Marcel Marceau character / FRI 8-28-20 / Plot point in rom-com / Dish that might be garnished with nori negi / Gaelic name for Scotland / Secret admirer of Lily Potter in Harry Potter universe / First #1 hit for Spice Girls

Friday, August 28, 2020

Constructor: Kate Hawkins

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (low 7s)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ISO (32A: Camera film speed inits.) —

Film speed
 is the measure of a photographic film's sensitivity to light, determined by sensitometry and measured on various numerical scales, the most recent being the ISO system. A closely related ISO system is used to describe the relationship between exposure and output image lightness in digital cameras. [...] The ASA and DIN film speed standards have been combined into the ISO standards since 1974. // The current International Standard for measuring the speed of colour negative film is ISO 5800:2001 (first published in 1979, revised in November 1987) from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Related standards ISO 6:1993 (first published in 1974) and ISO 2240:2003 (first published in July 1982, revised in September 1994 and corrected in October 2003) define scales for speeds of black-and-white negative film and colour reversal film, respectively. // The determination of ISO speeds with digital still-cameras is described in ISO 12232:2019 (first published in August 1998, revised in April 2006, corrected in October 2006 and again revised in February 2019). // The ISO system defines both an arithmetic and a logarithmic scale. The arithmetic ISO scale corresponds to the arithmetic ASA system, where a doubling of film sensitivity is represented by a doubling of the numerical film speed value. In the logarithmic ISO scale, which corresponds to the DIN scale, adding 3° to the numerical value constitutes a doubling of sensitivity. For example, a film rated ISO 200/24° is twice as sensitive as one rated ISO 100/21°. // Commonly, the logarithmic speed is omitted; for example, "ISO 100" denotes "ISO 100/21°", while logarithmic ISO speeds are written as "ISO 21°" as per the standard. (wikipedia)
• • •

If I just look at this grid as a finished object, it seems fine. It's pretty solid, and it's got little moments of currency and up-to-date-ness. It's got no real marquee answers beyond the central PYRAMID SCHEME, so nothing really pops or sizzles, but it's alright. And yet solving it was not that fun. I never know how much the editor's cluing voice is just mucking things up, but it just felt like there was a layer of muck and dust and quaintness over a lot of the cluing. Cluing turned SKINNY into an olde-timey word (13D: Inside dope). Cluing on GOLD TEETH just felt ... hmm ... labored (46A: Pearly whites that aren't white). It's basically saying "teeth that aren't white," which tells me nothing. Why would anyone have GOLD TEETH? Once you've answered that question, maybe incorporate *that* into your clue, instead of leaving us with this overly literal dead weight (also, "pearly whites," another olde-timey expression). Cluing on PARROT was super-technical and bizarre (44D: Oscine : songbird :: psittacine : ___). I'm so tired of hair being clued as MOP. Again, for some reason, it just feels 50 years old (weren't the Beatles known as "mop-tops" or something like that?). But then some of the issues I had were with the fill itself. Like ... BIP?! (21D: Marcel Marceau character) Yeeeeesh. No one has thought of Marcel Marceau in 40+ years, and though I know I've seen BIP in xwords before, I drew a total blank there. Younger solvers will have no clue, none, and no way to have a clue, as mime lore has not been maintained as far as I can tell. And SHOE PRINT ... while I'm sure that that is a thing, even if the print were left "in the dust" by a shoe, most humans would still call it a "footprint," so ... just weird (28A: One might be left in the dust). Grid really does seem solid enough, overall, but this lacked the Zing I love in a good Friday, and then also it was hard in unrewarding ways, so ... so-so, I guess.

Found the NW extremely hard, as TOOT was first HONK then BEEP (again, "TOOT" for a horn honk feels olden). Is the "station update" in 4D: Subject of a station update, for short (ETA) a ... train station? bus station? "Station update" just feels so weird, like it's about TV or something. I actually wanted APSE early but didn't put it in because the "E" felt wrong in the cross. POLISHUP was hard to parse (2D: Make final improvements to). SOBSTORY was very vaguely clued (3D: A play to one's emotions) (Something about the "A" at the front of the clue felt strange). And then the SW got me too, with SPOIL being really hard to get from 43A: Turn, and that clue on PARROT, ugh, and ONEACT, also toughish (I wanted some 6-letter word for "existential" ... or else the actual 6-letter word FRENCH). Having SALESMAN for SALES REP (ugh) really really killed me (36D: Professional pitcher). Had TAN for SUN, which was a very right wrong answer (23A: Go for the bronze?). I hate this clue for SUN. You might SUN yourself with zero intention of getting "Bronze," but TAN—straight line from TAN to bronze. Sigh. I've seen MEETCUTE a few times now so it didn't enchant the way it might have in, say, 2015. Really surprised TENET didn't get the Christopher Nolan movie title treatment (60A: Article of faith). My greatest moment of glory was spelling TA-NEHISI perfectly on the first try—I put his full name in a themeless for Buzzfeed, lo these many (five?) years ago. PYRAMID SCHEME is a nice answer. Seems like the kind of answer you'd build a theme around. You can have that idea for free, constructors of the world. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Harryp 12:15 AM  

More car stuff for the fourth or fifth time this week?! I managed to figure this one out with the help of PYRAMID SCHEME, GOLD TEETH, BASE TEN, and MEET CUTE, among others. It looks like I had better memorize TA-NEHISI Paul Coates, since he is likely to show up often. Tan for SUN, Spell, for SPOIL, lots of rewording, but still under my Friday Average by five minutes. Liked it a lot.

jae 12:41 AM  

Easy-medium, with the West side slightly tougher than the East. I recently read Coates’s “The Water Dancer” which was helpful. Solid with some sparkle, liked it. A fine debut!

RE: GOLD TEETH - At xwordinfo Kate said her orange clue was “grill bits”.

puzzlehoarder 1:22 AM  

I should really have waited until Saturday to take time from my busy week to do the puzzle (and comment no less.) When a puzzle starts with APSE, TTOPS and PTAS it makes a very bad first impression.

The latest Smithsonian issue has informed me that Ta-Nehesi was a name for the land south of Egypt.

It was interesting to see TRUECIME crossing SHOEPRINT. My wife and I recently watched the HBO series " I'll Be Gone In The Dark". That's probably why 5D came so easy. The image of the killer's shoe print was something they used more than once.

Not a bad puzzle just a bit too early week.

okanaganer 1:33 AM  

For me MEET CUTE will always be the scene from the movie Holiday with Kate Winslet and Eli Wallach.

I call Natick on the crossing of 2 names: LUNA crossing SNAPE. Not being a Harry Potter fan, I had SNIPE. Not being a candy bar buyer, no idea.

The pretty decent answer THAT'S ME is clued very awkwardly. Suggestion: "Look...there I am!"

jae 1:44 AM  

....That should have been “original clue”. Sometimes when I tap on a suggested word it doesn’t actually appear as i envisioned it would.

