Hearst mag founded in 1886 / FRI 7-3-20 / Pitcher's push-off point / De y de sombra isabel allende novel / Singles player in 1950s

Friday, July 3, 2020

Constructor: Hal Moore

Relative difficulty: Easy (4:16)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: "De AMOR y de Sombra" (Isabel Allende novel) (50D) —
Of Love and Shadows (SpanishDe amor y de sombra) is a novel written by Chileannovelist Isabel Allende in 1984. // Irene is a magazine editor living under the shadow of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. Francisco is a handsome photographer and he comes to Irene for a job. As a sympathizer with the underground resistance movement, Francisco opens her eyes and her heart to the atrocities being committed by the state. Irene and Francisco begin a passionate affair, ready to risk everything for the sake of justice and truth. // In 1994, this novel was adapted into a film starring Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Connelly. (wikipedia)
• • •

Isn't Hal Moore the Green Lantern? Did we have this conversation? Oh, dang, it's Hal Jordan. Nevermind. I'm surprised it took this long to get ANTHONY BOURDAIN into a NYTXW grid, what with his themeless-friendly 15-letter name and all. He's definitely the highlight today, though there are a handful of other colorful longer answers that keep this one interesting. Stuff like PHOTOCURRENT and FIREIRONS and PIANOTEACHER just kinda lie there, for me, but I like NONSEQUITUR and SCOUTSHONOR and HUMANOID and "I'M IN HEAVEN" just fine. Short fill gonna short fill, for sure, and the SE corner is particularly wobbly (INURES BDAY ECARD EIRE plural SKYES), but it's clean enough. Passably clean. Though there really is a lot of short (5 and under) stuff. It's a good thing the longer stuff is mostly able to carry the load today, because even when it's reasonably clean, sub-5 stuff is hard to take in large doses, esp. on a Friday or Saturday, when your puzzle really should pop and sizzle and not bore. Every LEA and ACRE and AMOCO and ETON and NOTI makes a little deflating sound. But in the end, more good than bad. All credit for the enjoyable solve goes to ANTHONY BOURDAIN (37A: Author/TV personality who wrote "Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park"). Without him, this thing sputters.

My slowness / errors were all in the dumb short stuff areas. ABASE for ABASH, for instance—ugh, one of those only-yet-somehow-often-in-crosswords dilemmas where even choosing correctly doesn't feel very good. I had BUSSERS before BUSBOYS (24D: Some restaurant staffers) because I thought "oh, the clue is gender neutral, so the answers will be too," wrong. I know too many Los ___ places from having grown up in California, and so I was both unlucky and lucky today. Unlucky in that my first answer was Los BANOS, lucky in that I know Los GATOS and that slid in easily once my initial error became apparent. Had the most trouble deciphering the clue on PRIOR (60A: Record component), for obvious reasons (but I'll tell you anyway: the ambiguity of the meaning of "record"). Dumbest thing I did was not fully read the clue on the Beatles song (52A: Beatles hit about "a man who thought he was a loner"). Got cocky and figured I'd be able to just fill in a Beatles hit from the letters I had in place (the first few, I think). But my mind went blank. Even with "GET..." all I could think of was "GET A JOB" (not a Beatles song). Then I had EVITE instead of ECARD so that screwed with my Beatles mojo even more (48D: Modern party planning aid). Finally worked out "GET BACK" (a song I know well). Then I went back and read the whole "GET BACK" clue (52A: Beatles hit about "a man who thought he was a loner"). Would've gotten the answer immediately if I had just read the whole clue. Of course I would've had to speed-sing the song in my head from the lyric in the clue up to the "GET BACK" part, but that still would've taken less time than whatever the hell I did today. Partial clue reading is one of the dumb things you (I) do when you're (I'm) speed-solving. Whatever. Coulda been faster, but still fast. The moral of the story is take the *probably no more than two seconds* to read every clue to the end, sigh.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:00 AM  

My only issue with this puzzle is 11D. I know that OMAR Khayyam is the more famous of the brothers, but I have always preferred the other one - Whataschmu Khayyam.

jae 12:08 AM  

Easy. Solid with a fair amount of sparkle. Nice center stack. Liked it.

My only real problem was spelling NON SEQUITUR. @M&A - the second U eluded me until it had to be MUIR.

Harryp 12:13 AM  

Seems like all the puzzles this week were fairly easy. I Hope for a more challenging puzzle tomorrow. Liked SCOUTS HONOR, QUOTIENT, and NONSEQUITUR. Never saw PHOTOCURRENT before.

Joaquin 12:13 AM  

Regarding the embedded clip from "Top Hat": Seems to me that Astaire & Rogers dancing are more enjoyable, more erotic, and more talented than Miley Cyrus - or anyone else - twerking as if they're in a porno movie. Am I just getting old? I do have plenty of years under my belt but I was hoping not to be *that* old guy.

puzzlehoarder 12:19 AM  

Robyn Weintraub better watch out. Hal Moore is threatening her clinch on the coveted "Most Flaccid Friday of the Year" award. After solving a puzzle like this I swear they must give them out.

There's not much positive you can say about a late week puzzle that starts with ASST and goes downhill from there. It was a collection of softball easy feature entries held together by dog eared crossword glue. Those were it's good features and I was greatly underwhelmed.

****SB ALERT ****

Nothing to actually say about the SB as it won't come out until tomorrow. I just want to point out once again that thanks to the back of this puzzle I have a nice grid to print the first 15 words on. It's really all the use I have for a puzzle like this.

Frantic Sloth 12:20 AM  

This thing was all over the map for me. Clues and/or answers seemed to range between the (skeptically) obvious and the ridiculously arcane with a occasional dusting of huh?

Such as:

HUNGONTO Yeah, it exists, but what a weird entry.
Tech BRO What is this exactly? Something a hipster calls an IT worker? Seems like it's not a real "thing".
Soba alternative? UDON. Guess I'll have to take your word for it since I know neither.
PHOTOCURRENT I'm not a scientist and I don't play one in my crossword puzzles.

