Seminal William S. Burrows novel 1959 / FRI 2-7-19 / Intensifying suffix in modern slang / Fictional Ethiopian princess / Certain PR in two different senses / Role for Nichelle Nichols Zoe Saldana

Friday, February 7, 2020

Constructor: Mary Lou Guizzo and Erik Agard

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (trivia just not in my wheelhouse) (high 6s)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Sue (?) (15A: Sue at Chicago's Field Museum, e.g. => T-REX) —
Sue is the nickname given to FMNH PR 2081, which is one of the largest, most extensive, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimens ever found, at over 90% recovered by bulk. It was discovered on 12 August 1990, by Sue Hendrickson, an explorer and fossil collector, and was named after her. After ownership disputes were settled, the fossil was auctioned in October 1997, for US $8.3 million, the highest amount ever paid for a dinosaur fossil, and is now a permanent feature at the Field Museum of Natural History in ChicagoIllinois. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well, first off, that is not how you spell William S. Burroughs (17A: Seminal William S. Burrows novel, 1959 => "NAKED LUNCH"). It's not as bad as claiming that Harold Ramis directed "Ghostbusters" (which the NYTXW also did recently), but it's pretty bad. I will admit that I missed the error, as I was solving quickly. But then it's not my *job* to catch the error. So. Yeah. Quality control. Look into it. OK. Moving on.

This seems like a reasonably well put-together puzzle, but it just wasn't for me. The proper name trivia was (mostly) out of my wheelhouse and somewhat dully clued, and I just never got that exhilarating "ooh, cool" feeling I get with the best Fridays. I set the bar pretty high for Friday, as it is a hard day to botch. I think of Friday as breezy / fun themeless day (as opposed to grinding maybe-fun Saturday). I just couldn't find the handle on this one. Got it done in reasonable time, but only perked up at "NAKED LUNCH" and "I BLAME MYSELF." Clues often felt like they were straining for novelty / cleverness, which just left them awkward and opaque. E.g. [Ring bearers] = TOES. I mean, yeah, sure, OK, people put rings there, and I see that you're playing on the concept of "ring bearer" at, like, a wedding ceremony, but *getting* that left me feeling more "really? ... I guess ..." than "ooh, good one!" I want "ooh, good one!" as often as possible. So often the problem with NYTXW is the cluing voice (which is ultimately the editor's, though the constructors' original clues do set the tone). Clues were drab or else weirdly involved, but to no great effect. I mean, a paragraph for a CALVIN clue that wasn't even that funny? (49A: Comics title character who says "Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery"). I don't see the point. Mostly, though, this was just a bad fit. I don't care at all about reality TV, for instance (though I somehow ultimately knew PADMA LAKSHMI's name—not sure how) (5D: Emmy-nominated host of "Top Chef"), and I don't know Sue the TREX, and I forgot that those actresses played UHURA, and on and on. So I do, largely, BLAME MYSELF for my dissatisfaction today.

The most hilarious moment of my solve wasn't so hilarious when it was happening to me, but a few minutes later, in retrospect, upon reflection, with some distance, I could look back and laugh. That moment was the very last square I filled in. I looked at E_HIBITA and thought "that ... is not a thing ... that cannot be a thing ... ECHIBITA? EPHIPBITA? What in the ...? And what could someone named 'Sue' be with the letter pattern TRE_? Is she TREF? omigod is she a TREE? EEHIBITA? That can't be right ... [checks all crosses] ... nothing else is wrong, what is Happeninggggg ... . .   .    . oh." It's an X. X marks the spot. T [dash] REX / EXHIBIT [space] A. Wow, parsing that cross, where both answers have single-letter parts (the T in TREX, the A in EXHIBIT A) and where both answers have (to me) confusing clues ... that was a bizarrely perfect pothole. Thankfully, when I got it, I *understood* the answers in both directions, so at least I had a satisfactory feeling of completion. Sometimes you struggle and then you get your answer but you don't really *get* it, you know? It's actually amusing to me how bad I screwed that last box up. I only wish the rest of the solve was as entertaining as my own incompetence. QUIERO strikes me as too long for a foreign word. Do you JAPE ... something? (26D: Say mockingly) I think of it as an intransitive verb (or a noun, actually).

There's not really anything in the clue for "WE'RE ALL SET" that indicates the "WE'RE" part—in fact, "ALL SET" would work perfectly as an answer for that clue all on its own—so that was a mild bummer (28D: "Good to go!"). I had ATWIRL instead of AWHIRL at first, which was awkward but not terribly consequential (43A: Spinning). EQUABLY looks like it's missing letters (i.e. I want it to be EQUITABLY, which would also mean [In an even manner]). Hoping for somewhat more joy tomorrow. See you then.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Karl 12:09 AM  

EQUABLY is a word.

Joaquin 12:14 AM  

Like Rex, I had a parsing problem. Mine was at 1A. I had worked the downs and had SAND__. Since I have never heard of PADMA LAKSHMI I figured 1A (___ 500) had to be the SANDy 500, an auto race I've never heard of that takes place in Sandy, Utah.

When the light did go off I felt like Omar Khayyam's brother, Whataschmuc Khayyam.

tkincher 12:26 AM  

I balked hard at "Willam S. Burrows", myself. Burroughs, I know, is this Burrows guy some journalist?

Floss Everyday 12:27 AM  

"I forgot that those actresses played UHURA"
Yeah, it's easier to remember the white actors and actresses. It's understandable that you're annoyed by that.

jae 12:29 AM  

Top half easy, bottom half a bit tougher. I know who PADMA is but was iffy on spelling her last name. Fortunately I’ve run across KATANA recently in the puzzle archives, otherwise I might have had more problems in that section.

Solid with some zip. Liked it.

PGregory Springer 1:38 AM  

Misspelling Burroughs is shocking. How could they?

chefwen 1:53 AM  

I was zipping through this beauty pretty well until I landed in the middle. Skipped to the bottom and worked upward, still stymied in the middle. I’ll blame 36A, no idea. Swine in at 40A really messed up my chances. Finally broke down and asked Uncle G. about the swords and got back on track. That area took me longer than the rest of the puzzle.

Years ago, one of the company’s that my husband repped for had an event at the Chicago Field Museum and I got to meet Sue up close and personal. Quite impressive!

Fun Friday, easy/medium for me except for that damn sword and slobs.

Mr. Alarm 1:53 AM  

Thanks for confirming what I suspected:
“So often the problem with NYTXW is the cluing voice (which is ultimately the editor's, though the constructors' original clues do set the tone).”

Jyqm 3:28 AM  

What is there even to say about a “review” in which Rex claims that he “forgot” Nichelle Nichols played UHURA, then claims that it’s the NYT that’s phoning it in? Anyway, the “Burrows” mishap is indeed an appalling, embarrassing error, but otherwise I generally enjoyed this puzzle. No real “wow” factor, but it’s solid; both the best and the worst answers are at least OK.

Apologies to PADMALAKSHMI that she apparently isn’t woman enough to earn Mr. Parker’s compliments. Ditto “Sue,” who is far and away the most famous representative of her species on the planet, even if she’s only worth a “huh?” to our own tyrannous Rex.

