Modern-day home of Ashanti empire / FRI 8-14-20 / Having one on the way slangily / Mushroom eaten in ramen / French term of endearment that literally means cabbage

Friday, August 14, 2020

Constructor: Nam Jin Yoon

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (4:53)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Ashanti empire (45D: Modern-day home of the Ashanti empire => GHANA) —
The Asante Empire (Asante TwiAsanteman) was an Akan empire and kingdom from 1701 to 1957, in what is now modern-day Ghana. [...] The Ashanti Empire fought several wars with neighboring kingdoms and lesser organized tribes such as the Fante. The Ashanti defeated the British Empire's invasions in the first two of the four Anglo-Ashanti Wars, killing and keeping British army general Sir Charles MacCarthy's skull as a gold-rimmed drinking cup in 1824. Due to British improvements in weapons technology, burning and looting of the capital Kumasi and final defeat at the fifth Anglo-Ashanti War, the Ashanti empire became part of the Gold Coast colony in January 1, 1902. // Today, the Ashanti Kingdom survives as a constitutionally protected, sub-national traditional state in union with the Republic of Ghana. The current king of the Ashanti Kingdom is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Asantehene. The Ashanti Kingdom is the home to Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana's only natural lake. The state's current economic revenue is derived mainly from trading in gold bars, cocoa, kola nuts and agriculture. (wikipedia)
• • •

As with Wednesday's puzzle, I destroyed it and I very much enjoyed destroying it. Did not start out so great, though. Forgot KAFKA wrote "A Hunger Artist," ugh. Also read "Network" instead of "Noted work" at beginning of 1A: Noted work in which many different positions are discussed (KAMA SUTRA). Seems like if my memory and reading capabilities had been functioning satisfactorily, I could've really flown through this thing. Instead, I relied on three of my favorite things, yoga (ASANAS) and coffee (FLATWHITE) and poetry (Rita DOVE) to (eventually) bail me out ... oh, and KATE McKinnon, I knew her too. Thought for sure I'd get the "Othello" clue straight off, but the generic ATTENDANT never occurred to me (not before I got the ATTEN- part, anyway) (4D: Emilia vis-à-vis Desdemona, in "Othello"). Wrote a paper my senior year on Emilia—fat lot of good it did me! Anyway, after the flailing in the NW, I escaped via the lovely LAWYER UP (!), and wow did things speed up after that. Terminal "U" made NEHRU a cinch, and then whoooosh, there went the NE. I feel like I know the term GROUPCHAT from my daughter, but now that I think about it, it's not especially youth-y—but it is fresh, and one of my favorite answers of the day. 

[Erik SATIE, Gymnopédies 3]

Took PREGGO right into the SE, where CHOU and GHANA were gimmes and so there went that corner. Then went up and swung back through the center quite easily thanks to some more of my favorite things (mushrooms, GINS). Finally came at the SW corner from both sides (the north, the east), and despite some floundering around the DAFT / DAB / ALE, I made pretty short work of it all. Ended on the "B" in DAB. Clue on ALE didn't make sense to me—I raise a glass *for* ALE?? (40A: Something to raise a glass for). But I guess if you have already had a pint and you want to signal to the bartender that you want another, sure, at that point, you might raise your glass to indicate that you wanted another ALE. Or maybe you're just raising it to your face so that you can drink it, I dunno. What matters is I came in under 5, and that the puzzle featured many an EYE-OPENER and (more importantly) was never awful.

[Black Box, "Open Your Eyes"]

FLAT WHITEs are "similar" to lattes, it's true, but somehow also infinitely superior. They were not a thing here until fairly recently. We drank them constantly in NZ, which has a bizarrely advanced coffee culture. I don't think I've ever heard a NE-YO song, even though his name is now as familiar to me as ENYA's (I exaggerate, but not a lot) (50D: "So Sick" hitmaker of 2006). I don't think I've ever been less attuned to popular music than I was in the 00s, i.e. the first decade of my job and the first decade of my daughter's life. Big blank spot in my knowledge. Then things start to come back online a little around 2011. But "SHOOP" ... "SHOOP" I was around for. 

[Salt-N-Pepa, "Shoop"]

Nice Nirvana reference in the ANGST clue (10A: Teen spirit, perhaps). No good mistakes today, though I did write in ALERO (LOL) instead of MIATA at 3D: Chicago Auto Show debut of 1989. Gonna go listen to some SATIE now because "Gymnopédies" is soooothing and I need to wind down before bed. Hope you all enjoyed this puzzle as much as I did. No weak spots. Bouncy and fresh. Totally crushable. Everything a Friday should be. And I'm pretty sure it's a debut! Nice. See you later.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:04 AM  

Despite spending way too much time (and money) at Starbucks, the only FLATWHITE I have ever heard of (or ordered) was at the Home Depot paint counter.

jae 12:06 AM  

Easy-medium. I put in KAMA SUTRA with no crosses and more or less kept going. CHOU and NEYO were WOEs and I needed to fix a couple of spelling errors along the way, but mostly this was a smooth solve. Speaking of smooth, this one is and it has a quite a bit of sparkle, liked it. An excellent debut!

If you are interested in a tougher puzzle Fri. try the July 1, 1994 puzzle by Mel Taub. You will noticed almost immediately that it is themed, and it plays easier if you know a somewhat obscure historical fact. As always your milage may very.

Patrick O'Connor 12:09 AM  

I loved this puzzle too, and as always I am happy that you're happy, Rex!

Harryp 12:21 AM  

This one played easier than it looked, and I also liked the LAWYERUP at 20A. I started in the NW with KAMASUTRA, and got most of the Downs on the first try, going Clockwise through the puzzle and ending with GALOSHES to breakout the SW. SWANSONG was another fun one. I think this is Nam Jin Yoon's first NYT puzzle and he did very well!

JD 12:58 AM  

Would love this puzzle if for no other reason being that it was a Friday I could do without help. But it's also in my current-state of-mind wheelhouse.

Equally Angst ridden and Daft. Walking past the giant screen TV, news blaring, thinking They're At It Again, everything is an Eye Opener, Stop That, Don't Stare, keep walking. A political climate that Lampoons itself.

Lawyering Up in a good way, some consulting work is coming in. Could be my Swan Song. Do I really want to work. Relax, Group Chat with the kids in their far away cities. Soldier On, do the the really stretchy Asanas, hit the Serta.

Eniale 1:19 AM  

My thanks to all the bloggerati who were extolling those wonderful Tate's crispy cookies a while back. Out here I'd never heard of them, certainly not at my usual big supermarkets - but when I saw those green packets and large lettering I grabbed one to take home, just on your say-so. What a wondrous cookie.

**SB complaint**


I'm going to bed in disgust.

Frantic Sloth 1:27 AM  

@JD from yesterday Topo Gigio. But, I see your point and agree. ☺️

I thought this one had me. Halfway through my first run I had exactly one answer: KATE McKinnon. This constructor's wavelength might as well have been on Mars for how close it was to mine.
Which means it was a challenge, but fair. I never found myself blankly staring at an answer with that WTF expression. It all made perfect sense - just after the fact.

There was a lot to like:

KAMASUTRA, ATITAGAIN, LAWYERUP, LIFESWORK, PELLGRANT, SWANSONG - I could go on. In fact, that reminds that "SOLDIERS on" is also one of my fave expressions. And, of course the toast/GONER coupling made me smile.