FIREIRONS made me think of LMS's pronunciation question. Fiery irony anyone?

After all is said and finally done though, everything was very getable. Between those easy-peasies and other crosses it put up a sort-of fight, but not enough to be a serious Friday challenge.

Frankly, it's really starting to seem like most of these puzzles are severely lacking in...something. Or is it everything? I don't know, but it's bringin' me down, man.
More's the pity. 😕


chefwen 12:33 AM  

Very rarely do I get through a Friday as easily as this, so I knew where Rex was going to place it. Made a couple of the same errors ABASe before the good HAWAIIAN King showed up, we live just off KUHIO Hwy. Another fix at Evite before CARD, SAsHa before SACHA.


okanaganer 1:13 AM  

I bet there's not a lotta examples of MARAUD used in that form. Maybe "Genghis Kahn proceeded to maraud his way across Asia..."

RO MATO MATO just looks so odd. NON SEQUITUR looks really cool.

COSMO again, 2 days in a row. What are the odds? My neighbor has two incredibly annoying yappy dogs which she walks about twelve times a day. They used to be named COSMO and JERRY; Cosmo had health issues, so she 'walked' him in a baby stroller (hilarious). Then Cosmo died, so she got a new (annoying yappy) dog and of course named it KRAMER. I guess if Jerry dies we'll be seeing either SEINFELD or NEWMAN. Or ELAINE if it's a girl.

Ann Howell 1:48 AM  

I guess it was an easier than average Friday, though I had to search for several minutes at the end trying to find an error (the online version wasn't giving me the win), before seeing that I had misspelled "non sequitur" with a penultimate 'o'. That aside, the other big stumbling block was very confidently filling in 39A - Swear words? - as "solemn oaths", having only the S to work with. Once I backfilled Anthony Bourdain - like Rex, loved that one! - I was able to work out my mistake, but it did cost me some time. Mind you, I don't like to race through these things, especially at the end of the week. Perfect excuse for an extra cup of coffee...

emilyaviva 4:00 AM  

I still can’t decipher the meaning of PRIOR. Help?

Harryp 4:56 AM  

@emilyaviva, I am probably well behind other help, but PRIOR in this case means previous misdeeds on a RAP SHEET.

Snoble 5:57 AM  

This felt easy with quite enjoyable long answers and non-irritating short ones. But I had a DNF --I thought the cause was techBRO because that seems like a stupid word. But it was misspelling of SACHA. I thought AS RE was some column on a spreadsheet. That language is as indecipherable to me as that of EIRE.

@Ann Howell--I made the same mistake at 38A. I love filling in an answer to a cleverly worded clue, thinking, " Oh, tthat's a great one! Good job, Sue!" Only to have it be the wrong brilliant answer.

Hungry Mother 6:15 AM  

Very fast, but I had FeEL instead of FUEL until I remembered my noodles. Felt Tuesdayish.

Lewis 6:41 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:42 AM  

This had bounce. So entertaining, with many delightful answers, and enough grit to elicit a feeling of victory at the end, yet enough open doors to oil the way.

What a gorgeous stack at the core -- NONSEQUITUR, ANTHONYBOURDAIN, and SCOUTSHONOR. Standing bravo on that.

And, Hal, did you have la città eternal on your mind, with ROMA at 18A crossing an anagrammed ROMA at 11D, not to mention that backward ROMA at 50D?

The terrific clue for PIANO TEACHER was icing on the cake. Thank you, Hal, for this smile producer!

ChuckD 6:52 AM  

Not a fan of BOURDAIN so that long center was a letdown - and I always hate to see an abbreviation in first clue but I did like the rest of the puzzle. It was midweek level toughness for a Friday but enjoyable. Have read Studies in the Sierra and many other MUIR books and I liked the AMOR/IM IN HEAVEN crossing. Wondering whether PENNE is a variety of pasta or just a shape? Variety to me suggests egg-based, semolina etc.

@Joaquin - such juvenile humor - I love it

David 7:02 AM  

The "one might be drawn" crosses messed me up, because I had "card" and "arrow". Once I got "ecard, I knew I needed to rethink the NW.

I liked both the cluing and the answers. Overall, a fun (but fairly easy) Friday solve.

T. Crapper 7:11 AM  

During these days of TP hoarding, the perfect b'day gift just might be a bidet.

GILL I. 7:19 AM  

What a way to start the Friday comments...@Joaquin..I don't cackle, but if I did, I would've at your: Whataschmu Khayyam. Thanks for that.
Friday? You call this Friday? I breeze through a Friday? Do I need to open a bottle of Cava? I had only two little huh's. I had nonsensical instead of NONSEQUITUR and Evite instead of ECARD. Phew.
Yes ANTHONY BOURDAIN is the star of this show. I fell in love with him when he insisted that street food from South America was the best. His disdain for American Fast Food made me feel he was my hero. I'm not sure I'd eat a pigs rectum, though.
I like seeing SACHA Baron and BORON with the green flame. I always wondered why an OYSTER was the world to ambitious types. They ARE slimy - but in a good way - and they pucker up when you squeeze a lemon on them. Is that what you aim for? Would Anthony be happy?
Love Isabel Allende. The first book I read of hers was "Paula." It's sad; it's about her dying daughter. If you like children's stories "La Abuela Panchita" is buenisimo....
A Friday zippy doo dah sans uncle Google. My, oh, my, what a wonderful day.

amyyanni 7:49 AM  

@Joaquin, you are not alone, sir. There's a DANCE poster from the MET of 12 stills of Fred & Ginger I love. Also lots to love here in the puzzle. Cluing made me smile, the crossings mentioned above and PENNE with ROMA TOMATOES are fun. Hope to find more (fun) in day off ahead.

pabloinnh 7:58 AM  

Thank goodness for song titles. GETBACK was a total gimme, but I'm thinking younger solvers may be saying huh? And Woody Guthrie's classic "Deportee" is subtitled "Plane Crash at Los Gatos", so that was the first LOS i thought of. And got ANTHONYBOURDAIN off a couple of letters, but the rest of it was a little stickier for me than for most of the commenters so far. Took forever to see PIANOTEACHER, for instance because my bench wanted to belong to a sports team, just as evil Hal Moore intended.