Klazzic 6:19 AM  

Easiest Friday in months. PADMALAKSHMI was a gimme for me and APPALACHIA nestled in nicely. Read NAKED LUNCH as a youngster. So many clues frisbied right into my wheelhouse today.

Lewis 6:45 AM  
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Deke 6:46 AM  

I would like to have seen more answers about rockets and rocketry.

Lewis 6:47 AM  

I loved that the puzzle slowed me to a crawl, yet kept me going toward the light of completion. That resistance is what I crave on Friday and Saturday, as its overcoming is especially sweet.

The puzzle, to me, presented a clinic in vague and misdirection cluing. Was it fair? For me, yes, except at the chef/samurai-sword cross, where I had to guess. I don't know if this was a Natick for many, though.

I loved NAKED LUNCH, I BLAME MYSELF, WE'RE ALL SET, the clue that lifted AUTO WORKER out of the ordinary -- [Bodybuilder?], and the clue for SUN that made me laugh [Tanning agent]. Muchas gracias, Erik and Mary, for all of this!

webwinger 6:52 AM  

This played Saturday hard for me, and in fact finished in almost exactly average Saturday time. Much of the difficulty centered on hitherto-unheard-of PADMA LAKSHMI, allowing numerous whiffs at crosses including SANDs 500 (thought maybe a competition sponsored by a Vegas resort), UHURu (no trouble remembering the character, not sure of the spelling—happens to the best of us, eh WS, um Burrows?), AVEDo (confused with Aveeno, I guess), _ATANAS. Finally got an aha! over 1A, and recognized LAKSHMI as a fairly common Indian name, leading to happy music. The streak continues, now Google-sober for 40 days!

Since posting early today, I’d like to make a request of all OFL followers: Recently there seems to be increased appearance of references to other posts on the blog, a nice and fun development. It would be very helpful to later readers if posting time was included in every citation, not just to distinguish among multiple comments under the same name, but to make it easier to track down referenced remarks from earlier in the day.

Anonymous 7:13 AM  

William Burroughs is all over Google hits! So who's right?

BarbieBarbie 7:16 AM  

No place else to post this, and this is the right crowd to know the answer: over at Xwordinfo, Jeff Chen says EQUABLY is “ unique to Shortz Era but used previously..” That’s confusing. If it’s unique to the Shortz era, it’s only been used in the Shortz era. It may have been used previously, but only in the Shortz era. so why would you put a “but” there? Does he mean to say “unique IN Shortz era?” Which completely changes the meaning?

Anonymous 7:16 AM  

Forgive the bragging, but I’m excited to have gotten a Friday PR on a puzzle Rex called medium/hard.

Happy almost weekend everyone!

Irene 7:23 AM  

I had a lot of fun with this one even though, to my embarrassment, I didn't catch the Burrows misspelling. I have one large/small carp. TOES as ring bearers? Really? Yes, lobes, even nose, but toes? In what world? In the community of solvers who know SUE, how many know anyone who wears a toe ring?

DeeJay 7:29 AM  

This puzzle was featured at the annual Westport Library / Will Shortz puzzle contest. I'd hyperlink this if I knew how.

kitshef 7:29 AM  

I'm going to channel my inner Rex here. This was indisputably bad. This once again demonstrates the depths to which the "gold standard" crossword puzzle has fallen.

1A is so often a harbinger of things to come. Here we get one of those %^@$% xANDy answers at 1A, which lets you know no one cares about the solving experience. Then follow that up with SUPE at 6A. It's "super", folks, so don't pretend it's something else.

But the absolute nadir is the at 5D. You cannot, CANNOT cross an uninferrable last name with a Star Trek character, your &%$^$%& xANDy answer, a whack-a-vowel cosmetics company and a foreign word. That is quadruple-Natick country.

From a line running roughly from PATS to RAPS, this is a fine and worthy puzzle. Everything above and to the left of that line is a disaster.

Unknown 7:31 AM  

Are you ever happy Rex? Do you ever just enjoy anything? Not everything has to be torn apart and criticized. I guess your just smarter than the rest of us. I prefer to relax and savor the morning with my puzzle. Not analyze it to death. I feel sorry for you

Hungry Mother 7:39 AM  

I needed the red letters to see the “B” in SLOBS AND EQUABLY. Otherwise, quite a Friday ride.

QuasiMojo 7:42 AM  

I thought at first the gimmick was going to be that the names were somehow turned into verbs:

William BREWS
William BROODS etc

But I abandoned it once I got going and realized the puzzle wasn't going to be that tricky. I used to have a Burroughs typewriter and I admit it was prone to typos.

Amazing error on the part of the NYT, nonetheless, but then who am I to talk? I put in UHURU (there's a food truck here by that name) and never changed it. I'd argue that that cross was a natick of sorts. I don't even know what Top Chef is. Is it on the Playboy Channel?

"Master Brewer" seemed very weak. Small beer.

Had no idea Pittsburgh was in Appalachia! Is Squirrel Hill part of the range?

STORM didn't make sense to me. "It was a dark and RANT and RAVE-Y night"?

Suzie Q 8:04 AM  

Puzzle was just OK but misspelling Burroughs is inexcusable.
Equably is one ugly ass word.

Todd 8:08 AM  

I have never seen equably before, but this was still my personal best for a Friday.

Joe R. 8:09 AM  

I had a DNF today thanks to putting in AUTO WeldER instead of WORKER. I don’t know Spanish, I’ve never heard of the actress, and Dia sounded plausible as a car company I’ve never heard of. Oops.

GILL I. 8:11 AM  

If it's not Indy or Fortune I apparently don't know my 500's. Gordon Ramsey fits at 5 down and Nicki Minaj talks through her nose. Never read this misspelled (I wouldn't know) Burrows guy but if you handed me a book cover with the title NAKED LUNCH, I'd read it. I've never sat down naked for lunch. I mean who'd do that? Sue, you've got some ketchup dripping from your - um - chin?
I left that area and went on to things I knew. QUIERO, of course. Little by little I got some letters. Needed all the crosses for PADMA and her last name. Looked at the two beer guys and just filled in the MASTER BREWER. If they were masters, why couldn't they make a better beer?
Had JOKE for 26D. Apparently I don't know my cosmetics. Moving right along....
Love me some CALVIN and that whole south area went in lickety split. I was patting my back.
TOES was my last entry. I have fat TOES and big feet. I'd never be able to get a ring on them. I paint them hoping my podiatrist becomes distracted.
Did anybody else thing PUERTO RICANS for that 22D P.R. clue? I did.

CanaDON 8:26 AM  

EQUABLY, not EQUALLY? That hurt.

bookmark 8:27 AM  

Padma Lakshmi was once married to Salman Rushdie.

Z 8:30 AM  

What @kitshef7:29 said in paragraphs 2 and 3. I, too, somehow have learned PADMA LAKSHMI through some sort of cultural osmosis, so got it right. But wowser, UHURA, AVEDA, and KATANAS make it a triple jump of potential personal naticks. I say “personal” because she must be famous enough if I recognize her name despite knowing nothing about her.

@BarbieBarbie - You’ve probably already been answered, but I think Chen meant, “[today’s appearance of] EQUABLY is unique [that is, the only] to the Shortz era, but [it appeared before the Shortz era].”