Now, there were problems for me. This will stun nobody. I am presuming that some of these were on me, like FLATWHITE (never heard of it, but I'm sheltered), and I didn't know about MODAL verbs.

And then there were a couple of minor nits, such as:

EYEOPENER for "Bombshell" which don't seem like the same thing. An EYEOPENER can be as mild as learning something new or maybe surprising. A bombshell blows you away or smacks your gob. Just IMHO. But I'm right. 😉

There might have been 1 or 2 other things, but right now nothing comes to mind. That pretty much proves the "minor"-ness of these nits, so I'll stop.

Overall, it was very enjoyable to have the fair-challenge Fridee we've been missing lately.


okanaganer 1:31 AM  

Good puzzle, but such an inclination to use proper nouns when it isn't necessary. PELL GRANT is unknown to me, crossing also unknown NEYO is tough, but also crossing GLEN clued as... a partial neighborhood name in Queens??? Why???

And ATTENDANT clued via Shakespeare characters. Why? Personally I think the fewer proper nouns the better.

FLAT WHITE is the most boring paint ever. This coffee thing, never tried it, may have to.

EYE OPENER right above DON'T STARE! Nice.

I remember my first ride in a MIATA, probably around 1989. It was a convertible, and after strapping myself into the passenger seat I realized the top of the windshield was pretty much in line with my eyebrows (I'm not short). So in an accident, the windshield would probably slice the top of my head off. Ouch!

Marcus Chance 1:34 AM  

This was a delightful puzzle, and though I didn't crush it, I never got stumped. Came in at 2.4 Rexes.

Tried every other Italian coffee name before getting FLATWHITE from crosses, which is embarrassing because that is the only thing I can drink from Starbucks anymore.

I've been to GHANA, so loved 45D brought back fond memories. And it does crack me up that 52A is a thing. Trying calling your bae a cabbage.

The clue on 34A made me think of Italy's apperitivo culture. If like me you're not a fan of GINS but still want a Negroni, ask for a Negroni Sbagliato. It literally means incorrect Negroni, because they use sparkling wine instead.

Cheers from Skopje, North Macedonia

Horace S. Patoot 2:27 AM  

I really enjoyed this one such that I paused in the middle to check the constructor’s name. Still, I crushed it at 13:45, fast for me. It was very clean.

chefwen 2:52 AM  

My first and second pass through brought me diddly. My brilliant puzzle partner of yesterday didn’t add much to the mix so consulted my Uncle Google to help me out on a couple of proper names that I had no chance of ever knowing. NEYO, KATE and RITA. After that little indiscretion it suddenly became more of a medium puzzle and was able to finish with a flourish after a rather dismal start.

Anonymous 5:09 AM  

"Chou" as a term of endearment actually refers to a cream puff (choux à la crème), so-called because of its shape. The clue is not misleading, just...not good translaton. Fun puzzle overall.
Mark in Hoquiam, Washington (occasional visitor to the blog)

sf27shirley 5:28 AM  

Jae, how does one get a puzzle from 1994?

ChuckD 6:27 AM  

Quicker than most Fridays - surprising because it wasn’t very enjoyable. Most of the cluing and fill was boring and inelegant to me. Don’t care to see PELL GRANT, LAWYER UP and the motherly things - STOP THAT, DONT STARE etc in my puzzle. I know GLEN Oaks but it’s another Rye for others - in fact Rye has a lot more going for it than GLEN Oaks. Wanted drum solo for DRUMBEAT. An oddball coffee type crossing a Mazda? Not so sure TAP is the only opposite of bottled - I first had can. Still don’t understand the ALE entry.

Hopefully Saturday will be better.

vtspeedy 6:55 AM  

I went with SCENT for “Teen spirit, perhaps“, thinking of Nirvana. It never pays to get too cute.

TTrimble 6:59 AM  

Nice puzzle! For me it seemed relatively easy for a Friday; was not far from my P.R. But extraordinarily clean and well-constructed. Nothing too OUTRE in the answers. Lots of crunch.

Liked the juxtaposition of EYE OPENER with DON'T STARE. As I did STOP THAT with GROUP CHAT. PREGGO and CHOU crossing OUTRE are kind of fun. The only thing that I wrinkled my nose at a little was sculpted BODS.

Thank you Nam Jin Yoon!

---[SB Alert]---

-->> yesterday spoilers <<--

Was I the only one who observed that yesterday's bee was an exact duplicate of the puzzle from July 8, 2020? That's what I meant yesterday when I said I was cheesed off. There was one difference however: there were 27 accepted words yesterday whereas there were 26 on July 8. The word they had added in the meantime is WILDLAND. Hmm.

The chances of that happening by accident are incredibly small. So was it deliberate? Is that a good idea, having an exact duplicate almost exactly a month apart? Is this just something they do now and then?

Today's seems a little weird. I'm expecting someone will hit QB, because the list has just got to be short. And yet I'm finding it strangely resistant.

GILL I. 7:02 AM  

Oof galore...I got on the train to Mars with @Frantic.
Where to start. I like K's. K's are nice but dang, there sure were lots of them. Should I know KAMASUTRA and KAFKA and KATE whatshername? Even though I've never had a ramen noodle to save my soul, at least I knew an ENOKI was involved. That was about it. I don't like the taste of GIN but I felt like pouring myself one. Put this down; walk away and try again later.
So I'm back. Chipping away, asking for lots of help. If it's not cafe con leche, then your FLAT WHITE can go join @Joaquin at Home Depot. Good lord, I'm back to the oof stage. Put it down again and take a deep breath. I did. Some things opened up and I began to gain less ANGST. But wait! PLEASE DON'T LET IT BE PREGGO! Oh dear was. Can't you just say "bun in the oven" or even "I'm in the pudding club".....You know...all those cute little quaint "I Love Lucy" sayings.....? I've heard "preggers" but now it has to sound like some Italian tomato sauce?
I managed to finish. I had lots of help but I got the ends all by myself. That was my pat on the back SWAN SONG. And I love EYE OPENER/DON'T STARE.

Lewis 7:02 AM  

Wow, a very nice sheen to this one. Almost always, a puzzle will have a modicum, handful, or plethora of answers that elicit a spontaneous UGH, usually tired crosswordese that I usually just swallow down and then move along quickly. Not even one today. That is skillful constructing, and on a debut yet!

The word smack DAB in the middle is DUO, and that, for me, is almost a theme today, so many pairs among the answers. SEA / BOAT, ASANA / CHI, ALE / TAP, AT IT AGAIN / ANEW , EERIE / OUTRE, KAFKA (author of "The Trial") / LAWYER UP / and KAMA SUTRA / EYE OPENER or DON'T STARE.

There are five NYT answer debuts, including the rhyming GROUP CHAT and STOP THAT, both of which I'm surprised haven't showed up before.

I sipped through this without a hiccup and it left me with a very nice warm feeling. I'm hoping for more from you, Nam. Thank you for this!

Hungry Mother 7:28 AM  

Felt sloggy, but faster than usual, so no real complaint. Don’t get GONER, but there’s lots that I don’t know.

Avuncularo 7:33 AM  

Very nice puzzle - was I the only one that had a DOT of cream, OLE for a raised glass and TOSSED for dominated? I know, they’re a stretch, but the puzzles sometimes are for me! Anyhoo, fixed it soon enough.

eei 7:39 AM  

Shirley- the new york times puzzle website has extensive archives

Pamela 7:43 AM  

This was pretty cool. I started it last night, but got stuck and sleepy and left it for the morning. The first thing I did was take out nomAd crossing KATE, and put in ASANAS, which I had sorta known last night but it was a little fuzzy and the d from nomAd added to my confusion. ATLAS popped in, and KAFKA, then a big Aha for KAMASUTRA, another thing that teased me last night. Elsewhere I swapped SIN for err and breezed through the rest.