JD 1:54 AM  

With different cluing and the same words, this would've been Wednesday level difficulty. Oddly, the only thing I filled in with confidence and little thought was Ta-Nehisi. Seriously. Stared at 1A for a pretty long while and all I could think was building, vault, bank.

So worked from the middle though the east and down until I was staring at the first four vertical rows that were nearly blank save for what Pyramid Scheme offered.

Finally broke it with Ostrich and then the Drink More Ovaltine answer Apse.

ghkozen 2:08 AM  

The clue on COT is an abomination. This, alone, should cost Shortz his job. Cannot happen soon enough.

That is all.

Anonymous 2:15 AM  

I don't know a single photographer who talks about ISO in terms of camera speed. That's a misleading clue and I guarantee anyone who knows a little about cameras is immediately going to think to put FPS there rather than ISO, which obviously doesn't work.

chefwen 2:26 AM  

Thank God partner knew TANEHISI, I had no clue. This was a tough one but we managed to claw our way to the end.
I’m blaming my neighbor you stopped over for a couple glasses of wine before we started on the puzzle.

Had ampS for the band boosters before PTAS, catS before RUGS for Persians, hey it worked with Cig for a fix, I remember those days, so many moons ago.

Is a BIP what you give a kitty nose when you run out of boops?

Anonymous 3:09 AM  

“ I wanted some 6-letter word for ‘existential‘“...


G. Toland 5:54 AM  

@Anonymous 2:15 AM

You obviously don't know any real photographers.

Film speed and camera speed are two completely different things. The clue is correct.

Thank you and come again.

amyyanni 6:03 AM  

"Coco" is a good movie. Glad I stopped by and got to see Rex's Perjured Parrot cover. One of my resident critters is Simon, a male Eclectus parrot. They're green; females are scarlet.

ChuckD 6:17 AM  

I waited all week for this? One long across in the center and a chopped up grid resulting in short garbage everywhere else - I’ll pass. The fill is bad - I don’t care who clued it. I liked SURF and DARTH. Seems like Hamilton references are the new Harry Potter for the Times. This puzzle has both. Spice Girls and MEET CUTE?

I was hoping for a really good puzzle today to cheer me up a little - protests, storms, fires and especially seeing how that moron is using the White House as his convention hall. I guess it’ll have to be the Stumper tomorrow.

Dave S 6:22 AM  

@jae Oooh, grill bits would have been so much better. As it was , my objections actually matched Rex's this time, although "one act" luckily gave me the opening to the SW as a I repeatedly hummed that Spice girls song wondering what the title was and wished I had studied up on my bird life. I'm old enough to remember Marcel Marceau, but Bip means nothing to me. I thought maybe he'd played a bum, but I don't think we say that any more. for some reason car model clues always bother me. Hard but not all that satisfying (and I'll just ignore the double entendres there). Happy to learn facts about the ostrich and parrot, though.

Kal 6:48 AM  

It’s a measure of *film* speed, meaning light sensitivity. No one talks about it because no one uses film anymore. Anyway, ISO wasn’t the film speed designation used until around 1990; in the US it was ASA.

Lewis 7:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hungry Mother 7:20 AM  

A bit of a slog, but patience won out. Not one of my BESTS, but I’ll take it.

David Fabish 7:22 AM  

Not to pile on, but I (in the US) used ISO for film speed way back in the eighties. And digital cameras still use ISO, because they digitally emulate the light sensitivity of film to get different effects. My DSLR has ISO settings, as does my phone camera (Galaxy S20) in "pro" mode.

mathgent 7:23 AM  

I did good to solve it clean. 19 of the 72 entries were mysteries to me, over 25%. That usually puts me in DNF land.

Reviews of rom-coms often talk about the couple meeting cute. I love rom-coms but I can’t think of one where how they met was an important part of why I liked it. Meeting was an important part of You’ve Got Mail but it wasn’t cute.

Not much sparkle. More satisfaction than enjoyment.

Lewis 7:24 AM  

I take my ELANTRA to the SURF, then SUN with an ICED LATTE, meet GENE with the GOLD TEETH, watch him PARROT BIP for some laughs, then we SWITCH gears and POLISH UP our PYRAMID SCHEME, a TRUE CRIME involving no LUNACY and OMITting nothing -- "ISO WANNABE rich!" shouts, GENE, "THAT'S ME!" -- but then a PARROT YELLSAT us, "REFRAIN! REFRAIN!" as we hear the TOOT of a police car, and we SPURT away, like OSTRICHes, leaving nary a SHOEPRINT, and, over an ALE, opt to end our NOD TO crime.

Thank you, Kate, for an impressive debut, and springboard to a flight of whimsy!

Andy 7:28 AM  

I put in ISO with no crosses, but I’m still a film shooter. I never think about frames per second.

TTrimble 7:33 AM  

I think I must be tired, because just like yesterday, I struggled on this one. I did finish, but it took me a long time.

Unlike other people, I couldn't cough up TA NEHISI quickly -- I had only some vague sense of the letters. Not helping was the unlikelihood of having two T's in a row (TTOPS), and the fact that "dele" feels like the natural editorial opposite of "stet" (OMIT), and also the fact that I kept thinking of "lab RAT", not PET RAT -- somehow I don't immediately leap to thinking of rats as pets. Also had trouble in the NW: it's POLISH UP, not "finish up", and I couldn't remember ALBA to save my soul, even though I was in Scotland last year and saw that all over. Yeah, BIP: wasn't going to get that without the crosses, and OSTRICH I already had trouble getting.

Then over in the SE: I hesitated over MEET CUTE because that sounds so ungrammatical. Also I kept thinking of Persians as cats, not RUGS. Now what's that grammatical term for when an adjective proxies for a noun, like "Persian" for "rug" and "cute" for "cute person"? "Synechdoche" might not be quite right, but it's in that ballpark. Oh, and what's this business I've seen recently in crosswords like "sleep on it", a verb phrase, where the correct answer is a different part of speech (COT, n.)? Somehow I had the impression that's against the rules; for example, answers should always agree with the clue in tense, number, etc. I don't like this trend. Please stop.

---[SB Alert]---
-->> spoilers from yesterday <<--

And now it's time to kvetch about yesterday's SB. I thought I was 5 short of QB, but now see ONLY 4: CALLALOO, CLONAL, COLCANNON, NYLON. Okay, NYLON I should have gotten, and CLONAL I'm surprised I didn't try because that would be just the kind of thing I would try (like "cloacal", which was not in there). But, oh brother, COLCANNON and CALLALOO? Yeah, those are so much less obscure than "anoa", "balboa", "banco", "callboy", "cloacal", "coco", "lolly", "olla" -- just to name some of them. What on earth is CALLALOO? Ezersky, have you no shame?

