Periodic Atacama occurrence / FRI 5-8-20 / Its exterior is edible mold Penicillium candidum / Actress Gina of Suits / Yves Saint Laurent perfume since 1977 / Space station section / Luke Skywalker sold his in Mos Eisley

Friday, May 8, 2020

Constructor: Daniel Larsen

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Atacama (19D: Periodic Atacama occurrence = DESERT BLOOM) —
The Atacama Desert (SpanishDesierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,000 km (600 mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar desert in the world, as well as the only true desert to receive less precipitation than the polar deserts. According to estimates, the Atacama Desert occupies 105,000 km2 (41,000 sq mi), or 128,000 km2 (49,000 sq mi) if the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included. Most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes (salares), sand, and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes.
The desert owes its extreme aridity to a constant temperature inversion due to the cool north-flowing Humboldt ocean current and to the presence of the strong Pacific anticyclone. The most arid region of the Atacama Desert is situated between two mountain chains (the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range) of sufficient height to prevent moisture advection from either the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean, a two-sided rain shadow. (wikipedia)
• • •

No fun at all for me. Too much stuff I just didn't know or care about. Too many clues that were "clever" in ways I couldn't appreciate. And the sense of "humor" on this one ... I guess I'm thinking specifically of the ATTIRE clue, which ... I just don't get (11D: Difference between a well-dressed bicyclist and a poorly dressed unicyclist, in a joke). I mean, a tire, ATTIRE? Is that it? They sound alike, so it's funny? Yeesh. I truly hated AT CAMP (37D: Where capture the flag is often played). That is just bad — a very random prepositional phrase, like OVERRICE or ONMARS. Boo. But mainly I didn't hate this, it just clearly was not at all for me. Nothing fun, and lots of clues that just meant nothing to me. The whole NE corner was just clue after clue of "?"—COSTAR, TORRES, BRIE, ATTIRE, FAR NORTH. Nothing clicked except CORGI and OWN. Nothing in NW clicked either except maybe REND and ALIAS. Clue on MODULE meant nothing to me. Same with OPIUM. ADIEU could've easily been ADIOS. No idea what "Atacama" is and even if I did know, DESERT BLOOM wouldn't have occurred to me (19D: Periodic Atacama occurrence). BY EAR was only a notch better than AT CAMP, random phrase-wise. I guess the LAND SPEEDER was supposed to be a "fun" entry, but it's a generic enough term that I didn't remember it was a thing, and I saw that movie seven times the summer it came out (14D: Luke Skywalker sold his in Mos Eisley). ONE'S answers are always lamentable (today, DID ONE'S PART). No idea what ANEROID is (2D: Kind of barometer that doesn't use liquid). Mom read MILNE to me all the time when I was a kid, but not, I guess, "Corner-of-the-Street," whatever that is (44A: "Corner-of-the-Street" poet). The grid doesn't seem bad, but it's got very little in it of interest to me, and the cluing just missed me, left and right.

Rolled my eyes at the clue on SUPERHEROES (33A: DC figures). I teach comics that feature SUPERHEROES on a regular basis, but the "DC" thing ... "tricked" me, I guess. Mad at myself for not remembering that little cluing chestnut. Getting fooled by truly clever stuff, fine. Getting fooled by the cheap stuff, yuck. Bad feeling. Jean HARLOW and Manet's CAFEs were about the only things that made me smile today. Oh, the CORGI too. Hard not to like a CORGI. But otherwise, just not enough winners for me. I had too many missteps to count, but notably I had COOING at 7A: Billing partner (CO-STAR). Wasn't sure if it was GCHAT or iCHAT (45D: Bygone messaging service). BOD for ABS (4D: Gymgoer's pride). SHOVEL for TROWEL (42D: Gardening tool), which I think of as more a masonry tool than a gardening tool, but since I don't really engage in either activity, I can't object too strongly.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Patrick O'Connor 12:08 AM  

Sorry you didn't have any fun, Rex, even as you begrudgingly admitted that most of the grid is fine and Friday-appropriate. (I did wince empathetically when I saw that "one's," although they bother me personally not at all.) But you forgot to mention ZAMBONI --surely a Zamboni always brings a smile to anyone's face?

jae 12:18 AM  

Medium, bottom half easy, top half tougher. Solid grid with a bit of sparkle. Liked it a bunch!

puzzlehoarder 12:20 AM  

A tough Friday. I don't know how much of it was the puzzle itself and how much was due to entering DOWNOTE at 14A. I thought I'd entered DOWNNOTE. I was so pleased at coming up with that I didn't notice my mistake for a long time. I've never watched a Star Wars anything but once I changed that D to an L 14D snapped into place. Cost me a lot of time though.

Once I got through the north and that middle section the southern tier was a mop up.

I wish I were as lucky with the Thursday SB. I'm at 24 words and there's 10 more points to the QB.

Joaquin 12:23 AM  

I'm guessing that Rex never had the pleasure of spending a summer of his youth at a camp. If so, he'd not classify ATCAMP as "a very random prepositional phrase," as capture the flag is definitely a camp game.

I'm also a bit alarmed that Rex would express disinterest in learning new stuff. "Too much stuff I just didn't know or care about," seems to me to be the last thing a college prof should be saying. But maybe that's just me as I frequently learn new stuff doing crosswords (and that makes me feel smarter when watching Jeopardy!).

josh mishell 12:43 AM  

Maybe you need a vacation, Rex! You sound grumpier than usual (which is already pretty grumpy). New Friday record for me, and much easier than yesterday’s puzzle. I thought it was super smooth, except for the NW corner, had to circle back to it and came easier once I got ZAMBONI.

Pete 12:48 AM  

I didn't even like CORGIS, but I hate all small happy dogs now. My neighbor has two, one what resides in the front patio, the other on the back deck. All they do is yap at whomever they see, whenever they see them. If I am outside at least one is yapping at me.

In news unrelated to the puzzle, I want confess to the bank robbery in Trenton last December. Yup, I did it, sure enough. I'm just glad no one can prosecute me because they had no reason to ask if I did it. Which I did.

Glad it was finally safe to get that off my chest. Now I can finally spend the money, no? I get to keep it, right?

JMS 1:23 AM  

Didn’t know Atacama, or aneroid? Really? Don’t get out much?
I generally don’t mind the crankiness, but this write up made me question why I read these...

egsforbreakfast 1:36 AM  

Did I miss a declaration of 2020 as The Year of the Milne? I love A.A. , as his friends called him, but it’s mind boggling how often he is popping up in xwords.

Always amazed at how unequivocally Rex’s lack of broad knowledge = bad construction. I personally thought the puzzle was good, if a tad easy for Freitag. ZAMBONIS and LANDSPEEDERS somehow led me to the wonderful scene in Austin Powers where he lies screaming as the steamroller advances at a snail’s pace.

Frantic Sloth 1:48 AM  

Do magicians really say BEHOLD? I always associate that word with Moses in The Ten Commandments, as in "BEHOLD his mighty hand!" And then water turns into blood, fire pillars spring up, or seas part.
Magicians are more about "presto" or "abracadabra" or "voilà" because come on - pulling a rabbit out of your hat just isn't as BEHOLD-y as say, raining down ten (or even a measly seven) plagues.
Get outta here with that already.

And while we're at it, how does a rummage sale equate to a whole BAZAAR? A BAZAAR evokes images of fine silks and exotic jewelry and hand-woven carpets of exquisite detail and vibrant colors.
Rummage sale? Similac-stained baby clothes, broken croquet mallets, and grandpa's faulty bridgework are just a few of the "treasures" that can be discovered there.
No. Not equal.

Mr. Tourist: "Excuse me, but can you tell me where I can see the aurora borealis?"
Local Resident: "North."
Mr. T: "Where in the North?"
Mr. T: "Uh...okay. Thanks. Honey, go ahead and set the GPS for "FARNORTH."
Mrs. T: "What are you, an idiot?"

Caution! Falling stupid clues ahead!

"Caught in ____" ...a trap? Nope. ...the rain? Uh-uh. ...Flagrante delicto? Eh'nt! Wrong! It's ANET.
Oh! As in "working without..."
Uh, yeah. Or that.

"Base____" TEN. I don't know which is worse, the clue or the answer. And long before I can figure it ou....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"______traditional" ASIS
*sigh* I got nuthin'.

Richardf8 1:49 AM  

Zamboni makes me think of zabaglione which makes me think of tiramisu.

Robin 2:06 AM  

I have agree that Rex seems "ole upon the wrong side of the bed" on this one. I won't claim this is a great Friday puzz, but it's far from being a bitch-fest either.

I'll agree on the ATCAMP complaint and possibly a few others such as BYEAR. And while I love Jean HARLOW, that clue was pretty weak.

Most of this didn't come on the first look (well, I hope not since it's a Friday) but surrendered with a couple crossings, including stuff I might not of known.

Oddly enough, my fave bit of all this puzz was two plurals of words ending in O and using different pluralization rules That is SUPERHEROES vs ARAPAHOS. There's one to mess up the Dan Quayles out there.

Anonymous 2:10 AM  


manitou 2:24 AM  

You didn't like it because there was "too much stuff I just didn't know" and because some clues "tricked" you in not the exact right way you want to be tricked?? Really? Did it take you 6 minutes instead of 5?

Isn't being challenged and learning new stuff two of the main reasons to even do the puzzle.


Loren Muse Smith 2:40 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 2:43 AM  

Rex’s “too much stuff I just didn't know or care about” is my “lots of stuff that was challenging, and maybe I learned.” (Hi, @Joaquin) The big difference is that my goal is not speed. The time I spend every morning with the puzzle is my absolute favorite part of the day; I’m in no rush to get to the end ‘cause I like strolling around, seeing a word, staring off and thinking. . . I hate it when I’m finished and have to get on with the mundane.

No one gets to be the boss of how someone enjoys a puzzle.

Today my big think was “legged” in the clue for CORGI. Two syllables, right? For me it’s two syllables for sure. I also say checked and striped with two syllables. Then I thought about learned, jagged, crooked, wretched, beloved. And I’m a better person for it. Blessed.

My eventual toe-hold was ARIE. Not a great Bachelor season, but there it is. I thought I had hit tv rock bottom with The Bachelor until I discovered Bachelor in Paradise and just started digging. You may have a martini to escape; I have a couple hours of stupid. (Last night I watched a Hallmark movie where at the end the couple visiting the FAR NORTH finally saw the aurora borealis, and I cried. Sheesh.)

