...who knows if situationship will make it to the same STATION as FASHIONISTA. Given the popularity of doing such things and the way memes can saturate the market to the point of nausea, it's highly doubtful. I think it's cute, but I can't see anyone using it anytime soon. FB probably won't add it to its list of relationship statuses..."complicated" seems to describe just fine, thank you very much.

I wanted "sty" so very badly for 7D, but I loved my very first instinct for 1A. I eagerly wrote in SODAPOP first thing, right out of the gate. Then I started doing the downs and got SUR to confirm...but "sty" got in the way. I erased it all and figured it would reveal itself eventually. For the record, while "sty" is probably the most boring answer, it is still better than PEN. I get it: Pig Pen was a character in the Peanuts comics, and my mom would even occasionally call my bedroom a "pig pen." But she also used sty. Sometimes just "sty," but never just "pen."

I don't touch my OVEN with a mitt. I touch things coming out of the oven with a mitt on. Cookie sheets, adjust oven racks, casserole dishes, muffin pans...I touch those things. Most of my oven is cool to the touch except for the burners, heating elements, and the inside of the door. I have no reason to touch those. I saw the clue and knew in an instant that it was probably OVEN, but I refused to write it in. I ended winning in the end by only filling it in via the crosses.

FInally, I had "skip" as a bad thing on a record. "Scratch" is the best answer. WARP is not ON a record, it's what happens TO a record. You have a warped record, do don't have a warp on your record.

wrivz 12:36 PM  

Baseball - most pop-ups (or pop flies) are easily caught by an infielder.

CDilly52 12:48 PM  

HAHA! @LMS, my daughter who teaches 5th and 6th grade special needs kids last week said the students were exceptionally antsy one day and needed to finish a task that took them a tad past the lunch bell. She texted me: “Mom, those guys exploded out of the room and turned over chairs and dumped stuff off tables; it looked like we held a DEMOLITION DERBY in here!” That one fell quickly for me.

wrivz 12:51 PM  

On the millennial/Gen Z border here - I've never heard the term "situationship" in my life. To my ears, it sounds like slang an older person would use to be "hip with the kids." Not sure if older millennials would use the term though.

Naticked on MORANIS/DANO (had MARANIS/DANA). Movie trivia not kind.

Stand Up Guy 12:52 PM  

Thanks for all the funny comments on toilet seats.

OK, so sometimes I sit, especially middle of the night.

I do clean toilets.

And, truth is, I really prefer a completely closed Loo when not in use.

Anonymous 12:54 PM  

@JC66 and @wrivz Ahhhh yes... A little facepalm and I won't forget that one. Thanks!

Teedmn 1:15 PM  

I tried to eat GOOber pEAS today. 27D, red or yellow pEAS, or no, lentils. Ah, SEAS crossing SIRS.

My lack of commercial TV watching pays off today - I was never subjected to the Toyota commercial which our constructor credits for introducing her to SITUATIONSHIP. When I had SITUATION__IP in place, I thought it might end in slIP but I let the crosses fill it in.

With FASHION__T_ in place, I decided many a Vogue subscriber was FASHION NUTS. Thanks, Rick Moranis, for fixing that.

I may have set my own personal Friday record today, at 10:20 - totally easy from my first SODA POP entry. Thanks, Emily Carroll.

And @okanaganer, thanks for the DOWNTOWN ENDERBY laugh!

RooMonster 1:16 PM  

@Ethan 11:57
Watched the link, but the guy contradicts himself, no? He says the Bible says that God will kill men "who pisses on the wall", but then goes on a screaming rant of how he will continue to pee standing up, as he is a man. Huh?
Personally, I think it depends of the *uh-hum* length of said pee-er as to if it's easier to stand.

It's sad that a lot of y'all haven't heard of Rick MORANIS. Funny guy. A major role was in the 1984 Ghostbusters movie. He's been in other things, but that sticks in my brain.

RooMonster Pee How Ever You Want Guy

T. Crapper 1:21 PM  

Can we pleeeeeez get onto more important things - like the proper way to hang toilet paper.

Frantic Sloth 1:56 PM  

It’s DOOFUS or GOOBER - not GOOFUS, unless you used to read (are still reading???) Highlights magazine.