I'm waiting for nytbee to refresh so I can check my progress, but currently for today's I'm Genius with a pangram and 190 points. Again there's that one Genius trick which virtually doubles the score than without it.

Anonymous 7:38 AM  

If 'Grill bits' had to be edited, just change to 'Grille bits'. A little more helpful without giving away the store.

kitshef 7:47 AM  

Very easy Friday.

Funny that a PYRAMID SCHEME is likely to collapse, while the Pyramids are still standing 6000 years laters.

Been reading The Mysteries of Udolpho. In addition to weeping every three pages, the heroine judges everyone by their countenance (see 9D clue), resulting in the word 'countenance' appearing a few hundred times. I cannot recommend the book for anything other than a sleep aid.

Joe Welling 8:01 AM  

For SOB STORY, the "A" in the clue ("A play to one's emotions") is necessary because otherwise the clue would be a verb and the answer a noun, something I wish the constructor/editor attended to in 54A (COT clued as "Sleep on it")

BobP 8:02 AM  

I liked this puzzle and thought 10D, Awkward thing to witness while while third-wheeling (PDA), was really cute.

Pamela 8:07 AM  

@Lewis- Your entry was so much more fun than this puzzle!

******SB ALERT*******

Lots of words missed that I should have known yesterday, and several more that were well outside my ken. Today has a high word count too, but at first glance seems doable. The first spurt went more than halfway there.

JD 8:13 AM  

@Anon,3:09, Same! When that didn't work, a 4-letter word for Depressing.

JB 8:15 AM  

Sorry, but isn't IRL the abbreviation for Ireland, not IRE?

KrystineM 8:20 AM  

I’ve come to learn that many of the commenters here are not avid Harry Potter fans. That’s fair. But the clue for Snape was wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s clued first name-last name when the answer is just a last name. Which I figure they did because there is a much more famous Potter so that would be awkward. But in fact it would be more correct to say “Secret admirer of Evans in the Harry Potter universe.” Evans is Lily’s maiden name, there aren’t really other Evanses in the books, and then you can keep the last name clueing.

B Right There 8:21 AM  

Puzzle hubby brews his own beer and cringed (CRINGED!, I say) at 39A (Some like it hopped) ALE. Hoppy, maybe. Hopped? No. Just no. @Okanaganer, Loved that scene explaining a MEET CUTE, too! @Lewis, Loved your story! Actually liked seeing Marcel Marceau (21D) in the puzzle as my mother was a huge fan of his and I know I saw him perform on TV when I was a kid. But all that didn't help me remember BIP the clown. Other than that, agree with all who say that this was a let-down for a Friday. The first three acrosses actually made me check to make sure I was on the right (Friday) puzzle since that is straight out Wednesday level stuff at best. Add in the tired old crosswordese 40A TAE and 51A IRE and I was yawning. By the time we had a Spice Girls clue (48A WANNABE), which is not my genre and therefore had no clue, I was actually kind of put off by this puzzle. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but totally forgettable a second after completing. Hoping for something juicy tomorrow.

Frayed Knot 8:25 AM  

Funny that Rex used the phrase "cluing voice" in his review because as I solved this I noticed the unique voice of the constructor. Nice debut.

ChrisM 8:27 AM  

ISO is a measure of the sensitivity of film or a digital sensor to light. Virtually every digital camera today has an ISO setting. In auto mode, the camera sets the ISO for you, but you can override it in manual mode.

Imfromjersey 8:28 AM  

I disagree with Rex, I liked this puzzle! I tried HAND, FOOT and then SOLE on 28A before I got to SHOEPRINT. I liked seeing Ta Nahesi Coates at 6D. A nice debut!

pabloinnh 8:37 AM  

Lots of erasures and false starts for me, half of this seemed like I had wandered into the Saturday Stumper somehow. Hand up for the STET/DELE assumption, ADHERED for stuck, SALESMAN, TAN, touched all those bases. AMPS killed the NE for a very long time, and couldn't see TONSIL for the life of me, which is inexcusable, because I think I'm the only person I know who has one tonsil, due to some surgery years ago. Finally finished with no help and it's always satisfying to solve one like this that at times seemed a bit hopeless.

Maybe someone will use MEETCUTE in a sentence for me. It's unfamiliar and anti-intuitive. The clue makes me think it's a noun. Really?

Nice debut, KH. I likes me a morning wrassle.

bagelboy 8:45 AM  

Also TAN for SUN. NW hard for me also: Anyone else write in IHOP for 1A?

Birchbark 8:51 AM  

SNAPE's progress from well-spun-but-standard-issue mean teacher to ambiguous, tragic counterspy is masterful storytelling. All from Harry's point of view, as he goes through his own changes: "One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."

Agree with @Kal (6:48) re USA's ASA = ISO, back in the day when I learned of such things. One of many, many misdirects this morning (with sushi --> RAMEN setting the tone).

Z 8:53 AM  

@Camera people - Please understand @Anon2:15’s mistake. The clue reads “camera film speed.” It seems @2:15 elided past the “film” part of that clue, nothing more. No need to impugn their bona fides.

Given some of the “tone deaf” bashing Shortz has been subjected to (yes, including by me) can anyone honestly be surprised that he went a different direction for GOLD TEETH. Knowing what you don’t know is the beginning of wisdom.

@puzzlehoarder’s second sentence was my initial response. Toss in TOOT to boot. ALBA should always get a Goya clue (the painter, not the food company), boy did this puzzle not start well.

@okananager - Your “not being a candy bar buyer” set off the whole argument in my head. “Protein snack” is what the marketers call it, but the entire granola bar section at my grocer looks a lot like a candy bar section to me. Oats have replaced nougat, otherwise there’s no real difference. Don’t get me wrong, when I take the dogs for a mountain hike a bag of doggie treats go in one pocket and a couple of granola bars go in the other. But it’s quick energy in a small package, not something particularly healthy.

“Business plan?” The clue didn’t slow me down so much as cause the arched eyebrow. I guess crime is a business, but it just struck me as an odd word choice for a scam.

TRUE CRIME. PET RAT. SNEER. Do I detect a mini-theme?

Oh, is it just me or are ARABIANs always horses and ARABs people? I knew what the clue wanted but I balked. I don’t even quite know why that distinction came to be, I wouldn’t balk at Albanian or Nova Scotian for instance, but I balked at calling a person an ARABIAN.

Despite all my nit-picking above, overall I thought this was fine.

Unknown 8:53 AM  

Rex, with a female constructor, shouldn't you have loved it? Or at least thrown some props to the puz editor??
Clearly a very challenging puz for rex, as he rants about the many clues that give him difficulties, & refuses to put down his actual time. I was super embarrassed to not get TANEHISI right away as I'm reading The Water Dancer right now & loving it. Not a fan of Harry Potter (SNAPE) nor Star Wars (DARTH) so that always takes a bit of pleasure from the puz for me, yet I recognize that these are cultural icons. I think Hamilton (Yay!) must be an icon as well, as this is the second song we've seen this week. Overall a good Friday! 4 stars. Liked the misdirection of SONATA.

