Botanical opening / FRI 3-20-20 / Chess concession / Kind of horn pitched in E flat / Acted cheekily in two senses / Required wear in some Hindu temples / Pen name of Ruth Crowley Eppie Lederer

Friday, March 20, 2020

Constructor: Wyna Liu and Paolo Pasco

Relative difficulty: Mediumish? Maybe a tad on the harder side (6:15)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ATHLEISURE (15A: Sporty/casual fashion trend) —
Athleisure is a fabricated style of clothing typically worn during athletic activities and in other settings, such as at the workplace, at school, or at other casual or social occasions. Athleisure outfits can include yoga pantstightssneakersleggings and shorts, that "look like athletic wear", characterized as "fashionable, dressed up sweats and exercise clothing". The idea is that gym clothes are supposedly making their way out of the gym and becoming a larger part of people's everyday wardrobes.
Athleisure can be considered as a fashion industry movement, enabled by improved textile materials, which allow sportswear to be more versatile, comfortable, and fashionable. (wikipedia)
• • •

OK, yeah, this was pretty good. I enjoyed this. I particularly enjoyed the showy long Downs that anchor this thing: WHO WORE IT BEST? (3D: Tabloid question next to two people in the same outfit) and "CARE TO ELABORATE...?" (12D: "Can you say more about that?"). Those are twin columns of contemporary flair and colloquial currency. Gotta make the most of your big answers, and this puzzle really does. The rest of the puzzle wasn't as wow-y, but it definitely holds up. What was most remarkable to me was how uneven it felt, difficulty-wise; specifically, the NW was a nightmare for me, whereas the rest of it was pretty Friday-average. Every clue in the NW felt either obscure or clued in a very deliberately obfuscating way. OSKAR *and* JOAN? Not one but two not-terribly-famous fictional first names. Yikes. (7D: "The Tin Drum" narrator + 24D: ___ Watson, role for Lucy Liu on "Elementary"). I had to wait for crosses to tell me what those were (JOAN was the harder by far). And then the clue on POWER CORDS looks like it wants a verb (1A: Needs to recharge), while the clue on REEL IN looks like it wants a noun (5D: Land, at sea). And then the clues on DRS and (esp.) SESH were just inscrutable to me. And then there was OTTOMAN with the corny "dogs" clue (2D: Place for dogs to rest) ("dogs" = feet, kids). The whole experience up there was nearly RUINOUS for me. Oh, I also didn't know that stolen kisses were (necessarily?) on cheeks. So the cheek-based clue had me thinking ... well, a different body part. Thought for sure the answer would have something to do with mooning. A wild ride, that whole corner.

Elsewhere in the grid, the only problem I had was in the TODOS / DOUR / GORDO area, because a. wtf TODOS? that's a noun?, and b. I just couldn't see DOUR from __UR, and I only had __UR because c. I didn't know if GORDO was maybe gonna be GORDA. I also didn't / don't really get how HERO is a [Beau ideal] (do you want your beau to be your HERO ... ideally?), and I don't play chess so the "I RESIGN" clue meant nothing to me (seems oddly formal). No other difficulty issues. Mostly just a pleasant, occasionally joyous solving experience, my whole flailing-in-the-NW experience notwithstanding.

I coulda done without TODOS (which, again ... what? ... I really don't like that as a noun) and ATTA and ARGH (somehow the spelling seems odd ... I think I write it with two "A"s?) and laugh syllables are always unwelcome (HAHS), but that's not much rough stuff, and it's pretty scattershot. On the other end of the quality spectrum, I really enjoyed "OH, GREAT" and EGG WASH and "NO DUH!" Do kids still say "NO DUH!" It feels so of My age, i.e. '80s, like "totally" and "awesome" and "rad" and saying "like" all the time. I think we also had "NO DOY!" but I have no idea what the etymology on that was; I'll leave it to the experts. I wrote in PRADO for 52A: El ___, but CUOMO sorted me out  (finally, a reason to like that guy!). Hope you found something to like in this one. Take care, everyone.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Brian 12:02 AM  


jae 12:13 AM  

Easy-medium except for, like Rex, the NW which consumed a large chunk of solving time. ATHLEISURE was a WOE. Apparently it’s been in a previous puzzle but it didn’t stick. I also went the wrong direction in parsing the 1a clue and had bASTE before PASTE for a while.

Delightful, liked it a bunch.

Joaquin 12:15 AM  

Re: 38D - Chores/TODOS
My mother, who was a member of the Lost Generation (born 1909) often used the word "todo" where we would use the word "deal". As in: "It was nothing, but they made a big todo out of it."

Never heard the expression NO DUH. Ever. Hope I never do!

DRickard 12:25 AM  

Re: Gordo|a; anyone want to start a petition to the Times asking that, when the answer is from a gendered language, the clue specify the gender?

puzzlehoarder 1:01 AM  

Mostly this was easy Friday material. From the NE I went South and then West with little resistance. The NW corner held out stubbornly. I'm not sure why but filling it in was like pulling teeth. I probably spent more time on that section than the rest of the puzzle combined. Strange but it is late.

ColoradoCog 1:14 AM  

Cruised along thinking, “Wow, this is really good.” Answer after answer made me smile. And then everything ground to a halt in the NW. The last 20% of the puzzle took 90% of my time, and not much to smile about up there. It was like I could hear the puzzle say, “Oh, you think your smart? Well I’ll show you...”

JMS 1:38 AM  

Ottoman was the first word I got, but then again, that kind of joke is right in my wheelhouse. That didn’t help me in the NW though.

LenFuego 2:12 AM  

Yeah, the NW was definitely the only spot that put up much of a fight ... would have been my Friday best time if not. Not as fun as yesterday, but OK. Wanted INFLUENCERS for TWITTERATI, but that got straightened out pretty fast. Surprised Rex did not squawk about HUMERI. I liked the "Icon of the small screen?" clue for EMOJI.

chefwen 2:55 AM  

Looks like I’ve got a lot of company with that difficult NW. it took ‘til now for me to understand POWER CORDS, DUH! 15A unknown. Like Rex I was thinking of those other cheeks and mooning and down right cheated for OSKAR.

The rest was fun.

chefwen 2:57 AM  
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travis 3:06 AM  

Can't tell if WHO WORE IT BEST was a backhanded dig in the writeup or just a brain slip. Because that was the only answer I wanted for the clue so was a little meh at WHO WORE IT BETTER. I get that better is better grammatically for comparing 2 things, but I feel like it is only ever 2 people and I've only ever heard it as WHO WORE IT BEST. Still a lot of things to like. Had most trouble with the NW, but once I got the answers I actually liked them.