So enough of a tussle to make it a worthwhile Friday, and I learned Tech BRO, whatever that might be. Thanks for the fun, Mr. Moore, and say hi to Roger and Gary for me.

mmorgan 8:02 AM  

Sure it was easy for a Friday but I found lots of sparkly fun. Gimme a ROMA TOMATO and, SCOUTS HONOR, IM IN HEAVEN! My only problem is that I always mistakenly spell it NON SEQUIToR, and that hurt me here — though in retrospect, I should have known MUIR.

RJ 8:19 AM  

@emilyaviva -- the record is "police record" so part of it is a prior arrest, conviction, etc.

Highlights - humanoid, the wasp, and scouts honor.
Big mistakes that cost me time - photovoltaic instead of photocurrent and "and now" instead of anyhoo.

bauskern 8:31 AM  

I now understand the meaning of humblebrag: to complain about "My slowness" after finishing a Friday in under 5 minutes.
This was an enjoyable, somewhat easy Friday, marred only by the plethora of armchair criticism.
Any puzzle that avoids ETTA James, Brian ENO or the singer SIA gets 5 stars in my book.

Anonymous 8:58 AM  


Nancy 9:01 AM  

I already had HUM------ for "like many sci-fi aliens". My first thought was HUMORLESS. (I didn't write it in, though I knew it would make a much better blog comment if I had.)

What sort of person regards his body as "not a temple" but "an amusement park"? My first thought was either someone who uses recreational drugs or someone who has every inch of his body tattooed. As for someone who just likes to dine on international cuisine? Not so much.

Tech BRO?????? Never heard of such a thing. Is there such a thing as a Tech SIS? Alas, it's not Luddite me.

Aluminum. Graphite. Fiberglass. BORON. I knew the word because there was some sort of ridiculously overpriced tennis racket made of the stuff back in the 90s. The racket failed to take off in any big way and we tennis players never heard a thing about it again.

Far from an especially difficult Friday, but enough here to keep me interested and entertained.

Carola 9:12 AM  

Pleasingly medium for me...some groping for purchase at the start followed by a fast pass through the center and then some hesitant stutter steps at the close. Enjoyed it.

The line I'M IN HEAVEN - BDAY led me to ponder,,,perhaps there's sort of suspension bridge curve, with a high point at the beginning - "Oh boy, it's. my birthday!!", then a trough - "Oh God, am I really 40...50...60...70?!" - and then a second high with a grateful "I made it another year!"

Do-overs: I drew a Bead before a BATH, initially put my RADIO where my PHONO needed to go, wanted my CURRENT to be aPHOTOn-something, went with eNURE, and me, too, for Evite.
Help from previous puzzles: WASP. No idea: Tech BRO.
Experienced solver's moment of shame: Failing to catch the abbreviated "mag" and thus having a real struggle seeing COSMO. Saved by NON SEQUITUR x MUIR.

Michiganman 9:15 AM  

"That woman" in Michigan, along with a few (mostly Dem.) governors are looking pretty smart today.

Petsounds 9:18 AM  

Yes, easiest Friday in memory, but so many tasty clues! I loved ROMATOMATO, even though I screwed it up initially by confidently filling in TOMA for the first four letters after getting 6, 7, and 8D easily. But also OYSTER, SCOUTSHONOR, and, of course, ANTHONYBOURDAIN. But the winner, by far, is PIANOTEACHER, which made me laugh out loud when I got it. And that laugh, along with my unbeaten streak of immediately getting whatever Beatles song is clued, just made my morning.

So it's a happy Friday here, despite the third straight day of suffocating heat with no end in sight (and no rain for the garden) and the prospect of several nights of terrified dogs as the amateurs ply their noisy pyrotechnic trade, starting around 10 PM and continuing well after midnight. This is NOT my favorite time of year.

RooMonster 9:25 AM  

Hey All
I'm beginning to think that @Frantic Sloth is my doppelganger! Her write-up is exactly what I was thinking! Great minds, and all that.

Add me to the crowd who had the S for the C of SAsHA/AsRE. And to the O for the U of NONSEQUITUR. Sorry @M&A! So a two-letter DNF today. Moving up in the world!

California has a city named "The Cats"? That's what Los Gatos means in English, in case you didn't know. Had alTOS first, throwing a wrench in the works.

A few other writeovers, cArd-BATH, HeldONTO-HUNGONTO, dDAY-BDAY, ODEaNS-ODEONS.

That EIRE clue is out there like freakin' Pluto. (Remember that saying?) Wanted IRAN first, as that looks Iran-speak (Farsi? Is that their language?)

Is BORON the element that keeps talking about stuff no one is interested in?

One F

Petsounds 9:27 AM  

@Nancy: Anthony Bourdain did a whole lot of recreational drugs in his younger days, and he, like most chefs (and why is that?), has a whole lot of tattoos. So your instincts were correct.

@Michiganman: I am proud to report that hundreds of signs saying WE SUPPORT "THAT WOMAN FROM MICHIGAN" have sprung up on the lawns of my neighborhood. She did exactly the right thing and withstood vilification, not to mention armed protests, from the Dumpy right with courage and grace.