B Right There 8:54 AM  

@pabloinnh, MEETCUTE. "The meet cute in How I Met Your Mother was when Ted saw Robin across the room."

RooMonster 8:59 AM  

Hey All !
English. What a wacky language. How is there (at least) three words for blowing your horn at someone? Started with hOnk, then beep, finally TOOT. Dang.

Kinda didn't like NE crossing of PDA/PTAS.

BEETRED clue seemed off, no? Appearing. Shouldn't it be something else? Maybe "Cheeks when highly embarrassed"? or something.

Anyway, those nits aside, perfectly fine FriPuz. Struggled, but was able to overcome without cheating. Can't ask for more. (Do I seem a bit surly today? Sounds like it to myself!)

Had TTOPS at first, but erased when 7D had to be DELE. Tried to think of other car top options Landau? Vinyl? Sun roof? Convertible? Pillarless? Good stuff. Turns out "OMIT". Ah.

Even though I sound dubious about this puz, I did enjoy the solve. 4X Rex, which is about right on a Friday.

One F
SURF SPURT (is it a wave?)(Har)

sixtyni yogini 9:10 AM  

😎 😎 😎 😎 😖

Unknown 9:13 AM  

Had trouble with 24A fastest two-legged creature. I entered cheetah. Once it became apparent my answer was wrong, ostrich was next. However, zoologically speaking, I believe the required puzzle response is in error.

slowthinker 9:27 AM  

Explain to me how "Let's have it" is "yells at".

slowthinker 9:30 AM  

Unknown @ 9:13, Is that because you think a cheetah has two legs, or because you think an ostrich has four?

Bruce R 9:32 AM  

@B Right There - HOPPED is fine. It can even by dry hopped or wet hopped.

Z 9:32 AM  

@pabloinnh - Click on @okanaganer’s link for a perfect MEETCUTE explanation.

@B Right There - Maybe it’s a regional thing, but “hopped” as used in the clue wasn’t even much of a misdirect here.

@JB - I’ve seen both. Both look equally wrong to me since IRL is often textspeak for “in real life” and IRE makes the whole island seem angry.

@KyrstineM - Wow, you just want to see the comments go up in flames, don’t you. Lily Potter’s maiden name is the kind of esoterica appropriate for a Potterverse puzzle, maybe even a Saturday Stumper where the clue editor sometimes goes for the obtusely arcane, but not for a typical puzzle meant for the masses. Lily Potter isn’t even really a character, just part of the backstory. Besides, the last name clue for last name answer is an added hint, not a hard and fast rule. Avoiding arcane trivia and avoiding an unwieldy clue seem like okay reasons to break it to me. Perhaps more importantly to Shortz, your clue probably would have generated a large quantity of wrathful emails .

@Joe Welling - Yep. I assume Rex figured out why the “A” was necessary since he got the answer, but he never actually says he did, does he.

Z 9:36 AM  

@slow thinker - if your significant other let’s you have it for not taking out the trash again they would do it by yelling at you.
Also - Har! Second commenter today to not realize they’ve skipped an important part of the clue.

Racing handicapper 9:39 AM  

Unknown 9:13 - I like my chances in a race with a two-legged cheetah.

57stratocaster 9:41 AM  

Never saw a two-legged cat. :)

liked the puzzle though.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Is there any way to see what the constructor’s clues were before editing? On all puzzles?

Nancy 9:44 AM  

Ah, yes. The cuddly, adorable PET RAT. We all have one, right? Almost as popular as the Golden Retriever.

I, of course, wanted LAB RAT there. Or maybe GYM RAT. Which kept me from seeing both TTOPS and UNITE for, like, forever.

I found everything in the puzzle hard. Wanted FOOTPRINT, but it didn't work. SPOIL for "turn" gets me every single time.

Why are PTAS "Band boosters?

Wonderful clue/answers for PYRAMID SCHEME and GOLD TEETH. WANNABE sounds like the title of a pop song I might actually want to listen to. Didn't know that Sartre's book, "No Exit" had been turned into a play, so it took me forever to get ONE ACT (45D). For the answer, I really wanted DEPRESSING AS HELL.

I haven't looked yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if this is the puzzle that waltzed off with Jeff Chen's POW this week. It's awfully good.

Jethro 10:01 AM  

Figured it out, the guy that authors this blog is that extreme leftist that wants to erase history. You know, the one you want teaching your kids.

DeeJay 10:02 AM  

Sorry, this comment is absurd.

DeeJay 10:06 AM  

Sorry, as a commercial hop grower, I can attest to the fact the term HOPPED is proper.

DeeJay 10:09 AM  

You added an apostrophe to the clue. Without that, the clue is perfect.

Ernonymous 10:26 AM  

@anon 2:15 I got it out of the cobwebs of my mind remembering buying Fuji Film ISO 100, 200 or 400. ISO 100 was for outdoors. 400 was the most versatile.

StevieO 10:28 AM  

Don't know if anyone else has commented on that, but ironic Rex to complain about SALES REP when he would have preferred the male-gendered SALESMAN!

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

Beet red made me wonder what happened to @chefbea.

Jeff M 10:31 AM geekery follows.

Those who do not like their ales hopped may prefer gruits, which use herbs for bitterness, flavor, and/or aroma instead of hops. Gruits went out of style centuries ago as brewers realized that hops have preservative properties that herbs lack.

While the transition was taking place, unhopped fermented malt drinks were called "ale", and fermented malt drinks with hops were called "beer". These days "ale" is used to describe a malt beverage fermented with a yeast strain that works best at relatively warm temperatures, as opposed to lagers, which are fermented colder.

Virtually all ales these days (and lagers, too) have at least some hops added for bitterness. They may or may not be perceived as "hoppy" in terms of bitterness, favor, and aroma, but unhopped ales are extremely rare. Interestingly, federal alcohol laws and the Internal Revenue Code differ on whether or not hops are required to call something "beer" as opposed to "malt beverage".

Cringeworthy clue indeed. As Bruce R pointed out, dry-hopped is fine. Wet-hopped is fine too. But just "hopped"? Not so much.

egsforbreakfast 10:31 AM  

A cheetah does have two legs, so @Unknown 9:13 is correct in one sense. But it’s going to be a pain if clues need to be written to exclude this sort of reading. “Fastest creature on two, and only two, legs” would be the correct clue, I guess. Of course, we should probably re-name Robert Louis Stevenson’s The One Legged Man as The One, and Only One, Legged Man, as without that clarification, Stevenson might have been referring to anyone other than a no-legged man.