ZenMonkey 4:50 AM  

Sign me up for trouble in the NW too. But I like a bit of a struggle when the outcome is so satisfying.

chefwen 5:37 AM  
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Lewis 6:38 AM  

For now:

Clue: [Group hangout time, slangily]

Sigh. But things WILL get better.

Anonymous 6:46 AM  

Surprised Rex’s only comment on stolen kiss was that not all are on cheeks but nothing about their non-consensual nature. They are, after all, stolen, meaning at least furtive and unexpected and not agreed to, like making a “pass.”

Lewis 6:56 AM  

Sweet puzzle. Lovely stacks, two terrific spanners, clever and challenging cluing, junk deficient, with slow-to-advance periods as well as happily-slap-in-a-bunch moments. A thing of beauty and a worthy solve, humming with flair.

You two, more please, and soon!

Lewis 7:03 AM  
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Lewis 7:05 AM  

Side comment: I very often swoon with praise in this space. The praise is real, but let me add that there are many crossword puzzles I dislike. Show-off puzzles if they’re not satisfying solves, for instance, or puzzles that were simply tossed out to make a little coin, or puzzles with no originality, creativity or spark. I don’t find many of these unlikeable puzzles in the NYT, however. It’s plain to me that most were made with great effort, with an eye to quality, and for the pleasure of the solver. I find that in the Times, it’s mostly good, and I’ve always gotten a kick out of a good puzzle, whether it’s a Monday or Saturday.

kaoconno 7:11 AM  

I disagree. Two people can steal a kiss. There’s even a song called « we stole a kiss on the train » by Harriet Goldberg, 2002. Do a google search and you’ll find other examples of we stole a kiss, meaning something like we kissed furtively.
It do think it can have the meaning
you refer to, but certainly it doesn’t have to.

GILL I. 7:14 AM  

Well...if you want to get all Spanishy then you could also think graso or greso for something fat. You'd have to think meat.
First entry was OTTOMAN because I know my dogs. Then I spent time staring.
Flew all over this place. Went to 52A and immediately put in El Chapo. Ummm. This will get a cabeza to explode. I remembered the WATUSI which gave me WASH which gave me EGG which gave me the G which gave me GRECO. Never did like his paintings.
Needed a walk away from the puzzle and when I came back I immediately saw the two longer down answers. That got me going. I wondered why STOLE A KISS was clued as two senses. Oh, I guess the other is Kiss my fondillo? Should I say cute? Nah.
I had to Google for BRATT. I think I'd change my last name. I also cheated on DAVIDS Bridal. I didn't want to but I was getting antsy.
In the end, I really liked this puzzle. It made me work - but it was enjoyable work.
Now I can't get Wah-Watusi and the Orlons out of my head. I used to do a mean one.

amyyanni 7:17 AM  

We needed this! Love the initial despair of "I know nothing!" to finding purchase to filling in the last letter. When a puzzle makes you feel like an artist finishing a work of art (even if it's paint by number), that's something to celebrate. And I am still going to work...our governor has difficulty closing things (see Florida beaches). Envy you Cuomo, NYers.
Thanks for sharing your dog photo, Rex.

bulgie 7:23 AM  

@Brian, GORDX made me LOL, thankx.

Rex mentioned a couple of noun/verb confusion clues; add "Lead" for METAL.

Enjoyed the whole thing but finishing with the stack of sparkly 10s at the bottom was my favorite.

mambridge 7:57 AM  

Came here to find out what is SESH. Still don't know.

Matt Messinger 8:05 AM  

SW was rough. NW was rougher. Good puzzle!

pabloinnh 8:05 AM  

Started somewhere in the middle and wound up at the bottom, where I ran into ANNLANDERS, thank goodness. You don't forget a name like Eppie. GORDO was helpful, although I don't use it TODOS los dias, which for me would have been a better clue. Similarly, El ____ has way too many possiblities. The G from EGGWASH fixed that. NW was a bear, without OSKAR and WHOWOREITBETTER, I'd still be there.

"Dogs" is ancient slang, for sure. I used to wear Hush Puppies ("They quiet your barking dogs"). No idea if they still make them. Haven't been in my closet for a long time.

Always like the idea of having to ROB PETER to pay Paul, as Peter is my older brother.

Thanks for a nice diversion, WL and PP. I could do puzzles like this all day, and wish that was an option.

DeeJay 8:05 AM  


Teedmn 8:09 AM  

This solve was more of an "ouch" than an ARGH. I was in Saturday territory today, had to start at the bottom (WATUSI crossing ITZA) and work my way up. I was going along fine until the NW, as so many of us found, really STOLE my momentum.

And a DNF. ATHELEI_UR_. Athlei-euro? OSKAR made the most sense for O_KAR but really, I had no idea. I finally DNF'd because at 10D,SoSH (root from social, no?) made sense. But seeing ATHLEISURE post solve, I realized I've seen that portmanteau before. SESH? Yeesh.

For once, I appreciate a cross-referenced clue - 25A and 27A gave me two answers and helped me get rid of "please ELABORATE" as the s in please became the T of PETER.

I didn't get the dogs = feet until after I filled in OTTOMAN. I was trying to picture any canine who would want to rest on one of my footstools. Har.

And I was definitely thinking bad thoughts about 59A - since when is a SEAm considered a part of pants? Sure, pants have SEAms but...never mind.

Thanks, Wyna and Paolo, this was a lot of fun!

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Short for session. My kids (20-somethings), actually say this.

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

Slang for “session.”

OffTheGrid 8:15 AM  

Never heard of ZAGAT, didn't know Chichen ITZA, so that was RUINOUS to my solve but I liked it anyway. A few years ago I lived near a Sara Lee facility and when the wind was right I was treated to lovely aromas. Where I live there is a shop called Leathers by DAVID. I could see them combining with a DAVID'S Bridal store to sell honeymoon...uh...apparel.

Anonymous 8:17 AM  


Joe R. 8:28 AM  

@travis - I had the same thought, and expected a quality RexRant about how they got it wrong. My radar was off today, but I’m giving myself a pass because he clearly found it so traumatic that he had to correct it in his mind before he could even write the column.

Twangster 8:29 AM  

I found this hard and had to google a few things to complete it.

Missed opportunity to highlight this great tune (Jen Trynin's "I Resign"):

QuasiMojo 8:31 AM  

I usually wear ARMANI when visiting temples. And I was sure Fat was going to be LARDO. I studied French in high school, hélas.

Do people still use Zagat Guides? I remember in NYC when they were all the rage. But I assume Yelp has supplanted them? (Altho you could be relatively sure the Zagat ratings were legitimate.)