I’ll accept that EQUABLY was a word, but I’m nearing the completion of my 60th solar orbit and I can’t say I’ve ever heard or seen it before. Does anyone still use it?

Since I live in APPALACHIA now but nowhere near Pittsburgh that was a nice little misdirection. It did make me wonder where APPALACHIA ends. What are its northern, southern, eastern, and western borders?

@Anon7:13 - Not whoever wrote that clue nor the copy editor. Mistakes happen, but that does seem very un-Shortz like.

Anyone else notice it wasn’t Issa RAE today?

Hand up for T-REX being automatic. The Field Museum is worth a day or two. I have a friend who does museum exhibits. It’s always an entirely different experience going to a museum with him, as he can date when a specific exhibit was likely put together by things like colors, fonts, materials, et cetera. Why decisions on presentation were made is as much EXHIBIT A on the scientists as the subject of their studies.

Hand up for being surprised at the UHURA gap in Rex’s knowledge.

Sir Hillary 8:30 AM  

This was OK -- nothing too exciting, but nothing too awful either.

The "Burrows" thing is pretty egregious, but I'll admit I didn't even notice it while solving. But so typical of @Rex to use that legitimate beef as a segue to a broader rant that "So often the problem with NYTXW is the cluing voice...". No, it isn't -- neither today nor in general. Every puzzle everywhere has clunker clues (which, of course, are subjectively defined) so get over it.

What I liked:
-- Having the exact same feeling as @Rex after running the alphabet at the TREX/EXHIBITA cross. I wish all the AHAS were that rewarding.
-- The fact that I almost wrote beaVIs at 49A before remembering he would never say anything so subtle.
-- The letter jumble that is PADMALAKSHMI. Looks fantastic in the grid.
-- Clues for AUTOWORKER, EXAM and ASS (just because it's different).

What I didn't:
-- SANDP. I complained yesterday about initialisms at 1A. Having fake "un-ampersanded" entries may be even worse. I can handle one in a puzzle every so often, but not as the first entry. By the way, I want to see AMPERSANDED and VERANDAED in the same grid.
-- Would have preferred 61A clued as Super Bowl LIV non-participants, thank God.
-- The NAKED SEAMAN MASTER JEWELS stack. Not before breakfast, thanks.

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

There should be a disclaimer at the beginning of Rex’s reviews: Full disclosure. I hate the editor and I think he should be fired. Every word I write should be read in that context.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

"Anyone else notice it wasn’t Issa RAE today?"

They must be reading this blog

Rube 8:44 AM  

Equably is ridiculous but what can you do. I was delayed by going with supt instead of SUPE and by having no idea who Sue TREX is. This is the NYT not the Chi Tribune or Sun Times or whatever.

it's S&P or Standard and Poors. These ampersand clues should be banned. But still a nice Friday challenge.

Georgia 8:52 AM  


Nancy 8:54 AM  

Quick -- think of all the people you know who wear rings on their TOES. You can count them all on one finger, right? Or maybe on one TOE? Ridiculous clue.

As always with Agard -- more PPP than I like. But today it was manageable. Because I've seen "Top Chef", I knew, sort of, PADMA something-or-other. Which enabled me to change UHURu to UHURA. And once I had LA-SHMI, I remembered the K -- even though I didn't know KATANAS.

Nice clues for EXHIBIT A and PRESS RELEASE. The clue for EDITS was too cute by half. The MASTER BREWER dabbles in Green Paint on his day off.

I learned that Pittsburgh is in APPALACHIA. Who woulda thunk? I never knew that. The most important fact I learned today -- even more important than the correct spelling of UHURA.

relicofthe60s 8:56 AM  

I found this puzzle incredibly easy, coming close to my record for a Saturday. Surprised to see Rex and others call it challenging.

Wanderlust 9:01 AM  

Surprised this was “medium challenging” - Friday best for me. (And finally ended a weird personal stat of having my best Saturday faster than my best Friday.) I mostly liked it, but I DO like trivia in my puzzles. Love moments like seeing “Pittsburgh is its biggest city” and wondering what the heck it could be, and then the aha moment. Misspelling Burroughs is pretty bad but still liked seeing NAKED LUNCH.

Joaquin 9:02 AM  

I used to live in one of the NY burroughs but moved because of all the gophers that would burrough holes in my lawn. It was an expensive move - I needed a wheel-burrough full of cash - but I was able to burrough the money to do it.

I'll see myself out.

puzzlehoarder 9:07 AM  

I dnfed on EQUALLY. I should have had a double dnf thinking that ALOLS could be an unknown variety of swine. When I got the NE corner the name PADMA caused bme to somehow remember LAKSHMI.

I'm really bummed about forgetting EQUABLE. I've always thought it implied fairness. My Webster's doesn't support this. EQUABLY is a synonym of the word steady. It implies a lack of extremes. I can't shake this idea that when two things are equble it means they compare fairly with each other.

mathgent 9:20 AM  

Good puzzle. I got double-Naticked at two letters in PADMALAKSHMI, but that’s all right. I think that Padma’s been in before but I didn’t remember.

Good experience. Learned some things, including where Appalachia is.

“Defaults?” for EDITS is terrible.

CDilly52 9:21 AM  

Congrats @Anonymous 7:16! A PR on an Agard is indeed a feat worthy of celebration, IMHO. I adore Agard’s difficult clues-really make your brain stretch for the”what else is like this?”

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

Without a moments hesitation, threw down Impala for Galaxy competitor. Demographically, i skew ancient.

pabloinnh 9:34 AM  

Today my knowledge gaps included Sue TREX, who should be clued as a dinosaur, and PADMA Scrabble Lady, who is I'm sure a fine and talented person. Certainly not a professional athlete, which would have given me more of a chance.

Sorry for those of you who feel the way you do that 61A did not give you enough space to write in CHEATERS. I don't think you'll have to worry about us for awhile, unless we can come up with some new nefarious schemes.

Hand up for the EQUALLY/EQUABLY confusion. I just left in SLOLS and said the hell with it. When you solve on paper, they let you do that.

Treacherous ride here, EA and MLG. Sort of like trying to drive during today's ice storm. Thanks anyway.

Sarah 9:34 AM  

I got held up because I was *sure* that the "Intensifying suffix" was ASF, even though I was surprised to see it in the puzzle. And somehow I could not see how ASS made sense there, or how EDITS could work for "Defaults," until I finally ran the alphabet and it said the S was correct and then I got it. And I've just remembered that AF is more likely than ASF anyway. I'm going to blame this all on not getting enough sleep and being stressed about whether I'm going to be able to fly to Vermont this afternoon as planned.

CDilly52 9:36 AM  

This was a great Friday, IMHO. Any time I see an Agard, I know that if I don’t get my brain engaged I might end up in DNF-land! If I cannot put in the necessary brain work to finish an Agard, I BLAME MYSELF!

I had to laugh that @Rex hadn’t heard of Sue the T-REX! She toured the country for heaven’s sake and was front page and prime time news each time she moved to a new city. And when she “came home” to Chicago, the Field Museum had coverage ‘round the world!