Good debut puzzle by Kate Hawkins.

Weewilly 10:42 AM  

Rex- It’s all right, not alright. Can’t we even get the college faculty to use standard English?

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

Why are PTAS "Band boosters?

because in an increasing number of towns, schools pay less, or nothing, for 'extracurricular' activities (that don't involve football, of course) in these days of white grievance. thus PTAs run all sorts of fund raisers for same. music? ya don't need no music edumacation to make babies or walk behind a plow. party like it's 1859!

Whatsername 10:47 AM  

Congratulations to Kate Hawkins on her NYT debut! A perfectly nice Friday albeit a little subdued. I admit to missing the usual long entries but otherwise the fill was pretty good. Not much junk and a lot of semi-long answers that I liked: BASE TEN, PET RAT, GEL PEN, among others.

I only had a couple of tiny quibbles. The clue for PARROT seemed unnecessarily arcane, more apropos of a Saturday. And don’t people normally say “testING 123?“ Maybe not but “TEST 123” sounds wrong. The clue for ICED LATTE seems more directed to beer than coffee, maybe because we just had cream ALE yesterday. But then again, the day before, I didn’t even know there was such a thing so THAT’S ME.

There’s a difference between film speed and camera speed? I think I still have a point-and-shoot gathering dust somewhere but can you even buy film for those anymore? Of course the beauty of digitals for people like me is that you don’t waste all that money on film and developing to end up with a shoebox full of mediocre snapshots. I have great admiration for people with the ability to properly frame and compose a beautiful photo. There’s definitely an art to it.

@Unknown (9:13) The clue specifies fastest creature on TWO legs but cheetah was my first reaction too. However I was thinking about the nickname of Kansas City’s wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but he’s not quite that fast.

LG 10:53 AM  

I really enjoyed this and was cruising up until the last letter... TANESHISI crossed with ISO was completely non-inferrable to me, as someone who didn't know either of those (I would argue somewhat niche) terms. Ended up having to try random consonants for that S, which always leaves a sour taste.

Otherwise thought the puzzle was very clever. And (as a dr) lots of medical gimmes always makes it go quicker- ANTIbody, GENE therapy, and my favorite was PARROT (psittacosis = parrot-borne atypical pneumonia caused by chlamydia psittaci)

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

It's not "let's have it." It's "lets have it." If you let someone have , you yell at them.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

Lets you have it.
Let's is a contraction.

Lee Gerston 10:58 AM  

Was both happy and also kinda sad to see PYRAMID SCHEME show up. I tried to string together a puzzle that used this phrase as one of the themers, along with other phrases that have 3D shapes. It's a relatively limited set - think "CONE OF SILENCE". the puzzle is amateur at day maybe I'll find the courage to clean it up and submit it.

mathgent 10:59 AM  

@TTrimble (7:33) and @Joe Welling: I don’t like those clues, either. “Sleep on it” for COT. Verb for noun. @pabloinnh (8:37) notes that “Plot point in a rom-com” for MEETCUTE is another one. I’ve never seen MEETCUTE used as a noun.

IRE for Ireland seems wrong. A quick look at the internet indicates that it’s either IE or IRL.

I think that No Exit was written as a play.

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

A high school PTA would be considered a marching band's Booster ( as in, supporter)

jberg 11:00 AM  

I put in TTOPS right away, but couldn’t make it work on top of sushi. Good tough puzzle— but when choosing between a beer and a cup of coffee, I’m not sure creaminess is the main criterion.

Masked and Anonymous 11:16 AM  

I dunno. PETRAT sounds uncomfortably close to PEWIT.

Also, I didn't know ISO/TANEHISI, so my guess of an intersectin "U" layed (laid?) a petegg. Staff weeject pick goes to the mysterious, camera-shystery ISO.

Otherwise, cute themeless FriPuz, overall, IM&AO.

Neat clue, for SHOEPRINT. [Debut form of footPRINT.]

Thanx for the workout, Ms. Hawkins darlin. And congratz on yer debut. I recently also kinda discovered how much fun makin 15x15 themelesses can be. [And I found out it's even more fun for m&e, when I splatz in a buncha puzgrid-spanners, right off the bat.]

Masked & Anonymo5Us


SouthsideJohnny 11:18 AM  

No abbreviation in the clue for SALES REP - that can probably be lawyered into acceptability. Had to guess at the A in LUNA crossing SNAPE. Does anyone ever use MEET CUTE in a sentance - maybe a movie reviewer ? Sounds like one of those “quasi-words” or phrases that the NYT seems to enthusiasticly embrace with some degree of regularity. No real awful stuff, except maybe for the unfortunate Harry Potter/Candy Bar Natick.

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

The clue is LETS HAVE IT, not LET'S HAVE IT. Such an important apostrophe.

Pete 11:32 AM  

I liked this more than did @Rex - it was a nice two+ lap stroll around the puzzle. Not much in the way of excitement, but if we include agitation in the excitement category, I've been way too excited this week.

I had a gold crown put in last year. I asked why gold, and my dentist told me that with the way I grind my teeth, I'd shatter a porcelain crown. [Editorial] Note the way I said "grind my teeth" rather than bruxism there? I did that because I'm not a douche. I'm saying this for the benefit of people who think using CHACHINNATE because it would be fun to force me to look it up. [/Editorial] So, in some cases the gold will last longer, it didn't cost any more, and will have about a $200 salvage value when I croak. That's why for the gold teeth.

GHarris 11:35 AM  

I agree that PTA fundraising for bands is a stretch but @Nancy, I believe Sartre wrote NoExit as a play. On what do you base the belief that the play was adapted from a book?

GILL I. 11:38 AM  

And then there was light!....Finally have some internet and the printer is working. Why do I feel like the Jolly Green Giant whose peas have been properly thawed.....
Not to steal any thunder from Kate but I did @Nancy's brilliant puzzle first. Only she, our funny, smart resident poet and master of words could come up with a word like CACHINNATE. I will use that word but it will remind me of a little pig. In Cuba, we would eat a little chochinillo on Sundays. I will eat my cochinillo while I cachinnate with black beans and rice. AND....@Nancy. Thank you, my friend, for letting everyone know I was not dead (yet). Nothing worse than people coming to your wake empty handed and to find out there will be no drinking allowed.....
I'm a little rusty on the puzzle front, but I finished Kate's in a decent time. Why does that little Fleur always want a LYS instead of LIS? I'm happy the PTA gets involved with band boosters instead of the usual AMPS and that the OSTRICH can outrun Usain Bolt. This was fine fare Friday. And now off to finish the puzzles I missed and to catch up on all of you.