DRUMBEATS was very cool. Forgot about- or never knew- BOAT for sushi. Have I ever heard of a MODAL verb? I don’t think so, even though my father was an English teacher and I always aced it in school, and I’ve studied (didn’t say learned!) two other languages.

A few other brief sticking points, but overall more fun than not.

Now to read you all.

Pamela 7:55 AM  

@Enoale- So glad you like Tate’s! Still my faves, after nearly 4 decades.

@Frantic- I always enjoy your comments and love the ratings. Today’s is particularly spot on!


The one word I missed yesterday was definitely Green Paint. Two random 4-letter words stuck together. I had tried so many other, more logical combinations that weren’t accepted- where’s the justification for this one? Grrrrr!

Just cements my resolve not to drive myself crazy trying to finish after I get to Genius.

George 8:09 AM  

Toast as in "you're toast" which leads to "you're a goner"

Twangster 8:33 AM  

I thought the clue for LAWYERUP was off. I've always heard it used when a suspect asks for an attorney as the police are interrogating him or her, which is way before anyone would "get ready to battle in court." Most criminal cases never go to trial.

Teedmn 8:39 AM  

I got my start in this at ayes and err. What, you say? Where were they in the grid? Exactly. They both got written over almost immediately, but that's the way this solve went. I did not have the "easy" experience Rex did, so more fun for me!

From SIN, I worked down, then up. LAWYER UP gave me ANEW and as soon as I saw that 1A ended in A, I understood the great clue there and splatzed in KAMA SUTRA. Very nice.

I found the SE the most difficult, not knowing NEYO and being unable to parse "Toast" in 46D's clue as anything other than something one would propose. It was a real EYE-OPENER when I got that.

Nam Jin Yoon, what a great debut, congratulations!

AW 8:41 AM  

I have been to many, many Japanese restaurants and without exception the sushi boat is a boat—literally a small boat— and decidedly NOT a platter. Poor clue.

Are Quasi and Nancy on vacation? Haven't seen their comments for a while now.

LeaveItToYourGoat 8:48 AM  

I rarely fill in the longer stuff immediately after reading the clue without having a few crossings in place, even if I'm pretty sure I know the answer. But today I was on the constructor's wavelength. Put down KAMA SUTRA right away, and got AT IT AGAIN seconds later with just the G and N. LAMPOONS, TOP SECRET, GALOSHES, SWAN SONG, PELL GRANT, and LIFE'S WORK also fell with the just first letter or two in place.

Briefly had GROUP texT for GROUP CHAT, but other than that once little hiccup this was smooth sailing.

Barbara S. 8:55 AM  

Revelation of all the words from yesterday’s Bee, so judge yourself accordingly.

This is another SB-word story. I keep vowing to stop writing and posting these lest they become tedious, but then I get triggered by a word or group of words and I’m off. Yesterday “naiad” did it, specifically the thought of a naiad named Aida. For the purposes of this narrative, it’s important to know that naiads are water nymphs. This tale contains all 27 words plus a few outliers that also fit the parameters.

A naiad named Aida, a little naif, a little waif-like, laid herself on the bank of the spring and started to daydream. She could always dial up the most elaborate visions, and fill her mind with pure fancy. The scent of wild dill drifted on the wind. Aida was dreaming about life on land. She saw a palace, fit for Aladdin, decorated with inlaid marble – she glimpsed a golden finial and a liana-covered lanai. Her eyes sprang open. She would go on a quest. She’d leave the brook and travel inland. She would see land life for herself. She’d unlock the final mystery and find Finian’s pot of gold. She would not flail; she would not fail.

Aida’s trip was short: it was no iliad. She passed through the mechanized confusion of the city; she saw the suburbs with their endless infill and, on the outskirts of the urban, a landfill with its banked mounds and wheeling gulls. She stepped on a nail and let out a wail. “I have learned my lesson,” she said, “I will go back to the wildland and stay there. I will rededicate myself to my filial duty to my river-god parents.”

Back at home, Aida finished her final naiadly task of the day. She munched a windfall from the apple tree beside the brook. And when she had lain down in the water, she started to dream again. “You know,” she said to herself with a twinkle, “I’m sure the city isn’t the FINAL mystery!”

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Hi. Barbara here. I’ve been working this puzzle for years. I’ve never gotten nearly as good at them as most of the people on this blog but I have to say that this one was completely undoable to me. For every single clue I had an answer pop in my head first that fit in quite nicely and even had some successful crosses. Of course those crosses were wrong... I finally just gave it up. I wish I had gotten a in to it, however, because it seems to have been quite a lot fun!

bauskern 9:17 AM  

"As with Wednesday's puzzle, I destroyed it and I very much enjoyed destroying it." It's sad that this has become the de facto framework for this blog's critique of a puzzle. It's been fun doing the 2010 puzzles (much tougher overall) & visiting the blogs from that long-ago generation. The only name I recognize from that era is CHEFWEN? Is that possible? It makes me wonder where all those other chatty people moved on to.
I'm not sure I would have clued ANGST as "teen spirit." As a teenager I was surly, rebellious and difficult, but I didn't have much angst. I haven't changed much over the years, except perhaps a little more ANGST under the Trump administration.

mathgent 9:20 AM  

Absolutely nothing wrong with it. It made me work. I learned FLATWHITE, MODAL verbs. Some nostalgia, remembering GALOSHES, those black smelly things we called rubbers we wore walking to school in the rain. Above average number of red plus signs in the margins. Solved it clean. Few Terrible Threes and a third of the entries six letters or more. Clever clue for DRUMBEAT. Why didn’t I enjoy it more?

I’m agreeing with Gill (7:02). Haven’t heard PREGGO. I have heard PREGGERS, in something British I think.

I love mushrooms, I’ll have to try ENOKIs. I often serve mushrooms at dinner. I slide a bag of sliced criiminis into a pan, give them a generous slug of EVOO, cook over high heat until they are soft, about four minutes. I think they call that the umami taste.

RooMonster 9:23 AM  

Hey All !
Nice themeless. SW toughest spot.

@Pamela 7:43
"KAMA SUTRA another thing that teased me last night." ROWR! 😉😋🤣

Had the T and A (no pun intended!) and got KAMA SUTRA off that. Don't go to Starbucks (the 1% of people who eschew that place) so FLAT WHITE was a WOE, but that corner was still easy-ish. Starbucks to me is overrated. Their prices are ridiculous, I would probably go, though,cif their prices were less, and there's so many different drinks, how do you find a favorite? I guess if you go all the time, you can try many different things. "I'd like a Caramel Frappe, 2% milk, Light Ice, Vanilla bean powder, extra caramel drizzle, mocha drizzle, chocolate drizzle, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, extra whipped, 10 pumps vanilla, two sugar, three pumps hazelnut, please. And make it snappy, I'm in a hurry."

err for SIN, She-SEA, GROUPtext-CHAT, think that's it. Si not bad on the writeovers.

Overall, a nice FriPuz. No dreck. Congrats on the debut.

Two F's

kithsef 9:28 AM  

I've been reading a series of book by Paul Doiron about a game warden in Maine. Makes you think rural Maine is about the worst place in the world. Everyone is a drug dealer, or a junkie, or a child molester, or a violent drunk, a poacher, you name it. It sounds like living there would be an utter nightmare.