Was the WATUSI the one where you shook your little (or big) heinie like a shimmy dancer?

Loved the droll tone and clever misdirects today. These are the kind of puzzles I enjoy most. Themeless and a tad tricky.

Suzie Q 8:37 AM  

Wonderful Friday tussle that ended in success. Good to hear that Rex enjoyed it too.
I loved figuring out the noun v. verb clues.
The Tin Drum was a great read but SO long ago however if you remember the story then Oskar slowly bubbles up from the depths. More fun than the usual Schindler clue.
@ Lewis, Nice observation about "group". Sigh indeed.

I wonder how long we will have to endure every failure, delay, and general screw-up being blamed on the virus. Unfortunately I predict it will be milked for all its worth.

Anyway, thanks Wyna and Paolo for a fun diversion.

Knitwit 8:41 AM  

Crosswords are saving my sanity right now and this was a good one!! Almost everything just fell into place. Had Powerdowns (?!) for a few seconds but quickly saw my mistake and “help wanted” before smiling and replacing with ZAGATRATED! Loved seeing WATUSI!!! Have a good weekend all!

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

I thought the TWITTERATI/ZAGATRATED/ANNLANDERS stack was the highlight of the puzzle. Surprised it didn't get a mention.

Also a PR for me - lots of stuff clicked pretty early.

SJ Austin 8:42 AM  

Yeah, the NW was a real nightmare for me too, and that's even with getting a miracle guess on OTTOMAN as the first answer in the puzzle. It ultimately did me in, because I had SAREES instead of SARONG, which mostly made sense? I figured REELIE was just some nautical term I didn't know, and I had no clue on the Spanish.

Anyway, despite losing my streak on it, I thought this was one of the best NYT puzzles in a while.

Oh, and I think you can capitalize and bold the word RAD in your section on '80s slang, Rex. ;)

Hungry Mother 8:48 AM  

Nothing like hiding indoors to provide plenty of time for a Friday slog-fest. I just chillaxed and solved a bit at a time before and after my morning fun run. Running just for fun because all of my races have been cancelled is growing on me.

Hungry Mother 8:57 AM  

I went to Chichen ITZA in 2004 on a RV caravan. Climbing the narrow steps of the main pyramid was a thrill.

Sir Hillary 9:07 AM  

Excellent Friday fare. Wonderful mix of newish (e.g., ATHLEISURE) and oldish (e.g., WATUSI). The SE corner alone feels like a backward progression from current (TWITTERATI) to 25 years ago (ZAGATRATED) to 50 years ago (ANNLANDERS). I think I still have a burgundy greater New York Zagat Guide somewhere in the house.

Love the "snarkastic" quote trio: NODUH, OHGREAT, CARETOELABORATE.

Terrific clues for POWERCORDS, EMOJI and ROB/PETER. Hated the LLOYD clue though -- why go with an anagram that's Monday-easy?

ZAGATGUIDE and DAVIDS gave off a New York-ish vibe, but I'm guessing that's because I live there.

@GILL I. -- I spit-taked (spit-took?) at El Chapo. Thanks for that laugh!

TinPT 9:12 AM  

160-day streak was almost broken by the NW of this one. I just got tired of banging my head against the wall. Ultimately ended up reading the synopsis of The Tin Drum to get OSKAR (Yeesh, that sounded like a tough read/watch), and flat out cheated by reading Word Play to get 1A and 5D this morning. The requisite cheating took the fun out of it for me. Home isolation and 8+ hours of video calls for work are wearing me down. WFH isn’t something to envy, IMO. Signed, a flagging extrovert.

webwinger 9:28 AM  

Consensus reigns today! Agree with @Rex and others that the NW was a real bear. I too got OTTOMAN early on. Turned to my fashionista daughter for help with ATHLEISURE and WHO WORE IT BETTER. Still found myself in the end staring at that corner for 20 minutes before RUINOUS came to my rescue.

Did not realize SARONG had religious significance. Wrongly expected that OFL would be triggered by STOLE A KISS. Overall I’d call this a pretty good Friday.

I am increasingly struck by how much the virulence, and possibly the contagiousness of this pathogen seems to differ from place to place. My county in Colorado, population nearly 350K, still has only 5 confirmed cases and no deaths. Stark contrast to Seattle, and to the tragic impact on one NJ family that lost 4 of its members. Will this prove significant in the long run? Who knows even what the long run means any more…

Surprised we haven’t heard from @Z yet this morning. Hope he’s OK. Check his post from late yesterday evening for info about a quickly-organized real-time on-line substitute for the APCT tomorrow afternoon.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

Should have clued WATUSI differently. I'm a huge Beatles fan and I cannot make it through Revolution #9.

Petsounds 9:42 AM  

Count me among those who really enjoyed this puzzle. But not among those who had trouble in the NW, which was fairly easy for me, since ATHLEISURE was a gimme for this "Project Runway" fan and I knew WHOWOREITBETTER from the magazines in the dentist's office. Back when it was not dangerous to pick up a magazine someone else might just have handled.

I had JOHN for 24D, knowing Lucy Liu plays the John Watson character but having never seen "Elementary," and NEH seemed to work with the cross, so I got the terrifying "One or more answers are incorrect..." message and had to review the whole puzzle to get that fixed. But that in no way dampened the enjoyment of finishing this clean and clever puzzle, which, as someone else said, is the best in a long time.

Z 9:54 AM  

If you are answering somebody’s question, @ them. If you don’t then you are just randomly saying “session” for anyone not using a phone to read these comments. Replies only appear as replies on the phone version of comments.

Hand up for the NW Challenge. Finished there piecing it together letter by letter. Getting the SE corner was easier here, but it gets the thumbs down for its quintuple PPPness. TWITTERATI/ZAGAT RATED/ANN LANDERS/DEMETER/DAVID’S Bridal is four products and Greek Mythology. That’s not good construction in my book. The ODDITY is that the puzzle is otherwise low on PPP*, just 25%, but that SE corner is 100%. At least it is PPP from a wide variety, so hopefully nobody fails because of the trivia. Also, interesting that PETER and LLOYD aren’t really PPP in the puzzle. I appreciated those clues, even if one did include anagramming.

Lots of URLS when I googled WHO WORE IT BETTER

@Hungry Mother - We visited Chichen ITZA in January. No more climbing up the steps.

*PPP is short for Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns. More than 33% will cause some subset of solvers problems.

kitshef 9:58 AM  

First day back after vacation normally means a long struggle as it takes time to get back into the groove (plus the whole jet lag thing). But no real problems today. Unlike Rex, I thought the long downs today were particularly dull. Also, I use "TODOS" as a plural noun almost daily.