Again, IMO, this collaboration really worked. Our duo served up a wonderful Friday with humor, some Cracker Jack clues (@Lewis has a list that matches my margin notes) and some very “Agardian” toughies! I couldn’t ask for more in a themeless Friday. Poured several coffees and am proud to finish! Thanks Ms. Guizzo and Mr. Agard!

Brian C. 9:37 AM  


SouthsideJohnny 9:38 AM  

This one seemed a little easier than a normal Friday - (wordplay-wise), although the trivia was still mostly out of my wheelhouse. It had been a week or two since the Times went with an absolutely bogus clue, so they were about due.

The clues for STORM and TOES are typical NYT “stretch the boundaries of credulity” fare (in other words, icky stuff, lol).

Only one foreign word today, which is always nice - and, apparently an homage to romance.

Poor Issa Rae must be feeling dissed today.

And there is a Rap Artist Reference, so Rex will be happy. Although why anyone would want to condone “Mimicking NIcky MInaj” is beyond me. Yikes ! ! !


Brian C. 9:39 AM  

another solid zinger

William S Burrows 9:39 AM  

As an actual William S Burrows, I’m overly excited about the typo.

Brian C. 9:42 AM  

trifecta! I need to check the comments more often.

pabloinnh 9:43 AM  

Today's knowledge gaps included Sue TREX, who should always be clued as a dinosaur, and PADMA Scrabble Lady, who I'm sure is a fine and talented person. Clearly not a professional athlete, which would have given me more of a fighting chance,

Speaking of professional athletes, I apologize to those of you who feel the way you do that 61A did not allow you enough space to write in CHEATERS. Unless BB can come up with some new and undetectable schemes, I don't think you'll see enough of us to bother you for a while.

Hand up on the EQUALLY/EQUABLY conundrum. I just left SLOLS as said the hell with it. When you solve on paper, they let you do that.

Treacherous navigation today, EA and MLG, sort of like trying to go anywhere here in today's ice storm. Thanks anyway.

Kid Phoneme 9:54 AM  

I think he meant this is the first time it's been used in the Shortz era, but was used under previous editors. Unique here isn't wrong, but using it leads to confusion.

CDilly52 9:55 AM  

I just have to add that I laughed at myself, literally out loud, quite a while after I finished because I was done and still asking myself “what the heck is a SAND P 500? Some desert NASCAR thing?” Wasn’t until just seconds ago that I parsed it. Doh!! My observation here is that clue, unfair or not “quality” is just so very typically Agard. Not only are his puzzles always filled with difficult analogies that beat one’s brain to a pulp, but often he will put an answer in that simply looks weird and isn’t immediately easy to parse. So from reading the comments today seems like this is one of those days I call a “wheelhouse day.” The constructor’s wavelength (in this case constructor’s’ wavelengths) connect with some and just not with others.

The Burroughs instead of Burrows aside (not that it wasn’t a gigantic, inexcusable mistake) it seems as if folks are either in or out of the proverbial wheelhouse today. Personally, I like having to claw my way in. I don’t however, think that being on the outside of the wheelhouse (and I am often in steerage myself) by itself qualifies a puzzle as “bad.” I try to treat constructors EQUABLY (just had to do that) and not to damn a constructor’s work just because I can’t find my way up to the bridge. But again, I am just a silver, not a constructor and certainly not of competitive level, so what do I know?

Steve M 10:01 AM  

An excellent Friday start!

Kid Phoneme 10:04 AM  

This one was right in my trivia wheelhouse. Katanas? Of course! The blade used by Leonardo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'd looked up folds [pleats] practice sword names [saber] as background for a song I was writing recently. But for some reason I got anchored on a literal interpretation of sty, and thus found myself wondering what the animal crossing equally was; a slol?

Katzzz 10:10 AM  

Without doubt the biggest editing fail I have ever seen in the New York Times crossword. Shocking indeed. And Rex just shrugs it off?

Michael 10:12 AM  

Not too bad but not too memorable, either.

APPALACHIA misled briefly with OHIOVALLEY but THAI cleared that up quickly.

Also SEAMAN for TAR? No idea.

Ultimately it was SLOLS -> SLOBS tripped us up for a few minutes, because EQUABLY is a word used never.

Gio 10:12 AM  

I've been doing the archives so I had no trouble spelling UHURA because I thought it was practically crosswordese. It turns out UHURA was in 4 puzzles in less than a month in Nov and Dec. 2018, about a year ago and where I am in the archives. I'm pretty new and I can't understand how a puzzle where you don't know a lot you can finish in 6 minutes. Even when I do a Monday puzzle where I easily know every answer, it takes at least 11 minutes just to type the words in. It's like watching Simone Biles-how can a human being physically do that? I wonder if this NY times mobile app is part of how long it takes, to erase an answer takes me 3 minutes. The cursor just does it's own thing. I've tried both cursor settings -jumping and non jumping- and both methods are slowass.

jberg 10:20 AM  

I liked this one a lot. I visited the Field Museum once sometime in the late 1960s, so I knew it was a museum of natural history—and really, that’s all you need to know to guess something given a cute name would be a T-REX. As for the chef, I’d heard of her, and I’m pretty sure her surname is a Hindu divinity, which helped with the spelling. So the only hard part was changing JibE to JAPE.

I loved most of the long entries, and some of the short ones (DEFRAY, AWHIRL)

Theme idea, only one example: waterfowl to call when you have no heat? DUCK SUPE.

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

Typical Agard puzzle. especially one co-constructed with a woman. Seems to me desperate in its efforts to include women and minorities. Padma Lakschmi? From a cruddy cable reality tv show? Sure. As Rex notes, add the unnecessary w're to the phrase all set? Right again. The fault lies here and I blame myslef? Those two don't jibe as rex notes.
If Bruce Haight had offered these three tidbit,s OFL we'd heare the yip adn yelps from B'ham to Burma, but Agard is a friend and Guizzo is a gal, so we get the anodyne not my cup of tea instead of the full-throated boo it deserves.

pabloinnh 10:35 AM  

!)Apologies for the double post. My first submission got the Error! screen, which was clearly an Error!

2)So Sue Trex is really a t-rex. Doh!

tkincher 10:43 AM  

Reloaded the puzzle, it appears enough people were appalled to warrant fixing the clue online; it now reads "Seminal Willam S. Burroughs novel" as it should, but did the print version have the error?

Birchbark 10:47 AM  

AIDA is Nubian, to be precise.

Some sophomoric cluing and answer placement up in the northwest.

I talked with William S. Burroughs for an hour or so on a summer afternoon in Boulder in 1982. He was an old man, paced back and forth, smoking in a now legal way. There was a copy of "Soldier of Fortune" on his desk. Really interesting voice -- gravelly, nasal, drawn out Southern drawl. Most of the conversation was humorous and forgettable, but as to the future of the species in outer space: "the evolution is inevitable." So now you know.

xyz 10:48 AM  

Once I looked up 5D, it was easy peasy.

I guess fitting that in was the whole puzzle difficulty?

Jdhr 10:56 AM  

@Nancy 8:54: Traditionally, married Hindi women wear toe rings so they are a very common sight in India.