Joe Dipinto 1:59 PM  

I'm glad that "who met with Attila the Hun" was in the clue for 46d because I never would have gotten the answer otherwise. This was supremely easy but I had a bunch of writeovers anyway, starting with when I entered MASS in the wrong column. Along the way I further erred with MINT instead of FINE, ONE MORE for ONE TO GO, and MINUS for B PLUS (rationalizing that the minus of an A-minus would be enough to spoil the Summa).

And TEAS instead of SEAS because there's that red rooibos tea and I convinced myself that there must be a yellow tea too, and as a matter of fact there *is* such a thing as yellow tea, so TEAS would have been a better answer to the stupid clue.

STATION made me think of the movie "The Station Agent", which reminded me of yesterday afternoon, when I had a late lunch at a local place in Brooklyn and Peter Dinklage and Ethan Hawke and a third guy that I probably should have recognized came in and sat at a table. Their situationship was not clear.

Stupid people.

Anonymous 2:01 PM  

@Loren, you missed one: the relationship you're in to hone your skills before getting into the one you really want to be in is a REMEDIATIONSHIP.

Frantic Sloth 2:15 PM  

Against my better judgement which doesn’t exist anyway I’m tempted to continue riding on this addictive ationship train that LMS started.

Taxationship - what you have with you CPA (or if you’re a disgruntled original colonist)
Representationship - what you have with your talent agent (or said disgruntled original colonist lacks/demands)
Humliationship - something I enjoy whenever I open my mouth...apparently.

Somebody stop me.

old timer 2:21 PM  

Great comments so far (special thanks to @LMS as always). And an amusing writeup by OFL. I thought the puzzle was a bear, though I finished it, with one mistake -- lyre for LUTE that I could have caught, but I was giddy with joy at having found SITUATIONSHIP. Had sty in forever before PEN. I only now know that Slice is a former SODAPOP.

We had Honors, High Honors, and Highest Honors at my high school, awarded every grading period, and, yes, a BPLUS did not ruin your chances for the top award if you had some sort of A everywhere else. No doubt true in college, too, but I was not Summa material and paid little attention. Especially because I was overseas at graduation time and happy to be there.

By far my favorite answer: BRITISH INVASION. Of course the Beatles had already created teenage maniacs. But when I was at school for that senior semester I was in Britain. Our heroes were the Stones and the Kinks, which we played over and over again in what the powers that were called the "Junior Common Room". Where, certainly unlike our home campus, you could get beer!

PS: One reason men need the toilet up is to more completely empty the bladder. True for me, anyhow.

Anonymous 2:28 PM  

Oh Boy! Here we go!

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

And the person you go out with even though you know you shouldn't--Trepidationship

Anonymous 2:36 PM  

Dating a family member--Relationship. This is fun.

Photomatte 2:41 PM  

I had 'Doofus' for 38D and that threw me for a bit (never heard of Goofus, but I guess it makes sense in a goofy kind of way). Other than that, really easy for a Friday. I felt like a summa cum laude when I finished in record time.

kitshef 3:29 PM  

@Roo Monster 1:16 - Another MORANIS role that sticks in my head for some reason is Billy Fish in Streets of Fire. He wasn't especially good for that role, but the movie had Diane Lane being absolutely electric plus one of Jim Steinman's best songs.

Look for Rick Moranis at about 1:30 in this video.

gilly 3:30 PM  

Very nice puzzle. B+ is right. Didn't soar, but caught a current and sailed along gracefully.

Speaking of which, I sailed through this too--which I'd suggest is a testament to the exceptionally clean fill.

Frantic Sloth 3:45 PM  

Of course “Ghostbusters”, but I would argue that Rick Moranis’s seminal role was “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”.

RooMonster 4:04 PM  

Ooh,ooh, and he was in the shrinking movies
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
Honey, I Blew Up The Kid
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves


Anonymous 4:14 PM  

To Dorothy Biggs, 12:34 p.m., if you are still reading.