Hand up for GILL I's El CHAPO.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

A real wheelhouse puzzle, bottom 3/4 was a snap, NW was tricky.

No googles or other cheats, my fastest ever 100% Friday, but not timed and not puzzle-timer fast

albatross shell 10:07 AM  

Did not know BRATT ZAGAT RATED ITZA. Needed Google for the Z.

And the NW where nothing was unknown was a rat's nest. Took too long to give up on ...dREssBETTER. Getting TOW and EMOJI was key to an exhausting solve. But so many wrong turns and false leads. And still needed a cheat to finish. So finished with one google and one outright cheat. I guess that must make it the best puzzle this week so far. Expect it to be tougher tomorrow. Knew I'd be paying for the easy M-W.

Z 10:15 AM  

@webwinger - Yeah, I’m fine. Discovered there’s one thing I agree with Tucker Carlson about. Also feeling as though Capitol Hill would be improved with a different sort of stocks and bonds.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

Had to keep the faith that if I started somewhere other than the impossible NW, I'd eventually get back and solve. And I did -- almost.

POWER CaRDS/aSKAR or POWER CORDS/OSKAR? I didn't understand the clue for 1A and I chose wrong. OH GREAT. ARGH. I RESIGN.

Just kidding. I'm not UPSET. There are too many RUINOUS non-puzzle things to be UPSET about right now. But I couldn't help but notice all the depressing fill in today's puzzle. It's very apt, I'd say.

Two terrific long Downs: I'm proud at myself for guessing WHO WORE IT BETTER when I only had ITBETTER. And I like CARE TO ELABORATE.

DEMETER is one of those Greek gods that I assume is a male when she's a female. I know there are others, but I can't remember who they are.

If you STOLE A KISS cheekily only, maybe you weren't doing it right?

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

Especially connected with today's great puzzle because Ruth Crowley, the first Ann Landers, wrote her column on the sun porch of my modest (definitely NOT the Frank Lloyd Wright district) Oak Park, IL home. Never knew her but her daughter and grandsons came by over 30 years ago to reminisce. btw Eppie is a nickname for Esther.

Wm. C. 10:30 AM  

Can someone tell me why TSHIRTS "...might be shot from a basketball court"?

PapaLeroux 10:33 AM  

Good Friday puzzle. Hey, Rex. Thanks for the explanation of Natick.

Danny and Rachel 10:38 AM  

We were on track for a Friday best (about 13:00) until the NW, then spent the next 12 minutes pulling our hair out. Rex summed up our feelings perfectly. What a slog.

Joaquin 10:41 AM  

@Z (9:54) - Thanks for reminding/informing others about responding to previous posts. I would add they should include the time to facilitate looking up the original post.

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

I can't be the only one who went on a 10 minute wild goose chase after getting LOWBATTERY instead of POWERCORDS, right?

dadnoa 10:50 AM  

+1 for the solving direction. NW corner was a tough one

Frantic Sloth 10:51 AM  

It's not even 10:30am and already there are over 50 comments, so I figure something is going on. I'm gonna pull a(n)@Nancy and write before reading, so we'll see what kind of idiot I am today.

I mostly agree with Rex - especially about the long downs - but not about ARGH, which I use often. Either that or the Peanuts-inspired AuGH, but never never AaGH.

That's just dumb.

This puzzle was a rollercoaster ride of "huh?" and "NODUH!" with an overall pleasantly crunchy chew-toy feel. Overly abundant adverbs/adjectives = I liked it a lot!

One problem area which is almost too embarrassing to mention. Almost.

For the longest time, I couldn't move away from SoSH (think SoSHialize) and for the life of me could not make sense of ATHLEISURo. It wasn't until I read the portmanteau as starting with ATH and not ATHLE that the NODUH coin finally dropped.


Unable to hit the preview button without Safari doing an eternal spaz-dance, so apologies for any forthcoming mess.

And now....I read!

JC66 10:53 AM  

@Wm C

Shooting TSHIRTS

Tale Told By An Idiot 10:56 AM  

David Lloyd Cuomo was in the car playing with his - um - power cord; he needed to rev his phone up so he could join the Twitterati as he ate. At last he went into the non-Zagat-rated restaurant and ordered mushrooms and coke. Soon, things began to seem strange. First, Peter stole a kiss from dour Rob. That was an oddity because Peter had always been the hetero-hero type and Rob was more like a bad emoji. Then, El Greco and the Scot were prancing around in athleisure suits they had bought on sale and forgot to hem; Sara Lee was dancing the watusi with Oskar while both were wearing sarongs; and El Gordo was doing something to (or was it in?) Joan’s stoma. Argh. The Greek tripped first (hah - should have hemmed it, hero, instead of arguing about who wore it better ) and the rest came tumbling down. Broken humeri everywhere.

David woke up. When he got home and was asked how his evening was, he said he did not care to elaborate. He decided he would not mix mushrooms and coke again.

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

It’s getting late, but can anyone give an explanation for Scots having unicorns on their coats of arms?

What? 11:03 AM  

Thank goodness for this really hard (for me) puzzle so I can keep my mind off of you know what.
Got most of the East side. Hopefully, it will take the rest of the day for the rest.

Wm. C. 11:05 AM  

@JC66 --

Tnx for the explanation of Shooting TSHIRTS with the video on the basketball court. I gotta admit, this is an entirely new one on me.

Anonymous 11:09 AM  

Informal poll -

If you complete the grid but your app (or whatever program you're using to solve) indicates something is wrong, you then search the grid and find the mistake, do you consider yourself to have solved the puzzle?

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

@WM. C. (10:30) -

At basketball games, t-shirts are often shot out of a pneumatic gun into the crowd during breaks. Think catching a foul ball at a baseball game, but it's a t-shirt, shot from a gun.

Whatsername 11:18 AM  

Nothing to complain about today. Exactly what a Friday should be. Some good new fill like SESH and EGGWASH. Like @Rex, I loved the symmetrical long downs. Got the first one right off but had to work at the second. Are the dogs in the photo Rex’s puppies? They are precious.

Agree with @Anon at 8:41 that the long stack in the SE corner is superb. I miss ANNLANDERS, she was a rare jewel. @Anon at 10:21 - what a sweet story about her. I can just picture her sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee. Thanks for sharing.

GILL I. 11:19 AM  

@amyyanni 7:17.....I feel for you. Perhaps your State (Florida?) will eventually impose the "Stay At Home" order our governor imposed as of midnight last night. Lots of police officers here in Sacramento patrolling streets. Kids looking for places to play in parks told to go home....and the beat goes on.
I sincerely cry for Bergamo - my favorite city in all of Italy. Some suggest we could be headed in that same direction. I would tell your place of work to KISS off.
Try and stay safe.......