TJS 10:58 AM  

Okay, post-solve I looked up "defaults" = "edits" and I still think this is a terrible entry in an otherwise enjoyably challenging Friday. Look for yourself if you care. I gave up.
Re. all the toe ring questioners, I spend the winter in the Carribean and among women under ,say, fifty,toe rings are ubiquitous. Seen way more often then men in Speedos, Thank God.
Sped thru this thing until arriving in the South East and stared at that section for about 5 minutes before appalachia came into view. Who knew ? Still stumped until silt came to me then "seals", duh. Not sure I'm familiar with the "ass" usage, except for "punk-ass" "dumb ass " but not sure that was what the puzzle had in mind.

RooMonster 11:07 AM  

Hey All !
Had EQUALLY like probably everyone else (haven't read y'all yet), and was concentrating so hard on Rex's problem spot of E_HIBITA, that I didn't even see SLOLS for the Sty occupants. I call Shenanigans on EQUABLY!

That STORM aside, found puz difficult, but doable. Agree TOES clue was way out there. Kept trying to shove Pennsylvania in APPALACHIAs spot. Started thinking Allegheny, as in County, not even sure if that's Pittsburgh's County. Is there another as-famous Pittsburgh city somewhere else? the ole brain kept asking.

Wanted "Cheating Rotten A@$holes" for 61A, but didn't fit. (Apologies to @pabloinnh)

AVEDA who? Wanted ESTEE, naturally. Had SAND_ for 1A, what the heck is the SANDY 500? It that a NASCAR race on the beach? A, S AND P. Nice.
Writeovers (I remember) along the way, execS-SUITS, emOte-STORM, tap-URN.

What in tarhooties is RASHER? Breakfast quantity is a BOWLFUL. 😃


Z 11:10 AM  

@puzzlehoarder - So EQUABLY isn’t a synonym for “equitably?” That explains why we don’t see it. A good writer knows not only what they mean but how a word choice might be understood by their readers. Why use EQUABLY if you know lots of readers will misunderstand your intent? Just find a less confusing word.

@Sir Hillary - I agree with most of what you wrote today, but I’m with Rex on the editorial voice on cluing. We’ve seen here and over at constructors comments about clue changes and to me they mostly support Rex.

@anonymous9:30 - You got a laugh from me. FYI, there’s now a Ford minivan called “Galaxy.” For those of you who don’t remember 1960’s car models, Wikipedia has you covered. I remember the Impala better than the Galaxie.

@pabloinnh - You’re a better man than me. Last thing I did was change that l to a B and ask myself if I trusted EQUABLY. Would not have been shocked to discover a one letter dnf there, so was pleasantly surprised it was correct. And if it had been wrong I would have fixed it before tossing the section into recycling.

@La Donna - I don’t think the NYT crossword app is considered the best by anyone, though it is better than when it first rolled out. For iPad I recommend PuzzAzz. But there are others, most of which will let you enter your login credentials and download the puzzle automatically. If you share what type of device you solve on I’m sure you’ll get recommendations here for what might be better, or at least less frustrating.

Z 11:17 AM  

@TJS - It’s not a word. “De” as in “prefix that means remove,” so “remove faults” is EDITS. Note: I’m not defending, just explaining. I don’t mind this kind of punny stretch, but certainly understand those whose eye’s roll. Also, agree with your “Thank god.”

Gio 11:22 AM  

I'm on a Samsung S6. I need a new phone, I'm running out of memory. Thank you!

Gio 11:25 AM  

Don't forget "grown ass"as in "I'm a grown-ass man". The first time I heard that was on Survivor in about 2007, and the TV forum I posted on everyone thought the user of the expression invented it and he was royally flamed for calling himself that. Since them I've heard it a lot. But sadly, I watch a lot of crappy reality TV. I'm not capitalizing "reality."

Ethan Taliesin 11:27 AM  

I had the biggest brainfart on the easy SANDP (500). I thought it was another race that played off the name Indy and put a Y at the end giving me SANDY. No idea who PADMA LAKSHMI is. Zero. I know LAKSHMI is the goddess of prosperity and I figured this had to be an Indian name... PADMA. Okay, whatever.

DianeS 11:28 AM  

Hopefully @Roo is being tongue-in-cheek v.v. RASHER which obviously is another term for a strip of bacon - does anyone know the origin of the term?

For all of those complaining about “defaults” think of one who EDITS as one who “De-Faults”, thus the question mark in the clue.

Isn’t AIDA an opera? Is she also a Disney or some type of fairy tale character?

OffTheGrid 11:28 AM  


TJS 11:43 AM  

@GILL.I, Question: how can "quiero" mean "I want" but "Te quiero" mean :I love you"?

Anonymous 11:45 AM  


Latin. Same root as as rash ( or scrape, or scratch).\
The belief is a single slice of bacon could be cooked quickly, or rashly.

Poggius. It's from rado,right?

jb129 11:46 AM  

You knew Padma, Rex, cause she's gorgeous.

Love all of Erik's puzzles & thank you MaryLou.

Perry 11:46 AM  

I was looking at 1 Across like it was a NASCAR race or something. I could not figure out where or what the SANDP 500 was. a good 20 minutes after I finished the puzzle I figured out that it's S&P 500. I'm smart.

Hartley70 11:52 AM  

I wiggled my way through this one but it was no mean feat. I didn’t know Burrows. Thought it must be Burroughs, but my head went straight to Edgar and Tarzan so the NAKED made weird sense. Johnny Weissmuller didn’t wear much. I had to get LUNCH much later from the crosses.

I agonized over EQUABLY. I wanted the “it” in the middle. APPALACHIA was a shocker. Do the city residents actually know that? I thought Sue would be a famous museum donor. I guess she was in a way. Thank goodness for my girls PADMA and UHURA! They helped rescue me from abject failure.

Happy Belated, @Gill. I’m sorry to hear about your toes, but I don’t think you’re missing much in TOE rings. Mighty uncomfortable I would think in thigh high stiletto boots, which I like to imagine are more your style.

Carola 12:18 PM  

Easy, until I DNF at EQUALlY (I knew it was wrong but threw in the towel...I’d totally forgotten about the non-swine variety of sty occupants, so, yes, I BLAME MYSELF). As for the many names, well, I just happened to know them. Nice cross of T-REX and EXHIBIT A, because that’s what Sue definitely is, in the great hall of the Field Museum (“her” real, fossilized head is in a display case up on the balcony above, worth a visit).

Newboy 12:19 PM  

NYT had the correct Burroughs spelling by the time that tanning agent appeared west of the Rockies, so much early commentary didn’t resonate here. Have to agree with @kitshef (7:29) “ You cannot, CANNOT cross an uninferrable last name with a Star Trek character, your &%$^$%& xANDy answer, a whack-a-vowel cosmetics company and a foreign word. That is quadruple-Natick country.“ we had actually purchased and cooked from LAKSHMI’s cookbook but still stared in disbelief as that alphabetical stew bubbled to the surface. No hope of NUKEing that PADMA. Te QUIERO CALVIN in any context....even in APPALACHIA which provided today’s final EXAM. Back to see what else I’ve missed so I can BLAME MYSELF.

Frantic Sloth 12:20 PM  

Where is everyone seeing this “Burrows” character? His name is spelled correctly online, so I’m guessing it was in the actual paper and someone has since corrected it. Still...that is an egregious error and really unforgivable.