Considered “snorer” before INFANT and, yeah, “politicians” before SUPERHEROES. Man. Not these days. More like duper zeroes.

I liked SNOB crossing BRIE. I mean I guess these days it’s a pretty pedestrian cheese, but in these parts, it’s still exotic and suspicious. At some point every year I usually end up taking some brie to school and letting my kids taste it, delighting in telling them that the white part is mold and you’re supposed to eat it. There’s always at least one person who loves it, and everyone gives their cheese to them. I fight this self-satisfied feeling that I’m a worldly, traveled Miss Prisspot who changes lives by exposing them to the “better things.” Dangerous way to think when you teach in a drastically different demographic. Dangerous. No one gets to be the boss of how someone enjoys life.

The clue for ATTIRE reminded me of this: Scientifically, a raven has 17 primary wing feathers, the big ones at the end of the wing. They are called pinion feathers. A crow has 16. So, the difference between a crow and a raven is only a matter of a pinion.

PS – I just looked it up, and it seems that nake used to be a transitive verb meaning “to strip, to lay bare.” Wicked cool.

chefwen 2:43 AM  

Made all the mistakes Rex made and then some. COoing, bod before ABS. The biggest was politicians before SUPER HEROES, don’t laugh, DOH! First of all there was no dot between d and c and it sure didn’t work with ZAMBONIS. Easy fix that used a bunch of Wite out.
After my first run through the only thing I was sure of was the Clinton’s cat Socks.

Tough one for this kiddo.

Joe Dipinto 3:00 AM  

16d: What Fleetwood Mac always did before going on stage?

Kind of a draggy Friday puzzle. I agree with Rex, it lacked a certain fun factor. It's not bad, but there isn't a single clue or answer in this thing that I really really like, the way people once really really liked Sally Field.

I've never heard FAR NORTH used as a generic term. Many different countries have an area called "Far North," it seems, including some countries not in the Southern Hemisphere. This clue probably should have had "in Russia" appended, since there is a large area of Russia *specifically* called that. Which you can see the Aurora Borealis from.

Also, while we are in geography class: LITTLE ITALY does not connect to the East Village. It borders Noho at its, uh, far north, and The Bowery to its northeast, both of which connect to the East Village further up, and it slops over into Chinatown on its south and southeastern fringes.

On the upside, Little Italy did make me think of Ferrara's bakery (see avatar), where I wish I could go right now.

I guess I made an impression
On somebody north of Hester and south of Grand

CDilly52 4:29 AM  

@Joaquin. My wheelhouse argument again, right? If he doesn’t like it without a good reason and admits it is full of stuff he “just doesn’t know” @Rrex is going to pan the puzzle regardless.

YouCanUkulele 4:30 AM  

The constructor was only 15 years old to be fair. Gotta give them some credit for that.

CDilly52 4:31 AM  

@Pete. LOL. Finders, keepers?

Kin 4:39 AM  

First comment in 7 years just to say that I love Loren's writeups and look forward to them every day.

Cristi 4:50 AM  


CDilly52 5:20 AM  

Wow. Maybe not a four star Friday in terms of clever clues, but this one had things to learn! Never heard of a fluid-less barometer, so even though I had everything but the E, I was stumped so I talked myself into the possibility that this gizmo had somehow been the genesis of the name for the non-iPhone operating system. Out in ANdROID. That left quite a few blank squealers in NE. Until the bitter end. Also held off on Bazaar because I never hear that term in either of my longtime home states of Ohio or Oklahoma applied to a rummage sale. I guess perhaps there are places in which the church or elementary school BAZAAR includes a rummage sale? Not so for me. A church or school event with that name is a holiday fun fest with games, craft market (far from rummage sale), bake sale etc. So, that issue, coupled with the magician clue that did not ever from the deepest recesses of my memory elicit a “B” word! So NE stymied me, and the NE is a disaster. Remainder solved rather easily.

Also learned about the Chilean Atacama Desert. Since completion, I have occasion to thank the interwebs for educating me on both the ANEROID and Atacama Desert.

Hand up for AT CAMP being entirely fair. First day of school intro period (elementary) teacher always asked each of us to give our names, our likes, hobbies, family and such, and the teacher almost always asked after our brief intro, “and where did you spend your summer?” AT CAMP, at grandma’s, on vacation with my parents and at home being bored. was always my stock answer from the time I was 7 and went to scout camp for the very first time. Some day I will have to regale you with the dreaded tale of Carol, the Latrine, and Capture the Flag. The consequences following said loud, riotous, and hilarious to kids AT CAMP exploit were a counselor’s finest and most creative punishment ever! I think I may have mentioned that I was a handful!

Nothing wrong ever with a ZAMBONI, or thoughts of LITTLE ITALY (or It’ly as it is typically pronounced in the vernacular). I’m like Snoopy and driving a ZAMBONI is on my list of things to do.

I liked all three of the center longs, by themselves and especially for their unrelated-ness in the stack. Actually made me wonder if we had some sort of really clever theme after all. Can’t quite craft a clever sentence with all three because of the “one’s” being so awkward in today’s lax allowable usage, but something like, “ Thankfully, an anonymous member of the SUPERHEROES lunch group DID ONE’s PART and mercifully saved LITTLE ITALY from the dreaded three headed Spaghetti Monster!”

Curious that we have Mr. MILNE three times so recently, but we can never have to much of him for me! Don’t know why @Rex cannot just go ahead and appreciate the old, old, old riddle. It’s a good one! And it is often a riddle that a young child will find hilarious and for which adults will laugh along and praise him because it illustrates development of language skills and a sense of humor.

Perhaps not sparkly, but I do not solve for anything other than enjoyment and to learn. This ticked both boxes nicely, thank you.

webwinger 6:02 AM  

This was truly a joyous solve for me. Filled in most of the lower corners without much difficulty, then fell into a funk with most of the center and NORTH an expanse of white (excepting ANEROID, dredged from junior high science class memory). Not helped by holding tight to noRthsky at 16A with confidence owing to CORGI cross. Wanted to go google so bad (for actress Gina and Mos Eisley—wherever or whatever that is) but resisted for no good reason, and then—bam!—broke the ribbons at 16D and dominoes started to fall left and right, leading to FINISH in just a nose (3 seconds) below average Friday time. Lots of good crunch (ZAMBONI, SUPERHEROES), learned a few things (about BRIE, Atacama) and got at least one good chuckle, from 11D (way funnier than any of Tuesday’s riddles).

Could not disagree more with @Rex today. Thank you Daniel Larsen (and Will Shortz)!

GILL I. 6:22 AM're in rare form today....Thanks for the morning laugh.
When I see rummage sale I think of going through piles of kitschy junk. When I see BAZAAR, I think of rugs and spices in Marrakech Morocco. When I see BRIE, I think of Camembert. I'm the Neanderthal who removes the mold from the cheese.
@Joaquin is right about learning new things. Today, mine was learning that a magician's cry is BEHOLD. I don't know why, but magicians always made me nervous. I worried about the rabbit or the white dove.
I liked this because I knew most of these things and it entertained me at the wee hours of the morn. I knew DESERT BLOOMS because I know the Atacama. I used to wear OPIUM for years. It's powerful stuff and it lingers on your clothes for decades. Everyone is allergic nowadays so you can't be spritzing your body anymore. I still put some lemony stuff on me when I go out and if you don't like it, hold your nose.
Getting on the subway and going to Mulberry Street in LITTLE ITALY for some yummy overpriced red sauces that tasted like it came out of jars. And of course.....Snoopy and his ZAMBONIS.

@JC from yesterday. Thank you for the link to the sourdough starter late last night. Alas, it is the one bread that I don't like anymore. When I lived in San Francisco, that was the only bread you were served. I felt it was coming out of my ears. I just wanted a good ole sweet baguette like they served in France or Spain.

OldCarFudd 6:31 AM  

Wheelhouses are important. I've always liked aviation, and have a private pilot's license with ratings for single-engine planes and gliders. ANEROID was my first entry.

Lewis 6:40 AM  
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Lewis 6:42 AM  

I love clues like [Things that often have ribbons], where I pull up, with some difficulty, mental images of items that qualify (Bows? Hanging medals? Party hats? Kites?], but after none work in the grid, I move elsewhere, only to return later, with more letters filled in, and, in a flash of excitement, I see the answer.

Even after doing puzzles for many years, these flashes still thrill me.

This solve was punctuated by a good number of them, making it especially rewarding, and such solving journeys -- flash drives, if you will -- are one of crosswording's great gifts. Thank you for this, Daniel!

Rique Beleza 6:47 AM  

Q: Rex, do you have a bigger problem with ignorance or apathy?

Rex: I don’t know, and I don’t care.

Sorry puzzlers don’t check for things you know and like...

Lewis 6:50 AM  

And by the way, the six long answers, three vertical and three horizontal, that define the center section, are ALL debut answers for the NYT.

Lobster11 6:59 AM  

I swear I came here expecting Rex to be bubbling with enthusiasm about finally getting a Friday puzzle with just the right amount of crunch. I'll just never understand.

bulgie 7:00 AM  

@LMS, you made me snort with the difference between raven and crow. Thanks for that.

When I say short legged dog, it's one syllable, but when I sit cross legged it's two. A striped road lane is one syllable but a striped cat is two. In my idiolect. Anyone else? I think it only takes two to make a dialect...

amyyanni 7:02 AM  

With you on BAZAAR, @Frantic Sloth. Also with Caught in a lie instead of ANET for too long. Had to look up Atacama, which was interesting. Very happy Friday, a challenge and I learned something. Venturing out to get my teeth cleaned today.

BEE-ER 7:03 AM  

At least you know you need two 5-letter words. I'm at 22/100.

tb 7:11 AM  

@LMS I grew up in Southern Illinois. It's in some ways similar to WV but without the mountains. Coal mines and corn. There are some interesting linguistic aspects to local speech there.

Some of the old-timers still say "I'm a-coming" or "I'm a-fixing [to do something]." When you're cold you say "I'm froze" and when you're tired you say "I'm give out."

I used to hear people say that so-and-so was "meaner than a striped snake", pronouncing striped with two syllables. It occurred to me that your example words (checked,striped, learned, jagged, crooked, wretched and beloved) are usually pronounced with one syllable when used as a verb and two syllables when used as an adjective. I had never really thought about that before.

kitshef 7:18 AM  

Has MILNE become the new ONO?

DESERT fLOOd before BLOOM, anyone?