Nancy 11:22 AM  

Coronavirus laugh of the day. Turns out there really is such a thing.

My previous physician specialist retired two years ago and now I have a new, female one, Dr. K. She just sent out an email to all her patients. Part of it reads:

"I'm excited to tell you that I am now set up for telemedicine office visits. The goal is to allow you to safely stay home."

I'm not quite sure how this is supposed to work. My doctor is a gynecologist!

Frantic Sloth 11:23 AM  

I was right. Something is definitely going on.

So, I'm starting a NW corner support group. It will have to meet virtually for now, but looks like there are a lot of potential members.

Opening a contest for the group name here. Winner gets absolutely nothing - other than a good day wasted on some buffoon's "joke" idea.

LOL @OffTheGrid "honeymoon...uh...apparel." And @GILL I.'s "el Chapo". ¡Es muy guapo!

And a huuuuge GOL* @TTBAI lovely tale!

That is all.

*Guffaw Out Loud

LieutKije 11:26 AM  

Agree with Travis and Rex’s Freudian slip. WHO WORE IT BEST is more typical than WHO WORE IT BETTER. But still makes sense.

egsforbreakfast 11:29 AM  

Like most, the NW initially stymied me. You can imagine my joy when I saw that 17A must be baredAsseS.

Carola 11:30 AM  

Lots of fun - I'll just go with puzzledom's "SO DO I" to tag on to everyone else's praising of this puzzle. Just to name one of its pleasures: the El GRECO, WATUSI, ITZA cluster.

The NW held no terrors for me, as OTTOMAN, WHO WORE IT BETTER, ELL, OSKAR, and ATHLEISURE went right in, my pride at doing so fantastically well right out of the gate leading however to my fall at SESs, which eventually took me to a dopey DNF at sUMERI.

The cross of ATHLEISURE and WHO WORE IT BETTER reminded me of the gratifying Lululemon PR "scandal" several years ago when the company's CEO responded to complaints about their yoga pants being see-through with the observation that some women't bodies "just don't work" for their upscale attire (a thighs issue). Step One of his ultimate downfall.

@QuasiMojo - The ZAGAT guide now appears in app form. It's more useful in some cities than others, in terms of coverage, but can be very handy to have as a reference. I fondly remember the olden days of the guide to NYC in book form, when my daughter and I on a rare Broadway visit would seek out the perfect place.

@JC66 - Thanks for the video, which revealed a new technology to me. Around here, Bucky Badger personally throws the T-SHIRTS into the stands.

Frantic Sloth 11:32 AM  

Forgot to thank @Z for the PSA.

Always wondered about those "hanging chad" responses.

Frantic Sloth 11:38 AM  

Dang @Nancy! Now I gotta go over my allotment to add another G.O.L. to the list! Dear God - the imagery that evokes!!

Suzie Q 11:41 AM  

@ Idiot (10:56), You are anything but. Thanks again for the fun. You are a gift that keeps giving (I hope).

GILL I. 11:42 AM  

@Nancy 11:22. Trying to wipe coffee off my Mac. Visions of you sitting on a stool, legs beautifully draped over your favorite silk robe and giving your doctor visions of plum pudding.

webwinger 11:47 AM  

More reason to smile: On this first day of spring, Mother Nature dumped several inches of beautiful fresh white snow on Colorado, which fortunately did not fall on top of disgusting old black ice—the last of that, some on the ground since November, finally melted earlier in the week.

Check out this novel approach to dog-walking in our troubled world.

ZAGAT guides were a really big deal in the 1990s and 2000s. Downsized and retreated to on-line only presence about 10 years ago, but now back in print, at least for NYC. (I want to buy that book now as a memorial to the many listed restaurants that are no doubt destined for extinction.) Zagat reviews were brief, based largely on input from actual diners who submitted comments, and had a very distinctive style that was brilliantly parodied in this New Yorker piece.

BTW, in my last post I typed “APCT” instead of ACPT. Bet you weren’t confused…

Frantic Sloth 11:55 AM  

OMG @GILL I. Please stop!! (No, don't!)

I gotta get outta here....

Barbara S. 11:56 AM  

@Tale Told by an Idiot 10:56

I got so boisterously hysterical reading your story that my husband had to rush in and see if I was OK.

@Anonymous 11:00

I believe the unicorn is the symbol of Scotland in much the way the eagle is for America, the lion is for England and, yes, the beaver is for Canada.

Z 11:58 AM  

@Quasimojo8:31 - Crowd sourcing works pretty well with matters of facts, but Yelp! is a fine example of why it doesn’t work great on matters of taste. First, wading through complaints about service is a PITA. I always assume those reviewers are assholes to begin with and probably got the service they deserved. Then there’s always the “by what standard” a place is being reviewed question. We have a Chinese food place in town that is tepid at best, but Yelp! has several “best Chinese food I’ve ever had” reviews from out-of-towners. Huh? I assume these are people who think Bud is great beer. Give me a good food critic any day, somebody who approaches both diners and bistros the way Rex approaches the NYTX.

@Anon11:00 - Here you go. FWIW - I’m pretty sure I learned this from doing crosswords.

@Anon11:09 - For me it depends. Lots of times it’s just a typo, so that’s not a DNF. But if I had the wrong answer but didn’t realize my answer was wrong, definitely a DNF. Some apps allow you to change the settings so it doesn’t alert you, which I think is best. Personally, I still prefer pen and paper.

jb129 12:01 PM  

We need all the distractions we can get these days - The NYT puzzle (& "Spelling Bee on Sunday) is one of mine I so thank the constructors for a distracting puzzle - I enjoyed it.

Does anyone know where I can get "Spelling Bee" daily?

Be safe all.

What? 12:06 PM  

NW too much. Gave up.

Whatsername 12:06 PM  

@Carola 11:30 - I’m a huge Badger fan. Don’t follow basketball much but used to live near Sun Prairie and had season tickets to the games at Camp Randall - an experience like no other place on earth! I was only there for a few years but absolutely fell in love with the community, the state and the people. . Some wonderful memories I will never forget.

Frantic Sloth 12:23 PM  

@jb129 If you have an online NYT account (including Xwords) Spelling Bee and other puzzles are available daily.

RooMonster 12:32 PM  

Hey All !
Tons of posts already, are we getting bored yet? Har. Cabin fever is a real thing.

All the troubles of Rex and y'all in that NW. Wowsers. I also got OTTOMAN right off the bat, thinking I'm smart and clever, bit then PASTEd by the rest of it. Finally broke down and pulled out the Crossword Puzzle Dictionary to look up (of all answers) 20A - Advance, because even with the LO just could not get the ole brain to see what it could possibly be. Having POWERChord (mixing up recharging and music, apparently), plus really wanting roKeR for OSKAR (who?) not helping. Once I put in LOAN (that and Lend the only four-letterers in the Dictionary), I was able to finish.