Now to fly my idiot flag:

I didn’t think EQUABLY was even a word (a lot of that going around lately) though a quick Google proved me wrong...ish. It’s a stupid word which seems like a bastardization of EQUALLY and EQUITABLY, and smacks way too much of the scourge that is SUPPOSABLY. Like Rex, I wanted EQUITABLY, but since there weren’t enough squares, I naturally (naturably) entered EQUALLY, sending my crossword app into convulsions. Finally had to do the alphabet dance before “B” appeased the beast. If only I’d gone in alphabetical order...

Gio 12:22 PM  

Te amo is a romantic love, if Spanish is like Italian, where they say ti voglio bene, which a literal translation is "I want you well". This is used with family members and friends. TE AMO is said between romantic couples.
They use the "to want" verb to mean "care for". You would not say Te Amo to your sister, it sounds incestuous.

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

I grew up and have lived in four apartment buildings in NYC and no one ever called the super a "supe."

RooMonster 12:27 PM  

Never in my 50 bacon-loving years have I heard a strip called a RASHER, so thanks @DianeS 11:28 for that. Is that a regional thing?

Speaking of Regional things, I grew up in Pennsylvania (APPALACHIA, one might say), and there they called sub sandwiches (think SubWay) Hoagies. But when I moved to Connecticut, they called them Grinders. Two states away, completely different vernacular.

So my first time ordering a sub at a shoppe went something like this:
Me "Can I get a Cheese Steak Hoagie?"
Worker "A what?"
Me "A Cheese Steak Hoagie."
Worker "What's a Hoagie?"
Me "What do you mean?"
Worker "I don't know what a Hoagie is."
Me "A Hoagie, you know, like a long sandwich thing."
Worker "Oh, a Grinder!"
Me "What the hell is a Grinder!?"

Good stuff.

Now to put my TOE rings on and head out.


RooMonster Now Craving Bacon And/Or Cheese Steaks Guy

Whatsername 12:33 PM  

A very difficult slog for me and one I did not particularly enjoy. Starting at 1A with ___ 500 I was off the deep end. I’m race fan so my redneck roots kicked in and first thoughts were Indy 500 or Daytona 500, then even Fortune 500. SANDP was a mystery to me even after finishing. So many proper names there was no way I could make much progress without googling. I freely allow myself this option on Fridays and Saturdays but it really DEFRAYS the joy in the solving experience. Had EQUALLY at 24D and finally gave up trying to figure out what sty occupants are called SLOLS. Seems like there are far better ways to clue TOES. On the plus side, The fill seemed fresh and not the same old same old.

@Anonymous at 9:30: Thank you! I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who reacted with a Chevy car name. I even tried BELAIR before IMPALA. You can take the boomer out of the 60s but you can’t take the 60s out of the boomer.

Joe Dipinto 12:37 PM  

@tkincher – yes, the howler of a mistake is in the print edition.

A veritable plenitude of blandosity. An embarrassment of uninterestingness. A monument to I-couldn't-care-l'essence. I don't blame myself, or anyone else, for disliking this ho-hum kiss-off to those anticipating a Friday challenge. The only saving grace was the eschewal of a "Star Wars" clue for SABER.

@La Donna È mobile – I used to post on the Survivor forums at Reality TV World. I wonder if I know you?

I had some song links in mind but this puzzle doesn't deserve any of them. So I leave you with this.

Unknown 12:44 PM  

Maybe I'm too new to crosswords but I agree with Rex - there are too many moments where even when I see the answer, I don't say "aha! how clever!" but have to perform mental gymnastics to get there. It basically assures I never would have.

Just not cut out for Friday, mayhaps.

Birchbark 12:47 PM  

@Carola (12:18) -- I too had SLOlS forever. I knew the word was wrong but thought all crosses correct, including EQUAlLY. I left the house but kept thinking about it. Finally inferred the "B" about 20 minutes later, turning right onto Hwy. 36 off of Lake Elmo Ave. Plugged the "B" in once 'twas safe to do so and Congratulations ensued.

Frantic Sloth 12:48 PM  

LOL @Roo Monster!

I think CT is the only place that uses “grinder” instead of hero/hoagie/sub! Imagine moving FROM CT to anywhere else (e.g. Brooklyn NY) and ordering a “grinder”’s not a good look.

Z 1:00 PM  

Hey Everybody - What’s the best crossword software for a Samsung?

Re:Burrows -
That was fixed online sometime this morning. Early solvers (the puzzle goes live at 10:00 pm eastern the night before, 6:00 pm for the Sunday and Monday puzzles) and anyone doing it in the paper got the misspelt clue.

GILL I. 1:01 PM  

@TJS. Te quiero mi querido y quiero que me quieras para siempre....Can you guess what I said?
@Hartley - querida amiga. You wouldn't catch me in stilettos anything - thigh high boots, on the other hand.....These TOEs were made for walking.

Nampa 1:01 PM  

Always a good day when you get a little Allison Krause and Union Station...

Gio 1:14 PM  

I was on Survivor Sucks message board. I still post there occasionally but only in the Other Shows That Suck forum. I've not been on RealityTV World forum. I guess it's not a total waste because I got Padma right away. Some Padma trivia: she has these horrid scars on her arm from being badly burned, she doesn't dress to hide them.

Gio 1:16 PM  

I love you my darling and I love that you love me forever?

Teedmn 1:21 PM  

Since I usually avoid looking at the constructor's name until after the solve, I didn't know I was doing a Guizzo-Agard collaboration until I was done. I thought the puzzle was pretty easy until getting to that central section and on down into the SE.

I only know QUIERO from the Taco Bell commercials with the chihuahua expressing its affection for something on the menu so I hesitated at that spot. I was one of the EQUAlLY enterers and only the SLOlS in the sty got me to change it. Having learned EQUABLY from context only, I was surprised to find it meant "in an even manner" when context led me to believe it was a synonym for "agreeably".

At 54A, I was letting crosses fill it in, but veX at 55D made AVP___look mighty odd. Why are ring bearers TeES?, I thought. And when I changed it to POX-TOES, I was still skeptical. Even the fine lady upon her white horse had bells on her TOES, not rings.

Mary Lou and Erik, thanks for the somewhat challenging Friday puzzle.

QuasiMojo 1:32 PM  

@GILL I am sure Toe Rings come in all sizes. Nancy needs to come to Florida. They are quite ubiquitous here.

One further nit: isn't AVEDA primarily hair products?

And Burroughs had a Midwestern accent. As @Z points out the misprint was in the app when I did it online this morning.

Joe Dipinto 1:42 PM  

@La Donna – "I hope that you will love me always." (@GILL's post).

I used to read Sucks but I don't think I ever posted there. I haven't posted at RTVW in ages but still look in on occasion. Which contestant said that phrase? - I'm not remembering.

pabloinnh 1:46 PM  


I always thought it was nice that you could say "I love you" and "I want you" all at once. Saves time.

@Roo-I guess I wouldn't have left you enough spaces to fill in your answer. Misjudged your venom, my bad.

Re sub sandwiches-

You can hear "grinder" in NH and VT. The one I haven't heard for a long time is "hero".

Anonymous 1:53 PM  

JAPE and SANDP are not bad answers, but they had bad clues.