William of Ockham 9:41 AM  

Gender-neutral BUSSERS #METOO

Seeing "Let's go" *not* "Lets go" slowed me for quite a bit, much too long

Ernonymous 9:44 AM  

I knew I heard that quote before, but I was thinking it was a woman, like Joan Rivers. But then it hit me: Estelle Costanza says it on Seinfeld. It was the episode she caught George doing "that" (he couldn't help it there was a Glamour magazine). She says: don't you have anything better to do at 3 o clock in the afternoon? I go out for a quart of milk, I come home, and find my son treating his body like it was an amusement park!
I think she said this before Anthony, but I'd have to research it, but his quote seems plagiarized.

Whatsername 9:47 AM  

An absolutely delightful Friday. Some really crackerjack clues and at least five debut answers. If my research is accurate: PHOTOCURRENT, IMIMHEAVEN, PIANOTEACHER, FIREIRONS and ANTHONYB. I’ll take this every week, just a delight from start to finish. And the best part is I finally benefited from my innate ability to recall every word of every Beatles song ever written - while still forgetting what I was going to write on the grocery list from the time I thought of it to the time I went to write it down. I knew it would happen someday.

@Joaquin (12:13) You are not alone, and you’re not just getting old. I had that very thought, even before watching the video. Not only are they sexier but also graceful, elegant, expressive and doing something that actually requires skill and talent.

@okanaganer (1:13) Your neighbor’s baby stroller was probably a buggy made especially for dogs. I purchased one for my elderly Schnauzer when she got to where our walks were more drudgery than fun. She always seem to enjoy it, and it allowed me to continue taking my other dog out without having to leave her at home alone. All my pets are rescues who had a pretty tough life before adopting me, and there’s not much I wouldn’t do to make them more comfortable. I’ve never had a dog who was a yapper though, and few things are more annoying. You do have my sympathy there.

Phipps44 9:53 AM  

Agree, fun puzzle.

Anonymous 9:53 AM  

O tempora, o mores!

For I remember stopping by the way
To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all-obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd--"Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

Teedmn 9:56 AM  

GET BACK with its opposite side, Don't Let Me Down, was the first 45 record I bought for myself, way back when. I chose that one because my cousin had given me her 45 of Hey Jude/Revolution, which I loved. I never liked Get Back/Don't Let Me Down as much for whatever reason.

This was definitely an easy Friday with only a couple of writeovers showing on the paper. The popular SAsHA, thinking 9D was going in a PHOTOn direction and not thinking clearly at ANYHOw.

ANYHOO, 56A was my biggest head-scratcher. The old "present" misdirection got me and even after I filled in BDAY, it took a few moments. Whereas with PRIOR, I had the IOR in place so that caused no problem, though it is a clever clue.

Hal Moore, thanks.

mathgent 9:58 AM  

Nice puzzle but I expect more from a Friday. It needs more heft - fewer than a third of the entries were six letters or more. And more sparkle.

People around me don’t say ANYHOO any more. That’s good. I always felt like slapping them.

MARAUD, what a nice word. Is it French?

When I was a kid, the Spanish clubs would have picnics on Sunday afternoons down the Peninsula. My father would drive us down El Camino and we’d pass Los Gatos. They had a huge statue of a cat on the highway lying in wait. I wonder if it’s still there.

Is that amusement park quote BOURDAIN’s best?

Hartley70 10:04 AM  

I expect my Friday puzzles to be traditional, no funny business, and this deviated from the norm. There were a lot of Os and long O sounds in this puzzle and I wasn’t a big fan of PHONO, or COSMO in particular. I wasted time looking for a complete word. I’ll add ANYHOO to that annoyance, however in that case there were quotation marks to alert the solver. BDAY gets a pass because we have “for short”. I don’t mind slang answers generally but these weren’t clever enough for my taste.

Aside from that whine, the puzzle was fine and a little more difficult than usual because I wanted PHOTOnstReAm because I liked the idea of it and NONSEnsical because it fit. I had to play around for a bit to see that division was math and not teams. All that was good fun and I thank the constructor for the entertainment.

jberg 10:15 AM  

Easy but interesting, with lots of tricky clues. I too missed the “mags” hint for COSMO— but there’s no hint for shortening PHONOgraph. Fair enough on a Friday.

My biggest problem was misreading the number on the anthem clue as 58A. I had A LA crossing, so it had to be LAOS, even though it looked Irish to me. That really screwed things up

Me too for SAsHA, saved by ACRE, and the preferred term BUSSERS.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

My grandfather had a small house up in the hills, with a real fireplace. We would visit in the summer, and he'd get a fire going at night, turn out the lights, and toss in some 'fireplace salts'. Of course, I wanted to know what made what color, and almost remembered.

A MINI has not been British in many decades. It is a BMW.

How many versions of OD.... (X theater) are there, anyway? And, the life long favourite, [I|E]NURE.

Don't buy the 'resembling' clue for A LA, since it really means 'in the manner of', verb-ishness being the operative objection.

Shouldn't Carnival be spelt with that thingee over the a? It is, after all, a Spanish/Portuguese event, not Anglo.

Anonymous 10:19 AM  

this is first time in my whole, entire life I've seen ANYHOO. always, but always, ANYwhO.

Z 10:20 AM  

I liked this a lot. Fun long answers and the short fill didn’t get any eye rolls or ughs. I was doing some other puzzle last night and the EIRE/Erin coin flip came up the other way, so that caught my eye, otherwise the short fill was just the glue holding the puzzle together without striking me as obtrusive.

Tech BRO is derisive. Basically any BRO term references a doofus with too much testosterone exposure. I’m pretty sure you can find some think pieces by googling “tech BRO culture.” Add “sexual harassment” for the really scathing takedowns of Silicon Valley.

@Joaquin 12:13 - As long as you aren’t standing on your porch in your bathrobe yelling “Get offa my lawn” you’re okay.

@Michiganman & @Petsounds - The funny thing is that there are legitimate criticisms that could be made, but the know nothings have pretty much purged any semblance of intelligence from that party.