But wait! Almost There! ARGH! Had BAh for BAD, and hEMETER. Because I don't know my Greek? Roman? God's and Goddesses. See what I mean?

We have a DAVIDS Bridal here in town. I know cause I had a ride there once. Probably closed like everything else.

Agree with that middle ODD section. To me, NO DUH doesn't quite fit the clue. Maybe something like "Of course it is!"

For AHLEISURE, was like, ATHLEtic wear? ATHLEtic jersey? What the hell!

Did get WHOWOREITBETTER right off. Shamelessly admit to strumming through a celeb mag or two whilst waiting in checkout lines. :-)

Overall, pretty good themeless. ITZA winner!

No F's (ARGH)

Malsdemare 1:00 PM  

I really liked this one. I had to consult Dr. google for OSKAR, but the rest i was able to wrestle to the ground after a pretty bloody battle. That kind of triumph just feeds my ego. Now if only I knew someone who would be impressed. I guess I'll have to settle for explaining my success to my dogs.
Me: hey, I got TWITTERATI off the ATI
Ryley: snore
Me: And I got CARETOELABORATE off the BOR!
Rose: I think it’s lunch time
Me: you don't get lunch! Besides, I got WATUSI once I realized it was EGGWASH, not EGGyolk.
Both: Eggs! You said Eggs! Where? When! Now?
Me: never mind.

Yesterday we feared my sister had COVID 19; today, she's feeling better so my blood pressure is back to normal. No test result yet, but a little optimism seems justified.

Malsdemare 1:25 PM  

@GILL, you win! That's an image I won't soon forget.

Alysia 1:33 PM  

I had a lovely time with this one. Solved in less than 10 minutes (huge for me on a Friday), never had to consult external sources, and got TODO with no problem. We use this frequently in my line of work, interchangeably with “task,” and often refer to our to-dos. So yeah...task/chore/to-do. I’m quite happy.

kitshef 1:39 PM  

@Anon 11:19 - if it was an obvious typo, it's a successful solve as if you were on paper, you would not make a typo. If it was anything else, it's a DNF. This is just for me and is not meant to impugn any other standards individuals may set for themselves.

Leslie 1:42 PM  

Wonderful posts today. You people are great.

oisk17 1:46 PM  

Finished it without error, despite problems in NW. Up to there, found it pretty reasonable, since I have a good sense of humeri, am old enough to recall the Watusi (but not the Beatle reference - never heard of that song,) got an Oskar, and frequently "Argh" during Friday puzzles. But Sesh meant nothing, "Ciao" was my third try after Tata, and TTYL, and had "gain" before Loan.

I enjoyed this challenge.

Note to Nancy - Really nice puzzle last Sunday, but I am O for 3 on your puzzles. At least one error each time!

bertoray 1:46 PM  

Team tee shirts are wadded up and shot from air guns high into the stands for adoring fans.

old timer 1:49 PM  

Me too, had to Google in the NW to finish, for JOAN and OSKAR. I kick myself for not coming up with ATHLEISURE, since it was in a fairly recent puzzle as I recall.

For your listening pleasure go listen to "In a Town Like This" on that marvelous duet album by John Prine and Iris DeMent. "You can't STeal A KISS in a town like this." You really will enjoy the entire album. The kiss is entirely consensual, but the news of it will soon be all over town.

chefwen 1:58 PM  

@GILL I 11:42 - Almost fell out of my chair laughing at your post, I can’t afford another fall.

JC66 2:03 PM  


Good one!

Masked and Anonymous 2:24 PM  

Lotsa stuff I liked, and lotsa stuff I didn't know, in this puppy. The NW & SE were definitely the major nano-second-burnin culprits, at our house, due mostly to their long answers with tough clues.

staff weeject pick: DRS. Plural abbreev meat, with a feisty-good clue.

Best symmetric duo: HUMERI WATUSI.
Best to-be-continued: ROB + PETER.
Best sound-effect: ARGH.
Best entry with untapped sound-effect potential: BRATT.
Best Ow de Speration: SESH. Plus … almost anagram of sheesh. Coulda even been clued as: {Sheesh, he took off??}.
Best M&A false start: ODDITY. [Had RARITY -- which, along with GORDO, helped preserve that puzarea for last in the solvequest.

@RP: Primo blog write-up.

Thanx for the feisty fun, Wyna darlin and Paolo dude. Very good job, gangin up on us.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

*gruntz* device evidently got broke. Sooo … to be continued until later? @r.alph is lookin into it.

webwinger 2:53 PM  

@Anon 11:09: Interesting question you raise. I solve using the NYT app, which automatically tracks solving time (by day of week) and consecutive days of completion (streak), giving credit for a successful solve if the grid is correctly filled without resort to built-in aids like “check” and “reveal”. No penalty for changing answers; in fact you get a message of encouragement to keep trying if there is an error in the initial fill. Most of the time the problem is just a typo, but I simply can’t refuse to accept credit even if I find an actual error (usually just one letter). True, this makes me in some ways “Natick”-immune, but I’m OK with that, and think you should be too.

Similar hair-splitting can make you feel conflicted about seeking outside help. Is it all right to consult a spouse? Daughter? Dictionary? Google? Everyone should feel free to draw their own lines, IMO. I decided to stop googling mid-solve at the beginning of this year, and to my surprise have managed to keep my streak going for almost 3 months now without it. That does make me feel good, but frankly, finishing with answers that I don’t really understand until I look them up after completion does not make me feel particularly good. One of the joys of x-word solving is learning new words—how much does it really matter whether I do that on the wing or after landing, especially if getting help on a point of fact allows me to move on to figure out more entries clued with clever wordplay? Finally, I consider “cheating” too harsh a term for making use of freely available resources in pursuit of harmless pleasure.

One of the joys of posting late in the day is less reason to feel guilty about verbosity...

Smith 2:55 PM  

@Z thanks, did not know that about replies. Only read on phone, didn't know it looks different elsewhere.

QuasiMojo 2:59 PM  

So much to respond to. Good commentariat today. First off in case it wasn't mentioned, there's a free online puzzle competition tomorrow.,

I hope Nancy joins in but perhaps after her doctor's visit.

Thanks Z and Webwinger. Didn't know about the Zagat app. Zapp?