Still sounds more fun to me than solving this puzzle was. A solve utterly without joy. Fairly challenging, but all of the challenge came from names and pop culture stuff. Nothing I had to think about, just stuff I knew or stuff I didn’t know.

Quite a comedown after yesterday’s sparkler.

PS 33D should have been clued as the Val Kilmer movie. TOP SECRET is one of my twenty favorite movies of all time. Although technically that would have an exclamation mark at the end.

Birchbark 9:30 AM  

DON'T STARE at the boss's GALOSHES.

A few years ago, the company I work for was up for sale. Over a few weeks, we met with bidders in conference rooms on the top floor of one of the taller buildings in mid-town Manhattan, home to the law firm advising our side. Easily the longest conference table I ever sat at. One morning, walking from the hotel through a drizzle of sleet, I noticed that our CEO was wearing GALOSHES. There is a leadership lesson in that.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

The commentariat was much better in 2010. I'm sure you would've greatly enjoyed it.
There were a couple of blowhards reminiscent of some folks here now-oh how I wish I could remember one guy's name in particular (long timers, help me out please. This guy was a pontificator from or very near Sparta NJ. Talked about being pals with one of the NY Giants offensive lineman. Went too far a couple of times and did some mea cuplas) but by and large a more erudite and varied group. More charming too.

Whatsername 9:35 AM  

Quite a workout but in a good way. I had a lot of missteps starting with INSIST at 10D and GROUPTEXT at 12D. Managed to muddle thru everything except the NE which had me stumped. Finally gave in and googled the coffee which I had never heard of but I’m sure I’d like. That opened things up and got me to the happy dance. I love it when a puzzle wears me out but makes me feel great because I managed to finish it. Very challenging for me but I’ll take one like this every week. Congratulations Nam Jin on an outstanding debut!

I enthusiastically second @Frantic’s list of faves, lots to love here. If you haven’t watched SNL recently, it’s worth it just to see KATE McKinnon at WORK. Woe be the wretched politician (Is there any other kind these days?) who misspoke in the preceding week. There seems to be no limit on her ability to LAMPOON just about anybody, male or female.

@jae (12:06) Thanks for the archive recommendation. I always enjoy going back to that trove of treasures.

@sf27shirley (5:28) To access Crossword archives: if using the app, just tap Archives at the upper right of the screen. On a desktop, click the menu bar on the top left and select Archives. Enjoy!

Z 9:39 AM  

That’s more like it. Back to “Pretty much what Rex said.” Yep, a debut and a fine one. All the sex and ANGST reminded me of my youth (where the mere idea that teens might be interested in sex led to adult apoplexy... so not so different from today). I saw through the vaguely political misdirection and put in KAMA SUTRA without a wasted nanosecond and we were off. I had a brief hiccough with GROUPtext but my CHI quickly fixed that. The only other place I wasted nanoseconds was reading the clue as “Cream qualities.” Whoopsie.

I saw a PPP complaint so I counted it up. Despite the double at 1A/1D, this comes in at 17 of 70, or 25%. That is about as low as the NYTX ever gets (and another reason I liked this puzzle).

@Twangster - LAWYER UP is also used when negotiations break down and one or both sides LAWYER UP to get ready for a civil trial.

@ChuckD - GLEN Oaks is a common place name. I googled GKEN Oaks mi and got a golf course, several apartment complexes, and a community college. That whole neighborhood part of the clue is just a way to get solvers to waste precious nanoseconds. I can’t help but wonder, though, if the Queens neighborhood has a marina.

@Anon late yesterday - How adorable. Don’t ever let the evidence all around you ever dissuade you. I do have a question, though... how does one correctly pronounce “hiccough?”

Carola 9:46 AM  

Luck of the draw brought me an almost 100% yield on the names (exception: NE-YO), making for a fast Friday. Besides the other nice grid juxtapositions noted above, I liked LIFE'S WORK x SWANSONG and also noticed the military call to ARMS x DRUMBEAT. Favorite entry: GALOSHES. I also got a smile out of the puzzle's unintentional nod to my LIFE'S WORK in foreign language teaching, including both literature (KAFKA) and grammar (MODAL verbs).

amyyanni 9:51 AM  

Liked it a lot. Very smooth. Had downbeats for too long, and lampoons stumped me for even longer, so I got my money's worth, timewise. Friday, my foray day when I venture to the grocer's.

JD 9:51 AM  

Nice to know so many people here immediately threw down Karma Sutra. Wonder if Millenials will?

@Frantic, Ehhhdeee! Laughing again. Googled the little mouse for nostalgia sake and find he was created by a woman, she died last year at 95, and he's still a Big star in Italy. I'm not tall. Our relationship mightve been me following you around doing my Topo Gigio imitation and trying to get a laugh. I also soldier on.

@Twangster, I've always heard Lawyer Up in the "send lawyers, guns, and money" vein, i.e., big problem, it's gonna take more than one.

Nancy 9:52 AM  

A beautiful themeless with such excellent cluing as DRUMBEAT (27A); ATLAS (2D); KAMA SUTRA (1A) and GONER (46D) and such delicious fill as LAWYER UP; SWANSONG; LIFE'S WORK; EYEOPENER and PELL GRANT.

Like @Joaquin, I did a double take at FLAT WHITE for the latte clue. It does sound exactly like paint and I'm sure that, for that reason, I would never order it if I ever went to Starbucks. Of course, as you already know, I never go to Starbucks because I love making my own Folger's Instant version of a latte. One of the women here (I think it was @GILL, but it could have been @chefwen or someone else) referred to my Folger's preparation as "your concoction" -- perhaps in lieu of calling it "coffee". But I love it. Just finished a cup right before I tackled this puzzle.

Anyway, this is a perfect Friday puzzle. Challenging without being torturous -- and with no compromises in the grid. I see it's a debut, which I find extraordinary. This is definitely a constructor to watch.

albatross shell 9:52 AM  

KAMASUTRA took half a second. The NW corner near a Monday pace. Reread Kafka frequently.Then it slowed up. ENOKI CHOU OUTRE TOPSECRET all slowed me up.
The last one 'cause I had EYEpoppER in before EYEOPENER. More in line with @Frantic's analysis.
Also had LAMbastS before LAMPOONS.

But a Friday with no cheats. Probably cause of the easy vocabulary? GALOSHES LAMPOONS BANKRUPT the long answers that are not 2 or 3 words or compound words, and two of them have the "s".

Sounds like you have no interest, but he is toast, dead meat, a goner all mean the same thing.

Beautiful clean puzzle. Some fine fill.. Love the related answers. I think BANKRUPT and ERUPTS would irk some. Did I just modal-ize? Never heard of FLATWHITE as a drink. I will try one when I find one.


Anonymous 9:57 AM  

OK, I give. What is this SB you guys keep posting (and it's relatives)?

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

You need better evidence, which is to say better dictionaries. The ones I use say the R is pronounced.
As for your condescending adorable dig- Yyu take the cake there. You think your arguments are improved by repetition or posting Bowie videos. Now That's adorable.

Nancy 10:02 AM  

@AW (8:41) -- I haven't missed a day, so I don't know why you haven't seen me. I've slept a bit later on a number of days, so my comments may have come a bit later in the morning than you expected them. But I've been here; you can always go back and look. And thanks for missing me, even though I wasn't missing.