What? 11:48 AM  

Having my first time published crossword today with Brad Wilber in David Steinberg’s group.
Where was I? Oh yes, today’s crossword. I liked it. Hard but yielding. I didn’t know TANEHISI but got it with the crosses. All in all, a pleasant exercise. Good going, Kate.

pmdm 11:58 AM  

A debut puzzle in which the entries don't suggest the constructor tried in any way to cram their interests into the grid. Well, maybe a few. I found the cluing quite tough. Maybe more tough than a Friday should be. A promising start.

Whatsername: Cameras have shutter speeds which measure how fast a shutter opens and closes. That determines how much light gets exposed to the film (or sensor these days). The ISO or ASA number describes the sensitivity of the camera film or sensor to light. There is a correlation between the two speeds, so if you know the amount of light and the value of one of the two speeds, you can determine the correct value for the other number that results in properly exposed picture. That how the automatic features on cameras do their jobs.

Newboy 11:59 AM  

Congratulations on the debut puzzle Kate. A Friday first has to be a feather in the chapeau.

I enjoyed the grid more than Rex—not a surprise that. Got the PARROT easily since we birdsat grandparrot while daughter-in-law did dissertation work in Gent for a year. And we ate lots of RAMEN while the younger son taught English in Japan for their JETS program. Beyond the pleasures of triggering memories, the cluing brought moments to pause in several spots like the brutal musical misdirection of (sonata). All in all a fun puzzle that showed both promise and room to grow , and I’ll settle for that any day of the week.

Unknown 12:21 PM  

Watch Holiday with Kate Winslet and Eli Wallach...he explains the term.

JC66 12:25 PM  

Like @LG and @M&A and probably others, I Naticked at the ISO/TANEHISI cross.


Are you trying to be funny about 2/4 legged animals? I sure hope so.


Welcome back. Relieved and happy you're OK.

Marcus Chance 12:26 PM  

I also initially placed sushi instead of RAMEN, cheetah instead of OSTRICH, tan instead of SUN, and SALESman instead of SALESREP - and I was annoyed at the genderization, but then relieved when TENET pointed out my error.

Got ICEDLATTE faster than I expected and was on the MEETCUTE wavelength. Meanwhile, as a math and sci-fi geek I'm embarrassed that BASETEN and DARTH required so many crosses.

An Italian-free puzzle, but I'll be satisfied with RAMEN - now I'm hungry.

Tom R 12:27 PM  

This was brutal for me. NE totally zonkered me until I got PDA. I really, really badly wanted AMPS for band boosters. so, yeah, not a thrilling solve. Did drop in pyramidscheme off the id alone.

old timer 12:28 PM  

My immediate thought was OFL would rate this as Easy (for a Friday). WRONG! Just goes to show he's human, but I must say I am surprised. I think it took only 20 minutes or so pen on paper, Easy in my book, for a Friday. My only mistake was putting in "finish UP" where I needed POLISH UP, which is better. I am kicking myself for not knowing ALBA right off the bat -- not only the Irish name for Scotland, but the source of Albany, famed in Shakespeare for its Dukedom, and famed in London for its still elegant set of bachelor flats. Apparently also the name of some burg in New York, too.

Footprints are kind of meaningless in a TRUE CRIME story, but SHOEPRINTS can be enough to convict, though they also can be based on junk science -- you really can't say that a SHOE PRINT can be traced to one, and only one, pair of shoes.

ARABIAN, referring to men, not horses, is properly used to refer to people from the ARABIAN Peninsula. ARABS are also found in several countries, including Iraq and Jordan.

Doc John 12:30 PM  

Another perk of my expensive medical education (as mentioned above)- being able to thrown down PARROT without blinking.

How bad can a puzzle be when it makes me think of not one but two Steely Dan songs:

Crimson Devil 12:41 PM  

Never heard of two legged cheetah, tho will readily admit thas my first thought.

Master Melvin 12:49 PM  

Crossing an obscure (to me anyway)proper name with an obscure initialism will get me every time.

Mary McCarty 12:51 PM  

Anon.@10:54: “Lets you have it. Let's is a contraction.” Yes, it is, but not for Let’s YOU have it. The ‘s here would be a contraction for “let US”, as in “let’s go.” But the clue had no apostrophe, so that’s just a normal 3rd person singular verb, as is common in crosswords.

TTrimble: I think the word you’re looking for is “metonymy” (a word that represents another word, like Eros for love) but I’m always impressed when someone uses “synecdoche” correctly (not to be confused with a City in mid-eastern New York, as I used to tell my Vergil students; being west-coasters, they just looked at me blankly...)

Weewilly said...
Rex- It’s all right, not alright. Can’t we even get the college faculty to use . Nope. I learned back in 3rd grade that “alright” = “fine” and “all right”= 100% correct.

It a lot of obvious crosswordese here, as is fitting for a Friday.

Andres 12:57 PM  

"Cold brew" is referring to the coffee drink, not a beer!

Nancy 1:06 PM  

@GHarris -- On my fuzzy memory, natch.

We were assigned a paperback edition of what was titled "Huis Clos" in high school French class. It was in French, hard enough to get my head around (I'm not a natural-born linguist; I had to work really hard for my "A"s in the subject), so if you think I now remember that there were Scenes and Acts contained therein, I don't. I just remember that the work was mercifully short (could have been a novella) and that its outlook on life was beyond gloomy. I don't remember any characters nor any dialogue. But thanks for straightening me out.

Someone told me the same thing on Wordplay. Think I'll cut and paste this comment there.

@Gill -- Glad you're back, safe and sound. Thanks for the nice shoutout. If you read yesterday's blog, though, you'll see that Will Nediger came up with CACHINNATE when he designed the grid. Thanks for the compliment, but I had never heard the word before in my life.

Teedmn 1:17 PM  

Perhaps this reveals too much about my housekeeping habits, but with ___EP__NT in place at 28A, I actually splatzed in fakE PlaNT.

This puzzle had many ups and downs - complete blockages next to gimmes such as no idea on TRUE CRIME but TA-NEHISI went right in and changed my fakE PlaNT to somethingEPRINT.

BASE TEN, gimme, RALLY needed crosses. MEET CUTE gimme, ELANTRA not. PARROT and ONE ACT easy, WANNA BE, total WOE. So this took about the same amount of time as @Nancy and Will's toughie yesterday. The grid didn't scream "themeless" to me but it isn't choppy as I feared.

Congratulations, Kate Hawkins, on your debut and thanks for this chewy Friday puzzle.

pabloinnh 1:25 PM  

@okanaganer, vai @Z, @B Right There-

Thanks for the MEETCUTE explanations. I have to admit that the term still sounds extremely strange to me and if I ever use it it will be a surprise to me. At least I'll know it if it comes up in crossword world again.

@GILL I-Ah, ahi estas, por fin. Welcome back and glad you're sana y segura.

Ciclista21 1:29 PM  

OMIT is not the opposite of STET (7D). An editor writes STET (Latin for “Let it stand”) when canceling a previous editing request. The previous request might have been “set italic,” or “capitalize,” or “spell out this numeral,” or “insert a hyphen here.” If STET has an opposite, it would be something like, “On second thought, make the change I requested before.”