@Giovanni - My first thought was Mae West. I have no doubt he said it, but the idea is hardly new. I just saw something about the brothel graffiti in Pompeii and was thinking the sentiment can probably be found on those walls (although I don’t know the 79 C.E. Roman equivalent of “amusement park”)

RRN Tangent, the hashtag on Twitter for the Manchester City v Liverpool match yesterday was #MCILIV and I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of unholy RRN hell had been unleashed. Crosswords are warping my brain.

RoccoChaz 10:30 AM  

Excellent. Loved the clue for ATARI. Thumbs up for BDAY and PRIOR clues as well.

Z 10:32 AM  

@Anon10:16 - Rio’s is the most famous, but Carnival is bigger than that.

I forgot to mention earlier that I always assume “the world is her OYSTER” to be related to Botticelli. I have no proof of this, it is just something I like to believe. (spoiler: blame Shakespeare)

SBpianist 10:32 AM  

Embrace it.

jberg 10:40 AM  

@panloinnh—I thought of that song too! Didn’t know Woody wrote it.

Lorelei Lee 10:43 AM  

The solving experience was a suspension of belief process. Like, can this be Maraud or Bday or Phono or Bro? Maybe it's Roma Tomato .. Ok, sure. Thus I finished, but I "Checked" so not officially.

Like Maraud the way I liked Havoc when I learned it was also a verb. Now I know you can havoc while you maraud. Glad the Vikings settled down early in history.

@Joaquin, Yes, it's one sign that you're that guy. Other signs are saying things like the following. When I said the first one, it was over a beast of a medicine cabinet during a bathroom remodel.

Save that. They don't make 'em like anymore.

It cost what?! That's insane. They used to cost a buck.

It was a just couple of years ago. What, 10 years ago?! Time flies.

I don't care if people don't 'em wear 'em anymore. They're comfortable.

John's in high school now? I still think of him as in elementary school. Are you sure?

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

a look at the wiki (confirms my memory, alas) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colored_fire that barium and copper are the primary source of green flame. boron is way, way down the list of possible green flame. not even listed in that page, but is in the 'Green' page, way down the list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green#Pigments,_food_coloring_and_fireworks

mathgent 10:55 AM  

My comment at 9:58 shows that 75-year-old memories aren’t accurate. Los Gatos isn’t on El Camino going down The Peninsula, it’s a town of 30,000 going down Highway 17 toward Santa Cruz. We would go to Santa Cruz often when I was a preteen. And there are two statues of cats there, flanking the gate of an estate.

57stratocaster 11:00 AM  

Woulda coulda had a personal best if I wasn't so sure non sequitur was spelled sequitor.

Whatsername 11:27 AM  

@Petsounds (9:27) i’m right there with you about the fireworks. I’ll be spending the next few evenings with my TV turned up as loud as it will go while cuddling my little Yorkie under a blanket tent. Thankfully it only comes once a year but it can’t be over soon enough for me.

@Z (10:20) “As long as you aren’t standing on your porch in your bathrobe yelling ‘Get offa my lawn’ you’re okay.”
Are you saying that’s wrong? Asking for a friend.

Swagomatic 11:35 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle. Nice Friday, with a few minor exceptions like EIRE and SKYES - two pencils up.

Masked and Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Top ten finishers for "Your body is not a temple, it's …":
* … Moore.
* … an AMOR ACRE.
* … a MINI WOE.
* … IDLE … OR NO.

staff weeject pick: ORO. An almost ORNO.
fave sparkler for Indy-Day Eve: ANYHOO. Also, BDAY seems kinda almost appropriate.

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

Masked & Anonym007Us


Nancy 11:54 AM  

@Petsounds (9:27) -- Either I didn't ever know any of that or I'd forgotten it. (I did read "Kitchen Confidential" many moons ago and loved it.) In any event, the quote makes much more sense now.

Crimson Devil 11:54 AM  

Great reference to Estelle & George Costanza.
Reminds of one of my favorite come-backs: Seems that college prof (client o’ mine) assigned a paper to be due on the Monday following an upcoming huge party-weekend on campus, absolutely no excuses for turning paper in late. From back of class was heard young fella to inquire Professor, wouldn’t extreme sexual exhaustion be a valid excuse? To which my pal reputedly replied Son, you’d just need to write with your other hand !

Birchbark 11:56 AM  

What mighty aches from little TOE corns grow.

Favorite clue/answer combo = QUOTIENTS. So simple and direct, it felt like a misdirect when at last I got it.

Yes, @Petsounds (9:18), it is hot. There ought to be a thunderstorm or two of a late afternoon to ease things up. But aside from the Noah's Ark storm earlier in the week, no such luck.

And it's hot at night too -- Last evening, I seared up a steak in a cast iron skillet in the kitchen rather than go outside and cook it on my old Weber grill. Tasted just fine, but I don't feel entirely good about myself for it. I couldn't stand the heat, so stayed in the kitchen -- what would Harry Truman say to that?

Joe Dipinto 11:57 AM  

@Teedmn 9:56 → ...Hey Jude/Revolution, which I loved. I never liked Get Back/Don't Let Me Down as much for whatever reason.

Because it wasn't as good.

Add some mashed up Roma tomatoes to spaghetti with clams, for a light, not gloppy, red-sauce effect (also use white wine in addition to water if you like).

Ethan Taliesin 12:11 PM  

As Giovanni at 9:44 pointed out, the body as an amusement park idea was also in Seinfeld dialogue. It also preceded the Bourdain quote.

Here it is

Great show

Petsounds 12:23 PM  

@Joe Dipinto: I like the idea of Romas with spaghetti and clams. And I love the Food Network recipe for an uncooked pasta sauce that involves shredding beefsteak tomatoes into a bowl with olive oil and fresh basil chiffonade, adding chunks of Brie, and pouring it over hot pasta. It is GOOD! And very summery. Here's the recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/creamy-no-cook-tomato-sauce-with-basil-and-brie-3680280

EV 12:49 PM  

@jberg @pabloinnh and all Woody Guthrie fans, and anyone wondering where our prez got his ideas, read this.