Fun fact: The Buddhist calendar starts in YEAR zero.

Name that tune (warning: this is a deep track):
“Down on the casting couch
A star is gonna be born;
A star with the stature of a HARLOW,
Who's doomed
And groomed to enrapture
All her co-stars and stuntmen”.

OffTheGrid 7:27 AM  

I recall the rummage sale at my parents' church being called a BAZAAR.

@LMS. HEM SIN. Big Har!
Also like your line, "No one gets to be the boss of how someone enjoys a puzzle." This applies to all, of course.

Michiganman 7:34 AM  

You must live in an open state. Hope your cleaning is safe. In Michigan, for now, dentistry is limited to emergency needs. I broke a tooth but can't get it fixed yet. That's OK with me. I am so glad to live in Michigan where the governor, Gretchen Whitmer has responded to the crisis in a very responsible way. Ah, leadership. If only.........

PB 7:34 AM  

I was certain it was a “sandspeeder” and lost my mind trying to figure out what else I had wrong on 14 across. I mean, they only rode the thing across sand, right?

kitshef 7:39 AM  

@Lewis- I will age myself by saying my first thought for "things with ribbons" was typewriters, which fits, by the way.

Snoble 7:44 AM  

I was thrown way off course by entering TYPEWRITERS for 16D. I was so proud of myself for getting that with no a crosses. Which led to interesting musing about how many doing the puzzle may never have changed a typewriter ribbon.

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

@mls. You made my day with pinion

Suzie Q 7:53 AM  

Perfect fit for a Friday. It certainly helped to know that the Atacama is a desert but Bloom took a while to emerge.
I have heard of church or school bazaars but they usually sell crafts and baked goods. That's OK, it's Friday so close enough.
I loved @ Loren's feather pun.
Reading @ Pete 12:48 made me wonder what @ JOHN X is up to.
Thanks @ Lewis for pointing out the debut words. That is a bunch for one puzzle. Daniel Larsen is 15 years old? Wow.

Anonymous 8:09 AM  

This puzzle drove a big truck through the holes in Rex's knowledge, so he's unhappy. Tough. Reminds me of the young scientist who declared "I don't have time to learn anything new." This with the program manager who funded him in the room!

I found entries either gettable with crosses (LANDSPEEDER) or instructive (atacama). Pretty easy for Friday.

CDilly52 8:17 AM  

@LMS and @bulgie. Hand up for the stop to ponder my own one vs. two syllabification. I have the same proclivities and often pronounce the same word differently depending on usage. Another not year mentioned (at least for me): When I acquire knowledge, it’s learned, one. On the other hand, a learned jurist has two.

CDilly52 8:18 AM  

@JoeD, the aurora boreal is is also visible in the FAR NORTH regions of Alaska.

QuasiMojo 8:22 AM  

I love a Friday challenge and this one provided it. I would have done it quicker if I hadn't first put in COOING for Billing's partner.

What on earth or some distant ORB is a LAND SPEEDER. I had a Ten Speeder growing up; a Tour de France. I never rode it however sans ATTIRE. Helas.

Wanted FAROE something for the Aurora Borealis clue.

Joe is right. Little Italy is much further west than the "East Village." I don't think of the area around Washington Square as East Village, even if parts of it are east of Fifth Avenue. Same with Little Italy which is just south of there. From what I recall, Little Italy is getting smaller each year. There's a very interesting documentary about the making of The Godfather that focuses on the streets of Little Italy back when it still was predominately Italian.

The boys at my camp captured more than just a flag. Think Lord of the Flies type panty raids.

Query, my DEARIE. Thanks to those who recommended the SB challenge on the NYT puzzle page. I did my first one yesterday and was told I'm a genius. Not bad for a beginner. But is there some way to see the final answers other than one's own? Just curious how many possibilities there were.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Felt like a Wednesday. Five mins faster than average for me.

bookmark 8:31 AM  

Church BAZAAR is a common term where I live.

J Tull 8:33 AM  

I’m with you Lobster. I thought it was great. Crunchy, tough in places but generally solid. The constructor wasn’t happy about DIDONESPART but needed to make things work.

Teedmn 8:42 AM  

Daniel served up a Friday challenge for me. I liked it. I circled the 7A clue, "Billing partner" for COSTAR as a nice misdirection as "partner" in the clue suggests there will be an implied "and", as Rex realized with his cooing answer. But I had __S__AR in place and was wondering, with my accounting background, what business term I was looking for.

I wasn't fooled by the DC in the 33A clue into thinking Washington, but I was on the lookout for an electrical phrase, not comics. Another nice misdirection.

And for some reason, it tickled me to have B_EAR in place at 46A and finally see BY EAR.

Daniel Larsen, thanks for the Friday workout. Nothing too ARCANE (besides ANEROID. And BEHOLD sounds more like something a god would say than a magician, to me).

pabloinnh 8:43 AM  

I think the ATACAMA is frequently cited as the driest place on earth, so the BLOOM part as an occasional occurrence made sense. Got ANEROID mostly from crosses and said-oh yeah, I remember that (now). Hand up for COOING which slowed things down, and I thought DUNESPEEDER looked pretty nifty, until it didn't.

My favorite part was probably CORGI. Our good friends used to have one whose name was Turbo, but I always called him Electrolux. You probably have to know what an Electrolux vacuum cleaner looks like to appreciate that, but if you know corgis you know how well they can clean spilled food off floors. Turbo was excellent with popcorn.

Thought this was a fun Friday, even though I know less than nothing about The Bachelor. That did not ruin my experience.

In a spoiler/non spoiler kind of way, the one word I didn't get in yesterday's SB was the word I said when I found out what it was. But today I can start all over again.

CDilly52 8:50 AM  

@kitshef. You and I must both be old timers then because (maybe since it’s Friday) I put that puppy in, (typewriter) certain I had outfoxed the constructor! Ugh. Forgot to mention that on my comments. ‘Twas early.

kqrbob 8:51 AM  

What Kin said. Wish you’d start your own blog so we could get right to the fun stuff.

longsufferingmetsfan 9:01 AM  

Put me in the thoroughly enjoyed it column. Clever cluing, a nice bit of crunch, and learned a couple of new things. What more can you ask of a Friday? Constructor is only 15? May we see many puzzles from him.

Z 9:04 AM  

No one gets to be the boss of how someone enjoys a puzzle. What cracks me up about this is all the daily comments trying to boss Rex on this very topic. My favorite “I lack self-awareness” comments are people taking Rex to task for Too much stuff I just didn't know or care about. Unless you have never complained about rap, Star Wars, comics, opera, The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Yma Sumac, the œuvre of Brian Eno, modern slang, pop music of any decade other than your teen years, European/African/Asian rivers, NYC geography, non-NYC geography,... I could go on... you have written essentially the same. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen those exact words in these comments. Seriously, people, besides @Lewis and maybe @LMS you have all written some version of exactly that. Gahhhh.

@Peter 12:48 - It’s not the CORGIs, it’s your neighbor. CORGIs are very smart dogs and need stimulation. They were bred as herders and need stuff to do. People who don’t have the time and energy or environment to keep a CORGI active shouldn’t own one. That sounds like your neighbor, whose solution to bored dogs tearing up the house is separation and confinement.

I enjoyed this more than Rex. The 11’s mostly didn’t do a lot for me except for DESERT BLOOM. I had DESERT -LOO- and briefly wondered about DESERT fLOOd, but fIDE looked wrong. When the answer finally flowered the image brought a smile to my face. I got HARLOW quickly at least in part because of someone’s Betty mistake yesterday. Thank you. Somebody already pointed out the “-OS/-OES” plural inconsistency. Why? English. I also noted BAZAAR. @Frantic Sloth - I think a church or other charity might hold a rummage sale and call it something like “St. Z’s BAZAAR.” This is something I vaguely recall from my youth, I haven’t seen one in ages.

@Patrick O - Fun to say. Fun to ride. Hard not to smile at ZAMBONI.

I see some anons were clutching their pearls last night because Larry Bird cooed some platitudes about Jordan. Har. At least four better players from his own time who he never truly beat and he only started to win championships when the NBA literally changed the rules to help him win. But, yeah, go ahead and explain how he’s the g.o.a.t.

Nancy 9:06 AM  

The kind of puzzle I would have given up on years ago. Or cheated on, if I thought it would do any good. Today I almost cheated -- on the perfume, the Luke Skywalker clue, the ice machine, the Atacama occurrence, and actress Gina, whoever she is. But I didn't. I prevailed without a single cheat through sheer stubbornness, determination, and a willingness to Suffer.

The reward is that I'm feeling very, very smart.

For those of you who knew all the answers in my almost-cheats, this would have been a very different puzzle than it was for me. The non-trivia was, of course, very hard as well, having been clued in the most difficult way. But knowing ZANBONIS, for example, might have given me BAZAAR and HEMS IN. Knowing LANDSPEEDER might have given me LOW NOTE and COERCE. Instead I had to really, really work.

I wanted to put Manet's bourgeoisie in the PARC, not the CAFE, btw. Isn't it Toulouse Lautrec's people who are in the CAFE?

Anonymous 9:08 AM  

What is "low note?"

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

@Loren. Long-time Bachelor fan here. My new favorite is the 90-Day Fiance franchise. Check it won’t be able to look away. Then read the forums on The snark is priceless.

You’re welcome.

Nancy 9:20 AM  

@Frantic Sloth (1:48 a.m.)-- I absolutely love your respective takes on the BEHOLD, BAZAAR and FAR NORTH clues. I heartily agree with all three observations. What you say is true and how you say it is very funny. Wonderful post.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I infer that this remark is aimed at Rex: “No one gets to be the boss of how someone enjoys a puzzle.” Agree but don’t think Rex is trying to boss anyone into enjoying or not enjoying a puzzle. He describes his experience. He’s emphatic and opinionated of course but not a bully. And unlike us he doesn’t comment on other people’s puzzle experiences, except maybe the constructors’.

Z 9:25 AM  

Oh, forgot, @LMS’s two-syllable musings reminded me of the phrase “Have a blessed day,” always said with a two-syllable “bless-ed” and meaning either, “may your day be filled with good things” or “F-Off you gentrifying a-hole invading my neighborhood.” There were times when I’m pretty sure it meant both at the same time, sort of “have a wonderful day somewhere else.”

CS 9:25 AM  

Fun puzzle! And yes to learning new things, although apparently I knew much more than Rex, which is an unusual day for me (should I feel smug?).