Otherwise I quite enjoyed this.

Anoa Bob 2:05 PM  

I'm thinking that rings on TOES (59A) are pretty much limited to southern climes where wearing sandals, flip-flops or going bare-footed allows for their display without risk of frost bite. I see then often hereabouts (26 ° North Latitude) and there's even a Custom Toe Rings Shop on nearby South Padre Island.

I'm a big fan of History Channel's "Forged in Fire" so got KATANAS (36A) straightaway. They even do an occasional SABER (13D).

With 34 black squares the grid looks more like a weekday themed puzzle than a typical Friday or Saturday offering. All those ugly ASS 3s and 4s don't allow for many AHAS.

old timer 2:13 PM  

AHA! No one doing it on paper had Burroughs. I didn't, and my copy is printed in Palo Alto. I think the WSJ has the press, and they print all the Times sections except the front section first, then the entire WSJ and then the news section, to cover breaking news about breaking Iowa election software.

Thing about EQUABLY is it is wrong. EQUABLe means "in an even manner", i.e., showing no emotion. Judges learn how to display an EQUABLe demeanor though they may be biased as hell. Chief Justice Roberts is a perfect example of an EQUABLe mien. (The late Justice Scalia was the exact opposite). Judges should also decided cases equitably, but that is a different-ASS word.

Amelia 2:23 PM  

I'm sitting here waiting for the editors to correct my print edition. Nothing yet. I'll keep you posted.

My favorite NY Times correction in recent years:

Correction: July 18, 2017
An earlier version of this article misidentified the breed of Storm the dog. He is a golden retriever, not a Labrador retriever. (He is still a good boy.)

Let's talk about wheelhouses. Why would I want a puzzle to be in my wheelhouse? Then it would be too easy, no? What fun to get something you don't know by working the puzzle in different ways. I didn't know that Sue clue. I barely know Uhura. Swords, ditto. Football? Super Bowl numbers? Wheelhouse be damned!

I loved Exhibit A. Loved.

@Nancy I'm usually a week behind with the Times. Was that your letter to the editor? Also, I'm on 78th and 2nd. Across the street from Orwashers to answer a question asked days ago.


Hartley70 2:40 PM  

You’re not alone @Roo. I began my life eating grinders on torpedo rolls. I left home and ate hoagies. Started working and enjoyed hero sandwiches. Now I often split a sub for lunch.

NOLA Rocks 3:10 PM  

In addition to a submarine, hero, grinder, hoagie and all of its other machinations - is anyone in the mood for a good old fashioned Fried Crawfish Po'boy?

Gio 3:22 PM  

Googled it was Feb 2008 Vanuatu, Parker who said it. I hear it all the time now and uh some reason I remember the first time! Oh my translation was so wrong. I'm fluent in Italian but I know a bit of Spanish.

Blue Stater 3:46 PM  

Just horrible. Inexcusable. Full of mistakes, and the chef's name was the Natick of all time.

JFe 3:46 PM  


Westchester County, New York


I moved to New Jersey

Me: I’ll have a cheese wedge
Worker: A what?
Me: A cheese wedge
Worker: You want a wedge of cheese?

JayPeeEss 3:59 PM  

Maybe. So is EQUA(L)LY. That’s where I got stuck. SLOBS is obvious. Only way I solved today.

Lewis 4:05 PM  

Will Shortz responded on WordPlay re the Burroughs/Burrows snafu. Here's what he said:

"For the record, here's what happened: When the puzzle was originally typeset, the name had a typo -- "Boroughs." One of the test-solvers, by phone, alerted me to the error, saying the name started with "Burr-," so I "corrected" it to "Burrows." Argh!

"There was a big missed chance to fix this, too: I used the puzzle as the playoff at the annual Westport (CT) Library Crossword Contest last Saturday, which 130-some people attended -- and no one said anything about the misspelling!

"My deep apologies. The mistake been corrected for online and syndication, but nothing can be done about it for print."

Z 4:07 PM  

I have no idea if it’s the same thing, but you can get a Grinder in metro Detroit. I think it’s typically a grilled sub, but I could be remembering that wrong. I’m thinking the term first appeared in metro Detroit this century, so maybe a NH/VT expat brought it with them? Any current Detroiters have any ideas?

Anonymous 4:14 PM  

I know Sue well and wear multiple toe rings in the summer. Cultured, brainy & a bit sexy!

Michiganman 4:34 PM  

In Traverse City we have Mancino's pizza & grinders. They are elsewhere in Michigan, including Detroit, as well as a few other states.

VictorS 4:35 PM  

Maybe they were channeling the author of Tarzan and Conan Edgar Rice Burroughs. And sandwiches in rolls -inDelaware where I grew up -are subs. Five miles away in PA -hoagies. In NYC -hero. And don’t forget po’ boys in New Orleans.

DigitalDan 5:10 PM  

Quiero is the first word I ever learned in the first and only Spanish lesson I ever had. Quiero ir a los banos, or something. Forgive me if a tilde is missing.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

there is no way to kvetch a puzzle that intersects PEA brained and APPALACHIA. just can't. too funny.

Anonymous 5:27 PM  

grinder is pretty much lingua franca all over New England. pointy headed left wing intellectuals.

Joe Dipinto 5:35 PM  

@La Donna – That's weird, I don't remember any Parker. But I skipped some installments so maybe that was one.

Also, I should have said the first part of your translation was fine, which you probably knew. I think @GILL wanted to illustrate that QUIERO could imply different things even in the same sentence. (I studied Spanish so I speak that better than Italian, which I grew up hearing my grandma speak but never really became fluent with.)

Welcome to the Rex Parker commentariat, please keep posting!

Gio 5:35 PM  

Once again he was alerted to mistake. He didn't bother to look it up? I think he is overworked, tired and needs a rest.

Unknown 5:49 PM  

I wouldn't have thought that Pittsburgh was part of Appalachia. The AT runs through eastern Pennsylvania. The NW corner was filked with Naticks for me. A case opener is an opening statement. Some trials have no exhibits at all.

albatross shell 5:52 PM  

APPALACHIA. Did I think of Pensyltucky? Yes. Did I try it?? No. But it would have been a good answer if it fit. Pittsburgh is in APPALCHIA and the largest city if you use the right definitions. Using metro areas and cutting out Charlotte may be the best way. Using the federal definition based on counties and political influence just might do it.

I went from EQUABLY to EQUAlLY and back again. I was unaware of the correct definition of EQUABLY. As the clue reads "in an even manner" and even can mean
equally balanced as in "an even fight", which to me at least suggests a fair fight, I think either answer works well enough for crosswords. But I also think STORM works for rant and rave: He got so mad he stormed about the room thundering at everything he saw. And yesterday's elixer clue: there are many attributions on the web to justify the answer without any question marks. And that V-word has dictionary justification. Do you need more than that for TFS puzzles?

5Down woes:1. The P in SANDP. Third time this took a long time to see. I had SANDs - a casino thing? May I never let S&P make a fool again of me.
2.The second A in the unknown cosmetic company. I guessed luckily.
3. The first S in SLOBS that looked like it should be a vowel. Eventually got there.
KATANA I knew. Blacksmith friends and martial arts movies.