To Amy, Florida closed its beaches today. It was announced yesterday. Or maybe it's just in my county. I don't understand that one. We need fresh air, sun and salt water. Remember we used to be fish. (Hi GILL)

Smith 3:03 PM  

@Frantic 11:23
Guess we'll wear ATHLEISURE or a SARONG to the support group meetings. I call the OTTOMAN, but will LOAN my POWERCORDS to those who need them.

Joe Dipinto 3:08 PM  

Beware the Distance Police.

They are out there patrolling, waiting to pounce (figuratively) on any hapless soul they perceive to have violated their space by being less than six feet away from them, even if only for a second. "Six feet!" they will scream accusingly at you, hopefully not spitting into the air as they do so.

Recommended response: "Six feet under is where you'll be if you keep talking to me."

@webwinger – that Zagat parody is hilarious, and spot-on. And written by ex-Park Sloper Noah Baumbach, before he was Noah Baumbach.

Surprised at how many folx (thanx for GORDX, @Brian!) don't know what stealing a kiss means. It's typically quite innocent, if impulsive.

The berryman cried 'Won't you try this?'
We looked, we bought, we stole a kiss

[I hate having to post from Web View mode.]

Sunnyvale Solver 3:18 PM  

24D, the “Elementary “ character first name, was inferrable. Clearly the character was based on Holmes’ sidekick Watson. Watson’s first name is John. What’s a female name similar to John? Joan.

The Joker 3:38 PM  

@GILL. I guess those that get their GYN exams online would be known as the TWaTTERATI.

rextorturer 3:55 PM  

I love Strom trooper Thurmond. Lay off!

PHV 3:56 PM  

50D, very bad clue. "Astern" is a synonym of "behind", not of "aft" or "abaft" which is what the clue is calling for.

JC66 4:11 PM  



Barbara S. 4:28 PM  

@webwinger 2:53

I've always thought that getting help from other people is just fine. As long as the answer has come out of a human brain without any resorting to outside published aids like books or the web I think it's completely legit. This attitude I know dates back to my earliest experience with the NYTXW when I was a teenager. My sister's boyfriend (older) used to bring the puzzle to weekly Sunday dinner and after the meal, he, my mother and I would crowd around and solve it together, or get as close to completion as we could. My sister's bf would usually begin the puzzle before he left home, and I can recall my mother saying in light-hearted reproof, "Charles, you've done all the easy ones!"

Anonymous 4:29 PM  

This puzzle is an embarrassment. EST, ETS, ARGH, HAHS, NEA, GORDO. Pure junk fill. No reason to depend on such a high level of crosswordese alphabet soup. I've had it with this SESH.

Anonymous 4:39 PM  

@The Joker:

I like your joke. but then, I'm a he.

jberg 5:03 PM  

Drat! Or should I say ARGH! Or maybe AaRGH! I had SEAm for SEAT, and didn't even notice that I also had ASmERM. Dang, it was a good puzzle, too.

My first entry was ATHLEISURE, really doubting its correctness, but it held up; the NW was hard anyway. But then so was the NE, as I tried to fit in "three pointers," "hooks," and "layups"for 14D. I had heard about T-shirt cannons, but never actually seen one, so thanks for the video, whoever that was.

This is the last day of our Florida vacation. It feels like we are escaping a collapsing city; three days ago we were debating whether to try to stay longer, since things are pretty tough back in Boston--but it's lucky we are going, because everything is shutting down. Concerts, lectures, and the like the end of last week, the beaches today (wouldn't have been nedessary, but apparently spring breakers on the East Coast couldn't be stopped from partying in large groups); the restaurant we planned to go tonight just called and said they'd been ordered to shut down except for takeout. That's all true for home (Boston) as well, but at least we'll be home, have a whole house, and family to help us out if needed. Martha has a two-day tutoring job and has to learn how to do that online. Fortunately, I'm not teaching until the fall.

I've got a couple medical appointments in the next two weeks in a huge clinic, which I expect to be a source of contagion. One is with an optometrist, the other with a dermatologist. I was fantasizing about just taking my clothes off and turning around in front of my phone for the latter - but @Nancy and @Gill, you've got me beat.

jberg 5:04 PM  

@webwinger, thank your lucky stars, but don't count on it. Often a lack of cases is due to failure to detect them -- then once they start looking for them you get an explosive growth.

Malsdemare 5:11 PM  

@the joker. Hysterical (and I'm a she).

JC66 5:21 PM  


If they're not emergencies, don't be surprised if your doctors appointments are cancelled/rescheduled.

Newboy 5:23 PM  

Nice write-up from Rex today & that NW corner was a bear. Took a second cuppa to fill the grid & time well spent before a nice walk and afternoon gardening prep.

Thanks @z for html link yesterday; something else to fill our enforced “staycationing”

Thanks to the dynamic duo tag teaming this grid with nasty misdirection clues as OFL notes.

foxaroni 5:25 PM  

Another one bites the dust (me) in the NW. @Sunnydale Solver, since I've never seen or heard of "Elementary," the character's first name could have been anything. Now you've given me a point of reference, so I understand JOAN and the title's play on the Holmes expression. BTW, are Wyna Liu and Lucy Liu related? Excellent puzzle and wonderful commentary by Rex and all of you. Several G.O.L. moments.

foxaroni 5:39 PM  

One additional comment. I knew t-shirts were cannonized (pun) at baseball games. Wasn't aware it happens now at basketball games. The KC Royals mascot, Sluggerr (I think that's how it's spelled) at one time would shoot wrapped hot dogs in buns into the stands. However, a fan wasn't looking and was hit in the eye with a hot dog. He sued, claiming lost vision. I don't know the outcome of the suit. Needless to say, though, that was the end of flying hot dogs.

Nancy 5:44 PM  

Welcome back, Oisk (1:46)!!!! The "17" in your nom de blog is new, but I guess it must mean something, right?

I'm so glad you liked my puzzle. And, honestly, what's one wrong word per puzzle between friends?

@Joker -- I hope your nom de blog has nothing to do with that vile-looking movie that I avoided like the plague -- including the trailer. (I closed my eyes). But your 3:38 comment is really funny!

Frantic Sloth 5:46 PM  

@The Joker 3:38 Another enthusiastic thumbs up from a she!

foxaroni 7:18 PM  

One additional comment. I knew t-shirts were cannonized (pun) at baseball games. Wasn't aware it happens now at basketball games. The KC Royals mascot, Sluggerr (I think that's how it's spelled) at one time would shoot wrapped hot dogs in buns into the stands. However, a fan wasn't looking and was hit in the eye with a hot dog. He sued, claiming lost vision. I don't know the outcome of the suit. Needless to say, though, that was the end of flying hot dogs.

Bob Mills 7:27 PM  

A lot of fishy stuff here. EGGWASH? Really? But I finished it after several hours of self-torture.