Carola 1:34 PM  

Challenging for me, enjoyable to puzzle out, satisfying to finish. Violating my implement-usage rule (use a pencil on Th, F, Sa), I solved with a ballpoint, which made me too tentative about writing in the "could be's" or even "probably's" and that slowed me down. But then, I had all the more time to enjoy the excellent long Downs as they gradually came into view. I also got a smile out of how profitable the PYRAMID SCHEME was for me, as it provided the riches of MEET CUTE, ICED LATTE x GOLD TEETH, and other high-yield crosses that got me through the bottom half much more quickly. I'm just reading James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, the first chapter of which is a letter to his 15-year-old nephew, and was interested to learn that it was an inspiration to TA-NEHISI Coates in writing Between the World and Me.

I liked the grid combination of true villain DARTH with the you-think-he's-a-villain SNAPE (with his frequent SNEER at Harry). @Birchbark, amen to your appreciation of SNAPE!

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

pmdm ( and to some extent Giovani)

All very true. And I suspect that each of you knows this, but don't forget the other part of the film speed equation: the glass. Right this red hot minute, I'm less than 200 feet away from an array of lenses that run the gamut in price--and speed--from POS to over a 100 K. Anyway the better the lens, all things being equal, the faster the film you can use.

(Any ideas who I work for Joe D.?)

egsforbreakfast 1:59 PM  

@JC66 12:25 pm. Perhaps I should explain, for the humor-challenged, that cheetahs by and large have all of the following:

1 leg
2 legs
3 legs
4 legs

Therefore, my response to @ Unknown 9:13 am was an attempt to humorously point out that his zoological point is both technically correct, and, if I understand it, inaccurate within the context of the clue as it would be interpreted by the majority of solvers. I thought to add an additional humorous note to my post by extending the cheetah/legs concept to a work by a well-known author. If the concepts involved are somehow not in keeping with your notion of humor, I apologize.

Whatsername 2:10 PM  

@GILL (11:38) Welcome back! We missed you. Hope things are improving there for everyone, everywhere.

@pmdm (11:58) Thanks for the explanation. I had no idea ... which is why I’ve never been known for my photography skills. It’s a good thing someone invented phones with cameras for people like me.

JC66 2:46 PM  


Even though I didn't get it, I did say I hoped you were joking.

Barbara S. 3:13 PM  

From our friend, Ogden Nash:

The OSTRICH roams the great Sahara.
Its mouth is wide, its neck is narra.
It has such long and lofty legs,
I'm glad it sits to lay its eggs.

TTrimble 3:22 PM  

@Mary McCarty
Yes, thank you!! Metonymy. That word came up not long ago, in the context of the Spelling Bee puzzle, when I raged afterwards that "metonym" was accepted but "metonymy" was not. I did trouble to look those words up, but I guess it didn't quite stick, except for the vague feeling this morning there was a word buried in my brain that was fitted what I wanted there.

Hopefully it will stick a little better now.

chefwen 3:43 PM  

Welcome back @Gill I, Glad you made it back down the mountain safely, we’re you able to doggy bag some of that fine food and wine?

Z 3:54 PM  

@TTrimble, @mathgent, &@Joe Welling - You need to read the clue differently. New kid asks the camp counselor “where’s my bed?” The counselor replies “sleep on it” while pointing at a COT.

@M&A - but can you train a pewit to run a maze?

I wonder what kind of film TA NEHISI Coates uses.

@Jeff M - When in the process is the wort hopped? This beer is doubled hopped. Has this batch of home brew been hopped yet? I dunno, seems pretty okay to use without the wet or dry signifier.

I love usage notes that throw shade at prescriptivists.

@Gill I - welcome back. Now where’s @Frantic Sloth?

Beachgirl 4:02 PM  

Why must we have political comments on this page? Don't we get enough of that already elsewhere? Let's put the kabosh on that, at least until after the election.

Nancy 4:17 PM  

@Carola (1:34) -- Re your writing implement choices: I had always used a regular ball point pen for most of my life for even the toughest puzzles, since I find pencil much too hard to see. (And erasing pencil wasn't so easy to do on thin newspaper, either.) Then, right before I attended my first (and last) puzzle tournament, I bought myself an erasable pen: the PaperMate Erasermate. In addition to being much easier to see than pencil and just as easy to erase, it has another huge advantage: You can write heavily for answers you're sure of and very lightly on answers you're not sure of. This tells you at a glance what might be wrong and need to be changed and what answers you should stick with. I find it very helpful and it's not really something you can do in pencil. This is my suggestion to you for late week puzzles.

TTrimble 4:28 PM  

With all due respect, I find that a very lame defense. And in fact I don't "need" to do anything, thank you very much, and I had absolutely no need for your explanation, because of course I understood it all along. I will persist in finding it less than satisfactory cluing, according to my taste.

Rebecca 4:41 PM  

As a millennial woman solver, I LOVED this one, exactly up my ally. Harry Potter, Spice Girls, Hamilton, The Dream podcast, Coco, Serial, iced lattes, gel pens... LOVED it all. It was my record time for a Friday! Thanks, Kate!

Hungry Mother 4:47 PM  

I had a pet rat that I named Andamo, after Ross Martin’s character on “Mr. Lucky.” Andamo was a retired lab rat, but I’m not sure if he was a maze runner. Someone in our bio department gave him to me. I put him in a hamster cage in my office and he quickly mastered the wheel. The day after I set him up in the office, our science building floor custodian knocked on my door and told me from the hall that I would have to clean my own office from then on because she would never go in with Andamo present. After a few weeks, she relented and resumed cleaning my office. One day she told me that if I needed to travel, she would rat-sit Andamo. So she took Andamo home while I traveled over semester break. Later she told me how much she loved Andamo and how she would let him out of the cage to run around her home. After a couple of years, Andamo developed a tumor on his hip. I took him to a nearby corn field and set him free.

Carola 4:57 PM  

@Nancy, thank you for that suggestion. I will look for one. I agree about pencil being hard to see, and find that especially true of the puzzles in the Sunday mag.

Ernonymous 5:00 PM  

@Gill I'm glad all is well. Nancy gave us all a heart attack. I enjoy your posts, they are always funny and well-written.
There is a hilarious video online of a few cyclists getting chased by an ostrich. I'd like to link it, but I followed all the instructions and still somehow fuck it up.
Cyclists chased by an ostrich. This is when I learned that they are the fastest critter on 2 legs.

Smith 5:10 PM  

@Lee Gerston 10:58

Ball of fire? Ball of wax?
Not firing on all cylinders?
Ice cube?

Smith 5:14 PM  

@old timer

And how do we refer to women from the ARABIAN peninsula?