Joe Dipinto 12:55 PM  

@Petsounds – that does look good! Other softish cheeses would probably work too. Definitely saving for future use...

Masked and Anonymous 1:10 PM  


Texas Governor makes new announcement on masks worn in public, today. If U ain't wearin a mask, U are now considered an outlaw.
Ironic … but a real good call.

@RP: Neat blog write-up, today. Thanx. "Short fill gonna short fill". har

M&A Mask News Update Desk

Brian C. 1:27 PM  

My only problem with this puzzle was the clue for RODS—found in most clothes closets? Is it like another name for coat hanger or am I missing something obvious?

old timer 1:34 PM  

A vast sea of white space. Typical for a Friday. Also typical: having to solve from the bottom up. On Fridays, the easier clues are so often at the bottom. And, it was all solvable in the end.

Handsup for putting in SAsHA before SACHA. And for misguessing the Los town. It never is Banos, for no one rides through Los Banos these days, thought that was on my Palo Alto to Los Angeles route back in the day. But I convidently put in Los AltOS before Los GATOS. The GATOS in question are not house cats, but mountain lions (cougars) which are commonly seen across California.

Los GATOS was a stop on the old Southern Pacific route to Santa Cruz, which left the Peninsula Line at Mayfield (right after Palo Alto) and headed to Vasona Junction, Los GATOS, and a tunnel through the mountains to reach Santa Cruz. The line was cut back to Vasona, and in the late 60's there was still a daily commuter train that ended there.

And I rode the last train to Vasona. There, it headed to San Jose, where I could transfer back to Palo Alto. They started tearing out the tracks the next day. A lot of San Francisco executives headed to and from work on that train, having built homes in Los Altos, where they could have a little acreage along with excellent public schools.

JC66 1:43 PM  

@Brian C

Yes you are.

The RODS are what you hang the hangars on.

Rick Walker 1:50 PM  

I made every single wrong turn that Rex made. Only it took me 40 minutes rather than four to finish. His brain must 10 times faster than mine.

Joe Dipinto 1:52 PM  

@JC66 – well they do have those new hangers that suspend themselves in midair.

JC66 2:11 PM  

@Joe D

Yeah, but they're probably more expensive.

Ernonymous 2:23 PM  

The Woz lives in Los Gatos. I was there once, they had a great Skate shop.

GILL I. 2:35 PM  

@old timer 1:34. It's been quite a while since my husband and I have been to Los Gatos. We did a Santa Cruz/Los Gatos/Salinas run many moons ago. I LOVED that little town. Steinbeck lived there at one time and it was where he wrote "The Grapes of Wrath." Remember when the Loma Prieta Earthquake hit? It practically destroyed that little town and its beautiful Victorian buildings. They rebuilt again. Since Netflix and all the other Silicon Valley giants have taken over, I refuse to go back. Same thing happening in my beloved San Francisco. Just about any lovely town near San Jose has been invaded and changed...(sigh)....

Z 3:14 PM  

@M&A - At AMOR ACRE I immediately thought, “that’s what she said.” HUNG ONTO indeed.

Anonymous 3:44 PM  

@GILL I. -
Just about any lovely town near San Jose has been invaded and changed...(sigh)....

I lived on Capitol Hill back in the 70s and 80s when middle class white folk were invading the row houses that black families had been living in for generations. The white folks considered that they were 'improving' the real estate prices and 'cleaning up' the ghetto. But let wealthier white folk invade lower class white folk, and it is an abomination.

I wasn't happy with the way chain stores ruined the local shops in Harvard Square, but that's commercial real estate, not abodes.

Annette 3:51 PM  

“So help me god” before SCOUTSHONOR held me up for some time...

Brenton 3:56 PM  

I loved this puzzle. Fun and quick and just difficult enough to be intriguing. Loved the long answers.

Soba and udon are common as heck in multicultural Vancouver.

And tech bros are definitely a thing. Added to Urban Dictionary in 2013. Coming up with terribly obvious solutions to non-problems (You just invented a "bus", Elon) for longer.

Brenton 4:00 PM  

Oh, and I had TOMATO to start the answer, then TOMATOMATO as I solved it further, and thought it was some weird repeating word part of a theme. Whoops.

GILL I. 4:05 PM  

@Anony 3:44....Are you talking about Capitol Hill in Seattle? The take-overs are appalling. Changing for the worse. Lovely old landscapes being mowed down. The corner grocery, kids playgrounds, Mom and Pop's out the door. The local music!....I've seen it happen lots. It now invades Sacramento. My once sleepy town that diehard skiers, on their way to Tahoe would pass through and never dream of stopping over, is now San Francisco's latest take over. People will commute on Amtrak..... Hey, that sweet little neighborhood where a house cost 250,000 is now a million plus. Yay me. And the beat goes on.

Anoa Bob 4:20 PM  

Starting the grid with an abbreviation is inauspicious, but when stuff like MARAUD, HUMANOID and NON SEQUITUR shows up, I'M back IN HEAVEN, xwordishly speaking.

I watched a few of ANTHONY BOURDAIN's shows but was put off when I learned that he smoked cigarettes and was a chef. Smoking greatly diminishes the sense of taste and smell (I used to smoke) and is a self-defeating thing for a chef to do. It would be like a PIANO TEACHER listening to jet engines at take-off just before giving a lesson.

There also seemed to be a recklessness about him, so the quote in the clue about the body being an amusement park fits that part of his image. An amusement park. Wow. I join those who think of the body as being the temple of the soul.

I use to work in electronics in the Navy and then in the aerospace industry. (I later changed course and went into education.) I installed the solar power system (the panels, wiring, regulator, etc.) on my sailboat. Did mucho research in the process. Never have I seen PHOTO CURRENT. To my ear it sounds ad hoc, just put together for this puzzle, almost a self-contained NON SEQUITUR.