Thumbs up for everyone who pointed out that it's a bonus of these puzzles to learn new things!!

Happy Friday


. 9:28 AM  

There’s a consensus among NBA greats that Jordan was the greatest. Then there’s Z. He’s probably a climate change denier too. I’ll listen to the experts on both issues not being one myself.

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

@Z- Watch The Last Dance and see Magic and Bird and many others proclaim MJ the greatest then get back. Of course you probably know more than those guys.

TheMadDruid 9:32 AM  

I loved “attire”! And “bazaar”. Even if it wasn’t clued properly. A lot of fun. Boo, Rex.

Anonymous 9:36 AM  

Charles Barkley’s All-Time List

1) Michael Jordan
2) Oscar Robertson
*Bill Russell*
*Wilt Chamberlain*
*Kareem Abdul-Jabbar*
6) Kobe Bryant
7) LeBron James

pabloinnh 9:40 AM  

Forgot to revive the old one, "They laughed when I sat down to play the piano with my hands tied behind my back, they didn't know I played BYEAR.".


John H 9:42 AM  

There are two kinds of trowel, the flat pointed kind that masons (and archaeologists) use, and the little hand held curved shovel that gardeners use. Learn something, Rex.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

He also needs to clearly define what “clicks” or “clicking” means to him.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Challenging fun! Rex is acting like a typical east-coast snob, sadly. I learned a lot!

DC Wis

albatross shell 9:50 AM  

From M-W:
3: a fair for the sale of articles especially for charitable purposes
//a church bazaar

Perhaps used by la-di-da churches in la-di-da suburbs? I live in high-rummage now.

I have no problem at all with DIDONESPART and even if I did it would evaporate when seeing it DoitsPART in the crossing of 3 acrosses and 3 downs. SUPERHEROES LITTLEITALY DESERTBLOOM FINISHLINES LANDSPEEDER. The high point of the puzzle unless you consider HARLOW the high point of any puzzle she is in.

To be a bit like Rex: I have zero knowledge or interest in The Bachelor. Bless you if you do. But seeing the clue I just went right to Google with no guilt and looked it up. Did not care to waste any time on crosses. Just get it filled in as quickly as possible and ignore it as much as possible. The science and geography answers I busted ass for.

Kathy 9:52 AM  

This is one of the crunchiest puzzles I have finished without help in my short NYTXW tenure. Much erasing and re-imagining sections, trying to keep an open mind and not get too married to certain words. (Like Presto) I was so smug about entering ZAMBONI early on, only to erase it later due to some crosses I tried. Once I cleaned up that BAZAAR corner later I was thrilled to put it back!

Many of the answers were far out of my wheelhouse (LANDSPEEDER, ARAPAHOS, ANEROID and more) but I’m not crying “foul” just because I had to work a little harder. It must have been a fair Friday puzzle if I, a relative newbie, could eventually figure it out. No, it didn’t have sparkle or head slapping moments, just workaday crunch. I was beyond impressed when I learned that the constructor is a teen!

Fave: ATTIRE (I had never heard that joke)

@Frantic Faves: priceless description of the contents of a bazaar vs. a rummage sale. So, I’m not the only one whose mind went right to Delicto Flagrante! I’m starting to await your post to provide my daily dose of mirth!

r.alphbunker 9:57 AM  

As a unicyclist and a bicyclist I liked the shout out provided by {Difference between a well-dressed bicyclist and a poorly dressed unicyclist, in a joke}. There appears to be a dearth of unicycle light bulb jokes. How about this one? Q. How many unicyclists does it take to change a lightbulb? A. Only one if she knows how to ride backwards.

Given the number of cascos I had to deal with, I am surprised that my solve time was respectable.
43A. {Base ___} HIT-->TEN

37A. {Goodbye} ADIOS-->ADIEU

26A. {Bird's long-ago relative, informally} TREX-->DINO

20A. {Its exterior is the edible mold Penicillium candidum} EDAM-->BRIE

12D. {Nuke, say} WARMUP-->REHEAT

25A. {Series of ages} EON-->ERA

7A. {Billing partner} COOING-->COSTAR

45D. {Bygone messaging service} GCHAT-->ICHAT

23A. {Break up} SPLIT-->ENDIT

Details are here

Z 10:01 AM  

Here’s the last I will say on MJ today.
Ken Burns on The Last Dance
Bob Ryan bringing something nuance to the goat discussion
Wilt Chamberlin
Bill Russell
Magic Johnson
I could go on (and on and on and on), but no amount of evidence will ever convince the stans.

Tom R 10:04 AM  

Based on Rex's assessment and some of the comments I must be radically different from this community. It was the easiest Friday I can remember. Took me about 15 min (and I don't try to race through a puzzle nor am I as sharp as you folks) with no hangups - more like a Wed. Can't say it sparkled for me, either. Kind of bleh when I expect more of a struggle.

Petsounds 10:04 AM  

I'm with Rex and @FranticSloth on this one. The constructor and I were on completely different circuits on this one, and the "clever" cluing was just annoying, not clever.

Have never heard a magician say, "Behold!" Maybe it was a magician in Roman times: "Ecce homo!"

Thought there was a final "e" on ARAPAHO, and apparently there often is.

"Cross" = MEET just did not compute. Ribbons at FINISHLINES? Meaning the ribbons on which the medals hang? Or something else? Tried LIGHTSABER for what Luke sold. Didn't fit. Never heard of a LANDSPEEDER.

I did like the clues for PETCAT and ZAMBONI, but otherwise, just a difficult and no-fun slog.

Richard 10:04 AM  

My favorite kind of Friday experience (also applies to Saturday): Start out with zilch; get a tiny toe-hold toward the end; scratch and claw until slowly, slowly it gets hammered into shape.

My first entry was 32D ARIE, which was easy because I used to follow Indy Car racing -- back in the day when it was interesting, not like now where the cars are virtually identical and so are the drivers. But he gave me [some kind of] HEROES and LITTLEITALY. (OK, Ok, maybe it's not exactly contiguous with the East Village and Chinatown, but close enough for rock and roll).

I guess I can understand why a speed solver might not like a puzzle that contains things that he or she (sorry, @LMS, but I just can't yet use the singular "their") doesn't know or care about. Crossword joy for me is slogging through just those things.

Anyway, I loved this puzzle. Are we to believe that our constructor is 15 years old?! Bravo!

Ernonymous 10:07 AM  

I had PRESTO for what a magician says so the NW was the last I completed and took forever. I'm still thrilled I can complete a Friday puz with no lookups especially when after 10 minutes all I had was CORGI and ARIE (don't ask).
Once I wake up I'm going to relate to you my tragic story about trying to see the Aurora Borealis in Iceland this past October. I mean TRAGIC stay tuned.

OffTheGrid 10:15 AM  

Maybe Gretzky, maybe Pele, maybe Babe Ruth. Aside from them (and probably not even them) there will never be agreement on GOATs in any sport. So pick your own favorites and relax.

RooMonster 10:17 AM  

Hey All !
Well, we're chatty today. 10AM (Eastern) and 80 posts. So, gonna post before reading y'all, or it will be another hour!

Good FriPuz, started out typically, with hardly nothing in the grid, thinking this would be a toughie, but then getting little bursts of answers in one section, a little burst in another section, then being able to see the big Middlers. I love when that happens.

DC had me, natch, thinking Politicos and whatnot, got it off the P and H__OE_. And Luke's craft as a LANDSkimmER first. It skimmed the land, no?

presto for BEHOLD hanging me up in the NW for a bit, but took it out as I had had ORB in before, saw DINO off the O, put ORB back in, and saw BEHOLD. Got ZAMBONIS which is always fun to see. Which led to BAZAAR, and complete corner.

Last corner was SE. BEARS, who knew?

Spelling Bee - YesterBee, missed I think it was four, but two of them were GAYDAR and AARGH. C'mon. GAYDAR? Really? And tried ARGH, but stopped when it didn't work. AARGH with two A's? Why not with eight A's?

Today's Bee, I'm so close to QB, but can't get the last ones. I haven't looked at NYT.BEE, wanna try to get to QB on my own. Wish me luck. ☺️

Two F's
BAZAAR ZAMBONI - selling cheap!

Foldyfish 10:20 AM  

I agree with many of the above comments. Rex, take a breath, or a drink, or whatever. I think you are picking nits. My only real "ugh" moment was when I saw a clue about The Bachelor. I have no use for that show or most reality tv.

RooMonster 10:25 AM  

Got one more word and got Queen Bee!
It's the simple things in life. 😋

RooMonster Puzzled While Quarantined Guy

TJS 10:34 AM  

A real Friday challenge. Hooray! I am more convinced than ever that OFL is losing it big time during the stay at home. Couldn't even summon up a compliment for "Zamboni"? With all the carping about areas unknown to him, I'm wondering if he actually had to rely on Mr. Google himself. Where's the completion time? And here's a classic: "The whole NE corner was just clue after clue of "?". Hey, Rex, the whole puzzle is just "clue after clue". Unless you're speed-solving and trying to fill without reading the clues, I guess.

@Lewis, count yourself lucky that your musings regarding the "ribbon" clue didn't lead you into 'typewriters" like many of us. Your "journey" would have been more of a "trek".

@LMS, loved your comments, as usual, but do you really say "I thought I was late but then I check-ed my watch"? And how about "worldly, travel-ed Miss Prisspot"?

How's a 15year old know about Harlow?

Joe Welling 10:43 AM  

I appreciate that using "one's" can sound old-fashioned, but DID ONE'S PART is itself a conventional phrase--using the "one's" and not as an awkward substitute for another pronoun in a more commonly used phrase.

John R 10:43 AM  

I enjoyed today's puzzle, but made the same mistake that Rex did with Cooing instead of COSTAR at first. The crosses eventually cleared that up.

I thought I saw a clue about Chile being arid in a puzzle recently, but I have been doing puzzles from the archive and don't remember if it was an old one or not. I guess that makes sense if Atacama is at least partly in Chile. I suppose it is never too late to learn a little geography. It is not one of my strong suits.

@LMS - thanks for the raven/crow story! Best part of my morning so far!