The word *intelligentia* (in Latin) has been around at least since the late Middle Ages, as a reference to a group of people. (In antiquity, intelligentia was there in the normal sense of "intelligence.) *Intelligentia* (intelligenza in Italian) meant an illegal voting bloc. There was something sort of sacral about most forms of voting. A votum or vote came from the Latin word for "vow," and, like a vow, it was supposed to be a free expression of one's conscience. Voting in blocs was sort of sacrilegious. The idea that voting should be a free expression of conscience is retained today. Presumably this intelligentia as a voting bloc derived from the Latin "inter" (together) + "ligare" (to bind). I think that even in antiquity there was some debate as to the etymology of intelligere (to understand), whether it derived from the Latin "legere" (to read) or ligare (to bind). In the modern world "intelligentsia" is best known in its Russian version, as a sort of educated group. I've always wondered if a remnant of the late Medieval sense of a conspiratorial voting bloc, or a conspiratorial group, as been retained, since the Russian intelligentsia was accused of being not a just those who were educated, but those who were conspiratorial.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Joe Dipinto 4:18 PM  

Rick Moranis will always be, suddenly, Seymour.

Seymour 4:19 PM  

Another good one is "Little Shop of Horrors"

Hungry Mother 4:25 PM  

My wife and 3 kids all graduated Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Summa Cum Laude. Because of a sophomore year in which I squandered my 3.92, leading to a lost year at FSU and a 3 year hitch in the Army, I finally graduated with a 3.45 average, just short of Cum Laude. So, it's a big deal to me and led to my getting a 4.0 average in graduate school.

chefwen 4:27 PM  

Self closing toilet seats with just a touch of a finger, best invention ever.

DeeJay 4:32 PM  

I had BADSHOT at 1A for a loooong time.

Rachel 4:42 PM  

George Costanza-Hamptons-pool-shrinkage

John 4:44 PM  

Technology to the rescue again.

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

S&M; Flagellationship.

GILL I. 4:54 PM  

Sorry I started this, but @chefwen's plumber gets invited over for Thanksgiving.... I won't even insist he wash his hands.

fifirouge 4:55 PM  

As a millennial, I do love when the puzzle tries to cater to us. So much of the time the fill is cultural references from 20, 30, 50 years ago. I admit I love reading everyone complain about it too. Sounds like me during most of the other the puzzles in NYT when they expect me to know a movie that came out in the 40s.

The Women's Health definition of "Situationship" definitely misses the mark. It's more like the "it's complicated" relationship option on Facebook. A "situationship" is when you've been seeing each other long enough that people assume you're together, but you (or the other person...) aren't willing to make it official. It's that awkward time between "casually dating" and "together". It can also be at the *end* of a relationship when you're not completely broken up but aren't officially together anymore. It's almost always unhealthy....

Anonymous 5:05 PM  

@Hungry Mother:
So, it's a big deal to me and led to my getting a 4.0 average in graduate school.

Well... when I was in grad school there were some grading rules:
- if you got a C, bye bye
- if you got a second B, bye bye

ergo: grad classes were graded on a severe curve, such that most went straight A.

Kathy 5:41 PM  

Black jeopardy = SNL? It’s a running sketch on SNL.
Had doofus before GOOFUS, AYES before PROS

Missing only two squares on a Friday is an accomplishment for me. I spent a good half hour chipping away in the northwest section.
I don’t know what CGI refers to regarding Pixar and I’ll just file OSO away as fill sure to return again.

Overall, I thought it was a fun solve with lots of clever clueing, especially liked some needlework.
Loved the long answers.

‘Nuff said on SITUATIONSHIP, it won’t pass the test of time.

@LMS. Love carnationship

GILL I. 5:54 PM  

When I worked at Beaver College ( yeah, it was actually called that) the head of the math department went on on about how his students strived and ultimately got Cum LOUD..(.Yeah, he pronounced it that way) before being able to get into out illustrious college.
Grades and striving for the best ones don't mean caca in the real world. Seriously.

JC66 6:16 PM  


Computer Generated Imagery is an animation technique.

Anonymous 6:47 PM  

Funny how people are calling it easy. I found it Friday appropriate. Made me work but doable. Had tea for tin and had enemies instead of stymies. Over thinking.

Z 7:09 PM  

@Anon10:16 - Sorry to keep you waiting. Man, woman, everyone in between and everyone outside the lines should put the lid down. What, did you think it was for? Decoration?