JC66 5:35 PM  


Email me and I'll send you my Embedding Cheat's easy and foolproof.

Joe Dipinto 5:39 PM  

For @Hungry Mother.

Kathy 5:41 PM  

smooth and fun solve for this millennial. MEET CUTE, PDA, WANNABE, SOB STORY, ICED LATTE, GEL PEN, TRUE CRIME, PET RAT. solid.

Ernonymous 5:49 PM  

@jc66 thank you I sent the email

Unknown 5:59 PM  

Yeah, so-so at best but not for your silly, self-exculpatory reasons. And, to be sure, do not slam the female constructor as you would have slammed a male constructor. C’mon man, poor is poor!

McKay Hinckley 6:00 PM  

Agreed. Bugged me as well

Joe Welling 6:15 PM  

Z said...
"You need to read the clue differently. New kid asks the camp counselor 'where’s my bed?' The counselor replies 'sleep on it' while pointing at a COT."

Thanks, but I did understand why COT was the answer to this clue. You need to read my comment differently (accurately). Crossword clues are generally synonyms or equivalents for the answer. "Sleep on it" is not the equivalent or a synonym to COT. This kind of sloppiness is not even a legitimate misdirection. It did slow me down for a beat--but not because I didn't see the obvious answer and was being misdirected by a clever misdirection (where something that is the part of speech matching the answer can be mistaken for the wrong part of speech), but because the obvious answer doesn't technically fit the clue.

A Trans Solver 6:22 PM  

This felt modern and fresh! I wonder if this was more relevant to younger folks (GOLD TEETH is certainly a thing...). TA-NEHISI was awesome to see in the puzzle, and I felt like the fill was lively and fun. This is one of my favorite puzzles in recent weeks!

JC66 6:35 PM  



You should have received it.

- 6:51 PM  

@Joe Welling: Z is a pompous ass. Best to ignore him.

Anonymous 7:44 PM  

From your mouth to the mods ears.

Bruce Fieggen 7:51 PM  

Well that cute story took a macabre turn. “Set him free?” You mean turned him into hawk food.

JC66 9:02 PM  

@Bruce F

I had the same thought, but maybe the cornfields where @Hungry Mother lives have emergency rooms.

CDilly52 9:31 PM  

Thought this was a very pleasant debut from a talented woman. Of course I would think that!!! For once in a very blue moon, I was in our constructor’s wavelength and absolutely demolished this puppy!! And, I am in the camp that thought the clue for COT was excellent and clever. I fell into the misdirect and tossed in “bed” initially. Took me a minute to understand that was just too too obvious and erase it.

That is all I have time for. Enjoyed it enormously. Back to work.

ow a paper cut 10:11 PM  


albatross shell 10:19 PM  

I have 2 GOLD capped molars. Work great , don't stain. Once very common. Nazis famously didn't let any go to waste.

So "Lick it" is a good clue for TOOTSIEROLLPOP or ICECREAMCONE or STAMP?

Z 10:52 PM  

@albatross shell - “good” is pretty subjective, but we’ve certainly seen that type clue before.
@JW and @TT - Interesting responses.

Anonymous 11:43 PM  

@Joe Welling:

Golly gee willikers, some of you guys have been taking too many OTC testosterone pills.

The clue says "it" and the COT is "it". Complete sentences are acceptable clues. What part of grammar do you not understand?

albatross shell 11:51 PM  

Yep. Me too.
Recall some.
Always a bit questioable.
Adequate to OK.
Sometimes the surprise is close to amusing.

B Right There 5:11 AM  

Respect. Will add it to our knowledge base.

pdplot 9:26 AM  

Enough already with the Harry Potter clues.

Joe Welling 10:06 AM  

Anonymous said:
"The clue says 'it' and the COT is 'it'. Complete sentences are acceptable clues. What part of grammar do you not understand?"

Complete sentences are acceptable clues when the answer is the equivalent of the complete sentence. But COT is not the equivalent of "Sleep on it." It's sloppy cluing.

Mel 10:50 AM  

I agree with Rex up to a point. But no one mentioned my chief complaint. 12 down is clued "Honest-to-goodness." That's a noun. The answer is "ACTUAL". That's an adjective. Terrible clue.

Grandma Pam 5:30 PM  

I didn’t like the clue, but Shortz is always tops with me!

Paul & Kathy 9:29 PM  

Record time for a Friday today. Was completely in tune with this one and breezed through it.

Jes 11:29 AM  

Twangster 8:24
Raptly, partly, paltry

rondo 11:19 AM  

Some troubles in the S and SE with a SALESman that gave me SPUme before the SALESREP got a SPURT. And my Persians were catS before RUGS. Before I was ATALOSS in the NW I had a footprint until I stuck it into a SHOE. And in the NE the band boosters were at first ampS until the PTAS met with PDA. Little inkfests all over that chewed up time and energy. The four corners will give you ASHE or SHEA in a NY minute. I’d like to MEETCUTE Jessica ALBA. This puz was a bit of a TEST.

spacecraft 11:22 AM  

Single-square DNF. That name at 6-down was never going to make sense to me, whatever letter went next-to-last, and no clue about the film initials; you're either a professional photographer or you're not. I am not. Tried "N"...

TTOPS was annoying, but THATS just ME. And what is "TRUECRIME?" Seems like an oxymoron to me. Are there false crimes? Well, then they wouldn't be...I'm confused. Other things I Didn't Know Existed: GELPEN, MEETCUTE. I did know about the OSTRICH, and POLISHUP, as in G&S's "I POLISHed UP the handle on the big front door," etc. So the NW fell quickly, which yielded PYRAMIDSCHEME. The rest of this was ACTUALly on the easy side for a Friday; too bad that one square could SPOIL the whole solve. Come on now, what parent in their right mind would name their child TANEHISI? No wonder the poor thing took to writing.

thefogman 11:37 AM  

Not bad. But the NY Times crossword is supposed to be great. Lately it isn’t. Please, MTNYTCPGA (Make The New York Times Crossword Great Again).

Burma Shave 12:02 PM  


to MEET a CUTE girl, THAT’SME!


leftcoaster 2:38 PM  

A one-letter error: the “P” in the PTA/PDA cross. (Hi, spacey and rondo.)

Didn’t think of a PTA as a “band booster” and couldn’t make sense of a PDA being an “awkward thing to witness while third-wheeling”. Awkward indeed.

Otherwise, considered the puzzle to be relatively smooth and mostly easy for Friday, thanks to a number of helpful crosses---which that nasty P wasn’t.

rondo 2:54 PM  

BTW, I finished the October Harper's Puzzle without using one single resource other than the gray matter. So if you were ever gonna try it . . .

Diana, LIW 8:04 PM  

A one letter DNF. One letter. And a dopey mistake I made with the one letter I couldn't suss this morning. A

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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