Z 10:02 AM  

Another PPP complaint! Okay, here’s a full break down with an extra that I didn’t include (but even if we do include it it only takes the PPP to a typical 26%):

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns. Anything over 33% will cause some subset of solvers to struggle with the solve

KATE McKinnon
GIN (I don’t think I’ve ever counted cocktail names before and I’m not sure when we started capitalizing them)
DUO (Thelma and Louise clue, so I counted it even though the pop culture element is irrelevant to the answer)
BANKRUPT (Wheel of Fortune Clue)

ATTENDANT (Othello clue)
Aaron BURR

This is the second PPP anomaly this week and this time the PPP amount is solidly in NYTX typical, so I’m curious why this particular set of PPP caused such problems.

Twangster 10:04 AM  

Thanks for that background, Z. I was not aware of that, probably because you don't see that on cop shows!

Banya 10:19 AM  

Got KAMASUTRA right away and raced right through this one. I agree, this was a fun and delightful solve.

Perry 10:20 AM  

I entered SCENT for Teen Spirit. That was a hard mistake to recover from.

Teen Spirit was the scent of an actual deodorant targeted at teen consumers and the title of the song was a snide reference to the cynical marketing effort.

Ferguson 10:32 AM  

Should have been raise a glass with IMHO

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

I too never heard of FLAT WHITE as anything but paint. or a neo-Nazi under a steamroller.

CHI, as in tai chi, is, perhaps, animistic, but not spiritual. some of the Red State folks consider teaching yoga to kids as Devil Worship, but still...

do PELL GRANTs still exist??? I recall reading that The Orange Sh!tgibbon (not my coinage, but I cleave) did/tried to eviscerate them.

my first girlfriend, high school division, took French while I was in Latin, so called me (not that often, and phonetically) 'petite shoe' which, she said, was literally 'little cabbage' and that it was a term of endearment. had to guess the real spelling, of course.

Ferguson 10:36 AM  

Excellent comments!

Ferguson 10:39 AM  

Got it, now! Thanks

Joaquin 10:44 AM  

A couple of youngsters here complain that KAMASUTRA is an unknown. Well, I'm so danged old that when I saw the clue reference "many different positions" I struggled to find a baseball connection. Finally, Mr. KAFKA led me out of the park.

KnittyContessa 10:50 AM  

This took some time. My first run through didn't bode well. I may have filled in 5 or 6 clues. Then it slowly started to fall. There was much I wasn't familiar with. What is a FLATWHITE???? Never heard of SHOOP ba doop or NEYO. Crosses all seemed fair enough. Some clever cluing today. I enjoyed it - with one exception. Why oh why clue GLEN like that? It's just mean. I have lived in NYC my entire life and I had no idea what that was.

@Barbara S. Brava!

TJS 10:57 AM  

I loved this one. First pass thru all the North West and East, I came up with "sin". What a bummer ! I mean I love hard Fridays, but Jeez.Then "sin" gave me 33 across "than" of all things, the "H" gave me "chat", and here we go. I love when that happens, and the fill was so clean, this turned out to be one of my favorite puzzles in weeks. And a first timer ! Wow.

Happy Friday, Y'all.

Crimson Devil 11:19 AM  

Very nice Fri put, some challenge but not too ANGST inducing. TOAST great clue, HEADED too.
I understand it’s a debut: Congrats !!

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Anon 10:33,

Any citation, at all, for your red state smear regarding yoga?
Many people do object to teaching kids yoga. One of the reasons is that yoga, properly understood, is in fact a religious regimen. It is part of Hindu worship. The word itself means union with god.
That it has been corrupted and perverted by all sorts of people doesn't disguise or change its true meaning.

Newboy 11:25 AM  

Hand up for NEYO who? Easiest cross 1A/D for an opening I can recall.* But the closer in the SE was a 🐻! For some reason OPEn closed both lids to OPED and that combined with PREG?? just wouldn’t fill. 46&47D clues are fair separately—but as a DUO? WOE? At last college French 101 provided the EYEOPENER for a CHOU/OUTRE possible SWAN SONG for Friday. Just the late week grid I always hope for. And yes as Rex noted, this is a Debut NYT for Nam, so kudos to Mr. Yoon are indeed in order.

*To be fair, I did teach English for 38 years, so something was bound to stick,

Hack mechanic 11:26 AM  

We used to frequent one sushi bar where they really were little boats that floated round & round the bar in a little "river"

albatross shell 11:29 AM  

What wheel of fortune has a million? Somewhere around 1000 tops is what I remember. Knew the answer would be something like zero dollars, lose turn, etc, so did not need many crosses.

CHI is often used in the sense of spiritual energy so no problem there.

On the other hand needed 2 out of 3 letters to get LOT.

Unknown 11:33 AM  

You forgot to include the smug Pat Sajak in your pantheon of right wing noodnicks.

57stratocaster 11:37 AM  

After a couple minutes I thought this might ruin my streak, but all of a sudden it broke open and became fun and fast. Great Friday!

goldbug 11:39 AM  

If you need some more Satie in your life, here's the great pianist Igor Levit playing the complete Vexations - over 12 hours.

Masked and Anonymous 11:40 AM  

Nice, smooth debut puz. Tough at our house, mostly due to feisty clues. Also, didn't know FLATWHITE, NEYO, SHOOP, RITA, CHOU, and "Heyo". Figured it all out eventually, tho.

Always good to see the Jaws of Themelessness return.

staff weeject pick: ALE. Mostly becuz it was in the feisty clue club today. @RP: Primo analysis of the ALE clue. Kept us from turnin over any of the furniture, in outrage.

fave fillins: EYEOPENER splatzed directly over DONTSTARE. Also got a kick outta that 26-D SIN/ERR trap.
fave feisty clue: {Hit after hit for a rock band?} = DRUMBEAT. Only saw two ?-mark clues, but seemed like more, to my precious nanosecond meter.

Thanx for the workout and congratz on yer extra fine debut, Mr. Yoon.

Masked & Anonym007Us


rjkennedy98 11:41 AM  

Co-solved this with my co-worker and we just crushed this one.

The reference to Othello made me immediately like it. Othello to me is the most unsettling of all plays (including Hamlet). Everything about it is incredibly unnerving.

I always have Emilia's lines in my head when she her husband tells her to shut up:

'Twill out, 'twill out: I peace!
No, I will speak as liberal as the north:
Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
All, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak.

In this age when all the murderous Iago's around us tell us to hold our tongues - I want to scream this at them.

JC66 11:41 AM  


I think the puzzle's referring to the TV show Wheel of Fortune.

57stratocaster 11:44 AM  

Rest in peace Geoff Nunberg, a true lover of words and language.

What? 11:56 AM  

Fills I didn’t know but got from crosses-
The difference between a quiz and a crossword.

Whatsername 12:01 PM  

@GILL (7:02) Thanks for the laughs this morning. I felt like I was right there with you, feeling your pain.

@kitshef (9:28) I keep seeing ads for that book series popping up on my Facebook feed. It sounds like it might be gory and violent which I probably wouldn’t care for, but I also hate to miss out on a good read if it’s borderline. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

@Anomymous (9:57) “SB” means Spelling Bee. It’s a relatively new word finding game available with the NYT games subscription. Actually I think you can play it on a limited basis without a subscription. It can be addictive, and it seems people either love it or hate it. I tried it for a while but found my frustration level far exceeded my enjoyment of it so I seldom give it a look any more. However as you can obviously see, there are some diehard devotees who’ve continued to SOLDIER on. Your mileage may vary as they say and as I say, to each his own.