@paboinnh - enjoyed your piano story too!

thfenn 10:46 AM  

I thought this was a great Friday puzzle. ZAMBONIS was my first entry, brought I smile, and I flew threw the NW, heartland, and SE in a jiffy thinking Friday's might finally not be the brick wall they so often are for me still. Confidently wrote in Cheyenne for ARAPAHOS so the SW was tough, and had Eon for ERA nothing clicking for COSTAR so the NE was tough as well. But lots of fun and a solve 40+ minutes in, so thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Joe Dipinto 10:47 AM  

@CDilly 52 8:18 – You can see Aurora Borealis in any area that goes above the Arctic Circle. Sure, all of that is the "far north", but it's also green paint. Contrast with the Far East, which is/was a specific geographic term used by westerners to encompass the easternmost areas of Asia.

Also, a mistake correction – I meant to say that some countries not in the Northern Hemisphere have areas called "far north".

Joe Welling 10:48 AM  

Did anyone else imagine hearing Martin Prince of The Simpsons rather than a magician for 1D?

Lorelei Lee 10:49 AM  

@LMS, Thank you for jagged, crooked, wretched, and beloved. I learned a lot (heheh). You are a national treasure.

@Rex, here in Furloughville I'm working my way through the NYT 2007 puzzle archive and yesterday came to the clue "Not a Tease" with the answer "Bad Girl." Came to here to have the theme explained and saw that you took them task on that one. It's good to have a clear and enduring sense of right and wrong. You're a national grouch, but thank you. Also thank you for Martha Wainright. I love the whole McGarrigle / Wainright clan. Her brother Rufus performed a miracle on the old song You Belong To Me for the ogre movie Shrek.

@Daniel Larsen, Your stellar effort gave me hope for the future of America. At least we'll have great crossword puzzles. Big thinking, outstanding entertainment.

xyz 10:50 AM  

S U P E R easy

Left half BOOM, Right B O O M

ANEROID, BYEAR,ZAMBONIS, ARAPAHO(E)S,HARLOW, TEN, PET CAT, PRO(-LIFE) and more - fill-in-the-blank stuff.

CO-STAR was my sticking point because of my medical background, I was thinking of Billings & Colletions, etc.

Guessed SANDSPEEDER (I mean, it's STAR WARS fer goshhsake) before LANDSPEEDER. I was too technical for those intelligent SW folks ...

I expected to come here and read "Tuesday called, it wants its puzzle back". #WRONGAGAIN

Pete 10:51 AM  

@Z - First, "yappy dog" got autocorrected to "happy dog" in my midnight post. I don't dislike happy dogs, I dislike yappy dogs. Second, I know the issue is primarily my neighbor's - they should not be allowed to have their kids, much less the dogs. However, there are dogs whose raison d'etre is to be loud and/or annoying. Terriers and Corgis fit that category. So do
Great Pyrenees, lest you think I'm picking on small dogs. They have been purpose bred to be of a type that can be incompatible with being a household pet for anyone other that sophisticated owner.

Banya 10:51 AM  

I'm proud of myself that I got both SUPERHEROES AND LITTLEITALY with no crosses.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

See, now if OFL were a Real Guy, he'd know the plot, characters, and actors of every Bond film. I don't, but I have a lower brain stem memory of one being set, and possibly filmed, in the Atacama. Factoids for fun.

mathgent 10:55 AM  

What’s duller? Someone reporting that they beat their best time by seventeen seconds or someone explaining that Rex wrote something stupid.

I liked the puzzle despite the flaws which have been noted. Sufficient sparkle, enoughI crunch. I especially liked that it had a lot of long entries (six letters or more). I’ve started counting and today’s had 34 out of 66, more than half. The highest ratio I’ve seen.

Good jokes today. The ATTIRE one at 11D and Loren’s pinion line.

It seems that many cities have a Little Italy. Tourist internet sites talk about San Francisco having one but we never use that term, it’s North Beach. I think that Boston uses that term but they also call it something else. More cities have Chinatowns, I believe.

oisk17 11:01 AM  

Probably a record for the most crossing out in a puzzle, with cooing, a lie,...and others . Started out just staring, trying to find ONE sure answer. (aneroid). But then it slowly clicked in; I love puzzles like this, where I conquer after a slow, frustrating start. My only strong objection is "Land speeder" which , if it is actually a "thing" I have never seen before. And I'd be happy never to see another "Star Wars" clue. Got "Milne" right away thanks to @Nancy... I actually visited the Wind River reservation - We viewed a total eclipse of the Sun there.

Whatsername 11:02 AM  

I had to work for it but thought this was a pretty snappy Friday. Interesting to have SUPERHEROES right above a Manhattan neighborhood given the current circumstance as we all BIDE our time waiting for life to return to some semblance of normal. ANEROID was a new word I was happy to learn in my ongoing efforts to slow the relentless cranial atrophy. Plus as @Joaquin said, it makes me feel so much smarter when I watch Jeopardy. I can tell my pets are extremely impressed with how quickly I can fire off those answers now. Well the dogs are anyway; the cats don’t care what I do unless it involves their food. Then they eat and go back to ignoring me.

Da BEARS!! Whoa! Had no idea they were the team that holds the most NFL victories. I would have guessed the Packers first and then maybe even the Patriots, much as I hate to admit it.

@Frantic (1:48) Completely agree re BAZAAR/garage sale, and I had the same thought about BEHOLD. Moses is who says that and he did some pretty incredible stuff, but the last time I checked he wasn’t considered a magician. Good point about setting your GPS to FAR NORTH. I couldn’t help but recall the scene in Lonesome Dove when Captain Call told young Newt, “up north ain’t a place Newt, it’s a direction.” And BTW, that’s a great six-hour mini series if you like a good old fashioned western.

@Snoble (7:44) I didn’t think of typewriters but that’s a great answer. And I’m betting most people under 30 have never even seen one, much less changed a ribbon.

thfenn 11:03 AM  

LOL, count me among those that first thought of typewriters - grew up quite familiar with their ribbons.

gruffed 11:03 AM  

Unless you are an avid auto racing fan and would know the first name of a driver ranked 19th and who never won a major race, or someone who follows the insipid Bachelor TV show, the ARIE entry is lamentably arcane.

Newboy 11:11 AM  

From ZAMBONI to LAND SPEEDER today’s grid transported me to Crossworld joy. Many of Rex’s nits I would pick as pluses and especially ATTIRE. Of course our oldest son was a professional bike builder (Ivycycles) and production manager for Bike Friday, so clearly I have a bias. Tough clues and very few three letter gimmes made for a start and stop solving experience, but any jerking around Mr. Larsen was compensated by BY EAR MEETing YEAR ONE which both violates and makes use of that “no repeats” rule. Damn clever and much appreciated Daniel.

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

I played Capture the Flag ATCAMP😉
Had SPLIT for Breakup - was stuck fo a while

dadnoa 11:25 AM  

+1 for zamboni......and as a SW fan, Land Speeder was delightful!

JC66 11:36 AM  


When you go to SB today, you'll see an option "yesterday" that, when you click on it, will show you all of yesterday's words with the one's you got checked.

Frantic Sloth 11:43 AM  

@r.alphbunker 957am Wow! Is there any way at all that a troglodyte like moi can get those same details??

@Whatsername 1102am Love Lonesome Dove (and LMM) - have probably watched it about a bajillion times. And I do remember that remark by the Cap'n. :)

@Anonymous 916am I'm outting myself as a recent quasi-convert to 90-Day Fiancé (more accurately, the Pillow Talk edition) - only because the spouse is addicted and I wondered into the room at just the right (wrong?) time.

(Thanks to those who paid such lovely compliments. Youz got me all shucks-y an' everything.)

TJS 11:46 AM  

Congratulations, @Z. Last time we discussed MJ you had a list of about 15 who were better than him, if I remember correctly. Now you are down to 4. It's good to see that you are still open-minded at your age. What happened to Kevin McHale ?

The Joker 11:48 AM  

The NW was where I finished up. When I read "Gymgoer's pride" I had A_S. You know where I'm going with this.

Lewis 11:49 AM  

@quasi -- If you want to see the number of correct answers to SB on today's puzzle, go to the NYT WordPlay blog, click on the "Reader's Picks" tab in the comments section, and inevitably the first comment will be the SB "grid", which, while not giving any answers, will tell you the number of answers, and give hints to many answers, and more.

Whatsername 12:04 PM  

@gruffed [Is that one syllable or two?] at 11:03 - Being an avid auto racing fan was how I knew ARIE but recalling more his Hall of Fame father, a two-time Indy 500 winner.

@Lorelei Lee (10:49) Appreciate your eloquent tribute to today’s constructor: “Your stellar effort gave me hope for the future of America. At least we'll have great crossword puzzles. Big thinking, outstanding entertainment.” I had stated in my earlier post that I enjoyed the puzzle but did not realize then that it was the product of a prodigy. I came back to add a followup plaudit, but you said it beautifully. So ditto, Daniel, and my compliments. It was exceptional.

r.alphbunker 12:19 PM  

@Frantic Sloth
Download the .puz version of the puzzle
Click the Choose File button
In the window that appears navigate to where the .puz file was saved (probably your downloads directory)
Double click on the .puz file you want to solve
Click the Upload Puzzle button
Click the Show Puzzle button (there is also a Tutorial button) and the puzzle should appear.
The buttons along the top of the puzzle should be self-explanatory.

Please note that I wrote this so I can share my results with a couple of friends. As M&A would say, "No Refunds".

TJS 12:26 PM  

@Joe D. Missed opportunity, "(Way Up) North to Alaska", Good Johnny Horton song, crummy John Wayne movie.

David 12:37 PM  

I was looking for a foothold and pretty immediately saw Superheroes and Little Italy ("It-ly" in what vernacular? Cockney? Surely not for this life-long New Yorker.) Yes to animals being leg-ged. I don't think I've heard it otherwise.

I grew up in a house with an aneroid barometer, no problem there, nor with Zambonis or module, so I had Did, and reluctantly put in "one's part." Adding, End it, As is (ugh) made the long downs easy for me, then I cleaned up the NW and bottom half before finishing in the NE.

Far North reminded me of Glenn Gould's The Idea of North, so it made me smile. Look it up, check it out.

The other day I asked for a non-Pooh clue for Milne, and here I got it. Thanks for that.

It seems to me "la-di-dah" is more something one says behind a snob's back than the actual snob.

Hardest things for me, as usual: actors I've never heard of and reference to a show I've never watched.
Gettable on crosses though.

For me it didn't feel Friday difficult at all. Guess it was more in my wheelhouse than many others.

Chip Hilton 12:40 PM  

Geez, if I judged puzzles on things I didn’t know, I’d hate ‘em all! It’s overcoming these roadblocks by making use of intersecting letters that makes this a fun pastime. I’m starting to agree with those who say that Rex’s ‘tude is all about annoying fools like me.