Grades are far more random than is generally understood. Think for a second on how the Commentariat might grade any individual puzzle. “But wait, Z” you say, “Aren’t grades based on a standard, making them objective?” To which I say, “Boy howdy! HAR HAR HAR! Uh, no. Even when a standard exists getting inter-rater reliability is nearly impossible.” And by “nearly impossible” I mean “impossible.”
As @Anon/Poggius suggested, straight A’s are as likely to indicate compliance as learning.

@Katzzz - I was wondering the same thing. But I once owned a dictionary dedicated to defining “fuck” and all it usages. It was much bigger than you might expect and humorous reading. Everything with text citations.

@Joe Dipinto1:59 - You got a chuckle for that opening line.

@fifirouge - thanks for the fuller explanation.

And finally...
Reading a blog for the sole purpose of complaining in the comments about the blog master: Rexship

chefwen 7:31 PM  

@GILL I, when you have a husband in “the industry” you get all the bells and whistles.

CS 9:21 PM  

Late to the game as always but I'm surprised this group isn't more aware of the health/sanitation reasons for closing a toilet seat. Copy & Pasting one article here but the information is readily found in many publications.

"Here's why you should always close the toilet lid when you flush
The answer may surprise you — and gross you out.
The average person flushes the toilet five times a day and, apparently, most of us are doing it wrong. Get ready for some hard truths about why you should always leave the lid closed when you flush.

When you pull the lever, in addition to taking whatever business you’ve left behind down into the sewer pipes, your toilet also releases something called “toilet plume” into the air — which is basically a spray filled with microscopic bacteria, including E. coli. According to research from, the germs emitted in the spray can linger in the air for up to six hours, and disperse themselves all over your bathroom … including on your toothbrush, towels and beauty products.

"Contaminated toilets have been clearly shown to produce large droplet and droplet nuclei bioaerosols during flushing, and research suggests that this toilet plume could play an important role in the transmission of infectious diseases for which the pathogen is shed in feces or vomit,” reads a 2015 update on the 1975 study from the "American Journal of Infection Control." "The possible role of toilet plume in airborne transmission of norovirus, SARS and pandemic influenza is of particular interest.”

There's more but 'nuff said.

Oh and it was fun to have a solvable Friday puzzle for me :-)


Anoa Bob 10:13 PM  

If you leave the toilet seat lid down all the time, this will lead to a constant near-100% humidity inside the toilet bowl, and this will promote all kinds of nasty fungal, algal and mold growth. Ick!

Keep those seats and lids up kids.

Monty Boy 10:19 PM  

Tough one for me, but I finished in about average time, so I'd day medium (statistically).

One last (maybe) comment on SITUATIONSHIP. I had ________TIONSHIP and figured it had to be relaTIONSHIP, but was a letter short. I hadn't done the downs yet in that area, so I added a P at the beginning to make prelaTIONSHIP. Seemed to me to be a gray area - the start of a relationship but I'm not sure yet. A neau portmanteau for LMS.

albatross shell 10:52 PM  

Me and K have separate loos and we each clean our own.

I assume LMS knows it's GOOFUS. I had dOOFUS first cause I also never heard of the Gword, but it made its own sense and was easily gotten.

The west solved like a Wednesday, so I had SITUATION---- in quickly and friend---- was never an issue. Had to look up DANO RENNES and OLSEN. Tried WOMEN for OLSEN cause I thought they might be women in Little Women. Holes in my education indeed.

Overall easier than yesterday with better clues. But two nice puzzles in a row.

Anonymous 11:45 PM  

Speaking as a C student, I have no idea whether a B+ precludes one from attaining Summa Cum Laude, but if does, then it’s a great clue. No value judgements here.

Anonymous 1:14 AM  

By lifting a seat, I learned the word menorrhea. A gentleman should never have to experience such a thing.

In my old age, I have to sitz to shpritz. The orthopedant told me not to lift anything heavy. ;-)

Burma Shave 10:35 AM  


she’s BEEN CARSICK, you know,
and an OPENBAR makes her a PEER.


spacecraft 11:52 AM  

32a: I will not--CAN not write it out. It's ten times worse than "the R-word." I can tell you for a fact: although I don't know who coined it, you can bet your last dollar it was a woman.