Frantic Sloth 12:09 PM  

Learning that this puzzle is a NYTdebut for this constructor makes me even more appreciative of its genius. Yes, I said "genius", and I am firmly in @Nancy's camp of "a constructor to watch."
Before my enrollment in commentariatism, I'd never really paid attention to constructor names (the lone exception was the late, great Merl Reagle [God! I miss him!]) and found that in some ways I was missing out.
Names like Robyn Weintraub and ACME and my white whale Erik Agard now have me doing a little jig whenever I see their byline. In the case of AE, it's more of an intriguing dread at this point, but it's always a Nantucket sleigh ride of a time and I'm catching up!
This Nam Jin Yoon dude has that same aura about him. At least for me. So congratulations, young sir, and I look forward to many more opportunities of happy anguish and faux contempt.

@JD 951am Thanks for the Topo reportage. It makes me kind of sad to learn all that now. Feels like I should have paid more attention before the woman up and croaked. (always room for crass!) Our shared imaginary childhood made me laugh and think of this, - especially since it leads to this.

@Barbara S. 855am Lewis Carroll says...'Twas brill! (no ig)

jberg 12:21 PM  

I'm trying @Nancy's method, a first comment before I read anyone else's. When the puzzle started with KAMA SUTRA -- I hesitated, but "Light on Yoga" was too long, and I can't think of any chess, fencing, or dance manuals that would count as "noted." I was still a little uncertain, but RITA Dove made it clear. That saved me from teslA at 3d, too. From there, we got so many fresh and lively long answers -- SOLDIERS on, SWAN SONG, FLAT WHITE, LAWYER UP. And one of @Rex's favorite cocktails!

I did hesitate over SERTA/SEaly, and had PREGGy before PREGGO, DRUM roll before BEAT.

Stella Zawistowski tweeted last night that she loved the puzzle, but thought the clues were too easy. Maybe for her; I thought some were tricky.

Here is a SWAN SONG for you.

Pamela 12:37 PM  

@Barbara S- Great story! You even used that nasty word that was my undoing yesterday.

@bauskern- I had plenty of ANGST in my teens! That word popped into my mind from the clue alone, no crosses. I didn’t put it in right away though, because I was sure it would be wrong.

@Roo Tsk, tsk! 🤭😉

@anon 9:57- SB is Spelling Bee, another game in the NYT that is only available on line (I think). Every day they give you 7 letter, and you make as many words as you can. There are several levels of accomplishment, with Genius being 2nd best, and Queen Bee the ultimate goal. I have an icon on my desktop, but I think if you Google it, it will come up.

MI Nana 12:39 PM  

Mon petit Chou- my little cabbage is definitely a term
Of endearment I remember from childhood

Rug Crazy 12:40 PM  


Just NO!

N 12:43 PM  

I always heard it was CHOU for “cabbage,” which is far more fun, so I’ll choose to continue to believe it for now. (Imagine Pepe le Pew saying “my little cab-BAHJ, it just works.) A similar silly French TOE: “ma puce,” or “my flea.”

jberg 12:43 PM  

Lots of interesting comments, I've little to add -- except that Negroni is capitalized because it's named for Count Camillo Negroni, who invented it.

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

@anon/11:21 (not me, of course)
"Any citation, at all, for your red state smear regarding yoga?"

how will Georgia do?

there's is nothing incompatible between yoga practice and any Western religion. CHI is just the name for one's innate energy. it's not God given or God driven.

CHI is often used in the sense of spiritual energy so no problem there.

those who do are very off base. CHI is one's internal energy. some times called 'life force' but not 'God force'.

in tai chi, and other 'soft' forms of Eastern martial arts, CHI is the motivational force for both offence and defence, not muscle strength. the center of CHI is, about, 2 inches below the navel and centered in the body. the fact is, if you watch any pro golfer or boxer or batter or quarterback ('gotta get the hips moving first'), they all motivate the motion from that center of energy. they just don't call it that, and, I'd wager, nearly none of them know the connection. does that make them anti-Christian? they are using, albeit ignorantly, the fundamental notion of CHI.

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

SB is nytimes Spelling Bee daily puzzle. super fun, but because of that, its annoying presence here makes -for me- some peoples' posts unreadable... i'm looking(not) at you, TTrimble.

Harryp 12:46 PM  

I find that Better Call Saul license plates are for sale. They read LWYRUP

Pete 1:09 PM  

Mon petite choux is a French phrase of endearment - my little cream puff. In French, Choux (the pastry dough) is pronounced the same as chou, the cabbage. Miraculously, two different words sound the same. If only there were a word for that, one to describe two words that have the same pronunciation, then it would be easier to explain that no one is saying my little cabbage as a term of endearment for christ's sake!

Give me an H! 1:17 PM  

For Hooray!
Count me among the people that LOVED this puzzle, went through it in Wednesday time but still didn’t feel cheated. It is likely that I felt that I was so much on the constructor’s wavelength that it amounted to a Vulcan mind meld. My only hang up was FLAT WHITE because I am a coffee “purist”. To me, Flat White just sounds like a different way to say coffee with (real) cream. Somewhat disturbing I thought of KAMASUTRA immediately as well as the fact that I’ve watched Wheel of Fortune enough to know ANYTHING about the wheel layout.
I look forward to more puzzles from this constructor!

bigsteve46 1:20 PM  

I also never pay attention to who the puzzle constructor is (I am a neanderthal NYT actual paper newspaper subscriber). It only adds a level of angst to the solving process, e.g. this puzzle is by Joe Blow: I'm in trouble! Sometimes its unavoidable - but I try to ignore.

Curious about the poster who never goes to a Starbucks but who enjoys an instant coffee latte. I don't like Starbucks much either - although they can be a blessing in drive-through country where coffee is not a priority. In that part of the nation (including parts of should-be-more-civilized upstate New York) they can be God send to the coffee addict. I know some of these towns might have a legitimate coffee house somewhere - but if you're just passing through, the coffee at Starbucks will at least be fresh and Starbucks often provides a comfortable chair and non-operating room intensity lighting, should you choose to linger.

I also note Rex's referral to New Zealand developing a "coffee culture." I assume that means a load of frappacinos and similar crap that they can charge you $8 for. Countries that actually have a true coffee culture, like Italy and Austria, have a very limited selection - just always made fresh and served properly, i.e. in a porcelain cup and saucer, metal spoon, real sugar and milk or cream, and if you so choose backed up by a full alcohol bar should you be in the mood for a caffe corretto: (Wikipedia: caffè corretto: an Italian beverage, consists of a shot of espresso with a small amount of liquor, usually grappa, and sometimes sambucaor brandy.)

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

anon 12:43

Did you read the article you're citing. nowhere to be found is there any cl;aim by anyone of yoga being associated with Satanism. The satanic element was a sine qua non of your smear at 10:33. The claim of the parents in georgia is that yoga prom, according to the Atlantic's writer not, notably supported by any quote from a parent, is that yoga promotes no n Christian ideas. Yo may find that to unpersuasive or unimportant. what you cant do is claim that anyone is crying Devil worship.
As for Chi, that's a non sequitur. It's not word associated with yoga. It's not Sanskrit word. yoga is. It means union with god. You know, because yoga is fundamentally a religious regimen.

burtonkd 1:23 PM  

@kithsef: Hands up for enjoying TOPSECRET! Especially since the trailer featured a dairy cow walking around a bog in GALOSHES:)

Had WORKSTUDY before PELLGRANT, wasting precious nanoseconds...