Solid, FUN Friday puzzle, Daniel. Thanks!

QuasiMojo 12:47 PM  

Thank you @JC66 and @Lewis -- great help. Will do! Good luck to you both on today's.

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

Very suprised at the number of negative comments. 17A was the first easy answer for me. Then I did my favorite way of solving, which is to only look at clues that check in with a previously entered letter. Slow-going for a bit, with 35A connecting the upper left to the lower right. Worked up the right side and then everything just fell into place smoothly. Not one scratch out. No unfair clues, many clever ones. No words that fall into the obscure category. A few new little trivia factoids. All-in-all a very sweet, crisp puzzle. Well done!

Doctor Work 12:58 PM  

The bicycle/unicycle joke is great. One has two tires and the other has one, so the difference is "a" tire, which is a pun on attire.

"At camp" should just have been "camp", or else every other clue that asks where something happens or is will expect the answer to begin with "at" or some other preposition. How are we supposed to know when the preposition is included or not??

Friday is usually quite challenging for me, but this was pretty easy. Go figure.

puzzlehoarder 1:01 PM  

@Quasi, of you tap (l solve on a phone) on the dotted line that shows what score you're at on the SB, it will bring up a screen that shows you what the scores are for each level. Divide the genius score by 70 and whatever number comes up move the decimal point two spaces to the right and that's the QB score.

Some commentor once mentioned that the genius score is 70% of the QB and dividing the genius score by 70 and multiplying that by 100 is right every time.

Masked and Anonymous 1:05 PM  

This FriPuz had lotsa neat stuff in it. faves: BAZAAR/ZAMBONIS. CORGI [yo, @RP]. I-CHAT, A-NET, B-YEAR.

False starts of doh-note: BEGONE ahead of BEHOLD. Jean ARTHUR ahead of HARLOW.
Also, didn't really know LANDSPEEDER, TORRES, ANEROID. Learned new stuff. Good to suffer [yo, @Nancy]. Etc.

staff weeject pick [of only 8 choices, so no wagerin allowed]:
AB'S. Celebratin A-NET & B-YEAR.

Luved the puz's quad Jaws of Themelessness. And the puz stuck the landin real well, with FINISHLINES/SUPERHEROES down the gut.
Also ... har-lariously desperate ATTIRE clue. Which in turn inspired @Muse darlin's excellent A-PINION clue.

Thanx for the feisty fun, Mr. Larsen. Good job.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


Blackbird 1:07 PM  

Ah well. This Friday puzzle that caused Rex to be cranky, a puzzle Rex complained mightily about, delighted me. I enjoyed it. Much of it seemed new, and I had to dig into my wheelhouse to find answers. I know much of A.A. Milne's work, yet I didn't recognize "Corner of the Street". Yet with one cross, the answer flashed into awareness. From 1A, "Rummage sale", with the answer "Bazaar", to 59A "Allende" clue, with the answer "Isabel", with a few unexpected clues and answers, like 2D "Kind of barometer that doesn't use liquid", answer, "Aneroid", and 3D, "Ice machines", answer "Zambonis", things fell into place either because I knew the answer or I was led there by crosses. Stuff I might have known but didn't, like 14D answer "Landspeeder", was hard to figure out, and I tried "Sandspeeder", which puzzled me until I realized that thee mysterious answer to 14D "Sownote" couldn't be right, and the "L' fell into place. 35A answer, "Little Italy", was a gimme, as was 33A answer "Superheroes", which with a cross or two eliminated the "DC" of politics and brought me right to the "DC" of comics. Fun puzzle, thank you Daniel Larsen!

Pamela 1:09 PM  

It made me sad to see Little Italy today, as it has mostly disappeared, absorbed by Chinatown. Years ago, back in the late 70’s when I was learning Italian, I had a teacher who would take me out into the city to practice speaking in more natural surroundings. Once we went to a restaurant in Little Italy, where he proceeded to chatter away to the waiter. When he paused, the waiter said, in a very pronounced Italian accent, that he hadn’t understood a word. He grew up speaking English, only ‘nonna’ spoke Italian and he never learned to understand her. And he said that was true all over Little Italy. None of his friends spoke anything but English, either. I guess that was the beginning of the end.

Otherwise, today seemed to take forever. The SW especially took a while because I confidently put in iRiquoiS to cross with DEARIE. ACA fixed that, but it took long enough. DIDONlyPART was a problem. I had no idea about Skywalker’s sale until the crosses filled in most of it. The ribbons could have been on a Fair prize, or Fancy something... Then I looked up just one thing, Atacama, to see what it was, and eventually DESERTBLOOM fell into place and all was well.

Slow, but doable. Not love, but far from unpleasant, like yesterday.

BobL 1:11 PM  

Zamboni fans - go to Youtube and enter "Gear Daddies" - I Want to Drive the Zamboni"

Its a treat!

webwinger 1:18 PM  

Got ARAPAHOS pretty quickly b/o neighboring Colorado county named for that tribe. Chicago has both LITTLE ITALY and Heart of Italy neighborhoods. Agree with others the subtle misdirection in 7A clue was surprisingly effective. Da BEARS clearly have their longevity to thank for the stated record; playing has been abysmal in most recent years. If you lived in Chicago during the 1990s, MJ was hands down the GOAT not just in basketball but the entire wide world of sports. Young constructor Larsen is clearly a boy wonder who will one day if not already be worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of xword SUPERHEROES.

Comments seem to keep getting better and better (even as it takes longer and longer to savor them all).

@LMS: I would have guessed your favorite time of the day was when you write down your inspired post-puzzle musings.

@Frantic: Keep those comments coming!

@CDilly: Judge Learn-ed Hand—one of the GOAT names.

@GILL: Can easily imagine being driven to distraction by the decades-old scent of OPIUM. Have you read the O. Henry story The Furnished Room?

@Rique Belize: Thumbs up to your ignorance/apathy Q/A!

@Z: Amen to your take on “bless-ed”.

@Pete: For some reason your yappy dogs comment reminded me of a remark made by a Chicago Tribune columnist in reference to recently published data showing traffic in Chicago was worse than in NYC or LA, which he referred to as “cities known for their bad traffic and little else”. BTW, we believe our beloved pooch is a Chihuahua Corgi mix, both breeds known for yapping, and we find his utterances to be uniformly appropriate. If he’d been on duty in Trenton, no way you’d still be a free man.

@kitshef and others: Didn’t think of typewriters while solving, but agree it’s at least as good an answer as the actual one.

@Nancy: With you re parc vs. CAFE, but didn’t take long to set that straight. Also with the feelings engendered by solving with/without Google, but will never accept your equation Google = cheating.

@Giovanni: Look forward you your tragic aurora tale. I was in Iceland for 3 days around the summer solstice. Cloudy the whole time. Continuous nondescript gray skies day and night. Had thought about going back in the winter to see AB, but decided too much risk of disappointment.

Hand up for Capture the Flag AT CAMP. Other memories triggered by 37D: Heard Peter Paul and Mary in concert during the 1990s. Mary prefaced a sing-along number with an aside to younger audience members (of whom there were very many) that if they hadn’t yet learned the song, they would “when you go to CAMP”. In the first American Pie movie the geeky girl who would later take the main character’s virginity and ultimately marry him was constantly making insipid comments beginning “this one time at band camp...” until she let loose with a stunning R-rated admission about experience AT said CAMP...

jberg 1:19 PM  

COoing was my entry to the puzzle, quickly confirmed by CORGI and OWN. So I figured my lah-di-dah might be a tune played on the obOe (Friday-level cluing, right?) That made the whole thing pretty tough. But as I got more crosses, and replaced Edam with BRIE, and Eon with ERA, it became clearer and clearer that 12D had to be REHEAT. Then I saw the ATTIRE joke, and realized splIT could be END IT, and I was done/

@Loren, yeah, nice raven joke, but your avatar gives it a run for its money. As for -ED adding a syllable, I see that in general, but I just can't imagine saying check-ed (or chek-ked, more likely); I think it's because that would sound too much like 'checkered' to me. But hey, no one gets to be the boss of how you pronounce things!

Is there a summer camp in that desert? So ONE could be AT CAMP Atacama? That would be neat, as was the crossing of BEARS/BYEAR.

What should one do with a SLEEP LAB? Let it lie. (OK, that's lame -- I'm outta here!)

jberg 1:24 PM  

OK, I'm back. Is this Spelling Bee people are going on about an online version of the puzzle by that name in the Sunday magazine? If so, I want to throw some doubt on the concept of "all the possible words." In the printed Sunday puzzle, they print (upside down, on a different page) all the words the constructor(s) found, and they also tell you how many words they found. I usually keep trying until I reach that number, then look at the list. Inevitably, they have words i didn't find; but I also have words they didn't find, and which I confirmed in the dictionary.

My point is, no one can know when all the possible words have been found.

But I've never seen the online version, so maybe I'm missing something.

DigitalDan 1:35 PM  

Gina Torres also played the badass second in command to Nathan Fillion in the fabulous but short-lived Firefly series and follow-up movie. See it before there's no way to do it.