QUOTIENT & AXE and SKYE & ROD would be too short for their respective grid slots but they get some much needed grid fill help with a constructor's best friend, the letter S. Right in there with the cheater square in terms of grid-fill helpfulness. I always take a peak to see if that lower right-most square will be an "S". Happens around 30-40% of the time, much higher than the 6% or so that "S" occurs in English text (pi.math.cornell.edu).

JC66 4:21 PM  


My guess is that s/he's talking about Washington, DC.

Anonymous 4:39 PM  


There's only one Capitol Hill, where Congress lives. According to the wiki Seattle was black folks at 7.1% in 1970, and weren't in an area called Capitol Hill.

According to this: https://www.seattlemag.com/article/seattle-too-white (2018)
"The Central Area, once virtually all black, is being rapidly gentrified. Big employers are tech companies that skew white and male (Amazon)."

"More than a racial utopia, the preponderance of people of color in a little slice of the city’s southern extreme can be seen as a testament to the lack of diversity in the rest of the Seattle…. Viewed from a certain angle, the title southeast Seattle has conferred on itself is the consolation prize for an area widely thought of as the city’s ghetto, whose future is uniquely uncertain."

Sounds a lot like Capitol Hill in the 70s. The significant difference is that DC was and remains predominantly black but poor, while the white folk lived (70s) almost solely in far Northwest, you know Georgetown and such.

And your last comment made my case: white folks only care about NIMBY when other white folks are getting evicted.

burtonkd 5:03 PM  

As a PIANOTEACHER who likes to make sports analogies, I finally got a clue just for me. IMINHEAVEN.

I was thinking about Estelle from Seinfeld also. Her line delivery was spectacular (not to be confused with "they are real, and they are spectacular")Didn't she injure herself as a result of witnessing George?

I remember the Anthony Bourdain article in the New Yorker, which led to the book, which led to the TV career, which led to... Feeling old and maudlin.

@Anoa Bob, not jet engines, but we had a pile driver going from 7am-3pm outside my window while trying to teach piano in quarantine. Jet engines from occasional Laguardia flight paths a welcome relief at that time.

Looking for adjective, had PHOTOVOLTAIC.

Also resisted MINI, since that has been a German BMW for quite some time.

pabloinnh 5:19 PM  

@EV (12:49)-That's a fascinating link to the Wapo article about Woody. I co-taught a course on Woody for seniors, which was short and superficial, and never ran into this particular part of his life. Great stuff. Thank you.

Anonymous 5:28 PM  

@Anoa. This is kinda irrelevant but "S" is never in the Bee.

Andrew Heinegg 6:34 PM  

Well, if you want to compare singing, Ms. Cyrus can sing as well or maybe even better than Fred Astaire.

But, guess what? I always thought Fred Astaire should have asked directors to cut his singing scenes because, well, he couldn't.

Escalator 6:58 PM  

Should have had the movie “ Airplane” as a theme. Opened 40 years ago


Anonymous 7:09 PM  

Nah. Astaire nails the phrasing of all-time greats like Cole Porter. He’s quite good as a singer. Not just on key, but in time and in full complement to the harmony and melody. Ms. Cyrus? Eh... not so much.

Anonymous 7:44 PM  

Andy- I disagree. Astaire has at least as good pitch, better annunciation, superior rhythm and surely better voice control. Cyrus looks good in scanty attire, true, but Astaire beats her there too in , well, anything he ever wore ion film. I mean, would you rather look like Astaire or Cyrus.

The common era? What does the era have in common save marking it by Christ’s birth. Your naming system is bankrupt. A silly pose which obfuscates instead of illuminating. The very antithesis of science.

Brenton 8:05 PM  

Uh, gang, Miley Cyrus can sing. I appreciate that not everyone follows her musical career too closely. But she's got a voice and can use it.

Miley singing Jolene live

Miley singing Malibu live

Anonymous 8:57 PM  

How are you not grumpier about ECARD?! That vexed me for several minutes (even after I'd removed EVITE) because I insisted there's no way both a producer and probably multiple editors could confused a digital greeting card with a digital invitation:

noun: ecard
a digital version of a greeting card, typically accessed by the recipient via a hyperlink in an email.
"the next day she sent him an animated e-card that told him how special he was to her"

Runs with Scissors 9:10 PM  

It's Friday, so it's supposed to be tough...

Unfortunately, not much of this was tough. You got yer ROMA TOMATO, which is a NON-SEQUITUR for ANTHONY BOURDAIN (sorry not sorry, I have no sympathy for someone like him, who did himself in, for whatever reason he did)...

SCOUTS HONOR, LOS alTOS before GATOS; but GATOS fell pretty easily. Many LOS towns here in California. Or what's left of it, anyway.

I'll just say this: If you admire RBG because she's female, and on the SCOTUS, well hot-diggity. If you've read the Constitution, then not so much.

I'll leave you with this: No, never mind, because you won't understand it. Just go read Article I, Section 8, clause 8, and then defend NPR & PBS.

You can't, but you will try anyway. Just as you will try to defend everything else Congress has done outside of their granted authority.

Why not, she does.

South of the Idiots in Sacramento

Joaquin 9:34 PM  

@Brenton (8:05) and others defending Miley Cyrus's singing. Yes, she can sing. In my earlier post I was comparing the dancing of 1935 with today's "twerking".

And since you linked to "Jolene", here's MY favorite version of that song:

Z 10:46 PM  

@Anon7:44 - Bankrupt? And here I thought it was just a matter of acknowledging that not everyone is Christian. I guess I could have gone with 559 BH and really upset you.

old timer 11:20 PM  

I visited Seattle often in 1969-1970. Capitol Hill was and is multiracial. The heart of the Black community is East and Southeast of Broadway, and as I recall there were some largely Black housing projects in the area.