Like @Roo, I won the west handily but found the east a bit more resistant. Took me forever, weirdly, to see WORSTS. Had all but the first letter, too. Lots of longballs often lead to quicker solves; today is a case in point. I'd call it easy-medium--reading from left to right, so to speak. ONETOGO feels off; I want to say "ONE MORE." My clue for OVEN reads "You might get your mitts on [sic] one. I'm SURER than ever she meant "in." A missed typo.

Barring the unfortunate RP with RRN (random Pope with...well, you know), this was a pretty clean grid. I concur with OFC's BPLUS grade. The DOD SASH will have to go to Penny Marshall as LAVERNE: "5,6,7,8! Schlemiel," etc. Birdie.

rondo 12:07 PM  

Now I’ve about had it with OFL: “yuck to the whole aspirational quality of that clue”? Let’s just give everybody TIN participation medals along with their BPLUS and go home? Screw that. I worked hard for my summa cum laude and I’m proud of it. And other people *do* care about your summa, like the law school I attended and my employer (that summa put me in a $10K+ per year higher category than my ‘PEERs’). Who wants to aspire to mediocrity? Take some pride in yourself man. After all, a PhD just means you know more and more about less and less. That’s not the real world. Rant over.

The oLDEST dOOFUS became the ELDEST GOOFUS due to a GENRE change. Can’t decide between the FINE ERIN Andrews or the OLSENS as to who gets the yeah baby SASH. I thought it was a fine puz, but do USECARE?

rondo 12:20 PM  

Oh yeah, that 'S' word. Another indication that millennials don't know which end is up.

Anonymous 2:04 PM  

List me as with those who liked this one...I found it the most enjoyable puzzle in weeks, with the added benefit of having knocked off a Friday puzzle.

rainforest 2:18 PM  

At first I thought I'd whip through the NW, thinking that SUR was correct for 1D, that USE CARE would work for 15A, then ORAL and OPEL, but I couldn't get anything else. My first thought was that "serving" would work for 1A and "sty" for 7D, but no. Went to the SE with CGI, KOS, COM and then got it all. Moving over to the SW it was easy to get ___DERBY, then DEMOLITION, and so it went from there.

I got the rest, section by section, not liking SEAS, slowing a little until I got OUTS, finally, and then had to deal with RENNES for my finish which came with zero write-overs despite my thoughts upon which I didn't act.

Liked this one a lot, I have to say. Good Friday.

Diana, LIW 5:05 PM  

The NW corner was my Waterloo today. I got that we would have a PEN vs. a "sty" for our pigs, but SODAPOP is too clever by half. Well done Emily - you win and deserve to!

Whenever I wanted to get my class into a great argument, I'd ask them if they waned letter grades or a pass/fail program. Oh, the agonies. Made me smile.

I went to a P/NC school, BTW, and am none the worse for it. I actually focused on LEARNING. For me. Began to enjoy school again. So much so that I did end up with that old graduate degree. Sorry, @Rondo, I earned my doc degree and wear that hat proudly. And...I actually LIKE my dissertation. Miracles...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 9:01 PM  

@Dr. Di, LIW - I am proud to know a doc such as you. I know you've helped people. Perfesser Komix I have my doubts about and when he gets too far out there on the fringe I want to tell him to get off my team.

And I've learned plenty in the 0 to 4.0 scheme with 'only' a liberal arts BA degree in the Psychology of Management. With a cert in Engineering Technology (everybody needs a trade to fall back on) as well as Bartending and Private Pilot Ground School among others. My PEERs are licensed Principal and Senior Engineers, and I teach them engineering!!! I mentored a colleague through his Civil Engineering M.S. in Infrastructure. I am currently mentoring a new Civil Engineering PhD in the ways of practice vs. theory. So what does that make me? Aspirational. To learn and excel. And help others excel.
My comment was directed at OFL, so please take no offense. Lotsa folks have lotsa abilities regardless of Summa or Dr. or whatever or whatever not. When Rex starts throwing around comments like he did it just pisses me off. To me aspirational is not only good, it seems necessary.

I apologize for generalizing.

leftcoaster 9:47 PM  

Had more fun today with Patrick Berry's cartoon crossword in the New Yorker (12/30/19).

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