Ernonymous 1:42 PM  

I was in Iceland in October 2019 with my girlfriend, who had been there before but her whole goal of returning again was to see the Aurora Borealis. The forecast looked terrible: 8 days of rain. I learned you can't see it if there are clouds overhead. We headed up to Husavik, which is a small fishing village, about 5 hours north or Reykjevik and luckily one night was going to be clear skies. The concierge told us to head down the road toward the airport, so we did. We went off some side streets and we were in the most deserted, dark place, very very dark and EERIE. The stars were out, it was perfect. We heard some geese- turns out if I had parked the car another 2 feet back, we would have been in a lake! We stayed out there for 2 hours. At one point we saw this interesting white shape on one side of the sky. Then on another side of the sky we saw these white wisps. They didn't really look like what we thought the Northern Lights should look like, except maybe the shape, but also it was not something I could explain what it was so I thought maybe it was a preview of it starting but nothing happened. Colorless white plumes in the distance. Meh.
We get to the hotel parking lot and all these tourists are in the bright hotel parking lot with tripods. I asked if they saw it, and they all said OH YES! We entered the hotel and the person at the desk claimed he saw shooting green lights just from sitting at his desk and showed us a photo on his phone that he took from inside the hotel lobby, through the window. We told him where we were and he said we were looking at the "wrong part of the sky" that we needed to go up another road. So we did go there and saw nothing. Spent 3 1/2 hours trying. We looked at every part of the sky.
Then on our last night in Reykjavik, it was also going to be good conditions. My gf insisted we get on this $90 Aurora boat tour, because they go way far out from the city to a very dark spot. Plus, if you don't see them, the $90 ticket can be reused for up to 5 years.
We get on a boat and it stops not very far from the city lights. The tour guide was very charming and a polyglot. He said he would go up to the top deck with his special digital camera, that can see the Lights before you can see them with the naked eye. He went up there and said THERE IT IS! THERE IT IS! We looked and saw this white kind of oval looking cloud. He said that was it and you needed to take a picture with your cell phone, but keep the flash off and then use your photo editor to enhance the photo. Some people did and it looked like slightly greenish, but only if they enhanced edited it. I had a Galaxy s6 and I was not getting anything except a blotch of black. People got very very very excited to take a photo of this white patch, and then edit it and see a little green. I couldn't see anything and I was kind of pissed that these seemed to be a bunch of sheep drinking Koolaid.
I thought maybe I didn't have my camera set right, so I pushed a few buttons. Apparently I turned to flash on, to which about 10 people SCREAMED at me "NO FLASH NO FLASH" as if I were murdering their newborn. The flash was on for the tenth of a second it takes to take a photo. By mistake I did it again and the mob was ready to lynch me! Jeez, sorry!
Then the boat heads back, because we "saw" the aurora borealis and we were not now entitled to our refund. Everyone, except me, was super happy!
I did realize that the white plumbs we saw in the sky in Husavik were definitely "it" and if I had had a better digital camera I probably could have enhanced those and saw something. None of this was what you see in the photos and people go on and one about.

Nancy from Chicago 1:48 PM  

@Loren, I agree with your approach to puzzling, at least for late-week puzzles (I do try to go pretty fast on Mon-Tues). My favorite thing is when the puzzle is hard enough that I have to walk away and do something else a few times, figuring out a few things each time I come back with fresh eyes (but not so hard that I DNF).

Also, I love brie (especially the outside).

Have a good weekend all!

kitshef 1:55 PM  

@Nancy - my bourguoise were in the Côte (as in d'Azur) at first.

@Z - I always say 'blessed' in that context with one syllable. Unless I'm being biblical - "blessed are they ..." would be two syllables.

@mathgent - carping about Rex is way worse. I actually feel cheered (one syllable) when someone posts that they set a personal best. Good for them!, I think.

Everyone - the song is "Somewhere in Hollywood", by 10CC. Never released as a single so you'd need to own the album ("Sheet Music"), but as it has both CO-STAR and HARLOW in the first first lyrics, I'm sure it was the inspiration for this puzzle.

JC66 2:05 PM  


Yes, you're missing something. The daily online Spelling Bee is different from the Sunday Magazine version.

Xcentric 2:20 PM  

Kudos to the young constructor. He obviously paid attention in earth science class.
An aneroid (without air) barometer is the most common type used in homes. It is basically an accordion-shaped metal can with a spring Inside. The air is removed from the can creating a partial vacuum, and the spring keeps the can from collapsing due to the external air pressure. A needle connected to the can changes position as the external air pressure changes and the spring in the can either is further compressed or relaxes.
Had sandspeeder before landspeeder because, well, the planet where Luke drove it was a desert like the Atacama.
Had cooing before costar, which slowed me down for a bit, but in the end I got into the vibe of the puzzle and had a faster than average Friday.
Fun puzzle Daniel!

jesse caro 2:23 PM  

"They sound alike, so it's funny?"

I mean, what? Do you know what a pun is? This is it's definition.

Ethan Taliesin 2:25 PM  

I originally had DOWNOTE, always looking perfectly like DOWN NOTE to me. When I got LANDSPEEDER I realized my mistake.

It's like that up-pointing triangle that reads:
Faster than my average and enjoyable.

Frantic Sloth 2:38 PM  

*wandered. But, given the outcome, I guess "wondered" would also apply.

@r.alphbunker 1219pm Thank you! I've been playing around in there ever since! No refund requested. ;)
(BTW, M&A - love your gruntpuzzeses, but "best OF show"? Dude.)

@Giovanni 142pm I really enjoyed your AB story. I come away with two observations:

Did the boat ride involve approaching your original observation post, but from the lake end? Same results, $90 later. Priceless.

Also, it's ironic that your phone is a Galaxy. Reminds me of when my friend Robin looked up to point out a bird and it sh!t in her mouth.
Thanks for sharing! :)

All this talk about 2- and 1-syllable pronunciations reminded me of "I, Clavdivs" where I first saw this wonderful actor.

Perhaps I'll watch it for the umpteenth time one of these days.

bauskern 2:58 PM  

If it's challenging for Rex and a bit out of his wheelhouse then you know two things:
1. He won't like it, and 2. He won't post his finish time. #sopredictable

BAZAAR threw me for a while. I think of it as a market, not a rummage sale, which to me is more of a TAGSALE. Loved Zamboni.

Richard Gross 3:06 PM  

Yikes! “Too much stuff I didn’t know or care about.” I might ruffle a few feathers, but that sounded genuinely Trumpian, or should I have said Trumpesque(We’ll leave that up to the grammarians). Today’s puzzle was enjoyable, challenging, and informative. I had a good time.

BigJ 3:10 PM  

@Kiychef: Name that tune?

OK, It's " Somewhere in Hollywood " By 10cc

GILL I. 3:15 PM  

@webwinger 1:18
Thank you for jogging the neural cells and reminding me of the gifted O. Henry and his ways with paronomasia, metaphors and irony. I never did read "The Furnished Room." I did read his "Gift of the Magi" and fell in love.....So I went on Google and laughed out loud at: "odor of Mignonette" and "ragged handkerchief insolent with heliotrope." That is one person I would sit down to have a drink with. Well...not now since he's quite dead.
Yes...OPIUM leaves quite a trace behind. Think coffee beans, amber wood and vanilla. And no, you don't stir it in your latte.....
@Giovanni...Loved and laughed at your Aurora Borealis story. Are you still with your girlfriend?

BigJ 3:18 PM  

That should be @Kitshef: Sorry "bout that

Joe Dipinto 3:34 PM  

Ooh, I remember "The Furnished Room." There's also "The Skylight Room." It has a more upbeat ending.

Nancy 3:40 PM  

Re today's BRAIN TICKLER on the NYT's dead tree puzzle page: (includes a mini-SPOILER!!)

"What common household item, in 11 letters, has MOM exactly in the middle?"

SPOILER ALERT ahead. Scroll way down.

I knew it immediately. If you had a Jewish MOM, it will definitely be "common household item" in your own home. For those who didn't have a Jewish MOM, it has been my very great surprise to discover over the course of a lifetime that you may not have this item in your home at all. Which, having had a Jewish MOM, is completely unfathomable to me.

Masked and Anonymous 3:48 PM  

@Frantic Sloth: Thanx for rootin around in the runtz. And re: Best in/of Shoe … no refunds.
Also, U may want to watch that there "Best in Show" movie flick, which was a har-and-a-half hoot.

In other news, they now got at least 2 covid cases in the White House. They should immediately seal up the joint with everyone inside, like in rest homes. It is for their own protection. Or maybe forget the tests for White House folks now, and just take their temperatures, like in meat packing plants? Kinda the democratic thing to do, you'd reckon. Just suggestin'.

M&A Help Desk

Hungry Mother 4:07 PM  

What a slog! My wife and I just returned to the north from Florida yesterday, so I had a lot of chores to do today. I worked around my work and worked on this monster. I would have given up but for two things: 1) I just felt like relaxing and sipping a latte this afternoon, and 2) I have my longest streak of 56 to protect. I feel pretty pretty good after the success.

Anonymous 4:08 PM  

Based on Wikipedia maps —

Head south on Bowery from east 4th and you are on the west edge of the East Village;
Cross Houston Street. Now you are on the east edge of Little Italy. Continue...
Cross Grand, and you enter Chinatown

So Little Italy is between the East Village and Chinatown (if you believe Wikipedia)

Old Actor 4:22 PM  

@Giovanni: I saw a brilliant green display of AB in Saranac Lake, NY late one Summer. I don't consider the Adirondacks very "Far North".

OffTheGrid 4:22 PM  

@M&A. Great idea. Also, the antivaxers can't have the Covid vaccination. Seems right to respect their views.

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

Maybe they should all just inject the Lysol now. Nothing to lose. Right?

webwinger 4:30 PM  

@Giovanni 1:22: When I read your account I thought at first you had been at the same remote Icelandic resort where I stayed, but turns out mine was not Husavik, but Husafell (less remote, unless you got there as we did by driving your little Euro econocar 40 miles over a nearly non-existent amenity-free one-lane unpaved road that was supposed to be only for 4-wheel-drive vehicles, unfortunately not mentioned by Google maps when it routed you). Your tale recounts the unfortunate opposite of what there was some discussion of here a while back: a sweet experience that exceeds all expectations especially because it was unanticipated. Sadly there is no way planning can help you avoid the former or hit upon the latter…

Teedmn 4:54 PM  

@Giovanni's Aurora Borealis story brought back some memories. I grew up in far southern Minnesota (that's what the Mpls. StarTribune calls the southermost counties, just north of IA) so I had never seen the northern lights. My first time was a couple of months after we bought a house north of the Twin Cities. It was like watching an insane oscilloscope wave, white, jagged (2-syllables!) lines shooting across the sky from east to west, and covering a half-hemisphere of sky. Wow.

Another time, in the FAR NORTH of MN, I saw the classic green and red lights, very awesome.

But I was in Iceland last September. The AB was not necessarily on my friend's and my must-see list but it would have been nice. On the flight there, while everyone was sleeping, I woke up my friend and we watched the northern lights out the window. They were of the white cloud puff type that @Giovanni describes and it lasted about an hour.

The hotel owner where we stayed our first night regaled us with how some tourists would come out and ask what time the lights started, as if they came on with a switch. He said they sometimes became irked when they found it wasn't fully predictable.

Our final night, spent in Reykjavik, a waiter came rushing into the bar and said the lights were out. I went out and saw two puffs of white cloud. That's all, folks. At least no one was telling us to take a photo and edit it!

Schadenfreude 4:55 PM  

@M&A, @Off the Grid, Anon 4:25: It's called "Karma". When they get sick, treat them with that useless H-drug Trump's been pushing. And I love the Lysol idea. I think I have some at home I can spare.