I suppose house values have soared, as they have everywhere. One reason is that Capitol Hill was a center of gay life and businesses, and gay neighborhoods so often are the sites of gentrification, as well as entertainment and the arts. The other, of course, is both Downtown and the University District are an easy bus ride for Capitol Hill denizens.

Capitol is correct, BTW. One story says an early developer hoped to have the State Capital move there from Olympia. As if. People in Washington, as in most states, prefer to have their Capital (and Capitol) many miles away from their major cities. Boston and Atlanta are the rare exceptions to that general rule. Phoenix I suppose too, but really Tucson used to be the important place in Arizona.

Seam Watcher 1:28 AM  

@Nancy at 9:01 AM Re: Boron in tennis rackets - in the 70's the Head Arthur Ashe Comp II racket was made with Boron, and touted as much in its magazine ads. As my vocabulary at the then clueless age of 15 was limited to tennis and little else, I happened to mention this to a lodger in my family's house at the time, as it happens a post-doc metallurgist, and heard an exposition, sometimes not even that excruciating, on the properties of Boron, particularly known for being rigid, but flexible enough to withstand whipsaw motions, presumably like that of Arthur Ashe's ground strokes. It was a fairly popular stick though not as big a seller as the first Head Arthur Ashe Comp, which, at least among my set, when it first came out, was THE futuristic piece of gear to have, all aluminum sheathed, like a scimitar. Showing up w/a pair of those in your bag was good for at least a couple of games in some quarters. While definitely a signifier of guilt-harboring parents, too much disposable income, or both, to a typically over-amped 15-year old's eye, it looked really cool. Anyway, your comment jogged that memory, maybe someone else remembers those halcyon days of tennis, when it owned the summers.

Old Actor 4:20 PM  

For whoever said Fred Astaire can't sing, I dare you to see the Parkinson interview with him on YouTube. He sings all his movie hits and some he wrote himself. You will also see that he was a favorite of Sinatra, Torme and Tony Bennett. I'm sorry I
can't link it. It's incredible.

kitshef 9:31 PM  

Somebody slipped a Tuesday in on Friday. I've made this point before, but there isn't a "slot" in the NYT rotation for the easy themeless puzzle, which is a pity. I liked this a lot, but wanted (much) more challenge on a Friday.

OkiPaul 11:35 PM  

I have the baseball cap Anthony Bourdain wore when he visited Okinawa.

spacecraft 10:12 AM  

Lots of long stuff, but it still didn't feel like a Friday. I've come to expect more bite this late in the week. First clue was when I put THERAM onto the (usually) dreaded NW. Only minor snag: it took a while to parse HUNGONTO. Why I tried to make that one word I don't know. The correction to ANYHOO from its more common W-ended cousin didn't even occur, as I was working from SW toward the center.

One symptom of ease was the clue for bleedover OMAR: yesterday an obscurity, today a gimme. Go figure.

My body may not be an amusement park, but give me a ROMATOMATO and some PENNE and IMINHEAVEN. Of course, that lyric from "Cheek to Cheek" calls to mind the marvelous King novel The Green Mile, and I still laugh at the PIANOTEACHER segment in "Groundhog Day" when some poor little girl gets the boot in favor of a $1K lesson for our hero.

Expect a rant from @rondo about 19 down. Rants? NOTI, BRO. Albeit a bit tame for a Friday, it scores a birdie ANYHOO.

thefogman 11:17 AM  

Like Brenton @4:00 PM, I too had tOMATOMATO before ROMATOMATO and thought it was a repeat gimmick until I did an alphabet run and hit the R in ROMA. Decent Friday fare.

Burma Shave 11:58 AM  


is in THE CURRENT issue of COSMO,
for a HUMANOID she’s a real TOMATO!


Diana, LIW 1:05 PM  

Great. Just great. Now I'll have that old earworm, "Amhran na bhFiann," stuck in my head all day.

You too?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for a new song (GETBACK!!)
(and yes - I got it all - hooray for Friday!)

rainforest 2:18 PM  

This was a delightful entry in a week of enjoyable puzzles. Loved ANTHONY BOURDAIN dead centre. Liked ANYHOO, and so much of the rest. It was maybe easier than what you would expect for Friday, but a lot of fun during the solve. In addition to the central grid-spanner, MARAUD, QUOTIENTS, OYSTER, SCOUTS HONOR, NON SEQUITUR, and HUMANOID gave the puzzle some snap.

I know that @rondo will object to TAR as a gravel alternative, but I can take it.

I've really enjoyed this week, and this puzzle as well.

rondo 2:32 PM  

I guess they still haven’t learned: TAR is *not* an alternative to gravel. Do I have to write directly to Will? ‘Sailor’ or ‘Feather’s partner’ for TAR, okay; not a clue having anything to do with pavement.
Fairly easy puz, though I drew a Beer before a BATH, so MINI-inkfest there.

The four corners clean up with SOAP, or doggone Lhasa APSO.

Any actress who ever played the WASP – yeah baby.

PENNE for your thoughts.

leftcoaster 4:59 PM  

@rondo --- You're probably more than tarred (sorry) of this, but how does Bill Butler's explanation strike you?:

Gravel alternative : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

rondo 5:29 PM  

People have misused the word TAR for a loooong time. Asphalt looks like tar, but asphalt is derived from petroleum; actual TAR is not.

leftcoaster 6:37 PM  

@rondo --- Okay, thanks. It's the "misuse" of the word. I get it. (I don't think Bill B. actually misuses it here, though.)

Parts Unknown 8:13 AM  

I'm surprised that it hasn't been commented upon. "Don't talk about rope in a hanged man's house”
Great to see Anthony Bourdain spanning the grid, but HUNG ONTO hanging from his "H"is tasteless. HUNG ONTO is a strange entry, rare.

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