Since no one has said it yet, I would like a more challenging but solvable Friday experience. Crushing an easy puzzle doesn't make you smarter. Looking at you, DUO.

@jberg - I might suggest writing your comments without reading others, so your opinion is unvarnished, then read other comments before posting and editing so you don't ask a question that has already been answered 10 times.

burtonkd 1:29 PM  

@bauskern, I hear that Rex's tone in those days was also chattier, and more along the lines of "this reminds me of these interesting things...".
2 theories on where those people have moved on to:
- Got weary of the daily bile
- considering the age demographic of NYT puzzle solvers, 10 years later...

Anonymous 1:30 PM  

If only there were a word for that, one to describe two words that have the same pronunciation,


my girlfriend still insists it was 'cabbage'. she also liked to say 'quel fromage'.

kitshef 1:31 PM  

@Whatsername 12:01. No, not particularly gory. Mrsshef and I don't watch the likes of Breaking Bad or True Blood due to unnecessary gore, but we both enjoy the books. The are certainly less gory than, say, the Nevada Barr series.

@Z - because not all PPP is created equal. Few will object to , or even notice, a GEORGE Washington or a BABE RUTH in the puzzle, but SATIE, GLEN, RITA SHOOP, NEYO - those (as clued) are going to get complaints.

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

Forget it, Pete, it's the comments section.
(sorry Robert Towne)

Anonymous 1:35 PM  


My god!!!!! he's back. And he's doubled down. Maybe tripled thanks to explaining what a homonym is.

hey anon 1:30

If only there were a word is the joke

Here's your head

anon's tete

kitshef 1:35 PM  

@ Pete - Choux is also the French plural of chou. And I have definitely heard cabbage as a term of endearment, as when our teacher at the end of the year bid us "Au revoir, mon petit champ de choux".

Katzzz 1:37 PM  

Or try a Boulavardier, a Negroni with bourbon subbing for the gin. Delicious.

Bruce Fieggen 2:26 PM  

I’m with you on this. Why does this blog have to be politically polarized along with the rest of the country? We are discussing words and puzzles and it shouldn’t matter if some of them end up being famous people on the left or right side of the political spectrum.
Let’s just solve and leave our political opinions at the door. Not every NYT reader or puzzle solver is a liberal and the constant jabbing from the left spoils my enjoyment of this community.

Z 2:34 PM  

@jberg - makes sense. Well, about as much sense as most spelling conventions. For instance, I see “white russian” and “White Russian” but never “white Russian” (how long until someone posts a link to a “white Russian”?) Everywhere on the web seems to capitalize the drink Manhattan except the NYT. They do say you can use rye or bourbon, but never mention a marina. (yes, everything after “makes sense” was added just so I could make that stupid reference to a clue that annoyed me last Saturday. You’re welcome)

@anon12:43 - We also have ASANAS and KAMA SUTRA, so the Yoga and Yoga adjacent entries are more than just CHI. I do agree with you that some personal trainer discussing something like “kinetic chain” is really just using western terminology to describe yogic concepts.

@kitshef - Yes, that’s always the problem with PPP, the wheelhouse/outhouse effect. But it usually takes more of it than we had today to get this many solvers struggling. And even what we got doesn’t strike me as atypical. SATIE, KAFKA, and SERTA all seem like fairly common fill, although maybe KAFKA appears more often in clues than in the puzzle. The NEHRU clue looks intimidating but translating it to “5-letter South Asian probably political leader” rendered it pretty easy here. Curious. I’ve been that one person not getting a puzzle everyone else found easy, but to have so many of the wheelhouse/outhouse responses when the PPP is this low is unusual, except it’s happened twice this week.

@Pete - It took me all of one google search to discover that the pastry took the name because it resembles ... cabbage.

It also took me one google search to find article after article, and videos, and posts, equating Yoga to Satanism. All apparently from self-described “christians.” You can try it yourself, “yoga satanism” and then be prepared for the crazy.

Niki Matsoukas 2:40 PM  

Thanks for posting the Satie. But I have never heard it played so slowly!

Anonymous 3:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frantic Sloth 3:04 PM  

@Z 234pm and in general. You gotta let the Rye marina go, dude. It's consuming you. 😂

*** quasi-PSA ***
(Yes! Where is Quasi of late??)

Looking forward to Lollapuzzoola tomorrow!! Anyone else?
Also, did anyone do the trial run on Wednesday night? Like a jamoke, I forgot about it (🙄) and wonder what it was like.

Here's an interesting tidbit. Recently discovered I was being billed for NYT "All Access" plus the yearly crossword puzzle subscription. Upon contacting the NYT, not only was I not supposed to pay for both, but I got my AA price knocked down from $25 to $14. What the what??

Anonymous 3:14 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 3:52 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
johnk 4:11 PM  

My comment too, pretty much. I painted houses for a living for some years.
And I patronize St*rBucks only in airport desperation. Peets! Alfred Peet taught the original Starbucks how to roast coffee.

Anonymous 4:37 PM  


alas, BetaMax was first and so much better than VHS. Hydrox first and better than Oreo. and so on. the Chrysler Turbine Car and the STP Turbine Indy racer (so good that it was banned). ain't America great again?

Anonymous 5:05 PM  

Anon 3:52
I think I may have left out the most important distinction. The crucifixion, death and Resurrection of our blessed Lord.
Other than the things I’ve named and a thousand others, yeah, paganism is surely the father of Christianity.

Anonymous 5:17 PM  

Original rejoinder to anon 3:52lost to the mists of the Internet.
I’ll leave at:No. Christianity is sui generis.
Conflating rites, feast days, and I presume Holy Days is not helping your argument.
And no Judaism is not alien to Christianity, in fact it is essential to understanding it. Finally, there is to be no enmity between Christians and our older brothers in faith, that per at least the last three popes.

Joaquin 5:25 PM  

I'll take "Huh?" for $500, Alex.

Answer: A crossword blog.

Question: If you want to discuss/argue politics or religion, where's a good place to do that?

Z 5:35 PM  

@Frantic Sloth - I gotta miss it. Too busy reading up on satanic marinas. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

anonymous 3:14 Get a GRIP! You assert all of this as if YOU and you alone have all the answers. "Yeah, but I'm right." That's basically what you're saying.

Don't practice yoga cuz some asian thought it connected to some forbidden form of spirituality.

Don't let your kid trick or treat because some weirdo associates it with satanism.

Barbara S. 6:06 PM  

@Frantic Sloth
I'm going to give Lollapuzzoola a try. Let's see if I can improve on my bone-jarring performance at the tournament in March. I think I was 1100th out of 1700 but, hey, it was my first competitive foray. I missed the Wed. night run-through, too.

Thanks for your frabjous comment on the Aida story.

And thanks, too, to @KnittyContessa and @Pamela.

Charles Emerson Winchester III 6:38 PM  

My best neighbor, Mark in Hoquiam, is entirely correct: the endearment refers to the cream puff. The cream puff is named for a cabbage because of its shape. Thus the whole idea of cabbage as an endearment rests on an incomplete understanding of the French phrase.

Anonymous 6:44 PM  

Anon 5:55
My apologies. I was attempting to use evidence, examples and reason two illustrate the differences in Hindu and Christian thought and how a discipline within one ran counter to the beliefs of the other. My failure is now clear. Thank you for your trenchant criticism.
I certainly don’t believe I have all the answers, but I do hope I have your pardon. I know with certainty I’m lucky to have you around to not only correct my errors, but to provide wonderful advice for my children.