Arden 7:28 PM  

Loved this puzzle. Did all but the NW early this morning, finished up after a long nap. Power cords indeed!

Space Is Deep 7:38 PM  

Two distinct experiences. Bottom half easy. Top half hard.

jae 8:07 PM  

@Anon 11:09 - I solve on the Standalone App for iPad. If I don’t get the Congrats screen I give myself one chance to fix the grid. If I end up changing any square more than once it’s a DNF.

E.C. 8:33 PM  

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do

Worst song ever. If there were no countries this pandemic would be worse by orders of magnitude. The death rate would be staggering.

albatross shell 8:45 PM  

Contest entry

albatross shell 9:15 PM  

EGGWASH is a real thing in baking and breading. Fishy if you use it to bread fish. Or is that what you meant?

albatross shell 9:47 PM  

Champion hogcaller's need:

@EC 833pm
Not to worry.
Imagine no disease
Do it as you please

Thanks for all the humor.
More fun than the puzzle.
Meanwhile I'm thinking it's time to pull out the first Firesign Theater record and listen to Waiting for the Electrician or Someone like Him. The Beat the Reaper section might be timely.

Monty Boy 9:53 PM  

I liked this one a lot. Tough for me but I finished (with my rules).

@anon 11:09: I say you can set your own rules for DNF. Long ago my finish criteria was no lookups allowed M/T, 3 or 4 for Sun/W/Th, and unlimited F/Sat. As I've gained more skill, I've tightened the number of lookups. I based my DNF criteria on what I thought I should reasonably know. My definition of "reasonably" being ignorance of about half of the PPP and not knowing any Popes from the 11th century.

Did you know POWERCORDS has the same number of letters as OUTOFJUICE, and LOWBATTERY? (Hi, Anon 10:46).

webwinger 10:04 PM  

Under cloak of darkness can’t resist depositing one more lengthy meditation:

Northern Italy seems to have become a real-life version of Dante’s Inferno. More than 4000 deaths, nearly 10% of those sickened, a considerably higher rate than elsewhere in Europe or Asia so far, including China. On the news this evening some Italians were saying they now wished they could send messages to themselves 10 days ago, when many were still questioning the seriousness of the situation.

I continue to hope most of the US will be spared that kind of horror. I remind myself that worst case scenarios do not necessarily portend the future, that fatality numbers have not yet shown a rapid rise here (just passed 200, about 1% of known cases), that ICU and ventilator capacity overall in the US for now is fully adequate, that much of the hardship is coming from rational response efforts rather than the disease itself, that there remain major relief resources that have not yet been called into play, and that our knowledge and capabilities far exceed those on hand during the 1918 flu scourge, which did of course pass, leaving most of the population intact. But 10 days suddenly seems like a very long time...

I don’t see much point in obsessing further over testing or lack of it at this point. We are probably already past where a Korea-style case tracking approach is feasible. With enhanced hygiene, physical distancing, and marked curtailment of in-person social interaction (don’t forget to be thankful for broadband internet access!) now the norm, we are pretty much doing all we can to limit spread. Just have to maintain our patience, and our sanity.

Stay physically and mentally well, all. Be grateful for the wonderful diversions provided by solving and deconstructing crosswords. Hope to join many of you tomorrow at this virtual gathering point.

Laura 11:15 PM  

NW was hard but the rest was fun with some off beat clues. Definitely a good time for a lengthy distraction. Not like I've got somewhere to run out to.

Joe Dipinto 11:16 PM  

@webwinger – a filmmaker did assemble a video of Italian citizens speaking to their "past selves" to warn them about the gravity of the situation.

Mr. Alarm 3:26 AM  

Much TODOS about nothing?

pdplot 9:34 AM  

As usual, I'm one of the last to comment. I do these puzzles from the paper - yes, I still have a subscription to the printed Times - at night in bed. Sometimes I finish before falling asleep, sometimes not. The NW corner got me as it did many others. Aside - I usually start these puzzles from the SE corner - always seems easier, like the constructor ran out of hard clues. I get a kick out of these comments too. Some clever people out there. Stay well.

Unknown 6:17 PM  

Rex, I can't believe it -- you actually liked a crossword, sorta.

Burma Shave 12:12 PM  


“Do you CARETOELABORATE on what SEEMs SARONG with this?”
“OH, JOAN’s not BAD but not GREAT, and I STOLE more than AKISS.”


spacecraft 1:23 PM  

I am in almost total alignment with OFC today, except for the last-sentence dis on CUOMO (Gov. Andrew), who has risen above all the nonsense in this crisis and become the most intelligent voice among politicos. I'd vote for this guy for president in a New York minute.

I too was bedeviled by the NW. SARONG I associate with south sea islands and such; linking them to Hindu is a dastardly misdirect, bordering on the unfair. And SESH is silly to the point of ridiculous. PASTES from "wallops" is fair, but hard to see when you don't have helping letters--which I didn't for a long while.

As OFC said, the rest was solid and not so hard, and so medium-challenging overall. DOD is Lucy Liu as JOAN Watson. Birdie.

Anonymous 1:53 PM  

Pretty straightforward for the most part, with the unnecessary baggage of an unsolvable NW, and 2 pissers (you know the ones). Really liked 5D.

rondo 3:46 PM  

Are you REELIN’ in the years? Hand up for finding the NW the toughest area. Two write-over squares at first having HArS and something other than the G in GORDO, putting on my SARONG cleared that up.


Yup, Lucy as JOAN.

Busier than a one-armed paper hanger today. Gotta go. HUMERI.

leftcoaster 4:37 PM  

Started out well enough, but not quite good enough for this otherwise gettable, nicely constructed Friday puzzle.

Liked the tri-stacks in the corners, but had a couple of problems: In the NW, SESH for "group hangout time", and in the SE the ITZA/ZAGATRATED crossing.

Would note that many "shrinks" aren't necessarily DRS (e.g., MDs or PHDs) but are therapists with different kinds of training, certifications, and degrees.

Wanted EGG yoke before EGG WASH, and was left wondering about GORDO and NODUH, especially the latter.

The two down grid-spanners were helpful, and pretty good to boot.

"Tsk, tsk!", [with head shake] not a clean solve.

Diana, LIW 5:30 PM  

Huh! Didn't know GORDO - that explains an old comic strip of the same name.

Started out strong - in the middle - but then fizzled.

I think I'm slowly losing my mind - this wasn't as hard as I made it.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

I had El Guapo originally. I don't know who El Greco is but he's certainly not infamous.

Otherwise same experience as most--fun doable 3/4 of a puzzle and a groaner of a NW.

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