Crimson Devil 5:07 PM  

Best comment of the day, from felon Pete @ 12:48 am!!
Sad day for rule of law in U.S., R.I.P..
Very good puz, i/m/ a pinion.

Anonymous 5:12 PM  


Who'll they get to run against President Pelosi?

pabloinnh 5:15 PM  

@Giovanni-We've seen the northern lights several times right here where we live, about half way up NH. The most memorable was a cold winter night when we were skating on the lake in front of our house, absolutely clear black ice, no clouds at all, and the sky was filled with shimmering shifting phosphorescent green and dusky rose lights that sometimes looked like spectral waterfalls, and all this reflected in the ice, so double wow. They lasted and lasted. This is only to say that when you hit a real aurora display, you won't have any doubt about what you've seen.

My good friend is an aurora freak and went all the way to northern Norway and was having an experience similar to yours but finally lucked out. Hope your fortunes improves next time.

Joe Dipinto 5:37 PM  

@Anon 4:08 – Here's Wikipedia on Little Italy's location:

Little a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City...It is bounded on the west by Tribeca and Soho, on the south by Chinatown, on the east by the Bowery and Lower East Side, and on the north by Nolita.

Nolita (north-of-Little-Italy) is basically the same as Noho (north-of-Houston). I am being nitpicky, as boundaries can be seen as fluid, but to me, the answer to the puzzle's clue would most correctly be the Lower East Side or the Bowery.

Anonymous 6:25 PM  

I have to admit that I forget what day of the week it is these days self quarantining in Westchester County. I know I that I have to put out the garbage on Monday and Thursday and the recyclables on Wednesday. So the only other way is by puzzle difficulty. I thought today was Saturday. DNF . Otherwise, I’ll take Larry Bird’s opinion over Z’s when discussing basketball. Z is so fricking arrogant and uninformed. You can’t have an intelligent conversation with someone like that. It’s pathetic. Adios.
ps I wonder if he’s still in denial about the ACLU filing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Citizens United

Frantic Sloth 6:25 PM  

@M&A 348pm LOL - no refund necessary. As for "Best in Show", I couldn't agree more. My favorite of all the Christopher Guest, movies!
Remember: God loves a terrier!

Annie 7:18 PM  

I’m a Knicks fan and was born after they won their last championship. So I know about being a suffering fan. I think Z disrespects Jordan because MJ embarrassed the Pistons by sweeping them and the Pistons embarrassed themselves, when Laimbeer, Isiah, etc, walked off the court and didn’t shake hands. Must be a painful memory to sustain the hate for so long. My condolences.

MF 7:29 PM  

If DOJ was going to come after one of my kids, whether they did it or not, on a felony FARA charge unless I pled guilty, then I would’ve pled guilty. But ,then, I love my kids.

webwinger 7:29 PM  

My knowledge of Manhattan geography is not fine-grained enough to really appreciate the where-is-Little-Italy discussion, but it makes me nostalgic for the very recent time when my favorite thing to do in the Big Apple was just walk the streets. Look forward to the day, hopefully not far off, when that can again be experienced. NYC is nothing if not resilient...

@pabloinnh 5:15 pm: You won—the experience others traveled thousands of miles in nearly vain search for came perfectly and serendipitously to you, unbidden, right outside your home! Reminds me of viewing the most recent total solar eclipse with old friends in Nashville, and thinking, how cool that this amazing astronomical event is happening right in their back yard!

Monty Boy 7:47 PM  

I liked this one a lot. No lookups except to confirm my entry. I was pleased to put in the DC answer with no crosses.

About the Arapaho answer. We live in Arapahoe County and our kids and grandkids go/went to Arapaho High School, (no "e"on the end), the Warriors, here in Centennial.

Long before (1993) the concerns about using Native American names at schools the Principal, Mr. Booth, talked to the tribe at Wind River about the Warrior name. He established a connection between the school and tribe. The old logo was not an Arapaho warrior, so a tribe member drew a new logo with an authentic warrior. The logo is not on the gym floor as that would not show proper respect. Every year, the school invites tribe members come and explain the culture and customs to the students. Some students go to Wind River to learn about the tribe directly. A refreshing approach these days.

JC66 8:06 PM  


I'm a New Yorker, and I can't wait to welcome you back.

What do you drink?

Runs with Scissors 8:10 PM  

I had lotsa fun with this one. So there.

Hand up for sANDSPEEDER before LANDSPEEDER. I've seen every one of the movies, some way more than once. Totally on me.

Atacama was a gimme.

Superheroes? Meh. I don't do comic books. I never did, not even as a wee lad. Never interested me (I can emulate OFL!!)

Note to the NYC crowd: No one else knows where LITTLE ITALY is in relation to East Village. And they don't care. Sorry not sorry. Heck, I'm next to Los Angeles and I couldn't tell you where South LA starts and ends. Even when it was South Central.

Adieu, adios. Whatever. Both mean "Go with God." Both are from other languages. Both appear in the crossword on a regular basis, so just wait for the crosses.

If I ever set foot in an honest-to-Betsy cafe, shoot me.

Never read any of Milne's stuff other than Winnie the Pooh, so it's mostly just whatever. But interesting nonetheless.

Having been to the bazaar in Casablanca I can pretty much guarantee that your run-of-the-mill church rummage sale, or private garage sale, doesn't hold a candle to the real thing.

Very few times I can think of that I pronounce the second syllable with the -ed. Learn-ed scholar. Bless-ed event. Not much else. Fun to note the pronunciation differences across the land.

So, did I enjoy this? Heck yeah!!!


Somewhere northwest of the other Matterhorn

pabloinnh 8:48 PM  


Well, as noted philosopher D. Gale once pointed out,

"There's no place like home."

webwinger 9:09 PM  

Thanks, @JC66! Make mine a rye Manhattan...

Keep having more thoughts inspired by this puzzle. ADIEU—does anyone still pay attention to the difference between that word, implying we’ll next be together in the afterlife, and au revoir—see you again? German has, or had, a similar distinction: auf Wiedersehen (until see again) and the apparently now somewhat archaic leben Sie wohl (live you well), said at final parting. I remember reading a novel in college German class with a tear-jerking scene in which friends heard this from a dying comrade (significance explained in a footnote for us students).

JC66 9:30 PM  

Talking about Little Italy, I'm in the middle of watching Mean Streets."

Great Movie.

Anonymous 9:33 PM  

Joe Dipinto
Let me guess. You aren't within 300 miles of Manhattan.
Is your wife still coveting a fitbit and not a strand of pearls? You lucky dog!! That saves you 7, 12, hell
20 thousand $, if you have an eye.Or taste. (Which, it seems, you don't).

Nancy 11:02 AM  

I’m w/ you on that!

jock spit 1:39 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
James 9:36 AM  

Good puzzle. If Rex got stumped it was his own problem, not the NYT or the constructor. Fridays are tougher than earlier week puzzles, I thought Rex expected that.

Burma Shave 10:21 AM  


so LITTLE SLEEP when we’d MEET.
BYEAR TEN we were done,
FAR too cold to REHEAT.


rondo 11:33 AM  

I was having trouble in the NE because it was an Eon longer than when it became an ERA. And in the near west I was caught in Alie before ANET, mostly because I was afraid of putting in the DC SUPERHEROES right off the bat like I should have; seemed to obvious.

Those places shouldn’t be called SLEEPLABs. As soon as you fall asleep, they wake you up. Worst night ever. Almost fell asleep on the drive home next morning.

Go old-school for yeah Baby Jean HARLOW, who reached her FINISHLINE far too soon.

Maybe not EPIC, but pretty good, IMO.

AM/FM Howard 11:52 AM  

Mr. Parker: You are easily one the most negative people I’ve ever encountered. What’s the problem? Did Mr. Shortz reject too many of your submissions? Did the NYT refuse to hire you? There must be SOMETHING to what seems to be a personal vendetta

Diana, LIW 1:02 PM  

I have no idea how I finished this one, but finish - correctly all around - I did. Yay Friday. Did OFL say something bad? I didn't listen to him...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for sunny days and VBG

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

I have. never heard of whatever a "finishliner" is. Help !

spacecraft 2:10 PM  

Hand up for COOING; that is how a mind that's been at this too long thinks. Also for thinking Beltway before Comics on the DC thing. Shoulda known.

Outside of those sticking points, though, this Friday offering presented comparatively little resistance. I did the NW last, but when I got there I wondered why I left it. Practically filled itself in. I guess I had to let go of TREX as the bird ancestor. Obviously, PTERODACTYL wasn't gonna fit. Just "DINO" is disappointing. BEHOLD: Presto fits but doesn't work.

Learned: that MILNE wrote poetry, and who Gina TORRES, DOD, is. Honorable mention to the legendary HARLOW. BTW, that's two LOWs (LOWNOTE), but who's counting? And, that OFC is one tough mother to please. I liked it just fine. Birdie.

rainforest 2:23 PM  

Sounds like @Rex didn't like this, but I did - a lot. It was very tough to get started, but once in, the going was more or less steady with about 5 Aha's to add to the fun. The Atacama is obviously the desert in Chile, and for a while I thought the answer was going to be DESERT stOrM, but ARAPAHOS fixed that.

There were several sections where I had to work on 2 or 3 answers simultaneously to get them. BRIE was a surprise as I was looking for a fruit, for some reason. COSTAR was brilliant as I and many others were sure the billing partner was COoing. I recall both billing and cooing at least once in my life. I even liked the cyclist joke, but maybe I'm easily amused.

I lot of fun and many triumph (@Spacy) points.

leftcoaster 3:57 PM  

Tough puzzle. Ended up in Rex's camp, although not quite as troubled about it as he was. (Would have to assume he finished it anyway, or could have if he wanted to.)

Stumblers In the NW: ANEROID barometer was an unknown. Thought a magician would normally say voila! instead of BEHOLD!. And BAZAAR sounds a little hoity-toity for "Rummage sale".

Other stumblers: The unknowns OPIUM perfume and DESERTBLOOM ("Atacama"?). ASIS as clued. Wanted globe instead of TAROT. Resisted ERA ("series of ages"?) against eon.

Calling someone DEARIE often has a bit of a snide undertone, doesn't it?

Didn't get all of it, but enjoyed the challenge.

wcutler 3:27 AM  

@Joe Dipinto 3:00 AM
"I've never heard FAR NORTH used as a generic term."
Canada has a far north. It seemed like a normal term to me.

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