I did get several long answers quickly, and several times it was seeing shorter answers that broke logjams up: STUNT POX AURA REEDS SILT. THE X at 15 across was a big help too.

Good rule for crossword mishaps:

Hey, I thought the NAKED LUNCH movie was wonderful. Something about those old typewriters changing into cockroaches that I just loved. Good acting too. @ Gill I. I do not think you would get thru the book or the movie. The title in one version came from the French picnic painting. Also forgot there were different versions of the book.

Rex gave us a very good pair of book covers.

Joe Dipinto 6:04 PM  

I guess because we had the White Bronco clue/answer the other day, 57d reminded me about the "ugly-ass (Bruno Magli) shoes" that OJ said he never would have worn.

Anonymous 6:31 PM  

if the doubters, me included, conflate the Trail with the Mountains, just go to the wiki. the mountains have a much wider spread East-West. the Trail runs, more or less, along the ridge line of the Mountains. in sum, Pittsburgh is just inside the Western edge. still PEA brained.

GILL I. 6:36 PM  

@La Donna 1:16 and @Joe Dip 1:42.....
Close but no cigaro: "I love you my darling and I want you to love me forever."
Quiero Taco EQUITABLY Employee Opportunity Company.

Anonymous 6:48 PM  

Rarely post here. But I had a near personal best time for me. Love Star Trek, Top Chef and I live in Chicago. Seen Sue many times. Oh and the Katana is featured in one of my all time favorite books. So all in all pretty easy.

Feels like some happy karma coming my way to offset the endless baseball clues that usually appear in the NYT puzzle.

albatross shell 8:02 PM  

Mostly hoagies here. A cold hoagie heated up till cheese melts inside and toasty hot edges turning brown on the outside and we call it a grinder. Subs occasionally used by local stores especially the ones that have been around over 65 years. Not many of those left.

HOAGIE supposedly came from Filipino shipyard workers post WWI.

Joe Dipinto 8:14 PM  

@GILL – Eh. If you want to be literal-minded. In English "I hope that you'll love me forever" and "I want that you'll love me forever" are kinda interchangeable.

Quiero fumar mi cigaro ahora. ¿Tienes fuego? :-)

Anonymous 8:28 PM  

Nope. Hoagie comes from Hogg island.

GILL I. 8:45 PM  

@Jose Dipinto. I'll never be literal-minded and nobody says " I want that you'll love me forever."
Del blu dipinto del blu.
En esta casa, siempre hay fuego... :-)

RAD2626 9:02 PM  

Late to the show but wanted to say I agree with @CDilly52. I thought this was a terrific puzzle. Reminded me of Patrick Berry. Saw clues I thought I would never get and after awhile and some thought they would fall, with a smile. My biggest hang up was thinking Galaxy was an SUV. I almost always make the same mistakes as Rex - albeit more slowly - and generally agree with his assessments minus the vitriol but could not disagree more with him today. My favorite puzzle of the year so far. PRESS RELEASE, AUTO WORKER, I BLAME MYSELF so good. Thanks.

Anonymous 9:37 PM  

As noted by @Lewis, this was indeed the championship puzzle at Westport, interesting that no one mentioned "Burrows"; I certainly didn't notice it

This Monday, Tuesday and, Thursday (perhaps they meant Wednesday) served as #1-3 at Westport and there was, um, a spelling that several commented on

Also, a few of the clues at Westport were edited to make it easier for the finalists - for example 35A was "The "p" in r.p.m." which does seem rather easier than "Start of a citation"

I hadn't heard of the cosmetic brand but the crossings were fair; I don't recall noticing the possible EQUALLY, then again I'm capable of missing lots of things so...

Gio 10:12 PM  

Looked it up again, Rory was the grown ass man. Rory Freeman and it was 2004.

Charles 11:24 PM  

Wow, Defaults is terrible. I mean, I appreciate having an "AHA" moment over a witty answer I couldn't crack as much as the next crossword solver, but come on man...

Anonymous 12:26 AM  

Does it bother anyone that Aveda is a hair care and body lotion brand, not a cosmetics brand?

Joe Dipinto 1:30 AM  

@La Donna 10:12 pm – oh yeah, I remember Rory, I did watch that season. They were put into all-male and all-female tribes at first.

Hunkosaurus Rex 8:34 PM  

TROLL Alert!

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

And has a daughter with 45 down. Coincidence?

thefogman 10:37 AM  

I had the same finishing experience as T-REX Parker did.

spacecraft 10:59 AM  

Understandably not in the best of moods anyway (stay home and don't get within 4 feet of anybody), I am greeted--at 1 ACROSS yet!--by an ampersandwich. Folks, I am teetering on the very edge of not bothering with this crap any more. I need a good puzzle NOW!!

fakt chekker 11:32 AM  

@anon 12:26 -
Aveda Corporation is an American cosmetics company founded by Horst Rechelbacher, now owned by Estée Lauder Companies, and headquartered in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine, Minnesota.

Burma Shave 12:05 PM  


and IBLAMEMYSELF or ELSE the waiter:
there was SEAMAN and a MASTERBREWER.


rondo 12:40 PM  

I guess no newspaper anywhere has an editor (one who EDITS) anymore. I saw that Burrows mis-spelling and knew it was wrong. The only Burrows I know is Darren Burrows who played Ed Chigliak in Northern Exposure (best TV series ever). Whoever let the mis-spelling go apparently doesn’t know Jack and can’t be Beat.

RAE Dawn Chong, yeah baby.

What ELSE? Try the WSJ contest puz I s’pose.

leftcoaster 3:14 PM  

Maybe I should, but I can't quite BLAME MYSELF for this one. Consider the following:

PADMA LAKSHMI crossed by UHURA, AVEDA, KATANAS, and SLOBS. A T-REX named "Sue". Oh, serve me up a RASHER of PRUNEs for breakfast, please, and I'd like some nice rings for my TOES.

Interesting fact: Pittsburgh is an APPALACHIAN city, and the largest, no less.

NMF and DNFWSC (not much fun, and did not finish without some cheats).

Anonymous 3:50 PM  

Plus she was once married to Salman Rushdie. Wouldn't he be in Rex's woke world?

Diana, LIW 4:28 PM  

PADMA and UHURA gave me my one-letter dnf. Even after EXTENSIVE cheating.

Had fun with this. I'll stay with the NYTX. Too bad we won't get to see each other in person at the ACPT next week.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for crosswords

Anonymous 5:10 PM  

It was until Estee Lauder bought them.

Anonymous 6:58 PM  

I waited and waited to find out who mimics Nicki Minaj. RAPS? Like there aren't five thousand other people who rap professionally? Very disappointing.

Anonymous 9:25 PM  

It went the way it's supposed to go, you cross words.

strayling 11:10 PM  

Got a chuckle out of the Burrows/Burroughs mix-up. That's what happens when you mess with English spelling - it turns right around and bites you in the bum.

Maybe I was in just the right mood for this one, it felt tough but fair. The only bit that grated was JAPE/AVEDA. Awkwardly clued/obscure for me, but inferrable.

fritz 8:13 PM  

I know Padma Lakshmi as one of the most beautiful women on TV. And as far as sporting a ring I thing I'm the only one who thought it was "tubs". I liked this puzzle.

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