Runs with Scissors 6:46 PM  

Morning routine is get up at 0500, stumble to the kitchen, make coffee (americano for me, espresso in the cafetera for the wife), then do some of the SB. 99.999% of the time the puzzle was done the night before.

This one was fairly straightforward. KAMA SUTRA dropped right in off the clue. Hope this doesn't mean I'm a perv.

FLAT WHITE was a WOE. I admit, I chortled heartily at OFL's description of any coffee-related thing as "infinitely superior." It's coffee. If you don't drink it black, you don't have coffee. Period.

My brain must be misfiring...I tried to make a story out of the answers.



So anyway, it went mostly smoothly, just a couple hangups. No real EYE OPENERs, so I DON'T STARE.

Wildfires for all
Somewhere near Mickey's North 40

Xcentric 6:48 PM  

That was fun!

TTrimble 8:07 PM  

I ought to know better, because I actually don't have time for arguments here, but of course it would be erroneous to identify "yoga" just with Yoga in the sense of a branch of Hindu philosophy. Sure, it may have originated in India, but aspects of it spread widely across (for example) Pakistan, Tibet and southeast Asia, where it took on new forms, and of course later it took on various forms in the West. (When I was in my early 20's, I practiced so-called Kundalini Yoga which was taught through the organization of Yogi Bhajan, a Sikh practitioner.) Just as Buddhism originated in India, but spread far and wide: it would be wrong generally to equate "Buddhism" simply with Buddhism as practiced in India in the era of Gautama Buddha.

In any event, as mainly taught in the US, and particularly in US schools which I thought was the context of the yoga discussion here, the healthful exercises of let's say Hatha Yoga by aren't accompanied -- as far as I know! -- by any doctrinal teachings of Purusha and Prakriti or whatever other notions were considered in the ancient philosophical school of Yoga with a capital Y. Is that actually a concern?

@Anonymous 12:46
Again, it might not be worth my while to pursue this, but since I was called out by name and my irony meter may be busted, I can't tell whether I was being censured or being exempted from censure. (Kick me?)

It shouldn't matter either way. People who discuss SB here always flag their deep geek with an SB Alert notice, so that people know to look the other way. Usually I leave lots of space after my notice, so that people have a chance to look away before being contaminated by even a single speck.

Anonymous 8:43 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pamela 9:12 PM  

@Runs with scissors- Kudos to you!

@burtonkd- You reminded me- DUO was obscure to me too- until it wasn’t. And I loved that movie so much! I went to a screening, then worked on a PR junket with Susan Sarandon. When Brad Pitt walked by and I was transfixed in my tracks, one of the publicists laughed and said, “Don’t get your hopes up- you’re at the back of a very long line.”

*****SB ALERT***

I quit for today, Genius, pangram, missing 4 words. I wonder what tomorrow will bring...

Ecumenical Erin 9:12 PM  

I just hope that we as a crossword community can come together after the November 3 election no matter who wins. Stronger together. Don’t be a hater. And please no rioting.

TTrimble 9:26 PM  

Well, I know you made that sort of identification, and it's a definition which might suit your argumentative purpose, but to put it simply, my basic point which I'll repeat is that over the course of time, the term "yoga" has been applied and is understood and has evolved well past that. It's not an especially difficult point.

Sadly and unfortunately, you resort to an ad hominem ("your failing"). Consistent with my prediction that I should have known better than to enter the discussion, because that type of response is by now predictable. So I won't be spending any more time with you on this. Sweet dreams, nighty-night!

TTrimble 10:04 PM  

---[SB Alert]---

Hey @Pamela, I did no better, in fact was one word worse. Time to take my medicine and have a look now. Strange letters, eh?

Frantic Sloth 11:26 PM  

@Z 535pm Gonna miss you, but those satanic marinas ain't gonna study themselves!

@ Barbara S. 606pm Yay! We're gonna have fun! Glad the frabjous comment brought you some joy. 😉

CDilly52 12:53 AM  

Loved this one, even though for much of it I was on some other planet. But this was a Friday “Gymnopedie” for my brain. Thought it was going to be a breeze as I killed the NW. However, I came to a screeching halt after DRUMBEAT. In fact after that one, I went through the remainder of the clues and was snow blinded by the grid! How our brains work (or obviously in my case don’t work) fascinates me. This puzzle restored my faith in NYTXW.

After yesterday, I just about quit. And I blame yesterday’s failure (yes, I know this is just my opinion) on the editor. 100%. The “All for one. . . “ idea was very clever, but the execution was just awful. Not ready for prime time for sure. I spent over 2 hours off and on trying to make the downs and the acrosses make sense. The fact that the Mr. Shortz seemed to think gibberish is acceptable got me well beyond “irritated.”

So, a welcome, clever and very Friday-esquel” puzzle to ease us into what I hope will be a wonderful weekend for one and all.

Koop 10:12 AM  

Lawyer Up makes me miss Better Call Saul...

thefogman 10:44 AM  

DNF. Naticked by 50D and 54A. I guessed NoYO / PoLLGRANT. Guessed wrong, felt cheated and as a result this puzzle made me say UGH!!!

spacecraft 10:52 AM  

I do not know Starbuck terms. Notice I did not say "coffee" terms, because all that crap they insist upon putting into your coffee just makes it un-coffee. I'd never go into one of those places, because the exchange would go something like this:

One coffee, please, black.
What blend would you like? We have...
Look, this is a coffee shop, right? All I want is a cup of coffee. Black.
What size?
ONE CUP!!! Aaaaaugh!!!

So, I never go in there. YEA, I ERUPTed. Started off with BANKRUPT, the WOF gimme, but still had to do a bit of Friday brain calisthenics to get this one. Yes, I wanted KAMASUTRA right away, but downs weren't coming to me and there might be some other type of "work" involving "positions" of another sort. I wasn't sure. Fell into the "err" (SIN) and "CHer" (CHOU) traps, quickly fixed. I'd say this was about medium difficulty for the day, maybe leaning toward easy-medium.

Our old DOD friends KATE and RITA are on hand, to say nothing of Thelma and Louise. Give 'em all a sash! Hand up for knowing preggers (Brit.) but not PREGGO. Hey, leggo my PREGGO! It's a waffle with extra nutrients for the baby...

Sorry I am not up on my Eastern names (Vietnamese, maybe?) but I have no idea whether our debut artist is male or female. No matter; this is primo good stuff, and the constructor gets an eagle!

Burma Shave 12:07 PM  


at THAT GROUP doing ASANAS when
they ASK the KAMASUTRA to share
and you SEA them go ATITAGAIN.


Anonymous 2:46 PM  

To Erin: I'll raise a glass to that!

leftcoaster 5:00 PM  

Most accessible Friday I've seen in some while. Lots to like.

Good three-stacks in the NW and SE corners, with more challenging stuff in between. In this case, the outlier was CHOU, sitting atop the SE stack. That's a "French term of endearment"? Had to be Cher. But with "cabbage"? Couldn't be.

Didn't finish that slice of the corner, leaving GeNER and OrTRE as discarded left-overs.

Diana, LIW 7:52 PM  

Can you say "cheating on the hard parts"? I can. But then I finished, and got most of it, which is GREAT for me on a Friday. Getting those bottom rows was very satisfying.

Diana, LIW

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